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best to preserve, is only the Gaelic Grian, the Sun. On the other hand, Minerva Sul, at Bath, is formed in the same way as Mars Camulus, for she is the Minerva of the Silures; Silure being evidently Sil-Wyr (men or warriors of the Sils). The Scotch Selgovæ seems to be the same name, though goffe, coof, and guff, have got worn down to uncomplimentary meanings in French and Scotch.
The really mythological period in Britain would seem to be that of the early Saxons, from the fourth to the seventh century; and I think there are more traces of their worship than Kemble, living abroad, was aware of.
Whether any of them are really as old as that time, or not, there are some slight indications which would seem to connect the large circles rather with the Northern mythology. There is one very distinct case engraved by Simpson, a set of circles composed of small dots or pits on the Balder Stone on the Asige Moor in Sweden. A stone from Lilburn, in Northumberland (now in the British Museum), has very rude circles of this kind. It is about 1 ft. in diameter, and stands on the top of a press, on the right hand, at the top of the great staircase. It is necessary to mention that while Balder in Sweden, and in a locality apparently connected with the Esar, certainly means the Sun-God, the Balder names of the east districts of England and Scotland are not unlikely to refer to the Saint of Tyningham. The oldest document calls him Balther. Baldred, his name in literature, seems to have been a West Saxon name. At the same time, Balder is so constantly referred to by the people of the East Lothian promontory that one is tempted to wonder whether he had partly succeeded to the honours of an old deity; which is quite possible, even if Edwin entered Scotland as a Christian.
Something like this appears in the case of the King of the Picts, called "Dectotreic, frater Tiu", or brother of Tyr, the Northern god of war especially, and supposed to be Theodoric, son of Ida. He had probably married a Pictish princess. All the royal husbands, at least, seem to have been foreigners; and this seems to show that Kemble was right in supposing that Dietrich of Berne (Theodoric of Verona) had been partly identified with an old demigod, Dietrich. I find the capital of Switzerland (which only dates from the Middle Ages) was actually named from the romances. The name Tiowulf is certainly the Wolf of Tyr, which bit his hand off.
I am inclined to think that Odin, as a one-eyed deity, has been a sun-god in one aspect; and he was certainly not unknown in Britain. St. Kentigern preached against the human Odin at Hoddam in Dumfriesshire ; a further proof that Dumfries is the town of the early Frisians, and the Caer Pheris of the list attached to Nennius. Also that the north shore of the Solway is really the Frisian shore of Kenti
gern's history, though it is transferred to the Firth of Forth in the part of it which has been distorted, evidently to bring the Saint within the conditions of the Irish Church, in which the abbot was always either a relation of the chief or of the actual founder. Bede does not name the deity whose temple was officially desecrated on the occasion of Edwin's conversion, but it was probably that of Odin.
And north of the Border, the war-cry of Hawick, "Terribus and Terri Odin!" remains the motto of the town. I do not know of any very old written authority for this; but it is given in Chambers' Rhymes of Scotland (about 1825), along with other slogans.
Of Thor there is less evidence; but the next parish to Hoddam is called Tundergarth, and probably may have had a sanctuary of the Thunderer; while a foolish story involving something very like a Thor legend has been tacked on to Kentigern's own history. The well known Scotch surname, Thorburn, is of course Thorbiorn (the Bear of Thor). Thorbrand occurs also.
Of Lok, the Northern god of mischief, I do not know that any distinct trace remains in Scotland; but the name, which has been a puzzle, is certainly explained by the Scotch Luckie (formerly spelt Lokie), for a woman holding any official position, or keeping a publichouse, and also used like Goody or Granny. Hlok is said to mean a witch in the Icelandic, and Lok is supposed to have been the witch. who refused to weep for Balder; and I believe he takes a female form elsewhere. I was delighted to find that Lox retained this characteristic in the North American stories, which may perfectly well be relics of the Icelandic colony.
The name goes very far back into Indo-European mythology. Lokanauth is the deity worshipped by lepers in India. I observe in one of Mr. Clouston's legends that a wife unjustly accused by her husband calls upon the goddess Earth and the Lokapalas (probably female powers) to vindicate her.
In the late and conventional form in which the Scandinavian mythology has come down to us, Hel, or Frau Hölle (who looked after the dead who had not died by violence, so as to qualify for Odin's military paradise of Valhalla), is called the daughter of Lok; but this is certainly degrading her sadly. One of the fire-ceremonies at midwinter, described by Sir Arthur Mitchell in his well-known paper on "FireCeremonies at Midwinter" (one observed in Swabia), consisted of running about with torches on the 6th of January (the Epiphany), and it was called "Burning Frau Hölle on Berchta's Night"; and as the two names mean the same thing, Berchta being the English bright, and Hell the modern German equivalent (so that Frau Hölle is the Bright Lady), it seems evident that the 6th of January, when the daylight begins to lengthen, was the old festival of the goddess worshipped by different German tribes under different names. Berchta is the great naturegoddess of the Germans, but often appears as the goddess of death. Bertha of Burgundy is alleged to have acquired some of her honours; but she is a very distinct historical personage, and her spindle actually appears on the existing seal of a document.
