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semina liberius proveniant, et variae aeris inclementiae ccssent. The
Koman ambarvalia were purifications of fields, and sacrifices were


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


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

The Gothic alhs fem. translates the Jewish- Christian notions of
mo? (Matt. 27, 5. 51. Mk. 14, 58. 15, 29. Lu. 1, 9. 21. 2 Cor. 6,
16) and iep6v (Mk. 11, 11. IG. 27. 12, 35. 14, 49. Lu. 2, 27. 46. 4, 9.
18, 10. 19, 45. John 7, 14. 28. 8, 20. 59. 10, 23). To the Goth
it would be a time-hallowed word, for it shares the anomaly of
several such nouns, forming its gen. alhs, dat. alh, instead of alhais,
alhai. Once only, John 18, 20, gudhiis stands for lepov ; the simple
hus never has the sense of domus, which is rendered razn. Why
should Ulphilas disdain to apply the heathen name to the christian
thing, when the equally heathen templum and va6<i were found
quite inoffensive for christian use ?

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

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

^ I am not convinced that numen can refer to the place. The plain sense
seems to be : ' the divinity has that virtue (which the Gemini have), and the
name Alcis,' or 'of Alx,' or if dat. pi., 'the Alcae, Alci '. May not Alcis be conn,
with oKkt] strength, safeguard, and the dat. ciKkI pointing to a nom. aX| ; * uXkw
I defend ; or even Caesar's alces and Pausanias's aXfcai elks % — Trans.


Four or five centuries after Ulphilas, to the tribes of Upper
Germany their word alah must have had an old-fashioned heathen-
ish sound, but we know it was still there, preserved in composition
with proper names of places and persons (see Suppl.) : Alaholf,
Alahtac, Alahhilt, Alahgund, Alahtrut ; Alahstat in pago Hassorum
(a.d. 834), Schannat trad. fuld. no. 404. Alahdorp in Mulahgowe
(a.d. 856), ibid. no. 476. The names Alahstat, Alahdorf may have
been borne by many places where a heathen temple, a hallowed place
of justice, or a house of the king stood. For, not only the fanum, but
the folk-mote, and the royal residence were regarded as consecrated,
or, in the language of the Mid. Ages, as frono (set apart to the
fro, lord), Alstidi, a king's pfalz (palatium) in Thuringia often
mentioned in Dietmar of Merseburg, was in OHG. alahsteti, nom.
alahstat. Among the Saxons, who were converted later, the word
kept itself alive longer. The poet of the Heliaud uses alah masc.
exactly as Ulphilas does alhs (3, 20. 22. 6,2. 14,9. 32,14. 115,9.
15. 129, 22. 130, 19. 157, 16), seldomer goclcs htis loo, 8. 130,
18, or, that helaga M%s 3, 19. Caxlm. 202, 22 alhn (1. ulh hCiligne
=holy temple) ; 258, 11 calhstcde (palatium, aedes regia). In
Andr. 1042 I would read ' ealde ealhstcdas ' (delubra) for ' eolhstedas',
conf. the proper names Ealhstdn in Kemble 1, 288. 296 and Ealh-
hcard 1, 292 quasi stone-hard, rock-hard, which possibly leads us to
the primary meaning of the word.^ The word is wanting in OiST.
documents., else it must have had the form air, gen. als.

Of another primitive word the Gothic fragments furnish no
example, the OHG. ivih (nemus), Diut. 1, 492* ; 0. Sax. vAh masc.
(templum), Hel. 3, 15. 17. 19. 14,8.115,4. 119,17. 127,10.
129, 23. 130, 17. 154, 22. 169, 1 ; friduwih, Hel. 15, 19 ; AS.
wih wiges, or weoh weos, also masc. : wiges (idoli), Csedm. 228, 12.
Jjisne wig wurSigean (hoc idolum colere), Caedm. 228, 24. conf.
wigweorSing (cultus idolorum), Beow. 350. weohweorSing Cod.
exon. 253, 14. wihgild (cultus idol.), Csedm. 227,5. weobedd (ara),
for weolibedd, wihbedd, Ccedm. 127, 8. weos (idola), for weohas.
Cod. exon. 341, 28.— The alternation of i and eo in the AS. indicates
a sliort vowel ; and in spite of the reasons I have urged in Gramm. 1,
462, the same seems to be true of the ON", vc, which in the sing., as

