Jacob Grimm.

Teutonic mythology (Volume 1) online

. (page 19 of 46)
Online LibraryJacob GrimmTeutonic mythology (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


gundia, Virgunda, conf. Zeuss p. 10) the tract of wooded mountains
between Ansbach and Ellwangen. Wolfram, Wh. 390, 2, says of
his walt-swenden (wood-wasting ?) : der Swarzwalt und Virgunt
miiesen da von cede ligen. Black Forest and V. must lie waste
thereby. In the compounds, without which it would have perished
altogether, the OHG. mrgnn, AS. firgen may either bear the simple
sense of mountainous, woody, or conceal the name of a god. — Be that
as it may, we find fairguni, virgun, firgen connected with divinely-
honoured beings, as appears plainly from the ON". Fiorgyn, gen.
Fiorgynjar, which in the Edda means Thor's mother, the goddess
Earth : Thorr Jar&ar burr, Seem. 70^ 68^ Offiois son, Ssem. 73^ 74^
And beside her, a male Fiorgynn, gen. Fiorgyns, Fiorgvins, appears
as the father of OSin's wife Frigg, Sn. 10, 118. Seem. 63^ In all
these words we must take fairg, firg, fiorg as the root, and not divide
them as f air-guni, fir-gun, fior-gyn. Now it is true that all the Anzeis,
all the Aesir are enthroned on mountains (p. 25), and Firgun might
have been used of more than one of them; but that we have a right
to claim it specially for Donar and Ms mother, is shewn by Perun,

1 Matt. 8, 1. Mk 5, 5. 11. 9, 2. 11, 1. Lu. 3, 5. 4, 29. 9, 37. 19, 29. 37.
1 Cor. 13, 2. Bairgahei (17 opeivrj) in Lu. 1, 39, 65 ; never the simple bairgs.



THUNAE. 173

Perkun, and v>-ill be confirmed presently by the meaning of mount and
rock which lies in the word hamar. As Zeus is called ivdKpLo<;, so is
his daughter Pallas aKpia, and his mother opearepa Td, fxdrep avrov
Ai6<; (Sophocl. Philoct. 389) ; the myth transfers from him to his
mother and daughter. Of Donar's another our very miirchen have
things to tell (Pentam. 5, 4) ; and beyond a doubt, the stories of
the devil and his bath and his grandmother are but a vulgarization
of heathen notions about the thundergod. Lasicz 47 tells us : Per-
cuna tete mater est fulminis atque tonitrui quae solem fessum
ac pulverolentum balneo excipit, deinde lotum et nitidum postera
die emittit. It is just matertera, and not mater, tliat is meant by
teta elsewhere.

Christian mythology among the Slav and certain Asiatic nations
has handed over the thunderer's business to the prophet Elijah,
who drives to heaven ioi the tempest, whom a chariot and horses of
Jive receive, 2 Kings 2, 11. In the Servian songs 2, 1. 2, 2 he is
expressly called gromovnik Iliya} lightning and thunder (munya and
grom) are given into his hand, and to sinful men he shuts up the
clouds of heaven, so that they let no rain fall on the earth (see
SuppL). This last agrees with the O.T. too, 1 Kings 17, 1. 18, 41-5,
conf. Lu. 4, 25, Jam. 5, 17 ; and the same view is. taken in the
OHG. poem, 0. iii. 12, 13 :

Quedent sum giwaro, Helias sis ther mdro,
ther thiz lant so tharta, then himil so hisparta,
ther iu ni liaz in notin rcgonon then liutin,
thuanffta si ciwaro harto filu suilro.'^

But what we have to note especially is, that in the story of Anti-
christ's appearance a little before the end of the world, which was
current throughout the Mid. Ages (and whose striking points of
agreement with the ON. mythus of Surtr and Muspellsheim I shall
speak of later), Helias again occupies the place of the northern
thundergod. Thorr overcomes the great serpent, but he has
scarcely moved nine paces from it, when he is touched by its
venomous breath, and sinks to the ground dead, Sn. 73. In the

1 Udri gromom, gromovit Iliya I smite with thunder, tlnmderer Elias,
1,77.

2 Grccj. tur., pref. to bk 2 : Meminerit (lector) sub Ilehac tempore, qui
pluvias ciim voluit abstulit, et cum libuit areutibus terris infudit, &c.



