Jacob Grimm.

Teutonic mythology (Volume 1) online

. (page 16 of 46)
Online LibraryJacob GrimmTeutonic mythology (Volume 1) → online text (page 16 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

goal, beyond all that one could wish), the phrase borders close upon the above-
quoted, _' si ist des Wunsches hustez zil (the highest that Wish ever created) ' ;
and it is but a step from ' mines wunschesparadis,' MS. 2, 126% to ' des
Wunsches paradis ' or ' ouwe '. So, ' da ist wunsch, und niender breste (here is
one's wish, and nothing wanting),' MS. 1, SS'' = 'der Wunsch liez im niht
gebrechen,' W. left him nothing lacking (see Suppl.).

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

3 Tluit Wish was personified, and very boldly, by the christian poets, is
abundantly proved, lliat he was ever believed in as a person, even in heathen
times, is, to my Ihinldiig, far from clear. I believe some German scholars
regard the notion as little better than a mare's nest. — Trans.

•* The name does occur later : Johannes dictus de ( = der) Wunsch, Ch.
ann. 1324 (Neue mittli. des thiir. vereius I. 4,()5), In the Oberhess. wochen-
blatt, Marburg 1830, p. 420, I read of a Joh. Wunsch who is probably alive at
this moment.

144 WODAN.

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

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

WODAN. 145

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

Precisely as the souls of slain warriors arrive at Indra's heaven,^
the victory-dispensing god of our ancestors takes up the heroes
that fall in fight, into his fellowship, into his army, into his
heavenly dwelling. Probably it has been the belief of all good
men, tliat after death they would be admitted to a closer com-
munion witli deity. Dying is therefore, even according to the
christian view, called goiuff to God, turning home to God : in AS.
metodsceaft seon, Beow. 2360. Ca?dm. 104,31. Or seeking, visiting
God: OS. god suokian, Hel. 174:,26 ; fadar suohion, Hel. 143, 23;
ujjodashem, lioht odar, sinlif, godes riki siLokian, Hel. 85, 21. 17, 17.
63, 14. 137, 16. 176, 5. In a like sense the Thracians, ace. to
Herodotus 4, 94, said levat irapa ZdX/jio^iv (Fe/SeXei^Lv) Smfiova,
which Zalmoxis or Zamolxes is held by Jornandes to be a deified
king of the Goths (Getae). In the Novth, faring to Off inn, being
guest with Offinn, visiting Offinn, meant simply to die, Fornald.
sog. 1, 118. 422-3. 2, 366. and was synonymous with faring to
Valholl, being guest at Valholl, ib. 1, 106. Among the christians,
these were turned into curses : far p4 til O&ins ! Offins eigi J?ik !
may OSin's have thee (see Suppl). Here is shown the inversion
of the kindly being, with whom one fain would dwell, into an
evil one,2 whose abode inspires fear and dread. Further on, we shall
exhibit more in detail the way in which Wuotan was pictured
driving through the air at the head of the ' furious (wtitende) host '
named after him. Valholl (aula optionis) and Valkyrja obviously
express the notion of wish and choice (Germ, wahl, Scotch wale).

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

1 Bopp's Nalas, p. 264.

2 So Wuotan's name of itself degenerates into the sense of hwy (wut) and
anger ; the Edda has instances of it. In revenge he pricked Brynhild with
the sleei)ing-thorn, S:em. 194% and she says : OSinn ])\\ veldr, er ek eigi
nmttak bregSa bhmnstofom. He breeds enmit5^ and strife : einn vehh- OSinn
ollu bolvi, jpviatmeS sifjungom sakrunar bar, S;cm. 165''. ininiicitias Othinus
serit, Sa.\o gram. p. 142, as christians say of the devil, that he sows the seeds
of discord, gremi OCins, Sa^m. 151^ (see Suppl.).


