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VOL. I. 





" I THINK Scandinavian Paganism, to us here, is more interesting 
than any other. It is, for one thing, the latest ; it continued in 
these regions of Europe till the eleventh century ; 800 years ago 
the Norwegians were still worshippers of Odin. It is interesting 
also as the creed of our fathers ; the men whose blood still runs in 
our veins, whom doubtless we still resemble in so many ways. 
. . . There is another point of interest in these Scandinavian 
mythologies, that they have been preserved so well." CARLYLE S 

What Mr. Carlyle says of the Scandinavian will of course apply 
to all Teutonic tradition, so far as it can be recovered ; and it was 
the task of Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie to supplement the 
Scandinavian mythology (of which, thanks to the Icelanders, we 
happen to know most) with all that can be gleaned from other 
sources, High-Dutch and Low-Dutch, and build it up into a whole. 
And indeed to prove that it was one connected whole ; for, strange 
as it seems to us, forty years ago it was still considered necessary to 
prove it. 

Jacob Grimm was perhaps the first man who commanded a wide 
enough view of the whole field of Teutonic languages and literature 
to be able to bring into a focus the scattered facts which show the 
prevalence of one system of thought among all the Teutonic nations 
from Iceland to the Danube. In this he was materially aided by 
his mastery of the true principles of Philology, which he was the 
first to establish on a firm scientific basis, and which enabled him 
to trace a word with certitude through the strangest disguises. 

The Comparative Mythology of all nations has made great 
strides since Grimm first wrote his book ; but as a storehouse of facts 
within his special province of Teutonic Mythology, and as a clue to 
the derivation and significance of the Names of persons and things 

vi Translator s Preface. 

in the various versions of a myth, it has never been superseded 
and perhaps it never can be. Not that he confines himself to the 
Teutonic field ; he compares it at every point with the classical 
mythus and the wide circle of Slavic, Lettic and occasionally of 
Ugric, Celtic, and Oriental tradition. Still, among his Deutsch 
kindred he is most at home ; and Etymology is his forte. But then 
etymology in his hands is transfigured from random guessing into 
scientific fact. 

There is no one to whom Folk-lore is more indebted than to 
Grimm. Not to mention the loving care with which he hunted up 
his Kinder und Haus-marchen from all over Germany, he delights 
to detect in many a nursery-tale and popular custom of to-day the 
beliefs and habits of our forefathers thousands of years ago. It is 
impossible at times to forbear a smile at the patriotic zeal with 
which he hunts the trail of his German gods and heroes ; the glee 
with which he bags a new goddess, elf, or swan-maid ; and his 
indignation at any poaching Celt or Slav who has spirited away a 
mythic being that was German born and bred : " Ye have taken 
away my gods, and what have I more ? " 

The present translation of the Deutsche Mytlwlogie will, like the 
last (fourth) edition of the original, be published in three volumes ; 
the first two of which, and part of the third, will contain the trans 
lation of Grimm s text, and the remainder of the third volume will 
consist of his own Appendix and a Supplement. 

The author s second and third editions (1844 and 1854) were 
each published in 2 vols., accompanied by an APPENDIX consisting, 
first, of a short treatise on the Anglo-Saxon Genealogies, and secondly, 
of a large collection of the Superstitions of various Teutonic nations. 
This Appendix will form a part of our Vol. III. After Grimm s 
death his heirs entrusted to Prof. E. H. Meyer, of Berlin, the task 
of bringing out a fourth edition, and including in it such additional 
matter as the author had collected in his note-books for future use. 
If Grimm had lived to finish his great Dictionary, which engrossed 
the latter years of his life, 1 he would, no doubt, have incorporated 

1 He used to say, lie had a book ready to run out of each of his ten fingers, 
but he was no longer free. 

Translator s Preface. vii 

the pith of these later jottings in the text of his book, rejecting 
much that was irrelevant or pleonastic. The German editor, not 
feeling himself at liberty to select and reject, threw the whole of 
this posthumous matter into his third volume (where it occupies 
370 pages), merely arranging the items according to the order of 
subjects in the book, and numbering each by the page which it 
illustrates. This is the SUPPLEMENT so frequently referred to in 
the book, under the form (" see Suppl."). I have already introduced 
a few extracts from it in the Foot-notes, especially where it appeared ; 
to contradict, or materially to confirm, the author s opinion ex- \ 
pressed in the text. But in the present English edition it is intended 
to digest this Supplement, selecting the most valuable parts, and 
adding original articles by the editor himself and by other gentlemen 
who have devoted special attention to individual branches or the 
science of Folk-knowledge. A full classified Bibliography and an 
accurate and detailed Index to the whole work will accompany the 
book. It is hoped by this means to render the English Edition as 
complete and serviceable as possible. 

Grimm s Preface to the edition of 1844, giving a vigorous re 
sume" of the book, and of the whole subject, will, as in the German 
accompany Vol. II. There is so much in it, which implies the 
reader s acquaintance with every part of the book, that I have felt 
bound to keep it where I find it in the original. 

The only additions or alterations I have ventured to make in 
the text are the following : 

1. The book bristles with quotations in various languages, for 
the most part untranslated. An ordinary German reader might 
find the Old and the Middle High German about as intelligible as 
an ordinary Englishman does Anglo-Saxon and Chaucer respec 
tively. But when it comes to making out a word or passage in 
Old Norse, Greek, and even Slavic, I must suppose the author to 
have written for a much more limited and learned public than that 
which, I hope, will find this English edition sufficiently readable. 
I have therefore translated a great many words and sentences, 

viii Translator s Preface. 

where the interest, and even the argument, of the paragraph de 
pended on the reader s understanding the quotations. To have 
translated all that is not English would have swelled the size of 
the book too much. Apart from such translation, any additions of 
my own are always placed in square brackets [ ], except a few 
notes which bear the signature " TRANS.". 

2. For the sake of clearness, I have divided some of the chapters 
(XII. to XVI.) into smaller sections with headings of their own. 

3. I have consulted the English reader s convenience by sub 
stituting the w and #?, which he is accustomed to see in Anglo- 
Saxon words, for Grimm s v and d, as wseg instead of viig , I 
have also used the words Dutch, Mid. Dutch in a wider sense 
comprehending all the Teutonic dialects of the Netherlands, instead 
of coining the awkward adjective Netherlandish . 

One word on the title of the book. Ought not " Deutsche 
Mythologie " to be translated German, rather than Teutonic Myth 
ology ? I am bound to admit that the author aimed at building 
up a Deutsch mythology, as distinct from the Scandinavian, and 
that he expressly disclaims the intention of giving a complete 
account of the latter, because its fulness would have thrown the 
more meagre remains of the Deutsch into the shade. At the same 
time he necessarily draws so much upon the richer remains of the 
Norse mythology, that it forms quite a substantive portion of his 
book, though not exhaustive as regards the Norse system itself. 
But what does Grimm mean by Deutsch ? To translate it by 
German would be at least as misleading in the other direction. It 
would not amongst us be generally understood to include what he 
expressly intends it to include the Netherlands and England ; for 
the English are simply a branch of the Low German race which 
happened to cross the sea. I have therefore thought, that for the 
English ear the more comprehensive title was truer to the facts on 
the whole than the more limited one would have been. 


Professor MAX MULLER, M.A., &c., &e., 




. J<ING AND po., J^NTEf^S, 


VOL. I. 


I. Introduction 

. . . * ;, . 112 

II. God ... . . 1328 

III. Worship . . , 2965 

IV. Temples .... . 6687 
V. Priests . . . . . . . 8898 

VI. Gods . 99130 

VII. Wnotan, Wodan (OSinn) . . 131165 

VIII. Donar, Thnnar (Thorr) .... 166192 

IX. Zio, Tiw (Tyr) . . 193208 

X. Fro (Freyr) (NiorSr) . . . 209219 

XI. Balder, Phol Hadu Heremod Fosite ~" . 220232 

XII. Other gods : Heimdall Brego Uogi For- 

neote (Loki) Ssetere . . ... 233249 

XIII. Goddesses : Erda Isis Holda, Berhta Hrede 

Eastre Zisa Fricka Frua Folia . , 250315 

XIV. Condition of gods . ; . . . . 316339 
XV. Heroes . . . . 340395 

XVI. Wise-women 396437 


From the westernmost shore of Asia, Christianity had turned at 
once to the opposite one of Europe. The wide soil of the continent 
which had given it birth could not supply it long with nourish 
ment; neither did it strike deep root in the north of Africa. 
Europe soon became, and remained, its proper dwelling-place and 

It is worthy of notice, that the direction in which the new faith 
worked its way > from South to North, is contrary to the current of 
migration which was then driving the nations from the East and 
North to the West and South. As spiritual light penetrated from 
the one quarter, life itself was to be reinvigorated from the other, 

1 In a book that deals so much with Heathenism, the meaning of the term 
ought not to be passed over. The Greeks and Romans had no special name for 
nations of another faith (for eYepoSooi, /3ap/3apoi were not used in that sense) ; 
but with the Jews and Christians of the N.T. are contrasted edvos, fdvea, 
cQviKoi, Lat. gentes, gentiles ; Ulphilas uses the pi. thiudos, and by preference in 
the gen. after a pronoun, thai thiudo, sumai thiudo (gramm. 4, 441, 457), while 
thiudiskus translates edviicws Gal. 2, 14. As it was mainly the Greek religion 
that stood opposed to the Judaso-Christian, the word "EXXyv also assumed the 
meaning edviKos, and we meet with lX\r)vtK)s = f6viKa)s, which the Goth would 
still have rendered thiudisJcds, as he does render "EXXr/i/es 1 thiudds, John 7, 35. 
^12, 20. 1 Cor. 1, 24. 12, 13 ; only in 1 Cor. 1, 22 he prefers Krekos. This 
"EXX7;y=gentilis bears also the meaning of giant, which has developed itself 
out of more than one national name (Hun, Avar, Tchudi) ; so the Hellenic 
walls came to be heathenish, gigantic (see ch. XVIII). In Old High German, 
Notker still uses the pi. diete for gentiles (Graff 5, 128). In the meanwhile 
pagus had expanded its narrow meaning of Kvp-r) into the wider one of ager, 
campus, in which sense it still lives on in It. paese, Fr. pays ; while paganus 
began to push out gentilis, which was lapsing into the sense of nobilis. All the 
Romance languages have their pagano, pay en, &c., nay, it has penetrated into 
Boh em. pohan, Pol. poganin, Lith. pac/onas [but Russ. pogan= unclean]. The 
Gothic hdithi campus early developed an adj. hdithns agrestis, campestris 
paganus (Ulph. in Mark 7, 26 renders eXXr/i/t y by hdithnd), the Old H.G. heida 
an adj. heidan, Mid. H.G. and Dutch heide heiden, A.S. hseS hwftin, Engl. heath 
heathen, Old Norse heiSi heiftinn ; Swed. and Dan. use hedning. The O.H.G 
word retains its adj. nature, and forms its gen. pi. heidanero. Our present 
heide, gen. heiden (for heiden, gen. heidens) is erroneous, but current ever since 
Luther. Full confirmation is afforded by Mid. Lat. agrestis = paganus, e.g. in 
the passage quoted in ch. IV from Vita S. Agili ; and the wilde heiden in 
our Heldenbuch is an evident pleonasm (see Supplement). 


The worn out empire of the Romans saw both its interior con 
vulsed, and its frontier overstept. Yet, by the same mighty 
doctrine which had just overthrown her ancient gods, subjugated 
Eome was able to subdue her conquerors anew. By this means the 
flood-tide of invasion was gradually checked, the newly converted 
lands began to gather strength and to turn their arms against the 
heathen left in their rear. 

Slowly, step by step, Heathendom gave way to Christendom. 
Five hundred years after Christ, but few nations of Europe believed 
in him; after a thousand years the majority did, and those the 
most important, yet not all (see Suppl.). 

From Greece and Italy the Christian faith passed into Gaul first 
of all, in the second and third centuries. About the year 300, or 
soon after, we find here and there a Christian among the Germans 
on the Rhine, especially the Alamanni ; and about the same time 
or a little earlier 1 among the Goths. The Goths were the first 
Teutonic people amongst whom Christianity gained a firm footing ; 
this occurred in the course of the fourth century, the West-goths 
leading the way and the East-goths following ; and after them the 
Vandals, Gepidse and Rugii were converted. All these races held 
by the Arian doctrine. The Burgundians in Gaul became Catholic 
at the beginning of the fifth century, then Arian under their 
Visigoth rulers, and Catholic again at the commencement of the 
sixth century, The Suevi in Spain w T ere at first Catholic, then 
Arian (about 469), until in the sixth century they, with all the 
West-goths, went over likewise to the Catholic church. Not till the 
end of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth did Christianity win 
the Franks, soon after that the Alamanni, and after them the 
Langobardi. The Bavarians were converted in the seventh and 
eighth centuries, the Frisians, Hessians and Thuringians in the 
eighth, the Saxons about the ninth. 

Christianity had early found entrance into Britain, but was 
checked by the irruption of the heathen Anglo-Saxons. Towards 
the close of the sixth and in the course of the seventh century, they 
also went over to the new faith. 

The Danes became Christians in the tenth century, the Norwe 
gians at the beginning of the eleventh, the Swedes not completely 

1 Waitz s Ulfila, p. 35. 


till the second half of the same century. About the same time 
Christianity made its way to Iceland. 

Of the Slavic nations the South Slavs were the first to adopt 
the Christian faith: the Carentani, and under Heraclius (d. 640) 
the Croatians, then, 150 years after the former, the Moravians in 
the eighth and ninth centuries. Among the North Slavs, the 
Obotritse in the ninth, Bohemians 1 and Poles in the tenth, Sorbs 
in the eleventh, and Eussians at the end of the tenth. 

Then the Hungarians at the beginning of the eleventh, Li- 
vonians and Lettons in the twelfth, Esthonians and Finns in the 
twelfth and thirteenth, Lithuanians not even till the commencement 
of the fifteenth. 

All these data are only to be taken as true in the main ; they 
neither exclude some earlier conversions, nor a longer and later 
adherence to heathenism in limited areas. Eemoteness and inde 
pendence might protect the time-honoured religion of a tribe. 
Apostates too would often attempt at least a partial reaction. 
Christianity would sometimes lead captive the minds of the rich 
and great, by whose example the common people were carried 
away ; sometimes it affected first the poor and lowly. 

When Chlodowig (Clovis) received baptism, and the Salian 
Franks followed his lead, individuals out of all the Frankish tribes 
had already set the example. Intercourse with Burgundians and 
West-goths had inclined them to the Arian doctrine, while the 
Catholic found adherents in other parts of Gaul. Here the two 
came into collision. One sister of Chlodowig, Lanthild, had become 
an Arian Christian before his conversion, the other, Albofled, had 
remained a heathen ; the latter was now baptized with him, and 
the former was also won over to the Catholic communion. 2 But 
even in the sixth and seventh centuries heathenism was not yet 
uprooted in certain districts of the Frankish kingdom. Neustria 

1 Fourteen Bohemian princes baptized 845 ; see Palacky 1, 110. The 
Middle North-slavs Riaderi, Tolenzi, Kycini, Circipani still heathen in the 
latter half of the llth century; see Helmold 1, 21. 23 (an. 1066). The 
Rugians not till 1168 ; Helm. 2, 12. 13. 

2 baptizata est Albofledis. . . . Lanthildis chrismata est, Greg. Tur. 2, 
31. So among the Goths, chrismation is administered to Sigibert s wife Brune- 
child (4, 27), and to Ingund s husband Herminichild (5, 38, who assumes the 
new name of Joannes. The Arians appear to have re-baptized converts from 
Catholicism ; Ingund herself was compelled by her grandmother-mother in 
law Goisuintha ut rebaptizaretur . Rebaptizare katholicos, Eugippii vita 
Severini, cap. 8. 


had heathen inhabitants on the Loire and Seine, Burgundy in the 
Vosges, Austrasia in the Ardennes ; and heathens seem still to 
have been living in the present Flanders, especially northwards 
towards Friesland. 1 Vestiges of heathenism lingered on among the 
Frisians into the ninth century, among the Saxons into the tenth, 
and in like manner among the Normans and Swedes into the 
eleventh and twelfth. 2 Here and there among the northern Slavs 
idolatry was not extinct in the twelfth century, and not universally 
so among the Finns and Lithuanians in the sixteenth and seven 
teenth 3 ; nay, the remotest Laplanders cling to it still. 

Christianity was not popular. It came from abroad, it aimed at 
supplanting the time-honoured indigenous gods whom the country 
revered and loved. These gods and their worship were part and 
parcel of the people s traditions, customs and constitution. Their 
names had their roots in the people s language, and were hallowed 
by antiquity ; kings and princes traced their lineage back to 
individual gods ; forests, mountains, lakes had received a living 
consecration from their presence. All this the people was now to 
renounce ; and what is elsewhere commended as truth and loyalty 
was denounced and persecuted by the heralds of the new faith as a 
sin and a crime. The source and seat of all sacred lore was 
shifted away to far-off regions for ever, and only a fainter borrowed 
glory could henceforth be shed on places in one s native land. 

The new faith came in escorted by a foreign language, which 
the missionaries imparted to their disciples and thus exalted into a 
sacred language, which excluded the slighted mother-tongue from 
almost all share in public worship. This does not apply to the 
Greek-speaking countries, which could follow the original text of 
the Christian revelation, but it does to the far wider area over 
which the Latin church-language was spread, even among 
Eomance populations, whose ordinary dialect was rapidly emanci 
pating itself from the rules of ancient Latin. Still more violent 
was the contrast in the remaining kingdoms. 

The converters of the heathen, sternly devout, abstemious, 
mortifying the flesh, occasionally peddling, headstrong, and in 

1 Authorities given in Ch. IV. Conf. lex Frisionum, ed. Gaupp, p. xxiv, 
19, 47. Heathenism lasted the longest between Lauhuch and the Weser. 

a Fornmanna sogur 4, 116. 7, 151. 

3 Wedekind s notes 2, 275, 276. Rhesa dainos, p. 333. The Lithuanians 
proper converted 1387, the Samogits 1413. 


slavish subjection to distant Eome, could not fail in many ways to 
offend the national feeling. Not only the rude bloody sacrifices, 
but the sensuous pleasure-loving side of heathenism was to them 
an abomination (see Suppl.). And what their words or their 
wonder-working gifts could not effect, was often to be executed 
against obdurate pagans by placing fire and sword in the hands of 
Christian proselytes. 

The triumph of Christianity was that of a mild, simple, spiritual 
doctrine over sensuous, cruel, barbarizing Paganism. In exchange 
for peace of spirit and the promise of heaven, a man gave his 
earthly joys and the memory of his ancestors. Many followed the 
inner prompting of their spirit, others the example of the crowd, 
and not a few the pressure of irresistible force. 

Although expiring heathenism is studiously thrown into the 
shade by the narrators, there breaks out at times a touching 
lament over the loss of the ancient gods, or an excusable protest 
against innovations imposed from without 1 (see Suppl.). 

The missionaries did not disdain to work upon the senses of the 
heathen by anything that could impart a higher dignity to the 
Christian cultus as compared with the pagan : by white robes for 
subjects of baptism, by curtains, peals of bells (see Suppl.), the 
lighting of tapers and the burning of incense. 2 It was also a wise 
or politic measure to preserve many heathen sites and temples by 
simply turning them, when suitable, into Christian ones, and 
assigning to them another and equally sacred meaning. The 
heathen gods even, though represented as feeble in comparison with 
the true God, were not always pictured as powerless in themselves ; 
they were perverted into hostile malignant powers, into demons, 
sorcerers and giants, who had to be put down, but were never 
theless credited with a certain mischievous activity and influence. 
Here and there a heathen tradition or a superstitious custom lived 
on by merely changing the names, and applying to Christ, Mary 
and the saints what had formerly been related and believed of idols 
(see Suppl.). On the other hand, the piety of Christian priests 
suppressed and destroyed a multitude of heathen monuments, 
poems and beliefs, whose annihilation history can hardly cease to 

1 Fornmanna sogur 1, 31-35. Laxdoela, p. 170. Kralodworsky rukopis, 

2 Greg. Tur. 2, 31. Fornm. sog. 1, 260. 2, 2QO. 


lament, though the sentiment which deprived us of them is not to 
be blamed. The practice of a pure Christianity, the extinction of 
all trace of heathenism was of infinitely more concern than the 
advantage that might some day accrue to history from their longer 
preservation. Boniface and Willibrord, in felling the sacred oak, 
in polluting the sacred spring, and the image-breaking Calvinists 
long after them, thought only of the idolatry that was practised by 
such means (see Suppl.). As those pioneers purged their floor a 
first time, it is not to be denied that the Pieformation eradicated 
aftergrowths of heathenism, and loosing the burden of the Romish 
ban, rendered our faith at once freer, more inward and more 
domestic. God is near us everywhere, and consecrates for us every 
country, from which the fixing of our gaze beyond the Alps would 
alienate us. 

Probably some sects and parties, non-conformity here and there 
among the heathen themselves, nay, in individual minds a precoci 
ous elevation of sentiment and morals, came half-way to meet 
the introduction of Christianity, as afterwards its purification 
(see Suppl.). It is remarkable that Old Norse legend occasionally 
mentions certain men who, turning away in utter disgust and doubt 
from the heathen faith, placed their reliance on their own strength 
and virtue. Thus in the Solar Iio5 17 we read of Vebogi and 
Eadey a sik ]?au truftu, in themselves they trusted ; of king Hakon 
(Fornm. sog. 1, 35) konungr gerir sem allir aftrir, ]?eir sem trua a 
matt sinn ok megin, the king does like all others who trust in their 
own might and main ; of BarSr (ibid. 2, 151) ek trui ekki a skurSgoS 
eSr fiandr, hefi ek )?vi lengi truat a matt minn ok megin, I trust not 
in idols and fiends, I have this long while, &c. ; of Hiorleifr * vildi 
aldri biota, would never sacrifice (Landn. 1, 5.7) ; of Hallr and 
Thorir goolaus^s vildu eigi biota, ok truSu a matt sinn (Landn. 1, 
11) ;. of king Hrolfr (Fornm. sog. 1, 98) ekki er J^ess getit at Hrolfr 
konungr ok kappar hans hafi nokkurn tima blotat go5, heldr truftu 
& matt sinn ok megin, it is not thought that king H. and his cham 
pions have at any time, &c.; of Orvaroddr (Fornald. sog. 2, 165 ; cf. 
505) ekki vandist blotum, J?vi hann trufti a matt sinn ok megin ; 
of Finnbogi (p. 272) ek trui a sialfan mik. This is the mood that 
still finds utterance in a Danish folk-song (D.V. 4, 27), though 
without a reference to religion : 


Forst troer jeg mit gode svard. 
Og saa min gode hest, 
Dernast troer jeg mine dannesvenne, 
Jeg troer mig self allerbedst ; 

and it is Christian sentiment besides, which strives to elevate and 
consecrate the inner man (see Suppl.). 

We may assume, that, even if Paganism could have lived and 
luxuriated a while longer, and brought out in sharper relief and 
more spontaneously some characteristics of the nations that obeyed 
it, yet it bore within itself a germ of disorganisation and disrup 
tion, which, even without the intervention of Christian teaching, 
would have shattered and dissolved it. 1 I liken heathenism to a 
strange plant whose brilliant fragrant blossom we regard with 
wonder ; Christianity to the crop of nourishing grain that covers 
wide expanses. To the heathen too was germinating the true God, 
who to the Christians had matured into fruit. 

At the time when Christianity began to press forward, many of 
the heathen seem to have entertained the notion, which the mis 
sionaries did all in their power to resist, of combining the new 
doctrine with their ancient faith, and even of fusing them into one. 
Of Norsemen as well as of Anglo-Saxons we are told, that some 
believed at the same time in Christ and in heathen gods, or at least 
continued to invoke the latter in particular cases in which they 

1 Old Norse sagas and songs have remarkable passages in which the gods 
are coarsely derided. A good deal in Lokasenna and Harbard s song may 
pass for rough joking, which still leaves the holiest things unshaken (see 
Suppl.). But faith has certainly grown fainter, when a daring poet can com 
pare Ooinn and Freyja to dogs (Fornm. sog. 2, 207. Islend. sog. 1, 11. ed. nov. 
372. Nialss. 160) ; when another calls the gods rangeyg (squint-eyed, unfair) 
and rokindusta (Fornm. sog. 2, 154). When we come to Freyr, I shall quote a 
story manifestly tending to lessen the reverence for him ; but here is a pas 
sage from Oswald 2913 : * din got der ist ein junger tor (fool), ich wil glouben 
an den alten. If we had a list of old and favourite dogs -names, I believe we 
should find that the designations of several deities were bestowed upon the 
brute by way of degradation. Vilk. saga, cap. 230. 235, has handed down 
Thor (but cf. ed. nov., cap. 263) and Paron, one being the 0.1ST., the other the 
Slav name in the Slovak form Parom = Perun ch. VIII. With the Saxon 
herdsmen or hunters Thunar was doubtless in use for dogs, as perhaps Donner 
is to this day. One sort of dog is called by the Poles Grzmilas (Linde 1, 7<i9a. 
2, 798), by the Bohemians Hrmiles (Jimgm. 1, 759) = Thunder, Forest-thunder. 
In Helbling 4, 441 seq. I find a dog WunscHi (not Wiinsch). Similar to this is 
the transference of national names to dogs : the Bohemian BodroJc is a dog s 
name, but signifies an Obotrite (Jungm. 1, 150) ; Sclmr in the Nialssaga seems 
to mean a Same, Sabme = Lapp ; Helbling 4, 458 has a Frank (see Suppl.). 


had formerly proved helpful to them. So even by Christians much 
later, the old deities seem to have been named and their aid 
invoked in enchantments and spells. Landnfimabok 3, 12 says of 
Helgi : hann truSi a Krist, en Ipo het hann a Thor til scefara ok 
harSrsefta ok alls J?ess, er honum Ipotti mestu varoY ; he believed in 
Christ, and yet he called upon Thor in voyages and difficulties, 
&c. Hence the poets too transferred heathen epithets to Christ. 
Beda 1, 15 relates of Redwald, an East- Anglian king in the begin- 
ing of the 7th century : rediens domum ab uxore sua, a quibusdam 
perversis doctoribus seductus est, atque a sinceritate fidei depravatus, 
habuit posteriora pejora prioribus, ita ut in morem antiquorum 
Samaritanorum, et Christo servire videretur et diis quibus antea 
serviebat, atque in eodem fano et altare habebat in sacrificium 
Christi et arulam ad victimas daemoniorum (see Suppl.). This 
helps to explain the relapses into paganism. 

The history of heathen doctrines and ideas is easier to write, 
according as particular races remained longer outside the pale of 
baptism. Our more intimate acquaintance with the Greek and 
Roman religion rests upon writings which existed before the rise of 
Christianity; we are oftener at fault for information as to the 
altered shape which that religion had assumed among the common 
people in Greece and Italy during the first centuries of our era. 
Eesearch has yet to penetrate, even deeper than it has done, into 
the old Celtic faith ; we must not shrink from recognizing and ex 
amining Celtic monuments and customs on ground now occupied 
by Germans. Leo s important discovery on the real bearings of the 
Malberg glossary may lead to much. The religion of the Slavs and 
Lithuanians would be far more accurately known to us, if . these 
nations, in the centuries immediately following their conversion, 
had more carefully preserved the memory of their antiquities; as it 
is, much scattered detail only wants collecting, and traditions still 
alive in many districts afford rich material. On the Finnish 
mythology we possess somewhat fuller information. 

Germany holds a middle place, peculiar to herself and not un 
favourable. While the conversion of Gaul and that of Slavland 
were each as a whole decided and finished in the course of a very 
few centuries, the Teutonic races forsook the faith of their fathers 
very gradually and slowly, from the 4th to the llth century. 
Eemains of their language too have been preserved more fully and 


from the successive periods. Besides which we possess in the 
works of Eoman writers, and especially Tacitus, accounts of the 
earlier undisturbed time of Teutonic heathenism, which, though 
scanty and from a foreign source, are yet exceedingly important, 
nay invaluable. 

The religion of the East and South German races, which were 
converted first, is more obscure to us than that of the Saxons ; 
about the Saxons again we know incomparably less than about the 
Scandinavians. What a far different insight we should get into the 
character and contents of the suppressed doctrine, how vastly the 
picture we are able to form of it would gain in clearness, if some 
clerk at Fulda, Eegensburg, Eeichenau or St. Gall, or one at 
Bremen, Corvei or Magdeburg, had in the eighth, ninth or tenth 
century, hit upon the plan of collecting and setting before us, after 
the manner of Saxo Grammaticus, the still extant traditions of his 
tribe on the beliefs and superstitions of their forefathers ! Let no 
one tell me, that by that time there was nothing more to be had ; 
here and there a footmark plainly shows that such recollections 
could not really have died out. 1 And who will show me in Sweden, 
which clung to heathenism longer and more tenaciously, such a 
composition as actually appeared in Denmark during the twelfth 
century ? But for this fact, would not the doubters declare such a 
thing impossible in Sweden ? In truth, the first eight books of 
Saxo are to me the most welcome monument of the Norse mytho 
logy, not only for their intrinsic worth, but because they show in 
what an altered light the ancient faith of the people had to be 
placed before the recent converts. I especially remark, that Saxo 
suppresses all mention of some prominent gods ; what right have 
we then to infer from the non-mention of many deities in the far 
scantier records of inland Germany, that they had never been heard 
of there ? 

Then, apart from Saxo, we find a purer authority for the Norse 
religion preserved for us in the remotest -corner of the North, 
whither it had fled as it were for more perfect safety, namely, in 
Iceland. It is preserved not only in the two Eddas, but in a 
multitude of Sagas of various shape, which, but for that emigration 

1 As late as the tenth century the heroic tale of Walther and Hildegund was 
poetized in Latin at St. Gall, and a relic of heathen poetry was written down in 
German [deutlich, a misprint for deutsch ?], probably at Merseburg. 


coming to the rescue, would probably have perished in Norway, 
Sweden and Denmark. 

To assail the genuineness of the Norse mythology is as much as 
to cast doubt on the genuineness and independence of the Norse 
language. That it has been handed down to us both in a clearer 
and an obscurer shape, through older and more modern authorities, 
makes it all the easier to study it from many sides and more 

Just as little can we fail to perceive the kinship and close con 
nexion of the Norse mythology with the rest of Teutonic mythology. 
I have undertaken to collect and set forth all that ca.n now be 
known of German heathenism, and that exclusively of the complete 
system of Norse mythology. By such limitation I hope to gain 
clearness and space, and to sharpen our vision for a criticism of 
the Old German faith, so far as it stands opposed to the Norse, or 
aloof from it ; so that we need only concern ourselves with the 
latter, where in substance or tendency it coincides with that of 
inland Germany. 

The antiquity, originality and affinity of the German and Norse 
mythologies rest on the following grounds : 

1. The undisputed and very close affinity of speech between the 
two races, and the now irrefutably demonstrated identity of form 
in their oldest poetry. It is impossible that nations speaking 
languages which had sprung from the same stock, whose songs all 
wore the badge of an alliteration either unknown or quite differently 
applied by their neighbours, should have differed materially in their 
religious belief. Alliteration seems to give place to Christian 
rhyme, first in Upper Germany, and then in Saxony, precisely 
because it had been the characteristic of heathen songs then still 
existing. Without prejudice to their original affinity, it is quite 
true that the German and the Norse dialects and poetries have 
their peculiarities of form and finish ; but it would seem incredible 
that the one race should have had gods and the other none, or that 
the chief divinities of the two should have been really different 
from one another. There were marked differences no doubt, but 
not otherwise than in their language ; and as the Gothic, Anglo- 
Saxon and Old High German dialects have their several points of 
superiority over the Old Norse, so may the faith of inland Germany 
have in many points its claims to distinction and individuality. 


2. The joint possession, by all Teutonic tongues, of many terms 
relating to religious worship. If we are able to produce a word 
used by the Goths in the 4th century, by the Alamanni in the 
8th, in exactly the same form and sense as it continues to bear in 
the Norse authorities of the 12th or 13th century, the affinity of 
the German faith with the Norse, and the antiquity of the latter, 
are thereby vindicated. 

3. The identity of mythic notions and nomenclature, which 
ever and anon breaks out : thus the agreement of the O.H.G. 
muspilli, 0. Sax. mudspelli, with the Eddie muspell, of the O.H.G. 
itis, A. Sax. ides, with the Eddie dis, or of the A. Sax. brosinga mene 
with the Eddie brisinga men, affords perfectly conclusive evidence. 

4. The precisely similar way in which both there and here the 
religious mythus tacks itself on to the heroic legend. As the 
Gothic, Frankish and Norse genealogies all run into one another, 
we can scarcely deny the connexion of the veiled myths also which 
stand in the background. 

5. The mingling of the mythic element with names of plants 
and constellations. This is an uneffaced vestige of the primeval 
intimate union between religious worship and nature. 

6. The gradual transformation of the gods into devils, of the 
wise women into witches, of the worship into superstitious customs. 
The names of the gods have found a last lurking-place in disguised 
ejaculations, oaths, curses, protestations. 1 There is some analogy 
between this and the transfer of heathen myths from goddesses 
and gods to Mary and the saints, from elves to angels. Heathen 
festivals and customs were transformed into Christian, spots which 
heathenism had "already consecrated were sometimes retained for 
churches and courts of justice. The popular religion of the Catho 
lics, particularly in the adoration of saints, includes a good many 
and often graceful and pleasing relics of paganism (see Suppl.). 

7. The evident deposit from god-myths, which is found to this 
day in various folk-tales, nursery-tales, games, saws, curses, ill- 
understood names of days and months, and idiomatic phrases. 

8. The undeniable intermixture of the old religious doctrine 
with the system of law ; for the latter, even after the adoption of 

1 Conf. our dormer ! hammer ! the Serv. lele ! lado ! the Lat. pol ! 
aedepol ! me hercle ! nie castor ! mediustidius, &c. 


the new faith, would not part with certain old forms and usages 
(see JSuppl.). 

In unravelling these complex relations, it appears indispensable 
not to overlook the mythologies of neighbouring nations, especially 
of the Celts, Slavs, Lithuanians and Finns, wherever they afford 
confirmation or elucidation. This extension of our scope would 
find ample reason and justification in the mere contact (so fruitful 
in many ways) of the languages of those nationalities with Teu 
tonic ones, particularly of the Celtic with Old Frankish, of the 
Finnish and Lithuanian with Gothic, and of the Slavic with High 
German. But also the myths and superstitions of these very 
nations are peculiarly adapted to throw light on the course taken 
by our domestic heathenism in its duration and decadence. 

Against the error which has so frequently done damage to the 
study of the Norse and Greek mythologies, I mean the mania of 
foisting metaphysical or astronomical solutions on but half-dis 
covered historical data, I am sufficiently guarded by the incomplete 
ness and loose connexion of all that has been preserved. My object 
is, faithfully and simply to collect what the distortions early 
introduced by the nations themselves, and afterwards the scorn and 
aversion of Christians have left remaining of heathenism ; and to 
enlist fellow-labourers in the slow task of securing a more solid 
store of facts, without which a general view of the substance and 
worth of our mythology is not to be attained (see Suppl.). 


In all Teutonic tongues the Supreme Being has always with 
one consent been called by the general name God. The dialectic 
varieties are : Goth, guff, A.S., O.S., 0. Fris. god, O.H.G. cot, 0. 
Norse goff ; Swed. Dan. gud, M.H.G. got, M.L.G. god ; and here 
there is a grammatical remark to make. Though all the dialects, 
even the Norse, use the word as masculine (hence in O.H.G. the ace. 
sing, cotan ; I do not know of a M.H.G. goten), yet in Gothic and 
0. Norse it lacks the nom. sing, termination (-s, -r) of a masc. noun, 
and the Gothic gen. sing, is formed guffs without the connecting- 
vowel i, agreeing therein with the three irreg. genitives mans, 
fadrs, broSrs. Now, as O.H.G. has the same three genitives irreg., 
man, fatar, pruodar, we should have expected the gen. cot to bear 
them company, and I do not doubt its having existed, though I 
have nowhere met with it, only with the reg. cotes, as indeed 
mannes and fateres also occur. It is more likely that the sanctity 
of the name had preserved the oldest form inviolate, than that fre 
quent use had worn it down. 1 The same reason preserved the 
O.H.G. spelling cot (Gramm. 1, 180), the M. Dut. god (1, 486), and 
perhaps the Lat. vocative deus (1, 1071). 2 Moreover, God and 
other names of divine beings reject every article (4, 383. 394. 404. 
424. 432) ; they are too firmly established as proper nouns to 
need any such distinction. The der got in MS. 2, 260a. is said of a 
heathen deity. 

On the radical meaning of the word God we have not yet 
arrived at certainty ; 3 it is not immediately connected with the adj. 

1 The drift of these remarks seems to be this : The word, though used as a 
masc., has a neut. form ; is this an archaism, pointing to a time when the 
word was really neuter ; or a mere irregularity due to abtrition, the word 
having always been masc. ? TRANS. 

2 Saxo does not inflect Thor ; Uhland p. 198. 

3 The Slav, bogh is connected with the Sanskr. bhaga felicitas, bhakta 
devotus, and bhaj colere ; perhaps also with the obscure bahts in the Goth, 
andbahts minister, cultor ; conf. p. 20, note on boghat, dives. Of 6e6s, deus 
we shall have to speak in ch. IX. 

14 GOD. 

good, Goth, gods, O.N, go or, A.S. god, O.H.G. cuot, M.H.G., guot, as 
the difference of vowel shows ; we should first have to show an 
intermediacy of the gradations gida gad, and gada god, whicli 
does take place in some other cases ; and certainly God is called the 
Good. 1 It is still farther removed from the national name of the 
Goths, who called themselves Gutans (O.H.G. Kuzun, O.N. Gotar), 
and who must be distinguished from 0.~N". Gautar (A. S. Geatas, 
O.H.G. Koza ; Goth. Gautos ?). 

The word God has long been compared with the Pers. Klwdd 
(Bopp, comp. gram., p. 35). If the latter be, as has been supposed, 
a violent contraction of the Zend qvadata (a se datus, increatus, 
Sanskr. svadata, conf. Devadatta eoSoro?, Mitradatta r .EDu<$SoT09, 
Sridatta), then our Teutonic word must have been originally a com 
pound, and one with a very apt meaning, as the Servians also 
address God as samozazdani bozhe ! self-created God ; Vuk 741. 

The O.H.G. cot forms the first half of many proper names, as 
Cotadio, Cotascalh, Cotafrit, Cotahram, Cotakisal, Cotaperaht, 
Cotalint, but not so that we can infer anything as to its meaning . 
they are formed like Irmandio, Hiltiscalh, Sikufrit, and may just as 
well carry the general notion of the Divine Being as a more definite 
one. When cot forms the last syllable, the compound can only 
stand for a god, not a man, as in Irmincot, Hellicot. 

In derivatives Ulphilas exchanges the TH for a D, which ex 
plains the tenuis in O.H.G. ; thus guda-faurhts (god-fearing) Luke 
2, 25, gagudei (godliness) Tit. 1, 1 ; though the dat. sing, is invari 
ably guSa. 2 Likewise in speaking of many gods, which to Christians 
would mean idols, he spells guda, using it as a neuter, John 10, 
34-5. The A.S. god has a neut. pi. godu, when idols are meant 
(cod. exon. 250,2. 254,9. 278,16.). In like manner the O.H.G. and 
M.H.G. compound apcot, aptcot (false god) is commonly neuter, and 
forms its pi. apcotir ; whether the M.H.G. dcr aptgot in Geo. 
3254. 3302 can be correct, is questionable ; we have taken to 

1 ovdels dyatibs fl M efj 6 6(6s, Mark 10, 18, Luke 18, 19, which in Gothic 
is rendered ni hvashun ]mu5eigs alja ains GuS , but in A.S, nis nan man 
god buton God ana . God is the giver of all good, and himself the highest 
good, summum bonum. Thus Plato names him TO dyadov. 

2 In Gothic the rule is to change TH into D before a vowel in inflection, 
as, faSs, fadis, fada, faG ; haubio, -dis, -da, -5. The peculiarity of gut) is 
that it retains TH throughout the sing., giu5, guSs, guSa, guG ; though in pi. 
and in derivatives it falls under rule again. TEANS. 

GOD. 15 

using algott as a masc. throughout, yet our pi. goiter itself 
can only be explained as originally neuter, since the true God is 
one, and can have no plural ; and the O.H.G. cota, M.H.G. gote 
contain so far a contradiction. In Ulph. afguds is only an adj., and 
denotes impius Sk. 44, 22 ; afgudei impietas, Rom. 11, 26 ; et%w\a 
he translates by galiuga (figmenta), 1 Cor. 5, 10. 10, 20. 28, or by 
galiugaguda, 1 Cor. 10, 20 ; and eiv\eiov by galiug sta^s, 1 Cor. 
8, 10. Another KH.G. expression gotze I have discussed, Gramm. 
3, 694 ; Luther has in Deut. 12, 3 die gotzen ihrer goiter, making 
gotze =idolum. In Er. Alberus fab. 23, the gotz is a demigod 1 (see 
Suppl.). The O.K language distinguished the neut. goff idolum 
from the masc. guff deus. Snorri 119 says of Sif it harfagra goo 1 , 
the fail-haired god ; I do not know if a heathen would have said it. 

In curses and exclamations, our people, from fear of desecrating 
the name of God, resort to some alteration of it?potz wetter! 
potz tausend ! or, kotz tausend ! kotz wunder ! instead of Gottes ; 
but I cannot trace the custom back to our ancient speech. The 
similar change of the Fr. dieu into lieu, lieu, guieu* seems to be 
older (see Suppl.). 

Some remarkable uses of the word God in our older speech and 
that of the common people jnay also have a connexion with 
heathen notions. 

Thus it is thrown in, as it were, to intensify a personal pronoun 
(see Suppl.). Poems in M.H.G. have, by way of giving a hearty 
welcome : gote unde mir willekomen ; Trist. 504. Frib. Trist. 497. 

1 Writers of the 16- 17th centuries use olgotze for statue (Stieler says, from 
an allegorical representation of the apostles asleep on the Mount of Olives, 
61 = oil). Hans Sachs frequently has den olgotzen tragen for doing house 
drudgery, I. 5, 418 d 528 d . III. 3, 24 a 49 d . IV. 3, 37 b 99 a . The O.H.G. coz, 
simpuvium Nuniae (Juvenal 6, 343), which Graff 4, 154 would identify with 
gotze, was a vessel, and belongs to giozan=fundere. 

2 Such a fear may arise from two causes : a holy name must not be abused, 
or an unholy dreaded name, e.g., that of the devil, has to be softened down by 
modifying its form ; see Chap. XXXIII, how the people call formidable animals 
by another name, and for Doimer prefer to say donnerwetter (Dan. tordenveir 
for Thursday), donnerwettstein (wetterstein or wetzstein ?), donnerkeil, donner- 
wasche, dummer. In Fornm. sog. 10, 283 we have Oddiner for OSinn ; per 
haps Wuotansheer (Woden s host) was purposely changed into Mutesheer ; 
whether Phol into Falant, is worth considering. 

3 Sangbieu (sang de Dieu), corbieu (corps de D.) vertubleu (vertu de D.), 
morbleu (mort de D.), parbleu (par D.), vertuguieu, vertugoi (vertu de D.), 
morguoi (mort de D.), &c. As early as Renart 18177, por la char bieu. So 
the Engl. cock s bones, od s bones, od s wounds, zounds, &c. Conf. Weber 
metr. rom. 3, 284. 

16 GOD. 

gote suit ir willekomen sin, iurem lande uncle mir (ye sliall be 
welcome to God, your country, and me) ; Trist. 5186. got alrest, 
dar ntich mir, west willekomen ; Parz. 305, 27. wis willekomen 
mir und got ; Frauend. 128, 13. sit mir gote wilkomen 1 ; Eilh. 
Trist. 248. rente got wilkomen mir ; Dietr. 5200. Nu sit ouch 
mir got wilkomen ; Dietr. 5803. sit willekomen got und oueli mir ; 
Dietr. 4619. nu wis mir got wilkomen; Oswalt 208. 406. 1163. 
1268. 1393. 2189. du solt groz willekomen sin dem riclien got 
unde mir ; Lanz. 1082. wis mir unde ouch got wilkomen; Ls. 1, 
514. Occasionally gote stands alone : diu naht si gote willekomen ; 
Iw. 7400, explained in the note, p. 413, as devoted to God, though 
it only means to-night be (thou) welcome . Upper Germany has 
to this day retained the greeting gottwilche, gottwillkein, gotti- 
kum, skolkuom (Staid. 1, 467. Schm. 2, 84). I do not find it in 
Romance poems ; but the Saxon-Latin song of the 10th century 
on Otto I. and his brother Heinrich has : sid wilicomo bethiu goda 
ende mi. The Supreme Being is conceived as omnipresent, and is 
expected, as much as the host himself, to take the new-comer under 
his protection ; so the Sloveny say to the arriving guest bSgh te 
vsprimi, God receive you ! 2 and we to the parting guest God 
guide, keep, bless you ! We call it commending or committing 
one to God, M.H.G. gote ergeben, Er. 3598. I compare with these 
the Hail ! called out to one who arrives or departs (heill ver J?u ! 
Seem. 67 a 86 b ), with which are also associated the names of helpful 
gods : heill J?u farir, heill J?u dsyniom ser ! fare thou well, be thou 
well by (the aid of) the Asynior; Ssem. 31 a . heill scaltu Agnarr, 
allz J?ic heilan biftr vera t$r vera ! Ssem. 40. 

In the same way the name of the omniscient God emphasizes 
an assurance of knowledge or ignorance : daz weiz got unde ick ; 
Trist. 4151. den schatz weiz nu nieman wan (except) got unde 
min; Nib. 2308, 3. 3 This comfortable combination of /with God 
has for its counterpart the opprobrious one of a thou with devil, ch. 
XXXIII. Here too the got alone is enough : ingen vet min sorg 
utan gud; Svenska visor 2, 7. That we are fully justified in 

a The omission of and between the two datives is archaic, conf. Zeitschr. 
f. d. a. 2, 190. 

2 Buge waz primi, gralva Venus! Frauend. 192, 20 ; conf. 177, 14. 

3 hie hcert uns anders nieman dan got unde diu waltvogellin ; Ecke 96. 
niemen bevinde daz wan er und ich und ein kleinez vogellin, das mac wol 
getriuwe sin ; Walth. 40, 15. Birds play the spy on men s privacy. 

GOD. 17 

referring these modes of speech so far back as to the heathen time, 
is shown by a remarkable passage in Fornald. sog. 1, 380 : ek hugSa 
engan kunna nema mik ok O&inn. By secrets which none can 
know save OSinn and to whomsoever he has whispered them, his 
divinity is at once revealed, Stem. 38 a> b , 95 b , Fornald. sog. 1, 487. Not 
quite parallel are phrases such as : daz geloube gote unde mir ; 
Amis 989. in unde gote von himile klage ich unser leit ; Nib. 
1889, 3. ik klage gode unde m; Eichtsteig landr. 11. 16. 37. sane 
die messe beide got u. in ; Parz. 378, 25. Wh. 289, 5. neic si im 
unde gote ; Iw. 6013. Also in O.Fr., jel te pardoins de diu et de 
mi ; Mones untersuch. 245. Sometimes the Evil One is named by 
the side of the Deity : got noch den tiuvel loben ; Iw. 1273. in 
beschirmet der tiuvel noch got ; Iw. 4635, i.e. no one protects him. 

Poems of the Middle Ages attribute human passions to God ; 
especially is He often pictured in a state of complacency and joy 
(see Suppl.), and again in the contrary state of wrath and vengeance. 
The former is favourable to the creation of eminent and happily 
endowed men : got was an einer suezen zukt, do r Parzivalen 
worhte (in amiable trim form, training when he made Perci- 
val) ; Parz. 148, 26. got der was vil senftes muotes. do er 
geschuof so reine ein wip ; MS. 1, 17 b . got der was in frdiden, do 
er dich als ebene maz (so evenly meted) ; MS. 1, 22 b . got in grossen 
freuden was, do er dich schuof (i.e., created wine) ; Altd. bl. 1, 413. 
got der was in Jwhem werde, l do er geschuof die reinen fruht, wan 
ime was gar wol ze muote ; MS. 1, 24 b . got si zer werlde brahte, do 
ze freuden stuont sin muot ; Wigal. 9282. got der was vil.woJ 
gemuot, do er schuof so reinem wibe tugent, wiinne, schcene an libe ; 
MS. 1, 201 a . got was gezierde milte, der si beide schuof nach lobe; 
Troj. 19922. got selb in richen freuden was, do er ir lip als ebene 
maz; Misc. 2, 186. ich weiz daz got in frdiden was, do er niht, 
frouwe, an dir vergaz waz man ze lobe sol schouwen. Ls. 1, 35. 
So a troubadour sings : belha domna, de cor y entendia Dieus, quan 
formet vostre cors amoros; Eayn. 1, 117. 2 It is an equally heathen 

1 The Gothic gavairthi = peace. 

2 To the creative God rejoicing in his work, the M.H.G. poets especially 
attribute diligence and zeal : an den henden lac der gotes fliz ; Parz. 88, 15. 
jach, er triiege den gotes fliz ; Parz. 140, 5. got het sinen fliz gar ze wunsche 
wol an si geleit ; Wigal. 4130. ich ween got selbe worhte dich mit siner got- 
licher hant ; Wigal. 9723. zware got der hat geleit sine kunst mid sine kraft, 
sinen fliz und sine meisterschaft an disen loblichen lip; Iw. 1685. So in 


18 GOD. 

sentiment, that imputes to God a propensity to gaze at human 
beauty, or to do whatever men do : got mohte selbe gerne seken die 
selben juncfrouwen ; Fragm. 22*. gott moht in (him, i.e. the 
musician) gerne hwren in sinen himelkoeren; Trist. 7649. den slac 
scolte got selbe haben gesehen (should have seen that stroke) ; Eol. 
198, 18. Karl 72 . got selbe moht ez gerne sehen ; Trist. 6869. ein 
puneiz (diadem), daz in got selber mohte sehen ; Frauend. 84, 16. 
gestriten dazz d engel mohten hoeren in den niun kceren ; Willeh. 
230, 27. si mohte nach betwingen mite (might nigh compel 
withal) eines engels gedanc, daz er vil lihte einen wane durch si 
von himcle tcete (fail from heaven for her) ; Iw. 6500 (imitated by 
Ottocar 166 a ). ich weiz daz wol, daz sin got nicht verdruzze ; MS. 
2, 127 a . ir har gelich dem golde, als ez got wunschen solde; MS. 2 
62 b . sin swert dat geinc (ging, went) an siner hant, dat got selve 
vrdchde mere (would ask to know), we der ritter were ? dey engele 
muosten lachen, dat hey is sus kunde machen ; Haupts zeitschr. 3, 
24. This hilarity of the attendant guardian-angels (ch. XXVIII) 
or valklirs must be thought of in connexion with the laughing of 
ghosts (ch. XXXI). In Hartmann s Erec, when Enite s white hands 
groomed (begiengen) a horse, it says 355 : und waere, daz got Men 
erde rite, ich wa3n, in genuocte da mite, ob er solhen marstaller liode. 
This view of a sympathizing, blithe and gracious god, is particularly 
expressed in the subst. Jmldi, O.N. liylli : Oolns hylli ; Seem. 47 a . 
Ullar hylli ok allra goSa ; Seem. 45 b . 

On the other hand, of the primitive sensuous representation of 
an angry avenging deity (see Suppl.), the most striking example 
will be treated of presently in ch. VIII, under Donar, thunder. 1 
The idea recurs several times in the Edda and elsewhere : reiffr er 
J?er OSinn, reiffr er j?er Asabragr ; Seem. 85 b . OSinn ofreid~r\ Siem. 
228 b . reiff varS ]?a Freyja oc fnasaSi ; Stum. 71 b . she was wroth, 

Chrestien: jaia fist Dex de sa main nue, por nature fere muser, tout le mont i 
porroit user, s ele la voloit contret ere, que ja nen porroit a chief trere ; no Dex, 
s il sen voloit pener, mi porroit, ce cuit, assener, que ja line telle feist, por peine 
que il i meist (see Suppl.). 

1 Piacula ires dcum, Liv. 2, 9. deos iratos habeam ! dii immortelles liomin- 
il)iis irasci et succensere consueverunt, Cic. pro Rose. 16. And Tacitus on this 
very subject of the Germans : propitiine an irati dii, Genii. 5. ira dei, Hist. \ 
26. infensi Batavis dii, Hist. 5, 25. And in the Mid. Ages : tu odium Dei 
nniniumque sanctorum habeas ! Vita Meinwerci, cap. 13 95. crebrescen- 
tibus juui jainque cottidie Dei justo judicio in populo diversis calamitatibus et 
flagellis .... quid esset in quo Deus offensus esset, vel quibus 
posset operibus ; Pertz 2, 547. 

GOD. 19 

and snorted or panted, as the angry wolf in Eeinli. XLII spirtles out 
his beard. guSin reift ordin ; Fornm. sog. 2, 29. 231. gofta gremi 
(deorum ira) is announced ; Egilss. 352. at gremia go5 (offendere 
deos); Fornald. sog. 2, 69. was imo god dbolgan ; Hel. 157, 19. 
than wirdid iu waldand gram, mahtig modag; Hel. 41, 16 (elsewhere : 
diu Sselde, or the world, earth, is gram), ein zornec got in daz gebot 
(bade them), daz uns hie suohten mit ir her ; Parz. 43, 28. hie ist 
geschehen gotes rdche ; Reinh. 975. got wil verviieren sinen zorn ; 
Os w. 717 ich wsene daz got rosche da selbe sinen anden (wreak his 
vengeance) ; Gudr. 845, 4. daz riuwe got ! (God rue it) ; Trist. 
12131. daz ez got immer riuwe ! Trist. 11704. The Lex Bajuv. 
6, 2, in forbidding Sunday labour, says : quia talis causa vitanda 
est, quae Deum ad iracundiam provocat, et exinde flagellamur in 
frugibus et penuriam patimur. How coarse were the expressions 
still used in the 17th century " An abuse that putteth God on 
his mettle, and maketh him to hold strict and pitiless inquisition, 
that verily he shall, for saving of his honour, smite thereinto with 
his fists " ; and again : " to run upon the spears of an offended 
jealous God ". l A wicked man was in the Mid. Ages called gote hide, 
loathed by God. One form of imprecation was to consign a man 
to God s hatred : uz in gotes haz ! Trist. 5449. uz strichet (sheer 
off) balde in gotes haz ! Trist. 14579. nu vart den gotes haz alsam 
ein boeswiht von mir hin ! Frauend. 109, 12. mich hat der gotes 
haz bestanden ; Kl. 518. iuch hat rehte gotes haz (al. foul weather, 
the devil, &c.) daher gesendet beide ; Iw. 6104. so miieze ich 
haben gotes haz ; Altd. w. 3, 212. varet hen an godcs haz ! Wiggert 
2, 47. nu mueze er gewinnen gotes haz; Roth 611. In like manner 
the MLG. godsat hebbe ! Huyd. op St. 2, 350. Reinaert 3196. 2 
But, what deserves particular notice, this formula in gotes haz, or 
in ace. without prepos. gotes haz varn, strichen has a perfect 
parallel in another which substitutes for God the sun, and so heigh 
tens the heathenish colouring ; ir suit farn der sunnen haz ! Parz. 
247, 26. var der sunnen haz ! Unprinted poems of Riiediger 46. 
hebe dich der sunnen haz ! Er. 93. nu ziuhe in von mir der sunnen 
haz ! Helmbr. 1799. si hiezen in strichen in der sunnen haz; Eracl. 
1100. hiez in der sunnen haz hin varn; Frauend. 375, 26. A man 
so cursed does not deserve to have the sun shine on him kindly. 

1 Hartmann on benedictions, Niirnb. 1680, p. 158, 180. 

2 Serious illness or distress is habitually called * der gotes slacj stroke. 

20 GOD. 

The Vandal Gizerich steps into his ship, and leaves it to the winds 
where they shall drive it to, or among what people he shall fall 
that God is angry with, e< ofc 6 0eo? a>pyi.iTai. Procop. de bello 
Vand. 1, 5. 

Such hostile attitude breeds now and then a rebellious spirit in 
men, which breaks out in promethean defiance and threats, or even 
takes a violent practical turn (see SuppL). Herodotus 4, 94 says of 
the Thracians : ovrot, ol avrol Sprj iiees KOI Trpo? Ppovrrjv re /cat 
acrrpaTrrjv To^eijovTes avw Trpo? rov ovpavov, a-TretXeOcrt ra) dew. If 
the god denied the assistance prayed for, his statue was flung into 
the river by the people, immersed in water, or beaten. In the 
Carolingian romances we repeatedly come upon the incident of 
Charles threatening the Deity, that if he deny his aid, he will throw 
down his altars, and make the churches with all their priests to 
cease from the land of the Franks ; e.g. Ferabr. 1211, 1428, &c. 
So dame Breide too threatens to uncover the altar and break the 
holy relics ; Orendel 2395 ; and Marsilies actually, after losing the 
battle, has the houses of his gods pulled down ; Eol. 246, 30. If 
the vintage failed, the statue of Urban was thrown into a bath or 
the river. 1 The Arcadians would scourge their Pan with squills 
(ovaXAat?), when they returned bootless from the chase (Theocr. 7, 
106). The Greeks imputed to their gods not only anger and hate, 
but envy, love of mischief, 

EPITHETS OF GOD (see SuppL). In our modern speech : der Hebe, 
liebste, gnadige? grosse, gute, allmdchtige. In our older tongue : herre 
got der guote ; Keinh. 1296. Gute frau, 276. herro the godo ; Hel. 
78, 3. 90, 6. fro min the godo ; 143, 7. ynwdcger trehtin; Eeinh. 
1309. Freq. the rich God: thie rikeo Christ; Hel. 1, 2. riki 
god; Hel. 195,9. riki drohtin ; Hel. 114,22. der riche got von 
himele; Eoth. 4971. got der riche; Nib. 1793, 3. Trist. 2492. 
(lurch den richen got von himel , Morolt 3526. der riche got mich 
ie gesach ; V.d. wibe list 114. 3 Cot almahtico, cot heilac; Wesso- 

1 When lightning strikes, our people say : If God can burn, we can Imild 
again ; Ettners hebamme, p. 16. 

2 Where God is, there is grace and peace ; of a solemn spot it is said : 
Here dwells der liebe Gott ! And, to drive den lieben Gott from a person s 
room (Lessing 1, 243), means, to disturb a solitary in his sanctum. 

3 OHG. rihhi dives, potens, also beatus ; and dives is near akin to Divus, 
as Bis, Ditis springs out of divit. From the Slav, btighis derived boghdt (dives), 
Lith. bagotas ; compare ops, in-ops (Euss. u-boghiy), opulentus with Ops, the 
liona Dea. Conf. Dieienb. celt. 1, 196. 

GOD. 21 

brunn. Gebet. mahtig drohtin ; Hel. 2,2. frea cdmildig ; Csedm. 
1,9. 10,1. SQ celmihtiga wealdend; Thorpe s anal. 83. manno 
mtitisto (largissimus) ; Wessobr. Geb. vil milter Christ ; Cod. pal. 
350, 56. The AS. has freq. : ece dryhten, aeternus ; Caidm. 246, 
I 11. Beow. 3382. 3555. 4655. Also : witig god, sapiens ; Beow. 
1364,2105. Csedm. 182, 24. witig dryhten; Beow. 3101. 3679. 
I Cnedin. 179, 8. witig wuldorcyning ; Csedm. 242, 30. Waltant got ; 
iHild. waldindinger got; Eoth. 213. 523. 1009. 2332. 4031. 
waltant Krist : 0V. 25, 91. Gudr. 2243. (AS.) luealdend ; Credm. 
9, 25. wuldres wealdend; Beow. 4. heofnes wealdend; Csedm. 
17, 15. J?eoda wealdend. feeder alwealda-, Beow. 630. (OS.) 
waldand ; Hel. 4, 5. 6, 6. waldand god 3, 17. waldand drohtin 
1,19. alowaldo^S. 5,20. 8,2. 69,23. This epithet is not found 
in the Edda. The notion of wielding , dominari, regere, is further 
applied to the Supreme Being in the phrase es walten, Parz. 568, 1. 
En. 7299. 10165. 13225. So our gottwalt s ! M. But. godwouds ! 
Huyd. op St. 2, 548. Our ace. in das wait Gott ! is a blunder ; 
Agricola 596. Praet. weltb. 2, 50. God is occasionally called the 
Old : der alte Gott lebt noch, i.e. the same as ever. A.S. eald metod. 
MHG. hat got sin alt gemiiete ; Wh. 66, 20. der aide got ; Eoth. 
4401. popul. der alte Vater . In a Servian song (Vuk 2, 244. 
Montenegro 101), bogh is named stari krvnik , the old blood- 
shedder, killer; and in Erauenlob MS. 2, 214 b der alte friedel 
(sweetheart). The 13th century poets sometimes use the Lat. 
epithet altissimus, Wh. 216, 5. 434, 23. Geo. 90, 401 ; with which 
may be compared the MHG. diu hohste hant, Parz. 484, 6. 487, 20. 
568, 8. Wh. 134, 7. 150, 14. and the OHG. zi waltanteru henti, 
0V. 25, 91. The all- wielding God is at the same time the all- 
seeing, all-knowing, all-remembering ; hence it is said of fortunate 
men, that God mw them, and of unfortunate, that God forgot them : 
(OHG.) kesah tih kot ! = te felicem ! N. Boeth. 145. (MHG.) 
gesach in got! Chappy he! Altd. bl. 1, 347. so mir got ergaz ; 
Troj. kr. 14072. so hat got min vergezzen ; Mb. 2256, 3. wie gar 
iuwer got vergaz (how utterly God forgot you) ; Iw. 6254. got min 
vergaz ; Ecke 209. got haete siri vergezzen ; Trist. 9243. gensede- 
licher trehtin, wie vergaeze du ie min so ? Trist. 12483. For other 
examples, see Gramm. 4, 175. God, by regarding, guards : daz si 
got iemer schouwe ! Iw. 794. 0. Engl. God you see ! God keep 
you in his sight ! 

22 GOD. 

Among substantive epithets are several which God has in com 
mon with earthly rulers (see Suppl.) : Gothic frduja OS. frd/w, 
frd, AS. frcd ; which name I shall treat of more fully by and by. 
OIIG. truktin, MHG. trehtin, OS. drohtin, AS. dryhten, ON". 
drdttinn. OHG. heriro, MHG. herre, which however, when used 
of God, is never contracted into her, any more than Dominus into 
the Romance domnus, don. Conspicuous above all is the name 
Father (see Suppl.). In the Edda, alfo&r. (Seem. 46 b 88 a 154 b . Sn. 
3. 11. 17), herfacfir, herja fa&ir, valfaffir are applied to OSinn as 
the father of all gods, men and created things. Such compounds 
are not found in the other dialects, they may have sounded heathen 
ish ; though the AS. could use feeder alwealda, Beow. 630, and the 
idea of God as Father became more familiar to the Christians than 
to heathens. The OHG. altfatar = grandfather, 0. i. 3, 6. AS. 
ealdfaider, Beow. 743. 1883, I have nowhere seen applied to God. 
As the Greeks coupled together Zevs jrarrjp, esp. in the voc. ZeO 
Trdrep, and the Eomans Jupiter, Diespiter, Dispiter, Mars pater, 1 
as well as Ajj^r^p, Aa/mdrrjp, Terra mater, so the Lettons bestow 
on almost every goddess the epithet mahte, mahmina= mater, 
matercula (Biittner 244. Bergmann 142), on which we shall have 
more to say hereafter. To all appearance, father Goth, fadr is 
connected with fa];s lord, as pater Tran ^p is with ITOTL^, TroVt?, Lith. 
pats. The AS. meotod, metod, Credm. 223, 14. eald metod, Beow. 
1883. s65 metod, Beow. 3222. OS. metod, Hel. 4, 13. 15, 17. 66, 19, 
an expression which likewise appears in the Edda, miotu&r Sa3m. 
226 b 241, b seems to signify Creator, as verbally it bears the sense of 
mensor, moderator, finitor. The full meaning of metod will not be 
disclosed, till we have a more exact knowledge of the relation 
between the Goth, mitan (to mete) and maitan (to cut), the OHG. 
mezan and meizan; in the Lat. metiri and metere, besides there 
being no shifting of consonant (d for t), the quantity is inverted. 
The ON", miotuffr appears to be also sector, messor ; in Snorri 104. 
105, the wolfs head with which Heimdall was killed is called 
1 miotuSr HeimSallar, and the sword is mans miotuSr ; so in 
Eornald. sog. p. 441, manna miotuSr (see Suppl.). In MHG. 
too, the poets use mezzan of exquisite symmetry in creating : do 
sin (Wunsch s) gewalt ir bilde maz ; Troj. 19626. got selb in 

1 Jane pater ! Cato 134 : but what can Dissunapiter mean in the remark 
able conjuring-spell, Cato 1GO ? 

COD. 23 

riclien frouden was, do er ir lip als ebcne maz ; Misc. 2, 186. er sol 
ze relite lange wwzzen, tier an si so efofte wa2, daz er an si zer weiite 
uie mich vollem wunsche weder des nocli des vergaz ; MS. 1, 154 b . 
got der was in iroiden, do er dich als ebene maz; MS. 1, 22 b 
wer kunde in so gemezzen, Tit. 130. 1. anders denne got uns 
maz, do er ze werke liber mich gesaz, Parz. 518, 21. em bilde 
inezzen is therefore the same thing as ein bilde sckaffen 
to create (Troj. 19805), or giezen to cast, mould (Walth. 45, 
25. MS. 1, 195 b . 2, 22G b ) ; and in Suchenwirt 24, 154 it says : 
* got het gcgozzen uf ir vel, ir miindel rot und wiz ir kel ; which 
throws a significant light on the Gothic tribal name Gduts, A.S. 
Gedt OHG. K6z (see SuppL). AS. scippend, creator, OHG-. scefo, 
scephio, MHG. scliepfcere, Wh. 1, 3. NHG. sclwpfer. Some of 
these names can be strung together, or they can be intensified by 
composition : drolitin god, Hel. 2. 13. waldand fro min, Hel. 148, 
14. 153, 8. fred dryhten, Beow. 62. 186. lif-fred, Ceedm. 2, 9. 108, 
18. 1.95, 3. 240, 33. Beow. 4. The earthly cuning with a prefix can 
be used of God : loiddorcyning, king of glory, Caedm. 10, 32. hevan- 
cuning, Hel. 3, 12, 18. 4, 14. 5, 11. and synonymously with these, 
rodora weard, Csedm. 11, 2. or the epic amplification, irmin-got 
obana abhevane,~RM. got von kimele, Nib. 2090,4. 2114, 1. 2132, 1. 
2136, 1. 

Of such epic formulas (see SuppL), beautiful specimens, all of 
one tenour, can be cited from the poets, especially the Komance : 
they are mostly borrowed from God s dwelling-place, his creative 
power, his omnipotence, omniscience and truth : Dios aquel, que 
esta en alto, Cid 800. 2352. 2465. qui la amont el seint eel 
inaint (abides), Een. 26018. qui maint el firmament, Berte 
129. 149. der hoho sizet unde nideriu sihet, 1ST. ps. 112, 5. qui 
haut siet et de loing mire, Een. 11687. qui haut siet et loins 
voit, Berte 44, 181. Guitecl. 2, 139. der liber der blauen decke 
sitzt, Melander Jocoseria 1, 439. cot almahtico, du himil inti 
erda gaworahtos (wroughtest heaven and earth), Wessobr. Geb. eel 
senhor, qui lo mon a creat, Ferabr. 775. qui tot le mont forma, 
Berte 143. que fezit nueyt e dia, Ferabr. 3997. per aycel senhor que 
fetz eel e rozada (sky and dew), Ferabr. 2994. 4412. qui fist ciel et 
rousee, Berte 28. 66. 111. 139. 171. 188. Aimon 876. qui feis mer 
salee, Berte 67. qui fist et mer et onde, Meon 3, 460. des hant 
daz mer gesalzen hat, Parz. 514, 15. qui fait courre la nue, Berte 

24 GOD. 

136. 183 (v<f>e\7jyepTa Zevtf. par celui qui fait toner, Ren. 
10658. 17780. par qui li soleus raie, Berte 13. 81. der himel und 
erde gebot und die mergriezen zelt (counts the sea-sands, or pebbles), 
Mar. 18. der der sterne zal weiz, Wh. 466, 30. der die sterne hat 
gezalt, Parz. 629, 20. der uns gap des manen (moon s) schin, Wh. 
476, 1. qui fait croitre et les vins et les blez, Ferabr. 163 a . der 
mir ze lebene geriet (planned), Nib. 2091, 4. Kl. 484. der mir ze 
lebene gebot (bade), Roth. 215. 517. 4552. der uns daz leben 
gebot, Mar. 24. (M. Dut.) bi den here die mi ghebot (Gramm. 
4, 134), die mi ghewrochte, Elegast 345. 451. 996. qui tot 
a a baillier (oversee), Berte 35. qui tot a a garder, Berte 7. 
que totz nos a jutgier, Ferabr. 308. 694. 1727. the man- 
cunnies forwardot, Hel. 152, 5. qui sor tos homes puet et vaut, 
Meon 4, 5. dominus qui omnia potest, Docum. of 1264 in Wenk 3, 
no. 151. wider den nieman vermac, A. Heinr. 1355. der aller 
wunder hat gewalt, Parz. 43, 9. der git tmde nimt (gives and 
takes), Parz. 7 9. der weinen und lachen geschuof, Wh. 258, 19. 
der beidiu krump unde sleht gescuof (both crooked and plain), 
Parz. 264, 25. der ane sihet alle getougen (secrets), Diut. 3, 52. 
der durch elliu herzen siht, Frid. 355. der in diu herze siht, Wh. 
30, 29. der ie daz guote geriet (aye the good devised), Greg. 2993. 
ther suntiloso man (sinless), 0. iii. 21, 4. dem nie voller genaden 
zeran (tear, waste), Er. 2490. qui onques ne menti (nunquam 
mentitus), Berte 82. 96. 120. 146. Me on 3, 8. icil dieu qui ne 
ment, et qui fist tot quanque mer serre, Ren. 19338. er mik skop 
ok ollu ra35r, Fornm. sog. 1, 3. sa er 6 llu neftr, ibid. 8, 107. er 
solina hefol skapat, ibid. 1, 242. het a ]?ann sem solina skapaSi, 
Landn. p. 139. 

If, in some of the preceding names, epithets and phrases descrip 
tive of God, unmistakable traces of Heathenism predominate, while 
others have barely an inkling of it, the following expressions are 
still more indisputably connected with the heathen way of 

In the Norse mythology, the notion of a Deus, Divus, if not of 
the uppermost and eldest, yet of a secondary rank, which succeeded 
to power later, is expressed by the word as, pi. cesir (see Suppl.). 
Landds (Egilss. pp. 365-6) is patrium numen, and by it Thor, the 
chief god of the North, is designated, though d-s and allmdttki as is 
given to OSinn (Landn. 4, 7). dsmeg-in is divine power : tha vex 

GOD. 25 

honum asmegin halfu, Sn. 26. fceraz i asmegin, Sn. 65. But the 
name must at one time have been universal, extending over Upper 
Germany and Saxony, under such forms as : Goth. OHG. ans, pi. 
anseis, ensi, AS. 6s, pi. es (conf. our gans, with ON. gas, pi. 
gaess, AS. gos, pi. ges ; and hose hansa). It continued to form 
a part of proper names : Goth. Ansila, OHG. Anso ; the OHG. 
Anshelm, Anshilt, Anspald, Ansnot coriespondin sense to Cotahelm, 
Cotahilt, &c. ; AS. Osweald, Oslaf, Osdaag, Osred ; ON. Asbiorn, 1 
Asdis, Asgautr, Aslaug, Asmundr, &c. Now in Ulphilas Lu. 2, 
41-2, ans denotes a beam, So/eo?, which is also one meaning of the 
OK as, whether because the mighty gods were thought of as joist, 
rafter and ceiling of the sky, or that the notions of jugum and 
mountain-ridge were associated with them, for as is especially used 
of jugum terrae, mountain-ridge, Pan. bierg-aas (dettias = sliding 
beam, portcullis, Landn. 3, 17). But here we have some other 
striking passages and proofs to weigh. An AS. poem couples 
together esa gescot and ylfa gescot/ the shots of anses and of 
elves, jaculum divorum et geniorum, just as the Edda does sesir and 
aifar, Ssem. 8 b 71* 82 a 83 b . Jornandes says, cap. 13 : Turn Gothi, 
magna potiti per loca victoria, jam proceres suos quasi qui fortuna 
vincebant, non puros homines, sed semideos, id est anses (which 
would be anseis) vocavere. What can be plainer ? The Norse sesir 
in like manner merge into the race of heroes, and at much the 
same distance from an elder dynasty of gods whom they have 
dethroned. And here the well-known statement of Suetonius and 
Hesychius, 2 that the Etruscans called the gods cesares or cesi, may 
fairly be called to mind, without actually maintaining the affinity 
of the Etruscan or Tyrrhenian race with the ancient German, 
striking as is the likeness between Tvpprjvos, Tupa-r^vos and the ON. 
Jmrs, OHG. durs. 3 

I The significance of this analogy, however, is heightened, when 
1 Ursus divinus, Asbirna (ursa divina), for which the Waltharius has the 
brid Ospirn, prop. Anspirn ; conf. Reinh. fuchs p. ccxcv. For Asketill, 
Oscytel, see end of ch. III. 

2 Suet. Octavian. cap. 97. futuriimqiie, nt inter deos referretur, quod 
cesar, id est reliqua pars e Csesaris nomine, Etrusca lingua deus vocaretur. 
Hesych. s.v. alvoi. @ol VTTO r&v Tvpfavuv. Conf. Lanzi 2, 483-4 ; also Dio 
Cass. 56, 29. 

3 Unfortunately ]?urs means a giant, and durs a demon, which, if they 
have anything to do with the Tvpa-rjvoi, would rather imply that these were a 
hostile and dreaded people. TRANS, 

26 GOD. 

we observe that the Etruscan religion, and perhaps also the Roman 
and the Greek, supposed a circle of twelve superior beings closely 
bound together and known by the name of dii consentes or complices 
(see SuppL), exactly as the Edda uses the expressions hdpt and bond, 
literally meaning vincula, for those high numina (Seem. 24 a 89 b . 
Sn. 176. 204), and also the sing, hapt and land for an individual god 
(Soem. 93 b ). Though haptbandun in the Merseburg poem cannot 
with certainty be taken to mean the same thing (the compound 
seems here to denote mere bodily chains), it is possible that deus 
and Sto? are referable to Sew I bind ; that same f ans a yoke, is the 
same thing as the brace and band of all things ; neither can we 
disregard the fact that twelve is likewise the number of the Norse 
sesir ; conf. Ssem. 3 b : sesir or Jm liSi of the set, kindred. 

Some other appellations may be added in support. In the 
earliest period of our language, the neut. ragin meant consilium. 
Xow the plural of this, as used in the Edda, denotes in a special 
manner the plurality of the gods (see SuppL). Regin are the 
powers that consult together, and direct the world ; and the expres 
sions blift regin, 1 holl regin (kind, merciful gods), uppregin, ginregin 
(su perse potestates) have entirely this technical meaning. Ragna- 
rdkr (Goth, ragine riqvis ? dimness, darkness of gods) signifies the 
end of the world, the setting of the divine luminaries. Saem. 
89 b has "rognir ok regin" coupled together, rognir (cf. 196 a ) being 
used to distinguish the individual ragincis (raguneis ? ), masc. 
These ON. regin would be Goth, ragina, as the hopt and bond are 
Gothic hafta and banda, all neut. The same heathen conception 
peeps out in the OS. re#<mgiscapu, m/cmogiscapu, Hel. 79, 13. 103, 
3, equivalent to fatum, destiny, the decree and counsel of the gods, 
and synonymous with wwdgiscapu, Hel. 103, 7, from wurd, fatum. 
And again in mctodogiscapu, Hel. 66, 19. 147, 11. We have seen 
that metod likewise is a name for the Supreme Being, which the 
Christian poet of the Heliand has ventured to retain from the 

1 The blithe, happy gods ; when people stepped along in stately gorgeous 
attire, men thought that gods had appeared : menn hugiSu at ccsir vseri ]mr 
konmir, Landn. 3, 10. The Vpls. saga c. 26 says of SigurS : ]?at hygg ec at 
her /art einn afgofrunum, I think that here rides one of the gods. So in Parz. 
36, 18 : alda wip und man verjach, si ne gesachen nie holt so wiinneclich, ir 
gote im solten sin gctich (declared, they saw never a hero so winsome, their gods 
must be like him). The more reason is there for my note on Siegfried (ch. 
XV), of whom the Nib. 84, 4 says : der dort s6 herUchen gdt (see SuppL). 

GOD. 27 

heathen poetry. But these gen. plurals regano, metodo again point 
to the plurality of the binding gods. 

The collection of Augustine s letters contains (cap. 178), in the 
altercatio with Pascentius, a Gothic or perhaps a Vandal formula 
sihora armen, the meaning of which is simply tcvpie eXerjcrov. 1 Even 
if it be an interpolation, and written in the fifth or sixth century, 
instead of at the end of the fourth, it is nevertheless remarkable 
that sihora should be employed in it for God and Lord. Ulphilas 
would have said : frauja armai. The inf. armen, if not a mistake 
for arme, might do duty as an imperative ; at the same time there 
is a Finn, and Esth. word armo signifying gratia, misericordia. But 
sihora, it seems, can only be explained as Teutonic, and must have 
been already in heathen times an epithet of God derived from his 
victorious might (see SuppL). Goth, sigis, ON. sigr, OHG. sigu y 
AS. sige victoria, triumphus. OcSinn is styled sigr go ft, sigtfjr, 
sigfoftur ; and the Christian poets transfer to God sigidrohtin , Hel. 
47, 13. 114, 19. 125,6. sigidryhten, Ceedm. 33, 21. 48, 20. 
sigmetod, Beow. 3544. vigsigor, Beow. 3108. 2 elsewhere sigoradryhten, 
sigorafred, sigorawealdend, sigoragod, sigoracyning. It is even pos 
sible that from that ancient sihora sprang the title sira, sire still 
current in Teutonic and Ptomance languages. 3 

The gods being represented as superi and uppffyin, as dwelling 
on high, in the sky, uphimin, up on the mountain height (as, ans), 
it was natural that individual gods should have certain particular 
mountains and abodes assigned them. 

Thus, from a mere consideration of the general names for God 
and gods, we have obtained results which compel us to accept an 
intimate connexion between expressions in our language and con 
ceptions proper to our heathenism. The me and God, the graci 
ous and the angry God, the froho (lord) and the father, the behold 
ing, creating, measuring, casting, the images of ans, fastening, band, 

1 The Tcheremisses also pray juma sirlaga, and the Tchuvashes c tora 
sirlag, i.e., God have mercy ; G. J. Miillers saml. russ. gesch. ?, 359. The 
Morduins say when it thunders pashangui Porgiiini pas, have mercy, god 
Porguini ; Georgi description 1, 64. 

2 den sig hat got in siner hant, MS. 2,16 a . 

3 Gott. anz. 1833, pp. 471-2. Diez however raises doubts, Roman, gram. 

28 GOD. 

and ragin, all lead both individually, and with all the more weight 
collectively, into the path to be trod. I shall take up all the threads 
again, but I wish first to determine the nature and bearings of the 


The simplest actions by which man expressed his reverence 1 for 
the gods (see Suppl.), and kept up a permanent connexion with 
them, were Prayer and Sacrifice. Sacrifice is a prayer offered up 
with gifts. And wherever there was occasion for prayer, there was 
also for sacrifice (see Suppl. ). 

PRAYER. When we consider the word employed by Ulphilas 
to express adoration, we at once come upon a correspondence with 
the Norse phraseology again. For Trpoo-fcvvea) the Goth, equivalent 
is inveita, invait, invitum, Matt. 8, 2. 9, 18. Mk. 5, 6. 15, 19. 
Lu. 4, 7-8. John 9, 38. 12, 20. 1 Cor. 14, 25 ; and once for 
aaird^ofjiai, Mk. 9, 15 (see Suppl.). Whether in using this word 
the exact sense of Trpoa/cvvrjo-w was caught, may be doubted, if only 
because it is invariably followed by an ace., instead of the Greek 
dat. In Mod. Greek popular songs, Trpocr/cvvelv is used of a van 
quished enemy s act of falling to the ground in token of surrender. 
We do not know by what gesture inveitan was accompanied, 
whether a bowing of the head, a motion of the hand, or a bending 
of the knee. As we read, 1 Cor. 14, 25 : driusands ana anda- 
vleizn (=antlitz), inveitiS gu5; a suppliant prostration like irpoa- 
Kvv7)<Ti,<$ is not at variance with the sense of the word. An OS. 
giwitan, AS. gewitan, means abire ; could inveitan also have signi 
fied merely going up to, approaching ? Paul. Diac. 1, 8 twice uses 
accedere. Fraveitan is vindicare. Now let us compare the ON. vita 
inclinare, 2 which Biorn quotes under veit, and spells, erroneously, I 

1 Verehrung, O.H.G. ra, Goth. prob. aiza. The O.H.G. er6n is not merely 
our ehren, to honour, but also verehren, revereri (as reverentia is adoration, 
cultus) ; A.S. weorftian, O.S. giwerthon. All that comes from the gods or con 
cerns them is holy, for which the oldest Teutonic word is Goth, veihs, O.H.G. 
wih ; but only a few of the O.H.G. documents use this word, the rest preferring 
heilac, O.S. lias only helag, A.S. hdlig, O.N. Jieilagr. On the connexion of wih 
with the subst. wih, more hereafter. Fr6n denotes holy in the sense of 

2 Cleasby- Vigfusson gives no meaning like inclinare, either under vita to 
fine, or under vita * to wit. TRANS. 


think, vita. From it is derived veita (Goth, vaitjan ?) ; veita heifir, 
honorem peragere ; veita tiolr, sacra peragere ; veitsla, epulum, 
Goth, vaitislo ? l 

The Goth. Hda preces, lidjan precari, rogare, orare, are used 
both in a secular and a spiritual sense. The same with OHG. 
peta sm&pittan; but from peta is derived a petdn adorare, construed 
with ace. of the person whom: O.i. 17, 62. ii. 14, 63. nidar- 
fallan joh mill beton, 0. ii. 4,86-9. 97. iii. 11,25. T. 46, 2. 60, 
1. petota inan, Diut. 1, 513 b . But beton can also express a spiri 
tual orare, T. 34, 1, 2, 3. Mo-man cultores, 0. II. 14, 68. In 
MHG. I find beten always followed by the prep, an (see Suppl.) : 
beten an diu abgot, Barl. 72, 4. an ein bilde beten, ibid. 98, 15. 
so muoz si iemer me nach gote sin min anebet, she must after God 
be my (object of) adoration, Ben. 146. Our bitten ask, beten pray, 
anbeten adore, are distinct from one another, as bitte request is from 
gebet prayer. The OS. beddn is not followed by ace., but by prep. 
te : bedon te miimn barma, Hel. 33, 7. 8 ; and this of itself would 
suggest what I conjectured in my Gramm. 2, 25, that bidjan origin 
ally contained the physical notion of jacere, prosterni, which again 
is the only explanation of Goth, badi K\W&IOV a bed, and also of 
the old badu, AS. beado rr canles, strages. 2 The AS. New Test, 
translates adorare by ge-edft-medan, i.e., to humble oneself. The 
MHG. flehen, when it signifies supplicare, governs the dat. : gote 
flehen, Aegid. 30. den goten vlehen, Parz. 21, 6. Wh. 126, 30. 
Tiirl. Wh. 71 a ; but in the sense of demulcere, solari, the ace., Parz. 
119, 23. 421, 25. Nib. 499, 8 (see Suppl.). 3 It is the Goth frldihan, 
fovere, con solari. An OHG. flehon vovere I only know from N. 
cap. 8, Bth. 178, and he spells it flehon: ten (ace. quern) wir fle- 
hoton. We say zu gott flehen j but gott anflehen . The Goth. 
aihtron irpocrev-^eadai, Trpoo-aireiv expresses begging rather than 
asking or praying. The OHG. diccan, OS., thiggian, is both 
precari and impetrare, while AS. fricgan, ON., Mggja, is invariably 

1 Bopp, Comp. grain, p. 128, identifies inveita with the Zend nivaedhayemi 

2 What was the physical meaning of the Slav, moliti rogare, molitise orare, 
Boh. modliti se, Pol. modlid si^ ] The Sloven, moliti still means porrigcTc, 
conf. Lith. meldziu rogo, inf. melsti, and malda oratio. Pruss. madia, conf. 
Goth. ma]?ljan loqui, ma]?leins loquela, which is next door to oratio. 

3 Iw. 3315 vlegete got ; but in the oldest MS. vlehete gote. 


impetrare, accipere, so that asking has passed over into effectual 
asking, getting (see Suppl.). 

Another expression for prayer is peculiar to the Norse and AS. 
dialects, and foreign to all the rest : OK Ion or been, Swed. Dan. 
Ion, AS. len, gen. bene f., Csedm. 152, 26, in Chaucer bone, Engl. 
boon ; from it, bena supplex, bensian supplicare. Lastly the Icel. 
Swed. dyrka, Dan. dyrke, which like the Lat. colere is used alike of 
worship and of tillage, seems to be a recent upstart, unknown to 
the OIsT. language. 

On the form and manner of heathen prayer we lack informa 
tion ; I merely conjecture that it was accompanied by a looking lip 
to heaven, lending of the body (of which bidjan gave a hint), folding 
of hands, bowing of knees, uncovering of the head. These gestures 
grow out of a crude childlike noti ;n of antiquity, that the human 
suppliant presents and submits himself to the mighty god, his 
conqueror, as a defenceless victim (see Suppl.). Precari deos ccelum- 
que suspicere is attested by Tacitus himself, Germ. 10. Genuflec- 
tere is in Gothic knussjan, the supplicare of the Eomans was flexo 
corpore adorare. Falling down and bowing were customs of the 
Christians too ; thus in Hel. 47, 6. 48, 16. 144, 24 we have : te 
bedu hnigan. 58, 12 : te drohtine hnigan. 176, 8 : te bedu fallan. 
145, 3 : gihneg an kniobeda. In the SolarlioS is the remarkable 
expression : henni ec laut, to her (the sun) I bowed, Ssem. 126 tt ; 
from luta inclinare. falla a kne ok luta, Vilk. saga cap. 6. nu 
strauk kongsdottir sinn legg, ok mselti, ok ser i loptiff upp, (stroked 
her leg, and spoke, and looks up to the sky), Vilk. saga cap. 61. 
So the saga of St. Olaf tells how the men bowed before the statue 


of Thor, lutu Ipvi skrimsli, Fornm. sog. 4, 247. fell til iardar fyrir 
likneski (fell to earth before the likeness). Fornm. sog. 2, 108. 
The Langobards are stated in the Dial. Gregorii M. 3, 28 to have 
adored submissis cervicibus a divinely honoured goat s head. In the 
Middle Ages people continued to bow to lifeless objects, by way of 
blessing them, such as a loved country, the road they had traversed, 
or the day. 1 Latin writers of the time, as Lambert, express urgent 
entreaty by pedibus provolvi ; the attitude was used not only to 

1 Dem stige nigen, Iw. 5837, dem wege nigen, Parz. 375, 26. clem lande 
nigen, Trist. 11532. nigen in daz lant, Wigal. 4018. nigen in elliu lant, Iw. 
7755. in die werlt nigen, Frauend. 163, 10. den stigen und wegen segeu 
tuon, Iw. 357 (see Suppl.). 


God, but to all whom one wished to honour : neig im uf den fuoz, 
Morolt 41 b . hie viel sie uf sinen vuoz, Iw. 8130. ouch nige ich ir 
unz uf den fuoz, MS. 1, 155 a . valle fiir si (fall before her), und nige 
uf ir fuoz, MS. 1, 54 a . buten sich (bowed) weinende uf sinen vuoz, 
Greg. 355. neig im nider uf die hant, Dietr. 55 b . These passages show 
that people fell before the feet, and at the feet, of him who was to 
be reverenced : wilt fallan te minun fotun, bedos te minun barma, 
Hel. 33, 7. sich bot ze tal (bowed to the ground) gein sinen fu ezen 
nieder, Wh. 463, 2. 1 An 0. Boh. song has : sie klanieti bohu, to 
bow before God, Koniginh. hs. 72 ; but the same has also the un- 
Teutonic se Uti w celo prede bohy, to beat one s brow before God. 2 
Uncovering the head (see Suppl.) certainly was from of old a token 
of respect with our ancestors, which, like bowing, was shown to 
deity as well as to kings and chiefs. Perhaps the priests, at least 
those of the Goths, formed an exception to this, as their name pile- 
ati is thus accounted for by Jornandes, qui&.opertis capitibus tiaris 
litabant, while the rest of the people stood uncovered. In a 
survival of heathenish harvest-customs we shall find this uncover 
ing further established, ch. VII. In Nicolai Magni de Gow 
registrum superstitionum (of 1415) it is said : Insuper hodie 
inveniuntur homines, qui cum novilunium priino viderint flexis 
gcnibus adorant vel deposito caputio vel pileo, inclinato capite 
honorant alloquendo et suscipiendo. 3 An AS. legend of Cuftberht 
relates how that saint was wont to go down to the sea at 

1 Fial in sine fuazi, 0. III. 10, 27. an sine fiieze, Karl 14 b . The Chris 
tians in the Mid. Ages called it venie fallen, Parz. 460, 10. Karl 104*. Berth. 
173. Ksrchr. 2958. 3055. Kneeling and kissing the ground, to obtain abso 
lution : da er uf siner venie lac (lay), Barl. 366, 21. den anger maz mit der langen 
venie, Frib. Trist. 2095. venien suoclien, MS. 1, 23 b . Morolt. 28 a . Troj. 
9300. terrae osculationibus, quas venias appellant, Fez. bibl. ascet. 8, 440. gie 
ze kirchen und banekte (prostrated ?) ze gote siniu glider mit venien und gebet, 
Cod. kolocz. 180. 

2 The tchelo-bitnaya, beating of the forehead in presenting a petition, was 
prohibited in Russia by Catherine II. Conf. pronis vultibus adorare, Helm old 
1, 38. 

3 What else I have collected about this practice, may be inserted here : 
elevato a capite pileo alloquitur seniorem, Dietm. Merseb. p. 824 (an. 1012). 
sublata cydare surgens inclinat honeste, Ruodlieb 2, 93. Odofredus in I. 
secundo loco digest, de postulando : Or signori, hie colligimus argumentum, 
quod aliquis quando veniet coram magistratu debet ei revereri, quod est contra 
Ferrarienses, qui, si essent coram Deo, non extraherent sibi capellum vel birretum 
de capite, nee flexis genibus postularent. Pilleus in capite est, Isengrimus 1139. 
oster la chape (in saluting), Meon 4, 261. gelupfet den huot, Ms H. 3,330. 
sinen huot er abenam, hiemit eret er in also, Wigal. 1436. er z6di durch sin 
hubscheit den huot gezogenlichen abe, Troj. 1775. do stuont er uf geswinde 


night, and standing up to his neck in the briny breakers, to sing his 
prayers, and afterwards to kneel down on the shingles, with palms 
stretched out to the firmament. 1 Lifting up and folding of the 
hands (sne Suppl.) was also practised to a master, particularly to a 
feudal lord. In Ls. 3, 78 we have bat mit zertdnen armen prayed 
with outspread arms. The Old Bavarian stapfsaken (denial of 
indebtedness) was accompanied by elevation of the hands, EA. 927 
(see Suppl.). It is not impossible that the Christian converts 
retained some heathen customs in praying. In a manuscript, pro 
bably of the 12th century, the prayers are to be accompanied by 
some curious actions: so miz (measure) den ubir dinherza in modum 
crucis, unde von dem brustleffile zuo demo nabile, unde miz denne von 
eime rippe unz an daz andire, unde sprich alsus. Again : so miz 
denne die rehtun hant von deme lengistin vingire unz an daz resti 
(wrist), unde miz denne von deme dumin zuo deme minnisten vin 
gire. One prayer was called der vane (flag) des almehtigin gotis ; 
nine women are to read it nine Sundays, so ez morginet ; the 
ninth has to read the psalm Domini est terra, in such a posture 
daz ir lib niet ruore die erde, wan die ellebogin unde diit, chnie 
that her body touch not the ground, except at the elbows and knees; 
the others are all to stand till the lighted candle has burnt out ; 
Diut. 2, 292-3. 

We cannot now attach any definite meaning to the Gothic 
aviliudon ev^apiaTelv ; it is formed from aviliud %?, which 
resembles an O. Sax. alat, olat gratiae ; does it contain liuS cantus, 
and was there moreover something heathenish about it? (See 
Suppl.). The old forms of prayer deserve more careful collecting; 
the Norse, which invoke the help of the gods, mostly contain the 

gnuoc, ein schapel daz er uf truoc von gimmen und von golde fin, daz nam er ab 
dem houpte sin, Troj. 18635. er zucket im sin feopoft, l^ 8 * 3, 35. er was gereit, 
daz er von dem houbt den liuot liez vliegen imd sprach, Kolocz. 101. Festus 
explains : lucem facere dicuntur Saturno sacrificantes, id est capita detegere; 
again : Saturno fit sacrificium capite aperto ; conf. Macrob. Sat. 1, 8. Serv. in 
Virg. 3, 407. 

1 Waes gewunod Ipset he wolde gan on niht to sae, and standan on ]?am 
sealtum brimme, 0(5 his swuran, singende his gebedn, and siSSan his cneowu 
on ]?am.ceosle gebygde, astrehtum handbredum to heofenlicum rodere; Thorpe s 
analecta, pp. 76-7. homil. 2. 138. [I have thought it but fair to rescue the 
saint from a perilous position in which the German had inadvertently placed 
him by making him " wade into the sea up to his neck, and kneel down to 
sing his prayers ". TRANS.] In the O.Fr. jeu de saint Nicolas, Tervagant 
has to be approached on bare elbows and knees ; Legrand fabl. 1, 343. 



verb dug a with the sense propitium esse: biS ec Ottari oil goS duga, 
(I Ot. pray all, &c.), Seem. 120 b . bio> J?a disir duga, S^ern. 195 a . 
Duga means to belp, conf. Gramm. 4, 687. There is beauty in the 
ON. prayer: biSjom herjafoSr i hugom sitja (rogemus deum in 
animis sedere nostris), Ssem. 113 , just as Christians pray the Holy 
Ghost to descend : in herzen unsen sdzi, 0. iv. 5, 30 (see Suppl.). 

Christians at prayer or confession looked toward the East, and 
lifted up their arms (Bingham lib. xi. cap. 7, ed. hal. 3, 273) ; and 
so we read in the Kristinbalkr of the old Gulathing law: ver skulum 
Itita austr, oc biSja til ens helga Krists ars ok friSar/ we must bow 
east, and pray the holy Christ for plenty and peace (conf. Syntagma 
do baptismo p. 65) ; in the Waltharius 1159 : contra orientalem 
prostratus corpore partem precatur ; in AS. formulas : edstweard 
ic stande ; and in Troj. 9298. 9642 : keret iuch gen orient. The 
heathens, on the contrary, in praying and sacrificing, looked North 
wards : horfa (turn) i norftr, Fornm. sog. 11, 134. leit (looked) i 
norftr, Ssem. 94 a . beten gegen mitternacht, Keisersperg omeiss 49 b . 
And the North was looked upon by the Christians as the unblessed 
heathen quarter, on which I have given details in EA. 808 ; it was 
unlucky to make a throw toward the north, EA. 57 ; in the Lombard 
boundary-treaties the northern tract is styled nulla ora/ E A. 544. 
These opposite views must serve to explain a passage in the Eoman 
de Eenart, where the fox prays christianly, and the wolf heatlitnly, 
Eeinh. fuchs p. xli. 1 

As the expressions for asking and for obtaining, pp. 30, 31, are 
identical, a prayer was thought to be the more effectual, the more 
people it was uttered by : 

got enwolde so manegem munde 
sin genade niht versagen. Wigal. 4458. 

die juncvrouwen baten alle got, 
nu ist er so gneedec unt so guot 
unt so reine gemuot, 
daz er niemer kunde 
so manegem siiezen munde 
betelichiu dine versagen. Iw. 5351. 

1 At the abrenuntiatio one had to face the sunset, with wrinkled brow (fronte 
caperata), expressing anger and hatred ; but at the confession of faith, to face 
the sunrise, with eyes and hands raised to heaven ; Bingham lib. xi. cap. 7. 
13.14. Conf. Joh. Olavii synt. de baptismo, pp. 64-5. 


in (to the nuns) waren de munde so royt, 
so wes si god baden, 
of syt mit vlize daden, 
he id in nummer inkunde 
dem rosenroten munde 
bedelicher dinge versagen. 

Ged. von der vrouwen sperwere, Cod. berol. 184, 54 d . Hence : 
Mfen singen, MS. 1, 57 a . 2, 42 b . Conf. cento novelle 61. 1 

SACRIFICE. The word opfer, a sacrifice, was introduced into 
German by Christianity, being derived from the Lat. offero. offe/rre? 
The AS. very properly has only the verb offrian and its derivative 
offrung (oblatio). In OHG., from opfaron, opforon there proceeded 
also a subst. opfar, MHG. ophern and opher 3 and from Germany 
the expression seems to have spread to neighbouring nations, ON". 
offr t Swed. Dan. offer t Lith. appiera, Lett, uppuris, Esth. ohwer, Fin. 
uhri, Boh. of era, Pol. qfiara, Sloven, ofer. Everywhere the original 
heathen terms disappeared (see Suppl.). 

The oldest term, and one universally spread, for the notion to 
worship (God) by sacrifice, was llotan (we do not know if the 
Goth. pret. was baiblot or blotaida) ; I incline to attach to it the 
full sense of the Gk. Oveirf (see Suppl.). Ulphilas saw as yet no 
objection to translating by it cre/Bea-Oat, and \arpevew, Mk. 7, 7. 

1 Mock-piety, hypocrisy, was branded in the Mid. Ages likewise, by strong 
phraseology : er wil gote die fueze abezzen (eat the feet off), Ls. 3, 421. Fragm. 
28*. Mones anz. 3, 22. unserm Herrgott die fuess abbeissen wollen (bite off), 
Schmeller 2, 231. den heiligen die fuss abbeten wollen (pray the saints feet off 
them), Simplic. 1. 4, 17. herrgottbeisser, Hofer 2, 48. herrgottfisler (fiiszler), 
Schmid 1, 93. heiligenfresserin, 10 ehen, p. 62. So the Ital. mangiaparadiso, 
Fr. mangeur de crucefix, Boh. Pol. liciobrazek (licker of saints). A sham 
saint is indifferently termed kapeltrete, tempeltrete, tempelrinne, Hones schausp. 
p. 123. 137 (see Suppl.). 

2 Not from operari, which in that sense was unknown to the church, the 
.Romance languages likewise using It. offerire, Sp. ofrecer, Fr. offrir, never 
operare, obrar, ouvrer ; the same technical sense adheres to offerta, ofrenda, 
o/rande. From oblata come the Sp. oblea, Fr. oublie, and perhaps the MHG. 
oblei, unless it is from eulogia, oblagia. From offre and offerta are formed the 
Wei. offryd, Ir. oifrion, aifrion, offrail. Lastly, the derivation from ferre, 
offerre, is confirmed by the German phrase ein opfer bringen, darbringen. 

3 Ophar, opfer could hardly be the Goth, aibr dwpov, in which neither the 
vowel nor the consonant agrees. The Wei. abert, Gael, iobairt, Ir. iodbairt, 
(sacrificium) probably belong also to offerta. 

4 ^When Sozomen hist. eccl. 6, 37 in a narrative of Athanaric uses Trpocncvi/eii/ 
/cat 6vi v , the Gothic would be inveitan jah blotan. 


Lu. 2, 37; he construes it with an ace. of the person: blotan 
fraujan is to him simply Deum colere, with apparently no thought 
of a bloody sacrifice. For \arpeia Eom. 12, 1, he puts Uotinassus, 
and for 0eocre/3r)<; John 9, 31 gpKUdstrtis. The latter presupposes a 
subst. Uostr (cultus, oblatio), of which the S is explained in 
Gramm. 2, 208. Usbloteins (TrapaxXTjcris) 2 Cor. 8, 4 implies a verb 
usbldtjan to implore. Coedmon uses the AS. Uotan pret. bleot, 
onllotan pret. onbleot, of the Jewish sacrifice, and follows them up 
with ace. of thing and dat. of person : blotan sunu (filium sacri- 
ficare) 173, 5. onbleot J?set lac Gode (obtulit hostiam Deo) 177, 21. 
In Alfred s Orosius we have the same Udtan pret. blotte. I derive 
from it lletsian, later blessian, to bless. The OHG. pluozan, pret. 
pliez and pluozta, appears only in glosses, and renders libare, litare, 
victimare, immolare, Gl. Hrab. 959 a 960 a 966 b 968 b . Diut. 1, 245, 
258 a . No case-construction is found, but an ace. of the thing may 
be inferred from partic. kaplozaniu immolata. A subst. pluostar 
sacrificium, Ihwstar, Is. 382. GL emm. 411. Gl. jun. 209. T. 56, 4. 
95, 102 *; pluostarhtis idolium, Gl. emm. 402. ploazlius fanum, 
pluostrari sacrificator, ibid. 405. It is plain that here the word has 
more of a heathen look, and was not at that time used of Christian 
worship ; with the thing, the w^ords for it soon die out. But its 
universal use in Norse heathendom leaves no doubt remaining, that 
it was equally in vogue among Goths, Alamanni, Saxons, before 
their conversion to Christianity. The ON. verb llota, pret. blet and 
blota<5i, takes, like the Gothic, an ace. of the object worshipped ; 
thus, Gragas 2, 170, in the formula of the trygdamal: sva vi5a sem 
(as widely as) kristnir menu kirkior scekia, heiSnir menn hof llota 
(fana colunt); and in the Edda: Thor llota, mik llota, llotafti 05in. 
Sa3m. lll a , 113 b , 141 a , 165 a2 : always the meaning is sacrificio vene- 
rari. So that in Goth, and ON. the verb brings out more the idea 
of the person, in OHG. and AS. more that of the thing. But 
even the O.Dan, version of the OT. uses llothe immolare, 

1 The Gl. Hrab. 954 a : bao,ha, plostar, is incomplete ; in Gl. Ker. 45. Dint. 
1, 166 a it stands : bacha sacriticat, ploastar ploazit, or zepar pWzit; so that it is 
meant to translate only the Lat. verb, not the subst. bacha (/Su^r?). Or per 
haps a better reading is bachat for bacchatur, and the meaning is non 
Kicrificat . 

2 Landn. 1,2: blotaOi hrat na ]?ria, worshipped three ravens, \vho were 
going to show him the road ; so, in Soem. 141 a , a bird demands that cows lie 
sacrificed to him ; the victim itself is ON. bltit, and we are told occasionally : 
feck at bloti, ak bloti miklu, oti ered a sacrifice, a great sacrifice, Landn. 2, 29. 


libamina, Uotelsa holocaustum, Molbech s ed. pp. 171. 182. 215. 249. 
Also the O.Swed. Uplandslag, at the very beginning of the church- 
balkr has : sengin skal affguSum Uotce, with dat. of person, implying 
an ace. of the thing. The true derivation of the word I do not know. 1 
At all events it is not to be looked for in bloS sanguis, as the dis 
agreeing consonants of the two Gothic words plainly show; equally 
divergent are the OHG. pluozan and pluot from one another; 
besides, the worship so designated was not necessarily bloody. A 
remarkable passage in the Livonian rhyming chronicle 4683 tells of 
the Sameits (Schamaits, Samogits) : 

ir Uuotekirl der warf zuo hant 
sin loz nach ir alden site, 
zuo hant er Uuotete alles mite 
ein quek. 

Here, no doubt, an animal is sacrificed. I fancy the poet retained 
a term which had penetrated from Scandinavia to Lithuania with 
out understanding it himself ; for bluotkirl is merely the O.Swed. 
blotkarl, heathen priest ; the term is foreign to the Lithuanian 
language. 2 

A few more of these general terms for sacrifice must be added 
(see Suppl.). OHG. antheiz (hostia, victima), Diut. 1, 240 a . 246, 
258. 278 b ; and as verbs, both antheizon and inheizan (immolare), 
Diut. 1, 246. 258. OHG. insaken (litare), Gl. Hrab. 968 b , insaJcet pirn 
(delibor), ibid. 959 a 960 a , to which add the Bavarian stapfsaken, 
EA. 927 ; just so the AS. onsecgan, Cod. exon. 171, 32. 257, 23. 
onsecgan .to tibre (devote .as sacrifice), Csedm. 172, 30. tiber 
onscegde, 90, 29. 108, 17. tifer onsecge, Ps. 65, 12. lac onsecge 
Cod. exon. 254, 19. 257, 29 ; lac onscegde, Csedm. 107, 21. 113, 
15. Cod. exon. 168, 28. gild onscegde, fedrn. 172, 11. and 
onscegdnes (oblatio). As inheizan and onsecgan are formed 
with the prefix and-, so is apparently the OHG. ineihan pirn 
(delibor), Hrab. 960 a , which would yield a Goth, anddikan ; it is 

1 Letter for letter it agrees with <Aotdeo I light up, burn, which is also ex 
pressed in 0u<0 and the Lat. suffio ; but, if the idea of burnt-offering was 
originally contained in blotan, it must have got obscured very early. 

2 Even in MHG. the word seems to have already become extinct ; it 
may survive still in terms referring to place, as Wofegraben, frfofegarten in 
Hessen, conf. the phrase Uotzen mussen, to have to fork out (sacrifice) money. 
An old knife or sword also is called blotz (see Suppl.). 


from this OHG. ineihhan, which I think Graff 1, 128 has misread 
ireihan, that a later neihhan immolare, libare Graff (2, 1015) seems 
to have risen by apha3resis (Gramm. 2, 810), as neben from ineben ; 
conf. eichon (dicare, vindicare), Graff 1, 127. To this place also 
belongs the OHG. pifelahan (libare, immolare), Diut. 1, 245. 248. 
All this strictly denotes only the on-saying, dedication, conse 
cration of the offering ; and it follows from the terminology at least 
that particular objects were selected beforehand for sacrifice. 1 
Thus antheiz is elsewhere simply a vow, votum, solemn promise, 
intheizan vovere ; hence also the AS. onsecgan has determinative 
substantives added to it. 

In the same sense biudan (offerre) seems to have been in use 
very early, AS. lac bebeodan, C;edm. 173, 9. ON. lodn (oblatio). 
From this biudan I derive liuds (mensa), ON. bioftr (discus), AS. 
Icod (mensa, lanx), OHG. piot, from its having originally signified 
the holy table of offerings, the altar. 

The Goth, fullafahjan (with dat. of pers.) prop, to please, give 
satisfaction, is used for \arpeveiv, Lu. 4, 8 (see Suppl.). In Mk. 1, 
44. Lu. 5, 14 afbairan adferre, Trpocrfapeiv, is used of sacrifice ; and 
in AS. the subst. "bring by itself means oblatio ; so Wolfram in 
Parz. 45, 1 says : si Irahten opfer vil ir goten, and Fundgr. II. 25 : 
ein lam zopphere brdhte. It is remarkable that the Goth, saljan, 
which elsewhere is intransitive and means divertere, manere [put 
up, lodge, John 1, 39. 40] is in Lu. 1, 9. Mk. 14, 12. 1 Cor. 10, 
20. 28 used transitively for Bvpiav and 6veiv, and hunsla saljan, 
John 16, 2 stands for \arpeiav Trpocrtyepew, which brings it up to 
the meaning of OHG. and AS. sellan, ON. selja, tradere, to hand 
over, possibly because the solemn presentation included a personal 
approach. The OHG. pigangan (obire) is occasionally applied to 
worship : piganc (ritus), Diut. 1, 272 a . afgoda legangan, Lacomblet 
1, 11. Gildan, Jceltan, among its many meanings, has also to do 
with worship and sacrifice ; it was from the old sacrificial banquets 
that our guilds took their name. OS. waldandes (God s) geld, Hel. 
3, 11. 6, 1. that geld lestian, Hel. 16, 5. AS. bryne^Wd, holo- 
caustum, Csedm. 175, 6, 177, 18. gild onsecgan, 172, 11. Abel s 
offering is a gield, 60, 5. deofotytWd, idololatria, Beda 3, 30. Cod. 

1 So the O.Boh. obiecati obiet (Koniginh. hs. 72) is strictly opfer verheisscn, 
to promise or devote an offering. 


exon. 245, 29. 251, 24. h^Qugield, Cod. exon. 243, 23. OHG. 
heidan&e/ sacrilegium : gote ir gelt bringent, Warn. 2906. offer- 
micghelstar, sacrificium, Is. 395. dhiu blostar iro ghelstro, Is. 382. 
Peculiar to the AS. dialect is the general term Idc, neut., often 
rendered more definite by verbs containing the notion of sacrifice : 
onbldot J?et Idc gode, Csedm. 177,, 26. dryhtne Idc brohton, 60, 2. 
Idc bebeodan v 173, 9. Idc onssegde, 107, 21. 113, 15. ongan Idc, 
90, 19 (see SuppL). The word seems to be of the same root as the 
Goth. masc. laiks (saltatio), OHG. leih (Indus, modus), ON", leikr, 
and to have signified at first the dance and play that accompanied a 
sacrifice, then gradually the gift itself. 1 That there was playing 
and singing at sacrifices is shown by the passages quoted further 
on, from Gregory s dialogues and Adam of Bremen. 

The following expressions I regard as more definite (see SuppL). 
Ulph. in Eom. 11, 16 renders airap-)^, the offering of firstfruits at 
a sacrifice, delibatio, by ufarskafts, which I derive not from skapan, 
but from skaban (shave) radere, since airapyai were the first 
clippings of hair off the victim s forehead, Odyss. 14, 422. 3, 446. 
If we explain it from skapan, this word must have passed from its 
meaning of creare into that of facere, immolare. The Goth, vitod 
is lex, the OHG. ivizot (Graff 1, 1112. Fundgr. 1, 398 b ) both lex 
and eucharistia, the Fris. vitat invariably the latter alone ; just as 
zakon in Serv. has both meanings [but in Euss. only that of lex]. 
-Ulph. translates Ovaia by Goth, hunsl, Matt. 9, 13. Mk. 9, 49. 
Lu. 2, 24 ; then again \arpe(av Trpocrtyepeiv in John 16, 2 by Jmnsla 
saljan, where the reference is expressly to killing. And Qvo-iao-rrjpiov 
is called hunslastafis, Matt. 5, 23-4. Lu. 1, 11. But the corre 
sponding AS. Msel, Engl. housel, allows of being applied to a 
Christian sacrament, and denotes the eucharist, huselgong the 
partaking of it, kdselfat the sacred vessel of sacrifice ; conf. Csedm. 
260, 5 hdselMu halegu for the sacred vessels of Jerusalem. Like- 
.wise the OK Ms/ in the Norw. and Swed. laws is used in a 
Christian, never in a heathen sense. No Jiunsal is found in OHG.; 
neither can I guess the root of the word. Twice, however, Ulph. 

1 Serv. prilog offering, what is laid before, prilozhiti to offer ; Sloven, dar, 
darina, daritva = dwpov. [Buss. clarii sviatiiye = dupa iepa means ^ the 
eucharist.] The Sloven aldov, bloodless offering, seems not to be Slavic, it 
resembles Hung, aldozat. Qvaia is rendered in 0. Slav, by zhrtva (Kopitar s 
Glagol. 72 C ), in Russ. by zhertva [fr. zhariti to roast, burn ? or zhrati devour, 
zhe ra glutton ?]. 


renders Ovcrla by sduffs, pi. saudeis, Mk. 12, 33. Eom. 12, 1. I sup- 
suppose he thought of the sacrifice as that of an animal slaughtered 
and boiled ; the root seems to be siuSan to seethe, and the OK has 
sauffr a ram, probably because its flesh is boiled. 1 In Eph. 5, 2 we 
have hunsl jah sdu& side by side, for trpocrfopav real dvaiav, and 
in Skeir. 37, 8 gasaljands sik hunsl jah sauft The OHG. zepar is 
also a sacrifice in the sense of hostia, victima, Hymn. 10, 2. 12, 2. 21, 
5. Gl. Hrab. 965 b , Diut. 240 a 272* (see SuppL). We could match 
it with a Goth, tibr, if we might venture on such an emendation of 
the unique dilr Swpov, Matt. 5, 23 (conf. Gramm. 1, 63). My con 
jecture that our German nngeziefer (vermin), formerly migeziber? 
and the O.Fr. atoivre also belong to this root, has good reasons in 
its favour. To this day in Franconia and Thuringia, zicfer, gcziefer 
(insects) not only designate poultry, but sometimes include even 
goats and swine (Reinwald henneb. id. 1, 49. 2, 52, conf. Schm. 4, 
228). What seems to make against my view is, that the A.S. tiler 
cannot even be restricted to animals at all, Csedm. 90, 29. 108, 5. 
172, 31. 175, 3. 204, 6. 301, 1. sigefi&er, 203, 12. sigorfo/er, Cod. 
exon. 257, 30 ; on the contrary, in 60, 9 it is Cain s offering of 
grain that is called tiler t in distinction from Abel s gield ; and in 
^Elfr. gl. 62 b we find vtmtifer, libatio. But this might be a later 
confusion ; or our twigeziefer may have extended to weeds, and con 
sequently zepar itself would include anything fit for sacrifice in 
plants and trees. 3 Meanwhile there is also to be considered the 
ON. tafn, victima and esca ferarum. Lastly, I will mention a 
term peculiar to the ON. language, and certainly heathen : forn, 
fern, victima, hostia, fdrna, immolare, or instead of it fornfara, 
conf. Fornm. sog. 1, 97 2, 76. this forna at the same time, according 
to Biorn, meaning elevare, tollere. AS. forn porcus, porcaster (?). 

1 Rom. 12, 1. present your bodies a living sauS was scarcely a happy 
combination, if sauSs conveyed the notion of something boiled ! Can nothing 
l>e made of s6(5jan satiare soothe (Milton s the soothest shepherd = sweetest, 
Goth, sutista) ? Grimm s law of change in mutes has many exceptions : pater 
father fajder vater (4 stages instead of 3, so mater) ; sessel a settle, and sattel 
a saddle, both from sit sat ; treu true, but trinken drink, &c. TRANS. 

2 Titur. 5198, ungezibere stands for monster ; but what can ungezibele mean 
in Lanz. 5028 vor grozem ungezibele ? nibele ? 

3 Caedm. 9, 2 : ]?a seo tid gewat ofer tiber sceacan middangeardes. This 
passage, whose meaning Thorpe himself did not rightly seize, I understand 
thus : As time passed on over (God s) gift of this earth. The inf. sceacan (elabi) 
depends on gewat ; so in Judith anal. 140, 5 : gewiton on fleam sceacan, began 
to flee ; and still more freq. gewiton gangan. 


If the 6 did not hinder, we could identify it with the adj. forn 
vetus, forn sorcerer, fornceskia sorcery, and the OHG-. furnic 
antiquus, prisons, canus (Graff 3, 628) ; and in particular, use the 
same glosses for the illustration of baccha pluostar. Forn would 
then be the term applied by the Christians to heathen sacrifices of 
the farmer olden time, and that would easily glide into sorcery, nay, 
there would be an actual kinship conceivable between zepar and 
zoupar (zauber, magic), and so an additional link between the 
notions of sacrifice and sorcery, knowing as we do that the verbs 
garawan, wihan and perhaps zouwan [AS. gearwian to prepare, 
Goth, veihan to consecrate, and taujan to bring about] are appli 
cable to both, though our OHG. karo, karawi victima, Graff 4, 241 
(Germ, gar, AS. gearw, yare) expresses no more than what is made 
ready, made holy, consecrated. 1 We shall besides have to separate 
more exactly the ideas vow and sacrifice, Mid. Lat. votum and census, 
closely as they border on one another : the vow is, as it were, a 
private sacrifice. 

Here then our ancient language had a variety of words at its 
command, and it may be supposed that they stood for different 
things ; but the difficulty is, to unravel what the differences in the 
matter were. 

Sacrifice rested on the supposition that human food is agreeable 
to the gods, that intercourse takes place between gods and men, 
The god is invited to eat his share of the sacrifice, and he really 
enjoys it. Not till later is a separate divine food placed before him 
(see Suppl.). The motive of sacrifices was everywhere the same : 
either to render thanks to the gods for their kindnesses, or to 
appease their anger ; the gods were to be kept gracious, or to be 
made gracious again. Hence the two main kinds of sacrifice : 
tf/wwi&-offerings and sw-offerings. 2 When a meal was eaten, a head of 

1 The Skr. kratu sacrifice, or accord, to Benfey 2, 307 process, comes from 
kri facere , and in Latin, facere (agnis, vitula, Virg. eel. 3, 77) and operari were 
used of the sacred act of sacrifice ; so in Grk, pegeiv = cpfaw, Boeot. pe88ew of 
offering the hecatomb, and epSeti/ is epyeii/, our wirken, work , einppsfciv Od. 17, 
211. Qvtiv, pffriv, Spqv, Athenseus 5, 403, as dpa* for dveiv, so dpao-is dvaia. 
The Catholic priest also uses co7ifi,cere, perjicere for consecrare (Csesar. heisterbac. 
9, 27) ; compare the aliquid plus novi facere in Burcard of Worms 10, 16 
and p. 193 C . The Lat. agere signified the slaughtering of the victim. 

a Sw/m-opfer, strictly, conciliatory offerings ; but as these were generally 
identical with Swid-opfer, sin-offerings, I have used the latter expression, as 
short and familiar. THANS. 


game killed, the enemy conquered (see Suppl.), a firstling of the cattle 
born, or grain harvested, the gift-bestowing god had a first right to 
a part of the food, drink, produce, the spoils of war or of the chase 
(the same idea on which tithes to- the church were afterwards 
grounded). If on the contrary a famine, a failure of crops, a 
pestilence had set hi among a people, they hastened to- present 
propitiatory gifts (see Suppl.) . These sin-offerings have by their 
nature an occasional and fitful character, while those performed to 
the propitious deity readily pass into periodically recurring festivals. 
There is a third species of sacrifice, by which one seeks to know 
the issue of an enterprise, and to -secure the aid of the god to whom 
it is presented (see Suppl.). Divination however could also be 
practised without sacrifices. Besides these three, there were special 
sacrifices for particular occasions, such as coronations, births, 
weddings and funerals, which* were also for the most part coupled 
with solemn banquets. 

As the gods show favour more than anger, and as men- are 
oftener cheerful than oppressed by their sins and errors, thank- 
offerings were the earliest and commonest, sin-offerings the more 
rare and impressive. Whatever in the world of plants can be laid 
before the gods is gay, innocent, but also less imposing and effective 
than an animal sacrifice. The streaming blood, the- life spilt out 
seems to have a stronger binding and atoning power. Animal 
sacrifices are natural to the warrior, the hunter, the herdsman, 
while the husbandman will offer up grain and flowers. 

The great anniversaries of the heathen coincide with po 
pular assemblies and assizes. 1 In the Ynglinga saga cap. 8 they 
are specified thus : ]?a skyldi biota i moti vetri (towards winter) til 
ars, enn at miSjum vetri biota til groSrar, it Jmoja at sumri, j?at 
var sigrblot (for victory). In the Olafs helga saga cap. 104 (Fornm. 
sog. 4, 237) . en J?at er siSr J?eirra (it is their custom) at hafa blot 
a haustum (autumn) ok fagna J?a vetri, annat blot hafa )>eir at 
miojum vetri, en hit Jmftja at sumri, J?a fagna ]?eir sumari ; eonf. ed. 
holm. cap. 115 (see Suppl.). The Autumn sacrifice was offered to 
welcome the winter, and til ars (pro annonae ubertate) ; t)he Mid 
winter sacrifice tfl grooYar (pro feracitate) ; the Summer one to 
welcome the summer, and til sigrs (pro victoria). Halfdan the Old 

1 KA. 245. 745. 821-5. 


held a great midwinter sacrifice for the long duration of his life and 
kingdom, Sn. 190. But the great general blot held at Upsal every 
winter included sacrifices ( til ars ok friSar ok sigrs, Fornm. sog. 4, 
154. The formula sometimes runs til arbotar (year s increase), 
or til friftar ok vetrarfars gofts (good wintertime). In a striking 
passage of the Gutalagh, p. 108, the great national sacrifices are 
distinguished from the smaller offerings of cattle, food and drink : 
firi J?ann tima oc lengi eptir si]?an troj^u menn a hult oc a 
hauga, vi ok staf-garjm, oc a hai]?in gu]? blotajm J?air synum oc 
dydrum sinum, oc filepi mi]? mati oc mundgati, J?at gier]?u J?air 
eptir vantro sinni. Land alt hafj?i sir hoystu Uotan inij? fulki, 
ellar hatyi huer ]?rij?iungr sir. En smeri J?ing hatyu mindri 
Uotan med, filepi mati oc mungati, sum haita supnautar : j?i et 
J?air supu allir saman. 

Easter-fires, Mayday-fires, Midsummer-fires, with their numerous 
ceremonies, carry us back to heathen sacrifices ; especially such 
customs as rubbing the sacred flame, running through the glowing 
embers, throwing flowers into the fire, baking and distributing large 
loaves or cakes, and the circular dance. Dances passed into plays 
and dramatic representations (see ch. XIII, drawing the ship, ch. 
XXIII, and the witch-dances, ch. XXXIV), Afzelius 1, 3 
describes a sacrificial play still performed in parts of Gothland, 
acted by young fellows in disguise, who blacken and rouge their 
faces (see ch. XVII, sub fine). One, wrapt in fur, sits in a chair as 
the victim, holding in his mouth a bunch of straw-stalks cut fine, 
which reach as far as his ears and have the appearance of sow- 
bristles : by this is meant the boar sacrificed at Yule, which in 
England is decked with laurel and rosemary (ch. X), just as the 
devil s offering is with rue, rosemary and orange (ch, XXXIII). 
The great sacrificial feast of the ancient Saxons was on Oct. 1, and 
is traced to a victory gained over the Thuringians in 534 (see ch. 
VI) ; in documents of the Mid. Ages this high festival stills bears 
the name of the gemeinwoche or common week (see ch. XIII, Zisa), 
Wiirdtwein dip! magunt. 1 praef. III-V. Sclieffers Haltaus p. 142^ 
conf. Hofers ostr. wb. 1, 306. Another chronicle places it on Sept. 
25 (Ecc. fr. or. 1, 59) ; Zisa s day was celebrated on Sept. 29, St. 
Michael s on the 28th; so that the holding of a harvest-offering must 
be intended all through. In addition to the great festivals, they 
also sacrificed on special occasions, particularly when famine or 


disease was rife ; sometimes for long life : ( biota til langlifi, Landn. 
3, 4 ; or for favour (thockasaeld) with the people : Grimr, er 
blotinn var daucSr (sacrificed when dead) fiir thokkasaeld, ok kallaftr 
kamban , Landn. 1, 14. 3, 16. This epithet kamban must refer to 
the sacrifice of the dead man s body ; I connect it with the OHG. 
pichimpida funus, Mid. Dut. kwiban comere, Diut. 2, 207 a . conf. 
note to Andr. 4. 

Human Sacrifices are from their nature and origin expiative ; 
some great disaster, some heinous crime can only be purged and 
blotted out by human blood. With all nations of antiquity they 
were an old-established custom l ; the following evidences place it 
beyond a doubt for Germany (see Suppl.). Tac. Germ. 9 : Deorum 
maxime Mercurium colunt, cui certis diebus humanis quoque hostiis 
litare fas habent. Germ. 39 : stato tempore in silvam coeunt, 
caesoque publice (in the people s name) homine celebrant barbari 
ritus horrenda primordia. Tac. Ann. 1, 61 : lucis propinquis bar- 
barae arae, apud quas tribunes ac primonim ordinum centuriones 
mactaverant. Tac. Ann. 13, 57 : sed bellum Hermunduris pros- 
perum, Cattis exitiosius fuit, quia victores diversam aciem Marti ac 
Mercuric sacravere, quo voto equi, viri, cuncta victa occidioni 
dantur. Isidori chron. Goth., aera 446 : quorum (regum Gothi- 
corurn) unus Eadagaisus . . . Italiam belli feritate aggreditur, 
promittens sanguinem Christianorum diis suis litare, si vinceret. 
Jornandes cap. 5 : quern Martem Gothi semper asperrima placavere 
cultura, nam victimae ejus mortes fuere captorum, opinantes bellor- 
um praesulem aptius humani sanguinis effusione placandum. 2 
Orosius 7, 37 of Eadagaisus, whom he calls a Scythian, but 
makes him lead Goths to Italy : qui (ut mos est barbaris 
hujusmodi generis) sanguinem diis suis propinare devoverat? 

1 Lasaulx die siihnopfer der Grieclien u. Romer, Wiirzburg 1841. pp. 

2 Conf. COBS, de B. Gall. 6, 17 on the worship of Mars among the Gauls ; 
and Procop. de B. Goth. 3, 14 on the Slavens and Antes : 6ebv p.ev -yap eva TOV 
TTJS dfTTpaTrrjs 8r]p,iovp-yov arrdvrutv Kvpiov p.6vov avrov vopi^ovcriv eivai, KOI dvnvcriv 
avTM /3da? re Kal tepeia avraj/ra. . . . czXX eVfiSai/ avrols ev Ttocr\v fjtir) 6 
Odvaros e ir], fj j/o cro) a.Xovo t fj es TroXeynoj/ Kadi(TTap.fvois, eVayye XXoi/rai /ueV, fjv 
$ia<pvyaxn, Qwiav ra> $ea> avri rr/s "^v^fjs ai/ritca Troirjcrfiv, 8ta(pvy6vTs fie 
flvovaiv oTrcp v7Tf(r^ovTO, KOI o lovrai TTJV aa)TT]pia.v ravTTjs dr) rfjs dvaias avrols 

3 Of him Augustine says, in sermo 105, cap. 10 : Rhadagaysus rex Goth- 
orum . . . Romae . . . Jovi sacrificabat quotidie, nimtiabaturque 
ubique, quod a sacrifices non desisteret. 


Procopius de bello Goth. 2, 15 of the Thulites, i.e. Scandinavians : 
Ovovcrt, $6 6vSe\e%e(7TaTa lepeia irdvra Kal evayi&vcri,. ra>v e 
lepeiwv G$ I<JI rb Ka\\icrTov av6 pa)7T 6 ? eaTLV, ovirep cuv Sopid- 


eVel 6ebv CLVTOV von itpvai peyio-rov elvcu. Ibid. 2, 14, of the 
Heruli : TTO\VV TIVCL vofJbl^ovTes 6ewv opCkov, oD? Srj KOI 
dv0 PCDTTWV Qvaiais Ckdcnteo-Qai ocriov aural? eSo/cet elvat. Ibid. 
2, 25, of the already converted Franks at their passage of the Po : 
eTTika^o/jievoi 8e r?}? <ye(f>vpas ol <f>pdry<yoi, iralSas re KOI y vv ac 
ted $ T&V ToTdc&v, ovsTrep evTCLvOd evpov I e p e v o v T Kal avrcov 
TO, aco/jLara 9 rbv irora/jibv d/c pod iv la r ov TT o\e pov eppiir- 
TOVV. ol fidpftapo!, jap OVTOL, Xpio-riavol 76701/0x6?, ra 7ro\\a TT}? 
TraXata? 0^77? $v\do-o-ovcri,, Qvcriais re ^wfievoi 
Kal a\\a oi>% ocria iepevovres, ravrrj re ra? pavreias 
Sidonius Apollinaris 8, 6 of the Saxons: mos est remeaturis 
decimnm quemque captorum per aequales et cruciarias poenas, 
plus ob hoc tristi quod superstitioso ritu necare. Capitul. de partib. 
Saxon. 9 : si quis hominem diabolo sacrificaverit et in hostiam, more 
paganorum, daemonibus obtulerit. Lex Frisionum, additio sap. tit. 
42 : qui fanum effregerit . . . immolatur diis, quorum templa 
violavit ; the law affected only the Frisians trans Laubachi/ who 
remained heathens longer. What Strabo relates of the Cimbri, and 
Dietmar of the Northmen, will be cited later. Epist. Bonif. 25 (ed. 
Wiirdtw.) : hoc quoque inter alia crimina agi in partibus illis 
dixisti, quod quidam ex fidelibus ad immolandum paganis sua 
venundent mancipia ; masters were allowed to sell slaves, and 
Christians sold them to heathens for sacrifice. The captive prince 
Graecus Avar de (a) Suevis pecudis more litatus (ch. XIII, the 
goddess Zisa). 1 For evidences of human sacrifice among the Norse, 
see Mliller s sagabibl. 2, 560. 3, 93. As a rule, the victims were 
captive enemies, purchased slaves or great criminals ; the sacrifice 
of women and children by the Franks on crossing a river reminds 
of the Greek $ia{3arrjpia ; 2 the first fruits of war, the first prisoner 

1 Adam of Bremen de situ Daniae cap. 24, of the Lithuanians : draconcs 
adorant cum volucribus, quibus etiam vivos litant homines, quos a mercatoribus 
emunt, diligenter omnino probates, ne maculam in corpore habeant. 