174 THUNAE.

OHG. poem of Muspilli 48 — 54, Antichrist and the devil do indeed
fall, but Elias also is grievously wounded in the fight :

Doh wanit des vilu gotmanno^

daz Elias in demo wige arwartit :

sar so daz Eliascs pluot

in erda kitriufit,

so inprinnant die perga ;

his blood dripping on the earth sets the mountains on fire, and the
Judgment-day is heralded by other signs as well. ^Yithout
knowing in their completeness the notions of the devil, Antichrist,
Elias and Enoch, which were current about the 7th or 8th
century ,2 we cannot fully appreciate this analogy between Elias
and the Donar of the heathens. There was nothing in christian
tradition to warrant the supposition of Elias receiving a wound,
and that a deadly one. The comparison becomes still more sug-
gestive by the fact that even half-christian races in the Caucasus
worship Elias as a god of thunder. The Ossetes think a man lucky
who is struck hy lightning, they believe Ilia has taken him to
himself ; survivors raise a cry of joy, and sing and dance around
the body, the people flock together, form a ring for dancing, and
sing : Ellai, Ellai, eldaer tchoppei ! (0 Elias, Elias, lord of the
rocky summits). By the cairn over the grave they set up a long pole
supporting the skin of a black he-goat, which is their usual manner
of sacrificing to Elias (see Suppl.). They implore Elias to make
their fields fruitful, and keep the liail away from them.^ Olearius
already had put it upon record, that the Circassians on the Caspian
sacrificed a goat on Ellas s clay, and stretched the skin on a pole
with prayers.* Even the Muhammadans, in praying that a thunder-
storm may be averted, name the name of Ilya.^

Now, the Servian songs put by the side of Elias the Virgin
Mary ; and it was she especially that in the Mid. Ages was invoked
for rain. The chroniclers mention a rain-procession in the Liege



1 Gotman, a divine, a priest ] Conf. supra, pp. 88-9.

2 The Eabbinical legend likewise assumes that Elias will retiu-n and sluy
the malignant Sammael ; Eisenmenger 2, 696. 851.

3 Klaproth's travels in the Caucasus 2, 606. 601.
* Erman's archiv flir Russland 1841, 429.

^ Ad. Olearius reiseschr. 1647, pp. 522-3.



THUNAR. 175

country about the year 1240 or 1244 ;^ three times did priests and
people march round (nudis pedibus et in laneis), but all in vain,
because in calling upon all the saints they had forgotten the Mother
of God ; so, when the saintly choir laid the petition before God,
Mary apposed. In a new procession a solemn ' salve regina ' was
sung : Et cum serenum tempus ante fuisset, tanta inundatio pluviae
facta est, ut fere onines qui in processione aderant, hac illacque
dispergerentur. With the Lithuanians, the holy goddess (dievaite
sventa) is a rain-goddess. Heathendom probably addressed the
petition for rain to the thundergod, instead of to Elias and Mary.^
Yet I cannot call to mind a single passage, even in ON. legend,
where Thorr is said to have bestowed rain when it was ashed for ;
we are only told that he sends stormy weather when he is angry,
Olafs Tryggv. saga 1, 302-6 (see SuppL). But we may fairly take
into account his general resemblance to Zeus and Jupiter (who are
expressly veTto<;,p)luvius, II. 12, 25 : ve Zev<; crwe^e?), and the pre-
valence of votis imbrem vocare among all the neighbouring nations
(see SuppL).

