The term aesir refers, collectively, to the principle Norse gods: Odin, Thor, Loki, Balder, and some other lesser gods. All were believed to live in Asgard, a stronghold built by a giant who was later cheated out of his fee. In the Edda, a poem which constitutes an important source of mythology about them, they are portrayed as builders and gamers who spend their time making humans and creating laws. Unlike the gods of most religions, however, they are doomed to destruction at Ragnarok.
Belief in the Aesir has not entirely disappeared. In 1973, Iceland officially recognized the Asatruarmenn (Believers in Aesir), a sect devoted to restoring pre-Christian beliefs and customs in Iceland.
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