Anglo-Saxon religion describes the pre-Christian polytheistic religion of the Germanic collective people of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain . In religious studies it is classified as a component of the Germanic religion as a whole and, in particular, as part of the continental South Germanic religion. The common origin of the Anglo-Saxons from the areas of Northern Germany and Denmark , from where they brought Germanic traditions with them to England, was fundamental for the approximately 150-year-old pagan time of the Anglo-Saxons . So are z. B. Concepts of gods and pagan cults similar to those on the European continent. In the 8th century, the Anglo-Saxon kings traced their dynasties back to the god of war Wodan . Anglo-Saxon places of worship in the open air are typical, as indicated by numerous place names from the Anglo-Saxon era, with the Anglo-Saxons also taking over some of the places of worship of the Romanized native British . Old English texts also prove the importance of spells and laments. Archaeological finds in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries and burial mounds are important for research into the Anglo-Saxon cult of the dead , the most spectacular find is the ship grave of Sutton Hoo . At the end of the 6th century, the time of the pagan Anglo-Saxon religion changed into a phase of Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons, especially through Christian missionaries from the European continent.
Sources and Basics
Sources and findings
The sources for the Anglo-Saxon religion are various written documents, the vocabulary of the Old English language, place names and archaeological documents of various kinds.
The written sources include glossaries , spells , aristocratic family trees , clerical literature, histories, heroic sagas ( Beowulf epic) and poems. In the histories, the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum by Beda Venerabilis is particularly important. Beda does not report specifically and consciously about the pagan conditions of his ancestors. Rather, it provides secondary information, which can, however, be inferred, in combination and in comparison with other sources. In this regard, Alfred the Great's Old English translation of Bedas has linguistic relevance, as he translated Latin terms into Old English that convey or reflect past pagan heritage. Ritual poetry is a particularly valuable source for religion and cult . In the Anglo-Saxon context, these are above all the well-preserved and numerous spells as well as the laments for the dead and a phrase about sacrifice in a pagan sanctuary in Beowulf .
Archaeological research has contributed significantly to the understanding of rite and cult in the Anglo-Saxon religion through the interpretation of finds and sites . Continuities and deviations between finds in the Anglo-Saxon area and others from Germany and Scandinavia allow conclusions to be drawn about the spiritual and religious attitude of the Anglo-Saxons as well as the design and grave goods of Anglo-Saxon burial places.
During the Viking Age , pagan Danes ( Danelag ) settled in northeastern England . The influences from Nordic mythology and North Germanic religion caused by these circumstances can be distinguished from the authentic local tradition. The place names with reference to God (theophor) should be mentioned here, which at that time were regionally assigned the Nordic forms of the main deities' names.
In various layers , the source findings show inhomogeneous results and only allow a reconstructive approximation.
Basic requirements of the Anglo-Saxon religion
The modern differentiation of the lifeworld into a sacred , religious area and a profane , secular area is alien to the Germanic and especially the Anglo-Saxon religion. This distinction arises from the Christian-Mediterranean view of the world , which was shaped by the late Hellenistic Stoa . Like other archaic societies, the Germanic peoples also had a different understanding of God, beginning with the associated terminology (→ God # shift in meaning to Christian times ). The individual was primarily not tied to religion, manifested by the gods, but to the social community, the clan, and the mutual obligation to uphold and maintain law and morals, and thus to peace within the local community connected. The religious cult of a certain deity, exemplified by the succinct sacrificial being, was based on the do ut of the principle that I give so that you can give . If the old gods no longer gave , however, the Christian God who promised strength was soberly chosen, in addition to purely regulatory or power-political purposes of religious change on the part of the dominant Anglo-Saxon nobility. Likewise, the separation of magic and magic from the rest of the religious cult is not appropriate, for example as understood practices of a primitive level of superstition. The sphere of magic is to be seen as an integral part and formation of the religious cult and rite. The Teutons, and therefore the Anglo-Saxons, did not differentiate between the terms religion and magic, like the Mediterranean world, nor in their fundamental categorizing views.
Fundamental and formative for the short 150-year pagan period up to the comprehensive and subsequent sustainable Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons on the British island was their common origin from the areas of the North German lowlands or the Cimbrian Peninsula , mostly from today's Schleswig-Holstein and the Elbe marshes . Those Germanic ethnic and tribal groups, North Sea Germanic peoples ( Ingwäonen ), formed the core of the later Anglo-Saxons.
As members of this cultural group, they participated in the development of the religious rites and cults of their original homeland up to the Roman Empire and the period up to the emigration. The Anglo-Saxons took the essential ideas of the deities of the 1st century with them, such as the vegetation rites described by Tacitus in connection with the Nerthus cult . The main features were thus shaped by religious cult practice and were relatively homogeneous and closely related to the continental conditions in Old Saxony, also due to the ongoing cultural and commercial traffic. Their (Old Saxony) development was also in motion and must be duly taken into account from the point of view of the macropolitical circumstances of the Great Migration . Adoption of Celtic goods and regional variations of the cult of the individual parts of the people that were brought with them not only had an impact on the material everyday culture, but were the starting point for the emergence of a verifiable independent Anglo-Saxon culture.
Archaeological finds in the context of acts of sacrifice document the religious cults of the Teutons. Similar evidence from the 1st century AD in the entire Germanic area of the north and south shows that places with sacred meaning were deliberately separated from the secular world. Moist places such as lakes, moors, rivers, springs and landmarks were chosen as locations for the sacrifices. Only in the post-Roman Iron Age did this change, with a growing tendency towards shifting to dry ground.
The Anglo-Saxons were only partially involved in the later development. The tendency towards the spring prey has remained and has been documented in place name research on the English part of the British Isles as a sacred reference to springs and running water. For the south and south-west of England there are several variants of on (to) halgan wylle, welle in the medieval written texts , other sacred waters are to halgan forde, Halgeford (t) e and broces to halgan welle broces is the same as the Low German term Bruch, Bro (c) k for a swampy terrain. English place names that are still used today, which vary based on the form Holywell , testify to the position of sources and, in a figurative sense, wetlands in the religious cult of the Anglo-Saxons.
