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as among savages at the present day, as a result brought
about by magic. Any reader who may f<-el astonished
at such a crudeness of belief, will lind something to
contrast and compare in the familiar doctrine, that hut
for the fall of Adam and Eve we should have never
heard of death, whether of man or of bca^t. I'.ut it he
proceeds to ask questions about the economy ot our
world in case nobody died, he must In- satisfied to b<-

1 For instance, by Silvan Evans in his C;,-in,i,J:n; whn,-.
suggests 'unmerited' or 'undeserved' as conveying th>



622 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

told that to ask any such question is here not only
useless but also irrelevant.

Now, suppose that in a society permeated by the
crude kind of notions of which one finds traces in
the Mabinogion and other old Welsh literature, a man
arose who had a turn for philosophizing and trying to
think things out: how would he reason? It seems
probable that he would argue, that underneath all the
change there must be some substratum which is per-
manent. If Tuan, he would say, changed from one
form to another and remembered all that he had gone
through, there must have been something which lasted,
otherwise Tuan would have come to an end early in the
story, and the later individual would not be Tuan at all.
Probably one thing which, according to our folklore
philosopher's way of thinking, lasted through the trans-
formations, was the material of Tuan's body, just as
one is induced to suppose that ILew's body, and that of
the eagle into which he was transformed, were con-
sidered to be one and the same body labouring under
the mortifying influence of the wound inflicted on ILew
by Gronw's enchanted spear. Further, we have already
found reasons to regard the existence of the soul as
forming a part of the creed of some at any rate of the
early inhabitants of this country, though we have no
means of gathering what precise attributes our philo-
sopher might ascribe to it besides the single one, perhaps,
of continuing to exist. In that case he might otherwise
describe Tuan's shape-shifting as the entrance of Tuan's
soul into a series of different bodies. Nowthe philosopher
here sketched agrees pretty closely with the little that
is known of the Gaulish druid, such as he is described
by ancient authors l . The latter seem to have been

1 The reader will find them quoted under the word Dntida in Holder's
Alt-celtischer Sprachschats : see also M. Alexandre Bertrand's Religion des



xi] FOLKLORE PHILOSOPHY 623

agreed in regarding him as believing in the immortality
of the soul, and several of them appear to have thought
his views similar to those of Pythagoras and his ^-h,,,,!.
So we may perhaps venture to suppose that the druid-.
like Pythagoras, believed in the transmigration of smiK
including that from the human to an animal form and
the reverse. If, in the absence of an explicit statement,
one may ascribe this latter form of that belief t<> the
druids, the identity of their creed becomes almost com-
plete with that of our conjectured folklore philosoph.
At one time I was inclined to fancy that the druids of
Gaul had received no unimportant part of their
teaching from Greek philosophy by way of Massilia.
but I am now more disposed to believe their doctrines
to have been gradually developed, in the way above
suggested, from the unfailing resources of that folklore
which revelled in scenes of shape-shifting and rebirth.
Possibly the doctrines of Pythagoras may have them-
selves had a like origin and a somewhat parallel
development, or let us say rather that the Orphic-
notions had, which preceded Pythagoreanism.

But as to Gaul generally, it is not to be assumed that
the Gaulish druids and all the other Gauls held tin-
same opinion on these questions: we have some evi-
dence that they did not. Thus the Gauls in the neigh-
bourhood of Massilia 1 , who would accept a creditor's
promise to pay up in the next world, can hardly h
contemplated the possibility of any such creditor bei
then a bird or a moth. Should it In- obje<
the transformations, instanced above a- !'>rvth..m
Goidelic, were assumed only in the case of mi
and other professional or privileged persons,



Gaulois, especially the chapter entitled Lt3 DwVto, l'l>
Voyage of Bran, ii. 107-12.

1 See Valerius Ma.viiims, ii. 6. 10.



624 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

we are not told what was held to happen in the case of
the rank and file of humanity, it is enough to answer
that neither do we know what the druids of Gaul held
to be the fate of the common people of their com-
munities. No lever can be applied in that direction to
disturb the lines of the parallel.

