Freya - goddess of love
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Who was Freya?

Freya pendant
Freya wearing her necklace (about 800 AD)

Freya is the only important goddess of the Germans. She was married to Odin, and she's a kind of fertility goddess like Hera or Aphrodite or Venus. Her name just means "lady" in old Norse and old German. Friday is named after her, because in Latin Friday was Venus' day (Vendredi in modern French), and Freya was like Venus. Sometimes Freya seems to have been another name for the goddess Fricka, but in the story of the Niebelungenlied they are certainly two different goddesses.

Freya was also a goddess of magic, and she had a lot of magic stuff, like a cloak of robin feathers that let her change into any bird she wanted. She got the famous necklace called Brisingamen in exchange for spending a night with each of four dwarves.

Learn by doing: draw Freya's feather cloak and necklace
More about Odin

Bibliography and further reading about the Norse gods:

Odin
Thor
Tyr
Loki

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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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Now that the weather's nice, try some of these outdoor activities! How about bicycle polo, or archery for a Medieval Islam day? Or kite flying or making a compass for a day in Medieval China? How about making a shaduf for a day in Ancient Egypt? Holding an Ancient Greek Olympic Games or a medieval European tournament? Building a Native American wickiup?