A description by Petronius cap. 44, of a Eoman procession for
rain, agrees closely with that given above from the Mid. Ages :
Antea stolatae ibant nudis pedibus in clivum, passis capillis, menti-
bus puris, et Joveiii aquam exorabant ; itaque statini urceatim (in
bucketfuls) pluebat, aut tunc aut nunquam, et omnes ridebant, uvidi
tanquam mures. M. Antoninus (et? eavrov 5, 7) has preserved the
beautifully simple prayer of the Athenians for rain : evxv
' Ad-qvaCwv, vcrov, vaov. Si ^I'Xe Zei), Kara tt}? apovpa^ tt}? AOrjvaiwv
Kal TOiv irehlwv (see Suppl.). According to Lasicz, the Lithuanian
prayer ran thus : Pcrcune devaite niemuski und mana dirvu (so I
emend dievu), melsu tavi, palti miessu. Cohibe te, Percune, neve
in meum agrum calamitatem immittas (more simply, strike not),
ego vero tibi banc succidiam dabo. The Old Prussian formula is
said to have been : Dievas Ferkunos, absolo mus ! spare us, = Lith.
apsaugok mus ! To all this I will add a more extended petition in
Esthonian, as Gutslaff^ heard an old peasant say it as late as the

1 Aegidius aureae vallis cap. 135 (Chapeauville 2, 267-8). Chron. belg.
magu. ad ann. 1244 (Pistorius 3, 263). .

- Other saints also grant rain in answer to prayer, as St Slansuetus m
Pertz 6, 512'>. blS^ ; the body of St Lupus carried about at Sens m lOJi,
Pert/, 1, 106-7. Conl'. infra, Kain-making.

3 Joh. Gutslatf, kurzer beiicht und unterricht von der ialsch heilig ge-



176 THUNAR.

17th century : ' Dear Thunder (woda Picker), we offer to thee an
ox that hatli two horns and four cloven hoofs, we would pray thee
for our ploughing and sowing, that our straw be copper-red, our
grain be golden-yellow. Push elsewhither^ all the thicJc hlack clouds,
over great fens, high forests, and wildernesses. But unto us
ploughers and sowers give a fruitful season and svjeet rain. Holy
Thunder (poha Picken), guard ovir seedfield, that it bear good straw
below, good ears above, and good grain within.' Picker or Picken
would in modern Esthonian be called Pitkne, which conies near
the Finnic piilcdinen = thunder, perhaps even Thunder ; Hiipel's
Esth. Diet, however gives both pikkcnne and pikne simply as
thunder (impersonal). The Einns usually give their thundergod
the name Ukko only, the Esthonians that of Turris as well,
evidently from the Norse Thorr (see Suppl.).^

As the fertility of the land depends on thunderstorms and
rains, Pitkdinen and Zeus appear as the oldest divinity of agri-
cultural nations, to whose bounty they look for the thriving of
their cornfields and fruits (see Suppl.). Adam of Bremen too attri-
butes thunder and lightning to Tlior expressly in connexion with
dominion over weather and fruits : Thor, inquiunt, praesidet in aere,
qui tonitrua et fulmina, ventos imbresque, serena et frugcs guhernat.
Here then the worship of Thor coincides with that of Wuotan, to
whom likewise the reapers paid homage (pp. 154 — 7), as on the other
hand Thor as well as OSinn guides the events of war, and receives
his share of the spoils (p. 133). To the Norse mind indeed, Thor's
victories and his battles wdth the giants have thrown his peaceful
office quite into the shade. Nevertheless to Wuotan's mightiest
son, whose mother is Earth herself, and who is also named Per-
kunos, we must, if only for his lineage sake, allow a direct relation
to Agriculture.^ He clears up the atmosphere, he sends fertilizing



nandten baclie in Liefland Wohhanda. Dorpt. 1644, pp. 362-4. Even in his
time the language of the prayer was hard to understand ; it is given, corrected,
in Peterson's Finn, mythol. p. 17, and Rosenpliinter's beitr., heft 5, p. 157.

