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HANDBOOKS

HISTORY OF RELIGIONS

MORRIS JASTROW, JR., PH.D.

Professor of Semitic Languages in the University of Pennsylvania

VOLUME III

A SERIES OF Handbooks on the History of Religions

EDITED BY MORRIS JASTROW, JR.

Professor of Semitic Languages in the University of Pennsylvania

The following volumes are now ready :

/. THE RELIGIONS OF INDIA

By EDWARD WASHBURN HOPKINS, Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology in Yale Univer- sity. 8vo. Cloth xviii + 612 pages. For introduc- tion, $2.00.

II. THE RELIGION OF BABYLONIA AND

ASSYRIA

By MORRIS JASTROW, JR., Professor of Semitic Languages in the University of Pennsylvania. 8vo. Cloth, xiv + 780 pages. For introduction, $3.00.

///. THE RELIGION OF THE TEUTONS

By P. D. CHANTEPIE DE LA SAUSSAYE, Professor in the University of Leiden. Translated by BERT J. Vos, Associate Professor of German in the Johns Hopkins University. 8vo. Cloth. v+5O4 pages.

GINN & COMPANY PUBLISHERS

on tbe Ibistorg of

THE RELIGION OF THE TEUTONS .

BY P. D. CHANTEPIE DE LA SAUSSAYE, D.D.

(UTRECHT)

PROFESSOR IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LEIDEN

TRANSLATED FROM THE DUTCH BY

BERT J. VOS, PH.D. (JOHNS HOPKINS)

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GERMAN IN THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

BOSTON, U.S.A., AND LONDON GINN & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 3tbrn«rum

ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL

COPYRIGHT, 1902 Bv GINN & COMPANY /

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

PREFACE

THE present volume may be allowed to plead its own cause ; its plan and scope are explained in the Introduction. It is for critics to decide how far the author has succeeded in his task, and wherein he has failed. It is the hope of the author that his book may at all events prove useful in conveying some definite information on controverted points, the more so as the excellent work of F. B. Gummere on Germanic Origins, which is the only English work of a general character, covers for the greater part a different field.

I wish to express my gratitude to several scholars who have had considerable share in the production of this book. With- out the repeated and earnest solicitation and the encourage- ment received from Professor Morris Jastrow, Jr., of the University of Pennsylvania, this book would not have been written. Its appearance in English is due to Professor B. J. Vos of the Johns Hopkins University, who, in view of his own deep interest in the subject, was especially qualified to under- take the translation. The first eleven chapters also pub- lished in Dutch have been carefully revised by Professor B. Symons of the University of Groningen, who has read the proof sheets with the keen eye of the specialist, and whose numerous suggestions have frequently proved of value in con- trolling and correcting my own views.

In the chapters devoted to mythology my obligations are less direct. I have, however, gratefully made use of the material collected in the latest and best works, and more especially of

V

vi PREFACE

the excellent sketch of Mogk in Paul's Grundriss der germa- nischen Philologie. The general reader may, however, be assured that I have never accepted data without verification, and the scholar will observe that my conclusions frequently differ from those embodied in recent publications. It is my hope, also, that the historical method adopted in the work, and the endeavor to maintain a sharp distinction between what we actually know and what we do not know, may be esteemed advantages which will in a measure redeem other possible imperfections.

