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iu dorf, MB. 29, 54 (an. 1246) ; Wielantes tanna (firs), MB. 28^
188. 471 (an. 128U) ; Wielandes brunne, MB. 31, 41 (an. 817).
The multiplication of such names during long centuries does not
admit of their being derived from human inhabitants. The Dan.
Vclandswrt (-wort), Icel. Velantswxt, is the valerian, and according to
Staid. 2, 450 WielandheQve. the daphne cneorum. Tradition would
doubtless extend Wieland's dexterity to Wittich and to Wate, who
also gets the credit of the boat, and in the Gudrun-lay of the
healing art. In Stem. 270% ' boekur ofnar volundom ' are stragula
artificiose contexta, and any artist might be called a volundr or
wielant, A gorgeous coat of mail (lirregel, OHG. hregil) is in Beow.
904 Welandes geweorc. /Elfred in Boeth. 2, 7 translates fidelis

• Juxta domiun JVelandi fabri, Ch. ad ann. 1262 in Lang's reg. 3, 181 :
couf, Ilaupts zeitsclir. 2, 248. I find also IFUigo faber, MB. 7, 122.


ossa Fabricii ' ]?aes wisan goldsmiSes ban Welondes ' (metrically :
Welandes ban) ; evidently the idea of faber which lay in Fabricius
brought to his mind the similar meaning of the Teutonic name,
Wdand being a cunning smith in general. For the name itself
appears to contain the ON", v^l = viel (ars, rix^rj, OHG. list),
Gramm. 1, 462, and smiSvelar meant artes fabriles ; the AS. form
is wll, or better wil, Engl, wile, Fr. guile; the OHG. wiol, wiel (with
broken vowel) is no longer to be found. But further, we must pre-
suppose a verb wielan, AS. welan (fabrefacere), whose pres. part, wie-
lant, weland, exactly forms our proper name, on a par with wlgant,
werdant, druoant, &c. ; Graff 2, 234 commits the error of citing
Wielant under the root lant, with which it has no more to do than
heilant (healer, saviour). The OFr. Galans (Heldens. 42) seems
to favour the ON", form Volundr [root val] since Veland would
rather have led to a Fr. Guilans ; possibly even the ON. vala
(nympha) is a kindred word ? An OHG. name Wieldrud seems
the very thing for a wise-woman. — This development of an intrinsic
significance in the hero's name finds an unexpected confirmation
in the striking similarity of the Greek fables of Hephtestus,
Erichthonius and Dsedalus. As Weland offers violence to
Beadohild (Volundr to BoSvildr), so Hephoestus lays a snare for
Athene, when she comes to order weapons of him ; both Hephaestus
and Volundr are punished with lameness, Erichthonius too is lame,
and therefore invents the four-horse chariot, as Volundr does the
boat and wings. One with Erichthonius are the later Erechtheus
and his descendant Daedalus, who invented various arts, a ring-
dance, building, &c., and on whose wings his son Icarus was soaring
when he fell from the clouds. But AaihaXo^i ^ is Bal8a\o<i, BaiSaX-
eo?, cunningly wrought, SatSaX/ia (like dyaXfia) a work of art, and
SacMWeiv the same as our lost wielan. As our list [like the Engl,
cunning and craft] has degenerated from its original sense of scientia
to that of calliditas and fraus, and vel has both meanings, it is not
surprising that from the skill-endowed god and hero has proceeded
a deformed deceitful devil (p. 241). The whole group of V^'^ate,
Wielant, Wittich are heroes, but also ghostly beings and demigods
(see Suppl.).

