Idun, Nanna and Sif
Little is known of Idun, Nanna, and Sif. Idun, the wife of Bragi, had in
her possession the most priceless treasures of the Æsir, certain apples that
restored youth to those who ate of them. Without them the Æsir would have
become old and feeble. For this reason they were fearful of losing Idun, so
that on one occasion when she had been carried off by the Giant Thjazi4
they were in the most dire straits. Idun was designated as the “Goddess of
Brunnaker’s Bench,” presumably the name of the dwelling where she and
Bragi were housed. Nanna, daughter of Nep, was the wife of Balder, whom
she so loved that her heart broke at his death. Sif was the wife of Thor. She
had been wedded before, to whom we do not know; and she was the
mother of Ull, who is called the stepson of Thor. Sif was fair and had gold
hair fashioned for her by cunning Dwarfs. Her name, meaning “kindred,”
“relationship,” indicates that she was thought of as the protector of homes,
just as Thor was the protector of Midgard. Sigyn, Skadi, and Gerd have
already been discussed.
Peter Andreas Munch: Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods and Heroes. The American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York. 1926, pp. 29-30.
Rasmus B. Anderson (Ed.): The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson. Norræna Society, London-New York. 1906.
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