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Modern Philology 

Vol. VII October, IQOg No. 2 



Por la costume maintenir 

De vostre fontainne deffandre. — Yvain, vss. 1848 ff. 

In discussing the sources of the Yvain 1 the testimony of the 
text is of prime importance. This seems obvious. Yet glancing 
through the rather heated discussion of Crestien's poem one 
realizes that the principle is not always followed. Theoretically 
the commentators may be agreed that the fountain episode "con- 
stitutes 2 the distinctive element of the romance," but we know 
that in practice the fairy-mistress (Laudine is a water-nymph, 
argues Brown, 3 "simply because she happens to be a fee") and 
the wetterwendisches weib ("Laudine ist keine Fee," Foerster, 
3d ed., 1906, p. xlvii) have in turn been holding the boards. 
Crestien's material is one thing, and his thought or interpretation, 
like any poet's, is another. The commentator, while keeping both 
points of view in mind, must distinguish between them. For 
Crestien's material, if it had a coherent form, and that seems 
possible, had a meaning of its own. 

It is possible, as Foerster has pointed out, that Crestien's intent 
in writing the Yvain was to hold up to scorn the disdainful lady 
of his day, the very person whom in the Lancelot he was probably 

i Cf . Foerster, 3d ed., p. v, n. 2 : " deutsch also Imam." 

2 See Modern Philology, VI, pp. 331 ff. 

3 Twain, a Study, p. 22. 

145] 1 (Modern Philology, October, 1909 

2 W. A. Nitze 

compelled to exalt. We may say Orestien applies to French court 
life the dialectics of the schoolmen: they expound the dogma of 
religion, he expounds the dogma of social conduct — a different 
subject but the same method. CligSs, the romance of Crestien's 
which we know best, is an attempt to make a romantic love conform 
to a social standard of correct behavior. 1 Orestien is mediaeval to 
the core; to this fact his other works bear testimony, and his treat- 
ment is singularly literal. He may be inventive, to a certain 
degree, yet he is certainly not imaginative. But this is not, as 
I have indicated, the problem that concerns us. We are attempt- 
ing to discover — from his text — the character of the material he 
employed. Did his material have a coherent form before it came 
into his hands ? If so, what was its theme ? For on the latter 
question much more depends than on matters of detail, such, 
for example, whether the fountain of the Yvain has descriptive 
traits which class it with other Celtic fountains; 2 for Celtic the 
Yvain fountain is perforce, inasmuch as it is the fountain of 
BSrenton and that lies in Celtic territory. 

In 1905, 3 I ventured to identify the theme of the conte which 
has here been spun into a romance with that of the Arician Diana 
myth. I need not retrace my steps here except to repeat the words* 
in which I summed up my theory. I said: "It is clear that the 
conte on which Crestien drew represented a version of the Italic 
Diana myth. And should this inference prove too far-sweeping, 
it is at least probable that the source itself was a fusion of this 
theme with one of Celtic origin." And, in referring to the details 
of the fountain episode (not the mere description of the fountain) : 
these "details probably point to an undercurrent of folk-tale, of 
the kind embodied in the Diana myth." The weak point in my 
argument doubtless was the emphasis laid on the parallelism of 
the names, since it was evident to me then, 6 as it is now, that there 

iCf. Van Hamel, Romania, XXXIV (1904), p. 472 and passim; also my first article, 
Modem Philology, III, p. 267. But I do not wish to imply that Crestien had a deeply moral 
purpose: his ideas were those of the circles he frequented. 

2Cf. Modern Philology, VI, pp. 332 fl. 

3 My previous article in Modern Philology, III, pp. 269-80. 

4 For misquotations see below. 
Hbid., p. 275. 

6 " Should not Laudine be a perverted form of La diane," op. cit., p. 277. 


The Fountain Defended 3 

are phonetic reasons against deriving Laudine< La Diane. At the 
time, however, what I wished to prove was that the romance is 
fundamentally a fountain-myth, originating in a fountain-cult, and 
that its connection with the fairy-mistress theme of the Serglige- 
Conculaind type is secondary, perhaps, indeed, carried over from 
the source of one of Orestien's other stories. In this respect my 
opinion is unchanged, and the material I shall now adduce is in 
support of this view. But I never affirmed, as has recently been 
said, 1 that the fountain-episode is "a direct survival of the Arician 
myth of Diana," nor did I harbor the thought that "Crestien took 
his material from this myth." 

At the outset the question arises whether Laudine is originally 
a water-goddess, as Baist affirms, eine Wasserfrau. 2 If she is, 
then there is an inherent probability that the Yvain is a develop- 
ment of a fountain-deity cult. This, we remember, was the point 
of departure of Ahlstrom, who thought that the fountain and the 
lady are inseparable, and that Laudine belongs to the swan-maiden 
type. 3 The view is stoutly opposed by Brown 4 and by Foerster, 
by the former with the fairy -mistress hypothesis, and by the latter 
in the following words: 5 

Gerade die Tatsache, dass nach der erreichten Verbindung der beiden 
[Laudine and Yvain] von der Quelle nie mehr die Rede ist, dass Laudine, 
die den Yvain nur geheirathet hat, um einen Beschiitzer zu finden, ihn 
sofort ziehen lasst und an die wiederum mindestens auf ein Jahr 
ungeschirmte Quelle gar nicht mehr denkt, zeigt, dass die Quelle ein 
ganz fremdes Einschiebsel ist, und dass zwisehen ihr und Laudine kein 
wie immer beschaffener Zusammenhang besteht. 

The weakness of Brown's argument on this particular point I have 
tried to show elsewhere, 6 and I need not repeat here. As regards 
Foerster's statement, the words von der Quelle nie mehr die Eede ist 
are not to be taken too literally, for in vss. 6595 ff. we read: 

Qu'an aus n'ai je nule atandue, 
Que ja par aus soit deffandue 
La fontainne ne li perrons. 

1 Modem Philology, VI, p. 331. 
?Zeit.f. rom. Philologie, XXI, pp. 402-5. 
3 Melanges Wahlund, 1896, pp. 294-303. 

* Twain, pp. 20 ff. 5 Third ed.. p. xxiv, n. 1. 

'Modern Language Notes, XIX, pp. 80-85; Modern Philology, III, p. 269. 


4 W. A. Nitze 

Furthermore, Laudine had previously shown ample concern about 
the defense of her fountain: 

Qu'ele estoit an grant cusancon 

De sa fontainne garantir. — Vss. 1736 ff. 

Et oseriiez vos anprandre 

Por moi ma fontainne a deffandre? — Vss. 2034 ff. 

And Lunete especially cautions her mistress: 

Por la costume maintenir 

De vostre fontainne deffandre, 

Vos covandroit buen consoil prandre. — Vss. 1848 ff. 

