Nerthus

/nerr"theuhs/, n. Germanic Myth.
goddess of fertility, described by Tacitus in his Germania: later appeared in Scandinavian mythology as the god Njord. Cf. Njord.

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Ancient Germanic goddess.

Tacitus refers to her as Mother Earth and says she was worshiped by seven tribes. Her worship centered on a temple in a sacred grove on an island in the Baltic Sea. She was believed to enjoy visiting her people. Her presence was discerned by her priest, and while she was among them her people lived in peace. Her identification with the god Njörd suggests that she may have been a hermaphrodite.

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▪ Germanic deity
      ancient Germanic goddess known from a report of her given by the Roman historian Tacitus, who in his Germania (late 1st century AD) refers to her as Terra Mater, or Mother Earth, and says that she was worshiped by seven tribes (among whom were the Angles, who later invaded England). Her worship centred on a temple in a sacred grove on an island in the Baltic Sea. She was believed to enjoy coming among her people, riding in a chariot pulled by cows. Her presence was discerned by her priest, and while she was among them her people lived in peace, with no war or fighting and much rejoicing. When she returned to her temple, she and her chariot were washed in a sacred lake by slaves, who were then drowned in the lake.

      Her name is to be identified with that of Njörd (Njǫrd), who, however, was a god. Thus, her sex is questionable, and she may have been hermaphroditic. Many elements of her ritual can be seen in later Germanic religion.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nerthus — (1905) by Emil Doepler. In Germanic paganism, Nerthus is a goddess associated with fertility. Nerthus is attested by Tacitus, the first century AD Roman historian, in his Germania. Various theories exist regarding the goddess and her potential… …   Wikipedia

  • Nerthus — (1905) por Emil Doepler. Nerthus es una diosa de la mitología nórdica y la traducción al latín de Njörðr por Tácito en su obra De origine et situ Germanorum. En su relato describe el culto que se le realizaba y también los sacrificios que se le… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nerthus — ist eine Gottheit der germanischen Mythologie, die gelegentlich mit dem eddischen Njörd identifiziert wird. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Darstellung bei Tacitus 2 Verbindung zu Njörd 3 Siehe auch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Nerthus — prop. n. The Teutonic goddess of fertility; later identified with Norse Njord. Syn: Hertha. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nerthus — (sonst gewöhnlich Hertha genannt), von den Deutschen jenseit der Elbe an der Ostsee (Longobarden, Reudignern, Avionen, Angeln, Varinern etc.) verehrte Göttin, Personification der Erde, bes. der bebauten. Ihr Wagen stand mit einem Teppich verdeckt …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Nerthus — Nerthus, eine german. Göttin, von Tacitus als »Mutter Erde« bezeichnet, wahrscheinlich Stammgottheit der Ingwäonen, ward von einer Anzahl norddeutscher Völker als Göttin verehrt und hatte auf einer Insel im Ozean (Alsen?) einen heiligen Hain. Auf …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Nerthus — Nerthus, irrtümlich Hertha, die von mehrern deutschen Stämmen an der Ost oder Nordsee verehrte Göttin der Erde, das weibliche Gegenstück zum nord. Njördhr …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Nerthus — Nẹr|thus (germ. Mythol.): Göttin der Fruchtbarkeit u. des Reichtums. * * * Nẹrthus,   frühgermanische weibliche Gottheit, von deren gemeinsamer Verehrung durch sieben Stämme Tacitus (Germania, Kapitel 40) berichtet. Ihr Heiligtum befand sich in …   Universal-Lexikon

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