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


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

Still more decisive is a third heathen word, which becomes
specially important to our course of inquiry. The OHG. Jiaruc
masc, pi. haruga, stands in the glosses both for fanum, Hrab. 96 o^.
for delubrum, Hrab. 959^ for lucus, Hrab. 969% Jun. 212.
Diut. 1, 495^ and for nemus, Dint. 1, 492^ The last gloss,
in full, runs thus : ' nemus plantavit=:/t>?^si; flanzota, edo (or)
Jiaruc, edo wih.' So that haruc, like will, includes on the one
liand the notion of templum, fanum, and on the other that of wood,
grove, lucus.^ It is remarkable that the Lex Eipuar. has preserved,
evidently from heathen times, harahus to designate a place of
judgment, wliich was originally a wood (RA. 794. 903), AS. Jicarg
masc, pL heargas (fanum), Beda 2, 13. 3, 30. Orosius 3, 9, p. 109.
heargtviBf (fani tabulatum), Beow. 349. set hcarge, Kemble, 1, 282.
ON. horgr masc, pi. horgar (delubrum, at times idolum, simulacrum)
Sffim. 36^ 42^ 91^ 114^ 141^ ; especially worth notice is Siem. 114*^ :
hoj^gr hlaSinn steinom, griot at gleri orSit, roSit i nyio nauta bloSi
(h.paven with stones, grit made smooth, reddened anew with neat's
blood). Sometimes Iidrg/^ is coupled with hof (fanum, tectum), 36=^
141% in which case the former is the holy place amidst woods and
rocks, the built temple, aula ; conf. ' liamarr ok liorgrl Fornm. sog.
5, 239. To both expressions belongs the notion of the place as well

■^ And in one place liaraga = arae. Elsewhere the heathen term for altar,
Gk /3a)/x6y, was Goth, hiuds, OHG. fiot, AS. heoA, strictly a table (p. 38) ;
likewise the Goth, hadi, OHG. fdti, AS. hed, hedd (lectus, p. 30) gets to mean
ara, areola, fanum, conf. AS. wihbed, weohbed, weobed, afterwards distorted into
loeofed (ara, altare), OHG. kotapetti (gods'-bed, lectus, pulvinar templi), Graff
3, 51 ; with which compare Brunhild's bed and the like, also the Lat. lectister-
nium. 'Ad altare S. Kiliani, quod vulgo lectus dicitur,' Lang reg. 1, 239. 255
(A.D. 1160-5) ; (see Suppl.).


as that of tlic nunien and the image itself (see Supj)!.). Hariic seems
unconnected with the 0. Lat. haruga, amga, bull of sacrifice, whence
hanispex, anispex. The Gk re/iew? however also means the sacred
grove, II. 8, 48. 23, 148. re'/xei'o? rdf^ov, II. 20, 184.

Lastly, synonymous with haruc is the OHG. j^aro, gen. parawes,
AS. hcaro, gen. bearwes, which betoken lucus^ and arbor, a sacred u,
grove or a tree ; tet bearwe, Kemble. 1, 255. OX. harr (arbor),
Ssem. 109=^; harri (nemus) 86'^ 87^ qui ad aras sacrificati^de za
demo j^rtrawc (al. za themo we) ploazit, Dint. 1, 150; ara, or rather
the pi. arae, here stands for templum (see SuppL).
[^ — Temple then means also ivood. What we figure to ourselves as
a built and walled house, resolves itself, the farther back we "o
into a holy place untouched by human hand, embowered and
shut in by self-grown trees. There dwells the deity, veiling his
form in rustling foliage of the boughs ; there is the spot where
the hunter has to present to him the game he has killed, and the
herdsmen his horses and oxen and rams.

What a writer of the second century says on the cultus of the
Celts, will hold good of the Teutonic and all the kindred nations :
KeXroi cre^ovat fxev Ala, a<ya\ixa Se ALo<i KekrcKov vy^rfkrj Spy?,
Maximus Tyrius (diss. 8, ed. Eeiske 1, 142). Compare Lasicz. 46 :
deos nemora incolere persuasum liabent (Samogitae). Habitarunt
di quoque sylvas (Haupts zeitschr. 1, 138).

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

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

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


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

The earliest testimonies to the forest-cultus of the Germans are
furnished by Tacitus. Germ. 9 : ceterum nee cohibere parietibus
deos, neque in uUam humani oris speciem adsimulare ex magni-
tudine coelestium arbitrantur. Litcos ac nemora consccrant, deorum-
que nominibus adpellant secretum illud quod sola reverentia vident.^
Germ. 39, of the Semnones ; Stato tempore in silvcim auguriis
patrum et prisca fonnidinc sacram^ omnes ejusdem sanguinis
populi legationibus coiiunt. est et alia luco reverentia. nemo nisi
vinculo ligatus ingreditur, ut minor et potestatem numinis prae se
ferens. si forte prolapsus est, attolli et insurgere baud licitum :
per humum evolvuntur.* cap. 40 : est in insula oceani castum

^ Waldes hleo, hlea (umbra, iimbracuUim) , Hel. 33, 22. 73, 23. AS. hleo,
ON. hlie, OHG. liwa, Graff 2, 296, MHG. lie, liewe.

