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ilubltsljer to tijt Entita ©ffice 




9. Woman as Witch — Evidences of Mother -Right in the 
Customs of Mediaeval Witchcraft 

10. Ashiepattle : or Hans seeks his Luck 



11. Kindred Group-Marriage — 

Part I. — Mother- Age Civilisation . . .92 

„ II. — General Words for Sex and Kinship . 112 

„ III. — Special Words, for Sex and Relationship . 191 

1 2. The German Passion-Play : A Study in the Evolution of 

Western Christianity — ■ 

1. Introductory ..... 246 

2. The Unity of the Passion-Play . . .256 

3. The Spirit of the Passion-Play . . .269 

4. The Growth of the Passion-Play . . .279 

5. The Stage and its Accessories . . .315 

6. Characterisation in the Passion-Play . . .334 

7. The Performers in the great Folk Passion-Plays . 364 

8. The Contents of a Sixteenth-Century Passion-Play . 370 

9. Summary and Conclusion . . . .397 

Appendix I. The Mailehn and Kiltgang . . .407 

„ II. English Sixteenth-Century Church-Plays . 413 

III. On the Sex-significance of ' Tilth ' . .424 

„ IV. On Gericht and Genossenschaft . . 426 

Index I. Words and Roots cited in Essay XI. and Appendices 

I., III., and IV. . . . . 433 

„ II. Names and Subjects, Volumes I. and II. . .447 


Gods of the Middle Ages. Stephan Lochner's ' Doomsday ' Frontispiece 
Preparation for Witches' Sabbath. Hans Baldung Grieii to face 30 
Witch with Spindle, Distaff, and Goat. Albrecht Diirer . 45 
Heaven as a Gallery. Master E. S. . . to face 316 

Flat Passion-Play Stage from Donaueschingen . .320 

Mediaeval Conception of Jewish Brutality. Albrecht Diirer 347 
The Virgin Mary as Local Mother-Goddess. Ostendorfer . 353 
The Magdalen in g audio. Liikas van Leyden . to face 3Q^ 


I have to heartily thank Mr. Eobert J. Parker for the fourth and 
eighth illustrations in this volume, and Miss Alice Lee for the prepara- 
tion of Index IL 






Quid non mira^ulo est, cum primum in notitiam venit ? — Pliny. 

When we seek to investigate tlie origins of such familiar 
institutions as ownership and matrimony, we rapidly dis- 
cover that written history is itself the product of a stage 
of human development long posterior to that of the 
origins we are curious about. To speak paradoxically, 
history begins long before history. Vague and often 
very unreliable traces of it — traditional history — are to 
be found in the sagas and hero -songs of bards and 
scalds. But bards and scalds are themselves an out- 
come of the heroic age — an age of warlike organisation 
and of petty chieftains, if not of kings ; an age, indeed, 
when ownership and marriage have already a long his- 
tory, and are of that patriarchal type which the Bible, 
if not Maurer or Maine, has made familiar to all of us. 
This heroic age is, however, a thing but of yesterday — 

^ A lecture given in 1891 at the Somerville Club, but not hitherto published. 
The lecture is here printed substantially as it was delivered, and accordingly no 
references are given to the very numerous sources whence information has been 



a civilisation in which man, unhandicapped by child- 
bearing, is the lord of creation, and woman occupies, 
socially and tribally, a secondary position. Behind this 
heroic age, long anterior to the beginnings of traditional 
history, looms from the dimmest past another and 
wholly different type of civilisation — a type which 
appears in most respects to have owed its institutions 
and its victories over nature to the genius of woman 
rather than to that of man. It is a type, accordingly, in 
which the influence of woman is far more prominent 
than it was in the patriarchal age. This period of 
civilisation has been termed the matriarchate, but to 
avoid the dogma that it was necessarily and universally 
a period of woman's rule, I prefer to term it the mother- 
age, and refer to its customs of ownership and family as 

So long as our only history was the history of 
chronicles and monuments, themselves products of a 
late stage of human growth, traces of the mother-age 
must remain few and far between ; such even as crossed 
the path of the historian were either misinterpreted or 
attributed to the vagaries of individual tribes or groups. 
But now, in our own time, when history is becoming 
scientific, when, to again speak paradoxically, there is 
such a thing as 'prehistoric history, — to-day, when we 
study history comparatively, and see in it a growth of 
folk-customs and social institutions stretching far back 
before written language and written laws, — to-day we 
begin to appreciate better these traces of the mother- 
age. We put together the fossils provided by pre- 
historic history, what philology, folklore, and archaeology 


have to tell us of a civilisation in which the woman was 
all-prominent, and the comparison of this fossil civilisa- 
tion with the habits of semi-civilised races still scattered 
about the world enables us to draw up the general 
scheme of a society which preceded the patriarchal, and 
from which the patriarchate itself sprung. The key- 
note to this older civilisation was the development of 
woman's inventive faculty under the stress of child- 
bearing and child-rearing disabilities. The mother-age 
— in diverse forms, it is true, — has been a stage of social 
growth for probably all branches of the human race. 
The broad outlines of it seem to me to be now firmly 
established, if the details must obviously, owing to 
difference of climate, period of development, and other 
circumstances, be diverse in character, and if the more 
minute features, owing to the obscurity and failure of 
the record, must often be matter of hypothesis and 
subject for dispute. 

The mother-age, with its mother-right customs, was 
a civilisation, as I have indicated, largely built up by 
woman's activity, and developed by her skill ; it was an 
age within the small social unit of which there was 
more community of interest, far more fellowship in 
labour and partnership in property and sex, than we 
find in the larger social unit of to-day. For this reason 
both socialists and workers for the emancipation of 
women are apt at the present time to look back to this 
early stage of civilisation as to a golden age, and to paint 
in its details in colours which render them untrue to fact, 
and destroy any suggestiveness they might otherwise have 
for the future growth of our own society. The mother- 


age was frequently cruel in its rites and licentious in its 
customs, and these charges are still true if we judge it 
not by the standards of to-day, but by that of the patri- 
archate which succeeded it. It was a less efficient and 
a less stable social system than the latter, or it would 
not have perished in the struggle with it.^ I for one 
rejoice that it perished, as I rejoice that the patriarchal 
system perished, or that the individualism of to-day is 
perishing. One and all have been fruitful as successive 
stages of growth, yet they can never recur, and only 
the fanatic or visionary could wish that they should 
recur, for each is narrow and insufficient from the stand- 
point of a later stage. Yet insight into what has been 
is of special value to us to-day ; it shows us that 
morality and social institutions are peculiar to each age 
and to each civilisation ; it shows us that growth, if never 
very rapid, is ever continuous. It teaches us that those 
who prate of absolute good and bad, and of an unchanging 
moral code, may help to police an existing society, but 
that they cannot reform it. To successfully initiate 
reform needs the historical spirit — the conception that 
social institutions, however time-honoured and sacred, 
have but relative value, and are ever adjusting them- 
selves, as well as freely adjustable, to the needs of 
social growth. But it is not only a true estimate of the 
plastic character of customs and social systems which 

^ If the reader will put aside for a time the classical and biblical impres- 
sions of childhood, and recognise in Romans and Jews two early races who came 
victorious out of the struggle for existence because they were patriarchal varia- 
tions amid a widespread mother-right civilisation, he will find immense pleasure 
in reinterpreting the legends of early Roman history with its struggles of patri- 
cians and plebeians, as well as in fully grasping for the first time the exact 
historical bearing of the Jewish backslidings, which led to the worship of the 
golden calf and the adoration of the woman in scarlet. 


may be formed from a study of prehistoric civilisation. 
Our age, which is working for scarcely yet formulated 
changes in the ownership of property and in the status 
of woman, must gain special insight from the study of a 
period, however far back in a semi-barbaric past, how- 
ever incapable of future repetition, which yet to a great 
extent realised, albeit on a narrow stage, what many to- 
day would without qualification term socialism and the 
emancipation of women. To have said so much is to 
have amply justified a study of the mother-age. 

In a brief and necessarily insufficient paper, such as 
the present must be, several courses were open to me. 
In the first place, I might have given you in outline a 
sketch of what I conceive the old mother-age to have 
been like, and perhaps pointed out the general stages of 
its development, for it embraces not a single but many 
phases of civilisation. Had I done so, however, I should 
have been asking you to take a very great deal on faith ; 
I should have been appealing for that faith to your 
emotional side as women, to your partisan spirit, or to 
your belief that I should not speak without having my 
evidence pigeon-holed somewhere. Now, such an appeal 
to faith is contrary to my whole theory of the manner 
in which knowledge ought to be gained and opinion 
formed. The only true road to knowledge and the re- 
sulting conviction lies through doubt and scepticism, 
and any general sketch I might have given could at best 
only legitimately serve to stimulate doubt, and to incite 
others to undertake for themselves the collection and 
interpretation of facts. The second course open to 
me would have been to overwhelm you with the most 


telling facts in favour of my theory, i.e. that most of the 
work of early civilisation was due to women. To have 
done this, however, would not only have been to deprive 
some of you of the pleasure of discovering these facts for 
yourselves ; it would have failed also to indicate how 
much of interest can be extracted from a more detailed 
investigation of a comparatively narrow field — a field 
which we can all enter without either unlocking or 
jumping over the five-barred gate of philology. I pur- 
pose therefore to lay before you to-night no general 
sketch, no mass of evidence, but simply to discuss a few 
of the phases of mediaeval witchcraft which seem to me 
fossils of the old mother-age. I shall have done more 
than I can reasonably hope for if I shall succeed in con- 
vincing you that witchcraft was not a mere fantastic 
and brutal imagination of a superstitious age, that its 
beliefs and practices were more or less perverted rites 
and customs of a prehistoric civilisation, and that the 
confessions wrung from jDoor old women in the torture 
chambers of the Middle Ages have a real scientific value 
for the historian of a much earlier social life. I hold 
that the folk-habits and family customs of the mother- 
age remained as obscure traditions in the women of the 
folk ; that they were surrendered, in what at first sight 
seems perfectly futile sufiering, to form an apparently 
worthless record of human stupidity and religious 
cruelty. Yet from another standpoint this record, and 
therefore the suffering, will not have been without avail, 
if they can provide any facts which may assist us in 
understanding the growth of human societies, and which 
may at the same time help us to estimate more justly 


the real contributions of woman to early civilisation. 
As we have seen, nothing is more helpful to us in 
endeavour in 2: to measure the social forces at work to- 
day than a true conception of the plastic character of 
social institutions when we examine their growth during 
long periods. That the status of woman varies with 
both time and place is an invaluable concept at the 
present juncture, and the woman of to-day will owe a 
debt of gratitude to the mediaeval witch if it can be 
shown that the record of her suffering furnishes facts 
which go a long way to demonstrate that primitive 
woman had a status widely divergent from that of 
woman in the present or in the patriarchal age. 

In order to group my facts, I am going to briefly 
sketch a form of social life which you will kindly look 
upon as merely hypothetical. If in our inquiries as to 
witchcraft we find customs which appear meaningless 
except as fossils of such a state of society, then I think, 
while still looking upon it as hypothetical, we may 
venture to consider its further investigation a reason- 
able task. Finally, if those of you who pursue the 
matter for yourselves, should find exactly similar fossils 
in early language, in the folklore of birth and marriage, 
in primitive law, in hero-legend and saga, and in the 
customs of still extant barbarous peoples, — fossils 
which no other hypothesis unites into a living whole 
— then, I think, the hypothetical mother - age will 
become for some of you what it is for me, an historical 

Let us try to conceive a group of individuals in 
which inheritance is through the mother, where the 


husband and father in the earliest stages are probably 
not individualised, and where even, in the later stages, 
they have no position whatever as husband or father in 
the wife's or child's group ; where the relationship of 
father and child conveys no inheritance from the one to 
the other, and is associated with no rights. The closest 
male relations of the woman are her son and her brother, 
and she is the conduit by which property passes to and 
from them. The child's position and its group -rights 
are entirely determined by its mother, and the maternal 
uncle is the natural male friend and protector of the 
child. Such a law of inheritance may be briefly sum- 
marised as "mother - right. It would clearly give a 
prominent position to the woman in the group. She 
would be at least the nominal head of the family, the 
bearer of its traditions, its knowledge, and its religion. 
Hence we should expect to find that the deities of a 
mother-right group were female, and that the primitive 
goddesses were accompanied not by husband but by child 
or brother. The husband and father being insignificant 
or entirely absent, there would thus easily arise myths 
of virgin and child, brother and sister deities. The 
goddess of the group would naturally be served by 
a priestess rather than by a priest. The woman as 
depositary of family custom and tribal lore, the wise- 
woman, the sibyl, the witch, would hand down to her 
daughters the knowledge of the religious observances, 
of the power of herbs, the mother-lore in the mother 
tongue, possibly also in some form of symbol or rune 
such as a priestly caste love to enshroud their mysteries 
in. The symbols of these goddesses would be the 


symbols of woman's work and woman's civilisation, the 
distaflf, the pitchfork, and the broom, not the spear, the 
axe, and the hammer. Since agriculture in its elements 
is essentially due to women, hunting and the chase 
characteristic of men, the emblems of early agriculture 
would also be closely associated with the primitive 
goddess. The smaller domestic animals, the goat, the 
boar, the goose, and the cock and hen, would be con- 
nected with her worship. The earth, as a symbol of 
fertility, would be brought into close relationship with 
the mother deity. She would be a goddess of agri- 
culture and of child-birth, of reproductivity in the soil, 
of fecundity in animals, and of fertility in man. Her 
shrine would be the hearth and fire round which the 
women spin and weave and cook, or it might be the 
clearing in the forest, the fructifying stream or well, 
the hilltop, where originally there was the palisaded 
dwelling of a group, and where cultivation first ap- 
peared. The group in such a dwelling would have a 
common life, common work, and common meals. In 
particular, the group gatherings would become high 
festivals, at those lunar and solar changes which mark 
the seasons and periods of agricultural fruitfulness and 
animal fertility. Such gatherings, held on the hill- 
tops, or by ancient trees or springs, would be marked 
by the performance of religious rites, by the common 
meal, the choral dance, and in many cases by the ribald 
song, and by the gross licentiousness which charac- 
terises the worship of a goddess of fertility. In all 
these features we should expect to find the women 
taking an equal, if not a leading part, responsible alike 


for the communism of the kin-group, and for the license 
and cruelty of its religious rites. 

Looking at such a hypothetical phase of civilisation 
as I have sketched above, where, if it had once existed, 
should we expect to still find fossils of it ? Clearly 
in the primitive words for relationship and sex, in 
the folklore of early agriculture ; in the folklore of 
distaff, of pitchfork, and of broom ; in the myths of 
primitive female deities ; in the customs of the medi- 
aeval spinning -room ; in peasant customs at marriage 
and birth ; in folk-festivals on high holidays, especially 
spring and harvest feasts, with their faint reflexes in 
children's games ; in peasant dances and songs ; in 
early religious ceremonies, whether adopted by primi- 
tive Christianity, or driven by it into dark corners as 
witchcraft ; in the sagas of primitive and titanic women, 
already in the heroic age fossils of an earlier period — such, 
for instance, as the stories of Clytemnestra and Medea, 
of Brunhilda and Gudrun. If there be any truth in 
our hypothesis, not only will fossils be found in these 
various places, but these fossils themselves will be 
strangely linked together, and by piecing and compar- 
ing them it will be possible to reconstruct a whole. 
We should expect to find related, if not identical, 
customs in the spinning-room of the Middle Ages and 
in peasant marriage ceremonies ; in the observances of 
witchcraft, and in the veneration of local saints in ; 
May Day celebrations, and in the licentious worship of 
Walpurg on the Brocken. 

In order to find examples of these linked fossils 
let us, in the first place, go back to some primitive 


phases of Germanic witchcraft, and mark in what 
manner it comes into contact with early Germanic 

We have, in the first place, to note how essentially 
the ideas of witchcraft and of witches are associated with 
women; and then to observe that the further we go 
back into the days of early Christianity and pre- 
Christianity, the less is the stigma which attaches to 
the witch. It must be remembered that it was only 
at the commencement of the fourteenth century that 
witchcraft was finally associated with heresy, and that 
these two imputations rolled into one became either 
a powerful instrument of oppression wielded by an all- 
powerful Church, or a deadly but often double-edged 
weapon of revenge in the hands of private individuals. 
Occasionally, indeed, they served the purpose of a cold- 
blooded political expediency. The name witch itself 
signifies the woman who knows, the wiseacre, and de- 
notes rather a good than a bad attribute. Indeed, we 
find the witches themselves termed honae dominae, the 
"good dames," and their gatherings the ludum honae 
societatis, " the sport of the good company." Even till 
quite late times we hear of white and black witches — 
that is, those who work good and bad magic. " Wise 
men and wise women," writes Cotta, "reputed a kind 
of good and honest harmles witches or wizards, who by 
good words, by hallowed herbes, and salves, and other 
superstitious ceremonies, promise to allay and calme 
divels, practises of other witches, and the forces of many 
diseases." The " white " or " blessing witch " revealed 
mischiefs and removed evils from the bodies of men and 


animals. The witch who, according to the Augsburg 
tradition, threw off her clothes, mounted a black horse 
and drove the Huns from before the town, or the witch 
of Beutelsbach, who led out a bull crowned with flowers 
in solemn procession to be buried alive, and so cured 
the cattle plague, must have possessed this friendly 
character. In such traditions the witch resumes her 
old position as the wise woman, the medicine woman, 
the leader of the people, the priestess accompanying the 
victim to the altar. Such a white witch or folk-leader 
was Joan of Arc. In her trial for sorcery we read that 
in the neighbourhood of Domfrein was an ancient oak 
dedicated to a fay — in other words, the sacrificial oak 
of an old mother-goddess — and by this oak a spring — 
the goddess's spring, which recurs so often in May Day 
ceremonies. At this oak by night the witches and evil 
spirits used to congregate, especially on Thursdays, and 
dance and sing round it, crowning the oak and spring 
with garlands of flowers and herbs. According to the 
extant accounts of the trial, Joan admitted that she 
knew of this oak and of the ceremonies attached to it. 
Looking back now, we are not inclined to doubt this ; 
we see in the oak and well only the sacred spot of 
an old mother-goddess, and in the ceremonies that went 
on just the fossils of an old worship — such as may still 
be found in hundreds of German villages — preserved as 
peasant customs. The point to be noted is that these 
customs are precisely those which are attributed to 
the midnight witch -gatherings. Witch -gatherings and 
peasant ceremonies are relics of ancient, social, and re- 
ligious rites which were not only considered at one time 


good, but the performance of which it would have been 
impious to neglect. 

We have accordingly to look upon the witch as 
essentially the degraded form of the old priestess, 
cunning in the knowledge of herbs and medicine, jealous 
of the rights of the goddess she serves, and preserving 
in spells and incantations such wisdom as early civilisa- 
tion possessed. She is the lineal descendant of the 
Vola or Sibyl who, in the Edda, is seated in the midst 
of the assembly of gods, and from whom Woden himself 
must inquire his fate. She is also the lineal descendant 
of the priestesses who, Strabo tells us, stood before the 
Cimbrian army and read auguries in the blood of their 
human sacrifices. The witch, like the priestess, is 
reputed to have power over the weather, nor is the 
reason far to seek. If we admit, as we must do, that 
women were the earliest agriculturists, then we under- 
stand how they must have observed the course of the 
seasons and the signs of the weather. Their weather-lore 
was like that of the peasant, who will often startle the 
town-bred stranger by a promise on the most glorious 
of mornings of bad weather towards night. The old 
Chaldean astronomers obtained the reputation of magi- 
cians, because they had learnt by experience the nine- 
teen years' cycle of moon and sun, and could predict 
eclipses. Plutarch tells us that Aganike, daughter of 
Hegetor of Thessaly, befooled the Thessalonian maidens 
by using her knowledge of coming eclipses " to draw 
the moon out of the sky." A weather- wisdom, a power 
of foreseeing coming changes, is what we have to attri- 
bute to the old priestesses and woman -agriculturists. 


It was a knowledge which appeared to the folk as 
magic, and its fossils are to be found in the power 
attributed to latter-day witches of producing thunder 
and hail at will. Learned in medicine, cunning in 
weather, leader of the folk in sacrifice, such appear to 
be the characteristics of the old priestess as fossilised in 
the attributes of the mediaeval witch. Let us pursue 
these ideas further into the ceremonies and symbols of 
early witchcraft. 

The equivalent for witch in modern German is 
Hexe, but in the oldest forms it appears as hagazusa, 
hagetisse (Swiss hagsch, and our English hag). The 
hagetisse can, I think, mean nothing else than the 
woman of the Hag, Hagen, or Gehag — that is, the fenced 
or staked enclosure. This might mean, and likely 
enough in later times was used for the grove or sacred 
Hain of the goddess, but in early times it far more 
probably referred to the fenced dwelling of a clan or 
group. ^ This fenced dwelling as home of the group was 
the seat of its deity, and the transition from the tribal 
mother to priestess, from fenced dwelling to sacred 
enclosure, is natural and direct. But the origin of 
witch in the woman of the Gehag is of considerable 
interest, for it suggests a male correlative in the 
Hagestaltj the Stalt, or male servant, fighter, domestic 
of the Gehag. The Hagestalt is the man who has not 
his own household, the member of the Gehag group. 
In the Eheinpfalz it means to-day the man without 
children, whether he be married or not. Later on it 
came to be used for the wifeless man, and ultimately in 

^ See Essay XI. for a further discussion of the whole subject of the Hag. 


Modern German Hagestolz is used for the confirmed old 
bachelor.^ Why should the man of the old Gehag have 
handed down his name to the confirmed bachelor of 
to-day ? The gradual changes in the significance of the 
word are easy to suggest, if we remember that in the 
mother-age descent was reckoned through the woman, 
the man was childless, or rather only related in a vague 
manner either to his sister's children or to all the 
children of the group. To the men of the patriarchal 
civilisation the Gehag man was nob only childless but 
wifeless ; the old group - marriage was for them no 
marriage at all, and the Hagestolz became the con- 
firmed bachelor. 

If we halt here for a minute, we see that the German 
name for witch is carrying us into a new phase of early 
civilisation, which we shall also find fossilised in witch- 
craft. Namely, to a group of men and women living 
in a palisaded dwelling, with a form of marriage totally 
difi'erent from what we call marriage to-day. It was a 
form of marriage which was a needful step in the 
growth of civilisation, and therefore moral in its day. 
But there is little wonder that the early Christian 
missionaries looked upon it as complete license ; that 
the hag or woodwoman, with her strange magical 
powers over weather and cattle and young children, 
with her mysterious ceremonies at ancient trees, springs, 
and on hilltops ; that the common meals, night dances, 
weird and occasionally horrible sacrifices to strange 
goddesses, that the group rites of marriage and views 

^ From the present standpoint it is noteworthy that in many parts of 
Germany the old local laws gave the property of the Hagestolz on his death, 
whether he made a will or not, or left blood relatives or not, to the state. 


on relationship, were all unholy, licentious, and diaboli- 
cal in the extreme. What the missionary could he 
repressed, the more as his church grew in strength ; 
what he could not repress he adopted or simply left 
unregarded. AUemania was Christianised by the indi- 
vidual missionary, and the mother - goddesses became 
local saints of the Catholic Church. Saxony was 
Christianised by the edge of the sword, and scarcely 
a single Saxon goddess has crept into the Roman 
calendar. What the missionary tried to repress became 
mediaeval witchcraft ; what he judiciously disregarded 
survives to this day in peasant weddings and in the 
folk -festivals at the great changes of season. The 
licentiousness of witchcraft is not then a merely re- 
pulsive feature of mediaeval superstition; it is to be 
looked upon as a fossil and degraded form of marriage 
characteristic of a totally different phase of civilisation 
from our own or from the patriarchal. It marks very 
clearly the good and bad features of the old mother- 

Let me try and carry you back for a moment to 
those days when early Christianity met the fragments 
of the old civilisation, already decaying. When women 
dancing at night round the sacred trees and wells, torch 
or candle in hand, when the common meal, the sacrifice, 
the choral song, had not been stamped as witchcraft, 
but were characteristic of the great religious fetes of the 
old worship and the matrimonial rites of the group. 
The missionary built his church near the old sacred 
spots, the priestesses of yore — the witches of the coming 
ages — did not cease their rites on that account. Choruses 


of maidens singing the winileod or choral love - song, 
and accompanied by groups of men, invaded the churches 
and prepared their common meals inside. A statute of 
St. Boniface, dated 803, forbids choruses of laymen and 
maidens to sing and feast in the churches. So early as 
600 St. Eligius forbids, on the festival of St. John (Mid- 
summer Day), dancing and capering, and carols and 
diabolical songs. While even in the ninth century 
Benedictus Levita must order that, " when the populace 
come to church, it shall only do there what belongs to 
the service of God. In very truth, these dances and 
capers, these disgraceful and lewd songs, must not be 
performed either in the churchyards or the houses of 
God, nor in any other place, because they remain from 
the custom of the heathens." Here in contact with early 
Christianity we have clearly the chief features of the 
primitive worship, or of later witchcraft with its 
prominent place for the priestesses or witches. The 
old faith has not yet been broken down, and its rites 
have not yet disappeared into the byways of peasant 
marriages, folk-festivals, and witchcraft. Shall we take 
one more glance at those maidens with their ivinileod 
or love - songs, their torchlight dances, and common 
meal ? Here is a fossil of three or four hundred years 
later date, which I found, to my great delight, in an 
old Friesian law-book. After the bridal feast — the relic 
of the old common group meal — the bride is to be 
brought to the bridegroom's house at night in the 
following manner : — 

That this free Friesian woman shall come into the 
house of the free Friesian man with sound of horns, with 
VOL. 11 C 


a company of neighbours, with burning brands and 

I am quite sure if St. Boniface had met by night such 
a procession he would have ascribed it to the old pagan 
worship, while toAlfons de Spina, or a mediseval inquisitor, 
it would have been an undoubted witch-gathering. 

But let us follow the remnants of these old gather- 
ings round the Christian churches a little further, just 
to convince ourselves that witchcraft and its observ- 
ances have their origin in old religious rites belonging 
to a totally different civilisation to our own. I select 
only one or two examples of these fossils. 

In Darmstadt near Hallerstadt the people were in the 
habit of dancing round the church during the sermon, 
till, according to tradition, they wore out the deep 
ditch which surrounds the church. 

In Scotland, before the Eeformation, we hear of ball 
being played in church. " A ball being brought in, 
the Dean began a chant suited to Easter Day, and then 
taking the ball in his left hand commenced a dance to 
the tune, others of the priests dancing round hand in 
hand. At intervals the ball was tossed by the Dean to 
each of the choristers, the organ playing music appro- 
priate to their various antics, until it was time to give 
over and retire to take refreshment." This ball-play,^ 
with dancing and song followed by refreshment, is 
singularly characteristic of the old heathen rites — the 
bride-ball and songs of the German maidens at Easter. 
Not only were public games at ball played at Easter 
and Whitsuntide, but ball-money was forced from wed- 

1 Compare the Magdalen in gaudio in Essay XII. 


ding parties at the church doors, so that the game is 
peculiarly associated with high festivals and marriage 
feasts. We may note, too, the decoration of the 
churches in Hesse on May Day, and the solemn pro- 
cession with the Maypole round the church. Eemark- 
able in the same respect is the " playing of the stag," 
to which reference occurs in a number of penitential 
books and homilies. Men on New Year's Day clothed 
themselves in the skin of a stag, with its horns upon 
their heads, and were accompanied by other men 
dressed in woman^s clothing. In this costume, with 
licentious songs and drinking, they proceeded to the 
doors of the churches, where they danced and sung 
with extraordinary antics. Tacitus, in his Germania, 
tells us of a priest clothed as a woman, and when men 
first usurped the office of priestess, there is little doubt 
that they clothed as women. Hence the men dressed as 
women who occur in so many Twelfth Day, May Day, 
and Midsummer Day celebrations, are, I think, fossils of 
the old priestesses, often occurring with fossils of the old 
sacrificial animal. The "playing of the stag" at the 
church doors seems to me, therefore, another relic of 
the old religious rites accompanied by choral dance and 
licentious song. 

Closely allied to these heathen ceremonies outside 
the Christian churches is the German peasant Kirch- 
weih or Kirmes, a festival supposed to be held in 
memory of the dedication of a church. But the whole 
festival is heathen in character. The Kirmes often 
lasts or lasted three to four days. Its chief feature was 
the dancing under the linden tree, or round a special 


pole or tree put up for the purpose. There was pro- 
longed feasting with a special Kirmes soup, Kirmes goose, 
and flat cakes ; there was drinking of a beer especially 
brewed doubly strong for the occasion. While Kirmes- 
freier and Kirmesliebe denote a lover and love which 
last only three days. Noteworthy is the custom in the 
Saxon Obererzgebirge of solemnly slaughtering a swine 
at Kirmes. In the same district musicians, accom- 
panied by a man in gay woman's clothing, called the 
Kirmesiveih, go about collecting food for a common 
feast. In Bavaria, as in Saxony, the main features of 
Kirmes are the same, only perhaps the ceremonies 
approach still more closely those of May Day. There 
is dancing round the linden tree or a pole, the choice 
of two maidens as queens of the fete, the wreaths of 
flowers, the burial of a sacrifice, in some cases the 
mock burial of a human being, and the free feast to 
which all are expected to freely give, and of which all 
may freely partake. Before leaving the subject of 
Kirmes, it should be noted that a swine or sow as 
emblem of fertility is frequently offered to the goddess 
of fertility. As examples may be cited the boar's head of 
Freya, the goddess of love, and the sow sacrificed to 
Ceres, representing the productivity of the earth. 

One word more before we leave the subject of the 
relation of the old religious rites to the churches. In 
the Dunninger Kapelle in Kottweil, and in various other 
chapels of the same district, offerings are made of 
brooms, w^ith in some cases the special hope of curing 
boils. This offering of the broom is noteworthy, as we 
shall see that it is especially the symbol of the female 


deities associated with witchcraft. We must turn now 
to the bearing of all these instances on witchcraft. 
What I think they have clearly brought out is the fact 
that the characteristic features of witch-gatherings, the 
common feast, the choral dance, the sacrifice under the 
sacred tree, the presiding spirit of woman, are all features 
of the old heathenism, as marked by cases in which that 
heathenism has not been repressed, but associated itself 
with Christian buildings or Christian ceremonies. 
Before we note the relation of the Walpurgisnacht 
orgies to May Day celebrations, it may be well to meet 
two objections which may be rising in the minds of 
some of my hearers. How, they may be questioning, 
can the choral dances of flower - decked maidens in 
honour of some mother-goddess be associated with the 
revels of hags and hideous old witches centring round 
the devil? How, they may further question, can the 
nightmare fantasies of the Middle Ages have any relation 
to facts having a real historical basis like the old heathen 
customs ? I will reply to the second of these questions 
first, by showing that the midnight gatherings were real 
even in the sixteenth century and not fantasy at all ; 
that they insensibly shaded off into the ordinary folk- 
assemblies such as those on the eve of May Day. Then 
I will endeavour to prove that the witches were in 
early times rather young and beautiful than old and 
haggard ; and lastly, that the witch ceremonials appear 
to have centred round a female deity, who may have 
been accompanied in some cases by her son, and that 
it was due to the influence of Christian demonology that 
this goddess was first converted into the devil's grand- 


mother or mother, and ultimately the chief functions of 
the witch's sabbath devolved upon her son, taken to be 
the devil himself. 

Perhaps some of the Swabian witch-trials provide us 
with the most valuable evidence in this matter. In 
Giinzburg the witches meet on the Howherg, the Bres- 
gau witches on the Kandel, a mountain in the Black 
Forest, and in particular at a stone called the Kandel- 
stein, probably a trace of an old altar. Here their most 
skilful piper was the bailiff of Mederwinden. In the 
Nagolder Wdldle the witches danced on a meadow, 
while in Oberstdorf they meet at the chapel of the 
fourteen Nothelfer, saints who assist women in child- 
birth. This chapel was called the witch's chapel, and 
evidently had been placed upon the site of an altar to 
an old mother-goddess. All these points are brought 
out in the protocols of actual witch -trials. But the 
Eottenburger witch -trials (1600) give us still further 
details. We learn from Anna Mauczin that the witch- 
gatherings were called Uochzeiten, and treated as a type 
of marriage feast; we learn from Anna Kegreifen the 
names of the actual people (including the priest's ser- 
vant) who came to the dances ; we find on the one 
hand disappointed or deserted wives and foolish village 
maidens, on the other village loafers and students from 
Tubingen, who joined in the midnight dances, and the 
feasting and drinking beneath the Nunenhaum, or by 
the well at the upper gate of Eottenburg. The trials 
bring out clearly enough who came to these witches' 
sabbaths ; how the usual piper was a well-known shep- 
herd, but on some occasions one was brought specially from 


Tubingen. Here I will cite a few questions from a con- 
fession. The supposed witch was asked if she had been 
at a witch-dance, and replied, " Yes, for she was there 
initiated as a witch." Who had taken her to it ? " The 
old shepherd's wife had fetched her, and they had gone 
with a broom." Did she mean that they had flown 
through the air on a broom ? " Certainly not ; they 
had walked to Etterle, and then placed themselves across 
the broom, and so come on to the dancing green." So 
they had not gone through the air ? " Certainly not ; 
that required an ointment, which ought only to be 
very rarely used." Who were on the dancing green? 
" Witches and their sweetheart-devils " [Buhlteufeln). 
Had she a sweetheart-devil ? " Yes ! the Sniveller." Did 
she not fear this devil ? " No, he was only a sweetheart- 
devil." Was there a difi'erence between a sweetheart- 
devil and other devils ? " Why, of course ! The sweet- 
heart-devil was no real devil, only a watch's sweetheart 
like the * Sniveller,' who was old Zimmerpeterle's son." 

Here we have a most remarkable confession, show- 
ing that the witch-gatherings were real meetings, that 
the women took with them the symbol of the old hearth 
or home goddess, the broom (or in some cases the fire- 
fork, Feuergahel), that the devils were real men of the 
neighbourhood. Further, that the broom was ridden like 
a hobby-horse on to the dancing green. This riding of 
broom or the pitchfork, or even the goat, should be 
taken in conjunction with the riding of the hobby- 
horse ^ or wooden goat round the village by the young 

1 This occurs in many places. Note particularly Grossgottern, in Thiiringen, 
where, at Whitsuntide in the forties of this century, men dressed as women 


men at peasant festivals in parts of Germany. Both 
seem closely connected with the worship of a female 
deity, whose symbols are those of the hearth and primi- 
tive agriculture. When we remember that the great 
witch dances to which students, and even doctors, of 
Tubingen used to go out were especially held on the eve 
of the first of May, how suggestive is the statement that 
*' people of quality in the old days used to go from 
London to dance in the villages of Essex on May Day ! " 
The close connection between Walpurgisnacht, the 
eve of the first of May, and May Day itself must ever be 
kept in view. On the latter day we have the May 
queen and her maidens decorating the tree or well of 
the mother-goddess ; on the former night we have a 
distorted image of the May-Day ceremonies, truer in 
some respects, all the same, to the old mother-age civil- 
isation. Links between the two will be found in sagas 
which make the witches beautiful maidens with flowing 
robes, dancing and feasting to the most entrancing 
music. Such sagas are not uncommon, particularly in 
Westphalia. But perhaps a closer link may be found in 
the custom of choosing maidens on Walpurgisnacht as 
sweethearts for the year. This occurs in the Lahn 
district, and is termed the Mailehn, or May-fee. The 
youths march out on this night with cracking of whips and 
with song. Then one of their number stands upon a hillock 
or stone, and calls out the names of maid and youth 
pair by pair, adding : " In this year to wed." Each pair 
must then keep together at all the dances of the year ; 

went about on hobby-horses collecting food for a common meal, and were termed 
Huren. In the evening there was a great drinking bout, feasting and dancing. 
In Beverley Minster on one of the misericords is depicted a man on a hobby-horse. 


the maiden places a wreath round the hat of her sweet- 
heart, and the evening ends in feasting and drinking. 
In other parts of Hesse the fee-calling takes place at 
Kirmes, and the couple only dance together for the 
Kirmes. Both periods remind us, however, of the 
Kirmes lover, or " three-day sweetheart " ; we are clearly 
dealing with a fossil of the old temporary sex-relation- 
ship. In Oberndorf, in Swabia, a like ceremony occurs 
at Midsummer Day, another great heathen and witch 
festival. This ceremony is called the Weiherdingete, 
or wife-hire, and consists in each man taking his wife 
to the village inn. The wife asks : '' Will you hire 
your old wife again for another year ? " The husband 
answers : " Yes, I'll try it again with my old wife." 
Feasting, singing, and drinking go on till midnight, 
and the wife, it should be noted, pays the score. 

A similar institution was the Handfasting in Esk- 
dalemuir at the annual fair, where the unmarried of 
both sexes selected partners for the space of one year. 
If they were satisfied with the marriage, they continued 
again after the year, but if not they separated. This 
old Scottish custom seems to have combined the May- 
fee and the wife-hire. All are most noteworthy, as 
indicating that the licentious extravagances of the 
witch - gatherings point back to a form of marriage 
totally different from that of the patriarchal system, 
and peculiar to an age when the status of woman in 
both social and religious matters was far freer than it 
could be after the advent of Christianity and the 
martial organisation which accompanied the age of 
the folk- wanderings. 


If, then, I have indicated that we must look upon 
the witch - gatherings as fossils of high festivals for 
dancing, feasting, and the choice of sweethearts by the 
younger folk, I have still to show that the devil as 
master of the ceremonies is a late importation. I can 
do this best by citing to you the legend of the Bensberg 
in the Herkenrath district. Here there is a spot in the 
forest termed the weichen Hahn, which appears to be 
a corruption of the wichen Hain, or sacred grove. At 
thi^ place, according to tradition, there are great witch- 
gatherings on May night and Midsummer night. Over 
these gatherings the devil and his grandmother preside. 
Three lads who once went as unobserved spectators 
were, according to the legend, astonished by the num- 
ber of witches present, and by a grandeur of which they 
had never dreamt. Upon a resplendent throne, the 
jewels of which lighted up the wood, sat the she-devil 
in youthful beauty, at her feet sat her grandson, the 
devil himself, and in a large half-ring round stood the 
witches, who kept flying in. Then the witches began 
a rhythmic movement with song and resonant music, 
ever bending towards the throne. The devil's grand- 
mother consecrated them with water from a golden 
vessel, using instead of the usual water -sprinkler a 
bunch of green ears of corn, which she carried in her 
right hand ; in her left hand she held a beautiful 
golden apple. All the witches appeared young ^ and 
active maidens of astonishing beauty, such as the 
observers had never before seen, and the music sung 
was sweeter than any they had ever heard. 

It is true that when the lads' presence was dis- 

^ Compare the young witch in Baldung Grien's cut, p. 30. 


covered all things became hideous and horrible, but 
the legend retains its significance all the same. The 
devil as a minor person seated at the feet of his grand- 
mother, who with corn ears and apple is obviously a 
goddess of the harvest like Ceres, worshipped by fair 
maidens with dance and song. I know no legend more 
striking than this in the manner in which it shows the 
origin of witch ceremonies in the old worship of a 
goddess of fertility by her woman devotees. But this 
same superiority of the devil's mother or grandmother 
over the devil is marked whenever we find traditions 
about them.^ She cajoles him and wheedles secrets out of 
him, and at Soest is said even for a time to have banished 
him to the Brocken in the Harzgebirge on account of 
his idleness. Not only in Westphalia, but right away 
down to the Danube, we find traces of the devil's 
mother as a person of great importance. She builds a 
palace on the Danube, she hunts with black dogs in the 
night through Swabia, and wherever the devil himself 
can achieve nothing there he sends his mother. 

The devil's dam, hunting with black dogs through 
the night, directly associates this goddess with a number 
of female deities who ride with their dogs and a wild 
following through the dark on Twelfth Night, May Day, 
Midsummer Eve, or at Yule-tide. Thus in Mecklenburg, 
Frau Gode, described as a weather-witch, hunts through 
the night, sometimes on a white horse, sometimes on a 
sleigh drawn by dogs. She eats human flesh, she brings 
the plague, and no spinning must be done on the nights 

^ The fact that we hear of the Teiifelsstiefhruder but never of his father i& 
also not without value as determining the mother-age character of the civilisation, 
from which this mother and son dual deity took its origin. 


when she is abroad. In Thliringen, Frau Holda or 
Holla rides with the wild hunt on Walpurgisnacht. 
She looks after spinning, and punishes in the most 
brutal and cruel fashion the idle as well as those who 
insult her. She, too, is accompanied by her dogs. In 
Hesse, Frau Holle yearly passes over the land, and gives 
it fruitfulness. She can be friendly and helpful to her 
worshippers. She has her dwelling in a mere or well, 
and she makes women who go and bathe therein healthy 
and fruitful. Only a century ago songs used to rise to 
Frau Holle as the women dressed the flax, and to her 
sacred hill peasants and their wives were wont to go at 
Whitsuntide with music and dancing. A scarcely less 
noteworthy figure is that of Berchta with her plough. She 
waters the meadows, and on Twelfth Night she goes her 
round to punish idle spinsters, often in the most brutal 
manner. In Swabia, on Twelfth Night, a broom is 
carried in her procession, or she is represented with a 
broom in one hand and fruit in the other. This list of 
goddesses might be largely extended did our time per- 
mit ; but it may serve, as it is, to show that the devil's 
mother is only a degraded form of a goddess of fertility 
and domestic activity. She is but one of those god- 
desses whose symbols are those of agriculture, the pitch- 
fork and the plough, or of domestic usefulness, the 
broom and the spindle. She is associated with symbols 
of fertility, the ears of corn, fruit, the swine, and the dog. 
Her well brings with its water fertility to the land and 
fruitfulness to women. Her worship is associated with 
cruelties, human sacrifices, which point to an early stage 
of civilisation, and with licentiousness scarce paralleled 


in the worship of any male deity. In her it is the 
activities of the woman and not the man which come 
into prominence ; the civilising work of woman in the 
home and on the fields ; she is type of the civilisation 
which is peculiarly woman's work. Eeplace the devil 
at witch-meetings by such a mother-goddess as Holle 
or Berchta, or reduce him at least to the menial office of 
cook, and there is not a single feature of witchcraft which 
is not replete with suggestion for the civilisation of the 
mother-age. The broom and the pitchfork no longer 
seem anomalies ; they are the symbols of the goddess, 
and as such are borne by her worshippers. As the blood 
of the lamb on the door-post hindered Jehovah from 
venting his anger upon his own worshippers, so the broom, 
which was actually carried by witches, if placed on the 
threshold, signified to the goddess that her worshippers 
were within. The symbol of the witch was originally 
the sign of the worshipper, the protection against the 
anger of the goddess, or of the priestess, her servant. 
How suggestive in this respect becomes all the folklore 
of brooms ! The solemn night gathering and night 
binding of brooms on New Year's Day; the dance of 
men and maids round the fire at Midsummer Eve, the 
men carrying burning brooms ; the crossed brooms 
before the doorways in the Obererzgebirge on Wal- 
purgisnacht as a protection against the witches ; ^ the 
besom by the cradle or at the door in Mecklenburg to 
protect the new-born child ; the cows and the stall pro- 
tected in the same district from witchcraft by an 

^ The broom was also an essential feature of a Gretna Green marriage, just as 
the Feuergabel or tongs characterise the gipsy wedding, — another link between mar- 
riage folklore and the worship of the tribal goddess at the great folk-festivals of sex. 


inverted broom or the presence of a goat, the favourite 
animal of the witch, and therefore presumably of her 
mistress, the goddess of fertility ; the riding of youth 
or maid on a broomstick to the pig-sty on New Year's 
Eve, when the answer of the swine determines the 
nature of the future bride or groom ; the burning of 
brooms on Walpurgisnacht in Thiiringen to frighten 
the witches ; the procession to the well at Saulgau, 
which was headed by a man bearing a broom, followed 
by one with a fork, and between them a third clothed 
in a sheepskin, and carrying a tree with apples and 
other eatables (termed the Adam's tree) ; the proces- 
sion of men wearing women's clothes, with brooms and 
fire-forks, on Fast-Nacht at Erlingen ; the brooms which 
the witches will not step over in Nassau, or which 
protect the cottage doors in the Pfalz against the 
entrance of witches ; the broom stuck in the dunghill 
in Schlesien to protect the homestead, or in the flax 
field to increase its fertility, or the brooms burnt on 
Midsummer Night with a wild dance, in the same 
district ; the besom which, laid on the bed, protects men 
against the cobbolds in North Germany, where we find 
again the same broomstick ride to the pig-sty, and the 
same burning of brooms at dances in the woods ; the 
old brooms which frighten away changelings ; and the 
worn-out brooms which are burnt in the fires on Mid- 
summer. Eve in the Pfalz. All these evidences of 
broom-worship show how universal was the respect for 
the mother-goddess and her servants the witch-priestesses 
throughout the length and breadth of Germany. 

Similar folklore as to the distaff*, the cooking ladle, 

Fig. 1. — pKEi'ARATiON FOR WiTCHEs' Sabbath. To foce p. 30. 

Young witch on goat and old witches brewing. Cat, cooking - ladle, fire -forks, and 
other symbols of the primitive Mother - Goddess. From a woodcut by Hans 
Baldung Grien, 


and the pitchfork might be cited, the noteworthy point 
being that these symbols occur in identical ways at 
witch ceremonies and at peasant weddings — in fact, at 
the old and the new marriage rites. At the witches' 
feast there is a great kettle, and the devil as cook 
dances with the cooking ladle ; boys dance with 
brooms and cooking ladles on Walpurgisnacht. On 
the other hand, there is a special dance of the cook 
with a ladle at peasant weddings in Mecklenburg and 
in other parts of Germany. In the confession of Geseke 
Hagenmeister, a sixteenth-century witch, she described 
the cooking at witch-meetings as being exactly like 
that at a wedding. Indeed, the correspondences are 
most striking and suggestive. It is a charge against 
witches that they dance back to back with the devils ; 
this is precisely the form of peasant wedding dance 
illustrated by Albrecht Diirer.^ The witches smear their 
feet to pass rapidly through the air. The Hochzeits- 
hitteTj or person who bids to the peasant weddings in 
Mecklenburg, asks the guests to smear their boots and 
shoes that they may come the quicker. The witches 
dance on hilltops ; in Uderstadt, in Thtiringen, on the 
second day of the marriage feast, the whole marriage 
company were bound by ancient custom to dance on 
the top of the Tafelsberg, a neighbouring hill, whither 
they proceeded in procession with music. The dancing 
round the bride-stake and the distaff at weddings are 
strangely akin to the dancing round the Maypole, about 
the sacred tree, or with the broom on May Day, Mid- 
summer Night, or at witch-gatherings. On Walpurgis- 

^ See also a 1600 Siegburger jug in tlie Berlin Gcwerhe Museum. 


nacht, in Westphalia, the young men go round with 
music and song to honour their brides and sweethearts ; 
elsewhere they plant May-trees before their sweethearts' 
doors ; witches and wilde Frauen — that is, the hags or 
women of the woods — come in Swabia to weddings and 
to births. What is this but a relic of the day when the 
priestess of the goddess of fertility came to marriages 
and births as of right ? In North Germany the witch 
has power over the new-born and the new-bought ; she 
comes to take the tithe for sacrifice to the goddess. 
In Swabia, and in the Pfalz.also, the midwife, according 
to the legends, is often a witch who baptizes the 
children in the devil's name, or again she lends women 
the Drutenstein or trud's stone to protect their babes 
against witches ; it is the hag or woman of the woods 
who knows and collects the herbs which relieve the 
labours of birth. Here we have the priestess of the old 
civilisation as medicine woman and midwife relieving 
human suffering, putting the symbol of her goddess 
on the cradle, but taking her tithe of human life for 
sacrifice to the goddess — to whom without question all 
children born on Walpurgisnacht belong (Pfalz) — and 
exercising strange and hostile influences over women in 
childbed who do not submit to the old religious rites. 
The old human sacrifice is a marked feature of the 
religion of which witchcraft is the fossil. Witches, we 
are told, kill and eat children, especially the unbaptized. 
They boil them down, as all early sacrificial feasts 
and nearly all savage meals appear to be boilings and 
not roastings. Eemarkable in this respect is the 
ofi"ering of wax figures of babies at shrines of the Virgin 


Mary as thank-offerings for easy birth. The Virgin 
Mary takes the place in innumerable ways of the old 
mother-goddess of fertility. But the human sacrifice 
to the goddess was not confined to children. In Heil- 
bronn we have the common feast, the common dance, 
and the burning of a scarecrow or guy as trace of 
sacrifice ; elsewhere in Swabia a female figure in the 
form of a witch is burnt, and her ashes scattered over 
the land to increase its fertility ; in Spain it is an old 
woman with a distaff in her hand, and it seems more 
than probable that the priestess herself was occasion- 
ally, perhaps as representative of the goddess, sacrificed 
by burning on the sacred hill or drowning in the sacred 
well. The goddess of fertility is killed in autumn, that 
she may arise rejuvenated in spring. This may possibly 
be the origin of Dido's self-immolation, and the popular 
legend of the sacrifice of the queen-priestess which is 
found in so many different localities. That male victims 
were also common is proved not only by the direct 
evidence of early historians but by many still extant 
folk-customs. These instances of witches as fossils of 
the priestesses of a goddess of fertility are not con- 
tradicted by the hostility which witches exhibit to 
marriage, or the fact that marriages on their great 
days, such as Twelfth Day and Walpurgis Day, are 
considered very unlucky. When we remember that 
the marriage of the civilisation, of which witches are 
fossils, was a group -marriage and not a monogamic 
marriage, we easily grasp why the old priestly caste 
would oppose the changes which led to the patriarchal 
system and the downfall of the old civilisation. Thus 



it comes about that the bride must propitiate the 
goddess or her servant. Newly -married couples in 
Esthonia, one of the Kussian Baltic provinces, carry an 
offering to the great water-mother in the shape of a 
goat ; in Bohemia and other parts of Austria the bride 
sacrifices a cock ; in England the bride had to anoint 
the threshold of the door, or smear the door-posts with 
swine's grease to avoid the *' mischievous fascinations of 
witches." This must be compared with the blood of a 
black dog which was smeared on the door-posts to pro- 
tect the house from witches, much as the blood of a 
lamb was smeared by the Jews at Passover. In Bran- 
denburg the bride carries salt and dill to prevent the 
witches injuring her. In North Germany salt and dill 
are also used to protect newly -built bridges against 
witches. This is the more noteworthy as Tacitus tells 
us that the German priestesses prepared salt, and 
witches are famed for brewing salt and collecting herbs. 
There is no doubt that the salt and the dill were 
symbols of a goddess, — types of the discoveries due to 
woman's work in the old mother-age civilisation, — and 
as such symbols they consecrated both bridge and bride 
to the goddess, and saved them from the anger of her 
priestesses, as the blood of the sheep saved from the 
anger of Jehovah. 

If my general theory be at all a correct one, we 
ought to find in witchcraft fossils of the old law of 
inheritance peculiar to the mother-age, and something 
akin to this we do find. In the Kheinthal we hear of 
uralte Hexensippe — families where from time imme- 
morial witchcraft has been handed down from mother 


to daughter. Then we have the widely-spread German 
proverb : Die Mutter eine Hexe, die Tochter auch eine 
Hexe^ or, " The mother a witch, the daughter one too." 
The charms, spells, and potions seem to have been 
handed down from mother to daughter in long line, 
and were only learnt by men from women as a special 
favour. Many are the legends of the witch who takes 
her husband or the farm-servant with her to a witch- 
gathering ; but it is always in a subordinate position, 
and the unfortunate man, not knowing the full ritual, 
produces a confusion, which ends, as a rule, disastrously 
for his skin. Another noteworthy fact is that in many 
parts of Germany any heirloom banishes witches or 
protects the person who carries it against them. Thus 
to stand within an inherited chain, or upon an inherited 
harrow, or with an inherited key or sieve, renders 
witchcraft powerless. It is difficult to look upon all 
these very diverse inherited things as symbols of the 
goddess which mark and protect her servants. I am 
inclined to think that they are really typical of the 
civilisation which first attained what we should term a 
law of inheritance, of a civilisation which was distin- 
guished from that of the old mother-age when pro- 
perty belonged to the group and passed through the 
women, by the custom of property passing from father 
to son. Thus the man took as symbol of his new civil- 
isation the heirloom, and used it as a sign to protect 
himself against the priestesses of the old faith. 

That the goddesses served by the witches were essen- 
tially goddesses of agriculture is demonstrated by the 
various ceremonies with regard to plants and herbs 


which take place on the great witch-nights. In Esthonia, 
where the Virgin Mary has taken the place of an old 
goddess of fertility, there is a ceremonial planting of 
cabbages by the women on the Feast of her Annuncia- 
tion shortly before Midsummer Day. In Brandenburg 
there is a ceremonial gathering of herbs on May Day. 
Once when I was ill in the Black Forest I had herb- 
tea brought to me by an old peasant woman, the herbs 
having been gathered on St. John's night. In Mecklen- 
burg herbs are gathered on Midsummer Night, which 
protect people against witches. In Thiiringen caterpillars 
are banished from the cabbage plot by a woman running 
naked round the field or garden before sunrise on the 
eve of the annual fair. In the Pfalz, flax will not 
thrive unless it is sown by the women, and it has to be 
done with strange ceremonies, including the scattering- 
over the field of the ashes of a fire made of wood 
consecrated during matins. As high as the maids jump 
over the fires on the hilltops on Midsummer Night, so 
high will the flax grow ; but we find also that as high 
as the bride springs from the table on her marriage 
night, so high will the flax grow in that year. Green 
cabbages gathered at Yule-tide or on Twelfth Night, 
and eaten by man and beast, protect them against 
witches ; in other words, those who eat it, like those 
who eat the paschal lamb, are performing a rite which 
protects them from the anger of the deity. 

Besides this relation to herbs and plants, the 
goddess shows her relation to fruitfulness in the 
matter of wells, springs, and ponds. At the Sive- 
ringer spring, near Vienna, crowds of people come on 



feast - days, especially on Midsummer Night ; many 
spend the night in the woods, and if a stone taken 
from the Agneswiese be laid in the water of the spring, 
and then under the pillow, prophetic dreams follow. 
The spring is supposed to be sacred to a fay, Agnes, 
who is friendly to mortals. Margretha Beutzins, tried 
for witchcraft in the sixteenth century, confessed that 
she and other witches fetched water out of a stream, 
boiled it with herbs in a large caldron over a fire, and 
bathed the devil therein. This bathing ceremony in a 
sacred stream at witch -gatherings or on Midsummer 
Night appears to be very general. In Thliringen, near 
Tieflfurt, is a sacred spring still called Weihhrunnen; 
this well is one of the wells from which children are 
brought, — that is, the well of a goddess of fertility — and 
there are legends about children being found there, who 
afterwards return to dance round the well. On the 
Virgin Mary's birthday — the festival of maids, as it 
was still called at the beginning of our century — the 
maidens in Thliringen used to rise before daybreak and 
bathe with the water of a sacred spring, which made 
them beautiful. In Hesse bathing in Frau Holle's 
pond, or in various sacred wells, makes barren women 
fruitful. Here we have the same notion of fertility due 
to the sacred water of the goddess ; but in later days 
she has been replaced by the Virgin Mary. In Halle is 
a well termed the FreucMerin well ; it is said to be so 
called from an old woman, who had a great knowledge of 
how to cure diseases, and we evidently have a trace of 
an old healing goddess. In Steisslingen, in Swabia, the 
wells are decorated on May Day ; there is dancing and a 


feast at night. May-Day baths are frequently mentioned 
in the old chronicles, as well as special Midsummer-Day 
baths. They seem to have frequently preceded the 
dancing round the sacred well. Near Burgeis is the 
Zerzerbrunnen, a well of three wild maidens. Alongside 
it there used to be an altar to which shepherds and 
huntsmen brought their firstlings. The altar is now 
replaced by a chapel. Such wells which legend attri- 
butes to a well-maiden, or three sisters, or wild maidens, 
are very frequent. Often the maidens come out from 
the well, and join in the peasant dances of the neigh- 
bourhood ; this occurs especially on St. John's night. 

The wilde Frauen thus associated with wells are not 
exactly witches, but, like witches, they come to weddings 
and births, and are accompanied by dogs. They are the 
three sisters to whom so many mediaeval charms and in- 
cantations are addressed, and to whom men go for counsel 
and aid. They are rather the legendary form of an old 
triune goddess of fertility than the degenerate form which 
her priestess has taken as a witch. They are goddesses 
of fertility, but also of disease and death, as well as of 
medicine and life. For pest and death are in early times 
represented as women, not as men. The healing goddess 
is related to the " great virgin " of Esslingen, who, we 
are told, outwitted all men, priests and laymen, even the 
most famous physicians, with her magic. That these 
spring or well goddesses had a side in dark contrast to 
their dancing, singing, and healing characteristics is 
clearly enough evidenced by the traces we have of human 
sacrifices to wells and springs, and of licentious gather- 
ings in their neighbourhood. As goddesses they are 



frequently represented in the legends as spinning ; they 
come to weddings and spin ; they punish idle spinsters, 
and their worship is closely connected with the distaff 
as symbol. Another phase of their worship is connected 
with the village spinning-room and the licentiousness 
which then and now surrounds that institution. But to 
enter into the folklore and practice of the spinning- room 
and its fossils in still more ill-famed resorts might in- 
deed throw much light on the mother-age, but it would 
lead us too far from our present subject of witchcraft. 

I have endeavoured to interpret various obscure 
witch-customs as fossils of an ancient woman civilisation, 
especially as fossils of its religious worship, reflecting 
as all religion the social habits and modes of thought of 
the society in which it originated. We shall see these 
phases of the old life still further emphasised if we note 
a few — a very few — of the ceremonies which occur in 
Germany on Walpurgisnacht, May Day or Midsummer 
Day — times especially associated with witches and the 
old feminine deities. In the Kussian Baltic provinces 
we find that there are festivals on the first of May with 
torch or candle processions comparable with the witch 
gatherings and the Friesian marriage ; that a May king 
is chosen, who does reverence to the May queen, ^ and 
that a free feast is given to the women and maidens. 
As usual, there is music and dancing in the even- 
ing exactly as at witch - dances. In Dantzig there 
is dancing on the Fayusherg, possibly the fairy's 
hill. In Denmark we find processions with choral 

^ The May - Day ceremonies here closely approach the Mylitta feast at 
Babylon ; see Essay XI. 


dances of maidens, communal feasting and drinking, 
while we have still extant songs made by pious folk 
to replace the old ribald May-Day songs/ In Esthonia, 
at midsummer, the maidens go to certain hilltops, and 
there, bedecked with flowers, dance and sing round fires. 
On Midsummer Night this often degenerated into a 
veritable bacchanal ; there were dances of nude women 
and a licentiousness such as we hear of at the witch- 
gatherings. The privilege of a similar license was 
claimed by women also at the great festival of spring, 
in which respect it may be noted that February in 
Mecklenburg is said to be the womaris months i.e. the 
month in which women rule. 

On the Konigstuhl, near Heidelberg, when I was 
a student there, the whole town was to be found on 
Walpurgisnacht. Groups of maidens and students 
went up singing through the woods, there was 
dancing at the top, and waiting to see the sun rise. 
At Whitsuntide, in the Obererzgebirge, there used 
to be dancing outdoors all night. In Mecklenburg, on 
Midsummer Night, a great caldron is carried round, 
in which eggs, butter, milk, are collected ; there 
are choral dances, especial antique dances, and a 
common meal lasting till late into the night. The 
special lighting of the Midsummer fires and the driving 
the herds through them to protect them from witch- 
craft, the Hahnenschlag , — trace of an old cock-sacrifice, 
— all which occur in the same district, are fossils of 
old religious rites. Noteworthy and suggestive is the 
appearance of the caldron — the witches' caldron — 

^ Even as the same folk have recently replaced the old bridal songs in Iceland ! 


at many folk -festivals. It is closely connected with 
the common and free meal of the ancient group. This 
common meal occurs in the marriage rites of a later 
age ; thus in Altenburg, at the time of a wedding, a 
waggon is sent round to collect provisions; there is music, 
and often dancing, even to the church ; and on the 
evening of the wedding there is a feast free to all upon 
the food collected, a general dancing, and in the old 
times there was great licentiousness. In the early days 
the food seems to have gone even into the church ; a fossil 
of this old custom is still preserved in the wine and cake 
handed round in some places at weddings inside the 
church. In Mecklenburg at weddings we have dancing 
out of the bridal house and down the village, also a pro- 
cession of maidens with candles exactly as in the Friesian 
wedding. This dancing down the public streets recurs 
in many places ; for example, in old days the Faddy 
dance on May Day in Cornwall in and out of the houses 
and down the village. In Rottweil we find dancing 
in the public streets and feasting on high festivals, 
and even at weddings, accompanied, as usual, by great 
license. In Thiiringen on Walpurgisnacht we have 
dancing round the linden tree, and on Midsummer Night 
a fire festival for maids and men. At Whitsuntide the 
men collect food for a common meal, and it is followed 
by a dance ; in return the maidens fetch the youths to 
a dance and give them a meal, paying for the music. 
This is termed the feast of the Brunnenfege, and seems 
to be a relic of an old well-worship. In Hesse we have a 
decoration of the wells on May Day, and choral dances 
of the maids on Midsummer Night ; in the very same 


district the witches meet on the former night for 
dancing, and there is a common meal under the 
Hexenlinde, or witches' linden tree. 

In Heilbronn, on Walpurgisnacht, there is a common 
meal and the burning of a scarecrow — relic of an old 
human sacrifice. This is said to be done to hinder the 
witches, but yet this very night, according to the folk- 
lore of the country round, they are most active and 
have most power. In North Germany the witches are 
said to dance away the snow from the Blocksberg on 
Walpurgisnacht ; in other words, they are friendly 
servants of a goddess of fruitfulness, whose influence 
over women agriculturists is well marked in the custom 
in Uker- and Mittel-mark of putting a scarecrow called 
Walpurg on the land of those maidens who have not 
completed their digging of the soil by May Day. 
Traces of the sacrifice of cats or horses on Walpurgis- 
nacht are very frequent, and a cat or dog is the usual 
companion of the primitive goddess or her priestess, the 
witch. The Scandinavian goddess Freya is drawn by 
cats, the alte Fricke goes with dogs, so does Fru Gode. 
The dog, the cat, and the three ears of corn are symbols 
of the Virgin Mary, but also of Walpurg, and the 
devil's grandmother as well, clearly indicating how many 
of the characteristics, and even the symbols of the 
old mother- goddesses, were passed on to the Virgin 
in early Christian times. ^ Nay, like Holle and Gode 
and Berchta, she became a goddess of spinning, which 

^ Folk-gatherings remained for many ages linked to the old heathen goddess 
festivals and their sacred spots. It is interesting from this standj)oint to notice 
that the place of gathering for the commons of Norwich was at the chapel of " the 
blessed Virgin in the Fields." 


was not allowed on her holy days. The picture of 
primitive woman taming the cat and the dog, domesti- 
cating the smaller animals, including the pig, the goat, 
and the goose, is brought clearly out in their becoming 
the companions and symbols of the primitive goddess ; 
just as the broom, the distaff, and the pitchfork, the ears 
of corn, and the apple, show her activity in the direc- 
tion of domestic economy and in the earliest forms of 

I cannot do better than conclude the witchcraft 
evidence of woman's primitive ascendency by referring 
to one out of the many local mother -goddesses who 
were converted into local saints by early Christianity. 
The one which I will consider is Walpurg, from whom 
the name of the great witch-gathering Walpurgisnacht 
takes its origin. According to the legend, Walpurg 
was a female missionary who accompanied St. Boniface 
and was canonised as a virgin saint of the Catholic 
Church. But let us see the real nature of Walpurg in 
folklore and local usage. Many wells or springs are 
associated with her name ; the waters of these wells 
heal diseases. Her bones, or the stone on which they 
were formerly exhibited, exuded oil, and this oil was 
sold or carried off by pilgrims in little bottles to cure 
toothache and relieve the pangs of childbirth. The 
exuding began on Walpurgisnacht, on which occasion 
her oil was also drunk as old ale. On May Day in 
1720 the priests from no less than forty parishes came 
to Attigny, one of the shrines of Walpurg, to share in 
the distribution of oil. Lutheran women who had 
been assisted in childbirth by the oil entered the 


Catholic Churcli. Walpurg is represented with an oil 
flask in her hand. In Bavaria there is an old chapel 
at Kaufering to Walpurg. At this chapel the folk 
say health offerings used to be made to idols in the 
old days, and in a neighbouring building the old 
plague cars were preserved. Walpurg is thus associ- 
ated with a being who once protected the people from 
disease. The dog is peculiarly sacred to Walpurg, and 
she cures the bite of mad dogs. Thus the dog, the token 
of fertility, is sacred to her as to Holle and Frick. She 
carries three ears of corn in her hand — the symbol of 
the goddess of agricultural fertility. On Walpurgistag 
there is a procession in the Frankenwald which opens 
with the Walher, a man clothed with straw ; there is a 
dance round the Walher tree — a symbolic driving out of 
winter and a heralding of spring. In Lower Austria 
the harvest days are especially consecrated to Walpurg. 
She then goes through all the fields and gardens with a 
spindle blessing them. Like the witches, she brings in 
spring, and by dancing makes the fields fertile. 

We have already noted that the great common meals 
of the Germans, with their accompanying worship of some 
goddess of fertility, were not abolished by the intro- 
duction of Christianity. In many places they were 
converted into a Kirmes or ecclesiastical feast. Such 
a common meal used to be held at Monheim in a church 
dedicated to Walpurg. Oxen and swine were carried 
for this purpose into the church itself. It will be 
obvious from the above and from the general character 
of the feastings and dancings on Walpurgisnacht that 
Walpurg could not have originally represented an 

Fig. 2. — Witch with Spindle, Distaff, and Goat, 

Symbols of the Primitive Mother-Goddess. 

After a copper engraving by Albrecht Diirer. 



ascetic virgin saint. She is the typical goddess of 
fruitfulness with a by no means ascetic cult. She is the 
presiding spirit of the old group-gatherings with their 
common meal, their clan discussions and elements of 
law-making, their agricultural ritual, their general wor- 
ship of fruitfulness and fertility, and their blessing 
of animals, of corn, and of the hearth and its industries. 
But the fruitfulness of animals and land is associated 
with the like in mankind, and the bathing in the sacred 
spring or the dew are only another side of the worship 
which culminated in the license of Walpurgisnacht. 
It is in this aspect that the Westphalian Walpurg at 
Antwerp appears as a Venus, a goddess of fertility to 
whom barren women offer wreaths of flowers. In this 
aspect of goddess of love and fertility she reappears near 
Eichstadt, while even in the Catholic calendar she has 
the patronate of the fruitfulness of the soil. 

It will be seen from the above brief account of Wal- 
purg that she corresponds exactly to the type of goddess 
we should expect to meet with in the ceremonials of 
witchcraft and in the revels of Walpurgisnacht, She is 
the old type of mother-goddess who, like a good many 
of her sisters, has received a slight coat of whitewash 
from the early Christians and reappeared as a Catholic 
virgin and saint. 

Walpurg brings before us clearly all the strong and 
weak points of that old- woman civilisation, fossils of which 
I have suggested are lurking half hidden in the folklore 
of witchcraft. It is a civilisation based rather on the 
useful arts of agriculture and domestic economy than of 
war and the chase. It is one in which the earliest rudi- 


ments of medicine, the domestication of the smaller 
animals, the cultivation of vegetables, and flax and corn, 
the use of the distafi", the spindle, the broom, the fire- 
rake, and the pitchfork are in no hesitating language — 
if we but know how to read it — claimed as the inven- 
tions and discoveries of woman. Those discoveries are 
the real basis of our civilisation to-day, and not only the 
basis but a good part of the superstructure. Some may 
be inclined to smile at the broom, the distaff", and the 
pitchfork, and compare them with the printing-press 
and the steam-engine, but the smile is the smile of the 
ignorant, and the comparison itself idle. For the one 
set could never have been without the other. Let us be 
quite sure that these origins of civilisation were not the 
discoveries of the man, who in his superior might made 
the women use them. The primitive savage knows 
nothing of agriculture, of spinning, of herbs, and of 
springs, but his wife does. It is not he but she who 
could have made them symbols of a female deity, and in 
the power of a superior knowledge have forced the worship 
of that deity upon the whole group or clan. If my 
audience ask me why and how it came about, I can only 
indicate now my belief that the fertility, resource, and 
inventive power of early woman arose from the harder 
struggle she had to make for the preservation of her 
child and herself in the battle of life. It was the 
struggle of tribe against tribe in actual warfare which 
quickened the intellect of the mau. But that I hold to 
be a later struggle ; the Jirst struggle was for food and 
for shelter against natural forces, and that was the contest 
from which the civilisation of woman arose. It carried 


mankind a long way — a way the length of which we 
are only just beginning to realise. But it could not 
carry mankind to that family organisation from which 
so much was afterwards to develop. It was based upon 
the mother as head of the group, and upon a form of 
group-marriage of which it is hard now to judge im- 
partially. If one of the worst abuses of the father-age 
be really only a degenerate form of the older group- 
marriage, and is not the pure outcome of male domina- 
tion — if there be a direct line of descent from the old 
licentious worship of the mother-goddess to the extra- 
vagances of witchcraft, to the spinning-room, and to the 
legalised vice of to-day — we have still to remember that 
the perpetuation by one civilisation of the weak points 
of an earlier one, and this possibly in an exaggerated 
form, is no reason for the condemnation of the earlier 
stage. The civilisation of woman handed down a mass of 
useful custom and knowledge ; it was for after genera- 
tions to accept that, and eradicate the rest. When I 
watch to-day the peasant woman of Southern Germany 
or of Norway toiling in the house or field, while the 
male looks on, then I do not think the one a down- 
trodden slave of the other. She appears to me the 
bearer of a civilisation to which he has not yet attained. 
She may be a fossil of the mother-age, but he is a fossil 
of a still lower stratum — barbarism pure and simple. 
When we have once fully recognised the real magnitude 
of what women achieved in the difficult task of civilisa- 
tion in these olden times, then we shall be the less apt 
to think her status unchangeable, to assume that she is 
hopelessly handicapped by her function of child-bearing, 



and that tlie hard work of the world must be left to 
men. If I wished to give a full picture of what woman 
accomplished for the first time in the world, and what 
she is in many parts still undertaking, it would be hard 
to do so better than by quoting the following words 
from the recent report of an American Consul in 
Germany : — 

American readers will hardly understand how it can be that the 
severest part of existence in this whole region falls to the lot of 
woman. But such is the fact. She is the servant and the burden- 
bearer. . . . The chief pursuits of women in this district (Sonne- 
berg) are not of a gentle or refining character. They perform by 
far the greater part of all the outdoor manual service. The plant- 
ing and the sowing, including the preparation of the soil, therefore, 
is done by them. I have seen many a woman in the last few weeks 
holding the plough, drawn by a pair of cows, and still more of them 
carrying manure into the fields in baskets strapped to their backs. 
They also do much of the haying, including the mowing and the 
pitching ; likewise the harvesting ; after which they thrash much 
of the grain with the old-fashioned hand flail. They accompany 
the coal carts through the city, and put the coal into the cellars 
while the male driver sits upon his seat. They carry on nearly all 
the dairy business, and draw the milk into town in a hand-cart, a 
woman and a dog usually constituting the team. 

Here we have a wonderfully suggestive fossil of 
woman in the mother-age — primitive woman, the first 
agriculturist, shouldering the pitchfork, the symbol of 
her deity, and accompanied by the creature of her 
goddess — her friend and helper, the dog. 



Nu bin ich erwachet und ist mir unbekaiit, 
Daz mil" hie vor was kiindic als min ander hant, 
Liut unde lant, da ich von kinde bin erzogen, 
Die sint mir fremde worden, reht' als ez si gelogen ; 
Die mine gespilen waren, die sint trage und alt : 

Mich griiezet maneger trage, der mich bekande e wol. 

Walther v. d. Vogelweide. 

AsHiEPATTLE, the dirty ash -lad, Hans ' der Dumm- 
ling/ a * Schneiderlein,' or the miller's boy/ sets out 
into the world to seek his luck. He is courteous and 
friendly to an old woman whom he meets in the forest, 
and who possesses magical powers. He travels through 
many kingdoms, and at last he comes to one where 
the king is in difficulties from dragons or giants, or 
in domestic trouble owing to his daughter declining 
matrimony until a wooer is found who can perform 
certain notable feats. Hans, with the aid of the afore- 
said old woman, either achieves prodigious victories, or 
accomplishes all the tasks proposed to him. He then 
demands his bride, and becomes ' der junge Konig,' or 
as the tale often winds up : 

^ The ugly idler Pervonto of II Pentamerone is the Italian, Askelad the 
Norwegian equivalent of the German Dummling and the English Ashiepattle, 


Da ward die Hochzeit gefeiert, und der Dummling erbte das 
Reich, und lebte lange Zeit vergniigt mit seiner Gemahlin. 

Now in the days of our childhood we read this 
theme varied in a hundred different ways, but always 
felt it quite natural and fitting that Hans should find 
his luck, marry his princess, and become heir to the 
kingdom. It did not strike us as peculiar that kings 
were as plentiful as blackberries ; we should have con- 
sidered it quite immoral for the kingdom to have gone 
to anybody but the king's daughter, and, being demo- 
crats as all children must be, we thought it most proper 
that the princess should only act as a conduit pipe to 
convey the kingdom to Hans — the brave, stout, kindly 
Hans, the son of the people. The land of Mdrchen had 
its own customs, its own laws of descent, its own pro- 
fusion of kings ; it was quite reasonable that it should 
be largely at the mercy of mysterious old w^omen, or 
subject to the whims of princesses. It was all intense 
reality to us, and such historic facts as the law of 
primogeniture, descent in the male line, the court ruled 
by soldier and priest, and not by princess and old 
woman, had never entered our field of view. Mdrchen- 
land was the real land of our childhood, and its customs 
and characters — the witch, the king's daughter, Hans, 
and the giant — became impressed upon us as the actuali- 
ties — well, if not of life immediately around us, still of 
another world only slightly removed in either space or 

And what became of Mdrchenland f It faded 
away before a world of grammar, history, and geo- 
graphy, a hundred times more idle and unreal than 


itself. How feeble, how futile it all seemed, when the 
needs of another generation brought us back to what had 
once been familiar as the other hand ; land wherein and 
folk amid whom we had been reared in childhood had 
become strange, " reht' als ez si gelogen," and our old 
comrades greeted us but coldly. Yet, as one read on 
to little nestling forms keenly intent on their land of 
reality, a new sense and a new life came into Mdrchen- 
land. It became a reality for the elder, too ; its 
customs and characters, if distorted and obscured, were 
again actualities ; they described, with perhaps tedious 
reiteration, great features of an early stage of our race's 
civilisation. Mdrchenland told the same tale as word- 
lore and folklore ; there had been an age when civilisa- 
tion was much more the work of women than of men, 
and when the social customs as to marriage and pro- 
perty were very different from those of to-day. It is 
to this aspect of Mdrchenland that I wish to turn in 
this essay. I shall be satisfied if it leads any of my 
readers to take up their Grimm again with an interest 
and delight akin to what I myself feel, and to what we 
all felt in those days of long ago, when the ideal was 
the real for us, and the real was a trivial and stupid 
world with which we had small occasion to fash 

Is Mdrchenland after all a place in which every- 
thing is turned topsy-turvy to the delight of children, 
or may not much of children's pleasure in it arise from 
an unconscious sympathy between the child and the 
thought and custom of the childhood of civilisation ? 
In the life and feeling of the child the mother and the 



woman play the largest part ; and so it is in the 
religious and social institutions of primitive man. To 
the child, singing and dancing are the natural expres- 
sions of the emotions ; in him mother- worship, animism, 
and food -cult are strongly developed. The animals, 
again, are to the child at once beings full of mysterious 
power, and yet equals and intimates in a degree never 
again approached during life. In all these respects the 
true parallels to the child are the men and women of 
early civilisation. I have never yet found a healthy 
normal child who felt difficulty about the talking of 
cats, the provision of hearty meals daintily laid by 
goats, or the advice and warning given by birds to 
friendly mortals. It takes all these things as seriously 
and as unhesitatingly as the Eoman took the cackling 
of his sacred geese, or primitive man takes the animal 
lore and totemism of his tribe. The psychologist, who 
will watch the reception of MdrcJien by children, will 
learn much of the manner in which MdrcJien have been 
developed among primitive men ; but he will learn 
something more : he will grasp how much of the 
customs and feelings of Mdrchenland are merely reflexes 
of a long past stage of social development — of the child- 
hood of human culture. Let us try and interpret some 
of the fundamental features of Mdrchenland, so real to 
the child, so unreal to his elder. 

In the first place, the great bulk of the population 
we have to deal with leads a country life. We may be 
taken into a village, but rarely, if ever, into a town. 
We have to deal with peasants and with hunters, with 
men and women of the fields and of the forests. We 


are introduced to goose-girls, to swineherds, to women 
who spend their time amid cows and goats, and men 
who chop wood and hunt. If the craftsman comes in, 
it is the craftsman of the village community, the black- 
smith, the tailor, or the miller. If we go into towns 
and palaces, it is the simpleton and country lad who 
takes us there ; we do not deal with ships and mer- 
chandise, but with agricultural produce and the trophies 
of the chase. Cathedrals and knights and men in 
armour are not of our company. If we want advice or 
sympathy we seek it not of priests or lawyers, of bailies 
or Amtmdn7ier ; we go to the animals, to a weise 
Fran or a Hexe. With the exception of kings, to be 
referred to later, the Schultheiss, or elected head of a 
peasant community, is almost the chief authority we 
come across. In short, the people who developed the 
Teutonic Mdrchen, as we know it in our Grimm, were 
not a town population, but one living by agriculture 
and hunting ; not a people of the mountains, the 
snows, and the lakes, but a people living rather in the 
clearings of the forest ; a people with a primitive agri- 
culture, chiefly conducted by women ; a people to 
whom the witch and wise woman, rather than the priest 
and knight, were the guides and instructors in life. 
The Mdrchen have been added to, developed, modified ; 
all sorts of later elements and personages have been 
grafted on to them, but, taken in the bulk, we see quite 
clearly that they are not the production of an age 
which knew Christianity and chivalry. They might 
have been evolved among the Germans whom Tacitus 
describes for us, but they could not be the product of 


mediaeval society with its knight, its monk, and its 
burgher. Here were people whose wells and streams, 
forests and hilltops, were sacred, not to Christian, but 
to very heathen beings, to spinning ladies, to little men, 
and magic-working old women. The people, in fact, 
who created the Mdrchen are the people who created 
the Weisthiimer, the folk of the Hag and the Mahal. 

Bearing in mind what other essays have to show 
us of the nature of the primitive kin -communities, we 
can with a considerable degree of certainty date the 
period from which many individual Mdrchen have 
sprung. In broad outline there are three chief periods 
to be considered : — 

(a) An endogamous period, in which relationship 
of the womb is the bond between the group, social and 
sexual. The continuity of the group is maintained by 
the women, and its property may in this sense be 
said to pass through them. The kin -group worship a 
goddess of fertility, who is served by her priestesses, 
the matrons, seeresses, and wise women of the group. 
A kin-alderman is selected in case of need. 

(b) A transition period, in which the kin-alderman, 
zupan or Kuning, has usurped chief power in the 
group. The property still passes through the women, 
but the king has taken possession of the women. 
The sex-custom of the group has become exogamous, 
but property does not descend from father to son. 
The man marries into the wife's group, and the way 
to obtain a ' kingdom ' is to kill the king and marry 
his queen, or more peacefully to marry his daughter. 
' Kings ' are as plentiful as blackberries, because 


every kin -alderman or clan-father has developed into 
one. Smaahonge are to be found in every valley, 
and to cross the belt of forest which separates one 
Genossenschaft from a second is to enter a new 

The mother-goddess is still of great influence, but 
her cult is being undermined ; and her priestess, the 
Hexe or witch, is coming to possess an ill more fre- 
quently than a good name. The power to dispose of 
the women, and of the inheritance which goes with 
them, is used by the king as a means of obtaining 
outside assistance in times of danger. Such internal 
troubles are almost invariably used by the Hexen 
to further their own ends, or to assist their own 

(c) A purely patriarchal period, in which descent 
through the male line has been finally established. The 
mother -goddess has become a mere legendary being 
who haunts wells or woods ; the Hexen and the old 
sex -festivals have obtained a very evil repute. We 
have reached a time in which sagas and hero-stories 
replace Mdrchen, and women are of small import in the 
management of the commune. 

If we wish to ascertain in which of these periods a 
Mdrchen has arisen, we can apply three tests, one or 
other of which will usually suffice : — 

(i.) What is the general weight given to the opinion 
and advice of women ? 

(ii. ) Is the Hexe friendly or hostile to men ? 

^ A king will often possess several kingdoms. Thus in Die vier kunstreidien 
Briider a king gives away four half- kingdoms, and presumably still retains some 
for himself and for his daughter. 


(iii.) Does the kingdom pass to the king's daughter 
or to a son ? 

The last test is practically identical with the follow- 
ing : Does the hero take his bride home with him, or 
go and live in her country or among her kin ? 

Many Mdrchen judged by these tests will be found 
to be compound, a later addition or expansion over- 
laying a more primitive story ; but generally the great 
bulk of Mdrchen will be found to belong to a matri- 
archal and not a patriarchal people, to a people rather 
in the transition stage (6), than in the stage (c) as de- 
scribed above. 

A few statistics may be of interest. Out of 200 
Mdrchen examined by these tests, 74 could be dis- 
tinguished by the third criterion. Of these 6 had a 
mixed law of descent. In no less than 48 the king- 
dom passed through the daughter, or the husband 
went to live with his bride. In 20 only did the king- 
dom descend to a prince, or a hero take his bride to his 
own home. In one case out of these twenty, the king- 
dom went to the youngest son ; in four cases the witch 
was purely malevolent ; in seven cases references occurred 
to church or priest ; and in eight cases there were no 
further data to guide one as to the period of origin. 
We may therefore, I think, conclude that the great 
bulk of Mdrchen date from an age in which pro- 
perty descended only to relations by the womb. Pleni- 
tude of kings and inheritance by daughters are not 
signs of the topsy-turvydom of Mdrchenland, but 
characteristics of the age from which it dates. Eead 
between the lines, the stories of Agamemnon and 


Odysseus, Grecian Smaakonge, point markedly to the 
end of such an age in another Aryan stock. The wooers 
of Clytemnestra or Penelope, if successful, will become 
lords and kings in the land ; the husband or son has to 
maintain his ' right ' by the sword. The tragedy 
springs from the replacement of the old right of the 
mother -age by a new right, in which the son shall 
claim through his father. The moral of one civilisation, 
nay, almost of one generation, is to became the im- 
moral of the next, and the old immorality the new 
morality ; therein lies the most fruitful source of human 
tragedies on both small and large scale. Hamlet and 
Orestes arose in a transition age, when the custom of 
inheritance was changing ; in an age when mother-right 
was becoming father -wrong, and a conflict of duties 
bred problems for which no established standard pro- 
vided a moral solution. In a much less impressive, 
if not less suggestive form, the Mdrchen raise the same 
problems ; and the Hexen, like the Furies, will be nearly 
always found fighting the battle of the old civilisation, 
acting as champions of mother-right. 

In order to illustrate this point, it will not be with- 
out service to briefly analyse the series of witches to be 
found in one collection of Mdrchen, Grimm's tales. 

If the view I have suggested be correct, we should 
expect to find the witch living the life of the old 
civilisation, that is, dwelling in some hut in a clearing 
in the forest, depending upon her own growth of 
vegetables or collection of fruit, surrounded by the 
smaller domesticated animals, the goat and the goose ; 
meanwhile she will watch the weather, give advice. 


brew poison, befriend and enchant/ as the case may be, 
or as she wishes to favour the old or oppose the new 
civilisation. Occasionally, instead of a hut in the forest, 
the witch has a well or spring. At first sight, it might 
appear as if the witch were thus confused with the 
spring goddess herself, but the discovery of more than 
one cave-dwelling or habitation down a well in Bavaria ^ 
is not without its weight in reckoning the probability 
of actual well-dwelling witches. We may note also Das 
hlaue Licht, where the witch hides her treasures in a 
subterranean chamber leading off a well. In the very 
first tale of our Grimm, the German Froschkonig, the 
Scottish Frog-Lover, we find that near the king's house 
is a vast, dense wood, and in the wood an old lime tree, 
at the foot of which is a spring or well. The witch 
associated with this spot is spoken of as evil, for she 
has enchanted a prince or king's son. Her hostility, 
however, to this particular king's son may possibly be 
accounted for by the fact that when he is disenchanted 
he carries his bride off to his own kingdom. He is one 
of the "modern" young men, with a patriarchal view 
of life, removed far indeed from that of the witch- 
priestess. Quite in keeping with this witch is the witch 
in Rapunzel. Frau Gothel is a great hand at the 
cultivation of vegetables, and her neighbour steals, as 
folk -custom justified him in doing, corn -salad for his 

^ It is conceivable, although of course it cannot be proven, that the primitive 
witch-priestesses had learnt the secret of hypnotising those who could be useful 
or were hostile to them. Many of the features of enchantment would thus 
become intelligible. For example, the evil eye of the witch, or a common method 
of overcoming her, namely, to go and do precisely what you need in her presence 
but without paying the least regard to her. 

2 See Panzer, Bayerische Gebrduche, Bd. ii. pp. 277, 302. 


pregnant wife. The enraged witch, who has found him 
in the act of stealing, is pacified when she hears the 
cause of his theft, but demands the child about to be 
born. " All shall be well with it, and I will tend it as 
a mother." Frau Gothel is not unkind to the child, 
until a king's son with patriarchal principles comes to 
steal her. " He took her to his kingdom, and they 
lived for long in happiness and contentment." Again 
we see the hostility of the witch associated with the 
new form of marriage — the Rauhehe. As a contrast to 
these two hostile witches, we may note the witch in 
Die Gdnsehirtin am Brunnen. Here we are certainly 
in a matriarchal community, for the kingdom goes to 
the king's daughters ; at least to the elder daughters, 
for the younger is driven out into the forest for a pre- 
sumed want of affection for her father. Here she 
becomes goose -girl to a 'steinaltes Mutterchen,' who 
lives with her herd of geese in a small hut on a forest - 
clearing. This old woman spends her time in collecting 
grass and wild fruit, and, like the modern Tyrolese 
peasant woman, is able to carry a greater burden than 
the passing stranger who offers his services. To such a 
stranger she may sternly teach a lesson, but she is at 
heart friendly to him as well as to the maiden. She is 
a typical representative of primitive womanhood, busy 
with the spinning-wheel and the besom, and knowing 
in forest-lore, and, when occasion requires, enchantment. 
She makes her hut into a palace for the princess, and 
to that, not to his own home, the hero takes his 
bride. Then the tale concludes with the suggestive 
words : — 


So viel ist gewiss, dass die Alte keine Hexe war, wie die Leute 
glaubten, sondern eine weise Frau, die es gut meinte. Wahrscheinlich 
ist sie es auch gewesen, die der Konigstochter schon bei der Geburt 
die Gabe verliehen hat Perlen zu weinen statt der Thranen. 

To a later age the notion of the witch as, at bottom, 
friendly and wise had become inconceivable. 

Other Mdrchen illustrating similar points may be 
noticed more briefly. In Die zwolf Briider the 
kingdom is to go, not to them, but to the thirteenth 
child, a daughter ; ^ and we may probably take as 
evidence of the declining strength of the old custom, 
the desire that these sons should be killed in order that 
they may not seize or share the inheritance. Here it is 
a friendly old woman who instructs the girl how to save 
her brothers from enchantment. The reference to the 
biblical Benjamin and the tag in which the girl goes 
away to the husband's house, appear to be later additions ; 
the latter being quite out of keeping with the commence- 
ment of the story in which the girl is to inherit the 
kingdom in preference to her brothers. In Hansel und 
Greihel the witch is evil, and has the cannibal instincts,^ 
which are not so much a sign of her wickedness as of the 
human sacrifices which were certainly associated with 
primitive matriarchal societies. In Das Rcithsel the 
witch is a poison - brewing hag, hostile to wandering 
kings' sons ; but yet a king's daughter, and presumably 

^ Cf. the Norse De tolv Vildcender. 

^ The age of human sacrifice will never be found very far removed from the 
age of cannibalism, for the primitive sacrifice was essentially a feast. There 
are traces of cannibalistic tendencies in such tales as Von, dem Machandelboom, 
Fundevogel, Sneewittchen, etc., besides the usual man-eating propensities of 
the giants. Traces of this primitive cannibalistic sacrifice have even remained 
in the ceremonial of the most developed religions of highly civilised peoples. 


her kingdom is to be won in good matriarchal style by 
a riddle -contest. In all these cases we have the little 
forest-clearing and the hut, which is the characteristic 
dwelling-place of the witch. In Fran Holle we meet a 
well-dwelling old woman, who controls the weather and 
represents rather the goddess herself than her servant. 
She is associated with loaves and apples, and is friendly 
to the good and kindly maiden. She punishes the rude 
and unkindly, just as the goddess -witch Frau Trude 
punishes disobedient children. 

In Die sechs Schwdne ^ we have the usual type of 
witch living in a hut in the forest-clearing. She is not 
exactly hostile to the king's son, but marries her daughter 
to him. This daughter, as we are so often told, had learnt 
from her mother the Hexenkunste. She is opposed by 
the 'wise woman,' who assists the step-children. The 
story is really from the transition period, for while the 
king takes his bride home, we find his mother (as in 
many other tales) the real person in authority there. 
In Sneewittchen, Der liehste Roland, and Die zwei 
Bruder the witches are all workers of ill ; but in the 
first the bridegroom says to the bride, " Komm mit mir 
in meines Vaters Schloss " ; in the second Eoland cries, 
" Nun will ich zu meinem Vater gehen, und die Hochzeit 
bestellen " ; and in the third the hostility of the witch 
appears to be especially directed against the hunter. In 

^ Die sechs Schwdne is one of a series of Mdrchen, like Die zw'olf Bruder^ 
Brilderchen und Schwesterchen, Jorinde und Joringel, etc., which points to the 
closeness of the feeling between brothers and sisters at the time when these 
Mdrchen originated. There was a strong kinship spirit, which, like that of the 
Norse Gudrun, often obscured the relation of man and wife. Indeed, we occa- 
sionally find what are apparently fossils of a kindred group-marriage in the 
sister tending the hut of a group of brothers. 


the first two the descent is through the male ; in the 
third the lucky hunter kills the dragon, marries the king's 
daughter, and becomes ipso facto ' der junge Konig.' 
The opposition of the primitive matriarchal civilisation 
(with its elementary agriculture and domestication of 
the smaller animals) to a hunting population, generally 
with different marriage customs, should be borne in mind, 
if the attitude of the witch is to be at all understood. 
The hunter pursues Eeh, Hirsch or Hirschkuh, probably 
animals sacred to some goddess,^ and, failing to overtake 
them, finds himself landed at some witch's hut in a 
forest-clearing. Here the proprietress receives him, as 
may be expected, with anything but a friendly greeting. 
(C£ Die Goldhinder and Die zwei Bruder.) Of the 
witch in Die Robe, who lives in the orthodox manner, in 
a hut in a forest-clearing, it is not easy to determine the 
character. She serves at first to test the strength of the 
man's will, but when he at last surmounts all the 
difficulties and wins the king's daughter, it is to her 
castle that he comes, and there that the Hochzeit is held. 
We have thus the matriarchal law of descent. 

In De drei Vilgelhens, the old magic-working fisher- 
woman; in DersUsse Brei, the magic -working 'alte Frau'; 
in Der Krautesel, the ' altes hassliches Miitterchen ' ; 
in Einduglein, Zweiduglein und Dreiduglein, the ' weise 
Frau,' who aids Zweiauglein ; in Die Nixe im Teich, 
the 'Alte mit weissen Haaren,' who overcomes the Nixe ; 
in Die wahre Braut, the ' alte Frau,' who performs 
miracles for the little maid ; in Spindel, Weber scliiffclien 

1 There are a considerable number of local saints — fossils of district-goddesses 
— who have the roe or stag as their attribute. 


und Nadel, the * Pathe,' who provides so handsomely 
for her godchild, — are all ' white ' witches, magic-work- 
ing old women, friendly to those who are respectful or 
kindly towards them. It will be seen at once from the 
cases cited that the ugly, mysterious old woman with 
magical powers is not necessarily hostile to mankind. 
Much that appears hostile is due either to our not 
appreciating the struggle between two civilisations, or 
to the real motive, sacrificial or social, of the witch's 
conduct having become obscured in the long course of 
tradition through minds charged with alien ideas. 

While the witch or priestess of the old civilisation is 
generally pictured for 'us as living alone in a hut within 
a forest-clearing,^ we not infrequently find the priestly 
united with the queenly ofiice. The queen is a witch ^ 
for example in Sneewittchen and Die sechs Diener ; in 
many cases the queen's daughter inherits her mother's 
powers,^ and a struggle ensues in magic between the two 
(e.g. De heiden KUnigeskinner, and practically in the 
Krautesel). Yet in others it is a king's daughter who, 
by aid of her knowledge of magic, defeats the witch who 
would prevent Hans from winning her and her kingdom 
{e.g. in Der Trommler),'^ or uses magic for her own ends, 
as in Die Gdnsemagd. We may, I think, conclude that 
the primitive notion of witch was not that of an ugly 

^ In much the same solitary manner as the medicine-men of the Indians in 
Sierra Madre. 

^ The Fuegians have a legend that their men once revolted against the 
women, because the latter had monopolised tribal authority and the secrets of 
witchcraft (Fison and Howitt, Kamilaroi and Kumai, p. 105). 

^ The inheritance of witchcraft by daughter from mother has been referred 
to in Essay IX. p. 8. As among the Germans, so among the Celts, magic power 
ran in the women of families (see Rhys, Hibhert Lectures, p. 199). 

■* Sometimes merely betAveen one Avoman and another, as in Fundevogel. 



old woman, a social outcast, who wrought only ill. But 
rather the idea was that of a wise woman, — a woman in 
not only spiritual but also temporal authority, — hostile 
indeed to a civilisation which brought customs of 
marriage and descent other than those upon which her 
influence and power were based. 

After, but only after, the sacerdotal comes the kingly 
element in the Mdrchen, presenting us with another side 
of the same old primitive civilisation, with its mother- 
right customs. In trying to appreciate the king of the 
Mdrchen, the reader must put on one side all modern 
impressions as to royalty, and return to the early 
Teutonic significance of the term. In the side valleys of 
Norway the wanderer may yet come across Gaards- 
mcend, who hold themselves somewhat aloof from their 
fellow -peasants, although to the eye of the observer 
their house and barns, their stock of cattle, and cluster of 
dependants are not more extensive than those of their 
neighbours. Questioned as to the cause of the indifferent, 
or even slightly contemptuous reception the stranger 
has met with, the neighbours will tell him with a smile 
that his hosts were Smaakonge, or descendants of the 
old petty kings of the valley. During a day's march, 
within even the same valley, merely by crossing an 
arm or two of the forest, several such Smaahonge might 
in olden time have been found, and they approached 
very closely to the Mdrchen conception of a king. Not 
a man set in royal dignity far above swineherds and 
goose-girls, but one who could associate with them, nay, 
who might have risen from their ranks by some valiant 
act, which won him a bride and the kingdom. Indeed 


the bride herself will not be above washing clothes or 
tending cattle, even if later ages, with other ideas of royal 
dignity, have added kingly robes and state chariots. 
What Homer has done for the petty kings of Greece > 
who in truth had neatherds for friends and the pig-sties 
against their front doors, that mediaeval tradition has 
done for the Smaakonge of the Mdrchen. It has given 
to them much of the royal trappings of a far more 
developed civilisation, and decked them in the barbaric 
splendour of oriental monarchs/ A kingdom of at most 
a few square miles, a wife who is not immeasurably 
raised above the spinning and cattle - tending occupa- 
tions of her handmaidens, these are what Hans sets out 
to win. 

The mediseval peasant in preserving the Mdrchen 
for us has not soiled the royal dignity by associating it 
with millers' lads and goose-girls, but, on the contrary, 
he has perverted the primitive simplicity of king and 
queen by adding to tradition some of his experience of 
the glories of Holy Koman emperors, dukes, and princes. 
In those tales wherein we find the splendour of the 
mediaeval courts, we may be fairly certain that the 
descent will be patriarchal, and that the bridal couple 
will go to church.^ But the primitive association of 

^ Even in this respect it is well to bear in mind the weight of silver and 
silver-gilt ornaments that the wealthy peasants of both sexes of such a district 
as, say, the Upper Saetersdal, will still carry on their persons, even into the 

^ Take the tale Der treue Johannes, with its account of ships and merchan- 
dise, of gold and silver and wrought metals, where we find the son inherits from 
the father and goes to church with his bride. In the later forms of Aschen- 
puttel — to be discussed more at length below — we find much royal grandeur, the 
king's son inherits and the bride goes to his home and to church. In Das 
Mddchen ohne HdndCy the descent is again patriarchal ; the king takes the bride 


the Mdrchen king with the Smaakonge is not unnoticed 
by tradition itself, for we read in De drei Vugelkens : — 

Et is wul dusent un meere Jaare hen, da woren hier in 
Lanne Inter kleine Kunige, da hed auck einer up den Keuterberge 
wiint. . . . 

Nay, even the thousand and more years since there 
were innumerable " little kings " — literally Smaakonge 
— living in the land, may not be such a very poor 
chronological approximation of the story - teller, if we 
bear in mind the variety of estimates which far greater 
scientific authorities have formed of the age of the 
earth ! Admitting for the present that the Mdrchen 
kings belong to the type which we find in both primitive 
Scandinavian and Greek tradition, let us examine what 
material the brothers Grimm have provided for an 
appreciation of the mode of life which they led. 

In the first place, let us collect evidence of the 
association of kings and queens with those following 
humble, especially agricultural, pursuits/ For the 
moment putting on one side the character of Hans who 
marries the king's daughter, let us consider the type of 
bride selected by kings' sons. In Die drei Spinnerin- 
nen the king's mother chooses a bride for her son, because 
she believes her untiring with the spinning-wheel. 

Ich hore nichts lieber als spinnen, und bin nicht vergniigter 
als wenn die Rader schnurren ; gebt mir eure Tochter mit ins 

home and angels appear. In K'&nig Drosselhart we have a new patch on an old 
tale, the marriage is patriarchal and performed by a priest ; so in Die scclis 
Diener, the prince takes his bride home and they go to church, etc. 

^ In Der Vogel Greif we note how valuable these little kings hold sheep, 
cows, and goats to be ; as among peasants a king's importance is measured by 
his herds. 


Schloss, ich habe Flachs genug, da soil sie spinnen so viel sie Lust 

Both the queen and the son hold that a poor but 
diligent maiden will make the most useful bride. In 
Rumjpelstilzcheyi we have a variation of the same theme, 
a poor miller's daughter becoming the king's bride on 
account of her supposed capacity for spinning. In 
Spindely Weherschiffchen und Nadel it is again the 
diligent spinning of the maiden which makes her, in the 
eyes of the king's son, at once the poorest and richest. 
But it is not only diligent spinsters who find, for 
economical reasons, favour in royal eyes, the bridal 
selection is frequently made, without any regard to rank 
in the modern sense, from all the maidens of the king- 
dom. In Die Huge Bauerntochter, which in itself 
portrays the close relations of king and peasants, the 
king marries the peasant's daughter for her wisdom. 
In De drei Vugelkens the king and his two chief 
counsellors marry, without any reason being considered 
apparently needful, three maidens herding their cows 
under the Keuterberg. In Die weisse und die schwarze 
Braut the king marries a peasant girl, the sister of one 
of his servants. In Das Waldhaus the prince's bride is 
the daughter of a woodman. In Die drei Federn the 
king's sons bring home " die erste beste Bauernweiber," — 
and so forth, for the cases can be easily multiplied, and 
the brides are drawn from the whole range of women 
following simple domestic and agricultural avocations, 
which in those days were as important to kings as 
to other folk. In the Norse Vesle Aase Gaasepige 
there is a king who has so many geese that he 


requires a goose-girl for them. The " Kongs0nnen fra 

Engeland " marries this goose-girl. In Tro og Utro we 

find the king looking after his Gaard or farm ; he comes 

out to shoot the hawk which attacks his poultry, and 

he is keenly interested in the produce of his orchard. 

In Per og Paal og Eshen Askelad, the Kongsgaard 

is described just like a farm. The king desires the 

removal of a hedge, and offers his daughter and half the 

kingdom to any one who will dig him a well with a 

supply of water all the year round, for "it is a shame 

that all his neighbours have such wells and he has not." 

That kings' daughters can be won by peasant lads and 

the sons of the people is, of course, the chief theme of 

the Mdrchen proper, and we may take as the typical 

illustration of it the king's daughter who, in Der 

arme MuUerhursch, comes down to the mill to carry 

off the miller's lad as her husband. Indeed, Askelad 

marries the king's daughter quite as frequently as 

Aschenputtel the king's son.^ Nor must it be thought 

that it is matrimony only that brings the low and high 

together. Princesses not only undertake menial offices, 

but find themselves quite at home in farmstead and 

household duties. In Die wahre Braut, as in the Norse 

Kari TrcestaJc, the king's daughter tends the cattle ; 

in Die Gdnsehirtin am Brunnen and Die Gdnsemagd, 

she acts as goose-girl ; in De heiden Kunigeshinner she 

seeks employment at the mill, and is at once noticed by 

^ Even among the Lapps, the princess is made to choose from the populace. 
Thus in The Silkweaver and her Husband we read : '* Once upon a time a poor 
lad wooed a princess and the girl wanted to marry him, but the Emperor was 
against the match. Nevertheless she took him at last, and they were wed 


the queen, who walks out that way. In Allerleirauh 
the princess seeks service in the kitchen, where she soon 
gives evidence of her art in cooking, and, like the rest of 
the establishment, is brought into close contact with the 
king. The corresponding male picture is to be found in 
Die seeks Diener, where the king's son can transform 
himself into a swineherd and knows his work. As 
in Der Eisenofen, we find millers' and swineherds' 
daughters at hand ready to obey the king's behests; 
as in Das Hirtenhiihlein, the king is prepared to adopt 
shepherd boys ; or, as in Die Gdnsemagd, he can 
appoint goose - boys their tasks ; or, as in Haahen 
Borkenskjaeg (the Norse Konig Broselhart), he super- 
intends the operations of the kitchen ; as in De wilde 
Mann, king's daughters are intimate with scullions and 
gardeners' lads, and may be punished for too great 
intimacy by being sent to work in the brew-house ; 
as in the Norse Askeladden, somjlk Prindsessen til at 
hgste sig, it seems quite natural to find the princess 
in the cow-stall. Nay, if further evidence be required 
of the simplicity of the life and surroundings of these 
primitive kings and queens, we can point to the 
manner in which, in Der Konig vom goldenen Berge 
and De heiden Kiinigeshinner, the royal women lice 
the heads of their consorts ! ^ 

If it be said that these simple and primitive sur- 
roundings of royalty are merely additions of the 
mediseval peasant to the Mdrchen drawn from his own 

^ In the Norse tale Fugl Bam the twelve princesses are employed in licing 
the heads of the trold, and in Soria Moria Slot the princess lices the head of 
her husband, while the closeness of royalty to lice is emphasised also in the 
Lapp tale of The King and the Louse. 


surroundings, and not features of tlie life of kings in a 
long past age, it is pertinent to ask why the peasant 
introduced so little else of the life of his own day. 
Emperors and kings, Mother Church, monks and high 
ecclesiastics, knights and lawyers, were all familiar, and 
too familiar, to the mediseval peasant, and quite as well 
calculated to impress his imagination. Yet how slight is 
the trace we find of them in genuine Mdrchen ! Why 
should the peasant have left out these familiar things 
and retained such unfamiliar features of the Mdrchen as 
tiny kingdoms, through several of which a day's journey 
would carry one,^ and such a strange law of inheritance * 
as that of the matriarchate ? There is little solution to 
be found for such problems, if we do not grant that the 
peasant simplicity of Mdrchen kings is as much an 
original characteristic of the civilisation to which they 
belong as the matriarchal law of descent itself 

To appreciate better the position of women in these 
little kingdoms, let us look a little more closely at some 
of the queens and some of the kings' daughters. We 
have already noted the position of influence taken by 
the witch, and pointed out how witchcraft is frequently 
associated with the women of the royal household, and 
its secrets handed down from mother to daughter." 

^ "Towards evening he came to another king's dwelling," is as frequent in 
Scandinavian as German tales. Cf. Bige Per Kraemmer with Das Wasser des 
Lehens. Or, " When he had gone a good hour he came to a king's house " ; cf. 
GrimsborTcen. We find precisely the same profusion of kings in the Lapp tales 
of The Luck-Bird and The Humane Man and the Angel. 

^ It is a general rule that the man, as in De heiden Kiinigeskinner or in 
Briiderchen und Schwesterchen, is no adept at magic, he must be aided by the 
woman. Only very rarely, as in Fitchers Vogel or Das singende springende 
LowenecJcerchen, do we find a wizard. The dwarfs are the only males with a 
recognised power of working magic. 


We may now notice other features of woman's power, in 
particular with regard to marriage and inheritance. 

The influence of the queen-mother over her son is 
always great, and often extends to the choice or 
displacement of his wife. Thus the queen chooses the 
son's bride in Die drei Spinnerinnen, De heiden 
Kunigeshinner (" Unnerdes hadde de Kiiniginne ene 
Frugge fur ehren Suhn socht"), and Der Trommler, 
This is, indeed, part of the essential primitive primacy 
of the queen in the kingdom. In Der Rduher und 
seine Sohne and Der Konig vom goldenen Berge we 
find kingdoms ruled by queens. The latter tale is of 
special significance, for the queen does not lose her 
kingdom by discarding her husband, but, on the con- 
trary, by marrying a second will obviously convey her 
kingdom to him.^ In Der arme MUllerhursch, Die 
Erhsenprohe, and Die zwolf Jdger, we find princesses 
apparently seized of their own kingdoms,^ and seeking 
husbands for themselves. In Das Mddchen ohne 
Hdnde and Die sechs Schwdne the king lives with 
his mother. In Der gute Handel, we see the king's 
daughter sitting by her father in the place of justice ; 
in Die weisse Schlange, Das Rdthsel, Der Konigssohn 
der sich vor nichts filrchtet, and Die sechs Diener, it is 
the princess herself who sets the task or propounds the 
riddle which is to win her and her kingdom. Now all 
this freedom and authority on the part of the woman — 
nay, the very existence of independent kingdom-con- 

^ One is again reminded of Clytemnestra. 