2 Hence in our own folk-tales, the first to cross the bridge, the first to 
enter the new building or the country, pays with his life, which meant, falls a 
sacrifice. Jornandes cap. 25, of the Huns : ad Scythiam properant, et quantos- 
cunque prius in ingressu Scytharum habuere, litavere Vidoriae. 


taken, was supposed to bring luck. In folk-tales we find traces of 
the immolation of children ; they are killed as a cure for leprosy, 
they are walled up in basements (ch. XXXV. XXXVI, end) ; and 
a feature that particularly points to a primitive sacrificial rite is, 
that toys and victuals are handed in to the child, while the roofing-in 
is completed. Among the Greeks and Eomans likewise the victims 
fell amid noise and flute-playing, that their cries might be drowned, 
and the tears of children are stilled with caresses, ne flebilis hostia 
immoletur . Extraordinary events might demand the death of 
kings sons and daughters, nay, of kings themselves. Thoro offers 
up his son to the gods ; Worm mon. dan. 285. King Oen the Old 
sacrificed nine sons one after the other to Oo in for his long life ; 
Yngl. saga cap. 29. And the Swedes in a grievous famine, when 
other great sacrifices proved unavailing, offered up their own king 
Domaldi; ibid. cap. 18. 

Animal sacrifices were mainly thank-offerings, but sometimes 
also expiatory, and as such they not seldom, by way of mitigation, 
took the place of a previous human sacrifice. I will now quote the 
evidences (see Suppl.). Herculem et Martem concessis aniwalibus 
placant, Tac. Germ. 9 ; i.e., with animals suitable for the purpose 
(Hist. 5, 4), concessurn meaning sacrum as against profanum ; 
and only those animals were suitable, whose flesh could be eaten 
by men. It would have been unbecoming to offer food to the god, 
which the sacrificer himself would have disdained. At the same 
time these sacrifices appear to be also banquets ; an appointed 
portion of the slaughtered beast is placed before the god, the rest is 
cut up, distributed and consumed in the assembly. The people 
thus became partakers in the holy offering, and the god is regarded 
as feasting with them at their meal (see Suppl.). At great sacri 
fices the kings were expected to taste each kind of food, and down 
to late times the house-spirits and dwarfs had their portion set 
aside for them by the superstitious people. Quadraginta rustici a 
Langobardis capti carnes immolatitias comedere compellebantur, 
Greg. M. dial. 3, 27 ; which means no more than that the heathen 
Langobards permitted or expected the captive Christians to share 
their sacrificial feast 1 These immolatitiae carnes and hostiae im- 

1 I do not know how cvmpellere can be softened down to * permitting or 
expecting . TRANS. 


molatitiae, quas stulti homines juxta ecclesias ritu pagano faciunt 
are also mentioned in Bonifacii epist. 25 and 55, ed. Wiirdtw. 

In the earliest period, the Horse seems to have been the 
favourite animal for sacrifice ; there is no doubt that before the 
introduction of Christianity its flesh was universally eaten. There 
was nothing in the ways of the heathen so offensive to the new 
converts, as their not giving up the slaughter of horses (hrossa-sldtr) 
and the eating of horseflesh ; conf. Malss. cap. 106. The Christian 
Northmen reviled the Swedes as hross-ceturnar ; Fornm. sog. 2, 
309. Fagrsk. p. 63. King Hakon, whom his subjects suspected of 
Christianity, was called upon at hann skyldi eta hrossasldtr ; Saga 
Hak goSa cap. 18. From Tac. ann. 13, 57 we learn that the Her- 
munduri sacrificed the horses of the defeated Catti. As late as the 
time of Boniface (Epist. ed. Wiirdtw. 25. 87 Serr. 121. 142), 1 
the Thuringians are strictly enjoined to abstain from horseflesh. 
Agathias bears witness to the practice of the Alamanni : LTTTTOVS 
re KOL /3o<z?, KOI a\\a aTTa fj,vpia /ca par o /JLOVVT e <? (beheading), 
e7ri0eid&va-i, ed. bonn. 28, 5. Here we must not overlook the 
cutting off of the head, which was not consumed with the rest, but 
consecrated by way of eminence to the god. When Csecina, on 
approaching the scene of Varus s overthrow, saw horses heads 
fastened to the stems of trees (equorum artus, simul truncis arborum 
antefixa ora, Tac. ann. 1, 61), these were no other than the Roman 
horses, which the Germans had seized in the battle and offered up 
to their gods 2 (see Suppl.). A similar immolati diis equi abscissum 
caput meets us in Saxo gram. p. 75 ; in the North they fixed it on 
the neidstange (niftstong, stake of envy) which gave the power to 
bewitch an enemy, Egilss. p. 389. In a Hessian kmdermarchen 
(no. 89) we have surviving, but no longer understood, a reminiscence 

1 Inter cetera agrestem caballum aliquantos comedere adjunxisti, plerosque 
et domesticum. hoc nequaquam fieri deinceps sinas. And , iiiprimis de volatili- 
bus, id est graculis et corniculis atque ciconiis, quae omnino cavendae sunt ab 
esu christianorum. etiam et fibri et lepores et equi silvatici multo amplius 
vitandi. Again, Hieronymus adv. Jov. lib. 2 (ed. basil. 1553. 2, 75) Sar- 
matae, Quadi, Vandali et inmimerabiles aliae gentes equorum et vulpimn carnibus 
delectantur. Otto frising. 6, 10 . audiat, quod Pecenati (the wild Peschensere, 
Nib. 1280, 2) et hi qui Falones vocantur (the Valwen, Nib. 1279, 2. Tit. 
4097), crudis et irnmimdis carnibus, utpote equinis et catinis usque hodie 
vescuntur. Rol. 98, 20 of the heathen : sie essaent diu ros. Witches also are 
charged with eating horseflesh (see Suppl.). 

2 Also in that passage of Jornandes about Mars : huic truncis suspende- 
bantur exuviae. 


of the mysterious meaning of a suspended horse s head. 1 But on 
horse-sacrifices among the heathen Norse we have further informa 
tion of peculiar value. The St. Olaf s saga, cap. 113 (ed. holm. 2, 
181), says : J?at fylgSi ok ]?eirri sogn, at ]?ar vasri drepit naut ok 
hross til arbotar (followed the saying that there were slain neat and 
horse for harvest-boot). A tail-piece at the very end of the 
Hervararsaga mentions a similar sacrifice offered by the apostate 
Swedes at the election of king Svein (second half of llth century): 
var ]?a framleidt hross eitt a ]?ingit, ok hoggvit i sundr, ok skipt til 
dts, en rio)?uSu bloolnu llottrd; kostucSu ]?a allir Sviar kristni ok 
hofust blot ; then was led forward a horse into the Thing, and hewed 
in sunder, and divided for eating, and they reddened with the blood 
the blot- tree, &c. Fornald. sog. 1, 512. Dietmar of Merseburg s 
description of the great Norse (strictly Danish) sacrificial rite, 
which however was extinct a hundred years before his time, 
evidently contains circumstances exaggerated legendwise and dis 
torted ; he says 1, 9 : Sed quia ego de hostiis (Northmannorum) 
mira audivi, haec indiscussa praeterire nolo. est unus in his 
partibus locus, caput istius regni, Lederun nomine, in pago qui 
Selon 2 dicitur, ubi post novcm annos mense Januario, post hoc 
tempus quo nos theophaniam domini celebramus, omnes con- 
venerunt, et ibi diis suismet Ixxxx. et ix. homines, et totidem equos, 
cum canibus et gallis pro accipitribus oblatis, immolant, pro certo, 
ut praedixi, putantes hos eisdem erga inferos servituros, et commissa 
crimina apud eosdem placaturos. quam bene rex noster (Heinrich 1. 
an. 931) fecit, qui eos a tarn execrando ritu prohibuit ! A grand 
festive sacrifice, coming once in nine years, and costing a consider 
able number of animals in this there is nothing incredible. Just 
as the name hecatomb lived on, when there was nothing like that 
number sacrificed, so here the legend was likely to keep to a high- 
sounding number; the horror of the human victims perhaps it 
threw in bodily. But the reason alleged for the animal sacrifice 
is evidently wide of the mark ; it mixes up what was done 

1 Gregory the Great fepist. 7, 5) admonishes Brunichild to take pre 
cautions with her Franks, ut de animalium capitibus sacrificia sacrilega non 

2 Selon for Seloncl, ON. Stelundr, afterwards Sioland, Seeland, i.e., Zea 
land. Lederun, the Sax. dat. of Ledera, ON. HleiSra, afterwards Lethra, 
Leire ; conf. Goth. hlei]?ra tabernaculum. 


at funerals l with what was done for expiation. It was only 
the bodies of nobles and rich men that were followed in death 
by bondsmen and by domestic and hunting animals, so that 
they might have their services in the other world. Suppose 99 
men, we will say prisoners of war, to have been sacrificed 
to the gods, the animals specified cannot have been intended to 
escort those enemies, nor yet for the use of the gods, to whom 
no one ever set apart and slaughtered horses or any beasts of the 
chase with a view to their making use of them. So whether the 
ambiguous eisdem refers to homines or diis (as eosdem just after 
stands for the latter), either way there is something inadmissible 
asserted. At the new year s festival I believe that of all the victims 
named the horses alone were sacrificed ; men, hounds and cocks 
the legend has added on. 2 How Dietmar s story looks by the side 
of Adam of Bremen s on the Upsal sacrifice, shall be considered on 
p. 53. 

Among all animal sacrifices, that of the horse was preeminent 
and most solemn. Our ancestors have this in common with several 
Slavic and Finnish nations, with Persians and Indians : with all of 
them the horse passed for a specially sacred animal. 3 

Sacrifice of Oxen (see SuppL). The passage from Agathias 
(tWou? re real /3 6 a 5) proves the Alamannic custom, and that from 
the Olafssaga (naut ok hross) the Norse. A letter to Saint Boniface 
(Epist. 82, Wlirdtw.) speaks of ungodly priests qui tauros et hircos 
diis paganorum immolabant. And one from Gregory the Great 
ad Mellitum (Epist. 10, 76 and in Beda s hist. eccl. 1, 30) affirms 
of the Angles : loves solent in sacrificio daemonum multos occidere. 

1 With Sigurftr servants and hawks are burnt, Saem. 225 b ; elsewhere horses 
and dogs as well, conf. RA. 344. Asvitus, morbo consumptus, cum cane et equo 
terreno mandatur antro ; Saxo gram. p. 91, who misinterprets, as though the 
dead man fed upon them : nee contentus equi vel canis esu, p. 92. 

; Pro accipitribus means, that in default of hawks, cocks were used. 
Some have taken it, as though dogs and cocks were sacrificed to deified birds of 
prey. But the pro is unmistakable. 

3 Conf. Bopp s Nalas and Damajanti, p. 42, 268. The Hyperboreans sacri 
ficed asses to Apollo ; Pindar Pyth. 10. Callimach. fr. 187. Anton. Liberal, 
metam. 20. The same was done at Delphi ; Bockh corp. inscr. I, 807. 809. 
In a Mod. Greek poem Taddpov, \VKOV KCU aXanrovs StTjy^crts- vv. 429-434, a 
similar offering seems to be spoken of; and Hagek s bohm. chron. p. 62 gives 
an instance among the Slavs. That, I suppose, is why the Silesians are 
called ass-eaters (Zeitvertreiber 1668, p. 153) ; and if the Gottingers receive the 
same nickname, these popular jokes must be very old in Germany itself (see 



The Hack ox and Hack cow, which are not to be killed for the house 
hold (Superst. 887), were they sacred sacrificial beasts ? Yal. 
Suplit, a free peasant on the Samland coast (Samogitia or Semi- 
galia), sacrificed a black bull with strange ceremonies. 1 I will add 
a few examples from the Norse. During a famine in Sweden under 
king Domaldi : }?a eflSo (instituted) Sviar blot stor at Uppsolum, it 
fyrsta haust (autumn) blotuSu )?eir yxnum ; and the oxen proving 
insufficient, they gradually went up to higher and higher kinds ; 
Yngl. saga, c. 18. J?a gekk hann til hofs (temple) Freyss, ok 
leiddi ]?agat uxan gamlan (an old ox), ok mselti sva : Freyr, nu 
gef ek ]?er uxa J?enna ; en uxanum bra sva viS, at hann qva> vi5, 
ok fell niSr dauSr (dealt the ox such a blow, that he gave a groan 
and fell down dead) ; Islend. sog. 2, 348. conf. Vigaglumssaga, cap. 
9. At a formal duel the victor slew a bull with the same weapons 
that had vanquished his foe: ]?a var leiddr fram grdffAngr mildll ok 
gamall, var J?at kallat blotnaut, ]?at skyldi sa hoggva er sigr hefol 
(then was led forth a bull mickle and old, it was called blot-neat, 
that should he hew who victory had), Egilss. p. 506. conf. Kormaks- 
saga p. 214-8. Sacrifice of Cows, Ssem. 141. Fornm. sog. 2, 138. 
The Greek e/caro^r) (as the name shows, 100 oxen) consisted at 
first of a large number of neat, but very soon of other beasts also. 
The Indians too had sacrifices of a hundred ; Holzmann 3, 193. 2 

Boars, Pigs (see Suppl.). In the Salic Law, tit. 2, a higher 
composition is set on the majalis sacrivus or votivus than on any 
other. This seems a relic of the ancient sacrifices of the heathen 
Franks ; else why the term sacrivw ? True, there is no vast differ 
ence between 700 and 600 den. (17 and 15 sol.); but of animals 
so set apart for holy use there must have been a great number in 
heathen times, so that the price per head did not need to be high. 
Probably they were selected immediately after birth, and marked, 
and then reared with the rest till the time of sacrificing. In 
Frankish and Alamannic documents there often occurs the word 
friscing, usually for porcellus, but sometimes for agnus, occasionally 
in the more limited sense of porcinus and agninus; the word may by 

1 Berlin, monatschr. 1802. 8, 225. conf. Lucas David 1, 118-122. 

2 In many districts of Germany and France, the butchers at a set time of 
the year lead through the streets a fatted ox decked with flowers and ribbons, 
accompanied by drum and fife, and collect drink-money. In Holland they call 
the ox bclder, and hang gilded apples on his horns, while a butcher walks in 
front with the axe (beil). All this seems a relic of some old sacrificial rite. 


its origin express recens natus, new-born, 1 but it now lives only in 
the sense of porcellus (frischling). How are we to explain then, 
that this OHG-. friscing in several writers translates precisely the 
Lat. hostia, victima, holocaustum (Notker cap. 8, ps. 15, 4. 26, 6. 
33, 1. 39, 8. 41, 10. 43, 12. 22. 50, 21. 115, 17. osterfriscing, ps. 20, 
3. lamp unkawemmit kakepan erdu friscing, i.e. lamb unblemished 
given to earth a sacrifice, Hymn 7, 10), except as a reminiscence of 
heathenism ? The Jewish paschal lamb would not suggest it, for in 
friscing the idea of porcellus was predominant. In the North, the 
expiatory boar, sonargoltr, offered to Freyr, was a periodical sacri 
fice; and Sweden has continued down to modern times the practice 
of baking loaves and cakes on Yule-eve in the shape of a boar. 
This golden-bristled boar has left his track in inland Germany too. 
According to popular belief in Thuringia, 2 whoever on Christmas 
eve abstains from all food till suppertime, will get sight of a young 
golden pig, i.e. in olden times it was brought up last at the even 
ing banquet. A Lauterbach ordinance (weisthum) of 1589 decreed 
(3, 369), that unto a court holden the day of the Three-kings, 
therefore in Yule time, the holders of farm-steads (hlibner) 
should furnish a clean goldferch (gold-hog) gelded while yet under 
milk ; it was led round the benches, and no doubt slaughtered 
afterwards. 3 So among the Welsh, the swine offered to the gods 

* Ducange sub v. Eccard Fr. or. 2, 677. Dorows denkm. I. 2, 55. Lacom- 
blet 1, 327. Graff 3, 833. Schmeller wtb. 1, 619. 

2 Gutgesells beitr. zur gesch. des deutsclien alterthums, Meiningen 1834, 
p. 138. 

3 This passage from the Lauterb. ordin. I can now match by another from 
those of Vinkbuch in the Alamann country. It says 1, 436 : the provost shall 
pick out in the convent a swine worth 7 schilling pfennig, and as soon as harvest 
begins, let it into the convent crewyard, where it must be allowed generous 
fare and free access to the corn ; there it is left till the Thursday after St. Adolf s 
day, when it is slaughtered and divided, half to the farm-bailiff, half to the 
parish ; on the same day there is also a distribution of bread and cheese to 
the parish. The price of seven shillings tallies with the seven and a half 
fixed by the Lauterb. ordin., and is a high one, far exceeding the ordinary 
value (conf. Gott. anz. 1827, pp. 336-7) ; it was an arrangement long continued 
and often employed in these ordinances, and one well suited to a beast selected 
for sacrifice. The Lauterbach goldferch, like that of Vinkbuch, is doled out 
and consumed at a festive meal ; the assize itself is named after it (3, 370) ; 
at Vinkbuch the heathenish name only has been forgotten or suppressed. 
Assuredly such assize-feasts were held in other parts of Germany too. St. 
Adolf was a bishop of Straszburg, his day falls on August 29 or 30 (Conr. v. 
Dankr. namenb. p. 117), and the assize therefore in the beginning of September. 
Swine are slaughtered for the household when winter sets in, in Nov. or Dec. ; 
and as both of these by turns are called schlachtmon&t, there might linger in 


became one destined for the King s table. It is the swin ealgyldcn, 
eofor irenheard of the Anglo-Saxons, and of its exact relation to 
the worship of Froho (Freyr) we have to treat more in detail by 
and by. The Greeks sacrificed swine to Demeter (Ceres), who as 
Nerthus stands very near to NiorSr, Freyr and Freyja. 

Earns, Goats (see Suppl.). As friscing came to mean victima, so 
conversely a name for animal sacrifice, Goth. saufts, seems to have 
given rise to the ON. name for the animal itself, sauffr= wether. 
This species of sacrifice was therefore not rare, though it is seldom 
expressly mentioned, probably as being of small value. Only the 
saga Hakonar goSa cap. 16 informs us : ];ar var oc drepinn (killed) 
allskonar smali, ok sva hross. Smali (/jiijXa) denotes principally 
sheep, also more generally the small beasts of the flock as opposed 
to oxen and horses, and as alls konar (omnis generis) is here 
added, it seems to include goats. The sacrifice of he-goats (hircos) 
is spoken of in the above-quoted Epist. Bonif. 82. In the Swedish 
superstition, the water-sprite, before it will teach any one to play 
the harp, requires the sacrifice of a Uack lamb ; Svenska folkv. 2, 
128. Gregory the Great speaks once of she-goats being sacrificed; 
he says the Langobards offer to the devil, i.e.,to one of their gods, 
caput caprae, hoc ei, per circuitum currentes, carmine nefando 
dedicantes ; Dial. 3, 28. This head of a she-goat (or he-goat ?) was 
reared aloft, and the people bowed before it. The hallowing of a 
he-goat among the ancient Prussians is well known (Luc. David 1, 
87, 98). The Slavonian god Triglav is represented with three 
goats heads (Hanka s zbjrka 23). . If that Langobardic carmen 
nefandum had been preserved, we could judge more exactly of the 
rite than from the report of the holy father, who viewed it with 
hostile eyes. 

About other sacrificial beasts we cannot be certain, for of Diet- 
mar s dogs and hawks and cocks, hardly any but the last are to be 
depended on (see Suppl.). But even then, what of domestic poultry, 
fowls, geese, pigeons ? The dove was a Jewish and Christian 

this also a reference to heathen sacrifices ; an AS. name for Nov. is expressly 
6Wmonec5. The common man at his yearly slaughtering gets up a feast, and 
sends meat and sausages to his neighbours (conf. mauchli, Stalder 2, 525), 
which may be a survival of the common sacrifice and distribution of ili-sh. 
It is remarkable that in Servia too, at the solemn burning of the badnyak, 
which is exactly like the yule-log (ch. XX, Fires), a whole swine is roasted, and 
often a sucking pig along with it ; Vuk s Montenegro, pp. 103-4. 


sacrifice, the Greeks offered cocks to Asldepios, and in Touraine a 
white cock used to be sacrificed to St. Christopher for the cure of a 
bad finger (Henri Estienne cap. 38, 6). Of game, doubtless only 
those fit to eat were fit to sacrifice, stags, roes, wild boars, but never 
bears, wolves or foxes, who themselves possess a ghostly being, and 
receive a kind of worship. Yet one might suppose that for expiation 
uneatable beasts, equally with men, might be offered, just as slaves 
and also hounds and falcons followed the burnt body of their 
master. Here we must first of all place Adam of Bremen s descrip 
tion (4, 27) of the great sacrifice at Upsala by the side of Dietmar s 
account of that at Hlethra (see p. 48) : Solet quoque post novem 
annos communis omnium Sveoniae provinciarum solennitas 
celebrari, ad quam nulli praestatur immunitas ; reges et populi, 
omnes et singuli sua dona ad Ubsolam transmittunt, et, quod omni 
poena crudelius est, illi qui jam induerunt christianitatem ab illis 
ceremoniis se redimunt. Sacrificium itaque tale est : ex omni 
animante quod masculinum est, novem capita offeruntur ; quorum 
sanguine deos tales placari mos est. Corpora autem suspenduntur 
in lucum qui proximus est templo. Is enim lucus tarn sacer est 
gentilibus, ut singulae arbores ejus ex morte vel tabo immolatorum 
divinae credantur. Ibi etiam canes, qui pendent cum Jwminibus, 
quorum corpora mixtim suspensa narravit mihi quidam christian- 
orum se septuaginta duo vidisse. Ceterum naeniae, quae in 
ejusmodi ritibus libatoriis fieri solent, multiplices sunt et inhonestae, 
ideoque melius reticendae. The number nine is prominent in this 
Swedish sacrificial feast, exactly as in the Danish ; but here also all 
is conceived in the spirit of legend. First, the heads of victims 
seem the essential thing again, as among the Franks and Langobards ; 
then the dogs come in support of those Hlethra hounds and hawks/ 
but at the same time remind us of the old judicial custom of hanging 
up wolves or dogs by the side of criminals (EA. 685-6). That only 
the male sex of every living creature is here to be sacrificed, is in 
striking accord with an episode in the Eeinardus, which was 
composed less than a century after Adam, and in its groundwork 
might well be contemporary with him. At the wedding of a king, 
the males of all quadrupeds and birds were to have been slaughtered, 
but the cock and gander had made their escape. It looks to me 
like a legend of the olden time, which still circulated in the ll-12th 
centuries, and which even a nursery-tale (No. 27, the Town- 


musicians) knows something of. 1 Anyhow, in heathen times vide 
animals seem to be in special demand for sacrifice. 2 As for killing 
one of every species (and even Agathias s KOI d\\a drra nvpia does 
not come up to that), it would be such a stupendous affair, that its 
actual execution could never have been conceivable ; it can only 
have existed in popular tradition. It is something like the old 
Mirror of Saxony and that of Swabia assuring us that every living 
creature present at a deed of rapine, whether oxen, horses, cats, 
dogs, fowls, geese, swine or men, had to be beheaded, as well as the 
actual delinquent (in real fact, only when they were his property) ; 3 
or like the Edda relating how oaths were exacted of all animals 
and plants, and all beings were required to weep. The creatures 
belonging to a man, his domestic animals, have to suffer with him 
in case of cremation, sacrifice or punishment. 

Next to the kind, stress was undoubtedly laid on the colour of 
the animal, white being considered the most favourable. White 
horses are often spoken of (Tac. Germ. 10. Weisth. 3, 301. 311. 
831), even so far back as the Persians (Herod. 1, 189). The friscing 
of sacrifice was probably of a spotless white ; and in later law- 
records snow-ivhite pigs are pronounced inviolable. 4 The Votiaks 
sacrificed a red stallion, the Tcheremisses a white. When under 
the old German law dun or pied cattle were often required in pay 
ment of fines and tithes, this might have some connexion with 
sacrifices 5 ; for witchcraft also, animals of a particular hue were 
requisite. The water-sprite demanded a black lamb, and the huldres 
have a black lamb and Hack cat offered up to them (Asb. 1. 159). 
Saxo Gram. p. 1 6 says ; rem divinam facere furvis hostiis ; does 
that mean black beasts ? We may suppose that cattle were 

1 Or will any one trace this incident in the Reynard to the words of the 
Vulgate in Matt. 22, 4 : tauri mei et altilia occisa sunt, venite ad nuptios ; 
which merely describe the preparations for the wedding-feast 1 Any hint 
about males is just what the passage lacks. 

2 The Greeks offered male animals to gods,/emZe to goddesses, II. 3, 103 : 
a white male lamb to Helios (sun), a black ewe lamb to Ge (earth). The 
Lithuanians sacrificed to their earthgod Zemiennik utriusque sexus domestica 
animalia ; Haupt s zeitschr. 1, 141. 

3 Reyscher and Wilda zeitschr. fur deutsches recht 5, 17, 18. 

4 RA. 261. 594. Weisth. 3, 41. 46. 69. conf. Virg. Aen. 8, 82 : Candida 
cum foetu concolor albo sus ; and the Umbrian : trif apruf rufru ute peiu (tres 
apros rubros aut piceos), Aufrecht und Kirchh. umbr. sprachd. 2, 278-9. 

8 RA. 587. 667. Weisth. 1, 498. 3, 430. White animals hateful to the 
gods ; Tettau and Temme preuss. sag. 42. 


garlanded and adorned for sacrifice. A passage in the Edda 
requires gold-horned cows, Seem. 14 l a ; and in the village of Fienstadt 
in Mansfeld a coal-black ox with a white star and white feet, and 
a he-goat with gilded horns were imposed as dues. 1 There are indi 
cations that the animals, before being slaughtered, were led round 
within the circle of the assembly that is how I explain the 
leading round the benches, and per circuitum currere, pp. 51, 52 
perhaps, as among the Greeks and Komans, to give them the 
appearance of going voluntarily to death 2 (see Suppl.). Probably 
care had to be taken also that the victim should not have been used 
in the service of man, e.g., that the ox had never drawn plough or 
waggon. For such colts and bullocks are required in our ancient 
law-records at a formal transfer of land, or the ploughing to death 
of removers of landmarks. 

On the actual procedure in a sacrifice, we have scarcely any 
information except from Norse authorities. While the animal 
laid down its life on the sacrificial stone, all the streaming blood 
(OK hlauf) was caught either in a hollow dug for the purpose, or 
in vessels. With this gore they smeared the sacred vessels and 
utensils, and sprinkled the participants. 3 Apparently divination 
was performed by means of the blood, perhaps a part of it was 
mixed with ale or mead, and drunk. In the North the blood- 
bowls (hl&utbollar, \Aotbollar) do not seem to have been large; 
some nations had big cauldrons made for the purpose (see Suppl.). 
The Swedes were taunted by Olafr Tryggvason with sitting at home 
and licking their sacrificial pots, at sitja heima ok sleikja Uot- 
lolla sina, Fornm. sog. 2, 309. A cauldron of the Cimbri is noticed 
in Strabo 7, 2 : e#o? Be n TMV Ki/jL(3p(0v Snyyovvrai, TOIOVTOV, on 
rat? <yvvaiiv CLVTWV o-varparevovcra^ 7rapr)Ko\ov0ovv 
lepeiat, TToX/.oTp^e?, Xef^ei/ioi e?, Kapiracrlvas 

1 Neue mitth. des thiir. sachs. vereins V. 2, 131, conf. II. 10, 292. Od. 
3, 382 ; 

<roi 8 av eyob pe o> /3ovi/ rjviv, evpv/ierwTroj/, 
a.p.r)Tr)v t fjv OVTTO) VTTO vybv fjyayev avrjp 
rf)v TOI eyo) pe o>, xpuo-oi/ Kepaaiv Trepixevas. 

2 Oc eingu skyldi tortyna hvarki fe ne monnum, nema sialft gengi i burt. 
Eyrb. saga, p. 10. And none should they kill (tortima?) neither beast nor 
man, unless of itself it ran a-tilt. 

3 Saga Hakonar goSa, cap. 16. Eyrb. saga p. 10. rauS horgin, reddened 
the (stone) altar, Fornald. sog. 1, 413. stalla lata rioSa bloSi, 1, 454. 527. 
Sasm. 114 b rio&u&u bloSinu Udttre, Fornald. sog. 1, 512. the Grk alpa TK> 

. conf. Exod. 24, 8. 



aurov? ?yyoz> eVt K p ar rj p a %a\Kovv, baov d/uifopewv e^tcocn el^ou 
8e dvaftdOpav, fy dva/3aora (77 /Ltai^rt?) vTrepTrerrjs TOV \ e /3 77 r o 9 
\cuijLOTOfj,ei eKaarov fjierecopLadevra IK, e TOU TTpo^eofjuevov ai/^aro? 
6t9 TW Kparrjpa, /jLavreiav TIVOL eVotoiWo. 1 Another cauldron of 
the Suevi, in the Life of St. Columban : Sunt etenim inibi vicinre 
nationes Suevorum ; quo cum moraretur, et inter habitatores illius 
leci progrederetur, reperit eos sacrificium profanum litare velle, 
vasque magnum, quod vulgo cupam vocant, quod viginti et sex 
modios amplius minusve capiebat, cerevisia plenum in medio habe- 
bant positum. Ad quod vir Dei accessit et sciscitatur, quid de illo 
fieri vellent 1 Illi aiunt : deo suo Wodano, quern Mercurium 
vocant alii, se velle litare. Jonas Bobbiensis, vita Columb. (from 
the first half of the 7th cent. Mabillon ann. Bened. 2, 26). Here 
we are expressly told that the cauldron was filled with ale, and not 
that the blood of a victim was mixed with it ; unless the narrative 
is incomplete, it may have meant only a drink-offering. 

Usually the cauldron served to cook, i.e. boil, the victim s flesh ; 
it never was roasted. Thus Herodotus 4, 61 describes a boiling 
(tyew) of the sacrifice in the great cauldron of the Scythians. 
From this seething, according to my conjecture, the ram was called 
saufis, and those who took part in the sacrifice su&nautar (partakers 
of the sodden), Gutalag p. 108 ; the boilings, the cauldrons and pots 
of witches in later times may be connected with this. 2 The distri 
bution of the pieces among the people was probably undertaken by 
a priest ; on great holidays the feast 3 was held there and then in 
the assembly, on other occasions each person might doubtless take 

1 They say the Cimbri had this custom, that their women marching with 
them were accompanied by priestess-prophetesses, gray-haired, white-robed, 
with a linen scarf buckled over the shoulder, wearing a brazen girdle, and 
bare-footed ; these met the prisoners in the camp, sword in hand, and having 
crowned them, led them to a brass basin as large as 30 amphora? (180 gals) ; 
and they had a ladder, which the priestess mounted, and standing over the 
basin, cut the throat of each as he was handed up. With the blood that gushed 
into the basin, they made a prophecy. 

2 The trolds too, a kind of elves, have a copper kettle in the Norw. saga, 
Faye 11 ; the Christians Ion" believed in a Saturni dolium, and in a large 
cauldron in hell (chaudiere, Meon 3, 284-5). 

3 They also ate the strong broth and the fat swimming at the top. The 
heathen offer their king Hakon, on his refusing the flesh, drecka so3~i-and eta 
jlotit ; Saga Hakonar goSa cap. 18. conf. Foinm. sog. 10, 381. 


his share home with him. That priests and people really ate the 
food, appears from a number of passages (conf. above, p. 46). The 
Capitularies 7, 405 adopt the statement in Epist. Bonif. cap. 25 
(an. 732) of a Christian presbyter Jovi mactans, et immolatitias 
carnes vescens, only altering it to diis mactanti, et immolatitiis 
carnibus vescenti . We may suppose that private persons were 
allowed to offer small gifts to the gods on particular occasions, and 
consume a part of them ; this the Christians called more gentilium 
offerre, et ad honorem daemonum eomedere/ Capit. de part. Sax. 20. 
It is likely also, that certain nobler parts of the animal were 
assigned to the gods, the head, liver, heart, tongue}- The head and 
skin of slaughtered game were suspended on trees in honour of 
them (see Suppl.). 

Whole ~burnt offerings, where the animal was converted into 
ashes on the pile of wood, do not seem to have been in use. The 
Goth, allbrunsts Mk 12., 33 is made merely to translate the Gk. 
o\oKavrwfJia, so the OHG. albrandopher, N. ps. 64, 2 ; and the AS. 
Irynegield onhredft rommes bloSe, Caedni. 175, 6. 177, 18 is meant 
to express purely a burntoffering in the Jewish sense. 2 

Neither were incense-offerings used ; the sweet incense of the 
Christians was a new thing to the heathen. Ulphilas retains the 
Gk. thymiama Lu. 1, 10. 11 ; and our weih-rauch (holy-reek), O. 
Sax. wiroc Hel. 3, 22, and the OK reykelsi, Dan. rogelse are 
formed according to Christian notions (see SuppL). 

While the sacrifice of a slain animal is more sociable, more 
universal, and is usually offered by the collective nation or 
community ; fruit or flowers, milk or honey is what any household, 
or even an individual may give. These Fruit-offerings are therefore 
more solitary and paltry ; history scarcely mentions them, but they 
have lingered the longer and more steadfastly in popular customs 
(see Suppl.). 

When the husbandman cuts his corn, he leaves a clump of ears 
standing for the god who blessed the harvest, and he adorns it with 

KOL xotXia (tongue and entrails) iepciov SmTreTrpayjue i/ov, Plutarch, 
Phoc. 1. yXcoo-o-ay Tapvfiv and eV TTV/H . fiuXXeiv, Od. 3, 332. 341. conf. De 
lingua usu in sacrifices, Nitzsch ad Horn. Od. 1, 207. In the folk-tales, who 
ever has to kill a man or beast, is told to bring in proof the tongue or heart, 
apparently as being eminent portions. 

2 Sl&v.pdliti obiet, to kindle an. offering, Koniginh. hs. 98. 


ribbons. To this day, at a fruit-gathering in Holstein, five or six 
apples are left hanging on each tree, and then the next crop will thrive. 
More striking examples of this custom will be given later, in treat 
ing of individual gods. But, just as tame and eatable animals 
were especially available for sacrifice, so are fruit-trees (frugiferae 
arbores, Tac. Germ. 10), and grains; and at a formal transfer of 
land, boughs covered with leaves, apples or nuts are used as earnest 
of the bargain. The MHG. poet (Fundgr. II, 25) describes Cain s 
sacrifice in the words : * eine garb er nam, er wolte sie oppheren mil 
eheren joch mit agenen a sheaf he took, he would offer it with ears 
and eke with spikes : a formula expressing at once the upper part 
or beard (arista), and the whole ear and stalk (spica) as well. 
Under this head we also put the crowning of the divine image, of a 
sacred tree or a sacrificed animal with foliage or flowers ; not the 
faintest trace of this appears in the Norse sagas, and as little in our 
oldest documents. From later times and surviving folk-tales I can 
bring forward a few things. On Ascension day the girls in more 
than one part of Germany twine garlands of white and red flowers, 
and hang them up in the dwellingroom or over the cattle in the 
stable, where they remain till replaced by fresh ones the next year. 1 
At the village of Questenberg in the Ilarz, on the third day in 
Whitsuntide, the lads carry an oak up the castle-hill which 
overlooks the whole district, and, when they have set it upright, 
fasten to it a large garland of branches of trees plaited together, 
and as big as a cartwheel. They all shout * the queste (i.e. garland) 
hangs, and then they dance round the tree on the hill top ; both 
tree and garland are renewed every year. 2 Not far from the 
Meisner mountain in Hesse stands a high precipice with a cavern 
opening under it, which goes by the name of the Hollow Stone. 
Into this cavern every Easter Monday the youths and maidens of 
the neighbouring villages carry nosegays, and then draw some 
cooling water. No one will venture down, unless he has flowers 
with him. 3 The lands in some Hessian townships have to pay a 
~bunch of mayflowers (lilies of the valley) every year for rent. 4 In 
all these examples, which can easily be multiplied, a heathen 

1 Bragur VI. 1, 126. 

2 Otmars volkssagen, pp. 128-9. What is told of the origin of the custom 
seems to be fiction. 

3 Wigands archiv 6, 317. 

4 Wigands archiv C, 318. Casselsches wochenbl. 1815, p. 928 b . 


practice seems to have been transferred to Christian festivals and 
offerings. 1 

As it was a primitive and widespread custom at a banquet to 
set aside a part of the food for the household gods, and particularly 
to place a dish of broth before Berhta and Hulda, the gods were 
also invited to share the festive drink. The drinker, before taking 
any himself, would pour some out of his vessel for the god or house- 
sprite, as the Lithuanians, when they drank beer, spilt some of it 
on the ground for their earth-goddess Zemynele. 2 Compare with 
this the Norwegian sagas of Thor, who appears at weddings when 
invited, and takes up and empties huge casks of ale. I will now 
turn once more to that account ol the Suevic ale-titb (cupa) in Jonas 
.(see p. 56), and use it to explain the heathen practice of minne- 
drinking, which is far from being extinct under Christianity. Here 
also both name and custom appear common to all the Teutonic 

The Gothic man (pi. munum, pret. munda) signified I think ; 
gaman (pi. gamunum, pret. gamunda) I bethink me, I remember. 
From the same verb is derived the OHG. minna = minia amor, 
minnon == minion amare, to remember a loved one. In the ON. 
language we have the same man, munum, and also minni memoria, 
minna recordari, but the secondary meaning of amor was never 

It was customary to honour an absent or deceased one by 
making mention of him at the assembly or the banquet, and 
draining a goblet to his memory: this goblet, this draught was 
called in ON. erfi drychja, or again minni (erfi = funeral feast). 

At grand sacrifices and banquets the god or the gods were 
remembered, and their minni drunk: minnis-ol (ale), Saem. 119 b 
(opposed to ominnis 61), minnis-hom, minnis-full (cupful), foro 
minni morg, ok skyldi horn dreckia 1 minni hvert (they gave many 
a m., and each had to drink a horn to the m.). um golf ganga at 
minnom ollum, Egilss. 206. 253. minniol signoff asom, Olafs helga. 

1 Beside cattle and grain, other valuables were offered to particular gods 
and in special cases, as even in Christian times voyagers at sea e.g. t would vow 
a silver ship to their church as a votive gift ; in Swedish folk-songs, offra en 
yryta af malm (vessel of metal), Arvidss. 2, 116 ; en gryta af blankaste malm (of 
silver) Ahlqvists Oland II. 1, 214 ; also articles of clothing, e.g. red shoes. 

2 In the Teut. languages I know of no technical term like the Gk. 
Xe//3co, Lat. libo, for drink-offerings (see Suppl.). , 


saga (ed. holm.) 113. signa is the German segnen to bless, conse 
crate. signa full OSni, Thor. 051ns full, NiarSar full, Treys full 
drecka, Saga Hakonar goSa cap. 16.18. In the Herraufts-saga cap. 
11, Thor s, OSin s and Freya s minne is drunk. At the burial of a 
king there was brought up a goblet called Bragafull (funeral toast 
cup), before which every one stood up, took a solemn vow, and 
emptied it, Yngl. saga cap. 40; other passages have Iragarfull, 
Soem. 146 a . Fornald. sog. 1, 345. 417. 515. The goblet was also 
called minnisveig (swig, draught), Ssem. 193 b . After conversion 
they did not give up the custom, but drank the minne of Christ, 
Mary, and the saints : Krists minni, Michaels minni, Fornm. sog. 
1, 162. 7, 148. In the Fornm. sog. 10, 1781, St. Martin demands of 
Olaf that his minni be proposed instead of those of Thor, 05in, and 
the other ases. 

The other races were just as little weaned from the practice ; 
only where the term minne had changed its meaning, it is trans 
lated by the Lat. amor instead of memoria j 1 notably as early as in 
Liutprand, hist. 6, 7 (Muratori II. 1, 473), and Liutpr. hist. Ott. 12: 
didboli in amorem vinum bibere. Liutpr. antapod. 2, 70 : amoris 
salutisque mei causa bibito. Liutpr. leg. 65 : potas in amore beati 
Johannis prsecursoris. Here the Baptist is meant, not the Evan 
gelist; but in the Fel. Faber evagat. 1, 148 it is distinctly the 
latter. In Eckehard casus S. Galli, Pertz 2, 84: amoreque, ut 
nioris est, osculato et epoto, laetabundi discedunt. In the Rudlieb 

post poscit vinum Gerdrudis amore, quod haustum 
participat nos tres, postremo basia fingens, 
quando vale dixit post nos gemit et benedixit. 
In the so-called Liber occultus, according to the Miinchen MS., at 
the description of a scuffle : 

hujus ad edictum nullus plus percutit ictum, 
sed per clamorem poscunt Gertrudis amorem. 
In the Peregrinus, a 13th cent. Latin poem,.v. 335 (Leyser 2114) : 
et rogat ut potent sanctae Gertrudis amore, 
ut possent onini prosperitate frui. 

1 The 12th cent, poem Von dem gelouben 1001 says of the institution of 
the Lord s Supper, whose cup is also a drink of remembrance to Christians : 
den cof nam er mit dem wine, uncle secjente darinne ein vil guote minne. Conf. 
loving cup, Thorn s Ai.ecd. 82. 


At Erek s departure : der wirt neig im an den fuoz, ze hand truog 
er irn do ze lieiles gewinne sant Gertrude minne, Er. 4015. The 
armed champion tranc sant Johannes segcn, Er. 8651. Hagene, 
while killing Etzel s child, says, Nib. 1897, 3 : 

mi trinken wir die minne unde gelten skiineges win, 

iz mac anders niht gesin 

wan trinkt und geltet Ezeln win; Helbl. 6, 160. 14. 86. 

Here the very word gelten recalls the meaning it had acquired in 
connexion with sacrificing ; conf. Schm. 2, 40. si do zucten di suert 
unde scancten eine minne (drew their swords and poured out a m.); 
Herz. Ernst in Hoffm. fundgr. 1, 230, 35. minne schenken, 
Berthold 276-7. sant Jftliannis minne geben, Oswald 611. 1127. 
1225 (see Suppl.). No doubt the same thing that was afterwards 
called einen ehrenwein schenken ; for even in our older speech 
era, ere denoted verehrung, reverence shown to higher and loved 

In the Mid. Ages then, it was two saints in particular that had 
minne drunk in honour of them, John the evangelist and Gertrude. 
John is said to have drunk poisoned wine without hurt, hence 
a drink consecrated to him prevented all danger of poisoning. 
Gertrude revered John above all saints, and therefore her memory 
seems to have been linked with his. But she was also esteemed as 
a peacemaker, and in the Latinarius metricus of a certain Andreas 
rector scholarum she is invoked : 

pia Gerdrudis, quae pacis commoda cudis 
bellaque concludis, nos caeli mergito ludis ! 

A clerk prayed her daily, dass sie ihm schueffe herberg guot, to 
find him lodging good; and in a MS. of the 15th cent, we are 
informed : aliqui dicunt, quod quando anima egressa est, tune prima 
nocte pernoctabit cum beata Gerdrude, secunda nocte cum arcli- 
angelis, sed tertia nocte vadit sicut diffinitum est de ea. This 
remarkable statement will be found further on to apply to Freya, 
of whom, as well as of Hulda and Berhta, Gertrude reminds us the 
more, as she was represented spinning. Both John s and Ger 
trude s minne used especially to be drunk by parting friends, 
travellers and lovers of peace, as the passages quoted have shown. 
I know of no older testimony to Gertrude s minne (which presup 
poses John s) than that in Paidlieb ; in later centuries we find 


plenty of them : der brahte , mir sant Jolians segen, Ls. 3, 336. 
sant Johans segen trinken, Ls. 2, 262. ich daht an sant Jolians 
minne, Ls; 2, 264. varn (to fare) mit sant Gertrude minne, 
Amgb. 33 b . setz sant Johans ze biirgen inir, daz du komest 
gesunt lierwider schier, Hiitzl. 191 b . sant Johannes namen 
trinken, Altd. bl. 413. sant Gfertrdde minne, Cod. kolocz. 72. 
trinken sant Johannes segen und scheiden von dem lande, Morolt. 
3103. diz ist sancte Johans minne, Cod. pal. 364, 158. S. Johans 
segen trinken, Anshelm 3, 416. Johans segen, Fischart gesch. kl. 
99 b . Simpliciss. 2, 262. 1 

Those Suevi then, whom Columban was approaching, were pro 
bably drinking Wuotan s minne ; Jonas relates how the saint blew 
the whole vessel to pieces and spoilt their pleasure : manifesto 
datur intelligi, dicibolum in eo vase fuisse occultatum, qui per pro- 
famim litatorem caperet animas sacrificantium. So by Liutprand s 
devil, whose minne is drunk, we may suppose a heathen god to 
have been meant, gefa priggja sdlda ol Oftni (give three tuns of 
ale to Oolnn), Fornm. sog. 2, 16. gefa Thor ok Oftni 61, ok signa 
full asum, ibid. 1, 280. drecka minni Thors ok Oftins, ibid. 3, 191. 
As the North made the sign of Thor s hammer, Christians used the 
cross for the blessing (segnung) of the cup ; conf. poculum signare, 
Walthar. 225, precisely the Norse signa full. 

Minne-drinking, even as a religious rite, apparently exists to 
this day in some parts of Germany. At Otbergen, a village of 
Hildesheim, on Dec. 27 every year a chalice of wine is hallowed by 
the priest, and handed to the congregation in the church to drink 
as JoJiannis segen (blessing) ; it is not done in any of the neigh 
bouring places. In Sweden and Norway we find at Candlemas a 
dricka ddborgs skal, drinking a toast (see Superst. &, Swed. 122). 

1 Thomasius de poculo S. Johannis vtilgo Johannistrunk, Lips. 1675. 
Scheffers Haltaus p. 165. Oberlin s. vb. Johannis miim und trunk. Schmeller 
2,593. Hannov. mag. 1830, 171-6. Ledeburs archiv 2, 189. On Gertrude 
espec., Huyd. op St. 2, 343-5. Clignett s l>idr. 392-411. Hoffm. horae belg. 
2, 41-8. Antiqvariske annaler 1, 313. Hanka s Boh em. glosses 79 b 132 a 
render Johannis amor by swatd mina (holy m.). And in that Slovenic docu 
ment, the Freysinger MS. (Kopitar s Glagolita xxxvii, conf. xliii) is tlie 
combination : da klanyamse, i modlimse, im i tchesti ich piyem, i obieti nashe 
im nesem (ut genutiectanms et precemur eis et honores eorum bibamus et obli- 
gationes nostras illis feramus); tchest is honor, TI/ZT), cultus, our old era ; but 
I also find slava (fame, glory) used in the sense of minne, and in a Servian 
song (Vuk, 1 no. 94) wine is drunk za slave bozhye to the glory of God. In 
the Finnish mythology is mentioned an Ukkon malja, bowl of Ukko ; inalja = 
Swed. skal, strictly scutella, potatio in inemoriam vel sanitatem. 


Now that Suevic cupa filled witli beer (p. 75) was a hallowed 
sacrificial cauldron, like that which the Cimbri sent to the emperor 
Augustus. 1 Of the Scythian cauldron we have already spoken, 
p. 75 ; and we know what part the cauldron plays in the Hymis- 
qviSa and at the god s judgment on the seizure of the cauldron (by 
Thor from giant Hymir). Nor ought we to overlook the ON. 
proper names Asketill, Thorketill (abbrev. Thorkel) AS. Oscytel 
(Kemble 2, 302) ; they point to kettles consecrated to the as and 
to Thor. 

Our knowledge of heathen antiquities will gain both by the 
study of these drinking usages which have lasted into later times, 
and also of the shapes given to baked meats, which either retained 
the actual forms of ancient idols, or were accompanied by sacrificial 
observances. A history of German cakes and bread-rolls might 
contain some unexpected disclosures. Thus the Indicul. superstit. 
26 names simulacra de consparsa farina. Baked figures of animals 
seem to have represented animals that were reverenced, or the 
attributes of a god. 2 From a striking passage in the Fridthiofssaga 
(fornald. sog. 2, 86) it appears that the heathen at a disa blot baked 
images of gods and smeared them with oil : satu konur viS eldinn 
ok bokuSu go<5in, en sumar srnurSu ok J?erc5u me5 dukum, women 
sat by the fire and baked the gods, while some anointed them with 
cloths. By FriSJriof s fault a baked Baldr falls into the fire, the fat 
blazes up, and the house is burnt down. According to Yoetius de 
superstit. 3, 122 on the day of Paul s conversion they placed a 
figure of straw before the hearth on which they were baking, and 
if it brought a fine bright day, they anointed it with butter ; other 
wise they kicked it from the hearth, smeared it with dirt, and 
threw it in the water. 

Much therefore that is not easy to explain in popular offerings 
and rites, as the colour of animals (p. 54), leading the boar round 
(p. 51), flowers (p. 58), minne-drinking (p. 59), even the shape 
of cakes, is a reminiscence of the sacrifices of heathenism (see 

TOO 2e/3ao-r<3 Saipoi/ TOV iepa>raroi/ Trap 1 auroi? Xei}ra, the most 
sacred cauldron tWy had, ktrabo VII. 2. 

2 Baking in the shape of a boar must have been much more widely spread 
than in the North alone, see below, Fro s boar ; even in France they baked 
cochelins for New Year s day, Mem. de 1 ac. celt. 4, 429. 


Beside prayers and sacrifices, one essential feature of the 
heathen cultus remains to be brought out : the solemn carrying 
about of divine images. The divinity was not to remain rooted to 
one spot, but at various times to bestow its presence on the entire 
compass of the land (see ch. XIV). So Nerthus rode in state (in- 
vehebatur populis), and Berecyrithia (ch. XIII), so Fro travelled out 
in spring, so the sacred ship, the sacred plough was carried round 
(ch. XIII Isis). The figure of the unknown Gothic god rode in its 
waggon (ch. VI). Fetching-in the Summer or May, carrying-out 
Winter and Death, are founded on a similar view. Holda, Berhta 
and the like beings all make their circuit at stated seasons, to the 
heathen s joy and the Christian s terror ; even the march of 
Wuotan s host may be so interpreted (conf. ch. XXXI. Frau 
Gauden). When Fro had ceased to appear, Dietrich with the ber 
.(boar) and Dietrich Bern still showed themselves (ch. X. XXXI), 
or the sonargoltr (atonement-boar) was conveyed to the heroes 
banquet (ch. X), and the boar led round the benches (p. 51). 
Among public legal observances, the progress of a newly elected 
king along the highways, the solemn lustration of roads, the beating 
of bounds, at which in olden times gods images and priests can 
hardly have been wanting, are all the same kind of thing. After 
the conversion, the church permanently sanctioned such processions, 
except that the Madonna and saints images were carried, particu 
larly when drought, bad crops, pestilence or war had set in, so as to 
bring back rain (ch. XX), fertility of soil, healing and victory ; sacred 
images were even carried to help in putting out a fire. The Indicul. 
paganiar. XXVIII tells de simulacra quod per campos portant, on 
which Eccard 1, 437 gives an important passage from the manuscript 
Vita Marcsvidis (not Maresvidis) : statuimus ut annuatim secunda 
feria pentecostes patronum ecclesiae in parochiis vestris longo 
cwibitu circumferentes et domos vestras lustrantes, et pro gentilitio 
amlarvali in lacrymis et varia devotione vos ipsos mactetis et ad 
refectionem pauperum eleemosynam comportetis, et in hac curti 
pernoctantes super reliquias vigiliis et cantibus solennisetis, ut 
praedicto mane determinaturn a vobis anibitum pia lustratione com- 
plentes ad monasterium cum honore debito reportetis. Confido 
autem de patroni hujus misericordia, quod sic db ca gyrade tcrrae 
scmina ulcrius provcniant, et variae aeris inclementiae cessent. The 
Roman ambarvalia were purifications of fields, and sacrifices were 



offered at the terminus publicus ; the May procession and the riding 
of bounds and roads during the period of German heathenism must 
have been very similar to them. On the Gabel-heath in Mecklen 
burg the Wends as late as the 15th century walked round the 
budding corn with loud cries ; Giesebrecht 1, 87- 


In our inquiries on the sacred dwelling-places of the gods, it 
will be safest to begin, as before, with expressions which preceded the 
Christian terms temple and church, and were supplanted by them. 

The Gothic allis fern, translates the Jewish- Christian notions of 
vabs (Matt. 27, 5. 51. Mk. 14, 58. 15, 29. Lu. 1, 9. 21. 2 Cor. 6, 
16) and Upov (Mk. 11, 11. 16. 27. 12, 35. 14, 49. Lu. 2, 27. 46. 4, 9. 
18, 10. 19, 45. John 7, 14. 28. 8, 20. 59. 10, 23). To the Goth 
it would be a time-hallowed word, for it shares the anomaly of 
several such nouns, forming its gen. alhs, dat. alii, instead of alhais, 
alhai. Once only, John 18, 20, gudhus stands for iepov ; the simple 
hus never has the sense of domus, which is rendered razn. Why 
should Ulphilas disdain to apply the heathen name to the Christian 
thing, when the equally heathen templum and i/ao? were found 
quite inoffensive for Christian use ? 

Possibly the same word appears even earlier ; namely in Tacitus, 
Germ. 43 : apud Naharvaloe antiquae religionis lucus ostenditur ; 
praesidet sacerdos muliebri ornatu, sed deos interpretatione romana 
Castorem Pollucemque memorant. Ea vis numini, nomen Aids ; 
nulla simulacra, nullum peregrinae superstitionis vestigium. Ut 
fratres tamen, ut juvenes venerantur. This alcis is either itself the 
nom., or a gen. of alx (as f alcis of falx), which perfectly corresponds 
to the Gothic alhs. A pair of heroic brothers was worshipped, 
without any statues, in a sacred grove ; the name can hardly be 
ascribed to them, 1 it is the abode of the divinity that is called alx. 
Numen is here the sacred wood, or even some notable tree in it. 2 

1 Unless it were dat. pi. of alcus [or alca aX^]. A Wendicholz, Bohem. 
holec, which has been adduced, is not to the point, for it means strictly a bald 
naked wretch, a beggar boy, Pol. golec, Russ. gholiak. Besides, the Naharvali 
and the other Lygian nations can scarcely have been Slavs. 

2 1 am not convinced that numen can refer to the place. The plain sense 
seems to be : the divinity has that virtue (which the Gemini have), and the 
name Alcis, or of Alx, or if dat. pi., the Alcae, Alci . May not Alcis be conn. 
with a\Kr) strength, safeguard, and the dat. aA/a pointing to a nom. aX ; * aXxa) 
I defend ; or even Caesar s alces and Pausanias s aX/cat elks ? TRANS. 


Four or five centuries after Ulphilas, to the tribes of Upper 
Germany their word alali must have had an old-fashioned heathen 
ish sound, but we know it was still there, preserved in composition 
with proper names of places and persons (see Suppl.) : Alaholf, 
Alahtac, Alahhilt, Alahgund, Alahtrut ; Alahstat in pago Hassorum 
(A.D. 834), Schannat trad. fuld. no. 404. Alahdorp in Mulahgowe 
(A.D. 856), ibid. no. 476. The names Alahstat, Alahdorf may have 
been borne by many places where a heathen temple, a hallowed place 
of justice, or a house of the king stood. For, not only the fanum, but 
the folk-mote, and the royal residence were regarded as consecrated, 
or, in the language of the Mid. Ages, as frdno (set apart to the 
fro, lord). Alstidi, a king s pfalz (palatium) in Thuringia often 
mentioned in Dietmar of Merseburg, was in OHG. alahsteti, nom. 
alahstat. Among the Saxons, who were converted later, the word 
kept itself alive longer. The poet of the Heliand uses alah masc. 
exactly as Ulphilas does alhs (3, 20. 22. 6,2. 14,9. 32,14. 115,9. 
15. 129, 22. 130, 19. 157, 16), seldomer godes Ms 155, 8. 130, 
18, or, that helaga Jills 3, 19. Ceedm. 202, 22 alhn (1. alii haligne 
holy temple) ; 258, 11 ealhstede (palatium, aedes regia). In 
Andr. 1642 I would read ealde ealhstedas (delubra) for eolhstedas , 
conf. the proper names Eallistdn in Kemble 1, 288. 296 and Ealli- 
heard 1, 292 quasi stone-hard, rock-hard, which possibly leads us to 
the primary meaning of the word. 1 The word is wanting in ON. 
documents, else it must have had the form air, gen. als. 

Of another primitive word the Gothic fragments furnish no 
example, the OHG. wih (nemus), Dint. 1, 492 a ; 0. Sax. wih masc. 
(templum), Hel. 3, 15. 17. 19. 14, 8. 115, 4. 119, 17. 127, 10. 
129, 23. 130, 17. 154, 22. 169, 1 ; friduwih, Hel. 15, 19 ; AS. 
wih wiges, or weoh weos, also masc. : wiges (idoli), Csedm. 228, 12. 
J?isne wig wurSigean (hoc idolum colere), Casdm. 228, 24. conf. 
wigweorSing (cultus idolorum), Beow. 350. weohweorSing Cod. 
exon. 253, 14. wihgild (cultus idol), Csedm. 227,5. weobedd (ara), 
for weohbedd, wihbedd, Cgedm. 127, 8. weos (idola), for weohas, 
Cod. exon. 341, 28. The alternation of i and eo in the AS. indicates 
a short vowel ; and in spite of the reasons I have urged in Gramin. 1, 
462, the same seems to be true of the ON. ve, which in the sing., as 

1 There is however a noun Hard, the name of many landing-places in the 
south of England, as Cracknor Hard, &c. TRANS. 



Ve, denotes one particular god ; but lias a double pi, namely, a masc. 
vear dii, idola, and a neut. ve loca sacra. Gutalag 6, 108. Ill: 
haita a Imlt e>a hauga, a m e>a stafgarjra (invocare lucos aut tumulos, 
idola aut loca palis circumsepta) ; trua a hult, a liauga, m oc staf- 
garj?a ; han standr i m (stat in loco sacro). In that case we have 
here, as in alah, a term alternating between nemus, templum, fanum, 
idolum, numen, its root being doubtless the Gothic veilia (I hallow)^ 
vaih, vaihum, OHG. wihu, weih, wihum, from which also comes 
the adj. veins sacer, OHG. wih ; and we saw on p. 41 that wihan 
was applied to sacrifices and worship. In Lappish, vi is said to 
mean silva. 

Still more decisive is a third heathen word, which becomes 
specially important to our course of inquiry. The OHG. liaruc 
masc., pi. haruga, stands in the glosses both for fanum, Hrab. 963 b . 
for delubrum, Hrab. 959 a . for lucus, Hrab. 9G9 a , Jun. 212. 
Dint. 1, 495 b , and for nemus, Diut. 1, 492 a . The last gloss, 
in full, runs thus: nemus plantavit=/0rs flanzota, edo (or) 
hanw, edo wih! So that liaruc, like wih, includes on the one 
hand the notion of templum, fanum, and on the other that of wood, 
grove, lucus. 1 It is remarkable that the Lex Eipuar. has preserved, 
evidently from heathen times, harahus to designate a place of 
judgment, which was originally a wood (EA. 794. 903). AS. hearg 
masc., pi. heargas (fanum), Beda 2, 13. 3, 30. Orosius 3, 9, p. 109. 
kean/tittf (fani tabulatum), Beow. 349. set hcarge, Kemble, 1, 282. 
OX. horgr masc, pi. horgar (delubrum, at times idolum, simulacrum) 
Saern. 3G a 42 a 91 a 114 b 141 a ; especially worth notice is Srcm. 114 b ! 
horgr hlaSinn steinom, griot at gleri orSit, roSit i nyio nauta blool 
(h.paven with stones, grit made smooth, reddened anew with neat s 
blood). Sometimes horgr is coupled with hof (fanum, tectum), 3G a 
141 a , in which case the former is the holy place amidst woods and 
rocks, the built temple, aula ; conf. hamarr ok horgr ; Fornm. sog. 
5, 239. To both expressions belongs the notion of the place as well 

1 And in one place haraga = nrae. Elsewhere the heathen term for altar, 
Ok /3&>/idy, was Goth, binds, OHG. piot, AS. beod. strictly a table (p. 38) ; 
likewise the Goth, badi, OHG. petti, AS. bed, bedd (lectus, p. 30) gets to mean 
ara, areola, fanum, conf. AS. wSKbed. weohbcd, vxobed, afterwards distorted into 
weofed (ara, altare), OHG. kotapetti (gods -bed, lectus, pulvinar templi), Graff 
3, 51 ; with which compare Brunhild s bed and the like, also the Lat. lectister- 
nium. Ad altare S. Kiliani, quod vulgo lectus dicitur, Lang res. 1. 239. 255 
(A.D. 1160-5) ; (see Suppl.). 


as that of the numen and the image itself (see Suppl.). Haruc seems 
unconnected with the 0. Lat. haruga, aruga, bull of sacrifice, whence 
haruspex, aruspex. The Gk re/ze^o? however also means the sacred 
grove, II. 8, 48. 23, 148. re/Aei/os -rdpov, II. 20, 184. 

Lastly, synonymous with haruc is the OHG. paro, gen. parawes, 
AS. bearo, gen. bearwes, which betoken lucus 1 and arbor, a sacred 
grove or a tree ; aet bearwe, Kemble. 1, 255. ON. barr (arbor), 
Seem. 109 a ; barri (nemus) 86 b 87 a . qui ad aras sacrificat=:de za 
demo parawe (al. za themo we) ploazit, Diut. 1, 150 ; ara, or rather 
the pi. arae, here stands for templum (see Suppl). 

Temple then means also wood. What we figure to ourselves as 
a built and walled house, resolves itself, the farther back we go, 
into a holy place untouched by human hand, embowered and 
shut in by self -grown trees. There dwells the deity, veiling his 
form in rustling foliage of the boughs ; there is the spot where 
the hunter has to present to him the game he has killed, and the 
herdsmen his horses and oxen and rams. 

What a writer of the second century says on the cnltus of the 
Celts, will hold good of the Teutonic and all the kindred nations : 
KeXrot crepovai fj,ev Ala, a<ya\/j,a Se ALOS KekTLKov vtyrjXr) /}?, 
Maximus Tyrius (diss. 8, ed. Eeiske 1, 142). Compare Lasicz. 46 : 
deos nemora incolere persuasum habent (Samogitae). Habitarunt 
di quoque sylvas (Haupts zeitschr. 1, 138). 

I am not maintaining that this forest- worship exhausts all the 
conceptions our ancestors had formed of deity and its dwelling- 
place ; it was only the principal one. Here and there a god may 
haunt a mountain-top, a cave of the rock, a river ; but the grand 
general worship of the people has its seat in the grove.. And no 
where could it have found a worthier (see Suppl.). 

At a time when rude beginnings were all that there was of the 
builder s art, the human mind must have been roused to a higher 
devotion by the sight of lofty trees under an open sky, than it could 
feel inside the stunted structures reared by unskilful hands. When 
long afterwards the architecture peculiar to the Teutons reached its 

1 To the Lat. lucus would correspond a Goth, lauhs, and this is confirmed 
by the OHG. I6h, AS. leak. The Engl. lea, ley has acquired the meaning 
of meadow, field ; also the Slav, lug, Boh. lutz, is at once grove, glade, and 
meadow. Not only the wood, but wooded meadows were sacred to gods (see 


perfection, did it not in its boldest creations still aim at reproducing 
the soaring trees of the forest ? Would not the abortion of 
miserably carved or chiselled images lag far behind the form of the 
god which the youthful imagination of antiquity pictured to itself, 
throned on the bowery summit of a sacred tree ? In the sweep 
and under the shade 1 of primeval forests, the soul of man found 
itself filled with the nearness of sovran deities. The mighty 
influence that a forest life had from the first on the whole being 
of our nation, is attested by the march-fellowships ; marka, the 
word from which they took their name, denoted first a forest, and 
afterwards a boundary. 

The earliest testimonies to the forest-cultus of the Germans are 
furnished by Tacitus. Germ. 9 : ceterum nee cohibere parietibus 
deos, neque in ullam human! oris speciem adsimulare ex magni- 
tudine coelestium arbitrantur. Lucos ac nemora consecrant, deorum- 
que nominibus adpellant secretum illud quod sola revereritia vident. 2 
Germ. 39, of the Semnones ; Stato tempore in silvam auguriis 
patrum et prism formidine sacram 3 omnes ejusdem sanguinis 
populi legationibus coeunt. est et alia luco rcverentia. nemo nisi 
vinculo ligatus ingreditur, ut minor et potestatem numinis prae se 
ferens. si forte prolapsus est, attolli et insurgere baud licitum : 
per humum evolvuntur. 4 cap. 40 : est in insula oceani castum 

1 Waldes hleo, Tilea (umbra, umbra cnlum) , Hel. 33, 22. 73, 23. AS. hleo, 
ON. hlie, OHG. liwa, Graff 2, 296, MHG. lie, liewe. 

2 Ruodolf of Fuld (f 863j has incorporated the whole passage, with a few 
alterations, in his treatise De translatione Alexandri (Pertz 2, 675), perhaps 
from some intermediate source. Tacitus s words must be taken as they stand. 
In his day Germany possessed no masters who could build temples or chisel 
statues ; so the grove was the dwelling of the gods, and a sacred symbol did 
instead of a statue. Mb ser 30 takes the passage to mean, that the divinity 
common to the whole nation was worshipped unseen, so as not to give one dis 
trict the advantage of possessing the temple ; but that separate gods did have 
their images made. This view is too political, and also ill-suited to the isolation 
of tribes in those times. No doubt, a region which included a god s hill would 
acquire the more renown and sacredness, as spots like Rhetra and Loreto did 
from containing the Slavic sanctuary or a Madonna : that did not prevent the 
same worship from obtaining seats elsewhere. With the words of Tacitus 
compare what he says in Hist. 2, 78 : est Judaeam inter Syriamque Carmelus, 
ita vocant montem deumque, nee simulacrum deo aut templum, sic tradidere 
majores, ara tantum et reverentia ; and in Dial, de Orat. 12 : nemora vero et 
luci et secretum ipsum. In Tacitus secretum = secessus, seclusion, not arcanum. 

3 This hexameter is not a quotation, it is the author s own. 

4 Whoever is engaged in a holy office, and stands in the presence and pre 
cincts of ^the god, must not stumble, and if he falls to the ground, he forfeits 
his privilege. So he who in holy combat sinks to the earth, may not set 


nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum veste contectum. cap. 43 : 
apud Naharvalos antiquae religionis lucus ostenditur . , . 
numini nomen Aids, nulla simulacra, cap 7 : effigies et signa (i.e. 
effigiata signa) quaedam detractae lucis in proelium ferunt ; with 
which connect a passage in Hist. 4, 22 : inde depromptse silvis 
lucisqiie ferarum imagines, ut cuique genti inire proelium mos est. 
Ann. 2, 12 : Caesar transgressus Visurgim indicio perfugae 
cognoscit delectum ab Arminio locum pugnae, convenisse et 
alias nationes in silvam Herculi sacram. Ann. 4, 73 : mox 
conpertum a transfugis, nongentos Komanorum apud lucum, 
quern Baduhennae vocant, pugna in posterum extracta con- 
fectos ; though it does not appear that this grove was a con 
secrated one. 1 Ann. 1, 61 : lucis propinquis barbarae arae, apud 
quas tribunes mactaverant ; conf. 2, 25 : propinquo luco defossam 
Varianae legionis aquilam modico praesidio servari. Hist. 4, 14 : 
Civilis primores gentis . . . sacrum in nemus vocatos. These 
expressions can be matched by others from Claudian three 
centuries later, Cons. Stilich. 1, 288 : 

Ut procul Hercyniae per vasta silentia silvae 
venari tuto liceat, lucosquQ vetusta 
religione truces, et robora numinis instar 
larlarici nostrae feriant impune bipennes. 
De bello Get. 545 : 

liortantes his adde dcos. Non somnia nobis, 
nee volucres, sed clam palam vox edita luco est : 
rumpe omnes, Alarice, moras ! 

It is not pure nature- worship that we are told of here ; but Tacitus 
could have had no eye for the mores Germanorum/ if their most 
essential feature had escaped him. Gods dwell in these groves ; no 
images (simulacra, in human form) are mentioned by name as being 
set up, no temple walls are reared. 2 But sacred vessels and altars 

himself on his legs, but must finish the fight on his knees, Danske viser 1, 115 ; 
so in certain places a stranger s carriage, if overturned, must not be set upright 
again, RA. 554. What is fabled of an idol called Sompar at Gorlitz (neue 
lausitz. monatsschr. 1805, p. 1-18) has evidently been spun out of this passage 
in Tac. ; the Semnones are placed in the Lausitz country, as they had been 
previously by Aventin (Fraiikf. 1580, p. 27 b ), who only puts a king Schwab in 
the place of Sompar. 

1 Baduhenna, perhaps the name of a place, like Arduenna. Miillenhoff 
adds Badvinna, Patunna (Haupts zeitschr. 9, 241). 

2 Brissonius de regno Pers. 2, 28 ; Persae diis suis nulla templa vel altaria 
constituunt, nulla simulacra ; after Herodot. 1, 131. 


stand in the forest, heads of animals (ferarum imagines) hang on 
the boughs of trees. There divine worship is performed and 
sacrifice offered, there is the folk-mote and the assize, everywhere a 
sacred awe and reminiscence of antiquity. Have not we here 
alak, wih, paro, haruc faithfully portrayed ? How could such 
technical terms, unless they described an organized national 
worship presided over by priests, have sprung up in the language, 
and lived ? 

During many centuries, down to the introduction of Christianity, 
this custom endured, of venerating deity in sacred woods and trees. 

I will here insert the detailed narrative given by Wilibald 
(t 786) in the Vita Bonifacii (Canisius II. 1, 242. Pertz 2, 343) of 
the holy oak of Geismar (on the Edder, near Fritzlar in Hesse). 1 
The event falls between the years 725 and 731. Is autem (Boni- 
facius) ... ad obsessas ante ea Hessorum metas cum consensu 
Carli ducis (i.e. of Charles Martel) rediit. turn vero Hessorum jam 
multi catholica fide subditi ac septiformis spiritus gratia confirmati 
maims impositionem acceperunt, et alii quidem, nondum animo 
confortati, intemeratae fidei documenta integre percipere renuerunt, 
alii etiain linguis et faucibus clanculo, alii vero aperte sacrificdbant, 
alii vero auspicia et divinationes, praestigia atque incantationes 
occulte, alii quidem manifesto exercebant, alii quippe auspicia et 
auguria intendebant, diversosque sacrificandi ritus incoluerunt, alii 
etiam, quibus mens sanior inerat, omni abjecta gentilitatis pro- 
phanatione nihil horum commiserunt. quorum consultu atque 
consilio arborem quandam mirae maynitudinis, qu&Q prisco Pagan- 
orum vocdbulo appellatur robur Jovis, in loco, qui dicitur Gaesmere, 
servis Dei secum astantibus, succidere tentavit. cumque mentis 
constantia confortatus arborem succidisset, magna quippe aderat 
copia Paganorum, qui et inimicum deorum suorum intra se diligen- 
tissime devotabant, sed ad modicum quidem arbore praecisa 
confestim immensa roboris moles, divino desuper flatu exagitata, 
palmitum confracto culmine, corruit, et quasi super! nutus solatio 
in quatuor etiam partes disrupta est, et quatuor ingentis magnitu- 
dinis aequali longitudine trunci, absque fratrum labore astantium 
apparuerunt. quo viso prius devotantes Pagani etiam versa vice 
benedictionem Domino, pristina abjecta nialedictione, credentes 

1 A shorter account of the same in the annalist Saxo, p. 133. 


reddiderunt. Tune autem summae sanctitatis antistes consilio inito 
cum fratribus ex supradictae arboris materia *) oratorium construxit, 
illudque in honore S. Petri apostoli dedicavit. From that time 
Christianity had in this place a seat in Hesse ; hard by was the 
ancient capital of the nation, Mattium (Marburg), id genti caput, 
Tac. Ann. 1, 56 ; which continued in the Mid. Ages to be the chief 
seat of government. According to Landau, the oak and the church 
built out of it stood on the site of St. Peter s church at Fritzlar. 
The whole region is well wooded (see Suppl.). 

Not unsimilar are some passages contained in the Vita S. 
Amandi (f 674), on the wood and tree worship of the northern 
Franks: Acta Bened. sec. 2. p. 714, 715, 718) : Amandus audivit 
pagum esse, cui vocabulum Gandavum, cujus loci habitatores ini- 
quitas diaboli eo circumquaque laqueis vehementer irretivit, ut 
incolae terrae illius, relicto deo, arbores et ligna pro deo colerent, 
atque fana vel idola adorarent. Ubi fana destruebantur, statim 
monasteria aut ecclesias construebat. Amandus in pago belvacense 
verbum domini dum praedicaret, pervenit ad quendam locum, cui 
vocabulum est Rossonto juxta Aronnam fluvium . . . respondit 
ilia, quod non ob aliam causam ei ipsa coecitas evenisset, nisi quod 
auguria vel idola semper coluerat. insuper ostendit ei locum, in 
quo praedictum idolum adorare consueverat, scilicet arborem, quae 
erat daemoni dedicate/, . . f nunc igitur accipe securim et hanc 
nefandam arborem quantocius succidere festina . 

Among the Saxons and Frisians the veneration of groves lasted 
much longer. At the beginning of the llth century, bishop Unwan 
of Bremen (conf. Adam. Brem. 2, 33) had all such woods cut down 
among the remoter inhabitants of his diocese : lucos in episcopatu 
suo, in quibus paludicolae regionis illius errore veteri cum profes- 
sione falsa christianitatis immolabant, succidit; Vita Meinwerci, 
cap- 22. Of the holy tree in the Old Saxon Irminsijul I will treat 
in ch. VI. Several districts of Lower Saxony and Westphalia 
have until quite recent times preserved vestiges of holy oaks, to 
which the people paid a half heathen half Christian homage. Thus, 
in the principality of Minden, on Easter Sunday, the young people 
of both sexes used with loud cries of joy to dance a reigen (rig, 

1 Other MS. have mole or ( metallo . A brazen image on the oak is not 
to be thought of, as such a thing would have been alluded to in what precedes 
or follows. 


circular dance) round an old oak. 1 In a thicket near the village of 
Wormeln, Paderborn, stands a holy oak, to which the inhabitants 
of Wormeln and Calenberg still make a solemn procession every 
year. 2 

I am inclined to trace back to heathenism the proper name of 
Holy Wood so common in nearly all parts of Germany. It is not 
likely that from a Christian church situated in a wood, the wood 
itself would be named holy ; and in such forests, as a rule, there is 
not a church to be found. Still less can the name be explained by 
the royal ban-forests of the Mid. Ages; on the contrary, these 
forests themselves appear to have sprung out of heathen groves, 
and the king s right seems to have taken the place of the cultus 
which first withdrew the holy wood from the common use of the 
people. In such forests too there used to be sanctuaries for crimi 
nals, EA. 886-9. 

An old account of a battle between Franks and Saxons at 
Notteln in the year 779 (Pertz 2, 377) informs us, that a badly 
wounded Saxon had himself secretly conveyed from his castle into a 
holy wood : Hie vero (Luibertus) magno curn merore se in castrum 
recepit. Ex quo post aliquot dies mulier egrotum humeris clam in 
sylvam Sytheri, quae fuit tliegathon sacra, nocte portavit. Vulnera 
ibidem lavans, exterrita clamore effugit. Ubi multa lamentatione 
animam expiravit. The strange expression thegathon is explained 
by T ayaOov (the good), a name for the highest divinity (summus 
et princeps omnium deorum), which the chronicler borrowed from 
Macrobius s somn. Scip. 1, 2, and may have chosen purposely, to 
avoid naming a well-known heathen god (see Suppl.). Sytheri, 
the name of the wood, seems to be the same as Sunderi (southern), 
a name given to forests in more than one district, e.g. a Sundernhart 
in Franconia (Hofers urk. p. 308). Did this heathen hope for heal 
ing on the sacred soil ? or did he wish to die there ? 

The forest called Dat hillige holt is mentioned by a document 
in Kindlinger s Miinst. beitr. 3, 638. In the county of Hoya there 
stood a Hdligen-loh (Pertz 2, 362). A long list of Alsatian 
documents in Schopflin allude to the holy forest near Hagenau ; no. 
218 (A..D. 1065) : cum foresto heiligenforst nominato in comitatu 
Gerhardi comitis in pago Nortcowe. no. 238 (1106) : in sylva 

1 Weddigen s westphal. mag. 3, 712, 

2 Spilckers beitrage 2, 121. 


heiligeforst. no. 273 (1143) : praedium Loubach in sacro nemore 
situm. no. 297 (1158) : utantur pascuis in sacra silva. no. 317 
(1175) : in silva sacra, no. 402 (1215) : in sacra silva. no. 800 (1292): 
conventum in konigesbriicken in Jieiligenforst. no. 829 (1304) : 
nemus nostrum et imperil dictum heiligvorst. no. 851 (1310) : 
pecora in foresta nostra, quae dicitur der lieilige forst, pascere et 
tenere. no. 1076 (1356) : porcos tempore glandium nutriendos in 
silva sacra. The alternating words forst, silva, nemus, are enough 
to show the significance of the term. The name of the well-known 
Dreieich (Drieichahi) is probably to be explained by the heathen 
worship of three oaks ; a royal ban-forest existed there a long time, 
and its charter (I, 498) is one of the most primitive. 

The express allusion to Thuringia and Saxony is remarkable in 
the following lines of a poem that seems to have been composed 
soon after the year 1200, Eeinh. F. 302 ; the wolf sees a goat on a 
tree, and exclaims : 

ich sine ein obez hangen, I see a fruit hanging, 

ez habe har ode borst ; That it has hair or bristles ; 

in einem heiligen vorste In any holy forest 

ze Diiringen noch ze Sachseu Of Thuringia nor of Saxony 
enkimde niht gewahsen There could not grow 

bezzer obez uf rise. Better fruit on bough. 

The allusion is surely to sacrificed animals, or firstfruits of the 
chase, hung up on the trees of a sacred wood ? Either the story is 
based on a more ancient original, or may not the poet have heard 
tell from somewhere of heathenish doings going on in his own day 
among Saxons and Thuringians ? (see SuppL). 

And in other poems of the Mid. Ages the sacredness of the 
ancient forests still exerts an after-influence. In Alex. 5193 we 
read der edele wait frone ; and we have inklings now and again, 
if not of sacrifices offered to sacred trees, yet of a lasting indestruc 
tible awe, and the fancy that ghostly beings haunt particular trees. 
Thus, in Ls. 2, 575, misfortune, like a demon, sat on a tree ; and in 
Altd. w. 3, 161 it is said of a hollow tree: 

da sint heiligen inne, There are saints in there, 

die hcerent aller liute bet. 1 That hear all people s prayers 

(see SuppL). 

1 From the notion of a forest temple the transition is easy to paying divine 
honours to a single tree. Festus has : delubrum fustis delibratus (staff with 


Still more unmistakably does this forest cultus prevail in the 
North, protected by the longer duration of heathenism. The great 
sacrifice at Ledera described by Dietmar (see p. 48) was performed 
in the island which, from its even now magnificent beech- woods, 
bore the name of Scelundr, sea-grove, and was the finest grove in all 
Scandinavia. The Swedes in like manner solemnized their festival 
of sacrifice in a grove near Upsala ; Adam of Bremen says of the 
animals sacrificed: Corpora suspenduntur in lucum qui proximus 
est templo ; is enim lucus tarn sacer est gentibus, ut singulae 
arbor es ejus ex morte vel tabo immolatorum divinae credantur. Of 
HlotJr HeiSreksson we are told in the Hervararsaga cap. 16 
(fornald. sog. 1, 491), that he was born with arms and horse in the 
Iwly wood (a mork hinni helgu). In the grove Glasislundr a bird 
sits on the boughs and demands sacrifices, a temple and gold-horned 
cows, Saem. 140-1. The sacred trees of the Edda, Yggdrasil and 
Mimamei&r, Ssem. 109 a , hardly need reminding of. 

Lastly, the agreement of the Slav, Prussian, Finnish and Celtic 
paganisms throws light upon our own, and tends to confirm it. 
Dietmar of Merseburg (Pertz 5, 812) affirms of the heathen temple 
at Eiedegost : quam undique sylva ab incolis intacta et venerabilis 
circumdat magna ; (ibid. 816) he relates how his ancestor Wibert 
about the year 1008 rooted up a grove of the Slavs : lucum Zuti- 
bure dictum, ab accolis ut deum in omnibus honoratum, et ab aevo 
antiquo nunquam violatum, radicitus eruens, sancto martyri 
Eomano in eo ecclesiam construxit. Zutibure is for Sveti bor 
holy forest, from bor (fir), pine-barren ; a Merseburg document of 
1012 already mentions an ecclesia in Scutibure, Zeitschr. f. 
archivkunde, 1, 162, An ON. saga (Fornm. sog. 11, 382) names a 
Uotlundr (sacrificial grove) at Strsela, called Boku, Helmold 1, 1 
says of the Slavs : usque hodie profecto inter illos, cum cetera 

bark peeled off) quern venerabantur pro deo. Names given to particular trees 
are at the same time names of goddesses, e.g. ON. Hlin, Gna. it is worthy of 
notice, that the heathen idea of divine figures on trees has crept into Christian 
legends, so deeply rooted was tree worship among the people. I refer doubters 
to the story of the Tyrolese image of grace, which grew up in a forest tree 
(Deutsche sagen, no. 348). In Carinthia you find Madonna figures fixed on the 
trees in gloomy groves (Sartoris reise 2, 165). Of like import seem to be the 
descriptions of wonderful maidens sitting inside hollow trees, or perched on the 
boughs (Marienkind, hausmarchen no. 3. Romance de la infantina, see ch. 
XVI.). Madonna in the wood, Mar. legend. 177. Many oaks with Madonnas 
in Normandy, Bosquet 196-7. 


onmia communia sint cum nostris, solus prohibetur accessus lucorum 
ac fontium, quos autumant pollui christianorum access 11. A song 
in the Koniginhof MS. p. 72 speaks of the grove (hain, Boh. hai, 
hag, Pol. gay, Sloven, gaj ; conf. gaius, gahajus, Lex Eoth. 324, 
kaheius, Lex Bajuv. 21, 6) from which the Christians scared away 
the holy sparrow. 1 The Esth. sallo, Finn, salo means a holy wood, 
especially a meadow with thick underwood ; the national god Thara- 
pila is described by Henry the Letton (ad. ann. 1219) : in confmio 
Wironiae erat mons et silva pulcherrima, in quo dicebant indigenae 
magnum deum Osiliensium natum qui Tharapila 2 vocatur, et de 
loco illo in Osiliam volasse, in the form of a bird ? (see Suppl.). 
To the Old Prussians, Romove was the most sacred spot in the land, 
and a seat of the gods ; there stood their images on a holy oak hung 
with cloths. No unconsecrated person was allowed to set foot in 
the forest, no tree to be felled, not a bough to be injured, not a 
beast to be slain. There were many such sacred groves in other 
parts of Prussia and Lithuania. 3 

The Vita S. Germani Autisiodorensis (b. 3 78, d. 448) written 
by Constantius as early as 473 contains a striking narrative of a 
peartree which stood in the middle of Auxerre and was honoured 
by the heathen. 4 As the Burgundians did not enter Gaul till the 
beginning of the 5th century, there is not likely to be a mixture in 
it of German tradition. But even if the story is purely Celtic, it 
deserves a place here, because it shows how widely the custom 
prevailed of hanging the heads of sacrificial beasts on trees. 5 Eo 
tempore (before 400) territorium Autisiodorensis urbis visitatione 
propria gubernabat Germanus. Cui mos erat tirunculorum potius 
industriis indulgere, quam christianae religioni operam dare, is 
ergo assidue venatui invigilans ferarum copiam insidiis atque artis 
strenuitate frequentissime capiebat. Erat autem arbor pirus in 

1 Brzetislav burnt down the heathen groves and trees of the Bohemians in 
1093, Pelzel 1, 76. The Poles called a sacred grove rok and uroczysko, conf. 
Russ. roshtcha, grove [root rek rok = fari, fatum ; roshtcha is from rosti, rasti 
= grow]. On threat of hostile invasion, they cut rods (wicie) from the grove, 
and sent them round to summon their neighbours. Mickiewicz 1, 56. 

2 Conf. Turupid in Fornm. sog. 11, 385; but on Slav nations conf. Schief- 
ner on Castren 329. 

3 Joh. Voigts gesch. Preussens 1, 595 597. 

4 Acta sanctor. Bolland. July 31, p. 202 ; conf. Legenda aurea, cap. 102. 

5 Huic (Marti) praedae primordia vovebantur, huic truncis susptndebantur 
exuviae, Jornandes cap. 5. 


urbe media, amcenitate gratissima : ad cujus ramusculos ferarum ab 
eo deprehensarum capita pro admiratione venationis nimiae depen- 
debant. Quern Celebris ejusdem civitatis Amator episcopus his 
frequens compellebat eloquiis : desine, quaeso, vir honoratorum 
splendidissime, haec jocularia, quae Christianis offensa, Paganis vero 
imitanda sunt, exercere. hoc opus idololatriae cultura est, non chris- 
tianse elegantissimae disciplinae/ Et licet hoc indesinenter vir deo 
dignus perageret, ille tamen nullo modo admonenti se adquiescere 
voluit aut obedire. vir autem domini iterum atque iteruni eum horta- 
batur, ut non solum a consuetudine male arrepta discederet, verum 
etiam et ipsam arlorem, ne Christianis offendiculum esset, radici- 
tus exstirparet. sed ille nullatenus aurem placidam applicare voluit 
admonenti. In hujus ergo persuasionis tempore quodam die Ger- 
manus ex urbe in praedia sui juris discessit. tune beatus Amator 
opportunitatem opperiens sacrilcc/am arborem cum caudicibus ab- 
scidit, et ne aliqua ejus incredulis esset memoria igni concreman- 
dam illico deputavit. oscilla 1 } vero, quae tanquam tropliaea cujus- 
dam certaminis umbram dependentia ostentabant, longius a civitatis 
terminis projici praecipit. Protinus vero fama gressus suos ad 
aures German! retorquens, dictis animum incendit, atque iram suis 
suasionibus exaggerans ferocem effecit, ita ut oblitus sanctae 
religionis, cujus jam fuerat ritu atque munere insignitus, mortem 
beatissimo viro minitaret. 

A poem of Herricus composed about 876 gives a fuller descrip 
tion of the idolatrous peartree : 

altoque et lato stabat gratissima quondam 
urbe pirus media, populo spectabilis omni ; 
non quia pendentum flavebat honore pirorum, 
nee quia perpetuae vernabat munere frondis : 

1 Virg. Georg. 2, 388 : tibique (Bacche) oscilla ex alta suspendunt mollia 
pinu. In the story, however, it is not masks that are hung up, but real heads 
of beasts; are the ferarum imagines in Tac. Hist. 4, 22 necessarily images ? 
Does oscilla mean capita oscillantia ? It appears that when they hung up the 
heads, they propped open the mouth with a stick, conf. Isengr. (345. Reinardus 
3, 293 (see Suppi). Nailing birds of prey to the gate of a burg or barn is well 
known, and is practised to this day. Hanging up horses heads was mentioned 
on p. 47. The Grimnismal 10 tells us, in Corn s mansion there hung a wolf 
outside the door, and over that an eagle ; were these mere simulacra and insignia ? 
Witechind says, the Saxons, when sacrificing, set up an eagle over the gate: Ad 
orientalem pertain ponuntaquilam, aramque Victoriae construentes ; this eagle 
seems to have been her emblem. A dog hung up over the threshold is also 
mentioned, Lex. Alain. 102. 


sed deprensarum passim capita alta ferarum 
arboris obscoenae patulis Jiaerentia ramis 
praebebant vano plausum spectacula vulgo. 
horrebant illic trepidi ramalia cervi 
et dirum frendentis apri, fera spicula, dentes, 
acribus exitium meditantes forte molossis. 
tune quoque sic variis arbos induta tropaeis 
fundebat rudibus lascivi semina risus. 

It was not the laughter of the multitude that offended the Christian 
priests ; they saw in the practice a performance, however degene 
rate and dimmed, of heathen sacrifices. 1 

Thus far we have dwelt on the evidences which go to prove 
that the oldest worship of our ancestors was connected with sacred 
forests and trees. 

At the same time it cannot be doubted, that even in the earliest 
times there were temples built for single deities, and perhaps rude 
images set up inside them. In the lapse of centuries the old forest 
worship may have declined and been superseded by the structure 
of temples, more with some populations and less with others. In 
fact, we come across a good many statements so indefinite or incom 
plete, that it is impossible to gather from them with any certainty 
whether the expressions used betoken the ancient cultus or one 
departing from it. 

The most weighty and significant passages relating to this part 
of the subject seem to be the following (see SuppL) : 

Tac. Germ. 40 describes the sacred grove and the worship of 
Mother Earth ; when the priest in festival time has carried the 
goddess round among the people, he restores her to her sanctuary : 
satiatam conversatione mortalium deam templo reddit. 

Tac. ann. 1, 51 : Csesar avidas legiones, quo latior populatio 
foret, quatuor in cuneos dispertit, quinquaginta millium spatium 
ferro flammisque pervastat ; non sexus, non aetas miserationem 

1 St. Benedict found at Montecassino vetustissimum fanum, in quo ex 
antique more gentilium a stulto rusticano populo Apollo colebatur, circumquaque 
enim in cultum daemoniorum hid succreverant, in quibus adhuc eodem tempore 
infidelium insana multitude sacrificiis sacrilegis insudabat. Greg. Mag. dialogi 
2, 8. These were not German heathens, but it proves the custom to have been 
the more universal. 


attulit: profana simul et sacra } et celeberrimum illis gentibus 
templum, quod Tanfanae 1 vocabant, solo aequantur. The nation to 
which this temple belonged were the Marsi and perhaps some 
neighbouring ones (see Suppl.). 

Vita S. Eugendi abbatis Jurensis (f circ. 510), auctore monacho 
Condatescensi ipsius discipulo (in Actis sanctor. Bolland. Jan. 1, p. 
50, and in Mabillon, acta Ben. sec. 1, p. 570) : Sanctus igitur 
famulus Christi Eugendus, sicut beatorum patrum Bomani et 
Lupicini in religione discipulus, ita etiam natalibus ac provincia 
extitit indigena atque concivis. ortus nempe est haud longe a vico 
cui vetusta paganitas ob celebritatem clausuramque fortissimam 
superstitiosissimi templi Gallica lingua Isarnodori, id est, ferrei ostii 
indidit nomen. : quo mine quoque in loco, ddubris ex parte jam 
dirutis, sacratissime micant coelestis regni culmina dicata Christi- 
colis; atque inibi pater sanctissimae prolis judicio pontifical! 
plebisque testimonio extitit in presbyterii dignitate sacerdos. If 
Eugendus was born about the middle of the 5th century, and his 
father already was a priest of the Christian church which had been 
erected on the site of the heathen temple, heathenism can at the 
latest have lingered there only in the earlier half of that century, 
at whose commencement the West Goths passed through Italy into 
Gaul. Gallica lingua here seems to be the German spoken by the 
invading nations, in contradistinction to the Eomana ; the name of 
the place is almost pure Gothic, eisarnadaiiri, still more exactly it 
might be Burgundian, isarnodori. 2 Had either West Goths or 
Burgundians, or perhaps even some Alamanns that had penetrated 
so far, founded the temple in the fastnesses and defiles of the Jura? 3 
The name is well suited to the strength of the position and of the 
building, which the Christians in part retained (see Suppl.). 

A Constitutio Childeberti I of about 554 (Pertz 3, 1) contains 
the following : Praecipientes, ut quicunque admoniti de agro suo, 
ubicumque fuerint simulacra constructa vel idola daemoni dedicata 

1 An inscription found in Neapolitan territory, but supposed by Orelli 
2053 to have been made by Ligorius, has Tamfanae sacrum * (Gudii inscript. 
untiq. p. Iv. 11, de Wai p. 188) ; the word is certainly German, and formed like 
Hludana, Sigann CSeqiwiia), Liutana (Lngdtmum), Rabana (Ravenna), &c. 

2 Yet the Celtic forms also are not far removed, Ir. iaran, Wei. haiarn, 
Armor, uarn (ferrum) ; Ir. doras, Wei. dor (porta) : haearndor = iron gate, 
quoted in Davies s Brit, Mythol. pp. 120, 560. 

3 Frontier mountains held sacred and made places of sacrifice by some 
nations ; Hitters erdkunde 1, aufl. 2, 79. vol. 2, p. 903. 


ab hominibus, factum non statim abjecerint vel sacerdotibus haec 
destruentibus prohibuerint, datis fidejussoribus non aliter discedant 
nisi in nostris obtutibus praesententur. 

Vita S. Eadegundis (( 587) the wife of Clotaire, composed by a 
contemporary nun Baudonivia (acta Bened. sec. 1, p. 327) : Dum 
iter ageret (Eadegundis) secular! pompa se comitante, interjecta 
longinquitate terrae ac spatio, fanum quod a Francis colebatur in 
itinere beatae reginae quantum miliario uno proximum erat. hoc 
ilia audiens jussit famulis fanum igne comburi, iniquum judicans 
Deum coeli contemn! et diabolica machinamenta venerari. Hoc 
audientes Franc! uni versa multitudo cum gladiis et fustibus vel 
omni fremitu conabantur defender, sancta vero regina immobilis 
perseverans et Christum in pectore gestans, equum quern sedebat 
in antea (i.e. ulterius) non movit antequam et fanum perureretur 
et ipsa orante inter se populi pacem firmarent. The situation of 
the temple she destroyed I do not venture to determine; Eadegund 
was journeying from Thuringia to France, and somewhere on that 
line, not far from the Ehine, the fanum may be looked for. 

Greg. Tur. vitae patrum 6 : Eunte rege (Theoderico) in Agrip- 
pinam urbem, et ipse (S. Gallus) simul abiit. erat autem ibi fanum 
quoddam diversis ornamentis refertum ; in quo barbaris (1. Barbaras) 
opima libamina exhibens usque ad vomitum cibo potuque repleba- 
tur. ibi et simulacra ut deum adorans, membra, secundum quod 
unumquemque dolor attigisset, sculpebat in ligno. quod ubi S. 
Gallus audivit, statim illuc cum uno tantum clerico properat, ac- 
censoque igne, cum nullus ex stultis Paganis adesset, ad fanum 
applicat et succendit. at illi videntes fumum delubri ad coelum 
usque conscendere, auctorem incendii quaerunt, inventumque eva- 
ginatis gladiis prosequuntur ; ille vero in fugam versus aulae se 
regiae condidit. verum postqnam rex quae acta fuerant Paganis 
minantibus recognovit, blandis eos sermonibus lenivit. This Gallus 
is distinct from the one who appears in Alamannia half a century 
later ; he died about 553, and by the king is meant Theoderic I of 

Vita S. Lupi Senonensis (Duchesne 1, 562. Bouquet 3, 491) : 
Rex Chlotarius virum Dei Lupum episcopum retrusit in pago quodam 
Jeustriae nuncupante Vinemaco (le Vimeu), traditum duci pagano 
(i.e. duci terrae), nomine Boson! Landegisilo (no doubt a Frank) 
quern ille direxit in villa quae dicitur Andesagina super fluvium 


Auciam, ubi erant templet fanatica a decurionibus culta. (A.D. 
614.) Andesagina is Ansenrie, Aucia was afterwards called la 
Bresle, Briselle. 

Beda, hist. eccl. 2, 13, relates how the Northumbrian king 
Eadwine, baptized 627, slain 633, resolved after mature consultation 
with men of understanding to adopt Christianity, and was especially 
made to waver in his ancient faith by Coin (Ccefi) his chief heathen 
priest himself: Cumque a praefato pontifice sacrorum suorum 
quaereret, quis aras et fana idolorum cum septis quibus erant cir- 
cumdata primus profanare deberet ? respondit : ego. quis enim ea, 
quae per stultitiam colui, nunc ad exemplum omnium aptius quam 
ipse per sapientiam mihi a Deo vero donatam destruam ? . . . 
Accinctus ergo gladio accepit lanceam in maim et ascendens 
emissarium regis (all three unlawful and improper things for a 
heathen priest), pergebat ad idola. quod aspiciens vulgus aesti- 
mabat eum insanire. nee distulit ille. mox ut appropinquabat ad 
fanum, profanare illud, injecta in eo lancea quam tenebat, multum- 
que gavisus de agnitione veri Dei cultus, jussit sociis destruere ac 
succendere fanum cum omnibus septis suis. ostenditur autem locus 
ille quondam idolorum non longe ab Eboraco ad orientem ultra 
amnem Dorowentionem et vocatur hodie Godmundinga ham, ubi 
pontifex ipse, inspirante Deo vero, polluit ac destruxit eas, quas 
ipse sacraverat, aras. 1 

Vita S. Bertuffi Bobbiensis (f 640) in Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 
164 : Ad quandam villam Iriae fluvio adjacentem accessit, ubi 
fanum quoddam arboribus consitum videns allatum ignem ei admovit, 
congestis in modum pirae lignis. Id vero cernentes fani cultores 
Meroveum apprehensum diuque fustibus caesum et ictibus con- 
tusum in fluvium illud demergere conantur. The Iria runs into 
the Po ; the event occurs among Lombards. 

Walafridi Strabonis vita S. Galli (f 640) in actis Bened. sec. 2 
p. 219, 220 : Venerunt (S. Columbanus et Gallus) infra partes 
Alemanniae ad fluvium, qui Lindimacus vocatur, juxta quern ad 
superiora tendentes pervenerunt Turicinum. cumque per littus 
ambulantes venissent ad caput lacus ipsius, in locum qui Tucconia 
dicitur, placuit illis loci qualitas ad inhabitandum. porro homines 

1 The A.S. translation renders arae by wigbed (see p. 67), fana by heargas, 
idola by deofolgild, septa once by hegas (hedges), and the other time by getymbro. 
The spear hurled at the hearg gave the signal for its demolition. 


ibidem commanentes crudeles erant et impii, simulacra colentcs, 
idola sacrificiis venerantes, observantes auguria et divinationes et 
multa quae contraria sunt cultui divino superstitiosa sectantes. 
Sancti igitur homines cum coepissent inter illos habitare, docebant 
eos adorare Patrem et Filium et Spiritum sanctum, et custodire 
fidei veritatem. Beatus quoque Gallus sancti viri discipulus zelo 
pietatis armatus fana, in quibus daemoniis sacrificdbant, igni suc- 
cendit et quaecumque invenit oblata demersit in lacum. Here 
follows an important passage which will be quoted further on ; it 
says expressly : cumque ejusdem templi solemnitas ageretur. 

Jonae Bobbiensis vita S. Columbani ([ 615) cap. 17. in act. 
Bened. 2, 12. 13 : Cumque jam multorum monachorum societate 
densaretur, coepit cogitare, ut potiorem locum in eadem ereino 
(i.e. Vosago saltu) quaereret, quo monasterium construeret. in- 
venitque castrum firmissimo munimine olim fuisse outturn, a supra 
dicto loco distans plus minus octo millibus, quern prisca tempora 
Luxovium nuncupabant, ibique aquae calidae cultu eximio constru- 
ctae habebantur. ibi imaginum lapidearum densitas vicina saltus 
densabat, 1 quas cultu- miserdbili rituque profano vetusta Payanorum 
tempora honorabant. This Burgundian place then (Luxeuil in 
Tranche Comte, near Vesoul) contained old Eoman thermae 
adorned with statues. Had the Burgundian settlers connected 
their own worship with these ? The same castrum is spoken of 
in the 

Vita S. Agili Eesbacensis (f 650), in Acta Ben. sec. 2, p. 317 : 
Castrum narnque intra vasta eremi septa, quae Vosagus dicitur, 
fuerat fanaticorum cultui olim dedicatum, sed tune ad solum usque 
dirutum, quod hujus saltus incolae, quamquam ignoto praesagio, 
Luxovium [qu. lux ovium?] nominavere. A church is then built 
on the heathen site : ut, ubi olim prophano ritu veteres coluerunt 
fana, ibi Christ! figerentur arae et erigerentur vexilla, habitaculum 
Deo militantium, quo adversus aerias potestates dimicarent superni 
Regis tirones. p. 319 : Ingressique (Agilus cum Eustasio) hujus 
itineris viam, juvante Christo, Warascos praedicatori accelerant, 
qui agrestium fanis decepti, quos vulgi faunos vocant, gentilium 

1 The multitude of statues made the adjoining wood thicker ? Must we not 
supply an ace. copiam or speciem after imag. lapid. 1 [vicina saltus densabat 
evidently means crowded the adjoining part of the wood . So in Ovid: densae 
foliis "buxi. TRANS.] 


quoque errore seducti, in perfidiam devenerant, Fotini sen Bonosi 
virus infecti, quos, errore depulso, matri ecclesiae reconciliatos veros 
Christi fecere servos. 

Vita S. Willibrordi (f 789), in Acta Bened. sec. 3, p. 609 : 
Pervenit in confinio Fresonum et Danorum ad quandam insulam, 
quae a quodam deo suo Fosite ab accolis terrae Fositesland appel- 
latur, quia in ea ejusdem dei fana fuere constructa. Qui locus a 
paganis tanta veneratione habebatur, ut nil in eo vel animalium 
ibi pascentium vel aliarum quarumlibet rerum gentilium quisquam 
tangere audebat, nee etiam a fonte qui ibi ebulliebat aquam haurire 
nisi tacens praesumebat. 

Vita S. Willehadi (f 793), in Pertz 2, 381 : Unde contigit, ut 
quidam discipulorum ejus, divino compuncti ardore, /&7ia in morem 
gentilium circumquaque erecta coepissent evertere et ad nihilum, 
prout poterant, redigere ; quo facto barbari, qui adhuc forte 
perstiterant, furore nimio succensi, irruerunt super eos repente cum 
impetu, volentes eos funditus interimere, ibique Dei famulum 
fustibus caesum multis admodum plagis affecere. This happened 
in the Frisian pagus Thrianta (Drente) before 779. 

Vita Ludgeri (beginning of the 9th cent.) 1,8 : (In Frisia) Paganos 
asperrimos . . . mitigavit, ut sua ilium delubra destruere corarn 
oculis paterentur. Inventum in fanis aurum et argentum plurimum 
Albricus in aerarium regis intulit, accipiens et ipse praecipiente 
Carolo portionem ex illo. Conf. the passage cited p. 45 from the 
Lex Frisionum. 

Folcuini gesta abb. Lobiensium (circ. 980), in Pertz 6, 55 : Est 
locus intra terminos pagi, quern veteres, a loco ubi superstitiosa 
(jentilitas fanum Marti sacraverat, Fanum Martinse dixeruut. This 
is Farnars in Hainault, not far from Valenciennes. 

In all probability the sanctuary of Tanfana which Germanicus 
demolished in A.D. 14 was not a mere grove, but a real building, 
otherwise Tacitus would hardly have called the destruction of it a 
levelling to the ground . During the next three or four centuries 
we are without any notices of heathen temples in Germany. In 
the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries, as I have shown, we come 
upon castra, tcmpla, fana among Burgundians, Franks, Lombards, 
Alamanns, Anglo-Saxons, and Frisians. By fanum (whence fana- 
ticus) seems often to have been understood a building of smaller 


extent, and by templum one of larger ; the Indiculus superstit. xxxi. 
4 has : de casulis (huts), i.e. fanis (see Suppl.). I admit that 
some of the authorities cited leave it doubtful whether German 
heathen temples- be intended, they might be Eoman ones which 
had been left standing ; in which case there is room for a twofold 
hypothesis : that the dominant German nation had allowed certain 
communities in their midst to keep up the Eoman-Gallic cultus, or 
that they themselves had taken possession of Eoman buildings for 
the exercise of their own religion 1 (see Suppl.). No thorough 
investigation has yet been made of the state of religion among the 
Gauls immediately before and after the irruption of the Germans ; 
side by side with the converts there were still, no doubt, some 
heathen Gauls; it is difficult therefore to pronounce for either 
lypothesis, cases of both kinds may have co-existed. So much for 
ihe doubtful authorities ; but it is not all of them that leave us in 
any doubt. If the Tanfana temple could be built by Germans, we 
can suppose the same of the Alamann, the Saxon and the Frisian 
mples; and what was done in the first century, is still more likely 
to have been done in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. 

Built Temples must in early times have been named in a variety 
of ways (see Suppl.) : OHG. AS. OS. ON". Jwf, aula, atrium ; 2 
OHG. holla, templum (Hymn. 24, 8), AS. heal, ON. holl (conf. hallr, 
lapis, Goth, hallus); OHG. sal, ON. salr, AS. sele, OS.seli, aula; 
AS. reced, domus, basilica (Ca^dm. 145, 11. 150, 16. 219, 23), OS. 
aloud (Hel. 114, 17. 130, 20. 144, 4. 155, 20), an obscure word not 
found in the other dialects ; OHG. petaptir, delubrum (Drat. 1, 

1 As the vulgar took Roman fortifications for devil s dikes, it was natural 
to associate with Roman castella the notion of idolatry. Rupertus Tuitiensis 
t 1135) in his account of the fire of 1128 that levelled such a castellum at 
Deuz, which had been adapted to Christian worship, informs us that some 
thought it was built by Julius Caesar, others by Constantius and Constantine. 
In the emperor Otto s time. St. Mary appears by night to archbishop Heribert: 
* surge, et Tuitiense castrum petens, locum in eodem mundari praecipe, ibique 
monasterium Deo mihique et omnibus sanctis constitue, nt, ubi quondam 
habitavit peccatum et cultus daemonum, ibi justitia regnet et memoria 
sanctorum/ with more of the like, in the Vita Heriberti cap. 15. Conf. the 
fanum at Cologne above, p. 81. 

2 The asylum that atrium and temple offered within their precincts is in 
ON. gri&asta&r, OHG. frtthof, OS. vrtthob, Hel. 151, 2, 9. MHG. vrone 
vrithof, Nib. 1795, 2 ; not at all our friedhof [but conn, with frei, free], conf. 
Goth, freidjan, OS. fridon (parcere). That the constitution of the Old 
German sanctuaries was still tor tl^e most part heathenish, is discussed in RA. 


195*) 1 ; to which were afterwards added petahds, minores ecclesiae 
(Gl. sletst. 21, 32) and chirihhd, AS. cyrice. The MHG. poets like 
to use betehus of a heathen temple as opposed to a Christian church 
(En. 2695. Earl. 339, 11.28. 342,6. Athis D 93. Herb. 952. Wigal. 
8308. Pass. 356, 73. Tit. 3329), so in M. Nethl. ledeMs (Maerl. 
1, 326. 3, 125), much as the Catholics in their own countries do not 
allow to Protestants a church, but only a bethaus, praying-house 
(see Suppl.). 0. iv. 33, 33 has the periphrase gotes hus, and ii. 4, 
52 druhtines Jills. Notker cap. 17 makes no scruple of translating 
the Lat. fanis by chilcchon, just as bishop does duty for heathen 
priest as well. In the earliest times temple was retained, Is. 382. 
395. T. 15,4. 193,2. 209,1. Diut. 1, 195. a 

The hut which we are to picture to ourselves under the term 
fanum or pur (A.S. bur, bower) was most likely constructed of logs 
and twigs round the sacred tree ; a wooden temple of the goddess 
Zisa will find a place in ch. XIII. With halla and some other 
names we are compelled to think rather of a stone building. 

We see all the Christian teachers eager to lay the axe to the 
sacred trees of the heathen, and fire under their temples. It would 
.almost seem that the poor people s consent was never asked, and 
the rising smoke was the first thing that announced to them the 
broken power of their gods. But on a closer study of the details in 
the less high-flown narratives, it comes out that the heathen were 
not so tame and simple, nor the Christians so reckless. Boniface 
resolved on hewing down the Thunder-oak after taking counsel with 
the already converted Hessians, and in their presence. So too the 
Thuringian princess might not have dared to sit so immovable on 
her palfrey and give the order to fire the Prankish temple, had not 
her escort been numerous enough to make head against the heathen. 
That these did make an armed resistance, appears from Radegund s 
request, after the fane was burnt down, ut inter se populi pacem 

In most of the cases it is expressly stated that a church was 
erected on the site of the heathen tree or temple. 2 In this way the 

1 Actum in illo bctaptire (the church at Fulda) publice, Trad. Fuld. ed. 
Schannat no. 193. in bedebur, Lacombl. no. 412 (A.D. 1162). in bedebure, Erhard 
p. 148 (A.D. 1121). betbur, Meyer Ziirch. ortsn. 917. 

2 Sulp. Severus (ed. Amst. 1665), p. 458 : Nam ubi fana destruxerat 
(Martinus), statim ibi aut ecclesias ant monasteria construcbat. Dietmar of Merseb. 
7, 52, p. 859 (speaking of Bishop Reinbern on Slav, territory, A.D. 1015) : 


people s habits of thinking were consulted, and they could believe 
that the old sacredness had not departed from the place, but hence 
forth flowed from the presence of the true God (see Suppl.). 

At the same time we here perceive the reason of the almost 
entire absence of heathen monuments or their remains, not only 
in Germany proper, but in the North, where certainly such 
temples existed, and more plentifully ; conf. in chaps. VI. X. XVI. 
the temple at Sigtun, baer i Baldrshaga, and the Nornas temple. 
Either these were levelled with the ground to make room for a 
Christian church, or their walls and halls were worked into the new 
building. We may be slow to form any high opinion of the build 
ing art among the heathen Germans, yet they must have understood 
how to arrange considerable masses of stone, and bind them firmly 
together. We have evidence of this in the grave-mounds and places 
of sacrifice still preserved in Scandinavia, partly also in Friesland 
and Saxony, from which some important inferences might be drawn 
with regard to the old heathen services, but these I exclude from 
my present investigation. 

The results are these : the earliest seat of heathen worship was 
in groves, whether on mountain or in pleasant mead ; there the first 
temples were afterwards built, and there also were the tribunals of 
the nation. 

Fana idolorum destruens incendit, et mare daemonibus cultum, immissis quatuor 
lapidibus sacro chrismate pemnctis, et aqua purgans benedicta, novam Domino 
. . . plantationem eduxit. On the conversion of the Pantheon into a 
church, see Massmann s Eradius 476. 


The most general term for one who is called to the immediate 
service of deity (minister deoram, Tac. Germ. 10) is one derived 
from the name of deity itself. From the Goth. gu8 (deus) is formed 
the adj. gaguds (godly, pius, evo-e{3r)<;), \hen. gagudei (pietas, euo-e/3eta). 
In OHG. and MHG., I find pius translated erhaft, strictly reverens, 
but also used for venerandus ; our fromm has only lately acquired 
this meaning, the MHG. vrum being simply able, excellent. The 
God-serving, pious man is in Goth, gudja (tepeu?, Matt. 8, 4, 27, 1. 
63. Mk. 10, 34. 11, 27. 14, 61. Lu. 1, 5. 20, 1. Jo. 18, 19. 
22. 19, 6. ufargudja (ap^iepeu?) Mk 10, 33. gudjindn (lepareveiv), 
Lu. 1, 8. gudjinassus (lepareia) Lu. 1, 9. (see Suppl.). 

That these were heathen expressions follows from the accordance 
of the ON. gofti (pontifex), Jwfs goffi (fani antistes), Egilss. 754. 
Freys goffi, Nialss. cap. 96. 117. Fornm. sog. 2, 206. godbrd 
(sacerdotium). An additional argument is found in the disappear 
ance of the word from the other dialects, just as our alah dis 
appeared, though the Goths had found alhs unobjectionable. Only 
a faint vestige appears in the OHG. cotinc by which tribunus is 
glossed, Diut. 1, 187 (Goth, gudiggs ?). Now as Ulphilas 1 associates 
gudja and sinista (Trpeo-fivrepos, elder, man of standing, priest), a 
remarkable sentence in Amm. MarcelL 28, 5 informs us, that the 
high priest of the Burgundians was called sinisto: Nam sacerdos 
omnium maximus apud Burgundies vocatur sinistus, et est perpetu- 
us, 2 obnoxius discriminibus nullis ut reges. The connexion of 
priests with the nobility I have discussed in EA. 267-8 (see Suppl.). 

More decidedly heathen are the OHG. names for a priest 
liarugari, Diut. 1, 514 b , 3 andparaivari, Diut. 1, 150 a , (being derived 
from haruc and paro, the words for temple given on p. 68-9, and 

* Strictly the Evangelist ; the> translator had no choice. TRANS. 

For the sense of perpetuity attaching to sin- in composition, see Gramm. 

3 If haruc meant wood or rock, and harugari priest, they are very like the 
. and Gael, earn, cairn, and cairneac priest. O Brien 77 a . 

2, 554-5. 


confirming what I have maintained, that these two terms were 
synonymous). They can hardly have been coined by the glossist 
to interpret the Lat. aruspex, they must have existed in our ancient 
speech. A priest who sacrificed was named pluostrari (see p. 36). 

The fact that cotinc could bear the sense of tribunus shows the 
close connexion between the offices of priest and judge, which 
comes out still more clearly in a term peculiar to the High Germ, 
dialect : ewa, ea signified not only the secular, but the divine law, 
these being closely connected in the olden times, and equally 
sacred ; hence eowart, dwart law- ward, administrator of law, Z/O/UATO?, 
AS. se-gleaw, ge-lareow, Goth, vitodafasteis, one learned in the law, 
K. 55 a 56% b . Gl. Hrab. 974 a . N. ps. 50, 9. ewarto of the weak decl. 
in O.I. 4, 2. 18. 72. gotes ewarto I. 4, 23. and as late as the 12th 
century ewarte, Mar. 21. and, without the least reference to the 
Jewish office, but quite synonymous with priest : der heilige 
dwarte, Eeinh. 1705. der baruc und die ewarten sin, Parz. 13, 25. 
Wh. 217, 23 of Saracen priests (see SuppL). The very similar 
eosago, esago stood for judex, legislator, EA. 781. 

The poet of the Heliand uses the expression wihes ward (templi 
custos) 150, 24; to avoid the heathen as well as a foreign term, he 
adopts periphrases: the gierddo man (geehrte, honoured), 3, 19. 
the frodo man (frot, fruot, prudens) 3, 21. 7, 7. frodgumo (gumo, 
homo) 5, 23. 6, 2. godcund gumo 6, 12, which sounds like gudja 
above, but may convey the peculiar sense in which Wolfram uses 
der guote man . 1 In the Eomance expressions prudens homo, bonus 
homo (prudhomme, bonhomme) there lurks a reference to the 
ancient jurisprudence. Once Ulphilas renders dpxiepevs by auhu- 
mists veiha, John 18, 13, but never iepevs by veiha. 

With Christianity there came in foreign words (see SuppL). 
The Anglo-Saxons adopted the Lat. sacerdos in abbreviated form : 
sacerd, pi. sacerdas ; and ^Elfred translates Beda s pontifex and 
summus pontificum (both of them heathen), 2, 13 by biscop and 
ealdorbiscop. T. and 0. use in the same sense bisgof, biscof (from 

1 Parz. 457, 2. 458, 25. 460, 19. 476, 23. 487, 23. The godo gumo, Hel. 4, 16 
is said of John ; ther guato man, 0. ii. 12, 21. 49 of Nicodemus ; in Ulrich s Lan- 
zelot, an abbot is styled der guote man, 4613. 4639. conf. 3857, 4620 ewarte, 4626 
priester. But with this is connected diu guote.frouwe (v. infra), i.e. originally 
bona socia, so that in the good man also there peeps out something heathenish, 
heretical. In the great Apologue, the cricket is a clergyman, and is called 
(Ren. 8125) preudoms and Frobert = Fruotbert (see SuppL j. 


episcopus), 0. I. 4, 4. 27. 47 ; and the Hel. 150, 24 Uscop. Later 
on, priester (from presbyter, following the idea of elder and superior), 
audpfajfe (papa) came to be the names most generally used ; AS. 
preost, Engl. priest, Fr. prestre, pretre ; in Veldek, prester rhymes 
with mester, En. 9002. 

When Caesar, bell. Gall. 6, 21, says of the Germans: Neque 
druides habent qui rebus divinis praesint, neque sacrificiis student, 
the statement need not be set down as a mistake, or as contra 
dicting what Tacitus tells us of the German priests and sacrifices. 
Csesar is all along drawing a contrast between them and the Gauls. 
He had described the latter 6, 16 as excessively addicted to 
sacrifices ; and his non studere sacrificiis must in the connexion 
mean no more than to make a sparing use of sacrifices. As little 
did there prevail among the Germans the elaborately finished 
Druid-system of the Gauls ; but they did not want for priests or 
sacrifices of their own. 

The German priests, as we have already gathered from a cursory 
review of their titles, were employed in the worship of the gods 
and in judging the people. In campaigns, discipline is entrusted 
to them alone, not to the generals, the whole war being carried on 
as it were in the presence of the deity : Ceterum neque animad- 
vertere neque vincire nee verberare quidem nisi sacerdotibus per- 
missum, non quasi in poenam, nee ducis jussu, sed velut deo 
imperante, quern adesse bellantibus credunt, Germ. 7 (see Suppl). 
The succeeding words must also refer to the priests, it is they that 
take the effigies et signa from the sacred grove and carry them 
into battle. We learn from cap. 10, that the sacerdos civitatis 
superintends the divination by rods, whenever it is done for the 
nation. If the occasion be not a public one, the paterfamilias 
himself can direct the matter, and the priest need not be called in : 
a remarkable limitation of the priestly power, and a sign how far the 
rights of the freeman extended in strictly private life ; on the same 
principle, I suppose, that in very early times covenant transac 
tions could be settled between the parties, without the interven 
tion of the judge (EA. 201). Again, when the divination was by 
the neighing of the white steeds maintained by the state, priests 
accompanied the sacred car, and accredited the transaction. Tlie priest 
alone may touch the car of Nerthus, by him her approaching 
presence is perceived, he attends her full of reverence, and leads 


her back at last to her sanctuary, cap. 40. Segimund, the son of 
Segestes, whom Tac. Ann. 1, 57 calls sacerdos, had been not a 
German but a Roman priest (apud aram Ubiorum), and after tearing 
up the alien chaplet (vittas ruperat), had fled to his home. 

These few incidental notices of priests give us anything but a 
complete view of their functions (see SuppL). On them doubtless 
devolved also the performance of public prayers, the slaying of 
victims, the consecration of the kings and of corpses, perhaps of 
marriages too, the administering of oaths, and many other duties. 
Of their attire, their insignia and gradations, we hear nothing at 
all ; once Tacitus cap. 43 speaks of a sacerdos muliebri ornatu, but 
gives no details. No doubt the priests formed a separate, possibly 
a hereditary order, though not so powerful and influential as in 
Gaul. Probably, beside that sacerdos civitatis, there were higher 
and low^er ones. Only one is cited by name, the Cattian, i.e. 
Hessian, Libes in Strabo (Ai/Bys rwv Xdrrwv lepevsi), who with 
other German prisoners was dragged to Rome in the pompa of 
Germanicus. Of him Tacitus (so far as we still have him) is 
silent. 1 Jornandes s statement is worthy of notice, that the Gothic 
priests were termed pileati in distinction from the rest of the people, 
the capillati, and that during sacrifice they had the head covered 
with a hat ; conf. RA. 271 (see SuppL). 05inn is called SiShottr, 

The succeeding period, down to the introduction of Christi 
anity, scarcely yields any information on the condition of the 
priesthood in continental Germany ; their existence we infer from 
that of temples and sacrifices. A fact of some importance has been 
preserved by Beda, Hist. eccl. 2, 13 : a heathen priest of the Anglo- 
Saxons was forbidden to carry arms or to ride a male horse : Non 
enim licuerat, pontificem sacrorum vel arma ferre, vel praeterquam 
in equa equitare. Can this have any connexion with the regulation 
which, it is true, can be equally explained from the Bible, that 
Christian clergymen, when riding about the country, should be 
mounted on asses and colts, not horses (RA. 86-88) ? Festus also 
remarks : Equo vehi flamini diali non licebat, ne, si longius digre- 
deretur, sacra neglegerentur (see SuppL). The transmission of 
such customs, which have impressed themselves on the habits of 

1 Libes might be Leip, Leb, O.N. Leifr, Goth. Laibs ? A var. lect. has A#W. 


life, would seem to have been quite admissible. I shall try else 
where to show in detail, how a good deal in the gestures and atti 
tudes prescribed for certain legal transactions savours of priestly 
ceremony at sacrifice and prayer (see Suppl.). It is not unlikely, 
as heathen sacred places were turned into Christian ones, that it 
was also thought desirable amongst a newly converted people to 
attract their former priests to the service of the new religion. 
They were the most cultivated portion of the people, the most 
capable of comprehending the Christian doctrine and recommending 
it to their countrymen. Prom the ranks of the heathen priesthood 
would therefore proceed both the bitterest foes and the warmest 
partizans of innovation. 1 The collection of the Letters of Boniface 
has a passage lamenting the confusion of Christian and heathen 
rites, into which foolish or reckless and guilty priests had suffered 
themselves to fall. 2 This might have been done in blameless ignor 
ance or from deliberate purpose, but scarcely by any men except 
such as were previously familiar with heathenism. 

Even the Norse priesthood is but very imperfectly delineated in 
the Eddas and sagas. A noteworthy passage in the Ynglingasaga 
cap. 2 which regards the Ases altogether as colonists from Asia, 
and their residence Asgard as a great place of sacrifice, makes the 
twelve principal Ases sacrificial priests (hofgoSar) : skyldu J?eir rafta 
fyrir blotum ok domum manna i milli (they had to advise about 
sacrifices and dooms) ; and it adds, that they had been named diar 
(divi) and drottnar (domini). This representation, though it be but 
a conjecture of Snorri s, shows the high estimation in which the 
priestly order stood, so that gods themselves were placed at the 
head of sacrifices and judgments. But we need not therefore con 
found diar and drottnar with real human priests. 

1 Just as the Catholic clergy furnished as well the props as the opponents of 
the Reformation. The notable example of a heathen priest abjuring his ancient 
faith, and even putting forth his hand to destroy the temple he had once held 
sacred, has been quoted from Beda on p. 82. This priest was an English, not 
a British one, though Beda, evidently for the mere purpose of more exactly 
marking his station, designates him by a Gaefic word Coin (choibi, choibhidh, 
cuimhi, see Jamieson, supplement sub. v. coivie, archdruid). Coifi is not a 
proper name, even in Gaelic ; and it is incredible that Eadwine king of Nor- 
thumbria should have adopted the British religion, and maintained a British 

2 Ed. Wiirdtw. 82. Serr. 140 : Pro sacrilegis itaque presbyteris, ut scripsisti, 
qui tauros et hircos diis paganorum immolabant, manducantes sacrificia mor- 
tuorum. . . . modo vero incognitum esse, utruni baptizantes trinitatem 
dixissent an non, &c. Connect with this the presbyter Jovi mactans, Ep. 25. 


I must draw attention to the fact, that certain men who stood 
nearer to the gods by services and veneration, and priests first of 
all, are entitled friends of the gods 1 (see SuppL). Hence such names 
as Freysvinr, AS. Fredwine, Bregowine for heroes and kings (see ch. 
X, Fro win). According to Eyrbygg. pp. 6, 8, 16, 26, Kolfr was a 
Thdrs vinr ; he had a hof of that god on a meadow, and was there 
fore named Thorrolfr, he dedicated to him his son Steinn and named 
him Thorsteinn, who again dedicated his son Grimr to the god and 
named him Thorgrimr ; by this dedicating (gefa), was meant the 
appointing to the office of goc5i or priest. And (according to Landn. 
2, 23) Hallstein gave his son as gool to Thorr. Here we see the 
priestly office running on through several generations (see SuppL). 
However, Odysseus is also called ALL <t Xo?, II. 10, 527. Also 
ALO\O<; </>t Xo? dOavdroLcn Oeolvi, Od. 10, 2 ; but then in Od. 10, 21 
he is TttjcuV ave/jiwv, director of winds, therefore a priest. 

How deeply the priestly office in the North encroached on the 
administration of justice, need not be insisted on here ; in their 
judicial character the priests seem to have exercised a good deal of 
control over the people, whereas little is said of their political 
influence at the courts of kings ; on this point it is enough to read 
the ISTialssaga. In Iceland, even under Christianity, the judges 
retained the name and several of the functions of heathen goffar, 
Gragas 1, 109-113. 130. 165. Convents, and at the same time 
state-farmers, especially occupiers of old sanctuaries (see p. 85, note) 
apparently continue in the Mid. Ages to have peculiar privileges, 
on which I shall enlarge in treating of weisthiimer. They have the 
keeping of the county cauldron, or weights and measures, and above 
all, the brood-animals, to which great favour is shown everywhere 
(see SuppL). 

The go<5i is also called a Uotma&r (sacrificulus), Uiotr (Egilssaga 
p. 209), but all blotmenn need not be priests ; the word denoted 
rather any participant in sacrifices, and afterwards, among Christians, 
the heathen in general. It tallies with the passage in Tacitus 
about the paterfamilias, that any iarl or hersir (baron) might per 
form sacrifice, though he was not a priest. Saxo Gramm. p. 176 

1 The MHG. poets still bestow on hermits and monks the epithets gotes 
friunt, gotes degen (]?egn, warrior). In the Renner 24587, St. Jost is called 
heiliger gotes Jcneht (cniht, servant). [See however servus dei, famulus dei 
passim in the lives of saints], 


relates of Harald after his baptism : Delubra diruit, wctimarios 
proscripsit, flaminium abrogavit. By victimarii he must mean 
blotmenn, by flamens the priests. He tells us on p. 104, that at 
the great Upsala sacrifices there were enacted effoeminati corporum 
motus, scenicique mimorum plausus, ac mollia nolarum crepitacula; 
Greek antiquity has also something to tell of choruses and dances 
of priests. 

On the clothing of the Norse priests, I have not come across 
any information. Was there a connexion between them and the 
poets ? Bragi the god of song has nothing to do with sacrifices ; 
yet the poetic art was thought a sacred hallowed thing : OSinn 
spoke in verse, he and his hofgo&ar are styled lioffasmidir (song- 
smiths), Yngl. saga cap. 6. Can skald (poeta, but neut.) be the 
same as the rare OHG. sgalto (sacer) ? Diut. 1, 183. Gl. ker. 69, 
scaldo. Even of Christian minstrels soon after the conversion one 
thing and another is told, that has also come down to us about 
heathen skalds. 

Poetry borders so closely on divination, the Roman vates is 
alike songster and soothsayer, and soothsaying was certainly a 
priestly function. Amm. Marcell. 14, 9 mentions Alamannian 
auspices, and Agathias 2, 6 /za^ret? or ^^a^dKoyoi "* A\an,avviKoL 

Ulphilas avoids using a Gothic word for the frequently occur 
ring Trpofajrrjs, he invariably puts praiifetus, and for the fern. 
7rpo</>r?5 praufeteis, Lu. 2, 36 ; why not veitaga and veitago ? The 
OHG. and AS. versions are bolder for once, and give wizayo, witeya. 1 
Was the priest, when conducting auguries and auspices, a veitaga ? 
conf. inveitan, p. 29. The ON. term is spdmadr (spae-man), and for 
prophetess spdkona (spae-woman, A.S. witegestre). Such diviners 
were Mhnir and Gripir. In old French poems they are devin 
(divini, divinatores), which occasionally comes to mean poets : 
uns devins, qui de voir dire est esprovez, Meon 4, 145. ce dient li 
devin, Een. 7383 ; so Tristr. 1229 : li contor dient (see SuppL). 

We have now to speak of the prophetesses and priestesses of 
antiquity. The mundium (wardship) in which a daughter, a sister, 
a wife stood, appears in the old heathen time not to have excluded 

1 The J. is become ei in our weissager, MHG. wissage for wizege ; equally 
erroneous is our verb weissagen, MHG. wissagen, Iw. 3097 (OHG. \vizagou, AS. 


them from holy offices, such as sacrificing (see Suppl.), or from a 
good deal of influence over the people. Tacitus, after telling us 
how mightily the German women wrought upon the valour of their 
warriors, and that the Eomans for greater security demanded noble 
maidens from particular nations, adds : Inesse quin etiam sanctum 
et providum (feminis) putant 1 , nee aut consilia earum aspernantur, 
aut responsa negligunt. And before that, Caesar 1. 50 : Quod apud 
Germanos ea consuetude esset, ut matres fam. eorum sortibus et 
vaticinationibus declararent, utrum proelium comnritti ex usu esset, 
necne ; eas ita dicere : non esse fas Germanos superare,, si ante 
no vain lunam proelio contendissent (see Suppl.). 