Common Germanic deities of the Anglo-Saxons are:
- Þunor : God of thunder. Glossed as Jupiter in ecclesiastical and literary sources ; with "fiery ax" and "driver above the clouds". Numerous documents from place name research.
- Tīw / Tīg : equation in glosses with Mars . A gold bracteate discovered at Holt in Norfolk in 2004 shows a male figure fighting two beasts with a sword. Almost identical finds from Lower Saxony allow an interpretation of the deity, due to the mythical motif analogous to Nordic mythology, and thus a common Germanic continuity.
- Wōden : main god, in glosses Wóden was always equated with Mercurius. In the family trees of the early gentile period (tribes) he is the progenitor of the heptarch Anglo-Saxon royal houses. Numerous documents from place name research.
- Bældæg / Beldeg / Beldeyg: After Nennius, son of Wōdens and progenitor of several Anglo-Saxon royal lines. Identical to the Nordic god Balder according to W. Golther .
- Frīg : According to Galfred von Monmouth von Hengest, the highest Anglo-Saxon goddess named after whom Friday (old English Frīgedæg) is named. Reconstructable from the day name.
In addition to these deities, the Anglo-Saxons knew the following mythical figures, the position of which, in some cases, assumed as deities is unclear. In addition to the mythical Hengest and Horsa as the forefathers of Anglo-Saxon immigration:
- Ēostra: Only mentioned by Bede. A festival is dedicated to her in April (éosturmónað). From this one mention J. Grimm had reconstructed a German goddess * Ôstara .
- Erce, as well as the mothers of the Mōdranith : Presumably a hypostasis of matron worship ; their position as actual deities is unclear.
- Gēat: ancestor of the royal families and ancestor of Wóden in the family trees. The lamentation poem of the singer Deor names his love affair with Mæðhilde . Since the Anglo-Saxons praised this god with loud songs of praise, King Alfred described him as a "comedy-like deity". The name is closely related to the Nordic epithet Odins, Gautr , so that an influence from the North Germanic area may be present, or there may be a hypostasis of Wōdens. Rudolf Simek assumes, for example, a special Anglo-Saxon form as a deity, through the express use of the sources. In Nennius (Hist. Brit, p. 172): Geata, quem Getam iamdudum pagani pro deo venerabantur . In Alfred's vernacular translation : Geata, þene þa hæþena wurðedon for god .
- Ing: Only in the Old English rune poem from the 10th – 11th centuries. Century named, there referred to as the profane hero of the Eastern Danes, presumably identical with Freyr due to his Nordic epithet . Also evidenced by the Ingwaz rune.
"Ing wæs ærest mid Eástdenum gesewen secgum, oð he síððan eást ofer wæg gewát. wæn æfter ran. þus Heardingas þone hæle nemdon "
“Ing was seen first among the Eastern Danes until he moved east across the sea. His car followed him. This is what the Herdinger called their hero. "
- Seaxnēat: Appears in the family tree of the kings of Essex as the son of Wóden and corresponds by name to the god Saxnôte from the abjuring formula in the old Saxon baptismal vow . It is unclear whether he can be equated with Tíw.
The monk Beda Venerabilis , himself of Anglo-Saxon origin, reported on a letter that Pope Gregory I sent to the Anglish abbot Mellitus in 601 with the request to forward it to Bishop Augustine of Canterbury . It reports indirectly on the religious and cultic customs of the Anglo-Saxons:
"[...] videlicet quia fana idolorum destrui in eadem gente minime debeant, sed ipsa quae in eis sunt idola destrunatur [...] Et quia boves solent in sacrificio daemonum multos occidere, debet eis etiam hac de re aliqua sollemnitas immutari: ut die dedicationis [ ...] tabernacula sibi circa easdem ecclesias, quae ex fanis commutatae sunt, de ramis arborum faciant, et religiosis conviviis sollemnitatem celebrant "
“[…] Namely that one should destroy the sanctuaries of the idols in this people very little, but only destroy the idols themselves that are there. And because they used to slaughter many oxen for demons, some festival should be redesigned for them, so that on the day of church consecration they make huts out of tree branches around the churches that have arisen from changed sanctuaries celebrate the festival through religious feasts. "
The Anglo-Saxons celebrated their public ritual festivals, which were accompanied by cult sacrifices and sacrificial meals, in certain holy places in the open air or in cult halls. The respective provisions and purposes changed in the period following the pagan change of religion to Christianity. In pictorial representations, the deities probably had the appearance of conventional pole idols or as on bracteates . In addition to the public and communal religious rites, there was the private cult in the agrarian household and farm community .
Places of worship and priesthood
"Hwīlum hīe gehēton æ hærg-trafum wīg-weorðunga wordum bædon, þæt him gāst-bona gēoce gefremede wið þēod-þrēaum."
"Sometimes they consecrated sacrifices to the old gods in sacred pagan places, even imploring the annihilator of souls in carefully prescribed, prescribed words to help them."
In addition to the chosen natural sacred places, which were newly developed as places of worship or were taken over by the pagan British, there are places of worship laid out in clearings in the forest; subsequently separated and cultivated tree-lined groves (Tac. Germ. Chap. 39 sacrificial grove of the Semnones ), which were later enclosed after initially free design. The conscious use of forested or tree-covered places is closely related to the tree cults adopted in Indo-European tradition: "Sacred forests definitely existed earlier than temples and altars". Beyond the pure semantics of “enclosure”, the development towards built-in places such as the temple opens up.
In Old English the "temple" is referred to as ealh and in Gothic as alhs (to Urm. * Alh (a) z ). The basic meaning was “holy grove” and these words are used in connection with Lithuanian al̃kas , alkà “(holy) grove” and Latvian ę̀lks “the idol, the idol”. According to Pokorny , they belong to the Indo-European verbal root * h₂lek - "fend off, defend", from which old English ealgian , algian "defend".