'^ Note the importance which attaches to the illness of princesses. Such ill- 
ness threatened the loss of the heiress apparent, e.g. in Bruder Lustig (twice) and 
Der Vogel Greif. 


veying queens — was unfamiliar to the mediaeval mind. 
The primitive Aryans, however, whether Teuton or 
Greek, knew of such a system. The winning of the 
bride by a task done for her mother, for her father, or for 
herself, which is so frequent a feature of the MdrcJien,^ 
is no idle invention of the mediaeval story-teller. It 
carries us back to a primitive form of civilisation 
common to Aryan, Hebrew, and Zulu. It is impossible 
to read De heiden Kilnigeskinner without being re- 
minded of Jacob's service for Eachel and Leah, and feel 
that in the primitive form of the story the king's son 
won not the youngest, but all three daughters. Nor 
can we fully appreciate the tasks set by the old queen 
and her daughter in Die sechs Diener to would-be 
husbands, without comparing it with customs like those 
of the Bechuanas, among whom the wooer ploughs so 
much ground and brings so many oxen for his mother- 
in-law. The Mdrchen, to be understood, must be treated 
as a quarry in which are to be found the fossils of an 
antique civilisation, or rather of several successive 
antique civilisations. 

In the Teutonic Mdrchen, however, the period of 
mother-right appears to be the stratum richest in fossils. 
The king is king, because he is the son of the queen, 
because he is the queen's husband,^ because he marries 
her daughter. His power comes to him because he is of, 
or belonging to, the queen or KoneJ The princess, as 
heiress apparent, is the keynote of the typical Mdrchen. 

^ Typical examples in Die drei SpracTien, Dot Erdmdnnekcn, and Der Vogel 

2 The Celtic term * ' wedding the kingdom " is a very apt illustration. 
^ See Essay XI. later. 


Take Die zwolf Brilder, for example : here if the thir- 
teenth child be a daughter, she will take the kingdom, if 
a son, the brothers need not go out into the world. ^ Or 
again, consider Die drei Schlangenhldtter. The princess 
conveys the kingdom under the, to us, unusual condition 
that, if she dies first, her husband shall be buried alive 
with her ; when she wearies of her husband, she offers 
marriage and her father's crown to the lover who has 
assisted her in killing her husband. The position of the 
king is precarious ; as in Der Konig vom goldenen 
Berge he has not only to win bride and kingdom by 
the exercise of his strength, but to maintain them by 
his strong arm. Most frequently he has not even any 
claim of blood or birth to cast a halo round his person. 
In this respect it will not be without interest to notice 
the character of the hero in the cases in Grimm's 
collection in which the princess and kingdom are won. 

Out of forty such cases we find the hero described 
seven times ^ as the son of poor parents, of a poor man, 
or of poor widow, etc., not including the cases in which 
three brothers of the lowly hero also obtain princesses 
as brides ; ^ in four cases the hero is a tailor,* in three 
a peasant's son,^ twice a hunter ; ^ once in each case, 

^ This appears to have been also the original theme of the Norse De tolv 
Vildcender, and of the story of Lycaon, who, notwithstanding that he had many 
sons, was succeeded, according to Pausanias, by the offspring of his only daughter 
Callisto, a most surprising circumstance to the narrator. 

'^ Die drei Schlangenhldtter, Der singende Knochen, Der Teufel mit den drei 
goldenen HcMren, Der Gevatter Tod, Der Ranzen, das Hutlein, und das Hornlein, 
Die vier kunstreichen Brilder, and Mdrchen von einem der auszog das Furchten zu 
lernen. ^ Die vier kunstreichen Brilder. 

^ Das tap/ere Schneiderlein, Die beiden Wanderer, Vom klugen Schneiderlein, 
and Der gldserne Sarg. 

^ Hans mein Igel, Der Vogel Greif, and Der starke Hans. 

^ Dot Erdmdnneken and Der gelernte Jdger. 


broombinder's son, miller's lad, gardener's boy, drummer, 
and merchant's son.^ Ascending in the scale, we find 
him four times a discharged soldier,^ once a servant in 
a king's household,^ once a count,^ once a king, and 
nine times a king's son/ On three occasions he is 
more especially described as a Duramling — once when he 
is a king's son,*^ once as the son of poor parents,"^ and 
once without further details.^ On one occasion only 
he is simply a ' man.' ^ It will thus be seen that only 
in about one-fourth of the cases is the king's daughter 
and her kingdom won by a man of royal or aristocratic 
blood. We are clearly in a world in which, between 
king on the one side and peasant and handicraftsman 
on the other, there are none of the intermediate ranks 
of mediaeval life. We miss almost completely the 
whole range of feudal nobility, civic authorities, and 
town patricians so characteristic of the Middle Ages. 
We see king's sons competing merely as equals with 
agriculturalists and simple craftsmen for brides and 
kingdoms. The right of the plebeian majority to 
compete for princesses is still more marked in the 

^ Die zwei Brlider, Der arme Mullerhursch, De wilde 3Iann, Der Trommler, 
and Der Konig vom, goldeTien Berge, respectively. 

^ Sechse Tcomtnen durch die ganze Welt, Des Teufels russiger Bruder, Das blazie 
Licht, and Die zertanzten Schuhe. It is important to note tliat the hero of Die 
BienenJconigin, who is the king's son described as a Dummling in Grimm, 
appears in the Hessian version of the tale as a soldier. 

^ Die weisse Schlange. 

* Die Gdnsehirtin am Brunnen. 

^ Das Edthsel, Dornroschen, Das Wasser des Lebens, De heiden Kiinigesk inner y 
Die BienenJconigin, Der K'&nigssohn der sich vor nichts filrchtet, Der Eisenofen, 
Die seeks Diener and Das Eselein. He is a king in Die zwolf Briider. 

^ Die Bienenkonigin. 

"^ Mdrclien von einem der auszog das FUrchten zu lernen. 

^ Die goldene Gans, 

* Die Babe 


Scandinavian tales, which in many respects have 
preserved a more primitive character than the German. 
Thus out of nineteen Norwegian tales in which the 
king's daughter and kingdom are won, it only goes 
twice to a king's son,^ but five times to the son of poor 
folk,^ twice to the son of farmer or peasant,^ once to a 
miller's lad,^ and once to a fisher-lad.^ On the re- 
maining eight occasions it goes to Askelad,^ while on 
the ninth occasion on which it goes to Ashelad, he is 
one of the king's sons already included in our list/ 
* Ashlad ' is the Norwegian equivalent for Dumm- 
ling, the insignificant member of a family, on whom 
the drudgery of the household is thrust,^ and it is of 
significance that kings' sons can also be Ashelad and 

If we go still farther north, to Lapland, we find 
kings' sons have entirely disappeared, and the plebeian 
character of kings is emphasised by peasant lads, poor 
boys, and scurvy -heads winning kings' daughters,^ and 
obtaining royal power. 

^ Fugl Dam, and Om Risen, som ikke havde noget Ejerte paa sig. 

^ Poor widow's son in Enkesonncn, Tro og Utro, and Det hlaa Baarulet ; poor 
folk's son in Lillckort and Herreinr. 

^ Grimsborken and Jomfruen paa Glasberget. 

^ Rige Per Kraemmer. ^ De tre Prindsesser i Hvidtenland. 

^ Om Askeladden som. stjal Troldets Sinlvaender, Sengeteppe og Guldharpe, 
Sp^crni7igen, Soria Moria Slot, De syv Folerne, Det har ingen Nod uned den, som 
alle Kvindfolk er forlibt i, Askeladden smnfik Prindsessen til at logste sig, Per og 
Paal og Esben Askelad, and Jomfruen paa Glasberget. 

"^ Om Risen, som ikke havde noget Ejerte paa sig. 

^ Not without a secondary reference to one Avho sits stirring up the ashes and 
gazing into them — a dreamer, 

^ Compare the Lapp tales, TJie Silkweaver and her Eusband, Alder-tree Boy, 
The Three Brothers, The Boy ami the Eare, The King and the Louse, etc. 
" Lousyhead " of the Lapp tales corresponds to Askeladden in the Norwegian tale 
of De syv Folerne, whose head an old woman offers to lice for him when lie sets 
about winning the princess. 


Nor does this general competition for kingdoms, in 
which the king's sons have no claim on their father's 
kingdom, escape the old story-tellers themselves. They 
find a reason for it, namely, in the fact that kings' sons 
can themselves go and win princesses and kingdoms. 
Thus in the Norse tale De syv Folerne, after Ashlad 
has herded the foals, and so redeemed the princes, 
and won the princess and half the kingdom, we 
read : — 

" You have got half the kingdom," said the king, 
" and the other half you shall have on my death ; for 
my sons can win land and kingdoms for themselves, now 
they are again princes." 

It will be seen at once that if the king's daughter 
carried by custom the future kingship, the king had in 
the gift of his daughter's hand a valuable property to 
dispose of By setting a high price upon it, demanding 
the fulfilment of some difficult task, he could more or 
less recoup himself for the loss of influence which 
followed on the appearance of ' the young king,' who 
not infrequently took half the kingdom. In the tales 
which bear the greatest marks of antiquity, it is the 
daughter herself who chooses her husband, or sets the 
task, or propounds the riddle, — sometimes in concert with 
her mother, — but in the later tales we see this power 
more and more usurped by the existing king — a first 
stage towards a patriarchal ownership of the women 
with a view to ownership of the property. Thus the 
task-setting by kings, such a curious feature of the fairy 
tale, receives its interpretation as a step in the economic 
evolution of primitive societies. We need no longer 


look upon it as one of the many weird inventions of 

It will not be without interest to note the phrase- 
ology in which the tales describe the passage of the 
kingdom to the successful wooer. Taking the German 
first, we find the following accounts given of the transfer 
of the kingdom to the hero — the lucky Hans. In Das 
Wasser des Lehens the hero gets the lady's whole 
kingdom, and becomes Herr des Konigreichs at once ; 
in Der Vogel Greif and Der Gevatter Tod we are 
merely told that, as a result of the marriage, Hans 
becomes king. In Das hlaue Licht, the soldier at once 
seizes the kingdom with his bride ; while in Hans mein 
Igel, Hans receives the kingdom from the old king. In 
three tales, namely, Mdrchen von einem der auszog das 
Furcliten zu lernen, Die drei ScJdangenhldtter, and 
Die zwei Briider, we notice that, as a result of marrying 
the princess, the plebeian husband is now entitled * the 
young king.' There are five Mdrchen in which we are 
expressly told that the husband of the king's daughter 
got the kingdom or the crown on the old king's death ; 
these are Die iveisse Schlange, Die Bienenhonigin, Des 
Teufels russiger Bruder, Der gelernte Jdger^ and Die 
zertanzten Schuhe. Lastly, in Das tapfere Schneider - 
lein we learn that the hero received the king's 
daughter to wife and one-half the kingdom as marriage 
portion [Ehesteuer) ; in Die vier kunstreichen Bruder 
that the king's daughter and half a kingdom were won ; 
and in Das Eselein that the half-kingdom at once, and 

1 This Mdrchen is of particular interest as it seems to mark, even in small 
things, the joint ownership of the king and the king's daughter. 


the whole on the old king's death, passed to the hero. 
We thus seem to see stages in the law of inheritance by 
marriage, e.g. the receipt of the kingdom at once with 
the bride, then the receipt of half the kingdom as 
marriage portion, and lastly, the title alone of ' young 
king ' follows the marriage, and the kingdom passes only 
to the young king on the old king's death. This right 
of the husband of the king's daughter to the kingdom 
at once, in the future, or in part at once, is well summed 
up in Die goldene Gans, where we are told : — 

Da ward die Hochzeit gefeiert, und der Dummling erhte das 

Sooner or later the bride conveys the kingdom, and 
this is the law of inheritance. But the king continues 
to hold the kingdom only so long as his wife lives, or if 
she be dead, until his daughter, the heiress apparent, 
conveys the kingdom or a part of it to the next young 

The law of inheritance which gives one -half the 
kingdom as marriage portion to the king's daughter, 
and presumably the other half on the old king's death, 
is practically universal in the Norse tales. Exceptions, 
like Herreper, occur, but in such cases we do not hear 
of the old king at all, the princess appears to have 
complete possession of the kingdom. Thus in the 
following thirteen tales : Om Askeladden som stjal 
Troldets S^lvaender, Sengeteppe og Guldharpe, Fugl 
Dam, Spurningen, Rige Per Kraemmer, Enkess0nnen, 
Lillekort, De syv Folerne, Grimshorken, Tro og Utro, 
Per og Paal og Eshen Askelad, Jomfruen paa Glas- 
herget, Askeladden som fik Prindsessen til at Ugste 


sig^ and Del liar ingen N^d med den, som alle Kvind- 
folk er forleht ^7 — we are distinctly told that the hero 
received one-half the kingdom with his bride. Still 
farther north in Lapland we find in such tales as Alder - 
tree Lad and The Boy and the Hare the same law of 

Many things in Mdrchen are, of course, inexplicable 
on any rationalistic grounds. Much of the faith in magic 
— though not all — is chiefly of value to the folklorist as 
enabling him to appreciate the intellectual development 
of the minds in which such beliefs were current. But 
the social customs illustrated in the Mdrchen have 
nothing to do with magic ; they are not the mere topsy- 
turvy invention of story-tellers seeking after nonsense, 
for had they been they would not have been so self- 
consistent, nor spread with such uniformity from Italy 
to Lapland. They represent the social customs of the 
age in which the Mdrchen took their origin, and in that 
age we may safely assert that the law of inheritance 
was mother-right, — descent through the woman — and 
that the habits of the people were not so far removed 
from that primitive type I have dealt with in the essays 
on " Woman as Witch" and " Group-Marriage." 

The reader may here possibly remark that he has noted 
in the Mdrchen nothing of the sex-festivals or kindred- 
marriages discussed in the above papers. The reason for 
this is, that few fossil customs which are intelligible to a 
later age, and clearly offensive to its moral ideas, will be 
preserved by the oral tradition which circulates round 

^ In this tale the other half of the kingdom is to follow on the death of the 
old king. 



hearth and home. We have to seek for fossils which 
have been preserved by their being superficially unrecog- 
nisable ; we can find only indirect evidence of what the old 
forms of marriage were like. Thus a trace of the old kindred 
group-marriage may, I think, be found in the frequency 
with which in the Mdrchen a group of brothers marries 
a group of sisters. Thus in Die Bienenkonigin three 
brothers wander out and marry the three daughters of 
a king ; ^ in Schneeweisschen und Rosenrotli two sisters 
marry two brothers ; and in De heiden Kunigeskinner 
we have distinct traces of the hero marrying all three 
king's daughters. In the more primitive Lapp tales 
we hear, as in The Tschuds and Russleleaf, of "two 
brothers who were married each to his sister " ; and, as 
in The Giant-hird, of the two lads who had one king's 
daughter between them to wife ; while, as in the German 
tales, the marriage of two or three brothers to two or 
three sisters is common, e.g. The Tschuds in Sundegjeld. 
A trace of the old sex-festival may further be found in 
the tale of Die zertanzten Schuhe. Here twelve kings' 
daughters slip out at night through a mysterious forest 
to a wonderful Schloss, and dance with twelve princes. 
The old choral character of the marriage feast is 
evidenced in Der liebste Roland, where we are told that 
it was a custom in the land that all the maidens should 
come and sing in honour of the bridal pair. In Das 
singende springende Loweneckerchen we hear of the 
marriage-lights, and the bridal procession being accom- 
panied by many torches. In Der Konig vom goldenen 

^ In the Norse Om Risen, som ikke havde noget Hjertepaa sig, no less than 
six brothers take as brides six sisters, king's daugliters ; see also Essay XI. below. 


Berg the bridal fiddles and pipes resound ; while in 
both Der Konigssohn der sich vor nichts Jurchtet and 
Der Trommler we see that the marriage festival was 
in the evening or at night. Lastly, the hostility which 
the witches ofi"er (as in Jorinde und Joringel) to chaste 
maidens is not without its suggestiveness, if the witch 
be the degraded form of the old priestess of the goddess 
of fertility, and the witches' Sabbath a relic of the old 
sex-festival. Such a goddess of fertility actually crops 
up in the appeal of Dat Mdhen von Brakel for a 
husband to St. Anne in the Hinnenborg Chapel. It 
will be seen that the marriage of the Mdrchen is more 
akin to that of the free Friesian woman, with its choral 
song and torches by night, than to the sober ceremony 
of the church. Indeed I can only recall seven tales in 
which any reference is made to a religious ceremony at 
marriage, and the majority of these are late, because 
they are marked by a patriarchal law of inheritance. 
Thus in Der treue Johannes^ Aschenputtel, Konig 
Drosselhart, De heiden Kilnigeskinner, and Die seeks 
Die7ier we are dealing with kings or kings' sons, who 
take their brides to church and afterwards to their own 
home or kingdom. The wife rides ofi" with her husband, 
and it is a Brautlauf oi the patriarchal period, not an 
ancient matriarchal Heileich with which we are dealing. 
The remaining two of the seven tales in which the 
church ceremony is referred to are those of Vom hlugen 
Schneiderlein and of Die tvahre Braut, and in these 
the husband does go to the wife's home. The mention 
of the church in the first may easily be a later addition, 
and the casual reference to the priest in the last line of 


the latter is not a primitive characteristic like the 
betrothal -kiss under the linden tree. Indeed, what 
business has a priest to be hanging about in the court- 
yard of a wonder-castle ? He is obviously an incon- 
gruity introduced in the course of tradition by a pious 
narrator, who thought that the consecration of the 
marriage would atone for the very heathen origin of 
the creature comforts the pair were about to enjoy. 

Yet the reader may object that, out of the five 
* patriarchal ' Mdrchen with church marriages to which 
we have referred, one at the least, namely Aschenputtel 
or Cinderella, is a typical fairy tale ; and that in this 
typical tale the prince obviously inherits his father's 
kingdom, takes his bride to church, and afterwards to 
his own home. Why, then, is mother-right any more 
than father-right to be considered peculiar to the period 
when fairy tales took their origin ? Why is Cinderella, 
with its general currency and many versions, to be put 
on one side for Hans seeks his Luck f To answer these 
questions, I must remind the reader that my thesis 
is not that all, but only that the majority of Mdrchen 
take their rise in matriarchal not in patriarchal times ; 
and, further, that more than one Mdrchen, which is now 
current in a patriarchal form, can be traced back to a 
version in which the distinctive features are matriarchal. 
This is peculiarly the case with Cinderella. 

In order to grasp this we must bear in mind how much 
stress ought to be laid on a comparative study of the Mdr- 
chen of different lands, and how often a difficulty which 
arises in the version current in one land or district may be 
elucidated by that of another. Thus, take the Teutonic 


giant, for example, he is very strong, he is stupid, he 
eats men, and he possesses the curious characteristic, 
although a male, of suckling infants/ When we go 
north into Lapland, and then turn into Eussia, we find 
the same strong, stupid, man-eating being, but the sex 
is now female, and the suckling no longer a matter of 
difficulty.^ In this case the change is from male to 
female, but in the case of Cinderella the change is from 
female to male. When we pass from Germany to Nor- 
way, Ash-lad replaces Cinder-girl, and the prince who 
conducts Cinderella to church, and rides off with her 
to his paternal home, is replaced by the princess who 
bestows her hand on Askelad, and thus gives him the 
right to the kingdom. In other words, Cinderella is 
only a late, and we must even say perverted, version of 
Hans seeks his Luck. The main features are the same 
in the two cases, but the sexes of the chief characters 
have changed, and with the sex patriarchal custom has 
been changed to mother-rio^ht. 

In the German we have Aschenputtel despised by 
her two sisters, and sitting at home among the cinders. 

^ In Der junge Riese the giant suckles a man, and in Die Babe lie has to go 
home to suckle his child. 

^ Compare the stupid man-eating giantess in Alder-tree Lad, the giant-wife 
in Family Strong, I war's mother, etc., with Jaga haha and other Russian giant 
heroines. Nor is it only in Lapland and Russia where the sex of the giant is 
predominantly female, we find a great number of old Norse words for giantess 
with no male equivalents, e.g. gfjgr, skessa, grydr, gifr, etc. These were Titanic 
women approaching to deities, and probably related to the tribal - mother, 
priestess, and goddess ideas to which we have referred in Essays IX. and XI. It 
is noteworthy that giants themselves, gigantes, denote nothing else than "the 
produced." In medifeval times they were invariably looked upon as the illicit 
produce of mortal Avomen by unknown fathers, e.g. due to eating forbidden 
herbs, or to the "sons of god." The terms giganta cyn of Beowulf and gigant- 
tndcg of Csedmon suggest at once the kin-produce of a tribal-mother from the 
old cannibal days of the mother-age. 


In the Norwegian ^ we have two elder brothers who 
thrust the menial work of the household upon Aske- 
lad, and scorn him as well. In the German all the 
maidens of the kingdom are summoned to a court 
ball, in order that the prince may choose a bride. 
"You, Cinderella!" say the sisters, "you, covered 
with dust and dirt, want to go to the ball, and yet 
you have no clothes ! " In the Norwegian the king's 
daughter, and, of course, half the kingdom, is set as a 
prize for any youth of the kingdom who can achieve a 
difficult task. Ashlad's brothers set out to try their 
luck, and Ashlad will go also. " You, too 1 " cry the 
brothers, " you are fit for nothing better than sitting at 
home and poking in the cinders." As in the case of 
Cinderella, Ashlad goes all the same without his brothers 
knowing about it. In the German it is the spirit of 
AscJienputteV s mother (as it is Cinderella's godmother) 
that helps her to win the prince, while her sisters are 
rejected. In the Northern version it is a legacy of 
AsheladJs father, a white witch he meets on the way, 
or the animals to whom he is kind, that help him to 
success, while his brothers fail. In the German Aschen- 
putteVs sisters return to find her seated in her rags 
among the ashes, and never suspect she has been at the 
ball, and this occurs on three occasions. On the last 
occasion she loses her shoe, which afterwards serves as 
a means of identifying her. In the Norwegian Askelad 
hastens back after the contest on each of the three days, 
throws off his fine clothes, and is found by his brothers 

^ The titles of nine Norwegian tales about Askelad are given in the sixth and 
seventh footnotes to p. 77. The first, fifth, seventh, and eighth are of most 
interest for our present purpose. 


sitting among the cinders. They tell him what has 
happened, how one finely-dressed youth has on the first 
two days nearly, and on the third day completely, 
achieved the task set. They never suspect Askelad of 
being this youth. " I should like to see him, too," says 
Askelad. In the German we have the attempt to find 
among the maidens of the kingdom the one whom the 
shoe will fit. All are examined, and none can wear 
the shoe. Finally, the king's son is told either by the 
sisters or by the father that there is one girl left, a 
dirty little miserable Cinderella, but she cannot possibly 
be the bride. The king's son insists upon seeing her, 
the shoe fits, and she becomes the royal bride. In the 
best Norwegian version {Jomfruen paa Glasberget) the 
task set is to ride up the glass-hill — possibly an ice- 
field — and receive a golden apple from the princess at 
the top. No one but Askelad can ride any way up. 
On the first day he rides up one-third of the way, and 
the princess rolls a golden apple down to him, which 
lodges in his shoe; on the second day no one but 
Askelad makes any progress, but he rides two-thirds 
of the way up, and a second golden apple is rolled down 
to him, and lodges again in his shoe ; on the third day 
he rides the whole way up, and takes the apple from 
the princess's lap. Then comes the search for the holder 
of the golden apples. No one is forthcoming. The king 
orders that " all who are in the land"^ shall come to 
the royal residence in order that the apples may be 

1 The examination of all the youths or of all the maidens of the 'king- 
dom ' at the king's dwelling, which occurs in German, Norse, and Lapp tales, 
is another good piece of indirect evidence as to the size of these primitive 


found. It is in vain. The two last youths to come 
are the brothers of AsJcelad, and the king demands of 
them if there are no other youths in the kingdom. 
" Oh yes, we have a brother, but he certainly has not 
got the golden apples ; he did not leave the cinder heap 
on any of the days." — " It is all the same," said the 
king, " if all the others have come up to the castle, he 
can come too." AsJcelad comes and shows the apples. 
He receives the king's daughter and half the kingdom 
as reward. The reference to the lodging of the apples 
in AsJcelad's shoe seems clearly to point to an earlier 
version, in which a search must have been made of all 
the shoes of the youths of the kingdom. The corre- 
spondence of Ashelad with Aschenputtel would then, if 
possible, have been still more complete. 

In the Lapp version {The Three Brothers) it is 
Rudhha, or scurvy-head, who, by fulfilling the last duties 
to his father, which his brothers neglect, receives the 
wonder-staff, and so is enabled to get fine clothes and 
a horse. The tale runs just like the Norse, except that 
the contest is now a jumping-match. The princess sits 
on a high stage, and the youth who can jump so high 
that the princess can press the signet -ring bearing her 
name on his forehead shall win her as bride. We have 
all the usual incidents of Euobba sitting at home among 
the ashes, and his brothers coming back and recounting 
the strange rider's prowess, Euobba's apparent ignorance, 
and the king's inspection of the foreheads of all the 
youths in his kingdom to find his daughter's name. The 
king, failing to find it, asks if there be no other lad in 
the kingdom, and Euobba's brothers reply, " Yes, we 


have a brother at home, but we don't like to name the 
fellow, for he does nothing else but sit in the ashes and 
pluck out his scurf ; and, besides that, he was not at the 
contests." Euobba is sent for, and the princess's name 
found impressed on his forehead. He reappears in his 
fine clothes, and the bridal feast lasts three full days. 

So far it will be seen the Northern version, with its 
Ash-lad in place of the Cinder-girl, is exactly parallel to 
the German, and is as widely spread. But the reader 
may ask : What reason, beyond the assumed older law 
of inheritance, beyond the disappearance of the ride to 
church with the prince, have we for asserting that Aske- 
lad is the original version of Cinderella ? Why, after 
all, may not the girl have been converted into a boy, 
as the story passed northwards ? The answer is fairly 
conclusive. While, in the nineteenth century, the 
Brothers Grimm could find a variety of versions of 
the Cinderella tale, yet all the references to this tale 
from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Germany 
itself point to an Ash-lad and not to a Cinder-girl. Thus 
Eollenhagen speaks of the wonderful tale of the " De- 
spised and pious Aschenpossel, and his proud and 
scornful brothers." More than one mediaeval preacher 
refers to the male Ashiepattle, and even Luther compares 
Abel and Cain to Aschenhrodel and his proud brother.^ 
Thus, in Germany itself, the matriarchal form of the 
tale is seen to be the older. Nor is this transfer of 
sex and detail, so that they fit better with patriarchal 
customs, confined only to Cinderella. Allerleirauh, 

^ For further references see Grimm, Kinder- und Haus-Mdrchen, Bd. iii. 
p. 38. Berlin, 1822. 


another patriarchal Mdrchen, in some respects akin to 
Aschenputtel, can also be traced back to versions in 
which a king's son lives as kitchen-lad under the stairs. 
Thus not only is Hans seeks his Luck the commonest 
type of Mdrchen, but even some of the most striking of 
the nursery tales which tell of the winning of princes by 
simple maids can be traced back to a matriarchal form. 
Cinderella, so far from being an argument against the 
theme of this essay, is seen on further investigation to 
strongly confirm it. Cinderella is only Hans in disguise, 
and the change of sex is merely the fashion in story- 
telling following the change in social institutions. 

If the views expressed in this essay be correct, then 
we need no longer feel the people and land of our child- 
hood strange and false. As we read fairy stories to our 
children, we may study history ourselves. No longer 
oppressed with the unreal and the baroque, we may see 
primitive human customs, and the life of primitive man 
and woman, cropping out in almost every sentence of 
the nursery tale. Written history tells us little of 
these things, they must be learnt, so to speak, from the 
mouths of babes. But there they are in the Mdrchen 
as invaluable fossils for those who will stoop to pick 
them up and study them. Back in the far past we can 
build up the life of our ancestry — the little kingdoms ^ 
the queen or her daughter as king-maker, the simple life 
of the royal household, and the humble candidate for the 
kingship, the priestess with her control of the weather, 
and her power over youth and maid. In the dimmest 
distance we see traces of the earlier kindred group- 
marriage, and in the nearer foreground the beginnings 


of that fight with patriarchal institutions which led the 
priestess to be branded by the new Christian civilisa- 
tion as the evil-working witch of the Middle Ages. All 
this and something more may be learnt by the elder, 
while little eyes sparkle and little cheeks grow warm 
over the success which attends kindly, simple Ashie- 
pattle in the search for his luck. 



Part I 


In tilings of this kind many points must be established before you can 
assign the true law of the thing in question, and it must be approached by a 
very circuitous road ; wherefore all the more I call for an attentive ear and 
mind. — Lucretius, Bk. vi. 

(1) In studying the natural history of the lower forms 
of life, we are at once impressed by the large part which 
the hunt for food on the one hand, and the gratifica- 
tion of the sex-instinct on the other, play in animal 
existence. The further we go back, also, in the natural 
history of man, the more dominant the same activities 
become ; in fact, the history of civilisation is largely a 
history of the origin and development of new activities 
serving to some extent to modify and limit the all- 
absorbing character of these primitive pursuits. But to 
trace this history of civilisation we require, in the first 
place, to have a knowledge of the stages through which 
the momentum of man's more primitive and animal 

^ Originally read as a paper in 1885, but now published for the first time. 


instincts have carried him, — we must investigate his 
history in the days of his barbarism, when brute- 
appetites ruled his unconscious development, and he 
established customs and contracted habits still faintly 
shadowed in the language, ceremonies, and institutions 
of to-day. The control of the primitive appetites of 
the individual in the interests of the group, wherever 
and however it arose, was the germ of the first stable 
society, the genesis of morality. Hence if the soundest 
ethical theory makes no attempt to explain what men in 
general ought to do or forbear from doing, but describes 
how experience in a long course of ages has developed, and 
tradition maintained, a code of right and wrong peculiar 
to each individual human society, then to clearly under- 
stand our moral position to-day we must investigate 
its origin in the far past, when the gregarious instinct 
moulded the brute appetites of individuals, and the 
first social customs and institutions were established. 
Fundamental among these primitive social institutions 
is the organisation of sex, — and if the morally desirable 
be treated, not supernaturally, but sanely, as the socially 
desirable, we still see in the genesis of morality some 
excuse for that narrow, but sadly prevalent, state of 
mind which identifies immorality with anti-social con- 
duct in sexual matters. If the origin of the maternal 
instinct can be described without the aid of super- 
natural terms, then the history of the appearance and 
survival of institutions and customs more and more 
fostering the gregarious instinct in man will suffice to 
show that naturalism is able to account for the develop- 
ment of morality by the extra-group struggle for exist- 


ence. We need not join in that despairing cry of, " We 
know nothing, let us believe all things." 

The frame of mind summed up in " reason starved, 
imagination drunk " is never profitable, least of all in 
social difficulties. Therein, as in a dynamical problem, 
an accurate knowledge of the initial conditions is 
essential to the discovery of a solution. The present 
essay attempts to describe some of those initial condi- 
tions as they concern the great problem of sex. It 
makes no attempt at solution ; it solely endeavours to 
remove certain misconceptions with regard to the pre- 
historic sex -relations among our Teutonic forefathers. 
But the reader who grasps that a thousand years is but 
a small period in the evolution of man, and yet realises 
how diverse were morality and customs in matters of 
sex in the period which this essay treats of, will hardly 
approach modern social problems with the notion that 
there is a rigid and unchangeable code of right and 
wrong. He will mark, in the first place, a continuous 
flux in all social institutions and moral standards ; but, 
in the next place, if he be a real historical student, 
he will appreciate the slowness of this steady secular 
change ; he will perceive how almost insensible it is in 
the lifetime of individuals, and although he may work 
for social reforms, he will refrain from constructing 
social Utopias. 

(2) The historian who wishes to reconstruct the 
prehistoric social relations of any civilised race has, like 
the naturalist, to build up the past from fossils. These 
fossils are, in the historian's case, embedded in language, 
in primitive customs, in folklore, in WeisthUmer, in 


peasant festivals, in children's jingles and dances, and 
to a lesser extent in the records of historians of other 
and more advanced nations, in primitive law, and in 
saint-legends and hero-sagas. Written history — or even 
pseudo-history, which for the sociologist is often more 
valuable — belongs to a comparatively late period of 
development, indeed to a type of tribal organisation 
which is characteristic of a patriarchal civilisation. 
We are compelled therefore to turn to fossils, if we 
wish to reconstruct the social habits of any earlier 
period. The difficulty of any such reconstruction does 
not, however, lie in the paucity of fossils, but rather 
in their superabundance ; above all, in the accurate 
determination of the particular stratum of social custom 
to which individual fossils belong. Personally, I have 
been impressed with the mass of material, and with the 
labour required to classify it, rather than disheartened 
by the faint traces which some writers appear to find 
of group-marriage and mother-age customs.^ No legend, 
no bit of folklore of India, Greece, Scandinavia, or 
Germany which comes to my notice seems without 
new meaning when examined from the standpoint of 
an early sex-relationship, which is not that usually 
assumed for the Aryan peoples. The great struggle for 
sex -supremacy, — the contest between patriarchal and 
matriarchal folks, — this, one of the chief factors of 
human history, receives infinite light from the struggle 
of patrician Eome with the Etruscan nations, and indeed 
with the whole East, from the survival of an obscure 

^ I hope later to publish essays dealing with the fossil evidence in folklore, 
hero-legend, primitive laws, and festivals, etc., the material for which has been 
already collected. 


tribe of Hebrews in that same East, and from the ulti- 
mate ejection of the more intensely matriarchal Celts 
from Eastern and Central Europe by the Teutonic races. 
Everywhere we have the survival of a more efficient 
civilisation, the triumph of a society in which the male 
was supreme, over one largely organised on a female 

We may fully admit the superiority of Eoman to 
Etruscan, of Hebrew to Philistine civilisation, and yet 
decline to draw any argument from it for the subjection 
of woman at the present day. To draw such an argu- 
ment would be as idle as to deduce the inferiority of 
man from the existence of an age in which customs and 
civilisation were chiefly the product of female ingenuity. 
We may fully admit the dark side of that mother-age, 
its human sacrifices, its periodic sexual license, its want 
of strong incentives to individual energy ; we may 
recognise these things, indeed, as the sources of its 
collapse before a more active social variation. But, at 
the same time, we must fully acknowledge the immense 
services which that early civilisation of woman has 
rendered to the human race. What those services are 
may, I think, be concisely summed up in an analogy, 
thrown out as a mere fancy, but which yet may indicate 
some unrecognised law of growth. 

It is a biological hypothesis, which, however whim- 
sical, has yet been fruitful of results, that the prenatal 
life of the individual, from the development of the ovum 
through all the fetal changes, represents with more or 
less exactness in microcosm the development of the 
species in macrocosm from some very simple ancestral 


form. The development of the child after birth seems 
to me to represent in a similar manner many features of 
the growth of primitive man from barbarism to civilisa- 
tion. Adopting the analogy, we may say that all that the 
child in microcosm learns from its mother, that humanity 
in macrocosm gained from the early civilisation of woman^ 
— from the mother-age. The elements of social conduct 
with regard to the family and its group of friends, — 
hardly with regard to the state — the round of household 
duties and domestic foresight, the beginnings of religious 
faith and the elements of human knowledge, above all, in 
a still earlier stage the use of language, — these the child 
acquires from its mother, and these mankind acquired 
largely — I will not say wholly — from a civilisation in 
which the female element was predominant. If our 
analogy be a true one, and if a mother-age preceding the 
father-age be admitted, then we should expect primitive 
language, above all the early words of relationship and 
sex, to throw much light on woman's civilisation. The 
object of this essay is to follow up this idea within the 
range of the Teutonic languages. 

The writer is far from unconscious of the hardi- 
hood of his enterprise. He is fully aware of the 
danger, and the outcry, which ever arises when the un- 
licensed poacher raids the preserves of the specialists. 
He is quite prepared to be told that not only is he a 
trespasser, but that he has committed diverse offences, 
against established laws. Some of these he may be 
prepared to admit ; the more readily if the professional 
philologist will recognise, in turn, the importance of folk- 
lore and primitive custom in the interpretation of words ;, 




for the philological is but one strand of the rope which 
the anthropologist twists from folklore, mythology, and 
hero -legend. If the philologist describes for us from 
language a state of society which receives no support 
from these other sources of knowledge, then we are, 
perhaps, justified in treating the present stage of his 
science with less respect than he claims for it. Above 
all, the time (1885) is an opportune one for a raid ; the 
bubble of the primitive Aryan leading a pastoral life in 
Asia has burst. We may look to Lithuania, or even to 
Scandinavia, with as much justification as to Asia for the 
home of the Aryan ; and it is hardly possible now to 
assert that the existence of a root in Teutonic dialects, 
which has no known equivalent in Sanskrit, is certainly 
a mark of late origin. It is impossible now to argue 
that the fundamental idea attached to such a root must 
be of a later growth than a primitive Aryan civilisation 
of a patriarchal type. 

Let us be quite clear as to the real issue involved, for 
it is a crucial one. If the interpretation of the names of 
relationship as given by the professional philologists be 
•correct, then there never was a mother-age ; or all its 
words of relationship were completely extinguished under 
a later patriarchal regime. It is not a question of change 
of use, but of the fundamental ideas connected with the 
roots of the words used for relationship. The change of 
use would be intelligible, every word has a long use- 
history. The extinction of every word marking such all- 
important relations as those of sex is one that the sane 
anthropologist will never admit ; and the sole alternative, 
if the philologists have really described the civilisation 


of the primitive Aryan, is to give up an epoch of woman's 

Now I fancy that the philologists, however much they 
may believe their conclusions to flow from the principles 
of their science, have really adopted their interpretations 
because they fitted in with an erroneous anthropological 
conception, widely current when philology was in its in- 
fancy, namely, that human civilisation arose with a fully 
developed patriarchal system. This idea, shared by the 
Grimms, and not a real science of language, has, I venture 
to think, been the keynote to the philologists' interpreta- 
tion of the Aryan words of relationship. They sought 
to confirm a social system they had adopted on ex- 
traneous grounds, and they evolved a delightful picture 
of a primitive Aryan family, coloured by their acquaint- 
ance with the Roman patria potestas and with the 
Hebrew feeders of flocks. A little further investigation 
might have shown them that Hebrew and Roman were 
not general types but exceptions amid the populations 
which surrounded them. 

In fact, philological interpretations appear to me to 
neglect a sound anthropological principle, which I will 
ask the reader of this essay to bear in mind throughout 
the perusal of it, namely : For the primitive human being 
the chief motives to action are the desire for food and the 
instinct of sex. Hence the meanings of the early words 
for relationship must he sought in the sex-functions of 
their hearers — the most primitive of all ideas — and 
not in their domestic or trihal occupations} 

^ It is instructive to note how very large a part of the specific cries of 
animals have relation to the same motives. 


(3) I will commence my subject by laying before the 
reader what may be termed the usual interpretation of 
the chief Aryan words of relationship, such an interpreta- 
tion as will be found in the writings of Jakob Grimm, 
Max Miiller, or more recently and completely in Deecke's 
work. Die deutscJien Verwandschaftsnamen. To the 
latter book I owe much help in the suggestion of Aryan 
roots, little or nothing in the matter of interpretation. 
My interpretation is principally based on the manner 
in which Old Saxon and Old High German words of 
relationship and their cognates are glossed in early manu- 
scripts. Collections of these glosses have been published 
by Graff and Schmeller. 

The patriarchate assumes a tribal father or family- 
head ruling a group of human beings, who are more or 
less completely subjected to his authority. The mission 
of woman in such a group is a household one, and the wife 
is often scarcely distinguishable from a cluster of maids 
and concubines, who assist her in her labours. The 
daughters of the household are entirely in the power of 
the father, who sells or gives them away at his pleasure. 
On the death of the father, either a new tribal father is 
chosen, who takes the full authority of the old, and in 
many cases his wives (possibly even if he be the son), or 
else the group breaks up into new family groups, each 
headed by a son, among whom the father's property is 
distributed. The women of the house do not inherit 
property, but are property, passing from the hands of 
the father into that of brother or husband. With this 
rough draft of the patriarchate before us, let us examine 
how the words of relationship have been interpreted, con- 


fining ourselves to the chief terms, and these principally 
in their Teutonic forms. 

Mann, man, simply denotes the thinker; Weih^ 
wife, the weaver ; Braut, bride, is supposed to be con- 
nected with a Sanskrit root h^rud, meaning to veil, and 
therefore conveying the same notion of subjection as 
Latin nuhere. The root hi, as in Heirath and Heim, 
denotes house, and marriage is the foundation of a 
new house or home. Vermdhlung marks the formal 
ceremony of marriage, so-called from its taking place 
before the old folk-assembly or Mahal. Vater, father, 
is the ruler, feeder, or protector. Mutter, mother, is the 
measuring or managing one, from a root ma, to prepare 
or construct. Tochter, daughter, is ultimately deduced 
from a root d'ug to milk, and signifies the milker. 
Bruder, brother, is the possessor, the protector, namely, 
of the Schwester or sister, who, according to Deecke, is 
the dependent one, the one who by nature and blood 
belongs to the brother. Thus Deecke makes the terms 
brother and sister correlatives from the very beginning. 
The sister is the ruled one, for whom the brother is the 
legal representative and has the Ndchstrecht. One 
more example of this method of interpretation, namely 
that of Wittwe, widow. This is derived from the 
Sanscrit vid'ava, the woman without a d'ava, which 
appears in late Sanscrit for man, and has been connected 
with a root meaning sacrifice. Thus the widow is the 
woman who has no one to sacrifice for her — to perform 
sacrifices for the household being assumed to be the duty 
of the husband. We may stop here to remark that the 
word widow has cognates in all Aryan tongues, but 


dJava, either as a man or a sacrificer, appears in no 
recognisable Teutonic form ; while, according to the evi- 
dence of Koman historians, not only the seers, but the 
sacrificers among the early Teutons were women. ^ It 
is clear, I think, that the above interpretations, which 
might easily be largely multiplied, have been invented 
with the patriarchate in view, and are not solely the 
outcome of purely philological investigations. 

In addition to the above words I might cite a whole 
series like veddjan, wed, a widely - spread root in 
Scandinavian dialects, denoting to yoke, or bind, and 
so to marry ; Ehe, a legal or binding contract, and so a 
marriage ; kaufen, to buy, i.e. to buy a wife, and so to 
marry. These and many other such words undoubtedly 
do point to a patriarchal regime, but they are of very 
late origin, and we can almost mark their first use as 
words of sex. 

Nothing to my mind is more suggestive of the danger 
of specialism in anthropology than such a philological 
scheme as may be found in the concluding pages of 
Deecke's book. A complete patriarchal family system 
is worked out for the primitive Aryans on the basis of 
such interpretation of the terms of relationship as those 
I have just indicated. We find an elaborate code of 
duties for parents and children, for uncles, aunts, and 
brothers-in-law, developed from the supposed roots of 
their names. Did space permit me to quote the whole 
of it, my readers would, I think, wonder with me how 
complex society had grown, and how multifarious 

1 It is worth noting that there is much anthropological evidence to show that 
most early sacrifices were made by women and not by men. 


the rights and duties of its members had become, 
before it occurred to any one to give those members 

(4) Let us now turn to the matriarchal system of 
primitive life, and, after sketching its broad outlines, 
inquire what evidence there is for supposing the words 
of relationship and sex to have taken their origin in such 
a stage of social growth, rather than in the patriarchal. 
It is in a period of kindred group -marriage that I find 
myself forced to seek for an explanation of these words. 
It must be remembered that what we briefly speak of as 
the mother-age covers several successive phases of civilisa- 
tion, and of such phases those of group -marriage are 
among the earliest. Without dogmatising, I may suggest 
tentatively that the lair or den originally provided by the 
mother for child-bearing and rearing, developed in comfort 
to such an extent that the sons preferred staying by the 
mother and taking part in the elementary agriculture of 
the women to hunting on their own account. This led 
to complete promiscuity, or at least seasonal pairing, 
being succeeded by normal conditions, first of brother- 
sister and afterwards of kindred group -marriage. Be the 
source of these conditions, however, what they may, the 
earliest mythologies and folk-customs distinctly point to 
the first permanent relations of sex being those between 
kindred ; and this view is confirmed also by the Teutonic 
words of relationship. The most primitive theogony 
is that of Mother Earth and her Son. 

The latter is usually depicted as an agriculturist, 
and not infrequently as killing or emasculating his 
father, who, if he can be identified, is of the wild. 


barbaric, hunting or giant-type.^ Nearly as old is the 
mythology which supplements the mother-goddess by a 
brother as spouse. Much later than either comes as 
deity a patriarchal All-father ruling a kindred group. I 
cannot now enter upon the causes which led to the 
termination of the brother-sister sexual relation, but 
there is considerable evidence to show that there was a 
differentiation first of the elder sister, and that the social 
prohibition was only gradually extended to the younger. 
As the social unit enlarged, we find a group of men, 
brothers or cousins in blood, having sexual relations 
with a like group of women, who may or may not be 
blood relations of the men. This is the system I would 
refer to as that of kindred group-marriage. Evidences 
of its existence are still to be found in several Australian 
races. In these cases the men of one tribe have wives 
from the women of a second, or in some cases they are 
co-husbands of all the women of a second. Yet although 
this group-marriage is exogamous, at certain great tribal 
festivals the men and women of the same tribe indulge 
promiscuously in what at another period would be pro- 
hibited intercourse. This interesting fossil of the tran- 
sition of group -marriage from the endogamous to 
exogamous type is of special value, for it illustrates a 
common feature of kindred group-marriage — the custom 
of periodical gatherings which are at the same time sex- 
festivals. These meetings for the purpose of reproduction 
are singularly characteristic of group-marriage, and would 
seem to indicate that in the distant past the sex-instinct 

^ The fact that the son in both Celtic and Norse mythology is represented as 
breaking the ground with a slotu hammer or axe is suggestive of the period of 
such mother-son theogonies. 


among liuman beings was either periodic or periodically- 
exercised. Such festivals would naturally result in a 
majority of births occurring at a stated period of the 
year, and there is some evidence to corroborate this/ 
However this may be, the great sex -festivals of the 
stage of civilisation to which I am referring must be 
kept carefully in mind. In different parts of Teutonic 
Europe these festivals were at different dates, and 
probably depended to a great extent on the early or late 
arrival of spring ; their general features remain, indeed, 
markedly alike, whether they take place in April or 

There is always a common meal, followed by a 
sacrifice, occasionally with traces of human victims, to 
the goddess of fertility ; then the group transact their 
judicial business, if so it may be called — the kin-talk 
— whence ultimately arose the principles of the maege- 
lagu. Then came dancing, always of a choral nature 
and principally the function of the women ; finally, the 
night falls on a scene of license. The meeting-place 
for the festival is either a hilltop, a sacred tree, or 

^ It might throw some light indeed on the reason why all the males of the 
Irish Ultonian tribe underwent their couvade at the same time. 

^ Such sex-festivals are almost universal. Robertson Smith (Kinship and 
Ilarricige in Early Arabia, p. 294) gives an account of Arabian sex-festivals to a 
mother-son deity, with much evidence of polyandrous customs. Schiltberger 
in his Heisebuch of 1484 tells us that in ''Chonig Soldan's" land sexual freedom 
was allowed to the women on Friday, Avhich was their feast-day ; and neither 
husband nor any one else could hinder them " wann es also gewonhaitt ist." In 
the Middle Ages we find many fossils of these sex-feasts in semi-heathen festivals. 
Thus it was not till 1524 that Ferdinand abolished the bacchanalian dances of 
the women from the public brothels with the Viennese craftsmen round the fires 
in the great square on St. John's Eve. The same schone Frauen, always by right 
and custom, attended the public dances on great feast-days in many mediaeval 
towns. But to enter into this subject would carry us too far into the folklore 
evidences for primitive group-marriage. 


the cleared space by spring or Brunnen. The group 
itself occupied a palisaded or fenced dwelling, and 
appears to have had considerable social and some 
amount of defensive organisation, — probably a leader, in 
case of fighting, was chosen by the whole group. From 
this leader ultimately arose the father as tribal father 
(before the father as family-father), and so the patriarchal 
system. Eound the fenced dwelling we should find the 
common land of the group tilled for its common benefit 
and used for the group cattle, and probably a more or 
less ample girdle of wood separating one settlement 
from a second. Under the patriarchal system the 
whole develops into the Marh, which receives a new 
significance when its customs are interpreted in the 
light of group -marriage. Each district had its particular 
mother-goddess, who may have been common to several 
groups which had branched off" from a common parent 
group. This goddess, whether called Nerthus, Berchta, 
Gode, Fru, Hilde, Walpurga, or Verena, was essentially 
a goddess of fruition. She is the source of fertility in 
land, in animals, and in human beings ; she is both a 
goddess of agriculture and a goddess of love. She 
favours the crops, aids women in childbirth ; and yet 
her worship is associated with what appeared to a 
later age as the wildest forms of license. Furthermore, 
the primitive savagery of this early form of human 
society is marked by the underlying element of cruelty 
to be traced in the nature of Berchta, Gode, or 

The servants of these goddesses were priestesses, or, 
at a later date, men dressed as women ; and the traces we 


find of sibyls, prophetesses, and medicine- women in the 
primitive groups are of striking interest.^ Among the 
early Celts many of the groups seem to have been called 
after the goddess as primeval tribal-mother.^ I have 
not yet been able to identify any Teutonic tribal name 
as derived from a goddess, but certain names appear to 
originate in a female name which may possibly be that 
of a forgotten goddess.'^ On the whole, it is surprising 
how many Celtic and Teutonic genealogies end in a 
female name ; and many more will probably be found 
to do so, when the pedigrees are studied with this possi- 
bility in view. The representative of the tribal-mother, 
the female head of the group, was the depositary of 
tribal custom and religion ; and through her the pro- 
perty of the group descended. Without realising this 
law of descent, the tragedy of Agamemnon and 
Aegisthus, and the fairy tales of Ashiepattle and Hans, 
become alike unintelligible. To kill the king and marry 
his wife was to win the kingdom ; to marry the king's 
dauorhter was to obtain the rio^ht of succession. The 
earliest and most bloody incidents of legend and primi- 
tive history turn on the contest between this law of 
descent and that of paternal inheritance. The latter 
survives in the struggle, but Titanic female figures, 
gallantly fighting for the former and sadly misrepre- 

^ The Celtic goddess Brigit, referred to in a ninth-century glossary, had all 
these attributes — (yperum aique artificiorum initia Rhys cites of her. She 
was also tribal-mother of the Brigantes as well. Later her attributes are 
transferred to St. Bridget. 

2 To trace the tribal origin back to a goddess was a very common Aryan 
custom, e.g. Venus as Genetrix Aeneadum, tribal-mother of the Romans. 

^ I suspect a goddess, Ama-le the "little mother," at the bottom of the 
Amahings. Vote was tribal-mother of the Burgundians, and the goddess 5i? of 
the Billings, etc. 


sented by the bards and chroniclers of patriarchal days, 
loom in shadowy greatness out of the pre-history of 
every Aryan race. 

If we turn to the status of men in the kindred 
marriage group, and wish to measure its significance, 
we must remember that its evolution is spread over 
long centuries ; and as we near the transition to the 
patriarchal civilisation, the power and influence of men 
at first gradually and then rapidly increases. Yet in 
the full bloom of the group-marriage period, their influ- 
ence on custom and tradition must have been compara- 
tively small, even death and disease are represented by 
female deities, — the wind, the sea, the earth, and all the 
powers of nature are in the earliest folk-tradition god- 
desses. The gods, so far as they had any existence, 
appear to have taken the form of temporary human 
lovers of the goddesses, the transitory male element need- 
ful for fertility, but then destined to disappear. Man, 
ever moulding the divine to his own pattern, creates 
first the goddess as tribal-mother, later her son as god, 
and only as his own institutions develop is the wandering 
lover, ^ the hero, raised to the position and authority of 
All-father. The male element step by step asserts itself. 

If the reader object that this scheme of a primitive 
mother-age civilisation is far more elaborate than any- 
thing the philologists have attempted to spin out of 
Aryan roots, the answer must be that it is not drawn 

^ The uncertain paternity is not always even ascribed to man, but to beast 
or bird. Compare such primeval forms as Gaea and Uranus, Helja goddess of 
death (a much older and more widely-spread conception than the Eddie Hel, 
daughter of Loki), the Celtic Don or Dea with her very shadowy hero-husband 
Beli, — which strike one at once amid the later elements of the patriarchal 


from such a source. It is reconstructed from the fossils 
to be found in folklore, in fairy tales, in hero-legend, in 
primitive law, and in other strata of human pre-history ; 
and it appears to the writer as the one system which 
makes them self-consistent and intelligible. It is a 
system which puts a new and thrilling interest into the 
stories which delighted our childhood, whether they were 
drawn from Eoman history, the Bible, or our beloved 
Grimm. The problem is not to deduce the mother- 
age from philology, but to decide whether the results 
of the latter are really inconsistent with the existence of 
such a civilisation as I have briefly sketched. What has 
been indicated, however, as the system deducible from 
Teutonic fossils receives much confirmation when we 
study the fossils of oriental mythology and folk-custom. 
In the East the mother-age civilisation developed into 
what may be literally termed a matriarchate. There 
the elaborate religious sexual feasts far excelled their 
fainter Teutonic parallels. And yet we at once recog- 
nise precisely the same institutions as we find por- 
trayed in Teutonic witch -gatherings, and shadowed in 
the peasant customs and festivals of modern Germany ; 
the same predominance of the female element, the same 
choral dancing, the same human sacrifice, the same 
worship of fertility, the same identification of goddess 
and priestess, and the same sexual cult.^ 

As type of such an Eastern cult, we may briefly refer 
to the important festival of the Sakaes, held in Babylon 

^ Organised prostitution is frequently described as a result of the subjection 
of women, but a study of the folklore of peasant festival and spinning-room, 
and some acquaintance with the history of religious prostitution would, I think, 
convince the unprejudiced that it is a strange survival of the mother-age. 


in honour of the great goddess Mylitta — essentially a 
mother-goddess of fertility. The festival lasted for five 
days from the ninth of July, during which time complete 
license ruled among the people. The festival was presided 
over by the richly -clad priestess of the goddess, the 
Biblical woman in scarlet, " the mistress of witchcrafts," 
who represented the goddess herself She sat enthroned 
on the mound which for the time was the sanctuary 
of the deity, with the altar with oil and incense 
before her. To her came the hero-lover represented 
by a slave, and made homage and worshipped. From 
her he received the symbols of kingly power, and she 
raised him to the throne ^t her side. As her accepted 
lover and lord of the sex-revels, he remained for the 
five days during which the law of the goddess prevailed. 
On the fifth day, the hero -lover is sacrificed on the 
pyre. The male element had performed its function, 
and, like Heracles, passed away in fire.^ 

Every stage of this — far less connectedly and less 
elaborately, it is true — finds its parallel in Teutonic 
witch -gatherings, and down to the derivation of the 
kingly power from the woman can be traced in Ger- 
manic custom and folklore. Our fossil reconstruction 
is not peculiar to one narrow field of civilisation ; the 
strongest evidence for it is to be found throughout 
oriental myth and tradition. I have spent consider- 
able time in describing these phases of mother -age 
civilisation, because they will be less familiar than 
the patriarchal to many of my readers ; and without 

^ The whole inner meaning of the festival is well illustrated by Bachofen 
in Die Sage von Tanaquil, especially in relation to the mother-age among the 
Eastern nations. 


acquaintance with tlie chief features of the mother-age, 
it is impossible to judge the philological evidence in its 
favour. If the words of sex and relationship will not 
bear a matriarchal interpretation, then the idea of a 
Teutonic mother-age must be for ever abandoned. 

Part II 


Die Menscheit bezahlt jedes neue Gut mit dem Opfer eines friihern. 

I SHALL commence with words marking the simplest 
form of sex-relation. The two most widespread con- 
ceptions of sex — conceptions which I have found in very 
distant and diverse quarters — are associated with two 
simple household operations. It would not probably 
be safe to suggest either as really the antecedent notion. 
The first is the creation of fire, the second the pounding 
or primitive miller's work with rammer or pestle and 
mortar.^ Very possibly both operations are radically 

The creation of fire is associated in the savage mind 
with a process which must have appeared of surpassing 
mysteriousness. By twirling a stick in a hollow in a 
block of wood, fire, an absolute new thing was brought 
into existence. The generation of fire and the genera- 
tion of life were associated in name together, the origin 
of life resembled the origin of fire.^ The word kindle 

^ There is an excellent representation of a woman with a primitive mill on a 
misericord in Beverley Minster : see E. Phipson, Choir Stalls, PI. 95, 1896. 

2 In Sanskrit we have math, manth, for kindling fire by friction ; the word 
manth also means to churn, manmatha, love, the god of love, and pramdtha is 
violence, rape. 


(Scotch kendle)^ still retains this double meaning, and 
the notion of heat as a generating power is widespread. 
Compare, for example, Gothic Brunsts, German Brunst, 
with its double use. 

( 1 ) The root at the basis of kindle is the one to which 
I wish first to refer. This root is Sanscrit gan or gen, 
Teutonic, kin or kan. It denotes, perhaps, more fre- 
quently bring forth than procreate ; although it would 
be difficult to assert that one meaning is more primitive 
than the other. The Sanscrit ga, as well as the German 
kei or kyn, denote rather birth than procreation, and the 
same remark applies to Latin gigno and Greek yivco ; 
still the latter sense appears to be frequently associated 
with these words. ^ 

Modern German keimen, O.H.G. chinan, M.H.G. 
kinen, to bud, to burst, to open, expresses the idea. 
That which opens or buds is the kone, O.H.G. qvind^ 
Goth, qveins, O.N. qvdn, and our English queen. The 
woman is thus named after her function of giving birth, 
one of the most obvious and primitive distinctions 
between man and woman. I am inclined, however, to 
believe that a primitive meaning of kone was womb, for 
I find that so many early words for woman have this 
double meaninor. Thus Latin cunnus is used of the 


womb and of a strumpet, matrix of the womb and of 
a female animal kept for breeding. The Bavarian Ids is 
used in all the senses of both cunnus and matrix, while 
fud is used for woman and womb. Otfrid uses einkunne 
of the bishop who is to have one wife. The peasants 

^ The word generation itself in its varied meanings well illustrates the 
several notions attached to the root. Compare Greek yev^rojp, Latin genitor for 
begetter, father. 



in the Middle Ages termed the priest's concubines 
pfaffenkunnen^ ultimately corrupted into pfaffenhilhe; 
the change hiihe, kunne suggests another origin than cow 
for English hine, the breeding females. Ayrer, in one of 
his Fastnachtspiele, terms the sexton's daughter, kirch- 
ners kunne, and kunne used for womb can hardly be other 
than a variant of kone. We may note also A.S. haemed- 
rif glossed nupta mulier, matrona, where rif is literally 
womb, and the word haemed is glossed coitus. Thus the 
primitive identification of the words for woman and for 
her organ of sex is very widespread. The kone is accord- 
ingly the woman in respect of her power of giving birth. 
Although outside the Scandinavian kone is only pre- 
served in Teutonic dialects at the present day in our 
English queen as the head or female ruler on the one 
hand, and in quean, a worthless woman or strumpet ^ 
(A.S. hor- Given, Shetland, hure-queyn) on the other, 
still these two fossils are in themselves highly sug- 
gestive. They mark, in the first place, the predomi- 
nance of the kone in primitive times, and, in the second 
place, the freedom of her sexual relations. The primi- 
tive name for woman has been retained for two senses 
which specially mark her early status. 

The corresponding Greek word is 'ywrj^ but its Latin 
equivalent has, according to some authorities, only been 
preserved in the name of the goddess Venus. Thus 
Venus is the woman par excellence. To term a goddess 
simply " The Woman " is a peculiar feature of mother- 
age mythology. Thus Sanskrit gnd, Zend ghena, is the 
goddess or divine woman. We may also notice the 

^ Quenie, quean, queyriy is still used in a good sense in Scotland. 


Greek Kopt), the Maid, as a name for Persephone, and the 
Norse Frud, the Frau par excellence. Similar instances 
can be readily collected from Teutonic and Celtic sources, 
and they may, indeed, be paralleled by the use of the 
expression, the Virgin, for the mediaeval goddess Mary. 
The senses woman, tribal-mother, queen, priestess, god- 
dess, are all closely correlated in these primitive words, 
and we see one almost growing out of the other. Venus 
as the Latin form of 'ywrj is strengthened by the Latin 
venter, the womb, corresponding to a primitive Greek 
form, ryevrep, whicli actually occurs for yao-rrjp, the belly 
or womb. The like addition of a dental brings us from 
the root kyn to a common Teutonic (German, Norse, 
and English) term for the female organ of sex. 

Passing now to what is brought forth, we have a long 
series of Aryan words marking the relationship of the 
womb, and many of the greatest interest. Thus we have 
Greek 761/09, Latin genus, Teutonic chint, chnuat, kint, 
kind and kin,^ while knahe, knecht, and knight are prob- 
ably also associated therewith. Anglo-Saxon gives us 

^ I may specially note the phrase Mth and kin. It might be supposed that 
kith was mere repetition of kin. But I think the phrase has a deeper meaning. 
Gothic, qithus, O.H.G. quiti, quid, A.S. cvithe, CN. qvidr, denote the female 
sex-organ and the womb ; Scotch kyte, the belly, and possibly kittie, a strumpet, 
may be cited. Gothic qithuhaft, means pregnant. Tims kith mid kin literally 
denotes the womb and its fruit, the ko7ie and the kunni, tlie woman and her 
offspring, i.e. the whole tribe. O.H.G. Cutti a flock as of sheep, stands to 
kith much as kin to kunne, probably it originally only denoted the product of 
the quiti. In the same sense are to be noted O.H.G. chizi or kida, O.E. kith, 
English kid, and Bavarian kitze, female goat, standing in close relation to quiti 
and kith. Possibly Gothic gaits, O.H.G. gaiz, O.N. gcit, A.S. gdt, Eng. goat, 
may have relation to gat (see later) as kid to qithus. A quite parallel word is 
A.S. team for family, offspring, preserved in our English team, formerly of pro- 
geny, now chiefly of horses. A.S. tymen, teman, Eng. teem, is to bring forth, to 
be stocked or charged. 0. Fries, tarn, O.H.G. zoum, German zaun, is a staked 
row, stockade, or fence. O.H.G. zeman, is to congregate, probably with the 
same sexual notion as in gather and gat, treated of below. 


cneos and cyn, gecynd (race, or generation), with the 
noteworthy compounds, Gecynde-lim, womb, or lit. kin- 
limb ; cyne-hlaford, prince, but originally without doubt 
the kin-chief or elected leader of the group, the prototype 
of the tribal-father ; cyne-lond, cynerice, cynepeod, king- 
dom, but literally the kin-land, the common property of 
the kin-group, which only later passed from the kin to the 
king. O.H.G. gives us kunni for kin, and O.N. hundr for 
son and kund for daughter (see p. 118 ftn.) Konemdcis 
one of the earliest words for blood relationship, but this is 
primitively a relationship of the womb, and kin and kinship 
are given by kunnischaft,kunniling{neighhonT),SiJid kun- 
nizala — all marking the woman as the first idea of any 
relationship at all. In a sentence, the woman, in virtue 
of her womb-right, is head of the kin, the queen or chief 
of the household — a position of power, blood-relation, and 
sex well illustrated in the use of the word queen in queen- 
bee. If we try to find a male correlative to kone, we 
are thrown back on kone-man, kon-ing, koning, kun-ing, 
konig, and king. The words convey no marital relation 
to the kone, no sense of authority or power (not the "can- 
man " of Carlyle !), but simply the conception of one 
belonging or attached to the kone. The derivation of 
king, konig is sometimes asserted to be the man of kin or 
race. I would draw attention to the Norse kone (O.N. 
qvon and qvdn) woman, and O.N. konr, chief, king, 
relative, which occurs as well as the more familiar 
forms konungr, kdngr, king. The O.H.G. spelling is 
kuning or chuninck, as a rule, and of kone, generally 
quena, but chone, chena, both occur. M.H.G. gives 
us kon and kone for woman, wife, and generally kilnig 


for king, but also honing and konig. The form hunne, 
as in einJcunne and pfaffenkunne, is to be noticed. 
Even if konig is to be deduced from kunni, and not 
directly from kone, it must be noted that the king is 
king in virtue of his being the son of the queen, i.e. 
one of the kin, and not because he is a ' man of race ' 
or of noble descent. The identity, indeed, of kunne, 
the womb, and kunni, kin, is illustrated by Arabic 
batn for belly and kin, and rehem for womb and kin. 
The affix -ing in a variety of O.H.Gr. words usually marks 
" the son of." Thus we have in the primitive idea of 
king in all probability only the idea of the offspring of 
the kone. The kuning derives his rights from the kone, 
the king is evolved from the leader in war — the cyne- 
lilaford — of the old kindred group. Only the patri- 
archal age could unconsciously produce the kon-ing-inne, 
kueniginne, konigin as a correlative to the konig. In 
England our retention of the word queen has saved us 
from this. Thus our first series of words depending on 
the root kyn or gan ^ has led us to the conception of 
the womb as the primitive source of relationship, to the 
woman as queen and head of the kin, and to the king- 
ship as derived from the queen. The reader who will 
ponder over this, will understand why kings are so 
plentiful in fairy-tales, and why the normal road to a 
kingdom is to marry a king's daughter. 

1 Some philologists have connected this root with Sanskrit gna, Latin genu, 
A.S. cneo, English, knee, and so with a root meaning kneel. Compare Latin 
nitor, which marks either kneeling or bearing. If this were true, it would 
denote that the primitive Aryan woman knelt in giving birth. This posture 
seems far from universal among savage women, and if it were, the act of giving 
birth would probably receive a name as early as that of kneeling, and there would 
be no more reason to derive the former from the later than vice versd. 


As we shall see later, the idea of kinship is accom- 
panied by the idea of the wonted, the usual, the hnown. 
Thus 6^09, usage, and eOvo^;, a relation, caste, tribe, are 
not accidentally co-radicate ; Sanskrit svatu a kinsman, 
and Germanic situ, sitte, are both connected with the 
Aryan root svedhd, the usual, the known. Hence it 
comes about that the root gen, kyn also signifies to 
know, even as in Genesis iv. 1 — " And Adam knew Eve 
his wife " ; we see the double sense, which belongs also to 
Latin cognosco, Greek ycyvcoo-Kco. Nor are other illustra- 
tions far to seek ; A. S. hnosi, kindred, may be compared 
with know itself; Greek yvcoT6<i is a friend, kinsman, 
brother, and the known ; Sanskrit gndti is relative, 
but gndtd, recognition, perception. Thus from the 
familiarity of the kin arose the conception of the 
wonted, the known,^ and this was the basis of Gothic 
kunsps, the known (kuni, kindred), and so ultimately 
of modern German kunst, art. 

(2) The next word which I believe to be associated 
with the kindle notion is hraut, bride. Deecke connects 
it with a supposed Sanskrit root, Vrud, to veil. There 
is no known instance of this root occurring, and I 
believe that the notion of veiling has arisen from an 
attempt to make the idea in hride correspond with that 
in the Latin nuhere. There is no Teutonic parallel to 
this supposed root meaning veil, and I am inclined to 
doubt whether in the earliest Aryan period there would 
be enough clothing to spare for the luxury of veils. 
Grimm and Bopp connect hraut with Sanskrit praudha, 
a past participle of pravah, to lead away. Thus the 

^ Compare Swabian kunt, kund for lover and kundeln for liebeshandeln ; das 
kunta stands for the cattle. 


bride is the one led away, i.e. to the house of the bride- 
groom. Here, again, the patriarchal notion of early- 
society is at the bottom of the interpretation, and we 
reach our conception of primitive Teutonic society by 
working in a circle. Why, too, should we go to a 
Sanskrit root, with apparently no Teutonic parallel, to 
explain a purely Teutonic word ? In Gothic the word 
is hrups, A.S. hrid, O.H.G. 'prut, M.H.G. hrilt, and in 
modern Norwegian Landsmaal, hrur, in which it is to 
be noted the characteristic dental does not appear (com- 
pare also the Plattdeutsch hrilmen for bridegroom). In 
O.H.G. the meaning of the word was rather wide, thus, 
young wife, bride (before loss of virginity), daughter- 
in-law, ^eZze6^e, concubine, and occasionally for any young 
girl. Phaffenbr'Cit is a priest's concubine ; wdnbrut, a 
woman mistaken for a virgin ; windesprUt, the whirlwind, 
looked upon as a goddess ; hriUsunu is ninth-century Ger- 
man for Christ, the Virgin's son. On the whole, the 
evidence seems to point to the initial sense as that of a 
young woman, who may or may not have borne children. 
It seems to me that Fick has come nearer to the 
mark than the above authorities in connecting hride 
with the root of the Greek ^pvw, to be full, or bursting ; 
M.H.G. hriezen, hroz, swell, bud. He mentions Fruti 
as a name for Venus, and I suppose we may add Latin 
frutex, that which bursts out or sprouts, a shrub. The 
root of hraut would thus be the same as that of O.H.G. 
prdten and English breed ; the outcome of the hruotan^ 
hrilten, is the hrood, A.S. hrod. In M.H.G. hriuten 
and hriute are the verb and noun for the sexual act. 
In modern Low German a term of vulgar abuse is 


hriihen, hruen, hrilden, whicli again connects the 
brewing and breeding ideas, e.g. Gehey dich nur hin 
und hrilhe deine Mutter ! Or again, Lat mi ungebrilt ! 
This is close, I think, to the real root of hraut. In 
M.H.G. wefind: 

Gezieret und gekleidet wol, 
Als man ze hriuten tuon sol, 

Minnedurst. — Von der Hagen, Ahenteuer, iii. 99. 

That is, " to come well bedecked as befits a wedding." 

A. S. hrittan denotes pounding, bruising ; while 
hraedan is either to breed or to warm. O.H.G. hruotan 
has the same two meanings (cf. Latin fovere and fovea, 
to warm and the womb). A.S. hrid, English bird, is 
the thing bred, warmed, or hatched. Thus the ultimate 
notion is again that of the fire-sticks, or of kindling. 
Graff connects hruotan with a root har, Sanskrit hhr, 
hhar, Greek </)6p, and Latin fer,^ as in fertile. From 
this very root he also deduces hhrdtr, frater, bruoder, 
hrurer, and brother.^ So that the fundamental con- 
ception of brother would be the one who causes to bear, 
the male as breeder. The notion in brut of breed, 
incubate, leads to the word having a variety of uses. 
It is progenies, fetus, but is also used of either breeding 
male or female, as in brutbiene, for drone, and brut- 
henne, for brood-hen. The peasant in Ein Vasnachtspil 
vom Dreck terms himself ein pruoter, a brooder or 

^ Possibly the notion also in Latin veretruin=feretrum. 

'^ I do not think the notion of brother, as parents' son, existed before the 
Aryan scatter. The Greeks use d5eX06s, the co-uterine one, and, like frater in 
Latin, this term is used for sister's children, and indeed for kinsmen by the 
womb in general. <ppdTpa has a far wider significance than sons of the same 


breeder, rhyming it with muter. The Slavonic hrati, 
Old Irish hrith, for birth, may also be noted. I take it 
that the Aryan roots hhara, bear, carry, and hhero, 
bear, are ultimately the same. From the former we 
have Sanskrit hhartri, mother, child -bearer, and also 
hhdrtar, master, spouse, to be compared with Latin 
fertor; from the latter hrati, hrith, and hirth. Even 
with the same notion I should ultimately connect hrheya, 
rub, pound, as in Latin friare, A.S. hriv, O.H.G. brio, 
modern German hrei, the fundamental notion in all 
cases being the result of the primitive mill, the pound- 
ing and the swelling or fermenting of the bruised grain 
under the influence of water, the brewing. I take it, 
accordingly, that there is no ultimate radical diflerence 
between Sauskrit hhartar, spouse, and hhrdtar, brother, 
between Latin fertor and /rater, or indeed between 
English breeder and brother. 

If we find in both bride and brother the same 
notion of kindle and breed, we are led back to these 
words (Landsmaal, b7mr and brurer) as correlatives, 
and we see that so far from brother originally connoting 
the legal protector of the sister, he is in reality her 
spouse. We are brought indeed back to that primitive 
social system — so amply evidenced by archaic myth- 
ology — in which brother-sister or kin-group marriage 
was the normal relationship. 

This view is to a great extent confirmed by the 
fact that the words for both brother and sister are in 
early use, and also in modern dialects, used indifferently 
for both sexes. Thus schwester, sister, does not seem 
in any way correlated to bruder, brother. Geswester, 


geswester, s^skende, systkin, are those who are suds to- 
gether — that is, familiar or heimlich together, and much 
in the same sense originally as to become heimlich is to 
pair.^ Sivdsman is O.S. for brother, swdseline Middle 
Dutch for relative, and swdsenede for female friend ; 
heswas is M.L.G. for related, and swesbedde Friesian 
for incest. Similarly, we may find the same primitive 
idea involving both sexes in bar. Sanscrit Vartar is 
spouse and nourisher, Vratardu denotes brother and 
sister, brethren of both sexes. Greek (ppdrpa, kinship, 
marks closely the old kin -group, but also a common 
meal, a avaa-LTLov : and I believe that the annual festival 
of the Apaturia,^ or gathering of the clan, preceded 
immediately by the Chalceia or feast of the goddess 
Athene, was a fossil of the old kin sex-festival and 
the worship of the goddess of fertility.^ Doubtless it 
was primitively associated with the same intermingling 
of kin. Indeed, the root of brother and bride carries 
us back to the stage of civilisation which left its fossils 
in Iris, sister and w^ife of Osiris ; Freya, sister and wife 

^ Compare the Latin sueo to be accustomed, to be wont, and the sexual mean- 
ing of consuesco and consuetio. Bopp would deduce sister, svasr, from sva, own, 
private, and stdr=stri = woma,n. This stri he takes to be a degenerate form of 
sUtrt and sUtar, from sH, to bring forth, bear, so that sister would stand for 
sva-sHtar, a man's own or special child-bearer. 

2 There was an enrolling of the new members of the (ppdrpa — I expect 
originally a matriculation (see footnote, p. 203) — there was a torch procession 
and a meeting for judicial business — in fact, all the features, as we shall find 
later, of tlie typical sex-festival. 

2 The record of virgin goddesses is much like that of many early female 
saints, the farther we carry it back the more the ascetic character disappears ; 
they become agamic rather than virgin. It was a later age which laid patri- 
archal stress on virginity, and converted the original pangamic character of 
these goddesses, exemplified in the doings of Demeter, into the virgin strength 
of Athene or Artemis. The original type is the mother-goddess of fertility, 
modelled on the agamic, but certainly not virgin, woman of the mother-age. 


of Freyr ; Demeter and Hera, sisters and intimates of 
Zeus — in fact, it brings us face to face with shadows 
of what were once typical goddesses of the mother-age. 

(3) The second idea of the sexual relationship to 
which we now pass is associated more directly with the 
very primitive custom of pounding food in the primitive 
mill — a pestle and mortar. Even here the idea appears 
not to be unassociated with the rubbing or bruising 
idea involved in kindling with fire-sticks. The bald 
sexual notion occurs in trudere, in the term ram for male 
sheep and in Swabian rammeln. The root, however, to 
which I would draw special attention is the Teutonic 
hi, hij, hitv, or, with a guttural attached, hyg and heg. 
Other Aryan forms of this word are Sanskrit ski, ksi, 
thus ks'is is a dwelling, k'sitis is a house, and the place 
of residence ksd. The root ksi' denotes to hew, thrust, 
delve, ram, and so is applied to any agricultural operation. 
To break up the land is, however, to take possession of it, 
and so the root rapidly takes the significance of owning 
and ruling. The cognate Latin is civis, a citizen, and 
all the words involving city and civil must be traced 
back to the same origin. The civis was, there is small 
doubt, originally a member of the primitive kin-group 
or civitas, from which all social or civil rights arose. 
Taking ram as the primitive meaning of hi, we have it 
primitively used (i.) for words of sex, (ii.) for tilling the 
land, (iii.) for driving in stakes, and so founding a 
dwelling. These three meanings, even in early Teutonic 
words, pass one into the other and stand as synonyms. 
The goddess of love, or, perhaps better, of fecundity, is 
the goddess of agriculture and also of the hearth. The 


tilth is used as symbol of sexual reproduction/ and to 
found a home becomes equivalent to marrying. No 
root, indeed, furnishes us with so many fossils of primi- 
tive Teutonic society as M or heg.'^ 

In Gothic the root only appears as heivan or haiv 
in the compound heivafrauja, the hausherr, or master 
of the home, but in Anglo-Saxon and German the 
cognate words are very numerous. In mentioning some 
of them I should ask the reader to bear in mind the 
triple significance of the root, and further the picture 
I have sketched of the primitive group, and its gradual 
transition from kindred marriage to patriarchal customs 
with the assumption of supreme power by the tribal 
chief; this assumption ultimately denoting the subjection 
of the females and younger males of the group. We 
have to watch the root passing from a purely sexual 
use to that connoting permanent family relations. 

First in German. In O.H.G. hijan denotes rather 
coire than nuhere, and this sense is preserved in L.G. 
higet uns den hund as a phrase of coarse abuse. In the 
seventeenth century mcigdeheyer was used for seducer, 
and a good deal of history is conveyed in the colloquial 
Lasz TYiich ungeheit, "don't bother me," common in several 
parts of Germany, — a phrase fitting only in Frauen- 
mund, and the origin of which is now quite forgotten.^ 

^ Notice, for example, Greek 71^77?, dpovpa, for arable land, woman, and womb ; 
dp5u}, plough, beget ; &\o^, furrow, womb, wife ; and ApoTos, tillage, the legal 
term for begetting children in matrimony. See Appendix III. 

2 It is noteworthy that all that Robertson Smith tells us, in Kinship and 
Marriage among the Arabians, of the Hayy, or kindred group, would apply to 
the Teutonic Hiwa. Even Eve, interpreted as Hawwa, a mere variation of 
Hayy, appears as the great mother, the kone at the head of the kin-group. 

^ Hijgaten remained later in the original sense in Bavarian dialect, and is 
glossed perforare. 


The following are a selection of O.H.G. glosses : 
hiwen = coire ; Al/lto^o^ = procuress ; hiwelich (M.L.G. 
Mwelek,J)utQh. kuivelijk) = coitus, concubitus ; kehiginnis 
lust = delectatio carnis; kehigenden = coeuntes; ungehite 
= eunuchi; gehiton ze iro tohteronis the "went in unto 
their daughters " of the Bible ; hitdt = opus gignendi ; 
hiunka = contuhernium, concubinage, or living in a hive, 
tent, or dwelling together. All these and others denote 
the purely sexual relationship, without a trace of the later 
permanent marital and domestic relationship. These 
words demonstrate, in fact, the promiscuity of the inter- 
course out of which the family in our modern sense arose. 

Turning to another series of O.H.G. meanings we 
find : higot, the god of sex ; himdchari, as a gloss to 
Hymenaeus ; hisaz, a plot of ground, originally the 
site of the hive or old family group ; hiherg, the hill- 
top on which the group met for its great sex-festivals, and 
then kehiten = conjuges ; ze gehienne = uxorem ducere ; 
ungehiwat = innuptus ; hihar, hiharig = nuhilis, reif, 
still retained in Dutch huivhaer, and huwen in the sense 
of Men. We find hiwo and hiwa for male and female 
conjuges, spouses ; and thiu hihun is used in tenth- 
century German for the bridal folk at the marriage in 
Canaan. Compare Lett, sewa, a wife, and Sanskrit geva, 
intimate. Thus we see the merely sexual meaning of 
the root extended to more permanent marriage rela- 
tions. It is then further extended to any members of 
the household ; hiwa, at first spouse, becomes female 
servant, and is to be compared with A.S. wifpegn, who 
is not only a female servant, but a person of loose habits. 
In M.H.G. Mwe, hie is not only used for a knecht, but 


for a spouse, or indeed any member of the household ; 
while L.G. hie^ liige, heie, hienman, higeman denote 
hausgenoss, horiger, or serf ^ 

Friesian words related to hi are heia, the whole 
family group, the household, and then a crowd ; heive, 
servant or domestic ; hine, equivalent to English hind ; 
hyneghe, family ; hionen, members of household ; liyshe^ 
for marriage, family, and household. In Anglo-Saxon 
we have sinhiv, a ' hiving ' together and hence marriage ; 
hivred, family, but also armed band and meeting of 
council, a triple meaning quite intelligible if we re- 
member the kin as the primitive unit of domestic, 
military, and civil organisation. Hivraedene is glossed 
with familia and domus. Hwredgerifa, the reeve of 
the htvred, is used to gloss the Latin consul, and marks 
the growth of kin-headship into tribal leadership. Hiv- 
scipe is the family or stock ; hivung, marriage ; Mva is 
glossed domesticus ; hnvunga, the total household ; 
hiiva, the family ; liiivan, familiares, — marking the 
transition of the younger members of the group to the 
serving class ; and hiwiski is the house and household. 
Only one word appears to have survived to modern 
English from the Anglo-Saxon, but that is perhaps the 
most interesting fossil of all, namely hive from hiwa, a 
family. But how different from the group we term a 

^ We see almost the same series of meanings attaching themselves to words 
Y tlsited to familia, — sexual relationship, comradeship, domestic service, serfdom. 
The cognate faama, said to be Oscan for house, may be compared with Jieim. 
Note the Bavarian ihalt glossed leyitimus for haiisgenoss, servant, ehaft, the com- 
munity, ehaltin, wife, die Shalten, the family, from e. Almost the same series of 
meanings attach to Greek Koivbs, which is ultimately one of the M series. It 
marks common property, the community or state, to kolv6v : koivoL, Koival stand 
for a kindred-gi'oup, especially of brothers and sisters ; koiv6s is also the agreeable, 
pleasant ; Koivbw and kolvuv^u are both used of sexual intercourse ; Koivu/xa, 
Kotj'wj'ia are communion, intercourse, community, but especially in the sexual sense. 


family now ! Still the hive with the tribal mother and 
its communistic organisation is by no means an in- 
accurate representation of the old kin-group and the 
ideas with which hiwa was originally associated/ A 
further series of Anglo-Saxon words connected with M are 
derived from haemed. Thus haeman is hiwen ; liaemed- 
ding and haemed, coitio ; and haemend, adulterer. Yet 
just as in O.H.G. hiwen, the original notion is extended 
to permanent relations of sex. Haemdo stands for nup- 
tials ; haemedgemana is matrimonium, while haemedrif 
and haemedceorl are wife and husband, — meanings very 
far from the literal senses of these words. 

We may pass by a whole series of Scandinavian 
words, of which Landsmaal hjon for spouse and hjuna, 
to pair, are types, to note that hig seems to have been 
used for young of all sorts. Thus A.S. hig is young 
grass. Hig seems to be more nearly connected with 
higen, produce, than with A.S. heawan, hew, chop. Com- 
pare the Latin fenum, having the root fe of fecundus 
2indi fetus. Thus hig as produce of mother-earth is from 
its sense related to higen, as hin to heimen and team to 
tym^an. It is probable that hig, as produce, is left in 
A.S. higo and higum for family and domestics. 

The addition of the guttural to the root hi gives us heg, 
and hag, I believe with the primitive sexual sense of ram ; 
but it is also used of driving in stakes, and so making a 
fence or hedge. The presence or absence of the guttural 

r ^ I think Skeat lias too hastily disconnected hive and hhv on account of A.S. 
h^e. Notice the L.G. honerhive for a hen's brooding place. The same changes 
occur in A.S. hise for hyse, a youth, and in ae/re for dica, ever. Compare also 
the use of plebs for hive ; but the plebs were also the non-patrician masses Avho 
knew not their male descent. 


does not seem material.^ Thus O.H.G. hag j an appears 
with variations haien, haijen, and haigen approaching 
the modern hegen, to hedge round, fence in, protect, or 
cherish. This leads us to the third meaning of the root 
hi. In the Latin of the mediaeval law-books haga, haia, 
haio is castella, villa, that which was hedged in, the old 
group-dwelling. A.S. heos is house. Huey is tramp's 
slang for a village. Many place-names show hag and 
hagen. Hai, gehai in Bavaria denote a dam or fence of 
stakes ; hi, hie in Norway denote the winter and breeding 
quarters of the bears ; der hai is the watcher, the 
Merker or custodian of the forest under the mark-system. 
Hagen, gehag, and hain ^ are places planted or palisaded 
in [hag in Bavaria is now widely used for stall) ; and 
from the same idea ^ arises Friesian harn, hem ; Enof- 
lish ham, home ; German heim, and Gothic haims, a 
village. I take it that the notion of lying is not the 
primitive sense of hi, but the hedged in or fenced lair, 
which becomes the lying place. Accordingly I should 
not look to Sanskrit gi and Greek Kelfjuac, to lie down, 
as giving the primitive value. Whether, indeed, we 
are to consider haga and haia as arising from two 
different roots, the one denoting to fence, and the other 
to lie, is perhaps not of great importance for our 
present purpose. What, however, is pretty clear is 
that the gehag was the heim of a group with very 

^ Compare A.S. liegan, M.E. liggen, English lie, German liegan, and English 
lay. Then A.S. lagu, Danish lov, and English law, etc. 

2 Hain is not only the enclosure sacred to a goddess. In hayngarten gehen, 
to make oneself intimate in a sexual sense, we seem to see the sacred yard used 
as a sexual rendezvous, the seat of the sex-festival. See Appendix I. 

^ other words for home express the same idea. Thus in the Asegahuch, 
liodgarda is used of the family hearth, garda being the fenced place, the garden, 
i.e. the hag of ' unser Liet.' 


unpatriarclial sex notions. The liag, hac, A.S. haege^ 
haga ; English haiv, and Scottish haugh, a staked 
inclosure or hedged -in place, gave its name to its 
occupants. Thus we have the hitherto obscure word 
hagestolz, at present meaning a confirmed old bachelor. 
Its earlier forms are O.H.G. hagastalt, A.S. hdgsteald, the 
stall of the hag. Its primitive meaning is, I think, clearly 
indicated by the early glosses mercenarius, famulus^ 
while in Anglo-Saxon it denotes the man who has not his 
own household. (Compare the Scotch hagasted, of one 
familiar with a place.) It is precisely equivalent to the 
heie and hienman, the member of the hive. Haistaldi is 
glossed agricolae lihri, and we see in the hagestalt, the 
fighter, the servant, and the agriculturist of the primi- 
tive hag group. But how came the word to be used for 
old bachelor ? In the Rheinpfalz it had the meaning of 
childless man, whether married or not ; in other parts of 
Germany it was used for the bastard or fatherless man — 
both are equally significant indications of the primitive 
sense. The haistaldi were a class who knew not their 
fathers, and this because the hive had the custom of 
group-marriage and knew only womb-kinship. As the 
patriarchate developed, and men began to possess in- 
dividual children by the capture or purchase of wives — 
as the patricians became the dominant power, — those 
men who still lived under the old group-marriage system, 
and had no special children among the progeny of the 
hag, were looked upon as childless, even as they were 
held to be fatherless and wifeless from the standpoint 
of patriarchal man. Thus, as the old kin-group dis- 
appeared before the new civilisation, the word hagestalt 



became unintelligible, the ideas of wifeless, childless, and 
fatherless vaguely remaining associated with it, and 
ultimately they crystallised out into the conception of 
confirmed old bachelor. Celibates are unknown, how- 
ever, in primitive society. How many * spinsters ' 
were virgins even in 1200 ? How many words for 
celibates {caelebs^ virgo, spinster, bachelor, hagestalt, 
irapOevo';, etc.) can be traced to a primitive root bearing 
the sense of unwed ? They are either late introductions, 
or their first senses are lost in the obscurity of a primi- 
tive social order not yet reconstructed by philologists. 

If liagastalt was the name for the male dweller in 
the hag, we have a still more suggestive one for the 
female. This is the O.H.G-. hagazusa, hagezissa, con- 
tracted to hdzus and hdzusa, M.H.Gr. hagetisse, A.S. 
hdgtesse, haegesse, hdgtis, Swiss hagsch, and English hag. 
The haegesse is the woman of the hag ; she is the woman 
of the old civilisation, the priestess of its faith, and the 
mistress of its ancient wisdom. Traces of her were found 
by the early Christian missionaries, and her choral festi- 
vals, sex-feasts, and strange sacrifices seemed to them 
very devilish ; but this is a point on which I have 
enlarged elsewhere.^ With regard to the derivation sug- 
gested for hexe, or rather for its earlier forms hagezissa, 
hagetissa, I must mention that Weigand first associated 
it with the root hag, and interpreted it to mean woman 
of the woods. The earlier derivation from O.N. hag, 
A.S. hog, skilful, wise, had already been objected to by 

^ Gae-lehs is Slavonic sA-logu, the bed-fellow, the male unit of the old group- 
marriage, exactly like hagestalt 1 

^ See Essays X. and Xll. The tenth to eleventh century translator of 
Martinus Capella uses hazessa for the women who eat by night. 


Jakob Grimm, on the ground that an old German equi- 
valent root is entirely wanting, and that the Norse 
itself makes no noun hagr for a wise person.^ Grimm 
himself suggests hagedissa, a lizard, as a possible con- 
nection, because the lizard is a magical animal ; but if 
there be any relation, I should expect it would be of 
the inverse kind. As to the meaning of the second 
part of the word, zussa, zissa, tisse, nothing absolutely 
definite can be stated. There is evidence, however, for a 
Teutonic goddess, Zisa or Tisa (J. Grimm, Mythologie, 
i. p. 248), and it is possible that, as in the case of Frud, 
we have here only an old word for woman. Ziss is still 
used of a female cat. We may compare it with O.H.G. 
Itis or Idis for woman, which J. Grimm (Grammatik, i. 
p. 189) connects with Finnish isd, father, Gothic atta, 
father, Finnish diti, mother, and Gothic aipei^ mother. 
The woman of the hag would be simply hagitis, which 
agrees well with the Dutch and Saxon forms, if not so 
well with the O.H.G. hagazussa. Curtius connects 
idis with a root ath or anth^ having the meaning of 
budding or bursting. Hence he derives Greek dv6o^ and 
dvdico, and probably 'KOrjvrjy who would thus be the 
pregnant one, the mother-goddess of fertility ; ^ for the 
maiden-goddess in her early form was like the primitive 
types of all virgin-goddesses, only a maid in that she 
had no definite husband. The same root probably 
appears in Uote and Ada, frequent names for the 

^ I should not be surprised if Landsmaal hag denoting the fit and con- 
venient, the orderly, be not the primitive sense of hag and hog. In this case it 
is parallel with a long series of words to be noted later, which associate comfort 
and security with kin, and with the kin home, the hag. 

^ For the less reputable side of Athene see Bachofen, Das Mutterrecht, 
s. 54. 


queen or tribal mother in the heroic age ; also in Edda, 
the house-mother, with which M.H.G. eide, a mother, 
may be compared. Wackernagel even suggests a 
possible relation to Sanskrit udara and Latin uterus, 
the womb ( Worterhuch, p. 324), so that the value of 
the root would then carry us back to the kin or gan 
conception of woman. 

(4) It will be seen that the hi or heg stratum of 
fossils has led us to reconstruct a social system very dif- 
ferent from the patriarchal, and we can strengthen this 
conception by two most interesting words which I have 
reserved to the last. These are O.H.G. hileih and Mrdt. 
I have already pointed out the part which the old common 
meal, the common talk or council, and the choral dance 
accompanying the sex-festival played in the old group 
life. Tacitus tells us that the Germans of his day met 
to take a clan meal, to settle clan business — i.e. for the 
clan council — and to arrange marriages. He also tells 
us of the dances of the same tribes. He did not grasp 
the real meaning of this combination of offices ; it was 
merely a reflex of the old group life which I have 
endeavoured to illustrate to the reader, and which finds 
strong confirmation in hileih and Mrdt. 

Leich is a choral song, but one which Weinhold tells 
us was in the oldest German period invariably accom- 
panied by dancing. Hileih is, then, the choral dance 
which preceded or accompanied the hijen or sex-festival. 
Ulfilas uses laikan for the Greek o-KLprdco, which our 
Bible translators render by ' leap for joy.' In the case 
of the Prodigal Son, Ulfilas puts laikins for %opwj^, a per- 
fect equivalent from the standpoint of the sex-festival. 


A. S. Idc is Indus and sacrificium ; Old French lai, Eng- 
lish lay may be noted. Old Slavonic liku, O.N. leikr 
for game, dance, are also to the point. In Landsmaal leik 
is still a game with rapid motion, a violent dance ; leikvoll 
is the dancing place ; leikestova, a dancing-room ; leikfugl 
is a bird at pairing time ; and leike is used for the gambols 
of birds at pairing time. But in M.H.G. Mleih simply 
means marriage. Thus a word for patriarchal marriage 
takes its name from the old group custom. It is 
reflected in the modern English wedding dance, but 
much more strongly in the more or less obscene dances 
occurring among the German peasantry at weddings and 
at Kirmes, May-day, and other periodic festivals.^ The 
choral wedding song is found in most Aryan races. We 
may note the Greek i7ri6a\d/jLLo^, Swedish hrildsdng, 
O.H.G. hriltisang, A.S. hrijdsang and hrydleod} In 
this respect also we must compare the Mleih with the 
mysterious winileod, the cantica diaholica, or ribald 
songs sung by German maidens at periodical feasts at 
or even inside the early Christian churches. In the 
Fivelingoer Landregt, an old Friesian law-book of 
which the existing MS. is early fourteenth-century, we 
are told that the Friesian bride is to be brought to her 
bridegroom with winnasonge.^ A more direct link 
between the patriarchal bridal ceremony and the old 
group habits it is difficult to imagine. What, however, 

^ I hope later to publish an essay on peasant festivals, and show their 
relation to the old kin-group customs. 

^ The term Frauentanz also deserves notice ; it was used by the Minnesinger, 
not for dance, but for a particular form of song, probably originally a choral 

^ Edition Hatterna, p. 44. A translation of the whole passage is given in 
the Essay on "Woman as Witch," p. 17. 


does wini denote ? Wini is a root much like gimah, 
with which I shall deal later. It is glossed amicus, 
sodalis, dilectus, while winid is rendered by dilecta, 
TYiarita, conjux; winiscaf 'w, foedus, amor (Sanskrit 
vdma is dear, precious, health, and wealth). Thus we 
have the notion of the friend, the table -comrade, the 
spouse, — in short, the male or female member of the 
cosexual group. The original kinship of the members is 
shown in Old liiohjlne, blood relative. What is wini 
is friendly, winsome, and what is unwini is unfriendly ; 
just as what is of the kin is kind, and what is not of it 
is unkind, or what is of the hag is haglig, fitting, and 
hehaglicJi, comfortable and pleasant.^ It is the kin and 
kin-home as the standard of comfort and right, much as 
the child's standard to-day is that of home comfort and 
family habit. ^ To make the wini series complete, we 
may note Fick's supposed cognates : Greek evvr), a lair, 
a couch, a bridal bed; O.H.G-. gawona, dwell, and Ger- 
man wohnung, a house ; Sk. vdnas, lust ; O.N. vinna, 
German gewinnen, English win, O.H.G. wan, wonne, etc. 
Nor is it only in the ideas of kindness and comfort 
that we find the primitively sexual link developing 
into new social qualities. No root, for example, is 
originally of more purely sexual weight than Aryan 
gan, Latin gen. But besides a whole terminology for 
begetting, child-bearing, parentage, and kinship, we find 

^ There is a similar idea in the short M form of the root, thus O.N', hyrr, 
soft, gentle; A.S. hedre, O.H.G. Muri, in the compounds unhiuri, M.H.G. gehiure, 
and German geheuer and ungeheuer, for the reverse of comfort. Slavonic 
po-sivu is benign ; Sanskrit si is peace, rest, comfort ; Icelandic hyra, joyous- 
looking ; while Landsmaal hyra and uhyra stand for good and bad fortune. 

2 Compare the Greek oT/cos, house, home, family ; olK€L6Tr]s, intimacy, 
marriage ; oketos, fitting, suitable ; and olKelu/Ma, appropriateness, etc. 


genialis, nuptial, appertaining to procreation ; and then, 
as a result of the association of this fundamental 
appetite with pleasure, we have later the significance 
joyous, delightful, pleasant, and ultimately our own 
genial^ with no sexual weight at all ! Similarly 
genialitas is primarily the sexual feast, but ultimately 
it is joviality, geniality in its most asexual and puri- 
fied form, as free from the notion of procreation as 
hindliness is from the primitive sense of kindle. Then 
we have genius, originally for sexual appetite and fond- 
ness for good living (i.e. the group - meal), passing 
through the stages • of taste and genial inclination, wit, 
and character, to be purified as talent. Nor does the 
range of ideas springing from gen stop here. Generosus 
means originally one of birth, probably of known birth, 
who could be enrolled in the Fratria, hence one of good 
or noble birth, and so to excellency or nobility in the 
higher sense ; it ultimately reaches in generosity a 
social quality free from any sexual atmosphere. Com- 
pare O.H.G cdtkunni for guotkunni, glossed generositas. 
Nay, even nobility itself carries us back to Latin nohilis, 
or gnohilis, the known or familiar, and gno is but another 
form of gan ; the known or familiar are the cosexual 
kin-group, the cognati and the cogniti are ultimately 
the same people, and gnosco stands to genus as kennen 
and kunst to kind, knahe, and kin. 

The limitation of my evidence to word-fossils does 
not allow me to enter into the great amount of material 
which folklore provides concerning the old choral sex- 
dances ; they find their prototype, however, among 
nearly all primitive peoples. One word, however, may 
be referred to here as an illustration. What is a comedy f 


I venture to assert that originally the comedy was a 
winileod — a choral dance at a sex-festival, a Mleih, 
It denotes the ode of the /c(OfjLo<;, but Greek K(ofio<; 
signifies a revel, a festal procession. We are told that 
at these festivals, which took place on fixed days, the 
party " paraded the streets, crowned, bearing torches, 
singing, dancing, and playing all kinds of frolics," — such 
words stand almost as a translation of the Landregt 
description of how the Friesian bride is to be brought 
home. In the Alcestis of Euripides (11. 915 e^ seq.) the 
/cw/1,09 is directly associated with the bridal torches and 
hymns. The kmjjlo^ songs were of a phallic or ribald char- 
acter, and the name kw^lo^ stands not only for the festival, 
but for the band of revellers,^ whether male or female — 
they are the chorus. But it is singular that a cognate 
word KodfiT] means village, and the relation is too strong to 
be passed over. It becomes quite intelligible, however, if 
we see in the primitive village Xh^Jiaia or home of the 
kin-group, in the /cw/^o? the hive or band of kin at the 
sex-festival, and in the comedy the Mleih or song of the 
hive. Even the root of KoifiT] is closely related to that 
of home, and so to the hi series. We may note KeLco and 
Kel^iai, to lie, Koi/jbdcoy to lie down and also to still, and 
K01T7}, a lair, nest, couch, and especially the marriage bed. 
Thus it will be seen that such a refined idea as that of 
comedy carries us back to primitive civilisation with its 
kin sex-festivals, and that Mleih and comedy are of one 
and the same origin.^ 

^ Compare the way in which a-vfiTrScnoi^ gets used of a feast, the party at the 
feast, and the place at which the feast is held. 

^ As comedy, so tragedy comes down to us from the old mother-age worship. 
The dancing round the Bock (rpdyos) at the harvest festival, the choral song of 
men and women, the collection of money or food for a common meal, are features 


If we turn to Mrdt, we find in it either the council 
of the hivja, the family group, or the kin-talk which 
took place at the hjijen festival. It is not an unnatural 
evolution that in patriarchal days the arrangement of 
marriages should have come to take place, as Tacitus 
tells us, at the kin-meeting, at the meal which in still 
more primitive times preceded the sex-festival. Another 
name for the old kin-talk, not, however, used like heiraih 
for matrimony, was hagespraka. I have found it used 
for the annual assembly for judicial purposes of the 
Markgenossen — an assembly, be it noted, always 
accompanied by a convivial meal.^ 

While hirdt has come to mean marriage in German, 
the cognate Anglo-Saxon hired denotes the family and 
not the marriage. We have, in fact, the tribe-talk or 
council used on the one hand to denote the sexual rela- 
tions of the group, and on the other the group itself 
Hiredsmoder is materfamilias, and might, perhaps, be 
pressed to show the position of the kin or tribe mother 
in council. On the other hand, paterfamilias is rendered 
by hiredesealder, the family alderman, as well as by 
hiredesfaeder, and probably the use indicates a transi- 

of folklore from north to south of the Germanic lands. The sacrifice of a real 
goat, gaily bedecked with flowers and ribbons, occurs in Dauphine, and here, be 
it noted, the woman has to hold the goat while it is killed. In Miinsterthal on 
Fastnacht the women used to lead round the streets a gaily-bedecked goat, and 
carried also wine for a feast. No man before nightfall might be seen even at the 
windows (Mannhardt, Wald- und Feldkulte, ii. s. 184). i^as^?iac/i« falls generally 
within the Weihermonat. When we notice also the important part played by 
the goat in the Hexeninahl and its ceremonies, we recognise rpaycpdia, ' the goat- 
song, ' to be only a variant of the hileih. 

1 The association of the hag and the Tnark is very close, and I hope to return 
to it. Haaggeld was the fee paid to a lord or chief for protection of a fenced 
farm, and Jiaghenne, a similar tribute, paid, be it observed, on Walpurgistag, 
the day of the old sex-festival. 


tion from the tribal chief, or ' alderman of the kin/ to 
the patriarch. In concluding this part of our subject, I 
may stay to remark that if we put on one side words 
for marriage which are of patriarchal manufacture 
(e.g. hrauikauf^ ehe (?), veddjan, wedding, conjugium, 
coemptio, Norse and Anglo-Saxon gift, giftung, English 
spousals, giving away, German Tnitgift, etc.), we find 
that the remainder are chiefly deduced from the old 
kindred group customs, thus from the common meal 
(vermdhlung, confarreatio), the choral dance {hileih, 
vfjbTjv, hymen'^), and the kin council (hirdt). In these 
customs we find the prototype of most Aryan wedding 

(5) We must now pass to a series of roots for kin- 
ship, emphasising still more strongly the endogamous 
character of the primitive kin-group. 

The next general root for sex relationship which we 
will take is mag or mah, and this is simply the root of 
our English make. I shall give reasons later for sup- 
posing the mother to have been looked upon in primi- 
tive times as the maker of life,^ and the mould in which 
she cast it was the magen (A.S. maga), the belly or 
womb. A long series of words marks the relationship 
of the magen or womb, or at any rate denote what is 
moulded or formed there. Mdc, mdk, mdg, mdch, and 

^ Hymen is originally nothing more than the hynin or song, the winileod. 

^ I take contubernium, consortium to be essentially fossils of the mother-age 
civilisation, y&txos is also interesting ; its root, as in yafi^u, may denote mere 
sexual relations, and it is useditself both for the marriage and the feast before it. 

^ Kinderinachen^iroLetv iratda, to bear children, was originally used of the 
mother in a perfectly refined sense, e.g. "in dieser nechst vergangen nacht, hat 
mich mein mutter erst gemacht." Then later machcn like iroLeiv is used of the 
father. In mediaeval German it is used chiefly of the mother for children born 
out of wedlock — this in itself is suggestive. 


Wjoh are used in O.H.Gr. for all parallel blood relationship, 
and stand to Tnagen as kin to hone. The plural magon 
is very early glossed cognati, relatives by birth, or from 
the womb. 

In Gothic magus is son, child, servant, mavi and 
magaps, maid. Megs ( = mdga) is curiously a daughter's 
husband, quite intelligible if the son be the daughter's 
husband, as in the kin-group, but otherwise difficult of in- 
terpretation. Akin to it is the Swedish mdgr for son-in- 
law. Both are deduced from O.N. mdgr, denoting blood 
relative. O.N. has also mdgr for boy. In A.S. we have 
maeg for kinsman ; maege for kinswoman, female cousin ; 
gemagas, glossed consanguinei, and maeg^ for kinship. 
Maeges in A. S. is of special interest ; we find it denoting 
maiden, kin, family, tribe, people, province, nation. 
Thus we see the gradual expansion of the mdc with the 
growth of a patriarchal civilisation. O.F. mach, child 
as in iha moder and thet mach, must be compared with 
m^ech, gdmech, in the same dialect, for gaugenossen, 
members of the same mark ; it is a step in the identifica- 
tion of the primitive mark with a kin-group. O.H.G. 
gives us mdcshaft for kinship ; gemdgeda for relation- 
ship, family; mdgiu, relative, cousin — i.e. all the chil- 
dren of the kin-group ; ^ magidi for servants — precisely 
as hi^ve is related to the hiwa or hive. Finally, we may 
note M.H.G. maget, magad, mait, German mddchen, 
and English maid. 

So far we have seen only the origin of a number of 
kin words in the magen, or make, idea. This is quite 
parallel to calling the child the horn one, as in hairn 

^ Magiu is glossed cosina, even in mediaeval Bavarian dialect. 


and ham (Danish h^r^ the womb, and h^urn^ children ^), 
but there are other ideas in mfidc which we must now 
follow up. Besides denoting blood relationship, it 
denotes sexual relationship. Thus in O.F. mec stands 
for verlohung, meker for wooer, mec-href ior contract of 
marriage, metrika for verlohte, which latter may better 
be compared with Sanskrit mdtrkd for mother, nurse, and 
womb. In A.S. maca is glossed par, socius, consors, 
conjux, and in O.N. maki is glossed par, aequalis, con- 
jux. Swedish gives us make, a mate or equal, maka, a 
spouse, mate ; O.D. maet, and Eng. mate, all closely- 
related to A.S. maege^, and even English m^aid. In 
other words, terms which denote collateral kinship are 
identified with sexual comradeship. They are, in fact, 
excellently glossed ^by the Latin consors, which, I take 
it, was itself a term for the group consort. These 
are evidently fossils of the most suggestive kind, for 
they carry us back to kin-marriage, at least cousin- 
marriage, if not brother -sister marriage. The A.S. 
maeghaemed, the heirath of the m^dc, was probably in 
olden times no term of reproach. Endogamy was part 
of the TYiaeg or might, the strength of the family. The 
bond of kin was the source of power and strength. The 
whole mdc would have been as wroth as many a Tyrol- 
ese village still would be at a maiden who exhibited 
exogamous tendencies. She would have been doing what, 
in that stage of civilisation, was antisocial or immoral.^ 

^ Compare Friesian hen and hern for child, herninghe for blood relationship, 
and henenahurch, the bairn's home, as a name for the womb. 

