saturday, 04.february 2023, 12.21 h

Ratatosk: Meaning and Definition

The name Ratatosk or Ratatöskr belongs to a squirrel of the norse mytology.
The squirrel is mentioned in the songs of the poetic edda in the Grímnismál (song of Grímnir).

Ratatosk: Abbildung aus der Prosa Edda
"Ratatoscr heitir ícorni,
er renna scal
at asci Yggdrasils;
arnar orð
hann scal ofan bera
oc segia Níðhǫggvi niðr."

"Ratatosk is the squirrel who there shall run On the ash-tree Yggdrasil; From above the words of the eagle he bears, And tells them to Nithhogg beneath."
– Grímnismál 32

According to that the squirrel in the bearer of the eagle's messages to the dragon Nidhögg,
who stays at the roots of the world tree Yggdrassil.
"Örn einn sitr í limum asksins, ok er hann margs vitandi [...].
Íkorni sá, er heitir Ratatoskr, renn upp ok niðr eftir askinum
ok berr öfundarorð milli arnarins ok Níðhöggs, [...]"

"An eagle sits at the top of the ash, and it has knowledge of many things.
Between its eyes sits the hawk called Vedrfolnir [...]. The squirrel called Ratatosk [...]runs up and down the ash.
He tells slanderous gossip, provoking the eagle and Nidhogg.'

– SNORRI STURLUSON: Prose-Edda: Gylfaginning's chapter 16