The Vilkinasaga brings before us yet another smith, Mimir, by

1 A reduplication like iraiTToKos, ttanrakoHs tortus, arduus, TratrrdXXet:/ tor-
qtiere ; conf. Xaika^, nalfjia^, &c.

WELAND. MBri. 379

whom not only is Velint instructed in his art, but Sigfrit is brought
up — another smith's-apprentice. He is occasionally mentioned in
the later poem of Biterolf, as Mhnc the old (Heldensage, pp. 146-8) ;
an OHG. Mimi must have grown even more deeply into our
language as well as legend : it has formed a diminutive Mimilo
(MB. 28, 87-9, annis 983-5), and Mima, Mimidrilt, Miviihilt are
women's names (Trad. fuld. 489. Cod. lauresh. 211) ; the old name
of Miinster in Westphalia was J/imigardiford, il/i;?iigerneford
(Indices to Pertz 1. 2), conf. il/i??iigerdeford in Kichthofen 335 ; the
AVestphalian Minden was originally J/midun (Pertz 1, 368), and
Memleben on the Unstrut J/i7;iileba, The great number of these
proper names indicates a mythic being, to which Memerolt (Morolt
111) may also be related. — The elder ZSTorse tradition names him
just as often, and in several different connexions. In one place,
Saxo, p. 40,^ interweaves a Mimingus, a ' silvarum satyrus ' and
possessor of a sword and jewels, into the myth of Balder and
Hother, and this, to my thinking, throws fresh light on the
vidugauja (wood-god) above. The Edda however gives a higher
position to its Mhnir: he has a fountain, in which wisdom and
understanding lie hidden ; drinking of it every morning, he is the
wisest, most intelligent of men, and this again reminds us of
' Wielandes brunne '. To il/imisbrunnr came OGinn and desired a
drink, but did not receive it till he had given one of his eyes in
pledge, and hidden it in the fountain (Ssem. 4^ Sn. 17) ; this
accounts for OSinn being one-eyed (p. 146). In the Yngl, sa-^a
cap. 4, the Ases send Mimir, their wisest man, to the Vanir, who
cut his head off and send it back to the Ases. But OGinn spake
his spells over the head, that it decayed not, nor ceased to utter
speech ; and 05inn holds conversation with it, whenever he needs
advice, conf. Yngl. saga cap. 7, and Siem. 8^ 195^. I do not exactly
know whom the Voluspa means by Mhnis synir (sons), Siem. 8'' ;
MimamQ\d,v 109=^ implies a nom. Mimi gen. Mima, and may be
distinct from Mimir (conf. Bragr and Bragi, p. 235). — Mimir is no
As, but an exalted being with whom the Ases hold converse, of
wdioni they make use, the sura-total of wisdom, possibly an older
nature-god ; later fables degraded him into a wood-sprite or clever
smith. His oneness with heroes tends to throw a divine splendour

1 P. E. Muller's ed., p. 114, following wliicli I have set aside the readiu"
Miiuringiis, in spite of the Danish song of Mimering tand. °

380 HEllOES.

on tliem. S^vedisll folk-song has not yet forgotten Mimes a
(Arvidsson 2, 316-7), and in Konga liiirad and Tingas socken in
Sniakand there lies a Mimes sjo, inhabited according to the legend
by neckar (nixies), ibid. p. 319. Perhaps some of the forms quoted
have by rights a short i, as have indisputably the AS. mimor,
meomor, gemimor (memoriter notus), mimerian (memoria tenere),
our Low German mimeren (day-dreaming), Brem. wtb. 3, 161, and
the Memerolt, ]\iemleben above ; so that we might assume a verb
meima, maim, mimum. Then the analogy of the Latin memor and
CJr. fjLi/x€o/xaL allows us to bring in the giant and centaur Mlfia^i,
i.e., the wood-sprite again (see Suppl.).

