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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