Muspellheim | Norse Mythology


Muspellheim , also Muspell (Old Norse Muspellr, Muspellzheimr "world of Muspell"), is in the creation story of the Norse mythology a fiery region, which lies in the south, and which forms the antipole to the icy and dark Niflheim in the north.

In prehistoric times, the warmth of Muspellsheim melted the ice of Niflheim in the Ginnungagap, from which the giant Ymir, the first being of the world, was formed. All celestial bodies, the sun, moon and stars, were formed from the flying sparks of Muspellheim, which the gods fixed in the sky.

Muspellheim as a region is only handed down by Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda. Probably it is not a folk conception, but an own creation of Snorri.

The underlying continental Germanic term, which roughly means "end of the world (by fire)", was apparently reinterpreted in Norse times and personified as the giant Muspell, whom Snorri equated with the fire giant Surt and whose place of residence he named after Muspell Muspellsheim.

In Snorri's cosmogony the connotation of Muspell is also reinterpreted, in whose literal sense the destruction by fire resonates, which, however, is transformed into something positive (a world of warmth and light), presumably according to a northern conception, according to which the south is a world of salvation.