"^ The following extract from an evening paper shows the same primitive 
social feeling in Hungary. The outburst occurred at Borsad, a village near 
Kaschau : — 


The extension of the term mage beyond the fruit of 
a single womb is evidenced in the following passages 
from early German law-books : — 

Dit is de irste sibbe tale, di man to magen rekenet, bruder 
kindere unde suster kindere. — Sachsenspiegel. 

" This is the first grade of kinship which is reckoned 
as mage, namely, brothers' children and sisters' chil- 

Vnd heizent die chint geswistrige* vnt hebent die ersten sippe 
zal die man zemagen rechent. — Schwahenspiegel. 

" And the children are termed geswistrige, and have 
the first grade of kinship which is reckoned as mage.'^ 

The second of these terms the mage, brethren, and 
the first identifies brothers' and sisters' children as mage 
or brethren. The two conceptions would practically be 
the same if the word mage originated in a kin-group 
with very little or no individualising of fathers or 
mothers. Thus in the Heimdallar Galdr, a charm in 

A girl, who is a native of the village, was married to a peasant from another village, 
but after the wedding a number of the young men of Borsad tried to prevent her 
from departing to her new home. The bride managed to escape, but, on seeing this, 
the young men set fire to the cottage of her parents, and the flames quickly spread to 
other cottages. A murderous fight then began between these young ruffians and the 
bride's friends, with the result that eight peasants were killed, and about twenty of 
both sexes injured. The arrival of a detachment of gendarijies put an end to the 
affray, and the ringleaders were marched off to prison. 

On another occasion (1886) we read : — 

The village of Ladis, in the Tyrol, has for generations observed the rule that its 
maidens must not take husbands outside their own village. Lately, however, Catherine 
Schranz, reckoned the most beautiful girl of the whole district, accepted the proposal 
of a suitor from a distant place. The youths of Ladis resented this as a personal 
injury. Six of them seized her, tied her on a manure cart, and led her through the 
village, the other youths and boys jeering and singing derisive chants. At length her 
father rescued her, and took proceedings against her assailants, who were sentenced 
to terms of imprisonment ranging from four weeks to two months. 

Neither gendarmes nor editors realised the value of these fossils of primitive 


the Edda, Heimdall says : " I am nine mothers' child, 
I am nine sisters' son " ; — a passage which has much 
troubled the commentators/ but which is more intel- 
ligible from the standpoint of group-marriage. 

In later German the origin of m,dc is quite obscured. 
With the growth of patriarchal notions, terms like 
kunkelmdc, spindelmdc, muotermdc, were used to dis- 
tinguish relatives on the mother's side from the vatermdc, 
germdc, swertmdc, relatives on the father's side. A.S. 
fcederencyn, fcederingmag, for father's relatives may 
be compared. In reality the words are the misnomers 
of an age which also produced kueniginne. 

The sexual side of the word ondc is found in magan, 
which occurs in mediaeval dialect, and Swabian mogen^ 
milgen, all meaning to procreate. Further in gemaht, 
gemahti, for the male as well as female sex-organs, and 
in modern German gemdchte for those of the male.^ 
Grimm sees in the latter word a modern evaluation with 
the sense of power ; but the A. S. gemaecnes, glossed 
cohahitatio, is against this, and I am inclined to think 
the notion of power in mdc may be largely derived from 
kin as a source of strength, a widespread primitive ex- 
perience. The procreated are the mdc or the gimageda. 
It is to the last word we will now turn for further light 
on the kin-group life. 

Gamahhida is glossed conjunction sodalitas, affinitas, 
congregatio, consortium foedus, cohihentia, conviventia. 
In other words, a union or gathering together for con- 

^ One of the latest, Prof. Rhys, finds in Heimdall a solar or light myth, and 
in his nine mothers evidence of a nonary week ! See similar cases of many 
mothers' children cited on pp. 203, 235. 

^ Machen is still used for any natural office in Swiss and other dialects. 


vivial purposes of those forming a community.^ It 
represents the kin living in common, having common 
property, a common house and meals. It is the primitive 
Eoman or Iroquois gens. But the glosses on gamaJihida 
do not stop at kinship ; we find also contubernium, 
copula, connubium, cubile carnalium, commercium. 
Thus the word denotes sexual union of all kinds. It is 
the free sexual intercourse between the mac which goes 
to form the full conception of gamaJihida. This word, 
like the Latin cohahitatio, denotes not only a living 
together, but as a sexual union it marks the collegia et 
connuhium, cognatorum, the communistic and endo- 
gamous character of the magenschaft. 

While gamahhida represents the group, the individual 
members were the gimahide, gimachide, words glossed 
by conjux, conjugi, i.e. spouses, gimahido is rendered by 
par, gamahcho by socius, gamahho by conjux, uxor; all 
indicating equal comradeship and, at the same time, sex- 
relationship. Further, the adverbs gamahho, gimacho 
are rendered by Latin glosses signifying ' in common,' 
commodiously, kindly, fitly, opportunely, and the noun 
gimahi has glosses affinitas, opportunitas. We have 
in these words the whole strength of the gamahhida 
brought out. A kin-marriage group with all property in 
common, living in common, naturally termed what 
belonged to the group, easy of access, fit, and convenient, 
gemahlih (or as it is glossed connixe, " leaning on one 
another "). What was not of the group wasungamahlih, 

^ It should be noticed how the conception of living together has led to the 
idea of partaking in feasts together, sharing in festivals, e.g. the 'LB.tmconvivor 
and convivium. 


inopportune, hostile, unfitting, evil, — the glosses are 
onerosus, injuriosus, improbus, malus. In a word, we 
have another instance of the kin origin of terms marking 
comfort, fitness, and goodness, such as we have already 
noted in hind and heliaglich. 

A shorter form of the adjective is A.S. gamah, 
gemaca ; it expresses the same idea and is glossed in the 
same way idoneus, hahilis, sodalis, communis. Kamah 
sin denotes to be bound toge,th.e,T, foederentur. From 
this comes a noun gimah, gimacha originally standing 
like gamahhida for the entire group or gens, but very 
early appropriated to its dwelling-place. It ultimately 
denotes a house, or even a collection of houses. Thus 
we frequently find it in the Tyrol for village names 
(Ohergemach), and for villagers' names [Gemach'l). It 
is exactly the same transition as in haia, which is first 
the hive group and then the hive home. 

To connect gemach, the home of the gamahhida, with 
the haia or haga of the hiwun we have the term 
gemachzaun, a word used in Bavaria for one of the three 
customary modes of fencing or hedging, to which certain 
privileges attached. A somewhat similar term is the 
gemachmilhl of the Salzburg district, — a mill built by 
a small group of peasants, probably originally forming a 
markgenossenschaft, to supply their own needs. 

How little does the modern German, gemdchlich in 
his gemach, realise the anthropological value of these 
terms ! Their picture of the old kinship with their 
group-marriage, happy in their common dwelling, is 
not even a dream to him. The idea of pleasure, of what 
is fitting and good, attached to the word gimahlih 


shows US that our old Teuton ancestors considered 
such communistic, cosexual life as both moral and 
advantageous. It was, indeed, a necessary stage of 
evolution, it led to the foundation of a wider conception 
of kin, to the tribe, and ultimately to the state. ^ 

(6) The next word to which I would draw the 
reader's attention is associated with a rather different 
phase of kin -group life. I refer to the term mahal or mdl. 
One of the earliest meanings which we find attached is 
that of the periodic meeting, or judicial assembly of the 
markgenossenschaft This took place at the mahal- 
stat, the mahalbrunnen or the mahalherg, on the 
mahaltag. At such places, where the mahal was held, 
there was usually a mahalstein or altar, and were we 
now occupied with folklore and not philology it would 
be easy to bring evidence of human sacrifices to a 
goddess of fertility at the mahalstein. The corre- 
sponding verb mahaljan denotes a speaking together ; 
the mahal being the basis of a folk-assembly. Thus 
far everything might seem straightforward with regard 
to this word — the old tribal parliament, the mark- 
genossenschaft, meeting by sacred well or on sacred 
hill. But we find attached to the word a totally 
different set of meanings. Mahal is also a marriage : 
mahaltag is glossed dies sponsionis, mahaljan, mdlen,. 
is to take to wife, and mdlscaz is the bridal treasure, 
the hrautschatz ; mahelJcdsen is to fondle. In Ger- 
man vermdhlung, vermdhlen and gemahl, gemahlin 

^ Kinship is the basis of all civilisation, but the origin of the herd or horde, 
whether of animals or man, required a wider sexual relationship than monogamic 
marriage. The herd once established as a variation, its fitness for the extra-group 
struggle enabled it to be independent of its primitive sexual basis. 



(0. Swedish mala and gamalialus are vermdhlung and 
gemahl), denote the whole round of marriage relations.^ 
Can this be merely a figurative use of the idea of 
talking together for the marriage relation,^ or does 
the notion arise from something which happened at the 
old mahal, or tribal gathering ? But, searching still 
further, we find the word mdl denoting meal, food, 
which has usually been distinguished from mdl, a 
talk, an assembly. The ultimate identity of the two 
can scarcely, I think, be disputed, although the origin 
of m^ahl, a meal, has been ingeniously associated by 
Skeat and others with the root ma, to measure, and so 
with a measure of time.^ In this case mahlzeit becomes 
a senseless repetition, and the essential notion of meal 
as a convivium, a high feast or banquet, disappears from 
the origin of the word. Schmeller unconsciously bears 
evidence for the close relation between mdl = mahal, 
and mdl = m^ahl, when he states that das mdl is par 
excellence the hochzeitsmdl ^ among the Bavarian 
peasantry. The m^dlgeld, which each peasant has to 
pay for this common feast, and his present to bride 
and groom termed mdlet (the giving is maelen), come 
strikingly close to the m^dlpfenning which must be 
paid to the mahlmann or judicial official of the mahal, 

^ It is a noteworthy fact tliat in many peasant-festivals, such as the Kirmes, 
which I take to be relics of old heathen sex-festivals (see p. 19), we still find a 
GericMspiel or Amtmanspiel ; a fossil of the old judicial assembly remains in a 
redemption of mock pledges. 

2 Compare the double use oiintercourse, conversation (in older English, and con- 
versatio in Latin), fenstem in Swabian, etc. At the kammafensta we find both 
chorus and riddle marked features of the primitive sex-festival. 

^ Primitively a meal is an epoch of time, before time suggests meals. 

■* The original use of hochzeit, not for a bridal feast, but for a communal 
dance-gathering, may be seen preserved in AschenpuUel, Grimm's 3Idrchen, No. 140. 


and we grasp how it is that the mdlschatz (which 
Grimm and others derive from mahal) is yet used in 
the sense of bride-money, or is closely related to the 
mdlet. We have on the one hand group - custom 
reappearing in bridal, on the other hand in judicial 
ceremonies, both, however, were originally part of one 
and the same group -gathering. What seems to me, 
also, quite certain is that in Tyrolese, Carinthian, 
and Styrian Weisthilmer and Taidinge the word mdl, 
in the sense of a meal, is used back to about 1300, 
and passes almost insensibly into the meaning of mahal, 
the assembly. That the mahlmann, ohman, or what- 
ever else the presiding ofl&cer of the mahal is termed, is to 
be provided with a gerichtsmaJd — ein guetes mall — is 
nearly always a special injunction of the Taidinge ; and 
traces of the old custom of providing such a meal may 
be seen in the provision the English sheriff makes for 
the judges on assize. Even the word malzeit is used in 
a manner which leaves us in doubt whether it refers to 
the duration of the mahal, or to the gerichtsmahl,^ the 
fact probably being that both were originally identical 
notions. It is not in the court-poets, the Minnesinger 
of the M.H.G. period, that we must look for the use of 
m,ahl for meal, but in the peasant judicial proceedings 
which preserved the traditions of the primitive folk. 
The mahal notion is accordingly seen to embrace a clan- 
gathering, a feast, and a sexual commingling.^ I venture 
to assert that we have again a root representing the old 

^ See Zingerle u. Egger, Die Tiroler Weisthiimer, iv. Theil, s. 270. 

^ The meal idea in tnalial shows us the confarreatio springing out of the clan 
vennahlung. The notion is just as much Teutonic as Latin, and folklore shows the 
looseness of the relationship from which monogamic marriage arose. Thus in 
Ziirich the bridal pair had to use one spoon, so that there might be a genuine 


group habits. The Germans meet, Tacitus tells us, to 
feast, talk over tribal matters, and arrange marriages. 
Now all these diverse meanings become clear in the 
light of the hag community, — the mdlherg is the hiherg, 
the mdlstat,^ the histat. O.H.G. mahal, M.H.G. mdl, 
O.S. maal, O.N. maZ, A.S. mael, covering the notions 
of gathering, talk, marriage become intelligible. The 
hegemdl, gehegtes gericht, the judgment-place fenced 
in, the mediaeval custom of fencing or "hedging" a 
gericht before holding it become clearer. It is a 
symbolic reproduction of the old kin-dwelling, where 
the maeg-gemot was held to settle the maeglag. We 
see in the mahal only another form of the htrdt. It is 
noteworthy that Trial is a boundary as well as an 
assembly in much the same manner as Tnark is a 
boundary and a group. We may indeed ask what is 
the primitive meaning to be attached to the root in 
mahal, or Tnael. The related Aryan tongues, according 
to Deecke, who does not go beyond the ' talk ' con- 
ception, offer no parallels to the Teutonic dialects, and 
Grimm has no suggestion to make as to mahal, and 
repudiates any relation to meal. Notwithstanding this, 
I venture to think that German mahlen, to grind, and 
m,dhlen, to promise, are at bottom the same. Thus we 
may notice the way in which mahlmann is used of the 
officer of the gericht, but also mahlmann and mahlleute 

confarreatio. In Esthonia the bridegroom breaks the spoons of his bride and of 
himself, upon which the house-father unites the pair. In Norway the bride- 
spoon, often beautifully carved, is a family treasure. To love and to be wanton 
is termed loffeln in Germany, and a weak form of the same idea remains in the 
phrase to spoon^ denoting to flirt in English. In England also the bride-knives, 
bride-cup, and bride-cake have probably all relation to the idea in confarreatio. 

^ Significantly in M.H.G. this word stands for site of a dwelling, e.g. wunn- 
samy mdlstat. 


of the peasant or group of peasants using a mill. 
Further maellen occurs frequently for mahlen in the 
sense of grind in German dialect. A still stronger link, 
however, may be found by comparing Ulfilas's renderings 
of Luke xvii. 35 and Luke iv. 18. In the former passage 
the Greek has akrjdovaai, leading directly to the Latin 
molentes, and Ulfilas has malandeins from malan. 
In the latter passage the Greek has avvTerpiiJLfievov^, 
and the Latin contritos. Now both a\e(o and Tpl^od 
are to rub, pound, grind, and o-wrpl^co is directly used 
of rubbing the fire-sticks, or of any motion of a pestle 
in a mortar.^ We have thus directly from the Greek 
a link between the fire-sticks and the primitive mill. 
Ulfilas, however, renders the Latin contritos by gamalvi- 
dans, giving a verb malvjan, to bruise or pound. This 
stands as close to O.H.G. gamahaljan and mahaljan 
as to O.H.G. TYialan} If this hypothesis be correct, 
the mal root in vermdhlung carries us back to precisely 
the same notion as the hi in heirath, i.e. to the idea 
of the fire-sticks or of pestle and mortar. In the word 
mahal all the senses are concentrated, it is the common 
meal, the tribe-talk, and the sex-festival. To fully 
realise this, we must recollect that the primitive 
mill with which most food was prepared, not only 
among the Aryans, but among savages all the world 
over, is the mortar and pestle ; ^ and when it is of 

1 For example, rpixf/ai is used by Homer of Odysseus when rubbing the stake 
round in the socket of the Cyclops' eye. awrpi^ri^ = coJiabitio. 

2 The form mdldn appears in O.H.G. for niahaldn, signifying to bring a 
judicial process, i.e. to summon before the niahal. 

2 Compare the Aryan root ghreudo, pound, leading to Lett, grauds corn, 
O.N". grautr, A.S. grytt, O.H.G. crioz, German grutze, and English grits. A study 
of the American Indians to-day shows the mill still as the chief instrument in the 
preparation of meals. See the representation referred to in the footnote p. 112. 


wood, it is closely allied to the fire generator. That 
gamahalo, glossed vir, sponsus, should take its origin, 
like hiwo, sponsus, in the notion of the primitive 
mill will not seem so far-fetched, if it be remembered 
in the first place how widespread is the simile, and in 
the second place how persistently tradition associates the 
mill and its occupants with sexual license. In this 
respect we may note the Latin contero and molo, the 
French moudre, the German mahlen, the Greek fivWw 
(with iivXKd<i, a wanton woman, fivXXo^;, the vagina, and 
/iuXXo9, a cake given at the Thesmophoria and probably, 
like the corresponding cakes at the German sex-festivals, 
of a phallic character), etc. 

If we turn for a moment to folklore, we find in 
Verena, the patron saint of millers,^ a goddess of fertility 
worshipped in the neighbourhood of Coblenz and Zur- 
zach. She was a goddess of the usual Anai'tis, Isis, 
Walpurga, or Demeter type ; to her women ofier votive 
tablets for pregnancy and for easy labour. The mill is, 
indeed, the scene of most mediaeval erotic adventures ; 
and whether it be Chaucer or Goethe, or whether it be 
in Wiirtemberg, Bavaria, or Scandinavia, the miller's wife 
is ever the type of wanton, the woman who deceives her 
husband, and is free to all comers. The names of many 
mills in Germany still appear to be reminiscences of 
their old female occupants, and the mill in mediaeval times 
is the birthplace of all famous illegitimate children from 
Pilate to Karl the Great. The mill-wheel grinds all 
things out, love and license, and the sacks carry not 
only wheat, but lovers into the mill. Thus finely : — 

^ See Rochholz, Drei Gaugbttinneiiy s. 115. 


Dort hoch auf jenein berge 

da get ein miQerad, 

das malet nichts denn Hebe 

die nacht biss an den tag {Uhland, 33), 

and more coarsely in the reply of the miller's wife to 
her husband who knocks for admittance : — 

Ich steh fiirwabr nicht aufe, 

Ich lass dich nicbt herein, 

Ich habe die Nacht gemalen 

Mit sechs schonen jungen Knaben ; 

Davon bin ich so miid {Simrock, No. 285). 

Both Volkslieder remind us of the Grottasongr, the 
mill-song of the Edda, wherein the mountain giants' 
brides grind peace and war, bliss and riches, at Frodi's 
mill. These women are typical of the old mother-age — 
half-seeresses, half-warriors, Amazonian figures who rule 
the destinies of men. For long ages the mill was a 
symbol of woman's civilisation, grinding was woman's 
work, and so for centuries much of the old mahal free- 
dom attached itself to the mill. 

Thus from the ideas involved in the root mdl and 
its cognates we have evidence of a striking kind of the 
old kin-gathering and its common meal — the concio of 
the mdg, followed by the conjunctio of the gemahelun. 
The group -habits develop in different directions, and 
are still to be found as fossils in mediaeval marriage 
customs, mediaeval legal ceremonies, and in the license 
of the mediaeval HexenmahU 

(7) We have not yet, however, exhausted the 

^ Religious festivals, e.g. the Lugnassad, and outdoor sports {e.g. the 
"Hollow of the Fair") were associated in early Celtic days with marriages. 
See Rhys, Hibhert Lectures, 1886, pp. 416, 418. 


words for kin which seem to mark a prehistoric kin- 
dred group -marriage. The next to be considered is 
the very valuable fossil gat. I suspect this to be the 
same primitive as appears in Greek %aS. Thus x^vhdvw 
contains initially the notion of holding. ^az^So? is 
gaping, wide open ; x^'^^^ i^ ^^ open the mouth wide, 
and so to crave ; probably also /ca8o9, a jar or vessel, is 
from the same source. There are two Teutonic forms 
to be considered. 

(i.) Gat. This means an opening, a hole. O.H.G. 
hater is glossed valva, ostium; O.N. gad is a hole. 
We have also A.S. geat, English gate, and O.S. gat. 
In M.H.G. des herges gat is a hill-cave, der lewen gat 
the lion's den, and Reinke de Yos has his gat or burrow. 
In M.L.G. gat or weidegat stands for anus, and in 
Norwegian Landsmaal gat is a small hollow, and gate, 
gato, or gatu stand for button-hole. Gat is also used 
in L.G. for a snake's hole. From these words it is 
clear that gat has the primitive sense of small hole, 
and is then used for den or lair.^ 

(ii.) Gadem. This denotes a shed, house, or room 
— an extension of the den or lair notion. In O.H.G. 
cadum is glossed domus, tahernaculum, septum, con- 
clave, i.e. house, tent, hedged inclosure, closet — a com- 
bination, in fact, of gemach and hag. In A.S. and 
O.S. the word does not occur; it is Swabian and 
Tyrolese, but it stretches as far as the Allemani did 

^ Considering the ready interchange of Jc and g in O.H.G,, I am inclined 
to think O.H.G. chezil, kezil, Gothic katilo, O.F. ketil, A.S. catel, English 
kettle, are directly from gat with the diminutive, and not from Latin catillus. 
In this respect we must note Icelandic kati, a small vessel or boat, where the 
double sense of the words vessel and boat {e.g. as in butter-boat) repeats itself. 


into Switzerland, Elsass, and even faintly to Koln. 
It is a single inclosed space built of wood, and its 
nature is well-indicated by a twelfth -century Eegens- 
burg MS. which used gademer in the sense of zimmer- 
mann or carpenter. Singularly enough, while no direct 
evidence is forthcoming of the use of gat in the sense 
of the " bairns' burgh," or for the female organs of sex, 
gadem and Jieischgadem are in the peasant's FastnachU 
spiele very frequently used for the latter. Whether 
we have here traces of an earlier sense of the word, or 
only ' kennings,' it might be hard to determine. 

Whether we give to gat or gadem the significance 
of magen or gemach, we find connected with these 
words a great variety of terms for kin and kinship. 
The first word to be noted is O.H.G. gatalinga^ more 
frequently written katilinga. This word, denoting ofi"- 
spring, appears to be related to gadem exactly as 
gamahhida to gemach. Whether the katilinga are to 
be considered as the belongings of the same gat in the 
sense of lair, or of the same katil in the sense of womb, 
it would perhaps be impossible to settle. The sexual 
weight, however, of the root gat is very considerable, 
and may be at once evidenced by such a word as 
hegatten and a curious Celtic gadal = lihidinosus} In 
M.L.Gr. the word gaden takes a purely sexual meaning 
and is glossed conjungi, congregari ad generandum; 

1 Deecke connects with a Sanskrit root gad, denoting to hang upon, cling to, 
a nasal form of which gives gand'as, a neighbour, and also relationship. . How 
far this root has a sexual meaning I am unable to say. Skeat gives an Aryan 
root ghad, from which he deduces x^S, but then bigitan and beget, not begatten 
and vergatten and gather. The Teutonic root gad is very close, however, to 
ghad, and I am inclined to think that bigitan and bigatten, to beget and to pair, 
are ultimately the same. 


vorgaden is vergatten to pair, and it later takes the 
meaning of vermdhlen, marry. That this, however, is 
not its original meaning is well marked by the L.G. sick 
in echtschop vorgaddern — i.e. to pair in a legal manner. 
The same primitive notion is also borne out by the 
use of hegatten in German solely for animals, although 
gatte and gattin are used of husband and wife. We 
find gatalinga glossed exactly as gamahhida. O.H.G. 
gatulina, A. S. gaedeling, are rendered by comes, sodalis, 
consors, consanguineus, while Gothic gadiliggs is con- 
sohrinus, the sister's son. O.S. gigado, O.H.G. gegate 
and gate is given by socius, aequalis, sponsus, comrade 
but also spouse. Katilinga is also glossed par elites. 
A.S. gaed denotes society, fellowship, company, and 
stands to gat as maege to magen. Now all these terms 
seem purely idle from the patriarchal standpoint, for 
the spouse is not the equal or the blood relative. But 
the kindred group -marriage throws light upon them all. 
The group of parents are themselves hatilinga, they are 
comrades, equals, kin ; they form one society, wherein 
the mother's sister's child is on the same footing as the 
mother's child. ^ All the katilinga are comrades at bed 
and board. But we have by no means completed the 
analogies between the katilinga and gamahhida. As I 
have already pointed out, the kin is the sphere of what 
is kind, friendly, pleasurable, all beyond is hostile. 
Accordingly we have gagat, convenient ; getelich, what 
is fitting, proper ; gedelik, what is useful ; while gattlich 
gets the sense of beautiful, and getelos of all that is 
unfitting and improper. 

^ Compare cvyyheLa, kinship ; avyyevi}^, kinsman, cousin, the fitting ; 
<riry7ei't/c6j, the fitting to kin ; (xvyyiyvofiai, to be with at bed and board ; 
ffvyyevrjffLs = vergaderung. 


Fick connects the Teutonic gad with a root mean- 
ing fit and good^ and so reaches good and gut, and 
Deecke cites a-^aQo^. I am inclined to think if any- 
such relation is to hold at all — which I doubt — it is of 
the inverse kind. The origin of the agreeable and fit 
must, I think, among primitive people always be sought 
in the notion of sex and of kin. 

The habits of the kin-group are represented by a 
number of words associated with gat. In the first 
place, we have the German vergaderung, gaderung, 
and our English gathering, a meeting of the kin of the 
same nature as the mahal. This vergade^mng, ver- 
gatterung, or, in a corrupt form, virgatum gehen, 
remained as a fossil in the mediaeval school fete, fre- 
quently held on St. Gregory's Day at Niirnberg and 
elsewhere. The children went into the woods and had a 
common meal, which was followed by dancing and 
singing. To give a full account, however, of this fossil 
vergaderung of the sixteenth century would be to desert 
philological for folklore evidence — a material to which 
I propose to return later. The vergaderung is a sex- 
festival, another form of the mahal and the hexenmahl} 

The council or tribe-talk aspect of the mahal is 
represented by a number of words connecting the gat 
with the mark system. Thus we have gadengericht and 
gadenrichter for the court and judge at Eotweil, and 
Kaisersgaden was used even of the imperial judicial 
chamber. In O.L.G. we even find gaderheren glossed 
patres conscripti. Corresponding to the hagegeld and 

^ The relation of the judicial mahal to the sex-festival is evidenced in the 
custom which forced the Zurzach and Oettingen Landvogts to dance under a 
linden, or in a public place, with a common prostitute before they proceeded 
to hold their annual courts. 


hagehenne we have gattergeld and gatterhenne, fees 
paid to the lord or gatterherr for the dwelling or land 
inclosed by a gatter, this being a fence, modern German 
gitter. Other forms are L.G. gadder, H.G. gdtter and 
getter. The meaning of gatter is quite clear, a staked 
fence, interwoven like a hurdle. The forms gataro and 
kataro occur in O.H.G., and seem to point to the same 
origin as gatte and hatilinga. I take it that the gatter 
is equivalent to the hag and the gemachzaun, the fence 
of the old group gadem. Whether its origin is to be 
sought in the bringing or binding together, conveyed in 
the word gather or not (the dictionaries are rather at 
a loss on the point), the gatter seems to be related to 
the gatilinga in precisely the same manner as the hag 
to the hagetissa and hagastalt} This link, however, is 
by no means necessary in order to bring out the very 
complete similarity of ideas in the hihun, gamahhida, 
and hatilinga terminology of the old mother-age con- 
ceptions of kin and of kindred marriage. 

(8) It may be well to turn aside here from our 
Teutonic words for kin, and note how generally the notion 
of a folk-gathering is a union for food, council, song, and 
sex. Consider the Latin grex, a herd, also a troupe, 
society, band — in short, the hive ; congregatio is a 
flocking together, but congressio and congressus, while 
denoting friendly intercourse, yet both take the sexual 
meaning.^ Taking the equivalent Greek dyeipci), with the 
same notion of gather or assemble, we have ayopd for the 
assembly or tribe-talk, bringing out the judicial aspect of 

^ The getting is identified with hagestolz iu a Hachberg Weisthum of 1341, 
Grimm i. p. 366. 

^ Compare also O.H.G. zemctn, A.S. tymen = convenire, but also t(^'team. 


the malial or kin-gathering, ayopd, as an equivalent for 
speaking or talking, may well be compared with the cor- 
responding Teutonic mdl for talk, ayopala, as an epithet 
for Artemis and Athene, marks the primitive origin of 
these goddesses as goddesses of fertility worshipped at 
the mahal or folk vergaderung. It may be noted that 
the ayopd, or tribal meeting-place at Sparta, was termed 
Xopcx;, and the notion of chorus is of a body or troupe 
who dance and sing within an inclosure. This in- 
closure, the x^pTo<;, is also associated with the idea of 
feeding, x^prd^o being to feast, quite as much of men 
as of animals. The idea of the chorus is well expressed 
by the dancing within the lists to the erotic song, such 
as Alcinous's people exhibited before Odysseus. In this 
respect it is to be noted that no foreigners — i.e. originally 
no doubt none but the kin — were allowed to join the 
chorus. The picture of youths and maidens dancing 
in the chorus is repeated twice in the eighteenth book of 
the Iliad, although the term x^P^'^ i® ^^^7 used on the 
second occasion, but the first is peculiarly important for 
our present purpose. It runs : — 

Also he fashioned therein two fair cities of mortal men. In 
the one were espousals and marriage feasts, and beneath the blaze 
of torches they were leading the brides from their chambers through 
the city, and loud arose the bridal song. And young men were 
whirling in the dance, and among them flutes and viols sounded 
high ; and the women standing each at her door were marvelling. 
But the folk were gathered in the assembly place (dyoprj) ; for there 
a strife was arisen, two men striving about the blood-price of a 
man slain. ^ 

Here, in a highly-developed condition, we have the 

1 The Iliad of Homer, translated by Lang, Leaf and Myers, p. 381. 


German mahal, the tribal judicial assembly going on ; 
but at the same time the winileod is heard, the dance 
and the brands of the free Friesian brides are seen, and 
ar^opd and %o/909 unite as the Mrdt and Mleih to 
complete the picture of primitive tribe -talk, feast, and 
kindred bridal. The association of %o/)09 with feast, 
with religious ceremony, and with the hedged or staked 
inclosure — its root is the same as in garth, yard, and 
hortus — are all paralleled in the kco/jlo<; and hag concep- 
tions, with which I have already dealt. It is further 
noteworthy that one of the great choral festivals, that 
of the Lenaea, took place in the month of Vafirfkioov, 
which covered the latter half of January and the first 
half of February. This month is said to have been so 
called because it was a fashionable time for weddings, 
but the name much more probably arose from the old 
sex-festivals occurring in this period.^ It may be noted 
that February in Germany is termed the Weihermonat, 
since " im Februar fiihren die Frauen das Eegiment " ; 
and I am inclined to interpret the O.H.G. name Hornung 
in the same sense, i.e. the month of that free intercourse 
which resulted in the offspring — hornunge, children, 
whom a later age regarded as bastard and illegitimate. 
The Eoman Lupercalia held on February 15th was 
essentially a worship of fertility, and the privileges 
supposed to be attached to women in our own country 
during this month — especially on February 14th and 
29 th — are probably a fossil of the same sex -freedom.^ 

^ The ancient Irish "annual marriages " were dissolved and new ones entered 
upon on Walpurgis Day, another great sex- festival. 

2 The mysterious festival in January of the Anglo-Saxons, which Bede terms 
" modraneht, id est matrum nodem" deserves consideration. What also was the 


The important part played by women in the Dionysian 
sex-festival is also to be borne in mind. As in Teutonic 
lands, so in Greece and Kome we can trace back below 
a much more elaborate civilisation the simple habits 
of primitive life, with their evidences of a totally 
different status for women and a widely diverse sexual 

The notion that a gathering is at once a tribal 
council, a choral festival, and a military unit is well illus- 
trated by the O.H.G. glosses gasamani for congregation 
gesemine for chorus, kesemene for concilium, gesemene 
for coetus, phalanx, and liutgasameni for folk-gathering. 
To these may be added a mysterious hrutsamana used 
by Notker for ecclesia. But what was a hrutsamana in 
pre-Christian times ? We seem carried back once more 
to the choruses of maidens singing the hileih in the early 
Christian churches. 

Another word which may be just noted is fare, to 
go or travel, but this quite early has the meaning of 
fare, to feed. Thus A.S. gefer, gefere is glossed by 
consortium, a faring together, gefera by socius, comes, 
sodalis, contuhernalis, i.e. a comrade not only on the 
way, but at table and in the home. Geferraeden, liter- 
ally a talking together of the gefere, comes to mean 
household {domus,familias), the intercourse of comrades 
{societas, familiaritas), the corporate group of the 
markgenossenschaft, but also sex-intimacy, marriage 
as we find in contubernium. The root runs indeed 

heathen festival of the Spurcalia, which caused February to be called sporhel- 
maand ? Was it from the Aryan root spherag, swell, burst, giving sphoragos, 
shoots, buds, but with the sense also of any young life as in German Schossling 
for Schooskind? 


exactly parallel to A.S. cynraeden leading to modern 
kindred, and A.S. hiwraeden with its modern German 
equivalent the heirath. Fdra is Langobard for family, 
relationship ; and we thus see the complete round 
of the hiwunga and gamahhida ideas again well illus- 
trated. See also Appendix IV. on genossenschaft. 

(9) The next word for kinship to be considered is 
sih. Gothic sihja, O.H.G. sippia, A.S. sih, O.N. 
si/jar, kinship. In O.N. sifi is friend and sift is kin. 
A friend can only be one of the kin ; and if a person is 
to be made a friend, he must be made one of the blood 
or kin by commingling or drinking blood with all or 
the chief members of the kin.^ All that are related by 
birth, cognatio, are sib. Thus cognatos is glossed by sihho 
and gisihhe. Sif is the name of Thor's wife, who is a 
goddess of fertility, of agriculture, and of childbirth — a 
Scandinavian Ceres. She appears in Anglo-Saxon as Siha 
or Sieve, and was probably primitively rather a mother- 
goddess than a wife-goddess. In the Edda a ' kenning ' 
for the Earth itself is svaeru Sif jar, which appears to 
identify Sif with Jord, Thor's mother, and not his 
wife. She has at any rate the characteristics of a 
goddess of fertility. The Gothic sif an is to rejoice, 
and appears to be related to sip asfreuen to fri. Just 
as notions of comfort and friendly action are associated 
with the mdg, the kin, and the hag, so we find sip 
glossed pax, affinitas, foedus} Thus pax vohiscum is 

^ The pohratimstvo or hratstvo, the brotherhood of the Southern Slavs, is one 
of the most interesting cases. There appears even some evidence that the 
hratstvo was created by a commingling of blood. 

^ In the tenth to eleventh century O.H.G. translation of Martinus Capella 
die sippa Jovis stands for consortia Jovis, the company of Jupiter. 


rendered by sihha si iu and vade in pace hj far in sihhu 
in Tatian. We see in these phrases the primitive man 
going away in safety amid his kin. Unsippe is seditio, 
hostility, unfriendliness ; unsihja is iniqua. Gasihho and 
gasihha are glossed consanguineus and consanguineay 
the male and female blood-relative. In M.L.G. sihhert 
is the blood - relative ; A.S. gives as its equivalent 
sibling (Landsmaal sivjung and O.N. sifjungr), and 
has also sibsum and ungesibsum for peaceful and hostile. 
Gothic gasibjon is to pacify, and unsibis is one who is 
an outlaw, — i.e. not of the blood bond. The sipzal and 
siptzal is the enumeration of the clan, the ' tale ' of 
the relatives. Norse sift and svift are kin, and I suspect 
English sept for clan is really the same, and not a 
corruption of sect as Skeat supposes. English gossip , 
of course, comes from the same source. I doubt very 
much whether the god in the original godsib is to be 
associated with god,^ but rather corresponds to the god 
in goodman, or godeman, with the sense of pater- 
familias, the head of the sibbe. If so, gossibraede 
becomes identical with cynraede and hiwraede in 
sense, and our modern gossip expresses exactly the 
primitive intimacy of the kin. So far, with the excep- 
tion of the idea in Sif the goddess of fertility and of the 
family, the sexual notion has not been shown to enter 
into sib. But while Norse sif is a friend, sjafni is a 
wooer, a lover, and sjofn is a bride. In Prussia 
gesippe is used of a dissolute and lewd company. 
This is very probably not a complete degeneration of 
the sib notion, but a retention and an emphasis of the 

^ I shall return later to the primitive value of the godparents. 


social and sexual freedom of the primitive sih. Lithu- 
anian sebras is a comrade, and very suggestively 
Slavonic sehru is a peasant, one of the mark group who 
till common land. We may again connect the idea of 
' gather ' by referring to the Sanskrit sahhd, an as- 
sembly, and sahhya, one trusted or fit for an assembly 
(cited by Skeat), and I suspect Persian sapah, 
sipah, an army, and sipdhi, English sepoy, a soldier ; 
thus pointing to the kin as the primitive military 

The root of sip is somewhat obscure. Deecke would 
connect it with si, Sanskrit siv, denoting sew, bind 
together. It is more likely to be connected with sip, 
to suck, so that the siblings would be the sucklings.-^ 
This is supported by the use of geseppe, gesoppe, and 
gesuppe in Bohemia for a crowd of small children. 
Skeat connects both sip and sup with a root su, to 
express juice, to generate, and so with son, sus, and 
swine.^ Whether the suckling notion {sip, silppen, sip- 
peln), or the procreating, generating notion {su), be at 
the basis of sib, we find that the notion of kin sexual 
freedom is not so strong in it as in several other terms 
for blood relationship. Indeed in Teutonic lands the 
blood notion gets weakened, and in Landsmaal syvja 
seg is now equivalent to besvogre sig, to enter into 
relationship by marriage — an expression far removed 

^ Note O.N. seppi for puppy, Swedish sif for bitch, and Persian sipa for 

2 He will allow no relationship between sip = 'kin and M.H.G. si^ = sieve. 
Yet A.S. sife, sibi, and O.H.G. sib, are strangely close to the kin- words. Skeat 
says, "A sieve is properly for dry articles." This appears to entirely overlook 
the Danish sive, which is used especially of water, but generally of any penetra- 
tion through fine holes. 


indeed from the O.H.G. ninth-century unsiphi ivip, for 
the concubine of presbyters and deacons. The suhintro- 
ducta, or concubine, as distinguished from the wife, was 
in the earliest time essentially the ' strange woman,' the 
woman not of the kin. 

We cannot leave sib without turning for a moment 
to a corresponding Slavonic word zupa. In Old 
Prussian we have supilni, and in Lithuanian zupone for 
the house-mother, the materfamilias. Siponeis is Gothic 
for a disciple, probably as junge in modern German 
stands for puer, famulus, and discipulus. The corre- 
sponding Latin appears to be prosapia, a stock or 
race. In the Lika district the folk use zupa for house- 
hold, or family. It is a subject of congratulation to 
the head of the house that he has a large zupa. The 
primitive use of zupa appears to be identical with hiwa 
and sibhe, but it is used for a village community, for 
a pasturage, — probably originally the common land of 
the community — and for a parish, zupnik, being the 
parish priest. Just as in A.S. mceg^, the sense of the 
word is extended from household to village, to district, 
and even to county. The head of a zupa is a zupan ; 
yet this word, which might be supposed to refer to the 
paterfamilias as zupone to the materfamilias, has been 
specialised in the sense of the head of the zupa for 
military and judicial purposes. We have, in fact, the 
kin-chief, — the rudimentary paterfam^ilias, never de- 
veloped into the actual father, but into the heerfilhrer 
and herzog, as distinguished from the husband or hus- 
mann. He is like the cyne-hlaford, the head of the kin, 
who develops into the king, but not into the husband, 


the spouse of the hone} This is well illustrated by the 
fact that the zupan very early obtained in Croatia the 
foreign or German name of hnez, or honig. We have, 
in fact, to do with a kin or clan leader, its official head 
in administrative, judicial, and military matters. There 
is evidence to show that he was in early times elected 
by the zupa ; later the office became hereditary, or the 
appointment was made by the national king. The zupan 
was maintained, partly by a grant of the common land 
of the zupa partly by a portion of the royal taxes on 
the zupa, and partly by annual traditional gifts exactly 
corresponding to those paid to the ohman or mahlmann 
by the markgenossenschaft. 

To still further illustrate the close relation of the zupa 
to the hiwa, we may note that the zupa maintained 
a hurg, or fenced place of arms, — corresponding closely 
to the haga or haia. Round this so-called grada, or 
haia, were the huts or dwellings of a group of blood- 
related households who tilled the common lands of the 
community under the guidance of the leader of the 
hratsvo or brotherhood.^ The hratsvo still exists. Each 
blood-related household, which embraces several families, 
looks carefully after the marriages of its members, but at 
the same time pays from the common purse the charges 
of the marriage feast. While exogamy is now the rule, 
there is a good deal of folklore evidence to show that 

^ Ducange cites a number of examples of zuppa and zupanus for district or 
parish, and its presiding officer. The Avords also appear in mediaeval Latin as 
supa and supanos. I suspect the su2^par = socius, who is in this case also cognatus, 
cited in another place by Ducange, is also one of the hipa, or of the kin. 

'^ A hratsvo is a community of several blood-related households with common 
lands and patron - saint ; a zupa seems to have been primitively much the 
same organisation. 


endogamy was once the custom of these communistic 
kindred households. A great feature of a hratsvo, as of 
the (pparpia, is the kin-feast, conducted by the alderman of 
the group household. It is held in honour of the kin- 
saint or patron, who has no doubt usurped the place of 
some heathen deity. The revelry ends with choruses 
and dances of youths and maidens, certain of these 
dances being of the type otherwise only performed at 

Thus, whether we consider the zupa as philologically 
related or not to the sihja, we find among the Southern 
Slavs precisely the same communistic kin -households 
with their fenced place, their judicial arrangements, 
common land, and kin-festivals as we have found among 
Germans and Greeks. It is clear that we are dealing 
with a type of Aryan civilisation, not with something 
peculiarly German ; and what is more a type funda- 
mentally inconsistent with the patriarchal system. 

(10) Another general word for sex-relationship is 
freien, with the noun freite, one of the earliest 
Teutonic words for sexual freedom. It is noteworthy 
that freien now stands for the wooing or courtship 
which precedes marriage, and very generally but by no 
means universally all sex-relationship. Precisely in the 
period of wooing, however, the woman, even under the 
patriarchal system, has more of equality and comrade- 
ship than at any later period. The period of courtship 
forms, I believe, a faint reflex of the relation of the 
sexes in the mother-age. This period is essentially a 

^ For the above and many other particulars of the zupa and hratsvo see 
Krauss, Sitte u. Branch der Swdslaven, Vienna, 1885. 


time of freedom for the woman, and it is remarkably 
significant that the modern name for it should be that 
for the free intercourse of the old social system. It 
shows that comradeship — freedom and friendship — were 
ideas evolved from a sex-relationship, which nowadays 
would be universally condemned as antisocial. 

The ultimate root of freien is fri, Sanskrit _pH, to 
embrace, love in the sexual sense, enjoy. In Sanskrit 
Pritis is the wife of the god of love ; prijas is the loved 
one, the bridegroom, the spouse, and prijd, the loved 
woman ; prijdja is to be intimate. Gothic frijon is 
to love, frijapva signifies sexual love, and frijons kiss ; 
frijdnds and frijondia stand for male and female lovers, 
friends. K.^. frig j an is to love, to embrace, emdifredd 
is love. O.N. y*H is spouse, wooei,fria to love. Danish 
frie is woo, marry. Dutch vrijen, M.H.G. vrien, both 
to woo.^ Jj.Gr. frijte stands for wooing, and thence we 
might pass to a variety of Teutonic words deduced from 
freien, still extant, and denoting courtship, wooing, or 

We may further note Bohemian pritel, a male friend 
or lover; O.N. frimll, Landsmaal fridla, O.H.G. 
friudil, lover, bridegroom, spouse ; friedila, a loved 
woman ;^ and M.H.G. milchvriedel, a beardless lover. 
Danish yW^Ze stands for mistress or concubine, Friesian 

^ I sus^ject Gothic fraiv, seed (as in the parable of the sower), and race or 
offspring, O.E. fri for family or offspring, and English fry, Swedish fro for 
spawn, are related to the root fri, as Mwo, spouse, and Mwa, family, hive, to 
the root M. 

2 It is most noteworthy that in O.H.G. friudalin is used of a concubine, 
Bind friedila is used for virago, for a woman quae virile implet officium, runs the 
gloss ; strange but weighty evidence of the importance of women under the old 
free sexual system, and of the impression they formed on the men of the new 


frudelf is a lover. With such evidence as this before 
us, there can, I think, be no doubt that the primitive 
value of fri is love in the sexual sense ; and, further, 
that love as a bond between friends is the outcome of 
this sexual love. In participle form we have, besides 
the Q^oi\i\Q, frijdnds already cited : O.N. friantr, friends ; 
later yrae?^cZ^, confidant, relative, friend; O.S. friund, 
relative, friend ; O.H.G. vriunt and vrunt, relative, male 
lover, spouse, friend, but also serf and vassal ; Dutch 
vriend, Fnesism friond snidfriuene; O.S., 0. Swedish, 
and O.H.G. variations oi friuntscaf are rendered by 
relationship, friendship, intimacy, and unfriuntscaf is 
all that is hostile to the friantscajlda. 

Now the historical evolution of the word is certainly 
sexual lover, relative, friend, retainer, serf. We have, 
in fact, precisely the same succession of ideas as in Mwo. 
Grimm asserts that in the older languages a distinction 
is made between mag and vriunt, the kinsman and the 
friend, but he cites nobody earlier than Walther von 
der Vogelweide ; and the notion of relative and kinsman 
attaches to vriunt or friend in all Teutonic dialects, 
of which the separation occurred ages before Walther's 
day. Thus, in Norse, fraendi is especially the kinsman 
as opposed to ven, the friend, in modern sense. In the 
Nihelungenlied we find friunde occur as the persons who 
may be kissed, e.g, the kin.^ In old M.L.G. law-books 
vrunt is used frequently for relative, and vruntelink for 
one of the kin, corresponding to A.S. frundeling, 

^ The limitation of the kiss of women to the blood kin is of special signifi- 
cance, when we note how the words for sexual intimacy and kissing pass into 
each other, e.g. Gfofhicfrijdns, kiss, is here to the point. 


a relative ; also freund, frunt, is repeatedly used for 
verwandter in the Tyrolese Weisthilmer. Swedish has 
frdnka, fraeundkona for female relative, and O.H.G. 
friuntin, M.L.G. vriundin, denote not only the mis- 
tress and concubine, but also the consanguinea. Indeed, 
vriuntschaft is used for consanguinitas, blood relation- 
ship, and also, but probably later, for affinitas. Nagel- 
vriunt is identical with nagelmdc, and often the only 
additional persons included in the vriunde beyond the 
mac are the members of the household, the vassals — pre- 
cisely the extension we have seen in the use of hkva. 
Thus we see the chain connecting two such different 
glosses as friunte = parentis and friuntscalh == cliens or 
serf. We accordingly conclude that the notion of friend- 
liness has arisen from the old kindred group-marriage, 
in precisely the same way as the notions of kindliness, 
comfort, and beauty in kind, hehaglich, gemdchlich, 
etc. Before we pass to another important conception 
acquired by the old mother-age vriunte, we may briefly 
consider the old deities associated with this root fri 
or pri. 

Besides Sanskrit Prttis for the wife of the god of love ; 
Prije is the old Bohemian goddess of love. Then we have 
a wide range of Teutonic mother-goddesses, goddesses of 
fertility and sex. In the first place, we may note Frea 
of the Langobards ; then, farther north, Fria, Frija, 
from whom our Friday is derived, essentially a northern 
Venus ; and ultimately, in Scandinavia, we have two 
notable forms — Freyja, Frowd, Fraujo, or simply Frti 
(Frau), a most typical mother -age goddess, as well 
goddess of death as of fertility ; and Frigg, Friche, or 


Fricke^ Woden's wife, whom Paul the Deacon identi- 
fies with Frea, and who is essentially a goddess of sex. 
Frowd is a good example of the early mother-age, for 
she marries her brother Freyr, The names of both 
mark the old brother and sister wooers, and are especially 
valuable, as her name has become the general name for 
woman and wife. She is the woman, the wooer, par 
excellence. Frigg, on the other hand, bears the girdle 
of Aphrodite ; the plough, the symbol of fertility, is 
sacred to her, while the cat, which shares with the dog 
— the attendant of Holla and Walpurga — the doubtful 
honour of representing lustfulness among the Teutons, 
is her constant companion. From the Oddrunar-Grdtr 
in the Edda we learn that both Frigg and Freyja were 
appealed to by women in labour. We further see how 
in the later father-age the earlier freedom of sex in 
Frigg and Freyja is brought out as traditional. Thus 
in the Hyndlolibd, Hyndla accuses Freyja of a pro- 
miscuity worthy of a she-goat, running after her lover 
at night. In the Lokasenna Loki finds Freyja full of 
lewdness, for all the Anses assembled in Aegir's hall had 
been in turn her paramour. Frigg in the same song 
Loki scolds as a wanton, for she had taken to her bosom 
Vea and Vilja, Odin's brothers. Thus we see in both 
Frigg and Freyja survivals in a father-age mythology 
of mother -age deities — daughters of Mother Earth — 
whose early practice of kin group -marriage survives 
only as a tradition to be raked up by Loki, when he 
chaffs the assembled gods. The relation of Frowd to 

1 This guttural modification of Frowa should be compared ^vith the hig 
variants of M, e.g. hige for Mive, etc. 


the earth and to fertility is evidenced in some interest- 
ing O.H.G. glosses. Thus Erdfrdwa is a gloss for 
Cyhele, and Liutfrdiva for Juno Populonia. 

As frei, free, is related to Frea, and froli, glad, to 
Frowd and Fril, so freck, shameless, is related to Friche ; 
they suggest the essential features of the sexual character 
of these Teutonic mother-goddesses, who are the Western 
representatives of Astarte, Isis, and Anaitis. They are 
frei, froh, and freck all at once. I do not think we 
can separate the ultimate root of Frea from Frau, and 
the Sanskrit prt, embrace, enjoy, finds a corresponding 
cognate in pra-av, satisfy, satiate. Associated with this 
we have the Wendish god Prove, the god of the plough- 
share, and counterpart of Freyr, the wooer and par- 
amour. The notion of the sex-relation as ploughing, or 
sowing, tilth, is common to nearly all Aryan nations,^ 
and the goddess of sex is invariably the goddess of the 
plough, of agriculture and fertility in general. A highly 
suggestive parallel may, in this respect, be drawn between 
Demeter- Ceres and Freyja. Demeter is essentially 
Mother Earth, and is the paramour of her brother Zeus. 
She helps man to the discovery of the plough, and 
teaches him how to sow corn. The Thesmophoria in 
her honour commemorate the origin of civilisation, which 
may be identified with the beginnings of agriculture. 
Demeter falls in love with a mortal, and lies with him 
in a thrice-ploughed field. In Grermany a field is made 
fertile by the Frau, doubtless symbolising Frowd, going 
through a representation of the same act. A somewhat 
similar folk-custom used to be gone through as a maiden 
completed the operation of grafting fruit trees. In both 

^ See Appendix III. 


we have close traces of the origin of agriculture and horti- 
culture in the old woman -civilisation, with its peculiar 
worship of mother-goddesses of fertility. Such worship 
is to be found also in those other festivals of Demeter, 
the Cerealia and Eleusinia, which were essentially sur- 
vivals of the old woman-directed religious observances 
of the mother-age. They may be illustrated from the 
witch-gatherings and periodic festivals of the Middle 
Ages. At present I must be content to point out how 
freien leads us up to the kin-group, with its periodic sex- 
festivals and its licentious worship of mother-goddesses. 
There remains, however, two important senses of the 
root which I have not yet touched upon, — those of frei 
or free, and freude, joy. As the kin are the friends,^ 
so the kinsman is the freeman as distinguished from 
the bondsman ; the source of the idea ' freedom ' is 
to be sought in the bond between the old vriunte or 
co-wooers. As Grimm long ago pointed out, the loot fri 
takes us into a chain of words dating from the highest 
antiquity. These words cross and recross into each 
other with a great flexibility of sense, but they are one 
and all intelligible if we go back to the primitive mean- 
ing of fri, — which is undoubtedly that of sexual love, 
— and then attempt to realise the circumstances of 
that kin-group which was the primitive unit for family, 
society, and sex. It was in the kin-group of wooers, 
among the vriunte, that there was freedom, peace, and 
pleasure. Precisely as other names for the kin-wooing 

1 With Frea and the vriunte may be compared "Hpa and the ^pwej, the tribal 
mother and her progeny, the freemen, who have become the goddess and the 
tribe-founders. I take Latin heres to be related ; it stood for the male ox female 
member of the kin-group, the lieirs. 


are the sources of kindness and comfort ^ {sihsam^ tvin- 
some, gemdchlich, kind, higlich, gcitlich, etc.), so the 
root fri, in the early dawn of civilisation, gives us the 
first conceptions of friheit, fridu, and frawi, the basis 
of all further human achievements. It is only by grasp- 
ing the original primitive sources of these three ideas 
that we can appreciate why it is that their cognates 
so often return to their primitive sex- value, or under- 
stand why so many equivalent terms appear from one 
and another of these three words. From the notion of 
sex-freedom among the kin springs the conception of 
the kinsman as the freeman, as distinguished from the 
bondsman ; and from the freeman, with his privileges, 
the whole judicial system suggested by freiding, frei- 
gerichty and freiherr. To make a man a freeman is to 
make him of the vriunte, of the kin-wooers ; and thus 
freien means either liherare or matrimonium inire. 
Freiding is only another fuller development of the 
hirath and the mahal, and the freiherr a disguised 
form of the kin-alderman, the mahlmann or zupan. 
But the whole series of words for freedom carries us, 
like lihertas, up and down the scale, from the highest 
to the lowest conceptions ; free has its good and bad 
senses.^ The freihart is the stroller, the vagabond ; 
the freifrau is not only the freiherr s wife, in early 
times she is the mulier vaga, and the word is used 
like freiweih for a prostitute — a double development 

^ Even from this root fri we note the first hefriedigung and frcude as the 
sexual. Compare Sanskrit jpriti for hefriedigung and prita, loved, pleased. 

'^ Curiously enough the notion of licentious in frei passes over at every turn 
into the notion of joyous, beautiful, and commendable, as in vrt und vrum, and 
Lessing's Wiefrei, wie schon ist sie. 


precisely comparable with queen and quean. Freimann 
is not only a freeman, but also a wooer and a pimp, just 
Y\k.Qfreier, which leads us to freierin andfreierei in bad 
senses. Even a trace of the same idea has associated 
itself with freigeist and freethinJcer, which latter has 
often been identified with lihertine. 

Noteworthy is the sense attached to freiliof and 
freiort^ not merely of free land or house, but of a 
place of shelter or refuge, — it is the kin -dwelling as 
an asylum. This leads us up to freiung or vrtunge 
for a fenced-in or palisaded place of refuge — precisely 
the notion of the hag. Thus the friedliof is also 
called freihof, and we pass to the notion of friede, 
friedigung, as in einfriedigung, and Swabian frid^ 
and gefride^ a fence, — the freedom or peace maintained 
by a fence. In this case the fridhag, fridgatter^ and 
fridzaun (a gloss for sepes), as parts of the old mark 
system, are of great suggestiveness. The fact that all 
early judicial assemblies were held in the open air, and 
derived all their authority from a society of freemen, 
makes the proclamation of hann and frid, and the 
hegung of the gericht, of special importance. The 
notion associated in the earliest times with hann and 
frid, as in fridhann, was much more that of a limita- 
tion to the going and coming, a fencing in of the 
assembly, than one of orderliness and peace in the 
modern sense of these words. Spannen is used in 
much the same way as hegen. The lager, camp, or 
' outspanning ' of a group of freemen or kinsmen, is 
as much the origin of the judicial unit of peace as it 

^ Compare the deorfrid of the Saxon Chronicle. 


is of the social and sexual units. The freiding passes 
insensibly over into the O.H.G. friduding. The friede 
words, however, pass just like the frei words back to 
the sexual sense with friedel 3.nd friedela. 

If we turn to the notion of fri in frawi, frawida, 
freude, joy, we find this phase of the root closely 
associated with O.H.G. frd, the man, master, lord 
(Gothic frauja, O.S. fraho), and O.H.Gr. frdwd (Norse 
frii, German frau), the woman, lady. These words 
frd and frdwd, are identical with the Norse divini- 
ties Freyr and Freyja} Grimm would deduce frd, 
man, from froh, joyous, but this seems to invert the 
natural order ; the fundamental idea still seems that of 
wooers or sexual-lovers, and the notion of pleasure or 
joy is deduced from this. The word has remained with 
its primitive weight in freudenhaus, freudenmddchen, 
freudenspiel, and freudenhind. As Grimm has him- 
self pointed out, there is in freude a strong sense of 
voluptas, the pleasures of the meal and of sexual love, — - 
an aspect of the word represented in freudenmahl and 

The double sense of free is represented in other 
words than those from the root fri. Thus O.H.G. laz 
is free and lihertinus in the double sense, while lazza 
is a harlot. But a still more complete analogy for the 
origin of the notion of freedom in the group-marriage 
will be found in the Latin liher, free, itself Here 
liheri denotes, like fry, the offspring, the free kin. 
But liher, besides free and frank, also means licentious. 

^ Freya and Freyja are essentially the brother and sister wooers, the man 
and woman, the brother and the bride. 


Even Freyr and Freyja find something of counterparts 
in the deities Liher and Libitina, the first a god of 
lust, and the second a goddess of death ; but probably, 
like Freyja and other mother -goddesses, originally a 
goddess of fertility as well as a goddess of death,^ — a 
view confirmed by the identification of Libitina with 
Persephone.^ In the form Ub or lub\ the sense of liber 
passes essentially to that of pleasure, desire, lust, sex- 
love. The Sanskrit root is lubh or lob, desire ; lubdha 
is lustful, and such words as Latin lubere and lubido 
indicate the peculiar significance. The root appears in 
Slavonic Zy^^&, whence Ijuba, a spouse; A.S. liof, O.F. 
liaf, a spouse, male lover; M.H.G. Hep, the liebchen 
or loved one. Then we have a whole round of cognates 
in lieb and love, which the reader can easily follow up 
if he desires to trace how mankind has evolved the 
noblest of human attributes out of an original lust.^ 
What is quite clear is that the primitive value of lub is 
sexual desire, and this root corresponds completely to 
fri, although the notion of freedom has only remained 
in the Latin liber. 

Connected with the same root we have the German 
verlobung, although, perhaps, indirectly. The primi- 
tive notion of desire, lust, changes in the Gothic galubs 
to the desired, the valued ; and hence, through the 
idea of praised, approved, as in loben and geloben, to 
the conception of a mutual approval, contract, vow, 

^ Compare the Celtic TailUiu, at once a goddess of death and agriculture, 
i.e. fertility. See p. 200. 

2 Persephone was undoubtedly a goddess of fertility ; it is characteristic 
that she was the child of a brother-sister union. 

^ The notion in hist of relaxation, freedom (Teutonic lus, to set free), may 
itself be compared Avith the idea of freedom in liher and frei. 


as in geluhde. The earliest use of lohen with regard 
to marriage does not appear to have connoted what 
we should now understand by a marriage vow or 
promise, but rather a mutual approval expressed in 
the presence of the kin, out of which the notion of 
the compact or promise itself developed and became 
attached to the lub' root. Thus originally verlohung 
is not the promise of future nuptials, but the expression 
of mutual approval, which follows the recognition of 
mutual desire.^ In fact, we can trace almost stage by 
stage the evolution of the word from the mere notion 
of sexual desire in luF up to the promise of future 
nuptials conveyed in verlohung. It is also clear that 
in the earliest period the gelohnis, or the lofte, was 
immediately followed by the sexual union. Both 
Fischart and Luther use the word verlohen as identical 
with marriage. In M.L.G. lovelher is used for the 
marriage feast, and hrdtloft is identical with marriage. 
Here we may also draw attention to the mediseval 
gelohtanz or lohetanz, a dance of the whole commune 
in a public place. In the sixteenth century we are told 
the young women would not serve in the parsonages, 
because they were not allowed to go over the green to 
the lohetanz. Whitsuntide and St. Lawrence's Day 
(August 10th) were the times, and under the linden 
tree was the place for these dances, which a sixteenth- 
century writer tells us " were maintained by our ances- 
tors in order that their children might be seen by their 
neighbours, and marriages result." It is difficult not 

^ It is not only that the approval, lob, follows the desired, but that what is 
the desired is the be-Ueved, the glauben, — an argument for the acceptance of 
belief recently advocated by a distinguished author ; see vol. i. Essay VI. 


to see in these dances a fossil of the old sex -festival 
with its Mleili or chorus. What we here deduce from 
philological considerations is amply confirmed by folk- 
lore.^ The verlobung in many country districts is 
the all -important factor in the marriage ceremony. 
There is always a schmaus, a rede, and a tanz; in 
other words, all the elements of the old group mahal. 
In old days, too, the sexual union at once followed, 
and preceded the trauung, which in the Church sense 
often did not take place at all, or not till long after- 
wards. This view of verlobung, as really resulting 
from the ancient mother-age sex-relations, receives con- 
firmation from the old Prussian use of saMha and the 
Polish use of s'luh for marriage. Thus verlobung, with 
its Scandinavian cognates, meaning now betrothal, 
must be in the first place associated with the sex-idea 
in lubh. Of the two elements of the modern sex-union, 
the verlobung is the mother-age fossil, and the trauung, 
or ubergabe der braut, the patriarchal supplement of 
the primitive marriage form. 

With love, as derived from the sexual lubh, may be 
compared the love-series derived from Aryan ha, har, 
kam, to yearn after, desire, love sexually. Sanskrit 
ham is to love, hamra is charming, cahamdnd, desire, 
yearn after, hdma, a wish ; Lettish hdrs is dainty, hdrdt, 
to desire ; Slavonic hochati is love ; Irish cara is a 
friend, caraim, 1 love ; Latin carus is dear, beloved, 
caritia is the quality of being dear, affection (probably 
for camrus and camritia; possibly comis, for cosmis, 

^ As I have mentioned above, I hope on another occasion to deal at length 
with peasant customs in their relation to the mother-age. 

VOL. II ' N 


friendly, loving, is also related), amo for camo, and all 
the terms dealing with the amorous and amatory may 
be added, e.g. amicus, friend, arnica, female friend, 
mistress ; caress = fondle, hug, is again from this root. 
Fick is of opinion that Grothic hors, a male lover, 
O.H.G. huora, English whore, are also derivatives of 
har, with its primitive notion of sexually yearn after. 
Thus we see the sexual appetite again leading us to a 
series of less and less animal affections, passing through 
the ideas of what is charming, dainty, friendly, and 
concluding with all the feelings summed up in charity. 

An almost similar evolution leads us from the root 
ghar, to yearn after, through the notions of desiring, 
rejoicing, pleasing, to the ideas of grace and gratitude. 
In short, we pass from O.H.G. giri, giridi, glossed 
concupiscentia, to the graciousness of the Charites, by 
stages each one of which marks a gradual refinement of 
the purely sexual longing. It is possible that camera, 
chamber, and carmen, song, from the Jcam,, har root, 
and x6pTo<;, hortus, yard, with %o/909, chorus, from the 
ghar root (making no ultimate distinction between ghar, 
yearn after, and ghar, seize), correspond to the notions 
in gemach, hag, kco/jltj, and in hileih, winileod, KcofjuayBla, 
the mating-places and the mating-songs, which we find 
arising from other roots with primitively a sexual value. 

(11) A difficult root or possibly pair of roots may 
now be noted, namely, the Aryan dhar or dar, to hold, 
fix, keep. Thus we have Sanskrit dhri, to hold, and 
dridha, hard, ^rm. The Teutonic root trewa meaning 
the firm, the fast, and ultimately true, is really, I take 
it, at the base of the idea in both tree and true, although 


the tree notion only has survived in most Aryan tongues 
(Gothic triu^ Danish trae, Slavonic drevo, Greek S/jO?, 
Sanskrit dru^ ddru, etc., wood, tree, although these 
have been connected with the root dar, to split, tear). 
The notion of hold, keep, is widely retained, as in 
6p6vo<;, a chair, throne, \j2ii\n. firmus and fretus, a bridle, 
and Sanskrit dhar, fix. Then we have the long series 
of Teutonic roots : O.H.G. treuwa, Friesian triuwa, A.S. 
treop, 0. Icel. tril, German treue, English truth and 
troth, with the verbs, O.H.G. triuwen, 0. Icel. tr'da, 
Gothic trauan, A.S. treopian, English trow, etc. The 
general notion, as in treowscipe and trMeikr, is that of 
firmness, fidelity. It might at first be supposed that a 
formal plighting of fidelity was sufficient to explain the 
use of the root trewa in the sense of marriage, thus 
German trauen, English troth, and Dutch trowen, used 
in the sense of marry. But the remarkable feature of 
the use of this word for marry is this, that as we trace 
that use backwards, it appears to point more and more 
to a temporary or illicit sexual union arising from 
familiarity or confidence, and not to a permanent 
marriage. In the laws of the Langobard Liutprand 
(a.d. 723) triuuva is used of a peace - pledge, and 
in O.H.G. katriuuete denotes men who are thus linked 
together, ybec^era^i. Thus the Heliand describes Christ's 
disciples as triuwiston man, and causes the cen- 
turion of Capernaum to say that he has erld gitrost. 
This Old Saxon gitrost, O.H.G. trust and trustis, has 
the sense of auxilium, clientela, or following, those 
fixed or bound by some form of pledge to a chief 
O.N. traust is protectio, refugium, and O.H.G. trdst, 



is solace, help, while trostjan is to console, comfort. 
Turning to another form of the root, we have tritt in 
O.H.G. glossed dilectus, amicus, sodalis. It is used for 
a pupil or disciple ; Abraham's trute is his son ; in 
Otfrid God's drut is used for his angel. It is the dear one, 
the geliehter or the geliehte, the male or female lover. 
The Italian drudo is a gallant, a male lover, and druda 
a sweetheart, mistress ; the Gaelic drilth is a mistress, a 
prostitute. In O.H.G. trutin, trutinna, is the beloved 
woman, or sweetheart ; trMscapht is intimacy, familiarity, 
sexual love ; trUtliet is a love song, probably a winileod 
or Mleih; driitman is used by Otfrid for a beloved 
follower or vassal. In M.H.G. triUgemahele is a beloved 
wife, tvCitfriunt a loved friend, and triitgespielin sl loved 
female comrade. These words show that the idea in 
trM is not that of a formal marriage pledge ; other- 
wise trutgemahele would be tautology. This is further 
evidenced by O.H.G. and M.H.G. truten, triuten, love, 
fondle, and also know sexually; as well as M.H.G. 
trutschel, coquetry. The word trut appears also in a 
great number of O.H.G. names for women ^ as Adaltrut, 
Liuttrud, Gertrud, Sigitrud, etc., and this leads us 
to a still wider conception of its significance. For we 
find in Norse that Herthrudr, Jarthrudhr, Sigthrudr, 
correspond to these names, while O.N. Thrudhr is the 
name for a special goddess, the daughter of Thor ; but 
also for goddesses and occasionally for women in 
general, although it frequently marks a woman of 
titanic character, a Valkyrie. Later M.H.G. trut, trute, 

^ Names for men, Trutpert, Trutwin, Trutman, Trutbald, etc., suggest also 
their relationship to the trut or mistress. 


Bavarian and Tyrolese trud^ drud, trilte^ triltl, Modern 
German drude, denotes a witch, magic-working woman, 
or spirit, who comes as an incubus at night. That the 
trud who came and pressed the sleeper at night was, 
like the witch's devil (see Essay IX. p. 23), often very 
human, is evidenced by Bucher's tale of the Capuzine 
Father, who found out that his trut was the kerzlerin, 
i.e. the woman who sold votive candles in the church. 
TrMennacht is Walpurgisnacht, the night of the great 
witch feast and sexual gathering. Trutenhaum, Truten- 
hausen, Trutenherg, are all suggestive place-names for 
old folk - gatherings. Anglo - Saxon records show a 
Thryat or Drida, a wood -maiden, who ultimately 
married Offa of Mercia, but is stated to have com- 
mitted many evil deeds in both France and England.^ 
Anglo-Saxon dry is magus, sorcerer, and dryas, male- 
fici, enchanters, may possibly be connected. The 
Drudenfuss is a well-known symbol of magic and of 
protection from magic. It will be seen that the drude or 
trut is in almost every respect identical with the hexe. In 
folklore there is precisely the same relation to children, to 
domestic animals, and to women in childbirth, as we find 
in the case of the hexe. Just as in the latter word, the male 
hexenmeister, so the druder, is derived from the female, 
and we find just the same sexual cult on the same day. 

Carrying the word back, we find its sexual weight still 
preserved but leading us in tr^it and trutina to mistress, 
spouse, and bride, and in many women's names to some- 
thing which denotes little more than female comrade. It 

1 Possibly a nursery variant of the Drvde is Daine Trot ; she at any rate is 
accompanied by the appropriate cat. Compare the German Frau Trutte. 


seems to me that the evolution of trut is exactly parallel to 
that of the hagezisa,the hexe — the gradual corruption of a 
term for female comrade to the evil sense of female demon/ 
as the old heathen sexual customs become of bad repute. 
Accordingly I do not think that drude can be connected 
with any root meaning press, or oppress, as in English 
tread and Gothic us-thriutan, trouble. I think with 
Johannes Schmidt we must connect all these words for 
trude in the evil sense with Norse Thrudhr, and with 
Italian druda, the divine woman, and the loved one or 
mistress.^ Hence ultimately we are led back to the idea 
in triu, Lithuanian driutas, fixed, the idea of fast and 
firm, the idea of a group of people, who have trdst, 
protection, solace, help, in the triuuva or peace-pledge 
among themselves ; ^ it is their schutz und trutz.^ As 
usual, whenever we come across such a group, within 
which is peace, sihja, we find at once the free 
sexual relations, which are the physiological basis upon 
which such * firm ' groups have been built up. The 
trutgeselleschaft is nothing more than the union, social 
and sexual, which we have already noted in the gamah- 
hida and the hatilinga. The sexual and social group 
troth is the basis of all the more spiritual ideas which 
are afterwards associated with true and truth. 

Closely associated with the Aryan root dhar, hold, 

^ Even Ulfilas had to render datfiSvLov by the feminine unhultho. Unholde 
appears to be only a derivative from Holde^ an initially fairly beneficent goddess 
of fertility. 

^ The term godes drUden for the Virgin Mary {e.g. Arnsteiner Marienleich 
of 1140, see line 226) gives exactly the double sense of divine woman and of 
loved mistress on which the old monks delighted to play (see Essay XII.) 

^ Compare the gamahhida as consortium foedus, pp. 142, 144. 

* O.H.G. truzi, clientela, adherents ; compare trustis, referred to above. 


fix, is the guttural form dharg, having practically the 
same sense. The notion of hold appears in German 
tragan and English drag. Old Saxon and Anglo- 
Saxon dragan, carry, standing between the two. We 
get from this guttural form words with senses almost 
identical with the triU terms. Thus Old Slavonic 
drugu is socius, amicus ; Eussian drugu and druginja, 
amicus and arnica; Czech druh, druha, male and female 
comrades, druzny, companionable ; Lettish drdugs, 
comrade, drdudse, commune, drdudsiha, community ; 
Lithuanian draugas, draugalka, male and female com- 
panions, and drauge, community. Then we have Old 
Saxon druht, 0. Friesian dracht, Anglo-Saxon dryht, 
Old Norse droit, O.H.G. trulit for a troop, a crowd, a 
folk, or even an army ; Gothic gadrauhts is a soldier. 
Close following on trulit, we have the leader of the truht, 
the truhtin, truhten of O.H.G. and M.H.G., the lord, 
chief; A.S. dryhten, leader, prince, but often god ; O.N. 
drottinn, leader, chief, and even priest. O.N. drdttning, 
Swedish drottning, Danish dronning, lady of high estate, 
queen. In most Teutonic dialects truhten is specially 
used of God or Christ. A more especially folk-term is 
O.H.G. truhsdze, M.H.G. truhtsaeze, Old Friesian drusta, 
Swedish drottsdt, drots, Danish drost, the foresitter of 
the truht group, and later an important court-official, 
the representative of the king, truchsess, also the 
chief of the royal larder. So far we see in this root 
much the notion of the katriuuete, the foederati, or group 
held together by some special bond of comradeship ; but 
a few words suffice to show that this bond was originally 
sexual. Thus Polish druzha is ' Brautfuhrer,' Old 


Friesian dracht is used in general of the bridal following ; 
while A.S. dryhtguma is vassal, follower, warrior, 
truhtigomo in O.H.G-. is paranymphus, bridesman ; 
O.H.G. truhtinc is pronuha, paranymphus, sodalis, 
sponsalis, and 0. Saxon druhting, drohting, a wedding- 
guest, one who attends the bridal procession and feast. 
Thus we are again led to the idea that our ' fast ' group 
is not only a social group and a military group, but also 
a bridal group ; the base of the truht is seen to be not 
only a peace-pledge, a civic unity, but also a sexual bond. 
It corresponds exactly to the words for marriage and 
family arising from the root e, or ehe, a pact. The co- 
sexual social unit may not be as clearly illustrated in the 
dhar and dharg terms as in some others we have come 
across, but we find unmistakable traces of it even here. 

(12) The last general words applicable to a co-sexual 
community to which I shall refer are offshoots from the 
Aryan root in Sanskrit hhu or hu, Greek (j)v, Latin /e, and 
Teutonic hu or hau. The primitive value here appears 
undoubtedly to be to produce sexually, for this significance 
at least is common to all the Aryan languages. We then 
have the notions of procreate, grow, form, and ultimately 
produce or create in a non-sexual sense. Starting with 
the Greek we have (pvco, bring forth, produce, beget, 
generate, grow, wax, etc. : (t)VTcop is a father ; (^v(Ti<;, 
creature, kind, sex, and sexual organs, obtained in course 
of time an overgrowth of abstract notions ; <^vt6v is a 
creature, a plant, a tree, and may be compared with 
German haura from root hau; (pcTvco and (pvTevco still 
carry the notion of bear or beget, or engender ; (j>2tv<: is a 
begetter, and (plrv, the begotten ; <^vX^ is a clan, connected 


by blood and local habitation, but it is also a primitive 
military unit, — a conception precisely identical with what 
we have traced in the liag and zwpa words ; the same 
range of ideas is also associated with ^v\ov and other 
co-radicates. Without the notion of clan we find the 
purely sexual weight of the root preserved in Latin 
fecundus, femina, fenus, fetus, and most probably y^^es, 
the cat as the fecund one, and felix, the fruitful and so 
the lucky. ^ Sanskrit has bhtl with the conception of swell, 
burst ; hhUti for source, origin, and huli for the female 
sex-organs ; while in hhavana we pass to the notion of 
a dwelling as in the Teutonic words to be considered later. 
Turning now to the Gothic, we have two or three most 
valuable fossils. In ufhauljan the primitive notion of 
swelling is maintained; in gdbaur we have Ulfilas's 
rendering of K(ofio<;, a common meal and revel ; in gabaur- 
jopus we have the Gothic for lust and pleasure, while 
gahaurjaba is fittingly ; lastly, gahauan is to dwell, and 
hauains, a dwelling. Thus in the root hhu we see the 
primitive idea of sex again expanding in the side notions 
of common meal and of dwelling, and of what is pleasur- 
able and fitting.^ Besides these Gothic words, the sense 
of procreation, and so of lust, is still maintained in the 
widespread German folk-use of bauer; although this word 
is now used chiefly, but not invariably, for abuse of sex. 
Just as we found hag and gemach expressing not only 
dwelling-places, but related through sexual significance 
to the ideas of comfort and pleasure, so we find hauer also 
used of a habitation in O.H.G. pttr, A.S. hir, and English 
bower. In particular, it seems used in Old Norse, Old 

^ lafenum, hay, possibly related to the root/e, as hay itself to M? 
'^ See pp. 143, 160, etc. 


High German, and Anglo-Saxon for the place of the 
females or of the bride, the hrut in Mire,^ a notion still 
retained in the form hyre, a shed for cows. 

When we turn to hauer, a peasant, we must, in the 
light of the above, consider it as ultimately related to 
the primitive sexual value of <^u or hhii, and not related 
directly to the later sense of hauen, to till or cultivate 
the land. In Scandinavian hiti is a neighbour of the 
male and hUa of the female sex, while hu is a home, the 
household, the household effects, and lastly the cattle of 
the house; hu or hua is to dwell, and also to rush together, 
gather, or swarm (Landsmaal), — a conception which 
carries us back to another sex -word hi with its deriva- 
tive hive. Thus it is seen that the notions attached to 
Modern German hauen, i.e. to build and to cultivate, 
are really derivatives, developing out of an original 
meaning of cohabitation in the double sense. Nor is the 
primitive weight lost in Old High German. Thus we 
find huari, whence comes the modern hauer, glossed 
hahitator; gahur, gahuro is glossed municeps, civis, a 
burgher, gahura the nominative plural is ajffines,junctos, 
contrihules, vicini, i.e. relatives, neighbours, clansmen ; 
gehurda is the district ; gehuro glosses domesticae res, 
precisely like hu, the household effects, and may be com- 
pared with Friesian hodel and hudel. Inhurro is glossed 
vernaculus, a domestic ; gehurliche dinge are civil and 
municipal affairs. Thus hauer, like civis itself, takes us 
from a purely sexual relationship through notions of co- 
habitation to clanship, from co-dwellers to co-burghers, 

^ In Beowulf brydbUr is used for the queen's apartment. In the Heliand the 
hHida imu hi thero hrUdi used of Herod's relation to Philip's wife gives us again 
the sexual weight of hu. 


from dorfgenossen to neighbours. In other words, the 
purely sexual instinct leads us step by step to citizenship 
and neighbourly feeling. As a fossil of the course of 
evolution, we find the term hauer still used in Low 
German as a feminine noun for a societas colonorum, any 
small local club of yeomen or landed proprietors. In the 
same Low German which uses bur and burschap for the 
community, we have burrichte and burmdl, the court for 
civil processes, and the freedom of the city ; burmester 
for the burgomaster, and btirsprake for the meeting of 
the bur, or community at which old and new laws were 
proclaimed — in short, the parliament, or mahal, and its 
mahlmann. An almost similar development may be 
marked in the Norwegian bygge form of bu, with its by 
for collection of houses, bygd^ for district or parish, 
bylag for union of inhabitants with their bygderet and 
bygdeting. In short, we pass here, as in all the words we 
have hitherto examined, from the simple sexual notion 
to cohabitation (beitvohnen) and common meal ; and 
lastly, to a wider conception of community among neigh- 
bours and citizens. It is only in its degeneration that 
the term used to mark an endogamic union for common 
life and common tillage of the soil has been narrowed 
down to this one meaning of cultivator of the land — a 
meaning emphasised in the earlier days by the use of 
such words as lantbuari oy feldbuari} 

1 Like geburda, no doubt, originally it had the sense of the land under tillage 
belonging to the clan or kin-group. 

2 An almost similar development to that of the bu-hauer series is that of taJc, 
Aryan root t^go, procreate, which proceeds from the notions of generate, produce, 
to make, contrive (as we shall also notice in md). Thus we have Sanskrit toka, 
a child, and taksh, to form ; Greek tIkt€iv, generate, but reix^iv, make ; t^kvov, a 
child (to be compared with O.N. ffegn, and M. H.G. degen), but t^ktoiv, a carpenter, 
etc. , and so ultimately to rix^n and the Greek notions of art. 


(13) Our investigation of the general words for 
kinship in the Teutonic dialects has led us to the con- 
ception of an endogamic group having a common dwell- 
ing, common land, and common festivals. Kinship and 
descent are reckoned through the woman, and a woman 
appears as priestess or tribal-mother (hone, queen) at the 
head or source of the group. A male leader of the kin- 
group or clan, the kunincJc or zupan was elected by the 
mahal or hiirspraJce, and became the centre from which 
the patriarchal system ultimately developed. The sexual 
freedom within the group, marked by a kinship based on 
the female, led, as we have seen, to some of the chief 
words for blood relationship being based on names for 
the womb. Nor was this all, there was often an 
apparent identification in name between woman and her 
sex-organ or functions.^ Nothing of this kind can be 
definitely asserted in the case of the male sex -functions ; 
they are not the origin of any system of kin -names. The 
male organs of sex are generally termed after some fanciful 
resemblance, and with no relation to their function.^ 
Very rarely, indeed, do they give their name to the male, 
as happens so frequently in the case of the other sex. In 
Swabia schwanz is used among the peasantry, boorishly, 

^ Of course not every word for womb has been developed into a kin termin- 
ology. Thus O.H.G. lehtar and href or ref (Tatian speaks of Saint Elizabeth : 
" thaz kind in irS, reve ") have originated no such systems. The former may be 
related to ligan, lie, as Greek \ex^ to Xiyw, but this is at any rate obscure. The 
latter is also difficult. A.S. rif is glossed venter, and rift is rendered velum, vesti- 
mentu7ii, much as volva is used both of womb and veil. On the other hand, 
modern rift is a fissure, and leads us to riven, to rive, burst open, and so to the 
idea in keimen. Some Germans even ventured to connect with corpus ! 

^ The Germanic zagel, zisel, ruthe, pynte, zers, schwanz, etc., are similar to 
Cauda, queue, etc. The same non-functional description appears in A.S. eowend 
for Tnemhrum virile, probably from eowen. An exception must possibly be made 
in the case o? O.H.G. fasel=proles, and M.H.G. vasel=penis. 


but not indecently, for all that is male ;^ and it is just pos- 
sible tliat German herl^ Icelandic Izarl^ and English cliurl 
for man may have sexual weight. The earliest glosses 
for Izarl are amator and conjux, maritus ; for charalon, 
amatores; charala is used even for the males of animals.^ 
Fick connects cJiaral with the Sanskrit g'drds, a lover, 
a gallant. A.S. ceorlian is to marry of the woman, 
as vtjian is to marry of the man. Swestarkarl, sister's 
man, is not glossed by a term for affinity, but by 
cognatus — a striking reminder of the old kin -group. 
Thus we see that in charal the essential feature is the 
male, rather than the husband. As huari degenerated into 
hauer, so charal degenerated into churl with the change 
of social institutions.^ If we seek further for the origin 
of the term, we note that Sanskrit gdrdmi means to rub, 
grind; O.H.G. char, Modern Bavarian har is a small 
pot or vessel, a gat ; ypatav appears in Hesychius as a 
kneading trough or mortar; O.H.G. her an, cheran, 
and A.S. cyrran, cernen are to turn, shake, churn ; 
the upright axles of the local mills in Sweden and 
Norway are still called kvarnkall and kvernkall, i.e. 
chuin-karls^ Lastly, we have the Spanish expressions 
carail and carajo for the male organ of sex. Thus 
without definite proof, there is still some evidence in 
favour of charal as a name for the male taking its 

^ A possibly similar case is that of Armenian Ordz, a man, to be compared 
with the Greek ^px'S- 

2 A.S. carlcatt, O.N. karlfugl ; Landsmaal has kallbjorn, Bjupekall, etc., 
where kail stands for karl. 

^ On the other hand, Czech, Serbian, Polish, Russian, and even modern 
Greek dialects {kralj, krdlj, kr6l, kardli, Kpd\7]$) seem to have developed the 
word precisely like kuninck from the sexual sense to that of king. 

■* In parts of Norway mor (mother) is used of the massive millstone. 


origin in the primitive analogy of fire-sticks and pestle- 
mill to the sexual act. Be this as it may, however, 
there is nothing in the early meaning of cliaral to mark 
a monogamic relation. We find a name for man as lover 
gradually becoming specialised for the single husband. 

It is, indeed, the same with all the Teutonic cor- 
relatives for a monogamic pair. Such are man and 
wife ; husband (the house-dweller, not the householder, 
be it noted) and housewife, mann and/rat^. All these, 
like hagetisse and hagestalt, merely denote a male and 
female, possibly members of the same habitation.^ When 
monogamy became the custom, it simply specialised 
words already existing, and expressing in themselves the 
much freer sexual relations of a primitive civilisation. 
The reader who has had the patience, however, to pass 
in review the various fossils of that primitive civilisation 
which I have collected, will not fail to have been struck 
with the large part the woman's function of child- 
bearing has played in the creation and naming of kin, 
as compared with the man's function of procreation. 
Herein is the key to several characteristic features of 
the mother-age. 

^ It is noteworthy to what a small extent the idea of householder had grown 
into the idea of husband or father before the Aryan scatter. Thus we have the 
pan- Aryan vie for clan-dwelling or house, in Sanskrit ve(^d, Greek Foikos, Latin 
vicus, Slavonic visi, Gothic veihs, A. S. wick, 0. Irish JicJc, Cornish guic ; and 
yet only in Greek oiKoBeairbTjjs, Sanskrit viqpdti, Zend vigpaiti, and Lithuanian 
veszpatis, do we reach the notion of zupan, house-father or lord. The house- 
holder as chief does not thus seem to have been a widely current notion in early 
Aryan times ; still less widely spread was the notion of the householder as sexual 
father. Compare Latin dominus (Sanskrit dampati) from domus, with its mini- 
mum of the sense of paternity or sexual relationship. On the other hand, the 
idea of co-dwellers does at once lead us to terms for kinship and comradeship. 
Thus notice the Greek oUia, household, family, lineage, race (like or/cos also), 
olKeidrrjs, relationship, friendship, intimacy of man and woman, marriage, 
oUeiiofia, relationship, affinity. 

Part III 


He who would still hold familiar intercourse with them, must train himself 
to penetrate the veil which in ever-thickening folds conceals them from the 
ordinary gaze ; he must catch the tone of a vanished society, he must move in 
a circle of alien associations, he must think in a language not his own. — Arthur 
J. Balfour. 

In the first part of this paper we considered the accepted 
picture of the primitive Aryan family ; in the second 
part we deduced from the general words for sex and 
kinship a picture of the primitive Teutonic group 
entirely at variance with the hitherto accepted views on 
Aryan kinship. It now remains to be shown that the 
special words for sex and relationship, upon which the 
latter views are based, are themselves capable of a different 
interpretation, not only consistent with, but tending to 
confirm the existence of a primitive kindred group - 
marriage. In studying these special words I propose 
still to keep, so far as possible, to the Teutonic forms. 

(1) Oimann, beyond the statement that originally 
it appears to have denoted a human being apart from 
sex, there is little to be said. An anthropologist would 
probably give more weight than the philologists appear 
to do to the notion of remaining, dwelling, in the root, 
and less to that of thinking, remembering. 


Weih, wife, wtfman, woman, requires a good deal more 
consideration. O.H. G. vip, M.H. G. wif, wih, appear closely- 
related to weihon, wibon, to move about, flap, Jluctuare, 
agitari. A cognate Sanskrit root is vi to weave, plait, 
or bind, and we find the notion again in Latin viere and 
vihrare to shake, and in many words denoting the bent, 
shaken, woven, or' plaited. In Anglo-Saxon vaefan, 
vaifjan is to wrap up, wefan to weave ; and we have a 
.host of German and Scandinavian cognates for covering 
up, and for veils, clothes, etc. Thus we appear to have a 
variety of senses to choose from. We might say with 
Wackernagel and Graff that the weih is the agitator, the 
moving, busy one ; we might suggest with Skeat that 
the wife is the agitated one, the trembling bride ; we 
might consider with Deecke that the wife is the weaver ; 
or consider with others led by the notion in nubere that 
the wife must be the veiled or covered one.^ Against 
all these views many objections may be raised ; in the 
first place, weih does not necessarily connote one who has 
been a bride ; in the next place, it is highly probable 
that the name arose before the Teutons had much idea 
of clothing, still less of weaving. Nor does the complex 
notion of the woman, as especially the busy, moving one, 
seem likely to strike the primitive mind ; it seems much 
more the discovery of a modern student, who found in 
man the thinker, and in woman the active disturber of 
his study. With Schmeller, I think, we may assert 
that the neuter gender of weih must denote that it was 

^ It seems much more probable that the term nubere either arose from the 
symbolic covering with one blanket which is so common in the folklore of mar- 
riage, or was used as the term * cover ' by horse - breeders, than that it was 
primitively due to a veiling of the bride. 


originally used figuratively for woman. If its original 
sense had been woman, then the formation of such a 
compound as wifman seems inexplicable. The wif in 
wifman could not primitively have had the force of 
woman more than the maege^ in maege^man had 
primitively the force of maiden.^ The wif iRSLvks rather 
some idea which is associated with the fully developed 
woman (O.H.G. wipheit is glossed menstrua), as distin- 
guished from the mdget or maid, with the active child- 
bearer rather than with a future potentiality of child- 
bearing. If, then, we turn to seek other explanations than 
those provided by the philologists, it is not only because 
from the anthropological standpoint the instincts of sex 
and of feeding form the basis of most primitive nomen- 
clature, but it is also because the latter explanations fail 
to meet the difficulty as to the neuter gender of weih. 

In the first place, we might note that the Sanskrit 
vi, or a fuller form vip,^ had a sexual meaning ; that it 
is used for receiving seed, conceiving, and so also for 
sowing, procreating ; this sense is probably connected 
with the quick motion of shaking or throwing out as 
in sowing. There is also a Bactrian word vip for sexual 
intercourse, and another vipta, used of a male lover. 
Further, in Sanskrit vapra is a seed-field, and vapa- 
nam, seed. As Deecke has already indicated, however, 
to deduce wip from this sense of vip is hardly in accord- 
ance with the assumed passive function. Still, starting 

^ As we have seen in A.S. 77iaga is womb and so blood-relative, but with the 
notion of kin conies that of power ; maga is potens, and maegefS is might, and so 
to maiden. The power of reproduction, of giving birth, is the symbol of all 
power ; the chief deity in the mother-age is the Earth, as All-mother, and every 
tribal deity is a goddess of fertility, e.g. x^f^^^V as name for Demeter. 

2 Sanskrit vip is tremble, shake, CN. veifa, O.H.G. weibdn is shake, vibrate. 



from the sexual standpoint as that of the primitive 
savage, we may, however, look at a similar root, 
swang, which occurs in O.H.G. swengen, and our 
English swing. We find the O.H.G. glossed vibrare, 
quassare, to shake and to quake — a rapid, flapping 
motion, exactly expressed by vip and weipon. But 
immediately derived from this root is swangar, Modern 
German schwanger, used of the pregnant woman, while 
schwdngern is to impregnate, which may possibly throw 
light on the sexual sense of vip. Now the first sure 
sign of pregnancy is the quickening, the first moving 
of the child in the womb, a quaking, vibrating feeling, 
which has been described by those who have experienced 
it as " like holding a small, live bird in the hand." 
Indeed, the primitive value of quake seems to be 
identical with quick, and to signify the giving life to/ 
It is this rapid, fluttering, quaking motion, which is the 
notion in swangar, that I conceive also to be the 
primitive notion in wtp. Daz wip is that which 
quickens, and, as in the case of several other names for 
woman, ^ I assume the womb to have given its name to 
the wife. Thus the neuter gender and wifman — i.e. 
womb-man — become intelligible. It is noteworthy that 
as the root wip may be associated with words denoting 
wrapping up as well as rolling, flapping, and flowing 
motion {vaefan, wehan, wdlzen, welle, wave, weave, etc.), 
so Latin vulva, volva, womb and wrap, appears to be 

^ M.H.G. g'ttec, 0. Fries, quik, kuiJc, denote young cattle. Is it possible 
that Aryan g'eltd, Sanskrit jarta, Greek S^Xra, Gothic kilthei, for womb, is also 
related to the Aryan root gelvo, shudder, shake ? 

^ I may add to those already cited the Breton gwamm ( = womb) as a term 
of contempt for woman. 


related to volvere^ to turn, roll about, perhaps even as 
wtp to weihon} Finally, with regard to wtf, three 
Anglo-Saxon words may be noted, namely, wifping, 
glossed coitus^ wijiag, glossed fornicatio, and wifang, 
matrimonium. It is clear from these that wtf has no 
special relation to matrimony, and that the attachment 
of the monogamic relation to one of the words is a 
purely arbitrary development. Indeed, the first word 
seems to lead us again to the primitive vergaderung, the 
conventus ad generandum of the old group-marriage. 
We may, then, safely conclude that the term wife in no 
way takes us back to primitive patriarchal institutions ; 
it did not have its origin in an age of weaving or of 
trembling brides, but it arose from a purely physiological 
aspect of woman's sex -functions. 

(2) Turning to the corresponding male names, we 
have as correlatives of wife, mann, htlshond, wirt, 
Miswirt, gomo, charal, all glossed maritus, conjux. But 
there is nothing philologically to mark the married man in 
any of these, and, with the possible exception of charal, 
they do not in any way mark man's sexual functions. 
They denote man primarily as a human being, vir, mas, 
or they refer to his domestic position or occupation. 
Originally they refer to any man,^ and only with the 
development of a new social system have they been 
specialised for the monogamic male mate. Another 
series of words as correlatives to wife, namely, hone-man 

^ It is even possible that vagina may be related to the root vag, which appears 
in vagus, and denotes swerving, wavering, wagging, notwithstanding the change 
in the value of the vowel. 

2 Thus MsboTid^Ms-h'Aa'nd, the one living in the house. In Norway the 
corresponding husmand has been specialised for the cottager, but never for the 
male mate. 


ehe-man, pruti-gomo, shows us that there was no primi- 
tive word for husband, and that man and gomo were 
far from originally conveying this idea. We see indeed 
that the words ultimately adopted for the male and 
female of a permanent monogamic union originally 
signified on the male side no sexual function at all, and 
on the female side a far more general sexual function — 
namely, the simple act of reproduction without regard 
to any individual male. 

(3) The next word of relationship to which I pass is 
mother — Sanskrit ma^r, Latin mater, Greek fj^'nTvp, O.H.Gr. 
m^uotar, mddor, and English m^other. According to the 
philologists the fundamental root is md, signifying first 
consider, think, and then build, prepare, plan, produce. 
Thus Jakob Grimm holds the mother to be the thinking, 
the planning one, and Deecke the managing, the order- 
ing one ; both derivations suppose a fairly complete 
home organisation, and a developed system of abstract 
ideas, as preceding a name for one of the most primitive 
and obvious relationships. From the anthropological 
standpoint, recognition of a concrete fact precedes the 
formation of an abstract idea ; and the patent fact about 
the mother is the production of the child ; that she plans 
and thinks for the household is a much later conception. 
Such activity might be a function of womankind in 
general, but it is difficult to see why it should have 
been specialised for mothers in particular. Still more 
remarkable is it, if mother signified originally the 
thinker, that the word should have been transferred at 
a very early date to the female of animals and to the 
womb. In opposition to Professor Skeat, I think there 


is evidence to show an original sense of produce in the 
root ma, and that the notions of mould, measure, and 
plan really flow from this/ In other words, ma is to be 
given much the same weight as mac in its relation to 
gamahhida. As evidence of the notion of production 
rather than that of planning in forms from ma allied to 
mother, I would cite the Kussian use of matha for the 
female of animals, and the use of the same word in the 
Oberlausitz for queen - bee. Then we have in Greek 
the short forms fiala for midwife, nurse, or mother, 
yLtam? for midwife, and fiaievoixat for playing the mid- 
wife. Majus, May may possibly be the producing, 
fertilising, but can hardly be the thinking month. 
Greek firjrpa, Latin matrix, and maczernica in the 
Oberlausitz, stand for womb. Greek jjLarpvXr}, for a 
bawd, is probably for fjbrjTpvXij. In Sanskrit mdtrika is 
womb, mother, and nurse. In O.H.G. moter is glossed 
both vulva and matrix, while in M.H.G., as well as in 
all Teutonic (including Scandinavian) dialects, muotor, 

1 If it be objected that we are again returning to the primitive sexual 
instinct, it must be remarked that this seems anthropologically the correct 
direction in which to turn, and that the manner in which some writers reduce sex- 
words to asexual origins must be considered as unscientific. Thus sex-functions 
were facts requiring names long before an abstract notion of pleasure — probably 
ultimately based on sexual gratification — was formed. The concrete instance 
first gives a name to the abstract, as when ' cakes and ale ' stand for festivity, 
warmth and sunshine for gladness, and restful quiet for pleasure. As an in- 
stance of the opposite method of procedure, we may cite the treatment of geil 
in Grimm's Worterbuch, where it is asserted that the primitive notion of the 
word was pleasure and the derived notion lust, while its use for parts of the male 
or female organs of sex was only incidental. Yet we find in Old High German 
such glosses as keili, petulantia carnis and geil, lihidinosus; in A.S. gdl is glossed 
libido and wifgal, libidinosus, while ^rie^^a is used in O.H.G. for concubine, and in 
a variety of long separated dialects the root is used to mark the complete male 
animal, or its virility. That the root was used also for festive meals or gatherings 
(as in the Old French gale), wild peasant dances, and the licentious students who 
attended such festivities {geilhart and golliard), is not to be wondered at if the 
meal and dance of the old conventus ad generandum be borne in mind. 


or its cognates, are used (equally with hdr- and gehdr- 
mutter) for the womb ; and further, for openings and 
spaces into which screws, bolts, and other bodies pass. 
In English, Landsmaal, and Dutch, simply, and in Ger- 
many as mutterheschtver, we find mother used for the 
sexual passion in woman. In Sanskrit mdtdrdu, a 
dual for both parents, as well as in Latin maternitas and 
matrimonium^ it is very difficult not to see a primitive 
sexual productivity emphasised long before an organis- 
ing or thinking activity. 

Granted the idea of production in the term mother, 
we may still question how it is related to other cognates 
from the root ma. Here a brief digression into mythology 
may possibly be suggestive. The earliest deity appears 
to be identified with the untilled Earth ; to the savage, 
not yet developing primitive forms of agriculture, the 
swamp, mud, mould, dirt, are symbols of fertility ; ^ their 
apparently unassisted reproduction strikes his mind. The 
male is not directly, or at least emphatically, associated 
with the ofispring. Mother Earth springs from chaos, 
and her first children have no known father. A trace 
of such a goddess is to be found in most Aryan cults. 
Then with the growth of agriculture the notion of seed 
planted and generating becomes prominent, and is con- 
nected with sex-functions. Mother Earth is replaced 
by, or develops into, a goddess of fertility and of agri- 

^ This word must be primitive, for it marks an original mother-making as 
the source of matrimony. It exactly expresses the earliest Teutonic notion of 
group -marriage as a mother-making. In later days marriage became a hedecken, a 
connubium, or coverture, as in 'unter eine Decke kommen,' i.e. get married, and 
finally an ehe, conjugium, wedding, yoking, or pact. 

2 Notice that Frigg's house is termed Fensal, swamp-hall, and that Frigg 
was a goddess of chaotic fertility. 


culture, and the tilth becomes the symbol of sexual union. ^ 
Demeter and Freyja are of this type, and a fossil is to be 
found in the Kornmutter or Roggenmutter of German 
peasant tradition. This corresponds to a period in which 
the mother is the titular head of the group, and during 
which mother-son dual deities, as well as the Matrae 
and other goddesses of hearth and home, appear. Such 
a period only could originate the ideas expressed in 
mutter spr ache, mutterwitz, and mutterland, firjTpoiroXt^, 
and firjTpoKcofjLia. As the Sanskrit mdtar, denoting not only 
mother, but mythologically the Earth, is characteristic 
of the earlier period, so mdtdputrdu in Sanskrit and 
moed'gin ^ in Old Norse used to denote the pair, mother 
and son, is characteristic of the latter stage. From the 
first stage we may note such a word as Latin materia, 
English matter, the substance, probably looked upon 
as Mother Earth, from which all things were made. 
In much the same sense we have moder in M.L.G. for 
slime, and in various dialects mott, mode, mudde, till 
we reach English mud and its extension mudder, mother, 
sediment. It is singular that in English, Dutch, Scandi- 
navian,^ and German, the cognates of moder, dirt, slime, 
have all been confused with the corresponding cognates 
of mutter; and it is difficult to believe that this is a 
mere chance coincidence, and that there is no root- 
connection between the two series as there is between 

^ Compare Sanskrit ulva, womb, and urvdrd (for ulvdrd), tilth. The sym- 
bolism remained through the Middle Ages ; for example, the queen in the 
Marchen, Das Eselein, says : "Ich bin wie ein Acker, auf dem nichts wachst," 
to mark her barrenness. See first footnote p. 122, and quotation p. 207. 

2 Also moed'gna denotes mother and daughter. 

^ In Landsmaal mor is mother, and not slime, but stuff, material, as in a 
mass of stone. 


materia and mater. But it is clear that in m^ateria 
we have the stuff useful for production, and ma is used 
in the sense we require it in matrix, and not in the 
sense of planning/ Nor is this notion of the mother 
as the moulder infrequent, and it is a use which clearly 
shows why the term for mother is so readily transferred 
to the womb. Thus in Nassau the people say of a 
woman in reference to childbirth : — 

Wenn eine Frau gemacht hat ; ^ 

and Shakespeare writes : — 

My wife comes foremost ; then the honour'd mould 
Wherein this trunk was framed. 

From this conception of maker or moulder or 
mould, we pass to a series of words deduced from 
secondary forms of md, namely, mad and mal, and 
denoting moulds, vessels, and ultimately measures, e.g. 
Gothic mat, O.H.G. multra, M.L.Gr. molt, M.H.G. 
TYiulde, Latin m^odus, and English mould. The con- 
ception, however, of fitting, planning, measuring, seems 
to follow, not precede, that of production. 

The mother appears in primitive times as the 
moulder of raw material, the maker of new life, and 
not as the planning and organising member of a complex 
household. Early man noticed how his dead comrade 
mouldered away to earth, and he did not hesitate to 
identify the primary with the final process — his goddess 
of fertility was also a goddess of death. ^ This primitive 

^ I hold that there is not evidence enough to justify the root mu as at the 
basis of the mother =slime, words. 

^ Kehrein, VolTcsitte in Nassau, Bd. ii. s. 173. 
3 See pp. 168, 175, 342 footnote, and 352 footnote. 


conception of the forming of new life out of materia, 
so to speak, is well illustrated by the legend of Jehovah 
moulding Adam out of clay, and is fossilised not only 
in the ' Earth to earth ' of the Anglican burial service, 
but in a still more remarkable Troparion of the Greek 
service, which runs : — 

yawning Earth, receive him who was formed of thee at first, and 
returns now to thee his Mother. 

Here we have Mother Earth, the primitive goddess 
of fertility, symbolising by her processes the produc- 
tivity of every human mother as indicated in the 
relation of mater to materia. We are amid concep- 
tions immensely more antique and far more universal 
than are involved in the mother of the Aryan household 
as she has been sketched for us by the philologists.^ 

(4) Before we leave the ideas associated with mother, 
it is well to turn to a number of co-radicates, which are 
to be found in nearly all Aryan tongues. An early 
development of a monogamic or patriarchal marriage 
might have been expected to give rise to a clearly 
marked terminology for the mother's relatives. On the 
other hand, in the case of a kindred group-marriage we 
should expect to find much less division between the 
mother and her sisters, for with regard to the community 
at large, they are all members of the same sub-group.^ 
It is precisely this want of clear demarcation which we 

^ The identity of the mother with the woman, not the house -director, is 
evidenced by Lithuanian md<^= woman generally. Again Sanskrit ambd, 
mother, is simply Greek vifKfyr], young woman, bride. 

^ It is noteworthy that in the antique festival of the Matralia, the matrons 
are reported to have prayed for their sisters', not their own, children, a fossil 
probably of praying for the children of the whole group of Muhmen. I expect 


actually find. Modern German for the mother's sister 
is TYiuhme, equivalent to the Latin matertera. In 
O.H.Gr. it is mudma, mome, practically only a variant 
of mama. In Plattdeutsch, mdme, mum, is, however, 
used of mother ; ^ thus the Devil's mother is termed des 
dilhels mome. The Kornmuhme was doubtless also a 
goddess of fertility, and with the Devil's dam a fossil 
of a mother-goddess of the Demeter type. The appear- 
ance of muhme as mother in such antique expressions 
indicates its primitive weight. In early Low German 
documents mome is repeatedly used in the sense of 
mother ; thus, grotemome for grandmother, hundemome 
and eselmome for the female of dog and ass ; while such 
expressions as ackermome and viehmome show the 
term in general use for women engaged in agricultural 
pursuits, especially for the headwomen on a large farm. 
Wisemome stands for the midwife, and should be com- 
pared with Sanskrit m,dtriJcd, for mother and nurse, and 
Greek /jLala. The Sanskrit for mother's brother is 
mdtrkdSf which would suggest that mdtrkd had stood 
for mother's sister. In High German itself we find the 
use of muhme for mother's sister somewhat loose, and 
it is readily extended to any relative through the womb. 
Thus Geiler von Kaisersberg speaks of the children of 
sisters as mumen, — a use well in accord with kindred 
group organisations. It was further used for foster- 
mother and nurse, and as in Low German for the chief 

that the prayers were offered for the nepotes, originally denoting (see p. 219) all 
the children of the group ; but the primitive significance of this word being 
lost, it came about that the women were supposed to pray for their sisters' 
children, their nephews and nieces. Bachofen's interpretation (Das Mutterrecht, 
p. 32) is, I take it, much too artificial. 

^ See, for example, the Marchen, Bat Maken von Brakel, Grimm, No. 139. 


maid on a farm. Luther writes in his Tahle - Talk 
of one " der seine mutter und sonst fiinf mumen gar 
auszgesogen," which reminds us at once of Heimdall and 
his nine mothers (see pp. 142, 235). In A.S. we have 
TTiddrige, mddrie, and in O.H.G. muoterjd, 0. Fries. 
medder and moye, all used much as mdme. Muomun- 
suni stands glossed consohrini, cousin-german on the 
mother's side. The serf, mumbling, shall follow, we 
are told, the nearest of his mother's relatives within the 
proscribed degrees of marriage, — evidence for the ancient 
mother-custom of descent.^ Lastly, we note that the 
sexual freedom of the old group of mothers is still 
shadowed in the early glosses amasia for mdme, in its 
use for students' concubines, and in the term muhmen- 
haus for brothel, — another link to the many which 
connect that resort with the frauengadem of the old 
group -dwelling. In these words, then, for mother's sister 
we find evidence again of the old sex-customs, and of a 
group of females hardly distinguished in name from each 
other, and all termed muhme, m^ome, or mamma by the 
children of the next generation. 

