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					Symbolic of valour among the Romans and the Egyptians. It also
appears as a guardian in a great many monuments (8). In Nordic mythology
we
are told of a monstrous wolf, Fenris, that would destroy iron chains and
shackles
and was eventually shut up in the bowels of the earth. It was also said
that, with
the twilight of the gods—the end of the world—the monster would break out
of
this prison too, and would devour the sun. Here, then, the wolf appears
as a
symbol of the principle of evil, within a pattern of ideas which is
unquestionably
related to the Gnostic cosmogony. Nordic mythology presupposes that
cosmic
order is possible only through the temporary shackling of the chaotic and
destructive
potential of the universe—a potential which (through the process of
Symbolic Inversion—q.v.) must triumph in the end. The myth is also
connected
with all other concepts of the final annihilation of the world, whether
by water or
by fire.

				
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