The Mythology of All Races/Slavic Mythology/Part 5



By the Editor


THE closest kindred of the Slavs are the Baltic peoples—the Prussians and Yatvyags (both long extinct), the Lithuanians, and the Letts. Their early history is unknown, but we have reason to believe that they are the Aestii of Tacitus1 and Jordanes;2 and two divisions of them, the Galindae and Sudeni, are mentioned by the geographer Ptolemy3 as living south of the Venedae, i.e. the Slavs who were later driven from the Baltic shores. Like the Slavs, the Baltic peoples seem to have been part of the Aryan hordes of Sarmatians who formed a portion of the ethnological congeries somewhat vaguely termed Scythians;4 and since those Scythians with whom we are here concerned were very closely related to the Indo-Iranian race, in certain regards Baltic religion is strikingly similar to the Iranian, as it is set forth in our earliest documents. Arrived on the Baltic coast, these peoples became subject, like so many other invaders, to the influences of the races whom they found settled there, this being especially marked in the case of the Letts, who, near neighbours of the Finno-Ugric Esthonians, received marked changes in their religion; while Scandinavian elements, from Norse sojourners and traders, must not be overlooked.

The territory of the Baltic peoples stretched, roughly speaking, from the Vistula to the Dvina, and occupied approximately the districts now known as East Prussia, Courland, Kovno, Pskov, Vitebsk, Vilna, Suwalki, and Grodno, though the boundaries have fluctuated widely and have shown a constant tendency to contract. With the exception of the Lithuanians, who erected a considerable kingdom in the Middle Ages, only to share the unhappy fate of Poland, the Baltic peoples have played little part in history. In a backwater of civilization, retaining in extraordinary measure the primitive forms of their tribal organization, their mode of life, their religion, and their language,5 they were no match for those who sought to subdue them, though they fared less hardly at the hands of the Slavs than at those of the Germans.

If, then, we find a paucity of Baltic mythology, we are justified in assuming that it was destroyed by the oppressor. Undoubtedly it once flourished, in simple form, perhaps, as became a rude folk; and among the Letto-Lithuanians, where fate was less cruel than in Prussia, we still have a number of dáinos (folk-songs) of mythological content.6 For Baltic religion we have a fair amount of material, though recorded by hostile observers who utterly failed to comprehend its spirit and ignorantly misinterpreted it, and who, in all likelihood, omitted much of value that is now irretrievably lost;7 for Baltic mythology we have little more than fragments of sun-myths.

Prussian mythology has vanished, leaving not a trace behind. We are, therefore, restricted to the Lithuanians and the Letts. Even here our older sources record but two myths, both lamentably meagre. Drawing his information from the Camaldolite hermit Jerome, who had long been active as a missionary in Lithuania, Aeneas Sylvius de' Piccolomini (afterward Pope Pius II, who died in 1464) tells us 8 of a Lithuanian people "who worshipped the sun and with a curious cult venerated an iron hammer of rare size. When the priests were asked what that veneration meant, they answered that once upon a time the sun was not seen for several months, because a most mighty king had imprisoned it in the dungeon of a tower right strongly fortified. Then the signs of the zodiac bore aid to the sun, broke the tower with a huge hammer, and restored to men the liberated sun, so that the instrument whereby mortals regained the light was worthy of veneration." This is probably, as Mannhardt suggested,9 a myth of the darkening of the sun in winter and his reappearance during the storms of spring. In Russian and Slovak folk-tales the sun is represented as a ruler of twelve realms, or as served by twelve maidens, ever young and fair.10 The real destroyer of the tower was Perkunas, god of thunder and the chief Baltic deity; and in this connexion it may be noted that the Lithuanian name for a prehistoric celt is Perkúno kulka ("Perkunas's ball"), a term which, like Perkúno akmuú ("Perkúnas's stone"), is also applied to a belemnite. The parallel with the hammer of Thor in Eddie mythology at once suggests itself.

The other myth is still briefer. Perkune Tete, "mother of lightning and thunder," we are told,11 receives at night the weary, dusty sun, whom she sends forth on the morrow, bathed and shining.

