The sons of Mannus as depicted by Carl Larsson for Fredrik Sander's 1893 edition of the Poetic Edda. Woodcut by Justus Peterson.

Mannus is a Germanic mythological figure attested by the 1st century AD Roman historian Tacitus in his work Germania. According to Tacitus, Mannus is the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones.


Tacitus' account

Tacitus (Germania, chapter 2) explicitly mentions the names of these Germanic tribes, claiming descent from Mannus:

  • Ingvaeones (living at the coastal line of the North Sea)
  • Irminones (living in the interior part around the Elbe)
  • Istvaeones (living at the borders of the river Rhine)


The name of this deity means human or man (as in Homo sapiens). It stems from the same root as the Indo-Iranian Manu, progenitor of humanity, first holy king to rule this earth who saves mankind and the Vedas and the priesthood from the universal flood.

The Rune Poem

This deity shares his name with the 20th rune of the Elder Futhark. It appears in the 3rd ætt or family of the futhark, along with such other "god-runes" as Tiwaz and Ingwaz. It has been suggested[citation needed] that this aett reflects the "ancient hymns" as sung by the Iron Age Germanic peoples, in which Mannus is mentioned.

Related figures

In the Eddas, Mannus seems to most closely resemble Heimdall (World's Brightness). In the opening passage of the Voluspa, men are referred to as being Heimdall's kin, while in the poem Rigsthula he is shown uniting each of the hierarchal ranks in siblinghood. Furthermore, while Mannus is remembered as being the father of both Odin and Frey, Heimdall is remembered as being one of the Aesir, but also to have qualities directly linked to the Vanir and to exist in a close paternal relationship to Freyja.

In Eddaic Creation, Mannus is comparable to Borr.

Finally, given his relationship to Tuisco, and their mutual association with the founding of the Germanic peoples, it is possible that both Tuisco and Mannus are those deities alluded to at the end of the Little Voluspa; ushering in the new age according to patterns laid down in the past.

Sons of Mannus

The names of the three sons of Mannus can be extrapolated as Ing, Irmin, and Istaev aka Iscio. Some identify the sons as Freyr (aka Yngvi) and Thor and Odin (aka Jormun) of the Icelandic Eddas.[citation needed]

See also


  • Grimm, Jacob (1835). Deutsche Mythologie (German Mythology); From English released version Grimm's Teutonic Mythology (1888); Available online by Northvegr © 2004-2007: Chapter 15, page 2-; 3. File retrieved 09-26-2007.[dead link]
  • Tacitus. Germania (1st Century AD). (in Latin)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mannus — (« homme ») est le fils de Tuisto et l ancêtre des peuples germaniques, selon Tacite, qui, dans La Germanie, évoque les croyances des Germains au Ier siècle : « [Les Germains] célèbrent en d antiques poèmes [...] le dieu… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mannus [1] — Mannus (röm. Ant.), Art kleines gallisches Pferd, wie sie vor Kutschen gespannt wurden, ähnlich dem Pony …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Mannus [2] — Mannus (Saagengesch.), so v.w. Mann …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Mannus — Mannus, bei den alten Germanen nach Tacitus der Sohn des erdgebornen Gottes Tuisto, von dessen drei Söhnen (Ingwas, Istwas und Ermnas) sie ihre drei Hauptstämme, die Ingwäonen, Istwäonen und Erminonen, ableiteten …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mannus — Mannus, bei den Germanen Sohn des Gottes Tuisto; von seinen drei Söhnen leiteten sie ihre drei Hauptstämme ab: die Ingävonen, Istävonen und Herminonen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mannus — (11. April), Abt in Spoleto, steht als »selig« bei den Boll. (II. 28) …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • Mannus — Mannus, in der altgerman. Mythe Sohn des erdgebornen Gottes Tuisco, von dessen 3 Söhnen die germanischen Hauptstämme der Istävonen, Ingävonen u. Hermionen ihren Ursprung ableiteten …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Mannus — En la mitología germana Mannus era el hijo de Tuisto, de él descendieron todos los humanos. El nombre de Mannus significa hombre , de esta palabra proviene mann ( hombre en alemán) y posteriormente man ( hombre en inglés). Mitológicamente, Mannus …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mannus — Der Name Mannus bezeichnet den sagenhaften Sohn des Gottes Tuisto, siehe Mannus (Gott) die „Zeitschrift für Deutsche Vorgeschichte“, siehe Mannus (Zeitschrift) Siehe auch: Manus Diese Seite ist eine Begrif …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MANNUS — I. MANNUS fil. Tuisconis Dei, alias Teutonis, a quo Alemanni se dici gloriantur. II. MANNUS vide supra Burdo …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

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