I was just wiki-walking around my country's (Netherlands) history when I stumbled upon this topic:


She is the wife of the god Freyr, whom apparently the Frisians and the Frisiavones were a cultus worshipping him.

Now I looked at the gullgubber of that page and the texts of this image on the Gerdur page says the two figures (representing Freyr and Gerdur according to the Dutch page of Gerdur) have a "leafy bough" between them. But perhaps it's just my dirty mind but I immediately thought "That's no leafy bough! That's a ... and it's not between two people but between a pair of ..."

I just want confirmation from a historian to see if I'm the first one to notice this and whether or not this was indeed the artists intention ;-).

  • 3
    Historians are not notably shy in describing phallic, priapic or other sexual motifs in ancient objects. Sometimes a leafy bough is just a leafy bough.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


Probably not. In general, the motif of a man and woman embracing is very common on guldgubbar, but there is nothing overtly sexual about them. Occasionally, there will be some kind of tree behind them. A Google image search of "guldgubber" will give you several examples

This does not mean that this could not be an exception. However, I found a clearer picture of the same guldgubbe here. I have to say that I can see neither leafy boughs nor anything else vaguely phallic.

If Viking age artists (which, admittedly, were a few centuries later) wanted to depict something a phallos, they could be explicit, see this statue, likely of Frey.

Finally, any sort of identification with people or gods from myths and legends can not be taken as anything more than guesses.

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