We have seen the difficulties with which Baltic national consciousness was forced to contend. It was not until the rise of the Lithuanian poet Christian Donalitius (1714-80) that any real literature could be created either in Lithuanian or in Lettish; Prussian was long since dead.12 Then attention was directed to the rich store of folk-songs in both the living languages, and their treasures became available for mythological investigation,13 the foremost name in this study being that of Wilhelm Mannhardt.14 Late as these dáinos are, the mythological material which they contain is very old, far antedating the introduction of Christianity and presenting a point of view prior to the thirteenth century;15 and though, as we shall see, certain Christian changes and substitutions have been made, these are not sufficient to cause serious confusion. Unfortunately our material is restricted to myths of the sun, moon, and stars, although surely there had once been myths of other natural phenomena, especially as we are told that when the Aurora Borealis appears, the Murgi or lohdi (spirits of the air and souls of the dead) are battling, or that the souls of warriors are engaged in combat.16 It is inconceivable that, with the wealth of Baltic deities of very diverse functions, no myths were associated with at least some of them.

Of the Baltic sun-myths perhaps the most famous is contained in the following dainà:17

"Home the Moon once led the Sun
In the very primal spring;
Early did the Sun arise,
But the Moon from her withdrew.
Leaving her, he roamed afar,
And the Morning Star he loved;

Perkúns then was filled with wrath, '
With his sword he smote the Moon.
'Wherefore hast thou left thy Sun?
Wherefore roam'st alone by night?
Wherefore lovest Morning Star?'
Full of sorrow was his heart."

Here we see the myth of the conjunction of sun and moon; their gradual divergence till at last the latter is in conjunction with the morning star; the wrath of Perkunas, who is not merely the god of thunder,18 but the great Baltic deity; and the explanation of the moon's changing form as he wanes. The poem is told of early spring,19 but the phenomenon which it describes is not peculiarly vernal.

In the Baltic languages the sun is feminine (Lithuanian sáule, Lettish sa'ule), and the moon is masculine (Lithuanian měnů, Lettish menes). The feminine Morning Star and Evening Star of the Lithuanians (Aušrìne, Vakarìnė), however, appear among the Letts as masculine, the "sons of God" (Deewa dehli), who, we shall see, woo the "Daughter of the Sun," whose Lithuanian suitor, as in the dainà just given, is the moon; 20yet, with the frequent inconsistency of myth, these feminine stars have masculine doublets in Lithuanian itself in the Dė̃vo sunélei, or "Sons of God."

A Lettish variant of this myth21 carries the story a little further. The sun and the moon have many children, the stars 22 and the betrothed of the masculine Lettish Morning Star is none other than the sun's own daughter, the fruit of a temporary union with Pehrkon himself—a clear personification of a thunder-storm at dawn. The moon, in shame and anger, avoids his spouse, and is visible only by night, while she appears by day in the sight of all mankind.

The wooing of Morning Star brought grief to her as well as to the moon, as is related in another dainà.23

"When Morning Star was wedded,
Perkúns rode through the door-way
And the green oak24 he shattered.

Then forth the oak's blood spurted,
Besprinkling all my garments,
Besprinkling, too, my crownlet.

With streaming eyes. Sun's daughter
For three years was collecting
The leaves, all sear and withered.

Oh where, oh where, my mother.
Shall I now wash my garments,
And where wash out the blood-stains?

My daughterling, so youthful.
Swift haste unto the fountain
Wherein nine brooks are flowing.

Oh where, oh where, my mother.
Shall I now dry my garments.
Where dry them in the breezes?

My daughter, in the garden
Where roses nine are blooming.

Oh where, oh where, my mother,
Shall I now don my garments
Bright gleaming in their whiteness?

Upon that day, my daughter,
When nine suns shall be shining."

Here the fountain with nine brooks, the garden with nine roses, and the day with nine suns symbolize the rays of the sun,25 as does the apple-tree with nine branches in another dainà.26 The rôle of Perkunas receives an explanation in the marriage custom that he who conducts the bride to the groom should appear armed and, as he rides forth, should strike at the door-post, the door, the roof, or even the air, probably to exorcize the demons.27 On the other hand, it is possible that his association with dawn or sunset is secondary and due to the likeness of evening and morning glow to the lightning's fire;28 and it is equally possible that his splitting of the tree, of which we shall soon hear more, represents the evening twilight, the oak's blood being the red rays of the setting sun.29

All our sources for Baltic religion agree in stating that Perkúnas, god of thunder and lightning, was the chief deity of these peoples. The thunder was his voice, and with it he revealed his will to men; it was he who sent the fertilizing rains; he was to the Prussians, Lithuanians, and Letts what Indra was to the Indians of Vedic days.30 Moreover he has still another resemblance to Indra which is equally striking. When he smites a devil with his bolt, he does not kill the fiend, but merely strikes him down to hell for seven years, after which the demon again appears on earth, just as Indra and his Iranian doublets (especially Thraētaona) do not slay their antagonist, the storm-dragon, but only wound him or imprison him so insecurely that he escapes, so that the unending battle must constantly be renewed.31

