Re: Liburnan Isis in Germania

From: William P. Reaves
Message: 10275
Date: 2001-10-16


Personally I think that by Isis in Germania, Freyja is meant. She and Isis
have a common myth, both are said to wander in search of their beloved, in
tears as they travel. Both are prominent myths of the respective
goddesses.That alone would be enough for Tacitus to interpret Freyja as

As for the light warship, we see that Freyja's brother possesses
Skidbladnir, a ship that can hold all of the gods fully armed, yet is small
enough that it can be folded like a napkin and carried in the pocket

Her brother Frey too is said to possess the boar Gullinbursti made for him
by dwarves. We see that Freyja too possesses such a boar, Hlidsvini, made
for her by the dwarves Dainn and Nabbi according to the Eddic poem
Hyndluljod. Thus the transference or the sharing of the "light warship" by
her is explainable.

Such foldable ships were also supposedly found in graves, although I cannot
recall if this is true or not. Although it is common knowledge that ships
are prominent in grave goods and in rock carvings throughout the pagan
period in Scandinavia.

Wassail, William

> "Some of the Suebi also make sacrifices to Isis. Of where the cause and
origin of this foreign cult is, I have figured out very little, except that
her image, shaped in the Liburnan fashion(?)/in the fashion of a Liburna(?)
points to a religion coming from the outside."

> What is 'liburnae' here? My dictionary says: 'liburna' "light, fast-
sailing warship;
> Can anybody help me out here?

>I suppose this means we can take him on his word, that this is actually an
Isis cult? Anyway, if a "native" Germanic goddess is meant here, who is it?

>It might be that Tacitus did not have the true name of the Suebian
goddess, and recorded one that equated to Isis, who was basically one of the
'Great Mother' goddesses. Why he chose to identify Isis from
this large group is curious, though.

"I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory';
but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the
other in the purposed domination of the author."

J.R.R. Tolkien