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Norse Mythology
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    Religion of the ancient Scandinavians and especially the Vikings
    Centered around the worship of various gods including Wodin, Thor, (pictured) Freya, and others
    Responsible for a huge corpus of oral literature consisting mostly of stories about the exploits of Norse gods and human heroes.
    Origin of the legend of Beowulf
    Considering the violent and barbaric nature of the Vikings, it didn't seem to teach much in the way of loving our fellow man.
    Warriors who died in battle went to Valhalla where they spent their days fighting Frost Giants and their nights feasting, drinking and making whoopee with buxom lasses; everybody else was pretty much out of luck.
    The undoubtedly vast oral literature of the Scandinavians has for the most part been either lost or hopelessly bowdlerized by the rise of Christianity.
    They believed that the Frost Giants would eventually win and destroy all creation.
    They got short shrift in Edith Hamilton's 'Mythology.'
    The epic tale of Beowulf was turned into a 3D movie suck-a-thon flop.
    There are worse ways to spend eternity than fighting Frost Giants and being waited on by beautiful women which was their idea of Heaven.
    They didn't have much in the way of ritualized religious ceremony or a clergy and no collection plates.
    Its followers didn't wake you up on Saturday mornings to convert you or fly airplanes into skyscrapers.
    Its Norse followers were able to build a relatively (for time and place) advanced civilization with a reasonable set of laws that at least internally kept the fireworks at a minimum.
    Thor was made into a pretty good comic book and movie hero.
    It disappeared with the rise of Christianity and no one follows it anymore, which is a good thing if you stop and think about Vikings with fully automatic firearms for a moment.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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