According to the Edda (Soem. 133), Volundr had two brothers
SlagfiSr and Egill, all three ' synir Finnakonungs,' sons of a Finnish
king, whereas the saga transplanted to the North from Germany
makes its Vilkinus a king of Vilkinaland. Or can Finna be taken
as the gen. of Finni, and identified with that Finn Folcwaldansunu
on p. 219 ? SlagfiSr might seem = Slagfinnr, but is better
explained as SlagfioSr (flap- wing, see ch. XVI, Walachuriun). All
three brothers married valkyrs, and Egill, the one that chiefly
concerns us here, took Olrun (Aliorima). The Vilk. saga, cap. 27,
likewise calls Velint's younger brother Eigill : ■' ok ]?enna kalla
menu Olrunar Eigil,'''- but the bride is not otherwise alluded to ;
this form Eigill agrees with the OHG. Eigil on p. 376, not with the
OK Egill, dat. Agli, for the dat. of Eigill would have been Eigli.
Well, this Eigill was a famous archer ; at Mdung's command he
shot an apple off the head of his own little son, and when the king
asked him what the other two arrows were for, replied that they
were intended for him, in case the first had hit the child. The tale
of this daring sliot must have been extremely rife in our remotest
antiquity, it turns up in so many places, and always with features
of its own. As the Vilkinasaga was imported into Scandinavia in
the 13th century, the story of Eigill was certainly diffused in
Lower Germany before that date. But Saxo Grammaticus in
Denmark knew it in the 12th centurv, as told of Toko and king
Harald Gormsson, with the addition, wanting in Eigill, that Toko

1 Peringskiold translates ' Egillns Sagittarius,' and Eafn ' Egil den traf^
fende,' but this was merely guessed from the incidents of the story. Arrow is
not 61, but or ; Orentil on the contrary, Eigil's son, does seem to have been
named from the arrow.


after the shot behaved like a hero in the sea-storm. The Icelanders
too, particularly the lonisvikinga saga, relate the deeds of this
rdlnatoki, but not the shot from the bow, though they agree with
Saxo in making Harald fall at last by Toki's shaft, Tiie king's
death by the marksman's hand is historical (a.d, 992), the shot at
the apple mythical, having gathered round the narrative out of an
older tradition, which we must presume to have been in existence
in the 10- 11th centuries. To the Norwegian saga of Olaf the
Saint (-j-lOoO), it has attached itself another way : Olaf wishing to
convert a heathen man, EindriSi, essayed his skill against him in
athletic arts, first swimming, then shooting ; after a few successful
shots, the king required that EindriSi's boy should be placed at the
butts, and a writing-tablet be shot off his head without hurting tlie
child. EindriSi declared himself willing, but also ready to avenge
any injury. Olaf sped the first shaft, and narrowly missed the
tablet, when EindriSi, at his mother's and sister's- prayer, declined
the shot (Fornm. sog. 2, 272). Just so king Haraldr SigurSarson
(HarSraSa, -f* 1066) measured himself against an archer Hemingr,
and bade him shoot a hazelnut off his Biorn's head, and Hemingr
accomplished the feat (Midler's sagabibl. 3,. 359, Thattr af
Hemingi cap, 6, ed. Eeykjavik p. 55), Long afterwards, the legend
was transferred to a Hemming Wolf, or von Wulfen, of WewelsHet
in the Wilstermarsch of Holstein, where the Elbe empties itself
into the sea. Hemming Wolf had sided with count Gerhard in
1472, and was banished by king Christian. The folk-tale makes-
the king do the same as Harald, and Hemming as Toko ; an old
painting of Wewelsflet church represents the archer on a meadow
with bow unbent, in the distance a boy with the apple on his head,
the arrow passes through the middle of the apple, but the archer
lias a second between his teeth, and betwixt him and the boy
stands a wolf, perhaps to express that Hemming after his bold
answer was declared a wolf's head.^ Most appropriately did the
mythus rear its head on the emancipated soil of Switzerland : In
1307, it is said, Wilhelm Tell, compelled by Gessler, achieved the
same old master-shot, and made the courageous speech ; but the
evidence of chroniclers does not begin till toward the 16th century ,2

^ Schleswigholst. prov. berichte 1798, vol. 2, p. 39 seq. Mallenhof,
Sclilo8wij,'liolst Raj,'en no. 66.