^ Ukko is, next to Yumala (whom I connect with Wuotan), the highest
Finnish god. Pitkainen literally means the long, tall, higli one.

2 Uhland in his essay on Thorr, has penetrated to the heart of the ON.
myths, and ingeniously worked out the thought, that the very conflict of the
summer-god with the winter-giants, itself signifies the business of bringing land
under cultivation, that the crushing rock-splitting force of the thiuiderbolt
prepares the hard stony soil. This is most happily expounded of the Hrungnir
and Orvandill saj/as : in some of the others it seems not to answer so well.



THUNAR. 177

showers, and his sacred tree supj^lies the nutritious acorn. Thor's
niinni was drunk to the prosperity of cornfields.

The German thundergod was no doubt represented, like Zeus
and Jupiter, with a long heard. A Danish rhyme still calls him
' Thor med sit lange skidg' (F. Magnusen's lex. 957). But the ON.
sagas everywhere define him more narrowly as red-learded, of
course in allusion to the fiery phenomenon of lightning : when the
god is angry, he blows in his red beard, and thunder peals through
the clouds. In the Fornm. sog. 2, 182 and 10, 329 he is a tall,
handsome, red-bearded youth : Mikill vexti (in growth), ok ungligr,
friSr synum (fair to see), ok rau&skcggja&r ; in 5, 249 maSr ra%i&-
skeggja3r. Men in distress invoked his red beard : Landsmenn
toko ]?at raS (adopted the plan) at heita J^etta hit rmicfa skegg, 2,
183. When in wrath, he shakes his beard: ReiSr var }7a, sccgg
nam at hrista, scur nam at dyja (wroth was he then, beard he took
to bristling, hair to tossing), Sam. 70^ More general is the
]3lirase : let siga brynnar ofan fyrir augun (let sink the brows over
his eyes), Sn. 50. His divine rage (asmoSr) is often mentioned :
Thorr varS reiGr, Sn. 52. Especially interesting is the story of
Tlior's meeting with King Olaf 1, 303 ; his power seems half broken
by this time, giving way to the new doctrine ; when the christians
ap]jroach, a follower of Thorr exhorts him to a brave resistance :
pvijt ];u i mot ];eim skeggrodd J?ina (raise thou against them thy
beard's voice). J;a gengu J^eir ut, ok hies Thorr fast i kampana, ok
Jjajtti skcggraiistlna (then went they out, and Th. blew hard into
his beard, and raised his beard's voice), kom ]3a ]?egar andviSri moti
konungi sva styrkt, at ekki matti vi5 halda (inmiediately there came
ill-weather against the king so strong, that he might not hold out,
ie.,at sea). — This red beard of the thunderer is still remembered in
curses, and that among the Frisian folk, without any visible connex-
ion with Norse ideas: 'diis niadhiirct donner regiir!' (let red-haired
thunder see to that) is to this day an exclamation of the North Fris-
ians.'^ And when the Icelanders call a fox holtaporr, Thorr of the
holt,2 it is probably in allusion to his red fur (see SuppL).

The ancient languages distinguish three acts in the natural



1 Der geizhalz auf Silt, Flensburg 1809, p. 123 ; 2nd ed. Sonderburg 1833,

]). ii;3.

- Nucleus lat. in usuin scholae scliallioltinae. Hafniae 1738, p. 2088.

12



178 THUNAR.

phenomenon: the i\asli,fulgu7% aaTpairrj, the sound, tonitnts, /Spovri],
and the stroke, fulmen, Kepavv6<i (see SuppL).