In previous chapters, pp. 45, 54, 61, 88, 97, 229, in-
stances from Welsh sources have been given of the
fairies concealing their names. But Wales is not the only
Celtic land where we find traces of this treatment of one's
name : it is to be detected also on Irish ground. Thus,
when a herald from an enemy's camp comes to parley
with Cuchulainn and his charioteer, the latter, being first
approached, describes himself as the ' man of the man
down there,' meaning Cuchulainn, to whom he pointed ;
and when the herald comes to Cuchulainn himself, he
asks him whose man he is : Cuchulainn describes him-
self as the ' man of Conchobar mac Nessa.' The herald
then inquires if he has no more definite designation, and
Cuchulainn replies that what he has given will suffice l :
neither of the men gives his name. Thus Celts of both
groups, Brythons and Goidels, are at one in yielding
evidence to the same sort of cryptic treatment of per-
sonal names, at some stage or other in their past history.

The student of man tells us, as already pointed out,
that the reason for the reluctance to disclose one's name
was of the same nature as that which makes savages,
and some men belonging to nations above the savage
state feel anxious that an enemy should not get posses-
sion of anything identified with their persons, such as
a lock of one's hair, a drop of one's blood, or anything
closely connected with one's person, lest it should give
the enemy power over one's person as a whole, espe-
cially if such enemy is suspected of possessing any skill

1 See the Book of the Dun Cow, fo. 68*.



xi] FOLKLORE PHILOSOPHY

in handling the terrors of magic. In other words, t!
anthropologist would say that the name was n-i^inl, 1
as identified with the person; and, having said this, h-
has mostly felt satisfied that he has definitively di.-,])..-,, -<\
of the matter. Therein, however, he is possibly wn >n
for when he says that the name was probably t:
as a part of the man, that only leads one to ask tin-
question, What part of the man ? At any rate, I can si
nothing very unreasonable in such a question, though
I am quite willing to word it differently, and to ask : Is
there any evidence to show with what part of a man his
name was associated ?

As regards the Aryan nations, we seem to have a clue
to an answer in the interesting group of Aryan w<>nU
in point, from which I select the following : Irish ainm,
'a name,' plural anmann; Old Welsh ami, now e*w,
also ' a name ' ; Old Bulgarian tme (for *icnmcu, *anman i ;
Old Prussian emnes, emmens, accusative cnnmu ; and
Armenian anwan (for a stem *anman) all meaning a
name. To these some scholars 1 would add, and it may be
rightly, the English word name itself, the Latin ;/<;;.
the Sanskrit naman, and the Greek oro^a ; but, as some
others find a difficulty in thus grouping these
I abstain from laying any stress on them. In
I have every reason to be satisfied with the wul
extent of the Aryan world covered by the other in-
stances enumerated as Celtic, Prussian, Bulgarian, I

Armenian.

Now, such is the similarity between Wei
'name,' and maid, 'soul,' that I cannot help re
the two words to one and the same origin, esjx
when I see the same or rather greater similarity >llus-

Notably Johannes Schmidt in Kuhn's Z xxii,
gives the following gradations of the stem m quc-s
3. nantan ', 4. naman.



RHYS S S



626 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

trated by the Irish words, ainm, ' name/ and ant'm, ' soul.'
This similarity between the Irish words so pervades the
declension of them, that a beginner frequently falls into
the error of confounding them in medieval texts. Take,
for instance, the genitive singular, antna, which may
mean either animce or notninis ; the nominative plural,
anmand, which may be either animce or nomina ; and the
gen. anniand, either animarum or nominum, as the dative
anmannaib may likewise be either animabus or nominibus.
In fact, one is at first sight almost tempted to suppose
that the partial differentiation of the Irish forms was
only brought about under the influence of Latin, with
its distinct forms of anima and nomen. That would be
pressing the point too far ; but the direct teaching of the
Celtic vocables is that they are all to be referred to
the same origin in the Aryan word for ' breath or breath-
ing/ which is represented by such words as Latin
anima, Welsh anadl, ' breath/ and a Gothic anan, ' blow
or breathe/ whence the compound preterite uz-on, twice
used by Ulfilas in the fifteenth chapter of St. Mark's
Gospel to render egeirvcvo-e, ' gave up the ghost.'

