Freyr Accepts Black-Coloured Sacrifices

Written by Dyami Millarson

Saxō Grammāticus says: “Sīquidem propitiandōrum nūminum grātia Frō deō rem dīvīnam furvīs hostiīs fēcit. […] Frōblōt Sueonēs vocant.” (Indeed, for the sake of the propitiation of the Gods, he did a divine thing to the black [sacrificial] victims for the God Frō. […] The Swedes call [it] Frōblōt.)

On pages 24-25 of The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia, William A. Craigie paraphrases the same quote as follows: “Saxo Grammaticus, speaking of a sacrifice of black oxen offered to Frey by the […] hero Hading, adds that this had continued to be a yearly custom, and ‘the Swedes call it Fröblod [sic],’ i.e. Frey’s sacrifice.”

Furvus means black, dark. One may compare this to the colour of the Svartálfar and Dökkálfar, which I discussed in this article. One may also recall that black cats are associated with bad luck in modern folk belief, and that cats are the animals of Freyr’s sister, Freyja.

The Circassians traditionally sacrifice black animals for the New Year. In chapter VIII of the book Adyghe Khabze: Customs and Traditions under the section “Making Sacrifices to the Fire of the Hearth,” Kadir I. Natho says: “Depending on the wealth of the family, they sacrificed a ram or a large cattle that was black.”

Monumental Sources Quoting from the Same Passage of Saxō Grammāticus

  • Johannes Scheffer also quotes from the same passage of Saxō Grammāticus on page 118 of his book on Upsala; that page is part of 9th chapter which Scheffer dedicates to the Gods of Uppsala (Upsaliae diīs).
  • The same quote is found on page 275 of the third volume of this German work. Here it is spelled as Frô.
  • Petersen quotes from the same passage in footnote 1 on page 92 of this Danish work. He writes Frō with the vowel ø.
  • A quote from the same passage is found on page 166 of the 15th issue of this Swedish journal. Here Frō is written with the vowel ö.
  • Adalbert Kuhn quotes from the same passage in a footnote on page 136 of the second volume of his folk religious studies (written in German). Here it is written Frö.

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