Probably closely related to mdme, m^ama, is amme. 
This in O.N. stands for grandmother, in Swabia and 
other parts of Germany it is used for mother, but more 
generally it signifies one who gives suck, the foster- 
mother, and simply nurse. Possibly, like mdme, it was 

^ Perhaps one of the best and yet least recognised fossils of this custom from 
the root md is to be found in the word matriculation from Latin matrieula, 
a public register or list. This is only the diminutive of matrix signifying in 
succession, womb, mother, stem, and descent, and is then used of a list in which 
originally the descent was stated. The reader may note also how progenies, 
descent, and progenitor, ancestor, are probably primarily associated with the 
producing of the mother. Cf. O.H.G. chonot from kone glossed genealogia. 


applied to any female of the group, i.e. any woman of 
the mother's kindred, not necessarily the mother herself. 
It appears in hebamme as midwife, and so may be com- 
pared with Greek fiala and Sanskrit mdtrJca (mother, 
nurse, grandmother, womb). It ought, however, to be 
noticed that in O.H.Gr. amme frequently appears as 
anna and with the aspirate hanna, thus hefhanna 
glossed ohstetrix. Such a form would suggest a con- 
nection with the root gan, to produce, and so lead us 
to the same round of ideas as we have followed from 
md to radme, if ararae be thus not directly related to 
maTYima. The aspirate is, however, peculiar to O.H.Gr. 
although co-radicates are common in all Aryan tongues, 
e.g. Spanish ama, nurse, mistress of the house, amo 
master, Languedoc ama^ grandmother, Gaelic am, 
mother, etc. One would prefer to connect O.H.G. 
ano and and, grandfather and grandmother, Modern 
German ahn, with anna, amme, rather than with anan, 
to breathe, as the expired ones.-^ Their origin, however, 
is very obscure. 

(5) We now pass to the paternal relationship. Accord- 
ing to the accepted theory, this relationship in Aryan 
civilisations receives its terminology from the root pa 
which has the sense of feed, water, look after, as of 
cattle ; thus we have Latin pasco, and the pa in 
pabulum, panis, and Greek irareo^ai, feed. In Gothic 
the wovdi fat' an might be expected, but it has not been 
preserved ; we have, however, fodjan, to feed, to rear, 
and fodeins, food. In O.H.G. foten, viiten, fuoten 
is to fodder, fatten, cram, while fdtar, vuoter, vuter is 

^ So Deecke loc. cit. p. 214. 


the fodder, the food. These Wackernagel connects with 
fadar, as other philologists pater with pasco, pastor, 
and pasture. As the protector and feeder of the herds 
is their ruler, so the father is said to be the feeder, ruler, 
protector of the household. In this sense the whole round 
of cognate Aryan terms — Sanskrit patar, Latin pater, 
Greek Trarrip, A.S. fader, Gothic and O.S. fadar, 0. 
Friesian feder, etc. , is interpreted as signifying that the 
father was originally the patriarch, the feeder and ruler. 
Now the notion of ruling in pd seems to be second- 
ary to that of feeding, and, as I have indicated, the 
appetites of food and sex are the primary facts of primi- 
tive human life. May we, then, take it that the father 
received his name from the fact that he was the feeder ? 
It could scarcely be that he was the feeder of the child ; 
in the first years of life and generally for long after, 
the mother fulfilled that task. Was he, then, the feeder 
of the household ? Hardly this, for as a general rule 
among primitive peoples the women collect and cook 
the food ; they do what simple tillage there may be, 
and bruise and cook the grain. Very often indeed if 
the man hunts and brings his quarry home, it is tahu 
to the rest of the household. It is difficult to conceive 
that the central fact of the relationship of father to 
either child or household would in primitive times be 
his provision of the food. It is certainly hardly con- 
sistent with the part played by men in the early kin- 
groups. That the kin-chief developed into ruler and 
protector, as huninck and zupan, is fairly clear, but to 
assert that civilisation had already reached this stage 
when the name father was specialised, is to demand a 


high degree of development antecedent to the use of a 
term for the paternal relation, and further to neglect 
the argument as to date which arises from the great 
diversity of Aryan terms for patriarchal ruler. On 
these grounds it seems to me that the notion of father 
as feeder of the household must be rejected, and that 
we must again turn to the sexual conception to find 
the origin of the word, even if in so doing we are 
charged with having only a midwife's horizon. Such 
is, in truth, largely the horizon of the primitive savage, 
whose conceptions we are tracing. Nor are we without 
the warrant of philological parallels ; the Armenian hayr, 
father, is possibly derived from a root corresponding to 
M^ beget ; the Greek (pvrayp^ father, is similarly associ- 
ated with (^vft), and the word parent has a like origin. 

Accordingly we may ask, whether any trace of the 
sexual idea is to be associated with the root pdf 
The reply must be in the affirmative. The Sanskrit 
patis denotes a spouse, Greek Troo-i?, has the same 
meaning ; iroTvia is hone, queen, and mistress. Latin 
potens and impotens carry with them the notion of 
sexual virility and its opposite. We have also ttt^o?, 
7rao9, kinsman, and Latin paro in paricida, mark- 
ing an Aryan root pdsos. Possibly connected with 
the root pd are Sanskrit pdsas, Greek Treo? for the 
female organ of sex ; and Greek -n-eo?, Latin penis ( ? for 
pesnis), M.H.G. vasel, A.S. faselt for the male organ. 
Noteworthy in this respect is the O.H.G. fasel for 
proles, offspring. Further, Gothic /dc^an, 0.^. fodian, 
O.H.G. fdtjan, M.H.G. vtUen, O.S. fuddan, have the 
sense of fill, feed, and, according to Schade, of gebdren. 


This is certainly true of Old Saxon fodian^ which is 
used in the sense of bear, produce, in the Heliand, 
O.N. foe^a is procreate, as well as bring forth ; and 
Swedish foda, Danish fode^ are both to nourish and 
to bring forth. In such words there appears to be a fossil 
of an old meaning of the pd series, namely, to feed or 
fill in a sexual sense — a conception retained by Milton 
in the lines : — 

Zephyr with Aurora playing, 
As he met her once a-maying, 
There on beds of violets blue, 
And fresh-blown roses washed in dew, 
Filled her with thee a daughter fair. 
So buxom, blithe, and debonair. 

Or, by Shakespeare,^ when he writes in Measure for 
Measure : — 

Your brother and his lover have embraced : 
As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time 
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings 
To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb 
Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry. 

If we take the primitive sense of ^^ to heJlU, we see 
how the notion of pabulum, fodder, and the conception 
of father as 0utg)/9 arises. There is still a further series 
of words to be noted. Most of the German writers 
identify vuoter, food, and vuoter in the sense offutteral, 
sheath, case, — in other words, the ' fill ' and the filled. 
Now the Gothic fodr is sheath, vagina; O.H.G. fotar, 
fddar, A.S. fodder are theca, envelope, sheath. Medi- 
aeval Latin fodrus, Italian fodero, are both occasionally 

^ In an allied sense when he makes Adriana complain in the Comedy 0/ 
Errors that her husband "breaks the pale and feeds from home." 


used with the sexual significance. In the fifteenth-century 
Fastnachtspiele there is a good deal of obscene play on 
this double meaning of vuotar, and the term vuotar- 
wanne for the female organs of sex carries us at once to 
Milton and the conception of pd in the father series. 
One further word must be noted : M.H.G. vut, Icelandic 
and Norse fu^, Modern German fad and fotze for the 
female sex-organs.^ Schmeller connects fud with O.S. 
fuodan, as Fick connects pdtra, Sanskrit for vessel, 
holder, with pd, nourish, feed.^ It would thus simply 
be equivalent to vuotar, the sheath. We thus see the 
original value of the pd or father root, to lie in ' iill,' 
developing on the one side into fill with food, and on 
the other with child, the two primitive savage concep- 
tions. The ' fill ' value of the root is borne out by two 
series of words denoting the * fill ' or fodder, and the 
filled — vagina. If this view be correct, the primitive 
Aryan father must not be looked upon as one having 
special relations to the household, still less to the child, 
but as simply a lover of the mother — a (fivrcop.^ 

(6) As we have found a special name for the 
mother's sister almost interchangeable with the name 
mother itself, so we find there is one for father's brother 
closely related to father. This is Sanskrit pitrvjas, 

^ The -word fud is used for woman in Bavaria without any double meaning, 
also gefudach for womankind. In the Tyrol it is still used, but contemptuously. 
In AY[ga.\x fodel, contracted into f el, is still retained in use for woman. 

2 Possibly an r has been lost, i.e. vutr for Gothic fodr, as A.S. fdSe, father's 
sister, for fa'Sre. 

^ In another widely-spread Aryan word for father, Greek rdra, Bohemian tata, 
Welsh tad, English dad, Bavarian tatte, and Westphalian teite (see the Marchen, 
De beiden Kilnigeskinner), we do not find any definite idea of paternity. Thus 
Sanskrit tdtas is friend, Greek r^rra is a term of affection used by a youth to his 
elder ; while the corresponding Sanskrit form tdta is used by parents and teachers 
to children. Bavarian tattl is any old man, from the deity to the village dotard. 


Greek Trdrpcof;, Latin patruus, A.S. fddera, 0. Fries. 
federia, O.H.G. fataro, L.G. vedder, M.H.G. vetero, 
Modern German vetter. Originally these words stood 
for father's brother, but then we find the sense extended 
to patruelis, father's brother's child, and ultimately to 
cousins. It seems to me that feteron was probably the 
title of all the adult males of the gamahhida group in 
relation to the children, as mdmen stood for the adult 
females. But the males who were feteron to the children 
of the group, were vetter in the modern sense among 
themselves ; hence the double and somewhat confusing 
sense of the word. Even to the days of Luther we still 
find vetter used in the sense of father's brother, along- 
side its use for father's brother's son. As strong evidence 
that feteron were a group of co-fathers, I would cite 
the Anglo-Saxon law as to halsfang, a penalty to be 
paid to the near relatives of one who had been killed. 
" Heals-fang gebyreS bearnum brosrum and fsederan." ^ 
" Halsfang belongs to children, brothers, and feteron.' ' 
Here it is hard to conceive that the paternal uncle is 
included to the exclusion of the father, but rather 
bearnum stands for the younger, hro^rum for the 
contemporary, and fcederan for the elder generation. 
This view is confirmed by the use of the phrase hinnan 
cnedwe for the same group, for the relations intra genu 
certainly included the father. 

Another remarkable use of the word, which again 
suggests the primitive value of feteron as the co- 
fathers of the group, arises from the use of O.H.G. 
gavatero, A.S. gefaedera, 0. Fries, fadera, Danish 

^ R. Schmid, Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, 1858, p. 394. 


fadder, and Modern German gevatter for godfather. 
Ninth - century glosses give gavatero for compater, 
and gavatera ^ for commater, godfather and godmother. 
It is singular that these terms, which can only be 
strengthened forms oi fetero smd faedera,'^ should have 
been chosen at such a comparatively early date for 
the Christian sponsors. Indeed the Middle Latin com- 
pater and commater look much more like a translation 
of gavateron than vice versa. Some light on this point 
might be obtained from a study of the early use of com- 
pater and com^mater. In one respect their use differs very 
widely from modern godfather and godmother ; the latter 
terms mark a relationship between the sponsors and child, 
the former precisely as gafatero and gafatera^ mark a 
relation between sponsors and the child's parents. Thus 
the Lex Langohardorum^ (ii. 8, § 5) expressly defines a 
comm^ater as commater to one whose child she has taken 
from the font, or to one who has taken her child from 
the font.^ A decretal of a.d. 614 [Lex Canonica, Pars 
II. Causa XXX. Quaestio i.) orders that a man shall not 
continue to live as husband with his wife, if she has by 
mischance acted as godmother to her own child. The 
wife is spoken of as the man's commater, and in Modern 
German gevatterin would translate it, but clearly not 
English godm^other. Thus the compatres or gafateron are 
much closer and more familiar relations than godfather 
and godchild, — they belong, as a rule, to one and the 

^ The feminine is not such an anomaly as it might first appear, if pd (as in 
fddian) be conceived as having attained the meaning reproduce, bear, as well as 
procreate ; thus we have Got\\\c fadreins for both parents. 

^ Compare Friesian /cc^rm, /e<7ta, father's brother, vf\th.faedrum,fatherum, 

^ This sense was accurately retained for many centuries in the Lex Canonica. 


same generation. In this sense compater and gafatero, 
or gevatter, are used as terms of address between equals 
where there is no spiritual relationship, or at least where 
no stress is laid on it. Thus in M.H.G. comrades in the 
fight address each other as gevatter, and Isengrin the 
wolf calls Eeynard the fox gevatere! The dog is gevatter 
to the wolf in Grimm's Marchen, No. 48 ; the fox and 
the wolf, gevatter and gevatterin in No. 74 ; and the 
gevatterschaft is a pretty widely-spread relationship 
among the characters in Der alte Hildebrand (No. 95). 
Hugo von Trimberg and many mediaeval writers use 
gevatter in the sense of English gossip and French 
commere, for intimates and even scandalmongers.^ The 
former idea of intimacy is probably retained in the term 
Gevatter Tod. It may be said this use of gevatter is 
only a degeneration of its use for a spiritual relationship, 
which marked a much closer intimacy in the Middle 
Ages than it does to-day. I am inclined, however, to 
believe that more weight must be given to the origin of 
the term in the feteron of the primitive social group. 
In this respect the frequent association of vetter and 
gevatter as terms for intimates, and the fact that the 
earliest — ninth-century — gevatter gloss is givatarun^ cowr 
matrenfh spiritualem, are suggestive for both the original 
gavateron and the original commatres or compatres 
having also had a non-spiritual meaning.^ Bearing in 

^ Low German vadcler is compater, vadderkols, gossip, vadderspel, nepotism ; 
while vaddersche, co'/nmater is even used to render Latin nutrix. 

^ The terms compater spiritualis and commater spiritualis, which Ducange cites 
from an early date, would appear to illustrate the existence of a non-spiritual 
compater and commater. The earliest use of these terms would certainly appear 
to be Germanic. Thus they occur in the Lex Langohardorum and in a cartulary 
of Karl the Great. The Council of Mainz in a.d. 813 speaks of compatres 


mind what has been said of the mediaeval frauengadem^ 
— as remaining as a fossil of the sexual license of the old 
kin-group, — it is somewhat noteworthy to find the term 
commatres used for young women living in the houses of 
bishops and priests about 1300, whose conduct created 
scandal, while the term to go ad commatres seems to 
have been used in a still worse sense. Ducange gives 
instances oicompater being used for sodalis, amicus, and 
not in a spiritual sense ; ^ and a particularly important 
case of the date 855, in which compater actually denotes 
the father's sister's husband, is also cited by him. Such a 
use is quite intelligible if the compatres were originally 
the males of the kin-group, sharing bed and board ; it 
becomes quite obscure if the term compater was a term 
originally devised to cover the spiritual relationship. 

Turning back, indeed, to heathen times we find asso- 
ciated with the exposure of children practices closely 
akin to Christian baptism. The new-born child in 
Scandinavia was either taken to the father, or left on 
the floor {golf) where, according to ancient custom, the 
mother had given it birth, for its fate to be settled. If 
the father took it to his breast or raised it from the 
ground, its life was preserved, otherwise it was exposed. 
If the father accepted the child, he was asked how it 
should be named ; he then poured water over it and 
gave it a name. Occasionally he left this ceremony to 
one of his near kin, who then named and ' baptized ' 

spirituales, and the same words are used by the Council of Worms in 868. The 
terra, patrinus also appears to have a Germanic origin, — it is used first in a charter 
of Pipin (a.d. 752) — and, as I have hinted in the text, I expect compater as well 
as patrinus to be late Latin translations of gevatter. 

^ Note also how French parrain, godfather, is used for a second in a duel and 
for any intimate friend ; also un bon compire=a merry fellow. 


the child. This same heathen 'baptism' — with the 
naming of, and the pouring water over, the child — 
existed also in Germany/ We find both German and 
Scandinavian heathendom fighting hard on the advent 
of Christianity for this right of exposure, and there 
can be little doubt that the heathen ceremony of infant 
baptism influenced the Christian. It was precisely the 
males of the old kin-group who would be concerned 
with the preservation or exposure of a new life ; they 
took upon themselves the responsibility for it, and 
hence the name gavateron^ originally equivalent to 
fateron, was very naturally adopted for the Christian 
sponsors and name-givers of the new-born child. ^ It 
would appear that Boniface must have written to 
Gregory III. about this heathen baptism, for we find 
that Pope writing in reply that such baptism is to be 
held invalid.^ Ecclesiastical decrees of a later date 
forbidding any persons to assert compaternitas, because 
they have poured water on the linen or swaddling 
clothes of the infant, appear also to be directed against 
a heathen survival.^ Brother Berthold, so late as 1250, 
preached against baptismal practices of an apparently 
heathen origin.^ The earliest account we have of Chris- 
tian baptism, TertuUian's work against Quintilla,^ shows 

^ SeeWeinhold : Altnordisches Leben, pp. 260 etseq., a.nd Die deutschen Frauen 
in dem Mittelalter, ii. p. 95. 

^ A good deal of the gevatter folklore thus becomes intelligible, e.g. the 
proverb, Wer hei seiner ersten GevatterscJiaft ein uneheliches Kind hebt hat Gliich 
zum heirathen^ may be taken to mean that he who becomes one of t\iefateron in 
a kin-group {i.e. where the children are ' fatherless ') will have the favour of the 
women or join in the old M-rath (see p. 137). 

^ Jaffe, Bihliotheca rerum Germanicartcm, iii. s. 91. 

^ See Ducange under fasciatoriuTn and compatemitas. 

^ J. Grimm, Kleinere Schriften, Bd. iv. p. 325. 

6 See Operay Lyons, 1675. De Baptismo, a.d. 160-200. 


US that originally the ceremony concerned in the first 
place adults, and TertuUian refers only in Cap. 18 (fol. 231) 
to child baptism as an undesirable thing. He mentions 
it as introducing a new danger owing to the need for 
sponsores. The term compater is not used. It would 
thus appear that infant baptism was unusual in 
Tertullian's day. We may therefore, I think, conclude 
that the growth of infant baptism was largely favoured 
by Germanic heathen customs — the Church adapting, 
as in so many other cases, what it found already 
existing to its own usages. If that be so, the special 
characteristics and the folklore of the Teutonic gevatter 
may alike be taken as illustrative of the fateron, or 
group of fathers of the old kin-community.^ 

(7) If the terms for mother s sister and for father's 
brother originally stood for any of the women of one 
generation, and for any of the men of one generation 
within the kin-group, then we should not expect any 

1 In the Saxon Laws, Ine (before 694) has godfceder, godsuimt, iEthelrsed 
has {circa 1008) gefacderan, and Canute {circa 1026) uses the same word. The 
exact meaning of god in godfather and godmother is very open to question. It is 
hardly god, deus, as Skeat, for example, among many writers suggests. O.H.G. 
gota is ad'fnater, commater, godmother, and gotti is adpater, compater, godfather ; 
gotele is JUiola, goddaughter. From the Middle Ages we have gott, paternus, 
gottin,'maternus, gbttlein, filiolus, and gotla,filiola, in fact, the whole of the Anglo- 
Saxon godsib, modern gossip. The words are still in German dialect use, der 
god is the godfather, die godl, the godmother. Godl is, however, frequently 
used of the goddaughter, and indeed of any girl whatever. Gottenloffel is the 
'silver spoon ' ; gotteit is gevatter schaft. This obscure O.H.G. goto, gota, has been 
associated with gating, trihunus, sacerc?os^ (possibly also found in the place-names 
Goding and Gottingen), and with Gothic gudja, Icelandic godi, priest, judge. 
However this may be, the source of god in god-parents is not the obvious one of 
god, deus, but in all probability dates from some hitherto unelucidated heathen 
notion involved in the O.H.G. names goto and gota. In this respect it seems of 
significance that gotta, godfather, appears to be a derivative from gota, god- 
mother. The heathen goddess Frau Gode, who can be traced throughout large 
districts of Germany, must also be borne in mind. 


very definite names with cognates in all Aryan tongues 
for mother's brother and father's sister. Only when 
exogamy succeeded endogamy as the ruling custom 
would such names become necessary, and such change 
in custom hardly preceded the origin of the Aryan 
names for relationship. This expectation is justified in 
so far that the Teutonic words for mother's brother and 
father's sister do not find co-radicates of the same sense 
in all Aryan tongues. Further, their significance in the 
Teutonic dialects is itself very variable, and their 
primitive sense by no means clear. 

The word for mother's brother is O.H.G. dheim, 
M.H.G. oheim and dham, A.S. edm for eahdm, 0. 
Fries, em, M.L.G. ohm. The O.H.G. oheim is 
glossed avunculus, maternal uncle, and hoheimes sun, 
consohrinus, cousin-german through the mother. Prob- 
ably the word has the same root as Latin avus and 
Gothic ava (grandmother), but the source of the word 
is very obscure, and its Gothic form, which might have 
been of assistance, has not been preserved. In late 
German, at any rate, the word is applied to father's 
brother and father's sister's husband. Comparatively 
early it is used of the sister's son or nephew, and then 
for other blood-relatives. In the second or exogamous 
period of the matriarchate, the mother's brother plays 
an important part,^ and it is noteworthy that the two 
chief uses of oheim, i.e. for mother's brother and sister's 

1 One among many fossil indications of this occurs when Brunhilda in the 
Nihelungenlied gives her castle and lands in charge to one ir hdhsten mdge {er was ir 
Tnuoter bruoder), when she leaves for Worms. He is to look after it until her 
husband can come and manage it. Ultimately, of course, the latter will in turn 
be succeeded by her daughter's husband. Compare Creon's relation to Oedipus. 


son, correspond to the first heirs of a man under mother- 
right custom/ 

The most widespread German word for father's 
sister is O.H.G. hasa, L.G. wasa, and Modern German 
base. In O.H.G. we find hasa, wasa, and pasa all 
glossed amita. In Modern German its use has occasion- 
ally been rather wide, thus Luther uses it for father's 
brother's wife, and in Low German we find it used even 
for mother's sister. Dialect uses show a still more general 
value. An old woman I knew, who used to sell wine in 
a tower at Lorch on the Rhine, was termed by the whole 
neighbourhood (in 1879) Sette has, she being a public 
character on account of her having seen the Russians 
cross the Rhine when the Allies marched on Paris. 
In Bavaria the term hasl is applied to any married 
woman, especially if she be old, and the term basele 
to any not fully grown girl. The origin of the word is 
very obscure. Grimm appears in favour of a derivation 
analogous to the Norse faster =farsyster, and would 
equate hasa and fadarsuestor. Grafi", Deecke, and 
others connect hasa with hosam, hdsm, English hosom. 
Thus gehusamen is glossed consanguineos, blood- 
relatives. According to the patriarchal system of 
these writers, the father's sister is the one who takes 
the motherless child of her brother to her bosom. But 
hdsam in this sense denotes bosom, lap, relationship 
through the womb. In 0. Fries, hoste, N. Fries, hoaste 
is marriage, and 0. Fries, hostigia, N. Fries, hoostgjan is 
to marry, and hoesen to kiss. This certainly does not 

^ That the oheim, like the muhme, originally belonged to a sub-group of the 
kin-group is supported by the Zend IrdtHirya, for oheim as well as muhme. 


accord with the exogamous period of the mother-age, 
during which the conception of the father's sister would, 
on our theory, begin to be developed. It would accord, 
however, with hasa having originally stood for a name 
for some of the group women ^ in the endogamous 
period. Without being able to explain the origin of 
the word, we may remark that the folk-feeling with 
regard to its weight is very different from the affection- 
ate atmosphere which surrounds muhme, and approaches 
in some respects that attached to gevatter and gevatterin. 
Thus hdseln is to chatter, gossip in a bad sense. The 
basen are, in popular opinion, wrinkled, ugly, aged 
spinsters who sit, spin, and spread scandalous stories. 
Above all, it is they who raise a ' philisterhaftes 
Zetergeschrei,' when any one does not do what is 
exactly customary. Thus kaffeebase^ Matschhase, 
haserei, philisterhaserei are all names the reverse of 
complimentary to the base, and not finding their 
equivalents in any ideas associated with French tante or 
English aunt. There is certainly nothing in the word 
to give any weight to a patriarchal conception of the 
primitive Aryan family. It would seem to represent 
some class of women in the community, whose age and 
position rendered them responsible for the maintenance 
of social tradition and custom.^ 

In A.^. fa'Se, fa^u, in O.Y.fete, in L.G. vade.fede, 

^ For example, elder sisters or elder female cousins, whom there is some 
evidence to show were first separated from sexual relations with their younger 
kin. In many languages, for instance, there are different words for younger 
and elder sisters, and the latter are treated with far greater respect. 

2 Perhaps Friesian bds, Dutch baas, Norse bas, English boss, master, overseer, 
deserve to be considered in relation to base. 


in M. Dutch vade were used for father's sister, 
aunt, and are probably obtained by the loss of an 
r from fa'6re, fetre, or fetere. At the same time, 
Gothic faps, master, used chiefly in compounds, as 
in hruthfaps, bridegroom, must be taken into con- 
sideration. Fedethom appears used in M.L.Gr. for 
the offspring of father's sister, as fedriethom for that 
of father's brother. As to the history and develop- 
ment in use of these words, I can find nothing of real 

(8) Having considered aunts and uncles, we may 
now pass to nephews and nieces. If these had no 
definite and clearly conceived existence during the 
period of kindred group-marriage, we should expect 
to find, as in the case of uncles and aunts, considerable 
confusion in the nomenclature, which would not be 
explicable had the patriarchal family been the earliest 
type and formed the basis of the Aryan terminology 
for relationship. 

The primitive form of the root is here suggested 
by the Sanskrit ndpdt, descendant, son, grandchild. 
The signification is apparently the one who is not (na) 
a spouse or master (pdtis) ; perhaps, remembering the 
sense of the root pd, it might also be rendered the 
impubes. It will be seen at once that there is in this 
no trace of the modern nephew idea. We have exactly 
what we should expect in a group with two broad 
divisions, the young, not yet spouses, and the adults with 
a communal marriage. We find also Sanskrit nafsu, 
offspring, grandchildren, naptjam, family ; Old Per- 
sian napdt, grandchild ; Greek ave'^lno^;, cousin, nephew. 


viiroBe^, descendants ; Latin nepos, descendant, grand- 
child, nephew; Gothic nipjis, nipjo, cousm; A.S. nefa, 
grandchild, nephew ; O.H.G. nefo, glossed nepos, cog- 
natus, sohrinus, i.e. any collateral womb -relation, or, 
indeed, any blood-relative;^ O.H.G. nift, glossed neptis 
and privigna, niece and stepdaughter ; M. Dutch neef, 
grandchild, cousin, nephew ; M.H.G. neve, relative, 
cousin, neveschaft, cousinship, niftelin, granddaughter, 
niece ; M.L.G. neve, grandchild, nephew, or niece, 
nichte, nichteke, granddaughter, niece ; Old Norse nefl, 
offspring, grandchild, nephew, nepi, a brother, nift, a 
sister, and also a bride. Now all these diverse mean- 
ings, even to the last — brother, sister, bride — are intel- 
ligible on the basis that the i/eVoSe? were originally the 
offspring of the kin -group — offspring ^ to some, nephews 
or nieces to others, cousins, brothers, sisters, and ulti- 
mately spouses among themselves. The children of the 
gamahhida, they will ultimately form a gamahhida 
among themselves. They are the impuheres, while the 
others are the conjuges ; they are the young and the 
others the old, the eltern ; they are the enkeln, O.H.G. 

^ In an old mediaeval vernacular Christmas church ritual, the Virgin Mary 
terms Joseph lieber neve mein, and Joseph the Virgin liebe Tnueme mein. In the 
LamhacherPassionsspiel John also addresses Maria as liehe mutter vnd mume. 

^ That the offspring is the sister's son is also evidenced by old Irish niae, 
son of a sister, i.e. not of a brother. As I have pointed out, the ancient 
gods — created in man's image — marry like their makers, and when we have 
passed the stage of no known fathers, of the mother-son dual deities, we reach 
that of brother-sister marriage — Freyr and Freya, Niordr and his sister, Zeus 
and Hera, Cronos and Khea, Jupiter and Juno, Janus and Camisa, Osiris and 
Isis, and many others in the mythologies of much less civilised peoples. Nor 
does brother-sister marriage occur in mythology only. Besides its frequency in 
Ancient Egypt and Modern Madagascar, we may cite its occurrence in the Celtic 
hero-legends, e.g. Caibre Muse and Duben, Conchobar and Dechtere, Medb, 
Ethne, Clothru, and their three brothers, the latter appearing to be a kin group- 


enenkely eninchil for aninchli, the little ano or ahne, 
which we have seen applies to their older ascendants.^ 

(9) As we have already dealt with brother and 
sister as words containing general evidence of the primi- 
tive kindred group -marriage, we may now pass to the 
terms for son and daughter. 

One of the first desires of the parents of a new-born 
child is to ascertain its sex. Is it a boy or a girl ? 
This must be at once announced to the community. 
The nomads of Central Asia indicated the sex by 
placing spear or distaff at the entrance of the tent. 
The Greeks pub an olive wreath for a boy and wool for 
a girl at the door of the house. The South American 
Indians place a weapon for a boy and a spindle for a 
girl. The negroes of New Guinea a bow for the son and 
a stir-about stick or cooking-spoon for the daughter. 
The ancient Chinese marked the male birth by a bow 
to the left, and the female by a girdle to the right of 
the door. The Dutch indicate by the colour of a silk 
pad fastened to the knocker the sex of the new member 
of the community, and there is little doubt that the 
glove formerly seen on English doors originally indicated 
by its colour or position the same thing. The routine 
and festivities which, in all parts of the world, follow 
birth take their character and magnitude from the sex 
of the new-born child. The sex is thus seen to be of 
first importance, not only to the parents, but to the 

^ Compare ohmchen for niece. I doubt the objection raised by Grimm to this 
derivation, namely, that the enJcel is not a * little forefather. ' Clearly the niece 
is not a 'little uncle,' yet she is termed ohmchen. The term ano being applied 
to a particular group in the community, it was not a long stejp to term little 
anan, a group of the same constitution which had not yet reached maturity. 


social group of which they are members. It is the 
first question to be answered, and at that early stage 
the answer is only to be obtained by reference to the 
primary sexual characters. "It is a son, a seed-giver," 
says the primitive midwife, or "It is a daughter, a 
suckler," as the case may be. 

In Sanskrit the root su denoted primitively pour 
out, wet, squeeze out juice, as in savam, water, and 
sitnas, river. But it has, in addition, the sense of 
beget, procreate, whence we have sunus, the son, the 
begetter. The co-radicates are Gothic sunus, O.H.G. 
sunu, A.S. sunu, O.N. sonr, English son, German sohn, 
and probably Greek uto? for o-vto?. Some writers have 
held that the su in st'lnus denoting procreate, the son 
is the procreated. Against this must be remarked the 
almost universal use of the word for the male offspring. 
Sanskrit sutd, daughter, appears to come from a past 
participle, and so to mean the procreated. The sunus 
series is, however, to be connected with a present parti- 
ciple sunvant, procreating.^ The same root occurs in 
other words, one or two of which are sufficiently sugges- 
tive for our present purpose to be mentioned. Thus San- 
skrit siitu, pregnancy, Old Irish suth, the fetus, Greek 
o-O? (i;9 in Homer), a hog or wild boar, Latin sus, O.H.G. 
su, O.N. syr, Modern German sau, English sow, where 
there appears to be a transition first to either male or 
female, and then to the female only. The procreative 
capacity of the pig is obviously the source of the name, 
the animal itself from Scandinavia to Greece being a 

^ That son and daughter originally stood for boy and girl simply, and not 
for a relationship, is in keeping with the Celtic tongues, which have no name 
for son and daughter as distinguished from boy and girl. 


symbol of fertility, or a metaphor for sexual license. 
Another interesting word is the Greek veiv^ probably for 
(Tveiv^ to rain, with the notion of the rain as a fertiliser. 
Thus Bacchus was termed f;?;?, probably as a god of 
fertilising moisture ; while Zei*? vri^ reminds us of the 
golden shower with which he fertilised Danae. Possibly 
the same idea of creating, fertilising moisture is retained 
in the Sanskrit somas ^ the mysterious drink of the 
Vedic gods, whom it animated to great achievements. 
To the same root also vy^r]v^ hymen, the god of love and 
the song of love, may probably be ultimately traced, 
thus carrying us back in the root su of sunu to that 
kin-gathering with its common meal, songs, and sexual 
license which has so often reappeared. 

As we find the idea of su^ beget, leading to suna^ son, 
so the same notion in ^pu leads us to pusus, putus, and 
puer, a boy. Sanskrit putra is a son. If Latin puer 
be for puter, as Grimm suggests, then again it is the 
procreator which is emphasised. The origin of puer 
would thus correspond to <pvTap from </)i/, and, on our 
theory, to patar from pd. All signify the male begetter, 
but the former in potentia, the latter two in esse. The 
Teutonic form is huohe, huhe, at first sight only the male 
procreated, but in Alpine hua = liehhaber ; and in the 
forms buhl, huhle, lover ; hul = arnica ^ meretrix ; Swiss 
hilhli = Kirmes-mistress, dance - partner on May Day ; 
buhlgahe = morgengabe ; buhlgesang = hileih, etc., point- 
ing to the procreator and the sex-festival. 

Turning now to daughter the cognates are : Sanskrit 
duhitd, Persian dokhter, Greek dvydrrjp, Gothic dauhtar, 

^ Compare Sanskrit s4mas, water, milk, moisture ; Greek ipdoo, to pour out, 
and ipdu, to love sexually, ^pos, love, desire. 


O.H.G. tohtar, M.G. tocJiter, O.N. dottir, A.S. dohtor, 
etc. The Sanskrit root dug, or duh, is to milk in either 
the passive or active sense, as in milchen and melken. 
Swedish ddggja, Danish daegge, Gothic daddjan, are to 
give suck, while English dug is the nipple of the breast. 
In Sanskrit dug'd is a cow, dohas, a milking or milk, and 
ddgd'rt, a cow or nurse. From these cow-words, with- 
out apparent co-radicates in the other Aryan tongues, 
arose the idea of the daughter as the milker of cows in 
the pretty theory of the happy patriarchal life of the 
primitive Aryans. This idea, that the terminology for 
daughter awaited the discovery of a peaceful occupation 
for her later years, has now been given up by most philo- 
logists (not, however, by Skeat), but it serves to mark the 
want of anthropological instinct in the philologists of the 
last generation. As the son is the begetter in potentia, 
so the daughter is the suckler, the mother of the future 
— a far more primitive concept than that of cow -milking. 

(10) I shall now pass to some remarks on the 
Teutonic words for relationship by marriage. Such 
words differ widely in most Aryan dialects, and this is 
sufficient to indicate their late origin.^ Many of the 
Aryan words suggest a very different primitive sense to 
their present, and several have clearly been perverted 
from their old kin-group significance to suit patriarchal 
institutions. I must here, however, confine my attention 
to some peculiarly German terms, as my space is limited. 

German eidam, A. S. dpum, and Fries, ddum, appears 
connected with eid, oath. The son-in-law is the oath- 

^ Clearly, if the patriarchal system had been a primitive Aryan one, the 
names for such relationships ought to have been co-radicate, for they must have 
been needed at an early date. 


man, not the hloodman. He is the man whose treuwa, 
peace, or sihhe, is not preserved by his blood-link, with 
its sanctions of blood-feud and blood-vengeance, but by 
an oath of peace which he has taken to the kin, so that 
he ceases to be unsihhe. For him marriage is not a 
right of kin, but a pact, an ehe, and he is an ehemann. 
This name eidam for son-in-law probably arose when 
exogamy was becoming the rule, but the woman re- 
mained within her own kin -group, a form of marriage 
largely illustrated by the German Marchen, and equiva- 
lent to the heena marriage of the old Arabians.-^ The 
same notion of sworn relationship is probably to be 
found in the Swedish svdramoder, svdrafader, svdra- 
dotter, etc. Here, although the ultimate root may have 
been the same as that of Swedish svoger and German 
schwager, there has been undoubtedly assimilation to 
svdrja, swear, owing to the conception of the son-in- 
law as the sworn-man. It is noteworthy that eidem is 
used in M.H.G. for either father-in-law or son-in-law ; 
this double use was very probably much older, and 
simply marks the sworn relationship of the two. 

From the chief Germanic root for relationship by 
marriage no terms whatever exist for children-in-law 
till we come to the late compounds schwiegersohn and 
schwiegertochter. These facts must be borne in mind 
when we come to sum up the origin of this relationship. 
Turning to other Aryan tongues we find considerable 
diversity of words, with very significant roots. Thus we 

1 Grimm connects eidam with a root ei, related to ju, bind (as jug in jungere) 
and equivalent to Sanskrit jam. He would thus connect eidam directly with 
Sanskrit gdmi for jdmi, daughter-in-law. This leaves the dental quite unex- 
plained, the primitive notion in both may be bind ; but the bond in the German 
word is that of the oath, and in the Sanskrit that of sex. 


have Sanskrit gdmdtri^ Greek ya/n/Spo^;, Latin gener, for 
son-in-law. The base idea here seems to be simply that 
of the begetter, the procreator, the root being jam, gam^ 
with the sexual weight, as in Greek yafjueco and Latin 
geminus. In Lithuanian the word is zentas. Thus, 
while the German word eidam points to son-in-law as 
an exogamous relation, there is nothing in the Sanskrit, 
Greek, and Latin words inconsistent with endogamy, i,e, 
with the gener being originally one of the gamalihiday 
the kin -group. ^ Indeed there is a good deal to be said in 
favour of it. Greek ya/jL^p6<; has the usual vagueness of 
a word which has been specialised from a wider primi- 
tive sense ; for, besides son-in-law, we find it used for 
father-in-law, sister's husband, and wife's brother, and 
then still more generally for bridegroom, wooer, suitor.^ 
Sanskrit gdm,i for daughter-in-law is used also for 
sister. Lastly, Lithuanian gente, gentere, sister-in-law, 
can hardly fail to be connected with the Scandinavian 
genta, merely signifying girl or young woman, appear- 
ing O.N. genta, Swedish gdnta, Landsmaal gjenta, and 
Norwegian jente. 

This identification of a word used primitively for 
young woman with a marriage relationship occurs in 
cognate words. Thus Greek wo^, daughter-in-law, is 
used for any female connection by marriage, and further 
for a bride or a wife. The word is probably a corrup- 
tion of o-i/uo-09. Latin nurus ( = snurus), daughter-in- 
law (Italian nuora), is used by Ovid of any young 

^ Zend zdmdtar, son-in-law, and zdmi, birth, may also be noted. 
^ That the son-in-law was originally from the kin seems to be evidenced by 
the Gothic m^gs^ Swedish mdgr. See p. 139. 
^ Early and dialect usage. 



married woman. In Low Latin nurus is used for 
vv/jL(l>io<;, sponsus, or bridegroom, and nura for daughter- 
in-law ; this use of nurus has almost certainly a basis in 
an older sense of the word. The Sanskrit is snushd, 
Czech snacha, A.S. snora, O.H.G. snur (also, be it noted, 
glossed as noverca, stepmother), and Modern German 
schnur. According to Schade, the Albanians use vovo-eja 
for daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, and any newly married 
woman, while vova-epla is the period of a woman's life 
between marriage and the first confinement (? pregnancy). 
Various origins of the word have been suggested, all more 
or less unsatisfactory. Kuhn would have us believe that 
snushd = sam-vasd, the cohabitant, or one dwelling with 
her parents-in-law ; this result assumes the exogamy, 
and also the existence of patriarchal custom, among the 
primitive Aryans. According to Fick, snusd perhaps 
stands for sunusa, the ' sonness ' or female of the son ; 
and, as suggestive of this source. Old Slav synocha, 
Polish synowa (from syn, son), and Swabian sohnerin 
have been cited. It is difficult to see how the wide- 
spread use of the word for any young married woman 
could then have easily arisen, for it may be taken as a 
universal rule, which we have seen exemplified in many 
instances, that words of kinship and sex begin with a 
very wide and general sense and are afterwards special- 
ised. Lastly, we have Weber's deduction from an Aryan 
root snu, meaning to flow. Thus Fick has snevd, snau, 
to drip, wet, flow, connected possibly with which is 
the Gothic snivan. This root is certainly in accord- 
ance with the primitive weight of snur, as merely the 
young woman or bride. It might account also for the 


curious Albanian vovaepla, while it is consistent with the 
great part which the sexual life of the woman plays in 
early folklore.^ 

Another term for daughter-in-law undoubtedly shows 
the patriarchal exogamous system. This is Sanskrit 
vadujd. The root vedhd and Lithuanian vedu signified 
bring, lead away, and ultimately marry. Thus Sanskrit 
vadujd (and vadhu) is also beast of burden, so that the 
notion of leading appears to be that of the bound or 
captive kind. Sanskrit vadhu is young woman, bride, 
young wife, daughter-in-law, and in Zend vadhemnd is 
bridegroom. Welsh ar-wedd is glossed gerere, and 
dyweddio is marry. Very suggestive is Lithuanian 
wadoti, to redeem a pledge. Welsh gwaudd and 
Cornish guhit stand for daughter-in-law, and so does 
Lithuanian wedekle. Besides these, Whitley Stokes 
notices Welsh gwaddol and Greek ehvov for a gift to 
the wife or to her relatives,^ probably originally a price 
for the rape. The forcible character of the ' leading ' 
involved is evidenced by the cognates which are rendered 
ducere and dux, e.g. Old Slavonic voditi and vozdi. 

We thus see two chief sources of the idea daughter- 
in-law — the one, in the great majority of Aryan tongues, 
arising from the idea merely of a young marriageable 
woman, and probably known in the endogamous period ; 

^ It is possible that a similar notion occurs in O.H.G. huora, O.N. h6ra, 
English whore, which Grimm connects with the root har in the sense of flow. 
The origin of the word would thus be no more evil than that of hexe, with which 
indeed it is closely connected by a series of folk-proverbs, such as jung eine 
hure, alt eine hexe. The word originally would signify any young woman, 
the freedom in matters of sex attached to the word arising from the traditions 
of the old group sex-freedom. Fick would connect hure, not as Grimm with 
the notion in har, flow (and Sanskrit ^ara = Gothic hdrs, adulterer), but with 
ka, desire, yearn after. See p. 179). 

2 Compare the primitive sense of pledge in Anglo-Saxon wedldc, English 


the other, much less common, marking an exogamous 
origin for the daughter-in-law, the capture or purchase 
of the bride. For son-in-law we have the endogamous 
notion, the bridegroom as a mere procreator, or even 
as Wjegs, one of the kin, and the exogamous, but still 
matriarchal, notion of the son-in-law as of the kin by 
reason of his oath. He is the man who lives in his 
wife's home, as the lucky Hans of the Marchen.^ 

Passing now to parents-in-law, we find one main root 
— hardly yet satisfactorily dealt with — running through 
most of the Aryan languages. This root is exhibited in 
German schwdher, father-in-law, schwieger, mother-in- 
law. In Gothic svaihro, mother-in-law, is used thrice of 
the wife's mother, and once of the husband's mother ; ^ 
and svaihra, father-in-law, once of the wife's father. 
O.H.G. swehur and swigar are glossed socer (once levir), 
and uxoris mater, socrus. In M.H.G. we find sweher, 
contracted into swer and swir, for father-in-law. In 
Bavaria schwiger, die schwega are used for mother- 
in-law, uxoris mater, and socrus, while schweher, 
schwer, der schwega are used for pater uxoris, socer, 
Swedish svdra ^ is mother-in-law. Old Slavonic svekru, 
Eussian svekoru stand for wife's father-in-law, e.g. 
husband's father, so also the Lithuanian szesziuras. 
Polish swiekier is used both for wife's and husband's 
father. This appears to be the case with Latin socer 
(for svocer), Italian suocero, Greek 6Kvp6<; (for o-Fe- 

^ Or Oedipus, who, for a riddle-solving service to the state, gains the queen 
and kingdom. The queen retains 'equal sway,' however, and the brother is 
the 'peer of both,' and therefore feared by the king. See Oedipus Tyrannus, 
11. 579, 581, 378, 631, et seq. 

2 Jah bru(7 vi^ra svaihron izos (Matt. x. 35), i.e. the bride against her 
mother-in-law. The Greek has vij/xcprj and irevdepd. 

3 Sver and sviru occur in Norse runes (see pp. 224, 231). 


Kvp6<}), Welsh chwegrwn, Sanskrit gvagura, for father- 
in-law, while the corresponding words, socrus, eKvpd, 
gvacrih, for mother-in-law, are used for both husband's 
and wife's mother. It would be interesting to ascertain 
whether these words have not in their earliest usage a 
bias towards either husband's parents or wife's parents 
exclusively. It is quite clear that in an exogamic matri- 
archal marriage the wife's parents, and in an exogamic 
patriarchal marriage the husband's parents, would play 
the chief part as the parents-in-law. In either case 
their relations to the young couple would be somewhat 
different, and we should not unnaturally have expected 
dijfferent names for the husband's and the wife's parents- 
in-law.^ The apparently nearly equal weight for both 
husband's and wife's parents of the svekr terms, as well 
as their widespread use throughout the Aryan languages, 
might suggest that they arose in the endogamous group- 
period, when monogamous unions within the group were 
becoming the rule, but the parents of both mates were 
on a nearly equal footing within the group. ^ 

It cannot be said that any satisfactory account 
has been given of these words. Bopp and others 
have deduced svagura from sva, own, and guras, the 
hero, the strong one, as in Greek Kvpo<;, authority, 
Kvpto<;, master, and Old Irish caur, cur, hero. But, 
besides the difficulty of tracing the second word in 
other than the Sanskrit and Greek forms, this origin 

^ It would be of considerable value to ascertain, if possible, whether Greek 
cKvpos and eKvpd, father- and mother-in-law, and irevdepbs and irevOepd, father- and 
mother-in-law, were ever specialised in this manner. 

2 Slight evidence that the mother-in-law was originally of the kin may 
perhaps be found in Lithuanian anpta, mother-in-law, clearly related to and, 
female ancestress, Greek awls, grandmother. 


appears to leave the terms for mother-in-law unac- 
counted for, although in several cases they appear to 
be as primitive, if not more primitive, than the male 
terms ; for example, Welsh chwegr and Cornish hwegr. 
Anthropologically, also, we should expect the mother of 
either mate to appear before the father, and this view 
is favoured by the Welsh chwegrwn, which suggests, as 
Whitley Stokes has pointed out, svekr-unos as the base 
form. Here the unos would be an affix corresponding 
to that in sohr-inus or uter-inus, and it would be a 
meaning for the root svekr that must be sought.^ Now 
this form corresponds closely to the Teutonic form for 
brother-in-law, and, with much hesitation, I am inclined 
to hold that possibly the words for parents-in-law are 
deduced from the term now used in Teutonic lands for 
brother-in-law. There is much to be said against this 
view. In the first place, there is no word for brother- 
in-law connected with either Latin socerus or Greek 
eKvp6<; : in the next place, Sanskrit actually forms a 
derivative, svakurjas, for brother-in-law ; ^ and, in the 
last place, the Celtic languages seem to use for mother- 
in-law a term most closely corresponding to that for 
brother-in-law in the Teutonic languages. But against 
these weighty objections must be set the following : — 
(i.) The Teutonic schwager is far more extended in 

^ Latin socrus for socerus appears to have been originally of either gender, and 
suggests the same idea. Against this view, namely, — that the brother-in-law 
is primitively a person of more weight than the parents-in-law — may be urged 
the formation of complimentary words for father by marriage, as in the case of 
French heaupere, and Teutonic stiuffater, stepfather, pater honoris causa, as 
Schade neatly expresses it. Note also the use in Scotland and Northumberland 
of goodfather, goodmother, goodsister, etc. , for relatives-in-law. 

'■^ This might possibly be compared with the origin of konigin, from 
honing, and ultimately from kone. 


its meaning than either schwdher or schwieger, and 
appears in many cases to cover father-in-law as well as 
brother-in-law, and indeed a variety of relationships in 
more or less degenerate forms. 

Thus in M.H.G. swdger is used for sororius, levir, 
socer, and gener ; in O.L.G. swager was also used for 
either socer or gener, and indeed for any other 
verschwdgerte person. In Bavarian dialect schwager 
is brother-in-law, geswagerlich means related sexually, 
either by marriage or by ' Unehe ' ; while schwager in 
general is used as a term for some friendly relation, 
thus the driver terms his fare, and craftsmen of allied 
trades term each other, schwager} In Anglo-Saxon 
sweger is mother-in-law, sweor, father-in-law. Old 
Swedish svaer is father-in-law, Old Norse sver is 
mother-in-law. In Danish we have svoger for brother- 
in-law, while swiger attached to fader, moder, datter, 
etc., gives all the relatives -in -law. Old Friesian an(J 
Dutch swdger are both brother-in-law and son-in-law. 

Turning now to shortened forms we have O.H.G. 
swio for brother-in-law, O.H.G. gaswio, M.H.G. geswte 
for relatives by marriage, brother-in-law and sister-in- 
law particularly ; M. H. G. geswige is the sister's 
husband ; gsweyen in Bavaria denotes children of sisters 
(consohrini), der geschwie, the father-in-law, and die 
geschwein, the wife's brothers. Still more generally in 
Old Saxon suiri stands for cousins, and in Anglo-Saxon 

^ The Bavarian terms schwaig for an alp or cattle-pen, with schwaiger for 
its owner, and schwaegerin for its tender, the sennerin, might possibly throw 
some light on the meaning of swig in the old group-kindred days of the hag. 
Or, is O.H.G. sweiga for cattle-pen merely equivalent to mediaeval Latin soca, 
soga, a measure of land, and Greek a-rjKds, <ra/f6s, a pen for cattle, an inclosure ? 


geswirja for sister's son. We may also note Anglo- 
Saxon suhterja, brother's son, nephew, and suhtorfddera, 
parents-in-law, possibly for svihtorja and svihtorfddera, 
and so connected with the root of swehor} 

Now, whether the series of words in the last para- 
graph has arisen from a primitive sweh or svih, or has an 
origin independent of the svekr series, it is very difl&cult 
to believe in the face of such widely extended meanings 
as these words certainly have in early Teutonic dialects, 
that the whole terminology for relations-in-law should 
have arisen as derivatives of the term for father-in- 

(ii.) The use of the svehr terms in Lithuanian, in 
Eussian,^ and other Slavonic tongues for the husband's 
relatives points, so far as it goes, to the husband as the 
source of the svekr terminology, and this is supported 
by such a word as geschwdgert for any connection by 
marriage, and by its limited and comparatively late use 
for son-in-law. The general weight of the svekr terms 
in the Teutonic dialects certainly seems to bear the 
impress of a word used for intimacy and familiarity on 
the same level, and accordingly, if the origin of the word 
is to be sought in sva, own, proper, intimate, familiar, I 
believe it must be in the relationship of brothers- and 
sisters-in-law. It is also true that sva, or its fuller 
form svas, peculiar, dear,^ does lead to many terms for 

^ Hindustanee sds, mother-in-law, susra, father-in-law, may be connected 
with the sve root, but doubtfully with svekr. The female is here the primitive. 

2 In Russian svojack = schwager, svekoru = wife's father-in-law, svekrovi, wife's 

^ Compare Gothic sves, own, property. Then we have Aryan svedho, to ' self, ' 
to become use to ; the sved co-radicates meaning good, sweet, nice, the suavaum, 
eonsuesco ideas, and lastly the Fidot, Gothic sidus, German sitte, ' wont ' notions. 


relationship. We have already referred to the Teutonic 
terms swdsman, swdseline, and swdsenede ; we may add 
Slavonic svoja, become intimate, whence svatu for 
relative, and Lithuanian svotai for the relatives who 
attend a marriage. Hence schwager may only be 
another method of expressing swdsman, the intimate 
man or brother. It is to a very intimate relation of 
this kind that we shall find other words for the brother- 
and sister-in-law connection directly lead us. 

If we look back on the origin of endogamous 
monogamy in a kin -group, the first appearance of it 
would be heralded by the exclusive attachment, at any 
rate for a time, of a man of the group to a particular 
woman. He became her * own ' or ' dear ' man, her 
leofman, lefmon, leman, in the best sense of this last 
word. The leman was with more or less rigour tabu to 
the other women of the group, hence would arise the 
first traces of a brother - in - law relationship. The 
leofman stands in a new relation to the other women 
of the group, but not one which absolutely excludes 
traces of the earlier sexual communism. The same 
process that we have indicated here actually went on in 
the public brothels of the mediaeval towns. The town 
councils repeatedly issued regulations against the public 
prostitutes having their liehe manner, their ' dear men,' 
with whom they were intimate to the exclusion of the 
public in general. Here we have the worse sense of 
leman. It is to such a specialisation of lovers within 
the group, an exclusive intimacy, that possibly the sve 
in svekr may refer, whether the k-r- stand for kura or 
not. From the svekr are deduced the svek-r-uno, or those 


connected by blood with him. The correlative to father- 
in-law, namely, daughter-in-law or son-in-law, might then 
be expected to have a different and perhaps much later 
origin. I am fully aware of the many difficulties of this 
account, but I doubt whether they are more or harder 
than those which any one will meet with who starts 
from sva^ura, the father-in-law, and tries, not only to 
deduce all the svekr terms from it anthropologically and 
philologically,^ but by asserting the recognition in a 
position of honour of the husband's father among the 
primitive Aryans, will also have to overthrow all the 
evidence that can be collected in favour of matriarc^hal 
custom and kindred group-marriage. 

We now turn to the terminology for brother-in-law 
and sister-in-law beyond that connected with the term 
schwager already referred to. For sister-in-law we have 
in Greek 'yaXocd^, ydXco<;, with the Latin glos, both of 
these denote the husband's sister, the term — which is 
possibly related to ydXa, as duhitd to dadhan — appears 
as Slavonic zluva, Czech zelva, but not otherwise. 

We find another series of terms spreading through 
several Aryan languages, but not universally, namely, 
Greek elvdrepe^, Latin janitrices, for the wives of two 
brothers. There is also a Sanskrit ydter (for yndter) and 
Slavonic ye^ri/ for husband's brother's wife.^ Janitrices 
is possibly only an attempt at elvdrepe^, and we find it 
glossed dSeX^cov yvvacKe^;. Isidore gives us a quaint deri- 
vation : " Janitrices dicuntur uxores duorum fratrum, 

^ For example, the use of scliwager in Swabia for co-wooers, rivals for the 
hand of the same lady ! 

^ Fick connects Lithuanian gentey sister-in-law, also with this root (see 
p. 225). 


quasi eandem januam terentes vel per eandem januam 
iter habentes." 

This, however incorrect, describes well the position 
of €lvdT€p€<; as cohahentes in the early Aryan days. The 
group-marriage is again suggested by the gloss avvvvfjb(l>o^ 
= consponsus =janitrix. Curiously enough, conspon- 
salis is used in the sense of commater in the Leges 
Preshyterorum Nortliumbriensum, cited by Ducange, 
which reminds us again of the link between the god- 
mother and the co-mothers or co-brides of the group. 
'Grimm connects elvdrepe^ and janitrices with the root 
gam, bind, as in ^ayuelv, but the origin seems very 
obscure. It is noteworthy that Polish iatrew, Czech 
jatrev, Serbian jetrva, akin to Sanskrit ydter, denote 
cognata, blood-relative, another trace of the kindred 
group-marriage. It may further be remarked that the 
children of the consponsae, or co-brides, would be cousins, 
Low Latin cosinus, Latin sohrinus, consohrinus, San- 
skrit svesrino, Lithuanian seserynai, a series of terms 
which again point to a group of sisters as the co-brides. 
The Greek gives us dekiOL for brothers-in-law whose 
wives are sisters. The only co-radicate I have come 
across is Sanskrit sydlas, said to be used for the brother 
of the wife, — again, so far as it goes, evidence of a 
group of sisters ' married ' to a group of brothers.^ 

^ In the Indian fairy tale of Punchkin (J. Jacobs' Indian Fairy Tales) we 
have just such a group of sisters marrying a group of brothers, with many 
traces of the old group habits, e.g. "About a year after this Balna had a little 
son, and his uncles and aunts were so fond of the boy that it was as if he had 
seven fathers and seven mothers," etc. Another Indian tale. The Son of 
Seven Queens, is also probably a fossil of the same group-marriage period. In 
Arabia the "two mothers" means the mother and her sister, and this was 
probably the origin of the term Ai/xT^Tcop for Dionysius, however differently 
interpreted when its value had become obscure. Precisely the same thing 


For husband's brother we have a word running 
through several Aryan tongues, and pointing to an 
Aryan word daiver as its source. Thus Sanskrit devdr, 
Greek Batjp (for BaFvp), Latin levir, Lithuanian diverts, 
probably Armenian tagr, Anglo - Saxon tdcor, and 
possibly O.H.Gr. zeihhur (this may = zuehir = suueher = 
sweher, for it is glossed both socer and levir) are from 
this source, and denote husband's brother. The root of 
the word appears in Aryan daidi, denoting share, as in 
Sanskrit ddyate, Greek Balo), whence Sak, a meal, and 
English tide (time), German zeit, all marking a division 
or share. ^ It would thus appear that the original sense 
of devdr is the husband's brother as sharer. With all 
the folklore and other evidence that we have for the 
existence of the levirate custom, both before and after 
the death of the husband, there can be little doubt that 
it is the wife that the share refers to. 

Thus, whether we turn to the words for sister-in-law 
or brother-in-law, we find primitive meanings strongly 
supporting the hypothesis of kindred group-marriage, 
and very hard to reconcile with an exogamic patriarchal 
system. Further, the terms for son-in-law and daughter- 
occurs in the Irish legend of Cuchulainn, who was the son of King Lug from his 
sister Dechtere, who shared his sleeping-apartment. The boy was reared by 
one of the sisters of his mother and of the king, and the king remarked that 
there was ' ' little for her to choose between her own son and her own sister's 
son" (see Rhys, Hihhert Lectures, 1886, p. 431). The German gesehwister for 
brothers, sisters, and cousins tells the same tale. I expect Norse systkin, 
Danish soskende, now used for brothers and sisters, originally included all the 
children of sisters. In this respect the Danish sosJcendeseng, a rough bed rigged 
up on the floor for travelling companions, is perhaps not without suggestiveness 
for the old group customs : see my remarks in AsMcpattle, p. 80. 

^ Here again, as in the mal root, I am inclined to think that the sharing 
notion first led to a name for the common meal, and then that the notion of 
time arose from the meal epoch : see p. 146. 


in-law are quite consonant with a derivation which 
supposes them specialisations of terms used inside an 
endogamous group. Lastly, the Aryan terms for 
father-in-law and mother-in-law are far more difficult of 
interpretation on any hypothesis, chiefly, I believe, 
because the source of the word used for the relationship 
(i.e. whether it be the father-, mother-, or brother-in-law) 
is far from clear. They do not, however, seem to me to 
offer greater difficulties on one than on another hypothesis 
as to primitive marriage. They require for their elucida- 
tion a more complete study than I have been able to 
make of the earliest passages in which they are used in 
the several Aryan tongues. 

(11) I propose to deal with only one other word 
which has been used to suggest the completeness of the 
exogamous monogamic patriarchal system among the 
primitive Aryans, namely the term for widow. We have 
Sanskrit vidhdvd, Latin vidua, Gothic viduvd, Old 
Friesian widwe, O.H.G. witawd, M.H.G. witewe, wittib, 
Dutch widewe, Irish fedb, Cornish guedeu, Old Slavonic 
vidova, for widow. It is significant throughout that the 
word in all these languages applies to the female, the 
male widower being formed from it. The primitive root 
appears in Latin di-vido and Sanskrit vidh, to be void, 
to want ; Latin viduus, Sanskrit vidhH, denote lonely, 
isolated, spouseless; Welsh gweddwi, lonely, German 
weit, and English wide. The widow is thus the lonely 
or spouseless one.^ Now there are many circumstances 

^ I think it impossible to accept the hypothetical derivation given by some 
writers from vi, without, and d'avas, a man or sacrificer. The latter term appears 
only in late and isolated Sanskrit use. 


under which such a condition would arise within even a 
co-sexual kindred group, and from which the later idea of 
a widow as one who has lost her spouse would naturally 
develop itself, e.g. a woman past the child-bearing age 
and taking no part in the tribal sex-gatherings. This 
conception of the widow as the spouseless one seems to 
find support in the Greek r]lQeo^ (for a-FlOeFo^), meaning 
a youth not yet married, a bachelor in the modern sense ; 
rjtOer} is also used for irapOevof;, a virgin. In this case it 
is not the loss, but the want or absence of a spouse, 
which is expressed by the vid or Fed root. Hence there 
appears to be no sufficient reason to associate the idea in 
widow with more than the weight of spouseless, and such 
a condition, as the Greek words suggest, could arise as 
well within an endogamous group, as in an exogamous 
patriarchal system. 

(12) Summary and Conclusion. — The first general 
conclusion that may be drawn from our discussion of the 
Aryan terms for sex and kinship is its confirmation of 
the anthropological principle that the sex-instinct, as 
one of the two chief motors of primitive life, has been 
chiefly instrumental in creating, not only terms for 
relationship, but also terms for the chief human affec- 
tions and desires. The standpoint of the midwife must 
in this case be the standpoint of the interpreter, because 
it is largely the standpoint of primitive man, the creator 
of these terms. Their very naivete saves them from 
obscenity, and we cannot reject scientifically the mid- 
wife's interpretation because it clashes with our precon- 
ceived notions of a golden age in the past. We are 
civilised men, our ancestors were savages, and their most 


distant forebears mere animals struggling for food and 
sexual gratification. Are we to suppose that language 
with its terminology for relationships and passions waited 
until those relationships were moulded in their current 
senses, and those passions refined and purified into the 
most social virtues and most complex affections ? On 
the contrary, if we are genuine believers in the doctrine 
of evolution, we shall seek the origins of nomenclature 
in those fundamental animal instincts which have been 
the chief motors of evolutionary change. It is precisely 
in sex -calls and food-cries that we notice animals first 
giving to sounds distinguishable weights. Hence it is 
precisely here that we ought to seek the senses of 
primitive roots. We shall not then be surprised that so 
many roots have originally a sexual sense, and are by 
analogy or association afterwards used for wider house- 
hold, agricultural, or social occupations.^ 

Accordingly, if we find in the sexual impulse not 
only the source of a developed terminology for relation- 
ship, but also the first germs of the social instincts 
in man, shall we not cease to regard it as "a most 
unlovely germ of appetite," and recognise it for what 
it really has been — nay, still really is — the ultimate 
basis of the very highest, as well as of the very lowest, 
phases in human action and human feeling ? The 
spiritual man who lives in a world oi 'peace, gladness, 

^ A similar evolution may be observed in the language of children. To my 
infant son I am lappa. But as his nurse used to put a red shawl over him 
when carried from his nursery to see happa in the study, a shawl becomes happa. 
A hat, which like the shawl covers his head, becomes also happa ; hence any 
hat, even in a picture, or any covering, as a lid of a box, is happa. Next to put 
on a hat is to go out, hence to ' go happa ' is to go out in the mail-cart. The 
original shawl being red, red things, at least for a time, were happas. Thus 
the original word has been developed into a complexity of meanings which no 
philologist could unravel who had not observed the successive stages of growth. 


generosity^ and charity^ and despises from his ethereal 
heights what he is pleased to term the loathsome or 
disgusting animal instincts, may well be asked to ponder 
on the evolution of such emotions as love and friendship. 
The social virtues may in his imagination have arisen 
in many diverse ways, but the stern fact remains that 
among the Aryans they took their origin in the sexual 
instinct ; and he must be a rash sociologist who would 
affirm that this primary instinct is even now incapable 
of producing any new social virtue. 

In the course of our investigations we have come 
across fossils of several stages of sexual habit. These 
stages pass one into the other without a rigidly marked 
division, and the terms used in one stage remain in a 
later stage, often with modified, or perhaps quite changed 
senses. The first fundamental distinction is between 
groups which lay chief stress on maternal, and those which 
lay chief stress on paternal descent — groups which con- 
veniently, but not with strict accuracy, may be termed 
matriarchal and patriarchal. The first group, without 
giving an all-dominant position to woman, still placed 
her in authority, directly and indirectly, in religious 
matters — the first deity was a goddess of fertility, and her 
ministrant a matron -priestess.^ The fact that woman 
was then the conduit by which power and property 
passed from one man to another, also gave her an 
increased importance. Hence the term matriarchal 
without being exact is to a certain extent significant. 
Perhaps it is quite as significant as patriarchal, for 

^ The priestess is often identified with the goddess at the sex-festival, e.g. 
the Sakaes. Compare also the high-priestess at the Argive Heraea (see p. 171) 
with what Tacitus tells us of the worship of Nerthus, a Teutonic Earth-goddess. 


there are stages in the patriarchal evolution where the 
patriarch has to serve for his wife, or to pay serious 
respect to her rights or deities. 

Starting with an early stage of the matriarchal 
period, we find the woman as Izone^ surrounded by 
the offspring of her womb, kunni^ kin, or kind. The 
primary and natural result is sexual relationship with 
those nearest in place and blood. We have at once 
the basis of that brother-sister marriage which looms 
through all ancient mythologies. Nor is this endo- 
gamous relation without advantages. An exogamous 
or monogamic relation could never lead to such a group 
as we find in the fratria and the clan. The kindred 
group - marriage provides a maximum of sexual tie 
between individual members, and of kindred tie between 
successive generations. What is within this group is the 
pleasant and the comfortable ; the kin are the kind, the 
known, the noble, the free, those outside are the unkind^ 
the unknown, the ignoble, the unfree. Peace {sihhe, 
friede), joy (freude), trust, faith {tr ewa), chant j{caritas)^ 
freedom (freiheit), generosity, the moral and the ethical 
(sitte), are human feelings and attributes, all of which 
we can trace back to their origin in the sexual relations 
of a group of men and women of kin — the mdcscaf, the 
gamahhida, the hive. More than one word shows us 
the lair turning into the common dwelling-place, and 
this into a village. The community with its fenced 
abode is represented by the group of gatilinge, at once 
kinsfolk and co-spouses. From their intersexual re- 
lationship arise love, neighbourliness, and friendship, 
the conception of the genial, the convivial, the fittings, 



and the good. The communal life which flows from 
their co-sexual life leads to words of sex receiving the 
additional senses of tilth, of building, of construction, 
and ultimately of art (^au, tak). The gathering ('yer- 
gaderung, dyopa) for clan-meal and clan-talk is the first 
germ of civic institutions, of mahal, gericht, and finally 
of parliament. The choral mating -songs, — developed 
sex-calls, — which followed the clan-meal, lead to chorus, 
hymns, comedy, and tragedy on the one hand, and to 
most of the still existing marriage customs and habits 
on the other. Music, art, social virtues, civic rights, 
are one and all seen to take their origin in that 
ultimate sex-freedom of kin, which is opposed to every 
moral feeling of the civilised man of to-day. Even 
many features of his religious belief and his religious 
ceremonies can be traced back to the old kin -group 
worship of the goddess of fertility. The common 
meal, the drinking of blood to establish a sihhe or 
peace -kinship, the adoration of mother and child, the 
baptism and the god-parents, all have their prototypes 
and origins in the matriarchal period of human evolu- 
tion. Nor is the product of that period only evidenced 
by Aryan words for sex and kinship, it is manifest in 
Aryan folklore of every kind ; it is exhibited in the 
earlier history of all the other branches of the great 
human family ; it is to be found in many phases of still 
■existing savage life ; nay, we may note isolated features 
of it still extant among the less advanced Aryan races 
of to-day. Among the Slavs we still find village com- 
munities having many of the features of the communal 
kindred group, and practising religious ceremonies which 


some have held to be perversions of Christianity, but 
which are, in truth, the old Aryan worship of the god- 
dess of fertility and tilth, only slightly disguised by the 
use of Christian terms and symbols. 

Thus the Kussian sects of the Clirists and of the 
Skoptsy hold periodical meetings at which prayer is 
followed by the dancing and singing of men and women ; 
the choral dance is itself succeeded by unrestrained 
license of the ' brothers ' and ' sisters.' These meet- 
ings are often accompanied by the worship of the Holy 
Virgin, who is represented by a young woman. It is, 
in fact, the old heathen priestess representing the god- 
dess of fertility.^ She is sung to and danced round as 
Mother Earth, adored as the emblem of generative force, 
and the children she may bear to the men of the com- 
munity are, as ' little Christs ' and ' little Maries,' 
especially sacred. Among the sect of Christs the 
common meal is represented by the priestess distri- 
buting raisins, among the Skoptsy by an actual com- 
munion of her blood. ^ It is clear that only in name is 
there anything Christian in these gatherings; they are 
a survival of the old Aryan vergaderung, and cor- 
respond to the Semite festival of the Sakaes both in 
license and in cruelty. The same sex -festivals, here 
seen from their religious side, may still be traced in 
the fairs and periodic festivals of the Slavonic peas- 
antry. In the Government of Nijnii - Novgorod we 
find the youths and maidens meet at periodical in- 
tervals upon a hill. After choral dances, the youths 

^ See footnote, p. 240. 

- See N. Tsakni, La Russie Sedaire, Paris, 1888, for these and other details 
of sex-festivals in Russia. 


carry off the maidens and pass the night with them ; 
this conduct is so customary also in the Archangel 
district that a girl who finds no such temporary lovers 
would be reproached by her parents. In the Government 
of Stavropol this hilltop vergaderung repeats itself at 
every wedding ; the young men and maidens, after the 
customary wedding dance, pass the night in pairs, 
engaged folk together, and the other young people in 
temporary couples. A similar habit prevailed among 
the peasantry in large districts of Germany almost up 
to the end of the Middle Ages.^ 

Thus we see that the Aryan sex-festival, with its 
common meal, its dance and song, which is so strikingly 
evidenced in our study of the words for kinship and sex, 
is no philological cobweb. It is fossilised in practices 
which we meet everywhere in folklore, and trace in many 
existing peasant customs. We are not dealing with local 
perversions of the sexual instinct ; our study of the Aryan 
words for kinship shows that they are fossils of what 
was once a widespread phase of primitive civilisation. 
The sexual and the social institutions of that phase of 
human development may be wholly repellent to the 
morality of to-day ; we may shudder at blood relation- 
ship as the permit and not the ban to sexual intimacy. 
But we must also remember that if exogamy promotes a 
wider range of variation for natural selection to act 
upon, endogamy may originally have established a 
sufficient degree of correlation between human char- 
acters to give mankind stability and the advantages of 
race. Above all, those human affections, those civic 

1 See Appendix I. : On the Mailehn and Kiltgang. 


institutions and social virtues, which we now prize so 
highly as the most social features of our own civilisation, 
were undoubtedly the product — albeit in a primitive and 
crude form — of a period of kindred group-marriage, a 
period in which the animal instincts appear to us to 
have been all-dominant. 

Shall we despair because we find all that man values 
as unselfish, pure, and noble — his love, his friendship, 
and his charity- — have their origin in what some are 
pleased to term base and loathsome animal passions ? 

On the contrary, if we survey the past, and see what 
mankind, solely under the pressure of animal passions, 
has achieved blindly amid blood and struggle and un- 
regarded pain, may we not confidently hope that the 
strong social instincts which have been evolved from, 
but which now dominate the more selfish and animal side 
of man's nature may carry him forward more quickly 
and more smoothly to still more complex stages of de- 
velopment ? Out of the low came the high, out of the 
high may well come the exalted. Only those who dream 
that morality sprung fully developed from the brain of 
a deity can dread to learn its lowly animal origin, or fear 
to acknowledge that our current morality, social and 
sexual, may be as crude and repellent to the future as 
that of the matriarchal civilisation in its kindred group- 
stage now appears to us. 



For my part I never feel my liberal faith more firmly rooted in me than 
when I ponder over the miracles of the ancient creed. — Renan. 

I. — Introductory 

While a study of primitive human customs forces 
us irresistibly to the conclusion that the social 
characteristics, which men value most highly to-day, 
have been evolved in the course of long ages from 
very animal instincts, so a study of early religious 
beliefs shows us the source of the most highly developed 
religious sentiments in strangely barbarous habits and 
superstitions. If the first study demonstrates for us that 
morality is not the creation of moralists and teachers, 
but that the moral feelings have been evolved in that 
struggle of group with group which gave the victory 
to the more stable society with the more intense gre- 
garious instincts, so the second study leads us from 
human sacrifice, cannibalism, and nature propitiation 

^ Extracted from notes for a course of lectures on mediseval German litera- 
ture delivered in 1883, and therefore containing but few references to more 
recent publications on the religious drama. 


through more and more social stages of religious feeling 
to the Eucharist and the doctrine of the Atonement. 
In neither case do we touch the absolute ; the current 
religion and the current morality are not what the 
philosophers and theologians of the time describe them 
in their treatises ; they are entirely relative to the habits 
and instincts of the great masses of the people. Nay, 
even the * absolute ' morality and the refined religious 
doctrines of the thinkers of one age are seen by the 
critical minds of a later generation to be but idealised 
forms of the folk - religion and folk - morality of the 
same period. The relativity to the age and to its special 
aspirations is still to be found if it be glossed with 
greater verbal subtleties, and if the popular trimming 
of creed to current economic and social needs be less 
grossly obvious. To the unprejudiced student of com- 
parative religion, the Christianity of Jesus is as widely 
removed from that of Tertullian or of Augustine as 
these are removed from the Christianity of the Middle 
Ages. Such a dispassionate inquirer will find almost 
more unity of ideas, dogmatic and artistic, between 
mediaeval folk-Christianity and modern Burmese Bud- 
dhism than between the former and the popular mani- 
festations of Christianity to-day. The great lessons of 
comparative religion have, hitherto, been principally 
based on a study of oriental religions, and their com- 
parison with Christian doctrines. But one of the chief 
of these lessons, the relativity of all religious belief to 
the social and artistic conditions under which the belief 
flourishes, can easily be learnt within the history of 
Christianity itself. From our earliest childhood the 


gospels have rendered us familiar with the Christianity of 
Jesus ; the experience of everyday life shows us the 
active elements in the Christianity of to-day. A study 
of the mediaeval passion-plays will, perhaps, most easily, 
and with the least danger of wide misconception, bring 
before us an intermediate link in the chain of evolution. 
Thus the potent truth of the relativity of religious 
feeling may be recognised within the bounds of those 
impressions and beliefs which have been an essential 
factor in the development of our own western civilisa- 

Nor is it from the standpoint of comparative religion 
only that a study of the passion-plays may prove to 
be of interest. The want of a deep sympathy with 
the past — that past which in its struggles, by its very 
failures as well by its successes, has achieved what we 
value most highly in literature and art — can never be 
fully compensated for by a knowledge, however com- 
plete, of modern thought and current literature. Our 
civilisation is the product of the past ; its traditions and 
customs are the growth of the past ; and without a 
sympathetic study of the past we cannot realise the 
richness of our own civilisation, nor appreciate its cap- 
abilities. One phase of our past growth is too often 
neglected, especially by the narrower school of Protest- 
ants. It is often assumed that the Middle Ages were 
Dark Ages, that Eoman Catholicism was merely a super- 
stition, hampering the forward movement of humanity ; 
that Medisevalism has no intellectual value for an en- 
lightened nineteenth century. Yet Medisevalism has, 
perhaps, even a higher claim than Hellenism to be 


considered as an essential factor of modern culture. The 
Gothic cathedral is more a part of our western nature — 
nay, is in itself a greater artistic ideal — than the Greek 
Parthenon ; for depth of intellect, St. Thomas Aquinas 
may be fairly spoken of in the same breath as Plato, 
and nothing in Greek literature exceeds in tender- 
ness and beauty the mediaeval devotional books, or in 
vigour and inspiring ring the Latin hymns of the 
Church. Those who do not understand and appreciate 
these things are to be pitied, even as those who have 
never walked the streets of Athens with Socrates, nor 
listened to the parables of the Bodisat " long ago when 
Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares." 

There should be no misunderstanding, however, as to 
what we mean by the mediaeval factor in modern cul- 
ture. The wise do not mimic the outward life of the 
Greeks. It is childish to strive for the reintroduction of 
mediaeval forms into modern life. We cannot profitably 
bring back into this age of ours the religious guilds, the 
passion-plays, the great religious festivals ; it is mere 
trifling to play nowadays at monks and priests. There 
are other calls to action, other opportunities of self- 
renunciation, other ideals for which to battle, the beauty 
of which is none the less real, if it be too often dis- 
reofarded. The task of the mediaeval student is not to 
reinstitute, but to justify ; to prove to the Present that 
the Past did not for a thousand years toil in vain. The 
most enthusiastic Hellenist by no means strives to recon- 
struct nineteenth-century life on a Greek model ; he is 
content if Hellenic thought permeates our intellectual 
habit, if Hellenic art is part of our plastic conception ; 


shortly, he desires that Hellenism shall be a factor of 
our culture. The true medisevalist can wish for no 
more, but he claims as much. It is no resurrection of 
the dead, no reversal of the theological current of the 
Eeformation that he strives for. He believes that as 
the mind of man ponders more deeply and more often 
over " the miracles of the ancient creed," the broader will 
become his intellectual horizon ; he will realise more com- 
\ pletely the social origin of all creeds, their economic and 
moral genesis, and with this recognition of the relativity of 
religious belief the firmer will be the basis of his own 
liberal faith. The intellectual progress of the microcosm 
of the individual mind can lay no claim to completeness, 
if it has not passed in review the same phases as have 
been successively reached by the macrocosm — the mind 
of humanity at large mirrored in its intellectual history. 
M. Kenan has said that it is heartrending to have to 
admit that the charlatan who has never studied the past 
can yet attain to " the Alpine heights of philosophy." 
But the strength of his hold, the permanency of his foot- 
ing, may well be doubted if he has not had the experience 
which arises in the course of a laborious journey over the 
lower summits of past thought. The Protestant, who 
lauds the Reformation and abuses mediaeval Catholicism 
without having once opened a fifteenth-century devotional 
book ; the Freethinker, who condemns Christianity with- 
out having read a line of St. Augustine, or studied, even 
at second hand, the thoughts of the great Doctors ; the 
modern Socialist, who has never considered the mediseval 
guild and town government, — these may, one or all, 
have reached the Alpine heights of philosophy, but what 


is their foothold worth if they have neglected all the 
experience gained by their ancestors in a thousand years 
of toil ? This mass of human labour — civic, religious, 
scholastic, literary, artistic — is not and cannot be worth- 
less in the light of modern thought. It is the duty of 
the medisevalist to justify the past to the present, to 
convert what has been rejected as institution and as 
dogma into a fruitful factor of the culture of to-day. 

If the chief task at present before the student of 
western civilisation is to obtain a fuller recognition of its 
earlier struggles, and a fuller appreciation of its earlier 
achievements, a slight study of one phase of mediaeval 
thought — the passion-play — may be of service, although 
the writer sets himself no very wide and ambitious aim. 
He has merely sought to interest the reader in mediaeval 
ways of expression and mediaeval modes of thought ; to 
excite in him a desire to study further. This is not a 
history of the religious drama in Germany, it is an attempt 
to portray one phase in the mediaeval folk-conception of 
Christ ; and it must be read in the spirit that recognises 
in the current religious conceptions of the great bulk of 
the people the actual religion of the day. It is this 
religion, and no other, which is an active social force, 
helping to mould the spiritual and economic life of its 
devotees. That the reader may pass on, whenever he 
lists, into fresh fields and onto the little-trodden byways 
of mediaeval religious literature, considerable space has 
been given to footnote references. These references, 
however, have no claim whatever to completeness, every 
student will recognise how they might have been in- 
creased a hundredfold. Like the scanty remarks on the 


English and French plays, they are inserted for illustra- 
tration ; they are a few among the many sources from 
which a conception of mediaeval Catholicism can be 
drawn, even to its smaller dramatic details. 

But beyond the intellectual value of the mediaeval 
factor to modern culture, has not the study of the life of 
the Middle Ages a practical value for to-day ? Is there 
not much directly bearing on our great machine age 
which can be learnt from the old religious socialism ? 
For our capitalistic society may not it be suggestive 
to study a civilisation in which labour had not been 
reduced to a market commodity, nor the craftsman to a 
tool ? The self-assertion of the individual was in those 
days checked by a strong religious sense ; the awe of 
an active ecclesiastical system prevented the anti-social 
from complete domination over the weaker and more 
ignorant.^ Protestant writers are apt to treat the 
Reformation as if its first and greatest effect was the 
freedom of the intellect from the tyranny of dogma. 
This may have been an after-effect, but that it was not 
the aim of the Reformers themselves their treatment of 
Erasmus and Servetus amply testifies. The first and 
greatest effect of the Reformation was the destruction, 

^ In this respect the Canon Law compares favourably with the Roman Law, 
the spread of which was one of the causes of the Peasant War. The extent to 
which the Church, even in the fifteenth century, endeavoured to hold in check 
the oppressors of the poor and weak is manifest in the confessional books of the 
period. Not only usurers and false traders were denounced, but princes and 
magistrates boldly reproved. It may suffice to mention, among many instances, 
Der Spiegel des Sunders (Augsburg, c. 1470) and Dat Licht der Sele (Liibeck, 
1484). Both, in small part only, are reprinted in Geffcken, Der Bildercate- 
chismus des filnfzehnten JahrMiiiderts (Leipzig, 1855). In this respect Luther 
remained true to Catholic traditions, and a study of his sermons (e.g. Von 
KauffsluLndlung und Wucher, 1524) would surprise many as showing him more of 
a socialist than the most advanced of the moderns. 


for good or ill, of an elaborate philosophy of life. No 
student of comparative religion can term that philo- 
sophy the religion taught by Jesus in Galilee. It was 
the product of active and masterful, not of passive and 
submissive races. It was the folk -religion of Western 
(in particular Teutonic), not of Eastern peoples. To 
many, notwithstanding its grave defects, it will appear to 
contain social, economic, and aesthetic elements wanting 
in the civilisation of to-day. To the narrower Protestant 
the Middle Ages appeared Dark Ages ; probably he 
regarded them in much the same spirit as the early 
Christians regarded the palmy days of Greek culture. 
Yet the day came when Hellenism broke in upon 
Christianity and forced mankind to recognise it as a 
co-equal factor of human thought. Perhaps the day is 
not so distant when mediae valism, rejected long ago as a 
religion, shall be recognised as an essential feature of 
modern culture. It only awaits an interpreter with 
inspiration as well as knowledge.^ Meanwhile the object 
of the present writer will be more than fulfilled if his 
essay leads any reader to a study of mediaeval thought 
and expression for their own sakes. He is certain that 
such a study cannot be without fruit. 

^ The name of William Morris will occur to most readers as a noteworthy 
exponent of that culture, and more so in 1896 than it was even in 1883. 


List of the Principal German Medieval Keligious 
Plays with Key to Letter Keferences 

A. AUteutsche Schauspiele. Franz Joseph Mone. 184L 

B. Schauspiele des Mittelalters. 2 Bde. Franz Joseph Mone. 1852. 

C. Alsf elder Fassionsspiel C. W. M. Grein. 1874. 

D. Bas Oberammergauer Passionsspielin seiner dltestenGestalt. August 

Hartmann. 1880. 

E. Heidelherger Passionsspiel. Gustav Milchsack. 1880. Biblio- 

thek des litterarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, Bd. 150. 

F. Egerer Fronleichnamsspiel. Gustav Milchsack. 1881. Biblio- 

thek des litterarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, Bd. 156. 

G. Die Oster- und Passionsspiele, I. Die lateinische Osterfeiern. Gustav 

Milchsack. 1880. 
H. Schauspiele aus dem sechzehnten Jahrhundert. Julius Tittman, 

2 Bde. 1868. 
I. Erlauer Spiele. Sechs altdeutsche Mysterien. Karl Ferd. Kummer. 

J. Ludus scenicus de nativitate Domini et Ludus paschalis sive de 

passione Domini. Spiele einer Handschrift des XIII. Jahrhunderts 

aus Benedidheuern. Carmina Burana. J. Schmeller. 1847. 

Bibliothek des litterarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, Bd. 16. 
K. Freihurger Passionsspiele des XVI. Jahrhunderts. E. Martin. 

Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fiir Beforderung der Geschichte, 

Alterthums- und Volkskunde von Freiburg, Bd. 3. S. 1. 
L. Christi Leiden, Marienklage, etc. Hoffmann von Fallersleben. 

1837. Fundgruben fiir Geschichte deutscher Sprache und 

Litteratur, Theil II. 
M. Der Siindenfall und Marienklage. Zwei niederdeutsche Schauspiele. 

Otto Schoneman. 1855. 
N. Das mittelalterliche Drama von Ende des romischen Kaiserthums. 

Gerhard v. Zeyschwitz. 1878. 
0. Ludus de decem Virginihus. L. Bechstein. 1855. Wartburg 

Bibliothek, Bd. 1. 
P. Theophilus. Niederdeutsches Schauspiel. Hoffmann von Fallers- 
leben. Zwei Theile. 1853 & 1854. 
Q. Weihnacht-Spiele und Lieder aus Siiddeutschland. Karl Weinhold. 



E. JFeihnachtlied und Weihnachtspiel in Oberbayern. August Hart- 

mann. 1875. 
S. Ordnung des Frankfurter Passionsspiels. G. E. von Fichard. 

Frankfurtisches Archiv fiir altere deutsche Litteratur und 

Geschichte, Bd. 3. S. 131. 1815. 
T. Volksschauspiele. In Bayern und Oesterreich-Ungarn gesammelt 

von August Hartmann. 1880. 
U. Die lateinisch-bohmischen Oster-Spiele des XIV.-XV. Jahrhunderts. 

J. J. HanuS. 1863. 
W. Das cllteste deutsche Fassionsspiel, von Karl Bartsch. Germania, 

Bd. viii. Wien, 1863. This is a fragment from about 1300. 
X. Dat spil fan der Upstandinge, Gedichtet 1464. Herausgegeben 

von Ludwig Ettmiiller. Quedlinburg, 1851. This is another 

edition with prefatory matter of the first play in B. ii 

pp. 33-107. 
Y. Zuckmantler Fassionsspiel, Frogramm des Ober gymnasiums zu 

Troppau, ed. Anton Peter, 1868. A seventeenth-century play. 
Z. Das Lambacher Fassionsspiel. Herausgegeben von Sebastian 

Mayer. Programm des Obergymnasiums zu Kremsmiinster, 

1883. This is an operatic Marienklage, the manuscript of 

which dates from about 1593. 

I, p. v., R, pp. 1-4, and U, pp. 18-22, give copious references to other and earlier 
literature of the German religious plays. 


11. — The Unity of the Passion- Play 

To form a mental picture of the universe and its 
history as a connected whole has been the aim of man 
from the earliest dawn of intellect. His problem has 
ever been : How am I related to the past, to the future, 
to the wide expanse of surrounding nature ? He has 
laboured in many ages, in many ways to find a unity 
in history, and a unity in natural phenomena. In our 
own day we find a light, by no means an all-penetrating 
daylight, yet a steady search-light, in the principle of 
evolution. Man's conduct no longer regarded as the 
axis of the universe, the source of unity in all creation, 
we turn to science rather than to religion to find the 
unity in the world-drama. In the Middle Ages Ptolemaic 
conceptions were still supreme ; the earth was the centre 
of the universe, man was the centre of the earth ; round 
his wants all physical nature centred, and for his purposes 
the universe existed. But for man then, as now, the vital 
question was conduct; on conduct depended the very sur- 
vival of social groups, and the gregarious instinct had early 
emphasised, with the strong religious sanctions embraced 
in such terms as sin and righteousness, the fundamental 
features of social and anti-social behaviour. Thus in the 
Middle Ages men sought the unity of the world and its 
history in the problem of man's conduct. The current 
religion — widely developed from the scanty formulae of 
original Christianity — gave an answer. The unity of the 
world-drama lies in the struggle of man against sin, in his 
fall and his redemption, in the punishment of the wicked 


and the reward of the just. The mediseval treatment 
of the world -drama had the same purport as the best 
melodrama of to-day-. It was not realistic, — the social 
triumphed and the anti-social met with retribution at 
last, — but it emphasised the advantages of the moral 
life, strengthened the influence of conscience, and so 
increased the action of the gregarious instinct in man. 
A more realistic treatment does not always have the 
same moral weight with the half-cultured. 

The great world -drama as a non- realistic melo- 
drama with Christ as its chief character is the keynote 
to the fully developed passion-play. It took several 
centuries to complete this development ; but it is just 
because the passion-play developed step by step with the 
religious ideas of the Middle Ages, and step by step with 
their social and political conceptions, that its evolution 
is of such great interest. The history of the religious 
drama shows us at once the stages in the growth of medi- * 
seval Christianity and its changing relation to the people. 
The rise of mediaeval socialism is largely mirrored in the 
development of Easter-plays and passion-plays. The fully 
developed passion-play illustrated to the mediaeval man 
the unity of the world's history, and the unity of all 
life, good and bad, sublime and ridiculous. In those 
days religion was a very active feature of everyday 
life, and every life was itself a factor in the great world- 
drama which, beginning with the creation, ended only 
with the day of judgment. The huge Egerer Fron- 
leichnamsspiel carries us from the fall of Lucifer to the 
Eesurrection of Christ. Judging from German analogies, 
I have little hesitation in describing the Townley 

VOL. II s 



Mysteries as but the consecutive scenes of one con- 
tinuous passion-play, stretching from the creation to 
the day of judgment/ The Coventry Mysteries and the 
York Corpus Christi plays certainly covered all time from 
creation to doomsday. Another German play, built up 
by Kriiger in the sixteenth century from older material, 
takes us from the fall of Lucifer to the day of judg- 
ment. It is characteristically entitled : " A right fine 
and merry new ^ Action ' of the beginning and end of 
the world, embracing therein the whole story of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." " The whole of history 
is thus regarded as a unity working up to and onward 
from the birth of Christ. In his life history finds a 
justification for the world's existence. The modern 
philosophical historian may smile at a treatment which 
links the history of the world to one phase of civilisa- 
tion. Yet we must not measure the value of the 
mediaeval theory solely by its outward garb of fable and 

^ I leave out of account the last two pieces printed under the heading of 
the Townley Mysteries (Surtees Society, 1836), namely, the Suscitatio Lazari 
and Suspensio Judae, both of which I suspect to be additions by a later hand, 
and intended to be introduced in their proper places. A strong argument in 
favour of the unity of these mysteries in a single passion-play is the appear- 
ance of the Te Deum only at the end of the Juditium (p. 321). It naturally 
concluded every complete play (see all the plays in the Mysteres inedits of 
Jubinal, the plays of Hilarius, Weinhold's JVeihnaehtspiele, the Ludus de 
adventu Antichristi, etc. ) This customary conclusion probably originated in 
the religious dramas having in early times been played between the third 
response and the Te Deum, Looked at in the light of a complete passion-play, 
the Townley Play for its freedom from tradition, for its flow of language, and 
general treatment, compares most favourably with its German rivals. Another 
play of some originality is the Low German Siindenfall, which, starting from the 
fall of Lucifer, ends (probably as a fragment) with the consecration of the 
infant Mary. A curious metaphysical conception of the freedom of the will, 
as associated with the fall of man, runs through this play ; the Creator takes a 
more important part in it than in the other dramas, and, to judge from his 
language, must have made a close study of Augustine, Peter the Lombard, and 
the Vulgate ! 2 g, Bd. ii. 


perverted fact ; its value lies in the spiritual idea of a 
unity in history, of a continuous development of life 
even as in a drama. The student of evolution to-day 
is really working at the same idea, albeit with better 
tools and a wider knowledge of facts. 

The view of history taken by the passion-play writers 
is, of course, characteristic of all mediaeval historians. They 
seek a unity of the world-drama in the story of man's fall 
and redemption. The reader must not, however, imagine 
that historical knowledge remained stagnant in the "Dark 
Ages." There is as great an advance from the twelfth- 
century rhymed chronicle of the Kaisers — with its 
unbroken line of Eoman Emperors from Julius Caesar to 
Kudolf von Hapsburg — to the fifteenth-century Niirn- 
berg Chronicle of Schedel, as there is from the latter 
work itself to any nineteenth-century Weltgeschichte. 
History did not stand still, even if all historians accepted 
the fundamental idea that the unity of history was to be 
found in the great Christian drama, the real passion- 

In this spirit Herrad von Landsberg, abbess of 
Hohenburg, wrote towards the end of the twelfth cen- 
tury her Hortus Deliciarum, a compendium of history 
and science for the nuns committed to her charge. 
Therein, by word and by picture, she carried her sisters 
from the creation of the world even to the perpetual 
damnation of the wicked, who — popes, bishops, emperors, 
nobles, and common folk — descend in a long line into 
hell. Hartmann Schedel started with the creation of 
the angels, and concluded with the resurrection of the 
dead and the final day of judgment in the valley of 


Jehoshapliat. In doing this he much amplified and de- 
veloped the accepted standard history, the Fasciculus 
Temporum, which carried events only from the creation of 
heaven and earth to the year of its publication, 1474. 
Still later, in the first half of the sixteenth century, 
Sebastian Franck, in his History -Bible, starts his story 
with a philosophical discussion on the nature of God 
and on his method of creation, and traces it down to 
the coming of Antichrist and the last day/ 

What the playwright put into his drama of the 
passion, and the historian into his chronicle, that the 
artist put into his pictures and engravings. Herrad in 
her miniatures, Wolgemut in his woodcuts to Schedel's 
Chronicle, Albrecht Diirer, and many another in their 
passion-series carry us from the creation, or at least 
from Adam and Eve, to the final day of judgment. 
Thus in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries 
the passion-plays, the chronicles, and the engravings 
mutually illustrate each other. A knowledge of the 
chronicles makes the unity of the plays intelligible, and 
an acquaintance with the plays renders clear much that 
at first is obscure in painting and woodcut ; the latter in 
their turn throw much light on the scenic arrangement 
and on the mode of acting the plays themselves. Whence 
did the artists draw the symbolism, nay, the very in- 
cidents and groupings of their passion pictures ? There 

1 Kaiserchronik, herausgegeben von H. F. Massmann, 1849 ; Fasciculus 
l^emporum, Coin, 1474 ; Buck der Croniken, Niirnberg, 1493 ; Sebastian Franck, 
Chronica, Zeythuch, U7id Geschychthihel, Strasburg, 1531. The unique MS. of 
Herrad von Landsberg's Hortus DeliciaruTn was burnt in the last siege of 
Strasburg. Reproductions of such miniatures as had been copied are now 
being published by the Elsass Society of Antiquaries. Cf. also Herrad von 
Landsherg und ihr Werk, Hortus DcUeiarum, von C. M. Engelhardt, 1818, and 
Herrad de Landsherg, par Charles Schmidt, 1896. 


can be little doubt that it was from the religious plays 
of their native towns. The importance of these plays 
for Christian iconography has already been noted by 
Didron : — 

The representation of miracles and mysteries served to put in 
action the persons painted on glass windows, sculptured on the 
capitals, and encrusted in the vaultings of cathedrals. . . . Words 
and gestures interpreted what outline and colouring had expressed, 
and the intention which actuated both was the same ; in short, the 
graphic and dramatic arts became a book to those who could read 
no other. It is in this light that they must be regarded ; in this 
character we must seek a clue to the interpretation of the figures 
— true hieroglyphics of the Middle Ages — which Christian Archae- 
ology, although at present only in its infancy, already begins to 
decipher and comprehend (Christian Iconography, p. 6). 

Schroer has shown how, in the Oherufer Spiel — 
still performed in 1853 — the traditional scenic group- 
ings were actual copies of old woodcuts.^ Such works 
as Diirer's Grosse Passion, or Holbein the Elder's passion 
picture at Augsburg (No. 87), are invaluable to the 
student of the mediaeval religious play, while Wolge- 
mut's woodcuts in the Schatzbehalter of 1491 — especially 
in the old coloured copies — provide the best graphic 
conception possible of a mediaeval passion-play. 

It is worth while illustrating this correspondence 
between the mediaeval artist and playwright in one or 
two typical cases. The student of the pictures and 
woodcuts of the Middle Ages must often have noticed in 
representations of the agony in the garden of Geth- 
semane an angel bearing a cross or cup. It occurs, for 
example, in famous pictures by Holbein the Elder and 

^ Deutsche Weihnachtspiele aus Ungarn, 1858 : see also R, p. 24. 


Wolgemut at Munich {Finakothek, Nos. 5 and 22), and 
in Cut 10 of Albrecht Diirer's Kleine Passion^ and Cut 
4 of his Grosse Passion. This piece of symbolism seems 
unnecessary for a great artist ; he could represent some- 
thing of the agony by facial expression. On the other 
hand, on the great outdoor stages with craftsmen for 
actors little could be trusted to facial expression and 
gesture. Hence symbolism is in its right place there, 
and its use in the passion-play probably long continued 
to influence the artist. Thus we find it a common 
stage direction of passion-plays that " Here an angel 
shall appear with a cross (or a cup, as the case may 
be) " ; ^ and the direction was actually carried out in 
the Brixlegg play of 1882. Another frequent subject 
for the artist is that of the soldiers brutally playing 
with the blindfolded Christ. A good example will be 
found in Diirer's Kleine Passion (Cut 14). This game 
of puczpirn, as a symbolic emphasis of the torture, is 
a favourite incident of the passion-plays.^ One of the 
earliest references to it occurs in The Legends of the 
Holy Rood, published by the Early English Text Society 
(pp. 178, 179). 

The cloth beforn thyn eyn too 
To bohbyn the they knyt it soo. 

In the Coventry Mysteries (Halliwell, p. 296) the 
stage-directions bid the Jews " castyn a cloth ovyr 
his face." In the Townley Mysteries a ' vaylle ' is 

^ See Lukas Cranach's Passion, Cut 1, and his Wittemherger Heiligthums- 
bttch, k, iii. These representations, with those of Holbein, Wolgemut, and 
Diirer, should be compared with F, p. 157 ; B, Bd. ii. p. 263 ; and R, p. 23, etc. 

2 See F, pp. 168, 176 ; E, p. 181 ; C, p. 114 ; B, Bd. ii. p. 275 ; and com- 
pare the Old English Miscellany, E.E.T.S. p. 45. 


brought and bound over Christ's eyes, and then we 
read : — 

1st Tortor. Who smote the last? 

2?wZ Tortor. Was it I ? 

3rd Tortor. He wote not I traw. 

Even in the recent Brixlegg play a game at Blindesel 
was introduced. 

Lastly, we may notice the symbolic method of mark- 
ing the agony endured in the crowning with thorns. The 
crown being put on Christ's brow, is then pressed down 
by means of two or three long stakes placed across the 
head, upon the ends of which several ruffians throw 
their weight, or push with all their power. The oldest 
representation of this torture I have met with occurs 
on a fourteenth-century wood panel from Landshut in 
the National Museum at Munich (Saal III. 96). There 
is another early one (c. 1400) in a typical Lehen Jesu 
from Meister Wilhelm's school at Cologne (No. 96 ; see 
also No. 53). Then we have the sketch by the Elder 
Holbein for the picture of the Paul's Basilica in the 
Augsburg Gallery. A picture by the Elder Cranach at 
Munich {Finakothek, No. 749) deals with the same idea, 
among several other scenes almost unequalled from the 
passion-play standpoint. In woodcuts we have the 
stakes' incident given with brutal force in the Schatz- 
hehalter (Fig. 72), in Diirer's Kleine Passion (Cut 18), 
in Lukas Cranach's Passion (Cut 7), and his Passion 
Christi und Antichristi (Cut 3), not to cite innumer- 
able other instances. In such representations, we see 
the very grouping and action which occurred in the 
Brixlegg passion-play, and in most mediaeval plays 


also.^ But even in less legendary scenes from the 
passion, sucli as the scourging, the nailing to the 
cross, the burial, the descent into hell, and the resurrec- 
tion,^ — we find the same close relation between the 
graphic and dramatic representations. Indeed, in 
my experience, the very best guide to a great German 
mediaeval cathedral or museum is the text of a fully 
developed passion-play, like the Egerer Fronleich- 

Having indicated the sympathy between playwright 
and artist, we may turn to another point in which they 
combine to illustrate the mediaeval spirit. We have 
already noted that to the mediaeval mind all history was 
a unity, a continuous drama, the chief movements in 
which were the Fall of Man and the Atonement. Thus 
every event which preceded the birth of Christ was 
held to have some more or less direct bearing on the 
incidents which follow that centre-point of the world- 
drama. In this spirit every occurrence in the Old Testa- 
ment was treated as ' prefiguring ' some incident in 
Christ's life, or as foreshadowing some future event in 

1 See E, p. 220 ; F, pp. 201, 202 ; and B, ii. p. 300, etc. 

^ The illustrations of the resurrection are of peculiar interest, as in their 
earlier form they throw much light on the church ritual of the Visitatio 
Sepulchri. Compare the numerous examples in Hefner Alteneck's Trachten des 
Mittelalters. Or, to take out of a sister art one of many instances, we may 
mention the ten sculptures on the tympanum of the western door in the tower 
of Higham Ferrers Church. Especially interesting is in this case the visit of 
the three Maries to the sepulchre — a coffin on an Early English trefoil arcade, 
beneath which are the four watchers ; an angel is seated to the left. The very 
priestly aspect of the three Maries — not unnatural in the case of the church 
ritual — has lead to an amusing error in Parker's Architectural Notices of the 
Archdeaconry of Northampton, 1849, where there is a woodcut of this sculpture 
entitled 'Disciples at the Tomb.' The Higham Ferrers representation really 
gives as good a notion of the Easter Visitatio Sepulchri as the miniature repro- 
duced by Mone, B, i. p. 8. 


the history of the world. ^ The conception of evolution 
being absent, a mystic relationship was conceived as 
holding between the past and the future. Thus, if the 
Queen of Sheba visits Solomon, this is a ' prefiguration ' 
of the three kings at the cradle of the infant Jesus. 
Jacob's flight and David's flight are but prototypes of 
the flight into Egypt. Judas' betrayal is prefigured by 
the sale of Joseph, the mocking of Christ by that of 
Elijah, the crucifixion by the brazen serpent, the three 
days in the sepulchre by Jonah's incarceration in the 
belly of the whale, the passage of the wicked into hell 
by the burning of Sodom, and the last judgment by 
Daniel's condemnation of the elders who bore false 
witness ' against Susanna.^ In the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries such prefigurations were largely used 
in the instruction of the common people ; a knowledge 
of them solves many a mystery in the arrangement of 
the painted windows of our churches. They were the 
subject of many manuscript miniatures, possibly in- 
tended as guides for cloister artists in glass and stone. 
Still later they were in the early days of wood-engrav- 
ing grouped together and published as block -books. 
Manuscripts and block -books of prefigurations have 
received the somewhat misleading name of Bihlia Pau- 
perum. They would be better described by Sebastian 

^ In the Schatzhelmller, to the cuts of which we have already referred, will be 
found a considerable number of Old Testament ' prefigurations ' very typical of 
the passion-play interpretations. 

2 One of the most curious prefigurations of the religious plays is that of the 
Siindenfall (M, p. 68), where Melchisedek, after interpreting the burning bush 
as a symbol of the Light that shall come into the world, then proceeds to cele- 
brate mass, the consecration of the yet unborn Light ! Compare the Chester 
Plays, p. 60. 


Franck's term Geschychtbihel ; they illustrate the medi- 
aeval notion of unity in history. Nor is the prefigura- 
tion of the passion-plays entirely confined to Old Testa- 
ment scenes and characters. Besides the prophets, the 
Church Fathers appear largely. Thus Augustine is a 
sort of 'precursor' in the Frankfurt play (S, p. 137). 
Then we pass to the Sibyls, who occur as frequently in 
dramatic as in plastic and pictorial art ^ ; and last, but 
not least, we may mention Virgil, not the familiar 
Koman of our schooldays, but rather his mysterious 
mediaeval shadow, the Virgil of Dante, not uncoloured 
by the legends of his sorcery. These and others — to us 
a strangely incongruous group, but to our mediaeval 
ancestors linked by the great spiritual thread of all 
history — figured on the passion-play stage. ^ 

All the plays, however, are not equally prolific in 
prefigurations. In some we have only a few incidents 
from the Old Testament, which many pious Christians 
to-day would consider to have a fairly direct bearing on 
the life of Christ. In others we have merely one or two 
sentences repeated by the leading prophets. Yet in a 
third group, however, we have a very much more com- 
plete sketch of the Old Testament story. Of this group the 
Egerer Spiel may be taken as a sample. In that play the 

^ One of the most complete series of Sibyls occm*s on folios x*, et seq. of the 
ITore heatissime v'ginis Marie ad verum Sarishuriensis 7Htum, printed by Prevost 
in Paris, 1527. Their symbols and prophecies are given. There is a second set 
of Sibyl cuts scattered through the same Salisbury Hours. The reader may 
consult an Appendix by Marsh to Husenbeth's Emblems of Saints for further 
information as to the Sibyls. 

2 Virgil is probably introduced on account of the contents of Bucolics, Eclogue 
iv. The reader should consult Simrock's Volksbiicher, xiii. p. 443 ; Gorres' 
Folksbilcher, p. 238, and of the religious plays in our list — J, p. 81 ; K, p. 23 ; 
M, p. 92 ; B, i. p. 305 ; and Q, pp. 73, 74. 


following string of incidents and of characters precedes the 
birth of the Virgin and the usual New Testament scenes : 
— (i. ) The Creation of the Universe, (ii. ) the Fall of the 
Rebellious Angels, (iii.) the Creation of Adam and Eve, 
(iv.) the Fall of Mankind, (v.) the Murder of Abel by 
Cain and of Cain by Lamech,^ (vi.) the Flood, (vii.) 
the Sacrifice of Isaac, (viii.) the Golden Calf, (ix.) David 
and Goliath, (x.) Solomon's Judgment, and (xi.) the 
Prophets. The events which these scenes foreshadow 
are not directly stated, but an audience well acquainted 
with the usual prefigurations would at once realise their 
bearing on the incidents of the Passion. 