146 WODAN.

myths, I have found but few traces left among us in Germany,
The Norse OSinn is one-eyed, he wears a hroad hat and wide mantle:
Grimnir 1 feldi hldm, blue cloak, Stem. 40. 1 hekhi grmnni ok
hldm hrokum, green cloak and blue breeks, Fornald. sog. 1, 324.
heldumaffr, cloaked man, 1, 325. When he desired to drink of
Mimi's fountain, he was obliged to leave one of his eyes in pawn,
Sfem. 4% Sn. 15.^ In Saxo, p. 12, he a.^-pears as cprcndaevus, altera
orhus oculo ; p. 37, armipotens, uno semper contentus ocello ; p. 138,
sencx ortus ocidis, hispido amictu. So in the Sagas : kom ]?ar maSr
gamall, miok orSspakr, einsynn ok aatgdapr, ok hafSi hatt siSan ;
there came an old man, very word-wise, one-eyed and sad-eyed,
and had a wide hat, Fornm. sog. 2, 138. hann hafir lieklu flekkdtta
yfir ser, sa maSr var berfcettr ok hafSi knytt linbrokum at beini, hann
var har miok (very high), ok eldiligr ok einsynn, Fornald. sog. 1, 120.
]9a kom maSr 1 bardagann meS sid'an hatt ok heldu Ud^ hann hafSi
eitt avga, ok geir (spear) i hendi, ib. 1, 145. J^etta mun Odinn
gamli verit hafa, ok at visu var maSrinn einspnn, ib. 1, 95. sa
hann mann mikinn meS si&im hetti, ib. 5, 250. meS hctti Hangatyss
ganga, cum cidari Odiniana incedere, Vigagl. saga, p. 168. Othinus,
OS inleo, ne cultu proderetur, ohnubens, Saxo Gram. 44. An Eddie
song already names him Siffhottr, broad-hatted, Saem. 46^ and one
saga merely Hottr, hatted, Fornald. sog. 2, 25-6 ; conf. Mlillers
sagabibl. 3, 142. Were it not for the name given him in the
Grimnismal, I should have supposed it was the intention of the
christians to degrade the old god by mean clothing, or else that,
wrapt in his mantle, he was trying to conceal himself from
christians. Have we a right here to bring in the pileati of
Jornandes ? A saga in Saxo, p. 12, tells prettily, how the Mind old
god takes up a proteg^ in his cloak, and carries him through the air,
but Hading, peeping through a hole in the garment, observes that
the horse is stepping over the sea-waves. As for that heklumad'r
of the hat with its rim turned up, he is our Hakolberend at the
head of the wild host, who can at once be turned into a Gothic

^ Conf. Tritas in the fountain, Kulin in Hofer 1, 290. Ace. to the
popiilar religion, you must not look into running water, because you look m<o
God's eye, Tol)ler's Appenzel p. 369'' ; neither must you point at the stars with
your fingers, for fear of sticking them into the angels' eyes.

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

WODAN. 147

Ilahdahairands, now that hakuls for (f)e\6vr]<i is found in 2 Tim.
iv. 13. — Swedish folk-tales picture Odin as bald-headed, Iduna 10,
231. In the ancient poetry he is Harharffr, Sidgrani, Sidskcggr,
all in allusion to his thick growth of hair and beard. The name
Eedbeard I have elsewhere understood of Thor, but in Fornald.
sog. 2, 239 — 257 the Grani and Rau&grani are expressly OSinn (see

The Norse myth arms OSinn with a wonderful S'pcar (geir),
GiXngnir by name, Stem. 196. Sn. 72 ; which I put on a par with
the lance or sword of Mars, not the staff of Mercury. Sigmund's
sword breaks, when he hacks at OSinn's spear, Vols, saga cap. 11,
lie lends this spear to heroes to win victories with, Ssem. 165. A
remarkable passage in the Fornm. sog. 5, 250 says : seldi honum
reyrspiota (gave him the reeden spear) t hond, ok baS hann skiota
honum yfir liS Styrbiarnar, ok )?at skyldi hann ma^la : 05in a ySr
alia ! All the enemies over whom the spear he shoots shall fly, are
doomed to death, and the shooter obtains the victory. So too the
Eyrbyggja saga p. 228 : }?a skaut Stein];6rr spioti at fornom si& til
heilla ser yfir flock Snorra ; where, it is true, nothing is said of the
spear launched over the enemy being the god's. Saim. 5% of OSinn
himself : fieigSi ok 1 folk um skaut (see Suppl.).

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

^ In Marc. Cap. 1, 11, the words: 'augiirales vero alitcs ante curriini
Delio coiistiterunt, are transl. by Notker 37 : to warcn garo ze Apollinis reito
sine wizegfogela, ralena unde albisze. To Ot5inn hawks are sometimes given
instead of ravens : OtJins haukar Saem. 167^.

