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NIFLANT, IFLANT 



Do sprach von Nlflande Morunc der junge man 

The name Niflant in the above line from Kudrun (211, 1) is 
generally recognized as a variant form of Livland, and Martin, in 
his note on the passage, cites a number of other literary monuments 
in which this spelling occurs. It seems not to have been noticed, 
however, that Nifflant is the only form found in the Statutes of the 
Teutonic Order, under whose dominion Livland remained for several 
centuries. This document, promulgated by the Grand Master 
Werner von Orseln, is dated September 17, 1329. Its dialect is 
Middle German: 

Auch so mach derselbe meister zu Duitschen landen .... den meister 

zu Nifflant auch in mitwissen lassen haben (p. 233) dez meisters 

zu Duitschen landen und Nifflanden (p. 235) verhengnisze eins 

meisters Van Duitschen landen und auch eins meisters zu Nifflanden {ibid.) 
ein meister van Nifflant mit alien sinen und anderen gebietgern des landes 

zu Prusen (ifcid.) der gebietiger und brueder van Pruesen, auch van 

Nifflant (p. 240). Wis ein meister zu Nifflant auch ein mitwissen mag und 

sal haben (p. 241) die wile ein meister zu Nifflant auch der oberste 

gebietiger einer ist (ibid.) mach er den meister zu Nifflant, der do 

zu den zeiten isz, beruffen (ibid.). Ob aber derselbe meister zu Niffland 
nicht komen en moichte (p. 242). Were auch sache das derselbe meister 
zu Nifflant .... nicht queme . . . . als were der meister zu Nifflant 
.... selbe gheenwartich gewiest .... als were der meister zu Nifflant 
.... gegenwirtich (ibid.) prueder Eberhart van Minheim, meister zu 
Nifflant (p. 243). ' 

The form Liflant, while frequent in other documents of this 
period, does not occur at all in these Statutes, which long continued 
to be the fundamental law of the Teutonic Order. Nifflant, there- 
fore, instead of being a mere sporadic variant, is to be regarded as 
a regular, current form. An off-shoot from the spelling Niflant, 
namely Iflant, Ifflant, seems hitherto to have escaped notice, despite 
the fact that it occurs very frequently in documents of the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries. The earliest instances are in a legal summons 

' Published In P. G. v. Bunge's Liv-, Eat- und CurUndisches Vrkundenbuch, Zweiter 
Band, Reval, 1855, pp. 233 fl. 
557] 157 [MoDEEN Philology, February, 1921 



158 W. KURRELMEYEE 

addressed to the Teutonic Order by Magnus, Bishop of Westeras, 

under date of September 15, 1354: 

.... und alien brudern und iren icklichem in Iflande wesenden {ac 
fratribus wdversis et cuilihet ipsorum, per.Livoniam consiitutis) , (Bunge, II, 
596). czerungen und becostungen czu den teilen kegen Iflant (p. 598). 
ufgehalden, gewangen, ader welcherwis bekumert in der j agent Iflande 
(p. 601). 

In the year 1370, King Waldemar of Denmark addresses a letter 
to the "ratman der gemeinen stede van der Wend siden, von Prusen, 
von Yflande und von der Sudirse" (Bunge, VI, 658). 

In 1387 the Master of the Order in Livonia sends instructions to 

his representative at the Papal Court, in which the form Ifland is 

used exclusively: 

mitzamt unsem vulbort und unser mitgebitiger zu Ifland (Bunge, III, 
545). unser brudere in Iflande (ibid.), eine zuvorsicht unsers ordens in 
Iflande (ibid), unser mitgebitiger in Ifland (p. 546). uf die materie der 
zaclien unsores bannes in Ifland (ibid.), zu uns in Iflande (p. 547). uns und 
unsem orden in Iflande (ibid.). 

Similarly, in the official correspondence of the Emperor Sigis- 

mund the spelling Ifland, together with its variants (Yflant, Yffland, 

Yflannd), is almost exclusively used, a single instance of Leyffland 

constituting the exception : 

den ganczen Deutschen ordan in Preussen und ouch in Yfiland (Bunge, 
VII, 94: dated 1424). prelaten, in Preussen und in Yffland geseszen 
(p. 95). den erwirdigen hoemeistern in Preussen und in Yffland und irem 
orden (ibid.), der erwirdig meister von Yflant Deutsches ordens (VIII, 55: 
1429). der lande czuPrussen und czu Yffland (VIII, 454: 1434). meister 
von Leyffland .... hertzog Swidrigal und den Yfflenndern .... dem 
meister von Yflannd (pp. 542 f.r 1435). die niderlag des erwirdigen meisters 
von Ifland (p. 618: 1435). von der Yfflender wegen (p. 619). ouch der 
ritterschafft, und steten in Iffland (Monumenta,^ XIV, 533: 1435). dem 
groszfursten und dem meister von Yffland (p. 544). 