•^ I suspect the genuineness of tlie verses, alleged to be by lleinricli vou


shortly before the first printed edition of Saxo, 1514. Of the
unhistorical character of the event there cannot be the sliglitest
dovibt. The mythic substratum of the Tell fable shews itself in an
Upper Ehine legend of the 15th century (in Malleus malef. pars 2
cap. 16, de sagittariis maleficis) which immediately preceded the
first written record of that of Tell : Fertur de ipso (PimcheroJ, quod
quidam de optimatibus, cum artis sue experientiam capere voluis-
set, eidem prop7^ium filium parvuhtm ad metam posuit, et pro signo
super hir return pueri denarium, sibique mandavit, ut denarmm sine
hirreto per sagittam amoveret. Cum autem maleficus id se facturum
sed cum difiicultate assereret, libentius abstinere, ne per diabolum
seduceretur in sui interitum; verbis tamen principis inductus,
sagittam unam collari suo circa coUum immisit, et alteram balistae
supponens denarium a hirreto pueri sine omni nocumento excmsit.
Quo viso, dum ille maleficum interrogasset, ' cur sagittam collari
imposuisset ? ' respondit, 'si deceptus per diabolum puerum
occidissem, cum me mori necesse fuisset, subito cum sagitta altera
vos tranfifixisscin, ut vel sic mortem meam vindicassem '. This shot
must have taken place somewhere about 1420, and the story have
got about in the middle part of the 15th century. — Beside the
above-mentioned narratives, Norse and German, we have also an
Old English one to shew in the Northumbrian ballad of the three
merry men, Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, and William of
Cloudesle ; this last, whose christian name, like the surname of the
first, reminds one of Tell, offers in the king's presence to set an
apple on the head of his son, seven years old, and shoot it off at
120 paces. The arrow sped from the bow, and cleft the apple.
I suppose that Aegel's skill in archery would be known to the
Anglo-Saxons ; and if we may push Wada, Weland and Wudga far
up into our heathen time, Aegel seems to have an equal claim.
The whole myth shows signs of having deep and widely extended

HiJnenbere of 1315, which Carl Zay has made known in his book on Goldau,
Zurich 1807, p. 41 :

Dum pater in puerum telum crudele coruscat
Tellius ex jussu, saeve tyranne, tuo,

pomum, non natmn, figit fatalis arundo :
altera mox ultrix te, periture, petet.
H. von Hlinenberg is the same who, before the battle of Morgarten, shot a
warning billet over to the Swiss on his arrow (Joh. Midler 2, 37), hewas
therefore a bowman himself. Justinger and Johann von Winterthur are silent
about Tell ; Melchior Russ (f 1499) and Petermann Etterlin (completed 1507)
were the first who committed the story to writing.


roots. It partly agrees even with -what Eustathius on II. 12, 292
tells us, that Sarpedon, a hero of the blood of Zeus, was made
when a child to stand up and have a ring shot off his breast
without injury to him, an action which entailed the acquisition of
the Lycian kingdom (see Suppl.).^

With these specimens of particular heroes— crumbs from the
richly furnished table of our antiquities — I will content myself, as
there are still some reflections of a more general kind to be made.

I started with saying, that in the heroic is contained an exalting
and refining of human nature into divine, originally however
founded on the affinity of some god with the human race. Now
as procreation is a repetition, and the son is a copy of the father
(for which reason our language with a profound meaning has avara
for image and avaro for child) ; so in every hero we may assume
to a certain extent an incarnation of the god, and a revival of at
least some of the qualities that distinguish the god. In this sense
the hero appears as a sublimate of man in general, who, created
after the image of God, cannot but be like him. But since the
gods, even amongst one another, reproduce themselves, i.e., their
plurality has radiated out of the primary force of a single
One (p. 164), it follows, that the origin of heroes must be very
similar to that of polytheism altogether, and it must be a difficult
matter in any particular case to distinguish between the full-bred
divinity and the half-blood. If heroes, viewed on one side, are
deified men, they may on the other hand be also regarded as
humanized gods ; and it comes to the same thing, whether we say
that the son or grandson begotten by the god has attained a semi-
divine nature, or that the god born again in him retains but a part
of his pristine power. We are entitled to see in individual heroes
a precipitate of former gods, and a mere continued extension, in a
wider circle, of the same divine essence which had already branched
out into a number of gods (see Suppl.).