In the dáinos the rôle of Perkúnas is relatively a minor one, for sun-myths deal only incidentally with storms, whether in their beneficent, fertilizing aspects, or in their maleficent, destructive functions. Still, he is there, under a relatively tenuous disguise. For "God," "God's horses," "God's steers" (the darkening clouds of evening),32 and—above all—"God's sons" are frequently mentioned; and "God" (Old Prussian deiwas Lithuanian dė̃as, Lettish deews) can have meant in Baltic none other than Perkúnas, who was the deity par excellence, just as in Greece "from Homer to the dramatic poets the unqualified use of Θεός, 'god,' invariably refers to Zeus."33 His sons are nine in number: three shatter in pieces, three thunder, and three lighten; or, in other poems, he has only five; but in any case they all live in Germany, in other words, in the darkening west, whither (or across the sea) he himself goes to seek a bride. He smites the demonic lohdi; he strikes the sea in which the sun is drowned at evening; but, on the other hand, where he goes with his gentle, smoke-grey horses (the clouds), the meadows flourish; the sun rises through the saddle of his steed, and the moon through the bit, while at the end of the rein is the morning star; he gives the moon a hundred sons (the stars)—in a word, he is the sky-god in process of elevation to all-god.34

In the dáinos, however, as we should expect from their theme, the sun is the important figure. We cannot enter here into all the rich details elaborated by Mannhardt, nor can we repeat the wealth of description and allusion in the folk-songs themselves. One example must suffice to show how delicate the shading is. We think of the sun as golden, and rightly so. Yet in the dáinos we read that, wearing silver shoes, she dances on the silver mount, or sails over a silver sea, or scatters gifts of silver, or sows silver, or is herself a silver apple, or a boat of silver, bronze, and gold, or one half of gold and half of silver—all referring to the various shadings caused by her different positions in the sky.35 Her hundred brown horses are her rays,36or she has two golden horses;37 "God's" horse and the waggon of Mary (the planet Venus .^) stand before her door while her daughter (the evening twilight) is being wooed; and in the east, where she rises, lives a gold and diamond steed.38 She even quarrels with "God" because his sons (the evening and morning stars) stole the rings from her daughters (twilight and dawn).39

The red berries in the forest are the dried tears of the sun (the red clouds of sunset?), and the glow on the green tips of the wood at sunset is her silken garment hung out to air; when she sets, she gives a golden crown to the linden, a silver coronet to the oak, and a golden ring to each little willow.40 She weeps bitterly because the golden apple has fallen from the tree (a myth of sunset), but "God" will make her another of gold, brass, or silver.41 She is herself an apple, sleeping in an apple- garden, and decked with apple-blossoms (the fleecy clouds of dawn).42 Disregarding the counsel of Perkúnas, she betroths her daughter to Morning Star, though first she gives the maiden to the moon, who takes the young girl to his home, i. e. at twilight the moon is the first to become visible, thus pre- ceding the morning star, which bears away the dawn.43

She strikes the moon with a silver stone; in other words, her rising orb obliterates the moon, this being the cause of three days' battle with "God."44 She dwells on a mountain (the vault of heaven), and standing in mid-sky, she reproves her daughters because one had not swept the floor, while the other had failed to wash the table.45

She, "God's daughter" (Dė̃vo dukrýtė), watches over all things, as is set forth in a charming little dainà.46

""O thou Sun, daughter of God,
Where delayest thou so long,
Where sojoumest thou so long,
Since thou hast from us withdrawn?

O'er the sea, beyond the hills,
Wheat there is that I must watch,
Shepherds, too, that I must guard;
Many are my gifts in sooth.

O thou Sun, daughter of God,
Tending thee at morn and eve.
Who doth make for thee thy fire,
Who prepares thy couch for thee?

Morning Star and Evening Star:
Morning Star doth make my fire,
Evening Star prepares my couch;
Many are my kin in sooth."