The designation bearu "forest, wood" (cf. anord. Bǫrr "coniferous tree ", ahd. Baro "sacrificial site, altar; forest, grove", barawāri "sacrificial priest; forest warden") can be translated as "holy grove", since after Beda æt Bearwe churches were built “there on site”. The Old English word hearg for "temple" is literally synonymous with "pile of stones, place of sacrifice", whereby the meaning range can be stretched from "holy places" to "divine power" to a "certain idol". Old sacrificial sites are archaeologically documented as piles of stones; probably as an altar or seat of an idol, venerated pole, or figure of a god. The Anglo-Saxon term for altar is wīgbed and means “idol or holy table”.
Numerous place names derived from ealh, hearg or from the names of the main gods Wōden, Þunor and Tīw, indicate Germanic places of worship in England, for example there was a Wōden sanctuary near the Kentish place Eastry , Woodnesborough , along with a cemetery and found bracteates , which are related to the deity. Beda's account of the conversion of the Anglish priest Coifi names the location of the temple Godmundingaham. from the composition with God . Many churches were built on former pagan sites; for example Canterbury Cathedral on the grounds of a former Anglo-Saxon temple district. Although the papal side advised converting pagan “temples” into Christian churches, no evidence has yet been provided that a Germanic temple building was actually used for church purposes. Rather, there are reports of their destruction. The papal letter to Augustine does not indicate that the Anglo-Saxons used "temples" with walls and roofs according to the Latin understanding.
The converted to Christianity Coifi burned the temple in Godmundingaham and other sanctuaries, which speaks not only for a wooden enclosure, but also for a massive wooden overall structure. On the other hand, no structural traces have been preserved or are archaeologically verifiable.
The actual, and specifically Anglo-Saxon, new formation of the term is friðgeard "holy frozen place", the peace that prevailed at the place of worship is directly related to the Germanic understanding of law, as the comparison with the Icelandic "thing peace" shows and to the cultic self-image of unconditional bondage. Violation of this peace resulted in severe sanctions. Such sanctions are described drastically in the Lex Frisionum , for example .
"Qui fanum effregerit et ibi aliquid de sacris tulerit, ducitur ad mare, et in sabulo,  findinatur aures eius, et castratur et immolatur diis, quorum templa violavit."
"Anyone who breaks into a sanctuary and takes some of the sacred items there will be led to the sea, and on the sand  his ears will be slit open and he will be emasculated and sacrificed to the gods, whose temples he has desecrated."
The old English terms for temple are thus all confirmed from the point of view of the common Germanic character of consecrated places of worship, as a fenced-in grove.
Priests, other sacred groups of people
“Statimque, abiecta superstitione uanitatis, rogauit sibi regem arma dare et equum emissarium, quem ascendens ad idola destruenda ueniret. Non enim licuerat pontificem sacrorum uel arma ferre, uel praeter in equa equitare. "
“Immediately he threw off the superstitious delusion and asked the king to give him weapons and a stallion so that he could mount him on horseback to destroy the idols. The sacrificial priest was not allowed to carry weapons nor to ride a mare in any other way. "
In Tacitus (Germania chapter 10), the acts of worship of the Germanic peoples are divided into public cult acts of a state priest sacerdos civitates , and those of a pater familias , the head of the family as house priest. The priestly duties, described by Tacitus, form a common Germanic pattern with local shifts. These tasks include, above all, the management of sacrificial acts, solemn rites and processions on festive days, occult acts of cattle discussions and retreats, medical care, judicial powers, marriages, opening of the thing meeting . In Iceland, the head of the court and family held this function as gode , owner of the private temple and idolatry . Presumably the Anglo-Saxon proper names Gode, Goda and the term heargweard had the connotation of that of the temple owner . Other proper names are likely to be associated with the title of priest. The beginnings of a priestly organization or a separate caste of priests are, if, based on Roman-Hellenistic and Celtic influences. In addition to the Anglo-Saxons, these approaches can be found among the Lombards, who also took up such cultural influences.
The question of a female priesthood remains unanswered, this cannot be inferred from the vocabulary and other Anglo-Saxon sources. Nevertheless, female cult personnel play a role: as a sorceress and as a fortune teller. The Anglo-Saxon priests were not allowed to carry weapons, they did not belong to the warriors, and were only allowed to use mares as mounts. In addition to the central task of performing sacrificial acts - as a sacrificial priest - the position of counselor, especially for the nobility and political decision-makers, was another important function. Based on the concept of victim / victims Blotan , and comparing the later Christian word formation wēofod-thegn "acolytes", the term Thyle as in the Old Norse Þulr a cult speakers with sacred function in the written Anglo-Saxon sources but also "Council of the princes, poets" (Glosses in Beowulf).
Like the common German nobility, the Anglo-Saxon nobility, especially the king, had a sacred meaning and function ( royal salvation ) in addition to official political power and exercise of authority . The Anglo-Saxon kings had a high degree of influence on the state cult, which should not be underestimated, due to the mutual relationship between the social structure and the sacred culture. Tacitus already reported on a royal priesthood, whose sacred function can also be found in the north of the Viking Age. Norse kings gave blessings during their lifetime and were deified after their death, and Anglo-Saxon kings traced their sacred descent back to Wōden ; a sanctity based on heredity, of blood. The early medieval state Christianity of the Anglo-Saxons and Franks can be traced back to the former pagan cult and its close connection to the Germanic state . Significantly, King Aethelberth was called "Lord of the Sacrifice", which brought him political difficulties with the growing church.
Sacrifice, prayer and ritual festivals
Sacrifice and feasts
“[…] Ita ut in morem antiquorum Samaritanorum et Christo seruire uideretur et diis, quibus antea seruiebat; atque in eodem fano et altare haberet ad sacrificium Christi, et arulam ad uictimas daemoniorum [...] "
"[...] it seemed as if he (Redwald) served both Christ and the gods, according to the old Samaritan custom, to whom he was previously attached, because in the same sanctuary he had an altar consecrated to Christ and a small altar for the sacrifices to the heathen gods [...] "
The Germanic sacrifice consisted primarily of acts of supplication and sacrifice of thanks. In the public community rite, as in private cult acts, the sacrifices were carried out for the purpose that was related to the content of the offerings. There are no direct written sources on Anglo-Saxon sacrifice and festival customs, the linguistic witnesses come from the vocabulary, come from Christian times and applications, and are older than Anglo-Saxon Christianity and a small number are actually closely related to the pagan cult and rite. Studies on the Viking Age sacrificial practices based on certain clear phrases from saga literature of the High Middle Ages show that there is little more reliable to be linked to pre-Christian pagan practices. Above all textual descriptions, especially the supposedly meaningful terms, the time-relatedness of the author (s) can be seen in their high medieval Christian context and their primary influences. For the Christian authors, the authentic presentation of pre-Christian customs was of secondary importance.