On the basis of these passages I previously remarked: 1 "This 
function, the defense of the Fountain, is the essential point in the 
whole tale." I also called attention to the fact that Crestien dif- 
ferentiates the visits of Calogrenant and Arthur 2 from that of 
Yvain by dwelling on the date and hour of their arrival, and by 
having Arthur go from Carduel direct, through the summons of 
the Dameisele Sauvage, instead of visiting the Hospitable Host 
and the Giant Herdsman on the way. In addition to the general 
situation (manner of defense, succession of defenders, etc.), vari- 
ous details led me to suppose that the defense was concerned 
ultimately with the protection of the tree-spirit, a fire- and rain- 
making divinity, such as Frazer had shown the Arician goddess 
to be. But leaving aside the last consideration for the present, 
the testimony of the text alone would show that Laudine requires 
Yvain primarily as a protector of her fountain, with which her 
welfare is thus somehow connected. For this reason I believe 
that Baist is right in assuming that Laudine represents a water- 
goddess — if not in name, then at least in function. 

Now the striking thing about the parallels to Crestien's fountain 
which have been adduced from Celtic sources is that however like 
it they be in certain details, only one of them, the Irish Gilla Decair, 3 
involves the defense of the fountain by a living being. To this 
particular parallel I shall return below. 4 The other mediaeval 

1 Op. eit., p. 273. 

2 On the occasion of Arthur's visit the text again brings out the feature of the defense, 
in tss. 2220 ff. 

'Iwain, p. 104. 

* This tale is again summarized by Miss Morgan but without any reference to Mr. Brown's 
previous summary. Other references, as Brown states, had been made by Macbain, Celtic 


The Fountain Defended 5 

parallels either lack the perron which plays so important a part 
in the Yvain or they can readily be explained — one only has to 
consult Foerster (3d ed., pp. xxv-xxxi) — as varying accounts of 
the self-same fountain to which our romance refers. Jacques 
de Vitry (Historic/, orientalis, XCI), Giraldus Cambrensis (Rolls 
series, V, p. 89) refer to Brittany by name; Guillaume le Breton 
(Philippis, VI, 445) speaks of Breceliacensis, which from the 
context is almost surely Broceliande, and Thomas Cantapranus is 
not, as Miss Morgan fancies, referring to Great Britain but to 
Brittany: Thomas calls 1 England Anglia and the illis in partibus 
where history tells us Richard waged war is Brittania or Armorica. 
Alexander Neckam, 2 who describes the fountain on hearsay, does 
not localize it. 

There is, however, a neglected parallel to the characteristic 
trait of the Armorican fountain which brings the sudden-storm 
into connection with a nature divinity. Before mentioning it, it 
may be well to restate the traits of our fountain which have 
seemed to scholars to be essential: 

a) The fountain has next to it a perron or a slab of stone: 3 

Li perrons est d' une esmeraude, 

Perciez aussi come une boz, 

S'i ot quatre rubiz dessoz 

Plus flanboianz et plus vermauz, 

Que n'est au matin li solauz 

Quant il apert en oriant. 4 — Vss. 424 ff. 

Magazine, IX, p. 278; Alfred Nutt, ibid., XII, p. 555; Rhys, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 181 ff., and 
P. Lot, Romania, XXI, pp. 67 ff. Brown also gives the Giraldus Cambrensis reference, 
Topogr. Hibernlae. disc, ii, chap. 7, to the fountain in Minister; and Lady Guest in the 
Mabinogion, I, p. 226, mentions the Snowdon tale in Wales where the perron is called the 
" red altar." But, in addition to Miss Morgan's references, Brown refers to J. M. MacKinlay, 
Folkloreof the Scottish Lochs, p. 222, for an account of abluestoae (the perron) near Skye 
on which water was poured to procure rain; cf. note, below, on the "rain-stone." 

1 Cf . Foerster, loc. cit. 

%De naturis rerum, II, chap. vii. 

3 In Thomas a kind of dolmen; cf. Foerster 3 , p. zziz. 

*Of course the perron is the well known "rain-stone," cf. Frazer, Golden Bough*,! 
p. 109 (the University of California library does not yet possess the third edition of Frazer). 
This is merely one of many ways resorted to by sympathetic magic in order to bring on 
rainfall. There is not room here to review the question adequately; see O. Gruppe, Briech- 
ische Mytliologie, §263, " Steinfetische ;" Le P. Lagrange, lttudes sur les religions sSmitiques, 
Paris, 191)3, chap, v, 8 1 : " les pierres sacrees (b6tyles) ;" Far; iell. Cults of the Greek States, I 
pp. 45, 46 (a reference I owe to Dr. G. L.Hamilton). With the growth of demonology arose the 
idea that the stone was inhabited by a demon, whose acts might be nnfriendly to man; cf. 
Gruppe, p. 775. Hence the " injurious storm " as in the Yvain, a similar one being found in 


6 W. A. Nitze 

In Crestien the fountain is shaded by a tree: 

Bien sai de l'arbre, c'est la fins, 
Que ce estoit li plus biaus pins 
Qui onques sor terre creiist. — Vss. 413 ff. 

This tree is not found in the other accounts, whence Kolbing 1 
argued that it is an addition derived from the Brendan legend. 

6) Water from the fountain is poured on this perron, by 
means of a cup 2 hanging from the tree. 

c) A sudden, violent storm thereupon takes place. 3 

Thus it is clear that what really produces the storm is not a 

disturbance of the fountain, but water being poured upon the stone 

slab by its side (from a cup which had been hanging on the tree 

nearby). Under the heading of Juppiter Elicius, commonly 

Perlesvaus ( Pot fin, I, p. 90) after Ga wain's failure at the Grail Castle. Mr. Hamilton calls my 
attention to the fact that among the Mongols the magic stone was thus used to the detri* 
ment of one's enemies ; in somewhat like manner, the heliotrope (cf . Crestien'g esmeraudc) 
in the mediaeval lapidaries; see P. Meyer, Romania, XXXVIII (1909), p. 68: 

Oess l'assens del Yotrophie 

Ke tute gent ne sevent mie. 

D' esmeralde apres la colur, 

N'a pas meismes la valur ; 

Ebtencelee est de gutes vermailles. 

Ore escutez ci granz merveilles : 

Ky cele pere en eawe met, 

En un bon vessel bel e net, 

E tut si en rai du solail, 

II devandra trestut vermail ; 

Tut ert colure come sane, 

Ja tant n'ert beala ne cler ne blanc, 

Si ke tuz ceus le verunt 

A eclypse le jugerunt ; 

K 1' eawe en vaissel ou gerra, 

Sachez ke tot boillir t'era, 

E f[e]ra par 1' eir tenebror 

E tantost ploveir par entor. 

Ki la porte pot deviner 

Plusurs choses, si 1' ad mester. 

Mut fet home de bone fame 

E viouge en maint reaume. (The italics are mine.) 

For an account of how the eastern islanders make rain by means of a stone image, called 
doiom, which can be employed magically against enemies see Cambridge Anthropological 
Expedition to Torres Straits, 1908, VI, pp. 194, 234. 

But distinct from the rain-stone, at least originally, are the numerous Celtic " inunda- 
tion " stories cited by Rhys, Celtic Folklore, chap, vii, in which an irate deity is also concerned. 

Professor Hugo Schilling has called to my notice that Hartmann v. Aue reads : 

Und ob dem brunne stGt ein 
harte zierlicher stein (vss. 581-82) ; 
whereas Crestien has : 

Lez la fontainne troveras 
Un perron tel, con tu verras. 

