Old Saxon Baptismal Vow

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The Old Saxon Baptismal Vow is a 9th-century baptismal vow found in Vatican Codex pal. 577. The vow mentions three Old Saxon gods, Uuôden ("Woden"), Thunaer and Saxnōt, which the reader is to forsake. One of many baptismal vows, the vow originates from a monastery library in Mainz, Germany, and is now archived in the Vatican.[1]

The vow reads:

Old Saxon

End ec forsacho allum dioboles uuercum and uuordum, Thunaer ende Uuôden ende Saxnôte ende allum thêm unholdum thê hira genôtas sint[1]

Modern English

'I renounce all the deeds and words of the devil, Thunear, Wōden and Saxnōt, and all those fiends that are their companions'.[1]

Scholar Rudolf Simek comments that the vow is of particular interest because it is the sole instance of the god Saxnōt mentioned in a religious context.[1]


According to Dutch scholars, the Old Saxon Baptismal Vow, also called the Utrecht Baptismal Vow, was written in Old Low Franconian, the ancestor of Dutch in the 8th century. They consider it as the oldest Dutch text.[2] It is hard to establish whether the text was written in Old Saxon or Old Dutch (Old Franconian) as these languages were very much alike.

See also[edit]

  • Indiculus superstitionum et paganiarum, a Latin collection of capitularies identifying and condemning superstitious and pagan beliefs found in the north of Gaul and among the Saxons during the time of their subjugation and conversion by Charlemagne


  1. ^ a b c d Simek (2007:276).
  2. ^ http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oudsaksische_doopgelofte (written in Dutch), N. van der Sijs, Calendarium van de Nederlandse Taal, 2006 (written in Dutch) and http://www.grupello.de/dateien/C018.pdf (written in German)