Folk-Lore/Volume 30/Review/Sigurds Strid med Fåvne

Folk-Lore, Volume XXX
Reviews of Sigurds Strid med Fåvne, Skattsägner and Die Entstehung und religiöse Bedeutung desgriechischen Kalenders by E. Sidney Hartland


Sigurds Strid med Fåvne: en studie rörande Hjältesagens forhällande till folkdiktningen, af C. W. von Sydow.
Skattsägner: en studie i jämförande folkminnesforskning, af Tobias Norlind.
Die Entstehung und religiöse Bedeutung desgriechischen Kalenders, von Martin P. Nilsson.

These are three contributions to the volume issued as a Festschrift on the occasion of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1918.

The first submits to a very searching investigation three versions of the story of Sigurd’s fight with Fafnir, in the Edda, Thidriks saga, and the Nibelungenlied. It compares and endeavours to trace to its origin every separate incident. The author has a very wide acquaintance with Teutonic and Celtic legend. Everyone may not agree with his conclusions; but they are generally on the lines of modern criticism.

The second deals with traditions of hidden and other treasure and the means by which it is won. In treasure are included not only money and similar valuables, but also health, long life, everlasting youth, everlasting love, wisdom, everlasting life in Paradise. With so large a definition the author has cast his net widely. He has overlooked very few of the relevant tales of Europe and Asia. He discusses, among other matters, the dragon as guardian of the treasure to be won; and he thinks its idea is derived from the bat.

The third is not, like the two former, in Swedish, but in German. It discusses the evolution of the Greek calendar, and carries the enquiry down to Roman times. It traces the development of the luni-solar mode of time-reckoning, assigning its origin to the Babylonians. The influence of religion in the periodical festivals and other observances is considered.

All three of these articles will well repay reading by students.