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]

NameName meaningAttested consorts and sexual partnersAttested childrenAttestations
Baldr (Old Norse), Bældæg (Old English)Old Norse form is contested. Old English form directly translates as "shining day".[1]NannaForsetiMerseburg Incantation, Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, Chronicon Lethrense, Annales Lundenses, possibly Beowulf
Bragi (Old Norse)Connected with Bragr ("poetry")[2]IðunnNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Dellingr (Old Norse)Possibly "the dayspring"[3] or "shining one"[4]NóttDagrPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Forseti (Old Norse)"Chairman"[5]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Freyr (Old Norse), Frea (Old English), Yngvi (Old Norse), Ing (Old English)"Lord"[6]Freyja, GerðrFjölnir (Heimskringla)Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla, Ögmundar þáttr dytts, Gesta Danorum, various others
Heimdallr (Old Norse)"World-brightener"[7]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda, Poetic Edda
Hermóðr (Old Norse), Heremod (Old English)"War-spirit"[8]None attestedSceaf (Old English only)Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Beowulf, Old English royal genealogies
Höðr (Old Norse)"Warrior"[9]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, Chronicon Lethrense, Annales Lundenses, possibly Beowulf
Hœnir (Old Norse)ContestedNone attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Lóðurr (Old Norse)ContestedNone attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, skaldic poetry
Loki (Old Norse)ContestedSigyn, AngrbodaNari/Narfi, Váli, Fenrir, Hel, Jormungandr, and SleipnirPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla, Loka Táttur, Norwegian rune poem, Danish folk tales
Máni (Old Norse)"Moon"None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Meili (Old Norse)"the lovely one"[10]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Njörðr (Old Norse)ContestedOnce unnamed sister, once SkaðiFreyr, FreyjaPoetic 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, RindrSee Sons of OdinMost attestations of Germanic paganism
Óðr (Old Norse)"The frenzied one"[12]FreyjaHnoss, GersemiPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Saxnōt (Old Saxon), Seaxnet, Seaxnēat, Saxnat (Old English)ContestedNone attestedNone attestedOld 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), JárnsaxaMóði and Magni, ÞrúðrMost 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 ZisaNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry, Hadrian's Wall altar
Ullr (Old Norse)Something like "Glory"[15]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry, Gesta Danorum, Thorsberg chape, toponyms in Norway and Sweden
Váli (Old Norse)Something like "battle-slain"None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum (as Bous)
Viðarr (Old Norse)Possibly "wide ruler"[16]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
(Old Norse)Vé (shrine)[17]Possibly FriggNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Vili (Old Norse)"Will"[18]Possibly FriggNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda

Goddesses[edit]

NameName meaningAttested consorts and sexual partnersAttested childrenAttestations
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 attestedNone attestedTacitus' Annals
Bil (Old Norse)ContestedNone attestedNone attestedProse Edda
Beyla (Old Norse)Proposed as related to "cow," "bean," or "bee."[19]ByggvirNone attestedPoetic Edda
Eir (Old Norse)"Peace, clemency"[20] or "help, mercy"[21]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Ēostre (Old English)"East"[22]None attestedNone attestedDe temporum ratione
Freyja (Old Norse) (See List of names of Freyja for more)"Lady"[23]Freyr, ÓðrHnoss, GersemiPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla, Sörla þáttr
Frigg (Old Norse)Derived from an Indo-European root meaning "Love"[24]OdinBaldrPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, Historia Langobardorum
Fulla (Old Norse)Possibly "bountiful"[25]None attestedNone attestedMerseburg Incantations, Prose Edda
Gefjun (Old Norse)Related to "giving"[26]Skjöldr, unnamed jötunnFour oxenProse Edda, Ynglinga saga, Völsa þáttr,
Gersemi (Old Norse)"Treasure, precious object"[27]None attestedNone attestedHeimskringla
Gerðr (Old Norse)"Fenced in"[28]FreyrFjölnir (Heimskringla)Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Heimskringla
Gná (Old Norse)Possibly related to Old Norse Gnæfa, meaning "to project"[29]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda
Gullveig (Old Norse)ContestedNone attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda
HariasaPossibly related to the valkyrie name Herja or meaning "goddess with lots of hair"[30]None attestedNone attestedStone from Cologne, Germany (CIL XIII 8185)
Hel (Old Norse)Ultimately "one who covers up or hides something"Dyggvi (Ynglingatal)None attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Ynglingatal
Hlín (Old Norse)Possibly related to the Old Norse term hleinir, itself possibly meaning "protects"[31]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Hretha (Old English)Possibly "the famous" or "the victorious"[32]None attestedNone attestedDe temporum ratione
Hnoss (Old Norse)"Treasure"[31]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda
Ilmr (Old Norse)Potentially related to Old Norse ilmr, a masculine noun meaning "pleasant scent"[33]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda, skaldic poetry
Iðunn (Old Norse)Possibly "ever young"[34]BragiNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Irpa (Old Norse)Possibly relating to "dark brown"[35]None attestedNone attestedJómsvíkinga saga, Njáls saga
Lofn (Old Norse)Potentially related to "Praise"[36]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda
Nanna (Old Norse)Possibly "mother" from nanna, or potentially related to nanþ-, meaning "the daring one"[37]BaldrForsetiPoetic 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 attestedNone attestedGermania
Njörun (Old Norse)Possibly related to the Norse god Njörðr and the Roman goddess Nerio[39]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Nótt (Old Norse)"Night"[40]Naglfari, once Annar, DellingAuðr, Jörð, DagrProse Edda
Rán (Old Norse)"Theft, robbery"[41]ÆgirNine daughtersPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Friðþjófs saga hins frœkna
Rindr (Old Norse)Possibly related to *Vrindr[42]OdinVáliPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum
Sága (Old Norse)Possibly "to see"[43]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poetry
Sandraudiga (Latinized Germanic)"She who dyes the sand red."[44]None attestedNone attestedNorth Brabant stone
Sif (Old Norse)"In-law-relationship"[45]ThorÞrúðr, UllrPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Sigyn (Old Norse)"Victorious girl-friend"[46]LokiNari, Narfi and/or VáliPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Sinthgunt (Old High German)ContestedNone attestedNone attestedMerseburg Incantations
Sjöfn (Old Norse)"Love"[45]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda
Skaði (Old Norse)Possibly related to Scandia.[47]Ullr, Odin, once Njörðr.SæmingrPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Ynglinga saga
Snotra (Old Norse)"The clever one"[48]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda
Sól (Old Norse), Sunna (Old High German)"Sun"[49]GlenPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Merseburg Incantations
Syn (Old Norse)"Refusal"[50]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda
Tanfana (Latinized Germanic)UnknownNone attestedNone attestedGermania, Tamfanae sacrum inscription
Þrúðr (Old Norse)"Power"[51]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda, Karlevi Runestone
Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr (Old Norse)Literally "Þorgerðr Hölgi's Bride"[52]None attestedHölgi, possibly othersJómsvíkinga saga, Njáls saga, Skáldskaparmál, Færeyinga Saga
Vár (Old Norse)"Beloved"[53]None attestedNone attestedPoetic Edda, Prose Edda
Vör (Old Norse)Possibly "the careful one"[54]None attestedNone attestedProse Edda
ZisaPossibly related to *TiwazNone attestedPossibly 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]