Freyr is not mentioned directly in the Anglo-Saxon lore. His name is used though to refer to the Christian god. An example of this is Cældmon;'s Hymn:

Nu scylun hergan hefænricaes; uard
metudæs mæcti end his modgidanc
uerc uuldurfadur- sue he uundra gihuæs
eci dryctin or astelidæ
he ærist scop ælda barnum
heben til hrofe haleg scepen
tha middungeard moncynnæs uard
eci dryctin æfter tiadæ
firum foldu frea allmectig
Now [we] must honour the kingdom of heaven's ward,
the might of the maker, and his purpose,
the work of the glory father
eternal lord, made the first of wonders.
He, the first shaper,
first created heaven as a roof.
made the Middangeard, Mankind's ward,
the eternal lord, afterwards
made the Earth of Man, the Freyr almighty,

His name is used in several other places in such a way. Most of our lore on Frea comes from the Norse corpus. He is sometimes refered to as Yngvi-Freyr in reference to the Swedes whose kings were called the Ynglings, and claimed descent from him. Because of this it is often assumed he and Ing are the same deity. The problem with this is each deity has a different father, thus making such an identification difficult. It could be too, that Nj&uouml;rðr as Freyr's father was a late development or even invented by Snorri. In the Prose Edda and Elder Edda, Frea is said to be the son of Njörðr, and husband of Gerðr. The only place outside of the Heimskringla and the Prose Edda Nörðr is mentioned as Freyr's father is the Lokasenna, a poem long suspected as being quite late. If one accepts Nörðr is not Freyr's father, one can accept Frea and Ing as the same deity.

He is mentioned several times in both. The Völuspá describes the battle between Freyr and Surt. In the Gr&Iacue;mnismál, it is said the Gods gave Alfheim to him. In the Lokasenna he said to make no maid weep and frees all of bonds. Finally, the Skírnismál focuses on Freyr's courship of Gerðr. It is said there that he spied Gerðr from Odin's throne, and fell so madly in love he was wasting away. He sent his servant Skirnir to woo her for him. Skirnir offers several gifts including Freyr's sword and apples of Idunna, but she would have nothing of it. All this failing, Skirnir threatens to curse her, and thus she consents to marry Freyr.

In the Prose Edda, Frea is said to rule over the rain and the shining of the sun, and is good to call on for fertility of crops. He is also said to govern the prosperity of Man. The tale from the Skírnismál is again told in the Prose Edda.

Adam of Bremen mentions Frea in reference to the temple at Uppsala:

In this temple, entirely decked out in gold, the people worship the statues of three gods in such wise that the mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in the middle of the chamber; Wotan and Frikko have places on either side. The significance of these gods is as follows: Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops. The other, Wotan-that is, the Furious-carries on war and imparts to man strength against his enemies. The third is Frikko, who bestows peace and pleasure on mortals. His likeness, too, they fashion with an immense phallus(Gesta Hammaburgensis 26, Tschan's translation)

Idols with large phalluses have been found and are thought to represent Freyr.In Flateyjarbök, a tale is told of an idol of Freyr. Gunnar Helming a young man who had fought with King Olaf, and fled to Sweden, found a temple of Freyr. There he met a young priestess and got along well with her. The time came for the annual procession of Freyr's wain and they became stuck in a blizzard. All deserted the idol except Gunnar and the priestess. Finally, Dunnar sat down to rest after leading the wagon.The priestess insisted he go on, or the idol would attack him. This does happen, and Gunnar over powers the idol by calling on Olaf's god. Gunnar then dressed as the idol and took its place. He then proceeded to take sacrifice in the form of valuables, and eventually the priestess became pregnant. The season was thought a plentiful one. The whole plot was foiled when King Olaf learned of it. From the tale we can surmise once again that Freyr was a God of plenty, and than he had an annual procession in a wain.

It is clear that Freyr may have been known to the Anglo-Saxons as Frea. Whether he and Ing were one and the same is open to debate, and it is safe to assume either way. That he is a God of fertility and prosperity is clear from the surviving lore in the Norse corpus.


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