Jacob Grimm

Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (4 January 1785 – 20 September 1863), also known as Ludwig Karl, was a German philologist, jurist, and mythologist. He is known as the discoverer of Grimm's law (linguistics), the co-author of the monumental Deutsches Wörterbuch, the author of Deutsche Mythologie, and the editor of Grimm's Fairy Tales. He is the elder of the Brothers Grimm.

Jacob Grimm
BornJacob Ludwig Karl Grimm
4 January 1785
Hanau, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel in the Holy Roman Empire
Died20 September 1863 (aged 78)
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia in the German Confederation
Alma materUniversity of Marburg

Life and books

Jacob Grimm was born in Hanau in Hesse-Kassel. His father Philipp Grimm was a lawyer who died while Jacob was a child, and his mother was left with very small means. His mother's sister was lady of the chamber to the Landgravine of Hesse, and she helped to support and educate her family. Jacob was sent to the public school at Kassel in 1798 with his younger brother Wilhelm.[1]

In 1802, he went to the University of Marburg where he studied law, a profession for which he had been destined by his father. His brother joined him at Marburg a year later, having just recovered from a severe illness, and likewise began the study of law.[1]

Meeting von Savigny

Up to this time, Jacob Grimm had been driven only by a general thirst for knowledge, and his energies had not found any aim beyond the practical one of making himself a position in life. The first definite impulse came from the lectures of Friedrich Karl von Savigny, the celebrated investigator of Roman law, who first taught him to realize what it meant to study any science, as Wilhelm Grimm himself says in the preface to the Deutsche Grammatik (German Grammar). Savigny's lectures also awakened in him a love for historical and antiquarian investigation, which forms the structure of all his work. The two men became personally acquainted, and it was in Savigny's well-stocked library that Grimm first turned over the leaves of Bodmer's edition of the Middle High German minnesingers and other early texts, and felt an eager desire to penetrate further into the obscurities and half-revealed mysteries of their language.[1]

In the beginning of 1805, he received an invitation from Savigny, who had moved to Paris, to help him in his literary work. Grimm passed a very happy time in Paris, strengthening his taste for the literatures of the Middle Ages by his studies in the Paris libraries. Towards the close of the year, he returned to Kassel, where his mother and Wilhelm had settled, the latter having finished his studies. The next year, he obtained a position in the war office with the very small salary of 100 thalers. One of his grievances was that he had to exchange his stylish Paris suit for a stiff uniform and pigtail. But he had full leisure for the pursuit of his studies.[1]


In 1808, soon after the death of his mother, he was appointed superintendent of the private library of Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, into which Hesse-Kassel had been incorporated by Napoleon. Bonaparte appointed him an auditor to the state council, while Grimm retained his superintendent post. His salary was increased in a short period of time from 2000 to 4000 francs and his official duties were hardly more than nominal. After the expulsion of Bonaparte and the reinstatement of an elector, Grimm was appointed Secretary of Legation in 1813, accompanying the Hessian minister to the headquarters of the allied army. In 1814, he was sent to Paris to demand restitution of books carried off by the French, and he also attended the Congress of Vienna as Secretary of Legation, 1814–1815. Upon his return from Vienna, he was sent to Paris a second time to secure book restitutions. Meanwhile, Wilhelm had received an appointment to the Kassel library, and Jacob was made second librarian under Volkel in 1816. Upon the death of Volkel in 1828, the brothers expected to be advanced to the first and second librarianships respectively, and were dissatisfied when the first place was given to Rommel, the keeper of the archives. Consequently, they moved the following year to Göttingen, where Jacob received the appointment of professor and librarian, and Wilhelm that of under-librarian. Jacob Grimm lectured on legal antiquities, historical grammar, literary history, and diplomatics, explained Old German poems, and commented on the Germania of Tacitus.[1]

Later work

Elisabet Ney - Bust of Jacob Grimm (1856-58)
Marble bust of Grimm by Elisabet Ney, carved 1856–58 in Berlin

