Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 16

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

The Heroic Age


A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe
Issue 11 (May 2008) | Issue Editors: Larry Swain &
Linda Malcor
Founded 1998 | ISSN 1526-1867

The Germanic Sword In The Tree: Parallel Development


Or Diffusion?1
C. Scott Littleton
Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

Linda A. Malcor
Independent Researcher, Lake Forest, CA
2008 by C. Scott Littleon and Linda A. Malcor. All rights reserved. This edition copyright
2008 by The Heroic Age. All rights reserved.
Abstract: In this paper we consider whether the Norse story of the "Sword in the Branstock"
and the Arthurian tale of the "Sword in the Stone" may represent two variants of a tale about
a celestial event that occurred 2160 B.C.E.

Introduction
1. Scholars have long pointed to the Arthurian tale of the "Sword in the Stone" and the
Norse story of the "Sword in the Branstock" as examples of the parallel development of an
1 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Indo-European myth that became part of an epic tradition in the Celtic and Germanic cultures
(e.g., Bruce 1958, 1:145). In this paper we reexamine these two tales and consider whether
they may represent two variants of a story that was born as the result of a celestial event that
was viewed from somewhere near the northern shore of the Black Sea in 2160 B.C.E.
(Barber and Barber 2004, 210).2

The Sword in the Stone


2. The legend of the Sword in the Stone is well known today through the numerous
retellings of the Arthurian tale in stories, plays and film (Plate 1). The basic story, as it took
its mature form in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (Malory 1:15-20), relates how the twelveyear-old Arthur accompanies his foster brother, Sir Kay, to a tournament in London.3 Arthur
forgets Kay's sword and runs to retrieve it. On the way, he passes a churchyard where he
spies a sword embedded in an anvil atop a stone. Arthur pulls the Sword from the Stone and
takes it to Kay, who claims to be the one who drew the blade. A series of tests prove that no
one except Arthur can draw the sword, so the young boy is crowned "King of all England" as
the golden words on the sword prophesy.
3. In From Scythia to Camelot (Littleton and Malcor 2000, 181-194), we argued that this
variant of the Sword in the Stone legend was transmitted to Europe by the Alans during the
fifth century C.E. In the Nart sagas, folk narratives told by the Ossetians, who are the
descendents of the Alans, there are many elements of the Sword in the Stone story, but not
the explicit motif of the weapon being drawn from a stone or anvil (Littleton and Malcor
2000, 184, 186). The ancient Alans were, however, observed practicing a religion associated
with their war god, and, as part of this ritual, they embedded a sword in the ground
(presumably removing it at some later point in time; Ammianus Marcellinus 31.4.22;
Littleton 1982; Littleton and Malcor 2000, xxvvii, 186). This ritual is clearly a survival of the
ritual the Scythians performed in honor of their war god, as that ceremony was described by
Herodotus (4.59-62). What is intriguing for the purposes of this paper, however, is that in the
ritual as described by Herodotus, the iron sword is planted neither in an anvil nor in the
ground but rather in an altar atop a pile of wood. With this in mind, let us take a look at the
Germanic variant of the tale.

The Sword in the Branstock


4. The main reason that scholars have assumed that the Germanic variant of this legend is
the product of parallel development instead of diffusion is that the Germanic sword is very
clearly embedded in a tree rather than in an anvil or a stone. When the Germanic tale is
viewed, however, through its proper lens, it quickly becomes apparent that this difference is a
matter of perspective rather than a material difference.
5. The Norsemen told of the "Sword in the Branstock" in the "Sigurdsaga" portion of the
Volsungasaga (Guerber 1985, 253-258) (Plate 2). At the wedding of Signy and Siggeir, a
blue-cloaked man with one eye plunges a sword in the Branstock, an ancient oak. The man
2 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

