Die germanische Mythosgestalt *Askiz in der Germania von Cornelius Tacitus und in altnordischen Quellen

Variant title
The Germanic mythical hero *Askiz in Tacitus' Germania and Old Nordic sources
Source document: Brünner Beiträge zur Germanistik und Nordistik. 2015, vol. 29, iss. 1, pp. [19]-31
Extent
[19]-31
  • ISSN
    1803-7380 (print)
    2336-4408 (online)
Type
Article
Language
German
License: Not specified license
Rights access
embargoed access
Abstract(s)
The work by Publius Cornelius Tacitus entitled De origine et situ Germanorum is an inexhaustible source of knowledge about ancient Germanic peoples, their culture, beliefs and even their mythology. The proposed paper compares Tacitus' information on the actions of Germanic *Askiz, identified with Greek-Roman Ulysses (Germ. 3, 2–3) and the Germanic myth of the creation of man (Germ. 2,2) with corresponding mentions from the Old Norse tradition (Völuspa, stanzas 17–18; Snorri Sturluson, Edda. Gylfaginning). The authors conclude that interpreting the stanzas 17–18 of the Old Norse Voluspa as a myth of the creation of man (widely accepted so far and supported by the authority of the 13th century Icelandic writer Snorri Sturluson) is groundless. The Old Norse text mentions only an accidental interference of three Gods: Odin, Hoenir and Lodur in the life of particular human beings. The Gods, strolling by the seashore find Ask and Embla lying unconscious and they bring them to life, giving them spirit, sense, blood and skin colour. The passage is most probably a description of one of the adventures of the mythical Germanic wanderer *Askiz, the founder of the town of Asciburgium on the left bank of the Rhine (today Moers-Asberg, near Düsseldorf), according to Tacitus' informants. The original Germanic myth of the creation of mankind is described in Tacitus' work. The report of it is fully credible because it contains both elements directly attributable to the Indo-European tradition (Germanic Mannus as Indo-European *MonHus, the forefather of all mankind) as well as elements related to Proto-Germanic origins e.g. the eponymous ancestors of Ingvaeones and Herminones, whose existence is corroborated by later mythological data (e.g. Gmc. *Ingwaz / *Ingwōn, whence OE. Ing, ON. Ingwi; Gmc. *Ermenaz, whence OSax. Irmin).
Document
References:
[1] ADAMS, Douglas Q. (1999): A Dictionary of Tocharian B . Amsterdam – Atlanta.

[2] ALLEN, William Francis (1960): Cornelius Tacitus, The Life of Agricola and The Germania, edited by W. F. Allen, revised by K. Allen and G. L. Hendricksen . Boston – New York – Chicago – London.

[3] BEARE, W. (1964): Tacitus on the Germans . In: Greece and Rome 11, No. 1, pp. 64–76.

[4] BECHERT, Tilmann (1989): Die Römer in Asciburgium . (Duisburger Forschungen, Bd. 36). Duisburg.

[5] BECHERT, Tilmann (1992): Zweitausend Jahre Asciburgium. Die Geschichte der römischen Kastelle auf dem "Burgfeld" in Moers-Asberg . Gronenberg.

[6] DIETZ, Karlheinz (2003): Asciburgium . In: Brill's New Pauly. Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World, edited by H. Cancik and H. Schneider. Vol. 2, Leiden – Boston, S. 94.

[7] FABIA, Philippe (1900): Onomasticon Taciteum . Paris – Lyon.

[8] FEHRLE, Eugen (1939): Publius Cornelius Tacitus Germania. Dritte Auflage . München – Berlin.

[9] HOLLANDER, Lee M. (1962): The Poetic Edda. Translated by L. M. Hollander. 2nd ed . Austin.

[10] HOLTSMARK, Anne – HELGASON, Jón (1950): Snorri Sturluson Edda, Gylfaginning og Prosafortellingene av Skáldskaparmá l. København.

[11] KEMPIŃSKI, Andrzej M. (1993). Słownik mitologii ludów indoeuropejskich . Poznań.

