An important fertiltiy goddess whose worship was described by the Roman author Tacitus in the first century CE. According to his account, Nerthus was worshipped in a sacred grove on a Frisian island. The goddess was supposed to travel the island in a special cart, and then bathe in a sacred pool. It is possible that Tacitus was referring to a ceremonial procession in which a statue was carried around the island in a cart for an annual blessing ritual. He also makes mention of slaves being drowned in her pool as sacrifices, although it is difficult to ascertain how much was colored by what his Roman audience wanted to hear about the "barbarians" outside of the empire.
Nerthus is possibly an older version of Njord (as the opposite sex) or his sister/wife with
whom he has Freyr and Freyja.
Back to God/dess List