declares that the sword will belong to the warrior who can pull it free, then he leaves. The
wedding guests identify him as Odin.4 Several warriors, including Signy's father, Volsung, try
to draw the weapon and fail. Sigmund, the tenth and youngest son, however, succeeds.
Through Siggeir's treachery, Sigmund and his brothers are condemned to death and the sword
is taken from Sigmund. The brothers are chained to an oak in the forest and each night one is
killed by a she-wolf.5 Finally, only Sigmund is left. Signy helps Sigmund escape. Siggeir
eventually recaptures Sigmund along with Sinfiolti, Signy's youngest son by Sigmund, and
orders that the two heroes be buried alive. The gravegoods that Signy throws into Sinfiolti's
portion of the grave (which is covered by a stone roof) contain Sigmund's sword. Sinfiotli
plunges the sword through the stone that separates him from Sigmund, cuts an opening
through stone and iron, and father and son escape. Sigmund then burns Siggeir to death and
becomes king.

The Historical Context


6. Tacitus's Germania is our main source for ethnographic data regarding the early
Germanic peoples (Puhvel 1987, 189). Cassius Dio, Ammianus Marcellinus and a few other
Greco-Roman authors round out the very short list of written texts we have about this culture
(Puhvel 1987, 189) prior to their Christianization by missionaries in the late eighth century
(Puhvel 1987, 190).6 The Embedded Sword story most likely spread to Iceland via Viking
settlement in 874 C.E., but Iceland was officially Christianized by 1000 C.E. (Puhvel 1987,
190). Snorri Sturluson, who composed the Prose Edda, the main source for this tale, didn't
live until two centuries later (11781241 C.E.; Puhvel 1987, 190).7 In other words, the
Germanic sources are recorded late, and, as Jaan Puhvel puts it, are of an "antiquarian (rather
than primary) nature" and show "diffusionary influences from classical cultures" (1987, 191).
Puhevl adds that Snorri's material as well as the Poetic Edda also show "diffusionary
influences from the general direction of the Near East" (Puhvel 1987, 219) (see Map 1).
7. Herodotus (4.21, 4.46-50) put the Scythians as neighbors to the Celts and the Sarmatians
as neighbors to the Scythians. Caesar places the Germans between the Celts and the
Scythians, with the Danube as an arbitrary dividing line that was probably chosen more as a
result of his political ambitions than of any careful ethnographic observation (Wells 2001,
115-116). Strabo thought of the Germans as Celts (Wells 2001, 116), and Cassius Dio called
Roman Germania "Keltica", reserving "Germania" for the area "between the Rhine and Elbe
Rivers" (Wells 2001, 117).8 So, the divisions in ancient texts were not made on the basis of
languages spoken or perceived similarities of cultures but rather on geographic location
(Wells 2001, 117).

The Basic Comparison


8. The basic elements of the embedded weapon being a sword and of the younger brother
withdrawing the blade and becoming the future king are about as far as most comparisons go
before turning from the similarities to the differences between the tales. Several key parallels,

3 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

however, are contained in the material between the withdrawal of the sword and Sigmund's
ascension to the kingship. Among them are that Arthur's sword in the anvil atop a stone is in
a graveyard and that Sinfiotli and Sigmund use the sword from the Branstock to cut through
stone and iron as they escape from a grave.9
9. Bruce (1958, 145) argued that the legend of the Sword and the Stone derived from the
Greek story of Theseus and the Germanic Volsungasaga. The story's pattern, however, was
more widespread than those variants and parts of it appear in Herodotus's ancient account of
the religion of the Scythians.

