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Apart from deified and semi-divine natares there stands a 
whole order of other beings distinguished mainly by the fact 
tliat^ whild those have issued from men or seek human fellowship^ 
these form a separate community^ one might say a kingdom of 
tlieir own^ and are only induced by accident or stress of circum- 
stances to have dealings with men. They have in them some 
admixture of the superhuman^ which approximates them to gods ; 
they have power to hurt man and to help him^ at the same time 
they stand in awe of him^ being no match for him in bodily 
strength. Their figurQ is much below the stature of man^ or else 
mis-shapen« They almost all have the faculty of making them- 
selves invisible.^ And here again the females are of a broader 
and nobler cast^ with attributed resembling those of goddesses 
and wise- women ; the male spirits are more distinctly marked o£E^ 
both from gods and from heroes.^ 

The two most general designations for them form the title of 
this chapter; they are what we should call apirits nowadays. 
Bat the word spirit (geist^ ghost),^ like the Greek Bal/io^v, is 
too comprehensive; it would include^ for instance, the half- 
goddesses discussed in the preceding chapter. The Lat. geniiM 
would more nearly hit the mark (see Suppl.). 

The term wiht seems remarkable in more than one respect, for 
its variable gender and for the abstract meanings developed from 

* But so have the gods (p. 825), goddesses (p. 268) and wise-women (p. 419). 

' Celtic tradition, which rons particularly rich on this snhject, I draw from 
the following works : Fairy Legends and ^aditions of the South of Ireland, 
by Crofton Oroker, Lond. 1825 ; 2nd ed., parts 1, 2, 3, Lond. 1828. The Fairy 
Uythology, by Th. Eeightley, vols. 1, 2, Lond. 1828. Barzas-Breiz, chants popu- 
lairee de la Bretagne, par Th. de la Yillemarqn6, 2e 6d., 2 vol., Paris 1840. 

* OHG. keitt, AS. gast, OS. gest (see root in Gramm. 2, 46) ; Goth, ahma, 
OHG. atum for ahadom, conn, with Goth, aha (mens), ahjan (meminisse, oogitare), 
u man (homo), mannUha^ and mannif minni belong to munan, minnen (pp. 59. 
844. 438). 

VOL. U. «« B 


it. The Gothic vaihts, gen. vaihtdis, is feminine, and ülpliilas 
hardly ever uses it in a concrete sense ; in Lake 1, 1 he tmnslates 
by it irpajfia, and much oftener, when combined with a negative, 

ovSiv (Gramm. 8, 8. 734). This, however, does not exclude the 
possibility of vaihts having at other times denoted to the Goths 
a spirit regarded as female; and in 1 Thess. 5, 22 the sentence 
airo iravTo^ etSov^ irovrfpov airiyeaOe is rendered: af allamma 
vaihts ubil&izd afhab&i]; izvis, where the Ynlg. has : ab omni 
specie mala abstinete vos ; the use of the pi. ' vaihteis ubilds ^ of 
itself suggests the notion of spirits. The other Teutonic tongues 
equally use the word to intensify and make a substantive of the 
negative, and even let it swallow up at last the proper particle 
of negation ; ^ but in all of them it retains its personal meaning 
too. The OHG. writers waver between the neut. and masc. ; the 
Gothic fem. is unknown to them. Otfried has a neut. wiht, with 
the collective pi. wihtir^ and likewise a neut. pi. wihii, which 
implies a sing, wihti ] thus, armu wihtir, iv. 6, 23 ; armu wihti, 
ii. 16, 117; krumbu wihti, iii. 9, 5; meaning 'poor, crooked 
creatures,' so that wiht (derivable from wthan facere, creare) 
seems altogether synonymous with being, creature, person, and 
can be used of men or spirits : * in demo mere sint wunderltchiu 
vnhtir, diu heizent sirenae,' Hoffm. Pundgr. 19, 17. In MHG. 
sometimes neut. : unreinez %mktf Diut. 1, 13 ; Athis H. 28 ; 
triigehafbez wUit, Bari. 367, 11 ; vil tumbez wiht, 11, 21; some- 
times masc. : boeser wiht, Bari. 220, 15; unrehter bcasewiht, MS. 
2, 147*, Geo. 3508; kleiner wiht, Altd. bl. 1, 254; der wikt, 
Geo. 3513-36; der tumbe vnht, Fragm. 42*; and often of in- 
determinable gender: boese wiht, Trist. 8417; helle wiht, Geo. 
3531 ; but either way as much applicable to men as to spirits« 
Ghostly wights are the ' minuti dii ' of the Romans (Plaut. 
Gasina, ii. 5, 24). In Mod. Germ, we make wicht masc, 
and use it slightingly of a pitiful hapless being, fellow, often 
wifch a qualifying epithet: 'elender wicht, bösewicht (villain)/ 
If the diminutive form be added, which intensifies the notion of 
littleness, it can only be used of spirits : wichtlein, wichtdmann ; ' 

^ kughi * i-wiht, any wight or whit ; naught » n*i-wiht, no wight, no whit. — 

9 So : thin dinfilir, iii 14, 68, hy the side of ther dinlal, iH. 14, lOS. 

* In Hesse wicHtelmänner is the expression in vogae, except on the Diemel in 
Bason Hesse, where they say *gate holden.' 

WIGHTS. 441 

MHG. din wihtel^ MS. 1^ 157* ; bcesez wihtel, Elfenm. cxviii. ; 
kleinez wihtelin, Ls. 1, 378, 880, Wolfdiefcr. 788, 799; OHG. 
mhtelin penates ; wihtelen vel lielbe {i,e, elbe), lemures, dsQmones^ 
Gl. Florian. The demea toihti, occalti genii, in Hel. 31, 20. 92, 2 
are deceitful demonic beings, as 'thie demo' 161, 19 means 
the devil himself; letha wihti, 76, 15; wreda vnhti 76, 1. In 
Lower Saxony wicht is said^ quite in a good sense, of little 
children : in the Münster country ' dat wicht ' holds especially 
of girls, about Osnabrück the sing, wicht only of girls, the pi. 
toicht^ of girls and boys ; ' innocent wichte ' are spoken of in 
Sastrow, 1, 351. The Mid. Nethl. has a neut. widht like the 
H. German : qnade wicht, clone wicht (child). Hnyd. op St. 3, 6. 
370; arena wiht, Beinh. 1027; so the Mod. Dutch wicht, pi. 
tnchteren : arm wicht, aardig wicht, in a kindly sense. The AS. 
language agrees with the Gothic as to the fem. gender : vnht, 
gen. wihte, nom. pi. wihta; later wuht, wuhte, wuhta; seo wiht, 
Cod. Exon. 418, 8. 419, 3. 5. 420, 4. 10. The meaning can be 
either concrete: yfel wiht (phantasma), leas wiht (diabolus), 
Csodm. 310, 16 ; scewiht (animal marinum), Beda, 1, 1 ; or 
entirely abstract = thing, aflRair. The Engl. wigM has the sense 
of our wicht. The ON. vcett and voettr, which are likewise fem., 
have preserved in its integrity the notion of a demonic spiritual 
being (Saam. 145*) : allar vcettir, genii quicunque, Saam. 93^ ; 
hollar vccttir, genii benigni, Sasm. 240^ ; ragvcettir or meinvoBttir, 
genii noxii,' landvcettir, genii tutelares, Fornm. sog. 3, 105. 
IsL sog. 1, 198, etc. In the Faroes they say: 'fe&r tft tSar 
til mainvittia (go to the devil) ! ' Lyngbye, p. 548. The Danish 
tüte is a female spirit, a wood-nymph, meinvette an evil spirit. 

^ Swer weiz and doch niht wizzen wil, Whoso knows, yet will not know, 
der slfBt sich mit stn selbes hant ; Smites himself with his own hand ; 

des wtsheit aht ich zeime apil, His wisdom lvalue no more than a plaj 

daz man diu wiktel h&t genannt : That they call * the little wights ' : " 

er lit ons sohonwen wunders yU, He lets us witness mach of wonder, 

der ir d& waltet. Who governs them. 

The passage shows that in the 18th cent, there was a kind of puppet-show in which 
fi^tly beings were set before the eyes of spectators. *Der ir waltet,' he that 
Yields them, means the showman who pats the figores in motion. A fall confir- 
mation in Uie Wachtelmäre, line 40 : ' rihtet za mit den tnüeren (strings) die 
tatermanne ! ' Another passage on the toiktel-spil in Haapt's Zeitschr. 2, 60 :. 
'^t mit dem ynhtelin üf dem tisch mnb gaoten win.* 

' Biöm sappoflee a maso. (fem. ?) meifwattr and a neat, meinvatti ; no doabt 
min is noza, malum ; neyerthelesB I call attention to the Zendic mainyut, dismooi 
•od agmmai&ynB, demon malus. 


Thiele 8^ 98. The Swedish tongue^ in addition to vätt (genius) 
and a synonymous neut. vättr, has a loikt formed after the German, 
Ihre^ p. 1075. Neither is the abstract sense wanting in any of 
these dialects. 

This transition of the meaning of wight into that of thing on 
the one hand, and of devil on the other, agrees with some other 
phenomena of language. We also address little children as 
' thing/ and the child in the marchen (No. 105) cries to the 
lizard : ' ding, eat the crumbs too ! ' Wicht, ding, wint, teufel, 
valant (Gramm. 8, 731. 786) all help to clinch a denial. 0. French 
males choaes, mali genii, Ren. 80085. Mid. Latin bonce res = honi 
genii, Vine. Bellov. iii. 8, 27 (see Suppl.). 

We at once perceive a more decided colouring in the OHG. 
and MHG. alp (genius), AS. celf, ON. alfr ; a Goth, albs may 
safely be conjectured. Together with this masc, the OHG. 
may also have had a neut. alp, pi. elpir, as we know the MHG. 
had a pi. elber ; and from the MHG. dat. fem. elbe (MS. 1, 50^) 
we must certainly infer a nom. diu elbe, OHG. alpia, elpia, Goth. 
albi, gen. albjSs, for otherwise such a derivative could not occur. 
Formed by a still commoner suffix, there was no doubt an OHG. 
elpinna, MHG. elbinne, the form selected by Albrecht of Halber- 
stadt, and still appearing in his poem as remodelled by Wikram;^ 
AS. elfen, gen. elfenne. Of the nom. pi. masc. I can only feel 
sure in the ON., where it is alfar, and would imply a Groth. 
albos, OHG. alp&, MHG. albe, AS. aslfas ; on the other hand an 
OHG. elpi (Goth, albeis) is suggested by the MHG. pi. elbe 
(Amgb. 2^, unless this comes from the fern, elbe above) and by 
the AS. pi. ylfe, gen. pi. ylfa (Beow. 223).* The Engl, forms 

^ Wikram 1, 9. 6, 9 (ed. 1681, p. 11» 199b). The first passage, in all the editions 
I have compared (ed. 1545, p. 8*), has a faulty reading : * anoh viel ewinnen and 
freyeUf^ rhyming with * zweyen.* Albrecht sorely wrote ' yil elbitiTien and feien.^ 
1 can maku nothing of ' freien * bat at best a veiy daring allnsion to Frigg and 
Frea (p. 801) ; and * froie * * fraalein, as the weasel is called in Beinh. clzxii., can 
have nothing to say here. 

' Taking AS. y [as a modified a, a, «a,] as in yldra, ylfet, yrfe, OHG. eldiro, 
elpiz, erpi. At the same time, as y can also be a modified o (orf, yrfe » pecas), or 
a modified u (wnlf , wylfen), I will not pass oyer a MHG. uZ/, pi. iUve, which seems 
to mean much the same as alp, and may be akin to an AS. ylf: * von den Hlven 
entbunden werden,* MS. 1, 81» ; * ülfheit ein saht ob allen sühten,' MS. 2, 185» ; 
* der sich ülfet ux der jugent,* Helbl. 2, 426 ; and oonf. the ölp quoted from H. 
Sachs. Shakspeare occasionally couples elyes and goblins with smular beings called 
ouphea (Nares sub t.). It -speaks for the identity of the two forms, that one 
Svredish folk-song (Arwidsson 2, 278) has Ul/ver where another (2, 276) has Elfvtf» 

ELVES. 443 

tlfy elves, the Swed« elf, pi. masc. elfvar (fern, elfvor), the Dan. 
elv, pi. elve, are quite in rale ; the Dan. compounds ellefolkj eile- 
koner, elleskudt, eüevild have undergone assimilation. With us 
the word alp still survives in the sense of night-hag, night-mare, 
in addition to which our writers of the last century introduced 
the Engl, elf, a form untrue to our dialect ; before that, we find 
everywhere the correct pi. elbe or elben.^ H. Sachs uses ölp : 
' du ölp ! du dölp ! ' (i. 5, 525^), and ölperisch (iv. 3, 95*^) ; conf. 
ölpem and ölpetrütsch, alberdriitsch, drelpetrütsch (Schm. 1, 48) ; 
elpefUrötech and tölpentrötsch, trilpentrisch (Schmidts Swab. diet. 
162) ; and in Hersfeld, hilpentrisch. The words mean an awkward 
pilly fellow, one whom the elves have been at, and the same thing 
is expressed by the simple elbisch, Fundgr. 365. In Gloss. Jun. 
340 we read eloesce wehte, elvish wights. 

On the nature of Elves I resort for advice to the ON. authori- 
ties, before all others. It has been remarked already (p. 25), 
that the Elder Edda several times couples OBsir and difar together, 
as though they were a compendium of all higher beings, and 
that the AS. es and ylfe stand together in exactly the same way. 
This apparently concedes more of divinity to elves than to men. 
Sometimes there come in, as a third member, the va7iir (Saem. 
83^), a race distinct from the e&sir, but admitted to certain 
relations with them by marriage and by covenants. The Hrafna- 
galdr opens with the words : AlföSr orkar (works), dlfar skiija, 
vanir vita,'' S»m. 88* ; Allfather, i,e, the Äs, has power, älfar 
have skill (understanding), and vanir knowledge. The Alvismäl 
enumerates the dissimilar names given to heavenly bodies, 
elements and plants by various languages (supra, p. 332) ; in 
doing 80, it mentions cesir, dlfar, vanir, and in addition also 
go^, menn, ginregin, votnar, dvergar and denizens of hel (hades). 
Here the most remarkable point for us is, that dlfar and dvergar 
(dwarfs) are two different things. The same distinction is made 
between dlfar and dvergar, Sasm. 8^; between dvergar and 
doekdlfar, Saem. 92^; between three kinds of norns, the fts-kungar, 
älf-kungar and doatr Dvalins, Sasm. 188% namely, those descended 
from &ses, from elves and from dwarfs ; and our MHG. poets, 
as we see by Wikram's Albrecht, 6, 9, continued to separate elbe 

^ Besold. Bub v. t'lbe ; Eitncr's Hebamme, p. 910, alpen or elben. 


from getwerc} Some kinship however seems to exist between 
them^ if only becaase among proper names of dwarfs we find an 
Alfr and a Vindalftf Ssem. 2. 3. Loki^ elsewhere called an fts^ 
and reckoned among ftses^ bat really of iötan origin^ is neverthe- 
less addressed as aJfVj Ssem. 110* ; nay, Völundr, a godlike hero, 
is called ^ alfa licSi/ alfornm socins, and 'vtsi aXfa,^ alforam 
princeps, Saem. 135** **• I explain this not historically (by a 
Finnish descent), but mythically : German legend h'kewise makes 
Wielant king Elberich's companion and fellow smith in Mount 
Gloggensachsen (otherwise Göugelsahs, Caucasus ?). Thus we 
see the word alfr shrink and stretch by turns. 

Now what is the true meaning of the word aXba, alp = genius ? 
One is tempted indeed to compare the Lat. albus, which according 
to Festus the Sabines called alpus ; ä\4>6^ (vitiligo,' leprosy) 
agrees still better with the law of consonant-change. Probably 
then alhs meant first of all a light-coloured, white, good spirit,' 
so that, when alfar and dvergar are contrasted, the one signifies 
the white spirits, the other the black. This exactly agrees with 
the great beauty and brightness of &lfar. But the two classes 
of creatures getting, as we shall see, a good deal mixed up 
and confounded, recourse was had to composition, and the elves 
proper were named liosalfar? 

The above-named döckälfar (genii obscuri) require a counter- 
part, which is not found in the Eddie songs, but it is in Snorri^s 
prose. He says, p. 21 : ^In Alf heim dwells the nation of the 
liosdlfar (light elves), down in the earth dwell the döckälfar 
(dark elves), the two unlike one another in their look and their 
powers, liosalfar brighter than the sun, döckälfar blacker than 
pitch.* The liosalfar occupy the third space of heaven, Sn. 22. 
Another name which never occurs in the lays, and which at 
first sight seems synonymous with döckälfar, is svartdlfar (black 

^ In Norway popTiIar belief keeps alfer and dverge apart, Faye p. 49. 

^ The word appears in the name of the snowolad mountains {alpes, see Snppl.), 
and that of the clear river {Albis, Elbe), while the ON. elf elfa, Swed. elf, Dan. 
elv » flnvins, is still merely appellative ; the ghostly elvish swan (OHQ-. alpiz, 
MHG. elbez, AS. seifet, ON. alpt, p. 429) can be explained both by its colour and its 
watery abode ; likewise the Slav, labnd, lebed, from Labe. 

3 Vanir also may contain the notion of white, bright ; consider the ON. V€Bnn 
(puloher), the Ir. ban (albus), ben, bean (femina), Lat. Venue, Goth. qinS, AS. cwen. 
To this add, that the Ir. banshi, ban-nghe denotes an elvish being usually regarded 
as female, a fay. The same is expressed by tia, tighe alone, whidi is said to mean 
properly the twilight, the hour of spirits (see Suppl.). 

ELVES. 445 

elyes) ; ^ and these Snorri evidently takes to be the same as 
dvergar, for his dvergar dwell in Svartälfaheim^ (Sn. 34. 180. 
136). This 18^ for one things at variance with the separation 
of alfar and dvergar in the lays^ and more particnlarly with 
the difference implied between döckälfar and dvergar in Saem. 
92^ 188*. That language of poetry^ which everywhere else im- 
parts snch precise information aboat the old faith^ I am not 
inclined to set aside here as vagae and general. Nor^ in con- 
nexion with this^ ought we to overlook the ndir, the deadly pale 
or dead ghosts named by the side of the dvergar, SaBm. 92^ 
though again among the dvergar themselves occur the proper 
names Nftr and N&inn. 

Some have seen, in this antithesis of lighb and black elves, the 
same Dualism that other mythologies set up between spirits good 
and bad, friendly and hostile, heavenly and hellish, between angels 
of light and of darkness. But ought we not rather to assume 
three kinds of Itorse genii, liosal/ar, döchcUfar, svartalfar ? No 
doubt I am thereby pronouncing Snorri^s statement £EJlacious : 
* dock&lfar ern svartari en bik (pitch)/ Döchr ^ seems to me not so 
much downright black, as dim, dingy ; not niger, but obscurus, 
foscus, aquilus. In ON. the adj. iarpr, AS. eorp, fuscus, seems to 
be used of dwarfs, Haupt's Zeitschr. 3, 152 ; and the female name 
Irpa (p. 98) is akin to it. In that case the identity of dwarfs 
and black elves would hold good, and at the same time the Old 
Eddie distinction between dwarfs and dark elves be justified« 

Such a Trilogy still wants decisive proof ,* but some facts can 
be brought in support of it. Pomeranian legend, to begin with, 
seems positively to divide subterraneans into white, brown, and 
black ; ^ elsewhere popular belief contents itself with picturing 
dwarfs in gray clothing, in gray or brown cap-of-darkness ; 
Scotch tradition in particular has its brownies, spirits of brown 
hue, i.e. döck&lfar rather than svartftlfar (see Suppl.). But here 
I have yet another name to bring in, which, as applied to such 
spirits, is not in extensive use. I have not met with it outside 

' Tfaorlao. speo. 7, p. 160, giTea the lios&lfar another name holt&lfar (white 
elTee) ; I ha^e not foand the word in the old writings. 

* Conf. OHG. tnnohal, MHG. ttmkel (our dunkel), Nethl. donker. 

' E. M. Amdt*B Märchen and Jogenderinnemngen, Berl. 1818, p. 159. In Phil. 
Ton Steinan't Volkssagen, Zeitz 1888, pp. 291-3, the same traditions are giyeo, 
bot only white and black (not brown) dwarfs are distingnished. 


of the Vogtland and a part of East Tharingia. There the small 
elvish beings that travel especially in the train of Berchta^ are 
called the heimchsn (supra^ p. 276) ; and the name is considered 
finer and nobler than qaerx or erdmännchen (Börner p. 52). It 
is hardly to be explained by any resemblance to chirping crickets^ 
which are also called heimchen^ OHG. heimili (Graff 4, 953) ; 
still less by heim (domns)^ for these wights are not home-sprites 
(domestici) ; besides^ the correct spelling seems to be lieinehen 
(Variscia 2, 101), so that one may connect it with 'Friend 
Hein/ the name for death, and the Low Sax. Aetn^nkleed 
(winding-sheet, Strodtmann p. 84).^ This notion of departed 
spirits, who appear in the ' furious host ' in the retinue of former 
gods, and continue to lead a life of their own, may go to support 
those nair of the Bdda; the pale hue may belong to them, 
and the gray, brown, black to the coarser but otherwise similar 
dwarfs. Such is my conjecture. In a hero-lay founded on 
thoroughly German legend, that of Morolt, there appear precisely 
three troops of spirits, who take charge of the fallen in battle 
and of their souls : a white, a pale, and a bla^Jc troop (p. 28*), 
which is explained to mean ' angels, kinsmen of the combatants 
coming up from hades, and devils.^ No such warlike part is ever 
played by the Norse dlfar, not they, but the valkyrs have to do 
with battles ; but the traditions may long have become tangled 
together, and the offices confounded.* The liosalfar and svartalfar 
are in themselves sufficiently like the christian angels and devils ; 
the pale troop ' uz dei* helle ' are the döckalfwi* that dwell ' niSri 
i iörffu,^ nay, the very same that in the Alvism&l are not expressly 
named, but designated by the words H heljo/ Or I can put it in 
this way : lios&lfar live in heaven, döck&lfar (and näir ?) in hel, 
the heathen hades, svartalfar in Svartalfaheim, which is never 
nsed in the same sense as hel (see Suppl.). The dusky elves 
are souls of dead men, as the younger poet supposed, or are we 
to separate döckälfar and näir ? Both have their abode in the 
realms of hades, as the light ones have in those of heaven. Of 
no other elves has the Edda so much to tell as of the black. 

^ *i7ein«n]de€d is not oonn. with Friend Hein, bnt means a Afinenkleed 
(ch. XVin.) ; conf. also the hünnerskes, and perhaps the hannken, or aonken in 
the Westph. sgönannken.' — Extr. from Suppl. 

3 The different races of elyes contending for a corpse (Ir. Elfenm. 68). 


who have more dealizigB with mankind ; svart&lfar are named in 
abundance, lios&lfar and döck&lfar bat fitfully. 

One thing we must not let go : the identity of svartdlfar and 

Dvergr, Goth, dvairgs ? AS. dweorgy OHG. tvsrc, MHG. tverc, 
oor Twerg^ answer to the Lat. nanus, Gr. vayyo<i (dwarf, puppet), 
Ital. nano. Span, enano, Portug. anao, Proy. nan, nant, Fr. nain. 
Mid. Nethl. also naen, Ferg. 2243-46-53-82. 3146-50, and nane, 
3086-97 ', or Gr. wyfidlo^. Beside the masc. forms just given, 
OHG. and MHG. frequently use the neut. form gituerc, getwerc. 
Nib. 98, 1. 335, 3. MS. 2, 15\ Wigal. 6080. 6591. Trist. 
14242. 14515. daz wOde getwere, Ecke 81. 82. Wh. 57, 25. 
Oeiwerc is used as a masc. in Eilhart 2881-7. Altd. bl. 1, 253-6-8 ; 
der twerk in Hoffm. fundgr. 237. Can deovfyyo^ (performing 
miraculous deeds, what the MHG. would call wundersare) have 
anything to do with it ? As to meaning, the dwarfs resemble 
the Idsean Dactyls of the ancients, the Cabeiri and vdratKoi : all 
or most of the d vergär in the Edda are cunning smiths (Sn. 34. 
48. 130. 354). This seems the simplest explanation of their 
hlaek sooty appearance, like that of the Cyclopes. Their forges 
are placed in caves and mountains : Svartalfahdmr must there- 
fore lie in a mountainous region, not in the abyss of hell. And 
our Grerman folk-tales everywhere speak of the dwarfs as forging 
in the mountains : ' von golde wirkent si diu spcehen were ' says 
the Wartburg War of the getwerc Sinnels in Palakers, whereas 
elves and elfins have rather the business of weaving attributed to 
them. Thus, while dwarfs border on the smith-heroes and smith- 
gods (Wielant, Vulcan), the functions of elves approach those of 
fays and good-wives (see Suppl.).^ 

If there be any truth in this view of the matter, one can easily 
conceive how it might get altered and confused in the popular 
belief of a later time, when the new christian notions of angel 
and devil had been introduced. At bottom all elves, even the 
light ones, have some devil-like qualities, e.g, their loving to 

' In LaositB and E. Thnringia querx^ in Thüringerwald querliek, Jac. von 
Kdnigthofen, p. 89, has qvereh. In. Lower Saxony Bometimes tirdrm, for twarg. 

* In Bretagne the korr, pi. horred answers to onr elf, the korrigan to our elfin ; 
ind she too is desorihed like a fay : she sits by the fountain, combing her hair, and 
whoever eatehes her doing so, must marry her at once, or die in three days (Ville- 
marqa^ 1. 17). Hie Welsh cawr means a giant. 


teaze men ; bat they are not therefore devils, not even the black 
ones, but often good-natnred beings. It appears even that to these 
black elves in particular, i.e. moantain spirits, who in various 
ways came into contact with man, a distinct reverence was paid, 
a species of worship, traces of which lasted down to recent 
times. The clearest evidence of this is found in the Kormaks- 
saga pp. 216-8. The hill of the elves, like the altar of a god, 
is to be reddened with the blood of a slaughtered bull, and of 
the animal's flesh a feast prepared for the elves : ' H611 einn er 
he'San skamt t brott, er älfar bua i (cave that elves dwell in) ; 
gräMng ]?ann, er Kormakr drap (bull that K. slew), skaltA f&, ok 
rifiiSa bl6% grä^Angsins & holinn ütan, en gera alfum veizlu (make 
the elves a feast) af sl4trinu, ok mun )^er batna.' An actual 
alfablot. With this I connect the superstitious custom of cooking 
food for angels, and setting it for them (Superst. no. 896). So 
there is a table covered and a pot of food placed for home-smiths 
and kobolds (Deut. sagen, no. 37. 88. 71) ; meat and drink for 
domina Abundia (supra, p. 286) ; money or bread deposited in 
the caves of subterraneans, in going past (Neocorus 1, 262. 560).^ 
There are plants named after elves as well as after gods : alpranke, 
alpfranke, alfsranke, alpkraut (lonicera periclymen., Solanum dul- 
cam.), otherwise called geissblatt, in Denmark troldbar, in Sweden 
trullbär; dweorges dwosle, pulegium (Lye), Mone's authorities 
spell dwostle, 322* ; dvergeriis, ace. to Molbech's Dial. Lex. p. 86, 
the spartium scoparium. A latrina was called alfreh, lit. genios 
fugans, Eyrb. saga, cap. 4 (see Suppl.). 

Whereas man grows but slowly, not attaining his full stature 
till after his fifteenth year, and then living seventy years, and a 
giant can be as old as the hills ; the dwarf is already grown up 
in the third year of his life, and a greybeard in the seventh ; ^ 
the Elf-king is commonly described as old and white-bearded. 

^ The Old Pmss. and Lith. parttuk (thombkin) also has food placed for him, 
conf. Lasicz 54. The Lett, hehrttuhki is said to mean a child's doll, Bergm. 145. 

2 Emp. Ludwig the Bavarian (1S47) writes oontemptnonsly to Markgraf Carl of 
Moravia : ' Beoollige, qnia nondnm venit hora, nt pigmei de Judea (1. India) statora 
cubica evolantes fortitndine gnauica (1. gnanioa, x,e. nanica) terras gygantium de- 
trahere debeant in minas, et at pigmei, id est homines bioubitales, qui in anno 
tercio orescont ad perfectam quantitatem et in septimo anno senesount et moriun- 
tur, imperent gygantibus.* PelzePs Carl IV. 1 nrk. p. 40. Gonf. BÖhmer's Font. 
1, 227. 2, 570. Yet this description does not look to me quite German ; the more 
the dwarfs are regarded as elves, there is accorded to them, and especially to elfins 
(as to the Greek oreads), a higher and semi-divine age ; conf. the stories of change« 
lings quoted further on. Laurin, ace. to the poems, was more than 400 years old. 


Accounts of tbe creation of dwarfs will be presented in cbap. 
XIX. ; but they only seem to refer to tbe earthly form of the 
black elves, not of the light. 

The leading features of ' elvish nature seem to be the follow- 
ing :— 

Man's body holds a medium between those of the giant and 
the elf ; an elf comes as much short of human size as a giant 
towers above it. All elves are imagined as small and tiny, but 
the light ones as well-formed and symmetrica], the bl<ich as ugly 
and misshapen. The former are radiant with exquisite beauty, 
and wear shining garments : the AS. celfsciene, C»dm. 109, 23. 
165, 11, sheen as an elf, bright as angels, the ON. 'friS sem 
alfkfma* fair as elfin, express the height of female loveliness. 
In Budlieb xvii. 27 a dwarf, on being caught, calls his wife out 
of the cave, she immediately appears, 'parva, nimis pulchra, 
sed et auro vesteque compta.' Fomald. sog. 1, 887 has : ' )^t er 
knnnigt t öUum fornum f räsögnum um ]?at f61k, er äl/ar hdtu, 
at yskt var miklu frtSara enn önnur mankind.' The Engl, elves 
are slender and puny : Palstaff (1 Henry IV. i. 4) calls Prince 
Henry ' you starveling, you elfskin I ' ^ The dwarf adds to his 
repulsive hue an ill-shaped body, a humped back, and coarse 
clothing; when elves and dwarfs came to be mixed up together, 
the graceful figure of the one was transferred to the other, 
yet sometimes the dwarfs expressly retain the black or grey 
complexion : ' svart i synen,' p. 457 ; ' a little black mannikin,' 
Kinderm. no. 92 ; ^grey mannikin,' Büsching's Wöch. nachr. 1, 
98. Their very height is occasionally specified : now they attain 
the stature of a four years' child,^ now they appear a great deal 
smaller, to be measured by the span or thumb: 'k&me drier 
spannen lane, gar eislich getan* Elfenm. cxvi. ; two spans high, 
Dent. sag. no. 42 ; a little wight, ' reht als ein dumelle lane,' a 
thumb long, Altd. bl. 2, 151; 'ein kleinez weglin (1. wihtZtn) 

> In Denmark popalar belief piotores tbe eUekone as young and captivating 
to look at in front, bat hoUow at die back like a kneading-trough (Thiele 1, 118) ; 
which leminda one of Dame Werlt in MHG. poems. 

s Whether the OHG. pmilin is said of a dwarf as Graff supposes (8, 852 ; oonf. 
Swed. py8$ling)t or merely of a child, like the Lat. pnsns, pusio, is a qnestion. The 
Mid. Age gave to its angeli these smaU dimensions of elves and dwarfs : * Ein 
iegelioh eriifel schtnet also gestalter als ein kint in jdren vieren (years 4) in der 
jagende,* Tit. 5895 (Hahn) ; * joncltohe gemalet als ein kint daz d& vünf jär (5 
year) alt ist,' Berth. 184. Lanrtn is taken for the angel Michael ; Elberich (Otnit, 
Ettm. 24) and Antiloia (Ubr. Alex.) are compared to a diild of four. 


dumeln lano/ Ls. 1^ 378. In one Danish lay, the smallest trold 
is no bigger than an ant, D.Y. 1, 176. Hence in fairy tales 
däumling (thnmbling^ petit poucet) indicates a dwarfish figure; 
the BaKTvXo^ ^BaZo^ is to be derived from SaKrvXo^ (finger); 
TTvyfialo^ pigmsaus from irvyiirf (fist) ; the 0. Pruss. parstude, 
perstuck, a dwarf, from Lith. pirsztas, Slav, perst, prst (finger) ; 
and a Bohem. name for a dwarf, pj'c{tmt/i;/:«span-mannikin, from 
pjd' (span).^ In Sansk. balakhilya -geniomm genns, pollicis 
magnitndinem aeqoans, sixty thousand of them sprang out of 
Brahma's hair, Bopp's Gloss. Skr. p. 122» (ed. 2, p. 238*) ; b&la, 
b&laka=puer, parvulns, the 'ilya' I do not understand. There 
are curious stories told about the deformity of dwarfs' feet^ which 
are said to be like those of geese or ducks; ^ conf. queen Berhta, 

1 When we read in a passage qnoted by Jungmann 4, 652 : * mezi pjdimxizj]^ 
kralnge trpasljk* (among thumbllngs a dwarf is king), it is plain that a trpasljk is 
more than a pidimuzjk. Can this trp- (Slovak, krpec, krpateo) be conn, with our 
kniips, knips, klips, gribs (▼. infra), which means one of small statnre, not quite a 
dwarf? Fum. peukalot a thnmhUng, Ealew. IS, 67 ; mUi peni^ pikku mie$, little 

man three fingers high 13, 6d-8. 24, 144. For dwarf the MHG. has also * der 

kurze man,* Wigal. 6593. 6685. 6710 ; * der wenige man,' Er. 7442. Uk. Alex, (in 
Wackem.'s Bas. Ms., p. 29^), in contrast with the ' michel man ' or giant. One 
old name for a dwarf was ehurziboU, Pertz 2, 104, which otherwise means a short 
coat. Hoff. GL 36, 13. Both. 4576. Conf. urkinde (nanns), Qramm. 2, 789. 

' Deutsche Sagen, no. 149 ; I here give a more faithful version, for which I am 

indebted to Hr. Hieron. Hagebuch of Aarau. Vo de kärdmändUne vd der Bams> 

flue. Hinder der Ärlisbaoher egg, zwüschenem dörfle Hard und dem alte Lorenze- 
kapällele, stoht im ene thale so ganz eleigge e grusle verträite flue, se sägere 
dRamsflue. uf der hindere site isch se hohl, und dhöle het numme e chline igang. 
Do sind denn emol, me weiss nid äzaot i wele johrgänge, so rarige mändle gsi, die 
sind i die höhle us und i gange, hand ganz e so es eiges labe gefüehrt, und en 
apartige hushaltig, und sind ganz bsunderig derhär cho, so wSrkliäi gestaltet, und 
mit eim wort, es isch halt kei mönsch usene cho, wer se denn au seige, wohär se 
cho seige, und was se tribe, ämel gekochet band se nüt, und wurzle und beeri 
ggässe. unde a der flue lauft es bäohle, und i dem bächle händ die mändle im sum- 
mer badet, wie tiible, aber eis vonene het immer wacht gha, und het pfiffe, wenn 
öpper derhär cho isch, uf dem fuesswäg : denn sind se ame gsprunge, was gisoh 
was hesch, der barg uf, dass ene kei haas noh cho wer, und wie der sohwick in 
ehre höhle gschloffe. demäbe hand se kem mönsch nüt zleid tho, im gägetheü, 
gfäUigkäite, wenn se händ ohönne. Einisoh het der Hardpur es ffiederle riswalle 
glade, und wil er elei gsi isch, het ers au fast nid möge. £ sones mändle gsehts vo 
der flue obenabe, und chunt der durah zhöpperle über driese, und hilft dem pur, 
was es het möge, wo se do der bindbaum wand ufe thue, so isch das mändle uSfem 
wage gsi, und het griohtet, und der pur het überunde azoge a de bindchneble. do 
het das mandU sseü nid rächt ume gliret,und wo der pur azieht, sohneilt der bäum 
los und trif t smandle ane finger und hets wärst blessiert ; do foht der pur a jom- 
mere und seit ' o heie, o heie, wenns nomenau mer begegnet wer 1 ' do seit das 
mändle ' abba, das macht nüt, salben tho, salben gha.'* mit dene worte springts 
vom wage nabe, het es chrütle abbroche, hets verschaflet und ul das bluetig fln- 

* Swab. * seil thaun, seil haun,' Sohmid p. 628. More neatly in MHG., * selb« 
tffite, selbe habe,' MS. 1, 10^. 89«. 


p. 280^ and the swan-maidens, p. 429. One is also reminded 
of the blateviieze, Bother 1871. Ernst 8828; conf. Hauptes 
Zeitschr. 7, 239. 

The Mid. Nethl. poem of Brandaen^ bat no other version of the 
same legend^ contains a very remarkable feature.^ Brandan met 
a man on the sea^ who was a thumb long, and floated on a leaf, 
holding a little bowl in his right hand and a pointer in his left : 
the pointer he kept dipping into the sea and letting water drip 
from it into the bowl ; when the bowl was fnll^ he emptied it out, 
and began filling again : it was his doom to be measuring the 
sea until the Jadgment-day (see Sappl.). This lilipatian floating 
on the leaf reminds ns of ancient^ especially Indian myths.' 

The &lfar are a people, as the Edda expressly says (Sn. 21), and 

gerle gleit, und daa het alles ewäg pnzi. do spxingts wider ufe wage, nnd het zum 
pnr gseit, er soll sseil nmne wider tune ge. MangiBch, wenn rachtsohafne lüt dam 
tag gfaeaet oderbimde hand und se sind nit fertig worde bis zobe, und shet öppe 
wdle eho ragne, so sind die Härdmändle cho, and hand geschaffet and gewamet 
drof ine, bis alles im scharme gsi isch. oder wenns dort dnaoht isoh eho wättere, 
hind se shea and sohom, wo dasse gläge isoh, de Ittte zom tenn aae trait, and am 
moige het halt alles gross aage gmacht, and se hand nid gwüsst, wers tho het. den 
hind erst no die mändle kei dank begehrt, nomenaa dass me se gem hat. Amenim 
winter, wenn alles stei and bei gfrore gsi isch, sind die mändie is oberst has cho 
zArlispach : se hand shalt gar gaet chönnen mit dene lute, wo dert gwohnt hand, 
and sind ame dart dnadit afem ofe gläge, and am merge Yortag hand se se wieder 
dras gmacht. was aber gar gspassig gsi isch, si hand ehre filettle rue vilre glo^ hand 
e$ charlaehrothi mäntele träit, vom hala bi$ ufe bode nahe, jetzt hets im dorf so 
gwonderige meitle and bnebe gha, die sind einisoh znacht vor das has go gen äsche 
streae, dass se gsäche, was die härdmändle für füessle hebe, nnd was handse 
gfande ? sisch frile wanderle : ante und geissfüess sind in der asche abdrückt gsi. 
Aber to sälber stand a is<^ keis mandU meh cho, und se sind au nümme nf der 
Bamsflne bliebe, i dkrüohe hand se se verschlnffe, tief id geissflae hindere, and händ 
keis zeiche me von ene ge, and chömme nümme, so lang dlüt eso boshaft sind 

JBee Snppl.). [Substance of the above. Earth-mannikin* on the Bamsflue : 
iTed in a cave with a narrow entrance ; cooked nothing, ate roots and berries ; 
bathed in a brook like dovet^ set one to watch, and if he whistled, were up the hills 
faster than hares, and slipt into their cave. Nerer hart men, often helped : the 
farmer at Hard was alone loading, a dwarf came down, helped to finish, got on the 
waggon, did not properly run the rope over the bind-pole, it slipped off, the pole 
flew np and hart him badly. Farmer : * I wish it had happened to me. ' Dwarf : 
* Not so ; self do, self have.* Got down, picked a herb, and cured the wound in- 
stantly. Often, when honest folk out hay or tied com, dwarfs helped them to 
finish and get it under shelter ; or in the night, if rain came on, they brought in 
what was lying eat, and didn't the people stare in the morning 1 One severe winter 
they came every night to a house at ArUsbach, slept on the oven, departed before 
dawn ; wore »carlet cloak» reaching to the ground^ $o that their feet were never teen ; 
but some prying people sprinkled ashes before the house, on which were seen the 
next morning marks of duck's and goose's feet. They never showed themselves 
again, and never will, while men are so spiteful.] 

* Blommaert's Oudvlaemsche gedichten 1, 118^ 2, 26*. 

s BrahnuK sitting on a lotus, floats musing across the abysses of the sea. Yishnu, 
when after Brahma's death the waters have covered all the worlds, sits in the shape 
of a tiny infant on a leaf of the pipala (fig-tree), and floats on the sea of milk, 
socking the toe of his ri^t foot. (Asiat. Bes. 1, 846.) 


as the Alvtsm&l implies by patting ftlfar^ dvergar^ and helbÄar (if 
I may use the word)^ by the side of men, giants, gods, &8es and 
vanir, each as a separate class of beings, with a language of its 
own. Hence too the expressions 'das stille volk; the good 
people (p. 456) ; hnlda-/dZ& ; ' in Lausitz Indki, little folk (Wend, 
volksl. 2, 268), from lud, liud (nation), OHG. liut. Boh. lid; and 
in Welsh y teiihi (the family), y tylwyth teg (the fair family, the 
pretty little folk, conf. Owen sub y. tylwyth, and DiefenbacVs 
Geltica ii. 102. Whether we are to understand by this a histo- 
rical realm situate in a particular region, I leave undecided here. 
Dvergmdl (sermo nanorum) is the ON. term for the echo : a very 
expressive one, as their calls and cries resound in the hills, and 
when man speaks loud, the dwarf replies, as it were, from the 
mountain. Herrau^saga, cap. 11, p. 50: 'SigurtSr stilti svft 
h&tt hörpuna, at dvergmaX qva'S t höUunni,' he played so loud 
on the harp, that dwarf^s voice spoke in the hall. When heroes 
dealt loud blows, ^ dvorgamal sang nj qvörjun hamri,' echo 
sang ia every rock (Lyngbye, p. 464, 470) ; when hard they 
hewed, 'dvörgamäl sang uj fiödlun,' echo sang in the mountains 
(ibid. 468). ON. ^ qyeSr viffi klettunum,* reboant rapes. Can 
graeti alfa (ploratus nanorum) in the obscure Introduction to 
the Hamdism&l (SsBm. 269^^) mean something similar ? Even our 
German heroic poetry seems to have retained the same image : 

Dem fehten allez n&ch erhal. To the fighting everything 

do beide berg und ouch diu tal then both hill and also dale 
gaben ir siegen stimme. gave voice to their blows. 

(Ecke^ ed. Hagen, 161.) 

Daz d& beide berg und tal 

vor ir siegen wilde wider einander allez hal. (ibid. 171.) 

The hills not only rang again with the sword-strokes of the 
heroes, but uttered voice and answer, Le. the dwarfs residing in 
them did.^ 

This nation of elves or dwarfs has over it a hhig. In Norse 
legend, it is true, I remember no instance of it among &lfar 
or d vergär; yet Huldra is queen of the huldrefölk (p. 272), as 

^ The Irish for echo is Bimilar, though 1«m toaatifal: muc oUo, twine of the rock.. 


Berchta is of the heinclien (p. 276), and English tradition tells 
of an elf-queen, Chaucer's C. T. 6442 (the fairy queen^ Percy 
3, 207 seq.) ; I suppose^ because Gallic tradition likewise made 
female fairies (f6es) the more prominent. The OFr. fable of 
Haon of Bordeaox knows of a roi Oberon^ Le. Auberon for 
Alberon^ an alb by his very name : the kingdom of the fays 
(royaome de la f 6erie) is his. Our poem of Orendel cites a dwarf 
AJban by name. In Otnit a leading part is played by Jcilnec 
Alberieh, Elberich, to whom are subject " manec berg und tal ; " 
the Nib. lied makes him not a king, but a vassal of the kings 
Schilbung and Nibelung ; a nameless king of dwarfs appears in 
the poem of Ecke 80 ; and elsewhere king Ooldeina/r (Deut. held- 
ensage p. 174. Haupt's Zeitschr. 6^ 522-8), hing Sinneis and 
Lauria (MS. 2, 15»); 'der getwerge hünec Bild/ Er. 2086. 
The Grerman folk-tales also give the dwarf nation a king (no. 
152); hing of erdmännchen (Kinderm. 3, 167). Oubich (Gibika, 
p. 137) is in the Harz legends a dwarf-king. Heiliiig is prince of 
the dwarfs (no. 151).^ These are all kings of black elves, except 
Oberen^ whom I take to be a light alb. It appears that human 
heroes^ by subduing the sovereign of the elves, at once obtain 
dominion over the spirits ; it may be in this sense that Völundr 
is called msi alfa (p. 444)^ and Siegfried after conquering Elbe- 
rich would have the like pretensions (see Suppl.). 

The ON. writings have preserved plenty of dwarfs* names 
which are of importance to the study of mythology (loc. princ. 
S»m. 2^* 3*). I pick out the rhyming forms Vitr and Litr, Fili 
and Kiliy Fiala/rr and Oalarr, SMrvir and Virvir, Anar and Onar, 
Finnr and Qinnr, as well as the absonant Bivor and Bavor. 
Ndr and Nainn are manifestly synonymous (mortuus), and so 
are Thrdr and Thrainn (contumax, or rancidus?). With Nainn 
agrees Dainn (mortuas again) ; with Oinn (timidus) Moinn ; 
Ihalinn, Durinn, Thorinn, Fundinn, shew at least the same 

^ A eaxionB cry of grief keeps reonning in Beveral dwarf -stories : * the king is 
dMd 1 Urban is dead 1 old mother Pumpe is dead 1 * (Büsching^s Wöch. naohr. 1, 
99. 101) ; the old Mchumpe is dead ! (Legend of Bonikaa), MHG. sohompfe, Fragm. 
96«; eonf. Bange's Thür. ohron. 49*, where again they say ^king Enoblanch 
(girlie) is dead 1 * Taking into aooonnt the saying in Saxony, * de gaue fru ist nu 
aldot! ' with evident allasion to the motherly goddess (p. 253), and the similar 
phnse in Seandinayia, * na em daniSar aUar diiir I * (p. 402) ; iJl these exclama- 
tions seem to give vent to a grief, dating from the oldest times, for the death of 
Mme superior being (see SuppL). 


participial ending. Alfr, QandaXfr, and Vindalfr place the con- 
nexion of elves and dwarfs beyond donbt. Ai occurs twice, 
and seems to mean avas^ as in Saam. 100^; Firmr and Billingr 
are like the heroes' names discussed on pp. 373, 380. Nyr, and 
Nidiy Nyr and Nyra^r have reference to phases of the moon's 
light ; a few other names will be touched upon later. In Seem. 
45*^ and Sn. 48. 130 all dwarfs are said to be ' loalda synir/ 
sons of IvalcU, and he seems identical with the elvish Ivaldr, 
father of I'Sann, S»m. 89^, just as Folkvaldr and Folkvaldi (AS. 
Folcwealda), Domyaldr and Domvaldi« Domaldi, are used in- 
differently. Ivaldr answers to the Dan. Evald and our Ewald, 
a rare name in the older documents : we know the two 8L 
Ewalds (niger et albus) who were martyred in the elder Pipings 
time (695) and buried at Cologne, but were of English origin. 
Beda 5, 10 spells it Hewald, and the AS. transl. Hedwold (see 
Suppl.) . 

Of the dwellings of light elves in heaven the folk -tales have 
no longer anything to tell; the more frequently do they de- 
scribe those of dwarfs in the rifts and caves of the mountains. 
Hence the AS. names hergcelfen, duncelfen, muntcelfen. ON. ' b^ 
ec for %ör9 neSan, & ec undr steint siaiS/ I dwell underneath 
the earth, I have under stone my stead, Sasm. 48*. 'dvergr sat 
undir steininum,* Yngl. saga, cap. 15. 'dvergar bAa i iörffu oc 
i steinum/ Sn. 15. Hlbenstein, JElphinstone, are names of noble 
families, see JElwenstein, Weisth. 1, 4. In the Netherlands 
the hills containing sepulchral urns are vulgarly denominated ^ 
alfenbergen (Belg. mus. 5, 64). Treasures lie hidden in graves 
as they do in the abodes of elves, and the dead are subterraneans 
as these are. And that is why dwarfs are called erdmännlein, 
erdmanneken, in Switzerland hourdmandle, sometimes even unter" 
irdische, Dan. underjordiske} They scamper over moss and fell, 
and are not exhausted by climbing steep precipices : 'den wilden 

^ I cannot yet make ont the name arweggers^ by which the earth-men are called 
np in Einderm. 2, 168-4. [erd-wihte? v. ar- for erd-, p. 467» L 8 ; and ir^plin, p. 449] . 
The ON. 6rvakr is hardly the same (see Snppl.). In Pmss. Samogitia * de undet' 
hördschkei*; the tales abont them oarefnlly collected by Bensch, no. 48-59. The 
Wends of Lüneburg called subterranean spirits görzoni (hill-mannikins, fr. gora, 
hill), and the hills they haunted are still shown. When they wished to borrow 
baking utensils of men, they gave a sign without being seen, and people placed 
them outside the door for them. In the evening they brought them back, knocking 
at the window and adding a loaf by way of thanks (Jugler*8 Worterb.). The £s- 
thonian mythology also has its subterraneans (ma dUtued, under ground). 


getwergen wsere ze BtSgen dft gennoc/ enongh climbing for wild 
dwarf Sy says Wh. 57, 25, speaking of a rooky region,^ The popu- 
lar beliefs in Denmark about the biergToand, biergfolk, biergtrold, 
are collected in Molbech's Dial. lex. p. 35-6. The biergmand's 
wife is a biergehone. These traditions about earth-men and 
mountain-sprites all agree together. Slipping ^ into cracks and 
crevices of the hills^ they seem to vanish suddenly^ 'like the 
schwick/ as the Swiss tale has it^ and as suddenly they come up 
from the ground ; in aU the places they haunt, there are shown 
such dwarfs holes, qtterlich's holes. So the ludhi in Lausitz make 
their appearance out of underground passages like mouseholes ; 
a Breton folk-song speaks of the korred^s grotto (Yillemarqud 
1, 36). In such caves they pursue their occupations^ collecting 
treasures^ forging weapons curiously wrought ; their kings fashion 
for themselves magnificent chambers underground^ Elberich, 
Laurin dwell in these wonderful mountains^ men and heroes at 
times are tempted down^ loaded with gifts, and let go, or held 
fast (see SuppL). Dietrich von Bern at the close of his life is 
fetched away by a dwarf, Dent, heldens. p. 800 ; of Etzel, says 
the Nibelungs' Lament 2167, one knows not 'ob er sich ver- 
düffe in löcher der steinwende/ whether he have slipped away 
into holes of the rocks': meaning probably, that, like Tanu- 
haoser and faithful Eckart, he has got into the mount wherein 
Dame Venus dwells. Of this Dame Yenus's mount we have no 
accounts before the 15-1 6th centuries j one would like to know 
what earlier notions lie at the bottom of it : has Dame Venus 
been put in the place of a subterranean elf -queen, or of a goddess, 
such as Dame Holda or Frikka? Heinrich von Morunge sings 
of his beloved, MS. 1, 55* : 

und dunket mich, wie si ge zuo mir dur ganze mHi/ren, 
ir tr6st und ir helfe Iftzent mich niht trAren; 
swenne si wil, so vueret sie mich hinrian 
mit ir wtzen hant hohe über die zinnen^ 
ich wsBne sie ist ein Venus h^re. 

1 Oiher instanoes are oollecied in Ir. Elfemn. Izxvi. * den here büten wildiu 
getwere,* wild dwarfs inhabited the hill, Sigenot 118. 

' SUefen is said of them as of the fox in Bdnh. zzzi. ; our aabsi sohlacht 
stands for sluft (besohwiohtigen, lacht, kraoht, for swiften, loft, kraft), hence a hole 
to slip into. 

' Conf . Dentsohe sagen, no. 383, on Theoderic's boqI, how it is conyeyod into 
Volean^B abj-sa. 

VOL. U. 


(Methinks she comes to me throagh solid walls^ Her help, her 
comfort lets me nothing fear ; And when she will she wafteth me 
from here With her white hand high o'er the pinnacles. I ween 
she is a Venas high.) He compares her then to a Yenns or 
Holda, with the elvish power to penetrate throagh walls and 
carry you away over roof and tower (see chap. XXXI.^ Tann- 
häuser; and Snppl.). Accordingly, when a Hessian nursery- 
tale (do. 13) makes three hanle-männerchen appear, these are 
henchmen of Holle, elves in her retinue, and what seems espe- 
cially worthy of notice is their being three^ and endowing with 
gifts : it is a rare thing to see male beings occupy the place of 
the fortune-telling wives. Elsewhere it is rather the little earth- 
wives that appear; in Hebel (ed. 5, p. 268) Eveli says to the 
wood- wife : ' Grod bless you, and if you're the eaHh-mannikin's 
wife, I won't be afraid of you.' ^ 

There is another point of connexion with Holda: the ex- 
pressions 'die guten holden* (p. 266), ^ guedeholden* penates 
(Teutonista), or holMchen, holdeken, holderchen seem perfectly 
synonymous with 'the good elves;' holdo is literally a kind, 
favourably disposed being, and in Iceland liuflingar (darlings) 
and huldufolk, huldumenn (p. 272) are used for älfar. The form 
of the Dan. hyldemänd is misleading, it suggests the extraneous 
notion of hyld (sambucus, elder- tree), and makes Dame Holda 
come out as a hyld&moer or hyldeqvind, viz., a dryad incorporated 
with that tree (Thiele 1, 132) ; but its real connexion with the 
huldre is none the less evident. Thus far, then, the elves are 
good-natured helpful beings ; they are called, as quoted on p. 
452, the stille volk (Dent, sagen. No. 30-1), the good people, good 
neighbows, peaceful folk (Gael, daoine shi, Jr. daoine maith, Wei. 
dynion mad). When left undisturbed in their quiet goings on, 
they maintain peace with men, and do them services when they 
can, in the way of smith-work, weaving and baking. Many a 
time have they given to people of their new-baked bread or cakes 
(Mone's Anz. 7, 475). They too in their turn require man's 
advice and assistance in certain predicaments, among which are 

1 One winter Hadding was eating his supper, when suddenly an earth-wife 
pushed her head tip through the floor by the fireside, and offered him green vege- 
tables. 8axo, p. 16, calls her cicutarum gerula, and makes her take Hadding into 
the subterranean land, where are meadows covered with grass, as in our nursery- 
tUes which describe Dame Holla's underground realm. This grass- wife resembles 
a little earth-wife. 


to be reckoned three cases in particular. In the first place^ they 
fetch goodwiyes, midwives, to assist she-dwarfs in labour ; ^ nezt^ 
men of understanding to divide a treasure^ to settle a dispute ; ' 
thirdly^ they borrow a hall to hold their weddings in ; ^ but they 
requite eyery f ayour by bestowing jewels which bring luck to the 
man's house and to his descendants. They themselves^ however^ 
haye much knowledge of occult healing virtues in plants and 
stones.^ In Bndlieb xvii. 18^ the captured dwarf retorts the 
taunt of treachery in the following speech : 

1 Banzan, Alvenaleben, Hahn. (Dent. sag. no. 41, 68-9) ; Müllenh. Bohleew. 
hoist, sag. no. 443-4. Asbiöm Norw. s. 1, 18. Irish legends and fairy tales 1, 
245-250. Mone's Anz. 7, 475; oonf. Thiele 1, 36. — Hölpher's Sämlingen om 

Jämtland (Westeras 1775, p. 210) has the following Swedish story: *&r 1660, da 

jag tillika med min hostru var gangen til f aboderne, som ligga | mil if ran Bagonda 
prastegärd, och der sent om qv&Uen sattit och talt en stand, kom en Uten man 
ingiende genom ddren, och bad min hostm, det Tille hon hjelpa bans AiMtru, som 
di Ug oeh qvaldee med ham, karlen yar eljest Uten til Yäxten, wart i eynen, och 
med ganüa gA Uäder försedd. Jag och min hostrn sutto en stund och nndrade 
pi denne mannen, emedan vi onderstodo, at ban var et troll, och hört berättas, det 
sidane, af bondfolk vettar kallade, sig altid i fäbodame uppehÄlla, sedan folket om 
hosten sig derifrän begifyit. Men som han 4 ä 5 ganger sin begäran päyrkade, och 
man derhos betankte, hvad skada bondfolket berätta sig ibland af vettame lidit, 
di de antingen svorit p& dem, eller eljest vist dem med yränga ord til helvetet ; 
ty fattade jag di til det ridet, at jag laste öfver min hostra nigre böner, yälsignade 
henne, och bad henne i Guds namn följamed honom. Hon tog si i hastighet nigre 
gamla linkläder med sig, och folgde honom it, men jag blef qvar sittande. Sedan 
iiar hon mig ^id iterkomsten berättat, at di hon gitt med mannen ntom porten, 
tykte hon sig liksom föras udi vädret en stund, och kom si uti en stuga, hvarest 
l^edevid var en Uten mörk kammare, das hans hustru lig och yindades med bam 
i en sang, min hustru har si stigit til henne, och efter en Uten stund hjelpt henne, 
di hon födde bamet, och det in&i lika itbörder, som andra menniskor pläga hafva. 
Karlen har sedan tilbndit henne mat, men som hon dertil nekade, ty tackade han 
henne odi folgde henne it, hyarefter hon iter likasom farit i vädret, och kom efter 
en stund til porten igen yid passklockan 10. Emedlertid Yoro en hoper gamla 
rilfvenkedar lagde pi en hylla i stugan, och fann min hustru dem, di hon andra 
dagen stökade i vriame : kunnandes försti, at de af vettret voro dit lagde. At si 
i Banning är skedt, -vitnar jag med mitt namns undersättande. Bagunda, d. 12 

april, 1671. Pet. Bahm.' [Substance of the foregoing: 1, the undersigned, and 

my wife were accosted by a little man with black facti and old gray clothes, who 
b<^ed my wife to come and aid his wife then in labour. Seeing he was a trolly 
such as the peasantzy caU vettar (wights), I prayed over my wife, blessed her, and 
bade her go. She seemed for a time to be borne along by the wind, found his wife 
in a Uttle dark room, and helped, etc. Befused food, was carried home in the 
same way ; found next day a heap of old silver vessels brought by the vettr,} 

In Finland the vulgar opinion holds, that under the altars of churches there Uve 
small mis-shapen beings called kirkonwäki (church-folk) ; that when their women 
have difficult labour, they can be reUeved by a Christian woman visiting them and 
laying her hand on them. Such service they reward UberaUy with gold and sil/er. 
Mnemosyne, Abo 1821, p. 313. 

s Pref. p. xzx. Neocorus 1, 542. Einderm. 2, 43. 3, 172. 225. Nib. 92, 3. 
Bit 7819. Conf. Deutsche heldensagen, p. 78. 

' Hoia (Deut. sagen, no. 35). Bonikau (EUsabeth von Orleans, Strassb. 1789, 
p. 133; Leipzig 1820, p. 450-1). Busching's Wochentl. nachr. 1, 98 ; conf. 101. 

« The wounded härdmäncUe, p. 450-1. Here are two Swedish stories ^iven in 
odman's Bahuslan pp. 191, 224 : Biöm Mirtensson, accompanied by an archer, 


Absit at inter nos unquam regnaverit haec fraas I 
non tarn longaevi tunc esBemas neqae sanu 
Inter yos nemo loqiiitnr nisi corde doloso^ 
hinc neqne ad aetatem maturam pervenietis : 
pro cajasque fide snnt ejas tempera yitae. 
Non aliter loquimur nisi sicut corde tenemua, 
neque cibos varios edimus morbos generantes, 
longius incolv/mes hinc nos durahimus ac vos. 

Thus already in the 10th century the dwarf complains of the 
faithlessness of mankind^ and partly accounts thereby for the 
shortness of human life^ while dwarfs, because they are honest 
and feed on simple viands, have long and healthy lives. More 
intimately acquainted with the secret powers of nature, they can 
with greater certainty avoid unwholesome food. This remark- 
able passage justifies the opinion of the longevity of dwarfs ; and 
their avoidance of human food, which hastens death, agrees 
with the distinction drawn out on p. 818 between men and gods 
(see Suppl.). 

went hunting in the high woods of ömekalla ; there thej found a bergsmed 
(mountain-smith) asleep, and the huntsman ordered the archer to seize him, but 
he declined : * Pray God shield you 1 the bergsmith will fling yon down the hilL* 
But the huntsman was so daring, he went up and laid hands on the sleeper ; the 
bergsmith cried out, and begged they would let him go, he had a wife and seven 
little ones, and he would forge them auything they liked, they had only to put the 
iron and steel on the cliff, and they'd presently find the work lying finished in the 
same place. Biöm asked him, whom he worked for 7 *For my feUows,' he 
replied. As Biöm would not release him, he said : ' Had I my cap-of-darkness 
(uddehatt p. 463), you should not carry me away ; but if you don't let me go, none 
of your posterity will attain the greatness you enjoy, but will go from bad to worse.' 
Which afterwards came true. Biöm secured the bergsmith, and had him put in 
prison at Bohus, but on the third day he had disappeared. 

At Mykleby lived Swen, who went out hunting one Simday morning, and on the 
hill near Tyfweholan he spied a fine buck with a ring about his neck ; at the same 
instant a cry came out of the hill : ' Look, the man is shooting our ring-buck 1 * 
* Nay,' cried another voice, * he had better not, he has not washed this morning' 
(i.e., been sprinkled with holy water in church). When Swen heard that, he 

immediately , washed himself in haste, and shot the ring-buck. Then 

arose a great screaming and noise in the hül, and one said : ' See, the man has 
taken his belt-flask and washed himself, but I will pay him out.' Another 
answered : ' Tou had better let it be, the white buck will stand by him.' A tre- 
mendous uproar followed, and a host of trolls filled the wood all round. Swen 
threw himself on the ground, and crept und^ a mass of roots ; then came into his 
mind what the troll had said, that the white buck, as he contemptuously caUed the 
church, would stand by him. So he made a vow, that if Gk)d would help him out 
of the danger, he would hand over the buck's ring to Mykleby church, the horns to 
Torp, and the hide to Langeland. Having got home uninjured, he performed all 
this : the ring, down to the year 1732, has been the Imocker on Mykleby church 
loor, and is of some unknown metal, like iron ore ; the buck's horn was pre&erved 
in Torp church, and the skin in Langeland church. 


Whilst ia tliifl and other ways the dwarfs do at times have 
dealings with mankind^ yet on the whole they seem to shrink 
from man ; they give the impression of a downtrodden afflicted 
race, which is on the point of abandoning its ancient home 
to new and more 'powerful invaders. There is stamped on 
their character something shy and something heathenishy which 
estranges them from intercourse with christians. They chafe 
at human faithlessness, which no doubt would primarily mean 
the apostacy from heathenism. In the poems of the Mid. Ages, 
Laurtn is expressly set before us as a Jieathen. It goes sorely 
against the dwarfs to see churches built, bell-ringing (supra, 
p. 5) disturbs their ancient privacy ; they also hate the clearing 
of forests, agriculture, new fangled pounding-machinery for ore.^ 

1 More fully treated of in Ir. Elfenm. xciy. zot. ; oonf. Thiele 1, 42. 2, 2. Fa je 
p. 17, is. Heinehen driyen away by grazing herds and tinkling sheephellst Varisoia 
2, 101. Hesaian tales of wichtelmänherehen, Einderm. no. 89, to which I add the 
following one ; On the Schwalm near XJttershansen stands the Dosenberg ; close 
to the riyer'a bank are two apertures, once the exit and entrance holes of the 
wichulmänner. The grandfather of farmer Tobi of Singlis often had a little 
wichtelmann come to him in a friendly manner in his field. One day, when the 
farmer was cntting com, the wiehtel asked him if he would undertake a carting job 
across the river that night for a handsome price in gold. The farmer said yes, and 
in the erening the unehtel brought a sack of wheat to the farmhouse as earnest ; so 
four horses were harnessed, and the farmer drove to the foot of the Bosenberg. 
Oat of the holes the mehtel brought heavy invisible loads to the waggon, which the 
farmer took through the water to the other side. So he went backwards and 
forwards from ten in the evening till four in the morning, and his horses at last 
got tired. Then said the wiehtel : ' That wiU do, now you shall see what you have 
been carrying.' He bid the farmer look over his right shoulder, who then saw the 
whole vide ßeld full of little wichtelmen. Said the wiehtel : * For a thousand years 
we haye dwelt in the Dosenberg, our time is up now, we must away to another 
country ; but there is money enough left in the mountain to content the whole 
neighbourhood.' He then loaded Tobi*s waggoa full of money, and went his way. 
The farmer with much trouble got his treasure home, and was now a ridi man ; 
his descendants are still well-to-do people, but the wichtelmen have vanished from 
the land for ever. On the top of the Dosenberg is a bare place where nothing will 
grow, it was bewitched by the wiehtel holding their trysts upon it. Every seven 
years, generally on a Friday, you may see a high blue flame over it, covering a 
larger space of ground than a big caldron. People call it the geldfeuer, they have 
bnuhed it away witii their feet (for it holds no heat), in hopes of finding treasure, 
but in vain : the devil had always some new hoouspocus to make some Uttle word 
pop out of their mouths. 

Then, lastly, a Low Saxon story of the Aller country : Tau Offensen bin 

Kloster Wienhusen was en groten buem, Hövermann nenne he sick, die harre ok en 
Bchip up der Aller. Eins dages komt 2 lue tau jüm un segget, he schölle se over dat 
water schippen. Tweimal f änert hei over de Aller, jedesmal na den groten rume, 
den se Allerd Kelten dauet, dat is ne grote unminschliche wische lang un breit, dat 
inan se kums afkiken kann. Ans de buer taun tweitenmale over efauert is, sogt 
ein von den twarmen to öme : * Wut du nu ne sunune geldes hebben, oder wut du 
nakoptalbetalt sin? ' *Iekwill leiver ne summe gold nemen' sK de buer. Do 
tmX de dne von den lütjen Kien sinen haut af , un settet den dem schipper^i^^ : 
*I>a herrst dik dooh beteör estan, wenn du na koptal efodert herrst * segt de twarm; 


Breton legend informs as : A man had dug a treasure out of a 
dwarf's hole^ and then cautionsly covered his floor with ashes and 
glowing embers ; so when the dwarfs came at midnight to get 
their property back^ they burnt their feet so badly, that they set 
up a loud wail (supra, p. 41 3) and fled in haste, but they smashed 
all his crockery. Villemarquö 1, 42 (see Suppl.). 

From this dependence of the elves on man in some things^ 
and their mental superiority in others, there naturally follows 
a hostile relation between the two. Men disregard elves, elves 
do mischief to men and teaze them. It was a very old belief^ 
that dangerous arrows were shot down from the air by elves ; 
this evidently means light elves, it is never mentioned in stories 
of dwarfs, and the AS. formula couples together ' 6sagescot and 
ylfagescot/ these elves being apparently armed with weapons 
like those of the gods themselves ; ^ the divine thunderbot is even 
called an albschoss (pp. 179, 187), and in Scotland the elf -arrow, 
elf-flint, elf-bolt is a hard pointed wedge believed to have been 
discharged by spirits ; the turf cut out of the ground by light- 
ning is supposed to be thrown up by them.' On p. 187 I have 
already inferred, that there must have been some closer con- 
nexion, now lost to us, between elves and the Thundergod : if it 
be that his bolts vrere forged for him by elves, that points rather 
to the black elves. 

Their touch, their hreath may bring sickness or death on man 
and beast ; ' one whom their stroke has fallen on, is lost or in- 
capable (Danske viser 1, 328) : lamed cattle, bewitched by them, 

nn de buer, de vorher niehts nich seien harre, on den et ao lichte in sohipp vorko- 
men was, ans of he nichts inne herre, süt de ganze AUerd von luter UUjen nUrucken 
krimmein un wimmeln, Dat sind de twarme west, dei wier trökken sind. Von der 
tit heft Hövermanns noch immer Tall geld ehat, dat senich kennen d6en, aTerst nn 
sind se sau ein nan annern nt estorven, nn de hof is verkoft. ' Wann ist denn das 
gewesen ? ' Vor ölen tien, ans de twarme noch sau in der weit wesen sind, nu 
gift et er wol keine mehr, Tor drüttig, virzig jaren. [Substance of the foregoing : 

Hövermann, a large farmer at Offensen, had also a ship on the B. AUer. Two 

little men asked him to ferry them oyer. He did so twice, each time to a large 
open space called Allerö. Dwarf : * Will yon have a lump sum, or be paid so madi 
a head T ' Farmer : * A lump sum.* Dwarf : ' Yoa*d better have asked so much 
a head.* He pnt his own hat on the farmer's head, who then saw the whole Aller 6 
swarming with little men, who had been ferried across. The Hövermanns grew rich, 
have now all died out, farm sold. * When did that happen 7 ' Ages ago, in the 
olden time, when dwarfs were in the world, 80 or 40 years ago.] 

^ Arrows of the Servian vila, p. 436. The Norw. äU^kudty elf-shotten, is said 
of sick cattle, Sommerfelt Saltdalens prästegield, p. 119. Scot, elfshot, 

3 Irish Elf-stories zIt. xlvi. cii. 

3 Ibid. ciii. 


are said in Norway to be dverg-tlagen (Hallager p. 20) ; the term 
elbentrötsch for silly halfwitted men, whom their avenging hand 
has touched, was mentioned on p. 443. One who is seduced by 
elyes is called in Danish eUemld, and this ellevildelse in reference 
to women is thus described: 'at elven legede med dem/ 
Bbwing pnffiug beings language itself shews them to be from 
of old : as spirihia comes from spirare, so does geiat, ghost from 
the old verb gisan (flari, cum impetu ferri); the ON. gustr, 
Engl, gust, is flatus, and there is a dwarf named Gustr (Ssem. 
18P) ; ^ other dwarfs, Auatri, Vestri, Norffri, Suffri (SsBm. 2^. Sn. 
9. 15. 16) betoken the four winds, while Vinddlfir, still a dwarfs 
name, explains itself.^ Beside the breathing, the mere look of 
an elf has mag^c power: this our ancient idiom denominates 
intfehan (torve intueri, Gramm. 2,810), MHG. enUehen : 'ich 
hin in gesegent (blessed), er was enUehen/ Eracl. 3239 ; ' von 
der dbe wirt enUehen vil maneger man,' MS. 1, 50^ (see Suppl.). 
The knot-holes in wood are popularly ascribed to elves. In 
Smaland a tale is told about the ancestress of a family whose 
name is given, that she was an elf maid, that she came into the 
house through a knot-hole in the wall with the sunbeams ; she was 
married to the son, bore him four children, then vanished the 
same way as she had come. Afzelius 2, 145. Thiele 2, 18. 
And not only is it believed that they themselves can creep 
through, but that whoever looks through can see things other- 
wise hidden from him ; the same thing happens if you look 
through the hole made in the skin of a beast by an elf s arrow, 
la Scotland a knot-hole is called elf bore, says Jamieson : ' a hole 
in a piece of wood, out of which a knot has dropped or been 
driven : viewed as the operation of the fairies.' They also say 
auwisbore, Jutish ausbor (Molbech's Dial. lex. p. 22. 94). If on 
the hill inhabited by elves the following rhyme be uttered 15 

allkuon, allkuon, est du her inn, 
saa ska du herud paa 15 iegepinn 1 

(elf- woman, art thou in here, so shalt thou come out through 15 

* Norweg. alvguat, an illness oaased by having been breathed upon by elves, 
Hallager 4i>. 

3 Old French legend has an elf called Zephyr ; there is a German home-sprite 
Bluerle, Hone's Anzeiger 1834, p. 260. 


oak knot-holes^ egepind), the elfin is bound to make her appear- 
ance, Molb. Dial. 99 (see Snppl.). 

In name, and still more in idea, the elf is connected with the 
ghostlike batterfly, the product of repeated changes of form. 
An OHG. gloss (Gbraff 1, 243) says : bmcus, locusta quae nondam 
Tolavit, quam vulgo albam vocant. The alp is supposed often 
to assume the shape of a butterfly, and in the witch-trials the 
name of elb is given by turns to the caterpillar, to the chrysalis, 
and to the insect that issues from it. And these share even the 
names of guf^ holden and böse dinger (evil things) with the spirits 

These light airy sprites have an advantage over slow unwieldy 
man in their godlike power (p. 825) of vanishing or making 
themselves invisible^ No sooner do tbey appear, than they are 
snatched away from our eyes. Only he that wears the ring can 
get a sight of Elberich, Ortn. 2, 68. 70. 86. 8, 27. With the 
light elves it is a matter of course, but neither have the black 
ones forfeited the privilege. The invisibility of dwarfs is usually 
lodged in a particular part of their dress, a liat or a cloak, and 
when that is accidentally dropt or cast aside, they suddenly 
become visible. The dwarf-tales tell of nebelkappen (Deut. sag. 
nos. 152-8-5), of gray coats and red caps (Thiele 1, 122. 135), 
of scarlet cloaks (supra, p. 451n.).^ Earlier centuries used the 
words helkappe, helkeplein, helkleit (Altd. bl. 1, 256), nebelkappe 
(MS. 2, 156*. 258*»; Morolt 2922. 3932) and tamkappe. ByAlbe- 
rfch^s and afterwards SigfriVs tamkappe (Nib. 98, 3. 836, 1. 
442, 2. 1060, 2) or simply kappe (835, 1) we must understand 
not a mere covering for the head, but an entire cloak; for 
in 337, 1 we have also tamhiit, the protecting skin, and the 

^ * Hnjas tempore prineipis (Heinrioi dacis Earinthiae) in montanitf Boae 
ditionis gen$ gnana in caverDis montium habitavit, cum hominibuB veeoebantiir» 
Indebant, bibebant, choreas ducebant, eed iiwisibiliter. Literas soribebant, rem- 
pnblicam inter se gerebant, legem habentes et prinoipem, fidem oatholicam pro- 
fitentes, domicilia hominnm latenter intrantes, bominibas consedentes et arridentee. 
. . . Principe snbdnoto, nihil de eis amplius est anditum. Didtur quod 
gemmat gettant, quae eoa reddunt invisibHeSt quia dtfarmitatem et parvitatem oor- 
pomm erabesonnt.' Anon. Leobiens. ad ann. 1385 (Pez 1, 940*). 

' 01. Wormin8*8 pref . to Glanssön's Dan. transl. of Snorre, Gopenh. 1633 : * der- 
lor sigis de (dverger) at hafve hätte paa, huormid knnde giöre sig nsynlig.' Other 
proofs are collected in Jr. Elfenm. IzziT. Izxy. A schretel wears a rStez keppel on 
him (not on his head), ibid. cxyi. BoUenhagen's * bergmannlein * wear little white 
shirts and pointed caps, Frosdhmenseler zx. y". Mangis, the Oarolingian sorcerer, 
is called * lerres (latro) o le noir chaperon.* 


schretel's 'rotez Jceppel* becomes in H. Sachs 1, 280^ a ^mantel 
Scharlach rot des Zwergleins/ Beside invisibility^ this cloak 
imparts superior strength, and likewise control over the dwarf 
nation and their hoard. In other instances the cap alone is 
meant: a Norwegian folk-tale in Faye p. 30 calls it uddehat 
(pointed hat f), and a home-sprite at Hildesheim bears the name 
of Hodeken from the felt hat he wore. Probably the OHG. helot- 
helm (latibulnm). Gl. Hrab. 969*, the OS. helith-helmy Hel. 164, 
29, AS. heoiahelm, Cod. Ezon. 862, 81, hcBlffhelm, Csedm. 29, 2, 
ON. hialmr huliz (an Eddie word for cloud). Seem. 50V and the 
AS. gnmhelm, Csedm. 188, 27. 198, 20. Beow. 666, all have a 
similar meaning, though the simple helm and grime (p. 238) 
already contain the notion of a covering and a mask ; for helm 
is from helan (celare) as huot, hood, or hat, from huotan (tegere). 
No doubt other superior beiugs, beside elves and dwarfs, wore 
the invisible-making garment ; I need only mention OSin's hat 
with tumed-up brim (p. 146), Mercury's petasvs, Wish's hat, 
which our fairy-tales still call vnshing-hat,^ and Pluto's or Orcus's 
helmet (ÄZS09 Kvvirj, II. 5, 845. Hesiod, Scut. 227). The dwarfs 
may have stood in some peculiar, though now obscured, relation 
to OSinn, as the hat-wearing pataeci, cabiri and Dioscuri did to 
Jupiter (see Suppl.). 

From such ability to conceal their form, and from their teazing 
character in general, there will arise all manner of deception and 
disappointment (conf. Suppl. to p. 331), to which man is exposed 
in dealing with elves and dwarfs. We read: der alp trivget 
(cheats), Fundgr. 327, 18 ; den triuget, weiz Got, nicht der alp, 
not even the elf can trick him, Diut. 2, 34; Silvester 5199; die 
mag triegen wol der alp, Suchen wirt xzxi. 12; ein getroc daz 
mich in dem sl&fe triugety Ben. 429 ; dich triegen die elhin (1. elbe, 
rhyme selbe), Altd. bl. 1, 261 ; elbe triegent, Amgb. 2^; diu elber 
triegerUy Herbort 5^ ; in bedühte daz in trüge ein alp, Ir. elfenm. 
Ivii.; alfs ghedroch, Elegast 51, 775. Reinh. 5367, conf. Horae 
Belg. 6, 218*9 ; alfsche droch, Beinaert (prose Ixxii.^). In our 

> Fomm. Bog. 2, 141 says of Eyvindr the soroerer : * giöi^i )>ei]n hulidshialm,* 
mide for them a mist, darkness. hiUinhialmrj Fomald. sog. 3, 219 ; kuflgfattr 1, 
9. 2, 20. See Bafn's Index sub v. dulgerfi. 

' A weighty addition to the arguments for the identity of Wnotan and Mercary ; 
ooqL p. 419 on the wishing-rod. 


elder speech gitroc, getroe, agetroe, abegetroe, denotes trickery 
especially diabolic^ proceeding from evil spirits (Gramm. 2, 709. 
740-1).^ To the same effect are some other disparaging epithets 
applied to elves : elbischez getwas^elbischez as, eliischez ungehiure, 
as the devil himself is called a getwfts (fantasma) and a monster. 
So^ of the morbid oppression felt in sleep and dreaming^ it is 
said quite indifferently, either : ' the devil has shaken thee, ridden 
thee/ 'hinaht ritert dich satanas (Satan shakes thee to-nig1it)/ 
Fundgr. 1, 170; or else the elf, the nightmare^ : * dich hat geriten 
der mar,^ 'ein alp zotimet dich (bridles thee)/ And as Dame 
Holle entangles one's spinning or hair (p. 269), as she herself has 
tangled hair/ and as stubbly hair is called HoUevaopf; ^ so the 
nightelf, the nightmare, rolls up the hair of men or the manes and 
tails of horses, in knots, or chews them through : alpzopf, dritten^ 
zopf, michtelzopf, weichselzopf (of which more hereafter), in Lower 
Saxony mahrenlocke, elfklatte (Brem. wörtb. 1, 302), Dan. mare- 
lok, Engl, elflocka (Nares sub v.), elvish knots, and in Shakspeare 
to elf means to mat: 'elf all my hair in knots,' K. Lear ii. 3. 
Here will come in those ^ comae equorum diligenter tricaiae/ 
when the white women make their midnight rounds (supra^ p. 
287). The Lithuanian elf named aitwaras likewise mats the 
hair : aitwars yo plaukus suzindo, suwele (has dravni his hair to- 
gether). Lasicz 51 has : aitwaros, incubus qui post sepes habitat 
(from twora sepes, and ais pone). Some parts of Lower Saxony 
give to the wichtelzopf (plica polonica) the name of selkensteert, 
selkin's tail (Brem. worth. 4, 749), sellentost (Hufeland's Journal 
11. 43), which I take to mean tnfb of the goodfellow, homesprite 

^ Daz analatie des sili pergenten trugetieveles, N. Bth. 44; (^dro^ phantaema, 
0. iii. 8, 24; gedrog, Bel. 89, 22 ; tievels getroCy Earl 62* ; * ne dragn io 6nic dmgi 
thing/ Hel. 8, 10. The dwarf Elberioh (Ortn. 3, 27. 6, 105) is called * ein trüge- 
wiz ' ; conf. infra, bilvtz. 

3 Our naehtmar I eannot produce either in OHG. or MHG. Lye gives AS. 
* mare fieoce* incabus, ephialtes, bat I do not anderstand fiecce. Nearly akin is 
the Pol. moraj Boh. mära, elf and evening butterfly, sphinx. In the Mark they say 
both alb and mähren Adalb. Euhn, p. 874. Fr^oh eauchemaret cochemar, also 
chauchevilUt ehauchi vieiUi (M6m. des Antiq. 4. 899 ; J. J. ChampoUion Figeac 
patois, p. 12^ ; ItaL pesaruole, Span, petadilla^ O.Fr. appesari; these from caueher 
(calcare), and pesar (to weigh down). 

s In Einderm. 8, 44, Holle gets her terrible hair combed out, which had not 
been combed for a year. A girl, whom she has gifted, combs pearls and precious 
stones out of her own hair. 

< Hess. Hollezaul (for -zagel, tail), HoUezopp, Schmidt's Westerw. idiot. 341. 
Adelung has : * Jwllemopf, plica polonica, Pol. koltun. Boh. koltaun.' 


(geaellchezi).^ In Tharingia gaelloekoj Praatorlus^s Welfcbeschr. 1^ 
40. 293 (see Suppl.). 

The Edda nowhere represents either &lfar or dvergar as mounted^ 
whilst oar poems of the Mid. Ages make both Hlberich and Lanrin 
come riding. Heinrich von Oflterdingen bestows on them a steed 
'als ein geiz (goat)/ and Ulrich's Alexander gives the dwarf 
king Antilois a pony the nze of a roe,^ while Altd. bl. 2, 151 
withoat more ado mounts the wihtel on a white roe. Antilois is 
richly dressed, bells tinkle on his bridle-reins ; he is angry with 
Alexander for spoiling his flower-garden, as Z/aurin is with Diet- 
rich and Wittich. The Welsh stories also in Crofton Croker 3, 
806 say : ^ they were very diminutive persons riding four abreast, 
and moanted on small white horses no bigger than dogs ' (see 

All dwarfs and elves are thiemsh. Among Eddie names of 
dwarfs is an Älßiofr, Sadm. 2^; Alpris, more correctly Alfrikr 
dvergr, in Yilk. saga cap. 16, 40. is called 'hinn mikli stelari^ ; 
and in the Titurel 27, 288 (Hahn 4105), a notorious thief, who 
can steal the eggs from under birds, is Elbegast (corrupted into 
Elegast, Algast). In our Low German legends they lay their 
plana especially against the pea^fields^^ Other thefts of dwarfs 

I Ogonezyk Zakrzew6ki,.m his Hist of plica polonioa (Vienna» 1830), observes, 
that its core also is aceompUshed with superstitions ceremonies. In Podlachia the 
elftoft is solemnly eat off at Easter time and buried. In the Skawina district aboat 
Crsoow, it is paxtially cropped with redhot shears, a piece of copper money tied 
np in it, and thrown into the rains of an old castle in which evil spirits lodge ; 
bat whoever does this mast not look round, but hasten home as fast as he can. 
Saperatitioiu formulas for the core of plica are giyen by Zakrzewski, p. 20, out of 
an Old Boh. MS. of 1825. 

' Wackemagel*s Basel MSS. p. 28. 

* Dent, sagen, nos 162, 155 ; to which I will here add two communicated by Hr. 

Sehambaeh. The first is from Jtihade, near Göttingen : ^Yor nich langer tid gal 

et to June noch twarge. Düse plegten np et feld to gan, un den läen de arften 
bleuten die erbsen) weg to stelen, wat se tim sau lichter können, da se unsichtbar 
voran dor (durch) ene kappe, dei se uppen koppe harren (hatten). Sau wören nu 
ok de twarge enen manne ümmer up sin grat arftenstücke egan, un richteden öne 
▼elen schilt damp an. Düt düerde sau lange, bet hei up den infal kam, de twarge 
to fengen. Hei tog alsaa an hellen middage en sei (seil) rings um dat feld. As nu 
de twarge nnner den sei dorkmpen wollen, feilen önen de kappen af , se Seiten nu 
alle in blaten köppen, an wören sichtbar. De twarge, dei sau efongen wören, 
geiwen öne vele gaue wore, dat he dat sei wegnömen mögde, un versproken ene 
mette (miethe) geld dayor to gewen, hei solle mant vor aunrunupgange weer (wieder) 
an diise stde komen. £n ander man segde öne awer, hei mögde nioh gegen sun- 
nenupgang, sondern schon um twölwe hengan, denn da wore de dag ok schon 
toegan. Düt d6 he, und richtig wören de twarge da met ener mette geld. Davon 
heiten de Ifie, dei dei mette geld ekregen harren, Mettens. [Epitome : — ^Dwarfs at 
Jühnde preyed on the pea-fields ; wore caps which made them invisible. One man 
at high noon stretched a cord round his field. Dwarfs, creeping under it, brushed 


are collecfced in Elfenm. xcii. xciii.^ and their longing for children 
and blooming maids is treated of, p. civ. cv. Dwarf-kings rur^ 
away with maidens to their ^lonntains : Lanrtn with the lair 
Similt (Sindhilt ?), Groldemar or Volmar with a king's daughter 
(Dent, heldensag. 1 74, Hauptes Zeitschr. 6, 522-3) ; the Swed. 
folk-lay ' Den bergtagna ' (-taken) tells of a vii^n, who spends 
eight years with a mountaiu'ldng, and brings him seven sons and 
a daughter, before she sees her home again.^ The following 

their caps o£f, became visible and were caught ; promised him money, if he oame 
there again before sunrise. A friend advised him to go as early as 12, for even 
then the day (of the dwarfs?) was begnn. He did so, and got his meed.] 

The second story is from Dorste in Osterode bailiwick : En buere harre arften 

baten stan, dei wören one ümmer utefreten. Da word den bneren esegt, hei soUe 
hengan an slaen met wdenraaen (weidenraten) drupe rtim, san sleogde gewis einen 
de kappe af . Da geng he ok hen met sinnen ganzen lüen, an fank ok enen twarg, 
dei sie (sagte) tan One, wenn he one wier las Ian (wieder los lassen) wolle, sau wolle 
öne enn wagen val geld gewen, hei moste awer vor sunnenupgange komen. Da leit 
ne de bnere las, an de twarg ste öne, wo sine hüle wore. Do ging de baere henn 
nn frang enn, wannir dat denn die sunne apginge ? Dei sie tau öne, dei ginge 
glooke twölwe ap. Da spanne ok sinen wagen an, un tug hen. Asse (as he) vor 
de hülen kam, do jachen se drinne an sangen : 

Dat ist gaat, dat de büerken dat nich weit, 
dat de sonne um twölwe np geit 1 

Asse Sek awer melle, wesden se öne en afgeflllet perd, dat solle mde (mit) nömen, 
wier (weiter) können se Öne nits gewen. Da was de baere ärgerlich, awer hei wolle 
doch fleisch vor sine hanne m6e nömen, da haade en grat stücke af, an land et 
upen wagen. Asser m§e na has kam, da was alles schire gold.^ Da wollet andere 
noch nae langen, awer da was hüle an perd verswannen. [Epitome : — A farmer, 
finding his peas eaten, was advised to beat all roand with willow twigs, sore to 
knock a dwarfs cap off. Ganght a dwarf, who promised a waggon full of money if 
he'd come to his cave before sunrise. Asked a man when sanrise was f * At 
twelve.' Went to the cave, heard shouting and singing : * ' Tis well the poor 
peasant but little knows Üiat twelve is the time when the sun up goes t ' Is shown 
a sltinned horse, he may take that 1 G«ts angry, yet cuts a great piece off for his 
dogs. When he got home, it was all sheer gold. Went for the rest ; cave and 
horse were gone.] 

The remarkable trysting-time before sunrise seems to be explained by the dwarf- 
kind's shyness of daylight, which appears even in the Edda, Siem. 61i> : they avoid 
the suuy tiiey have in their eaves a different light and different time from those of 
men. In Norse legends re-appears the trick of engaging a trold in conversation till 
the sun is risen : when he looks round and sees the sun, he splits in two ; Asbiömsen 
and Moe, p. 186. [The mSrohen of Rumpelstilzchen includes the dwarfs' song, 
* 'Tis well,' etc., the splitting in two, and the kidnapping presently to be men- 

^ But she-dwarfs also marry men ; Ödman (Bahuslän, p. 78-9, oonf . Aizelius 2, 

157) relates quite seriously, and specifying the people's names : Beors förüldrar i 

Hogen i Lurssockn, some bodde i Fuglekärr i Svarteborgssockn ; hvars farfar var 
en skött, ok bodde vid et berg, ther flok hau se mitt pa dagen sitjande en viieker 
piga ph en sten^ ther med at fänga henne, kastade han stal emellan berget ok kenne, 
hvarpä hennes far gasmade eller log in i berget, ok öpnade bergets dörr, tilfrftgandes 
honom, om han viU ha bans dotter? Hvilket han med ja besvarade, ok efter fum 
var helt naken^ tog han sina kläder ok hölgde ofver henne, ok lat christna henne. 
Tid afträdet sade hennes far til honom : * när tu skalt ha bröllup, skalt tu laga til 
12 tunnor öl ok baka en hop bröd ok kiött efter 4 stutar, ok kiöra iUjordhögen eller 
berget, ther jag hAller til, ok när brudskänken skall utdelas, skall jag tU ge min ' ; 


legend from Dorste near Osterode, it will be seen, transfers to 
dwarf 8 what the Kindermärchen No. 46 relates of a sorcerer : — 
£^!«?a8 enmal en maken int holt nan arberen egan, da keimen de 
iuHwge on neiment m6e. Da se na örer hülen keimen, da yerleifde 
Sek de eine twarg in se, nn da solle se öne ok frien, awer iest 
(erst) wollen de twarge de andern twarge taar hochtit bidden, 
nnderdes solle dat maken in hose alles reine maken un tanr hochtit 
anreien. Awer dat mäken, dat wolle den twwrg nich frien, da 
wollet weglopen, awer dat se't nich glik merken, tag et sin teug 
at nn tag dat ne strawisch an, un da sach et ne tunne vul hanig, 
da knip et rinder (hinein), un da sach et ok ne tunne vul feddem, 
nn da krap et ok rinder, nn da et wedder rater kam, was et gans 
Tal feddem, un da leip et weg un steig upn hoagen boam. Da 
keimen de twarge derbunder (darunter) vorbi, un da se't seichen, 
meinen se, et wore en vugel, da reipen se't an un sden : 

* Wohen, woher du schöäne feddervugel ? ' 
' Ek kome ut der twarges hüle/ 

' Wat maket de schöäne junge brüt ? ' 

* Dei steit metn bessen un keret dat hus/ 
'Juchhei I sau wil wie ok hen/ 

und da se hen keimen, sden se taur brut 'gAen morgen,' un 
g^en noch mehr dertan ; awer da se nich antwure, sleuchten se'r 
hinder de aren, un da feil se hen^ (see Snppl.). 

hvillLet ok akedde, Ty när de andre gäfvo, lyfte han up ta4;ket ok koitade en tä ttor 
petmingepotte ther igenom^ at bänken 8ä när g&dt af , ok sade thervid : * ther &r min 
skiuik I ' ok sade ytterligare : * när tu skal ha tin hemmagifta, skaltn kiöra med 4t 
hastar hit til berget ok lä tin andeL' TA han sedeimera efter hans begäran kom 
tit, fik hau kopparkättlart then ene större an then andre, tÜB then yttersta storste 
kättftlen blef npiyld med andra mindre; item brandcreatur, Bom voro hiehneta, af 
hTÜken färg ok creatnrslag, aom äro stora ok frodiga, the an ha qvar p& rik, i 
Tannrns gäU beläget. Thenne mannen Beors far i Foglekärsten benämd, aflade en 
hop bam med thenna sin sAledes frftn berget afhämtade hostni, bland hyilka var 
nimnemannen Beor p& Hogen ; so har 01a Stenson i stora Bijk yarit Beors syster- 
son, hyilken i förledit &r med döden afgik. [Epitome : — Beor's fathers dwelt, etc. 
One, an archer, Uyed near a hill, saw one day at noon a fine girl titling on a stone ; 
to get her, he threw steel hetween her and the hill. Her father opened Üie door of 
the hUl, asked him if he wanted his daughter. He answered yes, and as she was 
mtked, threw some of his clothes over her ; had her christened. Father : * At thy 
wedding bring ale, bread and horseflesh to my hillf and I will give thee a wedding 
g^* This being done, he lifted their roof and threw in a great sum of money. 
*Kow for honae-famitare, come here with four horses.* The man did so, and re- 
edved copper kettles of all sizes, one inside the other, etc., eto. By this wife, thos 
fetched from the hill, he had many children ; one was Beor, whose nephew 0. S. 
died only last year.] 

^ Translation : — Onoe a girl had gone into the wood after strawberries, when the 


They abstract well-shaped children from the cradle^ and sab- 
stitnte fcheir own ugly ones^ or even themselves. These sop« 
posititions creatares are called changelings^ cambiones (App.^ 
Snperst. E.) ; OHG. wihselinga (N. Ps. 17, 46. Cant. Deuteron. 
5), our wechselbalge; Swed. bytingar, Dan. bittinger; also onr 
kielkröpfe, dickköpfe from their thick necks and heads. (Stories 
about them in Thiele 1, 47. 8, 1. Faye p. 20. Ir. Elfenm. 
xli.-xlv. cv. Dent. sag. nos. 81-2, 87-90.)^ So early as in the 
poem 'Zeno^ (Bruns p. 27 seq.) it is the devil that fills the 
place of a stolen child. The motive of the exchange seems to be, 
that elves are anxious to improve their breed by means of the 
human child, which they design to keep among them, and for 
which they give up one of their own. A safeguard against such 
substitution is, to place a key, or one of the fathe^^s clothes, or 

dwarfs came and carried her off. When they got to their oave, one dwarf fell in 
love with her, and ehe was to marry him ; but first the dwarfs were going to bid the 
other dwarfs to the wedding, in the meantime the girl was to make the house dean 
and prepare it for the wedding. But the girl, she did not want to many the dwarf, 
so she would run away ; but &at they might not notice it at once, she pulled her 
dress off and put it round a bundle of straw ; then she saw a tub full of honey and 
crept into it, and then she saw a tub full of feathers and crept into that also, and 
when she came out again, she was all over feathers ; then she ran away, and climbed 
up a high tree. Then the dwarfs came past under it, and when they saw her, they 
thought she was a bird, and called to her and said : * Whither and whence, thou 

pretty feathered bird?' 'I come out of the dwarfs hole ' 'What does the 

pretty young bride T * * She stands with a besom and sweeps the house.* 

* Hurra ! then we'll go there too.' And when they got there, they said to the 

bride * good morning,' and said other things too ; but as she never answered, they 
boxed her ears, and down she fell. 

Assuredly the dwarfs in this story are genuine and of old date. Besides, it can 
be supplemented from Einderm. 8, 75, where the returning dwarfs are preceded by 
foxes and bears, who also go past and question the 'Pitcher's fowl.' There the 
tub of honey in the dwarf's house is a cask of bloody but both together agree wonder- 
fully with the vessels which the dwarfs Fialar and Galar keep filled with Kv&si's 
precious blood and with honey. Sn. 83. 84. 

^ Dresd. saml. no. 16, of the * mttllers sun.' A foolish miller begs a girl to teach 
bitn the sweetness of love. She makes him lick honey all night, he empties a big 
jar, gets a stomach-ache, and fancies himself about to become a parent. She sends 
for a number of old women to assist him : * da fragt er, war sein kind wer komen 
(what's come of the baby) T sie sprachen : hastu nit vernommen 7 ez was ain rehter 
wUlonbalk (regiüar cha^eling), und tett als ein guoter schalk: da er erst von 
deinem leib kam (as soon as bom), da fuer ez paid hin und entran hin uff zno dem 
fürst empor. Der müller sprach : paid hin uff daz spor 1 vachent ez (catch him) I 

pringent ez mir herab ! ' They bring him a swallow in a covered pot. Again a 

Hessian folk-tale : A woman was cutting com on the Dosenberg, and her infant lay 
beside her. A wichtel-wife crept up, took the human child, and put her own in its 
place. When the woman looked for her darling babe, there was a frightful thick- 
head staring in her face. She screamed, and raised such a hue and cry, that at last 
the thief came back with the child ; but she would not give it up till the woman 
had put the wichulhalg to her breast, and nourished it for once with the generous 
milk of human kind. 


Bteel and needles ia the cradle (App.^ Saperst. Germ. 484. 744. 
Swed. 118) .1 

One of the most striking instances of agreement that I know 
of anywhere occurs in connection with prescriptions for getting 
rid of your changeling. 

In Hesse, when the wichtelmann sees water boiled over the 
fire in eggshells, he cries oat : ' Well, I am as old as the Wester- 
vfoldf bnt I never saw anything boiled in eggshells ; ' Km. no. 
39. In Denmark a pig staffed with skin and hair is set before 
the changeling : ' Now, I have seen the wood in Tisö young three 
times over, bat never the like of this ' : Thiele 1, 48. Before 
an Irish changeling they also boil eggshells, till he says : ' Fve 
been in the world 1500 years, and never seen that ^ ; Elfenm. p. 
38. Before a Scotch one the mother puts twenty-four eggshells 
on the hearth, and listens for what he will say ; he says : ' I was 
isven before I came to my nurse, I have lived four years since, 
and never did I see so many milkpans;^ Scott's Mintrelsy 2, 
174. In the Breton folksong (Yillemarqa6 1, 29) he sees the 
mother cooking for ten servantmen in one eggshell, and breaks 
out into the words : ' I have seen the egg before [it became] the 
white hen, and the acorn before the oak, seen it acorn and sapling 
and oak in Brezal wood, but never aught like this.' This story 
about the changeling is also applied to Dame Gauden's little dog, 
chap. XXXI. YillemarqaS 1, 82, quotes in addition a Welsh 
legend and a passage from Geoffrey of Monmouth, in which the 
Breton and Welsh formula for great age is already put into 
the mouth of Merlin the wild ; in each case an ancient forest is 
named. In all these stories the point was, by some out-of-the- 
way proceeding, to get the changeling himself to confess his age, 
and consequently the exchange. Such traditions must have 
been widely spread in Europe from the earliest times ; and it was 
evidently assumed, that elves and korred had a very different 
term of life assigned them from that of the human race (see 

All elves have an irresistible fondness for music and dancing. 
By night you see them tread their round on the moonlit meadows, 

> The FinnB eall a ohaDgeliiig luoti : monBtnim nee non infans matre dormiente 
a migis Buppositas, qoales patant esse infantem rachitide laborantem (Benvall). A 
Breton etory of ihb korrigan ohanging a ehild is in Yillemarqad 1, 25. 


and at dawn perceive their track in the dew : Dan. aUedands, 
Swed. älfdands, Engl, fairy rings, fairy green* The sight of 
mountain-spirits dancing on the meadows betokens to men a 
fruitfal year (Deut. sag. no. 298). An Austrian folk-song in 
Schottky, p. 102^ has : ' und duärt drobn afm beargl, da dansn 
zwoa zweargl, de dftnzn so rar.' In Laurin'a mountain, in 
Yenus's mountain^ there murmurs a gay seductive musici dances 
are trod in them (Laurin, 24) ; in the Ortnit (Ettm. 2, 17) there 
is 'ein smdlez pfat getreten mit kleinen fiiezen/ a small path 
trod by little feet. Songs of elßns allure young men up the 
mountain, and all is over with them (Svenska fomsanger 2, 305. 
Danske viser 1, 285-240).^ This performance is called elffrus hk, 
elfvelek. The ordinary fomyrSalag ' bears among Icelandic poets 
the name liufiingalag (carmen genii), Olafsen p. 56 ; in Norway 
that kind of sweet music is called hvMreslat (supra, p. 271). 
One unprinted poem in MHG. (Cod. pal. 341. 357*) contains 
the remarkable passage : ' there sat fiddlers, and all fiddled the 
albleidi (elf-lay) ' ; and another (Altd. bl. 2, 93) speaks of 
' Seiten spil und dee wihtels schal ' : it must have been a sweet 
enchanting strain, whose invention was ascribed to the elves.' 
Finn Magnusen derives the name of the dwarf Haugspori (Saom. 
2^) from the footmarks printed on grass by an elf roaming over 
the hills at night. And a song in Yillemarqu6 1, 39 makes the 
dwarfs dance themselves out of breath (see SuppL). 

This fondness of elves for melody and dance links them with 
higher beings, notably with half-goddesses and goddesses. In 
the ship (of Isis) songs of joy resound in the night, and a dancing 
multitude circles round it (p. 258). In Dame Holda's dwelling, 
in Dame Yenus's mountain, are the song and the dance. Celtic 
traditions picture the fays as dancing (M6m. de Pacad. celt. 5, 
108) ; these fays stand midway between elfins and wise women.^ 
The Hymn to Aphrodite 260 says of the mountain-nymphs : 

Sffpov fihf ^(oov(n K€U afißpoTov elBap eSovai, 
seal r€ fier adavaroiai, koKov 'xppov ippaxravro. 

^ Folk-tale of the Hanebierg in the Antiqyariake Annaler 1, 331-2. 

' Fom-yr5a-Iag, ancient word-lay, the alliteratiTe metre of narratlTe verse, in 
which the poems of the Elder Edda are written. — Tbanb. 

* Conf . Lr. Elfenm. lzzzi.-lzzxiii., and the wihtel-ahow aboYe, p. 441 note ; Ihre 
sub T. älfdans ; Amdt's Joom^ to Sweden 3, 16. 

^ Like the bervian vUy, who hold theii douce on moontaiu and mead, p. 136. 


(On deathless food they feed, and live fall long. And whirl with 
gods through gracefal dance and song.) No wonder onr sage 
elves and dwarfs are equally credited with having the gift of 
diuinaiion. As sach the dwarf Andvari appears in the Edda 
(Sffim. 18P), and still more Alvts (all- wise) ; dwarf Engel (L. 
Germ, ögel) prophesies to Siegfried (Hum. Sifr. 46, 4. 162, 1), 
BO does Gripir in the Edda, whose father^s name is Eylimi ; in 
the OFr. Tristran, the nains (nanus) Frocin is a devins (divinator), 
he interprets the stars at the birth of children (11. 318-326. 632). 
When, in legends and fairy tales, dwarfs appear singly among 
men, they are sage caunaellors and helpful, but also apt to fire up 
and take offence. Such is the character of Elberich and Oberen ; 
in a Swiss nursery- tale (no. 165), ' e chlis isigs mandle' (a little 
ioe-grey mannikin), 'e Mia mutziga mandle' (stumpy m.), ap- 
pears in an 'isige chlaidle' ig^^Y coat), and guides the course 
of events ; elves forewarn men of impending calamity or death 
(Ir. Elfenm. Ixxxvi.). And in this point of view it is not without 
significance, that elves and dwarfs ply the spinning and weaving 
BO mnch patronized by Dame Holda and Frikka. The flying gos- 
samer in autumn is in vulgar opinion the thread spun by elves and 
dwarfs; the Christians named it Marienfaden (-thread), Marien- 
sommer, because Mary too was imagined spinning and weaving. 
The Swed. dverg signifies araneus as well as nanus, and dvergs^nät 
a cobweb.^ The ON. saga of Samson hinn fagri mentions in cap. 
17 a marvellous ' skickja, sem alfkonumar höf'Su ofit/ mantle that 
elfins had woven. On a hill inhabited by spirits you hear at 
night the elfin (which 'troldkone' here must mean) spinning, 
and her wheel humming, says Thiele 3, 25. Melusina the fay is 
called alvinne in a Mid.Nethl. poem (Moneys Niederl. Yolkslit. 

p. 75). On the other hand, the male dwarfs forge jewels and 

arms (supra, p.444-7,and in fuller detail in Ir. Elfenm. Ixszviii.).' 

^ So the Breton karr is both dwarf and spider. 

' Here is one more legend from Ödman's Bahnslän, p. 79 :— Thessntan har 
man iteldllige berattelser ok sagor om smedar^ sA 1 hogar som barg, s&som bar i 
Fossamstorp hdgar, hTareet man hördt, at the smidt likgom i en annan smi^ja om 
tftonen efter aoUnet nedergdngt ok eljest mitt pa höga middagen. For 80 ftr sedan 
gik Olas fadar i Sartnng, benämd Ola Simonsson, här i f orsamlingen fr&n SUngevald 
hafrandes med eig en hand, hvilken t& ban blef varse mitt pA dagen bargtmajmen^ 
■om t& tmidde pd en star tten^ skiälde ban p& honom, hvar p& hörgsmeden^ som bade 
en lintgrd rdk ok bldtmlen halt, begynte at snarka At bnnden, som tillika med bna- 
boaden fonno rideligast, at lemna honom i fred. Thet gifvas ok anna ibland 
gBinene man mnl eradfixer al metall, som gemenligen halles fore yara i fordna 

VOL. n. D 



To bring pig-iron to dwarfs, and find it the next morning outside 
the cave, ready worked for a slight remuneration, is a feature of 
very ancient date; the scholiast on Apollon. Ehod. (Argon. 4, 
761) illustrates the a/cfiove^ *H<f>al<rToio (anvils of H.) by a story 
of the volcanic isles about Sicily taken from Pytheas's Travels : 
TO 0€ iraXaiov iKiyero rby ßovXofievov apybv aßripov äiro^epeiv 
fcal iirl rtfv avpiov ikOovra Xafißdveiv fi ^Uf>o^ ff el rt, aXXo ^dcXe 
tcaTactcevda-ai, KaraßaKovra fiiadov (see SuppL). 

What I have thus put together on the nature and attributes of 
elves in general, will be confirmed by an examination of particular 
elvish beings, who come forward under names of their own. 

Among these I will allot the first place to a genius, who is 
nowhere to be found in the Norse myths, and yet seems to be 
of ancient date. He is mentioned in several MHO. poems : 

Sie weiten daz kein pilvnz 

si di schüzze durch diu knie. Wh. 324, 8. 

Er solde sin ein guoter 

und ein pilewis geheizen, 

davon ist daz in reizen 

die Übeln ungehiure. Büediger von zwein gesellen (Cod, 

regiment.) 15^, 
D& kom ich an bulwechsperg gangen, 
d& schöz mich der bulwechs, 
da schöz mich die bulweclisin, 

-da schöz mich als ir ingesind. Cod. vindob. 2817. 71*. 
Von schrabaz pilmhten. Titur. 27, 299 (Hahn 41 16). 
Sein part het manchen pilbißzoten. Casp. von der Ron. 

heldenb. 156^. 

Out of all these it is hard to pick out the true name. Wolfram 

tider smidde i Mrg, hvilka the ofdratandiire broka at hänga pä boekap, Bom hastigt 
fädt ondt Ute pä marken, eller som säges blifyit vödenlaffne, hvarigenom tro them 
bli helbregda. Af sädana bärgsniiden har jag ok nyligen kommit öf^er ett, som 
. ännu är i förrar, ok pä ofvannämde satt gik i Un at beta siukdommar. [Epitome : 
^—Maoj stories of smithi in the mountains, who worked as at any other smithy^ 
after tunset or else at high noon. Eighty years ago Ola Simnnsson was coming, 
eto. ; had with him a dog, which, on seeing a hill-man forging on a great eume^ 
barked at him ; but the hiU-emith^ who wore a light-grey coat and blue wooUen cap, 
snarled at the dog, eto. There are small metal crucifixes held to hare been forged 
in the hilU in former times, which simple folk still hang on cattle hurt in the field 
or weather-ttrieken, whereby they trow them to get healed. Of such hiU-wrought 
things I have lately met with one, that used to be lent out to caie sicknesses.] 

piLWiz, BiLwrr. 473 

makes pflwiz (var. pilbiz, bilwiz^ bilwitz) rhyme with biz (morsns)^ 
where the short vowel in the last syllable seems to point to 
pilwiht; the same with bilbis in another poem^ which would have 
spelt it bilbeis if it had been long ; so that we oannot connect it 
with the OS. balowts^ nor immediately with the bilwts and balwis 
oontrasted on p. 874. The varying form is a sign that in the 
13-14th century the word was no longer understood; and later 
on^ it gets farther distorted^ till bulwechs makes us think of a 
totally unconnected word balwahs (hebes).^ A confession-book 
of the first half of the 15th century (Hoffmann's Monatschr. 753) 
lias peleu^ysen synonymous with witches, and Colerus^s Hausbuch 
(Mainz 1656), p. 403, uses bihlweisen in the same sense;, several 
authorities for the fonn pübü are given in Schm. 4, 188. We 
welcome the present Westph. Nethl. belevoitten in the Teutonista, 
where Schnüren considers it equivalent to guede holden and tüüte 
vrcuwen (penates). Eilian has belemtte (lamia) ; and here comes 
m fitly a passage from 6isb. Yoetius de miraculis (Disput., torn. 
2,1018): 'De illis quos nostrates appellant beeldwit et blinde 
bellen, a quibus nocturna visa videri atque ex iis arcana revelari 
patant.' Belwii then is penas, a kindly disposed' home-sprite, 
a guoU holds (supra, p. 266), what Hüediger calls 'ein guUer 
nnd ein püewizJ Peculiar to AS. is an adj« bilwit, bilewit, 
Codm. 53, 4. 279, 28, which is rendered mansuetus, simplex^ but 
might more exactly mean aequus, Justus.. God is called ^bilewit 
fadder ' (Andr. 1996)^ Booth, metr. 20, 510. 538 ; and is also 
addressed as such in Cod. exon. 259, 6 ; again, ' bilvritra breoste ' 
(bonorum, aequorum pectus), Cod. exon. 843, 23. The spelling. 
bäehunt (Beda 5, 2, 13, where it translates simplex) wouldJead 
to hwlt (albus), but then what can bil mean f I prefer the better 
authorized bilewit, taking ' wit ' to mean scius, and bilwit, OHG. 
pilawiz, pilwiz ? to mean aequum' scions,. aeq^us, bonus, although 

1 Fandgr. 1, 848, where palwaeee rhymes with yahse, as MHG. often has * wahs 
for seotna, when it should he * was,' OHG. hnas, AS. hwes, ONr hvass ; thus the 
OHG. palohaas->hadl7 sharp, i.e, blunt, ON. böihvass? just as palotili»balefiil 
deed. A later form bülwächs in Sohm. 4, 15. 

* The simple bü seems of itself to be aeqnitas, jus, and mythio enough (p. 876). 
MHG. bUiieh (aeqnns), Dial 8, 8S. Fnndgr. ü. 56, 27. 61, 88. 66, 19. Beinh. 
854. Iw. 1680. 5244. 5780. 6842. Ls. 2, 829. biUiehen (jore), Nib. 450, 2. der 
hiUick (aeqnitas). Trist. 6429. 9874. 10062. 18772. 18027. An OHG. IdUih 1 only 
know from W. Ixr. 27, where the L^den MS. has büithlieh. As the notions 
* aeqnns, aeqnalis, similis ' lie next door to each other, jpiladi, bilidi (our bild) is 
nsUy aeqnalitas, similitndo, the ON. likneski (imago). The Oeltic hü also means 
good, mfld ; and Leo (Malb. GL 88) tries to explain büwiz from hUbhelth, bUbhith. 


an adj. ' vit, wiz ' occurs nowhere else that I know of, the ON. 
vitr (gen. vitrs) being provided with a suffix -r. If this etymology 
is tenable, büynz is a good genius, but of elvish nature ; he hannts 
mountains, his shot is dreaded like that of the elf (p. 460), hair 
is tangled and matted by him as by the alp (p. 464). One 
passage cited by Schm. 4, 1 88, deserves particular notice : ' so 
man ain kind oder ain gewand opfert zu aim pilbispawm/ if one 
sacrifice a child or garment to a pilbis-tree, ue. a tree supposed 
to be inhabited by the pilwiz, as trees do contain wood-sprites 
and elves. Bömer's Legends of the Orlagau, p. 59. 62, name a 
witch Bilbze. The change of bilwiz, bilwis into bUwiht was a step 
easily taken, as in other words also s and h, or s and hi inter* 
change (lies, lioht, Gramm. 1, 138), also st and ht (forest, foreht, 
Gramm. 4, 416) ; and the more, as the compound bUtoiht gave 
a not unsuitable meaning, ' good wight.' The Gl. blas. 87* offer 
a wihsilstein (penas), nay, the varying form of our present names 
for the plica (p. 464), weichselzopf, wichselzopf, wichtelzopf {bich^ 
telzopf) makes the similar shading off of bilweichs, bilwechs, hiU 
wicht probable : I have no doubt there is even a bilweichszopf, 
biltvizzopf to be found.^ 

Popular belief in the last few centuries, having lost the old and 
higher meaning of this spiritual being, has retained, as in the case 
of the alb, of Holla and Berhta, only the hateful side of its natare : 
a tormenting terrifying spectre, tangling your hair and beard, 
cutting up your com, it appears mostly in a female form, as a 
sorceress and witch. Martin von Amberg's Mirror of Confession 
already interprets pilbis by devil, as Kilian does beUtoitie by 
lamia, strix. The tradition lingers chiefly in Eastern Germany, 

1 Another Polish name for plica, beside koltnn, is trietzezyee (Linde 6, 227), and 
▼nlgar opinion ascribes it to the magic of a wietzczka wise woman, witch. This 
wieszczyce agrees with our tcHehtel-zo^ptf and also with the -wiz, -toeu in bilwiz. 
If we could point to a eomponnd bialowieszczka (white witoh, white fay ; but I 
nowhere find it, not even among other Slavs), there wonld arise a strong snspicdon 
of the Slavic origin of our hilwiz ; for the present its German character seems to 
me assnred both by the absence of such Slavic compomid, and by the AS. bilwit 
and Nethl. belwitte : besides, oar wiz comes from wizan, and the Pol. vfiezzez from 
wiedzie^ [O.Sl. v6deti, to wit] , and the kinship of the two words can be explained 
without any thought of borrowing. Of different origin seem to me the Sloven, 
paglawitz, dwarf, and the Lith. Pilvitus (Lasicz 64) or Pilwite (Karbutt 1, 62), god 
or goddess of wealth. [The Buss, v^hch (shch pron. as in parish-church) has the 
same sound as wie$zezy but means thing, Goth, vaiht-s ; for kt, ht becomes shoh, 
as in noshch, night. I am not sure therefore that even wieszczka may not be 
UtÜe wiht."»TaAH8.] 



iD Bavaria, Franconia, Vogtland and Silesia. H. Sachs uses 
hilbitzen of matfcing the hair in knots, pilmitz of tangled locks : 
'ir har verbilbiizt, zapfet und stroblet, als ob sie hab der rab 
gezoblet,' i. 5, 809*^, ii. 2, 100*^ ; 'pilmitzen, zoten und fasen/ iii. 
3, 12*. In the Ackermann von Böhmen, cap. 6, pilwis means 
the same as witch; ^pielweiser, magician, soothsayer/ Böhmens 
Beitr. zum schles. recht 6, 69. 'an. 1529 (at Schweidnitz), a 
pielweiss buried alive/ Hoffmann's Monatschr. p. 247. ' 1582 
(at Sagan), two women of honest carriage rated for pilweissen 

and / ibid. 702. ^ du. pileweissin ! ' A, Gryphius, p. 828. 

' Las de deine bilhezzodn auskampln ' says the angry mother to 
her child, 'i den hilmezschedl get nix nei,' get your b. clots 
combed out, you don't come in in that shaggy scalp, Schm. 1, 
168. pUmeskindj a curse like devil's child, Delling's Bair. idiot, 
1, 78. On the Saale in Thuringia, bulmuz is said of unwashed 
or uncombed children ; while bilbezschnitt, bilwezschnitt^ bilfez» 
schnitt, pilmcuschnid (Jos. Bank. Böhmerwald, p. 274) denotes a 
catting through a field of corn, which is regarded as the work 
of a spirit, a witch, or the devil. 

This last-mentioned belief is also one of long standing. 
Thus the Lex Bajuvar. 12 (18), 8: 'si quis messes alterius 
initiaverit maleficis artibus, et inventus f uerit, cum duodecim 
solidis componat, quod arw»iscarti^ dicunt.' I dare say such a 
delinquent was then called a piliwiz, pilavnz ? On this passage 
Mederer remarks, p. 202-3 : An honest countryman told me 
about the so-called hUmerschnitt, bilberschnitt, as follows : ' The 
spitefal creature, that wants to do his neighbour a rascally mis- 
chief, goes at midnight, stark naked, with a sickle tied to his foot, 
and repeating magic spells, through the middle of a field of corn 
jost ripe. From that part of the field that he has passed his 
sickle through, all the grains fly into his bam, into his bin.' 
Here everything is attributed to a charm practised by man.^ 

^ Goth. a$atu (messis), OHG. aran, am. 

* Can thifl magio be alluded to so early as in the Kaiserohronik (2180-87) f 

dia mnoter helzit Bacheli 
din hAt in gel6ret : 
swenne sie in hiez snfden gAn, 
«in harU incom nie dar aut 

sin siohil sneit schiere 

m^r dan andere viere ; 

wil er doroh einin here yam, 

der stdt immer mdr ingegen im üf getftn. 

(His mother B. taught him : when she bade him go cut, he never put his hand to 
it, his sickle soon cut more than any other four ; if he will drive through a hlU, it 
opens before him^ 


Julius Schmidt too (Beichenfels, p, 119) reports from the Vogt- 
land : The belief in hUsen- or bilver-schnitter (-reapers) ^ is toler- 
ably extensive, nay, there seem to be certain persons who believe 
themselves to he sudh : in that case ihey go into the field before 
sunrise on St. John's day^ sometimes on Walpurgis-day (May 1)^ 
and cut the stalks with small sickles tied to their great toes, step- 
ping slantwise across the field. Such persons must haye small 
three-cornered hats on (bilsenschnitter-hütchen) ; if during their 
walk they are saluted by any one, they must die that year. 
These 'bilsenschnitter belieye they get half the produce of the 
field where they have reaped, and small sickle-shaped instru- 
ments have been found in some people's houses, after their death. 
If the owner of the field can pick up any stubble of the stalks 
so cut, and hangs it in the smoke, the hilsenscknitter will gra- 
dually waste away (see SuppL). 

According to a communication from Thuringta, there are two 
ways of baffling the bilms' or binsen-schneider {-cutter),^ which- 
ever he is called. One is, on Trinity Sunday or St. John's day, 
when the sun is highest in the sky, to go and sit on an elderbush 
with a looking-glass on your breast, and look round in every 
quarter, then no doubt you can detect the binsenschneider, but 
not without great risk, for if he spies you before you see him, 
you must die and the binsenschneider remain alive, unless he 
happen to catch sight of himself in the mirror on your breast, 
in which case he also loses his life that year. Another way is, 
to carry some ears that the binsenschneider has cut to a newly 
opened grave in silence, and not grasping the ears in your bare 
hand ; if the least word be spoken, or a drop of sweat from your 
hand get into the grave with the ears, then, as soon as the ears 
rot, he that threw them in is sure to die. 

What is here imputed to human sorcerers, is elsewhere laid 
to the devil (Superst. no. 523), or to elvish goblins, who may at 
once be known by their small hats. Sometimes they are known 
as bilgenschneider, as pilver^ or hilperts'-schnitter, sometimes by 
altogether different names. Alberus puts sickles in the hands of 
women travelling in Hulda's host (supra, p. 269 note). In some 
places, ace. to Schm. 1, 151, they say bocJeschnitt, because the 

' Bihe is henbanei and Inrue a ni8h,whioh plants haye no business here. They 
are merely an adaptation of bilwiz, when this had become nnintelUgible. — Tbahb. 


goblin is supposed to ride through the cornfield on a he-goat^ 
which may well remind us of Dietrich with the boar (p. 214). The 
people about Osnabrück believe the tremsemutter walks about in 
the com : she is dreaded by the children. In Brunswick she is 
called hormoif: when children are looking for cornflowers^ they 
will not venture too far into the green field, they tell each other 
of the comwife that kidnaps little ones. In the Altmark and 
Mark Brandenburg they call her roggenmöhme (aunt in the rye), 
and hush crying children with the words : ' hold your tongue, 
or roggenmöhme with the long black teats will come and drag 
you away ! ' ^ Others say ' with her long iron teats/ which 
recals iron Berhta: others again name her rockentnör, because 
like Holla and Berhta, she plays all manner of tricks on idle 
maids who have not spun their distaffs clear during the Twelves. 
Babes whom she puts to her black breast are likely to die. Is 
not the Bavarian preinscheuhe the same kind of corn-spectre 7 
In the Schrackengast, Ingolst. 1598, there are coupled together 
on p. 73, ^ preinseheuhen und meerwunder/ and p. 89 'wilde 
larvenscbopper und preinscheuhen.' This prein, brein, properly 
pap (puis), means also grain-bearing plants like oats, millet, 
panicum^ plantago (Schm. 1, 256-7) ; and br&inacheuhe (-scare) 
may be the spirit that is the bugbear of oat and millet fields 7 

In all this array of &cts, there is no mistaking the affinity 
of these bilwisses with divine and elvish beings of our heathenism. 
They mat the hair like dame Holla, dame Berhta, and the alb, 
they wear the small hat and wield the shot of the elves, they 
have at last, like Holla and Berhta, sunk into a children's 
bugbear. Originally ' gute holden,' sociable and kindly beings, 
they have twisted round by degrees into uncanny fiendish goblins, 
wizards and witches. And more, at the back of these elvish 
beings there may lurk stiU higher divine beings. The Bomans 
worshipped a Bobigo, who could hinder blight in com, and per- 
haps, if displeased, bring it on. The walking of the bUwiss^ of 
the Roggenmxdime in the grain had at first a benevolent motive : 
as the names mutter, muhnie, m'&r teach us, she is a motherly 

1 Conf. Bent, sagen, no. 89. Kuhn, p. 878. Temme's Sagen, p. 80. 82, of the 
Altmark. The Baden legend makes of it a rockert-weibeU and an enchanted 
countess of Ebontein, who walks about in a wood named Bookert (Mone's Anzeiger, 
8, 145). 



gnardian goddess of spindle and seedfield. Fro upon his boar 
mast have ridden through the plains^ and made them productive, 
nay, even the picture of Siegfried riding through the corn I 
incline to refer to the circuit made by a god ; and now for the 
first time I think I understand why the Wetterau peasant to this 
day, when the corn-ears wave in the wind, says the boar walks in 
the com. It is said of the god who causes the crops to thrive. 
Thus, by our study of elves, with whom the people have kept up 
acquaintance longer, we are led up to gods that once were. The 
connexion of elves with Holla and Berhta is further remarkable, 
because all these beings, unknown to the religion of the Edda, 
reveal an independent development or application of the heathen 
faith in continental Germany (see Suppl.).^ 

What comes nearest the hairy shaggy elves, or bilwisses, is a 
spirit named scrat or scrato in OHG. documents, and pilosus in 
contemporary Latin ones. The 61. mons. 333 have scratun 
(pilosi) ; the Gl. herrad. 200^ waltschrate (satyrus) ; the Sumerlat. 
10, 66 srate (lares mali); so in MHG. scrdz; Beinh. 597 (of the 
old fragment), 'ein wilder waltschrat;* Bari. 251, 11. Aw. 3, 
226. Ulr. Lanz. 437 has 'von dem «c/ira2;6'"= dwarf; 'sie ist 
villihte ein sehr at, ein geist von helle;* Albr. Titur. 1, 190 
(Hahn 180). That a small elvish spirit was meant, is plain 
from the dimin. schretel, used synonymously with wihtel in that 
pretty fable, from which our Irish elf-tales gave an extract, but 
which has since been printed entire in Moneys treatise on heroic 
legend, and is now capped by the original Norwegian story in 
Asbiömsen and Moe, No. 26 (one of the most striking examples 

1 The Slays too have a field-spirit who paces through the eorn. Bozhom's Besp. 
Mosooy., pars 1, p. ... : '* Daemonem qaoqne meridianom Moscoyitae metnant et 
ooltmt. Ille enim, dum jam matarae resecantur fmges, habitn viduae lugenti$ mri 
obambulatf operariisque uni yel plaribns, nisi protinas yiso spectro in terram proni 
conddanty brachia jbrangit et cmra. Neque tarnen contra hanc plagam remedio 
destituontnr. Habent enim in yioina silya arbores religione patrum coltas : harum 
cortice ynhieri superimposito, ilium non tantmn sanant, sed et dolorem loripedi 
ezimmit.*' Among the Wends this corn-wife is named pshipolnitza [prop, prepoln., 
from polno, full, i,e, full noon] , at the honr of noon she creeps about as a veiled 
woman. If a Wend, conyersing with her by the honr on flax and flax-dressing, can 
manage to contradict eyerything she says, or keep saying the Lord's prayer back- 
wards without stumbling, he is safe (Lausitz, monatsschr. 1797, p. 744). The Bohe- 
mians call her hdba (old woman), or poledniee^ poludnice (meridiana), the Poles 
dziewanna, dzietoiee (maiden), of whom we shaU haye to speak more than once, conf. 
chap. XXXYI. Here also there are plainly gods mixed up with the spirits and 

SCRAT. 479 

of the tough persistence of such materials in popular tradition) ; 
both the schretel and the word wazzerbern answer perfectly to 
the trold and the hvidbiöm. V^intler thinks of the schrättlin as a 
spirit light as wind^ and of the size of a child. The Vocab. of 
1482 has schretUn (penates) ; Dasypodius naektschrettele (ephi- 
altes) ; later ones spell it schrättele, schrättel, schretieley schrötle, 
conf. Staid. 2, 850. Schmid's Schwab, worth. 478. In the Sette 
comm. schraia or sehretele is a butterfly^ Schm. 3^ 519. A 
Thidericas Scratman is named in a voucher of 1244 ; Spilcker 2, 
84. A district in Lower Hesse is called the Schratweg, Wochenbl. 
1833, 952. 984. 1023. And other Teutonic dialects seem to 
know the word : AS. scritta, Eng. scrat (hermaphroditus),^ ON. 
skratti (malus genius, gigB'S) ; a rock on the sea is called 
skrattasker (geniorum scopulus), Fomm. sog. 2, 142. Compar- 
ing these forms with the OHG. ones above, we miss the usual 
consonant-change : the truth is, other OHG. forms do shew a 
t in place of the t : scraa, 61. fuld. 14 ; screza (larvae, lares mali). 
Gl. lindenbr. 996^; ' srezze vel strate' (not: screzzol scraito), 
Snmerlat. 10, 66; 'unreiner schräz/ Altd. w. 3, 170 (rhymes 
vriz).* And Upper Germ, dictionaries of the 16th cent, couple 
sehretzel with alp; Höfer 3, 114, has Mer schretz/ and Schm. 
3, 552, 'der sehretzel, das schretzleinJ According to Mich. 
Beham 8. 9 (Moneys Anz. 4, 450-1), every house has its schrez^ 
lein ; if fostered, he brings you goods and honour, he rides or 
drives the cattle, prepares his table on Brecht-night, etc.^ 

The agreement of Slavic words is of weight. O. Boh. scret 
(daemon)^ Hanka's Zbirka 6^; screti, scretti (penates intimi et 
Becretales), ibid. 16^ ; Boh. skfet, skfjtek (penas, idolum) ; Pol. 
»knot, skrzUek ; Sloven, zhhrdt, zhkrdtiz, zhkrdielj (hill-mannikin). 
To the Serv. and Buss, dialects the word seems unknown. 

I can find no satisfactory root for the German form.^ In Slavic 

> Already in Saehsensp. 1, 4 altvile and dverge side by aide ; conf. BA. 410. 

* A oontraotion of schraioaz f Qadr. 448, ichrawaz uud merwunder ; Albr. Titur. 
27, 299 has sekrahctz together with pilwiht ; achrawaUen und merwonder, Gasp, yon 
der Bön*s Wolfdieterich 195. Wolfd. und Sahen 496. [* Probably of different 
origin,* says Snppl.] 

s Muohar, EömiBches Noriemn 2, 87, and Gaatein 147, mentions a capricious 
mountain-spirit, schranel, 

^ The ON. skratti is said to mean terror also. The Swed. skratta, Dan. skratte, 
is to laugh loud. Does the AS. form soritta allow us to compare the Gr. CKlprot, 
a hopping, leaping goblin or satyr (from ffKiprdw^ I bound) T Lobeck's Aglaoph., 


skr^fci (celare^ occulere) is worth considering. [A compound of 
kr^ti, to cover, root kr^, krov, KpvTrrm. If Slav, skr^, why not 
AS. scrftd^ shroud ?] . 

Going by the sense, aehrat appears to be a wild, rough, shaggy 
wood-sprite, very like the Lat. faun and the Gr. satyr, also the 
Roman sUvanwa (Livy 2, 7) ; its dimin. schrcUlein, synonymous 
with wichtel and alp, a home-sprite, a hfll-mannikin. But the 
male sex alone is mentioned, never the female ; like the fauns, 
therefore, they lack the beauty of contrast which is presented by 
the elfins and bilwissins. We may indeed, on the strength of 
some similarity, take as a set-off to these schrats those wild women 
and wood-minnes treated of at the end of chanter XVI. The 
Greek fiction included tiMuntain-nymphs {pv/kjuu opeax^oi) and 
dryads {SpvdSe^, Englished vmduoelfenne in AS. glosses), whose 
life was closely bound up with that of a tree (loc. princ. Hymn 
to Aphrodite 257-272 ; and see Suppl.). 

Another thing in which the schrats differ from elves is, that 
they appear one at a time, and do not form a people. 

The Fichtelberg is haunted by a wood-sprite named the Katzen-' 
veity with whom they frighten children ; ' Hush, the Katzenveit 
will come ! ' Similar beings, full of dwarf and goblin-like 
humours, we may recognise in the Oübich of the Harz, in the 
RUbezal of Biesengebirge. This last, however, seems to be of 
Slav origin, Boh. Bybecal, Byhrcol} In Moravia runs the story 
of the seehirt, sea-herd, a mischief-loving sprite, who, in the shape 
of a herdsman, whip in hand, entices travellers into a bog (see 
Suppl.) .^ 

The gloss in Hanka 7^. 11* h&a ^ vUcodlae faunas, vilcodla-d 
faunificarii, incubi, dusii ' ; in New Boh. it would be wlkodldk^ 
wolf-haired; the Serv. vuJcodXac\A vampire (Vuk sub v.). It is 
not surprising, and it offers a new point of contact between elves, 
bilwisses, and schrats, that in Poland the same matting of hair is 
ascribed to the skrzot, and is called by his name, as the skfjteh is 
in Bohemia;' in some parts of Germany schrötleinzopf. 

1 In Slav, ryba is fish, bat oal, or ool CL think) has no meaning. The oldest 
Gtenn. does, have Babe-zagil, -zagel, »zagi (-tail) ; Bnbe may be short for the 
ghostly * knecht Bapreoht/ or Bobert. Is Babezagel oar bobtail, of which I have 
seen no decent etymology? — Tbams. 

■ Sagen aas der vorzeit Mährens (Briian, 1817), pp. 136-171. 