Still a fourth group makes prefiguration the very 
framework of the play. The Heidelberg passion-play 
might be described as an acted Bihlia Pauperum. Here 
prefigurations do not precede but are interspersed with 
the incidents of the Passion. Of the thirty -six New Testa- 
ment scenes, the twelve most important — from that of the 
woman of Samaria to the entombment — have each their 
characteristic prefiguration. Thus the woman of Samaria 
and Christ at the well is foreshadowed by Eliezer and 
Eebekah at the well — an incident acted at considerable 
length — and the Last Supper by the feast of Ahasuerus. 
The intimate relation between the pictorial and dramatic 
arts is again brought out by the correspondence between 
the prefigurations of this play and those of the Wolfen- 
btittel Bihlia Pauperum (see Laib und Schwarz, Bihlia 
Pauperum nach clem Original zu Constanz, Synopsis, 

p. 9). 

^ On the mediaeval legend of Cain as a part of ' history ' see Fascicuhis Tern- 
porum, Coin, 1480, folio 2^ and 2^ ; Buck der CJironiken, folio ix^ and x^ ; and 
Franck's Geschychtbibel, folio ix^*. 


The prefigurations, however, are not solely of interest 
as illustrating the mediaeval notion of history. Much 
of the Old Testament and even secular matter thus 
introduced into the passion-play, developed in detail, 
broke off from the parent stem, and obtained an inde- 
pendent existence in more wieldy plays, many of which 
reached the greatest popularity. Thus, for example, in 
the sixteenth century we find innumerable authors, in- 
cluding a duke, a schoolmaster, and a cobbler,^ treating as 
playwrights the story of Susanna. Of course it is not 
possible to consider all independent dramas dealing with 
scenes which occur in the great passion-plays, as originally 
offshoots. The passion-plays do not appear in their 
complete development till about the fifteenth century, 
and I shall presently trace their growth from small and 
fragmentary ritual plays. Many of the smaller religious 
dramas are of much earlier date,^ and have had an inde- 
pendent and parallel development, not improbably origin- 
ating in the dramatic performances of cloister scholars. 
Nevertheless a great variety of small dramas of the late 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries may be safely looked 
upon as developed offshoots of the passion-plays, and a 
good deal in the history, even of the secular drama, thus 
becomes intelligible. The chief dramatic model set before 
the playwright of those days was the great passion-play, 

^ Heinrich Julius, Herzog von Braunschweig, Paul Rebliun, Sclmlmeister 
zu Zwickan, and Hans Sachs, Schuster zu Niirnberg. 

^ For example, in the first half of the eleventh century we hear of certain monks 
who "neque in refectorio comederent, exceptis rarissimis festis, maxime in 
quibus Herod em representarent Christi persecutorem, parvulorum interfectorem, 
seu ludis aliis aut spectaculis quasi theatralibus exhibendis comportaretur sym- 
bolum ad faciendum convivium in refectorio aliis pene omnibus temporibus vacuo," 
Gerloh von Reichersberg. 


and in this symbolism took the place of gesture and of 
character in the modern sense ; nor was the unity one of 
place, time, or person, but of the thread by which the 
historical world-drama itself was supposed to be linked 
together. The reader who bears this in mind will the 
better comprehend the crudeness and apparent helpless- 
ness of the earliest attempts at the secular drama in 
Germany — its authors had to learn how to replace 
symbolism by acting, and how to build up a new concep- 
tion of dramatic unity/ It was the English actors and 
English playwrights who chiefly helped them in this 

III. — On the Spirit of the Passion-Plays 

The reader who comes without a preliminary study of 
the mediaeval spirit to the perusal of a fifteenth-century 
passion-play will probably be struck in the first place by 
the incongruous juxtaposition of religion and humour. 
He may feel inclined to assert that the people who could 
bring the sublime and the ridiculous into such close con- 
tact, who could joke even with the most sacred personages 
of their faith, must have had no deep religious feeling. 
Such a reader might even be inclined to agree with 
certain Protestant authors who have asserted that the 
mediaeval treatment of sacred topics, as evidenced in the 
passion-plays, shows how little hold their religion had 
upon the people in the fifteenth century. Yet such an 
opinion is not only a misapprehension of the mediaeval 

^ The relation of the passion-plays to the Fastnachtspiele cannot be discussed 
here, but the chief defects of the latter are closely connected with essential 
features, rather than defects of the former. 


spirit, it is also a superficial view of human nature. In 
real life the ridiculous is close to the sublime, and the 
naive spirit of the Middle Ages realised this, much as 
Shakespeare realised it. There is something incongruous 
to the modern mind in the manner in which Shakespeare 
expresses this great truth by the introduction of fool 
interludes, yet we do not hold him incapable of appre- 
ciating the higher phases of human feeling. It is from 
the same standpoint that we must judge the passion-play, 
nay, much of mediaeval art and literature, if we would 
really understand the naive mixture of the earnest and 
the grotesque which, indeed, characterises all popular 
expression, but especially that of the Middle Ages. It 
marks no want of reverence, it is no sign of loss of faith. 
It is a childlike, semi-conscious recognition of a great 
truth, the form of which often becomes traditional, and in 
the mediaeval spirit received, as everything else, a symbolic 
expression. Two of the most popular and most effective 
books of the fifteenth century illustrate this principle, 
the one from the religious and the other from the moral 
standpoint. No more earnest books exist than the Art 
of Dying and The Ship of Fools, yet, both verbally and 
pictorially, they bring the most weird humour into juxta- 
position with the deepest moral and religious teaching 
of their day.^ Without that mingling they never would 
have won the position they did among the people, and 
those who would write for the moral or religious profit of 
the masses to-day would do well to bear this fact in mind. 
The Christianity of Jesus was not polytheistic, nor festive, 

^ Even more cliaracteristic, perhaps, of this combination of the solemn and 
the grotesque are the Dances of Death, already referred to in Essay I. 


nor humorous. Yet polytheism, festival, and humour 
had to be brought into it, before it was fully acclimatised 
among the Teutonic races, before it could become the folk- 
religion of the Middle Ages. Little by little the ecclesias- 
tics gave way, and Christianity was moulded to the needs 
of the robuster Western nations. The Christianity of 
the Middle Ages was not that of Christ, still less that of 
Paul ; it was these plus Teutonic heathenism, plus an in- 
definite amount of mediaeval folk-humour and folk -feeling. 
It is in this spirit that we must endeavour to 
interpret the grotesque inside and outside the churches, 
the weird humour, sometimes verging on the indecent, of 
occasional miniatures in monkish manuscripts, and, above 
all, the combination of sacred and jocular in the passion- 
plays. There was a widespread reverence for the papal 
hierarchy in the Middle Ages, yet a pope or two in hell ^ 
and an imp of a devil teasing a cardinal are traditional 
in mediaeval art. There was a true religious earnestness in 
the folk of the fifteenth century, but, like the Greeks, they 
could laugh at their gods ; the belief in the Devil had a 
very real influence over conduct in the Middle Ages, 
but a mediaeval audience thoroughly appreciated his 
humorous side on the stage. As in other matters, the 
spirit of the passion-play here mirrors the general spirit 
of its day, and I may illustrate it from the drama, 
leaving the reader to find its analogies in other forms of 
literature and in pictorial art. 

^ I once showed a popular preacher some fifteenth-century representations 
of the day of judgment, with all types of ecclesiastics descending into hell. A 
few Sundays later he preached on evidences of the Protestant spirit before the 
Reformation, and cited these pictures as an example of the popular feeling to- 
wards the Catholic hierarchy ! This was a marked case of the need of the 
mediaeval factor in culture. 


While the comic element became an all -important 
factor in the greater passion-plays, as well as in the 
shorter religious plays, and invaded even the scenic 
representation of the most sacred portion of the Passion, 
there still remained a simxplicity and earnestness about 
the action and words of the central figure which could 
not fail to impress both sturdy burgher and rougher 
peasant. Next to the figure of Christ, that of the 
Virgin appeals most strongly to our religious feeling 
and dramatic sense. There is scarcely a single greater 
passion-play in which the beauty of the Marienklage — 
the grief of the Virgin at the Cross and tomb of her son 
— does not fill the reader with a deep sympathy, and 
render him conscious of a truly poetic, nay dramatic, 
feeling struggling with a primitive mode of expression 
and often a pitiable versification. There is something 
almost of the Greek tragic spirit in the Marienklage, 
and this relation to the Greek is not so accidental 
as might be supposed. The earliest Marienklage which 
I have come across actually exists in a fourth-century 
Greek passion-play, Xpco-rof; Trda-'^cov} This remarkable 
production appears to have been hardly sufficiently 
studied in relation to the mediaeval religious drama. 

^ Printed as an appendix by Wagner and DUbner in Fragmenta EuripidiSy 
Paris, 1846. The opening lamentations of the deoroKos on hearing of the 
Crucifixion may perhaps interest the reader : — 

'It6 flOt, Id}. 

at at, tL dpdcroi} ; Kapdia yctp otx^rai. 
irws TTtDs 8' ^i fw Kal (pipw ravra kXi^cip ; 
Ideip 8^ ravra ttws ttot' otau) iravTXd/j.cov ; 
It, £} yvvalKcs, rrjs TaXtXalas riKva, 
irpoaeiiraT aiirSu, Kal TrpoW/i^are x^ovos. 
& Sevre tpLXai, 8evT€, Xlirufiev 84os. 

The reader should also notice 11. 370 et seq. See footnote p. 384. 


To the mediaeval student it is peculiarly striking owing 
to its free treatment of the gospel narrative, its absence 
of additional traditional incident, and to the strong 
influence of the classical models which it exhibits. The 
loss the passion-play suffers when the Marienhlage is 
omitted is well illustrated by Kriiger's play, who in his 
narrow theological prejudice considered it necessary to 
entirely cut out the character of the Virgin. He shows 
us at once his ignorance of what forms the chief emotional 
factor in the drama, and demonstrates how impossible the 
passion-play becomes when it is adapted to theological 

It must not, however, be supposed that true poetic 
spirit is confined in the greater passion-plays to the 
lamentations of the Virgin, and that much even of the 
tone of these is due to a Greek source. This is far from 
being the case. As a striking instance of the contrary, 
we may cite Lucifer's appeal to the elements in the 
Egerer Spiel, and his offer to perform the most terrible 
penance if he can but obtain forgiveness. Here, for an 
instant, we have an approach to a higher dramatic concep- 
tion, that of a glorious, large-hearted rebel Satan. The 
refusal of mercy to this heartrending appeal of Lucifer's 
contrasts curiously with the assertion in a thirteenth- 
century poem, A Moral Ode [Old English Miscellany, 
E.E.T.S., 1. 214), that the Devil himself might have 
had mercy had he sought for it. The same intellectual 
difficulty as to why the Devil could not do penance and 

^ See H, Bd. ii. Kriiger introduces instead of the Virgin, a monk Franciscus, 
and a Lutheran Christophorus, who holds *das recht evangelium, ' It is, per- 
haps, needless to add that he consigns these to their fitting places, hell and 
heaven, on the day of judgment. 



receive pardon like Adam crops up again in the See- 
hrucJcer Hirtenspiel {R, p. 134), and is peculiarly 
suggestive of the nature of the mediaeval conception of 
penance. As a third example, which may be compared 
with the Marienklage and Lucifer's appeal, we may 
refer the reader to the extremely fine lamentation of the 
Foolish Virgins, written in the metre of the Nihelungen- 
lied, with which the Ludus de decern Virginihus 
concludes (0, pp. 30, 31).^ 

Yet although powerful, almost dramatic, passages 
are not wanting in the greater passion-plays of the 
fifteenth century, it is still true that their general tone 
exhibits a naive folk-spirit, expressed in a strong but 
crude folk-language. Only occasionally can we trace 
instances of the ecclesiastical spirit and the old church 
language, reminiscences of a time when the people had 
made neither the plays, nor the Christian religion, their 
own, but both were still in the first place associated with 
Church ritual. In the lesser plays, especially in local 
plays from out-of-the-way districts, where the peasants 
were actors, and where there was no authority with the 
will or the strength to repress extravagance, we find 
the comic element predominant. This is peculiarly the 
case in the short Easter and Christmas plays which, 
even as early as the fifteenth century, had lost all 
pretence of religious earnestness, and were related to 
the greater passion-plays much as a Gaiety burlesque 

^ According to the tradition it^was a representation of this play which led 
the Landgraf of Thiiringen so to despair of the mercy of God that he fell down 
in a fit of apoplexy, from the results of which he died. The tradition at any rate 
is of value as illustrating how deeply the religious plays could move the mediaeval 


to the corresponding Lyceum drama. Thus in a short 
Ludus in cunabilis Christi the characters are Joseph 
"who leads Mary seated upon an ass," the midwife 
" carrying cradle, pap-bowl, and spoon," and a shepherd 
"leading two big dogs." Joseph, after pointing out 
the child to the shepherd as the one announced by the 
angels, invites him to drink from his flask; this is 
passed on to the Virgin and then to the midwife, who 
thinks a drop of wine would make the child sleep. 
She then rocks the cradle and sings Magnum nomen 
Domini. The flask again being passed round, the 
shepherd remarks that it must be cold for the child ; 
Joseph agrees, and — exeunt omnes!^ This play is 
by no means unique (compare the shepherds in the 
Chester Plays, p. 119^); indeed, a perhaps still more 
ourlesque example of an Infancy Play has been 
published by Weinhold (Q, p. 106) from oral tradition. 
In this case Joseph is represented as rocking the 
cradle and singing : — 

Kindla wiega, Kindla wiega ! 

ich koan nich menne Finger biega 

Hunni sausi, 

der Kitsclie thut der Bauch wih ! 

Kitsche is Katzenjammer, and there is perhaps^ 
something of naive folk-realism rather than of burlesque 
in the baby Jesus troubled by the wind. 

^ See I, No. i., and compare Ein WeihTiachtsspiel aus einer Hs. des XV. 
Jahrhunderts, edited by K. W. Piderit, 1869. Flogel's Geschichte des Grotesk- 
Komischen, 1861, p. 246, may also be consulted. It must be noted, however, 
that the rocking of the Christ cradle actually occurred as a part of the Christmas 
church ritual, and a fossil of it remained in a Protestant church in Tubingen 
even as late as 1830. See E. Meier, Sitten u. Gebrduche aus Schwaben, p. 464. 


Ohstetrices occur also in the Freising play, Herodes 
sive magorum adoratio (Q, p. 60), and indeed in 
innumerable mediaeval representations of the births of 
Christ and the Virgin.^ The predominance of the 
grotesque (even allowing for what is only grotesque 
to modern minds) is characteristic of Christmas plays. ^ 
But the same tendency, as we have already indicated, 
is to be found to a greater or less degree in most of the 
religious plays. ^ Thus, in the Ludus de decern Vir- 
ginihus,^ we find the strange stage direction Dominica 
persona hahet magnum convivium, while in the Siln- 
denfall^ Solomon, at a feast to the prophets, treats 
them to the much-praised Eimbecker beer. We shall 
have occasion in the sequel to notice like instances from 
the greater passion-plays themselves. 

With these instances before him, the reader may 
find it still more difiicult to associate the extravagances 
of the shorter, and the comic incidents in the longer 
plays with the existence of a really religious spirit among 
the people. I can only reiterate that if he fails to grasp 
this association, he will fail to understand the folk of 
the Middle Ages, and in particular the state of feeling 
in the fifteenth century. The century which preceded the 
Eeformation was distinguished from its immediate prede- 
cessor and successor by its essentially religious character.^ 
If we look at the outer formal side of religion, it was 

^ The origin of the midwife is to be. sought in the Protevangelion, ch. xiv. 
The somewhat unsavoury incident with the midwife Salome is reproduced mth 
amplifications in the Coventry Mysteries, pp. 149 et seq. 

2 Q, pp. 97, 104, 111. 

^ Townley Mysteries, Surtees Society, 1866, pp. 84, 98 ; Jubinal, Mysteres 
inMits, Paris, 1837, ii. pp. 71-77. * 0, p. 22. 

^ M, p. 76, ^ More religious, but of course far less theological. 


peculiarly the age of church -building/ of religious 
sculpture, painting, and engraving, and of the fully- 
developed passion-plays. If we turn to the inner 
spiritual side of religion it was an age of great ver- 
nacular preachers and of delicate spiritual teachers. To 
say it was the century of Thomas von Kempen conveys 
a great deal more than is at first apparent. The deep 
pietism of the author of the Imitatio Christi is not indi- 
vidual ; it is characteristic of most of the devotional 
literature of his period. The Seelenwilrzgdrtlein, the 
Uimmelstrasse, the Hertzmaner, and the Guldin 
Spigel des Sunders, are only types of a widespread 
and deep religious pietism, which appealed in the 
vulgar tongue directly to the heart, and erected no 
ecclesiastical barrier between the soul and its God.^ 
Symbolism in ritual and in religious art, the grotesque 
in passion-play and engraving, by no means denote 
that the more spiritual side of religion was dead in 
the fifteenth century. If we wish to understand the 
mediaeval spirit, and the Eeformation as well, we must 
continually bear this in mind. An appreciation of the 
passion - plays will help us immensely in this very 
respect. In them we do not see the folk looking to 
the priest for its religion ; the words and incidents 
of the Bible are brought home to the folk, while it 

^ For a list, by no means complete, see J. Janssen, Geschichte des deutschen 
Volkes, Bd. i. p. 142. 

^ See Vincenz Hasak, Der christliche Glauhe des deutschen Volkes heim Schlusse 
des Mittelalters, 1868, and the appendices to Geffcken, Ber Bildercatechismus des 
funfzehnten Jahrhunderts, 1855. Much useful insight into the religious life of 
the period may be obtained from Geiler von Kaisersberg's sermons (an abridged 
edition has recently been published by P. de Lorenzi) and the confessional books, 
e.g. Miinzenberger, Das Frankfurter wnd Magdeburger Beichtbuchlein, Mainz, 1881. 
For cloister sermons, see Jostes' edition of Johann Veghe's sermons, etc. etc. 


dramatically represents and at the same time moulds 
its religion for itself/ 

Were we to leave out of account the great mass of 
vernacular devotional literature, and to put on one side 
the eighteen editions of the German Bible which pre- 
ceded Luther's, we should still find the passion-plays 
impressing the events, the teaching, and largely the 
very words of the gospel story, with all the vividness 
of the stage upon the minds of the people. Every 
town, almost every village had its yearly or bi-y early 
play ; and then for one, two, or even three days,^ the 
people would make holiday, and, with due allowance for 
meals ^ and sleep, spend their whole time on the market- 
place watching the great drama, which for them was 
the story of the world, slowly unroll itself, a drama 
which in those days was rich in interest and deeply 
significant in meaning for each one of them. They 
might see one of their fellow -citizens personify God the 
Father,* they might laugh at the repeated discomfiture 

^ The historic myths so widely held, namely, that before the Reformation 
(a) the Bible was unknown to the people, (b) there were no church hymns in the 
vernacular, (c) there were no sermons or devotional books in the vulgar tongue, 
have been completely destroyed by scholarly research. See, besides the works 
referred to in the previous footnote, Maitland, TJie Dark Ages, pp. 188 et seq. ; 
Karl Meister, Bas deutsche Kirchenlied ; The Academy, No. 699, p. 199; No. 
701, p. 240 ; No. 704, p. 293 ; No. 744, p. 84 ; and No. 1193, p. 238 ; and Tlie 
Athenceum, No. 2925, p. 630 ; No. 2930, p. 809 ; and No. 2953, p. 694. 

^ The Frankfurt passion-play lasted four days in 1498, besides a day of feast- 
ing for the actors and a day later with a procession in costume. In 1409 the great 
play of the London clerks at the Skinners' Well (Clerkenwell) lasted eight days. 
The Chester Mysteries took three days. 

2 At the passion-play resuscitated by the Brixlegg peasants in the early eighties 
the audience sat at tables placed in the open village street, each table being presided 
over by a peasant woman, who worked vigorously with soup-ladle and carving-knife. 

^ At the play referred to in the previous note it was God the Father who 
came onto the stage with, and claimed an owner for, an umbrella found after the 
morning performance ; nor did the element of the grotesque in this incident 
at all strike the peasant majority in the audience. 


of the Devil, and smile at the mode in which Judas' 
soul was carried off to Hell ; yet none the less God, 
Devil, and Hell were intensely real to them, and became 
rather more so than less when the earnestness of their 
religion was softened by touches of humour in its stage 
representation. The realism of life itself ever brings 
the ridiculous into closest contact with the sublime. 

lY. — Tlie Growth of the Passion-Play 

Although much research is still needful to complete 
our knowledge of the successive stages in the growth of 
the passion-play, we are nevertheless able to appreciate 
fairly accurately the influence of the three chief factors 
in the development of the German religious drama. 
These factors were the following : (a) a love of festival 
and symbolic representation dating from heathen days 
and peculiarly national in character. This factor fostered 
the demand for dramatic ritual rather than moulded the 
character of its growth ; (6) the Church ritual ; and (c) 
the influence of the cloister-schools and scholars. The 
last two factors were both international in their char- 
acter, and account for the cosmopolitan elements in the 
plays. While the second factor was ecclesiastical and, 
on the whole, conservative, the third was progressive and 
democratic. It was the influence of the strolling scholars 
which replaced Latin by the vernacular, and ultimately 
handed over the religious drama to the people to mould 
according to the folk-conceptions of Christianity and of 
life in general. 

One of the most striking features of a popular fifteenth- 


century passion-play is the retention amid the vernacular 
of certain Latin responses, hymns, and stage-directions 
taken almost verbatim from the Easter or Christmas 
ritual of the Church. A further investigation shows us 
that the earliest religious plays, if plays they can be 
called, were amplifications of a few sentences accom- 
panied by descriptive action which had been introduced 
between the last response and the Te Deum into 
the Christmas or Easter services. We have the words 
and directions for such dramatic ritual passing im- 
perceptibly into ritualistic drama in eleventh-century 
manuscripts from both France and Germany. Herein are 
undoubtedly to be found the first germs of the great 
religious plays. We have yet, however, to find a reason 
for the introduction of such dramatic ritual into the 
Church service. The ultimate cause is not far to seek. 
The drama itself — tragedy and comedy — developed, as 
I have shown elsewhere,^ out of the choral and sexual 
dances in honour of a goddess of fertility. The drama 
is thus essentially of religious origin. Now although 
Germanic heathenism had not developed out of its 
religious festivals at the introduction of Christianity 
anything like the Greek drama, it still possessed a wide 
range of choral and symbolic representations, the whole 
of which the folk endeavoured to associate with their 
new religion, and this for the simple reason that they 
were still in the stage of civilisation when religion and 
semi-dramatic representation are closely allied. It stands 
beyond question that the first notion of the Germans as to 
the new churches was that they were convenient meeting- 

^ See Essay XL p. 136 and footnote. 


places for dance, festival, and dramatic representation. 
From this standpoint Jakob Grimm has accounted for 
the existence of the religious drama by supposing that 
the primitive heathen delight of the German folk in 
semi-dramatic festival forced its way into the churches, 
and that the old sacrificial gatherings, the May festivals, 
the summer and winter myth plays, etc., must be looked 
to as the real origin of the German drama. ^ It will be 
well to consider the evidence in favour of this view 
at some length, for it lets in a flood of light upon the 
relation between primitive Teutonic Christianity and the 
folk among whom it was afterwards to develop. 

That the old heathen religion was an essentially 
dramatic one can scarcely be doubted ; we have proof 
enough not only in written statements, but in a vast 
number of dramatic folk -customs of heathen origin.^ 
We find many cases in which heathen customs were 
introduced into Christian churches. The German warriors 
did not hesitate to sing in their new gathering-places 
ancient war-songs in honour of their new hero Christ, 
choruses of girls and youths chanted love-glees in the 
same sacred places,^ while later both monks and nuns 
indulged in dances and masquerades directly connected 

^ Kleiner e ScJiriften, Bd. v. p. 281. 

2 See Deutsche Mythologie, 4tli ed. pp. 35, 52, 214, 637, etc., and Wackernagel, 
GescMchte der deutsclien Literatur, § 22. 

^ See Wackernagel, loc. cit., and compare with MiillenliofF und Scherer, 
Denkmdler deutscher Poesie uiid Prosa, 2nd ed. p. 363. The custom of dancing 
in the churches survived in some places till the second half of the sixteenth and, 
perhaps, into the seventeenth centuries : see Hartmann, FTeihnacht-Lied it. Spiel, 
pp. 44, 45. In a play published by Marriott in his Collection of English Mysteries 
and dealing with the Massacre of the Innocents, we actually find in the poet's 
epilogue an appeal to the minstrels to use their diligence and " A fore our depertyng 
geve lis a daunce " (p. 219). Possibly the reference to the virgins in the prologue 
(p. 200), who are to "shewe sume sport and plesure," has some bearing on this. 


with heathen festivals. The capitularies continually 
returned to these practices, and most stringently forbid 
them. "It is not permissible for choruses of laymen 
and girls to sing songs and prepare banquets in the 
church," runs a statute of 803 ; while another of the 
same century forbids any presbyter to take part in or 
allow in his presence unseemly clapping, laughing, or 
foolish stories at funerals, or singing, or shameful games 
with the bear or with female gymnasts, or the wearing 
of masks of demons, for " all this is devilish." Other 
records of a similar date speak of the monks mumming 
as wolves, foxes, or bears and of other " diabolical " 
masquerades, which were clearly remnants of the old 
heathen festivals. Even in the fifteenth century the 
Church had not freed itself from these strange per- 
formances. The 'feast of fools' had become an established 
institution. A fool-bishop having been chosen with 
many absurd ceremonies, monks and priests conducted 
him to the cathedral. With faces smeared with ochre 
or hidden by hideous masks, clad as women, as beasts, 
or as jugglers, these clerical mummers proceeded singing 
and dancing to the very altar-steps. The fool-bishop 
read the service and gave his benediction, while his 
bacchanalian following threw dice and ate sausages on 
the altar itself The burning of dung and old bits of 
shoe-leather took the place of incense, and the utmost 
license and disorder prevailed both inside and outside 
the sacred building.^ It is clear that the very clergy 

^ See Mone, B, ii. p. 367, and Flogel, Geschichte des Grotesk-Komischen, pp. 
225, 460. Among the Statuta Sinodalia in diocesi Hamlhergensis, printed at 
the end of the Breviarius Havelbergensis, 1511, we find a " Statutum Tiderici in 
quo prohibetur ludibria lavarum et alias abusiones in ecclesiis fieri sub pena 


themselves long joined in heathen scenic festivals which 
had survived the introduction of Christianity. Thus in 
Bohemia in the middle of the fourteenth century they 
still took part in the heathen ritual of the Expulsion of 
Death, accompanying the figure of Death cum rithmis et 
ludis supersticiosis to the river, where it was drowned.^ 
But although customs of the kind described, surviv- 
ing through many centuries, demonstrate the strength of 
the folk-passion for religious spectacles, and show how 
it forced its way into the churches, neither Grimm nor 
any of his successors have been able to point to a single 
passage in the earliest of the mediaeval religious plays 
which might be used to support the theory that they 
have any formal or verbal relation to the old heathen 
scenic festivals. It is this absence of direct relationship 
which has led Milchsack, one of the most thorough 
students of the mediaeval drama, to reject entirely 
Grimm's theory. ^ There is, however, a method of recon- 
ciling the views of Grimm and Milchsack which has 

excommunicationis. " See lii^ and compare with m. vR The date of the 
statute is 1374. According to Martene, De antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, Liber iv. 
cap. 13. § 11, the feasts of fools arose from the service being performed by 
children on Innocents' Day. This seems hardly warranted by what we find in 
the order issued by the Council of Basel in its twenty-first session, and printed 
by Martene himself. It runs as follows : — 

Turpem etiam ilium abusum in quibusdam frequentatum Ecclesiis, quo certis 
anni celebritatibus, nonnulli cum mitra, baculo, ac vestibus pontificalibus, more 
episcoporum benedicunt, alii ut Reges ac Duces induti, quod festum fatuorum vel 
Innocentium, seu puerorum in quibusdam regionibus nuncupatur ; alii larvales 
ac theatrales jocos, alii choreas et tripudia marium et mulierum facientes, homines 
ad spectaciila et cachinnationes movent, alii comessationes et convivia ibidem 
praeparant, haec Sancta Synodus detestans, statuit et jubet [loc. cit.) 

The whole statute is of interest as showing the prevalence of heathen customs 
— the Mleih (p. 132) — within the churches. 

^ See Loserth, Hus und Wiclif, p. 35, footnote 2. 

2 Milchsack, Oster- und Passionsspiele, p. 10, to be compared, however, with 
Deutsche Mythologie, 4th ed. p. 657, etc. 


much to be said for it. The absence of all direct 
connection between the scenic rituals of the old and new- 
religions does not demonstrate that the one was not the 
effective cause of the other. May not the early Christian 
missionaries, recognising the hold which religious festival 
and scenic display had upon the minds of the Germanic 
peoples, have found it impossible to push their own 
faith without dramatising its ritual ? They found it 
impossible to repress the love of spectacular festival ; 
nay, they found it forcibly invading their own places of 
religious gathering. Accordingly they endeavoured to 
attack heathenism by adopting attractions similar in 
spirit to its own. Thus the scenic ritual, and ultimately 
the religious plays, indirectly owe their origin to the 
very heathen ceremonies which their introduction was 
designed to repress.^ Nor was the end proposed in the 
least achieved. A new formal expression can be given 
to the spirit of the people, but the essential features of 
that spirit will remain quite unchanged. We see this 
truth over and over again manifesting itself in the 
struggle between western heathenism and eastern 
Christianity. The Kirchweih was designed as a solemn 
Christian feast to replace old heathen festivals. And 
what happened to it ? The folk seized it as its own, 
made it the centre for all types of old folk-practices, till 
the modern Kirmes is one of the most fruitful sources of 
our knowledge of old heathen religious and social customs. 
Again the early Christian missionary could not root out 
the old district goddesses ; he endeavoured to replace 

^ The view here expressed is not, I think, identical with that of Gustav 
Freytag in his De initiis scenicae poesis apud Germanos, 1838. 


them by virgin saints of chaste and holy life. Again 
what happened ? The folk at once found a field for its 
old polytheistic tendencies, local goddesses reappeared 
as Christian saints, but with them came back many of 
the old folk-festivals, and much of the old sexual cult/ 
As in these cases, so it was with the dramatic ritual. It 
was intended as a solemn scenic effect to counteract 
heathen habits ; but the folk flocked into the churches, 
took possession of the ritual, and added to it the dancing, 
the feasting, and the humour which characterise the 
passion-play. Thus in three typical cases we see the 
folk moulding oriental Christianity to its own spirit, 
and making a foreign religion something peculiar and 
relative to itself. 

Nor is the view here expressed simply that of a critic 
writing many centuries later with but an obscure record 
of what actually took place in the early days of Germanic 
Christianity. A writer of much insight, nearer by seven 
centuries to that folk-struggle for religious festival and 
dramatic ritual, held much the same opinion. There 
is an apparently neglected passage in Herrad von 
Landsberg's great work, the Hortus Deliciarum, which 
runs thus : — 

The old Fathers of the Church, in order to strengthen the belief 
of the faithful and to attract the unbeliever by this manner of 
religious service, rightly instituted at the feast of the Epiphany or 
the Octave religious performances of such a kind as the star guiding 
the Magi to the new-born Christ, the cruelty of Herod, the dispatch 
of the soldiers, the lying-in of the Blessed Virgin, the angel warning 

^ In other essays of this volume some references will be found to the Kirmes 
and the local goddess as Christian saint (see pp. 19, 25), but I hope on another 
occasion to deal more fully with these topics. 


the Magi not to return to Herod, and other events of the birth of 
Christ. But what nowadays happens in many churches ? Not a 
customary ritual, not an act of reverence, but one of irreligion and 
extravagance conducted with all the license of youth. The priests 
having changed their clothes go forth as a troop of warriors ; there 
is no distinction between priest and warrior to be marked. At an 
unfitting gathering of priests and laymen the church is desecrated 
by feasting and drinking, buffoonery, unbecoming jokes, play, the 
clang of weapons, the presence of shameless wenches, the vanities of 
the world, and all sorts of disorder. Earely does such a gathering 
break up without quarrelling.^ 

This passage from Herrad's Hortus is a peculiarly 
instructive one ; it not only shows us what in the 
twelfth century was supposed to be the reason for the 
dramatic ritual, — its aim was to attract unbelievers — but 
it proves that even at that early date the plays, though 
still acted in the churches, had advanced beyond the 
customary ritual, and had attained to a considerable 
fulness in dramatic details. What appears of still 
greater interest, however, is the evidence, which Herrad's 
words afford, that the heathen festivities, which in still 
earlier days had been associated with the churches and 
caused grave scandal to the higher ecclesiastics, were in 
the twelfth century again manifest in connection with 
the religious dramas acted inside the churches. The 
views of the abbess of Hohenburg are fully confirmed 
by a contemporary monk, Gerloh von Eeichersberg, 
(1095-1169), who was head of the chapter-school in 
Augsburg, magister scholarum et doctor juvenum. He 
writes with the greatest disapproval of the plays of 
King Herod. ^ Thus we see that the first factor in the 

^ Engelhardt, loc. cit, p. 104. 
^ Cited in Hartmann, Oherammergauer Passionsspiel, p. 98. 


growth of the passion-plays — the heathen love of spec- 
tacular display and of religious festival — had already 
forced the hands of the ecclesiastical authorities in the 
twelfth century, and at that date the religious drama had 
advanced far beyond the Church's dramatic ritual. 

In order to study the influence of the second factor, 
the Church ritual, on the growth of the religious drama 
it will be necessary to consider the nature of that ritual 
at some length. It will be noticed that Herrad refers 
especially to dramatic ritual connected with the birth of 
Christ, while it is ritual connected with the passion and 
resurrection of which we find most evidence. The first 
is to be looked upon as the prototype of the Herod or 
Magi plays, while the latter leads up to plays dealing 
with the crucifixion and death of Christ. The one series 
of rituals is associated with Christmas, the other with 
Easter ; both alike contribute elements to the developed 
passion-play. At the very first consideration, however, 
a difierence manifests itself between the Easter and 
Christmas scenic rituals. The earliest Easter scenic 
ritual occurs in a manuscript of the eleventh century, 
and that of the fifteenth century remains practically 
identical with it. But by the eleventh century we find 
in existence entire or fragmentary plays of the Wise and 
Foolish Virgins, of the Birth of Christ, of the Eesurrec- 
tion and the Disciples at Emmaus, and of Herod and the 
Magi. For example, Weinhold gives two Herod-plays 
of the ninth to the eleventh century,^ and Gervinus even 
mentions one of the fifth century. ^ Mone supposes the 

^ Q, pp. 55 et seq. 
2 Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung, 5th ed. Bd. ii. p. 563, footnote. 


religious plays to have sprung directly from the Church 
ritual/ but if this be so, the ritual must have had an 
earlier origin than we have any manuscript warrant for. 
Due weight must of course be given to the fact that the 
ritual actually remained practically constant in form for 
four centuries, and therefore this ceremonial conservatism 
may easily have existed for a long period before the 
eleventh century. If this be the case, the Easter ritual, 
as we know it, is only a survival of a primitive stage in 
the life of the religious play ; it has continued to exist 
side by side with its more highly developed offspring. 
Against this view it may be remarked that there is no 
sufficient evidence to show that all the eleventh-century 
plays originally formed parts of the Church ritual. Very 
possibly they may have been performed by monks and. 
cloister scholars. Latin plays with biblical and other 
themes — perhaps even those of Terence ^ — appear to have 
been acted in the cloisters before the religious play in 
the Church had attained any considerable degree of 
development. Yet the independent cloister- play ^ can 
scarcely have been the source of the fully developed 
passion-play ; for if it were, how shall we account for 
the responses and hymns of the Church scenic ritual 

^ A, pp. 13, 14. In B, vol. i. pp. 6, 7, 55, Mone holds the origin of the 
Easter-plays to have been the responses of the Church service, and of the 
passion-plays the recitation of the gospel. 

^ Hro^witha's anti-Terentian plays certainly suggest this, and Magnin's 
opinion that they were intended for acting does not seem to me so absurd as to 
some German critics. It is a curious and important fact that the earliest Herod- 
plays show traces of classical knowledge on the part of their writers, e.g. pass- 
ages are interpolated from Virgil, Sallust, Claudian, etc. See Du Meril, Origines 
latines du th4dtre modcrne, p. 164, and R, p. 9. 

^ As a typical play belonging to a class independent of Church ritual and 
evidently of scholastic origin we may note Der Suvdenfall, although it is of 
course of much later date, namely, about 1450. 


which are to be found in so many of the passion-plays ? 
The Church and the cloister have evidently worked con- 
temporaneously ; and we can hardly doubt that the latter 
was progressive, and exercised much influence in expand- 
ing the conservative ritual of the former. But the exact 
manner of the action and reaction between the two ap- 
pears at least for the earlier stages of the religious drama 
fco be still very obscure. To the influence of the strolling 
scholars who wandered from cloister-school to cloister- 
school, introducing at a later stage of development 
new and cosmopolitan elements, I shall return below. 

The four portions of the Church scenic ritual which 
chiefly concern us are — (i.) the Officium Stellae at the 
Epiphany or, as it is sometimes termed, the Officium 
trium Regum; (ii.) the Adoratio Crucis ov Sepultura 
Domini on Good Friday ; (iii. ) the Elevatio Crucis or 
Elevatio Corporis Christi on Easter Eve, or early in 
the morning of Easter Day ; and (iv. ) the Resurrectio 
or Visitatio Sepulcliri during the Easter Day morning 
service. In addition to these there appears to have been 
a scenic ritual connected with Christmas, which was prob- 
ably closely related to the birth -plays and Christmas 
hymns. A feature of this ritual would undoubtedly 
have been the sin2[ino[ at the cradle of the Christ-child. 
A cradle such as the nuns in the fourteenth century used 
to rock the Christ-child in is exhibited in the National 
Museum at Munich (Saal III.), and this rocking ceremony 
in the churches has survived almost to the present day.^ 

^ See Q, p. 49 ; R, p. 24 ; and T, p. 585. The cradle, and Joseph's by-play 
with it, are special features of the Christmas dramas even as early as the fifteenth 
century ; see Piderit, Ein Weihnachtsspiel mis einer Hs. des XV. Jahrhunderts,. 



Some account of the Christmas Day ritual is given 
by Martene {De antiquis Ecclesiae Ritibus, Liber iv. 
cap. 12, §§ 9 et seq.) In most churches the lessons were 
distributed among several readers, so that the recital 
might be given a dramatic character. The verses of 
the Erythraean Sibyl were also read (see Martene, Lib. 
iv. cap. 12. § 13), to which practice we doubtless 
owe the Sibyl's appearance in the passion - plays. 
At Rouen, Nantes, Tours, Laon, etc., there was a 
ritual similar in character to the office of the Three 
Kings, which I shall consider later ; it was, however, 
less fully developed. At Eouen a manger was erected 
behind the altar and the image ^ of the Virgin placed 
upon it. A boy in the choir, representing an angel, 
announced the birth of Christ. The shepherds then 
entered the choir, and going to the manger greeted the 
Virgin and Child. Their progress was accompanied by 
the hymn Pax in terris. Mass was next celebrated at 
the altar, and after it the priest said to the shepherds : 
Quern vidistis pastores f to which they replied, Natum 
vidimus. There were only slight variations in the 
ritual at other French churches. At some, choristers 
with crooks took the part of the shepherds, but they do 
not appear to have said more than Natum vidim^us, or 
Infa7item vidimus. It seems singular that no form of 
this ritual for English or German churches should have 
been preserved, but I have not been able to find one. 

^ Here, as in other like rituals, the most sacred persons were not at first 
represented by the clergy themselves, but by symbols or images. Exception 
must possibly be made in the case of a Besan9on Advent ritual in which a well- 
dressed maiden replied to the deacon, who represented the archangel Gabriel 
(Martene, Lib. iv. cap. 10. § 30). According to Martene, this ritual dates from 
the early thirteenth century, and is the first case known to me of a woman 
taking part in the ritual. 


It does not, however, appear that a really comprehensive 
search has hitherto been made. I pass now to the 
rituals more closely connected with the passion-plays. 

(i.) The Officium Stellae. — The earliest version of this 
ritual that I have come across is published by Martene 
(De antiquis Ecclesiae Ritihus^ Liber iv. cap. 14. 
§ 9) and is entitled Officium trium Regum secundum 
usum Ecclesiae Rotomagensis. Martene merely tells us 
that he has taken it from " an ancient manuscript " at 
Kouen, which leaves us in some doubt as to its actual 
date. It is clearly a ritual so fully developed that it 
may fairly be termed a religious play, and its comparison 
with the Orleans ^ and Freising ^ Magi-plays will impress 
the reader with the amount the religious drama really 
owes to the Church ritual. The frequency of the ritual 
is demonstrated by another form from Limoges, given by 
Martene (§ 12). As the student who has never read 
through one of these scenic rituals can have little 
appreciation of their spirit, nor have grasped the extent 
to which the drama had invaded the Church, I venture 
to print the Rouen ritual at length, merely requesting 
the reader who has no interest in mediaeval Latin to 
pass it by with measured protest.^ 

Die Epiphaniae, tertia cantata, tres de majori sede, cappis et 
coronis ornati, et debent esse scripti in tabula, ex tribus partibus 
ante altare conveniant, cum suis famulis portantibus Regum 
oblationes, indutis tunicis et amictis, et debent esse de secunda sede 
scripti in tabula ad placitum scriptoris. Ex tribus Regibus medius 
ab Oriente veniens, stellam cum baculo ostendens dicat alte : Stella 
fulgore nimio rutilat. Secundus Rex a dextra parte veniens respondeat : 

^ Wright's Early Mysteries, p. 23. ^ Q, pp. 56 et seq. 

^ A translation would fail to give much of the character of the original. 


Quae Begem regum natum demonstrat. Tertius Rex a sinistra parte 
veniens dicat : Quern venturam olim p'ophetiae signaverant. Tunc 
Magi ante altare congregati sese osculentur, et simul cantent : Eamus 
ergo, et inquiramus eum, offerentes ei munera, Aurum, Thus et Mirrham. 
Quo finito, cantor incipiat responsorium : Magi veniunt. Et moveat 
processio. Sequatur aliud responsium, si necesse fuerit : Interrogahat 
Magos. Processione in navi Ecclesiae constituta stationem faciant. 
Dum autem processio navem Ecclesiae intrare coeperit, corona ante 
altare crucis pendens ad modum stellae accendatur, et Magi stellam 
ostendentes ad imaginem S. Mariae super altare crucis prius positam 
cantantes pergant : Ecce stella in Oriente praevisa, iterum praecedit nos 
lucida. Haec, inquam, stella natum demonstratj de quo Balaam cecinerat 
dicens : Orietur stella ex Jacob, et exurget homo de Israel, et confringet 
omnes duces alienigenarum, et erit omnis terra possessio ejus. Hoc finito, 
duo de majori sede cum dalmaticis ex utraque parte altaris stantes 
suaviter respondeant : Qui sunt hi, qui stella duce nos adeuntes inaudita 
ferunt ? Magi respondeant : Nos sumus quos cernitis, Begis Thar sis et 
Arabum et Sabbae, dona ferentes Christo Begi, nato Domino, quem stella 
deducente adm'are venimus. Tunc duo dalmaticati aperientes cortinam 
dicant : Ecce puer adest, quem quaeritis, jam proper ate adorare, quia ipse 
est redemptio mundi. Tunc procidentes Reges ad terram simul 
salutent puerum ita dicentes ; Salve princeps saeculorum. Tunc unus 
a suo famulo aurum accipiat, et dicat : Suscipe Bex aurum. Et 
offerat Secundus Rex, ita dicat et offerat : Tolle thus tu vere Deus. 
Tertius dicat et offerat mirrham signum sepulturae. Interim fiant 
oblationes a clero et populo, et dividatur oblatio praedictis duobus 
canonicis. Tunc Magis orantibus et quasi somno sopitis, quidam 
puer alba indutus et amicta super caput, quasi angelus in pulpito 
illis dicat banc antiphonam : Impleta sunt omnia quae prophetice dicta 
sunt. Be ob mam remeantes aliam ne delatores tanti Begis puniendi eritis. 
Hoc finito, Reges secedant per alam Ecclesiae ante fontes, et intrent 
chorum per ostium sinistrum, et processio intret chorum, sicut 
consuetum est in Dominicis, cantore incipiente hoc responsorium : 
Tria sunt munera. Y. Salutis, si necesse fuerit. Ad missam tres 
Reges regant chorum, qui Kyrie fans bonitatis, Alleluja, Sanctus, et 
Agnus cantent. 

Such a ceremony as this is Church ritual, if we lay- 
emphasis on the canons and choir as actors, and the 


Church responses and hymns which occur. On the 
other hand it is drama, if we note that the actors are 
clothed to suit their characters, that there are stage- 
accessories, the star, the gifts, and the cortina,^ and 
that gesture and motion are indicated. Indeed, the 
Church becomes a stage, and the altars, nave, aisle, and 
choir are all used in a manner very suggestive for the 
later passion-play arrangements. Lastly, some evidence 
of the antiquity of the ritual may be drawn from the 
fact that the divine personages are still only represented 
by symbols, the cross and the image, as in the early 
Easter scenic rituals. I will now turn to what is 
known of these rituals, treating them, however, with 
less detail. 

(ii.) The Adoratio Crucis. — The Easter ritual centres 
round the so-called * sepulchre.* In most churches 
there was a permanent sepulchre placed alongside the 
altar, or in its immediate neighbourhood, and especially 
designed for the Easter ceremony.^ In other cases, the 
sepulchre would be temporarily erected for the rite. Thus 
occasionally it would consist of a hollow pile of books 
upon the altar, wherein the sacrament could be placed ; 
at other times, as in the miniature reproduced by 
Mone,^ or, as in the case of Tyll Ulenspiegel's prank,^ 
it would be capable of containing one or more persons 
who acted as angels. 

The sepulchre having been prepared after nones on 

^ It is not clear whether the cortina is a hollow vessel representing the cradle, 
or the curtain hanging beside the altar. 

2 As to the position and nature of the sepulchre see Parker, Glossary of 
Architecture, 5th ed. vol. i. p. 420. The sextons in English village churches will 
still frequently point out the sepulchre as ' some of the old choir-stalls. ' 

^ B, vol. i. p. 8. * Die clreizehent Historic of the VolJcbuch, see below. 


Good Friday, the rood taken from its usual place, or a 
veiled crucifix, was carried by the officiating clergy with 
bare feet towards the altar. Here followed the Adoratio 
Cruets, with prayer, response, and hymn, notably the 
grand — 

Crux fidelis inter omnes 
Arbor una nobilis, etc.^ 

The rood was gradually unveiled and elevated ; then 
the priest, having washed his hands and brought the 
host, consecrated on the previous day, to the altar, sings 
portions of the mass. After this the rood, the Corpus 
Christi, and the chalice, one or all, were deposited in 
the sepulchre — a ritual symbolic of the entombment. 
The priest intoned the verse : In peace his place is 
made, and the choir gave the response : And in Sion 
his habitation. So ended the first portion of the Easter 
ritual.^ In a rubric to one of its versions we are told 
that, if the host could not be left under safe custody 
in the sepulchre for three days, the priest should remove 
it to his cell after vespers were concluded. Generally, 
in the larger churches, watchers were appointed to sing 
psalms and take charge of the sepulchre until Easter 
Eve or Easter Morn. It will be seen at once that this 
ritual gives scope for a considerable amount of dramatic 
action. As in the Officium Stellae, the deity is as 
yet only represented by symbols ; but, as in that case, 

^ Mone, Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters, No. 101. 

2 For the general description here, as in the other two Easter rituals, I have 
followed as a comprehensive version the Ordo Augustensis of 1487 (see G, p. 126, 
and compare with other versions in the Appendix). So far as the scenic ritual of 
the resurrection is concerned, this version is identical with those of the eleventh 
century. It has the advantage, however, of throwing light on the Passion- as 
well as the Easter-plays. 


SO in this, several of the responses recur in the 
passion-play entombment scenes/ The widespread 
character of this ritual, and some interesting variations 
in type, will be found illustrated in the references 
given below. ^ 

(iii.) The Elevatio Crucis. — The elevation of the 
cross, or the resurrection of the Corpus Christi, took 
place between Easter Eve and Easter Day matins, some- 
times in the night. In one version, all the church 
doors being closed and the populace excluded, the 

1 For example, the Sepulto Domino of the ritual (G, p. 122) will be found in 
the Alsfelder Spiel (C, p. 214), the Egerer Spiel (F, p. 275), and others. 

2 I have been able from various printed sources to considerably extend the 
collection published by Dr. Milchsack. In the first place, I may note a 
Directorium Missae for the diocese of Mainz, published without date or printer's 
name about 1490. On folio a. viii. will be found, in the De officio in dieparasceves, 
an Adoratio Crucis, with the usual responses and hymns {Ecce lignum crucis and 
Crux fdelis). We read : — 

Deinde sacerdos officium celebraturus casula indutus accedat ad locum ubi corpus 
Christi histerna die reservatum fuit. 

The host being brought to the altar, the Directory continues : — 

Sed sacerdos exuat casuhim qua indutus erat accepto corpore Christi in mundis- 
sima theta reconditum sive imaginum crucis procedentibus candelis et processione cum 
pulsu in tabula lignea cantancio submissa voce : Ecce qttomodo moritur Justus, usque 
ad locum sepulchri. Et in eodem loco corpus Christi sive imago sanctae crucis quasi 
sepeliendo devote ponatur et thurificetur cum incenso et aspergatur aqua benedicta. 
Et ponantur candelae et luraina apud sepulcrum quae die noctuque usque ad elevationem 
cnicis in nocte pascali ardebunt. Et in recessu de sepulcro cantetur sub silencio re- 
sponsorium ; Sepulto Domino, quibus omnibus finitis, exuat se et recedat. d In aliquibus 
ecclesiis legetur psalterium die et nocte apud sepulcrum usque ad elevationem crucis 
in nocte pasce. 

The Directorium thus contains evidence of the existence of the Elevatio Crucis 
ritual, although it gives no directions for this, nor for a Visitatio. Durandus 
{Rationale divinorum Officiorum, Liber vi. cap. 77. §§ 19 et seq.) gives some account 
of the Adoration, but none of the Sepulture. Additional information and various 
rituals will be found in Martene, De antiquis Ecclesiae Ritihus, Liber iv. cap. 23. 
§ 14 Adoratio Crucis, and § 27 De Officio Sepulturae, with the texts at the end of 
the chapter. From English sources a good deal may be extracted. In the earliest 
portion of the Leofric Missal (Warren, A. ) there is no ritual for the ceremony, but 
the Good Friday service ends : Adorata cruce communicent omnes, which shows 
its existence. In the eleventh-century Canterbury Missal (Corpus College, Cam- 
bridge) there is a rubric Adorata san^ta cruce et reposita in loco solito (Warren, 
p. 96 footnote), which shows that the adoration, but not the deposit of the cross in 



officiating priest, " with a few assistants and two 
candles," raised the host and rood from the sepulchre, 
where it had been deposited on Good Friday, and 
carried it to the altar, amid resounding psalms and cries 
of Kyrieleyson ! After the host and rood had been 
thurified with incense, the appointed prayers read, and 
the responses recited, a procession was formed, and the 
objects of adoration were carried to the main door of 
the church. The officiating priest struck this door with 
his foot and sang : Lift up your heads, ye gates, 
and he ye lifted up ye everlasting doors ! The choir 
continued : And the King of Glory shall come in ! 
Then the bishop or other high church official struck the 
door with a rod/ At this a subdeacon, dressed as the 

the sepulchre, was then usual at Canterbury. In the later portion of the Leofric 
Missal (Warren, C) we have a dramatic incident in the Good Friday ritual at the 
words : Partiti sunt vestimenta, when two cloths were to be torn asunder and 
carried off by two deacons m modum furientis (p. 261). At vespers there was an 
Adorcutio Crucis. The cross was placed at some distance in front of the altar, 
and was adored by bishop, clergy, and people in turn (p. 262). The response 
Ecce lignum crucis and the hymn Cruxfidelis occur as in the German forms, but, 
while in the Augsburg ritual it is directed that the cross-bearers shall walk with 
hare feet, in the Exeter it is ordered that the cross shall not be adored nudis 
pedibus. In the York Missal (Surtees Society, vol. i. pp. 105-108) we have a 
fuller ritual for tlie Adoratio Crucis accompanied by the sepulture : Tandem 
adoraia cruce hajulent earn duo Vicarii usque ad locwin sepulchri , . . Postea 
Praelatus ponat flexis genihus crucem in sepulchro . . ., etc. The same ritual 
in a somewhat amplified form will be found in the Manuale et Processionale ad 
vsum Ecclesiae Ehoracensis (Surtees Society, 1875, pp. 156-161). Another version 
of the same ceremony is contained in the Sarum Missal (Burntisland) col. 329 et 
seq. On the whole, the English ritual is not nearly so developed as the German. 
It may be more primitive, or the need for dramatic ritual may have been less. 
An account of a very complete Adoratio Crucis, sepulture and resurrection, which 
was formerly the custom at Durham will, however, be found in Davies, Rites of 
the Cathedral of Durham, 1672, p. 52. In this case the rood appears to have been 
kept not in the rood-loft, but inside the body of an image of the Virgin, which 
opened from the breasts downwards. 

^ There is a somewhat similar incident in the processional for Palm Sunday 
given in the Rituale Romanum Pauli V Pont. Max. jussu editum Romae, 1750. 
It runs thus : "In reversione Processionis duo vel quattuor Cantores intrant in 
Ecclesiara et clause ostio stantes versa facie ad Processionem incipiunt Versum 


Devil and standing outside the door, cried in a graft' 
voice : Who is the King of Glory ? The choir re- 
sponded : The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord 
mighty in battle. The blow on the door and the above 
responses were thrice repeated. The door was then 
opened, the populace admitted, and the choir and 
ecclesiastics form the head of a procession, which 
marched to the altar with the appropriate 139th Psalm 
and the Kyrieleyson} The host was then elevated, and 
the priest sang the hymn : '^ — 

vere digna hostia 

per qiiam fracta sunt Tartara. 

Afterwards the Easter matins were conducted in the 
customary form.^ 

We have in this ceremony a most important factor 
in the development of the passion-plays. The ritual 
itself is based upon the account given in the Gospel 

Gloria laus . . . Postea Subdiaconus hastili crucis percutit portum qua statim 
aperta Processio intrat Ecclesiam cantando Responsorium : Ingrediente Domino,^' 
A still fuller form of this ceremony even, with the Attolite portas and Quis est iste 
Rex gloriae of the office of the Mevatio Crucis, has been printed by Martene, De 
antiqiiis Ecclesiae RUihus, Liber iv. cap. 20. § 14, and Ordo 4 & 8. 

^ In one version, a rubric states that the Guild of Butchers are to carry the 
cross back to the altar, — the thin end of the popular wedge. 

2 Mone, Lateinische Hymneii, No. 161. 

^ Concerning the Mevatio Crucis oar information is more scanty than in the 
case of the Adoratio Crucis. Beyond the rituals given by Milchsack I can refer 
to none with the devil incident. The Breviarius Havelhergensis, 1511, gives a 
simple elevation in sancta nocte pasce (c. iiii^). The York Manual and Pro- 
cessional (p. 170) runs : — 

In aurora pulsatis campanis ad classicum congregato clero et populo, flexis genibus 
dicitur Oratio Domhiicalis et postea Sacerdos thurificet sepulchrum et proferatur 
sacramentum cum imagine cum corona spinea. 

In a footnote the editor quotes two other rituals. In the first of these (St. John 
Lawson's MS. Manuale, a.d. 1405) the pyxidem cum Corpore et crucem were raised 
from the sepulchre ; in the second (the Sarum Processional), after the Corpus 
Christi and cross had been raised from the sepulchre, a procession went round the 


of Nicodemus (chapters xv. -xx.) of the descent into 
hell, where use is made of the 24th Psalm. Supple- 
mented by further extracts from that gospel, it forms 
the entire backbone of the popular hell -scenes of the 

We can scarcely doubt the Elevatio is as old as the 
Visitatio, which immediately follows ; and we may safely 
assume that we have here the first origin of the Devil 
as a character in the religious drama — a character 
which in after ages became all -prominent, and acted 
as a centre for the introduction of popular and comic 
incidents into the original tragedy of the Passion. In 
the form of the ritual given above, the populace are 
excluded from the church while the ceremony of the 
resurrection takes place. They stand outside with the 
Devil, and are only admitted when the procession, 
returning to the altar, signifies the ascent from hell. 
The opportunity thus given to the ' subdeacon dressed as 
the devil' for a little pantomime, while the ceremony 
went on inside, is obvious. The exclusion, however, was 
not universal. Sometimes the ritual was prefixed to the 
matins, and formed an integral part of the service ; at 

church. It seems doubtful in this case whether the public were admitted. We read : 
' ' Ante missam et ante campanarum pulsationem conveniant clerici ad Ecclesiam. " 
Compare also Martene, loc. cit. Liber iv. cap. 25. §§ 5, 7. In an Ordo Bajocensis 
Bcdesiae printed by Martene the populace is expressly mentioned as being 
present. In his § 9 we read : "In pervetusto etiam libro rituali Parthenonis 
Pictaviensis S. Crucis haec reperio : In prima vigilia noctis Paschae duo Presby- 
teri revestiti cum cappis pergunt ad sepulchrum . . . Inde elevatur et defertur 
Corpus Dominicum ad majus altare, praecedentibus cereis et thuribulis et pulsanti- 
bus signis." I think it in nowise possible to accept Milchsack's view that the 
populace were always excluded from the Elevatio. It may have been done in 
certain localities to repress heathen practices or beliefs, which, as I have remarked, 
were only too readily associated with the ceremony, but it was certainly not 

^ F, p. 284 ; I, p. 141 ; C, p. 224 ; D, p. 88 : B, vol ii. p. 341, etc. 


others, being performed at night, it collected, we hear, 
a great crowd of men and women, a superstition having 
arisen that those who witnessed the Elevatio would 
not die within the year. On this account a Synod at 
Worms in 1316 ordered that the public should be 
excluded from the office.^ 

(iv.) The Visitatio Sepulchri. — The last portion of 
the scenic Easter ritual was the visitation of the sepulchre 
by the three Maries. Of this ritual, from its most 
primitive form in the eleventh-century manuscripts to 
its growth into an almost independent religious play, 
Milchsack has collected upwards of thirty examples 
(see G). In the earliest versions two or three priests 
clad as women, with cloaks over their surplices and 
censers in their hands,^ went between the last response 
and the Te Deum to the sepulchre, from which, before 
matins, the elevation had taken place. They chanted : 
Wlio will roll away the stone from the door of the 
sepulchre? Two persons clothed to represent angels 
answered from the sepulchre : WJiom seek ye in this 
sepulchre^ O worshippers of Christ? The Maries 
replied : Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified, O Sons of 
heaven.^ To which came the response : He is not 
here, he has arisen as he prophesied. The Maries then 
swung their censers over the sepulchre, and the angels 

1 G, p. 119 footnote. 

^ I have already referred to the miniature reproduced by Mone (B, vol. i. 
p. 8) of three priests representing the three Maries. A fragment of a Visitatio 
scene, representing a priest or monk dressed as an angel, with thurible in hand, is 
built into the wall of the south side of Highara Ferrers Church. 

^ Quern quaeritis in sepulchro, o christicolae ? 
Jesuni Nazarenum crucifixum, o coelicolae ! 

The whole is taken from Mark xvi. 3-7. 


continued : Go announce that he has arisen from^ the 
dead. With this the priests returned to the choir, and 
the Te Deum of the morning service followed/ Such a 
primitive form is, however, exceptional. In most cases 
the ritual, or play — for there is little to distinguish them 
— begins with a hymn or series of responses as an intro- 
duction, various portions of which are still retained in 
the fully developed passion-plays. In a twelfth-century 
version from Einsiedeln we find a double choir, one half 
of which represents the prophets, and chants the fine 
Christmas hymn : ^ — 

Gloriosi et famosi 
regis festum celebrantes 

cuius ortum, vitae portum, 
nobis datum praedicantes 

hahearaus, etc. 

Then there is an expanded dialogue, and the action is 

^ I may add a few references to rituals not given by Milchsack. The 
Breviarius Havelhergensis of 1511 (c. iiii'^) orders that in churches where the 
holy and praiseworthy custom of the visitation of the sepulchre is maintained, it 
shall be performed without ludihrio seu qua vanitate, and according to the local 
use. It should conclude with Christ ist upgestanden from the folk, and the Te 
Deum. The Breviarium Frisingense of 1516 (fol. 197^) has the rubric fit 
inter ea processio ad sepulchrum ; et ihi representatur planctus mulierum 
sepulchrum visitantium ; angelorum quoque apparitio Christi resurredionem 
nimciantium. The words of the dialogue given are of the primitive type 
above referred to, but they conclude with : Populus : Christ ist erstanden. 
Chorus : Te Deum. The introduction of the vernacular into these rituals is of 
interest. Much valuable information as to the Visitatio will be found in 
Martene, loc. cit. Liber iv. cap. 25. In § 17 we have a primitive form from 
Tours ; in § 11 a peculiarly interesting and full form from Narbonne (cf. 
Milchsack, G, p. 58). In § 8 there is a primitive form from Laon ending 
with the Victimae Paschali. In columns 500-507 (Antwerp edition, T. iii. ) will 
be found various other rituals from Strasburg, Vienne, etc. At Vienne there 
appear to have been two distinct forms, one based on the sequence Victimae 
Paschali and the other on the gospel narrative. As a rule, but not quite 
invariably, the ceremony is stated to have concluded with the Te Deum. 

2 B, vol. i. p. 10 ; G, p. 36. 


not ended when the two or three Maries ^ return to the 
choir. There they announced the resurrection to two 
of ' the older and more worthy canons,' who represent 
Peter and John. These two elders, while the choir 
chant John xx. 4, run to the grave, sed junior citius 
senior e, and receiving from the angels the burial linen, 
exhibit it to the congregation. They return to the 
choir chanting. Behold^ O comrades, the linen and 
the napkin, the body is not to he found in the 

Still further development was attained by increasing 
the lamentations of the three Maries, by a dialogue 
between Peter and John ; and then by the introduction 
of an entirely new scene between Mary Magdalen 
and Christ as the gardener.^ With this it might be 
thought that the gospel narrative, so far as it could be 
used in a scenic ritual, had been exhausted. But this 
is by no means the case. Pilate can be introduced 
sending soldiers to the sepulchre, and then bribing them 
to conceal the fact of the resurrection. Jesus, having 
once been introduced as the gardener, and no longer 
merely represented by the rood or host, can have his 
part widely extended ; we can have his appearance to 
the Twelve, and the scene with the unbelieving Thomas. 
Nay, the playwright, for so we must now call him, 
remembering the verse which states that the three 
Maries had bought sweet spices (Mark xiv. 1), soon 
inserted a colloquy between the women and the 
dealer in spices. All these elements have already 

^ Mary Magdalen, Mary Salome, and Mary the mother of James {Maria 
Jacohi). 2 See g, p. 51. 3 q^ pp, qq^ 71^ 75^ 


been added to the primitive ritual in the twelfth- 
century mystery from Tours. ^ 

In this play we see at once what an advance has 
been made on the primitive ritual, which still, for several 
centuries, remained current in various localities in its 
original form. The Tours Mystery was still intended to 
be given in the church (Maria Magdalene in sinistra 
parte ecclesiae stans), and probably during the Easter 
morning service,^ yet the author has raised scenic ritual 
to religious drama. Here, albeit in the language of 
the Church, we have many touches which have won 
a permanent place for themselves in the great folk 
passion-plays. Here we find the first actually authenti- 
cated case ^ of a comic incident in the treatment of the 
mercator — the later ' medicine-man ' — who boasts the 
wondrous properties of his drugs. " Come," he cries, 
" buy this ointment, and you will do well " : — 

Quod si corpus possetis ungere, 
non amplius posset putrescere, 
neque vermes possent commedere. 

Another salve possessed such wondrous potency that it 
cannot be sold for a small price : — 

Hoc unguentum, si multum cupitis, 
unum auri talentum dabitis, 
ne aliter unquam portabitis. 

This mercator is the prototype of Magister 
Ypocras, whose salves possess the power of bringing 

^ Drames liturgiques, E. de Coiissemaker ; and G, p. 97. 

- It concludes, like the scenic rituals, with the Te Deum. Owing to the loss of 
the first page of the manuscript, we do not know how it commenced. 

^ The Devil in the Elevatio ritual, and the race of Peter and John to the 
sepulchre in the Visitatio ritual, would probably be regarded by the folk as 
humorous, but we cannot assert that they were at first actually intended to be so. 


the dead to life again, and who drives the hardest 
possible bargain with the three Maries (0, pp. 236 etseq.) 
It is very significant that in the German sixteenth- 
century play, with its highly developed medicine-man, 
the same Latin words are sung by the actors before 
they speak in the vernacular as occur in the twelfth- 
century French mystery/ 

Thus we see that in France as early as the twelfth 
century the scenic ritual had developed into a fairly 
complex Church drama ; nor is Germany — to judge 
from manuscript evidence — much, if anything, behind 
hand, for we have from the thirteenth century a play of 
the nativity with nearly thirty characters and further a 
passion-play wherein we find transferred to a salve-dealer, 
from whom Mary Magdalen buys ointment to anoint 
Christ, the very words used by the mercator to the 
Maries in the Tours Mystery.^ Clearly between 1150 
and 1250 there was some cosmopolitan element at work 
forcing the pace at which the scenic ritual developed, and 
introducing folk-elements of a scarcely religious char- 
acter. This leads us to the cloister scholars as the third 
factor in the evolution of the passion-play. 

The two German plays to which we have just 
referred occur in the middle of a manuscript of the 
thirteenth century which formerly belonged to the abbey 
of Benedictbeuern, and can hardly fail to have been the 
production of the cloister scholars. The remainder of 
this manuscript is occupied with Latin poems of a very 
typical character. Exactly the same or very similar 

^ The earliest (c. 1300) German passion-play gives a quite original sketch of 
the pedlar or palteiiaere taking out a license from Pilate : see W, i. 
'■^ See J, pp. 80, 85. 


poems are to be found in several English and French 
manuscripts of a like date.^ These poems were the 
common property of the wandering clerks or strolling 
scholars — men who, in pre-university days, wandered 
over the face of Europe from teacher to teacher, and 
from cloister-school to cloister-school, seeking theology 
in Paris, classical literature in Orleans, law in Bologna, 
and perhaps magic in Toledo. They were young, poor, 
merry, and often vagabond. They would create a riot 
in Paris about the high price of wine, or a disturbance 
in Orleans on account of the charms of a fair but frail 
damsel. They were mostly in lower clerical orders or 
were about to enter them, for their education could only 
be of service to them in the Church. Adepts in the 
Latin tongue, they did not hesitate to turn it to both 
religious and secular purposes ; religious drama, pro- 
cessional hymn, love-song, and satire were all one to 
them, and what the Church lost by their license, she did 
not fail to regain by their Latinity. Some of the finest 
Church hymns and some of the tenderest mediseval songs 
to the Virgin were most probably the creation of these 
strolling scholars. Such men, with their command of 
language, their love of amusement, their folk-origin, 
their semi - clerical and cosmopolitan character, were 
eminently fitted for developing the scenic ritual into a 
religious folk-drama. It was they who introduced the 

^ Besides the Carmina Burana (see J), the reader may consult The Latin 
Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes, ed. Wright, 1841 ; Die X Gedichte 
des Walther von Lille, Hannover, 1859 ; Gedichte auf Friederich L. den Stavfer, 
J. Grimm {Kleinere Schriften, Bd. iii. p. 1) ; Poisies populaires latinos, ed. Edel- 
stand du M6ril, Paris, 1843 and 1847 ; Early Mysteries and other Latin Poems, 
ed. Wright, 1844. The best account of the strolling scholars is to be found in 
Giesebrecht, Vaganten oder Goliarden, AUgemeine Monatsschrift, Halle, 1853 ; see 
also Hubatsch, Die lateinischen Vagantenlieder des Mittelalters, Gorlitz, 1870. 


folk-spirit and the vernacular ; they helped largely in 
that complete transformation of Eastern Christianity 
which turned its fast-day into a festival, its holy day 
into a holiday, and satisfied the wants of the populace 
for a festive and dramatic religion comparable with the 
old heathen faith. The strolling scholars naturally took 
part in the dramatic performances of the cloister- 
schools ; such performances were not infrequent and 
their texts fairly developed even in the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries. Then, as the scenic Church ritual 
grew in extent, and its requirements exceeded the strength 
of the resident clergy, — as might easily be the case in 
non-monastic or in parish churches, — a strolling clerk was 
called in to assist. It appears probable that the whole 
of the Easter scenic ritual was occasionally entrusted 
to a company of strolling scholars ; and then they 
readily expanded the somewhat elastic ritual, or even 
re-wrote the bulk of the dialogue.^ Nor can there be 

^ Besides the strolling-scholar plays printed by Schmeller in the Carmina 
BuraTia, there are three plays due to Hilarius dating from the first half of the 
twelfth century and of a like character (see ChampoUion-Figeac, Hilarius, 
Versus ct Lvdi, Paris, 1838). That Hilarius was a genuine Golliard his satirical 
verses De papa scolastico (p. 41) demonstrate. In the first two of his plays, the 
Suscitatio Lazari (p. 24) and the Ludus super iconia Sancti Nicolai (p. 34), we 
have a mixture of Latin and French, precisely as in the corresponding German 
plays we have a mixture of Latin and German. For example, a verse of Mary's 
lamentation in the first play runs : — 

Ex culpa veteri 

Damnantur posteri 

Mortalis fieri. 

Hor ai dolor 

Hor est mis frere morz 

Por que gei plor. 

The same play ends with a significant rubric, showing that it was intended to be 
acted at matins or vespers in church : Quo finite, si factum fuerit ad matutinas 
Lazarus incipiat Te Deum Lavdamus, si vero advesperas Magnificat anima mea 

Another play due to the strolling scholars is the remarkable De adventu 
Antichristi (see N), due to the twelfth century. At the end of the next century we 



mucli doubt as to the direction in which they strove 
to develop the religious drama. To win the popular 
approval meant at least a good meal when the play 
was over/ There is both direct and indirect evidence 
connecting several early plays with the GoUiards. Thus 
in the thirteenth-century Benedictbeuern play we find 
Mary Magdalen, before her conversion, singing a well- 
known strolling-scholar drinking-song : — 

Mundi delectatio 
dulcis est et grata 
cuius conversatio 
suavis et ornata,^ 

and buying — this time in the vernacular — rouge of the 
mercator in order to entice her lovers : — 

Chramer, gip die varwe mir 

diu min wengel roete, 

da mit icli die jungen man 

an ir danch der minnenliebe noete. 

Seht mich an, 

jungen man ! 

Lat mich eu gefallen ! ^ 

must certainly credit them with the Ludus de decern Virginibus (see 0), we read : 
' ' Ludus est factus apud Isinach in orto ferarum (Thiergarten) a clericis et a 
scholaribus de decem Virginibus, cui ludo marchio intererat " (Chronicle of 1335, 
cited O, pp. 3, 4). For evidence of the handiwork of the scholars in the 
Bohemian plays, see U, pp. 47, 84. 

^ More than one of the later German passion-plays conclude with the 
request that the scholars may receive a good meal (see I, p. 30 ; A, p. 144 ; B, i. 
p. 264 footnote ; and F, p. 326). Something of the same kind seems to be the drift 
of Gratemauvaiz's speech at the end of La NativiU de JMsu-Christ (Jubinal, loc. 
cit. vol. ii. p. 77). The meal to the actors was often kept up even in the case 
of the great passion-plays. In Frankfurt three days after the play the Town 
Council gave the performers a breakfast. In the expenses of the Coventry 
Mysteries for 1490 we find entries for ale, gallons of beer, wine, ribs of beef, 
and geese figm-e largely. See also Appendix II. 

^ J, p. 96. The very same song occurs 200 years later in a Ludus Mariae 
Magdalene in gaudio (I, p. 105). 

^ " Pedlar, give me rouge to colour my cheeks that I may force the youths to 
thought of love. Look, youth, at me, and let me delight you." 


Pedlar and youth reply to the Magdalen in 
German, and we thus have evidence of the strolling 
scholars directly introducing the native tongue. In 
the same play Mary, after her conversion by an angel, 
strips off her gay clothing, upon which her lover 
and the devil fly from her. She then goes to buy the 
ointment. Most of the incidents of the Passion are 
given shortly and in Latin, but it is noteworthy that 
the lamentations of the Magdalen over her sin, those 
of the Virgin at the death of her Son, and the final 
songs of Joseph of Arimathaea and of Pilate are in 
the vernacular. 

This example must suffice to indicate how the 
tendency of these vagabond scholars was to secularise 
the religious play. At the same time their cosmopolitan 
rovings fully account for the close resemblances in 
both incidents and words between French and German 
plays of the most distant districts. The incident of the 
mercator occurring in plays scattered all over Europe 
from France to Bohemia^ is no more accidental than 
the recurrence in manuscripts from all quarters of 
the same strolling -scholar Latin songs and hymns. 
In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the strolling 
scholars are perpetually classed with wandering min- 
strels, actors, joculatores, jesters, and buffoons. There 
is still in existence the song of a strolling scholar, 
one John of Niirnberg, of the fourteenth century, 
who bemoans in his Vita Vagorum his own hard 
life. He tells us how he must go about as a medi- 
cine-man to cure the parson's maid of wrinkles, how 

^ For Bohemia see U, p. 72. 


he no longer frequents the courts of archbishops and 
prelates, but associates with the dregs of society — 
he has become a magician, a hawker of wonders, and 
a quack. ^ Such a song casts considerable light on the 
life of the vagabond scholar, who developed the part 
of the mercator, the pedlar of the passion-plays. He 
is a man of the people, and he moulds the religious 
play in the spirit of the people. He played a note- 
worthy part in the adaptation of Christianity to the 
needs of mediseval man. 

The capture of the religious drama by the people was 
not, of course, achieved entirely through the agency of 
the strolling scholars. There is a rubric to one of the 
scenic rituals which clearly illustrates another route by 
which the folk-spirit penetrated into the ecclesiastical 
citadel. It runs as follows : — 

It is allowable for those who peradventure cannot find persons 
of this type (i.e. the necessary clergy) to perform the Visitation 
of the Sepulchre after the above manner with other persons, if 
they be of becoming and discreet behaviour.^ 

This rubric left a considerable latitude to the 
local clergy — themselves sons of the people — and 
the following incident from Tyll Ulenspiegel^ will 
sufficiently exemplify what sort of persons in the 
fifteenth century, and probably long before, were 
considered in country places to be of * becoming and 
discreet behaviour.' 

^ Grimm, Altdeutsche Wdlder, ii. p. 49. 

"^ G, p. 129. The rubric was probably common long before the fifteenth 
century, when we first find it attached to a very primitive form of the ritual. 
^ XIII Historie, ed. Lappenberg, p. 16. 


Now as Easter approached the parson said to Ulenspiegel, his 
sacristan : "It is the custom here that the peasants every Easter 
give in the night an Easter -play of how our Lord arose from the 
grave." And so he (Tyll) must help, since it were fitting that 
the sacristan should arrange such matters. Then Ulenspiegel 
thought : How now shall the peasants get through this Mary- 
play ? And he said to the parson : " There is no peasant here 
who is learned enough ; you must lend me your maid, who can 
both write and read." Then said the parson : " So be it, take all 
who can help you, man or woman ; my maid, indeed, has acted 
often enough before." The housekeeper was right glad, and 
wished to be the angel in the grave, for she knew the requisite 
verses by heart. Then Ulenspiegel took unto himself two peasants 
that they might play with him the three Maries, and he taught 
one peasant the Latin verses. And finally, the parson was our 
Lord, who had to arise from the grave. Now when Ulenspiegel 
came before the sepulchre with his two peasants dressed as Maries, 
the housekeeper, as the angel, recited the Latin verse, Quern 
queritis ? ^ Whom seek ye here ? Then said the peasant who 
represented the first Mary, even as Ulenspiegel had taught him : 
" We seek an old, one-eyed, parson's concubine ! " ^ 

The resulting catastrophe may be easily imagined. 
The angel sprang from the grave and rushed in a fury 
at the Maries. In the scuffle which followed, her wings 
were knocked off; then the parson dropped his resur- 
rection-banner and came to her assistance. A scene 

^ See our account of the Visitation ritual, p. 299. 

^ This defect in vision appears to have been common to the class. Thus a 
Cellarius complains in the Consultatio Sacerdotura : — 

me regit una bestia, sinerem salire, 
sed meretrix monocula renuit abire. 

Poems of Walter Mapes, p. 175. 

The widespread existence of these women deserves a careful consideration, 
when the moral aspect of Catholic asceticism is considered. ]\Iuch information 
will be found in the Church visitations of the sixteenth century, but more, 
perhaps, in mediaeval literature. Considerable insight may be gained from a 
perusal of the Heidelberg quocUibet disputation, De fide concuhinaruin in 
Sacerdotes, edited by Crato of Udenheim about 1500 and often reprinted. 


of wild confusion arose round the sepulchre, which 
Ulenspiegel noting 

removed himself opportunely, and ran out of the church and from 
the village, and came not again that way. God show them where 
to find another sacristan ! 

The above narrative — putting on one side its farcical 
termination — is instructive. It shows us the general 
arrangements and the character of the persons employed 
in rural districts. We note that the time is the night 
following Easter Eve, and thus the play was not invari- 
ably given at Easter Matins, as supposed by Milchsack. 
The angel is winged,^ and the deity no longer represented 
by a symbol, e.g. the cross. The parson, who carries a 
banner — the resurrection -banner with a cross on it — 
now acts the part of Christ. The gradual growth from 
cross to banner and then to banner-bearer appears clear, 
and this fossil, the cross-banner, remains not only in the 
greater passion-plays, but in woodcuts and pictures.^ 

From the thirteenth to the fourteenth centuries we 
find that the plays, although still acted in the churches,^ 

* The angels in the Narbonne ritual (Martene, loc. cit. Liber iv. cap. 25. 
§ 9) are "induti albis et amictibus cum stolis violatis et sindone rubea in facies 
eorum et alis in humeris." 

2 See for example both the larger and smaller woodcut passions of Albrecht 
Diirer. This banner occurs not only in the resurrection, but also in the descent 
into hell. It appears very early ; thus we find it in the descent into hell 
in the Aniiphonary of St. Peter's at Salzburg (1092 - 1120). In the Codex 
Ottoburaneiisis [circa 1200) Christ is seen prodding the devil-dragon with the 
end of the banner stock. Three centuries later, in the famous Cranach altar- 
piece at Weimar, we find Christ trampling on Death and Devil, and thrusting 
them down with the resurrection-banner. 

2 In 1303 Robert de Brunne translated an Anglo-French poem written about 
1250, the Manuel de Peche. We find therein the lines : — 

He may yn the cherche, thrugh thys resun, 
Pley the resurreccyun, 

which shows that the plays were then usually performed in church. 


were more and more popularised owing to the changes 
we have indicated in the nature of the dialogue and 
the character of the participating personnel. The folk- 
passion for theatrical representation had reasserted itself 
in religion, even in the most sacred sphere of Church 
ritual. The very instrument designed by the Church to 
destroy the delight of the people in heathen spectacular 
festivals was taken by the people into their own hands, 
and used to supply a want which, although it arises 
from the same emotions as produce popular religions, is 
none the less scarcely ecclesiastical. The most striking 
sign of this folk-influence was the growing use of the 
vernacular. The Latin verses, sung or chanted, were 
immediately followed by German translations (or often 
amplifications) for the benefit of the unlettered. The 
end of the thirteenth century and the fourteenth century 
present us with extraordinary medleys ; portions of the 
old scenic ritual, the noblest hymns of the Church, and 
dramatised words of Scripture, were curiously inter- 
mingled with the homeliest of folk-phrases and folk- 

At such a period of transition a new factor of growth 
seems to have come directly or indirectly into action. 

^ See L, vol. ii. pp, 272 et seq. Also the St. Gallen passion-play (B, vol. ii. 
p. 72), wherein the actors first sing in Latin and then speak in German ; the 
Maria Himmelfahrt and the Auferstehung Christi (A, particularly pp. 139 et seq.) ; 
and even later in the Erlauerspiele (iii. and iv. of I). The Play of the Foolish 
Virgins (see 0), composed about 1300, is peculiarly such a medley. The stage- 
directions are all in Latin ; Latin responses, antiphones, and hymns, and slightly 
altered Vulgate verses are frequent, but the body of the play is in a crude and 
lame Thiiringian dialect. The customary Latin hymns and verses of the Easter 
ritual, followed by German adaptations and expansions, occur in the Easter-play 
printed by Schonemann (M, p. 149), etc. Precisely the same mixture of Latin 
and vernacular occurs in the Bohemian plays from about 1400 (see U, pp. 26 


The great mediaeval religious epics written in the verna- 
cular could hardly fail to influence the translators and 
adapters of the Latin Church plays. Long before the 
fourteenth century Latin had ceased to be the chief 
language for religious lyric and epic. From the eleventh 
century onwards there is a continuous and increasing 
production of religious poems in the German tongue ; 
on the one side we have the lyric hymns to the Virgin, 
on the other the epic legends of the saints and the lives 
of Christ and of his Mother. In the thirteenth century 
the passion for religious epics reached its climax. The 
same spirit as we have noted in the chronicles and the 
early history-books, the conception of the world-drama 
centring round the person of Christ, manifests itself in 
an endeavour to represent the story of Christ as a 
great world-epic. Thus one noteworthy poem, laying 
in its title. The Redemption,^ emphasis on the moral 
solution of the world -problem,^ takes us from the 
Creation to the Day of Judgment, and gives an 
especially dramatic colouring and language to the 
events of the Passion. 

Another — the PassionaP — in more than 100,000 
lines describes the birth of the Virgin and that of 
Christ, then follow the gospel narrative, the lives of 
the disciples and the apostles, and, finally, of all the 
saints from Nicholas to Catherine. These two poems 
alone are an immense storehouse of mediaeval thought 

^ Die Erlosung, edited by K. Bartscli, 1858. 

^ The reader may turn to what has been said as to this point on pp. 256-259. 

' Das alte Passional, Parts i. and ii., Hahn, 1845, and Das Passional, Part 
iii., Kopke, 1852. These books are of first-class importance for the student of 
mediaeval art. 


and feeling, and their study would serve equally well 
with that of the passion-plays as an introduction to the 
mediaeval spirit. Here we can only refer to them as 
influences working potently on the adapters of the 
thirteenth-century Church plays. The influence of The 
Redemption, in particular, is so great that Milchsack 
has not hesitated to attribute all the German passion- 
plays to a common original, which was itself a drama- 
tised version of TJie Redemption} If the liturgical 
basis of so many scenes in the plays, and the existence 
at a very early date of incidents common to the French, 
English, and German plays, seems to exclude this rather 
extreme theory, we may still admit that the religious 
epics exercised very great influence on the development 
of the Church dramas in a folk-direction. 

While the passion-plays in the course of the fifteenth 
century grew from elements of the Church service into 
great folk-dramas lasting two or three days, they never 
entirely freed themselves from their original liturgical 
character. In most of them Latin Church hymns re- 
mained, and to the very last we find almost without 
exception the stage-directions given in Latin. ^ But the 
Church ritual had another and more indirect influence 
over the folk-drama ; it gave the passion-plays their 
operatic character. It is not only the choruses of chil- 
dren at the triumphal entry ^ who sing, but so does the 
High Priest,* the Magdalen, and the Virgin. Even 
Christ himself at the Last Supper and upon the Cross 

^ See G, p. 21, and E, p. 295. Compare the sounder views of Kummer in I, 
Einleitung, p. lii. 

^ Some relies of this usage have possibly survived even in the drama of to-day. 
3 Kg. F, pp. 120-125. ^ F, pp. 149, 150. 


sings his part.^ A play wliich, at the moment of its 
climax, — the death on the cross — directs that the chief 
part is to be sung and gives the music can only be 
classed as an opera. Hitherto the musical side of the 
passion-play does not seem to have been sufficiently 
emphasised ; it may fairly be called the parent of the 
modern oratorio. Thus we see the song of the old 
heathen folk-festival appearing in a new form in the 
religious drama ; as we shall see later, it was not long 
before an excuse was found for the introduction of the 

With the rapid growth of the passion-play, when 
once the folk-element had become predominant, we can- 
not now deal at length ; indeed, the material necessary 
for a complete review of its later growth is only just 
being published.^ It must suffice to say that, literally 
and figuratively, the folk carried the religious drama 
from the Church onto the market-place.^ There, at the 
end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth 
centuries, it attained to its fullest bloom. A sketch of 
such a fully developed play I shall later place before 
the reader, meanwhile it is needful to say something of 
the mediseval stage and its accessories. 

^ F, pp. 120-125. See also p. 348, and the stage-directions of almost all the 
passion-plays already cited. 

2 Rg. in 1882. 

^ Probably the first step to the market-place was the churchyard, or, as in 
Freiburg, the cathedral close. Of course the drama did not at once, or indeed 
ever entirely, desert the church. Plays appear in England to have been given 
in connection with the churches even after the Reformation : see Appendix II. 
At the beginning of this century Magi-plays were still performed after mass in 
some of the churches of Upper Bavaria (see R, p. 34). At Zuckmantel, even in 
this century, the first part of the passion-play was acted in the church, the^cruci- 
fixion on a neighbouring hill (see Y, p. 11). 


V. — On the Stage, Stage Furniture, Costumes, and 
Symbols of the Passion-Play 

The Stage. — Nothing appears more suggestive of the 
ecclesiastical origin of the passion-play than the arrange- 
ment of the stage. The two forms of stage with which 
we are acquainted may be described not unfitly as the 
flat stage and the elevated stage ; the former was more 
common in Germany, the latter in France, but there 
were no rigid geographical or national limitations. In 
both cases the stage consisted, as a rule, of three divi- 
sions, but the origin as well as purport of these divisions 
in the two stages were quite different. There has been 
considerable discussion as to the reason for these two 
forms of stage having been adopted, but it appears to 
me that, if due weight be given to scenic church ritual 
as a primitive source of the religious drama, then con- 
siderable light will fall on the stage arrangements from 
a consideration of the internal divisions of a mediaeval 
cathedral or church. In such a building it will be found 
that the choir is usually raised several feet above the 
nave. Underneath the choir is frequently a crypt, the 
entrance to which is either in the middle or at the 
side of the steps leading up from the nave.^ Within 
the choir there is usually a gallery of some sort,^ the 

^ Compare Keller's Bauriss des Klosters St. Gallen vom Jahr 820. The cases 
of many cathedrals will occur to the reader. There is a church at Lastingham, 
in Yorkshire, with such a crypt, but the rood-loft has disappeared. The St. 
Gallen Church had a gallery behind the altar. 

'^ The rood-loft, or at least its staircase, can be found in many English parish 
churches. There is a gallery round the choir in Gloucester Cathedral ; one 
behind the altar in Compton Church, Surrey. The sepulchre at Bampton 
Church, Oxfordshire, is built in tivo stories, the upper was probably used for the 


triforium, the rood-loft, or even a gallery running along 
the top of the choir-stalls, and in some cases behind the 
altar. This gallery will be reached by a staircase or by 
steps from the choir. Now such an arrangement is 
eminently suited for the Easter scenic ritual. The door 
of the crypt serves for the gate of hell, the main body 
of the choir containing the sepulchre for earth, while the 
rood-lofb or gallery represents heaven. Where the folk 
were admitted to the Elevatio Crucis (see p. 295), the 
main door of the church could not represent hell-gate, 
but some other had to be selected, and the door into 
the crypt was a very suitable place for the subdeacons, 
who represented Satan and his followers, to stand. It 
is further to be noted that the rood, symbolising the 
deity, after being taken from its ' usual place ' on Good 
Friday and placed in the sepulchre, was restored after 
the Elevatio on Easter Day.^ Now the 'usual place' 
for the rood is either the rood-loft, if one exists, or above 
the altar, or above the entrance to the choir. The 
removal of the rood marks the earthly mission, the 
descent from heaven ; its replacement the fulfilment of 
the mission, and the return to heaven. Gallery, choir, 
and crypt thus obtain a new significance, they are the 
heaven, earth, and hell of the scenic ritual ; and their 
relative elevations are in accordance with folk-belief. 

'heaven.* On the left of the sepulchre there Is a door which may well have 
stood for hell-gate. This arrangement should be compared with an engraving 
by the Swabian master (E. S.), dating from 1466, in honour of Our Lady of 
Einsiedeln ; below there is a sepulchre, above the Virgin and the Trinity in a 
gallery. Compton Church, with its altar-gallery, has also a sepulchre which is 
reproduced in the Glossary of Architecture, vol. i. p. 422. 

^ Deinde crucifixum reponitur ad locum suum solitiLyn, Augsburg Ritual, G, 
pp. 129, 132. 

Fig. 3. — Heaven as a Gallery. By the Master E. S. To face :p. 316. 


This was the basis of the elevated passion-play stage. 
We have three floors, one above the other, connected 
by stairs. The top floor represented heaven with the 
Trinity, the angels, and sometimes the Virtues ; the 
bottom floor, hell, with Lucifer, Satan, Death, the 
smaller devils, the damned, and the patriarchs ; ^ the 
middle floor, earth, and there the main portion of the 
play took place. By means of the upper flight of 
stairs God and the angels visited earth, and the souls 
of the blessed were carried heavenwards. In like 
manner the lower flight gave Satan and his coadjutors 
access to earth, and enabled them to carry ofl" the 
damned ; at the same time, it afibrded facilities for the 
rescue of the patriarchs. Such a form of stage evidently 
had popularity in Germany as well as France. Thus 
Kriiger's passion-play of the sixteenth century pre- 
supposes such an arrangement.^ In the Ludus de 
decern Virginihus it would seem, from the stage-direc- 
tions, that there was a gallery at the back for God and 
the angels, while the actors were further able to descend 
from the main body of the stage onto a level with the 
spectators. The general idea of the elevated stage did 
not escape the medisevdl artist, and the Trinity in an 
upper gallery is a favourite topic. ^ Occasionally the 
three-storied stage was still further developed, and we 

^ The 'heir seems to have been pretty fully developed even before the 
drama left the precincts of the church. Thus we read of a permanent hell made 
of iron and wood in a fifteenth-century church (see Glossary of Architecture, vol. i. 
p. 422). For the Chelmsford hell, see Appendix II. 

2 H, vol. ii. p. 21. 

^ As suggestive for the passion-plays, see inter alia the 1466 engraving Our 
Lady of Einsiedeln, by E. S., the cut in Tengler's Leyenspiegel, fol. cxxii^, 



hear of a stage at Metz no less than nine stories 

The elevated stage erected upon the market-place, 
or in the cathedral close, must have been a conspicuous 
object towering above the surrounding booths. At the 
same time it offered, by its peculiar construction, every 
opportunity for the interchange of a rough folk-wit — a 
sturdy if sometimes coarse badinage — between the devils 
on the ground-floor and the hawkers, quacks, and cheap- 
jacks, who then, as now, thronged to popular festivities. 
To restrain this humour, the play itself had to be made 
more and more humorous, extended roles had to be 
given to the devils, and the comic element made a 
feature of the first importance.^ Indeed, if it were not 
that in the twelfth-century Tours Mystery we already 
find a medicine -man inside the church, we might 
readily suppose the original of this character to be the 
market quack, whose flow of wit could only be silenced 
by drawing him into hell,^ whence he ultimately mounted 
to earth, and took his part in selling salves to the three 
Maries or ointment to the Magdalen. 

For the origin of the second form of stage — the flat 
stage — we must seek, we believe, in the transverse 
division of the church. From the nave to the altar we 
find in many early German churches two, three, or 

^ See Otto Roquette, Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung, p. 157 ; and also 
Strutt, Manimrs and Customs, vol. iii. p. 130. 

2 The humorous devil was, however, not confined to the stage, compare the 
devil trying to hinder Christ from rescuing the patriarchs on the carved altar by- 
Hans Briiggerman in Schleswig Cathedral ; the date is about 1515. 

^ At Alsfeld, we hear, a space was cleared round the passion-play stage, and 
any one trespassing upon it was handed over to the safe keeping of the devils. It 
is still more noteworthy that in the Bohemian plays the devils found the damned 
souls to carry off to hell by raiding the audience itself : see U, pp. 85, 86. 


even more partitions carried right across the choir, not 
to mention a possible apse-chapel cut off by the altar- 
screen from the body of the church. These partitions 
were not merely nominal divisions, but frequently sub- 
stantial screens of lattice -work containing doors for 
ingress and egress. The preshyterium, with the altar, 
was divided from the main body of the choir, and the 
choir itself from the nave. In some cases a portion of 
the nave in front of the choir was inclosed, and in this 
inclosure pulpit and reading-desks were placed.^ It is 
clear that the scenic ritual would have to pay attention 
to these partitions ; the altar, the sepulchre, the ' usual 
place' for the rood, and the seats of the officiating 
clergy, would not necessarily fall into one division. 
The door of one screen may have represented that of 
heaven, while a second door may have been conveniently 
used as hell-gate. 

If we examine the flat form of the passion-play 
stage, we find its plan a long rectangle, trisected by two 
barriers with gates. These barriers appear to serve no 
useful purpose in the development of the scenic action, 
nor do the three divisions, as in the elevated stage, 
correspond to heaven, earth, and hell. We are com- 
pelled to regard them as fossils of the primitive stage, 
and from this standpoint the choir-screens naturally 
suggest themselves. The so-called ' houses ' or stations 
to which unoccupied actors retire are scattered about 
these divisions in a manner convenient for the suc- 
cessive incidents of the play, but having no relation to 
the barriers. Attached to the manuscript of the Donau- 

1 Bauriss des Klosters St. Gallen, pp. 16, 18. 



eschingen passion-play is the plan of such a stage. ^ 
Supposing this stage to correspond to the choir of a 
church, we should pass from the nave to the ante-choir 
by the ' first gate ' (1). Within this first division we find 


23 ^ 



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1 '^ \ 







/ '^ 



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ns \ 




■ ■ -\^ 



















\ ^ 

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Flat Passion-Play Stage after Mone. A, B, C, are the three divisions, 


to the left the hell (2) ; to the right, the Garden of Geth- 
semane (3) and the Mount of Olives (4), the latter 
probably placed here in order to be ' outside the gates.' 

^ B^ vol. ii. pp. 156, 184. Among the 'houses' mentioned on the last page 
cited we find the Magdalen's Garden, the Apothecary's Shop, the Well of 
Samaria, Lazarus's Grave, etc. 


Entering at the 'second gate' (5) into what would 
correspond to the choir proper, we notice immediately 
in front of us * the scourging pillar' (8), and behind it 
' the pillar with the cock ' (9).^ On our left hand appears 
Herod's 'house' (6) and the 'house of the last supper' (12); 
on our right the 'houses' of Pilate (7), Caiaphas (10), 
and Annas (11) are arranged in order. Passing through 
the ' third gate ' (13) into what would correspond to the 
presbyterium, we find the Calvary with the three crosses 
(18, 19, 20) and the four graves out of which the dead 
arise on Christ's death (14-17) ; to the right lies the 
sepulchre (21), and in the position corresponding to the 
high altar, the 'heaven (22).' Considered as arising from 
the internal divisions of a church choir, it will be seen that 
the flat passion-play stage is in part explicable. I have 
not come across another hypothesis which throws any 
light on the threefold division and the remarkable barriers. 
Mone supposes that as the play proceeded and 
its action passed from heaven across the world to hell, 
the spectators would walk along by the side of the 
stage and halt at the point where the action was about 
to take place. He thus accounts for the Silete, which 
precedes all new incidents. Although, in the absence of 
overtures or entr'acte music, the Silete on a crowded 
market-place hardly needs accounting for, it is still 
possible that the spectators moved about. We have, 
however, no very definite notion of the size of the 

^ This is the bird which warns Peter of his denial. The ' pillar with the 
cock ' has a heathen ring about it. The mediaeval peasant-dances round a cock 
on a post — the so-called Hahnentanzen — at the times of the fire-festivals may be 
cited (see Grimm, Mythologie, p. 558 ; Simrock, Mythologie, p. 284 ; Mannhardt, 
Der Baumkultics, p. 174 ; and for a pictorial representation, Albrecht Diirer's 
Eandzeichmcngen zum Gebetbuche). 



stage ; and, as it is probable that the so-called ' houses ' 
were only spaces marked by posts at the corners, there 
may, after all, have been no difficulty in a stationary 
spectator hearing and seeing all that was going on. 
The only definite measurement I have come across is 
that which may be based on the stage-directions of the 
Freiburg passion-play given in the manuscript of 1604. 
The stage in this case was not divided, but the actors 
made their exits and their entrances at what we may 
term the ' wings.' Eeaders who have visited Freiburg 
will remember the fine old fifteenth-century Kaufhaus 
which immediately faces the south door of the cathedral. 
The passion-play stage was built right across the cathe- 
dral yard from the south porch to the portico of the 
Kaufhaus. Thus we read in the stage-directions : ^ 
" While the Jews surround Christ, the disciples are to 
fly to the Kaufhaus " ; " The Council stand up and 
retire to the Kaufhaus, the Jews lead Christ into the 
Minster " ; and " Judas comes out of the Minster,^' etc. 
At this point the cathedral yard must be from 110 to 
120 feet broad, which will give some notion of the size 
of the stage in the sixteenth century. As in the case 
of the elevated stage, the spectators would take their 
places on both sides, which was thus very suitably 
termed a ' bridge.' ^ The flat stage, although chiefly 
adopted in Germany, was still well known in France.^ 

1 K, pp. 124, 134, 159, 161, etc. 

2 Briige, Britsche, Briicke. See K, pp. 69, 118 ; also Sclimeller, Bayerisches 
JVorterbuch, i. 347 ; and compare with B, vol. i. p. 22, etc. ; vol. ii. p. 24. See 
further D, pp. 50, 53 ("liber die prugk "). 

^ A complete account of such a stage, with les mansions, is given in the opening 
verses of the play. La Resurrection du Sauveur, Fragment d\m Myst^re inMit. 
(ed. by Jubinal, Paris, 1834), p. 4. The date of the play is 1050-1150. " D'abord 


Both stages existed contemporaneously, and there is 
no reason to suppose one supplanted the other. 

When the passion-play developed — especially in 
England — into a pageant, movable stages on wheels 
were drawn, often by a dozen men, through the streets. 
These stages, as at Chester, were sometimes built in two 
stories, the lower to dress in and the upper for acting. 
As at Coventry, the sections of the drama were then 
repeated in all the principal streets. 

Stage-Accessories. — If we turn from the stage to 
its accessories, we find that they are of an extremely 
primitive character. Neither the flat nor the elevated 
stage, both open at the sides, admitted of any scenery 
in the modern sense, while the most crude apparatus 
readily suggested to an indulgent audience the required 
effect. A tub or cask answered innumerable purposes. 
It served for the throne of Lucifer, or perhaps for his 
own peculiar oUa Vulcani, the pot of torment wherein 
he was bound. ^ In the Alsf elder Spiel we read : — 

Omnes diaboli circuent doleum corisando et cantando Lucifer in dem throne . . . 

In a thirteenth-century play we find St. Dorothea "sedens 
in dolio," and returning thanks to God that the boiling 

disposons les lieux et les demeures, a savoir : Premierement le crucifix, et puis 
apres le tombeau." There must be a gaol for the prisoners. "L'enfer sera mis 
d'un c8te et les maisons de I'autre, puis le ciel et les ^toiles." Then follows the 
places of Caiaphas, Judas, Nicodemus, the Disciples, and the three Maries. The 
to^vn of Galilee is to be in the middle of the stage, etc. 

^ C, pp. 4, 14, etc.; B, vol. ii. pp. 19, 54, etc. On the boiling pots of hell — a 
common mediaeval notion — see B, vol. i. p. 294, vol. ii. pp. 27, 83, 285 ; The 
Eleven Pains of Hell, etc., in the Old English Miscellany (E.E.T.S.), pp. 148, 
181 ; Des Tenfels russiger Brvder (Grimm's Kindertrmrchen, No. 100). The 
damned are cooked and eaten by the devils in the Egercr Spiel (F, p. 188). 
Mediaeval art occasionally depicted the hell-pots ; thus, in the Day of Judgment cut 
in the Schatzhehalter (Fig. 62), a soul is to be seen cooking in a pan ; also in the 
hell-fresco at thewest end of Chal don Church, Surrey, there is a large pot with many 
souls over a fire, j A like notion occurs in Siam (see Alabaster, Wheel of the Law). 


oil cannot injure her. The same dolium inverted will 
serve for the pinnacle of the Temple, the Mount of Olives, 
or the rostrum from which the Conclusor may recite 
the epilogue of the drama/ In the Frankfurt play, 
however, the Mount of Olives was represented by 
" virides arbores in modum orti " — an almost isolated 
attempt at scenery.^ The thunder and earthquake 
which followed the crucifixion were represented by the 
firing of a gun.^ The doors of hell must have been of 
a fairly substantial character — after the type of their 
original, the church door — for we hear of heavy bolts 
being drawn across them as Christ appeared. In some 
cases a devil was represented as placing his long nose in 
the bolt-hasps, only to have it promptly torn off as the 
triumphant Christ broke open the gates. ^ The cruci- 
fixion was somehow managed with the live actor, and, as 
a rule, the live Judas hanged himself,'^ although we hear in 
the Frankfurt play of an " imago facta ad instar Judas " 

^ SeeL, p. 291. In the A Isf elder Spiel we read : ' ' Sathanas ducit eum ad doleum 
quod positum est in medio ludi representans pinnaculum templi" (C, p. 36). 
In the Frankfurter Spiel we find the stage-directions : " Deinde Sathanas ducat 
Jhesum super dolium quod positum sit in medio ludi, representans pinnaculum 
templi" ; and again: "Item Sathanas ducat Jhesum ad alium locum ludi super 
dolium representans montem excelsum " (S, p. 139). For the inverted tub of the 
Conclusor see B, vol. ii. p. 104. 

2 S, p. 146. 3 K^ pp_ 61, 173 ; B, vol. ii. pp. 324, 339. 

^ F, p. 284 ; C, p. 225 (where Lucifer first looks out per fenestram), etc. 
On the long-nosed devil Rapax see H, vol. ii. p. 70 ; and compare with 
Mathesius' Sermons, quoted in Flbgel, GescMchte der Grotesk-Komischen, p. 239. 
He frequently appears in mediaeval art. The barring of the gates of hell is an 
incident in the Vision of Piers Ploughman. 

^ Real death was occasionally the result of these mock death -arrangements of 
the stage : ' ' C'est ainsi que la chronique de Metz rapporte que le cure de Saint- 
Victor de cette ville faillit p^rir en croix, dans un mystere de la Passion, ou il 
repr^sentait Jesus- Christ, et que I'acteur qui representait Judas s'^trangla presque 
en se pendant " (Jubinal, Mysteres inidits, vol. i. p. 42). A like incident is re- 
ferred to in Platter's Autohiographie (ed. Fechter), p. 123. At Zuckmantel (see Y, 
p. 11) the Christ wore a tight-fitting, flesh-coloured linen garment, strong enough 
to support him on the cross, when the nails were driven through it. 


being hanged. The three crosses are frequently, and 
stocks for the two thieves^ occasionally, mentioned; the 
scourging pillar and a table for the banquets are also 
among the usual stage-accessories. 

Of the heavenly bodies sun and moon are referred 
to, but we are not told how they set at the crucifixion.^ 
The * Star in the East,' however, — one of the most 
interesting of mediaeval religious symbols — is a very 
important stage -accessory. The stella aurea always 
precedes the Magi ; sometimes it is carried by one of 
their servants, sometimes by an angel, sometimes by 
Herod's chief captain, while not infrequently there is a 
special actor termed the Stellafer or Sterntrdger.^ The 
star itself may be either a great painted mass of red and 
gold, and even blue, or it may be embroidered on a 
banner. In the pictures of the Hungarian peasant 
Christmas-plays given by Flogel (loc. cit.) the star is of 
the former kind, and the Stellafer, dressed in a blue 
blouse and top boots, is able to flash the star about by 
means of a gigantic pair of lazy-tongs. The mediaeval 
importance of the Star in the East arose from its associa- 
tion with the woman who, in the Book of Revelations 
(chap, xii.), is mentioned as having the moon under her 
feet. The Catholic Church has always interpreted this 

1 B, vol. ii. pp. 156, 184. 2 q p, 199 . g^ ^^i^ ^ p, 324. 

^ See I, p. 18. A wood-cut of the Fasciculus Temporum (Coin, 1480) also 
represents the star as carried by a servant of the Three Kings. It is an angel in 
K, p. 23. The Limoges ritual (Martene, loc. cit. Liber iv. cap. 14. § 12) has a 
stellam pervdentem in filo. In Silesia the lads at Christmas still go about in 
gold-paper crowns, with a great star carried on a pole (Q, p. 127), and the same 
custom exists in Upper Bavaria, e.g. Oberammergau (see R, pp. 51, 59, 109). 
The English clergy at the Council of Constance in 1417 gave a Nativity-play with 
a great gold star suspended from a fine iron wire. Interesting information as to 
the costumes and accessories of eighteenth-century Magi-plays will be found in 
Flogel : Geschichte cler Orotesk-Komischen, p. 246. 



passage as referring to the Virgin Mary, and mediaeval 
art constantly represented the Mother of God as seated 
upon a crescent with a crown of twelve stars. ^ Very 
early also in the history of the Latin Church the term 
Stella maris, star of the sea, was applied to the Virgin 
Mary ; and mediseval writers invariably derive the name 
Maria from maris stella.^ At what time these three con- 
ceptions — the Star of the East, the Woman standing on 
the Crescent, and the stella maris — became associated 
and identified I am unable to say definitely ; but to 
the writers, and presumably to the spectators, of the 
great passion-plays they were interchangeable symbols. 
The Magi in the Egerer Spiel ^ describe the star they 

^ For a graphic representation we may refer to the title - page to Dlirer's 
Marienbilder. In a fifteenth-century Metz MS. Horae, once in my hands, one 
miniature represented the Virgin, with the infant Saviour in her arms, standing 
on a crescent and surrounded by a glory. This is the representation on the collar of 
the papal robes. The crescent with a star — the stella maris — occurs on the banner 
carried by one of the attendants in Martin Schbngauer's Adoration of the Magi. 
La Resurrection de notre Seigneur (Jubinal, loc. cit. vol. ii. p. 352) discusses at 
some length, in the dialogue of the play itself, the significance of the estoille de 
mer. The splendid description of the woman on the crescent seen by Benvenuto 
Cellini in his well-known vision will occur to readers of his autobiography. 

