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Continental Germanic mythology

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Continental Germanic mythology is a subset of Germanic mythology, going back to Germanic polytheism of the Migration period as practiced in parts of Central Europe before gradual Christianization during the 6th to 8th centuries. It continued in legends, and Middle High German epics during the Middle Ages and also, although in a recharacterized and less sacred fashion, in European folklore and fairy tales. It includes the mythology of many tribes of Germanic peoples:

  • Lombards (source: Paulus Diaconus)
  • Alamanni
  • Franks and Thuringii (see: Frankish mythology)
  • Saxons
  • Frisians (source: Life of Saint Willibrord)

Unlike North Germanic, and to a lesser extent Anglo-Saxon mythology, the attestation of Continental Germanic paganism is extremely fragmentary. Besides a handful of brief Elder Futhark inscriptions, the lone genuinely pagan Continental Germanic documents are the short Old High German Merseburg Incantations. Mythological elements were however preserved in later literature, notably in Middle High German epic poetry, but also in German, Swiss, and Dutch folklore.


Old High German

  • Lay of Hildebrand
  • Muspilli
  • The Merseburg Incantations

Middle High German

  • Nibelungenlied
  • Kudrun
  • Weyland
  • Dietrich von Bern

See also


  • Jacob Grimm: Deutsche Mythologie. 1835.
  • Wolfgang Golther: Handbuch der Germanischen Mythologie. Stuttgart 1908.
  • Jan de Vries: Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte. Berlin 1956.
  • Åke V. Ström: Germanische Religion. Stuttgart 1975.
  • M. Axboe; U. Clavadetscher; K. Düwel; K. Hauck; L. v. Padberg: Die Goldbrakteaten der Völkerwanderungszeit. Ikonographischer Katalog. München 1985-1989.
  • Rudolf Simek: Lexikon der germanischen Mythologie. Stuttgart 2. Aufl. 1995. ISBN 3-520-36802-1.
  • Rudolf Simek: Religion und Mythologie der Germanen. Darmstadt 2003. ISBN 3-534-16910-7.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Continental Germanic mythology. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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