P. D. CHANTEPIE DE LA SAUSSAYE.

LEIDEN, January,

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. INTRODUCTION i

II. HISTORY OF TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY 7

III. THE PREHISTORIC PERIOD 49 i+ ~i

IV. TRIBES AND PEOPLES 65 > 2.

V. TEUTONS AND ROMANS 97 / &

VI. PAGANISM AND CHRISTIANITY 113 2. o

VII. THE GERMAN HEROIC SAGA 133 / 6

VIII. THE ANGLO-SAXONS 149 / v

IX. THE NORTH BEFORE THE AGE OF THE VIKINGS .... 163 / "f

X. NORWAY AND ICELAND : HISTORY AND LITERATURE . . 180 3 £>

XI. FOLKLORE 210

XII. THE PANTHEON 221

XIII. GODS AND DIVINE NATURE . . . . 282

XIV. ANIMISM, SOULS, WORSHIP OF THE DEAD 289

XV. WALKYRIES, SWAN-MAIDENS, NORNS 304

XVI. ELVES AND DWARFS 318

XVII. GIANTS 328

XVIII. THE WORLD : COSMOGONY, COSMOLOGY, AND ESCHATOLOGY 338

XIX. WORSHIP AND RITES 355

XX. CALENDAR AND FESTIVALS 379

XXI. MAGIC AND DIVINATION 385

XXII. CONCLUSION , . 398

BIBLIOGRAPHY 417

INDEX 465

THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION

SCOPE AND GENERAL PLAN

THE country we live in and the blood in our veins constitute close and permanent ties of Kinship between ourselves and the primitive Teutons. This applies without reservation to the German, Dutch, English, and Scandinavian peoples, in part also to the French, and, so far as descent is concerned, to the Americans of the United States as well. Though our religion is derived, from the Jews^and our culture from the classical nations of antiquity, our natural origins are to be found among the ancient Teutons. If we are not their offspring in a spiritual sense, they are yet our ancestors after the flesh, from whom we have inherited, in large measure, our way of looking at things, as well as numerous ideas and customs.

It is therefore of vital interest to us to determine as accu- rately as possible what this inheritance consists of, in contra- distinction to the foreign influences to which we have been subjected. Moreover, the present century has witnessed a revival of interest in the heroes and legends of the primitive Teutonic period. In modern literature the Norse gods and heroes, the German Nibelungs, have taken on a new lease of life. This world of myth and saga has a peculiar charm for

2 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

us, even though it has not been immortalized in masterpieces of art, as that of ancient Greece.

It is the aim of this volume to present a survey of our knowl- edge concerning Teutonic heathenism. The term employed for this purpose, "mythology," includes the myths and stories, as well as their scientific treatment. This double sense of the term, how- ever, involves no real difficulty, any more than in the case of the term " history," to which the same objection might be made.

On the other hand, what would appear to be a more serious objection is the application of the term " mythology " to the whole of the heathen religion, inasmuch as neither cult nor religious institutions and observances, though connected with mythology, properly form a part of the concept myth. " History of religion " and " mythology " are by no means convertible terms ; in the treatment of the more highly civilized peoples, whose religious life is known through their literature, it is essential to distinguish carefully between these two phases. But in the case of tribes and peoples that stand on a lower level of civilization, and concerning whom our knowledge is of a fragmentary character, there seems to be no valid objection against applying the term " mythology " to the entire field. While perhaps not strictly correct from a logical point of view, this usage has been so universally followed in the case of the Teutons, that we feel justified in adhering to it.

Teutonic mythology, therefore, comprises all that is known of the religion of the ancient Teutons, that is, the Germans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Scandinavians, the Gothic, and other East Teutonic peoples. The terminus ad quern of our treatment is the conversion of these peoples to Christianity, which did not take place in the North until about A.D. 1000. At the same time survivals of paganism among the Christianized Teutons in the Middle Ages and down to our own times, while not forming, in the strict sense of the word, a part of our subject, must necessarily be taken into consideration.

INTRODUCTION 3

That mythology is an historical science may now be regarded as an established fact; and this implies that in its deductions it is absolutely confined to such data as have been definitely ascertained from records, and which, in addition to being weighed according to the canons of historical criticism, have been judged in connection with their origin and character. Difficult as such a task is, still greater obstacles are encountered when we attempt to combine these isolated facts and to con- struct a system of mythology from the material thus collected ; for at this point we touch the apparently simple but in reality extremely complicated field of myth-interpretation. Nothing, indeed, is easier than to interpret mythical characters and stories in accordance with some clever aperfu or in keeping with certain stock ideas. In following such a system the elements that fit in with the interpretation are made use of, while the others are completely ignored and the gaps in the historical data entirely neglected. On the other hand, to com- prehend in their unity and interrelations all the features of one myth, and all the myths concerning a particular god or hero, is always extremely difficult, and in many cases absolutely impos- sible. " To hit upon an idea is mere play ; to follow it out to its logical conclusion is work ; to fathom a mythological fact, what shall we call that ? You know the crowfoot weed that shoots out its tendrils in every direction ? Wherever the spur of a runner touches the ground a new root rises up and a new plant, and in this way a large space is rapidly covered. The task of laying bare the complete ramifications of this weed on a large plot of ground, without injuring the least little fibre, furnishes a faint idea of the trial of patience involved in myth- ological investigations." x

The question also suggests itself whether the unity which we believe to have found really exists. We are liable to all sorts of misconceptions, we are apt to make hasty generalizations on

1 H. Usenet, Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuckungen, i (1889), p. xi.

4 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

the basis of what has been brought to the surface in some remote corner, to assume as popular belief what is merely the creation of a poet's fancy, and to consider primitive what is of recent date. Doubtless the very recognition of these dangers constitutes in a measure a safeguard, and the mass of material itself furnishes many indications of the way in which it is to be used ; but still it is well never to lose sight of the limits of the attainable. We must perforce attempt to arrange and to comprehend the mythological material collected, but we should at the same time account to ourselves for every step taken, and justify in each particular instance our right to reconstruct and to join what lies scattered.

