Snorri Sturluson’s “Gylfaginning”, chapter 8, part II

Then Gangleri said, ‘I hear of great happenings. It was wondrous work and skillfully done, but how was the earth set in order?’

Then High answered: ‘It is circular around the edge and surrounding it lies the deep sea. On these ocean coasts, the sons of Bor gave land to the clans of giants to live on. But further inland they built a fortress wall around the world to protect against the hostility of the giants. As material for the wall, they used the eyelashes of the giant Ymir and called this stronghold Midgard [Middle Earth]. They took his brain, threw it up into the air, and from it they made the clouds. As is said here:

From Ymir’s flesh
was the earth created,
from the bloody sweat, the sea,
cliffs from bones,
trees from hair,
and from the head, the heavens;

And from his eyelashes
the gentle gods made
Midgard for the sons of men;
and from his brains
all the oppressive
clouds were formed.’ (The Lay of Grimnir. 40-41)

From The Prose Edda, trans. Byock,p. 17.


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