The Northern Way

Grimm's Teutonic Mythology

Chap. 16 Sup.

CHAPTER XVI. WISE WOMEN.

Page 1

P. 396.)

Helen, as daughter of Zeus and Leda, as half-sister of the Dioscuri, is already half divine; but she is also deified for her beauty, as her brothers are for bravery, Lucian 9, 274. Flore says of Blancheflur, whom he supposes dead, 2272:

iuch het Got ze einer gotinne

gemacht in himelrîche

harte wünneclîche.
Women have the further advantage over the harder sex, of being kind and merciful, even giantesses and she-devils (Suppl. to 530).

p. 397.)

Soothsaying and magic are pre-eminently gifts of women (p. 95). Hence there are more witches than wizards: 'where we burn one man, we burn maybe ten women,' Keisersb. omeis 46b. A woman at Geppingen had foretold the great fire, Joh. Nider (d. 1440) in Formic. 2, 1.

p. 398.)

Woman-worship is expr. in the following turns of speech (Examples like those in Text are omitted). ich waen, Got niht sô guotes hât als ein guot wîp, Frauend. 1, 6. êrt altôs vrouwen ende joncfrouwen, Rose 2051. van vrowen comt ons alle ere, Walew. 3813; for one reason: wir wurden von frowen geborn, und manger bet gewert, Otn., cod. Dresd. 167. daz wir von den lieben frolîn fîn alsamen (zer werlte) komen sîn, M. Beheim 275, 19. Renn. 12268.

p. 400.)

The hero devotes himself to a lady's service, she will have him for her knight: ich wil in z' eime ritter hân, Parz. 352, 24. 'den ritter dienstes biten,' ask for his service 368, 17. dîns ritters 353, 29. mîn ritter und der dîn 358, 2. Schionatulander has to serve Sigune 'unter schiltlîchem dache,' under shield-roof, Tit. 71, 4, he was 'in ir helfe erborn' 72, 4; and this relationship is called her fellowship 73, 1.

do versuocht ich 'n, ob er kunde sîn

ein friunt, daz wart vil balde schîn.

er gap durch mich (for me) sîn harnas enwec ......

mange âventiure suoht' er blôz (bare, unarmed), Parz. 27, 13.
The knights wore scutcheon or jewel, esp. a sleeve, or mouwe, stouche (parts of a sleeve), 'durch (in honour of) die frauen.' The lady is screen, shield and escort to the knight whose sword is in her hand, Parz. 370-1. 'ich wil in strîte bî iu sîn' says Obilôte to Gawan 371, 14. Captives must surrender to the conqueror's lady-love 394, 16. 395, 30. 396, 3; she is thus a warrior like Freya, a shield-maiden (p. 423-4). The sleeve he wears as favour on his shield has touched the maiden's naked arm, Parz. 375, 16. 390, 20. Er. 2292 seq. En. 12035 seq.; a shirt that has touched the fair one's form is the knightly hauberk's roof, Parz. 101, 10; conf. 'es gibt dir gleich, naizwan, ain kraft, wen du im an den rock rüerest (touchest his coat),' Keisersb.'s Spinnerin f. 3d. Schionatulander nerves him for the fight, and wins it, by thinking how Sigune showed herself to him unrobed; which she had done on purpose to safeguard him in danger, Tit. 1247-50. 1497. 2502. 4104. 4717.

Sed in cordibus milites

depingunt nostras facies,

cum serico in palliis

colore et in clipeis; Carm. Bur. 148b.
Sîfrit gedâht an daz küssen daz ver Krîmhilt im hâte getân, dâ-von der degen küene (champion bold) ein niuwe kraft gewan, Roseng. 1866. Man sol vor êrste an Got gedenken in der nôt, Dar-nâch gedenke an die süezen mündel rôt, Und an ir edeln minne, diu verjagt den tôt, Kolm. MS. 73, 37. 42, 46. For 'thinking of,' see my Dict. sub. v. andacht (devotion). ----- The ladies too call out to their champion, or they wish: 'The little strength that I have, I would it were with you!' As you like it, i. 2. ----- Woman's beauty can split rocks: von ir schoene müese ein fels erkrachen, MsH. 3, 173a. It heals the sick: der sieche muose bî in genesen, Dietr. Drach. 350b. sol daz ein siecher ane sehn, vor fröide wurde er schier gesunt 310b. ir smieren und ir lachen, und solde ein sieche das ansehn, dem müeste sorge swachen 70a. A flight to the ladies saves a man: hie sal die zuht vore gân, nu he under den vrowin ist komin, 4626; conf. 4589. A lady's tread does not hurt flowers: ich waen swelhe trat diu künegîn, daz si niht verlôs ir liehten schîn, Turl. Wh. 97b. 152a.