Now the lessons which the words here grouped
together contain for the student of man is, that the
Celts, and certain other widely separated Aryans, unless
we should rather say the whole of the Aryan family,
were once in the habit of closely associating both the
soul and one's name with the breath of life. The
evidence is satisfactory so far as it goes ; but let us go
a little more into detail, and see as exactly as we can to
what it commits us. Commencing at the beginning, we
may set out with the axiom that breathing is a physical
action, and that in the temperate zone one's breath is
not unfrequently visible. Then one may say that the
men who made the words Welsh, enaid (for an earlier
'i Irish, anim (from an earlier stem, animon) ;



xi] FOLKLORE PHILOSOPHY 627

Latin, am'ma, also animus, 'feeling, mind, soul'; and
Greek, ave^os, 'air, wind ' - must have in some way
likened the soul to one's breath, which perhaps first
suggested the idea. At all events they showed not only
that they did not contemplate the soul as a bone, or any
solid portion of a man's frame, or even as a manikin re-
siding inside it : in fact they had made a great advance in
the direction of the abstract notion of a spirit, in which
some of them may have been helped by another associa-
tion of ideas, namely, that indicated by speaking of the
dead as shades or shadows, umbra, a-Kiai. Similarly,
the words in point for 'name' seem to prove that some
of the ancient Aryans must have, in some way, associated
one's name with the breath of life. On the other hand,
we find nothing to show that the name and the soul were
directly compared or associated with one another, while
the association of the name with the breath represents,
probably, a process as much earlier as it is cruder, than
likening the soul to the breath and naming it accordingly.
This is countenanced to some extent by the general
physiognomy, so to say, of words like cnaid, am'ma, as
contrasted with enw, aintn, nomen, name. Speaking
relatively, the former might be of almost any date in
point of comparative lateness, while the latter could not,
belonging as they do to a small declension which was
not wont to receive accessions to its numbers.

In what way, then, or in what respect did early folk-
lore identify the name with the breath ? Before one
could expect to answer this question in anything like
a convincing fashion, one would have to examine the
collector of the folklore of savages, or rather to induce
him to cross-examine them on the point. For instance,
among the Singhalese 1 , when in the ceremony of name-
giving the father utters the baby's name in a low

1 See Clodd's Tom Tit Tot, p. 97.
S S 2



628 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

whisper in the baby's ear, is that called breathing the
name ? and is the name so whispered called a breath or
a breathing ? In the case of the savages who name their
children at their birth, is the reason ever advanced that
a name must be given to the child in order to make it
breathe, or, at least, in order to facilitate its breathing ?
Some such a notion of reinforcing the child's vitality
and safety would harmonize well enough with the fact
that, as Mr. Clodd 1 puts it, 'Barbaric, Pagan, and
Christian folklore is full of examples of the importance
of naming and other birth-ceremonies, in the belief that
the child's life is at the mercy of evil spirits watching
the chance of casting spells upon it, of demons covetous
to possess it, and of fairies eager to steal it and leave
a " changeling " in its place.' Provisionally, one must
perhaps rest content to suppose the association of the
name to have taken place with the breath regarded as
an accompaniment of life. Looked at in that sense, the
name becomes associated with one's life, and, speaking
roughly, with one's person ; and it is interesting to
notice that one seems to detect traces in Welsh litera-
ture of some confusion of the kind. Thus, when the
hero of the story of Kulhwch and Olwen was christened
he was named Kulhwch, which is expressed in Welsh
as ' forcing or driving Kulhwch on him ' (gyrru kulh6ch
arna6 2 ); Kulh6ch, be it noticed, not the name Kulhwch.
Similarly when Bran, on the eve of his expedition to
Ireland, left seven princes, or knights as they are also
called, to take charge of his dominions, we have an
instance of the kind. The stead or town was named
after the seven knights, and it is a place which is now
known as Bryn y Saith Marchog, ' the Hill of the
Seven Knights,' near Gwydelwern, in Merionethshire.
But the wording of the Mabinogi of Branwen is o acha6s

1 Tom Tit Tot, p. 89. 2 The Oxford Mabinogion, p. 100.



xi] FOLKLORE PHILOSOPHY 629

hynny y dodet seith marcha6c ar y dref\ meaning 'for
that reason the stead was called Seven Knights,'
literally 'for that reason one put Seven Knights on
the stead.' In Guest's Mabmogion, iii. 116, this will be
found rendered wrongly, though not wholly without
excuse 'for this reason were the seven knights
placed in the town.' It is probable that the redactor
of the stories from which the two foregoing instances
come and more might be cited was not so much
courting ambiguities as adhering to an old form of
expression which neglected from the first to distinguish,
in any formal way, between names and the persons
or things which they would, in modern phraseology, be
said to represent 2 .

