Sister of Njord Nerthuz Vanir, Queen of the Swedes

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Records for Sister of Njord Nerthuz Vanir

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Sister of Njord Nerthuz Vanir, Queen of the Swedes

Birthplace: Noatun,Sweden
Death: Died in Sweden
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Father of Njord and Mother of Njord
Wife of Njord Vanir, King in Sweden
Mother of King Yngvi-Freyr Njordsson, Vanir and Freya Njordsdotter, Princess of the Swedes
Sister of Njord Vanir, King in Sweden

Managed by: Edwin (Eddie) Durrett
Last Updated:

About Sister of Njord Nerthuz Vanir, Queen of the Swedes


In Snorre's Ynglingatal, the sister-wife of Njord of the Vanir bears the children Frey and Freya while they are hostages to the Aesir. She is not named, and their parents are not named.


Jacob Grimm (1835) first identified Nerthus as the Germanic earth-mother who appeared under such names as Erda, Erce, Fru Gaue, Fjörgyn, Frau Holda and Hluodana. Viktor Rydberg (1886) identified Nerthus with the Old Norse goddess Jörð, whom he saw as the unnamed sister of Njörð and the mother of Freyjaand Frey. He further identified her as Odin's wife Frigg, basing their identity on Tacitus' inclusion of the Longobardi among the tribes who worship Nerthus and the testimony of the earliest histories of the Longobards, which state that, before becoming Christians, the Longobardi especially venerated Odin's wife Frea (Frigg).

Nerthus typically is identified as a Vanir goddess. Her wagon tour has been likened to several archeological wagon finds and legends of deities parading in wagons. Terry Gunnell and many others have noted various archaeological finds of ritual wagons in Denmark dating from 200 AD and the Bronze Age. Such a ceremonial wagon, incapable of making turns, was discovered in the Oseberg ship find. Two of the most famous literary examples occur in the Icelandic family sagas. The Vanir god Freyr is said to ride in a wagon annually through the country accompanied by a priestess to bless the fields, according to a late story titled Hauks þáttr hábrókar in the fourteenth century Flateyjarbók manuscript. In the same source, King Eric of Sweden is said to consult a god named Lytir, whose wagon was brought to his hall in order to perform a divination ceremony.

H.R. Davidson draws a parallel between these incidents and the Tacitus' account of Nerthus, suggesting that in addition a neck-ring wearing female figure "kneeling as if to drive a chariot" also dates from the Bronze Age. She posits that the evidence suggests that similar customs as detailed in Tacitus' account continued to exist during the close of the pagan period through worship of the Vanir.

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