In comparison with the sun the moon is a very minor figure,47 and his chief importance is his connexion with the sun. When his spouse reproaches him for his pale colour, he replies that while she shines for man by day, he can only look at himself by night in the water.48 He wears a mantle of stars 49 and, like the sun, is liable to be destroyed (i.e. eclipsed) by dragons, serpents, and witches.50

The sun, as we have seen, has daughters, and "God" (i.e. Perkúnas, the deity of thunder and storm, yet—at least in germ—the sky-god) has sons. Though the latter are sometimes given as nine or five in number,51 only two have any real individuality, and they are "God's sons" (Dė̃vo sunelei) par excellence, just as the sun has only one daughter or two daughters (Sáules duktélė;;),52 according as the twilights of evening and morning are considered as separate phenomena or as the same phenomenon in twofold manifestation.53 The "sons of God" are the morning and the evening star (sometimes combined as the planet Venus), the former being by far the more important;54 the "Sun's daughters" are the morning and the evening twilight; and their close association is a common theme in the dáinos. They are the Baltic counterparts of the Vedic Aśvins and Uṣas, or of the Greek Dioskouroi and Helen.55

We may begin our study of these figures with a dainà which has at least a partial resemblance to the familiar "Jack and the Beanstalk" cycle.56

"O Żemina, flower-giver,
Where shall I now plant the roses?
'On the lofty mountain-summit.
By the ocean, by the sea-side.'

O Żemina, flower-giver.
Where shall I find father, mother,
I, deserted and a pauper?
'Haste thee to the lofty mountain.
By the ocean, by the sea-side.'

Forth then from the rose-trunk springing.
Grew a mighty tree and lofty
Till its branches reached the heavens;
I will climb up to the heavens
On the branches of the roses.

There I found a youthful hero
Who was riding on God's charger.
'O fair youth, O valiant horseman,
Hast thou not seen father, mother?'

'O my maiden, O my youngling,
Seek the region of the valley;
There thy father, there thy mother
Plan the marriage of thy sister.'

So I hasted to the valley;
'Father, good day and good morning;
Mother, good day and good morning;
Why did ye leave me, an infant,
To the mercy of the stranger?

'Grown to be a sturdy maiden,
I alone have found the cradle
Where in childhood I was happy.'"

Here sun and moon have departed from their daughter, the morning twilight. Yet, though so heartlessly abandoned, she seeks them, climbing the sun-tree. There she finds "a youthful hero, mounted on God's charger," who is plainly the evening star; and he tells her that she will find her parents "in the valley," I.e. at the place of sunset In the darkening west.57 The sun also seems to have had a night-tree. In addition to the rose-tree of day.58

The "youthful hero" Introduces us to a veritable love-myth of "God's sons" with the "daughters of the sun." We have already had 59 some fugitive allusions to the wooing and we may now trace the story In more detail. Seeking to win the "daughter of the sun," "God's son" makes for her an Island In the midst of the sea (I.e. either the first dark shadows of evening or the first bits of light at dawn);60 or the two sons kindle two lights In the sea, awaiting her, and In the centre of the ocean they build a bridal chamber, which she enters tremblingly; and she is urged to awake early, for "God's sons" are coming to roll apples.61 When "God's son" rides a grey steed in his wooing, he Is the evening star, since greyness covers the sky at evening; but when from the golden bushes he watches the sun's daughter as she bathes, he Is the morning star, gazing on the beauty of the rising dawn.62 When all the other stars are visible, the morning star is absent, for he has gone to woo the daughter of the sun; she hastens toward him; and they are wedded in Germany beyond the sea.63 Of course lovers occasionally quar- rel, and so the daughter of the sun breaks the sword of "God's son" (dawn surpasses the brightness of the morning star); and, in their turn, "God's sons" deprive her of her ring (the solar disk) at evening, though, as we shall see, they presently fish it from the sea (at dawn) when it falls from her finger at evening.64 But "lovers' quarrels are love's renewal," and since evening star and evening twilight, morning star and morning dawn, are inseparably associated, "God's sons" dance in the moon- light beneath an oak by the spring with "God's daughters," as the following dainà tells.65

"'Neath a maple lies a fountain
Whither God's sons hast'ning
Go to dance with God's own daughters
While the moon shines o'er them.

In the fountain by the maple
I my face was laving;
While my white face I was bathing,
Lo, my ring I washed off.

Will the sons of God come hither
With their nets all silken?
Will they fish my ring so tiny
From the depths of water?

Then there came a hero youthful,
His brown charger riding;
Brown the colour of the charger,
And his shoes were golden.

'Hither come, maiden,
Hither come, O youngling!
With fair words let us be speaking,
With fair counsel let us counsel
Where the stream is deepest,
And where love is sweetest.'

'Nay, I cannot, hero,
Nay, I cannot, youngling.
For my mother dear will chide me,
Yea, the aged dame will chide me
If I tarry longer.'

'Speak thus to her, maiden.
Speak thus to her, youngling:
"Thither came two swans a-flying
And the water's depth they troubled;
Till it cleared I waited.'"

'T is not true, my daughter.
For beneath the maple
With a young man thou wast talking
With a youth thou wast exchanging
Words of love's sweet language.'"