—vss. 390, 391. 

1 Zeitschrift fiir vergleichende Litteraturgeschichte, XI, pp. 442-48. Cf. below. I now 
think the tree is part of the theme. 

2 Vs. 438. 

1 The "boiling" of the fountain, vs. 380, I have previously mentioned; cf. Modern 
Philology, III, p. 274. 


The Fountain Defended 7 

associated by the poets with Juppiter Fulgator, Koscher's Aus- 
fflhrliches Lexicon' mentions the following: 

Es bestand nun zu Rom, wo in folge langanhaltender Diirre (Nissen , 
Italische Landeskulte, I, s. 375, 379) nicht selten Wassermangel 
herrschte, ein eigenartiger Brauch, um den ersehnten Regen dem Him- 
mel zu entlocken. Paul, s. 128. manalem vocabant lapidem etiam 
petram quandam quae est extra portem Capenam iuxta aedem Martis, 
quam cum propter nimiam siceatatem in urbem pertraherent inseque- 
batur pluvia statim eumque quod aquas manarent, manalem lapidem 
dixerunt. Der echt romische Ritus der Prozession spricht flir ihr hohes 
Alter. Die Pontifices besorgen die Opferhandlungen (Varro b. Non., 
s. 547) und ziehen selber den Stein (Serv. ad Aen., 3, 175), es folgen 
ihnen barfiissig mit aufgelOstem Haar die Matronen (Petron. 44) und die 
Magistrate ohne die Abzeichen ihres Amtes (Tertull. de ieiun. 16). Der 
Stein sei, schliesst Gilbert, Oesch. u. Top. Boms, 2. s. 154 a. 1 aus 
Nonius und Paulus a. a. O., in Form eines urceolus, eines Kruges, aus- 
gehohlt gewesen und aus dieser Hohlung sei Wasser vergossen worden ) 
"offenbar zu dem Zwecke, um dureh diese dramatische Wiedergabe des 
Regens diesen selbst in natura gleichsam aus dem Himmel d. i. Juppiter 
herauszulocken." .... Das Aquaelicium [bildet] den ganzen Inlialt des 
Dienstes. 2 

It is to be noted also that in Juppiter as in Diana, the basic root 
is Indo-Ger. di- div-, "glanzen" or "leuchten," and that the god 
incarnates the creative power in nature: "Auf die Fruchtbarkeit 
von Menschen u. Tieren, auf das Gedeihen der Saaten und Felder 
erstreckt sich sein Wirken." Thus we have another link 3 in the 
chain of probability that the Yvain embodies a nature cult. 

In Gaul the cult of a river- or fountain-deity was probably once 
general. The frequent occurrence of river names in div- is strik- 
ing: La Dive, La Duis, La Dianna, La Devona, L'Andiole, etc.* 
The fountain of Bordeaux, celebrated by Ausonius under the name 
of " Divdna," was said by him to signify Celtarum lingua, fons 
addite divis, and he himself invokes it as sacer, alme, perennis, 
urbis genius, 5 etc. Lake And^ol, at the foot of Mt. Helanus in 


' Cf . Gruppe, op. cit., pp. 726, n. 2, 1524, and the references cited above. 

3 For others see Modern Philology, III, foe. cit. 

* See below. Cf . also a few river-names in Great Britain : the Dee, etc. ; see Rhys, Celtic 
Folklore, chap, vii, p. 442. 

6 0rd. urb. nob., 157-62. Cf. G. D. Hadzsits, "Aphrodite and the Dione Myth," Amer 
Jour. Phil., XXX, pp. 38-53. 


8 W. A. Nitze 

the Cevennes, according to Gregory of Tours, 1 was the object of 
a cult of considerable magnitude, which lasted several days; on 
the fourth day, he says, there arose "tempestas cum tonitruo et 
coruscatione valida; et in tantum imber ingens cum lapidum vio- 
lentia descendebat ut vix se quisquam eorum (of the people) 
putaret evadere." The Dea (S)Dirona, found on the cippus at 
Sainte-Fontaine in 1751, 2 and frequently mentioned by the side 
of Apollo, 3 is presumably a similar personage. 

If now we turn to Holder, 4 we find the goddess Devona asso- 
ciated prominently with three fountains in Gaul: (1) Oahors, 
where the name was given the Fontaine des Chartreux ; (2) Bor- 
deaux, where it is latinized to Divdna, 5 and (8) Divonne in the 
dip. Ain, arrond. Gex. According to Holder, Dianna — Divonne- 
Fontainne, dip. Yonne(?), and Diona, from which La Vione 
developed, are presumably the same name. 

In the form Dibona it occurs in the highly interesting inscrip- 
tion published by Jullian in the Revue celtique (1898) and 
recently again by Mr. Nicholson. 6 The inscription, which is 
Pictavian, "is engraved on two sides of a leaden tablet .... 
found in 1887 in a well at Rom, about thirty-eight kilometers 
southwest of Poitiers. In the same well were fifteen similar 
tablets, but uninscribed. M. Jullian says: 7 'C'etait l'usage, 
dans 1'antiquitS greco-romaine, de confier non seulement a des 
tombes, mais k la mer, aux fleuves et meme aux sources des puits 
les tablettes adress^es aux divinit^s infernales et sur lesquelles les 
devots avaient trac6 leurs souhaits ou leurs execrations'." The 
translation, according to Mr. Nicholson, runs: 


For thought's love, ever-continuing Caticatona, to-servants [of thine] 
be flow-strong; since servants [-of-thine] are-going-round. 

i Liber de gloria confessorum, chap. ii. 2 Bertrand, Belig. des Gaulois, fig. 34. 

3Cf. also Revue celtique, IV, p. 6, and Holder, Alt-Celtisr.her Sprachschatz. 

* Op. cit., s.v. Devdna: " abgeleitet von deivo-s gott. 'die g5ttliche, glanzende.'" See 
Roscher, op. cit., p. 1002: "Diana ist ursprunglicli zwar nicht Mondgottin, abftr Lichtgdttin 
gewesenund ats solohe weiter Sohfttzerin u. Patronin der Fruchtbarkeit im Flanzenreich, 
Tierreich und unter den Menschen." 

5" An lat. divos angelehnte Form." * Keltic Researches, London, 1904, pp. 131 ff. 

iThis view is upheld by Bertrand who says (op. cit., p. 195): "Ces diviuites sont gallo- 
romaines, assimilees ou assimilables aux divinites du pantheon grec et latin." 


The Fountain Defended 9 

Be gracious, Dibona. With-this, goddess kind ! With-this, pure one ! 
with-this, joyous-one! Sueio is going-round: with-this, maiden con- 
tinual! his servant Ponti-dunna [daughter-] of-Vouso(s). 


Swell! we pray: today forthstretch thee, today forthstretch thee, to 
this beloved tribute! 

We-two drink at this thy-own well: thee have-we-loved — forthstretch! 
Going-round daily at mid-day, "Swell!" we pray: 

For this tribute, Imona, to-[thy-] servants be outreachi[ng] qu[ic]k. 

