List of Germanic deities

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A scene from one of the Merseburg Incantations: gods Wodan and Balder stand before the goddesses Sunna, Sinthgunt, Volla, and Friia (Emil Doepler, 1905)

In Germanic paganism, the indigenous religion of the ancient Germanic peoples that inhabited Germanic Europe, there were a number of different gods and goddesses. Germanic deities are attested from numerous sources, including works of literature, various chronicles, runic inscriptions, personal names, place names, and other sources. This article presents a comprehensive list of these deities.

Gods[edit]

Name Name meaning Attested consorts and sexual partners Attested children Attestations
Baldr (Old Norse), Bældæg (Old English) Old Norse form is contested. Old English form directly translates as "shining day".[1] Nanna Forseti Merseburg Incantation, Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, Chronicon Lethrense, Annales Lundenses, possibly Beowulf
Bragi (Old Norse) Connected with Bragr ("poetry")[2] Iðunn None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Dellingr (Old Norse) Possibly "the dayspring"[3] or "shining one"[4] Nótt Dagr Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Forseti (Old Norse) "Chairman"[5] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Freyr (Old Norse), Frea (Old English), Yngvi (Old Norse), Ing (Old English) "Lord"[6] Freyja, Gerðr Fjölnir (Heimskringla) Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla, Ögmundar þáttr dytts, Gesta Danorum, various others
Heimdallr (Old Norse) "World-brightener"[7] None attested None attested Prose Edda, Poetic Edda
Hermóðr (Old Norse), Heremod (Old English) "War-spirit"[8] None attested Sceaf (Old English only) Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Beowulf, Old English royal genealogies
Höðr (Old Norse) "Warrior"[9] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, Chronicon Lethrense, Annales Lundenses, possibly Beowulf
Hœnir (Old Norse) Contested None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Lóðurr (Old Norse) Contested None attested None attested Poetic Edda, skaldic poetry
Loki (Old Norse) Contested Sigyn, Angrboda Nari/Narfi, Váli, Fenrir, Hel, Jormungandr, and Sleipnir Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla, Loka Táttur, Norwegian rune poem, Danish folk tales
Máni (Old Norse) "Moon" None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Meili (Old Norse) "the lovely one"[10] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Njörðr (Old Norse) Contested Once unnamed sister, once Skaði Freyr, Freyja Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla, Egils saga, Hauksbók ring oath, place names
Odin: Óðinn (North Germanic), Wōden (West Germanic), *Wōdanaz (Proto-Germanic) (see List of names of Odin for more) "Frenzy"[11] Frigg (consort), Skaði (Heimskringla only), Gunnlöð, Jörð, Rindr See Sons of Odin Most attestations of Germanic paganism
Óðr (Old Norse) "The frenzied one"[12] Freyja Hnoss, Gersemi Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Saxnōt (Old Saxon), Seaxnet, Seaxnēat, Saxnat (Old English) Contested None attested None attested Old Saxon Baptismal Vow, Old English royal genealogies
Thor: Þórr (North Germanic), Þunor (Old English), Thunaer (Old Saxon), Donar (Southern Germanic areas) "Thunder", all names stem from Proto-Germanic *ÞunraR[13] Sif (consort), Járnsaxa Móði and Magni, Þrúðr Most attestations of Germanic paganism
Týr (Old Norse), Tīw, Tīg (both Old English), Ziu (Old High German) "God", derived from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz[14] Unnamed, possibly Zisa None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry, Hadrian's Wall altar
Ullr (Old Norse) Something like "Glory"[15] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry, Gesta Danorum, Thorsberg chape, toponyms in Norway and Sweden
Váli (Old Norse) Something like "battle-slain" None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum (as Bous)
Viðarr (Old Norse) Possibly "wide ruler"[16] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
(Old Norse) Vé (shrine)[17] Possibly Frigg None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Vili (Old Norse) "Will"[18] Possibly Frigg None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda

Goddesses[edit]