* The plica is also called koltun, and again koUki are Polish and BnssiAn home- 


People in Earope began yeiy early to think of daBmonic beings 
as pilosi. The Ynlgate has * et pilosi saltabnnt ibi/ Isaiah 13^ 
21, where the LXX. had Baifiovia ixH opx^<^ovraL^ conf. 
34^ 14.^ Isidore's Etym. 8, cap, alt. ^and from it 61. Jon. 
399) : ^pUosi qni g^ece panitae, latine incubi nominantar, — 
ho8 daemones Otalli dusios nnncupant.' Qaem an tern vulgo 
incuhonem yocant, hnnc Bomani faanam dicant.' Burcard of 
Worms (App. Superst. C) is speaking of the saperstitious custom 
of patting playthings, shoes, bows and arrows, in cellar or 
bam for the home-sprites,^ and these genii again are called 
'satyri TolpiUmJ The monk of St. Gall, in the Life of Charles 
the Great (Pertz 2,741), tells ol Sb pUostus who visited the house 
of a smith, amused himself at night with hammer and anvil, 
and filled the empty bottle out of a rich man's cellar (conf. Ir. 
elfenm. cxi. cxii.). Evidently a frolicking, dancing, whimsical 
homesprite, rough and hairy to look at, ' eislich get&n,' as the 
Heidelberg fable says, and rigged out in the red little cap of a 
dwarf, loving to follow his bent in kitchens and cellars. A figure 
quite in the foreground in God. palat. 324 seems to be his very 

Ouly I conceive that in earlier times a statelier, . larger figure 
was allowed to the schrai, or wood-schrat, then afterwards the 
merrier, smaller one to the achrettel. This seems to follow from 
the ON. meaning of skratti gigas, giant. These woodsprites must 
have been, as late as the 6-7th cent., objects of a special worship : 
there were trees and temples dedicated to them. Quotations in 
proof have already been given, pp. 58. 68 : ' arbores daemoni 
dedicatae,' and among the Warasken, a race akin to the Bavarian, 
'agrestinm fana, quos vulgus /auna« vocat.' 

Some remarkable statements are found in Eckehart's Walt- 
harius. Eckevrid of Saxony accosts him with the bitter taunt 
(761) : 

* Imtber tncnslatea feldteufel ; the Heb. iagnir denotee a shaggy, goat-like 
Ung. Bade^ictts friaing. 2, 18, imitates the whole passage in the prophet : ' alulae, 
npapae, bubones toto anno in ectis fonebria personantes lugnbri voce aores om- 
mnm repleTerant. Piloti qnos iatyrot vocant in domibns plemnque anditi.' Again 
S, M: * in aedibns tnia Ingabri voce respondeant nlnlae, iaUerU piloai.* 

s * Daemones qnos du$eio$ Galli nunonpant.* Angustine, Civ. Dei, c. 28. The 
nime dux still lives in Bretagne, dimin. duxik (Villemarqa6 1, 42). 

* In the same may the jMel (I suppose gtietel, the same as gaote hold») baa 
toys placed lor him, Superst. I, no. 62 ; oonf . in&a, the homespiites. 


DiCj ait, an corpus yegetet tractabile temet, 
sive per aerias fallas, maledicte, figaras ? 
saltibus assuetas f annus mihi quippe yideris. 

Walthari replies in mockery (765) : 

Celtica lingua probat te ex ilia gente creatum^ 
cui natura dedit reliqaas ludendo praeire ; 
at si te propius venientem dextera nostra 
attingat, post Saxonibus memorare valebis, 
te nunc in Vosago fauni fantasma videre. 

If you come within reach of my arm, I give you leave then 
to tell your Saxon countrymen of the ' schrat ' you now see in 
the Wasgau (Vosges). When Eckevrid has hurled his spear at 
him in vain, Walthari cries : 

Haec tibi ttilvaniis transponit munera f annua. 

Herewith the ' wood-schrat ' returns you the favour.^ 

Here the faun is called fantasma^ phantom ; OHG. giscin, T. 
81 (Matt. xiv. 26), otherwise scinleih (monstrum). Gl. hrab. 969^. 
Jun. 214; AS. scinldc (portentum) ; or' gitroc, p. 464. Pkan-' 
taama vagahundumi(^i\A Lebuini, Pertz 2, 361) ; ^fantasma vult 
nos pessundare ' (Hroswitha in Dulcicius) ; ^fantasia quod in 
libris gentilium/attntt« solet appellari,' Mabillon, Analect. 3,352. 
A ' municipium,' or ' oppidum mona fanni^ in Ivonis Carnot. 
epist. 172, and conf. the doc. quoted in the note thereon, in 
which it is i[}\onBfaunu'm. Similarly in OFr. poems : ^fantosme 
nous va fannoiant' M6on 4, 138; fantoame qui me desvoie, 
demaine,' ibid. 4, 140. 4. 402. A passage from Girart de 
Bossillon given in Moneys Archiv 1835. 210 says of a moun- 
tain : ' en ce mont ha moult de grans secrez, trop y a de faniomea' 
Such are the fauni ficarii and ailveatrea homines, with whom 
Jemandes makes his Gothic aliomnea keep company (p. 404). 
Yet they also dip into the province of demigod heroes. Miming 
silvarum satynis, and Witugouwo (silvicola) seem to be at once 
cunning smith-schrats and heroes (pp. 376-379). A valkyr unites 
herself with satyr-like Yölundr, as the aliorunes did with fauns. 
The wild women, wood-minne (pp. 432-4), and the wüde man 

1 The dialogne is obscure, and in the printed edition, p. S6, 1 have endeayoured 
to justify the above interpretation. 


(Wigamnr 203) oome together. Wigal. 6286 hhswildez wip, and 
6602 it is said of the dwarf Karrioz : 

Sin mnoter was ein wildez wip His mother was a wild woman, 

da von was sin kurzer lip therefrom was his short body 

aller rudi nnde stark, all over hairy and strong, 

sin gebein was &ne mark his bones without marrow 


nach dem gesiebte der muoter sin, after his mother^s stock, 

deste sterker muoser sin. the stronger must he be. 

In the Wolfdietrich a wild man like this is called waltluoder, and 
in Laurfn 173. 183 waltmann. The ON. mythology knows of 
wild wood-wives by the names iviffjur, Srem. 88*. 119**, andiar/i- 
vidjur, Sn. 13. About the ividja we find at the beginning of the 
Hrafnagaldr the obscure statement ' elr iviiSja,' alit, auget, parit, 
gignit dryas ; Ivi'Sja is derived from a wood or grove iviffr, of 
which the Völuspft 1* makes mention : ' nio man ek heima, nio 
iviffi' ; BO iamvidja from iamvidr, iron wood (see Suppl.).^ 

I cannot properly explain these ON. iviiSjur and iamvi^jur. 
The popular belief of t<f-day in South-eastern Germany presents 
in a more intelligible shape the legend of the wild-folk, forest-folk, 
wood-folk, moss-folk, who are regarded as a people of the dwar 
kind residing together, though they come up singly too, and in 
that case the females especially approximate those higher beings 
spoken of on p. 432. They are small of stature, but somewhat 
larger than elves, grey and oldish-looking, hairy and clothed in 
moss: 'ouch wftreii ime diu oren als eime walttoren vermieset,^ 
Us ears like a forest-fooPs bemossed (?), Iw. 440. Often holz- 
tBeikel alone are mentioned, seldomer the males, who are supposed 
to be not so good-natured and to live deeper in the woods, wear- 
ing green garments faced with red, and black three-cornered hats. 
H. Sachs 1, 407* brings up holzmänner and holzfrauen, and gives 
1, 348^ the lament of the vrild woodfolk over the faithless world. 
Schmidt^s Beichenfels, pp. 140-8 tells us the Yoigtland tradition, 
and Bömer, pp. 188-242 that of the Orlagau; from them I borrow 
what is characteristic. The little wood-wives come up to wood- 
cutters, and beg for something to eat, or take it themselves out 

' Afzelins 2, 145-7, mentions Swed. löfjertkoTt leaf-maids, forest-maids, and 
eomparea them with Laufey (p. 246), bat the people haye little to say aboat them. 


of their pots ; but whatever they have taken or borrowed they 
make good in some other way, not seldom by good advice. At 
times they help people in their kitchen work and at washing; 
but always express a great fear o£ the wild huntsman that pursues 
them. On the Saale they tell you of a bush-grandmother and her 
moss-maidens ; this sounds like a queen of elves, if not like the 
'weird lady of the woods' (p. 407). The little wood-wives are 
glad to come when people are bakings and ask them, while they 
are about it, to bake them a loaf too, as big as half a millstone, 
and it must be left for them at a specified place ; they pay it back 
afterwards, or perhaps bring some of their own baking, and lay 
it in the furrow for the ploughmen, or on the plough, being 
mightily ofifended if you refuse it. At other times the wood-wife 
makes her appearance with a broken little wheelbarrow, and begs 
you to mend the wheel ; then, like Berhta she pays you with the 
fallen chips, which turn into gold ; or if you are knitting, she 
gives you a ball of thread which yon will never have done un- 
winding. Every time a man twists (driebt, throws) the stem of 
a young tree till the bark flies off, a wood-wife has to die. When 
a peasant woman, out of pity, gave the Hreast to a crjdng wood- 
child, the mother came np and made her a present of the bark in 
which the child was cradled ; the woman broke a splinter off and 
threw it in to her load of wood, but when she got home she found 
it was of gold (see Suppl.). 

Wood-wives, like dwarfs, are by no means satisfied with the 
ways of the modern world ; but to the reasons given on p. 459 
they add special ones of their own. There's never been a good 
time since people took to counting the dumplings they put in the 
pot, the loaves they put in the oven, to * pipping ' their bread 
and putting caraway-seeds in it. Hence their maxim : 

Schäl keinen bäum. No tree ever shell, 

erzähl keinen träum, no dream ever tell, 

back keinen kümmei ins brot, bake in thy bread no cummin- 
so hilft dir Gott ans aller noth. and God will help in all tfay 


The third line may be 'pip kein brod,' don't pip a loaf. A 


wood-wife^ after tasting some newly-baked bread, ran off to the 
forest, screaming loud : 

Sie haben mir gebacken kümmelbrot, 
das bringt diesem hause grosse noth ! 

(They^ve baked me caraway-bread, it will bring that honse great 
tronble). And the farmer's prosperity soon declined, till he was 
utterly impoverished. To ' pip ' a loaf is to push the tip of your 
finger into it, a common practice in most places. Probably the 
wood-wives could not carry off a pricked loaf, and therefore 
disliked the mark ; for a like reason they objected to counting. 
Whether the seasoning with cummin disgusted them as an inno- 
vation merely, or in some other connection, I do not know. The 
rhyme rans thus : ' kümmelbrot, unser tod ! ' the death of us ; 

or — 'kummelbrot macht angst und noth.' Some wood-manni- 

kins, who had long done good service at a mill, were scared away 
by the miller's men leaving out clothes and shoes for them, Jul. 
Schmidt, p. 146 (see Suppl.).^ It is as though, by accepting 

> This agree« wonderfully with what Beasoh, pp. 68-5, reports from Pmssian 

Semlaad : ^A householder at Lapöhnen, to whom the subterraneans had done 

nisoy servieee, was grieTed at their haying such poor elothes, and asked his wife to 
pat some new little coats where they would find them. Well, they took their new 
outfit, hut their leave at the same time, crying, * paid up, paid up 1 * Another time 
they had been helping a poor smith, had come every night and turned out a set of 
little pots, pans, plates and kettles as bright as could be ; the mistress would set a 
didi ä mUk for tliem, which they fell upon like wolves, and cleared to the last drop, 
mahed up the plates and then set to work. The smith having soon become a rich 
mau, his wife sewed them each a pretty little red coat and cap, and left them lying. 
* Paid up, paid up 1 * eried the undergrounders, then quickly slipt into their new 
finny, and were off, without touching the iron left for them to work at, or ever 

eoming back. Another story of the Seewen-weiher (-pond), near Bippoldsau, in 

the Bkek Forest (Hone's Anz. 6, 175) : — A lake-mannikin liked coming to the 
folks at Seewen farm, would do jobs there all day, and not return into his lake tUl 
evening; they used to serve him up breakfast and dinner by himself. If in giving 
oat tasks they omitted the phrase * none too much and none too little,' he turned 
cross, and threw all into confusion. Though his clothes were old and shabby, he 
nerer would let the Seewen farmer get him new ones ; but when this after all was 
done, and the new coat handed to the lake-mannikin, one evening, he said, ' When 
one is paid off one must go ; beginning from to-morrow, I come to you no more ;' 
tnd in spite cfi all the farmer's apologies he was never seen again. — »Jos. Bank's 
Böhmerwald, p. 217, tells a pretty stpry of a wasehweiberl (wee washerwife), for whom 
the people of the house wanted to have shoes made, but she would not hold out her 
little foot to be measured. They sprinkled the floor with flour, and took the 
measure by her footprints. When the shoes were made and placed on the bench 
for her, she fell a-sobbing, turned her little smock-sleeves down again, unlooped 
the skirt of her frock, then burst away, lamenting loudlv, and was seen no more.* 
That is to say, the wee wife, on coming into the house, had turned up the sleeves 
of her smock, and looped up her frock, that she might the more easily do any khid 
of work. Similar tales are told of the brownie, B. Chambers, p. 88. And the same 
idea lies at the bottom of the first story about wichtelm&nnorchen in Einderm. 89. 


clothes^ the spirifcs were afraid of snddeDly breaking off the 
relation that subsisted between themselves and mankind. We 
shall see presently that the home-sprites proper acted on different 
principles^ and even bargained for clothes. 

The more these wood-folk live a good many together, the more 
do they resemble elves, wichtels, and dwarfs ; the more they 
appear singly, the nearer do the females stand to wise women and 
even goddesses, the males to gigantic fanns and wood- monsters, 
as we saw in Katzen veit, Gnbich and Biibezahl (p. 480). The 
salvage man with uprooted fir-tree in his hand, such as supports 
the arms of several princes in Lower Germany, represents this 
kind of faun j it would be worth finding out at what date he is 
first mentioned. Grinkenschmied in the mountain (Deut. sag. 1, 
232) is also called ' der wilde man/ 

In the Romance fairy-tales an old Roman god has assumed 
altogether the nature of a wood-sprite ; out of Orcus ^ has been 
made an Ital. orco, Neapel, huorco, Pr. ogre (supra, p. 314) : he 
is pictured black, hairy, bristly, but of great stature rather than 
small, almost gigfantic; children losing their way in the wood 
come upon his dwelUng, and he sometimes shews himself good- 
natured and bestows gifts, oftener his wife (orca, ogresse) pro- 
tects and saves.' German fairy-tales hand over his part to the 
devil, who springs even more directly from the ancient god of 
the lower world. Of the invisible-making helmet the orco has 
nothing left him, on the other hand a dasmonic acuteness of 
scent is made a characteristic feature, he can tell like a sea- 
monster the approach of human flesh : 'je sens la chair fraiche/ 
'ich rieche, rieche mensohenfleisch,' 'ich wittere, wittere 
menschenfieisch,' 'i schmöke ne Crist,' 'I smell the blood,' 
'jeglugter det paa min höire haand (right hand),' 'her lugter 
Baa kristen mands been,' ^ exactly as the meerminne already in 

It is a common ebaracteristio, that holds good of wichtels, of subterraneans, of lake- 
sprites and of wood-folk, but chiefly of male ones who do service to mankind. 
[Might the objection to shewing their feet arise from their being web-footed, like 
the Swiss h&rdmändle, especially in the case of water-sprites ?] 

^ See App., Snperst. A, * Orcum invooare* together with Neptune and Diana ; 
Snperst. G, extr. from Vintler, 1. 88 : * er hab den orken gesechen.' Beow. 224 has 
orcneas^ pi. of orcne. 

3 Pentamerone, for the oroo 1, 1. 1, 5. 2, 3. 8, 10. 4, 8. For the orca 2, 1. 
2, 7. 4, 6. 6, 4. 

s Perranlt*s Petit ponoet ; Einderm. 1, 152. 179. 2, 850. 8, 410; MnssQS 1, 
21 ; Danske yiser 1, 220 ; Norske folkeeventyr, p. 35. 


Morolt 3924 says : ' ich smacke diutsclie tserngewant^' ooats 
of mail (see SappL). The Ital. however has also an uom foresto, 
Pulci's Morgante 5, 88. 

The Gothic neat, skohsl, by which ülphilas renders Saifioviov, 
Matth. 8^ 31. Ln. 8, 27 (only in margin; text reads nnha])>6). 
1 Cor. 10^ 20. 21^ I am disposed to explain by supposing a skohs, 
gen. sk&his^ or rather skogs (the h being merely the g softened 
before slj. It would answer to the ON. slcogr (sQva) ; in all our 
Gothic fragments the word for forest never occurs^ so that in 
addition to a vidus (p. 376) we may very well conjecture a sk6gs. 
In Sweden the provincialisms skogsnerte, skogsivufva^ are still 
used; snerte appears to contain snert gracilis, and snufva to 
mean anhelans.^ Now if skohsl is wood-sprite/ there may have 
been associated with it, as with Sat/Movi^v, the idea of a higher 
being, semi-divine or even divine. When we call to mind the 
sacred, inviolable trees inhabited by spirits (chap. XXI, and 
Snperst. Swed. no. 110, Dan. no. 162), and the forest- worship of 
the Germani in general (pp. 54-58. 97-8) ; we can understand 
why wood-gprites in particular should be invested with a human 
or divine rather than elvish nature. 

Water-sprites exhibit the same double aspect. Wise-women, 
Valkyrs, appear on the wave as swans, they merge into prophetic 
merwomen and merminnes (p. 434). Even Nerthus and dame 
Holla bathe in lake or pool, and the way to Holla's abode is 
through the well, Kinderm. 24. 79. 

Hence to the general term holde or guoter holde (genius, bonus 
genius) is added a waazerholde (p. 266), a brunnenholde (p. 268) ; 
to the more general minni a meriminni and ma/rmennill (p. 433). 
Other names, which explain themselves, are: MHG. wildiu 

1 Liniuens's Gothlandske resa, p. 312. Faye, p. 42. 

' In 1298 Torkel Enntson founded on the Neva a stronghold against the Bussians, 
ealled Landskrona. An old folk-tale says, there was heard in the forest near the 
river a continnal knocking, as of a stone-entter. At last a peasant took courage and 
penetrated into the forest ; there he found a wood-sprite hewing at a stone, who, on 
being asked what that should mean, answered : * this stone shall he the hoimdary 
between the lands of the Swedes and Moskovites.* Forsell*B Statistik von Schwe- 
den, p. 1. 

* To make np anOHG. sknoh and sknohisal is donbtless yet more of a venture. 
Our tcheuMal (monstrum), if it comes from scheuen (sciuhan), to shy at, has quite 
soother f ondamental vowel ; it may however be a corruption. The only very old 
form I know is the $chuiel given in the foot-note on p. 269. But the Vooah. of 1482 
has seheube (larva). 



merhint, wildiu merwunder, Gudmn 1 09, 4. 112,3. wildez mervnp, 
Osw. 653. 673; Mod. HG, meervmnder, Wassermann (Slav. 
vodnik), seejungfer, meerweib ; ON. haf-fru, ceS'hona, hafgygr, mar" 
gygr; Dan. Juwma/nd, bröndmand (man of the born or spring), 
Molb. Dial. p. 58; Swed. hafsman, hafsfru, and more particnlarly 
Strömkarl (river sprite or man). Wendish vodny muz, water man. 
The notion of a wa;ter-lcing shews itself in waJterconinhy Melis 
Stoke 2, 96. Certain elves or dwarfs are represented as water- 
sprites : Andva/riy son of Otn, in the shape of a pike inhabited 
a fors, Ssdm. 180-1 ; and Alfrikr, ace. to Yilk. saga, cap. 34, 
haunted a river (see SuppL). 

The pecnliar name of such a watersprite in OHG. was nihhus, 
nichtis, gen. niohnses, and by this term the glossists render crooo- 
dilus. Gl. mons. 832, 412. Jun. 270. Wirceb. 978^; the Physio- 
logus makes it neater : daz nikkus, Dint. 8, 25. Hoffm. Fandgr. 
23. Later it becomes niches, Gl. Jun. 270. In AS. I find, with 
change of s into r, a masc. nicor, pi. niceras, Beow. 838. 1144. 
2854, by which are meant monstrous spirits living in the sea, 
conf. nicorMs, Beow. 2822. This AS. form agrees with the M. 
Nethl. nicker, pi. nickers, (Horae Belg. p. 119) ; Beinaert prose 
MIIIIP has ' wicfc«"« ende wichteren'; necker (Neptunus), Dint. 
2, 224^. ' hdft mi die necker bracht .hier f ' (has the devil brought 
me here ?), Moneys Ndrl. volkslit. p. 140. The Mod. Nethl. 
nikker means evil spirit, devil, ' alle nikkers uit de hel; ' so the 
Engl. ' old Nick»' We have retained the form with s, and the 
original sense of a watersprite, a male nix and a female nixe, i.e., 
niks and nikse, though we also hear of a nickel and nickelmann. 
In MHG. Conrad uses wassemixe in the sense of siren : ' heiz ans 
leiten üz dem bade der vertanen (accursed) Wassernixen, daz uns 
ir gedoene (din) iht schade ' (MS. 2, 200^).i 

The ON. nikr (gen. niks?) is now thought to mean hippo- 
potamus only ; the Swed. näk, nek, and the Dan. nok, nok, nocke, 
a^nycke (Molb. Dial. p. 4) express exactly our watersprite, but 
always a male one. The Danish form comes nearest to a Mid. 
Lat. nocca, spectrum marinum in stagnis et fluviis ; the Finn. 

^ Gryphius (mihi 743) has a Thyme: * die wa$ierlüt8 auf erden mag nicht 
80 schöne werden,' apparently meaning a water-wife or nize. In Ziska's östr. 
Yolksm. 64 a kind w€UiemiXt like dame Holla, bestows wishing-gifts on the 

• NICHTJS, NIX. 489 

näkH, Esth. nek (watersprite) seem borrowed from the Swedish. 
Some have brought into this connexion the mach older neha 
iiehalennia (pp. 257, 419), I think without good reason: the 
Latin organ had no. occasion to put h for c, and where it does 
have an h in German words (as Vahalis, Naharvali), we have no 
business to suppose a tenuis ; besides, the images of Nehalennia 
hardly indicate a river-goddess. 

I think we have better reason for recognising the water-sprite 
in a name of 08inn, who was occasionally conceived of as Nep^ 
hine (p. 148), and often appears as a sailor and ferryman in his 
bark. The AS. Andreas describes in detail, how Ood Himself, in 
the shape of a divine shipman escorts one over the sea ; in the 
Legenda Aurea it is only an angel. OSinn, occording to Sn. 3, is 
called Nikarr or Hnika/rr, and Nikuz or Hnikudr. In Ssem. 46*» ^ 
we read Hnikarr, Hnikudr, and in 91* 184*» ^ Hnikarr again. 
Nikarr would correspond to AS. Nicor, and Nikuz to OHG. 
Nichus. Snorri's optional forms are remarkable, he must have 
drawn them from sources which knew of both; the prefixing 
of an aspirate may have been merely to humour the metre. Finn 
Magnusen, p. 488, acutely remarks, that wherever OSinn is called 
Hnikarr, he does appear as a sea-sprite and calms the waves. 
For the rest, no nickar (like älfar and dvergar) are spoken of in 
either Edda. Of the metamorphoses of the nickur (hippop.) the 
ON. uses the expression '^nykrat e^a finug&lkat,'' Sn. 317 (see 

Plants and stones are named after the nix, as well as after 
gods. The nymphaea {vvfiff>ala from yvfufyq) we still call mV- 
hlume as well as seeblume, seelilie, Swed. näckblad, Dan. nöJc- 
iebUymsier, nokkerose; the conferva rupestris, Dan. nökkeakä^ 
(nix-beard) ; the haliotis, a shellfish, Swed. näcköra (nix-ear) ; 
the crumby tufa-stone, tophns, Swed. näekebröd, the water- 
sprite's bread. Finn, näkinkenka (mya margaritifera) nakin 
waltikka (typha angnstifolia) ; the Lausitz Wends call the blos- 
soms or seedpods of certain reeds 'vodneho mvzha porsty, 
potaczky [piorsty, perczatky f], lohszy,' water-man's fingers or 
gloves. We ourselves call the water-lily wassermännlein, but 
also mummel, mummelchen as müemel, aunty, water-aunt, as the 
merminne in the old lay is expressly addressed as Morolt's 
'liebe muome,' and in Westphalia to this day watermöme is a 


ghostly being ; in Nib. 1479^ 8 Siglint the one merwoman says 
of Hadbaro the other : 

Durch der wsete liebe h&t min mu-ome dir gelogen^ 

'tis through love of raiment (weeds) mine aant hath lied to thee; 
these merwomen belongs as swan-maidens, to one sisterhood and 
kindred (p. 428), and in Oswald 673-9 'ein ander merwlp' is 
coupled with the first. Several lakes inhabited by nixes are 
called mTjmmelsee (Dent. sag. nos. 59. 331. Moneys Anz. 8, 92), 
otherwise meumke^loch, e.g., in the Paschenburg of Schaumbarg« 
This explains the name of a little river Mümling in the Oden- 
wald, though old docs, spell it Mimling. Mersprites are made to 
favour particular pools and streams, e.g., the Saale, the Danube, 
the Elbe,^ as the Bomans believed in the bearded river-gods 
of individual rivers; it may be that the name of the Neckar 
(Nicarus) is immediately connected with our nicor, neehar (see 

Biöm gives nennir as another ON« name for hippopotamus, 
it seems related to the name of the goddess Nanna (p. 310).' 
This nennir or nihir presents himself on the sea-shore as a hand- 
some dapple-grey horse, and is to be recognised by his hoofs 
looking the wrong way ; if any one mounts him, he plunges with 
his prey into the deep. There is a way however to catch and 
bridle him, and break him in for a time to work.^ A clever man 
at Morland in Bahus fastened an artfully contrived bridle on him, 
40 that he could not get away, and ploughed all his land with 
aim; but the bridle somehow coming loose, the ^neck* darted 
;ike fire into the lake, and drew the harrow in after him> In 
he same way German legends tell of a great hulking hlack horse, 
.that had risen out of the sea, being put to the plough, and going 
ahead at a mighty pace, till he dragged both plough and plough- 
man over the cliff.^ Out of a marsh called the ^ taufe,' near 

' The Elbjiuigfer and Saalweiblein, Dent. sag. no. 60 ; the river-sprite in the 
Oder, ibid. no. 62. 

^ Mnchar, in Norikum 2, 87, and in Q-astein p. 145, mentions an Alpine 
sprite Donanadel; does nadel here stand for nandelf A misprint for madel (girl) 
is scarcely conceivable. 

> Landn&mabök, 2, 10 (Islend. sog. 1, 74). Olafsen's Beise igiennem Island, 
1, 65. Sv. vis. 3, 128. 

4 P. Eahn's Westgöta ooh Bahnslandska resa, 1742, p. 200. 

<^ Letzner*s Dasselsche obxonik 5, 18. 


Scheaen in Lower Saxony^ a wild bull comes up at certain times, 
and goes with the cows of the herd (Harry's Sagen, p. 79), 
When a thunderstorm is brewing, a great horse with enormous 
hoofe will appear on the water (Paye, p. 55). It is the vulgar 
belief in Norway, that whenever people at sea go down, a 
soedrouen (sea sprite) shews himself in the shape of a headless 
old man (Sommerfelt, Saltdalens prästegjeld, Trondhjem 1827, p. 
119). In the Highlands of Scotland a water-sprite in the shape 
of a horse is known by the name of water-kelpie (see Suppl.). 

Water-sprites have many things in common with mountain- 
sprites, but also some peculiar to themselves. The males, like 
those of the schrat kind, come up singly rathejr than in companies. 
The water man is commonly represented as oldish and with a 
hng beard, like the Boman demigod out of whose urn the river 
spouts; often he is many-Jieaded (conf. p. 387), Faye p. 51. In 
a Danish folk-song the nökke lifts his beard aloft (conf. Svenska 
visor 3, 127. 133), he wears a green hat, and when he grins you 
see his green teeth (Deut. sag. no. 52). He has at times the 
figure of a ivild boy with shaggy hair, or else with yellow curls 
and a red cap on his head.^ The näkki of the Finns is said to 
have iron teeth,^ The nixe (fem.), like the Bomance fay and our 
own wise- women, is to be seen sitting in the sun, comhing her 
long hair (Svenska vis. 3, 148), or emerging from the waves with 
the upper half of her body, which is exceedingly beautiful. The 
lower part^ as with sirens, is said to consist of a fish-like tail ; 
bot this feature is not essential, and most likely not truly 
Teutonic, for we never hear of a tailed nix,^ and even the nixe, 
when she comes on shore among men, is shaped and attired like 
the daughters of men, being recognised only by the wet skirt of 

^ The small size is implied in the popular rhyme : ' Nix in der grübe (pit), da 
Inst ein bdeer hübe (bad boy) ; wasch dir deine beinohen (little legs) mit rothen 
uegelsteinehen (red brick).* 

' On the grass by the shore a girl is seized by a pretty boy wearing a handsome 
peasant^s belt, and is forced to scratch his head for him. Whue she is doing so, he 
tlipi a girdle round her unperceived, and chains her to himself ; the continued 
friction, however, sends him to sleep. In the meantime a woman comes up, and 
aiks the girl what she is about. She tells her, and, while talking, releases herself 
from the girdle. The boy was more sound asleep than ever, and his lips stood 
pretty wide apart ; then the woman, coming up closer, cried out : ' why, that's a 
neeik, look at his fis}C$ teeth \* In a moment the neck was gone (Etwas über die 
Ehsten, p. 51). 

' But we do of nixes shaped like men above and like hortee below ; one water- 
iprite takes his name from his $lit ear». Peat. sag. no. 63. 


her dress> the wet tips of her apron.^ Here is another point of 
contact with swan-maidens^ whose swan-foot betrays them : and 
as they have their veils and clothes taken from them, the nixe 
too is embarrassed by the removal and detention of her gloves 
in dancing (Deut. sag. nos. 58. 60). Among the Wends the 
water-man appears in a linen smockfrock with the bottom of its 
sUH wet ; if in buying up grain he pays more than the market 
price, a dearth follows, and if he buys cheaper than others, prices 
fall (Lausitz, monatschr. 1797, p. 750). The Russians name 
their water-nymphs rusdlki: fair maidens with green or gar- 
landed hair, combiug themselves on the meadow by the waterside, 
and bathing in lake or river. They are seen chiefly on Whit- 
sunday and in Whitsnn-week, when the people with dance and 
song plait garlands in their honour and throw them into the 
water. The custom is connected with the Grerman river-worship 
on St. John's day. Whitsun-week itself was called by the 
Russians rusaldnaya, in Boh. msadla, and even in Wallachian 

Dancing, song and mueic are the delight of all water-sprites, as 
they are of elves {p. 470). Like the sirens, the nixe by her 
song draws listening youth to herself, and then into the deep. 
So Hylas was drawn into the water by the nymphs (Apollod. 
i« 9> 19. ApoUon. rhod. 1, 131). At evening up come the da/rfi- 
selsfrom the lake, to take part in the human dance, and to visit 
their lovers.^ In Sweden they tell of the strömkarVs alluring 
enchanting strain : the strömkarls-lag (-lay) is said to have 
eleven variations, but to only ten of them may you dance, 
the eleventh belongs to the night-spirit and his band; begin 

^ In Olaf the Saint's saga (Fomm. Bog. 4, 56. 5, 162) Amarg^griB pictured as a 
beantifal woman, from the girole downward ending in a fish, InJimg men to sleep 
with her sweet song ; evidently modelled on the Boman siren. Pretty stories of 
nixes are told in Jiü. Schmidt's Beichenfels, p. 150 (where the word docken ^doUst 
pappets) and 161. Water-wives when in labour send for human assistance, like 
she-dwarfs (p. 457). * They spake at Dr. M. L.'s table of spectra and of changelings, 
then did Mistress Luther, his goodwife, tell an histoiy, how a midwife at a place 
was fetched away by the devil to one in childbed, with whom the devil had to do, 
and that lived in a hole in the water in the Mulda^ and the water hurt her not at 
all, but in the hole she sat as in a fair chamber.' Table-talk 1571. 440b. 

' Schafarik in the Öasopis desk. mus. 7, 259 his furnished a full dissertation on 
the rusalky [from rusy, blond ; but there is also ruslo, river's bed, deepest part] . 

' Hebel doubtless founds on popular tradition when (p. 281) he makes the 
' jungfere wem see ' roam through the fields at midnight, probably like the roggen- 
muhme to make them fruitful. Other stories of the meerweibUin in Mone's Anz. 8, 
178, and Bechstein's Thtir. sagen 8, 236. 


to play that^ and tables and benches^ cap and can^ gray-beards 
and grandmothers, blind and lame, even babes in the cradle 
would begin to dance.^ This melodious strömkarl loves to linger 
by mills and waterfalls (conf. Andvari, p. 488). Henoe his 
Norwegian name fossegrim (fos, Swed. and ON. fors, waterfall). 
On p. 52 it was cited as a remnant of heathen sacrifices, that to 
this dsomonic being people offered a black lamb, and were taught 
music by him in return. The fossegrim too on calm dark 
evenings entices men by his music, and instructs in the fiddle 
or other stringed instrument any one who will on a Thursday 
evening, with his head turned away, offer him a little white he-gocU 
and throw it into a ' forse ' that falls northwards (supra, p. 34) . 
If the victim is lean, the pupil gets no farther than the tuning of 
the fiddle ; if fat, the fossegrim clutches hold of the player's right 
hand, and guides it up and down till the blood starts out of all 
his finger-tips, then the pupil is perfect in his art, and can play 
so that the trees shall dance and torrents in their fall stand still 
(see Suppl.).* 

Although Christianity forbids such offerings, and pronounces 
the old water-sprites diabolic beings, yet the common people 
retain a certain awe and reverence, and have not quite given up 
all faith in their power and influence : accursed beings they 
are, bat they may some day become partakers of salvation. This 
is the driffc of the touching account, how the strömkarl or neck 
wants yon not only to sacrifice to him in return for musical 
instruction, but to promise him resurrection and redemption.^ 
Two boys were playing by the riverside, the neck sat there 
touching his harp, and the children cried to him : ^ What do you 
sit and play here for, neck ? you know you will never be saved.' 
The neck began to weep bitterly, threw his harp away, and sank 
to the bottom. When the boys got home, they told their father 

1 Arndt*« Beue nach Schweden 4, 241 ; Bimilar danoee spoken of in Herrande- 
saga, eap. 11. pp. 49—53. 

' Faje p. 67. Conf. Thiele 1, 185 on the kirk^grim, 

s Odman's Bahuslan, p. 80 : Cm spelemän i högar ok foraar har man ok 
itakiUiga aagor ; for 15 Ir tilbaoka har man här ati hdgen under Gären i Tannms 
gall belagit hdrt apela som the baste musioanter. Then som har viol ok Till lara 
■pela, blur i ögnableket lard, allenast han lofvar upntdndeUe \ en som e] lofte thet, 
fiek höra hum the i bögen »logo sonder »ina violer ok greto hitUrUga, ^He that has 
a fiddle and wiU learn to play, becomes in a moment learned, only ne promises 
reemreetion ; one who promised not that, did hear how they in the hill beat 
asonder their fiddlea and wept bitterly.) 


what had happened. The father^ who was a priest^ said 'yon 
have sinned against the neck^ go back^ comfort him and tell him 
he may he sa/ved/ When they retomed to the river^ the neck 
sat on the bank weeping and wailing. The children said : ' Do 
not cry so^ poor neck, father says that your Bedeemer liveth too.' 
Then the neck joyfully took his harp, and played charmingly till 
long after sunset.^ I do not know that anywhere in oar legends 
it is so pointedly expressed, how badly the heathen stand in need 
of the Christian religion, and how mildly it ought to meet 
them. .But the harsh and the compassionate epithets bestowed 
on the nixes seem to turn chiefly upon their ur^lessedness, their 

But beside the jreewill offering for instruction in his art, the 
nix also exacted -cruel and comgpuUory sacrifices, of which the 
memory is preserved in nearly all popular tradition. To this day, 
when people are drowned in a river, it is common to say : ' the 
river-sprite demands his yearly victim/ which is usually 'an 
innocent child/ ^ This points to actual human sacrifices offered 
to the nichus in far-off heathen times. To the nix of the Diemel 
they throw bread and fruit once a year (see SuppL). 

On the whole there runs through the stories of water-sprites a 
vein of cruelty and bhodthirstiness, which is not easily found among 
daemons of mountains, woods and homes. The nix not only kills 
human beings who fall into his clutches, but wreaks a bloody 
vengeance on his own folk who have come on shore, mingled 
with men, and then gone back. A girl had passed fifteen years 
in the sea- wife's house (i haf-fruns gärd), and never seen the sun 
all that time. At last her brother ventures down, and brings 
his beloved sister safely back to the upper world. The hafsfru 
waited her return seven years, then seized her staff, and lashing 
the water till it splashed up high, she cried : 

^ Sv. visor 3, 128. Ir. Elfenm. p. 24; similar Irish, Sootoh, and Danish tra- 
ditions, pp. 200-2. Gonf. Thiele 4, 14. Holberg's Julestue so. 12 : * Nisser og 
underjorske folk, drive store fester bort med klagen og hylen, eftersom de ingen d^ 
bar derudi ' (because they have no part therein). 

' * Vertane wassemize,' fordone, done for (p. 488) ; * den fula ttygga neoken/ 
Sv. vis. 8, 147 ; * den tule havfrne, tule maremind,' ' den arme mareviv/ * du fuU 
og lede spaaqvindel' Danske visor 1, 110. 119. 125. Holberg's Melampus 8, 7 
cites a Danish superstition : * naai en fisker ligger hos sin fiskerinde paa söen, 
saa föder hun en havfrue.* 

3 Deut. sag., nos. 61. 62. Faye, p. 51. The Biver Saale yearly demands her 
victim on Walburgis or St. John's day, and on those days people avoid the river. 

NICHüSi NIX. 495 

Hade jag trott att du yarit sä falsk^ 
Sä skalle jag knackt dig din tiafvehals ! 

(had I trowed thou wert so false^ I'd have nicked thy thievish 
neck)^ Arvidsson 2, 820-3. If the sea-maidens have stayed too 
long at the dance^ if the captive Christian have born a child to 
the nix^ if the water-man's child is slow in obeying his call^ one 
Bees a, jet of blood shoot up from the water's bed in sign of the 
vengefal deed.^ As a mle^ there was likewise a favourable sign 

^ Dent, sag., nos. 49. 58-9. 60. 804-6. 818» i. Here I give another Westphalian 

Iflgend, written down for me by Hr Seitz, of Osnabrück : Dönken von den $mett 

«pjm Damusen. Dichte bei Braumske Uggt en lütken see, de Darmssen ; do stönd 
vörr aalen tien (olden tide) en klanater ane. de miönke &ber in den klaoster liabeden 
nig ni Qoddes willen ; dramme gönk et anner. Nig lange nA hiar hörden de boren 
in der nanberskap, in Epe, olle nachte en kloppen an liarmen bi den Darmssen, osse 
wenn me apn ambold sldt, and wecke Itie aeigen wott (some folk saw somewhat) 
midden ap den Darmssen. 8e sgeppeden drup to ; d& was et n smett, de bet ant lif 
(bis an*s leib) inn water eeit, mitn nftmer in de fust, dftmit weis he jümmer ap den 
smbold, on bedadde (bedeatete) de boren, dat se em wot to smfen bringen sollen. 
Sit der tit brochten em de lue ot der burskop jümmer isen to smien (iron to forge), 
on ninminairft haddc SO goe plogiscn (good ploaghshares) osse de £per. Ens wol 
Knatman to Epe rdt (reed) at den Darmssen h&len, do feind he n lUtk kind annen 
Swer, dat was ruw upn ganssen 2tto«.* Do sgreggede de smett : * nimm mi meinen 
tunnen nig weg ! * &ber Eoatman neim dat kind inn back fall, on lop dermit n& 
knae. Sit der üt was de emett nig mehr to sehn or to hören. Koatman f&rde 
(folterte) den ruwwen np, on de word sin beste on flitigste knecht. Osse he aber 
twintig jftr aolt wör, sia he to sinen baren : * bur, ik mot von jo gaon, min vdr het 
M ropen,^ * Dat spit mi je,' sia de bur, * gift et denn gar nin middel, dat do bi mi 
bliven kannst ? ' 'Dl will es (mal) sehn,' sia dat waterkind, * g&t erst es (mal) no 
Braomske an hAlt mi en niggen djangen (degn) ; mer ji mjöt do förr giebn wot de 
kaopmann hebben will, an jao niki af hannein,* De bür gönk no Braumske an 
Mdß en djangn, hanneide &ber doch wot af. Na gongen se to haope no'n Darmssen, 
do sia de ruwwe : * Na passt opp, wenn ik int water elfte ua et kümmt blötf dann 
mot ik weg, kOmmt mjalke, dann darf ik bi ja bliwwen.' He slög int water, di 
kwamm kene mjalke on aok k6n blöd, gans largerlik sprak de rurcwe : * ji hebt mi 
vot wis maket, an wot afhannelt, dorümme kömmt k6n blöd an kene mjalke. spot 
jo, SD kaopet in Braomske en ftnnem djangn.' De bür gong weg an kweim wir ; 
ftber erst dat drüdde mal brftohte he en djangen, w& he niks an awwehannelt hadde. 
Osse de ruwwe d& mit int water slög, do wai et so raut oue bl&d, de ruvnve störtede 

■ik in den Darmssen, an ninminske hef en wier sehn. [Epitome : — The smith in 

Dürmuen lake. Once a monastery there ; bad monks, pot down. Peasants at Epe 
beard a hammering every night, rowed to middle of lake, foond a smith sitting 
lip to Mm waiMt in water; he made them signs to l»ing him work, they did eo 
eoDstantly, and the Epe plooghshares were the best in the coontry. Once farmer 
Eoatoian foond a child on the bank, all over hairy. Smith cried, ' don't take my 
ton ' ; bat K. did, and reared him. Smith never seen again. The Shaggy one, when 
med 20, said, *I mast go, father has called me,* — ' Can't yoo stay anyhow?' — 
' Well, I'll see ; go bay me a new sword, give the price asked, don't beat down.* E. 
boo^t one, bat cheapened« They go to the Darmssen ; says Shag, * Watch, when 
I strike the water ; if blood comes^ I most go, if milk^ I may stay.' Bat neither came : 
' Yoa've cheapened 1 go boy another sword.' E. cheapened again, bot the third time 
he did not. Shag strock the water, it was red as bloody and he plunged into the. 
Darmssen.] The same sign, of milk or blood coming up, occurs in another folk- 
tale, which makes the water-nymphs into white-veiled none, Mone's Anz. 8, 98. 

* So in Casp. von der Bön, pp. 224-5 the meerwonder is called * der rauhe, der 
rauche: Cent aopra, pp. 481. 491. 


agreed upon (a jet of milk, a plate with an apple), but withheld 
in such a case as this. 

And here is the place to take up Orendd again, whom we 
likened (p. 243) to the malicious god Loki, though Loki, even 
apart from that, seemed related to Oegir. Grendel is cruel and 
bloodthirsty : when he climbs out of his marsh at night, and 
reaches the hall of the sleeping heroes, he clutches one and drinks 
the blood out of another (Beow. 1478). His mother is called a 
merewif (3037), brimwylf (she-wolf of the breakers, 3197), and 
grundwyrgen (3036) which means the same thing (from wearg, 
lupus, comes wyrgen, lupa). This pair, Grendel and mother, have 
a water-house, which is described (3027 seq.) almost exactly as 
we should imagine the Norse Oegir's dwelling, where the gods 
were feasted : indoors the water is excluded by walls, and there 
burns a pale light (3033).^ Thus more than one feature leads on 
to higher beings, transcending mere watersprites (see Suppl.). 

The notion of the nix drawing to him those who are drowning 
has its milder aspect too, and that still a heathen one. We saw 
on p. 311 that drowned men go to the goddess Ran ; the popular 
belief of later times is that they are received into the abode of the 
nix or nixe. It is not the river-sprite kills those who sink in the 
element of water ; kindly and compassionately he bears them to 
his dwelling, and harbours their souls.' The word ran seems to 
have had a more comprehensive meaning at first : ' masla ran ok 
regin * was to invoke all that is bad, all evil spirits, upon one. It 
has occurred to me, whether the unexplained Swed. rä in the 
compounds «Jörd (nix), skogsrä (schrat), tomträ (homesprite), which 
some believe to be rä angulus, or a contraction of rädande, may 
not have sprung from this ran, as the Soandinavian tongue is so 
fond of dropping a final n. Dame Wdehilt too (p. 434) is a 
succouring harbouring water- wife. The water man, Uke Hel and 
Ban, keeps with him the souls of them that have perished in the 
water, ' in pots turned upside down,' to use the naive language of 
one story (no. 52) ; but a peasant visiting him tilts them up, and 
in a moment the souls all mount up through the water. Of the 

\ Conf. the dolphin^s hoase in Masane's mar<di0n of the Three Sisters. 

^ Probably there were stories also of helpful succouring liver-gods» saoh as the 
Greeks and Bomans told of Thetis, of Ino-Leucothea (Od. 5, 883-353)» Albanea, 


drowned they say 'the nix has drawn them to him/ or 'has sucked 
them/ because bodies found in the water have the nose red.^ 
'Juxta pontem Mosellae quidam paerulus naviculam excidens 
snbmersas est. quod videns quidam juvenis vestibus abjectis aquae 
insilivit^ et inventum extrahere volens^ maligno spiritu ref/rahente, 
quem Neptunum vocant, semel et secundo perdidit ; tertio cum 
nomen apostoli invooasset^ mortuum recepit/ Miracula S. Mat- 
thiae, cap. 4S. Fez, Thes. anecd. 2, S, pag. 26. Bollenhagen in 
the Froschmenseler (Nn 11^) : 

'das er 
elend im wasser wer gestorben, 
da die seel mit dem leib verdorben, 
oder beim geist blieb, der immer frech 
den ersofnen die heU abbreche* 

(that he had died miserably in the water, and his soul had per- 
ished with the body^ or abode with the spirit that ever without 
ado breaketh the necks of the drowned). The Swedish supersti- 
tion supposes that drovmed men whose bodies are not found have 
been drawn into the dwelling of the hafsfru (Sv. vis. 3, 148). 
In some German fairy-tales (no. 79) children who fall into the 
well come under the power of the water-nixe ; like dame HoUa^ 
she gives them tangled flax to spin. 

Faye^ p. 51, quotes a Norwegian charm, to be repeated on the 
water against the nix : 

nyh, nyh, naal i vatn I 

jomfru Maria kästet staal i vatn : 

du säk, äk flyt.' 

(oick^ nick^ needle in water ! Virgin casteth steel in water. 
Thou sink, and I flee). A similar one for bathers is given in 
Superst. Swed. no. 71 [with the addition: 'thy father was a 
steel-thief, thy mother was a needle-thief/ etc.] . Steel stops a 
spirit's power to act upon yon (supra, p. 466-7 n.). 

A sepulchral cry of the nix, similar to death groans, is said to 
portend drowning (Faye, p. 51). Some very old writings ascribe 

1 Dma. *iidkken har taget ham,' * nökken har snet dem,' TnUin^a Skrifter 2, 13. 
' So Brynhildr eaUe out at last to the giantess : * seykttu, g^gjar kyn ! ' Sem. 


to watersprites in general wailing voices and doleful speeches, that 
resoand from lakes and pools : they tell each other of their 
baffled schemes^ or how they have to vacate the land before the 
christians. Gregory of Tonrs, in De glor. confess, cap. 31, re- 
members an incident of his yonng days ' apad Arvemos gestnm.' 
A man setting out early to the forest has his morning tneal 
blessed before he takes it : Camque ad amnem adhac ante- 
lucanum venisset, imposito plaostro cnm bobos in ponte qai 
super navem locatus erat, alterum transmeare coepit in littns. 
Verum ubi in medium amrUs devenit, andivit vocem dicentis 
' merge, merge, ne m^oreris /' Cui respondens vox alia ait : ' sine 
tua etiam admonitione quae proclamas fecissem, si res sacra meis 
conatibus non obstaret ; nam scias enm enlogiis sacerdotis esse 
munitum, ideo ei nocere non possum' (see Suppl.) — In the 
Vita Godehardi Hildesiensis (first quarter of 11th cent.}, cap. 4 
(Leibn. 1, 492), we read : Erat etiam in orientali parte civitatis 
nostrae (Hildenes-hem) palus horrifica et circnmmanentibus 
omnino plurali formidine invisa, eo quod ibi, nt opinabantur, tarn 
meridiano quam et nocturno tempore illusiones quasdam horH- 
biles yel audirent vel yiderent, quae (sc. palus) a fonte salsuginis 
quae ibidem in medio bulliebat Snha dicitur. Qua ille (Gode- 
hardus) spectata, et illusione etiam phantastica, qua brnta plebs 
terrebatur, audita, eandem paludem secundo sui adventas anno 
cum cruce et reliquiis sanctorum invasit, et habitationem suam 
ibidem aptavit, et in medio periculo oratorium in honorem S. 
Bartholomaei apostoli fundavit, quo sequenti anno consummate et 
dedicate, omne daemonum phantasma (conf. p. 482) exinde fundi- 
tus extirpavit, et eundem locum omnibus commorantibus vel 
advenientibus gratum et sine qualibet tentatione habitabilem 
reddidit. — My third quotation is a continuation of that given 
on p. 108 from the Vita S. GaUi (Perfcz 2, 7) : Volvente deinceps 
cursu temporis electus Dei Gallus retia lymphae laxabat in silentio 
noctis, sed inter ea audivit demonem de culmine moniis pari suo 
clamantem, qui erat in abditis vncms. Quo respondente ' adsnm,' 
montanus econtra: 'Surge' inquit 'in adjutorium mihi. Ecce 
peregrini venerunt, qui me de templo ejecerunt (nam deos con- 
terebant quos incolae isti colebant, insuper et eos ad se oonver- 
tebant) ; veni, veni, adjuva nos expellere eos de terris/ Marinus 
demon respondit : 


' En nnns eornm est in pelago, 
cni nnnqaam nocere potero^ 
Tolni enim retia sna ledere, 
sed me victum proba lagere : 
signo orationis est semper clausas^ 
nee umqaam somno oppressus/ 

Eleeins vero Gallas haeo audiens mnnivit se undiqne signacnlo 
Christi^ dixitqae ad eos : 

' In nomine Jesu Christi praecipio vobis^ 
ut de locis istis recedatis^ 
nee aliquem hie ledere presumatis ! * 

et cam festinatione ad littas rediit^ atqne abbati sno quae aadierat 
recitavit.^ Qaod vir Dei Colnmbanas audiens^ convocavit fratres 
in ecclesiam^ solUum signum tangens. mira dementia diaboli ! 
Yoces seryornm Dei praeripnit vox fantasmatica, cam hejulatus 
atqne ululatua dircB vocis andiebatar per culmina. — Bead farther 
on (2, 9) the story of two lake-women who stand naked on the 
shore and throw stones. Everywhere we see the preachers con- 
front the pagan daamons with cross and holy spell^ as something 
real; the moomfal bowl of the spirits yields to the ringing of 
bells. Gods and spirits are not distingaished : the god cast oat 
of the temple^ whose image Has been broken^ is the elf or nix 
meditating revenge. It is remarkable, too, that mountain and 
vfoter sprites are set before as as fellows (pares) ; in folk-tales of 
a later time their affinity to each other seems abundantly estab- 

We have now considered genii of monntains, of woods and of 
rivers; it remains to review the large and varionsly named gronp 
of the friendly familiar Home-Sprites. 

They of all sprites stand nearest to man, becanse they come 
and seek his fellowship, they take ap their abode under his very 
roof or on his premises. 

Again, it is a feature to be marked in home-sprites, that they 
are purely male, never female ; there appears a certain absence 
of sex in their very idea, and if any female beings approach this 

> Oonf. the oonvenations of trolls OYorhdard by two of St. Olafs men, Fomm. 
log. 1, 18&-188. 


goblin kind, it is former goddesses who have come down in the 
world. ^ 

What the Bomans called Iwty^ lar familiaris (see the prologae 
to Plantus's Aulnlaria) and penas, is named in our older speech 
hufsing or stetigot (genius loci) ; conf. ' hAsinga (penates) ' in Not- 
ker's Capella 31. In Cap. 142 N. renders lares by ^ingoumen 
(hiusero aide burgo)'; the literal meaning of ingoumo would be 
guard of the interior. In Cap. 50 he uses ingeside for penates, ue. 
our ingesinde, inmates, domestics ; the form continued to be used 
in MH6. : daz liebe heilige ingeside, Hol. 115, 1. 226, 18. Simi- 
larly the Span, diiende, duendecillo (goblin) seems derivable from 
domus, dueno is house-owner (dominus, distinct from. don, p. 299 
note), and daendo domestic, retired. The ON. toft, Swed. tomt, 
means area, domus vacua, and the home-sprite's name is in Swed. 
tomtekarly tomtegubbe (old fellow on the premises), torrUrä, tarnte' 
bias, som styr i kallrars rike (Hallman, p. 73) : Norw. torihteväite, 
toftvcbtte. Another ON. name is 8lcürgo&, p. 112. We can trace 
in them a peculiar connexion with the hearth of the house ; they 
often come out from under it (p. 456 n.), it seems to be the door, as 
it were, to their subterranean dwelling : they are strictly hearth- 
gods. Here and there in Germany we also meet with the name 
gesell, fellow (supra, p. 464, seile, selke), gutgesell, nachbar, lieber 
nachba/r, in the Netherlands goede kind (Horae Belg. 119), in 
England goodfeUow, in Denmark god dreng, good boy, hiare 
granjie, dear neighbour, (conf. bona soda, p. 283-8, and gvote 
holde, p. 266). The Eng. jmch we may indeed connect with the 
Ir. phuka, Wei. pwcca,^ but with more justice perhaps with the 
Dan. pog (lad), which is simply the Swed. pojke, ON. puki (puer), 
and comes from Finn, poica (filius) ; in Lower G-ermany too they 
say pook for a puny stunted man (Brem. wb. 8, 349). Heim- 
reich^s Nordfries, chron. 2, 348 has hxiopuke (see Suppl.). 

From the 13th century (and possibly earlier, if only we had 
authorities) ^ down to the present time the name heboid has been 

1 HoUat Berhtuf Werra, Stempe, Female are the Gr. MopfM& and Ac^uia, the 
Bom. Lamia, Mania, Maniola. ' The Poles too have a fern. Omaenica : * Anioolae 
vetant pueros edere in tenebris. ne spectmm hoc devorent, quod eos insatiabileB 
reddat/ Linde sub ▼. * omacaö/ to burden. OHG. dgenggun lamlae,iGTaff 1, 132. 

2 Larva (spectre, dfemon) is conn, with lar, as arvum, arvos with arare. The 
Monachus Sangall. calls the pilosus (p. 481) larva, 

8 Croker's Fairy legends 8, 230-2. 262. 

4 * Ace. to Falke, a Koboltesdorp (ann. 946), Trad. corv. ; Adalpertus choboU, 
Jcobolt (ann. 1185), MB. 27, 86. 42.' £xtr. from Supfl. 


in ose. A doc. of 1250 in Böhmer's Cod. francof. 1^ 83 has a 
'Heinricos dictus Coboldvs.' Even before that date coholdus 
occars (Zeitschr. des Hess. Vereins 3, 64). Conrad of Wiirzburg^ 
MS. 2y 206% has : ' mir ist ein löser hoveschalk als ein Itobolt 
Ton bahse/ no better than a k. of boxwood ; and the Misneere 
(Amgb. 48*) : ' w6 den Icobolden, die alsus erstummen (are so 
Btrack dumb)! mir ist ein holztn (wooden) bischof vil lieber 
dan ein stummer herre.' The notions of kobold, dwarf, thumb" 
kin, puppetj idol largely run into one another (conf . supra^ malik^ 
p. 104 note). It seemsj they used to carve little home-sprites 
of boxwood and set them np in the room for fan, as even now 
wooden nutcrackers and other mere playthings are cut in the 
shape of a dwarf or idol ; yet the practice may have had to do 
with an old heathen worship of small lares, to whom a place was 
assigned in the innermost part of the dwelling ; in time the 
earnest would turn into sport, and even christian sentiment tole- 
rate the retention of an old custom.^ They must also have tied 
rags and shreds into dolls, and set them up. The dumb wooden 
kobold is kept in countenance by the 'wooden bishop' mentioned 
immediately after by the Misnaere.' In the oft-quoted poem of 
Baediger we find (17^ of the Königsb. MS.) 'in koboldes spräche,' 
[i.6., speaking low] . In Altd. w. 2, 55 ' einen kobold von wahse 
machen,' one of wax. Hoffmann's Fundgruben give us in the 
Glossary 386, from a Yocab. of the 14th century, opold for 
kopold. Hugo von Trimberg has several allusions to kobolds : 
line 5064, ' und Idm einander goukelspil, unter des mantel er 
hoboUe mache, der (whereat) manic man tougen (secretly) mit im 
lache ' ; 5576, ' der male ein andern hoboU dar, der ungessen bt 
im sitze ' ; 10277, ' einer siht den andern an, als kobolt hern tater* 
man*; 10843, 'ir abgot (the heathens' gods), als ich gelesen 
h&n^ daz waren kobolt und taterman* ; 11527, 'Got möhte wol 
lachen, solte ez sin, wan sine tatermennelin (same in Roth's 
Fragment, p. 65) sd wunderlich üf erden leben,' God might 
laugh to see his little mannikins behave so strangely. Jugglers 

^ One ought to aeftrch out the age and design of the variooB gear that is set oat 
(aa mere ornament this long while) on shelves and tables ; from this and from 
long-establisbed moulds for pastiy, we may arrive at some conclusions about the 
heiShen cnetom of carving or * doughing ' idols (conf. pp. 15. 105. 112. 114) : teig 
(dough) including any soft substance, clay, wax or flour-paste. 
^On ' papa salignus ' conf. Beinh. p. xciv. 


bring kobolds out from nnder their cloak, kobolds are painted 
on the wall, the heathen gods were nothing bat kobolds and 

tatermen, to stare at each other like kobold and taterman, 

all throngh, the kobold appears as the tiny tricky home-sprite. 
In writers of the 17th centnry I find the remarkable phrase 'to 
laugh like a heboid/ Ettner's XTnwürd. doct. p. 340, and App. p. 
53 ; ' yon langh as though you'd empty yourself, like a kobolt/ 
Beimdich p. 149. This must either mean, to laugh with mouth 
agape, like a carved kobold, who may hare been so represented, 
or simply to laugh loud and heartily.^ Again, ' to laugh like a 
hampelmann/ Deutschfranzos p. 274; 'ho, ho, ho I the loud 
laugh of Robin Goodfellow,' Anecd. and Trad., ed. by W. J. 
Thoms, Lend. 1839, p. 115. In the poem of Zeno 867. 1027 
this daamonic laughter is expressed by skraken (Brem. wb. 4, 
686 schrachtern). Schweinichen 1, 260 tells of an unquiet spirit 
laughing loud and shrill; it may be a laugh of mirth or mockery. 

In the Netherlands too we find at an early time the form 
kouhout (pi. coubouten, Horae Belg. 1, 119) ; now kabout, and in 
Belgium kabot, kabote^manneken} The Scandinavian languages 
have not the word. 

It is a foreign word, sprung no doubt from the Gr. fcSßaXo^ 
(rogue), Lat. cobalus,* with a t added, as our language is partial 
to forms in 'OU for monstrous and ghostly beings. From cobalas, 
in Mid. Lat. already gobelinua, the Fr. has formed its gobelin^ 
whence the Engl, goblin, strengthened into hobgoblin. Hanka's 
O. Boh. glosses render 79^ gitulins (getulius, gaetulius) by kobolt, 
and directly after, aplinus (1. alpinns, i,e. alphinus, the ^fool' 
or queen in chess) by tatrman : here are kobolt and tatrman 
together, just as we saw them staring at each other in the 
Senner; hence also the Cod. pal. 341, 126^ speaks of 'einen 
taterman m&len,' painting a t., and the WahtelmsBre 140 of 
guiding him with strings, ' rihtet zuo mit den snüeren die toter' 

1 * Hlahtar kiacuHtaz,* laughed till he shook, E. 24«. Notk. Gap. 88 has : « tas 
lahter seutta sia ; Petronias, cap. 24, * risn disBolyehat ilia sua ' ; Beinardas 3, 
1929, ' cachinnns yisoera fissnms ' ; or, as we say, to split with laughing, laa^ 
yourself double, short and small, to pieces, to a hMzlin (Gryphius p. m. 877), brown, 
out of your senses ; * einen schübei voll lachen ' ; perish, die with laughing, MH6. 
* man swindet under lachen,* Ben. 330. A Breton song in Yillemarqud 1, 39 speaks 
of the loud laugh of the korred (see BuppL). 

' Schayes sur les usages et traditions des Beiges. Lonvain 1884, p. 230. 

• Lobeck'B Aglaoph. 1308-1328. 


tnanne' (suprs, p. 410 g.). To explain this taterman by the 
£jigl. tatter has some plausibility^ but then oar HG. ought 
to have had zaterman (conf. OHG. zata^ zatar^ Graff 5^ 632-3^ 
with AS. tsBttera, panniculus). The glossist above may have 
meant by gaetnlins an African savage^ by alpinus a Tartar (MHG. 
tater, tateler)^ or still better^ a fool;^ the word taterman occurs 
in other O. Boh. documents besides^ and signifies doll and idol 
(Jungmann 3^ 554^) ; foreign to all other Slavic dialects^ it seems 
borrowed from German.^ Ifcs proper meaning can only be re- 
vealed by a fuller insight into the history of puppet-shows. Per* 
. haps the Hang, tatos (juggler) has a claim to consideration.' 

Several MSS. however and the first printed edition of the 
Benner have not taterman at all^ but katerman (Cod. francof. 
164^ reads verse 10843 kobülde unde katirman), which is not 
altogether to be rejected^ and at lowest offers a correct secondary 
sense. Katerman, derived from kater (tom-cat)^ may be com- 
^red with heinzelman, hinzelman, hinzemännchen, the name of 
a home-sprite/ with Hlme the cat in Beineke^ and the wood- 
sprite Katzenveit (p. 480) . The piMs-in-boots of the fairy-tale plays 
exactly the part of a good-natured helpful kobold ; another one 
is called stiefel (boot^ Dent. sag. no. 77)/ because he wears a 
large boot: by the boot, I suppose, are indicated the gefeite 
ickuhe (fairy shoes) of older legend, with which one could travel 
faster on the ground, and perhaps through the air ; such are the 
league-boots of fairy-tales and the winged shoes of Hermes. The 
name of Heinze is borne by a mountain-sprite in the Frosch- 
meuseler. Heinze is a dimin. of Heinrich, just as in Lower 
(lennany another noisy ghost is called Chimke, dimin. of Joachim 
(conf. 'dat gimken/ Brem. wb. 5, 379) : the story of Chimmeken 

^ There is in the kobold's charaoter an nnmistakahle similarity to the witty 
oonrt-fool ; hence I feel it significant, that one described in Sohweiniohen 1, 260-2 
•xpressly eairies a bawble. The EngL hobgoblin means the same as eloumgoblin 
(Nares sab t. hob). 

' Hannsch (Slav. myth. 299) takes the taterman (he says, hastennan also occurs) 
for a water-sprite. 

* * In lyrol to^nnan » soareorow, coward« kobold, from tattem, zittern, to qoake, 
skedaddle ; Frommann 2, 327. Leoprechting p. 177 says, tattem to frighten ; at 
Gntz in Styiia, the night before solstice, tattermann^ a bngbear, is carried round 
and set on fire in memory of extirpated heathenism.' — ^Extr. from Suppl. 

* Dent. sag. no. 76 ; the story is 100 years later than the composition of the 
Beineke. Hinzelmann leayes a dint in the bed, as if a cat had lain in it. Luther^s 
Table-talk (ed. 1571, p. 441*) had previously related the like concerning a spirit 



(of about 1827) is to be foand in Kantzow's Pomerania 1, 333. 
The similar and equally Low-Oerman name Wolterken aeems 
to Have a wider circulation. Samuel Meiger in bis Pannrgia 
lamiarum (Hamb. 1587. 4)^ bok 8 cap. 2,, treats 'van den laribns 
domesticis edder husknechtkens^ de men ok WoUerken unde 
ChimJcen an etliken örden nömet.' These Wolterkens are also 
mentioned by Amkiel (Cimbr. heidenth. 1, 49) ; in the Nether- 
lands they are called Wouters, Wouterken, and Tuinman 2, 201 
has a proverb ' 't is een wilde Wauter/ though incorrectly he 
refers it to wout (silva). Wouter, Wolter is nothing but the 
human proper name Walter bestowed on a home-sprite. It is 
quite of a piece with the familiar intercourse between these spirits 
and mankind^ that^ beside the usual appellatives^ certain proper 
names should be given them^ the diminutives of Henry^ Joachim^ 
Walter. Not otherwise do I understand the Robin and Nissen in 
the wonted names for the English and Danish goblins Robin 
goodfellow and Nissen god dreng. Bobin is a French-Englisb 
form of the name Robert^ 0H6. Hruodperaht^ MHG. Rnotperht^ 
our Ruprecht^ Rupert^ Ruppert; and Robin fellow iq the same 
home-sprite whom we in Germany call Tcnecht Ruprecht, and 
exhibit to children at^Christmas^ but who in the comedies of the 
16-1 7th centuries becomes a mere Rüpel or Ruppel, i,e, a merry 
fool in general.^ In England^ Robin Groodfellow seems to get 
mixed up with Robin Hood the archer^ as Hood himself reminds 
us of Hödeken (p. 463) ; and I think this derivation from a 
being of the goblin kind^ and universally known to the people^ 
is preferable to the attempted historical ones from Rubertua 
a Saxon mass-priest^ or the English Robertus knight, one 
of the slayers of Thomas Becket. Nisse, Nissen, current in 
Denmark and Norway, must be explained from Niels, Nielsen, 

^ Ayrer'B Fastnaehtspiele 78<^ oonfirms the fact of Rupel being a dimin. of 
Bnprecht. Some dialeots nse Rüpeln Riepel as a name for Üie tom-cat again ; in 
vitch-triala a little young devil is named Rubel. Ace. to the Leipzig ATantniier 1, 

22-3, knecht Ruprecht appears in shaggy clothes, sack on back and rod in hand. 

[If Hob in hobgoblin stands for Bobert, it is another instance of the friendly or at 
least conciliatoiy feeling that prompted the giving of such names. In Mids. N. 
Dream ii. 1, the same spirit tiiat has just been called Robin Goodfellow, is Üius 
addressed : 

Those that Hb(-goblin call you, and sweet Puck, 
You do their work, and they shall have good luck. 

Of course Hob as a man's name is Bobert, as Hodge is Boger.— Tbins.] 


t.«. Nico]aas^ Niclas/ not from our HG. common noun ' nix ' 
the watersprite^ whioh is in Danish nök^ nok (p. 488) ^ and has 
no connexion with Nisse ; and the Swed. form is also Nilson. I 
find a confirmation of this in our habit of assigning to Ntclavs, 
Glaus or Globes the selfsame part that in some districts is played 
by Ruprecht. To this latter I am inclined to refer even the 
words of so early a writer as Ofterdingen, MS. 2, 2^ : ' Rupreht 
min ineeht muoz iuwer bar gelich den tören schem/ B. my man 
ntast shear your hair like that of fools. A home-sprite Rudy (for 
Badolf) in Moneys Anz. 3^ 365. 

Another set of names is taken from the noises which these 
spirits keep up in houses : you hear them jumping softly^ knock- 
ing at walls^ racketing and tumbling on stairs and in lofts. 
Span, trasgo (goblin) ^ and trasguear (to racket); Fr. soterai, 
sotret (jumper)^ M6m. de Facad. celt. 4, 91 ; ekerken (eichhörn- 
chen, squirrel)^ Dent. sag. no. 78 ; poltergeist, rumpelgeist, rurri' 
pelstih in the Kindermärchen no. 55^ rumpelstilt in Fischart ;^ 
one particalar goblin is called hlopfer, knocker (Deut. sag. no. 
76)^ and it may be in this connexion that hämmerlein, hemerlein 
(sapra^ p. 182) has come to be applied to home-sprites of diabolic 
nature. Nethl. hullman, bullerman, bullerhater, from bullen^ 
ballern, to be boisterous. Flem. boldergeest, and hence 'bi 
lu)Ider te bolder/ our ' bolter die polter/ helter-skelter. A pop- 
hart, identical with rumpelstilt in Fischart, is to be derived 
from popeln, popem, to keep bobbing or thumping soflly and 
rapidly;' a house-goblin in Swabia was called the poppele; in 
other parts popel, pöpel, popelmann, popanz, usually with the side- 
meaning of a muffled ghost that frightens children, and seldom 
nsed of playful good-humoured goblins. At the same time pöpel 
is that which muffles (puppt) itself: about Henneberg, says 
Beinwald 2, 78, a dark cloud is so called ; it contains the notion 

' Kot only Nielsen, bat Nissen is a family name in Denmark, and can only 
mean the same, by no means nix or goblin. [I suppose Niels is rather Nigellas, 
Nigel, which bieaks down the connexion with Nicolas or Clans ; still the two can 
ituid independently. — Tbanb.] 

' Is stiUt sUlz the old stalt in compounds? Gramm. 2, 627. What the fairy- 
tale says of Bumpelstili, and how his name has to be guessed, other stories tell of 
EüenhüUl or HopferiMUel (who wear an iron hat or one wreathed with hop-leaves), 
Ektke's Alman. t. yolksm. 67 ; or of the dwarf HoUrührlein, Bonneßhrlein, Harrys 
1, is [of Knirßker, GehhaH, Tepentiren, MüUenh. 306-8, of Titteli Türe, Sy. folkr. 
1, 171. — SuppXi.] ; and we shall meet with the like in giant-stories. 

* Staid. 1, 204. Schm. 1, 298. 828. 


of mask and tarnkappe (p. 333). In connexion with Holda^ a 
Hollepöpel, Hollepeter is spoken of. 

The same shifting of form appears in the words mumhart 
(already in Cassarias heisterb. 7^ 46 : ' mummart momordit me ^), 
mummel, mummelmann, mummanz^ which express the very same 
notion^ ' mummen^ mnmmehi ' signifying to mumble^ to ntter a 
muffled soand. Or can we connect it with mumel, muomel, the 
name of the watersprite (p. 490) ? In that case^ vermammen 
(to disguise) j mnmmerei (mamming^ larra) would seem to mean 
acting like the spectre^ instead of the spectre having taken his 
name from mumming (see Suppl.). 

The word butze as far back as the 12th-13th century had the 
same meaning as mummart and poppart : a place called Puzi- 
prunnun, PiLcipininnen, MB. 6, 60. 62. 9, 420 (12th century), 
unless puzi=:puteus be meant, might take its name from a well, 
haunted by such a home-sprite. 'Ein nngehinrer (uncanny) 
butze/ Martina 116° 224*; ' si sehent mich nicht mdr an in butzen 
wis,' they look at me no more in butze wise, Walth. 28, 37 ; 'in 
butzen wise gehn,' Oberlin sub v. ; ' den butzen vorht er kleine, 
als man dd seit von kinden,' he little fears the b., as we say of 
children, Albr. Tit. x. 144 (Hahn 1275) ; butzengriul, -horror, 
Walth. 140, 2. MsH. 3, 451»; 'geloub ich daz, s6 biz mich 
butze/ b. bite me if I believe it, Hatzlerin 287% which agrees with 
'mummart momordit me' above; 'ein hiuderbutze/ Ls. 1, 617; 
' forht ich solchen bützel/ Ls. 1, 880, where a wihtel is spoken 
of. So, to frighten with the butze, to tear off the butze (mask) ; 
butzen antliit (face) and butzen kleider (clothes) =larva in 
Kaisersperg (Oberlin 209) ; winterbutz in Brant's Narrenschiff 
129 (winterbutte in the Plattdeutsch translation 140^). I do 
not understand the butzenhänsel in Weisth. 1, 691. All over 
Germany almost, we hear to this day : 'der butz kommt,' * or 'der 
butzemann, butzelmann/ and in Elsass butzmummel, the same as 
butz or mummel alone, buz, Jäger's Ulm, p. 522. butzenmann, 
Fischart's Bienkorb 194*. butz, Oarg. 231*. butzemann, Simpl. 
2, 248. In Bavaria, fasnachtbutz, Shrovetide b., buzmann, buzi- 
bercht, b. coupled with the Bercht or Berchta of our pp. 272-9; 

^ For mum hans (muffle- jack), as popanz ib for pop-hans (bob-jack), and as 
there were likewise blindhans, grobfaans, karsthans, soharrhans, etc. 
* In Normandy : * hush, the gobelin will eat you up.* 


butzwinkel, larking-placOi butzlfinster, pitch-dark^ w^^n the ap- 
parition is most to be dreaded ; ^ the putz would take ns over 
hill and dale/ Schm. 1^ 229. 230; the butz who leads travellers 
astray (Machar's Gastein^ p. 145). In Swabia butzenmaukler 
(from mancheln^ to be slj)^ butzenbrecht, butzenraule, butzenrolle, 
rollputz, bidzenbell (because his rattle rolls and his bell tinkles)^ 
Schmid 111. About Hanau I have heard the interjection^ katza- 
btdza-rol^ ! the 'katze-butze' bringing up the connexion between 
cat and goblin (p. 503) in a new form. In Switzerland bootzi, bozi, 
St. 1^ 204. Here several meanings branch out of one another : 
first we have a monstrous butz that drags children away^ then a 
tiny butzel, and thence both butzel and butz^igel (-urchin) used 
contemptuously of little deformed creatures. In like manner but 
in Low Germ, stands for a squat podgy child ; button^ verhütten 
is to get stunted or deformed^ while the bugbear is called butte^ 
biUke, buddsy buddeke : ' dat di de butke nig bit/ (that thee the 
bogie bite not I) is said satirically to children who are afraid of 
Ae dark^ Brem. wb. 1, 173-5; and here certainly is the place 
for the watersprite butt or bv^tjs in the Kindermärchen no. 19^ 
the name having merely been transferred to a blunt-headed fish^ 
the rhombus or passer marinus.^ There is also probably a butte^ 
mann, buttmann, but more commonly in the contracted form 
bu-man (Br. wb. 1^ 153). Nethl. bytebauw, for bnttebauw, which 
I identify with Low Germ, bu-ba (Br. wb. 1, 152). The Dan. 
buMiemand, bussegroll, bussetrold (Molbech^ p. 60) seems to be 
formed on the German (see SuppL). — The origin of this butze, 
butte is hard to ascertain: I would assume a lost Goth, biuta 
(tandoj pulso)^ b4ut, butum, OHG. piazu^ pöz, puzum^ whence 
OHG. anapöz, our amboss^ anvil^ MHG. b6zen (pulsare)^ and 
gebiuze^ thumping^ clatter [Engl, to butt 7]^ conf. Lachmann 
on Nib. 1823, 2. Fragm. 40, 186; butze would be a thumping 
rapping sprite^ perfectly agreeing with mumhart and pophart,^ 
and we may yet hear of a bözhart or bnzhart. But^ like 

1 Homesprite and water-sprite meet in this soothsaying wish-granting fish. 
The stoiy of the butt has a parallel in the OFr. tale of an elvish spirit and en- 
chanter Merlin, who keeps fulfilling the growing desires of the oharooal homer, till 
they pABB all bounds, then plunges him back into his original poTerty (M6on, nouv. 
no. 2, 342-252. Jnbinal 1, 128-185. 

* As the monstrous includes the repulsive and unclean, it is not surprising that 
both butxe and popel signify mucus, filth (Oberlin 210. Schm. 1, 291). The same 
with Swiss böög, St. 1, 208. 


butzenhänsel^ there is also a hanselmcmn nsed for spiritus 
familiaris (Phil. y. Sittew. 5^ 828^ ed. Lugd.)^ and the similar 
hampelmann for goblin^ pappet and mannequin ( = männeke^ 
mannikin). Bavar. hämpel, haimpel, both devil and simpleton 
(Schm. 2, 197), Austr. henparl (Höfer 2, 46). 

The Fr. fallet, It. foletto, is a diminuitive of fol, fon ; which, 
like follis (bellows), seems to be derived from an obsolete follere 
(to move hither and thither)^ and brings ns to a fresh contact 
of the home- sprite with the fool.^ Then lutin, also luton, perhaps 
from the Lat. luctus : a sprite who wails and forebodes sorrow ? 
Lithuan. bilduhkas, bildunas, bildziuJcs (noisy sprite)^ fix>m 
bildenti (to racket, rattle) ; grozdunas from grödzia (there is a 
racket made). Sloven, ztrazhnik, Serv. strashilo, Boh. straSidlo, 
Pol. straszydlo, from strasiti (terrere); Boh. bubdk (noisy sprite). 
Somewhat stronger is the Pol. dziedqjad, child-eater, like the 
Lat. manducns. Irish home-sprites are called Gluricauns (Elfenm. 
p. 85-114), Leprechaun, Logheriman (Keightley 2, 179 ; and see 
Suppl.). •• 

But enough of these names : no doubt many more could be 
added. It is time to consider the nature and functions of these 

In stature, appearance and apparel they come very near to 
elves and dwarfs; legend loves to give them red hair or a 
red beard, and the pointed red hat is rarely missing. Hütehen 
(Hodeke, Hoidike), the Hildesheim goblin, and Hopfenhüteh 
Eisenhütel take their names from it. A broad-topped mushroom 
is in Dan. called niasehat. The Norwegian Nissen is imagined 
small like a child, but strong, clothed in grey, with a red peaky 
cap, and carrying a blue light at night.^ So they can make 
themselves visible or invisible to men, as they please. Their fairy 
shoes or boots have been noticed, p. 503 ; with these they can get 
over the most difficult roads with the greatest speed : it was just 
over mountains and forests that Hütchen^s rennpfad extended 
(Deut. sag. 1, 100), and the sclvratweg (p. 479) means much the 

1 BatheriuB, ed. Ballerini, p. 814 : * merito etgofoUU latiali rastioitate yoearis, 
qnoniam yeritate yaoans.* Wüholm. metenB. ep. 8: *foUem me rostioo yerbo 

> J. N. Wilse's Beskriyelae oyer Spydeberg, Christiana 1779, p. 41S. Conl the 
blue light of the black mannikin, Einderm. no. 116. 



sanie.^ With this walking apparatus and this swiftness there is 
associated now and then some animaVsform and name : Heinze^ 
Heinzelmann^ polterkater^ katermann^ boot-cat, squirrel; their 
shuffling and bustling about the house is paralleled by the nightly 
turbulence of obstreperous cats.^ They like to live in the stable, 
bam or cellar of the person whose society they have chosen, 
sometimes even in a tree that stands near the house (Swed. bo-trä, 
dwelling- tree). You must not break a bough o£E such a tree, or 
the offended goblin will make his escape, and all the luck of the 
house go with him ; moreover, he cannot abide any chopping in 
the yard or spinning on a Thursday evening (Superst. Swed. no. 
110).^ In household occupations they shew themselves friendly 
and fnrthersome, particularly in the kitchen and stable. The 
dwarf-king Ooldemar (pp. 453. 466) is said to have lived on in- 
timate terms with Neveling of Hardenberg at the Hardenstein, 
and often shared his bed. He played charmingly on the harp, 
and got rid of much money at dice ; he called Neveling brother- 
in-law, and often admonished him, he spoke to everybody, and 
made the clergy blush by discovering their secret sins. His 
hands were lean like those of a frog, cold and soft to the grasp ; 
he would allow himself to be felt, but never to be seen. After a 
stay of three years he made off without injuring any one. Other 
accounts call him king Vollmar, and they say the room he lived 
in is called Vollmar^s Jeammer to this day : a place at table had 
to be kept for him, and one in the stable for his horse ; meats, 
oats and hay were consumed, but of horse or man you saw nothing 
but tlie shadow. Once an inquisitive man having sprinkled ashes 
and peas to make him fall and to get sight of his footprints, he 
sprang upon him as he was lighting the fire, and chopped him up 
into pieces, which he stuck on a spit and roasted, but the head 
and legs he thought proper to boil. The dishes, when ready, 
were carried to YoUmar's chamber, and one could hear them 
being consumed with cries of joy. After this, no more was heard 

1 So a chemin de fie$ is spoken of in M6m. oelt. 4, 240, and a tr^UoMkeid 
(enzrienlmn gigantnm) in Laxd. saga 66. 

' Witches and fays often assome the ilupe of a eat, and the oat is a oreatore 
peenliarly open to suspicions of witchcraft. 

> Wilse, nbi supra, entirely agrees : * tomtegnbben skal have sin til hold nnde 
gamU träer Ted stoehnset {boeträer), og derfor har man e| toidet fälde disss gand- 
ske.* To this oozmezion of home-sprites with tree-worship we shall have to return 
farther on. 


of king VoUmar ; but over his chamber-door it was foand written, 
that from that time the honse would be as anlacky as it had been 
prosperous till then^ and the scattered estates woald never come 
together again till there were three Hardenbergs of '•Hardenstein 
living at once. Both spit and gridiron were long preserved, till 
in 1651 they disappeared daring the Lorrain war^ but the pot is 
still there, let into the kitchen wall.^ The home-sprite^s parting 
prophecy sounds particularly ancient, and the grim savagery of 
his wrath is heathen all over. Sam. Meiger says of the woUer^ 
kens : ' Se vinden sik gemeinichlich in den hüseren, dar ein god 
vörrad (store) van allen dingen is. Dar schölen se sik bedenst- 
haftigen (obsequious) anstellen^ waschen in der koken up, böten 
vür (beet the fire), schüren de vate, schrapen de perde im stalle, 
voderen dat quik, dat it vet und glat herin geit, theen (draw) 
water und dragent dem vehe (cattle) vor. Men kan se des 
nacktes hören de ledderen edder treppen (or stairs) up und dal 
stigen, lachen, wen se den megeden efte knechte de decken 
aftheen (pull off), se richten to, houwen in, jegen (against) dat 
geste kamen schölen,^ smiten de ware in dem huse umme^ de den 
morgen gemeinliken darna verkoft wert.' The gobiin then is an 
obliging hardworking sprite, who takes a pleasure in waiting on 
the men and maids at their housework, and secretly dispatching 
some of it himself. He curries the horses, combs out their 
manes,' lays fodder before the cattle,* draws water fiH)m the well 
and brings it them, and cleans out the stable. For the maids he 
makes up fire, rinses out the dishes, cleaves and carries wood, 
sweeps and scrubs. His presence brings prosperity to the house, 
his departure removes it. He is like the helpful earth-mannikins 
who lend a hand in field labour (p. 451 n.). At the same time he 
oversees the management of the house, that everything be done 
orderly; lazy and careless workers get into trouble with him (as 
with Holla and Berhta, pp. 269. 273), he pulls the coverlets off 

* Von Steinen^s Westph. gesoh. pp. 777-9. 

^ When the cat trims her whiskerB, they say it is a sign of gaests. 

3 Like the white lady (Berhta), whose nightly visits are indicated the next 
morning by the wax that has dropt from her taper on the manes (Dent. sag. no. 122). 
In Wales the people believe that goats have their beards combed out every Friday 
night hy the dves (Oroker 3, 204). 

4 Hence the name futtermänncJient (oonfonnded at times with Petermärmehen) ; 
but often he has one favourite horse that he pays special attention to^ taking hay 
out of ihe others* cribs to bring to him. Faye p. 44. 


the beds of sluggards^ blows their light out, turns the best cow's 
neck awry, kicks the dawdling milkmaid's pail over, and mocks 
her with insulting laughter ; his good-nature turns into worrying 
and love of mischief, he becomes a ' tormenting spirit.' Agemund 
in the Beinardns 4, 859-920 seems to me no other than a house- 
dasmon, distorted and exaggerated by the poet, disturbing the 
maid in her sleep, her milking and churning (see Suppl.).^ 

Servants, to keep on good terms with him, save a little potful 
of their food on purpose for him, which is surely a vestige of little 
sacrifices that were offered him of old (p. 448). That is probably 
why one Swiss goblin bears the name NapfhanSf Potjack. But 
in many cases it is only done on holidays, or once a week. The 
sprite is easily satisfied, he puts up with a saucerful of porridge, 
a piece of cake and a glass of beer, which are left out for him 
accordingly ; on those evenings he does not like any noisy work 
to be going on, either in or out of doors. This they call in 
Norway ' at holde qvelvart (qvellsvart),' to hold evening rest. 
Those who desire his goodwill, give him good words : ' kiäre 
ffranne, giör det 1 ' dear neighbour, do this ; and he replies con- 
formably. He is said at times to carry his preference for the 
goodman so far as to pilfer hay and straw from other farmers' 
bams or stables, and bring it to him (see Suppl.). 

The Nissen loves the moonlight, and in wintertime you see 
hiip merrily skipping across the farmyard, or skating. He is a 
good hand at dancing and music, and much the same is told of 
him as of the Swedish stromkarl (p. 493), that /or a grey sheep 
he teaches people to play the fiddle.' 

The home-sprite is contented with a trifling wage : a new hat, a 
red cap, a parti-coloured coat with tinkling bells he will make 
shift with. The hat and cap he has in common with dwarfs 
(p. 463), and therefore also the power to make himself invisible. 
Petronins (Satir. cap. 88) shows it was already a Roman super- 
stition : ' sed qnomodo dicunt, ego nihil scivi, sed audivi, quo- 
modo ineuboni pileam rapuisset, et thesaurum invenit.' Home- 

* Hid description of his figure (a horse's mane, hawk's bill, cat's tail, goat's 
beard, ox*8 horns and oook's feet) can hardly have been all invented there and then. 

' Unless Wilae (Beskriy. oyer Spyd. 419) has confounded Nissen with nöoken ; 
yet the German goblui Goldemar was likewise mnsioal (Ir. Elfenm. Ixxziii.). Wilse, 
and Faye, pp. 4S-46, give the best account of the Norwegian Nissen, and Thiele i. 
134^ of the Danish. 


sprites goard treasures^ and in Nib. 399 Si^fried becomes 
master of the hoard as soon as he has taken Alberich's tarnkappe 
from him. In Galderon^s Dama dnende the little goblin wears a 
large hat : ' era nnfrayle tamanito, y tenia un eiicurucho tamano/ 
The Swedish ' tomte i garden ' looks like a year-old child^ bnt 
has an old knowing face ander his red cap. He shews himself at 
midday (see chap. XXXVL, daemon meridianus) in summer and 
autumn^ slow and panting he drags a single straw or an ear 
(p. 459) ; when the farmer laughed and asked^ ' What's the 
odds whether yon bring me that or nothing f ' he quitted the 
farm in dudgeon, and went to the next. From that time pros- 
perity forsook the man who had despised him, and went over to 
his neighbour. The farmer who respected the busy tomte and 
cared for the tiniest straw, became rich, and cleanliness and 
order reigned in his household. Many Christians still believe in 
such home-sprites, and present them an offering every year, ' pay 
them their wage ' as they call it. This is done on the mom of 
Yule, and consists of grey cloth, tobacco and a shovelful of earth, 
Afzelius 2, 169. A puck served the monks of a Mecklenburg 
monastery for thirty years, in kitchen, stall and elsewhere ; he 
was thoroughly good-natured, and only bargained for ' tunicam 
de diversis coloribus, et tintinnabulis plenani,'^ In Scotland there 
lived a goblin Shellycoat, and we saw (p. 465) that the dwarfs 
of the Mid. Ages also loved helU [schellen ; and Schellenkappe is 
Germ, for cap and beUs] . The bells on the dress of a fool still 
attest his affinity to the shrewd and merry goblin (fol, follet) ; 
see Suppl. 

He loves to play merry pranks, and when he has accomplished 
one, he is fain to laugh himself double for delight : hence that 
goblin laughter (p. 502) and chuckling* But also when he sulks, 
and means mischief to those who have brought him into trouble 
and difficulty, he utters a scornful laugh at the top of his voice.^ 

As hendima/n true, he abides by the master he once takes up 
with, come weal come woe. But his attachment is often found 
irksome, and one cannot be rid of him again. A farmer set fire 

^ The Btory (aa written down in 1559) is given in Em. Joaoh. Westphal's Speci- 
men dooomentomm ineditomm, Rostook 1726, pp. 156-166. 

s Sooit'8 Minstrelqr I. dy. mentions a North English Brag or Bargue$t: *he 
nsoally ended his misohieYoas frolios with a horselaughs* Conf. Hone's TaUebook 
2, 656. 


to his bam^ to bam the goblin that haunted it ; when it is all 
ablaze^ there sits the sprite at the back of the cart in which they 
were removing the contents (Dent. sag. no. 72).* In Moneys 
Anzeiger 1835^ 312 we read of a little black man that was 
bought with a chesty and when this was opened^ he hopped ont 
and slipped behind the oven, whence all efforts to roat him out 
were fruitless ; but he lived on excellent terms with the house- 
hold, and occasionally shewed himself to them, though never to 
strangers. This black figure reminds one both of the Scandi- 
navian dwarfs, and of the devil. Some thoroughly good goblin- 
stories are in Adalb. Kuhn's collection, pp. 42. 55. 84. 107. 159. 
191-3. 372.« 

There are also goblins who, like nix and watersprite, are 
eugaged in no man's service, but live independently ; when such 
a one is caught, he will offer you gifts or tell your fortune, to be 
set at liberty again. Of this sort is the hutt in the nursery-tale 

> Very similar stories in Enhn, no. 108, Thiele 1, 136, and the Irish tale of the 
ehuieann (pp. 92. 218 of the transl.). Also a capital Poliish story about Iskrzyoki, 
in W6yeidii*B Kleohdy 1, 198 : An unknown person, who oalled himself Iskrzyoki 
[flinty, from iskra— spark, says Grimm ; there is also a SlaT. iskri—near, iskrenny 
■ neighbonr, friendly] eame and offered his services to a man of noble family. 
The accreement was drawn up, and even signed, when the master observed that Isk- 
rzydd had horse's feet, and gave him notice of withdrawal. But the servant stood 
on his rights, and declared his intention of serving his master whether he would 
or no. He lived invisible by the fireplace, did all the tasks assigned him, and by 
degrees they got used to him ; but at last the lady pressed her husband to move, 
and he arranged to take another estate. The family all set out from the mansion, 
and had got through the better part of the way, when, the log-road being out of 
repair, the carriage threatens to upset, and the lady cries out in alarm. Suddenly 
a voice from the back of the carriage calls out : Never fear, my masters! Iskrzyoki 
IB with yon (nie b6j si^, pani ; Iskrzycki z wami). The * masters ' then perceiving 
that ihey oonld not shake him off, turned back to their old house, and lived at 
peace with tiie servant until his term expired. [English readers will remember 

Tennyson's * Yes, we*re flitting, says the ghost.'] The alraun or gallows-man- 

nikin in Deatsche sagen nos. b8. 84 is not properly a kobold, but a semi-diabolic 
being carved out of a root, and so diminutive that he can be kept in a glass ; like 
an idol, he has to be bathed and nursed. In one thing however he resembles the 
home-sprite, that he will not leave his owner, and even when thrown away he 
always comes back again, unless indeed he be sold [orig. ' bought '] for less than 
be cost. The last purchaser has to keep him. SimpHciss. 2, 184. 208. Conf. 
Schm. 8, 96-7. [Home-sprites can be bought and sold, but the third buyer must 
keep him, MüUenhoff p. 822. With ref. to the * idol (götze) ' : As the figure of the 
child Jesus has its shirt washed (Sommer, pp. 88. 178), so the heckmännehen must 
be dressed np anew at a certain time every year, 10 Ehen, p. 285. — Extr. from 


* To ueape the futtermSnnchen, a farmer built a new house, but the day before 
he moved, he spied the f . dipping his grey coat in the brook : *• My little coat here 
I swiU and souse. To-morrow we move to a fine new house.' fiömer's Orlagau, 
p. 246L Whoever has the kobold must not wash or eotnb himself (Sommer p. 171. 
MfiUenh. 209) ; so in the case of the devil, ch. XXXIU.— Extr. from Suppl. 


(p. 507), likewise the folet in Marie de Fr. 2, 140, who grants 
three wishes (oremens). And the captive marmennill (p. 434), 
or the sea-wife, does the same. 

The unfriendly, racketing and tormenting spirits who take pos- 
session of a house, are distinguished from the friendly and good- 
natured by their commonly forming a whole gang, who disturb 
the householder's rest with their riot omd clatter y and throw stones 
from the roof at passers by. A French comedy of the 16th 
century, ' Les Esprits,' ^ represents goblins racketing in a house, 
singing and playing at night, and aiming tiles at passers by in 
the daytime ; they are fond of fire, but make a violent uproar 
every time the master spits.* In Gervase of Tilbury, cap. 18, 
the foUeti also pelt with stones, and this of stone-throwing is 
what we shall meet with in quite early stories of devils; al- 
together the racketing sprites have in this respect more of the 
devil or spectre in them than of the elf : it is a darkening and 
distortion of their original nature in accordance with Christian 

So it becomes clear, at last, how the once familiar and faith- 
ful friend of the family under heathenism has gradually sunk 
into a bugbear or a taunt to children : a lot which he shares with 
goddesses and gods of old. As with Holle and Berhte, so people 
are threatened with the Lamia, the Omacmica, the manducus and 
goblin (pp. 500. 507) : ' le gobelin vous mangera, le gobelin 
vous attrapera ! ' Little bützel no more, but a frightful butze- 
mann or katzenveit, in mask (strawbeard) or with sooty visage 
he scares (like the roggenmuhme, p. 477). And it is worth 
remarking how, in some districts at least, kneeht Ruprecht, knedU 
Nicolas, appear at Christmas-time not by themselves, but in 

1 Comedies faoeoienfles de Pierre de rArivey, ohampenois, Lyon 1597. Bonen, 
1611, p. 242 seq. 

* Legenda anrea, cap. 177 : Hnjus Lado^ioi tempore, anno Domini 856, nt in 
qoadam chronica habetur, in paroohia Magontina maUgwu ipiritm parietes domo- 
rum ^ua$i malieU puUando et manifeste loqaendo et disoordias seminando adeo horn* 
inis mfestabat, at qaocomqae intrasset, statim ilia domus exvrereUr, Presbyteris 
antem letanias agentibas et aqaam benedictam spargentibos inimiouB lapideg jact- 
dbat et moitos cmentabat. Tandem aliqaando conqoiescens confessus est se, qnando 
aqua spargebatnr, sub eapa talis saeerdotis quasi familiaris sui latnisse, aooosans 
enm qnod com filia procnratoris in peooatom lapsns fuerit. [This incident, said to 
have occurred at Gapmanti (Kembden) near Bingen, is derived from Budolfi Fnl- 
densis Annal. ann. 858, in Pertz 1, 872, where further details are given. — Eztr. 
from SüPPL. 


attendance on the real gift-giver^ the infant Christ or dame 
Berhta : while these dole oat their favonrs, those come on with 
rod and sack, threatening to thrash disobedient children^ to 
throw them into the water, to puff their eyes ont (Rockenphilos. 
6, 353). Their pranks, their roughness, act as foil to the gracious 
higher being from whom the gifts proceed; they are almost as 
essential to the festival as Jackpudding to our old comedy. 1 
can well imagine that even in heathen times the divinity, whose 
appearing heralded a happy time, had at his side some merry elf 
or dwarf as his attendant embodying to the vulgar eye the bless- 
ings that he brought.^ Strongly in favour of this view are the 
North Franconian names Hullepöpel (Popowitsch 522), Hollepeter 
(Schm. 2, 174), the Bavarian Semper, of whom they say he cuts 
naaghty children's bodies open and stufis them with pebbles 
(Schm. 3, 12. 250), exactly after the manner of Holla and Berhta 
(p. 273)^; and consider faithful Eckart, who escorts Holla. 
In Christian times they would at first choose some saint to 
accompany the infant Christ or the mother of God in their dis- 
tribotion of boons, bat the saint would imperceptibly degenerate 
into the old goblin again, but now a coarser one. The Christmas 
plays sometimes present the Saviour with His usual attendant 
Peter, or else with Niclas, at other times however Mary with 
Gabriel, or with her i^ed Joseph, who, disguised as a peasant, 
acts the part of knecht Buprecht. Nicolaus again has converted 
himself into a ' man Globes ' or Rupert ; as a rule, it is true, 
there is still a Niclas, a saintly bishop and benevolent being, 
distinct from the ' man ' who scares children ; but the characters 
get mixed, and Globes by himself acts the 'man' (Tobler 105^, 
106»); the Austrian Grampus (Höfer 1, 313. Schm. 2, 110), 
Krämpus, Krambas, is possibly for Hieronymus, but how to ex- 
plain the Swiss Schmutzli (Staid. 2, 337) I do not rightly know, 
perhaps simply from his smutty sooty aspect f Instead of Grampus 
there is also in Styria a Bärthel (pointing to Berhta, or Bartho- 
lomew 7) Schmutzbartel ^ and Klaubauf, who rattles, rackets, and 

' Heinrich and Rujprtohi were once oonunon names for serving-men, as Hans 
iDd Claos are now. 

' Zember aboat Eger in Qerman Bohemia (Popowitsch 623) ; at the same time 
the Lausitz idol Sompar (snpra, p. 71 note) is worth considering. 

* The phrase * he knows where Barthel gets his must,* notwithstanding other 
explanations, may refer to a home-sprite well-known in the cellar. 


throws nuts (Denis, Lesefr. 1, 131 ; see Sappl.). Farther, on this 
point I attach weight to the Swedish juUekar, Dan. jtdeleger, 
ynle-lays, undoubtedly of heathen origin, which at Christmas- 
time present Christ and certain saints, but replace our man 
Buprecht by a julbock, julebuk, t.e. a mansenrant disguised as 
a goat.^ This interweaving of. jackpudding, fool, Klobes and 
Rüpel, of the yule-buck and at last of the devil himself, into the 
rude popular drama of our Mid. Ages, shows what an essential 
part of it the wihtels and tatermans formerly were, how ineradi- 
cable the elvish figures and characters of heathenism. The 
Greeks enlivened the seriousness of their tragedy by satyric 
plays, in which e,g. Proteus, similar to our sea-sprite (p. 484), 
played a leading part.^ 

There is yet another way in which a former connexion between 
gods, wise- women a|id these genii now and then comes to light. 
The elf who showers his darts is servant or assista/ni to the high 
god of thunder, the cunning dwarf has forged his thunderbolts 
for him ; like gods, they wear divine helmets of invisibility, and 
the home-sprite has his feet miraculously shod as well ; water- 
sprites can assume the shape of fishes and sea-horses, and home- 
sprites those of cats. The weeping nix, the laughing goblin are 
alike initiated in the mystery of magic tones, and vrill even un- 
veil it to men that sacrifice. An ancient worship of genii and 
daemons is proved by sacrifices offered to spirits of the inountain, 
the wood, the lake, the house. Goblins, we may presume, ac- 
companied the manifestation of certain deities among men, as 
Wuotan and Holda, and both of these deities are also connected 
with watersprites and swan-maids. Foreknowledge of the future, 
the gift of prophecy, was proper to most genii ; their inexhaust- 
ible cheerfulness stands between the sublime serenity of gods 

^ Bead Holberg's Jnlestae, and look up JuZvcUten in Finn Magn. lexicon, p. 326 

' They frightened children with Booty Cyclops, and aoo. to CallimachnB (Hymn 
to Diana 66-71), Hermes, like our Buprecht bladLened with soot, straok terror 
into disobedient daughters CTen of gods : 

oXX' ore Kovpdvp tis dxeiBia ßffripi ret^oc, 
fJof/TTip fiijv Ki^K\(OTas iS irl TaiSl KoKiffrpet 
"Apyrfp 1j JiTtpbfwuiv * o hk du^iarot ix fwxßroio 
ipX'Prax *EpfulriSt airoBif KtxpVf^^ o^^V» 
airrUca rfyf Koöfnpf fiop/i.^<r<r€Tai ' ^ di reKOÖertft 


and ihe solemn fates of mortals. They feel themselves drawn to 
men^ and repelled by them. The downfall of heathenism mast 
have wronght great changes in the old-established relationship : 
the spirits acquired a new and terrible aspect as ministers and 
messengers of Satan.^ Some put on a more savage look that 
savonrs of the giant^ especially the woodsprites. Grendel's 
nature borders on those of giants and gods. Not so with the 
females however : the wild women and female nixes drop into 
the class of fortune-telling swan-maids who are of human kind^ 
while the elfins that present the drinking-horn melt into the 
circle of valkyrs ; and here again we recognise a general beauty 
pervading all the female spirits^ and raising them above the 
males^ whose characteristics come out more individually. In 
wichtels^ dwarfs and goblins^ especially in that children's bugbear 
the man Ruprecht^ there shews itself a comic faculty derived 
from the oldest times. 

Through the whole existence of elves^ nixes, and goblins there 
runs a low under-current of the unsatisfied, disconsolate : they 
do not rightly know how to turn their glorious gifts to account, 
they always require to lean upon men. Not only do they seek 
to renovate their race by intermarriage with mankind, they also 
need the counsel and assistance of men in their afiairs. Though 
acquainted in a higher degree than men with the hidden virtues 
of stones and herbs, they yet invoke human aid for their sick 
and their women in labour (pp. 457. 492), they borrow men's 
vessels for baking and brewing (p. 454 n.), they even celebrate 
their weddings and hightides in the halls of men. Hence too 
their doubting whether they can be partakers of salvation, and 
their unconcealed grief when a negative answer is given. 

' Bruder Batueh [friar Bnsh) a veritable goblin, is without hesitation [described 
M being] despatdied nrom hell among the monks ; his name is to be derived from 
rnu-ifaiigo (as kohlraosoh was formerly spelt kolross). 



The relation in which giants stand to dwarfs and men has 
been touched upon in p. 449. By so much of bodily size and 
strength as man surpasses the elf or dwarf, he falls short of the 
giant ; on the other hand, the race of elves and dwarfs has a 
livelier intellect and subtler sense than that of men, and in these 
points again the giants fall far below mankind. The rude coarse- 
grained giant nature is defiant in its sense of material power and 
might, the sly shy dwarf is conscious of his mental superiority. 
To man has been allotted a happy mean, which raises him above 
the giant^s intractableness and the dwarf^s cunning, and betwixt 
the two he stands victorious. The giant both does and suffers 
wrong, because in his stupidity he undervalues everybody, and 
even falls foul of the gods ; ^ the outcast dwarf, who does discern 
good and evil, lacks the right courage for free and independent 
action. In order of creation, the giant as the sensuous element 
came first, next followed the spiritual element of elvish nature, 
and lastly the human race restored the equilibrium. The abrupt- 
ness of these gradations is a good deal softened down by the 
giants or dwarfs forming frequent alliances with men, affording 
clear evidence that ancient fiction does hot favour steep contrasts : 
the very earliest giants have sense and judgment ascribed to 
them (see Suppl.). 

On one side we see giants forming a close tie of brotherhood 
or servile dependence with human heroes, on the other side 
shading off into the type of schrats and woodsprites. 

There is a number of ancient terms corresponding in sense to 
our present word riese (giant).* 

^ Not a trace of the finer features of gods is to be seen in the Titans. 0. Muller's 
Prolog. 373. 

* Some are mere oircamlocations (a eonnterpart to those quoted on p. 450) : der 
grdze man, £r. 5380. der michel man, Er. 5475. der michel ümoöe, Iw. 5056. 



The oldest and most comprehensive term in Norse is iotunn, 
pi. iotnar (not jötunn^ jötnar) ; it is backed up by an AS. eoten, 
pi. eotenas^ Beow. 223 (eotena cyn^ 836. eotonisc^ 5953) , or 
eten, Lye snb v.; OE. etin, ettin, Nb;v9B sab v.; Scot, ettyn, 
eyttyriy Jamieson sab v. ; an OS. etan, eten can be inferred with 
certainty from the name of a place in old docs.^ Etanasfeldj 
Etenesfeld (campns gigantis), Wigand's Archiv i. 4^ 85. Moser 
noa. 2. 13. 18. 19. And what is more, the word mast have lived 
on in later timesj down to the latest^ for I find the fem. eteninne 
(giantess) preserved at least in nnrsery-tales. Laarenberg (ed. 
Lappenberg^ p. 26) ^ has ^ de olde eteninns,* and another Rostock 
book of the beginning of the 18th century ^ ^ die alte eteninne * ; 
I shonld like to know whence Adelang sab v. mummel gets the 
fact, that in Westphalia a certain terrible female with whom they 
frighten children is called etheninne ? I have no donbt it is 
corre<}t. The Saxon etan warrants us in conjectnring an OHG. 
ezan, ezzan, a Groth. Uans, having for root the ON. eta, AS. etan, 
0H6. ezzan, Goth, itan (edere), and for meaning edo (gen. 
edonis), mandncns, iroXv^dryo^, devoarer. An AS. poem in Cod. 
exon. 425, 26 says: ^ic mesan mseg meahtelicor and efn etan 
ealdam ^yrre/ I can chew and eat more mightily than an old 
giant Now the qaestion arises, whether another word, which 
wants the suffix -n, has any business here, namely the ON. iotr,^ 
AS. eot, now only to be found in the compound Fomiotr, Forneot 
(p. 240) and the national name lotar, the Jutes? One thing 
that makes for it is the same omission of -n in the Swed. jätte 
(gigas)^ Dan. jetto, pi. jetter; then, taking iotnar as«iotar 
(Goth. itands»itds), we should be justified in explaining the 
names Jotar, Jotland by an earlier (gigantic ?) race whom the 
advancing Teutons crowded out of the peninsula.^ In that 
case we might expect an OS. et, etes, an OHG. ez, ezes, with the 

1 Johann Lanrenberg, a Boetock man, b. 1590, d. 1658. The first ed. of his poem 
appeared 1652. 

' Em. Joaeh. Westphal, De eonsnetudine ex saoco et libro, Bost. 1726. 8. pp. 
224-5 ; the catalogue there given of old stories of women is copied in Joh. Pet. 
Schmidt's Fastelabendssamlmigen, Bostock (1742) 4. resp. 1752, p. 22, but here 
incorrectly * yon der Arden Inn * instead of Westphal's * von der alten Eten Inne.* 

' For iötr, as miolk for miölk, see Gramm. 1, 451. 482. 

* Beda 1, 15 has Jnti, which the AS. version mistakenly renders Geätas (the ON. 
Ototar), ^oDgh at 4, 16 it more correctly gives Eotaland for Jntoixim terra, and 
the Sax. Gloon. (Ingr. p. 14) has lotxun for lutis, Intnacynn for Intorom gens. 


620 GIANTS. 

meaniDg of giant. ^ Possibly there was beside iötunn, also an 
ON. iötull, OHG. ezal (edax) ; * that would explain the present 
Norwegian term for giant : jötul, jutul, Hallager 52. Faye 7 
(see Suppl.).* 

Our second term is likewise one that suggests the name of 
a nation. The ON. ßurs seems not essentially different from 
iötunn ; in Sn. 6 Ymir is called ancestor of all the hrtmj^nrses^ in 
SaBm. 118^ all the iötnar are traced up to him. In particular 
songs or connexions the preference is given to one or the other 
appellative : thus in the enumeration of dialects in the Alvtsmäl 
the giants are always iötnar^ never )?ursar^ and there is no 
Thursaheimr in use for lötunheirar, lötnaheimr; but Thrymr, 
though dwelling in lötnaheimr^ is nevertheless called )?ursa 
drdttinn (Saem. 70. 71) and not iötna dröttinn, but he summons 
the iötnar (73*), and is a iötunn himself (74*). In Sasm. 85^ 
both iötnar and hrimj^ursar are summoned one after the other, 
so there must be some nice distinction between the two, which 
here I would look for in the prefix hrim: only hrim)>ursar, no 
hrimiötnar, are ever met with ; of this hrim)?urs an explanation 
will be attempted further on. Instead of )>urs there often occurs, 
especially at a later stage of the language, the assimilated form 
Jmss, particularly in the pi. )?ussar, hrim)?ussar ; a dasmonic being 
in the later sagas is called Thusselin (Müller's Sagab. 1^ 367-8), 
nay, the Danish tongue has retained the assimilation in its tosse, 
clumsy giant, dolt (a folk-song has tosfsegrefve) ^ and a Norwegian 
daBmon bears the name tussel. The ON. )?urs, like several names 
of gods, is likewise the title of a rune-letter, the same that the 
Anglo-Saxons called }?orn (conf. '}?urs rlsta,' Sasm. 86*): a 
notable deviation, as the AS. tongue by no means lacks the 
word ; in Beow. 846 we find Jryrs, and also in the menology in 

^ Can the witch Jettha of the Palatinate (p. 96 note) be a eorrnption of Eta, Eza? 
Anyhow the Jettenbühel (Jetthas ooIHr) reminds ns of the Bavarian »letUttherg 
(Mon. boica 2, 219, ann. 1317), and Mount Jetten in Beinbote's Georg 1717, where 
it is misprinted Setten. Near Willingshaasen in Hesse is another Jettenberg^ see 
W. Grimm On the rones, p. 271. 

* The rained Weissenstein, by Werda near Marburg, was ace. to popular legend 
the abode of a giant named Etsel (ezzal?), and the meadow where at the fall of his 
castle he sank its golden door in the B. Lahn, is still called Fstelswerd. 

' Isidore's glosses render the Gallic name of a people ambro by devorator, which 
agrees with the OHG. transl. manezOf man-eater (Graff 1, 528), the weU-known 
MJEiG. manezze. 

* Rn the Dan. fos, fossen, for the ON. fors. 


Hickes (Gramm. AS. p. 207) : ^ }>yr8 sceal on fenne gewunian/ 
and elsewhere ]>yr8y pi. )?yraas^ renders the Lat. cyclops, orcus. 
The passage already given from the Cod. exon. 425^ 28 has pyrre 
with the 8 assimilated^ as in irre for irse. And we find an 
Engl, thurst sarviving in Jiobthurst (woodsprite), conf. hobgoblin 
p. 502 [hob o' t' hurst ?] The OHG. form ought to be dur8, pi. 
dars&, or duris, gen. durises^ which last does occur in a gloss for 
the Lat. Dis^ Ditis (Schm. 1^ 458)^ and another gloss more Low 
Germ, gives thuris for orcus (Pr. ogre); yet Notker ps. 17, 32 
spells it tur8 (daemonium), pi. tursa, and MHG. has turse, gen. 
torsen (Aw. 3, 179), perhaps türse, tiirsen (as in Massm. denkm. 
109 tür8en rhymes kiirsen), and even türste, gen. tiirsten (MS. 2, 
205*) ; on the other hand, Albr. Tit. 24, 47 has ' spil von einem 
dür8en^ (Hahn 3254 tursen) ==play of a d., from which passage we 
gather that türse-shows as well as wihtel-shows (p. 441 n.) were 
exhibited for pastime : Ls. 3, 564 says, alluding to a well-known 
fable, ' des kunt der dür^ch, und sprichet schuo I ' the d. knows 
that, etc., where the notion of satyr and wild man (p. 482) 
predominates. The Latin poem of Wilten monastery in Tyrol, 
which relates the story of the giant Haimo, names another giant 
Thyr8i8, making a proper name of the word : 

Forte habitabat in his alius truculentior oris 

Cyclops, qui dictus nomine Thyr8i8 erat, 
Thyr8i8 erat dictus, Seveldia rura colebat.^ 

The name of a place Tursinriut, Tursenriut (Doc. of 1218-9 in 
Lang's Reg. 2, 88. 94) ^ contains our word unmistakably, and so 
to my thinking does the earlier Tuzzinwanc near Neugart, stand- 
ing for Titssinwcmc, Tursinwanc (campus gigantis), the present 
Dussnang, Nor does it seem much more hazardous to explain 
Strabo's BovavikBa (7, 1. Tzsch. 2, 328) by Thurshilda, Thuss- 
hilda, Thorsinhilda,' though I cannot produce an ON. Thurshildr. 
In Switzerland to this day dilrst is the Wild Hunter (St. 1, 329), 
on the Salzburg Alp du8el is a night-spirit (Muchar's Gastein, 
p. 145), and in Lower Germany dro8 or drosi is devil, dolt, giant.* 

' Mone'B Untennehiing, pp. 288-9. 

' Now Tinoheiireit, Tirsonengereith. Schmeller's birthplace in the Up. Pala- 
tinate, Sehm. 1, 458. So TOnohenwald, thyrsentritt, Türstwinkel, et .—Suppl. 
* Conf. PharaUdis, Vereide, p. 284-5 ; Grimild for Orimhild. 
^ Brem. wb. 1, 257. Biohey sab ▼. draos, Schütze sub ▼. drost, Strodtmann sub 

522 GIANTS. 

Whether ThorshoU, ThoshoU, the name of a place in Oldenburg, 
is connected with )>ars, I cannot tell. — In Gothic the word 
would have to be ßaürs, pi. )>aiir6Ös (or )>atirsis, pi. jTadrsjösT 
)>atirsus^ ]7atlrsjus ? J^adraja, J^atirsjans ?) ; and of these forms the 
derivation is not far to seek. The Goth. ]7atirsus means dry, 
]>atirsjan to thirst, )>atirstei thirst ; J^atirsus, )?aiirsis becomes in 
OHG. durri for dursi (as airzis becomes irri for irsi), while the 
noun durst (thirst) retains the s, and so does our durs (giant) 
and the ON. )>urs by the side of the adjective purr (dry). So that 
ßaürs, ßurs, durs signify either fond of wine, thirsty, or drunken, 
a meaning which makes a perfect pair with that we fished out of 
i'tans, iötunn. The two words for giant express an inordinate 
desire for eating and drinking, precisely what exhibits itself in 
the Homeric cyclop. Herakles too is described as edax and 
bibax, e.g. in Euripides's Alcestis ; and the ON. giant SuttAngr 
(Seem. 23. Sn. 84) apparently stands for Suptungr (Finn Magn. 
p. 738), where we must presuppose a noun supt = sopi, a sup 
or draught. 

Now, as the Jutes, a Teutonic race, retained the name of the 
former inhabitants whom they had expelled,^ these latter being 
the real lötnar or Itanös ; so may the )?ursar, dursdi, in their mythic 
aspect [as giants] be connected with a distant race which at a 
very early date had migrated into Italy, I have already hinted 
(p. 25) at a possible connexion of the }>aiirs6s with the Tvparfvoi, 
TvppTfvoif Tusci, Etrusci: the consonant-changes are the very 
thing to be expected, and even the assimilations and the 
transposition of the r are all found reproduced. Niebuhr makes 
Tyrrhenians distinct from Etruscans, but in my opinion wrongly ; 
as for the Ovptro^ carried in the Bacchic procession, it has no claim 
to be brought in at all (see Suppl.). 

There is even a third mode of designating giants in which we 
likewise detect a national name. Lower Germany, Westphalia 
above all, uses hüne in the sense of giant ; the word prevails in 
all the popular traditions of the Weser region, and extends as far 
as the Groningen country and B. Drenthe ; giants' hills, giants' 

y. droost : * dat di de drooit sla ! * may the d. smite thee ; in the Altmark : * det di 
de druse hal (fetch) ! * and elsewhere * de drSa m de helle.* At the same time the 
HG. dmos, traos (plague, blain) is worth considering. 

' A case that often occurs ; thus the Bavarians, a Teutonic people, take their 
name from the Celtic Boii. [And the present Bulgarians, a Slav race, etc.] 

HUN. 523 

tombs are called hünehedde, hunebedden, bed being commonly 
used for grave, the resting-place of the dead. ' Grot as enjiune ' 
expresses gigantic stature. Schiiren's Teatonista couples ' rose * 
with huyne. Even H.Germ. writers of the 16th-l7th centuries, 
though seldomer, use heune; Mathesius: 'Goliath der grosse 
heune;' the Yocab. of 1482 spells heimie. Hans Sachs 1, 453* 
uses heunisch (like entisch) for fierce, malignant. But the word 
goes back to MHG. too; Herbert 1381 : *gr6z alsam ein hujie/ 
rhym. ' mit starkem gelftne ; ' Trist. 4034 : * an geliden und an 
gelione gewahsen als ein hiune/^ In OHG. writings I do not find 
the word in this sense at all. But MHG. has also a Hiune (gen. 
Hinnen) signifying, without any reference to bodily size, a Hun- 
garian, in the Nibelunge a subject of Etzel or Attila (1110, 4. 
1123,4. 1271,3. 1824,3. 1829,1. 1831,1. 1832, 1), which 
in Lat. writings of the Mid. Ages is called Hunnus, more exactly 
Haniu, Ckunus. To this Hiune would correspond an OHG. 
H&nio; I have only met with the strong form Hun, pi. Hunt, 
gen. Hiinio, Hftneo,' with which many names of places are com- 
pounded, e.g. Hftniofeld, a little town in Fulda bishopric, now 
Hünfeld; also names of men, Hftnolt, Hftnperht (Humprecht), Hün- 
lit, Althftn, Folchün, etc. The AS. Euna cyning (Beda 1, 13) 
requires a sing. H&n; but to the ON. nom. pi. Huna/r there is said 
to belong a weak sing. Hftni (Gl. Edd. havn. 2, 881). It is plain 
those Hftni have a sense that shifts about pretty much with time 
and place, now standing for Pannonians, then for Avars^ then 
again for Yandals and Slavs, always for a nation brought into 
frequent contact with Germany by proximity and wars. The 
Uiunenlantot the 13th century (Nib. 1106, 3. 1122, 3) cannot 
possibly be the Hünaland which the Eddie lays regard as SigurS's 
home (Deutsche heldens. 6. 9). At the time when proper names 
like Hünrät, HAnperht first arose, there could hardly as yet be 
any thought of an actual neighbouring nation like Pannonians 
or Wends ; but even in the earliest times there might circulate 
talk and tale of a primitive mythic race supposed to inhabit some 
ancertain region, much the same as lötnar and Thursar. I incline 

' Wolfdietr. 661 has, for giant, heme rhym. Bohoene, bat only in the place of the 
ancient CAsuia, bo that the older reading was most likely /»tun«. 

* In Hildeb. lied * Hüneo trohtin (lord of Huns), and ' alt§r Hun ; * Dint. 2, 1S2 
Hünl (Pannonii) ; 2, 858^ Hüni for Hun (Hanns) ; 2, 870 Hünl (YandaU). 

524 GIANTS. 

therefore to guess, that the sense of ' giant/ which we cannot 
detect, in Hun till the 13th century, must nevertheless have lain 
in it long before : it is by such double meaning that Hadubrant's 
exclamation ' altÄr Hün ! ' first acquires significance. When 
Gotfried used hiune for giant, he must have known that Hiune 
at that time also meant a Hungarian ; and as little does the 
distinctness of the nationality rendered Hftni in 0H6. glosses 
exclude the simultaneous existence of a mythic meaning of the 
word. It may have been vivider or fainter in this place or that: 
thus, the ON. hünar is never convertible with iötnar and )>ursar. 
I will not touch upon the root here (conf. p. 529 note), but only 
remark that one Eddie name for the bear is hunn, Sn. 179. 222% 
and ace. toBiörn hün and hünbiöm = oe^tolxis ursinus (see Suppl.). 
One AS. term for giant is ent, pi. entas : -Alfred in his Orosius 
p. 48 renders Hercules gigas by ' Ercol se ent/ The poets like 
to use the word, where ancient buildings and works are spoken 
of: ' enta geweorc, enta öBrgeweorc (early work of giants), eald 
cn/a geweoro,* Beow. 3356. 5431. 5554. Cod. exon. 291, 24. 
476, 2. So the adj. : ' entiseholm/ Beow, 5955; Lipsius's glosses 
also give eintisc avitus, what dates from the giants' days of yore. 
Our 0H6. eniisc antiquus does not agree with this in consonant- 
gradation [t should be z] ; it may have been suggested by the 
Latin word, perhaps also by the notion of enti (end) ; another 
form is antrisc antiquus (GraflF 1, 387), and I would rather asso- 
ciate it with the Eddie ' inn aldni iotunn* (grandaBVus gigas) , Ssem. 
23* 46** 84^ 1 89**. The Bavarian patois has an intensive prefix 
enzy enzio (Schmeller , 188), but this may have grown out of the 
gen. of end, ent (Schm. 1, 77) ; or may we take this ent- itself in 
the sense of monstrous, gigantic, and as an exception to the law 
of consonant-change? They say both enterisch (Schm. 1, 77) and 
enzerißch for monstrous, extraordinary. And was the Enzenherc, 
MS. 2, 10^ a giant's hill ? ^ and is the same root contained in 
the proper names Änzo, Enzo, Enzinchint (Pez, thes. iii. 8, 689^), 
Enzawip (Meichelb. 1233. 1305), Enzeman (Ben. 325) ? If 
Hunt alluded to Wends and Slavs, we may be allowed to identify 
entas with the ancient Antes ; as for the Indians, whom Mone 

1 The present Inselherg near SohmalkaJden ; old docs., however, spell it Emise- 
here, named apparently from Üie brook Emise, Emse, which rises on it. Later 
forms are Enzelberg, Einzelberg, Einselberg. 


(Anz, 1836, 1. 2) would bring in, they may stay outside, for in 
OHO. itself antisc, entisc (antiquns) is distinct from indisc (In- 
diens), Graff 1, 885-6 ; and see Suppl. 

The AS. poets use also the Greek, Latin,^ and Bomance appel- 
latiye gigani, pi. gigantas, Beow. 225. giganta cyn 3379. giganU 
msBCg, Caedm. 76, 36 ; conf. Ital. Span, gigante, Prov. jayan 
(Ferab. 4232), O.Pr. gaiant (Ogier 8092. 8101), Fr. geant, Eng. 
giant; also OHG. gigcmt (0. iv. 12, 61), MHG. gigante die 
mwren (Dint. 3, 60),^ M. Nethl. gigant. The ON. word which is 
usually compared with this, but which wants the nt, and is only 
used of giantesses, seems to me unconnected : fem. gygr, gen. 
g^gjar, Sasm. 39, Sn. 66. 68 ; a Swed. folk-song still has ' den 
leda gijger/ Arvidsson, 2, 302. It is wanting in the other Tent, 
dialects, bat if translated into Gothic it would be giugi or giugja; 
I trace it to the root giugan, and connect it with the words quoted 
in my Gramm. 2, 50 no. 536 (see Suppl.) . 

Our riese is the OHG. mi (O. iv. 12, 61) or riso (N. ps. 32, 16), 
MHG. rise, MLG. rese (En. 7096), ON. risi (the elder Edda has 
it only in Grdttas. 12), Swed. rese, Dan. rise, M. Nethl. rese, rose 
(Hnyd. op St. 3, 33. 306), now reus. To these would correspond 
a Gothic vrisa, as may be gathered from the OS. form wriso which 
I confidently infer from the adj. wrisilic giganteus, Hel. 42, 5. 
The Anglo-Saxons seem to have had no analogous wrisa, as they 
confine themselves to }^yrs, gigant [and ent] . The root of vrisa 
is unknown to me ; it cannot belong to reisan surgere, therefore 
the OHG. riso does not mean elatus, superbus, excelsus.^ 

Again, lubbe, liibbe seems in parts of Lower Saxony to mean 

^ Strange that the Latin langnage has no word of its own for giant, hut must 
borrow the Greek gigas, titan, oyclops ; yet Italy has indigenoas folk-tales of Cam- 
poman giants. 

2 ^e Biblical view adopted in the Mid. Ages traced the giants to Catn, or at least 
to miztoxe with his family : * gigantes, quales propter iracundiam Dei per filios Seth 
deßliabus Cain narrat scriptnra procreatos,* Pertz 2, 755. For in Genesis 6, 4 it 
is said : ' gigantes antem erant snper terram in diebus illis ; postquam enim ingressi 
sunt filii Dei ad filias hominum, iUieqae gennemnt, isti sunt potentes a seculo viri 
famosi.' The same view appears in Cfedm. 76. 77 ; in Beow. 213 GrendePs descent 
is derired from Caities eynne^ on whom God avenged the murder of Abel : thence 
sprang all the uniydrat (neg. of tndor proles, therefore misbirths, evil brood), eotencu, 
yife, oTcneoM and gigantas that war against God. This partly fits in with some 
heathen notions of cosmogony. 

' Mone in Anz. 8, 133, takes wrise torfriset and makes Frisians and Persians out 
of it. [What of * writhe, wris-t, wrest, wrestle,' (as wit, wis-t becomes wise) ? Or 
Slav. TTOd-fti, to hnrt, AS. wre'Se ? A Buss, word for gi^t is verzflo, supposed to 
be from yexg-Ati, to throw.] 

526 GIANTS. 

unwieldy giant^ lubben-stones are shown on the Comeliusberg 
near Helmstadt^ and lubbe ace. to the Brem. wb. 3^ 92 means a 
slow clumsy fellow; it is the Engl, lubber, lobber, and Michel 
Beham's Itipel (Mone's Anz. 1835, 450^), conf. ON. lubbi (hir- 
sutus). To this add a remarkable docament by Bp. Grebhard of 
Halberstadt, bewailing as late as 1462 the heathenish worship of 
a being whom men named den guden lubben, to whom they offered 
bones of animals on a hill by Schochwitz in the county of Mans- 
feld. Not only have such ancient bone-heaps been discovered on 
the Lupberg there (conf. the Augsburg perleich, p. 294), but in 
the church of the neighbouring Müllersdorf an idol image let into 
the wall, which tradition says was brought there from the Lup- 
berg (see Suppl.).^ 

The ON. has several words for giantess, beside the gygr men- 
tioned above: shass, neut., Sasm. 144^ 154^, and skessa, fern.; 
gHdr f., viella f. ; gifr f., Ssem. 143^ Norweg. jyvri (Hallag, 53) 
or gyvriy gurri, djurre (Faye 7. 9. 10. 12). This gifr seems to 
mean saucy, defiant, greedy. 

Troll neut., gen. trolls (Ssem. 6*), Swed. troll, Dan, trold, 
though often used of giants, is yet a more comprehensive term, 
including other spirits and beings possessed of magic power, and 
equivalent to our monster, spectre, unearthly being. By trold 
the Danish folk-tales habitually understand beings of the elf kind. 
The form suggests a Gothic trallu ; does our getralle in Benner 
1365, 'der gebüre ein getralle,' rhym. 'alle,' mean the same 
thing ? (see Suppl.), 

Giant is in Lith. miliinas, milzinu, Lett, milsis, milsenis ; but 
it would be overbold to connect with it German names of places, 
Milize (Trad. fuld. 2, 40), Milsenburg, Melsungen. The Slovak 
obor, Boh. obr, 0. Pol- obrzym,^ Pol. olbrzym, is unknown to the 
South Slavs, and seems to be simply Avarus, Abarus. Nestor 
calls the Avars Obri (ed. Schlözer 2, 112-7). The ' Grsecus 
Avar ' again in the legend of Zisa (p. 292-5) is a giant. Now, 

1 Nene mltth. des thür. säohs. vereinB 8, 180-^. 5, 2. 110-182. 6» 87-8. The 
pictnre, however, contains nothing giant-like, but rather a goddess standing on a 
wolf. Yet I remark, that a giant's tomb on Mt. Blano is called * la tombe da bon 
kommet de la bonne femme,* an ezptession associated with the idea of a sacred vene- 
rated man (supra, p. 89). Conf. also godgubbe used of Thörr, p. 167, and godmor, 
p. 430. 

> Psalter of queen Mafgareta, Vienna 1834, p.l7^ : o&rxim, the -im as in oyozim, 

GIANTS. 527 

as the Avari in the Mid. Ages are = Chuni^ the words hdn and 
obor alike spring oat of the national names Hun and Avar.^ To 
the Slavs^ Tchud signifies both Finn and giantj and the Buss. 
ispolin (giant) might originally refer to the ' gens Spalorum * of 
Jomandes; conf. Schafarik 1, 286. 310. So closely do the 
names .for giant agree with those of ancient nations : popular 
belief magnified hostile warlike neighbours into giants^ as it 
diminished the weak and oppressed into dwarfs. The Sanskrit 
rakshasas can have nothing to do with our riese, nor with the 
0H6. recchio^ MHG. recke^ a designation of human heroes (see 

We find plenty of proper names both of giants and giantesses 
preserved in ON., some apparently significant; thus Hrungnir 
suggests the Gothic hrugga (virga, rod, pole) and our runge 
(Brem. wb. 3, 558) ; Herbort 1385 : ^grdz alsam ein runge.' Our 
MHG. poems like giant's names to end in »olty as Witolt, FasoU^ 
Memerolt, etc. 

A g^eat stature, towering far above any human size, is ascribed 
to all giants : stiff, unwieldy, they stand like hills, like tall trees. 
According to the Mod. Greeks, they were as tall as poplars, and 
if once they fell, they could not get up again [like Humpty 
Dumpty]. The one eye of the Greek cyclops I nowhere find 
imputed to our giants ; but like them ^ and the ancient gods, 
(p. 322), they are often provided with many hands and heads. 
When this attribute is given to heroes, gigantic ones are meant, 
as Heimo^ StarkalSr, Asperian (p. 387). But Ssam. 85^ expressly 
calk a Jmrs ßrihöfffudr, exactly as the MHG. Wahtelmsare names 
a drihcmptigen tursen (Massm. denkm. 109) : a remarkable in- 
stance of agreement. In Sssm. 35* appears a giant's son with 
fix heads^ in 56* the many-headed band of giants is spoken of, 
and in 53 a giantess with 900 heads» Brana's father has three 
(invisible) heads, Fomald. sog. 3, 574, where also it is said : ' ]7a 

> Schafarik explains obor by the Geltio anibro aboTo (p. 620n.) ; but in that ease 
the Polish would have been %br. 

* Briarens or Mgaon hias a hundred armi (^/car^TxciDos, IL 1, 402) and fifty 
headi, Oeryon three headt and six hands ; in Hesiod's Theog. 150, Eottus, Gyges 
snd BiiareoB have one hundred arms and fifty heads. The giant in the Hebrew 
•toiy has only an additional finger or toe given to each hand and foot : vir fuit 
excelsQs, qui senoe in manibus pedibnsqne habebat digitos, i.e. viginti qnatuor 
(instead of the homan twenty), 2 Sam. 21, 20. Bertheaa's Israel, p. 143. 0. Fr. 
poems giye the Saraoen giant /our anns, two noses, two chins, Ogier 9817. 

528 GIANTS. 

fell margr (many a) tvihöfSaSr iötuan/ Trolds with 12 heads, 
then with 5^ 10^ 15 occur in Norske event, nos. 3 tftid 24. In 
Scotland too the story ' of the reyde eyttyn with the thre heydis ' 
was known (Oomplaynt, p. 98), and Lindsay's Dreme (ed. 1592, 
p. 225) mentions the 'history of reid etin,* The fairy-tale of 
Red etin wV three heads may now be read complete in Chambers,^ 
pp. 56-58; but it does not explain whether the red colonr in his 
name refers to skin, hair or dress. A black complexion is not 
attributed to giants, as it is to dwarfs (p. 444) and the devil, 
though the half-black Hel (p. 312) was of giant kin. Hr&ngnir, 
a giant in the Edda, has a liead of stone (SsBm. 76^, Sn. 109), 
another in the Fornald. sog. 3, 573 is called lamhatLS, iron skull. 
But giants as a rule appear well-shaped and symmetrical ; their 
daughters are capable of the highest beauty, e.g. 6ei-8r, whose 
gleaming arms, as she shuts the house-door, make air and water 
shine again, SsBm. 82*, Sn. 39 (see Suppl.). 