^ The derivation occurs in the writings of Jerome and Isidore (see Miillenhoft' 
und Scherer, Denkmdler, pp. 375, 435). Compare the Arnsteiner Marienleich, 
MelTcer Marienlied, and several sequences in the Denkmdler, pp. 109-125. Also 
Hroswitha, ed. Barak, pp. 16, 17; Herrad von Land^sberg, ed. Engelhardt, p. 124 ; 
further Fortunatus's hymn, Ave stella maris, as well as innumerable Latin 
hymns to the Virgin ; see also W. Grimm, Konrad von Wilrzhurgs Goldene 
Schmiede, p. 44, etc. 

^ See F, pp. 63, 65, 69. Compare this especially with the mediaeval folk- 
book of the Three Kings (Simrock, Volkshiicher, Bd. iv. p. 442). In the Devil's 
Parliament we find that the Emperor in Rome saw three suns in one, and in 
their midst a maid bearing a child. This vision immediately preceded Christ's 
birth {Hymns to the Virgin and Christ, ed. Furnival, p. 45). A like notion 
occurs in a very popular medifeval book, Der Anfang der newen ee void das 
passional von ihesu vnd marie leben (Sorg, Augsburg, 1476; reprinted in Liibeck, 
1478, as de nye Ee vnd dat passional vmi Jliesiis vnd MaHcn lewende, the wood- 
cuts being chiefly copies of Sorg's). We have a paragraph entitled, "Here 
Sibylla and Octavianus see the Child and the Maid in the Sun," the woodcut 
shows the Sibyl and Emperor looking at a half-figure of the Virgin and Child on 


have seen as containing within it the figure of the 
Virgin Mother with the child on her bosom. In the 
Freihurger Spiel the guild of tailors not only acted 
the Three Kings, but also ' Our Lady in the Sun ' — 
the star-crowned woman standing on the crescent of the 
Apocalypse.^ The tableau was probably drawn on a car, 
as the earlier version of this play appears to have been 
processional. The Star in the East thus gave an 
opportunity for much symbolic spectacle,^ — a phase of 
the important adoration of the Virgin to which we shall 
later return. 

Another useful stage -accessory was an ass,^ which 
could be used for the Flight into Egypt, the Triumphal 
Entry, and several of the Old Testament prefigurations. 
The ass also appears with a calf and a basket of doves 
as part of the lumber Christ clears out of the Temple. 
Sometimes there is a direction at the beginning of a 
play referring to all the stage-accessories and costumes 
that will be required. Thus in a Ludus trium Magorum 

the crescent. In the legend of the Three Kings which accompanies this work, 
and which is only an abridged version of John of Hildesheim's Liber de gestis 
trium regtim {Coin, GuldenschafF, 1477), we have a section entitled, "Of the star, 
in what shape and form it appeared on the hill Vans," wherein the star is merely 
described 'as clear and bright as the sun at noon.' On the other hand, in the 
translation of John of Hildesheim's work, published by Johann Priess at Strasburg 
soon after 1480, there is a wood-cut of the star on the hill Vans, which shows the 
star containing the Christ -child. The hill is frequently termed Mons Vic- 
tor talis. The Chester Plays (p. 115) introduce the Sibyl and Octavianus looking 
at the star containing maid and child. Stars formerly used in the Magi-plays are 
preserved in the church at Otterfing in Upper Bavaria ; there is in each a Christ- 
child under glass in the centre (R, p. 93). In the Oherufer Spiel we read : 
' ' Ein ungewonlich Gestirn ist erstanden, Darin eine Jungfrau ein Kind tut 
tragn " (R, p. 96 footnote). 1 See K, p. 24. 

'^ See B, ii. pp. 156, 184, 229. An ass was the principal stage - furniture 
of a travelling passion-play company I saw in the Black Forest in 1879. It 
was not only useful on the stage, but helped to transport the company. In this 
case the Virgin Mary in costume took the money at the door. 



we are told that for this play four crowns will be re- 
quired for Herod and the three Magi, with ornaments 
for their robes ; there must also be cups for the feast, 
and a sceptre and royal robe for Herod. Mary, Joseph, 
and the angels may be provided with such dresses as 
seem fitting to the ' manager ' ; there is to be a gold- 
bedecked star, and lastly, the manager is to provide a 
meal and other necessaries, if he wishes to meet with 
general approval.^ 

The above remarks will show that the stage-acces- 
sories, although generally of a primitive descrip- 
tion, varied very much with the play, the locality, 
and the period. Sometimes, indeed, the expenses were 
sufficiently great to warrant either a collection or 
a fee from the spectators. Thus the Precursor in 
the Vienna Easter-play states that the play about 
to be acted is both cheerful and cheap. ^ On the 
other hand, in 1557 the journeymen barbers of 
Freiburg refused any longer to act " St. Ursula and 
the 11,000 Virgins on the Ship" — one of the sections 
of the great processional play of that city — owing to its 
great cost.^ 

Costume. — There are but few printed records which 
cast much light on the costumes used in the German 
religious drama. In 1821 a chest was found in the 
parish church of Friedberg containing stage -directions 
and costumes for the passion-play of that place. I have 

^ See I, note p, 30. We find a demand for money in the Trial of Joseph and 
Mary which forms one of the Coventry Mysteries, p. 131. Nor is this to be 
wondered at, for we find in the expenses for 1490 wine, ale, bread, beef, geese, etc., 
or the refreshment of the actors at both rehearsals and performance, 

2 L, vol. ii. p. 298 ; and B, vol. ii. p. 163. ^ g, p. 201. 


not been able to discover any published account of these 
dresses, and they have by this time probably perished. 
The library at Luzern also contains much informa- 
tion, but this is not yet accessible in print. Probably 
the best idea of the passion-play costume is to be 
obtained from a study of mediaeval pictures and wood- 
cuts of the Passion, — the then current notion being 
that all the world in Christ's day (and before it) 
dressed like mediaeval men and women. I may note 
a few particulars, which have been gleaned from 
a variety of sources, as an addition to the dress 
rubrics already cited when we were considering the 
early rituals. 

In the Easter ritual^ Christ appears dalmaticatus 
Candida dalmatica, Candida infula infulatus, phy- 
lacteria pretiosa in capite, crucem curn laharo in 
dextra, textum auro paratorium in sinistra hahens. 
He would thus have a very priestly aspect. Eorbach 
tells us that at Frankfurt, in 1498, the parson of 
Obern - Eschersheim, who had previously played God 
the Father, put on a grey coat and a diadem and 
began, as Christ, the passion-play with the choice of 
the disciples. Christ was represented with golden 

^ G, p. 81 ; see also Christ's costume in the Tours Mystery (G, p. 102). God 
the Father in pontifical robes occurs as miniature xxiii. of the Metz Horae, 
already referred to (footnote, p. 326). It is a common form of representation with 
Albrecht Diirer ; God appears as pope in a coronation of the Virgin by a Cologne 
artist in the Munich Pinakothek (No. 625). He is represented as an emperor 
in the SchatzhehaUer (Cuts 2 and 23). In the famous Heller altarpiece of Albrecht 
Diirer, representing the Maria Him/melfahrt, Christ with a papal crown and God 
the Father with an imperial crown place an imperial crown upon the Virgin. In 
Dlirer's Allerheiligenhild at Vienna God the Father and the emperor down below 
have the same crowns. As to God as pope and emperor see Didron, IconograpMe 
chritienne, pp. 205 et stq. ; his localisation of the two modes of representation is, 
however, incorrect. 


hair, and in some few cases with a red beard/ which 
is, however, usually the attribute of Judas." God 
the Father appeared either as an emperor, or with 
the triple crown of the pope and priestly robes. The 
disciples wore the usual mediaeval costume, Peter 
having a bald pate, and probably a limp.^ The devils, 
from Lucifer and Satan down to Happa and Puck, we 
may reasonably suppose to have been dressed according 
to the mediaeval demon conception, i.e. with all the dis- 
tortions and contortions of Stephan Lochner's perhaps 
unequalled Day of Judgment in the Cologne Gallery 
(see the frontispiece to this volume), the block-book 
Avs Moriendi, or Albrecht Durer's woodcut of the 
descent into hell.* The patriarchs and prophets, when 
rescued from the lower regions, are to be clothed in 
white shirts ' as spirits,' or else go naked, which is 
certainly to be the condition of our first parents and 
of the massacred innocents ("vil kleiner kinder gantz 

^ The old English mysteries gave both God the Father and God the Son golden 
hair. For a red beard see B, ii. p. 291, and Didron, Iconographie chr4tienne, 
p. 577. The authority for Christ's hair, etc., is probably the apocryphal 
Epistola Lentuli ad Caesarem. John of Damascus gives a different description ; 
Christ had a black beard, and resembled his mother {Opera, vol. i. p. 630). Accord- 
ing to the Tyrolese Lucius de ascensione domini (ed. Pichler, p. 9), he was in per- 
son and face like James the Greater. The Plenarium, published in 1473, probably 
by Zainer in Augsburg, gives a fine full-length cut of Christ on its first pages, 
and tells us that this exactly represents the hair, beard, and clothes of Christ, 
as he walked with bare feet on earth ; further, his head was longer than that of 
any other human being. For some discussion of the mediaeval Christ-portraits see 
K. Pearson, Die Fronica, Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des CJiristbildes im Mittelalter, 
Strasburg, 1886. 

2 For Judas' hair see F, p. 108. The notion that the red-haired man is neces- 
sarily wicked is strongly insisted on in the Middle Ages. Thus in the Proverbs 
of Alfred {Old English Miscellany, E.E.T.S.), 1. 702, "He is cocker, >ef and 
horeling, scolde, of wreckedome he is king. " 

^ K, p. 117, vide infra. 

■* H, vol. ii. p. 17. Lucifer and his comrades put on Teufelskleider before theii* 
fight with the angels. 


nackent").^ We may note that the artists of the Middle 
Ages seem to have been somewhat puzzled to know how to 
represent spirits and souls. Yet such a representation was 
very necessary for the passion-plays, where not only many 
souls had to be fetched away by angel or devil as the 
pointed moral of a good or bad life, but the Day of Judg- 
ment itself had to be put plastically before the audience. 
When the souls had to walk and talk they were repre- 
sented by persons dressed in white shirts,^ but when this 
was not necessary a more symbolic method was adopted. 
A common device was a suitable bird let fly at the right 
moment ; a white dove would symbolise the soul of 
Christ,^ and a raven that of Judas. ^ Still another very 
customary method was to take a little naked figure 
away from the dying man ; this figure was generally 
held by a thread from his mouth, by which organ the 
soul was always supposed to leave the body. It was 
thus that the souls of the two thieves were represented 
in the Donaueschingen play,'^ and it found great favour 
with the artists,^ for example, in the last cut of the 

^ B, vol. ii. p. 342 ; H, vol. ii. p. 72 ; and compare the Schatzhehalter, Cut 79. 
Adam and Eve were naked in the Chester Plays (p. 25) and in the Coventry 
Mysteries (p. 27). The stage-directions include stabunt nitdi and the covering 
genitalia sua cum foliis. Marriott cites the following from The Travailes of the 
three English Brotliers, published in 1607 : — 

Sir Anthony Shirley. And what neAV plays have you? 

Kempe. Many idle toyes, but the old play that Adam and Eve acted in bare 
action vnder the figge tree drawes most of the gentlemen. 

2 The soul in the "Morality of Wisdom who is Christ " (Bigby Plays, p. 140) 
is dressed " as a mayde in a whight cloth of gold, gyntely purfyled Avith menyver, 
a mantyll of blak, therupon a cheveler lyke to wysdam, with a riche chapetelet 
lasyed behynde, hangying down with ii knottes of gold and syde tasselys." 

3 D, p. 68 ; and F, p. 253. 

^ B, vol. ii. p. 284. The souls of criminals appear as crows in Die beiden 
Wanderer (Grimm, Kindermarchen, No. 107). ^ B, vol. ii. p. 324. 

^ Compare also, in the Luther-Cranach Abbildung des Bapstums, the devils re- 
moving the souls of pope and cardinals who hang on the gallows ; or again the 


famous Ars Moriendi block -book, where the angel 
carries off the soul of the dying man. The reader who 
will consider the mediseval notions of hell and the soul 
as illustrated in the passion-play, will recognise how 
much the mediseval spirit added to primitive Chris- 
tianity, and how much of that addition has remained 
current in folk-belief even to the present day. 

To the costumes already given we may add that of 
Mary Magdalen — who, while in gaudio^ is gaily be- 
decked with trinkets, and appears superho hahitu — and 
of John the Baptist, who is very meanly clad in a skin. 
Indeed, so meanly is John clad that the devil Tuteville 
tries to keep him in hell, considering that Christ could 
not possibly want to rescue such a miserably clad person.^ 
This is all the material I have been able to find in 
the earlier plays bearing on costume. A good many 
details of stage and wardrobe expenses in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries are given by Hartmann 
(T, pp. 404, 426, etc.) The painting and dyeing of 
Teufelskleider seems to have been a relatively large 
item. A few costumes from more recent peasant plays 
— doubtless traditional in their naivete — may interest 
the reader. Mary appears in an old-fashioned blue 

picture at Prag by Holbein the Elder (Woltmann, Holbein, p. 82). In the 
famous Triumph of Death, in the Camposanto at Pisa, angels and devils are 
fighting for souls represented by little children. Angels and devils remove little 
naked figures from the mouths of the dying in the curious drawings of the 
Heidelberg MS. (No. 438) (see Geffcken, Bildercatechismus, Appendix, col. 15). 
St. Michael and the Devil fighting for a like soul issuing from the mouth of 
a corpse occurs in a French Horae known to me. Upon the buttress of the west 
porch of Rheims Cathedral the souls of the martyrs appear as naked and sexless 
little children. The soul of St. Martin on a window at Chartres, and that of St. 
Calminius on one at Mauzac, are represented by naked infants. The souls of the 
blessed are thus represented in the hands of God (see Didron, Iconographie 
chraiemie, pp. 124, 134, 210, 243). 

^ C, p. 55 ; J, p. 98 ; I, p. 117 ; B, vol. ii. p. 56 ; and compare S, p. 142. 


dress, with white apron, cap, and long veil. She carries 
a wooden or wax doll. The shepherds wear green 
knee-breeches, with rose ribbons, green braces, and 
white stockings, and carry a crook adorned with rib- 
bons.^ A prophet is smartly clad in silk-hat, spectacles, 
frockcoat, and white stockings reaching to the knee. 
He carries a telescope in his hand, apparently as a 
symbol of the range of his vision,^ etc. 

Much more detailed information as to costume may be 
found in the English plays. The character of the ward- 
robe may be indicated by a few extracts. In the Coventry 
Mysteries (p. 224) we find Annas dressed as a ' bischop ' 
of the old law in a scarlet gown, and over that a blue 
tabberd furred with white, and a mitre on his head 
* after the old law.' Two doctors stand beside him 
with furred hoods, and one before him with his staff of 
state, and each of them on their heads a furred cap 
with a great knob on the crown, and " one standing 
before him as a Saracen, the which shall be his mes- 
senger." From the accounts of the Guild of Smiths at 
Coventry published in part by Marriott, I extract the 
following items : Cross with a rope to draw it up ; 
gilding the pillar and cross ; two pair of gallows ; four 
scourges ; standard of red buckram ; four jackets of 
black buckram with nails and dice upon them for tor- 
mentors ; God's coat of white leather, six skins ; a 
staff for the demon ; crest of iron and falchion for 
Herod ; cheverels (wigs) for God, Jesus, and Peter, the 
latter two gilt ; a girdle for God ; a sudere or sweat- 
cloth for the Veronica incident. In the Chester plays 

1 Q, pp. 113, 125. 2 R^ p, 116. 


we find that the Holy Ghost was a source of consider- 
able expense. Thus we have : — 

Itm payd to the sprytt of god .... 14d. 
„ for the spret of god's cote . . .2s. 

,, for the making of the same cote . 8d. 

,, for ii yardes and halfe of bockram to 

make the spyrit's cote . . .2s. Id. 

VI. — CJiaracterisation in the Passion-Flays 

Having endeavoured to present the reader with a 
general view of the stage and its accessories, I have next 
to indicate how character was dealt with in the mediaeval 
drama. A student of the passion-plays may at first feel 
inclined to deny all characterisation in the roles, and 
in a certain sense he will be right. Those who seek for 
character as we paint it to-day — the mixed motives, the 
opposing emotions, the scarce distinguishable shades 
of good and evil impulse to be found even in the most 
commonplace mortals — will discover no trace of it in 
the passion-play. There is not the feeblest germ of a 
Hamlet nor the suggestion of a Faust. The knowledge 
that there is no wide gulf fixed between good and evil, 
between strength and weakness, between morality and 
immorality, could only be attained by an age of critical 
introspection, which examined motives rather than 
deeds ; it had not dawned on the mind of mediseval man. 
His morality was like his religion, one of works and 
formal observance.^ Thus, as in the modern melodrama, 

^ These terms are used in no bad sense ; much of the morality which is of 
most social value must always be of this kind, only alternately we find the deed 
and the motive, the law and the spirit, the Pharisee and the Nazarene, under or 


we can assert of a passion - play character what the 
nursery rhyme tells us of the child, that — 

When it was good, it was very, very good, 
And when it was bad, it was horrid. 

To distinguish between good and evil was to the man of 
the Middle Ages no hard task. All deeds and all beliefs 
were already classified in a rigid code, and obedience or 
disobedience to this code constituted goodness or bad- 
ness. This point must always be borne in mind when 
we consider the readiness with which mediaeval man con- 
demned his opponents to eternal damnation.^ He felt 
as certain in his judgment of what was good and evil as 
he considered the great Judge would be at the time of the 
catastrophe with which he concluded the great world- 
drama. He left no place for individual thought or indi- 
vidual conduct ; each man must think and act as his 
fellows, and for a time society undoubtedly prospered 
under this strict socialism. With such a view of life no 
growth of character seems possible. Christ and the 
Virgin are so very good and pure, Satan, Judas, and 
Pilate so very wicked, that all finer shades of character- 
isation disappear, and, from the standpoint of the higher 
drama of to-day, we have parts but no characters. 

There is another distinction also between the modern 
and the mediaeval dramas to which we have already 
drawn attention, namely, the actor of to-day renders his 

^ Thus in the Alsfelder Spiel (C, p. 36) Satan comes to tempt Christ in the 
garb of a Lollard. In the Townley Mystery, Extractio Animariim, the devil 
Tutivillus says he is now ' Master LoUar. ' The same devil occurs in more than 
one German play, and there is here again evidence of that cosmopolitan element 
in the plays to which I have before referred. 


character by a more or less subtle combination of gesture, 
speech, and motion ; the playwright of the Middle Ages 
entrusted little but speech to his actors. He endeavoured 
by means of symbolism to arouse the appropriate feel- 
ings in his audience. To appreciate the extent to which 
symbolism was a factor of both social and religious life 
in the Middle Ages is one of the hardest tasks to the 
modern mind — harder, perhaps, to the cultured than to 
the uncultured. Yet a comparative study of civilisa- 
tion shows a stage in which symbolism is widely current 
in the majority of highly developed religions. To the 
student of Buddhism nothing is more repellent at the 
outset of his studies than the lists of truths, paths, 
fetters, sins, and suchlike ; it is only as he strives to 
penetrate beneath the numerical form that he reaches 
the ideas symbolised, and finds each catalogue pregnant 
with meaning. Precisely the same phase of symbolism 
meets us in our study of medisevalism.^ The Hours, the 
Stations, the Seven Words on the Cross, the Ghostly and 
Bodily Works of Mercy, the Deadly Sins, these and many 
other categories, which hardly reach the heart of the 
modern reader, were yet symbols very close in both life 
and death to the heart of mediaeval man. So close, 
indeed, that they could not be omitted from the great 
Christian drama. It did not weary him to hear the 
whole catalogue of the Acts of Mercy recited during the 

^ I have collected upwards of twenty such numerical lists from fifteenth- 
century confessional books. They range from the Seven Works of Ghostly Mercy 
to the Four Sins which cry out to Heaven for Vengeance. Avery fair appreciation 
of this spirit of enumeration may be obtained from the Penitentionarius de Confes- 
sione (Hain, 13156-13166), or indeed from Wyclif's sermons. The special folk- 
need which gave rise to this common feature of mediaeval Buddhism and 
mediaeval Christianity is of singular interest. 


stage representation of the Day of Judgment ; ^ nor did 
he find any anachronism in the Virgin Mother proceed- 
ing to the Stations.^ These symbols from his childhood 
onwards were deeply significant to the Christian of 
the Middle Ages ; and unless we grasp something of his 
feeling towards them, we shall miss much of the power of 
the religious drama, just as we shall fail to appreciate 
many shades of mediaeval thought even in the sermons 
of Wyclif and Tauler. 

But to this ecclesiastical symbolism, designed to 
arouse by association certain deep religious feelings, we 
find added in the passion-plays a peculiar folk-symbolism 
intended to work upon other emotions, and often doing 
it in a manner which grossly offends the less robust 
taste of modern times. Both types of symbolism exer- 
cised a noteworthy influence over pictorial art. One 
action by which the mediaeval playwright succeeded in 
expressing symbolically an almost endless variety of 
moods was the dance. The dance could be rendered 
symbolical of holy or of fiendish joy, of insult, of 
horror, or of wantonness. Foremost among such sym- 
bolic dances we may notice the Dance of Angels and the 
Dance of Devils — both in a certain sense religious dances. 
Of such corybantic symbols the faith that came from 

^ The recital of the Seven Acts of Mercy by Christ on the Day of Judgment is 
traditional so far as the religious drama is concerned. Besides the German plays, 
I may refer to Townley Mysteries, pp. 316-318. See also the Old English Miscel- 
lany, E.E.T.S., p. 81 ; and the Manuel d^ IconograpMe chretienne, p. 277. In 
the Coventry Mysteries (p. 82) the Virgin, when three years old, repeats in the 
Temple the Fifteen Psalms — a miraculous repetition of another medipeval category, 
which naturally astonishes the Episcopus. 

- See A, pp. 45 et seq., p. 186. Erasmus satirises a like anachronism by a 
discussion between the monks as to Avhich book of Hours the Virgin used (see 
also B, vol. ii. p. 285 ; H, p. 110). 

VOL. II 7 


Judea knew nothing, but they were striking features of 
the folk-festivals of the old Germanic worship. Their 
appearance in the passion-plays is but another sign of 
the victory of the Western folk-spirit over the invading 
but alien religion of the East. As we have seen in the 
previous essay, at an early stage of development the sex- 
festival is associated with the religious festival, and both 
with the dance. A robust primitive people finds its 
supreme bliss in rhythmic motion. For such heaven is 
but a great dancing-green, and all the gods are nimble 
of foot. Long after Christianity had established itself 
in Germany, the old heathen religious dances continued ; 
even after the folk had forgotten the very names of its 
ancient gods it danced on high festivals round the cock, 
the horse's head, or the sacred tree.^ On the one hand 
we have the people, who regarded the dance as a symbol 
of the highest religious ecstasy ; on the other hand we 
have the missionaries and monks, who, branding it as 
devilish, allowed their fancy to master their curiosity ; 
so that the old corybantic rites which occasionally took 
place at midnight in sequestered spots appeared to 
mediaeval superstition as the wildest of bacchanals, in 
which only devils, hobgoblins, and hags took any part. 
Thus when the folk-spirit made the religious drama its 
own we need not be surprised to find the dance on the 

1 See Mannliardt, Der BaumkuUus, under heading Tanz ; J. Grimm, Deutsche 
Mythologie, Hexenfahrt, pp. 877 et seq. Herodias and her daughter — types of the 
sinful dancer — are in the plays {e.g. C, p. 34) carried off to hell by a wild chorus 
of devils. They it is who in mediaeval superstition lead the midnight revels of 
devil and witch ; see the Malleus maleficarum, ed. 1494, fol. 1. Interesting con- 
fessions bearing on the actual character of witch dances will be found in Birlinger, 
Aus Schwaben, 1874, Bd. i. pp. 131 et seq.; and in Niehues, Zicr Geschichte der 
Hexcnprocesse in Miinster. 


one hand symbolising the highest bliss of heaven, and on 
the other the fiendish delight of hell. Heaven as a 
dancing-hall and hell with the characteristics of a mid- 
night witch -gathering find a common origin in the old 
choral religious festival to which I have referred in 
earlier essays.^ 

In a play of the Day of Judgment published by 
Mone,^ we have a highly sensuous description of heaven 
as a place of laughing, kissing, song, and music. In a 
fourteenth-century Himmelfahrt Maria, Christ, after 
addressing the Virgin in the language of the Song of 
Songs, bids all the angels stand up and dance with her. 
The archangel Michael offers his hand to the Mother of 
God, and leads off down the heavenly green : ^ et sic 
omnes cJiorizant, angeli cantant ad laudem dei. 

In a Weihnachtslied from Upper Bavaria, which is 

probably a fragment of an old Three Kings play, we 

have again reference to this Dance of Angels, for we 

read : * — 

D'Engai miiassent ndrisch sei^: 
Sie toant so lustig umatanzen. 

Of greater interest for the history of culture than the 
heavenly dancing is the hellish dancing. I have already 
noted that the devils dance round Lucifer's tub in helL 
But the characteristic Dance of Devils is that which 
leads to earth and back again in wild procession with 
the souls of men. It is thus that the devils carry off 
the foolish virgins in the Ludus de decern Virginihus.^ 
We must thus imagine them in the plays of the Day of 

1 See Essays IX. and XL 2 g^ ^qI i p, 287. » j^^ p^ 37^ 

* R, No. 55, p. 75. 5 Bechstein, Warthitrg Bibliothek, Bd. i. p. 25. 


Judgment, decked in all the horrible forms of mediaeval 
fancy, dancing, singing, and dragging by the chain passed 
round it the crowd of the damned back to hell.^ In the 
mediaeval believer there must have been an intensity of 
hysterical emotion raised by this Dance of Devils, which 
it was almost imperative to relieve by some comic by- 
play. Still more effective than the damned in mass 
must have been the dance in which each devil brought 
an individual soul, and narrated the sin which condemned 
it to hell.^ In many plays we have a long procession 
of such souls. The robber, the baker, the false coiner, 
the rake, the tanner, the lawyer, the old woman with 
her evil tongue, follow each other in rapid succession ; 
such soul-lists cast much light on the state of popular feel- 
ing in the Middle Ages. In one case Satan brings a priest 
who has been thinking of temporal matters while reading 
mass, but this " regular old-run-round-the-altar," as 
Satan terms him, makes hell too hot for Lucifer, and he 
accordingly is allowed to escape.^ 

1 Compare Meister Steplian's Zas^ t7'wc?g'W2ew^ (Cologne Gallery, No. 121 ; repro- 
duced in the frontispiece) ; a tympanum on the Niirnberg Sebaldskirche, and 
another over the south-east porch of the Minster at Ulm, with B, vol. i. pp. 274, 
280, 295 ; I, No. iv. pp. 98, 306 ; H, vol. i. p. 143 ; and Piderit, loc. cit. line 763 
("das se kumen an vns seile"). We may further note the woodcuts in Diirer's 
Small Passion (last cut), and in the Heidelberg block-book reproduced by 
Geffcken, Bildercateohismus, Beilage, col. 13. Besides Stephan Lochner, the Ars 
Moriendi, Diirer, etc., we may draw attention to Martin Schongauer's engrav- 
ing of the Temptation of St. Antony, and Gerhard David's Battle of St. Michael 
with Hell, as capital representations of what the passion-play devils were like. 

^ See B, vol. ii. p. 81 and footnote. The novas choreas therein referred to stands, 
I hold, for the new forms of dancing introduced about 1400, in which the partners 
Instead of dancing in figures began to clasp each other by the arms or even the 
waist. This much scandalised both town-councils and ecclesiastics, as will be 
seen from an examination of the Frankfurt and Niirnberg Police Regulations or 
a, study of mediseval sermons. See further I, p. 99, and H, vol. ii. pp. 37, 281, 
IT, pp. 85 et seq. In Kriiger's play the Dance of Devils is accompanied by witches. 

» See B, vol. ii. pp. 74, 82, 96, etc. 


The only other souls which Lucifer will not receive 
into hell are those of the strolling scholars, and this 
because he fears they might corrupt the morals of his 
mother. The recurrence of such strolling-scholar inci- 
dents in the passion-plays is fairly strong evidence of 
those scholars' handiwork in their construction.^ 

One of the most interesting lists of souls is that 
which occurs in a fourteenth-century Eesurrection Play, 
wherein Lucifer sends out Satan to fetch in succession 
the Pope, the Cardinal, the Patriarch, the Legate, the 
Emperor, the King, the Prince, the Count, the Knight, 
the Squire, the Justice, the Counsellor, the Priest, the 
Monk, the Innkeeper,^ the Miller, the Shipman, the 
Fiddler, with many other traders and handicraftsmen.^ 
The resemblance to the later Dance of Death lists is 
undeniable, and the relation becomes all the more signi- 
ficant when we remember that in the mediaeval plays 
Death was placed with the devils in hell or appears as 
an associate of Lucifer on earth. "^ 

^ See I, pp. 102, 103 ; F, p. 288. For the brilliant immorality of these 
scholars see, besides the references in the footnote on p. 304, S, pp. 203-208. 

- The innkeeper or 'taverner,' male or female, met with small mercy at 
the hands of the mediaeval playwright. Besides the unfriendly innkeepers of 
Bethlehem, and of the "soul-lists," we find in the Chester Plays (p. 81) at the 
harrowing of hell a mulier or ' taverner ' left behind, who, when on earth, had 
mixed whines and adulterated beer. She remains to burn 

With all mashers, minglers of wyne in the nighte. 

This may be taken as a derivation — at least hen trovato — of a modern word. 

' See A, p. 118. In the Townley Mysteries, pp. 312, 314, will be found a long 
and interesting list of persons whom the devils mean to have in hell. Samples 
of the highest ecclesiastics are always to be found in hell, e.g. Chester Plays, p. 
183 ; Herrad von Landsberg's Hortus Deliciarum, 1180 ; Meister Stephan's Last 
Judgment, circa 1450 (see the frontispiece), and the cuts of Quentel's Kolner 
Bihel, 1480. 

^ Cf. H, vol. ii. pp. 68 et seq. ; C, pp. 67, 68, with direct reference to the 
Dance of Death ; K, p. 90 ; B, vol. ii. p. 419 ; T, p. 400. The reader may also 
compare Diirer's Ritter, Tod and Teufel, and the Gospel of Nicodemus, xvii. 1. 


In Schedel's Buch der Croniken, 1493, p. 261, a 
grimly powerful dance of three deaths with their musician 
is brought into relation with the Day of Judgment. 
Thus we have another link connecting the Dance of 
Devils with the Dance of Death. It seems probable that 
the pictorial Dances of Death took their origin in the 
spectacular Dance of Devils which occurred in the hell 
scenes of the religious dramas/ Nor does it appear far- 
fetched to hold that the wood-cutters took their concep- 
tion of the Knaveries — sets of pictures representing the 
scamps and sinners of the world — from the same source. 
Indeed the plays here, as elsewhere, presented the richest 
material ready to the artist's hand. 

Other symbolic dances to which we may briefly 
refer are those of the Ritter appointed to guard the 
sepulchre, and of Mary Magdalen in gaudio. The 
Ritter, or Knights, represent the Koman soldiers who 
receive instructions from Pilate to keep watch and ward 

In the earliest Germanic times, Death was undoubtedly thought of as a woman 
(a Valkyrie like Homer's 6\o7] Krjp) : see p. 175. Perhaps the earliest known 
representation of Death is that in the Leofric Missal (Warren, p. 45), where he is 
drawn as a devil, not as a skeleton. Death appeared till quite recently among the 
dramatis personae of a travelling Obersteiern company. In their Spiel vom guten 
Hirten he dances off with a shepherdess, and thoroughly mediaeval Dance of 
Death verses are put into the mouths of both. In this case also Death is associated 
with the Devil : see Q, pp. 329, 331, 355, 359. 

^ Woltmann {Holbein, chap, xi., Todeshilder und Todtentdnze, p. 249) 
holds that the Dances of Death were first acted, and that, as in the case of the 
passion -incidents, the painter followed the actor. Wackernagel, Geschichte der 
deutscJien Literatur, p. 396, places the Dances of Death under Geistliche Spiele. 
At the same time it must be noted that while the first ' soul-list ' occurs in a 
play of which the manuscript dates from the second half of the fourteenth 
century, the Klingenthaler Todtentanz (see vol. i. Essay I.) dates from 1312. Cf. 
Massmann, Die Baseler Todtentdnze, p. 36. The typical knaves in the block- 
book. Die acht Schalkheiten, from the middle of the fifteenth century, nearly all 
occur in the ' soul-lists ' of the various plays. For the study of the question 
Pfister's edition of Rechtstreit des Menschen mit dem Tode (circa 1460) contains 
woodcuts of primary historical importance. 


over the sepulchre.^ They dance to the sepulchre, and 
then dance round it singing. The idea which the 
dancing is intended to convey appears to be that of 
contempt. In much the same manner, in a Dispute 
between Mary and the Cross, the Jews are represented 
as dancing round the Virgin by tens and twelves in order 
to mock her as she weeps at the foot of the cross. ^ Mary 
Magdalen expresses her wantonness by dancing ; in the 
Dighy Mysteries the dance with a dandy leads to her 
seduction ; in the Alsfelder Play she heads a regular 
Devils' Dance, being assisted by Lucifer cum aliis 
demonibus ; in another play, the Ludus Mariae Magda- 
lene in gaudio, we have a very effective choral dance of 
the Magdalen and Procus, one of her lovers.^ Of a 
similar character is the dance of a shepherdess with 
a hunter, and with devils in an Obersteiern play per- 
formed till a quite recent date.^ The foolish virgins 
in the Ludus de decern Virginibus also express their 
folly by feasting and dancing as the following stage- 
directions indicate : ^ Tunc omnes fatuae habeant 
convivium, deponant seque dormiant, and Tunc 
fatuae corizando et cum magno gaudio vadunt ad 
alium locum. 

It will be seen from the above — by no means exhaus- 
tive — list of instances how widely dancing was used 
in the passion-play as a symbol of character.^ 

1 L, vol. ii. p. 302. 

2 Legewls of the Holy Rood, E.E.T.S., p. 142. In the Coventry Mysteries 
(p. 319) the Jews dance round the cross before it is raised. 

3 See C, p. 55 ; I, p. 112 ; and B, vol. i. p. 80. ^ See Q, p. 343. 
^ Bechstein, Warthiirg Bihliothck, vol. i. p. 18. 

^ In a Wcihnachtsspiel from the fifteenth century (ed. Piderit, 1869), Mary- 
employs Joseph to rock the cradle. He gets a knave to help him et sic servus et 
Joseph corisant per cunabulum cantando ' In dulci juhilo. ' There is afterwards 


Another phase of symbolism in the mediaeval drama 
has already been briefly referred to (p. 262), namely, 
the extravagant brutality displayed by the Jewish per- 
secutors of Jesus. The character thus thrust on the 
whole Jewish nation was but slightly a result of reli- 
gious feeling — it was more, perhaps, the outcome of 
racial antipathy — but, in the chief place, its origin must 
undoubtedly be sought, like that of the modern German 
Judenhetze, in economic conditions. The Jew of the 
Middle Ages was the successful middleman and the 
economically necessary but widely hated money-lender. 
He was known only to be feared by both townsman 
and peasant.^ Thus to exaggerate the Jewish cruelty 

a dance of the nursemaids employed by Joseph with Arnold and Gulrich the inn- 
keepers. In the Dighy Mysteries (ed. Furnival, p. 164) we find Will and Under- 
standing getting up a dance with Indignation, Malice, Discord, etc., and Mind 
says this is the "develys daunce." 

^ Perhaps the best expression of the bitter unreasoning hatred of the medi- 
eval German for the Jew will be found in Luther's Von den Jiiden mid jren 
Liigen, Wittemberg, 1543. Luther, after attributing to the Jews every evil 
quality and all possible vices, comes to the kernel of the matter when he touches 
the economic side. He writes : — 

Ja wohl, sie halten uns Christen in imserni eigen Lande gefaugeu ; sie lasseu uns 
arbeiten im Nasenschweiss, Geld und Gut gewinnen, sitzen dieweil hinter dem Ofen, 
faulenzen, pompen und braten Birn, fressen, saufen, leben sanft und wohl von 
unserm erarbeiteten Gut ; haben uus und uiiser Giiter gefangen durch ihren ver- 
fluchten Wucher, spotten dazu und speien \ins an, dass wir arbeiten, und sie faule 
Junker lassen sein von dem Unserm und in dem Unserm ; sind also unsere Herrn, 
wir ihre Knechte mit unserm eigen Gut, Schweiss und Arbeit, tiucheu darnach 
unserm Herrn, und uns zu Lohn und zu Dank. 

As remedy, Luther suggests to the princes — (i. ) To set fire to their syna- 
gogues and schools, and cover with earth what will not burn ; (ii. ) to break into 
and destroy their houses ; (iii.) to deprive them of prayer-books and Talmuds ; 
(iv.) to prohibit their Rabbis teaching ; (v.) the abolition of all safe-conduct for 
Jews upon the highways ; (vi.) to forbid usury and deprive the Jews of all their 
money, gold and silver ornaments ; (vii.) to put into the hands of strong young 
Jews the spade and of Jewesses the spinning-wheel, and let them earn their 
bread in the sweat of their brow. "But, summa, my lords and princes who 
have Jewish subjects, if you do not follow my counsel, take a better, that you 
and we may be freed of all the unsufferable, devilish burden of the Jews." 
Such is hardly even an average sample of Luther's abuse, yet it will suffice to 
illustrate the feeling manifested in the passion-plays under a different form. 


to Jesus was a means of carrying away the sympathies 
of his audience which even the religious playwright 
did not despise. Historically, we have no reason for 
supposing that the masses in Jerusalem were singularly 
hostile to either the person or teaching of the car- 
penter's son. The opposition largely arose from the 
privileged classes, the priests, the educated, the wealthy 
members of the community ; they were closely touched 
by his contempt for the study of the law and by his 
undoubtedly communistic teaching. To some extent 
the priests may have rewon the popular ear, but it is 
scarcely credible that the whole population were eager 
to scoff and torture the very man whom shortly before 
they had accompanied in a veritable triumph into the 
city. The scarlet robe and the crown of thorns were 
due, not to the Jews, but to the Eoman soldiers ; the 
scourging seems to have been inflicted to excite pity, 
while the wine mingled with myrrh was given as a 
soporific.^ In the passion-plays, however, there is no 
brutality so great that it cannot be placed to the credit 
of the Jewish mob ; the tortures of the gospel narrative 
are increased a hundredfold, in order not so much to 
excite pity for the victim as to fan the popular hatred 
of the Jewish race. Thus Barabbas is no sooner 
released from the ' stocks ' than he hastens to insult 
Christ.^ Malchus, showing no gratitude for the recovery 
of his ear, is foremost among the tormentors.^ The 
Jews are represented as gathering round Jesus full of 
the most venomous hate, and as taking pleasure in the 

^ Compare Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, under Crucifixion, and Strauss, 
Lelen Jem, pp. 574, 578. 2 g^ yoi. n. pp. 297, 298. 

3 B, vol. ii. pp. 298, 299 ; Jubinal, Mysthres inMits, vol. ii. p. 190, etc. 


discovery of excruciating tortures. The nails used at 
tlie crucifixion must be blunt, the holes drilled in the 
cross must be too far apart, so that a rope is needed to 
stretch the sufferer's frame. ^ 

Nor were the artists one whit behind the play- 
wrights. The faces of the torturers in a mediaeval 
woodcut or painting are such as we associate with the 
vilest dregs of society. In the pictures we have no 
difficulty in recognising the murderer Barabbas and the 
ingrate Malchus of the passion-plays. Even the passion 
scenes of Diirer, Holbein, and Cranach are studies in 
criminal physiognomy.^ As I have already pointed out, 
what the mediaeval man thought ill of, that he painted 
in the blackest colours. Thus Judas must have com- 
mitted parricide as well as incest in the ' kingdom of 
Scharyot,' while Pilate's crimes from his youth upwards 
were of the most abominable character.^ Once or twice 
the real source of the feeling in the plays and pictures 
comes more nearly to expression, as when the Conclusor, 
at the end of the second day of the Egerer Spiel, calls 
upon princes and nobles to remember that the Jews, 
whom they now favour, belong to the race who tortured 

^ D, p. 63 ; F, p. 211 ; K, p. 53 ; Townley Mysteries, pp. 219, 220, and gener- 
ally the Coliphizacio and Flagellacio, Coventry Mysteries, p. 319 ; Chester 
Mysteries, pp. 36, 58. 

^ See, for example, Diirer's two woodcut passions ; Cranacli's Passional Christi 
et Antichristi (Cut 3), and liis illustrations to Luther's Bible ; Woltmann's 
Holbein, pp. 53, 132, 133 ; and compare these AvithF, pp. 168, 176, 198, 199 : E, p. 
181 ; B, vol. ii. p. 275, etc. ; K, pp. 41, 42 ; D, pp. 33, 62. Perhaps the most 
curious exhibition of the feeling I have come across was in the Paznauner Thai 
twelve years ago, where I found a torture-scene by the wayside with the Christ a 
diminutive man and the Jewish torturers horrible giants of the Gog and Magog 
type. The design at least appeared very antique. 

^ Compare inter alia as to Judas, K, p. 69 ; Townley Mysteries, Suspensio 
Judae, p. 328; and as to Pilate, Massmann, Deutsche Gedichte des W^ Jahrh., 
p. 145. 

Fig. 4. — MEDiJiVAL Conception of Jewish Brutality. 
The Scourging from Albrecht Durer's Grecder Passion. 


Christ, and are therefore worthy of the bitterest 

With such character sketching in mass, as I have 
indicated above, it will be evident to the reader that 
all the finer individualisation which we now understand 
by the term must perforce be absent. It will not, how- 
ever, be out of place to describe briefly the mediaeval con- 
ceptions of the chief personages of the plays ; for, with 
one exception, the notions then current of these per- 
sonages differed widely from what are held to-day. This 
one exception is the central figure of the drama. While 
the Saxons of the ninth century had a Christ of their 
own, while the German mystics had a Christ of their 
own, while even pictorial art after Durer had an indi- 
vidual Christ, it is still almost impossible to speak of a 
Christ of the passion-plays. All the individuality this 
Christ possessed was that of the not entirely consistent 
sketch presented by the gospel originals. We lack almost 
completely the warmth and unity which mediaeval art 
gave to other personages of its drama. The Christ was 
possibly too sacred to be touched ; he remained Eastern 
among the mediaeval versions of his contemporaries, 
and his character was never thoroughly remodelled, like 
his features, on Western lines. The utterances of the 
passion-play Jesus are merely rhymed paraphrases of 
the words used by the Evangelists, and if they are 
occasionally effective, it arises from their original beauty 
and simplicity, which is not wholly incongruous even in 
its new Western setting. 

It is quite otherwise with the character of the 
Virgin. Here we find much more originality, even 
after we have set on one side all that was drawn from 


the apocryphal gospels/ The reader, who has examined 
the earlier studies in this volume, can hardly fail to 
have been impressed with the important part played 
among the primitive Germans by the mother-goddess. 
She is the goddess of fertility in man, in beast, and in 
the soil. She is the goddess of birth and of death. 
Her symbols are the spindle and the pitchfork, the ripe 
fruit and the protecting mantle. All the rich wealth 
of ideas which the primitive German associated with 
his ancient goddesses, he ultimately distributed over 
the Christian pantheon ; many fell to the lot of local 
saints, others went to enrich his demonology, but not a 
few attached themselves to the person of the Virgin ; 
and, under Western influence, she remains no longer the 
mere gospel outline of the mother of Christ, she attains 
all the richness of colour which is characteristic of a 
primitive mother -goddess. She becomes a centre of sex- 
emotion, and a symbol of archaic race feeling. She 
becomes a goddess of childbirth ; with the ears of corn 
in her hand she stands as the deity of agriculture,- 
springs and meadows are consecrated to her, the 
flowers receive her name, and mankind flies for refuge 
under her mantle.^ She is the goddess of life and death. 
Her gifts are the loaf which never comes to an end, or 
her own breast whence the divine wisdom may be 

^ Particularly the Pseudo-Mathew and Protevangelion of Jam,es. 

^ She fills all the barns with wheat ; her three ears of corn sprout miracu- 
lously through the snow ; her image can be foimd in every ear of wheat. She 
and her child are seen in the corn-field, or her image is found to have been de- 
posited where the corn grows luxuriantly. 

^ On a misericord on the north side of Gayton Church, Northamptonshire, 
will be found a fifteenth-century carving of the Virgin with her mantle of grace 
round a number of nude figures representing souls. The protecting mantle will 
be found with many saints having in part heathen attributes, e.g. St. Ursula, St. 
Felicitas, St. Symphorosa, etc. 


sucked.^ The mediaeval Virgin is, in short, the folk- vindi- 
cation of its right to a goddess of its own ethnic type. 

It is true that devotional and catechetical works 
drew a line — albeit occasionally somewhat faint — be- 
tween the power of the Trinity and the power of the 
Virgin.^ Yet for the great mass of the folk mediaeval 
Christianity presented all the good and all the bad 
qualities of a polytheism. The Virgin was to the common 
folk, who were ignorant of scholastic subtleties, a divine 
being, and no amount of citation from doctrinal treatises 
can invalidate this conclusion. Nor should we, as 
students of comparative religion, seek forced reasons for 
denying it. Mariolatry has, on the whole, been a bene- 
ficial factor in European civilisation. It appealed to 
one of the noblest emotions in man ; and it may well 
be doubted whether the women of to-day would have 
advanced so far as they have done, had not the worship 
of a goddess, prepotent in religious feeling, in art, and 
in the drama, come to help them, however little 
realised, in their struggle. When the folk heard the 
Virgin addressed as ' Queen of Heaven ' and ' Mother 
of all Mercy,' ^ when they saw her in woodcut and 

^ 111 this respect the Virgin closely resembles the Indian Maya. She will be 
found represented as squeezing her breasts in several editions of the Hortulus 
Anii7iae, or as offering them to Bernard of Clairvaux, Dominic, and other saints in 
pictures and prints. 

^ What can be said on this point — and it is not convincing — has been said 
by J. Janssen {An meine Kritiker, 1882, pp. 36-41). 

^ Cf. "Heuene queue and hell Emperesse" [Legends of Holy Rood, E.E.T.S., 
pp. 147, 211, etc.) We find some very strong expressions used of the Virgin even 
as early as the Xpiarbs irdax^^} ^•9- TrdyKXvre, TrayKaWlara Koiprj irapdive 
(1. 598), 6 irbrva Koipt}, cre/MVOTaTa -wapdhe (1. 646), A^airoLva rrayKolpave, fiTjrep 
Tov Aoyov (1. 998). The deorbKos in the same play emphasises strongly her own 
purity, while in the epilogue of the author there is a strong element of Mario- 
latry {e.g. 11. 2572 et seq., 11. 2597 et seq.) even to the regina celorum = TavTdva<r<xa. 
See also Lehner, Die Marienverehrung in den ersten Jahrhunderten, 1881. 


picture placed on a level with the Son, or crowned by 
the Trinity (e.g. Diirer's Maria Himmelfahrt), they 
did not stay to inquire into fine dogmatic distinctions. 
The folk-literature teems with proof of this. What 
might possibly have been highly imaginative allegory 
in the Minnesingers' verbose adoration, became an ex- 
pression of unqualified folk -belief in the mouths of 
the Mastersingers. Such divine attributes as eternal 
existence, creative power, dispensation of mercy, sove- 
reignty over hell, and the divine title to the worship 
of animate and inanimate nature are all associated with 
the Virgin. A few extracts from a fourteenth-century 
Meistersong will help to emphasise her real position in 
folk -belief " She is with them (i.e. the three persons 
of the Trinity) one Godhead bright." King David saw 
her " standing by God in golden robes and passing in 
and out of the Godhead, even before she was born as 
the Virgin. Who can be mispleased that she is so 
gloriously united with God ? " Later the Virgin herself 
is introduced saying : " I helped him to make all things 

^ In Ostendorfer's woodcut tlie Virgin carries the keys of heaven and hell ; she 
is appealed to as goddess of life and death (p. 175) to stop the plague, and receives 
votive offerings representing healed limbs. To her the peasants appeal Avitli milk- 
pail, sickle, and hay-fork in hand, with offerings of fruit and fish. In this respect, 
as goddess of fertility, she receives votive presents of seed-basket, fodder-pannier, 
pitchfork, and scythe ; while cooking-ladle and pot, spindle and lirefork, show her 
relation to the old domestic goddesses of heathen times. In short, it is she who 
bears the halo, crown, and sceptre, and the child but completes the notion of the 
primitive mother-goddess. The reader will be able by the aid of a magnifying 
glass to recognise most of the things referred to in this description. In addition 
there would certainly be inside the building little wax images of babies, thank- 
offerings for fertility. In the unique copy of an unknown master's Die Wunder 
von Maria Zell in woodcuts from circa 1503, which is in the possession of Herr 
A. Coppenrath of Regensburg, we find the Virgin as goddess of fertility granting 
children to barren parents, helping women after childbirth, and curing all 
diseases, especially those of young children. 

Fig. 5. — The Virgin Mary as Local Mother-Goddess.^ 
After Ostendorfer. 




glorious with my wisdom, heaven, earth, and the be- 
ginnings of life." " Ere God created hill, dale, or sea, 
I was conceived of him." The Virgin can help all men 
and save them from eternal pain ; she is the Noah's ark 
which carries them over hell-flood. She is one with the 
Trinity ; for since God is indivisible, the whole triune 
deity has dwelt within her, and she has partaken of its 
nature.^ It is she who breaks the bolts and bonds of 
hell, who binds the enemy with all his powers, who 
blunts the sharpness of death. '^ The Apostles are the 
stars in her crown, and all things that God has created 
— sun, moon, and stars — fall down and worship her.^ 

The notion of the Virgin we have thus endeavoured 
to give the reader is to a great extent embodied in the 
mediaeval religious drama. In the Egerer play it is the 
Virgin who dispenses salvation to the three Magi.^ In 
Gundelfinger's Entombment John comforts Mary by 
telling her that she will soon sit on the highest throne 

^ We even find the whole Trinity represented in the womb of the Virgin 
(Didron, IcoTwgraphie chriticnne, p. 558). Compare also the following expressions 
drawn from Latin Church hymns : totius trinitatis nohile triclinium, cella trinitatis, 
tnater tui patris, genetrix genitoris, patris inater, templum sandae trinitatis (see 
Mone, Hymni, Nos. 389, 472, 522, 10, 507). Again Heil tabernacle of pe trynyte 
occurs in an English Ave Maria {Hymns to the Virgin, E.E.T.S., 1. 49, p. 5). In 
the Coventry Mysteries (p. 115) the whole Trinity enters Mary's bosom. Gabriel 
addresses her as 'Goddys dowtere,' 'Goddys modyr,' 'Goddys sustyr,' 'Goddys 
chawmere and his bowre,' 'Throne of the Trinyt^,' 'Quen of hefne. Lady of 
erthe, and Empress of helle.' "All hefne and herthe wurchepp 30U now," says 
St. Elisabeth to the Virgin (p. 128). 

2 We find similar ideas in many Latin hymns and sequences, e.g. Aveprae- 
clara maris stella (v. 7) : "Tuque furentem Leviathan, serpentem tortuosumque 
et vectem collidens, damnoso crimine mundum exemisti" (Daniel, Thesaurus, 
Sequence xxxvi.) In a Tyrolese Lvdus de ascensione Domini, Christ formally 
hands over the kingdom of mercy to the Virgin (ed. Pichler, p. 11). 

^ See Meisterlieder aus der Kolmarer Hamdschrift, Stutg. Lit. Verein, Bd. 
Ixviii. pp. 206 ct seq. The song is probably due to an immediate follower of 
Frauenlob. Woodcuts with similar conceptions are innumerable. 

4 F, pp. 76, 78. 


of heaven by the side of her Son.^ Still stronger are 
the fourteenth-century plays in their language of de- 
votion. The Himmelfahrt Maria adopts the speech of 
the Song of Songs, and as God raises the Virgin from 
her grave their words are those of earthly lovers and 
not of spiritual beings. All the erotic expressions which 
the fourteenth-century female ascetic applied to her 
bridegroom Christ are used in this play by the Virgin 
to her Son.^ Christ declares that his daughter and 
bride shall rule the kingdom of heaven, while the angels 
proclaim that, as empress, her will shall be eternally 
fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven.^ Christ then gives 
her crown and sceptre, with full power over the Devil, 
whereon the Virgin informs all mortals that she has 
taken upon herself the attributes of godhead.* In 
another play of the Day of Judgment we find the 
Virgin seated at the right hand of Christ helping to 
judge the world, while her claim to save any sinner 
who has appealed to her before his death is at once 
admitted. Elsewhere she asserts for herself control of 
all the elements and of all living things.^ 

1 B, vol. ii. p. 143. 

2 A, pp. 78-80. Compare Arnsteiner 3Iarienleich {circa 1140), ' Godes driiden,' 
and tlie English hymn Surga mea sponsa in Hymns to the Virgin and Christ, 
E.E.T.S., p. 1. Also see the Latin hymn Ave stella matutina, line 19, sponsa 
dei electa (Mone, No. 533), and compare such phrases as summi siJonsa creatoris, 
soror dei et filia, parens patris, nata prolis — arnica, sponsa soda dei patris et filia 
— sponsa Christi — niater et filia, etc. {Ibid. Nos. 355, 462, 547, 548, etc. ), for 
the Virgin. The St. Trudperter Hohenlied distinguishes three hrutloufte in the 
Song of Songs, one of which is the marriage of God to Maria. A twelfth-century 
Gedicht von der Hochzeit (ed. Karajan) describes this marriage at length. 

3 See A, pp. 61, 82. 

■* Ibid. pp. 84-86. In P the Virgin has absolute control over the devils, and 
threatens to lay them in bonds (Part I. pp. 31-35). See also M, p. 112. 

^ B, vol. i. pp. 288, 298. In the sixteenth-century folk-book. Thai Josaphat 
(Simrock, Bd, xii.), which is almost identical with this play, these parts are 
carefully omitted! See also Old English Miscellany, E.E.T.S., Doomsday, p. 


So much for the divine side of the Virgin's character, 
she appears as the all-powerful divine mother of the 
primitive German faith. The human side, as we have 
already remarked (p. 272), is stamped by the well-known 
lamentations with considerable beauty and tenderness. 

A third important part which must now occupy our 
attention is that of the Devil. In the Gospel of Nico- 
demus we already find a considerable cohort of demons. 
Beelzebub is prince of hell and Satan his right-hand 
man ; there are " legions of devils," and " impious Death 
and her cruel officers " are of the company.^ At what 
time Lucifer began to usurp the place of Beelzebub, 
owing to the strange interpretation of Isaiah xiv. 12, is 
not very clear. ^ It must suffice to say that in the 
mediaeval plays Lucifer is the chief devil, Satan his 
' antient,' and Beelzebub, if he appears at all, only one 
of the numerous crowd. ^ The mediaeval Lucifer was 

165. In the fifteenth-century Weihnachtsspiel, published by Piderit, the Virgin, 
after identifying herself with the stella maris and stating that she is fed miracu- 
lously by the Holy Ghost, continues (1. 189) : — 

Min ist auch alles vnderdan, 
Son, sterne vnd auch der mone, 
Vnd alles das in der werlt lebet, 
Vnd in des meres griinde strebet, 
Vnd die cleynen fogellin. 
Dar vmb mogen, mir, wol frolich sin, 
Das rair alle die dlenen gar 
Mit der vier elementiu schar 
Erden, lofft, fier vnd wasser tzwar. 

^ See chaps, xvii. 1, 9 ; xviii. 1. 

2 See, however, Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, 823, where it is suggested that 
Eusebius originated Lucifer. 

^ In the plays the Devil in paradise was usually represented by a woman, or 
a figure with a woman's head, e.g. M, p. 30, in specie virginis. The stage- 
direction in one of the JVeihnachtspiele given by Weinhold is that the serpent 
is to be acted by a girl. " A werm with an aungelys face," Coveritry Mysteries, p. 
29; "manner of an edder ... a medens face," Chester Mysteries, p. 26. This 
conception is frequent in the engravings. In the Spiegel nunschlicJier Behdltniss 
(Zainer, Augsburg, circa 1470) there is a woodcut of the serpent as a clothed, 
winged, and croAvned woman ; her body terminates, however, in a dragon's tail. 


no proud prince of hell, but a thoroughly contemptible 
craven, who fears even to be left alone ; he is treated 
with contempt by his subordinates, although at the 
same time they recognise his authority. Mediseval 
legend blessed him with a grand-dam, mother, or wife, to 
whom reference is occasionally made in the plays. ^ The 
dramatists seem to have been imbued with Luther's^ 
idea that the best method of treating the Devil was to 
pour scorn upon him ; and, accordingly, a more pitiable, 
ludicrous being than the Lucifer of the plays can hardly 
be conceived. It is only in the opening scene of the 
Egerer Play that we reach the least trace of a higher 
artistic conception. 

Satan is, on the whole, a better worked out character ; 
he is the most enterprising and ambitious of the devils, 
although his cunning invariably overreaches itself, and 
he meets discomfiture at the hands of both God and man.^ 
It is Satan who organises the hunt for souls ; he pre- 
pares hell chains for the false prophet Christ {Coventry 
Mysteries, p. 309) ; he alone offers physical resistance to 
the triumphant Kedeemer ; and he is the devil who 
suggests plans for the restocking of hell after the with- 
drawal of the patriarchs. The passion-play conception of 
Satan is much like that of the negro revivalists, at once 
cunning and stupid, the fear and the jest of mankind. He 

^ For the characters of Lucifer and Satan see B, vol. ii. pp. 41-104 ; L, vol. 
ii. p. 305 ; D, p. 153 ; F, p. 292 ; C, pp. 4 et seq. ; H, vol. ii. p. 70 ; I, pp. 96 et 
seq., p. 144; Theophilus, Part I. 11. 778 et seq., Part II. 11. 440 et seq., etc. 
As to the Devil's female relatives see I, pp. 55, 102, 104 ; C, p. 13 ; Grimm, 
Deutsche Mythologic, 842, Mdrchen, Nos. 29, 119, 125. All were extremely- 
frequent proverbially and colloquially in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries 
(see earlier essays, pp. 27, 202). 

2 See the Tischreden, iv. 73, 75, but often elsewhere. 

^ See, for example, Grimm's Mdrchen, N"os. 81, 125, 189. 


boasts to Lucifer that he has brought about the death of 
Christ, but the next moment the same Christ is thunder- 
ing at hell -gates. He runs off with a priest who is 
saying mass, but the priest exorcises him and drives 
him into a wild ravine, where even Lucifer is glad to 
be free of him for a time/ He brings a lawsuit against 
humanity, but mercy is stronger than justice, and he 
is dismissed with costs. ^ On all occasions the devil of 
mediseval drama is a part which verges on broad farce. 
There is only the one glimpse, which is lost almost at 
once, of a Prometheus or Loki type. And yet, if the 
reader would understand the Middle Ages, he must realise 
that the folk, like Luther, believed in and feared the 
Devil, even while they strove to laugh at him. 

Of the minor characters, Judas fills the familiar part 
of the melodramatic stage-villain, even to a black nimbus. 
No attempt whatever is made to analyse the motives 
which may have led to his supposed treachery. The 
passion-play Judas is simply the incarnation of evil, 
and, beyond delight in ill-doing, without a reason for 

^ See B, vol. ii. p. 100. The Gospel of Nicodemits, chap, xv., is, of course, 
the source of some of the mediaeval conceptions. 

^ The lawsuit, Satan versus Humanity, was a frequent allegory. Thus we 
have Peter Mechel's play, Ein schon Gespreche, darinn^n der Sathan Anklager des 
gantzen inenschliclien Geschlechts ist, etc. The basis of Mechel's play, as of several 
others of like character, was Jakob von Teramo's Belial, Processus Luciferi contra 
Jesum Christum. This was written about 1400, but first printed by Zainer in 1472. 
See also Coventry Mysteries, xi. In a still-acted peasant play, Das Paradiesspiel 
(Weinhold, TFeihnachtspiele), when Mercy has won the lawsuit, Christ beats the 
Devil about the shoulders with his cross back to hell. This might appear to the 
reader as a modern innovation in the worst taste, but it has really great antiquity. 
The conception is, in England at least, as old as the fourteenth century. Thus in 
the Disputacio inter Mariam et Crucem {Legends of the Holy Rood, E.E.T.S., p. 
131), we find :— 

Til ])e crosses dunt 3af him a daunt. — 1. 428. 

Cristes Cros ha]? craked his crown. — 1. 287. 

Pe Cros I calle ])e heerdes 3erde, 

Perwi]j \Q deuel a dunt he 5af. — 1. 295. 


his action. Justice is amply satisfied when he is formally 
executed by Beelzebub, when Lucifer announces that he 
intends to ride him round hell, or declares that ^ — 

Er muss sein mein spilhundt ; 

Tieff in der helle grundt 

Da muess er prinnen und pratten ; 

Es wirt sein nimer ratten. 

Ich wil in tieff versencken, 

Mit schwevel, pech wil ich in trencken 

Und wil ein feur geben zu essen 

Und sein mit keiner pein vergessen. 

Judas not only despatches himself with much realism, 
but is afterwards roasted and eaten by the devils for 

Pilate^ possesses more individuality than Judas. 
Occasionally he is represented as the bitter foe of Christ 
who takes council with the Jews on how the false 
Messiah may be destroyed.^ Generally, however, we 
have the Pilate of Christian tradition — a judge who 
is fully convinced of the innocence and, after the 
resurrection, of the divinity of the man he has con- 

^ See F, pp. 188, 189. The Devil sits on Judas in a picture of the Last Judg- 
inent by Meister Stephan ; see the frontispiece. Alongside are the fatal pence. 
Dante represents Judas champed between Lucifer's teeth {V InferTio, c. xxxiv. 11. 
51-59). The general mediaeval conception is well expressed in the fourteenth- 
century song : — 

du arraer Judas was has tu gethan, 
Das du deinem Herrn also verrathen hast ! 
Darumb mustu leiden in der Helle pein, 
Lucifers Geselle mustu ewig sein. Kyrie eleison ! 

^ Pilate, like Judas, had, according to tradition, led a disreputable life, 
references to which occur in the plays. He was the son of King Atus, his 
mother being the miller's daughter Pila (" Kyng Athus gate me of Pila," Town- 
ley Mysteries, p. 233. For the reputation of the mill in mediaeval times see 
p. 150). The same etymological explanation of Pilate's name will be found in 
a twelfth-century German fragment, Pilatus, in Massmann, Deutsche Gcdichte d. 12. 
Jahrh. pp. 145-152. For Pilate's life and crimes the reader may consult this 
fragment, and Das alte Passional, pp. 85 et seq. 

^ For example, the Vienna Easter-play, L, vol. ii, p. 299. 


demned. To appease the Jews he orders the crucifixion, 
but at the same time he very formally washes his hands 
on the stage and strongly expresses his private views 
as to the innocence of the prisoner. Sometimes we find 
an element of realistic indifferentism ; it is not his 
business to set watchers at the grave, but he will give 
his consent provided the Jews pay for the soldiers ; as 
for the resurrection — well, the priests must themselves 
make the best they can of the disappearance of the 
body — it does not concern Pilate. The character is, 
however, rarely worked out with any consistency, not 
to say skill. Pilate will in the same play on one 
occasion term Jesus a swindler, and on another testify 
to his innocence.^ 

Lastly, we may, passing by the characters of the 
chief disciples, whose parts are slight, refer to Mary 
Magdalen, concerning whom the gospels left free scope 
for the mass of legend which soon gathered round this 
most poetic figure among mediaeval favourites. Mary, 
according to legend, was the sister of Martha and 
Lazarus of Bethany. One version makes the family of 
noble, even royal birth ; besides property in Jerusalem, 
they owned two castles, one at Bethany and the other 
at Magdala. When the children came of age Lazarus 
took the property in the city, desiring to be a soldier, 
while of the two castles Bethany fell to Martha and 
Magdala to Mary. Lazarus and Martha were prosperous 

^ See A, pp. 114 et seq. ; I, pp. 129 et seq. ; B, vol. i. p. 109, and vol. ii. pp. 301 
et seq. ; F, pp. 191 et seq. For the character and motives of Pilate, compare La 
Resurrection du Sauveur, Jubinal, Paris, 1834: "Jol' consenti par veisdie, Que 
ne perdisse ma baillie " ; and Tomnley Mysteries, p. 203 : "I am fuUe of sotelty, 
falsehood, gylt, and trechery. " 


and respected, but Mary devoted herself and her wealth 
to a life of wantonness.^ This legendary view of Mary 
is fairly in accordance with the playwright's conception. 
In the Donaueschingen Play we are introduced to the 
Magdalen playing chess with her lover in the garden 
while attendants execute music — a scene which will be 
familiar to students of mediaeval manuscript miniatures. 
Simon's servant passes the fence, and being questioned 
as to his errand, announces that he is preparing a meal 
for Jesus. Mary, struck with fear, sits regardless of the 
game. At this instant Jesus himself goes by ; the game 
is thrust aside, a new light has dawned on the Magdalen, 
and she hastens off to the apothecary's shop.^ It is im- 
possible to deny either the grace or the dramatic power 
of the incident thus treated. Unfortunately other plays 
are more artificial. As we have noted earlier (p. 343), 
the Magdalen is usually introduced dancing in the 
company of devils. In the Erlauer Play we find her 
throwing ball ^ with the Devil ; in the Alsfelder Play, 
after a dance of devils, the demon Natyr holds up a 
mirror to Mary ; she then dances with one of Herod's 
soldiers, and her maid with the demon. In the Egerer 
Play we have a more realistic touch ; Mary slinks away 
to avoid a meeting with Christ ; the devil Belial is her 
comrade, and as a pair of lovers they wander into the 

^ Compare inter alia, Bas alte Passiotial, pp. 368, 369. 

^ See B, pp. 189 et seq. The Dighy Mysteries deserve special notice for their 
treatment of Mary Magdalen (pp. 56-83). The introduction of the good and bad 
angels, of the taverner, and of Mary sitting in her arbour thinking of her ' valen- 
tynes ' may be noted. There is a wonderfully fine engraving by Lukas van 
Leyden (Bartsch, 122) of the Magdalen in gaudio. It represents a garden with 
music and amorous couples ; in the background Martha and Lazarus in grief. 

^ Ball was a favourite game for women in the Middle Ages ; see Schultz, Das 
hofische Leben zur Zeit der Minnesinger, Bd. i. p. 422. 








meadows to weave garlands of flowers. Here it is that 
remorse seizes her/ Mary's remorse is generally symbol- 
ised in the plays by tearing off her fine clothes, jewels, 
or flowers, and this is always followed by the flight of 
the devil. In one play she curses her fine clothes, her 
roses, her white hands, the hair that has led to her 
perdition, her eyes, her cheeks, her unholy mouth, and 
even her pointed shoes.^ In some cases Mary's conver- 
sion is brought about by seeing Christ, or hearing him 
teaching ; generally, however, Martha is the immediate 
cause. Martha's sermons are not at first received 
cordially, and Mary even suggests that if her sister 
were not so old and scraggy she would take a different 
view of life, — as the case is, she does well to stick to her 
spinning-wheel. In one play Mary declares that she 
will repent later and turn nun(!) like Martha; at the 
same time she hints that even nuns are no better than 
they ought to be.^ The St. Gallen Leben Jesu intro- 
duces with considerable skill the scene between Christ 
and the woman taken in adultery ; between Mary's rejec- 
tion of Martha's advice and her remorse, the spectators 
are left to draw their own conclusions.^ The anointing 
of the Master's feet in Simon's house, although closely 
following the gospel story, is as a rule fairly spirited ; 
while the part which the Magdalen plays at the cruci- 
fixion and resurrection has the special merits which we 
have already seen (p. 272) are peculiar to the typical 

^ For details see I, p. 107 ; C, pp. 58 et seq. ; F, p. 103. 

2 See J, p. 98 ; E, p. 24 ; I, p. 117 ; C, p. 62. 

3 See I, pp. 110-112 ; B, vol. i. p. 81. •* See B, vol. i. pp. 81-83. 


VII. — On the Performers in the great Folk 

Of the essence of the modern drama are the profes- 
sional actor and the professional playwright. In the 
Middle Ages, so soon as the folk had withdrawn the 
passion-play from sacerdotal influence, there was not a 
trace of the professional element. The man of the folk 
writes, and the people act, to amuse the people. The 
drama is the central feature of a municipal holiday- 
making ; there is no rigid line between the amusers and 
the amused. The actors act for the pleasure of it, and 
the trained and salaried professional actor is unknown. 
Thus, whatever opportunities may have existed for the 
display of dramatic power in the passion-play characters 
we have just described — for individual interpretation 
as apart from symbolic significance — they were almost 
entirely thrown away by the untrained actors of the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. These actors were 
homely burghers and simple craftsmen, who were prob- 
ably only called upon to act once or twice in the 
course of the year,^ and who had no conception that 
acting requires either genius or a lengthy education. 

The religious drama, when it passed from the Church 
to the market-place, fell into the hands of honest but 
illiterate citizens, who generally took part in it by 

^ It might be imagined that the numerous Fastnachtspiele provided a 
dramatic school. But apart from the question of whether broad farce cau be a 
training for religious tragedy, it may be doubted whether the great open-air 
spectacles would draw any dramatic profit from the characterless buffooneries 
of the wine-shop. It must be remembered, however, that the very street boys 
played at passion-plays, besides performing religious dramas at school : see 
Thomas Platter's AutoUographie (ed. Fechter), 1840, pp. 122-124. 


reason of their corporate capacity as Mastersingers, or 
members of guilds and brotherhoods. Thus Sebastian 
Wild, tailor and mastersinger of Augsburg, wrote and 
published in 1566 a passion-play which was afterwards 
one of the chief components of the earliest Oberam- 
mergau text/ We hear also in the same century of the 
Mastersingers of Augsburg giving performances of the 
Stoning of Stephen, the Kesurrection, and the Birth of 
Christ. The brotherhoods and guilds of Freiburg in the 
Breisgau appear to have been as active as the Master- 
singers of Augsburg. Freiburg had at one time what 
we may fairly term a processional passion-play, every 
scene of which was undertaken by a distinct guild or 
brotherhood.^ Each set of actors in costume, perhaps 
forming a tableau, either marched or were drawn on a 
car, accompanied by the members of their guild, through 
the streets of the town to the market-place, where on 
arrival they recited the portion of the passion allotted 
to them. It is probable even in Germany that in 
some processional plays the same scene was occasionally 
repeated at several points. At Freiburg the guild of 
painters acted the Fall, in which the Devil carried the 
tree of knowledge; the brotherhood of journeymen- 
coopers, the Sacrifice of Isaac ; the guild of bakers, the 
Annunciation ; the tailors, the Magi and Our Lady in 

1 See D, pp. 190-197, 229, 230 ; and compare H, pp. 203 et seq. 

2 In England religious plays were constantly given by the guilds. At Chester 
the tanners performed Lucifer's Fall, and the clothmakers the Creation, etc. 
There was a special guild for the play of the Lord's Prayer at York, where the 
trade guilds performed the Corpus Christi play, and there were pageant guilds at 
Beverley (see Toulmin Smith, English Guilds, E.E.T.S., p. 34, and the text of 
the statutes). The guilds of Coventry and those of ISTewcastle-on-Tyne had also 
elaborate Corpus Christi plays. A processional play undertaken by the guilds of 
Lbbau is noticed in Flbgel, Geschichte der Grotesk-Komischen, p. 264. 


the Sun;^ the shoemakers, the Massacre of the Inno- 
cents ; the journeymen -tailors, the Triumphal Entry ; 
the brotherhood of burnishers, the Last Supper ; the 
bricklayers and carpenters, the Mount of Olives ; the 
journeyman-shoemakers, the Scourging ; the guild of 
coopers, the Ecce Homo ; the butchers, the Bearing of 
the Cross ; the goldsmiths, the Crucifixion ; and the 
clothmakers, the Eesurrection. Meanwhile the guild of 
pedlars performed Saint George ; that of the barbers. 
Saint Ursula ; the smiths, the Virgin with the children 
under her mantle,^ and afterwards the Day of Judg- 
ment.^ Somewhat later we find the tanners giving 
Twelve Angels bearing the Arms of Christ/ In a 
somewhat similar processional play which was given at 
Lobau at the beginning of the sixteenth century, we 
find the members of the monastery still taking part 
with the guilds, a remnant of the rapidly disappearing 
influence of the Church over the religious drama. 

Clearly the method of folk-representation indicated 
in the processional play could not even preserve con- 
tinuity in the acting of any single part which appeared 

^ We have already referred, in dealing with the Star in the East (p. 325), to this 
mediaeval interpretation of the apocalyptic woman with the moon beneath her 
feet. The Greeks had a similar interpretation (see Mount Atlas in Manuel 
d'Iconographie chr6tienne, p. 249). There are pictures in the Cologne Gallery 
(Nos. 95, 375) : special prayers were used before such pictures, — see for example 
Hprtulus Animae (Dillingen(?), 1560, fol. 208). The imprisoned Cellini, praying 
to see the sun, saw Our Lady in the sun. Vita, ed. Colonia, p. 173. 

^ On the wide-spreading mantle of grace, sheltering many sinners, we have 
remarked above (p. 350). Compare also Holbein's Solothurn and his Meyer 
Madonnas (Woltmann, pp. 181, 313). It was a favourite bit of symbolism with 
the Cologne School, and used for Saint Ursula as well as the Virgin (compare 
the Cologne Gallery pictures, for Virgin, Nos. 186, 230 ; for Saint Ursula, Nos. 
124, 307). Benvenuto Cellini even adopted a like notion for a figure of God 
(see Vita, ed. Colonia, p. 61). s ggg g;^ p_ ^94. 

■* The symbols of the passion arranged as a coat-of-arms, — a representation 
which will be familiar to students of mediaeval miniatures and engravings. 


in more than one scene. In the Frankfurt Play of 1498, 
Christ was played by no less than five different actors. 
Perhaps on this account, perhaps because each guild liked 
to emphasise the size and magnificence of its pageant, we 
find the number of actors immensely increased. The 
sixteenth-century stage-direction, " as many angels as 
possible," was amply fulfilled.^ In Krliger's passion-play 
we find 46 needful parts ; the Alsfelder play requires 
more than 100 actors; the Frankfurter play of 1498 
some 265, while a Luzern play of 1597 demands upwards 
of 300 actors.^ With such numbers it is clear that, if 
the play was not processional, the stage must be very 
large ; the more so as the actors having taken up 
their proper positions upon it, in most cases never 
left it during the day's performance.^ The Virgin Mary, 
having gone through her lamentations at the foot of 
the cross, must return to her allotted place and cease 
to lament. Pilate, having given his judgment, must 
sit still in his house while the cross was borne to the 

The expenses in the case of such a multitude of actors 
must have been considerable. But it may be doubted 
whether the actors in Germany received any other pay 
than a good meal. On the other hand, in England we 
find pretty full records of the payments to the actors in 
the Coventry Mysteries (see Marriott, English Miracle- 
Plays, 1838) about 1500. Thus we note Imprimis to 

^ See H, vol. ii. p. 9. 

2 See S, vol. iii, p. 133 ; H, vol. ii. p. 9 ; L, vol. ii. p. 244 ; and compare 
Jubinal, Mysteres inedits, vol. i. p. 48 (200 actors). 

^ E, p. 1 (opening stage-directions). This arrangement is very obvious in 
the Frankfurter Spiel (S, p. 138) ; thus we read : Jhesus surgat a loco suo, and 
again (p. 141), Jhesus quoque recipiat se in loco donee ordo cum iterum tangat. 


God, ijs, Item to the devyll and to Judas, xviiij'\ Ityn 
to Pilatt is wyffe, iis, etc. Herod was paid 3s. 4d., 
Pilate 4s., the Holy Ghost Is. 4d., Peter and Malchus 
Is. 4d., the knights 2s., and the minstrel Is. 2d. 

Even when the play was not processional in the 
sense in which we have used that word, the actors usually 
marched to the stage in procession. Thus the first 
group of the Luzern procession consisted of a shield- 
bearer, an ensign, the Proclamator, St. Gregory, God the 
Father, Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and the angel Uriel. 
On the second day another group consisted of the 
executioner Achas, Amalech, Jesmas and Dismas (the 
two thieves^), God the Father, Longinus, Dionysius 
Areopagita, and the archangel Eaphael. In the Alsfelder 
Frocessio Ludi we find included, Satan with a tree,^ the 
devil Natyr with a mirror (see p. 362), the Gock, the 
Synagogue, two Jews carrying a Talmud, the Ecclesia, 
and, concluding a very long list, four damned souls with 

After the day's performance the Proclamator would 
not unusually dismiss the assembly either to church or 
to supper : — 

Nun mag wol fraue und auch man 
frolich von dem marck heim gan 
nnd mtigen essen mosanczen und fladen 
und sich erhollen ires scliaden.* 

^ Jesmas and Dismas were highwaymen who attacked the Holy Family on 
the flight into Egypt. At Mary's entreaties, Dismas spared their lives, which 
much angered Jesmas. Mary gave Dismas her girdle as a token of his ultimate 
redemption (see T, p. 385). 

2 In the peasant- plays of Adam and Eve a decorated tree, representing the 
tree of knowledge, was carried about (see R, p. 112). 

•* See the processional lists in B, vol. ii. pp. 121, 125 ; C, p. 257. 

^ See F, p. 325 ; C, p. 91 ; B, vol. ii. p. 252. In the latter we read : 
* Gat man ... in der ordnung bis in die cappel." 


Such, then, are the history, the characterisation, the 
stage, and the actors of the fully developed mediseval 
passion-play — the religious drama written by the 
mastersingers and acted by the craftsmen of the guilds. 
The change from the scenic ritual of the early Christian 
priests to the complex pageant of the market-place, with 
its hundreds of actors, its colour, its music, its folk- 
tongue, and its dancing, marks a change in the spirit of 
mediaeval Christianity — its final appropriation by the folk 
as a folk-religion. Protestantism was again to wrest this 
religion from the hands of the people, and mark all these 
symbols, legends, and folk-beliefs as superstitious, where 
it did not, indeed, brand them as devilish. And with 
what result ? That folk-symbolism and folk-art, muni- 
cipal fete and the old religious socialism would be 
destroyed ; that the withering grasp of a dogmatic 
religion of the schools — without symbolism, without art, 
without pageantry — would again be laid on the Teutonic 
folk-spirit. But that folk-spirit cannot be permanently 
shut out from moulding its religion and its art. In a 
lower or higher form it is sure, sooner or later, to drag 
them out from the cloister and the museum, and make 
them a factor of the streets and the market-place. 
Nor are traces wanting of the beginnings of such a 
revival of folk -influence in our life to-day. Those 
who seek will find both the healthy and the diseased 

VOL. II 2 b 


YIII. — The Contents of a Sixteenth-Century 

In order to bring more vividly before the reader 
the course of a fully developed religious folk -drama, I 
purpose in this, the last section of my essay, to briefly 
sketch the leading incidents of such a play, without 
slavishly following any particular version. 

As soon as the procession had arrived at the stage, 
the chorus of angels would sing Silete^ and the 
Precursor or Proclamator would open the play. 
Usually he would call upon young and old, poor and 
rich, to attend to him, give them a short sermon on 
the meaning of the leading incidents in the Christian 
world-drama, suggest the need of penitence, recite 
the principal events of the first day's play, and bid the 
people make no disturbance, but listen attentively to 
all that shall follow. Sometimes the Precursor would 
adopt a more humorous folk -tone, of which the follow- 
ing — although taken from a fifteenth-century carnival 
play — is a very fair specimen : ^ — 

Silence, now for a while to-day, 
Come and hear what we've got to say, 
You in the corners here and there ! 
Yonder old women will talk away 
Why in the world their hens won't lay ! 
Other old gammers their gaffers are rating, 
Can't they see that we all are waiting ? 

^ For example, in theLudusde decern Virginihus ( Warthurg JBihliothek, i. p. 15) 

Angeli cantant : — 

Nu swigit liben lute 

lazzit u bedute. 

Swigit, lazt uch kunt tun, etc. 

2 * Ain spil von mayster Aristotles ' (Keller, No. 128, Fastnachtspiele aus 
dem 15ten Jahrhundert, Stuttg. Lit. Verein). 


After the Precursor's speech would follow, according 
to circumstances, a variety of ' prefigurations ' or scenes 
from the Old Testament, usually commencing with the 
Creation of the Angels and accompanied by the Fall of 
Lucifer. In the Egerer and Luzerner Plays these scenes 
occupied the morning of the first day, — in the latter case 
from six o'clock till two o'clock. Passing them by as 
already sufficiently dealt with (p. 264), we may note 
the Council of Lucifer and the Devils in hell, sum- 
moned to devise a means of counteracting the work 
of salvation. The devils determined to take active 
steps to seduce the Jews from the path of virtue. The 
devil's mother Hellekrugk assists at this conference, 
which not improbably ends in blows. ^ The gospel story 
now commences with the birth of the Virgin. The 
sacrifice of Joachim is refused in the Temple, and he 
leaves his wife Anna. The archangel Michael recalls 
him, and he meets and embraces Anna at the golden 
gate. She retires for a few moments and then returns 
with a child, the Virgin. Thereupon the sacrifice of the 
parents is received by the priest Isachar. To realise 
these passion-play scenes — the story of the Immaculate 
Conception — the reader has only to turn to Diirer's 
illustrations of the Life of the Virgin.^ We may 
next have an incident or two from the Virgin's child- 
hood, her life in the Temple, Isachar's determination 

^ C, pp. 5-13. See also Jubinal, MysUres inMits, vol. ii. p. 38. 

- See Cuts 2-6. These and several later incidents in the Virgin's life are taken 
from the Protevangelion. Independent plays dealing with the Virgin were 
popular, e.g. " dramatische voorstelling op Marialichtmis in de Lebuinus-kerk, 
waarbii de kanunniken hem de rol van Maria met het kindele lieten vervuUen '" 
(a.d. 1378-1411). See Acquoy, Het Klooster te JFindesheim, Utrecht, 1875, i. 
p. 273. 


that the consecrated Mary should marry, the summons 
to all men of David's lineage, and the bursting into bud 
of the aged Joseph's rod.^ Joseph immediately after the 
marriage goes off to work and Mary retires to her 
' oratory,' where Gabriel, followed by the columha de 
throno, announces in florid language the conception.^ 
Then follows the journey to Bethlehem with a comic 
interlude. Joseph speaks of his wife as ' the Virgin,' 
a statement not confirmed by appearances ; and, partly 
on this account and partly because he has no money to 
pay, all the innkeepers refuse to put them up.^ Kefuge 
is at last found in a tumble-down outhouse, where the 
child is born.^ Then we have the shepherds keeping 

^ See F, pp. 46-49. The incidents are in Pseudo-Mathew, chap, v., and the 
Protevangelion, chap. viii. 

2 Exactly as in Diirer's Cut 8, where a water-pot is introduced to reconcile 
Pseudo-Mathew, chap. vii. , with Protevangelion, chap. ix. In Wernher's Driu liet 
von der Maget (1. 2115) the former account is followed, but Das alte Passional 
(p. 14) slurs over the discrepancy. In an Advent song from Unterwessen, Gabriel 
comes to the Virgin by night in her bedchamber, not in the oratory, but I have 
found no other instance of this (see R, No. 7, p. 62). The Annunciation seems, 
as I have already noted (see p. 290), at some places to have formed part of 
the scenic ritual. Thus in a thirteenth - century Besangon ritual cited by 
Martene (Liber iv. cap. 10. § 30) we read : " In Biscentina vero B. Magdalenae 
parochiali Ecclesia dum idem Evangelium {Missus est angelus) in missa 
cantatur, puella quaedam eleganter composita, et prius diligenter edocta, B. 
Virginis personam gerens, respondeat diacono legenti, iisdem verbis quibus 
Gabrieli Archangelo redemptionis nostrae mysterium annuntianti Beatissima 
Virgo Maria respondit." Martene refers in the same section to other less note- 
worthy rituals. 

^ See Q, pp. 146, 203, but often elsewhere in the greater passion-plays. 
It was a peculiarly popular incident in the peasant-plays, and in them has 
survived to the present day : see R, pp. 48, 64, 65, 92, 101-104, but especially the 
Rosenheimer Dreikonigspiel, p. 169 ; also the fifteenth-century Weihimchtsspiel, 
edited by Piderit, p. 97 ; Coventry Mysteries, pp. 146 et seq. ; and, with a variety 
of comic incident, the Chester Plays, pp. 11^ et seq. In the latter one of the 
shepherds gives a pair of his wife's old hose, while in the German Weihnachtsspiel 
it is Joseph's old hose which are used to wrap the child in. These hose appear 
to be traditional, for we find Luther referring to them in a Christmas sermon on 
Luke ii. 1-14. 

^ See F, p. 59, for * das zerprochen haus,' exactly as in Diirer's Cut 10. 


watch by night, and the adoration of the shepherds/ 
Close upon their heels come the three Magi, who have 
seen the star from Mons Victorialis, and who narrate 
the wonders that have brought them to Judea.^ A 
messenger announces their arrival and purpose to Herod, 
who curses the messenger, but entertains the Magi, while 
his wise men and astrologers are consulted. The three 
kings then depart for Bethlehem, where, before the 
Adoration, a curious incident is generally given. The 
youngest king desires eagerly to be the first to salute 
Jesus, and accordingly he becomes grey and aged, — God 
has listened to his prayer and transformed him into the 
eldest.^ In the Erlauer Play the eldest, Caspar, naively 
takes off his grey beard and gives it to the youngest. 
The angel Uriel warns the Magi that, to avoid the plots 
of Herod and his wise men, who desire to know where 
Christ is, they should go back * by another way ' to their 
places, — an incident which occurs in the Church ritual. 
We have then the Flight into Egypt, followed by the 
Massacre of the Innocents. Comic or folk-elements are 
introduced in Herod's messenger or fool, and again in 

' We have already seen that the shepherds formed the subject of an Advent 
scenic ritual ; we have noted the ' solemnis ad praesepe retro altare praeparatum 
processio ' at Rouen (see pp. 290 et seq. ) ; and other rituals will be found in Martene, 
Liber iv. cap. 10. to cap. 12. {De adventu Domini, Be vigilia naialis Domini and 
Defesto natalis Domini). 

2 To the Three Kings plays I have already mentioned may be added the 
Ohlacio Magorum, Townley Mysteries, p. 120, and Le Jeu des trois Roys, Jubinal, 
MysUres inedits, vol. ii. p. 84. In the Egerer Play the three kings mount three 
hills to see the wonderful star which contains the mother and' child (11. 1738, 
1779, 1819, 1905). Hans Memling, in his Seven Joys of the Virgin (Munich, 
Pinakothek, No. 655), has painted the three kings kneeling on three mountain - 
tops and looking for the miraculous star. See also Wright, Chester Plays ^ pp. 
276, 284. 

^ This ancient legendary feature has been preserved in the modern peasant- 
plays (see R, p. 183 footnote and text). 


the conduct of the soldiers who, amid the lamentations 
of Kachael and the women of Bethlehem, destroy the 
infants, not without a taste of the women's distaves. In 
one play at least Herod dies terribly, and is carried off by 
rejoicing devils.^ Other additional incidents frequently 
introduced into the first day's performance are the 
Banquet of Herod, the Dancing of Herodias's daughter, 
the Beheading of John the Baptist, and the Dance of the 
Devils with Herodias and her daughter to hell.^ Some 
plays went as far in the first day as the Banquet in 
Simon's house, but the usual and more fitting beginning 
of the second day's performance was the commencement 
of Christ's public ministry.^ 

On the second day there would be the Calling of the 
Disciples, the Temptation, and several of the more note- 
worthy miracles,^ but the incident for which the audience 
looked with the greatest expectancy was that of the 
Magdalen and her lovers. Of the general method of 
treating this incident enough has been said (p. 362). 
Mary's repentance is followed by Simon's banquet, 
which, in the Donaueschingen play, consists of bread 
and fish. This takes place much in the gospel fashion, 
the actual anointing, however, being occasionally a 

^ See J, p. 91 ; I, pp. 15 et seq., especially p. 23 ; F, pp. 73-89 ; B, vol. ii. 
pp. 161, 172, etc. ; Bosenheimer Breikonigspiel, R, p. 187 ; Chester Plays, 
p. 185. 

2 Mediaeval legend describes an illicit passion of Herodias for John. At last, 
when she has his head on the charger, she can kiss the lips ; but the head springs 
upright on the charger and blows her into space. A head on a charger frequently 
appears in mediaeval legend, and the folklore of the subject deserves critical 
examination (see C, p. 35). 

3 Compare the Egerer Play (F) with the Alsfelder (C) and Luzerner (B, 
vol. ii. pp. 125-127). 

^ The Frankfurt Play works off the miracles in a batch ; a blind, a lame, a 
dumb, a leprous, a sick man are cured in rapid succession (see S, p. 140). 


choral interlude in almost the words of the Latin ritual. 
The Magdalen starts with the hymn : — 

Jesu Christi auctor vitae.^ 

Upon which the disciples chant : — 

Accessit ad pedes Jesu peccatrix, 

an antiphone of the Eoman Breviary, while the washing 
of Christ's feet is accompanied by descriptive chants. 
The whole is concluded by the chorus or the Magdalen 
singing the wonderful hymn : ^ — 

Jhesu nostra redemptio, 
amor et desiderium, 
dens creator omnium, 
homo in fine temporum. 

Then follows a scene in which the devils give vent to 
their rage at the loss of the Magdalen's soul, but Belial 
finally comforts Satan with the prospect of seducing 
Judas. ^ 

Sometimes before, sometimes after the repentance 
of Mary we have the resurrection of Lazarus. It is 
preceded by his illness. Death, personified, gives him 
the * todes strigk,' and preaches a dance-of-death sermon 
on the transitory life of all flesh. The resuscita- 
tion scarcely needs comment, except for the emphasis 
which, in order to magnify the miracle, the sisters lay 

1 See F, p. 106 ; C, p. 86 ; I, p. 118 ; and compare Mone, Lateinische 
Hymnen, No. 1057. 

2 It is needless to point to the influence of the Church ritual. The reader 
may compare Anglo-Saxoii Hymnarium, Surtees Society, 1851, p. 83 (beginning 
of eleventh century). 

3 See F, p. 107 ; C, p. 90. 


on the state of the dead.^ This miracle is usually made 
the basis of the hostility of the Jewish priesthood. 
Several scenes often follow in which the Jewish leaders 
take counsel as to how they may destroy Jesus. 

Here we may note that besides Annas, Caiaphas, and 
a multitude of Jews given by name, we have a personified 
Synagoga, who is not only the chief enemy of Christ, 
but often the representative of Judaism, in somewhat 
wearisome discussions with a personified Ecclesia, or 
champion of Christianity. These discussions appear at 
least as early as the twelfth century, and in the fifteenth 
were made the subject of separate plays. The efiect 
which these mock discussions must have had in increas- 
ing racial hatred — since the most villainous opinions 
are put into the mouths of the Jews, and all sorts of 
persecution are commended — can scarcely be overrated 
by the student of mediaeval Jewish history.^ To the 
assistance of Synagoga in her desire to destroy Jesus 

^ 'Er stincktt sere, ich weys es woll' (E, p. 109, and C, p. 71, pointing to a 
common source). Compare B, vol. ii. p. 95 ; Chester Plays, p. 229, In Hilarius's 
Suscitatio Lazari {circa 1130) we have the same notion : "Fetorem non poteris 
sustinere mortui, namque ferens graviter fumus est quatridui " (p. 32). In the 
same play the ' Jewish ' comforters of the two sisters are naively bald in their 
sympathy: "Talis lamentacio, Talis ejulacio, non est necessaria." 

2 A striking example is the carnival - play of the Niirnberg barber and 
mastersinger Hans Folz, entitled Die alt wad neu ee (see Keller's Fastnachtspiele, 
No. 1). A long Disputacio Ecclesiae cum Sinagoga occurs at the end of the 
second day's performance in the Alsf elder Spiel (C, p. 143). There is another in 
the Kiinzelsauer Fronleichnamsspiel (see Bartsch's Germaoiia, Bd. iv.) The 
Frankfurter Spiel ends also with such a dispute, and with the baptism of Jews by 
St. Augustine. A certain ' Christiana,' with a red banner and gold cross, and a 
* Judea,' with a banner and black idol, abuse each other in the Donaueschingen 
Spiel (B, ii. pp. 328, 329). Mone's note as to the French origin of the dispute 
{ibid. p. 1 64) is, I believe, hardly justified ; compare the German-Latin play in 
the Carmina Burana (J, p. 94). The Church is often personified as a female 
figure crowned and with a nimbus ; she holds a chalice in one hand and a cross 
in the other (see Didron, Christian Iconography, p. 85). For the dress of 
Ecclesia see the twelfth- century drama De adventu Christi (N, p. 220). There 


comes Satan ; he goes to Judas and promises him good 
pay if he will betray Christ. He then brings Judas to 
the conclave at the ' Jewish School.' It will be obvious 
to the reader that the conduct of the devils is hopelessly 
stupid and without any motive ; they fear Christ has 
come from heaven to die for men, and their object 
should be to hinder the crucifixion ; they are represented 
as assisting it, apparently with the sole object of winning 
Judas' soul in exchange for the Magdalen's. At the 
same time their language shows that they are acquainted 
with Christ's purpose, and hate him accordingly. 

About this time in most of the plays we have the 
counting out to Judas by Caiaphas of the thirty pence. 
Judas objects first to one penny as rusty, to a second as 
not ringing well, to a third as broken, to a fourth as 
having a hole through it, to a fifth as having a wrong 
impress, and so on. Caiaphas does not take these 
objections in good part, but the bargain is finally 
struck. In the Heidelberg Play Judas goes directly 
from the banquet of Simon to Caiaphas, and the motive 
for the betrayal is the reproof he has there received. 
This at least indicates how perplexed the mediseval play- 
wrights were to find a reason for Judas' conduct.^ 

appears to be a very early AUercatio Simonis Judaei et Theophili Christiani, but 
I have not been able to see a copy. A ninth-century painting at Aquileia 
contains both Ecclesia and Synagoga ; so also the thirteenth-century porch of 
the Freiburg Minster, which (p. 322) we have already seen is of interest in 
relation to the religious plays. Compare, too, Jubinal, Mysteres inedits, vol. ii. 
pp. 258-260, who cites an AUercatio from the twelfth century, p. 404. The 
arguments of Christian and Jew are opposed to each other with much prolixity 
in Ber sele Wurtzgartt, Ulm, 1483. In the Tyrolese Ludus de ascensione Domini, 
the Archasinagogus mimics Christ with a mock prayer and creed (ed. Pichler, 
p. 12). Even as late as this century an altercation between a Pastor and a Jew 
formed a " Nachspiel" to a peasant-play (see R, p. 142). 
1 See E, p. 140 ; C, p. 100 ; D, p. 10. 


In the next place we have the entry into Jerusalem ; 
this formed a choral procession, which with the mediaeval 
power of pageantry must have been extremely effective. 
Choruses of the disciples, of youths, of the people, greet 
the Messiah in the ringing lines of the old Latin proces- 
sional hymns, such as the Jesus redemptor omnium and 
the Gloria laus ; or they intone verses from the Vulgate, 
as Hie est solus noster et redem^ptor Israhel. All is 
gladness, song, and dancing. The Church influence in 
this scene has still remained predominant, and we find a 
close relationship with the Palm Sunday ritual.^ 

From this incident onwards the passion scenes 
proper follow each other in rapid succession. Jesus 
announces his intention of going up to Jerusalem for the 
Passover, and speaks of his approaching death. Mary, 
his mother, begs him to find another method of 
redeeming mankind, for how shall she find comfort ? 
Mary the Magdalen, who has means of ascertaining all 
that is going forward in Jerusalem, warns Jesus of 
imminent danger. Can he not eat the paschal lamb with 
them in Bethany ? Mary, his mother, shows him the 
breasts he has sucked, and entreats him for her sake to 

1 See F, p. 120 ; S, p. 144 ; C, p. 80, and B, vol. ii. p. 246. We find the 
same choruses in the tenth-century Leofric Missal (ed. Warren, p. 256) and the 
sixteenth - century plays, e.g. the Gloria laus et honor and the Ingrediente 
Domino. Compare also the following ritual from Martene, De antiquis Ecdesiae 
Ritihus, Liber iv. cap. 20. § 12 : "Tunc scholastici e regione Crucis lento gradu 
veniant ad cam et cum omni reverentia casulos et cappas in terram jactantes 
proni adorent crucifixum clero interim cantante antiphonam Pueri Haehreorum, 
etc. His recedentibus continuo veniant ex latere pueri laici Kyrie eleison cantantes, 
et sequendo vexillum quod ante eos portatur, veniant ante crucem, et annuente 
aedituo jactent ramos palmarum in terram, proni adorando crucifixum, et clerus 
interim canat antiphonam Pueri Haehreorum, etc." Gerardus in his Life of St. 
Udalric describes a somewhat similar ritual, but with a procession cum effigie 
sedentis Domini super asinum (ibid. § xiv.) 


avoid the bitterness of the cross/ She reminds him of 
the commandment he has himself ordained : " Honour 
thy father and thy mother." But all is in vain, the final 
sacrifice must be offered. Mary, the Mother, turns to 
Judas and begs him to keep watch and ward over her 
son, and the traitor promises to die in his defence.^ The 
whole of this scene has much dramatic power, and is a 
little oasis in the arid routine of much of the more 
solemn parts of the passion-plays. The disciples Peter 
and John are now sent to find ' the man with the 
pitcher.' This host is ready to receive them, and 
points out his dishes and his cloths.^ The last supper 
follows, with but few embellishments, on the lines of the 
gospel story : we find the statement of the new law of 
love ; the washing of the disciples' feet, during which 
each disciple sometimes recites an article of the Apostles' 
Creed ; * the distribution of the bread and wine (in some 
plays entirely operatic) ; the announcement of Judas' 
betrayal, and the prophecy of Peter's denial. 

The scene in the Garden of Gethsemane retains 
something of the power of a real spiritual contest. 
Jesus comes alone to the Mount of Olives — perhaps 
an inverted tub — upon which is placed a cup ; occa- 
sionally the stage-directions tell us that an angel is to 

^ A somewhat similar notion is treated in a picture by the Elder Holbein at 

2 See F, pp. 133-135, 137, 140 ; D, p. 11. 

3 See E, p. 148 ; C, p. 95 ; B, vol. ii. p. 254. 

^ This recitation by paragraphs of the Apostles' Creed occurs also in the 
Himmel/ahrt Maria (A, p. 24). See also F, p. 147. The foot -washing was 
carried out in this manner in the recent Brixlegg passion-play. The reader may 
also consult Cuts 46 and 47 of the Schatzbehalter. The incident seems based on 
an apocryphal sermon of Saint Augustine. Compare the footnote (p. 396) to 
the Day of Judgment. 


appear bearing a cup or cross/ sometimes a series of 
angels pass by bearing the symbols of the passion.^ 
The actor who performs the Salvator is to remain 
stretched on the ground crosswise, " a good paternoster 
long." ^ On the arrival of Judas, we have the kiss of 
betrayal, to distinguish Jesus from the disciple James, 
who is very like him in figure/ Then follows the 
thrice-repeated question of Jesus, and the thrice-repeated 
falling upon their backs of the soldiers ; this is to illus- 
trate the voluntary character of the sacrifice. We have 
next the valiant deed of Peter ; Malchus on recovering 
his ear only bids the crowd look at the magician, the 
juggler who has restored it to him, and then, as we have 
before noticed, becomes the leader of the gang of ruffians 
who are represented with the utmost extravagance as 
striking, hustling, and scoffing the bound prophet of 
Galilee. In such fashion ' the Jews ' corizando et 
cantando canticum aliquod (as 'Jesus the deceiver') 
lead off their Christ to Annas. ^ 

While a considerable amount of horse-play is being 
practised on the prisoner, the denial of Peter takes 
place. The mediaeval conception of Peter — the heavenly 
gate-keeper — was not very complimentary, and he is 
occasionally treated in folk -tale and Mdrchen with the 

^ Always in the pictures and woodcuts. See F, p, 157 ; B, vol. ii. p. 263 ; 
E, p. 36 ; and D, p. 23. Further note La Passion de nostre Seigneur in Jubinal, 
MysUres inMits, p. 183 ; Townley Mysteries, p. 184, where the Trinity {sic!) 
comforts Jesus ; and Coventry Mysteries, p. 282. 

2 This conception was revived in the Brixlegg play. In a woodcut of the 
Hortulus Animae (High German version, Dillingen, 1560) the angel bears a cross 
(folio 198 reverso), while in the Schatzhehalter (Figure 52) a cross placed in a cup 
appears on the top of the rock. ^ ggg g^ y^j^ jj p^ 265. 

^ Compare Ludus de ascensione Domini (ed. Pichler, p. 9) with C, p. 102. 

5 See C, p. 109. 


familiarity which borders on contempt. In the passion- 
plays two maids address this disciple in no very flatter- 
ing terms : " You old bald-pate," " you old traitor," etc., 
" were you not with him ? " After each denial the cock 
on the post, a great feature of the stage apparatus, 

calls out : ^ — 

Gucze gu gu gu ga ! 
Peter lug lug lug nu da ! 

This scene usually contains the jpuczpirn, or the game 
with the blindfolded Christ. It appears to have been 
a very common children's game in the Middle Ages. 
One blindfolded child being placed in the centre, the 
others gather pears from different parts of his body : 
" The pears are sweet, here by the feet " ; "At the top 
of the tree are ripe pears, see," and so forth ; each 
jingle is accompanied by a pull, until the blindfolded 
child guesses the pear-plucker's name.^ This game, 
with every conceivable insult and violence, was played 
on the blindfolded Christ, and to judge by its frequent 
occurrence in the plays must have met with much 
popular approval. Next the interview with Caiaphas 
follows, which only serves to throw into still greater 
prominence the supposed brutal passions of the hated 
Jews. This leads up to the first interview with Pilate. 
On the character and motives of the Eoman com- 

^ See C, p. 109. The denial scene varies a good deal ; compare F, p. 169 ; 
K, p. 123, etc. 

^ A jingle possibly for this game will be found in Wolff's Zeitschrift, iv. p. 
351. As to hutz, see Schmeller's Bayerisches Worterbuch, vol. i. p. 316 ; compare 
Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, 418, and Wunderhorn (ed. Reclam), p. 823. 
References to pictures of the incident have been given (p. 262). The game is 
one form of Blindekuh or blindman's-buff. It is introduced onto the stage also 
in a farce of Herzog Heinrich Julius (ed. Tittmann, p. 106). 


mander I have already commented (p. 360). Conscious 
of the innocence of the accused, Pilate sends him to 
Herod, who is delighted at seeing the famous juggler 
(gougelman) of whose doings he has heard so much. 
As Jesus refuses to exhibit his magical powers Herod 
holds him for a perfect fool {ein rechter thore), and 
sends him back in fool's garb to Pilate with profuse 
expressions of friendship for the latter.^ 

Probably about this stage of the play Judas is over- 
come by remorse, and, casting his thirty pence at 
Caiaphas' feet,^ takes a rope and proceeds to hang 
himself. Beelzebub and other devils run to ofier him 
assistance, or sit on the gallows and mock him. 
According to the stage-directions a black bird shall fly 
away from him,^ and Beelzebub shall tear open his 
bosom and let fall " etwas tarmen." Meanwhile the 
chorus sing O du armer loser Judas ! ^ and the devils 
with fire-forks dance round him and off with him to 
hell, where Lucifer receives him in the highest glee.^ 

The second audience with Pilate is marked by the 
Barabbas incident and the scourging. In the former, 
Barabbas, released from the stocks, runs at once to 
fetch a scourge and a rope in order to assist. The 
scourging is of an extravagantly brutal character in 

1 See C, p. 129 ; F, p. 182 ; D, p. 44 ; K, pp. 146 et seq. ; and J, p. 103, 
where we read, "Tunc conveniant Pilatus et Herodes et osculentur invicem." 

2 These pence were coined by Abraham's father, and belonged successively to 
Potiphar (as Joseph's purchase-money), the Queen of Sheba (given to Solomon), 
the Magi, the Virgin Mary, the High Priest, and Judas ! They may be 
found alongside Judas in hell : see the frontispiece. Note the fourteenth-century 
Drei Konige (Simrock, Volksblicher, iv. p. 459), and Chester Plays, p. 291. 

^ On the souls of sinners as crows compare Grimm's Mdrchen, No. 107, Die 
beiden Wanderer. See also p. 331. 

■* This is the old hymn, afterwards ' christlich verandert ' by Luther. 
" See C, p. 115 ; F, p. 188 ; B, vol. ii. pp. 281 et seq., etc. 


both action and language ; the bullies strike till they 
break their rods, they fall to the ground in sheer 
exhaustion, and refresh themselves from Barabbas's wine- 
flask. The crown of thorns, precisely as in the wood- 
cuts, is forced into the flesh by long rods pulled 
downwards at either end by the Jewish persecutors/ 
In the condition due to such torture — a condition repre- 
sented with painful realism by some modern as well as 
mediaeval passion-plays — Pilate leads Jesus to a window, 
and shows him to the people to excite sympathy, Ucce 
homo ! The Jews will listen neither to Pilate's words, 
nor to his sighs. Even the intercession of his wife 
Pilatessa (occasionally called Portula, queen of Hana- 
laps) — to whom Belial or Satan has appeared in a 
threatening dream with the view of hindering the work 
of redemption — cannot stay the judgment. The Jews 
lay stress on the Emperor's displeasure. Pilate breaks 
his staff",^ with much ceremony washes his hands, and 

^ Besides the pictures to which I have referred on p. 263, I may notice that 
the earliest engraving of these stakes which I have come across occurs in a 
unique Leiden Christi at Munich from about 1460. Some account will be found 
in Stoeger, Zwei der dltesten deutschen Druckdenkmdler, Munich, 1833. See 
also Coventry Mysteries, p. 316. 

