Midgard | Norse Mythology


Midgard is the name for the world the humans if Norse Mythology. The word has been transmitted in this or similar meanings as Gothic midjungards, Old Norse miðgarðr, Old English middangeard, Old Saxon middilgard and Old High German mittil(a)gart and was used in both sacred and secular language.

Midgard, literally "middle yard" or "middle garden", refers precisely to the dwelling place of humans in the middle of the world. The gods (Aesir) live in Asgard.

Contrary to the vertical world view of the world tree Yggdrasil, in the Norse imagination Miðgarðr (west) and Útgarðr (east) as two poles related to each other describe a horizontal, circular world view.

However, the root word garðr, which in medieval Scandinavia mainly stood for "farm," originally meant an enclosure, a boundary wall or fence, dividing the world into two opposing realms: an inside and an outside.

The enclosed inside is thereby the area of life of humans, in which under the protection of the gods culture becomes possible, while in the outside the demons and giants live.

In Eddic literature, Midgard is thus not only the world of men, but also that of the gods. Midgard is created by the gods, who build their castle Asgard in it.

Midgard in Popular Culture

J. R. R. Tolkien referred to the world comparable to Midgard as Middle Earth in his work The Lord of the Rings, which is strongly influenced by Norse mythology and Beowulf. German author Wolfgang Hohlbein called one of his novels, in which he freely exploited components of Norse mythology, Midgard.

Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen, in their contemporary cosmology The View from the Center of the Universe, use midgard as a term to illustrate man's place in the universe. Man as mediator between macrocosm and microcosm has the task to open up this connection with his consciousness.

Willibald Hentschel gave his human breeding plans the name Mittgart. Around Hentschel as founder there was a "Mittgart-Bund" and "Mittgartsiedlungen" for the breeding of humans.

Another völkisch publishing house called itself Mittgart-Verlag in the Weimar Republic, based in Haan-Ellscheid, founder Guntram Erich Pohl. Here appeared Neues Leben. Monatsschrift für nordisch-deutsches Wesen.

Max Robert Gerstenhauer wrote Mittgart's Verfall und Wiederaufstieg. 1st vol. Armanen-Verlag, 1937.

The oldest German role-playing game bears the name Midgard. The word is also widely used to refer to the virtual game world of computer games, including Dark Age of Camelot, Rune, Age of Mythology, Ragnarok Online.

After that they assign Midgard to the first humans Askr and Embla as a place of residence.

However, Midgard is also sometimes used to refer to the wall or fence that protects the human world from the giants.