Updated: Mar 14
The God Sahsnoð (also spelled Sassnoð, Saxnote, and Seaxneat) is a God unique to the Saxons. Sahsnoð is attested in two historical manuscripts:
1. A baptismal vow used in forced baptisms in a manuscript dated to the year 795 AD. This manuscript was found in Old Saxony. Saxony is not in England, but the northwestern part of modern Germany and the eastern Netherlands. This baptismal vow is in the Old Low Franconian language. 2. The genealogy of the kings of Essex (England)
The second source, the genealogy of the kings of Essex is interesting. The earliest most reliable manuscripts placed Seaxneat as the first name. The earliest manuscripts read:
Seaxnēat, Gesecg, Andsecg, Swaeppa, Sigefugel, Bedca, Offa, Æscwine Later manuscripts added Woden and appeared this way: Woden, Seaxnēat, Gesecg, Andsecg, Swaeppa, Sigefugel, Bedca, Offa, Æscwine. It is unknown precisely when Woden (also known as Uuoden or Odin) was added to the Essex genealogy. However, since Woden was added to the manuscript, it appears that Seaxneat was a son of Woden, (in Saxony, Sahsnoð, son of Uuoden.) Here is my own translation of the first part of the Old Low Franconian Baptismal Vow forced on the Saxons with baptism. (Vow is dated to 795 AD): Do you forsake the devil? I forsake the devil. And all devil worship? And I forsake all devil worship. And all devil works? And I forsake all devil works and words, Thunar and Uuoden and Sahsnoth and all demons, which are their comrades.
The Baptismal Vow found in Old Saxon lands was written in Old Low Franconian. Garden Stone, a scholar in Germany, states specifically in his book, "The Mercury Woden Complex" P 131-132: "This old language was first classified as a Saxon language from the north-west of Germany. After several detailed linguistic examinations, in which various languages from that time were compared with each other, we now know that this text originates from Anglo-Saxon territory. The text contains simply too many elements from that language area to accept them as coincidences or writing mistakes… It is, in any case, widely agreed that the text was originally written in Latin.” Also, quoting Garden Stone (a personal email he sent to me) when I asked him about Dutch scholars who believe the vow is in Old High German (or Old Low Franconian, an ancestor of Old High German):
“Not only Dutch scholars assume that. The vow contains, except for many Anglo-Saxon traces, also Old- and Middle-High-German elements and indeed too elements from an East-Franconian dialect.” Sass or Sahs was how to say "Saxon" in the Old Saxon language. The most famous writing in the Saxon language is called "Der Sassen speyghel." It is called "der Sassen Speyghel" 12 times in the work itself, and it is also the title of the work. Sassen Speyghel means "Saxon Mirror." It is a famous law-book. Sass or Sahs is how to say "Saxon" in Old Saxon. You can read the full text of the Sassen Speyghel here:
https://archive.org/stream/dessachsenspieg06homegoog/dessachsenspieg06homegoog_djvu.txt The Sassen Speyghel was written in circa 1220 AD. Most online websites state that the language is in "Middle Low German." This is another name for the Saxon language. Old Saxon is called "Low German" all the time in academic circles. Also, there is a district in The Netherlands called "Sassenheim." Part of the modern nation of The Netherlands was in Old Saxony, historically. Borders change over time, and Old Saxony did encompass a good chunk of eastern Netherlands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sassenheim Many have accused me of not being Robert Sass. They think that my name is something else and I changed it to this "Heathen name." Nope, I was born Robert Sass. My surname is the Old Saxon word meaning "Saxon." Also, this is not the best last name in the world to have in jr. high school and elementary school. I have been made fun of by many children as a child: Sass'a'frass, Sasshole, Sassypants, Bob's Ass, Bob kisses' ass etc etc etc. And sadly, many adults in even the Asatru/Heathen world have stooped to childish