VALKYRIES (Old Norse valkyriur, “choosers of the slain”), figures of Norse mythology, generally represented as divine (less frequently human) maidens who ride through the air on Odin’s service. Clad in full armour they are sent forth to determine the course of battles and to select brave warriors for Valhalla (q.v.). Beings with the same name (waelcyrgean) were known also in England, where we find them associated with witches. The name is used in Anglo-Saxon glossaries to translate various Latin terms for “War-goddess” or “Fury” (Bellona, Erinys, &c.). See Teutonic Peoples, ad fin.
(H. M. C.)