This proposition can the more readily be demonstrated from the
popular faiths of Greece and Germany, which commit themselves
to no systematic doctrine of emanation and avatara, as in these

1 Similar legends seem to live in the East. In a JIS. of the Cassel library
containing a journey in Turkey, I saw the representation of an archer taking
aim at a child with an apple on its head.


religions the full-blooded animalism of herohood developed itself
the more richly for that very reason. While the Indian heroes are
in the end reabsorbed into the god, e.g., Krishna becomes Vishnu,
there remains in Greek and German heroes an irreducible dross of
humanism, which brings them more into harmony with the
historical ingredients of their story. Our hero-legend has this long
while had no consciousness remaining of such a thing as incarna-
tion, but has very largely that of an apotheosis of human though
god-descended virtue.

Herakles can never become one with Zeus, yet his deeds remind
us of those of his divine sire. Some traits in Theseus allow of his
being compared to Herakles, others to Apollo. Hermes was the
son of Zeus by Maia, Amphion by Antiope, and the two brothers,
the full and the half-bred, have something in common.

In Teutonic hero-legend, I think, echoes of the divine nature
can be distinguished still more frequently ; the Greek gods stood
unshaken to the last, and heroes could be developed by the side of
them. But when once the Teutonic deities encountered Christianity,
there remained only one of two ways open to the fading figures
of the heathen faith, either to pass into evil diabolic beings, or
dwindle into good ones conceived as human. The Greek heroes-
all belong to the flowering time of paganism \ of the Teutonic a
part at least might well seem a poverty-stricken attenuation and
fainter reproduction of the former gods, such as could still dare to
shew its face after the downfall of the heathen system. Christian
opinion in the Mid. Ages guided matters into this channel ; unable
to credit the gods any longer with godhood, where it did not
transform them into devils, it did into demigods. In the Edda the
a3sir are still veritable gods ; Jornandes too, when he says, cap. 6 :
' mortuum (Taunasem regem) Gothi inter numina populi svA
coluerunt ' — be this Taunasis Gothic or Getic — assumes that there
were Gothic gods, but the anses he regards as only victorious
heroes exalted into demigods ; and in Saxo, following the same line
of thought, we find that Balder (who exhibits some Heraklean
features, v. supra p. 226-7), and Hother, and Othin himself, have
sunk into mere heroes.^ This capitis deminutio of the gods brought

1 In the AS. Etlielwerd p. 833 we read : ' Hengest et Horsa, hi nepotes
fnere JFoddan regis barbarorum, quem post infanda dignitate ut deum honorantes,
sacrificium obtulerunt pagani victoriae causa sive virtutis, ut huinanitas saepe
credit hoc quod videt'. "Wiu. of Maliuesbury's simihir words were quoted


them nearer to heroes, wliilc the heroes were cut off from absolute
deification ; how much the two must have got mixed up in the
mist of legend ! Yet in every case where bodily descent from the
gods is aliened of a hero, his herohood is the more ancient, and
really of heathen origin.

Among the heroes tliemselves there occur second births, of
which a fuller account will be given further on, and which shew a
certain resemblance to the incarnations of gods. As a god renews
himself in a hero, so does an elder hero in a younger.

Beings of the giant brood, uniting themselves now to gods and
now to heroes, bring about various approximations between these

We have seen how in the genealogy of Inguio, first OSinn, then
NiorGr and Freyr interweave themselves : NiorSr and Hadding
seem identical, as do Heimdall and Rigr, but in NiorSr and Heim-
dall the god is made prominent, in Hadding and Rigr the hero.
Irmin appears connected with Wuotan and Zio, just as Ares and
Herakles approach each other, and Odysseus resembles Hermes.
Baldr is conceived of as divine, Baildceg as heroic. In Siegfried is