Life is not all love, unfortunately, and both "God's sons" and the daughters of the sun have their tasks to perform. Some of these we already know.66 In Germany the morning star must prepare a coat of samite (i.e. the rich hues of dawn); "God's sons" must band the broken solar orb after the summer solstice; they must heat the bath (of dawn) ; as the workmen of Sun and Moon, or as the servants of Perkúnas, they are reproved for not mowing the meadows, etc. (i.e. preparing for the dawn); but after uprooting the birch-forest (i.e. dissipating the last traces of day) they go to Germany to play games.67 As for the sun's daughter, the golden cock crows on the edge of the "Great Water" (Daugawa)68 to rouse her that she may spin the silver thread, i.e. the rays of the rising sun.69 Her chief task, however, is to wash her golden jug (the solar disk) at evening. This she loses, and she herself is drowned;70 or else she falls into a golden boat, which remains behind her on the waves, or "God's sons" row the boat which rescues her as she wades in the sea, so that she can reappear at dawn.71 Occasionally, however, "God's son" stands passively on the mountain while she sinks; or, instead of wedding her, he merely escorts her to Germany.72 Behind this mountain stands an oak (the tree, no doubt, beneath which the lovers dance), and on this "God's son" hangs his girdle, and the sun's daughter her crown.73 When, in other dáinos, the solar jug is broken by "little John," this obviously refers to the waning strength of the sun's rays after Midsummer Night's Eve (St. John's Eve, June 23).74

When the sun is drowned in the sea,75 her daughter is naturally regarded as an orphan; and thus we are enabled to understand a dainà that tells how "God" makes a golden hedge (the sunset) to which his sons (strictly speaking, here only the evening star) come riding on sweating horses. Here they find an orphan girl (twilight) whom they make its guardian, charg- ing her not to break off the golden boughs (the rays of the setting sun); but she disobeys and flees to the valley of "Mary's" bath-chamber (the darkness of night). Thither "God" and his sons come, but refuse forgiveness for her transgression of their commands. "Mary" is perhaps, as we have suggested in another connexion,76 a Christianized substitute for the planet Venus as the evening star.

In the story of the daughters of the sun we have found frequent mention of a sea, and the sun herself sails, as we know,77 across a silver sea. This sea, like the brooks and springs which have also occurred,78 is none other than the celestial ocean, rivers, etc., which are so prominent a feature of Indo-Iranian mythology;79 and the "Great Water" (Daugawa), though now identified by the Letts with the river Dvina, is to be interpreted in similar fashion.80 This Daugawa flows black at evening because it is full of the souls of the departed, and at midnight a star descends to "the house of souls."81 Very appropriately, therefore, the sun's daughter has the key to the realm of the dead; and at evening "Mother Earth" (Semmes Mâte), from whom one asks whatever may be lost or hidden,82 is besought to give this key.83 In the afternoon "God's children" shut the door of heaven, so that one should be buried in the morning; and, accordingly, the sun's daughter is entreated to give a key that an only brother's grave may be unlocked.84

We have a few 'dáinos in honour of a deity Usching, whom a Jesuit mission report of 1606 declares to have been a horse-god worshipped In the vicinity of Ludzen and Rossltten, in the extreme south-east of Lithuania.85 These are not, however, of mythological value, and the only Baltic figure remaining for our consideration here is that of the celestial smith. This smith has his forge in the sky, on the edge either of the sea or of the Daugawa; and there he makes spurs and a girdle for "God's son," and a crown and ring for the sun's daughter86—in other words, from his smithy come the rays of the rising sun and the solar disk itself. Mannhardt regards this smith as the glow of dawn or of sunset, and compares him to the Finno-Ugric Il-marinen, the Teutonic Wieland, and the Greek Hephaistos.87 A still closer analogue, however, is the Vedic Tvaṣṭṛ, who wrought the cup which contains the nectar of the gods;88 and it is even possible that he is ultimately the same as the Slavic deity Svarog.89 His name is given as Telyaveli or Telyavelik in the Russian redaction (dating from 1261) of the Byzantine historian John Malalas, which says that he "forged for him (Perkúnas) the sun as it shines on earth, and set the sun in heaven."90

Such are the pitifully scanty remnants of what must once have been a great mythology. Yet, fragmentary though they are, they possess a distinctive value. They help to explain the migrations of important divisions of our own Indo-European race—a problem into which we cannot enter here; they cast light upon, and are themselves illuminated by, the mythologies of far-off India and Iran; they reveal the wealth of poetic imagery and fantasy inherent in the more primitive strata of our race; they show how baseless is the charge of gross materialism, selfishness, and fear to which so many shallow and prejudiced thinkers would fain trace the origin of religious thought. We may lament the paucity of the extant Baltic myths; yet let us not forget to be grateful and thankful that even a few have survived.