The same holds good in regard to the tracing of religious development. As with numerous other sciences, so with Teu- tonic mythology, the highest aim is to unfold its historical development. Now it is doubtless incumbent upon us to render an account of the changes which concepts, legends, and customs have undergone. On the other hand, whether these changes follow a single direction, whether we know them with sufficient completeness to enable us to describe them in their interdependence, whether, in a word, we can speak of develop- ment, these are questions, the answer to which requires in each case a separate investigation.

The above remarks would be out of place, if they did not tend to deny to Teutonic mythology this systematic unity and. this uniform development. We shall, indeed, discover a cer- tain kind of unity, such as is found among products of similar or identical soil, and shall be able to describe groups of phe- nomena and parallel phenomena. We shall likewise be able to point to changes that occur in the course of time. But development and the construction of a system will be neither our point of departure nor our final aim. On the contrary, we shall have to distinguish carefully between the several peoples and periods.

INTRODUCTION 5

The plan of the work is in keeping with these considerations. So far as practicable the various subjects that form a part of Teutonic mythology will be brought to the attention of the reader in a connected narrative. The detailed investigation itself is not presented, nor has any new material been brought to light. At the present moment there is at least as much need of arranging the material already at hand and of present- ing the picture it discloses of Teutonic paganism as of search- ing for new material. The former will, at any rate, be our task. For this very reason a general survey of sources will be omitted. Such a survey could be rendered valuable only by a detailed treatment, and this treatment would in itself involve a discussion of the material presented. Accordingly, to avoid needless repetition, the sources will be grouped according to the subdivisions of the book.

On the other hand, it will be necessary to devote some space to the history of the subject. It might, indeed, be supposed that such a history is essential only to the professional student, and therefore out of place in a book intended for a wider circle. Such, however, is not the case. Teutonic mythology owes its importance in part to the fact that in some of its aspects its material is incomparably richer than that of other mythologies. It is to the student of Teutonic mythology that the investigator turns when approaching questions regarding heroic saga or folklore, whether it be among the Hindus, Greeks, or any other people. For this reason a history of Teutonic mythology is of general importance, and cannot be omitted in a treatise of this character.

The nature of our subject suggests a treatment in two main divisions. In the first of these the data are arranged in histor- ical order, periods and peoples are delineated in accordance with their distinctive characteristics ; in short, a fragmentary historical sketch is attempted, so far as the sources will permit us to do so. In the second section the individual deities will

6 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

be dealt with as well as the myths, the various conceptions and observances, and the cult; and while the various origins of this material will be kept in mind, the attempt will be made at the same time to arrange the scattered data, so far as feasible, in groups. Only then will it be possible to draw general conclu- sions regarding the religion thus described, to form an estimate about it, and to determine its character and position in the family of religions.

CHAPTER II HISTORY OF TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY

A HISTORY of Teutonic mythology which attempts to do more than furnish a more or less complete bibliography ought to have three ends in view. Its first aim should be to show in what manner the sources have been discovered and made accessible, and in what way the material gained from these sources has been utilized. Secondly, it should indicate the results reached, distinguishing between such as maybe regarded as definitely established facts and such as may be subject to subsequent modification. Thirdly, it should point out to what extent the study has been influenced by the general currents of civilization, as revealed by the questions to which our attention will have been directed, and the points of view from which the material will have been treated.

In our narrative we shall have to pass constantly from one country to another. German and Scandinavian investigators of Teutonic antiquity have, as a rule, followed and are to some extent still following different paths. Teutonic mythology bears less of an international character than most other sciences, although scholars of different nationalities have mutually in- fluenced one another.