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

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

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


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

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

Hortantcs his adde deos. Non somnia nobis,
nee volucres, sed clara palam vox edita luco est :
' rumpe omnes, Alarice, moras ! '
It is not pure nature- worship that we are told of here ; but Tacitus
could have had no eye for the ' mores Germanorum,' if their most
essential feature had escaped him. Gods dwell in these groves ; no
images (simulacra, in human form) are mentioned by name as being
set up, no temple walls are reared.^ But sacred vessels and altars

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

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

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


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

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

I will here insert the detailed narrative given by Wilibald
(t 786) in the Vita Bonifacii (Canisius II. 1, 242. Pertz 2, 348) of
the holy oak of Geismar (on the Edder, near Fritzlar in Hesse) .^
The event falls between the years 725 and 731. Is autem (Boni-
facius) ... ad obsessas ante ea Hessorum metas cum consensu
Carli ducis {i.e. of Charles Martel) rediit. tum vero Hessorum jam
multi catholica fide subditi ac septiformis spiritus gratia confirmati
manus impositionem acceperunt, et alii quidem, nondum animo
confortati, intemeratae fidei documenta integre percipere renuerunt,
alii etiam Unguis et faucibus clanculo, alii vero aperte sacrificabant,
alii vero auspicia et divinationes, praestigia atque incantationes
occulte, alii quidem manifeste exercebant, alii quippe auspicia et
auguria intendebant, diversosque sacrificandi ritus incoluerunt, alii
etiam, quibus mens sanior inerat, omni abjecta gentilitatis pro-
phanation-e nihil horum commiserunt. quorum consultu atque
consilio arhorcm quandam mirae magnitudinis, qii&e prisco Pagan-
orum vocabtdo appellatur robur Jovis, in loco, qui dicitur Gaesmere,
servis Dei secum astantibus, succidere tentavit. cumque mentis
constantia confortatus arborem succidisset, magna quippe aderat
copia Paganorum, qui et inimicum deoriim suoriim intra se diligen-
tissime devotabant, sed ad modicum quidem arbore praecisa
confestim immcnsa roboris moles, divino desuper flatu exagitata,
palmitum confracto culmine, corruit, et quasi superi nutus solatio
in quatuor etiam partes disrupta est, et quatuor ingentis magnitu-
dinis aequali longitudine trunci, absque fratrum labore astantium
apparuerunt. quo viso prius devotantes Pagani etiam versa vice
benedictionem Domino, pristina abjecta maledictione, credentes

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


reddiclerunt. Tunc autem summae sauctitatis antistes consilio inito
cum fratribus ex supradictae arboris materia ^) oratorium constmxit,
illudque in lionore S. Petri apostoli dedicavit. From that time
Christianity had in this place a seat in Hesse ; hard by was the
ancient capital of the nation, 'Mattium (Marburg), id genti caput,'
Tac. Ann. 1, 06 ; which continued in the ]\Iid. Ages to be the chief
seat of government. According to Landau, the oak and the church
built out of it stood on the site of St. Peter's church at Fritzlar.
The whole region is w^ell wooded (see Suppl.).

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

Amonsj the Saxons and Frisians the veneration of groves lasted
much longer. At the beginning of the 11th century, bishop Unwan
of Bremen (conf. Adam. Brem. 2, 33) had all such woods cut down
•among the remoter inhabitants of his diocese : lucos in episcopatu
suo, in quibus paludicolae regionis illius errore veteri cum profes-
sione falsa christianitatis immolahant, succidit; Vita IMeinwerci,
cap- 22. Of the holy tree in the Old Saxon IrminsM I will treat
in ch. W. Several districts of Low^er Saxony and Westphalia
have until quite recent times preserved vestiges of Iwhj oaks, to
which the people paid a half heathen half christian homage. Tims,
in the principality of Minden, on Easter Sunday, the young people
of both sexes used with loud cries of joy to dance a reigen (rig,

1 Otlier MS. have ' mole ' or ' metallo '. A brazen image on tlie oak is not
to be tliought of, as such a thing would have been alluded to in what precedes
or follows.


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

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

An old account of a battle between Franks and Saxons at
Notteln in the year 779 (Pertz 2, 377) informs us, that a badly
wounded Saxon had himself secretly conveyed from his castle into a
holy wood : Hie vero (Luibertus) magno cum merore se in castrum
recepit. Ex quo post aliquot dies mulier egrotum humeris clam in
sylvam Sytheri, quae fuit tlicgatlwn sacra, nocte portavit. Vulnera
ibidem lavans, exterrita clamore effugit. Ubi multa lamentatione
animam expiravit. The strange expression thegathon is explained
by t' a'yaOov (the good), a name for the highest divinity (summus
et princeps omnium deorum), which the chronicler borrowed from
Macrobius's somn. Scip. 1, 2, and may have chosen purposely, to
avoid naming a well-known heathen god (see Suppl). Sytheri,
the name of the wood, seems to be the same as Sunderi (southern),
a name given to forests in more than one district, e.g. a Sundernhart
in Franconia (Hofers urk. p. 308). Did this heathen hope for heal-
ing on the sacred soil ? or did he wish to die there ?

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

1 Weddigen's westphal. mag. 3, 712.

2 Spilckers beitrage 2, 121.


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

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

ich sihe ein obez hangen^ I see a fruit hanging,

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

in einem hciligcn vm^stc In any holy forest

Online LibraryJacob GrimmTeutonic mythology (Volume 1) → online text (page 8 of 46)