While history has not preserved the name of one German vates, 
it has those of several prophetesses. Tac. Germ. 8 : Vidimus sub 
divo Vespasiano Veledam (as a prisoner in his triumph) diu apud 
plerosque numinis loco habitant. Hist. 4, 61 : Ea mrgo nationis 
Bructerae, late imperitabat, vetere apud Germanos more, quo 
plerasque feminarum/afoVfoms, et augescente superstitione arbitrantur 
deas. Tuncque Veledae auctoritas adolevit ; nam prosperas 
Germanis res et excidium legionum praedixerat. In 4, 65, when 
the people of Cologne were making an alliance with the Tencteri 
they made the offer : Arbitrum habebimus Civilem et Veledam 
apud quos pacta sancientur. Sic lenitis Tencteris, legati ad Civilem 
et Veledam missi cum donis, cuncta ex voluntate Agrippinensium 
perpetravere. Sed coram adire, alloquique Veledam negatum. 
Arcebantur aspectu, quo venerationis plus inesset. Ipsa edita in 
turre ; delectus e propinquis consulta responsaqiie ut intermmtius 
numinis portabat. 5, 22 : Praetoriam triremem flumine Luppia 
donum Veledae traxere. 5, 25 ; Veledam propinquosque monebat. 
Her captivity was probably related in the lost chapters of the fifth 
book. 2 This Veleda had been preceded by others : Sed et olim 
Auriniam (hardly a translation of any Teutonic name, such as the 
ON. Gullveig, gold-cup ; some have guessed Aliruna, Olrun, 
Albruna) et complures alias venerati sunt, non adulatione nee 
tamquam facerent deas, Germ. 8. A later one, named Ganna, is 

1 A wild force of phantasy, and the state called clairvoyance, have shown 
themselves preeminently in women. 

2 Statius silv. I. 4, 90 : Captivaeque pieces Veledae ; he scans the first 
two syllables as short, which seems more correct than Dio s BeX^da. Zeuss 436 
thinks BeXeSa, BeXt Sa = Vilida. Graff has a n. prop. Wallodu 1, 800. I would 
suggest the Gothic fern, name Valadamarca, in Jornancles cap. 48, and the Thur- 
ingian name of a place Walada ia Pertz I. 308. 



cited by Dio Cassius, 67, 5 j 1 and in the year 577 Gunthcramnus 
consulted a woman habentem spiritum phitonis, ut ei quae erant 
eventura narraret/ Greg. Tur. 5, 14 (in Aimoin 3, 22 she is mulier 
phytonissa, i.e. 7rv0<*)vi,o-o-a). One much later still, Thiota, who had 
come to Mentz out of Alamannia, is noticed in the Annals of Fulcla, 
anno 847 (Pertz 1, 365). 2 As Cassandra foretold the fall of Troy, 
our prophetesses predict the end of the world (v. infra) ; and 
Tacitus Ann. 14, 32 speaks of British druidesses in these words : 
Feminae in furore turbatae adesse exitium canebant ; conf. 14, 30. 
But we have the sublimest example before us in the Voluspa (see 

Those grayhaired, barefooted Cimbrian priestesses in Strabo (v. 
supra, p. 55) in white robe and linen doublet, begirt with brazen 
clasps, slaughtering the prisoners of war and prophesying from 

1 Tdvva (al. Tavva) TrapOevos /xera rfjv BeXrjSai/ eV rrj KC\TIKTJ 

conf. the masc. name Gannascusin Ann. 11, 18. 19 ; the fern. Gonna, dat. Gan- 
nane, in a Lothr. urk., as late as 709, Don Calmet, ed. 1728, torn. 1. preuves p. 

2 Traditions, which Hubertus Thomas of Liittich, private secretary to the 
Elector Palatine, according to his book De Tungris et Eburonibus 1541, pro 
fesses to have received from an antiquary Joan. Berger out of an old book 
(libello vetustissimis characteribus descripto), and which he gives in his treatise 
De Heidelbergae antiquitatibus, relate as follows : Quo tempore Velleda virgo 
in Bruchteria imperitabat, vetula quaedam, cui nomen Jettha, eum collem, 
ubi mine est arx Heidelbergensis et Jetthae collis etiam nunc nomen 
habet, inhabitabat, vetustissimumque phanum incolebat, cujusfragmenta adhuc 
nuper vidimus, dum comes palatinus Fridericus factus elector egregiam domum 
construxit, quam novam aulam appellant. Haec mulier vaticiniis inclyta, et 
quo venerabilior foret, raro in conspectum hominum prodiens, volentibus con- 
silium ab ea petere, defenestra, non prodeunte vultu, respondebat. Et inter cetera 
praedixit, ut inconditis versibus canebat, suo colli a fatis esse datum, ut futuris 
temporibus regiis viris, quos nominatim recensebat, inhabitaretur et templis 
celeberrimis ornaretur. Sed ut tandem fabulosae antiquitati valedicamus, lubet 
adscribere quae is liber de infelici morte ipsius Jetmat continebat. Egressa 
quondam amoenissimo tempore phanum, ut deambulatione recrearetur, progre- 
diebatur juxta montes, donee pervenit in locum, quo montes intra convallem 
declinant et multis locis scaturiebant pulcherrimi fontes, quibus vehementer 
ilia coepit delectari, et assidens ex illis bibebat, cum ecce lupa famelica cum 
catulis e silva prorupit, quae conspectam mulierem nequicquam divos invocan- 
tem dilaniat et frustatim discerpsit, quae casu suo fonti nomen dedit, vocaturque 

?uippe in hodiernum diem fons luporum ob amoenitatem loci omnibus notus. 
t is scarcely worth while trying to settle how much in this may be genuine 
tradition, and how much the erudition of the 16th century foisted in, to the 
glorification of the new palace at Heidelberg ( = Heidberg) ; the very window 
on the hill would seem to have been copied from Veleda s tower, though 
Brynhild too resides upon her rock, and has a high tower (Vols. saga, cap. 20, 
24, 25 ; conf. MengloS, OHG. Maniklata ?) on the rock, with nine virgins at 
her knees (Sasm. 110. 111). If the enchantress s name were Heida instead of 
Jettha, it would suit the localitv better, and perhaps be an echo of the ON. 


their blood in the sacrificial cauldron, appear as frightful witches by 
the side of the Bructerian Maid ; together with divination they 
exercise the priestly office. Their minutely described apparel, we 
may suppose, resembled that of the priests. 

While in Tac. Germ. 40 it is a priest that attends the goddess, 
and guides the team of kine in her car ; in the North conversely, 
we have handmaids waiting upon gods. From a remarkable story 
in the 01 af Tryggv. saga (Fornm. sog. 2, 73 seq.), which the 
Christian composer evidently presents in an odious light, we at all 
events gather that in Sweden a virgin attended the car of Freyr on 
its travels among the people : Frey var fengin til j?ionosto Jcona 
ung ok MS (into Frey s service was taken a woman young and 
fair), and she is called kona Freys. Otherwise a priestess is 
called gyffja, Jiofgy&ja, corresponding to goSi, hofgoSi ; l see TuriSr 
hofgyoja, Islend. sog. 1, 205. ]?orlaug gyftja, Landn. 1, 21. 
Steinvor and FridgerSr, Sagabibl. 1, 99. 3, 268. 

But the Norse authorities likewise dwell less on the priestly 
functions of women, than on their higher gift, as it seems, of 
divination: Perita augurii femina, Saxo Gram. 121. Valdamarr 
konungr atti moftur miok gamla ok orvasa, sva at hun la 1 rekkju, 
en J?o var hun framsyn af Fitons anda, sem margir heiftnir menn 
(King V. had a mother very old and feeble, so that she lay in bed, 
and there was she seized by a spirit of Python, like many heathen 
folk), Fornm. sog. 1, 76. Of like import seems to be a term which 
borders on the notion of a higher and supernatural being, as in the 
case of Veleda ; and that is dis (nympha, numen). It may be not 
accidental, that the spakona in several instances bears the proper 
name Thordis (Vatnsd. p. 186 seq. Fornm. sog. 1, 255. Islend. sog. 
1, 140. Kormakkss. p. 204 seq.) ; dis however, a very early word, 
which I at one time connected with the Gothic filudeisei (astutia, 
dolus), appears to be no other than our OHG. itis, OS. idis, AS. 
ides (femina, nympha). As famous and as widely spread was the 
term volvo, 2 which first denotes any magic-wielding soothsayeress 
(Vatnsd. p. 44. Fornm. sog. 3, 214. Fornald. sog. 2, 165-6. 506), 
and is afterwards attached to a particular mythic Volva, of whom 
one of the oldest Eddie songs, the Voluspd, treats. Either volu 

1 Can our gotte, gothe, goth for godmother (taufpathin, susceptrix e sacro 
fonte) be the survival of an old heathen term 1 Morolt 3184 has gode of the 
baptized virgin. 

a The Slavic volkhv magus. TRANS. 



stands here for volvu, or the claim of the older form Vala may he 
asserted ; to each of them would correspond an OHG. Walawa or 
Wala, which suggests the Walada above, being only derived in a 
different way. In the saga Eiriks raufta we come upon ThorUorg, 
the little Vala (Edda Sseni. Hafn. 3, ty.HeicFr is the name not 
only of the volva in the Edda (Sa3m. 4 b , conf. 118 b ) but also of the 
one in the Orvarodssaga (conf. Sagabibl. 3, 155). Hyndla (canicula) 
is a prophetess that rides on wolves, and dwells in a cave. I guess 
also that the virgins Thorger&r and Irpa (Fornm. sog. 2, 108. 3, 100. 
11, 134-7. 142. 172), to whom all but divine honours were paid, 
and the title of horgabruSr (nympha lucorum) and even the name 
of guS (numen) was accorded, Nialss. cap. 89, are not to be excluded 
from this circle. So in the valkyrs, beside their godhood, there 
resides somewhat of the priestly, e.g. their virginity (see ch. XVI 
and SuppL). 

We shall return to these gleg and wise women (and they 
have other names besides), who, in accordance with a deeply 
marked feature of our mythology, trespass on the superhuman. 
Here we had to set forth their connexion with sacrifice, divination 
and the priesthood. 


Now, I think, we are fully prepared for the inquiry, whether 
real gods can be claimed for Germany in the oldest time. All the 
branches of our language have the same general name for deity, 
and have retained it to the present day ; all, or at any rate most of 
them, so far as the deficiency of documents allows the chain of 
evidence to be completed, show the same or but slightly varying 
terms for the heathen notions of worship, sacrifice, temples and 
priesthood. Above all there shines forth an unmistakable analogy 
between the Old Norse terminology and the remains, many cen 
turies older, of the other dialects : the Norse sesir, biota, horgr, 
gool were known long before, and with the same meanings, to the 
Goths, Alamanns, Franks and Saxons. And this identity or 
similarity extends beyond the words to the customs themselves : 
in sacred groves the earliest human and animal victims were 
offered, priests conducted sacrifices and divinations, wise women 
enjoyed all but divine authority. 

The proof furnished by the sameness of language is of itself 
sufficient and decisive. When the several divisions of a nation 
speak one and the same language, then, so long as they are left to 
their own nature and are not exposed to violent influences from 
without, they always have the same kind of belief and worship. 

The Teutonic race lies midway between Celts, Slavs, Lithu 
anians, Finns, all of them populations that acknowledge gods, 
and practise a settled worship. The Slav nations, spread over 
widely distant regions, have their principal gods in common ; how 
should it be otherwise in Teutondom ? 

As for demanding proofs of the genuineness of Norse mythology, 
we have really got past that now. All criticism cripples and anni 
hilates itself, that sets out with denying or doubting what is trea 
sured up in song and story born alive arid propagated amongst an 
entire people, and which lies before our eyes. Criticism can but 
collect and arrange it, and unfold the materials in their historical 

100 GODS. 

Then the only question that can fairly be raised, is : Whether 
the gods of the North, no longer disputable, hold good for the rest 
of Teutondom ? To say yea to the question as a whole, seems, 
from the foregoing results of our inquiry, altogether reasonable 
and almost necessary. 

A negative answer, if it knew what it was about, would try to 
maintain, that the circle of Norse gods, in substance, were formerly 
common to all Germany, but by the earlier conversion were extin 
guished and annihilated here. But a multitude of exceptions and 
surviving vestiges would greatly limit the assertion, and materially 
alter what might be made out of the remainder. 

In the meanwhile a denial has been attempted of quite another 
kind, and the opinion upheld, that those divinities have never 
existed at all in Germany proper, and that its earliest inhabitants 
knew nothing better than a gross worship of nature without gods. 

This view, drawing a fundamental distinction between German 
and Scandinavian heathenism, and misapprehending all the clues 
which discover themselves to unprejudiced inquiry as infallible 
evidence of the unity of two branches of a nation, lays special stress 
upon a few statements on the nature of the heathen faith, dating 
from about the sixth century and onwards. These for the most 
part proceed from the lips of zealous Christians, who did not at all 
concern themselves to understand or faithfully portray the paganism 
they were assailing, whose purpose was rather to set up a warning 
against the grosser manifestations of its cultus as a detestable abo 
mination. It will be desirable to glance over the principal passages 
in their uniformity and one-sidedness. 

Agathias ([" before 582), himself a newly converted Greek, who 
could only know from christianly coloured reports what he had 
heard about the distant Alamanns, thus exhibits the Alamannic 
worship as opposed to the Frankish : SevSpa re yap nva iXdaKovrai 
KOI peWpa Trora/jiMV KOI \6(f)ov$ KOI (>dpayyas, KOL TOVTOLS axnrep 
oVta Spares 28, 4. Then follow the words quoted on p. 47 about 
their equine sacrifices. 

But his contrast to the Franks breaks down at once, when 
we hear almost exactly the same account of them from the lips of 
their first historian Gregory : Sed haec generatio fanaticis semper 
cultibus visa est obsequiurn praebuisse, nee prorsus agnovere Deuin, 
sibique silvarum atque aquarum, avium bestiarumque et aliorum 

GODS. 101 

quoque elementorum finxere formas, ipsasque ut deum colere eisque 
sacrificia delibare consueti. Greg. Tur. 2, 10. Similarly, Einhard 
(jEginhartJ) in Vita Caroli cap. 7, about the Saxons : Sicut omnes 
fere Gerrnaniam incolentes nationes et natura feroces et cultui 
daemonum dediti, nostraeque religioni contrarii. Euodolf of Euld, 
after quoting Tacitus and Einhard, adds (Pertz 2, 676) : Nam et 
frondosis arboribus fontibusque venerationem exhibebant j 1 and then 
mentions the Irminsul, which I shall deal with hereafter (see 
Suppl). Lastly, Helmold 1, 47 affirms of the Holsteiners : Nihil 
de religione nisi nomen tantum christianitatis habentes ; nam 
lucorum et fontium ceterarumque superstitionum multiplex error 
apud eos habetur . . . Yicelinus . . . lucos et omnes 
ritus sacrileges destruens, &c. 

Conceived in exactly the same spirit are the prohibitions of 
heathenish and idolatrous rites in decrees of councils and in laws. 
Concil. Autissiod. anno 586, can. 3 : Non licet inter sentes aut ad 
arbores sacrivos vel ad fontes vota exsolvere ; conf. Concil. Turoii. 
II. anno 566, can. 22. Leges Liutpr. 6, 30 : Simili modo et qui ad 
arborem, quam rustici sanguinum (al. sanctivam, sacrivam) vocant, 
atque ad fontanas adoraverit. Capit. de partibus Sax. 20 : Si quis 
ad fontes aut arbores vel lucos votum fecerit, aut aliquid more 
gentilium obtulerit et ad honorem daemonum comederit. And the 
converters, the Christian clergy, had for centuries to pour out their 
wrath against the almost ineradicable folly. It is sufficient merely 
to allude to the sermons of Caesarius episcopus Arelatensis (*f* 542) 
Contra sacrileges et aruspices, contra kalendarum quoque pagan- 
issimos ritus, contraque augures lignicolas, fonticolas, Acta Bened. 
sec. 1, p. 668. 

All these passages contain, not an untruth, yet not the whole 
truth. That German heathenism was destitute of gods, they can 
not possibly prove; for one thing, because they all date from 
periods when heathenism no longer had free and undisturbed sway, 
but had been hotly assailed by the new doctrine, and was well- 
nigh overmastered. The general exercise of it had ceased, isolated 
partizans cherished it timidly in usages kept up by stealth ; at the 
same time there were Christians who in simplicity or error con 
tinued to practise superstitious ceremonies by the side of Christian 
ones. Such doings, not yet extinct here and there among the 

1 Adam of Bremen again copies Ruodolf, Pertz 9, 286. 

102 GODS. 

common people, but withdrawn from all regulating guidance by 
heathen priests, could not fail soon to become vulgarized, and to 
appear as the mere dregs of an older faith, which faith we have no 
right to measure by them. As we do not fail to recognise in the 
devils and witches of more modern times the higher purer fancies of 
antiquity disguised, just as little ought we to feel any scruple about 
tracing back the pagan practices in question to the untroubled foun- 
tainhead of the olden time. Prohibitions and preachings kept strictly 
to the practical side of the matter, and their very purpose was to put 
down these last hateful remnants of the false religion. A sentence 
in Cnut s AS. laws (Schmid 1, 50) shows, that fountain and tree 
worship does not exclude adoration of the gods themselves : 
Hasftenscipe bi(5, J?a3t man deofolgild weorSige, }?iut is, )?a3t man 
weorSige hseftene godas, and sunnan oo15e monan, fyre oftfte fl65\va3- 
ter, wyllas o<55e stanas oftSe ffiniges cynnes wudutreowa; conf. 
Hornil. 1, 366. Just so it is said of Olaf the Saint, Fornm. sog. 5, 
239, that he abolished the heathen sacrifices and gods : Ok morg 
onnur (many other) blotskapar skrimsl, b?e5i hamra ok horga, 
skoga, vb tn ok tre ok 611 onnur blot, biefti meiri ok ininni. 

But we can conceive of another reason too, why on such occa 
sions the heathen gods, perhaps still unforgotten, are passed over in 
silence : Christian priests avoided uttering their names or describing 
their worship minutely. It was thought advisable to include them 
all under the general title of demons or devils, and utterly uproot 
their influence by laying an interdict on whatever yet remained 
of their worship. The Merseburg poems show how, by way of 
exception, the names of certain gods were still able to transmit 
themselves in formulas of conjuring. 

Pictures of heathenism in its debasement and decay have no 
right to be placed on a level with the report of it given by Tacitus 
from five to eight centuries before, when it was yet in the fulness 
of its strength. If the adoration of trees and rivers still lingering 
in the habits of the people no longer bears witness to the existence 
of gods, is it not loudly enough proclaimed in those imperfect and 
defective sketches by a Roman stranger ? When he expressly tells 
us of a deus terra editus, of heroes and descendants of the god 
(plures deo ortos), of the god who rules in war (velut deo imperante), 
of the names of gods (deorum nominibus) which the people trans 
ferred to sacred groves, of the priest who cannot begin a divination 


without invoking the gods (precatus deos) and who regards himself 
as a servant of the gods (ministros deorum), of a regnator omnium 
deus, of the gods of Germany (Germaniae deos in aspectu, Hist. 5, 
IT), of the diis patriis to whom the captured signa Eomana were 
hung up (Ann. 1, 59); when he distinguishes between penetrate 
Germaniae deos or dii penates (Ann. 2, 10. 11, 16), communes dii 
(Hist. 4, 64), and conjugates dii (Germ. 18) ; when he even distin 
guishes individual gods, and tries to suit them with Eoman names, 
and actually names (interpretatione Eomana) a Mars, Mercurius, 
Hercules, Castor and Pollux, Isis, nay, has preserved the German 
appellations of the deus terra editus and of his son, and of a goddess, 
the terra mater ; how is it possible to deny that at that time the 
Germans worshipped veritable gods ? How is it possible, when we 
take into account all the rest that we know of the language, the 
liberty, the manners, and virtues of the German!, to maintain the 
notion that, sunk in a stolid fetishism, they cast themselves down 
before logs and puddles, and paid to them their simple adoration ? 

The opinion of Caasar, 1 who knew the Germans more super 
ficially than Tacitus a hundred and fifty years later, cannot be 
allowed to derogate from the truth. He wants to contrast our 
ancestors with the Gauls, with whom he had had more familiar 
converse ; but the personifications of the sun, fire, and the moon, 
to which he limits the sum total of their gods, will hardly bear even 
a forced interpretatio Eomana . If in the place of sun and moon 
we put Apollo and Diana, they at once contradict that deeply rooted 
peculiarity of the Teutonic way of thinking, which conceives of the 
sun as a female, and of the moon as a male being, which could not 
have escaped the observation of the Eoman, if it had penetrated 
deeper. And Vulcan, similar to the Norse Loki, but one of those 
divinities of whom there is least trace to be found in the rest of 
Teutondom, had certainly less foundation than the equally visible 
and helpful deities of the nourishing earth, and of the quickening, 
fish-teeming, ship-sustaining water. I can only look upon Caesar s 
statements as a half-true and roughcast opinion, which, in the face 
of the more detailed testimony of Tacitus, hardly avails to cast a 

1 Deorum numero eos solos ducunt, quos cernunt, et quorum opibus aperte 
juvantur, Solem et Vulcanum et Lunam; reliquos ne fama quidem acceperunt. 
B.G. 6, 21. Compare with this E.G. 4, 7 where the Usipetes and Tenchtheri 
say to Csesar : Sese unis Suevis concedere, quibus ne dii quidem immortelles 
pares esse possint. 

10-4 GODS. 

doubt on other gods, much less to prove a bare worship of elements 
among the German!. 

All the accounts that vouch for the early existence of individual 
gods, necessarily testify at the same time to their great number and 
their mutual relationship. When Procopius ascribes a TroXu? Oewv 
o/u\o9 to the Heruli, this great host must also be good for the 
Goths, just those of whom we know the fewest particulars, and for 
all the Germans together. Jornandes would have us believe that 
Diceneus was the first to make the Goths acquainted with gods, 
cap. 11 : Elegit ex eis tune nobilissimos prudentiores viros, quos 
theologiam instruens numina quaedam et sacella venerari suasit ; 
here evidently we see the ruler who promoted the service of 
particular gods. But that Jornandes himself credited his Goths 
with unmistakably native gods, is plain from cap. 10: Unde et 
sacerdotes Gothorum aliqui, illi qui pii vocabantur, subito patefactis 
portis cum citharis et vestibus candidis obviam sunt egressi paternis 
diis, ut sibi propitii Macedones repellerent voce supplici modulantes. 
The fact here mentioned may even have been totally alien to the 
real Goths, but anyhow we gather from it the opinion of Jornandes. 
And if we also want evidence about a race lying quite at the 
opposite extremity of Germany, one that clung with great fidelity 
to their old-established faith, we have it in the Lex Frisionum, 
addit. tit. 13, where the subject is the penalty on temple-breakers : 
Immolatur diis quorum templa violavit. 

We have now arrived at the following result. In the first 
century of our era the religion of the Germans rested mainly upon 
gods ; a thousand or twelve hundred years later, among the northern 
section of the race, which was the last to exchange the faith of its 
fathers for a new one, the old system of gods is preserved the most 
perfectly. Linked by language and unbroken tradition to either 
extremity of heathenism, both its first appearance in history and its 
fall, stands central Germany from the fifth to the ninth century. 
During this period the figures of the heathen gods, in the feeble 
and hostile light thrown upon them by the reports of recent con 
verts, come before us faded and indistinct, but still always as gods. 

I must here repeat, that Tacitus knows no simulacrum of 
German gods, no image l moulded in human shape ; what he had 

1 Grk. ayaXpa, signum, statue ; Goth, manleika, OHG. manalthho, ON. 
Uknesld (see Suppl.) ; can the Sloven, malik, idol, have sprung from manleika? 

IMAGES. 105 

stated generally in cap. 9, he asserts of a particular case in cap. 43, 
and we have no ground for disbelieving his assertion. The exist 
ence of real statues at that time in Germany, at least in the parts 
best known to them, would hardly have escaped the researches of 
the Romans. He knows of nothing but signa and formas, appar 
ently carved and coloured, which were used in worship as symbols, 
and on certain occasions carried about ; probably they contained 
some reference to the nature and attributes of the several deities. 
The model of a boat, sigmmi in modum liburnae figuratum (cap. 9), 
betokened the god of sailing, the formae aprorum (cap. 45) the god 
to whom the boar was consecrated ; and in the like sense are to be 
taken the ferarum imagines on trees and at certain sacrifices (see 
Suppl.). The vehiculum veste contectum of the goddess Earth 
will be discussed further on. 

The absence of statues and temples, considering the impotence 
of all artistic skill at the period, is a favourable feature of the 
German cultus, and pleasing to contemplate. But it by no means 
follows that in the people s fancy the gods were destitute of a form 
like the human ; without this, gods invested with all human 
attributes, and brought into daily contact with man, would be 
simply inconceivable. If there was any German poetry then in 
existence, which I would sooner assert than deny, how should the 
poets have depicted their god but with a human aspect ? 

Attempts to fashion images of gods, and if not to carve them 
out of wood or stone, at least to draw and paint them, or quite 
roughly to bake them of dough (p. 63), might nevertheless be made 
at any period, even the earliest ; it is possible too, that the interior 
parts of Germany, less accessible to the Romans, concealed here 
and there temples, statues and pictures. In the succeeding cen 
turies, however, when temples were multiplied, images also, to fill 
their spaces, may with the greatest probability be assumed. 

The terminology, except where the words simulacra, imagines, 
which leave no room for doubt, are employed, makes use of several 

Bohem. malik, the little finger, also Thumbkin, Toin Thumb? which may 
have to do with idol. [In the Slavic languages, mal = little, s-mall]. Other 
OHG. terms are avard ; piladi, pilidi (bild) effigies or imago in general ; in the 
Mid. Ages they said, for making or forming (p. 23), ein bilde giezcn, eine 
scheme juncfrouwen ergiezen, Cod. Vindob. 428, num. 211, without any refer 
ence to metal-casting ; ein bilde mezzen, Troj. 19626, mezzen, Misc. 2, 186. On 
the Lith. balwonas, idolum, statua, conf. Pott de ling. Litth. 2, 51, Russ. 
bolvdn, Hung, bah any ; Russ. kumtr, idol, both lit. and lig. (object of affection). 

10G GODS. 

terms whose meaning varies, passing from that of temple to that of 
image, just as we saw the meaning of grove mixed up with that of 
numen. If, as is possible, that word alah originally meant rock or 
stone (p. 67), it might easily, like haruc and wilt, melt into the 
sense of altar and statue, of ara, fanum, idolum. In this way the 
OIIG. about, abcuti (Abgott, false god) does signify both fana and 
idola or statuae, Diut. 1, 497 b 513 a 515 a 533 b , just as our gotze is at 
once the false god and his image and his temple (see above, p. 15. 
Gramm. 3, 694). Idolum must have had a similar ambiguity, 
where it is not expressly distinguished from delubrum, fanum and 
templum. In general phrases sucli as idola colere, idola adorare, 
idola destruere, we cannot be sure that images are meant, for just 
as often and with the same meaning we have adorare fana, des 
truere fana. Look at the following phrases taken from OHG. 
glosses : abcuti wihero stetio, fana excelsorum, Diut. 1, 515 a . eibcut 
in lieilagem stetim, fana in excelsis, Diut. 1, 213 a . steininu zeihan 
inti abcuti, titulos et statuas, Diut. 1, 49 7 b . altara inti manalikun 
inti haruga, aras et statuas et lucos, Diut. 1, 513 b . afgoda began- 
gana, Lacombl. arch. 1, 11. Saxo Gram, often uses simulacra for 
idols, pp. 249, 320-1-5-7, The statement in Aribonis vita S. 
Emmerammi (Acta sanct. Sept. 6, 483) : tradidera te genti 
Saxonum, quae tot idolorum cultor existit is undeniable evidence 
that the heathen Saxons in the 8th century served many false gods 
(Aribo, bishop of Freisingen in the years 764-783). The vita 
Lebuini, written by Hucbald between 918-976, says of the ancient 
Saxons (Pertz 2, 361-2): Inservire idolorum cultibus . . . 
numinibus suis vota solvens ac sacrificia . . . simulacra quae 
deos esse putatis, quosque venerando colitis. Here, no doubt, 
statues must be meant (see Suppl.). 

In a few instances we find the nobler designation deus still 
employed, as it had been by Tacitus : Cumque idem rex (Eadwine 
in 625) gratias ageret diis suis pro nata sibi filia, Beda 2, 9. 

The following passages testify to visible representations of gods ; 
they do not condescend to describe them, and we are content to 
pick up hints by the way. 

The very earliest evidence takes us already into the latter half 
of the 4th century, but it is one of the most remarkable. Sozomen, 
Hist. eccl. 6, 37, mentions the manifold dangers that beset Ulphilas 
among the heathen Goths : While the barbarians were yet heathens 

IMAGES. 107 

(ert TWV fBapjBdptov e\\rjviK(o$ 6pr)a-tcev6vTa)v) e\\vjviic&s here 
means in heathen fashion, and Opya/ceveiv (to worship) is presently 
described more minutely, when the persecution of the Christians 
by Athanaric is related Athanaric, having set the statue (evidently 
of the Gothic deity) on a waggon (%oavov l(f> apjuLa/jLafys eoTw?), 
ordered it to be carried round to the dwellings of those suspected 
of Christianity ; if they refused to fall down and sacrifice (Trpocncv- 
velv teal 6i>6iv\ their houses were to be fired over their heads. By 
dpfidfia^a is understood a covered carriage ; is not this exactly the 
vehiculum, veste contectum, in which the goddess, herself unseen, was 
carried about (Tac. Germ. 40) ? Is it not the vagn in which Freyr 
and his priestess sat, when in holy days he journeyed round among 
the Swedish people (Fornm. sog. 2, 74-5) ? The people used to 
carry about covered images of gods over the fields, by which fertility 
was bestowed upon them. 1 Even the Jcarrdschen in our poems of 
the Mid. Ages, with Saracen gods in them, and the carroccio of the 
Lombard cities (RA. 263-5) seem to be nothing but a late reminis 
cence of these primitive gods -waggons of heathenism. The Roman, 
Greek and Indian gods too were not without such carriages. 

What Gregory of Tours tells us (2, 29-31) of the baptism of 
Chlodovich (Clovis) and the events that preceded it, is evidently 
touched up, and the speeches of the queen especially I take to be 
fictitious ; yet he would hardly have put them in her mouth, if it 
were generally known that the Franks had no gods or statues at all. 
Chrothild (Clotilda) speaks thus to her husband, whom she is try 
ing to prepossess in favour of baptism : Nihil sunt dii quos colitis, 
qui neque sibi neque aliis poterunt subvenire ; sunt enim aut ex 
lapide aut ex ligno aut ex metallo aliquo sculpti, nomina vero, quae 
eis indidistis, homines fuere, non dii. Here she brings up Saturnus 
and Jupiter, with arguments drawn from classical mythology; 
and then : Quid Mars Ifercttruaque potuere ? qui potius sunt 
magicis artibus praediti quam divini numinis potentiam habuere. 
Sed ille magis coli debet qui coelum et terrain, mare et omnia quae 
in eis sunt, verbo ex non extantibus procreavit, &c. Sed cum haec 
regina diceret, nullatenus ad credendum regis animus movebatur, 
sed dicebat : Deorum nostrorum jussione cuncta creantur ac pro- 

1 De simulacra quod per campos portant (Indie, superstit. cap. 28) ; one vita 
S. Martini cap. 9 (Surras 6, 252) : Quia esset haec Gallorum rusticis consue 
tude, simulacra daemonum, candido tecta velamine, misera per agros suos cir- 
cumlerre dementia. 

108 GODS. 

deunt ; deus vero vester nihil posse manifestatur, et quod magis est, 
nee de deorum genere esse probatur (that sounds German enough!). 
When their little boy dies soon after receiving Christian baptism, 
Chlodovich remarks : Si in nomine deorum meorum puer fuisset 
dicatus, vixisset utique ; nunc autem, quia in nomine dei vestri 
baptizatus est, vivere omnino non potuit. So detailed a report of 
Chlodovich s heathenism, scarcely a hundred years after the event, 
and from the mouth of a well instructed priest, would be absurd, if 
there were no truth at the bottom of it. When once Gregory had 
put his Latin names of gods in the place of the Frankish (in which 
he simply followed the views and fashion of his time), he would as 
a matter of course go on to surround those names with the appro 
priate Latin myths ; and it is not to be overlooked, that the four 
deities named are all gods of the days of the week, the very kind 
which it was quite customary to identify with native gods. I 
think myself entitled therefore, to quote the passage as proving at 
least the existence of images of gods among the Franks (see Suppl.). 
The narrative of an incident from the early part of the 7th 
century concerns Alamannia. Columban and St. Gallus in 612 
came upon a seat of idolatry at Bregenz on the Lake of Constance : 
Tres ergo imagines aereas et deauratas superstitiosa gentilitas 
ibi colcbat, quibus magis quam Creatori mundi vota reddenda 
credebat. So says the Vita S. Galli (Pertz 2, 7) written in the 
course of the next (8th) century. A more detailed account is given 
by Walafrid Strabo in his Vita S. Galli (acta Bened. sec. 2. p. 233) : 
Egressi de navicula oratorium in honore S. Aureliae constructum 
adierunt. . . . Post orationem, cum per gymm oculis cuncta 
lustrassent, placuit illis qualitas et situs locorum, deinde oratione 
praemissa circa oratorium mansiunculas sibi fecerunt. Repererunt 
autem in templo ires imagines aereas deauratas parieti qffixas, 1 quas 
populus, dimisso altaris sacri cultu, adorabat, et oblatis sacrificiis 
clicere consuevit : isti sunt dii veteres et antiqui hujus loci tutores, 
quorum solatio et nos et nostra perdurant usque in praesens. . . . 
Cumque ejusdem templi solemnitas ageretur, venit multitude non 
minima promiscui sexus et aetatis, non tantum propter festivitatis 
honorem, verum etiam ad videndos peregrinos, quos cognoverant 

1 So then, in a church really Christian, these old heathen gods 1 images had 
^een let into the ivall, probably to conciliate the people, who were still attached 
to them ? There are several later instances of this practice, conf. Ledebur s 
archiv. 14, 363. 378. Thiir. mitth. VI. 2, 13 (see 

IMAGES. 109 

advenisse. . . . Jussu venerandi abbatis (Columbani) Gallus 
coepit viam veritatis ostendere populo. . . . et in conspectu 
omnium arripiens simulacra, et lapidibus in frusta comminuens pro- 
jecit in locum. His visis nonnulli conversi sunt ad dominum. Here 
is a strange jumble of heathen and Christian worship. In an 
oratory built in honour of St. Aurelia, three heathen statues still 
stand against the wall, to which the people continue to sacrifice, 
without going near the Christian altar: to them, these are still their 
old tutelary deities. After the evangelist has knocked the images 
to pieces and thrown them into Lake Constance, a part of these 
heathen turn to Christianity. Probably in more places than one 
the earliest Christian communities degenerated in like manner, 
owing to the preponderance of the heathen multitude and the 
supineness of the clergy. A doubt may be raised, however, as to 
whether by these heathen gods are to be understood Alamannish, or 
possibly Roman gods ? Roman paganism in a district of the old 
Helvetia is quite conceivable, and dii tutores loci sounds almost like 
the very thing. On the other hand it must be remembered, that 
Alamanns had been settled here for three centuries, and any other 
worship than theirs could hardly be at that time the popular one. That 
sacrifice to Woden on the neighbouring Lake of Zurich 1 (supra, p. 56) 
mentioned by Jonas in his older biography of the two saints, 
was altogether German. Lastly, the association of three di 
vinities to be jointly worshipped stands out a prominent feature in 
our domestic heathenism ; when the Romans dedicated a temple to 
several deities, their images were not placed side by side, but in 
separate cellae (chapels). Ratpert (Casus S. Galli, .Pertz 2, 61) 
seems to have confounded the two events, that on L. Zurich, and 
the subsequent one at Bregenz: Tucconiam (to Tuggen) advenerunt, 
quae est ad caput lacus Turicini, ubi cum consistere vellent, popu- 
lumque ab errore demonum revocare (nam adhuc idolis immoldbant\ 
Gallo idola vana confringente et in lacum mcinum demergente, populus 
in iram conversus. . . . sanctos exinde pepulerunt. Inde iter 
agentes pervenerunt ad castrum quod Arbona nuncupatur, juxta 

1 Curiously, Mone (Gesch. des heid. 1, 171-5) tries to put this Woden- 
worship cat Tuggen upon the Heruli, who had never been heard of there, instead 
of the Alamanns, because Jonas says : Sunt inibi wcinae nationes Suevorum. 
But this means simply those settled thereabouts ; there was no occasion to speak 
ol distant ones. Columban was staying in a place not agreeable to himself, in 
order to convert the heathen inhabitants ; and by Walafrid s description too, 
the district lies infra partes Alamanniae, where intra would do just as well. 

110 GODS. 

lacum potamicum, ibique a Willimaro presbytero honorifice suscepti, 
septem dies cum gaudio permanserunt. Qui a sarictis interrogatus, 
si sciret locum in solitudine illorum proposito congruum, ostendit 
eis locum jocundissimum ad inhabitandum nomine Brigantium. 
Ibique reperientes templum olim christianae religioni dedicatum, 
nunc autem demonum imaginibus pollutum, mundando et conse- 
crando in pristinum restituerunt statum, atque pro statuis quas 
ejecerunt, sanctae Aureliae reliquias ibidem collocaverunt. By this 
account also the temple is first of all Christian, and afterwards 
occupied by the heathen (Alamanns), therefore not an old Eoman 
one. That Woden s statue was one of those idola vana that were 
broken to pieces, may almost be inferred from Jonas s account of 
the beer-sacrifice offered to him. Eatpert s cantilena S. Galli has 
only the vague words : 

Castra de Turegum adnavigant Tucconium, 
Decent fidem gentem, Jovem linquunt ardentem. 
This Jupiter on fire, from whom the people apostatized, may very 
well be Donar (Thunar, Thor), but his statue is not alluded to. 
According to Arx (on Pertz 2, 61), Eckehardus IV. quotes Jovis 
et Neptuni idola, but I cannot find the passage ; conf. p. 122 
Ermoldus Nigellus on Neptune. It is plain that the three statues 
have to do with the idolatry on L. Constance, not with that on L. 
Zurich ; and if Mercury, Jupiter and Neptune stood there together, 
the first two at all events may be easily applied to German deities. 
In ch. VII, I will impart my conjecture about Neptune. But I think 
we may conclude from all this, that our ires imagines have a better 
claim to a German origin, than those imagines lapideae of the 
Luxovian forest, cited on p. 83 1 . 

1 Two narratives by Gregory of Tours on statues of Diana in the Treves 
country, and of Mercury and Mars in the south of Gaul, though they exclude 
all thought of German deities, yet offer striking comparisons. Hist. 8, 15 : 
Deinde territorium Trevericae urbis expetii, et in quo nunc estis monte 
habitaculum, quod cernitis, proprio labore construxi ; reperi tainen hie Dianae 
simulacrum, quod populus hie incredulus quasi dcum adorabat. columnam etiam 
statui, in qua cum grand! cruciatu sine ullo peduni stabam tegmine. . . . 
Verum ubi ad me multitude vicinarum civitatum coniluere coepit, praedicabam 
jugiter, nihil esse Dianam, nihil simulacra, nihilque quae cis videbatur exerceri 
cult ura : indigna etiam esse ipsa, quae inter pocula luxuriasque profluas cantica 
proferebant, sed potius deo omnipotent!, qui coelum fecit ac terram, digimm 
sit Bacrificium laudis impendere. orabam etiam saepius, ut simulacra dominus 
diruto dignaretur populuni ab hoc errore discutere. Flexit clomini nnVcri- 
cordia meiitcm rusticam, ut inclinaret aurem suam in verba oris mei, ut scilicet 
relictis iilolis dominum sequeretur, (et) tune convocatis quibusdam ex cis 
simulacrum hoc immensum, quod elidere propria virtute non poteram, cum 


The chief authority for images of gods among the Saxons is the 
famous passage in Widekind of Corvei (1, 12), where he relates 
their victory over the Thuringians on the E. Unstrut (circ. 530), 
ut majorum memoria prodit : Mane autem facto, ad orientalem 
portam (of castle Schidungen) ponunt aquilam, aramque victoriae 
construentes, secundum errorem paternum, sacra sua propria vener- 
atione venerati sunt, nomine Martem, effigie columnarum imitantes 
fferculem, loco Solem quern Graeci appellant Apollinem. This 
important witness will have to be called up again in more than one 

To the Corvei annals, at year 1145, where the Eresburg is 
spoken of, the following is added by a 12th century hand (Pertz 
5, 8 note) : Hec eadem Eresburg est corrupto vocabulo dicta, quam 
et Julius Cesar Romano imperio subegit, quando et Arispolis 
nomen habuit ab eo qui Aris Greca designatione ac Mars ipse 
dictus est Latino famine. Duobus siquidem idolis hec dedita fait, 
id est Aris, qui urbis mcniis insertus, quasi dominator dominantium, 
et Ermis, qui et Mercurius mercimoniis insistentibus colebatur in 
forensibus. According to this, a statue of Mars seems to have stood 
on the town-wall. 

That the Frisian temples contained images of gods, there seems 
to be sufficient evidence. It is true, the passage about Fosite (p. 
84) mentions only fana dei ; we are told that Wilibrord laid violent 
hands on the sacred fountain, not that he demolished any image. 

eorum adjutorio possem eruere ; jam enim reliqua sigillorum (the smaller 
figures) quae faciliora erant, ipse confregeram. Convenientibus autem multis 
ad hanc Dianae statuam, missis funibus trahere coeperunt, sed nihil labor eorum 
proficere poterat. Then came prayers ; egressusque post orationem ad operarios 
veni, adprehensumque funem ut primo ictu trahere coepimus, protinus simula 
crum ruit in terram, confractumque cum malleis ferreis in pulverem redegi. So 
images went to the ground, whose contemplation we should think very in 
structive now. This Diana was probably a mixture of Roman and Gallic 
worship ; there are inscriptions of a Diana arduinna (Bouquet 2, 319). The 
second passage stands in Mirac. 2, 5 : Erat autem haud procul a cellula, 
quam sepulchrum, martyris (Juliani Arvernensis) haec matrona construxerat 
(in vico Brivatensi), grande delubrwn, ubi in columna altissima siinulachrum 
Martis Mercuriique colebatur. Cumque delubri illius festa a gentilibus agerentur 
ac mortui mortuis thura deferrent, medio e vulgo commoventur pueri duo in 
scanclalum, nudatoque unus gladio alterum appetit trucidandum. The boy 
runs to the saint s cell, and is saved. Quarta autem die, cum gentilitas vellet 
iterum diis exhibere libamina, the Christian priests offer a fervent prayer to the 
martyr, a violent thunderstorm arises, the heathens are terrified : Recedente 
autem tempestate, gentiles baptizati, statuas quas coluerant confringentes, in 
lacum vico amnique proximum projecerunt. Soon after this, the Burgundians 
settled in the district. The statues broken down, crushed to powder, and flung 
into the lake, every bit the same as in that story of Ratpert s. 

112 GODS. 

On the other hand, the Vita Bonifacii (Pertz 2, 339), in describing 
the heathen reaction under King Bedbod (circ. 716), uses this 
language : Jam pars ecclesiarum Christi, quae Francorum prius 
subjecta erat imperio, vastata erat ac destructa, idolorum quoque 
cultura exstructis delubrorum fanis lugubriter renovata. And if it 
should be thought that idolorum here is equivalent to deorum, the 
Vita Willehadi (Pertz 2, 380) says more definitely : Insanum esse 
et vanuin a lapidibus auxilium petere et a simulacris mutis et surdis 
subsidii sperare solatium. Quo audito, gens fera et idololatriis 
nimium dedita stridebant dentibus in eum, dicentes, non debere 
profanurn longius vivere, imo reum esse mortis, qui tarn sacrilegia 
contra deos suos invictissimos proferre praesumsisset eloquia. The 
event belongs to the middle of the 8th century, and the narrator 
Anskar (| 865) comes a hundred years later : still we are not 
warranted in looking upon his words as mere flourishes. And I 
am not sure that we have a right to take for empty phrases, what is 
said in a Vita S. Goari (( 049), which was not written till 839 : 
Coepit gentilibus per circuitum (i.e. in Eipuaria), simulacrorum 
cultui deditis et vana idolorum superstitionis deceptis, verbum 
salutis annuntiare (Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 282). Such biographies 
are usually based on older memorials. 

The Frisians are in every sense the point of transition to the 
Scandinavians ; considering the multifarious intercourse between 
these two adjoining nations, nothing can be more natural than to 
suppose that the Frisians also had in common with their neighbours 
the habit of temple and image worship. Even Fosete s temple in 
Heligoland I can hardly imagine destitute of images. 

Some facility in carving figures out of wood or chiselling them 
out of stone is no more than we should have expected from those 
signa and effigies in Tacitus, and the art might go on improving up 
to a certain stage. Stone weapons and other implements that we 
find in barrows testify to a not unskilful handling of difficult 
materials. That not a single image of a Teutonic god has escaped 
the destructive hand of time and the zeal of the Christians, need 
surprise us less than the total disappearance of the heathen temples. 
Why, even in the North, where the number of images was greater, 
and their destruction occurred much later, there is not one preserved ; 
all the Lethrian, all the Upsalian idols are clean gone. The technical 
term in the Xorse was dcurdgod" (Fomm. sog. 2, 73-5), from skera 

IMAGES. 113 

(sculpere), skurd (sculptura) ; in the two passages referred to, it is 
likneski af Freyr. Biorn gives sfctirgoft, idolum, sculptile, from 
skur, subgrundium (penthouse), because it had to be placed under 
cover, in sheds as it were ; with which the OHG. skurguta (Graff 
6, 536) seems to agree. But there is no distinct proof of an ON. 

Dietmar s account is silent about the gods images at Lethra T ; 
in Adam of Bremen s description of those at Upsal (cap. 233), the 
most remarkable thing is, that three statues are specified, as they 
were in that temple of the Alamanns : Nunc de superstitione 
Sveonum pauca dicemus. Nobilissimum ilia gens templum habet, 
quod Ubsola dicitur, non longe positum a Sictona civitate (Sigtun) 
vel Birka. In hoc templo, quod totum ex auro paratum est, statuas 
trium deornm veneratur populus, ita ut potentissimus eorum Thor 
in medio solium habeat triclinio. Hinc et inde locum possident 
Wodan et Fricco. The further description we have nothing to do 
with here, but there occurs in it also the term sculpere ; as the 
whole temple was ex auro paratum, i.e. t decorated with gold, he 
might doubtless have described the figures of the gods above all as 
gilded, just as those in Alamannia were aereae et deauratae. Saxo 
p. 13 tells of a golden statue of Othin ; Cujus numen Septentrionis 
reges propensiore cultu prosequi cupientes, effigiem ipsius aureo 
complexi simulacro, statuam suae dignationis indicem maxima cum 
religionis simulatione Byzantium transmiserunt, cujus etiam 
brachiorum lineamenta confertissimo armillarum pondere per- 
stringebant. The whole passage, with its continuation, is not only 
unhistorical, but contrary to the genuine myths ; we can only see 
in it the view of the gods taken by Saxo and his period, and 
inasmuch as golden and bedizened images of gods were consonant 
with such view, we may infer that there still lived in his time a 
recollection of such figures (see Suppl.). Ermoldus Nigellus, in 
describing Herold s (Harald s) interview with King . Charles, 
mentions 4, 444 seq. (Pertz 2, 509-10) the gods images (sculpta) of 
the heathen, and that he was said to have had ploughshares, 
kettles and water-buckets forged of that metal. According to the 
Nialssaga cap. 89, in a Norwegian temple (goSahus) there were to 
be seen three figures again, those of Thor and the two half -goddesses 
ThorgerSr and Irpa, of human size, and adorned with armlets ; 

1 On recently discovered figures of Odin, v. infra. "Wodan 

114 GODS. 

probably Thor sat in the middle on his car. Altogether the 
portraitures of Thor seem to have been those most in vogue, at least 
in Norway. 1 One temple in which many skurdgoS were wor 
shipped, but Thor most of all, is described in Fornm. sog. 2, 153 and 
159, and his statue 1, 295. 302-6; in 2, 44 we read: Thorr sat i 
miffju ok var mest tignaSr, hann var mikill ok allr gulli Itiinn ok 
silfri (ex auro et argento confectus) ; conf. Olafs helga saga, ed. 
Holm. cap. 118-9, where a large standing figure of Thor is described ; 
and Fornm. sog. 4, 245, ed. Christ, p. 26. Freyr giorr of silfri, Isl. 
sog. 1, 134. Landn. 3, 2. One man carried a statuette of Thor 
carved in whalebone (likneski Thors af tonn gert) in his pocket, so 
as to worship him secretly, when living among Christians, Fornm. 
sog. 2, 57. Thor s figure, was carved on the ondvegis-pillars, 
Eyrbygg. p. 8. Landnamab. 2, 12 ; and on the prows of ships, 
Fornm. sog. 2, 324. A figure of ThorgerSr holgabruSr, with rings 
of gold round the arm, to which people kneel, Fornm. sog. 2, 108. 2 

1 Finn Magnusen, bidrag til nordisk archaeologie, pp. 113-159. 

2 There is another thing to notice in this passage. The figure of Thorgerftr 
bent its hand up, when some one tried to snatch a ring off its arm, and the 
goddess was not disposed to let him have it. The same man then brought a 
lot of money, laid it at the figure s feet, fell on his knees and shed tears, then 
rose up and once more grasped at the ring, which now the figure let go. The 
same is told in the Foereyingasaga, cap. 23, p. 103. I regard it as a genuine 
trait of heathen antiquity, like others which afterwards passed into Christian 
folk-tales of the Mid. Ages (see SuppL). Of more than one image of grace we 
are told that it dropt a ring off its finger or a shoe off its foot as a gift to those 
who prayed before it. A figure of Christ gave its shoes to a poor man (Nicolai 
abbatis peregrinutio, ed. Weiiauff p. 20), and a saint s image its gold slippers 
(Mones anz. 7, 584. Archiv. des Henneb. vereins, pp. 70, 71). A figure of 
Mary accepts a ring that is presented to it, and bends her finger as a sign that 
she will keep it (Meon nouv. recueil 2, 296-7. Maerl. 2, 214). The two 
Virgin-stories in Meon and Maerlant, though one at bottom, have very differ 
ent turns given them. In the latter, a young man at a game of ball pulls the 
ring off his finger, and puts it on the hand of a Madonna ; in the former, the 
youth is boxing in the Colosseum at Rome, and puts his ring on the finger of a 
heathen statue, which bends the finger. Both figures now hold the man to his 
engagement. But the 0. French poem makes the afflicted youth bring an 
image of Mary to bear on the heathen one, the Mary takes the ring ofi the 
other figure, and restores it to the youth. Conf. Kaiserchr. 13142. 13265. 
13323. Forduni Scoti chroiiicon 1, 407 (W. Scott s minstr. 2, 136), relates 
this fable as an event of the llth century : a nobleman playing at ball slips his 

slip for wrdeutsch]. Even in a painting of Mary, the infant in her lap hands her 
a casket to give to a suppliant, Cod. pal. 341 fol. 63). Similarly, statues turn 
the face away, stretch out the arm to protect, they speak, laugh, weep, eat and walk ; 
thus a figure of Christ turns itself away (Ls. 3, 78. 262), another begins to eat 
and grow bigger (Kinderm. legenden no. 9), to weep, to beckon, to run away 

IMAGES. 115 

Frey s statue of silver, (Freyr markaftr af silfri), Vatnsd. p. 44. 50 
carried about in a waggon in Sweden, Fornm. sog. 2, 73-7. The 
Jomsvikingasaga tells of a temple on Gautland (I. of Gothland), in 
which were a hundred gods, Fornm. sog. 11, 40 ; truly a densitas 
imaginum/ as Jonas has it (see p. 83). Saxo Gram. 327 mentions 
a simulacrum quercu factum, carved in oak ? or an oaktree 
worshipped as divine ? (see Suppl.). 

Not only three, but occasionally two figures side by side are 
mentioned, particularly those of Wuotan and Donar or of Mars and 
Mereurius, as we see from the passages cited. Figures of Freyr 
and Thor together, and of Frigg and Freyja, occur in Miiller s 
sagabibl. 1, 92. Names of places also often indicate such joint 
worship of two divinities, e.g. in Hesse the Donnerseiche (Thor s 
oak) stood close by the Wodansberg ; and explorers would do well 
to attend to the point. 

But neither the alleged number of the statues, nor their descrip 
tions in the sagas can pass for historical ; what they do prove is, 
that statues there were. They appear mostly to have been hewn 
out of wood, some perhaps were painted, clothed, and overlaid with 
silver or gold ; but no doubt stone images were also to be met with, 
and smaller ones of copper or ivory. 1 

I have put off until now the mention of a peculiar term for 
statue, with which some striking accounts of heathen idols connect 

OHG. glosses have the word irman&Alt, pyramides, Mons. 360. 
avar^n, irmansdtt, pyramides, Doc. 203 b . irmansij.l, colossus, 
altissima columna, Florent. 987 a , Bias. 86. eolossus est irminsdl, 
Gl. Schletst. 18, 1. 28, 1. The literal meaning seems to be statue, 
to judge by the synonym avard, which in Gl. Jun. 226 is used for 

(Deutsche sagen, no. 347. Tettaus, preuss. sagen, pp. 21 1-5-8). In Reinbot s 
Georg the idol Apollo is flogged with rods by a child, and forced to walk away 
(3258-69), which, reminds one of the god Perun, whom, according to monk 
Nestor, Vladimir the Apostolic caused to be scourged with rods. In an Indian 
story I find a statue that eats the food set before it, Polier 2, 302-3. Antiquity 
then did not regard these images altogether as lumps of dead matter, but as 
penetrated by the life of the divinity. The Greeks too have stories of statues 
that move, shake the lance, fall on their kness, close their eyes (Kara/iuo-eij), 
bleed and sweat, which may have been suggested by the attitudes of ancient 
images ; but of a statue making a movement of the hand, bending a finger, I 
have nowhere read, significant as the position of the arms in images of gods 
was held to be. That the gods themselves xelpa inrep^xova-iv over those whom 
they wish to protect, occurs as early as in Homer. 
1 Finn Magnusen ibid. 132-7. 

116 GODS. 

statua and imago. It was not yet extinct in the 12th century, as 
appears from two places in the Kaiserchronik, near the beginning 
of the poem, and very likely there are more of them ; it is said of 
Mercury (Massmann 129) : 

uf einir yrmensule Upon an yrmensul 

stuont ein abgot ungehiure, Stood an idol huge, 
den hiezen sie ir koufnian. Him they called their 

Again of Julius Caesar (Massm. 624) : 

Eomere in ungetruweliche Eomans him untruly slew, 

sluogen, On an yrm. they buried him. 

{if einir yrmensul sie in begruoben. 
And of Simon Magus 24 C (Massm. 4432) : 

uf eine yrmensul er steic, On an yrmensul he climbed, 

daz lantvolc im allesamt neic. The land-folk to him all bowed. 
That is, worshipped him as a god. Nay, in Wolfram s Titurel, last 
chapter, where the great pillars of the (christian) temple of the 
Grail are described, instead of inneren seul of the printed 
text (Halm 6151), the Hanover MS. more correctly reads irmensul. 
Further, in the Frankish annals ad aim. 772 it is repeatedly 
stated, that Charles the Great in his conquest of the Saxons 
destroyed a chief seat of their heathen superstition, not far from 
Heresburg 1 in Westphalia, and that it was called Irminsul. Arm. 
Petav. : Domnus rex Karolus perrexit in Saxoniam et conquisivit 
Erisburgo, et pervenit ad locum qui dicitur Ermensul, et succendit 
ea loca (Pertz 1, 16). Ann. Lauresh. : Fuit rex Carlus hostiliter 
in Saxonia, et destruxit/anwm eorum quod vocatur Irminsul (Pertz 
1, 30). The same in the Chron. Moissiac., except the spelling Hir- 
minsul (Pertz 1, 295), and in Ann. Quedlinb., &c. (Pertz 5, 37). 
Ann. Juvavenses : Karolus idolum Saxonorum combussit, quod 
dicebant Irminsul (Pertz 1, 88). Einhardi Fuld. annales : Karolus 
Saxoniam bello a.ggressus, Eresburgum castrum cepit, et idolum Sax- 
onum quod vocabatur Irminsul destruit (Pertz 1, 348). Ann. Ratis- 
bon. : Carolus in Saxonia conquesivit Eresburc et Irminsul (Pertz 1, 
92). Ann. Lauriss.: Karlus in Saxonia castrum Aeresburg expugnat, 
fanum et lucum eorum famosum Irminsul subvertit (Pertz 1, 117). 

1 Now Stadtbergen, conf. the extract from Dietmar ; but strong reasons 
incline us to push the pillar (seule) some 15 miles deeper into the Osning 
forest ; Clostermeier Eggesterstein, pp. 26-7 : Eresburg, Horohus in pago Hessi 
Saxonico Saracho 735. 350. Conf. Massmann s Eggesterst. p. 34. 

GODS. 1 17 

Ann. Lauriss. : Et inde pen-exit partibus Saxoniae prima vice, 
Aeresburgum castrum cepit, ad Ermensul usque pervenit, et ipsum 
fanum destruxit, et aurum et argentum quod ibi repperit abstulit. 
Et fuit siccitas magna, ita ut aqua deficeret in supradicto loco ubi 
Ermensid stabat, &c. (Pertz 1, 150). Einhardi Ann. : Ferro et igni 
cuncta depopulatus, Aeresburgum castrum cepit, idolum quod Irmin- 
sul a Saxonibus vocabatur evertit (Pertz 1, 151) ; repeated in Ann. 
Tilian., and Chron. Eegin.,with spelling Ormensul (Pertz 1, 220, 557). 1 
And Dietmar of Merseburg (Pertz 5, 744) further tells us, in connex 
ion with later events: Sed exercitus capta urbe (Eresburch) ingressus, 
juvenem praefatum usque in ecclesiam S. Petri, ubi prius ab antiquis 
Irminsul colebatur, bello defatigatum depulit. Taking all these 
passages together, Irminsul passes through the very same grada 
tions of meaning we unfolded in ch. IV, and signifies now fanum, 
now lucus, now idolum itself. It can scarcely be doubted, that vast 
woodlands extended over that region : what if Osning ? the name of 
the mountain-forest in which the pillar stood, betokened a holy- 
wood ? The gold and silver hoard, which Charles was supposed to 
have seized there, may well be legendary embellishment. 3 Kuodolf 
of Fuld goes more into detail about the Irminsul ; after his general 
statement on the heathen Saxons, that frondosis arboribus fonti- 
busque venerationem exhibebant (p. 101), he goes on: Truncum 
quoque ligni non parvae magnitudinis in altum erectum sub divo 
colebant, patria eum lingua Irminsid appellantes, quod Latine 
dicitur universalis columna, quasi sustinens omnia (Pertz 2, 676), 

1 Poeta Saxo 1, 65 (Bouquet 5, 137) : 

Gens eadem coluit simulacrum quod vocitabant 
Irminstil, cujus factura simulque columna 
Non operis parvi fuerat, pariterque decoris. 

2 6s is the Sax. form for ans (p. 25), which denoted a god, and also a moun 
tain ; in High G. the name would be Ansninc, Ensninc. But, beside this 
mons Osnengi near Theotmelli, i.e. Detmold (Pertz 2, 447), there stood also a 
silva Osning not far from Osnabriick (Moser urk. no 2), and a third in Ripuaria 
on the Lower Rhine (Lacomblet no 310. 343. 354), which seems to have ex 
tended towards the Ardennes as far as Aachen (Aix la Chap.), mentioned in 
Vilkinasaga cap. 40 ; and according to Barsch on Schannat s Eiflia, illustr. 1, 
110, and HattemerS, 602% the Ardennes itself was called Ominka, Oseninch. 
By the Osnabriick charter above, the forest there appears even to have been 
modelled on the Osning of Aachen (ad similitudinem foresti Aquisgranum per- 
tinentis). That Osning is met with in several places, speaks for a more general 
meaning [than that of a mere proper name] ; like as, ans, and fairguni, it is 
the sacred mountain and forest. Ledebur takes the Teutoburgiensis saltus to 
be Osning. ^ Os?iabrtick, Asnebruggi (bridge of the ases) seems nearly related. 

3 Is this Ermen-pillar hoard an allusion to the legend of Ermenrich s hoard? 
(Saxo Gram. 156. Reinh. fuchs CLII.) 

118 GODS. 

(see Suppl.). Here was a great wooden pillar erected, and wor 
shipped under the open sky, its name signifies universal all-sustain 
ing pillar. This interpretation appears faultless, when we take 
with it other words in which the meaning is intensified by 
composition with irmin. In the Hildebrands lied, irmingot is the 
supreme god, the god of all, not a peculiar one, agreeing in sense 
with thiodgod, the (whole) people s god, formed by another streng 
thening prefix, Hel. 33, 18. 52, 12. 99, 6. irminman, an elevated 
expression for man, Hel. 38, 24. 107, 13. 152, 11. irminthiod, 
the human race, Hel. 87, 13 and in Hildebr. 1 In the same way I 
explain proper names compounded with irman, irmin (Gramm. 2, 
448). And irmansul, irminsdl is the great, high, divinely honoured 
statue ; that it was dedicated to any one god, is not to be found in 
the term itself. In like manner the AS. has eormencyn (genus 
humanum), Beow. 309. Cod. Exon. 333, 3. eormengrund (terra), 
Beow. 1711. (and singularly in an adj. form: ofer ealne yrmenne 
grund, Cod. Exon. 243, 13). eormenstrfind (progenies). ON. 
iormungrund (terra), iormungandr (anguis maximus), iormunreJcr 
(taurus maximus). Erom all this may be gathered the high mythic 
antiquity of these appellations, and their diffusion among all 
branches of the Teutonic race ; for neither to the Goths can they 
have been strange, as their famous king s name Ermanaricus 
(Airmanareiks, ON. Ib rmunrekr) shows ; and beyond a doubt the 
Hvrmunduri are properly Ermunduri (Gramm. 2, 175), the H being 
often prefixed to all such forms. 

Now whatever may be the probable meaning of the word irman, 
iormun, eormen, to which I shall return in due time, one thing is 
evident, that the Irman-pillar had some connexion, which continued 
to be felt down to a late period (p.H6),with Mercury or Hermes, to 
whom Greek antiquity raised similar posts and pillars, which were 
themselves called Hermae, a name which suggests our Teutonic one. 

The Saxons may have known more about this ; the Eranks, in 
Upper Germany, from the 8th to the 13th century, connected with 
irmanstil, irminsul the general notion of a heathen image set up on 
a pillar. Probably Euodolf associated with his truncus ligni the 

1 The Slav, ramo, Bohem. ramenso, is with transposition the Lat. armus, 
OHG. aram, and means both arm and shoulder ; in the Sloven, compound 
ramen-velik, valde magnus, it intensifies exactly like irman ; does this point to 
an affinity between irman and arm ? Arminius too is worth considering ; conf. 
Schailarik 1, 427. 

IMAGES. 119 

thought of a choice and hallowed tree-stem (with, or without, a 
god s image ?), rather than of a pillar hewn into shape by the hand 
of man ; this fits in too with the worshipping sub divo, with the 
word lucus used by some of the chroniclers, and with the simplicity 
of the earliest forest-worship. As the image melts into the notion 
of tree, so does the tree pass into that of image ; and our West- 
phalian Irmen-pillar most naturally suggests the idea of that 
Thor s-oak in Hesse ; the evangelists converted both of them into 
churches of St. Peter. I suspect an intimate connexion between 
the Irman-pillars and the Roland-pillars erected in the later Mid. 
Ages, especially in North Germany ; there were in Sweden Thor s- 
pillars, and among the Anglo-Saxons ^Ethelstdn-pillars (Lappenberg 
1, 376). There yet remains to be given an account of a sacred post 
in Neustria, as contained in the Vita Walarici abbatis Leuconensis 
(f622), said to have been composed in the 8th century : Et juxta 
ripam ipsius fluminis slips erat magnus, diversis imaginibus figuratus, 
atque ibi in terrain magna virtute immissus, qui nimio cultu morem 
gentilium a rusticis colebatur. Walaricus causes the log to be 
thrown down : et his quidem rusticis habitantibus in locis non 
parvum tarn moerorem quam et stuporem omnibus praebuit. Sed 
undique illis certatim concurrentibus cum armis et fustibus, indigne 
hoc ferentes invicem, ut injuriam dei sui vindicarent (Acta Bened. 
sec. 2, pp. 84-5). The place was called Augusta (bourg d Angst, 
near the town of Eu), and a church was built on the spot. 

I think I have now shown, that in ancient Germany there were 
gods and statues. It will further be needful to consider, how 
antiquity went to work in identifying foreign names of gods with 
German, and conversely German with foreign. 

The Eomans in their descriptions cared a great deal more to 
make themselves partially understood by a free translation, than, 
by preserving barbarous vocables, to do a service to posterity. At 
the same time they did not go arbitrarily to work, but evidently 
with care. 

Caesar s Sol, Luna and Vulcan are perhaps what satisfies us 
least ; but Tacitus seems never to use the names of Eoman deities, 
except advisedly and with reflection. Of the gods, he names only 
Mercury and Mars (Germ. 9. Ann. 13, 57. Hist, 4, 64) ; of deified 
heroes, Hercules, Castor and Pollux (Germ. 9, 43) ; of goddesses, 

120 GODS. 

his (Germ. 9), the terra mater by her German name (Germ. 40), 
and the mater deum (Germ. 45). Incompatible deities, such as 
Apollo or Bacchus, are never compared. What strikes us most, is 
the absence of Jupiter, and the distinction given to Mercury, who 
was but a deity of the second rank with the Eomans, a mere god 
of merchants, but here stands out the foremost of all: Deorum 
maxime Mercurium colunt : to him alone do human sacrifices fall, 
while Mars and Hercules content themselves with beasts. This 
prominence of Mercury is probably to be explained by the fact, 
that this god was worshipped by the Gauls likewise as their chief 
divinity, and was the most frequently portrayed (deum maxime 
Mercurium colunt, hujus sunt plurima simulacra, Caes. B. Gall. 6, 
17) ; x and that the looks of the Eomans, when directed towards 
Germany, still saw Gaul in the foreground ; besides, it may have 
been Gallic informants that set the German divinity before them in 
this light. Observe too the Gaulish juxtaposition of Mars and 
Mercurius in statues (p.l 11), precisely as Tacitus names the German 
ones together (Ann. 13, 57). The omission of Jupiter is obviously 
accounted for, by his worship yielding the precedence to that of 
Mercury in those nations which Tacitus knew best : we shall see, as 
we go on, that the northern and remoter branches on the contrary 
reserved their highest veneration for the thunder-god. On his and 
Hercules I shall express my views further on. Whom we are to 
understand by the Dioscuri, is hard to guess ; most likely two sons 
of Woden, and if we go by the statements of the Edda, the brothers 
Baldr and Hermoftr would be the most fitting. 

This adaptation of classical names to German gods became 
universally spread, and is preserved with strict unanimity by the 
Latin writers of the succeeding centuries ; once set in circulation, 
it remained current and intelligible for long ages. 

The Gothic historian names but one god after the Roman fashion, 
and that is Mars : Quein Gothi semper asperrima placavere cultura 
(Jornandes cap. 5), with which the Scythian Ares, so early as in 
Herodotus 4, 62-3, may be compared. 

Paulus Diaconus winds up his account of Wodan with the 
express announcement (1, 9): Wodan sane, quern adjecta litera 
Gwodan dixerunt, ipse est qui apud Eomanos Mercurius dicitur, et 

1 Schopflin, Als. ill. 1, 435-60 ; esp. on a fanum of Mercury at Ebermiinster 
1 , 58. Conf. Hummel, bibl. deutsch. alterth. p. 229. Creuzer, altrom. cultur am. 
Oberrhein, pp. 48, 98. 

GODS. 121 

ab universis Germaniae gentibus ut deus adoratur. Just so his 
older countryman Jonas of Bobbio, in that account of the sacrificing 
Alamanns, declares : Illi aiunt, deo suo Vodano, quern Mercurium 
vocant alii, se velle litare ; upon which, a gloss inserted by another 
hand says less correctly : Qui apud eos Yuotant vocatur, Latini 
autem Martem ilium appellant ; though otherwise Woden greatly 
resembles Mars (v. infra). 

Gregory of Tours (supra, p.107) makes Saturn and Jupiter, and 
again Mars MercuriusquQ the gods whom the heathen Chlodovich 
adored. In 1, 34 he expresses himself in more general terms: Pri- 
vatus, Gabalitanae urbis episcopus. . . . daemoniis immolare com- 
pellitur a Chroco Alamannorum rege (in the third cent.). Wide- 
kind of Corvei names Mars and Hercules as gods of the Saxons (see 
p. Ill); and that little addition to the Corvei Annals (see p.lll) 
couples together the Greek and Latin denominations Aris and Mars, 
Ermis and Mercurius. 

The Indiculus paganiarum reckons up, under 8: De sacris 
Mercurii vel Jovis 1 ; under 20 : De feriis quae faciunt Jovi vel 
Mercurio. So that the thunder-god, of whom Tacitus is silent, is 
in other quarters unforgotten ; and now we can understand Wili- 
bald s narrative of the robur Jovis (see p. 72), and in Bonifac. 
epist. 25 (A.D. 723) the presbyter Jovi mactans (see Suppl.). 

In the Additamenta operum Matthaei Paris, ed. W. Watts, 
Paris 1644, pp. 25-6, there is an old account of some books which 
are said to have been discovered in laying the foundation of a church 
at Verlamacestre (St Albans) in the tenth century, and to have been 
burnt. One of them contained invocationes et ritus idololatrarurn 
civium Varlamacestrensium, in quibus comperit, quod specialiter 
Phoebum deum solis invocarunt et coluerunt, secundario vero Mer 
curium, Voden anglice appellatum, deum videlicet mercatorum, 
quia cives et compatriotae . . . fere omnes negotiatores 
et institores fuerunt. Evidently the narrator has added somewhat 
out of his own erudition; the invocations and rites themselves 
would have given us far more welcome information. 

Passages which appear to speak of a German goddess by the 
name of Diana, will be given later. Neptune is mentioned a few 
times (supra, p. 110). 

1 Had these been Roman gods, Jupiter would certainly have been named 
first, and Mercury after. 

122 GODS. 

Saxo Grammaticus, though he writes in Latin, avoids applying 
the Eoman names of gods, he uses Othinus or Othin, never 
Mercurius instead ; yet once, instead of his usual Thor (pp. 41, 
103), he has Jupiter, p. 236, and malleus Jovialis ; Mars on p. 36 
seems to stand for Othin, not for Tyr, who is never alluded to in 
Saxo. Ermoldus Nigellus, citing the idols of the Normanni, says 4, 9 
(Pertz 2, 501), that for God (the Father) they worshipped Neptune, 
and for Christ Jupiter ; I suppose Neptune must here mean OSin, 
and Jupiter Thor ; the same names recur 4, 69. 100. 453-5. 

Melis-Stoke, as late as the beginning of the 14th century, still 
remembers that the heathen Frisians worshipped Mercury (1, 16. 
17) ; I cannot indicate the Latin authority from which no doubt he 
drew this. 1 

If the supposition be allowed, and it seems both a justifiable 
and almost a necessary one, that, from the first century and during 
the six or eight succeeding ones, there went on an uninterrupted 
transfer of the above-mentioned and a few similar Latin names of 
gods to domestic deities of Gaul and Germany, and was familiar 
to all the educated ; we obtain by this alone the solution of a 
remarkable phenomenon that has never yet been satisfactorily 
explained : the early diffusion over half Europe of the heathen 
nomenclature of the days of the week. 

These names are a piece of evidence favourable to German 
heathenism, and not to be disregarded. 

The matter seems to me to stand thus. 2 From Egypt, through 
the Alexandrians, the week of seven days (e/SSo/^a?), which in 
Western Asia was very ancient, came into vogue among the Eomans, 
but the planetary nomenclature of the days of the week apparently 
not till later. Under Julius Caesar occurs the earliest mention 
of dies Saturni in connection with the Jewish sabbath, Tibull. 1, 
3, 18. Then fjKiov ^epa in Justin Mart, apolog. 1, 67. r Ep/*ov 
and A^poSLT?)? rjfjiepa in Clem. Alex, strom. 7, 12. The institution 
fully carried out, not long before Dio Cassius 37,. 18, about the close 

1 Our MHG. poets impart no such information ; they only trouble their 
heads about Saracen gods, among whom it is true Jupiter and Apollo make 
their appearance too. In Rol. 97, 7 are named Mars, Jovinus, Saturnus. 

2 I can here use only the beginning, not the conclusion, which would be 
more useful for my investigation, of a learned paper by Julius Hare on the 
names of the days of the week (Philolog. Mus., Nov. 1831). Conf. Idelers 
handb. der chronol. 2, 177-180, and Letronne, observations sur les repre senta- 
tions zodiacales, p. 99. 


of the 2nd century. 1 The Eomans had previously had a week of 
nine days, nundmae=novendinae. Christianity had adopted from 
the Jews the hebdomas, and now it could not easily guard the 
church against the idolatrous names of days either (see SuppL). 

But these names, together with the institution of the week, had 
passed on from Eome to Gaul and Germany, sooner than the 
Christian religion did. In all the Eomance countries the planetary 
names have lasted to this day (mostly in a very abridged form), 
except for the first day and the seventh : instead of dies solis they 
chose dies dominica (Lord s day), It. domenica, Sp. domingo, Fr. 
dimanche ; and for dies Saturni they kept the Jewish sabbatum, It. 
sabbato, Sp. sabado, Fr. samedi (=sabdedi, sabbati dies). But the 
heathen names of even these two days continued in popular use 
long after : Ecce enim dies solis adest, sic enim barbaries vocitare 
diem dominicum consueta est, Greg. Tur. 3, 15. 

Unhappily a knowledge of the Gothic names of days is denied 
us. The sabbatd dags, salbato dags, which alone occurs in Ulphilas, 
proves nothing, as we have just seen, against a planetary designation 
of the remaining six or five days. A sunnons dags, a menins 
dags may be guessed ; the other four, for us the most important, I 
do not venture to suggest. Their preservation would have been of 
the very highest value to our inquiry. 

OLD HIGH GERM. I. sunndn dag, 0. v. 5, 22. Gl. bias. I 76 a . 
Lacombl. arch. 1, 6. II. mdnin tac (without authority, for 
manitag, manotag in Graff 2,795. 5, 358 have no reference ; manetag 
in Notker, ps. 47, 1). III. dies Martis, prob. Ziuwes tac among 
Alamanns; in the llth cent. Cies dac, Gl. bias. 76 a ; 2 prob. different 
among Bavarians and Lombards. IV. dies Mercurii, perhaps still 
Wuotanes tac ? our abstract term, diu mittawecha already in N". ps. 
93, and mittwocha, Gl. bias. 76 b . V. dies Jovis, Donares tac, Toniris 
tac, N. ps. 80, 1. domestic, Gl. bias. 76 a . Burcard von Worms 195 b : 
quintam feriam in honorem Jovis honorati. VI. dies Veneris, Fria 
dag, 0. v. 4, 6. Frije tag, T. 211, 1. VII. at last, like the Eomance 
and Gothic, avoiding the heathenish dies Saturni, sambaziag, T. 68, 
1. K 91, I. 3 samiztag, K 88, 40. sunntin aland, our sonnabend, 

1 An old hexameter at the end of the editions of Ausonius : Ungues 
Mercurio, barbam Jove, Cy pride crines (nails on Wednesday, beard on Thursday 
hair on Friday). 

2 Cies for Zies, as the same glossist 86 a writes gicimbere and cinnurn. 

3 Sambazolus n. prop, in Karajan. 



already in 0. v. 4, 9, prob. abbreviation of sunnundages aband, feria 
ante dominicam, for vespera solis cannot have been meant [conf. 
Engl. Whitsun-eve] ; and occasionally, corresponding to the Kom- 
ance dies dominica, frontag, N. ps. 23. 

MID. HIGH GERM. Would any one believe, that the names of 
the days of the week are not easily to be picked out of the abun 
dant remains of our MHG. literature ? It is true, sunnen tac 
(suntac in Berth. 118) and maniac (Parz. 452, 16. mcentac 498, 22. 
Amis 1648) 1 admit of no doubt. Neither do Donrestac (Donerstag, 
Uolrich 73 a . Dunrestac, Berth. 128), spelt Duristag in a Semi- 
Low Germ. urk. of 1300 in Hofer p. 57), and Dornstag in one of 
1495, Useners femgerichten p. 131 ; nor Fritac (Parz. 448, 7. 470, 
1. Walth. 36, 31. Berth. 134), Vriegtag, Uolrich 73 a ; nor yet 
samztac (Parz. 439, 2. Berth. 138), sunnen abent (Trist. 3880). 
But uncertainty hangs about the third and fourth days. The 
former, by a remarkable variation, was in Bavaria named Eritac, 
Erdac (the true form not quite certain, eritag in Adelung s vat. 
hss. 2, 189. ergetag in Berth. 122 ; see examples collected from 
urkunden, Schm. 1, 96-7), in Swabia on the contrary Ziestac, for 
Ziewestac. Both of these forms, which have nothing to do with 
each other, live to this day in the speech of the common people : 
Bav. ierte, Austr. iarla, irita, Vicentino-Germ. eortd, ortd, Alem. 
ziestag, zinstag, ziestig, zistiff, zienstig, zeinstig, zinstag. The insertion of 
the liquid has corrupted the word, and brought in quite irrelevant 
notions. In central Germany the form diestag, tiestag seems to 
predominate (diestik in the Pthon), whence our dienstag (less cor 
rectly dinstag, there is good reason for the ie) ; the spelling ding- 
stag, as if from ding, thing, juclicium, is false ; dinstag occurs in 
Gaupps magdeb. recht p. 272. The fourth day I have never seen 
named after the god, either in MHG. or in our modern dialects, 
unless indeed the gwontig cited in the note can be justified as 
standing for Gwuotenstag, Wuotenstag; everywhere that abstrac 
tion midweek has carried all before it, but it has itself become 

1 Zuemtig for Monday, Staid. 2, 470 ought perhaps to be zue mentig, ze 
mantage ; yet 1, 490 he has guenti, giienti, Tobler 248 b has gwontig, 
guentig, and Zellwegers urk. l b , 19 guonti, for which Urk. no. 146 
has an gutem tag, which seems to be supported by Haltaus 
jahrzeitb. Or is only this particular Monday after Lent called sol In 
the Cod. pal. 372, 103 (ann. 1382) we have giiotem tag. The resemblance 
of this good day to the Westphalian Gudensdag (Woden s day) is purely 


almost unintelligible by being changed into a masculine mitlwoch, 
mittich, Berth. 24, maktig, Staid. 2, 194, conf. the Gothl. majkadag, 
Almqv. 442 a ), an der mitkun* fern., is found in the Cod. zaringobad. 
no. 140 (A.D. 1261). So even for the fifth day, the numeric name 
phinztac (Berth. 128. Ottoc. 144 a . Gratzer urk. of 1338. Schwa- 
benspiegel, p. 196. Schm. 1, 322), or phingstag, has made its 
way into some districts of Upper Germany through Greco-Slavic 
influences, Tre^Trr??, petek, piatek, patek, though by these the Slavs 
mean Friday (see Suppl.). 

NEW HIGH GERM. I. sonntag. II. montag. III. Dienstag. 

IV. mittwoch. V. Donnerstag. VI. Freitag. VII. samstag, 

OLD SAXON. The OS. names are wanting, but must have 
differed in some essential points from the OIIG., as the derived 
dialects prove. We may pretty safely assume Wddanes dag for 
the fourth day of the week, for in Westphalia it is still called 
Godenstag, Gonstag, Gaunstag, Gunstag, at Aix Gguesdag, in Lower 
Rhen. urkunden Gudestag, Giinther, 3, 585. 611 (A.D. 1380-7), 
Gudenstag, Kindlinger horigk. p. 577-8 (A.D. 1448). The third day 
was probably Tiwesdag, the fifth Thunaresdag, the sixth Friundag. 
The most unlike would doubtless be the seventh, was it formed 
after dies Saturni, Sdteresdag ? conf. the Westph. Saterstag, Saiter- 
staig, Giinter 3, 502 (A.D. 1365). In Sachsensp. 2, 66 one MS. reads 
for sunavend Satersdach (see Suppl.). 

MID. DUTCH. I. sondach, Maerl. 2, 159. II. manendach, Huyd. 
op St. 3, 389. maendadi, Maerl. 2, 139. III. Disendach, Maerl. 
2, 140. al. Dicendach, Dissendach, Cannaert strafrecht, pp. 124, 481 
apparently corrupted from Tisdach. IV. Wocnsdach, Maerl. 2, 143. 

V. Donresdach, Maerl. 2, 144. VI. Vridach, Maerl. 2, 159. gen. 
Vrindagh&t, Maerl. 2, 143. 157. VII. Saterdach, Maerl. 2, 114. 
120-3. 157-9. 276. 3, 197. 343. also sonnacht, Maerl. 2, 164. 3, 240. 
(see Suppl.). 

NEW DUTCH. I. zondag. II. mdndag. III. dingsdag, for 
merly dinsdag, Dissendag. IV. Woensdag, Belg. Goensdag. V. 
Donderdag. VI. Vridag. VII. Zaterdag. 

OLD FRISIAN. I. sonnadei. II. monadci. III. Tysdei. IV. 
Wernsdei. V. Tkunresdei, Tornsdei. VI. Frigendei, Fredei. VII. 
Saterdei (references for all these forms in Richthofen). 

NEW FRISIAN. I. sneyn, abbrev. from sinnedey, sendei, senned 

126 GODS. 

(conf. Frud) ; the final n in sneyn, no doubt, as in OFris. Frigendei, 
a relic of the old gen. sing, in the weak decl. II. moandey. III. 
Tyesdcy. IV. Wdnsdey. V. Tongersdey. VI. Fred, abbrev. from 
Fredey. VII. sniuwn, snioun, abbrev. from sinnejuwn = Sun(day)- 
even. Conf. tegenwoordige staat van Friesland 1, 121. Was- 
senbergh s bidraghen 2, 56. Halbertsma naoogst p. 281-2 (see 

NORTH FEISIAN. I. sennendei. II. monnendei. III. Tirsdei. 
IV. Winsdei. V. Tursdei. VI. Fridei. VII. sennin (in = even). 

ANGLO-SAXON. I. sonnan dseg. II. monan daeg. III. 2Y?0es 
dseg. IV. Wodenes or Forces daeg. V. Thunores dceg. VI. 
-Fr^e daag. VII. Scetres or Sceternes daeg. 

OLD NORSE. I. sunnudagr. 1 II mdnadagr. III. Tyrsdagr, 
Tysdagr. IV. O&insdagr. V. Thorsdagr. VI. Friadagr, Frey- 
judagr. VII. laugardagr. 

SWEDISH. I. sondag. II. mandag. III. Tisdag, whence 
even Finn, tystai. IV. Onsdag. V. Tliorsdag. VI. Fredag 
VII. lordag. 

DANISH. I sondag. II. mandag. III. Tirsdag. IV. Ows- 
c%. V. Torsdag. VI. Fredag. VII. loverdag (see Suppl.). 

We see, it is only in the seventh day that the Scandinavian 
names depart from the Saxon, Frisian and Dutch : laugardagr 
means bath-day because people bathed at the end of the week. 
Yet even here there may be some connexion ; a Latin poem of the 
9th century on the battle of Fontenay (Bouquet 7, 304) has the 
singular verse : Sabbatum non illud fuit, sed Saturni dolium ; a 
devil s bath ? conf. ch. XII, Saturn. [The Germ, for carnage is 
blutbad, blood-bath.] 

Even if the Germans from the earliest times knew the week of 
seven days from the four phases of the lunar change, 2 yet the 

1 This ON. sunnudagr is noticeable, as in other cases sol is used rather than 
sunna ; sunnudagr seems to have been formed by the Christian teachers in imita 
tion of the other Teutonic languages. The Swed. and Dan. sondag (instead of 
Boldag) must have been taken bodily from a Plattdeutsch form. 

2 To the Lat. word vix, gen. vicis (change, turn) corresponds, without the 
usual consonant-change, the Gothic vikti, OHG. wecha and wehsal, both refer 
able to the verb veika, vaik, OHG. wiclm (I give way), because change is a 
giving way [in German, der wechsel ist ein weichen ]. Ulph. has viko only 
once, Lu. 1, 8, where ey 777 ragci TTJS f^^epias is translated * in vikon kunjis ; it 
is evidently something more than rd^ts here, it expresses at the same time a part 
of the gen. e^/ufptay, therefore lit. in vice generis , which the Vulg. renders 


naming of the days and the order in which they stand is manifestly 
an importation from abroad. On the contrary supposition, there 
would have been variation in details ; and Saturn, for whom no 
Teutonic god seems prepared to stand sponsor, would have been left 
out in the cold. 

But it would be no less absurd to attribute the introduction of 
the week and the names of the days to the Christians. As they 
came into vogue among the heathen Romans, they could just 
as well among heathen Gauls and Germans ; nay, considering 
the lively intercourse between the three nations, a rapid 
diffusion is altogether natural. 1 Christianity had the Jewish week, 
and it tolerated names which were a frequent offence to it, but were 
already too deeply rooted, and could only be partially dislodged. 
Those words of Gregory reveal the utter aversion of the clergy, 
which comes .out still more plainly in the language (publ. in Syn 
tagma de baptismo, p. 190) of an Icelandic bishop in 1107, who 
actually did away with them in Iceland, and replaced them by 
mere numeric names. How should the Christian teachers ever have 
suffered hateful names of idols to be handed over to their recent 
converts for daily use, unless they had already been long established 
among the people ? And in Germany, how should the Latin gods 
have been allowed to get translated into German ones, as if on pur 
pose to put them within easy reach of the people, had they not 
already been familiar with them for centuries ? 

Again, the high antiquity of these translations is fully establish 
ed by their exact accordance with the terminology used in the first 
centuries, as soon as people came to turn German gods into Roman. 
In my opinion, the introduction of the seven days names 

by in ordine vicis . Now whether viko expressed to the Goths the alterna 
tion of the moon s quarters, we do not know for certain ; I incline to believe 
it, as the OHG. weha, woclia, AS. wice, wuce, ON. vika, Swed. vecka, Dan. 
uge, are all limited to the one meaning of septimana. The very absence of con 
sonant-change points to a high antiquity in the word. It is remarkable that 
the Javanese vuku means a section of time, the year falling into 30 vukus 
(Humb. Kawispr. 1, 196). The Finn, wijkko is more likely to have been 
borrowed from the Norse than from so far back as the Gothic. I remark 
further, that an observance by the Germani of sections of time must be inferred 
from the mere fact that certi dies were fixed for the sacrifices to Mercury, Tac. 
Germ. 9. 

1 Jos. Fuchs, gesch. yon Mainz 2, 27 seq. (Kupfert 4, no 7) describes a 
Roman round altar, prob. of the 3rd or 4th century, on which are carved the 
seven gods of the week (1 Saturn, 2 Apollo, 3 Diana, 4 Mars, 5 Mercury, 6 
Jupiter, 7 Venus), and in an 8th place a genius. 

128 GODS. 

amongst us must be placed at latest in the fourth or fifth century ; 
it may not have taken place simultaneously in all parts of Teuton- 

Our forefathers, caught in a natural delusion, began early to 
ascribe the origin of the seven days names to the native gods of 
their fatherland. William of Malmesbury, relating the arrival of 
the Saxons in Britain, says of Hengist and Horsa, that they were 
sprung from the noblest ancestry: Erant enim abnepotes illius 
antiquissimi Voden, de quo omnium pene barbararum gentium 
regium genus lineam trahit, quemque gentes Anglorum deum esse 
delirantes, ei quartum diem septimanae, et sextum uxori ejus Freae 
perpetuo ad hoc tempus consecraverunt sacrilegio (Savile 1601. p. 
9). More circumstantially, Geoffrey of Monmouth (lib. 6. ed. 1587, 
p. 43) makes Hengist say to Yortigern : Ingressi sumus maria, 
regnum tuum duce Mercurio petivimus. Ad nomen itaque Mer- 
curii erecto vultu rex inquirit cujusmodi religionem haberent? cui 
Hengistus : deos patrios Saturnum, atque ceteros, qui munclum 
gubernant, colimus, maxime Mer curium (as in Tac. 9.), quern Woden 
lingua nostra appellamus. Huic veteres nostri dicaverunt quartam 
septimanae feriam, quae usque in hodiernum diem nomen Wodenes- 
dai de nomine ipsius sortita est. Post ilium colimus dcam inter 
ceteras potentissimam, cui et dicaverunt sextam feriam, quam de 
nomine ejus Fredai vocamus. As Matthew of Westminster (Flores, 
ed. 1601, p. 82) varies in some details, his words may also be 
inserted here : Cumque tandem in praesentia regis (Vortigerni) 
essent constituti, quaesivit ab eis, quam fidem, quam religionem 
patres eorum coluissent ? cui Hengistus : dcos patrios, scilicet 
Saturnum, Jovem atque ceteros, qui mundum gubernant, colimus, 
maxime autcm Mercurium, quern lingua nostra Voden appellamus. 
Huic patres nostri veteres dedicaverunt quartam feriam septimanae, 
quae in hunc hodiernum diem Vodenesday appellatur. Post ilium 
colimus deam inter ceteras potentissimam, vocabulo Frcam, cujus 
vocabulo Friday appellamus. Frea ut volunt quidam idem est 
quod Venus, et dicitur Frea, quasi Froa a frodos [A-frod-ite = from 
froth ?] quod est spuma maris, de qua nata est Venus secimdiini 
fabulas, unde idem dies appellatur dies Veneris. Anglo-Saxon 
legend then, unconcerned at the jumbling of foreign and homespun 
fable, has no doubt at all about the high antiquity of the names 
among its people. 

GODS. 129 

Saxo Grammaticus, more critical, expresses his opinion (p. 103) 
of the Norse nomenclature, that it is derived from the native gods, 
but that these are not the same as the Latin. This he proves by 
Othin and Thor, after whom the fourth and fifth days of the week 
are named, as in Latin after Mercury and Jupiter. For Thor, 
being Othin s son, cannot possibly be identified with Jupiter, who 
is Mercury s father; consequently, neither can the Norse Othin, 
Thor s father, with the Eoman Mercury, who is Jupiter s son. The 
discrepancy is certainly strong, but all that it can prove is, that at 
the time when Othin and Mercury began to be placed on the same 
pedestal, Mercury was thought of as a Celtic divinity, probably 
with attributes differing widely from his classical namesake. Saxo 
is quite right in what he means, and his remark confirms the early 
heathen origin of these names of days ; l yet upon occasion, as we 
saw on p. 122, he lets himself be carried away after all by the over 
powering identity of Thor and Jupiter (see SuppL). 

The variations too in the names of the seven days among the 
various Teutonic races deserve all attention ; we perceive that they 
were not adopted altogether cut-and-dry, nor so retained, but that 
national ideas still exercised some control over them. The later 
heathenism of Friesland and Saxony caused the- old names of 
Wednesday and Saturday to live on, while in Upper Germany they 
soon sank into oblivion. But what is especially significant to us, 
is the deviation of the Alamanns and Bavarians when we come to 
the third day ; how could it have arisen at a later (Christian) time, 
when the idea of the heathen god that does duty for Mars had 
already become indistinct ? how came the Christian clergy, supposing 
that from them the naming had proceeded, ever to sanction such a 
divergence ? 

The nations that lie behind us, the Slavs, the Lithuanians, do 
not know the planetary names of days, they simply count like the 
Greeks, 2 not because they were converted later, but because they 
became acquainted with Latin culture later. The Finns and Lapps 

1 Conf. Pet. Er. Muller om Saxo, p. 79. 

2 The Indian nations also name their days of the week after planets ; and 
it seems worth remarking here, that Wednesday is in Sanskrit Budhuvaras, 
Tamil Budhunkiiramei, because some have identified Buddha with Woden. In 
reality Budhas, the ruler of Mercury and son of the moon, is quite distinct from 
the prophet Buddhas (Schlegel s ind. bibl. 2. 177). 


130 GODS. 

do not count, while the Esthonians again mostly do (see SuppL). 
Even the christianizing influence of Byzantium decided nothing on 
this point; Byzantium had no influence over Lithuanians and Finns, 
and had it over a part only of the Slavs. These in their counting 
begin with Monday, as the first day after rest, consequently Tues 
day is their second, and Thursday their fourth, 1 altogether deviating 
from the Latin and Icelandic reckoning, which makes Monday second 
and Thursday fifth. Hence the Slavic piatek (fifth) means Friday, 
and that Up. Germ, pfinztag (fifth) Thursday. Wednesday they 
call middle, sreda, sereda, srida (whence Lith. serrada), which may 
have acted upon our High German nomenclature ; the Finns too 
have keskivrijcko (half -week, from keski medium). It would be well 
worth finding out, when and for what reason the High German and 
the Slav first introduced the abstract names mittewoche and sreda 
(Boh. stfeda), while the Low German and the Eomance have kept 
to Woden and Mercury. Alone of Slavs, the Wends in Liineburg 
show a trace of naming after a god; dies Jovis was with them 
Perendan, from Peren, Perun, thunder-god: apparently a mere 
imitation of the German, as in all the other days they agree with 
the rest of the Slavs. 2 

The nett result of these considerations is, that, in Latin records 
dealing with Germany and her gods, we are warranted in interpret 
ing, with the greatest probability, Mercurius as Wuotan, Jupiter as 
Donar, and Mars as Ziu. The gods of the days of the week 
translated into German are an experiment on Tacitus s interpretatio 
Komana . 

1 E.g. in Russian : 1, voskresenie, resurrection (but O.S1. ne-delia, no 
ticing). 2, po-nedel nik, day after-no-work. 3, vtornik, second day. 4, 
sereda, middle. 5, chetverg, fourth day. 6, piatnitsa, fifth, day. 7, subbota, 
sabbath. TRANS. 

2 It is striking, that in 0. Bohem. glossaries (Hanka 54. 165) Mercury, 
Venus and Saturn are quoted in the order of their days of the week ; and that 
any Slav deities that have been identified with Latin ones are almost sure to 
be of the number of those that preside over the week. And whilst of the Slav 
gods, Svatovit answers to Mars (Ziu), Radigast to Mercury (Wuotan), Perun to 
Jupiter (Donar), Lada (golden dame, zolotababa, in Hanusch 241, 35 b ) to Venus 
(Fria), and perhaps Sitivrat to Saturn ; the names of the planets are construed 
quite otherwise, Mars by Smrto-nos (letifer), Mercury by Dobro-pan (good lord, 
or rather bonorum dator), Jupiter by Krale-moc (rex potens), Venus by Ctitel 
(cupitor ] venerandus ?), Saturn by Hlado-let (famelicus, or annonae caritatem 
afterens). Respecting Sitivrat I give details at the end of ch. XII. 


THE highest, the supreme divinity, universally honoured, as we 
have a right to assume, among all Teutonic races, would in the 
Gothic dialect have been called Vddans ; he was called in OHG. 
Wuotan, a word which also appears, though rarely, as the name of a 
man : Wuotan, Trad. Fuld. 1, 149. 2, 101-5-8. 128. 158. 161. Woatan 
2, 146, 152. The Longobards spelt it Wddan or Guddan, the Old 
Saxons Wuodan, Wodan, but in Westphalia again with the g prefixed, 
Guddan, Gudan, the Anglo-Saxons Woden, the Frisians Weda from 
the propensity of their dialect to drop a final n, and to modify 6 
even when not followed by an i. 1 The Norse form is O&inn, in 
Saxo Othinus, in the Faroe isles Ouvin, gen. Ouvans, ace. Ouvan. 
Up in the Grisons country and from this we may infer the extent 
to which the name was diffused in Upper Germany the Romance 
dialect has caught the term Vut from Alamanns or Burgundians of 
a very early time, and retained it to this day in the sense of idol, 
false god, 1 Cor. 8, 4. 2 (see Suppl.). 

It can scarcely be doubted that the word is immediately derived 
from the verb OHG. watan wuot, ON", va&a, 6&, signifying meare, 
transmeare, cum impetu ferri, but not identical with Lat. vadere, as 
the latter has the a long, and is more likely connected with OS. 
gavitan, AS. gewitan. From watan comes the subst. wuot (our 
wuth, fury), as /ue i/o? and animus properly mean mens, ingenium, 
and then also impetuosity, wildness ; the ON.- 58r has kept to the 

1 A Frisian god Warns has simply been invented from the gen. in the 
compound Warnsclei, Wernsdei (Richth. p. 1142), where Werns plainly 
stands for Wedens, ; Wodens, an r being put for d to avoid collision with 
the succeeding sd ; it will be hard to find anywhere a nom. Wern. And the 
present West Frisians say Wansdey, the North Frisians Winsdei, without 
such r. 

2 Conradis worterb. 263. CHristmann, pp. 3032. 

132 WODAN. 

one meaning of mens or sensus. 1 According to this, Wuotan, 
Offinn would be the all-powerful, all-penetrating being, qui omnia 
permeat ; as Lucan says of Jupiter : Est quodcunque vides, quo- 
cunque moveris, the spirit-god 2 ; conf. Virg. Georg. 4, 221 : Deum 
ire per omnes terras, and Eel. 3, 60 : Jo vis omnia plena. In the 
popular language of Bavaria, wuetdn is to bestir oneself, to swarm, 
grow luxuriantly, thrive, Schm. 4, 203 (see Suppl.). 

How early this original meaning may have got obscured or 
extinguished, it is impossible to say. Together with the meaning 
of wise and mighty god, that of the wild, restless, vehement, must 
also have prevailed, even in the heathen time. The Christians were 
the better pleased, that they could bring the bad sense into promin 
ence out of the name itself. In the oldest glosses, wotan is put for 
tyrannus, hems malus, Diut. 1, 276 b . gl. Ker. 270 ; so wucterich, 
wuterich (Gramm. 2, 516) is used later on, and down to the present 
day, conf. ein ungestiiemer wiieterich, Ben. 431 ; as in Mar. 217. 
Herod s messengers of murder are wiieteriche, O.i. 19, 18 names the 
king himself yotewuoto. The form ivuotunc seems not to differ in 
sense ; an unprinted poem of the 13th century says Wlietunges 
her apparently for the wiitende heer, 3 the host led as it were by 
Wuotan ; and Wuotunc is likewise a man s name in OIIG., Wodunc, 
Trad, patav. no. 19. The former divinity was degraded into an evil, 
fiendish, bloodthirsty being, and appears to live yet as a form of 
protestation or cursing in exclamations of the Low German people, 
as in Westphalia : Woudan, Woudan ! Eirmenich 1, 257, 260 ; 
and in Mecklenburg : Wod, Wod ! (see Suppl.). 

Proofs of the general extension of Woden s worship present 
themselves, for one thing, in the passages collected in the preceding 
chapter on Mercurius, and again in the testimonies of Jonas of 
Bobbio (pp. 56 and 121) and Paulus Diaconus, and in the Abre- 
nuntiatio, which deserves to be studied more closely, and lastly in the 
concurrence of a number of isolated facts, which I believe have 
hitherto been overlooked. 

If we are to sum up in brief the attributes of this god, he is the 

1 A word that has never been fully explained, Goth. v6j>is dulcis, 2 Cor. 2, 
15, OHG. wuodi, Diut. 2, 304% OS. wuothi, Hel. 36, 3. 140, 7, AS. u-efo, must 
either be regarded as wholly unconnected, or its meaning be harmonized. 

2 Finn Magnusen comes to the same conclusion, Lex. myth. 621. 636. 

3 The belief, so common in the Mid. Ages, in a furious host or wild 
hunt, is described in ch. XXXI. TRANS. 

WODAN. 133 

all-pervading creative and formative power, who bestows shape and 
beauty on men and all things, from whom proceeds the gift of song 
and the management of war and victory, on whom at the same 
time depends the fertility of the soil, nay wishing, and all highest 
gifts and blessings, Seem. 113 a>b . 

To the heathen fancy Wuotan is not only the world-ruling, wise, 
ingenious god, he is above all the arranger of wars and battles. 1 
Adam of Bremen cap. 233, ed. 1595 says of the Norse god : Wodan, 
id est fortior, bella gerit, hominique ministrat virtutem contra 
inimicos . . . Wodanem sculpunt (Sveones) armatum, sicut nostri 
Martem sculpere solent. To the fortior, fortis, would answer his 
OK name of Svidr, i.e. the strong, masterful, swift (OS. suith) : but 
fortior is, no doubt, a false reading, all the MSS. (conf. Pertz 3, 379) 
read Wodan, id est furor, which agrees with the conclusion arrived 
at above. To him, says the Edda, belong all the nobles who fall in 
battle (Ssem. 77 b ). and to Thor the common folk, but this seems 
added merely to depreciate the latter ; in another passage (Ssem. 
42 a ), Freya shares the fallen with OSinn ; he is named vcdfa&ir and 
herfa&ir (val, choice ; her, host). Odinn vildi )?iggja mann at hlut- 
falli at hanga or herinom, Fornald. sog. 3, 31. Eidem prostratorum 
manes muneris loco dedicaturum se pollicetur (Haraldus), Saxo p. 
146. Othinus armipotens, p. 37, auctor aciei corniculatae, ordinandi 
agminis disciplinae traditor et repertor, pp. 138-9, 146. When old, 
he teaches arraying of battle, p. 17, the hamalt at fylkja, svinfylkja, 
Fornald. sog. 1, 380 ; he teaches how to bring down with pebbles 
those whom sword will not wound, ibid. p. 157 (see SuppL). 

We need not be surprised then to find him confounded with 
Ziu or Tyr, the special god of war, or Mercnrius coupled with Mars 
(pp. 107, 111), or a gloss on Jonas of Bobbio, who had rightly 
identified him with Mercury (p. 121), correcting him thus : Qui 
apud eos (Alamannos) Vuotant (part. pres. of wuotan) vocatur, 
Latini autem Martem ilium appellant. Are Adam s words also, 
sicut nostri Martem sculpere solent/ to be so taken that nostri 

1 Got waldes an der sige Mr ! Wh. 425, 24. sigehafte hende fiiege in got ! 
Dietr. 84 a . OSinn, when he sent the people forth to war, laid his hands on their 
heads and blessed, ace. to Yngl. cap. 2, gaf ]?eim bianac ; Ir. beannact, bean- 
nugad, beandacht, Gael, beannachd, Wei. bianoch (Villemarque, essai LIX) = 
benedictio, prob. all from the Lat. word ? conf. Fr. benir, Ir. beannaigim. 

134 WODAN. 

should mean Saxones ? He, it is true, may have meant those 
acquainted with Roman mythology. 

Especially does the remarkable legend preserved by Paulus 
Diaconus 1, 8 show that it is Wodan who dispenses victory, to whom 
therefore, above all other gods, that antique name sihora (p. 27) 
rightfully belongs, as well as in the Eddas the epithets Sigttjr (god 
of victory), Ssem. 248 a , Sn. 94, Sigfoffr (father of victory), Saem. 68 a ; 
AS. vigsigor (victor in battle), Beow. 3107, sigmetod (creator of 
victory), Beow. 3554 (see Suppl.) : Refert hoc loco antiquitas ridi- 
culam fabulam, quod accedentes Wandali ad Wodan, mctoriam de 
Winilis postulaverint, illeque respondent, se illis mctoriam daturum, 
quos primum oriente sole conspexisset. Tune accessisse Gambaram 
ad Fream, uxorem Wodan, et Winilis mctoriam postulasse, Fream- 
que consilium dedisse, Winilorum mulieres solutos crines erga 
faciem ad barbae similitudinem componerent wtmeque primo cum 
viris adessent, seseque a Wodan videndas pariter e regione, qua 
ille per fenestram orientem versus erat solitus adspicere, colloca- 
rent ; atque ita factum fuisse. Quas cum Wodan conspiceret oriente 
sole, dixisse : qui sunt isti Langobardi ? tune Fream subjunxisse, 
ut quibus nomen tribuerat, mctoriam condonaret, sicque Winilis 
Wodan victoriam concessisse. Here deacon Paul, as a good Chris 
tian, drops the remark : Haec risu digna sunt, et pro nihilo habenda : 
victoria enim non potestati est adtributa hominum, sed e coelo 
potius ministratur ; and then adds a more exact interpretation of 
the name Longobard : Certum tamen est Longobardos ab intactae 
ferro barbae longitudine, cum primitus Winili dicti fuerint, ita 
postmodum appellatos. Nam juxta illorum linguam lang longam, 
bart barbam significat. Wodan sane, quern adjecta litera Givodan 
dixerunt, et ab universis Germaniae gentibus ut deus adoratur, qui 
non circa haec tempora, sed longe anterius, nee in Germania, sed in 
Graecia fuisse perhibetur. 1 

The whole fable bears the stamp of high antiquity ; it has even 
been related by others before Paul, and with variations, as in the 
Hist. Francor. epitomata, which has for its author, though not Fre- 
degar, yet some writer of the seventh century. Here Chuni 

1 Godfrey of Viterbo (in Pistorius, ed. Struve 2, 305) has the legend out of 
Paul Diac. with the names corrupted, Godam for Wodan, Feria for Frea. 
Godam or Votam sets him thinking of the Germ, word got (deus). The 
unheard-of ( Toclacus historiographus 3 has evidently sprung out of * hoc loco 
in Paul. 

WODAN. 135 

(Huns) are named instead of Vandals : Cum a Chunis (Lango- 
bardi) Danubium transeuntes fuissent comperti, eis bellum conati 
sunt inferre. Interrogati a Chunis, quare gens eorum terminos 
introire praesumeret ? At illi mulieribus suis praecipiunt, comam 
capitis ad maxillas et mentum ligare, quo potius virorum habitum 
simulantes plurimam inultitudinem hostium ostenderent, eo quod 
erant mulierum comae circa maxillas et mentum ad instar barbae 
valde longae : fertur desuper utraeque phalangae vox dixisse : hi 
sunt Langobardi ! quod ab his gentibus fertur eorum deum fuisse 
locutum, quern fanatici nominant Wodanum (al. Wisodano, a mere 
copyist s or reader s error for Wuodanp). Tune Langobardi cum cla- 
massent, qui instituerat nomen, concederet victoriam, in hoc praelio 
Chunos superant. (Bouquet 2, 406 ; according to Pertz, all the MSS. 
read Wodano.) In this account, Frea and her advice are nowhere ; 
the voice of the god, giving the name, is heard up in the air. 

It was the custom for any one who bestowed a name, to follow 
it up with a gift. 1 Wodan felt himself bound to confer the victory 
on those for whom he had found a new national name. In this 
consisted the favour of fortune, for the people, in dressing up their 
wives as men, had thought of nothing but swelling the apparent 
numbers of their warriors. I need scarcely remind the reader, that 
this mythical interpretation of the Lombard name is a false one, 
for all the credit it found in the Mid. Ages. 2 

There is one more feature in the legend that must not escape 
>ur notice. Wodan from his heavenly dwelling looks down on the 
irth through a window, which exactly agrees with ON. descrip 
tions. Oolnn has a throne named fflidskialf, sitting on which he 
can survey the whole world, and hear all that goes on among 
men : j?ar er einn staSr er HliSscialf heitir, oc J?aer Oolnn settiz 
]?ar i hasseti, oc ]?a sd hann of alia heima, oc vissi alia luti, 
J?a er hann sa (there is a stead that H. hight, and when O. 
sat there on high-seat, then saw he over all countries, and 
wist, &c.), Sn. 10. oc J?a er Allfb Sr sitr i J?vi sseti, J?a ser hann of 
allan heim, Sn. 21. Uusiar (listens) OSinn HliSscialfo i, Sa3m. 89 b . 

1 Lata fylgja nafni, Saem. 142 a . 150 a . Fornm. sog. 3, 182. 203. gefa at 
nafnfesti (name-feast), Sn. 151. Fornm. sog. 2, 51. 3, 133. 203. Mend. sog. 
2, 143. 194. Vocabuli largitionem muneris additione commendare, Saxo 
Gram. 71. 

2 Longobardi a longis barbis vocitati, Otto fris. de gest. Frid. 2, 13. But 
Oolnn himself was named Ldngbar&r. 

136 WODAN. 

When Loki wanted to hide, it was from this seat that OSinn espied 
his whereabouts, Sn. 69. Sometimes also Frigg, his consort, is 
imagined sitting by his side, and then she enjoys the same prospect : 
Oolnn ok Frigg sdto i HliSscialfo, ok sd urn heima alia, Seem. 39. 
The proem to the Grimnismal bears a strong resemblance to the 
legend in Paul ; for, just as Frea pulls her favourites the Winili 
through, in opposition to Wodan s own resolve, so Frigg brings to 
grief GeirroSr, whom Oolnn favoured. Sensuous paganism, how 
ever, makes the god-like attribute of overseeing all things depend 
on the position or structure of a particular chair, and as the 
gift forsakes the god when he does not occupy the seat, others can 
enjoy the privilege by taking his place. This was the case when 
Freyr spied the beautiful GerSr away down in lotunheim ; Freyr 
hafdi setsc i HliSskialf, oc sd urn, heima alia, Ssem. 81. Sn. 39. The 
word hliffscialf seems to mean literally door-bench, from liliS 
(ostium, conf. Engl. lid), and skialf (scamnum), AS. scylfe, Csedm. 
79, 4. Engl. shelf (see Suppl). Mark the language in which the 
OS. poet describes the Ascension of Christ : sohta imo thena helagon 
stdl, sitit imo thar an thea suidron (right) half Godes, endi tlianan 
all gisihit (seeth) waldandeo Crist, so huat so (whatso) thius werold 
behabet, Hel. 176, 47, conf. C;edm. 265, 16. 

This idea of a seat in the sky, from which God looks on the 
earth, is not yet extinct among our people. The sitting on the 
right hand is in the Bible, but not the looking down. The 
formulas qui haut siet et de loing mire, qui haut siet et 
loins voit (supra, p. 23) are not cases in point, for men 
everywhere have thought of the Deity as throned on high and 
seeing far around. Zeus also sits on Ida, and looks on at mortal 
men ; he rules from Ida s top, "ISrjOev ytteSeW, even as Helios, the 
eye of the sun, surveys and discerns all things, II. 3, 277. But a 
widely-circulated marchen tells us of a mortal man, whom St. Peter 
admitted into heaven, and who, led on by curiosity, ended by 
climbing into the chair of the Lord, from which one can look down 
and see nil that is done on the whole earth. He sees a washerwoman 
steal two lady s veils, and in his anger seizes the footstool of the 
Lord, which stands before the chair (al. a chairs leg), and hurls it 
down at the thief. 1 To such lengths has the ancient fable travelled. 

1 Kindcrmarchen no. 35. First in Bebel, ed. 1, Tub. 1506, p. 6. Frey s 
gartengesellschaft cap. 109, ed. 1556 p. 106, ed. 1590 p. 85. Rollwagenbuchlein 
1590, pp. 98-9 (here a golden settle). Mosew vermischte schriften 1, 332. 2, 

WODAN. 137 

Can it be alluded to in the MHG. poem, Amgb. 3 a ? 

Der nu den himel hat erkorn, 

der geiselt uns bi imser habe ; 

ich viirhte sere, tint wirt im zorn, 

den slegel wirft er uns her abe. 1 

Tn a Servian song (Vuk 4, 9) the angels descend to earth out of 
God s window (od Bozhieg prozora ; pro-zor (out-look, hence window) 
reminds one of zora (dawn), prozorie (morning twilight), and of 
Wodan at early morn looking toward the sunrise. The dawn is, so 
to speak, the opening in heaven, through which God looks into the 

Also, what Paulus Diac. 1, 20 tells of the anger of the Lord 
(supra, p.. 18), whereby the Herulian warriors were smitten before 
their enemies, I am inclined to trace up to Wuotan : Tanta super eos 
coelitus ira respexit ; and again.: Vae tibi, misera Herulia, quae 
coelestis Domini flecteris ira! Conf. Egilssaga p. 365 : rei&r se 
rogn ok Oolnn ! wrathful see the gods and 0. ; and Fornald. sog. 1, 
501 : gramr er ySr OSinn, angry is 0. with you. 

Victory was in the eyes of our forefathers the first and highest 
of gifts, but they regarded Wuotan not merely as dispenser of 
victory ; I have to show next, that in the widest sense he repre 
sented to them the god to whose bounty man has to look for every 
other distinction, who has the giving of all superior blessings ; and 
in this sense also Hermes (Mercury) was to the Greeks pre 
eminently Swrcop edcov, giver of good things, and I have ventured 
to guess that the name Gibika, Kipicho originally signified the 
same to us 2 . 

235. ed. 1842, 4, 5, 39. H. Sachs (1563) v. 381. According to Greek and O. 
Norse notions, the gods have a throne or chair : tha gengengo regin oil a rokstola 
ginheilog got), Syem. l b . Compare in the Bible : heaven is God s throne, the 
earth his footstool, Matt. 5, 34-5 ; and Hel. 45, 11. 12 (see Suppl.). 

1 Also MS. 2, 254 b : ze hus wirf ich den slegel dir.. MS. 2, 6 b : mit 
einem slegel er zuo dem kinde warf. This cudgel-throwing resembles, 
what meant so much to our ancestors, the hammer s throw, and the 
OHG. slaga is malleus, sZec?(/e-hammer (Graff 6, 773). The cudgel thrown 
from heaven can hardly be other than a thunderbolt ; and the obscure 
proverb, * swer irre rite daz der den slegel fiinde, whoso astray should ride, that 
he the s. might find, Parz. 180, 10, may refer to a thunder-stone (see ch. VIII, 
Donar) which points to hidden treasure and brings deliverance, and which only 
those can light upon, who have accidentally lost their way in a wood ; for 
which reason Wolfram calls trunks of trees, from under which peeps out the 
stone of luck, slegels urkiinde und zil, slegel s document and mark (aim). 

<J Haupts zeitschr. 1, 573. Lasicz. 47 names a Datanus donator bonoruin. 

138 WODAN. 

The sum total of well-being and blessedness, the fulness of all 
graces, seems in our ancient language to have been expressed by a 
single word, whose meaning has since been narrowed down ; it was 
named wunsck (wish). This word is probably derived from wunja, 
wunnja, our wonne, bliss ; wunisc, wunsc, perfection in whatever 
kind, what we should call the Ideal. Thus, Er. 1699 der wunsch 
was an ir garwe, wish was in her complete ; Iw. 3991 daz mir des 
wunsches niht gebrast, nought of wish was wanting; Iw. 6468 
der rat, des der wunsch an wibe gert/ such store as wish can 
crave in wife ; Gerh. 1754 an der got wunsches niht vergaz/ in 
whom God nought of wish forgot (left out) ; Parz. 742, 15 der 
wunsch wirt in beiden ; Trist. 3710 dir ist der wunsch gegeben ; 
Frauend. 87 der wunsch von edlem obze, the pick of noble fruit ; 
Parz. 250, 25 erden wunsches riche, rich in all gifts of the earth ; 
235, 24, erden wunsches iiberwal ; Trist. 4696. 4746 der wunsch 
von worten, von bluomen ; Trist. 1374 in dem wunsche sweben, 
i.e.,in perfect satisfaction. And the magic wand, by whose impact 
treasures are acquired, was a wunschiligerta, wishing-rod ; conf. 
Parz. 235, 22 wurzel unde ris des wunsches/ root and spray of 
wish. The (secondary) meaning of desiring and longing for 
these perfections would seem to have but accidentally attached 
itself to the wunsc, OK osk (see Suppl.). 

Among other Eddie names of OSinn, appears Osci, Ssem. 46 b . 
Sn. 3, 24, i.e. he who makes men partakers of wunsch, of the 
highest gift. Osk, gen. Oskar, a woman s name, Fornm. sog. 1, 246. 
Eyrbyggja saga cap. 7. Laxd. p. 12. 

Another thing seems to me to be connected with this, and there 
fore to be a relic of the heathen religion : the fact that our poets of 
the 13th century personify wunsch, and represent it as a mighty 
creative being. Instances in proof of this are found chiefly in 
Hartmann, Rudolf and Conrad : 

Got erloubte dem Wunsche iiber About him, God gave to Wish 

in, full leave, 

daz er lib unde sin that he body and mind 

meistert nach sim werde. fashioned according to his worth, 

swa von ouch uf der erde Of whatsoever upon earth, 

deheinem man ze loben geschiht, to any man, praiseworthy falls, 

desn gebrast im niht ; thereof lacked him nought ; 

der Wunsch liet in gemeistert so Wish had him fashioned so, 



daz er sin was ze kinde vrd, 
wande er nihts an im vergaz : 
er hetn yeschaffet, kunder, baz. 

Greg. 1091-1100. 

man sagt daz nie kint gewan 
ein lip so gar dem W unsche glich. 
Ex. 330. 

also was ez (daz phert) gestalt, 
und ob er (der werltwise man) 

danne den gewalt 
von dem Wunsche hcete, 
daz ez belibe staete 

swes er darzuo gedaehte, 

und swenne erz volbrsehte, 

daz erz fur sich stalte 

und er wn sinem gwalte 

dar abe nseme 

swaz daran im missezaeme, 

also was ez volkomen 

daz er dar abe niht hete geno- 

alse groz als umb ein har. 

Er. 7375-87. 

that he was glad of him for child, 
for he nought in him forgot : 
he had him shapen, if he could, 

They say that never a child won 
a body so wholly equal to Wish 
(or, exactly like Wish). 

So was it wrought (the horse), 
that if he (the wright) had had 

the command from Wish, 

that (his work) should be left 


whatever he attempted thereon, 
and when he had completed it, 
that he should set it before Him, 
and He at his discretion 
therefrom should take away 
whatever therein inisliked him, 
so perfect was it 
that he therefrom nought would 

have taken 
so great as a hair. 

als ez der Wunsch gebdt (bade). Er. 8213. 

was ein wunschkint (was a child of wish). Ex. 8277, 

Enite was des Wunsches kint, 

der an ir nihtes vergaz. Er. 8934. 

da was ir har und ir lich (lyke, lych, body) 

so gar dem Wunsche gelich (like). Iw. 1333. 

diz was an ir (zuht, schcene, jugent) und gar der rat (all the store) 

des der Wunsch (or wunsch ?) an wibe gert (desires.) Iw. 6468. 

wande sie nie gesahen (for they never had seen) 

zwene riter gestalt (two knights fashioned) 

so gar in Wunsches gewalt 

an dem llbe und an den siten (manners). Iw. 6913. 

der Wunsch vluochet (curses) im so. Iw. 7066. 

140 WODAN. 

mir hat der Wunsch gevluochet. Hartm. biichl. 2, 113. 

er was schoene und wol gevar (for gefarwet, coloured), 

rehte, als in der Wunsch erkos (chose). Gerh. 771. 

min herze in (ihnen, to them) des begunde jehen (acknowledge), 

in wsere des Wunsches fliz (zeal, care) bereit. Gerh. 1599. 

an der der Wunsch mit kiusche bar 

sine sileze lebende fruht. Gerh. 1660. 

daz ich ir schcene kroene 

ob alien frouwen schone 

mit des Wunsches krone. Gerh. 1668. 

ein regen uz dem wolken vloz 

der uf des Wunsches ouwe goz 

so heizen regen (?). Gerh. 2307. 

an lobe (praise) des Wunsches krone. Gerh. 2526. 

swes ich begunde daz geschach (was accomplished), 

der Wunsch ie minen werken jach (ever to my works said yea) 

des wunsches als ich wolte 

und als ich wiinschen solte. Gerh. 2945. 

nach des Wunsches lere. (lore). Gerh. 4500. 

der Wunsch mit siner hende 

vor wandel (change, fault) hete si getwagen (cleansed). Troj. 1212. 

der Wunsch hat ane lougen (without lying, undeniably) 

erzeiget an ir sine kraft, 

und siner kunste rneisterschaft 

mit vlize an ir bewert (carefully evinced in her). Troj. 7569. 

der Wunsch hat in gemachet wandels vri (free of fault). Troj. 3154. 

der Wunsch der hete an si geleit (gelegt, laid out, spent) 

me flizes denne uf elliu wip (more pains than on any woman). 

Troj. 19620. 

so daz er niemer wibes leben 
fur sie gescJiepfen wolde baz (better) ; 
do sin gewalt ir bilde maz (measured), 
do leit (legte) er an sie manec model. Troj. 19627 
und hsete sin der Wunsch gesworn, 
er wolde bilden ein schcener wip, 
und schepfcn also klaren lip 
als Helena min frouwe treit (tragt, bears) 
er miieste brechen sinen eit (eid, oath) 
wan er kunde niemer (for he could never), 

WODAN. 141 

und solte lilden iemer (were he to shape for ever), 

gcschepfen wunneclicher fruht. Troj. 19526-32. 

ez hat ze sinem teile der Wunsch vergezzen niender. Engelh. 579. 

daz haete an si der Wunsch geleit. Engelh. 4703. 

der Wunsch der hete niht gespart 

an ir die sine meisterschaft, 

er hete sine beste kraft 

mit ganzem fliz an sie geleit. Der werlde Ion. 84. 

Other poets personify too (not, however, Wolfram nor Gotfried): 
der zweier kurtesie 
sich ze dem Wunscke het geweten, 
si ware niender uz getreten. Wigal. 9246. 
an ir schcene was wol schin, 
daz ir der Wunsch gedahte. Wigal. 9281. 
der Wunsch het sich geneiget in ir gewalt. ibid. 904. 
in was der Wunsch bereit. ib. 10592. 
des Wunsches amie. ib. 7906. 8735. 
wen mohte da erlangen, 
da der Wunsch inne was. ib. 10612. 
der Wunsch het si gemachet so, 
und ist ir ze kinde mo. Amur 1338. (Pf. 1343). 
des Wunsches ougenweide (food for the eye) 
sit ir und miner saelden spil (are ye, and the play of my delight). 

Wigal. 8760. Amur 1068. (Pf. 1072). 

si schepfet uz des Wunsches heilawdge (holy water). Martina, 259. 
(diu hant) ist im groz, lane unde wiz, 
zuo der het sich der Wunsch gesellet. Turl. Wh. 38 a . 
hie stuont (here stood) der Wunsch. ib. 137 b . 
dar an lit (therein lieth) wol des Wunsches vliz. Tyrol E, 3. 
si ist des Wunsches hostez zil (highest mark or aim). Ms. 1, 84 a . 
sie ist der Wunsch uf erde. Ms. 2, 100 b . 

sie ist des Wunsches ingesinde (one of W. s household). Ms. 1, 6 a . 
von ir scheitel uf ir zehen (from her crown to her toes) 
so ist niht an minneclichen widen wan (save, but) des Wunsches 

We. MsH. 3, 493 a . 

des Wunsches Uuete sint entsprungen in mine herzen. Eragm. 45 b . 
si trage des Wunsches Hide. Ms. 1, 191 a . 
des Wunsches krone tragen. Docen misc. 2, 186. 

142 WODAN. 

sie hat des Wunsches pewalt. Amgb. 31 b 
er was so gar des Wunsches kint, 

daz alle man gein (against, before) siner schoene waren blint, 
und doch menlich gestalt bi clarem velle (complexion) ; 
der Wunsch im niht gebrechen liez (let nought be lacking) 
da von man s Wunsches hint den stolzen hiez (should call the 
stately one). Lohengr. ed. Eiickert str. 625. 

The following is outside the bounds of MHG. : 
an yr yst Wensches vlyt geleit. Haupts zeitschr. 3, 221. 
Mid. Dutch poems have no personification Wensch ; nor is there a 
Wunsch in the Nibelungen or Gudrun ; but in Wolfdietrich 970 : 
des Wunsches ein amie ! There must be many more instances ; 
but the earliest one I know of is found in the Entekrist from the 
12th century (Hoffm. fundgr. 2, 107) : 

mit Wunschis gewalta With Wish s might 

segniti sie der alte. The old man blessed her. 

We see Wish provided with hands, power, looks, diligence, art, 
blossom, fruit ; he creates, shapes, produces master-pieces, thinks, 
bows, swears, curses, is glad and angry, adopts as child, handmaid, 
friend : all such pretty- well stock phrases would scarcely have 
sprung up and lived in a poetry, in a language, if they did not 
unconsciously relate to a higher being, of whom earlier times had a 
livelier image; on such a basis indeed nearly all the personifications 
made use of by MHG. poets seem to me to rest. In the majority 
of our examples we might fairly put the name of God in the place 
of Wish, or that of Wish in the phrases quoted on pp. 17-8, which 
describe the joyous or the angry God : freudenvoll hat sie Got 
gegozzen, MS. 1, 226 b ; der Wunsch maz ir bilde, as mezzen is said 
of God, p. 23; and gebieten, to command, is just as technically 
applied to the one as to the other, p. 24. The gramr er y5r OSinn/ 
p. 137, might be rendered in MHG. der Wunsch ziirnet iu, fluochet 
iu/ meaning, the world is sick of you. At times the poet seems to 
be in doubt, whether to say God or Wish: in the first passage from 
Gregor, Wish is subordinated, as a being of the second rank, so to 
speak, as a servant or messenger, to the superior god; the latter has 
to give him leave to assume his creative function, which in other 
cases he does of his own might. Again, when body, figure, hair are 
said to be like Wish/ it exactly reminds us of Homer s 

WODAN. 143 

Xapireara-Lv opolai,, II. 17, 51; and Xdpires, tlie Gratiae, creatresses 
of grace and beauty, play precisely the part of our Wish, even 
down to the circumstance, that in addition to the personal meaning, 
there is an abstract %apt?, gratia, as there is a wish. 1 Piiterich of 
Eeicherzhausen (Haupts zeitschr. 6, 48) speaks of die wuntsches 
fiiesse of a princess ; the older phrase would have been * ir fiieze 
waren dem Wunsche gelich\ It is a genuine bit of German 
heathenism to make this creative faculty reside in a god, and not, 
after the Greek fashion, in a female personage. And there are other 
features too, that point back to our native heathen eld. Wish s 
(me and heilwac can be matched by Phol s ouwa and brunno, or the 
meads and holywells of other gods ; Wish s crown by that worn by 
gods and kings. And, most remarkable of all, Wish rejoices in his 
creature as in a child ; here Woden s self comes upon the scene as 
patriarch or paterfamilias, before whom created men make their 
appearance like children, friends, domestics ; and wunschkint is 
also used in the sense of an adopted, i.e. wished for, child. 2 Her- 
bort 13330 makes Hecuba exclaim : ich han einen sun verlorn, er 
gezsenie gote ze kinde (would suit God as a child) ; which does not 
mean in a Christian sense, God has doubtless been pleased to take 
him to Himself, but in a heathen sense, he was so lovely, he 
might be called Wish s child . For the Norse Oolnn too has these 
marvellous children and wish-maidens in his train (see Suppl.) 3 

To the ON, Oski ought by rights to correspond an OHG. Wunsco, 
Wunscjo, (weak decl), which I am not able to produce even as a 
man s name (see Suppl.). 4 A MHG, Wunsche cannot be proved 

1 In many places it is doubtful, whether the poet meant wish or Wish. In 
Wolfram and Gotfried, who abstain from distinct personification, I always 
prefer the abstract interpretation, while Hartmann admits of both by turns. 
When we read in Parz. 102, 30 : si was gar ob dem wunsches zil (over wish s 
goal, beyond all that one could wish), the phrase borders close upon the above- 
quoted, si ist des Wunsches hostez zil (the highest that Wish ever created) ; 
and it is but a step from * mines wunsches paradis, MS. 2, 126% to * des 
Wunsches paradis or ouwe . So, da ist wunsch, und niender breste (here is 
one s wish, and nothing wanting), MS. 1, 88 a = der Wunsch liez im nilit 
gebrechen, W. left him nothing lacking (see Suppl.). 

2 The Germ, an-wiinschen verbally translates the Lat. ad-opto. TRANS. 

3 That Wish was personified, and very boldly, by the Christian poets, is 
abundantly proved. That he was ever believed in as a person, even in heathen 
times, is, to my thinking, far from clear. I believe some German scholars 
regard the notion as little better than a mare s nest. TRANS. 

4 The name does occur later : Johannes dictus de ( = der) Wunsch, Ch. 
ann. 1324 (Neue mitth. des thiir. vereins I. 4,65), In the Oberhess. wochen- 
blatt, Marburg 1830, p. 420, I read of a Joh. Wunsch who is probably alive at 
this moment. 

144 WODAN. 

from Troj. 3154. 7569. 19620. 19726 (Straszb. MS.), both the metre 
and the strong gen. in -es forbidding. But the whole idea may in 
the earliest times have taken far stronger root in South Germany 
than in Scandinavia, since the Edda tells next to nothing of Oski, 
while our poetry as late as the 1 5th century has so much to say of 
Wunsch. That it was not foreign to the North either, is plainly 
proved by the Oskmeyjar = Wunschdfrauen, wish-women; by the 
Oskasteinn, a philosopher s stone connected with our WunscJielrute, 
wishing-rod, and Mercury s staff; by Oskabyrr, MHG. Wunschwint, 
fair wind ; by Oskabiom, wish-bear, a sea-monster ; all of which 
will be discussed more fully by and by. A fern, proper name Osk 
occurs in a few places ; what if the unaccountable Oskopnir, Sa3m. 
188 a , were really to be explained as Osk-opnir ? Opnir, Ofnir, we 
know, are epithets of OSinn. Both word and meaning seem to grow 
in relevancy to our mythology , it is a stumbling-block indeed, that 
the AS. remains furnish no contribution, even the simple 
(optio, votum) seeming to be rare, and only wyscan (optare) in 
common use ; yet among the mythic heroes of Deira we meet with 
a Wfocfred, lord of Wish as it were ; and to the Anglo-Saxons too 
this being may have merely become extinct, though previously well 
known (see Suppl.). 

But to make up for it, their oldest poetry is still dimly conscious 
of another name of Wuotan, which again the Edda only mentions 
cursorily, though in Ssem. 46 b it speaks of Oski and Omi in a 
breath, and in 91 b uses Omi once more for 0(5inn. Now this Omi 
stands related to omr, sonus, fragor, as the AS. woma to worn, 
clamor, sonitus ; I have quoted instances in Andr. and El. pp. xxx, 
xxxi, to which may now be added from the Cod. exon. : heofonwoma 
52, 18. 62, 10; daegredw&ma 179, 24; hildewoma 250, 32. 282, 15; 
wiges woma 277, 5 ; wintres woma 292, 22 : in this last, the mean 
ing of hiemis impetus, fragor, furor, is self-evident, and we see 
ourselves led -up to the thought which antiquity connected with 
Wuotan himself : out of this living god were evolved the abstrac 
tions wuot (furor), wunsch (ideal), woma (impetus, fragor). The 
gracious and grace- bestowing god was at other times called the 
stormful, the terror-striking, who sends a thrill through nature; 
even so the ON. has both an Yggr standing for OSinn, and an yggr 
for terror. The AS. woma is no longer found as Woma ; in OHG. 
wuomo and Wuomo are alike unknown. Thorpe renders the 

WODAN. 145 

heofonwoman above in a local sense by heaven s corners, I doubt 
if correctly ; in both the passages coeli fragores are meant. We 
may however imagine Omi, Woma as an air-god, like the Hindu 
Indras, whose rush is heard in the sky at break of day, in the din 
of battle, and the tramp of the furious host (see Suppl.). 