The study of Teutonic mythology may be traced back to the seventeenth century, when publications already appeared in which either the popular beliefs or the antiquities of a particu- lar region are treated. In 1691 a Scottish clergyman, R. Kirk, wrote a treatise on " elves, fauns, and fairies," which has recently been reprinted as a document 1 of historical interest,

1 R. Kirk, Secret Common-wealth (1691), with comment by A. Lang (1893, Biblio- th'eque de Car abas).

7

8 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

while in the Netherlands J. Picardt, in 1660, issued a work on Teutonic antiquities.1

As early as 1648, however, Elias Schedius2had essayed a complete Teutonic Mythology, a rather bulky work, in which the passages of the ancient writers descriptive of various peo- ples are treated with little historical discrimination. To these two sources, popular beliefs and the classical writers, there were soon added the records discovered in the North and the antiquities brought to light in various parts of Germany. The books and treatises dealing with this material as a whole or in part had, by the middle of the eighteenth century, reached the number of one thousand. Special mention among these should be made of Trogillus Arnkiel,3 who first made use of the works of Scandinavian scholars, and of J. G. Keysler,4 who drew upon Latin inscriptions and popular beliefs. Nearly all the writers of this period regarded the heathen gods from a euhemeristic point of view, as departed heroes. No one of them was able to establish his work on a sound historical basis by distinguishing between Teutons and Kelts.

The Scandinavian countries were destined to give the first impetus to the fruitful study of Teutonic antiquity. It would be erroneous, however, to suppose that in these regions the classic period of medieval literature passed imperceptibly into the period of historic study. Even in Iceland, the centre of Old Norse literary development, the historic past and the in- digenous literature were, in the fifteenth and during the larger part of the sixteenth century, well-nigh forgotten. The renais-

1 Johan Picardt, Antiquiteiten der provintien en landen gelegen tusschen Noord- zee, IJssel, Emse en Lippe (1660).

2 Elias Schedii, De Diis Germanis, sive veteri Germanorutn, Gallorum, Britan- nonttn, Vandalorum religione (1648).

3 Trogillus Arnkiel, Cimbrische Heydenreligion ; ausfiihrliche Eroffnung -was es mit der cimbrischen und mittern'dchtlichen Volker als Sachsen, etc., ihrem Got- zendienst vor eine Bewandtniss gehabt (as early as 1690 ; 4 vos., 1703).

* J. G. Keysler, Antiquitates selectae septentrionales et celticae (1720).

sance does not begin until the end of the sixteenth century, with the historical and literary labors of Arngrfmr Jonsson and Bjorn Jonsson a Skardhsa. Much, indeed, had even then been accomplished elsewhere ; the Paris edition of Saxo dates from the year 1514, and in the middle of the same century the last archbishop of Upsala, Olaus Magnus, had made the first attempt at writing a Norse Mythology, based on Saxo, on the Latin writers, and on the conditions of his own time.1 Olaus had also investigated the monuments and drawn up a runic alphabet. Not until the seventeenth century, however, did the range of these studies begin to widen. In Denmark Ole Worm, Stephanius, and P. Resenius occupied themselves with monuments and runes, with the editing of Saxo, and the collect- ing of manuscripts. This was made possible after Brynjolf Sveinsson, Bishop of Skalholt in Iceland, had, in 1640, dis- covered the most important manuscript 'of the prose Edda already known at that time and had in 1643 first brought to light the poetic Edda. Despite the fact that the great fire at Kopenhagen in 1728 destroyed many manuscripts, and that dur- ing the second half of the seventeenth century many more were lost, there yet remained an extensive literature, including sagas, preserved in four great collections, which were destined to form the basis of subsequent study. These four collections are : i. The manuscripts collected by Brynjolf himself and sent in 1662 to the king of Denmark (codices Regii). 2. The col- lection of Ami Magnusson made between 1690 and 1728 (codices A. M.). Both of these collections are to be found in Kopenhagen. 3. The manuscripts collected by Stephanius, now at Upsala (codices U.). 4. The codices Holmenses (codices H.), discovered in Iceland during the latter half of the seventeenth century, and at present in Stockholm.

1 This work, which appeared in 1555, was entitled Historia de gentium septen- trionalium variis conditionibits statibusque. On the map of Olaus Magnus, see O. Brenner, " Die achte Karte des Olaus Magnus vom Jahre 1539" (Christiania Vid, Selsk. For/i., 1886).

10

When this literature was first brought to light, and, indeed, for a long time afterward, the most phantastic ideas prevailed concerning its origin and antiquity. What had been found was thought to be only a small fragment of an Eddie archetype attributed to the ^Esir themselves or to the princess Edda, shortly after the time of Odhin. This archetype, it was thought, contained the patriarchal beliefs of the ancient Atlantis-dwellers, some three hundred years before the Trojan war. The oldest runes were believed to date from 2000 B.C.