Thus we have (1) an invocation by an unknown man and his 
female servant to a well-goddess, who is called (2) Caticatona, 
Dibona, or Imona, for (3) an increase of water, accompanied by 
(4) their daily procession around the well at noon. With the 
Yvain in mind — cf. especially, previous article, p. 273 — we seem 
to be on familiar ground. The inscription is dated about the 
third century A. d. (not earlier than 293) ; that is, in Roman not 
Celtic 1 times, though it may, of course, represent a Celtic survival. 
Caticatona, apparently meaning "very white," is equally applicable, 
says Mr. Nicholson, to a village or a fountain goddess ; Dibona is 
Ausonius' fountain-deity Divona, corresponding to Devona; and 
Imdna (cf. Lat. imus, "deep-dwelling") is another name of the 
same divinity. 

The last name, I believe, gives us an important clue. Unless 
I am quite mistaken it is preserved in Wolfram von Eschenbach's 
Imdne von der Bedfontdne. Martin 2 says "Imdne ist wohl eine 
der Pucelles as putts." Her French name would be Imaine (cf. 
fontdne=fontaine). The passage where she is mentioned is 
found at the beginning of Bk. Ill: 3 

"zw6ne ritter unde ein magt 
da riten hiute morgen. 
diu frouwe fuor mit sorgen: 
mit sporn si vaste ruorten, 
die die juncfrouwen fuorten." 
ez was Meljahkanz 
den ergahte Karnahkarnanz 

1 The fact that the inscription is in Pictavian does not, however, prooe that it refers to 
a Celtic custom. Cf. Jullian's remark. 

2 Parzival, II, p. 127. s 125, 15. 


10 W. A. Nitze 

mit strlte er im die frouwen nam: 
diu was da vor an freuden lam. 
sie hiez Imane 
von der Beafontane. 

In other words, two knights, one of whom is familiar to us as 
Meleaganz (cf. Charrete, passim; Yvain, vs. 4742) are contend- 
ing over this lady of the fountain, Imane or originally Imona. 

All of this was unknown to me in 1905. But at that time 
I did suggest tentatively that there might be a connection between 
Laudine de Landuc and Ydain de Landuc of the sparrow-hawk 
adventure in Durmart li Gallois, 1 which showed where the junc- 
ture of the fairy-mistress and the fountain themes lay. In Erec 
the sparrow-hawk incident takes place at Lalut, 2 not unlike Landuc. 
In Yvain the Castle of 111 Adventure in a way repeats the Joie 
de la Cour episode of the Erec. And Laudunet, the father of 
Laudine, 8 who hails from Landuc, is king of a red city — a Celtic 
otherworld abode. My point was that Laudine, by being the 
object of a combat, thus became assimilated to the fairy-mistress 
theme. The fact that we possess an independent fountain-combat, 
in which Imane bears witness to its primitive character, is an 
argument in favor of my former hypothesis. 

To return now to our Gallo-Roman fountain of Imona or 
Dibona — what light, if any, does it throw on the Yvainf It 
lacks the storm, and the goddess does not appear to be in need of 
defense since no combat is even suggested. On the other hand, 
it is possible that Crestien's haughty patroness put some story 
about Dibona or one of her congeners into the poet's hands, 
especially if it could be shown that she was versed in the folklore 
of her mother's — Eleanor's — home ; for Poitou was a region where 
Celtic and Roman customs may have long survived.* But we are 
not compelled to assume— in order to understand the nature of 
Crestien's source — that he made use of this particular fountain- 
tradition, any more than we need to produce a specifically Gallic 
Dibona myth to see that our romance and the Italic story have very 
striking elements in common. The mere existence of the Dibona 
cult, the frequent occurrence of such names as Divonne, etc., the 

' Ed. Stengel, yss. 2005 S. » Vss. 393 ff. and 62*9 ff . « Yvain, vss. 2151-53. 

* Cf . Grande encycloptdie, s.v." Poitiers." 


The Fountain Depended 11 

fact that the inhabitants of Gaul worshiped Diana, 1 the precise 
references to her worship at Evreux in 1080, and earlier at Treves, 2 
the inscriptions bearing her name and its phonetic similarity to 
Dibona, besides the resemblance of cult — this, it seems to me, is 
ample testimony to estimate the approximate basis of Crestien's 
fountain-tale. It sprang from a nature-cult of the kind celebrated 
on the Rom tablet or of that elaborated in the Diana myth. 3 So 
much our evidence seems to me to prove, and I do not see how 
circumstantial evidence, and our evidence on the Yvain has never 
been other than circumstantial, can prove more. 

Furthermore, at present it is best to assume that our romance 
incorporates a Gallo-Roman — and not an insular Celtic — cult. 
The only insular Celtic parallel we have is the elaborate story of the 
Gilla Decair* which to our knowledge exists in no MS previous to 

1 Of. my previous article, and references below. 

2 Gregory of Tours, Hist. Eccles. Francorum, VIII, 15 : " Deinde territorium Trovericae 
urbis expetii, et in quo nunc estis monte, habitaculum quod cernitis proprio labore con- 
struxi. Reperi tamen hie Dianae simulacrum, quod populus hie incredulus quasi deum 
adorabat," etc. Treves here is plainly the modern Trier. There is, however, a Treves in 
Anjou between Saumur and Angers, the Trebes near which was the lac de Diane of the 
Merlin; cf. first article, p. 275; also Brugger, Zeitschrift far franzdsische Sprache und 
Litteratur, XXXIII (1908), pp. 172, 181. Evreux is just south of Eouen, and Amiens, the 
diocese of St. Eloi (cf. below), is north of Paris. As for the fountain-cult, we have Kom 
near Poitiers, Bordeaux and Cahors to the east-southeast of Bordeaux. North-northeast 
of Cahors is Tulle where the Lunade (cf. below) was celebrated. 

8 For the distribution of oriental (Boman) cults in Gaul, see especially: F. Cumont, 
Textes et monuments de Mithra, I, pp. 340-89, and C. H. Moore, Trans. Amer. Phil. Assoc, 
XXXVIII (1907), p. 140. 

Professor F. M. Warren calls my attention to Vacandard's " L'Idolatrie en Gaule au VI« 
et au Vile siecle," Rev. des gues. hist, LXV, pp. 424-55. I reproduce from it the following 
citations taken from the Vita Mligii, lib. II, chap, xv, in Migne, Patrol, hat., LXXXVII, col. 
528, 529 : "Qu'aucun Chretien n'observe quel jour il sort de chez lui, ni quel jour il y entre, 
car Dieu a fait tous les jours .... que nul ne croie aux devineresses et ne s'assoie pour 
ecouter leurs chants, car ce sont des oeuvres diaboliques j que nul, a la Saint-Jean, ou aux 
autres fetes de saints, aux solstices, ne pratique les danses, les sauteries, etc.; que nul 
n'invoque aut Neptunum, aut Orcum, ant Dianam, aut Minervam, aut Qeniscum, aut 

caetera, hujusmodi ineptia credere Que nul n'allume des flambeaux ni ne fasse des 

voeux au pied des temples, fana, aupres des pierres, des fontaines, des arbres, des enclos, 

ou dans les carrefours Que nul n'invoque le, soleil et la lune comme des dieux et ne 

jure par eux, car ce sont des creatures de Dieu Laissez 1& les fontaines et coupez 

les arbres qu'on appelle sacres ; defendez de f aire ces images do pieds que Ton place aux 
embranchements des routes, et partout ou vous en trouverez, jetcz-les au feu. Quelle tris- 
tesse de voir que, si ces arbres, pros desquels de malheureuses gens font des voeux, viennent 
it tomber, on n'ose les rapporter & la maison pour en faire du feu. Et combien grande est la 
folie des hommes qui rendent un culte h un arbre insensible et mort, et qui meprisent les 
commandements de Dieu!" 