Precisely as the souls of slain warriors arrive at Indra s heaven, 1 
the victory-dispensing god of our ancestors takes up the heroes 
that fall in fight, into his fellowship, into his army, into his 
heavenly dwelling. Probably it has been the belief of all good 
men, that after death they would be admitted to a closer com 
munion with deity. Dying is therefore, even according to the 
Christian view, called going to God, turning home to God : in AS. 
metodsceaft seon, Beow. 2360. Csedm. 104,31. Or seeking, visiting 
God: OS. god suokian, Hel. 174,26 ; fadar suokion, Hel. 143, 23; 
upodashem, lioht odar, sinlif, godes riki suokian, Hel. 85, 21. 17, 17. 
63, 14. 137, 16. 176, 5. In a like sense the Thracians, ace. to 
Herodotus 4, 94, said Uvai irapa ZaXpofyv (TefteXeltyv) Sai/jiova, 
which Zalmoxis or Zamolxes is held by Jornandes to be a deified 
king of the Goths (Getae). In the North, faring to Offinn, being 
guest ivith Offinn, visiting O&inn, meant simply to die, Fornald. 
sog. 1, 118. 422-3. 2, 366. and was synonymous with faring to 
Valholl, being guest at Valholl, ib. 1, 106. Among the Christians, 
these were turned into curses : far pd til O&ins ! Offins eigi pik ! 
may Ooln s have thee (see Suppl.). Here is. shown the inversion 
of the kindly being, with whom one fain would dwell, into an 
evil one, 2 whose abode inspires fear and dread. Further on, we shall 
exhibit more in detail the way in which Wuotan was pictured 
driving through the air at the head of the furious (wiitende) host 
named after him. Valholl (aula optionis) and Valkyrja obviously 
express the notion of wish and choice (Germ, wahl, Scotch wale). 

Of the peculiarities of figure and outward appearance of this 
god, which are brought out in such bold relief in the northern 

1 Bopp s Nalas, p. 264. 

2 So Wuotan s name of itself degenerates into the sense of fury (wut) and 
anger ; the Edda has instances of it. In revenge he pricked Brynhild with 
the sleeping-thorn, Seem. Z94 a , and she says : OSinn ]?vi veldr, er ek eigi 
mattak bregSa blunnstofom. He breeds enmity and strife : einn veldr OSinn 
6 llu bolvi, pviat meS sifjungom sakrunar bar, Ssem. 165 b . inimicitias Othinus 
sent, Saxo gram. p. 142, as Christians say of the devil, that he sows the seeds 
of discord, gremi OSins, Saem. 151 a (see Suppl.). 


146 WODAN. 

myths, I have found but few traces left among us in Germany. 
The Norse Oolnn is one-eyed, he wears a broad hat and wide mantle . 
Grimnir i feldi Udm, blue cloak, Stem. 40. i heklu grcenni ok 
Udm Irokum, green cloak and blue breeks, Fornald. sog. 1, 324. 
Jieklumaffr, cloaked man, 1, 325. When he desired to drink of 
Mind s fountain, he was obliged to leave one of his eyes in pawn, 
Seem. 4 a , Sn. 15. 1 In Saxo,p. 12, he appears as grandaevus, altero 
vrbus oculo ; p. 37, armipotens, uno semper contentus ocello ; p. 138, 
senex orbus ocidis, hispido amictu. So in the Sagas : kom ]?ar maSr 
gamall, miok orSspakr, einsynn ok augdapr, ok haf5i hatt siffan ; 
there came an old man, very word-wise, one-eyed and sad-eyed, 
and had a wide hat, Fornm. sog. 2, 138. hann hafir heJdu flekkotta 
yfir ser, sa maftr var berfcettr ok hafSi knytt linbrokum at beini, hann 
var har miok (very high), ok eldiligr ok einsynn, Fornald. sog. 1, 120. 
]?a kom maftr i bardagann meS si&an hatt ok heklu bid, 2 hann hafol 
eitt auga, ok geir (spear) i hendi, ib. 1, 145. ]?etta mun Od inn 
gamli verit hafa, ok at visu var maSrinn einsQnn, ib. 1, 95. sa 
hann mann mikinn me5 siffun hetti, ib. 5, 250. meS hetti Hangatyss 
ganga, cum cidari Odiniana incedere, Vigagl. saga, p. 168. Othinus, 
os pileo, ne cultu proderetur, obnulens, Saxo Gram. 44. An Eddie 
song already names him QtQkBttr, broad-hatted, Seem. 46 b , and one 
saga merely Hottr, hatted, Fornald. sog. 2, 25-6; conf. Miillers 
sagabibl. 3, 142. Were it not for the name given him in the 
Grimnismal, I should have supposed it was the intention of the 
Christians to degrade the old god by mean clothing, or else that, 
wrapt in his mantle, he was trying to conceal himself from 
Christians. Have we a right here to bring in the pileati of 
Jornandes ? A saga in Saxo, p. 12, tells prettily, how the blind old\ 
god takes up a prote^ in his cloak, and carries him through the air, 
but Hading, peeping through a hole in the garment, observes that] 
the horse is stepping over the sea-waves. As for that heklumaftr 
of the hat with its rim turned up, he is our Hakolberend at thel 
head of the wild host, who can at once be turned into a Gothic 

1 Conf. Tritas in the fountain, Kuhn in Hofer 1, 290. Ace. to the 
popular religion, you must not look into running water, because you look int 
God s eye, Tobler s Appenzel p. 3G9 b ; neither must you point at the stars wit! 
your fingers, for fear of sticking them into the angels eyes. 

2 There is a Swed. marchen of Greymantle (grakappan), Molbech 14, wh( 
like Mary in German tales, takes one up to heaven and forbids the opening of 
lock, Kinderm. 3, 407. 

WODAN. 147 

HaJculabairands, now that hakuls for </>6Xoz/?7? is found in 2 Tim. 
iv. 13. Swedish folk-tales picture Odin as bald-headed, Iduna 10, 
231. In the ancient poetry he is Harbardr, Siffgrani, Sfc&skeggr, 
all in allusion to his thick growth of hair and beard. The name 
Eedbeard I have elsewhere understood of Thor, but in Fornald. 
sog. 2, 239 257 the Grani and Raudgrani are expressly Oolnn (see 

The Norse myth arms Oftinn with a wonderful spear (geir), 
Gungnir by name, Ssem. 196. Sn. 72 ; which I put on a par with 
the lance or sword of Mars, not the staff of Mercury. Sigmund s 
sword breaks, when he hacks at Sinn s spear, Vols. saga cap. 11. 
He lends this spear to heroes to win victories with, Ssem. 165. A 
remarkable passage in the Fornm. sog. 5, 250 says : seldi honum 
reyrspiota (gave him the reeden spear) 1 hond, ok baft hann skiota 
honum yfir lift Styrbiarnar, ok J?at skyldi hann msela : 05in a yc5r 
alia ! All the enemies over whom the spear he shoots shall fly, are 
doomed to death, and the shooter obtains the victory. So too the 
Eyrbyggja saga p. 228 : J?a skaut Stein]?6rr spioti at fornom sift til 
heilla ser yfir flock Snorra ; where, it is true, nothing is said of the 
spear launched over the enemy being the god s. Ssem. 5 a , of OSinn 
himself : fleigbl ok i folk urn skaut (see Suppl.). 

To the god of victory are attached two wolves and two ravens, 
which, as combative courageous animals, follow the fight, and 
pounce upon the fallen corpses, Andr. and El. xxvi. xxvii. The 
wolves are named Geri and Freki, Sn. 42 ; and so late as in Hans 
Sachs (i. 5, 499), we read in a schwank, that the Lord God has chosen 
wolves for his hounds, that they are his cattle. The two ravens are 
Huginn and Muninn, from hugr (animus, cogitatio) and munr 
(mens) ; they are not only brave, but cunning and wise, they sit on 
the shoulders of OSinn, and whisper in his ear whatever they see 
and hear, Seem. 42 b 88 a . Sn. 42. 56. 322. To the Greek Apollo too 
the wolf and raven were sacred ; x his messenger the raven informed 
him when Koronis was unfaithful, and Aristeas accompanied him 
as a raven, Herod. 4, 15 ; a raven is perched aloft on the mantle of 
Mithras the sun-god. The Gospels represent the Holy Ghost as a 

1 In Marc. Cap. 1, 11, the words: augurales vero alites ante curriim 
3elio constiterunt/ are transl. by Notker 37 : to waren garo ze Apollinis reito 
;ine wizegfogela, rabena unde albisze. To Oolnn hawks are sometimes given 
nstead of ravens : Oftins haukar Sasm. 167 b . 

148 WODAN. 

dove descending upon Christ at his baptism, Lu. 3, 22, and resting 
upon him, epewev TT avrov, mansit super eum, John 1, 32 : in 
Krist er sih gisidalta/ says O. i. 25, 24 ; but Hel. 30, 1 of the 
dove : sat im uppan uses drohtines ahslu (our Lord s shoulder). Is 
this an echo of heathen thoughts ? None of the Fathers have this 
circumstance, but in the Mid. Ages there is talk enough about 
doves resting on shoulders j 1 and the dove, though frequently 
contrasted with the raven (which, like the wolf, the Christians 
applied to the Evil one), may nevertheless be put in the place of 
it. Oswald s raven flies to his shoulder and arm, 749. 942. 
Oswald talks to it, 95-6, and kneels before it, 854. Conf. Zingerle, 
Oswalt p. 67 (see Suppl.). 2 

Now under that figure of the bearded old man, Wuotan is 
apparently to be regarded as a water-sprite or water-god, answering 
well to the Latin name of Neptunus which some of the earlier 
writers put upon him (p. 122). In ON. he is Hnikar, Hniku&r 
Nikarr, Nikuz, and the hesitation between the two forms which in 
Sn. 3 are expressly made optional Nikarr effa (or) Nikuz may 
arise from the diversity of old dialects. Nikarr corresponds to the 
AS. Nicor, and Nikuz to OHG. Nichus , the initial Hn seems to 
be ON. alone. On these I shall have more to say, when treating 
of water-sprites (see Suppl.) Another epithet of OSinn is equally 

1 Gregor. Nyssen. encom. Ephraemi relates, that when Basil the Great was 
preaching, Ephraem saw on his right shoulder a white dove, which put words o: 
wisdom in his mouth. Of Gregory the Great we read in Paul. Diac., vita p, 
14, that when he was expounding the last vision of Ezekiel, a white dove sal 
upon his head, and now and then put its beak in his mouth, at which times he, 
the writer, got nothing for his stylus to put down ; conf. the narrative of { 
poet of the 12th cent., Hoffm. fundgr. 2, 229 ; also Myst. 1. p. 226-7. Angus 
tine and Thomas Aquinas are portrayed with a white dove perched on theii 
shoulders or hovering over their heads. A nursery-tale (Kindenn. no. 33) makes 
two doves settle on the pope s shoulder, and tell him in his ear all that he has tc 
do. A white dove descends singing on the head of St. Devy, and instructs him 
Buhez santez Nonn. Paris 1837, p. 117. And on other occasions the dove flies 
down to make known the will of heaven. No one will trace the story oi 
Wuotan s ravens to these doves, still the coincidence is striking (see Suppl. V 

2 There are said to have been found lately, in Denmark and Sweden, 
representations of Odin, which, if some rather strange reports are well-founded 
ought to be made known without delay. A ploughman at Boeslund in Zeulanc 
turned up two golden urns filled with ashes ; on the lids is carved Odin 
standing up, with two ravens on his shoulders, and the two wolves at his feet 
Kunstbl. 1843, no. 19, p. 80 b . Gold coins also were discovered near th< 
village of Gomminga in Oeland, one of which represents Odin with the raven 
on his shoulder ; the reverse has runes ; Kunstbl. 1844, no. 13, p. 52 a . 

WODAN. 149 

noticeable for its double form : Bifli&i efta Biflindi, Sn. 3 ; Seem. 
46 b has Biblindi. As bif (Germ, beben) signifies motus, aer, aqua, 
the quaking element, and the AS. liSe is lenis, OHG. lindi, ON. 
inr (for linnr) ; an AS. BifliSe, BeofliSe, OHG-. Pepalindi, might be 
suggested by the soft movement of the air, a very apt name for the 
all-penetrating god ; but these forms, if- they gave rise to the Norse 
term, are no longer found in AS. or OHG. Wuotan s dominion 
>oth over the air and over the water explains, how it is that he 
walks on the waves, and comes rushing on the gale. It is OSinn 
that sends wind to the ships, Fornm. sog. 2, 16, hence a good sail- 
ng wind is called osJcabijrr, Seem. 165 b , i.e., Oskabyrr ; byrr is from 
)yrja, OHG. purran, to rise, be lifted up. It is in striking accord 
with this, that the MHG. poets use wunschwint in the same sense ; 
EEartinann says, Greg. 615 : 

Do sande in (to them) der slieze Krist 
den vil rehten wunschwint (see Suppl.) 

But other attributes of Wuotan point more to Hermes and 
Apollo. He resembles the latter, in as much as from him proceed 
contagious diseases and their cure ; any severe illness is the stroke 
of God, and Apollo s arrows scatter pestilence. The Gauls also 
imagined that Apollo drove away diseases (Apollinem morbos 
depellere, Caes. B. G. 6, 17) ; and Wodan s magic alone can cure 
Balder s lamed horse. The raven on the god s shoulder exactly fits 
Apollo, and still more plainly the circumstance that OSinn invented 
the poetic art, and Saga is his divine daughter, just as the Greek 
Muses, though daughters of Zeus, are under Apollo s protection, 
and in his train. On the other hand, writing and the alphabet 
were not invented by Apollo, but by Hermes. The Egyptian priests 
placed Hermes at the head of all inventions (lamblich. de myst. 
Aegypt. 8, 1), and Theutli or ThotJi is said to have first discovered 
letters (Plato s Phaedr. 1, 96, Bekker) , while, ace. to Hygin. fab. 
143, Hermes learnt them by watching the flight of cranes. In the 
AS. dialogue between Saturn and Solomon, we read (Thorpe s anal, 
p. 100) : saga me, hwa serost bocstafas sette ? ic the secge, 
Mercurius se gygand\ Another dialogue, entitled Adrian and 
Epictus (MS. Brit. mus. Arund. no. 351. fol. 39) asks : quis primus 
fecit literas ? and answers Seith, which is either a corruption of 
Theuth, or the Seth of the Bible. Just so the Eddie Eunatals J^ttr 
seems to ascribe the first teaching of runes to Oolnn, if we may so 

150 WODAN. 

interpret the words : nam ec upp runar, Ssem. 28 a . J?oer ofreS, J?ser 
ofreist, J?ser ofhugol Hroptr, i.e., them OSinn read out, cut out, 
thought out, Seem. 195 b . Also Snorri, Yngl. cap. 7 : allar J?essar 
idrottir kendi hann meS rdnum ok lid&um. Hincmar of Eheims 
attributes to Mercury the invention of dice-playing : sicut isti qui 
de denariis quasi jocari dicuntur, quod omnino diabolicum est, et, 
sicut legimus, primum diabolus hoc per Mercurium prodidit, unde 
et Mercurius inventor illius dicitur, 1, 656. Conf. Schol. to Odyss. 
23, 198, and MS. 2, 124 b : der tiuvel schuof das wiirfelspil. Our 
folk-tales know something about this, they always make the devil 
play at cards, and entice others to play (see Suppl.). 1 When to this 
we add, that the wishing-rod, i.e., Wish s staff, recals Mercury s 
caducous, and the wish- wives, le.,oskmeyjar, valkyrior, the occupa 
tion of the Psychopompos ; we may fairly recognise an echo of the 
Gallic 2 or Germanic Mercury in the epithet Trismegistos (Lactantius 
i. 6, 3. vi. 25, 10. ter maximus Hermes in Ausonius), which later 
poets, Romance and German, in the 12th and 13th centuries 3 
transferred to a Saracen deity Termagant Tervagan, Tcrvigant, 
Terviant. Moreover, when Hermes and Mercury are described as 
dator bonorum, and the Slavs again call the same god Dobro-pan 
(p. 130, note), as if mercis dominus ; it is worth noticing, that the 
Misnere Amgb. 42 a , in enumerating all the planets, singles out 
Mercury to invoke in the words : ISTu hilf mir, daz mir saelde 
wache! schin er mir ze geliicke, noch so kum ich wider uf der 
sselden phat (pfad). Just so I find Odin invoked in Swedish popu 
lar songs : Hielp nu, Oden Asagrim ! Svenska fornsangor 1, 11. 
hielp mig Othin ! 1, 69. To this god first and foremost the people 
turned when in distress ; I suppose he is called Asagrim, because 
among the Ases he bore the name of Grimnir ? 

1 Reusch, sagen des preuss. Samlands, no. 11. 29. 

2 In the Old British mythology there appears a Gwydion ab Don, G. son of 
Don, whom Davies (Celtic researches pp. 168, 174. Brit. myth. p. 118, 204, 263-4, 
353, 429, 504, 541) identifies with Hermes ; he invented writing, practised 
magic, and built the rainbow ; the milky way was named caer Gwydion, G. s 
castle (Owen, sub v.). The British antiquaries say nothing of Woden, yet 
Gwydion seems near of kin to the above Gwodan = Wodan. So the Irish 
name for dies Mercurii, dia Geden, whether modelled on the Engl. Wednesday 
or not, leads us to the form Goden, Gwoden (see Suppl.). 

3 Even nursery-tales of the present time speak of a groszmachtige Mercurius, 
Kinderm. no. 99. 2, 86. 

4 This Termagan, Termagant occurs especially in 0. Engl. poems, and may 
have to do with the Irish torinac augmentum, tormacaim augere. 

WODAN. 151 

It is therefore not without significance, that also the wanderings 
of the Herald of gods among men, in whose hovels he now and 
then takes up his lodging, are parallelled especially by those of 
OSinn and Hcenir, or, in Christian guise, of God and St. Peter, 

Our olden times tell of Wuotan s wanderings, his waggon, his 
way, his retinue (duce Mercuric, p. 128). We know that in the 
very earliest ages the seven stars forming the Bear in the northern 
sky were thought of as a four-wheeled waggon, its pole being formed 
by the three stars that hang. downwards : 

"ApKTOV 0\ TfV KCLL afJUa^CLV 67Ti/C\r)(rLV Ka\OV(Tt,V. II. 18, 487. 

Od. 5, 273. So in OHG-. glosses : ursa wagen, Jun. 304 ; in MHG. 
Jiimelwagen, Walth. 54, 3. 1 lierwagen Wackern. Ib. 1. 772, 26. 
The clearest explanation is given by Notker cap. 64 : Selbiu ursa 
1st pi demo norde mannelichemo zeichenhaftiu fone dien siben 
glaten sternon, die aller der liut wagen heizet, unde nan einemo 
gloccun joche 2 gescaffen sint, unde ebenmichel sint, ane (except) 
des mittelosten. The Anglo-Saxons called the constellation wcenes 
pisl (waggon s thill, pole), or simply fiisl, but carles ween also is 
quoted in Lye, the Engl. charles wain, Dan. karlsvogn, Swed. 
Jearlwagn. Is carl here equivalent to lord, as we have herrenwagen 
in the same sense ? or is it a transference to the famous king of 
Christian legend ? But, what concerns us here, the constellation 
appears to have borne in heathen times the full name of Wuotanes 
wagan, after the highest god of heaven. The Dutch language has 
evidence of this in a MS. of as late as 1470 : ende de poeten in 
heure fablen heetend (the constell.) ourse, dat is te segghene 
Woenswaghen. And elsewhere : dar dit teekin Arcturus, dat wy 
heeten Woonswaglien, up staet ; het sevenstarre ofde Woenswaghen 
conf. Huydec. proeven 1, 24. I have nowhere met with plaustrum 
Mercurii, nor with an ON. 05ins vagn ; only vagn d himnum. 

It is a question, whether the great open highway in heaven to 
which people long attached a peculiar sense of sacredness, and 
perhaps allowed this to eclipse the older fancy of, a milky way 
(caer Gwydion, p. 150) was not in some districts called Wuotanes 
wee or strdza (way or street). Wodenesweg, as the name of a place, 
stood its ground in Lower Saxony, in the case of a village near 
Magdeburg, Ch. ad ann. 973 in Zeitschr. fur archivk. 2, 349 ; an 

1 Septentrion, qne nos char el del apelon ; Roman de Ron. 

2 Crossbeam, such as bells (glocken) are suspended on; conf. ans, as, p. 125. 

152 WODAN. 

older doc. of 937 is said to have Watanesweg (conf. Wiggert in the 
Neu. mitth. des thiir. vereins VI. 2, 22). praedium in Wodeneswege, 
Dietm. Merseb. 2, 14 p. 750. Annal. Saxo 272. Johannes de Wden- 
swege, Heinricus de Wodensweghe (Lenz.) Brandenb. urk. p. 74 
(anno 1273), 161 (anno 1301). later, Wutenswege, Godenschwege, 
Gutenswegen, conf. Ledebur n. arch. 2, 165, 170. Gero ex familia 
Wodenswegiorum, Ann. Magdeb. in chron. Marienthal. Meibom 3, 
263. I would mention here the lustration der koninges strate, EA. 
69 ; in the Uplandslag vidherb. balkr 23, 7 the highway is called 
karlsveg, like the heavenly wain above. But we shall have to raise 
a doubt by and by, whether the notion of way, via, is contained at 
all in Wodensweg. 

Plainer, and more to the purpose, appear the names of certain 
mountains, which in heathen times were sacred to the service of 
the god. At Sigttys lergi, Sa3m. 248 a . Othensberg, now Onsberg, 
on the Danish I. of Samsoe , Odensberg in Schonen. Godesberg 
near Bonn, in docs, of Mid. Ages Gudeneslerg, Giinther 1, 211 (anno 
1131), 1, 274 (anno 1143), 2, 345 (anno 1265); and before that, 
Wodenesbcrg, Lacomblet 97. 117, annis 947, 974 So early as in 
Caesarius heisterb. 8, 46 the two forms are put together: Gudins- 
lerg vel, Tit alii dicunt, Wudinsberg. Near the holy oak in Hesse, 
which Boniface brought down, there stood a Wuodenesberg, still so 
named in a doc. of 1154 (Schminke beschr. von Cassel, p. 30, conf. 
Wenk 3, 79), later Vdenesberg, Gudensberg ; this hill is not to be 
confounded with Gudensberg by Erkshausen, district Eotenburg 
(Niederhess. wochenbl. 1830, p. 1296), nor with a Gudenberg by 
Oberelsungen and Zierenberg (ib. p. 1219. Eommel 2, 64. Guden- 
lurg by Landau, p. 212); so that three mountains of this name 
occur in Lower Hesse alone ; conf. montem Vodinberg, cum silva 
eidem monti attinente, doc. of 1265 in Wenk II, no. 174. In a 
different neighbourhood, a Henricus comes de Wodenesberg is named 
in a doc. of 1130, Wedekind s notes 1, 367 ; acurtis Wodenesberg in 
a doc. of 973, Falke tradit. corb. 534. Gotansberg (anno 1275), 
Langs reg. 3, 471 : vineas duas gotansbcrge vocatas. Mabillon s 
acta Bened. sec. 5, p. 208 contain the following : c in loco ubi mons 
quern dicunt Wonesberth (1. Wdneslerch = Wodanesberg) a radicibus 
astra petit, said to be situate in pagus Gandavensis, but more cor 
rectly Mt. Ardenghen between Boulogne and St. Omer. Comes 
Wadanimontis, aft. Yaudemont in Lorraine (Don Calmet, tome 2, 

WODAN. 153 

preuves XLVIII. L.), seems to be the same, and to mean Wodani- 
mons. 1 A Wddnes leorg in the Sax. Chron. (Ingram pp. 27. 62), 
later Wodnesborough, Wansborough in Wiltshire ; the corruption 
already in Ethelwerd p. 835 : facta ruina magna ex utraque parte 
in loco qui dicitur Wodnesbyrg for Wodnesberg ; but Florence, ed. 
1592, p. 225, has Wodnesbeorh, id est mons Wodeni . 2 A Wddnes- 
leorg in Lappenberg s map near the Bearucwudu, conf. Wodnesbury, 
Wodnesdyke, Wodanesfeld in Lappenb. engl. gesch. 1, 131. 258. 354. 
To this we must add, that about the Hessian Gudensberg the story 
goes that King Charles lies prisoned in it, that he there won a victory 
over the Saxons, and opened a well in the wood for his thirsting 
army, but he will yet come forth of the mountain, he and his host, 
at the appointed -time. The my thus of a victorious army pining for 
water is already applied to King Carl by the Prankish annalists 
(Pertz 1, 150. 348), at the very moment when they bring out the 
destruction of the Irminsul ; but beyond a doubt it is older and 
heathen : Saxo Gram. 42 has it of the victorious Balder. The agree 
ment of such legends with fixed points in the ancient cultus can 
not but heighten and confirm their significance. A people whose 
faith is falling to pieces, will save here and there a fragment of 
it, by fixing it on a new and unpersecuted object of veneration. 
After such numerous instances of ancient Woden-hills, one need 
not be afraid to claim a mons Mercurii when mentioned in Latin 
annalists, such as Fredegar. 

Other names occur, besides those of mountains. The brevi- 
arium Lulli, in Wenk II. no. 12, names a place in Thuringia : 
in Wudaneshusun, and again Woteneshusun (conf. Schannat no. 
84. 105) ; in Oldenburg .there is a Wodemlwlt, now Godensholt, 
cited in a land-book of 1428, Ehrentraut Fries, arch. 1, 445 : to 
Wodensholte Tideke Tammen gut x schillinge ; Wothenower (W6- 
denover ?), seat of a Brandenburg family, Hofers urk. p. 270, anno 
1334 ; not far from Bergen op Zoom and the Scheldt, towards Ant 
werp, stands to this day a Woensdrecht, as if Wodani trajectum. 
Woensel = Wodenssele, Wodani aula, lies near Eindhoven on the 

t x We know of Graisivaudan, a valley near Grenoble in Dauphine, for 
which the Titurel has Graswaldane ; but there is no ground for connecting it 
with the god. 

2 Our present -borough, -bury, stands both correctly for burh, byrig, castle, 
town (Germ, burg), and incorrectly for the lost beorg, beorh, mountain (Germ, 
berg). TRANS. 

154 WODAX. 

Dommel in N. Brabant ; a remarkable passage on it in Gramaye s 
Taxandria, p. 23, was pointed out to me by J. W. Wolf: Imo 
amplius supersunt aperte Cymbricorum deorum pagis aliquot, ubi 
forte culti erant, indita nomina, nominatim Mercurii in Woensel, 
honoris in Eersel, Martis in Roysel. Uti enim Woen Mercurium 
eis dictum alias docui, et eer honorem esse omnes sciunt, ita Eoy 
Martem a colore sanguineo cognominatum ostendunt illi qui tertiam 
hebdomadis feriam Koydach indigitant. In due time I shall 
speak of Eersel and Roysel, which lie in the neighbourhood of 
Woensel, and all of them in the N.. Brabant district of Oirschot. 
This Woensel is like the OSinssalr, Othansale, Onsala named on 
p. 158. Wunstorp, Wunsdorf, a convent and small town in Lower 
Saxony, stands unmutilated as Wodenstorp in a doc. of 1179, Falke 
tradit. corb, 770. Near Windbergen in the Ditmar country, an 
open space in a wood bears the name of Wodcnslay, Wonslag. Near 
Hadersleben in Schleswig are the- villages of Wonsbeke, Wonslei, 
Woyens formerly Wodensyen. An AS. doc. of 862 (Kemble 2, 73) 
contains in a boundary-settlement the name Wonstoc = Wodenesstoc, 
Wodani stipes, and at the same time betrays the influence of the* 
god on ancient delimitation. Wuotan, Hermes, Mercury, all seem 
to be divinities of measurement and demarcation ; conf. Woedens- 
spanne, Woenslet, p. 160 (see SuppI). 

As these names, denoting the waggon and the mountain of the 
old god, have survived chiefly in Lower Germany, where heathenism 
maintained itself longest ; a remarkable custom of the people in 
Lower Saxony at harvest-time points the same way. It is usual, to 
leave a clump of standing corn in afield to Woden for his hwse. 
0<5inn in the Edda rides the eight-footed steed Skipnir, the best of 
all horses, Seem. 46 a 93 b . Sn. 18. 45. 65. Sleipnis ver&r (food; is a 
poetic name for hay, Yngl. saga cap. 21 : other sagas speak of a 
tall white horse, by which the god of victory might be recognised in 
battles (see Suppl.). Christianity has not entirely rooted out the 
harmless practice for the Norse any more than for the Saxon 
peasant. In Schonen and Blekingen it continued for a long time 
to be the custom for reapers to leave on the field a gift for Oden s 
horses. 1 The usage in Mecklenburg is thus described by Gryse : 

i Geyers schwecl. gesch. 1, 110. orig. 1, 123. In the Hognimssoclcen, 
Oeland, are some large stones named Odins flisor, Odini lamellae, of which the 

WODAN. 155 

Ja, im heidendom hebben tor tid der arne (at harvest-tide) de 
meiers (mowers) dem afgade Woden umme god korn angeropen 
(invoked for good corn), denn wenn de roggenarne geendet, heft 
men up den lesten platz eins idem (each) veldes einen kleinen ord 
unde humpel korns unafgemeiet stan laten, datsiilve baven (b oben, 
a-b ove) an den aren drevoldigen to samende geschortet, unde 
besprenget (ears festooned together three times, and sprinkled). 
Alle meiers sin darumme her getreden, ere Jiode (their hats) vam 
Jcoppe genamen (v. supra, p. 32), unde ere seisen (scythes) na der 
slilven wode [mode ?] unde geschrenke (encircling) dem kornbusche 
upgerichet, und hebben den Wodenduvel dremal semplik lud averall 
also angeropen unde gebeden : 

W ode, hale (fetch) dinem rosse nu voder, 

nu distil unde dorn, 

torn andern jar beter korn ! 

welker afgodischer gebruk im Pawestom gebleven. Daher denn ok 
noch an dissen orden dar heiden gewanet, bi etliken ackerliiden 
(-leuten, men) solker avergelovischer gebruk in anropinge des 
Woden tor tid der arne gesporet werd, und ok oft desiilve helsche 
jeger (the same hellish hunter), sonderliken im winter, des nachtes 
up dem velde mit sinen jagethunden sik horen let. 1 

David Franck (Meklenb. 1, 56-7), who has heard the same from 
old people, quotes the rhyme thus ; 

story is told, that Odin, in turning his horse out to graze, took the bit off him 
and laid it on a huge block of stone ; the weight of the bit split the stone into 
two pieces, which were set upright as a memorial. Another story is, that Oden 
was about to fight an adversary, and knew not where to tie his horse up. In 
the hurry he ran to the stone, pierced it with his sword, and tied his horse fast 
through the hole. But the horse broke loose, the stone burst in pieces and 
rolled away, and from this arose the deep bog named Hogrumstrask ; people 
have tied poles together, but never could reach the bottom. Abrah. Ahlquist, 
Oelands historia, Calrnar 1822. 1, 37, 2, 212. There is a picture of the stones 
in Liliengren och Brunius, no. xviii. In the Hogbysocken of Oeland is also a 
smooth block of granite named Odinssten, on which, ace. to the folk-tale, the 
warriors of old, when marching to battle, used to whet their swords ; Ahl 
quist 2, 79. These legends confirm the special importance of Odin s horse in 
his mythus. Verelii notae on the Gautrekssaga p. 40 quote from the Clavis 
computi runici : Odin beter hesta sina i belg bunden, which I do not quite 
understand. In the Fornm. sog. 9, 55-6 OSinn has his horse shod at a black 
smith s, and rides away by enormous leaps to Sweden, where a war breaks out 
(see Suppl.). 

T Spegel des antichristischen pawestdoms (popery), dorch Nicolaum Grysen, 
predigern in Rostock, Eost. 1593. 4, sheet E iiii b . With the verses cited by 
him, conf. the formula in weisthiimer : Let it lie fallow one year, and bear 
thistle and thorn the next. 

156 WODAN. 

Wode, Wode, 

lial dinen rosse nu voder, 

nu distel un dorn, 

achter jar beter korn ! 

He adds, that at the squires mansions, when the rye is all cut, 
there is Wodel-beer served out to the mowers ; no one weeds flax 
on a Wodenstag, lest Woden s horse should trample the seeds ; from 
Christmas to Twelfth-day they will not spin, nor leave any flax on 
the distaff, and to the question why ? they answer, Wode is galloping 
across. We are expressly told, this wild hunter Wode rides a white 
horse. 1 Near Satuna in Vestergotland are some fine meadows 
called Onsdngarne (Odens angar, ings), in which the god s horses 
are said to have grazed, Afzelius 1, 4. In S. Germany they tell of 
the lord of the castle s grazing gray (or white), Mone anz. 3, 259 ; v. 
infra, the wutende heer . I have been told, that in the neigh 
bourhood of Kloppenburg in Oldenburg, the harvesters leave a 
bunch of corn-stalks uncut on the field, and dance round it. There 
may be a rhyme sung over it still, no doubt there was formerly. 

A custom in Schaumburg I find thus described : 2 the people go 
out to mow in parties of twelve, sixteen or twenty scythes, but it is 
so managed, that on the last day of harvest they all finish at the 
same time, or some leave a strip standing which they can cut down 
at a stroke the last thing, or they merely pass their scythes over 
the stubble, pretending there is still some left to mow. At the last 
stroke of the scythe they raise their implements aloft, pknt them 
upright, and beat the blades three times with the strop. Each 
spills on the field a little of the drink he has, whether beer, brandy, 
or milk, then drinks himself, while they wave their hats, beat their 
scythes three times, and cry aloud Wold, Wold, Wold! and the 
women knock all the crumbs out of their baskets on the stubble. 
They march home shouting and singing. Fifty years ago a song 
was in use, which has now died out, but whose first strophe ran 
thus : 

Wold, Wold, Wold! 
havenhune weit wat schiit, 
jiimm hei dal van haven slit. 

1 Mussaus meklenb. volkssagen no. 5 ; in Liscli meklenb. jahrb. 2, 133 it 
is spelt Waud, and a note is made, that on the Elbe they say fruh Wod, i.e. 
froho, lord ; conf. infra, fru Gaue and fm Gauden in the wutende heer , 

2 By Munchhausen in Bragur VI. 1, 2134. 

WODAN. 157 

Vulle kruken un sangen hat hei, 
upen holte wasst (grows) manigerlei : 
hei is nig barn un wert nig old. 
Wold, Wold, Wold! 

If the ceremony be omitted, the next year will bring bad crops of 
hay and corn. 

Probably, beside the libation, there was corn left standing for the 
venerated being, as the fourth line gives us to understand : full 
crocks and shocks hath he ; and the second strophe may have 
brought in his horse. Heaven s giant knows what happens, ever 
he down from heaven sees/ accords with the old belief in 
Wuotan s chair (p, 135) ; the sixth line touches off the god that 
ne er is born and ne er grows old almost too theosophically. 
Wold, though excused by the rhyme, seems a corruption of Wod, 
Wode, 1 rather than a contraction from waldand (v. supra, p. 21). 
A Schaumburg man pronounced the name to me as Wauden, and 
related as follows : On the lake of Steinhude, the lads from the 
village of Steinhude go every autumn after harvest, to a hill named 
Heidenhiigel, light a fire on it, and when it blazes high, wave their 
hats and cry Wauden, Wauden ! (see Suppl.). 

Such customs reveal to us the generosity of the olden time, 
Man has no wish to keep all his increase to himself ; he gratefully 
leaves a portion to the gods, who will in future also protect his 
crops. Avarice increased when sacrificing ceased. Ears of corn 
are set apart and offered here to Wuotan, as elsewhere to kind 
spirits and elves, e.g., to the brownies of Scotland (see Suppl. to 
Elves, pixy-hoarding). 

It was not Wuotan exclusively that bestowed fertility on the 
fields ; Donar, and his mother the Earth, stood in still closer con 
nexion with agriculture. We shall see that goddess put in the place 
of Wuotan in exactly similar harvest-ceremonies. 

In what countries the worship of the god endured the longest, 
may be learnt from the names of places which are compounded 
with his name, because the site was sacred to him. It is very 
unlikely that they should be due to men bearing the same name as 
the god, instead of to the god himself ; Wuotan, Oolnn, as a man s 

1 Conf. Dutch oud, goud for old, gold ; so Woude, which approximates 
the form Wode. Have we the latter in Theodericus de Wodestede ? 3 Scheldt s 
mantissa p. 433, anno 1205. 

158 WODAN. 

name, does occur, but not often ; and the meaning of the second 
half of the compounds, and their reappearance in various regions, 
are altogether in favour of their being attributable to the god. 
From Lower Germany and Hesse, I have cited (p. 151) Wddenmueg, 
Wodenesberg, WodenesJwU, Wddenesh Asun, and on the Jutish border 
Wonsild ; from the Netherlands Woensdreclit ; in Upper Germany 
such names hardly show themselves at all. 1 In England we find : 
Woodnesbortf in Kent, near Sandwich : Wednesbury and Wednes- 
field in Staffordshire ; Wednesham in Cheshire, called Wodncsfield 
in Ethelwerd p. 84S. 2 But their number is more considerable in 
Scandinavia, where heathenism was preserved longer : and if in 
Denmark and the Gothland portion of Sweden they occur more 
frequently than in Norway and Sweden proper, I infer from this a 
preponderance of Odin-worship in South Scandinavia. The chief 
town in the I. of Funen (Fion) was named Odinsve (Fornm. sog. 11, 
266. 281) from ve, a sanctuary ; sometimes also O&imey (ib. 230. 
352) from ey t island, meadow ; and later again Odense, and in 
Waldemar s Liber censualis 3 530. 542 Othdnso. In Lower Norway, 
close to Frederikstad, a second O&insey (Heimskr. ed. Havn. 4, 348. 
398), aft. called Onso. In Jutland, Othdnshylla (-huld, grace, 
Wald. lib. cens. 519), aft. Onsild. Othdnslef (Othini reliquiae, 
leavings, ib. 526), now Onskv. In Halland, Othdnsdle (-saal, hall, 
ib. 533), now Onsala (Tuneld s geogr. 2, 492. 504) ; as well as in 
Old Norway an Odhinssalr (conf. Woensel in Brabant, Woenssele ?). 
In Schonen, Othdnshdret (Wald. lib. cens. 528) ; Othenshdrat (Bring 
2, 62. 138. 142), 4 now Onsjo (Tuneld 2, 397) ; Onslunda (-grove, 
Tuneld 2, 449) ; Otliensvara (Bring 2, 46-7, Othenvara 39) ; 
Othenstroo (Bring 2, 48), from vara, foedus, and tro, fides ? In 
Smaland, Odensvalahult (Tuneld 2, 146) and Odensjo (2, 109. 147. 
Sjoborg lorsok p. 61). In Ostergotland, Odenfors (Tuneld 2, 72). 
In Vestergotland, Odenskulla (2, 284) and Odenskdlla (2, 264), a 
medicinal spring ; Odensaker, Onsaker (-acre, field, 2, 204. 253). In 

1 An Odensberg in the Mark of Bibelnheim (now Biebesheim below Gerns- 
heim in Darmstadt) is named in a doc. of 1403. Chmels reg. Ruperti p. 204 ; 
the form Wodensberg would look more trustworthy. 

2 If numbers be an object, I fancy the English contribution might be 
swelled by looking up in a gazetteer the names beginning with Wans-, Wens-, 
Wadden-, Weddin-, Wad-, Wed-, Wood-, Warn-, Wem-, Worn-. TRANS. 

3 Langebek script, torn. 7. 

4 Sven Bring, inonumenta Scanensia, vol 2, Lond. goth. 1748. 

WODAN. 159 

Westmanland, Odensvi (I, 266. conf. Gran, p. 427), 1 like the 
Odinsve of Fiinen ; and our Lower Saxon Woden eswege may have 
to do with this ve (not with weg, via), and be explained by the old 
wig, will, templum (see p. 67). This becomes the more credible, 
as there occurs in the Cod. exon. 341, 28 the remarkable sentence : 

Woden worhte weos, wuldor alwealda 
rume roderas ; 

i.e., Woden construxit, creavit fana (idola), Deus omnipotens amplos 
coelos ; the Christian writer had in his recollection the heathen 
sanctuaries assigned to Woden, and contrasts with them the greater 
creations of God. The plur. weos is easily justified, as wih is 
resolved into weoh, and weohas contracted into weos : so that an 
AS. Wodenesweoh would exactly fit the OS. Wodanesweg = W6- 
daneswih, and the ON. Oolnsve. Also in Westmanland, an Odensjo 
(Grau p. 502). In Upland, Odensala (Tuneld 1, 56); Odensfors 
(1, 144) ; Onsike (1, 144). In Nerike, Odensbaclce (1, 240), (see 

It seemed needful here to group the most important of these 
names together, and no doubt there are many others which have 
escaped me ; 2 in their very multitude, as well as the similarity or 
identity of their structure, lies the full proof of their significance. 
Few, or isolated, they might have been suspected, and explained 
otherwise ; taken together, they are incontestable evidence of the 
wide diffusion of Odin s worship. 

Herbs and plants do not seem to have been named after this 
god. In Brun s beitr.,p. 54, wodesterne is given as the name of a 
plant, but we ought first to see it in a distincter form. The Ice 
landers and Danes however call a small waterfowl (tringa minima, 
inquieta, lacustris et natans) Odinskani, OdensJiane, Odens fugl, 
which fits in with the belief, brought out on p. 147, in birds conse 
crated to him. An OHG. gloss (Haupts altd. bl. 2, 212) supplies 
a doubtful-looking vtinswaluwe, fulica (see SuppL). 

Even a part of the human body was named after the god : the 

1 Olof Grau, beskrifning ofver Wastmanland. Wasteras 1754 conf. Dybeck 
runa I. 3, 41. 

2 There are some in Finn Magnusen s lex. myth. 648 ; but I do not agree 
with him in including the H. Germ, names Odenwald, Odenheim, which lack 
the HG. form Wuotan and the -s of the genitive ; nor the Finn. Odenpa, which 
means rather bear s head. 

160 WODAN. 

space between the thumb and the forefinger when stretched out, 
which the Greeks name Xt^a?, was called in the Netherlands 
Woedensspanne, Woedenspanne, Woenslet. The thumb was sacred, 
and even worshipped as thumbkin and Pollux = pollex ; Wodan 
was the god of play, and lucky men were said to have the game 
running on their thumb. We must await further disclosures about 
the name, its purport, and the superstition lying at the bottom of 
it (see Suppl.). 

I started with assuming that the worship of this divinity was 
common to all the Teutonic races, and foreign to none Just because 
we must recognise him as the most universal and the supreme one. 
Wuotan so far as we have succeeded in gleaning from the relics 
of the old religion an idea of his being Wuotan is the most 
intellectual god of our antiquity, he shines out above all the other 
gods ; and therefore the Latin writers, when they speak of the 
German cultus, are always prompted to make mention first of 

We know that not only the Norsemen, but the Saxons, Thurin- 
gians, Alamanns and Langobards worshipped this deity ; why should 
Franks, Goths, and the rest be excluded from his service ? 

At the same time there are plain indications that his worship 
was not always and everywhere the dominant one. In the South 
of Germany, although the personification of Wish maintained its 
ground, Wuotan became extinct sooner than in the North ; neither 
names of places, nor that of the fourth day of the week, have pre 
served him there. Among the Scandinavians, the Swedes and 
Norwegians seem to have been less devoted to him than the Got- 
landers and Danes. The ON. sagas several times mention images 
of Thor, never one of OSinn ; only Saxo Gram, does so in an 
altogether mythical way (p. 113) ; Adam of Bremen, though he 
names Wodan among the Upsala gods, assigns but the second place 
to him, and the first to Thor. Later still, the worship of Freyr 
seems to have predominated in Sweden. 

An addition to the St. Olaf saga, though made at a later time, 
furnishes a striking statement about the heathen gods whom the 
introduction of Christianity overthrew. I will quote it here, 
intending to return to it from time to time: Olafr konungr 
kristnaol J?etta riki allt, oil blot braut hann niSr ok oil goS, sein 

WODAN. 161 

Thor Engilsmanna gob", ok Odin Saxa go5, ok Skiold Skanunga goS, 
ok Frey Svia goS, ok Goftorm Dana goS ; i.e. king 0. christened 
all this kingdom, broke down all sacrifices and all gods, as Thor the 
Englishmen s god, 05in the Saxons god, &c., Fornm. sog. 5, 239. 
This need not be taken too strictly, but it seems to rne to express 
the still abiding recollections of the old national gods : as the 
Swedes preferred Freyr, so probably did the Saxons Woden, to all 
other deities. Why, I wonder, did the writer, doubtless a Norwe 
gian, omit the favourite god of his own countrymen ? To them he 
ought to have given Thor, instead of to the English, who, like other 
Saxons, were votaries of Woden. 

Meanwhile it must not be overlooked, that in the Abrenuntiatio, 

an 8th century document, not purely Saxon, yet Low German, 0. 

Prankish and perhaps Ripuarian, Thunar is named before Vuodan, 

nd Saxnot occupies the third place. From this it follows at all 

jvents, that the worship of Thunar also prevailed in those regions; 

may we still vindicate Wuodan s claims to the highest place by 

upposing that the three gods are here named in the order in which 

heir statues were placed side by side? that Wuodan, as the greatest 

f them, stood in the middle ? as, according to Adam of Bremen, 

n hor did at Upsala, with Wodan and Fricco on each side of him. 

In the ON. sagas, when two of these gods are named together, 

horr usually precedes OSinn. The Laxdselasaga, p. 174, says of 

Ciartan : At hann Jjykist eiga meira traust undir afli sinu ok 

4-pnum (put more trust in his strength and weapons, conf. pp. 6, 

) heldr enn J?ar sem er Thorr ok O&inn. The same passage is 

epeated in Fornm. sog. 2, 34. Again, Eyvindr relates how his 

)arents made a vow before his birth: At sa maftr skal alt til 

dauSadags ]?iona Thor ok Offni (this man shall until death-day 

serve, &c.), Fornm. sog. 2, 16 1. 1 But it does not follow from this, 

hat Thorr was thought the greatest, for Eyvindr was actually 

dedicated to OSinn. In Fornm. sog. 5, 249, Styrbiorn sacrifices to 

Thorr, and Eirekr to Oftinn, but the former is beaten. Thdrr tok 

1 So in an AS. homily De temporibus Antichrist!, in Wheloc s Bedap. 495, 
ire enumerated Thor and Eoftwen, ]?e hseSene men heriat) 8\viSe ; and before 
hat, Erculus se ent (Hercules gigas) and Apollinis (Apollo), }?e hi ma3rne god 
eton . The preacher was thinking of the Greek and the Norse deities, not of 
.he Saxon, or he would have said Thunor and Woden. And in other cases, 
vhere distinctly Norse gods are meant, AS. writers use the Norse form of name. 
?. Magnusens lex. p. 919. 



jolaveizlu fra Haraldi, cnn O&inn tok fra Halfdani, Fornm. sog. 
10, 178. In the popular assembly at Thrandheim, the first 
cup is drunk to Off inn, the second to Thdrr, ibid. 1, 35. In the 
famous Bravalla fight, Othin under the name of Bruno acts as 
charioteer to the Danish king Harald, and to the latter s destruction; 
on the Swedish side there fight descendants of Frcyr, Saxo Gram. 
144-7. Yet the Eddie HarbarzlioS seems to place OSinn above Thorr. 
A contrast between OSinn and Thorr is brought out strongly in the 
Gautrekssaga quoted below, ch. XXVIII. But, since Thorr is repre 
sented as 0(5in s son, as a rejuvenescence of him, the two must 
often resolve into one another. 1 

If the three mightiest gods are named, I find Oolnn foremost : 
O&inn, Thdr, Freyr, Sn. edda 131. According to Fornm. sog. 1, 16, 
voyagers vow money and three casks of ale to Freyr, if a fair wind 
shall carry them to Sweden, but to Thdrr or O&inn, if it bring them 
home to Iceland (see Suppl.). 

It is a different thing, when OSinn in ON. documents is styled 
Thridi, the third ; 2 in that case he appears not by the side of Thorr 
and Freyr, but by the side of Hdr and lafnhdr (the high and the 
even-high or co-equal, OHG. epan hoh) as the Third High* (see 
Suppl.), Sn. 7. Yngl. saga 52. Seem. 46 a . As we might imagine, 
the grade varies : at other times he is Tveggi (duplex or secundus). 
Again, in a different relation he appears with his brothers Vili and 
Ve, Sn. 7; with Hcenir and LoSr, Seem. 3 b , or with Hoenir and Loki 
Ssem. 180. Sn. 135; all this rests upon older myths, which, as 
peculiar to the North, we leave on one side. Yet, with respect to 
the trilogy Offinn, Vili, Ve, we must not omit to mention here, 
that the OHG-. willo expresses not only voluntas, but votum, 
impetus and spiritus, 4 and the Gothic viljan, velle, is closely con 
nected with valjan, eligere; whence it is easy to conceive and 

1 When OGinn is called Thundr in the songs of the Edda, Ssem. 28 b 47 b , 
this may be derived from a lost bvnja = AS. Jmnian, tonare, and so be equivalent 
to Donar ; it is true, they explain }mndr as loricatus, from Jnind lorica. But 
Wuotan, as Voma, is the noise of the rushing air, and we saw him hurl the 
cudgel, as Thorr does the hammer. 

2 As Zeus also is rpiror, from which TptroycVeia is more easily explained 
than by her birth from his head (see Suppl.). 

3 JElfric s glosses 56 a , Altanus : Woden. Altanus, like Summanus, an 
epithet of Jove, the Altissimus ; else Altanus, as the name of a wind, might 
also have to do with the storm of the wiitende heer . 

4 The Greek p.{ vos would be well adapted to unite the meanings of courage, 
fury (mut, wut), wish, will, thought. 

WODAN. 163 

believe, how Wuotan, Wish and Will should touch one another (see 
SuppL). With the largitor opum may also be connected the AS. 
wela, OS. welo, OHG-. wolo, welo = opes, felicitas [weal, wealth], 
and Wela comes up several times almost as a personification (conf. 
Gramm. 4, 752), like the Lat. goddess Ops (conf. infra Sselde, note) ; 
there is also a Vali among the Norse gods. In the case of Ve, gen. 
vea, the sense may waver between wiho, sanctus (Goth. Ahma sa 
veiha, Holy Ghost), and wih, idolum. In Ssem. 63, Loki casts in 
the teeth of Frigg her intrigues with Ye and Vili ; this refers to 
the story in Yngl. saga cap. 3, from which we clearly gather the 
identity of the three brothers, so that Frigg could be considered the 
wife of any one of them. 1 

Lastly, a principal proof of the deeply-rooted worship of this 
divinity is furnished by Wodan s being interwoven with the old 
Saxon genealogies, which I shall examine minutely in the Appendix. 2 

Here we see Wodan invariably in the centre. To him are 
traced up all the races of heroes and kings ; among his sons and 
his ancestors, several have divine honours paid them. In parti- 

1 According to this story, OSinn was abroad a long time, during which his 
brothers act for him ; it is worthy of note, that Saxo also makes Othin travel 
to foreign lands, and Mithothin fill his place, p. 13 ; this Mithothin s position 
throws light on that of Vili and Ve. But Saxo, p. 45, represents Othin as once 
more an exile, and puts Oiler in his place (see SuppL). The distant journeys 
of the god are implied in the Norse by-names Gm\gra<5r, Gdngleri, Vegtamr, 
and Vi&forull, and in Saxo 45 viator indefessus. It is not to be overlooked, 
that even Paulus Diac. 1, 9 knows of Wodan s residence in Greece (qui non 
circa haec tempora of the war between Langobards and Vandals sed longe 
anterius, nee in Germania, sed in Graecia fuisse perhibetur ; while Saxo removes 
him to Byzantium, and Snorri to Tyrkland}. In the passage in Paul. Diac. : 
Wodan sane, quern adjecta litera Gwodan dixerunt, ipse.est qui apud Romanos 
Mercurius dicitur, et ab universis Germaniae gentibus ut deus adoratur, qui 
non circa haec tempora, sed longe anterius, nee in Germania, sed in Graecia 
fuisse perhibetur it has been proposed to refer the second qui 3 to Mercurius 
instead of Wodan (Ad. Schmidt zeitschr. 1, 264), and then the harmony of 
this account with Snorri and Saxo would disappear. But Paul is dealing with 
the absurdity of the Langobardic legend related in 1, 8, whose unhistoric basis 
he lays bare, by pointing out that Wodan at the time of the occurrence between 
the Wandali and Winili, had not ruled in Germany, but in Greece ; which 
is the main point here. The notion that Mercury should be confined to Greece, 
has wider bearings, and would shock the heathen faith not only of the Germans 
but of the Romans. The heathen gods were supposed to be omnipresent, as 
may be seen by the mere fact that Woden-hills were admitted to exist in 
various spots all over the country ; so that the community of this god to 
Germans, Greeks and Romans raised no difficulty. 

2 This Appendix forms part of the third volume. In the meanwhile, 
readers may be glad to see for themselves the substance of these pedigrees, 
which I have extracted from the Appendix, and placed at the end of this 
chapter. TRANS. 


cular, there appear as sons, Balder and that Saxntit who in the 8th 
rent my was not yet rooted out of N.W. Germany ; and in the line 
<>l his progenitors, Heremtid and Gedt, the latter expressly pro 
nounced a god, or the son of a god, in these legends, while Wodan 
himself is regarded more as the head of all noble races. But we 
easily come to see, that from a higher point of view both Geat and 
"Wodun merge into one being, as in fact Oftinn is called alda Gautrl 
Ssern. 93 b 95 b ; conf. infra Goz, Koz. 

In these genealogies, which in more than one direction are 
visibly interwoven with the oldest epic poetry of our nation, the 
gods, heroes and kings are mixed up together. As heroes become 
deified, so can gods also come up again as heroes ; amid such reap- 
peanuices, the order of succession of the individual links varies [in 
different tables]. 

Each pedigree ends with real historical kings: but to reckon 
back from these, and by the number of human generations to get 
;it the date of mythical heroes and gods, is preposterous. The 
earliest Anglo-Saxon kings that are historically certain full into the 
lil i h, sixth or seventh century ; count four, eight or twelve genera 
tions up to Woden, you cannot push him back farther than the 
third or fourth century. Such calculations can do nothing to shake 
our assumption of his far earlier existence. The adoration of 
AVodon must reach up to immemorial times, a long way beyond 
the first notices given us by the Komans of Mercury s worship in 

There is one more reflection to which the high place assigned 
by the Germans to their Wuotan may fairly lead us. Monotheism 
is a thing so necessary, so natural, that almost all heathens, amidst 
their motley throng of deities, have consciously or unconsciously 
ended by acknowledging a supreme god, who has already in him 
th<- attributes of all the rest, so that these are only to be regarded 
as emanations from him, renovations, rejuvenescences of him. 
This explains how certain characteristics come, to he assigned, now 
to this, now to that particular god, and why one or another of them, 
according to the difference of nation, comes to be invested with 
supreme, power. Thus our Wuotan resembles Hermes and Mercury, 
but he stands higher than these two; contrariwise, the German 
Donar (Thunor, Thorr) is a weaker Zeus or Jupiter; what was 
added to the one, had to be subtracted from the other ; as for Ziu 



(Tiw, Tyr), he hardly does more than administer one of Wuotan s 
offices, yet is identical in name with the first and highest god of the 
Greeks and Eomans : and so all these god-phenomena keep meet 
ing and crossing one another. The Hellenic Hermes is pictured as 
a youth, the Teutonic Wuotan as a patriarch : OSinn hinn gamli 
(the old). Yngl. saga cap. 15, like the old god on p. 21. Ziu and 
Froho are mere emanations of Wuotan (see Suppl.). 

Descending Series. 









Hengest (d. 489) 
Eoric (Oesc) 


Sigel ugel 






^Ethelbeorht (567) 

Raedwald (d. 617) 

^Escwine (527) 



Eorpwald (632) 

Ssebeorht (604) 


Penda (d. 656) 
















Uw + 





Ida (d. 560) 

Cerdic (d. 534) 


-Elle (d. 588) 



According to this, Woden had seven sons (B*lda>g being common to two 

! } ^ e ,M Where he ?, nl ^ three > e 9- Wil - Malm. p. 17 : tres filii 
egius, Withlegms et Beldegius, from whom the Kentish kinos the 

1 ^ SaXOn ^ Northumb * kings respectively were 

Ascending Series. 

the line was connected with Noah, and so with dam ! 


The god who rules over clouds and rain, who makes himself 
known in the lightning s flash and the rolling thunder, whose bolt 
cleaves the sky and alights on the earth with deadly aim, was 
designated in our ancient speech by the word Donar itself, OS. 
Thunar, AS. Thunor, ON. Thorr. 1 The natural phenomenon is 
called in ON. >ruma, or duna, both fern, like the Gothic J?eihvo, 
which was perhaps adopted from a Finnic language. To the god 
the Goths would, I suppose, give the name Thunrs. The Swed. 
tordon, Dan. torden (tonitru), which in Harpestreng still keeps the 
form thordyn, thordun, is compounded of the god s name and that 
same duna, ON. Thordunaf (see Suppl). In exactly the same 
way the Swed. term aska (tonitru, fulmen), in the Westgothl. Laws 
asikkia, 2 has arisen out of asaka, the god s waggon or driving, from 
as, deus, divus, and aka, vehere, vehi, Swed. aka. In Gothland they 
say for thunder Thorsakan, Thor s driving ; and the ON. reiff 
signifies not only vehiculum, but tonitru, and reiSarslag, rei(5ar- 
J?ruma, are thunderclap and lightning. For, a waggon rumbling 
over a vaulted space cpmes as near as possible to the rattling and 
crashing of thunder. The comparison is so natural, that we find 
it spread among many nations : 8o/cet OX^/ACL rov Jto? rj fipovrrj 
elvai, Hesychius sub. v. ^aci^povra. In Carniola the rolling of 
thunder is to this day gotten fahren. [To the Eussian peasant it is 
the prophet Ilia driving his chariot, or else grinding his corn.] 
Thorr in the Eclda, beside his appellation of Asa]?6rr, is more 
minutely described by Oku>6rr, i.e. Waggon-thorr (Sn. 25) ; his 
waggon is drawn by two he-goats (Sn. 26). Other gods have their 

i So even in High German dialects, durstag for donrstag, Engl. Thursday, 
and Bav. doren, daren for donnern (Schm. 1, 390). In TMrr it is not RR, but 
only the first R (the second being flectional), that is an abbrev. of NH, j i.e. 
N suffers syncope before R, much as in the M. Dut. ere, mire, for enre minre. 

a Conf. Onsike (Odin s drive ?) supra, p. 159. 

THUNAR. 167 

waggons too, especially OSinn and Freyr (see pp. 107, 151), but Then- 
is distinctively thought of as the god who drives ; he never appears 
riding, like Oftinn, nor is he supposed to own a horse : either he 
drives, or he walks on foot. We are expressly told : Thorr gengr 
til domsins, ok vec5r ar, walks to judgment, and wades the rivers 
(Sn. IS). 1 The people in Sweden still say, when it thunders : 
godgulrien aker, the good old (fellow) is taking a drive, Ihre G96. 
740. 926. gofar akar, go far kor, the gaffer, good father, drives (see 
SuppL). They no longer liked to utter the god s real name, or they 
wished to extol his fatherly goodness (v. supra, p. 21, the old god, 
Dan. vor gamle fader). The Norwegian calls the lightning Thors- 
varme, -warmth, Faye p. 6. 

Thunder, lightning and rain, above all other natural phenomena, 
proceed directly from God, are looked upon as his doing, his 
business (see SuppL). 2 When a great noise and racket is kept up, 
a common expression is : you could not hear the Lord thunder for 
the uproar ; in France : le bruit est si fort, qu on n entend pas Dieu 
tonner. As early as the Eoman de Eenart 11893 : 

Font une noise si grant 
quen ni oist pas Dieu tonant. 

29143 : Et commen^a un duel si grant, 
que len ni oist Dieu tonant. 

Ogier 10915 : Lor poins deterdent, lor paumes vont batant, 
ni oissiez nis ame Dieu tonant. 

Garin 2, 38 : Nes Dieu tonnant ni possiez oir. 

And in the Eoman de Maugis (Lyon 1599, p. 64) : De la noyse 
quils faisoyent neust Ion pas ouy Dieu tonner. 

But thunder is especially ascribed to an angry and avenging 
god ; and in this attribute of anger and punishment again Donar 
resembles Wuotan (pp. 18, 142). In a thunderstorm the people say 
to their children : the gracious God is angry ; in Westphalia : use 
her got kift (chides, Strodtm. osnabr. 104) ; in Franconia : God is out 

1 Scarcely contradicted by his surname Hldrrifti ; this riSi probably points 
to reiS, a waggon ; HlorriSi seems to me to come by assimilation from hloSriSi, 
conf. ch. XIII, the goddess HloSyn. 

2 A peasant, being requested to kneel at a procession of the Host, said : I 
don t believe the Lord can be there, twas only yesterday I heard him thunder 
up in heaven ; Weidners apophthegmata, Amst. 1643, p. 277. 

168 THUNAR. 

there scolding ; in Bavaria : der himmeltatl (-daddy) greint (Schm. 
1, 462). In Eckstrom s poem in honour of the county of Honstein 
1592, cii b , it is said: 

Gott der herr muss warlich from sein (must be really kind), 

dass er nicht mit donner schlegt drein. 1 

The same sentiment appears among the Letton and Finn nations. 
Lettic : wezzajs kahjas, wezzajs tehws barrahs (the old father has 
started to his feet, he chides), Stender lett. gramm. 150. With 
dievas (god) and dievaitis (godkin, dear god) the Lithuanians 
associate chiefly the idea of the thunderer: dievaitis grauja ! 
dievaitis ji numusse. Esthonian : wanna issa hiiab, wanna essa 
waljan, murrisep (the old father growls), Eosenplanters beitr. 8, 
116. The Lord scolds, heaven wages war, Joh. Christ. Petris 
Ehstland 2, 108 (see Suppl.). 

Now with this Donar of the Germani fits in significantly the 
Gallic Taranis whose name is handed down to us in Lucan 1, 440 ; 
all the Celtic tongues retain the word taran for thunder, Irish toran, 
with which one may directly connect the ON. form Thorr, if one 
thinks an assimilation from rn the more likely But an old 
inscription gives us also Tanarus (Forcellini sub v.) = Taranis. 
The Irish name for Thursday, dia Tordain (dia ordain, diardaoin) 
was perhaps borrowed from a Teutonic one (see Suppl.). 

So in the Latin Jupiter (literally, God father, Diespiter) there 
predominates the idea of the thunderer ; in the poets Tonans is 
equivalent to Jupiter (e.g., Martial vi. 10, 9. 13, 7. Ovid Heroid. 
9, 7. Fasti 2, 69. Metam. 1, 170. Claudian s Stilicho 2, 439) ; 
and Latin poets of the Mid. Ages are not at all unwilling to apply 
the name to the Christian God (e.#.,Dracontius de deo 1, 1. satisfact. 
149. Yen. Fortunat. p. 212-9. 258). And expressions in the 
lingua vulgaris coincide with this: celui qui fait toner, qui fait 
courre la nue (p. 23-4). An inscription, Jovi tonanti, in Gruter 21, 
6. The Greek Zeus who sends thunder and lightning (/cepatwo?) is 
styled Ktpavveios. Zevs eVri/Tre, II. 8, 75. 170. 17, 595. J*o? 
, II. 15, 379. 2 And because he sends them down from the 

1 In a poem made up of the first lines of hymns and songs : Acli gott vom 
liimmel sieh darein, und werfe einen donnerstein, es 1st gewislich an der zeit, 
dass scliwelgerei und iippigkeit zerschmettert werden mausetodt ! sonst schrein 
\vir bald aus tiefer noth. 

2 One might be tempted to connect the Etruscan Tina = Jupiter with 
Tonans and Donar ; it belongs more immediately to Z^i/ (v. infra, Zio). 

THUNAR. 169 

height of heaven, he also bears the name a /epto?, and is pictured 
dwelling on the mountain-top (atcpt,*:). Zeus is enthroned on 
Olympus, on Athos, Lycaeus, Casius, and other mountains of Greece 
and Asia Minor. 

And here I must lay stress on the fact, that the thundering 
god is conceived as emphatically a fatherly one, as Jupiter and 
Diespiter, as far and tatl. For it is in close connexion with this, 
that the mountains sacred to him also received in many parts such 
names as Etzel, Altvater, Grossvater. 1 Thorr himself was likewise 
called Atli, i.e. grandfather. 

A high mountain, along which, from the earliest times, the 
main road to Italy has lain, in the chain between the Graian and 
Pennine Alps, what we now call the St. Bernard, was in the early 
Mid. Ages named mons Jovis. This name occurs frequently in the 
Frankish annals (Pertz 1, 150. 295. 453. 498. 512. 570. 606. 2, 82), 
in Otto fris. de gest. Frid. 2, 24, in Eadevicus 1, 25, who designates 
it via Julii Caesaris, modo mons Jovis ; in AS. writers munt Jofes 
(Lye sub. v.), in ^Elfr. Boet. p. 150 muntgiow ; in our Kaiserchro- 
nik 88 d monte job. The name and the worship carry us back to 
the time of the Eomans ; the inhabitants of the Alps worshipped 
a Peninus deus, or a Penina dea : Neque montibus his ab transitu 
Poenorum ullo Veragri, incolae jugi ejus norunt nomen inditum, 
sed ab eo (al. deo) quern in summo sacratum vertice peninum 
montani adpellant ; Livy 31, 38. Quamvis legatur a poenina dea 
quae ibi colitur Alpes ipsas vocari ; Servius on Virg. Aen. 10, 13. 
An inscription found on the St Bernard (Jac. Spon miscellanea 
antiq. Lugd. 1685, p. 85) says expressly : Lucius Lucilius deo 
Penino opt. max. donum dedit ; from which it follows, that this god 
was understood to be no other than Jupiter. Conf. Jupiter apenni- 
nus, Micali storia 131-5. Zevs Kapaios occurs in Hesych. [icdpa 
means head, and so does the Celtic pen, len\. The classic writers 
never use mons Jovis, and the tabula Antonini names only the 
summus Penninus and the Penni lucus ; but between the 4th and 
7th centuries Jovis mons seems to have taken the place of these, 

1 Zeitschr. des hess. vereins 2, 139-142. Altd. blatt. 1, 288. Haupts 
zeitschr. 1,26. Finnish: isainen panee (Eenval. 118 a ), the father thunders. 
To the Finns uliko signifies proavus, senex, and is a surname of the gods 
Wainasnomen and Ilmarinen. But also Ukko of itself denotes the thunder- 
god (v. infra). Among the Swedish Lapps aija is both avus and tonitrus (see 

170 THUNAR. 

perhaps with reference [not so much to the old Roman, as] to the 
Gallic or even German sense which had then come to be attached 
to the god s name. Remember that German isarnodori on the Jura 
mountains not far off (p. 80). 1 

Such names of mountains in Germany itself we may with 
perfect safety ascribe to the worship of the native deity. Every 
one knows the Donnersberg (mont Tonnerre) in the Rhine palatinate 
on the borders of the old county of Falkenstein, between Worms, 
Kaiserslautern and Kreuznach ; it stands as Thoneresberg in a doc. 
of 869, Schannat hist, wormat. probat. p. 9. Another Thuneresbery 
situate on the Diemel, in Westphalia, not far from Warburg, and 
surrounded by the villages of Wormeln, Germete and Welda, is 
first mentioned in a doc. of 1100, Schaten mon. paderb. 1, 649 ; 
in the Mid. Ages it was still the seat of a great popular assize, 
originally due, no doubt, to the sacredness of the spot : comes ad 
ThuneresberJic (anno 1123), Wigands feme 222. comitia de Dunris- 
berg (1105), Wigands arch. I. 1, 56. a judicio nostro Thonresberch 
(1239), ib. 58. Precisely in the vicinity of this mountain stands the 
holy oak mentioned on p. 72-4, just as the robur Jovis by Geismar 
in Hesse is near a Wuotansberg, p. 152. To all appearance the two 
deities could be worshipped close to one another. The Kniillge- 
birge in Hesse includes a Donnerkaute. In the Bernerland is a 
DonnerluM (doc. of 1303, Joh. Miiller 1, 619), called Tonrbul in 
Justingers Berner chron. p. 50. Probably more Donnersbergs are 
to be found in other parts of Germany. One in the Regensburg 
country is given in a doc. of 882 under the name of Tuniesberg, 
Ried, cod. dipl. num. 60. A Sifridus marschalcus de Donnersperch 
is named in a doc. of 1300, MB. 33, pars 1, p. 289 ; an Otto de 
Donersperg, MB. 4, 94 (in 1194), but Duonesberc, 4, 528 (in 1153), 
and Tunniesberg 11, 432. In the Thuringer wald, -between Stein- 

1 This mons Jovis must be distinguished from mons gaudii, "by which the 
Mid. Ages meant a height near Rome : Otto frising 1. c. 2, 22 ; the Kaiserchr. 
88 d translates it verbally mendelberc. In Romance poems of the 12- 13th 
centuries, monjoie is the French battle-cry, generally with the addition of St 
Denis, e.g. monjoya, monjoya sant Denis ! Ferabras 365. monjoie enseigne S. 
Denis ! Garin 108. Ducange in his llth dissertation on Joinville declares 
monjoie inadmissible as a mere diminutive of mont, since in other passages 
(Roquefort 2, 207) it denotes any place of joy and bliss, a paradise, so that we 
can fairly keep to the literal sense ; and there must have been mountains of 
this name in more than one region. It is quite possible that monjoie itself 
came from an earlier monjove (mons Jovis), that with the god s hill there 
associated itself the idea of a mansion of bliss (see Suppl.). 

THUNAR. 171 

bach and Oberhof, at the rennsteig is a Donershauk (see Suppl.). 
A Donares eih, a robur Jovis, was a tree specially sacred to the 
god of lightning, and of these there grew an endless abundance in 
the German forests. 

Neither does Scandinavia lack mountains and rocks bearing the 
name of Thorr : Thors Hint in East Gothland (conf. Wildegren s 
Ostergotland 1, 17); Thorsborg in Gothland, Molbech tidskr. 4, 189. 
From Norway, where this god was pre-eminently honoured, I have 
nevertheless heard of none. The peasant in Vermland calls the 
south-west corner of the sky, whence the summer tempests mostly 
rise, Thorskala (-hole, cave, Geijer s Svearikes hafder 1, 268). 

And the Thunder-mountains of the Slavs are not to be over 
looked. Near Milleschau in Bohemia stands a Hromolan, from 
hrom, thunder, in other dialects grom. One of the steepest moun 
tains in the Styrian Alps (see Suppl.) is Grimming, i.e., SI. germnik, 
OS1. gr"mnik, thunder-hill (Sloven, gr mi, it thunders, Serv. grmi, 
Russ. grom gremit, quasi /Spo/xo? /fye^et) ; and not far from it is a 
rivulet named Donnerslach. 1 The Slavs then have two different 
words to express the phenomenon and the god: the latter -is in OS1. 
Perdu, Pol. Piorun, Boh. Peraun ; 2 among the Southern Slavs it 
seems to have died out at an earlier time, though it is still found in 
derivatives and names of places. Dobrowsky (inst. 289) traces the 
word to the verb peru, ferio, quatio [general meaning rather pello, 
to push], and this tolerably apt signification may have contributed 
to twist the word out of its genuine form. 3 I think it has dropt a 
k : the Lithuanian, Lettish and OPrussian thundergod is Perkunas, 
PehrJcons, Perkunos, and a great many names of places are com 
pounded with it. Lith., Perkunas grauja (P. thunders), Perkunas 
musza (P. strikes, ferit) ; Lett., Pehrkons sperr (the lightning 
strikes, see Suppl.). The Slav, perun is now seldom applied 
personally, it is used chiefly of the lightning s flash. Procopius (de 
Bello Goth. 3, 14) says of the Sclaveni and Antes : 6eov pev yap 
va TOP r^9 da T p mrf] <> Srjfjiiovpjov cLTrdvrwv icvpiov [lovov ainov 

1 Kindermann, abriss von Steiermark pp. 66, 67, 70, 81. 

3 The Slovaks say Parom, and paromova strela (P. s bolt) for perunova ; 
phrases about Parom, from Kollar, in Hanusch 259, 260. 

3 Might perun be connected with Kfpawos = nepawos 1 Still nearer to 
Perun would seem to be the Sansk. Parjanyas, a name borne by Indra as 
Jupiter pluvius, literally, fertilizing rain, thunder-cloud, thunder. A hymn to 
this rain-god in Rosen s Vedae specimen p. 23. Conf. Hitzig Philist. 296, and 
Holtzmannl, 112, 118. 

172 THUNAR. 

elvai, KOI Ouovcnv avrw /8oa? re KOL lepeia airavra, 
Again, the oak was consecrated to Perun, and old documents define 
boundaries by it (do perunova duba, as far as P. s oak) ; and the 
Romans called the the acorn juglans, i.e.joviglans, Jovis glans, the 
fruit of the fatherly god. Lightning is supposed to strike oaks by 
preference (see Suppl.). 

Now Perkun suggests that thundergod of the Morduins, Porguini 
(p. 27), and, what is more worthy of note, a Gothic word also, 
which (I grant), as used by Ulphilas, was already stript of all per 
sonification. The neut. noun fairguni (Gramm. 2, 175. 453) 
means 0/009, mountain. 1 What if it were once especially the 
Thunder-mountain, and a lost Fairguns the name of the god (see 
Suppl.) \ Or, starting with fairguni with its simple meaning of 
mons unaltered, may we not put into that masc. Fafrguns or Fair- 
guneis, and consequently into Perkunas, the sense of the above- 
mentioned aKpios, he of the mountain top \ a fitting surname for 
the thundergod. Fergunna, ending like Patunna, p. 71, signifies 
in the Chron. moissiac. anno 805 (Pertz 1, 308) not any particular 
spot, but the metal-mountains (erzgebirge) ; and Virgunnia (Vir- 
gundia, Virgunda, conf. Zeuss p. 10) the tract of wooded mountains 
between Ansbach and Ellwangen. Wolfram, Wh. 390, 2, says of 
his walt-swenden (wood- wasting T) : der Swarzwalt und Virgunt 
miiesen da von cede ligen, Black Forest and V. must lie waste 
thereby. In the compounds, without which it would have perished 
altogether, the OHG. virgun, AS. firgen may either bear the simple 
sense of mountainous, woody, or conceal the name of a god. Be that 
as it may, we find fairguni, virgun, firgen connected with divinely- 
honoured beings, as appears plainly from the ON. Fiorgyn, gen. 
Fiorgynjar, which in the Edda means Thor s mother, the goddess 
Earth : Thorr Jar&ar burr, Ssern. 70 a 68 a . Offins son, Ss&m. 73 a 74 b . 
And beside her, a male Fiorgynn, gen. Fiorgyns, Fiorgvins, appears 
as the father of OSin s wife Frigg, Sn. 10, 118. Seem. 63 a . In all 
these words we must take fairg, firg, fiorg as the root, and not divide 
them as fair-guni, fir-gun, fior-gyn. Now it is true that all the Anzeis, 
all the Aesir are enthroned on mountains (p. 25), and Firgun might 
have been used of more than one of them; but that we have a right 
to claim it specially for Donar and his molfier, is shewn by Perun, 

i Matt. 8, 1. Mk 5, 5. 11. 9, 2. 11, 1. Lu. 3, 5. 4, 29. 9, 37. 19, 29. 37. 
1 Cor. 13, 2. Bairgahei (f) opeii/i?) in Lu. 1, 39, 65 ; never the simple bairgs. 

THUNAR. 173 

Perkun, and will be confirmed presently by the meaning of mount and 
rock which lies in the word hamar. As Zeus is called eVa/cpto?, so is 
his daughter Pallas atcpia, and his mother opearepa Td, /ndrep avrov 
AIDS (Sophocl. Philoct. 389) ; the myth transfers from him to his 
mother and daughter. Of Donar s mother our very marchen have 
things to tell (Pentam. 5, 4) ; and beyond a doubt, the stories of 
the devil and his bath and his grandmother are but a vulgarization 
of heathen notions about the thundergod. Lasicz 47 tells us : Per- 
cuna tete mater est fulminis atque tonitrui quae solem fessum 
ac pulverolentum balneo excipit, deinde lotum et nitidum postera 
die emittit. It is just matertera, and not mater, that is meant by 
teta elsewhere. 

Christian mythology among the Slav and certain Asiatic nations 
has handed over the thunderer s business to the prophet Elijah., 
who drives to heaven in the tempest, whom a chariot and horses of 
fire receive, 2 Kings 2, 11. In the Servian songs 2, 1. 2, 2 he is 
expressly called gromovnik Iliya} lightning and thunder (munya and 
grom) are given into his hand, and to sinful men he shuts up the 
clouds of heaven, so that they let no rain fall on the earth (see 
SuppL). This last agrees with the O.T. too, 1 Kings 17, 1. 18, 41-5, 
conf. Lu. 4, 25, Jam. 5, 17 ; and the same view is taken in the 
OHG. poem, 0. iii. 12, 13 : 

Quedent sum giwaro, Helias sis ther mdro, 
ther thiz lant so tharta, then himil so bisparta, 
ther iu ni liaz in notin regonon then liutin, 
thuangta si giwaro harto filu suaro. 2 

But what we have to note especially is, that in the story of Anti 
christ s appearance a little before the end of the world, which was 
current throughout the Mid. Ages (and whose striking points of 
agreement with the ON. mythus of Surtr and Muspellsheim I shall 
speak of later), Helias again occupies the place of the northern 
thundergod. Thorr overcomes the great serpent, but he has 
scarcely moved nine paces from it, when he is touched by its 
venomous breath, and sinks to the ground dead, Sn. 73. In the 

1 Udri gromom, gromovit Iliya ! smite with thunder, thunderer Elias, 

2 Greg, tur., pref. to bk 2 : Meminerit (lector) sub Heliae tempore, qui 
pluvias cum voluit abstulit, et cum libuit arentibus terris infudit, &c. 


OHG. poem of Muspilli 48 54, Antichrist and the devil do indeed 
fall, but Elias also is grievously wounded in the fight : 

Doh wanit des vilu gotmanno 1 

daz Elias in demo wige arwartit : 

sar so daz Eliascs pluot 

in erda kitriufit, 

so inpriunant die perga ; 

his blood dripping on the earth sets the mountains on fire, and the 
Judgment-day is heralded by other signs as well. Without 
knowing in their completeness the notions of the devil, Antichrist, 
Elias and Enoch, which were current about the 7th or 8th 
century, 2 we cannot fully appreciate this analogy between Elias 
and the Donar of the heathens. There was nothing in Christian 
tradition to warrant the supposition of Elias receiving a wound, 
and that a deadly one. The comparison becomes still more sug 
gestive by the fact that even half-christian races in the Caucasus 
worship Elias as a god of thunder. The Ossetes think a man lucky 
who is struck ~by lightning, they believe Ilia has taken him to 
himself ; survivors raise a cry of joy, and sing and dance around 
the body, the people flock together, form a ring for dancing, and 
sing : Ellai, Ellai, eldaer tchoppei ! (0 Elias, Elias, lord of the 
rocky summits). By the cairn over the grave they set up a long pole 
supporting the skin of a black he-goat, which is their usual manner 
of sacrificing to Elias (see Suppl.). They implore Elias to make 
their fields fruitful, and keep the hail away from them. 3 Olearius 
already had put it upon record, that the Circassians on the Caspian 
sacrificed a goat on Elias s day, and stretched the skin on a pole 
with prayers. 4 Even the Muhammadans, in praying that a thunder 
storm may be averted, name the name of Ilya? 

Now, the Servian songs put by the side of Elias the Virgin 
Mary ; and it was she especially that in the Mid. Ages was. invoked 
for rain. The chroniclers mention a rain-procession in the Liege 

1 Gotman, a divine, a priest ? Conf. supra, pp. 88-9. 

2 The Rabbinical legend likewise assumes that Elias will return and slay 
the malignant Sammael ; Eisenmenger 2, 696. 851. 

3 Klaproth s travels in the Caucasus 2, 606. 601. 

4 Erman a archiv fur Russland 1841, 429. 

5 Ad. Olearius reiseschr. 1647, pp. 522-3. 

THUNAE. 175 

country about the year 1240 or 1244 j 1 three times did priests and 
people march round (nudis pedibus et in laneis), but all in vain, 
because in calling upon all the saints they had forgotten the Mother 
of God ; so, when the saintly choir laid the petition before God, 
Mary opposed. In a new procession a solemn salve regina was 
sung : Et cum serenum tempus ante f uisset, tanta inundatio pluviae 
facta est, ut fere omnes qui in processione aderant, hac illacque 
dispergerentur. With the Lithuanians, the holy goddess (dievaite 
sventa) is a rain-goddess. Heathendom probably addressed the 
petition for rain to the thundergod, instead of to Elias and Mary. 2 
Yet I cannot call to mind a single passage, even in ON. legend, 
where Thorr is said to have bestowed rain when it was asked for ; 
we are only told that he sends stormy weather when he is angry, 
Olafs Tryggv. saga 1, 302-6 (see SuppL). But we may fairly take 
into account his general resemblance to Zeus and Jupiter (who are 
expressly veno?, pluvius, II. 12, 25 : ve Zevs cruz/e%e?), and the pre 
valence of votis imlrem wcare among all the neighbouring nations 
(see SuppL). 

A description by Petronius cap. 44, of a Eoman procession for 
rain, agrees closely with that given above from the Mid. Ages : 
Antea stolatae ibant nudis pedibus in clivum, passis capillis, menti- 
bus puris, et Jovem aquam exoralant ; itaque statim urceatim (in 
bucketfuls) pluebat, aut tune aut nunquam, et omnes ridebant, uvidi 
tanquam mures. M. Antoninus (eZs eavrov 5, 7) has preserved the 
beautifully simple prayer of the Athenians for rain : 
AOrjvaiwv, vcrov, vcrov, w <t\e Zev, Kara TT}? dpovpas r?}? 
teal TWV 7re$lo)v (see SuppL). According to Lasicz, the Lithuanian 
prayer ran thus : Percune devaite niemuski und mana dirvu (so I 
emend dievu), melsu tavi, palti miessu. Cohibe te, Percune, neve 
in meum agrum calamitatem immittas (more simply, strike not), 
ego vero tibi hanc succidiam dabo. The Old Prussian formula is 
said to have been : Dievas Perkunos, absolo mus ! spare us, = Lith. 
apsaugok mus ! To all this I will add a more extended petition in 
Esthonian, as Gutslaff 3 heard an old peasant say it as late as the 

1 Aegidius aureae vallis cap. 135 (Chapeauville 2, 267-8). , Chron. belg. 
magn. ad ann. 1244 (Pistorius 3, 263). 

2 Other saints also grant rain in answer to prayer, as St Mansuetus in 
Pertz 6, 512 b . 513 b ; the body of St Lupus carried about at Sens in 1097, 
Pertz 1, 106-7. Conf. infra, Rain-making. 

3 Joh. Gutslaff, kurzer bericht und unterricht von der falsch heilig ge- 

176 THUNAR. 

17th century : Dear Thunder (woda Picker), we offer to thee an 
ox that hath two horns and four cloven hoofs, we would pray thee 
for our ploughing and sowing, that our straw be copper-red, our 
grain be golden -yellow. Push elsewhither all the thick black clouds, 
over great fens, high forests, and wildernesses. But unto us 
ploughers and sowers give a fruitful season and sweet rain. Holy 
Thunder (poha Picken), guard our seedfield, that it bear good straw 
below, good ears above, and good grain within/ Picker or Picken 
would in modern Esthonian be called Pitkne, which comes near 
the Finnic pitkdinen = thunder, perhaps even Thunder ; Hiipel s 
Esth. Diet, however gives both pikkenne and pikne simply as 
thunder (impersonal). The Finns usually give their thundergod 
the name Ukko only, the Esthonians that of Turris as well, 
evidently from the Norse Thorr (see Suppl.). 1 

As the fertility of the land depends on thunderstorms and 
rains, Pitkdinen and Zeus appear as the oldest divinity of agri 
cultural nations, to whose bounty they look for the thriving of 
their cornfields and fruits (see Suppl.) . Adam of Bremen too attri 
butes thunder and lightning to Thor expressly in connexion with 
dominion over weather and fruits : Thor, inquiunt, praesidet in aere, 
qui tonitrua et fulmina, ventos imbresque, serena et fruges giibcrnat. 
Here then the worship of Thor coincides with that of Wuotan, to 
whom likewise the reapers paid homage (pp. 154 7), as on the other 
hand Thor as well as Oftinn guides the events of war, and receives 
his share of the spoils (p. 133). To the Norse mind indeed, Thor s 
victories and his battles with the giants have thrown his peaceful 
office quite into the shade. Nevertheless to Wuotan s mightiest 
son, whose mother is Earth herself, and who is also named Per- 
kunos, we must, if only for his lineage sake, allow a direct relation 
to Agriculture. 2 He clears up the atmosphere, he sends fertilizing 

nandten bache in Liefland Wohhanda. Dorpt. 1644, pp. 362-4. Even in his 
time the language of the prayer was hard to understand ; it is given, corrected, 
in Peterson s Finn, mythol. p. 17, and Rosenplanter s beitr., heft 5, p. 157. 

1 Ukko is, next to Yumala (whom I connect with Wuotan }, the highest 
Finnish god. Pitkainen literally means the long, tall, high one. 

2 Uhland in his essay on Thorr, has penetrated to the heart of the ON. 
myths, and ingeniously worked out the thought, that the very conflict of the 
summer-god with the winter-giants, itself signifies the business of bringing land 
under cultivation, that the crushing rock-splitting force of the thunderbolt 
prepares the hard stony soil. This is most happily expounded of the Hrungnir 
and Orvandill sagas ; in some of the others it seems not to answer so well. 

THUNAR. 177 

showers, and his sacred tree supplies the nutritious acorn. Thor s 
minni was drunk to the prosperity of cornfields. 

The German thundergod was no doubt represented, like Zeus 
and Jupiter, with a long beard. A Danish rhyme still calls him 
1 Thor med sit lange -skidg (F. Magnusen s lex. 957). But the ON. 
sagas everywhere define him more narrowly as red-bearded, of 
course in allusion to the fiery phenomenon of lightning : when the 
god is angry, he blows in his red beard, and thunder peals through 
the clouds. In the Fornm. sog. 2, 182 and 10, 329 he is a tall, 
handsome, red-bearded youth : Mikill vexti (in growth), ok ungligr, 
friSr synum (fair to see), ok rau&skeggja&r ; in 5, 249 maSr rauft- 
skegyja&r. Men in distress invoked his red beard : Landsmenn 
toko ]?at ra5 (adopted the plan) at heita )?etta hit rauffa skegg, 2, 
183. When in wrath, he shakes his beard : EeiSr var J?a, scegg 
nam at hrista, scor nam at dyja (wroth was he then, beard he took 
to bristling, hair to tossing), Seem. 70 a . More general is the 
phrase : let siga brynnar ofan fyrir augun (let sink the brows over 
his eyes), Sn. 50. His divine rage (asmoftr) is often mentioned : 
Thorr var5 reiftr, Sn. 52. Especially interesting is the story of 
Thor s meeting with King Olaf 1, 303 ; his power seems half broken 
by this time, giving way to the new doctrine ; when the Christians 
approach, a follower of Thorr exhorts him to a brave resistance : 
]>eyt J?u i mot J?eim skeggrodd J?ina (raise thou against them thy 
beard s voice). ]?a gengu j?eir ut, ok lies Thorr fast i kampana, ok 
freytti skeggraustina (then went they out, and Th. blew hard into 
his beard, and raised his beard s voice), kom ]?a J?egar andviSil moti 
konungi sva styrkt, at ekki matti vi5 halda (immediately there came 
ill- weather against the king so strong, that he might not hold out, 
i.e., at sea). This red beard of the thunderer is still remembered in 
curses, and that among the Frisian folk, without any visible connex 
ion with Norse ideas: diis ruadhiiret donner regiir! (let red-haired 
thunder see to that) is to this day an exclamation of the North Fris 
ians. 1 And when the Icelanders call a fox holtafiorr, Thorr of the 
holt, 2 it is probably in allusion to his red fur (see Suppl.). 

The ancient languages distinguish three acts in the natural 

1 Der geizhalz auf Silt, Flensbiirg 1809, p. 123 ; 2nd ed. Sonderburg 1833, 
p. 113. 

2 Nucleus lat. in usum scholae schalholtinae. Hafniae 1738, p. 2088. 


178 THUNAR. 

phenomenon : the flash, fulgur, aa-rpaTnj, the sound, tonitrus, ftpovrij, 
and the stroke, fulmen, /cepawos (see SuppL). 

The lightning s flash, which we name Uitz, was expressed in our 
older speech both by the simple plih, Graff 3, 244, MHG. blic, Iw. 
649. Wigal. 7284, and by plecliazunga (coruscatio), derived from 
plechazan, 1 a frequentative of plechen (fulgere), Diut. 1, 222-4 ; 
they also used plechunga, Diut. 1, 222. Pleccateshem, Pertz 2, 383, 
the name of a place, now Blexen ; the MHG. has Uikze (fulgur) : 
die blikzen und die donerslege sint mit gewalte in siner pflege, MS. 
2, 166 b . Again lohazan (micare, coruscare), Goth, lauhatjan, pre 
supposes a lohen, Goth, lauhan. From the same root the Goth 
forms his Iduhmuni (aarpaTrrj), while the Saxon from blic made a 
Uicsmo (fulgur). AS. leoma (jubar, fulgur), ON. liorni, Swed. 
ljungeld, Dan. lyn. A Prussian folk-tale has an expressive phrase 
for the lightning : He with the Uue whip chases the devil/ i.e. the 
giants ; for a Hue flame was held specially sacred, and people 
swear by it, North Fris. donners blosJcen (blue sheen) help ! in 
Hansens geizhals p 123 ; and Schartlin s curse was blau feuer ! 
(see SuppL). 

.Beside donar, the OHG. would have at its command capreh 
(fragor) from prehhan (frangere), Gl. hrab. 963 b , for which the 
MHG. often has klac, Troj. 12231. 14693, and krach from kracheii, 
(crepare) : mit krache gap der doner duz, Parz. 104, 5 ; and as 
krachen is synonymous with rizen (strictly to burst with a crash), 
we also find wolkenriz fern, for thunder, Parz. 378, 11. Wh. 389, 
18 ; gegenrfe, Wartb. kr. jen.. 57 ; rent als der wilde dunrslac von 
himel kam gerizzen, Ecke 105. der chlafondo doner, N". Cap. 114; 
der chlafleih heizet toner ; der doner stet gespannen, Apollon. 879. 
I connect the Gothic peihvo fern, with the Finnic teuhaan (strepo), 
teuhaus (strepitus, tumultus), so that it would mean the noisy, 
uproarious. Some L. Germ, dialects call thunder grummet, Strodtm. 
Osnabr. 77, agreeing with the Slav, grom, hrom (see SuppL). 

For the notion of fulmen we possess only compounds, except 

1 While writing plechazan, I remember pleckan, plahta (patere, nuclari ; 
bleak), MHG. blecken, blacte, Wigal. 4890 ; which, when used of the sky, 
means : the clouds open, heaven opens, as we still say of forked and sheet 
lightning ; conf. Lohengr. p. 125 : relit alsam des himmels bliz von doner sich 
erhlccket. If this plechan is akin to plih (fulgur), we must suppose two verbs 
plihhan pleih, and plehhan plah, the second derived from the first. Slav, blesk, 
blisk, but Boh. bozhi posel, god s messenger, lightning-flash. Russ. molniya, 
Serv. munya, fern, (see 

THUNAR. 179 

when the simple donner is used in that sense : sluoc alse ein doner, 
Eoth. 1747. hiure hat der scliur (shower, storm) erslagen, MS. 3, 
223 a ; commonly donnerschlag, blitzschlay. OHG. blig-scuz (-shot, 
fulgurum jactus), N. cap. 13; MHG. blickeschoz, Barl. 2, 26. 253, 27, 
and blicschoz, Martina 205 a ; fiurin donerstrdle, Parz. 104, 1; don- 
rcslac, Iw. 651; ter scuz tero fiurentun donerstrdlo (ardentis fulminis), 
erscozen mit tien donerstrdlon, N. Bth. 18. 175; MHG. wetterstrahl, 
blitzstrahl, donnerstrahl. MHG. wilder donerslac, Geo. 751, as 
lightning is called wild fire, Eab. 412, Schm. 1, 553, and so in ON. 
villi-eldr, Sn. 60 (see SuppL). 

So then, as the god who lightens has red hair ascribed to him, 
and he who thunders a waggon, he who smites has some weapon 
that he shoots. But here I judge that the notion of arrows being 
shot (wilder pfil der uz dem donre snellet, Troj. 7673. doners pfile, 
Turnei von Nantheiz 35. 150) was merely imitated from the icrj\a 
to?, tela Jovis ; the true Teutonic Donar throws wedge-shaped 
stones from the sky : ez wart nie stein geworfen dar er enkseme von 
der schdre, there was never stone thrown there (into the castle 
high), unless it came from the storm, Ecke 203. ein vlins (flint) 
von donrestralen, Wolfram 9, 32. ein herze daz von vlinse ime donre 
gewahsen wsere (a heart made of the flint in thunder), Wh. 12, 16. 
scMrestein, Bit. 10332. schawerstcin, Suchenw. 33, 83. so slahe 
mich ein donerstein ! Ms. H. 3, 202 a . We now call it donnerM, 
Swed. isk-vigg (-wedge) ; and in popular belief, there darts out of 
the cloud together with the flash a black wedge, which buries itself 
in the earth as deep as the highest church-tower is high. 1 But every 
time it thunders again, it begins to rise nearer to the surface, and 
after seven years you may find it above ground. Any house in 
which it is preserved, is proof against damage by lightning ; when 
a thunder-storm is coming on, it begins to sweat. 2 Such stones are 
also called donnerdxte (-axes) donnersteine, donnerhammer, albschosse 
(elfshots), strahlsteine, teufelsfinger, Engl. thunder-bolts, Swed. Thors 
vigge, Dan. tordenldle, tordenstraale (v. infra, ch. XXXVII), 3 and stone 
hammers and knives found in ancient tombs bear the same name. 
Saxo Gram. p. 236 : Inusitati ponderis malleos, quos Joviales voca- 

1 This depth is variously expressed in curses, &c. e.g. May the thunder strike, 
you into the earth as far as a hare can run in a hundred years ! 

2 Weddigens westfal. mag. 3, 713. Wigands archiv 2, 320, has nine years 
instead of seven. 

3 The Grk name for the stone is /3eXe/mY?;y a missile. 

180 THUNAR. 

bant, . . . prisca virorum religione cultos ; . . . cupiens 
enim antiquitas tonitruorum causas usitata rerum similitudine com- 
prehendere, malleos, quibus coeli fragores cieri credebat, ingenti aere 
complexa fuerat (see Suppl.). To Jupiter too the silex (flins) was 
sacred, and it was held by those taking an oath. From the mention 
of elf-shots above, I would infer a connexion of the elf-sprites 
with the thundergod, in whose service they seem to be employed. 

The Norse mythology provides Thorr with a wonderful hammer 
named Miolnir (mauler, tudes, contundens), which he hurls at the 
giants, Ssem. 57 b 67 b 68 b ; it is also called firu&hamar, strong 
hammer, Seem. 67 b 68 b , and has the property of returning into the 
god s hand of itself, after being thrown, Sn. 132. As this hammer 
flies through the air (er harm kemr a lopt, Sn. 16), the giants know 
it, lightning and thunder precede the throwing of it : J?vi nsest sa 
harm (next saw he, giant HrungnirJ eldingar oc heyrol frrumur 
storar, sa hann J?a Thor i asmoSi, for hann akaflega, oc reiddi hamarin 
oc kastaffi, Sn. 109. This is obviously the crushing thunderbolt, 
which descends after lightning and thunder, which was nevertheless 
regarded as the god s permanent weapon ; hence perhaps that 
rising of the bolt out of the earth. Saxo, p. 41, represents it as a 
club (clava) without a handle, but informs us that Hother in a battle 
with Thor had knocked off the manubium clavae ; this agrees with 
the Eddie narrative of the manufacture of the hammer, when it 
was accounted a fault in it that the handle was too short (at 
forskeptit var heldr skamt), Sn. 131. It was forged by cunning 
dwarfs, 1 and in spite of that defect, it was their masterpiece. In 
Saxo p. 163, Thor is armed with a torrida chalybs? It is noticeable, 
how Frauenlob MS. 2, 214 b expresses himself about God the Father: 
der smit tiz Oberlande warf sinen hamer in mine schoz. The ham 
mer, as a divine tool, was considered sacred, brides and the bodies 
of the dead were consecrated with it, Sasm. 74 b . Sn. 49. 66 ; men 
blessed with the sign of the hammer? as Christians did with the sign 
of the cross, and a stroke of lightning was long regarded in the 

1 As Zeus s lightning was by the Curetes or Cyclopes. 

2 That in ancient statues of the thundergod the hammer had not been for 
gotten, seems to be proved by pretty late evidence, e.g. the statue of a dorper 
mentioned in connexion with the giants (ch. XVIII, quotation from^Fergut). 
And in the AS. Solomon and Saturn, Thunor wields & fiery axe (ch. XXV, Mus- 


3 In the Old Germ, law, the throwing of a hammer ratifies the acquisition 

of property. 

THUNAK. 181 

Mid. Ages as a happy initiatory omen to any undertaking. Thorr 
with his hammer hallows dead bones, and makes them alive again, 
Sn. 49 (see Suppl.). But most important of all, as vouching for 
the wide extension of one and the same heathen faith, appears to 
me that beautiful poem in the Edda, the Hamars heimt (hammer s 
homing, mallei recuperatio), 1 whose action is motived by Thor s 
hammer being stolen by a giant, and buried eight miles underground: 
ek hefi HlorriSa hamar umfolginn atta rostom for iorS nedan, 
Seem. 71 a . This unmistakably hangs together with the popular 
belief I have quoted, that the thunderbolt dives into the earth and 
takes seven or nine years to get up to the surface again, mounting 
as it were a mile every year. At bottom Thrymr, J?ursa drottinn, 
lord of the durses or giants, who has only got his own hammer 
back again, seems identical with Thorr, being an older nature-god, 
in whose keeping the thunder had been before the coming of the 
ases; this is shown by his name, which must be derived from 
Jmima, tonitru. The compound J?rumketill (which Biorn explains 
as aes tinniens) is in the same case as the better-known ]?6rketill 
(see Suppl.). 

Another proof that this myth of the thundergod is a joint pos 
session of Scandinavia and the rest of Teutondom, is supplied by 
the word hammer itself. Hamar means in the first place a hard 
stone or rock, 2 and secondly the tool fashioned out of it ; the ON. 
hamarr still keeps both meanings, rupes and malleus (and saks, seax 
again is a stone knife, the Lat. saxum). Such a name is particularly 
well-suited for an instrument with which the mountain-god Donar, 
our Tairguneis, achieves all his deeds. Now as the god s hammer 
strikes dead, and the curses thunder strike you and hammer strike 
you meant the same thing, there sprang up in some parts, especially 
of Lower Gemany, after the fall of the god Donar, a personification 
of the word Hamar in the sense of Death or Devil : dat die de 
Hamer ! i vor den Hamer ! de Hamer sla ! are phrases still 

1 No other lay of the Edda shows itself so intergrown with the people s 
poetry of the North ; its plot survives in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian songs, 
which bear the same relation to that in the Edda as our folk-song of Hilde- 
brand and Alebrand does to our ancient poesy. Thor no longer appears as a 
god, but as Thorkar (Thorkarl) or Thord af Hafsgaard, who is robbed of his 
golden hammer, conf. Iduna 8, 122. Nyerups udvalg 2, 188. Arvidsson 1, 3. 
Schade s beskrivelse over oen Mors, Aalborg 1811, p. 93. Also the remarkable 
legend of Thor me& tungum liamri in Faye s norske sagn. Arendal 1833, p. 0, 
where also he loses and seeks his hammer. 

2 Slav, kamen gen. kanmia, stone ; Lith. akmu gen. akmens ; fcam = Tiam. 

182 THUNAR. 

current among the people, in which you can exchange Ilamer for 
Diivel, but which, one and all, can only be traced back to the god 
that strikes with the hammer. In the same way : dat is en 
Hamer, en hamersken kerl, a rascally impudent cheat. 1 de Hamer 
kennt se all ! the devil may know them all, Schiitze 2, 96. Hem- 
merlein, mcister Hdmmerlcin, signified the evil spirit. Consider also 
the curses which couple the two names ; donner und teufel ! both 
of which stood for the ancient god. By gammel Thor, old Thor, the 
common people in Denmark mean the devil ; in Sweden they long 
protested by Thoregud. The Lithuanians worshipped an enormous 
hammer, Seb. Frankes weltbuch 55 b (see Suppl.). 

It must have been at an earlier stage that certain attributes 
and titles of the Saviour, and some Judeo-christian legends, were 
transferred to the heathen god, and particularly the myth of Leviathan 
to lormungandr. As Christ by his death overmastered the monster 
serpent (Bar! 78, 39 to 79, 14), so Thorr overcomes the miSgarSs- 
orm (-worm, snake that encircles the world), and similar epithets 
are given to both. 2 Taking into account the resemblance between 
the sign of the cross and that of the hammer, it need not seem 
surprising that the newly converted Germans should under the 
name of Christ still have the lord of thunder and the giver of rain 
present to their minds ; and so a connexion with Mary the Mother 
of God (p. 174) could be the more easily established. The earliest 
troubadour (Diez p. 15. Eaynouard 4, 83) actually names Christ 
still as the lord of thunder, Jhesus del tro. 

A Neapolitan fairy-tale in the Pentamerone 5, 4 personifies 
thunder and lightning (truone e lampe} as a beautiful youth, brother 
of seven spinning virgins, and son of a wicked old mother who 
knows no higher oath than pe truone e lampe . Without assert 
ing any external connexion between this tradition and the German 

1 Brem. wtb. 2, 575. dat di de hamer sla ! Strodtm. p. 80, conf. Schm. 2, 192. 
the hammer, or a great hammer strike you ! Abeles kunstl. unordn. 4, 3. Ge- 
richtsh. 1, 673. 2, 79. 299. 382. verhamert diir, kolt, Schiitze 2, 96=verdonnert, 
verteufelt, blasted, cursed, &c. How deeply the worship of the god had taken 
root among the people, is proved by these almost ineradicable curses, once 
solemn protestations : donner ! donnerwetter ! heiliges gewitter (holy thunder 
storm) ! And, adding the Christian symbol : kreuz donnerwetter ! Then, 
euphemistically disguised : bim (by the) dummer, potz dummer ! duminer 
auch ! Slutz 1, 123. 2, 161-2. 3, 56. bim dummer hammer 3, 51. bim dumstig. 
dunnstig ! as in Hesse : donnerstag ! bim hamer ! In Flanders : bi Vids morkel 
hamer! Willem s vloeken, p. 12. 

2 Finn Magnusen lex. 48 i-5. 

THUNAR. 183 

one, 1 we discover in it the same idea of a kind and beneficent, not 
a hostile and fiendish god of thunder. 

The large beetle, which we call stag-beetle or fire-beetle, lucanus 
cervus, taurus (ch. XXI, beetles), is in some districts of South Ger 
many named donnergueg, donnerguye, donnerpuppe (gueg, guegi, 
beetle), perhaps because he likes to live in oak-trees, the tree sacred 
to thunder. For he also bears the name eichochs, Swed. ekoxe (oak- 
ox) ; but then again feuerschroter, fiirboter (fire-beeter, i.e. kindler), 2 
borner or haus-brenner (-burner), which indicates his relation to 
thunder and lightning. It is a saying, that on his horns he carries 
redhot coals into a roof, and sets it alight ; more definite is the 
belief mentioned in Aberglaube, p. xcvi, that lightning will strike a 
house into which this beetle is carried. In Swed. a beetle is still 
named horntroll (see SuppL). 

Among herbs and plants, the following are to be specially noted : 
the donnerbart, stonecrop or houseleek, semper vivum tectorum, 
which, planted on the roof, protects from the lightning s stroke 3 : 
barba Jovis vulgari more vocatur (Macer Floridus 741), Fr. Jbubarbe 
(conf. Append, p. Iviii) ; the donnerbesen (-besom), a shaggy tangled 
nest-like growth on boughs, of which superstition ascribes the gen 
eration to lightning ; otherwise called alpruthe ; the donnerkraut, 
sedum; the donnerflug, fumaria bulbosa; the donnerdistel, eryng- 
ium campestre; the Dan. tordenskreppe, burdock. The South Slavs 
call the iris perunik, Perun s flower, while the Lettons call our 

1 How comes the Ital. to have a trono (Neap, truono, Span, trueno) by the 
side of tuono ? and the Provencal a irons with the same meaning ? Has the R 
sliptin from our donar, or still better from the Goth, drunjus, sonus, Rom. 10, 
18 (conf. dronen, cymbal s droning sound of Dryden)? or did the Lat. thronus 
pass into the sense of sky and thunder ? iorcnst nicht, wanns tonnert, ein 
iron werd vom himmel fallen ? Garg. 181 b . The troubadour s Jhesus del tro 
might then simply mean lord of the firmament. 

2 * I wol don sacrifice, and lyres beete, } Chaucer. Hence beetle itself ? AS. 
bytel. TRANS. 

3 A Provencal troubadour, quoted by Raynouard sub v. barbajol, says : e da- 
quel erba tenon pro li vilan sobra lur maiso. Beside this hauswurz (hauswurzel, 
Superst. 60), the hawthorn, albaspina, is a safeguard against lightning (Mem. 
del acad. celt. 2, 212), as the laurel was among the ancient Romans, or the 
white vine planted round a house; conf. brennessel (Superst. 336) ; palm branches 
laid upon coals, lighted candles, a fire made on the hearth, are good for a 
thunderstorm, Braunschw. anz. 1760, p. 1392. The crossbill too is a protector 
(Superst. 335) ; because his beak forms the sign of the cross or hammer ? but 
the nest-making redbreast or redstart appears to attract lightning (ch. XXI, 
redbreast ; Superst. 629. 704) ; was he, because of his red plumage, sacred to 
the redbearded god 1 (see Suppl.). 

184 THUNAR. 

hederich (ground-ivy? hedge-mustard?) pehrkoncs; Perunika is also, 
like Iris, a woman s name. The oak above all trees was dedicated 
to the Thunderer (pp. 67, 72): quercus Jovi placuit, Phaedr. 3, 17 ; 
magna Jovis antique robore quercus, Virg. Georg. 3, 332. At 
Dodona stood the Sp{5? v^tKOfjLos Aw, Od. 14, 327. 19, 297, but at 
Troy the leech often named in the Iliad: $77709 v^rj\r) Jto? aiyioxpio, 
5, 693. 7, 60. A particular kind of oak is in Servian grm, and 
(jrmik is quercetum, no doubt in close connexion with grom 
(tonitrus), grmiti or grmlieti (tonare). The acorn is spoken of 
above, p. 177. 

Apparently some names of the snipe (scolopax gallinago) have 
to do with this subject : donncrziege (-goat), donnerstagspferd 
(Thursday horse), liimmelsziege (capella coelestis) ; because he seems 
to bleat or whinny in the sky ? But he is also the weatherbird, 
stormbird, rainbird, and his flight betokens an approaching thunder 
storm. Dan. myrehest, Swed. horsgjok, Icel. hrossagaukr, horsegowk 
or cuckoo, from his neighing; the first time he is heard in the year, 
he prognosticates to men their fate (Biorn sub v.) ; evidently 
superstitious fancies cling to the bird. His Lettish name pelirkona 
Jeasa, pehrkona ahsis (thunder s she-goat and he-goat) agrees exactly 
with the German. In Lithuanian too, Mielcke 1, 294. 2, 271 
gives Perkuno ozhys as heaven s goat, for which another name is 
tikkutis. Kannes. pantheum p. 439, thinks the name donners- 
tagspferd belongs to the goat itself, not to the bird ; this would be 
welcome, if it can be made good. Some confirmation is found in 
the AS. firgenycet (ibex, rupicapra, chamois), and firginbucca (capri- 
cornus), to which would correspond an OHG. virgungeiz, virgun- 
pocch ; so that in these the analogy of fairguni to Donar holds 
good. The wild creature that leaps over rocks would better become 
the god of rocks than the tame goat. In the Edda, Thorr has 
he-goats yoked to his thunder-car : between these, and the weather- 
fowl described by turns as goat and horse (always a car-drawing 
beast), there might exist some half-obscured link of connexion (see 
Suppl.). It is significant also, that the devil, the modern repre 
sentative of the thunder god, has the credit of having created goats, 
both he and she ; and as Thorr puts away the bones of his goats 
after they have been picked, that he may bring them to life again 
(Sn. 49. 50), 1 so the Swiss shepherds believe that the goat has 

i The myth of the slaughtered goats brought to life again by hammer-couse- 

THUNAK. 185 

something of the devil in her, she was made by him, and her feet 
especially smack of their origin, and are not eaten, Tobler 214 a . 
Did the German thundergod in particular have he-goats and she- 
goats sacrificed to him (supra, p. 52) ? The Old Roman or Etruscan 
tridental (from bidens, lamb) signifies the place where lightning had 
struck and killed a man : there a lamb had to be sacrificed to 
Jupiter, and the man s body was not burned, but buried (Plin. 2, 
54). If the Ossetes and Circassians in exactly the same way offer 
a goat over the body killed by lightning, and elevate the hide on a 
pole (supra, p. 174), it becomes the more likely by a great deal that 
the goat-offering of the Langobards was intended for no other than 
Donar. For hanging up hides was a Langobardish rite, and was 
practised on other occasions also, as will presently be shown. In 
Carinthia, cattle struck by lightning are considered sacred to God ; 
no one, not even the poorest, dares to eat of them (Sartoris reise 2, 

Other names of places compounded with that of the thundergod, 
besides the numerous Donnersbergs already cited, are forthcoming 
in Germany. Near Oldenburg lies a village named Donnerschwee, 

cration, and of the boar Ssehrimnir (Sn. 42) being boiled and eaten every day 
and coming whole again every evening, seems to re-appear in more than one 
shape. In Wolfs Wodana, p. xxviii, the following passage on witches in 
Ferrara is quoted from Barthol. de Spina (f 1546), quaestio de strigibus : 
Dicunt etiam, quod postquam comederunt aliquem pinguem bovem vel aliquam 
vegetem, vino vel arcam sen cophinum panibus evacuarunt et consumpserunt 
ea vorantes, domina ilia percutit aurea virga quam maim gestat ea vasa vel loca, 
et statim ut prius plena sunt vini vel panis ac si nihil inde fuisset assumptum. 
Similiter congerijubet ossa mortui bovis super cor turn ejus extensum, ipsumque per 
quatuor partes super ossa revolvens virgaque percutiens, vivum bovem reddit ut 
prius, ac reducendum jubet ad locum suum. The diabolical witches meal 
very well matches that of the thundergod. But we are also told in legends, 
that the saint, after eating up a cock, reanimated it out of the bones ; and so 
early as parson Amis, we find the belief made use of in playing-off a deception 
(1. 969 seq.). Folk-tales relate how a magician, after a fish had been eaten, threw 
the bones into water, and the fish came alive a^ain. As with these eatable 
creatures, so in other tales there occurs the reanimation of persons who have 
been cut to pieces : in the marchen vom Machandelbom (juniper-tree) ; in the 
myth of Zeus and Tantalus, where the shoulder of Pelops being devoured by 
Demeter (Ovid 6, 406) reminds us of the he-goat s leg-bone being split for the 
marrow, and remaining lame after he came to life again ; in the myth of Osiris 
and St Adalbert (Temine p. 33) ; conf. DS. no. 62, and Ezekiel 37. Then in 
the eighth Finnish rune, Lemminkaimen s mother gathers all the limbs of his 
dismembered body, and makes them live again. The fastening of heads that 
have been chopped off to their trunks, in Waltharius 1157 (conf. p. 93) seems 
to imply a belief in their reanimation, and agrees with a circumstance in 
ftorske eventyr pp. 199, 201. 

186 THUNAR. 

formerly Donerswe, 1 Donnerswehe, Donnerswede (Kohli handb. von 
Oldenb. 2, 55), which reminds us of Oolnsve, Wodeneswege (p. 151), 
and leaves us equally in doubt whether to understand wih a 
temple, or weg a way. The Norwegian folk-tale tells us of an 
actual Thors vej (way, Faye p. 5). A village Donnersreut is to be 
found in Franconia towards Bohemia, a Donnersted in Theding- 
hauseu bailiwick, Brunswick, a Thunrcsfeld [Thurfield] in AS. 
documents, Kemble 2, 115. 195. 272, &c. &c. Many in Scan 
dinavia, e.g., in Denmark, Torslunde (Thors lundr, grove), Tosingo 
(Thors engi, ing) ; 2 several in Sweden, Tors mase (gurges) in a 
boundary-deed of Ostergbtland, Broocman 1, 15, Tkorslorgm Goth 
land, Gutalag p. 107. 260. Thorsbiorg (mountain) and Thorshofn 
(haven) in Norway, Fornm. sb g. 4, 12. 343; Thorsmork (wood, a 
holy one ? ), Nialss. cap. 149. 150. 3 Thors nes (nose, cape), Saem. 
155 a and Eyrb. saga cap. 4 (see Suppl.). Thors bro (Thors brii, 
bridge) in Schonen, like the Norwegian Thor s-way, leads us to 
that prevalent belief in devil s bridges and other buildings, which 
is the popular way of accounting for peculiarly shaped rocks, 
precipices and steep mountain paths : only God or the devil could 
have burst them so. 

As a man s name, Donar in its simple form is rarely found ; one 
noble family on the Ehine was named Donner von Lorheim, Sieb- 
mach. 5, 144. Its derivatives and compounds are not common in 
any High Germ, dialect ; a Carolingian doc. in the Cod. lauresh. 
no. 464 has Donarad, which I take to be the ON. Thorffr ; and the 
Trad. fuld. 2, 23 Albthonar, which is the ON. Thdrdlfr inverted. 
Such name-formations are far more frequent in the North, where 
the service of the god prevailed so long : Thorarr (OHG. 
Donarari ? ), Thorir, Ttidrffr, Thdrhallr, Tkdrdlfr (OS. Thunerulf in 
Calend. merseb. Septemb.), Tlwroddr, and the feminines Thorn, 
Thorun, Thorarna (formed like diorna, Gramm. 2, 336), Th6rkatla t 
Thdrhildr, Thordis, &c. I cannot see why the editors of the Forn- 
manna sogur deprive such proper names as Thorgeirr, Thorliorn, 

1 to Donerswe, dar heft de herscup den tegenden (teind, tithe), Land- 
register of 1428. 

2 Others specified in Suhin, krit. hist. 2, 651. 

3 The settlers in Iceland, when they consecrated a district to Thorr, named 
it Thorsmork, Landn. 5, 2. ed. nova p. 343. From Donnersmark (Zschb tor 
tokely) in the Hungarian county of Zips, comes the Silesian family of Henkel 
von Donnersmark. Walach. manura : die Donnersmurkt. 

THUNAK. 187 

Thdrsleinn, Thorketill, TMrvaldr, Thorfinnr, TMrger&r, &c. of their 
long vowel ; it is not the abstract ]?or, audacia, that they are com 
pounded with, and the Nialssaga, e.g. cap. 65, spells IVtdrgeirr, 
TAorkatla. The frequent name Thorketill, abbrev. Thorkell, Dan. 
Torkild, AS. Turketulus, Thurkytel (Kemble 2, 286, 349. v. supra, 
p. 63), if it signifies a kettle, a vessel, of the thundergod, resembles 
Wuotan s sacrificial cauldron (p. 56). The Hymisqvifta sings of 
Thorr fetching a huge cauldron for the ases to brew ale with, and 
wearing it on his head, Ssem. 57 ; which is very like the strong 
man Hans (ans, as ? ) in the nursery-tale clapping the church bell 
on his head for a cap. The coupling of Alp (elf) with Donar in 
Albthonar and Thoralfr is worthy of notice, for alpgeschoss (elf-shot) 
is a synonym for the thunderbolt, and Alpruthe (elf-rod) for the 
donnerkraut [donnerbesen ? see p. 183]. An intimate relation must 
subsist between the gods and the elves (p. 180), though on the part 
of the latter a subordinate one (see Suppl.). 1 

It is observable that in different lays of the Edda Thorr goes 
by different names. In Lokaglepsa and HarbardslioS he is 4 Thorr, 
Asa}?6rr, but in Hamarsheimt Ving]?6rr, HlorrioY (yet Thorr as well), 
in Alvismal always VingJ?6rr, in HymisqviSa Veorr, Hlorriol, not 
to mention the periphrases vagna verr (curruum dominus), Sifjar verr, 
OSins sonr. Hlorriffi was touched upon in p. 167, note. Vingthdrr 
they derive from vsengr, ala ; as if Wing-thunder, the winged one, 
aera quatiens ? This appears to be far from certain, as he is else 
where called fostri Vingnis, Sn. 101, and in the genealogies this 
Vingnir appears by the side of him. Especially important is 
Veorr, which outside of Hymisqvifta is only found once, Sa3m. 9 a , 
and never except in the nom. sing. ; it belongs doubtless to ve, 
wih, and so betokens a holy consecrated being, distinct from the 
Ve, gen. Yea on p. 163 ; the OHG. form must have been Wihor, 
Wihar ? (see Suppl.). 

As OSinn was represented journeying abroad, to the Eastern land 
(p. 163), so is Thorr engaged in eastward travels: Thorr var i 
austrvegi, Ssem. 59, a austrvega 68 a ; for or austrvegi, 75 ; ec var 
austr, 78 a>b ; austrforom J?inom scaltu aldregi segja seggjom fra, 68 a . 
In these journeys he fought with and slew the giants : var hann 

1 To the Boriat Mongols beyond L. Baikal, fairy-rings in grass are " where 
the sons of the lightning have danced." TRANS. 

188 THUNAR. 

far inn i austervcg at berja troll, Sn. 46. And this again points to 
the ancient and at that time still imforgotten connexion of the 
Teutonic nations with Asia ; this faring east-ways is told of 
other heroes too, Sn. 190. 363 ; e.g., the race of the Skilfingar is 
expressly placed in that eastern region (su kynsloS er i austrve- 
gum), Sn. 193 ; and lotunheim, the world of the giants, was there 

Thorr was considered, next to OSinn, the mightiest and strongest 
of all the gods ; the Edda makes him OSin s son, therein differing 
entirely from the Roman view, which takes Jupiter to be Mercury s 
father ; in pedigrees, it is true, Thorr does appear as an ancestor of 
Oftinn. Thorr is usually named immediately after Oftiim, some 
times before him, possibly he was feared more than Oolnn (see 
Suppl.). In Saxo Gramm., Eegner confesses : Se, Thor deo excepto, 
nullam monstrigenae virtutis potentiam expavere, cujus (sc. Thor) 
virium magnitudini nihil humanarum divinarumque rerum digna 
possit aequalitate conferri. He is the true national god of the 
Norwegians, landds (patrium numen), Egilss. p. 365-6, and when 
dss stands alone, it means especially him, e.g., Seem. V0 a , as indeed 
the very meaning of ans (jugum mentis) agrees with that of Fai r- 
guneis. His temples and statues were the most numerous in 
Norway and Sweden, and dsmegin, divine strength, is understood 
chiefly of him. Hence the heathen religion in general is so 
frequently expressed by the simple Thdr biota, Seem. 113 b , het 
(called) d Thor, Landn. 1, 12, trAffi (believed) d Thor, Landn. 2, 12. 
He assigns to emigrants their new place of abode : Thorr visaffi 
honum (shewed him), Landn. 3, 7 3, 12. From the Landnamabok 
we could quote many things about the worship of Thorr : J?ar 
stendr enn Thors steinn, 2, 12. ganga til fretta vi<5 Thor, 3, 12. 
Thorr is worshipped most, and Freyr next, which agrees with the 
names Thorviffr and Freyvidr occurring in one family line 2, 6 ; 
vi5r is wood, does it here mean tree, and imply a priestly function? 
OSinviSr does not occur, but Tyviftr is the name of a plant, ch. 
XXXVII. It is Thor s hammer that hallows a mark, a marriage, 
and the runes, as we find plainly stated on the stones. I show in 
ch. XXXIII how Thorr under various aspects passed into the 
devil of the Christians, and it is not surprising if he acquired 
some of the clumsy boorish nature of the giant in the process, for 
the giants likewise were turned into fiends. The foe and pursuer 

THUNAR. 189 

of all giants in the time of the Ases, he himself appeared a lubber 
to the Christians ; he throws stones for a wager with giants (conf. 
ch. XVIII). But even in the Eddie Thrymsqvifta, he eats and 
drinks immoderately like a giant, and the Norwegian folk-tale 
makes him take up cask after cask of ale at the wedding, Faye p. 4; 
conf. the proverb : mundi enginn Asathor afdrecka (outdrink). 
Conversely, the good-natured old giant Thrymr is by his very name 
a Donar (conf. ch. XVIII). The delightful story of the hobergs- 
gubbe (old man of the mountain, giant) was known far and wide in 
the North : a poor man invites him to stand godfather to his child, 
but he refuses to come on hearing that Thor or Tordenveir is also a 
bidden guest (conf. ch. XVIII) ; he sends however a handsome 
present (conf. Afzelius 2, 158. Molbech s eventyr no. 62, F. Magn. 
p. 935). In spite of all divergences, there appears in the structure 
of this fable a certain similarity to that of Gossip Death, ch. XXVII, 
for death also is a devil, and consequently a giant ; conf. Miillen- 
hoff, schl. hoist, p. 289. That is why some of the old tales which 
still stood their ground in the Christian times try to saddle him 
with all that is odious, and to make him out a diabolic being of a 
worse kind than OSinn ; conf. Gautrekssaga p. 13. Finnr drags 
the statue of Thorr to King Olafr, splits and burns it up, then 
mixes the ashes in furmety and gives it to dogs to devour : tis 
meet that hounds eat Thorr, who his own sons did eat, Fornm. sog. 
2, 163. This is a calumny, the Edda knows of no such thing, it 
relates on the contrary that M651 and Magni outlived their father 
(see Suppl.). Several revived sagas, like that of the creation of 
wolves and goats, transform Wuotan into the good God, and Donar 
into the devil. 

From the time they became acquainted with the Roman 
theogony, the writers identify the German thundergod with 
Jupiter. Not only is dies Jovis called in AS. Thunresdseg, but 
Latona Jovis mater is Thunres modur , and capitolium is trans 
lated TVidrshof by the Icelanders. Conversely, Saxo Gram. p. 236 
means by his Jupiter the Teutonic Thor, the Jupiter ardens above 
(p. 110) ; did that mean Donar? As for that Thorr devouring his 
children, it seems [a mere importation, aggravated by] a down 
right confusion of Jupiter with his father Saturn, just as the Norse 
genealogy made Thorr an ancestor of Oolnn. The presbyter Jovi 

190 THUNAR. 

mactans/ and the sacra and ( feriae Jovis (in Indicul. pagan.) 
have been dealt with above, p. 121. 

Letzner (hist. Caroli magni, Hildesh. 1603, cap. 18 end) relates: 
The Saturday after Laetare, year by year, cometh to the little 
cathedral-close of Hildesheim a farmer thereunto specially ap 
pointed, and bringeth two logs of a fathom long, and therewith two 
lesser logs pointed in the manner of skittles. The two greater he 
planteth in the ground one against the other, and a-top of them 
the skittles. Soon there come hastily together all manner of lads 
and youth of the meaner sort, and with stones or staves do pelt the 
skittles down from the logs ; other do set the same up again, and 
the pelting beginneth a-new.. By these skittles are to be under 
stood the devilish gods of the heathen, that were thrown down by 
the Saxon-folk when they became Christian. 

Here the names of the gods are suppressed, 1 but one of them 
must have been Jupiter then, as we find it was afterwards. 2 Among 
the farmer s dues at Hildesheim there occurs down to our own 
times a Jupitergeld. Under this name the village of Grossen- 
Algermissen had to pay 12 g. grosch. 4 pfen. yearly to the sexton 
of the cathedral , an Algermissen farmer had every year to bring to 
the cathedral close an eight-cornered log, a foot thick and four 
feet long, hidden in a sack. The schoolboys dressed it in a cloak 
and crown, and attacked the Jupiter as they then called it, by 
throwing stones first from one side, then from the other, and at 
last they burnt it. This popular festivity was often attended with 
disorder, and was more than once interdicted, pickets were set to 
carry the prohibition into effect; at length the royal treasury 
remitted the Jupiter s geld. Possibly the village of Algermissen 
had incurred the penalty of the due at the introduction of Christi 
anity, by its attachment to the old religion. 3 Was the pelting of 

1 In the Corbei chron., Hamb. 1590, cap. 18, Letzner thinks it was the god 
of the Irrnensul. He refers to MS. accounts by Con. Fontanus, a Helmers- 
haus Benedictine of the 13th century. 

2 A Hildesheim register drawn up at the end of the 14th century or 
beginn. of the loth cent, says : * De abyotter (idols), so sunnabends vor laetare 
(Letzn. sonnab. wcich laet. ) von einem hausmann von Algermissen gesetzet, 
davor (for which) ihm eine hofe (hufe, hide) landes gehort zur. sankmeisterie 
(chantry ?), und wie seiches von dem hausmann nicht gesetzt worden, gehort 
Cantori de hove landes. Hannoversche landesblatter 1833, p. 30. 

3 Liintzel on farmers burdens in Hildesheim 1830, p. 205. Hannov. mag. 
1833, p. 693. Protocols of 1742-3 in an article On the Stoning of Jupiter, 
Hannov. landesbl., ubi supra. 

THUNAR. 191 

the logs to express contempt ? In Switzerland the well-known 
throwing of stones on the water is called Heiden werfen, heathen- 
pelting ; otherwise : den Herrgott losen, vater und mutter losen, 
releasing, ransoming ? Tobler 174 a (see Suppl). 

I do not pretend to think it at all established, that this Jupiter 
can be traced back to the Thunar of the Old Saxons. The custom is 
only vouched for by protocols of the last century, and clear evidence 
of it before that time is not forthcoming; but even Letzner s account, 
differing as it does, suggests a very primitive practice of the people, 
which is worth noting, even if Jupiter has nothing to do with it. 
The definite date laetare reminds one of the custom universal in 
Germany of driving out Death/ of which I shall treat hereafter, 
and in which Death is likewise set up to be pelted. Did the 
skittle represent the sacred hammer ? 

An unmistakable relic of the worship paid to the thunder-god 
is the special observance of Thursday, which was not extinct 
among the people till quite recent times. It is spoken of in quite 
early documents of the Mid. Ages : nullus diem Jovis in otio 
observet/ Aberglaube p. xxx. de feriis quae faciunt Jovi vel 
Mercurio, p. xxxii. quintam feriam in honorem Jovis honorasti, 
p. xxxvii. On Thursday evening one must neither spin nor hew ; 
Superst., Swed. 55. 110. and Germ. 517. 703. The Esthonians 
think Thursday holier than Sunday. 1 What punishment overtook 
the transgressor, may be gathered from another superstition, which, 
it is true, substituted the hallowed day of Christ for that of Donar : 
He that shall work on Trinity Sunday (the next after Pentecost), 
or shall wear anything sewed or knitted (on that day), shall be 
stricken by thunder ; Scheffer s Haltaus, p. 225 (see Suppl.). 

If Jupiter had these honours paid him in the 8th century, if 
the Capitulare of 743 thought it needful expressly to enjoin an ec 
forsacho Thunare and much that related to his service remained 
urieradicated a long time after ; it cannot well be doubted, that at 
a still earlier time he was held by our forefathers to be a real god, 
and one of their greatest. 

If we compare him with Wuotan, though the latter is more 
intellectual and elevated, Donar has the advantage of a sturdy 
material strength, which was the very thing to recommend him to 

1 Etwas iiber die Ehsten, pp. 13-4. 

192 THUNAIl. 

the peculiar veneration of certain races; prayers, oaths, curses 
retained his memory oftener and longer than that of any other 
god. But only a part of the Greek Zeus is included in him. 



The ON. name for dies Martis, Tysdagr, has the name of the 
Eddie god Tyr (gen. Tys, ace. T$) to account for it. The AS. 
Tiwesdseg and OHG. Ziestac scarcely have the simple name of the 
god left to keep them company, but it may be safely inferred from 
them : it must have been in AS. Tiw} in OHG. Zio. The runic 
letter Ti, Ziu, will be discussed further on. The Gothic name for the 
day of the week is nowhere to be found ; according to all analogy 
it would be Tivisdags, and then the god himself can only have been 
called Tins. These forms, Tiu-s, Tiw, Ty-r, Zio make a series like 
the similar J?iu-s, J^eow (}>iw), ]?y-r, dio = puer, servus. 

If the idea of our thundergod had somewhat narrow limits, that 
of Zio lands us in a measureless expanse. The non-Teutonic 
cognate [Aryan] languages confront us with a multitude of terms 
belonging to the root div, which, while enabling us to make up 
a fuller formula div, tiv, zio, yield the meanings brightness, sky, 
day, god . Of Sanskrit words, clyaus (coelum) stands the closest 
to the Greek and German gods names Zeu?, Tins. 













