Online Encyclopedia

HEL, or HELA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 218 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HEL, or HELA, in Scandinavian mythology, the goddess of the dead. She was a child of Loki and the giantess Angurboda, and dwelt beneath the roots of the sacred ash, Yggdrasil. She was given dominion over the nine worlds of Helheim. In early myth all the dead went to her: in later legend only those who died of old age or sickness, and she then became synonymous with suffering and horror. Her dwelling was Elvidnir (dark clouds), her dish Hungr (hunger), her knife Sullt (starvation), her servants Ganglate (tardy feet), her bed Kor (sickness), and her bed-curtains Blikiandabol (splendid misery).
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