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Nerthus

by Micha F. Lindemans
A Teutonic goddess of fecundity, peace and wealth, possibly hermaphroditic in nature. She was worshipped in a sacred groove on an island in the North Sea or the Baltic Sea (possible Sjaeland), but the center of her worship was in Denmark. With the arrival of spring her image was carried about on a sacred, covered wagon drawn by oxen among the neighboring tribes. The name Nerthus is related to the Greek nerteroi ("gods of the underworld"), and with Njord, the Norse god of the sea. Nerthus is believed to mingle with humans.

Tacitus relates in great detail her worship in his Germania (cap. 40).


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Hertha

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