In Norse mythology, Njǫrðr (Old Norse: ᚾᛁᛅᚱᚦᛦ [ˈnjɔrðz̠]) is a god among the Vanir. Njǫrðr, father of the deities Freyr and Freyja by his unnamed sister, was in an ill-fated marriage with the goddess Skaði, lives in Nóatún and is associated with the sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, and crop fertility.
Njǫrðr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, in euhemerized form as a beloved mythological early king of Sweden in Heimskringla, also written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, as one of three gods invoked in the 14th century Hauksbók ring oath, and in numerous Scandinavian place names. Veneration of Njǫrðr survived into 18th or 19th century Norwegian folk practice, where the god is recorded as Njor and thanked for a bountiful catch of fish.
Njǫrðr has been the subject of an amount of scholarly discourse and theory, often connecting him with the figure of the much earlier attested Germanic goddess Nerthus, the hero Hadingus, and theorizing on his formerly more prominent place in Norse paganism due to the appearance of his name in numerous place names. Njǫrðr is sometimes modernly anglicized as Njord, Njoerd, or Njorth.
Name and eponyms
The name Njörðr corresponds to that of the older Germanic fertility goddess Nerthus, and both derive from the Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz. The original meaning of the name is contested, but it may be related to the Irish word nert which means "force" and "power". It has been suggested that the change of sex from the female Nerthus to the male Njörðr is due to the fact that feminine nouns with u-stems disappeared early in Germanic language while the masculine nouns with u-stems prevailed. However, other scholars hold the change to be based not on grammatical gender but on the evolution of religious beliefs; that *Nerþuz and Njörðr appear as different genders because they are to be considered separate beings. The name Njörðr may be related to the name of the Norse goddess Njörun.
Njörðr's name appears in various place names in Scandinavia, such as Nærdhæwi (now Nalavi, Närke), Njærdhavi (now Mjärdevi, Linköping; both using the religious term vé), Nærdhælunda (now Närlunda, Helsingborg), Nierdhatunum (now Närtuna, Uppland) in Sweden, Njarðvík in southwest Iceland, Njarðarlög and Njarðey (now Nærøy) in Norway. Njörðr's name appears in a word for sponge; Njarðarvöttr (Old Norse "Njörðr's glove"). Additionally, in Old Icelandic translations of Classical mythology the Roman god Saturn's name is glossed as "Njörðr."
|Mythological king of Sweden