Transmission
10. The spread of the tale that developed, as we consider all of these variants, strongly
suggests that transmission occurred via the steppe nomads. As these horse-riding warriors
came into contact with other cultures and transmitted their knowledge of cavalry warfare and
of forging iron, they also transmitted stories about the deity who oversaw both war and
smithing, a combination that only occurred among the steppe nomads (see Map 2).
11. The knowledge of iron working first appeared in the "second half of the third
millennium B.C. in Anatolia" (Milisauskas 1978, 253).10 Milisauskas (1978, 254) noted that
the Scythian influence in La Tne art could have come in with iron technology,11 and this
agrees with what we find in the patterns of transmission for the tale of the Sword in the
Stone. Knowledge of iron-working first showed up ca. 600300 B.C.E. among Germanic
peoples in the area of the Jastorf culture (Schutz 1983, 309), south of the Elbe and north of
the Weser. This was not, however, forging swords. The Germanic peoples did not start
forging iron into longer swords intended for use by cavalry until the Late Roman Iron Age,
ca. 180400 C.E. (Hedeager 1992, 13).
12. The identity of the horse-riding elite warrior emerged in Europe in the first century
B.C.E. (Wells 2001, 120). Ca. 501 B.C.E., warrior graves with spurs, horse equipment, and
long swords show up on both sides of the Rhine as far north as central Sweden (Wells 2001,
121). This style of grave seems to be influenced by Sarmatian burials, as these nomads
tended to substitute horse equipment and/or pieces of horses for the full horse interments that
we find in the burials of other cultures. The style of cavalry equipment also seems to have
been transmitted from the Sarmatians.
13. Caesar considered the "German" cavalry to be his best mercenaries (Gallic War 8.10). It
is no accident that shortly after the German cavalry units start showing up in the Roman army
(4836 B.C.E.; Wells 2001, 121), Sarmatian units also start service as Roman allies. For
instance, Tiberius stationed the Iazyges between the Danube and the Tisa as Roman allies ca.
20 C.E. (Millar 1966, 276). We know that during the Marcomannic Wars of 166/7175 and
177180, the Iazyges, a tribe of Sarmatians, were allied with the Marcomanni and the Quadi,
two tribes of the Suebi (Millar 1966, 115). In 175, when 5,500 Iazyges were set to Britain,
"cavalry from the Marcomanni, Quadi and Nuristae were sent . . . [to] Syria" (Millar 1966,
115).12

4 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

14. While the Huns had had significant contact with the Germanic peoples prior to the
recording of the stories in the Volsungasaga, Alano-Sarmatian peoples had had heavy
interaction with their Germanic neighbors long before the Huns appeared on the scene. After
the Huns defeated the Massagetae in 175 B.C.E., a tribe of Sarmatians founded a kingdom
and became known as the Royal Sarmatians (Millar 1966, 284). This group is thought by
several scholars to have been the Iazyges in particular (Millar 1966, 289), and they may have
earned their title by defeating and absorbing the Royal Scythians, who were previously
settled in the area where the Romans report the Iazyges. By 50 C.E. the bulk of the
Sarmatians were located in the vicinity of the Tisa and the Danube (Millar 1966, 289). This
put them in close contact with several Germanic peoples. Tacitus (Germania 46) tells that
there were several tribes who were so intermingled that he could no long tell which was
German and which was Sarmatian.13 At least one of those tribes, the Bastarrae, were in
contact with the Sarmatians by the third century B.C.E. (Todd 1992, 24).14