In the giants as a whole, an untamed natural force has full 
swing, entailing their excessive bodily size, their overbearing in- 
solence, that is to say, abuse of corporal and mental power, and 
finally sinking under its own weight. Hence the iötunn in the 
Edda is called shrautgiam (fastosus), Ssem. 117^; sa inn dmdttki 
(prsepotens) 4P 82**; storuSgi (magnanimus) 76*'; prungmoSgi 
(superbus) 77*; hardrdSr (ssbvus) 54*; our derivation of the 
words iötunn and J^urs finds itself confirmed in poetic epithet and 
graphic touch : Tcostmoffr iötunn (cibo gravatus), SaBm. 56** ; ' ölr 
(ebrius) ertu Geirrö^r, hefir )7Ü ofdruccit (overdrunk)' 47* (see 

From this it is an easy step, to impute to the giants a stupidity 
contrasting with man's common sense and the shrewdness of the 
dwarf. The ON. has ' ginna alia sem ßussa * (decipere omnes 
sicut thursos), Nialssaga p. 263. Damm in our old speech was 
mutus as well as hebes, and dumbr in ON. actually stands for 
gigas ; to which dumbi (dat.) the adj. ßumbi (liebes, inconcinnus) 
seems nearly related. A remarkable spell of the 11th cent, runs 
thus : ' tumbo saz in berke mit tumbemo kinde in arme, tumb hiez 
der berc, tumb hiez daz kint, der heilego tumbo versegene tisa 
wunda I ' i.e. dummy sat on hill with d. child in arm, d. was 

1 Popular rhymes, fireside stories, and amusements of Scotland, Edinb. 1842. 

GIANTS. '529 

called the hill and d. the child^ the holy d. bless this wound away 
[the posture is that of Humpty Dumpty] . This seems pointed 
at a sluggish mountain-giant^ and we shall see how folk-tales of 
a later period name the giants dumme dutten ; the term lubbe, 
luhhe likewise indicates their clumsy lubberly nature^ and when 
we nowadays call the devil dumm (stupid)^ a quondam giant is 
really meant (see Suppl.).^ 

Yet the Norse lays contain one feature favourable to the giants. 
They stand as specimens of a fallen or falling race^ which 
with the strength combines also the innocence and wisdom of 
the old worlds an intelligence more objective and imparted at 
creation than self -acquired. This half- regretful view of giants 
prevails particularly in one of the finest poems of the Edda^ 
the H^misqvi^a. H^mir ^ is called forn iötunn (the old) 54% as 
UoXi^afjLos in Theocr. 11,9 is apx^'^o^t aiid another giant, from 
whom gods are descended, has actually the proper name Forniotr, 
Forneot (p. 240), agreeing with the ' aldinn iötunn ' quoted on 
p. 524; then we have the epithet hundoias (multiscius) applied 
52**, as elsewhere to Lo^inn (Ssem. 145*), to Geirrö^r (Sn. 113), 
and to Starka«r (Fornald. sog. 3, 15. 32).« Oegir is called 
fiolkunnigr (much-knowing), S»m. 79, and barnteitr (happy as a 
child) 52*; while Thrymr sits fastening golden collars on his 
hounds, and stroking his horses' manes, Sasm. 70^. And also the 
faithfulness of giants is renowned, like that of the men of old : 
trölltryggr (fidus instar gigantis), Egilss. p. 610, and in the Faroe 
dialect ^trur sum trodlir/ true as giants (Lyngbye, p. 496).* 
Another lay is founded on the conversation that OSinn himself 
is anxious to hold with a giant of great sense on matters of 
antiquity (4 fomom st<)f um) : Vaf)?rü5nir again is called ' inn 
aUvinni iötunn,' 30* 35^; örgelmir and Bergelmir 'ea inn froffi 

1 The familiar (able of tbe devil being taken in by a peasant in halving the crop 
between them, is in the Danish myth related of a trold (Thiele 4, 122), see Chap. 


^ ON. hum is crepuscolnm, hüma vesperascere, h^ma dormiturire ; is Ht^mir the 
sloggish, sleepy ? OHG. HiunU t How if the MHü. hiune came from an OHG. 
hiuni? An m is often attenuated into n, as OHG. slimni, sniumi (celer), MHG. 
>liime, slinnic, onr schleunig. That would explain why there is no trace of the 
word hiune in ON. ; it would also be fatal to any real connexion with the national 
name Hun. 

' Hand (centum) intensifies the meaning : hundmargr (permultus), hundgamall 
(old as the hill8). 

* We find the same faithfulness in the giant of Christian legend, St. ChrUtopher^ 
sod in that of Carolingian legend, Ferabras, 

530 GIANTS. 

iötann/ SaBm. 85*»**; Penja and Menja are framvisar (Gr6ttas. 1, 
13). When the verb J^reya, usually meaning exspectare, deai- 
derare, is employed as characteristic of giants (Saem. 88*), it 
seems to imply a dreamy brooding, a half -drunken complacency 
and immobility (see Suppl.). 

Such a being, when at rest, is good-humoured and unhandy,^ 
but when provoked, gets wild, spiteful and violent. Norse legend 
names this rage of giants iötunmoÖr, which pits itself in defiance 
against ÄsmöSr, the rage of the gods : ' vera i iötunmöSi,' Sn. 
150^. When their wrath is kindled, the giants hurl rocks, rub 
stones till they catch fire (Roth. 1048), squeeze water out of 
stones (Kinderm. no. 20. Asbiörnsen's Möe, no. 6), root up 
trees (Kinderm. no. 90), twist fir-trees together like willows (no. 
166), and stamp on the ground till their leg is buried up to the 
knee (Roth. 943. Vilk. saga, cap. 60) : in this plight they are 
chained up by the heroes in whose service they are to be, and 
only let loose against the enemy in war, e.g, Witolt or Witolf 
(Roth. 760. Vilk. saga, cap. 50). One Norse giant, whose story 
we know but imperfectly, was named Beli (the bellower) ; him 
Freyr struck dead with his fist for want of his sword, and thence 
bore the name of ' bani Belja,* Sn. 41. 74. 

Their relation to gods and men is by turns friendly and hostile. 
lötunheimr lies far from Asaheimr, yet visits are paid on both 
sides. It is in this connexion that they sometimes leave on us 
the impression of older nature-gods, who had to give way to a 
younger and superior ra^ce ; it is only natural therefore, that in 
certain giants, like Ecke and Fasolt, we should recognise a pre- 
cipitate of deity. At other times a rebellious spirit breaks forth, 
they make war upon the gods, like the heaven-scaling Titans, 
and the gods hurl them down like devils into hell. Yet there 
are some gods married to giantesses : NiörSr to SkalSi the 
daughter of Thiassi, Thorr to larnsaxa, Freyr to the beautiful 
GerSr, daughter of G^mir. Gunnlö? a giantess is OSin's be- 
loved. The &sin Gefiun bears sons to a giant; Borr weds the 
giant Böl]>orn's daughter Bestla. Loki, who lives among the 
äses, is son to a giant Farbauti, and a giantess AngrboiSa is his 

' Unformed, inooncinnas ; MHG. ungeviUge^ applied to giants, Nib. 45G, 1. 
Iw. 444. £051. 6717. der uugeTüege knabe, Er. 5552 ; ' knabe,' as in * der uiichel 
kuabe/ p. 518n. 

GIANTS. 531 

wife. The gods associate with Oegir the iötunn, and by him 
are bidden to a banquet. Giants again sue for &sins, as Thrymr 
for Freyja, while Thiassi carries off Kunn. HrAngnir asks for 
Freyja or Sif, Sn. 107. Starka^Sr is henchman to Norse kings; 
in Bother's army fight the giants Asperiän (Asbiöm^ Osbem) and 
Witolt. Among the ftses tlie great foe of giants is Thorr, who 
like Jupiter inflicts on them his thunder- wonnds ; ^ his hammer 
has crushed the heads of many : were it not for Thörr^ says a 
Scandinavian proverb^ the giants would get the upper hand ; ' he 
vanquished HrAngnir, H^mir, Thrymr, GeirröSr, and it is not all 
the legends by any means that are set down in the Edda (see 
Sappl.). St. Olaf too keeps up a hot pursuit of the giant race ; 
in this business heathen and Christian heroes are at one. In our 
heroic legend Sigen6t, Ecke, Fasolt succumb to Dietrich's human 
strength, yet other giants are companions of Dietrich, notably 
Wittich and Heime, as Asperi&n was Bother's. The kings 
Niblunc and Schilbunc had twelve strong giants for friends 
(Nib. 95), i.e. for vassals, as the Norse kings often had twelve 
berserks. But, like the primal woods and monstrous beasts of 
the olden time, the giants do get gradually extirpated off the 
face of the earth, and with all heroes giant-fighting alternates 
with dragon- fighting.' 

King FröSi had two captive giant-maidens Fenja and Menja as 
mill-maids ; the grist they had to grind him out of the quern 
Grotti was gold and peace, and he allowed them no longer time 
for sleep or rest than while the gowk (cuckoo) held his peace or 
they sang a song. We have a startling proof of the former pre- 
valence of this myth in Germany also, and I find it in the bare 
proper names. Managold, Manigold frequently occurs as a man's 
name, and is to be explained from mani, ON. men = moniIe; 
more rarely we find Fanigold, Fenegold, from fani, ON. fen = 
palus, meaning the gold that lies hidden in the fen. One Trad, 
patav. of the first half of the twelfth cent. (MB. 28^ pp. 90-1) 

1 The skeleton of a giantess struck by lightning, hung np in a sacristy, see Wide- 
gren's Ostergotland 4, 527. 

' Swed. 'Tore ej thordön (Thor-din, thunder) till, lade troll Terlden öde.' 
' In British legend too (seldomer in Carolingian) the heroes are indefatigable 
giant-qnellers. If the nursery-tale of Jack the giantkiller did not appear to be of 
Welsh origin, that hero's deeds might remind us of Thdr's ; he is equipped with 
a cap of darkness, shoes of swiftness, and a sword that cuts through anything, as 
the god is with the resistless hammer. 

532 ' GIANTS. 

furnishes both names ManegoU and Feiiegolt oat of the same 
neighbourhood. We may conclude that once the Ba7arians well 
knew how it stood with the fanigold and manigold ground out by 
Fania and Mania (see SuppL). 

Tmir, or in giant's language örgelmir, was the first-created^ 
and out of his body^s enormous bulk were afterwards engendered 
earthy water^ mountain and wood. Ymir himself originated in 
melted hoarfrost or rime (hrim)^ hence all the giants are called 
hrimßursar, rime-giants, Sn. 6. Sasm. 85****; hrimkaldr, rime- 
cold, is an epithet of )?urs and iötunn, Ssem. 33^ 90% they still 
drip with thawing rime, their beards (kinnskögr, chin-forest) are 
frozen, SaDm. 53^; Hrimnir, HHmgrimr, Hnmgerffr are proper 
names of giants, Ssdm. 85* 86*^ 114. 145. As hrim also means 
grime, fuligo, Ymir may perhaps be connected with the obscure 
MHG. om, ome (rubigo), see Gramm. 3, 733. At the same time 
the derivation from ymja, um^i (stridere) lies invitingly near, so 
that Ymir would be the blustering, noisy, and one explanation of 
örgelmir would agree with this ; conf, chap. XIX. (see SuppL). 

Herbs and heavenly bodies are named after giants as well 
as after gods : ßursaskegg, i.e. giant's beard (fucus filiformis) ; 
Norw. tussegras (paris quadrifolia) ; Brönugras (satyrium, the 
same as Friggjargras, p. 302), because a giantess Brana gave it 
as a charm to her client Hälfdän (Fornald. sog. 3, 576) ; Fomeotes 
folme, p. 240 ; OSinn threw ThiassVa eyes, and Thörr örvandiVs 
toe, into the sky, to be shining constellations, Sn. 82-3. 111. 

Giants, like dwarfs, shew themselves thievish. Two lays of the 
Edda turn upon the recovery of a hammer and a cauldron which 
they had stolen. 

The giants form a separate people, which no doubt split into 
branches again, conf. Rask's Afhand. I, 88. Thrymr is called 
pursa drottinn, Seem. 70-74; dk Jmrsa }>io9 {pAiiov) is spoken of, 
107*, but iötunheimr is described as their usual residence. Even 
our poem of Rother 767 speaks of a riesenlant. On the borders 
of the giant province were situate the griottuna garffar, Sn. 108-9. 
We have already noticed how most of the words for giant coin- 
cide with the names of ancient nations. 

Giants were imagined dwelling on roclcs and mountains, and 
their nature is all of a piece with the mineral kingdom : they are 
either animated masses of stone, or creatures once alive petrified. 

GIANTS. 533 

HrAngnir had a three-cornered stone heart, his head and shield 
were of stone, Sn. 109. Another giant was named Vagnhöf9l 
(waggon-head), Sn. 211», in Saxo Gram. 9. 10. Dame Hutt is a 
petrified queen of giants, Deut. sag. no. 233. 

Oat of this connexion with monntains arises another set of 
names: bergrisi, Sn. 18, 26. 30. 45-7. 66. Gröttas. 10. 24. 
Egilss. 22;^ bergbuiy Fomald. sog. 1, 412; hraunbüi (saxicola), 
Saöm. 57** 145» ; hraunhvalr (-whale) 57*^; pussin af biargi, Fornald. 
sog. 2, 29; feergfdarwV (gigantes), Ssem. 54**; bergrisabrudr {bride), 
mcer bergrisa, Gröttas. 10. 24, conf. the Gr. opetd^i on this side 
the notion of giantess can easily pass into that of elfin. Thrym- 
heimr lies up in the mountains, Sn. 27. It is not to be over- 
looked, that in our own Heldenbuch Dietrich reviles the giants 
as mountain-cattle and forest-boors, conf. bercrinder, Laurin 2625, 
and waltgeburen 534. 2624. Sigendt 97. walthunde, Sigendt 13. 
114. waldes diebe (thieves), 120. waldes tdre (fool), waldes 
affe (ape), Wolfd. 467. 991 (see p. 481-2 and Suppl.). 

Proper names of giants point to stones and metals, as larnsaxa 
(ironstony), Tarnhaus (ironskuU) ; possibly our still surviving 
compound steinMltj old as stone (Gramm. 2, 555), is to be ex- 
plaiQed by the great age of giants, approaching that of rocks and 
hills ; gtfur rata (gigantes pedes illidunt saxis) is what they say 
m the North. 

Stones and rocks are weapons of the giant race ; they use only 
stone clubs and stone shields, no swords. Hrüngni's weapon is 
called hein (hone) ; when it was flung in mid air and came in 
collision with Thdr's hammer, it broke, and a part fell on the 
ground ; hence come all the ' heinberg,' whinstone rocks, Sn. 
108-9. Later legends add to their armament stahelstangen (steel 
bars) 24 yards long. Roth. 687. 1602. Hum. Sifr. 62, 2. 68, 2. 
Sigenöt (Lassb.) 14, (Hag.) 69. 75. Iwein 5022 {-ruote, rod 
5058. .fco»c,club 6682. 6726). Trist. 15980. 16146 ; isenstange, 
Nib, 460, 1. Veldek invests his Pandurus and Bitias (taken from 
Aen. 9, 672) with giant's nature and iseme kolven, En. 7089 ; 
king Gorhand's giant host carry Icolben stähelin, Wh. 35, 21. 
395, 24. 396, 13; and giant Langben a staalstang (Danske 
viaer 1, 29). We are expressly told in Er. 5384, 'wftfens w&ren 

' In the case of mixed descent : half bergrisi, hdlfrin, h&lf troll, Egilss. p. 22. 
, NialsB. p. 164 ; see Gramm. 2, 633. 

534 GIANTS. 

si bl6z/ i.e. bare of knightly weapon^ for they carried ' Jcolben 
Bwsere, gröze nnde lange.' ^ Tet the ' eald sweord eotonisc ' pro- 
bably meant one of stone^ though the same expression is used 
in Beow. 5953 of a metal sword mounted with gold ; even the 
' entisc helm/ Beow. 5955 may well be a stone helmet. It may 
be a part of the same things that no iron sword will cut into 
giants ; only with the pommel of the sword can they be killed 
(Ecke 178), or with the fist, p. 530 (see Suppl.). 

Ancient buildings of singular structure^ which have outlasted 
many centuries, and such as the men of to-day no longer take in 
hand^ are vulgarly ascribed to giants or to the devil (conf. p. 85, 
note on devil's dikes) : * burg an berge, h6 holmklibu, wrisUic 
giwerc' is said in Hel. 42, 5 of a castle on a rock (risönburg^ 
N. Bth. 173) ; a Wrisberg, from which a Low Saxon family takes 
its name, stood near the village of Petze. These are the enta 
geweorc of AS. poetry (p. 524): 'efne sw& wide swA wegas to 
lägen enta cergeweorc innan burguni, strcete stdnfdge/ Andr. 2466. 
' stapulas storme bedrifene, eald enta geweorc, 2986. Our Anno- 
lied 151 of Semiramis : 'die alten Babildnie stiphti si van cigelin 
den alten, die die gigandi brauten/ of bricks' that giants burnt. 
And Karlmeinet 35 : 'we dise burg stichte ? ein rise in den alien 
zidenj In 0. French poems it is either gaiant or paian (pagans) 
that build walls and towers, e.g, in Grerars de Viane 1745 : 

Les /or« tors, ke sent dantiquitey, 
ke paian firent par lor grant poestey. 

Conf. Moneys Unters. 242-4-7. 250. Whatever was put together 
of enormous blocks the Hellenes named cyclopean walls, while the 
modem Greeks regard the Hellenes themselves as giants of the 
old world, and give them the credit of those massive structures^' 
Then, as ancient military roads were constructed of great blocks 
of stone (strata felison gifuogid, Hel. 164, 27), they also were 
laid to the account of giants : iötna vegar (viae gigantum), Ssdm. 
23^ ; ' usque ad giganteam viam : entisken wee/ MB. 4, 22 (about 
1130). The common people in Bavaria and Salzburg call such 
a road, which to them is world-old and uncanny, enterisch (Schm. 

1 Goliath too, 1 Sam. 17, 7, and 2 Sam. 21, 19 is credited with a hastile (spear- 
staflf) qnasi liciatoriam texentiam (like a weaver's beam). 

3 Conf. Niebuhr's Bom. Hist. i. 192-8. An ancient wall is in Mod. Greek rb 
iKKrfvuc6, Ukich's Beise 1, 182. 

GIANTS. 535r 

4, 44) ; the tröUasJceid was mentioned p. 508-9^ and trolldhlaS is 
septum gigantnm. Some passages in Fergüt are worthy o£ 
notice; at 1576 : 

Die roke was swert ende eiselike, 
want wtlen dr 6n gigant, 
hie hien hare ane en en cant 
dn padelMn tote in den top^ en mach ghSn paert op^ 
dn man mochter opgaen te voet. 

And at 1628 seq. is described the brazen statue of' a dorper,^ 
standing outside the porch of a door : 

het dede maken dn gigant, 

die daer wilen woende int lant (see SuppL). 

Gicmt's-mountains, gianfs-hills, hünen-beds may be so named 
because popular legend places a giant's grave there, or sees in 
the rock a resemblance to the giant's shape, or supposes the 
giant to have brought the mountain or hill to where it stands. 

We have just had ha instance of the last kind : the Edda 
accounts for all the hein-rocks by portions of a giant's club having 
dropt to the ground, which club was made of smooth whinstone. 
There is a pleasing variety about these folk-tales, which to my 
thinking is worth closer study, for it brings the living conception 
of giant existence clearly before us. One story current in the 
I. of Hven makes Grimild and Hvenild two giant sisters living 
in Zealand. Hvenild wants to carry some slices of Zealand to 
Schonen on the Swedish side; she gets over safely with a few 
ibat she has taken in her apron, but the next time she carries oS 
too large a piece, her apron-string breaks in the middle of the 
sea, she drops the whole of her load, and that is how the Isle of 
Hven came to be (Sjöborg's Nomenkl. p. 84). Almost the same 
story is told in Jutland of the origin of the little isle of 
Worsoekalv (Thiele 3, 66). Pomeranian traditions present dif- 
ferences in detail : a giant in the Isle of Rügen grudges having 
to wade through the sea every time to Pomerania ; he will build 
a causeway across to the mainland, so, tying an apron round him, 
he fills it with earth. When he has got past Bodenkirchen with 

' This darper grot again we are tempted to take for the old thimdergod, for it 
BajB : * hi hilt van stale (of steel) enen hamer in sine hant.' 


536 GIANTS. 

his load^ his apron springs a leak, and the earth that drops out 
becomes the nine hills near Bambin. He darns the hole, and 
goes further. Arrived at Gustow, he bursts another hole, and 
spills thirteen little hills ; he reaches the sea with the earth that 
is left, and shoots it in, making Prosnitz Hook and the peninsula 
of Drigge. But there still remains a narrow space between 
Bügen and Pomerafiia, which so exasperates the giant that he 
is struck with apoplexy and dies, and his dam has never been 
completed (B. M. Amdt's Märchen 1, 156). Just the other way, 
a giant girl of Pomerania wants to make a bridge to Bügen, ' so 
that I can step across the bit of water without wetting my bits 
of slippers.' She hurries down to the shore with an apronful of 
sand ; but the apron had a hole in it, a part of her freight ran 
out 'tother side of Sagard, forming a little hill named Dubber- 
worth. ' Dear me ! mother will scold,' said the hüne maiden, but 
kept her hand under, and ran all she could. Her mother looked 
over the wood : ' Naughty child, what are you after ? come, and 
you shall have the stick.' The daughter was so frightened she let 
the apron slip out of her hands, the sand ^as all spilt about, and 
formed the barren hills by Litzow.^ Near VI in Kallasocken lies 
a huge stone named Zechiel's stone after a giantess or merwoman. 
She lived at Edha castle in Högbysocken, and her sister near the 
Skäggenäs (shag-ness) in Smäland. They both wished to build 
a bridge over the Sound; the Smaland giantess had brought 
Skäggenäs above a mile into the sea, and Zechiel had gathered 
stones in her apron, when a man shot at her with his shafts, so 
that she had to sit down exhausted on a rock, which still bears 
the impress of her form. But she got up again, and went as far 
as Pesnässocken, when Thor began to thunder (da haf ver gogvhhen 
begynt at äka) ; she was in such a fright that she fell dead, 
scattering the load of stones out of her apron higgledy-piggledy 
on the ground ; hence come the big masses of rock there of two 
or three men's height. Her kindred had her buried by the side 
of these rocks (Ahlqvist's Öland, 2, 98-9). These giants' dread 
of Thor is so great, that when they hear it thunder, they hide 
in clefts of rocks and under trees : a högbergsgubbe in Gothland, 

» Lothar'8 Volkssagen, Leipz. 1825, p. 66. Temme's Pomm. sagen, nos. 190-1 ; 
see Barthold's Pommern 1, 660, who spells Dobberwort, and explains it by the PoL 
wor (sack). 

GIANTS. 537 

whom a peasant^ to keep him friendly, had invited to a christen- 
ing, refosed^ mach as he woold have liked to share in the feast, 
because he learnt from the messenger that not only Christ, Peter 
and Mary, bat Thor also woald be there ; he woald not face him 
(Nyerap's Morskabsläsning, p. 243). A giant in Fladsöe was on 
bad terms with one that lived at Nestved. He took his wallet to 
the beach and filled it with sand, intending to bary all Nestved. 
On the way the sand ran oat throngh a hole m the sack, giving 
rise to the string of sandbanks between Fladsöe and Nestved. 
Not till he came to the spot where Hasvald then stood, did the 
giant notice that the greater part was spilt ; in a rage he flang 
the remainder toward Nestved, where yon may still see one sand- 
bank by itself (Thiele 1, 79). At Sonnerap lived another giant, 
Lars Krands by name, whom a farmer of that place had offended. 
He went to the shore, filled his glove with sand, took it to the 
farmer^s and emptied it, so that the farmhoase and yard were 
completely covered ; what had run through the five finger holes of 
the glove made fivo hills (Thiele 1, 33). In the Netherlands the 
hill of Hillegersberg is produced by the sand which a giantess 
lets fall through een sch&i'tekleed (Westendorp's Mythol. p. 187). 
— And these tales are not only spread through the Teutonic 
race, bat are in vogue with Finns and Celts and Greeks. Near 
Fajände in Hattulasocken of Tawastoland there stand some rocks 
which are said to have been carried by giant's daughters in their 
aprons and then tossed up (Ganander's Finn. myth. pp. 29. 30). 
French traditions put the holy Virgin or fays (p. 413) in the place 
of giantesses. Notre dame de Clery, being ill at ease in the 
church of Mezidres, determined to change the seat of her adora- 
tion, took earth in her apro^i and carried it to a neighbouring 
height, pursued by Judas : then, to elude the enemy, she took 
Q part of the earth up again, which she deposited at another place 
not far off: oratories were reared on both sites (M6m. de I'acad. 
celt. 2, 218). In the Charente country, arrond. Cognac, comm. 
Saintfront, a huge stone lies by the Ney rivulet ; this the holy 
Virgin is said to have carried on her head, beside four other 
pillars in her apron ; but as she was crossing the Ney, she let one 
pillar fall into Saintfront marsh (M6m. des antiquaires 7, 31). 
According to a Greek legend, Athena was fetching a mountain 
from Pallene to fortify the Acropolis, but, startled at the ill newB 

638 GIANTS. 

brought by a crow^ slie dropt it on the way, and there it remains 
as Moant Lykabettos.^ As the Lord God passed over the 
earth scattering stones^ his bags barst over Montenegro, and the 
whole stock came down (Yak. 5). 

Like the goddess, like the giants, the devil takes such burdens 
upon him. In Upper Hesse I was told as follows : between 
Gossfelden and Wetter there was once a village that has now 
disappeared, Elbringhausen ; the farmers in it lived so loxuriously 
that the devil got power over them, and resolved to shift them 
from their good soil to a sandy flat which is flooded every year 
by the overflowing Lahn. So he took the village up in bis 
basket, and carried it through the air to where Sarenau stands : 
he began picking out the houses one by one, and setting them 
up side by side; by some accident the basket tipped over, and the 
whole lot tumbled pellmell on the ground ; so it came about, that 
the first six houses at Sarenau stand in a straight row, and all 
the others anyhow. Near Saalfeld in Thuringia lies a village. 
Langenschade, numbering but 54 houses, and yet a couple of 
miles long^ because they stand scattered and in single file. The 
devil flew through the air, carrying houses in an apron, but a 
hole in it let the houses drop out one by one. On looking back^ 
he noticed it and cried ^there's a pity (schade) ! ' (see Suppl.). 

The pretty fable of the giant's daughter picking up the plough- 
ing husbandman and taking him home to her father in her apron 
is widely known, but is best told in the Alsace legend of Nideck 
castle : 

Im waldBohloss dort am Wasserfall In f orest-oasüe by waterfall 

sinn d'ritter rise gsixm (gewesen) ; the barons there were giants ; 

ä mol (einmal) kmnmt's fränle hrab ins onoe the maiden oomes down into the 

thai, dale, 

aim geht apaziere drinn. and goes a-waUdng therein, 

sie that bis schier noch Hadaoh gehn, She doth as far as Haslaoh go ; 

vorm wald im ackerf eld outside the wood, in the cornfield 

do blibt sie voll yerwandrang stehn she stands still, fall of wonder, 

ann sieht, wie's feld word bestellt. and sees how the field gets tilled, 

sie lüegt dem ding ä wil so za ; She looks at the thing a while, 

der pfiui, die tm, die Wit the plough, the hortet, the men 

isdher ebs (ist ihr etwas) neas ; sie geht are new to her ; she goes thereto 


» Antigoni Oaiystii hist, mirab. cap. 12, Lips. 1791 p. M : rf W 'iLBiivf, ^po6c^ 




mm denkt ' die nimm i mit.* 

D*mo hunit sie an de bode hin 

um 9prHt ihr fürti ust, 

fangt alles mit der hand, thut*B *nün, 

onn lauft gar froh noch hus. 

sie springt de felswei *naf ganz frisch, 

dort wo der berg jetzt isoh so gäh 

nnn me (man) so krattle mns in d'höh, 

macht sie nur eine schritt. 

Der ritter sitzt jast noch am tisch : 

* min kind, was bringste mit f 

d* frend lüegt der za de ange 'noss ; 
se krom nur geschwind din fürti uss ; 
was hest so zaweliohs drin 7 ' 

* o yatter, spieldings gar ze nett, 

i ha noch nie ebs schöns so g*hett,* 
onn stelltem (ihm) alles hin. 
Unn of de tisch stellt sie den pfluU 
d* bure mm ihri ros, 
lauft drum heram nnn lacht derzn, 
ihr frend isch gar ze gross. 

* Ja, kind, diss isch ken spieldingt nitt, 
do hest ebs schöns gemacht ' 

saht der herr ritter glich und lacht, 

* geh nimm*s nnr widder mit I 
die bnre sorje uns für brot, 
snnsch sterbe mir de hungertod ; 
trah alles widder fürt ! * 

's fräule krint, der yatter schilt : 

* a bur mir nitt als spieldings gilt, 

i lud (ich leide) net dass me murrt. 
pack alles sachte widder ün 
onn trah*s ans namli plätzel hin, 
wo des (dn*s) genumme hest. 
baut nit der bur sin aekerfeld, 
se fehlt's bi uns an brot unn geld 
in onserm f elsennest.* 

and thinks * TU take them with me.* 
Then plumps down on the ground 
and spreads her apron out, 
grasps all in her hand, pops it in, 
and runs right joyful home ; 
leaps up the rock-path brisk, 
where the hill is now so steep 
and men must scramble up, 
she makes but one stride. 
The baron sits just then at table : 

* my child, what bringst with thee ? 
joy looks out at thine eyes ; 

undo thine apron, quick, 

what hast so wonderful therein ? * 

* father, playthings quite too neat, 
I ne*er had aught so pretty,* 

and sets it all before him. 
On the table she sets the plough^ 
the farmers and their horses^ 
runs round them and laughs, 
her joy is all too great. 

* Ah child, this is no plaything, 
a pretty thing thou hast done ! * 
saith the baron quick, and laughs, 

* go take it back ! 

the farmers provide us with bread, 
else we die the hunger-death; 
cany it all away again.* 
The maiden cries, the father scolds : 

* a farmer shall be no toy to me. 
I will have no grumbling ; 
pack it all up softly again 

and cany it to the same place 
where thou tookst it from. 
Tills not the farmer his field, 
we are short of bread and money 
in our nest on the rock.* 

Similar anecdotes from the Harz and the Odenwald are given 
in Dent. sag. nos. 319. 824. In Hesse the giant's daughter 
is placed on the Hippersberg (betw. Kölbe, Wehrda and Gross- 
felden) : her father rates her soandly^ and sets the ploughman 
at liberty again with commendations. The same story is told at 
Dittersdorf near Blankenbarg (betw. Badolstadt and Saalfeld). 
Again^ a hünin with her daughter dwelt on Hünenkoppe at the 
entrance of the Black Forest. The daughter found a peasant 
ploaghing on the common^ and put him in her aproUy oxen, plough 
and olU then went and showed her mother Hhe little fellow 

540 - GIANTS. 

and his pussy-cats.^ The mother angrily bade her cariy man, 
beast and plough directly back to where she found them : ' they 
belong to a people that may do the hünes much mischief/ And 
they both left the neighbourhood soon after.^ Yet again : when 
the Grüngrund and the country round about were still inhabited 
by giants, two of them fell in with an ordinary man : ' what sort 
of groundworm is this ? ' asked one, and the other answered, 
' these grounckoorms will make a finish of us yet ! ' (Moneys Anz. 
8, 64). Now sentiments like these savour more of antiquity than 
the fair reasons of the Alsatian giant, and they harmonize with 
a Finnish folk-tale. Giants dwelt in Kemisocken, and twenty 
years ago' there lived at Rouwwanjemi an old woman named 
Caisa, who told this tale : A giant maiden (kalewan tyttären) 
took up horse and ploughman and plough (bewosen ja kyntäjän 
ja auran) on Iter lup, carried them to her mother and asked, 
' what kind of beetle (sontiainen) can this be, mother, that I found 
rooting up the ground there ? ' The mother said, ' put them 
away, child j we have to leave this country, and they are to live 
here instead.' The old giant race have to give way to agri- 
cultural man^ agriculture is an eye-sore to them, as it is to dwarfs 
(p. 459). The honest coarse grain of gianthood, which looks 
upon man as a tiny little beast, a beetle burrowing in the mud, 
but yet is secretly afraid of him, could not be hit off more 
happily than in these few touches. I believe this tradition is 
domiciled in many other parts as well (see Suppl.). 

Not less popular or naive is the story of the giant on a journey 
being troubled with a little stone in his shoe : when at last he 
shakes it out, there is a rock or hill left on the ground. The 
Brunswick Anzeigen for 1759 inform us on p. 1636 : 'A peasant 
said to me once, as I travelled in his company past a hill on the 
B. Elm : Sir, the folk say that here a hüne cleared out his shoe, 
and that's how this hill arose.* The book ' Die kluge trodelfrau ' 
by E. J. 0. P. N. 1682, p. 14, mentions a large stone in the 
forest, and says: 'Once a great giant came this way with a 
pebble in his shoe that hurt him, and when he untied the shoe, 
this stone fell out.' The story is still told of a smooth rock near 
Goslar, how the great Christopher carried it in his shoe, till he 

^ L. A. Walther'B Einl. in die thür. sohwarzb, gesoh., Budolst. 1788, p. 52. 
2 In Ganander's time (Finn. myth. p. 80). 

GIANTS. 541 

felt Bometlung gall liis foot ; he pulled off the shoe and turned it 

down, when the stone fell where it now lies» Sach stones are 

also called crumb-stones. On the Soiling near üslar lie some 

large boandary-stones^ 16 to 20 feet long^ and 6 to 8 thick : time 

out of mind two giants were jaanting across country ; says the 

one to the other^ ' this shoe hurts me, some bits of gravel I think 

it must be/ with that he pulled off the shoe and shook these stones 

out. In the valley above Ilfeld, close to the Bahr, stands a huge 

mass of rock, which a giant once shook out of his slwe, because 

the grain of sand galled him. I am confident this myth also has 

a wide circulation, it has even come to be related of a mere set 

of men : ' The men of Sanerland in Westphalia are fine sturdy 

fellows ; they say one o£ them walked to Cologne once^ and on 

arriving at the gate, asked his fellow-traveller to wait a moment, 

while he looked in his shoe to see what had been teazing him so 

all the while. '' Nay " said the other, '' hold out now till we get 

to the inn." The Sauerlander said very well, and they trudged 

up and down the long streets. But at the market»place he could 

stand it no longer, he took the shoe off and threw out a great lump 

of stone, and there it has lain this long while to prove my words.' 

A Norwegian folk-tale is given by Hammerich (om Bagnaröks- 

mythen, p. 93) : a jutel had got something into his eye, that 

pricked him ; he tried to ferret it out with his finger, but that 

was too bulky, so he took a sheaf of com, and with that he 

managed the business. It was a fir-cone, which the giant felt 

between his fingers, and said : ' who'd have thought a little thing 

like that would hurt you so 7 ' (see Suppl.). 

The Edda tells wonderful things of giant Skr^mir/ in the 
thumb of whose glove the god Thdrr found a night's lodging. 
Skr^mir goes to sleep under an oak, and snores; when Th6rr 
with his hammer strikes him on the head, he wakes up and asks 
if a leaf has fallen on him. The giant lies down under another 
oak, and snores so that the forest roars ; Th6rr hits him a harder 
blow than before, and the giant awaking cries, ' did an acorn fall 
on my face ? ' He falls asleep a third time, and Thdrr repeats 
his blow, making a yet deeper dint, but the giant merely strokes 
his cheek, and remarks, ' there must be birds roosting in those 

^ In the Faroe dialect Skrujmsli (Lyngbye, p. 480). ON., skravmr blatero, 

■542 OIANTS. 

>boaghs; I fancied^ when I woke, they dropt something on my 
head/ Sn. 51-53. These are touches of genuine gianthood, 
and are to be met with in qaite different regions as well. A 
Bohemian story makes the giant Scharmak sleep under a tower, 
which his enemies undermine, so that it tumbles about his ears ; 
he shakes himself up and cries : ^ this is a bad place to rest in, 
the birds drop things on your head.* After that, three men drag 
a large bell up the oaktree under which Scharmak is asleep, 
snoring so hard that the leaves shake ; the bell is cut down, and 
comes crashing on the giant, but he does not even wake. A 
Grerman nursery-tale (1, 307) has something very similar; in 
another one, millstones are dropt on a giant in the well, and he 
calls out, ^ drive those hens aw&j, they scratch the sand up there, 
and make the grains come in my eyes ^ (2, 29).^ 

A giantess (g^gr) named Hyrrokin (igne fumata) is mentioned 
in the Edda, Sn. 66 on occasion of Baldr's funeral : nothing 
could set the ship Hringhorn, in which the body lay, in motion ; 
they sent to the giants, and Hyrrokin came riding on a wolf, 
with a snake for bridle and rein ; she no sooner stept up to the 
vessel and touched it with her foot, than fire darted out of the 
beams, and the firm land quaked. I also find in a Norwegian 
folk-tale (Faye, p. 14), that a giantess (djurre) by merely kicking 
the shore with her foot threw a ship into the most violent agita- 

Babelais ' and Fischart have glorified the fable of Ghirgantua. 
It was, to begin with, an old, perhaps even a Celtic, giant-story, 
whose genuine simple form may even yet be recoverable from 
unexpired popular traditions.^ Grargantua, an enormous eater 
and drinker, who as a babe had, like St. Christopher, taxed 
the resources of ten wetnurses, stands with each foot on a high 
mountain, and stooping dovm drinks up the river that runs between 

^ Conf. the story of the giant Andaoh in Hammer's Bosenöl 1, 114. 

* Babelais took his sahjeot-matter from an older book, printed abready in the 
15th century, and pablished more than once in the 16th : Les ohroniqnes admirables 
du puissant roi Gargantua s. 1. et a. (gothique) 8 ; Lyon 1582. 4 ; La plaisante et 
joyeuse histoire du grand Gargantua. Valence 1547. 8; at last as a chap-book: 
La Tie dn fameux Gargantua, le plus terrible g6ant qui ait amais paru sur la terre. 
Conf. Notice sur les chroniques de Garg., par I'auteur des nouv. reoh. bibl. Paris 

* A beginning has been made in Traditions de Tanoien duch6 de Betz, sur Gaxg. 
(M6m. de I'acad. celt. 5, 892-5), and in Yolkssagen aus dem Greyersland (Alpen- 
rosen 1824, pp. 57-8). From the latter I borrow what stands in the text. 

GIANTS. 643 

(see Snppl.}. A Westphalian legend of the Weser has mucli the 
same tale to tell : On the R. Soilings near Mt. Eberstein^ stands 
the Hünenbrinkj a detached conical hill [brink = grassy knoll]. 
When the hüne who dwelt there of old wanted to wash his face 
of a mornings he wonld plant one foot on his own hill^ and with 
the other stride over to the Eichholz a mile and a half away^ and 
draw from the brook thai flows through the valley. If his neck 
ached with stooping and was like to break, he stretched one arm 
oyer the Burgberg and laid hold of Lobach^ Negenbom and 
Holenberg to support himself. 

We are often told of two giant comrades or neighbours, living 
on adjacent heights, or on two sides of a river, and holding con- 
verse. In Ostergotland, near Tumbo in Tdre-härad, there was a 
jatte named Tumme ; when he wished to speak to his chum Oden 
at Hersmala two or three miles off, he went up a neighbouring 
hill Hogatoft, from which you can see all over Ydre (Widegren's 
Ostergotland 2, 897). The first of the two names is apparently 
the ON. )7umbi (stultus, inconcinnus, conf. p. 528), but the other 
is that of the highest god, and was, I suppose, introduced in 
later legend by way of disparagement. German folktales make 
such giants throw stone hammers and axes to each other (Deut. 
sag. no. 20), which reminds one of the thundergod's hammer. 
Two hünes living, one on the Eberstein, the other on Homburg, 
had bnt one aze between them to split their wood with. When 
the Eberstein hüne was going to work, he shouted across to 
Homburg four miles off, and his friend immediately threw the ojxe 
over ; and the contrary, when the axe happened to be on the 
Eberstein. The same thing is told in a tradition, likewise West- 
phalian, of the hünes on the Hünenkeller and the Porta thromng 
their one hatchet} The hünes of the Brunsberg and Wiltberg, 
between Godelheim and Amelunxen, played at howls together 
across the Weser (Deut. sag. no. 16). Gbod neighbours too were 
the giants on Weissenstein and Bemberg in Upper Hesse ; they 
had a baking'Oven in common, that stood midway in the field, and 
when one was kneading his dough, he threw a stone over as a 
sign that wood was to be fetched from bis neighbour's fort to 
heat the oven. Once they both happened to be throwing at the 

' Bedeker*8 Westfälische sagen, no. 86. 

644 GIANTS. 

same timei the atones met in the air} and fell where they now 
lie in the middle of the field above Michelbach^ each with the 
marks of a big giant hand stamped on it. Another waj of 
signalling was for the giant to scratch his body, which was done 
so loud that the other heard it distinctly. The three very ancient 
chapels by Sachsenheim^ Oberwittighausen and Grünfeldhansen 
were built by giants^ who fetched the great heavy stones in their 
aprons. When the first little church was finished^ the giant 
flung his hammer through the air : wherever it alighted^ the next 
building was to begin. It came to the ground five miles oS, and 
there was erected the second church, on completing which the 
giant flung the hammer once more, and where it fell, at the same 
distance of five miles, he built the third chapel. In the one at 
Bachsenheim a huge rib of the builder is preserved (Mone's Anz. 
8,63). The following legends come from Westphalia: Above 
Nettelstädt-on-the-hill stands the Hünenbrink, where hiines lived 
of old, and kept on friendly terms with their fellows on the Stell 
(2i miles farther). When the one set were baking, and the 
other wanted a loaf done at the same time, they just pitched it 
over (see Snppl.). A hüne living at Hilverdingsen on the south 
side of the Schwarze lake, and another living at Hille on the 
north side, used to haTce their bread together. One morning the 
one at Hilverdingsen thought he heard his neighbour emptying 
his kneading-trough, all ready for baking ; he sprang from his 
lair, snatched up his dough, and leapt over the lake. But it was 
no such thing, the noise he had heard was only his neighbour 
scratching his leg. At AltehüSen there lived hünen, who had but 
one knife at their service ; this they kept stuck in the trunk of a 
tree that stood in the middle of the village, and whoever wanted 
it fetched it thence, and then put it back in its place. The spot 
is still shown where the tree stood. These hunes, who were also 
called dutteSy were a people exceedingly scant of wit, and to them 
is due the proverb * Altehiiffen dumme dutten.* As the surround- 
ing country came more and more under cultivation, the hünen 
felt no longer at ease among the new settlers, and they retired. 
It was then that the duttes of Altehüfien also made up their minds 
to emigrate; but what they wanted was to go and find the 

1 Like Hrüngni'B hein and TbOr's hammer, p. 538. 

GIANTS. 545 

entrance into heaven. How they fared on the way was never 
known^ but the joke is made upon them^ that after a long march 
they came to a great calm^ clear sheet of water, in which the 
bright sky was reflected ; here they thought they could plunge 
into heaven, so they jumped in and were drowned.^ From so 
remarkable a consensus ' we cannot but draw the conclusion, that 
the giants held together as a people, and were settled in the 
mountains of a country, but that they gradually gave way to 
the human race, which may be regarded as a nation of invaders. 
Legend converts their stone weapons into the woodman's axe or 
the knife, their martial profession into the peaceable pursuit of 
baking bread. It was an ancient custom to stick swords or 
knives into a tree standing in the middle of the yard (Fomald. 
sog. 1, 120-1); a man's strength was proved by the depth to 
which he drove the hatchet into a stem, RA. 97. The jumping 
into the blue lake savours of the fairy-tale, and comes before us 
in some other narratives (Kinderm. 1, 343. 3, 112). 

But, what deserves some attention, Swedish folktales make the 
divine foe of giants, him that hurls thunderbolts and throws 
hammers, himself play with stones as with balls. Once, as Thor 
was going past Linneryd in Smäland with his henchman (the 
Thi&lfi of the Edda), he came upon a giant to whom he was not 
known, and opened a conversation : ' Whither goes thy way ? ' 
'I go to heaven to fight Thor, who has set my stable on fire.' 
'Thou presumest too much; why, thou hast not even the strength 
to lift this little stone and set it on the great one.' The giant 
clutched the stone with all his might, but could not lift it off the 
ground, so much weight had Thor imparted to it. Thor's servant 
tried it next, and lifted it lightly as he would a glove. Then 
the giant knew it was the god, and fell upon him so lustily that 
he sank on his knees, but Thor swung his hammer and laid 
the enemy prostrate. 

All over Grermany there are so many of these stories about 
stones and hammers being hurled, and giant's fingers imprinted 

^ The last foar tales from Bedeker, nos. 37 to 40. Dutten means stnlti, and is 
further intensified by the adj. In the Teutonist dod* gawk, oonf. Biohthofen sub 
▼. dud, and supra, p. 528 on tombo. Similar tales on the Bhön mts., only with 
eTeryl^ing giant-like effaced, abont the tolUn dittisser (Beohstein pp. 81-91). 

' I do not know that any tract in Germany is richer in giant-stories than West- 
phalia and Hesse. Conf. also £uhn*s Märkische sagen, nos. 22. 47. 107. 182. 141. 
149. 158. 202. Temme*B Pommersohe sagen, nos. 175-184. 187. 

546 GLLNTS. 

on hard rock^ that I can only select one here and there as samples 
of the style and spirit of the rest. Bains of a castle near Hom- 
berg in Lower Hesse mark the abode of a giantess ; five miles 
to one side of it, by the village of Grombet, lies a stone which 
she hurled all the way from Homberg at one throw, and you see 
the fingers of her hand imprinted on it. The Scharfenstein by 
Gadensberg was thrown there by a giant in his rage. On the 
Tyrifjordensstrand near Burn in Norway is a large stone, which 
one jatul fighting with another is said to have flung obliquely 
across the bay, and plain marks of his fingers remain on the stone 
(Faye, p. 15). Two or three miles from Dieren in the Meissen 
country there lie a block of quartz and one of granite ; the former 
was thrown by the giant of Wantewitz at the giant of Zadel, the 
latter by the Zadeler at the Wantewitzer ; but they both missed, 
the stones having fallen wide of the mark.^ So two combatants 
at Befnäs and Asnäs threw enormous stones at each other, one 
called sortensteen, the other blak, and the latter still shews the 
fingers of the thrower (Thiele 1, 47). A kind of slaty stone in 
Norway, says Hallager 53*, is called jyvrikling, because the jyvri 
(giantess) is said to have smeared it over with butter, and you 
may see the dint of her fingers on it. Two giants at Nestved 
tried their hands at hurling stones ; the one aimed his at Biislov 
church, but did not reach it, the other threw with such force that 
the stone flew right over the Steinwald, and may still be seen 
on the high road from Nestved to Bingsted (Thiele 1, 80 ; conf. 
176). In the wood near Palsgaard lies a huge stone, which a 
jette flung there because the lady of the manor at Palsgaard, 
whom he was courting, declined his proposals ; others maintain 
that a jette maiden slung it over from Fünen with her garter 
(Thiele 3, 65-6 ; conf. 42). 

When giants fight, and one pursues another, they will in their 
haste leap over a village, and slit tJieir great toe against the 
church-spire, so that the blood spirts out in jets and forms a 
pool (Deut. sag. no. 325); which strikingly resembles Wäinä- 
möinen, rune 3. In leaping off a steep cliff, their foot or their 
horse's hoof leaves tracks in the stone (ibid. nos. 318-9). Also, 
•when a giant sits down to rest on a stone, or leans against a rock, 

^ Preusker in Erasers Deatsoh. alterth. iii. 3, 87. 

GIANTS. 547 

bis fignre prints itself on the hard surface/ e.g. Starcather's in 
Saxo Gram. 111. 

It is not as smitJiSy like the cyclops, that giants are described 
in German legend^ and the forging of arms is reserved for dwarfs. 
Once in onr hero-legend the giant Aspri&n forges shoes (Both. 
2029) ; also the giant Yade makes his son Yelint learn smith' 
work, first with Mlmir, then with dwarfs. 

As for smid'r in the ON. language^ it does not mean faber^ but 
artificer in general, and particularly builder ; and to be accom- 
plished builders is a main characteristic of giants, the authors of 
those colossal structures of antiquity (p. 534). On the nine giant- 
pillars near Miltenberg the common folk still see the handmarks 
of the giants who intended therewith to huild a bridge over the 
Main (Dent. sag. no. 19). 

The most notable instance occurs in the Edda itself. A iötunn 
had come to the &ses, professing to be a smiSr, and had pledged 
himself to build them a strong castle within a year and a half, if 
they would let him have Freyja with the sun and moon into the 
bargain. The gods took counsel, and decided to accept his offer, 
if he would undertake to finish the building by himself without 
the aid of man, in one winter ; if on the first day of summer 
anything in the castle was left undone, he should forfeit all his 
claims. How the ' smith,' with no help but that of his strong 
horse Svaffilfari, had nearly accomplished the task, but was 
hindered by Loki and slain by Thörr, is related in Sn. 46-7. 

Well, this myth, obeying that wondrous law of fluctuation so 
often observed in genuine popular traditions, lives on, under new 
forms, in other times and places. A German fairy tale puts the 
dedl in the place of the giant (as, in a vast number of tales, it is 
the devil now that executes buildings, hurls rocks, and so on, 
precisely as the giant did before him) : the devil is to build a 
house for a peasant, and get his soul in exchange ; but he must 
have done before the cock crows, else the peasant is free, and the 
deril has lost his pains. The work is very near completion, one 
tile alone is wanting to the roof, when the peasant imitates the 

' Herod. 4, 82 : txpos ^MpeucKiof ^ahovai iw vh-fro hthw^ rb otice fUvß'^fMTi dp9p6t, 
^m Ü t6 ftiiyaSot Strrfxv, iraph, rh» Ti/fnjp rorafliv, in Scythia. (Footprint of 
Herakles in stone, like a man's, bnt two cubits long.) 

648 GIANTS. 

crowing of a cock^ and immediately all the cocks in the neigh- 
bourhood begin to crow^ and the enemy of man loses his wager. 
There is more of the antique in a Norrland saga : ^ King Olaf of 
Norway walked 'twixt hill and dale, buried in thought ; he had 
it in his heart to build a church, the like of which was nowhere 
to be seen, but the cost of it would grievously impoverish his 
kingdom. In this perplexity he met a man of strange appearance, 
who asked him why he was so pensive. Olaf declared to him 
his purpose, and the giant (troll) offered to complete the building 
by his single self within a certain time ; for wa^es he demanded 
the sun and moon, or 8t, Olaf himself. To this the king agreed, 
but projected such a plan for the church, as he thought impossible 
of execution: it was to be so large, that seven priests could 
preach in it at once without disturbing each other ; pillar and 
ornament, within and without, must be wrought of hard flint, 
and so on. Erelong such a structure stood completed, all but 
the roof and spire. Perplexed anew at the stipulated terms, 
Olaf wandered over hill and dale ; suddenly inside a mountain he 
heard a child cry, and a giant-woman (jätteqvinna) hush it with 
these words : ' tyst, tyst (hush) ! ^ to-morrow comes thy father 
Wind-and-Weather home, bringing both sun and moon, or saintly 
Olafs self.' Overjoyed at this discovery,* for to name an evil 
spirit brings his power to nought, Olaf turned home : all was 
finished, the spire was just fixed on, when Olaf cried : ' Vind och 
Veder I du har satt spiran sneder (hast set the spire askew).' 
Instantly the giant, with a fearful crash, fell off the ridge of 
the church's roof, and burst into a thousand pieces, which were 
nothing but fiintstones. According to different accounts, the 
jätte was named Blaster, and Olaf cried: 'Blaster, satt spiran 
vaster (set the spire west-er) ! ' or he was called Slätt, and the 
rhyme ran : ' Slätt, satt spiran rätt (straight) I ' They have the 
same story in Norway itself, but the giant's name is Skalle, and 
he reared the magnificent church at Nidarös. In Schonen the 
giant is Finn, who buUt the church at Lund, and was turned into 

^ Extracted, from Zetterstrom's oollection, in the third no. of the Iduna, 2 ed. 
Stockh. 1816, pp. 60-1. Now incladed, with others like it, in Afzelins^a Sago- 
hafder 8, 83-86. 

' Conf. the interj. * zias, ziss I ' in H. Sachs iv. 3, 3^. 

s Ahnost in the same way, and with similar result, the name of Bompelstilz is 
discoyered in ^Inderm. 55 ; conf. 8, 98, and supra p. 505 n. 

GIANTS. 549 

stone by Sfc. Lawrence (Finn Magnusen's Lex. myth. 851-2 ; and 
see Sappl.) . 

It is on another side that the following tale from Courland 
touches the story in the Edda. In Kintegesinde of the Dzervens 
are some old wall-stones extending a considerable length and 
breadth, and the people say : Before the plagne (i.e. time out of 
mind) there lived in the district of Hasenpot a strong man (giant) 
of the name of Kinte. He could hew out and polish huge masses 
of stone, and carted even the largest blocks together with his 
one white mare. His dwelling-house he built on rocks, his fields 
he fenced with stone ramparts. Once he had a quarrel with a 
merchant of Libau; to punish him, he put his white mare to 
draw a stone equal to twelve cartloads all the way to Libau, 
intending to drop it at the merchant's door. When he reached 
the town, they would not let him cross the bridge, fearing it 
woald break under the load, and insisted on his removing the 
stone outside the liberties. The strong man, deeply mortified, 
did so, and dropt the stone on the road that goes to Grobin by 
Battenhof. There it lies to this day, and the Lettons, as they 
pass, point to it in astonishment.^ Kinte's white mare may stand 
for the Scandinavian smith's SvaiSilfari ; the defeat of the giant's 
building designs is efiected in a different way. 

King Olaf brooked many other adventures with giants and 
giantesses. As he sailed past the high hills on the Homs-herred 
coast, in which a giantess lived, she called out to him : 

S. Olaf med dit rode skiag, 

dn seilar for när ved min kjelderväg ! 

(St. Olaf with thy red beard, thou sailest too near my cellar wall) . 
Olaf was angry, and instead of steering his vessel between the 
cliffs, he turned her head on to the hill, and answered : 

hör du kjerling med rok og med teen, 
her skal du sidde og blive en steen I 

(hear, thou carlin with distaff and spool, here shalt thou sit and 
become a stone). He had scarce finished speaking, when the hill 
split open, the giantess was changed into a stone, and you still 
see her sitting with spindle and distaff on the eastern cliff; a 

^ Commonio. by Watson in JahresTerhandl. der knrl. geeellsoh. 2, 311-2. 

550 GIANTS. 

sacred spring issued from the opposite cliff.^ According to a 
Swedish account^ Olaf wished to sail through Värmeland and by 
L. Yaner to Nerike^ when the troll shouted to him : 

kong Olaf med dit pipnga skägg (peaky beard), 

du seglar for när min badstuguvägg (bathroom wall] I 

Olaf replied : 

du troll med din rak och ten 

skal bli i sten 

och aldrig mer gora skeppare men ! 

(shalt turn to stone, and never more make skipper moan). The 
giantess turned into stove, and the king erected a cross at Dalky 
church in Elfdals herred.' The Danish rhyme is also quoted as 
follows : 

hör du Oluf rodeskjäg, 

hvi seiler du igjennem vor stueväg (through our chamber wall) T 

And : 

stat du der og bliv til steen, 

og (gjör) ingen dannemand (no Dane) mere til meen I * 

In Norway itself the legend runs thus i The Hornelen Mountains 
in Bremanger were once connected with Maröe, but are now 
divided from it by a sound. St. Olaf sailed up to them, and 
commanded the cliffs to part and let him pass through. They 
did so, but instantly a giantess leapt out of the mountain and 
cried : 

sig (see), du mand med det hvide skäg (white beard), 
hvi splitter du saa min klippeväg ? 


stat (stand) trold nu evig der i steen, 

saa gjör du ei nogen mand (not any man) meer meen. 

His word came to pass, and the stone figure stands yet on the 
clifiF (Faye 124). OlaPs red heard (like those of our hero-kings 
Otto and Friedrich) reminds us of Thörr the foe of giants (p. 177) ; 
' pipuga skägg' is apparently the same as the pipshägg, wedge- 

^ Danske viser 2, 12-8. Thiele 1, 32 ; conf. Faye, 118-9. 

2 Femow'8 Värmeland, p. 228. 

> Nyerap's Earakteristik af Christian 4, p. 17. 

tHANTS. 551 

like or peaked beard, quoted by Ihre ; but the Norwegian rhyme 
has white beard (the barbe fleurie of Charlemagne). Such 
divergences, and the changes rung on ' cellar wall, bathroom 
wall, cliff wall,' vouch for the popular character of the tradition 
(see SuppL). It will surprise no one, if I produce a still older 
type of the whole story from the Edda itself. When Biynhildr 
in her decorated car was faring the 'hel-veg,' she went past 
the dwelling of a gygr ; the giantess accosts her with the words 
(Sffim. 228'') : 

skaltu t gognom gänga eigi 

gridti studda gcurSa mtna ! 

(shalt not go through my stone-built house). This brings on a 
dialogue, which is closed by Brynhildr with the exclamation: 
*seykstu g^gjarkynl' (conf. p. 497u.). The giantess's house is 
of stones skilfully put together, and the later rhymes speak of 
cellar and bathroom : she herself is qaite the housewife with 
distaff and spindle. The sacred rights of domesticity are in- 
fringed, when strangers burst their way througL There are 
other instances in which the giantess, like the elfin, is described 
with spindle and distaff: 'tolv troldqvinder (12 trold-women) de 
Btode for hannem med role og ten ' (Danske viser 1, 94) .^ 

Close to the Bomsdalshom in Norway is a mountain called 
Troldtinder, whose jutting crags are due to giants whom Olaf 
converted into stones, because they tried to prevent his preaching 
Christianity in Bomsdal.' 

It would appear, from Sa3m. 145**, that giants, like dwarfs, 
have reason to dread the daylight, and if surprised by the break 
of day, they turn into stone : ' dagr er nü,' cries Atli to HrimgerSr, 
'hafnar mark J;yckir hlcegeligt vera, J>a/rs pu i steins Uki stendr.^ 

Grotesque humanlike shapes assumed by stalactite, flint and 
fiakestone on the small scale, and by basalt and granite rocks on 
the greats have largely engendered and fed these fancies about 

^ The Geltie lay earrids huge stones on her spindle, and spins on as she walks» 
Keifl^y 2, 286. Gonl. supra, p. 418. 

' Faye 124, who foUows Schöning's Beise 2, 128. Sanot Olafs saga p& svenske 
rim, ed. Hadoiph. p. 87 : ' ell troll, som draap X man, han giordit i stena, ooh 
Stander Kn ; flere troll han ooh bortdref, sidan folokit i frijd blef.' Certain round 
pot-shaped holes found in the mountains, the Norwegian people believe to be the 
work of giants. They call them JätUgrytert troldgryter, yet also S. Olea gryter 
(Hallager 58^). 

TOL. U. I 

552 GIANTS. 

petrified giants. Then the myth about stone-circles accounts for 
their form by dances of giants ; ^ many rocks have stories attached 
to them of wedding*folk and dancing guests being turned into 
stone (see Suppl.). The old and truly popular terminology of 
mountains everywhere uses the names of diflTerent parts of the 
body ; to mountains are given a head, brow, neck, back, shoulder, 
knee, foot, etc. (RA. 541). 

And here we come across numerous approximations and over- 
lappings between the giant-legend and those of dwarfs, schrats 
and watersprites, as the comprehensive name troll in Scandinavian 
tradition would of itself indicate. Dwarfs of the mountains are, 
like giants, liable to transformation into stone, as indeed they 
have Bprung out of stone (p. 532-3). Rosmer havmand (merman) 
springs or flies, as the graphic phrase is, into sione.^ 

Then on the other side, the notion of the giant gets a good deal 
mixed up with that of the hero, usually his opposite. Strong 
Jack in our nursery- tales assumes quite the character of a giant ; 
and even Siegfried, pure hero as he is in the Mid. Age poems, 
yet partakes of giant nature when acting as a smith, like Wielant, 
who is of giant extraction. Moreover, both Siegfried slightly, 
and Strong Jack more distinctly, acquire a tinge of that Eulen- 
Spiegel or Rübezahl humour (p. 486) which is so amusing in the 
Finnish stories of Kalewa, Eisi, and especially Soini (conf. 
Kalewala, rune 19). This Soini or KuUervo bears the nickname 
of Kalki (schalk, rogue) ; when an infant three days old, he tore 
up his baby-linen ; sold to a Garelian smith, and set to mind the 
baby, he dug its eyes out, killed it, and burnt the cradle. Then, 
when his master ordered him to fence the fields in, he took whole 
fir-trees and pines, and wattled them with snakes ; after that, he 

^ Stonehenge, AS. StÄnhenge (-hangiDg), near Salisbury, in Welsh Choirganr, 
T at. chorea gigantum ; aco. to Giraldus Cambr. cap. 18, a oaim broaght by plants 
from Africa to Spain (Palgrave's Hist, of AS., p. 60) ; conf. Diefenbaoh's Celtica 
ii. 101. In Trist. 6887, Gurmun is said to be • bom of Africa.» 

3 Danske viser 1, 223 : ' ban sprang saa yildt i bjerget om, og bley iilßintesten 
Sorte.' 1, 228 : * ban bley til en kampesteen graa.' 1, 233 : * saa ßy ban bort i 
roden flinty og bley saa borte med alle.' 1, 186 of a crael stepmother : * han gprang 
hort ißinUBteen: But H. Sachs too has, iii. 3, 31». 426, * vor zom zu einem stein 
springen ; ' ib. 63^ * yor sorg zu eim stein springen ; ' iv. 3, 97**, * vor leid wol tu eim 
stein möcht springen,* Overpowering emotions make the life stand still, and curdle 
it into cold stone. Cont Chap. XXXT.T. on the heroes entrapped in mountains, and 

GIANTS. 553 

hkä to pastare the flock^ but the goodwife having baked a stone 
in his breads Soini was in such a rage that he called bears and 
wolves to aid him, who tore the woman's legs and worried the 
flock. The Esthonians also tell of a giant's son (Kallewepoeg), 
who furrowed up grassy lands with a wooden plough, and not a 
blade has grown on them since (see SuppL). This trickiness of 
the Finnish giants is a contrast to the rough but honest ways 
of the Grerman and Scandinavian. 

Above aD, there is no clear line to be drawn between giants 
and the wild hairy woodsprites dealt with in pp. 478-486. In the 
woods of the Bingenheim Mark are seen the stone seats of the 
mid folk (conf. p. 432) who once lived there, and the print of 
their hands on the stones (Dent. sag. no. 166). In the vale of 
Gastein, says Muchar, p. 137, wild men have lived within the 
memory of man, but the breed has died out since ; one of them 
declared he had seen the forest of Sallesen near Mt. Stubner- 
kogel get ' mair ' (die out and revive again) nine times : he could 
mind when the Bocksteinkogl was no bigger than a kranawetvogl 
(crossbill ?), or the mighty Schareck than a twopenny roll. Their 
strength was gigantic : to hurl a ploughshare the whole breadth 
of the valley was an easy throw for them. One of these ^ men ' 
leant his staff against the head farmer's house, and the whole 
house shook. Their dwelling was an inaccessible cavern on the 
left bank of the Ache, at the entrance to the Klamm ; outside 
the cave stood some appletrees, and with the apples they would 
fell the passers-by in fun ; remains of their household stuff are 
still to be seen. To the inhabitants of the valley they were 
rather friendly than otherwise, and often put a quantity of butter 
and milk before their house-doors. This last feature is more of a 
piece with the habits of dwarfs and elves than of giants. 

Just as the elves found the spread of agriculture and the clear- 
ing of their forests an abomination, which compelled them to 
move out ; so the giants regard the woods as their own property, 
m which they are by no means disposed to let men do as they 
please. A peasant's son had no sooner begun to cut down a 
bushy pinetree, than a great stout trold made his appearance 
with the threat : ' dare to cut in my wood, and I'll strike thee 
dead ' (Asbiömsen's Möe, no. 6) ; the Danish folk-song of Eline 
af Villenakov is founded on this, D,V. 1, 175. And no less do 

554 GIANTS. 

giants (like dwarfs^ p. 459) hate the ringiDg of bells^ as in the 
Swedish tale of the old giant in the tnonntain (Afzelins 3^ 88) ; 
therefore they sling rocks at the belfries. Oargantua also carries 
off bells from churches. 

In many of the tales that have come before ns, giant and devil 
are convertible terms, especially where the former has laid aside 
his clumsiness. The same with a number of other resemblances 
between the two. The devil is described as many-headed like 
the giant, also, it is true, like the dragon and the hellhound. 
Wherever the deviFs hand clutches or his foot treads, indelible 
traces imprint themselves even on the hardest stone. The titans 
chased from Olympus resemble the angels thrust out of heaven 
and changed into devils. The abode of the giants, like that of 
heathens and devils in general (p. 84), is supposed to be in the 
north : when Freyr looks from heaven toward lötunheim (Ssem. 
81) and spies the fair giantess, this is expressed in Snorri 39 by 
' Freyr leit i norffrcettJ In the Danish folk-song of the stolen 
hammer, Th6rr appears as Tord (thunder) af Hafsgaard (sea- 
burgh), while the giant from whom Loke is to get the hammer 
back dwells in Nordenßeld ; the Swedish folk-song says more 
vaguely ^ trolltrams gärd.' ^ 

But what runs into gianthood altogether is the nature of the 
man-eatvng huorco or ogre (p. 486). Like him the stone-hurling 
Cyclops in the Odyssey hanker after human flesh ; and again a 
Tartar giant Depeghöz (eye on top of head) ^ stands midway be- 
tween Polyphemus, who combs with a harrow and shaves with a 
scythe (Ov. Metam. 13, 764), and Oargantua, As an infant he 
sucks all the nurses dry, that offer him the breast ; when grown 
up, the Oghuzes have to supply him daily with 2 men and 600 
sheep. Bissat, the hero, bums out his eye with a red-hot knife ; 
the blinded giant sits outside the door, and feels with his hands 
each goat as it passes out. An arrow aimed at his breast would 
not penetrate, he cried ' what's this fly here teazing me ? ' The 
Laplanders tell of a giant 8talo, who was one-eyed, and went 
about in a garment of iron. He was feared as a man-eater, and 

> To wish a man «nordan HÜ ßSlW (Arvidflson 2, 163) is to wish him in a 
disagreeable qnarter (Germ. * in pepperland/ at Jericho). 

' Diez : The newly disoovered Oghnzian evdop compared with the Homeric. 
HaUe A Berlin 1816. j r tr^ 

GIANTS. 555 

received the by-name of yityatya (Nilsson 4, 32). The Indian 
Mahäbh&rata also represents Hidinibas the räkshasa (giant) ^ as 
a man-eater^ misshapen and red-bearded : man's flesh he smells 
from afar,* and orders Hidimba his sister to fetch it him ; bat 
she, like the monster's wife or daughter in the nursery-tales^ 
pities and befriends the slumbering hero (see Suppl.) . 

Our own giant-stories know nothing of this grim thirst for 
bloody even the Norse iötunn is nowhere depicted as a cannibal, 
like the Greek and Oriental giants ; our giants are a great deal 
more genial, and come nearer to man's constitution in their 
shape and their way of thinking: their savagery spends itself 
mainly in hurling huge stones, removing mountains and rearing 
colossal buildings. 

Saxo Gram. pp. 10. 11 invests the giantess Harthgrepa with 
the power to make herself small or large at pleasure. This is a 
gift which fairy-tales bestow on the ogre or the devil, and folk- 
tales on the haulematter (Harrys 2, 10 ; and Suppl.). 

It is in living legend (folktale) that the peculiar properties of 
oar native giants have been most faithfully preserved ; the poets 
make their giants far less interesting, they paint them, espe- 
cially in subjects borrowed from Bomance poetry, with only 
the features common to all giants. Harpin, a giant in the 
Iwein, demands a knight's daughter, hangs his sons, and lays 
waste the land (4464. 4500) :^ when slain, he falls to the ground 
like a tree (5074).* Still more vapid are the two giants intro- 
duced at 6588 seq. Even in the Tristan, the description of giant 
ürgän (15923) is not much more vivid : he levies blackmail on 
oxen and sheep, and when his hand is hewn oS, he wants to heal 

1 Tevetat*a Becond birth (Beinhart oolxxzi.) is a r&kshas!, giantess, not a 

' * Mightily works man's smell, and amazingly qnickens my nostrils/ Axjana's 
Jooiney, by Bopp, p. 18. The same in oar fairy-tales (supra, p. 486). Epithets 
of these Indian daemons indicate that they w<Uk about by night (Bopp's gloss. 
•1. 97). 

> One giant is * hagel al der lande,' hail-storm to all lands. Bit. 6482. 

* N.B., his bones are treasured up outside the castle-gate (5881), as in Fischart's 
Oarg. 41*: ' they teU of riesen and haunen, shew their bones in churches, under 
town halls.* So there hangs in a church the skeleton of the giantess struck by 
lightning (p. 581 n.), the heathen maiden's dripping rib (Deut. sag. 140), and her yellow 
loch (ibid. 317) ; in the castle is kept the gianVs bone (ibid. 324). At Alpirsbaoh 
in the Black Forest a giant's skeleton hangs outside the gate, and in Our Lady's 
church at Arustadt the * riesenribbe,' Bechst. 3, 129 ; oonf . Jerichow and Werben 
in Ad. Kuhn, no. 56. The horns of a giant ox naüed up in the porch of a temple 
(Kiebuhr'B Bom. Hist. 1, 407). 

556 GIANTS. 

it on again (16114).^ The giants shew more colour as we come 
to poems in the cycle of our hero-legend. Kuperän in the Hum. 
SJfrit (Cüpri&n of the Heldens. 171) rules over 1000 giants, and 
holds in durance the captive daughter of a king. The Botber 
brings before us, all alive, the giants Aspri&n, Grimme, Widolt, 
the last straining like a lion at his leash, till he is let loose for 
the fight (744. 2744. 4079) ; in the steel bar that two men could 
not lift he buries his teeth till fire starts out of it (650. 4653-74), 
and he smites with it like a thunderbolt (2734) ; the noise of his 
moving makes the earth to quake (5051), his hauberk rings 
when he leaps over bushes (4201) ; he pitches one man over the 
heads of four, so that his feet do not touch the ground (1718), 
smashes a lion against the wall (1144-53), rubs fire out of mill- 
stones (1040), wades in mould (646. 678) up to the knee (935), 
a feature preserved in Vilk. saga, cap. 60, and also Oriental 
(Hammer's Rosenöl 1, 36). Aspriän sets his foot on the mouth 
of the wounded (4275). And some good giant traits come out in 
Sigenöt: when he breathes in his sleep, the boughs bend (60),* 
he plucks up trees in the fir-wood (73-4), prepares lint-plugs 
(schübel) of a pound weight to stuff into his wounds (113), takes 
the hero under his a/rmpit and carries him off (110. 158. Hag. 9, 
Lassb.). A giantess in the Wolfdiet. picks up horse and hero, 
and, bounding like a squirrel, takes them 350 miles over the 
mountains to her giant cell; another in the folk-song (Aw. 1, 
161) carries man and horse up a mountain five miles high, where 
are two ready boiled and one on the spit (a vestige of androphagi 
after all) ; she offers her daughter to the hero, and when he 
escapes, she beats her with a club, so that all the flowers and 
leaves in the wood quiver. Giant Welle's sister Riitze in the 
Heldenbuch takes for her staff a whole tree, root and branch, 
that two waggons could not have carried; another woman 'of 
wild kin' walks over all the trees, and requires two bullocks' 
hides for a pair of shoes, Wolfd. 1513. Giant Langbein (Danske 
viser 1, 26) is asleep in the wood, when the heroes wake him up 
(see SuppL). 

A good many giant-stories not yet discovered and collected 

« _i ^® Bomanoe giants are often porters and bridge-keepers, eonf . the dorper in 
*^m^^P"' P- ^^^^ » y®* ^^ ^ ^^^' '*^7, 4. 468, 1 : « rise porUnare.* 

' The same token of gianthood is in Vilk. saga, cap. 176. and in a Servian lay. 

GIANTS. 557 

mnst still be living in the popular traditions of Norway and 
Sweden^^ and even we in Germany may gather something from 
oral narration^ though not much from books. The monk of St. 
Gall (Pertz 2, 756) has an Eishere {i.e, Egisheri, terribilis) of 
Thurgau^ but he is a giant-like hero^ not a giant.^ 

Of sacrifices offered to giants (as well as to friendly elves and 
home-sprites)^ of a worship of giants^ there is hardly a trace. 
Yet in Kormakssaga 242 I find blotrisiy giant to whom one 
sacrifices; and the buttered stone (p. 546) may have been smeared 
for the giantess^ not by her^ for it was the custom of antiquity to 
anoint sacred stones and images with oil or fat, conf. p. 63. As 
to the ' gude lubbe ' whose worship is recorded by Bp. Gebhard 
(p. 526), his gianthood is not yet satisfactorily made out. Fasolt, 
the giant of storm, was invoked in exorcisms ; but here we may 
regard him as a demigod, like ThorgerSr and Irpa, who were 
adored in Scandinavia (see Suppl.). 

The connexion pointed out between several of the words for 
giant and the names of ancient nations is similar to the agree- 
ment of certain heroic names with historic characters. Mythic 
traits get mysteriously intergrown with historic, and as Dietrich 
and Charles do duty for a former god or hero, Hungarians and 
Avars are made to stand for the old notion of giants. Only we 
must not carry this too far, but give its due weight to the 
fact that iötunn and Jours' have in themselves an intelligible 

* Holj^ers 8, 47 speaks of * löjlige berättelse om fordna jättar,'' withont going 
into them. 

' It is quite another thing, when in the debased folktale Siegfried the hero 
degenerates into a giant (Whs. heldensage, pp. 801-16), as divine Oden himself 
(p. 165) and Thörr are degraded into düyels and dolts. A still later yiew (Altd. bl. 
1, 123) regards riese and reoke (hero) as all one. 

* Schafarik (Slov. star. 1, 258) sees nothing in them but Geta and Thyrsns ; 
at that rate the national name Thnssaget» mast inolude both. 


Now that we have treated of gods^ heroes^ elves^ and giants, 
we are at length prepared to go into the views of ancient times 
on cosmogony. And here I am thp more entitled to take the 
Norse ideas for a groundwork, as indications are not wanting of 
their having equally prevailed among the other Teutonic races. 

Before the creation of heaven and earth, there was an immense 
chasm called gap (hiatus, gaping), or by way of emphasis gap 
ginnunga (chasm of chasms), corresponding in sense to the Greek 
;^ao9.^ For, as %ao9 means both abyss and darkness, so gin» 
nunga-gap seems also to denote the world of mist, out of whose 
bosom all things rose. How the covering and concealing ' hel ' 
was likewise conceived of as ^nifl-hel' with yawning gaping jaws, 
has been shewn above, pp. 312-314. 

Yet this void of space had two extremities opposed to one 
another, muspell (fire) the southern, and nifl (fog) the northern ; 
from Muspellsheim proceed light and warmth, from NiSheim 
darkness and deadly cold. In the middle was a fountain Hvergel- 
mir, out of which flowed twelve rivers named elivagar. When 

they got so far from their source, that the drop of fire contained 


^ Xdoij from xa/n«=»OHG. gtnan, ON. gtnaaLat. hiare; oonf. OHG. ginimga, 
hiatus. But we need not therefore read * gap ginünga,' for the ON. ginna, which 
has now only the sense of allioere, must formerly have had that of findere, seoare, 
which is still found in OHG. inginnan, MHG. enginnen (see aboye, p. 403, Ganna} : 
Otfried iii. 7, 27 says of the barleycorn, * thoh findu ih melo th&r inne, inthin ih 
es higinne (if I split it open) ; inkinnan (aperire), Graff 4, 209 ; ingunnen (seotus), 
N. At. 95. So in MHG., * stn herze wart ime engunnen ' (fissum), Fondgr. 2, 
268 ; enginnen (seoare), En. 2792. 5722 ; engunnen (secuerunt). En. 1178. Nearly 
related is ingeinan (fissiculare), N. Gap. 186. From a literal ' splitting open ' must 
have arisen the more abstract sense of * beginning,' Goth, duginnan, AS. onginnan, 
OHG. inkinnan, pikinnan. Then gtna hiare, gin hiatus, further suggest gin 
(amplus), and ginregin (p. 320). Singularly Festus, in discussing inehoare, comes 
upon chaos, just as * b^in * has led us to gtnan. CohtUf from which some derive 
incohareainchoare, is no other than chaos. Fest, sub v. oohum. [Nearly all 
the above meanings appear in derivatives of the Mongol, root khag, khog to crack, 
etc., including khoghSson empty, chaos]. ' Beside gtnan, the OHG. has a chinan 
hiscere (Graff 4, 450), Gk>th. keinan, AS. <Ane (rima, chine, chink). The AS. has 
also a separate word dwolma for hiatus, chaos. — Eztr. from Suppl. 



in them hardened, like the sparks that fly out of fiame, they 
tamed into rigid ice. Toached by the mild air (of the south), 
the ice began to thaw and trickle : by the power of him who 
sent the heat, the drops quickened into life, and a man grew out 
of them, Ymir, called Örgelmir by the HrimJ^urses, a giant and 
evil of nature. 

Ymir went to sleep, and fell into a sweat, then under his left 
hand grew man and wife, and one of his feet engendered with 
the other a six-headed son; hence are sprung the families of 

But the ice dripped on, and a cow arose, AuSumbla, from 
whose udder flowed four streams of milk, conveying nourishment 
to Ymir. Then the cow licked the salty ice-rocks, and on the 
evening of the first day a man's hand came forth, the second 
day the man's head, the third day the whole man ; he was beau- 
tiful, large, strong, his name was Buri, and his son's name Börr 
(p. 849).^ Börr took to him Bestla, the giant Bölßom's daughter, 
and begat three sons, 09inn, Vili, Ve (p. 162), and by them was 
the giant Ymir slain. As he sank to the ground, such a quantity 
of blood ran out of his wounds, that all the giants were drowned 
in it, save one, Bergelmir^ who with his wife escaped in a WSv 
(Saem. 85**, Sn. 8), and from them is descended the (younger) 
race of giants (see Suppl.).-'* 

The sons of Börr dragged the dead Ymir's body into the mid- 
dle of ginnünga-gap, and created out of his hlood the sea and 
water, of his flesh the earth, of his hones the mountains, of his 
ieeih and broken bones the rocks and crags. Then they took his 
ikull and made of it the sky, and the sparks from Muspellsheim 
that floated about free they fixed in the sky, so as to give light 
to all. The earth was round, and encircled by deep sea,^ on 

' In the Zend system, the firs man proceeds from the haunch of the primeval 
hvU Kajomer. 

* Ymir, t^. , Örgelmir, begot ThrCtffgelmir^ and he Bergelmir, 

* The meaning of lüdr has not been ascertained ; elsewhere it stands for 
eolens, tuba, here it is supposed to be a mill-chest. The OHG. ludara f. means 
a eradle (Qmff 2, 201) as weU as pannus, inyolucrum (swaddling-band), and this 
would fit remarkably weU, as some accounts of the Deluge do make the rescued 
ehild float in its cradle. True, Snorri speaks not of a child, but of a grown-up 
giant, who sits in the lutSr with his wife ; this may be a later version. [Slav. ISt 
is shallow basket, trough, tray.] 

* Snorri at aU events conceived the earth to be round, he says p. 9 : * hon er 
bloglött ntan, ok >ar utan am liggr hinn diupi siAr.' So in the Luddarius : * dL^e 


whose shore the giants were to dwell ; but to gaard the inland 
parts of the earth against them, there was bnilt of Ymir's hrows 
a castle, Mi9gar9. The giant's brain was thrown into the air, 
and formed the clonds, Sn. 8, 9. 

SeBmund's acconnt 45** (conf . 33*) differs in some points : 

or Tmirs holdi var iör5 um scöpnt, 

enn or sveita seer, 

biörg or heinom-, baBmr or Aan, 

enn or hau^i himinn, 

enn or hans hram gerBo bliS regin 

miiSgarS manna sonom, 

enn or hans heila voro ]?au in harSmdSgo 

sk^ oil nm scöpat. 

Here the teeth are not made use of, but we have instead the 
formation of trees out of the giant's hair. 

When all this was done, the sons of Börr went to the seashore, 
aud found two trees^ out of which they created two human beings, 
Äskr and Embla. To these 08inn gave soul and life, Vili wit 
and feeling (sense of touch). Ye countenance (colour?), speech, 
hearing and sight, Sn. 10. More exactly in S89m. 3* : 

unz J^rir komo or ^vi li& 

öflgir ok ästgir sesir at süsi (uproar). 

f undo ä. landi litt megandi 

Ask ok Emblo örlöglausa : 

önd (spirit) )^au ne ätto, ö% (mind) ]?au ne hofSo, 

M (blood) ne lasti, ne lito (colours) go'Sa. 

önd gaf OSinn, 6i gaf Hoenir, 

la gaf Lo'Sr ok litu g6%a. 

In this account the three &ses are named OSinn, Hoenir, LoSr 
(p. 241) instead of 0«inn, Vili, Ve (p. 162) ; they come to the 
roaring (of the sea, ad aestum, irapa 6lva 'jro\v<f>Xolaßoio Bo- 
Xdaarj^), and find Askr and Embla powerless and inert. Then 

welt ist Binwel (spherical), nnd umbeflozzen mit dem wendelmer, darin ffnrebt di« 
erde als daz tutt^r in dem wizen de$ eiiet ist/ oonf. Berthold p. 287, and Waokem. 
Basel MSS. p. 20. The creation of heaven and earth out of the parts of an egg is 
poetically painted in Ealewala, rone 1 (see Suppl.). — ' Indian legend has likewise 
a creation ont of the egg, heaven and earth being eggshells, Somadeva 1, 10. Conf. 
the birth of Helen and the Diosoori out of an egg.' — ^Eztr. from Suppl. 


OSinD endowed them with spirit, Hoeair with reason, LoiSr with 
blood and complexion (see Suppl.)* 

The creation of dwa/rfs is related in two passages which do not 
altogether agree. Sn. 15 tells ns, when the gods sat in their 
chairs jadging, they remembered that in the dost and the earth 
dwarfs had come alive, as maggots do in meat (see SuppL). 
They were created and received life first of all in Tmir's flesh. 
By the decree of the gods these maggots now obtained nnder- 
standing and haman shape, bat continued to live in the earth 
and in stones. Ssdm. 2 says on the contrary, that the holy gods 
in their chairs consulted, who should make the nation of dwarfs 
ont of Brimir^s flssh and his black bones ; then sprang up 
Motsognir, prince of all dwarfs, and after him Durinn, and they 
two formed a multitude of manlike dwarfs out of the earth. 

Taking all these accounts together, it is obvious in the first 
place, that only the men and dwarfs are regarded as being 
really created, while the giants and gods come, as it were, of 
themselves out of chaos. To the production of men and dwarfs 
there went a formative agency on the part of gods ; giants and 
gods, without any such agency, made their appearance under the 
mere action of natural heat and the licking of a cow. Giants 
and gods spring out of a combination of fire with water, yet 
80 that the element converted into ice must recover its fiuidity 
before it becomes capable of production. The giant and the cow 
drip out of the frost, Buri slowly extricates himself in three days 
from t)ie thawing mass of ice. This d/ripping origin reminds us 
of some other features in antiquity ; thus, OSinn had a gold ring 
Draupnir (the dripper), from which every ninth night there 
dripped eight other rings of equal weight (SsBm. 84\ Sn. 66). 
Saem. 195^ speaks, not very lucidly, of a hausi Hei^draupnis 
(cranio stillantis) ; Styrian legend commemorates a giant's rib 
from which a drop falls once a year (D.S. no. 140).^ And Eve 
may be said to drip out of Adam's rib. With the giant's birth 
oat of ice and rime we may connect the story of the snow-child 
(in the Modus Liebinc), and the influence, so common in our 
fairy-tales, of snow and blood on the birth of a long wished for 
child. All this seems allied to heathen notions of creation, conf. 

' No doubt the familiar name Bibbentrop is founded on some such tradition. 


Chap. XXX. Also I must call attention to the terms eitrdropi 
S89m. 35% eitrqvikja Sn. 5, qvikudropi Sn. 6 : it is the vivifying 
fiery drop, and we do bestow on fire the epithet ' living.' Eitr 
is oar eiter^ OHG. eitar^ AS. &tor, coming from OHQ. eit, AS. 
ftd ignis ; and its derivative sense of venennm (poison, f^Mxpficucov) 
seems inapplicable to the above compounds. 

It tallies with the views expressed at p. 816 on the gods having 
a beginning and an end, that in this system of creation too they 
are not described as existing from the first : the god appears in 
gfinnüngagap after a giant has preceded him. It is true, Snorri 
6 makes use of a remarkable phrase : ' svä at qviknaSi meS 
krapti J^ess er til sendi hitann,' the quickening is referred to the 
might of him that sent the heat, as if that were an older eternal 
God who already ruled in the chaos. The statement would have 
more weight, were it forthcoming in the Yöluspft or any of the 
Eddie songs themselves ; as it is, it looks to me a mere shift of 
Snorri's own, to account for the presence and action of the heat, 
and so on a par with the formulas quoted in pp. 22-3-4.^ Bari, 
who is thawed into existence out of ice, to set limits to the rude 
evil nature of the giant that was there before him, shews himself 
altogether an ancestor and prototype of the heroes, whose mission 
it was to exteinninate the brood of giants. From him are de- 
scended all the äses, O^inn himself being only a grandson. 

Again, there is no mistaking the distinct methods by which 
giants, gods and men propagate their kind. Only one giant had 
sprung out of ice, he has to beget children of himself, an office 
performed by his hands and feet together, as in other ways also 
the hand and foot are regarded as akin and allied to one another.- 
Ymir's being asleep during the time is like Adam's sleep while 
Eve was fashioned out of his rib ; Eve therefore takes her rise 
in Adam himself, after which they continue their race jointly. 
How Buri begat Börr we are not informed, but Börr united him- 
self to a giant's daughter, who bore him three sons, and from 
them sprang the rest of the &ses. It was otherwise with men. 

^ We might indeed imagine that regin and ginregin mied before the arrival 
of the &ses, and that this force of heat proceeded from them. Bat the Edda must 
first have distinctly said so. 

* Conf. Hauptes Zeitschr. 3, 156-7. Brahma too makes a man oat of his own 
arm, Poller 1, 168. 


who were not created singly^ like the giant or the god, but two 
at once^ man and wife, and then jointly propagate their species. 

While the hnge mass of the giant's body sapplied the gods 
with materials, so that they conld frame the whole world out of 
his different parts, and the dwarfs swarmed in the same giant's 
flesh as worms ; mankind are descended from two trees on the 
seashore, which the gods endowed with breath and perfect life. 
They ha\re therefore no immediate connexion with giants. 

In the OSes we see a superior and successful second product, 
in contrast with the first half-bungled giant affair. On the giants 
an undue proportion of inert matter had been expended ; in the 
ftses body and soul attained a perfect equilibrium, and together 
with infinite strength and beauty was evolved an informing 
and creative mind. To men belongs a less full, yet a fair, 
measure of both qualities, while dwarfs, as the end of creation, 
form the antithesis to giants, for mind in them outweighs the 
puny body. Our Heldenbuch on the contrary makes the dwarfs 
come into being first, the giants next, and men last of all. 

As the giants originated in the ice of streams that poured out 
of the fountain Hvergelmir, we may fairly assume some connexion 
between it and the names Örgelmir, Thruffgelmir, Bergelmir. I 
derive gelmir from gialla (stridere), and connect it with the 
OHG. galm (stridor, sonitus). Hvergelmir will therefore mean a 
roaring cauldron ; and the same notion of uproar and din is 
likely to be present in the giants' names, which would support 
the derivation of Ymir from ymja, p. 532. The reading örgemlir 
would indeed accord with the notion of great age associated with 
the giant nature (p. 524), but would sever the link between 
giants and the cauldron of chaos. 

Thus far the Scandinavian theory : now to prove its general 

Though the word ginnfingagap has no exact parallel in 0H6. 
or AS., it may for all that be the thing described in the follow- 
ing verses of the Wessobrunn Prayer : 

Dat gafregin ih mit firahim firiwizzo meista (wisest men), 
dat ero ni was noh fifhimil (earth was not, nor sky), 
noh paum (tree) nohheinig noh pereg (mountain) ni was, 
noh Bunnft ni scein [noh stemo ni cleiz (glistened)], 


no mäno (moon) ni liahta nob der mareosSo (sea). 

do dar niwiht ni was enteo ni wenteo^ 

enti do was der eino almahtico Cot (Almighty God alone). 
The last line may sound completely christian^ and the preceding 
ones may have nothing directly opposed to christian doctrine ; 
yet the juxtaposition of earth and heaven, tree and mountain, 
sun [and star], moon and sea, also the archaic forms ero (terra), 
üfhimil (coelum), mareosSo (mare, Gk)th. marisÄivs), which must 
be thrown into the scale, — all have a ring of the Edda : 

Vara sandr ne seer, ne svalar unnir, 
iörS fanz 88va ne upphiminn, 
gap var ginnünga, enn gras hvergi. 
sol ]7at ne vissi hvar hon sali fttti, 
stiörnor ]7at ne visso hvar ]789r sta*Si atto, 
mäni ]7at ne vissi hvat hann megins ätti. 

The words ' ni wiht ni was enteo ni wenteo ' give in roundabout 
phrase exactly the notion of ginnftngagap.^ 

These hints of heathenism have gained additional force, now 
that OHG. and OS. songs are found to retain the technical term 
muspilli = ON. muspell ; the close connexion between nifl, NyU 
heim, and the Nibelungen so intergrown with our epos (p. 372) does 
not in any case admit of doubt. Now if these two poles of the 
Scandinavian chaos entered into the belief of all Teutonic nations, 
the notion of creation as a whole. must have been as widely 
spread. It has been shewn that the Old-German opinion about 
giants, gods, men and dwarfs closely agreed with the Norse ; I 
am now able further to produce, though in inverted order, the 
same strange connexion described in the Edda between a giant's 
body and the world's creation. 

Four documents, lying far apart in respect of time and place 
(and these may some day be reinforced by others) transmit to us 
a notable account of the creation of the first man. But, while 
the Edda uses up the giant's gutted and dismembered frame to 
make a heaven and earth, here on the contrary the whole world 
is made use of to create man's body. 

1 Conf. also Otlr. ii. 1, 3 : *%r se ioh himil wurti, ioh erda ouh sd herti/ and 
the desoription of chaos in O»dmon 7. 8, particularly the term heoUtersceado 7, 
11 ; thongh there is little or nothing opposed to Bible doctrine. Conf. Aiistoph. 
Ayes 693-4. 



The oldest version is to be found in the Rituale eoclesiae 
Dunelmensis (Lend. 1839)^ in which a scribe of the 10th century 
has interpolated the following passage^ an AS. translation being 
mterlined with the Latin : 

Odo pondera, de quibus factus 
est Adam, pondus limi^ inde 
factus (sic) est caro; pondus 
ignis^ inde rubens est sanguis 
et calidus; pondus salis^ inde 
simt salsae lacrimae; pondus 
roris, nnde factus est sudor; 
pondas floris, inde est varietas 
oeulorum ; pondus nubis^ inde 
est instabilitas mentium; pon- 
das venti^ inde est anhela fri" 
gida ; pondus ^ gratiae^ inde est 
sensus hominis. 

^hte pundo, of J^eem dworden 
is Adam, pund lämes^ of ]7on 
äworden is flcesc; pund fires, 
of ]7on read is blöd and hat; 
pund saltes, of ]^on sindon salto 
tehero ; pund J?edwes, of ]7on 
ftworden is swat; pund bl6st- 
mes, of ]7on is fägung egena; 
pund wolcnes, of ]7on is onstyd- 
fuUnisse ßohta; pund windes, 
of ]7on is m'oS cold; pund ^ gefe, 
of ]7on is ßoht monnes. 

A similar addition is made to a MS. of the Code of Emsig (Rieht- 
hofen^ p. 21 1): — 'God scop thene 6resta meneska^ thet was Adam, 
fon achta wendeni, thet benete fon tha stdne^ thet flask fon there 
erthe, thet blöd fon tha wetere, tha herta fon tha winde, thene 
thochta fon tha wölken, thene s^cet fon tha dawe, tha loTcTcar fon 
tha gerse^ tha dgene fon there sunna, and tha blSrem on (blew 
into him) thene helga 6m (breath), and tha scop he Eva fon 
sine ribbe, Adames liana.' The handwriting of this document 
is ouly of the 15th cent., but it may have been copied from an 
older MS. of the Emsig Code^ the Code itself being of the 14th 

1 This * poTuid of giace* oomes in bo oddly, that I venttire to gaess an omission 
between the words, of perhaps a line, which described the 8th material. The two 
aceounts that follow next, after naming eight material ingredients, bring in the holy 
breath or spirit as something additional, to which this gift of * grace ' would fairly 
eonespond. Another AS. version, given in Süppl. , from the Saturn and Solomon 
(Thorpe*s Anal. p. 95, ed. Eemble p. 180), is worth comparing: here *foldan 
pond * becomes *ßa$e, fyres pond hlody windes p. csSung, wolcnes p. itioi^et un- 
sta^lfflBStnes, gyfe p. faX and geßang^ bl6stmena p. edgena missenltcnist, deawes 
p. twatj sealtes p. teara«.* — Here * £^e ' is right in tiie middle of the sentence : can 
it be, that both * gefe * and * gyfe ' are a corruption of Geofon the sea god, gifen the 
>ea (supra, p. 239), which in christian times had become inadmissible, perhaps 
oninteUigible ? It would be strange if water, except as dew, were made no use of ; 
•nd the * sea supplying thought ' would agree with the French account, which 
•sctibeB wisdom to lum that has an extra stock of sea in him. — Tbamb. 


The third passage is contained in a poem of the 12th cent, 
on the four Gospels (Diemer 820, 6-20 ; conf . the notes to 95, 
18. 27, and 320, 6) : 

Got mit stner gewalt 

der wrchet zeichen vil manecvalt, 

der worhte den mennischen einen 

üzzen von aht teilen : 

von dem leime gab er ime daz fleisch, 

der tow becßchenit den aweihc (sweat), 

von dem steine gab er im daz pein (bone), 

des nist zwivil nehein (is no doubt), 

von den wrcen (worts) gab er ime di ädren (veins), 

von dem grase gab er ime daz h&r, 

von dem mere gab er ime äa,zplüt (blood), 

von den welchen (clouds) daz müt (mood, mind), 

du habet er ime begunnen 

der ougen (eyes) von der sunnen. 

Er verlöh ime sinen &tem (his own breath), 

daz wir ime den behüten (keep it for him) 

unte sinen gestn (and be his) 

daz wir ime imer wuocherente sin (ever bear fruit). 

Lastly, I take a passage from Godfrey of Viterbo^s Pantheon, 
which was finished in 1187 (Pistorii Scriptor. 2, 53) : — 'Cum 
legimus Adam de limo terrae formatum, intelligendum est ex 
quatuor elementis. mundus enim iste major ex quatuor elementis 
constat, igne,aere, aqua et terra, humanum quoque corpus dicitnr 
microcosmus, id est minor mundus. habet namque ex terra 
ca/mem, ex aqua humores, ex aere flatum, ex igne calorem. caput 
autem ejus est rotundum sicut coelum, in quo duo sunt ocuUy tan- 
quam duo luminaria in coelo micant. venter ejus tanquam mare 
continet omnes liquores. pectus et pulmo emittit voces, et 
quasi coelestes resonat harmonias. pedes tanquam terra sustinent 
corpus Universum, ex igni coelesti habet visum, e superiore aere 
habet auditum, ex inferiori habet olfactum, ex aqua gustnm, ex 
terra habet tactum. in duritie participat cum lapidibus, in 
ossibus vigorem habet cum arboribus, in capillia et tmguibus 
decorem habet cum graminibus et floribus. setisus habet cum 
brutis animalibus. ecce talis est hominis substantia corporea.' — 


Oodfrey^ edacated afc Bamberg^ and chaplain to German kings^ 
must have heard in Germany the doctrine of the eight parts ; he 
brings forward only a portion of it^ such as he conld reconcile 
with his other system of the four elements ; he rather compares 
particular parts of the body with natural objects^ than affirms 
that those were created out of these. 

Not one of the four compositions has any direct connexion 
with another^ as their peculiarities prove ; but that they all rest 
on a common foundation follows at once from the ' octo pondera^ 
achta wendem^ aht teilen,' among which the alleged correspond- 
ences are distributed. They shew important discrepancies in 
the details« and a different order is followed in each. Only three 
items go right through the first three accounts, namely, that lime 
(loam, earth) was taken for the flesh, dew for the sweat, clouds 
for the mind. But then the MEG. and Frisian texts travel much 
forther together ; both of them make bone spring out of stone, 
bair (locks) from grass, eyes from the sun, blood from the sea 
(water), none of which appear in the AS. Peculiar to the MHG. 
poem is the derivation of the veins from herbs (würzen), and to 
the AS. writer that of the blood from fire, of tears from salt, of 
the various colours in the eye from flowers,^ of cold breath from 
wind« and of sense from grace; which last, though placed 
beyond doubt by the annexed translation, seems an error not- 
withstanding, for it was purely out of material objects that 
creation took place ; or can the meaning be, that man's will is 
first conditioned by the g^race of God ? Fitly enough, tears are 
likened to salt (salsae lacrimae) ; somewhat oddly the colours of 
the eye to flowers, though it is not uncommon to speak of an 
opening flower as an eye. The creation of hearts out of wind 
is found in the Frisian account alone, which is also the only one 
that adds, that into this mixture of eight materials God blew his 
holy breath, and out of Adam's rib created his companion Eve 
[the MHG. has : ' imparted his breath '] .* 

^ Variegated eyes are the oottli varii^ Prov. vain hnelhs (Rayn. sab v. Tar), 
O.Fr. vain iex (Boqaef. sub v.). We find in OHG. hluomfeht and ' gevehet n&h 
tien bluomon/ Graff 8, 426 ; the AS. fägung above. 

' WeU, here is ahready ojxx fifth version, from a Paris M3. of the 15 th oentary 
(Panlin Paris, MSS. fran^ais de la bibl. dn roi 4, 207) : * Adam fa form6 oa ohamp 
damacien, et fa fait si oomme noas troavons de huit parties de choses : da Umon de 
la terre, de la mevt da soleilj des nuetf da vent^ des pierreif da saint esprit, et de la 
cfarti du monde. De la terre fu la char, de la mer fa le sang, da soleil f orent les 



If now we compare all the statements with those taken from 
the Edda^ their similarity or sameness is beyond all question : 
blood with sea or water^ flesh with earthy bone with stone^ hair 
with trees or grass^ are coupled together in the same way here. 
What weighs more than anything with me is the accordance of 
^ brain and clouds ' with ' thoughts and clouds/ The brain is the 
seat of thought^ and as clouds pass over the sky, so we to 
this day have them flit across the mind ; ^ clouded brow ' we say 
of a reflective pensive brooding one, and the Grimnismftl 45^ 
applies to the clouds the epithet harSmoiSagr, hard of mood. It 
was quite in the spirit of the Edda to make the skull do for 
the sky, and the eyebrows for a castle ; but how could sky or 
castle have furnished materials for the human frame ? That the 
striking correspondence of the sun to the eye should be wanting 
in the Edda, is the more surprising, as the sun, moon and stars 
are so commonly spoken of as eyes (Superst. 614), and antiquity 
appears even to have seen tongvss in them, both of which points 
fall to be discussed in Chap. XXII. ; meanwhile, if these enu- 
merations are found incomplete, it may be that there were plenty 
more of such correspondences passing current. If Thörr flung 
a toe into the sky as a constellation, there may also have been 
tongues that represented stars. 

The main diSerence between the Scandinavian view and all 
the others is, as I said before, that the one uses the microcosm as 
material for the macrocosm, and the other inversely makes the 
universe contribute to the formation of man. There the whole 
of nature is but the first man gone to pieces, here man is put 
together out of the elements of nature. The first way of think- 
ing seems more congenial to the childhood of the world, it is all 

yeulxj des nties fnrent les pensiesj da Tent forent les aVaineSf des pierres forent les 
oz, du saint esprit fa la vie,l& clart6 da monde signifie Crist et sa creance. Saichez 
que se il y a en Tomme plus de limon de la terre, il sera paresceux en toutes man- 
i^res ; et se il y a plus de la mer, il sera sage ; et se il y a plus de soleü, 11 sera 
beaa ; et se il y a plus de naes, il sera pensis ; et se il y a plas du vent, ü sera 
ireax ; et se il y a plas de pierre, il sera dar, avar et larron ; et se il y a plas de 
saint esprit, il sera gradeax ; et se il y a plus de la clart6 da monde, 11 sera beaax 

et amez.' These eight items are again somewhat different from the preceding, 

though six are the same : earth, sea, cloud, wind, stone and sun ; the Holy Ghost 
and the light of the world are pecaliar, while veins, hair, tears, and motley eyes 
are wanting. The * champ damacien ' is *■ ager plasmationis Adas, qui didtur ager 
damascenus,* oonf . Fel. Fabrl Evagator, 2, 341. [Is * du monde ' the mistranslation 
of a Germ. * des mondes,* the moon's ? Like the sun, it bestows ' beauty,* and 
that has nothing to do with Christ, who is however * the light of the world.'— Ta.J 


in keeping to explain the sun as a giant's eye^ the mountains as 
his bones^ the bushes as his hair ; there are plenty of legends 
still that account for particular lakes and marshes by the 
gashing blood of a giant^ for oddly-shaped rocks by his ribs 
and marrow-bones ; and in a similar strain the waving corn was 
Ukened to the hair of Sif or Ceres. It is at once felt to be more 
artificial for sun and mountain and tree to be pat into requisition 
to produce the human eye and bones and hair. Yet we do speak 
of eyes being sunny^ and of our flesh as akin to dust^ and why 
may not even the heathens have felt prompted to turn that cos- 
mogonic view upside down ? Still more would this commend 
itself to Christians^ as the Bible expressly states that man was 
made of earth or loam/ without enlarging on the formation of 
the several constituent parts of the body. None of the Fathers 
seem to be acquainted with the theory of the eight constituents 
of the first man; I will not venture to decide whether it was 
already familiar to heathen times^ and maintained itself by the 
side of the Eddie doctrine^ or first arose out of the collision of 
this with christian teachings and is to be regarded as a fuller 
development of the Adamic dogma. If Adam was interpreted 
to mean clay^ it was but taking a step farther to explain^ more 
precisely, that the flesh only was borrowed from earth, but 
the bones from stones, and the hair from grass. It is almost 
unscriptural, the way in which the MHGr. poetizer of Genesis 
(Fandgr. 2, 15) launches out into such minutiae: — ^Duo Got 
zeinitzen stucchen den man zesamene wolte rucchen, duo nam er, 
sdsich wftne, einen leim zähe (glutinous lime), da er wolte daz 
daz lit zesamene solte (wished the limbs to come together), 
streich des unterzaisken (smeared it between), daz si zesamene 
mohten haften (stick), denselben leiten (clay) tet er ze ftdaren 
(made into veins), über ieglich lit er zöch denselben leim zäch, 
daz si vasto chlebeten, zesamene sich habeten. üz hertem leime 
(hard lime) tet er daz gebeine, uz proder erde (crumbly earth) 
hiez er daz fleisk werden, üz leiten deme zälien machet er die 
ädare. duo er in allen zesamene gevuocte, duo bestreich er in 
mit einer slote (bedaubed him with a slime), diu selbe slote wart 
ze dere hüte (became the skin) . duo er daz pilede (figure) drlich 

^ * Die IHn^nen,' the loamen folk, Geo. 8409, is said of men, as we say * e Into, 
ex meliozi lato fioti.' 


gelegete fare sich, duo stuont er ime werde obe der selben erde. 
sJnen geist er in in blies, michelen sin er ime firliez, die &dare 
alle wurden pluotes folle, ze fleiske wart diu erde, ze peine der 
leim harte, die ftdare pugen sich sw& zesamene gie daz lit (blew 
his spirit in, imparted mickle sense, the veins filled with blood, 

the earth became flesh, the hard lime bone, etc.).' ^These 

distinctions between lime, clay, earth and slime have a tang of 
heathenism ; the poet durst not entirely depart from the creation 
as set forth by the church, but that compounding of man out of 
several materials appears to be still known to him. And traces 
of it are met with in the folk-poetry.^ 

It is significant how Greek and, above all, Asiatic myths of 

the creation coincide with the Norse (and what I believe to have 

been once the universal Teutonic) view of the world's origin out 

of component parts of the human body : it must therefore bo 

of remote antiquity. The story lasts in India to this day, that 

BrahmA was slain by the other gods, and the sky made out of his 

skull : there is some analogy to this in the Greek notion of Atlas 

supporting on his head the vault of heaven. According to one 

of the Orphic poets, the body of Zeus is understood to be the 

earth, his bones the mountains, and his eyes the sun and moon.* 

Cochin-Chinese traditions tell, how Buddha made the world out 

of the giant Banio's body, of his skull the sky, of his eyes the 

sun and moon, of his flesh the earth, of his bones rocks and hills, 

and of his hair trees and plants. Similar macrocosms are met 

with in Japan and Ceylon; Kalmuk poems describe how the 

earth arose from the metamorphosis of a mountain-giantess, the 

sea from her blood (Finn Magn. Lex., 877-8, and Suppl.). 

But Indian doctrine itself inverts this 'macrocosm, making the 
sun enter into the eye, plants into the hair, stones into the bones, 
and water into the blood of created man, so that in him the 

1 The giantB moxüd a man out of clay (leir), Sn. 109. The Finpiah godD- 
marinen hammers himself a wife out of gold, Bune 20. Pintosmauto is baked of 
sngar, spice and scented water, his hair is made of gold thread, his teeth of pearls, 
his eyes of sapphires, and his lips of rubies, Pentam. 6, 3. In a Servian song 
(Vuk no. 110), two sisters spin themselves a brother of red and white silk, they 
make him a body of boxwood, eyes of precious stones, eyebrows of sea-urchins, 
and teeth of pearls, tiien stuff sugar and honey into his mouth : * Now eat that, 
and talk to us (to nam yödi, pa nam probesddi) I ' And the myth of Pygmalion is 
founded on bringing a stone figure to life (see SupplJ. 

2 'OfAfMTa 5' -tfiXios T€ Kol iirrUfwra ffcXi^. Euseb. TipoTapaaK. eöoyy. 3, 9. 
Lobeck, De microo. et macroc. p. 4. 


whole world is mirrored back. According to a Chaldean cos- 
mogony^ when Belus had cat the darkness in twain^ and divided 
heaven from earthy he commanded his own head to be struck o£E^ 
and the blood to be let ran into the ground; out of this arose 
man gifted with reason. Hesiod^s representation is^ that Pandora 
was formed by Hephssstus out of earth mingled with water^ and 
then Hermes endowed her with speech^ "EpY« 61-79. The 
number of ingredients is first reduced to earth and blood (or 
water) ^ then in the 0. T. to earth alone. 

And there are yet other points of agreement claiming our 
attention. As Ymir engendered man and wife out of his hand^ 
and a giant son out of his f oot^ we are told by the Indian Manus^ 
that Brahma produced four families of men^ namely from his 
mouth the first brahman (priest)^ from his arm the first kshatriya 
(warrior), from his thigh the first vizh (trader and husbandman),^ 
from his foot the first sMra (servant and artizan). And so, no 
doubt, would the Eddie tradition, were it more fully preserved, 
make a difference of rank exist between the offspring of Ymir's 
hand and those of his foot ; a birth from the foot must mean a 
lower one. There is even a Caribbean myth in which Luguo, 
the sky, descends to the earth, and the first parents of mankind 
come forth from his navel and thigh, in which he had made an 
incision.^ Beading of these miraculous births, who can help 
thinking of Athena coming out of Zeus^s head {rpLToyeveui) , and 
Dionysus out of his thigh {firjpoppaifyi]^) ? As the latter was 
called hifiTfTtop (two-mothered), so the unexplained fable of the 
nine mothers of Heimdallr (p. 234) seems to rest on some 
Bimilar ground (see SuppL). 

From these earlier creations of gods and giants the Edda and, 
as the sequel will shew, the Indian religion distinguish the crea- 
tion of ÜiQ first human pair. As with Adam and Eve in Scrip- 
ture, so in the Edda there is presupposed some material to be 
quickened by God, but a simple, not a composite one. Tr6 
means both tree and wood, askr the ash-tree (fraxinus) ; the 
relation of Askr to the Isco of heroic legend has already been 
discussed, p. 350. If by the side of Aslcr^ the man, there stood 

1 E femoribns natas^üraTja, üruja, Bopp*8 Gloss. 54*. 
> Majer*B Mythol. taschenbuoh 2, 4. 


an Eshja, the woman, the balance would be held more evenly ; 
they would be related as Meshia and Meshiane in the Persian 
myth, man and woman, who likewise grew out of plants. But 
the Edda calls them Ashr and Embla : embla, emla, signifies a 
busy woman, OHG. emila, as in fiur-emila (focaria), a Cinderella 
(Graff 1, 252), from amr, ambr, ami, ambl (labor assiduns), 
whence also the heroes name Amala (p. 370). As regards Ashr 
however, it seems worthy of notice, that legend makes the first 
king of the Saxons, Aschanes (Askanius), grow up out of the 
Harz rocks, by a fountain-head in the midst of the forest. See- 
ing that the Saxons themselves take their name fi*om sahs (saxum, 
stone), that a divine hero bears the name of Sahsn6t (p. 203)^ 
that other traditions derive the word Germani from germinare, 
because the Germans are said to have grown on trees ; ^ we have 
here the possibility of a complex chain of relationships. The 
Geogr. of Savenna says, the Saxons removed from their ancient 
seats to Britain ' cum principe suo, nomine Anchis/ This may 
be Heugist, or still better his son Oesc, whom I have identified 
with Askr.* 

Plainly there existed primitive legends, which made the first 
men, or the founders of certain branches of the Teutonic nation, 
grow out of trees and rocks, that is to say, which endeavoured 
to trace the lineage of living beings to the half-alive kingdom of 
plants and stones. Even our lent (populus), OHG. liut, has for 
its root liotan (crescere, puUulare), OS. liud, liodan ; ' and the 
sacredness of woods and mountains in our olden time is height- 
ened by this connexion. And similar notions of the Greeks fit 
in with this. One who can reckon up his ancestors is appealed 
to with the argument (Od. 19, 163) : 

oi yap airb Spv6<: iaai *jra\ac<f>dTOV ovS' arrb irirprf^ • 

for not of fabled oah art thou, nor rock;* and there must have 

^ D. S. no. 408. Aventin 18^ ; conf. the popular joke, prob, ancient, on the 
origin of Swabians, Franks and BaTarians, Schm. 8, 524. 

' In the Jewish language, both learned and Tnlgar, Ashkenaz denotes Ger- 
many or a German. The name occurs in Gen. 10, 3 and Jer. 51, 27 ; how early 
its mistaken use began, is unknown even to J. D. Michaelis (Spicil. geogr. Hebr. 
1, 59) ; it must have been by the 15th century, if not sooner, and the rabbis may 
very likely have been led to it by hearing talk of a derivation of the Germans from 
an ancestor AskanitUt or else the Trojan one. 

3 PSpulus however is unconn. witii populus a poplar. 

* Such an * e queren aut sazo natus/ who cannot name his own father, is vul- 


been fairy tales about it^ whicli children told eacli other in con- 
fidential chat {6api^€ßi€vaL otto hpvo^ 97S* airb irerpri^y II. 22^ 126.^ 
oKKÄ rlri fioi ravra irepl hpvv fj irepX irirprjv; Hes- Theog. 35). 
In marked unison with the myth of Askr is the statement of 
Hesiod, that Zeus formed the third or brazen race out of ash- 
trees {ix fieXMv, Op. 147) ; and if the allusion be to the stout 
ashen shafts of the heroes^ why^ Isco or Askr may have bran- 
dished them too. One remembers too those wood- wives and fays^ 
who^ like the Greek meliads and dryads^ had their sole power of 
living bound up with some particular oak or ash^ and, unlike the 
tree-bom man, had never got wholly detached from the material 
of their origin. Then, a creation out of stones is recorded in 
the story of Deucalion, whom after the deluge Hermes bade 
throw stones behind his back : those that he threw, all turned 
into men, and those that his wife Pyrrha threw, into women. As 
in the Edda, after the great flood comes a new creation ; only in 
this case the rescued people are themselves the actors.^ Even 
the Jews appear to have known of a mythical creation out of 
stones, for we read in Matth. 3, 9 : on Svvarai 6 Oeo^ ix tS)v 
XiOav TovrtDV iyeipai rifcva t& Aßpadfi (see Suppl.). 

The creation of dwarfs is described ambiguously in the Edda : 
according to one story they bred as worms in the proto-giant's 
flesh, and were then endowed by the gods with understanding 
and homan shape ; but by the older account they were created 
out of the flesh and bones of another giant Brimir. All this has 
to do with the black elves alone, and must not be extended to 
the light ones, about whose origin we are left in the dark. And 
other mythologies are equally silent. 

It is important and interesting to get a clear view of the grada- 
tion and sequence of the several creations. That in the Edda 
giants come first, gods next, and then, after an intervening deluge. 

gvly spoken of as one * whose father got drowned on the apple (or nnt) tree.* Also, 
* not to haTe sprang from an oak-stem/ Etner's Unw. doct. 585. ' Min gof ist an 
nod abbem nossbom aba ehoh/ * and my dad didn't come off the nnt-tree/ Tobler 
337^, who wrongly refers it to the Christmas-tree. 

1 Homer*8 phrase is : * ohat from oak or rock, as yonth and maiden do.' — 

- As Deucalion and Pyrrha create the race of men, so (aco. to a myth in the 
B^htrtssage, whose source I never could discover) do Adam and Eve create that 
of beasts by smiting the sea with rods. Only, Adam makes the good beasts, Eve 
the bad ; 10 in Pazsee legend Ormnzd and AViiHmii.Ti hold a creating match. 


men and dwarfs are created^ appears in sarprising harmony with 
a theological opinion largely adopted throughout the Mid. Ages^ 
according to which^ though the O. T. begins with the work of 
the six days^ yet the existence and consequently the creation of 
angels and the apostasy of devils had gone before^ and then were 
produced heaven and earthy man and all other creatures.^ After- 
wards^ it is true^ there comes also a destructive floods but does 
not need to be followed by a new creation^ for a pious remnant 
of mankind is saved^ which peoples the earth anew. The Muham- 
medan eblis (by aphsBresis from dieblis^ diabolus) is an apostate 
spirit indeed^ but created after Adam^ and expelled from Para- 
dise. Our Teutonic giants resemble at once the rebel angels 
(devils) and the sinful men swept away by the flood ; here deli- 
verance was in store for a patriarchy there for a giant^ who after 
it continues his race by the side of men. A narrative preserved 
in the appendix to our Heldenbuch offers some fragments of 
cosmogony : three creations follow one another, that of dwarfs 
leading the way, after whom come giants, and lastly men ; Gk»d 
has called into being the skilful dwarfs to cultivate waste lands 
and mountain regions, the giants to fight wild beasts, and the 
heroes to assist the dwarfs against disloyal giauts ; this connexion 
and mutual dependence of the races is worthy of note, though on 
the manner of creating there is not a word. Lastly, the threefold 
arrangement of classes instituted by Heimdallr * may, I think, be 
regarded as a later act in the drama of creation, of which perhaps 
a trace is yet to be seen even in modem traditions (p. 234) .' 

Another thing I lay stress on is, that in the Edda man and 
woman (Askr and Embla) come into existence together, but the 

^ Conf. the poetical representations in Csßdmon and Fundgr. 2, 11. 12; of 
conrse they rest on opinions approved or tolerated bj the ehnrch. Scripture, in its 
aocotint of the creation, looks only to the human race, leaving angels and giants 
out of sight altogether, though, as the narrative goes on, they are found existing. 

^ The Mid. Ages trace the origin of freemen to Shem, that of knights and serfs 
to Japhet and Ham; Wackem. Bas. MSS. 2, 20. 

' I have since lighted on a Muhammedan legend in Wolfg. Menzel's Mythol. 
forschungen 1, 40 : Eve had so many children, Üiat she was ashamed, and onoe, 
when surprised by God, she hid some of them away. God then called the children 
to him, and divided all the goods and honours of the earth among them. Those 
that were hidden got none, and from them are descended beggars and fakirs. 
Unfortunately no authority is given, but the agreement with the Gherman drama of 
the 16th cent, is undeniable, and makes me doubt the supposed connexion of the 
latter with the ON. fable. That the concealed children are not called up, is at 
variance with all German accounts. 


Bible makes two separate actions^ Adam's creation coming firsts 
and Eve's being performed afterwards and in a different manner.^ 
So^ by Hesiod's account^ tbere already existed men descended 
from the gods themselves^ when the first woman Pandora, the all- 
gifted^ fair and false^ was formed ont of earth and flood (p. 571). 
It is difficult to arrive at the exact point of view in the Hesiodic 
poems. In the Theogony, theire ascend ont of chaos first Graia 
(earth) the giantess^ then Erebus (corresp. to Niflheim) and 
Night ; but Graia by herself brought forth Uranus (sky) and seas 
and mountains^ then other children by Uranus^ the last of them 
Kronus the father of Zeus and ancestor of all the gods. As 
the Edda has a Burl and Börr before O^inn, so do Uranus and 
Eronus here come before Zeus ; with Zeus and OSinn begins the 
race of gods proper, and Poseidon and Hades complete the fra- 
ternal trio, like Yili and Ye. The enmity of gods and titans is 
therefore that of &ses and giants ; at the same time, there is just 
as much resemblance in the expulsion of the titans from heaven 
(Theog. 813) to the fall of the rebel angels into the bottomless 
pit ; so that to the giant element in the titans we may add a 
dffimonic. When the ' Works and Days ^ makes the well-known 
five races fill five successive ages, the act of creation must needs 
bave been repeated several times ; on which point neither the 
poem itself nor Plato (Cratyl. 897-8, Steph.) gives sufiicient 
information. First came the golden race of blissful daimones, 
next the silver one of weaker divine beings, thirdly, the brazen 
one of warriors sprung from ash-trees, fourthly, the race of 
heroes, fifthly, the iron one of men now living. The omission 
of a metal designation for the fourth race is of itself enough to 
make the statement look imperfect. Dimmest of all is the second 
race, which also Plato passes over, discussing only daemons, heroes 
and men : will the diminutive stature of these shorter-lived genii 
warrant a comparison with the wights and elves of our own 
mythology 7 In the third race giants seem to be portrayed, or 
fighters of the giant sort, confronting as they do the rightful 

^ The rabbinic myth supposes a first woman, Lilith, made out of the ground 
like Adam. [The Bible, we know, has two different accounts of man*s creation : 
the first (ElohjBtic) in Gen. 1, 27, * male and female created he them ; ' the second 
(JehoTiBtie) in Gen. 2, 7, * formed man of the dust,' and in w. 21. 22, * took one of 
his ribs, . . . and the rib . . . made he a looman.' The first account seems to 
imply nmidtaiieouB oreationB.— Tbaks.] 


heroes of the fourth. The latter we might in Mosaic language 
call sons of Elohim^ and the former sons of men ; at the same 
time^ their origin from the ash would admit of their being placed 
beside the first-created men of the Edda. The agreement of the 
myths would be more striking if we might bestow the name of 
stone race on the third, and shift that of brazen, together with 
the creation from the ash, to the fpurth ; stones being the natural 
arms of giants. ApoUodorus however informs us it was the 
brazen race that Zeus intended to destroy in the great flood from 
which Deucalion and Pyrrha were saved, and this fits in with the 
Scandinavian overthrow of giants. The creation of Askr and 
Embla has its parallel in the stone-throwing of the Greek myth, 
and the race of heroes might also be called stone-created (see 

It will be proper, before concluding, to cast a glance at the 
Story of the Dehige : its difi'usion among the most diverse nations 
of the earth gives a valuable insight into the nature of these 

From the sons of God having mingled with the daughters of 
men sprang robbers and wrongdoers ; and it repented Jehovah 
that he had made man, and he said he would destroy everything 
on earth. But Noah found favour in his eyes, and he bade him 
build a great ark, and enter therein with his household. Then 
it began to rain, until the waters rose fifteen cubits above the 
highest mountains, and all that had flesh and breath perished, 
but the ark floated on the flood. Then Jehovah stayed the rain, 
the waters returned from off the earth, and the ark rested on the 
mountains of Ararat. But Noah let out first a raven, then a 
dove, which found no rest for her foot and returned into the ark ,* 
and after seven days he again sent forth a dove, which came back 
with an olive leaf in her mouth ; and after yet other seven days 
he sent forth a dove, which returned not any more.* Then Noah 
came out on the dry earth, and offered a clean burntofiering, and 

^ Ulpb. renders KaTaxXwrfiSt by midjasveipdirut sreipan meaning no doubt tbe 
same as /cXi^^o', to flush, rinse, conf. AS. swfipan yerrere. Diluvium is in OHG. 
unniezßuot or iinßuot (like sinw&ki gurges, MHG. sinwiege) ; not so good is the 
OHG. and MHG. sintvluot, and our sündflnth (»tn-flood) is a blunder. 

^ Sailors let birds fly, Pliny 6, 22. Three ravens fly as guides, LandnAmabök 1, 2. 


Jehovah made a covenant with man^ and set his bow in the cloud 
for a token of the covenant. 

After this beaatifnl compact picture in the 0. T.^ the Eddie 
narrative looks crude and unpolished. Not from heaven does the 
flood rain down^ it swells up from the blood of the slain giant^ 
whose carcase furnishes material for creating all things, and the 
hnman race itself. The insolence and violence of the annihilated 
giants resemble those of the sons of Elohim who had mingled 
with the children of men ; and Noah's box {x^ßcoTo^) is like 
Bergelmi's lA^r. But the epic touches, such as the landing on 
the mountain, the outflying dove, the sacrifice and rainbow, would 
sorely not have been left out, had there been any borrowing here. 

In the Assyrian tradition,^ Kronos warns Sisuthros of the 
coming downpour, who thereupon builds a ship, and embarks 
with men and beasts. Three days after the rain has ceased, birds 
are sent out, twice they come flying back, the second time with 
alime on their feet, and the third time they staid away. Sisuthros 
got out first with his wife and daughter and pilot, they prayed, 
sacrificed, and suddenly disappeared. When the rest came to 
land, a voice sounded in the air, saying the devout Sisuthros had 
been taken up to the gods ; but they were left to propagate the 
human race. Their vessel down to recent times lay on the 
moontains of Armenia.^ Coins of Apamea, a city in Phrygia, 
show an ark floating on the water, with a man and woman in it ; 
on it sits a bird, another comes flying with a twig in its claws. 
Close by stand the same human pair on firm land, holding up 
their right hands. Beside the ark appear the letters Nfl (Noah), 
and this Apamea is distinguished by the by-name of Ki^ßcDTo^? 

According to Greek legend, Zeus had determined to destroy 
mankind; at the prompting of Prometheus, Dat^caZton built an 
ark, which received him and Pyrrha his wife. Zeus then sent a 
mighty rain, so that Hellas was flooded, and the people perished. 
Nine days and nights Deucalion floated on the waters, then landed 
on Tartias8U8, and oSered sacrifice to Zeus ; we have seen how 
this couple created a new generation by casting stones. Plutarch 
adds, that when Deucalion let a dove out of the ark, he could tell 

' Buttmaim On the myth of the Deluge, p. 21. 

' Conf . the Annolied 308 f9eq., which brings the Bavarians from Armenia. 

* AU this in Bnttmami, pp. 24-27. 


the approach of storm by her flying back^ and of &ir weather by 
her keeping away. Lacian (De dea Syria^ cap. 12. 13) calls him 
AevKoXloDva rov SfcvOea (the Scythian) ; if that sprang oat of 
^uridea} it may have long had this altered form in the legend 
itself. Some branches of the Greek race had their own stories 
of an ancient floods of which they called the heroes Ogyges and 
Ogygos ;^ bat all these accounts are wanting in epic details.^ 

A rich store of these opens for as in the Indian Mahäbh&rata> 
King Manus stood on a river's bank^ doing penance^ when he 
heard the voice of a little fish imploring him to save it. He 
caught it in his hand and laid it in a vessel^ bat the fish began to 
grow^ and demanded wider quarters. Manas threw it into a large 
lake^ but the fish grew on^ and wished to be taken to Gtkngä the 
bride of the sea. Before long he had not room to stir even there, 
and Manas was obliged to carry him to the sea^ but when 
launched in the sea^ he foretold the coming of a fearful flood, 
Manus was to build a ship and go on board it with the seven 
sages, and preserve the seeds of all things, then he would shew 
himself to them homed. Manus did as he was commanded, and 
sailed in the ship ; the monster fish appeared, had the ship 
fastened to his horn by a rope, and towed it through the sea for 
many years, till they reached the summit of the Himavan, there 
he bade them moor the ship, and the spot to which it was tied 
still bears the name of Naubandhanam (ship-binding). Then 
spake the fish : I am Brahma, lord of created things, a higher 
than I there is not, in the shape of a fish have I delivered you ; 

1 GETOEA from CICTGEA is Battmann's acnte saggestion ; but he goes 
farther, taking this Sisythes or Sisathros to be Sesothris, Sothis, Seth ; and Noah 
to be Dionysos, and a symbol of water. 

' Bnttm. p. 45 seq., who connects it with Okeanos and Ogenos. 

' It is remarkable, that in a beautiful simile, therefore without names or places. 
Homer depicts a kind of Deluge, 11. 16, 384 : 

dn S* (nrb XoUXairi iraaa «cXeui^ ßdßptOe x^<^ 
IjfiaT diTbjpiytpt ore Xaßporarop x^^* Ö8w/» 
ZciJj, ore JiJ ß* AySpeffffi Koreaffdfievoi x<*^^*"^'Th 
ot ßi^j cIp ayopi (r/roXids KplvuMri $ifiurraSf 
ix 5i diKTfv (IXaawriy BeQy 6Tiy oix dX^otn-es, 
fwHOei B4 T€ ipy dvdpunrtap. 

Even as crouches the darkening land, overcrowed by the tempest, All on a summer's 
day, when Jove doth the down-rushing water Suddenly pour, and wreak his wrath 
on the proud men, Men of might, who sit dealing a crooked doom in the folkmote. 
Forcing justice aside, unheeding of gods and their vengeance ; (rivers swell, etc.) 
and the works of man are all wasted. 
* Bopp's Die sOndflut, Berl. 1829. 

DELUGE. 579 

now shall Manns make all creatures^ gods^ asnris and men^ and 
all the worlds^ things movable and immovable. And as he had 
spoken^ so it was done. 

In the Bhftgavatam^ Satyavratas (snpra^ p. 249) takes the place 
of Manns^ Yishnns that of Brahm&^ and the facts are embellished 
with philosophy. 

The Indian myth then^ like the Teatonic^ makes the Delage 
precede the real creation^ whereas in the Mosaic account Adam 
lives long before Noah^ and the flood is not followed by a new 
creation. The seven rishis in the ship^ as Bopp remarks^ are 
of divine rather than human nature^ sons of Brahma^ and of an 
older birth than the inferior gods created by Manns or their 
enemies the asnris (elsewhere daityas and d&navas = titans^ 
giants). Bat it is a great point gained for us^ that Mantis (after 
whom mannshyas^ homo^ is named) comes in as a creator; so 
that in onr German Mannus (whence manna and manniskja, 
homo) we recognise precisely Börr and his creator sons (p. 349). 
Askr and Embla are simply a reproduction of the same idea of 
creation^ and on a par with Deucalion and Pyrrha^ or Adam and 

I must not pass over the fact^ that the first part of the Indian 
poem^ where Brahm& as a fish is caught by Manus^ and then 
reveals to him the future^ lingers to this day in our nursery tale 
of the small all-powerful turbot or pike^ who gradually elevates 
a fisherman from the meanest condition to the highest rank'; and 
only plunges him back into his pristine poverty^ when^ urged by 
the counsels of a too ambitious wife^ he desires at last to be 
equal with God. The bestowal of the successive dignities is in 
a measure a creation of the different orders.^ 

One more story of the Deluge^ which relates the origin of the 
Lithuanians^ deserves to be introduced.' When Pramzimas the 
most high god looked out of a window of his heavenly house 
(like Wuotan, p. 135) over the world, and perceived nothing but 
war and wrong among men, he sent two giants Wandu and 
Weyas (water and wind) upon the sinful earth, who laid all 
things waste for twenty nights and days. Looking down once 

^ Conf. the capture of the Boothsaying marmennil, p. 434. 
s Dzieie staroiytne oarodu Litewskiego, przez Th. Narbatta. Wüno 1835. 


more^ when he happened to be eating celestial nuts, PramSimas 
dropt a nutshell^ and it lighted on the top of the highest moun- 
tain, to which beasts and several hnman pairs had fled for refiige. 
They all climbed into the shelly and it drifted on the flood which 
now covered all things. Bat God bent his countenance yet a 
third time upon the earthy and he laid the storm^ and made the 
waters to abate. The men that were saved dispersed themselves, 
only one pair remained in that country^ and from them the 
Lithuanians are descended. But they were now old, and they 
grieved, whereupon God sent them for a comforter (linxmine) 
the rainbow, who counselled them to leap over the earth^s bones : 
nine times they leapt, and nine couples sprang up, founders of 
the nine tribes of Lithuania. This incident reminds us of the 
origin of men from the stones cast by Deucalion and Pyrrha ; and 
the rainbow, of the Bible account, except that here it is intro- 
duced as a person, instructing the couple what to do, as Hermes 
(the divine messenger) did Deucalion. It were overbold perhaps 
to connect the nutshell with that nut-tree (p. 572-3), by whicli 
one vaguely expresses an unknown extraction. 

