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Seaxneot 
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:43 pm
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What do you guys know of Saxnot? I know he is the ancestral/tribal god of the Saxons, and I have heard him described as having the Wit of Woden and the Grit of Þunor. I have seen him argued as both the same and separare from Tyr. Whay do you think?

Thank you for your time,
-Defender


Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:04 am
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Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:33 pm
Posts: 114
DoM,

Everything I have read on Seaxneat is speculative, he is barely mentioned in the OE corpus.

He is recorded as an ancestor of the kings of the East Saxon king list. His primary position indicates he was a god and founder ancestor, a position occupied by Woden in other king lists. The list is thought to been compiled in the reign of Alfred the Great.

His name can found in one other source, in the Saxon baptismal formula as Saxnot. 'I forsake all the devil's works and words, Thunor and Woden and Saxnot and all the unholy who are their companions'.

Seax may refer to the knife or to the people who used it, the Saxons. Neat, nyten usually means cattle but the term geneat refers to a class of noble freeman, which would be more appropriate. The alternative spelling Sahs-ginot would support this theory as ginot is cognate to geneat.

It is difficult to explore Seaxneat any further without making leaps of faith, Seaxneat occupies the primal king list position which elsewhere falls to Woden but both are mentioned in the baptismal. Rather than Seaxneat being a byname for Tiw (Tyr), Frea or Ingwe it is more likely he was a separate god whose tales were later melded with those other gods.

Seaxneat being named alongside Thunor and Woden in the baptismal could imply that he was a third-function god associated with farmers, fishers, merchants and workmen and this would put him in the top tier of deities. If that is the case then the neat element of his name may be related to cattle. It is also possible that neat is cognate to nett which means to bind. I know I have read somewhere that the Saxons swore oaths on their weapons maybe there is a connection here too whereby the Saxons bound themselves to Seaxneat. However, there is no place name evidence in England to suggest a cult of Seaxneat though.

Perhaps there is a lost myth concerning Seaxneat and his weapon, the seax, similar to the myth of the Norse god Freyr and his magical sword.

DefenderofMountains wrote:
I know he is the ancestral/tribal god of the Saxons, and I have heard him described as having the Wit of Woden and the Grit of Þunor.

Not meaning to be pedantic but Seaxneat is the ancestral god of the East Saxons only.
As for having the wit of Woden and the grit of Thunor I imagine that is from somebody's furtive imagination!


Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:54 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:43 pm
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Thank you very much!


Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:57 pm
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