p. 400.)

Sîn pflâgen (him tended) wîse frouwen, Gudr. 23, 3; they are called blessed maids in Steub's Tirol p. 319.

p. 401.)

The OHG. itis (Kl. Schr. 2, 4 seq.) is still found in MHG. In the Wigamur 1564 seq. a maiden is called îdîs (misprinted eydes, for it rhymes wîs, prîs 1654-90. 1972); she has a limetree with a fountain of youth. Again, Itisburg, Dronke 4, 22; Idislind, Trad. Wizenb. (printed Dislith), Pertz 2, 389. Dis in Förstem. 1, 335; is Gifaidis 1, 451 for Giafdîs? Curtius in Kuhn's Ztschr. connects itis with aqhnh, but where is the s? I prefer to see in it the shining one, fr. indh = lucere, êdha, êdhas = lignum (Kl. schr. 5, 435). AS. ides = freolicu meowle, Cod. Exon. 479, 2. Both meowle and mawi have likewise their place here; conf. Meuenloch, Panzer's Beitr. 1, no. 85. Kl. schr. 3, 108.

p. 403.)

ON. dîsir appear as parcae: 'vildu svâ dîsir,' so willed the fates, Höstl. (Thorl. 6, 6); tâlar dîsir standa þer â tvœr hliðar, ok vilja þik sâran siâ, Sæm. 185a. Sacrif. off. to them: dîsablôt, blêtuð dîsir, Egilss. 205-7. var at dîsa blôti, reið hesti um dîsar salinn, Yngl. 33. Of the suicide: heingdi sik î dîsarsal, Hervarars. p. 454; fôr ser î dîsar sal 527. iodðîs, Sn. 202. Grendel's mother is an ides, Beow. 2518. 2701. On Vanadîs and her identity with the Thracian moon-goddess Bendis, see Kl. schr. 5, 424. 430 seq.

p. 403.)

Brynhild's hall, whither men go to have their dreams interpreted, stands on a hill, Völs. c. 25; conf. hyfjaberg (p. 1149). völu leiði, divinatricis tumulus, Laxd. 328. An old fay has not been out of her tower for fifty years, Perrault p.m. 3. ------ Of Veleda and the Goth. Waladamarca in Jorn. c. 48 we are reminded by the wise horse Falada in the fairy-tale (p. 659), and by Velentin: valantinne, volantinne alternate in Hpt's Ztschr. 4, 437. The völur roam about: ek fôr î skôg völvu lîki, Fornald. s. 1, 135; þû var völvan 1, 139. Sæm. 154b. Other prophetesses in Nialss. p. 194-9: Sæunn kerlîng, hon var frôð at mörgu ok framsýn, en þâ var hon gömul miök; she wanted the weed removed, else it would cause a fire, which came true. In Fornm. s. 4, 46: vîsindakona, sû er sagði fyrir örlög manna ok lîf; conf. p. 408.

p. 405.)

Wackernagel in Hpt's Ztschr. 2, 539 thinks aliorunas = haliorunas = hellirûna. A cave of the Alraun in Panz. Beitr. 1, 78-80. mandragora alruna, Mone's Anz. 8, 397.

p. 406.)