Following in the wake of Danish scholars and under the influence of conceptions peculiar to the eighteenth century, Mallet, a Swiss, wrote a book, the purpose of which was to delineate the history of civilization. The North was extolled as the cradle of liberty, and Mallet included in his treatise a translation of several selections from the Edda. The book was translated into English in 1770 by Bishop Percy, who added an important preface, in which a sharp distinction was, for the first time, drawn between Teutonic and Keltic legends and antiquities.1

Literature also turned these finds to good account. In Germany, Herder, with his breadth of view, did not fail to rec- ognize the value of Old Norse literature. Standing under the influence of the currents of thought prevailing in the eighteenth century, he paved the way for the Romanticism of the nineteenth. His broad and profound intellect combined cosmopolitan inter- ests with an appreciation of the characteristically national, a love for the natural with a feeling for historical development. He took hold of the new material and opened up new points of view. From near and far he gathered folk-songs, though among these naive Stimmen der Volker, as he called them, there is many a song which we no longer regard in this light. Thus he believed Voluspa to be a product of primitive times,

1 P. H. Mallet, Northern Antiquities, translated by Bishop Percy, was reprinted as recently as 1882.

HISTORY OF TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY 11

although he recognized that criticism had not as yet passed a final judgment on the poem. The less known F. D. Grater also helped to spread a knowledge of Norse mythology and of folk-song.1 In Denmark the spirit of patriotism served to heighten the interest in the newly discovered poetry. Ohlen- schlager, proceeding on the supposition that the Eddie poems were parts of a single production, sought through his cycle of poems, Nordens Guder (1819), to infuse new life into the old myths.

What the elder Grundtvig achieved along this line also belongs to the domain of literature rather than that of science. N. F. S. Grundtvig,2 the enemy of rationalism, the champion of personal faith and the living word as against petrified formalism in church and dogma, also showed great zeal in advocating the development of national character, and put the stamp of his individuality on the intellectual life of his people. His enthu- siasm for the Norse heroic age, his acumen in the treatment of myths, whose profound figurative language he sought to inter- pret, his graceful renderings of these ancient legends in beau- tiful poems, all this may have borne little or no fruit to the cause of science, but it unquestionably imbued the heroic age with new life in the popular mind.

Meanwhile the opinion that the Edda contained a most ancient, original, and splendid mythology was not held without opposition. Finn Jonsson, who a century after Brynjolf held the episcopal see of Skalholt, recognized in the Edda a mixture of Christian ideas and scandalous fabrications. In a brief survey of the production he discussed the main features of the religion in a somewhat dry and prosaic fashion.3 A deeper impression was made by the direction which studies in Teutonic

1 In his periodical Bragur (8 vos., 1791-1812).

2 N. F. S. Grundtvig, Nordens mythologi eller Sindbilled-Sprog historisk- poetisk •udviklet og oplyst. It appeared in 1832 as a revised form of an outline published in 1807.

8 Finnus Johannaeus, Historia Ecclesiastica Islandiae (4 vos., 1772).

12 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

mythology took in Germany. As early as 1720 Keysler sus- pected the existence of Christian influences in Norse mythology. Towards the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century this opinion steadily gained ground through the writings of von Schlozer,1 Fr. Adelung,2 and Fr. Riihs.3 The work of these three authors is frequently placed in one category, but in reality only that of Riihs possesses scientific value. He distinguished in Norse mythology three factors : popular conceptions of Teutonic origin, Christian ideas, and fragments of Greek and Roman mythology. The Edda, he contended, could not be regarded as the common heritage of the Teutons, nor even of all Scandinavians. It was a poetic production that had originated in Iceland under Anglo-Saxon influences. The culture of the North was of Christian origin. The kinship of these ideas with recent theories and results is self-evident.

The chief centre of these studies remained, for the time being, Kopenhagen, where -collections of manuscripts and monuments were deposited, and where, also, these studies received strong encouragement because they were regarded as subserving national interests. From 1777 to 1783 a beautiful edition of Snorri's ffeimskringla, in three volumes, was pub- lished at the expense of the Danish crown-prince. In 1806 the erection of a museum of Norse antiquities was begun. In 1809 the publication of the Danish Kcempeviser was com- menced, while a few years later, in 1815, the Icelander Thor- kelin furnished the editio princeps of Beowulf. Rasmus Nyerup (1759-1829) carried on extensive investigations in Old Danish popular literature, archaeology, and mythology. R. K. Rask (1787-1832), who was one of the founders of modern linguistic