A I Fa, A [a 

AiFL Ait 







To the digammated arid older form of the Greek oblique cases 
lere corresponds also the Latin Jovem, Jovis, Jovi, for which we 

1 It might have been Teow, from the analogy of ]?eow to Kr. Lye quotes 
without references : Tiig, Mars, Tiiges- vel Tiis-daeg, dies Martis. The Epinal 
glosses brought to light by Mone actually furnish, no. 520 (Anzeiger 1838, p. 
14o), 2 ^^g, Mars ; also Oehler p. 35 1 . The change of letters is like that of briiff, 
.jusciilum, for briw ; and we may at least infer from it, that the vowel is long, 


194 zio. 

must assume a nom. Ju, Jus, though it has survived only in the 
compound Jupiter Jus pater, Zeu? irarrjp. For, the initial in 
Jus, Jovis [pronounce j as y] seems to be a mere softening of the 
fuller dj in Djus, Djovis, which has preserved itself in Dijovis, just 
as Zevs presupposes an older Aevs which was actually preserved in 
the ^Eolic dialect. These Greek and Latin words likewise contain 
the idea of the heavenly god, i.e., a personification of the sky. 
Dium, divum is the vault of heaven, and Zeus is the son of heaven, 
Ovpavov mo?, ovpdvios, Zevs aiOepi vaiwv (see SuppL). 

But apart from dyaus, Zeus and Jupiter, the three common nouns 
devas (Sansk.), 6eos and deus express the general notion of a 
divinity ; they are related to the first three, yet distinct from them. 
The Lat. deus might seem to come nearest to our Tius, Zio ; but 
its u, like the o in 0eo?, belongs to the flexion, not to the root, and 
therefore answers to the a in devas. 1 Nevertheless deus too must 
have sprung from devus, and 0eo? from 0efo?, because the very 6 
instead of 8 in the Greek word is accounted for by the reaction of 
the digamma on the initial. In the shortness of their e they both 
differ from devas, whose e ( ai) grew by guna out of i, so that the 
Lith. dievas comes nearer to it. 2 But the adjectives Sto? (not from 
Sao?, but rather for & fo<?) and divus correspond to devas as dives 
divitis (p. 20) to devatas (deus). This approximation between divus 
and deus serves to confirm the origin of deus out of devus or divus 
with short i (see Suppl.) 3 , Still more helpful to us is the fact that 
the Edda has a plur. tivar meaning gods or heroes, Stem. 30 a 41 a ; 
rikir tivar (conf. rich god, p. 20), Stem. 72 a 93 a ; valtivar, 52 a ; 
sigtivar, 189 a 248 a ; the sing, is not in use. This tivar, though not 
immediately related to Tyr, yet seems related to it as 8409, #609, 
0eZo9 are to Zeu? ; its i is established by the fact that the ON. 
dialect contracts a short iv into y ; thus we obtain by the side of 
tiv a tiv, in Sanskrit by the side of div a dev, and in Latin by the 
side of deus a divus, these being strengthened or guna forms of the 

1 Kuhn, in Zeitschr. f. d. alt. 2, 231, has rightly pointed out, that Zio can 
be immediately related only to dyaus and Zevs-, not to deus and fcos ; but he 
ought to have admitted that mediately it must be related to these last also. 
That div was the root of Zeus, had already been shown by O. Miiiler in Gott. 
aiiz. 1834, pp. 795-6. 

2 Conf. piemu irot^v, and kiemas Kw^rj haims. 

3 If, as hinted on p. 26, dlos deus were conn, with Se co, the notion of bind 
ing must have arisen first out of the divine band, which is hardly conceivable. 

zio. 195 

root div, tiv (splendere). 1 If the earthborn Tuisco, the ancestral 
god of our nation, stands (as Zeuss p. 72 has acutely suggested) for 
Tivisco, Tiiisco, it shews on its very face the meaning of a divine 
heavenly being, leaving it an open question whether we will choose 
to understand it of "VVuotan or any other god, barring always Tius 
himself, from whom it is derived (see Suppl.). 

The light of day is a notion that borders on that of heaven, and 
it was likewise honoured with personification as a god : Lucetium 
Jovem appellabant, quod eum lucis esse causam credebant ; Festus 
sub v. To begin with, dies (conf. interdiu, dio) is itself connected 
with deus and divus ; Jupiter was called Diespiter, ie.,diei pater, 
or the old gen. was dies. Then the word in the sing, fluctuates 
Between the masc. and fern, genders; and as the masc. Ju, Dju with 
the suffix n, is shaped into the fern, forms Juno for Jovino, Djovino, 
and Diana, just so the Lith. name for day, diena, is fern., while the 
Slav, den, dzien, dan, is masc. The Teutonic tongues have no word 
:or sky or day taken from this root, but we can point to one in 
Greek : Cretenses Aia rrfv rjfjuepav vocant (call the day Zeus), ipsi 
quoque Romani Diespitrem appellant, ut diei patrem ; Mac-rob. 
Sat. 1, 15. The poetic and Doric forms Zrjva, Zrjvos, Zijvt, and 
Zdva, Zavos, Zavi, for Aia, Aios, Ait, correspond to the above 
filiations ; 2 and the Etruscans called Jupiter Tina, i.e. Dina ; 0. 
Miiller 2, 43 (see Suppl.). 

A derivative from the same root with another suffix seems to 
)resent itself in the OK tivor (deus ? ), 3 Stem. 6 b , AS. tir, gen. tires 
tiir, Cod. exon. 331, 18 gloria, splendor), and OS. tir, gen. tiras, tireas; 
with which I connect the OHG. ziori, ziari, zieri (splendidus), and 
;he Lat. decus, decor, decorus. The AS. poets use the word tir only 
to intensify other words: tirmetod (deus gloriae, summus deus), 
Caedm. 143, 7 ; a3sctir wera (hasta gloriosa virorum), 124, 27 ; a3sca 
tir, 127, 10 ; tirwine, Boeth. metr. 25, 41 ; tirfruma, Cod. exon. 13, 
21 ; tirmeahtig (potentissimus), 72, 1 ; tireadig (felicissimus), 
Csedm. 189, 13. 192, 16; tirisest (firmissimus), 64, 2. 189, 19; 

1 Sometimes, though rarely, we find another ON. dtar, Saem. 91 a . Sn. 176. 
Xngl. saga cap. 2 ; it agrees with 6f6s more than with bios. 

2 We know to what shifts Socrates is driven in trying to explain the forms 
a and Am (Plato s Cratylus p. 29, Bekker) ; 6c6s he derives from 6elv, 

mrrere (p. 32). 

3 Or must we read it tivor, and connect it with the AS. tifer, tiber, OHG. 
:epar 1 

196 zio. 

much in the same way as the AS. eormen, OHG. irman is prefixed. 
Now when a similar prefix t^ meets us in the OK writings, e.g. 
tyhraustr (fortissimus), tyspakr (sapientissimus), Sn. 29, it confirms 
the affinity between tir and Ty-r. 

These intricate etymologies were not to be avoided : they 
entitle us to claim a sphere for the Teutonic god Zio, Tiw, Tyr, 
which places him on a level with the loftiest deities of antiquity. 
Represented in the Edda as Coin s son, he may seem inferior to 
him in power and moment ; but the two really fall into one, inas 
much as both are directors of war and battle, and the fame of 
victory proceeds from each of them alike. For the olden time 
resolved all glory into military glory, and not content with Wuotan 
and Zio, it felt the need of a third war-god Hadu ; the finer distinc 
tions in their cultus are hidden from us now. It is not to be over 
looked, that OSinn is often named Sigt^r, Hroptatyr, Gautatyr, 
hangatyr, farmatyr (Ssem. 30. 47. 248 a . Sn. 94-6), bodvartyr, quasi 
pugnae deus, geirtyr (Forum, sog. 9, 515-8) ; and that even Thorr, 
to whom Jupiter s lightning has been handed over, appears as 
Beifrartyr, Eeidityr (Sn. 94), i.e. god of the waggon. 1 In all these 
poetical terms, we see that tyr bears that more general sense which 
makes it suitable for all divinities, especially the higher ones. Tyr 
has a perfect right to a name identical with Zeus. Add moreover, 
that the epithet of father w*as in a special degree accorded, not 
only to Jupiter, Diespiter, but to victory s patron Marspiter* 

Further, this lofty position is claimed for Zio by the oldest 
accounts that have reached us. Mars is singled out as a chief god 

1 I do not reckon Angantflr among this set of words. It occurs frequently, 
both in the Hervararsaga and in Sa3in. 114 a 119 b 9 a ; this last passage calls 
O o inn Friggjar angantjr . The true form is doubtless Anganfiyr, as appears 
from the OHG. Angandeo (Trad. fuld. 1, 67), and the AS. Ongenpcoiv, Ongenfrio 
(Beow. 4770. 4945-67. 5843-97. 5917-67); -tyr would have been in AS. Tteow, in 
OHG. -zio. Graff gives an Agandeo 1, 132. 5, 87, which seems to be a mis 
spelling, though the Trad, wizenb. no. 20 have a woman s name Agathiu (for 
Anganthiu), to which add the ace. Agathien, Agacien (Walthar. 029). The 
meaning of angan, ongen, is doubtful; * angan illrar brudhar is said to be 
delieiae malae mulieris, but Biorn interprets it pedisequa, and OSinn might 
iitly be called Friggae pedisequus. That some proper names in the Edda are 
corrupt, is plain from Hamdir, which ought everywhere to be Ham]?yr, OHG. 
]Jamadio, Hamideo (Schannat no. 576. Cod. lauresh. 2529), MHG. llamdie 
(MsH 3, 213 h ). This much I am sure of, that neither AnganHi nor Ham>J| 
can contain a tyr, which is almost always compounded with genitives in a 
figurative sense. 

2 Gellius 5, 12. 

zio. 1G7 

of all the Germanic nations, and mentioned side by side with Mer 
cury. The evidence is collected on p. 44. 1 Tacitus, in Hist. 4, 64, 
makes the Tencteri say right out : Communibus deis, et prae- 
cipuo deorum Marti grates agimus ; we have no occasion to apply 
the passage to Wuotan, to whom the highest place usually belong?, 
as particular races may have assigned that to Zio. The still clearer 
testimony of Procopius 12, 15 to the worship of Ares among the 
dwellers in the North, 2 which says expressly : eVel Oeov avrov 
fjLi&va-i, fjieyLo-Tov elvdi, ought to be compared with the statements 
of Jornandes on the Gothic Mars ; in both places human sacrifices 
are the subject, and therefore Zeuss, p. 22, is for understanding it 
of Wuotan again, because to him Tacitus says that men were 
sacrificed ; but he does not say to him alone, on the contrary, 
anent the Hermundurian offering, Ann. 13, 57, where viri were 
also slain, Mars stands mentioned before Mercury. And Jornandes, 
who identifies the Gradivus pater of the Getae in Virg. Aen. 3, 
35 with the Mars of the Goths, must have been thinking of the 
special god of war, not of a higher and more general one, intimately 
as they interpenetrate one another in name and nature. All in 
favour of this view are the Scythian and Alanic legends of the 
war-sword, which will be examined by and by : if the Getic, 
Scythian and Gothic traditions meet anywhere, it is on this of 
Jl/ars-worship. Neither can we disregard Widukind s representa 
tion at a later time (Pertz 5, 423) of the Saxon Mars set up on 
high. Donar and Wuotan, with whom at other times he is combined 
in a significant trilogy, appear, like Jupiter and Mercury, to retire 
before him. But it is quite conceivable how the glossist quoted on 
p. 133 could render Wuotan by Mars, and Widukind glide easily 
from Mars to Hermes, i.e., Wodan, particularly if he had in his 
mind the analogy of those prefixes irman- (of which he is speaking) 
and tir-. The ON. writers, while they recognise Coin s influence 
Ion war and victory, speak no less distinctly of Tyr, who is em- 

1 A passage in Florus 2, 4 : mox Ariovisto duce vovere de nostrorum mili- 
tum praeda Marti suo torquem : intercepit Jupiter votum, nam de torquilms 
jeoruin aureum tropaeum Jovi Flaminius erexit, speaks of the Insubrian Gauls, 

who were beaten in the consulship of Flaminius B.C. 225. But these Galli 
are both in other respects very like Germani, and the name of their leader is 
that of the Suevic (Swabian) king in Caesar. 

2 GovXmu (men of Thule) is their generic name, but he expressly includes 
j among them the Tavrot, whom he rightly regards as a different people from the 
ToYtfoi, conf. Gott. anz. 1828, p. 553. 

198 zio. 

phatically their VigaguS (deus proeliorum), Sn. 105, and again : 
hann er diarfastr ok best hugaftr, ok liann rceffr mioc sigri i orostom, 
Sn. 29 (see Suppl.). 

No doubt there were mountains hallowed to Zio, as well as to 
Wuotan and Donar ; the only difficulty is, to know which god, 
Wuotan or Zio, was meant by a particular name. May we place 
to his credit the name of the abbey of Siegburg in the Lower 
Ehine, which was founded in 1064 on a mountain where the 
ancient assize of the people was held? From that time the moun 
tain was to have been called Mons sancti Michaelis after the 
Christian conqueror, but the heathen Sigcbcrg could not be dislodged, 
it was only distorted into Siegburg j 1 or are we to explain the name 
by the river Sieg, which flows through the district ? The ON. 
Sfgtysberg (OS. Sigu-tiwis-berag?), Ssein. 348 a might belong to Oolnn 
or to Tyr. The Weimar map has in section 38 a Tisdorf, and in. 
section 48 a Ziesberg, both in Lower Saxon districts on the Elbe. 
A place in Zealand, about which there are folk-tales, is TyUerg 
(Thiele 2, 20) ; also in Zealand are Tisvelde (Ti s well), Tysting ; in 
Jutland, Tystatlie, Tiislunde. In Sweden: Tistad, Tisby, Tisjo, 
Tyved. Zierlerg in Bavaria (Cirberg, Zirberc, MB. 11, 71-3-5-6) 
and Zierenberg in Lower Hesse may be derived from the collateral 
form (see Suppl.). The mons Mart is at Paris (Montmartre), of 
which even Abbo de bell. Par. 2, 196 makes mention, has to do 
with the Gallic Mars, whom some take to be Belus, others Hesus. 
With far better right than the Parisian mons Martis (yet conf. Waitz s 
Salic law, p. 52), we may assign to Zio the fanum Martis, now 
Famars in Hainault (p. 84), according to Herm. Miiller the Old 
Frankish Disbargum (or Disbargus) in termino Toringorum of 
Greg. tur. 2, 9, Chlodio s castellum. Dis- would be a Latinized form 
of Tis = Tives, perhaps recalling Dispiter, Diespiter ; there is no 
Gallic word like it looking towards Mars, and the district is thor 
oughly Frankish, with Liphtinae close by, where we have Saxnot 
named by the side of Thunar and Wodan. As for Eresberg and 
Mersberg (3 or 4 pp. on), I have compared the oldest documents in 
Seibertz: no. 11 (anno 962) gives us Eresburg; no. 25 (1030) already 
Mersburg ; 1, 98 (1043) mons Eresburg ; no. 51 (1150) mons Eres 
berg ; no. 70 (1176) mons Eresberch ; no. 85 (1184) Heresburg; 

i Docum. in Lacomblet, no. 203-4. 

zio. 199 

no. 115 (1201) mons Martis; no. 153 (1219 Mersberch; no. 167 
(1222) Eresberch ; no. 179 (1228) mons Martis ; no. 186 (1229) 
mons Heresberg ; no. 189 (1230) mons Martis and Mersberg. 
Mons Martis was the learned name, Mersberg the popular, and 
Eresberg the oldest. As mons and castellum are used by turns, 
berg and burg are equally right. Widukind 2, 11 and Dietmar 2, 1 
spell Heresbwrg and Eresburch, when they describe the taking of 
the place in 938. According to the Ann. Corb. (Pertz 5, 8), they 
are sacred to both Ares and Hermes (Mars and Mercury). 

The names of plants also confess the god : ON. Tysfiola, I dare 
say after the Lat. viola Martis, march- violet; Tyrhialm (aconitum), 
otherwise Thorhialm, Thorhat (helmet, hat), conf. Germ, sturmhut, 
eisenhut, Dan. troldhat, a herb endowed with magic power, whose 
helmet-like shape might suggest either of those warlike gods Tyr and 
Thorr; Tym&r 9 T!y& wood, Dan. Tyved, Tysved (daphne mezereum), 
in the Helsing. dial, tis, tisfbast, the mezereon, a beautiful poison- 
flower (see Suppl.). 

While these names of places and plants sufficiently vouch for 
the wide-spread worship of the god, we must lay particular stress 
on one thing, that the name for the third day of the week, which 
is what we started with, bears living witness to him at this moment, 
not only in Scandinavia and England (ON. Tysdagr, Swed. Tisdag, 
Dan. Tirsdag, AS. Tiwesdseg), but among the common people in 
Swabia and Switzerland (Ziestag, Tiestag, diestik, beside our uni 
versal Dienstag); Schm. 4, 214 brings all the forms together. And 
there is yet one more testimony to the high antiquity of Zio-worship 
in Swabia, which we may gather from an old Wessobrunn gloss 
Cyuvari = Suapa, MB. 7, 375 and Diut. 2, 370; which I take to 
be not Teutonoari, as Zeuss does, pp. 146-9, but Ziowari Martern 
colentes, warian expressing, like Lat. colere, both habitare and 
OepcLTrevew, so that the Suevi are OepaTrovTes "Aprjos. 

But that is not all : further and weighty disclosures on the 
name and nature of the war-god await us at the hands of the Eunic 

It is known that each separate rune has a name to itself, and 
these names vary more or less according to the nations that use them, 
but they are mostly very ancient words. The OHG. runes having 
to bestow the name dorn on D, and tac on T, require for their 
aspirate Z which closes the alphabet the name of Zio. In the ON. 

200 zio. 

and AS. alphabets, dag stood for D, Tfjr and Tiw for T, J?orn for ]>, 
being the same three words, only in different places ; occasionally 
the Anglo-Saxons wrote Tir or Tis. Whenever a list of runes 
keeps thorn for Th, and dag for D, it is sure to have Ti for T (as 
the Cod. Tsidori paris. and bruxell.) ; so it is in the St Gall cod. 
260 and the Brussels 9565, except that dorn is improperly put for 
thorn, and tag for dag, but Ti stands correctly opposite T. The 
Paris cod. 5239 has dhron (dhorn), tac, Ziu, that of Salzburg dhorn, 
Ti, daeg : everywhere the form Ziu shows the High Germ, accepta 
tion, and the form Ti (once, in Cod. vatic. Christinae 338, spelt Tu, 
perh. Tii) the Low Germ., the Saxon. The u in Ziu seems to be 
more archaic than the o of Zio, which has kept pace with the 
regular progress of the OHG. dialect, and follows the analogy of 
dio, servus ; this relation between u and o may perhaps be seen 
still more in its true light, as we go on. But what is very remark 
able, is that in the Vienna cod. 140 the name Tyz is given to T in 
an alphabet which uses the Gothic letters, for Tyz comes very near 
to our conjectural Goth. Tius. As well the retention as the unavoid 
able alterations of this divine name in the runes of the various races, 
may be taken as proofs of the antiquity and extent of Zio- worship. 
How comes it that no rune has taken its name from \Vuotan or 
OSinn, the inventor of writing itself ? K = reiS, rad, i.e., waggon, 
may indirectly at least be referred to the god of the Thunder-car ; 
and F according to one interpretation signifies Freyr. Anyhow, 
TrzTyr appears to have been a supremely honoured symbol, and 
the name of this god to have been specially sacred : in scratching 
the runes of victory on the sword, the name of Tyr had to be twice 
inserted, Seem. 194 b . The shape of the rune ^ has an obvious 
resemblance to the old-established symbol of the planet Mars when 
set upright -, and an AS. poem on the runes expressly says : tir 
bi5 tdcna sum (tir is one of the tokens, is a certain sign) ; where 
again the derivative form tir is employed to explain the the simple 
Tiw or Ti. Occasionally the poets speak of tire tacnian, to mark 
with tir (El. 753. Jud. 137, 18), and tires to tacne, as mark of tir 
(Beow. 3306) ; we may expound it as gloria, decore insignire, in 
gloriae signum/ and still think of the heathen symbol of the god, 
pretty much as we saw it done at the solemn blessing of the ale- 
cups (see Suppl.). 1 

1 Conf. note to Elene 155-6. 

EOR. 201 

Thus far we have dealt with the runic name Tfr, Tiw, Zio, and 
no other. But here the same alphabets come out with a sharp dis 
tinction between two names of the selfsame god. First, in the AS. 
lists, in addition to ^ Tir, we come upon a similar arrow with two 
barbs added ^ and the name Ear attached to it. 1 Then the OHG. 
alphabets, after using ^ for tac, find a use for that very symbol ^ 
to which some of them give the name Zio, others again Eo, EOT, 
Aer. And there are AS. alphabets that actually set down by ^ 
the two names Tir and Ear, though Tir had already been given to ^ . 
It is evident then, that Tir and Ear Zio and Eo, EOT were two 
names for one god, and both must have been current among the 
several races, both Low German and High. 

Evidence as regards Low Germany is found both in the rune 
Ear occurring in Anglo-Saxon, and in the remarkable name of 
mresburg, Aeresburg being given to a notable seat of pagan worship 
in a district of Westphalia, in the immediate neighbourhood of the 
Irmansul (v. supra, p. 116). That it was strictly Eres&er^ (as Sieg- 
burg was originally Sigberg, p. 198), follows both from the Latin 
rendering mons Martis, and from its later name Mersberg* whose 
initial M could be explained by the contraction of the words in 
dem Eresberge, Aresberge, 3 or it may be an imitation of the Latin 
name. There was a downright Marsberg in another district of West 
phalia. 4 This Eresberc then is a Ziesberc, a Sig-tiwes-berg, and yet 
more closely an Areopagus, Mars hill, ApeioTrayos, irerpa Trdyos T* 
*Apeios (Aeschyl. Eum. 690). 

Still more plainly are High German races, especially the 
Bavarian (Marcomannic) pointed to by that singular name for the 
third day of the week, Ertag, lertag, Irtag, Eritag, Erclitag, Erichtag, 
which answers to the rune Eor, and up to this moment lives to part 
off the Bavarians, Austrians and Tyrolese from the Swabians and 
Swiss (who, as former Ziowari, stick to Ziestag) ; along the boundary- 
line of these races must also have run formerly the frontier between 
Eor-worship and Zio-worship. True, the compound Ertac lacks 

1 In one poem, Cod. exon. 481, 18, the rune contains simply the vowel 
sound ea. 

2 This Eresburg or Mersberg stands in the pagus Hessi saxonicus (registr. 
Sarachonis p. 42, 735) ; conf. Wigands archiv I. 1, 36-7. II. 143. 268. 

3 So : Motgers = in dem Otgers hove [and, the nonce = then once, &c.]. 

4 In the pagus Marstem, Marshem, Marsem (close to the Weser, near 
Marklo), reg. Sarachonis 42, 727. 

202 zio. 

the genitive ending -s which is preserved in Ziestac, and I have not 
been so fortunate as to hunt up an Erestac 1 in the older records of 
the 13-14th centuries ; nevertheless the coincidence of the double 
names for the day and for the rune should be conclusive here, and 
we must suppose an OHG. Erestac, to match the Eresberg. One 
might be led to imagine that in Ertag the Earth (Erde according 
to the forms given at the beginning of ch. XIII) was meant. But 
the ancient way of thinking placed the earth in the centre of the 
world, not among the planets ; she cannot therefore have given 
name to a day of the week, and there is no such day found in any 
nation, unless we turn Venus and Ereyja into the earth. To bear 
this Ertag company, there is that name of a place Eersel, quoted 
p. 154 from Gramaye, in which neither era honor, nor its personifi 
cation Era (ch. XVI, XXIX) is to be thought of, but solely a god 
of the w r eek. It is worth noticing, that Ertac and Erdag occur as 
men s names ; also, that the Taxandrian Eersel was but a little way 
off the Tisberg or Eanmars in Hainault (see Suppl.). Now comes 
something far more important. As Zio is identical with Zeus as 
director of wars, we see at a glance that Eor, Er, Ear, is one with 
"Apr]? the son of Zeus ; and as the Germans had given the rank of 
Zeus to their Wuotan, Tyr and consequently Eor appears as the son 
of the highest god. Have we any means now left of getting at the 
sense of this obscure root Eor ? 

The description of the rune in the AS. poem gives only a slight 
hint, it runs thus : 

Ear bi(5 egle eorla gehwilcum, 

J?onne faBstlice flsesc onginneS 

hra?-w colian, hrusan ceosan 

blac to gebeddan. blaeda gedreosaS, 

wynna gewitaS, wera geswicaS ; 

i.e., Ear fit importunus hominum cuicumque, quum caro incipit 
refrigescere, pallidumque corpus terram eligere conjugem. tune 
enim gloriae dilabuntur, gaudia evanescunt, foedera cessant. The 
description is of death coming on, and earthly joys dropping off; 
but who can that be, that at such a time is burdensome (egle, ail-some) 
to men ? The ordinary meaning of ear, spica, arista, can be of no use 
here ; I suppose that approaching dissolution, a personified death 

1 In a passage from Keisersberg quoted by Schm. 1, 97, it is spelt Eristag, 
apparently to favour the derivation from dies aeris. 


is to be understood, from which a transition to the destructive god 
of battles, the ftpoToXoiyos, fjuaifyovos "ApTjs is easy to conceive. 1 
"Aprjs itself is used abstractly by the Greeks for destruction, murder, 
pestilence, just as our Wuotan is for furor and belli impetus, 2 and 
the Latin Mars for bellum, exitus pugnae, furor bellicus, conf. Mars 
=cafeht, gefecht, fight, in Gl. Hrab. 969 a ; as conversely the OHG. 
wig pugna, bellum (Graff 1, 740) seems occasionally to denote the 
personal god of war. Wicgcli quoque Mars est says Ermoldus 
JSTigellus (Pertz 2, 468), and he is said to farneman, AS. forniman, 
carry off, as Hild (Bellona) does elsewhere : dat inan wic fornam, 
Hildebr. lied ; in AS. : wig ealle fornam, Beow. 2155 ; wig fornom, 
Cod. exon. 291, 11. Do we not still say, war or battle snatched 
them all away ? A remarkable gloss in the old Cod. sangall. 913, 
p. 193, has turbines = ziu (we have no business to write zui), which 
may mean the storm of war, the Mars trux, saevus, or possibly the 
literal whirlwind, on which mythical names are sometimes bestowed; 
so it is either Zio himself, or a synonymous female personification 
Ziu, bearing the same relation to Zio as diu (ancilla) to dio 

Here comes in another string of explanations, overbold as some 
of them may seem. As Eresburg is just as often spelt Heresburg 
by the Frankish annalists, we may fairly bring in the Goth, hair us, 
AS. heor, OS. heru, ON. hiorr, en sis, cardo, although the names of 
the rune and the day of the week always appear without the 
aspirate. For in Greek we already have the two unaspirated words 
"Apris and aop, sword, weapon, to compare with one another, and 
these point to a god of the sword. Then again the famous Abre- 
nuntiatio names three heathen gods, Thunar, Woden, Saxndt, of 
whom the third can have been but little inferior to the other two 
in power and holiness. Salisnot is word for word gladii censors, 
ensifer [Germ, genoss, sharer] ; who else but Zio or EOT and the 
Greek Ares ? 3 The AS. genealogies preserve the name of Sascnedt 

1 Or, without the need of any transition, Ear might at once be Ares : war 
is burdensome in old age . TRANSL. 

2 The notions of raving (wiiten) and insanire are suitable to the blustering 
ptormful god of war. Homer calls Ares dovpos the wild, and a(ppa)v the 
insensate, os ovnva of&e 0e>to-ra, II. 5, 761. But /natVrai is said of other gods 
too, particularly Zeus (8, 360) and Dionysos or Bacchus (6, 132). 

3 One miglit think of Fro, Freyr (ch. X), but of course glittering swords 
were attributed to more than one god ; thus Poseidon (Neptune) wields a deivbv 
aop, II. 14, 385, and Apollo is called xpvo-dopoS) 5, 509. lo, 256. 

204 zio. 

as the son of Woden, and it is in perfect accordance with it, that 
Tyr was the son of Oftinn, and Ares the son of Zeus (see Suppl.). 
But further, as the Saxons were so called, either because they 
wielded the sword of stone (saxum), or placed this god at the head 
of their race, so I think the Cheruscans of Tacitus, a people 
synonymous, nay identical with them, were named after CJieru, 
Heru Eor, from whom their name can be derived. 1 After this 
weighty consonance of facts, which opens to us the meaning of the 
old national name, and at the same time teaches that heru was 
first of all pronounced cheru, and last of all eru, er, I think we 
may also bring in the Gallic war-god Hesus or Esus (Lucan 1, 440), 
and state, that the metal iron is indicated by the planetary sign of 
Mars, the AS. tires tacen, and consequently that the rune of Zio 
and Eor may be the picture of a sword with its handle, or of a 
spear. 2 The Scythian and Alanic legends dwell still more emphati 
cally on the god s sword, and their agreement with Teutonic ways 
of thinking may safely be assumed, as Mars was equally prominent 
in the faith of the Scythians and that of the Goths. 

The impressive personification of the sword matches well with 
that of the hammer, and to my thinking each confirms the other. 
Both idea and name of two of the greatest gods pass over into the 
instrument by which they display their might. 

Herodotus 4, 62 informs us, that the Scythians worshipped 
Ares under the semblance or symbol of an ancient iron sword 
(d/civaKT)^), which was elevated on an enormous stack of brushwood 
[ three furlongs in length and breadth, but less in height ] : eVl 
rovrov Crj rov oy/cov a K t, v a K rj 9 <r iBtf peos t Spimu ap^cuo^ 
eKaaTOKTi /cal TOUT ecm rov"Aprjos ro ayaXfia. Amrnianus 
Marcellinus 31, 2 says of the Alani : Nee templum apud eos visitur 
aut delubrum, ne tugurium quidein culmo tectum cerni nsquam 
potest, sed gladius barbarico ritu humi figitur nudus, eumque ut 
Alartem, regionum quas circumcircant praesulem, verecundius 
colunt. And he had previously asserted of the Quadi also, a 
decidedly German people, 17, 12 (A.D. 358): Eductis mucronibus, qiios 
pro numinibus colunt, juravere se permansuros in fide. Perhaps all 

1 The suffix -sk would hardly fit with the material sense of heru, far better 
with a personal Heru. 

2 Does the author overlook, or deliberately reject, the ON. or, gen. orrar, 
AS. arwe, arrow ? Among the forms for Tuesday occur Erigt&g, Erget&g ; erge 
is to arwe, as sorge to sorwe, morgen to morwen, &c. TRANS. 

zio. 205 

the Teutonic nations swore by their weapons, with a touching of 
the weapon, 1 just as the Scythians and Eomans did per Martis 
frameam, Juvenal 13, 79. So Arnobius 6, 11 : Eidetis temporibus 
priscis coluisse acinacem Scythiae nationes, . . . pro Marte 
Eomanos hastam, ut Varronis indicant Musae ; this framea and 
hasta of the Eomans is altogether like the Scythian sword. 2 
Jornandes, following Priscus 201, 17, tells of the Scythian sword, 
how it came into the hands of Attila, cap. 35 : Qui (Attila), 
quamvis hujus esset naturae ut semper conficleret, addebat ei tamen 
confidential!! gladius Martis inventus, apud Scytharum reges semper 
habitus. Quem Priscus historicus tali refert occasione detectum, 
quum pastor, inquiens, quidam gregis unam buculam conspiceret 
claudicantem (noticed one heifer walking lame), nee causam tanti 
vulneris inveniret, sollicitus vestigia cruoris insequitur, tandemque 
venit ad gladium, quem depascens herbas bucula incaute calcaverat, 
effossumque protinus ad Attilam defert. Quo ille munere gratu- 
latus, ut erat magnanimus, arbitratur se totius mundi principem 
constitutum, et per Martis gladium potestatem sibi concessam esse 
bellorum. But the sword degenerated into an unlucky one, like 
some far-famed northern swords. Lambert relates, that a queen, 
Solomon of Hungary s mother, made a present of it to Otto, duke 
of Bavaria, that from this Otto s hands it came by way of loan to 
the younger Dedi, margrave Dedi s son, then to Henry IV., and lastly 
to Lupold of Mersburg, who, being thrown by his horse, and by 
the same sword transpierced, was buried at Mertenefeld. It is a 
question whether these local names Mersburg and Mertenefeld can 
have any reference to the sword of Mars. A great while after, the 
duke of Alba is said to have dug it out of the earth again after the 
battle of Miihlberg (Deutsche heldensage p. 311). We see through 
what lengthened periods popular tradition could go on nourishing 
itself on this world-old worship (see Suppl.). 

With the word "Aprjs the Lat. Mars appears to have nothing to 
do, being a contraction of Mavors, and the indispensable initial 
being even reduplicated in Mamers ; so the fancied connexion 
between Eresburg and Marsberg will not hold. 

In the Old Eoman worship of Mars a prominent place is given 

1 Conf. RA. 896 ; and so late as Wigal. 6517 : Swert, uf dinem knopfe ich 
des swer, Sword, on thy pommel I swear it. 

2 Juro per Dianam et Martem, Plaut. Mil. glor. 5, 21. 

206 zio. 

to the legend of Picus, a son of Saturn, a wood-spirit who helped 
to nurse the babes Eemus and Romulus ; certain features in our 
antiquities seem to recall him, as will be shown later. Romulus 
consecrated the third month of the year to Mars, his progenitor ; 
our ancestors also named it after a deity who may perhaps be 
identified with Mars. That is to say, the Anglo-Saxons called 
March Hredemdnad , which Beda without hesitation traces to a 
goddess Hreffe; possibly other races might explain it by a god 
Jfreda ? These names would come from hr65 gloria, fama, OX. 
hroc5r, OHG. hruod, OFrank. chrod, which helped to form many 
ancient words, e.g. OHG. Hruodgang, Hruodhilt, OFrank. Chrodo- 
gang, Chrodhild ; did Hruodo, Chrodo express to certain races the 
shining god of fame ? x The Edda knows of no such epithet for Tyr 
as Hr65r or Hroeol (see Suppl.). 

To these discoveries or conjectures we have been guided simply 
by the several surviving names of one of the greatest gods of our 
olden time, to whose attributes and surroundings we have scarcely 
any other clue left. But now we may fairly apply to him in the 
main, what the poetry of other nations supplies. Zio is sure to 
have been valiant and fond of war, like Ares, lavish of glory, but 
stern and bloodthirsty (al /^aros aaai "Apya, II. 5, 289. 20, 78. 22, 
267) ; he raves and rages like Zeus and Wuotan, he is that old 
blood-shedder of the Servian song, he gladdens the hearts of 
ravens and wolves, who follow him to fields of battle, although 
these creatures again must be assigned more to Wuotan (p. 147) ; the 
Greek phrase makes them olwvoi and /cvves (birds and dogs), and 

1 In this connexion one might try to rescue the suspicious and discredited 
legend of a Saxon divinity Krodo ; there is authority for it in the loth century, 
none whatever in the earlier Mid. Ages. Bothe s Sassenchronik (Leibn. 3, 286) 
relates under the year 780, that King Charles, during his conquest of the East 
Saxons, overthrew on the Hartesburg an idol similar to Saturn, which the 

people called Krodo. If such an event had really happened, it would most 
likely have been mentioned by the annalists, like the overthrow of the 
Irmansul. For all that, the tradition need not be groundless, if other things 
would only correspond. Unfortunately the form Crodo for Chrodo, Hrodo, 
Rodo [like Catti, aiterw. Chatti, Hatti, Hessen] is rather too ancient, and I can 
find no support for it in the Saxon speech. A doc. of 1284 (Langs reg. 4, 247) 

nOQ n "YVo 1 1 li tivno /liofno &* /* r\rJ ^ oi-/l r\ or\t-tf~f 1 1- "\Ti f 1^ r\ vf *a TVToTT *i Ol^Qb a Jf.vnir\lf 

Irmansul. For all that, the tradition need not be groundless, if other things 
would only correspond. Unfortunately the form Crodo for Chrodo, Hrodo, 
Rodo ~ 

has a Waltherus dictus Krode, and a song in Nithart s MsII. 3, 2()8 b a Krotolf, 
which however has no business to remind us of Hruodolf, Ruodolf, being not 
a proper name, but a nickname, and so to be derived from krote, a toad, to 
which must be referred many names of places, Krotenpful, &c., which have 
been mistakenly jiscribed to the idol. The true form for Upper Germany 
would not tolerate a Kr, but only Hr or II (see Suppl.). 

zio. 207 

the fields of the slain, where the hounds hold revel, are called KVVWV 
fj,e\in}0pa, II. 13, 233. 17, 255. 18, 179. Battle-songs were also 
sure to be tuned to the praises of Zio, and perhaps war-dances 
executed (pekTrevOai *Apr)l, II. 7, 241), from which I derive the 
persistent and widely prevalent custom of the solemn sword-dance, 
exactly the thing for the god of the sword. The Edda nowhere 
lays particular stress on the sword of war, it knows nothing of 
Sahsnot, indeed its sverSas is another god, IleirnSallr ; x but it sets 
Tyr before us as one-handed, because the wolf, within whose jaws 
he laid his right hand as a pledge, bit it off at the joint, whence 
the wrist was called ulfliSr, wolf-lith, Seem. 65 a . Sn. 35-6. This 
incident must have been well-known and characteristic of him, for 
the OK exposition of runes likewise says, under letter T : Tyr er 
einhendr Asa ; conf. Sn. 105, The rest of Teutonic legend has no 
trace of it, 2 unless we are to look for it in Walther s onehandedness, 
and find in his name the mighty wielder of hosts . I prefer to 
adopt the happy explanation, 3 that the reason why Tyr appears 
one-handed is, because he can only give victory to one part of the 
combatants, as Hadu, another god who dispenses the fortune of 
war, and Plutos and Fortuna among the Greeks and Eomans, are 
painted blind, because they deal out their gifts at random (see 
Suppl.). Now, as victory was esteemed the highest of all fortune, 
the god of victory shares to the full the prominent characteristics 
of luck in general, partiality arid fickleness. And a remoter period 
of our nation may have used names which bore upon this. 4 

Amongst the train of Ares and Mars there appear certain 
mythic beings who personify the notions of fear and horror. Aelnos 
and $o/3o5 (11. 4, 440. 11, 317. 15, 119) answer to the Latin Pallor 

1 Conf. Apollo xpvo-dopos above, p. 203, note. 

2 Cod. pal. 361, 65 a tells of Julian, that he was forced to put his hand 
into the mouth of Mercury s statue : Die hant stiez er im in den munt 
dar, darinne uobte sich der valant (devil), er clemmete im die hant, mid 
gehabete sie im so vaste, daz er sich niht irlosen mohte (could not get loose). 
Besides, the wolfs limb has a likeness to the Wuotan s limb, Woens-let, p. 160. 

3 Wackernagel s, in the Schweiz. mus. 1, 107. 

4 The Greek epos expresses the changefulness of victory (VLKTJ eVepaXK^y, II. 
8, 171. 16, 362 ; VIK.J] eVa/Liei/Serai ai/Spay, 6, 339) by an epithet of Ares, 

AAXoTrpoo-aXXoy 5, 831. 889. A certain many-shaped and all- transforming, 
being, with a name almost exactly the same, Vilanders (Ls. 1, 369-92), Bald- 
anderst, Baldander (H. Sachs 1, 537. Simpliciss. bk 6, c. 9), has indeed no visible 
connexion with the god of war, but it may have been the name of a god. The 
similaritv of this Vilanders to the name of a place in the Tyrol, Villanders 
is, Vulunuturusa, ace. to Steub. p. 79. 178) is merely 

near Brixen (Velunutris 

208 zio. 

and Pavor ; it is the two former that harness the steeds of Ares, 
$6/3os is called his son (13, 299), and in Aeschylus he is provided 
with a dwelling (pekaOpov tectum), out of which he suddenly leaps. 
So in the old Bohemian songs, Tras (tremor) and Strdkh (terror) 
burst out of forest shades on the enemy s bands, chase them, press 
on their necks and squeeze out of their throats a loud cry (Koniginh. 
hs. 84. 104) ; they are ghostly and spectral. This borders upon 
Voma, Omi and Yggr (pp. 119, 120), terms which designate the 
god himself, not his companions, sons or servants, yet they again 
bear witness to the community there was between Wuotan and 
Zio. Thorr was called 6tti iotna, terror gigantum. When in our 
modern phraseology fear surprises, seizes, shakes, deprives of sense, 
personification is not far off; in the Iliad also 17, 67 j(Kwpov Seo? 
(neut.) alpei, pale fear seizes ; but masculine embodiments like 
Bel/mo?, (/>o/3o9, pallor, pavor, tras, strakh, bring it more vividly before 
us, and pavor was weakened by passing into the fern, paura, peur 
of the Eomance. AS. J?a hine se broga ongeat (terror eum invasit), 
Beow. 2583. OHG. forhta chain mih ana, N. ps. 54, 5 , forhta 
anafiel ubar inan, T. 2, 4 ; conf. MHG. diu sorge im was so verre 
entriten, sie mohte erreichen niht ein sper, fear was fled so far from 
him, a spear could not reach it, Wh. 280, 10 (see SuppL). But 
further on, we shall get acquainted with a female Hilta, comparable 
to the Lat. Bellona and the Gr. Enyo and Eris, who is really one 
with war and the war-god. 

Tyr is described in Sn. 105 as a son of Oolnn, but in the 
HymisqviSa as a kinsman of the giants. His mother, whose name 
is not found, but whose beauty is indicated by the epithet all-gullin, 
all-golden, Ssern. 53 a , must have been a giant s daughter, who bore 
to Oolim this immortal son (see SuppL). 


The god that stands next in power and glory, is in the Norse 
mythology Freyr (Landn. 4, 7) ; with the Swedes he seems even to 
have occupied the third place. His name of itself proclaims how 
widely his worship prevailed among the other Teutonic races, a 
name sacred enough to be given to the Supreme Being even in christ- 
ian times. There must have been a broad pregnant sense underlying 
the word, which made it equally fit for the individuality of one 
god, and for the comprehensive notion of dominion, whether sacred 
or secular : to some nations it signified the particular god, to others 
the soverain deity in general, pretty much as we found, connected 
with the proper names Zio, Zeus, the more general term deus, 0e6?. 
While the names of other heathen gods became an abomination to 
the Christians, and a Gothic Vodans or Thunrs would have grated 
I harshly on the ear; this one expression, like the primitive guj? itself, 
could remain yet a long time without offence, and signify by turns 
the heavenly lord and an earthly one. 

It is true, the names do not correspond quite exactly. The ON. 
Freyr gen. Freys, which Saxo gives quite correctly in its Danish 
form as Fro gen. Fros (whence Froso, Fro s island), the Swed. like- 
jwise Fro, ought to be in Gothic Fraus or Fravis, 1 instead of which, 
|3very page of Ulphilas shows frduja gen. fraujins, translating tcvpw, 
pn the other hand, the ON. dialect lacks both the weak form (Freyi, 
Freyja), and the meaning of lord. The remaining languages all 
Wd with the Gothic. In OHG. the full form frouwo was already 
Lost, the writers preferring truhtin; it is only in the form of address 
UW min! (0. i. 5, 35. ii. 14, 27. v. 7, 35. Ludw. lied) that the 

|k l Frey = Fravi, as hey = havi (hay), mey = mavi (maid), ey = avi (isle), 


1210 FRO. 

word for a divine or earthly lord was preserved, just as that antique 
sihora and sire (p. 27) lasted longest in addresses. In the Heliand 
too, when the word is used in addressing, it is always in the short 
ened form fro min ! 123, 13. 140, 23. fro min the godo ! 131, 6. 
134, 15. 138, 1. 7. waldand fro min ! 153, 8. drohtin fro min ! 
15, 3 ; but in other cases we do find the complete froJio gen. frohon 
3, 24 ; frdho 119, 14, gen. frahon 122, 9, fraon 3, 24. 5, 23 ; froio 
93, 1. 107, 21. Still the OS. poet uses the word seldorner than the 
synonyms drohtin and herro, and he always puts a possessive with 
it, never an adjective (like mari drohtin, riki drohtin, craftag drohtin, 
liob herro), still less does he make compounds with it (like sigi- 
drohtin) : all symptoms that the word was freezing up. The AS. 
fred gen. frean (for freaan, freawan) has a wider sweep, it not only 
admits adjectives (frea relmihtig, Csedm. 1, 9. 10, 1), but also forms 
compounds: agendfrea, Caedm. 135, 4. aldorfrea 218, 29. folcfrea 
111, 7 : and even combines with dryhten : freadryhten, Crcdm. 54, 
29, gen. freahdrihtnes, Beow. 1585, dat. freodryhtne 5150. But 
now by the side of our OHG. fro there is found a rigid (indecl.) 
frono, which, placed before or after substantives, imparts the notion 
of lordly, high and holy ; out of this was gradually developed a 
more flexible adj. of like meaning fron, and again an adj. fronisc 
(pulcher, mundus, inclytus, arcanus), OS. fronisk, frdnisk. In 
MHG. and even modern German we have a good many compounds 
with vron, as also the adj. in the above sense, while frohnen,frdlmen is 
to do service to one s lord, to dedicate. The Frisian dialect contri 
butes &frdn, dominions, and/ran^, minister publicus. The added 
-n in all these derivatives can be explained by the Gothic frdujinon 
dominari, though there was probably no Gothic fraujinisks, as 
fronisc seems not to have been formed till after the contraction fro 
and frono had set in. 

But even the Gothic frduja does not present to us the simple j 
stem, I look for it in a lost adj. fravis (like navis veKpos, Eom. 7, 2),i 
the same as the OHG. fro gen. frouwes, OS. fra gen. frahes, MHG. j 
vrd, and our froJi [frohlich, frolic, &c.], and signifying mitis, laetus, 
blandus ; whence the same dialects derive frouwi, gaudium, frouwan, 
laetum reddere, frouwida, laetitia, &c. (see Suppl.). 

I do not mean to assert that a god Frauja, Frouwo, Fraho was 
as distinctly worshipped by the Goths, Alamanns, Franks and 
Saxons in the first centuries of our era, as Freyr was long after in 

FRO. 211 

Scandinavia; it is even possible that the form frauja already 
harboured a generalization of the more vividly concrete Fravis = 
Freyr, and therefore seemed less offensive to the Christians. But 
in both words, the reference to a higher being is unmistakable, and 
in the Mid. ages there still seems to hang about the compounds 
with vrdn something weird, unearthly, a sense of old sacredness; this 
may account for the rare occurrence and the early disappearance 
of the OHG. fro, and even for the grammatical immobility of 
frono ; it is as though an echo of heathenism could be still detected 
in them. 

A worship of Fro may be inferred even from the use of certain 
proper names and poetic epithets, especially by the Anglo-Saxons, 
j The Goths even of later times use Frduja as a man s name, to which 
i we can hardly attribute the sense of lord simply : an envoy from 
j king Hadafus to Charles the Great is called Froia (Pertz 1, 184. 
2, 223), perhaps Froila (Fraujila) ; an OHG. Frewilo occurs in a 
document in Neugart no. 162. The AS. genealogies contain 
i Wtiscfred ; the name is often found elsewhere (Beda 138, 19. 153, 
5), and seems suitable to Woden the god or lord of wishing (p. 144). 
.Equally to the point is the poetic fredwine (freawine folca) in 
JBeow. 4708. 4853. 4871, where it is a mere epithet of divine or god- 
loved heroes and kings. But the Wessex pedigree can produce its 
Fredwine, whom Saxo Gram, calls Frowinus (better Frowinus) ; 
3HG. documents likewise have the proper name Frowin (Trad, 
iuvav. p. 302, Cod. lauresh. 712, but Friowini 722), and in several 
:ioble families, e.g., the distinguished one of the Yon Huttens, it has 
JDeen kept up till modern times. What is remarkable, the Edda 
uses of a hero Freys mnr (Seem. 219 b ), like the AS. freawine, only 
jmcompounded: Sigiiror is Frey s friend and protege, or perhaps 
liis votary and servant, in the way shown on p. 93. Here again frea, 
; ro, freyr, cannot have merely the general meaning of lord, any lord, 
rhe Swedish heroes in the Bravalla fight, who boast their descent 
j rorn Fro, are in Saxo, p. 144, called Fro dei necessarii, which is 
exactly our Freys vinar. In the same way the AS. and ON. poetries, 
.nd consequently the myths, have in common the expression 
red Ingwina (gen. pi.), Beow. 2638, Ingvinar (gen. sing.) freyr, 
Lngunnar/reyr, Seem. 65 b , Ingi/m/r (Thorlac. obs. bor. spec. 6, p. 43), 
i>y which is to be understood a hero or god, not junior dominus, 
.s Thorlacius, p. 68, supposes. Yngvi/m/r is called Coin s son, Sn. 

212 FRO. 

211 a . I shall come back to this mysterious combination of two 
mythical names, when I come to speak of the hero Ingo. The ON. 
skalds append this freyr to other names and to common nouns, e.g., 
in Kormakssaga, pp. 104 122, fiornis freyr, myMfreyr mean no 
more than hero or man in the heightened general sense which we 
noticed in the words irmin, tir and t^r. In the same way the fern. 
freyja means frau, woman, lady, Kormakss. p. 317. 

All that I have made out thus far on the name and idea of the 
god, will receive new light and confirmation when we come to ex 
amine his divine sister Freyja. The brother and sister are made 
alike in all their attributes, and each can stand for the other. 

Fro does not appear in the series of gods of the week, because 
there was no room for him there ; if we must translate him by a 
Koman name, it can scarcely be any other than that of Liber, whose 
association with Libera is extremely like that of Fro with Frowa 
(Freyr with Freyja). As Liber and Libera are devoted to the 
service of Ceres or Demeter, Fro and Frowa stand in close union 
with Nerthus. Fro s godhead seems to hold a middle place between 
the notion of the supreme lord and that of a being who brings about 
love and fruitf ulness. He has Wuotan s creative quality, but 
performs no deeds of war ; horse and sword he gives away, when 
consumed with longing for the fair GerSr, as is sung in one of the 
most glorious lays of the Edda. Snorri says, rain and sunshine are 
in the gift of Freyr (as elsewhere of Wuotan and Donar, pp. 157. 
175) ; he is invoked for fertility of the soil and for peace (til drs oc 
fri&ar, Sn. 28 ; conf. Yngl. saga cap. 12). The Swedes revered 
him as one of their chief gods, and Adam of Bremen says that at 
Upsal his statue stood by those of Thor and Wodan (see Suppl.). 
Also in Saem. 85 b he is named next to OSinn and Thorr (asabragr) 
as the third god. Adam calls him Fricco, 1 which is precisely parallel 
to the frequent confusion of the two goddesses Freyja and Frigg, 
which I shall deal with at a future time. But he paints him as a 
god of peace and love : Tertius est Fricco, pacem voluptatemque 
laro-iens mortalibus, cujus etiam simulachrum finguut inycnti 

1 Which occurs elsewhere as a man s iiame, e.g., Friccheo in Scliannat, Trad, 
fuld. 386. 

FRO. 213 

priapo ; l si nuptiae celebrandae sunt, (sacrificia offerunt) Fricconi. 
Then there is the story, harmonizing with this, though related from 
the Christian point of view and to the heathen god s detriment, of 
Prey s statue being carried round the country in a waggon, and of 
his beautiful young priestess, Fornm. sog. 2, 73-8. This progress 
takes place, }?a er hann skal gera monnum drbot when he shall 
make for men year s boot ; the people flock to meet the car, and 
bring their offerings, then the weather clears up and men look 
for a fruitful year. The offerings are those which Saxo, p. 15, names 
Frobldt; live animals were presented, particularly oxen (Vigagl. 
saga, p. 56. Islend. sog. 2, 348), which seems to explain why 
Freyr is reckoned among the poetic names for an ox, Sn. 221 a ; in 
like manner, horses were consecrated to him, such a one was 
called Frcyfaxi and accounted holy, Vatnsd. p. 140 ; and human 
victims fell to him in Sweden, Saxo Grain. 42. Freyr possessed 
a boar named Gullinbursti, whose golden bristles lighted up 
the night like day, who ran with the speed of a horse and drew the 
deity s car, Sn 66. 132. It is therefore in Frey s worship that the 
atonement-boar is sacrificed (p. 51) ; 2 in Sweden cakes in the shape 
of a boar are baked on Yule-eve. And here we come upon a good 
many relics of the service once done to the god, even outside of 
I Scandinavia. We hear of the clean gold-hog (-ferch, whence dimin. 
farrow) in the popular customs of the Wetterau .and Thuringia 
(p. 51). In the Mid. Dutch poem of Lantslot ende Sandrii),\ 
374, a knight says to his maiden : < ic heb u liever dan en everswin, 
al waert van finen goude gkewrackt, I hold you dearer than a boar- 
swine, all were it of fine gold y-wrought ; were they still in the 
habit of making gold jewels in the shape of boars ? at least the 
remembrance of such a thing was not yet lost. Fro and his boar 
may also have had a hand in a superstition of Gelderland, which 
I however puts a famous hero in the place of the god : Derk met den 

1 With priapus rptWos I would identify the ON. friof semen friofr 
foecundus ; conf Goth, fraiv, seed. The statement of Adainus Bremensis looks 
better, since Wolf in his Wodana xxi. xxii. xxiii brought to light the festivals 
and images of Priapus or Ters at a late period in the Netherlands. This ters 
Us the AS. feora, OHG. zers, and Herbert 4054 is shy of uttering the name 
Aerses Phallus-worship, so widely spread among the nations of antiquity 
| must have arisen out of an innocent veneration of the generative principle 
which a later age, conscious of its sins, prudishly avoided. After all is said 
there is an inkling of the same in Phol too and the avoidance of his name 
2 XT thou 8 h * do not venture exactly to identify him with 0aXXo r. 
Not only Demeter, but Zeus received boar-offerings, II. 19, 197. 251. 

214 FRO. 

leer (Theoderic, Derrick with the boar) goes his round on Christmas- 
eve night, and people are careful to get all implements of husbandry 
within doors, else the boar will trample them about, and make 
them unfit for use. 1 In the same Christmas season, dame Holda or 
Berhta sallied out, and looked after the ploughs and spindles, 
motherly goddesses instead of the god, Frouwa instead of Fr6. 
With this again are connected the formae aprorum worn as charms 
by the remote Aestyans, who yet have the ritus habitusque 
Suevorum . Tacitus Germ. 45 says, these figures represent the 
worship of the mater deum/ of a female Fro, i.e., of Freyja ; and, 
what is conclusive on this point, the Edda (Ssem. 114 a ) assigns the 
Gulliribursti to Freyja, though elsewhere he belongs to Freyr (see 
Suppl.). Anglo-Saxon poetry, above all, makes mention of these 
loar-badges, these gold swine. When Constantine sees a vision in 
his sleep, he is said to be eoforcumble be]?eaht (apri signo tectus 
El. 76 ; it must have been fastened as an auspicious omen over th 
head of the bed. Afterwards again, in the description of Elene 
stately progress to the east : J?eer waes on eorle eSgesyne grimheli 
manig, cenlic eoforcumlul (tune in duce apparuit horrida cassis, ex 
cellens apri forma), El. 260. The poet is describing a decoration o 
the old heathen time, cumbul is the helmet s crest, and the king* 
helmet appears to be adorned with the image of a boar. Severa 
passages in Beowulf place the matter beyond a doubt : coforlfa 
scionon ofer hleor beran gehroden golde, fan and f^rheard ferhwearde 
heold (apri formam videbantur supra genas gerere auro comptam 
quae varia igneque durata vitam tuebatur), 605 ; het Jm inberaD 
eofor hedfodsegn, heaSosteapne helm (jussit afferri aprum, capitis 
signum, galeam in pugna prominentem), 4300 ; sivin ofer helm( 
(sus supra galea), 2574 ; swin ealgylden, eofor irenheard (sus aureus 
aper instar ferri dums), 2216, i.e., a helmet placed on the funera 
pile as a costly jewel ; helm befongen Fredwrdsnum ( OHG. Fro- 
reisanum), swa hine fyrndagum worhte waepna smi5, besette swin- 
licum, j?eet hine siSJmn no brond ne beadoinecas bitan ne meahtan 
(galea ornata Frohonis signis, sicut earn olim fabricaverat armorum 
faber, circumdederat earn apri formis, ne gladius ensesve laedere 
earn possent), 2905 ; as a sacred divine symbol, it was to protect in 

1 Staring, in the journal Mnemosyne, Leyden 1829. 1, 323 ; quoted thence 
in Westendorp s Noordsche mythologie, Dordrecht 1830. p. 495. 

FRO. 215 

battle and affright the foe. 1 The OHG. proper name Epurhelm, 
Eparhelm (eber, eofor, aper), placed by the side of Frohelm (both 
occur in the Trad, patav. no. 20; MB. 28 b , 18) acquires thus a special 
and appropriate meaning. Such boar-crests might still serve as 
ornaments even to Christian heroes, after the memory of Fro was 
obliterated, and long continue to be wrought simply as jewels (see 
Suppl.). Some other traces of boar consecration have lasted still 
later, especially in England. The custom of the boar-vow I have 
explained in EA. 900-1. As even at the present day on festive 
occasions a wild boar s head is seen among the other dishes as a 
show-dish, they used in the Mid. Ages to serve it up at banquets, 
garnished with laurel and rosemary, to carry it about and play all 
manner of pranks with it : * Where stood a boars head garnished 
With bayes and rosemary e, says one ballad about Arthur s Table ; 
when three strokes have been given with a rod over it, it is only 
the knife of a virtuous man that can carve the first slice. At other 
times, even a live boar makes its appearance in the hall, and a bold 
hero chops its head off. At Oxford they exhibit a boar s head on 
Christmas day, carry it solemnly round, singing: Caput apri defero, 
Reddens laudes Domino (see Suppl.). Those Aestyans may prove 
a link of fellowship between the Germanic nations and the Finnish 
and Asiatic ; it is well worth noticing, that the Tcherkass (Circas 
sians) worship a god of woods and hunting, Mesitch by name, who 
rides a wild boar vrith golden bristles? To most of the other gods 
tame animals are sacred, to Fro the daring dauntless boar, as well 
befits a god of the chase. Perhaps also a huge boar with white 
tusks, 3 who in Slavic legend rises foaming out of a lake, is that of 
a kindred deity. 

The Edda attributes to Freyr a sword of surpassing virtue, which 
could put itself into motion against the brood of giants, Seem. 82. 
His giving it away when in straits, proved his ruin afterwards ; it 
was held to be the cause of his death, when at the Eagnarokr he 
had to stand single combat with Surtr (swart), and missed his 

1 On this point again, the statement of Tacitus about the Aestyans agrees 
so exactly, that it seems worth quoting in full : Aestyorum gentes. . . . 
quibus ritus habitusque Suevorum. . -, . Matrem deum venerantur : 
insigne superstitionis, formas aprorum gestant ; id pro armis omniumque tutela 
securum deae cultorem etiam inter hostes praestat. TRANS. 

2 Erman s archiv fur wissenschaftl, kunde Russlands 1842, heft 1, p. 118. 

3 AevKov oSoj/ra, II. 11, 416. aCs* XevKai oSo m, Od. 19. 465. 

216 FRO. 

trusty blade. Sn. 73. There appear to have been other traditions 
also afloat about this sword j 1 and it would not seem far-fetched, if 
on the strength of it we placed the well-known trilogy of Thunar, 
Wodan, Saxnot beside Adam of Bremen s Wodan, Thor and 
Fricco or the Eddie OSinn, Asabragr, Freyr, 2 that is to say, if we 
took Freyr, Fricco = Fro to be the same as Sahsndt the sword- 
possessor. Add to this, that the Edda never mentions the sword of 
Tyr. Nevertheless there are stronger reasons in favour of Sahsnoz 
being Zio : this for one, that he was a son of Wuotan, whereas 
Freyr comes of NiorSr, though some genealogies to be presently 
mentioned bring him into connexion with Woden. 

For the brilliant Freyr, the beneficent son of NiorSr, the 
dwarfs had constructed a wonderful ship SkiSblaSnir, which could 
fold up like a cloth, Ssem. 45 b , Sn. 48. Yngl. saga cap. 7 (see 
Suppl.). 3 

Besides the Swedes, the Thrsendir in Norway were devoted to 
Freyr above all other gods, Fornm. sog. 10, 312. Occasionally 
priests of his are named, as ThorSr Freys go&i (of the 10th century), 
Landn. 4, 10 and Nialss. cap. 96 ; Flosi appears to have succeeded 
his father in the office ; other Freysgy&lingar are cited in Landn. 
4, 13. The Vigaglumssaga cap. 19 mentions Freys kof at Upsala, 
and cap. 26 his statue at Thvera in Iceland, though only in a night- 
vision : he is pictured sitting on a chair, giving short and surly 
(stutt ok reiSuliga) answers to his supplicants, so that Glumr, who 
in cap. 9 had sacrificed an old ox to him, now on awaking from his 
dream neglected his service. In the Landn. 3, 2 and Vatnsd. pp. 
44. 50 we are told of a Freyr giorr of silfri (made of silver), which 
was used in drawing lots ; conf. Verlauff s note, p. 362. In the 
Landn. 4, 7 is preserved the usual formula for an oath : Hialpi mer 
sva Freyr ok Nior&r ok hinn almdttki as (so help me F. and N. and 
that almighty ds) ! by which last is to be understood Thorr rather 

1 In old French poetry I find a famous sword wrought by Galant himself 
(Wielant, Wayland), and named Froberge or Floberge (Garin ], 263. 2, 30-8) ; 
the latter reading has no discoverable sense, though our later Flamberge seems 
to have sprung from it. Froberge might very well be either a mere fro-bergende 
(lord-protecting) weapon, or a reminiscence of the god Fro s sword ; conf. the 
word-formations quoted in my Gramm. 2, 486. There are townships called in 
OHG. Helidberga, Marahaberga (horse-stable). The ON. has no Freybiorg 
that I know of, though it has Thorbiorg fern., and Thorbergr masc. 

2 Also in Sn. 131, OSinn, Th6rr, Freyr are speakers of doom. 

3 Pliny N. H. 5, 9 mentions Ethiopian naves plicatiles humeris translatas. 

NIKDU. 217 

than 05inn, for in the Egilssaga p. 365, Freyr, Nidrffr and the 
landds (Thorr) are likewise mentioned together. In the same 
Egilss. p. 672, Freyr ok Nidr&r are again placed side by side. The 
story of the Brisinga-men (-monile ; append, to Sn. 354) says, Oftinn 
had appointed both Freyr and Niorffr to be sacrificial gods. Hall- 
freSr sang (Fornm. sog. 2, 53, conf. 12, 49) : 

Mer skyli Freyr oc Freyja, narft laet ek ae)ul Niarftar, 
liknist groin vi5 Grimni gramr ok Thorr enn rammi ! 

That Freyr in these passages should be brought forward with 
Freyja and Nior Sr, is easy to understand (see SuppL). 

Of Niorffr our German mythology would have nothing to tell, 
any more than Saxo Gram, ever mentions him by that name, had 
not Tacitus put in for us that happy touch of a goddess Nertlius, 
whose identity with the god is as obvious as that of Fro with 
Frouwa. The Gothic form Natrjnis would do for either or 
even for both sexes ; possibly Frauja was considered the son 
of the goddess Nairjms, as Freyr is of the god NiorSr, and in 
the circuit which the goddess makes in her car, publishing peace 
and fertility to mortals, we can recognise that of Freyr or of his 
father NiorSr. According to Yngl. saga cap. 11, these very bless 
ings were believed to proceed from NiorSr also : auftigr sem 
NiorSr (rich as N.) was a proverbial saying for a wealthy man, 
Vatnsd. p. 202. Snorri, in Formali 10, identifies him with Saturn, 
for he instructed mankind in vine-dressing and husbandry ; it 
would be nearer the mark to think of him and Freyr in connexion 
with Dionysus or Liber, or even with Noah, if any stress is to be 
laid on NiorS s abode being in Noatun, As freyr was affixed 
to other names of heroes (p. 211-2), I find geirnidrffr used for a hero 
in general, Stem. 266 b ; conf. geirmimir, geirniflungr, &c. The 
name itself is hard to explain ; is it akin to north, AS. norS, OK 
norSr, Goth. naur]?s ? In Seem. 109 b there is niarSlas for sera 
firma, or pensilis ? I have met with no Nirdu, Nerd, Nird among 
OHG. proper names, nor with a NeorS in the AS. writings. 
Irminon s polyptych 22 2 a has Narthildis (see SuppL). 

Niordr appears to have been greatly honoured : hofum oc 
hb rgum hann rseSr hundmorgum, Ssem. 36 a ; especially, no doubt, 
among people that lived on the sea coast. The Edda makes him 
rule over wind, sea and fire, he loves waters and lakes, as Nerthus 
in Tacitus bathes in the lake (Sn. 27) ; from the mountains of the 

218 FRO. 

midland he longs to be away where the swans sing on the cool 
shore; a water-plant, the spongia marina, bears the name of Niarcfar 
vottr, Niorft s glove, which elsewhere was very likely passed on to 
his daughter Freyja, and so to Mary, for some kinds of orchis 
too, from their hand-shaped root, are called Mary s hand, lady-hand, 
god s hand (Dan. gudshaand). 

As Dionysus stands outside the ring of the twelve Olympian 
gods, so NiorSr, Freyr and Freyja seem by rights not to have been 
reckoned among the Ases, though they are marshalled among 
them in Sn. 27-8. They were Vanir, and therefore, according to 
the view of the elder Edda, different from Ases ; as these dwelt in 
Asgar5, so did the Vanir in Vanaheim, the Alfar in Alfheim, the 
lotnar in Ib tunheim. Freyr is called Vaningi, Seem. 86 b . The 
Vanir were regarded as intelligent and wise, Seem. 36 a ; and they 
entered into intimate fellowship with the Asen, while the 
Alfs and lotuns always remained opposed to them. Some have 
fancied that the Alfs and lotuns stand for Celtic races, and the 
Vanir for Slav; and building chiefly on an attempt in the Yngl. 
saga cap. 1 to find the name of the Tanais in Tanaqvisl (or Vana- 
qvisl !), they have drawn by inference an actual boundary-line 
between Aesir and Vanir = German! and Slavi in the regions 
formerly occupied by them (see Suppl.). And sure enough a 
Eussian is to this day called in Finnish Wenaila inen, in Esth. 
Wennelane ; even the name of the Wends might be dragged in, 
though the Vandili of Tacitus point the other way. Granting that 
there may be some foundation for these views, still to my mind 
the conceptions of Aesir, Vanir, Alfar in the Edda are sketched on 
a ground altogether too mythical for any historical meaning to be 
got out of them ; as regards the contrast between Ases and Vanir, 
I am aware of no essential difference in the cultus of the several 
gods ; and, whatever stress it may be right to lay on the fact that 
Frouwa, Freyja answers to a Slavic goddess Priye, it does not at 
all follow that Fro, Frouwa and Nerthus were in a less degree 
Germanic deities than the rest. Tacitus is silent on the German 
Liber, as he is on our Jupiter, yet we are entitled to assume a 
universal veneration of Donar, even though the Gothic fairguni is 
better represented in Perkunas or Peruri ; so also, to judge by what 
clues we have, Frauja, Fro, Freyr appears so firmly established, 
that, considering the scanty information we have about our 

FRO. 219 

antiquities, no German race can be denied a share in him, though 
some nations may have worshipped him more than others; and 
even that is not easy to ascertain, except in Scandinavia. 1 

It is worthy of notice, that the AS. and ON. genealogies bring 
Fred into kinship with Woden, making Finn the father of a Frealaf 
(Frioleifr), and him again of Woden ; some of them insert two more 
links, FriSuwulf and FriSuwald, so that the complete pedigree 
stands thus : Finn, Friftuwulf, Fredldf, FricTuwald, Woden (or, in 
the place of Frealaf, our old acquaintance Fred wine). Here 
evidently FriSuwulf, Frealaf, FriSuwald are all the same thing, a 
mere expansion of the simple Fred. This follows even from a quite 
different ON. genealogy, Fornald. sog. 2, 12, which makes Burr 
(= Finn; conf. Eask, afh. 1, 107-8) the immediate progenitor of 
OSinn, and him of Freyr, Nib rftr and a second Freyr. The double 
Freyr corresponds to the AS. FriSuwulf and FriSuwald, as the 
words here expressing glad, free and fair are near of kin to one 
another. Lastly, when the same AS. genealogies by turns call 
Finn s father Godwidf and Folcwald, this last name is supported by 
the Fin Folcwalding (-ing = son) of Cod. exon. 320, 10 and of 
Beow. 2172, where again the reference must be to Fred and his 
race, for the Edda (Siem. 87 a , conf. 10 a ) designates Freyr folcvaldi 
(al. folcvaldr) gooY. Now this folkvaldi means no other than 
dominator, princeps, i.e. the same as fred, fr8, and seems, like it, to 
pass into a proper name. On the linking of Freyr and NiorSr with 
05inn, there will be more to say in ch. XV (see Suppl.). If 
Snorri s comparison of Niorftr with Kronos (Saturn) have any 
justification, evidently Poseidon (Neptune) the son of Kronos would 
come nearer to our Teutonic sea-god ; and UocretScwy might be 
referred to Troops (lord, Lith. pats, Sansk. patis, Goth. fa]?s), which 
means the same as Fro. Only then both Fro and Nirdu would 
again belong to the eldest race of gods. 

1 Wh. Miiller, Nibelungensage pp. 136 148, wishes to extend the Vanir 
gods only to the Sueves and Goths, not to the western Germans, and to draw a 
distinction between the worship of Freyr and that of "Wuotan, which to me 
looks very doubtful. As little can I give up the point, that NiorSr and Nerthus 
were brother and sister, and joint parents of Freyr and Freyja ; this is grounded 
not only on a later representation of Snorri in the Yngl. saga cap. 4, where yet 
the female NiorS is nowhere named, as Tacitus conversely knows only a female 
Nerthus and no god of that name ; but also on JSaem. 65 a : vi(5 systor thinni 
gaztu slikan mog, with thy sister begattest thou such brood, though here again 
the sister is left unnamed. 


The myth of Balder, one of the most ingenious and beautiful in 
the Edda, has happily for us been also handed down in a later 
form with variations : and there is no better example of fluctuations 
in a god-myth. The Edda sets forth, how the pure blameless deity 
is struck with Mistiltein by the blind Ho5r, and must go down to 
the nether world, bewailed by all ; nothing can fetch him back, and 
Nanna the true w T ife follows him in death. In Saxo, all is pitched 
in a lower key : Balder and Hother are rival suitors, both wooing 
Nanna, and Hother the favoured one manages to procure a magic 
sword, by which alone his enemy is vulnerable ; when the fortune 
of war has wavered long between them, Hother is at last victorious 
and slays the demigod, to whom Hel, glad at the near prospect of 
possessing him, shews herself beforehand. But here the grand 
funeral pile is prepared for Gelder, a companion of Balder, of whom 
the account in the Edda knows nothing whatever. The worship of 
the god is attested chiefly by the Fri(5]?iofssaga, v. Fornald. sb g. 2, 
63 seq. (see Suppl.). 

Baldr, gen. Baldrs, reappears in the OHG. proper name P altar 
(in Meichelbeck no. 450. 460. 611) 5 1 and in the AS. bealdor, baldor, 
signifying a lord, prince, king, and seemingly used only with a gen. 
pi. before it : gumena baldor, CsBdm. 163, 4. wigena baldor, Jud. 
132, 47. sinca bealdor, Beow. 4852. winia bealdor 5130. It is 
remarkable that in the Cod. exon. 276,18 nuegSa bealdor (virginum 
princeps) is said even of a maiden. I know of only a few examples 
in the OX. : baldur i brynju, Seem. 272 b , and herbaldr 218 b are 
used for a hero in general ; atgeirs baldr (lanceae vir), Fornm. sog. 
5, 307. This conversion from a proper name to a noun appellative 

1 Graff 1, 432 thinks this name stands for Paltaro, and is a compound of 
aro (aar, aquila), but this is unsupported by analogy ; in the ninth and tenth 
centuries, weak forms are not yet curtailed, and we always find Epuraro 
(eberaar, boar-eagle), never Epurar. 

PALTAR. 221 

exactly reminds us of frduja, fro, frea, and the ON. t$r. As bealdor 
is already extinct in AS. prose, our proper name Paltar seems 
likewise to have died out early ; heathen songs in OHG. may have 
known a paltar = princeps. Such Gothic forms as Baldrs, gen. 
Baldris, and baldrs (princeps), may fairly be assumed. 1 

This Baldrs would in strictness appear to have no connexion 
with the Goth, batys (bold, audax), nor Paltar with the OHG. paid, 
nor Baldr with the ON. ballr. As a rule^ the Gothic Id is represented 
by OK Id and OHG. It : the Gothic 1> by OK 11 and OHG. Id. 2 
But the OS. and AS. have Id in both cases, and even in Gothic, OK. and 
OHG. a root will sometimes appear in both forms in the same lan 
guage; 3 so that a close connexion between balj?s and Baldrs, 4 paid and 
Paltar, is possible after all. On mythological grounds it is even 
probable : Balder s wife Nanna is also the bold one, from nenna to 
dare ; in Gothic she would have been Nanjjo from nanjyan, in 
OHG. Nandd from gi-nendan. The Baldr of the Edda may not 
distinguish himself by bold deeds, but in Saxo he fights most 
valiantly ; and neither of these narratives pretends to give a 
complete account of his life. Perhaps the Gothic Balthae (Jor- 
nandes 5, 29) traced their origin to a divine Batys or Baldrs (see 

Yet even this meaning of the bold god or hero might be a 
later one : the Lith. laltas and Lett, baits signify the white, the 
good; and by the doctrine of consonant-change, baltas exactly 
answers to the Goth. bal}?s and OHG. paid. Add to this, that the 
AS. genealogies call Woden s son not Bealdor, Baldor, but Bceldceg, 
Beldcg, which would lead us to expect an OHG. Paltac, a form that 
I confess I have nowhere read. But both dialects have plenty of 
other proper names compounded with dseg and tac : OHG. Adaltac, 

1 Baldrs, Paltar, must be kept distinct from the compound Baldheri 
(Schannat no. 420. 448), Paldheri (Trad, patav. no. 35), AS. JBaldhere. This 
Paldheri is the same as Paldackar (Trad, patav. no. 18). 

2 Goth. kalds ) C vil>eis hutys gtilk 

ON. kaldr V- but 1 villr hollr gull. 

OHG. chaltj (wildi hold kold. 

3 Conf. Gothic atyan and al]?s aldis, also aldrs ; Goth, fatyan and OHG. 
faldan, afterwards faltan. As ]? degenerates into d, and d into t, any d put for 
]?, or t for d, marks a later form : the Goth, fadr stands for fa]?r, as we see by 
pater [the AS. feeder, modor, after a usurpation of 1000 years, must have 
given place to the truer father, mother again]. In the ON. valda pret. olli, 
we must regard the 11 as older than the Id, in spite of the Goth, valdan and 
OHG. waltan [some would prefer to call valda an archaism]. 

4 Baldr may be related to bal}?, as tir to ty, and zior to zio. 

222 PALTAR. 

Alptac, Ingatac, Kertac, Helmtac, Hruodtac, Regintac, Sigitac ; 
OS. Alacdag, Alfdag (Albdag, Pertz 1, 286), Hildidag, Liuddag, 
Osdag, Wulfdag ; AS. Wegdaeg, Swefdseg ; even the ON. has the 
name Svipdagr. Now, either Baeldseg simply stands for Bealdor, 
and is synonymous with it (as e.g., Eegintac with Reginari, Sigitac 
with Sigar, Sigheri) 1 ; or else we must recognise in the word docg, 
dag, tac itself a personification, such as we found another root 
undergoing (p. 1 94-5) in the words div, divan, dina, dies ; and both 
alike would express a shining one, a white one, a god. Prefixing to 
this the Slavic biel, bel, we have no need to take Bteldseg as standing 
for Bealdor or anything else, Bod-dasg itself is white-god, light-god, 
he that shines as sky and light and day, the kindly Bielbogli, Bel- 
Wgh of the Slav system (see Suppl.). It is in perfect accord with 
this explanation of Bael-dseg, that the AS. tale of ancestry assigns 
to him a son Brand, of whom the Edda is silent, brond, brand, ON. 
brandr, signifying jubar, fax, titio. Baelda3g therefore, as regards 
his name, would agree with Berhta, the bright goddess. 

We have to consider a few more circumstances bearing on this 
point. Baldr s beauty is thus described in Sn. 26: Hann eisv&fagr 
alitum ok liartr svd at lysir af honum, oc eitt gras er sva hvitt, at 
iafnat er til Baldrs brdr, ]?at er allra grasa hvitast oc ]mr eptir mattu 
marka hans fegurS bseol a hfiri ok liki ; he is so fair of countenance 
and bright that he shines of himself, there is a grass so white that it 
is evened with Baldr s brows, it is of all grasses whitest, and thereby 
mayest thou mark his fairness both in hair and body. This 
plant, named Baldrsbrd after the god s white eyebrow, 2 is either the 
anthemis cotula, still called Barbro in Sweden, Balsensbro, Ballensbm 
in Schonen, and Barbrogr&s in Denmark, or the matricaria maritima 
inodora, whHi retains the original name in Iceland (see Suppl.). 3 
In Skane there is a Baldursberg, in the Ottingen country a 
Baldern, and in the Vorarlberg, east of Bregenz, ^Balderscliwang ; 
such names of places demand caution, as they may be taken from 
men, Baldar or Baldheri, I therefore withhold the mention of 
several more. But the heavenly abode of the god was called 
Breiffablik, nom. pi. (Ssem. 41 b , Sn. 21-7), i.e. broad splendors, 

1 The cases are hardly analogous : Bceld-osj and Regin-fac. TRANS. 

2 Homer emphasizes the dark brows ot Zeus and Hera, 6<j>pvs Kvavta. 
Conf. \cvic6(f)pvs and Artemis Xev/co^pvj/r/, white-browed Diana. 

3 Germ, names of the camomile : kuhauge, rindsauge, ochsenauge (ox-eye). 
Dalecarl. hvitet-o.ia (white eye), in Bahuslan hvita-piga (white girl). 

HADU. 223 

which may have reference to the streaks of the milky way ; a place 
near Lethra, not far from Eoeskild, is said to have borne the name 
of Bredeblick. 1 This very expression re-appears in a poem of the 
twelfth century, though not in reference to a dwelling-place, but to 
a host of snow-white steeds and heroes advancing over the battle 
field : Do brahte Dietheriches vane zvencik clusint lossam in 
foeither llickin uber lant, Both. 2635. In Wh. 381, 16 : daz 
bluot uber die Uicke floz, si wurdn almeistic rotgevar, did the 
blood flow over the paths of the field, or over the shining silks ? 

If Bceldcey and Brond reveal to us that the worship of Balder 
had a definite form of its own even outside of Scandinavia, we 
may conclude from the general diffusion of all the most essential 
proper names entering into the main plot of the myth there, that 
this myth as a whole was known to all Teutons. The goddess Hel, 
as will be more fully shown in ch. XIII, answers to the Gothic im 
personal noun halja, OHG. hella. Hoffr (ace. Ho5, gen. HaSar, dat. 
HeSi), pictured as a blind god of tremendous strength (Sn. 31), 
who without malice discharges the fatal arrow at Baldr, is called 
Hotherus in Saxo, and implies a Goth. Hapus, AS. Hea&o, OHG. 
Hadu, Frank. Chado, of which we have still undoubted traces in 
proper names and poetic compounds. OHG. Hadupraht, Hadufuns, 
Hadupald, Hadufrid, Hadumar, Hadupurc, Hadulint, Haduwic 
(Hedwig), &c., forms which abut close on the Catumerus in Tacitus 
(Hadumar, Hadamar). In AS. poetry are still found the terms 
heaSorinc (vir egregius, nobilis), Csedm. 193, 4. Beow. "737. 4927 ; 
heaSowelm (belli impetus, fervor), Coedm. 21, 14. 147, 8. Beow. 164. 
5633; heaSoswat (sudor bellicus), Beow. 2919. 3211. 3334; heaftowsed 
(vestis bellica), Beow. 78 ; heaSubyrne (lorica bellica), Cod. exon. 
297, 7 ; heatJosigel and heaSogleam (egregium jubar), Cod. exon. 
486, 17 and 438, 6; heatfolac (pugnae ludus), Beow. 1862. 
3943 ; heaSogrim (atrocissimus), Beow. 1090. 5378 ; heaftosioc 
(pugna vulneratus), Beow. 5504 ; heaSosteap (celsus), Beow. 2490. 
4301. In these words, except where the meaning is merely intensi 
fied, the prevailing idea is plainly that of battle and strife, and the 
god or hero must have been thought of and honoured as a warrior. 
Therefore Hafius, Ho&r, as well as Wuotan and Zio, expressed 
phenomena of war ; and he was imagined blind, because he dealt 
out at random good hap and ill (p. 207). Then, beside Hoftr, we 

8 Suhm. crit. hist. 2, 63. 

224 PALTAR. 

have Hcrmo&r interweaving himself in the thread of Haider s 
history ; he is dispatched to Hel, to demand his beloved brother 
back from the underworld. In Saxo he is already forgotten ; the 
AS. genealogy places its HeremoS among Woden s ancestors, and 
names as his son either Sceldwa or the Sceaf renowned in story, 
whereas in the North he and Balder alike are the offspring of OSinn ; 
in the same way we saw (p. 219) Freyr taken for the father as well 
as the son of NiorSr. A later Heremod appears in Beow. 1795. 
3417, but still in kinship with the old races ; he is perhaps that 
hero, named by the side of Sigmundr in Saem. 113 a , to whom OSinn 
lends helm and hauberk. AS. title-deeds also contain the name; 
Kemb. 1, 232. 141 ; and in OHG. Herimuot, Herimaot, occurs very 
often (Graff 2, 699 anno 782, from MB. 7, 373. Neugart no. 
170. 214. 244. 260. annis 8U9-22-30-34. Eied. no. 21 anno 
821), but neither song nor story has a tale to tell of him (see 

So much the more valuable are the revelations of the Merseburg 
discovery ; not only are we fully assured now of a divine Balder in 
Germany, but there emerges again a long-forgotten mytlius, and 
with it a new name unknown even to the North. 

When, says the lay, Phol (Balder) and Wodan were one day 
riding in the forest, one foot of Balder s foal, demo Balderes volon, 
was wrenched out of joint, whereupon the heavenly habitants 
bestowed their best pains on setting it right again, but neither 
Sinngund and Sunna, nor yet Frua and Folia could do any good, 
only Wodan the wizard himself could conjure and heal the limb 
(see Suppl.). 

The whole incident is as little known to the Edda as to other 
Norse legends. Yet what was told in a heathen spell in Thuringia 
before the tenth century is still in its substance found lurking 
in conjuring formulas known to the country folk of Scotland 
and Denmark (conf. ch. XXXIII, Dislocation), except that they 
apply to Jesus what the heathen believed of Balder and Wodan. 
It is somewhat odd, that Cato (Dere rust. 160) should give, likewise 
for a dislocated limb, an Old Roman or perhaps Sabine form of 
spell, which is unintelligible to us, but in which a god is evidently 
invoked: Luxum si quod est, hac cantione sanum fiet. Harundinem 
prende tibi viridena pedes IV aut V longam, mediam diffinde, et 
duo homines teneant ad coxendices. Incipe cantare in alio S.F. 


motas vaeta daries dardaries astataries Dissunapiter ! usque durn 
coeant. What follows is nothing to our purpose. 

The horse of Balder, lamed and checked on his journey, acquires 
a full meaning the moment we think of him as the god of light or 
day, whose stoppage and detention must give rise to serious mis 
chief on the earth. Probably the story in its context could have 
informed us of this ; it was foreign to the purpose of the conjuring- 

The names of the four goddesses will be discussed in their 
proper place ; what concerns us here is, that Balder is called by a 
second and hitherto unheard-of name, Phol. The eye for our 
antiquities often merely wants opening: a noticing of the unnoticed 
has resulted in clear footprints of such a god being brought to oar 
hand, in several names of places. 

In Bavaria there was a Pholesauwa, Pholesouwa, ten or twelve 
miles from Passau, which the Traditiones patavienses first mention 
in a document drawn up between 774 and 788 (MB. vol. 28, pars 
2, p. 21, no. 23), and afterwards many later ones of the same district: 
it is the present village of Pfalsau. Its composition with aue quite 
fits in with the supposition of an old heathen worship. The gods were 
worshipped not only on mountains, but on eas inclosed by brooks 
and rivers, where fertile meadows yielded pasture, and forests shade. 
Such was the castum nemus of Nerthus in an insula Oceani, such 
Fosetesland with its willows and well-springs, of which more 
presently. Baldrshagi (Balderi pascuum), mentioned in the Fri5- 
fofssaga, was an enclosed sanctuary (griSastaoY), which none might 
damage. I find also that convents, for which time-hallowed vener 
able sites were preferred, were often situated in eas ; and of one 
nunnery the very word is used : in der megde ouwe, in the maids 
ea (Diut. 1, 357). 1 The ON. mythology supplies us with several eas 
named after the loftiest gods : OSins<??/ (Odensee) in Fiinen, another 
Oolnsey (Onsoe) in Norway, Fornm. sog. 12, 33, and Thorsey, 7, 234. 
9, 17 ; Hlesscy (Lassoe) in the Kattegat, &c., &c. We do not know 
any OHG. Wuotanesouwa, Donaresouwa, but Pholesouwa is equally 
to the point. 

Very similar must have been Pholespiunt (MB. 9, 404 circ. 1138. 

1 So the Old Bavarian convent of Chiemsee was called ouwa (MB. 2S a , 103 
an. 890), and afterwards the monastery there der herren iverd, and the nunnery 
der nunnen werd . Stat zo gottes ouwe in Lisch, mekl. jb. 7, 227, from a 
fragment belonging to Bertholds Crane. Demantin 242. 


226 PALTAR. 

Pfalspiunt, 5, 399 anno 1290), now Pfalzpoint on the Altmiihl, 
between Eichstadt and Kipfenberg, in a considerable forest. Piunt 
means an enclosed field or garden ;* and if an ea could be conse 
crated to a god, so could a field. Graff 3, 342 has a place called 
Yiswunpiunt, which, to judge by the circumstances, may with like 
reason be assigned to the goddess Frouwa; no doubt it also belongs 
to Bavaria (see SuppL). 

In the Fulda Traditions (Schannat p. 291, no. 85) occurs this 
remarkable passage: Widerolt comes tradidit sancto Bonifacio 
quicquid proprietatis habuit in Pholesbrunnen in provincia Thur- 
ingiae. To this Pholesbrunno, the village of Phulsborn has the first 
claim, lying not far from the Saale, equidistant from the towns 
Apolda, Dornburg and Suiza, and spelt in Mid. Age documents 
Phulsborn and Pfolczborn ; there is however another village, Fals- 
brunn or Falsbronn, on the Eauhe Eberach in the Franconian 
Steigerwald. Now Pfolesbrunno all the more plainly suggests a 
divinity (and that, Balder), as there are also Baldersbrunnen : a 
Baldebrunno has been produced from the Eifel mts, and from the 
Rhine Palatinate, 2 and it has been shown that the form ought to be 
corrected into Baldersbrunno as well as the modern Baldenhain to 
Baldershain (Zeitschr. f. d. alt. 2, 256) ; and Bellstadt in the Klingen 
district of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen was formerly Baldersteti, 
Schannat dioec. Fuld. p. 244, anno 977 (see SuppL). From the 
Norse mythus of Balder, as given by Saxo, we learn that Balder in 
the heat of battle opened a fountain for his languishing army: 
Victor Balderus, ut afflictum siti militem opportuni liquoris beneficio 
recrearet, novos humi latices terram altius rimatus aperuit, quorum 
erumpentes scatebras sitibundum agmen hianti passim ore captabat. 
Eorundem vestigia sempiterna firmata vocabulo, quamquam pristina 
admodum scaturigo desierit, nondum prorsus exolevisse creduntur. 
This spot is the present Baldersbrond near Roeskild (note to Miiller s 
Saxo, p. 120). But the legend may be the same as old German 
legends, which at a later time placed to king Charles s account (p. 
117, and infra, Furious host) that which heathendom had told of 

1 A Salzburg doc. of the tenth cent., in Kleinmayrn p. 196 : Curtilem 
locum cum duobus pratis, quod piunti dicimus. 

2 Conf. Schopflin s Alsat. dipl. no. 748, anno 1285 : in villa Baldeburne. 
A Westphal. doc. of 1203 (Falke trad. corb. p. 5G6) names a place Balderbroc, 
which might mean palus, campus Balderi. 

PHOL. 227 

Balder ; in that case the still surviving name has itself proved a 
fountain, whence the myth of Balder emerges anew. 1 

But the name of Phol is established more firmly still. A 
Heinricus de Pholing frequently appears in the Altach records of 
the 13th century, MB. part 11, a Eapoto de Pkolingen, Phaling, in 
MB. 12, 56. 60 ; this place is on the left bank of the Danube below 
Straubingen, between the two convents of Altach. I doubt if the 
Polling in other records (and there are several Pollings in the 
Aminer country) can be the same word, as the aspirate is wanting 
and the liquid doubled. Pfullendorf or Follendorf near Gotha is 
in docs, of the 14th century Phulsclorf. A Pholenlieim in Schannat, 
Vinci, lit. coll. 1, 48. 53. Not far from Scharzfeld, between the 
Harz mts and Thuringia, is an old village named Polde, called in 
early records and writings Polidi, Palidi. Palithi, Pkolidi (Gramm. 
2, 248), the seat of a well-known convent, which again may have 
been founded on the site of a heathen sanctuary. If a connexion 
with the god can be established in this case, we at the same time 
gather from it the true value of the varying consonant in his name. 

Of Phol so many interpretations crowd upon us, that we should 
be puzzled if they could all be made good. The Chaldaic lei or lal 
seems to have been a mere title pertaining to several gods : bel= 
Uranus, bel= Jupiter, bel=Mars. The Finnish palo means fire, the 
OK Ictt, AS. lael rogus, and the Slav, pdliti to burn, with which 
connect Lat. Pales and the Palilia. Of phallm we have already 
spoken. We must first make sure of the sounds in our native 
names for a divinity of whom as yet we know nothing but the 
bare name (see Suppl.). On the question as to the sense of the word 
itself, I set aside the notion one might stumble on, that it is merely 
a fondling form of Paltar, Balder, for such forms invariably preserve 
the initial of the complete name ; we should expect Palzo, Balzo, 
but not Phol. 2 Nor does the OHG. Ph seem here to be equivalent 

1 Greek tradition tells of Herakles and Zeus: <pa<ri TOV HpaxAe a 8 
^evra zv^aardai TO Atl rrarpi eViSei^at ai>r&> fJUKpav At/3a5a. 6 8e 

CLVTOV Kararpu^eo-^at, pfyas Kepavvbv dvedooKe piKpav Ai/3u8a, f)v 6ea(rdp.fvos 6 
Hpa.K\f)s KOI ovon/my els TO 7rAov<na>repoi> eVoajcre (pe p eo "$ al (Scholia in II. 20, 74). 
This spring was Scamander, and the \ij3ds HpaK\f}os may be set by the side of 
Pfolesbrunno as well as Pfolesouwa, Xifido iov being both mead and ea ; and 
does not the Grecian demigod s pyre kindled on Oeta suggest that of Balder ? 

2 So I explain the proper name Foh from Folbreht, Folrat, Folmar, and 
the like ; it therefore stands apart from Phol. [The Suppl. qualifies the sweep 
ing assertion in the text ; it also takes notice of several other solutions, as 
Apollo, Pollux, foal, &c.] 

228 PALTAR. 

to the ordinary F which corresponds to the Saxon F, but rather to . 
be an aspirate which, answering to the Saxon tenuis P, represents 
an Old-Aryan media B. But we know that a Saxon initial P=OHG. 
Ph is found almost exclusively in foreign words 1 (porta, phorta ; 
putti, phuzi ; peda, pheit) ; it follows that for Phol, in case the Sax. 
form Pol is really made out, we must either look for such a foreign 
P, or as a rare exception, in which the law of consonant-change 
does assert itself, an Old- Aryan B. I incline to this last hypothesis, 
and connect Phol and Pol (whose o may very well have sprung 
from a) with the Celtic Bcal, Beul, Bel, Bdcmis, a divinity of light 
or fire, the Slav. Bielboyh, Belloyh (white-god), the adj. biel, bel 
(albus), Lith. baltas, which last with its extension T makes it pro 
bable that Basldaeg and Baldr are of the same root, but have not 
undergone consonant-change. Phol and Paltar therefore are in their 
beginning one, but reveal to us two divergent historical develop 
ments of the same word, arid a not unimportant difference in the 
mythology of the several Teutonic races. 2 

So far as we can see, the god was worshipped under the name 
of Phol chiefly by the Thuringians and Bavarians, i.e. according to 
ancient nomenclature the Hermunduri and Marcomanni, yet they 
seem to have also known his other name Paltar or Balder, while 

1 That is, really borrowed words, as port, paternal, palace, in which the Low 
Germ, makes no change (like that in filth, father), and therefore the High 
Germ, stands only one stage instead of two in advance of Latin : Pforte, Pi ul/, 
<&c. Such words stand outside the rule of consonant-change. TRANS. 

2 I have thus far gone on the assumption that Phol and Balder in the 
Merseberg spell designate one and the same divine being, which is strongly 
supported by the analogy I have pointed out between Pholesouwa and Baldrshagl, 
Pholesbrunno and Baldrsbrunnr ; and his cultus must have been very familiar 
to the people, for the poem to be able to name him by different names in suc 
cession, without fear of being misunderstood. Else one might suppose by the 
names, that Phol and Balder were two different gods, and there would be 
plenty of room left for the question, who can possibly be meant by Phol ? If 
PH could here represent V = W, which is contrary -to all analogy, and is almost 
put out of court by the persistent PH, PF in all those names of places ; then 
we might try the ON. Ullr, Ollerus in Saxo, p. 45, which (like nil, OHG. wolla, 
wool) would be in OHG. Wol, so that Wol endi \\6dan (Ullr ok OSinn)] 
made a perfect alliteration. And Ullr was connected with Baldr, who in Stem. 
93 a is called Ullar sen, sib to U., Ulli cognatus (see Suppl.). But the gen. 
would have to be Wolles, and that is contradicted by the invariably single L 
in Pholes. The same reason is conclusive against Wackernagel s proposal to 
take Fol for the god of fulness and plenty, by the side of the goddess Folia ; I 
think the weak form Folio would be demanded for it by an OHG. Pilnitis ; v. 
Haupts zeitschr. 2, 190. Still more does the internal consistency of the song 
itself require the identity of Phol and Balder ; it would be odd for Phol to be 
named at the beginning, and no further notice to be taken of him. 

FOSITE. 229 

Baldag, Bceldccg prevailed among the Saxons and Westphalians, 
and the AS. bealdor had passed into a common noun. Now as the 
Bavarian Eor stood opposed to the Alamannic Zio, we ought to find 
out whether Phol was in like manner unknown to the Alamanns 
and the races most akin to them. 1 

Lastly, from eastern Germany we are transported to the north 
west by a name appertaining closely to the Balder cultus, and again 
linking itself with the Edda. The Edda cites among the Ases a 
son of Baldr and Nanna, Forseti, who like his father dwelt in a 
shining hall Glitnir (glit, nitor, splendor, OHG. kliz) built of gold 
and silver, and who (as Baldr himself had been called the wisest, 
most eloquent and mildest god, whose verdicts are final, Sn. 27) 
passed among gods and men for the wisest of judges; he settled all 
disputed matters (Srem. 42 a . Sn. 31. 103), and we are told no more 
about him (see SuppL). 

This Forseti is well entitled to be compared with the Frisian 
god Fositc, concerning whom some biographies composed in the 
ninth century gives us valuable information. The vita sancti 
Wilibrordi (( 739), written by the famous Alcuin ([ 804), relates 
as follows, cap. 10 : Cum ergo pius verbi Dei praedicator iter agebat, 
pervenit in confmio Fresonum et Danorum ad quamdam insulam, 
quae a quodam dco SILO Fosite ab accolis terrae Fositesland appella- 
tur, quia in ea ejusdem dei fana fuere constructs qui locus a 
paganis in tanta veneratione habebatur, ut nil in ea, vel animalium 
ibi pascentium, vel aliarum quarumlibet rerum, gentilium quisquam 
tangere audebat, nee etiani a fonte qui ibi ebulliebat aquam haurire 
nisi tacens praesuinebat. Quo cum vir Dei tempestate jactatus est, 
mansit ibidem aliquot dies, quousque sepositis tempestatibus 
opportunum navigandi tempus adveniret. sed parvipendens stultam 

1 The inquiry, how far these names reach back into antiquity, is far from 
exhausted yet. 1 have called attention to the P/oZgraben (-ditch), the Pfalhecke 
(-hedge, -fence), for which devil s dyke is elsewhere used ; then the raising of 
the whirlwind is ascribed in some parts to the devil, in others to Herodias 
[meaning H. s daughter the dancer], in others again to Pfol. Eastern Hesse 
on the Werra has a very queer name for the whirlwind, beginning with Bull- 
or Boil- ; and in the neighbouring Eichsfeld Pulloineke is pronounced with 
shyness and reluctance (Miinchner gel. anz. 1842, p. 762). A Niddawitz 
ordinance of the same district (3, 327) contains the family name UoT/foperg 
(Polesberc ]), Pfoylsperg. The spelling Bull, Boil, would agree with the con 
jecture hazarded above, but I do not connect with this the idol Biel in the 
Harz, for Bielstein leads back to bilstein, i.e. beilstein. Schmid s westerw. id. 
145 has pollecker, bollecker for spectre, bugbear (see Suppl.). 

230 P ALTAR. 

loci illius religionem, vel ferocissimurn regis animum, qui violatores 
sacrorum illius atrocissima morte damnare solebat ; tres homines 
in eo fonte cum invocatione sanctae Trinitatis baptizavit. sed et 
animalia in ea terra pascentia in cibaria suis mactare praecepit. 
Quod pagani intuentes, arbitrabantur eos vel in furorem verti, vel 
etiam veloci morte perire ; quos cum nil mali cernebant pati, 
stupore perterriti, regi tamen Radbodo quod viderant factum 
retulerunt. Qui nimio furore succensus in sacerdotem Dei vivi 
suorum injurias deorum ulcisci cogitabat, et per tres dies semper 
tribus vicibus sortes suo more mittebat, et nunquam damnatorum 
sors, Deo vero defendente suos, super servum Dei aut aliquem ex 
suis cadere potuit ; nee nisi unus tantum ex sociis sorte monstratus 
martyrio coronatus est. Eadbod feared king Pippin the Frank, 
and let the evangelist go unhurt. 1 What Wilibrord had left 
unfinished, was accomplished some time .after by another priest, 
as the vita sancti Liudgeri, composed by Altfrid (f 849), tells of 
the year 785 : Ipse vero (Liudgerus) .... studuit fana destruere, 
et omnes erroris pristini abluere sordes. curavit quoque ulterius 
doctrinae derivare flumina, et consilio ab imperatore accepto, trans- 
fretavit in confinio Fresonum atque Danorum ad quandarn insulam, 
quae a nomine del sui falsi Fosete Foseteslant est appellata .... 
Pervenientes autem ad eandem insulam, destruxerunt omnia ejus- 
dem Fosetis fana, quae illic fuere constructa, et pro eis Christi 
fabricaverunt ecclesias, cumque habitatores terrae illius fide Christi 
imbueret, baptizavit eos cum invocatione sanctae Trinitatis in fonte, 
qui ibi ebulliebat, in quo sanctus Willibrordus prius homines tres 
baptizaverat, a quo etiam fonte nemo prius haurire aquam nisi 
tacens praesumebat (Pertz 2, 410). Altfrid evidently had the work 
of Alcuin by him. From that time the island took the name of 
helegland, Helgoland, which it bears to this day ; here also the 
evangelists were careful to conserve, in the interest of Christianity, 
the sense of sacredness already attaching to the site. Adam oi 
Bremen, in his treatise De situ Daniae (Pertz 9, 369), describe; 
the island thus : Ordinavit (archiepiscopus episcopum) in Finm 
(Fiihnen) Eilbertum, quern tradunt conversum (1. captum) a piratis 
Farriam insulam, quae in ostio fluminis Albiae longo secessu latet 
in oceano, primum reperisse constructoque monasterio in ea fecisse 
habitabilem. haec insula contra Hadeloam sita est. cujus longi- 

1 Acta sanctor. Bcned., sec. 3. pars 1, p. GOO. 

FOSITE. 231 

tudo vix VIII milliaria panditur, latitude quatuor; homines stramine 
fragmentisque navium pro igne utuntur. Sermo est piratas, si 
quando praedam inde vel minimam tulerint, aut mox perisse nau- 
fragio, aut occisos ab aliquo, nullum redisse indempnem quapropter 
solent heremitis Hi viventibus decimas praedarum offerre cum magna 
devotione. est enim feracissima frugum, ditissima volucrum et 
pecudum nutrix, collem habet unicum, arborem nullam, scopulis 
includitur asperrimis, nullo aditu nisi uno, ubi et aqua dulcis (the 
spring whence they drew water in silence), locus venerdbilis omnibus 
nautis, praecipue vero piratis, unde nomen accepit ut Heiligeland 
dicatur. hanc in vita sancti Willebrordi Fosetisland appellari 
dicimus, quae sita est in confinio Danorum et Fresonum. sunt et 
aliae insulae contra Fresiam et Daniam, sed nulla earum tarn memo- 
rabilis. The name Farria, appearing here for the first time, either 
arose from confounding the isle of Fohr with Helgoland, or we must 
emend the passage, and read a piratis Farrianis. By the customs 
of these mariners and vikings even of Christian times, we may 
assure ourselves how holy the place was accounted in the heathen 
time (see SuppL). 

In an island lying between Denmark, Friesland and Saxony, we 
might expect to find a heathen god who was common to all three. 
It would be strange if the Frisian Fosite were unknown to the 
Norsemen ; and stranger still if the Eddie Forseti were a totally 
different god. It is true, one would have expected a mention of this 
deity in particular from Saxo Gram., who is quite silent about it ; 
but then he omits many others, and in his day Fosite s name may 
have died out amongst the Frisians. 

There is some discrepancy between the two names, as was 
natural in the case of two nations : ON. Forseti gen. Forseta, Fris. 
Fosite gen. Fosites. The simplest supposition is, that from Forsite 
arose by assimilation Fossite, Fosite, or that the E, dropt out, as in 
OHG. mosar for morsar, Low Germ, mosar; so in the Frisian 
Angeln, according to Hagerup p. 20, fost, foste == forste, primus. 
Besides, there is hardly any other -way of explaining Fosite. In 
ON. forseti is praeses, princeps, apparently translatable into OHG. 
forasizo, a fitting name for the god who presides over judgment, and 
arranges all disputes. The Gothic fatiragaggja bears almost the 
same sense, which I also find, even in much later writings, attached 
to our word vorganger (now = predecessor). More complete AS. 

232 PALTAR. 

genealogies would perhaps name a Forseta or Forsete as Bseldseg s 

son. 1 

Forseti, Fosite are a proof of the extent of Balder s worship. If 
we may infer from Pholesouwa and Baldrshagi that the god loved 
isles and eas, Helgoland is a case in point, where the flocks of his 
son grazed ; and so is perhaps the worship of the Hercules-pillars, 
which, following Tacitus, we might fix on some other island near it. 2 

1 Later writers have turned Fosete into a goddess Foseta, Phoseta, Fosta, to 
approximate her to the Roman Vesta ; maps of Helgoland, in which are found 
marked a templum Fostae vel Phosetae of the year 768, and a tempi um 
Vestae of 692, were made up in Major s Cimbrien (Plon, 1692), conf. WiebeFs 
programm iiber Helgoland, Hamb. 1842. The god Foste and Fosteland could 
easily find their way into the spurious Vita Suiberti cap. 7. 

2 Another thought has struck my mind about Fosete. In the appendix to 
the Heldenbuch, Ecke, Vasat, Abentrot are styled brothers. The form Fasat 
instead of the usual Fasolt need not be a mistake ; there are several QHG. 
men s names in -at, and OS. in -ad, -id, so that Fasat and Fasolt can hold their 
ground side by side. Now Fasolt (conf. ch. XX. Storm) and Ecke were known 
as god-giants of wind and water, Abentrot as a daemon of light. As Ecke-Oegir 
was worshipped on the Eider and in Lassoe, so might Fosite be in Helgoland. 
The connexion with Forseti must not be let go, but its meaning as For-seti, 
Fora-sizo becomes dubious, and I feel inclined to explain it as For?-eti from 
fors [a whirling stream, force in Cumbld], Dan. fos, and to assume a daemon of 
the whirlpool, a Fossegrimm (conf. ch. XVII. Nichus), with which Fositfs 
sacred spring would tally. Again, the Heldenbuch gives those three brothers 
a father Nentiger (for so we must read for Mentiger) = OHG. Nandcjer and 
does not he suggest Forseti s mother Nanna = Nandd ? 


In addition to the gods treated of thus far, who could with 
perfect distinctness be pointed out in all or most of the Teutonic 
races, the Norse mythology enumerates a series of others, whose 
track will be harder to pursue, if it does not die out altogether. To 
a great extent they are those of whom the North itself has little or 
nothing to tell in later times. 


Heimffallr, or in the later spelling Heimdallr, though no longer 
mentioned in Saxo, is, like Baldr, a bright and gracious god : 
hvitastr asa (whitest of ases, Saam. 72 a ), 1 sverSas hvita, Ssem. 90 a , 
hviti as, Sn. 104 ; he guards the heavenly bridge (the rainbow), and 
dwells in Himinbiorg (the heavenly hills). The heim in the first 
part of his name agrees in sound with himinn ; ]?allr seems akin to 
J?611, gen. J?allar (pinus), Swed. tall, Swiss dale, Engl. deal (Staid. 1, 
259, conf. Schm. 2, 603-4 on mantala), but J?611 also means a river, 
Sn. 43, and Freyja bears the by-name of Mardoll, gen. Mardallar, 
Sn. 37. 154. All this remains dark to us. No proper name in the 
other Teutonic tongues answers to HeimSallr; but with Himin- 
liorg (Sasm. 41 b 92 b ) or the common noun himinfioll (Saem. 148 a 
Yngl. saga cap. 39), we can connect the names of other hills : a 
Himilinbcrg (mons coelius) haunted by spirits, in the vita S. Galli, 
Pertz 2, 10 ; Himelberc in Lichtenstein s frauend. 199, 10 ; a Himi- 
lesberg in the Fulda country, Schannat Buchon. vet. 336 ; several in 

1 When this passage says further, * vissi hann vel fram, sem Vanir a&rir, 
liter. he foreknew well, like other Vanir, his wisdom is merely likened to 
that of the Vanir (Gramm. 4, 456 on ander], it is not meant that he was one of 
them, a thing never asserted anywhere [so in Homer, Greeks and other Trojans 
means and Trojans as weW]. The Fornald. sog. 1, 373 calls him, I know not 
why, heimskastr allra asa, heimskr usually signifying ignorant, a greenhorn, 
what the MH.G. poets mean by tump. 


Hesse (Kuchenb. anal. 11, 137) near Iba and Waldkappel (Niederh. 
wochenbl. 1834 pp. 106, 2183); a Himmelsberg in Vestgotland, and 
one, alleged to be Heimdall s, in Halland. At the same time, 
Himinvdngar, Srem. 150 a , the OS. hebanwang, hebeneswang, a 
paradise (v. ch. XXV), the AS. Heofenfeld coelestis campus, Beda 
p. 158, and the like names, some individual, some general, deserve 
to be studied, but yield as yet no safe conclusion about the god. 

Other points about him savour almost of the fairy-tale : he is 
made out to be the son of nine mothers, giantesses, Saam. 118 a b . 
Sn. 106. Laxd. p. 392 ; he wants less sleep than a bird, sees a 
hundred miles off by night or day, and hears the grass grow on the 
ground and the wool on the sheep s back (Sn. 30). 1 His horse is 
Gulltoppr, gold-tuft, and he himself has golden teeth, 2 hence the 
by-names Gullintanni and HallinsM&i, tennur HallinskiSa/ 
Fornm. sog. 1, 52. It is worthy of remark, that Hallinskiol and 
Heimdali are quoted among the names for the ram, Sn. 221. 

As watchman and warder of the gods (vorftr go5a, Ssem. 41), 
Heimdali winds a powerful horn, Giallarhorn, which is kept under 
a sacred tree, Sxm. 5 b 8 a . Sn. 72-3. What the Voluspa imparts, 
must be of a high antiquity (see Suppl.). 

Now at the very outset of that poem, all created beings great 
and small are called megir Hcimd allar, sons or children of the god ; 
he appears therefore to have had a hand in the creation of the 
world, and of men, and to have played a more exalted part than is 
assigned to him afterwards. As, in addition to Wuotan, Zio pre 
sided over war, and Fro over fruitfulness, so the creative faculty 
seems to have been divided between OSinn and Heimftallr. 

A song of suggestive design in the Edda makes the first 
arrangement of mankind in classes proceed from the same Heim- 
ffallr, who traverses the world under the name of Rigr (see Suppl.). 
There is a much later German tradition, very prevalent in the last 
few centuries, which I have ventured to trace to this heathen one, 
its origin being difficult to explain otherwise. 3 As for the name Mgr, 
it seems to me to have sprung, like dis from idis, by aphaBresis 
from an older form, which I cannot precisely determine, but would 
connect with the MHG. Irinc, as in ON. an n before g or k often 

1 Conf. KM. 3, 125. 

2 Li diente d oro, Pentam. 3, 1. Of a certain Haraldr : tennr voru miklor 
ok gulls litr d, Fornald. sog. 1, 366. 

3 Zeitschrift f. d. alt. 2, 257267. Conf. ch. XIX. 


drops out (conf. stinga stack, ]?acka Jmnki), and, as will be shown 
later, Iringes straza, Iringes wee answers to a Swedish Eriksgata. 1 
The shining galaxy would suit extremely well the god who descends 
from heaven to earth, and whose habitation borders on Bifrost. 

Norwegian names of places bear witness to his cultus : Heim- 
dallarvattn, a lake in Guldbrandsdalen (GuSbrandsdalr), and 
Heimdallshoug, a hill in Nummedalen (Naumudalr) ; neither is 
mentioned in the ON. sagas. 


Above any other god, one would like to see a more general 
veneration of the ON. Bragi revived, in whom was vested the gift 
of poetry and eloquence. He is called the best of all skalds, Saem. 
46 a . Sn. 45, frumsmiSr bragar (auctor poeseos), and poetry itself is 
bragr. 2 In honour of him the Bragai\\\\. or bragarfall was given 
(p. 60) ; the form appears to waver between bragi gen. braga, and 
bragr gen. bragar, at all events the latter stands in the phrase 
* bragr karla = vir facundus, praestans, in asa bragr deorum 
princeps = Thorr (Sasm. 85 b . Sn. 21 l a , but Bragi 211 b ), and even 
bragr qvenna femina praestantissima (Seem. 218 a ). 3 

Then a poet and king of old renown, distinct from the god, 
himself bore the name of Bragi limn gamli, and his descendants 
were styled Bragningar. A minstrel was pictured to the mind as 
old and long-bearded, si5skeggi and skeggbragi, Sn. 105, which 
recalls Oolnn with his long beard, the inventor of poetry (p. 
146) j and Bragi is even said to be Oftin s son, Sn. 105 (see Suppl.). 

In the AS. poems there occurs, always in the nom. sing., the 
term brcgo or breogo, in the sense of rex or princeps : bregostol in 
Beow. 4387 and Andr. 209 is thronus regius; bregoweard in Csedm. 
140, 26. 166, 13 is princeps. 4 Now, as gen. plurals are attached to 

1 Der gammel Erik, gaminel Erke (old E.), has now come to mean old Nick 
in Swedish ; conf. supra p. 124, on Erchtag. 

2 Ssem. 113 b , of OSinn : gefr hann brag skaldom (dat carmen poetis). 

3 Does not the Engl. brag, Germ, prahlen (gloriari) explain everything ? 
Showy high-flown speech would apply equally to boasting and to poetry. 
Then, for the other meaning, the boast, glory, master-piece (of men, gods, 
women, angels, bears), we can either go back to the more primitive sense 
(gloria) in prangen, prunk, pracht, bright, or still keep to brag. Beauty is 
nature s brag, and must be shewn/ says Conius. TRANS. 

4 In Beda 4, 23 (Stevens, p. 304) a woman s name Bregosuid, BregoswiO ; 
in Kemble 5, 48 (anno 749) Bregeswi&estdn, and 1, 133-4 (anno 762), 5, 46 (anno 
747), 5, 59 (anno 798) a man s name Bregowine. In Beow. 3847 bregorof is 


it : brcgo engla, Caxlm. 12, 7. 60, 4. 62, 3 ; brego Dena, Beow. 
8i8 ; hseleSa brego, Beow. 3905 ; gumena brego, Andr. 61 ; beorna 
brego, Andr. 305 (conf. brego moncynnes, Cod. exon. 457, 3) ; there 
grows up an instructive analogy to the above-mentioned bragr 
karla, and to the genitives similarly connected with the divine 
names Tyr, Fred and Bealdor (pp. 196, 211, 220). The AS. brego 
equally seems to point to a veiled divinity, though the forms and 
vowel-relations do not exactly harmonize. 1 

Their disagreement rather provokes one to hunt up the root 
under which they could be reconciled : a verb briga brag would 
suit the purpose. The Saxon and Frisian languages, but not the 
Scandinavian or High German, possess an unexplained term for 
cerebrum : AS. briigen (like regen pluvia, therefore better written 
so than braegen), Engl. brain, Fris. brein, Low Sax. bregen ; I think 
it answers to the notions understanding, cleverness, eloquence, 
imitation, and is connected with (frprjv, $pevos, -cfrpcov, -$>povo<$. Now 
the ON. bragr, beside poesis, means also mos, gestus, and braga 
eftir einum referre aliquem gestu, imitari. OHG. has nothing like 
it, nor any such proper name as Prako, Brago, Brego. 

But, as we detected among the Saxons a faint trace of the god 
or god s son, we may lay some stress on the fact that in an OS. 
document of 1006 Burnacker occurs as the name of a place, v. 
Llinzel s Hildesheim, p. 124, conf. pref. v. (see Suppl.). Now Bragi 
and his wife I5unn dwelt in Brunnakr, Sn. 121 a , and she is called 
Brunnakrs beckjar ger5r, Brunnakerinae sedis ornatrix, as Sk. 
Thorlacius interprets it (Spec. 6, pp. 65-6). A well or spring, 
for more than one reason, suits a god of poetry ; at the same time a 
name like Springfield is so natural that it might arise without any 
reference to gods. 

Bragi appears to have stood in some pretty close relation to 
Oegir, and if an analogy between them could be established, which 
however is unsupported hitherto on other grounds, then by the 
side of briga brag the root braga brog would present itself, and 
the AS. broga (terror), OHG. pruoko, bruogo, be akin to it. The 
connexion of Bragi with Oegir may be seen by Bragi appearing 
prominently in the poem Oegisdrecka, and by his sitting next to 
Oegir in Sn. 80, so that in intimate converse with him he brings 
out stories of the gods, which are thence called Bmgarocdur, 

1 The Irish breitheam, brethemb (judcx) is said to be pronounced almost 
as brehon, Trans, of Irish acad. 14, 167. 


speeches of Bragi. It is with great propriety, no doubt, that these 
narratives, during which Oegir often interrupts him with questions 
(Sn. 93), as Gangleri does Har when holding forth in the first part 
of the Edda, were put in the mouth of the patron of poetry. 


This Oegir, an older god of the giant kind, not ranked among 
the Ases, but holding peaceable intercourse with them, bears the 
name of the terrible, the awful. The root aga 6g had given birth 
to plenty of derivatives in our ancient speech: Goth, agis <o/3o?, 6g 
^o/Beo/juaL, OHG. akiso, egiso, AS. egesa horror, OHG. aki, eki, AS. 
ege (ege 1 awe) terror, ON. cegja terrori esse, which can only be 
spelt with ce, not 3d. To the proper name Oegir would correspond 
a Goth. Ogeis, AS. fige, OHG. Uogi, instead of which I can only 
lay my hand on the weak form Uogo, Oago. But cegir also signifies 
the sea itself : sol gengr i ceginn, the sun goes into the sea, sets ; 
cegi-sior pelagus is like the Goth, mari-saivs ; the AS, eagor and 
egor (mare) is related to ege, as sigor to sige. I attach weight to 
the agreement of the Greek coiceavds, fliceavos and fiyijv, whence 
the Lat. oceanus, Oceanus was borrowed, but aequor (rnare placi- 
dum) seems not cognate, being related to aequus, not to aqua and 
Goth, ahva (see Suppl.). 1 

The boisterous element awakened awe, and the sense of a god s 
immediate presence. As Woden was also called Woina (p. 144), 
and OSinn Omi and Yggr, so the AS. poets use the terms woma, 
sweg, broga and egesa almost synonymously for ghostly and divine 
phenomena (Andr. and El. pp. xxx xxxii). Oegir was therefore a 
highly appropriate name, and is in keeping with the notions of fear 
and horror developed on p. 207-8. 

This interpretation is strikingly confirmed by other mythical 
conceptions. The Edda tells us of a fear-inspiring helmet, whose 
name is Oegishialmr : er oil qvikvendi brceSast at sia, Sn. 137 ; 
such a one did Hreitmiar wear, and then Fafnir when he lay on the 
gold and seemed the more terrible to all that looked upon him, 
Ssem. 188 a ; vera (to be) undir Oegiskialmi, bera Oegishialm yfir 

1 Oegir is also called Gymir, Saem. 59. Gdmir, Sn. 125. 183 possibly 
epulator ? but I know no other meaning of the ON. gaumr than cura, attentio, 
though the OHG. gomna, OS. goma means both cura and epulae, the AS. 
gyming both cura and nuptiae. 


einum, means to inspire with fear or reverence, Laxd. saga, p. 130. 
Islend. sog. 2, 155 ; ek bar Oegishialm yfir alia folki, Fornald. sog. 
1, 162 ; hafa Oegishialm t augum, ibid. 1, 406, denotes that terrible 
piercing look of the eyes, which others cannot stand, and the 
famous basilisk-glance, ormr i auga, was something similar. 1 Now 
I find a clear trace of this Norse helmet in the OHG. man s name 
Egihelm (Trad. fuld. 1, 97 ; in Schannat no. 126, p. 286 Eggihelm), 
i.e. Agihelm, identical with the strengthened- vowel form Uogihelm, 
which I am unable to produce. But in the Eckenlied itself Ecke s 
costly magic helmet, and elsewhere even Ortnit s and Dietrich s, 
are called Hildegrim, Hildegrin ; and the ON. grima mask or 
helmet (in Ssem. 51 a a name for night) has now turned up in a 
Eulda gloss, Dronke p. 15 : scenici = crimfan presupposes a sing. 
krimd larva, persona, galea ; so we can now understand Krimliilt 
(Gramm. 1, 188) the name of a Walkurie armed with the helmet of 
terror, and also why daemon in another gloss is rendered by 
egisgrimolt. The AS. egesgrime is equally a mask, and in El. 260 
the helmet that frightens by its figure of a boar is called a grim- 
helm. 1 venture to guess, that the wolf in our ancient apologue 
was imagined wearing such a helmet of dread, and hence his name 
of Isangrim, iron-mask, Eeinh. ccxlii (see Suppl.). NOT have we 
yet come to the end of fancies variously playing into one another : 
as the god s or hero s helmet awakened terror, so must his shield 
and sword ; and it looks significant, that a terrific sword fashioned 
by dwarfs should likewise be named in the two forms, viz. in the 
Vilkinasaga Eckisax, in Veldek s Eneit Uokesahs (not a letter may 
we alter), in the Eckenlied Ecken sahs, as Hildegrin was Ecken 
helm, Eckes helm. In the Greek alyk I do not look for any verbal 
affinity, but this shield of Zew aiyioxo* (H. 15, 310. 17, 593), 
wielded at times by Athena (2, 447. 5, 738) and Apollo (15, 229. 
318. 361. 24, 20), spreads dismay around, like Oegishialmr, 
Hildegrim and Eckisahs ; Pluto s helmet too, which rendered 
invisible, may be called to mind. That ancient god of sea, Oceanus 
and Oegir (see Suppl.), whose hall glittered with gold, Saem. 59, 2 

1 Fornm. sog. 9, 513 : gekk alvaldr und tfgishialmi. The spelling with f 
goes to confirm our 02, and refute se, as an y can only stand for the former, not 
for the latter ; conf. mor and the deriv. inyri = mceri, Gramm. 1, 473. 

2 In the great feast which he gave to the gods, the ale came up of itself (sialft 
barsc ]?ar ol, Su>m. 59), as Hephsestus s tripods ran avTopdrot in and out of the 
Qdov aywi/a, II. 18, 376. Even so Freyr had a sword er sialft vegiz (that swings 
itself), Seem. 82 a , and Thor s Miolnir comes back of itself everytime it is thrown. 


would of all others wear the glittering helmet which takes its 
name from him. From all we can find, his name in OHG. must 
have been Aki or Uoki ; and it requires no great boldness to 
suppose that in the Ecke of our heroic legend, a giant all over, we 
see a precipitate of the heathen god. Ecke s mythical nature is 
confirmed by that of his brothers Fasolt and Abentrot, of whom 
more hereafter. As the Greek Okeanos has rivers given him for 
sons and daughters, the Norse Oegir has by Ban nine daughters, 
whose names the Edda applies to waters and waves. We might 
expect to find that similar relations to the seagod were of old 
ascribed to our own rivers also, most of which were conceived of as 
female [and still bear feminine names]. 

And there is one such local name in which he may be clearly 
recognised. The Eider, a river which divides the Saxons from the 
Northmen, is called by the Frankish annalists in the eighth and 
ninth centuries Egidora, Agadora, Aegidora (Pertz 1. 355-70-86. 
2, 620-31) ; Helmold 1, 12. 50 spells Egdora. The ON. writers 
more plainly write Oegisdyr (Fornm. sog. 11, 28. 31, conf. Geogr. of 
a Northman, ed. by Werlauff p. 15), i.e., ocean s door, sea-outlet, 
ostium, perhaps even here with a collateral sense of the awful. 
Again, a place called Oegisdyr is mentioned in Iceland, Landn. 5, 
2, where we also find 3, 1 an Oegissifta, latus oceani. Further, it 
comes out that by the AS. name Fifeldor in Cod. exon. 321, 8 and 
by the Wieglesdor in Dietmar of Merseb. ad ann. 975, p. 760 is 
meant the Eider again, still the aforesaid Oegisdyr ; while a various 
reading in Dietmar agrees with the annalist Saxo ad ann. 975 in 
giving Heggedor = Eggedor, Egidor. Now, seeing that elsewhere 
the AS. poems use Fifelstream, Fifelwseg (Boeth. 26, 51. El. 237) 
for the ocean, and Fifelcynnes eard (Beow. 208) for the land of the 
ocean-sprites, we may suppose Fifel and its corruption Wiegel to be 
another and an obsolete name of Oegir. 

The same may hold good of the AS. Geofon, OS. Geban, a being 
whose godhead is sufficiently manifest from the ON. Gefjun, who is 
reckoned among the Asynior, though she bore sons to a giant. 
The Saxon Geban however was a god ; the Heliand shows only the 
compound Gebenesstrom 90, 7. 131, 22, but the AS. poets, in 
addition to Geofenes begang, Beow. 721, Geofenes staft, Caedm. 215, 
8, and the less personal geofonhus (navis), Csedm. 79, 34, geofonflod, 
Cod. exon. 193, 21, have also a Geofon standing independently in 


the nom., Cacdm. 206, 6, and gifen geotende, Beow. 3378. An 
OIIG. Kepan is nowhere found, even in proper names, though 
Stahlin 1, 598 gives a Gebeneswtlare. I know not whether to take 
for the root the verb giban to give, in which case G-ibika (p. 137) 
and Wuotan s relation to Neptune (pp. 122, 148) would come in 
here ; or to look away to the Greek yi<*v fern. \X L ^ V > hib-ernus ?] 
and the notion of snow and ice giants. 

And the North itself furnishes some names which are synony 
mous with Oegir. In the Fundinn Noregr (Sn. 369. Fornald. sog. 
2, 17) we read : Forniotr atti 3 syni, hett einn Hler, er vcr kollum 
Ocgi (one hight Hler, whom we call Oegir), annarr Logi, Jmdji Kari 
(Rask, afh. 1, 95 : Kari). Hler, gen. Hies, appears from this to have 
been the older name, in use among the giants, by which Oegir is 
spoken of in Sn. 79, and after which his dwelling-place was named 
Hles-cy (Stum. 78 b 159 b 243 b ), now Lassoe in the Cattegat. 


Of this HUr I have nothing more to tell (see SuppL), but his 
father Forniotr has left a notable trace of himself behind ; he 
belongs even less than Oegir to the circle of Ases, being one of the 
older demonic giants, and proving that even these demigods or 
personified powers of nature must also have borne sway among the 
Teutonic races outside of Scandinavia. Forniotr is to be explained, 
not as for-niotr primus occupans, but rather as forn-iotr, the ancient 
lotr (Rask, afhand. .1, 78), a particularly apt expression for those 
giants, and closely connected with iotunn itself, AS. eoton, as will 
be shown further on. Now in the AS. Liber medicinalis, from 
which Wanley, pp. 176 80 gives insufficient extracts, there is 
according to Lye s dictionary a plant of healing virtue spoken of 
(twice apparently, from the various spelling) by the name of 
Fomcotes folme, Fornetcs folme (i.e. Forneoti manus). As none of 
the ON", writings allude to this herb, its name must be a remnant 
of the Saxon people s own mythology. In OHG. the giant may 
have been called Firnez, and the plant Firnezes folma. We 
remember how, in Beow. 1662, Grendel has torn off the hand of a 
water-sprite, and presents it as tacen of his victory, just as Tristan 
chops off the giant Urgan s hand, and takes it with him to certify 
the deed, 16055-65-85. The amputation of the huge giant-hand 
seems therefore part of an ancient myth, and to have been iitly 


retained in the name of a broad-leaved vegetable ; there is also a j 
plant called devil s-hand, and in more than one legend the Evil one { 
leaves the print of his hand on rocks and walls. 

If these last allusions have led us away from the beneficent 
deities rather to hurtful demons and malignant spirits, we have here 
an easy transit to the only god whom the teaching of the Edda repre 
sents as wicked and malevolent, though it still reckons him among 
the Ases. 


Logi, as we have seen, was a second son of Forniotr, and the 
three brothers Hler, Logi, Kari on the whole seem to represent 
water, fire and air as elements. Now a striking narrative (Sn. 54. 
60) places Logi by the side of Loki, a being from the giant province 
beside a kinsman and companion of the gods. This is no mere play 
upon words, the two really signify the same thing from different 
points of view , Logi the natural force of fire, and Loki, with a 
shifting of the sound, a shifting of the sense : of the burly giant 
has been made a sly seducing villain. The two may be compared 
to the Prometheus and the Hephaestus (Vulcan) of the Greeks ; 
Okeanos was a friend and kinsman of the former. But the two get 
mixed up. In Loki, sa er flestu illu raetfr (Sn. 46), who devises the 
most of ill, we see also the giant demon who, like Hephaestus, sets 
the gods a-laughing ; his limping reminds us of Hephaestus and the 
lame fire (N. Cap. 76), his chaining of Prometheus s, for Loki is put 
in chains like his son Fenrir. As Hephsestus forges the net for 
Ares and Aphrodite, Loki too prepares a net (Sn. 69), in which he 
is caught himself. Most salient of all is the analogy between 
Hephaestus being hurled down from Olympus by Zeus (II. 1, 591-3) 
and the devil being cast out of heaven into hell by God (ch. XXXIII, 
Devil), though the Edda neither relates such a fall of Loki, nor sets 
him forth as a cunning smith and master of dwarfs , probably the 
stories of Loki and Logi were much fuller once. Loki s former 
fellowship with OSinn is clearly seen, both from Ssem. 61 b , and 
from the juxtaposition of three creative deities on their travels, 
Offinn, Hcenir, Lo&r, Saem. 3 a , instead of which we have also O&inn, 
Hcenir, Loki, Saem. 180, or in a different order O&inn, Loki, Hcenir, 
Sn. 80. 135 (conf. supra, p. 162). This trilogy I do not venture to 
identify with that of Hler, Logi, Kari above, strikingly as OSinn 
corresponds to the t? CLVC/JLOIO ; and though from the creating OSinn 



proceed breath and spirit (ond), as from Lo&r (blaze, glow) come 
blood and colour (la ok litr), the connexion of Hcenir, who imparts 
sense (65), with water is not so clear : this Hcenir is one of the 
most unmanageable phenomena of the Norse mythology, and with 
us in Germany he has vanished without leaving a trace. But the 
fire-god too, who according to that gradation of sounds ought 
either to be in Goth. Laiiha and OHG. Loho, or in Goth. Luka and 
OHG. Locho, seems with the loss of his name to have come up 
again purely in the character of the later devil. He lasted longer 
in Scandinavia, and myths everywhere show how nearly Loki the 
as approaches Logi the giant. Thorlacius (spec. 7, 43) has proved 
that in the phrase Loki fer yfir akra (passes over the fields), and 
in the Danish Locke dricker vand (drinks water), fire and the 
burning sun are meant, just as we say the sun is drawing water, 
when he shines through in bright streaks between two clouds. 
Loka daun (Lokii odor) is Icelandic for the ignis fatuus exhaling 
brimstone (ibid. 44) ; Lokabrenna (Lokii incendium) for Sirius ; 
Loka sposnir are chips for firing. In the north of Jutland, a weed 
very noxious to cattle (polytrichum comm.) is called Lokkens havre, 
and there is a proverb Nu saaer Lokken sin havre, now Locke 
sows his oats, i.e., the devil his tares ; the Danish lexicon translates 
Lokeshavre avena fatua, others make it the rhinanthus crista galli. 
When the fire crackles, they say Lokje smacks his children/ Faye 
p. 6. Molbech s Dial. lex. p. 330 says, the Jutland phrase Lokke 
saaer havre idag (to-day), or what is equivalent Lokke driver idag 
med sine geder (drives out his goats), is spoken of vapours that 
hang about the ground in the heat of the sun. When birds drop 
their feathers in moulting time, people say they gaae i Lokkis arri 
(pass under L. s harrow ?) ; at hore paa Lockens eventyr 
(adventures) means to listen to lies or idle tales (P. Syv s gamle 
danske ordsprog 2, 72), According to Sjoborg s Nomenklatur, there 
is in Vestergotland a giant s grave named Lokehall. All of them 
conceptions well deserving notice, which linger to this day among 
the common people, and in which Loki is by turns taken for a bene 
ficent and for a hurtful being, for sun, fire, giant or devil. Exactly 
the same sort of harm is in Germany ascribed to the devil, and the 
kindly god of light is thought of as a devastating flame (see Suppl.). 

