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Ragnarok(räg`nərŏk'), in Norse mythology, the doom of the gods. According to prophecy the end of the world would follow a severe ice age, in which human civilization would be destroyed. Then the gods of Asgard, led by Odin, would clash with the devastating forces of evil and chaos, led by Loki and the giants. After a fierce battle the universe itself would be destroyed by fire and a new golden age would appear, ruled by the surviving gods, including Balder. See Germanic religionGermanic religion,
pre-Christian religious practices among the tribes of Western Europe, Germany, and Scandinavia. The main sources for our knowledge are the Germania of Tacitus and the Elder Edda and the Younger Edda.
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destruction of gods and all things in final battle with evil. [Norse Myth.: NCE, 1762]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.