- The Anglo-Saxon terms for the victim or the specific act of sacrifice is the above-mentioned blōt, blōtan , which is replied to in Old Norse blót and in Old High German blŏzan . Another term is lāc , which is semantically related to the common Germanic term * laikaz dance, hop (see also the personal name Oslac ). Blōtan has, among other things, the meaning of make strong, strengthen also as a synonym for worship, a relationship to blōd = blood does not exist as in the entire Germanic area.
- The sacrificial or sacrificing priest is the blōtere , blōtorc is the sacrificial vessel, which was used at certain festivals that take place in the seasons, including on blōt-mōnað , the sacrificial month of November ( see Goi-blot ). Lāc means the gift, sacrifice and, in the connections bærne-lāc and cwic-lāc, burn and animal sacrifice. The term has other meanings such as game , fight and booty .
- Animals, field crops and everyday items of higher material value were sacrificed, but especially because of their ideal, cult-related value. The animals suitable for sacrifice were grouped under the Old English term tīber, tīfer , old high German zebar , the unsuitable or unused animals consequently referred to as " vermin ". A relationship between the species of the sacrificial animal and the deity for which the sacrifice is intended is speculatively assumed in research. For the Anglo-Saxon area this would presumably be special: for Þunōr goats, for Wōden horses. Pope Gregory mentioned in his letter to Augustine the keeping of large animal sacrifices by the Anglo-Saxons, with ritual slaughter and in large numbers of cattle.
- During the act of sacrifice, the location, the altar and, if applicable, the idol of the god for whom the sacrifice was made, was spattered or smeared with blood and over the people taking part. The old English term for bless, holy is faded blētsian to the original form * blōdisōn "to redden with blood". In addition, the blood of the sacrificial animal was distorted as a cult drink. The meaning of the term lāc with regard to exuberant dance - the cult dance itself - shows the interactive connection between the serious religious act of sacrifice and the profane world of the subsequent sacrificial and feast, which is accompanied or previously made a sacrifice, through cultic parades, sporting competitions designed for endurance and strength. The Northumbrian festival hall of Yeavering from the 6th - 7th centuries was mistaken for a building with a pure temple function, although details differ from the comparable North Germanic cult halls from later times. There are no traces of settlement, but the remains of bones from cattle that can be interpreted as remains of cult and sacrificial meals. Later church decrees forbade the Anglo-Saxons, who mostly lived in rural structures, from enjoying the blood and meat of the sacrificed animals, as well as accompanying practices such as hanging animal skins.
Exuberant ritual celebrations can be found in the Germanic world - and also in other historical religions - especially in vegetation rites , accompanied by a clearly sexual connotation, for example in the Nerthus cult in Tacitus or in the Freyr cult in Uppsala (based on Adam von Bremen ). The worship of mother goddesses ( Terra Mater ) is ancestral and can be found in the Germanic world of the 1st century in the lower Rhine matron cults . Beda reports of the ritual processions for the worship of a mōdra in the mōdra nect , but the fertility ritual element seems to have been expanded here with reference to the cult of the dead and the soul. In this context of spring vegetation rites, the Ēostra described by Beda is seen in relation - in analogy to the matrons and disecults or the old Saxon idisi .
Fertility rites including the holding of associated sacrificial feasts can be timed for the end of winter and the beginning of spring.Today's customs such as May celebrations and maypoles are followers of the former not only Anglo-Saxon pagan rite. In mid-September an autumn sacrifice was celebrated in Hāligmōnað, as well as the “ Mother's Night ” at the winter solstice, which most likely was followed by the Yule sacrifice at the beginning of the year .
Examples of individual festivals that can be reconstructed from the sources or that are still celebrated today by followers of the ancient English religion can be found on the list of Germanic-Neo-Pagan holidays . Some are mentioned in Beda Venerabilis , who also provides a complete list of the months and roughly assigns them to the Roman ones.
|7/8||Litha III||July August|
Tacitus reports on the tribes on the North Sea coast, from which the Anglo-Saxons came, in chapter 40 of the above-mentioned cult of the fertility goddess Nerthus . After the ritual circumnavigation on a cart, the numen is washed in a hidden lake. Numen here means an idol or cult image. The emigrants probably took with them the common Germanic custom of using idols in cult practice. Church instructions from the time of the Anglo-Saxon mission emphasized that the pagan cult sites should continue to be used progressively in the Christian sense, only the images of gods / figures should be destroyed: sed ipsa quae in eis sunt idola destrunatur . The missionaries started from something real that their concrete work encountered in a daily challenging manner. Old English terms for an idol are closely related to the terms for the places of worship or, as discussed above, are partly identical, both in individual cases and in comparison with the terms of other Germanic peoples. The range of objects here tends to range from anthropomorphic, i.e. artistically more or less worked, idols, usually made of wood, to simple stakes. Such an idol-like simple cult stake is adopted at the cult hall of Yeavering , which was large in size. For the Anglo-Saxon settlement area, no archaeological evidence through finds of idols as comparable in Germany and Denmark, except for the neuter and linguistic evidence ( see → Anthropomorphic stake gods ).
The bracteate from Holt in Norfolk with the presumed figurative representation of the god Tīw, like other typical images, does not belong to the immediate sphere of idolatry, since a testimony to a religious bond through a personal belief is difficult to establish. Analogous to finds in Anglo-Saxon tombs (Eastry in Kent), it is more likely to be associated with the magical effect of an amulet, and largely belongs to the field of charm and magic.