On this identity between Logi and Loki rests another vestige 


of the Norse daemon, which is found among the other Teutonic 
races. If Logi comes from liuhan (lucere), Lold will apparently 
fall to the root lukan (claudere, conf. claudus lame) ; the ON. lok 
means finis, consummatio, and loka repagulum, because a bolt or 
bar closes. In Beowulf we come upon an odious devilish spirit, a 
thyrs (Beow. 846) named Grendel t and his mother, Grendeles modor 
(4232-74), a veritable devil s mother arid giant s mother. An AS. 
document of 931 in Kemble 2, 172 mentions a place called 
Grendles mere (Grendeli palus). Now the AS. grindel, OHG. 
krintil, MHG. grintcl is precisely repagulum, pessulus ; so the name 
Grendel seems related to grindel (obex) in the same way as Loki to 
loka ; the ON. grind is a grating, which shuts one in like bolt and 
bar. Gervase of Tilbury (in Leibn. 1, 980) tells of an English fire- 
demon named Grant. It is very remarkable, that we Germans have 
still in use a third synonymous expression for a diabolic being, its 
meaning heightened no doubt by composition with hell ; hollriegel 
vectis infernalis, hell-bar, a hell-brand, devil or the devil s own ; a 
shrewish old hag is styled hollriegel or the devil s grandmother ; 
and Hugo von Langenstein (Martina 4 b ) already used this Jiellerigcl 
as a term of abuse. Now hell was imagined as being tightly bolted 
and barred ; when Christ, says Fundgr. 1, 178, went down to Hades 
in the strength of a lion, he made die grintel brechen . Lastly, 
we may even connect the OHG. dremil (pessulus, Graff 5, 531) with 
the ON. trami or tremill, which mean both cacodaernon and also, it 
seems, clathri, cancelli : tramar gneypa J?ik skulo ! Stem. 85 a ; 
and in the Swedish song of Torkar, trolltram is an epithet of the 
devil who stole the hammer. As this is the Thrymr of the Edda, 
one might guess that trami stands for J?rami, with which our dremil 
would more exactly accord. Thus from several sides we see the 
mythical notions that prevailed on this subject joining hands, and 
the merging of Logi into Loki must be of high antiquity. Foersom 
(on Jutl. superstit. p. 32) alleges, that the devil is conceived of in 
the form of a lassetra, i.e., the pole with which a load is tied down. 
Beside Loki the as, Snorri sets another before us in the Edda, 
Utyar&aloki, as a king whose arts and power deceive even godlike 
Thorr ; it was one of his household that outdid the other 
Loki himself, Sn. 54 seq. 1 Saxo, who in the whole of his work 

1 Thorlacius s theory, of an older nature- worship supplanted by the Ases, 
rests mainly on the antithesis of an Oku]?6rr to Asaf>6rr, of Logi to Loki, and 
probably of Hler to Oegir, each pair respectively standing for thunder, fire, 


never once names the Eddie Loki, tells wonderful things of this 
Ugarthilocus, pp. 163-6 : he paints him as a gigantic semi-divine 
monster, who dwells in a distant land, is invoked in a storm like 
other gods, and grants his aid. A valiant hero, named Thorkill, 
brooks the adventurous journey to Ugarthilocus : all this is but 
legendary variation of the visit which, in Snorri, Thorr pays to 
UtgarSaloki. Still it is worth noticing, that Thorkill plucks out one 
of Ugarthilocus s huge spear-like hairs, and takes it home with him 
(Saxo 165-6). The utgar&ar were the uttermost borders of the 
habitable world, where antiquity fixed the abode of giants and 
monsters, i.e., hell; and here also may have been present that 
notion of the bar, closing up as it were the entrance to that 
inaccessible region of ghosts and demons. 

Whether in very early times there was also a Saxon LoJco and 
an Alamannic Lcihlw, or only a Grendil and Krentil ; what is of 
capital importance is the agreement in the myths themselves. To 
what was cited above, I will here add something more. Our 
nursery -tales have made us familiar with the incident of the hah 
plucked off the devil as he lay asleep in his grandmother s lap 
(Kinderm. 29). The corresponding Norwegian tale makes three 
feathers be pulled out of the dragon s tail, not while he sleeps, but 
after he is dead. 

Loki, in punishment of his misdeeds, is put in chains, like 
Prometheus who brought fire to men; but he is to be released 
again at the end of the world. One of his children, Fenrir, 1 i.e., 
himself in a second birth, pursues the moon in the shape of a wolf, 
and threatens to swallow her. According to Sn. 12. 13, an old 
giantess in the forest gave birth to these giants in wolfskin girdles, 
the mightiest of them being Mdnagarmr (lunae canis) who is to 
devour the moon ; but in another place, while Skoll chases the sun, 
Hati, Hroffvitnis sonr (Soem. 45 a ) dogs the moon. Probably there 
were fuller legends about them all, which were never written 
down ; an old Scotch story is still remembered about the tayl of 

water. To the elder series must be added Sif= earth, and the miSgarSsormr 
(world-snake). But what nature-god can OSinn have taken the place of? 
None ? And was his being not one of the primeval ones 1 &c. [Quoted from 
SuppL, vol. iii.] 

1 Goth. Fanareis ? OHG. Fanari, Feniri ? can it be our fahnentrager, 
pannifer 1 But the early Norse does not seem to have the word answering to 
the Goth, fana, OHG. fano (flag). [Has the fox holding up his tail as a 
standard, in the unrighteous war of beasts against birds, anything to do with 
this ?] 


tlie wolfe and the warldis end (see Stippl.). But the popular 
belief seems to have extended generally, and that from the earliest 
times, all over Germany, and beyond it. We still say, when 
baneful and perilous disturbances arise, the devil is broke loose/ as 
in the North they used to say Lola er or bondum (ch. XXIII). In 
the Life of Goz von Berlichingen, p. 201 : the devil was every 
where at large ; in Detmar s chronik 1, 298 : do was de duvel los 
geworden/ i.e., disorder and violence prevailed. Of any one who 
threatened from a safe distance, the folk in Burgundy used the 
ironical phrase : Dieu garde la lune des loups ! ?1 meaning, such 
threats would not be fulfilled till the end of the world ; in the same 
way the French popular song on Henry IV. expresses the far end 
of the future as the time when the wolf s teeth shall get at the 
moon : jusqu a ce que Ton prenne la lune avec Us dents? Fischart 
in several places speaks of this wolf des mons? and most fully in 
his Aller practik grossmutter : derhalben dorft ihr nicht mehr fur 
ihn betten, dass ihn Gott vor den ivolfen wolle leliuten, denn sie 
werden ihn diss jahr nicht erhaschen (need not pray for the moon, 
they won t get her this year). 3 In several places there circulate 
among the people rhymes about the twelve hours, the last two 
being thus distinguished : um elfe kommen die wolfe, um zwolfe 
bricht das gewolbej at 11 come the wolves, at 12 bursts the vault, 
i.e., death out of the vault. Can there be an echo in this of the old 
belief in the appearing of the wolf or wolves at the destruction of 
the world and the bursting of heaven s vault ? In a lighted candle, 
if a piece of the wick gets half detached and makes it burn away 
too fast, they say a wolf (as well as thief) is in the candle ; this 
:oo is like the wolf devouring the sun or moon. Eclipses of sun or 
noon have been a terror to many heathen nations ; the incipient 
md increasing obscuration of the luminous orb marks for them the 
inoment when the gaping jaws of the wolf threaten to devour it, 
md they think by loud cries to bring it succour (ch. XXII, Eclipses). 
The breaking loose of the wolf and the ultimate enlargement o( 
Loki from his chains, who at the time of the Eagnarokr will war 
tgainst and overcome the gods, is in striking accord with the release 
)f the chained Prometheus, by whom Zeus is then to be overthrown. 

1 Lamonnaye, glossaire to the noei bourguignon, Dijon 1776, p. 242. 

2 Conf. Ps. 72, 7 : donee auferetur luna. 

3 May we in this connexion think of the fable of the wolf who goes down 
lie well to eat up the moon, which he takes for a cheese ? 


The formula, unz Loki verSr lauss (=unz riufaz regin, till the gods 
be destroyed), answers exactly to the Greek Trplv av etc Secr/iwi/ 
Xa\da0r) npowdevs (Aesch. Prom. 176. 770. 991) ; the writhings of 
the fettered Loki make the earth to quake (Ssem. 69. Sn. 70), just 
as %0a)v <reo-d\evTcu in the case of Prometheus (Aesch. 1081). 
Only the Greek Titan excites our noblest sympathy, while the 
Edda presents Loki as a hateful monster. 

Loki was fair in form, evil in disposition ; his father, a giant, 
was named Farbauti (boatman ?), his mother Laufey (leaf-ea) and 
Ndl (needle ; thin and insinuating, mio ok auttyreiflig, 355), all of 
them words easy to translate into OHG. as Farpozo (remex), 
Loupouwa, Nadala, though such names are nowhere found. He is 
never called Farbauta sonr, but always after his mother, Loki 
Laufeyjar sonr (Seem. 67 a 72 b 73 a ), which had its origin in 
alliteration, but held its ground even in prose (Sn. 64) and in the 
Locke Loje, Loke Lovmand, Loke Lejemand of the later folk-songs. 
This Laufey (Swed. Lofo) is first of all the name of a place, which 
was personified, and here again there is doubtless reference to an 
element. By his wife Sigyn Loki had a son Nari or Narvi, and by 
a giantess Angrlofta three children, the aforesaid Fenrir, the serpent 
Idrmungandr and a daughter Hel. It is worthy of notice, that he 
himself is also called Loptr (aerius), and one of his brothers Hel- 
Uindi, which is likewise a name of OSinn. I just throw out these 
names, mostly foreign to our German mythology, in the hope of 
enlisting for them future inquiry. 

Once again we must turn our attention to a name already 
brought forward among the gods of the week (pp. 125-6), for which 
a rare concurrence of isolated facts seems almost to secure a place 
in our native antiquities. The High German week leaves two days, , 
one in the middle and one at the end, not named after gods. But 
sambaztag for Saturday, as well as mittwoch for Wuotanstag, was a 
sheer innovation, which the church had achieved or gladly accepted 
for those two days at all events. The first six days were called after! 
the sun, the moon, Zio, Wuotan, Donar and Fria ; what god was I 
entitled to have the naming of the seventh day ? Four German j 
deities were available for Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, but how| 
was Saturn to be put into German ? The Mid. Ages went on 
explaining the seventh day by the Roman god : our KaiserchronikJ 


which even for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth days names no 
German gods, but only Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, expresses 
itself thus clumsily : 

An dem sameztage sa Then on the Saturday 

einez heizet rotunda", Is a thing named rotunda 

daz was ein herez betehus, That was a lofty temple, 

der got hiez Saturnds, The god was named Saturnus, 

darnach was iz aller tiuvel 6re. Thereafter was it to all devils 


Here the worship of Saturn is connected with the pantheon built 
in honour of all the gods or devils, which Boniface converted into 
a church of St. Mary. The Anglo-Saxons, English, Frisians, Dutch 
and Low Saxons have left to the dies Saturni the god s very 
name : Sceteresd&y or Sceternesdzeg, Saturd&y, SaterdQi, Saterd&ch, 
Satersdag, and even the Irish have adopted dia Satuirn or Satarn ; 
whereas the French samedi, Span, sabado, Ital. sabato, agrees with 
our High Germ, samstag. Here is identity, not only of idea, as in 
the case of the other gods, but of name, and the absence of conson 
ant-change seems to betray downright borrowing : or may the 
resemblance have been accidental, and a genuine German name 
have been modified in imitation of the foreign one ? In OHG 
neither a Satarnes- nor a Sazarnestac can be found ; but in AS. 
scetere means insidiator (OHG. sazari, conf. saza, MHG. saze insidiae, 
a sitting in wait, as laga, lage is lying in wait) ; and what is still 
more remarkable, a document of Edward the Confessor (chart, 
antiq. rot. M. no. 1. Kemble 4, 157) supplies us with the name of 
a place Setter esby rig, quite on a par with Wodnesbyrig ; further, the 
plant gallicrus, our hahnenfuss, Engl. crowfoot, was in AS. sdtorld&e 
Saturni taedium as it were (-loathing, ON. leiol, OHG. leidi). 1 I 
call to mind, that even the ancient Franks spoke of Saturnus (p. 88) 
as a heathen god, and of Saturni dolium, though that may have 
referred to the mere planetary god (see SuppL). 

The last name for the sabbath brings us to the OK laugar- 

1 In the AS. are preserved various dialogues between Saturn and Solomon, 
similar to those between Solomon and Marculf in continental Germany, but 
more antique and, apart from their Christian setting or dressing up, not unlike 
the questions and discourses carried on in the Edda between OSinn and VatyruS- 
nir, between Ving]?6rr and Alviss, between Har and Gangleri. Here also the 
name Saturn seems to make for my point, and to designate a god of Teutonic 


dagr, Swed. logerdag, Dan. loverdag, by which in later times no 
doubt washing or bathing day was meant, as the equivalent 
)?vottdagr shows ; but originally Zo^adagr, Zo^adagr may have 
been in use, 1 and Logi, Loki might answer to the Latin Saturnus, 2 as 
the idea of devil which lay in Loki was popularly transferred to the 
Jewish Satan and [what seemed to be the same thing] the heathen 
Saturn, and Locki in ON. is likewise seducer, tempter, trapper. 
We might even take into consideration a by-name of OSinn in 
Saem. 46 a , Saftr or perhaps Sa5r, though I prefer to take the first 
form as equivalent to Sannr (true) and Sanngetall. 

But that AS. Sceteresbyrig from the middle of the llth century 
irresistibly recalls the burg on the Harz mts, built (according to 
our hitherto despised accounts of the 15th century in Bothe s 
Sachsenchroriik) to the idol Saturn, which Saturn, it is added, the 
common people called Krodo ; to this we may add the name 
touched upon in p. 206 (HreSe, HreSemonaS), for which an 
older Hruodo, Chrodo was conjectured. 3 We are told of an image 
of this Saturn or Krodo, which represented the idol as a man 
standing on a great fish, holding a pot of flowers in his right hand, 
and a wheel erect in his left ; the Roman Saturn was furnished 
with the sickle, not a wheel (see Suppl.). 4 

Here some Slav conceptions appear to overlap. Widukind 
(Pertz 5, 463) mentions a brazen simulacrum Batumi among the 
Slavs of the tenth century, without at all describing it ; but Old 
Bohemian glosses in Hanka 14 a and 17 a carry us farther. In the 
first, Mercurius is called Radihost vnuk Kirtov (Radigast grand 
son of Kirt), in the second, Picus Saturni films is glossed ztracec 

1 Conf. Finn Magnusen, lex. pp. 1041-2, dagens tider p. 7. 

2 I suppose the author had in his mind Homer s constant epithet, Kpovos 
dyKv\op.r)TT)s wily, crooked-counselled Kronos. TRANS. 

3 To Hrodo might now be referred those names Roysel (later spelling 
Reusel) and Roydach in Gramaye, who understands them of Mars ; ancient 
documents must first place it beyond doubt, which day of the week is meant. 
There is an actual Hruodtac, a man s name in OHG. (Graff 5, 362), and an OS. 
HrGddag is found in Trad. corb. 424, ed. Wigand ; these may be related to 
Hruodo, Hrodo as Baldag to Balder, and the contraction Roydag, Rodag would 
be like Roswith for Hrodsuith. If Roydag should turn out to be the seventh 
day of the week, it would be a strong testimony to the worship of Chrodo ; if 
it remain the third, we have to add, that the third month also was sacred to 
Mars, and was called ffrefremonaS by the Anglo-Saxons. 

4 The Kaiserchr. 3750 says, to Saturn we offer quicksilver ; whereas now 
Saturn s symbol signifies lead. In Megenber;;, Saturn is called Satjdr. The 
Saxon Saturn is supported by Hengest s reference to that god . (Extracted 
from Suppl., vol. iii.) 


Sitivratov zin (woodpecker, Sitivrat s son); and in a third 20 a , Saturn 
is again called Sitivrat. Who does not see that Sitivrat is the 
Slavic name for Saturn, which leads us at the first glance to sit = 
satur ? Eadigast= Mercury (p. 13 On.) is the son of Stracec= Picus ; 
and in fact Greek myths treat Picus (ZTt/to?) as Zeus, making him 
give up the kingdom to his son Hermes. Picus is Jupiter, son of 
Saturn ; but beside Sitivrat we have learnt another name for 
Saturn, namely Kirt, which certainly seems to be our Krodo and 
Hruodo. Sitivrat and Kirt confirm Saturn and Krodo ; I do not 
know whether the Slavic word is to be connected with the Boh. 
krt, Pol. kret, Euss. krot, i.e., the mole. 1 I should prefer to put 
into the other name Sitivrat the subordinate meaning of sito-vrat, 
sieve-turner, so that it would be almost the same as kolo-vrat, 
wheel-turner, and afford a solution of that wheel in Krodo s hand ; 
both wheel (kolo) and sieve (sito) move round, and an ancient spell 
rested on sieve-turning. Slav mythologists have identified Sitivrat 
with the Hindu Satydvrata, who in a great deluge is saved by 
Vishnu in the form of a fish. Krodo stands on a fish ; and Vishnu 
is represented wearing wreaths of flowers about his neck, and hold 
ing a wheel (chakra) in his fourth hand. 2 All these coincidences 
are still meagre and insecure; but they suffice to establish the 
high antiquity of a Slavo-Teutonic myth, which starts up thus 
from more than one quarter. 

1 Hardly with Crete, where Kronos ruled and Zeus was born. 

2 Edw. Moore s Hindu Pantheon, Lond. 1810, tab. 13 and 23. Sitivrat, 
who corresponds to Saturn, is the Indian Satyavrata, i.e., according to Kuhn, 
he that hath veracious (fulfilled) vows; so Dhritavrata, he that hath kept-vows 
= Varunas, Ouranos. (Quoted from Suppl., vol. iii.) 


In treating of gods, the course of our inquiry could aim at 
separating the several personalities ; the goddesses l it seems 
advisable to take by themselves and all at one view, because there 
is a common idea underlying them, which will come out more 
clearly by that method. They are thought of chiefly as divine 
mothers who travel round and visit houses, from whom the human 
race learns the occupations and arts of housekeeping and husbandry: 
spinning, weaving, tending the hearth, solving and reaping. These 
labours bring with them peace and quiet in the land, and . the 
memory of them abides in charming traditions even more lastingly 
than that of wars and battles, from which most goddesses as well 
as women hold themselves aloof. 

But as some goddesses also take kindly to war, so do gods on the 
other hand favour peace and agriculture ; and there arises an inter 
change of names or offices between the sexes. 

In almost all languages the Earth is regarded as female, and 
(in contrast to the father sky encirling her) as the breeding, teem 
ing fruit-bearing mother: Goth, airpa, OHG. erada, erda, AS. eorffe, 
ON. iorff, Gr. epa (inferred from epa^e) ; Lat. terra, tellus, humus 
= Slav, zeme , ziemia, zemlia, Lith. zieme, Gr. x a M (? whence 
%a/iafe), ala, yala, yfj : the mother subjoined in A^^rrjp, Zema 
mate, indicates the goddess. The form air)?a, erda (also herda) is 
itself a derivative ; the simpler OHG. ero (in the Wessobr. prayer : 
ero noh ufhimil, earth nor heaven) and hero (in a gloss, for solurn, 

1 OHG. in Notker has only the strong form gutin gen. gutinno, MHG. 
gotinne, Trist. 4807. 15812. Barl. 246-7. seldomer gutinne, MS. 2, 65 b ; AS. 
gyden pi. gydena, but also weak gydene pi. gydenan, Mones gl. 4185 Proserpi- 
iiam = to giclenan (1. togydenan, additional goddess) ; ON. gytya (which might 
be dea or sacerdos fern.), better dsynja (see Suppl.). 


Graff 4, 999) might be masc. (like herd = solum, Graff 4, 1026) or 
fern, still. 1 The Goth, mulda, OHG. molta, AS. molde, ON. mold, 
contain only the material sense of soil, dust ; equally impersonal is 
the OS. folda, AS. folde, ON", fold, conf. feld, field, Finn, peldo 
(campus), Hung, fold (terra). But the ON. lord appears in the 
flesh, at once wife and daughter of Oftinn, and mother of Thorr 
(Sn. 11. 39. 123), who is often called larSar burr. Distinct from 
her was Rindr, another wife of OSinn, and mother of Vali (Saem. 
91 a 95 a 97 b ), called Einda in Saxo, and more coarsely painted ; her 
name is the OHG. rinta, AS. rind = cortex, hence crusta soli vel 
terrae, and to crusta the AS. hruse (terra) is closely related. As 
this literal sense is not found in the North, neither is the mythical 
meaning in Germany (see Suppl.). 

But neither in Ior5 nor in Eindr has the Edda brought out in 
clear relief her specially maternal character ; nowhere is this more 
purely and simply expressed than in the very oldest account we 
possess of the goddess. It is not to all the Germani that Tacitus 
imputes the worship of Nerthus, only to the Langobardi (?), Eeudigni, 
Aviones, Angli, Varini, Eudoses, Suardones and Vuithones (Germ. 
40): Nee quicquam notabile in singulis, nisi quod in commune 
Nerthum* id est Terram matrem colunt, eamque intervenire rebus 
hominum, invehi populis, arbitrantur. Est in insula oceani castum 
nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum, veste contectum, attingere uni 
sacerdoti concessum. Is adesse penetrali deam intelligit, vectamque 
lubus feminis multa cum veneratione prosequitur. Laeti tune dies, 
festa loca, quaecunque adventu hospitioque dignatur. Non bella 
ineunt, non arma sumunt ; clausum omne ferrum : pax et quies 
tune tantum nota, tune tantum amata : donee idem sacerdos satia- 
tam conversatione mortalium deam templo reddat. Mox vehiculum 
et vestes, et, si credere velis, numen ipsum secreto lacu alluitur. 
Servi ministrant, quos statim idem lacus haurit. 3 Arcanus hinc 

1 The two forms ero and hero remind one of the name Eor, Cheru, attri 
buted to Mars (supra, pp. 203-4). 

2 The MSS. collated have this reading, one has nehertum (Massmann in 
Aufsess and Mones anzeiger, 1834, p. 216); I should prefer Nertus to Nerthus, 
because no other German words in Tacitus have TH, except Gothini and 
Vuithones. As for the conjectural Herthus, though the aspirate ^in herda 
might seem to plead for it, the termination -us is against it, the Gothic having 
air>a, not airbus. Besides, Aventin already (Frankf. 1580, p. 19 a ) spells Nerth. 

3 The lake swallows the slaves who had assisted at the secret bathing. 
More than once this incident turns up, of putting to death the servants em 
ployed in any secret work ; as those who dug the river out of its bed for 


terror sanctaque ignorantia, quid sit illud, quod tantum perituri 
vident (see Suppl.). 1 

This beautiful description agrees with what we find in other 
notices of the worship of a godhead to whom peace and fruitfulness 
were attributed. In Sweden it was Freyr, son of Niordr, whose 
curtained car went round the country in spring, with the people 
all praying and holding feasts (p. 213); but Freyr is altogether 
like his father, and he again like his namesake the goddess Nerthus. 
The spring- truces, harvest-truces, plough-truces, fixed for certain 
seasons and implements of husbandry, have struck deep roots in 
our German law and land-usages. Wuotan and Doiiar also make 
their appearance in their wains, and are invoked for increase to the 
crops and kindly rain ; on p. 107, anent the car of a Gothic god 
whose name Sozomen withholds, I have hinted at Nerthus. 

The interchange of male and female deities is, luckily for us 
here, set in a clear light, by the prayers and rhymes to Wuotan as god 
of harvest, which we have quoted above (p. 155 seq.), being in other 
Low German districts handed over straight to a goddess. When 
the cottagers, we are told, are mowing rye, they let some of the 
stalks stand, tie flowers among them, and when they have finished 
work, assemble round the clump left standing, take hold of the ears 
of rye, and shout three times over : 

Fru Gaue, haltet ju fauer, Lady Gaue, keep you some fodder, 
diit jar up den wagen, This year on the waggon, 

dat ander jar up der kare ! 2 Next year on the wheelbarrow. 
Whereas Wode had better fodder promised him for the next year, 
Dame Gaue seems to receive notice of a falling off in the quantity 
of the gift presented. In both cases I see the shyness of the 
Christians at retaining a heathen sacrifice : as far as words go, the 
old gods are to think no great things of themselves in future. 

In the district about Hameln, it was the custom, when a reaper 
in binding sheaves passed one over, or left anything standing in the 

Alaric s funeral (Jornand. cap. 29), or those who have hidden a treasure, Landn. 
5, 12 (see Suppl.). 

1 Speaking of Nerthus, we ought to notice Ptolemy s Nertereans, though he 
places them in a very different locality from that occupied by the races who 
revere Nerthus in Tacitus. 

2 Braunschw. anz. 1751, p. 900. Hannov. gel. anz. 1751, p. 662 [is not 
haltet a mistake for hal and something else ?] In the Altenburg country 
they call this harvest-custom building a barn. Arch, des henneb. vereins 2, 91. 


field, to jeer at him by calling out : scholl diit dei gaue frue (or, 
defru Gauen] hebben (is that for dame G.) ? l 

In the Prignitz they say fru Gode, and call the bunch of ears 
left standing in each field vergodendeelsstrtiss, i.e., dame G ode s 
portion bunch. 2 Ver is a common contraction for frau [as in 
jungfer] ; but a dialect which says fauer instead of foer, foder, will 
equally have Gaue for Gode, Guode. This Guode can be no other 
than Gwode, Wode ; and, explaining fru by the older fro, fro Woden 
or fro Gaue (conf. Gaunsdag for Wonsdag, p. 125) will denote a lord 
and god, not a goddess, so that the form of prayer completely 
coincides with those addressed to Wuotan, and the fruh Wod sub 
joined in the note on p. 156 (see SuppL). If one prefer the notion 
of a female divinity, which, later at all events, was undoubtedly 
attached to the term fru, we might perhaps bring in the ON". Goi 
(Sn. 358. Fornald. sog. 2, 17), a mythic maiden, after whom 
February was named. The Greek Tala or Fi) is, I consider, out of 
the question here. 

In an AS. formulary for restoring fertility to fields that have 
been bewitched, there occur two remarkable addresses ; the first is 
crce, erce, erce, eorfian modor I by which not the earth herself, but 
her mother seems to be meant; however, the expression is still 
enigmatical. Can there lie disguised in erce a proper name Erce gen, 
Ercan, connected with the OHG. adj. erchan, simplex, genuinus, 
germanus ? it would surely be more correct to write Eorce 1 ought 
it to suggest the lady Erche, Hcrkja, Herche, Helclie renowned in 
our heroic legend ? The distinct traces in Low Saxon districts of a 
divine dame, Herke or Harke by name, are significant. In Jessen, 
a little town on the Elster, not far from Wittenberg, they relate of 
frau Herke what in other places, as will be shown, holds good of 
Freke, Berhta and Holda. In the Mark she is called frau Harke, 
and is said to fly through the country between Christmas and 
Twelfth-day, dispensing earthly goods in abundance ; by Epiphany 
the maids have to finish spinning their flax, else frau Harke gives 

1 Hannov. gel. anz. 1751, p. 726. More pleasing to the ear is the short 
prayer of the heathen Lithuanians, to their earth-goddess, when in drinking 
they spilt some of the ale on the ground : Zemenyle ziedekle, pakylek musii 
ranku darbus ! blooming Earth, bless the work of our hands. 

2 Adalb. Kuhns markische sagen, pp. 337. 372, pref. p. vii. Conf. in ch. 
II the cry of the dwarfs : de gaue fru is im dot (dead) . 


them a good scratching or soils their distaff (see Suppl.). 1 In 
earlier times a simpler form of the name was current ; we find in 
Gobelinus Persona (Meibom 1, 235) the following account, which 
therefore reaches back beyond 1418 : Quodautem Hera colebatur a 
Saxonibus, videtur ex eo quod quidam vulgares recitant se audivisse 
ab antiquis, prout et ego audivi, quod inter festum nativitatis Christ! 
ad festum epiphaniae Domini domina Hera volat per aera, quoniam 
apud gentiles Junoni aer deputabatur. Et quod Juno quandoque 
Hera appellabatur et depingebatur cum tintinnabulis et alis, 
dicebant vulgares praedicto tempore : vrovje Hera sen corrupto 
nomine vro Here de vlughet, et credebant illam sibi conferre rerum 
temporalium abundantiam. Have we here still extant the old Ero, 
"Epa, Hero meaning earth ? and does "Hpa belong to it ? If the 
AS. Erce also contains the same, then even the diminutive form 
Herke must be of high antiquity. 

The second address in the same AS. ritual is a call to the earth : 
Ml wes thu folde, fira modor ! hale (whole) be thou earth, mother 
of men ; which agrees with the expression terra mater in Tacitus. 

The widely extended worship of the teeming nourishing earth 
would no doubt give rise to a variety of names among our fore 
fathers, just as the service of Gaia and her daughter Rhea mixed 
itself up with that of Ops mater, Ceres and Cybele. 2 To me the 
resemblance between the cultus of ISTerthus and that of the Phrygian 
mother of gods appears well worthy of notice. Lucretius 2, 597 
641 describes the peregrination of the magna deum mater in her 
lion-drawn car through the lands of the earth : 

Quo mine insigni per magnas praedita terras 
horrifice fertur divinae matris imago . . . 
Ergo quom primum magnas invecta per urbeis 
munificat tacita mortaleis inuta salute, 
aere atque argento sternunt iter omne viarum, 
largifica stipe ditantes, ninguntque rosarum 
floribus, umbrantes matrem comitumque cater vam. 
The Romans called the VI. kal. Apr. lavatio matris detim, and kept 
it as a feast, Ovid. fast. 4, 337 : 

1 Adalb. Kuhn in the Markische forschungen 1, 123-4, and Mark, sagen 
pp. 371-2 ; conf. Singularia magdeburg. 1740. 12, 768. 

~ Ops mater = terra mater ; Ceres = Geres, quod gerit fmges, antiquis enim 
C quod mine G ; Varro de ling, lat, ed. 0. Mtiller p. 25. Her Greek appella 
tion Ar]ij.t]TT)p seems also to lead to yrj ^rr]p (see Suppl.). 


Est locus, in Tiberin qua lubricus influit Almo, 
et nomen magno perdit ab amne minor ; 

illic purpurea canus cum veste sacerdos 

Almonis dominam sacraque lavit aquis. 

Ammian. Marcell. 23, 3 (Paris 1681, p. 355) : Ad Callinicum, ubi 
ante diem sextum kal. quo Eomae matri deorum pompae celebrantur 
annales, et carpentum quo vehitur simulacrum Almonis undis ablui 
perhibetur. Conf. Prudentius, hymn. 10, 154 : 

Nudare plantas ante carpentum scio 

proceres togatos matris Idaeae sacris. 

Lapis nigellus evehendus essedo 

muliebris oris clausus argento sedet, 

quern dum ad lavacrum praeeundo ducitis 

pedes remotis atterentes calceis 

Almonis usque pervenitis rivulum. 

Exactly in the same way Nerthus, after she has travelled round the 
country, is bathed in the sacred lake in her waggon ; and I find it 
noted, that the Indian JBhavani, wife of Shiva, is likewise driven 
round on her feast-day, and bathed in a secret lake by the Brahmans 
(see Suppl.). 1 

Nerthus s island in the ocean has been supposed to mean 
Eiigen, in the middle of which there is actually a lake, called the 
Schwarze see, or Burgsee. What is told as a legend, that there in 
ancient times the devil was adored, that a maiden was maintained 
in his service, and that when he was weary of her, she was drowned 

1 Gregor. Turon. de glor. conf. cap. 77 compares or confounds with the 
Phrygian Cybele some Gallic goddess, whose worship he describes as follows : 
Ferunt etiam in hac urbe (Augustoduno) simulachrum fuisse Berecynthiae, sicut 
sancti martyris Symphoriani passionis declarat historia. Hanc cum in 
carpento, pro salvatione agrorum et vinearum suarum, misero gentilitatis more 
deferrent, adfuit supradictus Simplicius episcopus, hand procul adspiciens 
cantantes atque psallentes ante hoc simulachrum, gemitumque pro stnltitia plebis 
ad Deum emittens ait : illuinina quaeso, Domine, oculos hujus populi, ut 
cognoscat, quia simnlachrum Berecynthiae nihil est ! et facto signo crncis contra 
protinus simulachrum in terram ruit. Ac defixa solo animalia, quae plaustrum 
hoc quo vehebatur trahebant, moveri non poterant. Stupet vulgus innumerum, 
et deam laesam omnis caterva conclainat ; immolantur victimae, animalia 
verberantur, sed moveri non possunt. Tune quadringenti de ilia stulta 
multitudine viri conjuncti simul ajunt ad invicem : si virtus est ulla deitatis, 
erigatur sponte, jubeatque boves, qui telluri sunt stabiliti, procedere ; certe si 
moveri nequit, nihil est deitatis in ea. Tune accedentes, et immolantes unum 
de pecoribus, cum viderent deam suam nullatenus posse moveri, relicto 
gentilitatis errore, inquisitoque antistite loci, conversi ad unitatem ecclesiae, 
cognoscentes veri Dei magnitudinem. sancto sunt baptismate consecrati. 
Compare the Legenda aurea cap. 117, where a festum Veneris is mentioned. 


in the black lake, 1 must have arisen, gross as the perversion may 
be, out of the account in Tacitus, who makes the goddess, when 
satiated with the converse of men, disappear in the lake with her 
attendants. But there are no other local features to turn the scale 
in its favour ; 2 and the Danish islands in the Baltic have at least 
as good a claim to have been erewhile the sacred seat of the 

We have yet more names for the earth-goddess, that demand 
investigation : partly Old Norse, partly to be gathered from the 
Romans. In the Skaldskaparmal, p. 178, she is named both 
Fidrgyn and Hloftyn. 

Of Fidrgyn I have treated already, p. 172 ; if by the side 
of this goddess there could stand a god Fiorgynn and a neuter 
common noun fairguni, if the idea of Thor s mother at the same 
time passes into that of the thundergod, it exactly parallels and 
confirms a female Nertlms (Goth. Nafrjms, gen. Nair]?aus) by the 
side of the masculine Nior&r (Nerthus), just as Freyja goes with 
Freyr. If it was not wrong to infer from Perkunas a mountain- 
god Fairguneis, Lithuanian mythology has equally a goddess 

Hloftyn is derived in the same way as Fiorgyn, so that we may 
safely infer a Goth. Hlofrunja and OHG. Hluodunia. In Yoluspa 
56 Thorr is called mogr HldSynjarj which is son of earth again ; 
and Fornald. sog. 1, 469 says : i Hlddynjar skaut. In the OK 
language hldff is a hearth, 3 the goddess s name therefore means 
protectress of the fireplace; and our OHG. herd (p. 251), beside solum 
or terra, also denotes precisely focus, arula, fornacula, the hearth 
being to us the very basis of a human habitation, a paternal Lar, so 
to speak, corresponding to the mother earth. The Eomans also 
worshipped a goddess of earth and of fire under the common name 
of Fornax, dea fornacalis* But what is still more important to us, 
there was discovered on Low Rhenish ground a stone, first kept at 
Cleve and afterwards at Xanten, with the remarkable inscription : 

1 Deutsclie sagen, num. 132. 

2 Of Hertha a proverb is said to be current in Pomerania : cle Hertha gift 
grns, und fiillt schiin und fass (barn and vessel), Hall. allg. lit. z. 1823, p. 375). 
But the un-Saxon rhyme of gras with fass (for fat) sufficiently betrays the 
workmanship. It is clumsily made up after the well-known rule of the farmer : 
Mai kiihl und nass fiillt scheunen und fass (see Suppl.). 

s Liter, strues, n.ra, from hlaSan lilOS, struere, Gramm. 2, 10, num. 83. 
* Ovid. fast. 2, 513. 

isis. 257 

is neither a Roman nor a Celtic goddess, but her name answers 
perfectly to that of the Norse divinity, and Sk. Thorlacius has the 
merit of having recognised and learnedly proved the identity of the 
two. 1 In this inscription I see striking evidence of the oneness of 
Norse and German mythology. Thorlacius, not without reason, 
compares the name with ATJTCI) and Latona. Might not Hldrriffi, 
an epithet of Thorr the son of Hloftyn, be explained as Hloftrid i ? 


Another goddess stands wrapt in thicker darkness, whom 
Tacitus calls Tanfana, and a stone inscription Tamfana (TAM- 
FANAE SACRUM, p. 80). We are sure of her name, and the 
termination -ana is the same as in Hludana and other fern, proper 
names, Bertana, Rapana, Madana. The sense of the word, and 
with it any sure insight into the significance of her being, are 
locked up from us, 

We must also allude briefly to the Belgian or Frisian dea 
NeJialennia, about whose name several inscriptions of like import 2 
remove all doubt ; but the word has also given rise to forced and 
unsatisfying interpretations. In other inscriptions found on the 
lower part of the Rhine there .occur compounds, whose termination 
(-nekis, -nehabus, dat. plurals fern.) seems to contain the same word 
that forms the first half of Nehalennia ; their plural number 
appears to indicate nymphs rather than a goddess, yet there also 
hangs about them the notion of a mother (^see ch. XVI, the 

3. (Isis). 

The account in Tacitus of the goddess Isis carries us much 
farther, because it can be linked with living traditions of a cultus 
that still lingered in the Mid. Ages. Immediately after mentioning 
the worship of Mercurius, Hercules, and Mars, he adds (cap. 9) : 
Pars Suevorum et Isidi sacrificat Unde causa et origo peregrine 

1 Antiq. bor. spec. 3, Hafn. 1782. Conf. Fiedler, gesch. tindalt. cles imtern 
Germaniens, 1, *22(i. Steiner s cod. inscr. Rheni no. 632. Gotfr. b chiitze, in his 
essay De dea Hludana, Lips. 1748, perceived the value of the stone, but could 
not discern the bearings of the matter. 

2 Montfaucon ant. expl. 2, 443. Vredii hist. Flandr. 1, xliv. Mem. de 
1 acad. celt. 1, 199245. Mone, heidenth. 2, 346. 



sacro, parum comperi, nisi quod signum ipsum, in modum liburnae 
figuratum, docet advectam religionem. The importation from 
abroad can hardly consist in the name Isis, seeing that Mercury, 
Mars, Hercules, names that must have sounded equally un- 
German, raised no difficulty ; what looked foreign was the symbol, 
the figure of a ship, reminding the writer of the Eoman navigium 

When spring had set in, and the sea, untraversed during winter, 
was once more navigable, the Greeks and Eomans used to hold a 
solemn procession, and present a ship to Isis. This was done on 
the fifth of March (III non. Mart.), and the day is marked in the j 
kalendarium rusticum as Isidis navigium. 1 The principal evidence { 
is found in Apuleius and Lactantius, 2 two writers who are later 
than Tacitus, but the custom must have reached back to a much 
older date. On Alexandrian coins Isis appears walking by the side 
of Pharus, unfurling a sail. 

Say that from Egypt the worship of Isis had penetrated to 
Greece, to Rome, how are we to imagine, that in the first century, or 
before, it had got itself conveyed to one particular race inhabiting 
the heart of Germany ? It must have been a similar cultus, not 
the same, and perhaps long established amongst other Germans as 

I will here draw attention to a strange custom of a much later 
time, which appears to me to be connected with this. About the 
year 1133, in a forest near Inda (in Eipuaria), a ship was built, set 
upon wheels, and drawn about the country by men who were yoked 
to it, first to Aachen (Aix), then to Maestricht, where mast and sail 
were added, and up the river to Tongres, Looz and so on, every 
where with crowds of people assembling and escorting it. Where- 
ever it halted, there were joyful shouts, songs of triumph and dancing 

1 Gesner, script, rei rust., ed. Lips. 1773. 1, 886 ; so also in the Calend. 
vallense, and in the Cal. lambec. (Graevii thes. 8, 98). 

2 Apuleii met. lib. 11 (Ruhnken p. 764-5) : Diem, qui dies ex ista nocte 
nascetur, aeterna mini nuncupavit religio ; quo sedatis hibernis tempestatibus , 
et lenitis maris procellosis nuctibus, navigabili jam pelago rudem dedicantesl 
carinam primitias commeatus libant mei sacerdotes. Id sacrum sollicita nee | 
profana mente debebis operiri ; nam meo monitu sacerdos in ipso procmctu 
pompae roseam manu dextra sistro (Egyptian timbrel) cohaerentem gestabit 
coronam. Incontanter ergo dimotis turbulis alacer continuare pompam in earn, i 
volentia fretus ; et de proximo dementer velut manum sacerdotis deosculabun- 
dus rosis decerptis, pessimae mihique detestabilis diulum belluae istius corio te 
protinus exue. Lactantius, instit. 1, 27 : Certus dies habetur in fastis, quo 
Isid-is navifjium celebratur, quae res docet illain non tranasse, sed navigasse. 

isis. 259 

round the ship kept up till far into the night. The approach of the 
ship was notified to the towns, which opened their gates and went 
out to meet it. 

We have a detailed, yet not complete, report of it in Rodulfi 
chronicon abbatiae S. Trudonis, lib. xi., which on account of its 
importance I will here insert, from Pertz 12, 309 seq.: 

Est genus mercenariorum, quorum officium est ex lino et lana 
texere telas, hoc procax et superbum super alios mercenaries vulgo 
reputatur, ad quorum procacitatem et superbiam humiliandam et 
propriam injuriam de eis ulciscendam pauper quidam rusticus ex 
villa nomine Inda 1 hanc diabolicam excogitavit technam. Accepta 
a judicibus fiducia et a levibus hominibus auxilio, qui gaudent jocis 
et novitatibus, in proximo, silva navem composuit, et earn rotis 
suppositis affigcns vehibilem super terram efecit, obtinuit quoque a 
potestatibus, ut injectis funibus textorum humeris ex Inda Aquis- 
granum traheretur. 2 Aquis suscepta cum utriusque sexus grandi 
hominum processione : nihilominus a textoribus Trajectum [Maes- 
tricht] est provecta, ibi emendata, malo veloque insignita Tungris 
[Tongres] est inducts, de Tungris Los [Looz]. Audiens abbas 
(sancti Trudonis) 3 Eodulfus navim illam infausto omine compactam 
malaque solutam alite cum hujusmodi gentilitatis studio nostro 
oppido adventare, praesago spiritu hominibus praedicabat, ut ejus 
susceptione abstinerent, quia maligni spiritus sub hac ludificatione 
in ea traherentur, in proximoque seditio per earn moveretur, undo 
caedes, incendia rapinaeque fierent, et humanus sanguis multus 
funderetur. Quern ista declamantem omnibus diebus, quibus 
malignorum spirituum illud simulacrum loci morabatur, oppidani 
nostri audire noluerunt, sed eo studio et gaudio excipientes, quo 
perituri Trojani fatalem equum in medio fori sui dedicaverunt, 
statimque proscriptionis sententiam accipiunt villae textores, qui ad 
prof anas hujiis simulacri excubias venirent tardiores. Pape ! Quia 
vidit unquam tantam (ut ita liceat latinisare) in rationalibus 
animalibus brutitatem ? quis tantam in renatis in Christo gentili- 

1 Inden in the Jiilich country, afterwards Corneliniiinster, not far from 
Aix ; conf. Pertz 1, 394. 488. 514. 592. 2, 299. 489. 

2 This of ships being built in a wood and carried on men s shoidders reminds 
one of Saxp Gram. p. 93, and of the Argo humeris travecta Alpes (Pliny N.H. 
3, 18 ; their being set on wheels, of Nestor s story about Oleg ; conf. the ship 
of Fro above. [An inadvertence on the author s part : the ship is not carried/ 
but drawn by ropes thrown over the weavers shoulders .] 

3 St. Tron between Liege and Louvain. 


tatem ? Cogebant sententia proscriptionis textores, nocte et die 
navim stipare omni armaturae genere, solicitasque ei excubias nocte 
et die continuare. Mimmque fuit, quod non cogebant eos ante 
navim Ncptuno hostias immolare, de cujus naves esse solent regione, 
sed Neptunus eas Marti reservabat, quod postea multipliciter fac- 
tum est. 

Textores interim occulto sed praecordiali gemitu Denm justum 
jndicem super eos vindicem invocabant, qui ad hanc ignominiam 
eos detrudebant, cum juxta rectam vitam antiquorum Christianorum 
et apostolicorum virorum manuum suarum laboribus viverent, nocte 
et die operantes, unde alerentur et vestirentur, liberisque suis 
idipsum providerent. Quaerebant et conquerebantur ad invicem 
lacrymabiliter, unde illis magis quam aliis mercenariis haec 
ignominia et vis contumeliosa, cum inter Christianos alia plura 
essent officia suo multum aspernabiliora, cum tamen nullum 
dicerent aspernabile, de quo Christianus posset se sine peccato 
conducere, illudque solum esset vitabile et ignobile quod immun- 
ditiam peccati coritraheret animae, meliorque sit rusticus textor et 
pauper, quam exactor orphanorum et spoliator viduarum urbanus 
et nobilis judex. Cumque haec et eorum similia secum, ut dixi, 
lacrymabiliter conquererentur, concrepabant ante illud, nescio cujus 
potius dicam, Bacclii an Veneris, Neptuni sive Martis, sed ut verius 
dicam ante omnium malignorum spirituum execrabile domicilium 
genera diversorum musicorum, turpia cantica et religioni Christianae 
indigna condnentium. Sancitum quoque erat a judicibus, ut praeter 
textores, quicumque ad tactum navi appropinquarent, pignus de collo 
eorum ercptum iextoribus relinquerent, nisi se ad libitum redimerent. 
Sed quid faciam ? loquarne an sileam ? utinam spiritus mendacii 
stillaret de labiis meis : sub fugitiva adhuc luce diei imminente 
luna matronarum catervae abjecto femineo pudore audientes strepi- 
tum livjus vanitatis, passis capillis de stratis suis exiliebant, aliae 
seminudae, aliae simplice tcntum clamide circumdatae, chorosque du- 
centibus circa navim impudenter irrumpendo se admiscebant. Videres 
ibi aliquando mille hominum animas sexus utriusque prodigiosum 
et infaustum cekusma usque ad noctis medium celebrare. Quando 
vero execrabilis ilia chorea rumpebatur, emisso ingenti clamore vo- 
cum inconditarum sexus uterque hac illacque bacchando ferebatur ; 
quae tune videres agere, nostrum est tacere et deflere, quibus modo 
contingit graviter luere. Istis tarn nefandis factis plus quam duo- 

isis. 261 

dedm diebus supradicto ritu celebratis, conferebant simul oppidani 
quid agerent amodo de deducenda a se navi. 

Qui sanioris erant consilii, et qui earn susceptam fuisse do- 
lebant, timentes Deum pro his quae facta viderant et audierant, 
et sibi pro his futura conjiciebant, hortabantur ut comburatur 
(combureretur) aut isto vel illo modo de medio tolleretur ; sed 
stulta quorundam coecitas huic salubri consilio contumeliose re- 
nitebatur. Nam maligni spiritus, qui in ilia ferebantur, disse- 
minaverant in populo, quod locus ille et inhabitantes prdbroso 
nomine amplius notarentur, apud quos remansisse inveniretur. Dedu- 
cendam igitur earn ad villam, quae juxta nos est, Leugues decre- 
verunt. Interea Lovaniensis dominus audiens de daemonioso navis 
illius ridiculo, instruetusque a religiosis viris terrae suae de illo 
vitando et terrae suae arcendo monstro, gratiam suam et amicitiam 
mandat oppidanis nostris, commonefaciens eos humiliter, ut pacem 
illam quae inter illos et se erat reformata et sacramentis confir- 
mata non infringerent, et inde praecipue illud diaboli ludibrium 
viciniae suae inferrent ; quod si ludum esse dicerent, quaererent 
alium cum quo inde luderent. Quod si ultra hoc mandatum 
committerent, pacem praedictam in eum infringerent et ipse vin- 
dictam in eos ferro et igne exsequeretur. Id ipsum mandaverat 
Durachiensibus dominis, qui et homines ejus fuerant manuatim, et 
interpositis sacramentis et obsidibus datis sibi confoederati. Hoc 
cum jam tertio fecisset, spretus est tarn ab oppidanis nostris quam 
Durachiensibus dominis. Xam propter peccata inhabitantium vo- 
lebat Dominus mittere super locum nostrum ignem et arma Lo- 
vaniensium. Ad hanc igituTplebeiamfatuitatem adjunxit se dominus 
Gislebertus (advocatus abbatiae S. Tmdonis) contra generis sui 
nobilitatem, trahendamque decrevit navem illam terream usque 
Leugues ultra Durachiensem villam, quod et fecit malo nostro 
omine cum omni oppidanorum nostrorum multitudine et ingenti 
mebaechantium vociferations. Leuguenses, oppidanis nostris pru- 
dentiores et Lovaniensis domini mandatis obsequentes, portas 
suas clauserunt et infausti ominis monstrnm intrare non per- 

Lovaniensis autem dominus precum suarum et mandatorum 
contemptum nolens esse inultum, diem constituit comitibus tanquam 
suis hominibus, qui neque ad primum, neque ad secundum, sed 
nee ad tertium venire voluerunt Eduxit ergo contra eos et contra 


nos multorum multitudinis exercitum armatorum tarn peditum 
quam militum. Nostro igitur oppido seposito, tanquam firmius 
munito et bellicosorum hominum pleno, primum impetum in Dura- 
cliienses fecit, quibus viriliter resistentibus castellum, nescio quare, 
cum posset non obsedit, sed inter Leugues et Durachium pernocta- 
vit. Cumque sequenti die exercitum applicare disponeret et ex 
quatuor partibus assultum faceret, habebat enim ingentem multi- 
tudinem, supervenit Adelbero Metensium primicerius filiorum Lo- 
vaniensis domini avunculus, cujus interventu, quia comitissa Dura- 
chiensis erat soror ejus, et Durachiense erat castellum sancti 
Lamberti, Lovaniensis dominus ab impugnatione cessavit et ab 
obsidione se amovit, promisso ei quod Durachienses paulo post ei 
ad justitiam suam educerentur. Et cum ista et alia de dominis 
et inter dominos tractarentur, pedites et milites per omnia nostra 
circumjacentia se diffuderunt, villas nostras, ecclesias, molendina 
et quaecumque occurrebant combustioni et perditioni tradentes, 
recedentes vero quae longe a nobis fuerant prout cuique adjacebant 
inter se diviserunt. 

Obviously, throughout the narrative everything is put in an 
odious light ; but the proceeding derives its full significance from 
this very fact, that it was so utterly repugnant to the clergy, and 
that they tried in every way to suppress it as a sinful and 
heathenish piece of work. On the other hand, the secular power 
had authorized the procession, and was protecting it ; it rested with 
the several townships, whether to grant admission to the approach 
ing ship, and the popular feeling seems to have ruled that it would 
be shabby not to forward it on its way. 

Mere dancing and singing, common as they must have been on 
all sorts of occasions with the people of that time, could not have 
so exasperated the clergy. They call the ship malignorum 
spirituum simulacrum and diaboli ludibrium, take for granted it 
Avas knocked together infausto omine and f gentilitatis studio, 
that maligni spiritus travel inside it, nay, that it may well be 
called a ship of Neptune or Mars, of Bacchus or Venus ; they must 
burn it, or make away with it somehow. 

Probably among the common people of that region there still 
survived some recollections of an ancient heathen worship, which, 
though checked and circumscribed for centuries, had never yet been 
entirely uprooted. I consider this ship, travelling about the 

isis. 263 

country, welcomed by streaming multitudes, and honoured with 
festive song and dance, to be the car of the god, or rather of that 
goddess whom Tacitus identifies with Isis, and who (like Nerthus) 
brought peace and fertility to mortals. As the car was covered up, 
so entrance to the interior of the ship seems to have been denied 
to men ; there need not have been an image of the divinity inside. 
Her name the people had long ago forgotten, it was only the 
learned monks that still fancied something about Neptune or Mars, 
Bacchus or Venus : but to the externals of the old festivity the 
people s appetite kept returning from time to time. How should 
that pauper rusticus in the wood at Inden have lighted on the 
thought of building a ship, had there not been floating in his mind 
recollections of former processions, perhaps of some in neighbour 
ing districts ? 

It is worthy of note, that the weavers, a numerous and arrogant 
craft in the Netherlands, but hateful to the common herd, were 
compelled to draw the ship by ropes tied to their shoulders, and to 
guard it ; in return, they could keep the rest of the people from 
coming too near it, and fine or take pledges from those who did so. 1 

Eodulf does not say what became at last of the terrea navis, 
after it had made that circuit ; it is enough for him to relate, how, 
on a reception being demanded for it and refused, heats and quarrels 
arose, which could only be cooled in open war. This proves the 
warm interest taken by contemporaries, fanned as it was to a flame 
for or against the festival by the secular and the clerical party. 

There are traces to be found of similar ship -processions at the 
beginning of spring in other parts of Germany, especially in Swabia, 
which had then become the seat of those very Suevi of Tacitus (see 
Suppl.). A minute of the town-council of Ulrn, dated St. Nicholas 
eve, 1530, contains this prohibition: Item, there shall none, by day 
nor night, trick or disguise him, nor put on any carnival raiment, 
moreover shall keep him from the going about of the plough and 
with ships on pain of 1 gulden . 2 The custom of drawing the 
plough about seems to have been the more widely spread, having 

1 Doe3 the author imply that the favour of the peasantry, as opposed to 
artizans, makes it likely that this was a relic of the worship of Earth ? 
Supposing even that the procession was that of the German Isis ; Tacitus 
nowhere tells us what the functions of this Isis were, or that she brought 
peace and fertility . TRANS. 

2 Carl Ja ger, Schwab, stadtewesen des MA. (Mid. Ages), 1, 525. 


originally no doubt been performed in honour of the divinity from 
whom a fruitful year and the thriving of crops was looked for. 
Like the ship-procession, it was accompanied by dances and bon 
fires. Sebast. Frank, p. ol a of his Weltbuch : On the Rhine, 
Franconia and divers other places, the young men do gather all the I 
dance-maidens and put them in a plough, and draw their piper, who 
sitteth on the plough piping, into the water ; in other parts they 
draw a /m/ plough kindled with a fire very artificial made thereon, 
until it fall to wrack. Enoch Wiedemanri s chronik von Hof tells 
how On Shrove-Tuesday evil-minded lads drove a plough about, 
yoking to it such damsels as did not pay ransom ; others went 
behind them sprinkling chopped straw and sawdust. (Sa chs. 
provinz. bl. 8, 347.) Pfeiffer, chron. lips. lib. 2, 53 : Mos erat 
antiquitus Lipsiae, ut liberalibus (feast of Liber or Bacchus, i.e., 
carnival) personati juvenes per vicos ^ppidi aratrum circum 
duccrent, puellas obvias per lasciviam ad illius juguni accedere 
etiam repugnantes cogerent, hoc veluti ludicro poenam expetentes 
ab iis quae innuptae ad eum usque diem mansissent \ l On these 
and similar processions, more details will be given hereafter; I only 
wish at present to shew that the driving of the plough and that of 
the ship over the country seem both to rest on the same old- 
heathen idea, which after the dislodgement of the gods by Chris 
tianity could only maintain itself in unintelligible customs of the 
people, and so by degrees evaporate : namely, on the visible mani 
festation of a beneficent benign divinity among men, who every 
where approached it with demonstrations of joy, when in springtime 
the soil was loose again and the rivers released from ice, so that 
agriculture and navigation could begin anew. 2 In this way the 

1 Scheffer s Haltaus, 202. Hans Sachs also relates I. 5, 508 a , how the 
maids who had not taken men, were forced into the plough (see Suppl.). 

2 To this day, in the churches of some villages of Holstein, largely inha 
bited by seamen, there hang little ships, which in springtime, when navigation 
re-operis, are decorated with ribbons and flowers : quite the Roman custom in 
the case of Isis (p. 258). We also find at times silver sliips hung up in churches, 
which voyagers in stress of weather have vowed in case of a safe arrival home ; 
an old instance of this I will borrow from the Vita Godehardi Hildesiensis : 
Fuit tune temporis in Trajectensi episcopatu vir quidam arti mercatoriae dedi- 
tus, qui frequenter mare transiret ; hie quodam tern pore maxima tempestate in 
medio mari deprehenditur, ab omnibus conclamatur, et nil nisi ultimus vitae 
terminus timetur. Tandem finite aliquanto tempore auxilium beati Godehardi 
implorabant, et argenteam navim delaturos, si evaderent, devoverunt. Hos in 
ecclesia nostra navim argenteam deferentes postea vidimus (in King Lothair s 
time). In a storm at sea, sailors take vows : E chi dice, una nave vo far fare, e 
poi portarla in Vienna al gran barone ; Buovo d Antona 5, 32. The Lapps at 


Sueves of Tacitus s time must have done honour to their goddess 
by carrying her ship about. The forcing of unmarried young 
women to take part in the festival is like the constraint put upon 
the weavers in Kipuaria, and seems to indicate that the divine 
mother in her progress at once looked kindly on the bond of love 
and wedlock, and punished the backward ; in this sense she might 
fairly stand for Dame Venus, Hold a and Frecke. 

The Greeks dedicated a ship not only to Isis, but to Athene. 
At the Panathensea her sacred peplos was conveyed by ship to the 
Acropolis : the ship, to whose mast it was suspended as a sail, was 
built on the Kerameikos, and moved on dry land by an under 
ground mechanism, first to the temple of Demeter and all round it, 
past the Pelasgian to the Pythian, and lastly to the citadel. The 
people followed in solemnly ordered procession. 1 

We must not omit to mention, that Aventin, after transforming 
the Tacitean Isis into a frau Eisen, and making iron (eisen) take 
its name from her, expands the account of her worship, and in 
addition to the little ship, states further, that on the death of her 
father (Hercules) she travelled through all countries, came to the 
German king Schwab, and staid for a time with him ; that she 
taught him the forging of iron, the sowing of seed, reaping, grinding, 
kneading and baking, the cultivation of flax and hemp, spinning, 
weaving and needle work, and that the people esteemed her a holy 
woman. 2 We shall in due time investigate a goddess Zisa, and her 
claims to a connexion with Isis. 

Can the name under which the Suevi worshipped that goddess 

yule-tide offer to their jauloherra small ships smeared with reindeer s Itlood, and 
hang them on trees ; Hogstrom, efterretninger om Lapland, p. 511. These 
votive gifts to saints fill the place of older ones of the heathen time to gods, 
as the voyagers to Helgoland continued long to respect Fosete s sanctuary 
(p. 231). Now, as silver ploughs too were placed in churches, and later in the 
Mid. Ages were even demanded as dues, these ships and ploughs together lend 
a welcome support to the ancient worship of a maternal deity (see SuppL). 

1 Philostr. de vitis sophist, lib. 2 cap. 1, ed. Paris. 1608, p. 549. 

2 So Jean le Maire de Beiges in his Illustrations de Gaulle, Paris, 1548, bk. 
3 p. xxviii : Au temps duquel (Hercules Allemannus) la deesse Isis, royne 
d Egypte, veint en Allemaigne et montra au rude peuple 1 usaige de mouldre la 
farine et faire du pain. 3 J. le Maire finished his work in 1512, Aventin not 
till 1522 ; did they both borrow from the spurious Berosus that came out in 
the 15th century ? Hunibald makes a queen Cambra, who may be compared 
with the Langobardic Gambara, introduce the arts of building, sowing and 
weaving (see Suppl.). 


whom the Romans identified with Isis may not at least one of her 
secondary names have been Holda ? The name has a purely 
Teutonic meaning, and is firmly grounded in the living traditions 
of our people to this day. 

Holdd is the kind, benignant, merciful goddess or lady, from 
hold (propitius), Goth. hul)?s (Luke 18, 13 ; root, hityan halj? 
liutyun, to bend, bow), ON. hollr ; the Gothic form of it would be 
Hulpo. For the opposite notion of a malignant diabolic being, 
Ulphilas employs both the fern, unhulpd and the masc. unhulfra, 
from which I infer a liulfra by the side of hulpo : one more confir 
mation of the double sex running through the idea of these 
divinities. It is true, such a by-name could be shared by several 
gods or spirits. Notker in the Capella 81 renders verus genius by 
min ware Tioldo . And in MHG. parlance, holde (fern, and masc.) 
must have been known and commonly used for ghostly beings. 
Albrecht of Halberstadt, in translating Ovid s Metamorphoses, 
uses wazzerholde (gen. -en) for nymph ; rhyme has protected the 
exact words from corruption in Wikram s poetic paraphrase. 1 In 
the largely expanded Low German version of the Ship of Fools 
(Narragonia, Rostock 1519 ; 96 a ) we find the following passage 
which is wanting in the HG. text : Mannich narre lovet (be- 
lieveth) an vogelgeschrei, und der guden hollen (bonorum geniorum) 
gunst . Of more frequent occurrence is the MHG. unholde (fern.), 
our modern unkold (masc.), in the sense of a dark, malign, yet 
mighty being. 

The earliest example of the more restricted use of the name 
Holda is furnished by Burchard, bp. of Worms, p. 194 a : 2 Credidisti 

1 Frankf. 1631 ; 4, 171 a von einer wazzerh olden, rh. solden ; 176 a wazzer 
holde, rh. solde. 

2 If, in the inscription * deae Hludanae quoted p. 257, we might by a 
slight transposition substitute Huldanae, this would be even more welcome 
than the analogy to ON. Hloftyn, it would be the most ancient evidence for 
Hulda, supported as she already is by the Goth, unhulpd and the OHG. female 
name Holda, a rare one, yet forthcoming in Schannat, trad. fuld. no. 445 ; also 
Holdasind in Graff 4, 915. Schiitze s treatise De dea Hludana first appeared 
Lips. 1741 ; and when Wolf (in Wodana, p. 50) mentions a Dutch one De dea 
Huldea, Trajecti 1746, if that be really the title, this can be no other than a very 
tempting conjecture by Cannegieter founded on our * Hulda which occurs in 
Eccard. A Latin dative Huldanae would mean our weak form, OHG. Holdun, 
AS. Holdan, just as Berta, Hildegarda are in Latin docs, inflected Bertanae, 
Hildegardanae ; though there may also have sprung up a nom. Bertana, 
Huldana. So the dat. Tanfanae too would lead us to at all events a German 
nom. Tanfa, and cut short all the attempts to make out of -fana a Celtic word 
or the Latin fanum. Tanfa suggests an ON. man s name Danpr, or the OHG. 


ut aliqua femina sit, quae hoc facere possit, quod qnaedam a diabolo 
deceptae se affirmant necessario et ex praecepto facere debere, id 
est cum daemonum turba in similitudinem mulierum transformata, 
quam vulgaris stultitia Holdam (al. unholdam) vocat, certis 
noctibus equitare debere super quasdam bestias, et in eorum se 
consortio annumeratam esse. The remarkable varia lectio 
unJwlda is taken from the Cod. vindob. univ. 633. Burchard has 
here put the German word in the place of the more usual Diana 
paganorum dea, who in other passages is named in a like sense and 
in the same connexion. [A still earlier notice of Holda is found 
in Walafrid Strabo, see Suppl.] 

In popular legends and nursery-tales, frau Holda (Hulda, 
Holle, 1 Hulle, frau Holl) appears as a superior being, who manifests a 
kind and helpful disposition towards men, and is never cross 
except when she notices disorder in household affairs. None of 
the German races appear to have cherished these oral traditions so 
extensively as the Hessians and Thuringians (that Worms bishop 
was a native of Hesse). At the same time, dame Holle is found as 
far as the Voigtland, 2 past the Ehon mts in northern Franconia, 3 in 
the Wetterau up to the Westerwald, 4 and from Thuringia she 
crosses the frontier of Lower Saxony. Swabia, Switzerland, 
Bavaria, Austria, North Saxony and Friesland do not know her by 
that name. 

From what tradition has still preserved for us, 5 we gather the 
following characteristics. Frau Holle is represented as a being of 
the sky, begirdling the earth : when it snows, she is making her 

root damph ; granted a change of F into CH or TH [/ has become ch in sachte, 
nichte, achter, ruchtbar or ruchbar, &c.], there would arise yet further possi 
bilities, e.g. a female name Tancha (grata) would correspond to the OHG. masc. 
Dancho (gratus) Graff 5, 169 ; conf. Dankrat = Gibicho, Haupt s zeitschr. 1, 
573. I am not convinced of Huldana, and confess that Hludana may also 
maintain itself, and be explained as Hluda (clara, praeclara) ; the weight of 
other arguments must turn the scale. Among these however, the use of gute 
holden and hollar vaettir (Ssem. 240 b ) for spirits, and of holl regin (Sa3m. 60*) 
for gods, is especially worthy of notice. In ON. the adj. hollr had undergone 
assimilation (Goth. hul]?s, OHG. hold), while the proper name Huldr retained 
the old form ; for to me the explanation huldr = occultus, celatus, looks very 

1 Holle from Hulda, as Folle from Fulda. 

2 Jul. Schmidt s Eeichenfels p. 152. 

3 Reinwald, Henneb. id. 1, 68. 2, 62. Schmeller 2, 174. 

4 Schmidt s Westerwald. idiot. 73. 341. 

5 Kinderm. no. 24. Deutsche sagen, nos. 4 8. Falkenstein s Thur. 
chronica 1, 165-6 (see Suppl.). 


bed, and the feathers of it fly. 1 She stirs up snow, as Donar does 
rain : the Greeks ascribed the production of snow and rain to their 
Zeus : Jto? o/x/3/>o?, II. 5, 91. 11, 493 as well as vnpaSes Ai6s, II. 19, 
357 ; so that Holda conies before us as a goddess of no mean rank. 2 
The comparison of snowflakes to feathers is very old ; the Scythians 
pronounced the regions north of them inaccessible, because they 
were filled with feathers (Herod. 4, 7. conf. 31). Holda then must 
be able to move through the air, like dame Herke. 

She loves to haunt the lake and fountain ; at the hour of noon 
she may be seen, a fair white lady, bathing in the flood and 
disappearing; a trait in which she resembles Kerthus. Mortals, 
to reach her dwelling, pass through the well ; conf. the name 

Another point of resemblance is, that she drives about in a 
waggon. She had a linchpin put in it by a peasant whom she 
met ; when he picked up the chips, they were gold. 4 Her annual 
progress, which, like those of Herke and Berhta, is made to fall 
between Christmas and Twelfth-day, when the supernatural has 
sway, 5 and wild beasts like the wolf are not mentioned by their 
names, brings fertility to the land. Not otherwise does Derk with 
the boar, that Freyrof the Netherlands (p. 214), appear to go his 
rounds and look after the ploughs. At the same time Holda, like 
Wuotan, can also ride on the winds, clothed in terror, and she, like 
the god, belongs to the wiitende heer . From this arose the 
fancy, that witches ride in Holla s company (ch. XXXIV, snow- 

1 Dame Holle shakes her bed, Modejourn. 1816, p. 283. They say in 
Scotland, when the first flakes fall : The men o the East are pyking their 
geese, and sending their feathers here awa there awa . In Prussian Samland, 
when it snows : The angels shake their little bed ; the flakes are the down- 
feathers, but many drop past, and get down to our earth. 

2 As other attributes of Holda have passed to Mary, we may here also 
bring into comparison the Maria ad nives, notre dame aux neiges, whose feast was 
held on Aug. 5 ; on that day the lace-makers of Brussels pray to her, that their 
work may keep as white as snow. In a folk-song of Bretagne : Notre dame 
Marie, sur votre trone de neige ! (Barzas breiz 1, 27). May not the otherwise 
unintelligible Hildesheim legend of Hillesnee (DS. no. 456) have arisen out of 
a Holde sue ? 

3 If the name brunnenhold in the Marchenbuch of Alb. Ludw. Grimm 1, 
221 is a genuine piece of tradition, it signifies a fountain-sprite. [Newborn 
babes are fetched by the nurse out of dame Hollas pond ; Suppl.] 

4 A similar legend in Jul. Schmidt s Reichenfels p. 152. 

5 This must be a purely heathen view. I suppose the Christian sentiment 
was that expressed by Marcel! us in Hamlet i. 1 : no spirit dares stir abroad, 
the nights are wholesome, &c. . TRANS. 


wives) ; it was already known to Burchard, and now in Upper 
Hesse and the Westerwald, Holle-riding, to ride with Holle, is 
equivalent to a witches ride. 1 Into the same furious host, 
according to a wide-spread popular belief, were adopted the souls 
of infants dying uribaptized ; not having been christian d, they 
remained heathen, and fell to heathen gods, to "VVuotan or to 

The next step is, that Hulda, instead of her divine shape, 
assumes the appearance of an ugly old woman, long-nosed, big- 
toothed, with bristling and thick-matted hair. He s had a jaunt 
with Holle/ they say of a man whose hair sticks up in tangled 
disorder ; so children are frightened with her or her equally hideous 
train : 2 hush, there s Hulle-letz (-bruin), Hulle-popel (-bogie) 
coming/ Holle-peter, as well as Hersche, Harsche, Hescheklas, 
Euprecht, Eupper (ch. XVII, house-sprites^, is among the names 
given to the muffled servitor who goes about in Holle s train at the 
time of the winter solstice. In a nursery-tale (Marchen no. 24) 
she is depicted as an old witch with long teeth ; according to the 
difference of story, her kind and gracious aspect is exchanged for a 
dark and dreadful one. 

Again, Holla is set before us as a spinning-wife ; the cultivation 
of flax is assigned to her. Industrious maids she presents with 
spindles, and spins their reels full for them over night ; a slothful 
spinner s distaff she sets on fire, or soils it. 3 The girl whose spindle 
dropt into her fountain, she rewarded bountifully. When she 

1 Ester s oberh. idiot., sub v. 

2 Erasm. Alberus, fable 16 : Es kamen auch zu cliesem heer Viel weiber 
die sich forchten sehr (were sore afraid), Und trugen sicheln in der hand, Fraw 
Hulda hat sie ausgesandt. Luther s Expos, of the Epistles, Basel 1522 fol. 
69 a : Here cometh up dame Hulde with the snout (potznase, botch-nose), to 
wit, nature, and goeth about to gainsay her God and give him the lie, hangetli 
her old ragfair about her, the straw-harness (stroharnss) ; then falls to work, 
and scrapes it featly on her fiddle. He compares nature rebelling against God 
to the heathenish Hulda with the frightful nose (Oberlin, sub v. potzmann- 
chen), as she enters, muffled up in straw and frippery, to the fiddle s playing. 

3 Bruckner, Contrib. to the Henneberg idioticon, p. 9, mentions a popular 
belief in that part of Franconia : On the high day comes the Hollefrau 
(Hollefra, Hullefra), and throws in reels ; whoever does not spin them full, she 
breaks their necks, (conf. infra Berhta and Berhtolt and the Devil). On the 
high day she is burnt, which reminds one of Carrying Death out in 
Teutonic and Slav countries, and Sawing the old woman in Italy and 
Spain. By the addition of -frau after the name (conf. gaue fru, p. 253) 
we perceive its originally adjective character. Cod. pal. 355 b : ich wen, 
kain sckusel in kaim rocken wart nie als hesslich als du bist, I ween no scare 
crow on a distaff was ever as ugly as thou. 


enters the land at Christmas, all the distaffs are well stocked, and 
left standing for her ; by Carnival, when she turns homeward, all 
spinning must be finished off, and the staffs are now kept out of 
her sight (Superst. 683) ; if she finds everything as it should be, 
she pronounces her blessing, and contrariwise her curse ; the 
formulas so many hairs, so many good years ! and so many 
hairs, so many bad years ! have an oldworld sound. Apparently 
two things have been run into one, when we are also told, that 
during the twelve-nights no flax must be left in the diesse, or 
dame Holla will come. 1 The concealment of the implements 
shows at the same time the sacredness of her holiday, which ought 
to be a time of rest. 2 In the Ehon mts, they do no farm- work on 
Hulla s Saturday, neither hoe, nor manure, nor drive the team a- 
field . In the North too, from Yule-day to New-year s day, neither 
wheel nor windlass must go round (see Superst., Danish, 134; SuppL). 
This superintendence of agriculture and of strict order in the 
household marks exactly the office of a motherly deity, such as we 
got acquainted with in Nerthus and Isis. Then her special care of 
flax and spinning (the main business of German housewives, who 
are named after spindle and distaff, 3 as men are after sword and 
spear), leads us directly to the ON. Frigg, Coin s wife, whose being 
melts into the notion of an earth-goddess, and after whom a 
constellation in the sky, Orion s belt, is called Friggjar rockr, 
Friggae coins. Though Icelandic writings do not contain this 
name, it has remained in use among the Swedish country-folk 
(Hire, sub v. Friggerock). The constellation is however called 
Maridrock, Dan. Marirock (Magnusen, gloss. 361. 376), the 
Christians having passed the same old idea on to Mary the 
heavenly mother. The Greeks put spindle arid distaff in the hands 
of several goddesses, especially Artemis (xpva-rjXd/caTos, II. 20, 70) 
and her mother Leto, but also Athene, Amphitrite and the Nereids. 
All this fits in with Holda, who is a goddess of the chase (the wild 
host), and of water-springs. 

1 Braunschw. anz. 1760, no. 86 ; the diesse is the bundle of flax on the 

2 This makes one think of Gertrude. The peasants almanacks in 
Carniola represent that saint by two little mice nibbling at the thread on a 
spindle (vreteno), as a sign that there ou^ht to be no spinning on her day. The 
same holds good of the Russian piatnitsa, Friday (Kopitars rec. von Strahls 
gel. Russlam 1). 

3 RA. 163-8. 470. Women are called in AS. Mc5owebban, peace- weavers. 


One might be tempted to derive dame Holda from a character 
in the Old Testament. In 2 Kings 22, 14 and 2 Chron. 34, 22 we 
read of a prophetess ?TT7il Huleddah, Huldah, for which Luther 
puts Hulda ; the Septuagint has O\8a, the Vulgate Olda, but the 
Lat. Bible Viteb. 1529 (and probably others since) Hulda, 
following Luther, who, with the German Holda in his mind, thus 
domesticated the Jewish prophetess among his countrymen. 
Several times in his writings he brings up the old heathen life we 
had an instance a page or two back. 1 I do not know if any one 
before him had put the two names together; but certainly the 
whole conception of a dame Holda was not first drawn from the 
Olda of the Vulgate, which stands there without any special 
significance; this is proved by the deep-rootedness of the name 
in our language, by its general application [as adj. and com. 
noun] to several kinds of spirits, and by the very ancient negative 

Were it only for the kinship of the Norse traditions with our 
own, we should bid adieu to such a notion as that. True, the 
Eddie mythology has not a Holla answering to our Holda ; but 
Snorri (Yngl. saga c. 16. 17) speaks of a wise woman (volva, 
seiSkona) named Suldr, and a later Icelandic saga composed in 
the 14th century gives a circumstantial account of the enchantress 
Hulda, beloved of OSinu, and mother of the well-known halt- 
goddesses ThorgerSr and Irpa. 2 Of still more weight perhaps 
are some Norwegian and Danish folk-tales about a wood or 
mountain wife Sulla, Huldra, Huldre, whom they set forth, now 
as young and lovely, then again as old and gloomy. In a blue garment 
and white veil she visits the pasture-grounds of herdsmen, and 
mingles in the dances of men ; but her shape is disfigured by a tail, 
which she takes great pains to conceal. Some accounts make her 
beautiful in front and ugly behind. She loves music and song, her 
lay has a doleful melody and is called huldreslaat. In the forests 
you see Huldra as an old woman clothed in gray, marching at the 
head of her flock, milkpail in hand. She is said to carry off 
people s unchristened infants from them. Often she appears, not 
alone, but as mistress or queen of the mountain-sprites, who are 

1 I believe Luther followed the Hebrew, merely dropping the final h t as 
he does in Jehova, Juda, &c. TRANS. 

2 Muller s sagabibl. 1, 3636. 


called huldrefolk. 1 In Iceland too they know of this Huldufolk, of 
the Haldumenn ; and here we find another point of agreement 
with the popular faith of Germany, namely, that by the side of our 
dame Holde there are also holdcn, i.e., friendly spirits, a silent 
subterranean people, of whom dame Holde, so to speak, is the 
princess (see Suppl.). For this reason, if no other, it must be more 
correct to explain the Norse name Hulla, Huldra from the ON. 
hollr (fidus, fidelis, propitlus) which is huld in Dan. and Swed., and 
not from the ON. hulda (obscuritas) as referring to the subterranean 
abode of the mountain-sprites. In Swedish folk-songs I find 
huldmoder, hulda rnoder said of one s real mother in the same 
sense as kiira (dear) moder (Sv. vis. 1, 2, 9) ; so that huld must 
have quite the meaning of our German word. It is likely that the 
term huldufolk was imported into the Icelandic tongue from the 
Danish or Norwegian. It is harder to explain the K inserted in 
the forms Huldra, Huldre ; did it spring out of the plural form 
hulder (boni genii, hollar vaettir) ? or result from composition ? 

The German Holda presides over spinning and agriculture, the 
Norse Hulle over cattle-grazing and milking. 


A being similar to Holda, or the same under another name, 
makes her appearance precisely in those Upper German regions 
where Holda leaves off, in Swabia, in Alsace, in Switzerland, in 
Bavaria and Austria. 2 She is called frau Berchte, i.e., in OHG. 
Perahta, the bright, 3 luminous, glorious (as Holda produces the 
glittering snow) : by the very meaning of the word a benign and 
gladdening influence, yet she is now rarely represented as such ; as 
a rule, the awe-inspiring side is brought into prominence, and she 

1 Details to be found in Miiller s sagab. 1 , 367-8. Hallager p. 48. Faye 
pp. 39-43 and 10. 15. 25. 20. 36. Frigge, nytaarsgave for 1813, p. 85. Strom s 
Sondmor 1, 538-59. Vilses Spydeberg 2, 419. Villes Sillejord. p. 230. 
Asbiornsen, passim. 

2 A portion of Franconia and Thuringia knows both Berchta and Holda, 
there at all events is the boundary between the two. Matthesiits, in his 
Exposition of the gospels for feastdays, p. 22, names dame Hulda and old 
Uerchte side by side. 

3 Among "the celebrated maidens of MengloS is a Biort (Ssem. lll a ), 
MengloG herself is called su in solbiarta (lll b ), and the father of her 
betrothed Svipdagr Solbiartr (sun-bright, 112 a ). A Menglot) in a later story 
appears to some one in a dream (Fornin. sog. 3, 222-3), and leaves him a 
marvellous pair of gloves. 


appears as a grim bugbear to frighten children with. In the 
stories of dame Berchta the bad meaning predominates, as the good 
one does in those of dame Holda; that is to say, the popular 
Christian view had degraded Berchta lower than Holda. But she 
too is evidently one with Herke, Freke and some others (see 

Where their identity comes out most plainly is in the fact that 
they all go their rounds at the same time, in the so-called twelfths 
between Christmas and New-year. Berchta however has a 
particular day assigned her at the end of that period, which I never 
find named after Holda. And no less similar are their functions. 

Berchta, like Holda, has the oversight of spinners; whatever 
spinning she finds unfinished the last day of the year, she spoils 
(Superst. 512). Her festival has to be kept with a certain tradi 
tional food, gruel and fish. Thorr says he has had sildr ok hafra 
(herrings and oats) for supper, Sgem. 75 a ; our white lady has pre 
scribed the country folk a dish of fish and oat-grits for evermore, 
and is angry whenever it is omitted (Deutsche sagen, no. 267). 
The Thuringians in the Saalfeld country wind up the last day of 
the year with dumplings and herrings. Fish and farinaceous food 
were considered by Christians the proper thing for a fast. 1 

The revenge taken by the wrathful Berchta, when she misses the 
fish and dumplings, has a quaint and primitive sound : whoever has 
partaken of other food on her day, she cuts his belly open, fills it 
with chopped straw, and sews up the gash with a ploughshare for 
a needle and an iron chain by way- of thread (Superst. 525). 2 

1 The Braunschw. anz. 1760, p. 1392, says no leguminous plants are to be 
i eaten when dame Holla is going round in the twelve-nights . Either a 
j mistake, or to be understood of particular kinds of pulse. 

2 Almost the same is told in the Voigtland of the Werre or dame Holle. 
The Werre, on the holy eve of the high New-year, holds a strict inquiry 

I whether all the distaffs are spun off ; if they are not, she defiles the flax. And 
on that evening you must eat poise, a thick pap of flour and water prepared in 
a peculiar way ; if any one omits it, she rips his body open, Jul. Schmidt, 
Reichenfels, p. 152. The name Werra (from her gewirrt, tangled shaggy 
hair?) is found in Thorn. Reinesius, Lect. var., Altenbg 1640, p. 579 (in the 
(critical notes on Rhyakinus s, i.e. Andr. Rivinus or Bachmann s Liber Kirani- 
ium Kirani, Lips. 1638) : Nostrates hodieque petulantioribus et refractariis 
manducum aliquem cum ore hiante frendentem dentibus, aut furibundam 
silvesceute coma, facie lurida, et cetero habitu terribilem cum cornitatu maena- 
jdum Werram interminantur. Reinesius (1587-1667) came from Gotha, but 
(lived at Hof in the Voigtland. A werre is also a noisome chirping insect of 
le cricket kind (Popowitsch 620). In MHG. : ssejet diu Werre, (Discordia) 
samen dar, BOWS her seed, Ms. 2, 25 l b , conf. Troj. 385 (see Suppl.) ; and in 



And the same threat is held out in other districts also (see 


Borner s Folk-tales of the Orlagau (between the Saale and the 
Orle) furnish abundant details. At p. 153: The night before 
Twelfthday, PercUha always examines the spinning-rooms of the 
whole neighbourhood, she brings the spinners empty reels, with 
directions to spin them full within a very brief time, and if all she 
demands cannot be delivered, she punishes them by tangling and 
befouling the flax. On the same occasion she cuts open any one s 
body, that has not eaten zemmcde l that day, takes out any other 
food he has had, and fills the empty space with hay or straw wisps 
and bricks, and at last sews his body up again, using a ploughshare 
for a needle, and for thread a rohm chain. P. 159 : At Oppurg, the 
same night of the year, PercUha found the spinning-room full of 
merrymaking guests, and in a towering rage she handed in through the 
window tivelve empty reels, which were to be spun full to the rim within 
an hour, when she would come back ; one quarter of an hour had 
passed after another in fearful expectation, when a saucy girl ran 
up to the garret, reached down a roll of tow, and wrapped it round 
the empty reels, then they spun two or three thicknesses of thread 
over the tow, so that the reels looked full. Perchtha came, they 
handed over to her their finished work, and she walked off with it, 
shaking her head. (Conf. the similar story of the white manikin in 
Bader, p. 369). P. 167: At Langendembach lived an old spinning- 
wife who swiftly wound the thread all the winter through, and did 
not so much as leave off on Twelfth day-eve, though son and 
daughter-in-law warned her : If Perchtha comes, it will go hard 
with you . Heyday ! was her answer, Perchtha brings me no 
Shirts, I must spin them myself/ After a while the window is 
pushed open, Perchtha looks into the room, and throws some empty 

Selphirtes reel (Wackernagel s Ib. 903), there is exhibited together with 
brSr Zornli and hruoder Ergerli, a bruoder Werra dor sin herze mi t wett- 
lichen din^en also beworren hat (has so entangled his heart with worldly things), 
dazda n?htme in mag . And that notion ^ tangled thrcud ^dhcar,^ucl 
prevails about Bertha and Holda, may after al be akin to this n^ Zuncfc 
She is called de Chlunqere, because she puts chlungel (knots lumps) in tne 

n s ed yarn of slothful n.aidens, Alb. Schott, Deutsclie colomen in P^nt, 
p 282 In Bavaria and German Bohemia, Berhta is often represented by S 
Wk thou-h her day comes on Dec. 13. Fran Lutz cuts the belly open, 
Schmeller 2, 532. JosT Rank, Bohmerwald, P . 137. Conf. the Lusse in Sweden, 
Wiesejlgren. 386^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^^ . n & ^ . fasting fore> 



spools to her, which she must have back, spun full, in an hour s 
time. The spinner took heart of grace, spun a few rounds on each 
spool for dear life, and threw them, one and all, into the brook that 
ran past the house (and by that, Perchtha seems to have been 
appeased). P. 173 : As a miner was returning from Bucha to 
Konitz on Perchtha s night, she came up to him at the cross-roads, 
and demanded with threats, that he should put a wedge in her 
waggon. He took his knife, cut the wedge as well as he could, and 
fitted it into Perchtha s waggon, who made him a present of the 
fallen chips. He picked them up, and at home he drew gold out of 
every pocket in which he had put Perchtha s gifts. P. 182 : Two 
peasants of Jiidewein, after stopping at the alehouse in Kostriz till 
late on Perchtha s eve, had gone but a little way, when Perchtha 
came driving in a waggon, and called to them to put a peg in the 
pole of her waggon. One of the men had a knife, and Perchtha 
supplied him with wood, the peg was let in, and the handy man 
carried home several pieces of money in his shoe as a reward. 
P. 113 : Between Bucha and Wilhelmsdorf in the fruitful vale of 
the Saale, Perchtha queen of the heimchen had her dwelling of old ; 
at her command the heimchen had to water the fields of men, 
while she worked underground with her plough. At last the 
people fell out with her, and she determined to quit the country ; 
on Perchtha s eve the ferryman at Altar village received notice to 
be ready late in the night, and when he came to the Saale bank, 
his eyes beheld a tall stately dame surrounded by weeping children, 
and demanding to be ferried over. She stept into the craft, the 
little ones dragged a plough and a number of other tools in, loudly 
lamenting that they had to leave that lovely region. Arrived at 
the other side, Perchtha bade the boatman cross once more and 
fetch the heimchen that had been left behind, which under compul 
sion he did. She in the meantime had been mending the plough, 
she pointed to the chips, and said to the ferryman, There, take 
that to reward thy trouble . Grumbling, he pocketed three of the 
chips, and at home flung them on the window-shelf, and himself, 
ill at ease, into bed. In the morning, three gold -pieces lay where 
he had thrown the chips. The memory of Perchtha s passage is also 
preserved at Kaulsdorf on the Saale, and at Kostriz on the Elster, 
not far from Gera. P. 126 : Late one night, the master wheel 
wright at Colba was coming home from Oppurg, where he had 


been to work ; it was the eve of the Three-kings (Twelfthday), and 
on the bank of the rivulet Orla he came upon Perchtha, her broken 
plough surrounded by weeping heimchen. ( Hast thou a hatchet 
with thee, so help me mend ! she cried to the terrified traveller. 
He gave what help he could, but the fallen chips offered him for 
wages he would not touch : I have plenty of them at home, says he. 
When he got home, he told what had happened to him, and while 
his people shook their heads incredulously, he pulled off one of his 
shoes, which something had got into, that hurt his foot, and out 
rolled a bright new gold-piece. A twelvemonth passed, and one of 
his men, who had heard him tell the tale, set out on Perchtha s 
night, and waited by the Orla, just where his master had met 
Perchtha; in a little while, on she came with her infant train: 
What seekest thou here at this hour ? she cried in anger, and 
when he stammered out an answer, she continued : I am better 
provided with tools this time, so take thou thy due ! and with 
those words she dug her hatchet into the fellow s shoulder. The 
same story is repeated near Kaulsdorf at a part of the brook which 
is called the water over the way, at Presswitz near the Saal-house, 
and on the sandhill between Possneck and the forester s lodge of 
Reichenbach. Below the Gleitsch, a curiously shaped rock near 
Tischdorf, the story varies in so far, that there Perchtha along with 
the heimchen was driving a waggon, and had just broken the axle, 
when she fell in with a countryman, who helped her out with a 
makeshift axle, and was paid in chips, which however he disdained, 
and only carried a piece home in his shoe. P. 133 : A spinning- 
girl walked over from the JSTeidenberg during that night, she had 
done every bit of her spinning, and was in high spirits, when 
Perchtha came marching up the hill towards her, with a great troop 
of the heimchen-folk, all children of one sort and size, one set of 
them toiling to push a heavy plough, another party loaded with 
farming-tools ; they loudly complained that they had no longer a 
home. At this singular procession the spinner began to laugh out 
loud, Perchtha enraged stept up to the giddy thing, Uew upon her, 
and struck her blind on the spot. The poor girl had a trouble to 
find her way into the village, she led a wretched life, could no 
longer work, but sat mournful by the wayside begging. When the 
year was past and Perchtha visited Altar again, the blind one, not 
knowing one from another, asked an alms of the high dame as she 


swept by ; Perchtha spoke graciously : Here last year I blew a 
pair of lights out, this year I will blow them in again . With these 
words she blew into the maid s eyes, which immediately began to 
see again. The same legend is found in the so-called Sorge, near 
Neustadt on the Oiia. Touching stories of the weeping children, 
who tramp along in Perchtha s great troop, will be given when we 
come to treat minutely of the wlitende heer . (See Suppl.). 

To these significant traditions of Thuringia, others can be added 
from Bavaria and Austria. In the mountain district about Trauen- 
stein (Up. Bavaria, opposite Salzburg) they tell the children on the 
eve of Epiphany, that if they are naughty, Berclie will come and cut 
their bellies open. Greasy cakes are baked that day, and the 
workmen say you must grease your stomach well with them, so 
that dame Berclie s knife may glance off (Schm. 1, 194). Is that the 
reason why she is called wild Bertha, iron Bertha ? Crusius, Ann. 
Suev. p. 2, lib. 8, cap. 7, p. 266, relates, as his explanation of the 
origin of the name, that Henry IV. bestowed privileges on the city 
of Padua : Inde, in signa libertatis, armato carrocio uti coeperunt in 
bello, Bertha nominato. Hinc dictum ortum puto, quo terreritur 
inquieti pueri, Schweig, oder die eiserne Bertha kommt ! * In 
other places, Franconian and Swabian, she is named Hilddberta 
(apparently a combination of the two names Holda and Berta), and 
Bildaberta ; with hair all shaggy she walks round the houses at 
night, and tears the bad boys to pieces (see Suppl.). 2 

Dame Precht with the long nose is what Vintler calls her : and 
even a MUG. poem, which in one MS. is entitled daz rnaere von 
der Stempen, has in another the heading von Berchten mit der 
langen nas j (Haupt s Altd. bl. 1, 105). It is only from the former 
(with corrected spelling) that I am able to extract what has a 
bearing on our subject : 

nu merket rehfe-waz (ich) iu sage : Now mark aright what I you tell : 

nachwihennaht amzwelften tage, after Christmas the twelfth day, 

nach dem heilgen ebenwihe 3 after the holy New-year s day 

(gotgeb, daz er uns gedihe), (God grant we prosper in it), 

do man ezzen solt ze nahte, when they should eat supper 

a Conf. Crusius p. 1, lib. 12, cap. 6, p. 329, where Bertha the mother of 
Charles is meant. The Lombards called a carrocium Berta arid Berteciola 
(Duciinge sub v.), perhaps the carriage of the travelling goddess or queen ? 

2 Joach. Camerarius, chronol. Nicephori, p. 129. 
Even-holy, equally-holy day, Schefler s Haltaus, p. 68. 


und man ze tische brahte and had to table brought 

allez daz man ezzen solde, all that they should eat, 

swaz der wirt geben wolde whatso the master would give, 
do sprach er zem gesinde then spake he to his men 

und zuo sin selbes kinde : and to his own child : 

ezzet Mnte fast durch min bete, eat fast (hard) to night, I pray, 
daz inch die Stempe niht entrete. that the Stenipe tread you not. 
daz kintlin do von forhten az, The child then ate from fear, 
er sprach: veterlin, waz ist daz, he said : father, what is this 
daz du die Stempen nennest ? that thou the Stempe callest ? 

sag mir, ob dus erkennest. tell me, if thou it knowest/ 

der vater sprach : daz sag ich dir, The father said : this tell I thee, 
du solt ez wol gelouben mir, thou mayest well believe me, 

ez ist so griuwelich getan, there is a thing so gruesome done, 

daz ich dirz niht gesagen kan : that I cannot tell it thee : 
wan swer des vergizzet, for whoso forgets this, 

daz er nicht fast izzet, so that he eats not fast, 

df den Jcumt ez und trit in? on him it comes, and treads him. 

Here also children and servants are warned by the master of the 
house to eat up clean all that is brought on the table, and are ! 
threatened with a trampling from Stempe. This cognomen of 
Berchte must have come from stamping (step, tap, thump, &c.), and 
perhaps it ought to be spelt Stempfe (German stampfen, to stamp) ; 
but in Bavaria there is a proper name Stempo (MB. 2, 280, anno 
11.30), not Stempho, and both stampen and stampfen seem to be 
correct for trampling and squeezing, Ital. stampare : she is the 
night hag, similar to alp and schrat [old scratch ?]. Add to this, 
that in the Nordgau of Franconia, dame Holda is called the Trempe 
(Doderlein, Antiq. nordg. 41), i.e., the trampling racketing one; 
Stalder defines trampeln as walking with short, measured steps 
(tripping), and the Drut (night-goblin) approaches with soft foot 
fall ; at the same time, trampel, trampelthier, is a heavy clumsy 
woman. Now, as S is occasionally added before an initial T, it is 
surely not going too far, to connect Stempe with the more ancient 
Tamfana, Tanfana, p. 257 (see SuppL). 

Martin of Amberg l calls her Percht mit der eisnen nascn (with 

1 His Gewissensspiegel (mid. of 14th cent.) is in two MSS. at Vienna 
(HofiFm. pp. 335-6) ; conf. Schm. 4, 188. 216, and the Jalirb. der Berliner 
gesellsch. iur deutscne spr. 2, 63 65. 


iron nose), and says that people leave meat and drink standing for 
her; which means a downright sacrifice. 

In the mountains of Salzburg there is kept up to this day, in 
honour of the terrible Perchtel, a so called Perchta-running, Perclita- 
leaping at the time of the rauchnachte [incense -nights ?] x In the 
Pinzgau, from 100 to 300 young fellows (styled the Berchten) will 
roam about in broad daylight in the oddest disguises, carrying cows 
bells, and cracking whips. 2 In the Gastein valley the procession, 
headed by from 50 or 100 to 300 stout fellows, goes hopping and 
skipping from village to village, from house to house, all through 
the valley (Muchar, Gastein pp. 145-7). In the north of Switzer 
land, where in addition to Berchtli the softened form Bechtli or 
Bechteli is in use, Bechteli s day is the 2nd (or, if New-year s day 
falls on a Saturday, the 3rd) of January, and is honoured by the 
young people in general with social merrymakings ; they call the 
practice berchleln, bechteln. In the 16th century it was still the 
custom at Zurich, for men to intercept and press one another to 
take wine ; this was called conducting to Berchtold (Staid. 1, 150- 
6). There was thus a masculine Bercht or BerclMt, related to 
Wuotan, as Berhta was to Freke ; and from this again there arose 
in Swabia a new feminine, Breclitolterin, Prechtolterin (Schmid, 
Schwab, wtb. 93). In Alsace the beckten was performed by pren 
tices and journeymen running from one house or room to another, 
and keeping up a racket (see passages in Oberlin, sub. v. Bechten). 
Cunrat of Dankrozheim says in his Namenbuch, composed 1435 : 3 
darnauch so komet die milde Behte, 
die noch hat ein gar gross geslehte (great kindred). 
He describes her as the mild, gracious to men, not as the terrible. 
Berchtolt however is in Swabian legend the white mannikin, who 
brings spools to be filled with spinning (Hone s anz. 8, 179), 
exactly like Berchta, p. 274 (see Suppl). 

And as a kind benevolent being she appears in many other 
descriptions, which undoubtedly reach far back into the Mid. Ages. 
The white lady, by her very name, has altogether the same meaning, 

1 This Perchtenspringen is like the hexentusch in the Bb hmerwald, which, 
Jos. Rank p. 76-7 says, is performed at Whitsuntide, when young men and 
boys provide themselves with loud cracking whips, and chase all the witches 
out of houses, stables and barns. 

2 Journey through Upper Germany, p. 243. Schm. 1, 195. 

3 Ad. Walt. Strobel s beitr., Strasb. 1827, p. 123. 


for peraht, berht or brecht, signifies bright, light, white. This 
white lady usually attaches herself to particular families, but even 
then she keeps the name of Bert a, e.g., Berta of Rosenberg. In 
snow-white garments she shows herself by night in princely houses, 
she rocks or dandles the babies, while their nurses sleep : she acts 
the old grandmother or ancestress of the family (see Suppl.). 

There is a good deal in the fact, that several women of that 
name, who are famed in our national traditions, stand connected 
with the ghostly Berhta ; they have been adopted out of the divine 
legend into the heroic legend. In Italy and France, a far distant 
past is expressed by the phrase : nel tempo ove Berta filava? when 
B. span (Pentamerone. Liebrecht 2, 259), au terns que la reine 
Berthe : the same idea still, of the spinning matron. 1 Berta, 
the daughter of king Flower and of Whiteflower, afterwards the 
wife of king Pippin and mother of the great hero Charles, 
she who in the MLG. poem of Flos is called both Vredcling and 
Brehte (1555. 7825), does not belie her mythic origin. 2 She is 
called Berhte mit demfuoze (foot), Flore 309; in French, Berthe au 
grand pied; and ace. to the Eeali di Franza 6,1: Berta del gran 
pie, perche ella aveva un pie un poco maggior dell altro, e quello 
era il pie destro, had the right foot larger. The French poet Adenez 
tries apparently to extenuate the deformity by making both her 
feet large, he calls her Berte as grans pies (Paris ed. LI I. 78. 104); 
so the Mid. Dutch, Baerte met ten breden voeten, Floris 3966. 
But the one big foot is more genuine, as may be seen by the far 

* I can produce another spinning Bertha. The Vita S. Berthae Avenna- 
censis in dicccesi Remensi (conf. Flodoardus 4, 47) says (Acta Sanctor., Maii p. 
114 b ) : Quae dum lustraret situs loci illius, pervenit ad quendam hortum, in 
quo erat fons inirae pulcritudinis. Quern ut vidit Deo devota femina, minime 
concupivit, sed possessoribus ipsius praedii sic locula est : fratres, hunc 
fontem praedii vestri vendite mihi, et accepta digna pecunia cedite usibus 
nostris. Cui sic aiunt : En praesto sumus, si tamen detur pretium a nobis 
taxatum. Sancta autem, videntibus qui aderant, libram unam denariorum 
posuit super lapidem qui erat super os ejusdem fontis, domini vero ac vendi- 
tores receperunt aes. Tune sancta mater, Deo plena, colo quain manu tenebat 
coepit terram fodere, et in modum sulci rigam facere, orans ac dicens : Ostende 
nobis, Domine, misericord iam tuam, et salutare tuum da nobis ! Revertens 
namque monasterium, colum eadem post se trahebat, tantaque abundantia 
aquae earn sequebatur, ut ad usus omnes hominibus pertinentes sufficeret, sicut 
usque hodie apparet. Nomen quoque sancta mater iluviolo ipsi composuit, 
dicens : Libra vocaberis, quia una libra pro emptione tua data est. 

2 How firmly she is rooted, may be seen by her being the link that joins 
the Carolingian legend to the Langobardic : she is mother of Carl, wife of 
Pippin the son of Rother (4789), and daughter of Flore and Blancheilor, whose 
name again contains the notion of whiteness. 


more ancient tradition of a reine Pedauque, regina pede aucae 
whose figure stands carved in stone on old churches. 1 It is appar 
ently a swan-maiden s foot, which as a mark of her higher nature 
she cannot lay aside (any more than Huldra her tail, or the devil 
his horse hoof) ; and at the same time the spinning- woman s splay 
foot that worked the treadle, and that of the trampling dame 
Stempe or Trempe. If we had older and minuter descriptions of 
frau Berhta in Germany, perhaps this foot would also be 
mentioned in them (see SuppL). 

It still remains for us to explain her precise connexion with a 
particular day of the year. It is either on Dec. 25 (dies natalis), or 
twelve days after Christmas, on Jan. 6, when the star appeared to 
the Three Kings (magi), that the Christian church celebrates the 
feast of the manifestation of Christ under the name of epipkania 
(v. Ducange, sub v.), lethphania or theophania (0. Fr. tiephaine, 
tiphagne). In an OHG. gloss (Emm. 39-4), theophania is rendered 
giperahta naht, the bright night of the heavenly vision that 
appeared to the shepherds in the field. 2 Documents of the Mid. 
Ages give dates in the dative case: perchtentag, perhtennaht 
(for OHG. zi demo perahtin taga, zi deru Perahtun naht) ; again, 
an der berechtnaht, M. Beham (Mone, anz. 4, 451) ; * ze perh- 
nahten, MB. 8, 540 (an. 1302); imze an den ahtodin tac nah der 
Perhtage, till the eighth day after the Perht s (fern.) day, Fundgr. 
110, 22 ; von dem nehsten Berhtag, MB. 9, 138 (an. 1317) ; an 
dem Prehentag, MB. 7, 256 (an. 1349); these and other contracted 
forms are cited with references in Scheffer s Ilaltaus p. 75, and 
Schm. 1, 194. 3 Now from this there might very easily grow up a 
personification, Perchtentzc, Perchtennaht, the bright day becoming 
Bright s, i.e,, dame Bright s, day. (Conrad of Dankrotsheim, p. 123, 
puts his milde Belite down a week earlier, on Dec. 30.) 4 

Two hypotheses present themselves. Either the entire fabulous 
existence of a Perhta first arose accidentally and by misunderstand 
ing, out of such personification ; or the analogy of the bright day 
was tacked on to a previously existing Perhta. Now it is true we 

1 AM. w. 3, 47-8 ; Paris too connects this Pedauque with Berte, iii. iv. 
198 ; reine Pedauque, Michelet hist, de France 1, 496-8. 2, 152. 
a Luke 2, 0. 0. i. 12, 3. 4. Hel. 12, 8. Maria 182. 

3 The OHG. jfcrmtaepaza8cev6 (Graff 5, 360) is Good Friday, and 
distinct from Prehentag, Perchtentag. 

4 Dec. 28 is Innocents , 29 St. Thomas s, 31 St. Silvester s. 


cannot point out a dame Perhta before the 15th or 14th century, 
or at earliest the 13th ; but the first supposition need not break 
down, even if we did manage to hunt up her personal name in 
older authorities : even in the 9th century the expression perahtun 
naht might have developed into Perahtun naht . Still the char 
acteristics we have specified of a mythical Berta, and above all, her 
identity with Holda, seem to me to decide the matter the other 
way. If, independently of the Christian calendar, there was a 
Holda, then neither can Perahta be purely a product of it ; on the 
contrary, both of these adjective names lead up to a heathen deity, 
who made her peregrination at that very season of yule, and whom 
therefore the Christians readily connected with the sacredness of 
Christmas and New-year. 

I will here group together the features which unmistakably 
make Holda and Bertha appear in this light. They drive about in 
waggons, like mother Earth, and promote agriculture and navigation 
among men ; a plough, from which there fall chips of gold, is their 
sacred implement. This too is like the gods, that they appear 
suddenly, and Berhta especially hands her gifts in at the window. 
Both have spinning and weaving at heart, they insist on diligence 
and the keeping of festivals holy, on the transgressor grim penalties 
are executed. The souls of infant children are found in their host, 
as they likewise rule over elves and dwarfs, but night-hags and 
enchantresses also follow in their train : all this savours of 

It is very remarkable, that the Italians too have a mis-shapen 
fairy Befana, a terror to children, who has sprung out of epiphania 
(befania) : on that day the women and children set a doll made of 
old rags in the window ; she is black and ugly, and brings presents. 
Some say, she is Herod s daughter ; Eanke s hist, zeitschr. 1, 717. 
1 La Befania (Pulci s Morg. 5, 42). Berni says : il di di Befania 
vo porla per Befana alia fenestra, perche qualcun le dia d una 
ballestra . l It would be astonishing, if twice over, in two different 
nations, a name in the calendar had caused the invention of a 
supernatural being; it is more likely that, both in Italy, and among 
us, older traditions of the people have sought to blend themselves 
with the Christian name of the day. 

1 Franc. Berni, rime 105. Crusca sub v. befana. 



Herodias, of whom we have just been reminded by Befana, will 
illustrate this even better. The story of Herod s daughter, whose 
dancing brought about the beheading of John the Baptist, must 
have produced a peculiarly deep impression in the early part of the 
Mid. Ages, and in more than one way got mixed up with fables. 
Keligious poets treat the subject in full, and with relish (Hel. 83-5) ; 
Otfried seems to leave it out designedly. It was imagined, that on 
account of her thoughtless rather than malicious act (for the 
proposal came from her revengeful mother), Herodias (the daughter) 
was condemned to roam about in company with evil and devilish 
spirits. She is placed at the head of the furious host or of 
witches nightly expeditions, together with Diana, with Holda and 
Perahta, or in their stead. In Burcard of Worms 10, 1 we read : 
Illud etiam non omittendum, quod quaedam sceleratae mulieres 
retro post Satanam conversae, daemonum illusionibus et phantas- 
matibus seductae, credunt se et profitentur nocturnis horis cum 
Diana paganorum dea vel cum Herodiade et innumera multitudine 
mulierum equitare super quasdam bestias, et multa terrarum spatia 
intempestae noctis silentio pertransire, ej usque jussionibus velut 
dominae obedire, et certis noctibus ad ejus servitium evocari. 
Joh. Salisberiensis (f 1182) in Polycr. 2, 17 : Quale est, quod noc- 
tilucam quandam, vel Herodiadem vel praesidem noctis dominam, 
concilia et conventus de nocte asserunt convocare, varia celebrari 
convivia, &c. Angerius, episcopus Conseranus (an. 1280) : Nulla 
mulier de nocturnis equitare cum Diana dea paganorum vel cum 
Herodiade seu Bensozia l et innumera mulierum multitudine pro- 
fiteatur. Similar statements have passed into later writings, such 
as those of Martin von Amberg, and Vintler. It is worth noticing, 
that to the worship of this Herodias, one third of the whole world is 
ceded, and so a most respectable diffusion allowed. Eatherius 
(bishop of Verona, but a Frank, b. at Lobi near Cambray, d. 974) in 
his Praeloquia (Martene and Durand 9, 798. opp. edit. Ballerini 
pp. 20. 21) : Quis enim eorum, qui hodie in talibus usque ad per- 
ditionem animae in tantum decipiuntur, ut etiam eis, quas (Ball. 

1 Ducange sub v. Diana spells Benzoria, but has the true meaning under 
Bensozia itself ; it seems to mean bona socia, friendly propitious being. Bona 
dea, Dio Cass. 37, 35. 45. Conf. ch. XXVIII, dobra sretia, bona Fortuna j ch. 
XVI, good wife, under Wood-women. 


de quibus) ait Gen. 1 , Ilerocliam illam baptistae Christ! interfectri- 
cem, quasi reginam imo deam proponant ; asserentes, tertiam totim 
mundi partem illi traditam : quasi haec merces fuerit prophetae 
occisi, cum potius sint daemones, talibus praestigiis infelices mulier- 
culas, hisque multum vituperabiliores viros, quia perditissimos, 
decipientes. A full and remarkable account of the medieval 
tradition, that was tacked on to Herodias, is contained in the Eei- 
nardus 1, 1139 11G4 : 

Praecipue sidus celebrant, ope cujus, ubi omnes 

defuerant testes, est data Eoma Petro, 
traditaque injusto Pharaildis virgo labori ; 

sed sanctifaciunt qualiacunque volunt. 
Hac famosus erat felixque fuisset Her odes 

prole, sed infelix hanc quoque laesit amor i 
haec virgo, thalamos Baptistae solius ardens, 

voverat hoc demto nullius esse viri. 
Offensus genitor, comperto prolis amore, 

insoritern sanctum decapitavit atrox. 
Postulat afferri virgo sibi tristis, et affert 

regius in disco tempora trunca cliens. 
Mollibus allatum stringens caput ilia lacertis 

perfundit lacrimis, osculaque addere avet ; 
oscula captantem caput aufugit atque resufflat, 

ilia per impluvium turbine flantis abit. 
Ex illo nimium memor ira Johannis eandem 

per vacuum coeli flabilis urget iter : 
mortuus infestat miseram, nee vivus amarat, 

non tamen hanc penitus fata perisse sinunt. 
Lenit honor luctum, minuit reverentia poenam, 

pars hominum moestae tertia servit herae. 
Querculms et corylis a noctis parte secunda 

usque nigri ad galli carmina prima sedet. 
Nunc ea nomen habet Pharaildis, Herodias ante 

saltria, nee subiens nee subeunda pari. 

Conf. Aelfrici homiliae 1, 486. Here we have Herodias described 
as inoesta her a cui pars tertia hominum servit, the reverential 
homage she receives assuages her bitter lot ; only from midnight 

1 Ballerini cannot understand this Gen. ; is it Gennadius (Massiliensis), a 
writer at the end of the fifth century ? 


till first cockcrow she sits on oaks and hazel-trees, the rest of her 
time she floats through the empty air. She was inflamed by love 
for John, which he did not return ; when his head is brought in on 
a charger, she would fain have covered it with tears and kisses, but 
it draws back, and begins to blow hard at her ; the hapless maid is 
whirled into empty space, and there she hangs for ever. 1 Why she 
was afterwards (in the twelfth century) called Pharaildis, is not 
explained by the life of a saint of that name in Flanders (Acta 
sanct. 4 Jan.) ; nor does anything that the church tells of John the 
Baptist and Herodias (Acta sanct. 24 Jun.) at all resemble the 
contents of the above story : Herodias is Herod s wife, and the 
daughter is named Salome. Pharaildis on the contrary, M. Dutch 
Verelde, 2 leads us to ver Elde = frau Hilde or frau Hulde, as in a 
doc. of 1213 (Bodmanns Bheing. alterth. p. 94) there occurs a 
miles dictus Verhildebwrgj and in a Frisian doc, of the 14th 
century a Ferliildema, evidently referring to the mythic Hildburg. 
Still more remarkable seems a M. Dutch name for the milky way, 
Vroneldenstraet = frauen Hilde or Hulde strasse (street, highway), 
So that the poet of the Eeinardus is entirely in the right, when 
Herodias sets him thinking of Pharaildis, and she again of the 
milky way, the sidus in his first line. 

There is no doubt whatever, that quite early in the Mid. Ages 
the Christian mythus of Herodias got mixed up with our native 
heathen fables : those notions about dame Holda and the furious 
host and the nightly jaunts of sorceresses were grafted on it, the 
Jewish king s daughter had the part of a heathen goddess assigned 
her (Ratherius says expressly : imo dea), and her worship found 
numerous adherents. In the same circle moves Diana, the lunar 
deity of night, the wild huntress ; Diana, Herodias and Holda 

1 This reference to the turbo (the whirlwind of his blast), looks mythical 
and of high antiquity. Not only did Ziu or Zio, once a deity, become with the 
Christians a name for the whirlwind, p. 203 (and Pulloineken too may have to 
do with Pkol, p. 229) ; but to this day such a wind is accounted for in Lower 
Saxony (about Celle) by the dancing Herodias whirling about in the air. Else 
where the raising of it is ascribed to the devil, and offensive epithets are 
hurled at him, as in the Saalfeld country : Schweinezahl fahret, there goes 
swine-tail (Praetorius, Riibezahl 3, 120), and on the Rhon ints. : * Sauzagel, 
sow- tail (Schm. 4, 110), to shew contempt for the demon, and abate his fury 
(see Suppl.). I shall bring in some other stories, when treating of the wind- 

2 Canneart, strafrecht 153-5. Balg. mus. 6, 319. Conf. Vergode for frau 


stand for one another, or side by side. Diana is denounced by 
Eligius (Superst. A) ; the passage in the decrees of councils 
(Superst. C) has found its way into many later writings (Superst. 
D, G) : like Herodias, she appears as domina and hem. The life of 
St. Caesarius Arelatensis mentions a daemonium, quod rustic! 
Dianam vocant, so that the name was familiar to the common 
people ; that statue of Diana in Greg. Tur. 8, 15 I have spoken of 
on p. 110. But the strongest testimony to the wide diffusion of 
Diana s cultus seems to be a passage in the life of St. Kilian, the 
apostle of the East Franks (*f- 689) : Gozbertusdux Franciae . . . 
volens crebra apud se tractare inquisitione, utrum Ejus quern 
(Kilianus) praedicabat, vel Dianae potius cultus praeferendus esset. 
Diana namque apud ilium in summa veneratione habebatur 
(Surius 4, 133 ; Acta sanct. Bolland. 8 Jul. (p. 616). As it is 
principally in Thuringia, Franconia and Hesse that frau Holda 
survives, it is not incredible that by Diana in the neighbourhood 
of Wiirzburg, so far back as the 7th century, was meant no other 
than she. 

Lastly, the retrospective connexion of this Herodias or Diana 
with personages in the native paganism, whether of Celtic or 
Teutonic nations, receives a welcome confirmation from the legend 
of a domina Abundia or dame Habonde, supplied by French 
authorities of the Mid. Ages. A bishop of Paris, Guilielmus 
Alvernus (Guillaume d Auvergne), who died 1248, speaks thus of 
nymphs and lamiae (opera, Par. 1 674, fol. 1. 1036) : Sic et daemon, 
qui praetextu mulieris, cum aliis de nocte domos et cellaria dicitur 
frequentare, et vocant earn Satiam a satietate, et dominam 
Abundiam pro abundantia, 1 quam earn praestare dicunt domibus, 
quas frequentaverit : htijusmodi etiam daemones, quas dominas 
vocant vetulae, penes quas error iste remansit, et a quibus solis 
creditur et somniatur. Dicunt has dominas edere et bibere de escis 
et potibus, quos in domibus inveniunt, nee tamen consumptionem 
aut imminutionem eas facere escarum et potuum, maxime si vasa 
escarum sint discooperta et vasa poculorum non obstructa 
eis in nocte relinquantur. Si vero operta vel clausa inveniunt 
seu obstructa, inde nee comedunt nee bibunt, propter quod 
infaustas et infortunatas relinquunt, nee satietatem nee almn- 

1 The Romans also personified Abundantia as a superior being, but she 
only appears on coins, she had neither temples nor altars. 



dantiam eis praestantes. The like is repeated on p. 1068, but 
on p. 1066 we read : Sunt et aliae ludificationes malignorum 
spirituum, quas faciunt interdum in nemoribus et locis amoenis 
et frondosis arboribus, ubi apparent in similitudine pudlarum aut 
matronarum ornatu muliebri et candido, interdum etiam in stabulis, 
cum luminaribus cereis, ex quibus apparent distillationes in comis 
et collis equorum, et comae ipsorum diligenter tricatae, et audies 
eos, qui talia se vidisse fatentur, dicentes veram ceram esse, quae 
de luminaribus hujusmodi stillaverat. 1 De illis vero substantiis, 
quae apparent in domibus, quas dominas nocturnas, et principem 
earum vocant dominam Abundiam, pro eo quod domibus, quas 
frequentant, abundantiam bonorum temporalium praestare putan- 
tur, non aliter tibi sentiendum est, neque aliter quam quemadmo- 
dum de illis audivisti. Quapropter eo usque invaluit stultitia ho- 
minum et insania vetularum, ut vasa vini et receptacula ciborum 
discocperta relinquant, et omnino nee obstruant neque claudant eis 
noctibus, quibus ad domos suas eas credunt adventuras, ea de 
causa videlicet, ut cibos et potus quasi paratos inveniant et eos 
absque difficultate apparitionis pro beneplacito sumant. 
The Koman de la rose (Meon 18622 seq.) informs us : 

qui les cine sens ainsinc deceit 
par les fantosmes, quil rec^oit, 
dont maintes gens par lor folie 
cuident estre par nuit estries 
errans auecques dame Halondc, 
et dient, que par tout le monde 
li tiers enfant de nacion 
sunt de ceste condition. 
qu il vont trois fois en la semaine, 
si cum destinee les maine, 
et par tous ces ostex se boutent, 
ne cles ne barres ne redoutent, 
ains sen entrent par les fendaces, 
par chatieres et par crevaces, 
et se partent des cors les ames 
et vont avec les bonnes dames 
par leus forains et par maisons, 
et le pruevent par tiex raisons : 

1 Conf. Deutsche sagen, no. 122. 



que les diversitds veues 
ne sunt pas en lor liz venues, 
ains sunt lor ames qui laborent 
et par le monde ainsinc sen corent, &c. 
18686. Dautre part, que li tiers du monde 
aille ainsinc avec dame Habonde, 
si cum voles vielles le pruevent 
par les visions que truevent, 
dont convient il sans nule faille 
que trestous li mondes i aille. 

As Ratheriua and the Eeinardus represent a third part of the world 
as given up to the service of Herodias, the same statement is here 
applied to dame Habonde ; Herodias and Abundia are therefore 
one. A connexion between Abundia and our native Folia, Fulla 
(fulness) will presently be made apparent. The term enfans may 
refer either to the unchristened lobes above, or to the great 
multitude of heathen, who remained shut out of the Christian 
community. It had long been the custom to divide the known 
world into three parts. 1 The domina clothed in white reminds one 
of Perahta the bright, the bona domina or bona soda 2 of Holda the 
gracious, and Herodias haunting the oaks by night of the Old 
German tree-worship. They are originally benignant beings all, 
whose presence brings prosperity and plenty to mankind ; hence to 
them, as to friendly spirits or gods, meat and drink are set for a 
sacrifice in the night season. Holda, Berhta and Werra seem to 
love a particular kind of food, and look for it on their feast-day. 


Thus far we have got acquainted with the names and worship 
of several goddesses, who were honoured under different names by 
particular tribes of Teutondom (Nerdu, Hludana, Tanfana, Holda, 
Berhta), and others resembling them have only become known to 
us under foreign appellations (I sis, Diana, Herodias, Abundia) : of 
all these (so long as I consider still doubtful the connexion of 

Agitnr pars tertia mimcli. Ovid. met. 5, 372 ; tertia pars muntli fumans 
perit Africa ilammis, Coripp. 1, 47 : tertia pars orLis Europa vocutur, Wal- 
thar. 1. 

2 Is the name soda connected with the Satia in Guilieliuus Alvernus ? 


Erce with our Herke) not one is to be found among the Anglo- 

On the other hand, the Anglo-Saxon historian tells us the 
names of two beings, whom he expressly calls ancient goddesses of 
his people, but of whose existence not a trace is left amongst other 
Germans. A clear proof, that here as well as there, heathenism 
was crowded with divinities of various shape and varying name, 
but who in their characteristics and cultus corresponded to one 
another. Why this multiplicity of form should prevail more in the 
case of the female deities than of the male, can be fairly explained, 
I think, by the greater respect paid to the chief masculine 
divinities: they were too famous and too highly thought of, for 
their principal names not to have penetrated all branches of the 

The two goddesses, whom Beda (De temporum ratione cap. 1 3) 
cites very briefly, without any description, merely to explain the 
months named after them, are ffrede and Edstre, March taking its 
Saxon name from the first, and April from the second : Rhedmo- 
nath a dea illorum Rheda, cui in illo sacrificabant, nominatur. 
Antiqui Anglorum populi, gens mea . . . apud eos Aprilis 
Esturmonaih, qui mine paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a 
dm illorum, quae Eostra vocabatur et cui in illo festa celebrantur 
(?), nomen habuit ; a cujus nomine nunc paschale tempus cogno- 
minant, consueto antiquae observations vocabulo gaudia novae 
solennitatis vocantes. x 

It would be uncritical to saddle this father of the church, who 
everywhere keeps heathenism at a distance, and tells us less of it 
than he knows, with the invention of these goddesses. There is 
nothing improbable in them, nay the first of them is justified by 
clear traces in the vocabularies of other German tribes. March is 
in OHG. lenzinmanot, named after the season lenzo, lengizo 
[lengthening of days] ; 2 but it may have borne other names as well. 
Oberlin quotes, from Chorion s Ehrenkranz der teutschen sprach, 
Strassb. 1644, p. 91, Eetmonat for March; and a doc. of 1404 

1 One MS. (Kolmesen opusc. p. 287 ; this ref. given in Rathlef s Hoya and 
Diepholz 3, 16) reads : Yeteres Anglican! populi vocant Estormonath paschalem 
mensem, idque a dea quadam cui Teutonici populi in paganismo sacrificia 
fecerunt tempore mensis Aprilis, quae Eostra est appellata. 

2 Gramin. 2, 510. Langez. Dint. 3, 88. 



(Weisth. 1, 175) has Redtmonet, it is not clear for what month. 
When we find in the Appenzeller reimchronik p. 174 : 

In dem Redimonet 

die puren kamen donet, 

do der merzenrnonat gieng herzu 

an ainem morgen fru 

do zundentz Eorschach an ; 

here Redimonet seems, by the displacement so common in the 
names of months, to he the month before March, as Chorion uses 
his Retmonat for February as well. Von Arx explains the word 
quite differently, and I think untenably, by a mountain. Apart 
from the Swiss term altogether, I believe the AS. name was 
really ffreff or Hreffe OHG. Hruod or Hruodd, and derived, 
as I said on p. 206, from hruod gloria, fama ; so that we get the 
meaning of a shining and renownful goddess. The Trad. fuld. 2, 
196, furnish a female name Hruada, gen. Hruadun, and in 1, 42. 2, 
26, another nom. Hruadun, this last apparently formed like ON. 
Fiorgyn and Hlodyn. The AS. adj. hreS or hreSe means crudelis 
(Caedm. 136, 21. 198, 2), perhaps victoriosus ? I am in doubt 
about hret), sigehreS, gufthreft, Beow. 5146. 974. 1631 ; they waver 
between an adj. and a subst. sense, and in the last passage, 
Beowulfe wearS guc5hre<5 gifefte/ victoria is evidently meant. 
When the AS. Menologue, line 70, translates Martius by reSe, this 
may stand for hreSe. 

We Germans to this day call April ostermonat, and dstarmdnoth 
is found as early as Eginhart (temp. Car. Mag.). The great 
Christian festival, which usually falls in April or the end of March, 
bears in the oldest of OHG. remains the name ostard gen. -un j 1 it 
is mostly found in the plural, because two days (ostartaga, 
aostortaga, Diut. 1, 266 a ) were kept at Easter. This Ostard, like 
the AS. Edstre, must in the heathen religion have denoted a higher 
being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the Christian 
teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own 
grandest anniversaries. 2 All the nations bordering on us have 
retained the Biblical pascha ; even Ulphilas writes paska, nofc 

1 T. 157, 1. 3. 5. 0. i. 22, 8. iii. 6, 16. iv. 9, 8. Hymn. 21, 4. Fragm. 
tlieol. xiv. 17. 

2 Couf. Meier s chronologic 1, 516. 

ZISA. 291 

austro, though he must have known the word ; x the Norse tongue 
also has imported its paskir, Swed. pask, Dan. paaske. The OHG. 
adv. dstar expresses movement toward the rising sun (Gramm. 3, 
205), likewise the ON", austr, and probably an AS. eastor and Goth, 
austr. In Latin the identical auster has been pushed round to the 
noonday quarter, the South. In the Edda a male being, a spirit of 
light, bears the name of Austri, so a female one might have been 
called Austra ; the High German and Saxon tribes seem on the 
contrary to have formed only an Ostara, Edstre (fern.), not Ostaro, 
Eastra (masc). 2 And that may be the reason why the Norsemen 
said paskir and not austrur : they had never worshipped a goddess 
Austra, or her cultus was already extinct. 

Ostara, Edstre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the 
radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and 
blessing, 3 whose meaning could be easily adapted to the resurrec 
tion-day of the Christian s God. Bonfires were lighted at Easter, 
and according to a popular belief of long standing, the moment the 
sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, he gives three joyful leaps, he 
dances for joy (Superst. 813). Water drawn on the Easter 
morning is, like that at Christmas, holy and healing (Superst. 775. 
804) ; here also heathen notions seems to have grafted themselves 
on great Christian festivals. Maidens clothed in white, who at 
Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts 
of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess 
(see SuppL). 

8. ZISA. 

Beda s account of Hrede and Eastre 4 shall be followed now by 
a statement reaching back to the llth century, and deserving 
attention if only for its great age, concerning a goddess Zisa, 
worshipped at Augsburg in the heathen time. 

1 For oriens he chooses urruns, for occidens sagqs, i.e., rising and sinking of 
the sun, not that he did not know vistr (versus occidentem), root vis (repose, 
stillness, evening). 

2 Composite proper names : Ostroberht, Austroberta, Austregisil, Ostro- 
gotha (like Visigotha, Vistrimund, Westeralap, Sundarolt, Nordberaht, &c. &c.) 

3 In the Basque language ostara means May. the budding leafing time, 
from ostoa, leaf, foliage : a mere accidental resa nblance. 

4 I might introduce into the text an AS. JB cew-, if I knew any more about 
her than what Lye s glossary quotes from Cod. Cot. 65, 87 : Iticenne Diana. It 
is formed like ]?inen (ancilla), wylpen (bellona), &c. 


The. Cod. Monach. Lat. 2 (of 1135), and the Cod. Emmeran. F. 
IX. fol. 4 a (of 12-13th cent.) contain identic Excerpta ex Gallica 
liistoria * 

Bum liec circa renum geruntur, in noricorum (interlined 
bawariorum, Cod. Vind. GIL pauwariorum) finibus grave vulnus 
romanus populus accepit. quippe germanorum gentes (interlined 
suevi), que retias occupaverant, non longe ab alpibus tractu pari 
patentibus campis, ubi duo rapidissimi amnes [interlined licus et 
werthaJia (CII vuerdaha)] inter se confluunt, in ipsis noricis finibus 
(interlined terminis bawariorum et suevorum) civitatem non quidem 
inuro sed vallo fossaque cinxerant, quam appellabant zizarim (CII. 
cizarim) ex nomine dee cize? quam religiosissime colebant. cujus 
templuin quoque ex lignis barbarico ritu constrictum, postquam eo 3 
colonia romana deducta est, inviolatum permansit, ac vetustate 
collapsum no men 4 colli servavit. hanc urbem tiiw annius pretor 
ad arcendas barbarorum excursiones kal. sextilibus (interlined 
exacta jam estate) exercitu circumvenit. ad meridianam oppidi 
partem, que sola a continent! (interlined littoribus) erat, pretor ipse 
cum lef/ione martia castra operosissime cornmunivit. ad occiden- 
te m vero, qua barbarorum adventus erat, dvar, bdgudis rcgis films, 
cum equitatu omni et auxiliaribus mactdonum copiis inter flumen ct 
vallum loco castris parum amplo infelici temeritate extra Hum en 
(interlined werthalia) consedit. pulchra indoles, non minus romanis 
quam greds disciplinis instructa. igitur quinquagesimo nono die, 
qua eo ventum est, cum is dies dee cize (CII. dee^ ciz^) apud barbaros 
celeberrimus, ludum et lasciviam magis quam formidinem ostentaret, 
immanis barbarorum (interlined suevomm, CII. svivorum) multitudo, 
ex proximis silvis repente erumpens ex improviso castra. irrupifc, 
equitatum omnem, et quod miserius erat, auxilia sociorum delevit. 
avar, 5 cum in hostium potestatem regio habitu vivus venisset, [sed 

1 I owe their cominrmicatien- to Schmeller s kindness. The same piece is 
found at Vienna in two forms*: in the Cod. Lat. CII (olim hist. prof. Go2) see. 
xi. ineuntis fol. 79. 80 ; and in the Cod. CCXXVI (olim univ. 237) sec. xii. 
In both it stands between Jorn. De reb. get. and De regn. suce. CII lias 
interlinear glosses and marginal notes (exactly like the Munich MSS.) by a 
scarcely later hand, which also writes the heading Excerptum ox (Jallira 
historia . CCXXVI adopts the interlinears into the text, but otherwise agrees. 

2 On margin: Quern male polluerat cultura nei aria dud 11111 

gallus monticulum hunc tibi ciza tulit . 

3 On margin : post conditam urbem auyustam a rotnanis . 

4 Marg. note : ut usque hodie ab incolis cizunberc nominetur . 

5 Marg. note: ex cujus vocalmlo, quia ibi mactatus et tumulatus est 
ckrikc saver on (CII chrek{usa\ r er) iioinen accepit. (jrecus enim erat . 

ZISA. 293 

que apud ~barl>aros reverentia ?] more pecudis ibidem mactatur. 1 
oppidani vero lion minori fortuna sed maiori virtu te pretorem in 
auxilium sociis properantem adoriuntur. romani baud segniter 
resistant, duo principes oppidanorum habino 21 et caccus 5 in primis 
pugnantes cadunt. et inclinata jam res oppidanorum esset, ni 
maturassent auxilium ferre socii in altera ripa jam victoria potiti. 
denique coadunatis viribus castra irrumpunt, pretorem, qui paulo 
altiorem tumulum (interlined perleih) frustra ceperat, romana vi 
resistentem obtruncant. legionern 4 divinam (interlined martiam), 
ut ne nuncius cladis superesset, funditus delent. Verres solus 
tribunus militum amne transmisso in proximis paludibus se 
occultans 5 honestam mortem subterfugit. nee multo post sicilie 
proconsul immani avaricia turpem mortem promeruit. nam cum se 
rnagistratu abdicaret, judicio civium damnatus est. 