Name Name meaning Attested consorts and sexual partners Attested children Attestations
Baduhenna (Latinized Germanic) Badu-, may be cognate to Proto-Germanic *badwa- meaning "battle." The second portion of the name -henna may be related to -henae, which appears commonly in the names of matrons.[1] None attested None attested Tacitus' Annals
Bil (Old Norse) Contested None attested None attested Prose Edda
Beyla (Old Norse) Proposed as related to "cow," "bean," or "bee."[19] Byggvir None attested Poetic Edda
Eir (Old Norse) "Peace, clemency"[20] or "help, mercy"[21] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Ēostre (Old English) "East"[22] None attested None attested De temporum ratione
Freyja (Old Norse) (See List of names of Freyja for more) "Lady"[23] Freyr, Óðr Hnoss, Gersemi Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla, Sörla þáttr
Frigg (Old Norse) Derived from an Indo-European root meaning "Love"[24] Odin Baldr Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, Historia Langobardorum
Fulla (Old Norse) Possibly "bountiful"[25] None attested None attested Merseburg Incantations, Prose Edda
Gefjun (Old Norse) Related to "giving"[26] Skjöldr, unnamed jötunn Four oxen Prose Edda, Ynglinga saga, Völsa þáttr,
Gersemi (Old Norse) "Treasure, precious object"[27] None attested None attested Heimskringla
Gerðr (Old Norse) "Fenced in"[28] Freyr Fjölnir (Heimskringla) Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla
Gná (Old Norse) Possibly related to Old Norse Gnæfa, meaning "to project"[29] None attested None attested Prose Edda
Gullveig (Old Norse) Contested None attested None attested Poetic Edda
Hariasa Possibly related to the valkyrie name Herja or meaning "goddess with lots of hair"[30] None attested None attested Stone from Cologne, Germany (CIL XIII 8185)
Hel (Old Norse) Ultimately "one who covers up or hides something" Dyggvi (Ynglingatal) None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Ynglingatal
Hlín (Old Norse) Possibly related to the Old Norse term hleinir, itself possibly meaning "protects"[31] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Hretha (Old English) Possibly "the famous" or "the victorious"[32] None attested None attested De temporum ratione
Hnoss (Old Norse) "Treasure"[31] None attested None attested Prose Edda
Ilmr (Old Norse) Potentially related to Old Norse ilmr, a masculine noun meaning "pleasant scent"[33] None attested None attested Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Iðunn (Old Norse) Possibly "ever young"[34] Bragi None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Irpa (Old Norse) Possibly relating to "dark brown"[35] None attested None attested Jómsvíkinga saga, Njáls saga
Lofn (Old Norse) Potentially related to "Praise"[36] None attested None attested Prose Edda
Nanna (Old Norse) Possibly "mother" from nanna, or potentially related to nanþ-, meaning "the daring one"[37] Baldr Forseti Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, Chronicon Lethrense, Setre Comb
Nerthus (Latinized Germanic, from Proto-Germanic *Nerthuz) Latinized form of what Old Norse Njörðr would have looked like around 1 CE.[38] None attested None attested Germania
Njörun (Old Norse) Possibly related to the Norse god Njörðr and the Roman goddess Nerio[39] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Nótt (Old Norse) "Night"[40] Naglfari, once Annar, Delling Auðr, Jörð, Dagr Prose Edda
Rán (Old Norse) "Theft, robbery"[41] Ægir Nine daughters Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Friðþjófs saga hins frœkna
Rindr (Old Norse) Possibly related to *Vrindr[42] Odin Váli Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum
Sága (Old Norse) Possibly "to see"[43] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Sandraudiga (Latinized Germanic) "She who dyes the sand red."[44] None attested None attested North Brabant stone
Sif (Old Norse) "In-law-relationship"[45] Thor Þrúðr, Ullr Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Sigyn (Old Norse) "Victorious girl-friend"[46] Loki Nari, Narfi and/or Váli Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Sinthgunt (Old High German) Contested None attested None attested Merseburg Incantations
Sjöfn (Old Norse) "Love"[45] None attested None attested Prose Edda
Skaði (Old Norse) Possibly related to Scandia.[47] Ullr, Odin, once Njörðr. Sæmingr Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Ynglinga saga
Snotra (Old Norse) "The clever one"[48] None attested None attested Prose Edda
Sól (Old Norse), Sunna (Old High German) "Sun"[49] Glen Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Merseburg Incantations
Syn (Old Norse) "Refusal"[50] None attested None attested Prose Edda
Tanfana (Latinized Germanic) Unknown None attested None attested Germania, Tamfanae sacrum inscription
Þrúðr (Old Norse) "Power"[51] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Karlevi Runestone
Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr (Old Norse) Literally "Þorgerðr Hölgi's Bride"[52] None attested Hölgi, possibly others Jómsvíkinga saga, Njáls saga, Skáldskaparmál, Færeyinga Saga
Vár (Old Norse) "Beloved"[53] None attested None attested Poetic Edda, Prose Edda
Vör (Old Norse) Possibly "the careful one"[54] None attested None attested Prose Edda
Zisa Possibly related to *Tiwaz None attested Possibly Tyr

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Simek (2007:26).
  2. ^ Simek (2007:43).
  3. ^ Bellows (1936:75).
  4. ^ Orchard (1997:32).
  5. ^ Orchard (1997:46).
  6. ^ Orchard (1997:47).
  7. ^ Orchard (1997:78).
  8. ^ Orchard (1997:83).
  9. ^ Orchard (1997:88).
  10. ^ Simek (2007:210).
  11. ^ Orchard (1997:123).
  12. ^ Orchard (1997:121).
  13. ^ Simek (2007:322).
  14. ^ Simek (2007:337).
  15. ^ Lindow (2001:301).
  16. ^ Orchard (1997:174—175).
  17. ^ Orchard (1997:173).
  18. ^ Simek (2007:363).
  19. ^ Lindow (2001:78).
  20. ^ Lindow (2001:105).
  21. ^ Orchard (1997:36).
  22. ^ Barnhart (1995:229).
  23. ^ Lindow (2001:126)
  24. ^ Lindow (2001:129).
  25. ^ Orchard (1997:49).
  26. ^ North (1997:71).
  27. ^ Simek (2007:106).
  28. ^ Orchard (1997:54).
  29. ^ Lindow (2001:147).
  30. ^ Simek (2007:131).
  31. ^ a b Lindow (2001:177).
  32. ^ Simek (2007:159).
  33. ^ Grimm (1888:1374).
  34. ^ Lindow (2001:199).
  35. ^ Simek (2007:176).
  36. ^ Lindow (2001:213).
  37. ^ Simek (2007:227).
  38. ^ Lindow (2001:237-238)
  39. ^ Finnur Jónsson (1913:110) suggests a Njörðr connection, Magnússon (1989:671) suggests Njörðr and Nerio.
  40. ^ Orchard (1997:120).
  41. ^ Simek (2007:260).
  42. ^ Simek (2007:266).
  43. ^ Lindow (2001:265).
  44. ^ Nordisk Familjebok (1916:665).
  45. ^ a b Lindow (2001:266).
  46. ^ Orchard (1997:146).
  47. ^ Simek (2007:287).
  48. ^ Simek (2007:296).
  49. ^ Orchard (1997:152).
  50. ^ Orchard (1997:157).
  51. ^ Orchard (1997:165).
  52. ^ Simek (2007:326-327).
  53. ^ Simek (2007:353).
  54. ^ Simek (2007:368).

References[edit]