The Story in the Stars


15. Anyone who attempted to navigate by the stars, whether on an actual sea or a sea of
grass, would notice that something terrifying happens over the course of centuries: North
moves. (Plate 3) For instance, ca. 2500 B.C.E. Thuban in the constellation Draco was the
pole star (Barber and Barber 2004, 198-199).15 In 2140 B.C.E., Polaris, which is in the Little
Dipper, became the pole star, and about 13,000 years from now Vega, in the constellation
Lyra, will become the pole star (Barber and Barber 2004, 198).16 The pole takes roughly
2160 years to pass through each sign of the Zodiac (Barber and Barber 2004, 199).17
Accordingly, the spring equinox shifted from Taurus into Aries in 2160 B.C.E. (Barber and
Barber 2004, 208)
16. There were two ways of telling stories about this event. One was to focus on the
precession of the pole through the various signs of the Zodiac (Plate 4), which, as we know
it, was created roughly 5,000 years ago (Krupp 1978, 262-263), ca. 3,000 B.C.E.18 This is
what happened in the case of narratives about Mithras. "The precession out of Taurus into
Aries occurred nearly two thousand years before Mithraism became popular" (Barber and
Barber 2004, 206), yet it is quite clear from the imagery of the warrior slaying the bull, with a
scorpion and serpent attacking from below and a dog lapping up the bull's blood, that the
myths celebrated by the cult carried information taken from the sky. The artists were not
subtle about the connection: Most Mithraic images include the sun, moon and stars. (Plate 5)
In the worship of Mithras, we have the warrior stabbing the bull, Aries attacking the adjacent
sign of Taurus (Barber and Barber 2004, 206). The hero of the story of the Ram (e.g., the
Golden Fleece) can replace the Ram in such tales, and this is how some cultures told the tale
of the celestial precession.
17. The second way to tell the story was to focus on the pole itself and "northshift".19
While Mithras attacks the zodiacal sign that the celestial pole is leaving, the hero in the
Sword in the Stone story wields the pole itself, in this case a sword that is sticking into the
opposite sign. In 2160 B.C.E. that sign was Libra, but Libra did not become a scale until the
5 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Romans decided to reinstate the old Babylonian system.20 For the Hittites, Libra was a throne
and for the Chaldeans, Libra was an altar.21
18. The pole itself is depicted as many different things, from a spindle to a churn. In the
nomadic cultures of Eurasia, the pole was sometimes a tent pole (Sullivan 1996, 80; Barber
and Barber 2004, 200), but we think it could also be a sword. In the Germanic cultures, the
pole was the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which is represented in the Volsungasaga by the
Branstock. (Plate 6) A tree turns up in some retellings of the northshift story because the
celestial pole is the World Tree in addition to being the sword, which is why the sword is in
the tree in the Germanic tradition.22
19. Either the Hittites or the Chalybes were responsible for the addition of the anvil and
other ironworking pieces of the tale. In the case of the steppe cultures, the war god was also
associated with the forging of iron, and when these cultures transmitted the knowledge of
how to forge iron, they transmitted the stories of their war god as well.23 The overall
distribution of the tale matches the pattern of the steppe cultures spreading south, west and
east out of the steppes. Since the Alans were in the Caucasus region and had more contact
with the Hittites and Chalybes than the Iazyges did, they developed a form of the sword ritual
that dropped out the wood and embedded the sword in the ground. The Iazyges, however,
absorbed the Royal Scythians, who practiced the Sword in the Altar atop a Pile of Wood
variant and then had close contact with the Germanic peoples who saw the celestial pole as a
tree rather than a sword. When idea of the cavalry warrior transmitted from the Iazyges to the
Germanic peoples, the practice of forging iron transmitted with it. Images merged, and the
resulting tale became that of the Sword in the Tree instead of the Sword in the Stone.24

6 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Figures

Plate 1: Arthur pulling Excalibur from the anvil [Back]

Plate 2: Odin thrusts the sword into the Branstock [Back]

7 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Map 1: The world according to Herodotus, ca. 450 BCE [Back]

Map 2: Modern Europe [Back]

Plate 3: Northshift [Back]

8 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Plate 4: The Zodiac, showing the precession of the equinox [Back]

Plate 5: Mithras slaying a bull [Back]

9 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Plate 6: Yggrasil, the World Tree [Back]