The same fragment, only without the interlined words and 
without marginal additions, stands in Goldast s Eerum suev. script, 
aliquot veteres, Ulm 1727 ibl. p. 3 under the rubric : Velleii Gall I 
fragmeritum de victoria Suevorum contra Eomanos (conf. Haupts 
zeitschr. 10,291). It has the readings dea Cisa suid Cisam 
and for Caccus Cacus, but agrees in the other names. Further, 
for loco parum amplo, I find the better reading apto. The paren 
thesis sed reverentia is wanting, so is the concluding sentence 
* nam damnatus est . I should believe that Goldast had borrowed 
it all from Wolfg. Lazius s Eeip. Eom. libri xii. Francof. 1591 p. 
52, if this copy had not some variations too ; the heading runs : 
Velleii excerpta ex Gallica historia ; it has Cisara, but Ciz$, also 
Habbino, Caccus, amplo/ and concludes with promeruit. Lazius 

1 On margin : 

Hoc nomen terris bogudis dat regia proles 

grecavar (CII grecus auar), pecudis de suevis more litatus. 

2 On margin : 

Prefectus habeno se victum hicque sepultum 

perpetuo montis nomine notificat. 

qui juxta montem occisus et sepultus nomen monti habenonberch dedit, quern 
rustici havenenbercli (CII havenonperch) dicunt. 

3 CII : a cujus nomine putamus iekingen nominari. 

4 On margin : de hac ibi perdita legione adhuc perleich nominatur. 
.Then in smaller but contemporaneous writing : 

* Iridicat hie collis romanam nomine cladem 

martia quo legio tota simul periit. 
subdidit hunc rome prepes victoria petro, 

hoc sibimet templum qui modo constituit. 3 

5 On margin : * hie quia in paludibus adjacentibus latuit, lacui uerisse hue 
usque nomen dedit . 


says : quam nos historiam in pervetusto codice membran. literis 
antiquissimis script-am reperimus ; that would be the sixth MS. 
known hitherto, and copies must have been pretty numerous in the 
11-1 2th centuries. The one that Goldast had before him may 
probably have been the oldest. 

Either one or the other of them, both Otto von Freisingen and 
the author (or continuator) of the Auersberg chronicle seem to have 
had before them. The former tries to connect the story with 
Quintilius Varus (instead of Verres), and after relating his over 
throw, adds (chron. 3, 4) : Tradunt Augustenses hanc caedem ibi 
factam, ostenduntque in argumentum collem ex ossibus mortuorum 
compactum, quern in vulgari pcrleicli (Mone, anz. 1, 256), eo quod 
legio ibi perierit, usque hodie vocant, vicumque ex nomine Vari ap- 
pellatum monstrant . The Auersberg chronicler s account, though 
he almost verbally adopts the older fragment, I hold it needful to 
insert here, because the marginal glosses are curiously interwoven 
with the text, and referred to discovered inscriptions on stone \ l 

De Augusta Vindelicorum vel Ehetiae. sicut ex scriptis veterum 
colligitur haec civitas tria nomina accepit. German orum quippe 
gentes primum considentes in partibus Ehetiae, quae nunc est pars 
Sueviae, noil longe ab alpibus in planitie, loco tamen munito propter 
concursum duorum rapidorum fluminum, hanc urbern construxerunt, 
et non muris sed fossatis earn firmaverunt, et ex nomine deae Zizae, 
quam religiosissime colebant, Zizerim earn nominabant. hujus 
quoque deae templum ex lignis barbarico ritu constructum, etiam 
postquam Eomani earn incolere coeperunt, inviolatum permansit. 
at vetustate collapsum nomen colli servavit, in quo postmodum in 
lapide exsculpti hi versus sunt reperti : 

quern male polluerat cultura nefaria dudum 

gallus monticulum hunc tibi Ziza tulit. 

unde usque in praesens ab incolis idem monticulus Zizcriberg no- 
minatur. apud hanc urbem Eomani deleti sunt magna caede. 
nam Titus Annius praetor ad arcendas barbarorum excursiones 
cum exercitu in kal. Augusti earn circundedit, ipseque ad meri- 
dianam oppidi partem, quae sola patebat, castra sua cum legione 
Martia operosissime communivit. ad occidentem vero ultra 
fluvium, ubi Suevis aut barbaris aditus patebat, Avar Eogudis regis 

i Chron. Conradi ursperg. Argent. 1532, p. 308. eel. 1609, p. 225. 

ZISA. 295 

filius cum omni equitatu et auxilio macedonico consedit. igitur 
quinquagesimo nono die, quam eo ventum est, cum is dies deae Ziz^ 
apud barbaros celeberrimus esset, ludum et lasciviam magis quam 
formidinem cives osteutarunt. tune etiam immanis barbarorum 
multitudo, quae de partibus Sueviae illuc convenerat, de proximis 
silvis repente erumpens ex improviso castra irrupit et Avaris 
exercitum delevit. ipsum quoque Avar regio habitu indutum 
vivum comprehendentes crudeliter in modum pecoris mactaverunt. 
a quo in loco, ubi mactatus est, vicus usque hodie appellatus est 
Criechesaveron, in quo hi versus reperti sunt : 

his nomen terris Bogudis dat regia proles 
Graecus Avar, pecudis de Suevis more litatus. 
oppidani vero non minor! fortuna sed majori virtute praetorem 
in auxilium sociis properantem invadunt, quibus Komani haud 
segniter resistunt. in quo conflictu duo principes oppidanorum 
Habino et Caccus in primis pugnantes cadunt, et inclinata jam res 
esset oppidanorum, ni maturassent auxilium ferre Smvi in altera 
ripa victoria jam potiti. de nominibus autem illorum principum 
interfectorum exstant adhuc loca denominata, nam rustic! de Ha- 
binone vocant monticulum Habinoberg, in quo hi versus reperti 

praefectus Habino se victum atque sepultum 

perpetuo montis nomine notificat. 

a Cacco vero dicunt Gegginen denominari. denique coadunatis 
Suevis et oppidanis castra irrumpunt, et praetorem, qui paulo al- 
tiorem tumulum frustra ceperat, romana vi resis ten tern obtruncant, 
legionemque divinam, ut nee nuncius cladis superesset, funditiis 
delent. de hac perdita legione adhuc perlaich, quasi perdita legio, 
nominatur, ubi postmodum hi versus sunt reperti : 

indicat hie collis romanam nomine cladem, 

martia quo legio tota simul periit. 

solus Verrcs tribunus militum amne transmisso in proximis palu- 
dibus se occultans honestam mortem subterfugit, lacui Vernse 
hucusque nomen dedit. versus : 

das nomen lacui Verres quo tu latuisti. 

hie tamen non multo post Siciliae proconsul effectus turpem mor 
tem promeruit. nam cum se magistrate abdicaret judicio civiuni 
damnatus est. propter hunc Ve-rrem tradunt Augustenses hanc 
caedem fuisse eandem, quam sub Augusto factam quidani descri- 


bunt, sed Varum ilium nominant his verbis : ea tempestate Varus, 
romano more, superbe et avare erga subditos se gerens a Germanis 
deletus est. 

Some later writers also mention the tradition. About 1373 
91, an ecclesiastic, Klichlin, composed in rhyme a history of 
Augsburg l for the burgomaster Peter Egen the Young, who wished 
to have his house painted with illustrations from it. Cap. 2, fol. 
99 says of the Swabians : 

Sie bawten einen tempel gross darein 
zu eren (in honour of) Zise der abgottin, 
die sie nach heidnischen sitten (after heathen ways) 
anbetten zu denselben zeiten (adored in those days). 
Die stat ward genennt (city got named) auch Zisaris 
nach der abgottin (after the goddess), das was der pris. 
Der tempel als lang stund unversert (stood uninjured), 
bis im von alter was der val beschert (its fall decreed), 
und da er von alter abgieng (as from age it passed away), 
der berg namen von im empfieng (the hill took name), 
daruf gestanden was (whereon had stood) das werck, 
und haist noch hut (hight still to-day) der Ziscriberck. 
Oonf. Keller s Fastn. sp., p. 1361. Sigism. Meisterlin, in his Augs 
burg chronicle 2 (which is in print from the 8th chap, of bk 1), 
treats of this Cisa in chaps. 5-6 of bk 2. In the imprinted chap. 4 
of bk 1, he unmistakably refers to Klichlin, and again at the end of 
chap. 7 : das er auch melt (tells) von der gottin Cisa, die auch 
genent wird Cizais, das sy geert habend (they honoured her) die 
doch aus Asia warend ; dawider seind die andern, die von Cysa 
schreibent, die sprechent, das sy die Vindelici habend nach 
schwebischen sitten angebettet. von der gottin wirst du hernach 
mer haben, ob got wil (buch 3. cap. 5. 6). (See Suppl.) 

Hopeless contradictions lie on the face of that fragment. 
Bogud, a Punic ship s-captain, who lived in the year 494 of Eome, 
or 260 B.C., 3 is here turned into a Macedonian king ; and his son 
Avar is made contemporary with the Ciceronian Verres of 200 
years after, or even of the still later Varus. Yet Bogudes and 
Varus do occur as contemporaries of Pompey in Dio Cassius 41, 42. 

1 Cod. Monach. Lat. 61 ; likewise sent me by Sehmeller. 

" Augsb. 1522 fol. Meisterlin wrote it in 1456. and died about 1484. 

3 Niebuhr s Rom. Hist. 3, 677. 

ZISA. 297 

What Titus Annius was meant by the praetor, I cannot guess ; 
there is a consul of that name A.U.C. 601 and 626, or B.C. 153, 128. 
Velleius Paterculus can never have written this sort of thing. 1 

But all the rubbish it contains does not destroy the value of 
the remarkable story to us. The comparatively pure Latinity is 
enough to show that it was not composed so late as the twelfth 
century ; Lazius and Velser 2 are inclined to place it in the Caro- 
lingian period, and it looks like the work of a foreigner, to whom 
the Germans are heathens and barbarians. The glosses confirm the 
local connexion of the whole tradition with Augsburg and its 
neighbourhood ; ,and not .only the Latin verses, but the German 
forms werthaha (R. Wertach), cizunberc, habino, habinonberc, look 
too old for the 12th century. Habino (Hepino), Habinolf, is an 
authentic OHG. man s name: Cacus is unknown to me, Cacan, 
Cagan would seem more vernacular, and the derived local name 
Geginen leads up to it. Some of the names quoted are preserved 
to this day: the eminence in the middle of the city, next the senate- 
house, is still called Perlach, on which the monastery and churcli 
of St. Peter were founded in 1064 ; so the verse subdidit hunc 
(collem) Eomae praepes victoria Petro was composed after that ? 
The name perleih, which the legend derives from periens or perdita 
legio, suggests the OHG. eikileihi, aigilaihi (phalanx), Gl. ker. 124. 
Diut. 1, 223 ; and in other compounds we find leih in a variety of 
senses. 3 Zisenberg and Havenenberg are names no longer heard, 
while Pfersen (Veris-se) MB. 33 b , 108 an. 1343, and Kriegshaber 
are well known villages. Whatever may be the explanation of the 
older and correcter form Criechesaveron, it is very plain that the 
name of die place Criahhes (graeci) avard (imago, -conf. pp. 86, 95, 
yet also avaro proles) first suggested Graecus Avar, as well as 
HaUnonlerc the hero -< Habino . The Auersberg chronicler s state 
ment, that the Latin verses were found carved in all those places, 
must be rejected. 

We find then, that tradition, true to her wont, has mixed up 

1 CL 3&. Vossius, De%ist. Lat. 1, 24. 

2 Marct yelseri rer. Augustanar. libri 8. 1594 fol. p. 45. 

3 Henisch p. 293 explains berlach at Augsburg ab ursis in publica 
cavea ibi altia, a tiring which was done in other towns, e.g. Bern. On the 
Perlach tower there was fixed a figure of St. Michael, which came into view 
every time the clock struck on Michaelmas-day ; in earlier times a wooden 
temple of Isis (p. 294, ex lignis) is said to have stood on the spot ; Fischart s 
geschichtkl. 30 b : der amazonischen Augspurger japetisch fraw Eysen . 


fact and fiction ; the great point is, that she brings us tidings of a 
Sue vie goddess. Cisa seems the older and better spelling, and Ciza 
would be harder to explain. Now from this name of the goddess 
we can hardly derive that of the town Cisara, supposing it to be a 
purely German derivative ; names of places are never formed with 
such a termination from male or female proper names. It seems 
more likely that Cisara Cisae ara, from the altar and temple of 
the goddess : and later writers might corrupt Cisaram into Zizarim, 
Zizerim. We read that she was most devoutly (religiosissime) 
honoured by the Suevi, her anniversary is a grand festival devoted 
to games and merrymaking, the day is precisely defined as the 
fifty-ninth after Aug. 1, it fell therefore on Sept. 28. At such a 
season might be held a feast of the divinity who had prospered the 
harvest just gathered in. On Sept. 29 the Christians kept one of 
their grandest days, that of St. Michael, who often had to replace a 
heathen god of war and victory. It seems worthy of notice, that 
the Saxons had their great feast of victory about the same time, 
viz., the beginning of October ; Widukind pp. 423-4. With the 
first Sunday after Michaelmas the holy common-week was considered 
in the Mid. Ages to begin;, Scheffer s Haltaus, pp. 141-2. na der 
hillifjen meinweken, Weisth. % 240. In the handing down of a 
precise and doubtless genuine date, I feel the credibility of the story 

Now who is Cisa ? One naturally thinks first of that Sftevic 
Isis (p. 257) in Tacitus, whose name even is not unlike Cisa, Zisa, 
if we make allowance for the mere dropping of the initial, an 
omission which the Eornan might be prompted to make by the 
similarity of the Isis that he knew.. But even if Zisa be totally 
different from Isis, she can with all the better right be placed by 
the side of our Zio, in whom also was displayed a thoroughly 
Swabian deity (p. 199) ; nay, together with our supposed feminine 
Ziu (p. 203) there may have been a collateral form Zisd, so that her 
Zisuiiberg would exactly correspond to the god s Ziewesberg, Zisberg 
(see Suppl.). Shall I bring forward a reason for this guess, which 
shall be anything but far-fetched ? The Mid. Dutch name for the 
third day of the week had the curious form Disendach (p. 125), which 
being of course a corruption of Tisendach brings us at once to Tise 
= Zisa. It is a matter for further researches to demonstrate, 1 but 

1 Down in the Kiese between the rivers Lech and Wertach, in the midst of 
Sueves, at a time supposed to be before even the Romans settled in. the region^ 


that tliree divinities, Zio, Zisa and Isis, are assigned to the Suevi, is 
already abundantly clear. 


Our inquiry turns at length to the goddesses of the Norse 
religious system, of whom unequivocal traces are forthcoming in 
the rest of Teutondom. 

Foremost of these are Frigg the wife of OSinn, and Freyja the 
sister of Freyr, a pair easy to confound and often confounded 
because of their similar names. I mean to try if a stricter etymo 
logy can part them and keep them asunder. 

The name of Freyja seems the easier : it is motived no doubt 
by the masculine Freyr (Gramm. 3, 335). Now as we recognised 
Freyr in the Gothic frauja (p. 209), Freyja leads us to expect a 
Gothic fraujo, gen. fraujons, both in the general sense of clomina 
mistress, and in the special one of a proper name Fraujo. The 
notion of mistress, lady, never occurs in Ulphilas. To make up 
for it, our OHG. remains express it very frequently, by fruwd, 
frdivd; the MUGr. frouwe, frou and our modern frau have preserved 
themselves purely as common nouns, while the masc. fro has 
vanished altogether. In meaning, frouwe and frau correspond 
exactly to herre, herr, and are used like it both in addressing and 
otherwise. 1 Our minnesangers are divided as to the respective 
superiority of frouwe (domina) and wip (femina), 2 wip expressing 
more the sex, .and frouwe the dignity ; to this day we feel frau to 
be nobler than weib, though the French femme includes a good deal 
of what is in our frau. It seems worthy of notice, that the poets 

no Slav gods need be looked for ; neither does the Slav mythology know any 
thing at all certain about a Ziza, alleged to be Ceres mamiuosa (Boh. cic, cec, 
Pol. eye, Russ. titi, mamma), in support of whom forsooth our Cisa must be 
wronged ; see Hanusch 278. It were better to think of the MHG. name for 
the zeisig (zeis-chen, siskin) din ztse, ein kleiniti zise, Ms. 1, 191 b . "Wh. 275, 
30 ; which can scarcely have arisen from cicindela (glow-worm, Graff 5, 711) ; 
however, no connexion has come to light between the goddess and the form of 
a bird, though some little birds, the woodpecker, the titmouse, were held 

1 Like our fr6, the Fr. dame (dominus) is now lost ; dame (domina) 
remains, like our frau. The Span, keeps both don and dona, the Ital. only 
donna. The Romance tongues express the masc. notion by two other words, 
sire, sieur (p. 27) and seigneur, signore, seiior, i.e., senior, out of which an Ital. 
signora, a bpan. senora have sprouted, but no Fr. feminine. 

2 Walth. 48-9. 57. Amgb. 45 b 4fi a . Ms. 2, 182 b 21G a . Docen misc. 2, 
278-9. frouwe uiide wip, Parz. 302, 7 (see Suppl.). 


harp on the connexion of fmu with froli glad (fro-lic) and freude 
joy ; conf. Fridank 106, 58. Tit. 15, 35. 

The AS. and OS. languages have done the very reverse: while 
their masc. frea, fraho is used far more freely than the OHG. 
frouwo, they have developed no fern, by its side. The M. Dutch 
dialect has vramoe, vrouwe in addressing and as title (Huyd. op St. 
1, 52. 356. Rein. 297. 731. 803. 1365. 1655. 2129. 2288. 2510- 
32-57-64, &c.), seldomer in other positions, Eein. 2291 ; the modern 
vrouw has extended its meaning even beyond the limits of our 

All the above languages appear to lack the fern, proper name, 
in contrast to the OX. which possesses Freyja almost solely as the 
goddess s name, and no freyja = hera. Yet we find husfreyja house 
wife, Stem. 212 b , and Snorri is still able to say that freyja is a 
tignarnafn (name of honour) derived from the goddess, 1 that grand 
ladies, rikiskonur, are freyjur, Sn. 29. Yngl. saga c. 13. The 
readings frur, fruvor here are corrupt, for the Icel. form frd has 
evidently slipped in from the Dan. frue, Swed. fru, and these from 
Germany. The goddess should be in Swed. Froa, Dan. Froe, which 
I have never met with; the Swed. folk-song of Thor s hammer 
calls Freyja Froijenlorg (the Dan. Fridlefsborg), a Danish one has 
already the foreign Fru. Saxo is silent about this goddess and 
her father altogether; he would no doubt have named her Froa. 
Our Merseburg poem has now at last presented us with Frud = 
Frowa, as the proper name of the goddess. 2 

Frigg gen. Friggjar, daughter of Fiorgynn and wife of OSinn, is 
kept strictly apart from Freyja, gen. Freyju : in the Vafyrudnismal 
and the beginning of the Grimnismal, Offinn and Frigg are plainly 
presented as husband and wife ; and as Hroptr and Svafnir are 
also names of OSinn, Hroptr ok Frigg, Svafnir ok Frigg in Saem. 

1 As fraivjo from Fraujo, and freyja from Freyja, a song of Frauenlob s, 
Ettm. p. 112 makes wip come from a Prankish king IVippeo. Is this an echo 
of a mythical Wippo, Wibba (geneal. of Mercia, end of ch. VII) ? The expla 
nation is as false as when the Edda derives vif from vela, for all a woman s 
being practically a weaver and a peace-weaver ; we should have to assume two 
roots, viban and veiban, side by side. The ON. proper name Vefreyja is also 
worthy of note, Fornald. sog. 2, 459. 3, 250. 594. 

2 The reasons why we may not take /rdd here for a mere title (and so a 
noun com.) are set forth in the Zeitschr. f. d. a. 2, 189. As for the u in the 
MS., it looks to me quite plain, else Wackernagel s proposal to read Friia = 
Frija % Friga, Fria, would be acceptable (friiu does occur in T. 93, 3). Frua 
aiid Fria are alike welcome and suitable for my explanation. 


91- b 93 a express the same relation. Saxo Gram., p. 13, has correctly 
Frigga Othini conjux . In prayers the two goddesses even stand 
side by side : sva hialpi ther hollar vsettir, Frigg ok Freyja, ok 
fleiri go$ (more gods), sem jm feldir mer far af hondom ! Ssem. 
240 b . So they do at the burning of Baldr s body, Sn. 66, conf. 37. 
And that Danish folk-song has likewise Frigge, Fru og Thor . 

The ON. usually has gg where the AS. has eg and OHG. cc or 
kk, namely, where a suffix i had stood after g or k: thus, ON. 
egg (acies), AS. ecg, OHG. ekki ; ON. bryggja (ponsj, AS. brycge, 
OHG. prukka; ON. hryggr (dorsum), AS. hrycg, OHG. hrukki. 
In the same way we get an AS. Fricg, OHG. Frikka, Frikkia, even 
farther away from Frouwd than Frigg from Freyja. 

It is the confounding of these two beings that will explain how 
Adam of Bremen came to put Fricco instead of Fro for Freyr (supra, 
p. 212) ; he would equally have said Fricca for Freyja. Fricco, 
Friccho, Friccolf were in use as proper names in OHG. 

And now it seems possible to explain, what is otherwise 
unaccountable, why the sixth day of the week, dies Veneris, should 
be called in ON. both Freyju&a,gr and also Friadagr, in OHG, 
never Frouwuntac, but Friatac, Frigefac, now Freitag, in AS. 
(for Fricgedseg ?), v. supra, pp. 123-6, and in Faroese 
(Lyngbye 532). 

Among these forms the AS. presents no difficulty : in the OHG. 
and ON. names we are puzzled by the absence of the guttural I 
believe a solution is offered by that most important passage in 
Paulus Diac. 1, 8 where Wodan s consort is named Frea, which can 
only mean Frigg, not Freyja, as Saxo Gram, too, while expressly 
grounding on Paulus, makes use of the form Frig : Paulo teste 
auctore Frig dea . l 

This Langob. Frea accords with the OHG. Frfa, I take it to be 
not only identical with Frigg, but the original form of the name ; 
it has less to do with Freyja and the AS. masc. frea. As an ON. 
bru (pons) stands related to bryggia, so will fri to frigg. The 
Langob. Frea is = Frea, Fria, Frija, Frea. Its root is suggested by 

1 The AS chroniclers (p. 128) borrow Frea from Paulus. With Frea we 
must above all connect the frea of the Laws of Liutprand 6, 40 and 67 and 
tins means uxor, clomma, not libera, ingenua. Paulus therefore, in assmnim 

r< TPH TC\ WnrlOTl OCt l-nn t-wrl P,-. 1 , J. 1 j 1 T / . 1 -*. -*- -r-. . ^ *- 

f\\ i ^ /* OO ^ AAt *^ ^ J 

Jonin, as is done in the Grimnismal (see Suppl.). 


such words as : Goth, freis, frijis (liber), OHG. fri ; Goth, frijon 
(amare), OHG. frion ; especially may we take into account the OS. 
neut. M (mulier), Hel. 9, 21. 13, 16. 171, 21. 172, 1, the AS. 
freo (mulier), Cicdm. 29, 28. freolic cwen (pulcra femina), Beow. 
1275. freolicu meowle, Cod. exon. 479, 2. freolic wif, Beow. 1222. 
freolic foemne, Coedm. 12, 12. 54, 28. 1 Now, as fri (liber) and our 
frech, ON. frekr (protervus, impudens), fri (mulier formosa) and 
ON". frier (forinosus), fritJr (pax) seem to be all related, even the 
adjectival forms betray the shifting sense of the substantival. 2 

We gather from all this, that the forms and even the meanings 
of the two names border closely on one another. Freyja means the 
gladsome, gladdening, sweet, gracious goddess, Frigg the free, 
beautiful, loveable ; to the former attaches the general notion of 
frau (mistress), to the latter that of fri (woman). Holda, from hold 
(sweet, kind), and Berhta from berht (bright, beautiful) resemble 
them both. The Swedish folk-song, in naming Froijenborg, calls 
her den viina solen, the beautiful sun. 

Hence the mingling of their myths becomes the more con 
ceivable. Saxo, p. 13, relates how Friyga, to obtain gold for her 
ornaments, violated conjugal fidelity; more minutely told, and 
differing much in the details, the tale about Freyja in Sn. 356 
appears to be the same adventure. On quite another ground 
however the like offence is imputed to Frigg too (S^em. 63. Yngl. 
saga cap. 3). In Sn. 81 the valshamr of Freyja is spoken of, but in 
113-9 that of Frigg ; the former is supported by Severn. 70. 

Hence the variations in the name for the day of the week. The 
OHG. Friatac ought clearly to be Friggjardagr in ON., and the 
ON. should be Frouwuntac in OHG. Hence too the 
uncertainty in the naming of a constellation and of several plants. 
Orion s belt, elsewhere named Jacob s staff and also spindle (coins 
r]\afcdrrj), is called by the Swedish people F rigger ock (colus Friggae, 
Hire, p. 663) or Frejcrock (Finn Magnusen 361 a ), as we noticed 
before, or Frojas rock (Wieselgren. 383). The orchis odoratissima, 
satyrium albidum, a plant from which love-potions are brewed, Icel. 
Friggjargras, otherwise hionagras (herba conjugalis) ; the later 

1 Conf. the MHG. wiplich wip, Parz. 10, 17. MS. 1, 50* 202*. 2, 42 b 
182 b 258 a . wibin wip, MsH. 1, 359 b ; similarly 6rj\vrfpai yvvalnes, Od. 11, 
386. 434. 15, 422. Hesiod scut. 4. 

2 We might connect Venus with the Goth, qino, qens, as venire with 
qjman ; the Wei. gwen would answer to Gvenus for Venus ; the Ir. dia 
beine, Friday, from bean, len (lady) = Venus = AS. cwen. 


Christian way of thinking has substituted Mary for the heathen 
goddess. And the labouring man in Zealand speaks of the above 
constellation also by the name of Maridrok, Marirok. Several 
kinds of fern, adiantum, polypodium, asplenium, are named lady s 
hair, maidenhair, Mariengras, capillus Vcneris, Icel. Freyjuhdr, Dan. 
Fruehaar, Venusstraa, Venusgrds, Norweg. Marigras, &c. Even if 
the Norse names here have sprung out of Latin ones, they show 
how Venus was translated both by Frigg and Freyja and Mary. 
As for Mary, not only was the highest conception of beauty carried 
over to her, (frto sconiosta, idiso sconiost, Hel. 61, 13. 62, 1), but 
she was pre-eminently our lady, fmu, domina, donna. Conf. infra 
frauachiiQli, ladycow, Marienkalblein. In the nursery-tales she sets 
the girls sewing and spinning like Holda and Berhta, and Holda s 
snow appears to mean the same as Mary s snow (p. 268). 

Before so close a contact of the two names I pause, doubting with 
which of them to connect the strong and incontestable similarity of 
certain divine names in the non-Teutonic [Aryan] languages. 
First of all, an OBoh. gloss gives Priye for Aphrodite ; taking into 
account the Goth, frijon, the OHG. friudil (lover), MHG. vriedel, 
and the Slav, priyatel (friend), Boh. prjtel, Pol. przyiaciel, it must 
have meant either Freyja the goddess of love and fruitfulness, or 
Frigg the divine mother and patroness of marriage. In Sanskrit 
also pri is to love, priyas a friend, Ramapriya dear-to-Lakshmi = 
lotus, Yamapriya pleasing-to-Yama = ficus indica, priya in names 
of gods = husband or wife, Pott s forsch. 2, 424-7. Then prithivi 
is the earth, and matd Prithvi Terra mater, from whom comes fruit 
and increase (conf. Wei. pridd terra, Bopp s gloss. 223 b ) ; and the 
word, though next of kin to prithus (TrXaru? latus), the earth being 
named the broad and wide, seems nevertheless connected with 
Fria, Frigg and fridu. 

Frigg the daughter of Fiorgynn (p. 172), as consort of the highest 
god, 1 takes rank above all other goddesses : she knows the fates of 
men (Stem. 63 b . Sn. 23. 64), is consulted by OSinn (Stem. 31 a ), 
administers oaths, handmaids fulfil her host, she presides over 

1 Some of the AS. genealogies have Woden et Frealaf ejus uxor, so that 
Frigg = Frealaf (OHG. Froleip 1) which fits iu with that Fridlefsborg in the 
Danish song, p. 300 ; others make Frealaf Woden s father. But in lieu of hint 
we have also ffriftulkt and Fri&uwiilf, a fresh confirmation of the connexion 
between fri5 and the goddess s name. 


marriages, and her aid is implored by the childless (Fornald. suj. 1, 
117); hence hionagras is also Fricjgjargras. We may remember 
those maidens yet unmarried (p. 264) being yoked to the plough of 
the goddess whose commands they had too long defied. In some 
parts of northern England, in Yorkshire, especially Hallamshire, 
popular customs show remnants of the worship of Fricg. In the 
neighbourhood of Dent, at certain seasons of the year, especially 
autumn, the country folk hold a procession and perform old dances, 
one called the giant s dance : the leading giant they name Woden, 
and his wife Frigga, the principal action of the play consisting in 
two swords being swung and clashed together about the neck of a 
boy without hurting him. 1 Still more remarkable is the clear 
vestige of the goddess in Lower Saxony, where to the common 
people she is fru Frekc? and plays the very parts which we saw 
assigned tofrau Nolle (pp. 267-8): a strong argument, by the way, for 
the divine nature of this latter. Then in Westphalia, legend may 
derive the name of the old convent Freckcnhorst, Frickenhorst, from 
a shepherd Frickio, to whom a light appeared in the night (like the 
fall of snow by night at Hildesheim, p. 268) on the spot where the 
church was to be built ; the name really points to a sacred hurst or 
grove of Frecka fern., or of Friclco masc., whose site Christianity was 
perhaps eager to appropriate ; conf. Frcecinghyrst, Kemble 1, 248. 
2, 265. There is a VrcMeve, Frickslcbcn, not far from Magdeburg 
(see SuppL). 

Freya is the goddess most honoured after or along with Frigg ; 
her worship seems to have been even the more prevalent and 
important of the two, she is styled agoetuz af Asynjum, Sn. 28, 
and blotgyoja, Yngl. saga cap. 4, to whom frequent sacrifices were 
offered. HeiSrekr sacrificed a boar to her, as elsewhere to Freyr, 
and honoured her above all other gods. 3 She was wedded to a 

1 Communicated by J. M. Kemble, from the mouth of an old Yorksliire- 
inan . I account for the sword by the ancient use of that weapon at weddings ; 
coiif. EA. 426-7. 431 ; esp. the old Frisian custom pp. 167-8, conf. Heimreich s 
Nordfries. chron. 1, 53-4. In Swabia, as late as the 18th century, the brides 
men carried large swords with fluttering ribbons before the bride ; and there 
is a striking similarity in the Esthonian custom (Superst. M. 13). 

*Eccard de orig. Germ, p. 398: Celebratur in plebe Saxon ica fru Frelce, 
cui eadem munia tribuuntur, quae superiores Saxones Holdae suae adscribunt. 
Fru Frcke has just been unearthed again by Ad. Kuhn, namely in the Uker- 
mark, where she is called Fruike, and answers to fru Harke in the Mittclmark 
and fru Gode in the Prignitz. 

3 Hervavarsapi, ed. Vend. p. 138, ed. 1785 p. 124. By the editors of the 
Fornald. sog. 1, 463 the passage is banished into the notes as an unsupported 



man (not a god, at least not an As), named Offr, but he forsook her, 
and she sought him all over the world, among strange peoples, 
shedding tears. Her name Syr (Sn. 37) would perhaps be Saurs in 
Gothic : Wilh. Miiller has detected the very same in the Syritha of 
Saxo Gram. p. 125, who likewise goes in search of Othar. Freyja s 
tears were golden, gold is named after them, and she herself is 
gratfagr, fair in greeting (weeping), Sn. 37. 119. 133; in our 
nursery-tales pearls and flowers are wept or laughed out, and dame 
Holla bestows the gift of weeping such tears. But the oldest 
authorities make her warlike also ; in a waggon drawn by two cats 
(as Tliorr drives two goats) 1 she rides to the battlefield, riSr til 
vtgs, and goes shares with 05inn in the slain (supra p. 133, conf. 
Ssem. 42 a . Sn. 28. 57). She is. called eigandi valfalls (quae 
sortitur caesos in pugna), Sn. 119 ; valfreyja, mistress of the chosen, 
Nialss. p. 118, and of the valkyrs in general; this seems to be 
in striking accord with Holda or Berhta (as well as Wuotan) 
adopting the lobes that die uncJiristened into their host, heathen 
goddesses the heathen souls. Freyja s dwelling is named Folk- 
vdngr or Folkvdngar, the plains on which the (dead ?) folk troop 
together ; this imparts new credibility to the connexion of St. 
Gertrude, whose minne is drunk, with Frowa, for the souls of the 
departed were supposed to lodge with Gertrude the first night (p. 61). 
Freyja s hall is Sessrymnir, the seat-roomy, capacious of much/o/A:; 
dying women expect to find themselves in her company after death. 
Thorgerftr in the Egilss., p. 103, refuses earthly nourishment, she 
thinks to feast with Freyja soon : ok engan (nattverS) mun ek 
fyrr enn at Freyju . Yet love-songs please her too, and lovers do 
well to call upon her : henni likaSi vel mansongr, a hana er gott 
at heita til asta, Sn. 29. That the cat was sacred to her, as the 
wolf to Wuotan, will perhaps explain why this creature is given to 
night-hags and witches, and is called donneraas, wetter aas (-carrion). 
When a bride goes to the wedding in fine weather, they say she 
has fed the cat well, not offended the favourite of the love-goddess. 
The meaning of a phrase in Walther 82, 17 is dark to me: weder 
ritest gerner eine guldin katze, aid einen wunderlichen Gerhart 
Atzen ? In Westphalia, however, the weasel was named froie, 

1 Freyja has a waggon like Nertlms (mother of Freyr?}, like Holda and 
e . Freyr himself, Wuotan and Donar (pp. 105-7, 251-2-4, 275) ; the kingly waggon 
. is proper only to great exalted deities. 



Reinh. clxxii, which I suppose means frau, fraulein (froiken), as 
that -ghostly creature was elsewhere called muhmlein (aunty), 
fraulein, donna, donnola, titles sure to be connected with myths, 
and these would doubtless point in the first place to our goddess 
and her worship. The Greeks said Galinthias was turned into a 
weasel or cat (ya\eif), Ovid, metam. 9, 306 (see Suppl.). 

In so far as such comparisons are allowable, Frigg would stand 
on a line with Here or Juno, especially the pronuba, Jupiter s 
spouse ; and Freyja with Venus, 1 but also with Isis who seeks 
Osiris. Freyr and his sister Freyja are suggestive of Liber and 
Libera (Dionysus and Proserpina, or even her mother Demeter ; of 
sun and moon). Mary could replace the divine mother and the 
goddess of beauty ; verbally Frigg agrees better with Libera, and 
Adam of Bremen s Fricco, if he was god of love, answers in name to 
Liber, in character to Freyr. 

The passage quoted from Paul Diac. is one of the clearest and 
most convincing testimonies to the harmony between the German 
and Norse mythologies. An author of Charles the Great s time 
tells us that the Langobards named Wodan s wife Frea, and she is 
called Frigg in the Edda. He cannot have drawn this from Norse 
tradition, much less can his narrative through Saxo s intermediacy 
have become the source of the northern faith. 

But in favour of Freyja too we possess a weighty piece of 
external evidence. The Edda makes her the owner of a costly 
necklace named Brisinga men (Brisingorum monile) ; she is called 
eigandi Brisingamens, Sn. 37. 119. How she acquired this 
jewel from the dwarfs, how it was cunningly stolen from her by 
Loki, is fully narrated in a tale by itself, Sn. 354357. In the 
poets therefore Loki is Brisings J?iofr (Thorl. obs. 6, 41. 63) ; a lost 
lay of the Edda related how Heimdallr fought with Loki for this 
ornament, Sn. 105. When Freyja pants with rage, the necklace 
starts from her breast (stauk J?at it micla men Brisinga), S?em. 71 b . 
When Thorr, to get his hammer back, dresses up in Freyja s gar 
ments, he does not forget to put her famous necklace on : hafi 

1 In the Tanhauser, as sung in Switzerland (Aufsess. anz. 1832, 240-2 ; 
Uhland s volksl. p. 771), instead of the usual dame* Venus we find precisely 
frau Frene, and ace. to Staid. 1, 395 frein is there a collateral form olfrei free. 
A woman s name Vreneli is known from Hebel. Vrene may be Verena the 
martyr, or Veronica, v. Vreiie, Ben. 328. 


hann (have lie) it mikla men Brisinga ! Ssem. 72. Now this very 
trinket is evidently known to the AS. poet of Beowulf 2399, he 
names it Brosinga mene, without any allusion to the goddess ; I 
would read Brisinga mene, and derive the word in general from a 
verb which is in MHG-. brisen, breis (nodare, nodis constringere, 
Gr. icevrelv to pierce), namely, it was a chain strung together of 
bored links. Yet conf. ch. XX, Irising St. John s fire : perhaps 
the dwarfs that forged it were called Brisingar ? The jewel is so 
closely interwoven with the myth of Freyja, that from its mention 
in AS. poetry we may safely infer the familiarity of the Saxon race 
with the story itself ; and if the Goths worshipped a goddess 
Fraujo, they too would doubtless know of a Breisigge mani. 1 
Conf. ch. XX, larffar men, Earth s necklace, i.e., turf in the ON. 
legal language. 

We cannot but feel it significant, that where the gospel simply 
speaks of TO ayiov sacrum (Matt. 7, 6), the OS. poet makes it a 
helag halsmeni (holy necklace), Hel. 52, 7 ; an old heathen remin 
iscence came over him, as once before about doves perching on 
shoulders (p. 148). At the same time, as he names only the swine, 
not the dogs, it is possible that he meant halsmeni to be a mere 
amplification of merigrioton, pearls. 

But this legend of the goddess s necklace gains yet more in im 
portance, when we place it by the side of Greek myths. Brisinga 
men is no other than Aphrodite s o/oyoto? (Hymn to Venus 88), and 
the chain is her girdle, the /ceo-ro? //xa? Tnu/aXo? which she wears 
on her bosom, and whose witchery subdues all gods and mortals. 
How she loosens it off her neck (OLTTO o-TrjOeacfuv) and lends it to 
Here to charm her Zeus with, is told in a lay that teems with 
world-old myths, II. 14, 214-8. As the ifids is worn in turn by 
Here and by Aphrodite, the Norse fable gives the jewel now to 
Frigg and now to Freyja, for that gold of Frigg in Saxo is the 
same as Brisinga men. Then there is another similarity : the same 
narrative makes Freyja possess a beautiful chamber, so strong that, 
when the door is locked, no one can enter against her will : hun 

1 Just as from Freyja proceeded the general notion of a freyja frouwa, so 
necklace-wearing serves to describe a beautiful wife or maiden. In Seem. 97 :i 
mengloft (monili laeta, rejoicing in a necklace) means simply femina, but in 
108 a lll a Mengloft is a proper name (see p. 272 note); in 222 a menskogul is 
used of Brynhildr. Women are commonly named from their ornaments of 
gold or precious stones, Sn. 128 (see Suppl.). 


atti ser eina skemmu, er var baefti fogr ok sterk, sva at j?at segja 
menu, ef huroln var laest, at eingi matti komast i skemmuna an 
(without) vilja Freyju, Sn. 354. We are told the trick by which 
Loki after all got in, and robbed her of the necklace ; 1 Homer says 
nothing about that, but (II. 14, 165-8) he knows of Here s 0aA.a/io?, 

TOV ol <j)l\os mo? ervj;ev 
rvKwas Se dvpas crraO^olcnv jri]p<T6 
KpvTrrf), TTJV S ov #6o? a\\o? avcpyev. 
What can be more exactly in accordance with that inaccessible 
apartment of Freyja, especially as the Ipds is spoken of directly 
after? Hephaistos (Vulcan), who built his mother the curiously 
contrived bedchamber, answers to the dwarfs who forged the neck 
lace for Freyja. The identity of Frigg and Freyja with Here and 
Aphrodite must after this mythus be as plain as day. 


Another thing that betrays the confusion of Frigg with Freyja 
is, that the goddess Folld, now proved by the Merseburg poem to 
belong to our German mythology, is according to it a sister of Frua, 
while the OX. Falla again is handmaid to Frigg, though she takes 
rank and order among the Asynjor themselves (Sn. 36-7). 2 Her 
office and duties are sufficiently expressed in her name ; she justi 
fies our reception of the above-mentioned Abundia or dame Habonde 
into German mythology, and corresponds to the masculine god of 
plenty P-ilnitis, Pilnitus, whom the Lettons and Prussians adored. 
Like dame Herke on p. 253, she bestowed prosperity and abundance 
on mortals, to her keeping was intrusted the divine mother s chest 
(eski), out of which gifts were showered upon them. 

It may be, that Fulla or Folia was at the same time thought 
of as the full-moon (Goth. fullij?s, Lith. Pilnatis, masc.), as another 
heavenly body, Orion, was referred to Frigg or Freyja : in the Mer 
seburg MS. she is immediately followed by Sunnd with a sister 
Sindpund, whose name again suggests the path of a constellation. 
The Eddie S61 ranks with the Asynjor, but Sindgund (OK Sinn- 

1 He bored a hole and crept through as a fly, then as a flea he stung the 
sleeping goddess till she shook off the ornament : an incident still retained in 
nursery-tales. Conf. the stinging fly at the forging, Sn. 131. 

2 If we read Fria for Frua, then Folia would stand nearer to her as in the 
Norse, whether as attendant goddess or as sister. Yet, considering the insta 
bility of those goddesses names, she may keep her place by Frouwa too. 


gunnr ?) is unknown to the Edda. In ch. XXII. on the constella 
tions I shall come back to these divinities (see Suppl.). 


From surviving proper names or even impersonal terms, more 
rarely from extant myths, we may gather that several more 
goddesses of the North were in earlier times common to the rest of 

Frey s beloved, afterwards his wife, was named Gerffr, she 
came of the giant breed, yet in Sn. 79 she is reckoned among the 
Asynjor. The Edda paints her beauty by a charming trait : when 
Freyr looked from heaven, he saw her go into a house and close the 
door, and then air and water shone with the brightness of her arms 
(Saem. 81. Sn. 39). His wooing was much thwarted, and was 
only brought to a happy issue by the dexterity of his faithful 
servant Skirnir. The form of her name Ger&r, gen. GerSar, ace. 
GerSi (Saem. 117 b ), points to a Goth. Gardi or Gardja, gen. Gardjos, 
ace. Gardja, and an OHG. Gart or Garta, which often occurs in the 
compounds Hildigart, Irmingart, Liutkart, &c., but no longer alone. 
The Latin forms Hildegardis, Liudgardis have better preserved the 
terminal i, which must have worked the vowel-change in GerSr, 
ThorgerSr, ValgerSr, HrimgerSr. The meaning seems to be cingens, 
inuniens [Gurth ?], Lat. Cinxia as a name of Juno (see Suppl.). 

The Goth, sibfa, OHG. sippia, sippa, AS. sib gen. sibbe, denote 
peace, friendship, kindred; from these I infer a divinity Sibfa, Sippia, 
Sib, corresponding to the OK Sif gen. Sifjar, the wife of Thorr, for 
the ON, too has a pi. sifjar meaning cognatio, sifi amicus (OHG. 
sippio, sippo), sift genus, cognatio. By this sense of the word, Sif 
would appear to be, like Frigg and Freyja, a goddess of loveliness 
and love ; as attributes of 05inn and Thor agree, their wives Frigg 
and Sif have also a common signification. Sif in the Edda is called 
the fair-haired, it harfagra gooY and gold is Sifjar haddr (Sifae 
peplum), because, when Loki cut off her hair, a new and finer crop 
was afterwards forged of gold (Sn. 119. 130). Also a herb, poly- 
trichum aureum, bears the name haddr Sifjar. Expositors see in 
this the golden fruits of the Earth burnt up by fire and growing up 
again, they liken Sif to Ceres, the ^avOrj A^rfrnp (II. 5, 500) ; and 
with it agrees the fact that the Slav. Siva is a gloss on Ceres dea 


f rumen ti (Hanka s glosses 5 a 6 a , b ) ; only the S in the word seems 
to be the Slav, zhivete = Zh, and V does not answer to the Teut. 
F, B, P. The earth was Thor s mother, not his wife, yet in Sn. 
220 we do find the simple Sif standing for earth. To decide, we 
ought to have fuller details about Sif, and these are wholly want 
ing in our mythology. Nowhere amongst us is the mystic relation 
of seed-corn to Demeter, whose poignant grief for her daughter 
threatens to bring famine on mankind (Hymn to Cer. 305 315), nor 
anything like it, recorded. 

The Gothic language draws a subtle distinction between sunja 
(veritas) and sunjd (defensio, probatio veritatis) ; in OHG. law, 
sunna, sunnis means excusatio and impedimentum. The ON. law 
likewise has this syn gen. synjar, for excusatio, defensio, negatio, 
impedimentum, but the Edda at the same time exhibits a personi 
fied Syn t who was to the heathen a goddess of truth and justice, 
and protected the accused (Sn. 38). To the same class belongs Tor 
gen. Varar, goddess of plighted faith and covenants, a dea foederis 
(Sn. 37-8), just as the Romans deified Tutela. The phrase vigja 
saman Varar hendi, consecrare Tutelae manu (Seem. 74 b ), is like 
the passages about Wish s hands, p. 140. As in addition to the 
abstract wish we saw a Wish endowed with life, so by the side of 
the OHG. wara foedus there may have been a goddess Wara, and 
beside sunia a Sunid (see SuppL), 

In the same way or sage (saw, tale) is intensified into a heathen 
goddess Saga, daughter of Wuotan ; like Zeus s daughter the Muse, 
she instructs mankind in that divine art which Wuotan himself 
invented. I have argued in a separate treatise (Kleine schr. 1, 83 
112), that the frou Aventiure of the Mid. Ages is a relic of the 

Nanna the wife of Baldr would be in Goth. Nanjio, OHG. 
Nandd, AS. Ndde, the bold, courageous (p. 221), but, except in ON, 
the simple female name is lost ; Procopius 1, 8 has Gothic 0euSe- 
vavQa, ON. Thioftnanna (see SuppL). 

Inferences like these, from dying words to dead divinities, 
could be multiplied ; to attempt them is not unprofitable, for they 
sharpen the eye to look in fresh quarters [for confirmation or con- 


futation]. The discovery from legend or elsewhere of a harmony 
between myths may raise our guesses into demonstrations. 1 


My survey of the gods closed with Oegir and Loki ; and the 
goddesses akin to these shall be the last mentioned here. - 

To correspond to the OK Gefjon the Old Saxons had, as far as 
we know, not a female but a male being, Gelan, Geofon (sea, p. 239). 
With four giant oxen, according to Sn. 1, Gefjon ploughs Zealand 
out of the Swedish soil, and a lake arises, whose inward bend exactly 
fits the projecting coast of Zealand. She is described as a virgin, 
and all maidens who die virgins wait upon her, Sn. 36. Her name 
is called upon when oaths are taken : sver ek viS Gefjon, F. Magn. 
lex. 386 (see SuppL). Gefn, a name of Freyja (Sn. 37 and Viga- 
glumss. cap. 27) reminds one of Gefjon. 

Ran was the wife of the seagod Oegir, they had nine daughters 
who are cited by name in the Edda, and called Ednar (or Oegis) 
dcetr. 2 Men who are drowned fall to the share of Ran, which of 
itself attests her divinity : fara til Rdnar is to get drowned at sea, 
Fornald. sog. 2, 78 ; and sitja at Rdnar to be drowned, Fornm. sog. 
6, 376. Those who were drowned she drew to her in a net, and 

1 It seems almost as if the MHG. poets recognised a female personage fr6 
Fuoge or Gefuoge (fitness), similar in plastic power to the masc. Wish, a per 
sonified compages or dp/xoi/ta. Lachmann directs me to instances in point. Er. 
7534-40 (conf. Iwein, p. 400) : 

So hete des meisters sin So had the master s thought 

gepriievet clitz gereite turned out this riding-gear 

mit grozer wisheite ; with great wisdom ; 

er gap dem helfenbeine he gave the ivory 

und da bi dem gesteine and withal the jewelry 

sin gevellige stat, each its proper place, 

als in diu Gevuoge bat. as him dame Fitness bade. 

(Conf. Er. 1246 : als in min ware sclmlde bat). Parz. 121, 11 : 

Wer in den zwein landen wirt, Whoso in the two lands thrives, 
Gefuoge ein wunder an im birt ; Fitness a wonder in him bears ; 

he is a miraculous birth of Fitness, her child, her darling. Conversely, Wal- 

ther 64, 38 : 

Fro Unfuoge, ir habt gesiget. Dame Unfitness, thou hast triumphed. 

And 65, 25 : 

Swer Ungefuoge swigen hieze Whoso bade Indecorum hush, 

und sie abe den biirgen stieze ! and hurled her from her strongholds. 

It is true, the prefixes ge-, un-, argue a later and colder allegory. And the 

weak fern, form (ace. in -en) would be preferable, OHG. Fuoga, gen. Fuogun, 

as in N. cap. 135 hifuogun, sotigenam (see SuppL). 

2 Sami. 79 b 144 a 153 b 180. Sn. 124-9. 185. Eyrbygg. saga p. 274, and in 
dex sub v. Ran. Egilssaga p. 616. 


carried them off, whence the explanation of her name : ran neut. is 
rapina, raena rapere, spoliare (see SuppL). 

On the discovery of the rare word rahanen (spoliare) in the 
Hildebr. lied 57, I build the supposition that other Teutonic lands 
had also a subst. rahan (rapina, spolium) and a goddess Eahana 
(conf. Tanfana, Hluodana), as well as an Uogi = Oegir. 1 

As we passed from Oegir (through Forniot and Logi) to Loki, 
so we may from Kan to Hd, who is no other than Loki s daughter, 
and like him a dreadful divinity. Kan receives the souls that die 
by water, Hel those on land, and Freyja those that fall in battle. 

The ON. Hel gen. Heljar shows itself in the other Teutonic 
tongues even less doubtfully than Frigg and Freyja or any of the 
above-mentioned goddesses : Goth. Hcdja gen. Haljos, OHG. Hellia, 
Hella gen. Hellia, Hella, AS. Hell gen. Helle ; only, the personal 
notion has dropt away, and reduced itself to the local one of halja, 
hellia, hell, the nether world and place of punishment. Originally 
Hellia is not death nor any evil being, she neither kills nor 
torments ; she takes the souls of the departed and holds them with 
inexorable grip. The idea of a place evolved itself, as that of cegir 
oceanus out of Oegir, and that of ge ban mare from Ge ban ; the 
converted heathen without any ado applied it to the Christian 
underworld, the abode of the damned ; all Teutonic nations have 
done this, from the first baptized Goths down to the Northmen, 
because that local notion already existed under heathenism, 
perhaps also because the church was not sorry to associate lost 
spirits with a heathen and fiendish divinity. 2 Thus hellia can be 
explained from Hellia even more readily than ostara from Ostara. 

In the Edda, Hel is Loki s daughter by a giantess, she is sister 
to the wolf Fenrir and to a monstrous snake. She is half Hack and 
half of human colour (bid half, en half me5 horundar lit), Sn. 33, 
after the manner of the pied people of the Mid. Ages ; in other 

1 The Trad, patav. pp. 60-2 assure us of a man s name Raan, Rhaan 
(Rahan ?). An OHG. Rahana rests on a very slender foundation. 

2 Hel has no affinity at all with ON. hella petra, hellir antrum, as the 
Goth, hallus petra shows (from hillan sonare, because a rock resounds) : a 
likelier connexion is that with our hole antrum, OHG. holi, more frequent in 
neut. hoi, for which we should expect a Gothic hul, as in fact a fern, hulundi 
is caverna, for a cave covers, and so does the nether world (both therefore from 
hilan celare). Only, the vowels in hole (= huli) and holle (= halja) do not 


passages her blackness alone is made a subject of comparison : lldr 
sem Hel, Nialss. 117. Fornm. sog. 3, 188 ; conf. Heljar skinn for 
complexion of deathly hue, Landnamab. 2, 19. Nialss. cap. 96. 
Fornald. sog. 2, 59. 60 ; x death is black and gloomy. Her dwelling 
is deep down in the darkness of the ground, under a root of the 
tree Yggdrasill, in Niflheim, the innermost part of which is there 
fore called Niflhel, there is her court (rann), there her halls, Ssem. 
6 b 44 a 94 a . Sn. 4. Her platter is named liungr, her knife sultr, 
synonymous terms to denote her insatiable greed. The dead go 
down to her, fara til Heljar, strictly those only that have died of 
sickness or old age, not those fallen in fight, who people Valhalla. 
Her personality has pretty well disappeared in such phrases as i 
hel sla, drepa, berja i hel, to smite into hell, send to Hades ; % helju 
vera, be in Hades, be dead, Fornald. sog. 1, 233. Out of this has 
arisen in the modern dialects an altogether impersonal and distorted 
term, Swed. ihjdl, Dan. ihiel, to death. 2 These languages now 
express the notion of the nether world only by a compound, Swed. 
helvete, Dan. helvede, i.e., the ON. Mviti (supplicium infernale), 
OHG. hellawizi, MHG. hellewize. One who is drawing his last 
breath is said in ON. liggja milli heims oc heljar (to lie betwixt 
home and hell), to be on his way from this world to the other. 
The unpitying nature of the Eddie Hel is expressly emphasized ; 
what she once has, she never gives back : haldi Hel tyvi er hefir, Sn. 
68 ; hefir nu Hel, Ssem. 257 a , like the wolf in the apologue (Eein- 
hart xxxvi), for she is of wolfish nature and extraction ; to the 
wolf on the other hand a hellish throat is attributed (see SuppL). 
Two lays in the Edda describe the way to the lower world, the 

1 The ancients also painted Demeter, as the wrathful earth-goddess, black 
(Pans. 8, 42. O. Miiller s Eumenides 168, conf. Archfeol. p. 509 the black 
Demeter at Phigalia), and sometimes even her daughter Persephone, the fair 
maid doomed to the underworld : l furva Proserpina, Hor. Od. 2, 13 (Censorin. 
De die nat. c. 17). Black Aphrodite (Melanis) is spoken of by Pausanias 2, 2. 
8, 6. 9, 27 and by Athenseus bk. 13 ; we know the black Diana of Ephesus, 
and that in the Mid. Ages black Madonnas were both painted and carved, the 
Holy Virgin appearing then as a sorrowing goddess of earth or night ; such at 

Furia dwelling in Tartarus is also represented both as black and as half white 
half black. 

2 Swed. has more, correctly ihael, i.e., ihal (Fred, af Normandie 1299. 
1356. 1400. 1414). In Ostgotalagen p. 8, one reading has already ihieell for 
ihsel ; they no longer grasped the meaning of the term. 


HelreiS Brynhildar and the VegtamsqviSa ; in the latter, Gain s 
ride on Sleipnir for Baldr s sake seems to prefigure that which 
HermoSr afterwards undertakes on the same steed in Sn. 65-7. 
But the incidents in the poem are more thrilling, and the dialogue 
between Vegtamr 1 and the vala, who says of herself : 
var ek snifin sniofi (by snow), ok slegin regni, 
ok drifin doggo (by dew), dauS (dead) var ek leingi, 
is among the sublimest things the Edda has to shew. This vala 
must stand in close relationship to Hel herself. 

Saxo Gram. p. 43 very aptly uses for Hel the Latin Proserpina, 
he makes her give notice of Balder s death. In the Danish popular 
belief Hel is a three-legged horse, that goes round the country, 
a harbinger of plague and pestilence ; of this I shall treat further 
on. Griginally it was no other than the steed on which the goddess 
posted over land, picking up the dead that were her due ; there is 
also a waggon ascribed to her, in which she made her journeys. 

A passage in Beowulf shows h)w the Anglo-Saxons retained 
perfectly the old meaning of the word. It says of the expiring 
Grendel 1098 : feorh filegde, hreftene sawle (vitam deposuit, 
animam gentilem), J?aer hine Hel onfeng, the old-heathen goddess 
took possession of him. 

In Germany too the Mid. Ages still cherished the conception of 
a voracious, hungry, insatiable Hell, an Orcus esuriens, i.e., the man- 
devouring ogre : diu Helle ferslindet al daz ter lebet, si ne wirdet 
niomer sat! N. Cap. 72. diu Helle und der arge wan werdent 
niemer sat, Welsch. gast. It sounds still more personal, when she 
lias gaping yawning jaws ascribed to her, like the wolf ; pictures in 
the MS. of Csedmon represent her simply by a wide open mouth. 
Der tobende wuoterich The raging tyrant 

der was der Hellen gelich, he was like the Hell 

diu daz abgrunde who the chasm (steep descent) 

begcnit mit ir munde be-yawneth with her mouth 

unde den himel zuo der erden. from heaven down 2 to earth, 
unde ir doch niht ne mac werden,And yet to her it cannot hap 

1 OSinn calls himself Vegtamr (way-tame, broken-in to the road, gnams 
viae), son of Valtamr (assuetus caedibus), as in other places gangtamr (itineri 
assuetus) is used of the horse, Sasm. 26o b , but OSinn himself is GangraGr or 
(langleri. Vegtamr reminds one of the holy priest and minstrel Wechtam in 

2 I have supposed that * unde den is a slip for abe dem . TRANS. 


daz si imer werde vol ; that she ever become full ; 

si ist daz ungesatliche hoi, she is the insatiable cavern, 

daz weder nu noch nie ne sprah : that neither now nor ever said 
diz ist des ih niht ne mac. this is what I cannot (manage)/ 
Lampr. Alex. 6671-80. Old poems have frequent allusions to the 
abgrund (chasm, abyss) and the doors of hell : helligruoba, hella- 
grunt, helliporta, &c. Grarnm. 2, 458 ; der abgrunde tune, der tiefen 
helle tune (the deep hell s dinge, darkness), Mart. 8S b 99 C . 

Of course there are Bible texts that would in the first instance 
suggest much of this, e.g., about the insatiableness of hell, Prov. 27, 
20. 30, 16 (conf. Freidank Ixxiv), her being uncovered, Job 26, 
6, her opening her mouth, Isaiah 5, 14. But we are to bear in 
mind, that all these have the masc. aSrjs or infernus, with which 
the idea of the Latin Orcus also agrees, and to observe how the 
German language, true to its idiosyncrasy, was obliged to make use 
of a feminine word. The images of a door, abyss, wide gaping 
throat, strength and invincibility (fortis tanquam orcus, Petron. 
cap. 62), appear so natural and necessary to the notion of a nether 
world, that they will keep recurring in a similar way among 
different nations (see Suppl.). 

The essential thing is, the image of a greedy, unrestoring, female 
deity. 1 

But the higher we are allowed to penetrate into our antiquities, 
the less hellish and the more godlike may Haifa appear. Of this 
we have a particularly strong guarantee in her affinity to the Indian 
Bhavani, who travels about and bathes like Nerthus and Holda 
(p. 268), but is likewise called Kali or MaliaMU, the great Hack 
goddess. In the underworld she is supposed to sit in judgment on 
souls. This office, the similar name and the black hue (kala niger, 
conf. caligo and Ke\cuv6<i) make her exceedingly like Halja. And 
Halja is one of the oldest and commonest conceptions of our 

1 In the south of Holland, where the Meuse falls into the sea, is a place 
named Helvoetsluis. I do not know if any forms in old documents confirm the 
idea contained in the name, of Hell-foot, foot of Hell. The Romans have 
a Helium here : Inter Helium ac Flevum, ita appellantur ostia, in quae effusus 
Rhenus, ab septentrione in lacus, ab occidente in amnem Mosam se spargit, 
medio inter haec ore modicum nomine suo custodiens alveum, Plin. 4, 29. 
Tac. also says 2, 6 : immense ore. Conf. supra p. 198 on Oegisdyr (see Suppl.). 


Now that we have collected all that could be found concerning 
the several divinities of our distant past, I will endeavour to survey 
their nature as a whole ; in doing which however, we must be 
allowed to take more frequent notice of foreign and especially 
Greek mythology, than we have done in other sections of this 
work : it is the only way we can find connecting points for many a 
thread that otherwise hangs loose. 

All nations have clothed their gods in human shape, and only 
by way of exception in those of animals ; on this fact are founded 
both their appearances to men, or incarnation, their twofold sex, 
their intermarrying with mankind, and also the deification of 
certain men, i.e., their adoption into the circle of the gods. It 
follows moreover, that gods are begotten and born, experience pain 
and sorrow, are subject to sleep, sickness and even death, that like 
men they speak a language, feel passions, transact affairs, are 
clothed and armed, possess dwellings and utensils. The only 
difference is, that to these attributes and states there is attached a 
higher scale than the human, that all the advantages of the gods 
are more perfect and abiding, all their ills more slight or transient. 

This appears to me a fundamental feature in the faith of the 
heathen, that they allowed to their gods not an unlimited and 
unconditional duration, but only a term of life far exceeding that 
of men. All that is born must also die, and as the omnipotence of 
gods is checked by a fate standing higher than even they, so their 
eternal dominion is liable at last to termination. And this reveals 
itself not only by single incidents in the lives of gods, but in the 
general notion of a coming and inevitable ruin, which the Edda 
expresses quite distinctly, and which the Greek system has 
in the background : the day will come when Zeus s rei^n shall end. 


But this opinion, firmly held even by the Stoics, 1 finds utterance 
only now and then, particularly in the story of Prometheus, which 
I have compared to the Norse ragnarokr, p. 245-6. 

In the common way of thinking, the gods are supposed to be 
immortal and eternal. They are called Oeol alev eoWe?, II. 1, 290. 
494, aievyeverai 2, 400, dddvaroi, 2, 814, dOdvaro^ Zevs 14, 434 ; 
and therefore pd/capes 1, 339. 599 in contrast to mortal man. They 
have a special right to the name ajA/Sporot, immortales, while men 
are pporol mortales ; afipporo? is explained by the Sansk. amrita 
immortalis, the negative of mrita mortalis (conf. Pers. merd, homo 
mortalis) ; in fact both amrita and apPpocrios, next neighbour to 
foPporos, contain a reference to the food, by partaking of which 
the gods keep up their immortality, They taste not the fruits of 
the earth, whereby the ffporol live, ot apovprjs Kapirov eSovcriv, II. 6, 
142. With /3poro5 again is connected pporo? thick mortal blood, 
whereas in the veins of the gods flows l^cop (II. 5, 340. 416), a light 
thin liquid, in virtue of which they seem to be called affpoToi, =. 


Indian legend gives a full account of the way amrita, the elixir 
of immortality, was brewed out of water clear of milk, the juice of 
herbs, liquid gold and dissolved precious-stones ; 2 no Greek poem 
tells us the ingredients of ambrosia, but it was an d^pocnr) rpofoj 
(food), and there was a divine drink besides, <y\v/cv ve/crap, II. 1, 
598, of a red colour 19, 38, its name being derived either from vr) 
and KTaaOai, or better from vetc-rap necem avertens. Where men 
take bread and wine, the gods take ambrosia and nectar, Od. 5, 
195, and hence comes the 

a/jipporov al/jia Oeoio, 

iX(*)p, 0*09 7Tp re peet, /jiaKapeo-cn Qzolaiv 
ov jdp alrov eSova, ou TTivoixr aWojra olvov 
rovveK? dvaifJLovis elcn KOL dQavarot, KaXeovrai. 

-II. 5, 339. 

Theirs is no thick glutinous al^a (conf. our seim, ON. seimr, slime), 
nor according to the Indians do they sweat ; and this avai^^v 
(bloodless) agrees with the above explanation of affporos. The 

1 Atque omnes pariter deos perdet mors aliqua et chaos. Seneca in Here. 

2 Cleopatra had costly pearls melted in her wine, and it is said to be still a 
custom with Indian princes ; conf. Sueton. Calig. 37. 


adjectives a/3poro<?, a^poro?, afjbjBpbcrios, veKrdpeos are passed on 
from the food to other divine things 1 (see Suppl.). Plainly then 
the gods were not immortal by their nature, they only acquired and 
secured this quality by abstaining from the food and drink of men, 
and feasting on heavenly fare. And hence the idea of death is not 
always nor as a matter of course kept at a distance from them ; 
Kronos used to kill his new born children, no doubt before nectar 
and ambrosia had been given them, 2 and Zeus alone could be saved 
from him by being brought up secretly. Another way in which 
the mortality of certain gods is expressed is, that they fall a prey 
to Hades, whose meaning borders on that of death, e.g., Perse 

If a belief in the eternity of the gods is the dominant one 
among the Greeks, and only scattered hints are introduced of their 
final overthrow ; with our ancestors on the contrary, the thought of 
the gods being immortal seems to retire into the background. 
The Edda never calls them eylifir or odauoligir, and their death is 
spoken of without disguise : )?a er regin deyja, Saem. 37 a , or more 
frequently : regin riu/az (solvuntur), 36 b 40 a 108 b . One of the 
finest and oldest myths describes the death of Balder, the burning 
of his body, and his entrance into the lower world, like that of 
Proserpine ; 05in s destined fall is mentioned in the Voluspa 9 a , 
05ms lani (bane), Sn. 73, where also Thorr falls dead on the 
ground ; Hrungnir, a giant, threatens to slay all the gods (drepa 
guS oil), Sn. 107. Yet at the same time we can point to clear 
traces of that prolongation of life by particular kinds of food and 
drink. While the einherjar admitted into Valholl feast on the 
boiled flesh of a boar, we are nowhere told of the Ases sharing in 
such diet (Sa3m. 36. 42. Sn. 42) ; it is even said expressly, that 
OSinn needs no food (onga vist ]?arf hann), and only drinks wine 
(vin er honum bseol dryckr ok matr, both meat and drink) ; 
with the viands set before him he feeds his two wolves Geri and 
Freki. VitS vin eitt vapngofugr 05inn 03 lifir (vino solo armipotens 
semper vivit), Saem. 42 b ; a3 lifir can be rendered semper vescitur, 

1 Both nectar and ambrosia, like the holy grail of the Mid. Ages, have 
miraculous powers : poured into the nose of a corpse, they prevent decay, II. 
19, 38 ; they ward off hunger, II. 19, 347. 353. 

2 As human infants may only Le exposed before milk and honey have 
moistened their lips, conf. KA. pp. 458-9. When Zeus first receives in the 
assembly of the gods the son whom Leto bore him, he hands him nectar in a 
golden bowl : by this act he recognised him for his child. 


nutritur, or immortalitatem nanciscitur, and tlien the cause of his 
immortality would be found in his partaking of the wine. Evi 
dently this wine of the Norse gods is to the beer and ale (olr) of 
men, what the nectar of the Greek gods was to the wine of mortals. 
Other passages are not so particular about their language ; 1 in 
Snem. 59 the gods at Oegir s hall have ale set before them, conf. ol 
giora, 68 b ; Heimdall gladly drinks the good mead, 41 b ; verSar 
nema oc sumbl (cibum capere et symposium) 52, leaves the exact 
nature of the food undefined, but earthly fare is often ascribed to 
the gods in so many words. 2 But may not the costly Odhro&ris 
dreckr, compounded of the divine Qvasir s blood and honey, be 
likened to amrita and ambrosia ? 3 Dwarfs and giants get hold of 
it first, as amrita fell into the hands of the giants ; at last the 
gods take possession of both. OShrceris dreckr confers the gift of 
poesy, and by that very fact immortality : OSinn and Saga, goddess 
of poetic art, have surely drunk it out of golden goblets, gladly and 
evermore (um alia daga, Ssem. 41 a ). We must also take into 
account the creation of the wise Qvasir (conf. Slav, kvas, convivium, 
potus) ; that at the making of a covenant between the Aesir and 
Vanir, he was formed out of their spittle (hraki) ; the refining of 
his blood into a drink for gods seems a very ancient and far- 
reaching myth. But beside this drink, we have also notices of a 
special food for gods : Iftunn has in her keeping certain apples, by 
eating of which the aging gods make themselves young again (er 
gooln skulo abita, J?a er ]?au eldaz, oc verSa j?a allir ungir, Sn. 30 a ). 
This reminds one of the apples of Paradise and the Hesperides, of the 
guarded golden apples in the Kindennarchen no. 57, of the apples 
in the stories of Fortunatus and of Merlin, on the eating or biting 
of which depend life, death and metamorphosis, as elsewhere on a 
draught of holy water. According to the Eddie view, the gods have 
a means, it is true, of preserving perpetual freshness and youth, 

1 As Homer too makes Ganymede ofooxocvcti/, II. 20, 234, and of Hebe it is 
even said, vfKrap eWo^oei 4, 3. 

2 Zeus goes to banquet (KCITO. dalra) with the Ethiopians, II. 1, 423 ; orav 
Trpos baiTa KOI eVt Ooivrjv toxri, Plato s Pheedr. 247, as Thorr does with the Nor 
wegians ; even when disguised as a bride, he does not refuse the giants dishes, 
Ssem. 73 b ; and the Ases boiled an ox on their journey, Sn. 80. 

8 In Sanskrit, sudha nectar is distinguished from amrita ambrosia. Every 
where there is an eagle in the business : Garuda is called sudhahara, or amrita- 
harana, nectar-thief or ambrosia-thief (Pott, forsch. 2,451) ; it is in the shape of 
an eagle that O Sinn carries off OShrttrir, and Zeus his cupbearer Ganymede 
(see ch. XXXV and XXX, Path-crossing and Poetry). 


but, for all that, they are regarded as subject to the encroach 
ments of age, so that there are always some young and some old 
gods ; in particular, Odinn or Wuotan is pictured everywhere as an 
old greybeard (conf. the old god, p. 21), Thorr as in the full 
strength of manhood, Balder as a blooming youth. The gods grow 
hdrir ok gamlir (hoar and old), Sn. 81. Freyr has at tannfe 
(tooth-fee) presented him at his teething, he is therefore imagined 
as growing up. In like manner Uranos and Kronos appear as old, 
Zeus (like our Donar) and Poseidon as middle aged, Apollo, Her 
mes and Ares as in the bloom of youth. Growth and age, the 
increase and decline of a power, exclude the notion of a strictly 
eternal, immutable, immortal being ; and mortality, the termination, 
however long delayed, of gods with such attributes, is a necessity 
(see Suppl.). 

Epithets expressing the power, the omnipotence, of the reigning 
gods have been specified, pp. 21-2. A term peculiar to ON. poetry 
is #mregin, Seem. 2S a 50 a 51 a 52 b , #mheilog go l a ; it is of 
the same root as gina, OHG. kinan, hiare, and denotes minima 
ampla, late dominantia, conf. AS. ginne grund, Beow. 3101. Jud. 
131, 2. ginne rice, Caxlm. 15, 8. ginfaest, firmissimus 176, 29. 
ginfresten god, terrae dominus 211, 10. garsecges gin, oceani 
amplitude 205, 3. 

The Homeric peia (= paSuo*;, Goth. raj?izo) beautifully ex 
presses the power of the gods ; whatever they do or undertake 
conies easy to them, their life glides along free from toil, while 
mortal men labour and are heavy laden : 6eol peia Jeooi/re?, II. 6, 
138. Od. 4, 805. 5, 122. When Aphrodite wishes to remove her 
favourite Alexander from the perils of battle, TOV 8 e^pjra^ 
A<f>poSin) peia pd\\ wo- re eos, II. 3, 381 ; the same words are 
applied to Apollo, when he snatches Hector away from Achilles 20, 
443. The wall so laboriously built by the Greeks he overturns peia 
fid\a, as a boy at play would a sand-heap 15, 362. With a mere 
breath (irvotfj\ blowing a little (rjica /ua Aa ijrvj-aa-d), Athene turns 
away from Achilles the spear that Hector had thrown 20, 440 (see 
Suppl.). Berhta also blows (p. 276), and the elves breathe (ch. 
XVII), on people. 

The sons of men grow up slowly and gradually, gods attain 
their full size and strength directly after birth. No sooner had 


Themis presented nectar and ambrosia (a{i/3poair)v epareivrjv) to 
the newborn Apollo, than he leapt, /care/3p<w? a/jL/3porov, out of his 
swathings, sat down among the goddesses, began to speak, and, 
unshorn as he was, to roam through the country (Hymn, in Ap. 
Del. 123133). Not unlike Vali, whom Eindr bore to Oolrm ; 
when only one night old (einnsettr), unwashen and unkempt, he 
sallies forth to avenge Baldr s death on Hoftr, Ssem. 6 b 95 b . Here 
the coincidence of cucepa-exo^ with the Edda s ne hofu5 kembr 
is not to be disregarded. Hermes, born at early morn, plays the 
lute at mid-day, and at eve drives oxen away (Hymn, in Merc. 17 
seq_.). And Zeus, who is often exhibited as a child among the 
Kuretes, grew up rapidly (fcapTraXlfjLa)? /iez/o? KOI fya&ipa yvla 
r)i>t;6To roto ava/cros ), and in his first years had strength enough to 
enter the lists with Kronos (Hes. theog. 492). The Norse mytho 
logy offers another example in Magni, Thor s son by the giantess 
larnsaxa : when three nights old ()?rinsettr), he flung the giant 
Hrungni s enormous foot, under whose weight Thorr lay on the 
ground, off his father, and said he would have beaten the said giant 
dead with his fist, Sn. 110 (see Suppl.). 

The shape of the gods is like the human (p. 105), only vaster, 
often exceeding even the gigantic. When Ares is felled to the 
ground by the stone which Athene flings, his body covers seven 
roods of land (eirrd S eVe^e 7re\e0pa Treacbv, II. 21, 407), a size 
that with a slight addition the Od. 11, 577 puts upon the titan 
Tityos. When Here takes a solemn oath, she grasps the earth 
with one hand and the sea with the other (II. 14, 272). A cry 
that breaks from Poseidon s breast sounds like that of nine or even 
ten thousand warriors in battle (14, 147), and the same is said of 
Ares when he roars (5, 859) ; Here contents herself with the voice of 
Stentor, which only equals those of fifty men (5, 786). By the side 
of this we may put some features in the Edda, which have to do 
with Thorr especially : he devours at a wedding one ox and eight 
salmon, and drinks three casks of mead, Ssem. 73 b ; another time, 
through a horn, the end of which reaches to the sea, he drinks a 
good portion of this, he lifts the snake that encircles the whole 
world off one of its feet, and with his hammer he strikes three deep 
valleys in the rocky mountain, Sn. 59, 60. Again, Teutonic 
mythology agrees with the Greek in never imputing to its gods the 
deformity of many heads, arms or legs ; they are only bestowed 



on a few heroes and animals, as some of the Greek giants are 
Kar6y^eipe<;. Such forms are quite common in the Hindu and 
Slav systems : Vishnu is represented with four arms, Brahma with 
four heads, Svantovit the same, while Porevit has five heads and 
Kugevit seven faces. Yet Hecate too is said to have been three- 
headed, as the Eoman Janus was two-faced, and a Lacedaemonian 
Apollo four-armed. 1 Khuvera, the Indian god of wealth, is a 
hideous figure with three legs and eight teeth. Some of the Norse 
gods, on the contrary, have not a superfluity, but a deficiency of 
members : OSinn is one-eyed, Tr one-handed, HoSr blind, and 
Logi or Loki was perhaps portrayed as lame or limping, like 
Hephasstus and the devil. Hel alone has a dreadful shape, black 
and white ; the rest of the gods and goddesses, not excepting Loki, 
are to be imagined as of beautiful and noble figure (see Suppl.). 

In the Homeric epos this ideally perfect human shape, to which 
Greek art also keeps true, is described in standing epithets for gods 
and especially goddesses, with which our ruder poetry has only a 
few to set in comparison, and yet the similarity of these is signi 
ficant. Some epithets have to serve two or three divinities by 
turns, but most are confined to individuals, as characteristic 
them. Thus Here is Xeu/ewXei/o? or /^OWTT/,? (the former used als 
of Helen, II. 3, 121, 2 the latter of a Nereid 18, 40), Athene ry\av/cc* 
Trt? or rivKojjbos (which again does for Here), Thetis apyvpojr 
Iris aeXXoTro?, 7roS??Ve//,o?, xpva-oTrrepos, Eos poSoSa/criAo?, Demete 
(Ceres) gavOtf 5, 500, and /caXXtTrXo/ca^o? 14, 326, just as Sif i 
harfogr (p. 309), in allusion to the yellow colour of the waving 
corn. As the sea rolls its dark waves, Poseidon bears the nam 
Kvavoxafrv:, II. 14, 390. 15, 174. 20, 144. Zeus could either be 
called the same, or icvavofypvs (a contrast to Baldr brahvitr, brow 
white p. 222), because to him belong apfipocricu yai-Tai II. 1, 528, th( 
hair and locks of Wish (p. 142), and because with his dark brow 
he makes signs. This confirmatory lowering of the brows 01 
nodding with the head (vevew, Karave^eiv fcvaverjaiv eV 6(f>puo-t I] 
1, 527. 17, 209) is the regular expression of Zeus s will : Ke$ 
KaTavevcrofJiat,, a0avdroi(7L ^ejiarov re/cjjLwp, II. 1, 524. In refusing 
he draws the head back (avavevef). Thor s indignant rage is shown 
by sinking the eyebrows over the eyes (siga brynuar ofan fyrir 

1 0. Muller s archaeol. p. 515. 

2 And Aphrodite throws her Tr^ee XeuKo> round ^Eneas. TRANS. 


augun, Sn. 50), displaying gloomy brows and shaking the beard. 
Obviously the two gods, Zeus and Donar, have identical gestures 
ascribed to them for expressing favour or anger. They are the 
glowering deities, who have the avenging thunder at their command; 
this was shown of Donar, p. 177, and to Zeus is given the grim 
louring look (Seiva 8 vjroSpa ISav, II. 15, 13), he above all is the 
fiey 6x6>jo-a<; (1, 517. 4, 30), and next to him Poseidon of the 
dingy locks (8, 208. 15, 184). Zeus again is distinguished by 
beaming eyes (rpeirev oacre (fraewco 13, 3. 7. 14, 236. 16, 645), 
which belong to none else save his own great-hearted daughter 21, 
415 ; Aphrodite has ofifiara ^ap^aipovra, 3, 397, twinkling, 
shimmering eyes (see SuppL). 

Figures of Greek divinities show a circle of rays and a nimbus 
round the head ; x on Indo-Grecian coins Mithras has commonly a 
circular nimbus with pointed rays, 2 in other representations the 
rays are wanting. Mao (deus Lunus) has a halfmoon behind his 
shoulders ; Aesculapius too had rays about his head. In what century 
was the halo, the aureole, first put round the heads of Christian 
saints ? And we have also to take into account the crowns and 
diadems of kings. Ammian. Marc. 16, 12 mentions Chnodomarius, 
cujus vertici flammeus torulus aptabatur. N. Cap. 63 translates 
the honorati capitis radios of the Sol auratus by houbetsHmo (head- 
sheen), and to portray the sun s head surrounded with flames is 
extremely natural. In ON. I find the term ro&a for caput radiatum 
sancti, which I suppose to be the OHG. ruota rod, since virga also 
goes off into the sense of flagellum, radius, ON. geisli. A likening 
of the gods to radiant luminaries of heaven would at once suggest 
such a nimbus, and blond locks do shine like rays. It is in con- 
inexion with the setting sun that Tac. Germ. 45 brings in formas 
deorum and radios capitis. Around Thor s head was put, latterly at 
all events, a ring of stars (Stephanii not. ad Saxon. Gram. p. 139). 
According to a story told in the Galien restore", a beam came out of 
Oharles the Great s mouth and illumined his head. 3 What seems 
nore to the purpose, among the Prilwitz figures, certain Slavic 
dols, especially Perun, Podaga and Nemis, have rays about their 

1 0. Muller s archaeol. p. 481. 

2 Getting, anz. 1838, 229. 

3 This beam from Charles s mouth is like the one that shines into his 
beloved s mouth and lights up the gold inside (see ch. XVI., Menni). 


heads ; and a head in Hagenow, fig. 6, 12 is encircled with rays, so 
is even the rune E when it stands for Eadegast. Did rays originally 
express the highest conception of divine and lustrous beauty ? 
There is nothing in the Homeric epos at all pointing that way (see 

It is a part of that insouciance and light blood of the gods, that 
they are merry, and laugh. Hence they are called blift regin 
(p. 26), as we find * froh in the sense of gracious applied to gods 
and kings, 1 and the spark of joy is conveyed from gods to men. 
Frauja, lord, is next of kin to froh glad (p. 210). It is said of the 
Ases, teitir varo, Seem. 2 a ; and of Heimdall, dreckr gla&r hinn g65a 
mioS 41 b . And in svdso guS 33 a contains a similar notion. In 
this light the passages quoted (pp. 17-8) on the blithe and cheerful 
God gather a new importance : it is the old heathen notion still 
lurking in poetry. When Zeus in divine repose sits on Olympus 
and looks down on men, he is nioved to mirth (opowv fypeva rep-vjro- 
pai, II. 20, 23), then laughs the blessed heart of him (eyeXacrae Be 
ol <f)i\ov r)Top, 21, 389) ; which is exactly the Eddie hlo honum 
hugr i briosti, hlo HlorriSa hugr i briosti/ laughed the mind in hi 
breast : a fresh confirmation of the essential oneness of Zeus am 
Thorr. But it is also said of heroes : hlo J?a Atla hugr i briosti 
Ssem. 238 b . hlo J?a Brynhildr af ollum hug/ with all her hear 
220 a . OS. hugi ward fromod, Hel. 109, 7. AS. mod ahloh 
Andr. 454. Later, in the Eudlieb 2, 174. 203. 3, 17 the king ii 
his speech is said subridere ; in the Nibel. 423, 2 ol Brunhild 
mit smielinden munde si iiber ahsel sah, looked over her shoulder 
Often in the song of the Cid: sonrisose de la boca, and alegre era . 
@v/j,o<; IdvOrj, II. 23, 600 ; conf. dvpov laivov, Hymn, in Cer. 435 
Half in displeasure Here laughs with her lips, not her brows 
eyeXacrae xeiXeviv, ov&e fiercoTrov eV o<j)pv(Ti Kvaveyaw lavdrj, I. 
15, 102 ; but Zeus feels joy in sending out his lightnings, he i 
called repiTLKepavvos 2, 781. 8, 2. 773. 20, 144. So Artemi 
(Diana) is lo%eaipa, rejoicing in arrows, 6, 428. 21, 480. Od. 11 
198. At the limping of Hephaestus, the assembly of gods burst 
into a<7/3eo-To? 76X0)?, uncontrolled laughter, II. 1, 599 ; but a gentl 
smile (jjiei&av) is peculiar to Zeus, Here and Aphrodite. A 

1 Andreas and Elene p. xxxvii. 

2 Helbl. 7, 518 : diu warheit des erlachet, truth laughs at that. 


Aphrodite s beauty is expressed by ^tXo^etS^?, smile-loving (II. 4, 

10. 5, 375), so is Freyja s on the contrary by gratfogr/ fair in 
weeping (see Suppl.). 

We have to consider next the manner in which the gods put 
themselves in motion and become visible to the eyes of mortals. 
We find they have a gait and step like the human, only far mightier 
and swifter. The usual expressions are ftij, {3fj L/juev, @fj Ikvai, II. 
1, 44. 2, 14. 14, 188. 24, 347, faffjicei, 1, 221, tfa 14, 224, j3dr7]v 
5, 778, Prjrrji 14, 281, iroal 7rpo/3i/3d<? 13, 18, TrpovefifaeTo 2, 48. 
14, 292, tcarepjo-eTo 13, 17, aTrepfaero 2, 35; and in the Edda 
gengr, Saam. 9 a , gek 100 a , gengo 70 a 71 b , gengengo l a 5 a , or else for 
31 a 31 b 53 a 75 a , this fara meaning no more than ire, proficisci, and 
OSinn was even called Gangleri, Ssem. 32. Sn. 24, i.e., the walker, 
traveller ; the AS. poets use gewdt (evasit, abiit) or siffdde of God 
returning to heaven, Andr. 118. 225. 977. El. 94-5. But how 
enormously the walk of the gods differs from the common, we see 
in the instance of Poseidon, who goes an immense distance in three 
steps, II. 13, 20, or that of the Indian Vishnu, who in three paces 
traverses earth, air and sky. From such swiftness there follows 
next the sudden appearance and disappearance of the gods; for 
which our older speech seems to have used Goth, hvairban, OHG. 
huerban, AS. hweorfan (verti, ferri, rotari) : hwearf him to 
heofenum halig dryhten says Csedm. 16, 8 ; and Oomn hvarf J?a, 
vanished, Saem. 47. Homer employs, to express the same thing, 
either the .verb ataaco (impetu feror), or the adverbs icapiraXifuos 
(as if dp7ra\^a>9 raptim) and Kparnvw raptim. Thus Athene 
or Here comes at%aaa, Od. 1, 102. II. 2, 167. 4, 74. 19, 114. 
22, 187 ; Thetis, the dream, Athene, Here, all appear icafyiraXi^^ 

11. 1, 359. 2, 17. 168. 5, 868. 19, 115. Od. 2, 406; Poseidon 
and Here tcpanrvd, Kpaiirvfa, II. 13, 18. 14. 292 ; even Zeus, when 
he rises from his throne to look on the earth, o-rfj avat&s 15, 6. 
So Holda and Berhta suddenly stand at the window (p. 274). Much 
in the same way I understand the expression used in Saem. 53 a of 
Thorr and Tyr : foro driugom (ibant tractim, raptim, e\/cr)S6v\ for 
driugr is from driuga, Goth, driugan trahere, whence also Goth. 
draiihts, OHG. truht turba, agmen, ON. draugr larva, phantasma, 
OHG. gitroc fallacia, because a spectre appears and vanishes 
quickly in the air. At the same time it means the rush and din 


that betoken the god s approach, the worn a and onii above, from 
which O Sinn took a name (p. 144-5). The rapid movement of 
descending gods is sometimes likened to a shooting star, or the 
flight of birds, II. 4, 75. 15, 93. 237 ; hence they often take even 
the form of some bird, as Tharapila the Osilian god flew (p. 77). 
Athene flies away in the shape of a apirrj (falcon ?), II. 19, 350, an 
opvw bird, Od. 1, 320, or a (prjvij osprey, 3, 372 ; as a swallow she 
perches (efer avat^aaa) on the house s peXaOpov 22, 239. The 
exchange of the human form for that of a bird, when the gods are 
departing and no longer need to conceal their wondrous being, 
tallies exactly with Gain s taking his flight as a falcon, after he 
had in the shape of Gestr conversed and quarrelled with HeiSreckr: 
viSbrast i veils liki, Fornald. sog. 1, 487; but it is also retained in 
many stories of the devil, who assumes at departure the body of a 
raven or a fly (exit tanquam corvus, egressus est in muscae 
similitudine). At other times, and this is the prettier touch of the 
two, the gods allow the man to whom they have appeared as his 
equals, suddenly as they are going, to become aware of their divine 
proportions : heel, calf, neck or shoulder betrays the god. "When 
Poseidon leaves the two Ajaxes, one of them says, II. 13, 71 : 
i%via <yap fjieTOTTicrde TTO^WV r)$e KVIHJLCKDV 
pel <yvo)v air lovros aplyvcoroi Se Oeol ire p. 
So, when Venus leaves Aeneas, Virg. 1, 402 : 

Dixit, et avertens rosea cervice refulsit 
et vera incessu patuit dea. I lie ubi matrem 
agnovit, tali fugientem est voce secutus. 
So, II. 3, 396, Alexander recognises the 

d # l/juepoevra KOL o/Jifjuara 
And in ON. legend, Hallbiorn on awaking sees the shoulder of a 
figure in his dream before it vanishes : }?ykist sia a herSar honuin, 
Fornald. sog. 3, 103 ; as is likewise said in Olaf the saint s saga 
cap. 199. ed. Holm., while the Fornm. sog. 5, 38 has it : sia svip 
mannsins er a brutt gekk ; conf. os humerosque deo similis, Aen. 1, 
589. This also lingers in our devil-stories: at the Evil one s 
departure his cloven hoof suddenly becomes visible, the lyyia of 
the ancient god. 

As the incessus of Venus declared the goddess, the motion (f#/xa) 
of Here and Athene is likened to that of timorous doves, II. 5, 778. 


But the gliding of the gods over such immense distances must have 
seemed from first to last like flying, especially as their departure 
was expressly prepared for by the assumption of a bird s form. It 
is therefore easy to comprehend why two several deities, Hermes 
and Athene, are provided with peculiar sandals (TreSiXa), whose 
motive power conveys them over sea and land with the speed of 
wind, II. 24, 341. Od. 1, 97. 5, 45 ; we are expressly told that 
Hermes flew with them (Trereto, II. 24, 345. Od. 5, 49); 
plastic art represents them as winged shoes, and at a later time adds 
a pair of wings to the head of Hermes. 1 These winged sandals 
then have a perfect right to be placed side by side with the feather- 
shift (fiaSrhamr) which Freyja possessed, and which at Thor s 
request she lent to Loki for his flight to lotunheim, Saem. 70 a>b ; 
but as Freyja is more than once confounded with Frigg (p. 302), 
other legends tell us that Loki flew off in the valsham Friggjar, 
Sn. 113. I shall come back to these falcon or swan coats in 
another connexion, but their resemblance to the Greek pedlla 
is unmistakable; as Loki is here sent as a messenger from the 
gods to the giants, he is so far one with Hermes, and Freyja s 
feather-shift suggests the sandals of Athene. Sn. 132-7: Loki 
atti skda, er hann rann d lopt ok log! had shoes in which he ran 
through air and fire. It was an easy matter, in a myth, for the 
investiture with winged hamr or sandals to glide insensibly into 
an actual assumption of a bird s form : GeirroSr catches the flying 
Loki as a veritable bird, Sn. 113, and when Athene starts to fly, 
she is a swallow (see Suppl.). 

The mighty gods would doubtless have moved whithersoever it 
pleased them, without wings or sandals, but simple antiquity was 
not content with even these : the human race used carriages and 
horses, and the gods cannot do without them either. On this point 
a sensible difference is to be found between the Greek and German 

All the higher divinities of the Greeks have a chariot and pair 
ascribed to them, as their kings and heroes in battle also fight in 
chariots. An o^rjfia for the god of thunder would at once be 
suggested by the natural phenomenon itself ; and the conception of 
the sun-chariot driven by Helios must also be very ancient. The 

1 0. Miiller s archseol. 559. 


car of Here, and how she harnesses her steeds to it, mounts it in 
company with Athene, and guides it, is gorgeously depicted in II. 
5, 720-76 ; so likewise Demeter and Kora appear seated in a 
carriage. Hermes is drawn by rams, 1 as the Norse Thorr [by he- 
goats]. The Okeanides too have their vehicle, Aesch. Prom. 135. 
But never are Zeus, Apollo, Hermes or any of the most ancient 
gods imagined riding on horseback ; it is Dionysos, belonging to a 
different order of deities, that first rides a panther, as Silenus does 
the ass, and godlike heroes such as Perseus, Theseus, and above all, 
the Dioscuri are mounted on horses. Okeanos bestrides a winged 
steed, Prom. 395. It seems worth remarking, that modern Greek 
legend represents even Charon as mounted. 

In Teutonic mythology the riding of gods is a far commoner 
thing. In the Merseburg poem both Wuotan and Phol ride in the 
forest, which is not at all inconsistent with the word used, faran ; 
for it is neither conceivable that Wuotan drove while Balder rode, 
nor that Balder drove a one-horse carriage. Even Hartmann von 
Aue still imagines God riding a horse, and contented with Enit for 
his groom (p. 18). Among those that ride in the Edda are Oftinn 
(who saddles his Sleipnir for himself, Ssem. 93 a ), Baldr and 
HermoSr ; in Sse-m. 44 a and Sn. 18 are given the names of ten other 
horses as well, on which the Ases daily ride to council, one of them 
being HeimdalTs Gulltoppr, Sn. 30. 66 ; the owners of the rest are 
not specified, but, as there were twelve Ases and only eleven horses 
are named, it follows that each of those gods had his mount, except 
Thorr, who is invariably introduced either driving or walking (p. 
167), and when he gets Gullfaxi as spoil from Hrungnir, gives him 
away to his son Magni, Sn. 110. OSin s horse leaps a hedge seven 
ells high, Fornni. sog. 10, 56. 175. Even the women of the gods 
are mounted : the valkyrs, like OSinn, ride through air and water, 
Sn. 107, Ereyja and Hyndla on a boar and a wolf, as enchantresses 
and witches are imagined riding a wolf, a he-goat or a cat. Night 
(fern.) had a steed Hrimfaxi, rimy-mane, as Day (masc.) had 
Skinfaxi, shiny-mane. 

At the same time carriages are mentioned too, especially for 
goddesses (p. 107). The sacred car of Nerthus was drawn by cows, 
that of Freyja by cats, Holda and Berhta are commonly found 
driving waggons which they get mended, the fairies in our nursery - 

1 0. Muller s archccol. 5G3. 


tales travel through the air in coaches, and Brynhildr drives in her 
waggon to the nether world, Ssem. 227. The image of a Gothic 
deity in a waggon was alluded to on p. 107 ; among the gods, 
Freyr is expressly described as mounted on his car, while Thorr 
has a waggon drawn by he-goats : on Woden s waggon, conf. p. 
151 (see SuppL). 

When we consider, that waggons were proper to the oldest 
kings also, especially the Frankish kings, and that their riding on 
horseback is nowhere mentioned ; it seems probable that originally 
a similar equipage was alone deemed suitable to the gods, and their 
riding crept in only gradually in the coarser representations of later 
times. From heroes it was transferred to gods, though this must 
have been done pretty early too, as we may venture to allow a 
considerable antiquity to the story of Sleipnir and that of Balder s 
horse or foal. The Slavs also generally furnished their god 
Svantovit with a horse to ride on. 

Some few divinities made use of a ship, as may be seen by the 
stories of Athene s ship and that of Isis, and Frey s Ski5bla5nir, 
the best of all ships, Ssem. 45 b . 

But whichever way the gods might move, on earth, through air 
or in water, their walk and tread, their riding and driving is 
represented as so vehement, that it produces a loud noise, and the 
din of the elements is explained by it. The driving of Zeus or 
Thorr awakens thunder in the clouds ; mountains and forests 
tremble beneath Poseidon s tread, II. 13, 18 ; when Apollo lets 
himself down from the heights of Olympus, arrows and bow clatter 
(efc\ay%av) on his shoulder 1, 44, Sewi) Se /c\a<yyrj lyeyer apyvpeoio 
f$iolo, dreadful was the twang of his silver bow 1, 49. In the lays 
of the Edda this stirring up of nature is described in exactly the 
same way, while the AS. and OHG. writings, owing to the earlier 
extinction of heathen notions, have preserved no traces of it : 
framm reiS OSinn, foldvegr dundi/ forth rode 0., earth s way 
thundered, Seem. 94 a ; biorg brotnoSo, brann iorft loga, 6k Oblns 
sonr i lotunheima, mountains crumbled, earth blazed, when rode, 
&c. 73 a ; no Loki, fiaSrhamr dundi, the wing-coat whirred, 70 a 
71 a ; ior5 bifaz (quaked), enn allir for scialfa garSar Gymis when 
Skirnir came riding 83 a . The rage and writhing of gods who were 
bound produced equally tremendous effects (p. 246). 


On the other hand, delightful and salutary products of nature 
are also traced to the immediate influence of the gods. Flowers 
spring up where their feet have strayed ; on the spot where Zeus 
clasped Here in his arms, shot up a thick growth of sweet herbs 
and flowers, and glittering dewdrops trickled down, II. 14, 346 51. 
So, when the valkyrs rode through the air, their horses manes 
shook fruitful dew on the deep vales below, Saem. 145 b ; or it falls 
nightly from the bit of Hrimfaxi s bridle 32 b (see Suppl.). 

Of one thing there is scarcely a trace in our mythology, though 
it occurs so often in the Greek : that the gods, to screen themselves 
from sight, shed a mist round themselves or their favourites who 
are to be withdrawn from the enemy s eye, II. 3, 381. 5, 776. 18, 
205. 21, 549. 597. It is called rjepi KaXvirreiv, yepa ^elv, afavv or 
vefos a-Tefaiv, and the contrary d^Kvv ovce8aetz> to scatter, chase 
away, the mist. We might indeed take this into account, that the 
same valkyrs who, like the Servian vily, favour and shield their 
beloved heroes in battle, were able to produce clouds and hail in 
the air ; or throw into the reckoning our tarnkappes and helidhelms, 
whose effect was the same as that of the mist. And the Norse 
gods do take part with or against certain heroes, as much as the 
Greek gods before Ilion. In the battle of Bravik, OSinn mingled 
with the combatants, and assumed the figure of a charioteer Bruni ; 
Saxo Gram., p. 146. Fornald. sog. 1, 380. The Grimnismal makes 
Geirroftr the protege (fostri) of OSinn, Agnarr that of Frigg, and 
the two deities take counsel together concerning them, Ssem. 39 ; in 
the Vols. saga cap. 42, OSinn suggests the plan for slaying the sons 
of lonakr. The Greek gods also, when they drew nigh to counsel 
or defend, appeared in the form of a human warrior, a herald, an 
old man, or they made themselves known to their hero himself, 
but not to others. In such a case they stand before, beside or 
behind him (irapd, II. 2, 279. tyyvOi, Od. 1, 120. o^oO, II. 2, 172. 
3, 129. 4, 92. 5, 123. Trp6v6ev 4, 129. fai6ev 1, 197) ; Athene leads 
by the hand through the battle, and wards the arrows off 4, 52 ; 
she throws the dreadful aegis round Achilles 18, 204; Aphrodite 
shields Aeneas by holding her veil before him 5, 315; and other 
heroes are removed from the midst of the fray by protecting 
deities (p. 320). Venus makes herself visible to Hippomenes alone, 
Ovid Met. 10, 650. Now they appear in friendly guise, Od. 7, 201 


seq. ; now clothed in terror : %a\e7rol Be Oeol <f>atveaOcu evapyels, 
II. 20, 131 (see Suppl.). 

The Iliad, 14, 286 seq., relates how"T7n/o<? (sleep), sitting in the 
shape of a song-bird on the boughs of a fir-tree on Mt. Ida, over 
powers the highest of all the gods ; other passages show that the 
gods went to their beds every night, and partook like men of the 
benefit of sleep, II. 1, 609. 2, 2. 24, 677. Still less can it be 
doubted of the Norse gods, that they too slept at night : Thorr on 
his journeys looks out for night-lodging, Sn. 50 ; of Heimdall alone 
is it said, that he needs less sleep than a bird, Sn. 30. And from 
this sway of sleep over the gods follows again, what was maintained 
above, that of death : Death is the brother of Sleep. Besides, the 
gods fell a prey to diseases. Freyr was sick with love, and his 
great hugsott (mind-sickness) awakened the pity of all the gods. 
Oolnn, Niorcr and Freyr, according to the Yngl. saga 10. 11. 12, all 
sink under sicknesses (sottdauolr). Aphrodite and Ares receive 
wounds, II. 5, 330. 858 ; these are quickly healed [yet not without 
medical aid]. A curious story tells how the Lord God, having 
fallen sick, descends from heaven to earth to get cured, and comes 
to Arras ; there minstrels and merryandrews receive commands to 
amuse him, and one manages so cleverly, that the Lord bursts out 
laughing and finds himself rid of his distemper. 1 This may be very 
ancient ; for in the same way, sick daughters of kings in nursery- 
tales are made to laugh by beggars and fiddlers, and so is the 
goddess Skaol in the Edda by Loki s juggling tricks, when mourning 
the death of her father, Sn. 82. lambe cheered the sorrowing 
Demeter, and caused her, TTO\\CL Trapao-KcoTrrovcra, yLtet8r}crat ye\dcrat, 
re, Kal f i\aov a-^elv Ovpov, Hymn, in Cer. 203 (see Suppl.). 

Important above all are the similar accounts, given by Greek 
antiquity and by our own, of the language of the gods. Thus, 
passages in the Iliad and the Odyssey distinguish between the 
divine and human names for the same object : 

ov Bpidpeajv KoXiovari Oeol, avbpes Be re Trdvres 

Afyauov. II. 1, 403. 

rrjv r}Toi avbpes Barieiav 

1 De la venue de Dieu a Arras, in Jubinal s Nouveau recueil de contes 2, 


uOdvaroi Se re crf;//,a irokvaKapOfJioio Mvphnfi. 2, 813. 

%a\KiBa KiK\.rj(TKOvo i, Oeoi, av&pes 8e K.UJJLIV&IV. 14, 291. 

bv ttdvOov Ka\eovcTi 6eoi, civSpes Se 2 fcdfjiavSpov. 20, 74. 1 

/jiw\v e /LUV Kokeovcri 6eoL Od. 10, 305. 

A whole song in the Edda is taken up with comparing the languages, 
not only of gods and men, but of Vanir, elves, dwarfs, giants and 
subterraneans, and that not in a few proper names and rare words, 
but in a whole string of names for the commonest objects. At the 
very outset it surprises us, that while goS and sesir are treated as 
synonymous, a distinction is drawn between goS and ginregin. In 
13 strophes are given 78 terms in all: on examining these, it soon 
appears that the variety of names (six) for each thing simply comes 
of the richness of the Teutonic tongue, and cannot possibly be 
ascribed to old remnants or later borrowings from any Finnic, 
Celtic or Slavic languages. They are synonyms or poetic names, 
which are distributed among six or eight orders of beings endowed 
with speech, according to the exigencies of alliteration, not from 
their belonging to the same class, such as poetical or prose. I will 
illustrate this by quoting the strophe on the names for a cloud : 
sc$ heitir meS mb nnom, en scdrvdn meS goSom, 
kalla vindflot Vanir, 
drvdn iotnar, alfar veffrmegin, 
kalla i heljo liidlm huliz. 

Everything here is Teutonic, and still the resources of our language 
are not exhausted by a long way, to say nothing of what it may 
have borrowed from others. The only simple word is sky, still 
used in the Scandinavian dialects, and connected with skuggi umbra, 
AS. scuwa, scua, OHG. scuwo. The rest are all appropriate and 
intelligible periphrases. Scurvan [shower-weening] pluviae expec- 
tatio, from skur imber, Germ, schauer ; urvan just the same, from 
ur pluvia, with which compare the literal meaning of Sanskr. 
abhra nubes, viz. aquam gerens. 2 Vindflot is apparently navigium 
venti, because the winds sail through the air on clouds. Veftrmegin 
transposed is exactly the OHG. maganwetar turbo ; and hialmr 

1 Perhaps we ought also to reckon aierdy and Trepwos 24, 316, which is no 
mere eVkAijo-is as in 7, 138. 18, 487 (Od. 5, 273). 22, 29. 506, though A0ru6<0{ 
in this last passage happens to have 2/ca/iai/dptos (6, 402) answering to it, as 
Sdvdos has 2/ca/iai/8pO. 

8 Bopp, gloss, saiiskr. 16 & 209 a . 


huliz appears elsewhere as hulizhialmr, OS. lielith-helm, a tarn- 
helmet, grima, mask, which wraps one in like a mist or cloud. Of 
course the Teutonic tongue could offer several other words to stand 
for cloud, beside those six ; e.g., nifl, OHG. nebal, Lat. nebula, Gr. 
ve^eX-rj ; Goth, milhma, Swed. moln, Dan. mulm ; Sansk. megha, 
Gr. o/u^X?7, o/AixXij, Slav, megla ; OHG. wolchan, AS. wolcen, which 
is to Slav, oblako as miluk, milk, to Slav, mleko ; ON. J?oka nebula, 
Dan. taage ; M.Dut. swerk nubes, OS. gisuerc, caligo, nimbus ; AS. 
hoSma nubes, Beow. 4911. And so it is with the other twelve 
objects whose names are discussed in the Alvismal. Where simple 
words, like sol and sunna, mani and skin, or iord and fold, are 
named together, one might attempt to refer them to different 
dialects : the periphrases in themselves show no reason (unless 
mythology found one for them), why they should be assigned in 
particular to gods or men, giants or dwarfs. The whole poem 
brings before us an acceptable list of pretty synonyms, but throws 
no light on the primitive affinities of our language. 

Plato in the Cratylus tries hard to understand that division of 
Greek words into divine and human. A duality of proper names, 
like Briareos and Aigaion, reminds us of the double forms Hler and 
Oegir (p. 240), Ymir and Oergelmir, which last Sn. 6 attributes to the 
Hrimjwrses ; ISunn would seem by Saem. 89 ar to be an Elvish 
word, but we do not hear of any other name for the goddess. In 
the same way Xanthus and Skamander, Batieia and Myrina might 
be the different names of a thing in different dialects. More 
interesting are the double names for two birds, the %a\/a9 or 
Kv/uLivSw (corif. Plin. 10, 10), and the atero? and Trepicvos. Xa\/ci<; 
is supposed to signify some bird of prey, a hawk or owl, which does 
not answer to the description opins \<,<yvpd (piping), and the myth 
requires a bird that in sweet and silvery tones sings one to sleep, 
like the nightingale. Ilepicvos means dark-coloured, which suits 
the eagle ; to imagine it the bird of the thundergod Perkun, would 
be too daring. Poetic periphrases there are none among these 
Greek words. 

The principal point seems to be, that the popular beliefs of 
Greeks and Teutons agree in tracing obscure words and those 
departing from common usage to a distinction between divine and 
human speech. The Greek scholiasts suppose that the poet, 
holding converse with the Muses, is initiated into the language of 


gods, 1 and where he finds a twofold nomenclature, he ascribes the 
older, nobler, more euphonious (TO Kpel-rrov, evfywvov, Trpoyevecr- 
repov ovofjio) to the gods, the later and meaner (TO e\arrov, f^era- 
yevea-Tepov) to men. But the four or five instances in Homer are 
even less instructive than the more numerous ones of the Norse 
lay. Evidently the opinion was firmly held, that the gods, though 
of one and the same race with mortals, so far surpassed living men 
in age and dignity, that they still made use of words which had 
latterly died out or suffered change. As the line of a king s 
ancestors was traced up to a divine stock, so the language of gods 
was held to be of the same kind as that of men, but right feeling 
would assign to the former such words as had gradually disappeared 
among men. The Alvismal, as we have seen, goes farther, and 
reserves particular words for yet other beings beside the gods ; 
what I maintained on p. 218 about the impossibility of denying the 
Vanir a Teutonic origin, is confirmed by our present inquiry. That 
any other nation, beside Greeks and Teutons, believed in a separate 
language of gods, is unknown to me, and the agreement of these 
two is the more significant. When Ovid in Met. 11, 640 says : 
Hunc Icelon superi, mortale Phobetora vulgus nominat, this is 
imitated from the Greeks, as the very names show (see Suppl.). 
The Indians trace nothing but their alphabet (devanagari, deva- 
writing), as our forefathers did the mystery of runes (p. 149), to a 
divine origin, and the use of the symbol may be connected with 
that of the sound itself ; with the earliest signs, why should not 
the purest and oldest expressions too be attributed to gods ? 
Homer s eirea Trrepoevra (winged words) belong to heroes and other 
men as well as to gods, else we might interpret them strictly of the 
ease and nimbleness with which the gods wield the gift of speech. 

Beside language, the gods have customs in common with men. 
They love song and play, take delight in hunting, war and banquets, 
and the goddesses in ploughing, weaving, spinning ; both of them 
keep servants and messengers. Zeus causes all the other gods to be 
summoned to the assembly (dyop;, II. 8, 2. 20, 4), just as the Ases 

1 iy p.ov(TOTpa(pr)s <al ray Trapa deols tViorarat Ae eiy, oiSe TTJV TWV 6e)v 
8id\KTOv, olSe TO. TU>V 6ewv (ov6p,aTa), as VTTO p.ovcrwv Karanvfap-fvos. 6i\cov 6 
irotrjTrjs 6eZat on fJiovaoXrjTrTOS eVrtv, ov p.6vov TO, TU>V dvdpwTT&v ovo^ara liray- 
ye XXerai etSeVat, dXX* Sxnrfp KOI ol 6eoi Xtyovtrt, 


attend at the }?ing (Soem. 93 a ), on the rokstola, and by the Yggdra- 
sill (Stem. l b 2 a 44 a ), to counsel and to judge. Hebe, youth, is 
cupbearer of the gods and handmaid to Here (II. 5, 722), as Fulla 
is to Frigg (Sn. 36) ; the youth Ganymede is cupbearer too, and so 
is Beyla at the feast of the Ases (Ssem. 67 a ); Skirnir is Frey s 
shoemaker (81) and messenger, Beyggvir and Beyla are also called 
his servants (59). These services do no detriment to their own 
divine nature. Beside Hermes, the goddess Iris goes, on errands 
for the Greek gods (see Suppl). 

Among the gods themselves there is a difference of rank. Three 
sons of Kronos have the world divided among them, the sky is 
allotted to Zeus, the sea to Poseidon, hell to Hades, and the earth 
they are supposed to share between them (II. 15, 193). These 
three tower above all the rest, like Har, lafnhar and Thrift! in the 
Norse religion, the triad spoken of on p. 162. This is not the same 
thing as Wuotan, Donar, Ziu/ if only because the last two are not 
brothers but sons of Wuotan, although these pass for the three 
mightiest gods. Then, together with this triad, we become aware 
of a circle of twelve (p. 26), a close circle from which some of the 
gods are excluded. Another division, that into old and new gods, 
does not by any means coincide with this : not only OSinn and his 
Ases, but also Zeus and his colleagues, appear as upstarts 1 to have 
supplanted older gods of nature (see Suppl.). 

All the divinities, Greek and Norse, have offices and functions 
assigned them, which define their dominion, and have had a marked 
influence on their pictorial representation. In Sn. 27 29 these 
offices are specified, each with the words : hann rseftr fyrir (he 
looks after)/ or a hann skal heita til, er gott at heita til (to him 
you shall pray for, it is good to pray for) . Now, as any remnants 
of Greek or Teutonic paganism in the Mid. Ages were sure to 
connect themselves with some Christian saints, to whom the 
protection of certain classes or the healing of certain diseases was 
carried over, it is evident that a careful classification of these 
guardian saints according to the offices assigned them, on the 
strength of which they are good to pray to, 2 would be of advan 
tage to our antiquities. And the animals dedicated to each 

1 Aesch. Prom. 439 deolai rols veois, 955 veov veoi Kparetre, 960 TOVS veovs 
6eovs. Eumen. 156. 748. 799 ol i/ewrepot deoi. Conf. Otfr. Miiller, p. 181. 

2 Conf. Haupt s zeitschr. fur d. alt. 1, 143-4. 


deified saint (as once they were to gods) would have to be specified 

The favourite residence of each god is particularly pointed out 
in the Grimnismal ; mountains especially were consecrated to the 
Teutonic, as to the Greek deities: Sigt^sberg, Himinbib rg, &c. 
Olympus was peculiarly the house of Zeus (Jto? SCO/JLO), to which 
the other gods assembled (II. 1, 494) ; on the highest peak of the 
range he would sit apart (arep a\\wv 1, 498. 5, 753), loving to take 
counsel alone (d-TrdvevOe Oe&v 8, 10). He had another seat on Ida 
(11, 183. 336), whence he looked down to survey the doings of men, 
as 05inn did from HliSscialf. Poseidon sat on a height in the 
wooded range of Samos (13, 12). Valholl and Bilskirnir, the 
dwellings of OSinn and Thorr, are renowned for their enormous 
size ; the one is said to have 540 doors, through any one of which 
800 einheriar can go out at once, and Bilskirnir has likewise 540 
golfe [OK golfr, floor] (see SuppL). 

If now we take in one view the relations of gods and men, we 
find they meet and touch at all points. As the created being is 
filled with a childlike sense of its dependence on the creator, and 
prayers and offerings implore his favour, so deity too delights in its 
creations, and takes in them a fatherly interest. Man s longing 
goes forth towards heaven ; the gods fix their gaze on the earth, to 
watch and direct the doings of mortals. The blessed gods do 
commune with each other in their heavenly abodes, where feasts 
and revels go on as in earthly fashion ; but they are more drawn to 
men, whose destinies enlist their liveliest sympathy. It is not true, 
what Mart. Cap. says 2, 9 : ipsi dicuntur dii, et caelites alias 
perhibentur . . . nee admodum eos mortalium curarum vota 
sollicitant, a7ra0eZ?que perhibentur. Not content with making 
their will known by signs and messengers, they resolve to come 
down themselves and appear to men. Such appearance is in the 
Hindu mythology marked by a special name: avatura, i.e., de- 
scensus. 1 

Under this head come first the solemn car-processions of deities 
heralding peace and fruitfulness or war and mischief, which for the 
most part recur at stated seasons, and are associated with popular 
festivals ; on the fall of heathenism, only motherly wise-women 

1 Bopp s gloss, sansk. 21 a . 



still go their rounds, and heroes ride through field or air. More 
rarely, and not at regular intervals, there take place journeys of 
gods through the world, singly or in twos or threes, to inspect the 
race of man, and punish the crimes they have noticed. Thus 
Mercury and OSinn appeared on earth, or Heimdall to found the 
three orders, and Thorr visited at weddings ; Oolnn, Hoenir and 
Loki travelled in company; medieval legend makes God the 
Father seek a lodging, or the Saviour and St. Peter, or merely 
three angels (as the Servian song does, Vuk 4, no. 3). Most 
frequent however are the solitary appearances of gods, who, invoked 
or uninvoked, suddenly bring succour to their favoured ones in 
every time of need ; the Greek epos is quite full of this. Athene, 
Poseidon, Ares, Aphrodite mingle with the warriors, warning, 
advising, covering ; and just as often do Mary and saints from 
heaven appear in Christian legends. The Lithuanian Perkunos also 
walks on earth (see SuppL). 

But when they descend, they are not always visible ; you may 
hear the car of the god rush by, and not get sight of him bodily ; 
like ghosts the blessed gods flit past the human eye unnoticed, till 
the obstructive mist be removed from it. Athene seizes Achilles 
by the hair, only by him and no other is she seen, II. 1, 197 ; to 
make the succouring deities visible to Diomed, she has taken the 
mist from his eyes, that was on them before 5, 127 : 

8 av TOI air o(#aX//,coz/ e\ov, r) irplv eirrjev, 
too-Kys r)fj,ev Oeov ?)8e KOI avSpa. 

Just so Biarco, in Saxo Gram., p. 37, is unable to spy Othin riding 
a white steed and aiding the Swedes, till he peeps through the ring 
formed by the arm of a spirit-seeing woman: a medium that 
elsewhere makes the elfin race visible to the bleared eyes of man. 
In another way the gods, even when they showed themselves 
bodily, concealed their divine nature, by assuming the form of a 
human acquaintance, or of an animal. Poseidon "stept into the 
host, disguised as Kalchas, II. 13, 45, Hermes escorted Priam as a 
Myrmidon warrior 24, 397, and Athene the young Telemachus as 
Mentor. In the same way Othin appeared as the chariot-driver 
Bruno (p. 330), or as a one-eyed old man. Metamorphoses of gods 
into animals in Teutonic mythology take place only for a definite 
momentary purpose, to which the character of the animal supplies 
the key ; e.g., Oftinn takes the shape of a snake, to slip through a 




hole lie lias bored (Sn. 86), and of an eagle, to fly away in haste 
(86), Loki that of a fly, in order to sting (131), or to creep through 
a keyhole (356) ; no larger designs are ever compassed by such 
means. So, when Athene flies away as a bird, it expresses the 
divinity of her nature and the suddenness of her departure. But 
the swan or bull, into which Zeus transformed himself, can only be 
explained on the supposition that Leda too, and lo and Europa, 
whom he was wooing, were thought of as swan-maidens or kine. 
The form of animal would then be determined by the mythus, and 
the egg-birth of the Dioscuri can be best understood in this way 
(see SuppL). 

In the Asiatic legends, it seems to me, the manifestations of 
deity are conceived deeply and purely in comparison, and nowhere 
more profoundly than in those of India. The god comes down and 
abides in the flesh for a season, for the salvation of mankind. 
Wherever the doctrine of metempsychosis prevailed, the bodies of 
animals even were eligible for the avatara; and of Vishnu s ten 
successive incarnations, the earlier ones are animal, it was in the 
later ones that he truly became man (see SuppL). The Greek 
and Teutonic mythologies steer clear of all such notions ; in both 
of them the story of the gods was too sensuously conceived to have 
invested their transformations with the seriousness and duration of 
an avatara, although a belief in such incarnation is in itself so 
nearly akin to that of the heroes being bodily descended from the 

I think that on all these lines of research, which could be 
extended to many other points as well, I have brought forward a 
series of undeniable resemblances between the Teutonic mythology 
and the Greek. Here, as in the relation between the Greek and 
Teutonic languages, there is no question of borrowing or choice, 
nothing but unconscious affinity, allowing room (and that inevit 
ably) for considerable divergences. But who can fail to recognise, 
or who invalidate, the surprising similarity of opinions on the! 
immortality of gods, their divine food, their growing up overnight, 
their journey ings and transformations, their epithets, their anger 
and their mirth, their suddenness in appearing and recognition ati 
parting, their use of carriages and horses, their performance of allj 
natural functions, their illnesses, their language, their servants and) 


messengers, offices and dwellings ? To conclude, I think I see a 
further analogy in the circumstance, that out of the names of livino- 
gods, as Tyr, Freyr, Baldr, Bragi, Zeus, grew up the common nouns 
tyr, frauja, baldor, bragi, deus, or they bordered close upon 
them (see SuppL). 


Between God and man there is a step on which the one leads 
into the other, where we see the Divine Being brought nearer to 
things of earth, and human strength glorified. The older the epos, 
the more does it require gods visible in the flesh ; even the younger 
cannot do without heroes, in whom a divine spark still burns, or 
who come to be partakers of it. 

Heroism must not be made to consist in anything but battle 
and victory : a hero is a man that in fighting against evil achieves 
immortal deeds, and attains divine honours. As in the gradation 
of ranks the noble stands between the king and the freeman, so 
does the hero between God and man. From nobles come forth 
kings, from heroes gods. rjpa)? eo-rlv ef avOpMirov TI KOL Beov 
c-vvBerov, o fJLTJrt- avOpwTTQS earl, fjLrjre 6ebs, KCLI o-vva/uL^orepop ecrrl 
(Lucian in Dial, mortuor. 3), yet so that the human predominates : 
ita tamen ut plus ab homine habeat, says Servius on Aen. 1, 200. 
The hero succumbs to pains, wounds, death, from which even the 
gods, according to the view of antiquity, were not exempt (p. 318). 
In the hero, man attains the half of deity, becomes a demigod, 
semideus : rj /z 1 eco v yepos avbpwv, II. 12, 23 ; apftpwp rjpwwv Oelov 
7^09, 01 Ka\eop7cu rj /A i 6 o i, Hes. epy. 159. Jornandes applies 
semidei to the anses (supra p. 25), as Saxo Gram, pronounces 
Balder a semidcum, arcano superum semine procreatum. Otherwise 
in ON. writings we meet with neither halfgoft nor halfas ? but N. 
Cap. 141 renders hemithei heroesque by halbkota unde crdkota 
(earthgods) . 

Heroes are distinct from daemonic beings, such as angels, elves, 
giants, who fill indeed the gap between God and man, but have not 
a human origin. Under paganism, messengers of the gods were 

Halftroll, halfrisi are similar, and the OHG. halpdurinc, halpwalahy 
halpteni (ON. lialfdan) as opposed to altdurinc, altwalah. 

HEROES. 341 

gods themselves j 1 the Judeo-christian angel is a daemon. Eather 
may the hero be compared to the Christian saint, who through 
spiritual strife and sorrow earns a place in heaven (see SuppL). 

This human nature of heroes is implied in nearly all the titles 
given to them. For the definite notion of a divine glorified hero, 
the Latin language has borrowed heros from the Greek, though its 
own vir (=Goth. vair ON. ver, 2 AS. OHG. wer, Lett, wihrs, Lith. 
wyras) in the sense of vir fortis (Tac. Germ. 3) so nearly comes up 
to the Sanskr. vim heros. Heros, r/pa>?, which originally means a 
mere fighter, has been identified with rather too many things: hems, 
Hpij, ( HpaK\r)s, even "ApTjs and aperr) = virtus, so that the Goth, 
aims, ON. ar, a~ri=nuntius, minister, might come in too, or the 
supposed digamma make a connexion with the aforesaid vira look 
plausible. More undeniably, our held is a prolongation 3 of the 
simple ON. hair, AS. hsele vir : the name Halidegastes (like 
Leudogastes) is found so early as in Vopiscus ; and a Goth, halips, 
OHG. halid, helid may be safely inferred from the proper names 
Helidperaht, Helidcrim, Helidgund, Helidniu, Helidberga, 4 though 
it is only from the 12th century that our memorials furnish an 
actual Jielit pi. helide ; the MHG. helet, helt, pi. helde, occurs often 
enough. Of the AS. heeled I remark that it makes its pi. both 
hseleSas and hseleS (e.g., Beow. 103), the latter archaic like the 
Goth. meno]?s, whence we may infer that the Gothic also had a pi. 
hali]?s, and OHG. a pi. helid as well as helida, and this is confirmed 
by a MHG. pi. held, Wh. 44, 20. In OS. I find only the pi. 
helidos, helithos ; in the Heliand, helithcunni, helithocunni mean 
simply genus humanum. M.Dut. has helet pi. helde. The ON. 
holdr pi. holdar (Ssem. 114 b 115 a . Sn. 171) implies an older 
holuftr (like manuSr = Goth. meno]?s) ; it appears to mean nothing 
but miles, vir, and holdborit (hold-born) in the first passage to be 
something lower than hersborit, the holdar being free peasants, 
buendr. The Dan. helt, Swed. hjelte (OSwed. halad) show an 
anomalous t instead of d, and are perhaps to be traced to the 

1 At most, we might feel some doubt about Skirnir t Frey s messenger and 
servant ; but he seems more a bright angel than a hero. 

2 With this we should have to identify even the veorr used of Thorr (p. 
187) in so far as it stood for viorr. 

3 Fortbildung : thus staff, stack, stall, stem, stare, &c. may be called 
prolongations of the root sta. TRANS. 

4 In early docs, the town of Heldburg in Thuringia is already called 
Selidiberga, MB. 28 a 33. 

342 HEROES. 

German rather than the ON. form. If we prefer to see both in 
hair and in halij^s the verb haljan occulere, defendere, tueri, the 
transition from tutor to vir and miles is easily made ; even the 
Lat. celer is not far from celo to conceal. 

Beside this principal term, the defining of which was not to be 
avoided here, there are several others to be considered. Notker, 
who singularly avoids heleda, supplies us in Cap. 141 with : heroes, 
taz chit, Jiertinga aide chueniga . This lurtinga suggests the AS. 
heardingas, Elene 25. 130, whether it be a particular line, or heroes 
in general that are meant by it ; and we might put up with the 
derivation from herti, heard (hard), viri duri, fortes, exercitati, as 
hartunga in N. ps. 9, 1 means exercitatio. But as we actually find 
a Gothic line of heroes Azdingi, Astingi, and also an ON. of 
Haddingjar, and as the Goth, zd, ON. dd, AS. rd t OHG. rt corres 
pond to one another, there is more to be said for the Gothic word 
having dropt an h in the course of transmission, and the forms 
hazdiggs, haddingr, hearding, hartinc being all one word. 1 Now, if 
the ON. haddr means a lock of hair (conf. p. 309), we may find in 
haddingr, hazdiggs, &c. a meaning suitable enough for a freeman 
and hero, that of crinitus, capillatus, cincinnatus ; and it would be 
remarkable that the meaning heros should be still surviving in the 
tenth century. No less valuable to us is the other term chucnig, 
which can hardly be connected with chuning rex, as N. always 
spells it ; it seems rather to be = chuonig, derived either from 
chuoni audax, fortis (as fizusig from fizus callidus), or from its still 
unexplained root. 2 Other terms with a meaning immediately 
bordering on that of hero are: OHG. degan (miles, minister); 
wigant (pugil) ; chamfio, chempho (pugil), AS. cempa, ON. kappi ; 
the ON. hetja (bellator), perhaps conn, with hatr odium, bellum ; 
and skati, better skaffi, AS. sceaSa, scaSa, properly nocivus, then 
predator, latro, and passing from this meaning, honourable in 
ancient times, into that of heros ; even in the Mid. Ages, Landscado, 
scather of the land, was a name borne by noble families. That 
heri (exercitus), Goth, liarjis, also meant miles, is shown by OHG. 

1 The polypt. Irminon I70 b has a proper name Ardingus standing for 

2 Graff *4 447 places chuoni, as well as chuninc and chunni, under the all- 
devouring root chan ; but as kruoni, AS. grene viridis, comes from kruoan, 
AS. growan, so may chuoni, AS. cene, from a lost chuoan, AS. cowan pol 


HEROES. 343 

glosses, Graff 4, 983, and by names of individual men compounded 
with lieri ; conf. ch. XXV, einheri. The OHG. u-recchio, hrecchio, 
reecho, had also in a peculiar way grown out of the sense of exsul, 
profugus, advena, which predominates in the AS. wrecca, OS. 
wrekio, into that of a hero fighting far from home, and the MHG. 
recke, ON. reckr is simply a hero in general. 1 Similar develop 
ments of meaning can doubtless be shown in many other words ; 
what we have to keep a firm hold of is, that the very simplest 
words for man (vir) and even for man (homo) adapted themselves 
to the notion of hero ; as our mann does now, so the ON. hair, the 
OHG. gomo (homo), ON. gumi served to express the idea of heros. 
In Diut. 2, 314 b , heros is glossed by gomo, and gumnar in the Edda 
has the same force as skatnar (see Suppl.). 

Now, what is the reason of this exaltation of human nature ? 
Always in the first instance, as far as I can see, a relation of bodily 
kinship between a god and the race of man. The heroes are 
epigoni of the gods, their line is descended from the gods : settir 
guma er fra go<5om komo, Seem. 114 a . 

Greek mythology affords an abundance of proofs ; it is by 
virtue of all heroes being directly or indirectly produced by gods 
and goddesses in conjunction with man, that the oldest kingly 
families connect themselves with heaven. But evidently most of 
these mixed births proceed from Zeus, who places himself at the 
head of gods and men, and to whom all the glories of ancestors are 
traced. Thus, by Leda he had Castor and Pollux, who were called 
after him Dios-curi, Hercules by Alcmena, Perseus by Danae, 
Epaplms by lo, Pelasgus by Niobe, Minos and Sarpedon by Europa; 
other heroes touch him only through their forefathers : Agamemnon 
was the son of Atreus, he of Pelops, he of Tantalus, and he of Zeus; 
Ajax was sprung from Telamon, he from Aeacus, he from Zeus and 
Aegina. Next to Zeus, the most heroes seem to proceed from Ares, 
Hermes and Poseidon : Meleager, Diomedes and Cycnus were sons 
of Ares, Autolycus and Cephalus of Hermes, while Theseus was a 
son of Aegeus, and Nestor of Neleus, but both Aegeus and Neleus 

1 Some Slavic expressions for hero are worthy of notice : Etiss. vttiaz, 
Serv. vitez; Russ. boghatyr, Pol. bohater, Boh. bohatyr, not conn, either with 
bogh deus, or boghat dives, but the same as the Pers. behddir, Turk, bahadyr, 
Mongol, baghdtor, Hung, bdtor, Manju bdtura, and derivable from Vadm lively, 
merry ; Schott in Erman s zeitschr. 4, 531 [Mongol, baghd is force, ia, and 
-tor, -tur an adj. suffix]. 

344 HEROES. 

were Poseidon s children by Aethra and Tyro. Achilles was the 
son of Peleus and Thetis, Aeneas of Anchises and Venus. 1 These 
examples serve as a standard for the conditions of our own heroic 
legend (see Suppl.). 

Tacitus, following ancient lays, places at the head of our race as 
its prime progenitor Tuisco, who is not a hero, but himself a god, as 
the author expressly names him deum terra eclitum . Now, as 
Gaia of herself gave birth to Uranos and Pontos, that is to say, sky 
and sea sprang from the lap of earth, so Tuisco seems derivable 
from the word tiv, in which we found (pp. 193-4) the primary 
meaning to be sky; and Tuisco, i.e., Tvisco, could easily spring 
out of the fuller form Tivisco [as Tuesday from Tiwesdseg]. Tvisco 
may either mean coelestis, or the actual offspring of another divine 
being Tiv, whom we afterwards find appearing among the gods : 
Tiv and Tivisco to a certain degree are and signify one thing. 
Tvisco then is in sense and station Uranos, but in name Zeus, 
whom the Greek myth makes proceed from Uranos not directly, 
but through Kronos, pretty much as our Tiv or Zio is made a son 
of Wuotan, while another son Donar takes upon him the best part 
of the office that the Greeks assigned to Zeus. Donar too was son 
of Earth as well as of Wuotan, even as Gaia brought forth the great 
mountain-ranges (ovpea pa/cpa, Hes. theog. 129 = Goth, fairgunja 
mikila), and Donar himself was called mountain and fairguneis (pp. 
169. 172), so that ovpavo? sky stands connected with ovpos 0/305 
mountain, the idea of deus with that of ans (pp. 25. 188). Gaia, 
Tellus, Terra come round again in our goddesses Fiorgyn, lorS and 
Eindr (p. 251) ; so the names of gods and goddesses here cross one 
another, but in a similar direction. 

This earth-born Tvisco s son was Mannus, and no name could 
sound more Teutonic, though Norse mythology has as little to say 
of him as of Tvisco (ON. Tyski ?). No doubt a deeper meaning 
once resided in the word ; by the addition of the suffix -isk, as in 
Tiv Tivisco, there arose out of maim a mannisko = homo, the 

] In the Koman legend, Romulus and Remus were connected through 
Silvia with Mars, and through Amulius with Venus ; and Romulus was taken 
up to heaven. The later apotheosis of the emperors differs from the genuine 
heroic, almost as canonization does from primitive sainthood ; yet even 
Augustus, being deified, passed in legend for a son of Apollo, whom the god in 
the shape of a dragon had by Atia ; Sueton. Octav. 94. 