[12] KLUGE, Friedrich – SEEBOLD, Elmar (1999): Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 23., erweiterte Auflage . Berlin – New York.

[13] KOBILINSKI, G. von (1901): Die Germania des Tacitus . Berlin.

[14] KOESTERMANN, Erich (1970): P. Cornelii Taciti libri qui supersunt, t. 2, fasc. 2: Germania, Agricola, Dialogus de oratoribus , Lipsiae.

[15] KOWALSKI, Andrzej P. (2013): Antropologia zamierzchłych znaczeń . Toruń.

[16] PŁÓCIENNIK, Tomasz – KOLENDO, Jerzy (2008): P. Kornelius Tacitus, Germania . (Fontes Historiae Antiquae X). Poznań.

[17] LUND, Allan A. (1991): Kritischer Forschungsbericht zur Germania des Tacitus . In: TEMPORINI, Hildegard – HAASE, Wolfgang (Hrsg.): Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (ANRW) Teil II. Bd. 33.3, Berlin – New York, S. 1189–2222.

[18] ŁOWMIAŃSKI, Henryk (1976): Rodzime i obce elementy w religii Germanów . In: Cultus et cognitio. Warszawa, S. 353–363.

[19] MACDONELL, Arthur Anthony (1971): The Vedic Mythology . Delhi.

[20] MUCH, Rudolf (1929): Ulixes in Germanien . In: Wörter und Sachen 12, S. 342–361.

[21] MUCH, Rudolf (1937): Die Germania des Tacitus . Heidelberg.

[22] NECKEL, Gustav (1962): Edda. Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 3. Auflage . Heidelberg.

[23] NORDEN, Eduard (1920): Die germanische Urgeschichte in Tacitus Germania . Leipzig – Berlin.

[24] OREL, Vladimir (2003): A Handbook of the Germanic Etymology . Leiden – Boston.

[25] PAGÁN, Victoria Emma (2012): A Companion to Tacitus . Chichester.

[26] PIEKARCZYK, Stanisław (1979): Mitologia germańska . Warszawa.

[27] PIEKARCZYK, Stanisław (1981): Religia Germanów . In: Religie Bliskiego Wschodu i dawnej Europy. Zarys dziejów. Warszawa.

[28] POKORNY, Julius (1959): Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch . Bern, München.

[29] POLOMÉ, Edgar C. (1969): Some Comments on Vǫluspá, Stanzas 17–18 . In: POLOMÉ, Edgar C. (ed.): Old Norse Literature and Mythology. A Symposium. Austin, pp. 265–290. (Reprinted in POLOMÉ 1989: 30–54).

[30] POLOMÉ, Edgar C. (1989): Essays on Germanic Religion . Washington.

[31] RINGE, Don (2006): From Indo-European to Proto-Germanic . Oxford, New York.

[32] RIVES, James B. (2012): Germania . In: PAGÁN, Victoria Emma (ed.): A Companion to Tacitus. Chichester, S. 45–61.

[33] SŁUPECKI, Lech P. (2003): Mitologia skandynawska w epoce Wikingów . Kraków.

[34] SIMROCK, Karl – STANGE, Manfred [Hrsg.] (1995): Die Edda. Götterlieder, Heldenlieder und Spruchweisheiten der Germanen. Vollständige Text-Ausgabe in der Übersetzung von Karl Simrock. Überarbeitete Neuausgabe mit Nachwort und Register von Manfred Stange . Augsburg.

[35] VILLAR, Francisco (2000): Indoeuropeos y no Indoeuropeos en la Hispania Prerromana . Salamanca.

[36] WITCZAK, Krzysztof Tomasz – KACZYŃSKA, Elwira (2002): Odyseusz-Askiz na brzegach Germanii . In: Collectanea Classica Thoruniensia XIII. Studia Graeco-Latina IV. Toruń, S. 191–201.

[37] WOLFF, Eduard (1907): Tacitus' Germania, erklärt von E. Wolff . Leipzig – Berlin.