Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Northvegr - Grimm's TM - Chap. 34

Before proceeding with out inquiry, we have to examine the several terms that designated witchcraft in olden times. It seems worth noting, that several of the more general names have simply the sense of doing or preparing, and therefore mark an imperceptible lapse of right doing into wrong. The OHG. karawan, AS. gearwian, had only the meaning of facere, parare, praeparare, ornare, but the same word in ON. göra approximates to that of conjuring, Dan. forgiöre; görnîng is maleficium, görnîngar artes magicae, much in the same was as facinus is both deed and misdeed. Our thun, to do, passes into anthun, to inflic (by sorcery); and the ON. fordœða (malefica), Sæm. 64a. 197b comes from dâð (facinus) (3) Now the Greek and Latin words epdein, rezein, facere (p. 41n.), mean not only to do, but to sacrifice, without requiring the addition of iera or sacra, and erdein tini ti is to bewitch; the ON. blôta, beside its usual sense of sacrificare, consecrare, has that of maledicere; whether fornœskja, sorcery, can be connected with fôrn, sacrifice, has been discussed, p. 41. ---A difficult word to explain is the OHG. zoupar divinatio, maleficium, zouparari hariolus, zouparôn hariolari; Notker spells zoufer in Ps. 57, 6, zouver in Boeth. 29, zouferlih, zouverlih in Cap. 45. 99; the MHG. zouber, zoubern answers exactly to the strict OHG. forms with p. to LG. tover, toveren, and the same in Nethl. both Mid. and Mod. (conf. toverîe, Maerl. 1, 260-3, toverare 1, 266. 2, 176-7, toeverîe is a faulty spelling); O. Fris. tawerie, Richth. 401. 21. The Icelandic has töfur instrumenta magica, töfrar incantamenta, töfra fascinare, töfrari magus, töfranorn saga, Fornald. sög. 3, 205; with which the Norw. tougre fascinare (Hallager 131b) and Swed. tofver incantatio, tofverhäxa saga, agree; we may safely suppose a modern importation of all these Scand. words from Germany, as they do not occur in ON. writings. (4) I am in doubt whether an AS teáfor is to be connected with zoupar; it signifies minium, color coccineus, and Lye gives (without ref.) tifran depingere, which ought perhaps to by týfrian. The addition of the adj. red in reád teáfor (rubrica) favours the conjecture that teáfor was a general term for the colours employed in illuminating manuscripts, and thus may stand for rune, mystic writing, hence our zauber (magic). (5) To identify zoupar with zëpar (p. 40), AS. teáfor with tiber, is forbidden by the difference of vowel, though it would bring the notion of magic very near that of sacrifice again. One would much rather trace zoupar to zouwan, Goth. táujan, AS. tawian (facere, parare), and assume the operation of some anomalous change of the w into v, b, p. (6) Even the Lith. daryti, Lett. darriht (facere), and the Slav. tvoríti (facere, creare, fingere) are worth considering. ---Another term no less perplexing is one peculiar to the Saxon branch of our race. In L. Saxony they still say for conjuring or soothsaying, wikhen, wicken (Ssp. 2, 13. Homeyer p. 117 var. x) and wigelen (wichelen), for fortune-teller wikker, wichler, for witch wikkerske, for sorcery wichelie. So in Nethl. both wikken and wichelen, wikkerij and wichelarij; M. Nethl. wikelare ariolus, Maerl. 2, 323. 348, wigelare, Kästner's Bruchst. 42b, wigelinge vaticinium 12b. The AS. also has the two forms: both wiccian fascinare, wicce saga, wiccungdôm (Cædm. 223, 17) or wiccancrœft ars magica; and wiglian ariolari, wigelere augur, wigelung augurium, incantatio; while the Fris. transposes the letters, wiliga incantatio, Richth. 401, 21. The Engl. has witch = wicce; from the AS. verb has survived its partic. wicked (perversus, maledictus), and O. Engl. had an adj. wikke meaning the same; add wizard, but all the L-forms have disappeared. The word is unknown to any HG. dialect, old or new; (7) yet I believe it springs from a root common to all Teutonic tongues, viz. veihan (no. 201), which again had originally the sense of facere, conficere, sacrare, and from which came the adj. veihs (sacer), OHG. wîh, and the noun vaíhts (res), conf. Slav. tvar, tvor (creatura, ktisij). We know that vaíhts, wight, acquired the sense of dæmon (p. 440-1), and the ON. vœttr (örm vættr, poor wight) means a witch in Sæm. 214b. I treat the kk in wikken as I did that in Ecke from the root agan (p. 237), and this is supported by the g in wigelen and ch in wichelen (evidently a ch = h). ---Near in meaning, though unrelated in origin, seems the OHG. wîzago, AS. wîtega, wîtga, Cædm. 218, 18. 224, 13, our weissage, prophet, soothsayer, but in a good, not in a bad sense; the ON. form vitki, Sæm. 63a. 118a, stands for vitugi (conf. vitug 94a), as ecki, eitki does for eitgi (Gramm. 3, 738), and vætki for vætgi. This vitki has been wrongly identified with AS. wicce: never does an AS. cc result from tg, though it becomes tch in English. (8) The corresponding verb is OHG. wîzagôn, AS. wîtegian, M. Nethl. witegen, Diut. 2, 202b. ---Equivalent at first to wîtega and vitki were the ON. spâmaðr, spâkona, spâdîs (pp. 94. 402): but from signifying the gift of wisdom and prediction as it resides in priest and poet, (9) they gradually declined into the sense of noxious wizard and witch. Even Snorri's for-spâr and fiöl-kunnigr (p. 1031n.) had already acquired the bad secondary sense. Fiölkunnigr (multiscius) came to mean magician, and fiöl-kunnâtta fiölkýngi, and even the simple kýngi (= kunnugi) sorcery. This kýngi was learnt as a profession: 'Rögnvaldr nam fiölkýngi,' Har. Hârf. saga cap. 36. Walther 116, 29 says of a lady wondrous fair: 'daz si iht anders künne (that she was up to other tricks, knew too much), daz soll man übergeben (you are not to imagine).' Hans Sachs calls an old sorceress by turns 'die alt unhuld' and 'die weise frau' iv. 3, 32-3 (see Suppl.).

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