Spells and magic
"Most of the diverse forms of magic and spell assume that man can influence the forces of the afterlife through certain practices and set them in motion in his favor"
Ernst Alfred Philippson goes on to say that this favoritization, set in motion through certain practices such as the evocation of the deities by animals, plants and lifeless nature as a medium, create magical contact. The fundamental archaic Germanic belief in an animated nature, which became manifest and tangible especially at places of worship, led on the one hand to the personification of the forces of nature in individual deities, and in the personification of spirits and the belief in demons that resulted from this. Belief in demons belongs directly to the sphere of spell and magic. Personifications, for example by figures from lower mythology, such as elves / albums, goblins , water spirits, were conjured up to prevent damage or to curses them with magic. In addition, the practices of the early church missionaries and priests did not represent a significant cultural break for the new converts, because the incantations or expulsion of demons by them were also, like the pagan tradition, bound to the belief and the effectiveness of magic. The Church only made a distinction between white magic in good ecclesiastical practice, and black magic for everything pagan. The latter was prohibited and indicated as sacrilege (poen. Pseudo-Ecgberti IV, XX; poen. Pseudo-Thedori XXIII & 16).
“The reason for the recording of originally pagan spells and, in the oldest examples, still using Germanic mythology, may be due to the fact that the pagan magic was soon overlaid, absorbed and thus implicitly justified by the Christian belief in miracles, by the magical understanding or misunderstanding of the Christian belief in redemption . "
A particularly Germanic characteristic is the predominantly female role in the exercise of magic practices. This was already proven by Tacitus (Germania, chap. 8) through the practices of mantic, fortune-telling . Furthermore, the important female role in magic emerges from the medieval church penance and other ordinances up to the early modern English witch madness. The old English term hellerūne titled women ( rūne also in the sense of witch ) who wield spells that are related to the dead, as a form of a presumed banishment from the dead by using a runic sign or the necromancy (revenant?).
The magic is named among other things as heagorūn , in the figurative sense of an indefinite "great secret". It is noticeable that a common Germanic word for magic does not exist, but a number that are related in the languages but have different meanings. For example, from the Middle Latin cauclearius (New High German juggler), in Old Saxon kōklāri also magician , the Old English gēogelere means "to bewitch with a spell". The term side, sidsa bewitching, bewitching, is a presumed reference to the Old Norse seiðr . On the other hand, the different modes of action of the magic and the associated practice are named.
The magic act takes place, supporting and reinforcing, through various magic means or through the ritual recitation of magic words, alternative and purpose-related spells. The effectiveness of the magic is greatest in the combination of the components. The simplest and probably most original type of magic medicine is the transmission of power to and through the significance of the special cultic-sacred places such as springs, stones and trees.
- Magic drugs
Amulets of the most varied forms, such as those found in grave goods (amber, bracteates and perhaps totemistically interpreted replicas of bird and other animal claws), as well as the use of herbs, served as magic means. Ecclesiastical prohibitions and reports pointed energetically to the omission of these means to the end of the forbidden pagan magic; phylacteria vel carmina the use of amulets and the magic chants, - Proverbs. Runes individually scratched or written, had a magical component ( runic magic ) due to their name meaning in which contexts as a magic remedy, remains unclear in the Anglo-Saxon context. In the mythological context, however, not because, as in the Nordic myth, Wōden is considered to be the founder of the runes. Carmina in the understanding of a magic formula, the whisper rūna can not only have whispered rūnian , but also have used it as a symbol with protective and healing magic effects ( apotropaic ), or in the sense of harmful magic effects. Medieval reflections on these pagan traditions are exemplified by the custom of making signs of the cross to protect against the forces of evil. Furthermore, these references emerge from runic poems such as the Abecedarium Nordmannicum . The surviving Old English rune poem is subject to the medieval scholarly perspective and is not meaningful in this context of Anglo-Saxon magic ( see → Tiwaz ). Bede reports a spell by loosening the fetters, although it is unclear whether this spell was achieved by means of a runic sign. At least the old English version translates Beda's Latin literas solutarias "releasing signs" with alysendlecan rūne , in other words in the possible sense of a releasing defensive magic.
- Magic words and spells
Magic words and spells are indispensable and are particularly well documented among the Anglo-Saxons, through the numerous spells they have received and the explicit vocabulary. Analogous to the early German magic spells, the “genuinely Germanic form” can be recognized by the allotted rhyme , the long line , and the mythological apparatus. The Old English prefix gāl means exuberance, sexual pleasure, among other things ; sing about gālan , conjure up; gealdor magic song or spell and gealdorcræftiga the magician. The ranking clearly shows that pagan spell and magic cannot be separated from the rest of the religious cult and rite, as in parallel with the ecstatic elements of the acts of sacrifice. ( see also → Galster )
The majority of the old English spells that have been preserved are listed in Leechbook III and Lacnunga , among others , and are therefore located in human medicine, such as the so-called nine - herb blessing . In the saying wið cyrnel , the Germanic magical number " nine " is also used significantly, in the form of the enchanting counting rhyme . Through the saying the noðþaes sweoster "daring sisters", in the sense of demons, spirits, should be driven away by counting.
Neogons waeran noðþaes sweoster;
þa wurdon þa nygone to VIII
þa VIII to VII
þa VII to VI
þa I to nanum
Other sayings in a milder form are love spells or those in which fertility ritual aspects flow, such as in the so-called field or field blessing ( Charm for Unfruitful Land , Leechbook). This saying is a mixture of pagan and Christian elements. After the instruction to bury honey, milk, yeast and tree roots in different parts of the field, the speaker, as an enchanter, a farmer, should turn to the east and say, among other things:
- eorðan ic bidde and upheofon! I ask the earth and the sky! (Vers. 4)
- Erce, Erce, Erce eorðan módor Erce, Erce the earth mother (verse 14)
- Folde fíra módor Folde, the mother of men (verse 30).
Is the first invocation of the "mother" to be seen in the context of matron worship , to which the Eostre (s) are probably conceptually related to those of the Mōdranith . Thus the second invocation "defused" the pagan style through the Christian application or applicability to Mary .
The so-called saying against “ witch sting ”, wið færstice , is “the” old English saying according to Andreas Heusler , which is particularly illustrated by its existing parallels to the old German Merseburg magic spells , pagan religious-magical rite.
Hlude wæran hy, la, hlude, ða hy ofer þone hlæw ridan,
wæran anmode, ða hy ofer land ridan.