Nothing could show more clearly to what extent the cult of the fountain-, tree-, and 
moon-goddess was still alive in the north of Gaul (diocese of Amiens) at the beginning of 
the seventh century of our era. On Diana, see especially pp. 450-53. On Janus, her compeer 
according to Frazer (see below), consult p. 447. 

* Iwain, p. 104, and above. 


12 W. A. Nitze 

the eighteenth century, though the version may be as early as 1630. 
But the Gilla Decair has such remarkable agreements with the 
completed Yvain that to deny the influence of a version of the 
latter upon it requires an effort of the imagination, especially as 
there is an eighteenth-century Irish Yvain, the Echtra Ridire na 
Leoman in Trinity College, Dublin. 1 And granting that to be a 
matter of opinion, incapable of proof in one direction or the other, 
surely no one will deny that it is impossible to take an eighteenth- 
century MS as our sole testimony of what may have occurred 
before or during the twelfth century. Yet we should be doing 
precisely this, if we accepted the Gilla Decair as proof of the 
insular Celtic origin of our fountain-tale. On the other hand, we 
have the Imona-cult persisting in Parzival and an identification 
of Diana with the Lady of the Lake in the Prose Lancelot, which, 
together with the relationship of Lunete and Niniane in the Livre 
tPArtus and of Diana and Niniane in the Merlin, shows that even 
as late as the thirteenth century it was possible in France to iden- 
tify a fountain-story with the Diana theme. 2 

The cult of Dibona (Imona) as found near Poitiers in the third 
or fourth century plainly belonged to the kind of cult which Frazer 
considers in his Golden Bough. The Rom tablet appeals to the 
goddess to send forth her waters. Thus Dibona is a water 
goddess, but like Diana and Juppiter she probably is a fire-deity, 
too. In early rites the two functions are commonly united ; more- 
over, how else explain the line: 

"Going round daily at mid-day," 

unless we take it to refer to her capacity as the mid-day demon. 3 
We find it again in Yvain, vss. 410-12: 

Espoir si fu tierce passee 
Et pot estre pres de midi 
Quant l'arbre et la chapele vi. 

1 Cf . Zimmer, QOtt. geleh. Anzeige, 1890, p. 150. 

2 See my a rtiole in Modem Philology, III, p, 275 ; also the Prose Lancelot, 1520 ed., fol. 2d, 
and Gaston Paris and Ul ich, Merlin, I, p. lxviii; II, p. 145; as well as Sommer, Merlin, 
p. 222 ; Loseth, Tristan en prose, p. 374. 

»(3f. Frazer. Golden Bough*, III, p. 315; M mnhardt, Antike Wald- u. Feldkultel, Herlin, 
1904, I, chap, iii: "Die Baumseele als Veyetationsdemon," and Gtruppe, op. cit., §264, 
" Baumfetische." 


The Fountain Defended 13 

More recently Frazer remarks: "The difference between these 
deities was of old merely superficial, going little deeper than the 
names, and leaving practically unaffected the essential functions 
of the god." These were concerned with the dependence of 
vegetation upon heat and moisture, sunshine and rain. The tree- 
spirit, Diana Nemorensis or Juppiter Arborator, embodied the 
two properties upon which vegetable, and indirectly human, life 
depended. And their creative act was symbolized in the mating 
of Juppiter with Juno, Diana with Dianus (or Janus). 1 The priest 
of Nemi represents no other than this consort, the rex nemorensis, 
and he is slain in the bloom of youth and succeeded by the slayer 
in order that Nature may not suffer. Herein lay the deeper mean- 
ing of the defense of Diana's lake and grove. 2 

It is surprising, as I pointed out in 1905, to what a large extent 
this situation is reproduced in Orestien's romance. 

1. The rain-making device; cf. also the fire-demon traits. 

2. The union of goddess and defender. 

3. The defense of spring and tree. 

4. The death of the first defender. 

5. The rapid selection of his assailant as the next defender. 3 
The present material bears out this interpretation; in the 

Dibona cult and in the perron-incident associated with the Roman 
Juppiter. In the mediaeval form the latter feature seems to be 
characteristic of Broceliande.* Scholarly opinion has been some- 
what divided as to Orestien's relationship to the Armorican 
fountain. 5 A verbal correspondence to Wace's Roman de Bou 
(vss. 6418 ff. ) made it appear for a moment that Orestien had 
merely developed a hint from his contemporary. Even in that 
event we may assume that the jperrora-incident is an Armorican 
tradition, for the many references to Broceliande speak in favor of 
a folk-tradition independent of literary transmission. 6 So that 

1 Cf. the Dionas in the Merlin; E. Brugger, op. cit., pp. 154, 174. 

2 Frazer's works, The Golden Bought, Lectures on the Early History of Kingship, and 
Adonis, Attis and Osiris, treat the question fully; cf. indices. 

3 Modern Philology, III, 274, 275. * Berenton in Brittany. 5 Cf . Twain, chap, vii. 
SFoersterS, p. xxxi, says: "Was nun unsere Sturmquelle betrifft, so ist aus der w6rt- 

Hchen Entsprechutig zwischen Wace und dem spateren Ivain mit Sicherbeit zu schliessen, 
dass Kristian sich dieselbe aus Wace geholt hat." Kee, however, Brown, Iwain, p. 23. Obvi- 
ously Crestien may have known Wace and the Berenton tradition as well. Moreover, Foerster 


14 W. A. Nitze 

whether Crestien was here influenced by Wace or not, the Armorican 
"perrow-storm-story" apparently existed in a separate popular 
form. Thus it is probable that Crestien (or a predecessor) iden- 
tified a developed fountain-myth with the Armorican fountain, 
whose curious property was widely known in his day. The medium 
of identification may have been the storm, this would agree with 
the fountain-lady's primitive function as a vegetation deity and 
also include the idea of protection against intruders; but its sud- 
den violent character must be mainly due to the magic perron 1 
itself, and in the folk-tradition of Berenton I find nq mention of 
Orestien's tree, though the well-known passage in Maury's His- 
toire states that "la terre et les biens 6tans en ycelle en sont 
arousez et moult leur proufitte." 2 As I have previously said 
the mdrchenhafte Gestalt 3 of the Giant Herdsman represents 
a motif originally distinct from the fountain theme, 4 as its 
absence from Arthur's fountain visit shows. The Giant Herds- 
man, in my opinion — and I am here following Brown— be- 
longs to the Celtic Fairy Mistress tale, which by Crestien (or 
possibly his predecessor) was interwoven with the fountain myth. 
On the contrary, the "wonderful tree" (vss. 412, 460, 807) 
has its roots in the original theme. 6 In fact, the tree logically 
antedates the fountain, for strictly speaking it is the raison d'etre 
of the situation in which the story began." But unquestionably 
it may have been adorned with traits borrowed from the Brendan 
legend, for that is in line with story-development. In the "type," 
however, the defender incorporated for the time being the tree- 
spirit; he played the part of the tree-god. "We conclude," 7 says 

is not justified in claiming that Crestien is responsible for the storm simply because Wace 
and the passage in Maury's H istoire "bios Eegen kennen," since that is a mere detail 
which may be due to attenuation of the storm and, as Baist, loc. cit., has shown, Crestien 
could not have evolved the whole first part of his romance out of Wace's description. 
Nevertheless Wace may have furnished a hint ; cf . previous study, p. 269 ; he mentions the 

i Cf . above. 