Not all, even of the stories quoted, describe a universal deluge 
desolating the whole earth : that in which Deucalion was rescued 
affected Greece alone, and of such accounts of partial floods 
there are plenty. Philemon and Baucis in Phrygia (where Noah's 
ark rested, p. 577), had given shelter to the wayfaring gods, and 
being warned by them, fled up the mountain, and saw themselves 
saved when the flood rose over the land (Ovid. Met. 8, 620) ; 
they were changed into trees, as Askr and Embla were trees. 
A Welsh folktale says, that in Brecknockshire, where a large 
lake now lies, there once stood a great city. The king sent his 
messenger to the sinful inhabitants, to prove them ; they heeded 
not his words, and refused him a lodging. He stept into a 
miserable hut, in which there only lay a child crying in its cradle 
(conf. Iddara, p. 559 n.) ; there he passed the night, and in going 
away, dropt one of his gloves in the cradle. He had not left the 
city long, when he heard a noise and lamentation ; he thought of 
turning back to look for his glove, but the town was no longer to 
be seen, the waters covered the whole plain, but lo, in the midst 
of the waves a cradle came floating, in which there lay both child 
and glove. This child he took to the king, who had it reared as 

DELÜGE. 581 

the sole survivor of the sunken city.^ Conf. the story of Dold at 
the end of Ch. XXXII. Another and older narrative^ found even 
in the British Triads^ comes much nearer to those given above : 
When the lake of Llion overflowed and submerged all Britain, 
the people were all drowned save Dwyvan and Dwyvach, who 
escaped in a naked (sailless) ship^ and afterwards repeopled the 
land. This ship is also named that of Nevydd näv neivion^ and 
had on board a male and female of every creature ; again it is 
told^ that the oxen of Hu Gadarn dragged the avanc (beaver) 
ashore out of the Llion lake, and it has never broken out since.^ 

Of still narrower limits are our German tales, as that of the 
dwarf seeking a lodging at Balligen on L. Thun (no. 45), which 
is very like the Philemon-myth; of Arendsee (no. Ill), where 
again only a husband and wife are saved; of Seeburg (no. 131) ; 
and Frauensee (no. 239). A Danish folktale is given by Thiele 
1, 227. Fresh and graceful touches abound in the Servian lay of 
the three angels sent by God to the sinful world, and the origin 
of the Plattensee or Balatino yezero, Yuk 4, 8-13 (2nd ed. 1, 
no. 207).8 

There is above all a dash of German heathenism about the 
lakes and pools said to have been formed by the streaming blood 
of giants (Dent. sag. no. 325), as the destructive Deluge arose 
from Ymir's blood. 

It appears to me impossible to refer the whole mass of these 
tales about the great Flood and the Creation of the human species 
to the Mosaic record, as if they were mere perversions and dis- 
tortions of it j the additions, omissions and discrepancies peculiar 
to almost every one of them are sufficient to forbid that. And 
I have not by a long way exhausted this cycle of legends (see 
Snppl.) : in islands of the Eastern Archipelago, in Tonga and 
New Zealand, among Mexicans and Caribs there start up ac- 
counts, astonishingly similar and yet different, of creation and 
the first human pair, of a flood and deliverance, and the murder 
of a brother.* 

J Edw. Davies's Brit. Mythol. 146-7. 

' Ibid. 95. 129. Yillemarqnd, Gontes bretons 2, 294. Mablnogion 2, 841. 381. 

' Sole example of a Deluge- story among Slavs, by whom cosmogonio ideas in 
geoeral seem not to have been handed down at all. 

^ W. von Humboldt's Eawispraohe 1, 240. 8, 449. Majer*s Mythol. taschenb. 
2, 5. 131. 


Prom gods^ half-gods and heroes^ from the whole array of 
friendly or hostile beings that^ superior to man in mind or 
body^ fill up a middle space betwixt him and deity, we tarn our 
glance to simple phenomena of nature, which at all times in their 
silent greatness wield an immediate power over the human 
mind. These all-penetrating, all-absorbing primitive substances, 
which precede the creation of all other things and meet us again 
everywhere, must be sacred in themselves, even without being 
brought into closer relation to divine beings. Such relation is 
not absent in any mythology, but it need not stand in the way 
of the elements receiving a homage to some extent independent 
of it and peculiar to themselves. 

On the other hand, it is not the religion, properly speaking, of 
a nation, that ever springs from the soil of this elemental worship ; 
the faith itself originates in a mysterious store of supersensual 
ideas, that has nothing in common with those substances, but 
subjugates them to itself. Yet faith will tolerate in its train 
a veneration of elements, and mix it up with itself; and it may 
even chance; that when faith has perished or is corrupted, this 
veneration shall keep its hold of the people longer. The multi- 
tude will give up its great divinities, yet persist for a time in the 
more private worship of household gods; even these it will 
renounce, and retain its reverence for elements. The history of 
the heathen and christian religions shews, that long after the one 
was fallen and the other established, there lived on, nay there 
live still, a number of superstitious customs connected with the 
worship of elements. It is the last, the all but indestructible 
remnant of heathenism ; when gods collapse, these naked sub- 
stances come to the front again, with which the being of those 
had mysteriously linked itself (see Suppl.). 

To this eflfect I have already expressed myself (pp. 82-84) in 

WATER. 583 

speaking of a worship of nature by our ancestors^ which is indeed 
supported by early testimonies^ but these are often perverted 
into an argument against the heathen having had any gods. 
The gods stood and fell from other causes. 

Water the limpid^ flowing, welling up or running dry; Fire 
the iUaminating, kindled or quenched ; Air unseen by the eye, 
bat sensible to ear and touch ; Earth the nourishing, out of 
which everything grows, and into which all that has grown dis- 
solves; — ^these, to mankind from the earliest time, have appeared 
sacred and venerable; ceremonies, transactions and events in 
life first receive their solemn consecration from them. Working 
as they do with never-resting activity and force on the whole of 
nature, the childlike man bestows on them his veneration, without 
any particular god necessarily intervening, though he too will 
commonly appear in combination with it. Even to-day the 
majesty and might of these eldest bom of things awakes our 
admiration ; how could antiquity have forborne its astonishment 
and adoration 7 Such a worship is simpler, freer and more dig- 
nified than a senseless crouching before pictures and idols. 

All the elements are cleansing, healing, atoning, and the proof 
by ordeal rests mainly upon them ; but man had to secure them 
m their purest form and at the most seasonable times. 

We will consider them one by one. 

1. Watee.* 

Passages proving that the Alamanns and Franks worshipped 
rivers and fountains are cited at pp. 100-1 and in the Appendix.* 

^ Goth, vatdj ON. patn^ OHG. toaiar, OS. toatar, AS. w(EUrt Dan. vand, Slav. 
9odd, Lith. toandüj Lett, uhdentf Gr. üöwp ; then, oorresp. in form to Lat. aqua^ bat 
meaning flnvins, Goth, akua, OHG. aha, AS. ed, ON. d; the Goth, vegt, OHG. 
wie wAgesi-flnctiXB, flow. 

' When here and elsewhere I ase Bp. Bnrchard^s Coll. of Decrees as authority 
for Oerman superstitions, I do not forget that in most cases (not all) it is drawn 
from oouneilfl not held in Germany, but in Gaul, Italy or Spain. Yet, if we con- 
sider that German nations had been spreading themselves aU over those countries 
down to the 8-9th cent., that the AS. and Lombard Laws, to say nothing of 
Capitularies, declaim equally with those Decrees of Council against water, tree and 
stone worship, that Agathias and Gregory of Tours expressly charge the Alamanns 
and Franks with such worship ; these superstitions are seen to be something com- 
mon to the Italian, Gallic and German nationalities, of which none of them can be 
icquitted. Some have tried to make out from Agathias, that our forefathers had 
a mere nature-worship, and no gods. It would be about as uncritical to do what 
is to some extent the reverse, and suspect Agathias and Gregory of having adopted 
their aaaertions out of ohurch-pzohibitions that were never meant for Germany at 


584 ELEMENTS. . 

The people prayed on the river's bank j at the fountain's brink 
they lighted candles and laid down sacrificial gifts. It is called 
'fontibus yenerationem exhibere^ ad fontanas adorare (conf. Legg. 
Liutpr. 6, 30)^ ad fontes yotam facere, roddere^ exsolvere^ orare 
ad fontes^ offerre ad fontes, munus deferre^ ad fontes laminaria 
facere^ candelam deferred This last no doubt was done only or 
chiefly at nighty when the flame reflected from the wave would 
excite a religious awe.^ The Saxons alsp were fonticolae ; wyllas 
and fiStwceter are named in the AS. laws as objects of rever- 
ence. Beside the passage from Cnut (p. 102)^ the Poenitentiale 
Ecgberti says 2^ 22 : ' gif hwilc man his sdlmessan geMte o^ie 
bringe to hwilcon wylle*; 4, 19 : ^ gif hw& his W89ccan set aenigum 
wylle hsdbbe (vigilias suas ad aliquem foutem habeat) ' ; the 
Canones Edgari § 16 forbid wilweorÖ'unga (well- worship). I am 
not sure that a formal worship of water in Scandinavia is implied 
in«the saga quoted above (p. 102), where vötn is mentioned; 
but that water was held sacred is a thing not to be doubted. 
A lay in the Edda has near the beginning the remarkable words : 
' hnigo heilög vötn af himinfiöllom^' fell holy waters from heaven's 
hills. The Sclaveni as eariy as Procopius (B. Goth. 3^ 14) 
aißovat worafiov^ (worship rivers) ; and as late as Helmold 
(1^ 47) it is said of the Slavs at Faldera : lucorum et fontium 
ceterarumque superstitionum multiplex error apud eos habetur 
(see Suppl.). 

Above all was the place honoured^ where the wondrous element 
leaps up from the lap of earth ; a spring is in our older speech 
urspriuc (-ges), and also prunno.^ 

Often enough the first appearing of a spring is ascribed to 
divine agency or a miracle : Wuotan, Balder, Charles the Great, 
each made the reviving fountain flow out of earth for Ids fainting 
host (p. 226). Other springs are charmed out of the rock when 
struck by a staff or a Iwrse's hoof ; ^ a saint plants a bough in 

all. Into seonlar codes snoh prohibitions seem to have found their way fizst 
through the Gapitolaries ; the older codes had no penidties for idolatry, oxüy the 
AS. ddmas of Wihtrfed cap. 13 impose them on deofolgild m generaL 
^ At Christmas people look into their toelU with candles. 

* From prinnan (ardere), as tdt, another word for well, comes from siodaa 
(fervere), toelle (flactas) from wallan (fenrere), nuil (sabfrigidos) from sueUm (ardere), 
conf. Gramm. 2, 29. 34 ; sprudeln to bubble up is from sprühen to fly off as sparks 
d'3. In such words fire and water get wedded together. 

* The Heliconian horse-fount (trrox/)!^) was stmok open by Pegasus : * novt 


the ground^ and water bubbles np. But there are two theories 
even more generally received : that the water of sacred brooks 
and rivers is in the first instance poured by gods and superior 
beings out of bowls or urns; and that springs and wells are 
goarded by snakes or dragons lying near them (see Suppl.). 

Water drawn at a holy season^ at midnight^ before sunrise^ 
and in solemn silence^ bore till a recent time the name of heilawäc, 
heilwäc, heilwcege. The first fbrm^ retaining the connecting 
vowel after a long syllable^ proves the antiquity of the word^ 
whose sacred meaning secured it against change. MS. 2^ 149^ : 
'man seit (saith) von heilawage uns vil^ wie heil, wie guot ez st^ 
wie gar voUekomen der dren spil^ wie gar sin krafb verheilet swaz 
wandes an dem man versdret ist/ how good for healing wounds^ 
etc. Martina 116 : 'Got^ du fröude flüzzic Jieüawac/ and in a 
like sense 248. 288. Applied to Christ and his cross^ Mar. 224 : 
'der boum ist gemeizzen^ d& daz heilwcege von bechumet^ daz aller 
werlte gefrumet/ the tree whence cometh h. And more gener- 
ally, 'ein heilwdge/ Diut. 1, 352; much later^ in Anshelm's 
Chron. of Bern 1, 808, ' heilwag ' among other charms and magic 
appliances. Lastly, in Phil, von Sittewald (Strasb. 1677) 1, 
483 : ' running spring-water, gathered on holy Christmas night, 
while the clock strikes twelve, and named heilwag, is good for 
pain of the navel,' Superst. 804. In this heilaw&c we discover 
a very early mingling of heathen customs with christian. The 
common people believe to this very day, that at 12, or between 
11 and 12, on Christmas or Easter night, spiring -water changes 
into wine (Superst. 54. 792),^ Wieselgren p. 412 ; and this belief 
rests on the supposition that the first manifestation of the 
Saviour's divinity took place at the marriage in Cana, where he 
turned water into wine. Now at Christmas they celebrated both 
his birth (epiphany, theophany, p. 281) and his baptism, and 
combined with these the memory of that miracle, to which was 

/oRtif Dora meduBiei qaem prspetis nngüla rapit/ Ov. Met. 6, 257 seq. Bo the 
vein of gold in a hül is laid open by a blow from a hoof. Bhea opens a spring in 
with her staff: 

iprajr^ffeura Bth. /Uyixp h^^i *^vy 

iK V tx^ef /jjya x^vfia. Gallimach. hy. Jov. 28. 
1 Zehn ehen eines weibes (her ten marriages), Leipz. 1735, p. 235. 



given a special name^ bethphania.^ As far back as 387, Chry- 
sostom preaching an Epipbany sermon at Antioch says that 
people at that festival drew running water at midnight, and kept 
it a whole yea/r, and often two or three (no doubt for tbanmaturgic 
uses), and it remained fresh and nncormpted.' Superstitious 
Christians then believed two things, a hallowing of the water at 
midnight of the day of baptism, and a turning of it into wine 
at the time of the bethphania : such water the Germans called 
heilawa^y^ and ascribed to it a wonderful power of healing diseases 
and wounds, and of never spoiling (see SuppL). 

Possibly even in Syria an old pagan drawing of water became 
veiled under new christian meanings. In Germany other cir- 
cumstances point undisguisedly to a heathen consecration of 
water : it was not to be drawn at midnight, but in the morn- 
ing before minrise, down stream and silently (Superst. 89. 775), 
usually on Easter Sunday (775-6) to which the above explana- 
tions do not so well apply ; this water does not spoil, it restores 
youth, heals eruptions, and makes the young cattle strong.* 
Magic water, serving for unchristian divination, is to be collected 
before sunrise on a Sunday in one glass from three flowing springs; 
and a taper is lighted before the glass, as before a divine being 
(Superst. H. c. 55-57).^ Here I bring in once again the Hessian 

X The first manifestation of Christ was his birth, the second his baptism 
(Candlemas), the third the marriage in Cana : * Tertia apparitio fait postea similiter 
eodem die anno revolnto, cum esset 30 annorom et 18 diernm, sive qnando 
manifestavit se esse Demn per mutatiotifm aquae in vinum, quod fnit primnm 
miraculum apertum, quod Dominus fecit in Cana Galilaeae, Tel simpUciter primam 
quod fecit. Et haeo apparitio dicitnr bethphania a fii/jrw^ qnod est domns, et ^dbw, 
quod est apparitio, quia ista apparitio facta fuit in domo in nuptiis. De his tribua 
apparitionibus fit solemnitas in hac die/ Durantis Bation. div. offio. 6, 16. The 
church consolidated the three mamfestations into one festival. 

^ Tom. 2 (ed. Montfauc, Paris 1718), p. 869 : 6id rot rovro xat fjxvwvKritf Kara 
T^y iofrr^v ra&niv Avavres vSpcvadficpoi oficade tA pdfiara iTorldevTat, Kcd ets inavr^ 
6\6k\t^PW <f>v\drrown. Are Hf iHifupop &yiaa$4vTia¥ rwr (fSdrwy' teal t6 arifuio^ t^ccu 
ivapy^St oi diatpSeipofJkivTis rijs rOnr ifSdrtay iK€iy<av <f>ijc€ias rf fii^K€t toO xP^^'^i ^^ 
els ivtavrby 6\6k\7ipov Kcd ivta Kcd rpla irji rod <r^fUpov dyT\'ri$4rTos djcepaiw teal 
peapov fUiKJtrros, Kcd furd roaovrw XP^^^ ''o* J dprn ruw wriyQif i^/nraffSeurtw ÜBarv 

* And also heilattin f Frauenlob MS. 2, 218^ on the * garden that bears 
heilvAn: Altd. bL 2, 294. 

* Jul. Schmidt's Beichenf. p. 121. At Cassel I have heard bathing in the 
' drusel * water commended as wholesome, but you must draw with the current, not 
against. Probably the right time for it is Walborgis or Midsummer. 

* The rite, like others cited by Hartlieb (who wrote in 1455), may be of dasdo 
origin. In yaarpofuurreia^ i.e. divining by a bellied jar (ydarprf) filled witii water, 
there also occurs the torch and the innocent boy (Hartl/s « ain rain kind '). Potter's 
Antiq., 1, 764. Fabricii Bibliogr. antiq., ed. 8, p. 600. 


custom mentioned at p. 58 : on Easter Monday youths and 
maidens walk to the Hollow Bock in the mountains^ draw water 
from the cool spring in jugs to carry hoine, and throw flowers in 
as an offering. Apparently this water- worship was Celtic like- 
wise; the water of the rock-spring Karnant makes a broken 
sword whols again, but 

da mnost des nrspringes hän 

underm velse^ e in beschin der tac (ere day beshine it). 

Parz. 254^ 6. Tit. 5456. 5732.^ Curious customs shew us in 
what manner young girls in the Pyrenees country tell their own 
fortunes in spring water on May-day morning. 

We need not suppose that the peculiar properties of medicinal 
springs are the point here ; no^ it is the normal efficacy of the 
refreshing, strengthening, re-animating element.» Many places 
in Germany are called Heilbrunn, Heilborn, Heiligenbrunn, from 
the renewing effect of their springs, or the wonderful cures that 
have taken place at them. Heilbronn on the Neckar is called 
Heilacprunno in the oldest documents.' But certain springs and 
wells may have stood in especial repute. Of high renown are 
the ON. Mimisbrunnr and Urffarhrunnr (p. 407), which Sn. 17 
calls ' brunnr miöc heilagr/ A Danish folksong (1, 318) tells of a 
Maribokilde^ by whose clear waters a body hewn in pieces is put to» 
gether again. Swedish lays celebrate Ingemos Icdlla (Vis. 1, 244-5). 
We remember that old Frisian fount of Forseti, 'whence none 
drew water save in silence/ pp. 229, 230 (see Suppl.). Sacrifices 
were offered at such springs. Of the salutary effect of hot and 
chalybeate springs people must have been aware from immemorial 
time^ witness the Aquae Mattiacae in the Boman time and those 

> The hardening and repairing of swords in water (sver^ hefSa, SflBm. 136^) 
VBs certainly believed in by the Germans too. The Yilkinasaga, cap. 40 p. 100, 
says: when dwarf Alberioh had fashioned Nailring, he searched nine kingdoms 
before he found the water in which the sword conld be tempered ; at last he arrived 
at the water Treya^ and there it was tempered. Onr Eckenlied, str. 81, agrees with 
this, bat is still more precise : * dannoch was ez niht vollebrlht, do fnorten'z zwei 
▼fldin getwerc wol durch nian künecrtche, biz daz si k&men zno der Dr&l^ din dfi 
ze Troige rinnet, daz swert daz was so liehtgem&l: si harten* z in der Dr&U^ des 
wait ez also fin ' (dwarfs bring it to the Dräl, that runs by Troige, etc.). Who can 
doubt any longer of real German lays forming the groundwork of the Yilk. saga ? 

' A man bitten l>y an adder will not die, if he can leap over the nearest water 
before the adder does so. Lenz's Sohlangenkunde, p. 208. 

> Böhmer*s Reg. Karolor. nr. 740 (an. 841) ; Eoc. Fr. orient. 2, 893 ; • der 
Necker vliuzet für Heilicbrunnen (flows past Holy- well),' MS. 2, 68^. 



'aquae calidae' near Lnxeuil (p. 83). Wlien the Wetteran 
people beji^n a new jag of chalybeate^ they always spill the first 
drop or two on the ground^ they say ' to clear the dast away/ 
for the jugs stand open, but it may have been once a libation to 
the fountain-sprite.^ Not only medicinal^ but salt springs were 
esteemed holy : ancient accounts of these wül be presented in a 
later chapter. The Mid. Ages cherished the notion of a Jung- 
brunnen:^ whoever bathes in it is both cured of diseases and 
guarded from them ; in it Sauchels shed her shaggy skin, and 
became the beauteous Sigeminne (p. 488-4) ; such a spring has 
sometimes the power even to change the bather^s sex' (see 

In a spring near Nogent men and women bathed on St. 
John's eve (Superst. L. 83); Holberg's comedy of Kilde-reisen 
is founded on the Copenhagen people's practice of pilgriming to 
a neighbouring spring on 8. Hans aften, to heal and invigorate 
themselves in its waters. On Midsummer eve the people of 
Östergötland journeyed according to ancient custom to Lagman's 
bergekälla near Skeninge, and drank of the well (Broocman I, 
187. 2y 676). In many parts of Germany some clear fountain is 

1 Where the Heathens aBcribed the miracxiloTU power of a epring to their wood 
or water sprites, the Christians afterwards transferred it to their saints. I take an 
instance from the Miracula S. Agili, written in the 12th century: MarreUons cores 
were wrought at the brook of St. Agilut. Sed interim qnomndam Tesaniae occnr- 
rere übet, qui in digito Dei neqnaqnam haeo fieri aestimantes, daemoniacae, pro 
nefas, attribnnnt potestati. Cumqne miracula diffiteri neqneunt, id solnm in 
causam calnmniae adsmnunt, qnod in agresti finnt locOf nbi nnllus Dei cultus, ubi 
niiUae sanotomm memoriae. pmdentiam I yerentnr homines snblimi ingenio, 
ne ad Indibrinm mortalium a faunu, nymphis vel tatyrUt ceterisve ruris numinibtu, 
res geratnr ejnsmodi. Nam ut de fabuhs taceam, apnd qnos historiographomm 
veterom sen modemomm legitnr daemones Tisom coecis, mentem amentibns, 
manns debilibns, gressnm olaudicantibns restanrasse? (Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 333.) 
The Swedish people ascribe the healing power of some springs to white snakes. In 
1809 there flocked thousands from H^land and Yestergötland to the wonder-work- 
ing Helsjö, a small lake near Bampegärde ; they said, some children tending cattle 
on the shore had often daring the year seen a beautiful maiden sit on the bank» 
holding a snake in her hand and shewing it to them. It is only every hundredth 
year that this water-maiden with the snake appears (Bexell's Halland 2, 320 ; 3, 
303). Multitudes from Norway and Halland yisited a spring named S. Olafskiäüa^ 
dropt money-offerings in, and carried on other superstition (Ödman^s Bahuslan p. 
169). In christian times healing fountains are believed to spring up near the 
tombs of holy men, Bex. Hall. 3, 69 ; or from under a saint's body, Flodoard. re- 
mens. 2, 3. I think it is with the hot baths at Aix that we must connect the water- 
maiden with whose myth Charles the Great is mixed up, p. 435. 

* Synonymously the OHG. quecprunru), MHG. quecprunne^ Parz. 613, 9. 
Fragm. 18, 267. 

> Conf. the passages quoted in Mns. für altd. lit. 1, 260-3 from MonteviQa, 
from the Titurel and from H. Sachs. 


visited at Whitsuntide, and the water drunk in jugs of a peculiar 
shape. Still more important is Petrarch's description of the 
annual bathing of the women of Cologne in the Bhine : it de- 
serves to be quoted in full/ because it plainly proves that the 
cult prevailed not merely at here and there a spring, but in 
Germany's greatest river. From the Italian's unacquaintance 
with the rite, one might infer that it was foreign to the country 
whence all church ceremonies proceeded, and therefore altogether 
michristian and heathenish. Bat Petrarch may not have had 
a minute knowledge of all the customs of his country ; after his 
time at all events we find even there a lastration on St. John's 
day [described as an ancient custom then dying out] . Benedict 
de Falco's Descrizione de luoghi antiqui di Napoli (Nap. 1580) 
has the statement: ^in una parte populosa dell a citta giace la 
chiesa consegrata a S. Giovan battista, chiamata S. Giovan a 
mare. Era una antica usanza, hoggi non al tutto lasciata, che 
la vigilia di 8. Oiovane, verso la sera e '1 secure del di, tutti 
huomini e donne andare al mare, e nudi lavarsi; persuasi pur- 
garsi de lore peccati, alia focchia degli antichi, che peccando 
andavano al Tevere lavarsi.' And long before Petrarch, in 
Augustine's time, the rite was practised in Libya, and is de- 

1 Franc. Petrarehae De rebtu familiar. epiBtolae, lib. i. ep. 4: Aqnis digressam, 
eed prins, nnde ortnm oppidi nomen patant, aquis bajano more tepentibus ablntum, 
exoepit Agrippina Golonia, quae ad sinistrom Rheni latns sita est, locas et sitn et 
flnmine dams et popolo. Mirmn in terra barbarica quanta oirilitas, qaae orbis 
Gpeeies, quae Tirorum graTitas, quae mnnditiae matronanun. Forte Johannit 
baptistae vigilia erat dum iliac appUcoi, et jam ad oocidentem sol vergebat : con- 
festim amicomm monita (nam et ibi amioos prins mihi fama pepererat qnam 
meritnm) ab hospitio traducor ad flnvium insigne spectaculum visurus. Nee 
fallebar; omnii enim ripa praeclaro et ingenti rruilierum tigmine tegebatur. Ob- 
•tapni, dii boni, quae forma, quae facies, quia habitus 1 amare potuisset quisquis 
eo non praeoccupatum animum attulisset. In loco pauUum altiore constiteram, 
nnde in ea quae gerebantur intenderem. Incredibilis sine offensione ooncursus 
erat, Tioiseimque alacree, pars ?terbit odoriferis incincttiej redtictisque post cubitttm 
manieitt Candidas in gurgite manu» ac brachia Uwabant, nescio quid blandum pere- 
grino murmure eoÜoquenU». [A few lines omitted.] Unum igitur ex eo [amicorum] 
numero admirans et ignarus rerum percunctatus vergiliano illo versiculo : ' Quid 
▼nit coneursas ad amnem, quidve petunt animae ? * responsum accepi : pervetustum 
geniis rittim este^ Tulgo persuasum, praesertim femineo, omnem totiu$ anni ealamita- 
tem imminenUm fluviali iUiut diei abbitione purgari, et deinoeps laetiora snccedere; 
itaqne UutraXionem esse arniuam^ inexhaustoque semper studio oultam colendamque. 
Ad haee ego subridens : * nimium felioes ' inquam * Rheni aocolae, quoniam Hie 
miserias pnrgat, nostras quidem neo PoSau unquam purgare y^uit nee Tiberi». Vos 
Teetra mala Britannia Bheno Tectore transmittitis ; nos nostra Ubenter Afris atque 
lUynis mitteremna, sed nobis (ut intelligi datur) pigriora sunt flumina.' Gommoto 
risot sero tandem inde discessimus. [A few lines omitted.] The letter is of 1880. 
and addressed to Card. Colonna. We find it quoted so early as by Eaisersberg 
(Omeisa 35«}. 

590 ELEMENTS. • 

nonnced by that Father as a relic of paganism : ^ natali Johannis, 
de solemnitate superstitiosa pagana^ Ghristiani ad mare veiiiehant, 
et se baptizabant ' (Opp^ Paris 1683^ torn. 5^ p. 903); and again: 
* ne nllos in festivitate S. Johannis in fontihus aut paludibus ant 
in fluminibus, noctnmis aut matntinis horis se lavare praesnmat, 
quia haec infelix consuetndo adhuc de Paganomm observatione 
remansit' (Append, to torn. 5 p. 462). Generally sanctioned by 
the church it certainly was not^ yet it might be allowed here and 
there^ as a not unapt reminder of the Baptizer in the Jordan, 
and now interpreted of him, though once it had been heathen. 
It might easily come into extensive favour, and that not as a 
christian feast alone : to our heathen forefathers St. John's day 
would mean the festive middle of the year, when the sun turns, 
and there might be many customs connected with it. I confess, 
if Petrarch had witnessed the bathing in the river at some small 
town, I would the sooner take it for a native rite of the ancient 
Germani ; at Cologne, the holy city so renowned for its relics, I 
rather suspect it to be a custom first introduced by christian 
tradition (see Suppl.).^ 

There are lakes and springs whose waters periodically rise and 
fall : from either phenomenon mischief is prognosticated, a death, 
war, approaching dearth. When the reigning prince is about to 
die, the river is supposed to stop in its course, as if to indicate its 
grief (Deut. sag. no. 110) ; if the well runs dry, the head of the 
family will die soon after (no. 103). A spring that either runs 
over or dries up, foreboding dearth, is called himgerquelle, hunger^ 
hrunnen (Staid. 2, 63). Wössingen near Durlach has a hunger- 
brunnen, which is said to flow abundantly when the year is going 
to be unfruitful, and then also the fish it produces are small.^ 

1 In Poland and Silesia, and perhaps in a park of Russia, giris who have OTer* 
slept matin-time on Easter Monday are toused anth water by the lads, and flogged 
'wiüi birch twigs ; they are often palled oat of bed at night, and dragged to a river 
or cistern^ or a trough filled with water, and are dadced. The Silesians call this 
sehmagostem (even Estor^s Oberhess, idiot, has $chmakuttem—^ying the rod at 
Easter); perh. from Pol. smi6. Boh. smyti, so that ^igast woi^d be rinsing 
[SuppL. says, * better from smaga6 to flog 'J . The Poles say both smid and dyngo- 
wa6, dyngns, of the splashing each other with water (conf. Hannsch, p. 197), and 
the time of year seems to be St. John's day as well as Easter. In the Bnsaian gov. 
of Archangel, the people bathe in the river on Jane 28, and sprinkle kap^Unitsa 
(rannnoulas acris), Earamzin 1, 78-4 [the same is also a somame of St. Agripplna, 
on whose day, June 24, river-bathing (kupälnia) oommenoes]. Everywhere a 
beli3f in the sacredness of the Easter-bath and St. John's>bath. 

^ Mone's Anz. 8, 221. 840, who gives a forced and misleading explanation of the 


Sach a hunger-spring there was by Halle on the Saale ; when 
the peasants came up to town, they looked at it, and if it ran 
over, they said : ' this year, things '11 be dear.' The like is told 
of fountains near Rosia in the Siennese, and near Chateandun 
in the Orleanese. As Hunger was personified, it was easy to 
make him meddle with springs. A similar Nombom was noticed, 
p. 405. I insert Dietmar of Merseburg's report (1, 3) of lake 
Glomazi in the Slav parts of the Elbe valley : ' Glomazi ^ est fons 
non plus ab Albi quam duo milliaria positus, qui unam de se 
paludem generans, mira, ut incolae pro vero asserunt oculisque 
approbatum est a multis, saepe operatur. Gum bona pax indigenis 
profutura suumque haec terra non mentitur fructum, tritico et 
avena ac glandine refertus, laetos vicinorum ad se crebro con- 
fluentium efficit animos. Qaando autem saeva belli tempestas 
ingruerit, smiguine et cinere certum futuri exitus indicium prae- 
monstrat. Huno omnis incola plus quam ecclesias, spe quamvis 
dubia, veneratur et timet.* ^ But apart from particular fountains, 
by a mere gauging of water a season of dearth or plenty, an 
increase or decrease of wealth may be divined, according as the 
water poured into a vessel rises or falls (Superst. F, 43 ; and no. 
958 in Praetor's Saturnalien p. 407). This looks to me like a 
custom of high antiquity. Saxo Gram. p. 820 says, the image of 
the god Svantovit in Bügen held in its right hand a horn : ' quod 
sacerdos sacrorum ejus peritus annuatim mero perfundere con- 
saeverat, ex ipso liquoris habitu sequentis anni copious prospecturus, 
. . . Postero die, populo prae foribns excubante, detractum 
simulacro poculum curiosius speculatus, si quid ex inditi liquoris 
mensura substractum fuisset, ad sequentis anni inopiam pertinere 
putabat. Si nihil ex consuetae foecunditatis habitu diminutum 
vidisset, Ventura agroiTLm ubertatis tempera praedicabat.' The 
wine was emptied out, and water poured into the horn (see Soppl.) . 

word. Another name is tehändlebach (beck that brings shame, oonfasion) : snch a 
one was pointed out to me on the plain near Gassel, and Simplioiss. 6, 14 mentions 
the »chändlihach by Obemeheim, which only runs when misfortmie befalls the land. 
rSr PPL. adds the MHG. ichantbach, Weisth. 1, 760, and * der tehanden bechelin,* 
Frauenlob p. 186]. So, when the Lutterbom by Herbershansen (Helperhusen) 
near Oöttingen runs, it is a dear season ; but when the spider builds in Helperhouse 
mill, and the swallow in the millwheel, the times are good. 

* Al. ' Glomazi, Zlumici ' ; now the Lommatsch district. 

' Capital, an. 794 (Pertz 8, 74) : * experimento didicimns, in anno quo ilia 
Talida famis irrepsit, ehullire vacaas annonas (empty ears), adaemonibue deyoratas.' 


Whirlpools and waterfalls were doubtless held in special vene- 
ration j they were thought to be put in motion by a superior 
beings a river-sprite. The Danube whirlpool and others still 
have separate legends of their own. Plutarch (in his Csesar, 
cap. 19) and Clement of Alex. (Stromat. 1^ 805) assure us that 
the German prophetesses watched the eddies of rivers, and by 
their whirl and noise explored the future. The Norse name for 
such a vortex is fors, Dan./o«, and the Isl. sog. 1, 226 expressly 
say, *blöta"8i forsin (worshipped the f.).' The legend of the 
river-sprite fossegrim was touched upon^ p. 493 ; and in such a 
fors dwelt the dwarf Andvari (Ssom. 180. Fornald. sog. 1^ 152). 
But animal sacrifices seem to have been specially due to the 
whirlpool (SZi/09), as the black lamb (or goat) to the fossegrim; 
and the pckssages quoted from Agathias on pp. 47, 100, about the 
Alamanns offering horses to the rivers and ravines, are to the 
same purpose. The lUad 21, 131 says of the Skamander : 

^ B^ BffOä TToXeZ? l€p€V€T€ Tavpov^t 

^a)0V9 8' iv Bivrjat xaOiere fidmrxa^ ittttov^* 

(Lo, to the river this long time many a bull have ye hallowed, 
Many a whole-hoofed horse have ye dropped alive in his eddies) ; 
and Fausan. viii. 7, 2 : to Be apyaiov KaOUaav i^ rtfv Aeivt^v 
(a water in Argolis, conn, with BHvosi) t^J IIoaetB&vt ?7nrov9 oi 
Apyelov KeKoafiivov^ 'x^aXivoi^. Horace, Od. 3, 13: O fons 
Bandusiae, non sine floribus eras donaberis haedo (see Suppl.). 

It is pretty well known, that even before the introduction of 
Christianity or christian baptism, the heathen Norsemen had a 
hallowing of new-born infants by means of water ; they called 
this vatni ausa, sprinkling with water. Very likely the same 
ceremony was practised by all other Teutons, and they may have 
ascribed a peculiar virtue to the water used in it, as Christians do 
to baptismal water (Superst. Swed. 116). After a christening, 
the Esthonians will bribe the clerk to let them have the water, 
and then spUish it up against the walls, to secure honours and 
dignities for the child (Superst. M, 47). 

It was a practice widely prevalent to turn to strange supersti- 
tious uses the water of the millwheel caught as it glanced off the 
paddles. Old Hartlieb mentions it (Superst. H, c. 60), and vulgar 
opinion approves it still (Sap. I, 471. 766). The Servians call 


such water omaya, rebound, from omannti^ omakhonti, to rebound. 
Vuk, under the word, observes that women go early on St. 
George's day (Apr. 28), to catch it, especially off a small brook- 
mill (kashitchara), and bathe in it. Some carry it home the 
evening before, and sprinkle it with all manner of broken greens : 
they think all evil and harm will then glwnce off their bodies like 
tlie water off the millwheel (Vuk sub v. Jurjev dan). Similar, 
though exactly the reverse, is the warning not to flirt the water 
off your hands after washing in the morning, else you flirt away 
your luck for the day (Sup. I, 21). 

Not only brooks and rivers (p. 585), but rain^ also was in the 
childlike faith of antiquity supposed to be let fall out of bowls by 
gods of the sky; and riding witches are still believed to carry 
pitchers, out of which they pour storm and hau upon the plains, 
instead of the rain or dew that trickled down before. ^ 

When the heavens were shut, and the fields languished in 
droDght, the granting of rain depended in the first instance on a 
deity, on Donar, or Mary and Elias, who were supplicated accord- 
ingly (pp. 173-6).* But in addition to that, a special charm 
was resorted to, which infallibly procured ' rainwater,' and in a 
measure compelled the gods to grant it. A little girl, completely 
undressed and led outside the town, had to dig up henbane (bilsen- 
kraut, 0H6. pilisa, hyoscyamus) with the little finger of her 
right hand, and tie it to the little toe of her right foot ; she was 
then solemnly conducted by the other maidens to the nearest 
river, and splashed with water. This ceremony, reported by 
Bnrchard of Worms (Sup. 0, 201^*) and therefore perhaps still in 
use on the Ehine or in Hesse in the 11th cent., comes to us with 
the more weight, as, with characteristic differences which put all 
direct borrowing out of the question, it is still in force among 
Servians and Mod. Greeks. Vuk, under the word 'dodole,* 
describes the Servian custom. A girl, called the dodola, is stript 
naked, but so wrapt up in grass, herbs and flx>wers, that nothing of 

* The PeravianB believe in a rain-goddess, who Bits in the clouds with a pitcher 
of water, ready to poor it out at the right time ; if she delays, her brother with 
thnnder and Ughtmng smites the pitcher in pieces. Garcilaso de la Vega's Histt. 
Incarnm pemanorum 11, 27 ; oonf. Talvj's Characteiistik der Volkslieder, p. 126. 

* I will here add, from Anton's GoU. on the Slavs, the substance of a Walla- 
ehian song, which the children sing when the com is endangered by drought : 
* Papaluga (father Luga), climb into heaven, open its doors, and send down rain 
from iü>0Te, that well the rye may grow I ' 


her person is to be seen, not even the face.^ Escorted by other 
maidens^ dodola passes from house to house^ before each house 
they form a ring^ she standing in the middle and dancing alone. 
The goodwife comes out and empties a buchet of water over the 
girl, who keeps dancing and whirling all the while ; her com- 
panions sing songs, repeating after every line the burden ' oy 
dodo, oy dodo le I* The second of these rain-hymns (piesme 
dodolske) in Vuk's Coll. nos. 86-88 (184-8 of ed. 2) runs 

To God doth our doda call, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

That dewy rain may fall, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

And drench the diggers all, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

The workers great and small, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

Even those in house and stall, oy dodo oy dodo le ! 

And they are sure that rain will come at once. In Greece, when 
it has not rained for a fortnight or three weeks, the inhabitants 
of villages and small towns do as follows. The children choose 
one of themselves who is from eight to ten years old, usually a 
poor orphan, whom they strip naked and deck from head to foot 
with field herbs and fixywers : this child is called irvpirqpovva. The 
others lead her round the village, singing a hymn, and every 
housewife has to throw a pailful of water aver the pyrperuna's 
heady and hand the children a para {{ of a farthing). The Mod. 
Greek hymn is in Theod. Kind's rpay&Bca rfj^ via^ ^EXKdBo^, 
Leipz. 1833, p. 13. Passow, nos. 311-3, p. 627. Neither Greek 
nor Slavic will explain why the rain-girl should be called dodola 
(caressingly doda) and irvpirqpovva* * Burchard very likely could 
have given us a German designation equally inscrutable. But the 
meaning of the performance is clear : as the water from the 
bucket on the dodola, so is rain out of heaven to stream down on 
the earth ; it is the inystic and genuinely symbolic association of 
means with end. Just so the rebound off the mill wheel was to 
send evil flying, and the lustration in the stream to wash away all 

^ Is this covering merely to protect the maiden's modesty, or has it some 
fmiher reason ? We shall see that personations of spring and summer were in like 
manner enveloped in foliage. 

^ Kind, pp. 86-7, gives some variant forms, but all the explanations appear to 
me farfetched. Both the Greek and the Servian names have the reduplication so 
characteristic of folk-words. [Slav, dozhd is rain, and zhd represents either gd or 
dd ; if this be the root, dodo-la may be a dimin.] 


fatnre illnesses. Celtic tradition, without bringing in girl or 
child, makes the pouring out of water in seasons of great drought 
evoke the wished-for rain. The huntsmen go to the fountain of 
Barenton in the forest of Breziliande, scoop up the water in their 
horns, and spill it on the stones ; immediately the rain-clouds rise 
and refresh the land. ^ The custom, with an addition of church 
ceremonial, is kept up to this day. Led by the clergy, amid 
chanting and pealing of bells, with five great banners borne in 
front, the parish walks in procession to the spring, and the head 
of the commune dips his foot crosswise in the fountain of Bar- 
enton ; they are then sure of its raining before the procession 
arrives home again.' The mayor's foot alone is wetted instead of 
the child, or a little water only is poured out as a beginning of 
that which is to fall in masses from the sky. The scanty offering 
brings the great bounty to our door. In Spain, when hot weather 
lasts long, an image of the Virgin arrayed in mourning (imagen 
cubierta de luto) is solemnly escorted through the villages, to 
obtain the blessing of rain,* as in the Liege procession (pp. 174- 5), 
with which again that described by Petronius agrees (p. 175) ; 
only here the symbolic libation is left out. But of those herbs 
that were tied round the child, some most likely were of magic 
power j such a use of henbane is otherwise unknown to me. 
Lastly, the Bavarian waterbi/rd seems identical with dodola and 
pyrperuna. The man who is the last to drive out on Whitmonday * 
is led by the other workmen into the nearest wood, and tied 
round and round with leaves and twigs or rushes; then they ride in 
triumph through the village, and* everybody that has young legs 
follows the procession to the pond or brook, where the waterbird 
is solemnly tumbled off his horse into the water (Schm. 1, 320). 
In Austria too the village lads elect a Whitsun king, dress him 
up in green houghs, blacken his face and pitch him into the brook 
(Denis, Lesefr. 1, 130). In these two cases the 'votis vocare 

1 Boman de Bon, v. 11514 (the passage extracted in the notes to Iwein, pp. 

' Bevne de Paris, tome 41, pp. 47-58. Villemar adds, that children throw 
pins into the fountain, while they call out : * ris done, fontaine de Berendon, et ie 
te donnerai une 6pingle 1 * and the fay of the fountain is supposed to be made 
friendly by the gift. Gonf. * libamina lacni exhibere', p. 596. 

s Don Qnixote 1, 52 (Ideler 2, 435). And in other places it was the custom 1». 
time of drought, to carry the bodies of saints about, Flodoard. rem. 4, 41. 

* As the girl who oversleeps herself on Easter morning is ducked (p. 590). 


imbrem ' lias dropt oat altogether^ and been replaced by a mere 
Whitsun drollery at the cost of the laziest man ; ^ but I have 
little donbt that the same purpose lies at the bottom of the 
custom (see SappL). 

Of goddesses^ no doubt the bath-loving Nerthiia and Holda 
are the most nearly connected with water- worship (Holda lives in 
wells^ pp. 268^ 487) ; and to them must be added swan-maidens, 
merminnes (p. 433), water-holdes, spring-holdes (p. 268), water- 
mahmes and nixies. To all of them particular rivers, brooks, 
pools and springs can be consecrated and assigned as their 
abode; Oegir (p. 237) and Ban (pp. 311, 497) ruled in the sea, 
and the waves are called their daughters : all this gives a new 
stamp to the veneration of the element. Of this very natural, 
but not essential, combination of simple rude water-worship with 
a faith in higher beings, I will give a few more specimens. 

As those who cross a river by ferry or by bridge have to dread 
the power of the daemon that dwells in it (p. 497), so vulgar 
opinion in Sweden (Sup. K, 40) holds it advisable, in crossing 
any water in the dark, to spit three times, as a safeguard against 
evil influences.' Precautions are also taken in drawing water from 
a well : before drawing any, the Greeks at Mykono salute three 
times in honour of Teloni (fountain-sprite).' For a thief to throw 
in the water a little of what he has stolen (Sup. I, 836), means 
sacrificing to the water-sprite. The Vita S. Sulpicii Bitnrig. 
(died 644) relates (Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 172): 'gurges quidam 
erat in Yirisionensium situs agello (Yierzon, in Biturigibus) 
aquarum mole copiosas, utpote daemonibus consecratiis ; et si 
aliquis cansa qualibet ingrederetur eundem, repente ßinäms 
daemoniacis circumplexus amittebat crudeliter vitam.' A more 
decisive testimony to the worship of water itself is what Gregory 
of Tours tells of a lake on Mt. Helanus (De gloria confess., 
cap. 2) : ' Mons erat in Gabalitano territorio (Gevaudan) cogno- 
mento Helanus, lacum habens magnum. Ad quern certo tem- 
pore multitude rusticorum, qiuufi libamina lacui iUi exhibens, 

' 8np. I, 842 : the lazy maid, on carrying home her first grass, is docked or 
splashed, to prevent her going to sleep over grass-catting. 

' The spirits cannot abide tpittttig {f, 614). 

* Villoison in Maltebnm, Annales de voy. 2, 180« Artemidoras's Oneirocrit. 
2. 27 (Beiff 1, 189) admits weU-nymphs : rtf/A^ re ydp ttffiM h rf ippiaru Faoriel : 
t6 ffrocxei^ rod wcra^ioO* 


linteamina projiciebat ao pannos qui ad üsnm vestimenti virilis 
praebentnr: nonnulli lanae vellera, plarimi etiam formas casei^ 
ac cerae vel panis^ diyersasque species unnsquisqae juxta yires 
suas, quae dinnmerare perlongam puto. Yeniebant autem cum 
plaustria potuxn cibümque deferentes^ madanies animalia et per 
triduum epulantes. Quarta autem die cum discedere deberent, 
anticipabat eos tempestas cam tonitruo et coruscatioue valida ; et 
in tautum imber ingens cum lapidum violentia descendebat^ ut 
vix se quisquam eorum putaret eyadere. Sic fiebat per eingulos 
annos, et involvebatur insipiens populus in errore/— No god or 
spirit shews his face here^ the yearly Sacrifice is offered to the 
lake itself^ and the feast winds up with the coming tempest, 
Geryase of Tilbury (in Leibnitz 1^ 982) tells of a lake on Mt. 
Cayagum in Catalonia: 'in cujus summitate locus est aquam 
continens subnigram et in fundo imperscrutabilem. lUic mansio 
fertur esse daetnonum ad modum palatii dilatata et janua clausa ; 
facies tarnen ipsins mansionis sicut ipsoram daemonum yul- 
garibns est incognita ac inyisibilis. In lacum si quis aliqaam 
lapideam aut aliam solidam projecerit materiam^ statim tcmquam 
offtmns dctemonihtis tempestas erumpit,'^ Then comes the story 
of a girl who is carried off by the watersprites^ and kept in the 
lake seyen years. 

Lakes cannot endure to haye their depth gauged. On the 
Mummelsee, when the sounders had let down all the cord out of 
nine nets with a plummet without finding a bottom^ suddenly the 
raft they were on began to sink^ and they had to seek safety in a 
rapid flight to land (Simplic. 5^ 10). A man went in a boat to 
the middle of the Titisee, and payed out no end of line after the 
plummet^ when there came out of the wayes a terrible cry: 
' Measure me^ and I'll eat you up ! ' In a great fright the man 
desisted from his enterprise^ and since then no one has dared 

> Fomuiges, whence fromages. 

t ThiB raising of a storm by throwing iUmei into a luke or wellhead is a Ten- 
tonio, a Celtic and a Finnish superstition, as the examples quoted shew. The 
vaterapriie avenges the desecration of his holy stream. Under this head come the 
Btories of the Mummelsee (Deut sag. no. 59. Simplic. 5, 9), of the Pilatussee 
(Lothar's Yolkssag. 232. Dobenek 2, 118. Gutslafl p. 288. Mone*s Anz. 4, 423), 
of L. Gamarina in Bicily (Camarinam movere), and above all, of Berenton weU in 
Breziliande forest, Iwein 553-672, where however it is the well-water poured on the 
well-rock that stirs up the storm : conf . supra, p. 594, and the place in Pontus men- 
tioned by Beoeke, p. 269. The lapis manalis tiso oonjuied up rain, 0. Müller's £tr. 


to sound the depth of the lake (Moneys Anz. 8, 536). There is 
a similar storj in Thiele 3^ 73^ about Huntsöe^ that some people 
tried to fathom its depth with a ploughshare tied to the line, 
and from below came the sound of a spirit- voice : ' i maale vore 
vägge, vi skal maale jeres lagge ! ' Full of terror they hauled 
up the line, but instead of the share found an old horse's skull 
fastened to it.^ 

It is the custom in Esthonia for a newly married wife to drop a 
present into the well of the house ; it is a nationality that seems 
particularly given to worshipping water. There is a detailed 
account of the holy WöMicmda, a rivulet of Livonia. It rises 
near Ilmegerve, a village of Odenpä district in Esthonia, and 
after its junction with the Medda, falls into L. Peipus. The 
source is in a sacred grove, within whose bounds no one dares to 
cut a tree or break a twig : whoever does it is sure to die that 
year. Both brook and fountain are kept clean, and are put to 
rights once a year; if anything is thrown into the spring or 
the little lake through which it flows, the weather turns to storm 
(see Suppl.). 

Now in 1641 Hans Ohm of Sommerpahl, a large landowner 
who had come into the country in the wake of the Swedes, built 
a mill on the brook, and when bad harvests followed for several 
years, the Ehsts laid it all to the desecration of the holy stream, 
who allowed no obstructions in his path ; they fell upon the mill, 
burnt it down, and destroyed the piles in the water. Ohm went 
to law, and obtained a verdict against the peasants ; but to 
rid himself of new and grievous persecutions, he induced pastor 
Gutslaff, another German, to write a treatise^ specially com- 
bating this superstition. Doubtless we learn from it only the 
odious features of the heathenish cult. To the question, how 
good or bad weather could depend on springs, brooks and lakes, 
the Ehsts replied : ' it is our ancient faith, the men of old have 
so taught us (p. 25, 258); mills have been burnt down on this 

* The people about L. Baikal believe it has no bottom. A priest, who could 
dive to any depth, tried it, but was so frightened by the 16s (dragons, sea-monsters), 
that, if I remember rightly, he died raving mad.— Tbans. 

' A short account of the holy brook (falsely so called) Wöhhanda in Liefland, 

whereby the ungodly burning of Sommerpahl miU came to pass. Given from 

Christian zeal against unchristian and heathenish superstition, by Joh. GuUlaff 

Pomer. pastor at Urbs in Liefland. Dorpt 1644 (8vo, 407 pp. without the DedicJ 

and Pref.). An extract in Eellgren (Suomi 9, 72-92). 


brook before now (p. 278), he will stand no crowding/ The Esth. 
Dame is ' pöha yögge/ the Lettic ' shv^ti ubbe/ i.e. holy brook. 
By means of it they conld regalate the weather, and when they 
wanted rain, they had only to throw something in (p. 25). Once, 
when three oxen were drowned in the lake, there followed snow 
and frost (p. 26). At times there came np out of the brook a carl 
wiih blue and yellow stockings : evidently the spirit of the brook. 
Another Esthonian story is about L. Mm changing his bed. 
On his banks lived wild and wicked men, who never mowed the 
meadows that he watered, nor sowed the fields he fertilized, but 
robbed and murdered, so that his bright wave was befouled with 
the blood of the slain. And the lake mourned ; and one evening 
he called his fish together, and mounted with them into the 
air. The brigands hearing a din cried : ^ the Eim has left his 
bed, let us collect his fish and hidden treasure.*^ But the fish 
were gone, and nothing was found at the bottom but snakes, 
toads and salamanders, which came creeping out and lodged with 
the ruffian brood. But the Eim rose higher and higher, and 
swept like a white cloud through the air ; said the hunters in the 
woods : 'what is this murky weather passing over us ? ' and the 
herdsmen : 'what white swan is fiying in the sky f ' All night 
he hung among the stars, at mom the reapers spied him, how 
that he was sinking, and the white swan became as a white ship, 
and the ship as a dark drifting cloud. And out of the waters 
came a voice: 'get thee hence with thy harvest, I come to dwell 
with thee.* Then they bade him welcome, if he would bedew their 
fields and meadows, and he sank down and stretched himself in 
his new conch. They set his bed in order, built dikes, and planted 
young trees around to cool his face. Their fields he made fertile, 
their meadows green ; and they danced around him, so that old 
men grew young for joy.* 

1 Fr. Thiersch in Taschenbaoh für liebe and frenndiBohaft 1809, p. 179. Mast 
not Eim be the same as Enibaeh (mother-beck, fr. emma mother, conf . dim mother- 
in-law) near Dorpat, whose origin is reported as follows ? When God had created 
heaven and earth, he wished to bestow on the beasts a king, to keep them in 
order, and commanded them to dig for his reception a deep broad beck, on 
whose banks he might walk ; the earth dng ont of it was to make a hill for the 
king to live on. All the beasts set to work, the haze measnred the land, the fox's 
bmsh trailing after him marked the coarse of the stream ; when they had finished 
hollowing oat the bed, €k>d poared water into it oat of his golden bowl (Yerhandl. 
der ecthn. geselischaft, Dorpat 18i0. 1, 40-42). The two stories differ as to the 
manner of preparing the new bed. 



The Greeks and Bomans personified their rivers into male 
beings ; a bearded old man pours the flowing spring out of his 
nm (pp. 585. 593). Homer finely pictures the elemental strife 
between water and fire in the battle of the Skamiander with 
HephsBstus : the river is a god^ and is called ava^, Od. 5^ 445. 
451. The Indian Ganges too is an august deity. Smaller 
streams and fountains had nymphs set over them.' In oar 
language^ most of the rivers' names are feminine (Gramm. 3^ 
384-6), there mast therefore have been female watersprites. 
Twelve or eighteen streams are specified by name in Ssem. 43^. 
Sn. 4, I single out Leiptr, by whose clear water, as by Styx or 
Acheron, oaths were sworn. Ssem. 165*: 'at eno liosa Leiptrar 
vatni.^ A daemon of the Bhine is nowhere named in our native 
traditions, bat the Edda calls the Bin (fem.) svinn, äskanna 
(prudens, a diis oriunda, Ssem. 248*). And in the bosom of the 
Ehine lie treasure and gold. The Goths buried their beloved 
king Alane in the bed of a river near Consentia (Cosenza), which 
they first dag out of its course, and then led back over the 
corpse (Jemandes, cap. 30) ; the Franks, when crossing a river, 
ofiered sacrifice to it (p. 45). 

Bat where the sacred water of a river sweeps round a piece 
of meadow land, and forms an ea (aue), such a spot is specially 
marked out for tiie residence of gods ; witness Wunsches ouwe 
(p. 140), Pholes ouwa {p. 225).* Equally venerable were islands 
washed by th^ pure sea wave, Fosetesland (p. 230), and the island 
ofNerthus (p. 251). 

In the sea itself dwelt Oegir (p. 237) and R&n (p. 311), and the 
waves are their daughters : the Edda speaks of nifie waves, and 
gives their names (Sn. 124, conf. the riddles in the Hervararsaga, 
pp. 478-9) ; this reminds me of the nona unda in the Waltharius 
1343, and the 'flactus decamanus^ [every tenth wave being the 
biggest, Festas, and Ov. Trist, i. 2, 50] . There must also have 
been another god of the sea, Geban (p. 239, conf. p. 311), Then, 

^ The Bomans appear to have much elaborated their coitus of rivers and 
brooks, as may be seen by the great number of monuments erected to river-gods. I 
will here add the testimony of Tacitus, him, 1, 79 : * sacra et lucos et aras jMitriw 
amnilnu dicare.* 

^ Gallus Ohem's Chronik von Reichenau (end of 15th cent.) quoted in Schön- 
huth's Beichenau, Freib. 1836, p. v. : * the isle is to this day esteemed honaurabU 
And holy ; unohristened babes are not buried in it, but carried out and laid beside a 
small house with a saint's image in it, called the ohindli-bild. 


according to the Edda^ there lies in the deep sea an enormous 
'worm,' mi'SgarSs-ormr, biting his own tail and begirding the 
whole earth. The immensity of ocean (Goth, marisdivs) is ex- 
pressed in the OHG. names endilmeri and wendilmeri (GrafiE 2, 
829) ; conf. enteo and wenteo (p. 564), entil and wentil (p. 375). 
An AS. term garsecg I have tried to explain in Zeitschr. für d. a. 
1, 578. As the running stream will suffer no evil-doer in it, so 
is 'daz mer so reine, daz ez keine bösheit mac geliden,' so clean 
that it no wickedness can bear, Wiener merfart 392 (see Snppl.). 

2. FiBE. 

Fire,^ like water, is regarded as a limng being : corresponding 
to quecprunno (p. 588 n.) we have a quecfiur, daz quecke fiwer, 
Parz. 71, 13 ; Serv. vatra zhiva, ogan zhivi (vivus, Vuk 1, xlvi. 
and 3, 8. 20) ; to nrvp 07)piov ifiy^vxov of the Egyptians, Herod. 3, 
16; ignis animal, Cic. de N. D. 3, 14, i.e. a devouring hungry 
insatiable beast, vorax flamma; frekr (avidus), Ssdxn. 50^; bitar 
fiur, Hel. 78, 22 ; bitar logna 79, 20; gr&dag logna (greedy lowe), 
130, 23; grim endi gradag 133, 11; eld unfuodi (insatiabilis) 78, 
23 ; it licks with its tongue, eats all round it, pastures, vi/Merai, 
11. 23, 177; the land gets eaten clean by it,7rvpl 'xßoDv vifierai, 
2, 780; 'leztu eld eta iöfra bygdir, Srom. 142*; it is restless, 
axdfjMTov nrvp, II. 23, 52. To be spoken to is a mark of living 
things: 'heitr ertu hripu^Sr!' (hot art thou. Fire), Sssm. 40*. 
The ancient Persians made a god of it, and the Indian Agni 
(ignis) is looked upon as a god. The Edda makes fire a brotlier 
of the wind and sea, therefore himself alive and a god, Sn. 126. 
Our people compare the element to a cock flying from house to 
house : ' I'll set the red cock on your roof is a threat of the incen- 
diary ; ' ein roten hau aufs stadel setzen,' H. Sachs iv. 3, 86** ; 
roter schin, Gudr. 786, 2. 

An antique heathen designation of the great World-fire, ON. 
muspell, OHG. OS. muspilli, mudspelli, mutspelU, has already 
been noticed, p. 558. The mythic allusions here involved can 
3nly be unfolded in the sequel ; the meaning of the word seems 
to be ligni perditor, as fire in general is also called hani viffar, 

' Names for it, Gramm. 8, 852 ; Eddie names, Seem. 50^, Sn. 187-8. 


grand vi&a/r (bane, crusher, of wood), Sn. 126, her alls vi9ar, 
Sasm. 228^. Another difficult expression is eihin fur, Saem. 83^. 
Of vafrlogi (quivering flame), suggesting the MH6. ' daz bibende 
fiwer^ (Tund. 54, 58), I likewise forbear to speak; conf. Chap. 
XXXI., Will o* the wisp (see Suppl.). 

A regular worship of fire seems to have had a more limited 
range than the veneration of water ; it is only in that passage of 
the AS. prohibitions quoted p. 102, and in no other, that I find 
mention of fire. A part of the reverence accorded to it is no 
doubt included in that of the light- giving and warming tnin, as 
Julius Caesar (p. 103 above) names Sol and Vulcanus together; 
and the Edda fire and sun, praising them, both as supreme : 
' eldr er beztr med ^ta sonum, ok solar s^,* fire is best for men^ 
Saem. 18^ (as Pindar says water is). In Superst. B, 17, I under- 
stand ' observatio pagana in foco * of the flame on the hearth or in 
the oven : where a hearth-fire bums, no lightning strikes (Sup. I, 
126) ; when it crackles, there will be strife (322. 534). Compare 
with this the Norwegian exposition (p. 242) ; so long as a child 
is unbaptized, you must not let tlie fire out (Sup. Swed. 22), conf. 
Icasta eld, tagi i elden (24-5. 54. 68. 107). — The Esthonians 
throw gifts into fire, as well as into water (Sup. M, 11) ; to 
pacify the flame, they sacrifice a fowl to it (82). 

A distinction seems to have been made between friendly and 
malignant fires ; among the former the Greeks reckoned brimstone 
fire, as they call sulphur Oeiov, divine smoke (H. 8, 135. Od. 22, 
481. 493). In 0. Fr. poems I often find such forms of cursing 
as : mal feu arde ! Tristr. 3791 ; mav^ feus et male flamhe 
m'arde ! Meon 3, 227. 297. Ren. 19998. This evil fire is what 
the Norse Loki represents ; and as Loki or the devil breaks loose, 
we say, when a fire begins, that it breaks loose, breaks out, gets out, 
as if from chains and prison : ' worde vür los,' Doc. in Sartorius's 
Hanse p. 27 ; in Lower Germany an alarm of fire was given in the 
words ' für los 1 ' ON. ' einn neisti (spark) warS laus.' 

Forms of exorcism treat fire as a hostile higher being, whom 
one must encounter with might and main. Tacitus (Ann. 13, 57) 
tells us how the Ubii suppressed a fire that broke out of the ground : 
Besidentibus flammis propius suggressi, ictu fustium aliisque 
verberibus ut feras (see p. 601) absterrebant, postremo tegmina 
corpore direpta injiciunt, quanto magis profana et usu polluta, 


tanto magis oppressara ignes. So^ on valuables that have canght 
fire, people throw some article of clothing that has been worn 
next the skin, or else earth which has first been stamped on with 
the foot, Bapertns Tuitiensis, De incendio oppidi Taitii (i.e. Deatz, 
ia 1128), relates that a white altar-cloth (corporale) was thrust 
into the middle of the fire, to stifle it, but the flame hurled bach 
the cloth. The cloth remained uuinjured, but had a red streak 
running through it. Similar to this was the casting of clothes 
into the lake (p. 596-7). Fire breaking out of the earth (iarJS- 
eldr) is mentioned several times in Icelandic sagas : in the even- 
ing you see a great horrible man rowing to land in an iron boat, 
and digging under the stable door ; in the night earth-fire breaks 
out there, and consumes every dwelling, Landn. 2, 5 ; ' iarSeldr 
rann ofan,' 4, 12 (see Suppl.). 

Nekdfire. — Flame which had been kept some time among 
men and been propagated from one fire to another, was thought 
anserviceable for sacred uses ; as holy water had to be drawn 
fresh from the spring, so it made all the difference, if instead of 
the profaned and as it were worn out flame, a new one were used. 
This was called wild fire, as opposed to the tame and domesti- 
cated. So heroes when they fought, 'des fiurs ftz den ringen 
(harness) hiuwen si genuoc,' Nib. 2215, 1 ; Az ir helmen daz 
wUde fiwer von den siegen vuor entwer,' Alt. bl. 1, 339; 'daz 
fiur wilde wadlende drAze vluoc,' Lanz. 5306 ; ' si sluogen üf ein- 
ander, daz toilde fiur erschien,' Etzels hofh. 168 (see Suppl.). 
Fire struck or scraped out of stone might indeed have every 
claim to be called a fresh one, but either that method seemed 
too common (flammam concussis ex more lapidibus elicere. Vita 
Severini cap. 14), or its generation out of wood was regarded as 
more primitive and hallowed. If by accident such wild fire have 
arisen under the carpenter's hand in driving a nail into the mor- 
tised timbers of a new house, it is ominous of danger (Superst. I, 
411. 500. 707). But for the most part there was a formal kindling 
of flame by the rubbing of wood, for which the name known from 
the oldest times was notfeuer (need fire), and its ritual can with 
scarce a doubt be traced back to heathen sacrifices. 

So far back as in the Indiculus supers tit. 15, we have mention 
' de ignefiicato de ligno, id est nodfyr*; the Capitulare Carlomani 


of 742 § 5 (Pertz 3^ 17) forbids ' illos sacrilegos ignes qnos nied- 
fyr vocant.^ 

The preparation of needfire . is variously described : I think 
it worth the while to bring all such accounts together in this 
place. Lindenbrog in the Glossary to the Capitularies says : 
' Busticani homines in multis Germaniae locis, et festo quidem 
S. Johannis Baptistae die^ palum sepi extrahunt, extracto funenn 
circumligant, illumque hue illuc diwunt, donee ignem concipiai : 
quern stipula lignisque aridioribus aggestis curate fovent, ac 
cineres coUectos supra olera spargunt^ hoc medio erucas abigi 
posse inani superstitione credentes. Earn ergo ignem nodfeur et 
nodfyr, quasi necessarium ignem, vocant/ — Joh. Beiskius,* in Un- 
tersuchung des notfeuers^ Frankf. and Leipz. 1696^ 8. p. 51 : 
^If at any time a grievous murrain have broke out among 
cattle great or small^ and they have suffered much harm 
thereby ; the husbandmen with one consent make a nothfur 
or nothfeuer. On a day appointed there must in no house he 
ani/ j^a9n6 left on the hearth. From every house shall be some 
straw and water and bushwood brought ; then is a stout oaken 
stake driven fast into the ground, and a hole bored through the 
same^ to the which a wooden roller well smeared with pitch and 
tar is let in, and so winded about, until by reason of the great 
heat and stress (nothzwang) it give out fire. This is straightway 
catched on shavings, and by straw, heath and bushwood enlarged, 
till it grow to a full nothfeuer, yet must it stretch a little way 
along betwixt two walls or hedges, and the cattle and thereto the 
horses be with sticks and whips driven through it three times or 
two. Others in other parts set up two such stakes^ and stuff into 
the holes a windle or roller and therewith old rags smeared with 
grease. Others use a hairen or common light- spun rope, collect 
wood of nine kinds, and keep up a violent motion till such time as 
fire do drop therefrom. There may be in use yet other ways for 
the generating or kindling of this fire, nevertheless they all have 
respect unto the healing of cattle alone. After thrice or twice 
passing through, the cattle are driven to stall or field, and the 

1 Tgnorant scribes made it metfratres, the Capitnlaria spiiria Benedicti 1, 3 
(Pertz iv. 2, 46) have nedfratres. 

' Rector of Wolfenbtittel school, v. Gericke's Sdhottelins illnstratns, Ldpz. 
1718, p. 66. Eccard's Fr. or. 1, 425. 


collected pile of wood is again palled asunder^ yet in Bach wise in 
sundry places^ that every householder shall take a brand with him^, 
quench it in the wash or swill tab^ and pat the same by for a 
time in the crib wherein the cattle are fed. The stakes driven in 
for the extorting of this fire, and the wood used for a roller, are 
sometimes carried away for fijel, sometimes laid by in safety, when 
the threefold chasing of the cattle through the flame hath been 
accomplished/ — In the Marburg Records of Inquiry, for 1605, it 
is ordered, that a new cartwlieel with an unused axle be taken 
and worked round until it give fire, and with this a fire be 
lighted between the gates, and all the oxen driven through it f but 
before the fire bo kindled, every citizen shall put his own fire clean 
out, and afterward fetch him fire again from the other.^ Kühnes 
Märkische sagen p. 369 informs us, that in many parts of the 
Mark the custom prevails of making a n^thfeuer on certain occa- 
sions, and particularly when there is disease among swine. Before 
sunrise two stakes of dry wood are dug into the ground amid solemn 
silence, and hempen ropes that go round them are pulled back 
and forwards till the wood catches fire ; the fire is fed with leaves 
and twigs, and the sick animals are driven through. In some 
places the fire is produced by the friction of an old cartwJieeL. — 
The following description, the latest of all, is communicated from 
Hohenhameln, bailiw. Baldenberg, Hildesheim : In many villages 
of Lower Saxony, especially in the mountains, it is common, as a 
precaution against cattle plague, to get up the so-called wild fire, 
through which first the pigs, then the cows, lastly the geese are 
driven.^ The established procedure in the matter is this. The 
farmers and all the parish assemble, each inhabitant receives 
notice to extinguish every bit of fire in his house, so that not a 
spark is left alight in the whole village. Then old and young 
walk to a hollow way, usually towards evening, the women carry- 
ing linen, the men wood and tow. Two oaken stakes are driven 
into the ground a foot and a half apart, each having a hole on the 
inner side, into which fits a cross-bar as thick as an arm. The 
holes are stuffed with Ihien, then the cross-bar is forced in as 
tight as possible, the heads of the stakes being held together with 

^ Zeitichr. des hess. yereins 2, 281. 

' Not a word about $heep : supposing eoeks and hen» were likewise hunted over 
the coals, it would explain a hitherto unexplained proverb (Beinhart xciv.). 


cords. Abont the smootli round cross-bar is coiled a ropß, whose 
long ends^ left hanging on both sides^ are seized by a number of 
men ; these make the cross-bar revolve rapidly this way and that, 
till the friction sets the linen in the holes on fire. The sparks are 
caught on tow or oakum^ and whirled round in the air till they 
burst into a clear blaze^ which is then communicated to straw^ and 
from the straw to a bed of brashwood arranged in cross lasers in 
the hollow way. When this wood has well burnt and nearly done 
blazing^ the people hurry off to the herds waiting behind^ and 
drive them perforce^ one after the other, through the glowing 
embers. As soon as all the cattle are through, the young folks 
throw themselves pellmell upon the ashes and coals, sprinkling' 
and blackening one another ; those who are most blackened and 
besmudged march into the village behind the cattle as conquerors, 
and will not wash for a long time after.^ If after long rubbing* 
the linen will not catch, they feel sure there is still fire somewhere 
in the village, and that the element refuses to reveal itself through 
friction : then follows a strict searching of houses, any fire they 
may light upon is extinguished, and the master of the house 
rebuked or chastised. But that the wildfire should be evoked by 
friction is indispensable, it cannot be struck out of flint and steeL 
Some localities perform the ceremony, not yearly as a preventive 
of murrain, but only upon its actually breaking out. 

Accurate as these accounts are, a few minor details have 
escaped them, whose observance is seen to in some districts at 
least. Thus, in the Halberstadt country the ropes of the wooden 
roller are pulled by two chaste boys.^ Need fires have remained in 
use longer and more commonly in North Germany,' yet are not 
quite unknown in the South. SchmeUer and Stalder are silent, 
but in Appenzell the country children still have a game of rub- 
bing a rope against a stick till it catches fire : this they call ' de 
tiifel hale/ unmanning the devil, despoiling him of his strength.^ 

* Is there not also a brand or some light canied home for a redistribution of 
fire in the village ? 

2 Biisching's Wöchentliche nachr. 4, 64; so a chaste youth has to strike the 
light for curing St. Anthony^s fire, Superst. I, 710. 

' Conf. Connng's Epist. ad Baluz. xiii. Geiicke's Schottel. p. 70. Dähnert 
sub v. noodftir. 

* Zellweger's Gesch. von Appenzell, Trogen 1880. 1, 63 ; who observes, that 
with the ashes of the fire so engendered they strew the fields, as a protection 
against vermin. 


Bat Tobler 252^ says^ what boys call de tüfel häla is spinning a 
pointed sticky with a string coiled round it, rapidly in a wooden 
socket, till it takes fire. The name may be one of those innu- 
merable allusions to Loki, the devil and fire-god (p. 242). Nie. 
Gryse, in a passage to be quoted later, speaks o{ sawing ßre out 
of wood, as we read elsewhere of symbolically sawing the old 
woman in two. The Practica of Berthol. Carrichter, phys. in 
ord. to Maximilian II., gives a description (which I borrow from 
Wolfg. Hildebrand on Sorcery, Leipz. 1681. p. 226) of a magic 
bath, which is not to be heated with common flint-and-steel fire : 
' 6o to an appletree which the lightning hath stricken, let a saw 
be made thee of his wood, therewith shalt thou saw upon a 
wooden threshold that much people passeth over, till it be kindled. 
Then make firewood of birch-fungus, and kindle it at this fire, 
with which thou shalt heat the bath, and on thy life see it go not 
out' {see Suppl.). 

Notfiur can be derived from n6t (need, necessitas), whether 
because the fire is forced to shew itself or the cattle to tread the 
hot coal, or because the operation takes place in a time of need, 
of pestilence. Nevertheless I will attempt another explanation : 
notfiur, nodfiur may stand for an older hnotfiur, hnodfiur, from 
the root hniudan, OHG. hniotan, ON. hnioSa (quassare, terere, 
tandere) j ^ and would mean a fire elicited by thumping, rubbing, 

And in Sweden it is actually called both vrideld and gnideld : 
the one from vrida (torquere, circumagere), AS. wri*8an, OHG. 
ridan, MHG. riden ; the other from gnida (fricare), OHG.knitan, 
AS. cntdan (conterere, fricare, depsere). 

It was produced in Sweden as with us, by violently rubbing 
two pieces of wood together, in some districts even near the 
end of last century ; sometimes they used boughs of nine sorts 
ofwood.^ The smoke rising from gnideld was deemed salutary, 

^ OHG. pihniutit (excatit),Gl. ker.251. hnoidt (qaassat) 229. hnutten (vibrare) 
282 ; N. has fnotdn (quassare), Ps. 109, 6. Bth. 280 ; oonf. nieten, to bump. ON. 
still has hnio1$a in lino's (tades, malleas), hnot$a (depsere), hnu'Sla (subigere). It 
might be spelt hndtfiur or hnotfior (hnutfiur), ace. as the sing, or pi. vowel-form 
^ used. Perhaps we need not even insist on a lost h^ bat torn to the OHG. 
niawan, ON. nüa ^terere, fricare), from which a sahst, not might be derived by 
loffix. Nay, we might go the length of supposing that not, n&a)>B, nautSr, need, 
eontained from the first the notion of stress and pressure (oonf. Graff 2, 1032. 4, 

^ Ihre's De superstit. p. 98, and Glossaiy sub. v. wredeld. Finn. Magn., 


frait-trees or nets fumigated with it became the more prodactive 
of fruit or fish. On this fumigation with vriden eld, and on 
driving the cattle out over such sTooke, conf. Superst. Swed. 89. 
108. We can see that the purposes to which needfire was 
applied must have been far more numerous in heathen times : in 
Germany we find but a fragment of it in use for diseased cattle, 
but the superstitious practice of girls kindling nine sorts of wood 
on Christmas eve (Sup. I, 955) may assure us of a wider meaning 
having once belonged to needfire (see Suppl.). 

In the North of England it is believed that an angel strikes a 
tree, and then needfire can be got from it ; did they rub it only 
out of windfall wood ? or does striking here not mean felling ? 

Of more significance are the Scotch and Irish procedures, 
which I am glad to give in the words of the original communica- 
tions. The following I owe to the kindness of Miss Austin; it 
refers to the I. of Mull (oflF the W. coast of Scotland), and to 
the year 1767. 'In consequence of a disease among the black 
cattle the people agreed to perform an incantation, though they 
esteemed it a wicked thing. They carried to the top of Cam- 
moor a wheel and iiine spindles of oak wood. They extinguished 
every fire in every house within sight of the hill ; the wlieel was 
then turned from east to west over the nine spindles long enough 
to produce fire by friction. If the fire were not produced before 
noon, the incantation lost its effect. They failed for several days 
running. They attributed this failure to the obstinacy of one 
householder, who would not let his fires be put out for what he 
considered so wrong a purpose. However by bribing his ser- 
vants they contrived to have them extinguished, and on that 
morning raised their fire. They then sa^yrific-ed a heifer, cutting 
in pieces and burning, while yet alive, the diseased part. Then 
they lighted their own hearths from the pile, and ended by feast- 
ing on the remains. Words of incantation were repeated by an 
old man from Morven, who came over as master of the cere- 
monies, and who continued speaking all the time the fire was 
being raised. This man was living a beggar at Bellochroy. 
Asked to repeat the spell, he said the sin of repeating it once had 

Tidskr. for nord. oldk. 2, 294, following Westerdahl. Conf. bjaraan, a magic 
ntensü, Chap. XXXIV. 


brought him to beggary^ and that he dared not say those words 
again. The whole country believed him accursed' (see SuppL). 

In the Highlands^ and especially in Caithness^ they now use 
needfire chiefly as a remedy for preternatural diseases of cattle 
broQght on by witchcraft.^ 'To defeat the sorceries, certain 
persons who have the power to do so are sent for to raise the 
needfire. Upon any small river, lake, or island, a circular booth 
of stone or turf is erected, on which a couple or rafter of a birch-- 
tree is placed, and the roof covered over. In the centre is set a 
perpendicular post, fixed by a wooden pin to the couple, the lower 
end being placed in an oblong groove on the floor ; and another 
pole is placed luyrizontally between the upright post and the legs 
of the couple, into both of which the ends, being tapered, are 
inserted. This horizontal timber is called the auger, being pro- 
vided with four short arms or spokes by which it can be turned 
ronnd. As many men as can be collected are then set to work, 
having first divested themselves of all kinds of metal, and two at 
a time continue to turn the pole by means of the levers, while 
others keep driving wedges under the upright post so as to press 
it against the auger, which by the friction soon becomes ignited. 
From this the needfire is instantly procured, and all other fires 
being immediately quenched, those that are rekindled both in 
dwelling house and offices are accounted sacred, and the cattle 
are successively made to smell them.' Let me also make room 
for Martin's description,^ which has features of its own : ' The 
inhabitants here did also make use of a fire called tinegin, i.e, a 
forced fire, or fire of necessity,* which they used as an antidote 
against the plague or murrain in cattle ; and it was performed 
thus: all the fires in the parish were extinguished, and then 
eighty-one (9 x 9) mamed men, being thought the necessary 
number for efiecting this design, took two great planks of wood, 
and nine of 'em were employed by turns, who by their repeated 
efforts rubbed one of tlie planks against the other until the heat 

^ I borrow the description of the process from James Logan*s * The Scottish 
Otel, or Celtic manners as preserved among the Highlanders,* Lond. 1831. 2, 64; 
though here he copies almost verbally from Jamieson's Supplem. to the Scot. Diet, 
sob V. neidfjrre. 

' Descr. of the Western Islands, p. 118. * 

' From tin, Jr. teine (fire), and egin, Ir. eigin, eigean (vis, vielen tia) ; which 
wemt to favour the old ethology of nothfener, unless it be simply a translation of 
the Engl. needftTe [which itself may stand for kneadtie] . 


thereof prodaced fire; and from this forced fire each family ü 
supplied with new fire, which is no sooner kindled than a pot full 
of water is quickly set on it, and afterwards sprinkled upon ^ the 
people infected with the plague, or upon the cattle that have the 
murrain. And this they all say they find successful by ex- 
perience : it was practised on the mainland opposite to the soath 
of Skye, within these thirty years/ As in this case there is water 
boiled on the frictile fire, and sprinkled with the same effect, so 
Eccard (Pr. or. 1, 425) tells us, that one Whitsun morning he saw 
some stablemen rub fire out of wood, and boil their cabbage over 
it, under the belief that by eating it they would be proof against 
fever all that year. A remarkable story from Northamptonshire, 
and of the present century, confirms that sacrifice of the young 
cow in Mull, and shows that even in England superstitious 
people would kill a calf to protect the herd from pestilence : Miss 

and her cousin walking saw a fire in a field, and a crowd 

round it. They said, 'what is the matter?' ^Killing a calf* 
'What for?' 'To stop the murrain.' They went away as 
quickly as possible. On speaking to the clergyman, he made 
inquiries. The people did not like to talk of the affair, but it 
appeared that when there is a disease among the cows, or the 
calves are born sickly, they sacrifi/ye (i.e. kill and burn) or^s for 
good luck.' [A similar story from Cornwall in Hone's Daybook 
1, 153.] 

Unquestionably needfire was a sacred thing to other nations 
beside the Teutonic and Celtic. The Creeks in N. America hold 
an annual harvest festival, commencing with a strict fast of 
three days, during which the^re« are put out in all houses. On 
the fourth morning the chief priest by rubbing two dry sticks 
together lights a new clean fire, which is distributed among all 
the dwellings ; not till then do the women carry home the new 
com and fruits from the harvest field.^ The Arabs have for fire- 
friction two pieces of wood called March and Aphar, the one 
male, the other female. The Chinese say the emperor Sui was 
the first who rubbed wood against wood; the inconvenient 
method is retained as a holy one. Indians and Persians turn 
a piece of cane round* in dry wood, Kanne's Urk. 454-5 (see 

1 Fr. Majer's Mythol. tasohenb. 1811, p. 110. 


It is still more interesting to observe how nearly the old 
Roman and Greek cnstoms correspond. Excerpts from Festus 
(0. Müller 106^ 2) say: 'ignis Vestae si qaando interstinctus 
esset, virgines verberibus afficiebantur a pontifice, quibus mos 
erat, tabulam felicis materiae tarn diu terebrare, qaousqae exceptam 
ignem cribro aeneo virgo in aedem ferret/ The sacred fire of 
the goddess, once extinguished, was not to be rekindled, save by 
generating the pnre element anew. A plank »of the choice 
timber of sacred trees was bored, i,e. a pin turned round in it, 
till it gave out sparks. The act of catching the fire in a 
sieve, and so conveying it into the temple, is suggestive of a 
similar carrying of water in a sieve, of which there is some 
account to be given further on. Plutarch (in Numa 9) makes 
out that new fire was obtained not by friction, but by in- 
tercepting the snn^s rays in clay vessels destiued for the pur- 
pose. The Greeks worshipped Hestia as the pure hearth-flame 
itself.^ But Lemnos, the island on which Zeus had flung down 
the celestial fire-god HephsBstus,^ harboured a fire-worship of 
its own. Once a year every fire was extinguished for nine days, 
till a ship brought some fresh from Delos off the sacred hearth of 
Apollo : for some days it drifts on the sea without being able to 
land, but as soon as it runs in, there is fire served out to every 
one for domestic use, and a new life begins. The old fire was no 
longer holy enough ; by doing without it altogether for a time, 
men would learn to set the true value on the element (see 
Suppl.).* Like Vesta, St. Bridget of Ireland (d. 518 or 521) 
had a perpetual fire maintained in honour of her near Kildare ; a 
wattled fence went round it, which none but women durst ap- 
proach ; it was only permissible to blow it with bellows, not with 
the mouth. ^ The mode of generating it is not recorded. 

The wonderful amount of harmony in these accounts, and the 
usages of needfire themselves, point back to a high antiquity. 
The wheel seems to be an emblem of the sun, whence light and 
fire proceed; I think it likely that it was provided with nine 

^ Nee tn aliud Vestam quam vivam intellige ^mmam, Ov. Fast. 6, 295. 

' Ace. to the Finnish myth, the fire created by the gods fails on the sea in 
bills, it is swallowed by a salmon, and men afterwards find it inside the fish when 
eanght. Bane8_pp. 6-22. 

' Philostr. Heroic, pp. 740. Weloker's Trilogie, pp. 247-S. 

* Acta sanotor., calend. Febr. p. 112^. 


spokes: 'thet niagenspetze fiaP survives in the Frisian laws, those 
nine oaken spindles whose friction against the nave produced fire 
signify the nine spokes standing oat of the nave^ and the same 
sacred number turns up again in the nine kinds of wood, in the 
nine and eighty-one men that rub. We can hardly doubt that 
the wheel when set on fire formed the nucleus and centre of a 
holy and purifying sacrificial flame. Our weisthiimer (2, 615-6. 
693-7) have aifbther remarkable custom to tell of. At the great 
yearly assize a cartwheel, that had lain six weeks and three days 
soaking in water (or a cesspool)^ was placed in a fire kindled 
before the judges^ and the banquet lasts till the nave, which must 
on no account be turned or poked, be consumed to ashes. This 
I take to be a last relic of the pagan sacrificial feast, and the 
wheel to have been the means of generating the fire, of which it 
is true there is nothing said. In any case we have here the use 
of a cartwheel to feed a festal flame. 

If the majority of the accounts quoted limit the use of need- 
fire to an outbreak of murrain, yet some of them expressly inform 
us that it was resorted to at stated times of the year, especially 
Midsummer, and that the cattle were driven through the flames to 
guard them beforehand against future sicknesses. Nicolaus Gryse 
(Rostock 1593, liii*) mentions as a regular practice on St. John's 
day : * Toward nightfall they wanned them by St. John's blaze 
and needfire (nodfur) that they sawed out of wood, kindling 
the same not in Grod's name but St John's; leapt and ran 
and drave the cattle therethro^ and were fulfilled of thousand 
joys whenas they had passed the night in great sins, shames 
and harms.' 

Of this yearly recurrence we are assured both by the Lemnian 
worship, and more especially by the Celtic.^ It was in the great 
gatherings at annual feasts that needfire was lighted. These the 
Celtic nations kept at the beginning of May and of November. 
The grand hightide was the Mayday ; I find it falling mostly on 
the 1st of May, yet sometimes on the 2nd or 3rd. This day is 
called in Irish and Gaelic la healtine or beiltine, otherwise spelt 
beltein, and corrupted into belton, beltim, beltam. La means day, 

1 Hyde remarks of the Gaebers also, that they lighted a fire eveiy year. 


teine or tine fire^ and beal, beil^ is understood to be the name of 
8 god^ not directly connected with the Asiatic Belus^^ but a deity 
of light peculiar to the Celts. This Irish Beal, Beil, G-aelic 
Bealf appears in the Welsh dialect as Beli, and his 0. Celtic 
name of Belenus, Belimis is preserved in Ausonius^ Tertullian and 
namerous inscriptions (Forcellini sub v.) . The present custom 
is thus described by Armstrong sub v. bealtainn : ' In some parts 
of the Highlands the young folks of a hamlet meet in the moors 
on the first of May. They cut a table in the green sod^ of a 
roand figure, by cutting a trench in the ground of such circum- 
ference as to hold the whole company. They then kindle a fire^ 
and dress a repast of eggs and milk in the consistence of a 
castard. They knead a cake of oatmeal^ which is toasted at the 
embers against a stone. After the custard is eaten up, they 
divide the cake in so many portions, as similar as possible to one 
another in size and shape, as there are persons in the company. 
They daub one of these portions with charcoal until it is perfectly 
black. They then put all the bits of the cake into a bonnet, and 
every one, blindfold, draws out a portion. The bonnet-holder is 
entitled to the last bit. Whoever draws the black bit is the 
devoted person who is to be sacrificed to Baal, whose favour they 
mean to implore in rendering the year productive. The devoted 
person is compelled to leap three times over the flames,* Here the 
reference to the worship of a deity is too plain to be mistaken : 
we see by the leaping over the flame, that the main point was, to 
select a human being to propitiate the god and make him merci- 
ful, that afterwards an animal sacrifice was substituted for him, 
and finally, nothing remained of the bodily immolation but a leap 
through the fire for man and beast. The holy rite of friction is 
not mentioned here, but as it was necessary for the needfire that 
purged pestilence, it must originally have been much more in 
requisition at the great yearly festival. 

The earliest mention of the beiltine is found in Cormac, arch- 
bishop of Cashel (d. 908). Two fires were lighted side by side, 
and to pass unhurt between them was wholesome for men and 
cattle. Hence the phrase, to express a great danger : ^ itir dha 
theinne beil,' i.e. between two fires.^ That the sacrifice was 

I Bet, Balj Iridor. Etjin. 8, 23. 

> 0*Flaherty in Transact. of Irish Acad., vol. 14, pp. 100. 122-8. 


strictly superintended by priests, we are expressely assured by 
usher (Trias thaamat. p. 125), who founds on Evinus: Lege 
etiam severissima cavebatar, ut omnes ignes per universas re- 
giones ista nocte exstingaerentur, et nuUi liceat ignem reacoen- 
dere nisi prius Temoriae (Tighmora, whom we know from Ossian) 
a magis rogus sacrificiorum exstrueretwr, et quicnnque banc legem 
in aliqno transgrederetur non alia mulcta quam capitis sapplicio 
commissi delicti poenam luebat.^ 

Leo (Malb. gl. i, 35) has ingeniously put forward an antithesis 
between a god of war Beal or Baely and a god of peace Sighe or 
Sithich ; nay, by this distinction he explains the brothers Bel- 
loyesus and Sigovesus in Livy 5, 34 as servants (yesus= Gaelic 
uis, uais, minister) of Beal and Sighe, connecting Sighe with 
that silent peaceful folk the elves, who are called sighe (supra, 
p. 444n.) : to Beal were offered the May fires, healtine, to Sighe 
the November fires, samhtheine (peace-fire). In Wales too they 
lighted fires on May 1 and Nov. 1, both being called coelcerth 
(see Suppl.). 

I still hesitate to accept all the inferences, but undoubtedly 
Beal must be taken for a divine being, whose worship is likely to 
have extended beyond the Celtic nations. At p. 228 I identified 
him with the German Phol ; and it is of extraordinary value to 
our research, that in the Rhine districts we come upon a Pfultag, 
Pulletag (P.'s day), which fell precisely on the 2nd of May 
(Weisth. 2, 8. 3, 748). We know that our forefctthers very 
generally kept the beginning of May as a great festival, and it is 
still regarded as the trysting-time of witches, t.e. once of wise- 
women and faysj who can doubt that heathen sacrifices blazed 
that day? Pholtag then answers to Bealteine^ and moreover 
Baldag is the Saxon form for Paltar (p. 229). 

Were the German May-fires, after the conversion, shifted to 
Easter and Midsumm&r, to adapt them to Christian worship ? Or, 
as the summer solstice was itself deeply rooted in heathenism, is 
it Eastertide alone that represents the ancient May-fires 7 For, 
as to the Celtic November, the German Yule or Midwinter might 
easily stand for that, even in heathen times. 

> Gonf. the aocotmts in Moneys (beschichte des heidenth. 2, 485. 
' All over England on the Ist of May they set up a May pole, which may be 
from pole, palas, AS. pol ; yet Pol, Pho.l may deserve to be taken into account too. 


Whichever way we settle that, our very next investigations 
will shew, that beside both needfire and bealtine, other fires are 
to be found almost all over Europe. 

It is not unimportant to observe, that in the north of Germany 
they take place at Easter, in the south at Midsummer. There 
they betoken the entrance of spring, here the longest day ; as 
before, it all turns upon whether the people are Saxon or Prank. 
All Lower Saxony, Westphalia, and Lower Hesse, Gelders, 
Holland, Friesland, Jutland, and Zealand have Easter fires ; up 
the Shine, in Franconia, Thuringia, Swabia, Bavaria, Austria, 
and Silesia, Midsummer fires carry the day. Some countries, 
hoiireyer, seem to do homage to both, as Denmark and Carinthia. 

Eastbr Fires. — At all the cities, towns and villages of a country, 
towards evening on the first (or third) day of Easter, there is 
lighted every year on mountain and hill a great fire of straw, turf, 
and wood, amidst a concourse and jubilation, not only of the 
young, but of many grown-up people. On the Weser, especially 
in Schaumburg, they tie up a tar- barrel on a fir-tree wrapt round 
with straw, and set it on fire at night. Men and maids, and all 
who come, dance exulting and singing, hats are waved, handker- 
chiefs thrown into the fire. The mountains all round are lighted 
up, and it is an elevating spectacle, scarcely paralleled by any- 
thing else, to survey the country for many miles round from one 
of the higher points, and in every direction at once to see a vast 
number of these bonfires, brighter or fainter, blazing up to heaven. 
In some places they marched up the hill in stately procession, 
carrying white rods; by turns they sang Easter hymns, grasping 
each other's hands, and at the Hallelujah clashed their rods to- 
gether. They liked to carry some of the fire home with them.^ 

No doubt we still lack many details as to the manner of keep- 
ing Easter fires in various localities. It is worth noting, that at 
Bräunrode in the Harz the fires are lighted at evening twilight 

^ Joh. Timens On the Easter fire, Hamb. 1590 ; a reprint of it follows Reiske's 
Notfener. Letzner's Historia S. Bonif., Hildesh. 1602. 4, cap. 12. Lenkfeld's 
AnÜq. gandersh. pp. 4-5. Eberh. Baring's Beschr. der (Lanensteiner) Saala, 
1744. 2, 96. Hamb. mag. 26, 802 (1762). Hannöv. mag. 1766, p. 216. Bath- 
lef 's Diepholz, Brem. 1767. 3, 86-42. (Pratje's) Bremen and Verden 1, 165. 
Bragar ri, 1, 85. Geldersche volksalmanak voor 1835, p. 19. Easter fire is in 
I^azuflh paagke-blui or -hltut ; whether Sweden has the custom I do not know, bat 
Olans Magnus 15, 5 affirms that Scandinavia has Midsummer fires. Still more 
Borprising that England has no trace of an Easter fire ; we hare a report of such 
from Carinthia in Sartori*8 Beise 2, 850. 

VOL. ir. N 


of the first Easter day, but before that, old and young sally out 
of that village and Griefenhagen into the nearest woodlands to 
hunt up the squirrels. These they chase by throwing stones and 
cudgels, till at last the animals drop exhausted into their hands, 
dead or alive. This is said to be an old-established custom.^ 

For these ignes paschales there is no authority reaching beyond 
the 16th century; but they must be a great deal older, if only for 
the contrast with Midsummer fires, which never could penetrate 
into North Grermany, because the people there held fast by their 
Easter fires. Now, seeing that the fires of St. John, as we shall 
presently shew, are more immediately connected with the Christian 
church than those of Easter, it is not unreasonable to trace these 
all the way back to the worship of the goddess Ostara or Edstre 
(p. 291), who seems to have been more a Saxon and Anglian 
divinity than one revered all over Germany. Her name and her 
fires, which are likely to have come at the beginning of May, 
would after the conversion of the Saxons be shifted back to the 
Christian feast.* Those mountain fires of the people are scarcely 
derivable from the taper lighted in the church the same day : it 
is true that Boniface, ep. 87 (Würdtw.), calls it ignis paschalis,^ 
and such Easter lights are still mentioned in the 16 th century. 
Even now in the Hildesheim country they light the lamp on 
Maundy Thursday, and that on Easterday, at an Easter fire which 
has been struck with a steel. The people flock to this fire, carry- 
ing oaken crosses or simply crossed sticks, which they set on fire 
and then preserve for a whole year. But the common folk dis- 
tinguish between this fire and the wild fire elicited by rubbing 
wood. Jäger (Ulm, p. 521) speaks of a consecration of fire and 
of logs. 

^ BoBenkranz, Nene zeitsohr. f. gesoh. der germ. völk. i. 2, 7. 

2 Letzner says (ubi Bupra), that betwixt Brunetein and "Wibbrechtshanaen, 
where Boniface had overthrown the heathen idol Beto (who may remind us of Beda s 
Bheda), on the same Betberg the people *did after Bunset on Easter day, ev^ 
within the memory of man, hold the Easter fire, which the men of old named 
bocks-thorn.' On the margin stands his old authority again, the lost Conradus 
Fontamis (supra p. 190). How the fire itself should come by the name of buck's or 
goat's thorn, is hard to see ; it is the name of a shrub, the tragaoanth. Was bocks- 
thorn thrown into the Easter flames, as certain herbs were into the Midsummer 
fire ? . , 

» N.B., some maintain that the Easter candle waa ignited by buming-glasseß 
or crystals (Serrarius ad Epist. Bonif. p. S43). 

* Franz Wessel's Beschreibung des päbstlichen gottesdienBteß, Stralsund ed. by 
Zober, 1837, p. 10. 


Almost everywhere during the last hundred years the feeble- 
ness of governments has deprived the people of their Easter fires 
(see Suppl.).! 

MiosüMMBB Fires.* — In our older speech^ the most festive 
season of the year^ when the sun has reached his greatest height 
and must thence decline again, is named sunewende = sunnewende 
(sun's wending, solstice), commonly in the plural, because this 
Ugh position of the sun lasts several days : ' ze einen sunewenden,' 
Nib. 32, 4 ; 'zen nsehsten sunewenden,' Nib. 1424, 4. Wigal. 1717; 
'vor disen sunewenden,' Nib. 678, 3. 604, 3 ; ' ze sunewenden,' 
Trist. 5987 (the true reading comes out in Groot's variants) ; 'an 
sunewenden &bent,' Nib. 1754, 1 ; ' nÄcb sune wenden,' Iw. 2941.^ 
Now, as Midsummer or St. John's day (June 24), ' sant Johans 
snnewenden tao,' Ls. 2, 708, coincides with this, the fires in 
question are called in Up. German documents of the 14- 15th 
century »unwentfeuer, sunhentfewr,^ and even now among the 
Austrian and Bavarian peasantry sunäwetsfoir, sunwenisfeuer, 
H. Sachs 1, 423** : ' auch schüm die bubn (lads poke) mnwenU 
feuer* At this season were held great gatherings of the people : 
' die nativitatis S. Johannis baptistae in conventu populi maximo ' 
(Pertz 2, 386) ; this was in 860. In 801 Charles the Great kept 
this festival at Bporedia, now Ivrea (Pertz 1, 190. 223) ; and 
Lewis the Pious held assemblies of the Empire on the same day 
in 824 and 831. Descriptions of Midsummer fires agree with 
those of Easter fires, with of course some divergences.. At 
Gemsheim in the Mentz country, the fire when lighted is blessed 
by the priest, and there is singing and prayer so long as it burns ; 
when the flame goes out, the children jump over the glimmering 
eoaU; formerly grown-up people did the same. In Superst. I, 

1 * Jndio. inquiry reap, the Easter fire burned, contr. to prohib., on the Eogeln- 
berg near Yolkmarsen, Apr. 9* 1833/ see Niederhess, wochenbl 1834, p. 2229*. 
The older prohibitions allege the unchristian character, later ones the waste of 
timber. Even bonfires for a victory were very near being suppressed. 

' The best treatise is: Franc. Const, de Ehautz de ritu ignis in natali S. 
Johannis bapt. accensi, Yindob. 1769, 8vo. 

' AU the good MSS. have, not sunnewende, but sunewende, which can only 
stand for sunwende, formed like suntao. We also find ' zu ningihten,* Schefifer's 
Haltans, pp. 109, 110 ; giht here oorreep» to Goth, gahts (gressus), and allows us to 
guess an OHG. sunnagaht. 

* Hahn'8 Monum. 2, 693. Sutner's Berichtigungen, Munch. 1797, p. 107 (an. 


848 we are told how a garland is plaited of nine sorts of flowers. 
Reiske (ut supra^ p. 77) says : ' the fire is made under the open 
sky^ the youth and the meaner folk leap over it, and all manner 
of herbs are cast into it : like these^ may all their troubles go off 
in fire and smoke 1 In some places they light lanterns outside 
their chambers at nighty and dress them with red poppies or 
anemones^ so as to make a bright glitter/ At Niii-nberg the 
lads go about begging billets of wood^ cart them to the Bleacher's 
pond by the Spital-gate^ make a fire of them, and jump over it ; 
this keeps them in health the whole year (conf. Sup. I, 918). 
l^hey invite passers by to have a leap, who pay a few kreuzers 
■for the privilege. In the Ful^a country also the boys beg for 
wood to bum at night, and other presents, while they sing a 
rhyme : ^ Da kommen wir her gegangen Mit spiessen und mit 
«tangen, Und wollen die eier (eggs) langen. Peuerrothe blüme- 
lein. An der erde springt der wein, Gebt ihr uns der eier ein 
Zum JoKannisfeuer, Der haber is gar theuer (oats are so dear). 
Haberje, haberju! frifrefrid ! Gebt uns doch ein schiet (scheit, 
billet)!' (J. V. u. f. Deutschi. 1790. 1, 318.) Similar rhymes 
from Franconia and Bavaria, in Schm. 3, 262. In the Austrian 
Donaulandchen on St. John's eve they light fires on the hill, lads 
and lasses jump over the flames amid the joyful cries and songs 
of the spectators (Reil, p. 41). 'Everywhere on St. John's eve 
there was merry leaping over the sonnenwendefeuer, and mead was 
drunk over it,' is Denis's recollection of his youthful days (Lesefr. 
1, 130). At Ehingen in Swabia they boiled pease over the fire, 
which were laid by and esteemed wholesome for bruises and 
wounds (Schmid's Schwab, id. 167); conf. the boiling over ueed- 
fires (p. 610). Greg. Strigenitius (b. 1548, d. 1603), in a sermon 
preached on St. John's day and quoted in Ecc. Fr. or. i. 425, 
observes, that the people (in Meissen or Thuringia) dance and 
sing round the Midsummer fires ; that one man threw a horses 
head into the flume, meaning thei'eby to force the witches to fetch 
some of the fire for themselves. Seb. Frank in his Weltbuch 
5P : ' On St. John's day they make a simetfire [corrupt, of sun- 
went], and moreover wear upon them, I know not from what 
superstition, quaint wreaths of mugwort and monks-hood; nigh 
every one hath a blue plant named larkspur in hand, and wlvosv 
looheth into the fire thro* the same, hath never a sore eye all that 


year ; he that would depart home unto his house, castefh this his 
plant into the ßre, saying, So depart all mine ill-fortune and be 
burnt up with this herb 1 * ^ So, on the same day, were the waves 
of water to wash away with them all misfortune (p. 589). But 
in earlier times the polite world, even princes and kings, took 
part in these bonfires. Peter Herp's Ann. francof. teU us, ad an. 
1489 (Senkenb. Sei. 2, 22) : ^In vigilia S. Joh. bapt. rogus ingens 
fiiit factus ante domum consulum inforo (francofnrtensi)^ fuerunt- 
que mnlta vexilla depicta posita in struem lignorum, et vexillum 
regis in supremo positum, et circa ligna rami virerUes positi, 
faitque magna chorea dominorum, rege inspiciente.' At Augsburg 
in 1497, in the Emp. Maximilian's presence, the fair Susanna 
Neithard kindled the Midsummer fire with a torch y and with 
Philip the Handsome led the first ring-dance round the fire} 
A Munich voucher of 1401 renders account : ' umb gras und 
knechten, die dy pänk ab dem haws auf dem, margt trugen 
(carried benches to the market-place) an der sunbentnacht, da 
herzog Stephan und sein gemachel (consort) und das frawel auf 
dem margt tanzten mit den purgerinen bei dem sunbenifwr/ (Sut- 
ner's Berichtig, p. 107). On St. John's eve 1578, the Duke of 
Liegnitz had a bonfire made on the Oredisberg, as herr Gotsch 
did on the Kynast, at which the Duke himself was present with 
his court (Schweinichen 2, 347). 

We have a fuller description of a Midsummer fire made in 
1823 at Konz, a Lorrainian but still German village on the 
Moselle, near Sierk and Thionville. Every house delivers a truss 
of straw on the top of the Stromberg, where men and youths 
assemble towards evening; women and girls are stationed by the 
Barbach spring. Then a huge wheel is wrapt round wUh straw, 

1 On Jane 20, 1S5S, the Nürnberg town-ootinoil issned the following order : 
Whereas experience heretofore hath shewn, that after the old heathenish use, on 
Jolm*8 day in every year, in the country, as weU in towns as yillages, money and 
wood hath been gathered by young folk, and thereupon the so-called tonnenwendt or 
tirnwut fire kindled, and tnereat winebibbing, dancing about the taid fire, leaping 
over the same, with burning of sundry herbs and flowers, and setting of brands from 
the said fire in the fields, and in many other ways all manner of saperstitioos work 
earned on — Therefore the Hon. Cooncil of Nürnberg town neither can nor ought 
to forbear to do away with all such unbecoming superstition, paganism, and peril 
of fire on this coming day of St. John (Neuer lit. anz. 1807, p. 818). [Sonwend 
fires forbidden in Austria in 1850, in spite of Goethe's * Fires of John we'll cherish, 
Wbv should gladness perish t ' — Scppl.] 

' Gasseri Ann. august., ad an. 1497, Sohm. 8, 261 ; oonf. Banke's Boman. u. 
German, völk. 1, 102. 


BO that none of the wood is left in eighty a strong pole is passed 
through the middle^ which sticks out a yard on each side^ and is 
grasped by the guiders of the wheel ; the remainder of the straw 
is tied ap into a number of small torches. At a signal given 
by the Maire of Sierk (who, according to ancient custom^ earns 
a basket of cherries by the service), the wheel is lighted with a 
torch, and set rapidly in motion, a shout of joy is raised^ ail wave 
tlieir torches on high, part of the men stay on the hill, part follow 
the rolling glohe of fire as it is guided doivnhill to the Moselle. It 
often goes out first; but if alight when it touches the river, 
it prognosticates an abundant vintage, and the Konz people have 
a right to levy a tun of white wine from the adjacent vineyards. 
Whilst the wheel is rushing past the women and girls, they 
break out into cries of joy, answered by the men on the hill ; and 
inhabitants of neighbouring villages, who have flocked to the 
river side, mingle their voices in the universal rejoicing.^ 

In the same way the butchers of Treves are said to have yearly 
sent down a wheel of fire into the Moselle from the top of the 
Paulsberg (see Suppl.).* 

The custom of Midsummer fires and wheels in France is 
attested even by writers of the 12th and 18th centuries, John 
Beleth, a Parisian divine, who wrote about 1162 a Summa de 
divinis officiis, and William Durantis, b. near Beziers in Langue- 
doc, about 1237, d. 1296, the well-known author of the Bationale 
divinor. oflSc. (written 1286; conf. viii. 2, 3 de epacta). In the 
Summa (printed at Dillingen, 1572) cap. 137, fol. 256, and thence 
extracted in the Bationale vii. 14, we find: 'Peruntur quoque 
(in festo Joh. bapt.) hrandae sen faces ardentes et fiunt ignes, 
qui significant S. Johannem, qui fuit lumen et lucema ardens, 
praecedens et praecursor verae lucis . . . ; rota in quibusdam 
locis volvitur, ad significandum, quod sicut sol ad altiora sui 
circuli pervenit, nee altius potest progredi, sed tunc sol descendit 
in circulo, sic et fama Johannis, qui putabatur Christus, descendit 

* M6m. des antiquaires de Fr. 5, 383-6. 

' * In memoiy of the hermit Paulas, who in the mid. of the 7th cent, hnrled 
the idol Apollo from Mt. Gehenna, near Treyes, into the Moselle,' thinks the writer 
of the article on Konz, pp. 387-8. If Trithem^s De yiris illnstr. ord. S. Bened. 4, 
201, is to Tonoh for this, I at least can only find at p. 142 of 0pp. pia et spirit. 
Mogunt. 1605, that Paulas lived opposite Treves, on Gevenna, named Mons Pauli 
after him ; hut of Apollo and the firewheel not a word [and other authorities are 
equally silent] . 


secandum quod ipse testimoniam perhibet^ dicens : me oportet 
minni^ illam aatem crescere/ Much older^ but somewhat vague^ 
is the testimony of Eligias : ' NuUas in f estivitate S. Johannis 
vel quibaslibet sanctonim solemnitatibus solstitia (?) aut valla- 
tiones vel saltationes aut casaulas aut cantica diabolica ezerceat/^ 
In great cities^ Paris^ Metz^ and many more^ as late as the 
15-16-1 7th centuries, the pile of wood was reared in the public 
square before the town hall, decorated with flowers and foliage, 
and set on fire by the Maire himself.^ Many districts in the 
south have retained the custom to this day. At Aix, at 
Marseille, all the streets and squares are cleaned up on St. John's 
Day, early in the morning the country folk bring flowers into the 
town, and everybody buys some, every house is decked with 
greenery, to which a healing virtue is ascribed if plucked before 
sunrise : ' aco soun dherbas de san Jean.' Some of the plants 
are thrown into the flame, the young people jump over it, jokes are 
played on passers-by with powder trains and hidden fireworks, 
or they are squirted at and soused with water from the windows. 
In the villages they ride on mules and donkeys, carrying lighted 
branches of fir in their hands.' 

In many places they drag some of the charred brands and 
charcoal to their homes: salutary and even magical effects are 
supposed to flow from these (Superst. French 27. 30. 34). 

In Poiton, they jump three times round thefi/re with a branch of 
walnut in their hands (M^m. des antiq. 8, 451). Fathers of 
ÜBknulies whisk a bunch of white mullein (bouillon blanc) and a 
leafy spray of walnut through the flame, and both are afterwards 
nailed up over the cowhouse door; while the youth dance and 
sing, old men put some of the coal in their wooden shoes as 
a safeguard against innumerable woes (ibid. 4, 110). 

In the department of Hautes Pyr^n^es, on the 1st of May, 

^ The Eaiserohronik (God. pal. 861, 1^) on the celebration of the Sunday : 

Swenne in kom der sonnintao, 

86 yllzete sioh Börne al din etat (all B. bestirred itself), 

wie si den got mohten geSren (to honour the god), 

die allirwtsisten hdrren ^wisest lords) 

vuorten einiz al ombe die stat (carried a thing ronnd the city) 

daz was geichaffen $ame ein rat (shapen like a wheel) 

mit brinnenden lichten (with burning lights) ; 

6 wie gröze sie den got zierten (greatly glorified the god) 1 

- M6m. de Taoad. celt. 2, 77-8. 3, 447. 

' Millin'B Voyage dans le midi 8, 28. 841-5. 


every commune looks onfc the tallest and slenderest tree, a pine or 
fir on the hills^ a poplar in the plains ; when they have lopped 
all the boughs off, they drive into it a number of wedges a foot 
long, and keep it till the 23rd of June. Meanwhile it splits 
diamond-shape where the wedges were inserted, and is now rolled 
and dragged up a mountain or hill. There the priest gives it his 
blessing, they plant it upright in the ground, and set it on fire 
(ibid. 5, 387). 

Strutt ^ speaks of Midsummer fires in England : they were 
lighted on Midsummer Eve, and kept up till midnight, often till 
cock-crow ; the youth danced round the flame, in garlands of 
motherwort and vervain, with violets in their hands. In Denmark 
they are called Sanct Hans aftens blus, but also gadeild (street- 
fire), because they are lighted in public streets or squares, and on 
hills. [Is not gade conn, with sunna-gaht, p. 617 ?] Imagining 
that all poisonous plants came up out of the ground that night, 
people avoided lingering on the grass ; but wholesome plants 
(chamaemelum and bardanum) they hung up in their houses. 
Some however shift these street-fires to May-day eve.* Nor- 
way also knows the custom: ^S. Hans aften brändes der baal 
ved alle griner (hedged country-lanes), hvilket skal fordrive ondt 
(harm) fra creaturerne,' Sommerfeldt's Saltdalen, p. 121. But 
some words quoted by Hallager p. 13 are worth noting, viz. 
brandshat for the wood burnt in the fields, and brising for the 
kindled fire ; the latter reminds us of the gleaming necklace of 
Freyja (p. 306-7), and may have been transferred from the flame 
to the jewel, as well as from the jewel to the fiame« 

There is no doubt that some parts of Italy had Midsummer 
fires : at Orvieto they were exempted from the restrictions laid 
on other fires.^ Italian sailors lighted them on board ship out 
at sea, Fel. Fabri Evagat. 1, 170. And Spain is perhaps to 
be included on the strength of a passage in the Romance de 
Guarinos (Silva, p. 113) : 

^ Sports and PastÜDes of the People of England, by Jos. Strati. New ed. by 
WHone, Lond. 1830, p. 359. 

> Molbech*8 Dialect. Lex. 150. Lyngbye's Nord, tidskr. for oldk. 2, 352-9. Finn 
Magn. Lex. myth. 1091-4. Arndt's Beise durch Schweden 3, 72-3. 

> Statuta urbevetana, an. 1491. 3, 51 : Quicunque sine licentia officialis fecerit 
ignem in aliqua festivitate de nocte in ciyitate, in xl sol. denarior. puniatur, 
excepta festivitate S. Johannis bapt. de mense Junii, et qui in iJla nocte furatus 
fuerit Tel abstulerit ligna vel tabulas alterius in lib. x den. puniatur. 


Vanse dias, vienen dias, venido era el de Sant Juan, 
donde Christianos 7 Moros hazen gran solenidad : 
los Ckristianos echan juncia, y los Moros arrayhan, 
los Judios echan eneas, por la fiesta mas honrar. 

Here nothing is said of fire/ but we are told that the Christians 
strew rushes, the Moors myrtle, the Jews reeds ; and the throw- 
ing of flowers and herbs into the flame seems an essential part 
of the celebration, e.g. mugwort, monks-hood, larkspur (p. 618), 
mullein and walnut leaves (p. 621), Hence the collecting of 
all such John's-herbs in Germany (Superst. I, 157. 189. 190), and 
of S. Hans urter (wprts) in Denmark (K, 126), and the like in 
Prance (L, 4). According to Casp. Zeumer's De igne in festo 
S. Joh. accendi solito, Jenae 1699, the herb aXiSfia (?) was 
diligently sought on that day and hung up over doors. 

In Greece the women make a fire on Midsummer Eve, and 
jump over it, crying, * I leave my sins.' In Servia they think the 
feast is so venerable, that the sun halts three times in reverence.^ 
On the day before it, the herdsmen tie birchbark into torches, 
and having lighted them, they first march round the sheepfolds 
and cattle-pens, then go up the hills and let them bum out (Yuk 
sub V.Ivan dan). Other Slav countries have similar observances. 
In Sartori's Journey through Carinthia 3, 849-50, we find the 
roUing of St. John's fiery wheel fully described. Midsummer- 
day or the solstice itself is called by the Slov&ns kres, by the 
Croats hresz, i.e. striking of light, from kresati (ignem elicere), 
Pol. krzesac ; and as May is in Irish mi-na-bealtine (fire- month), 
80 Ju^e in Slovenic is kresnik. At the kres there were leaps of 
joy performed at night ; of lighting by friction I find no mention.* 
Poles and Bohemians called the Midsummer fire sobotka, i.e. little 
Saturday, as compared with the great sob6ta (Easter Eve) ; the 

Mt is spoken of more definitely by Maiünns de Aries, canonieos of Pampelnna 
(eir. 1510), in his treatise De saperstitionibus (Tract, tractatanm, ed. Lugd. 1544. 
^t 133): Gam in die S. Johannis propter jucnnditatem mnlta pie aguntur a 
fidelibuB, pnta polsatio campanarum et ignea jucunditatU^ similiter summo mane 
exeont ad colligendas herbas odoriferas et optimas et medioinales ex sua natura et 
ex plenitndinevirtutnm propter tempus. . . quidam t^n^s accefidunt in compitis 
^iarom, in agris, ne inde sortilegae et maleficae ilia noote transitnm faoiant, ut 
ego propriis ocolis vidi. Alii herbas coUeetas in die S. Johannis incendente$ contra 
folgnra, tonitma et tempestates orednnt suis fomigationibns arcere daemones et 

' As he is supposed to leap three times at Easter (p. 291). 


Bobemians used to lead their cows over it to protect tbem from 
witchcraft. The Bassian name was kupdlo, which some explain 
by a god of harvest^ Kwpalo : youths and maidens^ garlanded with 
flowers and girt with holy herbs, assembled on the 24th Jane, 
lighted a fire, leapt and led their fiocks over it, singing hymns the 
while in praise of the god. They thought thereby to shield 
their cattle from the Idshis or woodsprites. At times a white eoek 
is said to have been burnt in the fire amid dance and song. Even 
now the female saint, whose feast the Greek ritual keeps on this 
day [Agrippina], has the by-name kupdlnitsa; a burning pile of 
wood is called the same, and so, according to Karamzin, is the 
flower that is strewn on St. John's Day [ranunculus, crowfoot] } 
This fire seems to have extended to the Lithuanians too : I fiud 
that with them kwpoles is the name of a St. John's herb. Tettau 
and Temme p. 277 report, that in Prussia and Lithuania, on 
Midsummer £ve fires blaze on all the heights, as far as the eye 
can reach. The next morning they drive their cattle to pasture 
over the remains of these fires, as a specific against murrain, 
magic and milk-drought, yet also against hailstroke and lightning. 
The lads who lighted the fires go from house to house collecting 
milk. On the same Midsummer Eve they fasten large burs and 
mugwort (that is to say, kup^les) over the gate or gap through 
which the cattle always pass. 

Now at a bird's-eye view we perceive that these fires cover 
nearly all Europe, and have done from time immemorial. About 
them it might seem a great deal more doubtful than about water- 
lustration (pp. 585. 590), whether they are of heathen or of Chris- 
tian origin. The church had appropriated them so very early to 
herself, and as Beleth and Durantis shew, had made them point 
to John ; the clergy took some part in their celebration, though 
it never passed entirely into their hands, but was mainly con- 
ducted by the secular authorities and the people itself (see Suppl.). 

Paciaudi* labours to prove that the fires of St. John have 
nothing to do with the far older heathenish fires, but have sprung 
out of the spirit of Christian worship. 

' Karamzin 1. 78. 81. 284, Götze'a Rnaa. volkal. p. 280-2. Dobrovsky dflnies 
a god Knpalo, and derives the feast from küpa (hayoock) ; Hanusoh p. 201 from 
kupel, kaupel, kupadlo (bath, pond), because aco. to Slav notions the snn rises out 
of his bath, or because pouring of water may have been practised at the festivaL 
De cultu S. Johaunis baptistae, Bomae 1765, dissert. 8, oap. 1. 2. 

(PALILIA). 625 

In Dent. 18^ 10 and 2 Chron. 28^ 8 is mentioned the heathen 
CQstom of making sons and daughters pass through afire. In 
reference to this^ Theodoret bp. of Cyras (d. 458)^ makes a note 
OQ 2 Elings 16, 3 : elSov yap ev run, iroKeccv aira^ rov erov^ iv 
Tai? 7rXar6tat9 awTOfjueva^ iruph^ xal ravTa^ Tiva^ inrepaWofievox;^; 
Kal iTTfB&VTa^ ov fiovov irdiSa^; aXXa /cal avSpa^, ra 84 ye ßpiifyrf 
vaph T&v fiTfrepoDV irapa^epofieva Sia rrj^ <f>\oy6^. iSoxet Sk 
rovTo awoTpoiruurfib^ elvai, Ka\ Kadapai,^. (In some towns I saw 
fyres lighted once a yea/r in the streets^ and not only children 
bat men lea/ping over them, and the infants passed through the 
flame by their mothers. This was deemed a protective expiation).^ 
He says ' once a year/ bat does not specify the day^ which would 
have shewn ns whether the custom was imported into Syria 
from Rome. On April 21^ the day of her foundings Borne kept 
the paliliay an ancient feast of herdsmen^ in honour of Pales^ a 
motherly divinity reminding us of Ceres and Vesta.' This date 
does not coincide with the solstice^ but it does with the time of 
the Easter fire ; the ritual itself^ the leaping over the flame, the 
driving of cattle through the glowing embers^ is quite the same 
as at the Midsummer fire and needfire. A few lines from Ovid's 
description in the 4th book of the Fasti shall suffice : 

727. certe ego transilui positas ter in ordine flammas. 
781. moxque per ardentes stipulae crepitantis acervos 

trajicias celeri strenua membra pede. 
795. pars quoque, quum saxis pastores saxa feribant^ 

scintillam subito prosiluisse ferunt ; 
prima quidem periit ; stipulis excepta secunda est, 

hoc argumentum ^ammajpaZiZi« habet. 
805. per fiummas saluisse pecus, saluisse colonos ; 

quod fib natali nunc quoque, Roma, tuo (see Suppl.). 

The shepherds had struck the fire out of stone, and caught it on 
straw ; the leaping through it was to atone and cleanse, and to 
Becare their flock against all harm. That children were placed in 
the fire by their mothers, we are not told here ; we know how 
the infant Demophoon or Triptolemus was put in the fire by 

* 0pp., ed. Sirmond, Paris, 1642. 1, 852. 

' The masc. PaUs, which also oooors, may remind us of the Slav god of 
Bhepherds, Boss. Volott Boh. Wele$. 


Ceres, as Achilles was by Thetis, to insare his immortality.^ This 
fire-worship seems equally at home in Canaan, Syria, Greece and 
Rome, so that we are not justified in pronouncing it a borrowed 
and imported thing in any one of them. It is therefore hard to 
determine from what source the Christians afterwards drew, when 
they came to use it in their Easter and Midsummer festivals, or on 
other occasions. Canon 65 of the Council of A.D. 680 already 
contains a prohibition of these superstitious fires at new moon : 
TO? €v Tafc vovfiffvlai^ iwo riv&v wpb r&v olxeifop ipyaoTrfpitav fj 
oXkwv avaiTTOfieva^ Trvp/catct^^ &9 xal inrepdWeo'Oai nve^, Kara 
TO edo^ ap'Xjcuov, hri')(€ipova'i,Vt airo irapovro^ Karapyrjdrjvai 
TrpoardTTOfiev (The fires kindled before workshops and houses at 
new moon, which some aUo leap over after the ancient custom, 
we command henceforth to be abolished). The same thing was 
then forbidden, which afterwards, on St. John's day at least, was 
tolerated, and to some extent connected with church ordinances. 

Now, even supposing that the Midsummer fire almost universal 
throughout Europe had, like the Midsummer bath, proceeded more 
immediately from the church, and that she had picked it up in 
Italy directly from the Roman palilia ; it does not follow yet, that 
our Easter fires in northern Germany are a mere modification of 
those at Midsummer. We are at liberty to derive them straight 
from fires of our native heathenism : in favour of this view is the 
difference of day, perhaps also their ruder form ; to the last there 
was more earnestness about them, and more general participation ; 
Midsummer fires were more elegant and tasteful, but latterly con- 
fined to children and common people alone, though princes and 
nobles had attended them before. Mountain and hill are essential 
to Easter fires, the Solstitial fire was frequently made in streets 
and marketplaces. Of jumping through the fire, of flowers and 
wreaths, I find scarcely a word in connexion with the former; 
friction of fire is only mentioned a few times at the Midsummer 
fire, never at the Easter, and yet this friction is the surest mark 
of heathenism, and — as with needfire in North Germany, so with 
Easter fires there — may safely be assumed. Only of these last 
we have no accounts whatever. The Celtic bel-firea, and if my 
conjecture be right, our Phol-days, stand nearly midway betwixt 

* Conf. the snperstitioas * filinm in fomacem ponere pro sanitate febriuin,' 
and * ponere infantem juarta ignem,' Superat. B, 10. 14, and p. 200». 


Easter and Midsummer, but nearer to Easter when that falls late. 
A feature common to all three, and perhaps to all public fires 
of antiquity, is the wheel, as friction is to all the ancient Easter 

I must not omit to mention, that fires were also lighted at 
the season opposite to summer, at Ch-istmas, and in Lent. To 
the Yule-fire answers the Gaelic samhtheine (p. 614) of the 1st 
November. In France they have still in vogue the sotiche de 
Noel (from dies natalis, Prov. natal) or the trefiw (log that bums 
three days, Superst.K,!. 28), conf. the <rö/bir in Brandos Pop.antiq. 
1, 468. At Marseille they burnt the calendeau or ealigneau, a 
large oaken log, sprinkling it with wine and oil ; it devolved on 
the master of the house to set light to it (Millin 8, 336). In 
Dauphin6 they called it chalendal, it was lighted on Christmas 
eve and sprinkled with wine, they considered it holy, and had 
to let it bum out in peace (Champol.-Figeac, p. 124). Christmas- 
tide was called chalendes, Prov. calendas (Baynouard I, 292), 
because New-year commenced on Dec. 25. In Germany I find 
the same custom as far back as the 1 2th cent. A document of 
1184 (Kindl.'s Münst. beitr. ii. urk. 34) says of the parish priest 
of Ahlen in Münsterland : ' et arborem in nativitate Domini ad 
festivum ignem suum adducendam esse dicebat.^ The hewing of 
the ChrUtmas block is mentioned in the Weisthümer 2, 264. 302. 
On the Engl, yule-clog see Sup. I, 1109, and the Scandinav. 
julblok is well known ; the Lettons call Christmas eve hlukku 
wdkkars, block evening, from the carrying about and burning of 
the log (blukkis).^ Seb. Prank (Weltbuch 51*) reports the fol- 
lowing Shrovetide customs from Franconia : ' In other places they 
draw a fiery pUmgh kindled by a fire cunningly made thereon, till 
it fall in pieces (supra, p. 264). Item, they wrap a waggon^wheel 
all round in straw, drag it up an high steep mountain, and hold 
thereon a merrymaking all the day, so they may for the cold, 
with many sorts of pastime, as singing, leaping, dancing, odd or 
even, and other pranks. About the time of vespers they set the 
wheel afire, and let it run into the vale at full speed, which to look 
upon is like as the sun were running from the sky.' Such a 

' * So the Lith. kalledos m Christmas, from kalada, a log.' — Suppl. 


^ hoop'trundling ^ on Shrove Tuesday is mentioned by Schm. 1, 
544 ; the day is called funkentag (spunk.)^ in the ßheingau halV- 
fev^r, in Prance * la f8te des brandons.' ^ It is likely that similar 
fires take place here and there in connexion with the vintage. 
In the Voigtland on Mayday eve, which would exactly agree with 
the bealteine, you may see fires on most of the hills, and children 
with blazing brooms (Jul. Schmidt^s Beichenf. 118). Lastly, the 
Servians at Christmas time light a log of oak newly cut, badniak, 
and pour wine upon it. The cake they bake at such a fire and 
hand round (Vuk^s Montenegro, 105) recalls the Gaelic practice 
(p. 613). The Slavs called the winter solstice koleda, Pol. 
koleda. Buss, koliadi, answering to the Lat. calendae and the 
chalendes above ; ' they had games and dances, but the burning 
of fires is not mentioned. In Lower Germany too kaland had 
become an expression for feast and revelry (we hear of kalaud- 
gilden, kalandbrüder), without limitation to Christmas time, or 
any question of fires accompanying it (see SnppL). 

If in the Mid. Ages a confusion was made of the two Johns, 
the Baptist and the Evangelist, I should incline to connect with 
St. John's fire the custom of St. John's rmnne (p. 61), which by 
rights only concerns the beloved disciple. It is true, no fire 
is spoken of in connexion with it, but fires were an essential 
part of the old Norse minne-drinking, and I should think the 
Sueves with their barrel of ale (p. 56) burnt fires too. In the 
Saga Häkonar gö^a, cap. 16, we are told: ' eldar scyldo vera & 
midjo gölfi i hofino, oc )>ar katlar yfir, oc scyloU fvil of^ eld bera/ 
should bear the cups round the fire. Very striking to my mind 
is the ' dricka eldborgs sk&l ' still practised in a part of Sweden 
and Norway (Sup. K, 122-3). At Candlemas two tall candles 
are set, each member of the household in turn sits down between 
them, takes a drink out of a wooden beaker, then throws the 
vessel backwards over his head. If it fall bottom upwards, the 
thrower will die; if upright, he remains aUve.^ Early in the 
morning the goodwife ha.8 been up making her fire and baking ; 
she now assembles her servants in a half-circle before the oven 

^ Sap. E, 16. M6m. des antiqnaires 1, 236. 4, 371. 

' Other deriyations have been attempted, Hanusoh 192-3. [See note, p. 627, 
on Lith. kalledosJ] 

* A similar throwing backwards of an emptied glass on other occasions, Sup. J 
6U. 707. 


door^ they all bend the knee, take one bite of cake^ and drink 
eldborgsskdl (the fire^s health) ; what is left of cake or drink is 
cast into the flame. An unmistakeable vestige of heathen fire- 
worship^ shifted to the christian feast of candle-consecration as 
the one that furnished the nearest parallel to it. 

Our ofen, MHG. oven, 0H6. ovan, ON. on represents the Goth. 
avJins, O. Swed. omn, ofn, ogn, Swed. iLgn, Dan. on ; they all 
mean fomaz^ i.e. the receptacle in which fire is inclosed (conf. 
focus, fuoco, feu), but originally it was the name of the fire itself. 
Slay, ogan, ogen, ogn, Boh. ohen, Lith. ugnis, Lett, ugguns, Lat. 
ignis, Sanskr. Agni the god of fire. Just as the Swedish servants 
Icneel down before the ugns-hol, our German märchen and sagen 
have retained the feature of kneeling before the oven and praying 
to it; the unfortunate, the persecuted, resort to the oven, and 
hewail their woe, they reveal to it some secret which they dare not 
confide to the world.^ What would otherwise appear childish is 
explained : they are forms and formulas left from the primitive 
fire-worship, and no Ignger understood. In the same way people 
complain and confess to mother earth, to a stone, a plant, an oak, 
or to the reed (Morolt 1488). This personification of the oven 
hangs together with Mid. Age notions about orcus and hell as 
places of fire. Conf. Erebi fomaz (Walthar. 867), and what was 
said above, p. 256, on Fomaa. 

The luminous element permitted a feast to be prolonged into 
the night, and fires have always been a vehicle for testifying 
joy. When the worship had passed over into mere joy-fires, ignis 
joeunditatis, feux de joie, Engl, bon-fires, these could, without 
any reference to the service of a deity, be employed on other 
occasions, «specially the entry of a king or conqueror. Thus 
they made a torch-waggon follow the king, which was afterwards 
set on fire, like the plough and wheels at the feast of St. John 

* Hans nnd kinderm. 2, 20. 8, 221. Deutsche sagen no. 513. A children's 
game has the rhyme : * Dear good oven, I pray to thee, As thoa hast a wife, send a 
husband to me ! ' In the comedy * Life and death of honest Madam Slut (Schlam- 
pampe),' Leipz. 1696 and 1750, act 8, sc. 8 : ' Come, let ns go and kneel to the oven, 
maybe the gods will hear our prayer.' In 1558 one who had been robbed, but had 
sworn secrecT, told his stoxy to the Dutch-tile oven at the inn. Bommell's Hess, 
gesch. 4, note p. 420. Joh. Mailer's Hist. Switz. 2, 92 (a.D. 1838). ' Nota est in 
eligiis Tibulli Januae personificatio, cui amantes dolores suos narrant, quam orant, 
quam inciepant ; erat enim daemoniaca quaedam Tis januartmi ez opinione yeterum,' 
Biasen's Tib. 1, clxzix. Conf. Hartung's BeL der Böm. 2, 218 seq. 


(BA. 265). ' FacuKs et faustis acclamationibaa^ at prioribus 
regibus assaeverant^ obviam ei (non) procedebant/ Lamb, schafn. 
ad an. 1077. Of what we now call illumination, the lighting up 
of streets and avenues^ there are probably older instances than 
those I am able to quote : ^ von kleinen kerzen maneo schoup 
geleit üf ölboume loup/ of little tapers many a cluster ranged in 
olive bower, Parz. 82, 25. Detmar (ed. GrautoflF 1, 301) on the 
Emp. Charles IV,'s entry into Lübeck : ' des nachtes weren die 
Inchten bernde ut alien husen, unde was so licht in der nacht als 
in dem dage.' The church also escorted with torchlight pro- 
cessions : ' cui (abbati) intranti per noctis tenebras adhibent faces 
et lampadas,' Chapeaville 2, 532 (12th cent.). ' Hirimannus dox 
susceptus est ab archiepiscopo manuqae deducitur ad ecclesiam 
accensis luminaribus, cunctisque sonantibus campanis,^ Dietm. 
merseb. 2, 18. ' Taceo coronas tarn luminoso fulgore a luminaribas 
pendentes,' Vita Joh. gorziens. (bef. 984) in Mabillon's Acta 
Ben., sec, 5, p. 395 (see SuppL). 

3. Air. 

The notions ' avr, wind, weather/ touch one another, and their 
names often do the same.^ Like water, like fire, they are all 
regarded as a being that moves and lives : we saw how the words 
animus, spiritus, geist (pp. 439. 461) come to be used of genii, 
and the Slav, dukh is alike breath, breathing, and spirit. 
Wuotan himself we found to be the all-pervading (p. 133) ; like 
Yishnu, he is the fine aether that fills the universe. But lesser 
spirits belong to this element too: Oustr, Zephyr, Blaser (p. 461), 
Blaster, Wind-amd-weather (p. 548), proper names of dwarfs, 
elves, giants. In the Lithuanian legend the two giants Wanda 
(water) and Weyas (wind) act together (p. 579). To the OHG. 
wetar, OS. weda/r, AS. weder (tempestasj corresponds the Slav. 
veter, vietar (ventus, aer) : and to Goth, vinds, OHG. wint, the 
Lat. ventus. The various names given to wind in the AlvisniM 
(Saem. 50*) are easily explained by its properties of blowing, 
blustering and so forth : oepir (weeper) ejulans, the wailing, 
conf. OS. wop (whoop), OHG. wuof ejulatus ; gneggio9r (neigher) 
strepens, quasi hinniens; dynfari cum sonitu iens. 