In a letter of September 6, 1434, addressed to the Grand Master 

by Hans Balg (Bunge, VIII, 499-501), we note the forms C0ij Yflande, 

von Yflande, dy Yflender, dy Iflander, dy Ifflender, cz& Yflande, von 

Iflant, dy Iflander, dy Iflander, mil den Iflander. The form von 

Yfflanden is found in Bimge, IX, 133 (1437), while ken Yfllandt, in 

Yfflandt occur four times in a document of the year 1449 (Bunge, X, 

455). This list may be concluded by noting the additional forms 

1 M onumenta medii aevi historica res gestas Poloniae illustrantia, Totnus XIV, 
Cracoviae, 1894. 

558 



NiFLANT, IfLANT 159 

marschalk van Iffelant and marschalk von Iffilant {Monumenta, 

XIV, 512 f.: 1431). 

As to dialect, it may be noted that the form Ifland, Hke its 

predecessor Niffland, occurs almost exclusively in Middle and Upper 

German documents, whereas Low German texts always have Lifland, 

or a similar spelling with initial L. The two forms Ifland and 

Lifland hardly ever appear in the same document — the most striking 

exception to this statement is to be noted in a letter of the year 1410, 

in which there are also other indications of a mixture of dialects 

(Middle and Low German) : 

dat ir mir behulplich sin an den mester von Yfflande, das her mich zo 
wissen do (Bunge, IV, 746). Dar uf ret ik an euwir genate ind noch euwirn 
willen to Lifflande (ibid.), di mich obir gengen obir al Yfland (p. 747). 
das ich ene erfolget hette in Yfland (ibid.). So bin ich uis Yffland geriten 
ind en ger nicht mer (ibid.). 

The speUings Niflland, Iffland, Iffelant, Iffilant, and the like would 
seem to indicate a short stem-vowel : on the other hand, only a long 
stem-vowel could have produced the diphthongized form Eifland. 
Rud. Hildebrand,' who cites this form from a text of the sixteenth 
century, explains it by positing a form Neifland, which lost its A'' 
through combinations like von Neifland, in Neifland. As far as I 
know, not a single instance of Neifland can be cited; nor is it neces- 
sary now to posit this form, as Ifland with which Hildebrand was 
unacquainted, sufficiently accounts for Eifland. The loss of the 
initial N is paralleled in the name of Heinrich von Notleben, which 
is found in Bunge in more than a dozen different spellings, including 
Otleben (IX, 222), Otleyben (p. 334), and Otloffen (p. 177). Similarly, 
the name of the county of Ortenau in Baden had, as late as the 
fifteenth century, an initial M: Mordenau, Mortenau.^ 

The following early instances of Eifland, Eifldnder, Eifidndisch 

ma}"^ be noted: 

daz die Eyflender die selbin weile in dem lande gehert haben .... do 
sie in das lant komen, do worin die Eyflender weg (Monumenta, VI, 185: 
1409). der kompthur czum Elbinge ken Eyffland (Bunge, X, 220: 1447). 
das dye cleynen freyen .... ken Eyfland mit nichte czyen wellen (p. 224) . 
was mich dy Eyfflendesche reysze gekost hat (p. 454: 1449). uff die 
Eyffiandesche hervart (ibid.). 

i"Zlir Gudnin," Zeitachr. /. deutsche Phil., II, 477. 
2 Publikationen aus den Preuss. Staatsarchiven, LIX, 565. 

559 



160 W. KUERBLMEYER 

The last variant to be noted is Eyfenland, in a text of the year 
1432: "sageten, her were dovon komen und kein Eyfenland 
geflogen."^ 

As giving a possible clue to the origin of the form Nifland, Martin, 
in the note referred to above, states that the Russian name of the 
province is Infland. I am unable to confirm this, as the Russian 
dictionaries at my command give only Liwonja or Lifljandja; in 
Polish, however, the form Inflanty is regularly used, occurring 
frequently, for example, in Vol. VI of the Monumenta: 

aby zbrojnie kroczyli do Inflant (p. 42). gdy i mistrz Inflancki jego 
poddanym dozwolil tegoz w Inflanciech (p. 49). Mistrz Inflancki Dietrich 
Tork przyrzeka w. ks. Witoldowi (p. 304). 

W. KURRELMEYER 

Johns Hopkins Univehsity 

* Scriptores rerum Sileaiacarum, VI, 116. 



560