Scyld ðu ðe nu, þu ðysne nið genesan mote.
Ut, lytel spere, gif hold them!
Stod under linde, under leohtum scylde, ( v. 5 )
þær ða mihtigan wif hyra mægen beræddon
and hy gyllende garas sændan;
ic him oðerne eft will sændan,
fleogende flane forane togeanes.
Ut, lytel spere, gif hit her inne sy! ( V. 10 )
Sæt smið, sloh seax ,
lytel iserna, sore swiðe.
Ut, lytel spere, gif her inne sy!
Syx smiðas sætan, wælspera worhtan.
Ut, spere, næs in, spere! ( V. 15 )
Gif her inne sy isernes dæl,
hægtessan geweorc, hit sceal gemyltan.
Gif ðu would be on fell scoten, oððe would be on flæsc scoten
oððe would be on blod scoten, oððe would be on ban scoten,
oððe wære on lið scoten, næfre ne sy ðin lif atæsed; ( V. 20 )
gif hit would be "esa" scot, oððe hit would be ylfa scot
oððe hit would be hægtessan gescot, nu ic wille ðin helpan.
Þis ðe to bote esa gescotes, ðis ðe to bote ylfa gescotes,
ðis ðe to bote hægtessan gescotes; ic ðin will helpan.
Fleoh þær on fyrgenheafde. ( V. 25 )
Hal westu, helpe ðin drihten!
Nim þonne þæt seax, ado on wætan.
In verse 4 (bold, italic) the main formula of the saying appears, in German “Out of the small spear”, which is repeated three times in the text in the form of a referee . In verse 6, as in the first Merseburg saying, there appears a female group of people "Mighty women" who are referred to as witches ("witchcraft") in verse 17 due to their magical work (v.7 the hurling of the Gere ).
After repeated apellative conjuring main formula follows from verse 11 to 15 the “manufacturing of the healing device”. A blacksmith sat and forged a “small iron knife with a deadly effect”. According to a renewed main formula, increasing the effectiveness of the magic, the remedy is strengthened: Six blacksmiths sat, and their work is "battle spears that worked" (verse 14).
From verse 18 to 23 follows a formula-like count of the areas on which the magic has a protective, healing effect, and against whom the magic works. Heusler translates verses 18, 19:
- whether you shot in the skin or shot in the flesh,
- or be shot in the blood, or be shot in the limb,
A parallel form can be found in the final sequence of the second Merseburg saying. Verse 21 names those against whom the magic works: esa is the term for the gods, the Assir , ylfa are the elves, and verse 22 ends with the “witches”.
The Carmina are effectively supported by the dynamic verse design. For the Anglo-Saxons, who are in Pagan tradition, the experience of the magic act, with hearing the magic spells, the singing, the sensual connection is closed. He is situated in the world around him and confronted with the laws of the opposite poles of life and death. It is not without reason that the sphere of magic influences that of the cult of the dead and burial rites.
Cult of the dead
The way Anglo-Saxons deal with their dead is primarily dependent on archaeological traces, such as the type of burial (cremation, cremation) and the amount and value of grave goods.
In England, in the late fifth and early sixth centuries, cremations gave way to body burials. It makes sense to see the influence of Christianization behind this, as the Christian religion, with its focus on the physical resurrection of the dead, tends to prefer body burials. Historian Nicholas J. Higham argues, however, that this change in burial practices is too early to trace back to the influence of Christianization. Rather, it is more likely that the British indigenous population increasingly gave up cremation in favor of Anglo-Saxon customs such as body burial, possibly with rich grave goods.
Things like pottery , swords , spears , amulets , scissors and combs , as well as brooches , rings and proboscis were common as grave goods . As a rule, abundant grave goods marked higher social status. In the late sixth century, the type of grave goods changed, although the cause is still unclear. B. Amber beads and certain types of brooches, suggesting that they are no longer made. Instead, one can observe an increase in imported goods from the Franconian and Eastern Roman Empire, as well as bowls from Roman handicraft tradition, especially in the graves of higher-ranking people . In the early seventh century grave goods disappeared completely, which coincides with the time of the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons, but does not necessarily have to be interpreted as a consequence of Christianization. The influence of Franconian funeral rites, which also increasingly refrained from grave goods, could have played a role here.
Burial mounds were rather rare in the early Anglo-Saxon period, but became increasingly popular from the middle of the sixth century. It is noticeable that in the phase when grave goods in most of the graves had only slightly or completely disappeared, there were still a small number of burials of individuals that were characterized by size, rich grave goods and also the use of burial mounds and burial chambers . One of the earliest archaeologically researched graves is a burial mound in Kingston Down (Kent), in which a woman with gold and silver jewelry and a child with rich grave goods were found; this burial mound was discovered and excavated as early as 1771.
Such richly decorated graves have entered the literature as princely graves ; Similar chamber tombs have also been found in continental Europe, the most famous being the burial of King Childerich I in Tournai in Belgium. One of the most famous and spectacular grave finds in England is likely the tumulus in Sutton Hoo , where a boat grave was discovered under a mound with the most important hoard find in Great Britain, including precious weapons, a helmet and a purse with Franconian coins along with drinking horns and silver vessels. Based on the date of the coins, the grave is potentially attributed to the Anglic King Rædwald .
The Christianization of the Anglo-Saxon peoples began probably from the 6th century . It was first the aristocrats who turned to the new faith. Bede reports the reasons that moved her: in the advice of King Edwin , one of his followers compares life as they have known it up to now with the flight of a sparrow that flies out of an icy storm into a warm, lighted mead hall - and out again in the storm.
