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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.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Vanir, visit Britannica.com.