10 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Notes
1. An earlier version of this paper was presented on Friday, April 21, 2006, at the Annual
Meeting of the Western States Folklore Society, Berkeley, CA. [Back]
2. By this date, Near Eastern cultures were squarely in the middle of the Bronze Age.
[Back]
3. Twelve seems to be a typical age for the hero to begin his career. For instance, in the
Icelandic Saga of Hrolf Kraki Bothvar and his brothers are all twelve when they start to show
their prowess and begin pulling weapons from a stone. [Back]
4. In the Hrolf Kraki, Bothvar, the hero who pulled the sword from the stone, senses that
Odin is about appear just before he dies. Although Thor appears to be the chief diety in many
areas, Odin "dominated in . . . Viking society" (Puhvel 1987, 192), and it is the Viking variant
that we have preserved in the Prose Edda. Despite Odin's deceptively small role in Tacitus as
well as in later sources, he was the actual head of the Germanic pantheon (Puhvel 1987, 193).
Although Odin has magical and priestly proclivities, as Puhvel puts it, he "holds down much
of [the warrior-god] . . . slot" (1987, 204). [Back]
5. Odin is associated with wolves, particularly werewolves, the lfhenar ("wolf-skinned"),
who were analogous to the berserker ("bear-skinned"; Puhvel 1987, 196). That there are two
types of frenzied warriors associated with Odin may indicate that we have a doublet caused
by impact from the Alano-Sarmatianor Scythiantradition. Essentially on top of where
Caesar says the German peoples were a few centuries later, the Neuri may have had a
significant impact on the development of Germanic lore, since these were the "Scythians"
that Herodotus singled out as "werewolves", creatures that are specifically associated with
Odin in Germanic tradition. Two of Odin's companions, Geri and Freki, are also wolves
(Puhvel 1987, 197), so when we have a she-wolf figuring in a story that began with Odin
plunging a sword into the World Tree, it's very likely that the she-wolf is acting as Odin's
agent. [Back]
6. There is a little information from "Frankish and Langobard laws" and from Anglo-Saxon
literature (Puhvel 1987, 190), but none of these contain the story of the Sword in the
Branstock. [Back]
7. "Germanic materials from the High Middle Ages . . . show heavy contamination by
Continental literary convention" (Puhvel 1987, 190) and are of little importance to the
discussion of Germanic mythic tradition. [Back]
8. For Greek writers, the Celts generally "occupied the lands to the west [and] the Scythians
to the east" (Wells 2001, 115). [Back]
9. This pattern can be seen in seemingly unrelated tales. For instance, while Thor is having a
piece of whetstone removed from where it is embedded in his head, he tells of making the
Morning Star out of the frozen toe of the husband of the woman who is using magic to
11 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

