In the Prologue to the Prose Edda, he seems to develop a genealogy of the Norse Gods being descendants of the Trojans. Starting with the Trojan king Priam, he develops connections, like for example Thor being son of the Ethiopian king Memnon and Tróán (the daughter of Priam). Why did he do this in the prologue, what was its purpose?


3 Answers 3


It was fashionable.

Being connected with Troy was considered prestigious. Hence Virgil claimed that Aeneas had escaped the fall of Troy to go to Rome and become an ancestor of Romulus. An unknown author claimed that a descendant of Aeneas, Brutus, had become the first king of Britain and given it its name. Snorri was working within that tradition.

  • Could you elaborate on why it was fashionable? Also adding sources would greatly improve this answer.
    – Tom Sol
    May 25, 2020 at 16:46
  • We have no notion why it was fashionable, we can only see the results. Even Virgil left no records, and the Dark Age authors certainly did not -- and giving they were claiming it was true history, we could only hope to learn what evidence they claimed for it, which might have simply be falsified in itself.
    – Mary
    May 25, 2020 at 20:35

Short answer: he wants to explain everything.

It was made to explain where did his non-christian ancestors' belief came from. He wants to make sense of the reason why they didn't follow christian beliefs. Snorri also links old classic names to norse names through a forced folk etymology and says that they were men from Asia (hence the name æsir (singular ás)) that were so powerful that were mistaken as gods as time passed.


I think the tree Ygg-drasil (terrible-horse) is the (wooden) Trojan horse. Perhaps this is what Snorri saw that caused him to make the connection to Troy.


terrible (adj.) late 14c., "causing terror, awe, or dread; frightful," from Old French terrible (12c.), from Latin terribilis "frightful," from terrere "fill with fear," from PIE root *tros- "to make afraid"

In Greek mythology, Tros was the founder of Troy

  • As far as I can see this is your only post. I am not "nagging" I'm asking you to elaborate on an answer you have given on this Q&A site. What is shown in your picture? Is it possible to use it here if copyright allows? Why is this significant in your conclusion that you think Yggdrasil is the Trojan horse. How do you think Snorri came to this conclusion? Are there any references for this event? Please don't leave an unsourced one sentence one link answer with a link that might go dead in the near future leaving no reference for future readers what you where talking about.
    – Tom Sol
    May 20, 2020 at 22:57
  • 1
    Yggdrasill is Old Norse, so it seems unlikely that anyone would try trace its etymology through French. Also, the PIE root of terrible is actually /*tres-, not /*tros. Further, yggr is thought to mean "the wet element", clearly sharing a root with Greek hygra. Finally, even if your posited etymology is correct, it seems wildly implausible that Snorri would based anything on modern linguistics that post-dates him by a millennium.
    – Semaphore
    May 26, 2020 at 6:08

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