Part V

  1. Germania, xlv.
  2. De origine actibusque Getarum, v.
  3. III. V. 21–22.
  4. For the Sarmatians see E. H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks, Cambridge, 1913, passim. They are doubtless the Sairima of the Avesta (Yasht, xiii. 143–44; cf. C. Bartholomae, Altiranisches Wörterbuch, Strassburg, 1904, col. 1566), where they are mentioned together with the Aryans, Turanians (i. e. nomadic Iranians), Sāini (Chinese[?]; cf. J. J. Modi, Asiatic Papers, Bombay, 1905, pp. 241–54), Dāhi (the Αα̱αι, or Dahae, of the Classics, dwelling along the south-east shore of the Caspian), and "all lands." For the Yatvyags see A. Sjögren, "Ueber die Wohnsitze und die Verhältnisse der Jatwägen," in Memoires de L'acade'mie imperiale des sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Sciences politiques, VI. ix. 161–356 (1859).
  5. It is well known that Lithuanian is, of all European languages, the one most similar to the Indo-Iranian group.
  6. For the etymology of the Lithuanian word dainà, probably cognate with Vedic Sanskrit dhénā, see S. G. Oliphant, in Journal of the American Oriental Society, xxxii. 393–413 (1912).
  7. The writer is collecting the material on Baltic religion with a view to discussing it, in its presentational and comparative aspects, in a separate volume.
  8. 'De Lithuania, ed. T. Hirsch, In SRP iv. 238.
  9. ZE vii. 292-95 (1875).
  10. Cf. also the folk-tale recorded by J. Wentzig, Westslavischer Märchenschatz, Leipzig, 1857, pp. 20-26, summarized by the present writer in Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, iii. 138.
  11. Lasicius, ed. W. Mannhardt, p. 11. Mannhardt (ZE vii. 86 [1875]) prefers to translate Tete "aunt" (cf. modern Lithuanian tetà, "aunt") rather than "mother." In his reproduction of the myth T. Hiärn (Ehst-, Lyf- und Lettländische Geschichte, ed. O. E. Napiersky, in Monumenta Livoniae antiquae, i. 33, Riga, 1835) calls her the wife of Perkunas. In a Lettish folk-song (UUmann, no. 152, Mannhardt, no. 6) the Virgin Mary is substituted for Perkune Tete. Mannhardt, pp. 289, 317, identifies her with the planet Venus, or with the morning and the evening star.
  12. For convenient summaries of Lithuanian and Lettish literature see the relevant sections by A. Bezzenberger and E. Wolter in Kultur der Gegenwart, I. ix. 354–78, Leipzig, 1908. The last person speaking Prussian died in 1677. For the scanty remnants of the Prussian language see R. Trautmann, Die altpreussischen Sprachdenkmäler, Göttingen, 1910.
  13. The chief collections of value in the present connexion are L. J. Rhesa, Dainos oder litauische Volkslieder gesammelt, übersetzt,
  14. etc. (Königsberg, 1825; 2nd ed. by F. Kurschat, Berlin, 1843); G. H. F. Nesselmann, Litauische Volkslieder gesammelt, kritisch bearbeitet und metrisch übersetzt (Berlin, 1853); A, Schleicher, Litauisches Lesebuch (Prague, 1857; translated in his Litauische. Märchen, Sprichwoorte, Rätsel und Lieder, Weimar, 1857); A. Juškevič, Lietùviškos Dáinos (3 vols., Kazan, 1880-82); V. Kalvaitis, Prusijos Lietuvių Dainos (Tilsit, 1905); K. Ullmann, Lettische Volkslieder (Riga, 1874); K. Baron and H. Wissendorff, Latwju Dainas (7 vols., Mitau, 1894–1910).
  15. "Die lettischen Sonnenmythen," in ZE vii. 73–104, 209–44, 261–330. References in these Notes simply to "Mannhardt" refer to this study.
  16. Mannhardt, p. 87.
  17. Stender, pp. 233, 262, 266.
  18. Nesselmann, no. 2; Rhesa, no. 27; Schleicher, no. i; Mannhardt, no. 76 (cf. also Mannhardt, no. 73).