remove the stone. The woman, Gra, became so upset that the stone "remained embedded in
Thor's skull" (Puhvel 1987, 202). Here there is clearly an astral connection with a warrior and
a stone associated with a sword. [Back]
10. By 1270 the knowledge of iron working had spread to Greece (Milisauskas 1978, 253).
[Back]
11. The Halstatt culture shows evidence of iron working ca. 1000500 B.C.E., and the La
Tne culture shows similar evidence ca. 500 B.C.E.1 C.E. (Phillips 1980, 228). [Back]
12. The Nuristae may be the same people that Herodotus calls the "Neuri." [Back]
13. These were the Peucini (Bastarnae), Venedi and Fenni. [Back]
14. Although the sword cult has not been recorded among Sarmatians specifically, we do
know that the cult was among the Alans and that the Alans had a heavy impact on Germanic
groups in the fourth and fifth centuries.
In one German legend recorded by the Brothers Grimm (Grimm and Grimm 1981, 2:16, no.
381), a herdsman finds a sword, sacred to the Scythians, after a cow steps on it. He removes
the sword from the ground (it doesn't seem to be embedded in any particular fashion) and
gives it to Attila, who recognizes it and is thrilled to possess it. Priscus mentioned the sword
cult and made the connection between the cult and the story of the shepherd who followed a
trail of blood from his heifer to an ancient iron sword that was buried in the ground, which he
dug up and gave to Attila, who identified it as the Sword of Mars (Jordanes 35.183). Ward
says "Cf. Altdeutsche Wlder, I, 212, Note 10 and p. 319. Cr. Also Lamb. Schafnab., p. 348:
The Legend of Leopold von Mersburg who suffered great misfortune, including the account
of the sword." Attila also figures in the Icelandic Saga of Hrolf Kraki, albeit as an opponent
of rather than a wielder of Bothvar's sword (Mills 1933, 60 ff.).
All of these stories refer to a sword cult where the sword was embedded in the ground rather
than in a tree or an anvil or a stone. This cult was observed among the Alans by Ammianus
Marcellinus (31.4.22), who noted that the Alans worshiped a god of war by plunging a sword
into the ground. The Scythian sword cult referred to here was recorded by Herodotus
(4:59-62). The Huns, who feature prominently in the Volsungasaga, as the story continues,
probably acquired their knowledge of the sword cult from the Alans (Bachrach 1973, 111).
The sword cult also spread to Japan (Littleton 1995).
In the Icelandic Saga of Hrolf Kraki, the short sword that Frothi drives into a wooden beam
was one that he originally pulled from a stone (Mills 1933, 45). Frothi's brother, Bothvar,
wields a long sword which he pulled from the same stone and which he carries in a bark
scabbard (Mills 1933, 49). [Back]
15. In other words, the "sword" used to be in Draco's tail. The Delphic story of Python the
Dragon, "presumably the constellation traditionally named Draco . . . is told from a Camera
Angle focused specifically on 'Northshift' rather than on 'Precession,' suggesting a local
tradition that developed before diffusion of the Near Eastern model [i.e., the Kingship in
12 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Heaven]" (Barber and Barber 2004, 208, n. 15). For the Japanese variant, see Littleton 1981.
[Back]
16. In between times, when there is an observable pole star, the position of the celestial pole
can be determined by noting the positions of the various constellations. [Back]
17. The world pillars are the constellations in which the sun rises at the solstices and
equinoxes (Barber and Barber 2004, 201). [Back]
18. We know, however, that people were creating pictures of their myths in the stars,
constellations, long before that time. As Barber and Barber (2004, 211) point out, the
"Kingship in Heaven" stories, which also reflect the northshift, "were told by Babylonians,
Hittites, . . . Phoenicians. . . . , Germanic and Finnic tribes . . . across Eurasia to Iran, India
and China [and] . . . all [of them] must have diffused ultimately from the Near East." They
(Barber and Barber 2004, 210-211) have shown that these tales encode data regarding the
celestial precession that dates back to 6480 B.C.E., well before we have a record of the
Zodiac. The "Kingship in Heaven" theme characterized the movement of the equinox from
Gemini to Taurus ca. 4300 B.C.E. (Barber and Barber 2004, 208). [Back]
19. "Northshift . . . The slow circuit of the extension of Earth's rotational pole through the
stars takes almost 26,000 years, swinging the apparent North Celestial Pole from one part of
the northern sky to another and causing the sun to appear against a shifting background of
Zodiac stars" (Barber and Barber 2004, 198, fig. 35). [Back]
20. Absolutely none of the stories or images is found prior to 2160 B.C.E. Libra is also
known as a dragon, a stone altar or the Claw, depending on which culture is telling the tale.
[Back]
21. For Mithraism as a celestial cult, see Barber and Barber 2004, 205-206 and Ulansey
1989. The twelve signs of the zodiac show up as the twelve rebel kings in the Arthur tale, the
twelve Apostles in San Galgano's tale, the animal-shaped hilt of the Hititte sword god in
Yazilikaya, Turkey (ca. 1250 B.C.E.) and so forth. For the Chinese, Libra was a dragon,
which explains why in Asia the sword is in a dragon's tail instead of in the stone (Littleton
1981, 272). [Back]
22. The seven layers of earth that figures in some of the tales are the celestial spheres,
through which the Divine Sword cuts. [Back]
23. Dates for precession of the spring equinox: ca. 6480 B.C.E. (Cancer to Gemini), ca.
4320 B.C.E. (Gemini to Taurus), ca 2160 B.C.E. (Taurus to Aries) (Barber and Barber 2004,
210), and 6 B.C. (Aries into Pices) (Barber and Barber 2004, 209). The precession from Pices
into Aquarius will occur ca. 2154 C.E. [Back]
24. The Christians clearly had no idea that the tale was originally a mnemonic for
remembering the "new" order of the Heavens, yet the monks and authors like Robert who
record the tale do an admirable job of keeping the important details that the ancients were
trying to transmit to the next generation intact. [Back]
13 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