148 WODAN.

dove descending upon Christ at his baptism, Lu. 3, 22, and resting
upon him, ejxeivev ctt' avrov, mansit super eum, John 1, 32 : 'in
Krist er sih gisidalta,' says 0. i. 25, 24; but Hel. 30, 1 of the
dove : sat im icppan uses drohtines ahslu (our Lord's shoulder). Is
this an echo of heathen thoughts ? None of the Fathers have this
circumstance, but in the Mid. Ages there is talk enough about
doves resting on shoulders ;^ and the dove, though frequently
contrasted with the raven (which, like the wolf, the christians
applied to the Evil one), may nevertheless be put in the place of
it. Oswald's raveii flies to his shoulder and arm, 749. 942.
Oswald talks to it, 95-6, and kneels before it, 854. Conf. Ziugerle,
Oswalt p. 67 (see Suppl.).^

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

1 Gregor. Nyssen. encom. Ei)hraemi relates, that when Basil the Great was
preaching, Ephraem saw on his rujlii shoulder a ^vhite dove, which put words of
wisdom in his mouth. Of Gregory the Great Ave read in Pauh Diac, vita p.
14, that when he was expounding the hist vision of Ezekiel, a xuhite dove sat
u'pon his head, and now and then put its beak in his mouth, at which times he,
the writer, got nothing for his stvlus to put down ; conf. the narrative of a
poet of the 12th cent., Hoffm. fundgr. 2, 229 ; also Myst. 1. p. 226-7. Augus-
tine and Thomas Aquinas are portrayed with a white dove perched on their
shoulders or hovering over their heads. A nursery-tale (Kinderm. no. 33) makes
two doves settle on the pope's shoulder, and tell him in his ear all that he has to
do. A white dove descends singing on the head of St. Devy, and instructs him,
Buhez santez Nonn. Paris 1837, p" 117. And on other occasions the dove flies
down to make known the will of heaven. No one will trace the story of
Wuotan's ravens to these doves, still the coincidence is striking (see Suppl.l

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

WODAN. 149

noticeable for its double form : Bijii&l eSa Bijlindi, Sn. 3 ; Sicm.
46'' has Biblindi. As bif (Germ, beben) signifies motus, aer, aqua,
the quaking element, and the AS. \vSq is lenis, OHG. lindi, ON.
linr (for linnr) ; an AS. BifliSe, BeofliSe, OHG. Pepalindi, might be
suggested by the soft movement of the air, a very apt name for tlie
all-penetrating god ; but these forms, if they gave rise to the Norse
term, are no longer found in AS. or OHG. Wuotan's dominion
both over the air and over the water explains, how it is that he
walks on the waves, and comes rushing on the gale. — It is 05inn
that sends wind to the ships, Fornm. sog. 2, 16, hence a good sail-
ing wind is called oshahjrr, Ssem. 16o^, i.c^Oskahyrr ; \>yrv is from
byrja, OHG. purran, to rise, be lifted up. It is in striking accord
with this, that the MHG. poets use wunschivint in the same sense ;
Hartmann says, Greg. 615 :

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

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

150 WODAN.

interpret the words : nam ec uj'ip riXnar, Ssem. 28^ Jjser ofreS, Jjfer
ofreist, ]?aGr ofhiigSi Hroptr, i.e., them OSinn read out, cut out,
thought out, Srem. 195^ Also Snorri, Yngl. cap. 7 : allar J^essar
idrottir kendi hann meS rlXnum ok lio&um. Hincmar of Eheims
attributes to Mercury the invention of dice-playing : sicut isti qui
de denariis quasi jocari dicuntur, quod omnino diabolicum est, et,
sicut legimus, primum cliahohis hoc per Mercuriuw prodidit, unde
et Mercurius inventor illius dicitur, 1, 656. Conf. Schol. to Odyss.
23, 198, and MS. 2, 124^ : der tiuvel schuof das wiirfelspil. Our
folk-tales know something about this, they always make the devil
play at cards, and entice others to play (see Suppl.).^ When to this
we add, that the wishing-rod, i.e.. Wish's staff, recals Mercury's
caduceus, and the wish-wives, t.e.,osknieyjar, valkyrior, the occupa-
tion of the Psychopompos ; we may fairly recognise an echo of the
Gallic^ or Germanic ]\lercury in the epithet Trismcgistos (Lactantius
i. 6, 3. vi, 25, 10. ter maximus Hermes in Ausonius), which later
poets, Romance and German, in the 12tli and 13th centuries^
transferred to a Saracen deity Termagant Tervcigan, Tervigant,
Terviant. Moreover, when Hermes and Mercury are described as
dator bonorum, and the Slavs again call the same god Dobro-pan
(p. 130, note), as if mercis domains ; it is worth noticing, that the
Misnere Amgb. 42% in enumerating all the planets, singles out
Mercury to invoke in the words : jSTu hilf mir, daz mir s^lde
wache! schin er mir ze geliicke, noch so kum ich wider uf der
sselden phat (pfad). Just so I find Odin invoked in Swedish popu-
lar songs : Hielp nu, Oden Asagrim ! Svenska fornsangor 1, 11.
hielp mig Othin ! 1, 69. To this god first and foremost the people
turned when in distress ; I suppose he is called Asagrim, because
amons the Ases he bore the name of Grimnir ?