u])ove, p. 128 ; he also says ^ denm eiise delirantes'. Albericus tr. font. 1, 23
{utter A.D. 274) expresses himself thus : ' In hac generatione decima ab incar-
natione Domini regnasse invenitur quidam Mercurius in Gottlandia insula, quae
est inter Daciam et Russiam extra Romanum imperium, a quo Merciu-io, qui
Woden dictus est, descendit genealogia Anglorinn et multoruni aliorum '. Much
in the same way Snorri in the Yngl. saga and Form. 13. 14 lepresents OCinn
as a IwfiSincii and hermaf^r come from Asia, who by policy secured the
worship of the nations ; and Saxo p. 12 professes a like o])iniou : ' ea tempes-
tate ciun Otiiinus quidam, Europa tota, Jalso din'nitatis titulo censeretur,' &c.
conf. what he says p. 45. What other idea could orthodox christians at that
time form of tlie false god of their forefathers ? To idolatry they could not but
impute wilful deceit or presumption, being unable to comprehend that some-
thing very ditl'erent from falsified history lies at the bottom of heathenism.
As little did there ever exist a real man and king OSinn (let alone two or
three), as a real Jupiter or Mercury. — But the attinity of the hero nature
with the divine is clearly distinct from a deification arising out of human
]>ride and deceit. Those heathen, who trusted mainly their inner strength (p.
6), like the Homeric heroes irfrrmdoTfs ^ijj4>'' (H- 12, 25(5), were j'et far from
setting themselves up for gods. Similar to the stories of K'ebucadnrzar (er wolte
selbe sin ein got, would himself be god, Parz. 102, 7. Barl. 60, 35), ol' Kosroes
(^lassmann on Eracl. p. 502), of the Greek Salmonevs (conf. N. Cap. 146), and
the Ryzantine Erarlius, was our ]\lid. Age story of Imiiotans wiiester Babilonie,
' der wolde selve wesen got'(I\other 2568) = Nibelut ze Barise ' der machet
himele gnldin, selber wolt ergot sin '(Bit. 299), just as Salmoneus imitated
the lightning and thunder of Zeus. Inielot and Nibelot here seem to mean
the same thing, as do elsewhere Imelunge and Nibelunge (Hehlens. 162) ; I
do not know what allusion there might be in it to a Nibelunc or Amelunc (see



nu echo of Caldr and Freyr, perhaps of OSinn, in Dietrich of Thorr
and Freyr. Ecke oscillates between the giant and the hero.
Even Charles and Eoland are in some of their features to be
regarded as new-births of Wuotan and Donar, or of Siegfried and
Dietrich. As for Geat, Sceaf, Sceldwa, for lack of their legends, it
is difficult to separate their divine nature from their heroic.

One badge of distinction I find in this, that the names of gods
are in themselves descriptive, i.e., indicating from the first their
inmost nature ; ^ to the names of half-gods and heroes this signi-
ficance \n\\ often be wanting, even when the human original has
carried his name over with him. Then, as a rule, the names of
gods are simple, those of heroes often compound or visibly derived.
Donar therefore is a god from the first, not a deified man : his
appellation expresses also his character. The same reason is
decisive against that notion of Wuotan having made his way out of
the ranks of men into those of the gods.

Demigods have the advantage of a certain familiarness to the
people : bred in the midst of us, admitted to our fellowship, it is
they to whom reverence, prayers and oaths prefer to address them-
selves : they procure and facilitate intercourse with the higher-
standintT jrod. As it came natural to a Eoman to swear ' mehercle '
mecastor ! ecastor ! edepol ! ' the christians even in the Mid. Ages
swore more habitually by particular saints than by God himself.

We are badly off for information as to the points in which the
Hero-worship of our forefathers shaped itself differently from divine
worship proper ; even the Norse authorities have nothing on the
subject. The Grecian sacrifices to heroes differed from those
offered to gods : a god had only the viscera and fat of the beast
presented to him, and was content with the mounting odour ; a
deified hero must have the very flesh and blood to consume.
Thus the einherjar admitted into Valholl feast on the boiled flesh
of the boar Siehrinniir, and drink with the Ases ; it is never said
that the Ases shared in the food, Srem. 36. 42. Sn. 42 ; conf.
supra, p. 317. Are we to infer from this a difference in the sacri-
fices offered to gods and to demigods ?

Else, in the other conditions of their existence, we can perceive
many resemblances to that of the gods.

Thus, their stature is enormous. As Ares covered seven roods,

^ Sometliing like the names of tlie characters in the Beast-apologrie.


Ilcraklcs has also a body of gigantic mould. When the godlike
SigurSr strode through the full-grown field of corn, the dew-shoe ^

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