My resolution of ON. norn into Goth. navairns, death-goddess (Kl. schr. 3, 113) is opposed by Müllenhof in Hpt's Ztschr. 9, 255. The 'Nahanarvali' may have been norn-worshippers, Navarna-hali, Goth. Navarnê-haleis, ON. Norna-halir, GDS. 715. 806. Perhaps we ought to look to the Swed. verb nyrna, warn, inform, Sv. folkv. 1, 182-3. In Faröe they say nodn, nodnar, for norn, nornir, as they do kodn, hodn, badn, for korn, horn, barn, Lyngbye 132; so Nodna-gjest 474. That Nürnberg contains norn is the less likely, as we find it spelt Nüern-berc, MSH. 3, 296b, Nüeren-berc, Walth. 84, 17. Nornborn seems a corrup. of Nordenborn, like Norndorf, Nornberg, also in Up. Germany. Conf. the Fris. Non, Ehrentr. Fries. arch. 2, 82; Nurnhari, Karajan 83, 6.

p. 408.)

Two Germ. truds, Muss and Kann, take their names, like the three Norns, from simple verbs, Panz. Beitr. 1, 88. OHG. wurt, fortuna, Gl. hrab. 964a; conf. giwurt, ungiwurt, Graff 1, 993-4, and perhaps Goth. gavairþi, n. AS. seo wyrd gewearð, Cædm. 168, 3. hie Wyrd forsweop, Beow. 949. With 'me þæt Wyrd gewœf (wove)' conf. 'wîgspêda gewiofu (webs),' Beow. 1347 (p. 415). In Kormakss. p. 267 comes Urðr at brunni; conf. Urðar lokur, Sæm. 98a. Urðr öðlînga 214a is like 'dîs Skiöldunga.' ----- The Norns shape our destiny, skapa: ömlig norn skôp oss î ârdaga 181a; in Faröe: tea heava mear nodnar skapt, Lyngbye 132. In Graff 6, 662, 'steffara = parca' is for sceffara; scepfarun = parcae, Gl. Schlettst. 6, 457; they 'sceppen 's menschen leven,' Limb. 3, 1275. Vintler v. 146 (see App. Superst. G) speaks of gach-schepfen, Pfeiffer's Germ. 1, 238; conf. Finn. luonnotar, virgo creatrix, esp. ferri, fr. luon to make: 'kolme neittä luonnotarta,' tres sunt virgines naturae creatrices. ------ Norns are of various lineage, Sæm. 188a:

sundr-bornar miök hugg ek at nornir sê,

eigoð þaer aett saman,

sumar ero âs-kungar, sumar âlf-kungar,

sumar doetr Dvalins (some, daughters of D., a dwarf).

p. 409.)

On nornir, völvur, spâkonur, blâkâpur conf. Maurer 284. tha thriu wüfer, Ehrentr. Fries. arch. 2, 82. die drei heilräthinnen, Panz. Beitr. 1, 56-7-9. 283. Slav. tri rojenice or sujenice, Valjavec 76-91. Boh. sudice, judges, fem. (p. 436). Nornir nâ-gönglar, nauð-gönglar, Sæm. 187b, conf. ed. Hafn. 173; note the töfra-norn (p. 1033). ------ The Norns travel: konur þaer fôru yfir land, er völvur voru kallaðr, ok sögðu mönnum forlög sîn, ârferð ok aðra hluti, þâ er menn vildu vîsir verða. þessi sveit kom til Virvils bônda, var völvunni þar vel fagnat, Fornm. s. 3, 212. völvan arma 3, 214. Norns, parcae, fays come to the infant's cradle, and bestow gifts; so does frau Saelde in Erc 9900. A gammal gumma prophesies at the birth of the prince, Sv. folks. 1, 195; three mör (maids) get bathed by the girl, and then give gifts 1, 130 (in our Germ. tale it is 3 haulemännchen).

p. 410.)

Saeva Necessitas

clavos trabales et cuneos manu

gestans ahenea. Hor. Od. i. 35, 18.

Si figit adamantinos

summis vorticibus dira Necessitas

clavos.

Hor. Od. iii. 24, 5.
diu grimme Nôt, Er. 837. merkja â nagli Nauð, Sæm. 194b. Rûnar ristnar: â Nornar nagli 196a (clavo, not fingernail); conf. Simplic. 1, 475 (Keller): when Needs-be rideth in at door and windows.

p. 411.)

