Skip to main content
Select Source:

Idun

Idun

In Norse* mythology, Idun (Iduna) was the goddess of spring and rebirth. She and her husband, Bragi, the god of music and poetry, lived in Asgard, the home of the gods. Idun took care of the magic apples the gods ate to remain immortal.

The Prose Edda, a book of Norse legends written in the 1220s, contains a story about Idun and the magic apples. One day Loki, the trickster god, was captured by a giant named Thiassi. The giant refused to free Loki until he agreed to bring Idun and the apples to Thiassi's home. Loki gave his word and sped off to Asgard.

immortal able to live forever

trickster mischievous figure appearing in various forms in the folktales and mythology of many different peoples

* See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.

He invited Idun to bring her apples and walk into the forest, where he knew of some even more precious apples. Eager to compare her special fruit with that mentioned by Loki, Idun joined the trickster. But as soon as they reached the forest, Thiassi, in the form of an eagle, dove from the sky and seized the goddess and her apples.

Without Idun's apples, the gods in Asgard began to age. They became bent and feeble and demanded that Loki rescue Idun from Thiassi. Loki flew to the giant's home disguised as a falcon. He changed Idun into a nut and hid her in his claws. As he flew back to Asgard, Thiassi became an eagle again and followed him. However, as soon as Loki and Idun were inside Asgard, the gods lit a fire on the walls of Asgard. Thiassi's wings caught fire as he crossed the flames, and he dropped to the ground, where the gods killed him.

See also Birds in Mythology; Bragi; Fruit in Mythology; Loki; Norse Mythology.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Idun." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Idun." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/idun

"Idun." Myths and Legends of the World. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/idun

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Idun

Idun in Scandinvian mythology, the goddess who was the guardian of the magic apples of youth; when (through the machinations of Loki) she and her apples were captured by the giants, the gods began to age, until Loki was forced to rescue Idun.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Idun." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Idun." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/idun

"Idun." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/idun

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.