Aegir was a fierce god of the sea. He had fingers like claws. His wife was
named Ran, by whom he had nine daughters, said to be the maidens who move the
waves. Aegir would appear on the surface of the sea to destroy ships, or with
his wife would catch sailors with a net to bring them into his underwater
Captains would give coins to each sailor, so if they were captured they had a gift for the gods. It was believed that if the sailor's spirit was present at the funeral, Ran had given them a good welcome.
There they were said to feast with Aegir and Ran. Sacrifices were
offered by Saxon pirates, who used to drown every tenth man among their
prisoners so that they could assure themselves a secure return home.
Aegir is often shown as a strong god with a spear in his hand. An old name for the sea, garsecg, literally means "spear-man". Aegir was very similar to the Greek god Poseidon. Poseidon was known for holding his trident.
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