2 Quoted from Foerster', p. xxvi ; the chevalier Pontus who " fit ses armes " at Bellenton 
is a classical figure. See also P. Paris, Romans de la table ronde, II, p. 172. 

a Cf. Baist, op. cit. 

* It can, however, also be brought Into connection with the tree-cult. This is done by 
Mannhardt, op. cit, p. 117, where he refers directly to the Oiant Herdsman. 

5 Cf . Frazer, Qolden Bough; Mannhardt, loc. cit. 

«Vs. 413: Quant l'arbre et la chapele vi. "' Kingship, pp. 283 ff. 


The Fountain Defended 15 

Frazer, "that at Nemi the King of the Wood personated, the oak- 
god Juppiter and mated with the oak -goddess Diana in the sacred 
grove." Now the tree in Yvain is not an oak but a pine. Yet 
that might be a local characteristic in no way affecting its nature 
as a sacred tree. In the parallel Egyptian cult the pine is the 
incorporation of Osiris: 

A pine-tree having been cut down, the center was hollowed out, and 
with the wood thus excavated an image of Osiris was made, which was 
then buried like a corpse in the hollow of the tree. It is hard to imagine 
how the conception of a tree tenanted by a personal being could be more 
plainly expressed, 1 

Likewise in Rome at the great spring festival of Oybele and Attis 
a pine (sacred to Attis) "was cut in the woods and brought into 
the sanctuary of Oybele, where it was treated as a great divinity." 2 
It may seem a far cry from the Phrygian Attis and the Egyptian 
Osiris to the mediaeval French Yvain, yet it is known that the 
worship of the Magna Mater, 3 the Asiatic goddess of fertility, was 
carried by Roman civilization not only into Gaul but into Celtic 
Britain. Her male counterpart and associate was Attis. Gregory 
of Tours refers to her in the Liber de gloria confessorum, chap, 
lxxvii: the people of Autun used to carry her about in a cart 
for the good of the fields and the vineyards. 4 

The tamarisk and the sycamore (cf. this tree in Old French), 
however, are also sacred to Osiris, and it is worth recording, as 
throwing light on the evolution of the tree-incident in Yvain, that 
in a sepulcher at How (Diapolis Parva) a tamarisk is depicted as 
overshadowing the tomb of Osiris, while a bird is perched among 
the branches with the significant legend "the soul of Osiris," 
"showing that the spirit of the dead god was believed to haunt 

'Frazer, Adonis, Attis, and Osiris, p. 276; Hepding, Attis, seine Mythen und sein Kult 
(Giessen, 1903) ; Plumptre, Narrative of a Three Years'' Residence in France (London, 1810), 
III, 187 (cf. Bibbert Lectures, pp. 157, 158) mentions a Breton tale in which Merlin's mistress 
incloses him in a tree ; some surmise that it is on a little island called Sein. Cf . the fig-tree 
of Fecamp with the blood of Christ in it. 


* Adopted by the Bomans in 204 B. c. According to Moore, op. cit., p. 131, the taurobo- 
lium was introduced into Gaul at Lugdunum (Lyons) in 160 a.d. j see ibid., p. 137, for places 
where Dendrophori are attested. 

«Cf. Frazer, Adonis, p. 176; Moore, op. cit., p. 130; Migne, Patrologia Oraeca, vss. 1463, 


16 W. A. Nitze 

his sacred tree." 1 I mention this fact for what it seems to me 
to be worth here; namely, as indicating the pertinence of the 
tree-incident, including the "singing-birds," to our fountain-tale. 
In addition, the threatened burning of Lunete at the stake (cf. 
Modern Philology, III, p. 275, for my argument) is, when we 
admit that Lunete symbolizes the tree-spirit, appropriate to the 
same category of primitive custom. 2 It was an almost universal 
custom to burn the tree-spirit in effigy, a practice which survives 
in the bonfires of St. John's Eve, the date of Arthur's visit to 
Laudine, and the time when Merlin sought out his love Niniane 
by the fountain in the beautiful orchard. 3 

Thus the evolution of the Yvain presents itself to us somewhat 
as follows: 4 (a) A Gallic fountain-cult, probably associated with 
a sacred tree or grove. Cf. Kenel, Religions de la Gaule, 
pp. 153 ff., and especially Mannhardt, op. cit., passim. (6) An 
etiological myth based on this cult, probably under the influence 
of a Roman myth in a form similar to the Diana tale. If not 
Under its direct influence, then at least early assimilated to it. 
(c) The combination, or perhaps confusion through the incident 
of the combat in behalf of the lady, of this theme with the Celtic 
fairy-mistress motif b — presumably by the twelfth -century roman- 

i On the sacred-tree worship in Gaul, see above, note. 

2 See O. Gruppe, Handbuch der griech. Mythologie, p. 1530; Frazer, Golden Bough 2 , III, 
p. 266. 

3 Modern Philology, III, p. 276. 

*I expect to treat the Yvain again in an extended study I am now making on the Grail. 

5 See the very interesting treatment of Brown, op. cit., p. 27. Since Foerster3, p. xxxvi, 
has receutly conceded a point by talcing the Iblis episode of the Lanzelet (ed. Hahn, 
Frankfort, 1845) as a point of departure, it is necessary to refer to it here, especially since 
Golther has expressed (Zeit franz. Spr. u. Lit., XXVII, Part II, p. 36) a preference for this 
view over that of Brown. The Iblis episode belongs to the general category, which Brown 
investigates, of the fairy-mistress tale, but with the emphasis on the "liberation" motive 
(cf. Ehrismann, Beitr&ge z. Gesch. d. deut. Spr. u. Lit., XXX, pp. 14 ff.). This motive is 
found in Yvain but in the episode of the "Pesme Aventure" (vs-s. 5107-5811). In Mrec 
Crestien uses both it and the " invitation " motive — in the" Joiedela Cour." Now, in my 
opinion, the Laudine episode, which constitutes the kernel of the romance, is not in itself a 
fairy-mistress story at all. For these reasons : (a) Neither the "liberation" nor the "invi- 
tation" motive are found in it. Yvain goes to the fountain to avenge his cousin (" J'irai 
vostre honte vangier," vs. 589) ; Laudine does not need to be liberated. Moreover, not 
having summoned him, Laudine is not in love with Yvain. In fact, all the advances are 
made by Yvain and Lunete, and it is not until the latter persuades her that her fountain 
needs a defender ("Mes me dites, si ne vos griet, Vostre terre qui deffandra," vss. 1614, 1615) 
and that Yvain is a better defender than her dead lord ("meillor, se vos le volez prandre," 
vs. 1610) that Laudine finally considers him. (6) The " gong " which announces the fairy- 
mistress oombat does not serve this purpose in Yvain (vs. 217), and is wholly extraneous to 