> Our luft I inolnde nnder the root Unban, no. 630, whose primary meaning 
is stiU obsoure ; oonf . kliuban kloft, skinban skuft. 


Thus personification already peeps oat in mere appellatives; 
in the mythic embodiments themselves it is displayed in the most 
various ways. 

Woodcuts and plates (in the Sachsenspiegel) usually represent 
the winds, half symbolically, as hlowmg faces, or heads, probably 
a fancy of very early date, and reminding us of the hlowmg John's- 
head that whirls Herodias about in the void expanse of heaven 
(p. 285). The winds of the four cardinal points are imagined as 
four dwarfs : ' undir hvert horn (each corner) settu )?eir dverg', 
Sn. 9 (p. 461) ^ j but by the Greeks as giants and brethren : 
Zephyrus, Hesperus, Boreas, Notus (Hes. Theog. 871), and 
Boreas's sons Zetes and Kalals are also winged winds (ApoUon. 
Argon. 1, 219). Aeolus (aw\o9 nimble, changeful, many-hued), 
at first a hero and king, was promoted to be governor and guider 
of winds {rafiirj^ dv€/jL€ov, p. 93). In Russia popular tradition 
makes the four winds sons of one mother,^ the 0. Buss, lay of Ig6r 
addresses the wind as ' lord,' and the winds are called StribogVs 
grandsons,^ his divine nature being indicated by the ^ bogh' in 
his name. So in fairy-tales, and by Eastern poets, the toind is 
introdaced talking and acting : * the wind, the heavenly child /' * 

In the ON. genealogy, Porniotr, the divine progenitor of giants 
(p. 240), is made father of Edri (stridens) ^who rules over the 
toinds ;' Käri begets lökul (glacies), and lökul Sneer (nix), the 
king whose children are a son Thorri and three daughters Fönn, 
Drifa, Miöll, all personified names for particular phenomena of 
snow and ice (Sn. 358. Fomald. sog. 2, 3. 17). Käri however is 
brother to Hlßr (p. 241) and Logi (p. 240), to water and fire, by 
which is expressed the close affinity between air and the other 
two elements. The old Scandinavian cry * bl&s kdri ! ' is echoed 
in that of the Swedish sailors ^ bias kajsa !' a goddess instead of 
the god (Afzelius 1, 30). Both wind and fire ^ blow' and ^ emit 
spray,' nay, fire is called the red wind : ' von ir zweier swerte gie 
ierfiur-rote wint,' Nib. 2212, 4. In the same line of thought a 
higher divinity, NiörSr, has the sovereignty given him alike over 

^^ And therefore dttr&ni^ wettr6ntt sundrdni, nordrSni are masc. nouns ; the 
Gofbi^ forms would be dtutr&neis^ etc. 

' Kuss. Tolksmärchen, Leipz. 1831. p. 119. 

' ' Vdtre ydtrilo gospodine,' Hanka's ed. pp. 12. 36. 

* E.g. in Nalus, p. 180 (Bopp's 2 ed.). Kinderm. nos. 16. 88. 



water, wind and fire (p. 217) ; and Loptr (aereus) is another name 
for Loki (p. 246). A phrase in Csedm. 181, 13 seems worthy of 
notice : ' lyfUhelme hepoabt/ galea aerea tectus (see Suppl.). 

When in our language we still call one kind of tempest (OHG. 
vAwint, Graff 1, 624), the Windsbraut (wind's bride), and it was 
called the same in our older speech, OHG. wintes brut^ 0. v. 19, 
27. windis prut, Gl. Hrab. 975^ Jun. 230. Diut. 2, 182. Gl. 
florent. 982*-3M*'j MHG. windea brut (Gramm. 2, 606), Tit. 3733. 
s winder (swifter) danne windes brut, Ms. 2, 131*. lief spilnde 
als ein w.b. durch daz gras, Fragm. 19'. alsam in r6re diu w. b., 
Reinfried 159^. varn mit hurt als ein w. prut, Frauend. 92, 13 ;— 
it is only the proper names that seem to be lost.^ The corrupt 
forms wintsprout, -praut (Suchenw. 41, 804), windbrauss (in later 
writers, as Matthesius), windsprauch (Schm. 4, 110), have arisen 
out of the endeavour to substitute some new meaning for the 
no longer intelligible mythic notion. They say it is a woman 
snatching up a napkin from the bleaching ground and falling 
down with it. Moneys Anz. 8, 278. So in the Netherlands the 
whirlwind is called barende frauw. Wolf nos. 518-620 (see Suppl.). 

This wind^s-bride is a whirlwind, at which our mythology 
brings the highest gods into play. Even Wuotan's ' furious host,' 
what is it but an explanation of the storm wind howling through 
the air ? The OHG. ziu, turbines, we have traced to Zio, pp. 203. 
285 ; and the storm-cloud was called rruiganwetar (p. 332 last 1.)* 
But the whirlwind appears to be associated with Phol also (pp< 
229. 285), and with an opprobrious name for the devil (schweine- 
zagel, säuzagel, süstert, sow^s tail), to whom the raising of the 
whirl was ascribed (Superst. I, 522) * as well as to witches (ibid. 
554). It was quite natural therefore to look upon some female 
personages also as prime movers of the whirlwind, the gyrating 
dancing Herodias, and /rau Hilde, frau Holde (p. 285). In Kilian 
693 it is A fahrendes weib ; in Celtic legend it is stirred up hjfays, 

^ Orifhyia oarried off by Boreas (Ov. Met. 6, 710)' could with perfect justice 
be named vnndesbrüt by Albrecht. 

' Two Pol. tales in Woyoicki 1, 81 and 89 : When the whirlwind (vikher) sweeps 
up the loose sand, it is the evil spirit dancing ; throw a tharp new knife into the 
middle of it, and you wound him. A magician plunged such a knife into his 
threshold, and condemned his man, with whom he was angry, for seyen years to ride 
round the world on the swift stormwind. Then the whirlwind lifted the man, who 
was making haycocks in a meadow, and bore him away into the air. This knife- 
throwing is also known to Germ, superstition everywhere (I, 554=). 

wind's BRIDE. 633 

and the Iridh name for it is sigh ffooite (O'Brien), aighgaoithe 
(Croker III, xzi) ; in a whirlwind elvish sprites can steal (Stewart 
p. 122). It ia a popular belief in Sweden, that the skogsrii 
(wood-wife) makes her presence known by a violent whirlwind 
which shakes the trees even to breaking. The Slav, poledniee 
(snpra, p. 478n.) is a female daemon, who flies up in the dust ot 
the whirlwind (Jungmann sub v.). According to a legend of the 
Hark (Kuhn no. 167) the whirlwind was a noble damsel who 
loved the chase above everything, and made havock of the hus- 
bandman's crops, for which she is doomed to ride along with 
the storm to all eternity ; this again reminds us of Diana and 
the huntress Holda (see Suppl.). 

In addition to these widely spread fancies, there is a peculiar 
one about the origin of wind, which appears to extend through 
nearly all Europe. According to the Edda, HrcesvelgriQ the name 
of a giant, who in the shape of cm eagle ^ sits at the end of heaven : 
from his wings cometh all wind upon men, Ssem. 35^. Snorri 
defines it more minutely : He sits at the north side of heaven, 
and when he flaps his wings, the winds rise from under them (Sn. 
22.) And in the formula of the trygdamdJ (Grägäs 2, 170), it 
is said : ' svft vtSa sem valr fl^gr v&rlUngan dag, oc standi byrr 
iindir bdda vasngi/ far as falcon flies a summerlong day, when 
stands fair wind under both his wings. Light clouds threatening 
storm are called in Iceland klo-sigi (Biöm spells kl6segi), claw- 
sinking ; ace. to Ounnar Pauli, because the eagle causes storm by 
letting down one of his claws (Finn Magn. pv 452) .^ It is also 
an Indian belief that tempest comes from Oaruda's vjings, 
Somadeva 2, 102 : the motion of his flight stirs up the wind. 

Then again people in the Shetland isles are said to conjure the 
storm-wind in the shape of a great eaglet Further we are told 
that Charles the Great had a brazen eagle fixed on the top of 
his palace at Achen (Aix), and there was some connexion 
between it and the wind ; Richerus 3, 71 (Pertz 5, 622) relates 
the inroad of the Welsh (Gtauls) in 978 : * Aeneam aquilam, quae 
in vertice palatii a Karolo magno acsi volans fixa erat,* in vul- 

^ The giants often pnt on the amar ham (erne's ooat) : Thiazi in Sn. 80. 82, 
Sattüngr in Sn. 86. 

' Bay also was imaged as a bird, wlio dng his claws into the donds. 

' Soott's Pirate, Edinb., 1822. 

* It ought not to be overlooked here, that at tlie west door of OSin's hall there 

634 ELElfENTS. 

iurnum converterunt. Nam Germani earn in favonium (Up. 
^erm. fohn) converterant^ subfciliter significantes Gallos suo 
equitatu quandoque posse devinci/ The meaning seems to be, 
that the French turned the eagle's head to the south-east, the 
Oermans to the west, to signify that like the storm they could 
make a raid (ride, that is what equitatus comes to) upon the 
country toward which the bird's head was directed. Dietmar of 
Merseburg's account 3, 6 (Pertz 5, 761) is as follows : ' Post haec 
autem imperator ordinavit expeditionem suam adversas Lotharium 
regem KArelingorum, qui in Aquisgrani palatium et sedem regiam 
nostrum semper respicientem dominium valido ezercitu praesump- 
sit invadere, sibique versa aquila designare. Haec stat in 
orientali parte domus, morisque fuit omnium hunc locum possi- 
dentium ad sua earn vertere regna,' This statement appears less 
accurate than that of Richerus, for each would turn the eagle's 
head not toward his own kingdom, but the foreign or depen- 
dent one; conf. Jahrb. d. Eheinlande v. vi. 78. But even in 
the 12th cent, the wind's connexion with the eagle was still 
known in Germany, for Veldek sings, MS. 1, 21*: 'j&rlanc ist 
reht daz der ar winke dem vil süezen winde/ all this year the 
eagle must beckon to (i.e. bring) a mild wind. How many 
fancies familiar to the Mid. Ages must be lost to us now, when 
of all the poets that mention air and wind and storm no end of 
times, only one happens to allude to this myth ! But not only 
do aquila and aquilo/ vultur and vultumus point to each other ; 
avefJLo^ (wind) and a€T09 (eagle) are likewise from one root 
ao), arjfiL? According to Horapollo 2, 15 a sparrowhawk with 
outspread wings represents the wind. Eagle, falcon, vulture, 
sparrowhawk, are here convertible birds of prey. The Indian 
garuda, king of birds, is at the same time the wind. The O.T. 
also thinks of the winds as winged creatures, without specifying 
the bird, 2 Sam. 22, 11: 'rode on the wings of the winds'; 
Pa. 18,11. 104,3: 'volavit super pennas ventorum/ which 

also hung a wolf, and over it an eagU (drüpir örn yfir, Sasm. 41**), and that the 
yictorious Saxons fixed an eagle over the city's gate, snpra, p. 111. 

^ Festus : * aquilo ventus a Yehementissimo volatu ad instar aqoilae appel- 
latur ' ; conf. Hesjchius, dxipos 6 ßoß^ai, 

^ Wackemagel on Ablaut (vowel-change) p. 80. Eustathius on the II. 87. la 


Notker translates 'überfloag die vettacha dero windo'; and 
Martina 7*^ has, in allusion to the biblical phrase^ ' der üf der 
mnde vedem saz.' The expression used by Herbert 17091, 'der 
wint liez ouch dare gän/ shews that the poet imagined it either 
flying or riding (see Suppl.). 

The Finns call the eagle kokko (kotka) ; but a poem descriptive 
of the northstorm begins : ' Came the eagle on from Turja, down 
from Lappmark sinks a bird/ and ends : ' Neath his wing a 
hundred men, thousands on his tail's tip, ten in every quill there 
be.' ^ And in a Mod. Greek folk-song the spa/rrowhawk (as in 
HorapoUo) calls upon the winds to hush : airo rii TpUop<f>a ßouvh 
lepdtct eavpe XaXid • Tra-^er,' aipe^, ira'^ere airo'^^ k oKKt^v fiiäv 
ßpaSid.^ The winds are under the bird's command^ and obey 
him. In another song the mother sets three to watch her son 
while he sleeps, in the mountains the sun, in the plain the eagle 
(a€T09), on the sea the brisk lord Boreas : the sun sets, the eagle 
goes to sleep, and Boreas goes home to his mother ; ^ from the 
whole context here we must understand by the eagle the sweet 
soft wind, and by Boreas the cool northwind. 

Hrcesvelgr (OHG. Hrfiosnolah?) means swallower of corpses, 
flesh-eater, Sansk. krayiyäda, and is used of birds of prey that 
feed on carrion, but may also be applied to winds and storms 
which purify the air : they destroy the eflSuvia from bodies that 
he unburied. 

Is that the foundation of the fancy, that when a man Jiangs 
himself, a tempest springs up, and the roar of the wind pro- 
claims the suicide ? ^ Is it the greedy carrion-fowl that comes 
on in haste to seize the dead, his lawful prey, who swings un- 
buried on the tree ? Or does the air resent the self-murderer's 
polluting presence in it? A New-year's storm is thought to 
announce pestilence (Sup. I, 330. 910), spreading an odour of 
death in anticipation. 

Tempest (like fire) the common people picture to themselves as 
a voracums hungry being (of course a giant, according to the root 

1 Finniflh ranes, ups. 1819, pp. 58-60. 
< Fauriel 2, 236. Wh. MüUer 2, 100. 
> Fanriel 2, 482. Wh. MiUler 2, 120. 

* Bap. I, 843. 1013. Kirchhofer*B Sohweiz. spr. 327. CI. Brentano's Libussa 
p. 432. Sartori's Beise in Kärnten 2, 164. Leoprecbting 102. 


idea of iötunn, p. 519), and they try to pacify him by pouring out 
flour in the air.^ I take this to be an ancient superstition, and 
light is thrown upon it now by a Norwegian tale in Asbjomsen 
no. 7, of the narthivind carrying off a poor fellow^s meal three 
times, but compensating him afterwards by costly presents. This 
northwind behaves exactly as a rough good-natured giant. (See 

The raising of the whirlwind was, as we have seen (p. 632), 
ascribed to divine, semi-divine and diabolic beings. In Norway 
they say of whirlwinds and foul weather, ' the giant stirs his pots,' 
Faye p. 7. 

In two weather-spells (Append., Exorcism v.) Mermeut and 
Fasolt are called upon as evil spirits and authors of stonns. 
Fasolt is the well-known giant of our hero-legend, brother of 
Ecke, who was himself god of tides and waves (p. 239). The 
two brothers have kindred occupations, being rulers of the dread 
sea and of the weather. What we gather from the second spell 
about Fasolt seems to me of importance, and another conclu- 
sive proof of the identity of Ecke with Oegir : as H16r and 
Käri.are brothers and giants, so are also Ecke and Fasolt; as 
H16r commands the sea and K&ri the winds, so does Ecke rule 
the waters and Fasolt the storm. To the Norse poets the ttnnd 
is ' Fomiots sonr ' and ' Oegis brö^ir.'* Now, as H16r was called 
by another nation Oegir, i.e. IJogi, Ecke, so Kftri may have been 
called Fasolt. Fasolt must be an old word, if only because it is 
hard to explain ; does it come under the OHG. fasa, fiasön (Graff 
3, 705) ? In ON., ' fas ' is snperbia, arrogantia ; the name seems 
to express the overbearing nature of a giant. Mermeut, which 
occurs nowhere else, perhaps means the sea-mutterer f Schm. 2, 
552. 653 has maudem, mutem, murmurare. — These demi-gods 
and giants stand related to Donar the supreme director of clouds 
and weather, as ^olus or Boreas to Zeus. 

And from Zeus it was that the favourable wished-for wind 
proceeded: J 409 oipo^, Od« 5, 176. Wiiotan (the all-pervading, 

1 Sup. I, 282. Praetorins's Weltbesohr. 1, 429 : At Bamberg, when a violtnt 
wind was raging, an old woman snatched ap her mealsaok, and emptied it oat of 
window into the air, with the words : ' Dear wind, don't be so wild ; take that home 
to your child ! ' She meant to appease the hnnger of the wind, as of a greedy 
Üon or fierce wolf. 

> * Fomiots sef ar ' = sea and wind, S»m. 90^ 


p. 630) makes the wish-wind, dska-byrr, p. 144. What notion 
lies at the bottom of Wolfram's making Juno give the ' segels 
laft/ sail-wind (Para. 753, 7) ? Again in Para. 750, 7 and 766, 
4 : ' Juno faocte (fitted) daz weUr* and ' segelweter* The fruit- 
ful breeze that whispers in the com was due to Fro and his boar, 
pp. 213-4. An ON. name of QSinn was FidWr, the weatherer: 
' at )?eir sögSu han veiSrum rifBa,' he governs weathers (Pornm. 
sog. 10, 171). Such a god was Pogoda to the Slavs, and the Pol. 
pogoda. Boh. pohoda, still signifies good growing or ripening 
weather [Buss, god = time, year; pogoda = weather, good or bad]. 
Typhon in Egyptian legend meant the south wind, Hes. Theog. 
301. 862. 

The Lettons believed in a god of winds and storms Ohkupeemis, 
and thought that from his forehead they came down the sky to 
the earth. ^ 

In an ON. saga (Fomald. sog. 3, 122) appears giant Grtmnir, 
whose father and brother are named Grtmdlfr and Grimarr, a sort 
of Polyphemus, who can excite storm or good wind : here again 
it is OSinn we must think of (p. 144). Two semi-divine beings, 
honoured with temples of their own and bloody sacrifices, were 
the giant^s daughters Thorgerffr and Irpa (p. 98) . In the Skäld- 
skaparmäl 164 Thorger8r is called Hölgabruffr or king Hölgi's 
daughter, elsewhere hörgabrüdr and hörgatröll (Fomald. sog. 2, 
131), sponsa divum, immanissima gigas, which reminds us of our 
vnnd'S'bride. Both the sisters sent foul weather, storm and hail, 
when implored to do so, Pornm. sog. 11, 134-7. And ON. 
legend mentions other dames besides, who make /cmZ weather and 
fog, as Hei'Si and Hamglöm, Fomald. sog. 2, 72, Ingibiörg, ibid. 
3, 442 (see Suppl.).« 

What was at first imputed to gods, demigods and giants, the 
sending of wind, storm and hail (vis daemonum concitans pro- 
cellas, Beda's Hist. eccl. 1, 1 7), was in later times attributed to 
human sorcerers. 

First we find the Lex Visigoth, vi. 2, 3 provides against the 

' malefici et immissores tempestatum, qui quibusdam incanta- 

' iioDibus grandinem in vineas messesque mittere perhibentur.' 

Then Charles the Great in his Capit. of 789 cap. 64 (Pertz 3, 64) ; 

^ Okka, or anlca, storm ; peere forehead. Stender's Gramm. 266. 
> Conf . p. 888, 468 hnlizhialmr. 


' ut nec cauculatores et incantatores^ nee tempestarii vel obliga- 
tores non fiant^ et nbicanqae sunt^ emendentar vel damnentar/ 
Soon after that king's death, about the beginning of Lewis the 
Pious's reign, bp. Agobard (d. 840) wrote * Contra insolsam vnlgi 
opinionem de grandine et tonitniis/ From this treatise, following 
Baluz's edit, of the works of Agobard, I take a few passages. 

1, 145 : In his regionibos pene omnes homines, nobiles et 
ignobiles, nrbani et rnstici, senes et juvenes, putant grandines et 
tonitrua hominum libitu posse fieri. Dicunt enim, mox at aadie- 
rint tonitroa et viderint falgura : ' aura levaiitia est.' Inter- 
rogati yero, quid sit aura levatitia ? alii cum yerecundia, parum 
remordente conscientia, alii aatem confidenter, ut imperitoruoi 
moris esse solet, confirmant incantationibus hominum qui dicun- 
tur tempestarii, esse levatam, et ideo dici levatitiam auram. 

1, 146 : Plerosque antem vidimus et audivimus tanta dementia 
obrutos, tanta stultitia alienates, at credant et dicant, quandam 
esse regionem quae dicatur Magonia, ex qua naves veniant in 
nubibus, in quibus fruges quae grandinihus decidunt et tempesta- 
tibus pereunt, vehantur in eandem regionein, ipsis videlicet nautis 
aereis dantibus pretia tempestariis, et accipientibus framenta vel 
ceteras fruges. Ez his item tarn profunda stultitia excoecatis, at 
hoc posse fieri credant, vidimus plures in quodam conventu homi- 
num exhibere vinctos quatuor homines, tres viros et unam femi- 
nam, quasi qui de ipsis navibus cedderint: quos scilicet, per 
aliquot dies in vinculis detentos, tandem coUecto conventu homi- 
num exhibuerunt,ut dixi, in nostra praesentia, tanquam lapidandos. 
Sed tamen vincente veritate post multam ratiocinationem, ipsi qui 
eos exhibuerant secundum propheticum illud confusi sunt, sicut 
confunditur fur quando deprehenditur. 

1, 153 : Nam et hoc quidam dicunt, nosse se tales tempestarios, 
qui dispersam grandinem et late per regionem decidentem feu^iant 
unum in locum fluminis aut silvae infructuosae, aut super unam, 
ut ajunt, cupam, sub qua ipse lateat, defluere. Frequenter certe 
audivimus a multis dici quod talia nossent in certis locis facta, sed 
necdum audivimus, ut aliquis se haec vidisse testaretur. 

1, 158 : Qui, mox ut audiunt tonitrua vel cum leviflatu venti, 
dicunt ' levatitia aura est,' et maledicunt dicentes : ' maledicta 
lingua ilia et arefiat et jam praecisa esse debebat, quae hos &cit ! ' 

1, 159 : Nostris quoque temporibus videmus aliquando, coUectis 


messibns et yindemiis^ propter siccitatem agricolas seminare non 
posse. Quare non obtinetis apnd tempestarios vestros^ ut mittant 
auras levatitias, qnibns terra inrigetar^ et postea seminare possitis? 

1^ 161 : Isti antem^ contra qaos sermo est^ ostendant nobis 
komnncnlos^ a sanctitate^ jnstitia et sapientia alienos^ a fide et 
veritate nudos^ odibiles etiam prozimis^ a quibus dicunt vehement 
timmos imbres, sonantia aquae tonitma et levatitiaa auras posse 

1, 162 : In tantnm malum istud jam adolevit^ ut in plerisque 
locis sint homines miserrimi^ qui dicant^ se non equidem nosse 
immittere tempestates^ sed nosse tamen defendere a tempestate 
liabitatores loci. His habent statntum, quantum de frugibus suis 
donent, et appellant hoc canonicum. Many are backward in tithes 
and alms^ canonicum autem^ quern dicunt^ suis defensoribus (a 
qaibus se defendi credunt a tempestate) nullo praedicante^ nullo 
admonente vel ezhortante^ sponte p&rsolvunt, diabolo ioliciente. 
Denique in talibus ex parte magnam spem habent vitae suae^ 
quasi per illos vivant (see Suppl.). 

It was natural for driving hail- clouds to be likened to a ship 
sailing across the sky ; we know our gods were provided with 
cars and ships^ and we saw at p. 882 that the very Edda bestows 
on a cloud the name of vindflot. But when the tempest-men 
by their spells call the air-ship to them or draw it on^ they are 
servants and assistants rather than originators of the storm. 
The real lord of the weather takes the corn lodged by the hail 
into the ship with him^ and remunerates the conjurors^ who 
might be called his priests. The Christian people said : ' these 
conjurors sell the grain to the aeronaut^ and he carries it away.' 
Bat what mythic country can Magonia mean ? It is not known 
whether Agobard was bom in Germany or Gaul^ though his name 
is enough to shew his Frankish or Burgundian extraction ; just 
as little can we tell whether he composed the treatise at Lyons^ 
or previously at some other place. The name Magonia itself 
seems to take us to some region where Latin was spoken^ if we 
may rely on its referring to magus and a magic land. 

In later times I find no mention of this cloud-ship, except in 
H. Sachs^ who in his schwank of the Lappenhäuser ii. 4^ 89° re- 
lates how they made a ship of feathers and straw^ and carried it 
up the hill^ with the view of launching out in it when the viiet 


should fall, Fisclier in Garg. 96* introdaces quite anconnectedlj 
the nebelschiffs segel of Philozenus (the gaestfriend or Zens ?) in 
a passage that has nothing in Babelais answering to it. 

In the latter part of the Mid. Ages there went a story of the 
wind-selling inhabitants of Yinland^ which I give from a work 
composed towards 1360 by Glanvil or Bartholomaens Anglictts^ 
^Deproprietatibus rerum' 15, 172 : 'Oens (Yinlandiae) estbarbara, 
agrestis et saeva> magicis artibas occnpata. Undo et naviganti- 
bas per eornm litora, vel apad eos propter venti defectnm moram 
contrahentibus, ventum venalem offemnt atqae vendnnt. Globnm 
enim de file facinnt, et diversos nodos in eo connecten^tes, usque ad 
ires nodos vel plnres de globo exirahi praecipinnt^ secnndnm qnod 
volnerint ventum habere fortiorem.^ Qnibns propter eornm in- 
credalitatem illudentes, daemones aerem condtant et ventum 
majorem vel minorem excitant, secundum quod plures niödos de 
filo extrahunt vel pauciores, et quandoqne in tantnm oommovent 
ventum, quod miseri talibus fidem adhibentes justo judicio sub- 
raerguntur/ — This selling of wind in Wilandia (as he calls it) is 
likewise mentioned in Seb. Frankes Weltbuch 60*, without any 
description of the method. By Yinland is to be understood s 
part of the Greenland coast which had been early visited by 
Norwegians and Icelanders, and in ON. tales is by turns called 
Yinland and Yindland ; ^ the latter form might have suggested 
the whole story of raising the wind, on which the ON. writings 
as well as Adam of Bremen are silent. Others however tell 
the same story of the Finns (01. Magnus 3, 15) : it seems to me 
a tradition spread all over the North ^ (see Suppl.). 

The Norse legends name wind produced by magic göminga^veSr. 
Ogautan (like Aeolus) had a veffr-belgr (-bellows, or leathern 
bag) ; when he shook it, storm and wind broke out (Fomald. 
sog. 2, 412); the same with MönduU (3, 338). The Swedish 

^ This globus resembles the Lat. turbo, a top or teetotum used in magic : * oitoxn 
retro solve, solve tnrbinem,' Hor. Epod. 17, 7. 

> Fornm. sog. 2, 246. Isl. sog. 1, 9. 100. 151. Gonl. Torfiaeas's Hist. Viulandiae 
antiquae, Hafn. 1705. 

s The Esthonians believed that wind could be generated and altered. In the 
direction whence ^ou wish it to blow, hang up a snake or set an axe upright, and 
whistle to make it come. A olerg^yman happened to see some peasants makiug a 
great fuss round three itonet, eating, drinking and dancing to the sound of rostie 
instruments. Questioned as to the object of the feast, they replied that by means 
of those stones they could produce wet weather or dry ; dry, if they set them 
upright, wet if they laid them along (lieber die Ehsten, p. 48) ; supra pp. 598-7. 

STORM. 641 

king Einkr^ son of Bagnar Lodbrok, bore the samame of 
veffrhcUtr (ventosi pilei) : whichever way he ttumed his hat, from 
there the wished for wirhd would blow (Saxo Oram. 175. 01. 
Magnus 3^ 13. Gejer's Häfder 582). One of our nursery-tales 
even^ no. 71^ tells of a man who can direct the weather by 
sating his hat straight or askew. There is an expression in 
the Edda^ vindhidlmr (Ssem. 168^)^ which reminds me of the 
OHG. name Wiridhelm, Trad. fuld. 2, 167 (see Suppl.). 

That is a beautiful fancy in the Edda^ of seven-and-twenty 
▼alkyrs riding through the air^ and when their horses shake, 
themselves^ the dew dropping out of their manes on the deep 
▼alleys, and hail on the lofty trees : a sign of a fruitful year. Seem. 
145. So morning-dew falls on the earth each day from the foam- 
ing bit of the steed Hrimfazi (dew-mane), Sn. 11. The ON. 
meldropi, AS.' melede&w, OHG. militou (Gl. Jun. 224), MHG. 
miltou (Ms. 2, 124*), all take us back to mel (Inpatum equi) ; 
conf. note on Elene p. 164, where mel is derived from midl, 
mittul, and supra p. 421. Antiquity referred all the phenomena 
of nature to higher powers. The people in Bavaria call a dark 
rain-cloud * anel mit der laugen,' granny with her ley (Schm. 1, 
63) ; in Bohemia light clouds are habhy, grannies. When moun- 
tain mist is rising, the Esthonians say ^ the Old one is putting his 
fire out ' ; our people ascribe it to animals at least : ' the hare is 
boiling [his supper], the fox is bathing, brewing,' Beinh. ccxcvi. 
When shapes keep rising in the mists on the seashore, the 
Italians call it fata morgana^ p. 412 (see Suppl.). 

The Scythians explained drifting snow as flying feathers (Herod. 
4, 31), and our people see in the flakes the feathers out of the 
goddess's bed, or goose (p. 268). Those snow-women Fönn, 
DHfa, MiöU (p. 631) appear also to touch one side of Holda. The 
Lettish riddles, ' putns skreen, spahrni pill,' and ' putns skreen, 
spalwas putt '^ mean a rain-cloud and a snow-cloud. In Switzer- 
land vulgar opinion looks upon avalanches as ravening beasts, on 
whom (as on fire) you can put a check (see Suppl.). 

4. Eabth. 

Of the goddess, and her various names, we have spoken already : 
Ncrthus p. 251, Erda p. 250, Fairguni p. 172. 256, Erce p. 253, 

^ Bird flies, viDgB drip. Bird flies, feathers drop. Stender's Gramm. 260. 


Hladana p. 256, and others ; in which the ideas of the ancients 
about Terra, Gaia> Ops, Bhea, Cybele, Ceres repeat themselves. 
On p. 303 the Indian Prithivi was compared with Freyja, and the 
closest kinship exists between Freyr and NiörSr (the male Ner- 
thus) . But also the bare element itself, the molte (mould, pulvis) 
p. 251, was accounted holy : it is the ;^Öö)i; iroXvßoreipa, out of 
its teeming lap rise fruits and trees, into it the dead are laid, and 
decay or fire restores them to dust and ashes.^ To die was ' to 
sink to the earth,' ' til iarSar (til moldar) hniga,' ' to kiss the 
earth,' still more prettily in ON. ' i modurcett falla ' (Nialss. cap. 
45), in matemum genus cadere, to fall back into the womb of 
terra mater} They also said ' iarffar niegin kiosa ' (vim tellnris 
eligere, ue. invocare), Sssm. 27^; and as the Greeks made the 
falling giant acquire new strength the moment he touched the 
ground, the Edda has ' aukinn iarÖar msgni^ (auctus vi telluris), 
1 18^, 119*.^ One who had been long away from home kissed the 
earth on treading it once more ; in O.Fr. poems ' baiser la terre ' 
is a sign of humility, Berte pp^ 35. 43. 58. Renart 14835. As 
the pure stream rejects the malefactor, so neither will the earth 
endure him: 'uns solt diu erde nicht tragen,' Troj. 491 [conf. 'art 
cursed from the earth,' Gen. 4. 10--12]. Secrets were entrusted 
to the earth, as well as to fire and oven, p. 629 (see Suppl.). 

It is more especially earth grown over with grass, the green- 
award, that has a sacred power ; such grass the Sanskrit calls 
hhttsa, and in particular durva, to which correspond the AS. turf, 
ON. torf, OHG. zurba : ' holy earth and haulms of durva,' Sak- 
untala (Hirzel pp. 51. 127). I have also accounted for the famous 
chrene crud of the Salic law by our ' reines kraut,' clean herb ; 
and explained ' chreneschruda (dat.) jactare' by the Boman 

^ Irstantent (they rise again) fon themo fülen legare, üz fon theru <uguy fon 
thero falaunsgu, fon themo irditgen herde, O. t. 20, 25--8. 

^ Ancient tombs have been discovered, in which the bodies neither lie nor sit, 
bnt crouch with the head, arms and legs pressed together, in receptacles nearly 
square. M. Fr6d. Troyon of French Switz., who has carefully explored and ob- 
served many old graves, expressed to me his opinion, that by this singular treat- 
ment of dead bodies it was prob, intended to replace man in the same posture that 
he maintained in the womb before birth. Thus the return into mother earth would 
be at the same time an intimation of the coming new birth and resurrection of the 

* The Servians, by way of protesting, say * tako mit zemlie ! * so (help) me 
earth. A Gaelic saw (Armstrong sub v. coibhi, priest, supra p. 92 note) declares : 
* ged is fagus claoh do 'n lir, is faigse na sin cobhair choibhi,' near as a stone is to 
the ground, the coibhi*s help is nearer still, which seems to imply theearth^s prompt 
assistance as well as the priest's. 

EARTH. 643 

^puram herbam tollere/ as the Hel. 73, 7 has hrencumi, an OHG. 
gloss reincumes ={Tumenti, MHG. 'daz reine gras/ Iw. 6446, and 
grass and 'der melm,^ dust, are coupled together, Wh. 24, 28. 
The purport of the law is, that earth or dust must be taken up 
from the four corners of the field, and thrown with the hand over 
the nearest kinsman. It was a solemn legal ceremony of heathen 
times, which the christian Capitulars abolished. Against my 
interpretation, however, Leo has now set up a Celtic one (cruin- 
neach collectus, criadh terra) ,^ and I cannot deny the weight 
of his arguments, though the German etymology evidently 
has a stronger claim to a term incorporated in the text itself 
than in the case of glosses [because the Latin text must be 
based on a Frankish original] . The mythic use made of the 
earth remains the same, whichever way we take the words. 

The ON. language of law offers another and no less significant 
name: the piece of turf [under which an oath was taken] is 
called iardmen, iarffa/r men ; now ' men ' is literally monile, OHG. 
mani, meni, AS. mene, as we saw- in the case of Freyja^s neck- 
kee 'Brisinga men.' But 'iarSar men' must once have been 
laröar men, Erda's necklace, the greensward being very poetically 
taken for the goddess's jewelry. The solemn ' g^nga undir 
Iar9ar men* (RA. 118-9) acquires its true meaning by this. In 
other nations too, as Hungarians (BA. 120), and Slavs (Böhme's 
Beitr. 5, 141), the administration of oaths took place by the per- 
son who swore placing earth or turf on his head (see Suppl.). 

The custom of conquered nations presenting earth and water 
in token of submission reaches back to remote antiquity : when 
the Persians declared war, they sent heralds to demand the two 
elements of those whose country they meant to invade,^ which 
again reminds us of the Soman ^pura.' Our landsknechts as 
late as the 16th century, on going into battle, threw a clod of 
earth (like him that threw chrenechruda) in token of utter re- 
nnnciation of life.^ Among the Greeks too, grasping the sod 

* Zeitscbr. f. d. alterth. 2, 168 seq. Malb. gl. 2, 149. 150. 

' BriBsonios De regno Pers. 8, 66 — 71. Herod. 4, 127. 5, 18. Curtiusiii. 10, 
106. Aristotle Bhet. u. 22, 87. Also Judith 2, 7 : iroifid^eip yrjv xal üöup (God. 
ftlez. ed. Aogusti). 

* Barthold's Fmndsberg p. 58-9. In the Mid. Ages, when a nun was conse- 
crated, her kinsmen, as a sign that she renounced all earthly possessions, threw 
earth over the maiden's arm; oonf. Svenska visor 1, 176 : 

det voro s& nULnga grefvar b&ld, 


signified taking possession of land, especially in the case of 
emigrants. As Eaphamos sits on the prow of the Argo^ Triton 
appears in human form and presents him with a clod of earth as a 
gift of hospitality. Eaphamos takes the symbolic earth {ßdikaxa 
iaifji^vUiv)y and gives it to his men to keep, but they drop it 
in the sea, and it melts away. Had it been preserved and 
deposited at Tainaros, the descendants of Eaphamos would have 
won the promised . land (Gyrene) in the fourth generation. As 
it was, they only got it in the 17th (see Suppl.).^ 

In an AS. spell which is elsewhere given, four pieces of turf 
are cut out, oil, honey, yeast and the milk of all cattle are dropt 
on them, and thereto is added some of every kind of tree that 
grows on the land, except hard trees,^ and of every herb except 
burs ; and then at length the charm is repeated over it. With 
their seedcom people mix earth from three sorts of fields (Superst. 
I, 477) ; on the coffin, when lowered, three clods are dropt (699) ; 
by cutting out the sod on which footprints [of a thief or enemy] 
are left, you can work magic (524. 556; and see Suppl.). 

Of holy mountains and hills there were plenty \ yet there seems 
to have been no elemental worship of them : they were honoured 
for the sake of the deity enthroned upon them, witness the 
Wodan^s and Thunar^s hills. When Agathias, without any such 
connexion, speaks of \oil>oi and ifxipayye^ (hills and gullies) as 
objects of worship (p. 100) ; possibly his knowledge of the facts 
was imperfect, and there was a fire or water worship connected 
with the hill. It is among the Goths, to "whom fairguni meant 
mountain (p. 172), that one would first look for a pure mountain- 
worship, if the kinship I have supposed between that word and 
the god^s name be a matter of fact. Dietmar of Merseburg 
(Pertz 5, 855) gives an instance of mountain-worship among the 
Slavs : ' Posita autem est haec (civitas, viz. Nemtsi, Nimptch) 
in pago silensi, vocabulo hoc a quodam monte, nimis excelso et 
grandi, olim sibi indito : et hie ob quaUtatem suam et quantitatem, 
cam execranda gentilitas ibi veneraretur, ab incolis omnibus nimis 

som hade deraf stor harm (great sorrow), 

der de na kantadf, den snarta mull (black mould) 

allt öfver skön Valborg's arm. 

^ Pindar's Pyth. 4, 21-44. O. Mailer's Orohom. S52, and proleg. 142 seq. ; 
his Dorier 1, 85. 2, 5B5. 

3 * Only of soft wood, not hard,' BA. 506. 


honorahdiur/ The commentators say it is the Zobtenberg in 
Silesia (see Suppl.). 

Here and there single stones and rpcks, or several in a gronp^ 
sometimes arranged in circles^ were held in veneration (Append. 
' vota ad lapides/ especially ' lapides in ruinosis et silvestribus 
locis venerari -/ AS. stanweorSung, ' bringan t6 stane,' Thorpe pp. 
380. 396). This worship of stones is a distinguishing character- 
istic of Celtic religion/ less of Teutonic, though amongst our- 
selves also we meet with the superstition of slipping through 
KoUow stones as well as hollow trees. Chap. XXXVI. Cavities 
not made artificially by human hand were held sacred. In Eng- 
land they hang such holy-stones or holed-stones at the horses^ 
heads in a stable, or on the bed-tester and the house-door against 
witchcraft. Some are believed to have been hollowed by the 
sting of an adder (adderstones) . In Germany, holy stones were 
either mahlsteine of tribunals or sacrificial stones : oaths were 
taken ' at ursvölum urma/r st&ini/ ' at enom hvita kelga steini/ 
8®m. 165». 237\ heilögfiöll 189^ Helgafell, Landn. 2, 12 ; conf. 
espec. Eyrbygg. saga c. 4. Four holy stones are sunk to cleanse 
a profaned sea (supra p. 87 note). A great number of stones 
which the giant or devil has dropt, on which he has left the print 
of his hand or foot, are pointed out by popular legend, without 
any holy meaning being thereby imparted to them (see Suppl.). 

As giants and men get petrified (p. 551), and still retain, so 
to speak, an afler-sense of their former state, so to rocks and 
stones compassion is attributed, and interest in men's condition. 
Snorri 68 remarks, that stones begin to sweat when brought out 
of the frost into warmth, and so he explains how rocks and stones 
wept for Baldr. It is still common to say of bitter anguish : ' a 
stone by the wayside would feel pity,' ' it would move a heart 
of stone.' * Notice the MHG. phrase : ' to squeeze a stone with 

^ Conf. ArmBtrong snb y. cam and olachbratb ; O'Brien sub v. earn ; H. 
Sohreiber's Feen, p. 17 on tbe menhir and pierree fites, p. 21 on the pierres 
Innlantes. Of spindle-stones I have spoken, p. 419. 

' This mode of expression is doubtless very old; here are specimens from 
MHG. : ez erbarmet einem iUine, Hart. erst, büohl. 1752. wasr sin herze steinen, 
Bwer (whoso) si weinen sähe, ze weinen im gescluehe. Herb. 68^ ; ir klage mohte 
erbarmen einen «e^n 89^ erbarmen ein »teinhertez herze, Flore 1498. ir j&mer 
daz moht einen veU erbarmen, Lohengr. p. 16. ez moht ein stein beweinet h&n 
diae barmmige, Dietr. 48*. Mark, Üie stones did not weep of themselves, but were 
moved to sympathy by the weeping and wailing of the hapless men, which as it 


straps^ till its veins drop blood/ MsH. 2, 235^^ saggested no 
doubt by the veins wbich ran throagh some stones (see Suppl.). 
In closing this chapter^ I will group together the higher gods 
who more immediately govern the four elements. Water^ springs^ 
rain and sea are under Wuotan (Nichus) , Donar, Uogi, Holda. 
Fire, lightning under Donar, Loki. Air, wind under Wuotan, 
Fro. Earth under Nerthas and many others, mentioned ou 
p. 641-2. 

were penetrated their ears. So in Holberg (EUefte juni 4, 2) : hörte jeg en sakken 
og hylen, som en steen maatte grade ved. And Ovid (Met. 9, 303) : moturaque 
duras Verba qneror iilices. Lake 19, 40 : ol \L0oi MKpd^ovTui [Habak. 2, 11 : the 
stones shall cry oat of the wall] . 


As all nature was thought of hj the heathen mind as living; ^ 
as language and the understanding of human speech was allowed 
to beasts^ and sensation to plants (see Suppl.) ; and as every kind 
of transition and exchange of forms was supposed to take place 
amongst all creatures : it follows at once^ that to some a higher 
worth may have been assigned^ and this heightened even up to 
divine veneration. Gods and men transformed themselves into 
trees^ plants or beasts^ spirits and elements assumed animal 
forms ; why should the worship they had hitherto- enjoyed be 
withheld from the altered type of their manifestatioa f Brought 
under this point of view^ there is nothing to startle us in the 
veneration of trees or animals. It has become a gross thing 
only when to the consciousness of men the higher being has- 
vanished from behind the form he assumed^ and the form alone 
bas then to stand for him. 

We must however distinguish from divinely honoured plant» 
and animals those that were esteemed high and holy because 
they stood in close relationship to gods or spirits. Of this kind 
are beasts and vegetables used for sacrifice, trees under which 

* The way it ib ezpreesed in the Eddie myth of Baldr is more to the point than 
anything else: To wud off every danger that. might threaten that beloved god, 
^gg exacted oaths from water, fire, earth, stones, plants, beasts, birds and worms, 
xiay from plagues personified, that they would not harm him ; one single shrub she 
let oil from £e oath, because he was too young, Sn. 64. Afterwards all creatures 
weep the dead Baldr, men, animals, plants and stones, Sn. 68. The OS. poet of the 
HeUand ealls dumb nature the unquethandi^ and says 168, 82 : * that thar Wid- 
dsndes död (the Lord's death)« unquethandes so filo antkennian scolda, that is 
endagon ertha bivöda, hzisidun thia hdhun bergo$, harda sthios olubun, feliso» after 
them felde.* It is true these phenomena are from the Bible (Matth. 27, 51-2), yet 
possibly a heathen picture hoTered in the author's mind (as we saw on pp. 148. 
807), in this case the mourning for Baldr, so like that for the Saviour. Herbert 
makes all things bewail Hector : if (says he, 68») stones, metals, chalk and sand« 
Ittd wit and sense, they would have sorrowed too. As deeply sooted in man's 
nature is the impulse, when unfortunate, to bewail his woes to the rocks and trees 
uid woods ; this is b«iutifuUy expressed in the song Ms. 1, 3^, and all the objects- 
there appealed to, offer their help. 

VOL, II. ^ P 


higher beings dwells animals that wait upon them. The two 
classes can hardly be separated^ for incorrect or incomplete 
accounts will not allow us to determine which is meant. 

1. Tb£es. 

The high estimation in which Woods and Trees were held by 
the heathen Germans has already been shown in Chap. lY. To 
certain deities^ perhaps to all, there were groves dedicated, and 
probably particular trees in the grove as well. Such a grove 
was not to be trodden by profane feet, such a tree was not to be 
stript of its boughs or foliage, and on no account to be hewn 
down.^ Trees are also consecrated to individual dsdmons, elves^ 
wood and home sprites, p. 509. 

Minute descriptions^ had any such come down to us, would tell 
us many things worth knowing about the enclosure and main- 
tenance of holy woods, about the feasts and sacrifices held in 
them. In the Indiculus paganiarum we read ^ de sacris silvaram, 
quae nimidas vocant.' This German word seems to me uncor- 
rupted, but none the easier to understand : it is a plur. masc. 
from the sing, nimid,^ but to hit the exact sense of the word, we 
should have to know all the meanings that the simple verb 
neman was once susceptible of. If the German nimu be, as ic 
has every appearance of being, the same as vifuo, then nimid 
also may answer to Gr. vifio^, Lat. nemus, a woodland pastnre, 
a grove, a sacrum silvae (p. 69).* Documents of 1086 and 1150 

^ Sacrum netmu, nenua eattum in TaoitoB. Ovid, Amor. iii. 1, 1 : 

Stat yetuB et mtiltos incaedua nlva per annoB, 

oredibile eBt üli nmnen inesse loco : 
fons sacer in medio, spelunoaqae pumice pendens, 

et latere ex om£i dcUce qaerontor aves. 

Lnean, Phars. 3, 899 : LnouB erat longo nunquam violattu ab aeyo. So the Sem- 
nonian wood, the nemuB of Nerthus, the Slav luons Zatibm«, the Pmssian grove 
Bomowe. Among the Esthonians it Ib held infamons to pluck even a single leaf 
in the sacred grove : far as its shade extends (ut umbra pertingit, BA. 57. 105), thej 
will not take so much as a strawberry ; some people secretly bury their dead there 
(Petri Ehstland 2, 120). They call such woods /»to, and the I. of Dag6 is in 
Esth. Hiomahf because there is a consecrated wood near the farmhouse of Hioho/ 
(Thom. Hiäm.). 

' Like hebd (heros), gimeinid (communio), frumid, pi. frumidas (AS. frymiSas, 
primitiae), barid (clamor, inferred from Tacitus's baritus). 

* Can nimid nave been a heathen term for sacrifice f Ahnemen in the 13th cent. 
meant maotare, to slaughter (used of cattle). Berthold p. 46, as we still Bay abthun, 
abschneiden, Ulph. uf»neij>an ; Schmid's Schwab, wtb. 405 abnehmen to kill ponltry. 
Thifl meaning can hardly Ue in the prefix, it must be a part of the word itself: 

TREES. 649 

name a place Nimodon, Nimeden (Möser's Osnabr. gesch.^ nrk. 31. 
56. 8, 57. 84) ; the resemblance may lead to something farther 
(see Sappl.). 

There can be no donbt that for some time after the conversion 
the people continned to light candles and offer small sacrifices 
under particular holy trees^ as even to this day they hang wreaths 
npon them^ and lead the ring-dance under them (p. 58). In the 
church-prohibitions it is variously called : ^ vota ad a/rbores f aoere 
ant ibi candelam sen quodlibdt munus deferre ; arborem colore ; 
Totum ad arborem persolvere; arbores daemonihus consecratas 
colere^ et in tanta veneratione habere^ ut vulgus nee ramum nee 
sureulum atideat amputare/ It is the AS. treow-weorffung (cultus 
arborum)^ the ON. biota lundinn (grove)^ Landn. 3^ 17. The 
Acta Bened. sec. 2 p. 841 informs us : ' Adest qnoqae ibi (at 
Latosas^ now Leuze) non ignoti miraculi fagvs (beech) ^ subier 
}uam luminaria saepe cum accensa absque hominum aocessu 
videmus^ divini aliquid fore suspicamur.' So the church turned 
the superstition to account for her own miracles : a convent was 
founded on the site of the tree. About Esthonians of the present 
day we are told in Bosenplänter's Beitr. 9^ 12^ that only a few 
years ago« in the parish of Harjel^ on St. George's^ St. John's 
and St. Michael's night, they used to sacrifice under certain trees, 
i.e. to kill, a black fowl} Of the Thunder-god's holy oak an 
account has been given, pp. 72-3-4. 171. 184; and in Gramm. 
2, 997 the OHG. scaldeih (ilex) is compared with the AS. names 
of plants Bcaldhyfel, scald}^yfel and the scaldo quoted above^p. 94. 
All this is as yet uncertain, and needs further elucidation. 

Among the Langobards we find a worship of the so-called 
blood-tree or Jioly tree (p. 109). The Yita S. Barbati in the Acta 
sanctor. under Febr. 19, p. 139. The saint (b. cir. 602, d. cir. 
683) lived at Benevento, under kings Grimoald and Bomuald ; 

niman, neman wonld therefore be to ent, kiU, divide, and nimidoi the viotims slain 
in the holy grove, under trees f Conf . what is said in the text of the Langobardic 
tree of sacrifloe. Celtic etymologies seem rather out of place for this plainly Saxon 
Indicnlns. Adelang already in Mithrid. 2, 65. 77 had brought into the field Nemetes 
and nemet (templnm) ; Ir. naomh is sanctus, neamh (gen. nimhe) ooelom, niem- 
hndh land consecrated, belonging to the church. 

^ The superstition of the Lausitz Wends holds that there are woods which 
yearly demand a human victim (like the rivers, p. 494) ; some person must lose his 
Ute in them : * hohla dyrbi kojzde Ijeto jeneho ozloweka mjecz,' Lausitz mon. sehr. 
1797. p. 748. 


the Lombard nation was baptized, but still clung to superstitions 
practices : ' Quin etiam non longe a Beneventi moenibus devotis- 
sime sacrilegam colebant arborem, in qua suspenso cario cuncti qui 
aderant terga vertentes arbori celerius equitabant, calcaribus 
oruentantes equos, ut unus alterum posset praeire, atque in eodem 
cursu retroversis manibus in eorium jaculabantur. Sicque parti- 
culam modicam ex eo comedendam superstitiose accipiebant. Et 
quia stulta illic persolvebant vota, ab actione ilia nomen loco illi^ 
sicut hactenus dicitur, votum imposuerunt/ In vain Barbatas 
preaches against it : ' illi ferina coecati dementia nil aliud nisi 
sessorum meditantes usus, optimum esse fatebantur cuUum legis 
majorum suorum, quos nominatim bellicosissimos asserebant.' 
When Komuald was gone to Naples, 'repente beatissimus Barbatus 
securim accipiens et ad votum pergens, suis manibus fiefandam 
arborem, in qua per tot temporis spatia Langobardi exitiale sacri- 
legium perficiebant, defossa humo a radicibus incidit, ac desuper 
terrae congeriem fecit, ut nee indicium ex ea quis postea valuerit 
reperire/ ^ This part about felling the tree has an air of swagger 
and improbability ; but the description of the heathen ceremony 
may be true to the life. I have pointed out, p. 174, that the 
Ossetes and Circassians hung up the hides of animals on poles 
in honour of divine beings, that the Groths of Jemandes truncis 
suspendebant exuviae to Mars (p. 77 note), that as a general thing 
animals were hung on sacrificial trees (pp. 75-9) ; most likely 
this tree also was sacred to some god through sacrifices, i.e. votive 
offerings of individuals,^ hence the whole place was named ' ad 
votum.' What was the meaning of hurling javelins through the 
suspended skin, is by no means clear ; in the North it was the 
custom to shoot through a hanging raw oxhide (Fomm. sog. 3, 18. 
4, 61), as a proof of strength and skill. Doing it backwards 

^ Another Vita Barbati (ibid. p. 112) relates as foUows : * Nam quid deqoioa- 
bilius credendum est, quam ex mortuis animalibus non camem sed oorimn acoipere 
ad asnm oomestionis, nt prayo errori sabjecti Langobardi fecenmt f qui saarum 
festa solennitatnm equis praeonrrentibns unus altero praeoedente, sicnt mos erat 
gentiliunit arhoH Indificae prooul non satis Beneyento vota sua iolvebant, Saspensa 
itaqoe putredo oorii in hano arborem dtvam, equorum sessores yersis post tergam 
braohiia ignominiam oorii oertabant lanoeolis yibrare. Cumque lanoeolis esse 
yibrata pellis mortua oemeretnr, yeluti pro remedio animae ex hao illosione oorii 
partis mediae faotam recisionem gnstabant. Eooe quali ridienlo vanae mentis 
homines errori sabjaoebant pestifero ! * 

* Snpra p. 860 note ; yotmn is not only yow, but the oblatio rei yotiyae : 
• yotare puerum ' in Pertz 2, 93 is equiy. to ofiferre. 

TBEES. 651 

increased the difficulty^ and savours of antiquity.^ Why the 
particle of skin that was knocked out should be eaten^ it is hard 
to say ; was it to indicate that they were allowed to participate 
in the sacrifice 7 (p. 46 ; see Suppl.). 

And not only were those trees held sacred^ under which men 
sacrificed^ and on which they hung the head or hide of the 
slaughtered beast^ but saplings that grew up on the top of solctu 
ficed animals. A willow slip set over a dead foal or calf is not 
to be damaged (Sup. I^ 838) ; are not these exactly Adam of 
Bremen's ' arbores ex morte vel tabo immolatorum divvnae ^ ? (p- 

Of hallowed trees (which are commonly addressed as frau, 
i&me, in the later Mid. Ages) the oak stands at the head (pp. 
72-77) : an oak or beech is the arbor frugifera in casting lots 
(Tac. Germ. 10). Next to the oak, the ash was holy, as we may 
see by the myth of the creation of man ; the ashtree Yggdrasill 
falls to be treated in Chap. XXV. The wolf, whose meeting of 
you promises victory, stands under ashen boughs. ' The common 
people believe that ^tis very dangerous to break a bough from 
the asij to this very day,' Bk)b. Plot's Staffordshire p. 207. One 
variety, the mountain-ash or rountree, rowan-tree, is held to have 
magical power (Brockett p. 177),» (conf. Chap. XXVII., Bonn). 
With dame Hazel too our folk-songs carry on conversations, and 
hazels served of old to hedge in a court of justice, as they still do 
cornfields, RA. 810. According to the östgöta-lag (bygdab. 30), 
any one may in a common wood hew with impunity, all but oaks 
and hazels, these have peace, i.e. immunity. In Superst. 1, 972 we 
are told that oak and hazel dislike one another, and cannot agree, 
any more than haw and sloe (white and black thorn ; see Suppl.). 
Then the elder (sambucus), OHG. holanUvr, enjoyed a marked 
degree of veneration ; holan of itself denotes a tree or shrub (AS. 

cneowholen= ruscus). In Lower Saxony the sambucus nigra is 


' So the best head had to be touched haekwardi^ BA. 896 ; bo men sacrifioed 
with the head tamed away (p. 49S), and threw backwards over their heads (p. 628). 

\ A schoUam on Ad. of Bremen's Hist. eocl. (Pertz, scr. 7, 879) is worth 
quoting: * Prope illud templom (upsaliense) est arhor maxima^ late ramos extendens, 
Mitate et hieme semper virens : onjos ilia generis sit, nemo seit. Ibi etiam est fons, 
ubi gacriflcia Paganorom solent exeroeri, et homo vivus immergi, qui dnm im- 
mergitor (al. inyenitor), ratmn erit votom populi.* To sink in water was a good 
sign, as in the ordeal (BA. 924; oonf. Chap. XXXTV., Witch's bath). 

' Escultis JoYi sacra, Pliny 16, 4 (5). 


called ellom, elUhom.^ ArnkieFs testimony 1, 179 is beyond 
suspicion : ' Thus did our forefathers also hold the ellhorn holy, and 
if they must needs clip the same^ they were wont first to say this 
prayer : " Dame Ellhorn, give me somewhat of thy wood, then will 
I also give thee of mine, if so be it grow in the forest/' And this 
they were wont to do sometimes with bended knees, bare head and 
folded hands, as I have ofttimes in my young days both heard 
and seen/ Compare with this the very similar accounts of elder 
rods (Sup. I, 866), of planting the elder before stables (169), of 
pouring water under the elder (864), and of the elder^s mother 
(Sup. K, Dan. 162).» The juniper, Wacholder, plays an impor- 
tant part in the märchen of machandelbooxn. ; in the poem of the 
MiiTor's adventure, fol: 38, occurs the mysterious statement : 

Fraw WecJcolter, ich sich Dame Juniper, I see 

daz du ir swester bist, that thou her ' sister art, 

du kund ouch falsche list thou knewest false cunning too 

d6 du daz kind verstalt. when thou stolest the child. 

A man in Sudermania was on the point of cutting down a fine 
shady juniper, when a voice cried out, ' hew not the juniper ! ' 
He disregarded the warning, and was about to begin again, when 
it cried once more ' I tell thee, hew not down the tree 1 ' and he 
ran away in a fright.* A similar notion lies at the bottom of 
kindermarchen no. 128, only it has a ludicrous turn given it; a 
voice out of the tree cries to the hewer, ' he that hews haspelholz 
(windlass-wood), shall die.' Under such a tree, the Klinta iall 
(deal-tree, pine) in Westmanland, dwelt a hafs-fru, in fact the 
.pine tree's r& (p. 496) ; to this tree you might see snow-white 
cattle driven up from the lake across the meadows, and no one 
dared to touch its boughs. Trees of this kind are sacred to indi- 
vidual elves, woodsprites, homesprites ; they are called in Swed. 

^ AS. elUn, The Ganones editi sub Eadgaro rege, cap. 16 (Thoxpe, p. 896), 
epeak of the sorcery praotieed * on ellenum and e&c on o'Srum mislicom treowam ' 
(in sambucis et in aliis Tariis arboribus). 

' The god Pnshkait lives under the etder^ and the Lettons nsedto set bread and 
beer for him beside the tree, Thorn. Hiäm, p. 48. [In Somersetshire they will not 
bom elder wood, for fear of ill lack. — Tbans.] 

' My faithless lover's. 

^ I find this quoted from Locoenins*s Antiq. Sneog. 1,8; it is not in the ed. of 
1647, it may be in a later. Afzelins 2, 147 has the story with this addition, that at 
the second stroke blood flowed from the root, the hewer then went home, and soon 
fell siok. 

TBEBS. 653» 

hö-trädfiD. Dan. hoe4rä (p. 509). Under the lime-tree in the 
Hero-book dwarfs love to haunt^ and heroes fall into enchanted 
sleep : the sweet breath of its blossoms causes stupefaction, D. 
Heldenb. 1871, 8, 14-5. 135 (see Suppl.). But elves in particular 
have not only single trees but whole orchards and groves assigned 
them, which they take pleasure in cultivating, witness Laurin^s 
Ro^garden enclosed by a silken thread. In Sweden they call 
these gardens elfträd-gärdar. 

The Greek dryads ^ and hamadryads have their life linked to a 
tree, and as this withers and dies, they themselves fall away and 
cease to be ; any injury to bough or twig is felt as a wound, and 
a wholesale hewing down puts an end to them at once.^ A cry 
of anguish escapes them when the cruel axe comes near. Ovid in 
Met. 8, 742 seq., tells a beautiful story of Erisichthon^s impious 
attack on the grove of Ceres : 

nie etiam Cereale nemus violasse securi 
dicitur, et lucos ferro temerasse vetustos. 
Stabat in his ingens annoso robore quercus, 
saepe sub hac dryades festas duxere choreas . . . 
Contremuit, gemitumque dedit Deo'ia quercus, 
et pariter irondes, pariter pallescere glandes 
coepere, ac longi pallorem ducere rami. 

When the alder (erle) is hewn, it bleeds, weeps, and begins to 
speak (Meinert's Kuhlandch. 122). An Austrian marchen (Ziska 
38-42) tells of the stately j/ir, in which there sits a fay waited on 
by dwarfs, rewarding the innocent and plaguing the guilty ; and 
a Servian song of the maiden in the pine (fichte) whose bark the 
boy splits with a gold and silver horn. Magic spells banish the 
ague into frau Fichte (see Suppl.). 

This belief in spirit-haunted trees was no less indigenous among 
Celts. Sulpicius Severus (beg. of 5th cent.) reports in his life of 
St. Martin, ed. Amst. 1665, p. 457 : ' Dum in vice quodam tem- 
plnm antiquissimum diruisset, et arbor em pinum, quae fano erat 
proxima, esset aggressus excidere, tum vero antistes illius luci 
ceteraque gentilium turba coepit obsistere ; et cum iidem Uli, dum 
templum evertitur, imperante domino quievissent, succidi arborem 

^ AS. glosa, ioudu-elfenne, wood-elfins, fern. pi. 

> * Non sine hamadryadis faio cadit arborea trabs.* Ansonius. 


non patiebantur. lUe eos sedulo commonerej nihil esse religionis 
in stipite ; Deom potins^ cui serviret ipse^ seqaerentar ; arborem 
illam exscindi operiere^ quia esset daemoni dedicata ' (see Sappl.) . 
A great deal might be written on the sacredness of particular 
plants and flowers. They are either dedicated to certain gods 
and named after them (as Donners bart^ p. 183. Baldrs brft, 
p. 222. Fomeotes folme^ p. 240. Lokkes havre^ p. 242. Freyja 
h&r^ Friggjar gras, p. 302-3) ; or they come of the transformation 
of some afflicted or dying man. Nearly all sach plants have power 
to heal or hart^ it is true they have to be plncked and gathered 
first : the Chap, on magic will furnish examples. Like sacred 
tutelary beasts^ they are blazoned on the coats-of-arms of 
countries, towns^ and heroes. Thus to the Northwest Grermans^ 
especially Frisians and Zeelanders, the seeblatt (nymphaea^ nenu- 
phar) was from the earliest times an object of veneration. The 
Hollanders call it plompe, the Frisians pompe : strictly speakings 
the broad leaves floating on the sea are pompebledden, and the 
fragrant white flowers, golden yellow inside, swanneblommen 
(flores cygnei) ; which recals the names given at p. 489, nix» 
blume, ndckblad, muhme and muTn/mel {{.e. swan-maiden). The 
Frisians put seven ' sea-blades ' (zeven plompenbladen) in their 
escutcheon, and under that emblem looked for victory ;^ our 
Grudrunlied (1373) knows all about it, and furnishes Herwic of 
SSwen or Selanden with a sky-blue flag : ^ sebleter swebent (float) 
dar inne.' This sea-flower is the sacred lotus of old Egypt, and 
is also honoured in India ; the Tibetans and Nepalese bow down 
to it, it is set up in temples, Brahma and Vishnu float on its leaf; 
and ifc is no other than a M. Nethl. poem that stul remembers 
Thumbkin floating on the leaf (p. 451). 

^ J. H. Halbertsma's Het Baddhisme en zijn stichter, Deventer 1843, pp. 3. 10; 
and he adds, that the people are to this day very careful in picking and carrying the 
plompen : if you fall with the flower in your hand, you get the tailing uolmesa. 
Plomben, our plumpfen, ON. pompa, means plumping or plunging down. Ace. to 
W. Barnes, * butterpumps» ovary of the yellow waterlily ;* conl Lith. pumpa, Slav, 
pupa, wen, pimple? Mart. Hamconii Frisia, Franekarae 1620, p. 7, says Friso intro- 
duced the cognisance of the ieven iea-blades : ' insigne Frisonis, ut Cappidns refert, 
Meptem fuerunt rubra nympheae herbae folia, in tribus argenteis oonstitntae trabibns 
per tcutum caeruUum oblique ductis.* Cappidus is said to have been a priest at Sta- 
vom at the beg. of the 10th century, but nothing more is known of him. Conf. Yan 
d. Bergh*B Yolksoverlev. p. S3. 41. 110. Others connect the division of Friesland 
into 7 sea-lands with the 7 leaves of the scutcheon ; it is not known for certain when 
that division first began ; see De vrije Yries 4, 137. 

AKIMAIiS. 655 

2. Akiicals. 

We shall have still more to say about sacred animals, which 
enter into more intimate relations with man than dumb nature 
can ; but their cultus will admit of being referred to two or three 
principal causes. Either they stood connected with particular 
gods, and to some extent in their service, as the boar belougs 
to Fr6^ the wolf and raven to Wuotan; or there lies at the basis 
the metamorphosis of a higher being into some animal shape^ 
on the strength of which the whole species comes to be invested 
with a halo of honour. That is how we may in some instances 
have to take a bear^ buU^ cow or snake^ presupposing an in- 
carnation, though our mythology may have long ceased to reach 
so far back as to give a full account of it. Then, bordering 
close upon such a lowering of the god into the animal, comes 
the penal degradation of man into a beast, the old doctrine 
of transmigration, in which we discover a third reason for the 
consecration of animals, though it does not warrant an actual 
worship of them. Those myths, e.g. of the cuckoo, woodpecker, 
nightingale, and so on, furnish a fund of beautiful tales, which 
enter largely into the hero-worship (see SuppL). 

QuADBüPEDS. — Foremost of animals I name the horse, the 
noblest, wisest, trustiest of domestic animals, with whom the hero 
holds friendly talk (p. 392), who sympathizes in his griefs and 
rejoices in his victories. As some heroes are named after the 
horse (Heugest, Hors), the horse too has proper names given him ; 
Norse mythology assigns to nearly every god his separate horse, 
endowed with miraculous powers. OSin's steed is named Sleipnir 
(p. 154), and is, like some giants and heroes, an octopod.^ The 
other horses of the ftses are enumerated by Ssem. 44* and Su. 18, 
without specifying to which they belonged. Several names are 
formed with 'faxi' (jubatus, comatus, OHG. vahso), as Skinfaxi 
(Ssem. 32. Sn.U), Gullfaxi (Sn. 107-10), Hrimfaxi (S»m. 32. 
91. Sn. 11), Freyfasn (Vatnsd. 140-1). Of these, Gullfaxi the 
gold-maned belonged to giant Hrüngnir, Skinfaxi the shiny- 

> Old riddle on O'Sinn und Sleipnir in the Hervararsaga : * Who are the two that 
go to Thing (oonnoil) together, and have three eyes, ten legs and one tail between 
them? * A mode of expression quite of a piece with our old habits of speeoh ; thus 
in the Weisthümer it is said the officers of the court shall come to the assize with 6J 
mouths, meaning three men on horseback and a dog. 


maned was the steed of Day, and Hrlmfaxi the rimy-maned 
(p. 641) of Night. But even Faxt by itself is a name for horses, 
e.g. Fomald. sog. 2, 168. 508. Arvakr (early- waker), AlsviSr 
(all-wise) are horses of the sun-chariot, Saam. 45. Sn. 12 ; on 
Arvakr's ear, on Alsvinn's -^ hoof, there were runes written ; also 
runes 'fi. Sleipnis tönnom (teeth),' SsBm. 196% as well as on the 
bear's paw and the wolPs claws.' Svadilfari was the horse that 
helped the giant in building, Sn. 46. And our hero-legend has 
handed down the names of many famous horses (p. 392). Bajart 
is described as intelligent, like AlsviiSr ; he is said to be still alive 
in Ardennes forest, where you may hear him neigh every year on 
Midsummer day (Quatre fils Aimon 180°). The track of Schim- 
ming's shoe stands printed on the rock, Vilk. saga cap. 37 (see 

The Freyfaxi in Vatnsdaslasaga was owned by a man named 
Brandr, who is said to have worshipped it (at hann hefiSi ätrünaiS 
d Paxa), and was therefore called Faxabrandr. The unpublished 
saga of Hrafnkell is known to me only from MüUer's Bibl. 1, 103, 
but he too had a horse Freyfaxi (mispr. Preirfara), which he 
had half given to Freyr, vowing at the same time to slay the 
man who should mount it without his leave. I can give the 
passage from Job. Brici de philippia apud priscos boreales. Lips. 
1755, p. 122 : 'Hrafnkell ätti )7ann grip i eigo sinni, er h&nom 
)76tti betri enn annar, }?at var heatr bleikalöttr at lit, er hann 
kalla*5i Freyfaxa, hann gaf Frey vin sinom (supra, pp. 93. 211) 
ßenna liest hdlfann, & J'essom hesti hafSi hann svft mikla elsko 
(love), at hann strengdi }?ess heit (vow), at hann skyldi }?eim 
manni at bana verSa, er )7eim hesti riiSi &n bans vilja.' Brand's 
' ätrünaiS ' refers, no doubt, to the same circumstance of his horse 
being hallowed and devoted to the god. A striking testimony 
to this is found in Olafs Tryggvasonar saga : ^ Tidings came to 
the king, that the Treandir (men of Drontheim) had turned back 
to the worship of Freyr, whose statue still stood among them. 
When the king commanded them to break the image, they re- 
plied; 'ei munum ver bridta Ukneshi Freys, {rviat ver höfum leingi 

^ SvilSr, gen. STinns, like matSr, mannB. 

' Beminding of the Germ. Beast-apologue (Beinh. oolxiii.). In Fomald. sog. 
1, 169 Bafn prefers, wrongly I think, the reading « höfSi,' head. 

,«^ *v^^: ^^*^- ^^^®- ^^^- 2. 190 cap. 49 ; this cap. is left out in Formn. sog. 2. 
189, but inserted at 10, 812. ^* 

HOBSES. 657 

honnm Jrionat ok hefr oss vol dAgat/ Olafr sammoned them 
to an assembly^ resolving to destroy the idol himself^ and sailed 
to the coast where the temple (hof ) stood. When he landed^ he 
found the horses of the god grazing there (j^ä s&a hans menn st6%- 
hross nokr viS vegin, er J?eir sögSu at hann Freyr aatti). The 
king mounted the stallion^ and his courtiers the mares^ and so 
they rode to the temple ; Olafr dismounted, walked in and threw 
down the idols (golSin),^ but took Frey's image away with him. 
When the Tr«9ndir found their gods dishonoured, and Prey's 
image carried off, they were ware that the king had done it, and 
they came to the place of meeting. The king had the image set 
np in the Thing, and asked the people : ' know ye this man ? ' 
' It is Freyr our god ^ they answered. ' How has he shewn his 
power to you ? ' ' He has often spoken to us, foretold the 
future, granted plenty and peace (veitti oss &r oc friiS).' 'The 
devil spake to you ' said the king ; then taking an axe, he cried 
to the image : ' Now help thyself, and defend thee if thou canst.' 
Freyr continuing silent, Olafr hewed off both his hands, and then 
preached to the people how this idolatry had arisen. The whole 
narrative bears the impress of a later age, yet it had sprung out 
of Norse tradition, and assures us that horses were consecrated to 
Freyr, and maintained in the hallowed precincts of his temple. 
Had not the temples of other gods such horses too ? The animals 
that Wilibrord found grazing in Fosete's sanctuary (p. 230) can 
hardly have been horses, or he would not have had them slaugh- 
tered for food ; but the practice of rearing cattle consecrated to 
the gods is established by it none the less. And apart from this, 
it seems that single beasts were maintained by private worship- 
pers of the god. 

Such breed of pure and dedicated horses was destined for holy 
uses, especially sacrifice, divination, and the periodical tours of 
deities in their cars. Their manes were carefully cultivated, 
groomed and decorated, as the name Faxi indicates; probably 
gold, silver and ribbons were twined or plaited into the locks 
(Qullfaxi, Skinfaaei) ; mön gloar (juba splendet). Seem. 92% l^sir 
men af mari (lucet juba ex equo) 32% as indeed the Lat. jubar 
suggests juba, because a mane does radiate, and light sends out 

^ So that there weie other statnes standing beside Frey*B. 


beams in the manner of hair.^ OulUoppr, SUfrintoppr are names 
of horses whose tails were tied round with gold or silver^ Sn. 44. 
The names Oyllir and Qler (golden, glittering, ibid.) may be 
given them for the same reason, or because their hoofs were 
shod with gold, or from the gilding of the bridle and saddle. 
Of colours, white was esteemed the noblest ; a king would make 
his entry, or bestow a fief, seated on a milk-white steed. The 
Weisthiimer often mention the white horse (e.g. 3, 342. 857) ; if 
an inheritance lie vacant, the governor is to mount a white foal, 
and taking one man before him and the other behind, to set one 
of them down on the property (3, 831; conf. 2, 541). A foal 
was esteemed even purer and nobler than a horse (see Suppl.).' 

Tacitus (Germ. 9, 10), after saying ' lucos ac nemora conse- 
crant,' adds : ' Proprium gentis, equorum quoque praesagia ac 
monitus ezperiri. Publice aluntv/r, iisdem nemoribus ac hicisy 
candidi et nullo mortali opere contacti, quos presses sacro curm 
sacerdos ac rex vel princeps civitatis comitantur, hinnitusqtte ac 
fremitus observant. Nee ulli auspicio major fides, non solum 
apud plebem, sed apud proceres, apud sacerdotes : se enim 
ministros deorum, illos conscios putant ; ' these sacred beasts are 
in the secrets of the gods, and can reveal their counsels. And iu 
christian times the Indiculus pagan, cap. xiii. speaks ' de auffurüs 
equorum/ without describing them further. A horse's neigh is 
an omen of good (Sup. I, 239).* To warriors victory was fore- 
tokened by their chargers' neighing (OHG. huei6n, MQGr. weien, 
M. Neth. neien, ON. hneggja, Swed. gnägga), and defeat by 
their withholding the cheerful spirit-stirring strain : see an in- 
stance in the Flem. rhyming chron., ed. Elausler 7152. We 

1 Single hairs out of the mane or tail of a sacred horse were treasured up. 
Franz Wessel relates, p. 14, that when the Johannites preached in a town or viUage, 
thej had a fine stallion ridden round, to which the people offered 'afgehowen 
woppen (bunch of oat ears) * ; any one who could get a hair out of the horse's tail, 
thought himself lucky, and sewed it into the middle of his milk-strainer, and the 
milk was proof against witchcraft. 

^ A foal's tooth, it seems, was hung about the person, and worn as a safeguard. 
A MHG. poet says : * gevater unde fiili-zant an grözen noeten sint ze swadi,* god- 
fathers and foal's teeth are too weak in great emergencies, MS. 2, 160^. To let 
children ride on a black foal makes them out their teeth easily, Superst. I, 428. 
From Eracl. 1320. 1485 fäl-zene appear to be the milk-teeth shed by a foal (see 

> What the breath of a swine has poUuted, is set right again by that of the 
hone (Sup. I, 820. E, 92} ; the horse is a clean animal. It helps a woman in labour,' 
for a hor$e to feed out of her apron (Sup. I, 337). 

HOBSES. 659 

know how the Persians chose a king by the neighing of his 
horse^ Herod. 8^ 84. In the Norwegian tale Grimsborken (Asb. 
and Moe^ no. 38) a foal is suckled bj twelve mares^ and gets to 
talk sensibly (see Sappl.). 

And as Mimics head retained its wisdom after it was cot off 
(379)^ heathendom seems to have practised all sorts of magic by 
catting off horse? 8 heads and sticking them up. In a nnrsery-tale 
(no. 89) the trusty Falada's head is na/iled up over the gate, and 
carries on converse with the king's daughter. This catting off 
and setting np of horse? a heads has been mentioned at p. 47-8 as 
an ancient German custom. Pliny 19, 10 (58) notices, as a remedy 
for caterpillars : ^ si polo imponantvr in hortis ossa capitis ex 
equina genere/ In Scandinavia they stuck a horse's head on a 
pole, and turned the gaping jaws, propped open with a stick, in 
tbe direction whence the man they had a spite against, and 
wished to harm, was sure to come.^ This was called a neidstange 
(spite-stake). Saxo Gram. p. 75: Immolati diis equi ahscissum 
caput conto excipiens, subjectis stipitibus disientos faudum rictus 
aperuity sperans se primes Erici conatus atrocis spectaculi for- 
midine frustraturum. Arbitrabatur enim ineptas barbarorum 
mentes oblatae cervicis terriculamento cessuras; et jam Ericas 
obvium illis iter agebat. Qui prospecto eminus capite, obscoenita- 
tis apparatum intelligens, silere socios cautiusque se gerere jubet, 
nee quemquam teraere praocipitare sermonem, ne incauto effamine 
nllum maleficiis instruerent locum, adjiciens, si sermone opus 
incideret, verba se pro omnibus habiturum. Jamque medius illos 
amnis secreverat, cum magi, ut Ericum pontis aditu deturbarent, 
eontum quo equi caput refixerant fiuvio citimum locant. Ille 
nihilominus pontem intrepide aggressus, 'in latorem' inquit 
' gestaminis sui fortuna recidat, nos melior consequatur eventus. 
Male maleficis cedat, infaustae molis gerulum onus obruat, nobis 
potiora tribuant omina sospitateni ! ' Nee secus quam optabatur 
evenit: continue namque excnssa cervice mens ferentem stipes 
oppressit.— Egilssaga p. 389 : Egill t6k t hond ser heslis staung 
(hazel rod), ok geek ä bergsnaus nockura, j^d. er vissi til lands 
inn. \iL tök hann hrosS'höfu9 oh setti up ä staningina. silSan veitti 

^ Wolves* head$ were in like manner held open with hotel rod» and hung up 
laengr. 645-7-8. Beinardus 8, 293. 312. Beinhart, introd. p. bdz. 


hann form&la ok mseiti sva : ^ her set ek npp nilFstaung^ ok se^ 
ek ]7essn niiSi ft hönd Eiriki konüagi ok Ganiiliilda drottninga.' 
hann sneri hross-höffinu inn d land. — At other times they caryed 
a man^s head oat of wood^ and fastened it to a stake which was 
inserted in the breast of a slaughtered horse} Yatnsd. saga^ p. 
142 : lökall skar karls höfut ft s&la endann^ ok risti ft r&nar med 
öllum j^eim formftla sem fjrr var sagdr^ stiSan drap lökoll mer 
eina (killed a mare), ok opnuSa hana hia briostinu^ fcerffa a 
suluna, ok 16tu horfa J^eim ft Borg (see SnppL). It is well worth 
noticing, that to this very day the peasants' houses in a part 
of Lower Saxony (Lüneburg, Holstein, Mecklenbarg) have horses' 
lueads ca/rved on the gables : they look upon it merely as an orna- 
ment to the woodwork of the roof^ but the custom may reach 
far back, and have to do with the heathen belief in outward- 
pointing heads keeping mischief away from houses.' The Jahrb. 
of the Meckl. verein 2^ 118 says, these horses^ heads are nailed 
transversely on each gable-end (kühlende) of the roof^ a remin- 
iscence of the sacred horses of the ancients. Heinr. Schreiber 
(Taschenb. f. 1840, p. 240 seq.) has likewise noticed these horses 
rushing at each other on gables of the older houses in Romanic 
BhsBtia (not Germ. Switz., but Tyrol; see Zingerle^s Sitten 
p. 55) ; he is decidedly over hasty in pronouncing them a Celtic 
symbol, for if we were to say that the custom in L. Saxony was 
a legacy from the earlier Celtic inhabitants, criticism would lose 
all firm footing. To me this custom, as well as horse- worship 
altogether, seems to belong equally to Celts, Teutons and Slavs ; 
what particular branches of these races were most addicted to 
it, will by degrees unfold itself to future research (see SuppL). 
Praetorius (Weltbeschr. 2, 162-3) relates, that the Non-German 
people (Wends) used to keep off or extirpate cattle-plagues by 
fixing round their stables the heads of mad Jiorses and cows on 

I Conf. Sup. I, 838» planting the willow in the dead foaPs mouth. 

* Pretty much as they turned the eagle's head on the house, and thought 
thereby to shift the wind (p. 633-4). The heathen practice of fastening up animals' 
heads explains many very old names of places in Germ, and France, as BerhaupUn, 
Tierhaupten, Boshaupten, Schm. 2, 223. Ad locum qui nuncupatur caput caballi' 
Ttum, Pertz 2, 278. Ad locum qui vocatur caput equi (Vita S. Magni, in Canisius's 
Leot. ant. 1, 667), with the addition in Goldast (Scr. rer. Alem. i. 2, 198) : « et iddxco 
vocatus est ille locus caput equi, quia omnes venatores reliquerant ibi sues caballos, 
et pedestres ibant ad venandum.» Obviously a false later interpretation ; in fact 

If 11-11 ? ?*; Magnus (Magnoald, Mangold) has a good many interpolations, ooni 
Mabillon's Acta Bened. sec. 2, p. 505. ^ r t 

HOUSES. 661 

hedge-stakes ; also that if at night their horses were ridden 
to exhaustion by the night-hag or leeton^ they put a horse^a Jtsad 
among the fodder in the crib^ and this would curb the spirit^s 
power orer the beast. Very likely the superstitious burying of 
a dead hsad in the stable (I, 815) means that of a horse/ conf. 
Chap. XXXYIII.^ Nightmare. In Holland they hang a horae^a 
head over pigstyes (Westendorp p. 518), in Mecklenburg it is 
placed under a sick man's pillow (Jahrb. 2, 128). We saw 
the horse's head thrown into the Midsummer fire with a view to 
magical effects (p. 618).' 

Pr»torius's account is enough to shew that Slavs agreed with 
Germans in the matter of horse- worship. But older and weightier 
witnesses are not wanting. Dietmar of Merseburg (6, 17. p. 812) 
reports of the Luitizers, i.e, Wilzes: ^Terram cum tremore 
infodiunt, quo sortibus emissis [imm. ?] rerum certitudinem du- 
biarum perquirant. Quibus finitis, cespite yiridi eas operientes, 
equum, qui maximus inter alios habetur et ut sacer ah his vener- 
aiur, super fixas in terram duorum cuspides hastilitum inter se 
transmissorum supplici obsequio ducunt, et praemissis sortibus 
qoibns id explicavere prius, per hunc qiuisi divinum denuo 
augurantur; et si in duabus his rebus par omen apparet, factis 
completur ; sin autem, a tristibus populis hoc prorsus omittitur.' 
—The Vita beati Ottonis episcopi bambergensis, composed by an 
unknown contemporary (Canisius iii. 2, 70), relates more fully of 
the Pomeranians, whom Otto converted a.I). 1124: 'Habebant 
caballtMn miras magnitvdiniSf et pinguem, nigri coloris, et acrem 
valde. Iste toto anni tempore vacabat, tantaeque fuit samctitatis 
ut nullum dignaretur sessorem; habuitque unum de quatuor 
sacerdotibus templorum custodem diligentissimum. Quando ergo 
itinere terrestri contra hostes aut praedatum ire cogitabant, 
eventum rei hoc modo solebant praediscere. Hastae novem dis- 
ponebantur humo, spatio unius cubiti ab invicem separatae. 
Strato ergo caballo atque frenato, sacerdos, ad quem pertinebat 
custodia illius, tentum freno per jacentes hastas transversum 
ducebai ter, atque reducebat. Quod si pedibus inoffensis hastisque 

' Conf. Fornftld. sdg. 2, 168. 800, what is said of Faxi*8 hross-kaus, 

' Why should the monks in the abbey have a caput eaballinum t BemharJns 

3, 2032. 2158. Does the expression spun out of a dead hone's head * in Boroard, 

WaldiB 4, 2, mean enchanted ? 


indistarbatis equus transibat, Bignam babuere prosperitatis, et 
secari pergebant ; sin autem^ qaiescebant.' — Here the holj steed 
is led across nine spears lying a cubit apart from one another^ in 
Dietmar's older narrative over the points of two crossed spears ; 
of course the Luitizers may have had a different method from the 
Pomeranians. Saxo Gram. p. 821 gives yet a third account of 
the matter respecting the Slavs of Bügen : ' Praeterea peculiarem 
albi coloris equum titulo possidebat (numen), cujus jubae aut ca/udas 
pilos convellere nefarinm dacebatur. Hunc soli sacerdoti pascendi 
insidendique jus erat^ ne divini animalis usus quo frequentier hoc 
vilior haberetur. In hoc equo^ opinione Bugiae^ Svantoviius (id 
simulacro vocabulum erat) adversus sacrorum suorum hostes bella 
gerere credebatur. Cujus rei praecipuum argumentum ezstabat, 
quod is nocturne tempore stabulo insistens adeo plernmque mane 
sudore ac luto respersus videbatur/ tanquam ab ezercitatione 
veniendo magnorum itinerum spacia percurrisset. Auspieia 
quoque per eundem equum hujusmodi sumebantnr. Cum bellum 
adversum aliquam provinciam suscipi placnisset^ ante fanum trü 
plex hasiamm ordo ministrorum opera disponi solebat, in quorum 
quolibet binae e traverso junctae conversis in terram cuspidibns 
figebantur^ aequali spaciorum magnitudine ordines disparante« 
Ad quos equus ductandae expeditionis tempore^ solenni precatione 
praemissa^ a sacerdote e vestibule cum loramentis productuSj si 
propositos ordines ante dextro quam laevo pede transcenderet, 
faustam gerendi belli omen accipiebatur. Sin laevum vel semel 
dextro praetulisset, petendae provinciae propositum mutabatur.' — 
This description is still more exact : the sacred horse, here attri- 
buted to the deity himself who bestrides him by night, is led 
three times over two spears planted crosswise, that is, o^>er six 
spears, and must, for the omen to be favourable, pass each row 
with his right foot foremost; if at even one row he has lifted 
the left before the right, misfortune is threatened. The colour 
ascribed to the steed is white as in Tacitus, not black as in the 
biographer of Otto. 

The Chronica Augustensis ad. an. 1068 (in Freher 1, 349) 
says, that Bp. Burcard of Halberstadt (the Buko still known in 

next^t^^t ?^"® "Joä®" }y *^« »i«ht.Bpirit is covered with dart and sweat the 
next monung (see p. 287 and SuppL). 


HOBSES. 668 

oar chQdren^s game) took away their sacred horse from the 
liutizers, and rode home to Saxony on it himself: 'Burcardus 
Halberstatensis episcopns Luiticiomm provinciam ingressas in- 
cendit^ vastavit^ avectoque equo quern pro deo in Bheda ^ colebant, 
super earn sedens in Saxoniam rediit/ 

May we then adopt the hypothesis^ that Dietmar and the 
Angsbnrg chronicler mean the sacred horse of Badigast at 
Rhetra, and Saxo and the author of the Yita Ottonis that of 
Sviatovit at Arkona 7 Each of these gods ' had horses hallowed 
to him^ and others may have had the same. And so in Germany 
too, horses may have been dedicated to several deities, and 
divination performed with them ander similar forms ; especially 
to the gods Frouwo (p. 656) and Waotan (p. 154-5-6). 

Some acconnts of the reverence paid to sacred horses in Dit- 
marsen have a doabtfal look. The Bieswold or Biesumwold on 
the confines of N. and S. Ditmarsen is said to have been a holy 
wood, in which human sacrifices were offered, and white horsea 
cansecrcUed to gods were maintained.' This is simply an unauthor- 
ized appropriation of the statement in Tacitus to a particular 
locality. There is more of local colour in what Bolten 1, 262 re- 
peats after the suspicious Carsten, that at Windbergen there 
stood a grove set apart to Hesus (I), which is still called Hese 
or Heseholt.^ In the grove two white horses, a young and an 
old, were fed for the god, no one was allowed to mount them, and 
good or bad auguries were gathered from their neighing and 
leaping. Some talk of ten or even twenty horses. A priest of 
the god stuck staves in the ground, led the bridled steed along, 
and by certain processes made it leap slowly over the ataves. 
Joh. Aldolfi, i.e. Neocorus, who is cited in support, says nothing 
at all about it. The immunity from mounting is another point of 
agreement with those Slav horses. 

^ Not 'in rheda' (Wedekind's Notes 1, 173). Rhetra, a chief place of Slav 
heathenimi, placed by Adam of Bremen in the land of the Betharii, where stands 
the temple of Bedigost ; Dietmar gives the Lntiz town in the * gran Biedera ' itself 
the name of Biedegost. 

' Smatovii or Syanteyit has been confounded with St. Vitas, sanetn» Yitns 
(ooni. Acta sanctor. 16 Jon. p. 1018); but we cannot possibly make the god 
Svantevit originate in Yitos. 

* Falk's Collection of treatises, 5, lOS. Tondem, 1828. 

* This Hete-wood may however remind as of the * sUva HeUi^ Hese * on the 
Bohr io Westph. (Laoombl. no. 6. 17. 64. 260) and the * ailva eaetia' of Tacitas. 



But in the case of the heathen Livonians the Slav custoof 
admits of proof. The Chronicon livonicam vetns relates ad 
an. 1192 (in Gruber p. 7): 'Colligitur populus^ voluntas deoruin 
de immolatione (fratris Theoderici cisterciensis) sorte inquiritar. 
Ponitur lancea, calcat equiis; pedem vitas d&putaiumi (the right 
foot) nutu dei praeponit. Orat frater ore^ manu benedicit. 
Ariolns denm Christianorum equi dorso insidere et pedem eqai 
ad praeponendum movere asserit, et ob hoc equi dorsum tergen- 
dum^ quo deus elabatur. Quo facto^ dum equus vitas pedem 
praeponit ut prius^ frater Theodoricus vitae reservatur/ Here a 
heathen and a christian miracle met. 

This worship was also an Old Prussian one : ' Prussorum aliqui 
equos 7iigros, quidam albi coloris, propter decs suos non aade- 
bant aliqaaliter equitare.' Dusburg 3^ 5 (see Suppl.).^ 

The sacrificing of horses, and the eating of horseflesh inseparable 
from it, have been noticed (pp. 47-49). Strabo reports, that the 
Veneti offered a white horse to Diomed (v. 1, 9. Siebenk. 2, 111. 
Casaub. 215. Kramer 1, 839). The Indians get up grand horse- 
sacrifices with imposing ceremonies. What is told of the Kal- 
muks appears worthy of notice. Among them you see numbers 
of scaffolds erected, bearing horses^ hides and heads, the remains 
of former sacrifices. By the direction of the horse's head to east 
or west, you can tell if the sacrifice was offered to a good or 
evil spirit.^ On the one hand it suggests that sacrificial fixing 
of horses' heads in a particular direction *in Grermany, which 
under Christianity was treated as wicked sorcery; and on the 
other hand the * pira equinis sellis constructa ' in Jemandes, and 
the arjfia of the Scythian kings in Herodotus (see RA. 676, and 

Of honours paid to oxen I have not so mach to tell, though 
they are not at all a matter of doubt, if only because bullocks 
were sacrificed, and bulls drew the car of the Frankish kings, RA. 
262. War-chariots continued to have oxen till late in the Mid. 
Ages : ' capto ducis (Lovaniensis) vexillo, dicto gallice standart, 

^ Sup. M, 35 shews that Esthonians ascribe prophetic powers to the horse. 

' Ledebour*B Beise nach dem Altai, Berl. 1830. 2, 54-5. 

> A Sansk. name for the horse is Sribhrdtri, brother of Sri (Lakshmi), because, 
like her (and Aphrodite) it rose out of the sea-waves, Pott 2, 407. Still more 
natural is the identification of horse and ship. 

OXEN. 665 

opere plamario a regina Angliae ei misflo, qaod fastu superbiae 
quadriga bourn ferebat/ Chapeaville 2, 69 (an. 1129). A chariot 
drawn hy four white oxen in Lorraine occurs in Scheffer's HaltauSj 
p. 251. In Platarcb's Marias cap. 23 is the well-known story of 
the Cimbrians swearing over a brazen bull, by which the Mecklen- 
bargers account for the bolFs head in their arms (Masco v 1, 13). 
At HvitabsBr the people worshipped an ox (Fornald. sog. 1, 2b3), 
at Upsal a coio {I, 254. 260-6. 270-2; see Sappl.). 

Whilst among horses the stallion is more honoured than the 
mare, among neat the cow seems to take the lead. Kine were 
yoked to the car of Nerthus [and two milch- kine to the ark of 
Jehovah] . The Edda speaks of a cow named Äu9umbla, which 
plays a great part in the origin of men and gods (p. 559)^ and was 
no doubt regarded as a sacred beast. By the side of that faith 
in horses (p. 656) we find an ' ätr&na^r & kt.' King Eysteinn of 
Sweden put faith in a cow called Sibilja : 'hun var svfi. miök 
blotin (so much worshipped)^ at menu mattu eigi standast lät 
hennar^ ; they used to lead her into battle^ Fornald. sog. 1^ 254. 
260. King ögvaldr carried a sacred cow with him everywhere, 
by sea and by land^ and constantly drank of her milk (Fomm. 
sog. 2, 138. 10, 802). 1 

The horns of cows, like the manes of horses, were adorned 
with gold : ^ guUhyrndar kfr/ Seam. 73*. 141*; and the herdsman 
of the Alps still decks the horns of his cattle with ribbons and 
flowers. Oxen for sacrifice are sure not to have lacked this 

The Sanskrit gave (bos and vacca), root go, ace. g&m, Pers. 
ghan, gho, corresponds to Lett, gohw, OHQ-. chuo, AS. cu, ON. 
hyr. What is more important, 'g6' likewise means terra and 
plaga (Bopp's Gram. § 123. Gloss, p. 108**), so that it touches 
the Gr. yä, yrj. Taking with this the presence of Aud'uvibla in 
the Norse history of creation, we can perhaps connect ririta (the 
earth) and Rindr (p. 251) with our rind armentum ; it is true 
this 'rind' originally began with hr (Grafi'4, 1171), and is the 

* What can the black cow mean in the foUowing phrases ? * the h. c. crashes 
lmn*(Hüper8 Livländ. idiot. 131); * the 5. c. has trodden him' (Etner's Apoth. 
514). The Hor. Belg. 6, 97. 101 (conf. 228) speaks * van onser goeden hlaren coe, van 
miere blaren coe ' ; and Ir. elfenm. cxz. of the blue cow. It is dangerous to kill 
the black cow, Sup. I, 887. A Slovdnic name for the rainbow is mavra >■ black cow. 
[£ng. * the 6. c. has trodden on his foot,* of sorrow, esp. bereavement.] 


AS. hry«er, hro«er, but who can tell whether ' rinde ' cortex was 
not once aspirated too ? Evpwirq, the name of one quarter of 
the earth, must surely also mean earth [evpeta the broad), and on 
p. 838 I made a guess that Europa, whom Zeus courted in the 
shape of a bull, must herself have been thought of as a cow, like 
lo ; it was not the earth took name from her, but she from the 
earth. On the worship of cows and oxen by the Indians, Egypt- 
ians and Romans, I refer to A. W. Schlegel's learned treatise.^ 
The Israelites also made a burnt-oflfering of ' a red heifer (Goth, 
kalbö) upon which never came yoke,' Numb. 19, 2 (see Suppl.). 

The hoar and the he-goat were holy sacrificial beasts (p. 50-1-2), 
the boar* dedicated to Freyr (p. 213), he and she goats to Thorr 
(p. 185), as goats are even yet considered devil's creatures.» To 
that divine hoav^s account I think we are also entitled to set 
down the old song out of which Notker has preserved a passage 
(he whose foreign learning so seldom suffers him to put down 
anything he knew of his own country) : 

Imo sint fuoze f noderm&ze, 
imo sint bürste ebenhfi forste, 
undo zone sine zuelif -einige ; 

his bristles are even-high with the forest, and his tusks twelve ells 
long. A reason for the veneration of the boar has been found 
in the fact that he roots up the ground, and men learnt from him 
to plough. The Slavs also seem to have worshipped boars: 
'Testatur idem antiquitas, errore delusa vario, si quando his 
saeva longae rebellionis asperitas immineat, ut e man praedicto 
(near Biedergost) ajper magnus et candido dente e spumis luces- 
cente exeat, seque in volutabro delectatum terribili quassatione 
multis ostendat,' Ditm. merseb. p. 812 (see Suppl.). 

None but domestic animals were fit for sacrifice, and not all of 
them, in particular not the dog, though he stands on much the 
same footing with his master as the horse ; he is faithful and in- 
telligent, yet there is something mean and unclean about him, 

1 Ind. bibl. 2, 28S— 296. 

* He enjoys a doable appellation : OHG. epur, AS. eof or ; and OHQ. per^ AS. 
bftrfGoth. b&is?). 

* While God (Wuotan) made the wolf (p. 147), the devil a>onar?) prodnoedthe 
goat. In some places they will not eat goats* feet (Tobler p. 214). 



whicli makes his name a handle to the tongue of the scomer. It 
seems worthy of notice^ that dogs can see spirits (Sup. I, 1111), 
and recognise an approaching god while he is yet hidden from 
the human eye. When Grimnir entered the house of GeirröSr, 
there was ' eingi hundr sv& 61mr, at ft hann mundi hlaupa/ the 
king bade seize the dark-cloaked giant, ^er eigi yildo hunda/r 
ftrftiSa/ Sadm. 39. 40. So when Hel prowls about, the dogs per- 
ceive her. The Greeks had exactly the same notion : at Athena's 
approach, no one espies her, not even Telemachos, only Odysseus 
and the dogs. Od. 16, 160 : 

ovS^ apa TrfXifiaxo^ IBev avriov, ovS' ivorja-ev^ 
ov yap TTO) irdvrea-ai deol <f>aivovTat ivapyel^, 
aW ^OBv(r€v<; t€ /cvve^ t€ ISov, xal p' ou^ vXdovro, ^ 
Kvv^0fi& erepfoa-e Sut araOfiolo ^oßtfOep, 

(they did not bark, but fled whining through the tent). — The 
howling of dogs is ominous (Sup. I, 493), and gives notice of fire. 
08inn is provided with dogs, ^ Vieris grey/ Ssem. 151* ; so are 
the noms (p. 410), 'noma grey,* 273*. But whence arose the 
story in the early Mid. Ages, of St. Peter and his dog ? In the 
AS. Saturn and Solomon (Kemble p. 186), one asks: 'saga me, 
hwilc man firost weere wiÖ^ hintfid sprecende?* and the other 
answers : 'ic }>e secge, sanctus Petrus.' The Nialss. cap. 158 p. 
275 contains a spell to save from the power of the water sprite : 
'runnit hefr hundr ßinn, Petr 'postoli, till Boms tysvar (twice), ok 
mandi (would) renna it J^riiSja sinn, ef ^t leyfdir ' (see Suppl.). 

Among wild beasts of the wood were some that men regarded 
with awe, and treated with respect : above all, the bear, wolf and 
foz, I have shewn that it was an ancient and widespread custom 
in Europe to bestow names of honour on these three (Reinh. p. 
Iv. ccvii. 446),* and that with our ancestors the bear passed for 
the king of beasts (p. xlviii. seq. ccxcv.). A doc. of 1290 (Lang's 
Beg. 4, 467) presents the surname ^Chuonrat der heiligbär*; with 
this connect the name Halecbem (Trad. corb. Wig. § 268), the 
ON. Hallbiöm, and the still older names, male and female, ON. 

^ In a Dan. folksong 1, 207-9 they bark at a spectre. Barking and not bark- 
ing are the same thing here. 

> A striking confirmation appears in V. Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris 2, 272 : he 
states, from a book or from oral tradition, that the Gipsies call the fox piedbUu, 
eowewr du boU^ the wolf pUdgrU, pieddor€, and the bear vieux or grandphre. 


ÄsMörn, AS. Osbeom, OHG, Anspero, and ON. Asbima, OHG. 
Anspirin (in Walth. Ospirn), Ospirinberg, MB. 28. 2, 123; ap- 
parently the legend of the animal's sacredness was still in fall 
swing among the people. Biom was a side-name of Thfirr, and 
Welsh legend presents king Arthur as a bear and a god, which is 
not to be accounted for by the mere resemblance of his name to 
apfCTo^ : the bear in the sky plays a most dignified part. In the 
Edda a by-name of the bear is VetrliSi, hiemem sustinens (Sn. 
179. 222), because he sleeps through winter, and winter was 
called biamar-nött ; the name was passed on to men, as ' VetrliSi 
sk&ld' in Fomm. sog. 2, 202, and a Vetrlifi 3, 107 whose name 
reproduces his father's name Asbiorn} The myth of the white 
bear and the wee wight was alluded to, p. 479. It is not to 
be overlooked, that certain beast-fables get converted into human 
myths, and vice versa : e.g,, the parts of bear and fox are handed 
over to a giant or the devil. Thus, the Esthonian tale of the 
man who goes partners with the bear in raising turnips and oats 
(Reinhart cclxxxviii.) is elsewhere told of a man and the devil. 
Such overlapping of the beast-fable with other traditions is an 
additional guarantee of the epic nature of the former. — Two 
wolves, Oeri and Freki^ were sacred to OSinn : whatever food was 
set before him, he gave to them to eat, Sn. 4 ; they were, so 
to speak, the hounds of the god ( Vi"8ris grey) . I should like to 
know where Hans Sachs picked up that striking notion of the 
Lord God having chosen wolves to be His hunting dogs.' A 
son of Loki, FenrisHlfr, makes his appearance in wolfs shape 
among the gods ; no metamorphosis occurs more frequently in 
our antiquities than that of men into were-wolves. — ^Both wolf 
and bear are a favourite cognisance in coats of arms, and a great 
many names of men are compounded with them : neither fact is 
true of the fox. Hence the dearth of mythical conceptions linked 
with the fox ; a few traces have been pointed out in Beinh. ccxcvi.,' 

^ The name Weturlit is also found in the Neorolog. angiense (Mone 98^). 

^ Ed. 1558. i, 499^ : * die wolf er im erwelen gond ('gan choose), and het sie bei 
ihm für Jagdhund.' 

' Elaproth finds in Japanese books, that the people in Japan worship the imri 
(fox) as a tutelar god : little temples are dedicated to him in many houses, espee. 
of the commoner folk. They ask his advice in difficulties, and set rice or beans for 
him at night. If any of it is gone in the morning, they believe the fox has con- 
sumed it, and draw good omens from it ; the contrary is an unlucky sign (Noav. 
annales des voyages, Dec. 1833, p. 298). They take him to be a kami i.e. the soul 
of a good man deceased (ibid.) 


and the kindermärchen no. 38 has furnished him with nine tailsy 
as Sleipnir had eight legs^ and some heroes and gods four 

Freyja's car was drawn by two cats (tveim köttum), p. 305. 
Now, as fres in ON. means both he-cat and bear, it has lately 
been contended, not without reason, that köttum may have been 
substituted for fressum, and a brace of bears have been really 
meant for the goddess, as Cybele's car was drawn by lions, 
p. 254. For Puss-in-boots see pp. 503-9, and the Norweg. tale in 
Folkeeventyr no. 29. Gats and weasels pass for knowing beasts 
with magical powers, whom one has good reason to indulge. Sup» 
I, 292 (see Suppl.). 

Birds. — With birds the men of old lived on still more intimate 
terms, and their greater nimbleness seemed to bespeak more of 
the spiritual than was in quadrupeds. I will here quote some 
instances of wild fowl being fed by man. Dietmar of Merseb. 
relates of Mahtildis, Otto I.'s mother (Pertz 5, 740) : ' non solum 
pauperibns, verum etiam ambus victum subministrabat ; ' and we 
find the same in the Vita Mahtild. (Pertz. 6, 294) : ' nee etiam 
oblita est volucrum aestivo tempore in arboribus resonantium, 
praecipiens ministris sub arbores proicere micas panis.' In Nor- 
way they nsed to put out bunches of corn for the sparrows on 
Yule-eve: ' Jule-aften at sette trende kombaand paa stöer under 
aaben himmel ved laden og föe-huset till spurrens föde, at de 
Baste aar ikke skal giore skade (do no harm next year) paa 
ageren,* Hiorthoi Gulbrands dalen, Kb. 1785. 1, 130; it was a 
sacrifice offered to the birds, to keep them from ravaging the 
crops. It reminds one of the legacy to birds on Walther von 
der Vogelweide's tombstoüe, whose very name denotes ' pascua 

Gods and goddesses ofben change themselves into birds, but 
giants possess the same power too. The Esthonian god Tarapila 
flies from one place to another, p. 77; the Greek imagination 
pictured winged gods, the Hebrew winged angels, the Old German 
a maiden with swan's wings. The Norse gods and giants put on 
An eagle's coat, amar-ham, p. 633n., the goddesses a falcon's coat, 
vals-ham, p. 302. Wind is described as a giant and eagle, p. 
633, and sacred eagles scream on the mountains : ' örn göl aria. 


arar gallo/ Seam. 142* 149*. Wolfram thinks of the earth as a 
bird, when he says, Wh. 808, 27 : 

b6 din erde ir gevidere rÄrt 

nnde si der meie Idrt 

ir müze alsos volrecken (see Snppl.). 

Domestic fowl available for sacrifice, notably the cock and the 
goose, have but few mythic aspects that I know of. Fire is de- 
cribed as a red cock (p. 601) : H. Sachs has the phrase ' to make 
the red cock ride on one's rooftree,' and the Danes ' den rode 
hane galer over taget,' the red cock crows on the thack (the 
fire crackles). Bed cocks in preference had to be brought in 
payment of ground rent (formerly perhaps in sacrifice), RA. 376. 
The Yöluspä 54 sets before as 'Fialarr, fagur-rwuffr hani ' singing 
in the forest; a golden-crested cock awakes the heroes, a dark 
one crows in the nether world. In the Danish song 1, 212 there 
is meaning in the crowing of a red and a blcuJc cock one after the 
other; and another song 1, 208 adds a white cock as well. An- 
other cock in the Edda, Yi^fnir, perches on MimameiSr, Ssem. 
109*^; with him Finn Magnusen (Lex. myth. 824. 1090) would 
connect the cock they stick on the Maypole. The Wends erected 
cross-trees, but, secretly still heathen at heart, they contriyed to 
fix at the yery top of the pole a weathercock.^ In one fairy-tale> 
no. 108, Hansmeinigel's cock sits on a tree in the wood. I do not 
know when the gilded cock on the church-steeple was introduced ; 
it can hardly have been a mere weather-yane at first. Guibertos 
in Yita sua, lib. 1 cap. 22, mentions a gallus super turri, so that 
the custom preyailed in France at the beginning of the 12th 
century; in S. Germany we know it existed two centuries earlier. 
Eckehard tells of the great irruption of Hungarians : ' duo ex illis 
accendunt campanarium, cujus cacuminis gallum aureum put-antes, 
deumque loci sic vocatum^ non esse nisi carioris metalli materia 
fusum, lancea dum unus, ut eum revellat, se yalidus protendit, in 
atrium de alto cecidit et periit ' (Pertz 2, 105). The Hungarians 
took this gilded cock (gallus) for the diyinity of the place, and 
perhaps were confirmed in their error by the bird's name being 
the same as that of St. Gallus; they eyen left the minster stand- 

1 Aiinalen der Chnrbr. Hanndv. lande, 8 jahrg. p. 284. Some think the cock 
referred to Peter's denial. 


ing for fear of him: ' monasterio^ eo quod Oalliis, dens ejus, 
ignipotens sit, tandem omisHo' (ibid. 106).^ Tit. 407: ^liz golde 
ein ar g^roetet^ gefiaret unde gefunkelt ufjeglich kriuze geloetet.' 
True^ the cock is an emblem of vigilance, and the watchman, to 
command a wide view, must be highly placed ; ' but it is quite 
possible that the christian teachers, to humour a heathen custom 
of tying cocks to the tops of holy trees, made room for them on 
church-towers also, and merely put a more general meaning on 
the symbol afterwards (see Snppl.). 

At the head of wildfowl the eagle stands as king, and is the 
messenger of Jove. In our beast«fables the raven seems to take 
upon him the parts both of wolf and of fox, uniting the greed 
of the one with the other's cunning. Two ravens, Huginn and 
Muninn, are, like the two wolves, constant companions of OSinn 
(p. 147) ; their names express power of thought and remembrance : 
they bring him tidings of all that happens.' Compare the sage 
sparrow (spörr) of the Norse king Dag (Yngl. saga 21), who 
gathers news for him out of all countries, and whose death be 
avenges by an invasion. Those scouts of OSinn seem to be 
alluded to in several stories, e.g., Olaf Tryggv. cap. 28, where 
screaming ravens testify that OSinn accepts the offering pre- 
sented ; and in Nialss. 119 two ravens attend a traveller all day. 
In like manner St. Gregory is escorted by three flying ravens, 
Paul. Diac. 1, 26. In the beautiful myth of king Oswald, the 
raven who gets his plumage bound with gold (conf. the falcon, 
Ms. 1, 88^) acts an essential part : he has nothing of the fiendish 
nature afterwards imputed to this bird. It shews the same 
tendency, that where the Bible says of the raven sent out of the 
ark by Noah, simply that he i^eKdiav ovk avearrpe'^e (Gren. 8, 7), 

^ All very legendary; for the Hungarian attack on the monastery of Herzfeld 
(Hiratfeld) on the Lippe U related much in the same way in the Vita S. Idae, viz. 
that having scaled the nolarius, bat not succeeded in wrenching off the bells, they 
suddenly fled, aliqnid ibi esse diralis numinis suspicati sunt (Pertz 2, 673). Here 
the cock does not come into play, the bells do it aU. 

' Monster's Sixmbilder der alten Christen, p. 65. As Gregory the Great explains 
galltu by * praedicator ' (Opp., Paris 1706. i, 969. 961), and again speculator by the 
tame * praedicator,* he may in the following passage hare had the cock in view, 
without naming him: * speculator semper in altitudine stat, ut quidquid venturum 
■it longe prospioiat,' ibid, i, 1883. 

' In a Slovdnic fairy-tale somebody had a raven (yrdna) who was all-knowing 
(vedezh)^ and used to tell him everything when he came home. Murko's Sloven, 
deutsches wtb. Gratz 1833. p. 696. 


oar Teutonic poetizers must make him alight on carrion, Csedm. 
87, 11. Diut. 3, 60. King Arthur, whom wo lately met as a 
bear, is said to have been converted into a raven : ' que anda 
hasta ahora convertido en cuervo, j le esperan en su reyno per 
mementos,^ Don Quixote 1 , 49. In folksongs it is commonly a 
bird that goes on errands, brings intelligence of what has passed, 
and is sent out with messages : the Bohemians say ' to learn it 
of the bird' (dowedeti se po pta6ku, see Suppl.). 

In our legends, birds converse together on the destinies of 
men, and foretell the future. Ravens reveal to the blind the 
means of recovering their sight, KM. no. 107. Domestic fowls 
discuss the impending ruin of the castle, Deut. sag. 1, 202. In 
the HelgaqviSa, Seam. 140-1, a mse bird (fugl froShuga'Br) is 
introduced talking and prophesying to men, but insists on a 
temple and sacrifices before he will tell them more. In one 
German story, men get to understand the language of birds by 
eating of a white snake, KM. no. 17. SigurSr understands it too, 
the moment the heart's blood of the dragon Fafnir has got from 
his finger-tips to his tongue : and then swallows (igSor) give him 
sound advice, Ssem. 190-1. To kill swallows brings misfortune : 
ace. to Sup. I, 378 it occasions four weeks' rain ; and their nests 
on the houses no one dares knock down. From Saxo's account 
(p. 827) of the oaken statue of Bugivit, we may conclude that the 
Slavs had let swallows build on it in peace (see Suppl.). 

The mythical character of the swan is certified by the legend 
of swan-wives (p. 426) and by the bird's own death-song (see 
Suppl.). The storTe too was held inviolable, he is like swallows 
a herald of spring ; his poetic name certainly reaches back to 
heathen times, but hitherto has baffled all explanation. OHG. 
glosses give odebero, GraflF 3, 155, udebero^ Sumerl. 12, 16, 
otivaro, odebore, Fundgr. 1, 386, odeboro^ Gl. Tross; MHG. 
adebar only in Diut. 3, 453 ; MLG. edebere, Brun's Beitr. 47, 
adebar, "Reinke, 1777. 2207; M. Neth. odevare, hodevare. Rein. 
2316. Clignett 191; New Neth. oyevar; New LG. eber, äbfir, 
atjebar ; AS. and Norse have nothing similar. The ' bero, boro ' 
is bearer, but the first word, so long as the quantity of its vowel 
remains doubtful, is hard to determine; the choice would lie 
between luck-bringer (fr. 6t opes) and child-bringer, which last 
fits in with the faith, still very prevalent, that the stork brings 


babies. If, beside the OS. partic. ödan^ AS. e&den, ON. au-Sinn 
(genitus), we could produce a subst. 6d, e&d (proles), all would be 
straight. The prose word, OHQ. storah, AS. storc^ ON. storhr, 
may be just as old. In Frisian superstition there occur meta- 
morphoses of storks into men, and of men into storks. A lay 
of Wolfram 5, 21 declares that storks never hurt the crops (see 

The woodpecker was held sacred by ancient peoples of Italy, 
and ranked as the bird of Mars, "Apeo^ 6pvi^ : perched on a 
wooden pillar (cttI ki>6vo^ ^vXivov) he prophesied to the Sabines 
in the grove by Matiena (or Matiera, Dion. hal. 1, 14. Beiske 
p. 40) ; he had once guiddd them on their way, apfirjirrat^ ol 
IItK€vrlvoi, SpvoxoTiATTTov rriv oSov 'qyeara/jiivov, Strabo v, p. 240. 
And he purveyed for Bomulus and Remus when the wolf's milk 
did not suffice them, Ov. Fasti 8, 37. 54 ; conf . Niebuhr 1, 245. 
Ace. to Virg. Aen. 7, 189 and Ov. Met. 14, 321 Picii8 was the 
son of Saturn and father of Faunus,^ and was changed into the 
bird. The apparent relationship of this Picus to our poem of 
Beoundf (bee-hunter, i.e. woodpecker), was pointed out p. 869. 
In Norway the red-hooded blackpecker is called Oertrude^s fowl, 
and a story in Asbiomsen and Moe (no. 2) explains its origin : 
When our Lord walked upon earth with Peter, they came to a 
woman that sat baking, her name was Gertrude, and she wore a 
red cap on her head. Faint and hungry from his long journey, 
our Lord asked her for a little cake. She took a little dough 
and set it on, but it rose so high that it filled the pan. She 
thought it too large for an alms, took less dough and began 
to bake it, but this grew just as big, and again she refused to 
give it. The third time she took still less dough, and when the 
cake still swelled to the same sizie, ' Ye must go without ' said 
Gertrude, 'all that I bake becomes too big for you.' Then 
was the Lord angry, and said: 'Since thou hast grudged to 
give me aught, thy doom is that thou be a little bird, seek thy 
scanty sustenance twizt wood and bark, and only drink as oft as 
it shall rain.' No sooner were these words spoken, than the 
woman was changed into Oertrude'a fowl, and flew up the kitchen 

1 When the Swiss call the black-pecker merzaßtUi (Maroh-foal, Staid. 2, 199. 
Tobler 316*), the Bimplest explan. is from pious martins ; yet füllimaybe for vögeli, 
and so March-fowl or Martin's fowl ; see more in Chap. ^LXXV., Path-crossing. 


chimney. And to tHia day we see her in her red cap, and the 
rest of her body black, for the soot of the chimney blackened 
her ; continually she hacks into the bark of trees for food, and 
pipes before rain, becaase, being always thirsty^ she then hopes 
to drink.^ The green-pecker has the alias gieasvogel, Austr. 
gissvogel (Stelzhamer's Lieder pp. 19. 177), goiasvogel (Hofer 1, 
306), Low G. gütvogel, gieivogel, gütfugd (Ehrentr. 1. 845), Engl. 
rainbirdy rainfowl, becaase his cry of ' geass, giess, giet ' (pour !) 
is said to augur a downpour of rain. About him there goes a 
notable story : When the Lord God at the creation of the world 
ordered the beasts to dig a great well (or pond), this bird 
abstained from all work, for fear of s#iling his handsome plumage 
(or yellow legs). Then God ordained that to all eternity he 
should drink out of no well (pond) ; therefore we always see him 
sip laboriously out of hollow stones or cart-ruts where rainwater 
has collected. But when no rain has fallen and there is drought, 
he is sore athirst, and we hear unceasingly his pain-stricken 
' giet ! ' And the good Lord takes pity, and pours down rain 
(Beusch in Preuss. provinz. bl. 26, 536; from Samland). Fahl- 
mann in the Dorpater verhandl. 1, 42 gives an Esthonian myth : 
God was haying the Em-bach (-beck, -brook, p. 599n.) dug^ and 
set all the beasts to work ; but the Whitsun-f owl idly flew from 
bough to bough, piping his song. Then the Lord asked him : 
^hast thou nought to do but to spruce thyself f ' The bird 
replied, ' the work is dirty, I can't afford to spoil my golden- 
yellow coat and silvery hose.* 'Thou foolish fop,' the Lord 
exclaimed, ' from henceforth thou shalt wear black hose, and 
never slake thy thirst at the brook, but pick the raindrops off the 
leaves, and only then strike up thy song when other creatures 

creep away from the coming storm.' Now that Norwegian 

Oertrude^s fowl, whose thirsty piping brings on rain, is evidently 
identical, and very likely another story explains the rainbird as 
the metamorphosis of a vain idle person. Sometimes it is not 
the woodpecker at all that is meant by giessvogel, giesser, wasser* 
vogel, pfingstvogel, regenpfeifer, but a snipe (Höfer 1, 306. 341), 
whose cry likewise forebodes a storm (p. 184), or the curlew 
(numenius arquata), Pr. pluvier (pluviarius). Boh. koliha, Pol. 

^ Rytohkov'B Joum. thro' the Bass. Emp., trsl. by Hase, Biga 1774. p. 124. 


kultg, kullik, LQ. regenwolp, water wolp (Brem. wtb. 5, 286). In 
oar own beast-fables the woodpecker is left without any part 
to play^ only in an altogether isolated episode he is introduced 
conversing with the wolf (Reinh. 419). The Votiaks pay divine 
honours to the tree-tapping woodpecker^ to induce him to spare 
their woods.^ The cry of this woodpecker (zhunia) the Servians 
call klikchi^ kliknuti^ kliktati^ as they do that of the vila [p. 436, 
but there wrongly ascribed to the tapping noise]. Wood- 
peckers by their tapping shew the way to the river (Lay of Ig6r 
79) ; the old legend of the woodpecker and springwurzel will be 

examined in Chap. XXXII (see Suppl.) . A near neighbour of 

the pecker (picus) is ihe pie, magpie (pica). In ON. her name is 
skaSi (masc, says Biöm), Swed. shata, Dan. shade, which may 
be referred to the abstract notion of damnum, OHGr. scado ; at 
the beginning of the Yölsnnga saga there occurs a man^s name 
8kaM, which Finn Magn. (Lex. 699) declares to be the goddess 
8haffi. In Flemish beast-legend the magpie was ' ver Ave/ frau 
Ave. In Poitou there still lingers a trace of pie-worship ; viz. 
a bunch of heath and laurel is tied to the top of a high tree in 
honour of the magpie, because her chatter warns the people of the 
wolfs approach : ' porter la cr6pe (pancake) ä la pie,' Mem. des 
antiq. 8, 451. 

In Old Bohemian songs the sparrowhawk (krahui, krahug) is a 
sacred bird, and is harboured in a grove of the gods (Königinh. 
MS. 72. 80. 160). On the boughs of an oak that springs out of 
a murdered man's grave, holy sparrowhawks perch, and publish 
the foul deed (see Suppl.). 

There is no bird to which the gift of prophecy is more univer- 
sally conceded than the cuckoo,^ whose clear and measured voice 
rings in the young foliage of the grove. The Old German law 
designates spring by the set phrase ' wann der gattch guket ' (BA. 
86), as in Hesiod's rules of husbandry the cuckoo's song marks 
the growing rains of spring. Two old poems describe the quarrel 
of Spring and Winter about the cuckoo, and the shepherds' 
lamentation for him: Spring praises the bird, 'tarda hiems' 

^ Gamiol. jnna, Pol. Boh. zlnwa, Boh. also wlha, wolga. 

* Qoth. ginks ? OHG. gooh (Ho£fm. 6, 6), AS. geio, ON. gankr ; MHG. goaoh, 
MS. 2, 132^, also rednplioated (like eaoulas) gnogoaoh» MS. 1, 182*, goggouoh, MS. 
1, 166^ ; our gokuk, kakak, Up.G. guggaachi gategoa(üi. 


chides him^ shepherds declare that he is drowned or kidnapped. 
There is a remarkable line : 

Tempas adest veris ; cucidus, modo rumpe soporem.^ 

His notes usher in the sweetest season of the year^ bat his telling 
men their fortunes is not alluded to. The Cod. Ezon. 146^ 27 
also makes him publish or ^ bid ' the year : ' gedcds gear budon/ 
cuculi annum nuntiavere. But the superstition is not yet extinct, 
that the first time you hear the cuckoo in the spring, you can 
learn of him how many years you have yet to live (Sup. I, 197. 
K, Swed. 119. Dan. 128. 146). In Switzerland the children 
call out : ' gugger^ wie lang leb i no ? ' and in Lower Saxony : 

kukuk vam häven^ 

wo lange sail ik leven ? 

then you must listen, and count how many times the bird repeats 
his own name after your question, and that is the number of 
years left you to live (Schütze's Holst, idiot. 2, 363). In some 
districts ^ the rhyme runs : 

JcuTcuTc beckenknecht^ 

sag mir rechte 

wie viel jar ich leben soll ? ^ 

The story is, that the bird was a baker's (or miller^s) man, and 
that is why he wears a dingy meal-sprinkled coat. In a dear 
season he robbed the poor of their flour, and when Grod was 
blessing the dough in the oven, he would take it out, and pull 
lumps out of it, crying every time ' guk-guk/ look-look ; there- 
fore the Lord punished him by changing him into a bird of prey. 

^ Both eclogues in Domavii Amphith. 456-7, where they are attrib. to Beda ; 
ditto in Leyser p. 207, who says they were first printed in the Frankf. ed. (1610) of 
Ovid's Amatoria, p. 190. Meanwhile Oadin (De script, eocles. 2, 827-8, ed. Lips. 
1722) gives the Oonfliotus veris et hiemis under the name of ' MUo, sancti Amandi 
elnonensis monaohus * (first half of 9th century) ; and the second poem De morte 
ouculi stands in Mabillon's Anal. 1, 869 as *Alctdni versus de cuculo.' Anyhow they 
fall into the 8th or 9th century ; in shortening the penultima of * caculns * they 
agree with Beinardus 3, 528. Hoffm, Horae belg. 6, 236 has also revived the 

2 Aegid. Albertini narrenhatz, Augsb. 1617. p. 95 : * Even as befel that old wife, 
which asked a guguck how many year she had yet to live, and the guguck beginning 
five times to sing, she supposed that she iiad five year more to live, etc.* From 
' Schimpf und ernst ' c. 391. 

' So in Mod. Greek : kovko ftoVj koDkAki /mv, ki ipyvpoKovKdua fiWf T6<rovs XP^''^"^ 
6k vh. ^ffta ; 

CUCKOO. 677 

which incessantly repeats that cry (conf. Praetorins's Weltbeschr. 
Ij 666. 2, 491). No doubt the story, which seems very ancient, 
and resembles that of the woodpecker (p. 673), was once told 
very differently; conf. Chap. XXII., Pleiades. That 'dear 
season ' may have to do with the belief that when the cuckoo's 
call continues to be heard after Midsummer, it betokens dearth 
(Sup. I, 228). 

In Sweden he tells maidens how many years they will remain 
Hnmarried : 

g'ok, gök, sitt pa quist (on bough), 

säg mig vist (tell me truej, 

hur manga är (how many years) 

jag o-gift gär (I shall un-given go) f 

If he calls more than ten times, they declare he has got ' pa galen 
quist' (on the silly bough, i.e. bewitched), and give no heed to 
his prophecies. And then a good deal depends on the quarter 
whence you hear your cuckoo first. Tou must pay strict atten- 
tion in spring; if you hear him from the north (the unlucky 
quarter), you will see sorrow that year, from east or west his 
call betokens luck, and from the south he is the proclaimer of 
butter : ' östergök är tröstegök, vestergök är bästagök, norrgök ör 
sorggök, sörgök är smörgök.^ 

In Goethe's Oracle of Spring the prophetic bird informs a 
loving pair of their approaching marriage and the number of 
their children. 

It is rather surprising that our song- writers of the 13th cen- 
tury never bring in the cuckoo as a soothsayer; no doubt the 
fact or fancy was Cetmiliar to all, for even in the Benner 11340 we 


daz weiz der goicch, der im fur war 

hat gegutzet hundert jar. 

Caesarius heisterbac. 5, 17: 'Narravit nobis anno praeterito 
(? 1221) Theobaldus abbas eberbacensis, quod quidam couversus, 
cum nescio quo tenderet, et avem, quae cuculus dicitur a voce 
nomen habens, crebrius cantwntem audiret, vices interruptionis 
numeravit, et viginti duas inveniens, easque quasi pro omiue 

^ Aradt's Beise doroh Schw. 4, 6 — 7. The snipe Ib in Swed. hwsgjok, ON. 
hro99agaukr (horBe-cuokoo)» and she too has the gift of divination, p. 184. 


accipiens^ j9ro annis totidem vices easdem sihi compuiavit : 'eia' 
inqnit^ ' certe viginti daobus annis adhnc viyam^ at qaid tanto 
tempore mortificem me in ordine ? redibo ad seculum^ et aecolo 
deditus viginti annis f mar deliciis ejus ; daobus annis qui super- 
sunt poenitebo.' — In the Couronnemens Benart^ the fox hears the 
bird^s voice^ and propounds to him the query : 

A cost mot Benart le cucu 

entent, si jeta un fans ris^ 

'jou te conjur' fait il, 'de oris, 
215 cucus^ que me dies le voir (truth), 

quans ans jai ä vivre ? savoir 

le veil/ Cucu, en preu cucu,^ 

et deus cucu^ et trois cucu, 

quatre cucu, et cine cucu, 
220 et sis cucu, et set cucu, 

et uit cucu, et nuef cucu, 

et dis cucu, onze cucu, 

duze cucu, treize cucu. 

Atant se taist, que plus ne f u 
225 li oisiaus illuec, ains s'envolle. 

Renart carries the joyful news to his wife, that the bird has 
promised him yet 'treize ans d'a6 ' (see Suppl.). 

Is it the cuckoo that is meant by ' timebird ' in Ms. 1, 88* : ' diu 
vröide vlogzet (joy flies) gellch dem zitvogel in dem neste'? 
What makes me think so is a passage in Pliny, which anyhow is 
pertinent here, exhorting the husbandman at the aequinoctium 
vemum to fetch up all arrears of work : ' dum sciat inde natam 
exprobrationem foedam putantium vites per imitationem cantas 
alitis temporarii, quem cticulum vocant. Dedecus enim habetur 
opprobriumque meritum, falcem ab ilia volucre deprehendi, ut ob 
id petulantiae sales etiam cum prime vere ludantur.' 

Delight at the first song of the cuckoo is thus expressed in & 
Swiss couplet (Tobler 245**) : 

wenn der gugger chond gegugga ond 's merzafoli lacht, 
denn wött i gad goh lo, ^swit i koh möcht ; 

^ A line Beema wanting here» to tell us that Cnokoo, like a sensible onokoo (en 
pren cucu, fngl IrÖ^hngatSr), * began to sing, One caoa.* 

CUCKOO. 679 

they imagine that he never sings before the 3rd of Aprils and 
never after Midsammer : 

am dretta Abarella 

moss der gugger grüena haber schnella ; 

bat he cannot sing till he has eaten a bird^s egg. If yon have 
money in your pouch when you hear him sing the first time, you 
will be well oflf all that year, if not, you will be short the whole 
year (Sup. I, 874) ; and if you were fosting, you will be hungry 
all the year. When the cuckoo has eaten his fill of cherries three 
times, he leaves off singing. As the cuckoo's song falls silent at 
Midsammer, vulgar opinion holds that from that time he tv/rns 
into a hawk. Reusch, N. pr. prov. bl. 5, 338-9. 

The Poles call the bird zezula, the Bohemians 'ezhule (both 
fem.). The 0. Pol. chronicle of Prokosz,^ p. 113 of the Lat. ed., 
has a remarkable account of the worship of a Slavic god Zy vie : 
'divinitati Zywie fanum ezstructum erat in monte ab ejusdem 
nomine Zywiec dicto, ubi primis diebus mensis Maji innumerus 
populus pie conveniens precabatur ab ea, quae vitae ^ auctor habe- 
batur, longam et prosperam valetudinem. Praecipue tamen ei 
litabatur ab iis qui primum cantum cuculi audivissent, ominantes 
superstitiose tot annos se victuros quoties vocem repetiisset. Opin- 
abantnr enim sapremum huno universi moderatorem traiisfigurari 
in euculum nt ipsis annuntiaret vitae tempera: undo crimini 
dacebatur, capitalique poena a magistratibus afficiebatur, qui 
cuculum occidisset.' Here the oracular bird is a god in meta- 
morphosisj just as that Saxon rhyme called him 'kukuk vam 

To the Servian haiduks it betokens evil when the Jcuhavitsa 
comes too soon, and cries out of the black (leafless) forest ; and 
good luck when it sings from the green wood, Vuk sub v. 

In the Eddie Grotta-song the quern-maids are only allowed to 
rest and sleep while the cuckoo is silent (enn gaukrinn J'agSi) . 

The cuckoo can prophesy both good and ill ; in dealing with 
him (as with other birds of enchantment, owls, magpies) you 

^ Eronika polska przez Prodosza, Warsz. 1825, and in Latin * Chronicon 
SlaToearmaticom ProcoBÜ/ Varsay. 1827 ; professedly of the 10th cent. It is not 
BO old as that, yet Dobrowsky (Wien, jahrb. 32, 77 — 60) goes too far in pronoancing 
it a pore fabrication ; it is at any rate founded on old traditions. 

' iywy, aliye ; 2ywi<S, to sustain life, nourish. 

11. S 


have to weigh your words and questions, so as not to get en- 
snared (Arndt's Sweden 8, 18). To kill him without cause is 
dangerous, his followers might avenge it. He has power to teaze 
men, to debide them, what Swedish superstition calls dära, and 
Danish gante. A MHG. poem (Fragm. 38^) has : 'peterlin und 
louch h&t begucket mit der gouch/ Often his appearing is of evil 
omen. Paulus Diac. 6, 55 says of Hildeprand king of the Lom- 
bards : ' cui dum cent um, sicut moris est, traderent, in ejus conti 
summitate cuculus avis volitando veniens insedit. Tunc aliquibus 
prudentibus hoc portento visum est significari, ejus principatum 
inutilem fore ' (see Suppl.) . 