The lightning's flash, which we name blitz, was expressed in onr
older speech both by the simple plih, Graff 3, 244, MHG. hlic, Iw.
049. Wirral. 7284, and by plechazunffa (coruscatio), derived from
plechazan/ a frequentative of j;/ccAe7i (fulgere), Diut. 1, 222-4;
they also used plcchunga, Diut. 1, 222. Pleccatcshem, Pertz 2, 383,
the name of a place, now Blexen ; the MHG. has Uil'ze (fulgur) :
die Uihzni und die donerslege sint mit gewalte in siner pflege, MS.
2^ 166^ — Again lohazan (micare, coruscare), Goth, lauhatjan, pre-
supposes a lohen, Goth, lauhan. From the same root the Goth
forms his Idnhmuni {aaTpa-m')), while the Saxon from blic made a
llicsmo (fulgur). AS. Icoma (jubar, fulgur), ON. liomi, Swed.
Ijungeld, Dan. hjn. — A Prussian folk-tale has an expressive phrase
for the lightning : ' He with the Uue whip chases the devil,' i.e. the
giants; for a hhie flame was held specially sacred, and people
swear by it, North Pris. ' donners hlosJcen (blue sheen) help ! ' in
Hansens geizhals p 123; and Schiirtlin's curse was hlau feuer !
(see SuppL).

Beside dona)% the OHG. would have at its command capreh
(fragor) from prelihan (frangere), Gl. hrab. 963'', for which the
MHG. often has Mac, Troj. 12231. 14693, and krach from krachen,
(crepare) : mit krache gap der doner duz, Parz. 104, 5 ; and as
krachen is synonymous with rizen (strictly to burst with a crash),
we also find wolkenriz fern, for thunder, Parz. 378, 11. Wh. 389,
18 ; gegenH;:;, Wartb. kr. jen.. 57; reht als der wilde dunrslac von
himel kam gcrizzen, Ecke 105. der chlafondo doner, K Cap. 114 ;
der chlaflcih heizet toner ; der doner stet gcspanncn, Apollon. 879.
I connect the Gothic peiJvvd fem. with the Finnic teuhaan (strepo),
teuhaus (strepitus, tumultus), so that it would mean the noisy,
uproarious. Some L. Germ, dialects call thunder grummel, Strodtm.
Osnabr. 77, agreeing with the Slav, grom, hrom (see Suppl.).

For the notion of fulmen we possess only compounds, except

1 While writing plechazan, I reinemlier pleckan, plahta (patere, nudari ;
l.leak), MHG. blecken, blacte, Wigal. 4890 ; which, when used of the sky,
means : the clouds open, heaven opens, as we still say of forked and sheet
li'ditning ; conf. Lohengr. p. 125 : relit alsani des himniels bliz von doner sicli
erblecket. If this plechan is akin to plih (fulgur), we must suppose two verbs
plihhan pleih, and plehhan plah, the second derived from the first. Ulav. bksic,
blisk, but Boh. bozhi posel, god's messenger, lightning-flash. Euss. molniya,
iServ. munya, fem. (see SuppL).



THUNAR. 179

when the simple donner is used in that sense : sluoc alse ein doner,
]ioth. 1747. liiure hat der scliiir (shower, storm) erslagen, MS. 3,
228* ; commonly donnerschlag, Uitzschlag. OHG. Uig-scuz (-shot,
fulgurum jactiis), N. cap. 13; MHG. Uickcschoz, Barl. 2, 26. 253, 27,
and Uicschoz, Martina 205=^; fiurin doncrstrdlc, Parz. 104, 1; do7i-
rcslac, Iw. G51; ter scuz tero fiurentun donerstrdlo (ardentis fulminis),
erscozen mit tien donerstrdlon, N. Bth. 18. 175; MHG. u-etterstrahl ,
hlitzstrahl, donnerstrahl. MHG. wilder donerslac, Geo. 751, as
lightning is called icild fire, Eab. 412, Schm. 1, 553, and so in ON.
vUli-cldr, Sn. GO (see Sup pi.).