1 Von Schlozer, Isl'dndische Liter atur und Geschichte (I, 1773).

2 Fr. Adelung in Becker's Erholungen (1797)

3 Fr. Riihs, Die Edda (1812) ; Ueber den Ursfrung der isl'dndischen Poesie aus der angels'dchsischen (1813).

HISTORY OF TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY 13

science, sought the origin of Old Norse in Old Thracian, from which he also derived Greek and Latin. While Rask did not extend his comparisons to the Asiatic languages, the Icelander, Finn Magnusen (1781—1847), did not hesitate to find parallels in Oriental and Egyptian mythology, which he regarded as evidences of a common primitive origin. Both in editions of texts and in works on mythology l he made use of an enormous mass of material, much of which is still of value despite the fact that no reliance can be placed on his astronomical interpreta- tions, on the accuracy of his Oriental parallels, or on his theory of the Trojan origin of the Northern peoples. Thus the hori- zon gradually widened, notwithstanding the phantastic and arbitrary combinations that were still being made. Skule Thorlacius, in a study on Thor and his hammer,2 went so far as to make an isolated attempt to distinguish between the earlier and later elements of mythology.

No one of these men, however, produced work of more last- ing value than P. E. Miiller (1776-1834), who took up the gauntlet in defense of the genuineness of the ^sir-religion in a manner that carried conviction to the brothers Grimm and to many of their successors. He was the first to render a rich and well-arranged collection of heroic and historical sagas from medieval Norwegian-Icelandic literature accessible, and his edition of Saxo, with Prolegomena and Notae uberiores, com- pleted after his death by J. M. Velschow, possesses lasting value.3

Before the advent of the Grimms Germany was far behind the Danes and Icelanders in the study of mythology. With

1 Priscae veterum Borealium mythologiae lexicon (1828) ; Eddalaeren og dens oprindelse (4 vos., 1824-1826). An estimate of Finn Magnusen may be found in N. M. Petersen, Samlede Afhandlinger, III ; a survey of Norse studies during this period in an important essay (1820) of W. Grimm, Kl. Sc&r., III.

2 In Skandinavisk Museum, 1802.

3 P. E. Miiller, Ueber die Echtheit der Asalehre und den Werth der Snorro- ischen Edda (in Danish 1812, in German 1811) ; Sagabibliothek (I, 1817; II, 1818; III, 1820) ; Saxonis Grammatici Historia Danica (I, 1839 ; II, 1858).

14 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

the national revival, however, that followed the French domina- tion, the famous minister of education, von Stein, gave the first impulse towards the publication of that gigantic collection of historical sources known as the " Monumenta Germaniae historica," which, under the editorship of G. H. Pertz, began to appear in 1826. But indispensable -as these sources sub- sequently proved to be for the study of Teutonic heathenism, their publication at first exerted little or no influence.

It is difficult to form a just estimate of the value of the mythological work done in Germany during the first decades of our century under the influence of the Romantic move- ment. There can be no question of the good service which the movement rendered to the cause of science and of culture. Through the two Schlegels, August Wilhelm and Friedrich, and through Tieck, the language and gnomic wisdom of the ancient Hindus, as well as the works of Calderon and Shakes- peare, and such subjects as the Middle Ages and popular poetry, were first brought within the general horizon. The Romanticists were also strongly attracted towards the study of the national past and of Teutonic paganism, though this interest did not proceed from the above-mentioned leaders of the move- ment. Heidelberg became the centre for the study of mythol- ogy, with Gorres, von Arnim, Brentano, and Creuzer as the chief representatives. Among these the most gifted, perhaps, was Joseph Gorres1 (1776-1848), who devoted himself to edit- ing German chap-books. It was he who perceived the relation- ship between the Norse and German legends of the heroic saga and recognized the age of migrations as the period which gave rise to the legends among Goths, Franks, and Burgundians. He was in error, however, in assuming that the heroic legends

1 J. Gorres, Die teutschen Volksbiicher. N'dhere Wurdigung der schonen Histo- rien-, Wetter- und Arzncybiichlein, ivelche theils innerer Werth, theils Zufall, Jakrkunderte hindurch bis auf unsere Zeit erhalten hat (1807) ; Der gehbrnte Siegfried und die Nibelungen (Zeitung fiir Einsiedler, 1808).

HISTORY OF TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY 15

were fragments of a single colossal poem. Gorres subsequently turned aside from the study of Teutonic antiquity to seek, after the manner of his spiritual kinsman, Creuzer, in the myths of Asia the profound symbolical utterances of supreme wisdom. Creuzer himself did not make a study of Teutonic antiquity, but in his spirit F. J. Mone1 (1796-1871) added to Creuzer's great work two volumes on Slavs, Kelts, and Teutons. In addition to this Mone brought together what was for that time a good collection of material for the study of the heroic saga. Nor are his investigations in this field without value, although this value is somewhat lessened by his tendency to seek in myths the ideas of speculative philosophy. There is less to be said in favor of the work of L. Achim von Arnim (1781-1831) and Clemens Brentano (1778-1842), who from 1806 to 1808 published a collection of folk-songs under the title Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Though the book won great favor, the slovenly manner in which it was edited and the large amount of worth- less material it comprised, did not escape the keen eye of that ruthless critic in matters mythological, J. H. Voss.