“Ipso quidem tempore, quo intus est, hiemis tempestate non tangitur, sed tamen paruissimo spatio serenitatis ad momentum excurso, mox de hieme in hiemem regrediens, tuis oculis elabitur. Ita haec uita hominum ad modicum apparet; quid autem sequatur, quidue praecesserit, prorsus ignoramus. Unde si haec noua doctrina certius aliquid attulit, merito esse sequenda uidetur "
“During the time he is inside, he is not touched by the winter storm, but after a brief moment of serenity it soon disappears from your eyes, going back to the winter from which it came. This is how human life appears for a short time; but what follows or what preceded it, we know nothing about it. If this new doctrine (Christianity) adds any more certain knowledge, it deserves to be followed. "
The contribution of the wives of Anglo-Saxon kings who brought the Christian religion with them from the European continent is particularly significant. Bertha, daughter of the Frankish king Charibert I , managed to bring a Catholic clergyman to Canterbury when she married Æthelbert , the king of the Kenter . The Roman Church also contributed to the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons, for example by sending the Roman monastery prior Augustin to England. Missionaries also established dioceses and monasteries , mostly with the support of Anglo-Saxon rulers.
Nevertheless, the change of belief was not an unconditional change in religion. In Edwin's person, it becomes clear that the process dragged on for several years and ultimately came to a conclusion also and above all because of state political reasoning. Some of Edwin's family members remained unbaptized. Also in the following generations - up to the middle of the 7th century - it happened that the king was baptized, but "to be on the safe side" not his sons. This ambivalent practice was intended to ensure “that one's own rule would remain secure even if Christianity should fail”.
By the 9th century, Christianity had replaced the original Anglo-Saxon faith; this only lived on in popular belief.
- Arno Borst : Forms of Life in the Middle Ages . Ullstein, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-548-26513-8 .
- Jan de Vries : Old Germanic history of religion (2 volumes) . Walter De Gruyter, Berlin 1970.
- Wilhelm Grönbech : Culture and religion of the Teutons . 13th edition. WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-89678-229-0 .
- Karl Helm : Old Germanic history of religion . 2 volumes, in 3 sub-volumes (1913, 1937, 1953). Carl Winter, Heidelberg.
- Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World . Yale University Press, New Haven 2013, ISBN 978-0-300-21613-4 .
- Bernhard Maier : The religion of the Teutons . CH Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50280-6 .
- Bernhard Maier, Knut Schäferdiek: Religion, Christianization . In: Heinrich Beck, Heiko Steuer, Dieter Timpe (Hrsg.): Germanen, Germania, Germanische Altertumskunde . de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1998, ISBN 3-11-016383-7 , p. 199-215 .
- Rudolf Much : The Germania of Tacitus . Ed .: Wolfgang Lange, Herbert Jankuhn . 3. Edition. Carl Winter, Heidelberg 1967.
- Richard North: Heathen Gods in Old English Literature. (= Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England 22). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 0-521-55183-8 .
- Lutz von Padberg: Mission and Christianization. Forms and consequences among Anglo-Saxons and Franks in the 7th and 8th centuries . Fritz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-515-06737-X .
- Ernst Alfred Philippson : Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works . Volume 4 ). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929 ( literature.at ).
- Walter Pohl: Gentilism. In: Heinrich Beck, Heiko Steuer, Dieter Timpe (Ed.): Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Volume 11. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1998, ISBN 3-11-015832-9 .
- Alex Sanmark, Sarah Semple, Martin Carver (Eds.): Signals of Belief in Early England: Anglo-Saxon Paganism Revisited. Oxbow Books, Oxford / Oakville 2010, ISBN 978-1-84217-395-4 .
- Rudolf Simek : Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X .
- Rudolf Simek: Religion and Mythology of the Teutons . WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-16910-7 .
- Gustav Storms: Anglo-Saxon Magic. Centrale Drukkerij NV, NIJMEGEN 1948.
- Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais : Germanic and Baltic religion . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-17-001157-X .
- The scientific classification is u. a. by A. Ström, Karl Helm and in the Theologische Real-Enzyklopädie under the heading Germanic Religion plausibly explained according to linguistic and cultural-morphological aspects.
- Ewald Standop, Edgar Mertner: English Literature History. Quelle & Meyer Verlag, Heidelberg 1976, p. 20.
- William Grönbech: culture and religion of the Germans . 13th edition. WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-89678-229-0 , Volume 1, pp. 33ff., Bernhard Maier: The religion of the Germanic people . CH Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50280-6 , p. 32ff.
- Arno Borst: Life forms in the Middle Ages . Ullstein, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-548-26513-8 , p. 37ff.
- Bernhard Maier: The religion of the Germanic peoples . CH Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50280-6 , p. 124f.
- Heinrich Beck : Problems of a religious history during the migration period. In: The Franks and the Alemanni up to the “Battle of Zülpich”. Dieter Geuenich (Ed.). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1998, ISBN 3-11-015826-4 , p. 475ff.
- Michael Müller-Wille: Sacrificial cults of the Teutons and Slaves. Theiss, Stuttgart 1999, p. 7, 8. Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 44.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, pp. 47, 48.
- Alexandra Pesch: The gods are everywhere. In: Gold bracteates. Archeology in Germany, Issue 4, 2005.
- Nennius: Historia Brittonum: Bilingual edition . Wiesbaden 2012, p. 108 f., 112 f.
- Wolfgang Golther: Germanic mythology: Complete edition . Wiesbaden 2011, p. 442.
- Wolfgang Golther: Germanic mythology: Complete edition . Wiesbaden 2011, p. 514 f.
- Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , p. 128.
- Gāstbona is also referred to Thunor instead of the devil / Satan. The clerical poet of Beowulf clearly shows that the terms with a pagan cultic background were no longer familiar to him in their entire previous meaning. Hærg-trafum is the temple, literally the sacred tent , Wīg-weorðunga means sacrifice of weapon or sacrifice of war (?) . Moritz Heyne: Beowulf - with notes and glossary. Paderborn, 1906.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929 (literature.at)., Pp. 183, 184. the terms used by those who speak or write in Latin indicate this fact, templum et castrum , and are mostly reproduced as lucus, fanum, nemus . For comparison, Franz Rolf Schröder: Ingunar-Freyer Tübingen 1941, pp. 9-15, concerning the Germanic tree cult.
- Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , p. 406.
- Guus Kroonen: Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic . Brill, Leiden / Boston 2013. p. 22.
- Julius Pokorny: Indo-European etymological dictionary . Volume I. Francke, Bern / Munich 1947–1966, p. 32.
- Hist. Ecc. IV, 3; V, 2
- William Grönbech: culture and religion of the Germans . 13th edition. WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-89678-229-0 , Volume 2, pp. 371, 372 in Old High German "harug (c), haruch", Old Norse "hórgr".
- Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-17-001157-X , pp. 110, 111. Walter Baetke: Das Heilige im Germanischen , Tübingen 1942, pp. 90-92. The Old English wēoh and Anglish wíg belong to the ancient Germanic * wīhaz and could also have meant “sanctuary” in England, but also an image of a god (idol).
- Karl Hauck: The religious and socio-historical source value of the migration period gold bracteates. In: Germanic Religious History. (Eds. H. Beck, D. Ellmers, K. Schier) Ergbd. 5 to the real dictionary of Germanic antiquity. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1992, pp. 260-263.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 185 including footnotes. Jan de Vries: Old Germanic history of religion (2 volumes). Walter De Gruyter, Berlin 1970, Volume 1 §§ 264, 265, 266.
- Rudolf Simek: Religion and Mythology of the Teutons . WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-16910-7 , p. 89.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 190.
- Rudolf Much: The Germania of Tacitus . Edited by Wolfgang Lange, Herbert Jankuhn. 3. Edition. Carl Winter, Heidelberg 1967, p. 192; u. a. as a priest at the tribal shrine.
- Ealhweard, Ealhmund , Oshelm, Oslac (Os cf. Old Norse Ase ), Godmund u. a.
- Karl Helm: Old Germanic history of religion . 2 volumes, in 3 sub-volumes (1913, 1937, 1953). Carl Winter, Heidelberg, (1953), p. 189.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 182. Karl Helm: Old Germanic religious history . 2 volumes, in 3 sub-volumes (1913, 1937, 1953). Carl Winter, Heidelberg, (1953), p. 188, 189. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , p. 435.
- Lutz von Padberg: Mission and Christianization. Forms and consequences among Anglo-Saxons and Franks in the 7th and 8th centuries . Fritz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-515-06737-X , pp. 101f.
- Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , pp. 358-360. Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, pp. 180-182.
- Lutz von Padberg: Mission and Christianization. Forms and consequences among Anglo-Saxons and Franks in the 7th and 8th centuries . Fritz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-515-06737-X , p. 120.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 192.
- For comparison: Walter Baetke: Dictionary for Old Norse prose literature. 2nd Edition. Berlin 1976, p. 59. Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 192.
- Hermann Reichert : Sacred Animals. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Heinrich Beck, Dieter Geuenich, Heiko Steuer (Eds.): Volume 14. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1999, ISBN 3-11-016423-X , p. 177ff.
- Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , p. 438.
- Rudolf Simek: Religion and Mythology of the Teutons . WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-16910-7 , p. 90.
- Dennis H. Green: Language and History in the Early Germanic World. Cambridge University Press 1998, ISBN 0-521-79423-4 , p. 22.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, pp. 195, 198.
- Rudolf Simek: Religion and Mythology of the Teutons . WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-16910-7 , p. 91.
- Beda: De temporum ratione. Cape. 15. Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, pp. 66, 122.
- Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , pp. 90, 73, 217. Karl Helm: Old Germanic Religious History . 2 volumes, in 3 sub-volumes (1913, 1937, 1953). Carl Winter, Heidelberg, (1953), pp. 277-280.
- Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-17-001157-X , p. 98. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic Mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , p. 297f.
- Beda: Historia Ecclesiastica I, 30.
- Lutz von Padberg: Mission and Christianization. Forms and consequences among Anglo-Saxons and Franks in the 7th and 8th centuries . Fritz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-515-06737-X , pp. 119, 120.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, pp. 190ff.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 208.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 51ff., P. 66f., P. 69ff.
- Karl Helm: Old Germanic history of religion . 2 volumes, in 3 sub-volumes (1913, 1937, 1953). Carl Winter, Heidelberg, (1953), p. 124. In Old High German hellarūna means magic, conjuring up the dead; with the ending m. -āri the practitioner. Glossing from Latin necromanticus and pythonicus .
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 212.
- "Amulets or magic spells", for example, in the ordinance of the first Carolingian synod.
- Ake V. Ström, Haralds Biezais: Germanic and Baltic religion . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-17-001157-X , p. 98.
- Beda: Hist. Ecc. IV, 22
- Rudolf Simek: Magic spell and magic poetry. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Heinrich Beck, Dieter Geuenich, Heiko Steuer (Eds.): Volume 34. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-018389-4 , p. 445.
- Dieter Kartschoke: History of German literature in the early Middle Ages. DTV, Munich p. 119.
- Karl Helm: Old Germanic history of religion . 2 volumes, in 3 sub-volumes (1913, 1937, 1953). Carl Winter, Heidelberg, (1953), p. 122, 123. Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 218.
- Mark C. Amodio: The Anglo Saxon Literature Handbook. Oxford, 2014, p. 105.
- Wolfgang Meid : The Germanic religion in the testimony of language. In: Heinrich Beck, Detlev Ellmers, Kurt Schier (eds.): Germanic Religious History - Sources and Source Problems , Ergbde. to the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde Volume 5. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1992, ISBN 3-11-012872-1 , p. 496.
- Ernst Alfred Philippson: Germanic paganism among the Anglo-Saxons (= Cologne Anglistic works. Volume 4). Publishing house Bernh. Tauchnitz, Leipzig 1929, p. 124 ff. Rudolf Simek: Lexicon of Germanic mythology (= Kröner's pocket edition. Volume 368). 3rd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-520-36803-X , pp. 91, 286.
- Andreas Heusler: Old Germanic poetry. Athenaion, Berlin 1923, p. 68.
- Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World . Yale University Press, New Haven 2013, ISBN 978-0-300-21613-4 , pp. 127-128.
- Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World . Yale University Press, New Haven 2013, ISBN 978-0-300-21613-4 , pp. 128-130.
- Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World . Yale University Press, New Haven 2013, ISBN 978-0-300-21613-4 , pp. 128-131.
- Harald Kleinschmidt: The Anglo-Saxons . CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-62137-6 , pp. 52-55.
- Jennifer Wenner: The early Christian mission in the British Isles and their influence on the continent . In: Erbe und Einsatz , Vol. 94 (2018), pp. 248–259, here p. 255.