It has been a few years now, I don't know why I didn't think to post this earlier. Long story short, I imagine most of us already know that many gods are interchangeable. Mainly the Northern European, Caucus Region, and Egyptian ones from what I can tell. The Semite and Sino gods seem to be an exception. (Although I find Bel and Baal to be dubiously similar) That being said, there is a debate between Tir and Tor(Thor) and whether or not they are the same Nordic god. However, if you were to keep them separate then I imagine the exchange would look something like this:

Saturn - Hades - Hel

Jupiter - Zeus - Thor

Mars - Ares - Tir

Venus - Aphrodite - Freya

Mercury - Hermes - Odin

If this is the case, I can't help but notice that while usually the pantheon is headed by Jupiter, the Nordics would be unique in the sense that their pantheon is headed by Mercury. Although I can't yet fully articulate how or why, I feel that this would be significant. My interest, to say the least, is piqued.

Can anyone comment on this or point me in the direction of some good information?

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I'm not sure Mercury and Hermes and Odin really share that many traits.

Thor is the god of thunderstorms, but is mostly associated with thunder.  Whereas Jupiter, also a thunderstorm god is mostly associated with lightning.

While there are similarities in many deities across the board, this does not mean they are all the same.  Each deity of each pantheon is unique, though you'll find that when it comes to some pantheons they have more than one  name for the same deity (kennings, in the Norse & Germanic paths).  I do not personally feel that Odin is the same god as Mercury or Hermes.  I would not say that the Greek and Roman gods (who are mostly interchangeable) are interchangeable with the Norse/Germanic gods whatsoever. 

When Tacitus wrote about the Germanic peoples in the first century, what he wrote about the Germans. from what the Romans apparently encountered, seemed to point to an isolation of the German people from migration or immigration, as opposed to a "mixed race" of people.

Any migratory movement that I am familiar with points to a southward migration of Scandinavians and Germanics, eventually mingling with the Celts.

At that point, it seems to me that comparisons between Norse deities and others may be more related to Celtic deities, even though it is not entirely uncommon to see parallels existing between gods of various regions. 

When Tacitus wrote about the Germanic peoples in the first century, what he wrote about the Germans. from what the Romans apparently encountered, seemed to point to an isolation of the German people from migration or immigration, as opposed to a "mixed race" of people.

Which you need to keep in context considering Tacitus never went to Germania, never spoke with the people there, never did any research we would consider credible.  He was writing from Rome which he never left after he moved there as a teenager from Gallia/northern Italy.  His book on Germania closely follows other works on the subject, such as Julius Caesar's works.  Which we all know are not really accurate and not really informed and are basically written to make the tribal Germans look bad and thus need to be conquered by the much more decent and civilized Romans.

Yes, Aurelia, I'm aware of that.

He wrote according to what he gathered apparently by the soldiers who were there. That does not change the point about a "mixed race" of people, which was pretty much corroborated by modern studies of migration in the region. So it appears that the Romans who were there were correct in that.

I suppose there are more questions than answers. Tacitus not being there., what makes you think that Caesar's works are inaccurately stated, other than the  condescending attitude he had toward Germanic people, which I have no doubt of that being the case?. If Caesar was there, who else would be in a better position to comment about that subject? Which Roman would have been in a better position to do that?

Another curious analogy I have with the "same god" theory is very simple.

The question I would have is concerning the 'clash of the titans" IE the clash between the two cultures of Rome and Germania, Gaul etc etc. There was absolutely nothing in common between these cultures, they never had any contact with each other before any Roman incursion, and they were completely at odds with each other, very little love between the two, There is only sketchy speculation about so called influence from the East, and if so, what part of the East? 

Outside of casual observation, even though as you say, many traits were shared, which is basically the case with the study of deities all over the planet, I cannot see much logic in the comparison of Roman, Greek, or Norse deities or culture in that respect.

Even though if people personally want to take that approach, that is not really an issue, as far as I'm concerned.

A few random thoughts.

I think Pluto would be a closer analogue to Hades and Hel, since Pluto was the Roman god of the underworld and judge of the dead.

Also, Hermes and Mercury are messenger and trickster gods, while Odin is a wise father who sacrificed an eye (and more) to gain knowledge of the runes. Odin is a very different kind of deity, though, than Zeus and Jupiter who are sky gods, even though all three are seen as the ruling/father deities of their pantheons.

I like linking Thor with Jupiter and Zeus, though Thor also has connections with fertility that other Greek and Roman gods are more closely associated with, but it is interesting that Thor is placed so high up in the pantheon, so there is that association with protection of the people from on high.

1st point: Yes, Pluto is closer than Saturn. Saturn is the Roman analogue to the Greek Chronos, who is Hades' father, while Pluto is the Roman Hades.

2nd point: Odin and Hermes/Mercury do share some traits. They're both wandering gods (Odin because he likes to wander/seek out knowledge and Hermes/Mercury because he's the messenger of the gods and the guide for dead souls) for one thing, and while Odin isn't specifically a trickster god, he does have moments of doing something "for teh lulz", which is kind of Hermes' entire MO.

The Romans considered Odin a form of Mercury and recorded that the Gauls worshiped Mercury. The underworld trio should be Pluto-Hades and Hel.

What you’re dealing with are very large very ambiguous entities that the human mind can’t grasp in one go. Which is why we deal with aspects of them rather than the forces themselves. That’s why you have all the overlap and fuzziness. Hel really doesn’t  equate to Hades but overlaps him. She has more in common with Kali than Hades though I think she shares in the Hadean invisibility as her name means “the concealer.”


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