An instance has been already mentioned of a man's
name being put or set on him, or rather forced on him :
at any rate, his name is on him both in Welsh and
Irish, and the latter language also speaks of it as

1 The Oxford Mabinogion, p. 35.

2 As to Irish, I would not lay much stress on the question 'What is
your name ? ' being put, in a fourteenth or fifteenth century version of the
French story of Fierabras, as ca hainm tut literally, 'what name art thou?'
see the Revue Celtique, xix. 28. It may be mentioned here that the Irish
writers of glossaries had a remarkable way of appearing to identify words
and things. Thus, for instance, Cormac has Cruimther .i. Gcedelg indi as
presbyter, which O'Donovan (edited by Stokes) has translated, p. 30, as
' Cruimther, i. e. the Gaelic of presbyter': literally it would be rather ' of the
thing which is presbyter.' Similarly, Cormac's explanation of the Irish
aiminn, now aoibhinn, ' delightful,' runs thus in Latin, Aimind ab eo quod est
amoenum, ' from the word amoenus,' literally, ' from that which is amoenus'
But this construction is a favourite one of Latin grammarians, and instances
will be found in Professor Lindsay's Latin Language (Oxford, 1894), pp. 26,
28, 42, 53. On calling his attention to it, he kindly informed me that it can
be traced as far back as Varro, from whose Lingua Latino, vi. 4, he cites
Meridies ab eo quod niedius dies. So in this matter, Irish writers have merely
imitated their Latin models ; and one detects a trace of the same imitation in
some of the Old Welsh glosses, for instance in the Juvencus Codex, where we
have XPS explained as irhinn issid crist, ' that which is Christ,' evidently
meaning, ' the word Xptaros or Christus? So with regia, rendered by gulat,
' a state or country,' in celsi thronus est cui regia caeli ; which is glossed issit
padiu itau gulat, ' that is the word gulat for him ' = ' he means his country ':
see Kuhn's Beitrcige, iv. 396, 411.



630 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

cleaving or adhering to him. Neither language con-
templates the name, however closely identified with
him, as having become an inseparable part of him, or
else as something he has secured for himself. In the
neo-Celtic tongues, both Welsh and Irish, all things
which a man owns, and all things for which he takes
credit, are with him or by him ; but all things which he
cannot help having, whether creditable or discreditable,
if they are regarded as coming from without are on him,
not with him. Thus, if he is wealthy there is money
with him ; but if he is in debt and owes money, the
money is on him. Similarly, if he rejoices there is joy
with him; whereas if he is ashamed or afraid, shame
or fear is on him. This is a far-reaching distinction, of
capital importance in Celtic phraseology, and judged by
this criterion the name is something from without the
man, something which he cannot take credit to himself
for having acquired by his own direct willing or doing.
This is to be borne in mind when one speaks of the
name as identified or closely bound up with one's life
and personality. But this qualified identification of the
name with the man is also what one may infer from
savage folklore ; for many, perhaps most, of the nations
who name their children at their birth, have those
names changed when the children grow up. That is
done when a boy has to be initiated into the mysteries
of his tribe or of a guild, or it may be when he has
achieved some distinction in war. In most instances,
it involves a serious ceremony and the intervention of
the wise man, whether the medicine-man of a savage
system, or the priest of a higher religion l . In the
ancient Wales of the Mabinogion, and in pagan Ireland,

1 Some instances in point, accompanied with comments on certain emi-
nently instructive practices and theories of the Church, will be found in
Clodd's Tom Tit Tot, pp. 100-5.



xr] FOLKLORE PHILOSOPHY 631

the name-giving was done, subject to certain conditions,
at the will and on the initiative of the druid, who was at
the same time tutor and teacher of the youth to be
renamed l . Here I may be allowed to direct attention to
the two following facts : the druid, recalling as he does
the magician of the Egypt of the Pentateuch and the
shaman of the Mongolian world of our own time, repre-
sented a profession probably not of Celtic origin. In
the next place, his method of selecting names from
incidents was palpably incompatible with what is known
to have been the Aryan system of nomenclature, by
means of compounds, as evinced by the annals of most
nations of the Aryan family of speech : such compounds,
I mean, as Welsh Pen-wyn, 'white-headed,' Gaulish
newo-ovivbos, or Greek "iTntap^os, "A/JXI^TTO?, and the like.
Briefly, one may say that the association of the name
with the breath of life was probably Aryan, but without,
perhaps, being unfamiliar to the aborigines of the
British Isles before their conquest by the Celts. On
the other hand, in the druid and his method of naming
we seem to touch the non-Aryan substratum, and to
detect something which was not Celtic, not Aryan 2 .

