As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:
- n. the name of an abode of fire; in the old mythology peopled by Múspells lýðir, the men of Muspell, a host of fiends, who are to appear at Ragnarok and destroy the world by fire; the prose in Edda 3 may have been derived from some lost verses of the Völuspá, for the name appears at the end of that poem (Vsp. 51) as if it were already known; it occurs nowhere else in the Norse mythical songs, except in Ls. 42 (múspells-megir). Múspells-heimr, the abode of Muspell, Edda 4. This interesting word was not confined to the Norse mythology, but appears twice in the old Saxon poem Heliand—mutspelli cumit on thiustra naht, also thiof ferit, m. comes in dusky night, as a thief fares, i. e. but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, 2 Pet. iii. 10; and, mutspellis megin obar man ferit, the main of m. fares over men, see Schmeller’s Edition; a third instance is in an Old High German poem on the Last Day—dâr ni mac denne mac andremo helfan vora demo muspille = there no man can help another against the muspell-doom. In these instances muspell therefore stands for the day of judgment, the last day, and answers to Ragnarok of the Northern mythology. The etymology is doubtful, for spell may be = the weird, doom, = Lat. Fatum; or it may be = spoil, destruction; the former part mut or muod is more difficult to explain. The Icel. mús is an assimilated form.
Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:ᛘᚢᛋᛒᛁᛚᛚ
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements
- Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
- i. e.
- id est.
Works & Authors cited:
- Edda. (C. I.)
- Loka-senna. (A. I.)
- Völuspá. (A. I.)
Also available in related dictionaries:
This headword also appears in dictionaries of other languages descending from Old Norse.