So tlien, as the god who lightens has red hair ascribed to him,
and lie who thunders a waggon, he who smites has some weapon
.that he shoots. But here I judge that the notion of arrows being
shot {loildcr ffU der liz dem donre snellet, Troj. 7073. doners pfUe,
Turnei von Nantlieiz 35. 150) was merely imitated from the Krjka
Aiof, tela Jovis ; the true Teutonic Donar throws wedge-shaped
stones from the sky : ' ez wart nie stein geworfen dar er enkieme von
der schure,' there was never stone thrown there (into the castle
high), unless it came from the storm, Ecke 203. ein vlins (flint)
von donrestrtden. Wolfram 9, 32. ein lierze daz von vlinse ime donrc
gewahsen wsere (a heart made of the Hint in thunder), Wh. 12, 16.
schilrestein, Bit. 10332. sehmverstein, Suchenw. 33, 83. so slahe
mich ein doncrstein ! Ms. H. 3, 202^ "We now call it donnevkeil,
Swed. ksk-vigg (-wedge) ; and in popular belief, there darts out of
the cloud together with the flash a black iccdgc, which buries itself
in the earth as deep as the liighest church-tower is high.'^ But every
time it thunders again, it begins to rise nearer to the surface, and
after seven years you may find it above ground. Any house in
which it is preserved, is proof against damage by lightning ; when
a thunder-storm is coming on, it begins to sweat.^ Such stones are
also called donnerdxie (-axes) donnersteine, donnerhammer, alhschossc
(elfshots), strahlsteine, teufelsfinger , Engl, thunder -holts, Swed. Thors
viggc, Dan. tordcnhile, tordenstraale (v. infra, ch. XXXVII),^ and stone
hammers and knives found in ancient tombs bear the same name.
Saxo Gram. p. 236 : Inusitati ponderis malleos, quos Jovialcs voca-

^ Tliis depth is variously expressed in curses, &c. e.g. May tlie thunder strike
you into the earth as far as a liare can run in a hundred years !

- Weddigens westfiiL mag. 3, 713. Wigands arcliiv 2, 320, has nine vears
instead of seven.

^ The Grk name for the stone is /SfXe/xvtVT;? a missile.



180 THUNAR.

bant, , . . prisca virorum religione cultos ; . . . cupiens
enim antiquitas tonitruorum causas usitata reruin similitudine com-
prehendere, malleos, quibus coeli fragores cieri credebat, ingenti aere
complexa fuerat (see SuppL). To Jupiter too the silex (flins) was
sacred, and it was held by those taking an oath. From the mention
of ' elf-shots ' above, I would infer a connexion of the elf-sprites
with the thundergod, in whose service they seem to be employed.

The Norse mythology provides Tliorr with a wonderful hammer
named Miolnir (mauler, tudes, contundens), which he hurls at the
giants, Seem. 57^ 67^ 68^ ; it is also called pru&hamar, strong
hammer, Sam. 67^ 68^ and has the property of returning into the
god's hand of itself, after being thrown, Sn. 132, As this hammer
files tlirough the air (er hann kemr a lopt, Sn. 16), the giants know
it, lightning and thunder precede the throwing of it : J?vi naest sa
hann (next saw he, giant Hrungnir; cldingar oc heyrSi prumur
storar, sa hann J^a Thor i asmoSi, for hann akaflega, oc reiddi liamarin
oc Jcastaffi, Sn. 109. This is obviously the crushing thunderbolt,
which descends after lightning and thunder, which was nevertheless
regarded as the god's permanent weapon ; hence perhaps that
rising of the bolt out of the earth. Saxo, p. 41, represents it as a
club (clava) without a handle, but informs us that Bother in a battle
with Thor had Icnoched off the manubium clavae ; tliis agrees with
the Eddie narrative of the manufacture of the hammer, when it
was accounted a fault in it that the handle was too short (at
forskeptit var heldr skamt), Sn. 131. It was forged by cunning
dwarfs,^ and in spite of that defect, it was their masterpiece. In
Saxo p. 163, Thor is armed with a torrida chabjhs.^ It is noticeable,
how Frauenlob MS. 2, 214^ expresses himself about God the Father:
der smit uz Oberlande warf sinen hamer in mine schoz. The ham-
mer, as a divine tool, was considered sacred, brides and the bodies
of the dead were consecrated with it, Ssem. 74^ Sn. 49. 66 ; men
blessed with the sign of the hammer,^ as christians did with the sign
of the cross, and a stroke of lightning was long regarded in the

^ As Zeus's lightning was by the Curetes or Cyclopes.