^ Eeuscli, sagen des preiiss. Samlands, no. 11. 29.

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

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

■* This Termagan, Termagant occurs especially in 0. Engl, poems, and may
have to do with tlie Irish tormac augmentum, tormacaim augere.

WODAN". 151

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

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

"ApKTov 6\ rjv Koi d/jia^av i7rii{\i](nv KoXeovaiv. II, 18, 487.
Od. 5, 273. So in OHG. glosses : ursa ivagen, Jun. 304 ; in MHG.
himclwagcn, Walth. 54, 3.^ hcrwagen Wackern. lb. 1. 772, 26.
The clearest explanation is given by Notker cap. 64 : Selbiu ursa
ist pi demo norde mannelichemo zeichenhaftiu fone dien siben
glaten sternon, die aller der liut wagc7i heizet, unde nah einemo
gloccun joclie^ gescafien sint, unde ebenmichel sint, ane (except)
des mittelosten. The Anglo-Saxons called the constellation wmnes
Jyisl (waggon's thill, pole), or simply pisl, but carles wccn also is
quoted in Lye, the Engl, charles wain, Dan. karlsvogn, Swed.
harlwagn. Is carl here equivalent to lord, as we have herrenwagen
in the same sense ? or is it a transference to the famous king of
christian legend ? But, what concerns us here, the constellation
appears to have borne in heathen times the full name of Wtwkmes
ivagan, after the highest god of heaven. The Dutch language has
evidence of this in a MS. of as late as 1470 : ende de poeten in
heure fablen heetend (the constell.) ourse, dat is te segghene
Woenswaghcn. And elsewhere : dar dit teekin Arcturus, dat wy
heeten Woonswaghcn, up staet ; het sevenstarre ofde Wocnswaglicn ;
conf. Huydec. proeven 1, 24. I have nowhere met with plaustrum
Mercurii, nor with an ON. OSins vagn ; only vagn d himnum.

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

1 Septentrion, que nos char d del apelon ; Roman de Eon.

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

152 WODAN.

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

Plainer, and more to the purpose, appear the names of certain
mountains, which in heathen times were sacred to the service of
the god. At Sigt^s hergi, Ssem. 248^ Othenshcrg, now Onsherg,
on the Danish I. of Samsoe ; Odeoisherg in Schonen. Godesberg
near Bonn, in docs, of Mid. Ages Gudenesberg, Glinther 1, 211 (anno
1131), 1, 274 (anno 1143), 2, 345 (anno 1265) ; and before that,
Wodenesberg, Lacomblet 97. 117, annis 947, 974 So early as m
Caesarius heisterb. 8, 46 the two forms are put together : Gudins-
b'erg vel, ut alii dicunt, Wudinsberg. Near the holy oak in Hesse,
which Boniface brought down, there stood a Witodenesberg, still so
named in a doc. of 1154 (Schminke beschr, von Cassel, p. 30, conf.
Wenk 3, 79), later Vdenesberg, Gudensberg ; this hill is not to be
confounded with Gudensberg by Erkshausen, district Eotenburg
(Niederhess. wochenbl. 1830, p. 1296), nor with a Gudcnbcrg by
Oberelsungen and Zierenberg (ib. p. 1219. Eommel 2, 64. Guden-
hurg by Landau, p. 212) ; so that three mountains of this name
occur in Lower Hesse alone ; conf. ' montem Vodinberg, cum silva
eidem monti attinente,' doc. of 1265 in Wenk II, no. 174. In a
different neighbourhood, a Henricus comes de Wodenesberg is named
in a doc. of 1130, Wedekind's notes 1, 367 ; acurtis Wddcnesberg in
a doc. of 973, Falke tradit. corb. 534. Gotansberg (anno 1275),
Langs reg. 3, 471 : vineas duas gotansbcrge vocatas. Mabillon's
acta Bened. sec. 5, p. 208 contain the following : ' in loco ubi mons
quem dicunt Wonesberth (1. Wdnesberch = Wodanesberg) a radicibus
astra petit,' said to be situate in pagus Gandavensis, but more cor-

Online LibraryJacob GrimmTeutonic mythology (Volume 1) → online text (page 16 of 46)