Norse mythology is frequently placed directly under the umbrella of Teutonic mythology, which spans all the Germanic world. Among the earliest records of Germanic paganism/polytheism/mythology originates from the Roman historian,Tacitus, and the book Germania. In Germania, Tacitus helps make the usual Roman error of equating foreign gods to their personal gods. You need to realize that men like Tacitus weren’t archaeologists or secular thinkers, these were believers from the Roman religions. So they weren’t attempting to see what imaginary deity have been conjured through the Germanic people — these were seeing gods being worshiped elsewhere and understood not one other gods than their own. To visualize these were the same would simply be natural. There is some proselytizing happening, of course, but there have been also lots of assumptions their Roman gods would be present elsewhere.
We are able to see, though, that human sacrifice was practiced prior to the Norse were putting it to make use of. Whereas human sacrifice is frequently mostly a suspected a part of polytheistic religions, using the Norse religion, it’s a lesser contentious issue. This really is possibly because of the already violent nature of Norse religion and Norse myths. Whereas in other polytheistic religions there’s no reference to actual human sacrifice within the myths themselves, as possible see in the Gesta Danorum, the Norse myths talk about the act.
The Norse Eddas are frequently regarded as a slinging together of myths which were up to and including 1000 years of age. As Anthony Winterbourne writes, "While it’s true that people possess no primary ‘liturgical’ text for Germanic paganism that’s by any means similar to the Hebrew bible, we forget too easily that text is, itself, a group collected together a long time following the occasions described in it."
The creation myth from the Norse is really like the creation myth from the Germanic people who came before them. With what was known as the pre-Viking Age, this along with other myths were deeply vital that you the social and political situations from the northern European region. One text that’s been stated to attract upon Germanic beliefs in the pre-Viking Age may be the story Beowulf. Styles which are thought to predate the Viking Age bring that of animal familiars, or protective dualist spirits surviving in creatures.
Another thing we all know about pre-Viking societies is they placed a lot of importance on centralization. The centers of power weren’t on hillsides or perhaps in distant castles, but central towards the community, through the forges that created weapons and jewelery. There is a particular urbanizing influence during these areas, whereby the center of town was more essential compared to borders. Communities also created inland, instead of right along rivers or seaside waters. Religious rites and places were located right in the centre of all things too. By 400 AD, unlike the Christians or even the Celts that relied upon monasteries or any other divisions from society they are driving their spiritual understanding, the pre-Viking Norse were developing their religion before everyone so that as an energetic a part of daily existence.