As that all-nourishing life-divinity of the Slavs took the shape 
of the cuckoo, so does the Grecian Zeus transform himself into 
the bird, when he first approaches Hera. A seated figure of the 
goddess shews a cuckoo on her staff, and a bas-relief representing 
the wedding procession of Zeus and Hera has a cuckoo perched on 
Zeus's sceptre (as on that of the Lombard king) ;^ so that this 
bird has got mixed up with the most sacred of all weddings, 
and we understand why he promises marriage and the fruit of 
wedlock. Then, the mountain on which Zeus and Hera came 
together, previously called Opova^ (from Opovo^, seat of the 
Thunderer? supra p. 183) or Gopva^, received after that the 
name of 8po<; KOKKvyiov (Pausanias ii. 36, 2). Well, and we have 
gowk's-hills in Germany : a Oauchsberg near Kreuznach (Widder's 
Pfalz 4, 36), others near Durlach and Weinsberg (Mone's Anz. 6, 
350), a Guggisberg in Switzerland (Joh. Müller, 1, 347. 2, 82. 
Tschachtlan p. 2), Oöckerliberg (KM. no. 95); the name might 
be accounted for very naturally by the song of the bird being 
heard from the hill, but that other traditions also are mixed up 
with it. In Preidank 82, 8 (and almost the same in Bonerius 65, 

wisiu wort unt tumbiu were 
diu habent die von Ooucliesberc, 

Here the men of Gauchsberg are shown up as talking wisely aitd 
acting foolishly ; Gauchsberg is equivalent to Narrenberg (foors 

> Weloker on Schwenk 269. 270 ; nsnaUy an eagU aits there. The figureB of 
^gie and cuckoo are not always easy to distinguish ; but to this day the BavariftM 
by way of jest caU the Prussian eagle * gukezer/ Schm. 2, 27. 

CUCKOO. 681 

moant).^ As far back as the lOth cent. gouU has the side-mean- 
ing of fool (N. ps. 48, 11. 93, 8. urheizfcowA, war-fool, N. Bth. 
175); the same everywhere in the 13th (Walth. 22, 31. Trist. 
8631. 18215), though commonly with a qualifying adj. or gen. 
pi. : ich tumber gouch, MS. 1, 65*. tumber denn ein gouch, Troj. 
8126. tumber gouch, Bari. 319, 25. gouch unwise 228, 32. sin- 
neloser gouch, 319, 38. der treit gouches houbet (wears a gowk's 
head), MsH. 3, 468». rehter witze ein gouch, MS. 2, 124^. der 
msere ein göichelin (dim.), and gouchgouolt (augm.), Ben. 209. 
The ON. gaukr is likewise arrogans morio. Hans Sachs occa- 
sionally uses Oauchberg^ in the same sense, ii. 4, 110^ (Kempten 
ii. 4, 220*), extr. from Göz 1, 52. Yet originally in Gauch^berg 
the bird himself may very well have been meant in a mystic sense 
which has fallen dark to us now (see Suppl.) .^ 

In other ways too the cuckoo stands in ill repute, he passes 
for an adulterer, who lays his eggs in other people's nests ; hence 
the Bomans used cuculos in the sense of moechus (Plauti Asinaria, 
twice in last scene), and our gouch, göuchelin formerly meant 
bastard (Nib. 810, 1. Aw. 1, 46), as the Swiss gugsch still 
means an unbidden rival suitor. He even comes out as a fiendish 
being, or the fiend himself, in phrases everywhere known from of 
old : ' cuckoo knows, cuckoo take him, cuckoo sent him here ' 
and the like, in all of which the devil's name might be substi- 
tuted without change of meaning. This seems to me to point 
to old heathen traditions, to which the diabolic tinge was added 
only by degrees ; and among these I reckon the Low Saxon 
formula ' the cuckoo and his clerk (or sexton) ' I by which clerk is 
meant the hoopoo (Brem. wtb. 2, 858), a bird that is likewise 
thought to have received his form by metamorphosis. I cannot 
trace the story of the cuckoo and hoopoo any further; does the 

' Hence we find, as substitutes for it, Affenberc (Docen*B Miso. 2, 187) ; Afen- 
here and Narrental, MsH. 8, 200i>; Affental^ ibid. 218«. Winsbeke 45,7. Benner 
16469 ; Apenberg and Narrenberg in the Plattd. ' Narragonia ' 77^. 137^ ; Eselsberc, 
Dint. 2, 77. Animals whose stupidity was proverbial of old, are the ox, ass, ape, 
goat, goose, gowk and jay : vi'S ösvinna apa. Seem. 25^. ätrunnr apa 55*. Notk. ps. 
67, 11 has rnoh (stultus), i.e. hruoh, AS. hr6c (graculus, Qramm. 3, 361). 

' Much oftener Schalksberg (rogue's hill) in the phrase * in den schalksperg 
hawen (hew) ' i. 5, 524». iü. 3, 28<i. 54^. iv. 8, 20<i. 81o. 40» ; the reason of which I 
do not know. * Schalksberg wine grows in Franconia.' ' Henricns dictus de Scalkes- 
beigh,' Spilker 2, 148 (an. 1268). 

' Those who crave other explanations, will find plenty in Mone's Anz. 6, 850 
seq. *GoachBberg is Caucasus, as Elberich is the spirit of Elburj, diabolus the 
Persic div,' and so forth. 


one sing to the other? [his note 'ooboo' is like an echo of 
^cuckoo']. Döbel i. 1, 68 calls the hoopoo the cuckoo's lackey, 
because he comes with him in spring and goes with him in 
autumn (see Suppl.) . The peewit has the same things said of 
' him. 

The froth on willows, caused by the cicada spumaria, we call 
JcukuJcS'Speichel, Swiss gvggerapeu^ Engl, cuckoo-spit, -spittle, Dan. 
giögespyt, but in some places witch's spittle, Norweg. trold- 
kiäringspyfi :^ another proof of the bird's connexion with preter- 
natural things, and reminding us of the bird-spittle (fugls hr&ki) 
which in Sn. 34 goes to make up the band Gleipnir. Several 
names of plants assure us of his mythic nature. Sorrel: OHG. 
gouchesampferd, Swiss guggersauer, AS. gedcessure, Dan. giöge- 
mad, giögesyre, it being supposed that he loved to eat it ; our 
hukuksbrot, gauchlauch, Pr. pain de concou, panis cuculi. Cuckoo- 
flower : hukukshlume, gauchhlume, flos cuculi. Pimpernel : gauch- 
heil, etc., guckgauchdom, Fischart's Greschichtskl. 269*. 

The Slavs all make this bird feminine, and see nothing bad, 
nothing fiendish in it : zezhulice sits on the oak, and bewails the 
passing away of spring, Koniginh. MS. 174. The Servian Tcuka- 
vitsa was once a maiden, who wept her brother's death till she 
was changed into the bird ; ' sinia (gray) kukavitsa,' Vuk 8, 66 ; 
three women turned into kukavitsas, Vuk 1, no. 321. In songs 
of Lit. Bussia still a moping melancholy bird ; and in Russian 
folktales we have again a young girl changed into a cuckoo by an 
enchantress (Gotze's Serb, lieder, p. 212). 

Of small birds, the swallow has been mentioned, p. 672. 
' Frau nachtigall * is often named by our minnesingers ; but the 
myth, that her children are born dead and she sings them alive, 
seems not of German origin. The lark and galander (crested 
lark) must have been actors in the animal legend oftener than we 
are now aware of; there are still beautiful stories of the zaunkonig 
(hedgeking, wren), AS. wrenna. But I have yet to speak of two 
little birds, which appear to have been peculiarly sacred in olden 
times : redbreast and titmouse. 

Robin redbreast is on no account to have his nest disturbed, or 
ihe house will be struck with lightning : it is the redstart^s nest 

' Summer-freokles in Bavar. gugker-schegken, cuckoo-spots, Bchm. 2. 27 : oonf. 
Höfer 1,337. • 


that draws down the flash. The latter the Swiss call husrötheli 
(house-redling) ; if you tease him or take him out, your cows 
will give red milk (Tobler 281). Were these birds sacred to 
Donar the red-bearded ? And has that to do with the colour of 
their throat and tail f They say the redbreast drops leaves and 
flowers on the face of a murdered man [or ' babe ^] whom he 
finds in the wood ; did he do this in the service of a god^ who 
therefore would not suffer him to be molested ? 

The tiny titrrumse,^ whom he called gossip, was able to outwit 
even Reynard himself. The weisthumer tell us in what estima- 
tion this little forest bird was held, by setting the severest penal- 
ties on his capture : ' item, si quis sibilando vel alio modo volu- 
crem ilium ceperit, qui vulgo meise nuncupatur, banni reus erit/ 
Jnra archiep. trever., in Lacombl. aich. 326. 'si quis auceps 
banc silvam intraverit, pro nullo genere volucrum componet, nisi 
capiat m&isam que dicitur banmeisa, et pro ilia componat 60 sol. 
tanquam pro cervo,' ibid. 367. ' wer da fehet ein hermeiseny der 
sal geben ein koppechte hennen und zwelf hunkeln, und sechzig 
schilling pfenning und einen helbeling/ Dreieicher wildbann 
(Weisth. 1, 499). 'wer eine kolmeise fienge mit limen ader mit 
slagegam, der sal unserme herm geben eine falbe henne mit sie- 
ben hünkeln/ Rheingauer w. l, 535. ' wer ein sterzmeise fahet, 
der ist umb leib u. guet, und in unsers herrn ungnad/ Grenz- 
nacher w. 2, 153. — The reason of these laws is hidden from us ; 
plainly the bird was held sacred and inviolable. And it is per- 
fectly in tune with this, that at the present moment the Lettons, 
who call the bird sihle^ regard it as prophetic and auspicious, 
and even call a soothsayer sihlneehs? Also the Spanish name for 
the titmouse, cid (lord), or dd paxaro (lord sparrow), is worth 
considering. Titmouse, wren and woodpecker (bee-wolf) are 
confounded in popular belief; what is meant is the tiQiest 
prettiest bird (see Suppl.). 

1 Meiae, OHO. meisA, AS. milse, Nethl. mdze, Fr. mesange, O.Fr. moBenge. 

' Lith. ^yle, iyl^e ; Pol. sikora, Bob. sykora, Buss, zfnika, sinitsa, SIot. 
flenitaa, Seir. Bienitsa. The Lettio name may be deriTable from siimabt, tbe Lith. 
from iynoti (scire), so that the faU form would be sinnele, ^ynle, the sage knowing 
bird ? The jay also is in Lettio sihls. To the Swed. Lapps taitru signifies not 
only wood-pecker, bat superstitious divination ; tayetet is to understand. In view 
of Üiat, our ^eehi (woodpecker) seems to belong to a lost root spihan, spah, sp&hun, 
whence also spehdn (explorare), and sp&hi (sapiens, prudens). 

• Mag. der lett. lit. gesellsoh., Mitau 1S88. 0, 151. 


Reptiles. — Snakes^ by the beauty of their shape and the terror 
of their bite, seem above all animals to command awe and rever- 
ence. A great many stories tell of an exchange of form between 
men and snakes : an almost infallible sign of their having been 
worshipped. Beings that had passed out of human into animal 
shapes, and were able to return into the former at need, these 
heathenism was inclined to regard as sacred ; it worshipped kind 
beneficent snakes, whilst in christian opinion the notion of snakes 
being malignant and diabolic predominates. 

The same Vita Barbati, which we had to thank for information 
on the tree-cultus of the Lombards (p. 649), tells us likewise of 
a worship of snakes : ' His vero diebus, quamvis sacra baptis- 
matis unda Langobardi ablnerentur, tamen priscum gentilitatU 
ritu/m tenentes, sive bestiali mente degebant, bestiae simulachro, 
quae vulgo vipera nominatur, flectebant colla, quae debite suo de- 
bebant flectere Creatori. . . . Praeterea Bomuald ejnsqne 
sodales, prisco coecati errore, palam se solum Deum colere fate- 
bantur, et in abditis viperae simulachrum ad suam perniciem 
adorabantJ During the king^s absence, Barbatns beseeches his 
consort Theodorada to procure for him that image of the snake. 
' Illaque respondit : Si hoc perpetravero, pater, veraciter scio me 
morituram.' He perseveres and at last persuades her ; as soon 
as the image is in his hands, he melts it down, and delivers the 
metal to goldsmiths to make out of it a plate and a chalice.^ 
Out of these golden vessels the christian sacrament is adminis- 
tered to the king on his return, and then Barbatus confesses that 
the holy utensils were made by melting down the idol. ' Bepente 
unus ex circumstantibus ait : Si mea uxor talia perpetrasset, nuUo 
interposito memento abscinderem caput ejus.' A passage in the 
other Vita also is pertinent here : ' Quinetiam vip&raTa auri 
metallo formatam summi pro magnitudine dei supplici devotione 
venerari videbantur. Unde usque hodie, sicut pro voto arboris 
Votum, ita et locus ille Census, devotiones * ubi viperae redde- 
bantur dignoscitur appellari/ About ' votum ' I expressed my 
mind, p. 6o0n. ; ' census ' signifies the Goth, gild, gilstr, OHG. 
hell, kelstar (p. 38-9 and RA. 358) . The two words votum and 

^ As the gold of the swan-rings was made into pots» and what remained otot 
was the goldsmith's profit. 

^ Printed text : loons ille census deyotionis, nhi Tiperae reddehantnr. 

SNAKB. 685 

census are no slight testimony to the genuineness and oldness of 
the biography.— Here then we have a striking instance of an 
idol made of gold^ and moreover of the christian teacher^s en- 
deavour to preserve the sacred material, only converting it into a 
christian form. What higher being the snake represented to the 
Ix>mbards, we can scarcely say for certain ; not the all-encircling 
world- snake, the miiSgarSs-ormr, iormungandr of Norse myth- 
ology, for there is not a hint that even in the North, let alone 
elsewhere, he was visibly represented and worshipped. Ofnir 
and SvafniT are ON. names of snakes, and side-names of OSinn 
(conf. p. 144) ; is it Wuotan that we are to understand by the 
^ summus deus ' of the Lombards ? ^ But the special character- 
istics of their snake- worship are entirely lost to us. If the term 
vipera was deliberately chosen, as I have no doubt it was, it can 
only mean one of the smaller kinds of snake (coluber berus), 
OHG. natara, AS. ncedre, ON. naSra (also masc. na'Sr, like Groth. 
nadrs), though the simulacrum, of whose gold a plate and chalice 
could be made, bespeaks a considerable size. 

Lombard legend has more to tell us of snakes, and those 
expressly small ones. The Heldenbuch describes the combat of 
a small fire-spitting beast on the Gartensee (L. di Garda) with 
Wolfdietrich and a lion, to both of whom it gives enough to do : 

Nan hörent durch ein wonder, wie das tierlein ist genant : 
es heisst zn welsch ein zundeTt zu teutsoh ein »arihant^ 
in Sittenland nach esen ist es ein vipper genant ; 

and it is added, that there are bat two such vipers alive at once, 
for the young ones soon after birth eat up their parents. This 
agrees closely with the statements in the Physiologus (Diut. 3, 
29, 80. Hoffm. fundgr. 28). I cannot explain zunder from any 
Italian dialect ; scuribant is the MHG. serpant, Trist. 8994. Sit- 
tenland I take to be the canton Yalais, from its capital Sitten 
(Sion) ; there the Bomance vipera might easily remain in use 
(Grisons vipra, vivra). In the Jura a never-dying winged snake 
with a diamond eye is called vouivre, M6m. des autiq. 6, 217. In 
Switzerland this snake in called stollenwurm (Wyss^s Heise ins 
Bemer Oberland, p. 422), and in Salzburg birgatutze, Schm. 1, 
196 (seeSnppL). 

I * Sommi pro magn. Dei * may possihlj mean * iiutead of (worshipping) the 
majesty of the Most High.* — Tbams. 


Plenty of old tales are still told of home-enakes and unkea} 
On meadows and pastures^ and even in houses^. snakes come to 
children when alone, sip milk with them out of their bowl, wear 
golden crovms, which in drinking they take off from their heads 
and set on the gronnd, and often forget and leave them ; they 
watch infants in the cradle, and to bigger children they shew 
treasures : to kill them is unlucky. Every village has its own 
snakes to tell of. So goes the story in Swabia. Some Hessian 
stories are collected under Kinderm. no. 105, and one from 
Austria in Ziska's Volksmärchen (Vienna 1822, p. 51) ; nearly all 
bring in the rmlk-drinking ^ and the golden crown. If the parents 
surprise the snake with the child, and kill it, the child begins to 
fall away, and dies before long (Temme's Fomm. sagen no. 257) . 
Once, when a woman lay asleep, a snake crept into her open 
mouth, and when she gave birth to a child, the snake lay tightly 
coiled round its neck, and could only be got away by a milk- 
bath ; but it never left the baby's side, it lay in bed with it, and 
ate out of its bowl, without doing it any harm (Hone's Anz. 8, 
530). Then other accounts speak of a multitude of snakes filling 
house and yard, whose king was distinguished by a glittering 
crown on his head. When he left the yard, all the rest would 
accompany him ; in the stable where he lived, they swarmed so 
plentifully, that the maids feeding the cattle would take them 
out of the crib by armfnls. They were friendly to the cattle 
and the people ; but a new farmer shot their king, and they all 
departed, and with them vanished wealth and prosperity from 
the estate (ibid. 6, 1 74).^ Here also comes in the queen of snakes 
(Deut. sagen no. 220), and a remarkable story in the Gesta Bo- 
manorum (Keller p. 152). To a dairymaid at Immeneich there 
came a great snake into the cowshed every morning and evening 
at milking-time, and wore a great crown on its head. The girl 

1 MHG. unk, gen. nnkes, MS. 2, 209^ 206«: ' from copper one diyideih gold 
with an nnke's ashes' ; hence an alohymist was called unken-hrenner (Felix 
Malleolus de nobilitate et mstioitate, cap. SO). By vnke is properly meant the 
rana portentosa (bull-frog?), but often snake or reptile in general. Like the 
weasel, it is called caressingly * mumelein, mäemal^* aunty. Schm. 2, 576. 

' Down to the recurring formula : * ding, iss auch brocken 1* (thing, eat cnunbs 
too) ; * friss auch mocken, nicht lauter schlappes ! ' (not only slops) Mone'a Ana. 
8, 580 ; * friss auch brocken, nicht lauter brühe ! ' ibid. 6, 175. 

* A similar story of the king of snakes from Lübbenau in the Spieewald of 
Lausitz (Bü8ching*8 Wöch. nachr. 3, 842) in Beosoh no. 74. 

SNA£E. 687 

everytime gave it warm ocyufs milk to sup. She suddenly left the 
place in a tiff^ and when the new maid went for the first time to 
milk^ there lay the golden crown on the milking-stool^ with the 
inscription : ^ a token of gratitude.' She brought the crown to 
her master^ who gave it to the girl it was intended for; but from 
that time the snake was never seen again (Moneys Anz. 8^ 537). 
The adder's crown (attemkranlein) makes any one that wears it 
invisible (Schm. 2y 388) and immensely rich as well. In some 
districts they say every house has two snakes, a male and a 
female, but they never shew themselves till the master or mistress 
of the house dies, and then they undergo the same fate. This 
feature, and some others, such as the offering of milk, bring the 
hame'^nakes near to the notion of good helpful home-sprites (see 

The snake then comes bef<»« us as a beneficent inviolable 
creature, perfectly adapted for heathen worship. A serpent 
tvrined round the staff of Asklepios, and serpents lay beside 
healing fountains (p. 588n.).. The ancient Prussians maintained a 
large snake for their Potrimpos, and the priests guarded it with 
care ; it lay under ears of com, and was nourished with milk.^ 
The Lettons call snakes milk-mothers (peena mahtes) ; they were 
under the protection of one of the higher goddesses named 
Brehkina (crier), who cried oat to all that entered to leave her 
' peena mahtes ' unmolested in the house (Mag. der lett. gesellsch. 
6, 144). There is milk set for them in pots. The Lithuanians 
also revered snakes, harboured them in their houses, and offered 
them sacrifices.' Egyptian snake-worship was witnessed by 
Herodotus 2, 74« 'Nullus locus sine genio, qui per anguem 
plerumque ostenditur,' Serv. ad Aen. 5, 95« 

Snakes were devised as a charm in sword's and on helmets 
(Sssm. 142^) : 

liggr meS eggjo ormr dreyftSr, 
enn ft valbösto verpr n>adr hala. 

The ormr or yrmllngr was supposed to run from the sword's hilt 

> Yoigt'B Geschichte PraoBfleiiB 1, 584. 

* 8eb. Frank's Weltbueh 65^ Mone's Heidenth. 1, 98. Adam. brem. de sita 
Daniae, cap. 24, of the LithoaniaDB : * dracone» adorant cum vohurrihm^ quibus 
etiam yiyoa Utant homines, qiios a meroatoribos emnnt, diligenter omnino piobatos 
ne maftwiftw» in oozpore habeant.' 


(belz; hialt) to the point and back again (Kormakss. p. 82-4. 
Vilk. 8. p. 101). Vitege had the epithet 'mit dem sla/ngen* be- 
cause of his helmet's crest (Heldensage p. 148) . They imparted 
strength to a helmet^ and force to the blade of a sword. It 
seems much the same things when waggoners plait adder's- 
tongues into their whips^ Sup. I^ 174 (see Suppl.). 

The snake crawls or wriggles along the ground; when 
provided with wings, it is called drache, a non-German word 
coming from the Lat. draco, Grr. Bpaxoov, and introduced very 
early, OHG. tracchoy AS. draca, ON. drehi. The Elder (or 
Saemund^s) Edda has dreki only once, in the latish Sölarl. 127**; 
elsewhere it is ormr, AS. wyrm, OHG. wurm, Goth, vaurms, which 
in a wider sense includes the snake also. The one encountered 
by Beowulf comes before us emphatically as a winged snake 
(serpens alatus) ; ' nihtes fleoge^S ' 4541, by night he flies, and 
hence is called uhtsceaffa 4536 (noctumus hostis, aggressor), and 
lyßsceada (aereus hostis), Cod. exon. 829, 24. Also the dragon 
that keeps Krimhild prisoner on the Drachenstein comes riding 
through the air, or flying. But the one that young Siegfried had 
previously killed, when sent out by the smith, lay beside a linde 
(lime-tree), and did not fly: this is the Fafiiir of the Edda, a man 
who had assumed the form of a snake; of him the Edda uses 
skri'Sa (repere, to stride), Seam. 186. Sn. 138; and he is the 
wyrm or draca slain by Sigemund and Fitela in Beow. 1765. 
1779. In the Nib. 101, 2 and 842, 2 he is called linirache, litiU 
drache, in the Siegfriedslied 8, 2 lintwurm : an expression found 
also in Mar. 148, 28. En, 2947. Troj. 25199, and to be ex- 
plained, not from linde (tüia) as misunderstood by later legend, 
but from the OHG. lint. With ijhis lint (Goth. linj>s, AS. li«, 
ON. linn?) many women's names are formed (Gramm. 2, 505), 
^'9'i Sigilint, ON. Sigrlinn (supra p. 428), and it may have con- 
tained the notion of brightness or beauty,^ suitable alike to snake 
and woman; the derivative weak form Unni (masc.) in ON. 
signifies again coluber, serpens. And Limburg= Ltn^fcur j, the 
name of several towns, is more correctly derived from snake than 
from lime-tree. 

About dragons it is a favourite fancy of antiquity, that they 

--iJw^°1? ?*^^ the Engl lithe, pKable, gWe ihe most soitable meamng, Germ. 
gelind »oft, hndem to mitigate ?— Tbahb. *««««i«, vr» 

DRAGON. 689 

lie upon gold, and are illamined by it ; gold itself was poetically 
named worm-bed, ON. ormbe*8r or ormbe'Ss-eldr (wormbed^s fire). 
And with this was linked a further, notion^ that they guard 
treasures^ and carry them through the air by night. That wyrm 
slain by Sigemund is called ' hordes hyrde/ Beow. 1767 ; the one 
that Beowulf fought with receives the epithet ' se hord beweo- 
tode ' 4420. F&fnir, formerly a giant, lay ' in (the shape of) a 
worm/ wearing the Oegis-hialm, over inherited gold (Sam. 
188\ 189*) ; the expression is '1 l^ngvi ' (from l^ng, heath), and 
the spot is named Gntta-hei'Si ; hence in other cases also the word 
lyngvi, lyngormr (heath-worm) stands for dragon. The Vols. 
saga c. 17 distinguishes lyngormr a small snake from dreki a large 
one; so that our OHG. heimo, OS. hema, AS. hama, spoken of 
on p. 387, may be identical with lyngvi; Vilk. saga c. 17, p. 31 
expressly calls heima 'alka orma slcemntr' (omnium vermium 
minimus), but as he is venomous, he cannot be the harmless 
cicada (OHG. muhheimo). Popular belief still dreams of glitter- 
ing treasures lying on lonesohie heaths and guarded by dragons ; 
and hceffen gold in Beow. may mean either aurum tesquorum or 
ethnicorum, for dragons, like giants, were thought of as old and 
full of years, e.g., eald uhtsceaiSa, Beow. 4536^ wintrum froS (wise 
with years) 4548 ; )^reo hund (300) wintra heold on hrusan (earth) 
4550 ; at the same time they are covetous, envious, venomous, 
spitting flame: niffdraoa, Beow. 4540; dttorsceaffa 5673, f;^re 
befongen 4541, ongon gl6dum spiwan 4619, deorcum nihtum 
ricsian 4417. It is said of F&fnir, «Sa&m. 186^ 'screi'S af gulli, 
bids eitri, hristi sik ok barSi höfiSi ok sporSi,' stept off the gold, 
blew poison, shook himself, and struck with head and tail ; it was 
noticed on p. 562 that the two notions of eit (fire) and eiter 
(poison) run into one. Connect with this the descriptions of MHG. 
poets : the ' trache ' has his iiaunt in a valley, out of his throat 
he darts flame, smoke and wind. Trist. 8944-74 ; he has plumage, 
wings, he spits fire and venom, Troj^ 9764. 9817 (see Suppl.). 

Now it was the heroes' province to extirpate not only the 
giants, but (what was in a measure the same thing) the dragons ^ 
in the world : Tb6rr himself tackles the enormous miiSgarSs-orm, 
Sigemund, Siegfried, Beowulf stand forth as the bravest of 

^ The analogy is kept up in the cirotunstanoe of the conquered dragon (like the 
giant's skeleton p. 555n.) being fastened over the town-gate, e.g. Pnlci 4, 76. 


dragon-qnellers^ backed by a crowd of others, who spring out of 
the ezhanstless fonnt of living legend, wherever time and place 
requires them. Frotho, a second Siegfried, overpowers a yeno- 
moas dragon that lay reposing on his treasure, Saxo Gram. p. 
20. The beautiful Thora Borgarhiörtr had a small l^ngorm given 
her, whom she placed in a casket, with gold under him : as he 
grew, the gold grew also, till the box became too narrow, and the 
worm laid himself in a ring all round it ; soon the chamber was 
too small, and he lay round that, with his tail in his mouth, admit- 
ting none into the room unless they brought him food, and he 
required an oz at every meaL Then it was proclaimed, that 
whoever slew him should get the maiden for his bride, and as 
much gold as lay under the dragon, for her dowry. It was 
Kagnar Lodbrok that subdued this dragon, Fomald. sog. 1, 
237-8. The rapid growth of the worm has a startliug similariiy 
to that of the fish, p. 578. But, beside the hoarded gold which 
the heroes carry off as prize, the adventure brings them other 
advantages : eating the dragon's heart gives one a knowledge of 
beasts' language, and painting oneself with his blood hardens the 
skin against all injury« Both features enter deeply into the 
legend of Siegfried (see Suppl.) } 

Nearly all of this has its counterpart in the beliefs of other 
nations. As the Romans borrowed gigas from the Greeks, so 
they did draco, for neither serpens nor vermis was adequate 
(like our slango and wurm) to express the idea. Now Bpcucwp 
comes from Sipicew to look, illumine, flash out, ^>do^ SiBopKe 
expresses illuminating light, and this confirms me in my proposed 
explanation of our lint and linni. A fox after long burrowing 
struck upon the cave of a dragon watching hidden treasure, 'ad 
draconis speluncam ultimam^ custodiebat qui thesaoros abditos,' 
Phaedr. 4, 19. Then the story of the gold-guarding griflina must 
be included, as they are winged monsters like the dragons. 

In 0. Slavic zmif m., and zmiya f., signify -snake, the one more 
a dragon, the other an adder« The Boh. zmek is the fiery dragon 
guarding money, zmii/e the adder; Serv. zmay dragon, zmiya 
adder. Mica, which the zmay shakes off him, is named otresine 
zmayeve (dragon's offshake), Vuk p. 584. Once more, everything 

conf.^^i1l87a dÄ^^ ^"^ ""'^'^ of a BimiUir tale of Bodolz, 


leads to glitter^ gold and fire. The Lith. amahas seems borrowed 
from Slavic ; whether connected with AS. snaca, is a question. 
Jungmann says^ zmeJc is not only a dragon, but a spirit who 
appears in the shape of a wet bird,^ usually a chicken, and brings 
people money ; Sup. I, 143 says you must not hurt earth-chicks 
or hause^adders ; Schm. 1, 104 explains erdhimlein (earth -chicken) 
as a bright round lustre, in the middle of which lies some- 
thing dark ; conf. geuhuon, Helbl. 8, 858. 

Kenvall thus describes the Finn, marmnelainen : ' femina ma- 
ligna, matrix serpentis, divitiamm subterranearum custos.' Here 
at last the hoard is assigned to a female snake ; in Teutonic and 
also Slavic tales on the contrary it is characteristic of the fierce 
fiendish dragon (m.) to guard treasure, and the adder or unke (f .) 
plays more the part of a friendly homesprite : as the one is a man 
transformed, so the other appears as a crowned maiden with a 
serpent's tail (Deut. sag. no. 13), or as a fay. But she can no 
more dispense with her golden crown than the dragon with his 
guardianship of gold ; and the Boh. zmek is at once dragon and 
adder. A story of the adder 'king is in Bechstein's Franken p. 
290 (see SuppL) . 

Amidst all these points of connexion, the being worshipped by 
the Lombards must remain a matter of doubt ; we have only a 
right to assume that they ascribed to it a benign and gracious 

Insects.-— Some traces of beetle-worship I am able to disclose. 

We have two old and pretty general terms: OHG. eheüor, 
cheviro, MHG. kever, kevere, NHG. käfer, N. Neth. kever, AS. 
ceafor, Engl, chafer. We have no business to bring in the Lat. 
caper (which is AS. heafer, ON. hafr) ; the root seems to be the 
AS. ceaf, caf = alacer, for the chafer is a brisk lively creature, 
and in Swabia they still say käfermässig for agilis, vivax (Gramm. 
2, 571. 1013). The AS. has ceafortün, cafertün, for atrium, vesti- 
bulum; ' scarabaeorum oppidum' as it were, because chafers 
chirp in it ? ' The second term, OHG. wibil, webil, MHG. vdbel, 

^ Zmoklj is drenchedi zmoknuti to wet ; * mokry gako zmok,' dripping like «n 

* Here again the female being has the adyantage oyer the male. 

s Helbling, speaking of an ill-shaped garment, starts the query (1, 177), where 


NHG. webel, wiebel, AS. rvifel, wefel, Engl, weevil, agrees with 
Lith. wabalas, wabalis, Lett. wabhoU, and I trace it to weben 
(weave, wave) in the sense of our * leben und weben/ vigere, 
moveri; we say, 'kriebeln und wiebeln' of the swarming of 

To the Egyptians the beetle (scarabaeus, xdvOapo^, Kapaßosi) 
was a sacred being, an emblem of inmost life and mysterious self- 
generation. They believed that he proceeded out of matter 
which he rolled into globules and buried in manure (see Suppl.]. 

ON. literature deals in no prose terms, but at once comes out 
with the poetic name iotunoz, iötunozi (giant-ox) ; as that giant 
maiden took the ploughman with his oxen and plough for crawl- 
ing beetles (p. 540, Finn, sontiainen, sondiainen, dung-beetle 
from sonda, fimus), so conversely the real beetle might awaken 
the notion of a iötunox. To liken the small animal to the large 
was natural. 

Our biggest beetle, the stately antlered stag-beetle, the Romans 
called lucanus, Nigid. in Pliny 11, 28 (34), with which I suppose 
is connected the well-known luca bos, lucanus or lucana bos, a 
name which got shifted from the horned beast to a tusked one, 
the elephant (Varro 7, 39. 40. 0. Müll. p. 135). But we call 
the beetle hirsch (stag, Fr. cerf volant), and even ox and goat, 
all of them homed beasts, Pol. ielonek, 0. Slav, elenetz (both 
stagling). Boh. rohac (corniger), Austr. homier, Swed. homtroll. 
Again, a Lat. name for scarabaeus terrester was taurus, Plin. 30, 
5 (12), which keeps my lucanus bos or cervus, in countenance. 
To the female the Bohemians give the further name of babka 

On p. 183 we came across a more significant name, donner- 
guegi, donnerpuppe, in obvious allusion to Donar, whose holy tree 
the beetle loves to dwell in ; and with this, apparently, agrees a 
general term for beetles which extends through Scandinavia^ 
viz. Westergötl. torbagge, Swed. tortyfvel, Norweg. tordivel, JuH 
torr, torre. True, there is no Icelandic form, let alone ON., in 
which Th6rr can be detected ; yet this ' tor ' may have the same 

might be the back and belly of one that was hidden away in Buoh a eheverpeunt ? 
He calls the ample cloak a chafer-pound or yard, in whose reoessee you catch beetles. 
This keverpiunt answers to the AS. ceafortun. 

^ Slavic names are, Boh. chranst, Pol. chr%szez ; Boh. braok, bmk, prob, from 
bmchiiB, ßpovKot, [KasB. zhok ; the * gueg * of S. Oermany ?] 


force it has in iorsdag (p. 126) and tordon (p. 166) ; 'bagge/ 
says Ihre p. 122^ denotes juvenis^ pner^ hence servant of the god, 
which was afterwards exchanged for dyfvel=diefvul, devil. 
Afzelias (Sagohäfder 1, 12. 18) assnres ns, that the torbagge was 
sacred to Thor^ that in Norrland his larva is called mulloze (earth- 
ox, oar Swiss donnerpnppe? conf. iötonoxi), and that he who 
finds a dung-beetle lying on his back (ofvaltes) unable to help 
himself^ and sets him on his legs again, is believed by the Norr- 
landers to have atoned for seven sins thereby. 

This sounds antique enough, and I do not hastily reject the 
proposed interpretation of tordyfvel^ false as it looks. For the 
AS. tordwifel is plainly made up of ' tord,' stercus (Engl, turd) 
and the 'wifel' above, and answers to the Dan. skarnbasse, 
skamtorre (dungbeetle) ; consequently tordyfvel, torbasse crave 
the same solation^ even though a simple ' tord ' and ' vivel ' be 
now wanting in all the Scandinavian dialects. The Icelandic 
has turned tordivel about into torfdifill, as if turf-devil, from 
torf, gleba. There is also the N. Neth. tor, torre beetle^ and 
drektorre dungbeetle [or devil's coach-horse ; also Engl, durable- 
dorr cockchafer], to be taken into account (see Suppl.). 

Bat who ever saw even a beetle lie struggling on his back, 
without compassionately turning him over ? The German people, 
which places the stagbeetle in close connexion with thunder and 
fire, may very likely have paid him peculiar honours once. 

Like other sacred harbingers of spring (swallows, storks), the 
first cockchafer (Maikäfer)^ used to be escorted in from the woods 
with much ceremony; we have it on good authority^ that this 

^ Maikäfer (like maiblmne) Bonnds too general, and not a people's word. And 
there is no Lat. name preserved either. The Greek firiKoK^vdri designates onr mai- 
kafer or our goldkäfer ; boys tied a string to it and played with it (Aristoph. Nub. 
763), as our boys do. The It. icarafaggio is formed from scarafone (scarabaeos) ; 
the Fr. harmeton a dim. of the obsolete hanne horse, which may have been the term 
for the stagbeetle (still petz^aul, Brain's horse, in the Wetterau), Fr. cerf Tolant, 
Dan. eeghiortf Swed. ekhjort, i.e. oak-hart. The Mecklenb. ektäwer, oak-chafer, as 
well as the simple säver^ sever ^ sehher (Schütze's Holst, idiot. 4, 91) is applied to the 
maikafer ; in other parts of L. Saxony they say maitävel, maüäbel. This $äver, 
zäoer (Brem. wtb. 4, 592. 5, 310) is sorely no other than käfer with change of k 
into 2, t; Chytrseus's Nomenol. saxon. has ^ zever^ and ^o/dzev^r» goldkäfer.' Or 
does the HG. ziefer belong here, contraxy to the etymol. proposed on p. 40 ? In 
the Westerwald pöwitZt köwiu is maikäfer, and in Bavensberg povömmel dongbeetle 
(Kahn*s Westfal. sagen 2, 188), almost agreeing with Esthon. poua chafer, beetle. 
Like the yarions names for the stagbeetle, maybeetle, dongbeetle, goldbeetle, the 
traces of ancient beetle- worship seem also to meet, first in one, then in another of 
them. A scarafone who brings suoconr oocnrs in Fentamer. 8, 5 (see Suppl.). 


continued to be done by the spinning girls in parts of Schleswig 
as late as the 1 7th century.^ 

Folk- tales of Up. Germany inform us : Some girls, not grown 
up, went one Sunday to a deserted tower on a hill, found the 
stairs strewn with sand, and came to a beautiful room they had 
never seen before, in which there stood a bed with cartains. 
When they drew these aside, the bed was swarming with gold- 
beetles, and jumping up and down of itself. Filled with amaze- 
ment, the girls looked on for a while, till suddenly a terror seized 
them, and they fled out of the room and down the stairs, with an 
unearthly howl and racket at their heels (Moneys Anz. 7, 477). 
On the castle-hill by Wolfartsweiler a little girl saw a copper' pot 
standing on three legs, quite new and swarming full of horsebeetlss 
(roskafer). She told her parents, who saw at once that the beetles 
were a treasure, and hastened with her to the hill, but found 
neither pot nor beetles any more (ibid. 8, 305). Here beetles 
appear as holy animals guarding gold, and themselves golden. 

In Sweden they call the small goldbeetle (skalkrak) Virgin 
Mary's key-maid (jungfru Marie nyckelpiga), Dybeck's Buna 
1844, p. lOj in spring the girls let her creep about on their 
hands, and say, ' hon märker mig brudhandskar,' she marks (fore- 
shews) me bride's gloves ; if she flies away, they notice in which 
direction, for thence will come the bridegroom. Thus the beetle 
seems a messenger of the goddess of love ; but the number of 
the black spots on his wings has to be considered too : if more 
than seven, corn will be scarce that year, if less, you may look 
for an abundant harvest, Afzel. 8, 112-3. 

The little coccinella septempunctata has mythical names in 
nearly all our dialects: NHG. gotteshiihlein (God's little cow),' 
gotteskalb, herrgotteskalb, herrgotts-thierchem (-beastie), Iverr- 
gotS'VÖglein (-birdie), Marien vÖglein, Marienkäfer, Marienkälblein; 
Engl, lady cow, ladybird, lady fly ; Dan. Marihöne (-hen) ; Boh. 
krawha, krawicha (little cow). In Up. Germany they call the 
small goldbeetle (chrysomela vulg.) fraua^chüeli, ladycow (Tobler 

^ An old desoription of the majgraye feast by ülr. Petersen (in Falok*8 New 
staatsb. mag., toI. 1, Sohlesw. 1832|p. 655) speaks of it thus : ' A quaint procession 
of the erewhile amazons of the spinning-wheel at Schleswig, for fetching in of a 
cantkarU or maykäfer with green boughs, whereat the town-hall of this place was 
decked out with greenery.* The feast was still held in 1630—40. 

^ The Buss. * B6zhia koröyka, has exactly the same meaning. — Tbahs. 


204*») and ' der liebe frovA henje/ our lady's hen (Alb. Scbott's 
Deatache in Piemonfc 297), in contrast to herra-chüeU the 
coccinella (Tobler 265*), thongh the name probably wavers be- 
tween the two. By the same process which we observed in the 
names of plants and stars, Mary seems to have stept into the 
place of Freyja, and Marihöne was formerly Freyjuh(e)ia, which 
we still have word for word in Prone henje, and the like in Fraaa- 
chüeli. And of Romance tongues, it is only that of France (where 
the community of views with Grermany was strongest) that has a 
bete ä dieu, vache a dieu ; Span, and ItaL have nothing like it. 
At all events our children's song : 

MarienJcäfereherij flieg aus ! (fly away) 

dein bauschen brennt, (bums) 

dein mütterchen flennt, (weeps) "^ 

dein Väterchen sitzt auf der schwelle ; (sits on the threshold) 

flieg in 'n kimmel aus der höUe ! (into heaven out of hell) 

must be old, for in England also they sing : ' Ladybird, ladybird, 
fly away home, your house is on fire, and your chUdren will bum 
[all but little Bessie that sits in the «an].' With us too the chil- 
dren put the Marienkäfer or sonnenkäfer on their finger, and ask 
it, like the cuckoo : ' aunnenJcieken (sun's chicken), ik frage di, 
wo lange schal ik leven 7 ' ' Een jaar, twee jaar,' etc., till the 
chafer flies away, its home being in the sun or in heaven. In 
Switzerland they hold the goldbeetle on their hand, and say : 
' cheferli, cheferli, flüg us I i getter milech end brocka ond e 
silberigs löS*eli dezue.' Here the chafer, like the snake, is offered 
'milk and crumbs and a silver spoon thereto.' In olden times he 
must have been regarded as the god's messenger and confidant 
(see Suppl.). 

Lastly the bee, the one insect that is tamable and will live 
among men, and whose wise ways are such a lesson to them, may 
be expected to have old mythic associations. The bee is believed 
to have survived from the golden age, from the lost paradise 
(Chap. XXX.) ; nowhere is her worth and purity more prettily 
expressed than in the Servian lay of the rich Gavan, where God 
selects three holy angels to prove mankind, and bids them 
descend from heaven to earth, ' as the bee upon the flower,' kako 
pchela po tsvetu (Yuk 1, 128 ed. 2). The clear sweet honey, 

VOL. u. s 


which bees suck out of every blossom, is a chief ingredient of the 
drink divine (p. 819), it is the ffSela c&üSi? of the gods, Hjmn. m 
Merc. 560 ; and holy honey the first food that touches the lips 
of a new-born chüd, RA. 457. Then, as the gift of poesy is 
closely connected with OShroeris dreckr, it is bees that bnng it 
to sleeping Pindar : ^Outrcrat avrS Kadevhovn. irpocreirirovro re 
Kal hrXaaaov irph^ tÄ X^^V ^ov kvrov' ipxv A*^" U^vB^ 
TToietv aafiara iyevero rotavTf), Pausan. ix. 23, 2. And there- 
fore they are called Musarum volucres (Varro de re rust. 3, 16). 
A kindermarchen (no. 62) speaks of the queen-bee settling on 
her favourite's mouth 5 ^ if she flies to any one in his sleep, he 
is accounted a child of fortune. 

It seems natural, in connexion with these bustling winged 
creatures, to think of the silent race of elves and dwarfs, which 
like them obeys a queen. It was in the decaying flesh of the first 
giant that dwarfs bred as maggots ; in exactly the same way bees 
are said to have sprung from the putrefaction of a bullock's body : 
'apes nascuntur ex bubulo corpore putrefacto,' Varro, 2, 5; 
' ^tmissas reparari ventribus bubulis recentibus cum fimo obratis,' 
Plin. 11, 20 (23); conf. Virg. Georg. 4, 284-658. Or. Met. 15, 
864. To this circumstance some have ascribed the resemblance 
between apis bee and Apis bull, though the first has a short a, 
and the last a long. What seems more important for us is the 
celebrated discovery of a golden buUock's-head amongst many 
hundred golden bees in the tomb of the Frankish king Childeric 
at Doomik (repres. in Eccard's Fr. or. 1, 89. 40). 

Natural history informs us that clouds of bees fall upon the 
sweet juice of the ash-tree ; and from the life-tree Yggdrasil the 
Edda makes a dew trickle, which is called a 'fall of honey,' 
and nourishes bees (Sn. 20).^ 

The Yngl. saga cap. 14 says of Yngvifrey's son, king Fiolnir 
(Siolm in the 0. Swed. chron.), that he fell into a barrel of mead 
and was drowned; so in Saxo, king Hunding falls into sweet 
mead, and the Greek myth lets Glaucus drown in a honey-jar, the 
bright in the sweet. According to a legend of the Swiss Alps, 

^ Sedenmt in ore infantis tnm etiam Platonis, soaTitatem iüam praednlets 
eloqnii portendentes. Flin. 11, 17 (18). 

3 Ceram ex floribns, melliginem e 1ft/»riTniff arborum quae glutinum parinnt, 
saliclB, ulmi, arundinia saooo. 

BEB. 697 

in the golden age when the brooks and lakes were filled with 
milk, a shepherd was npset in his boat and drowned ; his body, 
long songht for, tnmed np at last in the foaming cream, when 
they were chnming, and was bnried in a cavity which bees had 
constrncted of honeycombs as large as town-gates (M^m. de 
I'acad. celt. 5, 202). Bees weave a temple of wax and feathers 
(Schwenk's Gr. myth. p. 129. Herm. Müller's Griechenth. 455), 
and in onr Kinderm. no. 107, p. 130-1 a palace of wax and honey. 
This reminds ns of the beautiful picture in Lohengrin p. 191 of 
Henry 2.'s tomb in Bamberg cathedral : 

Sus lit er d& in stner stift 

di'er het erbouwen, als diu bin ir wift 

ftz maneger bliiete würket, daz man honc-seim nennet. 

(he lies in the minster he built, as the bee her web from many a 
blossom works, that we name honey-juice). In the various 
languages the working bee is represented as female, OHG. pta, 
Lat. apis, Gr. fiiXiaa-a, Lith. bitte, in contrast with the masc. 
fucus the drone, OHG. treno, Idth. tranas ; but then the head of 
the bees is made a king, our weiser (pointer), MHG. wtsel, OHG. 
wtso, dux, Pliny's ' rex apium,' Lith. bittinis, M. Lat. chosdrus 
(Dncange sub v.), yet AS. beom6dor. Boh. matka. The Gr. 
iatrqv is said to have meant originally the king-bee, and to have 
acquired afterwards the sense of king or priest, as fiiXiaaa also 
signified priestess, especially of Demeter and Artemis. Even 
gods and goddesses themselves are represented by the sacred 
animal, Zeus (Aristaeus) as a bee, Vishnu as a blue bee. A 
Boman Meilona (Amob. 4, 131), or Mellonia (Aug. de civ. Dei 
4, 24), was goddess of bees ; the Lith. Austheia was the same, 
jointly with a bee-god Bybylus. Masculine too was the Lett, 
ühsinsh, i,e,y the hosed one, in reference to bees' legs being 
covered with wax ('waxen thighs,' Mids. Dream 3, 1). From all 
these fancies, mostly foreign, we might fairly make guesses about 
our own lost antiquities ; but we should have to get more exact 
information as to the legend of the Bee-wolf (pp. 369, 673) and 
the mythic relationship of the woodpecker (Lith. melleta) to the 
bee (see Suppl.).' 


The visible heavens have in many ways left their mark on the 
heathen faith. Not only do gods, and the spirits who stand 
next them, have their dwelling in the sky, and get mixt up with 
the stars, but earthly beings too, after their dissolution, are 
transported thither, and distinguished heroes and giants shine 
as constellations. From the sky the gods descend to earth, 
along the sky they make their journeys, and through the sky 
they survey unseen the doings of men. And as all plants turn 
to the light of heaven, as all souls look up to heaven, so do the 
smoke of sacrifice and the prayers of mankind mount upwards. 

Heaven covers earth, and our word 'himmel' comes from 
the root hima (tego, involve, vestio, Gramm. 2, 55; conf. Lith. 
dangus coelam, from dengiu tego ; OHG. himilezi laquear). The 
Goths and Old Norsemen agree in preferring the form himins, 
himinn, and most other Teutons himil; even Swed. Norw. Dan. 
have himmeh The Saxon race has moreover two terms peculiar 
to itself: one is OS. hebhan, hevan, AS. heofon, Engl, heaven, 
and still in Lower Saxony and Westphalia, heben, heven, haven, 
häwen, I have endeavoured to make out the area over which 
this name extends (Gramm. I, xiv.) . The Frisians did not use 
ib, for the N. and W. Fris, patois of to-day owns to nothing but 
'himmel.'^ Nor does the Netherl. dialect know it; but it is 
found in Westphalia, in L. Saxony as far as Holstein, and beyond 
the Elbe in Mecklenburg and Pomerania. The AS. and Engl, 
are wholly destitute of the word' himel ; OS., like the present 
LS. and Westph., employs both terms alike, yet apparently so 
as to designate by hevan more the visible heaven, and by himu 
the supersensual. Alb. of Halberstadt (ed. 1545, 145^) uses 

^ Himel, Lapekoer fen Gabe scroar, Dimter 1834, p. 101. 103. hemnul, Hansens 
Geizhalz, Sonderbg. 1883. p. 148. himel. Friesche wetten 348. himul. As. 274. 



heben (rhym. neben) of the place. Beinolt von der Lippe couples 
the two words : ' himel und heben von vreuden muz irkrachen/ 
burst with joy. People say : ' de heven steit nümmer to ' ; ' wenn 
de heoeii fallt, ligg wi der all unner ; ' ' de sterren an dem haven ; ' 
in Westphalia hebenscheer means a sky overcast without rain, and 
even heben alone can signify cloud.^ Id hävenhüne (p. 156), in 
kukuk vam haven (p. 676), the physical sense preponderates, 
whereas one would hardly speak otherwise than of 'going to 
himel/ or himelrik. Yet this distinction seems to be compara- 
tively recent : as the AS. heofon can be used in a purely spiritual 
sense, so the poet of our Heliand alternates between himilriki 
149, 8 and hebanriki 148, 24, himilfader 145, 12 and hebancuning 
148, 20. And of course himil had originally, and has everywhere 
in HGr., the physical meaning too ; hence uphimil in Hel. 88, 15, 
just like upheofon in Ga^dm. 270, 24. The root of hebhan, hevan, 
heofon, is probably a lost Gothic, ' hiba, haf,' cognate with Lat. 
capio, so that it is the all-capacious, ON. vidfeffmir, wide-fathom- 
ing or encompassing sky.^ ^ 

The other« Saxon term may be placed on a level with the Gr. 
aiOijp (thin upper air), whilst himil and hevan answer to ovpavo^ ; 
it is OS. radur, AS. rodar. In Gsddmon we find rodor 188, 19. 
207, 8. uprodar 179, 10. 182, 15. 205. 2. rodortungol (star), 
100, 21. rodorbeorht 239, 10. Its root had lies buried as yet 
in obscurity ; it has disappeared from all modern dialects [except 
as Bother in proper names ?] . I am inclined to connect with 
it the ON. Tö9ull (sol), which has nothing to do with rau'Sr 
(ruber). Prom the AS. poets using indifiFerently ^ wuHree gim' 
and ' heofonee gim ' (Beow. 4142. Andr. 1269) ; heofonbeorht, 
rodorbeorht, wuldorheorht ; heofontorht, ewegl^vht, wuXdortovht ; 
we might almost infer that wuldor (glory) originally meant 
coelum, which would throw light on the OHG. name Woldarhilt. 
And the same with swegel (aether, coelum) : conf. sweglee begong, 

1 S&nskr. nabas, Slav. mSbo (ooelnm), pi. nebesi, Gr. r^^of, Lat. nnbes, nebula ; 
Ir. neamh, Wei. ndv, Axmor. nef, Lett, debbes (coelum), debbesB (nubes) ; oonf. Lith. 
danguB above [and sky, welkin, with ON. bc^, Germ, wölke, cloud] . 

* * Hills of heaven* are high ones, reaching into the clouds, often used as proper 
names : himinfiöll, Saam. 148*. Tngl. saga cap. 89 ; Himinbidrgt Sssm. 41, 92^ is 
an abode of gods ; spirits haunt the Himilinberg (mons coelius, Pertz 2, 10) ; 
Himilesberg in Hesse (Kuohenbeoker's Anal. 11, 137. Amsb. urk. 118) ; a Him- 
meltherg in Vestgötland, and one in HaUand (said to be HeimtSaU's) ; Himelben;, 
Frauendienst 199, 10. 


Beow. 1713; under swegle (sub coelo), Beow. 2149; sweglviA 
(coeli currus), Cod. exon. 355, 47 ; OS. suigli. 

I call attention to the AS. sceldbyrig, Csadm. 283, 23, which 
has no business to be translated refngium or sheltering city ; it is 
distinctly our schildburg (aula clypeis tecta), a bit of heathenism 
the poet let fall inadvertently ; so the Edda speaks of Yalhöll 
as ^sMöldum J^ökt, lagt gyÜum skiöldum, sv& sem sp&n]?ak,' Sn. 2, 
thatched with golden shields as with shingle-roof (p. 702 and 

Eddie names in Ssem. 49^. Sn. 177; all masculine, some 
obviously founded on personification. Heaven is pictured as 
a husband, embracing the female earth; he is not however 
admitted into the circle of the gods, like Ovpavo^, whereas Earth 
does stand among the goddesses. To us heaven sig^fies simply 
a certain space, the residence of gods. Two poetic names for 
it have reference to that enigmatical being Mimir (p. 379) : 
hreggmimir, rain-shedder, from hregg imber ; and vetmimir, 
moistener ? conf. vasta humor^ 

To express star, constellation (sidus), our older speech, in 
addition to stairno, stemo, steorra, stiama (Gh*amm. 3, 392) and 
OHG. himiheichan (Hymn. 4, 2), has a symbolical term, OHG. 
himilzvngd, Dint. 1, 526^ and Gl. Doc. 249 ; OS. himiltungal, Hel. 
18, 2; AS. heofontungol, rodortungol; ON. himintungL Even 
the simple tungol has the same sense in AS.^ and a GK)thic gloss 
on Gal. 4, 3, gives ' tuggl astrum,' whilst in ON. tiingl means the 
moon. This neuter noun tungal, tungol, tungl, is no doubt from 
tunga (lingua), which word itself appears in OHG. himilzungä 
(Graff 5, 682) : the moon and some of the planets, when partially 
illuminated, do present the appearance of a tongue or a sickle, 
and very likely some cosmogonic belief^ was engrafted on that ; 
I know of nothing like it in other languages. 

All the heavenly bodies have particular spots, seats, chairs 
assigned them, which they make their abode and resting-place ; 
they have their lodges and stages (sterr6no girusti, 0. i. 17, 10). 
This holds especially of the sun, who daily sinks into his seat 

^ A translation of the tongae to heayen. Or was the twinkling of the stars 
likened to a tingling [züngeln, a quivering flickering motion like that of the 
tongne]? The moon's steady light does not bear that oat, nor the OHG. form 
without the {. 

SUN. MOON. 701 

or settle (see Chap. XXIII) ; bat similar chairs (KM. 25)^ and 
a seat-going (sedelgang) are attributed to all the stars. N. Bth. 
210. 223 sajB^ Bootes Hrftgo ze sedele gange/ and Hin zeichen 
ne gftnt nicht in sedelJ As chair and table are things closely 
connected^ the stars may have had tables of their own^ or^ what 
comes to the same things may have been regarded as tables of 
the sky ; in saying which^ I am not thinking of the Egyptian 
son-table^ but more immediately of the ' hioSum yppa/ sidera 
extoUere^ of the VöluspÄ (Saam. 1^), the three creative 'Bors 
synir ' having set up as it were the tables of the firmament : 
bio'Sr is the Goth, binds, OHG. piot (pp. 38. 68). As the 
stationary stars had chairs and tables, the planetary ones, like 
other gods, had steeds and cars ascribed to them (see Suppl.).^ 

The two principal stars are the sun and moon, iwhose gender 
and appellations I have discussed in Gramm. 3, 349. .350 : a MHG. 
poet calls the sun 'daz merere lieht/ the greater* light, Fundgr. 
2, 12. It IB worth mentioning that some of the Eddie names 
for the moon are still preserved in patois dialects of Up. Germany. 
As the dwarfs named the moon shin (jubar), the East Franks 
call her schein (Beinwald's Henneb. id. 2, 159).^ In the under- 
world the moon bore the name of hverfandi hvel, whirling wheel, 
and in Styria (esp. the Brück distr.) she is ginoa-rat (Sartori's 
Styria, p. 82), if I may translate that by rota communis, though 
it may perhaps mean gemeiner rath (vorrath), a common pro- 
vision at the service of all men. That the sun was likened to a 
wheel of fire, and the element blazing out of him was represented 
in the shape of a wheel, has been fully shewn, p. 620. Tit. 2983 
speaks of the sun's wheel. The Edda expressly calls the sun 
fagrahvel, fair wheel, Saem. 50» Sn. 177. 223. The Norse 
rune for S is named sol sun, the AS. and OHG. sigil, sugil, for 
which I have proposed (Andr. p. 96) the readings segil, sagil, 
sahil, and may now bring in support the Goth, sauil and 
Gr. fjXM^, But the Gothic letter Q (= HV) is the very symbol 
of the sun, and plainly shews the shape of a wheel ; we must 

^ Wagen waggon belongs to weg way, as oarpentmn does to earpere (viam) ; the 
ear of heaven is also that of the hi^iest god. Otfr. i. 5, 5. says of the herald angel : 
* floQg er sonnüm pod, sterr6no Uräza^ wega wolkSrw,* The Indians also call the 
■ky wUh of eloudit Somadeva 1, 17. 2, 157. 

' So in Mod. Gr. ^eyy^ brilliance, a name whose surprising identity with the 
0^,fengari (Sn. 177) I have already noticed elsewhere. 


therefore suppose it to have been the initial of a Goth. 
hvil = AS. hioeol, ON. hveL From 'hvel' was developed the 
Icel. hiol, Swed. Dan. hjul, 0. Swed. hitighi; and from 'hweol, 
hweohl' the Engl, wheel, Nethl. wiel, andFris.j^Z (Bichth« 737). 
In view of all these variations^ some have even ventured to 
bring in the ON. jol, Swed. Dan. jid {yvle}, the name of the 
winter solstice, and fasten upon it also the meaning of the wheel ; 
on that hypothesis the two forms must have parted company 
very early, sopposing the Gothic name of November jiuleis to 
be cognate.^ The word wheel seems to be of the same root as 
while, Goth, hveüa, OHG. hmla, i.e* revolving time ; conf . (roth. 
hveila-hvairbs, OHG. hnil-hnerbSo, voldbilis. 

Another symbolic epithet of the sun seems to be of great age : 
the warlike sentiment of elden times saw in him a gleaming 
circular shield, and we noticed above (p. 700) that the sky itself 
formed a sceldbyrig. Notker cap. 71, finding in his text the 
words 'sinistra clypeum coruscantem praeferebat (Apollo),^ 
translates : ' an dero winsterdn tmog er einen roten shiÜ/ then 
adds a remark of his own; 'wanda selbin diu sunna einemo 
sMlte gelih ist.^ In German law and German poetry we catch 
the glimmer of these ' red shields.' Even Opita 2, 286 calls the 
sun ' the beauteous shietd of hea»e)u' 

The very oldest and most universal image connected with 
the sun and other luminaries seems after all to be that of the 
eye. Ancient cosmogonies represent them as created out of eyes. 
To Persians the sun was the eye ol Ahur6miazd&o (Ormuzd), to 
Egyptians the right eye of the Demiurge, to the Greeks the 
eye of Zeus, to our forefathers that of Wuotan ; and a fable in 
the Edda says OSinn had to leave one of his eyes in pledge 
with Mimir, or hide it in his fountain, and therefore he is pic- 
tured as one-eyed. In the one-eyed Cyclop's mouth Ovid puts 
the words (Met. 13, 851) : 

Unum est in media lumen mihi fronte, sed instar 
ingentis clypei ; quid, non haec omnia magno 
sol videt e coelo ? soli tames vnfiicus orbia. 

^ The Norse initial H is oocasionallT dropt : in Icel. both hinla and jtda 

stand for the babbling of infants. The dialeci of the Saterland Frisians has an 

actual jule, jole (rota). It is worthy of notice» that in some parts of Schleswig they 

nsed at Ghnstmas-time to roll a wheel into the village, and this was oalled * at triUe 

juul i by,' trandling yule into town ; Outzen sab. v. jöl, p. 145. 

SUN. MOON. 703 

Like the giant^ the god (Waotan^ the sky) has bat one eye, 
which is a wheel and a shield. In Beow. 1135 ' bedcen God es ' 
is the san, the great celestial sign.^ With this eye the divinity 
snrveys the worid, and nothing can escape its peenng all-piercing 
glance' ; all the stars look down upon men.^ But the ON. poets, 
not content with treating sun, moon and stars as eyes of heaven, 
invert the macrocosm, and call the haman eye the sun, moon^ or 
star of the skull, forehead, brows and eyelashes > they even call 
the eye the shield of the foreheads a confirmation of the similar 
name for the sun« Another title they bestow on the son is 
^gimsteinn himins' ^(gemma coeli.) ^ so in AS. 'heofones gim/ 
Beow. 4142 and ' wuldres jiim,* Andr. 1289 (see SuppL). 

And not only is the sun represented as the god's eye looking 
down, but as his fall face and countenance; and that is how we 
draw his pictare still. Otfried says of the san being darkened 
at the Saviour's death, iv. 33, 5 x 

In ni liaz si nuzzi thaz scdnaz annuzzi, 

m liaz in scinan tharah thaz ira gisiuni blidaz. 

The Edda speaks of the sun and moon as brother and sister, 
children of a mythic Mundilfori. Several nations beside the 
Lithuanians and Arabs (Gramm. 3, 351) agree with us in ima- 
gining the moon masculine and the sun feminine« The Mexican 
Meztli (luna) is a man ; the Oreenlanders think of Anningat, the 
moon, as pursuing his sister MallirMb, the sun. An Ital. story 
(Pentam* 5, 5) makes Sols and Luna children of TaUa (in 
Perranlt they are named Jour and Aurore). The Slavs make the 
moon masc, a star fern., the sun neut. ; thus in a Servian lay 
(Yuk 1, 134), God calls the sun.(sunt8e. Boss, solntse, -tse dim« 
fluff.) his child (chedo), the moon (mesets) being its brother, and 
the star (zvezda) its sister. To think of the stars as children or 
young suns is nothing out of the way. Wolfram says in Wh. 254, 
5 : ' jungiu sunneUn mehten wahsen«^ 

* The Servians call the deepest part of a lake oho (eye)^ Yak's Moatenegio 62. 
' When the Iliad 14, a44 8a78: 

o9r€ Kcd d^&rar» r Aerat 0dos el(ropdaa$ait 

it resembles the lay of Wolfram 8, 28 : 

Obe der sonnen drt mit blicke waren (if there were 3 suns looking), 
sin möhten zwischen si gelinhten (they could not shine in between). 

' TLpicßiorow (karpwf vvicrbs ^aK/i6t, Aeech. Sept. a Th. 890. 


Down to recent times^ our people were fond of calling the 
sun and moon frau sonne and Ifierr meniy Aventin 19^ : 'frauw 
Sonne geht eu rast und gnaden/ In the country between the 
Inn and Salzach they say ' der Mr Man* meaning no more than 
simply moon, Schm. 2, 2S0. 582. Gesner in Mithrid., Tur. 1556, 
p. 28 : ' audio veteres Germanos Lunum quoque deum coluisse et 
appellasse hermon, id est dominum Lunum, quod forte pamm 
animadvertentes aliqui ad Hermann, i.e. Mercuriom trans- 
tulerunt; ' this last guess has missed the mark. Halderic. Eyben 
de titulo nobilis, Helmst. 1677. 4, p. 136: 'qna etiam ratione 
in yeteri idololatrico luna non domina, dominus appellatur : 

bis gottwillkommen, neuer mon, holder herr, 
mach mir meines geldes mehr t ^ 

Also in • Nicolaus Magni de Gawe (Superst. E, 10): 'vetulam 
novi, quae credidit solem esse deanvy vocans earn sanctani domu 
nam ; ' and earlier still in Eligius (Sup. A) : ' nuUus dominos 
solem aut lunam vocet.' * 

In these invocations lingers the last vestige of a heathen 
worship ; perhaps also in the sonnenlehn, sun-fief (RA. 278) ? I 
have spoken on bowing to the sun, p. äl, and cursing by him, 
' der sunnen haz varn,' p. 19, where he is made equal to a deity .^ 
In the same way the knees were bent and the head bared to the 
new moon (Sup. E, 11). In taking an oath the fingers were 
extended toward the sun (Weisth. 3, 349) ; and even Tacitus in 
Ann. 13, 55 relates of Bojocalus : ^ solem respiciens et cetera 
sidera vocans, quasi coram interrogabat, vellentne intueri inane 
solum ' (see SuppL). 

That to our remote ancestry the heavenly bodies, especially 
the sun and moon, were divine beings, will not admit of any 
doubt. Not only do such symbolic expressions as 'lace, eye, 
tongue, wheel, shield, table, car * bring us face to face with a 
vivid personification ; we have also seen how significantly Caesar 

1 Frau Sunne (Görres Meisterl. 184). Henoe in O.Fr. Solaru^ withont the 
article, Bekker on Ferabras p. 163. 

3 HIb authority is DynJcelspnhl tract. 1, praeo. 1, p» 59. Is this the Kicolaos 
Dinkelspnel in Jöcher ? 

* Conf. the wind addressed as lord, p. 631 ; and dobroparif p. 130 note. 

^ Some would trace the name oi Salzwedel, Soltwedel in the Altmark to heathen 
sun-worship, (Ledebur's Allg. arch. 14, 370. Temme's Altmark p. 29), thou^ the 
first syll. plainly means salt ; * wedel * will be explained when we oome to the moon. 

SUN. MOON. 705 

oonples togetlier 8ol, Vulcanus and Luna, p. 108. conf. p. 602. 
As 861 is reckoned among ftsins in the Edda (Sn. 39), and is 
sister to Mäni (Sn. 12), this last has claims to an equal rank. 
Yet SsBm. 1^ calls Sol ' sinni M&na,' companion of the moon, 
sinni being the Goth. gasinJTJa, OHG. kasindeo, sindo ; and it is 
remarkable that the Merseburg Lay gires the divine Sunna not 
a companion brother, but a sister Sindgund (supra p. 808), whose 
name however still expresses attendance, escort;^ may she have 
been a morning or evening star ? We should have to know first, 
what distinction a dim remote antiquity made between sduil and 
ninno in respect of gender and mythical use ; if ' s&uil, sagil,' like 
sol and ^\to9, was masc, then Sunn& and Sindgund might be 
imagined as female moons like Luna and SeXi^vt), yet sol is always 
fem. in ON., and our sonne so late as in MHG. strangely wavers 
between the two sexes, Gramm. 3, 350 (see Suppl.). 

Be that as it may, we have a right to add in support of the 
son's divinity, that 'she ' is described like other gods (pp. 17. 26. 
324), as hlithe, sweet and gradous, O. iv. 33, 6 speaks of her 
' gisinni bUdaz, thes sih ioh worolt frewita/ whereof the world 
had aye rejoiced ; and a 13th cent, poem (Zeitschr. f. d. alt. 1, 
493-4) thus describes the greetings addressed to her : 

Wol air frouwe Snnne ! 'Hail to thee. Lady Sun ! 

du bist al der werlt wunne ! Art all the world's delight.' 

sfi ir die Sunnen vro sehet. When ye see the sun glad, 

Bchoenes tages ir ir jehet. The fair day to her ye ascribe, 

der firen ir der Sunnen jehet. To her ye give the honour, 

swenn ir si in liehtem schine sehet. Whenever ye see, etc. 

Other passages in point are reserved for next chapter. 

The personality of the sun and moon shews itself moreover in 
a fiction that has wellnigh gone the round c^ the world. These 
two, in their unceasing unflagging career through the void of 
heaven, appear to be in flighty avoiding some pursuer. A pair of 
wolves are on their track, Slcoll dogging the steps of the sun, 
^aii of the moon ; they come of a giant race, the mightiest of 
whom, Managarmr (moon-dog), apparently but another name for 
Hati, is sure some day to overtake (md swallow the moon. How 

' Conl nmnagahu^ ningiht (soUb iter), p. 617 n., and Buman tUJffat (iter), 
Codm. IS2, 25. 


extensively this tradition prevailed^ has already been shewn 
(pp. 244-5).^ A parhelion or mock-san (vädersol) is in Swed. 
called aolvarg, selulfj sun-wolf^ Ihre's Dial. lex. 165. 

One of the most terrific phenomena to heathens was an eclipse 
of the sun or moon, whidi they associated with a destruction of 
all things and the end of the world > they fancied the monster 
had already got a part of the shining orb between his jaws, and 
they tried to scare him away by loud cries. This is what Eligias 
denonnces (Snperst. A):: 'naUus, si qnando luna obscuratur, 
vociferare praesnmat ; ' it is the cry of ' vince luna I ' * that the 
Indicul. paganiar. means in cap. 21 de defectione lunae, and 
Burchard (Sup. C, 193^) by his ' claTnorihus aut auxilio splendorem 
lunae deficientis restaurcure/ The Norse writings, while minutely 
describing the threatened deglutition, make no allusion to the 
shouting: it may haye been more customary with Celts and 
Romans than with Teutons. A 5th cent, father, St. Maximus of 
Turin, in a Homilia de defectu lunae, preaches thus : ' Cum ante 
dies plerosque de vestrae avaritiae cnpiditate pulsaverim, ipsa die 
circa vesperam tanta vociferatio populi exstitit, ut irreligiositas 
ejus penetraret ad coelum. Quod quum requirerem, quid sibi 
clamor hie velit, dixerunt mihi, quod laboranti lunae vestra vocife- 
ratio subveniretj et defectum ejvs suis cla/moribus adjuva/ret.' * The 
same ' laborans ^ (in distress) is used by Juvenal 6, 442 : 

Jam nemo tubas, nemo aera fatiget ; 
una laboranti poterit succwrrere lunae.^ 

I may safely assume that the same superstitious notions and 
practices attend eclipses among nations ancient and modern.^ 
The Indian belief is, that a serpent eats up the sun and moon 
when they are eclipsed "(Bopp's Gloss. 148*), or a demon (r&hus) 
devours them (Bopp's Nalas, pp. 153. 272. Somadeva 2, 1 5. 187). 

> I add from Fisohart's Gkurg. 130^ : * Bah den wolf d«8 mora.* Babelaü 1, 11 
has : la lune det loups. In old calendars, eclipfles are represented by two dragons 
holding the sun and moon in their moHths, Mone's Untersuch, p. 183. 

> This would be in OHG. ' Earih mfino I ' in Goth. * jiak&i mdna I ' bat we 
find nothing of the kind even later. 

* Dacange 6, 1618 quotes the passage sub t. vinceluna ; but the reprint of the 
Horn. Maximi taurin. * De defeotn lunae * (in MabiUon's Mus. Ital., torn. L pars 8, 
pp. 19. 20) has it not. 

^ Conr. Tac. Annal. 1, 28 and Boeth. de consol. 4 metr. 5 : * lassant erebris 
pulsibus aSra.' 

* It is only among Greeks and Slays that I have not come across them. 


To this day the Hindus consider that a giant lays hold of the 
luminaries^ and tries to swallow them (Broughton's Pop. poetry 
of Hind. p. 181). The Chinese call the solar eclipse zhishi (solis 
deroratio)^ the lunar yueshi (lunae devoratio)^ and ascribe them 
both to the machinations of a dragon. Nearly all the populations 
of Northern Asia hold the same opinion : the Tchnvashes use 
the phrase ' vubur siat/ daemon comedit (6uil. Schott de lingua 
Tschuw^ p. 5) ; the Finns of Europe have a similar belief^ the 
Esthonians say the sun or moon ' is being eaten^* and formerly 
they sought to hinder it by conjuring spells (Thom. Hiäm^ Mitau 
1794 p. 39). The Lithuanians think a demon (Tiknis or Tiklis) 
attacks the chariot of the sun^ then darkness arises^ and all 
creatures are in fear lest the dear sun be worsted ; it has been 
staved off for a long time^ but it must come to that at the end 
of the world (Narbutt 1^ 127. 142). In eclipses of the moon^ the 
Greenlanders carry boxes and kettles to the roofs of their houses, 
and beat on them as hard as they can (Cranz's Grönland 3^ 294) . 
An English traveller says of the Moors in Africa : When the sun's 
eclipse was at its height^ we saw the people running about as if 
mad, and firing their rifles at the sun, to frighten the monster who 
they supposed was wishing to devour the orb of day. The plains 
and heights of Tripoli resounded with the death-dirge (the cry 
' wnlliali wu I '), and the same all along the coast. The women 
banged copper vessels together, making such a din that it was 
heard leagues away (see Suppl.). ^ 

A Mongolian myth makes out that the gods determined to 
punish Arakho for his misdeeds, but he hid so effectually, that 
no one could find out his Inrkingplace. They therefore asked 
the sun, who gave an unsatisfactory answer; but when they 
asked the moon, she disclosed his whereabouts. So Arakho was 
dragged forth and chastised ; in revenge of which, he pursues both 
sun and moon, and whenever he comes to hand-grips with one of 
them, an eclipse occurs. To help the lights of heaven in their 
sad plight, a tremendous uproar is made with musical and other 
instruments, till Arakho is scared away.^ Here a noticeable 

> Morgenblatt 1817 p. 159»; conf. Niebnhr's Besohr. Arab. 119. 120. 

' Benj. Bergmannes Nomad. Btreifereien 8, 41. Aoo. to Georgii Alphab. tibe- 
tan. p. 189, it is monsters called Traoehn, with their npper parts shaped like men, 
and the lower like snakes, that lie in wait for the snn and moon. [South of L. 
Baikal it is the king of hell that tries to swallow the moon. — Tbahs.] 


feature is the inquiry made of the sun and moon, wlio overlook 
the world and know all secrets (Gastrin's Myth. 62). So in our 
fairytales the seeker asks of the sun, moon and stars (Kinderm. 
no. 25. 88 ; conf. 3, 218-9)^ some of whom are found helpful and 
sympathizing^ others crnel and cannibal (Yak no. 10). In Ser- 
vian songs the moon and the momingstar (danitsa) hold a colloqny 
on the affairs of men (Yuk 3, 3). Daring an eclipse of the son 
(I don't know whether of the moon also) our people cover the 
wells np^ else their water would turn impure^ Superst. I^ 589. 

Is there a trace of moon-worship to be found in the fact that 
people had an image of the moon carved on rocks and stones that 
marked a boundary? In It A. 542 an Alamannic doc. of 1155 is 
given^ which traces the custom all the way up to king Dagobert. 
In Westphalian docs, as late as the 17th cent. I find hcdfmonds^ 
schnad-stones^^ unless the word halfmoon here means something 

In Bavaria there is a Mondsee^ OHG. Maninseo (lunae lacus), 
in Austria a Manha/rt (lunae silva^ 17 Aovva v\ff in Ptolemy);' we 
may safely credit both with mythic associations. 

As time is more easily reckoned by the changes of the moon^ 
which visibly mark off the week (p. 126-7)> than by the sun^ our 
ancestors seem to have had, beside the solar year, a lunar one 
for common use, whose thirteen months answered to the twelve 
of the solar year. The recurring period of from 29 to 30 days 
was therefore called "tnenoßs, mänod, from m6na, m&no. Hence 
also it was natural to count by nights, not days : ^ nee dierum 
numerum sed noctium computant, sic constituunt, sic condicunt, 
nox ducere diem videtur,' Tac. Germ. c. 11. And much in the 
same way, the year was named by its winter, which holds the 
same relation to summer as night to day. A section of time was 
measured by the number of se'ennights, fortnights, months or 
winters it contained. 

And that is also the reason why the phases of the moon had 
such a commanding influence on important undertakings. They 
are what Jemandes cap. 11 calls lunae commoda incommodaque. 
It is true, the performance of any kind of work was governed by 

^ Defence of Wnlften castle» Yienna 1766. snppl. p. 71-2. 162. 
s Can Manhart have come from Maginhart ? Helbl. 18, 190 has MeinkisrU^ 


the day and solar time^ whether of warriors (RA. 297), or of 
servants (353), or of tribunals especially (814-6). If, on the 
other hand, some new and weighty matter was to be taken in 
hand, they consulted the moon ; which does not mean that the 
consultation was held or the action begun in the night, but on 
those days whose nights had an auspicious phase of the moon : 
' Goennt, nisi quid fortuitum et subitum incident, certis diebus, 
quum ami inchoatur luna aut impletur ; nam agendis rebus hoc 
auspicatissimum initium credunt,' Tac. Germ. 11. So in Tac. 
Ann - 1^ 50 a nox illunis is chosen for a festival. 

Now the moon presents two distinct appearances, one each 
fortnight, which are indicated in the passage just quoted : either 
she is beginning her course, or she has attained her fall orb of 
light. From the one point she steadily increases, from the other 
she declines. The shapes she assumes between are not so sharply 
defined to the sense. 

Her invisibility lasts only the one night between the disappear- 
ance of her last quarter and the appearance of her first, at new- 
moon (conjunction of sun and moon) ; in like manner, full-moon 
lasts from the moment she attains perfect sphericity till she loses 
it again. But in common parlance that ' noz illunis ' is included 
iu the new-moon, and similarly the decline is made to begin 
simultaneously with the full. 

The Gothic for iravaiXrfvov WE^ßilUßs m., or fallij> n. (gen. pi. 
fuUi]^), from which we may also infer a niujißs for vovfirfvla. 
Curiously, this last is rendered fulli]^ in Col. 2, 16, which to my 
mind is a mere oversight, and not to be explained by the supposi- 
tion that the Goths looked upon full-moon as the grander festival. 
The AS. too must have called full-moon fylleff, to judge by the 
name of the month ' winterfylli'S,^ which, says Beda (de temp, 
rat. 13), was so named ' ab hieme et plenilunio %* but the later 
writers have only niwe mona and full mona. So there may have 
been an OHG. niuwid and fullid, though we can only lay our 
finger on the neuters niumani and folmani,^ to which Graff 2, 222 
adds a niwilune; MHG. daz niumoene and volm€ene, the last in 
Trist. 9464. 11086. 11513 (see Suppl.). 

1 Also niuwer m4no» N. ps. 80, 4. foller mftzio, ps. 88, 88. In Gap. 107-8 he 
TOM vol and wan (empty), and in Cap. 147 homahtt halbteaftig and fol; oonf. HeL 
111, 8 wanod ohtho wahnd. 


In ON. the two periods are named by the neuters ' ny ok ni9/ 
habitnally alliterating ; ny answers to novilaniam, it signifies the 
new light, and niS the declining, dwindling, from the lost root 
niiSa na'S, from which also come the adv. ntSr (deorsum) and the 
noun n&iS (qnies, OHG. ginftda) . So that n^ lasts from the begin- 
ning of the first quarter to the fall, and ni'S from the decrease of 
the full to the extinction of light in the last quarter. The two 
touch one another at the border-line between the faintest streaks 
of waxing and of waning brightness« But ni'S meant especially 
the absence of moonlight (interlunium), and niiSamyrlor total 
darkness (luna silens). Kind gods created these for men of old 
to tell the year by : ' ny ok ni9 sk&po nj^t regin öldum at &r-tali,'^ 
Seem. 34*. ' Mäni st^rirgöngu tAngls, oc raalJr nyjum oo niffum/ 
Sn. 12, Mäni steers the going of the moon, and rules new moons 
and full. Probably even here personification comes into play, 
for in Völuspd 11 (Saöm. 2*) Nyji and Niäi are dwarfs, i.e. spirits 
of the sky, who are connected, we do not exactly know how, with 
those lunar phases n^ ok ni'S.' Of changeful things it is said ' "pht 
gengr eptir n;^um ok ni'Snm,' res altematur et subit lunae vices. 
0. Swed. laws have the formula ^ny oc liidar,* for ' at all times, 
under any phase,' Gutalagh p. 108. So 'iny ok niSa/ Sudh. 
bygn. 32. Upl. vidh. 28, 1. Vestg, thiuv. 22, 1; but here the 
second word seems to have given up its neut. form, and passed 
into a personal and masc. Mod. Swed. has 'ny och nedan' ; 
Dan. ' ny og nee/ ' def gaaer efter nye og n(Be/ ' hverken i nye aller 
nee/ i.e. never, ' naar nyet tandes,' quando nova luna incenditnr ; 
this n89 was in 0. Dan. ned, need. To the niiSamyrkr above 
answers a Swed. nedmörk, pitchdark. The Norse terminology 
diifers in so far from the H. Germ., that it expresses the total 
obscuration by ni'S, while we designate it by neumond {i.e. nf) ; 
with us new-moon is opposed to full-moon, with the Scandina^ 
vians ni'S to n^, each of them standing for one half of the moon's 
course. Since a mention of the first and last quarters has come 
into use, full-moon and new-moon signify simply the points of 
fullness and vacancy that lie between ; and now the Swedes and 
Danes have equally adopted a fullmane, fuldmaane, as counter- 

> Aoo. to AlyismAl, the Alfar call the moon drtali (OHG. jfinalo ?), Sem. 49^. 
» Comp, with • ni« ok n^ » the Gr. fwrj koI via. 


part to nytnäne, nymaane, whereby the old ' ned, nsB ' has become 
superfluous^ and the meaning of ny ' somewhat modified.^ 

Though the OHG. remains do not ofiFer us a neuter niuwi,^ such 
a form may have existed^ to match the Norse ny, seeing that the 
Mülhausen statute of the 13th cent. (Grasshof p. 252)^ in granting 
the stranger that would settle in the town a month^s time for the 
attempt^ says ' ein nuwe und ein wedil^ daz sint vier wochin ; ' 
that Martin von Amberg's Beichtspiegel has ' das vol und das 
neu/ Dasypodius still later ' das newe, interlunium/ and Tobler 
331^ 'das neu, der wachsende mond.' For the waning moon, 
Tobler 404** gives 'nid si gehender (going down)/ which reminds 
one of niS; otherwise ' der schwined mo/ OHG. ' diu suinenta 
m&nin/ N. ps. 88, 38, its opposite being ' diu folia ' (see Suppl.). 

I have yet to bring forward another expression of wide range 
and presumably old, which is used by turns for one and another 
phase of the moon's light, oftenest for plenilunium, but some- 
times also for interlunium : MHG. wedel : ' im was unkunt des 
m&nen wedel/ Martina 18P; NHG. wadel,wädel, hut moTQAjnong 
the common folk and in the chase than in written speech. Pic- 
torius 480, Staid. 2, 456, Tobler 44P have wedel, wädel full-moon, 
wädeln to become full-moon, when her horns meet, i.e., when she 
completes her circle. Keisersperg's Postille 138^ : ' ietz so ist er 
nüw, ietz fol, ietz alt, ietz die erst qvart, ietz die ander qvart, 
ietz ist es wedel ' ; here fulUmoon and wedel are not so clearly 
defined as in another passage of Keisersperg (Oberlin 1957) 
on March : ' wan es ist sein wedel, sein volmon.' In Dasy- 
podius : ' plenilunium, der volmon, wädeV * The Germans in 
Bohemia commonly use wädel for full-moon, and Schm. 4, 22 
produces other notable authorities. But the word is known in 
Lower Germany too ; Böhmer's Kantzow p. 266 spells it wadel,"^ 

' Modem Icel. names are : hlAn^ (black new, interlaninm) ; prfm (nova Inna), 
also n^qveikt tüngl ; hälfvaxid tiingl (first quarter) ; fuUt tungl (plenilnninm) ; 
halfßrotid tungl (last quarter). Here too the old names have gone out of use, 
*■ hiänf ' replaces ni$, and * prim * n^. 

' Notker*s Capella 100 has ' mftnen niwi ' fem. 

3 Tet under luna he has ' plenilunium yollmon oder bruch^* and the same under 
bruch (»abbruch) a breaking off, falling off, defectus; which confirms my view, 
that we reckon the wane from full-moon itself (Wtb. 2, 408). Ace. to Muchar's 
Noricum 2, 86 the waxing and waning moon are called tiie gesunde and the kranke 
man (well and ill). 

* Following Tacitus, he says, tiie German! always chose either new or fulUmoon, 
for after the wadel they thought it unlucky. Wadel then comprehends the two phases 
of new and full moon, but seems to exclude those of the first and last quarter. 



the Brem. wtb. 5^ 166 'wool, vollmond' (like aal for adel, a 
Bwamp)^ and Kilian * waedel, Beniam lunae/ From the phrase- 
ology of Superst. I^ 973 one would take wadel to be a general 
name for the moon^ whether waxing or waning, for ^ the bad wadel ' 
[new-moon] sorely implies a good wadel &voarable to the oper- 
ation. Now wadel, wedel means that which wags to and fro, and 
is nsed of an animals tail, £abram, flabellum, cauda ; it must 
either, like zang& and tüngl, refer to the tip or streak of light in the 
crescent moon, or imply that the moon cruises about in the sky.^ 
The latter explanation fits a passage in the AS. poem on Finnes- 
burg fight, line 14 : ' nü scineS j^es m&na wa9ol under wolonum,' 
t.6., the moon walking [wading] among the clouds, wa^l being 
taken for the adj. vagus, vagabundus. Probably even the OHG. 
xvadal was applied to the moon, as an adj. vagus (Graff 1, 776), 
or as a subst. flabellum (1, 662). But, as this subst. not only 
signifies flabellum [whisk], but fasciculus [wisp], the name may 
ultimately be connected with the bundle of brushwood that a 
myth (to be presently noticed) puts in the spots of the full-moon 
(see Suppl.). 

Lith. jdunas men/& novilunium, pilnatis plenilunium, puspUis 
first quarter, pusdylis last qu., delczia luna decrescens, lit. trunca, 
worn away, twrpijos interlunium (from tarp, inter) ; puspilis 
means half-full, pusdylis half-worn, from the same root as delczia 
truncation, decrease. There is also a 'menu tusczias/ vacant 
moon; and the sickle-shaped half-moon is called dalgahynos, 
Lettic : jauns mehnes novilun., pilna mehnes plenilun., mehnes 

punte luna accrescens, wezza mehnes ' luna senescens. Finnic : 

uusikuu novU., täysikuu plenil., ylikuu luna accr., alaJcuu deer., 
formed with uusi novus, taysi plenus, yli superus, ala inferus, 

which supports our explanation of the ON. ni*8. The Servians 

divide thus : miyena novil., mladma luna accr., lit. young, puna 
plenil., ushtap luna deer. Sloven mlay, mlad novil., polna plenil., 
ship plenil., but no doubt also luna deer., from shipati to nip, 
impair. Pol« now and Boh. nowy novil., Pol. pelnia and Boh. 

^ 1 The Engl. teaddU, which is the same word, would graphioally express the 
osoillation of Öie (yisible) moon from side to side of her path ; and if toedel meant 
that oscillation, it wonld apply equally to new and to full moon. — Tbanb. 

' Wezza mehnes, the old moon. In a Scotch ballad : ' I saw the new moon late 
yestreen wi' he auld moon in her ann.* Jamieson 1, 169, Percy 1, 78. Halliwell 
pp. 167-8. 



auplnek plenil. Here we see another instance of the ruder races 
having more yarious and picturesque names for natural pheno- 
mena^ which among the more cultivated are replaced by abstract 
and uniform ones. No doubt Teutonic speech in its yarious 
branches once possessed other names beside ni9 and wadeL 

Tacitus merely tells us that the Germani held their assemblies 
at new moon or full moon^ not that the two periods were thought 
equally favourable to all enterprises without distinction. We may 
gaess that some matters were more suitable to new moon^ others 
to full ; the one would inspire by its freshness^ the other by its 

Caesar 1, 50 reports to uä the declaration of wise women in the 
(»mp of Ariovistus: 'non esse fas G^rmanos superare, si ante 
novam lunam proelio contendissent.' A happy issue to the battle 
was expected^ at all events in this particular instance^ only if it 
were fought at new moon. 

As far as I can make out from later remnants of German 
Buperstition^ with which that of Scotland should be compared 
(Chambers 85**. 86*), Tww-moow, addressed by way of distinction 
as ' gracious lord * p. 704^ is an auspicious time for commence- 
ments properly speaking. Marriages are to be concluded in it, 
houses to be built : ' novam lunam observasti pro domo facienda 
aut conjugiis sociandis ' (Sup. G^ 198**), the latter just the same 
in Esth. Sup. no. 1. Into a new house you must move at new 
moon (Sap. I, 429), not at the wane (498) ; count money by the 
new moon (228), she will increase your store (conf. p. 704) ; on 
the other hand, she loves not to look into an empty purse (107). 
All through, the notion is that money, married bUss and house 
stores will thrive and grow with the growing light. So the hair 
and nails are cut at new-moon (French Sup. 5. Schützers Holst. 
id. 3, 68), to give them a good chance of growing; cattle are 
weaned in the waxing light (I, 757), in the waning they would 
get lean; Liih. Sup. 11 says, let girls be weaned at the wane, 

^ Kew-moon was peonliarly holy to anoient peoples, thus io ihe Greeks the Hri 
Ktd Wa, which was also expressed by hii alone »Sanskr. amA (new moon). The 
letcun of Odysseus was expected at that season. Od. 14, 162 : 

roO i*hf ^IwovTOi fjniySt, rod S" UrrofihoM, 

BAmi's birth is fixed for the new-moon after yemal equinox (Schlegel on B&mAy. 
i* 19, 2). Probably bealteine were lighted at this new-moon of spring. 


boys at the full, probably to give the one a sHm elegant fignre, 
and the other a stout and strong. Healing herbs and pure dew- 
are to be gathered at new-moon (ton an des manen niwi gelesen, 
N. Cap. 100, conf. 25), for then they are fresh and unalloyed. 
When it says in I, 764 that weddings should take place at full- 
moon, and in 238 that a new dwelling should be entered with the 
waxing or full moon, this full-moon seems to denote simply the 
utmost of the growing light, without the accessory notion of 
incipient decline. If our ancestors as a rule fought their battles 
at new-moon, they must hare had in their eye the springing 
up of victory to themselves, not the defeat and downfall of 
the enemy .^ 

At fulUmoon (as opposed to new), i.e. by a waning light, you 
were to perform operations involving severance or dissolution, 
cutting down or levelling. Thus, if I understand it rightly, a 
marriage would have to be annulled, a house pulled down, a 
pestilence stamped out, when the moon is on the wane. Under 
this head comes in the rule to cut wood in the forest when it is 
wadel, apparently that the timber felled may dry. In a Calendar 
printed by Hupfuff, Strasb. 1511 : 'with the moon's wedel 'tis 
good to begin the hewing of wood.' The same precept is still 
given in many modern forest-books, and full-moon is therefore 
called holz'Wadel : ' in the bad wadel (crescent moon) fell no 
timber,' Sup. I, 973. In Keisersperg's Menschl. baum, Strasb. 
1521, 19 : ' Alway in wedel are trees to be hewn, and game to be 
shot.' * Grass is not to be mown at new, but at full moon (Lith. 
Sup. 7) ; that the hay may dry quickly ? and treasures must be 
lifted at full-moon. If a bed be stuffed when the moon is grow- 
ing, the feathers will not lie (I, 372. 914) ; this operation too 
requires a waning light, as if to kill the new-plucked feathers 
completely, and bring them to rest. If you open trenches by 
a waxing moon, they will soon grow together again; if by a 
waning, they keep on getting deeper and wider. To open a vein 
with the moon declining, makes the blood press downwards and 

1 The Esthonians say to the new-moon : * Hail, moon I may you grow old, and 
I keep young I ' Thorn. Hiäme p. 40. 

* In Demerara grows a tree like the mahogany, called walala ; if cut down at 

new-moon, the wood is tough and hard to split, if at fuU, it is soft and splits easily. 

Bamboo pUuiks cut at new-moon last ten years, those cut at full-moon rot within 
the year. 


load the legs (Tobler 404*^) ; set about it therefore by the mount- 
ing moonlight. Vuk sub v. miyena says, the Servian women will 
wash never a shirt at new-moon, they declare all the linen would 
get mooned (omiyeniti) in the water, i.e. bulge and pucker, and 
soon tear; one might find another reason too for washing by 
the waning moon, that stains and dirt should disappear with the 
dwindling light (see Suppl.). 

Behind superstitious practices I have tried to discover a 
meaning, which may possibly come near their original signifi- 
cation. Such symbolical coupling of means and end was at all 
events not foreign to antiquity anywhere : the holy water floats 
all misfortune away with it (p. 589), the spray from the mill wheel 
scatters all sickness (p. 593). So the sufferer stands with his 
face to the waning moon, and prays : ' as thou decreasest, let my 
pains diminish' (I, 245) ; he can also go on the other tack, and 
cry to the new moon : ' may what I see increase, and what I suffer 
cease' (492). Turning the face toward the luminary I take to 
be a relic of heathen moon-worship.^ 

Superstitions of this kind have long been banished to the 
narrower limits of agriculture and cattle-breeding; we should 
arrive at a clearer knowledge of them, had their bearing on 
public life been described for us in early times. Observation of 
the lunar changes must in many ways have influenced sacrifices, 
the casting of lots and the conduct of war. Some things now 
appear bewildering, because we cannot review all the circum- 
stances, and some no doubt were different in different nations. 
German superstition (I, 856) thinks it a calamity for the master 
of the house to die during the moon's decline, for then the whole 
family will fall away ; the Esthonian view (41) is, that a death at 
new-moon is unlucky, perhaps because more will follow 7 Fruits 
that grow above ground are to be sown at the waxing, those under 
ground at the waning (Jul. Schmidt p. 122) ; not so Westendorp 
p. 129: ^dat hoven den grond wast, by o/hemende maan, dat 
onder den grond wast, by ^oenemende maan te zaaien.' Gutslaf 
(Wöhhanda p. 49, conf. errata) remarks, that winter-crops are 
not to be sown while the moon stands at the idle quarter (third, 

^ Whoever at play tarns his back to the moon, has bad lack (I, 801). Bat the 
seaman in his hammock takes care not to face the fall-moon, lest he be straok with 


kus 86 kah mäal). In the sermon of Eligios (Sup. A)^ the 
sentenoe ' nee luna nova quisquam timeat aliqoid operis arripere ' 
is t^intelligible so long as we do not know what sort of operation 
is meant. 

The spots or shady depressions on the ßill-moon's disc hare 
given rise to grotesque bat similar myths in several nations. To 
the common people in India they look like a hare, i.e. Chandras 
the god of the moon carries a hare (sasa)^ hence the moon is 
called sasin or sas&nka, hare mark or spot.^ The Mongolian 
doctrine also sees in these shadows the figure of a hare.^ Bogdo 
Jagjamani or Shigemuni [the Buddha Saky&-muni]^ supreme 
ruler of the sky^ once changed himself into a hwre, simply to 
serve as food to a starving traveller ; in honour of which meri- 
torious deed Khormusta^ whom the Mongols revere as chief of 
the tenggri [genii] ^ placed the figure of a hare in the moon. 
The people of Ceylon relate as follows : While Buddha the great 
god sojourned upon earth as a hermit^ he one day lost his way 
in a wood. He had wandered long, when a ha/re accosted him : 
' Cannot I help thee 7 strike into the path on thy right, I will 
guide thee out of the wilderness.' Buddha replied: 'Thank 
thee^ but I am poor and hungry^ and unable to repay thy kind- 
ness.' ' If thou art hungry^' said the hare, ' light a fire, and kill, 
roast and eat me.' Buddha made a fire, and the hare immediately 
jumped in. Then did Buddha manifest his divine power, he 
snatched the beast out of the flames, and set him in the moon, 
where he may be seen to this day.^ To the Greenlander's fancy 
these spots are the marks of Matina's fingers, with which she 
touched the fine reindeer pelisse of Anninga (Major's Myth.* 
taschenb. 1811. p. 15). 

An ON. fable tells us, that M4ni (the moon) took two children, 
Bil and Hiuki, away from the earth, just as they were drawing 
water from the well Byrgir, and carrying the pail Ssogr on the 
pole Simul between their shoulders. These children w^k behind 

^ Sohlegel*8 Ind. bibl. 1, 217. Aco. to Bopp*8 Qloss. 846% ft Sanskrit name for 
the moon means lepore praediUu^ leporem gereru, 

s Bergmannes Streifer. 8, 40. 204. Majer's Myth. vtb. 1, 640. 

* Donee's niastr. of Shaksp. 1, 16 from the Ups of a Frenoh traTeller, whose 
telescope the Cingalese had often borrowed, to have a good look at the hare in the 


Mäni, as one may see from the earth (sv& sem si& mä af iörSa)^ 
Sn. 12. That not the moon^s phases bat her spots are here 
meantj is plain enough from the figure itself. No change of «the 
moon conld suggest the image of two children with a pail slung 
on their slwulders. Moreover, to this day the Swedish people see 
in the spots of the moon two persons carrying a big bucket on 
a pole,^ Bil was probably a girl, and Hiuki a boy, the former 
apparently the same as the &synja named together with Sol in 
Sn. 39 ; there it is spelt Bil^ but without sufficient reason ; the 
neuter 'bil' signifies momentum, interstitium, a meaning that 
would suit any appearance of the moon (conf. p. 374 on OHG. 
pil). What is most important for us, out of this heathen fancy 
of a kidnapping man of the moon, which, apart from Scandinavia, 
was doubtless in vogue all over Teutondom, if not farther, there 
has evolved itself since a christian adaptation. They say the 
man in the moon is a wood-stealer, who during church time on 
the holy sabbath committed a trespass in the wood, and was then 
transported to the moon as a punishment ; there he may be seen 
with the axe on his bach and the bundle of brushwood (domwelle) 
in his hand. Plainly enough the water-pole of the heathen story 
has been transformed into the axe's shaft, and the carried pail 
into the thombush ; the general idea of theft was retained, but 
special stress laid on the keeping of the christian holiday ; the 
man suffers punishment not so much for cutting firewood, as 
because he did it on a Sunday.' The interpolation is founded on 
Numb. 15, 32-6, where we are told of a man that gathered 
sticks on the sabbath, and was stoned to death by the congrega- 
tion of Israel, but no mention is made of the moon and her spots. 
As to when this story first appeared in Germany I have no means 
of telling, it is almost universally prevalent now ; ' in case the 
full-moon's name of wadel. wedel in the sense of a bunch of twigs ^ 

^ Dalin 1, 158: men anna fins den meningen bland y&t almoge. Ling*8 
Eddomas sinnebildslära 1, 78 : Snnn Hager allmftnheten i Södraswerge, att mänens 
fläekar äro Wenne varelser, som bara en bryggsft (bridge-bnoket, slung pail). 

' A Westphalian story says, the man dressed the church with thorns on 
Sunday, and was therefore put, bundle and all, into the moon. 

* Hebel has made a pretty song about it, pp. 86-9: 'me het em gsait der 
DUterlet* on which Schm. 2, 688 asks : is this Dietrich of Bern, translated in 
classic fashion to the sky ? We must first make sure that the poet found the name 
already in the tradition. 

* In the Henneberg dlstr. wadel means brushwood, twigs tied up in a bundle, 
esp. fir-twigs, wadeln to tie up brushwood (Beinwald 2, 187) ; this may however 
come from the practice of cutting wood at full-moon. 


has itself arisen out of the story (p. 712)^ it mast be of pretty 
high antiquity. In Tobler's Appenzell sprachsch. 20** we are 
told : An arma ma (a poor man) het alawil am sonnti holz 
nfg^Iesa (picked up wood). Do hed em der liebe Gott dVahl 
g'loh (let him choose), ob er lieber wött i' der sonn verbrenna, 
oder im mo' verfrüra (bum in sun, or freeze in moon. Yar. : 
in'n kalta mo' ihi, oder i' d' höU abi). Do will' er lieber in'n mo' 
ihi. Dromm sied ma' no' ietz an^ ma* im mo^ inna, wenn's wedel 
ist. Er hed a,' püscheli uff 'em rogga (bush on his back). Kuhn's 
Mark, sagen nos. 27. 104. 130 give us three different accounts : 
in one a broom-maker has bound twigs (or a woman has spun) on 
a Sunday, in another a man has spread manure, in the third he 
has stolen cabbage-stumps; and the figure with the bunch of 
twigs (or the spindle), with the dangfork, with the cabbage-stalk, 
is supposed to form the spots in the moon. The earliest authority 
I know of is Fischart's Garg. 1 30^ : ' sah im mon ein männlinf 
das holz gestohlen hett ; * Praetorius says more definitely, Welt- 
beschr. 1, 447 : the superstitious folk declared the dark spots on 
the moon to be the man that gathered sticks on the sabbath and 
was stoned therefor. The Dutch account makes the man steal 
Tegetables, so he appears in the moon with the ' bundel moes ^ on 
his shoulders (Westendorp p. 129). The English tradition seems 
pretty old. Chaucer in his Testament of Greseide 260-4 de- 
scribes the moon as lady Cynthia : 

Her gite (gown) was gray and fol of spottis blake, 

and on her brest a ckorl paintid f al even 

bering a hv,sh of ihomU on hia hakey 

which for his theft might clime no ner the heven. 

In Ritson's Anc. songs (Lond. 1790), p. 35 is a 'song upon 
the man in the moon,^ beginning thus : 

Mon in the mone stond and strit (standeth and Btrideth), 

on hia hotforhe is htarthen he hereth; 

hit is mnche wonder that he na doan slyt (slideth), 

for dontelesse he yalle, he shoddreth and shereth, 

when the forst freseth mnch chele he byd (chill he bideth) ; 

the thomes beth kene, is haitren to-tereth. 

Shivering with cold, he lugs on his fork a load of thorns, which 
tear his coat, he had cut them down and been impounded by the 
forester; the difficult and often unintelligible song represents 


him as a lazy old man^ who walks a bit and stands a bit^ and 
is drank as well ; not a word about desecration of the sabbath. 
Shakspeare allades more than once to the man in the moon; 
Tempest ii. 2 : ' I was the man i' th' moon^ when time was ^ . . . 
' I have seen thee in her^ and I do adore thee : my mistress shewed 
me thee and thy dog and thy bush,' Mids. N. Dr. iii. 1 : ^ One 
mast come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn^ and say he 
comes to present the person of Moonshine.' In Gryphius too 
the player who acts the moon ties a bush round his body (conf. 
Ir. elfenm. no. 20). 

Two more, and those conflicting, interpretations of the moon's 
spots are likewise drawn from the Bible. Either it is Isaac bear- 
ing a burthen of wood for the sacriBce of himself on Mount Moriah 
(Praetor. Weltbeschr. 1, 447) ; or it is Cain carrying a bundle of 
thorns on his shoulders, and offering to the Lord the cheapest gift 
from his field.^ This we find as far back as Dante, Parad. 2, 50. 

che sono i segni but 
di questo corpOj che laggiuso in terra 
fan di Cam favoleggiare altrui 7 

And Inferno 20, 126 : Oaino e le spine. On this passage Landino 
remarks : ' cioe la luna, nella quale i volgare vedendo una certa 
ombra, credono che sia Caino, c' habbia in spalla una forcata di 
pruni/ And another commentator : ' accommodandosi alia favola 
del volgo, che sieno quelle macchie Caino, che inalzi una forcata 
di spine/ 

Nearly all these explanations agree in one thing : they suppose 
the spots to be a human figure carrying something on its shoulder, 
whether a hare, a pole and bucket, an axe and thorns, or the load 
of thorns alone.' A wood-stealer or fratricide accounts for the 
spots of the moon, as a ohaff-stealer (p. 857) does for the streaks 
ia the milky way. 

There must have been yet more traditions. A Netherl. poet 
of the 14th century speaks of the dark stripes that stand 

^ The story of the first fratricide seems to have made a peculiarly deep im- 
pression on the new converts from heathenism ; they fancy him a wicked giant, 
oonf. Beow. 213 seq., and supra p. 525. 

' Water, an essential part of the Norse myth, is wanting in the story of the 
man with the thombush, but it re-appears in the Oamiolan stoiy (for kramerisoh 
read krainerisch) cited in Brentano's Libussa p. 421 : the man in the moon is oidled 
Kotar, he makes her grow by pouring water. 


recht int midden van der mane^ 
dat men in dnitsche heet ludergheer ; 

in another passage it is lendegker^ (for leudegher?); and Willems 
in Messager de Gand^ 1^ 195, following a MS. of 1351, reads, ' dat 
men in dietsch heet lodegeer ; ' but none of these forms is intel- 
ligible to me. Perhaps the proper name Ludgfir, Leodegarins, 
OHG. LintkSr, has to do with it, and some forgotten legend of 
the Mid. Ages. A touching religious interpretation is handed 
down by Berthold 145, surely not invented by himself, that the 
moon is Mary Magdalene, and the spots her tears of repentance 
(see SuppL). 

The Sun has had a slighter influence than the moon on super- 
stitious notions and observances. Magical herbs must be 
gathered, if not by moonlight, at least before sunrise (p. 621), 
and healing waters be drawn before sunrise (p. 586). The 
mounting sun dispels all magic, and bids the spirits back to their 
subterranean abode. 

Twice in the year the sun changes his course, in summer to 
sink, in winter to rise. These turning-points of the sun were 
celebrated with great pomp in ancient times, and our St. John^s 
or Midsummer fires are a relic of the summer festival (p. 617 
seq.). The higher North, the stronger must have been the im- 
pression produced by either solstice, for at the time of the sum- 
mer one there reigns almost perpetual day, and at the winter one 
perpetual night. Even Procopius (ed. Bonn. 2, 206) describes 
how the men of Thule, after their 35 days' night, climb the 
mountain-tops to catch sight of the nearing sun. Then they 
celebrate their holiest feast (see Suppl.). 

Tacitus tells us (cap. 45), that the sun afler setting shoots up 
such a radiance over the Suiones, that it pales the stars till 
morning. ' Sonum insuper audiri, forma» deorum et radios capUis 
aspici, persuasio adjicit.' I would have turned this passage to 
account in Chap. VI., as proving the existence of Germanic gods, 

> Van Wyn'8 AYondstonden 1, 806. Bilderdijk^B Verklärende gestaohtlijst der 
naamworden 2, 198 has ludegeer, Ittdegaar, and explains it, no doubt wrongly, as 
loikenaar (leodiensis). However, he teUe the old story : * *t mannetjen in de maan, 
dat gezegd werd een doombosch op zijn rag te heben, en om dat hy *t gestolen had, 
niet hooger ten hemel te mögen opklimmen, maar daar ingebannen te zijn.* Exactly 
as in Chancer. 


bad it not seemed credible that snch accoants may not hare 
reached the Bomans from Germany itself^ bat been spread among 
them by miscellaneoas travellers' tales. Strabo 3^ 1 (Tsch. 1^ 
868) quotes from Posidonius a very similar story of the noise 
made by the setting sun in the sea between Spain and Africa : 
fiei^ca Svveiy rbv fjXioy iv r^ TraptOKeavLriZv libera '^6<^ov irapwrrKr^^ 
<rlo^^y &aav€\ aifyvro^ rov nreXarfov^ Kara aßiaiv avTov Sia ro 
ifiTriirreiv €t9 rov ßvßov. But the belief may even then have 
prevailed among Germans too ; the radiant heads, like a saint's 
glory^ were discussed at p. 323^ and I will speak of this mar- 
vellous music of the rising and setting sun in the next chapter. 
Meanwhile the explanation given of the red of morning and 
evening, in the old AS. dialogue between Saturn and Solomon 
(Thorpe's Anal. p. 100), is curious : ' Saga me, forhwan byS seo 
Bunne redd on cefen ? ' ' Ic )7e secge, for)>on heo löcafi on helle.' 
' Saga me, hwt scine^S heo swÄ redde on morgene ? ' ' Ic )>e secge, 
for]?on hyre twyna'S hwas'Ser heo maeg oSe [orig. ]>e] ne maeg 
]nsne middaneard eondisctnan sw& hyre beboden is.' The sun 
is red at even, for that she looketh on hell ; and at morn, for 
that she doubteth whether she may complete her course as she is 

Not only about the sun and moon, but about the other stars, 
our heathen antiquity had plenty of lore and legend. It is a very 
remarkable statement of Jemandes cap. 11, that in Sulla's time 
the Goths under Dicenaeus, exclusive of planets and signs of the 
zodiac, were acquainted with 344 stars that ran from east to west. 
How many could we quote now by their Teutonic names 7 

The vulgar opinion imagines the stars related to each individual 
man as friend or foe .^ The constellation that shone upon his birth 
takes him under its protection all his life through ; this is called 
being bom under a good or lucky star. From this guidance, this 
secret sympathy of dominant constellations, fate can be foretold. 
Conversely, though hardly from native sources, it is said in the 
Benner 10984 that every star has an angel who directs it to the 
place whither it should go. 

1 Swem die stemen weident gram, 
dem wirt der man» llhte alMm. Frid. 108, 8. 

722 SZY Am) STABS. 

There is a pious custom of saluting tlie celestial luminaries 
before going to bed at night (Sup. I^ 112)^ and among the Mod. 
Greeks^ of offering a prayer when the evening star is on the rise. 

According to the Edda^ all the stars were sparks of fire from 
Muspells-heim^ that flew about the air at random^ till the gods 
assigned them seats and orbits^ Sn. 9. Seem. 1. 

Ignited vapours, which under a starry sky fall swiftly through 
the air like fiery threads — ^Lat. trajectio stellae, Stella transvolans, 
Ital. Stella cadente, Fr. 6toile filante. Span, estrella vaga, Swed. 
stjernfall, Dan. stiemskud (star-shoot), what the Greeks call 
Bidyeiv trajicere — are by our people ascribed to a trimming of 
the stars^ light ; they are like the sparks we let fall in snuffing a 
candle. We find this notion already in Wolfram's Wh. 322, 18 : 

Dehein steme ist so lieht. No star so bright 

em färbe sich etswenne.^ but trims itself somewhen. 

Hence our phrase of 'the stars snuffing themselves,' and our 
subst. stemputze, Sternschnuppe. These falling stars are ominous,^ 
and whoever sees them should say a prayer (Sup. I, 595) : to the 
generous girl who has given away her all, they bring down with 
them [or turn into] gold-pieces (Kinderm. 153) ; nay, whatever 
wish you form while the snuff is falling, is fulfilled (Tobler 408^). 
The Lithuanians beautifully weave shooting stars into the fate- 
mythus : the verpeya (spinneress) begins to spin the thread of the 
new-born on the sky, and each thread ends in a star; when a man 
is dying, his thread snaps, and the star turns pale and drops 
(Narbutt, 1, 71). 

A comet is called taiUstar, hair-stur in Aventin 74^. 11 9^*, 
peacock-tail (Schm. 1, 827) ; and its tail in Detmar 1, 242 schin- 
schove, from schof a bundle of straw. Its appearing betokens 
events fraught with peril, especially the death of a king (Greg, 
tur. 4, 9) : ' man siht an der zit einen sterren, sam einen pfawen 
zagel wit (wide as a peacock's tail), so miiezen siben sachen in 
der werlt organ,' MsH. 3, 468** (see Suppl.). 

Our old heathen fancies about the fixed stars have for the most 
part faded away, their very names are almost all supplanted by 

^ MS. n. reads ' sdbere eich.* Even OHG. has furban (mundare, ezpiare). 
' So with the Greeks (Beinh. fuohs p. lixii.). In a poem of Bdranger: * mon 
enfant, un mortel expire, son 6toUe tombe k I'instant.* 


learned astronomic appellations; only a few have managed to 
save themselves in ON. legend or among the common people. 

Whether the planets were named after the great gods, we 
cannot tell : there is no trace of it to be found even in the North. 
Planet- names for days of the week seem to have been imported, 
though very early, from abroad (p. 126 seq.) Other reasons 
apart, it is hardly conceivable that the heathen, who honoured 
certain fixed stars with names of their own, should not have 
distinguished and named the travelling stars, whose appearances 
and changes are so much more striking. The evening and 
morning Venus is called eveningstar, momingstar, OHG. apanU 
siernoy tagastemo, like the Lat. vesper and lucifer.^ The tunkeU 
steme in Ms. 1, 38^ seems to be vesperugo, the eveningstar be- 
ginning to blaze in the twilight, conf» Gramm. 2, 526. An OHG. 
uhtostemo momingstar, N. Bth. 223, is from uhtä, Goth, uhtvd 
crepusculnm. Gl. Trev. 22^ have stelbom hesperus ; can this be 
stellbaum, the bird-catcher's pole? But in Bol. 240,27 'die 
nrm&ren stalboume ^ stands for stars in general, and as every star 
was provided with stool or stand (p. 700-1), we may connect stel- 
boum, stalboum with this general meaning. There is perhaps 
more of a mythic meaning in the name nahtfare for eveningstar 
(Heumanni opusc. 453. 460), as the same word is used of the witch 
or wise- woman out on her midnight jaunt. The Anglo-Saxons 
called the eveningstar swana steorra (bubulcornm Stella), because 
the swains drove their herd home when it appeared. Again, in 
O. iv. 9, 24 Christ is compared to the sun, and the apostles to 
the eleven daystars, ' dagasterron ' here meaning not so much 
laciferi as the signs of the zodiac. There are no native names 
for the polar star (see Suppl.) . 

Twice the Edda relates the origin of particular stars, but no 
one knows now what constellations are meant. The legend of 
Orvandils'td and the AS. Earendel, OHG. Oreniil, has been cited, 
p. 374; this bright luminary may have meant the momingstar. 
Then the ftses, having slain the giant Thiassi, had to atone for it 
to his daughter Ska^i. OSinn took Thiassi^s eyes and threw 
them against the sky, where they formed two stars, Sn. 82-3. 
These augu Thiassa are most likely two stars that stand near 

1 In an old ohnrch-hymn Lucifer is proyided with a chariot: ourroB jam posoit 
phoaphoms (reita gia f ergot tagastem), Hymn. 2, 8. 


each other^ of equal size and brightness^ perhaps the Twins ? 
This is another instance of the connexion we found between stars 
and eyes ; and the toe translated to heaven is quite of a piece 
with the ' tongues ' and the correspondence of the parts of the 
body to the macrocosm^ p. 568 (see Suppl.). 

The milky-way and its relation to Irmin I have dealt with^ 
pp. 356-8. 

Amongst all the constellations in our sky, three stand pro- 
minent to the popular eye : Ursa major^ Orion and the Pleiades. 
And all of them are still known by native names ; to which I 
shall add those in use among the Slavs^ Lithuanians and Finns^ 
who give them the same place of honour as we do. 

The Ghreat Bear was doubtless known to our ancestors, even 
before their conversion, as waggon, wain; which name, un- 
borrowed, they had in common with kindred [Aryan] nations, 
and therefore it is the conunon people's name for it to this 
day : they say, at dead of night the heavenly wain turns round 
with a great noise, oonf. p. 745. So the Swiss (Tobler 264*) : 
when the herra-wa^a stands low, bread is cheap, when high, it is 
dear. O. v. 17, 29 uses the pi. 'waga/no gistelli,' meaning at 
once the greater waggon and the less ; which last (Ursa minor) 
Berthold calls the wegeUn,^ So ' des wagenes gerihte,' Wackem. 
lb. 772, 26. It comes of a lively way of looking at the group, 
which circling round the polar star always presents the appear- 
ance of four wheels and a long slanting pole, deiehsel (temo), on 
the strength of which the AS. sometimes has Jnsl alone : wcenes 
Jngla (thill), Booth. BawUns. 192^. References are given at 
p. 151, also the reasons for my conjecture that the waggon meant 
is that of Wuotan the highest god. True, an 0. Swed. chronicle 
connects the Swed. name Jearlwagen with Thorr, who stepping 
into his chariot holds the seven stars in his hand (Thor statt 
naken som ett bam, sin stjemor i banden och Karle wag^), which 
I will not absolutely deny; but it is Woden stories in particular 
that are transferred to the Frankish Charles (p. 153). When 
in Gl. Jun. 188 ' Arturus' is rendered wagan (though 61. Hrab. 

1 Ich h&n den glänzen himelwttgen nnd daz gesiirne besehen, Troj. 19062. 
There may for that matter be several himelwagens, as there were many gods with 
oars. Cervantes too, in a song of the gitaniUa (p. m. 11), says: Si en el oielo hay 
estreUas, que lueUntes carrot forman« 


951^ has 'arctas' the heAr = wagan in himile), that is explained 
by the proximity of the star to the Great Bear's tail^ as the very 
name apicrovpo^ shews.^ I hare to add^ that Netherland cities 
(Ajitwerp^ Groningen) have the stars of the Great or the Lesser 
Bear on their seals (Messager de Gand 3^ 339)^ and in England 
the Charles- wain is painted on the signboards of taverns. 

The Greeks have both names in nse^ ap#cT09 bear^ and afia^a 
waggon^ the Romans both ursa and plaustrum, as well as a 
septentrio or septentriones from trio, plongh-ox. Fr. cha^, charriot, 
Ital. Span, carro. Pol. woz (plaastrum), woz niebieski (heavenly 
wain), Boh. wos, and at the same time ogha (thill, sometimes og, 
wog) for Bootes ; the Ulyrian Slavs hola, pi. of kolo wheel, there- 
fore wheels, i.e. wain, but in their kola rodina and rodoJcola * I 
cannot exphtin the adjuncts rodo, rodina. Lith. gryzulio rats, 
gryzdo rats, from ratas (rota), while the first word, unexplained 
by Mielcke, must contain the notion of waggon or heaven ; ' Lett. 
raiti (rotae). Esth. wankri tahhed, waggon-stars, from wanker 
(currus) ; Hung, göntzöl szekere, from szeker (currus), the first 
word being explained in ' Hungaria in parabolis ' p. 48 by a 
mythic Gx>ntzöl, their first waggoner. Prominent in the Finnish 
epos are päiwä the sun^ kuu the moon, and otawa, which Gastrin 
translates karla-vagnen, they are imagined as persons and divine, 
and often named together ; the Pleiades are named seulainen. 

Never, either in our OHG. remains, or among Slavs, Lithu- 
anians and Finns, ^ do we find the name borrowed from the 
animal (ursa), though these nations make so much of the bear 
both in legend and perhaps in worship (p. 668). 

The carro menor is called by Spanish shepherds boüna, bogle ;^ 
by Icelanders ^«a2;on2ir a lopti, milkmaids of the sky, Biöm sub 
y. F. Magnusen's Dag. tid. 104-5 (see Sappl.). 

1 [From o9/>of keeper, not o^pd tail] . ^A/Mrro^vXa^ [bear-ward, or as we might 
say] Waggoner, is Bootes, of whom Greek fable has much to teU. Arctnrus stands 
in Bootes, and sometimes for Bootes. An OHG. gloss. Dint. 1. 167', seems 
onzionsly to render Bootes by $ti{fala, Graff 6, 662. Is this stnphila, stipnla^ 
ttabble ? 

* Bosnian Bible, Ofen 1881. 8, 154. 228. In Yak roda is stork, whence the 
adj. rodin, but what of that f This roda seems to be rota, rad, wheel oyer again. 

' Lith. Bible, Königsb. 1816, has in Job 9, 9 gryzo wezimmai ; gryzdas, 
griznias is thill, and wezimmas waggon. 

* Can this be reconciled with the statement, p. 729, that Finn, otawa—bear ? 
The Mongol, for bear is ütSgS. — ^Tbans. 

» Don Quixote 1, 20 (ed. Ideler 1, 282 ; conf. 6, 261). 


The small^ almost invisible star jast above the middle one in 
the waggon's thill has a story to itself. It is called waggoner, 
hind, in Lower Germany ddimeke, thambkin^ dwarf, Osnabr. 
dümke, Meckl. duming, in Holstein ' Hans Diimken, Hans Dilmkl 
sitt opm wagn.' They say that once a waggoner, having given 
our Saviour a lift, was offered the kingdom of heaven for his 
reward ; but he said he would sooner be driving from east to 
west to all eternity (as the wild hunter wished for evermore to 
hunt) . His desire was granted, there stands his waggon in the 
sky, and the highest of the three thill-stars, the ' rider ' so-called, 
is that waggoner. Another version in Miillenhoff's Schles. Hoist, 
sagen no. 484. I daresay the heathen had a similar fiction about 
Wödan's charioteer. Joh. Praetorius De suspecta poli declina- 
tione. Lips. 1675, p. 35: 'qui hano stellam non praeteriissent, 
etiamsi minor quam Alcor, das knechtgen, der dümeke, das renter- 
lein, knechtfink fuisset; ' and again on the thiePs thumb, p. 140 : 
' fabula de pollicari auriga, dümeke, fuhrman»' That the same 
fancy of the waggoner to this constellation prevails in the East, 
appears from Niebuhr's Arabia, and the Hungarian Oöntzöl seems 
closely related to him ; in Greek legend likewise Zeus places the 
waggon's driver {vvioxo^) or inventor Erickthonius among the 
stars, though not in the Great Bear, but between Perseus and 
the Twins in the galaxy. The Bohemian formdnek, wozatag 
(auriga) or bowozny signify Arcturus, Bootes and Erichthonius 
(Jungm. 1, 550. 3, 401), and palecky u wozu thumblings on 
waggon. But in Slovenic, it seems, hervor (Murko 85. Jarnik 
229^) and burovzh mean the waggoner and the Polar Star. 

The cluster of brilliant stars in which the Greeks recognised 
the figure of Orion ^ had various Teutonic names, the reasons of 
which are not always clear to us now. First, the three stars in 
a line that form Orion's belt are called in Scandinavia Friggjar- 
rockr, Friggerok (pp. 270. 302-3), and also by transfer to Mary 
Marlärok, Marirok (Peter Syv in the Danske digtek. middelald. 
1, 102), Mariteen; here is plain connecting of a star-group with 
the system of heathen gods. The same three stars are to this 
day called by the common folk in Up. Germany the three mowers, 
because they stand in a row like mowers in a meadow : a homely 

1 Our MHG. poets adopt Oridn Tnthont translating it, MS. 1, 37^ The 
Boxnans, ace. to Yarro and FestoSi oalled it Jugula, it is not known why. 


designation^ like that of waggon^ which arose in the childlike 
fancy of a pastoral people. OHG. glosses name Orion jpfluoc 
(aratrum)^ and in districts on the Bhine he is called the rake 
(rastram) : he is a tool of the husbandman or the mower. The 
Scotch pUuch, Engl, plough, is said of Charleses \^ain. Some 
AS. (perhaps more OS.) glosses translate Orion by ehurSring, 
eburdrung, ebirdring, ebirthiring (Gl. Jan. 369. 371), ^ which in 
pure AS. would have been eofor8ryng, efor^ring ; it can mean 
nothing but boar-throng, since )>ryng, as well as ]>rang, Mid. 
Lat. drungas, is turba. How any one came to see a herd of wild 
boars in the group, or which stars of Orion it included, I do not 
know : the wild huntsman of the Greek legend may have nothing 
to do with it, as neither that legend nor the group as seen by 
Greek eyes includes any hunted animal ; the boars of the Teutonic 
constellation have seemingly quite a different connexion, and 
perhaps are founded on mere comparison. OHG. glosses give 
us no epurdnme, but its relation to luwaring and Iring was 
pointed out, p. 359 note. In the latter part of the Mid. Ages 
our ' three mowers * or the Scandinavian ' Mary's distaff' is called 
Jacobs'stah, Boh. JahubahM; the heathenish spindle, like the 
heathenish Irmin-street (p. 857 note), is banded over to the 
holy apostle, who now staff in hand, paces the same old heavenly 
path ; in some parts Peter's staff is preferred. The Esthonians 
call Orion warda tahhed, spear stars, from ' wardas ' spear, and 
perhaps staff, like St. James's staff. The Lithuanians szenpjuwis, 
hay-star? firom 'szen' foenum (Nesselmann 515), as August is 
called szenpjutis ; because the constellation rises at hay-harvest 7 
perhaps also with reference to the ' three-mowers ' 7 for in the 
same way several Slav nations have the name kosi scythes, Boh. 
kosy (Jungm. 2, 136), Pol. kosy (Linde 1092*), Sloven, koszi 
(Murko 142) mowers. Other Slavic names of Orion are shtupka 
(Bosn. Bible, 3, 154), for which we ought to read shtapka, in Vuk 
shiaka crutch, crosier, from our Stäbchen, Carniol. pdlize staves, 
in Stulli babini sctapi old wives' staves ; and kruzilice,^ wheelers, 
rovers? from 'kruiiti' vagari (see SuppL). 

^ The seoond passage has * ebnrdntmg/ an error, bat an evidence of the MS.'s 
age, for in the 8-9th cent, the second stroke of r was made as long as that of n. 

* Dobrowskj's Slavin p. 425 ; the Pol. kruilic is crocklet, mug. Hanka's 
Altböhm. gloBsen have 66, 857 kmzlyk circnlea, 99, 164 kmsslyk lix, which I do 
not understand. Can it be cratch f 

VOL. n. U 


Between the shoulders of the Bull is a space thickly sown with 
stars^ but in which seven (really six) larger ones are recognis- 
able; hence it is called sieben-gestim, OHG. thaz sibunstirri^ 
0. V. 17, 29. Diut. i. 520*. Gl. Jun. 188 (where it is confounded 
with the Hyades not far off, in the BalPs head) . Beside this 
purely arithmetical denomination, there are others more living : 
Gr. JTXeiaSe?, Ion. IlXrfldSe^;, seven daughters of Atlas and 
Pleione, whom Zeus raised to the sky, II. 18, 486. Od. 5, 272, 
and who, like the Norse Thiassi and örvandill, are of giant kin ; 
but some explain these Pleiads from TreXetd^ wild dove, which 
is usually iriXeta} Lat. Vergiliae, of which Pestus gives a lame 
explanation. A German poet writes virilie, Amgb. 42^. 

The picture of the Pleiades that finds most favour among the 
people in Germany and almost all over Europe is that of a hen 
and seven chickens^ which at once reminds us of the Greek seven 
doves } Mod. Gr. irovkia (Fauriel 2, 277). Our klucJce, kluckerin, 
MuckJienne, brut-henne mit den künhin ; Dan. af ten-hone, even- 
ing-hen {'hönne, Dansk. digtek. middelald. 1, 102); Engl, hen with 
her chickens ; Fr. la poiissiniere, in Lorraine poucherosse, covrosse 
(couveuse, brood-hen, qui conduit des pous^ins)^ ; Gris. duotscJias 
or cluschas the cluck-hens ; Ital. gallinelle ; Boh. slepice s kufdtky 
hen with chickens ; Hung, fiastik, fidstyuk from tik, tyuk gallina, 
and fiazom pario. The sign of the clticJ^-hen seems to me inter- 
grown with our antiquity. Nursery tales bring in a peculiar 
feature, viz. that three nuts or eggs having been given as a pre- 
sent, out of them come a golden dress, a silver dress, and a cbickle 
with seven (or twelve) chickies, the three gifts representing sun, 
moon and seven-stars. Kinderm. no. 88 (2, 13). So in the 
Introd. to the Pentamerone, out of the miraculous nut comes a 
voccola CO dudece polecine. Now the Hungarian tale in Gaal p. 381 
has ' golden hen and six chickens/ meaning the Pleiades ; and the 
maiden, seeking her lost lover, has to obtain access to him by tbe 
valuables contained in three nuts ; these were three dresses, on 
which severally were worked the sun, the moon, and the seven- 
stars (conf. Wigal. 812), being gifts of Sun, Moon, and Seven- 

* The Snppl. adds : * the Pleiades, like doves, cany ambrosia to Zeus, but one 
olwayt gets lost in passing the Planctae rocks, and Zens fills up their number again, 
Athen. 4, 826-6.'— Homer tells the story simply of doves, irAatai, Od. 12, 61.— Tbass. 

' Conf. Pentam. 4, 8 * li sette palommielle/ seven children transformed. 

8 M6m. des antiq. 4, 876. 6, 121-9. 


ßtars^ bestowed upon her in her wanderings. The third dress 
tradition at last converted into the cluckie herself. Treasure- 
hunters dig for the costly cluckie with her chicks; conf. the 
sunken hoards Chap. XXXII. A ' hen and twelve hiinkeln ^ was 
also an earthly fine^ Weisth. 1, 465. 499. I am not sure that we 
are entitled to connect the nut with ^ Iduns huot ^ ; but )what is 
' sun^ moon and cluckie * with us^ is with the Finns far more 
plainly ' päiwä, kuu^ otawa/ i.e. sun, moon, bear. The Span, name» 
is ' las siete cdbrillas ^ seven kids,^ Pol. baby old wives. Boss. 
baha old wife [and nasedka sitting hen], Linde 1, 38*; Serv. 
vlashitsi (Vuk 78), vlashnitsi, (Bosn. Bible 3, 154, 223), Slovöo. 
vlastovtse swallows? but Jarnik 229*^ explains it ^ ramatäbe,^ whieh 
I do not understand. The 0. Boh. name too is obscure^^cs^^e^- 
nycze pleiades (Hanka^s Glossen 58*^) = stetnice, bristly ones, from 
stetina seta? Sloven, ffostoseotsi, goatozhirtsi the thick-sown? 
The last name agrees with the Lith. and Finn. view,. viz.. the con- 
stellajiion is a sieve having a great many holes, or lifting out a 
heap of flour : Lith. setas Lett, setinshy Esth. sööl or söggel, Finn. 
seula, seulainen. Why does Suchenwirt 4, 32& say, ^ daz her daz 
tailt sich in daz lant gleich recht als ain sibenstim * ? because the 
army is so thickly spread over the land ? . (see SuppL). 

The origin of the Pleiades is thus related : Christ was passing 
a baker's shop, when He smelt the new bread, and sent his dis- 
ciples to ask for a loaf. The baker refused, but the baker's wife 
and her six daughters were standing apart, and secretly gave it. 
For this they were set in the sky as the Seven-stars, while the 
baker became the cuckoo (p. 676 baker's man), and so long as 
he sings in spring, from St. Tiburtius's day to St. John's, the 
Seven-stars are visible in heaven. Compare with >this the Nor* 
wegian tale of Gertrude's bird (p. 673). 

There may be a few more for which popular names still 
exist.^ In Lith. the Kids are artojis su jdiiczeis plougher with 
oxen^ and Capella neszqa walgio food-bearer (f.). Hanka's 0. 
Boh. gl. 58^ gives hrusa for Aldebaran, przyczeJc for Arcturus, 
We might also expect to find names for the Hyades and Cas- 

1 Don Quixote 2, 41 (Idel. 4, 83 ; conf. 6, 242). 

3 Cymric and Gaelic Bibles (Job 9, 9), retain tne Latin names from the Vulgate; 
from which it does not follow tnat these languages lack native names for stars. 
Armstrong cites Gael. crannaraiTif baker's peel, for the Pleiades, and draghlodt fixe- 
tail, for the Lesser Bear. 


siopeia. Bat many stars are habitually confounded, as tlie 
Pleiades with the Hyades or Orion, and even with the Wain and 
Arcturus ; * what is vouched for by glosses alone, is n t to be 
relied on. Thus I do not consider it proved as yet that the names 
plough and ehurdi-ung really belong to Orion. By ' plough ' the 
Irish Fairy-tales 2, 123 mean the Wain rather than Orion, and 
who knows but the ' throng of boars ' may really stand for the 
'TaSe? (from v?)^ and the Lat. Suculae ? (see Suppl.). 