Perhaps the reader will not regard it as wholly
irrelevant if here I change the subject for a while from
one's name to other words and locutions in so far as
they may be regarded as illustrative of the mental
surroundings in which the last paragraph leaves the
name. I allude especially to the exaggerated influ-
ence associated with a form of words, more particu-
larly among the Irish Celts. O'Curry gives a tragic

1 For some instances of name-giving by the druid, the reader may con-
sult The Welsh People, pp. 66-70 ; and druidic baptism will be found
alluded to in Stokes' edition of Coir Anmann, and in Stokes and Windisch's
Irische Texte, iii. 392, 423. See also the Revue Celtique, xix. 90.

2 See The Welsh People, more especially pp. 71-4, where it has been
attempted to discuss this question more at length.



632 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

instance : the poet Nede mac Adnai, in order to obtain
possession of the throne of Connaught, asked an
impossible request of the king, who was his own
father's brother and named Caier. When the king
declared his inability to accede to his demand the poet
made the refusal his excuse for composing on the king
what was called in Irish an air or der, written later aor,
1 satire/ which ran approximately thus :

Evil, death, short life to Caier!

May spears of battle wound Caier !

Caier quenched, Caier forced, Caier underground !

Under ramparts, under stones with Caier !

O'Curry goes on to relate how Caier, washing his
face at the fountain next morning, discovered that it
had three blisters on it, which the satire had raised, to
wit, disgrace, blemish, and defect, in colours of crimson,
green, and white. So Caier fleeing, that his plight
might not be seen of his friends, came to Dun Cearmna
(now the Old Head of Kinsale, in county Cork), the
residence of Caichear, chief of that district. There Caier
was well received as a stranger of unknown quality,
while Nede assumed the sovereignty of Connaught.
In time, Nede came to know of Caier being there, and
rode there in Caier's chariot. But as Nede approached
Caier escaped through his host's house and hid himself
in the cleft of a rock, whither Nede followed Caier's
greyhound ; and when Caier saw Nede, the former
dropped dead of shame \ This abstract of the story as
told by O'Curry, will serve to show how the words of
the satirist were dreaded by high and low among the
ancient Irish, and how their demands had to be at once
obeyed. It is a commonplace of Irish literature that
the satirist's words unfailingly raised blisters on the

1 See Stokes' Cormac's Glossary, translated by O'Donovan, p. 87, and
O'Curry's Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, ii. 218-9.



xi] FOLKLORE PHILOSOPHY 633

face of him at whom they were aimed. A portion at
least of the potency of the poet's words seems to have
been regarded as due to their being given a certain
metrical form. That, however, does not show how the
poet had acquired his influence, and one cannot shut
one's eyes to the fact that the means he might adopt to
make his influence felt and his wishes instantly attended
to, implied that the race with which he had to deal
was a highly sensitive one : I may perhaps apply to it
the adjective thin-skinned, in the literal sense of that
word. For the blisters on the face are only an exag-
geration of a natural phenomenon. On this point my
attention has been called by a friend to the following
passages in a review of a work on the pathology of the
emotions 1 :

' To both the hurtful and curative effects of the
emotions M. Fere devotes much attention, and on
these points makes some interesting remarks. That
the emotions act on the body, more by their effects on
the circulation than by anything else, is no new thesis,
but M. Fere is developing some new branches of it.
That the heart may be stopped for a few seconds, and
that there may be localised flush and pallor of the skin,
owing to almost any strong emotion, whether it be joy,
anger, fear, or pain, is a matter of common observation ;
and that there may be many changes of nutrition due
to vaso-motor disturbance is a point easy to establish.
The skin is particularly easily affected; passion and
pain may produce a sweat that is truly hemorrhagic
(Parrot) ; and the scientific world is obliged to admit
that in the stigmata of Louise Lateau the blood vessels
were really broken, and not broken by anything else

1 See Mind tor 1893, p. 390 : the review is by Mr. A. T. Myers, and the title
of the book noticed is La Pathologie des Emotions, Etudes physiologiques et
cliniques, par Charles Ft>r<>, mc'decin de Bicetre (Paris, 1892).



634 CELTIC FOLKLORE [CH.

than an emotional state as cause. In a shipwreck
Follain tells us that the pilot was covered in an hour
with pustules from his fear ; and the doctor sees many
dermato-neuroses, such as nettle-rash, herpes, pem-



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