The scientific productions of Germany during this period are conspicuous both for their virtues and their shortcomings. Though a lively interest was taken in the study of mythol- ogy and there was no lack of grand conceptions, the methods of work were uncritical, and marked by wildly phantastic combinations. The opinion prevailed widely that in the prov- ince of mythology ideas came to the gifted student through a sort of poetic inspiration. As a consequence it is not surpris- ing that the works written during this period do not possess permanent value. Thus many of the Teutonic divinities which G. Klemm 2 enumerates never existed, and it frequently

1 F. J. Mone, Geschichte des Heidenthums itn nordlichcn Enrofa (2 vols., 1822- 1823, constituting Vols. V and VJ of Creuzer's Symbolik und Mythologie) ; Untersu- chungen zur Geschichte der teutschen Heldensage (1836).

2 G. Klemm, Handbuch der germanischen Altertumskunde (1836).

16 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

involved considerable effort to remove such names as Krodo, Jecha, Hammon, Jodute, etc., from the list of Teutonic deities. C. K. Earth,1 in a volume which reached a second edition, identified Hertha with Demeter, Isis, lo, Thetis, and a number of other goddesses. Here and there, however, fruitful work was accomplished, and occasionally ideas were brought for- ward that gave promise for the future. Thus, H. Leo 2 called attention to the limits to which the worship of " Othin " was confined geographically, and in Berlin F. H. von der Hagen 3 (1780-1856) published studies and editions of the Nibelungen Lay and the Norse sagas which, though marked by less gran- deur of conception, showed sounder scholarship than the more brilliant effusions of the Heidelberg circle.

We have now reached the brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785- 1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859), in whom we may likewise recognize the products of the Romantic period. They were connected more or less closely with the Heidelberg circle. The jurist Savigny, who was Jacob's beloved teacher, was the brother-in-law of Brentano, and it was von Arnim who gave the final impulse to the publication of the Mdrchen. Nor did Jacob keep himself entirely free from the aberrations of Romanticism. One of his earliest essays, entitled Irmen- strasse und Irmensaule, is full of wild etymologies and phan- tastic combinations. And yet there is from the very outset a great difference between the brothers Grimm and the Roman- ticists, both as regards personality and character of work. The former were thorough, scholarly, modest students, who with untiring zeal cultivated an extended but withal definitely cir- cumscribed field, namely, German antiquity ; while the Roman-

1 C. K. Earth. Hertha und iiber die Religion der Weltmutter im alten Teutschland (second edition, 1835).

2 H. Leo, Ueber Othins Verehrung in Deutschland (1822).

3 Of F. H. von der Hagen's Altdeutsche und Altnordische Heldensagen, in three volumes, Vols. I and II appeared in a third edition in 1872 ; of Vol. Ill a second edition revised by £±, gdzardj wag published in 1880.

HISTORY OF TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY 17

ticists, in practice as well as in theory, made an unbridled geniality their rule of life and scorned to impose limits upon the range of their activity. They were engaged in an endeavor to resurrect the past, whereas the Grimms, though recognizing a connection between the national past and the life of the present, endeavored primarily to acquire an historical knowl- edge of this past. In consequence they occupied themselves more with detailed investigations. Instead of regarding the traditions of Teutonic heathenism, after the manner of Creuzer, as the profound symbolical utterances of a primitive sacerdotal wisdom, Jacob sees in them poetic creations of the popular_ imagination. This sharp distinction between the popular and natural on the one hand and the products of art on the other, which latter he considers far inferior, is one of the corner-stones of Jacob Grimm's system.