It ought not to be omitted that Bede mentions that Easter, or rather the Saxon April, was named from a goddess of his own people, called Eoster. Everywhere but in England, so far as I know, Easter is Pasque; even in Scotland the great festivals were Pace aud Yule.
Yule, for midwinter generally is, as has been long recognised, an invocation of Odin as lol.
The subject of the evil eye connects at one point with that of the cultus of St. Helen in Yorkshire.1 From the well known Forty Years in a Moorland Parish, it appears that the witch-wood (that is, rowan or mountain-ash branches), still occasionally laid in for use against the evil eye and witchcraft in general, in Yorkshire, is not considered fully efficacious unless cut on St. Helen's Day. The day is Sept. 18th, when the scarlet berries are at their best.
1 See Journal of Sept. 30, 1891.
MARRIAGE IN CELTIC BRITAIN.
BY J. H. MACMICHAEL, ESQ.
(Continued from p. 166.)
IN search of further evidence as to the likelihood of Cæsar having mistakenly placed reliance upon hearsay where personal verification was, at the time, impracticable, Giraldus Cambrensis may be arraigned. He says that the houses of the Welsh consisted of one room, and the whole family, guests and all, slept on rushes laid along the wall, with their feet to the fire, the smoke of which found its way through a hole in the roof. They had thus but one couch, called "gwely"; the tir gwelyawg, or "inheritance of land", being the land of the family using the same couch, and the descendants of one ancestor living together were a gweli-gordd. Thus, if these domestic conditions existed in the early centuries of our era,3 just as they do among the remnants of the Gaelic branches of the Celtic family in the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland to this day, misapprehension may easily have
1 Description of Wales, c. xvii. The same writer says that the houses of the Welsh were not built either in town or village, but were scattered along the edge of the woods. To his eye they seemed mere huts made of boughs of trees twisted together, easily constructed and lasting scarcely more than a season. The houses of the Britons were likened by Cæsar to those of Gaul; and the Gauls, Strabo tells us, "dwelt in great houses arched and constructed of planks and wicker, covered with a heavy thatched roof (Book IV, c. iv, § 3). This latter dwelling may be said, therefore, to have been that of an agricultural people, and that described by Giraldus of a pastoral.
2 The English Village Community, by Fredk. Seebohm.
3 The Gwentian, Dimetian, and Vendotian Codes all represent the homestead, or the tydden, and land of the free Welshmen, as a family holding. So long as the head of the family lived, all his descendants lived with him apparently in the same homestead. (Ibid., p. 193.) Referring to the communities of villeins on French estates in former times, Sir Henry Maine recognises in them the remains of the ancient Celtic gentes. There can be no doubt that these associations were not really voluntary partnerships, but groups of kinsmen, not however, so often organised on the ordinary type of the village community as on that of the house community, which has recently been examined in Dalmatia and Croatia,
arisen in the mind of the Roman invader as to the prevailing nature of such relationships. Or supposing the passage in the Commentaries to be regarded in its more generally accepted (ie., its unfavourable) interpretation, the author must of necessity have had much information upon hearsay, and it is quite conceivable that the reflection did not cross his mind how such statements should be so personally verified as to be, like Cæsar's wife, “above suspicion".
Can we think that Cæsar was possessed of a burning desire to speak the truth about a race which he discreetly pretended to despise, and a people whom his legionaries must have hated for the stubborn resistance with which they strove to maintain their independence? Writers who have had occasion to consult the Commentaries have frequently remarked the author's inconsistencies. But unless the passage is a deliberate libel upon a people whose country had been known from the remotest times as the "land of saints", one is prone to think—and this more especially when it is reflected that the criminal violence which the daughters of Boadicea suffered at the hands of the Romans was the cause of the outburst of indignation under that Queen--that either malicious reports, or, as Provost MacAndrew, in the Celtic Magazine, speaks of them, "mere travellers' tales",3 had reached the ears of Cæsar, owing, perhaps, to some of the more licentious of his officers having found the sanctity of the British hearth and wigwam inviolable. The Roman soldiers do not seem to have brought wives with them. Calgacus,
1 P. L. Lemière, in his Etude sur les Celtes et les Gaulois, says: "Asinus Pollion, nous dit Suetone, estimait qu'il avait été composé avec peu de soin, et peu de souci de la vérité, que l'auteur avait cru fort légèrement la plupart des recits de ses lieutenants, et que pour les siens propres, soit à dessein soit par defaut de mémoire, il avait avancé des inexactitudes" (pp. 488-9, 511).
See amongst these Sir William Betham in The Gaul and Cymbri. 3 "I dismiss stories of Roman writers about cannibalism, community of wives, children belonging to the tribe and not to their parents, etc., as mere travellers' tales." (Celtic Magazine, June 1887.)
4 Or, as it is of the Britons of the interior that Cæsar apparently speaks, his statement may have been founded, as is suggested by Carte, in his History of England, upon a report of the Belge with whom the tribes of the interior were at war. (See vol. i, p. 72, ed, 1747.)