Still more unsafe and slippery is the attempt to identify the 
constellations of the East, founded as they are on such a different 
way of looking at the heavens. Three are named in Job 9, 9 : 
tt^ &sh, flD^Z) kimeh, ^7V2 ksilj' which the Septuagint renders 
mXecdhe^y Sairepo^;, ap/crovpo^;, the Vulgate 'Arcturus, Orion, 
Hyades,^ and Luther 'the Wain, Orion, the Glucke (hen).' In 
Job 38, 31 ktmeh and ksU are given in the LXX as irXeidBe^, 
^IlploDV, in Vulg. as 'Pleiades, Arcturus,' in Diut. 1, 520 as 
' Siebenstimi, Wagan,' and in Luther as ' Siebenstern, Orion.* 
For ksil in Isaiah 13, 10 the LXX has ^ilploav, Vulg. merely 
'splendor,' Luther 'Orion.' In Amos 5, 8 ktmeh and ksil are 
avoided in LXX, but rendered in Vulg. ' Arcturus, Orion,' and 
by Luther 'the Glucke, Orion.' Michaelis drew up his 86 
questions on the meaning of these stars, and Niebuhr received 
the most conflicting answers from Arabian Jews ; ^ on the whole 
it seemed likeliest, that (I) &sh was the Arabian constellation 
om en ndsh, (2) kimeh or chima the Arab, toriye, (3) kstl the 
Arab, sheil (sihhSi) ; the three corresponding to Ursa major. 

^ Eeiseraperg's Postil 206 : * the sea-star or the Wain, or die kenn mit den hünlin 
as ye call it.* Grobianns 1572 fol. 93^ : * wo der wagen steht, und wo die gluck mit 
hiinkeln geht.* Several writers incorrectly describe the ' dümke, düming ' as ' Sie- 
bengestirn ' ; even Tobler, when he says 370^ * three stars of the siebeng. are called 
the hones, near which stands a tiny star, the waggoner ^^ is evidently thinking of the 
Wain's thill [Germans often take the ' seven-stars* for Ursa instead of Pleiades] . 

' It has long been tiiought a settled point, that Suculae (little sows) was a blun- 
dering imitation of 'TdSes, as if that came from 0s a sow, whereas it means * the 
rainers' from ßciv to rain (* ab imbribus,' Cicero; *pluvio nomine,' Pliny). Does 
the author mean to reopen the question f Did the later Greeks and Bomans, 
ashamed of having these * little sows ' in the sky, invent the * rainers ' theory ? 
May not Suculae at all events be a genuine old Boman name, taken from some meri- 
torious mythical pigs? — Tbans. 

* In Hebr. the three words stand in the order * &sh, k'sil, kim&h ; and their 
transposition here does 'some injustice to the Yulg. and Luther. As a fact, two out 
of the four times that k'sil occurs, it is 'Qpiitnr in LXX, and the other two times it is 
Orion in Vulgate. Luther and the Engl, version are consistent throughout. — Traks. 

* Beschr. von Arabien p. 114 ; some more Arabian names of stars, pp. 112 — 6. 


Pleiades and Sirias. If we look to the verbal meanings^ n&ish, 
which some Arabs do change into ash, is feretram^ bier or 
barrow,* a thing not very different from a ' wain ' } kimeh, hima 
seems to signify a thick clnster of stars, much the same sense as 
in that name of ' sieve ' : ksU, means foolish, ungodly, a lawless 
giant, hence Orion. 

Constellations can be divided into two kinds, according to 
their origin. One kind requires several stars, to make np the 
shape of some object, a man, beast, etc. ; the stars then serve as 
gronnd or skeleton, round which is drawn the full figure as 
imagination sees it. Thus, three stars in a row form St. James's 
staff, distaff, a belt ; seven group themselves into the outline of a 
bear, others into that of a giant Orion. The other kind is, to my 
thinking, simpler, bolder, and older : a whole man is seen in a 
single sta^, without regard to his particular shape, which would 
disappear from sheer distance ; if the tiny speck drew nearer to 
ns, it might develop itself again. So the same three stars as 
before are three men mowing ; the seven Pleiads are a hen and 
her chickens ; two stars, standing at the same distance on each 
side of a faintly visible cluster, were to the ancient Greeks two 
asses feeding at a crib. Here fancy is left comparatively free 
and unfettered, while those outline-figures call for some effort of 
abstraction ; yet let them also have the benefit of Buttmann's apt 
remark,' that people did not begin with tracing the complete 
figure in the sky, it was quite enough to have made out a portion 
of it; the rest remained undefined, or was filled up afterwards 
according to fancy. On this plan perhaps the Bear was first 
found in the three stars of the tail, and then the other four 
supplied the body. Oar Wain shews a combination of both 
methods : the thill arose, like the Bear's tail, by outline, but the 
four wheels consist each of a single star. One point of agree- 
ment is important, that the Greek gods put men among the 
stars, the same as Thörr and 08inn do (pp. 375. 723 ; see Suppl.). 

The appearance of the rainbow in the sky has given rise to a 
number of mythic notions. Of its rounded arch the Edda makes 
a heavenly bridge over which the deities walk ; hence it is called 

^ Bocbarii hierorz., ed. BosenmüUer 2, 680. 

« Origin of the Grk constell. (in Abh. der Berl. acad. 1826, p. 19-63). 


Asbru (Saein. 44*), more commonly Bif-roat (OHG-. would be pipa- 
rasta) the quivering tract, for röst, Goth, and OHG. rasta, means 
a definite distance, like mile or league. It is the best of all 
bridges (Saem. 46*), strongly built out of three colours; yet the 
day Cometh when it shall break down, at the end of the world, 
when the sons of Muspell shall pass over it, Sn. 14. 72. The 
tail of this bridge*^ extends to Himinbiörg, Heimdall's dwelling 
(Sn. 21), and Heimdallr is the appointed keeper of the bridge ; 
he guards it against hrtmthurses and mountain-giants,' lest they 
make their way over the bridge into heaven, Sn. 18. 30. The 
whole conception is in keeping with the cars in which the 
gods journey through heaven, and the roads that stretch across 
it (conf. p. 361). It was Christianity that first introduced the 
0. Test, notion of the celestial hew being a sign of the covenant 
which God made with men after the rain of the Deluge : OHG. 
reganpogo, AS. saurboga, shower-bow, Ga&dm. 93, 5. Meanwhile 
some ancient superstitions linger still. The simple folk imagine, 
that on the spot where the rainbow springs out of the ground, 
there is a golden dish, or a treasure lies buried ; that gold coins 
or pennies drop out of the rainbow. When gold-pieces are picked 
up, they are called regenbogen-sehüeselein (-dishes), patellae Iridis, 
which the sun squanders in the rainbow. In Bavaria they call 
the rainbow himmelring, sonnenring, and those coins himmelriu-g- 
schusseln (Schm. 2, 196. 8, 109: conf. supra p. 359 note). The 
Romans thoaght the bow in rising drank water out of the ground : 
'bibit arcus, pluet hodie,^ Plaut. Curcul. 1, 2 ; 'purpureus pluvias 
cur bibit arcus aquas ? ' Propert. iii. 5, 32. TibuU. i. 4, 44. Virg. 
Georg. 1, 380. Ov. Met. 1, 271. One mustno^ poini with fingers 
at the rainbow, any more than at stars, Braunschw. anz. 1754, p. 
1063. Building on the rainbow means a bootless enterprise (note 
on Freidank p. 319. 320, and Nib. Lament 1095. Spiegel, 
161, 6) ; and setting on the rainbow (Bit. 2016) apparently 

' Brdar-spordr (we still speak of a bridge's head^ tdte de pont), as if an animal 
,liad laid itself across the river, with head and tail resting on either bank. Bat we 
mnst not omit to notice the word spordr (prop, canda piscis) ; as röst, rasta denote 
a certain stadium, so do the Goth. spaUrd» OHG. spurt a recurring interval, in tiie 
sense of our '(so many) times': thus, in Fragm. theot. 15, 19, dhrim spurtim 
(tribus vicibns), where rastöm would do as well. Do the * rünar A hruanpordi,* 
biem. 196* mean the rainbow? 

' Giants are often made bridge-keepers (p. 556 n.) : the maiden MötSgulSr guards 
giallarbrü, Sn. 67. 


exposing to greafc danger ? Is 'behüsen unebene ftf regenbogen' 
(Tit. Hahn 4061) to be unequally seated ? In H. Sachs ii. 287 a 
man gets pushed ofif the rainbow. The Finns have a song in 
which a maiden sits on the rainbow, weaving a golden garment. 
Might not our heathen ancestors think and saj the like of their 
piparasta? There is a remarkable point of agreement on the 
part of the Chinese : ' tunc et etiamnum viget saperstitio^ qua 
iridem orientalem digito monatrare nefas esse credunt ; qui hanc 
monstrayerit^ huic subito ulcus in manu futurum. Iridem habent 
Sinae pro signo libidinis effrenatae quae regnat.' ^ 

The Slavic name for the rainbow is O. SI. iuga^ Serv. and 
Buss, duga^ duga nebeskia, Boh. duha, prop, a stave (tabula, of a 
cask)^ hence bow; the Servians say^ any male creature that 
passes under the rainbow turns into a female^ and a female into 
a male (Vuk sub v.).* Two Slovfenic names we find in Murko : 
mdvray mduritsa, which usually means a blackish-brindled cow ; 
and bozhyi stolets, god's stool^ just as the rainbow is a cliair of 
the Welsh goddess Ceridwen (Dav. Brit. myth. 204) ; conf. 
'God's chair,' supra p. 136. Lett, warramhksne, liter, the 
mighty beech f Lith. Laumes yosta, Lauma's or Laima's girdle 
(sup. p. 416) ; also dangaus yosta heaven's girdle, kilpinnia 
dangavs heaven's bow, ürorykszte weather- rod ; more significant 
is the legend from Polish Lithuania, noticed p. 580, which 
introduces the rainbow as messenger after the flood, and as 
counsellor. Finn, iaiviancaari, arcus coelestis. In some parts 
of Lorraine courraie de 8, Lienard, eouronne de 8. Bernard, In 
Saperst. Esth. no. 65 it is the thunder-god's sickle, an uncom- 
monly striking conception. 

To the Greeks the lpi<; was, as in the 0. Test., a token of the 
gods, II. 11, 27; but at the same time a half-goddess Vp£9> who 
is sent out as a messenger from heaven. The Indians assigned 
the painted bow of heaven to their god Indras. In our own 
popular belief the souls of the just are led by their guardian- 
angels into heaven over the rainbow, Ziska's Oestr. volksm. 
49. 110. 

As for that doctrine of the Edda, that before the end of the 

1 Chi-kixkg ez lat. P. Lacharme, interpr. Jal. Mohl, p. 242. 

s Like the contrary effects ol the planet Venus on the two sexes in Saperst. X 1^67. 

734 SKY AND stars: 

world Bifröst will breaks I find it again in the German belief 
during the Mid. Ages that for a number of years before the 
Jndgment-daj the rainbow will no longer be seen : ' onch h6rt 
ich sagen^ daz man stn (the regenpogen) nieht ensehe drizich jar 
(30 years) vor dome snontage/ Diut. 3, 61. Hugo von Trim- 
berg makes it 40 years (Benner 19837) : 

So man den regenbogen siht^ 
so enzaget diu werlt niht 
dan dam&ch über vierzec jar ; 

so the rainbow appear^ the world hath no fear^ until thereafter 40 
year. Among the signs the Church enumerates of the approach 
of the Last Day^ this is not to be found (see Suppl.). 


All the liveliest fancies of antiquity respecting day and night 
are intertwined with those about the sun^ moon and stars : day 
and night are holy godlike beings^ near akin to the gods/ The 
Edda makes Day the child of NighL 

Norvi^ a iötunn^ had a daughter named Nott, black and dingy 
like the stock she came of (svört oc dock sem hon &tti aett til) ;^ 
seyeral husbands fell to her share^ first Naglfari, then Anar (Onar) ' 
a dwarf, by whom she had a daughter lorS, who afterwards 
became OSin's wife and Thör's mother. Her last husband was 
of the fair race of the &ses, he was called Delltngr, and to him 
she bore a son Dagr, light and beautiful as his paternal ancestry. 
Then All -father took Night and her son Day, set them in the sky, 
and gave to each of them a horse and a car, wherewith to journey 
round the earth in measured time. The steeds were named the 
riroy-maned and the shiny-maned (p. 655-6). 

The name Dellingr, the assimilated form of Deglingr, includes 
that of the son Dagr, and as -ling if it mean anything means 
descent, we must either suppose a progenitor Dagr before him, 
or that the order of succession has been reversed, as it often is 
in old genealogies. 

For the word ' dags, dagr, dsög, tac ' I have tried to find a root 
(Gramm. 2, 44), and must adhere to my rejection of Lat. ' dies' 
as a congener, because there is no consonant-change, and the 
Teutonic word develops a g, and resolves its a into o {no); yet 
conf. my Kleinere Schriften 3, 117.' On the other hand, in ' dies' 
and all that is like it in other languages, there plainly appeared 

' Tliis paPBage was not taken into account, p. 628 ; that Night and Helle 
fthoold be black, stands to reason, but no conclusion can be drawn from that about 
giants as a bodj. Notice too the combination ' svört ok dock,' conf. p. 445. Here 
giant and dwarf genealogies have evidently overlapped. 

* Conf. Hanpt's Zeitschr. 8, 144. 

' [Sanskr. dah urere, ardere ^Bopp*8 GI. 165) does seems the root both of dies 
and Goth, dags, which has exceptionally kept prim, d unchanged. MHG. tao still 
retained the sense of heat : * für der heizen snnnen t<iCt* MS. 2, 84*.— Süppl.] 



an interlacing of the notions ' day, sky, god,' p. 193. As Day 
and Donar are both descended from Night, so Dies and Dens 
(Zens) fall nnder one root ; one is even tempted to identify Donar, 
Thonor with the Etruscan Tina (dies), for the notion day, as we 
shall see, carries along with it that of din : in that case Tina 
need not stand for Dina, but would go with Lat. tonos and toni- 
tms. Dens is our Tiw, Ziu, for the same name sometimes gets 
attached to different gods ; and it is an additional proof how 
little ' dies ' has to do with our ' d»g, tag ' ; likewise for 
coelum itself we have none but unrelated w(»rds, p. 698-9. From 
the root div the Ind. and Lat. tongues have obtained a number 
of words expressing all three notions, g^s, day and sky ; the 
Greek only for gods and sky, not for day, the Lith. for god and 
day, not sky, the Slav, for day alone, neither god nor sky, and 
lastly our own tongue for one god only, and neither sky nor day. 
Here also we perceive a special affinity between Sanskrit and 
Latin, whose wealth the remaining languages divided amount 
them in as many different ways. The Greek iiftap, ^fiepa I do 
regard as near of kin to the Tout, himins, himil ; there is also 
'Hfiipa a goddess of day. 

The languages compared are equally unanimous in their name 
for night : Goth, nahts, GHG. naht, AS. niht, ON. nott (for n&tt), 
Lat. nox noctis, Gr. vv^ iar/rro9^ Lith. nahtis, Lett, nakts, O. SI. 
noshti, PoL and Boh. noc (pron. nets).. Sloven, nozh, Serv. notj, 
Sanskr. nakta chiefly in compounds, the usual word being nii, 
nisd (both fem..). Various etymologies have been proposed, but 
none satisfactory.^ As day was named the shining, should not 
the opposite meaning of ' dark ' lurk in the word night ? Yet it 
is only night unillumined lo^j the moon that is lightless. There is 
a very old anomalous verb ^ nahan ' proper to our language, from 
whose pret. nahta^ the noun nahts seems to come, just as from 
magan mahta, lisan lista come the nouns mahts, lists. Now 

1 [Bopp 198^ and Pott 1, 160 explain nisA as ^ lying down ' from ei! to lie ; and 
naktam as ' while lying.' Benfey assmnes two roots, nakta ' not-waking/ 2, 369 
and nis conn, with Lat. niger 2, 57. — Süppl.] 

s The plarals of Goth, ganah, binah are lost to as ; I first assumed ganahnm, 
binahnm, but afterwards ganaühum, because binaüht » l^c^ri in 1 Cor. 10, 23, and 
ganaüha airrdpKcia occurs several times. The u {fXi before an h) is the same as in 
skal skulum, man monum, OHG. mac mugnm, m spite of whidi the noun is maht. 
But the Goth, mag magum proves the superior claim of a, so that nahts (nox) 
would presuppose an older nah nahum, nahta, even though Ulphilas had written 
nah naühom, naühta. 

DAY. NIGHT. 737 

Gofcli. ganahan, OHG. kinahan^ means snfficere^ so that nahts 
wonld be the sufficing^ pacifying^ restful^ quiet, at the same time 
efRcient, strongs apKia, which seems to hit the sense exactly« 
Add to this, that the 0H6. duruh-naht is not only pernox, totam 
noctem darans, but more commonly perfectus, consummatus, 
' f allsammed in power/ MHG. darnehte, dumehtec, where there 
is no thought of night at all. Where did Stieler 1322 find his 
^ durchnacht, nox illunis'f-=the Scand. niiS (p. 710), and meaning 
the height of night ^(see Snppl.). 

Both day and night are exalted beings. Day is called the 
holy, like the Greek Upov fffMip-i 'sam mir der heilic tad' 
Ls. 2, 311. '8& mir daz heilige lieht!* Both, ll^ 'die liehen 
tage/ Ms. 1, 165*. 'der liehe iag^ Simplic. 1, 5. Hence both 
are addressed with greetings : ' heill Bagr^ heilir Daga »ynir, 
heil Nott ok niptl ereilSom augom ütit ockr )^innig, ok gefit 
sitjondom sigurl' they are asked to look with gracious eyes 
on men, and give victory, Sadm, 194*; and the adoration of day 
occurs as late as in Mart, von Amberg's (Beichtspiegel. ' diu edele 
naht, Ms. 2, 196^ 'diu heilige naht/ Gerh. 3541. 'sam mir diu 
heilicnaht hint! ' ■ so j(help) me Holy Night to-night, Helbl. 2, 
1384. 8, 606. 'frau Naht, Ms H. 3,428» (see SuppL). 

Norse poetry, as we saw, provided both Night and Day with 
cars, Jike other gods ; but then the sun also has his chariot, while 
the moon, as far as I know, has none ascribed to her. Night 
and Day are drawn by one horse each, the San has two ; con» 
sequently day was thought of as a thing independent of the sun, 
as the moon^lso has to light up the dark night. Probably the 
car of Day was supposed to run before that of the Sun,^ and 
the Moon to follow Night. The alternation of sexes seems not 
without significance, the masculine Day being accompanied by 
the ^feminine Sun, the. fern. Night by the masc. Moon« The 
Greek myth gives chariots to Helios and Selene, none to the 
deities of day and night; yet Aeschylus in Persae 386 speaks 
of day as Xwkott^Xo^ "fifiipa, the white-horsed. The riddle in 
Reinmar^on Zweter, Ms. 2, 136, lets the chariot of the year be 
drawn by seven white and seven black steeds (the days and 
eights of the week). Here also the old heathen notion of riding 

1 t.«. day or morning is there before the mn, who backs them up, so to speak : 
unz daz din sonne ir liehtez schlnen h^t dem morgen über berge, Nib. 1564, 2. 


or driving deities peeps ont. Again^ a spell quoted in Mone's 
Anz. 6, 459 begins with * God greet thee^ holy Sunday ! I see 
thee there come riding.' This is no doabt the heathen god Tag 
riding along on Scinfahso with his shiny mane (ON. Skin&ri, 
Sn. 11) ; but if we took it for the white god Paltar on his foal 
(p. 222-4)', we shonld not be altogether wrong. We shall have 
more to say presently on the personification of Day; but tiiat 
spell is well worthy of consideration (see Sappl.). 

Nevertheless our poets express the break of day by the Bun*8 
uprising, and more especially the fall of night by his setting ; 
but neither the beginning nor end of night by the moon, whose 
rising and setting are seldom simultaneous with them. I will 
now give the oldest set phrases that express these phenomena. 

The sun rises, climbs : Goth, sunna ur-rinniß, Mk. 4, 6. 16, 2. 
OHG. ar-rinnit; daran&h tr-ran diu sunna, N. ps. 103, 22 ; MH6. 
si was of er-rtinnen, Mar. 189. ON. }A rann dagr upp, 01. helg. 
cap. 220. Rinnan is properly to run, to flow, and here we see 
a strict analogy to the O. Rom. idiom, which in like manner uses 
manure of the rising day : ' diei principinm mdne, quod turn 
mänat dies ab Oriente,' Varro 6, 4 (0. Müller p. 74) ; ' manor 
solem dicebant antiqui, cum solis orientis radii splendorem jacere 
coepissent' (Festus sub v.). TTlphilas never applies ur-reisan 
(surgere) to the sun. The Span, language attributes to. the 
rising sun a pricking (apuntar) : ' yxie el sol, dios, que fermoso 
apuntaba/ Cid 461 ; ' quando viniere la manana, que apuntare 
el sol,' Cid 2190. After rising the sun is awake, 'with the sun 
awake' means in broad daylight (Weisth. 2, 169. 173. 183), 
' when sunshine is up* (2, 250) . AS. ' h&dor heof onleoma com 
hlican^ Andr. 888 (see Suppl.). 

The sun sinks, falls : Goth, sagq sunn6 (pron. sank), Lu. 4, 40. 
gasagq sauil, Mk. 1, 32. dissigqdi (occi4at), Eph. 4, 26. OHG. 
sunnk pifeal [rmt) , pislu,ac (occidit),^ Gl. Ker. 254. Diut. 1, 274*. 
MHG. siget : diu sunne stget hin. Trist. 2402. diu sunne was ze 
tal gesigen, Wh. 447, 8. nu begund diu sunne sigen. Aw. 1, 41. 
ON. both s61ar/aZZ and BtHsetr, Engl. Qiinset ; so OHG. 'denne 
sunnft kisaz/ cum sol occumberet, Diut. 1, 492*, implying that he 
sits down, and that there is a seat or ckair for him to drop into 

> Intrang.y as we still say niederschlagen, zn boden schlagen. 



at the end of his joamej. His setting is called OHG. aedalkanc, 
Hym. 18^ 1 ; sedal ira kät (goeth) 14, 2. AS. setelgong^ setlrdd, 
Csedm. 181^ 19. o'S^iet sunne gewat to sets glidan, Andr. 1305. 
o^Ssdt beorht gewat sunne swegeltorht to sete glidan 1248. OS. 
sag sunne to sedle, Hel. 86, 12. sunne ward an sedle 89, 10. 
geDg thar ftband tuo, sunna ti ttedle 105, 6. sordd wester dag, 
sunne te sedle 137, 20. so thuo gisdgid warth sedle n&hor hedra 
sunna mid hebantunglon 1 70, 1 . Dan. for vesten gaaer sol en til 
sade, DV. 1, 90, in contrast to 's61 er i aiistri (east),' Vilk. 
saga p. 58-9. The West (occasus) stands opposed to the East 
(oriens), and as OHG. kibil means pole, and Nordkibel, Sunt- 
kibel the north and south poles (N. Bth. 208), a set phrase ia 
our Weisthiimer may claim a high antiquity: 'bis (until) die 
sonne unter den Westergibel geht' (1, 836) ; 'bis die sonne an 
den Wg. schint' (2, 195) ; 'so lange dat die sonne in den Wes' 
iergevel seh int ' (2, 159). The first of these three passages 
has the curions explanation added : ' till 12 o'clock.' ' Ovid's 
' axe sub hesperio ' Met. 4, 214 is thus given by Albrecht : 
in den liebten westemangen. The similar expression in ON. 
seems to me important, Grägäs 1, 26 : ' fara til lögbergs, at sol 
s£ ft gidhamri enum vestra/ gifthamarr being chasmatis rupes 
OGcidentalis. I shall have more to say about that in another 
connexion; conf. however Landjiftma b6k 215: sol t austri ok 
vestri. MHG. din sunne gie ze sedele, Diut. 3, 57. als diu 
sunne in ir gesedel solde gftn, Morolt 38*; but what place on 
earth can that be, whose very name is told us in 14^, ' ze Oeilat, 
dft din sunne ir gesedel hftt ' ? the capital of India ? (see p. 743 
note.) I suppose kadam, MHG. gaden (cubicnlum), Mor. 15* is 
equivalent to sedal, unless the true reading be ' ze gnftden.' The 
Ban gets way-worn, and longs for rest : do hete diu müede sunne 

^ ON. and AS. distingnish between two periods of the eyening, an earlier apian 
«/msveapera, and a later qveld, cwild=Qonti(iiniam: * at qveldi,' Ssm. 20*. 73^ 
means at full evening, when night has fallen and its stillness has set in. I derive 
ewildf qveld from cwellan, qvelja to quell or kill, as in many passages it means liter, 
interitos, occisio, nex ; so we may explain it by the falling or felling of the day 
(cadere, whence caedere), or still better by the deathlike hush of night ; oonf. Engl. 
I dead of night, deadtime of n.\ the conticininm, AS. cwildtid. If ' chuiltiwerch ' 
in a doc. of 817 means cwildweoro, work in the late evening, which is not to be put 
upon maidservants, then OHG. too had a c?iuilt corresp. to cwild and qveld, qvold. 
In Casdm. 188, 111 propose to read : * cwildr6fa eodou on WSia l&st,' i,e, (belluae) 
vesperi famosae ibant in vestigia malorum. 

* In fixing boundaiy-lines Weiter gibel ia even used topographically, Weisth. 1, 
464.5. 485. 498. 550-6. 


ir liehten blio hinz ir gelesen^ Parz. 32^ 24. He goes to his 
bed^ his bedchamber : Dan. ' solen ganger til senge/ DV. 1, 107. 
'solen gik til hvile* 1, 170. MHG. diu sanne gerte l&zen sich 
zao Teste J Ernst 1326. diu snnne dd ze reste gie^ Ecke (Hag.) 
110. nu wolte diu sunne ze reste und ouch ze gemache nider g&n, 
Dietr. 14^; so M. Opitz 2^ 286 : 'muss doch zu HLste gehen, so 
oft es abend wird^ der schöne himmels-schild.' OE. the snn 
was gon to rest, Iwan 3612. Our giiade (favour)^ MH6. gen&de, 
OHG. kin&da, properly means inclining, drooping, repose 
(p. 710), which accounts for the phrase 'diu sunne gienc ze 
gnaden* (dat. pi.), Mor. 37». Wolfdietr. 1402. Even Agricola no 
longer understood it quite, for he says in Sprichw. 737: 'it 
lasted till the sun was about to go to gnaden, i.e. to set, and deny(!) 
the world his gnade and light by going to rest.' Aventin (ed . 
1580 p. 19^) would trace it back to our earliest heathenism and 
a worship of the sun as queen of heaven : ' never might ye say 
she set, but alway that she went to röst and gnaden, as the silly 
simple folk doth even yet believe.* The last words alone are 
worth noticing; the superstition may be of very old standing, 
that it is more pious, in this as in other cases, to avoid straight- 
forward speech, and use an old half-intelligible euphemism. On 
this point Yuk 775 has something worthy of note : you must say 
' smirilo se suntse * (the sun is gone to rest, conquievit), and not 
zadye (is gone) nor syede (sits) ; if you say zadye, he answers 
' zashao pa ne izishao ' (gone, not come out) ; ^ if you say syede, 
he tells you ' syeo pa ne ustao ' (sat down, not risen) ; but to 
' smiri se ' the answer is ' smiryö se i ti ' (rest thee also thou) .' 
And with this I connect the Eddie saw on the peculiar sacredi^ess 
of the setting sun : ' engi skal gumna } gögn vega st9slnnandi 
systor Mana,' Seem. 184^, none shall fight in the face of the 
late-shining sister of the Moon (see Suppl.) 

Lye quotes an AS. phrase 'ear sun go to glade,' which he 
translates ^ priusquam sol vergat ad occasum, lapsum.' The 
noun formed from glidan (labi) would be gl&d, and gltdan is 

1 Eopitar tells me, * zashao etc.* is rather an impreeation : mayst thou go in (per- 
haps, lose thy way) and neyer get out I So ' syeo eto.\ mayst tnon sit down and 
never get up ! 

s Mod. Greek songs say, 6 IjXtot ißacrCXcve, ißaffCKejpe (Faoriell, 56. 2, SOG. 432), 
i.e, has reigned, reigns no more in the sky, is set ; and the same of the setting 
moon (2, 176). 

SÜNSBT. 741 

ftctaally nsed of the sun's motion : heofones gim glad ofer 
grandas, Beow. 4140 [and ' to sete glidan ' twice in Andreas] . 
Bat 'gongan to glade' seems nonsense; perhaps we oaght to 
suppose a noun glaede with the double meaning of splendor and 
gaudium. Both the ON, glaiSr and 0H6. klat signify first 
splendidus^ then hilaris^ two notions that run into one another 
(as in our heiter = serenus and hilaris) ; hlat is said of stars, eyes, 
rays (Graff 4, 288), and the sun, 0. ii. 1, 13 : 6r wurti sunna so 
glat (ere he grew so bright). The MHG. poet quoted on p. 705 
says (Warnung 2037) : 

86 ir die sunnen vro sehet. When ye see the sun glad, 

schcenes tages ir ir jehet. Ye own the fine day is hers, 

des dankt ir ir, und Goto niht. Ye thank her, not God. 

In Switzerland I find the remarkable proper name Sunnenfroh 
(Anshelm 3, 89. 286). But now further, the notions of bliss, 
repose, chamber, lie next door to each other, and of course 
brightness and bliss. The setting sun beams forth in heightened 
splendour, he is entering into his bliss : this is what ' gongan to 
glffide ' may have meant. In ON. I have only once fallen in with 
solargladan (occasus), Fornald. sog. 1, 518. We learn from 
Ihre^s Dialectlex. p. 57^ 165% that in Yestgötland 'gladas' is said 
of the sun when setting : solen gladas or glcMs (occidit), sole» 
glanding, solglädjen (occasus), which may mean that the setting 
sun is glad or glitters. That is how I explain the idiom quoted 
by Staid. 1, 463. 2, 520: the sun goes gilded = sets, i.e. glitters 
for joy. So in Kinderm. no. 165 : sunne z'gold gange; in a song 
(Eschenbarg's Denkm. 240) : de sunne ging to golde ; and often 
in the Weisthümer : so die sun för gold gat (1, 197j, als die 
sonne in golt get (1, 501). Again, as the rising sun presents 
a like appearance of splendour, we can now understand better 
why the vulgar say he leaps for joy or dances on great festivals 
(p. 291); he is called Hhe paschal piper,' Haupt's Zeitschr. 1, 
547. Nor would I stop even there, I would also account for that 
noise, that clang once ascribed to the rising and setting sun 
(p. 720-1) by a deep affinity between the notiond of light and 
sound, of colours and tones, Gramm. 2, 86-7. A strophe in 
Albrecht's Titurel describes more minutely the music of sunrise : 

742 DAY Am) NIGHT. 

Darn&cli kand sich diu saune 

wol an ir zirkel riden (writhe) : 

der süeze ein überwunne, 

ich wsen die süeze nieman möht erltden. 

mit done dö diu zirkel morte ; 

seitenklanc nnd vogelsano 

ist alsam glich der golt gSn kapfer fuorte. 

(Then in his orb the sun to whirling took, I ween such glut of 
sweetness none might brook ; with dulcet din his orb he rolled, 
that clang of strings or bird that sings were like as copper beside 
gold.) Who can help thinking of the time-honoured tradition of 
Memnov/s statiie, which at sunrise sent forth a sound like the 
clang of a harpstring, some say a joyful tone at the rising and a 
sad at the setting of the sun.^ Further on we shall be able to 
trace some other fancies about the break of day and the fall of 
night, to light and sound (see Suppl.). 

But whither does the evening sun betake himself to rest, and 
where is his chamber situated ? The oldest way of putting it is, 
that he dives into the sea, to quench his glow in the cool wave. 
The AS. Bth. (Bawl. 193*) : 'and J^edh monnum J^ynceiS pmi hio 
on mere gauge, under see swife, )K)nne hio on setl gltdeS/ So 
the ancients said Bvvai and mergere of the sun and stars, ' occasus, 
interitus, vel solis in oceanum mersio ' (Pestus).^ Boeth. 4 (metr. 
5) says of Bootes : cur mergat seras aequore flammas ; and metr. 6 : 
nee, cetera cernens sidera mergi, oupit oceano tingere flammas; 
which N. 223 translates : alliu zeichen sehende in sedel g&n, 
niomer sih ne geröt hebadon (bathe) in demo merewazere» So, 
' sol petit oceanum/ Rudlieb 4, 9. But the expression comes so 
naturally to all who dwell on the seacoast, that it need not be a 
borrowed one ; we find it in ON. ' s61 gengr i oegi^ Fomm, sog. 
2, 302, and in MHG. ' der «e, d& diu sunne Af got ze resie,^ MS. 
2, 66^. And, as other goddesses after making the round of the 
country are bathed in the lake, it is an additional proof of the 
Sun's divinity that ' she ' takes a hath, a notion universally preva- 

1 Pansan. 1/42. PhiloBtr. Vita Apoll. 6, 4. Heroic. 4. Pliny 86, 11. Tao. 
Ann. 2, 61. Juven. 15, 5. 

' Setting in the lake is at the same time depositing the divine eye as a pledge 
in the fomitain. I will add a neat phrase from Wolfram, Parz. 32, 24 : d6 hete dia 
müede sonne ir liehten blic hinz ir gelesen. 


lent among the Slavs also : at eve she sinks into her bath to 
cleanse herself, at mom she emerges clean with renewed grandeur. 
The sea was thought to be the Sun's mother^ into whose arms 
she sank at night.^ 

To inhabitants of the inland, the horizon was blocked by a 
wood, hence the phrases : sdl gengr til vi9a/r (Biöm sub v. vidr) ; 
Bolen g&r under vide (Ihre sub v.) ? But the AS. word in : 
' h&dor S89gl wuldortorht gew&t under woiSa scriSan/ Andr. 1456, 
seems to be a different thing, the OHG. weidi (p. 132 n.). We 
say the sun goes behind the hills, to which corresponds the AS. 
' sunne gew&t under niflan noRs/ sub terrae crepidinem, Andr. 
1306 (conf. under neolum naesse, El. 831); a Dan. folksong: 
solen gik til iorde, down to earth, DV. 1, 170 ; Ecke (Hagen) 129 : 
diu sunne üz dem himel gie. Or, the sun is dovm, MHG. ' der 
sunne (here masc.) hinder geg&t,' MS. 2, 192^ (see Suppl.).* 

We will now examine other formulas, which express daybreak 
and nightfall without any reference to the sun. 

What is most remarkable is, that day was imagined in the 
shape of an animal, which towards morning advances in the sky. 
Wolfram begins a beautiful watchman's song with the words : 
' sine Jclawen durch die wölken sint gestagen (his claws through the 
clouds are struck), er sttget üf mit grözer kraft, ih sih ihn gr&wen, 
den tac;' and in part third of Wh. (Cass. 317*) we read: 'daz 
diu wölken w&ren grä, und der tac sine cid hete geslagen durch die 
naht.^ Is it a bird or a beast that is meant f for our language 
gives claws to both. In AS. there is a proper name Doeg-hrefn, 
Beow. 4998, which in OHG. would be Taka-hraban ; and Beow. 
3599 describes daybreak in the words: 'hrsafn bläca heofones 
Wynne bll8-heort bodöde,' niger corvus coeli gaudium laeto corde 
nuntiavit.^ That piercing with the claw to raise a storm (p. 633) 
makes one think of an eagle, while an Oriental picture, surprisingly 

^ Hannsoh, Slay. myth. p. 281, who oonnects with it the splashing with water 
at the Enpalo feast, and deriyes that name from knpel, k%piel. 

' Esth. pääw katsab metsa ladwa, the sun walks on Üie tips of the wood. 

* Qndr. 116, 2 : * der sunne sohtn gelao verborgen hinter den wölken ze 
GuMtrdte yerre ' I understand no better than Geiläte (p. 789) ; but both seem to 
mean the same thing. 

4 So in a Weisthum (3, 90) : ' de sunne uppe dem hogesten gewest clawendich,* 

* Conf. volucrU dies, Hor. Od. ill. 28, 6. iv. 18, 16. 



similar, suggests rather tHe king of beasts^ who to ns is thebear.^ 
Ali Jelebi in bis Hamaynn-nameb (Diez p. 153) describes tbe 
beginning of day in langnage bombastic it may be, yet doubtless 
a faithful reflex of ancient imagery : ' When the falcon of the 
nest of the firmament had scattered the nightbirds of the flicker- 
ing stars from the meadow of heaven, and at sight of the daws 
of the lion of day the roe of mnsk- scented night had fled from 
the field of being into the desert of non-existence/ The night, 
a timid roe, retires before the mighty beast of day : a beautiful 
image, and fall of life. Wolfram again in another song makes 
day press forward with resistless force (see Snppl.). 

But the dawn is also pictured in human guise, that of a beautiful 
youth, sent like Wuotan's raven as ha/rhinger of day : ' daeg by8 
Dryhtnes sond^ says the Lay of Bunes. And in this connexion 
we ought to consider the formation of such names as B^dldoeg, 
Swipice^, etc., for gods and heroes. This messenger of the gods 
stations himself on the mountain's top, and that on tiptoe, like the 
beast on his claws, that he may the sooner get a glimpse of the 
land : ' jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops,' 
Bom. and J. 8, 5 j a popular image, I have little doubt, and one 
that Hebel also uses about Sunday morning : ' und lisli uf de 
zeche goht und heiter uf de berge steht de sunntig.' He climbs 
and pushes on swiftly, irrepressibly : der tac stigende wart. Trist. 
8942. der tac begund herdringen, Wolfd. 124. In AS. ' ]A W89S 
morgen leoht scofen and scynded* (praecipitatus et festinatus, 
shoved and shindied), Beow. 1828. Hence our poets call him 
der riehe, the mighty, as they do Grod (p. 20) : riche als6 der tac, 
MS. 1, 163\ riche muotes alsam der tac^ Wigal. 5222. der tac 
wil geriehen (prevail, prosper), MS. 1, 27^. 2, 28^; he is not to be 
checked, he chases night away. Put impersonally : th6 iz zi dage 
want (turned), Otfr. iii. 8, 21 ; but also : der tac wil niht erwinden 
(turn aside, give it up), MS. 1, 147^. merge fruo^ als der tac 
ersta/rJeet (gathers strength)^ Eracl. 587. d6 die naht der tac 
vertreip, Prauend. 47. 58. He hurls her from her throne, and 
occupies it himself : ez taget, diu naht muoz ah ir trone, den sie 
ze Kriechen hielt mit ganzer vrdne^ der tac wil in besitzen, MS. 
1, 2^; conf. ßatrCKeveiv said of the sun (see SappL). 

^ The Arabs call the first glimmer of dawn the wolf$ toil, Büekert's Hariri 1, 


Sometimes it appears as if tHe day, whether pictured as man 
or as beast^ were tetliered, and delayed in dawning : li^ata,fune 
ligcUa dies, Beinh. Ixiv ; he approaches slowly, hindered by the 
bands : ein nacht doch nicht gepunden ist an einen stekchen, hoer 
ich sagen, Sachenw. 22, 80. Has that in Fergftt 1534, 'quam 
die dach ghestriet in die sale,' anything to do with this ? In a 
Hangarian fairy-tale (Mailath 1, 137), midnight and dawn are so 
tied up, that they cannot get forward, and do not arrive among 
men. Stieres Yolksm. pp. 3. 5. One MHG. poem- represents day 
as on sale and to be had for money, Zeitschr. f. d. a. 1, 27 ^ like 
a slave bound by a cord ? 

The Romance tongues (not the Teut.) often signify the break 
of day by a word meaning to prick : Fr. poindre, Sp. ptimtar, 
apuntar (said of the sun also, p. 738}, It. spuntare; thus, ^ la 
pointe du jour, at daybreak. This may indeed be understood of 
the day's first advance, as though it presented a sharp point, but 
also it may refer to day as a rider who spurs his steed, or to the 
tramping and trotting of a beast, which is also poindre^ Reinh. 
p. xxzix (see Suppl.). 

But more significant and impressive are the phrases that 
connect with daybreak (as well as with sunrise) the idea of a 
flutter and rustle, which might be referred to the pinions of the 
harbinger of day, but which carries us right up to the highest 
god^ whose sovereign sway it is that shakes the air. Wuotan, 
when spoken of as Wuomo, W6ma^ is a thrill of nature (p. 144), 
such as we actually experience at dawn, when a cool breeze 
sweeps through the clouds. Expressions in point are the AS. 
dceg-woma Csddm. 199, 26. Cod. exon. 175, 4. dxegred-woma, 
Andr. 125, 8. Ood. exon. 179, 24. morgen-sweg, Beow. 257. 
dyne on dsdgrSd, Cssdm. 289, 27. ser dsdgrMe ]?89t se dyne becom, 
Csddm. 294, 4 ; conf. Introd. to Andr. and El. xxx. xxxi, and the 
allusion to Donar^ p. 736. To this I would trace the 'clang' 
sent forth by the light of sunrise and sunset. And I venture to 
put the same sense on an O. Fr. formula^ which occurs only in 
Carolingian poems: Grerard De Yiane 1241, Hon matin par «on 
Vaube esclarcie.' Cod. reg. 7183, 3', ' un matin par son Vaube, 
quant el fu aparue ' ; ibid. 5% ' un matin par son Vaube, quant 
li jor esclaira ' ; ibid. 161% ' au matin par son Vaube, si con chante 
li gaus (gallus)/ Cod. 7535^ 69% ' a matin par son Vaube* I 


add a few instanoes from the Charlemagne^ ed. Michel 239^ ' al 
matin sun la (f ) lalbe ' ; 248. 468. 727, ^ al matin par sun lalhe ' ; 
564, 'le matin par sun lalbe/ Was it not originally per «onum 
(sonitam) albae ? Later they seem to have taken it in a different 
sense, viz. son=ssnmmum, summitas, Fr. sommet; Michel in 
Oloss. to Charlem. 183 gives a passage which spells ' par «om 
lanbe,' and elsewhere we find ' par son leve,' on the top of the 
water, 'en snn eel pin,' up on this pine, Charlem. 594. 760, 'en 
son,' on the top, Renart 2617. In Provencal, Perabras 182, 'lo 
mati sus en lalba ' ; 8484, ' lo matinet svs lalba.' In It., Baovo 
p. m. 84. 99. 155, nna mattina su V alba, i.e. sar I'aube, which 
gives only a forced meaning, as though it meant to say ' when the 
alba stood over the mountain top.' 

The English use the expression ^peep of day' : 'the sun began 
to peep ' says a Scotch song, Minstr. 2, 430 ; so the Danes have 
pipefrem : ' hist piper solen ^r^m, giv Gud en lyksom dag ! ' says 
Thom. Kingo, a 17th cent, poet (Nyerup's Danske digtek. mid- 
delalder 1, 235). Both languages now make it a separate word 
from 'to pipe,' Dan. 'pibe.' But, just as in the Pr. 'par son' 
the sound became a coming in sight, so the old meaning of 
' piping ' seems to have got obliterated, and |b new distinction to 
have arisen between peep and pipe, Dan. pipe and pibe. Oar 
Gryphius therefore is right in saying (p. m. 740), 'the moon 
pipes up her light.' It is the simultaneous breaking forth of 
light and noise in the natural phenomenon. We have the same 
thing in * skreik of day' (Hunter's Hallamsh. gloss, p. 81), which 
can mean nothing but ' shriek ' ; and in the Nethl. ' krieh, krieken 
van den dag,' Plattd. 'de krik vam dage' for the morning 
twilight, the chirking (so to speak) of day, as the chirping insect 
is called cricket, kriek, krikel, krekel (cicada). A remarkable 
instance of the two meanings meeting in one word is found in 
the Goth, svigla {avX6<:), OHG. suekala (fistula), by the side of 
the AS. swegel (lux, sether), OS. suigli (lux). 

Our own word anbrechen (on-break) implies a crash and a 
shaking, MHG. s4 do der ander tac M brach (Prauend. 53. 109) ;^ 

1 Conf. Bon. 48. 68 ; and I must quote Ls. 8, 259 : ' d6 brach der tao dA herfSr, 
din naht yon dem tac wart klnent (became yawning, was split ? conf. sapra p. 558), 
diu sonne wart wol echtnent.' The Gate Fran has twice (1539. 2451) : * dd der tac 
durch daz tach (thatch) luhte nnde brach.^ We might pern, derive * üf brach * from 
brehen, bat we now say anbrechen, anbrach. 


EngL break (as well as f^h, blush) of day. Span, 'el alva 
TompeJ O. Sp. 'apriessa cantan los gallos^ e qaieren quebrar 
albores^' Cid 235. ' ya quiebran los albores^ e vinie la manana ' 
460. ' trocida es la noche^ ya quiebran los albores ' 3558. O. Fr. 
' Faabe crieve,* Ren. 1 186. ' ja estoit Tanbe erevee ^ 1 1 75. ' tantost 
con Pan be se ereva' 16057. Prov. 'can lalba fo crevada/ Perabr. 
3977. This romper, qaebrar, crevar (Lat. crepare) is the quiver- 
ing and qaaking of the air that precedes sanrise, accompanied 
by a perceptible chill ; and crepusculum contains the same idea. 
The Spaniard says also 'el alva se rie/ laughs j and the Arab 
'the morning sneezes' (see Suppl.).^ 

But here the notion of Twilight, and the oldest words by which 
it is expressed, have to be examined more minutely. 

The very first glimmer of dawn, or strictly that which precedes 
it, the latter end of night, is expressed by the Groth. uhtvo 
{ewvxov), Mk. 1, 35, OHQ. vJitd, or as N. spells it uohta, OS. 
uktay AS. uhte (most freq. ' on nhtan/ Caddm. 20, 26. 289, 31. 
294, 2. God. exon. 443, 24. 459, 17. 460, 14. 'on uhtan mid 
89rd89ge,' Beow. 251), ON. Sita (Biörn says, from 3 to 6 a.m.). 
The root has never been explained ; probably the Swiss Uchtland 
and Westphalian üchte may be named from uht&. Closely 
bordering on it is the AS. cerdceg (primum tempus), Beow. 251. 
2623. 5880 ; ON. drdagi (conf. &rdegis, mane) ; an OHQ. £rtac or 
ertago is unknown to me. Next comes the notion of diluculum, 
ON. da^sbruriy dagsbiwrmi, dagsbirta, from brün = ora, margo, as 
if supercilium, and biarmi, birta=lux : but OHG. tagarod, tagarut 
(Graff 2, 486-7) ; AS. d4ßgred, Cffldm. 289, 27. 294, 4; MLG. 
dagerat, En. 1408 ; M. Nethl. dagheraet (Huyd. op. St. 2, 496) : 
a compound whose last syllable is not distinctly traceable to rub 
(ruber), but is perhaps allied to the rodur, röiSull (coelum) on 
p. 699. The gender also wavers between masc. and fem.^ We 
catch glimpses of a mythic personality behind, for N. in Cap. 
102 translates Leucothea (the white bright goddess, a Perahta) 
by ' der tagerod/ and carries out the personification : ' ube der 

^ B&fikeri*8 Hariri 1, 375. In the Novelas of Maria do Zayaa 1, 8 is a Bong 
oegizming : ' si se m el alva,* elsewhere she has ' qaando el alva maestra tu aUgre 
Tita; ' oonf. p. 602 on laoghter that shakes one. The Ital. * fare ridert una botta ' 
is an expressiYO phrase for shaking a cask so that it rons over. 

s Yet conf. OHO. morgan-röt, -röto, and -rötft (Graff 2, 486); MHG. ülgdnder 
moigenröt (is it morgen r6t?), Walth. 4, 6 ; but daz morgenrdt, Trist. 8286. 9462. 


tagerod sina facohelun inzundet habe * have kindled his torches. 
And in Urkunden we meet with a man's name Dagharoi (Falke's 
Trad. corb. p. 5), also a place named Wirin-tagaroth (Höfer's 
Zeitschr. 2, 170). When OHG. glosses put tagar6d for crepus- 
culum^ it comes of unacquaintance witji the Latin idiom ; it can 
be nothing but diluculum^ aurora. In O.Fr. there is a woman's 
name Brunmatin^dAwn, Ren. 15666. 15712. 16441 [conn, with 
dagsbrAn, Suppl.] . The ON, has no dagsrod, but it has solarrod 
aurora, Pomm. sog. 8, 846. [Sctppl. adds 'meS dagroedbm/ 
Ssam. 24^]. The M. Nethl. has a second term dachgrake, 
dagherake (fern.), grdk&ii for the night's blackness brightening 
into gray j so MH6. der gräwe tac, daz grawe licht, MS, 2, 49*, 
der tac wil grawen, Wolfr. 4, 11; 'si k6s den alten jungen 
grdwen grisen (tac)' ; ^junc unde grd der morgen üf g&t,' MsH. 3, 
427^ (see Suppl.). 

After aurora follows the full morning, Goth, maurgins, OHG. 
morkan, OS. morgcm, ON. morgun, strictly avpiov. I suspect it 
has a sense allied to the day's ' breaking or bursting,' for the 
Goth, gamadrgjan means to cut and shorten, like ginnen, secare 
(see Suppl.). 

To names for the rising day stand opposed those for the sink- 
ing. For oyp'i, o^la Ulphilas puts andanahti, the times towards 
night, but also 8ei}}u (serum), as the Mod. Greeks call evening 
the slow, late, to ßpdhv^ and morning the swift, early, to ra^Vf 
therefore also the short (conf. gamadrgjan). The OHG. dpant, 
OS. dband, AS. cefen, ON. aptan is of one root with aba, afbar, 
aptr, wliich expresses a falling off, a retrograde movement. The 
OHG. demar, our dämmentng, stands especially for crepusculum, 
and is connected with AS. dim, Lith. tamsus, Slav, temni [dark, 
from tma, tenebrss] . AS. cefenrim, CBfenglom crepusculum. What 
has peculiar interest for us, the Tagaröd above is supported by 
an undoubtedly personal Apantrod, a giant of our heroic legend : 
Abentrot is the brother of Ecke and Fasolt, in both of whom we 
recognised phenomena of the sea and air (pp. 239. 636). If day 
was a godlike youth, morning and evening twilight may have 
been conceived as the giants Tagarod and Apantrod (see 
Suppl.).! ' 

> MHG. der dbentrM, Walth. 30, 15 ; but * do diu abentrot (f.) witen ir lieht der 
erden b6t/ Uolrich 1488. 


To the Greeks and Bomans Tld)^, Aurora, was a goddess, and 
she is painted in the liveliest coloars. She rises from the coitch 
{ex Xej^iwv, as onr sun goes to bed, p. 740) of her husband 
Tithonos, Od. 5, 1; she is the early-bom (iJptYeveta), the rosy- 
fingered (poBoBd/cTvXo^, H. 1, 477) ; she digs her ruddy fingers 
into the clouds as day does his claws, p. 743 ; she is also called 
Xpvcodpovo^ golden-throned, like Hera and Artemis. The Slavs, 
instead of a goddess of dawn, appear to have had a god, Tutri- 
bogh (see Suppl.). 

There is another belief of the Slavs and Hungarians, which, 
having strayed over to us, must not be passed over in silence. 
In Hungary dawn is called hajnal (Esth. haggo), and the watch- 
men there cry to one another : ' hajnal vagyon szep piros, hajnal, 
hajnal vagyon ! ' aurora est (erumpit) pulcra purpurea, aurora, 
aurora est. The same word heynal, eynal is in use among the 
Poles, who cry: ^heynal äwita!' aurora lucet (Linde 1, 623). 
Now Dietmar of Merseburg tells us under the year 1017 (7, 50 
p. 858) : ' Audivi de quodam baculo, in cujus summitate manus 
erat, unum in se ferreum tenens circulum, quod cum pastore illius 
villae Silivellun (Selben near Merseb.), in quo (1. qua) is fuerat, 
per omnes domes has singulariter ductus, in prime introitu a 
portitore sue sic salutaretur: vigila Hennil, vigila! sic enim 
ruBtica vocabatur lingua, et epulantes ibi delicate de ejusdem se 
tneri custodia stulti autumabant.' And, coming to our own 
times, I quote from Ad. Kuhn's Mark, sagen p. 330 : ' An old 
forester of Seeben by Salzwedel used to say, it was once the 
custom in these parts, on a certain day of the year, to fetch a tree 
out of the common- wood, and having set it up in the village, to 
dance round it, crying : Hennil, Hennil wache ! * Can this have 
come out of Dietmar ? and can this ' Hennil, wake 1 ' and 
'Hennil vigila!' so far back as the 11th cent, have arisen 
through misunderstanding the Hung, vagyon (which means ' est,' 
not ' vigilat ') ? Anyhow, the village watchman or shepherd, 
who went round to all the houses, probably on a certain day of 
the year, carrying the staff on which was a hand holding an iron 
ring, and who called out those words, seems to have meant by 
them some divine being. A Slovak song in KoUar (Zpievanky 
p. 247, conf. 447) runs thus : 


Eainal svit^^ gi2 den biely, H. shines, now day is white^ 

stavayte velky i maly ! arise ye great and small 1 

dosti sme gilt dloho spali. long enough have we now slept. 

Bohemian writers try to identify this Hajnal, Heyndl, HennU 
with a Servian or Bohemian god of herdsmen Honidlo;^ I know 
not how it may be about this god, but honidlo is neuter in form, 
and the name of a tool, it must have been gonidlo in Polish, and 
totally unconnected with eynal, heynal (see Suppl.) . 

We saw that the rising sun uttered a joy fid sound, p. 741-2 
that the rustling dawn laughed^ p. 747; this agrees with the 
oft-repeated sentiment, that the day brings bliss, the night sorrow. 
We say, ' happy as the day,^ and Shaksp. 'jocund day ' ; Beinolt 
von der Lippe 'er verbilde als der dag'; MS. 2, 192 of depart- 
ing day, ' der tac sin wunne verlät/ Especially do birds express 
their joy at the approach of day : ^ gsBst inne swsef o]?]?8Bt hreefn 
bl&ca heofenes wynne bliff-heort boddde,' Beow. 8598 ; the heaven's 
bliss that the raven blithe-hearted announces is the breaking day. 
' I am as glad as the hawks that dewy-faced behold the dawn 
(dögglitir dagshrun sid}/ SsBm. 167*; ' nu ver8r hann sv& feginn, 
semfiigl degi/ Vilk. saga, cap. 39, p. 94; 'Horn was as &in o' 
fight as is the foule of the light when it ginneth dawe,' Horn and 
Bimen. 64, p. 307 ; ' ich warte der frouwen min, reht als des tages 
diu kleinen vogelUn/ MS. 1, 51*^; 'fröit sich min gemüete, sam 
diu kleinen vogellin, so si sehent den morgenschin/ MS. 2, 102*. 
Hence the multitude of poetic set-phrases that typify the break 
of day by the song of cocks (han-krät) or nightingales. Biarka- 
mfil near the beginning : ' dag^ er upp kominn, dynja hana 
fia'Srar,' cocks' feathers make a din. ' ä la manana, quando los 
gallos cantaran,' Cid 317. 'li coo cantoient, pros fu del esclairier.' 
' I'aube est percie, sesclere la jomee, cil oisellon chantent en la 
ramee.' ' biz des morgens vruo, daz diu nahtigal rief,' En. 12545 
(see Suppl.), 

Night is represented as swift, overtaking, taking unawares, 
dot) j/iif, n. 10, 394, for does not she drive a chariot ? She faMs 
or sinks from heaven, 'la nuit tombs, nuit tombante, ^ la iowhee de 
la nuit; ' she bricht ein (breaks or bursts in, down), whereas day 
bricht an (on, forth) ; she gathers all at once, she surprises. In 

> Jnngmaim 1, 670. 724. Hanosoh pp. 369-70. 


Matth. 14^ 15, where the Yulg. has ' hora jam praeteriit/ Lather 
G^rmani^es it into 'die nacht ^aZZ^ daher ^ (on, apace); and 0. 
Germ, already used the yerbs ana gan,fallan in this sense : &band 
ansih a/na geit, ther dag ist stnes sindes, O. v. 10, 8. in ane 
gaenda naht, N. Bth. 81. der &bent begunde ane gän, Mar. 171. 
schiere viel d6 diu naht an, Both. 2653. do din naht ane gie. Er. 
3108. nnz daz der äbent ane gie, Flore 3468. Ls. 1, 314. 
Wigal. 1927. 6693. als der Äbent ane get, Wigal. 4763. biz daz 
der ftbent ane lac, Ls. 1, 243. din naht diu gat mich an, Wolfd. 
1174. din naht get uns vaste zuo, Livl. chron. 5078. In the same 
way 9igen (sink) : do der &bent zuo seic, Dint. 3, 68. also iz zuo 
deme &bande seic 3, 70. iiu aeig ouch der &bent ziio, Frauend. 95, 
20. diu naht begunde zuo sigen, Rab. 102. begunde dgen an, 
367. do diu naht ztu> seic, Dietr. 62^. diu naht siget an. Ecke 
106. der &bent seic ie nfther, Gudr. 878, 1. ze tal diu sunne was 
genigen, und der äbent ziw gesigen, Diut. 351, diu .naht begunde 
sigen am, Mor. 1620. 3963.^ diu tageweide diu wil hin (the day's 
delight it will away), der Äbent siget vaste zuo, Amgb. 2*. der 
tach is ouch an uns gewant, uns siget der &vent in die hant, 
Ssp. pref. 193. in der sinkenden naht. Cornel, releg., Magd. 
1605, F. 5*. in simMichter nacht, Schoch stud. D. 4'. And we 
still say 'till sinking night.' ^ Much the same are: n& der 
äbent, diu naht zuo gefloz (came flowing up), Troj. 13676. 10499. 
AS. 'aefen com sigeltorht swungen,' Andr. 1246. — -But this set- 
ting in, gathering, falling can also come softly, secretly, like 
a thief: diu naht begunde slichen an (creep on), Dietr. 68^. n& 
was din naht geslichen gar über daz gevilde (fields), Christoph. 
413. do nü diu naht her sleich, und diu vinster in begreif (dark- 
ness caught him) 376: s6 thiu naht bifeng, Hel. 129, 16. dd 
begreif in die nacht, Flörsheim chron. in Miinch 3, 188. wie 
mich die nacht begrif, Simplic. 1, 18. hett mich die nacht schon 
begriffen, Götz v. Berl. p. m. 164. In MHG. we find predicated 
of night 'ez benemen,' to carry off (the light? the victory?): 
unz inz diu naht benam, Gudr. 879, 1. ne hete iz in diu naht 
benomen, Diut. 3, 81 (conf. Gramm. 4, 334). Hroswitha says, in 
Fides et spes : ' dies abut, nox incumbit/ 

^ Both times * segen ' in text ; if sigen an (yinoere) were meant, we ehotild ex- 
pect the word day in the dative. 

* Goethe says sweetly : For Evening now the earth was rocking, And on the 
moontaina hung the Night. 


Clearly in many of these expressions Night is regarded as a 
hostile, evil power, in contrast to the kindly character of Day^ who 
in tranquil ease climbs slowly np above the mountains ; hence 
night is as leisurely about endings as she is quick in setting in : 
' diu naht gemeehlich ende nam^' slowly the night took endings 
Frauend. 206, 21, 'Night is no man's friend' says the proverb, 
as though she were a demon (see SuppL). 

Between Day and Night there is perennial strife. Night does 
not rule till day has given up the contest : ' unz der tac Uez einen 
strit/ Parz. 423, 15. 'der tac nam ein ende, diu naht den sige 
gewan,' the victory won, Wolfd. 2025. ' do der tac verqiuim, und 
diu naht daz lieht nam,' En. 7866. ' Nu begunde euch strucJien 
der tac, daz stn schin vil nftch gelac, unt daz man durch diu 
wölken sach, des man der naht ze boten jach, manegen stem der 
balde gienc, wand er der naht herberge vienc. Nach der naht 
baniere kom.sie selbe schiere/^ In this pleasing description 
the stars of evening precede the Night herself, as pioneers and 
standard-bearing heralds, just as the morning star was messenger 
of Day.* 

On p. 742 we had a sunrise taken from the Titurel ; a de- 
scription of failing day, which immediately precedes, deserves to 
stand here too : 

Dd diu naht zuo slichen 

durch nieman wolte l&zen, 

und ir der tac entwichen 

muoste, er fuor && wester hin die strazen, 

alsd daz man die erd in sach verslinden, 

unz er ir möht empfliehen, 

do kund' er sich von orient ftf winden.* 

Earth devours the departing day (see Suppl.). 

I find the older poets dwelling more on the sense of gloominess : 

1 The Da j 'gan founder then and fall, and mach was shent his wonted sheen, 
till thro' the clouds might they be seen, whom oonriers of the Night we call, foil 
many a star that fleetly fares, and harbourage for her prepares. Next her banners, 
soon Night herself came on. 

3 Lucifer interea praeco soandebat Olympo, Walthar. 1188. Lucifer ducebat 
diem, Aen. 2, 801. Eyening is called in Banskr.rajaniifiuA^/ui, night*s mouth, which 
reminds one of * Holla's mouth : ' so is morning ahamukha, day's mouth. Bopp's 
gloss. 27*. 284^. 

' Then Night came creeping on, for no man would she stay, and Day must 
needs be gone, retreating down the western way ; the earth devouring him thou 
see'st, until that he might from her flee, then could he hoist him up from east. 


vv^ 6p<f>vaiff the duskj^ in Homer. ' thö warth &bancl caman^ naht 
mid neflu/ HeL 170, 25. ^ die finstere ragende nacht/ gloomy low- 
rii^g (j'^tting)* Schreckensgast, Ingoist. 1590, p. 114. 'die eitele 
xuid finstere nacht,' Kommann's Mona Ven. 829. 'nipende niht,' 
Beow. 1088. 1291, conf. genip (caligo). 'scaduhelm/ Beow. 1293. 
^nihthelm geswearc deorc ofer dryhtguman* 3576. 'nihthehn to 
glad,' Andr. 123. El. 78 : to her, as a goddess, is ascribed, quite 
in the spirit of onr olden time, a terrible and fearful helmet, like a 
cloak-of-darkness, ^niht helmade^ (put on her helmet) we are told 
in Andr. 1306. Still finer perhaps is that ' eye of black night/ 
tcekaivrj^ wkto^ 6fi/ia in Aeschylus (Pers. 428) for thick dark- 
ness as opposed to the bright eye of night, the moon, p. 702 
(see Suppl.).^ 

The poetic images I have here collected remove all doubt as to 
Day and Night having been in the remotest antiquity both alive 
and divine. But the sentiment must very early have lost some 
of its hold over the Teutons, from the time they laid aside that 
name for day, which of itself bespoke his kinship with the gods. 

Beckoning by nights instead of days does indeed rest on the 
observance of lunar time (p. 708), but may have another reason 
too, the same that prompted men to count winters and not sum- 
mers. The heathens used to fix their holy festivals for, or prolong 
them into, the night, especially those of the summer and winter 
solstices, as we see by the Midsummer and Christmas fires ; the 
fires of Easter and May also bear witness to festal nights. The 
Anglo-Saxons kept a hcerfestniht (ON. haustnött, haustgrima), 
the Scandinavians a höhunott (F. Magn. Lex. 1021). Beda in his 
De temp. rat. cap. 13 has preserved a notable piece of informa- 
tion, though its full meaning is beyond our ken : ^ Incipiebant 
annum (antiqui Anglorum populi) ab octavo cal. Jan. die, ubi nunc 
natale Domini celebramus ; et ipsam noctem, nunc nobis sacro- 
sanctam, tunc gentili vocabulo modranecht (mödra niht),* i.e. ma- 
trum noctem appellabant ob causam, ut suspicamur, ceremoniarum 
quas in ea pervigiles agebant.^ Who were these mothers ? 

1 Lnages now familiar to us, about qaenohing the lamps of day, I haye not met 
with in the old poets ; but the night bums her tapers too. Shaksp. describes the 
end of night by * night's candles are burnt/ Bom. & J. 8, 6. 

' Afzelins 1, 4. 13 has no right to speak of a jnodematt, which is not founded 
on Norse docs., but simply borrowed from Beda. [Can * mddre niht ' have meant 
' muntere nacht,' wakeful night ? conf. * perrigiles.'] 


The Seasons^ which, like day and night, depended on the near- 
ness or distance of the san, have maintained their personality a 
great deal more yigoronsly and distinctly. Their slow revolntion 
goes on with a measured stateliness, while the freqaent change of 
day and night soon effaced the recollection of their having once 
been gods. 

Day and night resemble sammer and winter in another point, 
viz. that the break of day and the arrival of Summer ai« greeted 
with joyfal songs by the birds, who mourn in silence daring night 
and winter. Hence the Eddie kenningar of gUSifugla (laetitia 
volacnim) for summer, and mt oh siriS' fugla (dolor et angor 
avium) for winter. This sympathy of nature finds utterance no 
end of times in the lays of our minnesingers (see SuppL). 

The olden time seems at first to have recognised only two 
seasons in the year, afterwards three, and lastly four. To this 
the very names bear witness. Our jahr, Goth, jer, OHQ-. jar, M. 
Nethl. jaer, OS. ger, AS. gear, Engl, year, ON. är, is plainly the 
Pol. iar, iaro, Boh. gar, garo, which signify spring.^ In the 
same way the Slavic leto, lieto, liato, strictly summer, and seem- 
ingly akin to our lenz, OHG. lenzo, lengiz, MHG. lenze^ lengez, 
AS. lenden, lengten (lent, spring) has come by degrees to cover 
the whole year. Thus both j&r and Idto mean the warmer season 
(spring or summer) ; and southern nations reckoned by them, as 
the northern did by winters. 

Ulphilas renders Sro^ by jer, and ivtaxno^ either by aßn, Gral. 
4, 10, or aiapni, John 18, 13, a word that has died out of our 
language everywhere else, but still lingers in the Gothic names 
Athanagildus, Athanaricus (A]?nagilds, A}mareiks) ; it seems 

^ The Pol. iar looks like Hfi, bat this is nnderstood to be for fiap^ ficap, Lai. 
ver for Yerer, yeser, closely «onn. with Lith. wasara (aestas) and Sanskr. Taaanta, 
Benfey 1, 309. Of the same root seems the Slav, vesna, wiosna (spring), but hardlj 
the ON. Y&8a'6r, whioh means sharp winter. 



akin to ero^, perhaps to the Slavic g6ä, godfna, which in Buss, 
and Serv. mean a year, while in O.Sl. they stood, as the Pol. 
g6d, Boh. h6d, hodine still stand, for time in general. The 
relation between Sto^ and iviavro^ remains uncertain, for in Od. 
1, 16 (Ito9 IjfKde ireptirXo/iivoDv iviaxrr&v, a year went past with 
circling seasons) iviavrol are sections of a year^ while other 
accounts make an evLavro^ contain three en;. This comp. 
iviavTo^ holds in it the simple evo^, Lat. annus ^ (see Suppl.). 

The year was supposed to make a circle, a ring (orbis, circulus) : 
järes umbi'hringj jär-hrmg, umbi-huurfl; MHG. j&res umbe-ganc, 
-ring, -vart, -trit; and the completion and recommencement of 
this ring was from a very early period the occasion of solemn 
festivities. Eligius preaches: 'nuUus in kal. Jan. nefanda aut 
ridicnlosa, vetnlos aut cervalos aut joticos faciat, neque mensas 
super noctem componat, neque strenas aut bibitiones superfluas 
exerceat/ This was apparently a Celtic and Boman custom, 
'strenae ineunte anno' are mentioned by Suetonius (Cal.42. Aug. 
57)^ and the holy mistletoe was plucked amid joyful cries of 
' a-gui-lan-neuf 1 ' [Michelet 2, 17: guy-na-n^ maguillanneu, 
gni-gne-leu. Suppl.]. Nothing of the kind seems to have been 
known in Germany ; but it is worth while to notice the New- 
year's hymns and wishes iu Clara Hätzlerin's book as late as the 
14th cent. (57^. 77% espec. 196-— 201 in Haltaus's ed.) where the 
year is pictured as a newborn babe, a newborn god, who will grant 
the wishes of mortals. Immediately, no doubt, this referred to 
Christmas and the Saviour's birth, in places where the new year 
began with that day ; yet some heathen practices seem to have 
got mixed up with it too^ and I cannot overlook the use in these 
hymns of the bare adj. new, without the addition of 'year' or 
'child' (just as in naming the new-moon, p. 710, n^, niuwi) : 
[' des günn dir alles der newgebom l ' this the Newborn grant 
thee all, Hatzl. 196b. So in other new-year's wishes : ' wünsch 
ich dir ain vil gät jär zu disem new,^ Wolkenst. p. 167. 'gen 
disem saeligen guoten newen,^ Ad. Keller's Altd. ged. p. 10. — 
Suppl.] • 

Otherwise I hardly find the yea/r as a whole (conf. the riddle, 
p. 737) exalted into a person, except in adjurations, spells and 

^ For amnns, says Bopp*8 Gloss. Skr. 16^ ; Benfey 1, SIO explains htavrlxi by 
Skr. axn&yat, hvi being amft, new-moon. 


cnrses : ' sani mir daz heileejar / ' so (help) me holy year, Ls. 1, 
287. Haupt's Zeitschr. 7, 104. The two following refer to the 
year's commencement only : ' ein scelec jar gang dich an ! ' a 
blessed year betide thee, Ls. 8, 111 ; and ^ daz dich ein veiges jar 
müez ane komen ! ' a doomed (fey) year be thy dole, Ls. 1, 317. 
In AS. ^0*8 ]?»t o'Ser com gear in geardas,' Beow. 2260 (see 

But even in the earliest times the year had fallen into halvesj 
to which AS. and ON. give the curious name of missere, misseri, 
and the AS. poems seem to reckon chiefly by these. We find 
'missera worn,' store of m., CsBdm. 71, 10; ' fela missera ' 180, 
23. Beow. 306; 'hund missera,' Beow. 2996. 3586 = the 50 
winters in 4413; 'misserum fröd, missarum frM,' Csddm. 104, 
30. 141, 16 (wise with age, like 'gearum, dsegrime, fymdagam 
fr6d,' Gramm. 1, 750). In the Edda I find only 212* ^ 'ein 
missen^ (per unum annum), and 'sams misseris' (eodem anno) ; 
but the Grr&g&s has also missen (semes trium). The etymology of 
the word is not easy : one would expect to find in it the words 
half (medius, dimidius) and year, but the short vowel of the 
penult conflicts with the ON. 4r and AS. gear, and it appears 
to be masc. besides (einn misseri, not eitt m.) ; the ON. misseri 
(bad year, annonae Caritas, neut.) is quite another thing. Again, 
why should the d of the AS. midde (Groth. midja, OHG. mitti) 
have passed into ss ? It must be admitted however, that in 
the relation of Lat. medius to Goth, midja we already observe a 
disturbance in the law of change ; misseri may have come down 
and continued from so remote an antiquity that, while in appear- 
ance denying its kindred, it will have to own them after all, and 
the ' miss ^ is in the same predicament as the Gr. fiiao^, fiiaa-o^ 
compared with Sanskr. madhyas, or ßvatro^ =ßv06^. No ^ mis- 
seri, missiri ' meets us in the OHG. remains, but the lost hero- 
lays may have known it, as even later usages retain the reckoning 
by half-years ; when the Hildebr.-lied says ' ih wall6ta sumaro 
enti ivintro sehstic nr lante,^ it means only 60 misseri (30 sum- 
mers and 30 winters), which agrees with the ' 80 years ' of the 
more modem folk-song; and we might even guess that the 
'thirteen years' and 'seven years' in Nib. 1082 and 1327, 2, 
which make Chriemhild somewhat old for a beauteous bride, were 
at an older stage of the epos understood of half-years« In the 


North, where winter preponderates, so many winters stood for 
so many years, and ^ttUfvetra gamall' means a twelve- year-old. 
That in OHG. and even MH6. summer and winter represent the 
essential division of the year, I infer even from the commonly 
used adverbs snmerlanc, winterlanc, while we never hear of a 
lengezlanc or herbestlanc; the ON. snmarlängr, vetrlängr, are 
supplemented by a haustlängr (the whole autumn). 

The Greek year has only three seasons. Sap, 0ipo^, x^ifuov, 
autumn is left out. Our two great anniversaries, the summer 
and winter solstices, marked off two seasons; the harvest-feast 
at the end of Sept. and the fetching-in of summer are perhaps 
sufficient proof of a third or fourth. The twofold division is 
further supported by the AS. terms midsumor and midmnter, 
ON. miffsumar, midvetr, which marked the same crises of solstice, 
and had no midhearfest to compete with them ; an AS. midleneten 
(Engl, midlent) does occur, and is about equivalent to our mit- 
fasten. Now in what relation did the missere stand to midsumor 
and midwinter ? The day (of 24 hours) likewise fell into two 
halves of 12 hours each, the AS. dogor, ON. doegr ; and dogor 
bears the same relation to dssg as missere to gear. Our ancient 
remains have no tuogar attending upon tac, but a Gothic dogr by 
the side of dags may be inferred from fidurdogs and ahtäudögs 
in Ulphilas (see Suppl.). 

Tacitus, after saying that the Germans cultivate grain only, 
and neither enclose meadows nor plant orchards, adds : ' unde 
annum quoque ipsum non in totidem digerunt species : hiems et 
ver et fiestas intellectum ac vocabula habent ; auctumni perinde 
nomen ac bona ignorantur.' Here auctumnus evidently refers to 
garden-fruit and aftermath, while the reaping of corn is placed 
in summer, and the sowing in spring. But when we consider, 
that North Germany even now, with a milder climate, does not 
get the grain in till August and September, when tBe sun is 
lower down in the sky ; and that while August is strictly the 
emte-month ^ and Sept. the herbst-month, yet sometimes Sept. 
is called the augstin and October the herbst-month ; the Tacitean 
view cannot have been universally true even in the earliest times. 
Neither does the OHG. herpist, herbisty AS. hsarfest, seem at 

^ OHG. aranmftndt, from aran (messis), Goth, (uana ; the 0. Saxons said 
bevdd or fteo, HeL 78, 14. 79, 14 ; Ketnl. bouio, houwd. 


all yoanger than other very old words. More correct surely is 
the statement we made before^ that as we go farther north in 
Europe, there appear but two seasons in all, summer and winter ; 
and as we go south, we can distinguish three, four, or even five.^ 
Then also for mythical purposes the two seasons are alone avail- 
able, though sometimes they are called' spring and winter, or 
spring and autumn > (see Snppl.). 

With the Goth, vintrus (hiems) we have a right to assume a 
masc. 8umru8 exactly like it, though ülph. in Mk 13, 28 (and 
prob, in Matth. 24, 32 and Lu. 21, 30) rendered 6ipo^ by asans 
(harvest-time). The declension follows from OHG. sumar^ 
sumaru (for a Goth, sumrs of 1 decl. would bring in its train 
an OHG. somar) ; also from AS. sumor with dat. sumera, not 
sumere. The ON. suma/r being neut. in the face of a masc. vetr, 
OHG. wintar, AS. mnter, seems inorganic ; it must have been 
masc. once. The root assumed in my Gramm. 2, 55 runs upon 
sowing and reaping of crops. 

The Edda takes us at once into the genealogy of these two 
worthies. Sumar is the son of Sväauffr (Seem. 84^. Sn. 23. 127), 
a name derived from sv&s (earns, proprius, domesticus), Goth. 
8v6s, OHG. suäs, for he is one that blesses and is blest, and after 
him is named all that is sweet and blithe (sv&slegt, blitt). But 
the father of Vetr is named Vindloni or Vindsvalr (windbringer, 
windcool), whose father again was Vasad^r (ibid.) the dank and 
moist : a grim coldhearted kindred. But both sets, as we should 
anticipate, come before us as giants, Sväsu'Sr and Sumar of a 
good friendly sort, Vä.sa'Sr, Vindsvalr and Vetr of a malignant ; 

1 Spaniards divide spring into primaverh and verano (great spring), see Don 
Quiz. 2, 53 and Ideler 6, 805. After verano comes estio^ Fr. €t6, both maso., while 
Ital. esta, estate remains fem, like aestas. 

3 The Slavs too, as a race, hold with two principal seasons : summer and year 
are both {d£«, i.e. the old year ends with winter, and with summer the new begins ; 
Idto, like our jahr, is neut., and of course impersonal. Winter they call zimä 
(fem.). When intermediate seasons have to be named, they say podUti (subaestas) 
for spring, podzim (subhiems) for autumn. But other names have also come into 
vogue, beside the garOj iaro above : Buss, and Boh. vesnä, PoL wiosna ; Slovdn. 
vy-gred (e-grediens, in Germ. Garinthia auswärt), mlado Uto (young summer), 
mladlhtie, po'tnland, «-pomZad, s-prot-tttie (fr. s-prot, against), all denoting spring; 
the South Slavs espec. felt the need of parting spring from summer. Autumn is 
in Serv. y^sen, Slovdn. y^zen or predzima (prae-hiems). Buss. Ösen. Zimk must be 
very old, Lith. iiema, Gr. x^^f^^ ^^^- ^^^^fns. Skr. hemanta. Ova fiUhling, friO^ahr 
(early year) is neither O. nor MHG., but formed during the last few cents, on the 
model of printemps or primavera ; Spätling, spätjahr (late year) is aJso used for 
autumn. On auswärts and einwärts conf. Schm. 1, 117. 4, 161. 

SüMMEB. 759 

80 that here again the twofold natare of giants (p. 528-9) is set 
in a clear light. The Sh&Idskaparm&l puts them down among the 
ancient iötnar : 209* 8omr (U. Sömir) ok SvasuSr, 210* Vindsvalr 
ok Vi9arr (1. Vetr). Even now Summer and Winter are much 
used as proper names, and we may suppose them to have been 
such from the beginning, if only because [as names of seasons] 
they do not agree with any in the Non-Teutonic tongues. An 
Urkunde in Neugart no. 373 (as early as A.D. 958) introduces us 
to two brothers named Wintar and Sumar. Graff 1, 631 has the 
proper name Wintarolf in the augmentatiye form (see p. 762 n.) 

Now I will produce plain marks of their personality, which 
have long maintained themselves in popular phrases and poetic 
turns of speech. We say every day : Summer, Winter is at the 
door, comes in, sets in. H. Sachs iv. 3, 21* : ' till Summer step 
this way.' ^ In MHG. the one is commonly called lieb (lief, 
dear), the other leid (loathly, sad) : 'der liebe Sumer urloup 
genam,' took leave, Ben. 344. 'urloup nam der Winder/ 362. 
Both are provided with a retinue : ' Sumer, dine holden (retainers) 
von den huoben sint gevam,' 304. ' Sumer, din gesiiide/ 406. 
' mln sane siile des Winters wapen tragen,' my song should W.'s 
livery wear, MS. 1, 1 78*. ' Winder ist mit slnen vriunden komen,' 
Ben. 414. Evidently they have marched up with their men, each 
with intent to war upon and chase away his foe: 'der leide 
Winder h&t den Sumer hin verjaget,' 381. 'er (der Winter) ist dir 
gehaz, er en-weiz niht umbe waz, selten er des ie vergaz, swenne 
er dinen stuol besaz, er en-ructe in vür baz, sin gewalt wol tüsend 
eilen vür den dlnen gät,' he hateth thee, he wot not why ; he 
seldom forgat, when thy chair he besät, but he pushed it further ; 
his power passeth thine, etc. MsH. 3, 258. Ben. 303. ' Winter^ 
hl^t ez hie gerftmet ' cleared out, Ben. 437. — Again, as summer 
begins with May, we have that month acting as its representative, 
and ^t as full of life and personality. (All three receive the 
title of lord : ' mln herre Winter 1 ' MsH. 3, 267*. ' her Meie ! ' 
3, 443^. ' her Meige ! ' Walth. 46, 30). May makes his entry : 
'so der Meige in gat,* Meist. Alex. 144*. 's6 der vil süeze 
Meige in gat/ Trist. 537. ' Meige ist komen in diu lant,' Ms. 1, 

' Alse die Scmer qnam int lant, Beinaert 2451. alse do Sommer qndme int 
lant, Beineke 2311. do here de Summer trat, Wiggert 2, 48. 

3 Without article, therefore not com. noon ; oonf . p. 704 note, Solans. 

VOL. n. Y 


13^. Ben. 364. ' der Meie sin ingeainde Mt^' lias Ms retinae 1, 
14^. ' des Meien iiir ist üf getan, MsH. 3, 296*. ' der Mei ist in 
den landen hie^ 3^ 230*. ^s6 der Meie sinen krame schoawen 
l&t (his store displays), unde in gat mit vil manigem liebten 
m&Ie' 30, 30^. ^vil manager bände varwe (full many a bne) 
b&t in sinem krame der Meige/ MS. 1, 59*, ^der Meie h&t 
brieve für gesant^ daz sie künden in dia lant sine kanft den 
YTUoten/ Ben. 433; like a king wbo after a long absence 
returns victorious, be sends letters on before, to announce bis 
coming. ' da ist der Meie und al sin kraf t, er und sin geselle- 
scbaft diu (sic 1.) ringent manige swaare (ligbten many a 
burden); Meie b&t im angesiget' overcome bim (winter), Ben. 
449. ' icb lobe dicb, Meie, diner kraf t, du tuost Burner sigebaft^^ 
tbou makest S. victorious (botb prop, n.), MS. 2, 57*. ^ ob der 
Meige ze velde lac/ Ls. 1, 199. ^ so der Meige alrdrst in ^d^.' 
Frauend. 14. ^ der Mei b&t sin gezelt bestelt,' set up bis tents, 
camp, MsH. 3, 303^. ' des Meien schilt/ 3, 307*. ' Sumer der 
bat sin gezelt nu geribtet überal/ Ms. 2, 57*. 'des Meien 
waldenasre kündet an die sumerzit^' May's forester announces 
summertide, MsH. 3, 230^, 'die (waldes ougenweide, forest's 
eye-feast) bat der Meie für gesant, daz si künden in diu lant sin 
kunft ' 3, 227^. ' der Meie vüeret den wait an siner hende/ leads 
tbe wood by tbe band, MS. 2, 81^; be is provided witb bands 
(like Wisb, p. 142). Men worsbip bim witb tbanks and bowings 
like a king or god making bis progress (p. 213, Freyr) ; like 
tbem be bas bis strete (bigbway) : ' des Meigen strdze/ Ben. 42. 
' ü£ des Meien strazen/ MS. 23*. ' Meie, icb wil dir nigen/ bow 
to, Ben. 398. ' erent den Meien/ Ben. 184. MsH. 1, 147**^ 
' der Meie babe des danc ! ' tbanks tbereof,^ Ben. 434. May and 
Summer put on tbeir verda/nt attire : ' der Meie ist t£ sin grüenez 
zun gesezzen,' MS. 2, 75*. May bears complaints, be commands 
bis flowers, 1,3^. ' des Meigen vriunt (attendant), der gtuene 
wase (sward), der bet tz bluomen angeleit (laid on) s6 wüneclicbe 
sumerkleit/ Trist. 562. ' der Sumer sneit sin kleit,' Ben. 159. 
' der Meie sendet dem walde kleider' 436. 'der Sumer gab diu 

1 In Ghramm. 4, 725 is a ooll. of the oft-reonrrmg phxases < des Meigen in 
(honour), d. M. ffÜeUt des Somers güete (goodness)/ which seem to imply an ancient 
worship (p. 29, §ra). I add a few more references : MsH. 1, 62\ 60*. 61^ 194». 
305*. 848^. 8, 222i>. Notioe : * Got gebe daz der herhett stn ire Tolbringe ! * that 
antnmn his worship fnlM, MS. 2, 180*. 

WINTER. 761 

selben kleit, Ahrelle maz, der Meie sneit/ April measured, May 
cub out, MS. 2, 94^. ' diu (kleider) het gegeben in (to them) 
der Meie z'einer niuwen w&t (weeds, clothing),' MsH. 3, 286*. 
' Mei hat enprozzen berg und tal ' 3, 188*. ' Sumer h&t gesendet 
6z sin wunne, der Meie spreit &f diu laut sin wät ' (2, 291).^ ' der 
blüenden hmde voget (heath's controller) ist mit gewalt Af uns 
gezoget (has rushed), hoert wi er mit winde broget (blusters) &f 
wait und im gevilde,' MsH. 1, 193* (see SuppL). 

But more especially does the antithesis demand attention. In 
Winier^s train come Rime and Snow, still personifications, and 
giants from of old (p. 532). They declare war against Summer : 
' dir hat widerseit beidiu Rif and Sne/ Ben. 398. ' der Meie loste 
bluomen üz Rifen bände* 437. 'manegen tac stark in sinen 
banden lac diu heide (the heath lay fast in Winter's bonds) ; uns 
was verirt der vmnne hWt von des argen Winter's nit,' long did 
we miss our shepherd of bliss by wicked W.'s envy, MsH. 1, 
192*. 'der W. und sine knechte (his men), daz ist der Rife und 
der Wind/ Hartm. erst, büchl. 834. MsH. 3, 232*. What 
Summer clothed. Winter strips bare: ^uber diu oren^ er dem 
wold sin kleider brach,' tore the wood's clothes over his ears 
(ibid.). ' äk daz niuwe loup (leafage) 6 was entsprungen, des 
hästu nu gevüllet dinen sac ' 2, 386* ; like an enemy or robber, 
he fills his sack with booty (saccage). 'bluomen undo loup was 
des Rifen firster roup (first plunder), den er in die secJce schovp 
(shoved into his sacks), er enspielt in noch enkloup,' Ben. 304. 
Yet, ' sunder Rifen danc, allez grüenez in fröiden lit,' no thanks 
to Jack Frost, all green things are in glee, MS. 1, 34*. ' unbe- 
snngen ist der wait, daz ist allez von des Rifen ungen4den (ill- 
will) komen,' Ben. 275, Wizlau in one song exclaims : ' Winder, 
dich vorhote (take heed) 1 der Sumer komt ze mute,' to meet 
thee, Amgb. 29*; and Walther 39, 9 : ' weizgot, er lat ouch dem 
Meien den strit,' Winter gives up the battle ; conversely, ' der 
Sutner sinen strit dem Winder Iftt,' Warnung 2386. And, what 
is more than all^ one poem ^ has preserved even the mythic name 

' So that * des Meigen w&t, kleit * MS. 2, 105-6-7 ifi a metaphor for foliage, and 
* boten, (messengers) des Sumeres ' 1, 97^ for flowers. 

s 'Walt h6t ören, velt hAt gesiht/ wood has ears, field has sight, MS. 2, 131» ; 
' velt hAt 6ren, wait h6t ougen,' eyes, 135^. 

* Nfthart's, Ben. 384. To this poet we owe the liveliest images of Summer 
and Winter. 



of the Bime-giant : it is Äucholf, formed just with the suffix 'Olf, 
whioh like -oU is characteristic of monstrous ghostly beings;^ 
the root &aka^ OHG. ouhhu^ means angeo^ so that Oacholf may 
contain the notion of enormous^ gigantic ^ (see Suppl.). 

Summer and Winter are at war with one another, exactly like 
Day and Night (p. 752) ; Day and Summer gladden^ as Night 
and Winter vex the world.' 

Now the arrival of Summer, of May, or as we now say, of 
Spring, was kept as a holiday from of old. In the Mid. Ages 
this was called die zit empfdhen, welcoming the season, MS. 1, 
200^. 2, 78^. Ben. 453; die zit mit sauge hegen (keep). Misc. 
2, 198; den Sumer empfahen, MsH, 3, 207». 211*. 232». ' Sumer, 
wis (be) empfangen von mir hundert tAsent stunt (times) ! ' Ben. 
328. ^vrouwen und man empfiengen den Meien,' MsH. 3, 185^. 
*d& wart der Mei empfangen wol' 3, 218^ 219*. 'den Meigen 
enpfahen und tanzen ' 1, 47^, ' nü wolüf grüezen (greet) wir den 
süezen ! ' 1, 60^. 'ich wil den Sumer grüezen ' 3, 446^. ' helfent 
grüezen mir den Meien,' MS. 1, 202^. 'si (diu vogelltn, small 
fowl) wellent alle grüezen nÄ den Meien ' 2, 84^. ' willehome her 
Meige ! ' 1, 57^ ' slt willehome her Meie ! ' 1, 59*. ' so wol dir, 
lieber Sumer, daz d& komen bist ! ' MsH. 2, 316^. A song in 
Eschenburg's Denkm. 458 has the burden ' willkommen Maie ! ' 
(see Suppl.). 

But the coming in of Summer did not happen on any fixed 
day of the year, it was determined by accidental signs, the open- 
ing of flowers, the arrival of birds. This was called finding 
Summer : ' ich h&n den Sumer vunden/ MsH. 3, 202**. 

Whoever had spied ' den erstefii viol ' * made it known ; the 
whole village ran to the spot, the peasant» stuck the flower on a 
pole, and danced around it. On this subject also Nithart has 
some spirited songs, MsH. 3, 298-9 ; conf. 202* (den Ersten vtol 

^ Qramm. 2, 884—40; conf. Nahtolf, Biterolf, Egisgrimolt (p. 238), Faaolt 
(p. 529), Mimerolt (p. 379), Eobolt (p. 414). 

> A MHG. poet paints the battle between May and Antmnn, in a pretty stozr 
(Fragm. 29), but it does not come within the mythic province, conf. MS. 2, 105. 
More to the point is H. Sachs's poem 1, 420-1. A M. Nethl. * spel van den winter 
ende sommer ' is printed in Hoffm. hor. belg. 6, 125 — 146. Kotker in Gap. 27 calls 
* herbest nnde lenzot zwdne gendza,* fellows twain. 

* The Fris. Laws too conple night with winter : ' si ilia tenebrosa nebula et 
frigidissima hiems in hortos et sepes descendit,' Riohth. 46 (huersft thin tfaiastera 
nacht and thi nSdkalda winter nr tha tuner hleth). 

* Flonim prima ver nuntiantium viola alba, Pliny 21, 11 (38). 


schonwen). H. Sachs iv. 3, 49 seq. describes the same festival; 
round the^r«^ summer flower they dance and sing. ^ den ersten 
bltLomen vlehten/ MS. 1, 41** (see SuppL). 

That the^r«^ cockchafer also was fetched in with ceremonies^ 
we saw on p. 693-4 ; to this day the passion for hunting these 
chafers and playing with them is indestructibly rooted among 

In like manner the first swallow , the first stork was hailed as 
messenger of spring {äyy€\o<: €apo<;). The swallow's return was 
celebrated even by the Greeks and Romans : Athenaeus 8^ 15 p. 
360 gives a yeXi^iovKr^a^ chanted by children at Bhodes, who 
carried a swallow about and collected eatables. The custom still 
survives in Greece; the young people assemble on March 1, and 
traverse all the streets^ singing a sweet spring-song ; the singers 
carry a swallow carved out of wood, which stands on a cylinder^ 
and keeps turning round,* ' Hirundine prima/ says Horace 
Epist. i, 7, 13. That in Germany also the ^8^ swallow was taken 
notice of in the Mid. Ages, is shewn by the superstitious obser- 
vance (Sup. G, and I, 217) of digging a coal out of the ground 
on her appearance. In Sweden the country folk welcome her 
with a thrice repeated shout of joy (Westerdahl p. 55). Both 
swallow and stork are accounted sacred inviolable creatures. He 
that first announced the return of the stork to the Greeks, 
received messenger's pay. As late as last century the warders 
of many German towns were required to blow-in the approaching 
herald of spring,^ and a drink of honour was served out to them 
from the town-cellar. An epigram by Joach. Olearius begius : 

Ver laetum rediit, rediitque ciconia grata, 
aspera dum pulso frigore cessat hiems.^ 

The cuckoo may also be regarded as the announcer of spring, 
and an O.Engl, song appeals to him : ' sumer is icumen in, Ihude 
nng cueu ! ' Hone's Daybook 1, 739 (see SuppL). 

The proclaiming of summer by songs of the younger folk still 

1 Sgen. opnso. philol. 1, 165. ZelPs Feriensohr. 1, 53. 88. Sohneidewin's 
Delectus 2, 465-6. 

' Faoriel 2, 256. Diso, prelim, xxviii. More fully in Theod. Kind p. 12. 

* Alpenrosen (Bern 1817) p. 49 ; oonf. Hebel's song Der storch. 

* Bostock 1610 ; oonf. Jon. Fraetorius's * Storchs und schwalben-winterquartier,* 
Francf. 1676, p. 185. 


prevails^ or did prevail in recent centaries^ almost everywliere ia 
German and Slav conntries, and bespeaks a very ancient origin. 
What the minnesingers^ with their elegant phrases about the old 
' chair^ entry^ highway^ grace and glory of Summer ' as a king 
or god, may have led us to guess, is supplemented and illus- 
trated by abiding customs of the people, which in rude artless 
fashion drive at the main point. The modes of celebration and 
the songs vary greatly.^ Often there is only a wreath, a doll, an 
animal carried about in a basket, and gifts demanded from house 
to house.^ Here it is a cock, thene a crow or a fox^ that the 
children take round, as in Poland at the time of coleda (new- 
year) they go about with a stuffed wolf, collecting gifts (Lindc 
sub V. koleda). These animals do not migrate, and I leave it 
undetermined, what right they can have to represent the stork 
or swallow, or whether they mean something altogether different. 
The approach of Summer is only mentioned in a few words and 
phrases, or not at all. 

In many places however the collecting of gifts is only the 
sequel to a previous performance full of meaning, in which youths 
and maidens take part. Two disguised as Summer and Winter 
make their appearance, the one clothed with ivy or singrün, the 
other with straw or moss, and they fight one another till Summer 
wins. Winter is thrown on the ground, his wrappages stripped 
off and scattered, and a summer^s wreath or branch is carried 
about. Here we have once more the ancient idea of a quarrel or 
war between the two powers of the year, in which Summer comes 
off victorious, and Winter is defeated ; the people supply, as it 
were, the chorus of spectators, and break out into praises of the 

^ The most diligent collector of them, though in a scattered disorderly way, is 
Chr. Heinr. Schmid of Giessen, hoth in the * Journal Ton and für D.' for 1787. 1, 
186-98. 480-5; for 1788. 1, 666-71. 2. 409-11 ; for 1790. 1, 310-4 ; for 1791. 1002 ; 
and in the ' Deutsche monatsohrift * for 1798. 2, 58-67 ; he gives references to a 
great many authors old and new. A still earlier artide in * Journal v. a. f. D.' for 
1784. 1, 282 is worth consulting. Isolated facts in Ertinitz's Enoydop. 58, 681 
seq., Gräter*s Idunna 1812 p. 41, BUsching's Wöch. nachr. 1, 183-6. 3, 166 and 
other places to he cited as they are wanted. The two earliest treatises are hy Paul 
Chr. Hilscher ' de ritu Dominicae Laetare, quem vulgo appellant den tod austreiben/ 
Lips. 1690 (in Qerm. 1710), and Joh. Gasp. Zeumer *de Dominica Laetare,* Jena 

- Let the tummer-ehildren tell you a tummeft and your cows will give plenty 
of milk, Sup. 1, 1097. 

' Beinhart, Introd. p. ccxix. Athen, also, nbi supra, speaks of a crow being 
carried about, instead of the swallow. 


The custom just described belongs chiefly to districts on the 
middle Bhine^ beyond it in the Palatinate, this side of it in the 
Odenwald betwixt Main and Neckar. Of the songs that are song 
I give merely the passages in point : 

Trarira I der Sommer der ist da ; 
wir wollen hinans in garten 
and wollen des Sommers warten (attend), 
wir wollen hinter die hecken (behind the hedges) 
und wollen den Sommer wecken (wake), 
der Winter hats verloren (has lost), 
der Winter liegt gefangen (lies a prisoner) ; 
und wer nicht dazu kommt (who won't agree), 
den schlagen wir mit stangen (we'll beat with staves)« 
Elsewhere : Jajaja ! der Sommertag ^ ist da, 

er kratzt dem Winter die äugen aus (scratch W.'s 

eyes out), 
und jagt die bauem zur stube hinaus (drive the 

boors out of doors). 
Or : Stab aus I * dem Winter gehn die augen aus (W.'s 

eyes come out) ; 
Veilchen, rosenhlumen (violets and roses), 
holen wir den Sommer (we fetch), 
schicken den Winter über 'n Rhein (send W. over 

bringt uns guten kühlen wein. 
Also : Violen und die blumen 

bringen uns den Sommer, 

der Sommer ist so keck (cheeky, bold), 

und wirft den Winter in den dreck (flings W. in the 

Or : Stab aus, stab aus, 

blas dem Winter die augen aus (blow W.'s eyes out) ! 

Songs like this must have come down through many centuries ; 
and what I have quoted above from poets of the 13 th cent, pre- 

> For Sommer ? conf. Bieldsg for Bealdor, p. 222-9, and Day, p. 738. 

* Also * 8tam aiu ' or * 8ta maus^* and * heib aus, treib at», dem W. ist ein aug' 
ans.' Stabaas may be for ataubam ■» up and away, S^m. 8, 602 ; oonf. Zingerle 
2, 147. 


supposes their existence^ or that of songs substantially the same. 
The conception and setting of the whole are qnite heathenish : 
valiant Snmmer found, fetched, wakened from his sleep; van- 
quished Winter rolled in the dust, thrown into chains, beaten 
with staves, blinded, banished ; these are demigods or giants of 
antiquity. Violets are mentioned with evident reference to the 
welcoming of Summer. In some parts the children march out 
with white peeled rods, either for the purpose of helping Summer 
to belabour the foe, or perhaps to represent the retinue of Winter, 
for it was the old custom for the conquered and captive to be let 
go, carrying white staves (RA. 134). One of the band of boys, 
marching at their head vrrapt in straw, stands for Winter, another 
decked toith ivy for Summer. First the two fence with their poles, 
presently they close and wrestle, till Winter is thrown and his 
straw garment stript off him. During the duel, the rest keep 
singing : 

stab aus, stab aus, 

stecht dem Winter die augen aus ! 

This is completely the * rauba birahanen, hrusti giwinnan, caesos 
spoliare armis ' of the heroic age ; the barbarous punching out of 
eyes goes back to a still remoter antiquity.^ The wakening of 
Summer is like the wakening of Sadlde. 

In some places, when the fight is over, and Winter put to flight, 
they sing : 

So treiben wir den Winter aus 

durch unsre Stadt zum thor hinaus (out at the gate) ; 

here and there the whole action is compressed into the shout : 
' Sommer 'rein (come in), Winter 'nans (go out) I ' 

As we come back through the Odenwald toward inner Fran- 
conia, the Spessart and the Rhön Mts, the words begin to change, 
and run as follows : 

Stab aus, stab aus, 

stecht dem Tod (death) die augen aus ! 

> The MHG. soDga keep pace : ' der Meie h&t stnen 9chaft ül den Winter Ter> 
Btoohen/ dug his shaft into, MsH. 3, 195^ 'Mai hat den W. enlagen\ slain, 
HätzL 131, 68. * vehten wil der W. kalt gegen dem lieben Sumer,* MaH. 3, 423\ 



Then : Wir haben den Tod hinausgetrieben (driven out), 
den lieben Sommer bringen wir wieder (again), 
den Sommer und den Meien 
mit blümlein mancherleien (of many a sort). 

So Beaih has stept into Winter's place ; we might say, because 
in winter nature slumbers and seems dead ; but it may also be, 
that at an early time some heathenish name for Winter had to 
give place to the christian conception of Death. 

When we get to the heart of Pranconia, e.g. Nürnberg, the 
songs drop all mention of Summer, and dwell the more em- 
phatically on the expulsion of Death} There country lasses of 
seventeen or eighteen, arrayed in all their finery, parade the 
streets of the whole town and suburbs; on or under their left 
arm they carry a little open coffin, with a shroud hanging over 
the sides, and a puppet lying under that. Poor children carry 
nothing but an open box, in which lies a green bough of beech 
with a stalk sticking up, on which an apple is fixed instead of 
the head. Their monotone song begins : ' To-day is Midlent, 
we hear Death into the water, and that is well/ Amongst other 

Wir tragen den Tod in^s wasser, 

tragen ihn 'nein, und wieder Waue ' (in, and out again). 

' Seb. Frank*6 Weltbnoh 51* thas desoribes the Shrovetide oastom in Fran- 
coniA : * Four of them hold a sheet by his 4 comers, whereon is l&id a straw 
pufptt in hose, jerkin and mask, like a dead man^ the which tibey tott up by the 
4 comerBf and catch him again in the sheet. This they do the whole town through. 
At Midlent they make in some places a straw man or imp, arrayed as a death. Mm 
the assembled youth bear into the nigh lying villages. And by some they be well 
received, eased and fed with dried pears, mük and peas ; by others, which hold it 
a presage of coming death, evil entreated and driven from their homesteads with 
foul words and oftentimes with buffets.' 

' This seems to indicate, Üiat the deity of Death is not to be annihilated by 
the ducking, but only made sensible of the people's dissatisfaction. Gruel Death 
has during the year snatched many a victim, and men wish, as it were, to be 
revenged on him. This is of a piece with the idea brought out on p. 20 : when 
a god has not answered your expectations, you bully him, you plunge his image 
into water. So by the Franconians, on a failure of the wine-crop, St. Urban's 
image, who had neglected to procure tttem wine (Fischart's Garg. 11) was ^un^ into 
the brook, or the mtuf (Seb. Frank 61^), or the water-trough, even in the mere antici- 
pation of a poor vintage (Agricola's Sprichw. 498. Grater's Idunna 1812, p. 87). 
So the Bavarians, during St. Leonhard's solemn procession, would occasionally 
drop him in the river (Schm. 2, 478). We know how the Naples people to this day 
go to work with their San Gennaro, how seamen in a storm ill-use St. James's 
image, not to speak of other instances. 


tragen ihn vor des biedermanns haus (ap to the goodman's 

Wollt ihr ans kein schmalz nicht geben (won^t give us no 

lassen wir euch den Tod nicht sehen (wonH let you see D.). 

Der Tod der hat ein panzer an (wears a coat of mail). 
Similar cusfcoms and songs prevailed all over Franconia, and in 
Thuringia, Meissen, Vogtland, Lausitz and Silesia. The begin-» 
ning of the song varies : 

Nun treiben wir den Tod aus^ (drive D. out), 

den alten weiter n in das haus (into the old women's house). 
Or : hinter's alte hirtenhaus' (behind the old shepherd's house). 
Further on : 

hätten wir den Tod nicht ausgetrieben (not driven D. out)^ 

war er das jähr noch inne geblieben^ (he'd have staid all the 

Usually a puppet^ a figure of straw or wood, was carried about, 
and thrown into water, into a hog, or else burnt ; if the figute 
was female, it was carried by a boy, if male, by a girl. They 
disputed as to where it should be made and tied together ; what- 
ever house it was brought out of, there nobody died that year. 
Those who had thrown Death away, fled in haste, lest he should 
start up and give them chase ; if they met cattle on their way 
home, they beat them with staves, believing that that would 
make them fruitful. In Silesia they often dragged about a bare 
fir-tree with chains of straw, as though it were a prisoner. Here 
and there a strong man, in the midst q{ children, carried a may* 

^ Lnther parodied this song in his DriTing of the Pope out, Joam. Ton a. far 
D. 1787. 2, 192-3. 

' * Dem alten Juden in seinen bauch, etc.*, into the old Jew's belly, on to the 
young Jew's back, the worse for him ; over hül and dale, so he may never come 
back ; over the heath, to spite the shepherds ; we went through the greenwood, 
there sang birds young and old. Finn Magnusen (Edda 2, 135) would hiaye us take 
the old * Juden ' for a iötunn, 

> J. F. Herri, on certain antiquities found in the Erfurt country 1787, p. 28, 
has the line : ' wir tragen den Krodo in's wasser,' but confesses afterwards (Joum. 
V. u. f. D. 1787. 483-4) that he dragged the dubious name into the text on pure con- 
jecture. The more suspicious becomes the following strophe in HeUbaoh*8 Suppl. 
to the Archiv v. u. f. Sohwarzburg, Hildburgh. 1789. p. 52 : * wir tragen den alten 
thor (fool) hinaus, hinter's alte hirtenhaus, wir haben nun den sommer gewonnen, 
und Krodes macht ist weggekommen,' E'.s power is at an end. The expressions 
in the last line smack of recent invention. 


jpole.^ In the Altmark, the Wendish villages about Salzwedel, 
especially Seeben (where we saw Hennil still in use, p. 749), 
have preserved the following custom: at Whitsuntide men- 
servants and maids tie fir-branches, straw and hay into a large 
figure, giving it as much as possible a human shape. Profusely 
garlanded with field-flowers, the image is fastened, sitting up- 
right, on the brindled cow (of which more hereafter), and lastly 
a pipe cut out of alder wood stuck in its mouth. So they conduct 
it into the village, where all the houses are barred and bolted, 
and every one chases the cow out of his yard, till the figure falls 
oflF, or goes to pieces (Ad. Euhn's Mark, sagen, p. 316-7). 

Prom Switzerland, Tobler 425-6 gives us a popular play in 
rhymes, which betray a Swabian origin, and contain a song of 
battle between Summer and Winter. Summer is acted by a man 
in his bare shirt, holding in one hand a tree decorated with 
ribbons and fruit,« in the other a cudgel with the end much split. 
Winter is warmly clad, but has a similar cudgel ; they lay on to 
one another's shoulders with loud thwacks, each renowniug him- 
self and running down his neighbour. At length Winter falls 
back, and owns himself beaten. Schm. 3, 248 tells of the like 
combat in Bavaria : Winter is wrapt in fur. Summer carries a 
green bough in his hand, and the strife ends with Summer 
thrusting Winter out of doors. I do not find the custom reported 
of Austria proper ; it seems to be known in Styria and the 
adjoining mountains of Carinthia : the young fellows divide into 
two bands, one equipt with winter clothes and snowballs, the 
other with green summer hats, forks and scythes. After fighting 
a while in front of the houses, they end with singing jointly the 
praises of victorious Summer.' It takes place in March or at 
St. Mary's Candlemas (see Suppl.). 

Some of the districts named have within the last hundred years 
discontinued this old festival of announcing Summer by the 
defeat of Winter, others retain it to this day. Bygone centuries 
may well have seen it in other German regions, where it has 
not left even a historical trace; there may however be some 

> At Leipzig in the 17th cent, the festival had become bo discredited, that they 
had the straw puppet carried about and immersed by women of ill fame. 

s Barton's Neueste Beise d. Oestr., Vienna 1811. 2, 848. The Styrian battle- 
song is printed in Büsching's Wöch. nachr. 1, 226-8. 


accounts that have escaped my notice. In S. Germany, Swabia, 
Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria, Styria, the ditties are longer and 
more formal, but the ceremony itself not so artless and racy. In 
Lower Hesse, Lower Saxony, Westphalia, Friesland, and the 
Netherlands, that is to say, where Easter-fires remained in vogue, 
I can hardly anywhere detect this annunciation of Summer; 
in lieu of it we shall find in N. Germany a far more imposing 
development of May-riding and the Maigraf feast. Whether the 
announcing of Summer extended beyond the Palatinate into 
Treves, Lorraine, and so into France, I cannot say for certain.^ 
Clearly it was not Protestant or Catholic religion that deter- 
mined the longer duration or speedier extinction of the custom. 
It is rather striking that it should be rifest just in Middle 
Germany, and lean on Slav countries behind, which likewise do it 
homage; but that is no reason for concluding that it is of Slay 
origin, or that Slavs could have imported it up to and beyond the 
Bihine. We must first consider more closely these Slav customs. 
In Bohemia, children march, with a straw man representing 
Death, to the end of the village, and there bum him while they 

Giz nesem 8mrt ze wsy. Now bear we D. from the village, 

nowe Leto do wsy ; new Summer to the village ; 

witey Leto lib^zne, welcome Summer sweet, 

obiljcko zelene 1 little grain so green* 

> G. H. Sohmid has indeed drawn np (Jonm. y. n. f. D. 1790, 314-5) a list of 
the lands and spots where Winter or Death is carried out, and it includes parts of 
L. Saxony, Mecklenharg, even Friesland. But no authorities are given ; and other 
customs, similar, but without any of the distinctive features of the subject in hand, 
are mixed up with it. Aug. Pfeiffer (b. Lauenstein 1640, d. Lübeck *98) in Evang. 
Erquiokungstunden, Leipz. 1698 mentions a * battle of Sum. and Win.\ bat names 
no places, and he had lived long in Silesia and Ijeipzig. H. Labbert (preacher at 
Bohlendorf by Lübeck, b. 1640, d. 1708) in his Fastnachtsteofel p. 6 describes a 
March (not May) procession, but does not sufficiently bring out the essential fea- 
tures. I extract the passage (from J. P. Schmidt's Fastelab. p. 182), because it 
illustrates the far from ineffectual zeal of the clergy against popular amusements, 
almost as strikingly as the diatribe, 560 years older, quoted on pp. 259 seq. : ' The 
last year, on Dominica Quinquag. (4 weeks bef. Laetare), I again publicly prayed 
every man to put away, once for all, these pagan doings. Alas, I was doomed to 
see the wicked worldlings do it worse than befora Not alone did children carrying 
long sticks torapt in green leaves go about within doors, and sing all manner of lewd 
jests, but specially the men-servantSf one of them having a green petticoat tied ahovt 
himi went in two parties through the village from house to house with a bag-pipe, 
singing, swilling, rioting like madmen in the houses ; afterward they joined together, 
drank, danced, and kept such pother several nights through, that one scarce ooold 
sleep for it. At the said ungodly night-dances were even some lightminded maids, 
that took part in the accursed business.* 


Elsewhere : 

Snvrt plyne po wode, D. floats down the water, 

nowe Leio k n&m gede.^ new Sammer to us rides. 


8mrt gsme wim zanesly, D. weVe from you taken, 

nowe Leio prinesly. new Summer to you brought. 

In Moravia : 

Nesem, nesem Mafenu. We bear, we bear Marena. 

Other Slavs : 

Wyneseme, wyneseme Ma- 

muriendu. Bemove we Mamurienda. 


wynesli Bme'Murienu se wsi, weVe taken Muriena out, and 

prinesli sme May nowy do wsi.^ brought new May to the town. 

At Bielsk in Podlachia, on Dead Sunday they carry an idol of 
plaited hemp or straw through the town, then drown it in a marsh 
or pond outside, singing to a mournful strain : 

Smierc wieie sie po plotu, D. blows through the wattle, 
szukai^c klopotu. seeking the whirlpool. 

They mn home as fast as they can : if any one falls down, he dies 
within the year.^ The Sorbs in Upper Lausitz make the figure 
of straw and rags; she who had the last corpse must supply the 
shirt, and the latest bride the veil and all the rags ; ^ the scare- 
crow is stuck on a long pole, and carried away by the biggest 
strongest lass at the top of her speed, while the rest sing : 

Lec7 here, lecz here ! Fly high, fly high, 

jatabate woko, twist thyself round, 

pan dele, pan dele I fall down, fall down. 

' Celakowsky'B Slowansk6 narodni piflne, Prague 1822. p. 209. He quotes other 
rhymes as well. 

s J. EoUAr's Zpiewanky 1, 4. 400. 

> Hannsch Slav. myth. 413. Jnngmann sub t. Marana, who pats the Poliah 
rhyme into Bohem. thus : Smrt wige po plotn, sukagjo klopotn. Gonf. a Mora v. 
song (Eolda in d'Elv 107-8-9). 

* Indical. snperst. 27-8 : ' de nmulacris de pannis factis^ qnae per campos por- 
tant.* The Esthonians on New yearns day mcüce an idol of straw in the shape of a 
man, to which they concede the name of metziko and the power of protecting their 
cattle from wild b^sts and defending their frontier. All the people of the Tillage 
acoompany, and set him on the nearest tree, Thom. Hiam, p. 40. 


They all throw sticks aad stones at it : whoever hits Death will 
not die that year. So the figure is borne oat of the village to a 
piece of water^ and drowned in it. Bat they often carry Death 
to the boundary of the next village, and pitch him over it ; each 
picks for himself a green twig, and carries it homeward in liigh 
glee, bat on arriving at his village throws it away again. Some- 
times the youth of the village within whose bounds they have 
brought Death will run after them, and throw him back, for no 
one likes to keep him; and they easily come to words and 
blows about it.^ At other places in Lausitz women alone take 
part in this Driving-out of Death, and suflfer no men to meddle. 
They all go in black veils that day, and having tied up a puppet 
of straw, put a white shirt on it, and give it a broom in one hand, 
and a scythe in the other. This pappet they carry singing, and 
pursued by boys throwing stones, to the border of the next town, 
where they tear it up. Then they hew down a handsome tree in 
the wood, hang the shirt upon it, and carry it home with songs.^ 
This tree is undoubtedly a symbol of Summer introduced in the 
place of Death driven out. Such decorated trees are also carried 
about the village by boys collecting gifts, after they have rid 
themselves of Death. In other cases they demand the contribu- 
tions while taking the puppet round. Here and there they make 
the straw man peep into people's windows (as Berhta looks in at 
the window, p. 274) : in that case Death will carry off some one 
in the house that year, but by paying a money ransom in time, you 
can avert the omen. At Königshain by Görlitz the whole village, 
young and old, wended their way with torches of straw to a 
neighbouring height called the Todtenstein, where formerly a 
god's image is said to have stood ; they lit their torches on the 
top, and turned home singing, with constant repetition of the 
words : ' we have driven out Death, we bring back Summer.' * 

So it is not everywhere that the banished idol represented 
Winter or Death in the abstract ; in some cases it is still the 
heathen divinity giving way to Christianity, whom the people 
thrust out half in sorrow, and uttering songs of sadness. 

* Lausitz. Mag. for 1770, p. 84-5, from a MS. of Abraham Fi«ncel. 

' Chr. Arnold's Append, to Alex. Kossen's Unterschiedn. gottesdienst, Hddelb. 
1674. p. 136. 

* Anton*B first YersQch über die alten Slaveni p. 78-4. 


Dlagosz^^ and others after him^ report that by order of king 
Miecislaus all the idols in the land were broken up and burnt j 
in remembrance of which the people in some parts of Poland^ once 
a year, singing mournful songs, conduct in solemn procession 
images of Marzana and Ziewoniay fixed on poles or drawn on 
drags, to a marsh or river, and there drown them ; ^ paying 
them so to speak, their last homage. Dlagosz^s explanation of 
Marzana as ^harvest-goddess' seems erroneous; Frencel's and 
Schaffarik's ' death-goddess ' is more acceptable : I derive the 
name from the Pol. marznacS, Boh. mrznauti. Buss, merznut', to 
freeze, and in opposition to her as winter-goddess I set the sum- 
mer-goddess Wiosna, Boh. Wesna, The Königenhof MS. p. 72 
has a remarkable declaration : ' i iedinu dru^u n&m imiSt' po puti 
z We9ny po Moranu,* one wife (only) may we have on our way 
from Wesna to Morana, from spring to winter, i.e. ever. Yet 
the throwing or dipping of the divine image in a stream need not 
have been done by the Christians in mere contempt, it may have 
formed a part of the pagan rite itself ; for an antithesis between 
summer and winter, and an exalting of the former, necessarily 
implied a lowering of the latter.^ 

The day for carrying Death out was the quarta dominica quad- 
ragesimae, i.e. Laetare Sunday or Midlent, on which very day 
it also falls in Poland (w nieziele ^rodopostna), Bohemia, Silesia 
and Lausitz. The Bohemians call it smrtedbia, samrtnä nedele, 
the Sorbs smerdnitsa, death Sunday ; coming three weeks before 
Easter, it will almost always occur in March. Some have it a 
week earlier, on Oculi Sunday, others (espec. in Bohemia) a 
week later, on Judica Sunday ; one Boh. song even brings in 
' Mag nowy,' new May. But in the Bhine and Main country, as 

I Hist. Polon. lib. 2, ad a. 065. Matth. de Mechovia chron. Polon. ii. 1, 22. 
Mart. Cromer lib. 8, ad a. 965. Mart. Hanke de Silesior. nominibus, p. 122-8. 

^ So the BaBsian Vladimir, after his conversion, orders the image of Pemn to 
be tied to a horse^s tail, beaten, and throum into the Dnieper. Afterwards, when 
tiie Novgorod Pemn was in like manner thrown into the Volkhov, he set np, while 
in the river, a loud lament over the people's ingratitude. 

> The Indian E&U, on the 7th dav after the Mardi new-moon, was solemnly 
earned about, and then thrown into tbe Ganges ; on May 18 the Koman vestals 
hoie puppet» plaited ofnuhee to the Pons SnbUoins, and dropt them in the Tiber, 
Ov. Fast. 5, 620: 

Turn qnoqne priscorum virgo simulacra viromm 
mittere roboreo seirpea ponte solet. 


in most places^ Laetare is the festive daj, and is there called 

There is no getting over this unanimitj as to the time of the 
festival. To the ancient Slavs^ whose new year began in March^ 
it marked the commencement of the year, and likewise of the 
summer half-year, i.e. of their Idto; to Germans the arrival of 
sammer or spring, for in March their stork and swallow come 
home, and the first violet blows. Bat then the impersonal ' Idto ' 
of the Slavs fights no battle with their Smrt : this departing 
driven-out god has the play nearly all to himself. To our an- 
cestors the contest between the two giants was the essential 
thing in the festival ; vanquished Winter has indeed his parallel 
in Smrt, but with victorious Summer there is no living personality 
to compare. And, beside this considerable difference between 
the Slav ceremony and our own, as performed on the Rhine or 
Neckar, it is also difficult to conceive how a native Slav custom 
should have pushed itself all the way to the Odenwald and the 
Palatinate beyond Rhine, accountable as it might be on the upper 
Main, in the Fulda country, Meissen or Thuringia. What is still 
more decisive, we observe that the custom is known, not to all 
the Slavs, but just to those in Silesia, Lausitz, Bohemia and, 
with a marked difference, in Poland ; not to the South Slavs at 
all, nor apparently to those settled in Pomerania, Mecklenburg 
and Lüneburg. Like our Bavarians and Tyrolese, the Camiolans, 
Styrians and Slovaks have it not ; neither have the Pomeranians 
and Low Saxons.^ Only a central belt of territory has preserved 
it, alike among Slavs and Germans, and doubtless from a like 
cause. I do not deny that in very early times it may have been 
common to all Slav and all Teutonic races> indeed for Germany 
I consider it scarcely doubtful, because for one thing the old 
songs of Nithart and others are sufficient proof for Austria, and 
secondly because in Scandinavia, England, and here and there 
in N. Germany, appears the custom of MoAf-riding, which is quite 
the same thing as the Rhenish ' summer-day ^ in March. 

Olaus Magnus 15, 4 says: 'The Swedes and Goths have a 
custom, that on the first da/y of May the magistrates in every 

1 The Holstein costom of going ronnd (omgaan) with the fox, p. 764, took 
plaoe in snmmer (says Schütze 8, 165), therefore not on Laetare ; and the words 
they sing have no explicit reference to sununer and winter. 

MAY-BmiNG. 775 

city make two troops of horse^ of tall youths and men^ to as- 
semble^ as tho' they would go forth to a mighty battle. One 
troop hath a captain^ that under the name of Winter is arrayed 
in much fur and wadded garments, and is armed with a winter- 
spear : he rideth arrogantly to and fro^ showering snowballs and 
iceflakes^ as he would fain prolong the cold^ and much he vauntetli 
him in speech. The other troop hath contrariwise a captain, that 
is named the Blumengrave, he is clad in green houghs, leaves amd 
flowers, and other summer raiment, and not right fencible ; he 
rides into town the same time with the winter-captain, yelf each 
in his several place and order, then hold a public tilting and 
tourney, wherein Summer hath the mastery, bearing Winter to 
the ground. Winter and his company scatter ashes and sparks 
about them, the other fend them with birchen boughs and young 
lime- twigs; finally, by the multitude around, the victory is 
awarded to Summer.' 

Here Death is not once alluded to ; in true Teutonic fashion, 
the whole business is made to lie between 8ummsr and Winter; 
only, the simple procession of our peasant-folk has turned more 
into a chivalry pageant of opulent town-life. At the same time 
this induction of May into the city ('hisset kommer Sivard 
Snarensvend [p. 372n.], han forer os sammer/ or 'ooh hör oss 
sommer i by/ DV. 1, 14. Sv. foms. 1, 44. ^bära ma/ i by/ 
Dybeok runa 2, 67 ; in Schonen ^före somma i by *) cuts a neater 
stateUer figure than the miserable array of mendicant children, 
and is in truth a highly poetic and impressive spectacle. These 
Mayday sports are mentioned more than once in old Swedish 
and Danish chronicles, town regulations and records. Lords 
and kings not seldom took a part in them, they were a great 
and general national entertainment. Crowned with flowers, the 
m^ygrefve fared with a powerful escort over highway and thorp ; 
banquet and round-dance followed. In Denmark the jaunting 
began on Walburgis day (May 1), and was called ^at ride Som- 
mer i bye/ riding S. into the land : the yonug men ride in front, 
then the May-grave (floriger) with two garlands, one on each 
shoulder, the rest with only one ; songs are sung in the town, 
all the maidens make a ring round the may-gra^e, who picks out 
one of them to be his majinde, by dropping a wreath on her 
head. Winter and his conflict with May are no longer mentioned 

VOL. II. z 


in the Schonish and Danish festival. Many towns had regularly 
organized majgreve gilde} Bat as the May-fire in Denmark 
was called ' gadeild^^ g^te (street) fire^ so was the leader of the 
May-feast a gadehcuse (gate bear)^ and his maiden partner 
gadelam (gate lamb) or gadinde; gadebasse and gadinde there- 
fora mean the same as maigreve and maigrevinde.' There is a 
remarkable description in Mnndelstrnp's Spec, gentilismi etiam- 
nam superstitis^ Hafn. 1684 : ' Qui ex janioribns rosticis contnm 
stipalis accensis flammatnm efficacins yersas sidera tollere 
potuefit^ praeses (gadebasse) incondite omnium clamore de- 
claratar^ nee non eodem tempore sua cuique ex rnsticis paellis^ 
quae tanc temporis yemacnla appellantur gadelam, distribaitar, 
et quae praesidi adjicitur titulam hnnc gadinde merebitnr.' 
Hinc ezcipinnt convivia per Universum illud temporis^ quod inter 
arationem et foenisecium intercedit^ quavis die dominica celebrari 
sueta^ gadelams-gilder dicta^ in quibus proceriorem circum ar- 
borem in antecessum humo immissam variisque coroUis ac aignis 
omatam^ corybantum more ad tympanorum stridentes sonitus 
bene poti saliunt/ 

Now this May-riding, these May-graves, were an old tradition 
of Lower Germany also ; and that apparently is the very reason 
why the Mid-German custom of welcoming summer at Laetare 
was not in vogue there. How could springs which does not 
reappear in the North till the beginning of May, have been 
celebrated there in March ? Besides, this May-festival may in 
early times have been more general in Germany ; or does the 
distinction reach back to the rivalry between March and May as 
the month of the f olkmote ? ^ The maigreve at Greifswald, May 
1, 1528, is incidentally mentioned by Sastrow in his Lebensbeachr. 
1, 65-6; a license to the scholars at Pasewalk to hold a maigraf 

1 Ihre mb y. majgrefre. Skrftordning for Enntsgillet i Lnnd an. 1586, f 128-7 
in Bring's Monnm. BoftnenBia, p. 207-10 ; the same for Mahnö, p. 211. £r. Tegel's 
Hist. GostaTi i. 1, 119. Nyemp's Danske digtek. 1, 246. 2, 186. 143. Thiele 1, 
145-68 ; conf . 200. For the Zealand custom see Molbeoh's Hist, tidskiift 1840. 
1, 208. The maigreyes in Bibe are mentioned by Teipager in Bipae oimbrieae, 
p. 728 ; the Aalbnrg maigreve in Wilda*s Oildewesen p. 285, from a statute of 
the 15th Century ; conf. Molb. dial. lex. p. 588. 

' Molb. dial. lex. pp. 150-1-2, where doubt is thrown on the deriyation of 
gade from ON. gata (gate, road). He has also a midtommen-lam, p. 859. 

* The italics here are mine. Each man has a gadeUm, bat oiüy the leader 
a gadinde, — Trans. 

4 Oonf. BA. 821-6 on the time of assiaes. 


jaunt, in a Chnrch- visitation ordinance of 1563 (Baltische Studien 
6^ 137) ; and more precise information has lately been collected 
on the snryival of May-riding at Hildesheim^ where the beautiful 
costom only died out in the 18th century.^ Towards Whitsun- 
tide the maigreve was elected, and the forest commoners in the 
Use had to hew timber from seven villages to build the May- 
waggon; all loppings mnst be loaded thereon, and only fonr 
horses allowed to draw it in the forest. A grand expedition from 
the town fetches away the waggon, the burgomaster and council 
receive a May-wreath from the commoners, and hand it over 
to the maigreve. The waggon holds 60 or 70 bundles of may 
(birch), which are delivered to the maigreve to be further dis- 
tributed. Monasteries and churches get large bundles, every 
steeple is adorned with it^ and the floor of the church strown 
with clippings of boxwood and field-flowers. The maigreve 
entertains the commoners, and is strictly bound to serve up a 
dish of crabs. But in all this we have only a fetching-in of 
the May'Waggon from the wood under formal escort of the May- 
grave ; not a word now about the battle he had to fight with 
winter. Is it conceivable that earlier ages should have done 
without this battle ? Assuredly they had it> and it was only by 
degrees that custom left it out. By and by it became content with 
even less. In some parishes of Holstein they keep the commence- 
ment of May by crowning a young fellow and a girl with leaves 
and flowers, conducting them with music to a tavern, and there 
drinking and dancing ; the pair are called maigrev and maigrön, i.e. 
maigräfin (Schutze 3, 72). The Schleswig maygrave-f east (festum 
frondicomans) is described in Ulr. Petersen's treatise already 
quoted (p. 694 n.).' In Swabia the children at sunrise go into the 
wood, the boys carrying silk handkerchie& on staves, the g^rls 
ribbons on boughs ; their leader, the May-Jeing, has a right to 
choose his queen. In Gelders they used on Mayday-eve to set up 
trees decorated and hung with tapers like a Christmas-tree ; then 
came a song and ring-dance.' All over Germany, to this day, 

I Koken and Lüntzel's Mittheilongen 2, 45-61. 

* He says : * the memoiy of this ancient but nseless May-feast finally pasied 
by inheritance to the toum-cattle, which, even since 1670, had eyeiy Mayday a gar- 
luid of beech-leaves thrown about the neck, and so bedizened were driven home ; 
for which service the cowherd could count upon his fee.' 

> GeldersoheYolksalmanak voor 1835, pp. 10-28. The song is given in Hoffm. 


we have may 'hushes brought into our houses at Whitsuntide : we 
do not fetch them in ourselves, nor go out to meet them.^ 

England too had May 'games or Mayings down to the 16-17th 
century. On Mayday morning the lads and lasses set out soon 
after midnight, with horns and other music, to a neighbouring 
wood, broke boughs oflF the trees, and decked them out with 
wreaths and posies ; then turned homeward, and at sunrise set 
these May-bushes in the doors and windows of their houses. 
Above all, they brought with them a tall birch tree which had 
been cut down ; it was named maiepole^ m^ipoll, and was dratffn 
hy 20 to 40 yoke of oxen, each with a nosegay betwixt his horns ; 
this tree was set up in the village, and the people danced round 
it. The whole festival was presided over by a lord pf the May 
elected for the purpose, and with him was associated a lady of 
the May} In England also a fight between Summer and Winter 
was exhibited (Hone's Daybook 1, 359) ; the Maypole exactly 
answers to the May- waggon of L. Saxony, and the lord of the 
May to the May-grave.' And here and there a district in France 
too has undoubtedly similar May-sports. ChampoUion (Rech, 
sur les patois, p. 183) reports of the Isfere Dept. : ' mme, f6te que 
les enfans c^ldbrent aux premiers jours du mois de mai, en 
parant un d'entre eux et lui donnant le titre de roi.^ A lawsuit 
on the ^ jus eundi prima die mensis maji ad majum colligendum in 
nemora' is preserved in a record of 1262, Gu6rard cart, de N.D. 
2, 117 (see Suppl.). In narrative poems of the Mid. Ages, both 
French and German, the grand occasions on which kings hold 
their court are Whitsuntide and the blooming Maytime, Rein. 41 
seq. Iw. 33 seq., and Wolfram calls King Arthur ' der meienbcere 
man,' Parz. 281, 16; conf. ' pfingestUcher (pentecostal) küniges 
name," MS. 2, 128». 

On the whole then, there are four different ways of welcoming 

Horae belg. 2, 178-lSO. Conf. * io wil den mei gaen honwen voor mijxiB liefs vein' 
sterkyn,' go hew before my love's window, Uhland's Volksl. 178. 

^ Has the May-drink still made in the Lower Bhine and Westphalia, of wine 
and certain (sacred?) herbs, any connexion with an old saorificiid xite? On no 
account must woodroof (asperula) be omitted in preparing it. 

» FnUer descript. in J. Strutt, ed. Lond. 1830, p. 861-6. Haupt'a Zeitachr. 6, 

• The AS. poems have no passage turning on the battle of 8. and W. In Beow. 
2266 * J>Ä wees winter scacen ' only means winter was past, * el ibiemo es ezido.* CSd 


Sammerj tliat we have learnt to know. In Sweden and Gothland 
a battle of Winter and Summer, a triumphal entry of the latter. 
In Schonen, Denmark, L. Saxony and England simply May- 
riding, or fetching of the May- waggon. On the Bhine merely a 
battle of Winter and Summer, without immersion,^ without the 
pomp of an entry. In Franconia, Thuringia, Meissen, Silesia and 
Bohemia only the carrying-out of wintry Death ; no battle, no 
formal introduction of Summer.' Of these festivals the first and 
second fall in May, the third and fourth in March. In the first 
two, the whole population takes part with unabated enthusiasm ; 
in the last two, only the lower poorer class. It is however 
the first and third modes that have retained the full idea of the 
performance, the struggle between the two powers of the year, 
whilst in the second and fourth the antithesis is wanting. The 
May- riding has no Winter in it, the farewell to Death no Sum- 
mer ; one is all joy, the other all sadness. But in all the first 
three modes, the higher being to whom honour is done is repre- 
sented by living persons, in the fourth by a puppet, yet both the 
one and the other are fantastically dressed up. 

Now we can take a look in one or two other directions. 

On the battle between Vetr and Sutmut ON. tradition is silent,' 
as on much else, that nevertheless lived on among the people. 
The oldest vestige known to me of a duel between the seasons 
amongst us is that ' Conflictus hiemis et veris' over the cuckoo 
(p. 675-6). The idea of a Summer-god marching in, bringing 
blessings, putting new life into everything, is quite in the spirit 
of our earliest ages : it is just how Nerthus comes into the land 
(p. 251) ; also Freyr (p. 213), Isis (p. 258), Hulda (p. 268), Berhta 

^ It was a different thing therefore when in olden times the Frankfort boys and 
girls, every year at Candlemas (Febr. 2), threw a stuffed garment into the Main, and 
sang : * Beoker Uder schlng sein mutter, schlug ihr arm and bein entzwei, dass sie 
mordio sohrei,* Lersner's Chron. p. 492. I leave the song nnexplained. 

' Yet Sommer as a contrast does occasionally come out plainly in songs or 
customs of Bohemia and Lausitz. 

* Finn Magnusen, always prone to see some natural phenomenon underlying a 
myth, finds the contrast of summer and winter lurking in more than one place in the 
Edda: in Fiöllsvinnsm&l and Harbardsliod (th. 2, 135. 8, 44 of his Edda), in Saxo's 
OUer and Othin saga (th. 1, 196. Lex. 766), in that of Thiassi (Lex. 887), because 
O^inn sets the eye of the slain giant in the sky (p. ), and Winter is also to 

have his eyes punched out (p. 766) ; to me Uhland (Ueber Thor p. 117. 120) seems 
more profound, in regarding Thmssi as the storm-eagle, and kidnapped I'Snnn m 
the green of summer (ingrün, so to speak) ; but the nature of this goddess remains a 
secret to us. 