The Fountain Depended 17 

cers themselves, of whom Crestien was one. (d) Orestien's inter- 
pretation of this material in terms of his day: a schoolman's 
attempt to psychologize on conduct. 1 

In the light of the preceding material my former suggestion 
that Lunete and Laudine equate (la) Diana, and that the Damei- 
sele Sauvage equates Silvanus or Silvana, seems to me to hold as 
a general proposition. But I should no longer claim that Laudine 
is actually a form of Ladiane, whether celticized or not. It would 
be easier, indeed, to discern an altered La Divona (from which we 
have also la Diiona) in Laudine; but even that is merely a guess, 
hence of no particular value. But as regards Lunete/ it seems to 
me the very form of the name is suggestive, for if we follow the 
bent of our theory we think at once of Diana as the luminary of 
the night in whose keeping the invisible-making ring is singularly 
well placed. 3 As regards the Dameisele Sauvage, she is clearly 

the main story, evidently being brought in when the fountain-tale and fairy-mistress episodes 
were combined, as I believe, by Crestien himself. 

As for the parallel which Foerster, p. xli, adduces from the Huon de Bordeaux, that is 
clearly an imitation (reminiscence) of our romance. See Voretzsch, Epische Studien, I, p. 138, 
" So erweist sich dies abenteucr in sehr wesentlichen stftcken als eine reminicenz an Ivains 
erlebnisse im schloss bei der wunderquelle, daneben hat vermutlich der Guiglois noch mit- 
gewirkt." Lunete's part is taken by Sebile ; see below, p. 163, n. 1. 

But I wish to point out that Esclados, as the Red Knight, has a parallel in the knight 
of the Noirespine of Turlin's CrOne (vss. 3356-4885). This is also the main incident of the 
Lai de I'Epine (ed. by E. Zenker, Zeit. f. rom. Phil.., XVII, pp. 240 9.) ; here the combat, 
like Arthur's visit in Yvain, occurs on St. John's eve. 

Gele dist: Au gue de 1'espine 

A la nuit de la Saint-Johan 

En avient plus que en tot 1' an. — Vss. 188-90. 

The Yvain itself, vs. 4705, has an episode about the daughters of the Sire de la Noire Espine. 

1 To this stage belong the neo-classic traces in the romance. For an account of them 
see Kritischer Jahresbericht d. rom. Phil., VIII, Heft 2, p. 313. Most interesting is the 
parallel to the Soman de Thebes, vss. 447-49; cf. Van Hamel, Bom. Forschungen, XXIII, 
pp. 911-18. It seems plausible that this contributed to induce Crestien to develop the dra- 
matic situation in Laudine's forced acceptance of the new defender of the fountain. That, 
however, is another way of saying that the fountain-episode contained the theme which 
Crestien had the genius to find in it and to develop. 

2 Unfortunately I have not at hand the Uimoires de VImtitut de France, XXXII (1891) , 
2d part. Professor Warren kindly informs me that the publication contains an article by 
Deloche on the Procession dite de la Lunade et les feux de la St. Jean a Tulle (Correze). 
Apparently the procession takes place after sun-down on St. John's Eve, and the people 
carry a dressed-up statue of St. John from the cathedral through the town into the fields, 
"in the midst of bonfires." The author connects the ceremony with the Gallo- Roman wor- 
ship of the moon. Cf . the sermon of St. lSloi mentioned above. 

3 Cf . the damsel from whom Peredur in the Mabinogion receives the invisible-making 
atone. Also Crestien's Charrete, vs. 2348 ; Merlin (ed. Paris and Ulrich) , II, p. 57, arid P. Paris, 
Romans de la table ronde, III, p. 126; IV, p. 80. Further, Gaidoz, Etudes de myth, gauloise, 
pp. 8, 19. Wilmotte, L'Evolution du roman francais aux environs de 1150, p. 24, thinks the 
ring was taken from the Roman de Troie (vss. 1676 fl.) 


18 W. A. Nitze 

a woodland creature. 1 But why not then one of the Silvana with 
which the Gallic woods were peopled (cf. the inscriptions) ? She 
plays a curious rOle in Orestien (vs. 1618). Except for Arthur's 
visit she might have been omitted. Yet Arthur does not meet 
the Hospitable Host or the Giant Herdsman and so she heralds 
his coming. Have we not here a memory of the time when the 
two other rugged figures still inhabited Celtic lands and she held 
a broader sway ? And does she not linger in our tale more or 
less in spite of the literal-minded Orestien? 

For the above reasons it has seemed to me possible to trace the 
Lady of the Fountain back to small beginnings — in a widespread 
nature-worship of primitive man. The Yvain centers about a 
fountain, from the necessity of whose preservation the story sprang. 
The most notable and most widely known fountain-deity we have 
is the Arician Diana. With her myth the Yvain has more points 
in common than with any similar story now extant. Whether it 
had an early association with it is impossible to tell. It appears 
more likely that the Yvain arose in connection with some Gallic 
fountain 3 and was then developed according to a situation similar 
to the Italic type. If there was any immediate borrowing, that 
may have occurred at a comparatively late date — for we know 
a Diana cult 3 was current in Gaul. Bat on that very account it 

iSee especially Mannhardt 2 , op.cit., p. 112, §10, Wild-Leute : Bilmon, Salvadegh, Sal- 
vanel in W&lsch-Tirol : "Die entsprechende weibliche Form lasst sich bereits im 10. Jahr- 
hundert aus Burchard von Worms Decretensammlung, p. 198d (MythA, XXXVIII) erweisen: 
Credidisti quod quidam credere solent, quod sint agrestes feminae, quas silvaticas vocant, 
quas dicunt esse corporeas et quando voluerint ostendant se suis amatoribus et cum eis 
dicunt se oblectasse et item quando voluerint abscondant se et evanescant." Cf. Diana and 
Faunus in the Huth Merlin, below. 

21 want to call attention here to the suggestion of Rhys, Bibbert Lectures, 1886, p. 63, 
that the name Yvain (Iwein) can be derived from Eugenius (see also Zimmer, G&tt. gelehrte 
Anzeigen, 1890, p. 527) ; and the further connection he sees between the latter form and the 
"Gaulish" proper name Esugenus — the offspring of Esus. For Esus, whom the Gauls 
identified with the Roman Silvanus (cf. Mowat, Bull. Epigraph., I, pp. 62-68) — this opinion 
seems to have prevailed, see Renel, op. cit., p. 321— is depicted on certain bas-reliefs as 
a wood-cutter chopping down an oak. According to Solomon Eeinach, Rev. celtique, 1897, 
pp. 137 1, Esus, like the Taranis mentioned by Lucan, Pharsalia, i, 444, in connection with 
Diana: "Efc quibus immifcis placatur sanguine diro Teutates horrensque feris altaribus 
Esus et Taranis Scythicae non mitior ara Dianae," is not a pan-Celtic divinity but peculiar 
to the peoples living between the Seine and the Loire. I observe, moreover, that M. Renel 
states with respect to the tree-cutting: " Ce mythe n'a pas encore recu d'explication satis- 
faisante." Since a dog is at times found associated with him, as with Silvanus, Rhys' 
hypothesis seems not improbable ; though I am incapable of judging the question without 
further study. 

