Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/154

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [ii B. XL FEB. 20, 1915.


'Widsith.' Moreover, in A.D. 689, when Egbert was planning to preach the Gospel to them, these Hunas would appear to have been seated to the north of the Old Saxons, or Gotas of Westphalia, who were the most southerly of the tribes named by Bede, and who had the Boructv/aras on their west. In lines 18 and 57 Widsith names Hunas and Gotas, and Hunas and Hrej> -Gotas, in that order. Similarly Bede names the Hunni next before he names the Antiqui Saxones. In two passages Widsith commences his enumeration with the Hunas. Now why Is that the case ? And why, in a third passage (11. 120-22), do we again find the folk of JBtla and the HrseSas ( = Angl. Hrtyas) of Eormenric mentioned together ?

The possibility that there was a Germanic tribe of Hunni has been considered in a casual sort of way, in connexion with Hun of the Hsetwaras, by students of ' Widsith ' : cp. Mr. Chambers's remarks, pp. 201, 202, where it is pointed out that the Germanic name of " Huni " is not connected with the Mongolian one, and that it is found as an element in Germanic names before the arrival of the Mongolian Huns in Europe. Wilhelm Grimm commented upon a sup- posed confusion in the Norse Sagas between Huns and Germans. He tells us in his ' Die Deutsche Heldensage,' 1829, S. 6, that " in einigen der angegebenen Falle wird hunisch sichtbar in allgemeinem Sinne fiir deutsch gebraucht," i.e., in some of the citations he had made from Old Norse sagas "Hunish" was clearly used in a general way for Diutisc, or (High) Dutch.

In the Volsunga Saga we read of " Huna- land " ; and Herborg, one of the ladies who tried to comfort Gudrun after the murder of Sigurd, was queen of " Hunaland." The meaning of " Huna " is, of course, Chun- norum.* Hunaland is the same as the Hiunenlant of ' Biterolf.' Sigurd himself


  • The correct representative in Latin of the

Germanic spiritus asper is Gh : cp. Chauci : Haucas ; Chatti : Hat(-waras) ; Gundi-charius : GunSi-hari ; also the following lines from Sidonius Apollinaris {c. 456), 'Carmen VII.': Barbaries totas in te transfuderat Arctos, Gallia, pugnacem Rugum comitante Gelono ; Gepida trux sequitur, Scirum Burgundio cogit, CHUNUS, Bellonotus, Neurus, Basterna, Toringus Bructerus, &c.

The Hunas of Mornaland (cp. infra) might have been " poured down" upon the Gauls by Arctos not so the Hunni of Fannonia.

The late-eleventh-century interpolator of MS. A of the Saxon Chronicle knew the poem of ' Widsith ' v. annal 443 (=446), where he speaks of " ^Etlf Huna cyning," meaning Attila ( > *^Ettila > " Etila,' the name of a moneyer temp. Edward the Elder).


s called " hinn hunski," the Hunish ; cp. The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs,' by Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris, 1880, pp. 118, 183, 185. In the Lay of Dddrun in the Edda the ' Oddrunargratr,' Seidrek is called king of Hunaland in 1. 4, and in 1. 1 that country is called " Morna- and." Morna is a genitive plural, and it equates *Mornorum. That form I do not hesitate to expand to Mdnnorum* This equation and expansion call us once again to

he seventh -century tract the ' Origo Gentis

Langobardorum,' which reminds us that countries through which the Lombards massed on their way from the island of Scandinavia to Italy lie along the Rhine Tom its mouth to Basle and on to Geneva. These countries, as I have already shown, are VTauringa, An]>aib, Bainaib, and Burgundaib. It should be obvious from this that Wid- sith, after mentioning Wala the Wisigoth, who, as Schiitte's Law requires, was the prince of greatest historical importance, pro- ceeded to the mouth of the Rhine, or rather the west of that, and mentioned the Bunas of Mornaland, the terra Morinorum ,"f that he then spoke of the Gotas or Antiqui Saxones and Eormenric, whose " wide kingdom " lay to the west of Angeln and the Elbe ; that he then ascended to Geneva and named the Baningas of " Bainaib " ; after that he traversed " Burgundaib "


! Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us in his ' Historia Regum Britannise,' V. xv., that Guanius, King of the Huns, and Melga, King of the Plots, wrought great destruction in the Ger manias and upon the sea-coast of the Gauls ; and that they then invaded Britannia, laid it waste, and oppressed it until they were defeated by Gratian Municeps.

This Gratian ruled in the Britamiias during four months in A.D. 407. The Huns of Guauius were Hunas of Mornaland, i.e., terra Morinornm, and the " Picts " of Melga were not Piccardach from beyond the Forth, but men of Picardy. (For " Piccard- ach " see Sir John Rhys's 'Celtic Britain,' 1904, p. 241.)

t In ' Widsith,' 1. 84, we get : " Mid Moidum ic WJBS ond mid Persum ond mid Myrgingum."

The scribe whose work is copied into the Exeter MS. supposed the Perse to be Persians, and mis- read *Mornum as Mqrdum, which he corrected to "Moidum," intending to denote the Medes thereby. (Cp. for n/d confusion 1. 85,"ongend" [with en::ea] for ongean.) The Perse are the Parisii, and the Morne the Morini. For Perse, gen. Persa, cp. Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 660,

" ^Egelbryht onfeng Persa biscepdpmes on

Galwalum bi Signe," i.e., Agilbert received the bishopric of the Parisii (>*Paerisi> O.E. Perse) in Galwal-land on the Seine=Signe \ *Segna ( SSquana. Critics of ' Widsith ' were unaware of the occurrence of "Persa" (=Parisiorwri) in the Chronicle until recently.