That the work of the two brothers did not meet the wishes of the leaders of the Romantic school was shown among other things in a trenchant criticism by A. W. Schlegel, in the Heidelberger Jahrbiicher of 1815, of the Altdeutsche Walder, published in 1813. This criticism, which made a profound impression, dwelt more especially upon what Schlegel considered the erroneous views entertained by Jacob Grimm concerning poetry and sagas. His critic heaped ridicule on the " lumber " and "rubbish " of old sagas, which the Grimms regarded with such reverence, and on what was termed by some one * " their worship of the insignificant." This expression has survived as characterizing the activity of the Grimms, and from a term of reproach has come to be regarded as a term of praise. Schlegel's criticism, unjust as it was in many respects, did not embitter Jacob Grimm but induced him to strike out in a new direction, that of stricter and deeper grammatical study, which resulted, in the course of years, in such productions as his German Gram- mar, History of the German Language, and the German Dic-

1 Sulpice Boisseree.

18 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

tionary, the latter produced in collaboration with his brother. He thus became the founder of the historical study of language. While his etymologies are at times fanciful and inaccurate, he is yet one of the greatest of linguists. For our purpose it is of especial importance to note that Jacob Grimm recognized the intima'te connection that exists between myth and language./ / Even the language of to-day is rich in genuinely mythica^/ expressions, by a true understanding of which we obtain an insight into a part of the intellectual life of our forefathers. Mythology does not, however, in the case of Grimm, resolve itself into an interpretation of words, and therefore the unten- ableness of many of his etymologies has not impaired the value of his mythological work.

But there were other fields besides linguistic science in which Jacob Grimm, either alone or in conjunction with his brother, became a pioneer. In the production of the Kinder- und Hausmdrchen 1 and the Deutsche Sagen 2 the lion's share belongs to Wilhelm. In the Mdrchen all the popular tales that were still current among the people of those districts of Middle Germany, where they themselves lived, were collected with scientific accuracy and made a permanent, living possession of the whole nation. The Deutsche Sagen did not become equally popular. In this work were collected the legends that had become localized in oral tradition and that in this way had been handed down in history.

The Deutsche Rechtsalterthiimer 3 are solely the work of Jacob. While legal subtlety and formalism were repugnant to his nature, he had learned from Savigny to regard law not as an abstract system, but in the light of an historical development on the soil

1 The two volumes of the Mdrchen first appeared in 1812 and 1815. They have been many times reprinted, and a third volume with Notes was added in 1822.

2 Published in two volumes, 1816 and 1818.

8 Published in 1828 ; a fourth enlarged edition, in two volumes, published under the supervision of A. Heusler and R. Hiibner, appeared in 1899. On J. Grimm's study of law, see R. Hiibner, Jacob Grimm ttnd das deutsche Recht (1895).

HISTORY OF TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY 19

of national life. He accordingly sought to trace in his study of law " the subtle workings of the popular imagination " * in symbolic actions, poetic formulas, proverbs, and customs. He drew the material for this purpose less from official law-books than from the popular Weisthumer, in which we find the cus- toms of particular localities or regions reflected. He edited several volumes of these sources, and his work was subse- quently continued by Richard Schroder.

Even in a history of mythology this many-sided activity of Jacob Grimm needs to be touched upon, inasmuch as he him- self never drew a sharp line of demarcation between one field and another. His aim was to grasp the significance of national life as an entity, and he considered language, law, and myth as merely so many different expressions of this life. W. Scherer called Grimm a " combining genius," just cis Lachmann was designated as a " critical genius." His extraordinary powers of combination are indeed remarkable, and while they at times led him astray and caused him to see connections, where we no longer assume such, they also enabled him to view the enor- mous mass of details at his command as parts of one whole. Not that he forced individual phenomena into an abstract sys- tem or an artificial framework, but he regarded them as repre- senting the living unity of an historical national existence. From Grimm's point of view everything was imbued with life. Language, he tells us, had originally no dead words. He rec- ognizes the " sensuous elements " in law, and mythology he derives in large patf from the " ever-flowing stream of living custom and saga." Such was the spirit and such the attitude in which Grimm approached the study of " German mythology," 2

1 " Das stille Walten der Volksphantasie."

2 The first edition of the Deutsche Mythologie was published in 1835, in two volumes ; the second, with an important Preface added, in 1844. The third edition was unchanged. The fourth, in three volumes, with additions from Grimm's posthu- mous papers, was brought out from 1875 to 1878 under the supervision of El. H. Meyer.

20 THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT TEUTONS

and herein lies the explanation at once of the lasting value of his work and of its defects. Grimm himself has given an account, in his now classic preface to the second edition, of the manner in which he used his sources. The word " deutsch " in the title is not used in the sense of general Teutonic, as it is in some works of Jacob Grimm, but excludes Scandinavian. While it is true that the Edda has been handed down from " remotest antiquity," Grimm is primarily concerned with set- ting forth the independent value of the specifically German material. In this way he attempts to show that the Norse and the German mythology mutually support and confirm each other : " that the Norse mythology is genuine, consequently also the German, and that the German is old, consequently also the Norse." This unity seemed to Grimm and to many of his successors a plain and scientifically established conclusion. They held