INGUIO. 345 

thinking self-conscious being (see p. 59) ; both forms, the simple 
and the derived, have .(like tiv and tivisko) the same import, and 
may be set by the side of the Sanskr. Manus and manushya. 
Mannus however is the first hero, son of the god, and father of all 
men. Traditions of this forefather of the whole Teutonic race 
seem to have filtered down even to the latter end of the Mid. Ages : 
in a poem of meister Frauenlob (Ettm. p. 112), the same in which 
the mythical king Wippo is spoken of (see p. 300), we read : 

Mennor der erste was genant, Mennor the first man was named 
dem diutische rede got tet to whom Dutch language God 

bekant made known. 

This is not taken from Tacitus direct, as the proper name, though 
similar, is not the same (see Suppl.). 

As all Teutons come of Tvisco and Mannus, so from the three 
(or by some accounts five) sons of Mannus are descended the three, 
five or seven main branches of the race. From the names of 
nations furnished by the Eomaris may be inferred those of their 
patriarchal progenitors. 

1. INGUIO. Iscio. IRMINO. 

The threefold division of all the German! into Ingaevones, 
Iscaevones and Herminones 1 is based on the names of three heroes, 
Ingo, Isco, Hermino, each of whom admits of being fixed on yet 
surer authority. 

Ing, or Ingo, Inguio has k:ept his place longest in the memory 
of the Saxon .and Scandinavian tribes. Eunic alphabets in OHG. 
spell Inc, in AS. Ing, and an echo of his legend seems still to ring 
in the Lay of Runes : 

Ing wses serest mid Eastdenum 

gesewen secgum, o5 he siS5an east 

ofer wseg gewat. wsen aefter ran. 

]>us Heardingas Jpone hasle nemdon. 

Ing first dwelt with the East Danes (conf. Beow. 779. 1225. 1650), 
then he went eastward over the sea, 2 his wain ran after. The wain 

1 Proximi oceano Ingaevones, medii Berminones, ceteri Istaevones vocan- 
tur, Tac. Germ. 2. 

2 Csedm. 88, 8 says of the raven let out of Noah s ark : gewat ofer wonne 
wseg sigan. 

340 HEROES. 

is a distinctive mark of ancient gods, but also of heroes and kings ; 
its being specially put forward here in connexion with a sea- 
voyage, appears to indicate some feature of the legend that is 
unknown to us (see Suppl,). Ing s residence in the east is 
strikingly in harmony with a pedigree of the Ynglings given in the 
Islendingabok (Isl. sog. 1, 19). Here at the head of all stands 
Yngvi Tyrkja konungr/ immediately succeeded by divine beings, 
NiorSr, Freyr, Fiolnir (a byname of OSinn), Svegdir, &c. In the 
same way OSinn was called Tyrkja konungr (Sn. 068) from his 
residing at Byzantium (p. 163 note). 1 The Ynglinga saga on the 
other hand begins the line with NiorSr, after whom come Freyr, 
Fiolnir and the rest ; but of Freyr, whom the wain would have 
suited exactly, it is stated that he had another name Yngvi or 
Yngvifreyr (p. 211-2), and the whole race of Ynglingar were named 
after him. 2 Ingingar or Ingvingar would be more exact, as is 
shown by the OHG. and AS. spelling, and confirmed by a host of 
very ancient names compounded with Ing or Ingo : Inguiomerus 
(Ingimarus, Ingumar, or with asp. Hincmarus), Inguram, Ingimund,. 
Ingiburc, Inginolt, &c. Even Saxo Gram, writes Ingo, Ingimarus. 
As for Ynglingar, standing for Inglingar, it may be- formed from 
the prolongation Ingil in Ingelwin, Ingelram, Ingelberga and the 
Norse Ingellus, unless it is a mere confusion of the word with 
ynglingr juvenis, OHG. jungilinc, AS. geongling, from the root 
ung, June, geong, which has no business here at all (?).< The main 
point is, that the first genealogy puts Ingvi before Nior<5r, so that 
he would be Frey s grandfather, while the other version makes him 
be born again as it were in Freyr, and even fuses his name with 
Frey s, of which there lurks a trace likewise in the AS. frea 
Ingwina (p. 211). This Ingwina appears to be the gen. pi. of 
Ingwine, OHG. Inguwini, and dominus Ingwiriorum need not 
necessarily refer to the god, any hero might be so called. But with 
perfect right may an Ingvi, Inguio be the patriarch of a race that 

1 Snorri sends him to Turkland, Saxo only as far as Byzantium. TRANS. 

2 As the ON. genealogies have Yngvi, NiorSr, Freyr, the Old Swedish 
tables in Geijer (hafder 118. 121. 475) give Inge, Neorch, Fro-, some have 
Neoroch for Neorch, both being corruptions of Neorth. Now, was it by 
running Ingvi and Freyr into one, that the combination Ingvifreyr (transposed 
into AS. frea Ingwina) arose, or was he cut in two to make an additional 
link 1 The Skaldskaparmal in Sn. 211 a calls Yngvifreyr OSin s son, and from 
the enumeration of the twelve or thirteen Ases in Sn. 21 l b it cannot be doubted 
that Yngvifreyr was regarded as equivalent to the simple Freyr. 


bears the name of Ingvingar Ynglingar. And then, what the 
Norse genealogy is unable to carry farther up than to Ingvi, Tacitus 
kindly completes for us, by informing us that Inguio is the son of 
Mannus, and he of Tvisco; and his Ingaevones are one of two 
things, either the OHG. pi. Inguion (from sing. Inguio), or Ingwini 
after the AS. Ingwine.- 

Thus pieced out, the line of gods and heroes would run: 
Tvisco, Mannus, Ingvia, Nerthus, Fravio (or whatever shape the 
Gothic Frauja would have taken in the mouth of a Eoman). The 
earth-born Tvisco s mother repeats herself after three intermediate 
links in Nerthus the god or hero, as a Norse Ingui stands now 
before NiorSr, now after; and those Vanir, who have been moved 
away to the east, and to whom Nib rftr and his son Freyr were held 
mainly to belong (pp. 218-9), would have a claim to count as one 
and the same race with the Ingaevones, although this associa 
tion with Mannus and Tvisco appears to vindicate their Teutonic 

But these bonds draw themselves yet tighter. The AS. lay 
informed us, that Ing bore that name among the Heardings, had 
received it from them. This Heardingas must either mean heroes 
and men generally, as we saw on p. 342, or a particular people. 
Hartung is still remembered in our Heldenbuch as king of the 
Eeussen (Eus, Russians), the same probably as Hartnit or 
Hertnit von Eeussen ; in the Alphart he is one of the Wolfing 
heroes. 1 Hartunc and his father Immune (Eudlieb 17, 8) remain 
dark to us. The Heardingas appear to be a nation situated east of 
the Danes and Swedes, among whom Ing is said to have lived for 
a time ; and this his sojourn is helped out both by the Turkish 
king Yngui and the Eussian Hartung. It has been shown that to 
Hartunc, Hearding, would correspond the ON. form Haddingr. 
Now, whereas the Danish line of heroes beginning with OSinn 
arrives at Fr65i in no more than three generations, OSinn being 
followed by Skioldr, Frioleifr, FroSi ; the series given in Saxo 
Gram, stands thus : Humbl, Dan, Lother, Skiold, Gram, Hading, 
Frotho. But Hading stands for E adding, as is clear from the 
spelling of duo Haddingi in Saxo p. 93, who are the Haddingjar 
often mentioned in the Edda ; it is said of him, p. 12 : orientalium 

1 Hernit = Harding in the Swedish tale of Dietrich (Iduna 10, 253-4. 

348 HEROES, 

robore debellato, Suetiam reversus, which orientals again are 
Rutheni ; but what is most remarkable is, that Saxo p. 17-8 puts 
in the mouth of this Danish king and his wife Regnilda a song 
which in the Edda is sung by Niorffr and Ska&i (Sn. 27-8). 1 We 
may accordingly take Hadding to be identical with Nib rSr, i.e., a 
second birth of that god, which is further confirmed by Frioleifr 
( Frealfif, whom we have already identified with the simple Fred, 
p. 219) appearing in the same line, exactly as Freyr is a son of 
Nib rftr, and Saxo says expressly, p. 16, that Hadding offered a 
Froblot, a sacrifice in honour of Freyr. Whether in Frdffi (OHG. 
Fruoto, MHG. Fruote), the hero of the Danish story, who makes 
himself into three, and whose rule is praised as peaceful and bliss 
ful, we are to look for Freyr over again, is another question. 

In the god-hero of Tacitus then there lingers, still recognisable, 
a Norse god ; and the links I have produced must, if I mistake 
not, set the final seal on the reading Nerthus . If we will not 
admit the goddess into the ranks of a race which already has a 
Terra mater standing at its very head, it is at all events no great 
stretch to suppose that certain nations transferred her name to the 
god or hero who formed one of the succeeding links in the race. 

There are more of these Norse myths which probably have to 
do with this subject, lights that skim the deep darkness of our 
olden time, but cannot light it up, and often die away in a dubious 
flicker. The Formali of the Edda, p. 15, calls OSinn father of 
Yngvi, and puts him at the head of the Ynglingar : once again we 
see ourselves entitled to identify Oolnn with Mannus or Tvisco. 
Nay, with all this interlacing and interchange of members, we 
could almost bear to see 0<5inn made the same as Nib rftr, which is 
clone in one manuscript. But the narrative fra Fornioti ok hans 
ffittmb nnum in Fornald. sog. 2, 12 carries us farther: at the top 
stands Bum, like the king of Tyrkland, followed by Burr, Offinn, 
Freyr, Nidrftr, Freyr, Fiolnir; here then is a double Freyr, the 
first one taking Yngvi s place, i.e., the Yngvifreyr we had before ; 
but also a manifold O&inn, Fiolnir being one of his names (Saem. 
10 a 46 b 184 a . Sn. 3). Burri and Burr, names closely related to 


1 So Wh. Miiller (Haupt s zeitschr. 3, 48-9) has justly pointed out, that 
Si s choice of the muffled bridegroom, whose feet alone were visible (Sn. 
82), agrees with Saxo s eligendi mariti libertas curiosiore corporum attrecta- 
tione, but here to find a ring that the flesh has healed over. SkaSi and 
Eagnhild necessarily fall into one. 


each other like Folkvaldi and Folkvaldr, and given in another list 
as Burri and Bors, seem clearly to be the Buri and Borr cited by 
Sn. 7. 8 as forefathers of the three brothers Oolnn, Yili, Ye (see p. 
162). Now, Buri is that first man or human being, who was 
licked out of the rocks by the cow, hence the eristporo (erst-born), 
an OHG. Poro, Goth. Batira ; Borr might be OHG. Pant, Goth. 
Barus or whatever form we choose to adopt, anyhow it comes from 
bairan, a root evidently well chosen in a genealogical tale, to denote 
the first-born, first-created men. 1 Yet we may think of Byr too, 
the wish- wind (see Oskabyrr, p. 144). Must not Buri, Borr, Odinn 
be parallel, though under other names, to Tvisco, Mannus, Inguio 1 
Inguio has two brothers at his side, Iscio and Hermino, as OSinn 
has Yili and Ye ; we should then see the reason why the names 
T^ski and Maftr 2 are absent from the Edda, because Buri and Bon- 
are their substitutes ; and several other things would become 
intelligible. Tvisco is terra editus, and Buri is produced out of 
stone ; when we see OSinn heading the Ynglingar as well as 
Inguio the Ingaevones, we may find in that a confirmation of the 
hypothesis that Saxons and Cheruscans, preeminently worshippers 
of Wodan, formed the flower of the Ingaevones. These gods and 
demigods may appear to be all running into one another, but always 
there emerges from among them the real supreme divinity, 

I go on expounding Tacitus. Everything confirms me in the 
conjecture that Inguio s or Ingo s brother must have been named 
Iscio, I sco, and not Istio, Isto. There is not so much weight to be 
laid on the fact that sundry MSS. even of Tacitus actually read 
Iscaevones : we ought to examine more narrowly, whether the st 
in Pliny s Istaevones be everywhere a matter of certainty ; and 
even that -need not compel us to give up our sc ; Iscaevo was 
perhaps liable to be corrupted by the Komans themselves into Istaevo, 
as Yistula crept in by the side of the truer Yiscula (Weichsel). But 
what seem irrefragable proofs are the Escio and Hisicion 3 of 

1 So in the Pagsmal 105% Burr is called the first, Barn the second, and JocT 
(conf. AS. eaden) the third child of FaSir and MoSir. 

2 ON. for man : sing. maSr, mannis, manni, mann ; pi. menn, manna, 
monnum, menn. 

3 In Nennius 17, Stevenson and Sanmarte (pp. 39. 40) have adopted the 
very worst reading Hisitio. 

350 HEROES. 

Nennius, in a tradition of the Mid. Ages not adopted from Tacitus, 
and the Isiocon 1 in a Gaelic poem of the llth century (see Suppl.). 
If this will not serve, let internal evidence speak : in Tuisco and 
Mannisco we have been giving the suffix -isc its due, and Tuisto, a 
spelling which likewise occurs, is proof against all attempt at 
explanation. Now Isco, as the third name in the same genealogy, 
would agree with these two. For Tvisco and Mannus the Norse 
legend substitutes two other names, but Inguio it has preserved in 
Ingvi ; ought not his brother Iscio to be discoverable too ? I fancy 
I am on his track in the Eddie Askr, a name that is given to the 
first-created man again (Sa3m. 3. Sn. 10), and means an ash- tree. 
It seems strange enough, that we also come across this ask (let 
interpretation understand it of the tree or not) among the Eunic 
names, side by side with inc, ziu, er, all heroes and gods ; and 
among the OK names for the earth is Eskja, Sn. 220 b . And even 
the vowel-change in the two forms of name, Iscio and Askr, holds 
equally good of the suffix -isk, -ask. 

Here let me give vent to a daring fancy. In our language the 
relation of lineal descent is mainly expressed by two suffixes, 
ING and ISK. Manning means a son the offspring of man, and 
mannisko almost the same. I do not say that the two divine 
ancestors were borrowed from the grammatical form, still less that 
the grammatical form originated in the heroes names. I leave the 
vital connexion of the two things unexplained, I simply indicate it. 
But if the Ingaevones living proximi oceano were Saxon races, 
which to this day are addicted to deriving with -ing, it may be 
remarked that Asciburg, a sacred seat of the Iscaevones who dwelt 
proximi Eheno, stood on the Ehine. 2 Of Askr, and the relation 
of the name to the tree, I shall treat in ch. XIX ; of the Iscae 
vones it remains to be added, that the Anglo-Saxons also knew a 
hero Oesc, and consequently Oescingas. 

Zeuss, p. 73, gives the preference to the reading Istaevones, 
connecting them with the Astingi, Azdingi, whom I (p. 342) took for 
Hazdingi, and identified with the OK Haddingjar, AS. Heardingas, 
OHG. Hertinga. The hypothesis of Istaevones = Izdaevones would 
require that the Goth, zd = AS. rd, OHG. rt, should in the time of 

1 Pointed out by Leo in the zeitschr. f. d. alt. 2, 534. 

2 Conf. Askitun (Ascha near Amberg), Askiprunno (Eschborn near Frank 
fort), Askipah (Eschbach, Eschenbach) in various parts ; Ascarih, a man s 
name (see feuppl.). 


Tacitus have prevailed even among the Ehine Germans ; I have never 
yet heard of an OHG. Artinga, Ertinga, nor of an ON. Addingar, 
Eddingar. According to this conjecture, ingenious anyhow and 
worth examining further, the ancestral hero would be called Istio 
Izdio, Izdvio, OHGL Erto, ON. Eddi, with which the celebrated 
term edda proavia would agree, its Gothic form being izdd, OHG. 
ertil Izdo, Izdio proavus would seem in itself an apt name for the 
founder of a race. The fluctuation between i and a would be common 
to both interpretations, Iscaevones = Askinga .and Istaevones= 
Artinga . 

The third son of Mannus will occupy us even longer than his 
brothers. Ermino s posterity completes the cycle of the three main 
races of Germany : Ingaevones, Iscaevones, Herminones. The order 
in which they stand seems immaterial, in Tacitus it merely follows 
their geographical position ; the initial vowel common to them 
leads us to suppose an alliterative juxtaposition of the ancestral 
heroes in German songs. The aspirate given by the Eomans to 
Herminones, as to Hermunduri, is strictly no part of the German 
word, but is also very commonly retained by Latin writers of the 
Mid. Ages in proper names compounded with Irmin. In the name 
of the historical Arminius Tacitus leaves it out. 

As with Inguio and Iscio, we must assign to the hero s name 
the otherwise demonstrable weak form Irmino} Ermino, Goth. 
Airmana : it is supported by the derivative Herminones, and even 
by the corruptions Hisicion, Armenon, Negno in Nennius (see 
Suppl.). Possibly the strong-formed Irman, Irmin, Armin may 
even be a separate root. But what occurs far more frequently than 
the simple word, is a host of compounds with irman-, irmin-, not 
only proper names, but other expressions concrete and abstract : 
Goth. Ermanaricus (Airmanareiks), OHG. Irmanrih, AS. Eormenric, 
ON. lormunrekr, where the u agrees with that in the national 
name Hermundurus ; OHG. Irmandegan, Irmandeo, Irmanperaht, 
Irmanfrit, Irminolt, Irmandrut, Irmaiigart, Irmansuint, &c. Atten 
tion is claimed by the names of certain animals and plants : the 
ON. lormungandr is a snake, and lormunrekr a bull, the AS. 
Eormenwyrt and Eormenleaf is said to be a mallow, which I also 

1 Pertz 1, 200. 300. 2, 290. 463. 481 ; the abbas Irmino of Claries the 
Great s time is known well enough now ; and a female name larmin is met 
with in deeds. 

352 HEROES. 

find written geormenwyrt, geormenleaf. Authorities for irmangot, 
irmandiot, OS. irminthiod, irminman, irmansul, &c., &c., have been 
given above, p. 118. A villa Irmenld, i.e., a wood (in ilia silva 
scaras sexaginta) is named in a deed of 855, Bondam s charterbook, 
p. 32. silva Irminlo, Lacombl. 1, 31. 

In these compounds, especially those last named, irman seems 
to have but a general intensifying power, without any distinct 
reference to a god or hero (conf. Woeste, mittheiL p. 44) ; it is 
like some other words, especially got and diot, regin and megin, 
which we find used in exactly the same way. If it did contain 
such reference, Eormenleaf would be Eormenes leaf, like Forneotes 
folme, Wuotanes wee. Irman deo then is much the same as 
Gotadeo, Irmanrih as Diotrih ; and as irmangot means the great 
god, irmandiot the great people, iormungrund the great wide earth, 
so irmansul cannot mean more than the great pillar, the very sense 
caught by Rudolf in his translation universalis columna (p. 117), 

This is all very true, but there is nothing to prevent Irmino or 
Irmin having had a personal reference in previous centuries : have 
we not seen, side by side with Zeus and Tyr, the common noun 
deus and the prefix ty-, tir- (p. 195-6) ? conf. p. 339. If Sseteresda3g 
has got rubbed down to Saturday, Saterdach (p. 125), so may Eritac 
point to a former Erestac (p. 202), Eormenleaf to Eormenes leaf, 
Irmansul to Irmanessftl ; we also met with Donnerbiihel for 
Donnersbiihel (p. 170), Woenlet for Woenslet, and we say 
Frankfurt for Frankenfurt [Oxford for Oxenaford, &c.]. The more 
the sense of the name faded out, the more readily did the genitive 
form drop away ; the OHG. godes lifts is more literal, the Goth. 
gu]?lifts more abstract, yet both are used, as the OS. regano giscapu 
and regangiscapu, metodo giscapu and metodgiscapu held their 
ground simultaneously. As for geormen =: eormen, it suggests 
Germanus (Gramm. 1, 11). 

It is true, Tacitus keeps the Hermino that lies latent in his 
Herminones apart from Arminius with whom the Romans waged 
war ; yet his famous canitur adhuc barbaras apud gentes/ applied 
to the destroyer of Varus, might easily arise through simply 
misinterpreting such accounts as reached the Roman ear of 
German songs about the mythical hero. Granted that irmansul 
expressed word for word no more than huge pillar/ yet to the people 
that worshipped it it must have been a divine image, standing for 


a particular god. To discover who this was, we can only choose 
one of two ways : either he was one of the three great divinities, 
Wodan, Thonar, Tin, or some being distinct from them. 

But here we must, above all things, ponder the passage partly 
quoted on p. Ill from Widukind, himself a Saxon; it says, a 
heathen god was worshipped, whose name suggested Mars, his 
pillar-statue Hercules, and the place where he was set up the sun 
or Apollo. After that, he continues : Ex hoc apparet, aestima- 
tionem illorum utcumque probabilem, qui Saxones originem duxisse 
putant de Graecis, quia Hirmin vel Hermes graece Mars dicitur, 
quo vocabulo ad laudem vel ad vituperationem usque hodie etiam 
ignorantes utimur . From this it follows, that the god to whom 
the Saxons sacrificed after their victory over the Thuringians was 
called Hirmin, Irmin, and in the 10th century the name was still 
affixed in praise or blame to very eminent or very desperate 
characters. 1 Apollo is brought- in by the monk, because the altar 
was built ad orientalem portam, and Hercules, because his pillar 
called up that of the native god; no other idol can have been 
meant, than precisely the irmin&til (pp. 115 118), and the true form 
of this name must have been Irmines, Irmanes or Hirmines sul. 
The Saxons had set up a pillar to their Irmin on the banks of the 
Unstrut, as they did in their own home. 

The way Hirmin, Hermes and Mars are put together seems a 
perfect muddle, though Widukind sees in it a confirmation of the 
story about the Saxons being sprung from Alexander s army 
(Widuk. 1, 2. Sachsensp. 3, 45). We ought to remember, first, 
that Wodan was occasionally translated Mars instead of Mercurius 
(pp. 121. 133), and had all the appearance of the Eoman Mars 
given him (p. 133); then further, how easily Irmin or Hirmin in 
this case would lead to Hermes, and Ares to Mars, for the Irminsul 
itself is connected with Eres-burg (p. 11G). What the Corvei 
annalist kept distinct (p. Ill), the two images of Ares and of 
Hermes, are confounded by Widukind. But now, which has the 
better claim to be Irmin, Mars or Mercury 1 } On p. 197 I have 
pronounced rather in favour of Mars, as Miillenhoff too (Haupt 7, 
384) identifies Irmin with Ziu ; one might even be inclined to see 

1 Much as we say now : he is a regular devil, or in Lower Saxony hamer 
(p. 182). The prefix irmin- likewise intensifies in a good or bad sense ; like 
* irmingod, irminthiod, there may have been an irminthiob = meginthiob, 
reginthiob . 


354 HEROES. 

in it the name of the war-god brought out on p. 202, Eru, Hern/ 
and to dissect Irman, Erman into Ir-man, Er-man, though, to judge 
by the forms Irmin, Eormen, Ermun, lormun, this is far from 
probable, the word being derivative indeed, yet simple, not com 
pound ; we never find, in place of Ertag, dies Martis, any such 
form as Ermintac, Irminestac. On behalf of Mercury there would 
speak the accidental, 1 yet striking similarity of the name Irmansul 
or Hirmensul to Epprjs and ep^a = prop, stake, pole, pillar (p. 
118), and that it was precisely Hermes s image or head that used 
to be set up on such ep/juara, and further, that the Mid. Ages 
referred the irmen-pillars to Mercury (p. 116). In Hirmin the 
Saxons appear to have worshipped a Wodan imaged as a warrior. 

If this view be well grounded, we have Wodan wedging himself 
into the ancient line of heroes ; but the question is, whether Irmin 
is not to be regarded as a second birth or son of the god, whethejj 
even an ancestral hero Irmino is not to be distinguished from this 
god Irmin, as Hermino in Tacitus is from Arminius ? So from thiod, 
regin, were formed the names Thiodo, Ilegino. It would be harder 
to show any such relation between Ing and Ingo, Isc and Isco; but I 
think I can suggest another principle which will decide this point : 
when races name themselves after a famous ancestor, this may be a 
deified man, a demigod, but never a purely divine being. There are 
Ingaevones, Iscaevones, Herminones, Oescingas, Scilfingas, Ynglin- 
gar (for Ingingar), Vb lsungar, Skioldungar, Mfitmgar, 2 as there were 
Heracleidae and Pelopidae, but no Wodeningas or Thunoringas, 
though a Wodening and a Kronides. The Anglo-Saxons, with 
Woden always appearing at their head, would surely have borne 
the name of Wodeningas, had it been customary to take name 
from the god himself. Nations do descend from the god, but 
through the medium of a demigod, and after him they name tli em- 
selves. A national name taken from the highest god would have 
been impious arrogance, and alien to human feeling. 

As Lower Saxony, especially Westphalia, was a chief seat of 
the Irmin-worship, we may put by the side of Widukind s account 
of Hirmin a few other traces of his name, which is not even yet 

1 To the Greek aspirate corresponds a Teutonic S, not H : 6, 17 sa, so ; 
sibun ; SXs salt. [There are exceptions : 6, 17, ot he, her, hig ; oXoy whole, 

hela ; cXoi haul, holen]. 

2 A patronymic suffix is not necessary : the Gautos, Gevissi, Suapa take 
name from Gauts, Gevis, Suap, divine heroes. 

IEMIN. 355 

entirely extinct in that part of Germany. Strodtmann has noted 
down the following phrases in Osnabriick : he ment, use herre 
gott heet Herm (he thinks our Lord is called H., i.e. is never angry) ; 
use herre gott heet nicli Herm, he heet leve herre, un weet wal to- 
te-gripen (knows how to fall on) . Here there seems unconcealed 
a slight longing for the mild rule of the old heathen god, in 
contrast to the strictly judging and punishing Christian God. In 
Saxon Hesse (on the Diemel), in the districts of Paderborn, Ravens- 
berg and Minister, in the bishopric of Minden and the duchy of 
Westphalia, 1 the people have kept alive the rhyme : 

Hermen, sla dermen, 

sla pipen, sla trummen, 

de kaiser wil kummen 

met hamer un stangen, 2 

wil Hermen uphangen. 
Hermen is challenged, as it were, to strike up his war-music, to 
sound the catgut, pipe and drum ; but the foe draws nigh with 
maces and staves, and will hang up Hermen (see Suppl). It is not 
impossible that in these rude words, which have travelled down the 
long tradition of centuries, are preserved the fragments of a lay 
that was first heard when Charles destroyed the Irmensul. They 
cannot so well be interpreted of the elder Arminius and the Romans. 3 
The striking and the staves suggest the ceremony of carrying out 
the Summer. 

In a part of Hesse that lies on the Werra, is a village named 
Ermschwerd, which in early documents is called Ermeswerder, 
Armeswerd, 4 Ermeneswerde (Dronke s trad. fuld. p. 123), JErmenes- 
werethe (Vita Meinwerci an. 1022. Leibn. 1, 551), = Irmineswerid, 
insula Irmini, as other gods have their isles or eas. This interpre 
tation seems placed beyond a doubt by other such names of places. 
Leibn. scr. 1, 9 and Eccard, Er. or. 1, 883, De orig. Germ. 397 

1 Rommel s Hessen 1. p. 66 note. Westphalia (Minden 1830) i. 4, 52. 
The time is given in Schumann s Musical, zeitung for 1836. 

2 Variants : mit stangen und prangen (which also means staves) ; mit 
hamer un tangen (tongs). 

3 This explanation has of course been tried : some have put Hermann for 
Hermen, others add a narrative verse, which I do not suppose is found in the 
people s mouth : mi Hermen slang dermen, slaug pipen, slaug trummen, de 
fiirsten sind kummen met all eren mannen, hebt Varus uphangen . 

4 The same vowel-change is seen in Ermensulen (deed of 1298 in Baring s 
Clavis dipl. p. 493 no. 15), a Westphalian village, now called Armenscul. 

356 HEROES. 

give Irmineswagen for the constellation arctus, plaustrum coeleste, 
I do not know on what authority : this wain would stand beside 
Wuotanswagen, Donnerswagen, and even Ingswagen. 

Some of the later AS. and several 0. Engl. authorities, in 
specifying four great highways that traverse England, name 
amongst them Ermingestrcte, running from south to north of the 
island. 2 But we may safely assume the pure AS. form to have 
been Eormenstrcet or Eormenes-straet, as another of the four ways, 
Wcetlingastrcet, occurs in the Saxon Chron. (Ingr. 190. Thorpe s 
anal. p. 38), and in the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrun (Thorpe, p. 
66), and andlang Wactlinga straet in Kemble 2, 250 (an. 944). 
Lye has Irmingstrcet together with Irmingsul, both without refer 
ences. The conjectural Eormenstrset would lead to an OHG. 
Irmanstraza, and Eormenesstrset to Irmanesstraza, with the mean 
ings via publica and via Irmani. 

Now it is not unimportant to the course of our inquiry, that 
one of the four highways, Wsetlingastrset, is at the same time 
translated to the sky, and gets to look quite mythical. A plain 
enough road, extending from Dover to Cardigan, is the milky way 
in the heavens, i.e., it is travelled by the car of some heathen god. 

Chaucer (House of Fame 2, 427), describing that part of the 
sky, says : 

Lo there, quod he, cast up thine eye, 

se yondir, lo, the galaxie, 

the whiche men clepe the milky way 

for it is white, and some parfay 

ycallin it han W ailing estrete, 

that onis was brente with the hete, 

whan that the sunnis sonne the rede, 

which hite Phaeton, wolde lede 

algate his fathirs carte and gie. 

In the Complaint of Scotland, p. ( JO, it is said of the comet : it 
aperis oft in the quhyt circle callit circulus lacteus, the quhilk the 
marynalis callis Vatlanstreit . In Douglas s Virgil, p. 85 : 

2 IIII cheminii Watlingestrete, Fosse, Hickenildestrete, Ermingcstrete 
(Thorpe s Anc. laws, p. 192) ; conf. Henry of Hunt. (Erningestreet), Hob. of 
Glouc., Oxf. 1742, p. 299 (also Erning.* after the preceding). Ranulph 
Highden s Polychr., ed. Oxon. p. 196. Leland s Itinerary, Oxf. 1744. 6, 108 
140. Gibson in App. chron. Fax. p. 47. Camden s Britannia, ed. Gibson, 
map to Lappenberg s Hist, of Engl., the direction 

of the four roads is indicated. 

IRMIN. 357 

Of every sterne the twynkling notis he 
that in the still hevin move cours we se, 
Arthurys house, and Hyades betaikning rane, 
Watlingestrete, the Home and the Charlewane, 
the feirs Orion with his goldin glave. 

Wsetlinga is plainly a gen. pi. ; who the Wsetlings were, and how 
they came to give their name to an earthly and a heavenly street, 
we do not know. Chaucer perhaps could still have told us, but he 
prefers to harp at the Greek mythus. Phaethon, also the son of a 
god, when he presumed to guide his father s sun-chariot, burnt a 
broad streak in the sky, and that is the track we call the milky 
way. The more common view was, that Here, indignant at the 
bantling Hermes or Herakles being put to her breast, spilt her 
milk along the sky, and hence the bright phenomenon. No doubt, 
among other nations also, fancy and fable have let the names of 
earthly and heavenly roads run into one another. 1 

A remarkable instance of this is found in one of our national 
traditions ; and that will bring us round to Irmin again, whom we 
almost seem to have lost sight of. 

1 I limit myself to briefly quoting some other names for the milky way. 
In Arabic it is tarik al thibn (via straminis) ; Syriac schevil tevno (via paleae) ; 
Mod. Hebrew netibat theben (semita paleae) ; Pers. rah kah keslian (via stramen 
trahentis) ; Copt, pimoit ende pitoh (via straminis) ; Ethiop. hasare zamanegade 
(stipula viae) ; Arab, again derb ettubenin (path of the chopped-straw carriers) ; 
Turk, saman ughrisi (paleam rapiens, paleae fur) ; Armen. hartacol or hartacogh 
(paleae fur) ; all these names run upon scattered chaff, which a thief dropt in 
his flight. More simple is the Arabic majerra (tractus), nahr al majcrra 
(flumen tractus), and the Koman conception of path of the gods .or to the gods ; 
also Iroq. path of souls, Turk, hadjiler j uli (pilgrims path), hadji is a pilgrim to 
Mecca and Medina. Very similar is the Christian term used in the Mid. Ages, 
* galaxias via sancti Jacobi already in John of Genoa s Catholicon (13th cent.) ; 
camino di Santiago, chemin de saint Jaques, Jacobsstrasse, Slov. zesta v Rim 
(road to Rome), from the pilgrimages to Galicia or Rome, which led to heaven 
[was there no thought of Jacob s ladder ?] This James s road too, or pilgrim s 
road, was at once on earth and in heaven ; in Lacomblet, docs. 184 and 185 
| (an. 1051) name a Jacobsivech together with the via regia. ON. vetrarbraut 
(winterway). Welsh caer Gwydion (p. 150), and Arianrod (silver street? which 
comes near Argentoratum). Finn, linnunrata (birdway), Lith. paukszcsrid 
kieles, perhaps because souls and spirits flit in the shape of birds ; Hung. Hada- 
kuttya (via belli), because the Hungarians in migrating from Asia followed 
this constellation (see SuppL). Vroneldenstraet (p. 285) and Pharaildis fit 
intelligibly enough with frau Holda and Herodias, whose airy voyages easily 
account for their giving a name to the milky way, the more so, as Wuotaii, 
who joins Holda in the nightly hunt, shows himself here also in the Welsh 
appellation caer Gwydion. Even the fact of Diana being mixed up with that 
j chase, and Juno with the milky way, is in keeping ; and gods or spirits sweep 
I along the heavenly road as well as in the heavenly hunt. 

358 HEROES. 

Widukind of Corvci is the first who gives us out of old songs 
the beautiful and truly epic story of the Saxons victory over the 
Thuringians, 1 which Kuodolf before him (Pertz 2, 674) had barely 
touched. Irmenfried, king of the Thuringians, being oppressed by 
Dieterich, king of the Franks, called the Saxons to his aid : they 
appeared, and fought valiantly. But he began to waver in his 
mind, he secretly negotiated a treaty with the Franks, and the two 
nations were about to unite against the formidable Saxon host. 
But the Saxons, becoming aware of the treachery, were beforehand ; 
led by the aged Hathugat, they burst into the castle of the Thurin 
gians, and slew them all ; the Franks stood still, and applauded the; 
warlike renown of the Saxons. Irmenfried fled, but, enticed by a 
stratagem, returned to Dieterich s camp. In this camp was 
staying Irmenfried s counsellor Iring, whose prudent plans had 
previously rendered him great services. When Irmenfried knelt 
before Dieterich, Iring stood by, and having been won by Dieterich, 
slew his own lord. After this deed of horror, the Frankish king 
banished him from his sight, but Iring said, Before I go, I will 
avenge my master, drew his sword, stabbed Dieterich dead, laid his 
lord s body over that of the Frank, so that the vanquished in life 
might be the victor in death, opened a way for himself with the 
sword (viam ferro faciens), and escaped. Mirari tamen non 
possumus adds Widukind, in tantum famam praevaluisse, ut 
Iringi nomine, quern ita vocitant, lacteus coeli circulus usque in 
praesens sit notatus. Or, with the Auersberg chronicler : * famam 
in tantum praevaluisse, ut lacteus coeli circulus Iringis nomine 
fringesstrdza usque in praesens sit vocatus (sit notatus in Pertz 
8, 178). 

In confirmation, AS. glosses collected by Junius (Symb. 372) 
give via secta : fringes mice, from which Somner and Lye borrow 
their fringes weg, via secta . Conf. via sexta iringesuucc, Haupts 
zeitschr. 5, 195. Unpubl. glosses of the Amplonian libr. at Erfurt 
(10-1 1th cent. bl. 14 a ) have via secta: luuaringes uucy ; which 
In waring agrees very remarkably with the later form Euring in 
Euringsstrass, Aventin 102 b 103 a . 

1 Conf. the differing but likewise old version, from a H. German district, 
in Goldast s Script, rer. Suev. pp. 13, where Swabians take the place ot the 
Saxons. The Auersberg chron. (ed. Argent. 1609, pp. 146-8) copies Widu 
kind. Eckehard, in Pertz 8, 176-8. 


In the Nibelungenlied 1285. 19652009, these heroes appeal- 
again, they are the same, but differently conceived, and more akin 
to the H. German version in Goldast : l Irnvrit of Duringen and 
Irinc of Tenemarke, one a landgraf, the other a markgraf, both 
vassals of Etzel (Attila). The Lied von der klage (threnody) adds, 
that they had fallen under the ban of the empire, and fled to 
Hunland ; here we see a trace of the banishment that Dieterich 
pronounced on Iring. In the poems of the 13th century, however, 
Iring is not a counsellor, still less a traitor and a murderer of 
Irmenfried : the two are sworn friends, and both fall before the 
irresistible Hagene and Volker. 

Add to all this, that the Vilk. saga cap. 360, though silent on 
Irnfried, tells of Irung s last combat with Hogni, and makes him 
sink against a stone wall, which is still called Irungs veygr in 
memory of the hero. The Norse redactor confounded vegr (via) 
with veggr (murus) ; his German source must have had Iringes vec, 
in allusion to the * cutting his way ; in Widukind. 

So now the road is paved to the conclusions we desire to draw : 
German legend knew of an Iringes wee on earth and in heaven, so 
did AS. legend of a double Wsetlinga-strset, and so was the road 
to Rome and St. James set in the firmament as well. These 
fancies about ways and wains, we know, are pagan, and indicate 
god-myths. The Thuringian Irnvrit, originally Irmanfrit, it is 
reasonable to suppose, is the same as Irman, Irmin (conf. Sigfrit, 
Sigmunt, Sigi), and the Hermunduri = Irman-duri are plainly con 
nected with the During s (Thuringians) : so that Irman assumes a 
peculiar significance in Thuringian tradition. If this would but 
tell us of an Irmines wee, all would come right. 

It does tell, however, in three or four places, of an Iringes wee. 
The names Irinc and Irmin, apart from the alliteration which 
doubtless operated in the ancient lay, have nothing in common; the 
first has a long i, 2 and of themselves they cannot have represented 

1 As already quoted, Deutsch. heldens. p. 117. 

2 Or IM, as some roots shift from the fourth to the fifth vowel-series (like 
htrat and hiurat, now both heirat and heurat ; or tir and tyr, p. 196), so lurinc 
(expanded into luwarinc, as the OHG. poss. pron. iur into iuwar) ; so in the 
16- 17th cent. Eiring alternates with Euring. A few MSS. read Hiring for 
Iring, like Hirmin for Irmin, but I have never seen a Heuring for Euring, or 
it might have suggested a Saxon hevenring, as the rainbow is called the ring of 
heaven. An old AS. name for Orion, Ebur&rung, Ebir&ring, seems somehow 
connected, especially with the luwaring above. 



one another. Now, either the legend has made the two friends 
change places, and transferred Irmin s way to Iring, or Iring (not 
uncommon as a man s name too, <r#.,Trad. Euld. 1, 79) is of him 
self a demigod grown dim, who had a way and wain of his own, as 
well as Irmin. Only, Irmin s worship seems to have had the 
deeper foundations, as the image of the Irman&Al sufficiently 
shows. As the name of a place I find fringes pure (burg), MB. 7, 
47. 157. 138. 231. Iringisperc (berg) 29, 58. 

Up to this point I have refrained from mentioning some Norse 
traditions, which have a manifest reference to the earthly hero- 
path. It had been the custom from of old, for a new king, on as 
suming the government, to travel the great highway across the 
country, confirming the people in their privileges (EA. 237-8). 
This is called in the 0. Swed. laws Eriksgatu ridha/ riding Eric s 
road. 1 Sweden numbers a host of kings named Erik (ON. Eirikr), 
but they are all quite historical, and to none of them can be traced 
this custom of the Eriksgata. With the royal name of Erik the 
Swedes must from very early times have associated the idea of a 
god or deified king ; the vita Anskarii written by his pupil Eim- 
bert, has a remarkable passage on it (Pertz 2, 711). When the 
adoption of Christianity was proposed to king Olef about 860, a 
man of heathen sentiments alleged, Se in conventu deorum, qui 
ipsam terram possidere credebantur, et ab eis missum, ut haec regi 
et populis nunciaret : Vos, inquam, 2 nos vobis propitios diu habuis- 
tis, et terram incolatus vestri cum multa abundantia nostro 
adjutorio in pace et prosperitate longo tempore tenuistis, vos quo- 
que nobis sacrificia et vota debita persolvistis, grataque nobis vestra 
fuerunt obsequia. At mine et sacrificia solita subtrahitis, et vota 
spontanea segnius offertis, 3 et, quod magis nobis displicet, alienum 
deum super nos intro ducitis. Si itaque nos vobis propitios habere 
vultis, sacrificia omissa augete et vota majora persolvite, alterius 
quoque dei culturam, qui contraria nobis docet, ne apud vos reci- 
piatis et ejus servitio ne intendatis. Porro, si etiam plures deos 

1 The venerable custom still prevailed in the 15-16th cent. : statute pro- 
vincialium generose confirmavit et sigillavit in equitatu qui dicitur Eriksgata, 
Diarium Vazstenense ad an. 1441 (ed. Benzel, Ups. 1721) p. 86. Rex 
Christoferus Sueciae et Daciae equitatum fecit qui dicitur Eriksgata secundum 
leges pcitriae, ibid, ad an. 1442. Even Gustavus Vasa rode his Eriksgata. 

2 For inquimus, as elsewhere inquit for inquiunt. 

3 Votuin, what ah individual oilers, as opposed to the sacrificium presented 
publicly and jointly ; coiif. supra, p. 57. 


habere desideratis, et nos vobis non sufficimus, Ericum, quondam 
regem vestrum, nos unanirnes in collegium nostrum asciscimus, 1 ut 
sit units de numero deorum. I have transcribed the whole passage, 
because it aptly expresses the attitude of the pagan party, and the 
lukewarmness already prevailing towards their religion : the 
heathen priests thought of adding a fresh hero to their throng of 
gods. 2 This seems to exclude all later Erics from any claim to the 
Eriksgata ; probably there were mixed up even then, at least in 
Kimbert s mind, traditions of a divine Erik. 

It can no longer remain doubtful now, what god or divine hero 
lies hidden in this Erik. I had at one time thought of Er (Mars), 
because the form Erctag is met with a few times for Ertag (p. 124), 
but the short vowel in Er, and the long one in Irinc, Eirikr, are 
enough to warn us off . Instead of Eriksgata we also meet with 
Riksgata, and this points decidedly to Rigr, the earthly name of 
the god Heimdallr, who in the Edda walks the green roads (groenar 
brautir) of earth, to beget the three races of men. In the green 
earthly roads are mirrored the white and shining paths of heaven. 3 
Then the problem started on p. 234, whether the ON. form Rigr 
arose out of Iringr by aphaeresis and syncope, now finds a solution 
approaching to certainty. Heimdallr dwells in Himinbiorg on the 
quaking roost (Bifrost), the rainbow, which is the bridge or path by 
which the gods descend from heaven to earth. The rainbow is the 
celestial ring, as the galaxy is the celestial road, and Heimdallr 
keeper of that road, Heimdallr is Elgr = Iring, walking the earth 
and translated to the skies ; now we comprehend, why there lived 
among the nations many a various tale of Eriksgata, Iringesivec, 
Iring esstrdza, and was shifted now to one and now to the other 
celestial phenomenon. Iring, through luwaring, borders on Ebur- 
drung the old name of Orion (see SuppL). And if our heroic 
legend associates Irmenfrit, i.e., Irmin with Iring, and Irinin-street 
alternates with Iring-street, then in the god-myth also, there must 
have existed points of contact between Irmin = OSinn and Iring = 
Heimdallr: well, Heimdallr was a son of Oolnn, and the Welsh milky 
way was actually named after Gwydion, i.e., Woden. From the 
Irminsul four roads branched out across the country, Eriksgata 

1 So king Hakon is admitted into the society of gods, HermotSr and Bragi 
go to meet him : siti Hakon meS heio in goS (Hakoiiarmal). 
a Dahlmann guesses it may be the Upsal Erik (d. 804). 
3 Altd. blatter 1, 372-3. 


extended in four directions, four such highways are likewise known 
to English tradition, though it gives the name of Ermingestret to 
only one, and bestows other mythic titles on the rest. Of Irmin 
and of Iring, both the divine personality and the lapse into hero- 
nature seem to be made out. 


Now that I have expounded the primeval triad of Germanic 
races, I have to offer some conjectures on the sevenfold division. 
Pliny s quintuple arrangement seems not so true to fact, his Vindili 
are Tacitus s Vandilii, his Peucini not referable to any founder of a 
race. But Tacitus to his first three adds four other leading races, 
the Marsi, Gambrivii, Suevi and Vandilii, in whose names there 
exists neither alliteration nor the weak form as a mark of deriva 

The Marsi between Rhine and Weser, an early race which soon 
disappears, in whose country the Tanfana sanctuary stood, lead up 
to a hero Marso, whom we must not mix up with the Pioman Mars 
gen. Martis, nor with Marsus the son of Circe (who in like manner 
gives name to an Italian people, Gellius 16, 11. Pliny 7, 2. 
Augustine in Ps. 57). The Marsigni = Marsingi, a Suevic people, 
acknowledged the same name and origin. The proper name Marso 
occurs in Mabillon no. 18, in a deed of 692, also in the polypt. 
Irminonis p. 158 a 163 b , but seldom elsewhere. Jl/em burg and 
Marseburg, Pertz 8, 537. 540, seem to belong here, while some 
other names given above, p. 201, are open to doubt; I do not 
know if a MHG. phrase, obscure in itself, is at all relevant : zuo 
alien marsen varn, MS. 1, 25 a , which may signify, to go to all the 
devils, expose oneself to every danger ; conf. einen marsen man/ 
Crane 2865. The Gothic marzjan (irnpedire, offendere) might seem 
allied to the root, but that would have been merrian, merran 
in OHG. 

The name of the Gambrivii I assign to the root gambar, 
kambar strenuus, from which also is derived the name of Gambara, 
ancestress of the Langobards. There may have been likewise a 
hero Gambaro. And the forest of Gambreta (instead of Gabreta). 
is worth considering. Gambara s two sons are called Ibor = OHG. 
Epur, AS. Eofor, ON. lofur, i.e. aper, boar, and Ajo : all the three 
names appear to be corrupt in Saxo Gram. 


Ought we to assume for the Suevi, OHG. Suapa, an eponymous 
hero Suevo, Suapo, and perhaps connect with him an old legend of 
a mountain ? Pliny 4, 13 places in the land of the gens Ingae- 
vonum, quae est prima Germaniae, a certain Sevo mons immensus 
reaching to the Sinus Codanus ; and Solinus, following him, says 
22, 1 : f Mons Sevo ipse ingens . . . initium Germaniae facit, 
Imnc Inguaeones tenent ; but Isidor (Orig. 10, 2) makes out of it : 
dicti autem Suevi putantur a monte Suevo, qui ab ortu initium 
Germaniae facit . From this evidently is taken the account of the 
immigrating Swaben in the Lay of Anno 284 : si sluogen iri 
gecelte (pitched their tents) ane dem berge Sucbo (so several read 
for Suedo), dannin wurdin si geheizin Suabo . l In the Low 
German psalms 57, 17 mons coagulatus is rendered berg sueuot 
which is perhaps to be explained by the legend of the lebirmer 
[liver-sea, Tacitus s mare pigrum ? Germ. 45. Agr. 10]. It seems 
more to the point, that in Saem. 164-8 the Sefa fioll (fells, moun 
tains, of the Sevs) are mentioned in those very Helga-songs, one of 
which sings of Svafaland, king Svafnir and the valkyr Svava. A 
v after s is frequently dropped, and the readings Sevo, Suevo can 
thus be reconciled. Suapo then would be a counterpart to Etzel 
and Fairguns (pp. 169, 172) ? The AS. Sweppa, or rather Swsef- 
daeg, can hardly be brought in here. 

Tacitus s Vandilii and Pliny s Vindili stand in the same relation 
to each other as Arminius and Irmin, Angrivarii and Inguiones ; 
both forms come from winding and wending, out of which so many 
mythic meanings flow. Wuotan is described under several names 
as the wender, wanderer [Germ, wandeln ambulare, mutare]. 

On the slight foundation of these national names, Marsi, 
Gambrivii, Suevi and Vandilii, it is unsafe as yet to build. Tacitus 
connects these with Mannus, but the heroes themselves he does not 
even name, let alone giving any particulars of them. 


Clear and definite on the other hand are the historian s notices 
of another famous hero : Fuisse apud eos et Herculem memorant, 
primumque omnium virorum fortium ituri in proelia canunt, Germ. 

1 Kaiserchr. 285 : sin gecelt hiez er slahen do uf einin here der heizit 
Swero, von dem berge Swero sint sie alle gelieizen Swabo. For Swero read 
Swevo (see Suppl.). 

364 HEROES. 

3. Speaking of sacrifices in cap. 9, after mentioning Mercurius 
first, he immediately adds : Herculem ac Martern concessis animali- 
bus placant, the demigod being purposely put before even Mars. 
Chapter 34 tells us of the ocean on the coast of the Frisians, then 
says : Et superesse adhuc Herculis columnas fama vulgavit, sive 
adiit Hercules, sen quidquid ubique magnificuin est, in claritatem 
ejus referre consensimus. Nee defuit audentia Druso Germanico, 
sed obstitit oceanus in se simul atque in Herculem inquiri. Mox 
nemo tentavit, sanctiusque ac reverentius visum de actis deorum 
credere quam scire. The Annals 2, 12 name a silva Herculi 
sacra/ between the Weser and Elbe in the land of the Chernscans ; 
while the Peutinger Table puts a * castra Herculis near Novio- 
magus (Nimwegen). All this means something, it all points to 
some demigod who is identified, not unadvisedly, with that of the 
Romans. Hercules, whose deeds were accomplished in countries 
widely remote, is thought to have visited Germany also, and the 
Gaditanian pillars at one end of Europe have a counterpart in the 
Frisian ocean on another side of it. In the German battle-song 
the praise of Hercules is sounded first, victims are slain to him as 
to the highest gods, to him a wood is consecrated. Of pillars, 
even Widukind still knows something, by his speaking of Hirmin s 
effigies columnarum (pi.), not columuae. Was the plural irman- 
siili (p. 115) more exact than irmansul, and had the image several 
pillars ? Did the Eoman in his Hermin and Herminones think of 
Herakles and Hercules, whose name bore plainly on its face the 
root r/ Hpa, Hera ? was that why he retained the aspirate in Her- 
minones and Hermunduri, and not in Arminius ? An approxima 
tion of sound in the names of the two heroes, Roman and German, 
may surely be presupposed. The position of Herculis silva and 
columnae does not indeed agree with that of the Herminones, but 
the worship of such a hero was sure to spread far and not to be 
confined to the particular race to which he gave his name. In 
the German Irman, Irmin, it seems correct for the aspirate to 
be wanting, as in Arminius ; in Cherusci it is indispensable, and 
therefore the Romans never wrote Herusci. 

If in this Hercules we wish to see one of the great gods 
themselves, we must apparently exclude Mercury and Mars, from 
whom he is distinguished in cap. 9, i.e., Wuotan and Zio. And for 
supposing him to mean Donar, i.e., Jupiter (as Zeuss does, p. 25), I 


see no other ground than that the Norse Thorr, like Hercules, 
performs innumerable heroic deeds, but these may equally be 
placed to the credit of Irmin, and Innin and the thundergod have 
nothing else in common. Yet, in favour of Hercules being Donar, 
we ought perhaps to weigh the AS. sentences quoted on p. 161, 
note ; also, that Herakles was a son of Zeus, and a foe to giants. 

I had thought at one time that Hercules might stand for 
Sahsnot, Seaxneat, whom the formula of renunciation exalts by the 
side of Thunar and Wodan ; I thought so on the strength of 
Hercules Saxanus, whese surname might be explained by saxum 
= sahs. But the inscriptions in which we meet with this 
Hercules Saxanus extend beyond the bounds of Germany, and 
belong rather to the Roman religion. Our Sahsndt has with more 
justice been assigned to Zio (p. 203), with whom Hercules cannot 
be connected. I now think the claims of Irmin are better founded: 
as Hercules was Jupiter s son, Irmin seems to have been Wodan s ; 
and he must have been the subject of the battle-songs (ituri in 
proelia canunt), even of those which Tacitus understood of Ar- 
minius (canitur adhuc) ; though they would have suited Mars too, 
p. 207 (see Suppl.). 

It is a harder matter to form an opinion about the Ulysses : 
Ceterum et Ulixem quidam opinantur longo illo et fabuloso errore 
in hunc oceanum delatum adisse Germaniae terras, Asciburgium- 
que, quod in ripa Rheni situm hodieque incolitur, ab illo consti- 
tutum nominatumque ; aram quin etiam Ulixi consecratam, adjecto 
Laertae patris nomine, eodem loco olim repertam ; Tac. Germ. 3. 
In Odysseus people have seen OSinn, in Asciburg Asburg ; but if 
Woden stood for the god Mercury, it cannot here mean the hero, 
still less can Askiburg be traced to the ases, a purely Norse form, 
which in these regions would have been anses. When Tacitus 
makes Ulixes the founder of Asciburg, nothing is simpler than to 
suppose him to have been Isco, Escio, Asko (p. 350) ; and if it was 
Isco that set the Romans thinking of Ul-ixes, how it helps to esta 
blish the sc in Iscaevones ! Mannus the father of Isco may have 
suggested Laertes, inasmuch as Xao? people, and Xao? stone, are 
mixed up in the creation of the first man (the origo geutis) out of 
stone or rock (see ch. XIX) ; in the same way Asco grew up out of 
the tree (ash), and fy?D? and Trerpij stand together in the mythus, 

366 HEROES. 

not without meaning. As liut from liotan, Xao? seems to come 
from the same root as Xao?, 

The interpretatio Eomana went more upon analogies of sense 
than of sound ; so, in dealing with Castor and Pollux, I will not 
take them for the brothers Hadu and Phol = Baldr (see Suppl.). 
These Gemini, however, are the very hardest to interpret ; the 
passage about them was given on p. 6G, and an attempt was made 
to show that alx referred to the place where the godlike twins were 
worshipped : I confess it does not satisfy .me. Our antiquity has 
plenty of hero brothers to show, but no twins with a name like 
Alci, if this plural of Alcus is the true form. It occurs to me, that 
one of OSin s names is Idlkr (Ssem. 46 b 47 b ), and jolk in the 
Vermland dialect means a boy. 2 This comes more home to us than 
the Samogitic Algir (angelus est summorum deorum, Lasicz, p. 47), 
towards which the dictionaries offer nothing but alga, reward. 
Utterly untrustworthy is any comparison with the Slav deities 
Lei and Polel, themselves as yet unsupported by authority (see 
Suppl.). 3 


From the above specimens in Tacitus we may conclude that all 
the Teutonic races had a pretty fully developed Heroology ; and if 
our ancient stores of native literature had been still accessible to us, 
we might have gained a much closer insight into its nature and its 
connexion as a whole. As it is, we are thrown upon dry genealogies, 
dating from many centuries after, and touching only certain races, 
namely the Goths, Langobards, Burgundians, but above all, the 
Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians. We may learn from them the 
connexion of the later kings with the ancient gods and heroes, but 
not the living details of their myths. Yet we could be content, if 
even such pedigrees had also been preserved of the Franks and 
other nations of continental Germany. 

The Anglo-Saxon genealogies seem the most important, and the 

1 " Ulixes = Loki, Sn. 78. For Laertes, whose name Pott 1, 222 explains 
as protector of the people, c onf. Ptolemy s Aa/a/3ov/ryioi/." Extr. from Suppl., 
vol. iii. 

2 Almqvist, Svensk sprSklara, Stockh. 1810, p. 385\ 

8 In Lith. lele is pupa, nkies lele pupilla, leilas butterfly. 


Appendix gives them in full [but see above, p. 165]. All the 
families branch out from Woden, as most of the Greek do from 
Zeus ; it was a proud feeling to have one s root in the highest of 
all gods. Prominent among his sons are Saxnedt and Bceldceg, who 
were themselves accounted divine; but several other names can 
claim a place among the earliest heroes, e.g., Sigegedt and Wodcl- 
gedt 1 (both akin to the Gothic Gduts), Fredivine, Wuscfred, Sccfugd, 
Westcrfalcna ; and many are fallen dim to us. Cdsere, which in 
other AS. writings is used for cyning, 2 seems to be a mere 
appellative, and to have acquired the character of a proper name 
after the analogy of the Eoman caesar (?). All these genealogies 
give us barely the names of the god s sons and grandsons, never 
those of their mothers or grandmothers; and the legend, which 
ought like the Greek ones to give life to the relationship, is the 
very thing we miss. 

Some of the Norse traditions gain in value, by being taken with 
the genealogies. The Volsungasaga sets out with OSin s being the 
father of Sigi, but all particulars of the relationship are withheld ; 
Eerir the son of Sigi is in the immediate keeping of the highest 
gods, and so on. Another time, on the contrary, we are informed, 
Sn. 8486, how OSinn under the name of Bolverkr (OHG. Palo- 
wurcho ?) became servant to the giant Baugi, in order to get at the 
divine drink, which the giant s brother Suttungr kept, guarded by 
his daughter Gunnloff; between her and the god took place sundry 
passages of love, dimly hinted at by Ssemund also 12 b 23 a b 24 a , 
but we are nowhere told what heroes were begotten in the three 
nights that 05inn passed with the giant s daughter. Gunnloff 
belongs to the race of giants, not of men, which is also the case 
with Gerdr whom Freyr wooed, and perhaps with others, who are 
not reckoned among the asynjor. The Greeks also held that from 
the union of gods with titans daughters might spring a hero, or 
even a god (like Tyr, p. 208). Only Saxo, p. 66, and no other 
authority, tells us of a Norwegian king and hero Frogerus, ut 
quiclam ferunt, Othino patre natus/ to whom the gods gave to be 
invincible in fight, unless his adversary could grasp the dust from 

1 OHG. Wuotilgoz (Zeitschr. f. d. alt. 1, 577), conf. wueteln above, p. 132, 
and Wodel-beer, p. 156 (see Suppl.). 

2 In Boeth. 38, 1 Agamemnon is styled casere, and Ulysses cyning [in the 
Pref., Ecedgot, Ealleiic, Theodric are cyningas, the emperor always casere] ; in 
a doc. in Kemble 2, 304 Eadred is cvning and casere . 


under his feet, 1 which the Danish king Frotho by fraud contrived to 
do. Can this Froyer be the AS. FreoSegar, FreSegar in the Wessex 
genealogy, who had Brond for father, Bseldaeg for grandfather, 
Woden for great-grandfather ? The ON. table of lineage seems to 
mix up FrioGegar with FroSi, his adversary. 2 According to the 
Formal! of the Edda, p. 1 5, and the Yngl. saga c. 9, Norway traced 
her eldest line of kings to Sccmingr, the son of OSinn by SkaSi, 
previously the wife of NiorSr ; some write Semingr, which means 
pacificator, and would lead to FriSgeir again. SkaSi was daughter 
to the iotunn Thiassi, and the SigurSardrapa (-killing) calls 
SigurSr LaSaiarl afspringr Thiassa, (Th. progenies). The Her- 
rauSssaga cap. 1 makes Hringr spring from Gauti, and him from 
O(5inn : this Gautr or Gauti (conf. Ing and Ingo, Irmin and Irmino),. 
Goth. Gauts, OHG. Koz, AS. Geat, whether surname, son or 
ancestor of OSinn, cannot belie his divinity (conf. p. 367) ; and his 
son Godwulf too, confounded by some with Folcwalda (p. 165, last 
table), looks mythical. It is from Gduts that the Gautos (Koza, Tav- 
TOI) professed to be descended, these being other than the Cubans 
(Tac. Gothones, Fordoi), but related to them nevertheless, for the 
Gothic genealogy starts with the same Gauts at the head of it. 
Again, Sigrlami is called OSin s son, Fornald. sog. 1, 413. But who 
can Bous (gen. Boi), Othini ex Einda films be in Saxo Gram. 46 ? 
Possibly Biar, Biaf, Beav = Beowulf, to whom we are coming (see 
Suppl.) . 3 

Another OSinsson, Skioldr, is the famed ancestral hero of the 
Danes, from whom are derived all the Skioldungar (Sn. 146) ; he 
may have been most nearly related to the people of Schonen, as in 
the Fornm. sog. 5, 239 he is expressly called Skanunga goS (see p. 
161), and was probably worshipped as a god. In Saxo Gram, he 
does not take the lead, but follows after Humblus, Dan 4 and 
Lother ; Skiold himself has a son Gram, 5 from whom come Hadding 

1 A token of victory 1 as the vanquished had to present such dust (RA. 

2 The AS. name Frodheri stands yet farther away (Beda 2, 9 113). 

3 Saxo 122 mentions one hero begotten by Thorr : Halda/nut Biarggrammut 
a pud Sueones magni Thor jilius existimatur. And I know of no other but this 

4 Dan, in Saxo s view the true ancestor of the Danes, is called in the 
Rigsmal tianr, and placed together with Danpr, Srem. 106 b . 

8 Elsewhere Gramr is the proper name of a particular sword, while the 
appellative gramr denotes kii .g. 



and then Frotho ; but the AS. genealogy places its Scild after 
Scedf, and singularly makes them both ancestors of OSinn. From 
Scedf descends Sceldwa, from him consecutively Beaw, Tcetiva, Gedt, 
and after several more generations comes Woden last. The ON. 
version of the lineage is in harmony with this ; and even in the 
Gothic pedigree, which only begins with Gduts, we may suppose a 
Skaufs, Skildva, Taitva to have preceded, to whom the OHG. names 
Scoup, Scilto, Zeizo would correspond. None however is so 
interesting as Sceldwa s son, the Anglo-Saxon Beaw, called by the 
Scandinavians Biar, Biaf, but in the living AS. epos Beewulf. It 
is true, the remarkable poem of that name is about a second and 
younger Beowulf, in whom his forefather s name repeats itself ; but 
fortunately the opening lines allude to the elder Beowulf, and call 
his father Scild (Goth. Skildus, agreeing with Skioldr) a Scefing, i.e., 
son of Scedf. Beaw is a corruption of Beow, and Beow an abbrevia-^ 
tion of Beowulf-, it is the complete name that first opens to us a 
wider horizon. Beowulf signifies bee-wolf (OHG. Piawolf?), and i 
that is a name for the woodpecker, a bird of gay plumage that hunts 
after bees, of whom antiquity has many a tale to tell. 1 Strange to 
say, the classical mythus (above, pp. 206, 249) makes this Picus a 
son of Saturn, inasmuch as it either identifies him with Zeus who 
is succeeded by a Hermes, or makes him nourisher of Mars s sons 
and father of Faunus. We see Picus (Picumnus) interwoven into 
the race of Kronos, Zeus, Hermes and Ares, the old Bohemian 
Stracec = picus into that of Sitivrat, Kirt and Eadigost, as Beowulf 
is into that of Gedt and Woden. If the groups differ in the details 
of their combination, their agreement as wholes is the more 
trustworthy and less open to suspicion. And just as the footprints 
of Saturn were traceable from the Slavs to the Saxons and to 
England, but were less known to the Northmen, so those of the 
divine bird in Stracec and Beowulf seem to take the same course, 
and never properly to reach Scandinavia. The central Germans 
stood nearer to Eoman legend, although no actual borrowing need 
have taken place. 

What a deep hold this group of heroes had taken, is evidenced 
by another legend. Scedf (i.e., manipulus frumenti) takes his name, 

1 Can the name in Upper Germany for the turdus or oriolus galbula, 
Birolf, Pirolf, brother Pirolf (Frisch 1, 161), possibly stand for Biewolf (or 
Biterolf) ? The Serbs call it Urosh, and curiously this again is a hero s name. 
Conf. the Finn, uros [with heros ? ], p. 341. 


370 HEROES. 

from the circumstance, that when a boy he was conveyed to the 
country he was destined to succour, while asleep 1 on a sheaf of corn 
in the boat. The poetry of the Lower Ehine and Netherlands in 
the Mid. Ages is full of a similar story of the sleeping youth whom 
a swan conducts in his ship to the afflicted land ; and this swan- 
knight is pictured approaching out of paradise, from the grave, as 
Helms, whose divine origin is beyond question. Helias, Gerhart or 
Loherangrin of the thirteenth century is identical then with a Scdf 
or Scoup of the seventh and eighth, different as the surroundings 
may have been, for the song of Beowulf appears to have transferred 
to Scild what belonged of right to his father Scedf. The beautiful 
story of the swan is founded on the miraculous origin of the swan- 
brothers, which I connect with that of the Welfs ; both however 
seem to be antique lineage-legends of the Franks and Swabians, to 
which the proper names are mostly wanting. Had they been 
preserved, many another tie between the heroes and the gods would 
come to light. 2 Further, to Sceldwa or Skioldr belongs obviously 
the name Schiltunc in the Tirol and Parzival, 3 as the name Schil- 
lunc, Mb. 88, 3, points to a race of Sciljmngd, corresponding to the 
AS. Scilfingas, OK Scilfingar, of whom Skelfir, Scilfe, Scilpi is to 
be regarded as the ancestor. This Skelfir the Fornald. sog. 2, 9 
makes the father of Skioldr, so that the Skilfinga and Skioldinga 
sett fall into one. Either ifcelLis^JiexfL-gQnfounded with Scef. or 
Scef must be altered to ScelLJbnL the frequent occurrence_of_the 
Jofm~Scear7and its interpretation (from sheaf), seem alike to forbid 
jbhis (see Suppl.). 

As the Skioldungar descend from Skioldr, so do the Giukungar 
from Giuki = Gibika, Kipicho, with whom the Burgundian line 
begins : if not a god himself (p. 137), he is a divine hero that carries 
us back very near to Wuotan. The Gibichensteine (-stones) more 
over bear witness to him, and it is to the two most eminent women 
of this race that Grimhildensteine, Brunhildensteine are allotted. 4 

1 Umborwesende ? Beow. 92. 

2 The ship that brought Sceaf and the swan-knight carries them away 
again at last, but the reason is disclosed only in later legend : it was forbidden 
to inquire into their origin, Parz. 825, 19. Conr., Schwanritter 1144-73. 

3 Zeitschr. fur deut. alterth. 1 , 7. 

4 Brunehildesteiii, lectulus Brunihilde, Kriemhiltenstein, Oiemildespili 
(Heldensage p. 155) ; Krimhilte graben (Weisth. 1, 48) ; in loco Grimhiltaperg 
nominate (Juvavia p. 137) ; de Crimhilteperc, MB. 7. 498. 


Frau Ubte however appears as ancestress of the stock. 1 It has not 
been so much noticed as it ought, that in the Lex Burg. Gislahari 
precedes Gundahari by a whole generation, whilst our epic 
(Nibelungen) makes Giselhere Gunthere s younger brother, and the 
Edda never names him at all. The Law makes no mention of any 
brothers, and Giselher the young has merely the name of his elder 
kinsman. Gernot (from ger = gais) and Giselher seem to be 
identical (conf. Gramm. 2, 46). But the Norse Guttormr can 
hardly be a distortion of Godomar, for we meet with him outside of 
the legend, e.g., in Landn. 1, 18. 20, where the spelling Guftormr 
(Guntwurm) would lead us to identify him with Gunthere, and in 
Saxo Gram, are found several Guthormi (see Suppl.). Then Hagano 
the one-eyed, named from hagan (spinosus, Waltharius 1421), is 
more than heroic . 2 

Even deeper reaching roots must be allowed to the Welisungs ; 
their name brings us to a divine Valis who has disappeared (conf. 
the ON. Vali, p. 163), but the mere continuance of an OHG. 
Welisunc is a proof of the immemorial diffusion of the Volsunga- 
saga itself (see Suppl.). How, beginning with Wuotan, it goes on 
to Sigi, Sigimunt, Sigifrit, Sintarfizilo, has been alluded to on p. 
367, and has already been treated of elsewhere. 3 With Sigfrit 
stands connected Helfrich, Chilpericus, ON. Hialprekr. It is 
worthy of note, that the AS. Beowulf calls Sigfrit Sigemund, and 
Sigmundr is a surname of OSinn besides. 4 Such a flood of 
splendour falls on Siegfried in the poems, that we need not stick at 
trifles ; his whole nature has evident traces of the superhuman : 
brought up by an elf Eegino, beloved by a valkyr Brunhild, 
instructed in his destiny by the wise man Gripir, he wears the 
helmet of invisibility, is vulnerable only on one spot in his body, 
as Achilles was in the heel, and he achieves the rich hoard of the 
Mbelungs. His slaying of the dragon Fafnir reminds us of IlvOcav 6 

1 Haupts zeitschr. 1, 21. 

2 Lachmann s examination of the whole Nibelung legend, p. 22. 

3 Haupts zeitschr. 1, 2 6. 

4 In the Copenh. ed. of the Edda, Saem. 2, 889 Sigemon, and in Finn 
Magn. lex. 643 Segemon, is said to have been a name of the Celtic Mars ; 
I suppose on the ground of the inscriptt. in Gruter Iviii. 5 : Marti Segomoni 
sacrum ... in civitate Sequanorum ; and ii. 2 : Diis deabus omnibus 
Veturius L.L. Securius (al. Segomanics) pro se quisque (see Suppl.). 

5 Almost the same, granting a change of th into /(as in tirjp, <pr)p) ; of our 
a standing for Greek J there are more examples : fnasu, blasu = 7n/evo>, 0Xvca. 

372 HEROES. 

whom Apollo overcame, and as Python guarded the Delphic oracle, 
the dying Faf nir prophesies. 1 We must take into account Lofffdfnir 
Seem. 24, 30. Sinfiotli, who, when a boy, kneads snakes into the 
dough, is comparable to the infant Hercules tested by serpents. 

Through Siegfried the Frankish Welisungs get linked to the 
Burgundian Gibichungs, and then both are called Nibelungs. 

Among Gothic heroes we are attracted by the Ovida and 
Cnivida in Jornandes cap. 22, perhaps the same as Offa and 
Cnebba in the Mercian line. But of far more consequence is the 
great Gothic family of Amals or Amalungs, many of whose names 
in the Jornandean genealogy seem corrupt. The head of them all 
was Gapt, which I emend to Gaut (Gauts), and so obtain an allusion 
to the divine office of casting [giessen, ein-guss, in-got] and meting 
(pp. 22. 142) ; he was a god, or son of a god (p. 164), and is even 
imported into the Saxon lines as Gedt, Wodelgeat, Sigegeat (p. 367). 
In this Gothic genealogy the weak forms Amala, Isarna, Ostro- 
gotha, Ansila, confirm what we have observed in Tuisco, Inguio, 
Iscio, Irmino ; but those best worth noting are Amala, after 
whom the most powerful branch of the nation is named, Ermana- 
ricus and Thcodericus. Ermanaricus must be linked with Irmino 
and the Herminones, as there is altogether a closer tie between 
Goths and Saxons (Iiigaevones and Herminones) as opposed to the 
Franks (Iscaevones), and this shows itself even in the later epics. 
Amongst the Amalungs occur many names compounded with 
vidf, which reminds us of their side-branch, the Wulfings ; if it be 
not too bold, I would even connect Isarna (Goth. Eisarna) with 
Isangrim. To me the four sons of Achiulf seem worthy of 
particular notice : Ansila, Ediulf, Vuldulf, and Hermenrich. Of 
the last we have just spoken, and Ansila means the divine ; our 
present concern is with Ediulf and Vuldulf. I find that Jornandes, 
cap. 54, ascribes to the Scyrians also two heroes Edica and Vulf; 
the Eugian Odoacer has a father Eiicho and a brother Aonulf; and 

1 The epithet sveinn (Sw. sven, Dan. svend) given to the Norse Sigurfrr 
appears already in Fafnir s address sveinn ok sveinn / and in the headings to 
ch. 142-4 of the Vilk. saga. The same hero then is meant by the tiiiard 
snaresvtnd (fortis puer) of the Danish folk-song, who, liding on (Irani, 
accompanies to Askereia (see ch. XXXI), and by Svend Felding or Falling of 
the Danish folk-tale (Thiele 2, 64-7. Muller s sagabibl. 2, 417-9). He drank 
out of a horn handed to him by elvish beings, and thereby acquired the strength 
of twelve men. Swedish songs call him Sven Furling or Foiling ; Arvulsson 


the legend on the origin of the Welfs has the proper names 
j Isenlart, Irmentrud, Wdf and Etico constantly recurring. Now, 
welf is strictly catulus (huelf, whelp, OK hvelpr), and distinct from 
wolf ; natural history tells us of several strong courageous animals 
that are brought into the world blind ; the Langobardic and 
Swabian genealogies play upon dogs and wolves being exposed ; and 
as Odoacer, Otaclier (a thing that has never till now been accounted 
for) is in some versions called Sipicho, ON". Bicki, and this means 
dog (bitch), I suspect a similar meaning in Edica, Eticho, Ediulf, 
Odacar, which probably affords a solution of the fable about the 
blind Schwaben and Hessen : their lineage goes back to the blind 
Welfs. In the genealogy Ediulf is described as brother to Ermen- 
rich, in later sagas Bicki is counsellor to lormunrekr ; the Hilde- 
brandslied has but too little to say of Otacher. Then Vuldulf also 
(perhaps Vuldr-ulf) will signify a glorious beaming wolf (see 
Suppl.). As Siegfried eclipsed all other Welisungs, so did Dieterich 
all the Amalungs ; and where the epos sets them one against the 
other, each stands in his might, unconquered, unapproachable. 
Dieterich s divine herohood comes out in more than one feature, e.g., 
his fiery breath, and his taking the place of Wuotan or Ero (p. 
213-4) at the head of the wild host, as Dietrichbern or Bemhard. 
The fiery breath brings him nearer to Donar, with whom he can be 
compared in another point also : Dieterich is wounded in the 
forehead by an arrow, and a piece of it is left inside him, for which 
reason he is called the deathless j 1 not otherwise did the half of 
Hrungnir s hein (stone wedge) remain in Thor s head, and as 
Groa s magic could not loosen it, it sticks there still, and none shall 
aim with the like stones, for it makes the piece in the god s forehead 
stir (Sn. 109 111). 2 This horn-like stone was very likely shown 
in images, and enhanced their godlike appearance. 

The renowned race of the Billings or Billungs, whose mythic 
roots and relations are no longer discoverable, was still flourishing 
in North Germany in the 10-1 1th centuries. The first historically 
certain Billing died in 967, and another, above a hundred years 
older, is mentioned. 3 The Cod. Exon. 320, 7 says : Billing weold 

1 Simon Keza, chron. Hungaror. 1, 11. 12. Heinr. von Miiglein (in 
Kovachich p. 8) ; conf. Deutsche heldensage p. 164. 

2 Hence the proverb : seint losnar hein i hofSi Thors. 

3 Wedekind s Hermann duke of Saxony, Liineb. 1817, p. 60. Conf. the 
miles Billinc, comes Billingus in docs, of 961-8 in Hofers zeitschr. 2, 239. 344, 
and the OHG. form Billungus in Zeuss, Trad, wizenb. pp. 274. 287. 305. 

374: HEROES. 

Wernum/ he belongs therefore to the stock of Werina, who were 
near of kin to the Angles. There was a Billinga haeft (heath) near 
Whalley, and London has to this day a Billingsgate. In OHG. we 
find a man s name Billunc (Eied nos. 14. 21-3, A.D. 808. 821-2). If 
we take into account, that a dwarf Billingr occurs in the Edda, Saem. 
2 a 23 a , a hero Pillunc in Eol. 175, 1, and Billunc and Nidunc coupled 
together in the Kenner 14126-647, the name acquires a respectable 
degree of importance (see Suppl.). The derivative Billinc implies 
a simple bil or bili (lenitas, placiditas), from which directly [and 
not from our adj. billig, fair] are formed the OHG. names Pilidrut, 
Pilihilt, Pilikart, Pilihelm ; to which add the almost personified 
Billich (equity) in Trist, 9374. 10062. 17887. 18027, and the ON. 
goddess Bil, Sn. 39 ; the II in Billung could be explained through 
Biliung. Just as Oolnn in Ssem. 46 b is called both Bileygr (mild- 
eyed) and Baleygr (of baleful eye), so in Saxo Gram. 130 a Bilvisus 
(aequus) stands opposed to Bolvisus (iniquus). 


In addition to the heroes ascertained thus far, who form part of 
the main pedigree of whole nations, and thence derive weight and 
durability, there is another class of more isolated heroes ; I can only 
put forward a few of them here. 

We have still remaining a somewhat rude poem, certainly 
founded on very ancient epic material, about a king Orendel or 
Erentel, whom the appendix to the Heldenbuch pronounces the 
first of all heroes that were ever born. He suffers shipwreck on a 
voyage, takes shelter with a master fisherman Eisen, 1 earns the 
seamless coat of his master, and afterwards wins frau Hreide, the 
fairest of women : king Eigel of Trier was his father s name. The 
whole tissue of the fable puts one in mind of the Odyssey : the ship 
wrecked man clings to the plank, digs himself a hole, holds a bough 
before him ; even the seamless coat may be compared to Ino s veil, 
and the fisher to the swineherd, dame Breide s templars would be 
Penelope s suitors, and angels are sent often, like Zeus s messengers. 
Yet many things take a different turn, more in German fashion, 
and incidents are added, such as the laying of a naked sword 
between the newly married couple, which the Greek story knows 
nothing of. The hero s name is found even in OHG. documents : 

1 Who is also found apparently in a version of the Lay of king Oswald. 


Orendil, Meiclielb. 61; Orenttt, Trad, fuld. 2, 24 2, 109 (Schannat 
308) ; Orendil a Bavarian count (an. 843 in Eccard s Fr. or. 2, 367); 
a village Orendelsal, now Orendensall, in Hohenlohe, v. Haupts 
zeitschr. 7, 558. But the Edda has another myth, which was 
alluded to in speaking of the stone in Thor s head. Groa is busy 
conning her magic spell, when Thorr, to requite her for the 
approaching cure, imparts the welcome news, that in coming from 
lotunheim in the North he has carried her husband the bold 
Orvandill in a basket on his back, and he is sure to be home soon ; 
he adds by way of token, that as OrvandiTs toe had stuck out of the 
basket and got frozen, he broke it off and flung it at the sky, and 
made a star of it, which is called Orvandils-td. But Groa in her 
joy at the tidings forgot her spell, so the stone in the god s head 
never got loose, Sn. 110-1. Groa, the growing, the grass-green, is 
equivalent to Breide, i.e., Berhta (p. 272) the bright, it is only 
another part of his history that is related here : Orvandill must 
have set out on his travels again, and on this second adventure 
forfeited the toe which Thorr set in the sky, though what he had 
to do with the god we are not clearly told. Beyond a doubt, the 
name of the glittering star-group is referred to, when AS. glosses 
render jubar by earendel, and a hymn to the virgin Mary in Cod. 
Exon. 7, 20 presents the following passage : 

Eala Earendel, engla beorhtast, 

ofer middangeard monnum sended, 

and soSfsesta sunnan leoma 

torht ofer tunglas, J?u tida gehwane 

of sylfurn Ipe symle inlihtes ! 

i.e., jubar, angelorum splendidissime, super orbem terrarum 
hominibus misse, radie vere solis, supra stellas lucide, qui omni 
tempore ex te ipso luces ! Mary or Christ is here addressed under 
the heathen name of the constellation; I am only in doubt as to 
the right spelling and interpretation of the word ; an OHG. drentil 
implies AS. earendel, and the two would demand ON. aurvendill, 
eyrvendill ; but if we start with ON,, orvendill, then AS. earendel, 
OHG. erentil would seem preferable; The latter part of the 
compound certainly contains entil- =- wentil. 1 The first part should 

1 Whence did Matthesius (in Frisch 2, 439 a ) get his " Pan is the heathens 
Wendel and head bagpiper " 1 Can the word refer to the metamorphoses of the 
flute-playing demigod 1 In trials of witches, "Wendel is a name for the devil, 
Mones anz. 8, 124. 

376 HEROES. 

be either ora, earo (auris), or else ON", or, gen. b rvar (sagitta). 
Now, as there occurs in a tale in Saxo Gram., p. 48, a Horvendilus 
films Gervendili, and in OHG. a name Kerwentil (Schm. 2, 334) 
and Gerentil (Trad. fuld. 2, 106), and as geir (hasta) agrees better 
with or than with eyra (auris), the second interpretation may com 
mand our assent j 1 a sight of the complete legend would explain the 
reason of the name. I think Orentil s father deserves attention 
too : Eigil is another old and obscure name, borne for instance by 
an abbot of Fulda who died in 822 (Pertz 1, 95. 356. 2, 366. 
Trad. fuld. 1, 77-8. 122). In the Ehine-Moselle country are the 
singular Eigelsteine, Weisth. 2, 744 (see Suppl.). 2 In AS. we find 
the names Aegles burg (Aylesbury), Acgles ford (Aylesford), Aegles 
J)orp ; but I shall come back to Eigil presently. Possibly Orentil 
was the thundergod s companion in expeditions against giants. 
Can the story of Orentil s wanderings possibly be so old amongst 
us, that in Orentil and Eigil of Trier we are to look for that Ulysses 
and Laertes whom Tacitus places on our PJiine (p. 365) ? The 
names shew nothing in common. 3 

Far-famed heroes were Wieland and Witticli* whose rich 
legend is second to none in age or celebrity. Vidigoia (Vidugauja) 
of whom the Goths already sang, OHG. Witugouwo as well as 
Witicko, MHG. Witcgouwe and Witege, AS. Wudga, in either form 
silvicola, from the Goth, vidus, OHG. witu, AS. wudu (lignum, 
silva), leads us to suppose a being passing the bounds of human 
nature, a forest-god. Frau Wachilt, a mermaid, is his ancestress, 
with whom he takes refuge in her lake. At the head of the whole 
race is placed king Vilkinus, named after Vulcanus as the Latin 
termination shews, a god or demigod, who must have had another 
and German name, and who begets with the merwoman a gigantic 
son Vadi, AS. Wada (Cod. Exon. 323, 1), OHG. Wato, so named I 
suppose because, like another Christopher, he ivaded with his child 
on his shoulder through the Grcenasund where it is nine yards 

1 And so Uhland (On Thor, p. 47 seq.) expounds it : in Groa Tie sees the 
growth of the crop, in Orvandill the sprouting of the blade. Even the tale in 
Saxo he brings in. 

2 The false spelling Eichelstein (acorn-stone) has given rise to spurious 
legends, Mones anz. 7, 368. 

3 I have hardly the face to mention, that some make the right shifty Ulysses 
father to Pan, our Wendel above. 

4 The still unprinted M.Dutch poem, De kinderen van Limburg, likewise 
mentions Wilant, Wedcge and Mimminc, 


deep (between Zealand, Falster and Moen) ; the Danish hero Wate 
in Gudrun is identical with him ; the AS. Wada is placed toward 
Helsingen. Old English poetry had much to tell of him, that is 
now lost : Chaucer names * Wades boot Guingelot, and a place in 
Northumberland is called Wade s gap ; Wsetlingestret could only 
be brought into connexion with him, if such a spelling as 
Wsedling could be made good. Now, that son, whom Vadi carried 
through the sea to apprentice him to those cunning smiths the 
dwarfs, was Wielant, AS. Weland, Welond, ON. Volundr, but in 
the Vilk. saga Velint, master of all smiths, and wedded to a swan- 
maiden Hervor -alvitr. The rightful owner of the boat, which 
English tradition ascribes to Wada, seems to have been Wieland ; 
the Vilk. saga tells how he timbered a boat out of the trunk of a 
tree, and sailed over seas. Lamed in the sinews of his foot, he 
forged for himself a winged garment, and took his flight through 
the air. His skill is praised on all occasions, and his name coupled 
with every costly jewel, Vilk. saga cap. 24. Witeche, the son he 
had by Baduhilt, bore a hammer and tongs in his scutcheon in 
honour of his father ; during the Mid. Ages his memory lasted 
among smiths, whose workshops were styled Wieland s houses, 1 and 
perhaps his likeness was set up or painted outside them; the 
ON. Volundar hus translates the Latin labyrinth; a host of 
similar associations must in olden times have been generally 
diffused, as we learn from the names of places : Welantes gruoba 
(pit), MB. 13, 59 ; Widantes heim, MB. 28 a , 93 (an. 889) ; Wielan- 
tis dorf, MB. 29, 54 (an. 1246) ; Widantes tanna (firs), MB. 28 b , 
188. 471 (an. 1280) ; Wielandes brunne, MB. 31, 41 (an. 817). 
The multiplication of such names during long centuries does not 
admit of their being derived from human inhabitants. The Dan. 
Velandsuit (-wort), Icel. Velantsurt, is the valerian, and according to 
Staid. 2, 450 Wielandbeett the daphne cneorum. Tradition would 
doubtless extend Wieland s dexterity to Wittich and to Wate, who 
also gets the credit of the boat, and in the Gudrun-lay of the 
healing art. In Sasm. 270 a , bcekur ofnar volundom are stragula 
artificiose contexta, and any artist might be called a volundr or 
wielant. A gorgeous coat of mail (hrsegel, OHG. hregil) is in Beow. 
904 Welandes geweorc. JElfred in Boe th. 2, ;7 translates fidelis 

1 Juxta donrnm Welandi fabri, Ch. ad arm. 1262 in Lang s reg. 3, 181 : 
conf. Haupts zeitschr. 2, 248. I find also Witigo faber, MB. 7, 122. 

378 HEROES. 

ossa Fabricii f ]?aes wisan goldsmiSes ban Welondes* (metrically: 
Wdandes bm) ; evidently the idea of faber which lay in Fabricius 
brought to his mind the similar meaning of the Teutonic name, 
Weland being a cunning smith in general. For the name itself 
appears to contain the OK vel = viel (ars, re^i/i/, OHG. list), 
Gramm. 1, 462, and smiSvelar meant artes fabriles ; the AS. form 
is wll, or better wil, Engl. wile, Fr. guile; the OHG. wiol, wiel (with 
broken vowel) is no longer to be found. But further, we must pre 
suppose a verb wielan, AS. welan (fabrefacere), whose pres. part, wie- 
lant, weland, exactly forms our proper name, on a par with wigant, 
werdant, druoant, &c. ; Graff 2, 234 commits the error of citing 
Wielant under the root lant, with which it has no more to do than 
heilant (healer, saviour). The OFr. Galans (Heldens. 42) seems 
to favour the ON", form Volundr [root val] since Veland would 
rather have led to a Fr. Guilans ; possibly even the ON. vala 
(nympha) is a kindred word ? An OHG. name Wieldrud seems 
the very thing for a wise-woman. This development of an intrinsic 
significance in the hero s name finds an unexpected confirmation 
in the striking similarity of the Greek fables of Hephaestus, 
Erichthonius and Daedalus. As Weland offers violence to 
Beadohild (Volundr to BooVildr), so Hephaestus lays a snare -for 
Athene, when she comes to order weapons of him ; both Hephaestus 
and Volundr are punished with lameness, Erichthonius too is lame, 
and therefore invents the four-horse chariot, as Volundr does the 
boat and wings. One with Erichthonius are the later Erechtheus 
and his descendant Daedalus, who invented various arts, a ring- 
dance, building, &c., and on whose wings his son Icarus was soaring 
when he fell from the clouds. But Aa&dkos l is SalSaXos, ScttSaX- 
eo9, cunningly wrought, Sat SaX/ia (like dydX/jio) a work of art, and 
Sai&aXXew the same as our lost wielan. As our list [like the Engl. 
cunning and craft] has degenerated from its original sense of scientia 
to that of calliditas and fraus, and vel has both meanings, it is not 
surprising that from the skill-endowed god and hero has proceeded 
a deformed deceitful devil (p. 241). The whole group of Wate, 
Wielant, Wittich are heroes, but also ghostly beings and demigods 
(see SuppL). 

The Vilkinasaga brings before us yet another smith, Mimir, by 

1 A reduplication like TratVaXof, TrauraXods tortus, arduus, irainaXXeiv tor- 
quere ; conf. XcuXa^-, //.al/za, &c. 


whom not only is Velint instructed in his art, but Sigfrit is brought 
up another smith s-apprentice. He is occasionally mentioned in 
the later poem of Biterolf, as Mime the old (Heldensage, pp. 146-8) ; 
an OHG. Mimi must have grown even more deeply into our 
language as well as legend : it has formed a diminutive Mimilo 
(MB. 28, 87-9, annis 983-5), and Mimd^Mimidrtit, Mimihilt are 
women s names (Trad. fuld. 489. Cod. lauresh. 211) ; the old name 
of Mlinster in Westphalia was J/^migardiford, J/^migerneford 
(Indices to Pertz 1. 2), conf. Jf?7ugerdeford in Kichthofen 335 ; the 
Westphalian Minden was originally Mimidxrn. (Pertz 1, 368), and 
Memleben on the Unstrut Mimilobat The great number of these 
proper names indicates a mythic being, to which Memerolt (Morolt 
111) may also be related! The elder Norse tradition names him 
just as often, and in several different connexions. In one place, 
Saxo, p. 40, 1 interweaves a Mimingus, a silvarum satyrus and 
possessor of a sword and jewels, into the myth of Balder and 
Hother, and this, to my thinking, throws fresh light an the 
vidugauja (wood-god) above. The Edda however gives a higher 
position to its Mimir: he has a fountain, in which wisdom and 
understanding lie hidden ; drinking of it every morning, he is the 
wisest, most intelligent of men, and this again reminds us of 
Wielandes brunne . To Mimisbimmr came Oolnn and desired a 
drink, but did not receive it till he had given one of his eyes in 
pledge, and hidden it in the fountain (Ssem. 4 a . Sn, 17) ; this 
accounts for Oolnn being one-eyed (p. 146). In the Yngl. saga 
cap. 4, the Ases send Mimir, their wisest man, to the Vanir, who 
cut his head off and send it back to the Ases. But OSinn spake 
his spells over the head, that it decayed not, nor ceased to utter 
speech ; and Oolnn- holds conversation with it, whenever he needs 
advice, conf. Yngl. saga cap. 7, and Srem. 8 a 195 b . I do not exactly 
know whom the Voluspa means by Mimis syni-r (sons), Ssem. 8 a ; 
Mmameidr 109 a implies a nom. Mimi gen. Mima, and may be 
distinct from Mimir (conf. Bragr and Bragi, p. 235). Mimir is no 
As, but an exalted being with whom the Ases hold converse, of 
whom they make use, the sum-total of wisdom, possibly an older 
nature-god ; later fables degraded him into a wood-sprite or clever 
smith. His oneness with heroes tends to throw a divine splendour 

1 P. E. Mullet s ed., p. 114, following which I have set aside the reading 
Mimringus, in spite of the Danish song of Mimering tand. 

380 HEHOES. 

on them. Swedish folk-song has not yet forgotten Mimes a 
(Arvidsson 2, 316-7), and in Konga harad and Tingas socken in 
Smaland there lies a Mimes sjo, inhabited according to the legend 
by neckar (nixies), ibid. p. 319. Perhaps some of the forms quoted 
have by rights a short i, as have indisputably the AS. mimor, 
meomor, gemimor (memoriter notus), mimerian (memoria tenere), 
our Low German mimeren (day-dreaming), Brem. wtb. 3, 161, and 
the Memerolt, Memleben above ; so that we might assume a verb 
meima, maim, minium. Then the analogy of the Latin memor and 
Or. fjbifjieofjLai allows us to bring in the giant and centaur Mi^as, 
i.e., the wood-sprite again (see Suppl.). 

According to the Edda (Sxm. 133), Volundr had two brothers 
SlagfiSr and Egill, all three synir Finnakonungs/ sons of a Finnish 
king, whereas the saga transplanted to the North from Germany 
makes its Vilkinus a king of Vilkinaland. Or can Finna be taken 
as the gen. of Finni, and identified with that Finn Folcwaldansunu 
on p. 219 ? SlagfiSr might seem = Slagfinnr, but is better 
explained as Slagfio Sr (flap- wing, see ch. XVI, Walachuriun). All 
three brothers married valkyrs, and Egill, the one that chiefly 
concerns us here, took Olrun (Alioruna). The Vilk. saga, cap. 27, 
likewise calls Velint s younger brother Eigill : ok ]?enna kalla 
menn OlrAnar Eigil, 1 but the bride is not otherwise alluded to ; 
this form Eigill agrees with the OHG, Eigil on p. 376, not with the 
ON". Egill, dat. Agli, for the dat. of Eigill would have been Eigli. 
Well, this Eigill was a famous archer ; at Nidung a command he 
shot an apple off the head of his own little son, and when the king 
asked him what the other two arrows were for, replied that they 
were intended for him, in case the first had hit the child. The tale 
of this daring shot must have been extremely rife in our remotest 
antiquity, it turns up in so many places, and always with features 
of its own. As the Vilkinasaga was imported into Scandinavia in 
the 13th century, the story of Eigill was certainly diffused in 
Lower Germany before that date. But Saxo Grammaticus in 
Denmark knew it in the 12th century, as told of Toko and king 
llarald Gorrnsson, with the addition, wanting in Eigill, that Toko 

1 Peringskiold translates * Egillus Sagittarius, and Eafn Egil den traf- 
fende, but this was merely guessed from the incidents of .the story. Arrow is 
not 61, but or ; Orentil on the contrary, Eigil s son, does seem to have been 
named from the arrow. 


after the sliot behaved like a hero in the sea-storm. The Icelanders 
too, particularly the lomsvikinga saga, relate the deeds of this 
Pdlnatold, but not the shot from the bow, though they agree with 
Saxo in making Harald fall at last by Tola s shaft. The king s 
death by the marksman s hand is historical (A.D. 992), the shot at 
the apple mythical, having gathered round the narrative out of an 
older tradition, which we must presume to have been in existence 
in the 10-llth centuries. To the Norwegian saga of Olaf the 
Saint (-|-1030), it has attached itself another way : Olaf wishing to 
convert a heathen man, EindriSi, essayed his skill against him in 
athletic arts, first swimming, then shooting ; after a few successful 
shots, the king required that EindrioYs boy should be placed at the 
butts, and a writing-tablet be shot off his head without hurting the 
child. EindriSi declared himself willing, but also ready to avenge 
any injury. Olaf sped the first shaft, and narrowly missed the 
tablet, when Eindrifti, at his mother s and sister s prayer, declined 
the shot (Fornm. sog. 2, 272). Just so king Haraldr SigurSarson 
(HarSraSa, -f 1066) measured himself against an archer Hemingr, 
and bade him shoot a hazelnut off his Biorn s head, and Hemingr 
accomplished the feat (Mliller s sagabibl. 3, 359, Thattr af 
Hemingi cap. 6, ed. Eeykjavik p. 55), Long afterwards, the legend 
was transferred to a Hemming Wolf, or von Wulfen, of Wewelsflet 
in the Wilstermarsch of Holstein, where the Elbe empties itself 
into the sea, Hemming Wolf had sided with count Gerhard in 
1472, and was banished by king Christian. The folk-tale makes- 
the king do the same as Harald, and Hemming as Toko ; an old 
painting of Wewelsflet church represents the archer on a meadow 
with bow unbent, in the distance a boy with the apple on his head, 
the arrow passes through the middle of the apple, but the archer 
has a second between his teeth, and betwixt him and the boy 
stands a wolf, perhaps to express that Hemming after his bold 
answer was declared a wolf s head. 1 Most appropriately did the 
mythus rear its head on the emancipated soil of Switzerland : In 
1307, it is said, Wilhelm Tell, compelled by Gessler, achieved the 
same old master- shot, and made the courageous speech ; but the 
evidence of chroniclers does not begin till toward the 16th century, 2 

1 Schleswigholst. prov. berichte 1798, vol. 2, p. 39 scq. Milllenhof, 
Schleswigholst. sagen no. 66. 

2 I suspect the genuineness of the verses, alleged to be by Heinrich von 

382 HEROES. 

shortly before the first printed edition of Saxo, 1514. Of the 
unhistorical character of the event there cannot be the slightest 
doubt. The mythic substratum of the Tell fable shews itself in an 
Upper Ehine legend of the 15th century (in Malleus malef. pars 2 
cap. 16, de sagittariis maleficis) which immediately preceded the 
first written record of that of Tell : Fertur de ipso (PuncheroJ, quod 
quidam de optimatibus, cum artis sue experientiam capere voluis- 
set, eidem proprium filium parvulum ad metam posuit, et pro signo 
super birretum pueri denarium, sibique mandavit, ut denarium sine 
birreto per sagittam amoveret. Cum autem maleficus id se facturum 
sed cum difficultate assereret, libentius abstinere, ne per diabolum 
seduceretur in sui interitum; verbis tamen principis inductus, 
sagittam unam collari suo circa collum immisit, et alteram balistae 
supponens denarium a birreto pueri sine omni nocumento excussit. 
Quo viso, dum ille maleficum interrogasset, cur sagittam collari 
imposuisset ? respondit, si deceptus per diabolum pueruin 
occidissem, cum me mori necesse fuisset, subito cum sagitta altera 
ws transfixissem, ut vel sic mortem meam vindicassem . This shot 
must have taken place somewhere about 1420, and the story have 
got about in the middle part of the 15th century. Beside the 
above-mentioned narratives, Norse and German, we have also an 
Old English one to shew in the Northumbrian ballad of the three 
merry men, Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, and William of 
Cloudesle ; this last, whose Christian name, like the surname of the 
first, reminds one of Tell, offers in the king s presence to set an 
apple on the head of his son, seven years old, and shoot it off at 
120 paces*- The arrow sped from the bow, and cleft the apple. 
I suppose that Aegel s skill in archery would be known to the 
Anglo-Saxons ; and if we may push Wada, Weland and Wudga far 
up into our heathen time, Aegel seems to have an equal claim. 
The whole myth shows signs of having deep and widely extended 

Hiinenbergof 1315, which Carl Zay has made known in his book on Goldau, 
Zurich 18(77, p. 41 : 

Dum pater in puerum telum crudele coruscat 
Tellius ex jussu, saeve tyranne, tuo, 

poinum, non natum, figit fatalis arundo : 

altera mox ultrix te, periture, petet. 

H. von Hiinenberg is the same who, before the battle of Morgarten, shot a 
warning billet over to the Swiss on his arrow (Joh. Miiller 2, 37), he was 
therefore a bowman himself. Justinger and Johann von Winterthur are silent 
about Tell ; Melchior Russ (t 1499) and Petermann Etterlin (completed 1507) 
were the first who committed the story to writing. 


roots. It partly agrees even with what Eustathius on II. 12, 292 
tells us, that Sarpedon, a hero of the blood of Zeus, was made 
when a child to stand up and have a ring shot off his breast 
without injury to him, an action which entailed the acquisition of 
the Lycian kingdom (see Suppl.). 1 

With these specimens of particular heroes crumbs from the 
richly furnished table of our antiquities I will content myself, as 
there are still some reflections of a more general kind to be made. 

I started with saying, that in the heroic is contained an exalting 
and refining of human nature into divine, originally however 
founded on the affinity of some god with the human race. Now 
as procreation is a repetition, and the son is a copy of the father 
(for which reason our language with a profound meaning has avara 
for image and avaro for child) ; so in every hero we may assume 
to a certain extent an incarnation of the god, and a revival of at 
least some of the qualities that distinguish the god. In this sense 
the hero appears as a sublimate of man in general, who, created 
after the image of God, cannot but be like him. But since the 
gods, even amongst one another, reproduce themselves, i.e., their 
plurality has radiated out of the primary force of a single 
One (p. 164), it follows, that the origin of heroes must be very 
similar to that of polytheism altogether, and it must be a difficult 
matter in any particular case to distinguish between the full-bred 
divinity and the half-blood. If heroes, viewed on one side, are 
deified men, they may on the other hand be also regarded as 
humanized gods ; and it comes to the same thing, whether we say 
that the son or grandson begotten by the god has attained a semi- 
divine nature, or that the god born again in him retains but a part 
of his pristine power. We are entitled to see in individual heroes 
a precipitate of former gods, and a mere continued extension, in a 
wider circle, of the same divine essence which had already branched 
out into a number of gods (see Suppl.). 

This proposition can the more readily be demonstrated from the 
popular faiths of Greece and Germany, which commit themselves 
to no systematic doctrine of emanation and avatara, as in these 

1 Similar legends seem to live in the East. In a MS. of the Cassel library 
containing a journey in Turkey, I saw the representation of an archer taking 
aim at a child with an apple on its head. 

384 HEROES. 

religions the full-blooded animalism of heroliood developed itself 
the more richly for that very reason. While the Indian heroes are 
in the end reabsorbed into the god, e.g., Krishna becomes Vishnu, 
there remains in Greek and German heroes an irreducible dross of 
humanism, which brings them more into harmony with the 
historical ingredients of their story. Our hero-legend has this long 
while had no consciousness remaining of such a thing as incarna 
tion, but has very largely that of an apotheosis of human though 
god-descended virtue. 

Herakles can never become one with Zeus, yet his deeds remind 
us of those of his divine sire. Some traits in Theseus allow of his 
being compared to Herakles, others to Apollo. Hermes was the 
son of Zeus by Maia, Amphion by Antiope, and the two brothers,, 
the full and the half-bred, have something in common. 

In Teutonic hero-legend, I think, echoes of the divine nature 
can be distinguished still more frequently ; the Greek gods stood 
unshaken to the last, and heroes could be developed by the side of 
them. But when once the Teutonic deities encountered Christianity, 
there remained only one of two ways open to the fading figures 
of the heathen faith, either to pass into evil diabolic beings, or 
dwindle into good ones conceived as human. The Greek heroes 
all belong to the flowering time of paganism; of the Teutonic a 
part at least might well seem a poverty-stricken attenuation and 
fainter reproduction of the former gods, such as could still dare to 
shew its face after the downfall of the heathen system. Christian 
opinion in the Mid. Ages guided matters into this channel ; unable 
to credit the gods any longer with godhood, where it did not 
transform them into devils, it did into demigods. In the Edda the 
aesir are still veritable gods ; Jornandes too, when he says, cap. 6 : 
mortuum (Taunasem regem) Gothi inter numina populi sui 
coluerunt be this Taunasis Gothic or Getic assumes that there 
were Gothic gods, but the anses he regards as only victorious 
heroes exalted into demigods ; and in Saxo, following the same line 
of thought, we find that Balder (who exhibits some Heraklean 
features, v. supra p. 22G-7), and Hother, and Othin himself, have 
sunk into mere heroes. 1 This capitis deminutio of the gods brought 

1 In the AS. Ethel wcrd p. 833 we read : Hengest et Horsa, hi nepotes 
fuere Woddan regis barbarorum, quern post infanda dignitate ut deum honorantes, 
sacrificium obtulerunt pagani victoriae causa sive virtutis, ut humanitas sarpc 
credit hoc quod videt . Win. of Malmesbury s similar words were quoted 

HEROES. 385 

them nearer to heroes, while the heroes were cut off from absolute 
deification ; how much the two must have got mixed up in the 
mist of legend ! Yet in every case where bodily descent from the 
gods is alleged of a hero, his herohood is the more ancient, and 
really of heathen origin. 

Among the heroes themselves there occur second births, of 
which a fuller account will be given further on, and which shew a 
certain resemblance to the incarnations of gods. As a god renews 
himself in a hero, so does an elder hero in a younger. 

Beings of the giant brood, uniting themselves now to gods and 
now to heroes, bring about various approximations between these 

We have seen how in the genealogy of Inguio, first OSinn, then 
NiorSr and Freyr interweave themselves : NiorSr and Hadding 
seem identical, as do Heimdall and Eigr, but in NiorSr and Heim- 
dall the god is made prominent, in Hadding and Eigr the hero. 
Irmin appears connected with Wuotan and Zio, just as Ares and 
Herakles approach each other, and Odysseus resembles Hermes. 
Baldr is conceived of as divine, Basldseg as heroic. In Siegfried is 

above, p. 128 ; he also says denm esse delirantes\ Albericus tr. font. 1, 23 
(after A.D. 274) expresses himself thus : In hac generatione decima ab incar- 
nutione Domini regnasse invenitur quidam Mercurius in Gottlandia insula, quae 
est inter Daciam et Russiam extra Romanum imperium, a quo Mercuric, qui 
Woden dictus est, descendit genealogia Anglorum et rnultoruin aliorum . Much 
in the same way Snorri in the Yngl. saga and Form. 13. 14 represents 0<5inn 
as a liofftinc/i and herma&r come from Asia, who by policy secured the 
worship of the nations ; and Saxo p. 12 professes a like opinion : ea tempes- 
tate cum Othinus quidam, Europa tota, falso divinitatis titulo censeretur, &c. 
conf. what he says p. 45. What other idea could orthodox Christians at that 
time form of the false god of their forefathers ? To idolatry they could not but 
impute wilful deceit or presumption, being unable to comprehend that some 
thing very different from falsified history lies at the bottom of heathenism. 
As little did there ever exist a real man and king OSinii (let alone two or 
three), as a real Jupiter or Mercury. But the affinity of the hero nature 
with the divine is clearly distinct from a deification arising out of human 
pride and deceit. Those heathen, who trusted mainly their inner strength (p. 
6), like the Homeric heroes TrenoidoTes &ij)<l>i (II. 12, 256), were yet far from 
setting themselves up for gods. Similar to the stories of Nebucadnezar (er wolte 
selbe sin ein got, would himself be god, Parz. 102, 7. Barl. 60, 35), of Kosroes 
(Massmann on Eracl. p. 502), of the Greek Salmoneu-s (conf. N. Cap. 146), and 
the Byzantine Eraclius, was our Mid. Age story of Imelot aus wiiester Babilonie, 
cler wolde selve wesen got (Bother 2568) = Nibelot ze Barise * der machet 
himele guldin, selber wolt ergot sin (Bit. 299), just as Salmoneus imitated 
the lightning and thunder of Zeus. Imelot and Nibelot here seem to mean 
the same thing, as do elsewhere Imelunge and Nibelunge (Heldens. 162) ; I 
do not know what allusion there might be in it to a Nibelunc or Amelunc (see 


386 HEROES. 

an echo of Baldr and Freyr, perhaps of OSinn, in Dietrich of Thorr 
and Freyr. Ecke oscillates between the giant and the hero. 
Even Charles and Eoland are in some of their features to be 
regarded as new-births of Wuotan and Donar, or of Siegfried and 
Dietrich. As for Geat, Sceaf, Sceldwa, for lack of their legends, it 
is difficult to separate their divine nature from their heroic. 

One badge of distinction I find in this, that the names of gods 
are in themselves descriptive, i.e., indicating from the first their 
inmost nature ; l to the names of half-gods and heroes this signi 
ficance will often be wanting, even when the human original has 
carried his name over with him. Then, as a rule, the names of 
gods are simple, those of heroes often compound or visibly derived. 
Donar therefore is a god from the first, not a deified man : his 
appellation expresses also his character. The same reason is 
decisive against that notion of Wuotan having made his way out of 
the ranks of men into those of the gods. 

Demigods have the advantage of a certain familiarness to the 
people : bred in the midst of us, admitted to our fellowship, it is 
they to whom reverence, prayers and oaths prefer to address them 
selves : they procure and facilitate intercourse with the higher- 
standing god. As it came natural to a Koman to swear mehercle I 
mecastor ! ecastor ! edepol ! the Christians even in the Mid. Ages 
swore more habitually by particular saints than by God himself. 

We are badly off for information as to the points in which the 
Hero-worship of our forefathers shaped itself differently from divine 
worship proper ; even the Norse authorities have nothing on the 
subject. The Grecian sacrifices to heroes differed from those 
offered to gods : a god had only the viscera and fat of the beast 
presented to him, and was content with the mounting odour; a 
deified hero must have the very flesh and blood to consume. 
Thus the einherjar admitted into Valholl feast on the boiled flesh 
of the boar Ssehrimnir, and drink with the Ases ; it is never said 
that the Ases shared in the food, Srcm. 36. 42. Sn. 42 ; conf. 
supra, p. 317. Are we to infer from this a difference in the sacri 
fices offered to gods and to demigods ? 

Else, in the other conditions of their existence, we can perceive 
many resemblances to that of the gods. 

Thus, their stature is enormous. As Ares covered seven roods, 

1 Something like the names of the characters in the Beast-apologue. 

FIGURE. 387 

Herakles has also a body of gigantic mould. When the godlike 
SigurSr strode through the full-grown field of corn, the dew-shoe l 
of his seven-span sword was even with the upright ears (Veils, saga 
cap. 22. Vilk. saga cap. 166) ; a hair out of his horse s tail was 
seven yards long (ISTornag. saga cap. 8). One thing hardly to ba 
found in Teutonic gods, many-handedness, does occur in an ancient 
hero. Wudga and Kama, Witege and Heime, are always named 
together. This Heimo is said to have been by rights called Studas, 
like his father (whom some traditions however name Adelger, 
Madelger) ; not till he had slain the worm Heima, 2 did he adopt its 
name (Vilk. saga cap. 17). To him are expressly attributed three 
hands and four elbows, or else two hands with three elbows (Heldens. 
257. Eoseng. p. xx, conf. Ixxiv) ; the extra limbs are no exaggera 
tion (Heldens. 391), rather their omission is a toning down, of the 
original story. And Asprian comes out with four hands (Eoseng. 
p. xii). StarkaSr, a famous godlike hero of the North, has three 
pairs of arms, and Thor cuts four of his hands off (Saxo Gram., p. 
103) ; the Hervararsaga (Eafn p. 412, 513) bestows eight hands on 
him, and the ability to fight with four swords at once : dtta handa, 
Fornald. sog. 1, 412. 3, 37. In the Swedish folk-song of Alf, ori 
ginally heathen, there is a hero Torgnejer (roaring like thunder ?), 
* han hade otta hander (Arvidss. 1, 12). 3 Such cumulation of limbs 
is also a mark of the giant race, and some of the heroes mentioned 
do overlap these ; in the Servian songs I find a three headed hero 
Balatchko (Vuk 2, no. 6, line 608) ; Pegam too in the Carniolan 
lay has three heads (tri glave). Deficiency of members is to be 
found in heroes as well as gods : Oftinn is one-eyed, T^r one- 
handed, Loki (=Heph?estus?) lame, HotSr blind, and Vi5ar dumb- 4 

1 Doggskor, Sw. doppsko, the heel of the sword s sheath, which usually 
brushes the dew : so the Alamanns called a lame foot, that dragged through 
the dewy grass, toudregil. This ride through the corn has something in "it 
highly mythic and suggestive of a god. 

2 Heimo appears to mean worm originally, though used elsewhere of the 
cricket or cicada (Reinh. cxxv), for which our present heimchen (little worm) 
is better suited. A renowned Kaiiing hero was also named Heimo (Reinh. 
cciv). We find again, that Madelger is in Morolt 3921 a dwarf, son of a mer 
maid, and in Rol. 58, 17 a smith. 

3 In the prophecies of the North Frisian Hertje (A.D. 1400) the tradition of 
such monstrosities is applied to the future: Wehe den minschen, de den 
leven, wen de liide 4 arme kriegen und 2 par scho over de vote dragen und 2 
hode up den kop hebben ! Heimreichs chron., Tondern 1819 ; 2, 341. It 
may however refer merely to costume. 

4 Goth, haihs, hanfs, halts, blinds, dumbs. 

388 HEROES. 

so is Hagano one-eyed, Walthari one-handed, Gunthari and Wie- 
lant lame, of blind and dumb heroes there are plenty. 

One thing seems peculiar to heroes, that their early years 
should be clouded by some defect, and that out of this darkness 
the bright revelation, the reserved force as it were, should suddenly 
break forth. Under this head we may even place the blind birth 
of the Welfs, and the vulgar belief about Hessians and Swabians 
(p. 373). In Saxo Gram., p. 63, Ujffb is dumb, and his father 
Vermund blind ; to him corresponds the double Offa in the line of 
Mercia, and both of these Offas are lame and dumb and blind. 
According to the vita Offae prirni, Varmundi filii, he was of hand 
some figure, but continued blind till his seventh year, and dumb 
till his thirtieth ; when the aged Varmund was threatened with 
war, all at once in the assembly Offa began to speak. The vita 
Offae secundi says, 1 the hero was at first called Vinered (so we must 
emend Pineredus), and was blind, lame and deaf, but when he 
came into possession of all his senses, he was named Offa secundus. 
Exactly so, in Soem. 14.2 a . HiorvarSr and Sigurlinn have a tall hand 
some son, but hann var jjogull, ecki nafn festiz vi5 liann . Only 
after a valkyrja has greeted him by the name of Helgi, does he 
begin to speak, and is content to answer to that name. StarkaSr 
too was ];ogull in his youth (Fornald. sb g. 3, 3G), and Halfdan was 
reckoned stupid (Saxo, p. 134) ; just as slow was the heroism of 
Dietleib in unfolding itself (Vilk. saga cap. 91), and that of Iliya in 
the Kussian tales. Our nursery-tales take up the character as 
dscherling, aschenbrodcl, askcfis (cinderel) : the hero-youth lives 
inactive and despised by the kitchen-hearth or in the cattle-stall, 
out of whose squalor he emerges when the right time comes. I 
do not recollect any instance in Greek mythology of this exceed 
ingly favourite feature of our folk-lore. 

Unborn children, namely those that have been cut out of the 
womb, usually grow up heroes. Such was the famous Persian 
Ptustem in Ferdusi, as well as Tristan according to the old story in 
Eilhart, or the Russian hero Dobruna Nikititch, and the Scotch 
Macduff. But Volsungr concerns us more, who spoke and made 
vows while yet unborn, who, after being cut out, had time to kiss 
his mother before she died (Volsungas. cap. 2. 5). An obscure 

1 These remarkable vitae Offae prirni ct sccuncli are printed after Watts s 
Matth. Paris, pp. 8, 9. 


passage in Fafnismal (Saem. 187 a ) seems to designate SigurSr also 
an 6borinn; and in one as difficult (Beow. 92), may not the umbor- 
wesende which I took in a different sense on p. 370, stand for 
unbor-wesQude, to intimate that Sceaf passed for an unborn ? The 
Landnamabok 4, 4 has an Uni hinn oborni (m.), and 1, 10 an 
Ulfrun in oborna (f.) ; for wise-women, prophetesses, also come into 
the world the same way. 1 Our Mid. Ages tell of an unborn hero 
Hoyer (Benecke s Wigalois, p. 452) ; in Hesse, Reinhart of Dalwig 
was known as the unborn, being, after the caesarian operation, 
brought to maturity in the stomachs of newly slaughtered swine. 2 
As early as the tenth century, Eckhart of St. Gall informs us : 
Infans excisus et arvinae porci recens erutae, ubi incutesceret, 
involutus, bonae indoiis cum in brevi apparuisset, baptizatur et 
Purchardus nominatur (Pertz 2, 120) ; this is the Burchardus 
ingenitus, afterwards abbot of St Gall. One Gebehardus, ex de- 
functae matris Dietpurgae utero excisus, is mentioned in the Chron. 
Petershus. p. 302, with the remark : De talibus excisis literae 
testantur quod, si vita comes fuerit, felices in mundo habeantur. 
To such the common standard cannot be applied, their extra 
ordinary manner of coming into the world gives presage of a higher 
and mysterious destiny. Not unlike is the Greek myth of Metis 
and Tritogeneia : the virgin goddess springs out of the forehead of 
Zeus. The phrase about HloSr being born with helmet, sword and 
horse (above, p. 76), is explained by the Hervararsaga, p. 490, to 
mean, that the arms and animals which accompany the hero were 
forged and born at the time of his birth. Schroter s Finnish Eunes 
speak of a child that was born armed: this reminds us of the 
superstition about lucky children being born with hood and helmet 
(see ch. XXVIII). 

It was noticed about the gods (p. 321), that Balder s brother, 
when scarcely born, when but one night old, rushed to vengeance, 
unwashed and uncombed. This is like the children born of liten 
Kerstin after long gestation : the newborn son gets up directly and 
combs his hair, the new born daughter knows at once how to sew 
silk. Another version makes her give birth to two sons, one of 
whom combs his yellow locks, the other draws his sword, both 
equipped for swift revenge (Svenska fornsanger 2, 254-6). Here 

1 Heimreich s Nordfries. chr. 2, 341. 

2 Zeitschrift t iir Hess, gesch. 1, 97. 

390 HEROES. 

combing and not combing seem to be the same characteristic. A 
new born child speaks ; Norske eventyr 1, 139. 

As the birth of beloved kings is announced to their people by 
joyful phenomena, and their death by terrible, the same holds good 
of heroes. Their generosity founds peace and prosperity in the 
land. Froffis reign in Denmark was a period of bliss ; in the year 
of Hakon s election the birds bred twice, and trees bore twice, 
about which beautiful songs may be gleaned out of his saga, cap. 24. 
On the night that Helgi was born, eagles cried, and holy waters 
streamed from the mountains, Sa3m. 149 a . 

Sigurd s walk and manner of appearing was impetuous, like 
that of a god ; when he first approached the burg of Brynhildr, 
iorft diisaol ok opphimin, earth shook and heaven, Sffim. 241 b ; 
and of Brynhild s laughing, as of that of the gods (p. 324), we are 
told : hlo, beer allr dundi, she laughed and all the castle dinned, 
Ssem. 208*. A divine strength reveals itself in many deeds and 
movements of heroes. Dietrich s fiery breath may be suggestive of 
Donar, or perhaps only of a dragon : ob sin atem goebe fiur als 
eines wilden trachen, (Parz. 137, 18). 

A widely prevalent mark of the hero race is their being suckled 
"by leasts, or fed ly birds. A hind offers her milk to SigurSr when 
exposed, Vilk. saga 142 ; a she-wolf gives suck to the infant 
Dieterich (like Romulus and Remus) together with her four blind 
whelps, hence his name of Wolfdieterich. The same fellowship 
with whelps seems imputed to the beginnings of the Goths and 
Swabians, as to those of the Romans (p. 373) ; but the woodpecker 
also, that Bee-wolf, brought food to the sons of Mars, and we have 
come to know the Swabians as special devotees of Zio (p. 199). 
The Servian hero Milosh Kobilitch was suckled by a mare (kobila), 
Vuk 2, 101 ; does that throw light on the OHG. term of abuse 
merihunsun, zfigiinsun (RA. 643) ? A like offensive meaning 
lurked in the Latin lupa. 1 But it is not only to sucklings that 
the god-sent animals appear ; in distress and danger also, swans, 
ravens, wolves, stags, bears, lions will join the heroes, to render 
them assistance ; and that is how animal figures in the scutcheons 
and helmet-insignia of heroes are in many cases to be accounted for, 
though they may arise from other causes too, e.g., the ability of 
certain heroes to transform themselves at will into wolf or swan. 

1 Fils de truie ; Garin 2, 229. 


The sivan s wing, the swan s coat, betokens another supernatural 
quality which heroes share with the gods (p. 326), the power of 
flying. As Wieland ties on his swan-wings, the Greek Perseus has 
winged shoes, talaria, Ov. met. 4, 667. 729, and the Servian Eelia is 
called kriliit (winged), being in possession of krilo and okrilie 
(wing and wing-cover), Vuk 2, 88. 90. 100. A piece of the wing 
remaining, or in women a swan s foot, will at times betray the 
higher nature. 

The superhuman quality of heroes shines out of their eyes 
(luminum vibratus, oculorum micatus, Saxo Gram. 23) : ormr i 
auga. The golden teeth of gods and heroes have been spoken of, p. 
234. In the marchen sons are born with a star on the forehead, 
Kinderm. 96. Straparola 4, 3 ; or a golden star falls on the fore 
head, Pentam. 3, 10. The Dioscuri had a star or flame shining on 
their heads and helmets : this may have reference to the rays 
encircling the head (p. 323), or to constellations being set in the 
sky. In some cases the heroic form is disfigured by animal 
peculiarities, as Siegfried s by his horny skin, and others by a 
scaly ; the marchen have heroes with hedgehog spikes. The legend 
of the Merovings, imperfectly handed down to us, must be founded 
on something of the kind. When Clodio the son of Faramund 
with his queen went down to the shore, to cool themselves from 
the sultry summer heat, there came up a monster (sea-hog ?) out of 
the waves, which seized and overpowered the bathing queen. She 
then bore a son of singular appearance, who was therefore named 
Merovig, and his descendants, who inherited the peculiarity, 
Merovings. 1 Theophanes expressly declares, that the Merovings 
were called KpicrrdraL and rpf^opa^draL, because all the kings of 
that house had bristles down the backbone (pd^s), like swine. 
We still find in Eol. 273, 29, where it is true they are enumerated 
among heathens, 

di helde von Meres ; 

vil gewis sit ir des, 

daz niht kuoners mac sin : 

an dem rucke tr agent si borsten sam swin. 

The derivation of the name is altogether unknown. Can it possibly 
have some connexion with the boar-worship of Fro, which may 

1 Fredegar s epitome (Bouquet 2, 396), and Conradus Ursperg., Arg. 1609, 
.p. 92. Per contra, Mullenhoff in Haupt s zeitschr. 6, 432. 

392 HEROES. 

have been especially prevalent among the Franks ? Lampr. Alex. 
5368 also has : sin hut was ime bevangen al mit swtnes bursten (see 

One principal mark to know heroes by, is their possessing 
intelligent horses, and conversing with them. A succeeding chapter 
will shew more fully, how heathendom saw something sacred and 
divine in horses, and often endowed them with consciousness and 
sympathy with the destiny of men. But to heroes they were indis 
pensable for riding or driving, and a necessary intimacy sprang up 
between the two, as appears by the mere fact of the horses having 
proper names given them. The touching conversation of Achilles 
with his Xanthos and Balios (II. 19, 400421) finds a complete 
parallel in the beautiful Karling legend of Bayard ; compare also 
Wilhelm s dialogue with Puzzdt (58, 2159, 8), in the French 
original with Baucent (Garin 2, 230-1), and Begon s with the same 
Baucent (p. 230). In the Edda we have Skirnir talking with his 
horse (Sasm. >82 b ) ; and GoSrun, after SigurS s murder, with Grani 
(231 b ) : 

hnipnaCi Grani )m, drap i gras hofcSi. 

Well might Grani mourn, for the hero had bestridden him ever 
since he led him out of Hialprek s stable (180), had ridden him 
through the flames (202 a ), and carried off the great treasure. 
Swedish and Danish folk-songs bring in a sagacious steed Black, 
with whom conversation is carried on (Sv. vis. 2, 194. Sv, forns. 
2, 257. Danske vis. 1, 323). In the poems on Artus the horses 
are less attractively painted ; but how naively in the Servian, 
when Mila shoes the steed (Vuk 1, 5), or Marko before his death 
talks with his faithful Sharats (2, 243 seq. Danitza 1, 109). In 
Mod. Greek songs there is a dialogue of Liakos with his horse 
(Fauriel 1, 138), and similar ones in the Lithuanian dainos (Khesa 
p. 224). The Persian Eastern s fairy steed is well-known (see 
Suppl.). 1 

If many heroes are carried off in the bloom of life, like Achilles 
or Siegfried, others attain a great age, beyond the limit of the 
human. Our native legend allows Hildebrand the years of Nestor 

L Mongolian warriors dying song has : 
My poor cream-coloured trotter, you will get home alive. 
Then tell my mother, pray : full rii teen wounds had he . 
And tell my father, pray : shot through the back was he, &c. 

HOUSES. AGE. 393. 

with undiminished strength, and to the Scandinavian StarkaSr is 
measured out a life that runs through several generations ; the 
divinely honoured Goftmundr is said to have numbered near five 
hundred years, Fornald. sog. 1, 411. 442. In the genealogies that 
have come down to us, great length of life is given to the first 
ancestors, as it is in the Bible also. Snacrr hinn gamli, sprung 
from Kari and Jokull, is said to have attained 300 years, and 
Hdlfdan gamli as many, Fornald. sog. 2, 8. The MHG. poem of 
Dietrich s ancestors (1869 2506) gives Dietwart and Sigeher 400 
years of life each, Wolfdieterich 503, Hugdieterich 450, and Dietmar 
340 ; Dietrich of Bern is the first that reaches only the ordinary 
limit, Otnit the son of Sigeher was killed when young. 1 The 
Servian Marko was three hundred years old, almost like the giants 
of old. On the other hand, the life of heroes is enfeebled by union 
with goddesses and superhuman females. Examples will be given, 
when the valkyrs are discussed ; the belief of the Greeks is 
expressed in ,a remarkable passage of the Hymn to Venus 190, 
where Anchises, after he has embraced Aphrodite, fears that he 
shall lead a stricken life (a^e^o?) among men : 

eVel ov /3to#aX/uo5 a 
ryfyverai, ocrre Oeals evvd^erai d 
The goddess does not conceal, that age will come on him apace, and 
that Zeus s thunderbolt will maim him if he boast of her favours. 
The story of Staufenberger and the sea-fairy is founded on similar 

Another thing in which the condition of heroes resembles that 
of gods is, that particular local haunts and dwellings are assigned 
them. Such abodes seem by preference to bear the name of stone, 
as Gibichenstein, Brunhildenstein, Kriemhildenstein, Eigclstein, 
Waskenstein ; which points to sacred rocks uninhabited by men, 

1 These are undoubtedly genuine myths, that lose themselves in the 
deeps of time, however distorted and misplaced they may be. Sigeher (OHG. 
Siguhari) is plainly the ON. Sigarr, from whom the Siglingar or Siklingar 
take their najne ; Sigeher s daughter is called Siyelint, Sigar s daughter Signy, 
but the two are identical. Hugdieterich, who in woman s clothing woos Hilde- 
burg, is one with HagbarSr (Sw. Habor, Dan. Hafbur), who likewise succeeds 
in his suit for Signy (.Sw. Signil, Dan. Signild), though here the story has a 
tragic end, and the names disagree ; but hug and hag, both from one root, 
support each other. Sigeminne too, the wife of Wolfdieterich, who in the Hel- 
denbuch is the son of Hugdieterich, comes near to Signy. The part about 
Hugdieterich in the Heldenbuch is throughout uncommonly sweet, and cer 
tainly very ancient. 

394 HEROES. 

and a primeval, firmly rooted worship. More rarely we find castle 
or hall connected with a hero (Iringes burc, Orendelsal), a few times 
ea and burn, oftener way or street ; now, as the notion of a highway 
lies close to that of a conspicuous column to which the roads led up, 
we may well connect the Herculis columnae/ the Irmansuli, with 
the Roland-pillars, which we come upon just in those northern 
parts of Germany where heathenism prevailed latest. As king 
Charles occupies Wuotan s place in certain legends, especially that 
of the furious host, Eoland, the noblest hero of his court, who is 
to him almost exactly what Donar is to Wuotan, seems to replace 
the divine vanquisher of giants. JEthelstdn-pillars have been 
mentioned, p. 119. It is worthy of note, that, while Scandinavia 
offers nothing else that can be likened to the Irmen-pillars, yet at 
Skeningen, a town of Ostergotland, there stood erected in the 
marketplace, just where Roland-pillars do stand, the figure of a 
giant or hero, which the people called Thore lang (Thuro longus), 
and at which idolatry was practised in former times. 1 This figure 
appears far more likely to belong to the heathen god than to any 
hero or king; and probably the column in the market place of 
Bavais in Hainault, from which seven roads branched off, and 
which is said to have been reared in honour of a king Bavo, had a 
similar meaning (see Suppl.). 

According to a widely accepted popular belief, examined more 
minutely in ch. XXXII on Spiriting away, certain heroes have 
sunk from the rocks and fortresses they once inhabited, into clefts 
and caverns of the mountains, or into subterranean springs, and are 
there held wrapt in a seldom interrupted slumber, from which they 
issue in times of need, and bring deliverance to the land. That 
here again, not only Wuotan, Arminius, Dieterich and Siegfried, 
but such modern heroes as Charles, Frederick Barbarossa and even 
Tell are named, may assure us of the mystic light of myth which 
has settled on them. It was a Norse custom, for aged heroes, dead 
to the world and dissatisfied with the new order of things, to shut 
themselves up in a hill: thus Herlaugr with twelve others goes 
into the haugr (Egilss. p. 7), and in like manner Eticho the Welf, 
accompanied by twelve nobles, retires into a mountain in the 
Scherenzerwald, where no one could find him again (Deutsche 

i Olaus Magnus J4, 15. Stjernhook, De jure Sveon. vet., p. 326. Brooc- 
mans beskrifn. 6 fver Ostergotland, Norrkoping 1760. 1, 190. 



sagen, no. 518). Siegfried, Charles and Frederick, like King 
Arthur of the Britons, abide in mountains with their host. 

Be it be remarked lastly, that the heroic legend, like the divine, 
is fond of running into triads. Hence, as OSin, Vili, Ve, or Har, 
lafnhar and Thriol stand together, there appear times without 
number three heroic brothers together, and then also it commonly 
happens, that to the third one is ascribed the greatest faculty of 
success. So in the Scythian story of the three brothers Leipoxais, 
Arpoxais and Kolaxais (Herod. 4, 5) : a golden plough, yoke and 
sword having fallen from heaven, when the eldest son and the 
second tried to seize them, the gold burned, but the third carried 
them off. The same thing occurs in many inarchen. 


The relation of women to the gods is very different from that of 
men, because men alone can found famous houses, while a woman s 
family dies with her. The tale of ancestry contains the names of 
heroes only ; king s daughters are either not named in it at all, or 
disappear again as soon as they have been introduced as brides. 
For the same reason we hear of deified sons, but not of deified 
daughters ; nay, the marriage of mortals with immortals issues 
almost always in the birth of sons. There are therefore no women 
to be placed by the side of the heroes, whom in the preceding 
chapter we have regarded as a mixture of the heavenly