The position of the individual gods and goddesses in various types of sources - with special reference to the female divinities

  • Else Mundal
Keywords: Norse religion, Paganism, Women, Gender, Snorri Sturluson, 1179?-1241, Sagas, Gods and goddesses, Norse

Abstract

In the written sources the gods are arranged in a patriarchal family structure with Odin on the top.  If we try to rank the gods in order of precedence on the basis of the number of instances in the toponymic material, Odin would be found a good way down the list. Generally, we should expect gods connected with the cult of fertility and the agricultural society to be overrepresented in the toponymic material in comparison with a god of war. If we consider our literary sources and ask which of the goddesses' names are most frequently used as basic words in kenningar for women, we see that many of the more "unknown" goddesses are very well represented in this material. In the toponymic material, it was the leading goddess who was considered to be the leading god's wife, but not necessarily. Both Frigg and Freyja belong to the type of fertility goddess.
How to Cite
Mundal, E. (1990). The position of the individual gods and goddesses in various types of sources - with special reference to the female divinities. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 13, 294-315. https://doi.org/10.30674/scripta.67181