3Cf. Miss Paton, Fairy Mythology of Arthurian Romance (Boston, 1903), pp. 276 ff. 


The Fountain Defended 19 

may be inherent in the story. All I have sought to establish, 
however, is that the kernel of the Yvain consists in the Defense 
of the Lady of the Fountain, 1 the theme of the Arician Diana- 
myth. Despite the lapse of time, and the successive alterations 

1 The fusion of Celtic and Roman material, of course, gains further support from the 
episode of " the lion." Mr. O. M. Johnston, Zeitschrift fUr franzdsische Sprache und Lit- 
teratur, XXXI, 157-66, makes out a clear case for assuming that the oriental tale of the 
Grateful Animals and the legend of Androcles influenced the story as Crestien relates it. 
Cf. Cumont, Monuments, II, p. 434, for an altar at Treves possibly dedicated to Hecate, on 
which a lion, a serpent (?), and trees figure, besides busts of Sol and Luna. 

Various scholars have also hinted that the German Wolfdietrich contains a parallel to 
our romance. The character of the Rauhe Else at once suggests the exacting fairy-mistress. 
I enumerate the main features of the Else episode from Holzmann's edition (Heidelberg, 
1865), stanzas 494ff. (1) While Wolfdietrich is resting near a fire in the woods (2) a hairy- 
creature, die ruhe Elae, approaches him and proffers her love. She had been seeking him 
vdllengliehen siben jar, (8) He rejects her, whereupon she enchants him so that he runs 
twelve miles through the woods until he meets her again under einem bourne. (4) Here she 
repeats her offer, and, as he refuses again, renders him insane so that he wanders about for 
half a year taking his spise von. der erden (see Yvain's madness). (5) Finally, since God 
threatens to destroy her in three days by his thunder (donre) — cf. Yvain, vss. 3565 ff . — she 
removes the enchantment. Having accepted baptism, she bathes in a fountain whence she 
returns die schOnste iiber alle lant. Then the hero weds her. 

In the next episode, dealing with Wolfdietrich's contest with Ortnid, a linden-tree is 
described beneath which no one may linger without being attacked (stanza 573). On the 
tree birds are singing : 

Ein jeglicher vogel sang sin wise gen des meien blut. 

Later on (stanza 1060) Wolfdietrich comes to a fine castle on every pinnacle except one of 
which there was a head. There he has to win the love of the beautiful Marpoli or die; five 
hun lred had thus lost their lives. The adventure begins with a rftpast under a metal linden- 
tree with birds on it; these are made to sing by means of a bellows. On this incident, see 
K. G. T. Webster, Englisrhe Studien, XXXVI, pp. 337-69. And on the tree-spirit element, see 
Mannhardt, op. cit., pp. 109 ff. 

In connection with our study it should be noted further that the Huth Merlin (i. e., the 
so-called Suite-Merlin), II, p. 145, tells an interesting tale of Diana and Faunus, a propos of 
the Lac de Diane (near Treves, see Brugger, Zeit. f. franz. Spr. u. Lit,, XX&III, p. 177) : 

(1) Faunus, the son of a king, loves Diana because of her beauty and her skill as a huntress- 

(2) She constructs a manoir by the side of the lake for him. (3) Thus things continue for 
two years until she falls in love with Felix, another hunter but of poor lineage, a chevalier 
par sa proueche (p. 146). (4) Neu- the lake is a tomb filled with healing water; thither 
Faunus, wounded by a wild animal (cf. Acteon, Adonis, etc.), comes to be cured. (5) Diana, 
in the meantime, has filled the tomb with molten lead, whereby Faunus perishes. (6) Felix, 
learning of this act of treachery, seizes her par les tresches et li caupa le chief. The story is 
a good illustration of the persistence of the idea of Diana's successive lovers. 

Finally, inasmuch as the Vulgate Merlin (see Sommer ed., pp. 220, 221) speaks of Diana 
as laseraine de Cecille, which according to Br>igg3r was corrupted into la reine de Sezile 
(loc. cit.), I subjoin an outline of the presumably late Eledus etSerene, described by Suchier 
in Zeitsch. rom. Phil., XXI, pp. 112 ff. (1) Ser^n*, though promised to Maugrier, is loved by 
Eledus, who gradually wins her affection by deeds of great prowess. (2) She has a hand- 
maiden called Sebile, who is versed in the science of love (p. 119). (3) Eledus undertakes an 
adventure against Cuizelot on an island ; for this adventure Serene gives him a ring set with 
a sapphire. Led by a stag, Eledus first kills a lion with a golden crown, and then conquers 
his adversary. (4) He returns to court and crowns the king with the lion's crown on 
St. Jihn's Day. (5) Now Serene invents the rumor of Maugrier's infidelity and thus brings 
about her own marriage with Eledus. (6) One day while hunting, Eledus sees a beautiful 
lady in a meadow who asks him whether he has ever seen a more beautiful one than herself. 
He affirms he knows one a hundred times more beautiful. Nevertheless, she asks him to 


20 W. A. Nitze 

the story may have suffered, this theme is still clearly discernible 
in Crestien's poem, pre-eminently in the conception of Laudine 
as the antithesis of herself, as 

Cele qui prist 
Celui qui son seignor ocist. 

W. A. Nitze 

University of Chicago 

enjoy her love. (7) As he refuses, she threatens that in xv jours he will lose her whom ho 
adores. (8) Then follows a long combat with Maugrier in the midst of which the text sud- 
denly breaks off. 

The situation is doubtless the Fairy Mistress theme, though this fact has not to my 
knowledge been mentioned. But Serene and Sebile are presumably not Celtic but Roman. 
Suchier refers us to the Saga of Claras and Serena and to Straparola, IV, 3. Serene and 
Sebile, I take it, like Laudine and Iiunete, are merely doublets. Sebile is the heroine of 
a similar contest-story in the Livrc d'Artus (Freymond, pp. 112 ff.), where Sagremor and 
Baruc are the principals. She also occurs in Huon de Bordeaux (see Voretzsch, op. eit.) > 
where she is the hero's cousin. She is presumably the Sibylla, but could she not also be an 
echo of the goddess Cybele (whose cult existed in Gaul, see above)? Thus a parallel to 
Diana who is called la seraine ? Unfortunately I have not at hand Settegast, Antike Quellen 
im altfranz. Merowingerzyklus (Leipzig, 1907), where the oriental Cybele-story is proposed 
as a source of the Yvatn; cf. Zeitschrift rom. Phil. XXXII (1908), p. 416. Sebile (the Sibylla) 
occurs in the chanson de geste Mainet ; cf . Romania, IV, pp. 305-31.