levels with my surname, which in German would sound more like "Herr Soss" than "Sass" by the way. Sass is one of many Old Saxon surnames. Sass is the Old Saxon word meaning "Saxon" or "person of the knife." A Sass or Seax is a single sided blade. The Saxons were possibly named after this weapon. Other Germanic tribes may have been named after weapons too: The Franks for example were named after their javelin (Frank). Many today also equate francescas with the Franks. Nonetheless, it does appear that Sassnoth, God of the Saxons, could be a god of the short sword or knife. (Seaxes were single sided blades.) This is a guess, and cannot be proven with certainty. My favorite website in the world is a grammar of the Saxon language in Old Saxon lands today. Modern German and modern Dutch have replaced the native language in Northern Germany and Eastern Netherlands. But many people of Saxon descent still speak the native language (called Neddersassische) in their home. Here is a website showing the grammar of Neddersassische, the Old Saxon language today: http://lowlands-l.net/grammar-new/ Please join us on the Facebook group Saxon Heathenry. Below is a picture of my personal Weofod (statue of a God) of Sassnoð. I do feel closer to Sassnoth, Uuoden, Thunar, and Fri than other deities. There is a special place in my heart and home *(and haerg)* for Sassnoð. Lastly, some argue that Sahsnoð is Tiu (Scandinavian Tyr) or Freyr. I personally disagree. I think the Old Saxon town of Twente shows (a place name for Tiu/Tyr) shows that the Saxons did know Tiu and Sahsnoð. But in terms of Ing-Freyr being Sahsnoð, I would argue that the Old English Rune Poem implies that Sahsnoð and Ing-Freyr are two different dieties. The Old English Rune Poem was composed in the late 8th or early 9th century (circa 800 AD). The Old English Rune Poem states: "Ing was first seen by men among the East-Danes,till, followed by his chariot,
he departed eastwards over the waves.
So the Heardingas named the hero." The Old English Rune Poem implies that the Ynglinga Saga (Icelandic Literature, a Saga of the Swedes) is correct. The "East-Danes" in the Old English Rune Poem is the Swedes, as those in England called all Northmen "Danes." East-Danes were Swedes, and Ing, or Yngvi-Freyr, according to the Ynglinga Saga (and other sources) was the progenitor of the Royal House of Sweden. This means, in Anglo-Frisian areas of England, Ing was not seen as Seaxneat but as his own deity, as well as Ing being seen as a Swedish deity. Lastly, some argue that Sahsnoð is Tiu (Scandinavian Tyr) or Freyr. I personally disagree. I think the Old Saxon town of Twente shows (a place name for Tiu/Tyr) shows that the Saxons did know Tiu and Sahsnoð. But in terms of Ing-Freyr being Sahsnoð, I would argue that the Old English Rune Poem implies that Sahsnoð and Ing-Freyr are two different dieties. PS- We have zero surviving attestations of the word "Saxnot/Seaxneat/Sahsnoth" etc in the Old Saxon language. There are 21 Old Saxon poems that have survived. The largest, the Old Saxon Heliand, is so large, it is almost 3 times the size of Beowulf. There are zero words in the Old Saxon Heliand ending in "not". There are zero ending in "note." Some argue that the word "genotas" is the Saxon ending of "Sahsnoð." I disagree, as this word is only attested in the Old Low Franconian baptismal vow, and not in any of the 21 Old Saxon Poems/sources that survive. In the Old Saxon death list of the 9th century called the Essen Necrology, there is a list of Saxons who died in a church in one year. By list of Saxons I mean a list of Old Saxon people who died one here in a church, so we do have a long list of Old Saxon names. A rare name ending is "noth." The Seax of Bagnoth in England, is a famous archaeological find dated to the 10th century. We know for sure that "Sahs" or "Sass" was how the Saxons said "Saxon" in Old Saxon lands. Sahsnoð and Sassnoth are my educated guesses, based on the Seax of Bagnoth find in England, and based on a long list of Saxon names in the Essen Necrology of the 9th century.