14 of 16

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Works Cited
Ammianus Marcellinus. 1939. Ammianus Marcellinus. Translated by J.C. Rolfe. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press. [Back]
Bachrach, Bernard S. 1973. A history of the Alans in the West. Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press. [Back]
Barber, Elizabeth Wayland, and Paul T. Barber. 2004. When they severed earth From sky:
How the human mind shapes myth. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
[Back]
Bruce, James Douglas. 1958. The Evolution of Arthurian romance from the beginning down
to the year 1300. 2nd ed. Gloucester: Peter Smith. 2 vols. [Back]
Caesar, Julius. 1896. First eight books of Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War:
Litterally translated with explanatory notes. Ed. and trans. Edward Brooks. Excelsior
Translations. New York: Platt and Nourse. [Back]
Grimm, Jacob, and Wilhelm Grimm. 1981. The German legends of the Brothers Grimm. Ed.
and trans. Donald J. Ward. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues. 2 vols.
[Back]
Guerber, H.A. 1985. The Norsemen, London: Bracken. [Back]
Hedeager, Lotte. 1992. Iron-Age societies: From tribe to state in northern Europe, 500 B.C.
to A.D. 700. Trans. John Hines. Oxford and Cambridge, MA; Blackwell. [Back]
Herodotus. 1954. The Histories. Translated by Aubrey De Slincourt. London and New York:
Penguin. [Back]
Jordanes. 1915. The Gothic history of Jordanes in English version. Trans. Charles
Christopher Mierow. Princeton: Princeton University Press; London: Oxford University
Press. [Back]
Krupp, E.C. 1978. Observatories of the gods and other astronomical fantasies. In In Search of
Ancient Astronomers. Ed. E.C. Krupp. NY: Doubleday. Pp. 241-278. [Back]
Littleton, C. Scott. 1981. Susa-n-wo versus Ya-mata n Worti: An Indo-European theme in
Japanese mythology. History of Religions 20:269-280. [Back]
. 1982. From swords in the earth to the sword in the stone: A possible reflection of an
Alano-Sarmatian rite of passage in the Arthurian tradition. In Homage to Georges Dumzil.
Ed. Edgar C. Polom. Washington, DC: The Journal of Indo-European Studies Monograph
No. 3. [Back]
. 1995. Yamato-takeru: An 'Arthurian' hero in Japanese tradition. Asian Folklore
15 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Littleton & MalcorThe Germanic Sword In The Tree

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/11/littletonmalcor.php

Studies 54:259-274. [Back]


Littleton, C. Scott, and Linda A. Malcor. 2000. From Scythia to Camelot: a radical
reassessment of the legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and the Holy
Grail. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. [Back]
Malory, Sir Thomas. 1969. Le morte d'Arthur. Ed. Janet Cowen. Harmondsworth and New
York: Penguin. 2 vols. [Back]
Milisauskas, Sarunas. 1978. European prehistory. New York: Academic Press. [Back]
Millar, Fergus. 1966. The Roman empire and its neighbors. New York: Delacorte. [Back]
Mills, Stella M. 1933. The saga of Hrolf Kraki. Oxford: Blackwell. [Back]
Phillips, Patricia. 1980. The prehistory of Europe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
[Back]
Puhvel, Jaan. 1987. Comparative mythology. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins. [Back]
Schutz, Herbert. 1983. The prehistory of Germanic Europe. New Haven and London: Yale
University Press. [Back]
Sullivan, William. 1996. The secret of the Incas. New York: Three Rivers Press. [Back]
Tacitus. 1970. The Agricola and the Germania. Trans. H. Mattingly and S. A. Handford.
Harmondsworth, Middlesex and New York: Penguin. [Back]
Todd, Malcolm. 1992. The early Germans. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. [Back]
Ulansey, David. 1989. The origins of the Mithraic mysteries: Cosmology and salvation in the
ancient world. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Back]
Wells, Peter S. 2001. Beyond Celts, Germans and Scythians. London: Duckworth. [Back]

16 of 16

6/18/10 5:41 PM

Оценить