Tag Archives: Tacitus

Great Britons: Cartimandua – Queen of Brigantia (reblog)

Unfortunately, life got in the way of my second post on Frigg, but here’s something on the *other* queen of the Britons, Cartimandua. She doesn’t get as good of a press as Boudicca, but she should be better known.

The times of the Roman invasion of Britain are shrouded in mystery, and only accessible from Roman accounts or archaeology. From the little we know, Cartimandua was Queen of Brigantia, the area that is today Yorkshire, and allied with the Romans, growing rich as a client state.

For more, click here.

The image of Malham in Yorkshire is by Tim Hill, from Pixabay.

 

Why Is Tyr Such an Unimportant God?

Some Norse gods are famous – Odin, Loki and Thor, for example. Others, like Forseti or Magni, are only known to the cognoscenti. Tyr isn’t quite as obscure as those two, but he can’t compete with the big three. It seems strange that a god whose name means “god” should be so little-known. Did he fade away, or is there another explanation?

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Nerthus and Njorun: a Norse Mystery

(This post is adapted from material in my new book on Njord and Skadi.)

One of the great puzzles of Norse mythology is the problem of Nerthus and Njord. The Germanic goddess Nerthus, whose cult is described by the Roman historian Tacitus, in the first century AD, is not attested in any other source, but her name is linguistically the same as that of the Scandinavian sea-god Njord, who appears in sources roughly 1 000 years later.

Since Snorri tells us in the Ynglinga saga that Njord had a sister who was his wife, the mystery seemed solved: Nerthus was his sister, just as Freyja was Freyr’s.

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Rosmerta II: fate, fertility and sovereignty

In my first post on Rosmerta, I focused on her as a goddess in her own right. This time around, I want to examine the ideas put forth in Michael Enright’s thesis Lady with a mead-cup, which argues that the cult of Rosmerta and Mercury was the basis for the later cult of Odin and various prophetic, mead-serving goddesses (and others) associated with him.

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