/vah"nir/, n. (often l.c.) (used with a pl. v.) Scand. Myth.
a race of gods, first in conflict with the Aesir, later allied with them. They function as fertility divinities and include Njord, Frey, and Freyja.
[ < ON, prob. from the same root as vinr friend, L Venus VENUS, Skt vánas desire]

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In Germanic religion, the group of gods responsible for wealth, fertility, and commerce.

They included Njörd and his children, Freyr and Freyja, among others. They were originally subordinate to the warlike Aesir, but, after defeating the Aesir in battle, they were granted equal status. The Vanir sent Njörd and Freyr to live with the Aesir and received Hoenir and Mimir in exchange. The birth of Kvasir resulted from the peace ritual between the two groups.

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▪ Norse mythology
      in Norse mythology, race of gods responsible for wealth, fertility, and commerce and subordinate to the warlike Aesir. As reparation for the torture of their goddess Gullveig, the Vanir demanded from the Aesir monetary satisfaction or equal status. Declaring war instead, the Aesir suffered numerous defeats before granting equality. The Vanir sent their gods Njörd (Njǫrd) and Freyr to live with the Aesir and received Hoenir and Mimir in exchange. The birth of the poet-god Kvasir resulted from the peace ritual in which the two races mingled their saliva in the same vessel.

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Universalium. 2010.

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