  19. Cf. such Lithuanian words as perkúnyja, "thunder-storm," perkunůti, "to thunder," perkùno mušimas, "thunderclap" ("Perkunas's stroke "), and Lettish terms like pehrkona lohde, "thunder-bolt " ("Pehrkon's ball"), pehrkona spehreens, "thunderclap." The ordinary Prussian word for "thunder " is given as percunis (for the etymology see R. Trautmann, Die altpreussischen Sprachdenkmäler, Göttingen, 1910, pp. 395–96).
  20. Mannhardt, p. 317, suggests that "in the very primal spring" may refer to the first springtime of the world.
  21. Mannhardt, p. 298.
  22. Andrejanoff, pp. 63–64.
  23. Only the earliest stars are really the offspring of this union; the later stars are born from the wedlock of the elder ones (Stender, p. 270).
  24. Nesselmann, no. 4; Rhesa, no. 62; Schleicher, no. 4; Mannhardt, no. 78. Cf. also Mannhardt, nos. 72-75, 79, and for the Lettish version see Ullmann, pp. 145, 186, 195–96.
  25. For the oak as sacred to Perkunas see the Jesuit report of 1618 (Rostowski, p. 251); and for the sanctity of the tree see the reports of 1583 (ib. p. Ill), 1606 (ed. K. Lohmeyer, in MlilG iii. 390, 394 [1893]), and 1 61 8 (ed. in Mittheilungen aus dem Gebiete der Geschichte Liv-, Ehst- und Kurland's, iv. 494–501 [1874]); cf. also an official report of 1657, ed. in NPPBl III. x. 159 (1865).
  26. Mannhardt, pp. 222–25.
  27. Alannhardt, no. 72. For nine as a sacred number in Indo-European see A. Kaegi, "Die Neunzahl bei den Ostariern," in Philologische Abhandlungen Heinrich Schweizer-Sidler . . . gewidmet, Zurich, 1891, pp. 50–70.
  28. Von Schroeder, i. 532.
  29. Mannhardt, p. 318.
  30. ib. p. 232.
  31. See Mythology of All Races, Boston, 1917, vi. 32–35, and E. W. Hopkins, "Indra as the God of Fertility," in Journal of the American Oriental Society, xxxvi. 242–68 (1917).
  32. J. Bassanovič and A. Kurschat, in MlilG ii. 342 (1887); Mythology of All Races, Boston, 1917, vi. 33, 35, 264–66, 323, 350.
  33. Mannhardt, p. 308.
  34. Mythology of All Races, Boston, 1916, i. 157.
  35. Mannhardt, pp. 91, 306–09, 316–19, nos. 13–15, 39-40, 44.
  36. ib. nos. 22, 24, 42, 26, 28, 32, and pp. 97, 100, 103.
  37. Mannhardt, no. 44, and p. 97.
  38. Ullmann, p. 146.
  39. ib. p. 147; cf. Mannhardt, nos. 42-43, Kohl, ii. 29. In Mannhardt, no. 44, the moon's grey horses stand at "God's" door while the sun's daughter is being wooed, although "folk say the moon has no horses of his own; they are the morning and the evening star " (ib. no. 46).
  40. Ullmann, p. 147; cf. also Mannhardt, no. 59.
  41. Mannhardt, nos. ii, 12, 16, and p. 287.
  42. ib. no. 32.
  43. ib. nos. 28-31, and pp. 103–04.
  44. ib. nos. 71 b–73, 75, and p. 298.
  45. ib. nos. 70, 71 a, and p. 287.
  46. ib. no. 62, and p. 97.
  47. Nesselmann, no. i; Rhesa, no. 78; Schleicher, no. 2; Mannhardt, no. 4 (cf. also Mannhardt, no. 76). When, however, the sun cares for the orphans behind the mountains, these would seem to be the stars, regarded as the children of Sun and Moon (Mannhardt, nos. 3–7, and pp. 303–04; cf. supra, p. 320).
  48. The attempts of Siecke, pp. 21–49, to lunarize these Baltic sun-myths are unworthy of serious consideration.
  49. Mannhardt, no. 17.
  50. ib. nos. 47–48.
  51. Stender, pp. 233, 265–66.
  52. See supra, pp. 322–23.
  53. The sun's daughter is often called "God's daughter" (Dė͂vo duktélë). This depends on the point of view, according as the twilights are associated with the sun or with the sky.
  54. Mannhardt, p. 295.
  55. ib. nos. 50, 74.
  56. ib. pp. 306, 309-14; Mythology of All Races, Boston, 1916–17,
  57. vi. 30–32, i. 24–27, 246–47. For the concept of twin gods see J. Rendel Harris, The Cult of the Heavenly Twins, Cambridge, 1906, and Boanerges, Cambridge, 1913.