^ In Holbein's Todtentanz the staff of the judge is broken by Death. The 
staff was in northern mythology the symbol in the hands of the gods of their 
power over living and dead (see Simrock, Deutsche Mythologie, 1878, p. 178). The 
judge in nearly all mediaeval woodcuts is represented with a staff, and the staff 
was raised when an oath was taken ; its modern equivalent is the judge's mace. 
In most of the cuts of the Layenspiegel (1544), the judge is represented as 
holding the staff vertically in his hand. The same conception will be found in 
the cuts of the Bambergische Halsgerichts Ordnung, 1531 (even the fool as 
judge has a staff!), and of Karl V.'s Peinlich Halsgericht, Frankfurt, 1577, 
and indeed of all old German law-books. See also the second cut of Zainer's 
Schachzabelhuch of 1477, and a cut from 1442 in Holtrop : Monuments typo- 
graphiques des Pays-Bas, p. 40. Nearly all the great series of Passion cuts 
represent Pilate with the staff. In a peasant Three Kings play taken from oral 
tradition (in 1875), 'Conscience' tells Herod he cannot hope for grace: 'Der 
stab ist gebrochen,' i.e. he is condemned (see Rosenheimer Dreikonig spiel in R). 


with a flourish of trumpets condemns Christ.-^ Thus very 
usually and fitly ends the second day's performance. 

The third and last day's performance was the 
richest in incident, the most varied in character, and 
probably the one best calculated to excite the strong if 
not very refined emotions of a mediaeval audience. 
Throughout all its scenes run the choral lamentations 
of the mother and of the woman to whom Christ had 
brought new life. These, as we have already noted, 
bear traces of the inspiration of the great lyric poets of 
an earlier age, and still in their rough folk-versification 
are not without beauty. On the way to Calvary, 
under the Cross, at the Entombment, we have a picture 
of the Virgin as mother which contrasts oddly with the 
divinity elsewhere so lavishly bestowed upon her. I 
shall not refer more minutely to these MarienJclagen,^ 

^ For the above account, see C, pp. 135-143 ; F, pp. 198-203 ; B, vol. ii. 
pp. 298-305 ; D, pp. 55, 58 ; K, p. 155 ; S, p. 150. In a fete held in 1313, 
mentioned by Geoffrey of Paris, we read : — 

Les tisserands representer- 

. . . Adam et ^ve, 

Et Pilate qui ses mains leva. 

See Jubinal, MysUres inMits, vol. i. p. 22. In La Passion de nostre Seigneur 
{ibid. vol. ii. pp. 223-226), Pilate's wife, accompanied by her son and daughter, 
goes to entreat Pilate (see SchatzbeJialter, Fig. 74). Pilatessa and her maids 
offer much of interest in relation to mediseval social life and its conceptions 
(see F, p. 207). 

2 Marienklagen, as independent plays, are to be found in B, vol. i. pp. 31, 
198, with interesting introductions ; I, p. 150, Latin and German ; L, vol. ii. 
p. 259 ; Schonemann, Der Silndenfall, 1855 ; and Z. There is small doubt that 
at a very early date Marienklagen formed part of the Church ritual, quite apart 
from their relation to the later passion-plays. They were introduced into the 
Good Friday service of the Adoratio crucis after the hymn Crux fidelis, and 
before the cross was carried to the sepulchre ; see M, pp. 129, 138, 144 (Hie 
portant crucem ad sepulchrum), and 146 (Maria cadit ad sepulchrum). But the 
Freising rubric in particular should be noted : "■ Hie incipit ludus . . . et debet 
cantari post Crux fidelis, et sic finire usque ad vesperam lamentabiliter cum 
ceteris sicut consuetum est fieri." 


only let the reader bear in mind that they are an all- 
important feature in the latter portion of the typical 

The third day's play opens with a considerable 
amount of bustle, the 'beadles' and soldiers, foremost 
among them Barabbas and Malchus, hurry about 
seeking the necessary implements ; one brings the 
Cross,^ another the three blunt nails,^ a third the 
hammer and pincers, and so on. The two thieves, 
Dismas and Jesmas, are taken from the stocks, and 

^ Occasionally reference is made to the well-known legend of the Holy- 
Rood as grown from a twig of the tree of life brought by Seth from the garden 
of Eden. Separate mysteries of this legend were common, and it formed an 
integral part of some of the longer plays (see Jubinal, MysUres inMits, vol. ii. 
pp. 17-20 ; B, vol. i. pp. 307, 313, vol. ii. pp. 28, 46). Generally, as to the 
legend of the Holy Rood, consult Morris, Legends of the Holy Rood, E.E.T.S. ; 
Keller's Fastnachtspiele, Nachlese, Das heilig kreutz spil, No. 125 ; Niirnherger 
Buck der Croniken iid> ; Simrock, Volksbiicher, xiii. p. 445 ; Reinke de Vos, 1. 
4886 ; Das alte Passional, p. 98 ; Geffcken, Bildercatechismus, p. 71 ; Schbne- 
mann, Der Siindenfall, p. 43 ; and, of course, the Gospel of Nicodemus, chap, 
xiv. 4, etc. 

^ As to the number of nails used for the crucifixion, we find, according to 
Didron, that three or four were used indifferently up to the tenth century. 
Gregory of Tours and Durandus were in favour of four. After the thirteenth 
century the practice of using only three came definitely into the ascendant 
{Christian Iconography, p. 271). Much interesting information, with copious 
authorities, is given by Morris {Legends of the Holy Rood, p. 19). Knackfuss, 
in a recent monograph on Velasquez, speaks of that artist in his Crucifixion (in 
the Prado Museum at Madrid from about 1640) having reintroduced the 
ancient four nails, therein following the advice of his father-in-law Francisco 
Pacheco, who, in his book on painting, is very much opposed to the custom 
which had arisen in the thirteenth century of crossing the legs and using only 
three nails (p. 30). My own notes on German representations give the following 
among other results : 

Four Nails. — Processional cross from Stift Essen about 980 ; ivory reliefs, 
tenth-eleventh centuries {Berlin Museum and elsewhere) ; cross of gilt bronze 
{Berlin Museum) ; extremely early colossal crucifix at Munich {National Museum, 
Saal I.) In short, reliefs and crucifixes before 1200 have usually four nails. 

Three Nails. — Munich, National Museum : Pohl altarpiece (Saal III.), 
1380-1420 ; altarpiece from Franciscan church at Bamberg (Saal IV.), 1429 ; 
Calcar altar (Saal X.), 1450-1500. Munich, Pinakothek : Wolgemuth (No. 27), 
1450-1500 ; Wolgemuth, Hopfer altar ; Cologne master (No. 622), circa 1466. 
Cologne Gallery : Master Wilhelm's School (No. 44), circa 1380 ; Gothic 

VOL. II 2 c 


Caiaphas starts the procession to Golgotha.^ Jesus 
being unable to bear the cross, simple Simon, a pilgrim, 
is forced to assist. Then follow the prophetic words to 
the women of Jerusalem, and the beautiful incident 
with Veronica.^ The nailing to the cross is performed 
with extreme brutality, and the whole process of 
hammer and gimlet painfully emphasised.^ As the 
cross is raised, we have again vestiges of the Church 
ritual in the singing of the Latin hymns : O crux, ave 
spes unica and Ecce lignum cruets of the old cere- 
monial Adoratio crucis"^ (see p. 293). The Virgin 
comes forward, and, heedless of the scoffing of the 

Painting (No. 30), circa 1250 ; Master of Lyversborg Passion ; Anton AVonsam. 
Augslurg Gallery : Wolgemuth (No. 43), 1450-1500 ; Altorfer (No. 47), 1517. 
Berlin Museum: Veit Stoss, circa 1496. Wilrzburg : Conrad von Thiingen's 
grave in the Cathedral, circa 1540. Weimar Church: Cranach altarpiece. 
Nurnherg, Germanisches Museum : Wolgemuth, Christ stooping from the Cross 
to St. Bernard, circa 1488. Ramersdorf : Fresco Crucifixion, early fourteenth 

Four Nails. — Hans Burgkmair at Augsburg (No. 44), circa 1518 ; drawing 
by Hans Baldung Grien in the Albertina, 1533 ; and quite modern pictures, 
like Dietrich's Crucifixion at Dresden. 

These few examples seem to show that the four nails were peculiar to 
carving, where the crossing of the knees is by no means easy technically. 
The three nails came in with painting (yet were used by Adam Krafft and Veit 
Stoss) ; they are more graceful than the four, and the foreshortening is fairly 
easy on canvas. Finally, Burgkmair and Grien, not Velasquez, seem to have 
reintroduced the four nails. 

1 B, vol. ii. p. 306 ; F, p. 217, etc. 

^ See C, p. 168 ('simplex Symon' ; compare Chester Plays, ii. p. 51, 'Symon 
of Surrye'); B, vol. ii. p. 309 ('ein bilgem') ; D, p. 61 ; K, p. 161 ; E, p. 231, 
etc. Compare Fig. 81 of the Schatzbehalter. I have treated the Veronica 
incident, artistically and liturgically, at a length I once hoped to treat the 
whole Passion, in a separate work, Die Fronica, Fin Beitrag zur Geschichte des 
Christshildes im Mittelalter, Strasburg, 1887. 

2 On the passion-play stage the holes for the hands were invariably made 
too far apart, and a rope used to strain the arms of the sufferer. Compare also 
Dighy Plays, ii. 1. 1338 ; Chester Plays, ii. 58 ; Coventry Plays, p. 319. This is 
represented with realistic hideousness in Fig. 85 of the Schatzbehalter. In these 
typical passion-play woodcuts Wolgemuth renders the brutality of the Jews 
as strongly as either Diirer or Cranach. See, for example. Fig. 81, where the 
soldiers make mouths at the Virgin. * F, p. 235 ; E, p. 174. 


soldiery, covers with her veil the nakedness of her son/ 
The inscription of Pilate is placed above Christ, and 
the Jews dance round the cross. ^ The garments are 
now rent and divided, but the Jews throw dice for the 
coat of Jesus. The dice are taken from the pocket of 
one of the thieves, and a doubt is expressed whether 
they may not be loaded.^ 

Meanwhile, in the midst of Mary's lamentations, 
John, in order to fulfil literally the prophecy of Simeon, 
places the point of a drawn sword to her heart. ^ The 
crucified Jesus speaks the " Seven Words " ^ — i.e. pardon 

1 E, p. 232 ; S, p. 150. 2 q p^ isi. ^^E, p. 240 ; F, p. 238, etc. 

^ Compare Luke chap. ii. 35 ; Gospel of Nicodemus, chap. xii. 5 ; Das alte 
Passional, p. 75. See C, p. 203 ; I, p. 159 (John hands the Virgin a sword) ; 
L, vol. ii. p. 264 ('Simeonis grimmec swert ') ; F, p. 264 ; K, p. 60 ; B, vol. i. 
pp. 175, 187, 199, 235, vol. ii. p. 313. This sword is a favourite bit of 
mediaeval symbolism. Among Scheifelin's cuts to Schonsperger's Via Felicitatis 
of 1513 we have one of the Mater dolorosa \f\th. five swords radiating halo-fashion 
from her head. In the Konstanz Biblia Pauperum the Virgin stands at 
the foot of the Cross with a sword in her breast. In one of the E.E.T.S. 
Legends of the Holy Rood (p. 142) the sword springs from the cross. The 
Virgin with a sword in her breast occurs in a woodcut (fol. 204 reverse) of the 
Hortulus Animae (German version, Dillingen, 1560 ?). On the title-page of a rare 
book — Michaelis Francisci de Insulis Quodlibetica decisio . . . de septem dolo- 
ribus . . . Virginis Mariae, Schratenthal, 1501 — the Virgin is represented 
with her heart pierced by seven swords — the 'Seven Sorrows.' The same 
seven swords occur also in a picture in the Augsburg Gallery of about 1600 
(No. 83), and often elsewhere. They are part of the mediseval custom of repre- 
senting by symbolism what the untrained actor or early artist could not render 
by the expression of facial emotion. In John Parfre's play of Candlemas-Day 
we read (Marriott, p. 218) : — 

Of blissid Mary how she shall suifre peyn, 
Whan hir swete sone shall on a rood deye, 
A sharpe swurde of sorrow shall cleve hir hert atweyn. 

^ "And so men ])at marken ]>e gospel seien ]?at Crist spake sevene wordis, 
]>e while he hyng on ]>e cros, to greet witt and mannis profit " (Select English 
Works of Wyclif, Arnold, vol. ii. p. 128). There are special" prayers for the 
Seven Last Words in the Hortulus Animae (attributed to Bede), the Hertzmaner 
(Casper Hochfeder, Niirnberg, circa 1480), and in a fifteenth - century manu- 
script {Gebetsammlung) in the author's possession, which has prayers also for 
*de vii bespottungen. ' For a full appreciation of these words and their mean- 
ing for mediaeval thought see the Schatzbehalter, Niirnberg, 1491, fol. I. ii. 
reverse et seq. 


for his torturers, salvation for the penitent thief, pro- 
vision for his mother, the Eli lama sabachtliani, the 
statement of thirst, the accomplishment, and the com- 
mendation of his spirit. Each word is followed by the 
scoffing of the bystanders ("Die 7 Spottreder"), and 
thus the brutality of the Jews is preserved to the last. 
With the Seventh Word a white dove is to be set free, 
and Satan, sent by Lucifer, comes to fetch Christ's souL 
An angel meets him with a drawn sword, and Satan flies 
back to hell in consternation. In one play Satan goes 
with a net to fish for the soul, and Gabriel and he 
" ascend the ladder together," where, however, the Devil 
is discomfited. Here again we see the same con- 
fusion of motive in the conduct of the devils as I have 
previously drawn attention to (see pp. 358, 377, 383). 
Then the veil of the Temple — a curtain hanging from 
two columns — is rent, four dead men arise from their 
graves,^ the moon and stars speak to Christ,^ and guns 
are fired for thunder. " Verily," exclaims the cen- 
turion, " this was the Christ." ^ The fine incident 
with the blind Longinus is now generally introduced. 
Longinus had ridiculed the notion that Jesus could cure 
the blind, and challenged him to attempt the cure in his 
case. The old man comes, and — some plays say from 
hate, others from pity and a desire to shorten Christ's 

^ For the talk of the four dead men see T, p. 433. 

"^ Probably the sun, moon, and stars were represented in the plays exactly 
as in pictorial art. A Paris MS., in a miniature of the crucifixion, has a tall 
white female figure with a crescent on her head for the moon, and a youth in 
red with a radiated crown for the sun. Sometimes we find two angels carrying 
stars, sometimes the stars are personified (see Didron, Christian Iconography, 
pp. 86, 87, and Fig. 68). 

3 See B, vol. ii. p. 324 ; C, pp. 197-199 ; F, p. 253 ; E, p. 247 ; K, p. 166 ; 
D, p. 68. 


sufferings — orders his servant to place his spear upon 
the prophet's side. Longinus thrusts it in, and the 
blood and water rushing out fall upon the blind eyes 
and give them sight again. Longinus is afterwards 
found assisting at the entombment.^ Meanwhile the 
limbs of the thieves are broken, and devils and angels 
come to fetch their apportioned souls. ^ 

The begging of Christ's body from Pilate, the lower- 
ing of it from the cross by Nicodemus, Longinus, Joseph 
of Arimathsea, and their servants present nothing of 
special note. The body is usually placed in the lap of 
Mary seated at the foot of the cross, an incident often 
dealt with in mediaeval painting.^ It is then carried 
on a bier to the grave while the chorus chant the 
response, Ecce quomodo moritur Justus^ Some plays 
show even more strongly the influence of the old Church 
ritual. Thus in Gundelfinger's Entombment we have 

1 See B, vol. ii. pp. 224-226, 326-327, 331 ; F, p. 259 ; K, p. 65 ; D, p. 70 ; per- 
verted in Kriiger's play, H, vol. ii. p. 66. As to how the wound was represented 
we may note the stage-direction, "Vulnus autem lateris et alia vulnera simi- 
liter sint prius depicta ut quasi vulnera videantur" (S, p. 151). A still more 
painfully realistic method was adopted in the recent Brixlegg passion-play. 
The question of the first appearance of Longinus's blindness in mediaeval tradition 
has been raised by G. Stephens {Studies on Northern Mythology, 1883, p. 326, 
and Appendix, p. 43). I may note that Longinus is not blind in the fourth- 
century Xpiarrbs iriax^^ (11- 1080 ^^ ^^S'-j 1212), nor in the tenth -century Homily 
of Mih'ic {Legends of Holy Rood, p. 106). Not even in the thirteenth-century 
Passion of our Lord {Old English Miscellany, E.E.T.S., p. 51) is the blindness 
mentioned. This may serve to illustrate how continuous was the growth of 
mediaeval tradition. 

2 Compare two pictures by Altorfer (Augsburg Gallery, Nos. 48, 49), and 
another from the early Cologne School (Cologne Gallery, No. 37). 

^ The notion, the Pieta, is as old as the fourth-century Xpto-r^s Trdcrx^J' (11. 
1295-1309). See the copper engraving of Christ in the Virgin's lap by the 
master E. S. about 1467, and many woodcuts. It is as much a favourite with 
miniaturists as painters, e.g. a fifteenth-century Metz MS. Horae B. Virginis, 
once in my hands, Miniature vi., etc. In sculpture we have Michael Angelo's 
work in St. Peter's, Rome. ^ See C, p. 214 ; E, p. 260. 


a procession consisting of the cross-bearer, four angels 
carrying the three nails and the crown of thorns, four 
angels with candles, Joseph and Nicodemus with two 
servants bearing the body, four more angels with 
candles, the Virgin with John, then the three Maries, 
and lastly two servants with ointment.^ Such a proces- 
sion approaches in content those of the Easter rituals. 

From this epoch in the plays we have even a greater 
fulness of incident and a wider range of material to 
select from than before, since now the numerous Eesur- 
rection-dramas and Easter-plays come to our assistance 
with endless variety of detail. The main thread running 
throughout them all, however, is the Church ritual as it 
is developed in the Tours Mystery (p. 302). 

The Jews obtain Pilate's authority to set watchers 
at the tomb, and the four "knights" set out on their 
mission dancing and singing. The grotesque-comic of 
their valiant language is really not so inappropriate as 
it at first appears. If this man Jesus comes to life again 
may their hair turn golden ; should the disciples come 
near the grave they shall forfeit their lives ; the watchers 
set no limit to , their own prowess, they will stand up 
against hundreds till they wade in a very sea of blood. 
Even their names — Dietrich, Hildebrant, Isengrim, and 
Laurein ^ — are those of invincible Teutonic heroes. And 
what happens when they come to the grave ? They fortify 

^ See B, vol. ii. p. 141. Mater Maria is distinguished from Maria Jacobi, 
Maria Salome, and Maria Magdalena. The SepuUo Domino of the old scenic 
ritual is also frequently sung (see S, p. 152, etc.) 

^ See especially the Ludus Judeorum circa Sepulchrum, I, p. 125 ; F, p. 280 ; 
D, p. 78 ; K, p. 183 ; B, vol. ii. pp. 36-41, 339 ; L, vol. ii. p. 301 ; and 
La Risurrection du Sauveur, Jubinal, Paris, 1834 ; Townley Mysteries, p. 259 ; 
also the X/jwrds Trdcrxwj', 1. 1900. 


themselves with wine, and either drop off to sleep one 
after the other/ or, Gabriel appearing, collapse in terror 
at his chant : — 

Kecedete, recidite 
infideles, cedite ! 

Not infrequently the three archangels come to the tomb 
— Michael with a drawn sword, Gabriel with a candle, 
and Eaphael with a banner.^ Exurge, quart ohdormis, 
domine! Adjuva nos et libera nos ! they cry, and 
Jesus, arising, takes the banner from Eaphael and sings, 
Ego dormivi & Resurrexi.^ These chants are usually 

^ Before the thirteenth century all the soldiers remained asleep during the 
Resurrection ; then it appears to have been thought desirable that there should 
be witnesses, and so some remained awake (see Didron, Manuel cf Iconographie 
chr^tienne, p. 200). Compare, however, Hefner-Alteneck, Trachten des Alittel- 
alters, plates 12, 4, 5 (before 1220 all asleep), 3 (about 1250 all awake), 84, 
88. In Pfalzgraf Otto Heinrich's Bible at Gotha (fol. 43) two are asleep and two 
are awake. Diirer in his Greater Passion has some asleep and some awake. In 
Cranach's Passion (Schuchardt, p. 205, No. 14), all five are asleep. In the 
Coventry Mysteries (p. 343) all fall asleep. Note, however, Jack Snacker of 
Wytney (p. 417) who kept awake. 

2 Otherwise Raphael appears as a priest, Gabriel as a herald with a wand, 
and Michael as a warrior (see Didron, p. 282). Among the list of relics given 
by King Athelstan to the monastery of Exeter we read De candela quam Angelus 
domini in sepulchro Christi irradiavit (see Warren, Leofric Missal, p. 4). The 
Resurrection was usually acted with great solemnity. Thus in the Frankfurt 
Play (S, p. 152) Ave read that in order "ut resurrectio Domini gloriosius cele- 
braretur" it may be deferred to the beginning of the second day's play — the 
Frankfurt was at that time a two days' play — that then the ' Dominica persona ' 
shall be clothed in "vestibus triumphalibus, videlicet subtili et dalmatico 
casulaque rubea circumdatus, habens coronam cum dyademate in capite et 
crucem cum vexilla in manu sua." In this play, as in the Oherammergauer 
(D, pp. 81-91), the Descent into Hell precedes the Resurrection, an unusual 
order, although that of the Apostles' Creed. 

^ Besides my earlier references to representations of Christ with the resur- 
rection-banner (see p. 310), I may also cite the Schatzbehalter, Fig. 77 ; Hans 
Holbein's title-page to Coverdale's Bible, 1535 ; and a. Resurrection by the Elder 
Holbein (Munich, Pinakothek, No. 20). A distinction must always be made 
between the cross of the Passion and the banner-cross of the Resurrection (see 
Didron, Christian Iconography, p. 385). The cross of the Resurrection was and 
is usually carried in religious processions ; that of the Passion is suspended 
over altars, etc. In Gerard David's Fight of St. Michael loith Hell it is Michael 
who bears the cross of the resurrection. 


followed in the greater passion-plays by German trans- 
lations and expansions, but their presence sufl&ces to 
indicate that the ultimate source of the scene is to be 
found in Church ritual.^ 

The Descent into Hell follows instead of precedes 
the Kesurrection, probably to avoid the difficulty of the 
return to the sepulchre. This hell-scene usually opens 
with growing excitement among the patriarchs and pro- 
phets. They feel sure something is going to happen but 
do not know what.^ Lucifer is much alarmed at their 
restlessness, and by the failure of Satan to bring back 
Christ's soul (p. 388). Happa or Puck^ announces the 
approach of a ' Wildenaere,' who ' looks as if the world 
belonged to him.' Satan demands who this man in a 
red coat^ may be. Lucifer screams with fear. The 
bolts of hell-gate are drawn ; the devils hasten to fetch 
their fire-forks, and on every side diabolic rage and con- 
sternation is depicted mingled with the broadest farce. 
As in the Church rituaP (see p. 296), the angels sing 
Tollite portas, etc., and Lucifer replies with the cor- 
responding Quis est iste rex gloriae ? The gate of hell 
is burst open, and the utmost confusion prevails as the 

^ Compare the rituals of the Elevatio crucis given (G, pp. 123, 135) with I, 
p. 139 ; A, p. 114 ; and F, p. 282. 

^ Gospel of Nicodemus, chap. xiv. et seq. Compare The Devil's Parliament, 
Furnival, Hymns to Virgin and Christ, E.E.T.S., p. 49. 

• ' In the Townley Mysteries, Extractio Animarum, this demon is called 

■* The robe of the resurrection was always red {e.g. S, p. 152). Compare for 
example the thirteenth-century Descent into Hell in the Cologne Gallery (No. 
38), and the painted woodcuts of the Schatzhehalter, 1491, Fig. 78. 

^ There are traces of this ritual in the resurrection-play printed by Jubinal, 
Myst^res inidits, vol. ii. pp. 332 et seq. Here, instead of the Jesu nostra re- 
demptio, the Veni Creator spiritus is sung by the departing patriarchs. See also 
Townley Mysteries, p. 246, for the Attolite portas, etc. 


devils run screaming hither and thither. Christ lays 
chains upon Lucifer/ Adam and Eve greet their 
Saviour with joy, and the procession of patriarchs and 
prophets being formed, it departs singing Jesu, nostra 
redemptio} Several comic incidents are introduced. A 
poor scholar, who instead of going to mass had lain 
about on the school-benches, expresses his joy at deliver- 
ance. Several damned souls appeal in vain for mercy ; 
they are pitchforked back into hell by the devils. Satan 
tries to retain one of the saved souls, — generally John 
the Baptist, because no one could desire to save so 
meanly clad a man, — but he meets, as usual, with discom- 
fiture. When Christ has departed, and the devils have 
recovered their presence of mind, they take counsel as to 
the restocking of hell, and then follow the soul-lists and 
the dance of devils to which I have referred above 
(p. 340).^ On a par with the defeat of the devils is 

^ Besides the passion-play references to the chaining of Lucifer, we may note 
the miniatures of the Ccedmon Codex, reproduced with much other information 
by G. Stephens in his Northern Mythology, 1883, pp. 333 et seq., 338, 384, etc. 
See also Legends of the Holy Hood, E.E.T.S., p. 5 ; Old English Miscellany, 
E.E.T.S., p. 67 ; Jubinal, Mysteres inidits, vol. ii. p. 294 ; Toivnley Mysteries, 
pp. 251, 252 (" Nay, tratur, thou shall won in wo, And tille a stake I shall the 
bynde "). St. Michael's chaining and locking up the Devil will be found in 
Albrecht Dlirer's Apocalypse ; in Scheifelin's cuts to Schonsperger's reproduc- 
tion in 1523 of Luther's New Testament, etc. The binding of the Devil and 
his supposed loosing after a thousand years arc, slight as they may seem, the 
keys to much of mediaeval thought. The solutio diaboli occurred about the 
twelfth century, and was notably the basis of Wyclifs attack on Kome. " Bifore 
the fend was losid " all went well ; post solutione7n Sathanae all heresies had 
arisen (see Trialogus, ed. Lechler, pp. 153, 249 ; Select Works, ed. Arnold, 
vol. i. p. 153, and vol. iii, p. 502). The notion was of course adopted by Hus. 
" Post millenarium soluto Satana," he writes in his De Ecclesia, cap. xxiii. p. 
221, ed. 1520. 

^ There is a characteristic representation of this procession in the Schatz- 
hehalter. Fig. 79. All the redeemed are nude, as appears to have been the case 
on the passion-play stage : see p. 330. 

'^ See B, vol. ii. pp. 42-57 ; H, vol. ii. p. 68 ; A, p. 116 ; F, pp. 286-293 ; C, 
pp. 222-230 ; L, vol. ii. p. 303 ; D, pp. 81-91 : I, p. 141. 


the confusion of the ' knights ' at the sepulchre. They 
awake to find the tomb open, and, accusing each other 
of having fallen asleep, come to blows. Eunning to 
announce the news to Caiaphas, they are mocked by his 
wife, or cudgelled by the indignant Jews. Sometimes, 
having been witnesses of the resurrection, they declare 
themselves believers in Christ. Ultimately, however, 
they are bribed to hold their tongues, or to swear that 
the disciples stole the body.-^ 

We have now reached the portion of the play which 
corresponds to the Easter ritual of the three Maries 
(p. 299), but the germs of the humorous, which we noted 
even in the Church plays, have now developed into the 
broadest farce. The medicine-man comes proclaiming 
his own merits and his want of a servant. Rubin, a 
scamp of the same stamp, obtains the post, but he hires 
in his turn the devil ' Lasterbalk ' as an understrapper 
to carry the quack's pack. The action proceeds with 
the coarsest folk-humour, mingled with cudgelling and 
love-making, for the medicine-man has a wife and she 
has a maid. Rubin alternately cries the merits of his 
master's goods and the knavery of his master. The 
three Maries are attracted by his cries and come to buy 
spices. The medicine-man determines to swindle them ; 
his wife thinks he has not charged them enough (or has 
charged them too much), and this leads to blows and a 
drubbing for the lady. She declares she will be revenged, 
and after the departure of the Maries, while the medicine- 
man is dozing, she elopes with his knave Rubin. The 

^ See B, vol. ii. p. 346 ; A, p. 116 ; D, p. 156 ; L, vol. ii. p. 312, etc. ; 
Jubinal, La Resurrection du Sauveur, Paris, 1834, pp. 16-18 ; Xpiarbs irdcrx'^v H* 
2270 et seg. 


coarseness of both language and action can frequently 
only be paralleled from the unrestrained license of the 
fifteenth -century carnival -plays. In striking incon- 
gruity with it all are the Latin verses of the Church 
ritual still retained for the three Maries' parts. ^ The 
key to this mixture of the grotesque and sacred must 
not only be sought in a reaction following on the strain 
of the crucifixion scenes, but also in the influence of the 
strolling scholars to which we have referred above (p. 
304). Their brilliant, but often ribald, songs did not 
hesitate to parody the events and language of Scripture.^ 
When once the scholars had inserted the thin end of the 
wedge, the folk were but too delighted to drive it home. 
The visit of the three Maries to the sepulchre follows 
closely the old Church ritual, the Latin responses being 
translated and expanded.^ The scene with the gardener 
has, however, been developed in a curious direction. 
The Hortulanus reproaches the women with being out 
at such an early hour in the garden, it is not proper for 
them to be out alone ; besides which, they are treading 
down his grass and flowers ! The recognition takes 
place as in the Easter ritual.* Then Mary the Magdalen 

1 See L, vol. ii. p. 313 ; C, p. 236 ; I, p. 39 ; A, p. 123 ; S, pp. 153-155. 

2 It is not only a parody of ecclesiastics and their doings, but also of matters 
very sacred in those days ; see, for example, the Officium Lusorum, which, with 
many other ribald verses, occurs in the Carmina Burana alongside religious 
dramas and poems. 

2 Thus in La Passion de nostre SeigneiLr {Mysteres inMits, vol. ii. pp. 296-303) 
the Magdalen sings the Jesu redemptor omnium, and the Beata nobis gaudia 
(Mone, Lateinische Hymnen, No. 183). There are also traces of the Die nobis 
Maria of the ritual (p. 309). The mercator (Vespicier) is in this French play 
very polite, and the only touch of humour is a somewhat lengthy list which he 
gives of his drugs (pp. 300, 301). The mediaeval treatment of the visit to the 
sepulchre may be profitably compared with that of the Xpia-rbi vdaxf^v (11. 

^ See F, p. 309 ; I, p. 76 ; A, p. 140 ; C, p. 244. 


meets John and Peter and we have, if not the whole, at 
least the last strophe of the Easter sequence Victimae 
paschali} The two disciples are not to be convinced, 
and wax derisive. They determine, however, to in- 
vestigate the matter for themselves. John bets a pair 
of new shoes, Peter a sword, that he will arrive first at 
the sepulchre ; or it may be that the wager is a horse 
against a cow. Peter trips up on the way, grows angry, 
quarrels with John, and curses the manner in which he 
has been created, which prevents him from running like 
an ordinary mortal. If he has to limp after John, at 
least he can drink better, and he takes a pull at the 
flask, which John noticing cries out : — 

Ach Petri das stet nit wol 

Du weist wol das ich auch, trincken sol.^ 

Arrived at the tomb, they return exhibiting the burial 
linen. Then follow the appearances of Christ to his 
disciples,^ the incident of the unbelieving Thomas, and 

^ The Die nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via (Kehrein, Lateinisehe Sequenzen, 
No. 83). Compare Jubinal, Mysteres inAdits, vol. ii. p. 364. 

2 F, pp. 317-319 ; I, p. 87 ; L, vol. ii. p. 334 ; S, p. 156. In Stubbes' Ana- 
tomie, cited by Furnival {Dighy Plays, p. x.), we read : — 

In some place solemne sights and showes, and pageants fayre are played, 

As where the Maries three do meete the sepulchre to see, 
And John with Peter swiftly runnes, before him there to bee. 

^ See C, p. 246, etc., and compare Xpiarbs irdaxf^v, 1. 2504. Sometimes the 
apostles at this stage compose the Creed, each a sentence (see F, p. 149 ; 
A, p. 25 ; and compare King's History of the Apostles' Creed, p. 26). As I 
have before noted (p. 379), the subject was a favourite one. The twelve 
apostles are sculptured, each with his portion of the Creed, in the Liebfrauen- 
kirche at Trier (fourteenth century). There is a block-book representation, 
the words in French at Paris, and another at Munich with the words in 
German. In the latter each apostle is accompanied by a prophet, and both have 
a scene representing the particular item of belief associated with the apostle 
placed above them. The whole block-book bears considerable resemblance to a 
Bihlia Pauperum (see p. 265). A different mode of exhibiting the matter is 


possibly the Ascension/ the sending of the Holy Ghost, 
the Death and the Assumption of the Virgin, and the 
Day of Judgment.^ Finally the Conclusor would point 
the moral of the whole play, and draw attention to the 
complete triumph of Christ. Then, with the hymn of 
the Resurrection, Christ ist erstanden! in which all 
the spectators joined, the three days' drama would 
be brought to its conclusion. Such is the great folk 
passion-play of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

IX. — Summary and Conclusion 

The reader who has followed the author through at 
least a portion of the mass of detail with which the 
Middle Ages enriched the gospel story, will be, even if 
he has made no further studies, in a position to appre- 
ciate fairly mediaeval life and feeling. He will realise 
that more may be gained from the religious dramas 
than amusement at their naivete. As we do not merely 
smile at the stories of the Greek gods, but study their 

adopted in the Schatzbehalter (fol. viii.) The twelve apostles are each given 
a joint of the fingers of a left hand, while Christ and the Virgin occupy the 
thumb. Down the side of the woodcut the Creed is divided among the apostles. 
Compare also fol. S. vi. In the Coventry Mysteries (Descent of the Holy Ghost) 
there is a curious identification of each apostle with a diff"erent character or virtue. 

^ A curious stage-direction for the Ascension occurs in the Frankfurt play 
(S, p. 157): "dominica persona precedat discipulos et veniens ad paradysum 
accepto vexillo sumat animas et dirigat viam versus locum ubi volet ascendere. 
Animae vero indutis vestibus albis sequantur Dominum cantantes : Summi 
triumpM re, usque veniant ad gradus ubi debent ascendere. Sit autem thronus 
ubi Majestas sedeat excellens et altus satis et tantae latitudinis ut animas 
comode possit capere, Habens etiam gradus quibus comode talis altitude 

^ See C, pp. 248-253 ; H, vol. ii. pp. 106-115. Often as separate plays, see 
B, vol. i. pp. 254, 273. 


evolution and their legends in order to appreciate a 
great literature, a greater philosophy, and the highest 
development of plastic art, so we must study the 
mediaeval gods even in their smallest details, if we would 
master the spirit of another great literature, another 
great philosophy, and the highest development of 
pictorial art the world has known. Nay, if the Hellenist 
smiles at you, reader, say boldly that you will set your 
Dante against his Homer, that St. Thomas was not more 
arid than his Aristotle, that your Zeitblom and Diirer 
were as great creative artists as his Praxiteles and 
Pheidias ; nay, that he who built the Parthenon would 
have stood speechless and as a little child before the 
minster at Strasburg, or the cathedral at Cologne. 
Take that Hellenist through the streets and courtyards 
of Niirnberg or Augsburg, and give back to them the 
colour and incident of the folk-life of 500 years ago, — 
and if he be an artist by nature, he will hesitate to give 
the palm to Periclean Athens, even if the sigh of her 
slaves has not caught his ear. He will find the same 
religious folk-festivals, the processions, the music, the 
song, and the dance. He will find art in the service of 
the people, at the street corners, in the religious build- 
ings, at the altars of the gods, in the civic buildings, the 
assembly halls, the market, the meeting and dance- 
places of the guilds. He will mark joyous marriage- 
feasts, and the bride led with torches through the 
streets ; there will be maidens with fine raiment, and 
youths in brightly-woven doublets with daggers hang- 
ing from their girdles, wrought in wondrous fashion by 
never-surpassed metal-workers ; 


'kvQo. fikv t^tdeoL koI Trapdkvoi aX^eo"i/?otat 
W/);(€VVT, aXXt]\(jiV €7rt Kapirw x^t/aas e)(^ovTes. 

There, too, he will see priests in gorgeous apparel leading 
with choral song the procession, which bears marvellously- 
wrought caskets and delicately-woven pictures worth a 
king's ransom. He will observe that the Ecclesia and 
the Agora have new meanings, but are none the less 
centres of as intense and picturesque a folk-life as they 
ever were in Athens. He may hear the clash of arms, 
and see the men, ' goodly and great in their armour,' 
standing on the city walls to defend wife and child and 
home. Or he may be jostled by the crowd as it hastens 
in holiday garb and humour to see its great drama 
performed on the wooden scaffolding, such as ^schylus 
himself had used ; and he will note that the gods are 
there on the stage as they were among the Greeks, and 
that neither folk will hesitate to laugh at the expense 
of its deities. Nay, if the Hellenist stays to examine 
further, he will find the same minute traditions concern- 
ing each religious and social custom ; he will find each 
action of civic, of economic, and of religious life re- 
gulated with the same surprising detail that he has 
already marvelled at and gloried in when he studied 
the art and social life of Greece. Then he will begin 
to realise that he is watching the development of two 
closely -allied races, with somewhat different environ- 
ments, it is true, but none the less with the same 
fundamental folk -instincts, namely, to make religion 
and art go hand-in-hand, and both of them heritages of 
the people. It matters not whether the art be Doric 
or Gothic, be sculpture or painting, be passion-play or 


Dionysian tragedy ; it is not of significance whether the 
religion be that of Olympia and Hades, or of the 
mediaeval Heaven and Hell. The outward forms have 
indeed changed, but the inner spirit is the same. In 
both cases an immortal art was evolved by the inspira- 
tion of a great popular religion ; and those who term the 
Middle Ages ' dark ages,' only demonstrate that in 
their ignorance they are neglecting as great a factor of 
culture as Hellenism itself. They are thrusting aside 
in blind prejudice a large portion of the birthright which 
man of the centuries past has won for man of the 
centuries to come. That the Kenascence should have 
taught men to understand Greek thought was wholly 
gain, that it should have caused them to depise the 
Middle Ages was wholly loss. We, to-day, have surely 
confidence enough in our emancipation from superstition 
to strive to appreciate both.^ We are no more likely 
to worship again the gods of the Middle Ages, than to 
worship the gods of Greece. 

The science of comparative religion has a task 
beyond that of comparing the various religious institu- 
tions which have arisen among different races subject 
to different environments. It has to deal with the 
changing characters of the same religion as the people 
who profess it develop ; it has to deal with the same 
religion as it is differently moulded by different races. 
This is not merely a study of churches, of councils, and 

^ Why should the schoolboy of to-day know the terms for all parts of the 
Homeric ship, but be ignorant of those for the parts of a Gothic cathedral ? 
Why should a statue of Athene be enriched by his knowledge of the details of 
her worship, but a picture of the Virgin be unhallowed by a knowledge of the 
poetry of her processions, offices, and hymns ? 


of theological dogmas. For the student of comparative 
religion there is more useful material in the Zeitglochlin^ 
or in Geiler von Kaisersberg's sermons, than in all 
the protocols and confessions of Worms, Speyer, and 
Augsburg taken together. The main problems which 
need investigation are : What was the view of religion 
held at any time by the great masses of the people ? 
and : How did the religious conceptions of the people 
influence their social and civic life ? The Christianity of 
the ninth-century Saxon, as represented in the Heliand, 
is wholly different in spirit from the Christianity of the 
mediaeval burgher, as represented in a great folk passion- 
play, and their religions influenced their lives in a wholly 
different way. The passage from the one to the other 
marks the spiritual growth of the Germanic race, and 
no small light is thrown on the history of that growth 
by the genesis and evolution of the religious drama. 

The missionaries brought their religion and sought 
to force it on the German people; they branded as 
devilish all the old heathen festivals, the religious dances 
and the ancient marriage rites, thus unwittingly creat- 
ing all the deep mediaeval feeling as to witchcraft. But 
the folk-spirit was not to be thus repressed ; it danced 
into the churches ; it took Christianity out of the hands 
of the priests ; it moulded it to its own ideas, and 
shaped it to that wonderful artistic polytheism of which 
the nominal founder never dreamed, and which would 
have been sternly repudiated by the early Christian 
teachers.^ The passion-plays would be singularly 

^ Some few Buddhist ascetics in Ceylon may still hold the faith of their great 
teacher, but Gautama would not recognise his own child in the folk-religions of 
Siam and Burmah. 

VOL. II 2d 


instructive if their study taught us this one fact 
only, namely, that the evolution of religion depends 
on the tendencies of the great masses of the people ; 
their aspirations, their needs, their education deter- 
mine its course, which is only in a very slight degree 
guided or checked by the influence of a sacerdotal 

There is another striking lesson, however, to be 
learnt from a study of Medisevalism, a lesson which it 
shares with Hellenism. If religion is to give birth to a 
great art and to be a centre of social and civic enthusiasm, 
it must be a religion of festival, of great folk-gatherings, 
of ceremonial ritual, of the drama, and if possible of 
song and dance. ^ The religious festival brings all 
classes of the community together on a common ground ; 
it unites for a time high and low in the same pleasure ; 
and the feelings of fellowship and of identity of pursuits, 
so necessary for the permanency of any social group, 
are thereby materially strengthened. The religious 
drama of the Middle Ages was an outcome of mediaeval 
religious and civic socialism, and with the growth of 
theological and economic individualism it necessarily 
decayed. When the passion-plays were employed as 
instruments of controversial theology ; when the monk 
appeared on the stage in order to be dragged ofi" to hell, 
and little children came to Christ prattling of the true 
gospel of Wittenberg and of the Antichrist at Kome, then 
these plays became sources of social discord, and not the 

^ Herein at once lies the justification and the futility of the great festivals of 
humanity proposed by Comte. They are justified, because every religion needs 
folk-festivals ; they are futile, because they are the artifice of a priest, and not a 
natural product of an individual people. 


occasion of true folk -holidays/ Then it was time for 
good and evil to be swept away together, and the people 
ceased to have any genuine religious festivals. 

But there is something more to be learnt from these 
plays than sympathy with one of the world's great art- 
epochs, or than the social value of a communal holiday. 
I refer to their educative influence on the craftsman. 
If a man has once realised that he is not working solely 
for bread and butter, but that he is an essential part of 
the social machine, which would stand still without him, 
then he has received not only the best education in self- 
respect, but also in the dignity of his own labour. I 
cannot now enter upon the consideration of what a vast 
influence for good the system of guilds exercised so long 
as the old religious socialistic spirit was the chief factor 
in its organisation, — until, indeed, the growth of religious 
and economic individualism converted what remained 
of them after the Keformation into craft monopolies 
under the control of a limited number of families. Was 
a fire to be put out, the wall of the town to be defended, 

^ Besides the mass of anti- Roman Catholic sixteenth-century plays in Germany 
of which those of Bartholomaus Kriiger, and Nicholas Manuel may be taken as a 
type, I may refer to John Bale's Brefc Comedy or Enterlude of Johan Baptystes 
preachynge in the wylderiiesse, openynge the craftye assaultes of the hypocrytes, with 
the gloi'youse Baptysme of the Lorde Jesus Christ, 1538, The hypocrites are of 
course popish priests, the Pharisees and Sadducees represent papists, and the 
whole epilogue is directed against the Catholics. John Bale's A Tragedy . . . 
manyfesting tJie chefe p)fomyses of God unto man . • ., 1538, exhibits the same 
polemic in the epilogue. Even Edward VI. is reputed to have written a comedy 
entitled The Whore of Babylon. As a sample of polemic from the other side I 
may mention the Seebrucker Play Der lustige Jud von Amsteldam. Here the Jew 
bids the Pastor march to Munich and pay for the sausages Martin Luther and 
his Katie have devoured in hell (R, p. 142). There is a story that Luther once 
forgot at Munich to pay the ' Koch in der Holl ' for a sausage he had eaten 
there. Hone {Ancient Mysteries, pp. 225-227) gives the names of a number of 
English controversial religious plays. 


a church to be restored or a side-chapel built, was a 
pageant to be held or a passion-play acted, then the 
craft -guilds and the journeymen brotherhoods were 
always to the fore. In many cases the craftsmen and 
journeymen were members of the civic body in virtue of 
their craft — because they belonged to craft -guild or 
brotherhood. The artisan of those days could spend his 
holiday not only in amusing himself, but in giving 
pleasure to the community at large. The passion-play 
may seem to some modern tastes a very crude drama, but 
in those days rich and poor, literate and illiterate, great 
and small, man, woman and child flocked to the market- 
place to enjoy the representation of the great world- 
drama which the craftsmen put before them. The 
members of the guilds realised that they were needful 
parts of the social system ; the artisan was conscious of 
his position and proud of it. Are there any labour 
organisations nowadays which are equally rich in 
result for the workman, and equally profitable to the 
community ? When do our craftsmen spend their leisure 
in providing amusement for a whole town ? Where is 
the folk-festival, religious or social, which brings all 
sorts and conditions of men together in the pursuit 
of a common pleasure ? I fear our modern life knows 
nothing of these things. 

Individualism, economic and intellectual, has greatly 
assisted the mental and possibly the material progress of 
Europe, but it has widened immensely the gulf between 
the various social grades. They no longer have the same 
pleasures ; they have hardly a common religion ; they 
have no understanding for the same art, and are scarcely 


able to read the same books. The thought and the 
education of the mediaeval craftsmen were not widely 
diverse from those of other social groups. Albrecht 
Diirer was a craftsman, and his wife sold his woodcuts on 
the market-place. Ambrose Holbein and probably his 
greater brother were members of the " Zunft zum 
Himmel," a guild containing the painters, glaziers, 
saddlers, and barbers of Basel. ^ Luther and his opponent 
Eck were both peasants' sons. Yet these men were able 
to grasp the thought and feeling of their day, while they 
remained essentially of their own class. None of their 
contemporaries thought of referring to them as exceptions 
who had ' risen from the ranks ' to be leaders of men. 
If the old socialistic mediseval system with its guilds of 
craftsmen made social life more homogeneous, we may 
perhaps hesitate to approve of the spirit of the Reformers, 
who, finding them centres of Catholic superstition, did 
much to weaken or destroy what they should rather 
have reformed.^ As in the case of the monasteries, the 
guild funds too often dropped into the private purse of 
prince or noble. With the actors went the drama, of 
which it has been well written that- 
Such an age as ours will not understand the good which in a 
moral and social point of view was bestowed upon this country by 
the religious pageants, and pious plays and interludes of a bygone 
epoch. Through such means, however, not only were the working- 
classes furnished with a needful relaxation, but their very merry- 
makings instructed while they diverted them.^ 

^ That the greatest painters of the Middle Ages were looked upon as craftsmen 
is well shown by the letters of Erasmus (see Woltmann's Holbein, p. 317). 
^ Toulmin Smith, English Gilds, Introduction, p. xc. 
^ Rock, Church of our Fathers, vol. ii. p. 418. 


These lines are even truer of Germany than of 
England, and at least in Germany the religious pageants 
and plays * instructed ' an unsurpassed school of 
painters and engravers. 

Is the moral of this Essay, then, a Eestoration — a 
resuscitation of the guilds and a return to the religious 
faith of the Middle Ages ? Assuredly not. The people 
in each age must work out its own salvation. No 
preachers nor teachers can renew the vitality of a dead 
art, a dead religion, or a dead economic system. The 
folk must create anew for itself, and the best that the 
cultured men of each age can do is to lisjhten the throes 
of birth. They may put the dumb folk-thought into 
words, and give artistic expression to the new folk- 
ideals. They may help to guide new labour organisa- 
tions to a sense of their social responsibility ; they may 
assist in converting trades-processions into civic pageants 
and mass-meetings into folk-festivals. They may aid 
the tendencies of the time to level down in wealth and 
to level up in knowledge. But after all it is the folk 
which must rise to self-consciousness. Then perhaps it 
may come about that those social instincts, which are in 
truth more intense to-day than in Athens, Jerusalem, or 
Nurnberg of old, will cease to be so diverse and confused 
in expression as they are now ; they will find one watch- 
word to arouse all classes of the community ; then and 
not till then will anything worthy of the name of a folk- 
religion be possible, then and not till then can a great 
religious festival be again a reality. 



I HAVE pointed out (p. 24) the importance of the Mailelm as a fossil 
of the old sex -customs. An extremely interesting phase of it 
appears in a visitation of the diocese Speyer of the year 1683, 
cited by Mone, Schauspiek des Mittelalters^ Bd. ii. p. 373. We 
read that a village called Rheinsheim had an 

abusus in juventute mit dem Lehntgen-rufen, quod fit hoc modo. Con- 
venit juventus utraque una ciun civibus et quotquot possunt domo 
abesse ad ingressum in silvam, ubi duo designati duas ascendunt arbores, 
sibi invicem respondentes, aliis sub illis haerentibus. Fitque hoc loci 
pridie sancti Georgii, quando horum unus altissima voce incipit in hunc 
modum : 

Horet ilir burger iiberall 

was gebeutet euch des Konigs hochwiirdiger Marscliall : 

was er gebeut und das soil seyn ; 

Hanss Clausen soil Margrethen Lois Buhler seyn 

drey Scliritt ins Korn und drey wieder lieraus 

iiber ein Jahr geliet es ein Braut ins Haus. 

Hac ratione omnibus solutis, tarn viduis quam aliis suum assignant procum, 
et saepe non absque gravi laesione famae et causa gravium dissidiorum, 
inimo turpitudinum, cum procus teneatur illani curare in symposiis saltu, 
etc., ilia suo proco offerre flores, etc. 

We have clearly here a fossil of the old sex-festival — the evening 
gathering in the woods for the choice of temporary mates. St. George's 
Day is 23rd April, but the Mailehn in many parts occurred on 1st 
May. The reference to the Konigs Marschall is hardly an original 
feature ; it probably refers to the custom by which, in the early 


Middle Ages, the Kaiser sent a herald to announce to the daughter 
of a burgher of one of the imperial towns that he proposed to give 
her in marriage to one of his retinue. 

Very frequently the Mailehn took the form of an auction of the 
girls of the village, the money obtained being spent on their enter- 
tainment with food and on dance-music. It is noteworthy that at 
St. Goar the money itself went into the town-chest, and the auction 
took place in the Rathhaus (Kriegk, Deutsclies Bilrgerthum im Mittel- 
alter, p. 420) ; it is thus clear that we are dealing with a fossil of 
what was once a communal sex-festival. 

The use of the term buhler in the Mailehn verses cited above is 
also very suggestive. Bilhli, fastenhilhli, or their equivalents are 
used almost throughout Germany either for the May-brides or for 
partners chosen for the year, or at least for the great spring-festivals 
and for Kirmes. It is precisely this word, however, which we have 
noted as used for the old sexual group of lovers (p. 222). It is 
still a widely current term for a pair of dancers, and Grimm cites a 
most valuable bit of folklore from Holland, which brings together 
the primitive significance of the Mailehn with the old sexual group 
weight of both huhl and/r* (see pp. 167, 222). It runs : — 

menich vroukin sprekt in schimpe 
tot enen jonghen gheckelin, 
" vrient, du moets min boelkin sin 
desen mei ende langher niet." 

Worterhuch, ii. 506. 

The gheck^ or sommergheck, is equivalent to the heelghesel or secret 


As if to complete the picture of the May-brides with their tem- 
porary lovers, their common feast and dancing, the Vergaderung in 
the woods, we have also the selection of the May queen, a fossil of 
the old worship of the goddess of fertility. A thirteenth-century 
work of Aegidius (cited in Grimm's Mythologie, ii. p. 657) describes 
the custom of the May queen in the Netherlands in the twelfth 
century : — 

Sacerdotes ceteraeque ecclesiasticae personae cum universo populo in 
solemnitatibus paschae et pentecostes aliquam ex sacerdotum concubinis piir- 
puratam ac diadematerenitentem in eminentiori solioconstitutam et cortinis 
velatam reginam creabant, et coram ea assistentes in choreis tympanis et 
aliis musicalibus instrumentis tota die psallebant, et quasi idolatrae effecti 
ipsam tanquam idolum colebant. 


Here we see the May queen no longer as a chaste maiden, but 
as the " woman in scarlet seated on a high place." As representa- 
tive of a Myletta — a goddess of fertility — she is worshipped by the 
whole populace, and her cantica diabolica, the w'mnasonge, for a time 
carry the very priests of the new faith along in the spirit of the old 
heathen sex-festivals. 

Closely allied to the summer Mailehn is the Kiltgang. This 
meeting at night of the young folk of both sexes is again singularly 
suggestive of the old group habits. On the one side it has de- 
generated into the slipping of the Bua or Burscli secretly to his 
sweetheart's window — whence the Swiss proverb that " one does 
not go in wooden shoes to kUt " ; on the other, we find the word 
denoting a series of festive winter gatherings in the Spinnstube. 
The Bursch might be received at the window favourably or un- 
favourably. The maid might not reply to his song or entreaties at 
all ; she might abuse him ; she might hand him bread or wine from 
the window, or she might admit him into her chamber. The 
fensterrij gcisslein gen, z'chilt gd, Swabian fugen, was certainly not such 
an innocent pastime as some writers have tried to persuade us. It 
was a visit not only to the window, but inside the chamber, and 
numerous mediaeval police regulations and sermons show us that 
it was strongly disapproved of by both the civil and religious 
authorities. Now it is singular that the name for this night-visit 
should also be used for village winter meetings of maids and youths 
in the Spinnstube (Kunkelstube, Karz, etc.) These meetings, owing 
to the license which accompanied or followed them, were also looked 
upon with suspicion, and even subject to police supervision.^ 
Thus, "welche auch ohn erlaubnis ein korz oder gunkelstuben 
halten bei nachtlicher weile, soil des biiszen mit eim mittelfrevel " 
(Schmid, Schwabisches Idioticon, p. 220). The Kilt or Kelte is essen- 
tially a night-gathering for games, talk, and possibly work. The 

1 In Blauhcuren the Lichtstuhcn for both sexes were forbidden ; the watch- 
man or constable had to report them, and fines of three to four florins were im- 
posed on all found present at one. Elsewhere the housewife was made responsible 
for the good behaviour of the assembly. In 1642 we find a Swabian regulation 
that only women shall be present, and that the meetings shall be held in 
respectable houses, for they had in the past been associated with places and 
hostesses of bad fame. In 1652 we have another ducal order forbidding the 
abuses known as the Kunkelhduscr and Rockenstuhen altogether. Clearly their 
frequenters were little better than the compulsory inmates of the old university 
spinning-houses in England. 


kilten for the season always ends with a feast, the Kiltbraten, and a 
special feature of the Kilt is the propounding of riddles,^ which 
reminds us of the part riddles play in the fenstern and at marriage 
and sex-festivals. Very often food is brought to the Kunkelstuhe, 
and the young men then pay for the beer ; each maid has her 
KunkelheheVf who, like the 3fai or Kirmes lover, is specially attached 
to her for the season. At the Kiltbraten^ or Letze, as it is called in 
the Rottenberg district, there is, besides the feast provided by a 
general contribution and the beer provided by the lads, a dance 
which lasts late into the night. It is clear that in the Kilt or Kun- 
kelstuhe we have all the elements of the old Mrat or malial, the 
common feast, the dance, and the sex-freedom. Were these merely 
an outcome of coarse peasant natures, or survivals of older social 
customs ? I do not think there can be a doubt that we have fossils 
of the old endogamous group institutions. In Swabia, especially 
in the Ulm district, the Kilt was termed Haieiioss. This word is 
identified with fenstern and gdsslein gen, but also with the Kiltgang 
as Kunkelstuhe. The sixteenth and seventeenth century preachers 
were very strong against it, classing it with shameful songs, music 
and other devilish pastimes. Now in M.H.G. heierleis, heierles is a 
choral dance. It appears as heigertanz in Geiler von Kaisersberg's 
sermons, where we find that the performers take hands as in a 
country dance. Now I have no hesitation in connecting this word 
with the root M or hig (p. 127). It certainly did not arise, as 
Lexer (fForterhuch, i. 1210) supposes, from the cries of heia/ How, 
in that case, explain the form heig ? No, we have here simply the old 
choral dance of the sex-festival, the htleih (pp. 132, 133) over again, 
the los or leis being only the lais form of leich. 

If we once grasp this relationship of the Kunkelstuhen to the 
old htleih, the numerous police regulations against them become 
intelligible ; ^ we then understand why the Pfarrer of Depshofen 
reported in 1625 the great immorality among the young people at 
the Gungelhduser held at night ; why the Pfarrer Gaisser in his 

^ One Kiltfrage runs : "What is the dift'erence between a dear soul and a 
poor soul {Liebenseele and Armenscele) ? " i.e. between a sweetheart and the soul 
of the dead. ''With the former one puts the candles out, for the latter one 
lights them." 

2 For very full information on this and other points, see Birlinger, Volk- 
thumliches aus Schwabe7i, 1862, Bd. ii. pp. 431 et seq., and^ws Schwahen, Neue 
Samrtilung, 1874, Bd. ii. pp. 356 et seq. 


NoahJs Ark of 1693 speaks of the " Tiinzen und andern Kunkel- 
stuben" destroying all Christian integrity, and condemns their 
improper tales, songs and ribald actions ; why indeed an old 
devotional book of about 1750 tells us that no maids of good 
character frequent them, for the talk is unkeusch, the dancing /rec/z, 
and the singing consists of Buhllieder — a reminiscence, indeed, of 
the winileod, which had troubled the Christian teachers nearly a 
thousand years before ! The same book tells us that many Kunkel- 
stiiben can hardly be distinguished from Hexenzusammenkunfften, 
and that in judicial proceedings women and maids have frequently 
confessed that it was in the Kunkelstuhen that they were made witches. 
We have, in fact, the full identification of the old Mleih, the Hexen- 
mahl and the Kilt^ — one and all are fossils of the old sex-festival. 
The ribald dances of the Kunkelstuhe are not merely an outburst 
of coarse peasant natures, they are a fossil of the worship of the 
old goddess of fertility. 

As if to complete the round of feast, choral-dance, sex-festival, 
judicial assembly, we find the Kunkelstuhe identified in the devo- 
tional work just referred to with the Heimgarten. The Heimgarten 
gehen is exactly equivalent to the Kiltgang in its double sense of the 
private rendezvous and the gathering of maids and youths in the 
Kunkelstuhe or Hoclistuhe} In a confessional book of 1 693, quoted by 
Birlinger, the penitent says, "Ich habe gebult, ich hab gehostuhet, 
ich hab gehaimgartet, ich bin zu einem Magdlein gangen." We find, 
in 1618, Haimgarten glossed conventiculum amicm'um sen vicinorum, 
and in police orders it is identified with Kunkelstuhe. The priests 
describe going to dances and Heimgarten as snares of the devil. 

Now in a gloss to Prudentius given by Graff {Diutiska, Bd. ii. 
p. 347), we find/oro, heimgart, and there can be little doubt that the 
original sense of the word is hedged-in or fenced place, the hag (p. 
128). It is just such a fenced-in place that we have seen was the 
scene of the primitive judicial assembly, and the origin oi forum, agora 
and mahal. But just as in the latter cases we have seen a relation 
to the sex-gathering, so we find gart glossed both chorus and leno- 
ciniumj while Hayngarten is dance, conventicle, Kunkelstuhe, and also 
the site of the judicial gathering. The Haingarten was the fenced 
place of the imperial tribunal at Rotweil, and the last Hofgericht was 

1 See inter alia the Kundl Dorfordnung in Die tirolischcn JVeisthiimer, Bd. 
ii. pp. 361, 362. 


held in the Haingarten in 1784. The court, according to the Zim- 
nierscJie Chronik (ed. Barack, Bd. ii. p. 306), was held under a linden 
tree, and the Lindengart, wherein the Hofgericht was always opened 
and ended, was termed the Haimgarten. The reader who remembers 
the dance of the Landvogt under the linden tree (p. 155 ftn.), the 
peasant dances under the linden, the betrothal kiss under the linden 
(p. 84), the gart as choi'us and lenocinium, will be prepared to see 
in the Haingarten the site of the old sex-festival, developing on the 
one hand into peasant customs, and on the other into judicial cere- 
monies. The Kiltgang and Haingarten are but other phases of the 
same ideas as we have found associated with htleih, malial, and 

The philological connection of Kilt with A.S. cveld, O.N", kveld, 
Danish kvceld, evening, seems to me by no means so definite and 
clear as some writers hold. The references in which Kilt can be 
taken as simply denoting eveningtide are very hard to find ; they 
can equally well be referred to the Spinnstube or the night-visit. 
The evening gathering may itself have introduced the notion of 
evening into Kilt. The one strong point on the other side is the 
appearance of the word chwiltiwerch in a document of 81 7. It runs : — 

Ut servi et ancillae conjugati et in mansis manentes tribiita et vehenda 
et opera vel texturas seu functiones quaslibet dimidia faciunt, excepto 
aratura ; puellae vero infra salam manentes tres opus ad vestrum et tres 
sibi faciant dies, et hoc, quod alamanni chwiltiwerch dicunt, non faciant. 

This might well denote an early prohibition of night spinning, which 
we have seen associated with the Kilt meetings — even the witch 
takes her distaff to the bacchanalian Hexenmahl — it does not seem 
to me to necessarily connect Kilt with cveld. Kemembering the 
probable sense of womb in wif and of gathering in J)ing, we may 
possibly identify the Kiltgang with the wif ping, and both ultimately 
with the Hex£n, or wood-women, going Avith their distaves and 
spindles to the Hexenmahl. In this case the primitive value of Kilt 
must be sought in Gothic Mlpei, the womb, Swedish dialect kilta, 
Icelandic kelta, the lap, and Lithuanian kiltis, kin, race (kunni). The 
Kiltgang would thus, in philology as well as in folklore, be the 

p. 413. Extract Anno 1534. For "A play of Placy Dacy alias S^ Ewe 
Stacy," read "A play of Placidas alias St. Eustace." 

ITofacep. 413. 



There is probably much still to be gleaned concerning the religious 
drama in England even as late as the sixteenth century. The chief 
sources of information will be the churchwardens' accounts in rural 
parishes. As illustration of this, I print in this appendix most in- 
teresting entries from the accounts for two small Essex towns, copies 
of which I owe to the courtesy of Mrs. Sydney Courtauld, of Bocking 
Place, Braintree, and Mr. Fred. Chancellor, Mayor of Chelmsford. 

A. Extracts from a copy of the Accounts of the Church of 
St. Michael, Braintree. 

Anno 1523. A Play of S* Swythyn, acted in the Church on a Wednes- 
day, for which was gathered 6:14:11^; P'^ at the said Play, 3:1:4; 
due to the Church, 3:13:7^. 

Anno 1526. There was a Play of S* Andrew acted in the Church the 
Sunday before Relique Sunday ; Rc*^, 8:9:6; P*^, 4 : 9 : 9 ; Due to the 
Church, 3:19 : 8. 

Anno 1529. A Play in Halstead Church. 

Ann. 23 H viii. Jn** Payne, Ld. of Misrule, and his company. A 
guile of S' John. 

Anno 1534.1 A play of Placy Dacy alias S'' Ewe Stacy. R*^, 
14 : 17 : 6j ; P^, 6 : 13 : 7J ; due, 8 : 2 : 8j. 

Anno 1567. R*^ of the Play money, 5:0:0. 

Anno 1570. Rec*^ of the Play money, 9:7:7; and for letting the 
Playing garments, 0:1 : 8. 

Anno 1571. Rc*^ for a Playbook, 20"* ; and for lending the Play gere, 
8:7**. This year the Plague in Braintree. 

Anno 1579. Sold 3 curtains for 6 : 4 ; and for the Players Apparel, 


These extracts show us that plays were given in the Essex 
churches up to 1525, and in connection with them, and most 

^ From 1533 to 1537 the well - known Nicholas Udall, author of the play 
of Roister Doister, was vicar of Braintree. 


probably inside them, up to 1570. The players' apparel was sold 
off in 1579, very near the time it was sold at Chelmsford. 

B. Extracts from the Accounts of the Churchwardens of Chelmsford. 

The old accounts of the Churchwardens of Chelmsford commence 
in 1557. • 

The first Inventory of Church goods is dated 21st July 1560, 
and are arranged under the following heads : — Coopes, Vestements, 
Clothes belongynge to the high aulter and the frunte of redd 
velvet, Latten, Lynnen, Bookes, Pewter belonging to y* Church, 
Plate sold by y^ Churchwardens, — but it is difficult to say which of 
the various items enumerated were used in the services of the 
Church and which for other purposes. 

On the 27th February 1563 another Inventory was made, and 
in this a distinction was apparently drawn between items used for 
the Church and for other purposes, as, after enumerating the former, 
there follows under the head of " Garments " the following (remarks 
in brackets being additions probably of later date) : — 

Item fyrst iiij gwones of red velvet. 

„ a longe gowne of blew velvet. 

„ a short gowne of blew velvet. 

„ a gowne of blacke velvet (very much worne). 

„ ij gownes of red satten, one much shorter than the other. 

,, a gowne of borders. 

„ a gowne of clothe of Tyshew. 

„ a jerkyn of blew velvet with sieves. 

„ a jerkyn of borders w*out sieves. 

,, viii jerkyns w*out sieves (one wanted). 

„ ij vyces coates, and ij scalpes, ij daggers (1 dagger wanted). 

„ V prophets cappes (one wantinge). 

„ vi capes of furre, and one of velvet (one of these on the gownes). 

„ iij jeyrkyns, iij flappes for devils, ij payer gloves. 

„ iiij shepehoks, iiij whyppes (but one gone). 

„ a red gowne of saye (Iron axxe . . . new). 

,, xxiii berdes ( • . . wanted), xxi hares. 

,, a jemet of blewe velvet w* border. 

„ a mantell of red Bawdkyn. 

„ iij jerkes of red bawdkyn with sieves. 

,, a ffawken of brasse. 



In the list of Payments up to 22nd March 1563 are the follow- 
ing :— 

Inprms paid unto the Mynstrolls for the Show day and 

for the play day .... 
Itm paid unto Burtenwood for ther meat and drink 
„ unto the trumpetur for his paynnes . 

„ unto Burtenwood for meat and drink for the 

drumme player, the flute player, and the 

trumpeter .... 

„ unto the flute player for his paynes . 

„ unto M*" Beadilles man for playeing on the 

drom ..... 
„ unto M" Brice for his paynes, in part of 

paymente .... 

„ unto BoUy brook for hym and v men for six 

dales ..... 
„ unto Mattras, the sawyer, for ix daies work 

at xxi'^ the daye .... 
„ for bordinge of Boollibrook and his men 

„ for bordinge Mattrace and his man . 

„ unto one Johnson a tailler for makynge of 

garments ..... 
„ to one Smith a tailler 

„ unto Robarde Lee the paynter 

„ unto Willm Hewet for makinge the vices 

coote, a fornet of borders, and a Jerken 

of borders .... 

„ the Cowper for xiiij hoopes . 

„ to John Lockyer for making iiij shep hoks 

and for iron work that Burle occupied for 

the hell ..... 
Item paide to Bob* Mathews for a paier of wombes 
„ to Buries for suing the play . 

„ to Lawrence for watching in the Churche when 

the temple was a-dryenge . 
„ for carrying of plonk for the stages ij dayes and 

a half at ij viij the day 
„ for the mynstrells soper a Saturday at nyght . 

„ for ther breakfast on Sonday mornynge 
„ for ther dynners on Sonday . 































Item paide for ther soper on Sonclay 

,, for tlier breakfaste on Monday e 

„ for ther dynners on Mondaye 

„ for ther dynners that kepte the scaffold on 

Sondaye .... 
„ for ther sowppers that watched on the scaffold 

at Sondaye at nyght 
„ for drink brought to the scaffold 

,, for breade and drink among the plaers 

„ for drink on the scaffold on Mondaye 

,, unto the Mynstrells for twoo daies 

5, to the same men for goynge to Branktree 

„ for the breakfast on Tewsday morne . 

„ laide out for my parte for the plaiers dynners 

at Branktree at the showe ther 
J, to the trumpetter ther 

,, for a horsse hyer to Branktre 

,, for horssemeat at Branktre . 

„ for Jenny ns and Coks expenses at Branktre 

„ geven to Bullybrooks men besyddes ther wages 

„ unto M*" Scotte for pasturynge the mynstrell 

horsse at the furst playe . 
„ unto him more for pasturynge the said horsses 

for iij dayes and one nyght at the last playe 
„ to Jenyns for his paynes at Brancktre and at 

this towne 
„ for drink brought to the fryers 
,, for Coks and Jennyns breakfaste on Sondaye 
„ for ther dynners on Sondaye . 
„ for the mynstrells dynners at Brancktre 


iiij "ij 







Vll VllJ 




vi viij 





Mony recyved at the seconde play by Water Baker, Thomas Jeffrey, 
and Thomas Hunwick, churchwardens, xvij . xi . iij, and paid as 
folowith : — 

Inprims unto William Withers for quarters borde and 
for wages leide out to his men as appereth by hys 
bill ...... 

Item paid to M"" Raynold and Willm Wigglesworth 
that they lende out for ther dynners at Maldon . 


llj IX 




Item paid unto M' Browne that he laid out at Maldon 

at our show ther .... 
„ unto M" Knote that he layde out at Maldon . 
„ to M"" Do we for meate and drink brought to 

the scaffold the furste play daye 
„ to M"^ Browne for the waightes of Bristowe 

and for ther meate drink and horse- 
meat ..... 
„ to M"" Bridges for cullers 
„ to W™ Brownynge for cloth as ajjpereth by 

his Bill . . . . 

,, unto Buries for suinge the last play and for 

makyng the conysants 
„ unto him for flower and rede nailles . 

,, to Cales for vi dales worke fynding hymself 

meate and drink .... 
,, unto William Richards for makyng of five 

gownnes and iiij Jerkens . 
„ unto father Stroode for iiij disshes 
„ to John ffust for v dales work 
„ unto him for sice and cullers 
„ to Edmond Strether for hording of Buries and 

his boy iij weekes .... 
„ unto hym for wood .... 

„ „ „ for candill .... 

„ „ „ for hording John Fust v dales 

„ for the carriage home of M"^ Barber's apparell . 

„ unto John Stucke for meate and drink for M*^ 

Brice's borde & for his horse meat . 
„ unto Andrew for heres and beardes borrowed 

of hym . . . . 

„ more paid unto Nicholas Eve for necessaries 

againste the playe 
„ to M"^ Mildmay for ij loodes of pooles for the 

stages ..... 
„ forty Mynstrells meate and drinke at the last 

play ..... 

„ for a colderkin and a ferken brought unto the 

scaffold ..... 
„ for breade and meate at the same tyme 
















2 E 





















more unto him for nailles and gluowe 

to Christopher for writtinge 

to Henry Gaynner for cullers 

to Thomas Whale, tailler, for xxi^^^ of gonpowder 

to Thomas Jeffrey for divers wares sett of him for 

the play .... 

to Richard Parker for suing the last playe and 

fynding hymself 
in rewarde to John Turner -for his paynes taking 
to George Martindale for divers wares sett of hym 

for the plaies .... 
to Matthew Sonnes for suinge the same (last playe) 
to Richard Burd for two dales payntenge . 
to John Fuste in like manner 
to William Withers for makynge the last temple, 

the waies, and his paynnes 






1562. Receivede at the ij last plaies by Thomas Jeffery 
and Thomas Hunwick, Wardens . 
More received of the men of Sabsforde for the hier 

of the garments, An. 1562 
More received of the same men for the hyer of the 

same garments in 1563 
More received for hyer of the same garments of M"^ 
William Peter, Knyght 
Imprimo Paid unto William Wyglesworth of old debt for 
tymber bought of hym at the firste playe 
„ unto the goodman Browne of the Cocke, for 

old debt he lente at the furste playe 

„ unto Edmond Sabryght for olde debte 

5, more to Edmond Whyght for olde debt 

Paid to John Stucke for old debte xiij . iiij, and for other 

charges syns (vi . viii in all) 

„ unto the mynstrells for the showe day and for the 

playe daye .... 
„ for board for the players . 
„ for bearing the payments for drink for them 
„ Richard Parker and William Wythers for suinge the 

play and fyndinge themselves . 
„ to Brocke for helpinge them 
„ to William Withers for making the frame for the 
heaven stage, and tymber for the same . 































Paid to the Cowper for one greate hope and xv smale hopes 

„ to Thomas Logge for hoopes sett of hym by Buries 

at the furst playe .... 

„ to John Wryght for makyinge a cotte of lether for 
Christ ...... 

Itm paid to Solomon of Hatfild for parchmte 

„ to the Widdow Pamplen for lyne and packthread 
„ at Brancktre when the play was showed ther 

paid by Thos. Hunnock 
, , for drink for the players when the play was showed 
„ to Mother Dale and her company for reaping 

flagges for the scaffold 
„ to Polter and Rosse for watching in the pightell ^ 

on the play show 
„ for ij^*** of assendewe for the thurd playe 
„ for one doss Spanyshe whight . 
„ for vi dos gold foile 
„ for vi paper hordes 
„ for hopes 

„ for fyftie fadam of lyne for the cloudes 
„ for one dos. grene foile 
„ for ij lb. reade leade . 
„ for ij lb. Brassoll 
„ for iij paper hordes 
„ for iiij"'' Synop papers . 
„ for tenn men to beare the pagiante 
„ to Browne for keapinge the cornehill on th 

showe daye . . . 

„ to Roistone for payntenge the Jeiants, the 

pagiante, and writing the plaiers names 
„ to Henry Gaynners for cullers . 
„ for paper to wright the Bookes 
„ to Richard Burde for ij daies payntenge and 

making the liveries . 
„ for read wyne, vineg' and ressett 
„ for a black plate ^ 
„ to Mother Dale for reaping flagges 
„ for half a thousand of ij'^ nailes and half a 

thousand of iij*^ nailes . . 

2 Was this Judas' black nimbus ? See p. 359. 







































Item Paide for half a lb. Asshenders for the last play 

,, for 1 lb. bottome pakthrede 

„ for 1 dos gold foile . 

„ for 1 lb. Spanish browne 

„ for five matches 

„ for Bowstringes 

„ to Mother Dale for flagges 

„ for one bundell lathe 

,, to Thomas Jeffrey for dyvers p'cells btt of 
hym for the plaies as appereth by hys 
booke . . . . . 

iij vij 





The acompte made by Nycolas Eve, jKobert Wood, and George 
Martendale, wardens of the goodes of the Pishe Churche of Chelmsforde 
aforesayd, from the xxvii of Feb^ 1563 unto the third day of March 
1565, in the ayght yere of the Kaigne of our Sovraigne Lady Elizabeth, by 
the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland Queue, defender of 
the faith, etc. 

The following are extracted from the account as relating to the 
plays : — 

Recayved of Coulchester men for our garments for the use 
of there playe .... 

„ of men of Waldyne for the here of iij gounes . 
„ of Beleryca men for the here of our garments . 
„ of men of Coulchester for the here of our garments 
for ij tymes .... 

„ of Belyrica men for the here of our garments . 
,, of men of Starford for the here of our 

garments . . . . .iij 

„ of children of Badow for the here of 

garments .... 
„ of Lytell Badow men for the here of 
garments .... 
Payments to William Rychards for mending of 
garments and j scayne of sylke 
„ to John Lockear for mendynge of the Cloke iij 
tymes ..... 
Receipts, 3rd June 1566 — 

of Sabsforde men for the hyer of the players 

garments ...... xl 




















Keceipts, 3rd June 1566 — 

of Casse of Boreham for the hier of the players 

garments ...... xiij iiij 

of Somers of Lanchire for the hier of the players 

garments ...... xxvi viij 

of Barnaby Riche of Witham for the hyer of the 

players garments ..... xxvi viij 
of Will™ Monnteyne of Colchester for the hiyer of the 

players garments ..... xiii iiij 

of M'^ Johnston of Brentwoode for the hyer of the 

players garments the 10*^ Dec. . • . x 

of Richard More of Nay land for players apparell . iiij viij 

of Frauncis Medcalfe the iiij of June 1568 for two 

players gownes ..... iij 

of W™ Crayford of Burnam the ij of June 1568 for 

players apparell ..... v 

Receites by me John Bridges from the xvi November 
1570 unto the xx*^ January 1571 as followell : — 
of High Ester men for cartine players apparell for 

ther playe ..... xiii iiij 

of Parker of Writtell for the heare of iiij players 

garments ...... iiij 

of M" Higham of Woodham Walter for sartten 

players apperyle for ther play . . . x 

Resayved by me John Bridges 1572 as follows : — 

of Parker of Writtell for players Aprill . . iij 

more of the Earle of Sussex players for the heare of 

the players garments .... xxvi viij 

of John Walker of Hanfild for the heier of players 

garments . . . . . . v 

After the election of Churchwardens on 4th October 1573 an 
Inventory appears to have been taken, and under the head of 
garments as follows : — 

Power gownes of redd velvett. 

one longe gowne of blew velvett. 

one short gowne of blew velvett. 

one gowne of black velvett very much worne. 

two gownes of redd Satten, the one much shorter than the other. 

one gowne of borders. 



one gowne of clothe of tyssewe. 

one jerken of blew velvett w*^ sieves. 

one jerkyn of blew velvett wthout sieves. 

seven jerkens without sieves. 

two vyce cots, two scalpes, and one dagger. 

foure prophitts cappes. 

sixe capes of furre and one of velvett. 

one shepe hook, iiij whippes. 

a wno cappe. 

tenne bards, xvii hares. 

one jernette of blew velvett with borders. 

one Mantell of red Bawdekyn. 

three jerkens of red Bawdkyn with sieves. 

a ffawkyn of brasse. 

Receipts the iiij Oct. 1573 — 

of Thomas Wallinger for one parcel of red velvett 
in length about 1 yard by consent of sundry of the 
Parishioners ..... 

of Casse of Boreham the eyght of June for the hyer 
of sundry players garments until Michaelmas night . 




Churchwardens' account, 28 Nov. 1574 — 

Item in hand the playe books remaining witt the 
said George Martendale witt the rest 

1574. Receyved of the players of Boreham for the hire 

of the players garments till the mondaye 

after twelfe day next after . 
Item soulde unto George Studlye and others all the 
ropes, vestaments, subdeacons, players coats, 
jerkens, gownes, heares, cappes, herds, 
jornetts, mantells, and capes mentioned in 
the Inventory e of the last Churchwardens 
by the consent of diverse of the parishioners 
as by a byll under their hands apereth 
to the use of the mayentenance of the 
Church for ... . 

1575. Paide to M"^ Knott for the makinge of two 

oblijacyons for the assurance of the players 
garments belonginge to the Pyshe . 


VI XllJ 



We have in these accounts a very vivid picture of the bustle of 
the play-days. It is not clear whether the ' scaffold ' was inside or 


outside the church, probably the latter. But a portion of the play, 
that relating to the 'temple,' was apparently given inside the 
church. We see that the religious drama was still a source of great 
profit to the Church ; especially is this apparent when we regard 
the relative value of money then and now ; and, further, we note 
the profit that could be made by letting out the theatrical wardrobe 
at a period when the whole countryside was clamorous for the 
players. About 1575 we find the connection between Church and 
stage comes to an end, and then within a couple of decades the stage 
as a lay institution had reached almost the zenith of its power. 



This matter is of special interest when we consider the Aryan 

identification of goddesses of fertility and of agriculture. It has 

already been noticed on pp. 27, 42, 44, 106, 123, 124 ftn., 169, 

207. The widespread use of the tilth 'kenning' among the 

Greeks is illustrated by the following passages, to which I have 

been referred by my colleague. Professor Hausman : Aeschylus, 

Septem contra Thebas 754; Sophocles, Oedipus Bex 1211, 1257, 

1485, 1497, Antigone 569; Theognis, 525; Plato, Laws 839 a, 

Cratylus 406 B; Euripides, Troades 135, Medea 1281, Orestes 

553, Phoenissae 18. Further, in the Attic law, TraiSwv aporos 

yvr](TL(Dv was the regular phase for 'the begetting of legitimate 

children.' In Latin I may note the sex-significance of vomer, the 

ploughshare, the use of the phrase ararefundum alienum for adultery, 

and that of sulcus, furrow, for the female pudenda. To the same 

idea in Sanskrit reference has already been made on p. 199. 

Turning to the Germanic dialects, we note the lines of Hofmanns- 

waldau : 

im paradiesz da gieng man nackt und blosz, 
und durfte frei die Hebesacker pfltigen. 

In the Erzahlungen and Fastnachtspiele of the Middle Ages plough- 
ing is used in the same sense, while furcJie is used much as sulcus. 

etlich die dick der wend abmessen, 
visiren des nachts die maide dar durch 
und ackern mer, dann einerlei fureh. 

Mn spil von der Vasnacht, Keller, p. 386. 


In the light of this, Frigg, the goddess of fertility, with her plough 
and the whole series of Germanic folk- customs, which involve the 
yoking of the unmarried women, or rather women who decline to 
marry, to the plough of the goddess, become more or less intelligible. 
But of these customs I hope to treat on another occasion. Lastly, 
besides the reference to tilth on p. 207, an examination of Shake- 
speare's Pericles, Act iv. scene 6, and his Antony and Cleopatra, Act ii. 
scene 2, will show that the sex - significance of plough was as 
familiar in mediaeval England as in the lands which used hauer and 
cultus in the sense of wantonness. 



A. On 'GerkU: 

The basis of gericht itself is Teutonic raJc, Aryan rag, rez, and this 
may, with some slight boldness, be connected with the series of ideas 
we have found in the medial and the kin-group. All the notions 
of regal, rich, right, righten, reach, rig, are associated with the root. 
The primitive notion in many Aryan tongues is stretch out, 
straighten, erect. Thus Greek opeyio is to stretch out, grasp. Spy via, 
for opeyvLa, is span. I think the idea of setting up a mark, fence, 
or similar erection is also primitive. Thus we have Icelandic r4tt, 
to pen, O.N. rett, an inclosure for cattle,^ and the Latin erigo, with 
the notion of build, erect. The term regere fines, to mark the 
boundaries, is also very suggestive. The root does not seem free 
from the notion of the hag or fence placed round the site of the old 
mahal. The Gothic reJcs, as in UreJcs, signifies the inclosed or shut 
in. Just as the fenced land of the kin led us from cyneland to the 
kingdom, so we find in Gothic reiki, O.N. rtki, O.H.G. rihhi, A.S. 
rice, Danish rige, Modern German reich, the lordship. The kin- 
alderman becomes the Gothic reiks, chief, lord; Sanskrit rdjan, 
Gaelic rig, Latin rex, chief or king. But just as the kin-chief does 
not always get further than the master or parent, so we find that 
while Irish ri is king, Welsh rhi is dominus and nobilis (p. 135), 
while rhiant is parent. Further, while Irish rigan is queen, Welsh 

^ In Landsmaal rett is a straight flat 7iiarJcstraeTcning, and langrett is used 
in the same sense. But rett is also used for teig in the sense of a fenced piece of 
land, whether meadow or tilth. I would venture to compare it with opyds for 
6^670.5, which, exactly like rett, ma.j include meadow, tilth, and even wood. 
The rett, like the dpyds, may very probably have originally been sacred to a 
mother-goddess, i.e. a hayngarten. 


rhiain is virgo, piieUa ; in other words, while in Irish the hone has 
developed into queen, in Welsh she remained the quean. It is 
difficult to appreciate how a primitive notion of ruling could de- 
generate into Virgo, but the ascent to queen we have followed in 
hme (p. 116). That, on the other hand, the pen or fence notion 
can lead to all the ideas of rex, king, and gericht, judicial court, we 
have already seen. Take Jiegen with the original sense of hedging, 
and we find heger for a defender, protector, prince. To be the 
heger seines volkes is often described as the mission of a ruler. 
Hegerding and heger gericht are the judicial courts of a group of 
peasants who are holders, so-called hegermanni or hclgeri, of a hag or 
hagen. In the Grafschaft Schaumberg seven villages are termed die 
debenfreien hagen, and the hegerding was the court held in the hag, 
the gehegtes gericht, by the hegermanner. Here the correspondence to 
the rett and the gericht are very striking. Even the O.H.G. kastalt, 
which we have come across in the gestalt of the hccg, modern 
hagestolz, will be found glossed judex, as well as famulus and 
mercenarius. Lastly, we may compare hag, the fitting, the 
orderly, the skilful, the wise (pp. 130, 131) with the notions 
of order and security involved in the rett and right series of words. 
To further justify our position, we ought to see the notion of the 
meal and the dance, or combined the hexenmahl, arising out of the 
rak, reg root. In the first place, we notice the use of gericht for a 
portion of food ; the idea at first might be that it is simply what is 
handed or reached. But the significant thing is that this sense is 
common to nearly all the Germanic tongues, and must therefore be 
primitive. O.N. rettr is either a judicial court or a meal, a mM, 
either as mahal or mahl. M.H.G. rihte, riht is either a judicium or 
prepared food, while Swedish rdtt, Danish ret, have the like senses 
of food. The meal notion is thus not wanting. Turning to the 
dance notion we have, in the first place, the German reige, reihe, 
which is essentially a choral dance. Fick seeks the origin of this 
word in Sanskrit rej, spring, tremble, and compares Gothic reiran, 
tremble, as giving the base of the word. The old forms are reyge, 
rey, reye, M.L.G. rege, rei, reige, and I would ultimately connect 
with the reg, rak series. The reige is a choral dance, for the minne- 
singer speaks of singing a rei ; it was peculiarly a peasant dance in 
the open air in summer or springtime ; it was a violent dance ; it 
was, as Grimm points out, gesprungen, and not getreten. For the 


Middle Ages the dancing of the Virgin and saints in heaven,^ of the 
devils in hell, and the soul- and death-dances (see pp. 337-342), are 
all reigen. The reigen were often conducted under the linden-tree, 
the spot later of the gericht and of betrothal, earlier of the sex-festival 
(p. 412). From this aspect the Low German reierij r'een, which is 
used of loitering about in the streets in the evening, especially of 
maids who run after men, is peculiarly significant. A Liibeck Zunft 
order forbids the journeymen tailors, when holding their reyen on 
Walpurgistag, to have women and maidens present. Further we 
find that it was the custom in Liibeck for the bridegroom to come 
into the bride's house with a sammelinge to dantzende edder to reyende. 
The sense of reige, I think, is preserved in English rig, a frolic, rig, 
a. wanton, and rigge, to be wanton, corresponding with German 
reien just cited. The above sexual sense of the rag root might be 
thought to be limited to the Germanic branch of the Aryan tongues, 
but I venture to think we can trace it also in the Greek. I have 
already pointed to the opyds as the fenced meadow. Now the 
opyds between Athens and Megara was a tract sacred to the god- 
desses of fertility, Demeter and Persephone.^ Young marriageable 
women were termed opydSes, possibly from the tilth analogy, but at 
least comparable with Welsh rhiain for virgo. In Greek opyrj (for 
opey-q) we have the conception of passion, doubtless in the earliest 
period sexual passion ; opydoi (for Speydo}) is to swell with lust, to 
wax wanton, and corresponds to the sense in English rig and Low 
German reien, and less closely to the sense of excite in Latin erigo, 
Modern German eregen, and more grossly to the use of ragen in the 
Fastnachtspiele. But the 6pyd<5, as the haingarten of the goddess of 
fertility, is the seat of the o/)yia (for opkyia), the sexual festival to 
the goddess of fertility, whose priest and priestess are the dpyewi/ and 
opyeiavT].^ Thus we have made the whole round from the root rag, 
the judicial court, the meal, the sex-festival with its worship of a 
goddess of fertility, the choral dance in the inclosure, and the tribe 
leader developing into parent, king, and priest. We have the hag 

^ (Maria speaks) 

min briutgom vtiert den reigen da 
die heilegen tanzent alle na. 

Marienleben, cited in Grimms' TVdrterbuch. 
2 See references in Index II. 

^ The Norse use of regin for the gods, and the verb ragna, to call down the 
gods' anger on any one, may possibly be compared. 


and gat notion of primitive Aryan life again repeated, if it be in a 
less definite form. 

B. Tlie ' GenossenschafV 

The root of the word here is one of the most interesting in 
the whole range of specially Teutonic developments. The sense of 
the word is to be found in genieszen, to enjoy, but with the under- 
lying and antique sense of enjoying in common. Hildebrand, in 
Grimms' }Forterbuch,^ takes the original sense to have been acquiring 
in common by the hunt or by war, and the later to be that of 
common enjoyment. He bases his interpretation on the use of the 
strengthened forms — Anglo-Saxon heneotan for rob, and Gothic 
ganiutan in the sense of capture. I venture to think this notion is 
rather a development of the original sense of the word, especially 
among warlike Teutonic stems, the chief occupation of whom was 
the acquirement of booty in common. O.H.G. niozan is uti, frui, usu 
capere, capere cihum ; ganiuzan is consumere, but the idea of rob does 
not occur. Accordingly the uses of the Gothic ganiutan in the 
sense of take fish (Luke v. 9), and catch (Mark xii. 13), besides 
nuta for fisherman, seem to me quite easy derivative notions. 
The Gothic niutan, A.S. niotan, 0. Fries, nieta, O.N. niota, all 
retain the simple notion of use, enjoy, without that of rob. 
Lithuanian panilsti is lust after, and naudh profit. The ultimate 
root appears to be nu, or with a guttural nu-d- (possibly Sanskrit 
nand^ enjoy, rejoice may be connected). The sense is to use, to 
profit by, to enjoy, and therefore, in early times, with special applica- 
tion to food and sex. But I have already traced the community 
of primitive society in bed and board. Hence the fundamental 
application of the root is to what is enjoyed in common. The use 
notion is very widespread. In Scandinavian we have nautna, neyta, 
nyde, to enjoy, to eat, njota mjtte, to use, eat, henytte, and the nouns 
denoting help, utility, corresponding to Danish nytte, O.N. nyt. In 
German we have all the notions of use, enjoyment in nutzen and 
niitze ; ^ English dialect gives us nate, etc. In Landsmaal naut, in 

^ See under genieszen and genosz. I have freely used Hildebrand's citations. 

^ 0. H. G. nutz has the sense of profit, produce of the land ; Friesian oiot is 
the word for agricultural produce of all sorts, O.N. 7i7jt is specially used of dairy 
products, in other words, we are carried back to the most primitive sense of the 
useful or profitable as food. A cognate series is O.B..G. niot, O.F. niod, A.S. 


O.N. nautr^ is a comrade, one who enjoys in common. The German 
has not retained this simple form, but has put all the ancient ideas 
of common life into the strengthened form genieszen. This word 
denotes essentially the idea of common enjoyment ; it is not only 
eating and drinking, but pleasure in so doing. The noun geniesze, or 
in its more usual form genusz, is essentially the pleasurable satis- 
faction of aj)petite in contradistinction to the mere desire, the 
begierde. Like niezen it is used of the satisfaction of sexual appetite : 
er noz ir jungen sUezen Up, biz daz diu maget wart ein wtp (Daz 
heselin, Gesammtabenteuer, ii. p. 9). Genieze in M.H.G. is used of a 
female comrade, the later genossin. "While genieze in M.H.G. is used 
of food and love, its O.H.G. sense was undoubtedly gemeingeniesze, 
the nutznieszung in gemeinschaft. Even Luther in his Bible transla- 
tion gives the mittlieilung of the older German versions, ih.Q participatio 
of the Vulgate, by geniess : " What fellowship — geniess — hath right- 
eousness with unrighteousness ?" (2 Cor. 6, 14). The typical word 
is O.H.G. ganoz, kinoz, equivalent to O.N. naufr, and glossed socius, 
contubernalis, sodalis, aequalis, commilito — in other words, we find the 
gandz is exactly like the gataling (p. 154) and the gamahcho (p. 143). 
We have the group of vriunte with common living, common house, 
and equal privileges, degenerating as the glosses husJcinozi, domestici, 
and gandz, cliens, show into the same senses as the hiiva terms (p. 
126) degenerated. It is noteworthy, however, that gandz stands 
for either male or female comrade ; it is glossed like ganozinna by 
collega. Similarly genieze in M.H.G. is used of either sex, the 
genosse or the genossin, the simple mitgenieszer. M.H.G. gendzinne, or 
simply genoze, is used for socia, censors, wife.^ Turning back to 
O.H.G. we note Undzsam, facundus, in the sense of social ; ganozsami, 
collegia; gandzsamon, gandzon, both glossed consociare ; ganozscaf, 
consortium, contubernium, collegium, sodalitas ; ungenoz is one who is 
not of the gandzscaf ; ungendzami is used in the Weisthiimer of a 
wife, not one of the genoszschaft ; while the terms mitgenossig and 
ungenussig are rendered by consors and exsors. Like senses may be 
followed in a more scattered manner in M.L.G. geiidt, A.S. gendat, 
and Dutch genoot, etc. Eidgenoss is like the eidam (p. 223), the 

nedd, desire, lust, joy, with the verb niotdn, A.S. giniedon, to enjoy to the full, 
to rejoice in, and O.H.G. adjective niotsam, desirabilis, etc. 

^ Genieszung is used for genosz, and the two words may be compared with gata- 
lung and gatte. It also stands, of course, for enjoyment. 


man whose genoszscliaft arises from an oath and not from blood. 
Suggestive for the common life is the term hrdtgenossen as equivalent 
to ehalten (see p. 126). JVeidgenossen, alpgenossen, markgenossen all 
indicate the primitive community with its common rights in wood, 
pasture, and land. 

Thus we see, as in the wiunte^ that the genossen were a com- 
munity arising from a common satisfaction of appetite, a common 
profit, it only remains to show that the genoszschaft was originally 
an endogamous group. 

It is impossible here to enter on the picture of primitive com- 
munal life that the Weisthumer provide, but one or two points regard- 
ing the earliest genoszschaft may be emphasised. In the first place, it 
was a group having rights of inheritance, intermarriage, and inter- 
change of products. The head of the community had to take care 
that the genossen neither wthen noch mannen uszer der gnoszschaft. If 
they do, and a child results, that child has no inheritance within the 
genoszsclmfl} As the 1320 Ebersheimmiinster Weisthum puts it, 
when a man " usser siner genossinne grifetj unde gewinnet die ein kinf" 
that child is not his heir.^ This custom of marrying within the 
genoszschaft will be found in the Weisthumer right away from Elsass 
to Tyrol, and explains the strong feeling against exogamy which 
still exists in many an out-of-the-way valley (p. 140). In several 
cases we find difi*erent lesser or sub-communities claim the right to 
give and to take each other's children in marriage ; and a noteworthy 
paragraph in the Schwabenspiegel tells us that if a man dies leaving 
two daughters, one of whom has married her gendz and the other 
her ungenoz, only the former inherits genoszschaft property. The 
obvious basis of all this is that group-property was not to pass 
out of the old endogamous kin-group. The group is repeatedly 
described as consisting of persons einandern genosz und geerb, who may 
zu ein^nndern varnn vnnd von ein^nndern, i.e. may intermarry.^ Thus it 
comes about that a gendsz may only sell his land and rights within 
the genoszscJiaft, or at least not until he has sought a purchaser 
within the geerbe or genosze. But this restriction stretched a good 
deal farther than the land, we find it applied not only to all stand- 
ing crops, but to garden produce, to all the produce, in fact, of what 

^ J. Grimm's Weisthumer, Bd. v. p. 64 (Koelikon, circa 1400). 

2 Ibid. Bd. i. p. 669. 
^ See the Ofnung von Brutten, Grimm's Weisthumer, i. p. 144. 



in older days had been the common kin-group land. Even fish and 
crayfish are in some cases not to be exported. Manufactured 
articles, bread, bricks, tiles, ploughs, pots, tubs, etc., must either not 
be sold at all outside the genoszscliaft, or first offered for sale to the 
gendsze. Even tailors, shoemakers, and smiths must work only for 
the gendsze, or for them in the first place and at a cheaper rate.^ 
The primitive community is not only endogamous, we see also the 
fossils of an older self-sufficing communism. Even in the mediaeval 
genoszschaftj overlaid as it was with developed feudalism, we find 
the strongest traces of the old internal self-government. The 
alderman or kin-chief may have become an hereditary lord, but the 
heimal, fryggeding, or gehegtes gericht of the genoszschaft, held under the 
gerichtsbaunij show us clearly enough the old group-habits of the gata- 
lunge and the vriunte. Their genieszen is an enjoyment in common 
of food, and of the product of the land and chase ; their genuss 
(Tyrolese gnuss) is a gemeinnutzung of woods and pasture ; their 
geneten, a rechtes geneten, the legal advantage in the malml. But at 
the same time the sex-weight never leaves the words, and the 
Uehesgenuss it refers to is the endogamous union of a localised 
kindred group. The modern genossenschaft is one of the pillars of 
our present commercial system, but its origin in the old kindred 
group-marriage — the human herd — is hardly more realised than are 
those of 7'ight (p. 427) and of love (p. 175). 

1 See von Maurer, GescMchte der'Markeverfassung, 1856, pp. 179-184. 





batn 117 
rehem 117 
hayy 124 
hawwa 124 

aiti 131 
isa 131 



anth, ath 131 
gam 235 

gan, gen 113, 117, 132, 134, 

g'elta 194 

gelvo 194 

ghad 153 

ghar 178 

ghreiido 149 

ka, kar 177, 178 

kam 177 

jam, gam 225, 235 

tak 187, 242 

tego 187 

(laiai 236 

daiver 236 

dar, dhar 178 

dharg 183 

pa 204, 206, 208, 218 

pasos 206 

pri 168 

pu 222 

bar 120, 122 

bhero 121 

Ub, lub' 175, 176, 177 

ma 101, 196, 200 

mad 200 

mal 200 

vedhS 227 

vie 190 

vid 238 

si 162 

snu 226 

spherag 159 

sphoragos 159 

star 122 

stri 122 

sii 122, 162 

sutar 122 

sutri 122 

sva 122 

svasr 122 

svedho 118, 232 


amba 201 
udara 132 
ulva 199 
urvara 199 
gad 153 

^ami 224, 225 
gamatri 225 
gaud'as 153 
gara 227 
garami 189 
g'aras 189 
gna 114, 117 
gnata 118 
gnati 118 
cakamana 177 
kam 177 
kama 177 
kamra 177 
ksa 123 
k'si 123 
k'sis 123 
k'sitis 123 
jam 224 
jarta 194 
yatar 234 
taksh 187 
tatas 208 
toka 187 
dampati 190 
d'avas 101, 237 
dayate 236 
devar 236 
dhar 179 
dhri 178 
dhridha 178 
dogd'ri 223 
dohas 223 
dug 101, 222 

1 The spelling and grouping adopted is that of the sources from which the words have been 
taken, and is therefore not always consistent. The index is solely for purposes of reference, 
and lays no claim to being a scientific classification. All the pages in this Index refer to 
Vol. II. 