(p. 273), Pricg (p. 804), and other deities besides, whose car op 
ship an exulting people goes forth to meet, as they do the waggon 
of May, who, over and above mere personification, has from of old 
his ere and straze (p. 670 n.) : in heathen times he must have had 
an actual worship of his own. All these gods and goddesses 
appeared at their appointed times in the year, bestowing their 
several boons ; deified Summer or May can fairly claim identity 
with one of the highest divinities to whom the gift of fertility 
belonged, with JPVo, Wuotcm, Nerthus. But if we admit goddesses, 
then, in addition to Nerthus, Osta/ra has the strongest claim to 
consideration. To what was said on p. 290 I can add some signi- 
ficant facts. The heathen Easter had much in common with the 
May-feast and the reception of spring, particularly in the matter 
of bonfires. Then, through loi^ ages there seem to have lingered 
among the people Haaier-games so-called, which the church itself 
had to tolerate : I allude especially to the custom of Easter eggs, 
and to the Eastei' tale which preachers told from the pulpit for 
the people's amusement, connecting it with Christian reminis- 
cences. In the MHG. poets, 'mines herzen osterspil, ostertac/ 
my heart's Easter play or day, is a complimentary phrase for lady 
love, expressing the height of bliss (MS. 2, 52*^. ST'*. Iw. 8120. 
Frib. Trist. 804) ; Conr. Troj. 19802 makes the ' österlichen tec 
mit lebender wunne spiln ' out of the fair one's eye. Later still, 
there were dramatic shows named osterspilej Wackeni. lb. 1014, 
30. One of the strongest proofs is the summer and dance song 
of lord Goeli, MS. 2, 57* (Haupt's Neidh. xxv) : at the season 
when ea and eyot are grown green, Pridebolt and his companions 
enter with long swords, and offer to play the osterspil, which 
seems to have been a sword-dance for twelve performers, one 
of whom apparently was leader, and represented Summer beating 
Winter out of the land : 

Fridebolt setze M den huot F., put on thy hat, 

wolgefriunt, und gang ez vor, well backed, and go before, 

bint daz ostersahs zer linken siten bind o. to thy left side, 

bis dur Künzen hochgemuot, be for K.'s sake merry, 

leite uns vür daz Tinkfiftor, lead us outside the T. gate, 

la den tenz al Af den wasen rlten ! let dance on turf be rid. 

This binding on of the ' Easter seax,' or sword-knife, leads us to 


infer that a sword of peculiar antique shape was retained; as 
the Easter scones, osterstttopha (RA. 298) and moonshaped dster- 
mane (Brem. wtb.) indicate pastry of heathenish form. The 
sword may have been brandished in honour of Ostara, as it was 
for Pricka (p. 804). Or is östersahs to be understood like 
Beiersahs (Haupt's Neidh. xxv. 17, note) f 

May we then identify Ostara with the Slav goddess of spring 
Vesna, the Lith. v(i9a/ra (aestas), Lett, vassara, and with ver and 
Sap in the forms ascribed to them on p. 754 ? True, there is no 
counterpart, no goddess answering to Marzana; but with our 
ancestors the notion of a conflict between two male antagonists, 
the giants Summer and Winter ^ must have carried the day at a 
very early time [to the exclusion of the goddesses] . 

The subject was no stranger to the Greeks and Bomans : in 
one of Aesop's fables (Cor. 422. Fur. 380) xeijioav and eap have 
a quarrel.^ The Boman ver began on Feb. 7, the first swallow 
came in about Feb. 26, though she does not reach us till near 
the end of March, nor Sweden till the beginning of May (Tiede- 
mann's Zool. 3, 624). The Florealia were kept from Apr. 28 till 
May 1 : there were songs, dances and games, they wore flowers 
and garlands on their heads, but the contrast. Winter, seems not 
to have been represented. I am not informed what spring 
customs have lasted to this day in Italy. Polydore Vergil, of 
TJrbino in Umbria, tells us (de invent, rer. 5, 2) : ' Est consuetu- 
dinis, ut Juventus promiscui sexus laetabunda Cal. Maji exeat in 
agroSy et cantitans inde virides reportet arborum ramos, eosque 
ante domorum fores ponat, et denique unusquisque eo die aliquid 
viridis ramusculi vel herbae ferat ; quod non fecisse poena est, 
praesertim apud Italos, ut madefiat.' Here then is a ducking 
too; this May-feast cannot have meant there a fetching-in of 
spring, for that comes earlier, in March (see Suppl.). 

Much more remarkable is the Italian and Spanish custom of 
tying together at Mid Lent, on that very Dominica Laatare, a 
puppet to represent the oldest woman in the village, which is 
carried out by the people, especially children, and sawn through 
the middle. This is called segare la vecchia. At Barcelona the 
boys on that day, in thirties and forties, run through all the 

^ Greazer*8 Symb. 2, 429. 494, following Hermann's inteipret. of names, makes 
of the giant Briareus ü fighting winter-demon^ 


streetfl, some with saws, some with billets of wood, and some 
with napkins in which people deposit their gifts. They declare 
in a song, that they are looking for the very oldest woman in the 
Umn, to saw her through the body ; at last they pretend they 
have found her, and begin sawing something, and afterwards 
bum it.^ But the same custom is also found among the South 
Slavs. In Lent time the Croats tell their children, that at the 
hour of noon an old woman is sawn in pieces outside the gates ; ^ 
in Camiola it is at Mid Lent again that the old wife is led out of 
the village and savm through the middle.^ The North Slavs call 
it bdbu rezati, sawing old granny, i.e. keeping Mid Lent (Jongm. 
1, 56). Now this sawing up and burning of the old wife (as of 
the devil, p. 606) seems identical with the carrying out and 
drowning of Death, and if this represented Winter, a giant, may 
not the Romance and South Slav nations have pictured their 
hiems, their zima, as a godd^s or old woman (SI. bäba) ? ^ Add 
to this, that in villages even of Meissen and Silesia the straw 
figure that is borne out is sometimes in the shape of an old woman 
(p. 768), which may perhaps have meant Marzana (p. 773) ? I 
should not be surprised if some districts of Bavaria, Tyrol und 
Switzerland were yet to reveal a similar sawing of the old wife,* 
The Scotch Highlanders throw the auld wife into the fire at 
Christmas (Stewart^s Pop. superst p. 236 seq.). 

But Lower Germany itself presents an approximation no less 
worthy of attention. On p. 190 we mentioned that it was the 
custom at Hildesheim, on the Saturday after Laetare, to set forth 
the triumph of Christianity over the heathen gods by knocking 
down logs of wood. The agreement in point of time would of 
itself invite a comparison of this solemnity with that Old-Polish 
one, and further with the carrying-out of Death ; one need not 
even connect the expulsion of the old gods with the banishment 

^ Alex. Laborde*B Itm6raire de TEspagne 1, 57-8; conf. DoUados bziep« 
Hone^fi Dayb. 1, 869. 

' Anton's Versuch über die Slaven 2, 66. 

' Linhart's Geschichte von Erain 2, 274. 

* The Ital. inyemo, Span.-mviemo, is however mase. 

' In Swabia and Switz., frOnf ästen (Lord's fast «Ember days, Scheffer's 
Haltans p. 53) has been comipted into a frau FatU^ as if it were the fast-time 
personified (Staid. 1, 394. Hebel sub y.). Can onttixig Mid Lent in two have sig- 
nified a break in the fast ? I think not. What means the phrase and the act of 
' breaking the neck of the fast,' in an essay on Gath. superst. in the I6th cent. ? see 
Forstemann's Records of Augsburg Diet, Halle 1833, d. 101 (see SuppL). 


of Winter at ^ all. In Geo. Torquatus's (unpublished) Annal. 
Magdeb. et Halberst. part 8 lib. 1 cap. 9 we are told that at 
Halberstadt (as at Hildesheim aboye) they used once a year to 
set up a log in the marketplace, and throw at it till its head came 
off. The log has not a name of its own, like Jupiter at Hildes- 
heim; it is not unlikely that the same practice prevailed at other 
places in the direction of these two cities. At Halberstadt it 
lasted till markgraf Johan Albrecht^s time ; the oldest account 
of it is by the so-called ' monk of Pima,' Joh. Lindner (Tilianus, 
d. ab. 1530) in his Onomasticon: 'In the stead of the idoPs 
temple pulled in pieces at Halberstadt, there was a dome-church 
(cathedral) edified in honour of God and St. Stephen ; in memory 
thereof the dome-lords (dean and chapter) young and old shall 
on Letare Monday every year set up a wooden skittle in the idol's 
stead, and throw thereat, every one ; moreover the dome-provost 
shall in public procession and lordly state let lead a bear (barz, L 
baren) beside him, else shall his [customary dues be denied him ; 
likewise a boy beareth after him a sheathed sword under his arm.' 
Leading a bear about and delivering a beards loafwaA a custom 
prevalent in the Mid. Ages, e.g. at Mainz (Weisth. 1, 533) and 
Strassburg (Schilter's Gloss. 102). 

This Low Saxon rejection, and that Polish dismissal, of the 
ancient gods has therefore no necessary connexion with a bring- 
ing in of summer, however apt the comparison of the new religion 
to summer's genial warmth. In the Polish custom at all events 
I find no such connexion hinted at« At the same time, the 
notion of bringing summer in was not unknown to the Poles. 
A Cracow legend speaks of Lei and Po-lel (after-lel), two divine 
beings of heathen times, chasing each other round the field, and 
bringing Summer; they are the cause of 'flying summer,' i.e. 
gossamer.^ Until we know the whole tradition more exactly, 
we cannot assign it its right place. Lei and Polel are usually 
likened to Castor and Pollux (Linde i. 2, 1250^), to whom they 
bear at least this resemblance, that their names, even in old folk- 
songs, make a simple interjection, * as the Romans used the twin 

* HaU. allg. l£. 1807. no. 266, p. 807. 

«Pol. lelum, polelum ; Serv. lele, leljo.lelja (Vnk snb v.) ; Walaoh. lerum (oonf. 
ununlamm, verba eflfutitia). It seems to me hazardous to suppose them sons of 
Lada as C. and P. were of Leda. Conf. supra p. 366. 


demigods to swear by. Fliegender sonvmer, flugsojnmer, eommer" 
fl^9> graswebe, are oar names for the white threads that cover the 
fields at the beginning of springs and still more of aatnmn ; the 
spring tissue is also called mmdensumTner, Mary's yam> Mary's 
thread (p. 471)^ that of aatnmn aftersummer^ antamn yam^ old^ 
wives* summer ; but generally both kinds are covered by the one 
name or the other. Nethl. slammetje (draggletail? Brem. wtb. 4, 
799) j Engl, gossamer (Gk>d's train, trailing garment}^ also samar, 
simoff' (train) ; Swed. dvärgsnät (dwarf's net), p. 471. Boh. wlacka 
(harrow, becanse the threads rake the ground ?) ; Pol. UUo swieto 
"tna/rcinskie, Mary's holy summer. Here again the Virgin's name 
seems to have been chosen as a substitute or antidote for heathen 
notions : the ancient Slavs might easily believe the gauzy web 
to have been spread over the earth by one of their gods. But 
the autumn gossamer has another Slavic name : Pol. babie Uito, 
old wives' summer^ Boh. babske leto, or simply bdbj, which pats 
us in mind once more of that antithesis between summer and 
the old wife (p. 782). She rules in winter, and the god in sam- 
mer (see Suppl.) . Can the words of the Wendish ditty, quoted 
p. 771, be possibly interpreted of the film as it floats in the air ? 

I hope I have proved the antiquity and significance of the 
conceptions of Summer and Winter ; but there is one point I 
wish to dwell upon more minutely. The dressing-up of the two 
champions in foliage and flowers, in straw a/nd moss, the dialogue 
that probably passed between them, the accompanying chorus 
of spectators, all exhibit the first rude shifts of dramatic art, 
and a history of the German stage ought to begin with such 
performances. The wrappage of leaves represents the stage-dress 
and masks of a later time. Once before (p. 594), in the solemn 
procession for rain, we saw such leafy garb. Popular custom 
exhibits a number of variations, having preserved one fragment 
here, and another there, of the original whole. Near Willings- 
hausen, county Ziegenhain, Lower Hesse, a boy is covered over 
and over with leaves, green branches are fastened to his body : 
other boys lead him by a rope, and make him dance as a bear, 
for doing which a present is bestowed ; the girls carry a hoop 
decked out with flowers and ribbons. Take note, that at the 
knocking down of logs at Halberstadt (p. 783), there was also 


a bear and a boy with a sword (conf. supra p. 304 n.) in the pro- 
cession j that Yildifer^ a hero disguised in a bea/rsJcin, is led about 
by a musician^ and dances to the harp. ^ Doubtless a dramatic 
performance of ancient date, which we could have judged better, 
had the M. Nethl. poem of here Wialau* been preserved; but 
the name Vildifer seems to be founded on an OS. Wild-efor, 
which originated in a misapprehension of the OHG. Wildpero 
Cpero' ursus being confounded with 'pÄr' aper), as only a 
dancing bear can be meant here, not a boar. Now this bear 
fits well with the gadebasse of the Danish May feast (p. 776). 
Schmidts Schwab, wtb. 518^ mentions the Augsburg waterbird : 
at Whitsuntide a lad larapt from head to foot in reeds is led 
through the town by two others holding birch-boughs in their 
hands : once more a festival in May, not March. The name of 
this 'waterfowl' shews he is meant to be ducked in the brook or 
river ; but whether Summer here is a mistake for Winter, whether 
the boy in reeds represents Winter, while perhaps another boy 
in leaves played Summer, or the mummery was a device to bring 
on rain, I leave undetermined. Thuringian customs also point 
to Whitsuntide : the villagers there on Whit-Tuesday choose their 
green man or leituce-lcing ; a young peasant is escorted into the 
woods, is there enveloped in green bushes and boughs, set on 
a horse, and conducted home in triumph. In the village the 
community stands assembled : the bailiff is allowed three guesses 
to find who is hidden in the green disguise ; if he fails, he must 
pay ransom in beer.^ In other places it is on Whit-Sanday 
itself that the man who was the last to drive his cattle to pasture, 
is wrapt in fir and birch boughs, and whipt through the village 
amidst loud cries of ' Whitsun^sUeper ! ' At night comes beer- 
drinking and dancing. In the Erzgebirge the shepherd who 
drives out earliest on Whit-Sunday may crack his whip, the last 
comer is laughed at and saluted Whitsun-looby : so with the 
latest riser in every house. The sleeping away of sacred festive 

^ yUk. saga, cap. 120-1 ; mark, that the minstrel gives him the name of VitrUo 
(wise lion), which should of oonrse have been Vitrbiom ; for a bear has the sense of 
12 men (Beinh. p. 445). The people's * king of beasts ' has been confounded with 
that of scholars. 

^ Horae belg. 1, 61. Mone's Niederl. volkslit. p. 36-6. Conf. Wenezlan, Altd 
bl. 1, 333. Wislau is the Slav. Weslav, Waslay (Wenoeslaas). 

sBeichsanz. 1796. no. 90, p. 947. The herdsman that drives earliest to the 
ilpine pastures on May 1, earns a privilege for the whole year. 


hoars (conf. p. 590 n.), and the penalty attached to it, of acting 
the butze and being ducked, I look upon as mere accessories, 
kept alive long after the substance of the festival had perished 
(see SnppL). 

Kuhn (pp. 314-29) has lately famished as with accurate ac- 
counts of Whitsun customs in the Marks. In the Mittelmark 
the houses are decorated with ' mai/ in the Altmark the farm- 
servants, horse-keepers and ox-boys go round the farms, and 
carry May-crowns made of flowers and birch twigs to the farmers, 
who used to hang them up on their houses, and leave them hang- 
ing till the next year. On Whitsun morning the cows and horses 
are driven for the first time to the &llow pasture, and it is a great 
thing to be the first there. The animal that arrives first has a 
bunch of ^ mai ' tied to its tail, which bunch is called dau-sleipe 
(dew-sweep),^ while the last comer is dressed up in fir-twigs, 
all sorts of green stuff and field fiowers, and called the moÜey 
cow or motley horse, and the boy belonging to it the pingst^käam 
or pingsUkääreL At Havelberg the cow that came home first 
at night used to be adorned with the crown of fiowers, and the 
last got the ihau-schleife ; now this latter practice is alone kept 
up.' In some of the Altmark villages, the lad whose horse gets 
to the pasture first is named thau^achlepper, and he who drives 
the hindmost is made motley boy, viz. they clothe him from head 
to foot in mid flowers, and at noon lead him from farm to farm, 
the dew-sweeper pronouncing the rhymes. In other places a pole 
decked with flowers and ribbons is carried round, and called the 
bammel (dangle) or pings-kääm, though, as a rule, this last name 
is reserved for the boy shrouded in leaves and flowers, who 
accompanies. He is sometimes led by two others called hunde- 
brösel. In some parts of the Mittelmark the muffled boy is called 
the kavdemest. On the Drömling the boys go round with the 
pingst-kääm, and the girls with the may-bride, collecting gifts. 
Some villages south of the Drömling have a more elaborate 

^ So named, because it has to tonch the dewy grass: which confixms my 
interpretation of the Alamannic tau-dragil (B.A. 94, 630), snpra p. 887 note. 

' In some places a winning horse has a stick cleft in three fixed on his head 
and richly encircled with the finest flowers ; the boy who rides him, beside many 
garlands, receives a cap tooven of nuheSf and must preserve a serious countenance 
while the procession slowly advances : if he can be provoked to laughter, he loses, 
Kuhn, p. 328. 


ceremonial. On ' White Sunday/ a fortnight before Easter, the 
herdboys march to the pasture with white sticks (supra p. 766), 
and with these they mark off a spot, to which no one may drive 
his cattle till Whitsuntide.^ This being done, the smaller boys 
name tlieir brides ^ to the bigger ones, and no one must reveal 
the name till Whitsunday, when the railed-off pasture is thrown 
open, and any one may tell the brides^ names. On Whitmonday 
one of the boys is disguised by having two petticoats put on him, 
and one of them pulled over his head and tied up; then they 
sioathe him in may, hang flower-wreaths about his neck, and 
set a flower-crown on his head. They call him the fästge mat 
(well-appointed, armed), and lead him round to all the houses; 
at the same time the girls go round with their may^bride, who is 
completely covered with ribbons, her bridal band hanging to the 
ground behind ; she wears a large nosegay on her head, and keeps 
on singing her ditties tiU some gift is handed to her. 

Other villages have horse-races on Whitmonday for a wreath 
which is hung out. Whoever snatches it down both times is 
crowned, and led in triumph to the village as May-king. 

A work composed in the 13th cent, by Aegidius aureae vallis 
religiosus reports the Netherland custom of electing a Whitsun 
queen in the time of bp. Albero of Lüttich (d. 1155) : 'Saoer- 
dotes ceteraeqne ecclesiasticae personae cum universe populo, in 
solemnitatibus paschae et penteeostes^ aliquam ex sacerdotum 
ooncubinis, purpuratam ac diademate renitentem in eminentiori 
solio constitutam et cortinis velatam, reginam creabant, et coram 
ea assistent^es in choreis tympanis et aliis musicalibus instrumentis 
tota die psallebant, et quasi idolatrae effecti ipsam tanqiLam 
idolum colebant* Chapeaville 2, 98. To this day poor women 
in Holland at YHiitsuntide carry about a girl sitting in a little 

^ "While this fallow pasture is being railed o£P, the new lads (those who are tend- 
ing for the first time) have to procure bonn to cover the branches of a fir-tree which 
ii erected. The tree is called the gibbet of bones, and its top adorned with a horses 
skull (Kuhn 823-4): plainly a reHo of some heathen sacrificial rite, conf. the 
delation of animals on trees, pp. 53, 75, esp. of horses* heads, p. 47; the good 
Labbe*B hill of bones is also in point, p. 526. 

' This naming of brides resembles the crying of fief s on Walbnrgis eve in 
Hesse, on the L. Bhine, the Ahr and the Eifel, Zeitsohr. f. Hess, gesch. 2, 272-7. 
Dieilenbaoh's Wetterau p. 234. Ernst Weyden's Ahrthal, Bonn 1839, p. 216. 
And who can help remembering the ON. heit strengja at Yule-tide? when the 
heroes likewise chose their loved ones, e,g. in Ssm. 146* : * HeSinn strengdi heit til 

788 Summer and winter. 

carriage, and beg for money. This girl, decked with flowers and 
ribbons^ and named pinxterbloem, reminds us of the ancient god- 
dess on her travels. The same pinxterbloem is a name for the 
iris psendacoras^ which blossoms at that very season ; and the 
sword-lily is named after other deities beside Iris (peranika^ p. 
183-4). On the Zaterdag before Pentecost^ the boys go ont early 
in the mornings and with great shonting and din awake the lazy 
sleepers, and tie a bundle of nettles at their door. Both the 
day and the late sleeper are called luilap or luUak (slaggard). 
Summer also had to be wakened, p. 765. 

Everything goes to prove, that the approach of summer was 
to our forefathers a holy tide, welcomed by sacrifice, feast and 
dancev and largely governing and brightening the people^s life. 
Of Easter fires, so closely connected with May fires, an accomit 
has been given; the festive gatherings of May-day night will 
be described more minutely in the Chap, on Witches. At this 
season brides were chosen and proclaimed, servants changed, 
and houses taken possession of by new tenants. 

With this I conclude my treatment of Summerand Winter; 
i.e. of the mythic meanings mixed up with the two halves of 
the year. An examination of the twelve solar and thirteen lunar 
m-onths^ is more than I can undertake here, for want of space; 
I promise to make good the deficiency elsewhere. This much 
I will say, that a fair proportion of our names of months also 
is referable to heathen gods, as we now see by the identifi- 
cation of May with summer, and have already seen in the case 
of Erede (March) and Eastre (April), p. 289. Phol, who had 
his Phol-day (p. 614), seems also to have ruled over a PhoUmanoi 
(May and Sept.), conf. Diut. i. 409, 432, and Schefier's Haltaus 
36. The days of our week may have been arranged and named 
on the model of the Soman (p. 127) ; the names of the three 
months aforesaid are independent of any Latin influence.' A 
remarkable feature among Slavs and Grermans is the using of one 
name for two successive months, as when the Anglo-Saxons 

^ That there were harutr yean is indicated by the moon*8 being given ' at Aitali,' 
for year's tale, p. 710. 

' Martins rests on Mars, Aprilis mnst contain a spring-goddess answering to 
Ostara, Majns belongs to Maja, a mother of gods, ^e same three conseoatiYe 
months are linked in the Latin calendar, as in ours, with divinities. 

MONTHS. 789 

speak of an »rra and aaftera Geola^ sdrra and aaftera Lt^a^ and 
we of a great and little Horn (Jan. and Feb.), nay^ Oagest is 
followed up by an Oagstin^ the god by a goddess ; I even see 
a mythical substratum in popular saws on certain months^ thus 
of February they say : ' the Spörkelsin has seven smocks on^ 
of different lengths every one^ and them she shakes/ i.e. raises 
wind with them. ' Sporkel/ we know^ is traced to the Roman 



In the last chapter we examined myths having reference to the 
alternation of seasons^ to phenomena of the year. Oar language 
affords several instances of transition from the notion of time to 
that of spaee. 

Ulphilas translates j(p6yo^, tcaipo^, &pa alternately by melt 
hveila, ßdhs, yet so that 'mdl' usually stands for j(p6vo^ or 
Kaipo^i rarely for &pa, and ' hveila ' mostly for &pay seldomer for 
'Xpovo^ and tcatpo^; the former expressing rather the longer 
section of time^ and the latter the shorter. Mel, OHO. mal, AS. 
mcel, ON. mal, lit. mark or measure^ is applied to measured 
speech or writing as well as to a portion of time ; on the contrary^ 
hveila, OHO. huila, MHO, wile, AS. hwil (p. 702), denotes rest, 
and is purely a notion of time^ whereas mM was transferred from 
space to time. We come across ßeiha (neut. gen. J^eihsis) only 
twice^ viz. Rom. 13^ 11 : 'vitandans ]7ata ]>eihs^ )?atei mel ist^' 
€tSoT€9 TOP KULpov, oTt &pa, and 1 Thess. 5^ 1 : ' bi ]7Ö {^eihsa jah 
mSIa/ irepl r&v ypovtov KaX r&v Katp&v. Each passage contains 
both ]?eihs and mel^ but the choice of the former for xP^^o^ <^d 
the latter for Katpo^ shews that {^eihs is even better adapted than 
m^l for the larger fuller notion^ and the most complete arrange- 
ment would be : )^eihs %pöi^09^ m^l Katp6<:, hveila &pa. I derive 
ßeihs from )?eihan (cresoere, proficere, succedere)^ as veihs gen. 
veihsis (propugnaculum) from veihan (pugnare) ; so that it ex- 
presses profectus^ successus^ the forward movement of time^ and 
is near of kin to OHG. dihsmo^ d6hsmo (profectus)^ probably also 
to dihsila (temo), our deichsel^ AS. )?isl^ thill^ for which we may 
assume a Goth. )?eihslo^ ]7eihsla^ the apparatus by which the 
waggon is moved on. Schmeller 4, 294 cleverly connects tSroo 
itself with tempus : the celestial waggon-thill (p. 724) marks the 
movement of nocturnal time (Varro 7, 72-5), and ]?eihsla becomes 
a measure like the more general J^eihs. Even if the connexion of 
the two Latin words be as yet doubtful, that of the two Gothic 


TIME. 791 

01166 can hardly be so. Bat nov> as the Goth, ßeiht has no 
representative in the other Teatonic tongues^ and in return the 
OHG. zity AS. üd, ON. ^id* seems foreign to Gothic^ it is natoral^ 
considering the identity of meanings to suppose that the latter 
form arose from mixing up ]^eihan (cresoere) with teihan (nan- 
tiare), and therefore that the AS. tid stands for \ftd, and OHG. 
ztt for dit; besides^ the OHG. zit is mostly neut.^ like ]>eihs^ 
whereas the fem. ztt^ tid would have demanded a Goth. J^eihaJ's. 
Of course a Goth. )?eihs ought to have produced an OHG. dihs or 
dih (as veihs did wih) ; but^ that derivation here branched in two 
or three directions is plain from the ON. timi, AS. time (tempus, 
hora), which I refer to the OHG. dihsmo^ above, and a Goth. 
]?eihsma, with both of which the Lat. tempus (and t^mo ?) would 
perfectly agree (see SuppL). 

Like hveila, the OHG. etulla, and stunt, stunta, AS. ON. stund 
(moment, hour), contain the notion of rest, and are conn, with 
stilli (quietus), standan (stare), while conversely the Lat. mo* 
mentam (movi-mentum) is borrowed from motion.' We express 
the briefest interval of time by augenbliek, eye-glance; Ulph. 
renders Luke 4, 5 iv ffri/yfiß j(p6vov ' in stiha mSlis,' in a prick 
of time, in ictu temporis ; 1 Cor. 15, 52 ip pvirß 6<l>da\fiov, ' in 
brahva &ugins,' brahv being glance, flash, micatus, AS. twincel, 
and traceable to bralhvan (micare, lucere), OHG. prehan, MHG. 
brehen;' AS. 'on beorhtm-hynU * from bearhtm ictus oculi, 'on 
edgan beorhtm/ Beda 2, 18 ; ON. 't amgahragSi/ conf. Seam. 11^. 
14*. 19**. OHG. 'in slago dero hrawo/ N. ps. 2, 12, in a movement 
of the eyelid (conf. slegiprawa palpebra, Graff 3, 316); 'ante- 

^ In dlhan, dfhsmo the d remained, in sft it degenerated. Just so the Goth. 
Hahan first became regularly OHG. doahan, then irregolarly tnahan, now zwagen ; 
the OS. thuingan first OHG. dningan, then toingan, now zwingen. Less anomal- 
ous hy one degree are OHG. zi for 6k)th. da (to), and onr zweig for ON. dyergr 
(dwarh, MHG. twero. 

' Nomeral adverbs of repetition our langnage forms with stunt as well as mal, 
but also by some words borrowed from space, Gramm. 8, 230. 

< Beside the inf. brHhen (MS. 1, 47^ 185^ Gudr. 1856, 2) we are only sure of 
the pros. part. : onge-brehender kid, MS. 1, 3^ brehender schtn 2, 231* ; for the 

SBt. hrachf MS. 2, 52». Bon. 48. 68, conld be referred to brechen, conf. * break of 
y,' p. 747, yet the two yerbs themselves may be congeners. In OHG. the perf. 
put. appears in pr^^n-oogi (lippus), a compound formed like zoran-ougi, Gramm. 
2» 693. The Gotb. Itrahv assures us of the princ. parts in full, braihva, brahv, 
brihvum (like saihva, sahv, sdhvum). But instead of an adj. braihts (bright), even 
the Gothio has only a transposed form bairhts, OHG. peraht, AS. beorht, ON. 
biartr ; yet our Perahta is afterwards also called Prehta, Brehte (pp. 277-9), and other 
proper names waver between the two forms, as Albreoht Albert, Buprecht Bobert. v 



qnam snperciliam snperius inferiori jangi possit/ Caesar, heisterb. 
12, 5. 'minre wllen (in less time) dan ein oncbr& zao der an- 
dern muge geslalien/ Grieshaber p. 274. 'als ein oucbrft mac 
üf nnd zno gegdn/ can open and shat, Berth. 239. ^ 6 ich die 
hant nmbk^rte^ oder zno geslüege die (or better, din) br&/ Er. 
51 72. ' also schier so (as fast as) ein brftwe den andern slahen 
mac/ Pundgr. 1, 199 (see Snppl.).^ 

A great length of time is also expressed by several different 
words: Gh)th. dive (m.), OHG. ewa (f.), Gr. aUiv, Lat. ctevum 
shading off into the sense of seculnm, O. Fr. ae (p. 678) ; the 
OS. 60 (m.) means only statntnm, lex, as the Gt)th. mM was 
Rcriptnra as well as tempns. Then Goth, alßs (f.), by tnma aUir 
(Eph. 2, 2. 1 Tim. 1, 17. 2 Tim. 4, 10), and ßio^ or yeved; 
ON. old; OHG. with saffix aUar (aevnm, aetas), though the 
simple word also survives in the compound weralt (aasimil. 
worolt), MHG. werU, our welt, AS. w'erold, Engl, world, Pris. 
wraldy ON. verald, verold, Swed. world, Dan. verd : constant use 
accounts for the numerous distortions of the word.' Its Gothic 
form, wanting in Ulph., would have been vair-alps or 'valrfi 
al)?s,' virorum (hominnm) aetas, aetas (lifetime) passing into the 
local sense of mundus (world), just as secnlum, sitele, has come 
to mean mundus, monde. We saw on p. 575 that Greek myth- 
ology supposes four ages of the world, golden, silver, brazen 
and iron : a fancy that has travelled far,' and was apparently 
no stranger in Scandinavia itself. Snorri 15 gives the name of 

^ Can br4w6, OHG. pr&wa, ON. br&, be deriyed from brehenf Perhaps the 
set phrases in the text reveal the reason for it. In that case the OHG. prftwa must 
be for prfiha, and we might expect a Goth, br^yaf Then the Sanskr. bhrA, Or. 
d^pust would be left without the yiyid meaning of the Tent. word. 

' Its true meaning was so obscured, that other explanations were tried. 
Maerlant at the beginn, of his Sp. Hist. : ' die de wereU 6rst toerreU hiet, hine was 
al in dole niet. Adam die wereU al verwerrede,^ This deriv, from wetren (impediie, 
intricare) was, if I mistake not, also hit upon by MHG. poets, e.g. Benner 2S98. 
Equally wrong are those from wem to last, and werlen to whirl. It is quite possi- 
ble, that werd alt (virorum aetas) was intended as an antithesis to a risdnd alt . 
(gigantum aetas) wnioh preceded it. 

' In our Mid. Ages the World was personified, like Death» and the yariona ages 
were combined in a statue with a head of gold, arms of silver, a breast of brass and 
iron, and feet of earth, MS. 2, 176t> ; another representation gave the hgare a 
golden head, silver breast and arms, brazen belly, steel thighs, iron legs, earthen 
feet, MS. 8, 225* ; a third, a golden head, silver arms, brazen breast, copper belly, 
steel thighs, earthen feet, AmjB[b. 27^ This medley, though borrowed horn. Daniel 
2, 81-48, reminds us of ancient idols formed out of various metals, and also of 
Hrüngnir with the stone heart, and Möckrk^fi who was made of loam, and had a 
mare*s heart put into him, Sn. 109. Hugo in his Benner 18764 speaks of a steel, 
diamond, copper, wood, and straw world. 

WOBLD. 793 

guU-aldr to the period when the gods had all their utensils made 
of gold, which was only cat short by the coming of giantesses 
oat of lötanheim. Had he merely borrowed this golden age 
from the classics, he woald have taken the trouble to discover 
the other metals too in Norse legend.^ Bat in the Yöluspä 
(SaBm. 8*) we see that other ages are spoken of, sJc^g-öld (see p. 
421), sJealm-öld, vind-öld and va/rg-öld, which are to precede the 
destraction of the world. 

To translate /c6a-fjuf<:, ülph. takes by turns, and often one im- 
mediately after the other, the two words favrhvus and momaseßs; 
both must have been in common use among the Goths, Mcma» 
sep8 ' means yirorum satns (seed of men), and is used at once for 
Xao9 and for /c6a-fjk09, thus fully conciding with the above- developed 
sense of weralt. Fairhvus I take to be near of kin to OHG. 
(erah, AS. feorh, MHG. verch, so that it expressed lifetime again, 
like aevum; it is also connected with 0H6. firahi (homines), and 
woold mean first 'coetus hominam viventium,' then the space 
in which they live. It has nothing to do with falrguni^ earth, 
mountain (see Suppl.). 

As /COO-/A09 properly means the ordered, symmetrical (world), 
mundua the clean, well-trimmed, bright, and as the Frisian laws 
126, 26 speak of ' thi shene wrald ' ; so the Slavic voiet^ svety swiat 
is, first of all, light and brightness, then world, the open, public,^ 
all that the sun illumines, whatsoever is ^ under the sun.' ^ So 
the Wallach, lume, the Hung, vildg, signify both light and world. 
The Lith. swietds, O. Pruss. 8mtai, world, is borowed from Slavic. 
Like mundus, the Slav, sviet passes into the time-sense of 
seculum, viek (Dobrowsky's Inst. 149). The older Slavs called 
the world mir and ves^nUr, Dobr. 24. 149 ; mir is also the word 
for peace, quietness, and seems akin to mira or mera, measure 
(order?). The Finnic for world is maa' ilma, the Esth. ma ilm 
(from ilma, the expanse of air, and maa, earth), the Lapp, ilbms. 

^ We may oonnect the golden age with Frö'Si, whose mill ground gold and 
peace. The Finns say, in Ukko*s time gold was ground in the mills, honey trickled 
from the oaks, and milk flowed in the rivers (conf. p. 697), Ganander 98. 

' Always with single n, as in mana-maür|>rja, mana-riggys, manags (many), 
man&uli, and as in OHG. mana-houpit, mana-luomi, manac, conf. MHG. sune- 
wende, p. 617 n. The reason of this peculiarity grammar must determine. 

• To bring to light, impart to the world, is in Serv. * na svidt izd&ti.' 

* The Lett, word pasaule seems to have been modelled on this * sub sole * in 
Eooles. 1, 3. 2, 22. 8o * unter disem wölken,' Hol. 9, 31. 


The ON. heimr is mnndas^ domas^ and akin to himinn, himil 
(p. 698)^ as mandns also is applied both to world and sky; 
heimskringla, orbis terraram. ülphilas renders oiKovfieptf, Lake 
2, 1. 4, 6. Rom. 10, 18, by midjunga/rds ; to this correspond tiie 
AS. middangeard, Csödm. 9, 3. 177, 29. Beow. 150. 1496; the 
OHG. 'mittingart, Is. 340. 385-6. 408. Pragm. theot. 17, 6. 
mittigart, Pragm. th. 17, 3. 20, 20. 25, 9. mittUigart, Gl. Jan. 
216. T. 16, 1. mittilgart, T. 155, 1. 178, 2. 179, 1; the OS. 
middilgard; the ON. miffgardr, Seem. 1\ 45\ 77*». 90*. 114^ 11 5\ 
Sn. 9. 10. 13. 45. 61 ; and even a Swed. folksong 1, 140 has 
retained medjegärd. 0. Engl, middilerd, medüooßrth, like the 6r. 
/lea-oyaüi, Pischart's Garg. 66* has mittelkreias, mid-cirole. We 
saw (p 560) that midgwrdr was, to the Norse way of thinking, 
created oat of Ymir's eyebrows, and appointed to men for their 
habitation. The whole oompoand, doabtless very ancient, is of 
prime importance, because it is native to our oldest memorials, 
and at the same time strictly Eddie. Nor is that all : in similar 
harmony, fehe world is called in ON. Oegisheimr, SsBm. 124^. 125', 
and in MHG. mergarte, Annolied 444. Bol. 106, 14. Kaiserchr. 
501. 6633. Karl. 38*; i.e. the sea-girt world, oonf. Goth, 
marisfiivs (ocean), and OHG. mertherti (aetherium),^ Diat. 1, 250. 
Lastly, OHG. woroUring, 0. ii. 2, 13. iii. 26, 37. iv. 7, 11. v. 1, 
33. 19, 1. erdriTig, 0. i. 11, 47. MHG, erdrine, Mar, 198-9, orbis 
terraram, Graff 4, 1163. 

According to the Edda, a hage serpent, the mi9gar98 ormr, lies 
coiled roand the earth's circumference, 'umgiörtJ allra landa': 
evidently the ocean. When Alexander in the legend was carried 
up in the air by griffins, the sea appeared to him to twine like a 
89iake round the earth. But that ' world«serpe(nt,' hateful to all 
the gods (sü er goS fta, Sasm. 55*) was the child of Loki, and 
brother to the Penris-Ülfr and Hel ; he was called lormungandr 
(Sn. 32), the great, the godlike (conf. p. 351), and like Hel he 
opens wide his jaws, Sn. 63 (see Suppl.). 

Everything shews that the notions of time, age, world, globe, 
earth, light, air and water ran very much into one another ; in 
^ earth-ring,' ring indicates the globular shape of the earth and 

' The Fizmio Uma f Featas says mundus meant ooeloxn as well as terra, mare, 

WOBLD. 795 

its planetary revolniion. Mcmaseßsyfairhvus, and weralt point to 
spaces and periods filled by men.^ 

So &r as ' world * contains the notion of secnlam and life^ it is 
significantly called^ even by the OS. poet, a dream : liibdio drom, 
Hel. 17, 17. 104, 7. 109, 20. numm drom 23, 7. 108, 4. AS. 
gumdredm, Beow. 4933 ; * la vida es saeno.' Its perishableness 
and painf olness have suggested yet other designations : ' diz 
eilende wvoflal (weep-dale),' Tod. gehugde 983, as we say ' this 
vale of tears, house of sorrow' (see SnppL). 

From its enormous superficial extent is borrowed the phrase 
'thins bride w&rM,' Hel. 60, 1. 131,21; MHG. 'diu breite 
werlt/ Mar. 161 ; our weite breite welt. Also : ' thiz lant breUa' 
O. ii. 2, 18. daz breiie gevilde. Mar. 34. Wigal. 2269. din breite 
erde. Both. 4857. Wh. 60, 29. Geo. 4770, evpfla x^«v. This 
reminds one of the name of Balder^s dwelling spoken of on 
p. 222-3, breUfa blik, which seems to include the two notions 
of breadth and brightness. An expression used by miners is 
remarkable in this connexion: ^ blickgold, blicksilber' is said of 
the clear molten metal gleaming on the fining-hearth, and ' der 
breite blick ' when there is a plentiful yield of it.^ The beautiful 
bright world is, as it were, a wide glance. 

When ' world * or ' heimr ' is merely used in the general sense 
of dwelling place, we can think of several worlds. The Yöluspft, 
Saem. 1\ supposes nine worlds and nine firmaments (tviiSir), conf. 
Saom. 36^ 49% just as Sn. 222^ speaks of nine lieavens (see 

Of these worlds, not abodes of the living human race, those 
that demand a close investigation are : the Flame-world, the 
Dead- world, and Paradise; but all are connected more or less 

> As we often lue ' world ' and * earth ' indifferently, bo did the MHG. poets. 
The beginning of time is expressed at option either thus : * Ton anegenges zit, daz 
sioh diu werlt erhnop (ap-hove), and mnoter ir kint getmoc (bore)/ Bol. 285, 12. 
* stt (since) diu werlt drste wart,' Uk. Trist. S699 ; or thus : * sit ditiu erde geleget 
wart,* Bol 187, 7. ' sit diu erde abrdrst begonde bem (to bear),' Earl 70^ 

* In Matthesins's Sermons 84* : * Now this Gyms hath a silTer kingdom, 
wherein the word of God, as silver refined in the fire, is preached eu breitem 
pUek,* 91^ : * He hath sent his apostles into all the world, that they may preach the 
goq^ tu breitem plick, as ye mining folk say.' 101* : * Elsewhere lead ap- 
peareih in bloeks, as at Gk>8lar, where the Bamelsberg is su breitem plick almost all 

' Nine choirs of angels, Fondgr. 1, 101. Pass. S89. 841. < niu fyUdngar engla,' 
Fomald. sog. 8, 663 ; conf. the nine punishments of hell, Waokemagel's Basel 
USS. 24** [Buddhist books describe 18 hells, some hot, some cold] . 


with the upper world^ that inhabited by man^ and passages exist 
from the one to the other. 

The ON. system supposes a world-tree^ askr Tggdrasils, which 
links heaven^ earth and hell together^ of all trees the greatest 
and holiest. It is an ash (askr)^ whose branches shoot through 
all the worlds and reach beyond heaven. Three roots spread out 
in three directions^ one striking toward the &ses into heaven^ 
another to the hrim]^urses^ the third to the under world. From 
under each root gushes a miraculous springs namely^ by the 
heaven root Ur9curbrunnr (p. 407), by the giants' root Mimis- 
brunri/r, by the heU root Hvergelmir, i.e. the roaring (or the old) 
cauldron, olla stridens (p. 563). All these wellsprings are holy : 
at the ürSar-well the &ses and noms hold their council, the 
giants' well is watched by a wise man Mimir (p. 879), I know 
not whether a sage old giant himself or a hero, anyhow a semi- 
divine being, or nearly so. Every day the noms draw water 
from their well, to water the boughs of the ash : so holy is this 
water, that it imparts to anything that gets into the well the 
colour of the white of an egg; from the tree there trickles a 
bee-nourishing dew, named huna/ngsfaU (fall of honey). On 
its boughs, at its roots, animals sit or dart about: an eagle, 
a squirrel, four stags, and some snakes; and all have proper 
names. Those of the stags are elsewhere names of dwarfs, 
notably Bainn and Dvalinn. The snake Ni9höggr (male pun- 
gens, caedens) lies below, by Hvergelmir, gnawing at the root. 
The squirrel Batatöahr^ runs up and down, trying to sow discord 
between the snake and the eagle who is perched aloft. The 
eagle's name is not given, he is a bird of great knowledge and 
sagacity ; betwixt his eyes sits a hawk Ve9ff6lnir.^ 

The whole conception bears a primitive stamp, but seems 
very imperfectly unfolded to us. We get some inkling of a feud 
between snake and eagle, which is kept alive by Batatöskr ; not 
a word as to the purpose and functions of hawk or stags. 
Attempts at explaining Yggdrasil I have nothing to do with; at 

' The word contains rata (elabi, permeare), Goth. vratSn^ and perh. eagjta, pi. 
töBknr, pera : peram penneanB ? Wolfram in Parz. 651, 13 has * wenken als ein 
eichom^^ dodging like a sqnirrel. The squirrel is still an essential featnre in the 
popnlar notion of a forest, oonf . BA. 497 and the catching of squirrels at Easter 
(supra p. 616), perhaps for old heathen uses. 

2 The eagle's friend, for haukr I homi (hawk in the comer) means a hidden 


present, before giving my own opinion, I mnst point out two 

coincidences very unlike each other. This tree of the Edda has 

s^gested to others before me the tree of the Cross, which in 

the Mid. Ages gave birth to many speculations and legends. Well, 

a song in the 'Wartburg War,' MsH. 8, 181 sets the following 


Ein edel bonm gewahsen ist 

in eime garten, der ist gemacht mit höher list ; 

ein Wurzel ka/n der helle grünt erlangen, 

ein tolde (for ' zol der ') rüeret an den ir&n 

d& der süeze Got bescheidet vriande lön, 

sin eeie breit hdwt al die werU bevangen : 

der boom an ganzer zierde stät and ist geloubet schoBne, 

dar dfe sitzent vogelin 

süezes sanges wtse nftoh ir stimme fin, 

n4ch maniger kunst so haltents ir gedoene. 

(A noble tree in a garden grows, and high the skill its making 
shews ; its roots the floor of hell are grasping, its summit to 
the throne extends where bounteous God requiteth friends, 
its branches broa4 the wide world clasping: thereon sit birds 
that know sweet song, etc.) This is very aptly interpreted of 
the Cross and the descent into hell. Before this, 0. v. 1, 19 had 
already written : 

Thes krüzee horn thar obana zeigSt üfin himila, 
thie armajoh thio henti thie zeigdnt worolt-entif 
ther selbe mittilo bourn, ther scow6t thesan woroU-floum, 

theiz innan erdu stentit, 

mit thin ist thar bizeinit, theiz imo ist al gimeinit 
in erdu joh im himile inti in ahgrunte ouh hiar nidare. 

(The cross's top points to heaven, the arms and hands to the 
world's ends, the stem looks to this earthly plain, . . . stands 
in the ground, thereby is signified, that for it is designed all in 
earth and heaven and the abyss beneath.) It matters little if 
the parallel passage quoted by Schilter from cap. 18 de divinis 
o£Eiciis comes not from Alcuin, but some later author : Otfried 
may have picked up his notion from it all the same.^ It says : 
' Nam ipsa crux magnum in se mysterium continet, cujus positio 

^ I do not know if Lafontaine had Virgü^s yerses in his mind, or followed his 
own prompting, when he Bays of an oak : 

Celui, de qni la tdte an oiel 6tait voisine, 

et dont les pieds tonchaient k Tempire des morts. 


talis eat, at superior pars coehs petat, inferior terrae inhaerBai, 
fixa mfemcTwm ima contingat, latitado aatem ejus partem nuindi 
appetat/ I can never beliere that the myth of Yggdrasil in its 
complete and richer form sprang oat of this christian oonceptian 
of the Gross ; it were a far likelier theory^ that floating heathen 
traditions of the world-tree, soon after the conversion in Germany, 
France or England, attached themselves to an object of christian 
faith, just as heathen temples and holy places were converted 
into christian ones. The theory would break down, if the same 
exposition of the several pieces of the cross could be found in 
any early Father, African or Oriental ; but this I doubt. As for 
the birds with which the 13th cent, poem provides the tree, and 
which correspond to the Norse eagle and squirrel, I will lay no 
stress on them. Bat one thing is rather surprising : it is pre- 
cisely to the ash that Virgil ascribes as high an elevation in the 
air as its depth of root in the ground, Georg. 2, 291 : 

Aesculus in primis, quae quantum vortice ad auras 
aetheria^, tantum radice in taria/ra tendit ; 

upon which Pliny 16, 81 (56) remarks: 'si Virgilio credimus, 
esculus quantum corpore eminet tantum radice descendit.' ^ So 
that the Norse fable is deeply grounded in nature ; conf. what 
was said, p. 696, of the bees on this ash-tree. 

Another and still more singular coincidence carries us to 
Oriental traditions. In the Arabian ' Calila and Dimna ' the 
human race is compared to a man who, chased by an elephant, 
takes refuge in a deep well : with his hand he holds on .to the 
branch of a shrub over his head, and his feet he plants on a 
narrow piece of turf below. In this uneasy posture he sees two 
mice, a black and a white one, gnawiug the root of the shrub ; 
far beneath his feet a horrible dragon with its jaws wide open ; 
the elephant still waiting on the brink above, and four worms' 
heads projecting Irom the side of the well, undermining the turf 
he stands on; at the same time there trickles liquid honey from a 
branch of the bush, and this he eagerly catches in his mouth.' 

^ Perhaps Hrabanus Manros's Oarmen in laadem sanotae oraois, which I hare 
not at hand now, contains the same kind of thing. 

> Calila et Dimna, ed. SUvestre de Sacy. M6m. hist p. 28-9, ed. Knatchbnll, 
p. 80-1 ; conf. the somewhat different version in the Ezempeln der alten weisen, 
p.m. 22. 


Hereapon is founded a rebuke of man^s levity^ who in the ut- 
most stress of danger cannot withstand the temptation of a small 
enjoyment. Well^ this fable not only was early and extensively 
circulated by Hebrew, Latin and Greek translations of the entire 
book,^ ' but also found its way into other channels. John 
Damascenns (circ. 740) inserted it in his BapKdafi Koi ^I<odca<f>* 
which soon became universally known through a Latin repro- 
duction.^ On the model of it our Budolf composed his Barlaam 
and Josaphat, where the illustration is to be found, p. 116-7 ; 
in a detached form, Strieker (Ls. 1, 253). No doubt a parable 
so popular might also reach Scandinavia very early in the Mid.' 
Ages, if only the similarity itself were stronger, so as to justify 
the inference of an immediate connexion between the two myths. 
To me the faint resemblance of the two seems just the main 
point ; a dose one has never existed. The ON. fisbble is far more 
significant and profound; that from the East is a fragment, 
probably distorted, of a whole now lost to us. Even the main 
idea of the world-tree is all but wanting to it ; the only startling 
thing is the agreement in sundry accessories, the trickling honey 
(conf. p. 793 n.), the gnawed root, the four species of animals. 

But if there be any truth in these concords of the Eddie myth 
with old Eastern tenets, as well as with the way the Christians 
tried to add portions of their heathen faith to the doctrine of the 
Cross; then I take a further step. It seems to me that the 
notion, so deeply rooted in Teutonic antiquity, of the Irminsul, 
that ' altissima, universalis columrui, quasi sustiuens omnia ' (p. 
11 5- 7),' is likewise nearly allied to the world-tree Yggdrasil. As 
this extended. its roots and boughs in three directions (standa & 
]?ria vega), so did three or four great highways branch out from 
the Irminsul (pp. 356. 361) ; and the farther we explore, the 
richer in resalts will the connexion of these heathen ideas prove. 
The pillars of Hercules (p. 364), of Bavo in Hainault, and the 
Thor and Boland pillars (p. 394) may have had no other purpose 
than to mark out from them as centre the celestial and terrestrial 
direction of the regions of the world ; and the sacred Yggdrasil 

^ AIbo in the East, conf. Jelaleddin'B Divan in Hammer's Pers. redek. p. 183. 

* First pabl. in Boissonade's Aneod. Graeoa, torn. 4, Paris 1832, pp. 1 — 366. 

> Hist, dnorum Christi militmn (Opera, Basil. 1576. pp. 816—902) ; also printed 
sepcurately, Antv. s.a. (the illnsiration at p. 107) ; another version in Suiius 7, B58 
seq., the parable at p. 889. 


sabserved a very similar parfcition of the world. The thing might 
evea have to do with ancient land-siirve3ring^ and answer to the 
Boman cardo^ intersected at right angles by the decamanns. To 
the ashtree we mnst also concede some connexion with Ascibnrg 
(p. 350) and the tribal progenitor Askr (p. 571-2). Another 
legend of an ashtree is reserved for chap. XXXII (see SappL) . 

NiflheirrWf where NtShoggr and other serpents (named in Ssem. 
44^. Sn. 22) have their haant round the spring Hvergelmir^ is 
the dread dwelling-place of the death-goddess Hel (p. 812)^ G-oth. 
Ealja ('or heljo/ S»m. 94% 'i heljo' 49. 50. 51, is clearly 
spoken of a place^ not a person), it is gloomy and black, like her; 
hence a Nebelheim, cold land of shadows, abode of the departed,^ 
but not a place of torment or punishment as in the christian view, 
and even that was only developed gradually (p. 318). When Ul- 
philas uses halja, it is always for ^£179 (Matt. 11, 23. Luke 10, 15. 
16, 23. 1 Gor. 15, 55), the mfemus of the Vulg. ; whenever the 
text has yeeyva, Vulg. gehenna, it remains gaiainna in Gk>thic 
(Matt. 5, 29. 30. 10, 28),it was an idea for which the Oothic had 
no word. The OHG. translator T. renders ' infemus ' by hella 
(Matt. 11, 23), 'gehenna'» by hellafiur (5, 29. 30) or hellamssi 
(-torment 10, 28), and only 'filium gehennae' by hella sun (23, 
15), where the older version recently discovered is more exact: 
qiialu 8unu, son of torment. When the Creed says that Christ 
'ni-Sar steig zi helliu' (descendit ad inferna), it never meant the 
abode of souls in torment. In the Heliand 72, 4 a sick man is 
said to be 'f&sid an helsid*, near dying, equipped for his journey 
to Hades, without any by-thought of pain or punishment» That 
AS. poetry still remembered the original (personal) conception of 
Eel, was proved on p. 314, but I will add one more passage from 
Beow. 357: 'Helle gemundon, MetoS ne cuiSon,' Helam venera- 
bantur, Deum verum ignorabant (pagani). So then, from the 
4th cent, to the 10th, halja, hella was simply Hades or the death- 
kingdom, the notion of torment being expressed by another word 
or at any rate a compound ; and with this agrees the probability 

1 A dead man is called nifl-farinn^ Sffim. 249*. The progenitor of the Nibelnngs 
was prob. Nehel (Fomald. sog. 2, 9. 11, Niefill for Kefill) : a race of heroes doomed 
to Hades and early death. * Nibelange: spirits of the death-kingdom,* Lachmaon 
on Nib. 342. 

- From gehenna comes, we know, the Fr. gehene, gdne, i.e. sappHoe, though in 
a very mitigated sense now. 


that as late as Widekind of Corvei (l^ 23) Saxon poets^ chanting 
a victory gf Saxons over Franks^ nsed this very word heUa for 
the dwelling-place of the dead : ' nt a mimis declamaretnr^ ubi 
tantns ille infemtis esset^ qoi tantam multitudinem caesorum capere 
posset ? ' ^ A Latin poem on Bp. Heriger of Mentz^ of perhaps 
the 10th cent.^' describes how one that had been spirited away 
to the underworld declared 'totnm esse infemum accinctam dentds 

ndiqne silvis^' meaning evidently the abode of the dead^ not the 
place of punishment. Even in a poem of the 12th cent. (Dint. 8^ 
104) Jacob says : ' so mnoz ich iemer cholen^ nnze ich so vara ze 
der helie/ until I fare to hell^ i.e. die. The 13th cent, saw the 
present meaning of helle already established^ the abode of the 
damned ; e.g. in Iw. 1472 : ' God bar thee out of helle ! ' take 
thee to heaven^ not guard thee from deaths for the words are 
addressed to a dead man (see SuppL). 

Hell is represented as a lodging, an inn, as Valhöll, where those 
who die put up the same evening (p. 145) : ' ver skulum d Valhöll 
gista % gyeld,^ Fomald. sog. 1, 106 ; ' viiJ munum i apian OSin 
gUia ' 1, 428 ; singularly Abbo 1, 555 (Pertz 2, 789), ' plebs 
inimica Deo pransura Plutonis in v/ma.* No doubt, people used 
to say : ' we shall put up at Nobis-haus to-night 1 * The Saviour's 
words, oTj^pov /ler ifLov iaji iv rä irapaZelatj^, Luke 23, 43 have 
'this day,' but not ' to-nigh V (see Suppl.). 

Here and there in country districts, among the common people, 
helle has retained its old meaning. Li Westphalia there are 
still plenty of common carriage-roads that go by the name of 
hellweg, now meaning highway, but originally death-way, the 
broad road travelled by the corpse. My oldest example I draw 
from a Record of 890, Bitz 1, 19 : ' helvius sive strata publica.' 
Later instances occur in Weisth. 3, 87. 106, in Tross's Bee. of 
the feme p. 61, and in John of Soest (Fichard's Arch. 1, 89).^ 

^ Trad. Gorbeieng. pp. 465. 604 makes a regular hexameter of it : ' tantns ubi 
infemiiB, caesos qui devoret omnes 7 * This overcrowding of Hades with the dead 
reminds one of Calderon's fanatic fear, lest heaven stand empty, with all the world 
running to the other house after Lather : 

Que vive Dios, que ha de tener en oielo 
pooos que aposentar, si considero 
que estan ya aposentado con Lutero. 

(Sitio de Breda, jom. primera). 

^ Lat. gediohte des X. XI. jh. p. 835, conf. 844. 

' Also in Lower Hesse : hellweg by Wettesingen and Oberlistingen (Woohenbl. 
for 1838, 952. 984. 1028. 1138), mUweg by Calden (951. 982. 1022), höllepfad by 
Nothfelden (923). 


In the plains of Up. Germany we aometimes find it called toJieTh^ 
weg (Moneys Anz. 1838. pp. 225. 316). The ON. poetry makes 
the dead ride or drive to the underworld, *fara til heljar * or ' til 
HeljcuTf to the death-goddess: Brynhildr, after she is burnt, 
travels to Hel in an ornamental car, ' 6k meS rei^nni & helveg/ 
and the poem bears the title Helreif, Ssem. 227. In our Freidank 
105, 9. 151, 12 it is the christian notion that is expressed by 
' zer helle vam * and ' drt str&ze zer helle gftnt/ For the rest, a 
hell weg would necessarily bring with it a hellwagen (p. 314), just 
as we meet with a Wödan's way and waggon both (p. 151). 
Nay,, the Great Bear is not only called himelwagen and herren- 
wagen, but in the Netherlands hellewagen (Wolfs Wodana i. iii. 
iv.) ; see a ' Wolframus dictus hellewagen/ MB. 25, 123 a.d. 1314 
(see Sappl.). 

The O. Saxons at first, while their own hellia still sounded too 
heathenish, preferred to take from the Latin Bible infem, gen. 
infemes, e.g. Hel. 44, 21, and even shortened it down to fern, 
Hel. 27, 7. 103, 16. 104, 15. 164, 12; so that the poet cited by 
Widekind may actually have said infem instead of hellia.^ 

The heathen hellia lay low down toward the North; when 
Hermd'Sr was sent after Baldr, he rode for nine nights through 
valleys dark and deep (dökva dala ok diupa), the regions peopled 
by the dark elves (p. 445) ; he arrived at the river Oiöll (strepens), 
over which goes a bridge covered with shining gold ; a maiden 
named Md^guiSr guards the bridge, and she told him that five 
fylki of dead men ' had come over it the day before, and that 
from this bridge the ' hellway * ran ever lower and northwarder : 
' niiSr ok nortSr liggr helvegr.^ This I understand of the proper 
hall and residence of the goddess, where she is to be met with, 
for all the country he had been crossing was part of her kingdom. 
This palace is surrounded by lofty railings (hel-grindr), Sn. 33. 
67. The hall is named Eliudhir (al. ElviSnir), the threshold 
fallanda forad (al. the palisade is fallanda forad, the threshold 
]7olmü'Snir), the curtain blilgandi böl, Sn. 33. It is probably a 
door of this underworld (not of YalhöU, which has 540 huge 

^ A place InfemUi (Erhard p. 140, a.D. 1118) ; Gael, iflinn, Ir. ifetamy WeL 
jjf/pm, ufern, 

3 A fylki oontainB 60 (BA. 207), bo that Baldr rode down with an escort of 250, 
though one MS. doubles the number : * taiiS Baldr h^ melS 500 manna.* 

NIFL-HEL. 803 

gates) that is meant in SaBm. 226* and Fornald. sog. 1^ 204^ 
where Brynhildr wishes to follow SigurS in death, lest the door 
fall npon his heel : a formnla often used on entering a closed 
cavern.^ Bat Hel's kingdom bears the name of Niflhsimr or Nifl- 
hel, mist-world, mist-hell,* it is the ninth world (as to position), 
and was created many ages before the earth (p. 558) ; in the 
middle of it is that fountain HvergeVmi/Ty out of which twelve 
rivers flow, Qioll being the one that comes nearest the dwelling 
of the goddess, Sn. 4. Prom this follows plainly what I have 
said : if Hvergelmir forms the centre of Niflheimr, if GiöU and 
the other streams pertain exclusively to hell, the goddess Hel's 
dominion cannot begin at the ' hel-grindr,' but must extend to 
those ' dank dales and deep,' the ' dense forests ' of the Latin 
poem. Yet I have nothing to say against putting it in this way : 
that the dark valleys, like the murky Erebos of the Greeks, are 
an intermediate tract, which one must cross to reach the abode 
of Aides, of Halja. Out of our Halja the goddess, as out of the 
personal Hades, the Boman Orcus (orig. nragus, urgus, and in 
the Mid. Ages still regarded as a monster and alive, pp. 814, 
486) there was gradually evolved the local notion of a dwelling- 
place of the dead. The departed were first imagined living with 
her, and afterwards in her (it). In the approaches dwelt or 
hovered the dark elves (see SuppL). 

Nifllietmr then, the mist-world, was a cold underground region 
covered with eternal night, traversed by twelve roaring waters, 
and feebly lighted here and there by shining gold, i.e. fire. The 
rivers, especially Qioll, remind us of Lethe, and of 8tyx, whose 
holy water gods and men swore by. With Hvergelmir we may 

1 The O. Fr. poem on the *qiiatre fils Aimon' (Cod. 7188 fol. 126 1») makes 
Biehart, when abont to be hong, offer a prayer, in whieh we are told that the 
Savionr brought back all the Boulis oat of nell except one woman, who wonld stop 
at the door to give hell a pieoe of her mind, and is therefore doomed to stay there 
till the Judgment-day : all were released, 

Ne mes que une dame, qui dist une raison : 
* hai enfer * dist ele, * oon vos remanez solz, 
noirs, hisdoz et obscure, et laiz et tenebrox f ' 
a Ventrer de la parte, si oon lisant trovon. 
jusquau terme i sera, que jugerois le mont. 

The source of this strange legend is unknown to me. • 

* * Diu itrre heUe, wo nehel und finster,* The Luoidarius gives ten names of 
hell : stagnum ignis, terra tenebrosa, tezra oblivionis, ewartiu ginunge, etc. Mone's 
Anz. for 1884, 818 ; conf. expressions in the OS. poet : hdt endi thiiutri, »uart 
Hnnahti, Hel. 65, 12 ; an dalon thiuetron, an themo alloro ferrosten feme 65, 9 ; 
unäeifemdalu 83, 16 ; diap dödes dalu 157, 22. 


connect Hellebome in Brabant^ tlie source of HeUebehe ; several 
places are named HeUeput (Wolf's Wodana 1, v. and 35). Ed- 
voetsluis was cited^ p. 315 note ; the name Helle-voet (-foot) is, 
we are told, still to be seen on signboards (aithangborden) in the 
Netherlands (see Suppl.). 

Gloomy and joyless as we mnst imagine Niflheimr,^ there is no 
mention anywhere of its denizens being punished and tormented; 
neither is it the wicked especially that are transported thither at 
the end of their life, but all and sundry, even the noblest and 
worthiest, as the examples of Brynhildr and Baldr may shew.- 
The only exceptions seem to be the heroes that fall in battle, 
whom OSinn takes to himself into ValhoU. 

In contradiction with this view stands another and, I ihink, 
a later one, that presented in Sn. 4 : All&ther the highest god 
has given to all men an immortal soul, though their body rot in 
the ground or bum to ashes; all good men (r£tt si'Sa'Sir) go to 
him in Gimill or Yingölf, ali the wicked (vftudir) to Niflheimr or 
hell (conf. Sn. 21 and 75, of which more hereafter). This is 
already the christian idea, or one extremely like it. 

For the old heathen hell, pale and dim, the Christian substi* 
tuted a pool filled with flames and pitch, in which the souls of 
the damned bum for ever, at once pitch-black and illumined 
with a glow. Gehenna is interpreted heUa/mri, MHG. hellefiwer 
Parz. 116. 18; the poet of the Heliand, when he wants to picture 
vividly this black and burning hell, turns the old fern, form into 
a masc. : ' an thene hetan hel ' 76, 22. ' an thene sTmrtan hel * 
103, 9. Erebi /omoa?, Walther 867. Nay, 0. and other OHG. 
writers make the simple heh (pix) stand for hell ' : ' in dem beehe/ 

^ Gffidmon stiU piotnres the wttehüs (house of torment) as * deop, dre4ma le&s, 
Biimiht« beseald.' Striking images occur in a doo. of the 11th cent. (Zeitschx. f. 
d. a. 8 445) : sweyilstank, geniheU^ t6dei seategruobe, wallente stredema, etc 

' So all the Ghreek heroes sink into Hadei* houu under the earth. Bat it is 
hard to distinguish from it Tartanu^ which lies lower down the abyss, and where 
the subjugated giants sit imprisoned. This denoted therefore, at least in the later 
times, a part of the underworld where the wicked dwelt /or their pwdikment^ which 
answers to the christian Jbiell. But that the * roots of earth and sea from aboTs 
grow down ' into Tartarus (Hes. Theog. 728) suggests our Norse ashtree, whose 
root reaches down to Niflheim. Conf. also Ovid's description of the underworld 
(Met. 4, 482 seq.), where * Styx nehuXa» exhcUat iners' fits in with the conception 
of Kiflheim. 

' Quotations in my ed. of the Hymns p. 51. Add Muspilli 5, on which Schm. 
quotes a line from Wtüafrid : * At secum infelix pieeo spatiatur av«mo.' Eogenius 
in Dracont. p. m. 80 : * Ut possim picei poenam vitare barathri.* 

HELL. 805 

Warnung 547 and Wemher v. Niederrh. 40, 10; 'die pechwelle/ 
Anegenge 28, 19. It is a fancy widely scattered over Europe ; 
the Mod. Greeks still say irlaaa for hell, as in a proverb of Alex. 
Negri : e)(€i irüraav koX wctpaBeiaoVf putting hell and heaven side 
by side. This pitchy hell the Greeks seem to have borrowed 
from the Slavs, the 0. SI. peklo meant both pitch and hell (Dobr. 
instit. 294), so the Boh. peJclo, hell, Pol. pieklo, Serv. pakao, 
Sloven. peJcel, some masc, some neuter; Lith. pehla (fem.), 0. 
Pmss. piehillis (pickuUien in the Catechism p. 10 is Ace.), the 
devil himself is in Lith. pyculas, 0. Pruss. piekuUy conf. Bausch 
p. 484. The Hungarians took their pokoly hell, from the Slavic, 
as our ancestors did 'galalnna' and 'infem' from Greek and 
Latin. And the smela, hell, of the Lüneburg Wends seems 
allied to the Boh. smola, smAla, resin or pitch. With the heat 
of boiling pitch was also combined an intolerable stench ; Beineke 
5918 : ' it stank dftr also dat heische pek/ Conf. generally En. 
2845. 3130 (see Suppl.). 

Since the conversion to Christianity therefore, there has clung 
to the notion of hell the additional one of punishment and pain : 
kvollheimr, mundus supplicii, in S61arl. 53 (Seem. 127*) is unmis- 
takably the christian idea. The OHG. hellawizi, OS. helliwUi^ 
Hel. 44, 17, AS. hellewUe, expresses supplicium inferni, conf. 
Graff 1, 1117 on wizi, MHG. wize, MsH. 2, 105^ upon it are 
modelled the Icel. helvUi, Swed. helvete, Dan. helvede, which 
mean simply our hell; from the Swedes the converted Finns 
received their helwetti (orcus), the Lapps their helvete, and from 
the Bavarians the Slovens in Camiola and Styria got their vize 
(purgatorium), for the Church had distinguished between two 
fires, the one punitive, the other purgative, and hanging midway 
betwixt hell and heaven.^ 

But the christians did not alter the position of hell, it still was 
down in the depths of the earth, with the human world spread out 
above it. It is therefore called abyssus (Ducange sub v.), and 
forms the counterpart to heaven: 'a coelo usque in abyssum.' 
From abyssus, Span, abismo, Fr. abime, is to be explained the 
MHG. abis (Altd. bl. 1, 295; in äbisses gründe, MsH. 3, 167), 
later obis, nobis (en &bis, en obis, in abyssum). OS. helligrund, 

1 Of one in purgatory the EsthoniaxiB say : ta on kahha ilma wahhel, he is be- 
tween two vorldi. 


Hel. 44, 22; in af gründe gftn. Both. 2334; ir . verdienet daa of- 
grunde^ 1970 ; ' varen ter helle in den donhren Icelre/ dark cellar^ 
Floris 1257.^ AS. se neowla grand (imus abyssas)^ Caddm. 267^ 1 • 
270, 16; )>89t neowle genip (profunda caligo) 271, 7. 275^ 31. 
This neowel, niwel (profundus) may explain an expression in the 
Frisian Asega-bok (Bichth. 130, 10), 'thiu nitient hille/ where a 
M. Nethl. text has ' de grundlose helle/ bottondess hell. Hell 
sinking downwards is contrasted with heaven mounting upwards: 
' der himel allez Af get, diu helle »iget aUez ze tal/ Warnung 
3375-81 (see Suppl.). 

It appears that men imagined, as lying at the bottom of our 
earth, like a ceiling or grating of the underworld, a stone, called 
in MHG. poems dille-stein (fr. dille, diele, deal »tabula, plirtens, 
OHG. du, diu, ON. }ril, J>ili): 'gruebe ich Af den diUe^stein/ if 
I dug down to the d., Schmiede (smithy, forge) 33 ; ' des hcdhe 
viir der himele dach und durch der heUe hodem vert,' its height 
passes over heaven's roof and through helPs floor, ibid. 1252 ; 
' viir der himele dach dA blickest, u. durch der heUe diUestein [is 
not thia floor rather than ceiUng?],' MS. 2, 199^; 'wan ez kumt 
des tiuvels schrei, d& von wir stn erschrecket : der dülestein der 
ist enzwei (in-two, burst), die töten sint üf gewecket,' Dietr. 
drachenk. cod. pal. 226\ This makes me think of the oiiA4>äKo^ 
at Delphi, a conical stone wrapt in net (Gerhard's Metroon p. 29) , 
still more of the lapis mcmalis (Festus sub v.) which closed the 
mouth of the Etruscan WAmdusy and was lifted off on three holy 
days every year, so that the souls could mount into the upper 
world (Festus sub v. mundus) Not only this pit in the earth, 
but heaven also was called mundus,^ just as Niflheimr is still 
a heimr, i.e. a world. And that hell-door (p. 802) is paralleled 
by the ' descensus Avemi/ the ^fauces grave dentis Averni/ the 
'atri janua Ditis' in Virgil's description, Aen. 6, 126. 201 (conf. 
helle infart,' Veldeck's En. 2878. 2907); fairytales of the Slavs 
too speak of an entrance to the lower world by a deep pit, 
Hanusch p. 412 (see Suppl.). 

The mouth or jaws of hell were spoken of, p. 314; Hel yawns 

1 Does * eggmni ' stand for eok-gnmt ? * Das rawer adle komen tzor ^ggrwnde,' 
Cod. pal. 349, 19<». 

3 Conf. 0. Miiller'B Etrofiker 2, 96-7. The Fiim. manala is * locns sabterranenfi, 
ubi yersantuT mortal/ aepnlcrmn, orons, bat derived frraoi maa (terra, inondaB), 
and only accidentally resembling ' manalis.' 


like her brother Penrir, and every abyss gapes :^ 08 gehermae 
in Beda 363^ 17 is the name of a fire-spouting well (puteus);' 
in an AS. gloss (Mone 887) mulf (os) means orcus. The same 
Coll. of glosses 742 pats down 8ed& (puteus^ barathrum) for hell^ 
and 2180 cwia for tartarus, 1284 cwis-husle, where undoubtedly 
we must read cwia-susle. To cwü I can find no clue but the ON. 
qvis calumnia [quiz^ tease 7 queror, questus 7] ; sfAsl is apparently 
tormentum^ supplicium^ the dictionaries having no ground for 
giving it the sense of sulphur (AS. swefel) ; ' susle ge-innod/ 
Casdm. 3^ 28, 1 take to be supplicio clausum. The notion of the 
well agrees remarkably with the fable in the Beinhart, where 
the hero having fallen into a well wheedles the wolf into the 
bucket; he pretends he is sitting in parcuUs down there, only 
there is no getting to it but by taking ' einen tuk (plunge) in die 
helle.* The well easily leads to the notion of bathing : ' ze helle 
baden/ MsH. 2, 254*; for you can bathe in fire and brimstone 
too (see Suppl.). 

Christian and heathen notions on the punishments of the lost 
are found mixed in the S6Iarlio% of the Edda, Saom. 128-9. 
Snakes, adders, dragons dwell in the christian hell (Caadm. 
270-1), as at the Hvergelmir root (p. 796). It is striking how 
the poem of Oswald (Haupt's Zeitschr. 2, 125) represents a 
dead heathen woman as a she^wolf, with the devils pouring pitch 
and brimstone down her throat. Dante in his Purgatorio and 
Inferno misses up what he finds handed down by the Mid. Ages 
and classical literature. Bead also the conclusion of Ceadmon 
(Fundgr. 202); and in the Barlaam 310, Budolf's brief bat 
poetic picture of hell ' (see SuppL). 

That the heathen Mist-world lying far to the north was not 
filled with fire, comes out most clearly from its opposite, a Flame- 
world in the south (p. 558), which the Edda calls Muspell or 
Muspells-heimr. This is bright and hot, glowing and burning,^ 

i Wallach, iad (hiatos), iadul hell. 

> As evening is the 'mouth of night.* 

' Here we may snm np what livüig men have reached Hades and come back: of 
the Greeks, Orpheus in search of Eorydice; Odysseus; Aeneas. Of Norsemen, Her- 
mölSr when dispatched after Baldr, and Hadding (Saxo Gram. p. 16). Medieval 
legends of Brandanus and Tundalns ; that of Tanhauser and others like it shall 
come in the next chap. Monkish dreams, visions of princes who see their ancestors 
in hell, are coll. in D.S. nos. 461. 527. 680. 554 ; of the same kind is the vision of 
the vacant chair in the Annolied 724, conf. Tundalus 66, 7. 

^ Mnspellsheimr is not heaven, nor are the sons of Muspell the same as the 
light elvei that live in heaven (p. 445) ; when Surtr has burnt up heaven and eartli, 

VOL. II. B fi 


natives alone can exist in it^ hence human beings from onr world 
never pass into it^ as into the cold one of the north. It is guarded 
by a god (?) named Surtr, bearer of the blazing sword. 

In the word Muspell we find another striking proof of the 
prevalence of ON. conceptions all over Teutondom. Not only 
has the Saxon Heliand a rmidspelK 79^ 24^ mutspelli 133, 4», but 
a High German poem, probably composed in Bavaria, has at line 
62 muspilli (dat. muspille). Besides, what a welcome support 
to the age and real basis of the Edda, coming from Saxon and 
Bavarian manuscripts of the 9th cent, and the 8th I Eyeiy- 
where else the term is extinct : neither Icelanders nor other 
Scandinavians understand it, in Anglo-Saxon writings it has 
never shewn itself yet, and later specimens of German, High 
and Low, have lost all knowledge of it. Assuredly a primitive, 
a heathenish word.^ 

On its general meaning I have already pronounced, p. 601 : 
it can scarcely be other than fire, flame. The Heliand passages 
. tell us : ' mudspellea megin obar man ferid,' the force of fire 
fareth over men ; ' mutspelli cumit an thiustrea naht, al so thiof 
ferid damo mid is d&diun,^ fire cometh in dark night, as thief 
fareth secret and sudden with his deeds (Matth. 24, 43. 2 Pet. 
3, 10) ; and the 0H6. poet says : ' dar ni mac denne milk an- 
dremo helfan vora demo rmtspille, denna daz preitä wasal (Graff 
1,1063) allaz varprennit,^ enti viur enti lufb allaz arfurpit,^ then 
no friend can help another for the fire, when the broad shower 
of glowing embers (?) burns up all, and fire and air purge 
(furbish) everything. 

It must be a compound, whose latter half spilli, spelli, spell 
we might connect with the ON. spiöll (corruptio), spilla (oorrmn- 
pere), AS. spUlan (perdere), Engl, spill, OHG. spildan, OS. 
spildian (perdere) ; ^ ON. mannspiöU is clades hominum, Isespioll 
(Nialss. c. 158) perhaps bellum. But we are left to guess what 

theie lies abore this heaTen a second, named Andl&ngrt and above that a third 
named Vi&bldinnt and there it is that light elve» alone live now, says Snoiri 22. 

^ In Nemnieh, among the many names given for the bittern (OHG. horotombil, 
onocrotalns, ardea stellaris), there is also muspelt which probably has to do with 
moss and moor, not with onr word. 

" So I read (trans.) for ' varprinnit ' (intrans.), as * wasal * cannot otherwise be 

» OHG. M= ON. II ; conf. * wüdi, kold » with * viUr, guU.* But then why is it 
not muspildi in the OHG. and OS. poems 7 


mud, mu {md ?) can be, whether earth, land, or else wood, tree. 
In the latter case, mudspelli is a descriptive epithet of fire, an 
element aptly named the wood-destroying, tree- consuming, as 
elsewhere in the Edda it is hani vifar (percussor, inimicus ligni), 
grand viffar (perditio ligni), Sn. 126 ; the Lex Alam. 96, 1 has 
medela, medula in the sense of lancwitu, lancwit (Grramm. 3, 455), 
the Lex Bothar. 305 modula, apparently for qnercus, robur (Orafif 
2, 707), and the ON. mei&r. (perh. for mey8r, as sei'Sr for seySr) 
is arbor, Lith. medis [Mongol, modo] arbor, lignum. The other 
supposition would make it land-destroying, world-wasting ; but 
still less do I know of any Teutonic word for land or earth that 
is anything like Ttiud or rrm. We may fairly regard it as a much 
obscured and distorted form; Finn, maa is terra, solum (see 

Surtr (gen. Surtar, dat. Surti, Seem. 9*) is the swart, swarthy, 
browned by heat, conn, with svartr (niger), yet distinct from it ; ' 
it occurs elsewhere too as a proper name, Fomald. sog. 2, 114. 
Islend. sog. 1, 66. 88. 106. 151.206; and curiously ' Surtr enn 
hvtti,' ibid. 1, 212. But there must have been another form 
Surti, gen. Surta, for in both Eddas we meet with the compound 
Surtalogi, Seem. 37^*. Sn. 22. 76. 90. A certain resinous 
charred earth is in the North still called Surtarbrandr (Surti 
titio, Biörn sub v., F. Magn. lex. 730), a mode of naming indica- 
tive of a superior being, as when plants are named after gods. 
Volcanic rock-caves in Iceland are called Surtarhellir (F. Magn. 
lex. 729) ; the Landnämab6k 3, 10 (Isl. sog. 1, 151) tells how 
one Thdrvaldr brought to the cave of the iotunn Snrtr a song 
composed about him : ' ]?& fdr hann upp til hellisins Surta, oc 
foerSi }^ar dräpu ]?&, er hann haf'Si ort um iötuninn i hellinum ' ; 
and Sn. 209^ 210^ includes Surtr and Svartr among the names 
of giants. Nowhere in the two Eddas does Surtr appear as a 

1 Bhonld any one reject these explanations, and take e.g. OS. mudspelli for 

* math-spelli/ oris eloqoiam, or * mdt-sp./ mntationis nantias (as I proposed in 
Gramm. 2, 525), he is at once met by the objection, ^t the Bay. poet writes 
neither * mxmd-sp.' nor * müz-sp.,' any more than the ON. has monn-spiall ' or 

* müt-sp.' ; and then how are these meanings to be reconciled with that of * heimr ' ? 
let alone the fact that there is no later (christian) term for the world's end or the 
judgment-day pointing at all that way. 

^ Sortr might stand related to svartr, as the Goth, name Svartns to the adj. 
svarts. Procopios de hello Goth. 2, 16. 4, 25 has a Herolian name 2ovo/n-ovaf, 
Svartva ? The AS. geneal. of Deira has Swearta and Swerting, conf . Beow. 2406, 
and * sweart racn ' below. 


god, but always, like other giants, as an enemy and assailant o! 
the gods. In Völuspft 48 (Saem. 8*) fire is caUed ' Surta sefi,' 
Surti amicus ,- and in 52 (Ssem. 8^) we read : 

Surtr far sunnan me^ sviga leifi, 
skin af sverSi s61 valttva, 

i.e. Surtus tendit ab austro cum vimine gigas, splendet e gladio 
(ejus) sol deornm : ' leifi ' is plainly another word for giant, Sn. 
209»; 'valtlva' can only be a gen. pi. (conf. Saem. lO» 52») and 
dependent on s61, not gen. sing, of valttvi (which never occurs, 
p. 194) dep. on sverSi ; what can be the meaning here of ' svigi ' 
(usually twisted band, wisp ?) I cannot say, one would think it 
also referred to the brandished sword. Surtr thqn is expressly 
called a giant, not a god. Sn. 5 says : ' s& er Surtr nefndr, er 
)?ar sitr & landzenda til landvamar, hann hefir loganda sverff , 
Surtus vocatur, qui sedet in fine regionis (i.e. Muspellsheims) ad 
earn tuendam, ensemque gestat ardentem {iee Suppl.). 

The authors of the Heliand and the OHÖ. poem, both christian, 
but still somewhat versed in heathen poetry, alike introduce 
muspUli at the end of the world, at the approach of the Judgment- 
day, when the earth and all it contains will be consumed by fire. 
And that is exactly how the Edda describes the same event : 
Surtr arises with the sons pf muspell, makes war upon all the 
gods and overcomes them, the whole world perishes by his fire, 
Sn. 5. 73. When he with his blazing brand comes on from the 
South, the rocks in the mountains reel, the giantesses flee, men 
go the way of the dead, heaven cracks asunder, Saem. 8^ ; the 
Ases do battle with Surtr and his host on a holm called 
Oskopnir (supra p. 144), they are all slain, and the world comes 
to an end (see SuppL). 

It is only the Edda that brings in the name of Surtr ; but our 
OHG. poetry seems to have interwoven features of him into the 
church doctrine about Antichrist, OHG. Antichristo (p. 173-4), 
which, originally founded on the 11th chap, of Revelation, was 
afterwards worked out further on Jewish-christian lines of 
thought. The name occurs in two epistles (1 John 2, 18. 4, 3. 
2 John 7), not in the Apocalypse, where he is meant by the 
many-headed beast. In his time two prophetic witnesses are to be 
sent from heaven to earth, but to be conquered and slain by him. 


Their names are not given either ; that they are Enoch and Elias 
follows from the power given them to shut heaven that it rain 
not^ and is expressly acknowledged by the Fathers.^ Their 
bodies lie nnburied in the street : after this victory the power of 
Antichrist attains its greatest height, nntil he gets npon the 
Mount of Olives, to ascend into heaven ; then the angel Michael 
appears, and cleaves his skull.^ 

With this narrative our 0. Bavarian poet had become acquainted 
through learned men (weroltrehtwtsS), but still the old heathen 
pictures of the world's destruction come floating before him as 
' maspilli ^ draws nigh : he makes much of the flames, he sees 
the mountains set on fire by the blood of the mortally wounded 
Elias dropping on the earth ; no such circumstance is found in 
any christian tradition. The sky swelters in a blaze (suilizöt 
lougiA), the earth bums (prinnit mittilagart), and his already 
quoted ' dar ni mac denne m&k andremo helfan vera demo mus^ 
ftUe% supported as it may be by Mark 13, 12. Luke 21, 16, 
sounds very like the Eddie 

brcB^r muno berjaz ok at bönom verSa, 

muno systrftngar sifjum spilla, 

man ecki malSr ölSrum }^yrma (Saem. 7^ 8*). 

He has ' mano fallit,' as Saemund has 'sol tekr sortna, hverfa 
af himni hei^ar stiömurj Again Sn. 71 : ' ]?& drepaz brcelSr fyrir 
ägimi sakar, oc engi j^yrmir fölSr eSa syn t manndr&pum oc 
sifjaslitL' ^ So even a MHO*, poet of the 12th cent. (Fundgr. 
194) : ' so ist danneniht triuwe diu frowe der diuwe (maid), noch 
der man dem wibe ; si lebent alle mit nide ; so hazzet der vater 
den sun,' etc. One would like to know what heathen figure 

1 Jnstin Martyr*8 Dial, cnm Tryph. ed. Sylb. p. 208 ; Tertoll. de anima cap. 60, 
de resorr. eamis cap. 58 ; Hippolvtns in A67ot repl rijs ffwreXelas rod KÖa-fiov xcd repl 
TOO drrtxpi^ou ; Dorothens Tyr. ae vita prophet, cap. 18 ; Ambrose on ApocaL cap. 
11 ; Aug. de ciy. Dei 20, 29 ; Greg. Magn. in moral. 16, 18. And see authors 
qnoted in Hofbn. Fondgr. 2, 102 seq. and Eansler's Anl. denkm. 1, 486. For later 
times, oonf. N. ps. 68, 7. 73, 10 ; Boroard. Wormat. 20, 98-7 ; Otto Fiising. 8, 1-8; 
Disoip. de tempore, serm. 10. 

3 12-13th cent, accounts of Antichrist in the Hortus delici. of Herrat of Lands- 
berg (Engelhard p. 48) ; in Cod. yind. 653, 121-2 ; Fnnd«^. 1, 195-6. 2, 10^—134 ; 
Martina 191 seq. ; Wackemag. Basle MBS. 22»; and oonf. Introd. to Freidank 
Izii. Izxii. 

s No stronger argument do I know for the theory that VölnspA is an echo of 
our Scriptnres, than the agreement of the Edda and the Bible in this particular ; if 
only the rest would ooxrespond 1 


Antichristo took tbe place of to Bavarians and Alamanns^ it most 
have been one similar to the Norse 8urir. Antichristo plays the 
fiendish hypocrite^ Surtr is painted as the adversary of the Ases, 
as a giant^ and his fire consumes the world. The muspells-synir 
are all drawn np in sqnadrons of lights they and Sartr by their 
fighting bring aboat a higher order of things^ while Antichrist is 
but transiently victorious^ and is finally overthrown by a mightier 
power (see Suppl.). 

What adds new weight to the whole comparison is the affinity 
between Donar and Elias, which was made oat on p. 173-4 and 
is clear on other grounds. To the 8th cent. Elias might well seem 
something more than the Hebrew prophet^ viz. a divine hero^ 
a divinity. The Edda makes all the Ases^ Odinn, Thorr, Freyr, 
and l}yrj unite their powers to do battle with the sons of fire 
and their confederates^ yet they are beaten like Enoch and Elias : 
Elias bears a marked resemblance to Th6rr (or Donar) ^ Michael 
to the queller of Garmr or Fenris-Alfr ; I do not say that Enoch 
is equally to be identified with any particular god, but he might. 
Surtr with the flaming sword may remind us of the angel that 
guards Paradise, but he also finds his counterpart in the story of 
Enoch and Elias, for these two, at least in the legend of Brandan 
(in Bruns p. 187), have an angel with a fiery sword standing by 

their side.^ An AS. homily De temporibus Antichristi quoted 

by Wheloc on Beda p. 495 (supra p. 161n.) contains remarkable 
statements. Arrogant Antecrist, it says, not only strives against 
God and his servants, but sets himself up above all heathen gods : 
^ He &hefS hine silfhe ofer ealle ]?& ]7e hsd^ene men cwasdon J^aat 
godas been sceoldon, on hsBj^ene wisan. Swylc swft W89s Ercidus 
se ent, and Apollinis, ^e hi maeme god l^ton, Dhore&G and EowSen, 
ye hsej^ene men heria^ swi^e. Ofer ealle ]783s he hine SBune up 
ähefS, forSam he ladt ßcet he ana si strengra ßonne hi ealle J Why 
does the preacher say all this ? Had Saxon songs also identified 
the advent of Antichrist with heathen traditions, and recognised 
his victory, like that of Surtr, over Woden and Thunor ? The 
un-Saxon forms Eow8en and Dh6r indicate Norse or Danish 

influence. But a decisive connexion is established by the 

AS. Salomon and Saturn (Kemble p. 148) : in the great battle 

* M. Nethl. poems in Blommaert 1, 105«. '^, 12* haye simply an * out man ' in 
Enoch's place, but they mention the cherubtn med enen »werde vierin. 


between God and Antichrist, we are told. Thunder was threshing 
with his^ry axe, ' se Thunor hit )7rysce'8 mid ]fddve Jyrenan oeexe/ 
by which is unmistakably meant Thdr's Miölnir, the torrida 
chalybs (p. 180), and the confluence of heathen beliefs with 
those about Antichrist is placed beyond the reach of doubt. The 
devil too is called malleus, hammer, chap. XXXIII. 

Whoever is inclined to refer the characteristics of our antiquity 
as a whole to Boman and christian tradition, could easily take 
advantage of this harmony between the two pictures of the world's 
destruction, to maintain that the Eddie doctrine itself sprang out 
of those traditions of Antichrist. This I should consider a gross 
perversion. The Norse narrative is simple, and of one piece with 
all the rest of the Edda ; the myth of Antichrist is a jumble, nay 
artificially pieced together. The two leading personages, Surtr 
and Antichrist, have totally different characters. How should 
the Scandinavians have foisted-in a number of significant acces- 
sories, notably this of muspell, and again a H. German poet 
nnconnected in time and place have tacked on the very same 7 

What the Edda tells of Surtr and his combat with the Ases is 
the winding-up of a fuller representation of the end of the world,^ 
whose advent is named aldar rök (Seem. 36*), aldar la</, aldar rof 
(37^. 167»),» but more commonly ragna rök (7\ 38\ 96\ 166^) or 
ragna rökr (65*. Sn. 30. 36. 70. 88. 165), i.e. twilight, darkening, 
of time and the sovran gods (supra p. 26). Bök and rökr hoth 
mean darkness, ro'/s rö&ra in Saam. 113* is an intensified expres- 
sion for utter darkness ; Biöm renders röckur (neut.) crepus- 
culum, röckva vesperascere. It is akin to the Ooth. riqis o-koto^, 
riqizeins a-Koreivo^, riqizjan a-Kori^ea-dai, only that is increased 
by a suffix -is, and has its radical vowel alien from the Norse ö, 
which must be a modified a, so that rök stands for raku. This 
is confirmed by the Jutish rag nebula, still more by the AS. 
racu : ' ]7onne sweart racu stigan onginne^,' Gaedm. 81, 34 must 
be rendered ' cum atra caligo surgere incipit.' Bökatolar (Saem. 
P, conf. supra p. 136) are the chairs of mist whereon the gods sit 
up in the clouds. To this rök, racu I refer the expression quoted 

^ It is worth noting, that it is proclaimed by prophetesses, Vala, Hyndla ; and 
later, Thiota (p. 96) announced congnmmationis seouli diem. 

' Rof ruptura ; as they said * regin rtu/eu/ dii rompuntor, the world is going 
to pieces. 


on p. 753, ' die finstre ragende naclit/ which can hardly be ex- 
plained from our ragen (rigere) stick ont.^ Bagnarok then is 
the night of the gods^ which comes over all beings^ even the 
highest^ p. 816 (see Sappl.)* 

Then the evil beings^ long held in check and nnder spell^ break 
loose and war against the gods : a wolf swallows the snn^ another 
the moon (p. 705-6)^ the stars fall from heaven^ the earth qnakes^ 
the monstroas world-snake lörmongandr, seized with giant faiy 
(iötunmo^r^ p. 530)^ rises out of the waters on to the land^ 
Fenris&lfr is set free (p. 244)^ and Naglfar afloat, a ship con- 
structed out of dead men^s nails.^ Loki brings up the hrimthurses 
and the retinue of Hel (Heljar sinnar)^ all the hellish^ wolfish kin- 
dred have mustered together. But it is from the flame-world 
that the gods have most danger to dread : Surtr and his glitter- 
ing host come riding over Bifrost the rainbow (p. 732) in such 
strength that they break it down. The single combatants are 
disposed thus : O^inn fights with Fenris&lfr, Th6rr with lormun- 
gandr^ Preyr with Surtr, T^ with Garmr/ Heimdall with Loki; 
in every case the old gods go down, though Garmr and Loki fall 
too, and Fenris&lfr is slain by Yi%kr> That Loki and all his kin 
should come out as allies to the sons of flame, follows from his 

> Pers. rache is said to mean vaponr ; may the Sanskr. rajani (nox) be also 
brought in? The Slav, rok tempus, annna, terminus, fatnm, Lith. rakutf is worth 
considering ; its abstract meaning may have sprang out of a material one, and fits 
in perfectly with the notions of time and world developed on p. 790 [rok^ fate, is 
from rekn, I speak] . Neither rok, rökr, nor riqis has anything to do with our 
ranch, reek, ON. reykr. It is not correct for Danish writers to nse the form ragna- 
rok; ON. rok must in their dialect be rag (as sök is sag) ; the OHQ. form of ragna- 
rok would be regino-rahha, or -rah, -rahhu, according as it were fern, or neuter. 
In Swed. and Dan. the term is extinct, but they both have a word for crepusculum, 
Swed. tkysmörker^ Dan. tutmi^ke^ which may be from |>U8S, |>urs, implying an ON. 
puTtmyrkr^ giant's murk, and that would tally with the giant nature of Surtr. 

^ This is intended to express the enormous distance and tardy arriyal of the 
world^B end : before such a yessel can be built of the tiny nail-parings of dead bodies 
a longish time must elapse, which is still further protracted by the wholesome pre- 
cept, always to pare the nails of the dead before burying or burning them ; conf. F. 
Magnusen's Lex. 520. 820. Not unlike is the image of the mountain of eternity, to 
which a bird adds one grain of sand every hundred years. 

' Garmr, the hugest of all hound» (Sem. 46^), no doubt, like Kipßepot^ only 
a metamorphosed giant, seems like him also to be a native of the under-world ; 
when OSinn journeys to Niflhel, ' mcetti hann hvelpi >eim er or heljo kom,* met he 
the whelp that came out of hell (94*) ; he barks long, he lies chained and barks *for 
On^pafiellir ' (7*. 8*). The hell-nound of christian legend oomes nearer the None 
wolf (see next note). 

* VtSar's viotoiy over the wolf, in whose jaws he plants a foot mythicaUy shod 
(Sn. 78), resembles the description in christian traditions of how the hell-hound was 
Msailed ; conf. Fundgr. 1, 178-9. 


very nature^ he being a god of fire (p. 241). After tie world- 
conflagration or Surtalogi, a new and happier earth rises out 
of the sea^ with gods made young again^ but still called Aesir, 
SsBm. 10 : a finale bearing an indisputable likeness to the Last 
Judgment ^ and New Jerusalem of the christians. Strophe 65 of 
the Völuspä, which expressly mentions the regindomr, has been 
pronounced an interpolation^ because it is wanting in some MSS.; 
but interpolation is not a thing to be gauged by the contents 
alone, it must be incontrovertibly established by explicit proofs. 
Even if it did take place, neither the heathen character of the 
myth nor the age of the poem as a whole is thereby brought 
under suspicion. For, as the heathen faith among early converted 
races was not demolished at a blow,^ so here and there a chris- 
tian dogma may also have penetrated even to nations that were 
still heathen; conversely some heathen ways of thinking lingered 
on among christians. Consider how the author of the Heliand 
(131-2-3), while following the Gospels in describing the approach 
of the Last Day, yet admits such rank heathenisms as ' Gebanes 
strdm ^ and ' Mi^dspelli.^ In the very personifying of the Judg- 
ment day i^verit stuatago in lant,' like ^muspelli humit') there is 
a flavour of heathenism. 

There seem to have existed some other traditions about the 
world^s destruction, which have not come down to us in their 
fulness. Among these 1 reckon the folk-tale mentioned on p. 429^ 
of the ring which the swan will drop from his mouth : it sounds 
altogether antique, and possibly harks back to the notion of the 
world-ring, p. 794. 

To the destruction of the world hy fire, which heathens and 
christians^ look forward to as future^ stands opposed that hy 
watery which the histories of both represent as pa^t. The Burn- 
ing, like the Deluge (pp. 576 — 81), is not to destroy for ever, but 
to purify, and bring in its wake a new and better order of things 
(see Suppl.). 

1 OHG. antitago, tuonotac, iuanotago, tuomUtae, tuomtae^ stuatago (Goth. 
8t4nadag8?) ; MHG. endetaCy tüenetac, tuomtac; OS. *the lazto dag,* ddmdag, ddmes- 
dag, AS. d6mdag, Engl, doonu-day, ON. ddmtdagr, 

' In Leyden'B Gomplaynt p. 98 is actually mentioned a story, * the tayl of the 
wolfe and the warldifi end,* which was oarrent in Scotland and elsewhere (sapra 
p. 245) as late as the 15th cent. Worth reading is an loel. free adaptation of the 
Vatidniom Merlini, said to have been composed towards the end of the 12th oent., 
in which are mixed ON. ideas of the world's end, F. Magn. lex. 658-9. 

> 2 Pet. 8, 12 ; oonf . Freidank 179, 4. 


The ohurcli tradition of the Mid. Ages (based on Matth. 24, 
Mark 13, Luke 21) accepts fifteen signs as premonitions of the 
Jadgment-day ; ^ these do not include the unearthly winter, fim^ 
bulvetr, that wind-age (vindöld, p. 798, Haupt's Zeitschr. 7, 
309), which according to both Eddas (Sasm. 36^. Sn. 71) pre- 
cedes the ragnarökr, and is doubtless a truly Teutonic fancy ; * 
but we have a darkening of the sun and moon described (p. 244), 
and an earthquake, which equally precedes the twilight of the 
gods : ' griotbiörg gnaia, himinn klofnar, gnyr allr lötunheimr,* 
S83m. 8^; the ordinary term in ON. is land-skialfii, Sn. 50, or 
'iörd shalfi' 'landit sk&lf, sem ft J>r8e«i 16ki,' Pornald. sog. 1, 
424. 503.* For aeiafio^ TJiphilas gives the fem. reiro, he says 
'airpskreirdida;' OS. 'ertha bivoda/ Hel. 168, 23; OHG. 'erda 
bibinota/ 0. iv. 34, 1, and the subst. erdpipa, erdbibunga, erd- 
giruomessi. Beinardus 1, 780 puts in juxtaposition: 'nee tremor 
est terras, judidive dies;' and Servian songs: 'ili grmi, ü se 
zemlia trese ? ' does it thunder, or does the earth shake ? (Vuk 2, 
1. 105). But the earth^s quaking, like the Deluge, is oftener 
represented as a past event, and is ascribed to various causes. 
The Greek fable accounts for it by imprisoned cydops or titans 
(Ov. Met. 12, 521) ; the Norse by the struggles of chained Loki 
when drops of poison fall upon his face (SsBm. 69. Sn. 70), or by 
F&fnir's journey to the water (Pornald. sog. 1, 159. 160). The 
earth also quakes at the death of certain heroes, as Heimir (For- 
nald. sog. 1, 232), and of the giant (Yilk. saga cap. 176). At 
Roland's death there is lightning, thunder and earthquake, Bol. 
240, 22. To the Indians the earth quakes every time one of the 
eight elephants supporting the globe is tired of his burden, and 
gives his head a shake.^ The Japanese say of an earthquake : 
' there is another whale crept away from under our country ;* the 

^ Thorn. Aquinas (d. 1274) in Libnim 4 sententiar. Petri Lomb. diet. 48. qa. 1. 
art. 4 (Thomae opp. Venet. 13, 442). Asegabök (Biohth. 130-1). Haupt*B Zeitschr. 
1, 117. 3, 523. Hoffm. Fondgr. 1, 196-7. 2, 127. Amgb. 39. Wackem^gers Basle 
MSS. 22b. Massm. denkm. 6. Berceo (d. 1268) de los signos que aparoer&n ante 
del Jnicio, in Sanohez coleocion 2, 273. Thomas, Asegabök and Beroeo aU refer to 
Jerome, but no such enumeration of the 15 signs is to be found in his works. Bol. 
289-90 and Earl 89* have similar signs at Boland's death (see Suppl.). 

' Notice Saem. 119* : ' >a'San koma aniofar ok $narir vindar,* and the poetic de- 
scriptions of winter in AS. writers: Andr. 1256-63. Beow. 2258. 

» * Lönd oil skulfu,' Sn. 66 ; * fold for sHdlfandi' 148. 

* Schlegel's Ind. bibl. no. 2. 


Tahitians: 'God shakes the earth ;'^ the Lettons: 'Drebknls beats 
the earthy and makes her tremble/ jast as the Greeks call their 
Poseidon (Neptune) ^Ewoa-iyato^, ^Evvoa-lSa^ (see Sappl.)* 

Oar forefathers thought of the sky not only as a roof to the 
earth (p. 698), but as a heavenly kingdom, the dwelling-place of 
gods and of blessed men whom they had taken np. The bridge 
of the heavenly bow leads into it (p. 732), so does the milky way 
(p. 366). 

We mnst first suppose all that to have happened which was 
told in chap. XIX about the creation of the world according to 
ON. views. After the gods had set in order heaven and earth, 
created Ask and Embla, and appointed Mi'SgarS to be the 
habitation of man, they fitted up for themselves in the centre 
of the world a dwelling-place named Asgarfr, in whose vast ex- 
tent however a number of particular spots are specified. 

None of these separate mansions is more celebrated than the 
Odinic Valhöll (OHG. Walahalla?), whose name has an obvious 
reference to the god's own appellation of Valföffr and to the 
Valkyrs (p. 417).^ Into this abode, sometimes known as Otins 
aalir (Seem. 148^), the war-maidens have conducted to him all 
the heroes that from the beginning of the world have fallen in 
valr, on the battle-field (the v&pn-bitnir, weapon-bitten, Yngl. 
saga c. 10) ; these he adopts as children, they are oskasynir, sons 
by wishing, ad-option,' and likewise sons of the god Wish (p. 
143). Their usual name is einherja/r, egregii, divi, as QSinn him- 
self is called Herjan and Herjafödr, and heri means the fighting 
hero (p. 342-8). It must not be overlooked-, that Th6rr himself 
is called an einheri, SsBm. 68% as if a partaker of Yalhöll. From 
the existence of a proper name Einheri in OHG. (e.g. Meichelbeck 
no. 241. 476. Schannat 137), I argue the former prevalence of 
the mythical term amongst us also ; yet not with certainty, as it 
may be a contracted form of Eginheri, Aganheri, like Einhart for 
Eginhart, Beinhart for Beginhart. Valhöll is covered with shields^ 

1 Zimmerm. Tasofaenb. f. reisen, jahrg. 9 abth. 2. Adelang*s Mithrid. 1, 634. 

* Prob, also to Valaskidlff the hall covered with silver, Stem. 41*. Sn. 21 ; oonf. 
Hliffskialft p. 135. Skidlf expresses the quivering motion of the airy mansion, 
like bif in Bifröst. Oar OHG. * walaekt des dwigen Itbes,' Is. 73, 4 seems not 
merely possessio vitae SBternsB, bat an emphatic term purposely chosen. 

' * Got setzet si in sine schdz,' in hid bosom, Ls. 3, 92. 


(Sn. 2) and nambers 540 doors^ each affording passage to 800 
einheries at once^ or 432,000 in all^ SsBni. 43*. In the midst of 
it stands a mighty tree Ljemffr, Lceraffr, whose foliage is crept by 
the she-goat Heiärün; the goat's udder yields (as Amalthea's 
horn did nectar) a barrelful of mead a day, enough to nourish all 
the einheries. The stag Eikßymir gnaws the branches of the 
tree, and out of his horns water trickles down into H^ergelmir 
continually, to feed the risers of the underworld (pp. 558. 561). 

This mansion of bliss all valiant men aspired to, and attained 
after death ; to the evildoer, the coward, it was closed ^ : ' mun 
s& malSr braut rekinn ur Fo/AoUu, ok ^r aldrei koma,' Nialss. 
cap. 89. To wage a life-and-death conflict with a hero was 
called shewing him to Walhalla (visa til Valhallar), Fomald. 
sog. 1, 424. Sagas and panegyric poems paint the reception of 
departed heroes in Walhalla: when Helgi arrives, OSinn offers 
to let him reign with him, Sssm. 166^; the moment Helgi has 
acquired the joint sovereignty, he exercises it by imposing menial 
service on Hundingr, whom he had slain. Thus the distinctions 
of rank were supposed to be perpetuated in the future life. On 
the approach of Eyrikr, OSinn has the benches arranged, the 
goblets prepared, and wine brought up (Fragm. of song, Sn. 97) ; 
Sigmund and Sinfiotli are sent to meet him (Midler's Sagabibl. 
2, 375). The H&konarm&l is a celebrated poem on Häkon's wel- 
come in Yalholl. But even the hall of a king on earth, where 
heroes carouse as in the heavenly one, bears the same name 
Valhöll (Sa&m. 244\ 24<>* anent AÜi). The abodes and pleasures 
of the gods and those of men are necessarily mirrored in each 
other ; conf. pp. 336. 393 (see Suppl.) . 

Indian mythology has a heaven for heroes, and that of Ghreece 
assigns them an elysium in the &r West, on the happy isles of 
Okecmos; we may with perfect confidence assert, that a belief in 
Walhalla was not confined to our North, but was common to all 
Teutonic nations. A 'vita Idae' in Pertz 2, 571 uses the ex- 
pression 'coelorum }xilatinae eedes/ implying that a court is 
maintained like the king's palatium, where the departed dwell. 
Still more to the point is the AS. poet's calling heaven ^ a shield' 

^ A 13th cent. poem, to be pnmsaüj quoted, has whetiäj an immistakaUe zefer- 
enee to oar tale of tne »pUlwMtm or tpielkmmsel (Jack player), who is turned oot of 
heaven, beeaose he has led a bad life, and pofonned no deeds. 


bwrg, which, like ValhöU, was covered with golden shields (p. 700). 
In the 'vita Wnlframi' there is shewn to the Frisian king Radbot 
a house glittering ivith gold, prepared for him when he dies (D.S. 
no. 447. V, d, BorgVs 07erlev,,93) ; like that described in MS. 
2, 229b : 

In himeliich ein hüs st&t, 

ein galdin wee dartn gkt, 

die siule die sint mermelin^ 

die zieret unser trehtin 

mit edelem gesteine. 

A poem of the 13th cent. (WamuDg 2706 — 98) declares that 
the kingdom of heaven is to be won by heroes only, who have 
fought and bear upon them scars from stress of war (n&ch ur- 
linges n6t), not by a useless fiddler : 

Die herren vermezzen 

ze gemache sint gesezzen, 

unt ruowent immer mdre 

n&ch verendetem s^re. 

Versperret ist ir burctor, 

beliben miiezen d& vor 

die den strit niht en-v&hten 

unt der flühte ged&hten. — 

SwU 86 helde suln beliben 

ir herren ir müezet vehten, 

welt ir mit guoten knehten 

den selben gmach niezen (see Sappl.). 

(There men high-mettled to repose are settled, they rest ever- 
more from ended sore. Barred is their borough-gate ; and they 
without must wait who the fight ne'er fought, but of flight took 
thought, etc.) 

But another thing must have been inseparable from the heathen 
conception, viz. that in Walhalla the goblet goes round, and the 
joyous carouse of heroes lasts for ever.^ Several expressions may 

1 The Bame thought is strongly expressed in a well-known epitaph : 

Wiek, düvel, wiek 1 wiek wit van mi (get away from me) I 

ik soher mi nig (I oare not) en har nm di, 

ik ben en meklenburgsoh edelman : 

wat geit di düvel min süpen an (to do with my quaffing) ? 


be accepted as proofs of this. Olaffs-hsimr is tlie name of the 
spot on which Yalhöll is reared^ Saom. 41*; in OlaSsheim stands 
the high seat of Allfather^ Sn. 14« A house by the side of it, 
built for goddesses, bears the name of Vin-golf, but it seems also 
to be used synonymously with Yalhöll, as one poet sings : ' vildac 
glalSr 1 Vingolf fylgja ok meiS einherjum öl drecka.' Vingolf is 
literally amica aula, and it is by the almost identical words wiiv- 
burg, winsele, as well as goldburg, goldsele, that AS« poets name 
the place where a king and his heroes drink (Pref. to Andr. and 
El. xxxvii.-yiii.). GlalSsheimr or gla'Sheimr may mean either 
glad, or bright, home; even now it is common to call heaven a 
hall of joy, vale of joy, in contrast to this vale of tears (p. 795), 
I do not know if the aiicient term mona gaudii, mendelberc (p. 
170 n.) had any reference to heaven ; but much later on, a joyful 
blissful abode was entitled saBldenberc (Diut. 2, 85),wonnenberg, 
freudenberg : ' to ride to the freudenberg at night ' says a Bee. 
of 1445 (Amoldi^s Misc. 102); 'thou my heart's freudensal* is 
addressed to one's lady love (Fundgr. 1, 335), like the more 
usual ' thou my heaven * ; and in thieves' slang freudenberg and 
wonnenberg = doxy. Frevden-thal, »berg, -garten often occur as 
names of places (see Suppl,).^ 

Let us see how much of these heathen fancies has survived 
among christian ones, or found its counterpart in them. The 
name Yalhöll, Walahalla, seems to have «been avoided; winsele 
may indeed have been said of heaven, but I can only find it used 
of earthly dwelUngs, Caedm. 270, 21. Beow. 1383. 1536. 1907. 
On the other hand our later and even religious poets continue 
without scruple to use the i^vm. freudejisal for heaven, for heavenly 

ik sup mit min herr Jesa Christ, 
wenn dn, düvel, ewig dörsten must, 
nn drink mit en fort koUe schalt 
wenn dn sittst in de höllequal. 

This is not mere railing, but the sober earnest of heroes who mean to drink and 
hunt with Wuotan ; conf. Lisoh's Mekl. jahrb. 9, 447. 

1 Such a land of bliss is part of Celtic legend too, the fav Morgan (p. 412 n.) 
conducts to it ; I read in Parz. 56, 18 : den faort ein feie, hiez Morgan, in Ter de la 
$choye (joie ; see Snppl.). Bemember also the Norse glerhiminn (ooelom yitreom), 
a paradise to which old heroes ride (larlmagus saga p.m. 320-2) ; legends and lavs 
have gUus-hergs and gUus-hurgs as abodes of heroes and wise women, e.g. Brynild's 
smooth nnscalable glarhjerg (Dan. V. 1, 182), and the four ^Uusbergs in Wolfdiet. 
(Cod. Dresd. 289), conf. the Lith. and Pol. glass-mountam of the nnderworld, 
p. 836 n. A gUuS'hotue in the air (chAtean en Tair) occurs as early as Tzistan, 
ed. Michel 2, 103, conf. 1, 222 


joy is christian too. Also : ' stigen ze himel M der sodden here/ 
climb the mount of bliss^ Wackern. Basle MSS. p. 5. The 
christian faith tells of two places of bliss^ a past and a fhtare. 
One is where the departed dwell with God ; the other^ forfeited 
by our first parents' sin^ is represented as a garden, Eden. Both 
are translated irapahetao^ in the LXX, whence paradisus in the 
Yulg.; this is said to be a Persian word^ originally denoting 
garden or park, which is confirmed by the Armenian bardez 
(hortns). The only passage we have the advantage of consulting 
in XJlph., 2 Cor. 12, 4, has vaggs, the OHGr. wane (campus amoe- 
nus, hortus) . Our OHG. translators either retain paradisi, Fragm. 
theot. 41, 21, or use timnnigrar^o, 61. Jun. 189. 217. Hymn 21, 
6. wunnogarto, N. ps. 37, 5; conf. Hhaz wunnisama {eld/ 0, ii. 
6, 11. 'after paradises wunnen/ Diut. 3, 51. MHG. 'der wunns 
garte/ Fuozesbr. 126, 27. ' der wollüste garte,' MsH. 3, 463\ 
OHG. zartgarto, N. ps. 95, 10, The name wunnigarto may be 
substantially the same as vingolf, winsele, as wunna for wunia, 
Goth, vinja, lies close to wini (amicus). A strange expression is 
the AS. neorxena-wong, neorxnawong, Cssdm. 11, 6. 13, 26. 14, 
12. 115, 23, of which I have treated in Gramm. 1, 268. 2, 267. 
8, 726 ; it is apparently field of rest,^ and therefore of bliss, and 
may be compared to Goth, vaggs, OS. heben-wang, Hel. 28, 21. 
176, 1 ; the 'noms' are out of the question, especially as heaven 
is never called norna-v&ngr in ON. poems. Beside hebenwang, 
the OS. poet uses odas-hem 96, 20 and üp-ödas-hem 28, 20. 
85, 21, domus beatitudinis, the ' hSm ' reminding us of heimr in 
glalSsheimr, as the ' garto ' in wunnigarto does of &sgarSr. Up- 
ödashfim is formed like üphimil, and equally heathen. All the 
Slavs call paradise rai, Serv. raj, Pol. ray. Boh. rag, to which 
add Lith. rojtts, sometimes called rojaus sodas (garden of par.), 
or simply da/rzas (garden). Bai as a contraction of paradise 
(Span, parayso) is almost too violent ; Anton (Essay on Slavs 1, 
35) says the Arabic arai means paradise.' 

Like YalhöU, the Greek Elysium too, ^Xvaiov weBuiv (Plutarch 
4, 1156. Lucian de luctu 7) was not a general abode of all the 

' The ^tarri ßwHi, Od. 4, 565. 

> To me the connexion of rai (and perh. of r6d glad, billing) with {tBXt^ ^, 
Mwt (^atdiof) easy, and ^eca easily, seems obvioas. Homer's gods are {tela ^i^orrcf 
Hying in ease, — Trans. 


dead^ but of picked heroes: the Greeks too made the highest 
blessedness wait upon the warrior's valour. Neither were all 
heroes even admitted there^ Menelaos was as son-in-law of Zeus, 
Od. 4, 569 ; others even more renowned were housed with 
Aides, in Hades. Achilles paces the flowery mead, the aa'<l>oS€Kb^ 
Xeifitov of the underworld^ whither Hermes conducts the souls 
of the slain suitors^ Od. 11^ 539. 24^ 13. Lncian de lucta 5. 
philops. 24. 

This ' ea' of the blest is no less known to our native song and 
story. Children falling into wells pass through green meadows to 
the house of friendly HoUa. Flore 24, 22 : ' swer im selber den 
tdt tuet, den geriuwet diu vart, und ist im euch verspart diu toisef 
dar du komen wilt^ an der Blancheflür spilt (plays), mit andern 
genuogen (enow), die sich niht ersluogen;' who slays himself 
will rue such journey, to him is eke denied that mead, etc. Floris 
1107: 'int ghebloide velt (flowery field), ten paradise.' 1248: 
' waenstu dan comen int ghebloide velt, daer int paradis ? ' 1205 : 
' ic sal varen int ghebloide velt, daer Blancefloeren siele jeghen die 
mine gadert, ende leset bloemekine.' The French Flores in the 
corresponding passages has camp fl^ori (Altd. bl. 1, 373),^ in 
Bekker's ed. of Flore 786. 931. 1026. But our older poets, pro- 
bably even those of heathen times, imagined heaven, like the 
earth, as a green plain : ' teglidid groni wang ' (the earth), Hel. 
131, 1 ; 'himilriki, groni Qodes wang ' 94, 24. ^ groni wang para- 
dise gelic' 96, 15. 'the groneo wang* 23, 4 is said of Egypt. 
Caadm. 32, 29 : ' br&de sind on worulde grene geardasJ Häko- 
narmäl 13 : ' ri'Sa ver nu sculom grcena heima go^a,' i.e. to heaven. 
In many parts of Germany paradis and goldne aue are names of 
places to this day. So viretum in Yirgil has the sense of para- 
dise, Aen. 6, 638 : 

Devenere locos laetos et amoena vireta 
fortunatorum nemorum sedesque beatas. 

Paradise then is twofold, a lost one, and a future one of the 
earth emerging newly green out of the wave : to Iffavöllr, in 
whose grass the gods pick up plates of gold (for play), SsBm. 9^ 
10^, corresponds that older Iffavöllr where the äses founded As- 

^ The M. NethL poem Beatiis 1037 plaoea the Last Judgment * int $oete dal, 
daer God die werelt doemen sal.' 

ELYSIUM. . 823 

garS, to the renovated realm of the fature a yaniahed golden age 
that flowed with milk and honey (see Sappl.) .^ 

The younger heaven has in the Edda another name^ one pecn- 
liar to itself, and occurring only in the dative ' & gimli/ Ssem. 
10.* Sn. 4, 75 [but 21 gimli as nom. ?], for which I propose a 
nom. gimill (not gimlir) standing for himill, a form otherwise 
wanting in ON., and = OHGr. OS. himil by the same consonant- 
change as G^mir for H^mir ; and this is confii*med by the juxta- 
position ' & gimli, & himni,' Sn. 75. Now this Oimill is clearly 
distinct from the Odinio YalhöU : it does not make its appearance 
till ragnarökr has set in and the &ses have fallen in fight with the 
sons of muspell. Then it is that a portion of the äses appear to 
revive or become young again. Baldr and Hödr, who had gone 
their way to the underworld long before the twilight of the gods, 
Hoßnir who had been given as a hostage to the Vanir, are named 
in Völuspä. (Saem. 10**), as gods emerging anew; they three were 
not involved in the struggle with Surtr. Then again Sn. 76 
gives us Viffar and Vali, who unhurt by Surtalogi revive the old 
AsgarS on I^SavöUr, and with them are associated Modi and Magni, 
beside Baldr and Hö$r from the underworld; Hcenir is here 
passed over in silence. Vi^ar and Vali are the two avengers, one 
having avenged OSin's death on Fenrisülf, the other Baldr^s death 
on Hö^Sr (hefniÄss Baldrs dölgr Ha^Sar, Sn. 106) . They two, and 
Baldr the pure blameless god of light, are sons of OSinn, while 
Mö'Si and Magni appear as sons of Thörr by a g^gr, and from 
that time they bear the emblem of his might, the all-crushing 
Miolnir. Unquestionably this means, that OSinn and Thörr, the 
arch-gods of old AsgarS, come into sight no more, but are only 
renewed in their sons. Baldr signifies the beginning of a mild 
spring time, p. 614 (see Suppl.). 

' It is natural that this paradise, past or to oome, should have ^ven birth to 
varioas tales of an earthly paradise, lying in regions ffu: away, wUoh has been 
reached by here and there a traveller : thus Alexander in his Indian campaign is 
said to have arrived at paradise. Not the Eddas themselves, but later Icel. sagas 
tell of OdAint-akr (immortalitatis ager) ; a land where no one sickens or dies, oonf. 
d£inn mortaas, morti obnozius (p. 453) ; the Hervararsaga (Fomald. sog. 1, 411. 
513) places it in the kingdom of a deified king Oo^mundr (conf. Go'Sormr p. 161) ; 
aoo. to the Saga Ereks vi-Sförla (Fomald. sog. S, 519. 661-6. 670) it lay in Üie east, 
not far from India. Can this * Erekr hum vitSf örU * be the hero of the lost MHQ. 
poem Erek der walkere (pilgrim)? The name Od&insakr may however be an 
adaptation of an older and heathen OtSinsakraVaUhöll, oonl the Oden sfiker in 
Sweden, p. 158, last line. 

70L. II. CO 


AgaiD^ as Valholl had only received men who died by weapons 
(yäpn-dau'Sa vera)^ whilst other dead men were gathered in Folk- 
v&ngr with Freyja (p. 804), and virgins with Gtefjon (Sn. 36) ; 
from this time forward Gimill takes in without distinction all the 
jast^ the good, and Hel all the bad, the criminal ; whereas the 
former Hel, as a contrast to YalhöU, nsed to harbour all the resi- 
dae of men who had not fallen in fight, withont its being implied 
that they were sinners deserving punishment. 

The most difficult point to determine is, how matters exactly 
stand with regard to Surtr, to whom I must now return. That 
he is represented, not as a god, but as a giant of the fire-world, 
has been shown, p. 809 ; nor is he named among the renovated 
gods ' & gimli ' in Saem. 10' or Sn. 76, which would have been 
the place for it. In one MS. alone (Sn. 75, var. 3) is apparently 
interpolated ' ä Gimli me9r 8v/rti ; ' and it is mainly on this that 
Finn Magnusen rests his hypothesis, that Surtr is an exalted god 
of light, under whose rule, as opposed to that of OSinn, the new 
and universal empire stands. He takes him to be that mightier 
one from whose power in the first creation days the warmth 
proceeded (p. 562), the strong (öflugr) or rich one revealed by the 
vala, who shall direct all things (sä er öUu resi^r, Sasm. 10^), like- 
wise the mighty one foreseen by Hyndla, whose name she dare 
not pronounce (j^k kemr annar enn mättkari, }?ö )?ori ec eigi )7ann 
at nefna, Sasm. 119') ; conf. the strengra of the AS. homily (p. 
812). But why should she have shrunk from naming Surtr, of 
whom no secret is made in Ssdm. 8^-^. 9'. 33', the last passage 
positively contrasting him with the mild merciful gods (in svftso 
go's) ? The invasion of Surtr in company with the liberated Loki 
must anyhow be understood as a hostile one (of giant's or devil's 
kin) ; his very name of the swart one points that way. 

The unuttered god may be likened to the ayvtoaro^ Oeo^ (Acts 
17, 23), still more to the word that OSinn whispered in the ear 
of his son Baldr's corpse, as it ascended the funeral pile r a secret 
which is twice alluded to, in Seem. 38' and Hervarars. p. 487 ; so 
an Etruscan nymph speaks tSe name of the highest god in the 
ear of a buU.^ It has already been suggested (p. 815) that 
presentiments of a mightier god to come may have floated before 

' O. Mailer's Etr. 2, 83, with which mast be conn, the medieYal legend of 
Silvester (Conrad's poem, pref. p. xx). 

SUETR. 825 

the heathen imagination^ like the promise of the Messiah to the 

The world's destruction and its renewal succeed each other in 
rotation ; and the interpenetration of the notions of time and 
space^ world and creation^ with which I started^ has been proved. 
Further^ as the time-phenomena of the day and the year were 
conceived of as persons, so were the space-phenomena of the 
world and its end (Hal ja. Hades, Snrtr). 

1 Martin Hammerich om Bagnaroks-mythen, Gopenh. 1836, argues plausibly 
that the tvnilight of the gods and the new kingdom of heaven are the expression of 
a spiritual monotheism opposed, though as yet imperfectly, to the prevailing Odinic 
paganism. But then there are renovated gods brought on the scene * ä gimli ' too, 
though fewer than in AsgarS, and there is nothing to shew their subordination to 
the mighty One. Still less do I think the author entitled to name this new god 
ßmbtU^r, a term that in the whole of the Edda occurs bat once (SsBm. 9b),and then 
seems to refer to O^inn. Others have ventured to identify the word fimbul- (which 
like the prefix irman-, heightens the meaning of a word, as in fimbulfambi, fimbul- 
|>ulr, fimbulvetr, fimbullio«, as well as fimbult^r) with the AS. fifel (p. 239) ; to 
tnis also I cannot assent, as fifill itself occurs in ON., and is citod by Biom as 
the name of a plant. 


Langaages treat the living life-giving soul as a delicate feminine 
essence : Goth. Baivala, akin to säivs the sea^ an nndnlating flaid 
force, OHG. seola, sela, MHG. sele, NHG. seele, AS. sdwlj ON. 
sal, Swed. Dan. sjcU, and hence Finn, sielu; Gr. ^v^Vi I^^t. Ital. 
anima, Fr. ame, O. Fr. sometimes armey Span, cdma; Russ. Serv. 
dusha, Slov. duzha, Boh. dw^e, Pol. dt^sia, Lith. duszxa^ Lett. 
dwehsele. They all distinguish it from the maso. breath and 
spirit, äv€fio<;, which goes in and out more palpably; often the 
two names are next door to each other, as Lat. animtis and 
anima, Slav, dukh and dusha} 

And this intimate connexion may be recognised in the myths 
too. The soul freed from the fetters of the body is made to re- 
semble those airy spirit forms of chap. XVII (conf. pp. 489. 
630) . It hovers with the same buoyancy, appears and vanishes, 
often it assumes some definite shape in which it is condemned 
to linger for a time (see Suppl.). 

It is a graceful fancy which makes the departing soul either 
break into blossom as a flower, or fly up as a bird. Both these 
notions are connected with metamorphosis into plants and animals 
in general, and are founded on the doctrine of metempsychosis 
so prevalent in early antiquity. Immortality was admitted in this 
sense, that the soul still existed, but had to put up with a new 

Its passing into a flower I can only infer. A child carries 
home a bud, which the angel had given him in the wood ; when 
the rose blooms, the child is dead (Kinder-leg. no. 3). In Ehesas 
dainos p. 307, a rosebud is the soul of the dead youth. The Lay 
of Bunzifal makes a hldckthom shoot up out of the bodies of slain 
heathens, a white flower by the heads of fallen christians, Karl 

' Where soul stands lor life, yitality, a neuter word is used, OHG. ferah, MHG. 
verch, AS. feorh, ON. ßör ; bnt we saw (p. 793), how from vita and ßlos there arose 
the snm total of all that lives, the world, Goth, fafrhvus. 



118**. When the innocent are pat to death, white lilies grow out 
of their graves^ three lilies on that of a maiden (TJhland's Volksl. 
241), which no one but her lover may plack ; from the mounds 
of buried lovers flowering shrubs spring up, whose branches 
intertwine. In Swedish songs lilies and limes grow out of graves, 
Sv. vis. 1, 101. 118. In the ballad of 'fair Margaret and sweet 
William ' : 

Out of her brest there sprang a rose, 

And out of his a briar ; 

They grew till they grew unto the church-top, 

And there they tyed in a true lovers knot.^ 

In Tristan and Isote I believe it to be a later alteration, that the 
rose and vine, which twine together over their graves, have first 
to be planted. In a Servian folksong there grows out of the 
youth's body a green fir (zelen bor, m.), out of the maiden's a red 
rose (rumena ruzhitsa, f.), Yuk 1, no. 137, so that the sex is kept 
up even in the plants : ^ the rose twines round the fir, as the silk 
round the nosegay. All these examples treat the flower as a 
mere symbol, or as an after-product of the dead man's intrinsic 
character : the rose coming up resembles the ascending spirit of 
the child ; the body must first lie buried, before the earth sends 
up a new growth as out of a seed, conf. chap. XXX V IL But 
originally there might lie at the bottom of this the idea of an 
immediate instantaneous passage of the soul into the shape of a 
flower, for out of mere drops of blood, containing but a small 
part of the life, a flower is made to spring : the soul has her seat 
in the blood, and as that ebbs away, she escapes with it. Greek 
fables tell us how the bodies of the persecuted and slain, espe- 
cially women, assumed forthwith the figure of a flower, a bush, a 
tree (p. 653), without leaving any matter behind to decay or be 
burnt ; nay, life and even speech may last while the transforma- 
tion is taking place. Thus Daphne and Syrinx, when they 
cannot elude the pursuit of Apollo or Pan, change themselves 
into a laurel and a reed ; the nymph undergoing transformation 
speaks on so long as the encrusting bark has not crept up to 

^ Percy 8, 123 ; Taxiant in Bob. Jamieson 1, 33-4. 

3 Therefore der rehe (vine) belongs to Tristan's grave, dm rose to Isote's, as in 
Eilhart and the ohap-book ; Ulrich and Heinrich made the plants change places. 

828 SOULS. 

her mouth. Vintler tells us, the wege-xvarie (OHG. wegawartA, 
wegapreitA), plantago, was once a woman, who by the wayside 
waited (wartete) for her lover; he suggests no reason for the 
transformation, conf. Kinderm. no. 160 (see Suppl.). 

In the same way popular imagination, childlike, pictures the 
soul as a bird, which comes flying out of the dying person's 
mouth. That is why old tombstones often have doves carved on 
them, and these the christian faith brings into still closer prox- 
imity to spirit.^ A ship founders : the people on shore observe 
the souls of those who have sunk ascending from the wave to- 
ward heaven in the shape of white doves? The Romance legend 
of the tortured Eulalia says: ^ in figure de colomh volat a ciel.' As 
a bird the little brother, when killed, flies out of the juniper-tree 
(machandelbom, Kinderm. 47). To the enigma of the green tree 
and the dry, each with a little bird sitting on it, the interpretation 
is added : ^ ir sele zen vogelen si gezalt ! ' their (the christians') 
soul be numbered among birds, MS. 2, 248^. In the underworld 
there fly scorched birds who were souls (svi^nir fuglar er s&lir 
voro), like swarms of flies, SsBm. 127*. The heathen Bohemians 
thought the soul came out of the dying lips as a bird, and hovered 
among the trees, not knowing where to go till the body was 
buried ; then it found rest. Finns and Lithuanians call the Milky- 
way the path of birds (p. 357n.), i.e. of souls. 

The Arabs till the time of Mahomet believed that the blood of 
a murdered man turns into an accusing bird, that flits about the 
grave till vengeance be taken for the dead. 

According to a Polish folk-tale every member of the Herburt 
family turns into an eagle as soon as he dies. The first-bom 
daughters of the house of Pileck were changed into doves if they 
died unmarried, but the married ones into owls, and to each 
member of the family they foretold his death by their bite (Woy- 
cicki's Kiechdy 1, 16). When the robber Madej was confessing 
under an appletree, and getting quit of his sins, apple after apple 
flew up into the air, converted into a white dove : they were the 
souls of those he had murdered. One apple still remained, the 

^ Servati Lnpi yita S. Wigberhti, cap. 11 : Yemin hora exitns ejus . . . 
circnmstantibaB fratribns, yisa eat avis qnaedam specie pnlchenima snpra ejus cor- 
pnsculum ter advoUuse^ nnsquamque postea comparuisse. Not so much the aoul 
itself, as a spirit who escorts it. 

' Maerlant 2, 217» from a Latin sonroe. 


soul of his father^ whose murder he had suppressed; when at 
length he owned that heinous crime^ the last apple changed into 
a gray dove, and flew after the rest (ibid. 1, 180). This agrees 
with the unresting birds of the Boh. legend. In a Podolian folk- 
song, on the gra7e-mound there shoots up a little oak, and on it 
sits a snow-white dove (ibid. 1, 209).i 

Instances of transformation into birds were given above, 
(pp. 673-6. 680), under woodpecker and cuckoo. Greek mythology 
has plenty of others (see Suppl.). 

The popular opinion of Greece also regarded the soul as a 
winged being ("^v;^ irvevfjka Kal ^(ovif>iov irnjvov^ says Hesy- 
chius), not bird, but butterfly, which is even more apt, for the 
insect is developed out of the chrysalis, as the soul is out of the 
body; hence ^vxv is also the word for butterfly. A Roman 
epitaph found in Spain has the words : M. Porcius M. haeredibus 
mando etiam cinere ut meo volitet ebrius papilio? In Basque, 
'arima' is soul (conf. arme, alma, p. 826), and 'astoaren arima' 
(ass's soul) butterfly. We shall come across these butterflies 
again as will o' the wisps (ziebold, vezha), and i