^ That in ancient statues of the thundergod the hammer had not been for-
gotten, seems to be proved by pretty late evidence, e.g. the statue of a dorper
mentioned in connexion with the giants (ch. XVIII, quotation from Fergut).
And in the AS. Solomon and Saturn, Thunor wields ajiery axe (ch. XXV, Mus-

^ In the Old Germ, law, the throwing of a hammer ratifies the acquisition
of property.



THUNAR. 181

Mid. Ages as a happy initiatory omen to any undertaking. Thorv
with his hammer hallows dead bones, and makes them alive again,
Sn. 49 (see Supph). — But most important of all, as vouching for
the wide extension of one and the same heathen faith, appears to
me that beautiful poem in the Edda, the Hamars heimt (hammer's
homing, mallei recuperatio),^ whose action is motived by Thor's
hammer being stolen by a giant, and buried eight miles underground:
' ek hefi HlorriSa hamar umtolginn Citta rostom for iorS nedan,'
Stem. 71^ This unmistakably hangs together with the popular
belief I have quoted, that the thunderbolt dives into the earth and
takes seven or nine years to get up to the surface again, mounting
as it were a mile every year. At bottom Thrymr, ]?ursa drottinn,
lord of the durses or giants, who has only got his own hammer
back again, seems identical with Thorr, being an older nature-god,
in whose keeping the thunder had been before the coming of the
ases; this is shown by his name, which must bo derived from
}7ruma, tonitru. The compound Jjrumketill (which Biorn explains
as aes tinniens) is in the same case as the better-known J?6rketiIL
(see Suppl.).

Another proof that this myth of the thundergod is a joint pos-
session of Scandinavia and the rest of Teutondom, is supplied by
the word hammer itself. Hamar means in the first place a hard
stone or rock,^ and secondly the tool fasliioned out of it ; the ON.
hamarr still keeps both mennings, rupes and malleus (and sahs, seax
again is a stone knife, the Lat. saxum). Such a name is particularly
well-suited for an instrument with which the mountain-god Donar,
our 'Fairguneis,' achieves all his deeds. Now as the god's hammer
strikes dead, and the curses ' tlmnder sXrikQ you' and 'hammer strike
you' meant the same thing, there sprang up in some parts, especially
of Lower Gemany, after the fall of the god Donar, a personification
of the word Hamar in the sense of Death or Devil : ' dat die de
Hamer ! i vor den Hamer ! de Hamcr sla ! ' are phrases still

1 No other lav of the Edila shows itself so intergrown with the people's
poetry of the Noiih ; its plot survives in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian songs,
which Lear the same relation to that in the Edda as our folk-song of Hilde-
brand and Alebrand does to our ancient poesy. Thor no longer appears as a
god, but as Thorkar (Thorkarl) or Thord af Hafsgaard, who is robbed of hi.s
golden hammer, conf. Iduna 8, 122. Nyerups udvalg 2, 18S. Arvidsson 1. 3.
Schade's beskrivelse over oen Mors, Aalborg 1811, p. 93. Also the remarkable
legend of Thor me(^ tuvgum hamri in Faye's norske sagn. Arendal 1833, p. 5,
where also he loses and seeks his hammer.

2 Slav, kamen gen. kamnia, stone ; Lith. ahnu gen. akmens ; /cam = /lam.



182 THUNAR.

current among the people, in which you can exchange Ilamer for
Duvcl, but which, one and all, can only be traced back to the god



Online LibraryJacob GrimmTeutonic mythology (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 46)