Of Greek mythical beings Calypso comes nearest the fays, being goddess and nymph; and in MHG. the goddess Venus is 'diu feine diu ist entslâfen,' MS. 2, 198a, while a fay is often called goddess. 'götinne = fee,' Hpt's Ztschr. 2, 183. der götinne land, der g. hende, Frib. Trist. 4458. 4503. ------ In Petronius we already find a personal (though masc.) fatus: malus f. (illum perdidit) c. 42. hoc mihi dicit f. meus, c. 77. On the house of the tria fata in the Forum, conf. Gregorovius's City of Rome 1, 371-2-3. In the Engadin they are called fedas, feas, also nymphas and dialas: they help in loading corn, bring food and drink in silver vessels; three dialas come to the spinners, Schreiber's Taschenb. 4, 306-7.

p. 412.)

On the tria fata see Horkel's Abh. p. 298 seq., conf. the three maidens in F. v. Schwaben: twelve white maidens in Müllenh. p. 348. Fays, like elfins, are of unsurpassed beauty: schoener danne ein veine, Trist. 17481. plus blanche que fée, Orange 5, 3059. plus bele que fée ne lerine 5, 4725. pus bela que fada, Ferabr. 2767. de biauté resanbloit fée, Marie 1, 100. They hold feasts, like the witches (p. 1045-6). In an old poem(?) p. 104-5, three fays prophesy at the birth of Auberon, son of Jul. Cæsar and Morgue, when a fourth comes in, p. 106 (p. 32 of the prose). The fates are gifting a newborn child, when the last one hurries up, but unfortunately sprains her foot (sbotatose lo pede), and lets fall a curse, Pentam. 2, 8.

p. 413n.)

Fata Morgana is 'Fêmurgân diu rîche' in Lanc. 7185, Fâmorgân in Er. 5155. 5229, Feimurgân in Iwein 3422. The 'Marguel, ein feine' in Er. 1932 is the same, for she answers to the Fr. 'Morgain la fée.' She is called 'Morguein de elwinne,' Lanz. 13654. 19472. 23264; 'Femurga die kluoge,' Tit. 4376; while Wolfram treats the word as the name of a country (p. 820 n.). On the other hand, Trist. 397, 14: gotinne ûz Avelûn der feinen lant (fay's land); Er. 1930: der wert Avalôn, Fr. l'ile d'Avalon. Does this go back to an old Celtic belief? Michelet 2, 15 mentions holy maids who dispensed fair weather or shipwrecks to the Celts.

p. 414n.)

Aisa seem akin to isoj, eisoj and eidenai : isoj equally distributed, kata isa ex aequo, kat aisan convenienter, aeque.

p. 415.)

Instead of Kataklwqej in Od. 7, 197 Bekker reads:

assa oi aisa kata klwqej te bareiai

geinomenw nhsanto linw -------
joining kata to nhsanto. Lucian's Dial. mort. 19: h Moira kai to ex archj outwj epikeklwsqai. Conf. epiklwqw used of gods and daemons (Suppl. to 858). Atropos was supposed to be in the sun, Clotho in the moon, Lachesis on earth, Plut. 4, 1157. For a beautiful description of the three Parcae (parca, she who spares? Pott in Kuhn 5, 250) see Catullus 62, 302 – 321 with ever and anon the refrain: Currite, ducentes subtemina, currite, fusi! also vv. 381 – 385.

Nubila nascenti seu mihi parca fuit. Ov. Trist. v. 3, 14.

Scilicet hanc legem nentes fatalia parcae

stamina bis genito bis cecinere tibi. v. 3, 25.

O duram Lachesin! quae tam grave sidus habenti

fila dedit vitae non breviora meae. v. 10, 45.

Atque utinam primis animam me ponere cunis

jussisset quaevis de tribus una soror! Propert. iii. 4, 28.

Tres parcae aurea pensa torquentes. Petron. c. 29.

Daz het in vrôwe Chlôtô sô erteilet;

ouch was vil gefuoc vrô Lachesis daran. Turl. Krone 7.

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