2 F 



duh 222 

diig'a 223 

duliita 222 

dru, darn 179 

nafsu 218 

napat 218 

naptjam 218 

pdsas 206 

patai' 205 

patra 208 

pitrvjas 208 

putra 222 

pra-av 170 

pramatha 112 

praudha 118 

pravali 118 

pri 166, 170 

prija 166 

prijaja 166 

prijas 166 

prita 172 

priti 172 

Pritis 166, 168 

bhar, bhr 120 

bhartar 122 

bhartri 121 

bhavana 185 

bhratar 120, 121 

bhratarau 122 

bhu, bu 184, 185 

bhuti 185 

b'rud 101, 113 

bull 185 

lubh, lob 175 

lubdha 175 

manmatlia 112 

manth, math 112 

mataputrau 199 

matar 199 

matarau 198 

matr 196 

matrika 197, 202, 204 

matrka 140 

matrkas 202 

vaduja 227 

vadhu 227 

vama 134 

vanas 134 

vapanam 193 

vapra 193 

ve9a 190 

vi9pati 190 

vi, vip, 192, 193 

vidh 237 

vidhava 101, 237 

vidhu 237 

geva 125 


9uras 229 

9va9ura 229, 234 

9vacrfts 229 

sabbya 162 

sabha 162 

savam 221 

si 134 

siv 162 

snusba 226 

somas 222 

su 221 

sMas 221 

suuus 221 

siita 221 

sutu 221 

sva 229 

svatu 118 

svesrino 235 

svacura : see 9va9ura 

svakurjas 230 

syalas 235 


sas 232 
susra 232 

Zend — Persian 

gbeua 114 
zami 225 
zamatar 225 
dokhter {Pers.) 222 
napat {Pers.) 218 
bratuirya 216 
vadhgjnno 227 
vi9paiti 190 
\ip {Bad.) 193 
vipta {Bad.) 193 
sapah {Pers.) 162 
sipa {Pers.) 162 
sipah {Pers.) 162 
sipahi {Pers.) 162 


ordz 189 
tagr 236 
hayr 206 


voicreja 226 
vovaepia 226, 227 

dyadSs 155 
dyelpcj 156 

dyopd 156, 157, 158, 242 
dyopala 157 
d5eX06s 120 

deXiOL 235 

'Ad-nvrj 131 

dXew 149 

dXrjdovcraL 149 

&\o^ 124 

dve^Lds 218 

dvdeio 131 

avdos 131 

dvvis 229 

&poTos 124 

dpovpa 124 

dpocj 124 

^pijcj 119 

ydXa 234 

ydXws 234 

yafx^pos 225 

ya/ne'iv 235 

yafjiio) 138, 225 

ydfios 138 

ya<XT'f]p 115 

yevercop 113 

yeuos 115 

yevrep 115 

761' w 113 

yiyvibaKO} 118 

yfOjTos 118 

ypatav 189 

yvrjs 124 

yvvr] 114, 115 

5ai7p 236 

5ais 236 

balw 236 

SeXra 194 

6/)0s 179 

'ibvov 227 

'^dvoi 118 

Wo^ 118 

elvdrepes 234, 235 

eKvpd 229 

eKvpoi 228, 229, 230 

iTTLdaXdjuLLOs 133 

evvri 134 

Fidos 232 

FlO- 238 

FoIkos 190 

7}ld€T) 238 

TjLdeos 238 
dpbvos 179 
dvydrvp 222 
Kd5os 152 
KeifjLat 128, 136 
/cet'w 136 
Koifidca 136 
Koival 126 

KOLVol 126 

KOLvbs 126 
KoivSu} 126 
KOLvwveo} 126 
Koivufia 126 
KOLvwvia 126 



KOLTr^ 136 

Kopri 115 
/fpdXiys 189 
Kvpo% 229 
/cc6/i77 136, 178 
Acw/xos 136, 158 
Kw/xcisdia 178 
Xe'7w 188 
\exc6 188 

Atata 197, 202, 204 
fxaids 197 
/Jiaieiuofiai, 197 
fj,aTp6\7} 197 
fj^'nTrjp 196 
ix-ryrpa 197 
fivWds 150 
/Ai;XX6s 150 
/Ai/XXw 150 
viwodes 219 
j'u6s 225 
vijfiipr] 201 
o^Ketos 134 
olK€i6Tr)s 134, 190 
olKeiu/xa 134, 190 
oWa 190 
okos 134, 190 
olKodeawdTTjs 190 
«pxts 189 
irapdeuos 130 

TTttTf O/Attl 204 

vaT'qp 205 
irdrpoji 209 
irevdepa, 228, 229 
Trevdepbt 229 

TTCOS 206 

7r776s, 7ra6s 206 
TToteiJ' 7rai5a 138 
fl-6(rts 206 
irbrvia 206 
craKos 231 

(TT^/COS 231 

(TKiprdco 132 
<Tvp.ir6(nov 136 
(x6vvvfjL(pos 235 
avvTeTpL/iifievovs 149 
a-vvTpl^oj 149 
o-Os 221 
(Tvaairiov 122 
Tdra 208 
reKvov 187 

T€KT(i}V 187 

Terra 208 
rei^xftf 187 
T^X^V 187 


rpd70s 136 
rpayujdla 137 
rp^jSw 149 
TpX\paL 149 
{{77s 222 

w6s 221 

u/WT?!/ 138, 222 

0ep- 120 

0tru 184 

0rri;s 184 

(f>LT6<j} 184 

0/odrpa 120, 122 

(pparpla 165 

0u- 184 

01/X77 184 

0i5cris 184 

(f>VT€(>(a 184 

^i^r^v 184 

0i5rw/) 184, 206, 207, 208 

01^0; 184, 206 

Xa5- 152, 153 

XO-P-^v-q 193 

Xavdavio 152 

XafSds 152 

XdpiTcs 178 

XO-T^<^ 152 

Xo/)6s 132, 157, 158, 178 

Xoprd^u 157 

xVos 157, 178 


admater 214 

adpater 214 

arnica 178 

amicus 178 

amita 216 

amo 178 

avunculus 215 

avus 215 

camera 178 

caritas 177, 241 

caritia 177 

carmen 178 

cams 177 

Cauda 188 

chorus 178 

civis 123 

civitas 123 

coemptio 138 

coelebs 130 

cognati 135 

cogniti 135 

cognosce 118 

comis 177 

commater 210, 235 

compater 210 

compaternitas 213 

concio 151 

confarreatio 138, 147, 148 

congregatio 156 

congressio 156 

congressus 156 

conjugium 138, 198 

conjunctio 151 

connubium 198 
consobrinus 235 
consors 140 
consortium 138 
consponsae 235 
consponsus 235 
consuesco 122, 232 
consuetio 122 
contritos 149 
contubernium 138 
conversatio 146 
convivium 143 
convivor 143 
cosinus 235 
cunnus 113 
di-vido 237 
dominus 190 
domus 190 
familia 126 
fasciatorium 213 
fe- 127, 184 
fecundus 127, 185 
feles 185 
felix 185 
femina 185 
fenum 127, 185 
fer- 120 
feretrum 120 
fertor 121 
fetus 127, 185 
filiola 214 
filiolus 214 
firmus 179 
fodrus 207 
fovea 120 
fovere 120 
frater 120 
fratria 241 
fretus 179 
friare 121 
frutex 119 
geminus 225 
gen- 118, 134, 135 
gener 225 
generosus 135 
genialis 135 
genialitas 135 
genitor 113 
genius 135 
genu 117 
genus 115, 135 
gigno 113 
glos 234 
gnosco 135 
grex 156 
haga 128, 164 
haia 128, 164 
haistaldi 129 
hortus 158, 178 
hymen 138 



janitrices 234 

ju-, jug- 224 

levir 228, 236 

liber 174 

Liber 175 

Libitina 175 

lubere 175 

lubido 175 

mater 196 

materia 199, 200, 201 

maternitas 198 

maternus 214 

matertera 202 

Matrae 199 

Matralia 201 

matricula 203 

matrimonium 198 

matrix 113, 197, 200, 203 

modus 200 

molentes 149 

nepos 219 

nepotes 202 

neptis 219 

nitor 117 

nobilis 135 

nubere 101, 118, 192 

nura 226 

nurus 225, 226 

pabulum 204, 207 

panis 204 

paricida 206 

pasco 204, 205 

pastor 205 

pater 205 

paternus 214 

patrinus 212 

patruelis 209 

penis 206 

plebs 127 

potens 206 

progenies 203 

prosapia 163 

puer 222 

pusus 222 

putus 222 

sobrinus 219, 230, 235 

soca 231 

socer 228 

socrus 228, 229, 230 

soga 231 

sponsor 214 

spurcalia 159 

suavaum 232 

sueo 122 

supa 164 

supanos 164 

suppar 164 

sus 162, 221 

trudere 123 

uterinus 230 

uterus 132 
vagina 195 
vagus 195 
venter 115 
Venus 114 
veretrum 120 
vibrare 192 
vicus 190 
vidua 237 
viduus 237 
viere 192 
virgo 130 
voluptas 174 
volva 188, 194 
volvere 195 
vulva 194 


ama {S'pan.) 204 
ama {Languedoc) 204 
amo {Span.) 204 
carail {Span.) 189 
carajo {Span.) 189 
commere {Fr.) 211 
compere {Fr.) 212 
druda {Ital.) 180, 182 
drudo {ItaL.) 180 
fodero {Ital.) 207 
gale (0. Fr.) 197 
moudre {Fr.) 150 
nuora {Ital.) 225 
parrain {Fr.) 212 
queue {Fr.) 188 
suocero {Ital.) 228 


am {Gaelic) 204 
arwedd ( Welsh) 227 
brith {Old Irish) 121 
cara {Irish) 177 
caraim {Irish) 177 
caur {Old Irish) 229 
chwegr ( Welsh) 230 
chwegrwn ( Welsh) 229, 230 
druth {Gaelic) 180 
dyweddio ( Welsh) 227 
fedb {Msh) 237 
fick {Old Irish) 190 
fine {Old Irish) 134 
gadal {Old Irish) 153 
guic {Cornish) 190 
gwaddol ( Welsh) 227 
gwamm {Breton) 194 
gwaudd ( Welsh) 227 
guedeu {Cornish) 237 
gweddwi ( Welsh) 237 
gubit {Cornish) 227 
hwegr {Cornish) 230 

suth {Old Irish) 221 
tad ( Welsh) 208 


adum 223 

bearnum 209 

braedan 120 

brid 119 

brid 120 

brittan 120 

brod 119 

broSrum 209 

brydbur 186 

brydleod 133 

brydsang 133 

bur 185 

carlcatt 189 

catel 152 

ceorlian 189 

cernen 189 

cneo 117 

cneos 116 

cvithe 115 

cyn 116 

cynehlaford 116, 117, 163 

cynelond 116 

cynerice 116 

cynefeod 116 

cynraeden 160, 161 

cyrran 189 

deorfrid 173 

dohtor 222 

Drida 181 

dry 181 

dry as 181 

drybt 183 

dryhten 183 

dryhtguma 184 

eam 215 

eowend 188 

fa?Je 208, 217 

faSu 217 

feeder 205 

fsedera 209 

faederencyn 142 

faederingmag 142 

faselt 206 

fodder 207 

frigjan 166 

friod 166 

frundeling 167 

gaed 154 

gaedeling 154 

gamah 144 

gai 197 

gat 115, 153 

geat 152 

gecynd 116 



gecyndelim 116 
gefaedera 209 
gefer 159 
gefera 159 
gefere 159 
geferraeden 159 
gemaca 144 
gemaecnes 142 
gemagas 139 
geswirja 232 
gift 138 
giftung 138 
godfaeder 214 
godsib 214 
godsunu 214 
gossibraede 161 
grytt 149 
haeman 127 
haemed 127 
haemedceorl 127 
haemedding 127 
haemedgemana 127 
haemdo 127 
haemedrif 114, 127 
haemend 127 
haege 129 
haegesse 130 
hagsteald 129 
hagtesse 130 
hagtis 130 
haga 129 
halsfang 209 
heawan 127 
heos 128 
hig 127 
higo 127 
higum 127 
hiredesealder 137 
hiredesfaeder 137 
hiredesmoder 137 
hiva 126 

hivraede 126, 161, 163 
hivred 126 
hivredgerifa 126 
hivscipe 126 
hivung 126 
hiwa 126, 137, 139 
hi wan 126 
hiwiski 126 
hiwunga 126 
hog 130, 131 
horcwen 114 
knSsi 118 
lie 133 
lagu 128 
leofman 233 
liegan 128 
liof 175 
maca 140 
maga 138, 193 

maeg 139, 140 
maege 139 
maegelagu 105 
maegS 139, 163 
raaegeS 139, 140, 193 
maegeSman 193 
maeggemot 148 
maeghaemed 140 
maeglag 148 
mael 148 
modraneht 158 
mSdrige 203 
nefa, 219 
rif 114, 188 
rift 188 
riven 188 
sib 160, 162 
sibling 161, 162 
sibsum 161 
sife 162 
sinhiv 126 
snora 226 
suhterja 232 
suhtorfaedera 232 

sunu 221 

sweger 231 

sweor 231 

tacor 236 

team 115 

teman 115, 127 

Thryat 181 

treowscipe 179 

treoj) 179 

treo])ian 179 

tymen 115, 127, 156 

ungesibsum 161 

vaifjan 192, 194 

vaefan 192, 194 

vifian 189 

wedlac 227 

wick 190 

wifgal 197 

wiflag 195 

wifung 195 

wif])ing 195 

wifjjegn 125 

wefan 192 

Old Saxon 

buida 186 
drohting 184 
druht 183 
druhting 184 
fadar 205 
fodian 206, 207 
fraho 174 
fuddan 206, 208 
gat 152, 153 

gigado 154 
gitrost 179 
liku 133 
maal 148 
triuwiston 179 
suiri 231 
swasman 122 

Old Friesian 

adum 223 
has 217 
ben 140 

benenaburch 140 
bern 140 
berninghe 140 
boaste 216 
bodel 186 
boesen 216 
boostgjan 216 
boste 216 
bostigia 216 
budel 186 
dracht 183, 184 
drusta 183 
em 215 
fadera 209 
fatherum 210 
feder 205 
federia 209 
fedria 210 
fete 217 
fetha 210 
friond 167 
friuene 167 
frudelf 167 
gamech 139 
ham 128 
heia 126 
heive 126 
hem 128 
hine 126 
hionen 126 
hyneghe 126 
hyske 126 
ketil 152 
liaf 175 
liodgarda 128 
mach 139 
mec 140 
mecbref 140 
mech 139 
medder 203 
meker 140 
metrika 140 
moye 203 
quik 194 
swager 231 
swesbedde 122 
tarn 115 



triuwa 179 
widwe 237 
winnasonge 133 


bachelor 130 

bairn {Scot.) 139 

beget 153 

believe 176 

bird 120 

birth 121 

boss 217 

bower 185 

breed 119 

bride 118, 119, 121 

brood 119 

brother 120, 121 

byre 186 

caress 178 

chamber 178 

charity 178 

churl 189 

churn 189 

conversation (0.^.) 146 

cousin 235 

cover 192 

coverture 198 

dad 208 

daughter 222 

drag 183 

dug 223 

fare 159 

feeder 205, 207 

fertile 120 

fill 207 

fodder 204 

free 171, 172, 174 

freedom 171 

freeman 172 

freethinker 173 

friend 167 

friendship 241 

fry 166, 174 

garth 158 

gat 115 

gate 152 

gather 153, 156 

generation 113 

generosity 135 

generous 135 

genius 135 

giving away 138 

goat 115 

god {O.E.) 161, 214 

godeman [O.E.) 161 

godfather 214 

godmother 214 

godsib {O.E.) 161 

good 155 

goodfather {Scot.) 230 

goodman 161 

goodmother {Scot.) 230 

gossip 161, 211, 214 

grace 178 

gratitude 178 

grits 149 

hag 130 

hagasted {Scot.) 129 

ham 128, 136 

haugh {Scot.) 129 

haw 129 

hind 126 

hive 125, 126, 127, 241 

home 128, 136 

hure-queyn {Shct. I.) 114 

husband 163, 190 

intercourse {O.E.) 146 

kendle {Scot.) 113 

kettle 152 

kid 115 

kin 115, 154, 160, 163 

kine 114, 127 

kind 134, 135, 144, 168, 

kindle 135 
kindliness 135 
kindred 160 
king 116 
kith 115, 134 
kittie {Scot.) 115 
knee 117 
knight 115 

know, known 118, 135 
kyte {Scot.) 115 
law 128 
lay 128, 133 
leman 233 
libertine 173 
lie 128 
love 175, 241 
lust 175 
maid 139, 140 
make 138, 139 
mamma 202, 203 
man 190 
mate 140 
matter 199 
may 197 
meal 146 

mother 196, 198, 199 
mould 200 
moulder 200 
mud 199 
mudder 199 
neighbour 241 
nobility 135 
outspanning 173 
parent 206 
pasture 205 

quake 194 

quean 173 

quean {Scot.) 114 

quenie {Scot.) 114 

queyn {Scot.) 114 

queen 113, 114, 116, 117 

quick 194 

ram 123 

sect 161 

sepoy 162 

sept 161 

sieve 162 

sip 162 

sister 121, 122 

son 162, 221 

sow 221 

spinster 130 

spoon 148 

spousals 138 

sup 162 

swine 162 

swing 194 

team 115, 127, 156 

teem 115 

throne 179 

tide 236 

tread 182 

tree 178 

Trot, Dame 181 

troth 179, 182 

trow 179 

true 178, 182 

truth 179, 182 

unkind 134, 135, 144, 168, 

wave, 194 
weave 194 
wedding 138 
wedlock 227 
whore 178, 227 
wide 237 
widow 237 
widower 237 
wife 190, 192 
win 134 

winsome 134, 172 
woman 192, 193 
yard 158 


0.iV.= Old Norse 

iV. = Norse 

L. = Landsmaal 

Z>. = Danish 

S. = Swedish 
barn {N.) 140 
bas (iV.) 217 
besvogre sig {D.) 162 
brMsang {S.) 133 



brur (Z.) 119, 120, 121 
bu {N.), 186 
bu, bua (Z.) 186 
biia(iV^.) 186 
bui {N.) 186 
bygd (N.) 187 
bygderet (iY.) 187 
bygdeting (iV.) 187 
bygge [N.) 187 
bylag [N.) 187 
b0r {D.) 140 
b0rn (Z>.) 140 
daegge (Z>. ) 222 
daggja {S.) 222 
d8ttir (O.iV^.) 222 
dronning (D.) 183 
drost (Z).) 183 
drott {O.N.) 183 
drottinu {O.N.) 183 
drOttning (O.iV.) 183 
drottning (*S:) 183 
fadder {D.) 210 
faster (iV.) 216 
Fensal (O.iV^.) 198 
fdda {S.) 207 
foeSa (O.iV.) 207 
fdde {D.) 207 
fraendi {O.N.) 167 
franka (,S.) 168 
fraeundkona (»S^,) 168 
Fraui8 {O.N.) 168 
Freyja(0.iV^.) 168, 174 
Freyr {O.N.) 174 
fri {O.N.) 166 
fria {O.N.) 166 
friantr (O.iV^.) 167 
Frigg {O.N.) 168 
friSill {O.N.) 166 
fridla(Z.) 166 
frie {D.) 166 
frille (i).) 166 
fro {S.) 166 
Frowa (O.iV.) 168, 170 
fru {N.) 174 
Frfi(0.iy.) 168 
fuS (iV.) 208 
fuS (O.iV.) 208 
gad (O.iV^.) 152 
gamahalus {O.S.) 146 
gjinta {S.) 225 
gat (Z.) 152 
gate (X.) 152 
gato (Z.) 152 
gatu (Z.) 152 
geit {O.N.) 115 
genta (O.iV^.) 225 
gift {D.) 138 
giftung (D.) 138 
gjenta (Z.) 225 
godi {O.N.) 214 

golf (0.^.) 212 
grautr (O.iV.) 149 
hag {O.N.) 130, 131 
hag (Z.) 131 
hi, hij {N) 123 
hjon (Z.) 127 
hjuna (Z.) 127 
husman {N.) 163 
hyra (Z.) 134 
hyrr (O.iV.) 134 
jente {N.) 225 
kallbjorn (Z.) 189 
karl {O.N) 189 
karlfugl(0.iV.) 189 
katil {N.) 152 
kone (iV.) 116 
kongr {N.) 116 
konr {O.N.) 116 
konungr (iV.) 116 
kvarnkall {N.) 189 
kund (O.iV.) 116 
kundr {O.N.) 116 
leik, leike (Z.) 133 
leikestova (Z.) 133 
leikfugl (Z.) 133 
leikvoll (Z.) 133 
leikr (O.iV.) 133 
lov {D.) 128 
magr (O.iV.) 139 
magr (,§.) 139,225 
maka, make {S.) 140 
maki (O.iV) 140 
nial {O.N.) 148 
mala (0.^.) 146 
moed'gin {O.N.) 199 
moed'gna {O.N.) 199 
mogr (O.iV) 139 
mor (iV) 189 
inor (Z.) 199 
nefi {O.N) 219 
nepi {O.N.) 219 
nift (O.iV) 219 
qvan {O.N.) 113, 116 
qvidr {O.N.) 115 
qvon (O.iV) 116 
rjupekall (Z.) 189 
seppi (O.iV) 162 
sif (O.iV) 162 
sifi {O.N.) 160 
sifjar {O.N.) 160 
sift (O.iV.) 160 
sift {N.) 161 
sifjungr (O.iV) 161 
sivjung (Z.) 161 
sive (i).) 162 
sonr {O.N.) 221 
svaer {S.) 231 
svara (*S.) 228 
svaradotter {S.) 224 

svarafader (»X) 224 
svaramoder {S.) 224 
sver {O.N.) 228, 231 
sviru (O.iV) 228 
svoger (Z>.) 231 
svoger {S.) 224 
syr (O.iV) 221 
systkin (Z.) 122 
syvja seg (Z.) 162 
s0skende (Z.) 122 
Thrudr (0.2V.) 180 
-thrudr (O.iV) 180 
trae (Z.) 179 
traust {O.N.) 179 
trottsat (*S^.) 183 
tru {O.N.) 179 
trua (O.iV) 179 
truleikr( 0.i\^.) 179 
jjegn (O.iV) 187 
veddjan {N.) 102, 138 
ven (iV) 167 
vinna {O.N) 134 
veifa {O.N.) 193 

Teutonic Roots 

bau-, bu- 184 242 

ei- 224 

fri- 160, 166, 171, 174, 

gad- 155 
hag- 127, 128, 129, 130, 

134, 148, 155, 156, 164 
har- 227 
heg-, h^g. 123, 124, 127, 

hi-, hij-, hiw- 101, 123, 

124, 128, 132, 134, 149, 

166 ^ 
kan-, k^n-, kin-, kei- 113, 

115, 117, 118, 132, 135, 

lob- 176 
lus- 175 
ma- 146 
mal- 157, 236 
mah-, mag- 138, 160 
sib- 160, 161, 162, 163 
svas- 232 

svekr- 229, 232, 233 
swang- 194 
trew- 178 
win- 134 


ai))ei 131 
atta 131 
ava 215 
bauains 185 



bruthfaths 218 
bruths 119 
brunsts 113 
daddjan 222 
dauhtar 222 
fadreins 210 
fatan 204 1 
-faths 218 
fodeins 204 
fodjan 204 
fodjan 206 
fodr 207 
frauja 174 
fraiv 166 
frijon 166 
frijondia 166 
frijonds 167 
frijons 166, 167 
frijajjva 166 
gabauan 185 
gabaur 185 
gabaurjaba 185 
gabaurjo))US 185 
gadiliggs 154 
gadraiihts 183 
gaits 115 
galubs 175 
gamalvidans 149 
gasibjou 161 
gild j a 214 
haims 128 
haw- 124 
heivan 124 
heivafrauja 124 
hors 178, 227 
katilo 152 
kil]jei 194 
kunsjjs 118 
laikan 132 
laikirs 132 
maga])S 139 
magus 139 
malandeius, 149 
raalvjan 149 
mat 200 
mavi 139 
megs 139, 225 
nip])jis 219 
nijjjo 219 
qijjuhafts 115 
qi>us 115 
qveins 113 
sibja 160 
sidus 232 
sifan 160 
siponeis 163 
snivan 226 
sunns 221 
svaihra 228 
svaihro 228 

sves 232 
trauan 179 
triu 179 
ufbauljan 185 
unhultho 182 
unsibis 161 
us-]jriutan 182 
veihs 19(3 
viduvo 237 

Old High German 

amme 204 

ana 204 

ano 204 

basa 216 

bigatten 153 

bigitan 153 

bosam 216 

brio 121 

bruoder 120 

bruotan 119, 120 

prut 119 

prutigomo 196, 


brntsamana 159 

brutsunu 119 

bruten 119 

bfiari 186 

pur 185 

crioz 149 

cutti 115 

for c/i, see k 

for d, see t 

einkunne 113, 115, 117 

enenkel 220 

Erdfrowa 170 

fadar 205 

fara 160 

fasel 188 

fasel 206 

fataro 209 

feldbuari 187 

fotar 204, 207 

foten 204 

fotjan 206 

Frea 168 

Fria 168 

Frija 168 

friantscafida 167 

frawi 172, 174 

frawida 174 

fridu 172 

friduding 174 

friedel 174 

friedela 174 

friedila 166 

friheit 172 

frowa 174 

friudalin 166 

friudil 166 

vriunt 167 

friunte 168 

vriuute 171 

friuntin 168 

friuntscaf 167 

fro 174, 241 

fuoten 204 

vuoter 207, 208 

viiten 204 

vuter 204 

cadum 152 

gabur 186 

gabura 186 

gagat 154 

gaiz 115 

gamahaljan 149 

gamahhida 142, 143, 154, 

156, 160, 182, 219, 241 
gamahlio 143 
gamahhida 241 
gasamani 159 
gasibba 161 
gasibbo 161 
gaswio 231 
gatalinga 153, 154 
gataro 156 
kataro 156 
gate 154 
katilinga 153, 154, 156, 

gatilinge 241 
katriuuete 179, 183 
gatulina 154 
gavatera 210 
gavatero 210 
gawona 134 
geburo 186 
gebusamen 216 
gegate 154 
ze gehieune 125 
kehigenden 125 
kehiginnis 125 
kehiten 125 
gehiton 125 
gemageda 139 
gemahlih 143, 144 
gesemene 159 
kesemene 159 
gesemine 159 
geswester 121 
getelos 154 
giella 197 
gimacha 144 
gimachide 143 
gimacho 143 
gimageda 1 42 
gimah 134 
gimmahhida, 143 
gimahi 143 
gimahide 143 



gimahido 143 

giri 178 

giridi 178 

gisibbe 160 

givatarum 211 

gomo 195 

gota 214 

gotkunni 135 

go tele 214 

goting 214 

goto 214 

gotta 214 

hag 173, 178 

hagastalt 129, 130, 156 

hagazusa 130, 131 

hagetissa 156 

hagesi:)raka 137 

hagezissa 130, 131 

hagjan 128 

hazusa 130, 131 

haien 128 

haigen 128 

hefhanna 204 

hi 169 

hibar 125 

hibarig 125 

hiberg 125, 148 

hien 125 

hifuoga 125 

hig 169 

hige 169 

higot 125 

hihun 125, 156 

hijan 124 

hileih 132, 136, 137, 138, 

158, 159, 177, 178 
himachari 125 
hirat 132, 137, 138, 148, 

158, 172 
hisaz 125 
histat 148 
hitat 125 
hmnka 125 
hiuri 134 

hhva 125, 163, 166, 168 
hiwe 169 
hiwelich 125 
hiwen 125, 127 
hiwo 125, 166, 167 
hiwunga 160 
Hornung 158 
hornunge 158 
href 188 
huora 178, 227 
hilswirt 195 
idis 131 
inburro 186 
itis 131 
char 189 
charal 195 

charala 189 

charalon 189 

karl 189 

katero 152 

keili 197 - 

chena : see chone 

keran 189 

cheran 189 

chezil 152 

kida 115 

chinan 113 

chizi 115 

chone, kone 113, 114, 116, 

117. 139, 164 
kunni 115, 116, 117, 241 
kuninck, chunning 116,117, 

kuunilmg 116 
kunnischaft 116 
kunnizala 116 
lantbfiari 187 
laz 174 
lazza 174 
lehtar 188 
ligau 188 
Liutfrowa 170 
liutgasameni 159 
mac, mach 138, 139, 140, 

142, 168 
macscaf 139, 241 
mag 138, 139, 140, 142, 

151, 167 
magidi 139 
magiii 139 
magon 139 
mah : see mac 
mahal 148, 151, 155, 157, 

158, 172, 187, 242 
mahaljan 145, 149 
mahalon 149 
mak : see mac 
mal 146 : see mahal 
malan 149 
malSn 149 
mome 202 
nmltra 200 
inumbling 203 
muomunsuni 203 
muotar 196 
muoterja 203 
nefo 219 
nift 219 
oheim 215 
quiti, quid 115 
quena, qvina : see chona 
sib 162, 224, 241 
sibba, sibbu 161 
sibbo 160 
sibja 165, 182 
sip 160 

sippa 160 
sippia 160 
sipzal 161 
siptzal 161 
situ 118 
snur 226 

sporkelmaand 159 
stiuffater 230 
su- 221 
sunu 221 
swangar 194 
swaseline 233 
swasenede 233 
swasman 233 
sweher 228 
sweiga 231 
swengen 194 
swestarkarl 189 
swigar 228 
Bvdo 231 
tohtar 222 
treuwa 179, 223 
trewa 241 
triuuva 179, 182 
triuwen 179 
trost 179, 182 
trostjan 180 
truhsaze 183 
truht 183 
truthigomo 184 
truhtin 183 
truhtinc 184 
trust 179 
tnistis 179, 182 
drut, trftt 180 
-trut 180 
Trut- 180 
trutin 180 
trutinna 180 
trutliet 180 
drutman 180 
trutscapht 180 
trutz 182 
unfriuTitscaf 167 
ungamahlih 143 
ungehite 125 
ungehiwat 125 
unsibja 161 
unsipbi wip 163 
unwini 134 
vip 192 : see also f 
wanbrut 119 
weban 194 
weibon 192, 193 
wifman 192, 193 
windesprut 119 
wini 134 
winia 134 

winileod 133, 136, 158, 


winiscaf 134 
wipheit 193 
wirt 195 
witawa 237 
wdn 134 
zeihhur 236 
zeman 115, 156 
zoum 115 

Middle High German 

briezen 119 

briute 119, 120 

broz 119 

pruoter 120 

brM 119, 120 

eide 132 

eidam 224 

degen 187 

feteron 209 

fleischgadem 153 

Fraiientanz 133 

friunde 167 : see also v 

gadem 152 

gademer 153 

gadengericht 155 

gadenrichter 155 

gat 152, 153 

gater, getter 156 

gattlicb 154 

gehiure 134 

germac 142 

getelich 154 

getelos 154 

geswester 122 

geswie 231 

geswige 231 

gott 214 

gottin 214 

gottlein 214 

hagetisse 133 {see 0. E.G.) 

haglig 134 

hayngarten 128, 411 

hegemal 148 

hileih 133, 136 (see O.H.G.) 

hiwe, hie 125, 139 (see 

Kaisergaden 155 : see Ap- 
pendix I. 

kinen 113 

kon, kone 116 

konemae 116 

koneman 195 

koning 116 

kiinig, chonig 116 

kueniginne 142 

kunne 114, 117 

kunkelmac 142 

liep 175 


magad 139 

magan, 139 

inagat 139 

mage 141 

mabal 145 (see O.H.G.) 

raahalberg 145 

mahalbrunnen 145 

mahalscaz 145 

mahalstat 145 

mabaltag 145 

mal 148, 151 

malgeld 146 

milch vriedel 166 

mulde 200 

muotermac 142 

nagelmac 168 

nagelvriunt 168 

neve 219 

neveschaft 219 

niftelin 219 

oheim 215 

pfaffenbrut 119 

pfaffenkiihe 114 

pfaflfenkunnen 114, 117 

quec 194 

sibbe 163 {see O.H.G.) 

sibsam 172 

sip 162 

spindelmac 142 

swager 231 

sweher 228 

swer 228 

swertmac 142 

triuten 180 

trubten 183 

truhtsaeze 183 

trut, trute 180 

trCiten 180 

trutfriunt 180 

trutgespielin 180 

triitgemabele 180 

trutschel 180 

unsippe 161 

vasel 188, 206 

vatermac 142 

vergaterung, 155, 242, 243 

vetero 209 


vrien 166 

vriunde 168 

vriunge 173 

vriunt 167 

vriuntschaft 168 

vrum 172 

vuotarwanne 208 

vut 208 

vuten 206 {see also f ) 

wif 192, 193 

witewe 237 


ahn 204 

abne 220 

amme 203, 204 

bann 173 

barmutter 198 

base 216, 217 

baseln 217 

baserei 217 

bauen 186 

bauer (i) 185 

bauer (ii) 186 

baum 184 

bedecken 198 

befriedigung 172 

begatten 153, 154 

behaglich 134, 144, 168 

braut 101, 118,- 119 120 

brautkauf 138 

brautscbatz 145 

brei 121 

bruder 101, 121 

brunst 113 

brutbiene 120 

bruthenne 120 

bube 222 

buhler 222 

buhlgabe 222 

biihlgesang 222 

burg 164 

drude 181 

dnidenfuss 181 

druder 181 

ehe 102, 138, 198 

ehemann 196, 224 

eidani 223, 224 

einfriedigung 173 

eltern 219 

enkeln 219 

fotze 208 

frail 170, 174, 190 

freck 170 

frei 170, 171, 174 

freiding 172, 174 

freien 165, 171, 172 

freier 173 

freierei 173 

freierin 173 

freifrau 172 

freigeist 173 

freigericbt 172 

freihart 172 

freiherr 172 

freihof 173 

freimann 173 

freiort 173 

freite 165 

freiung 173 

freiweib 172 



freude 171, 172, 174, 241 

freudenhaus 174 

freudenkind 174 

freudenmadchen 174 

freudenmahl 174 

freudenspiel 174 

freudentanz 174 

freuen 160 

friede 173, 174, 241 

friedhof 173 

friedigung 173 

froh 170, 174 

fud 208 

futteral 207 

gadem 156 

gatlich 172 

gatte 154, 156 

gatter 156 

gattergeld 156 

gatterhenne 156 

gatterherr 156 

gattin 154 

gebarmutter 198 

gehag 128 

gehegtes gericht 148 

geheuer 134 

geil 197 

geilhart 197 

geloben 175 

gelobnis 176 

gelubde 176 

gemach, 144, 153, 178, 185 

gemachlich 144, 168, 172 

gemachte 142 

gemachzaun 156 

gemalil 145 

gemahlin 145 

gericht 148, 173 

gevatter 210 

gevatterin 210 

gewinnen 134 

gitter 156 

glauben 176 

Goding 214 

golliard 197 

Gottingen 214 

griitze 149 

gut 155 

hag 185 

hagegeld 156 

hagehenne 156 

hagen 128 

hagestolz 129 

-haglich 134 

hain 128 

heerfiihrer 163 

hegen 128, 173 

hegung 173 

heim 101, 126, 128 

heimlich 122 

heirath : see O.H.O. hirat 
heirath 101, 137, 140, 149, 

herzog 163 
hexe 130, 131 
kaffeebase 217 
kaufen 102 
keimen 113 
kennen 135 
kerl 189 
kind 135 
klatschbase 217 
knabe 115, 135 
knecht 115 
Kornmuhme 202 
Kommutter 199 
konig 116, 117, 174 
konigin 117, 142 
kunst 118, 135 
lager 173 
leich, 132 
lieb 175 
liebchen 175 
liegen 128 
loben 175, 176 
Idffeln 148 
lofte 176 
machen 138, 200 
madchen 139 
maege, 151 
magen 138, 139, 154 
raagenschaft 143 
mahl 146 
mahlen 148, 150 
mahlen 148 
mahlzeit 146 
raal 148 

mann 110, 190, 191, 195 
mark 148 
melken 222 
milchen 222 
mitgift 138 
mode 199 
mott 199 
mudde 199 
muhme 201, 202, 216, 217, 

muhmenhaus 203 
mutter 101 
mutterbeschwer 199 
mutterland 199 
mutter sprache 199 
mutterwitz, 199 
oheim 215 
ohmchen 220 
pynte 188 
Eoggenmutter 199 
ruthe 188 
sau 221 
schnur 226 

schooskind 159 

schossling 159 

schwager 224, 230 

schwaher 231 

schwanger 194 

schwangern 194 

schwanz 188 

schweher 228 

sch wester 101, 121 

schAvieger 231 

schwiegersohu 224 

schwiegertochter, 224 

schwiger 228 

sibbe 161 

sippeln 162 

sitte 118, 232, 241 

sohn 221 

spannen 173 

siippen 162 

tochter 101, 222 

tragen 183 

trauen 179 

trauung 177 

treue 179 

truchsess 183 

tnftenbaum 181 

trutenberg 181 

tnltennacht 181 

Trutte, Frau 181 

trutz 182 

ungehener 134 

unholde 182 

vater 101 

vergaderung 155, 157 

vergatten 153 

vergatterung 155 

verloben 176 

verlobung 175, 176, 177 

vermahlen 145, 154 

vermahluug 101, 145 

vetter 209 

walzen 194 

weib 101, 192, 193, 194 

Weibermonat 158 

weit 237 

welle 194 

wittwe 101 

wohnung 134 

zagel 188 

zaun 115 

zeit 236 

zers 188 

zisel 188 

ziss 131 

Dialects (Swabian, Bav- 
arian, Tyrolese, Swiss, 


basele 216 
basl 216 



bua 222 

biihli 222 

bill 222 

drud 181 

fel 208 

fenstern 146 

fodel 208 

frid 173 

fridbann 173 

fridhag 173 

fridgatter 173 

fridzaxm 173 

friund 167 

frunt 168 

fud 113 

gefride 173 

gefiidacli 208 

gehai 128 

gelobtanz 176 

gemachmiihl 144 

gemach'l 144 

gemachzaun 144 

gemaht 142 

gemahti 142 

geschwie 231 

geschwein 231 

geswagerlich 231 

geswistrige 141 

god 214 

godl 214 

gottheit 214 

gottenloffel 214 

gsweyen 231 

haaggeld 137 

haghenne 137 

hagsch 130 

hai 128 

heierlos 410 

heimgarten 411 

hijgaten 124 

kar 189 

kiltgang 407-412 

kinder machen 138 

kund, kunt 118 

kundeln 118 

kunta 118 

lobetanz 176 

16s 113 

machen 142 

magdeheyer 124 

maelen 146 

maellen 149 

mahlleute 148 

mahlmann 146, 148, 172 

mllpfenning 146 

malet 146 

mogen 142 

miigen 142 

obmann 147, 164 

rammeln 123 

sohnerin 226 
schwager 231, 234 
schwaig 231 
schwaiger 231 
schwaigerin 231 
schwega 228 
schwer 228 
tatte 208 
tattl 208 
teite 208 
trud 181 
trlittl 181 
ungeheit 124 
virgatum gehen 155 

Low German — Old and 

ackermome 202 
beswas 122 
bruen 120 
briiden 120 
briihen 120 
briimen 119 
brutloft 176 
bur 187 
bdrmal 187 
burmester 187 
burrichte 187 
bftrschap 187 
bursprake 187 
eselmome 202 
fedethom 218 
fedriethom 218 
frijte 166 
gaden 153 
gadder 156 
gaderheren 155 
gat 152, 153, 155 
gedelik 154 
gevatere 211 
grotemome 202 
heie 126, 129 
hie 126, 129 
hienman 126, 129 
hige 126, 129 
higeman 126, 129 
hundemome 202 
lovebber 176 
moder 199 
molt 200 
mome 202-3 
mum 202 
neve 219 
nichte 219 
nichteke 219 
ohm 215 
sibbert 161 
vade 217 
vadder 211 

vadderkols 211 
vaddersche 211 
vadderspel 211 
vedder 209 
viehmome 202 
vorgaddem 154 
vorgaden 154 

vorgaderung 155, 195, 242 
vriundin 168 
vrunt 167 
vruntelink 167 
wasa 216 
weidegat 152 
wisemome 202 


baas 217 
huwbaer 125 
huwen 125 
maet 140 
neef 219 
swager 231 
swaseline 122 
swasenede 122 
trowen 179 
vade 218 
vriend 167 
vrijen 166 
wide we 237 


an^ta {Lith.) 229 
brati {O.S.) 121 
bratsvo {O.S.) 164 
deveris {Lith.) 236 
draudse {Lett) 183 
draudsiba {Lett.) 183 
draugalka {Lith.) 183 
drauge {Lith.) 183 
draugs {Lett.) 183 
drevo {O.S.) 178 
driiitas {Lith.) 182 
druginja {Russ.) 183 
drugu {Russ.) 183 
drugu {O.S.) 183 
druh {Czech) 183 
druha {Czech) 183 
druzba {Pol.) 183 
druzny {Czech) 183 
gente {Lith.) 225, 234 
geseppe {Czech) 162 
gesippe {Pruss.) 162 
gesoppe {Czech) 161 
gesuppe {Czech) 162 
grada {O.S.) IQi 
grauds {Lett.) 149 
iatrew {Pol.) 235 
jatrev {Czech) 235 
jetry {O.S.) 234 



jetrva {Serb.) 235 
karot {Lett.) 177 
kars {Lett.) 177 
knez {O.S.) 164 
kochati {O.S.) 177 
kralj {O.S.) 189 
krol {O.S.) 189 
Ijub {O.S.) 175 
Ijuba (0.*S^.) 175 
maczernica {Oherl.) 197 
matka {Russ.) 197 
mote (ZzVA.) 201 
po-sivu {O.S.) 134 
Prije (Cfeec^) 168 
pritel {Czech) 166 
prove {Wend.) 171 
s^-logu (O.aS.) 130 
saluba (0. Pruss.) 177 

sebras {Lith.) 162 
sebru (0.^.) 162 
sesevynai {Lith.) 235 
sewa {Lett.) 125 
snacha {Czech) 226 
supuni (0. Pruss.) 163 
svatu (0.>S.) 233 
svekoru (iJMS5.) 228, 232 
svekovi {Russ.) 232 
svekru (0.*?.) 228 
svoja (0.*S.) 233 
svojack {Russ.) 232 
svotai (Zt^A.) 233 
swiekier {Pol.) 228 
synocha (0.*S.) 226 
synowa {Pol.) 226 
szesziuras {Lith.) 228 
tata (Gsec/i) 208 

vedu {Lith.) 227 
veszpatis {Lith.) 190 
vidova (O.aS^O 237 
visi {O.S.) 190 
voditi (0.5.) 227 
vozdi {O.S.) 227 
wadoti (Zi^A.) 227 
wedekle {Lith.) 227 
zelva {Czech) 234 
zentas {Lith.) 225 
zluva (0.5.) 234 
zupa (0.5.) 163 
2upan (0.5.) 163, 164, 172, 

zxipanus {O.S.) 164 
ziipnik {O.S.) 163 
zupone {Lith.) 163 
zuppa (0.5.) 164 



nu-, nud- 429 
rag-, rez- 426 


nand 429 
rajan 426 
rej 427 


opyddes 428 
6p7as 426, 428 
dpydo) 428 
6pyed}v 428 
dpyeiJbvr] 428 
opyrj 428 
opeycj 426 


cultns 425 
erigo 426, 428 
regere 426 
rex 426 
sulcus 424 
vomer 424 

rhi ( Welsh) 426 

rhiant ( Welsh) 426 
rhiain ( Welsh) 427 
ri (Irish) 427 
rig (Gaelic) 427 
rigan (Irish) 426 


beneotan 429 
cveld 412 
geneat 430 
giniedon 430 
neod 430 
niotan 429 
rice 426 
wifjjing 412 


nieta 429 
uiod 429 
not 429 


plough 425 
reach 427 
regal 427 
rich 427 
rig 428 
rigge 428 
right 427 
Tighten 427 
tilth 425 


benytte (D.) 429 
kelta(/ceZ.) 412 
kilta (5.) 412 
kveld (O.N.) 412 
naut (L.) 429 
nautna (O.N.) 429 
nautr (O.N.) 430 
neyta (Icel.) 429 
niota (O.N.) 429 
njota (Icel.) 429 
nyde (5.) 429 
nyt (O.N.) 429 
nytte (D.) 429 
ragna (O.N.) 428 
ratt (5.) 427 
regin {O.N) 428 
ret (D.) 427 
rett (O.N.) 427 
rett (L.) 427 
rettr (O.N.) 427 
rige (D.) 426 
riki (O.N.) 426 

Teutonic Root 
rak-, rag- 426 


ganiutan 429 
kilthei 412 



reiki 426 
reiks 426 
reiran 427 
reks 426 
niutan 429 
nuta 429 

Old High German 

chwiltiwerch 412 
ganoz 430 
ganozinna 430 
ganozon 430 
ganozsami 430 
ganozsamon 430 
ganozscaf 430, 431 
gart 411 

hayngart 411, 426 
hileih 410 
huskinozi 430 
kastalt 427 
kinSz 430 
kinOzsam 430 
niot 429 
niotsam 430 
niozan 429 
nutz 429 
rilihi 426 
imganoz 430 
unganozami 430 

Middle High German 

brStgenossen 431 
genieze 430 
genoze 430 
genozinne 430 
hageri 427 
hegerding 427 

hegermanui 427 
heigertanz 410 
niezen 429 
rey 427 
reye 427 
reyge 427 
ungenoz 430 


buhllieder 411 
eidgenossen 430 
furche 424 
genieszen 429, 430 
genieszung 430 
genossenschaft 430, 431 
genusz 430, 432 
gericht 427 
hag 427 
hagestolz 427 
heger 427 
mailehn 407-409 
markgenossen 431 
niitzen 429 
pfliigen 424 
reicli 426 
reige 427 
reihe 427 

German Dialects 

alpgenossen 431 
biihli 408 
fastenblihli 408 
fenstem 409, 410 
fryggeding 432 
fugen 409 

gasslein gen 409, 410 
gnuss 432 

gungelstube 409 
heierleis 410 
heimal 432 
heimgarten 411 
bochstube 411 
karz 409 
kilt 409, 412 
kiltbraten 410 
kiltgang 407, 412 
Kirmes 408 
kunkelstube 409 
lehntgen-rufen 407 
letze 410 
licbtstube 409 
mitgenossig 430 
rockenstube 409 
spinnstube 409 
ungenossig 430 
weidgenossen 431 

Low German 

geneten 432 
genot 430 
reen 428 
rege 427 
reien 428 
reige 427 


boelkin 408 
genoot 430 
gheck 408 
heelgbesel 408 


kiltis 412 
nauda 429 
paniisti 429 


Abyssinians, fertility of i. 85 
Acquoy, "Het Klooster te Windesheim " 

ii. 371 ftn. 
Adam, legend of ii. 201 
Addison, " The BUls of Mortality " i. 19 
Adoratio Crucis ii. 293-295 
Advantage of tlie bank (Monte Carlo 

roulette) i. 47 
Agamemnon ii. 58, 107 
dyopo ii. 157-158, 242, 411 
Agriculture : see Goddess of 
Ainos, mean and standard deviation, of 

cephalic index i. 290 ; of long bones i. 

303 ; of skull capacity i. 340 
Alabastor, " Wheel of the Law " ii. 323 

Alaskans, fertility of i. 85 
Aleutians, fertility of i. 85 
Alteneck, " Trachten des Mittelalters " ii. 

264 ftn., 391 ftn. 
Altarfer ii. 386 ftn., 389 ftn. 
Amalungs, the ii. 107 ftn. 
Americans, children, mean and standard 

deviation, of stature i. 296 ; of body 

weight i. 307 ; of chest girth i. 310 ; of 

height sitting, of squeeze of hands i. 

314 ; of head index i. 359 
Avimon, 0., "Die natiirliche Auslese 

beim Menschen" i. 132 ftn., 288 ftn. 
Amphimixis, Weismann's theory of i. 

Amtmannspiel ii. 146 
Anaitis ii. 150, 170 

Andamanese, mean and standard devia- 
tion, of cephalic index i. 290, 370 ; of 

skixll capacity i. 343 
Angds, dance of ii. 337-339, 428 ftn. 
Angle, alveolar, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 324, 325 
Angle, profile, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 323 

Anglo-Saxons, mean and standard devia- 
tion, of cephalic index i. 290 ; of skull 
capacity i. 335 

Anstell, a, "Kate of Mortality" i. 

Apaturia, the ii. 122 

Arnsteiner Marienleich ii. 182 ftn., 356 

Ars Manendi ii. 330, 332, 340 ftn. 

Artemis ii. 122, 157 

Aryans, primitive ii. 98, 101 

Aschenputtel ii. 146 : see Askelad 

Ashiepattle\\.6\-^\,101 ,2ZQ : see Askelad 

Askelad (or Dummling) ii. 76, 77, 87, 

Astarte ii. 170 

Athene ii. 131, 157 

Atom i. 152 

Atom, prime i. 154, 385 

Aunt, words for ii. 201, 216 

Australians, fertility of i. 85 ; mean 
and standard deviation of cephalic in- 
dex i. 290, 370 

Bacchus ii. 222 

Bachelor ii. 130 

Bachofen, "Die Sage vonTanaquil" ii. 

110 ftn., 131, 202 
Badensians, Modern, mean and standard 

deviation, of face index i. 326 ; of 

cephalic index i. 356 
Bairn ii. 140 
Bale, John ii. 403 ftn. 
Balfour, Arthur J., " Foundations of 

Belief," criticism of i. 173-225, 382 
Baptism, heathen ii. 213 
Barton, E. R., measurements of White - 

chapel skulls i. 351 
Bartsch, K., "Germania" ii. 376 ftn. 
Base, aunt, idea associated mth ii. 217 
Bauer, its derivation ii. 184 



Bavarians, mean and standard deviation, 
of alveolar i. 324 ; of brain weight i. 322 ; 
of cephalic index i. 290, 354 ; of eyes 
1. 327 ; of roundness of forehead i. 326 ; 
of skull capacity i. 333 ; of skull cir- 
cumference i. 356 ; of stature i. 295 
Bechstein, " Wartburg Bibliothek " ii. 

339 ftn. 
Bedouins, fertility of i. 85 
Belgians, mean and standard deviation of 

weights of new-born infants i. 307 
BenedicUcs Levita, prohibition of dancing 

in churches ii. 17 
Bengal, Brahmans of, mean and standard 
deviation of cephalic index i. 290 
Mahomedans of Eastern, mean and 
standard deviation, of cephalic 
index i. 290 ; of head index i. 289 
Sontj^als of Western, mean and 
standard deviation of head index 
i. 289 ftn. 
Bemoulfii. 186 
Berchta, goddess of fruition ii. 28, 29, 

Bern, dance of death i. 7 
Berthold, Brother ii. 213 
Bertrand i. 62 

Bihlia Pauperum ii. 265, 266 
Bil (tribal-mother of the Billings) ii. 

107 ftn. 
Birlinger, " Aus Schwaben " ii. 338 ftn., 

410 ftn. 
Bischoff i. 285, 295 ftn., 306, 322 
Blanc, M. i. 45, 57 
Blow, swiftness of, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 311 
Bones, long, mean and standard devia- 
tion of i. 299-305 
Boniface ii. 213 

Bonner, "Life of Bradlaugh " i. 380 
Bopp ii. 118, 122, 229 
Boyd (statistics of weight of hearts) i. 

285 ftn., 320 
Bradlaugh, G. i. 189 
Breviarium Frisingense ii. 300 ftn. 
Breviarius Havdhergensis ii. 297 ftn., 300 

Bride ii. 118, 148 ftn., 177 
Brigit (Celtic tribal-mother) ii. 107 ftn. 
British, ancient, mean and standard 
deviation, of cephalic index i. 290, 363 ; 
of skull capacity i. 337 
Broca (statistics) i. 285 ftn., 329, 330, 

Brooins (as symbols of witch) ii. 23, 29, 

Brooms, oflferings of ii. 20 
Brother, as the breeder ii. 120, 121 
Brother-in-law ii. 230, 232, 236 

Brother -sister marriage ii. 104, 121, 123, 

169, 174, 219 
Brueil (bones at) i. 298 
Briiggermann, H. ii. 318 ftn. 
Brunnenfege, feast of the ii. 41 
Bucher ii. 181 
Buchner i. 152, 188, 380 
Burghnair ii. 386 ftn. 
Burial-service ii. 201 
Bushmen, mean and standard deviation 

of cephalic index i. 290 

Canaries, ancient inhabitants of the, 
mean and standard deviation of femur 
i. 301 
Capacity, breathing, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 311 
Capacity, skull, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 285 ftn., 328-349 
Card-drawing, diagram of i. 13 
Carmina Burana : see Schmeller 
Carpenter, K, "Woman" i. 258 ftn. 
Cat, the attendant on mother-goddess 

ii. 167 
Celibates, words for ii. 129 
Cellini, Benvenuto, vision of ii. 326, 366 
Celts, early ii. 107 
Cephalic Index : see Index 
Cerealia ii. 171 
Chalceia, the ii. 122 
Champollion-Figeac : see Hilarius 
Cha'iice, association of death and i. 2 
,, ,, dice and i. 2 
Diagram of games of i. 13 
General principles of theory of i. 11 
Lord Salisbury's appeal to i. 167, 

Mediaeval conception of, as chaotic 

i. 2 
Modern conception of, as obedient to 

law i. 2 
Scientific conception of i. 43 
Clvxrity, evolution of ii. 178 
Charles, R. Havelock, "Craniometry of 
the Outcaste Tribes of the Panjab " i. 
341, 368 
Chaucer ii. 150 

Children-in-law, words for ii. 224 
Chinese, mean and standard deviation, of 
cephalic index i. 290, 350 ; of skull 
capacity i. 342 
Chorus, its association with feast, 
religious ceremony, and staked in- 
closure ii. 136, 158, 411 
Christ, as portrayed in the passion-plays 

ii. 329, 330, 349 
Chuhras, Lahore, mean and standard 

deviation of head index i. 289 ftn. 
Civilisation of Wom^n, early ii. 97, 130, 
170, 240 



Clendinning (statistics) i. 316, 320, 321 

Coin-tossing, diagram of i. 13 

Collins, F. Howard (statistics) i. 69, 73, 

76, 88, 92 
Comedy, its origin ii. 136 
Constants, variation of fertility i. 67 
Correlation, as a measure of heredity 1. 

63, 65 
Correlation between fertility and size of 

an organ i. 65 
Co-sexual Community, words applied to 

ii. 138 et seq. 
Cosmic i^focess, Huxley's contrast with 

ethical process i. 110, 122 
Cotta, on good and bad witches ii. 11 
Council, Group ii. 126, 137, 155, 158, 

Counter-dravdng, diagram of i. 13 
Courtship, as fossil of sexual freedom ii. 

Coussemaker, E. de, "Drames Liturgiques " 

ii. 302 ftn. 
Couvade ii. 105 
Cranach, ii. 262 ftn., 263, 331 ftn., 346 

ftn., 386 ftn., 391 ftn. 
Crania Britannica i. 335-338, 362-365 

Germaniae i. 325, 355, 356, 361 

Helvetica i. 291, 336, 360, 361 
Criticism, Sectarian i. 379-388 
Cruelty, element of, in mother - goddess 

ii. 106 
Curtius ii. 131 

Dame Trot ii. 181 

Dances and Jingles, children's ii. 95, 

Dances, bacchanalian, of women ii. 105, 
133, 427, 428 ; St. Lawrence and Whit- 
suntide ii. 176 ; symbolic, in passion- 
plays ii. 339-343, 428 

Dancing, choral ii. 105, 109, 133, 135, 
136, 157, 165, 428 

Dante, reference to dice i. 2 

Darrein, "Animals and Plants under 
Domestication " i. 157 ftn. 258 ; "De- 
scent of Man " i. 128, 129 ; " Origin 
of Species " i. 106, 107, 128 

Daughter ii. 222 

Daughter-in-law ii. 225 ; eudogamous 
and exogamous terms ii. 228 

David, Gerard ii. 391 ftn. 

Davies, " Rites of the Cathedral of Dur- 
ham " ii. 296 ftu. 

Davis, Barnard, " Thesaurus Cranio- 
rum" i. 328, 329, 335, 342, 350, 353 

Davis, J. H. (statistics) i. 38 

Death, Chances of i. 1-41 ; Dance of i. 
1, 2, 7, 8, 11, 25, 39, 41, ii. 270 ftn. ; 
goddess of ii. 168, 175, 200 


Deecke ii. 100, 101, 102, 118, 148, 153, 
155, 162, 192, 204 

Demeter ii. 122, 150, 170, 171, 193, 199, 

Denmark, mean and standard deviation 
of cephalic index of Aborigines of Swe- 
den and i. 365 

Deviation, Standard, as concentration of 
frequency about the mean i. 17, 18, 
50, 262 
standard deviation of standard i. 52 

Devil, as represented iu the passion- 
plays ii. 357-359 

Devil's mother ii. 27, 202, 371 

Devils, dance of ii. 337-339 

De Whalley, L. G. (statistics) i. 45, 48, 
49, 53, 55, 56 

Dice i. 2, 11, 12 ; diagram i. 13 

Didron, " Iconographie chretienne " ii. 
261, 329 ftn., 330 ftn., 332 f^i., 376 
ftn., 385 ftn., 388 ftn., 391 ftn. 

Dietrich ii. 386 ftn. 

Dionysian sex-festival ii. 159 

Di2)htheria, curve of i. 33 

Distribtition of frequency, law of i. 14, 

D6n ii. 108 

Drude ii. 181 

Du Bois-Reymond, "Maupertuis" i. 

Ducange ii. 164, 211, 212, 235 

Diickwm'th, W. L. H. (statistics) i. 370 

Du Meril, " Origines latines du theatre 
moderne " ii. 288 ftn., 304 ftn. 

Dummling : see Askelad 

Durandus, "Rationale divinorum Offi- 
ciorum " ii. 295 ftn. 

Durer, A. ii. 260-263, 310 ftn., 321 ftn., 
326 ftn., 329 ftn., 340 ftn., 341 ftn., 
346, 347, 352, 371, 372 ftn., 386 ftn., 
391 ftn., 393 ftn. 

Dutch, mean aud standard deviation of 
cephalic index i, 354 

Dyer, H. "Evolution of Industry" i. 
226 ftn. 

ECKER, "Crania Germaniae " i. 325, 355, 

Edda ii. 132, 142, 151, 160, 169 
EgyptioAis, mean and standard deviation 

of cephalic index i. 366 
Eleusinia ii. 171 
Elevatio Crucis ii. 295-299 
Ellis, Havelock, " Man and Woman " i. 

Elsdsser, weights of Gei'man babies i. 

Endogamy, primitive ii. 56, 140, 165, 

188 ; modern ii. 140, 141, 431, 432 

2 G 



English, mean and standard deviation 
of cephalic index i. 350, 351 ; of body 
weight i. 305 ; of breathing capacity 
i. 311 ; of keenness of sight i. 311, 
313 ; of left forearm i. 304 ; of skull 
capacity 328-330 ; of span and stature 
i. 294, 299 ; of strength of pull i. 311, 
313 ; of strength of squeeze i. 311, 
313 ; of swiftness of blow i. 311 : of 
weight of brain i. 320, 321 ; of weight 
of heart i. 316 

Epistemology, A. J. Balfour's use of word 
i. 180 

Error, mean i. 59 
probable i. 76 

Ethics, relative ii. 93, 145, 247 

Exogamy ii. 56, 215, 236, 244 

Exposure of children ii. 212 

Eyesight, mean and standard deviation of 
1. 311, 313 

Faddy- DANCE (in Cornwall) ii. 41 
Fairy Tales 
German — 

Allerleirauh ii. 71 (princess a ser- 
vant) 89, 90 (prince a kitchen 

Aschenputtel ii. 83 (religious cere- 
mony at marriage) 84, 85, 88-99 

Briiderchen und Schwesterchen ii. 
63 ftn., 72 ftn. (closeness of feel- 
ing between brothers and sisters) 

Bruder Lustig ii. 73 (influence of 

Cinderella ii. 84, 85, 86, 89 (per- 
verted version of " Hans seeks his 

Das blaue Licht i. 60 (witch a cave- 
dweller) 76 ftn. (soldier hero) 79 

Das Eselein ii. 76 ftn. (hero a king's 
son) 79 

Das Hirtenbiiblein ii. 71 

Das Madchen ohne Hande ii. 67 ftn. 
(patriarchate) 73 (influence of 

Das Rathsel ii. 62, 63 (witch evil) 
73 (influence of women) 76 (hero 
a king's son) 

Das singende springende Lowenec- 
kerchen ii. 72 ftn. (wizard) 82 
(kindred group -marriage) 

Das tapfere Schneiderlein ii. 75 ftn. 
(tailor hero) 79 

Das Waldhaus ii. 69 (peasant bride) 

Das Wasser des Lebens ii. 72 ftn., 
76 ftn. (hero a king's son) 79 

De beiden Kiinigeskinner ii. 65 

De drei Viigelkens ii. 64, 68, 69 

Der arme Miihlerbursch ii. 70 (pea- 
sant bridegroom) 73 (influence of 
women) 76 ftn. (low-born hero) 
Der Eisenofen ii. 71, 76 ftn. (hero 

a king's son) 
Der gelenite Jiiger ii. 75 ftn. (hun- 
ter hero) 79 
Der Gevatter Tod ii. 75 ftn. (pea- 
sant hero) 79 

Der glaserne Sarg ii. 75 ftn. (tailor 

Der gute Handel ii. 73 (influence of 

Der junge Riese ii. 85 ftn. 

Der Konigssohn der sich vor nichts 
fiirchtet ii. 73 (influence of 
women) 75 ftn. (hero a king's 
son) 83 

Der Konig vom goldenen Berge ii. 
71, 73 (influence of women) 75 
(mother - right) 76 ftn. (hero 
lowly) 82 (kindred group - mar- 

Der Krautesel ii. 64 (white witch) 65 

Der liebste Roland ii. 63 (witch 
evil, patriarchate) 82 (kindred 

Der Ranzen, das Hiitlein, xind das 
Hornlein ii. 75 ftn. (peasant hero) 

Der Rauber und seine Sohne ii. 73 
(influence of queen) 

Der singende Knochen ii. 75 ftn. 
(peasant hero) 

Der Starke Hans ii. 75 ftn. (hero 

Der siisse Brei ii. 64 (white witch) 

Der Teufel mit den drei goldenen 
Haaren ii. 75 ftn. (peasant hero) 

Der treue Johannes ii. 67 ftn. (pat- 
riarchate) 83 (religious ceremony 
at marriage) 

Der Tromniler ii. 65, 73 (influence 
of queen) ii. 76 ftn. (hero low 
born) 83 

Der Vogel Greif ii. 68 ftn., 73 ftn. 
(influence of women) 75 ftn. 
(low-born hero) 79 

Des Teufels russiger Bruder ii. 76 
ftn. (soldier hero) 79 

Die beiden Wanderer ii. 75 ftn. 
(tailor hero) 

Die Bienenkonigin ii. 76 ftn, (hero 
a king's son) 79, 82 (kindred 

Die drei Federn ii. 69 (peasant bride) 

Die drei Schlangenblatter ii. 75 ftn. 
(mother-right) 79 (peasant hero) 

Die drei Spinnerinnen ii. 68 (dili- 
gent bride) 73 (influence of 



Die Erbsenprobe ii. 73 (influence of 

Die Ganseliirtin am Brunuen ii. 61 
(matriarcliate) 70, 76 ftn. (liero 
a count) 

Die Gansemagd ii. 65, 70, 71 

Die goldene Gans ii, 76 ftn., 80 

Die Goldkinder ii. 64 

Die kluge Bauerntochter ii. 69 
(peasant bride) 

Die Nixe am Teicli ii. 64 (white 

Die Rabe ii. 64 (niatriarchate) 76 
ftn., 85 

Die sechs Diener ii. 65 (queen a 
witch) 67 (patriarchate, church) 
71, 73, 76 ftn. (hero a king's 
son) 83 (religious ceremony at 

Die sechs Schwane ii. 63 (close- 
ness of feeling between brothers 
and sisters) 73 (influence of 

Die vier kunstreichen Briider ii. 75 
ftn. (peasant hero) 79 

Die wahre Braut ii. 64 (white 
witch) 70, 83 (kindred group- 

Die weisse Schlange ii. 73 (influence 
of women) 76 ftn. (servant hero) 

Die weisse und die schwarze Braut 
ii. 69 (peasant bride) 

Die zertanzten Schuhe ii. 76 ftn. 
(soldier hero) 79, 81 (kindred 

Die zwei Briider ii. 63, 64 (witch 
evil, hunter) 76 ftn. (hero lowly) 

Die zwcilf Briider ii. 62 (decay of 
matriarchal system) 63 ftn. 
(closeness of feeling between 
brothers and sisters) 75 (mother- 
right) 76 ftn. (hero a king's 

Die zwolf Jjiger ii. 73 (influence of 

Dornroschen ii. 76 ftn. (hero a king's 

Einiiuglein, Zweiauglein und Dreiau- 
glein ii. 64 (white witch) 

Pitchers Vogel ii. 72 ftn. (wizard) 

Froschkonig ii. 60 (witch evil) 

Hansel und Grethel ii. 62 (witch 

Hans mein Igel ii. 75 ftn. (hero 
lowly) 79 

Jorinde und Joringel ii. 63 ftn. 83 

Konig Drosselbart ii. 67 ftn. (patri- 
archate ; church) 

Marchen von einem der auszog Fiir- 

chten zu lernen ii. 75 ftn. (peasant 

hero) 79 
Eapuuzel ii. 60 (hostility of witch 

to new form of marriage) 
Rumpelstilzchen ii. 69 (diligent 

Schneewittchen ii. 62, 63 (witch 

evil, patriarchate) 65 (queen a 

Sechse kommen durch die ganze 

Welt ii. 76 ftn. (soldier hero) 
Spindel, Weberschittchen und Nadel 

ii. 64 (white witch) 69 (diligent 

Vom klugen Schneiderlein ii. 75 ftn. 

(tailor liero) 83 (religious cere- 
mony at marriage) 
Lapp — 

Alder - tree Boy ii. 77 ftn. (hero 

lowly), 81 (woman heir) 85 ftn. 
Family Strong ii. 85 
The Boy and the Hare ii. 81 

(woman heir) 
The Giant- Bird ii. 82 (kindred 

The Humane Man and the Angel ii. 

72 ftn. 
The King and the Louse ii. 71 ftn., 

77 ftn. (hero lowly) 
The Luck-Bird ii. 72 ftn. 
The Silkweaver and her Husband ii. 

70 ftn. (peasant bridegroom) 77 

ftn. (hero lowly) 
The Three Brothers ii. 77 ftn. (hei'O 

lowly) 88 
The Tschuds and Russleleaf ii. 82 

(kindred group -marriage) 
The Tschuds in Sundegjeld ii. 82 

(kindred group-marriage) 
Norse — 

Askeladden, som fik Prindsessen til 

at l^gste sig ii. 71, 77 ftn., 80 

(woman heir) 
De syv Folerne ii. 77 ftn. (hero 

Askelad) 78, 80 (woman heir) 
De tolv Vildaender ii. 75 ftn. (prin- 
cess the heir-apparent) 
De tre Prindsesser i Hvidtenland ii. 

77 ftn. (hero a fisher-lad) 
Det blaa Baandet ii. 77 ftn. (hero 

Det har ingen N^d nied den, som 

alle Kvindfolk er forlibt i, ii. 77 

ftn. (hero Askelad) 81 (woman 

Enkes0nnen ii. 77 ftn. (hero lowly) 

80 (woman heir) 
Fugl Dam ii. 71 ftn., 77 ftn. (hero 

a king's son) 80 (woman heir) 



Grimsborkeu ii. 72 ftn., 77 ftu. 

(peasant hero) 80 (woman heir) 
Haaken Borkenskjaeg ii. 71 
Herreper ii. 77 ftn. (hero lowly) 

80 (woman heir) 
Jomfruen paa Glasberget ii. 77 ftn. 
(peasant hero) 80, 87 (woman heir) 
Kari Traestak ii. 70 
Lillekort ii. 77 ftn. (hero lowly) 80 

(woman heir) 

Om Askeladden som stjal Troldets 

S^lvaender Sengeteppe og Guld- 

harpe ii. 77 ftn., 80 (woman heir) 

Om Risen, som ikke havde noget 

Hjerte paa sig ii. 77 ftn. (hero a 

king's son) 

Per og Paal og Esben Askelad ii. 

70, 77 ftn., 80 (woman heir) 
Rige Per Kraemmer ii. 72 ftn., 77 
ftn. (hero a miller's lad) 80 
(woman heir) 
Soria Moria Slot ii. 71 ftn., 77 ftn. 

(hero Askelad) 
Spuniingen ii. 77 ftn. (hero Askelad) 

80 (woman heir) 
Trog og Utro ii. 70, 77 ftn. (hero 

lowly) 80 (woman heir) 
Vesle Aase Gaasepige ii. 69 
Fasciculus Temj^arum ii. 260, 267 ftn., 

325 ftn. 
Fastnacht ii. 137 
Fo.stnachtspiele ii. 153, 208 
Fatlier, its derivation ii. 205 
Father-age ii. 49 : see PatriarchaM 
Father-in-law, names for ii. 228 
Father's brother, names for ii. 208 
Father s sister, names for ii. 215 
February, the month for sex-festivals ii. 

Femur, mean and standard deviation of 

i. 300-303 
Fence ii. 128, 137, 156, 158, 173, 178, 

Fertility, artificial break in curve of i. 
curve of i. 87 
differential i. 67 ftn. 
goddess of: see Goddess of 
gross i. 70 

inheritance of i. 81, 82 
natural i. 67 
net i. 70 
Fever, enteric, distribution of i. 21, 22 
Fever, scarlet, distribution of i. 33 
Fick ii. 119, 134, 155, 178, 189, 208, 

226, 227 
Fijians, mean and standard deviation of 

cephalic index i. 290 
Fire-sticks ii. 112, 120, 123, 149, 190 
Fischart ii. 176 

Fison and Hewitt "Kamilaroi and Ku- 

mai " ii. 65 
Fivelingoer Landregt ii. 17, 133 
Flinders Petrie i. 280, 299, 339, 367 
Flint, "Socialism" i. 175 ftn. 
FliJgel, "Geschichte des Grotesk-Komis- 

cheu " ii. 275 ftn., 282 ftn., 324 ftn., 

325 ftn., 365 ftn. 
Folz, Hans ii. 376 ftn. 
Foi'earvi, mean and standard deviation 

of i. 304 
Forehead, mean and standard deviation 

of roundness of i. 326 
Fossils in language, folklore, custom, 

etc. ii. 94, 147, 148, 151 
Franck, S., "History Bible" ii. 260, 266, 

267 ftn. 
Fratria ii. 135 

Free, its double sense ii. 171-174 
French, sexual ratio of i. 285 ftn. ; 

mean and standard deviation of brain 

weight i. 322 ; of cephalic index i. 

290, 352, 353 ; of femur i. 302 ; of 

humerus i. 302 ; of radius i. 32 ; of 

skull cajDacity i. 330 ; of span and of 

stature i. 295 ; of tibia i. 302 
Frequency, curve of i. 16, 272 et seq. 
Frequency, range of i. 18, 275 
Freya ii. 42, 122 

Freyja ii. 168, 169, 170, 174, 175, 199 
Freyr ii. 122, 167, 174, 175 
Freytag, G., "De initiis scenicae poesis 

apud Germanos " ii. 284 ftn. 
Fricke ii. 42, 44 
Friend, the root of ii. 167 
Frigg ii. 198 
Friesians, Ancient, mean and standard 

deviation of cephalic index i. 290 ; 

of skull capacity, 335 
Fr^m (see Fril) ii. 115, 131, 168 
Fra ii. 106, 168, 170 
Fr^lti ii. 119 
Fiiessener Todtentaiiz i. 2 
Furnivcd ii. 392 ftn. 

Gaea ii. 108 
Galabin i. 37 

Gallon, Francis i. 19, 76, 83, 104, 129, 
134, 258 ftn., 294, 299, 310, 315 

" Natural Inheritance " i. 305, 311 
Gaugenossen, ii. 139 : see Index I. 

Gauls, Ancient, mean and standard 

deviation of cephalic index i. 290 

Gauss, " Law of Frequency " i. 274 

Geffcken, " Der Bildercatechismus des 

f iinfzehnten Jahrhunderts " ii. 277 ftu., 

332 ftn., 340 ftn., 385 ftn. 



Genealogies ending in female name ii. 107 

Genossenscha/t 429 

Gerardus, " Life of St. Udalric " ii. 378 

Gericht 426 

GerichtsnuM ii. 146, 147, 427 

Gerichtspiel ii. 146 

German, mean and standard deviation 
of cephalic index i. 361 ; of body 
weight i. 306 ; of brain weight i. 322 ; 
of profile angle i. 323 ; of skull capa- 
city i. 333, 334 ; of stature i. 295 

Gertii-plasm i. 104 

Gervinus ii. 287 ftn. 

Giantess ii. 85 ftn. 

Giblin, tabulation of roulette returns i. 55 

Giesebrecht, " Vaganten oder Goliarden " 
ii. 304 ftn. 

Girth, chest, mean and standard devia- 
tion of i. 310 

Goat, sacrificial ii. 136, 137 

Goddess of aqricxdtu re \\. 106, 123, 160, 

Goddess of fertility ii. 105, 110, 122, 
123, 131, 145, 150, 157, 160, 168, 
169, 170, 193, 200, 240 

Gode, weather witch ii. 27, 42 ; goddess 
of fruition ii. 106, 214 

Godfather ii. 210-214 

Godmotlier ii. 210-214 

Gods, as lovers of goddesses ii. 108, 123 

Goethe ii. 150 

Golliards (strolling players) ii. 306 

Graf, glosses of O.H.G. words ii. 100, 
120, 192, 215 

Grien, H. BaldiuKj ii. 386 ftn. 

G^rimm, J. ii. 100, 196, 213, 220, 222, 
224, 227, 304 ftn. 
"Deutsche Mythologie " ii. 131, 321 
ftn., 338 ftn., 357 ftn., 358 ftn., 381 
" Weisthiimer " ii. 431 
"Worterbuch" ii. 197, 429 

Grimms' Fairy Tales ii. 51-91, 146 

Group-dwelling ii. 106, 136, 148, 173 

Group-Meal : see Meal 

" Giddiri Spiegel des Sanders" ii. 277 

Gimdeljinger's " Entombment " ii. 389, 

Haeckel i. Ill, 112, 123, 383, 386 ; 

"Freie Wissenschaft und freie Lehre" 

i. 107 
Hag (fenced inclosure) ii. 14, 130, 137 
Hagestolz ii. 14, 129 
Hahnenschlag ii. 40 
Jlain, " Penitentionarius de Confes- 

sione " ii. 336 ftn. 
Handfasting ii. 25 
Hans-in-Luck ii. 228 
Hartnmnn, " Oberammergauer Passions- 

spiel" ii. 286 ftn., 332 ; "Weilmacht- 

Lied u. Spiel " ii. 281 ftn. 
Hasak, Vincenz, " Der christliche Glaube 

des deutschen Volkes " ii. 277 ftn. 
Heart, mean and standard deviation of 

i. 316, 317 
Hebreto civilisation ii. 96 
Heidelberg Block- Book i. 4, 7 
Heimdall ii. 203 
Heimdallar Galdr ii, 141 
Heimgarten ii. 411, 412 
Heirlooms, as protection against witches 

ii. 35 
Hel ii. 108 

Heliand, the ii. 179, 186 
Hera ii. 123, 240 
Heredity, correlation as the measure of 

i. 63 
Herrad von Lamlsberg, "Hortus Delici- 

arum " ii. 260, 285, 286, 326 ftn. 
Hexe, as champion of mother -right ii. 

57, 130 ; as priestess of mother-god- 
dess ii. 54 ; derivation of ii. 14, 130 
Hexenmahl ii. 137, 151, 412 
Hilar ins ii. 305 ftn., 376 ftn., 395 ftn. 
Hilde (goddess of fruition) ii. 104 
Hildesheim, John of ii. 327 
His and Ruterneyer, " Crania Helvetica " 

i. 291, 336, 360, 361 
Hive, as a fossil ii. 126 
Hochfeder, Caspar ii. 387 ftn. 
Holbein i. 1, 8, 9, 40 ; ii. 263, 331 ftn., 

346 ftn., 366 ftn., 383 ftn., 391 ftn. 
Holde ii. 182 

Holle ii. 29, 37, 42, 44, 63, 169 
Home ii. 128 
Hortulus Animae ii. 351 ftn., 366 ftn., 

380 ftn., 387 ftn. 
Hottentots, fertility of i. 85 ; mean and 

standard deviation of cephalic index i. 

Householder and Iwusedxoeller ii. 190 
Hroswitha ii. 288, 326 ftn. 
Hubatsch, "Die lateinischen Vaganteu- 

lieder des Mittelalters " ii. 304 ftn. 
Humerus, mean and standard deviation 

of i. 300, 302, 303 
Hunting or Gio/nt Type ii. 104, 151 
Hus, " De Ecclesia " ii. 393 ftn. 
Husband ii. 195 

HnsboAuVs brother, words for ii. 236 
Husenbeth, " Emblems of Saints " ii. 266 

Huxley, "Collected Essays" i. 156 

"Evolution and Ethics" i. 110, 111, 

Iliad, the ii. 157 
Index, Cephalic — 

as a test of variability i. 286-293 



Index, Cephalic — 

definition of i. 269 

mean and standard deviation of i. 

table of i. 290 

variation in i. 371 
Index, Eye, mean and standard deviation 
of i. 327 

Forehead-breadth ditto i. 326 

KoUmann^s ditto i. 325 

Nose ditto i. 327, 328 
Indians, American, fertility of i. 85 ; 

use of the mill ii. 149 
Ms ii. 122, 150, 170 
Itcdians, mean and standard deviation 

of ceplialic index i. 353 ; of skull 

capacity i. 332 

Jacob, J., "Studies in Jewish Statistics" 
i. 258 ftn. 

Janssen, J., "An meine Kritiker" ii. 351 
"Geschichte des deutschen Volkes" 
ii. 277 ftn. 

Jews, mean and standard deviation of 
cephalic index i. 290, 349 
Mediaeval exaggeration of brutality of 
ii. 344-347 

Joan of Arc, as white witcli or folk- 
leader ii. 12 

Jord ii. 160 

J'uhinal, "Mysteres inedits" ii. 276 ftn., 
306 ftn., 322 ftn., 325 ftn., 345 ftn., 
361 ftn., 371 ftn., 372 ftn., 377 ftn., 
380 ftn., 384 ftn., 385 ftn., 390-396 

Judas, as portrayed in passion-plays ii. 
346, 359, 360 

Kaisersberg, Geiler von ii. 202, 277 

ftn., 401 
Kanakas, mean and standard deviation 

of skull capacity i. 342 
Ka7i the Great ii. 150 ; Cartulary of 

ii. 211 
Kehrein ii. 200 
Keller, "Bauriss des Klosters St. Gallen " 

ii. 315 ftn. 
Kelvin, Lord, "Geological Dynamics" 
i. 157 

"Popular Lectures" i. 156, 158 
Kidd, B., "Social Evolution" i. 113- 

Kidney, mean and standard deviation of 

i. 318 
Kilt and Kiltgang ii. 407-412 
Kin, source of kindliness ii. 135, 144. 

154, 160, 171, 172, 185 
Kin-chief, ii. 138, 163, 205 

Kindle, notion in ii. 112 
Kindred grovp -marriage ii. 219 

status of men in ii. 103, 201 

supported by words for brother- and 
sister-in-law ii. 236 
Kin-group, as primitive social unit ii. 171 
Kinship, the basis of civilisation ii. 145 

through the woman ii. 188 
King ii. 116 ; power derived from queen 

ii. 117 
King, " History of the Apostles' Creed " 

ii. 396 ftn. 
Kirmes ii. 19, 20, 44, 133, 146, 284 
Kith and kin ii. 115 
Klingenthal, Dance of Death in i. 7 
Knackfuss, " Monograph on Velasquez " 

ii. 385 ftn. 
Koganei (statistics) i. 340 
Kraft, Adam ii. 386 ftn. 
Krauss ii. 165 
Kroger ii. 258, 273, 340 ftn., 389 ftn.. 

403 ftn. 
Kummer ii. 313 ftn. 
Kuning (kin-alderman) ii. 56 

Laib vnd Schwarz, "Biblia Paupe- 
rum" ii. 267 

Language, primitive ii. 97 

Lajjj^s, fertility of i. 85 

Latvs, Saxon ii. 214 

Leges Presbyterorum Northnmhriensum 
ii. 235 

Lehner, "Die Marienverehrung " ii. 351 

Leman, its derivation ii. 233 

Lenaea, the ii. 158 

Leviraie, the ii. 236 

Lex Canonica ii. 210 

Lex Langohardorum ii. 210, 211 

Lexis, "Theorie der Bevcilkerungsstat- 
istik" i. 27 ftn,, 29 

Leyden, Lukas van ii. 362 ftn. 

Liber and Libitina. ii. 179 

Libyans, mean and standard deviation 
of cephalic index i. 290, 367 ; of long 
bones i. 300 ; of skull capacity i. 339 

Life, duration of i. 104 

Lille, Waltlier von ii. 304 ftn. 

Liutprands Laws ii. 175 

Liver, mean and standard deviation of 
i. 317, 318 

Lochner, S., " Day of Judgment " ii. 330, 
340 ftn. 

Longinus ii. 388, 389 

Loserth, " Hus und Wiclif " ii. 283 ftn. 

Love, its derivation ii. 176 

Lucifer, as portrayed in the passion- 
plays ii. 357, 358 

Lug ii. 236 

Lugnassad ii. 151 



Lupercalia ii. 158 
Lxdher ii. 176, 203, 209 
Luther, Hymns ii. 382 ftu. 

" Von den Jiitlen " ii. 344 ftn. 

"Von Kauffsliandlung und Wucher" 
ii. 252 ftn. 

Maegelagu ii. 105 

Mahal (folk assembly) ii. 56, 101, 147, 
149 : see Index I. 

Maid ii. 139 

Mailehn (May-fee) 24, 25, 408, 409 

Mainz, council of ii. 211 

Maitland, "The Dark Ages" ii. 278 ftn. 

Man, its derivation ii. 191 

Mannhardt i. 118 ; "Der Baiimkultus" 
ii. 321 ftn., 338 ftn. 

Manouvrier i. 285 ftn., 298, 306, 340, 

. 352 

Manual, York ii. 297 ftn. 

Manuel, JV. ii. 403 ftn. 

Mapes, Walter ii. 304 ftn. 

Marchen ii. 199, 202, 208, 211, 224 

MarienUage ii. 272, 273, 384 ftn. 

Mariolatry ii. 351 

Mark ii. 106, 128, 137, 173 

Markgenossen ii. 137, 431 

Markgenossenschaft ii. 144, 145, 159, 
164, 431 

Marriage, kindred-gi'oup ii. 92, 104, 
121, 140-143, 152, 154, 171, 180, 

Marriage, patriarchal words for ii. 138 

MaiTiage-rate, selective i. 84 

Marriages, distribution of Italian i. 20, 21 

Marriott, "Collection of English Mys- 
teries " ii. 281 ftn., 333, 367 

Marshall i. 276, 286 ftn., 322 

Martene, "De Antiquis Ecclesiae Riti- 
bus " ii. 283 ftn., 290 ftn., 291, 295 ftn., 
297 ftn., 300, 310 ftn., 325 ftn., 372 
ftn., 373 ftn., 378 ftn. 

Martin-Leake, A. i. 270 ftn. 

Mary Magdalen, as portrayed in pas- 
sion-plays ii. 361-363 

Mate ii. 140 

Matralia ii. 201 

Matriarclmte : see Mother-age 

Matrictdatio7i, its derivation ii. 203 imony ii. 198 

Matter i. 202, 380-383 ; ii. 199 

May-Day ii. 19-24, 26, 36, 38-41, 47 

May -Day dance ii. 133 : see Dances 

Meal, Group- ii. 135, 138, 143, 146, 156, 
158, 185 

Mean, distinction between mode and 
i. 16 

Mechel, Peter ii. 359 ftn. 

Medicevalism, a factor of modern culture 
ii. 248, 249, 398-400 

Median i. 16 

Meier, E., " Sitten aus Schwaben" ii. 

275 ftn. 
Meister, Karl, ' ' Das deutsche Kirchen- 

lied" ii. 278 ftn. 
Meister Stephan, " Last Judgment " ii. 

340 ftn., 341 ftn., 360 ftn. 
Meister Wilhelm, " Leben Jesu" ii. 263, 

385 ftn. 
Meniling, Hans, "Seven Joys of the 

Virgin " ii. 373 ftn. 
Michael Angela ii. 389 ftn. 
Midsuimner Day ii. 25, 26, 36-41 
Milchsack, "Oster- und Passionsspiele " 

ii. 283 ftn., 295 ftn., 297 ftu., 299, 

310, 313 
Mill, J. S., "Subjection of Women" i. 

Mill, birthplace of celebrated bastards 

ii. 150 ; primitive ii. 112, 123, 149, 

190 ; connection with primitive sexual 

license ii. 150 
Milton ii. 207, 208 
Minnesinger ii. 147 
Missal, Canterbury ii. 295 ftu. ; Leofric 

ii. 295 ftu., 296, 378 ftn. ; Mainz ii. 

295 ftn. ; Saruui ii. 296 ftn. ; York 

ii. 296 ftn. 
Mivart, St. George i. 379-388 
3Iode (occurrence of maximum fre- 
quency) i. 11-16 
Monaco, Le i. 45, 51, 53, 55 
Mone, " Lateinische Hymnen des Mittel- 

alters" ii. 282 ftn., 288, 293, 294, 

297, 339, 374 ftn. ; plan of stage ii. 

Monogamy, its influence on Avords ii. 

Monte Carlo i. 43-62 
Morality, genesis of ii. 93 
Morris, " Legend of the Holy Rood " ii. 

262, 385 ftn., 393 ftn. 
Mortality, childhood i. 33; infancy i. 34; 

middle age i. 30 ; old age i. 29 ; youth 

i. 32 
Mother ii. 199 

Mother-age ii. 2, 103, 108, 240 ; civilisa- 
tion ii. 92, 108, 122; key to its 

characteristics ii. 190 
Mother Earth ii. 193, 198, 199, 201 ; 

and her son ii. 103, 160 
Mother-goddess ii. 106, 160, 169, 170, 

171, 202 
Mother-in-law, words for ii. 228 
Mother-son deities ii. 199, 219 
Mother-son theogonies ii. 104, 105 
Mother's brothers, words for ii. 215 
Mother's sisters, words for ii. 201 
Mud ii. 199 
Muller, Max ii. 100 



Mummies, Egyptian, mean and standard 
deviation of cephalic index of i. 290, 
366 ; of sknll capacity i. 339 
Milnzenherger, Confessional Books ii. 

277 ftn. 
Mylitta (Babylonian mother-goddess of 

fertility) ii. 110 
Mysteries — 

Chester ii. 346 ftn., 357 ftn., 372 

ftn., 373 ftn., 374 ftn., 376 ftn., 

386 ftn. 
Coventry ii. 258, 262, 276 ftn., 306 

ftn., 328 ftn., 331 ftn., 333, 334, 

337 ftn., 343, 346 ftn., 357 ftn., 

358, 367, 372 ftn., 380 ftn., 383 

ftn., 386 ftn,, 397 
Dighy ii. 343, 344 ftn., 362 ftn., 386 

ftn., 396 
Totirs ii. 302, 303, 329 ftn., 390 
Townley ii. 258 ftn., 392 ftn., 393 

Neck, mean and standard deviation of 

sensitivity at i. 315 
Negroes, fertility of i. 85 ; mean and. 

standard deviation of cephalic index 

i. 290, 368 ; of skull capacity i. 

Neolithic man, mean and standard devia- 
tion of femur of i. 301 ; reconstruction 

of stature of i. 298 
Nephew, words for ii. 218 
Nerthus (goddess of fruition) ii. 106 
New-horn child, manner of announcing 

sex of ii. 220 
Newsholme, "Vital Statistics" i. 38 
Nihelungenlied ii. 167, 215 
Nicodemus, Gospel of ii. 298, 385, 387 

ftn., 392 ftn. 
Niece, words for ii. 219 
Niehues^ " Zur Geschichte der Hexenpro- 

cesse im Miinster " ii. 338 ftn. 
Notker ii. 159 
Nurnberg, John of, "Vita Vagorum" ii. 


Odysseus ii. 149, 157 
Officium Stellae ii. 291-293 
Osiris ii. 122 

Ostendorfer (Virgin as local mother-god- 
dess) ii. 353 
Ostiaks, fertility of i. 85 
Otfrid ii. 180 
Ovid ii. 225 

Palate, length of, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 328 
Paley, "Natural Theology" i. 161 

Pavjab, outcaste tribes of, mean and 

standard deviation of cephalic index 

i. 290, 368 ; of skull capacity i. 

Panmixia, rate of regression as measure 

of i. 63, 104, 114, 133-137 
Panzer, " Bayerische Gebraiiche " ii. 60 

Papuans, fertility of i. 85 
Parfre, John ii. 387 ftn. 
Parisia7is, mean and standard deviation 

of cephalic index i. 290, 352, 353 ; of 

skull capacity i. 330-332 
Parker, "Architectural Notes" ii. 264 

ftn., 293 ftn. 
Passional, Das Alte ii. 312, 385, 387 ftn. 
Passion- Play — 

Characterisation in the ii. 334-363 

Freiburg ii. 322 

German, List of ii. 246-406 

Greek ii. 272 

Growth of the ii. 279-314 

Heidelberg ii. 267 

On the performers in the ii. 364-369 

Plan of stage of, after Mone ii. 320 

Spirit of the ii. 269-279 

Stage, costumes, etc. ii. 315-334 

Stage-accessories ii. 325-334 

St. Gallen ii. 311 ftn. 

Summary of the ii. 397-406 

The contents of the ii. 370-397 

Unity of the ii. 256-269 

World drama as the keynote to the 
ii. 257 
Patriarchal-system, its origin ii. 188 
Patriarchate ii. 5, 100, 102, 129, 135, 

Patricians ii. 95 
Peacock (statistics) i. 316-321 
Pearson, K., " Die Fronica " ii. 330 ftn., 

386 ftn. ; " Grammar of Science " i. 

152 ftn. 380-387 ; " Memoir on Ke- 

gression, Heredity and Panmixia" i. 

66, 81, 259 ftn. 
Peile, W. H., measurement of White- 
chapel skulls i. 351 
Persepho')ie ii. 115, 175 
Periivians, Ancient, mean and standard 

deviation of cephalic index i. 290, 367; 

of skull capacity i. 339, 340 
Pervonto (Italian equivalent of Askelad) 

ii. 51 ftn. 
Pfister, "Rechtstreit des Menschen mit 

dem Tode " ii. 342 ftn. 
Piderit, K. W., " Weihnachtspiel " ii. 

275 ftn., 289 ftn., 340 ftn., 357 ftn., 

372 ftn. 
Pilate ii. 150 ; as portrayed in the j^as- 

sion-plays ii. 360, 361 
Pipin, charter of ii. 212 



Place names ii. 123, 144 
Playing of the Stag ii. 19 
Plays — 

Alsfelder ii. 295 ftn., 323, 324 ftn., 
335 ftn., 343, 362, 368, 374 ftn., 
376 ftn. 

BHxlegg ii. 262, 263, 379 ftn., 380 
ftn., 389 ftn. 

Chester ii. 265 ftn., 275, 327 ftn., 331 
ftn., 341 ftn., 346 ftn. 

De Decern Virginibus ii. 274, 317, 339 
ftn., 343, 370 ftn. 

Donaueschingen ii. 331, 362, 374 

Hgerer ii. 257, 264, 267, 273, 295 ftn., 
323 ftn., 326, 346, 355, 358, 371, 
373 ftn., 374 ftn. 

English in churches ii. 413-420 

JErlatier ii. 362 

Frankfurter ii. 324, 376 ftn. 

In Ctmabilis Christ i ii. 275 

Kunzelsauer ii. 376 ftn. 

List of German mediaeval religious ii. 
254, 255 

Luzerner ii. 371 

Obervfer ii. 261, 327 ftn. 

York ii. 258 
Plays, Magi — 

Freising ii. 291 

Orleans ii. 291 
Ploss, " Das Weib " i. 85 
0- Plough, symbol of fertility ii. 124, 169, 

Politics and science i. 140-172 
Polynesians, fertility of i. 85 ; mean 

and standard deviation of cephalic 

index 369 ; of skull capacity i. 342, 

Porter, " Growth of St. Louis Children " 

i. 295, 296, 299, 306, 309, 310, 314, 

358, 359 
Prejigxirations ii. 265-269 
Priestesses of mother -goddess ii. 106, 

Priests (men dressed as women) ii. 106 
Prije ii. 168 

Primitive civilisation ii. 190 
Primitive condtict, motives of ii. 99^ 

192, 193, 205, 208, 238 
Pritis ii. 168 
Prostitutes ii. 105 
Prostitution, organised ii. 109 
Puczpirn ii. 381 
Ptdl, strength of, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 311, 313 

Quean ii. 114 

Queen ii. 113, 114 

Qu£en bee ii. 197 

Quental, " Kcilner Bibel " ii. 341 ftn. 

Quetelet, " Anthropometric " i. 48, 285 

ftn., 307, 312 
Quick ii. 194 

Radius, mean and standard deviation of 

i. 300, 302, 303 
Radius of gyration, or saving- i. 17 
Rahon, J., "La taille prehistorique " i. 

Ramersdorf ii. 386 ftn. 
Ranke, "Anthropologic des Bayern" i. 

323-327, 333, 334, 354 
Ratios, table of sexual i. 374 ; table of 

variation i. 374 
Rawlings, J. D. (statistics) i. 309 
Reaction i. 173-225 
Regression i. 63 
Reichersberg, Gerloh von ii. 286 
Reid (statistics) i. 316, 321 
Relationshij), patriarchal words for ii. 

142 ; special words for ii. 191 
Relations-in-law, words for ii. 223 
Reynard the Fox ii. 152, 211 
PJiys, Professor, Hibbert Lectures ii. 65 

ftn., 142, 151, 236 
Right ii. 426 
Risley (statistics) i. 289 
Ritter-dance ii. 342, 343 
Ritual, Church Scenic ii. 289-314 ; 

Narbonne ii. 310 ; Rouen ii. 291, 

Robertson Smith, "Religion of the Sem- 
ites " i. 118 ; "Kinship and Marriage 

in Early Arabia " ii. 105 ftn. 
Rochholz ii. 150 
Rock, " Church of our Fathers " ii. 405 

Rollet, " De la mensuration des os longs 

des membres " i. 301 
Romanes, G. i. 67 ftn. 
Romans, Ancient, mean and standard 

deviation of cephalic index i. 290, 

Roquette, Otto, " Geschichte der deutschen 

Dichtung" ii. 318 ftn. 
Rorbach ii. 329 
Rosenheimer, " Drcikonigsspiel " ii. 374 

ftn., 383 ftn. 
Roulette, Monte Carlo i. 42-62 
Row-Graves, diagram of cephalic index i. 

Rubin (statistics) i. 69, 85, 92, 97, 98, 


Sacrifices made by women ii. 102, 

Saint John's Eve ii. 105 
Saints, female ii. 122 
Sakdes ii. 109 



Scdisbury Hours ii. 266 ftu. 

Salisbury, Lord i. 144-187, 218, 383- 

Samoiedes, fertility of i. 85 
Sasse i. 335, 364 
Satan, as portrayed in the passion-plays 

ii. 357, 358 
Scandinavians, Ancierd, mean and stand- 
ard deviation of cephalic index i. 290 
Schade ii. 206, 226 
Schedel, "Nilrnberg Chronicle " ii. 259, 

Scheifelin ii. 387 ftn. 393 
Scherer, "Denkmaler deutscher Poesie 

nnd Prosa" ii. 281 ftn., 326 ftn. 
Schiltberger, " Reisebuch " ii. 105 ftn. 
Schnidler ii. 100, 146, 192, 208, 322 ftn., 
381 ftn. 

" Carmina Burana " ii. 305 ftn. 
Schmid, R. ii. 209 ftn. 
Schmidt, J. ii. 182 
Schmidt, Oscar i. 108, 109 
Scholars, strolling ii, 304-308 
Schonemann, " Der Slindenfall " ii. 384 

ftn., 385 ftn. 
Schijngatter, "Adoration of the Magi" ii. 

326 ftn., 340 ftn. 
Schonsjjerger, "Via Felicitatis" ii. 387 

ftn., 393 ftn. 
Schrathenthal ii. 387 ftn. 
Schroer, " Deutsche Weihnachtspiele " ii. 

Seebrucker, " Hirtenspiel " ii. 274 
Selection, natural i. 63, 94 

periodic i. 72, 159 ftn. 

reproductive i. 63-102 ; definition i. 
65, 66 

secular i. 159 ftn. 
Sex-calls and food -calls of animals ii. 

Sex-festivals ii. 104, 105, 122, 130, 132, 

136, 158, 171; meeting-place for ii. 

105, 125 
Sex-function, meaning of words of rela- 
tionship to be sought in ii. 97 
Sex -relation between kindred ii. 103, 

Sexucd freedom of loomen ii. 203 
Sexual group, as social unit ii. 182 
Sexual relation of brother-sister ii. 102 
Shakespeare ii. 200, 207 
Ship of Fools ii. 270 
Sif ii. 160, 161 
Sight, keenness of, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 311 
Simmons, T. G. i. 58 
Simrock ii. 151, 356 ftn., 383 ftu. 

" Mythologie " ii. 321 ftn. 

"Volksbiicher" ii. 326 ftn., 382 ftn., 
385 ftn. 

Sims i. 320, 321 

Sister ii. 122 

Sister -in-lato ii. 231 

Skeat ii. 192, 196, 214, 223 

Skeioness, measured by difference between 

mean and mode i. 16, 18 
Skidls, Bavarian, mean and standard de- 
viation of cephalic index of i. 278, 
279 : see also under each race 

brachycephalic i. 288 

dolichocephalic i. 288 
Smith, "Dictionary of the Bible" ii. 

Smith, Totdmin, "English Guilds" ii. 

365 ftn., 405 ftn. 
Socialism and Natural Selection i. 103- 

Son ii. 221 
Son-in-laio, words for ii. 223 

exogamous and endogamous terms 
ii. 228 
Souls, list of ii. 341 
Span, mean and standard deviation of i. 

299 311 
Spencer, H. i. Ill, 112, 113, 116, 121, 

122, 134, 187, 193 
Spinster ii. 130 
Spoon, bridal, a fossil ii. 148 
Spousals ii. 138 
Spring or Brunnen, as meeting-place ii. 

Spurcalia, the ii. 159, ftn. 
Squeeze, strength of, mean and standard 

deviation of i. 311, 313, 314 
Star rn the East, as stage accessory ii. 

Statistics i. 23, 27, 44 
Stature, mean and standard deviation of 

i. 285 ftn., 294-299, 311, 313 
Stellafer or Sterntrager ii. 325 
Stella Maris (Virgin Mary) ii. 326 
Stephens, G. ii. 389 ftn., 393 ftn. 
Stieda, "Archiv fiir Anthropologie " i. 

Stoeger ii. 383 ftn. 
Stokes, G. G. i. 214 
Stokes, Whitley ii. 227, 230 
Stoss, Veit ii. 386 ftn. 
Strabo ii. 13 

Strauss, "Leben Jesu " ii. 345 ftn. 
Stubbs, "Anatomic" ii. 396 ftn. 
Succession, right of, through marrying a 

king's daughter ii. 107 : see Fairy 

Swedes, Ancient, mean and standard de- 
viation of cephalic index i. 290 ; of 

skull capacity i. 365. 
Swiss, Ancient, mean and standard de- 
viation of cephalic index i. 290 ; of 

skull capacity i. 336, 360, 361 



TAiBiyGE\\. 147 

Tailltiu ii. 175 

Tacitus ii. 132, 137, 143 

Tarentzky ii. 368 

Tatian ii. 161, 188 

Tengler, " Leyeiispiegel " ii. 317 ftii. 

Tennyson 1. 258 ftn. 

Tertullian ii. 213, 214 

Thane, G. D. i. 270 ftn., 330 

ThesmopJwria, the ii. 150, 170 

Thomas von Kempeyi, "Imitatio Christi" 

ii. 277 
Thompson, 11. i. 339, 367 
Thompson, R. E. 1. 266 ftn. 
ThrMhr ii. 180 
Thurnani, " Ancient British and Gaulish 

Skulls " i. 337, 362, 365 
Tibia, mean and standard deviation of 

i. 300-303 
Tilth, as symbol of sexual union ii. 199, 

Tisa {Zisa) ii. 131 
Tribal-Fatlier ii. 106, 163 
Tribal-Mother ii. 107, 188, 199 
Trimbcrg, Hugo von ii. 211 
Troparion ii. 201 
Triide ii. 34, 63 

Truth and Troth, their origin ii. 182 
Twelfth Night ii. 28, 36 

Uhland ii. 151 

Uljilas ii. 132, 149, 182, 185 

Uncle, words for ii. 208, 215 

United States Recruits, variation in 

stature i. 276, 277 
Uote (tribal-mother of the Burgundians) 

ii. 107 ftn., 131 
Uranus ii. 108 

Variability, of the sexes i. 293-377 

scientific measure of i. 272-286 
Variation, coefficient of i. 283 

in man and woman i. 256-377 

Table of ratio of i. 374 
Veghe, Johan ii. 277 ftn. 
Velasquez ii. 386 ftn. 
Venus ii. 107. 114, 119 
Verena ii. 106, 150 
Verlobimg, mother-age fossil ii. 177 
Viennese, mean and standard deviation 

of cephalic index i. 357 ; of skull 

capacity i. 333 
Vircho2o, "Die Altnordischen Schadel 

zu Kopeuhagen " i. 365 
Virginity, di. patriarchal virtue ii. 122, 130 
Virgin goddess ii. 122, 131 
Virgin Mary ii. 33, 36, 37, 42, 182 ; 

as local mother-goddess ii. 353 ; as 

portrayed in the passion - plays ii. 


Virgin, the ii. 115 

Visitatio Sepulchri ii. 299-301 

Vola (or Sibyl) ii. 13 

Wackernagel ii. 132, 192, 205, 281, 

342 ftn. 
Waischenfeld i. 325, 327, 354-356 
Walber ii. 44 
Wallace, A. R. i. 106 
Walpurga ii. 10, 42, 43, 44, 45, 106, 

150, 169 
Walpwyisnacht ii. 21, 24, 27, 29-32, 

Walpurgistag ii. 137, 158, 181 
WaltJier von der Vogeltveide ii. 167 
Warren, A., " Leofric Missal " ii. 295 

ftn., 342 ftn., 378 ftn. 
Warren, E. i. 299 

Webb, Sidney, " Fabian Essays " i. 246 
Weber ii. 226 
Wedding ii. 138 

Wedding -dance ii. 133 : see Dance 
Wedding torches ii. 17, 82 
Weiberdingete ii. 25 
Weibermoiiat ii. 137, 158 
Weigand ii. 1, 30 

Weight, body, sexual ratio of i. 285 
ftn. ; mean and standard deviation 
of i. 305-309, 313 

brain, sexual ratio of i. 285 ftn. ; 
mean and standard deviation of 
i. 319-323 : see Heart, Liver, etc. 
Weihbrunnen, well of goddess of ferti- 
lity ii. 37 
Weinhold ii. 213 ; " Infancy Play " ii. 

132, 275, 287 
Weisbach i. 276, 322, 333, 357 
Weistmcnn i. 104, 114, 134-137, 165, 

Weisthiimer ii. 56, 94, 147, 168, 431 
Welcher, "Wachsthuni und Bau des 

menschlichen Schadels " i. 333, 334 
Weldon, W. F. R. i. 11, 19, 104, 134, 

Wernher, " Driu liet von der Maget " ii. 

372 ftn. 
Westergaard i. 48, 69, 85, 92, 97, 98, 100 
Widow, derivation of ii. 101, 237 
Wife, derivation of ii. 101, 192 
Wild, Sebastian ii. 365 
Wildefrauen ii. 38, 39 
Winileod, the ii. 17, 49, 133, 136, 158 
Witch ii. 11 

Witch of Beutelsback ii. 12 
Witch, White ii. 11, 62 
Witch, woman as : see Woman 
Witchcraft, evidences of mother-right 

in customs of ii. 1-48 
Witches' Sabbath, relic of sex-festival ii. 

83 : see Hexenmahl 



Wolff, " Zeitschrift " ii. 381 ftu. 

Wolgemut, " Schatzbehalter " ii. 260. 
261, 263, 265, 323 ftii., 329 ftu., 331 
ftn., 379 ftn., 380 ftn., 384 ftn., 387 
ftn., 391, 392 ftn,, 393 ftn., 397 ftn. 

Woltmann ii. 342 ftu., 346 ftu., 405 ftn. 

Woman and Labour i. 226-255 

Wo^ian as priestess ii. 188 

Woman as loitch ii. 1-50 

Womb, the, as name for kin ii. 188, 193 

Wonsam, Anton ii. 386 

Worms, Council of ii. 212 

Wright, "Early Mysteries " ii. 291 ftn. 
Wyclifn. 387 ftu., 393 ftu. 

YULETIDE ii. 36 

Zaixer, " Schaclizabelbucli " ii. 383 ftn. 

Zerzerbrunnen ii. 38 

Zeus ii. 123, 170, 222 

Zingerle u. Egger ii. 147 

ZJsa : see Tisa 

Zupan ii. 56, 163, 205 

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Juvenile Books, each plentifully Illustrated, and written in simple language to please 
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My Book Of Wonders. 

My Book of Travel Stories. 

My Book of Adventures. 

My Book of the Sea. 

My Book of Fables. 

Deeds of Gold. 

My Book of Heroism. 

My Book of Perils. 
My Book of Fairy Tales. 
My Book of History Tales. 
My Story Book of Animals. 
Rhymes for You and Me. 
My Book of Inventions. 

Mr, Edward Arnold's List. 


jn^ej to Htttbors. 


Adams. — The Palace on the Moor . 
Adderley. — Stephen Remarx 
Aldrich. — Arctic Alaska 
American Game Fishes 

Balfour. — Twelve Hundred Miles in a 

Bell, Mrs. — Kleines Haustheater . 

Bell (Rev. Canon). — Sermons 
,, Diana's Looking Glass . 

,, Poems Old and New 

Benson. — Men of Might. 

Beynon.— With Kelly to Chitral . 

Blatchford.— Tommy Atkins 

Boyle. — Recollections of the Dean 

Brown.— Works on Poultry Keeping 

Bryan. — Mark in Europe 

Bull.— The Cruise of the 'Antarctic' 

BURBIDGE. — Wild Flowers in Art . 

Burgess. — Political Science . 

Butler. — Select Essays of Sainte Beuve 

Cawston.— The Early Chartered Com- 
panies ....•• 

Chapman.— Wild Norway 

Cherbuliez. — The Tutor's Secret . 

Children's Favourite Series . 

Children's Hour Series 

Cholmondeley. — A Devotee 

Clifford. — Love-Letters 

Clough, — Memoir of Miss A. J. Clough 

Clouston. — Early English Furniture 

Clowes. — Double Emperor . 

Collingwood. — Thorstein 

,, The Bondwoman . 

Collins. — A Treasury of Minor Bnitish 
Poetry ...... 

Colvile. — Land of the Nile Springs 

Cook. — Sidney's Defense of Poesy 
,, Shelley's Defence of Poetry 

Cosmopolite. —Sportsman in Ireland 

Crane. — George's Mother 

Cunningham.— Draughts Manual . 

Custance. — Riding Recollections . 

Davidson. — Handbook to Dante . 


. 14 

. II 
. 6 
. 6 

DUNMORE. — Ormisdal 


. 10 
















Ellacombe. — In a Gloucestershire 

Garden n 

Ellacombe. — The Plant Lore of Shake- 
speare 9 

Fawcett. — Hartmann the Anarchist . 14 
Fawcett.— Riddle of the Universe . 12 
Fawcett.— Secret of the Desert . . 14 
,, Swallowed by an Earthquake 14 
Field. — Master Magnus. . . .14 
Fleming. — Art of Reading and Speaking 9 
Ford. — On the Threshold . . .10 
Fowler. — Echoes of Old County Life . 7 
Freshfield. — Exploration of the Cau- 
casus S 

Gardner. — Friends of Olden Time . 14 
Garnett. — Selections in English Prose . 9 
Gaunt. — Dave's Sweetheart . . .10 
Gordon. — Persia Revisited . . .5 
Goschen. — Cultivation and Use of the 

Imagination 9 

Gossip. — Chess Pocket Manual . .11 
Great Public Schools . . .9 
GuMMERE. — Old English Ballads . . 9 

Hadjira 10 

Hall — Fish Tails 2 

Hans Andersen. — Snow Queen . . 14 
,, Tales from . .14 
Hare.— Life and Letters of Maria Edge- 
worth 7 

■ 9 
2. 9 
. 13 
• 13 




Harrison. — Early Victorian Literature 
Hartshorne. — Old English Glasses 
Herschell. — Parisian Beggars 
Hervey. — Eric the Archer 

Reef of Gold . . . . 
HiGGiNS. — New Guide to the Pacific 


Hole. — Addresses to Working Men 
Hole. — Book about Roses 

Book about the Garden 

Little Tour in America 

Little Tour in Ireland 

Memories . 

More Memories .... 


Mr, Edward Arnold's List. 


Holt, — Fancy Dresses Described . . 12 

HoPKiNSON.— Toby's Promise . . 14 

Hopkins. — Religions of India . . . 7 

Hudson. — Life, Art, and Characters of 

Shakespeare . . .9 

,, Harvard Shakespeare . . 9 

Hunt. — What is Poetry ? . . .9 

Hutchinson. — That Fiddler Fellow .11 

Johnston.— Joel ; a Boy of Galilee . 14 

Kay. — Omarah's Yaman . . . .7 

Kenney-Herbert. — Fifty Breakfasts . 12 

,, ,, Fifty Dinners . 12 

,, ,, Fifty Lunches . 12 

,, ,, Common-sense 

Cookery . . . . . .12 

Knight-Bruce. — Memories of Mashona- 

land 7 

Knox. — Hunters Three . . . .27 
Knutsford. — Mystery of the Rue Soly . 10 

Lang. — Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses . 9 
Lecky. — Political Value of History . . 7 
Le Fanu. — Seventy Years of Irish Life . 7 
Leffingwell. — Art of Wing-Shooting . 6 
Legh. — How Dick and Molly went round 

the World 13 

Legh. — How Dick and Molly saw Eng- 
land 13 

Legh. — My Dog Plato . . . .14 
LOTZE.— Philosophical Outlines . . 12 

Macdonald. — Soldiering and Surveying 

in British East Africa . . . . i 

Mathews. — Dr. Gilbert's Daughters . 13 

Maud. — Wagner's Heroes . . .9 

,, Wagner's Heroines . . .9 

Maxwell. — The Sportsman's Library . 4 

, , Memories of the Months . 4 

McNab. — On Veldt and Farm . . 2 

McNuLTY. — Misther O'Ryan . . .11 

Milner.— England in Egypt . . .7 

, , Arnold Toynbee . . .7 

Montresor.— Worth While . . .11 

Morgan. — Animal Life . . . .12 

,, Animal Sketches . . .1 

,, Habit and Instinct. . . 13 

,, Psychology for Teachers . 13 

,, Springs of Conduct . . 13 

Morphology, Journal of . . .12 

Morrison. — Life's Prescription . . 9 

MUNROE. — Fur Seal's Tooth . . .13 

,, Rick Dale . . . .13 

„ Snow-shoes and Sledges . 13 

Nash. — Barerock . 

Oman. —History of England 
OxENDEN. — Interludes . 


• 7 
. 10 


Paget. — Wasted Records of Disease 2. 13 
Pearson. — The Chances of Death . . 3 
Philosophical Review . . .13 
Pike. — Through the Sub-Arctic Forest . 5 
Pilkington.— An Eton Playing-Field . 7 
PoLLOK. — Fifty Years' Reminiscences of 

India 5 

Pope. — Memoirs of Sir John Macdonald . 7 
Portal. — British Mission to Uganda . 6 
,, My Mission to Abyssinia . 6 

Prescott. — A Mask and a Martyr . . 8 
Pulitzer. — Romance of Prince Eugene . 7 

Raleigh. — Robert Louis Stevenson . 7 
Ransome.— Battles of Frederick the Great 8 
Raymond. — Mushroom Cave . . .14 
Rochefort. — The Adventures of Mi 
Rodd. — Works by Rennell Rodd 

Santley. — Student and Singer 
Schelling. — Elizabethan Lyrics . . 10 
,, Ben Jonson's Timber . 10 

Shaw. — A Text Book of Nursing . . 13 
Sherard. — Alphonse Daudet. 
Shields. — Camping and Camp Outfits . 6 
Shields. — American Book of the Dog . 6 
Shorland. — Cycling for Health and 

Pleasure 12 

SiCHEL — The Story of Two Salons . . 10 

Slatin. — Fire and Sword in the Sudan . 6 

Smith. — The Life of a fox . . .6 

,, Through Unknown African 

Countries ...... i 

Spinner. — A Reluctant Evangelist . . 10 
Stone. — In and Beyond the Himalayas . 5 

Tatham. — Men of Might . . . 6 

Thayer. — Best Ehzabethan Plays . . 10 

Thomas. — Sweden and the Swedes . . 6 

Thornton.— A Sporting Tour . . 6 

TOLLEMACHE. — Benjamin Jowett . . 8 

Twining. — Recollections of Life and 

Work 8 

White. — Pleasurable Bee-Keeping. . 11 
Wild Flowers in Art and Nature 12 
Williams. — The Bayonet that came 

Home 10 

Winchester College . . . .10 

Young. — General Astronomy . 


■.*-w<^ ' *'"..' ■»