  58. Nesselmann, no. 7; Rhesa, no. 84; Schleicher, no. 10; Mannhardt, no. 84. In a Lettish version (Mannhardt, no. 83) the maiden is told that her parents are in Germany (i. e. the west), drinking to the marriage of the (other?) sun-daughter (i. e. evening twilight). In reality this dainà bears only a superficial likeness to the "Jack and the Beanstalk" cycle, for which see the admirable discussion by J. A. MacCulloch, Childhood of Fiction, London, 1905, ch. xvi.
  59. Mannhardt, p. 230.
  60. ib. nos. 58, 80, and pp. 97, 234.
  61. See supra, pp. 321, 323, 325.
  62. Mannhardt, no. 56, and p. 308.
  63. ib. nos. 52–54, 56, 29.
  64. ib. nos. 42, 63. Occasionally "God's sons " are themselves the moon's horses (ib. no. 46).
  65. ib. nos. 50, 67, 15.
  66. ib. nos. 70, 36, 59, 60, 80, and pp. 299–300.
  67. Nesselmann, no. 5; Rhesa, no. 48; Schleicher, no. 12; Mannhardt, no. 80.
  68. See supra, p. 324.
  69. Mannhardt, nos. 51 (cf. also nos. 16, 72, 75, 78, 79, and p. 219)) 57> 81–82, 65–66, 68–69, and pp. 299, 302.
  70. See infra, p. 329.
  71. Mannhardt, no. 64, and p. 302.
  72. ib. nos. 34–35, 39–40, and p. 101.
  73. ib. nos. 33–34, and p. 308.
  74. ib. nos. 35, 15.
  75. ib. no. 55.
  76. ib. no. 57, and p. 102.
  77. See supra, p. 323, and Mannhardt, nos. 79, 82, and pp. 302–03 (cf. ib. no. 74, where an orphan maid, with none to give her in marriage, calls the sun her mother, the moon her father, the star her sister, and the Pleiades [literally "sieve-star," sė͂tas] her brother; cf. also ib. no. 81).
  78. See supra, p. 323 and Note 11.
  79. See supra, p. 323.
  80. Cf. supra, pp. 321, 327.
  81. Cf. Mythology of All Races, Boston, 1917, vi. i, 25, 36–37, 43, 48, 263, 267. A similar idea occurs elsewhere, as in Egyptian mythology; cf. ib. xii. 25, 34, 113, 194.
  82. Mannhardt, pp. 98-99. He also compares the Lettish riddles "A brother and a sister go daily through the sea " (sun and moon) and "A casket at the bottom of a spring " (the moon).
  83. ib. p. 324, and no. 86. In similar fashion a child implores the setting sun to give his mother a hundred greetings (ib. no. 90).
  84. ib. no. 84; Stender, pp. 233, 269.
  85. Mannhardt, no. 89, and p. 324.
  86. ib.
  87. This report is edited by K. Lohmeyer, In MlilG iii. 389–95 (1893); for the text and translation of the dáinos see Wissendorff de Wissukuok, in RTP vii. 265 ff. (1892).
  88. Mannhardt, nos. 36–38.
  89. ib. pp. 319–24.
  90. See Mythology of All Races, Boston, 1917, vi. 50, 93. In this connexion we may recall the conclusions reached by Mannhardt (p. 329): "On the whole the Lettish [i.e. Baltic] sun-myth agrees so exactly with the ancient Aryan [i.e. Indian] in the Veda and with the ancient Greek that one would scarcely meet with contradiction if he ventured to suggest that here he had before him a fairly accurately preserved copy of pro-ethnic, Indo-European solar mythology."
  91. See supra, p. 298, and Part III, Note 27.
  92. The meaning of the name is unknown. For the passage see E. Wolter, in ASP ix. 635–42 (1886) and Litovskii katichizis N. Daukši, Petrograd, 1886, pp. 176–77. The name is also found in the form Telyavel in the Galicio-Volhynian Chronicle referring to Mendowg's baptism in 1252, this portion of the text being written before 1292 (ed. A. Bruckner, in ASP ix. 3 [1886]). The divine smith also recurs in the Irish Goibniu (supra, p. 31; cf. the divine cerd, or brazier, Creidne, ib. pp. 28, 31-32). The Ossetes of the Caucasus likewise have a celestial smith, Kurdälagon (H. Hübschmann, in Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft, xli. 535 [1887]; for myths concerning him see ib. pp. 541–42, 545, 547) or Safa (E. Delmar Morgan, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, xx. 383 [i888]).