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The nature of the religion of the Germanic settlers is a very difficult subject since it has to be pieced together from odd references from classical times and later Christian writings which obviously did not want to promote Pagan beliefs Many modern historians look at the fact that four days of the week are named after Old Germanic deities corresponding to four of the deities from later Scandinavian religion and shrug it off as being the same as the religion of the Pagan Vikings Unfortunately it is not this simple Whilst it is true that they share many similarities this attitude is about as valid as saying the Jewish faith and Christianity are the same thing just because they share the Old Testament Although both the Early English and Viking religions have the same Germanic root they were very different and the Viking version had three more centuries of development than the English one The early English religion had much in common with pre-Roman Celtic beliefs as well as later Scandinavian ones Unlike the later Scandinavian religion the supreme deities in English faith were probably goddesses not gods The most important of these was Nerthus the earth mother the Harvest Queen of folk tradition She looked after the fertility and well-being of man and beast It is unclear whether Frija or Frea is a separate goddess or just another aspect of Nerthus but she is usually associated with love lust yearning and friendship Other important Goddesses were Eostre goddess of the dawn spring and new life and whose name is given to the spring festival of the Christian faith - Easter and Rheda or Hre a wlcyrie and goddess of the winter Of the gods of the early English we only know of three Tir Woden and Thunor the Tyr Oin and Thor of Viking mythology Woden seems to have been the most important of these three since most royal lines traced their descent from
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