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Nerthus
(319 words)

[German version]

Tacitus describes the cult of the mother deity N., adding as his own interpretation: id est terra mater (Tac. Germ. 40,2). He states that N. is venerated by seven tribes (the so-called Nerthus peoples), whom he includes among the Suebi living to the east of the Elbe. They probably lived in western Mecklenburg and were part of the Ingaevones [3. 460]. On an island (probably in the Danish Baltic Sea) he locates a sacred grove containing a cultic wagon concealed by covers. Only one priest (sacerdos) is allowed to touch it. The goddess’s solemn procession, linked to …

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Spickermann, Wolfgang (Bochum), “Nerthus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 08 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e820700>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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