Grimm joined other academics known as the Göttingen Seven who signed a protest against the King of Hanover's abrogation of the constitution which had been established some years before. As a result, he was dismissed from his professorship and banished from the Kingdom of Hanover in 1837. He returned to Kassel with his brother, who had also signed the protest. They remained there until 1840, when they accepted King Frederick William IV's invitation to move to Berlin, where they both received professorships and were elected members of the Academy of Sciences. Grimm was not under any obligation to lecture and he seldom did so, but spent his time working with his brother on their great dictionary. During their time in Kassel, he regularly attended the meetings of the academy and read papers on varied subjects. The best-known of those subjects are Karl Konrad Friedrich Wilhelm Lachmann, Friedrich Schiller, old age, and the origin of language. He also described his impressions of Italian and Scandinavian travel, interspersing his more general observations with linguistic details, as is the case in all his works.[1] He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1857.[2]

Grimm died in Berlin at age 78, working until the very end of his life. He describes his own work at the end of his autobiography:

Nearly all my labors have been devoted, either directly or indirectly, to the investigation of our earlier language, poetry and laws. These studies may have appeared to many, and may still appear, useless; to me they have always seemed a noble and earnest task, definitely and inseparably connected with our common fatherland, and calculated to foster the love of it. My principle has always been in these investigations to under-value nothing, but to utilize the small for the illustration of the great, the popular tradition for the elucidation of the written monuments.[1]

Linguistic work

History of the German Language

Grimm's Geschichte der deutschen Sprache (History of the German Language) explores German history hidden in the words of the German language and is the oldest natural history of the Teutonic tribes determined by means of language. He collected scattered words and allusions found in classical literature and endeavoured to determine the relationship between the German language and those of the Getae, Thracians, Scythians, and many other nations whose languages were known only through Greek and Latin authors. Grimm's results have been greatly modified by the wider range of comparison and improved methods of investigation that now characterize linguistics. Many questions that he raised remain obscure due to the lack of surviving records of the languages, but his book's influence has been profound.[1]

German Grammar

Grimm's famous Deutsche Grammatik (German Grammar) was the outcome of his purely philological work. The labors of past generations from the humanists onwards resulted in an enormous collection of materials in the form of text editions, dictionaries, and grammars, although most of it was uncritical and unreliable. Some work had even been done in the way of comparison and determination of general laws, and the concept of a comparative Germanic grammar had been clearly grasped by the illustrious Englishman George Hickes by the beginning of the 18th century in his Thesaurus. Ten Kate in the Netherlands had [afterwards] (after Grimm's book?) made valuable contributions to the history and comparison of Germanic languages. Even Grimm himself did not initially intend to include all the languages in his Grammar, but he soon found that Old High German postulated Gothic, and that the later stages of German could not be understood without the help of other West Germanic varieties including English, and that the rich literature of Scandinavia could likewise not be ignored. The first edition of the first part of the Grammar, which appeared in 1819 treated the inflections of all these languages. It included a general introduction in which he vindicated the importance of an historical study of the German language against the a priori, quasi-philosophical methods then in vogue.[1]

In 1822 this same volume appeared in a second edition (really a new work, for, as Grimm himself says in the preface, it cost him little reflection to "mow the first crop down to the ground"). The considerable gap between the two stages of Grimm's development of these two editions is significantly shown by the fact that, while the first edition gives only the inflections, the second volume addresses phonology with no fewer than 600 pages – more than half of the volume. Grimm had, at last, awakened to the full conviction that all philology must be based on rigorous adherence to the laws of sound change in order to be sound, and he subsequently never deviated from this principle. This gave to all his investigations, even in their boldest flights, an iron-bound consistency, and a force of conviction that distinguishes science from dilettantism. Prior to Grimm's time, philology was nothing than laborious and conscientious dilettantism, with occasional instances of scientific inspiration.[1]

His advances must be attributed mainly to the influence of his contemporary Rasmus Christian Rask. Rask was born two years later than Grimm, but his remarkable precocity set him beyond his years. In Grimm's first editions, his Icelandic paradigms are based entirely on Rask's grammar, and in his second edition, he relied almost entirely on Rask for Old English. His debt to Rask can be appreciated only by comparing his treatment of Old English in the two editions; the difference is very great. For example, in the first edition he declines dæg, dæges, plural dægas, without having observed the law of vowel-change pointed out by Rask. (The correct plural is dagas.) There can be little doubt that the appearance of Rask's Old English grammar was the primary impetus for Grimm to recast his work from the beginning. To Rask also belongs the merit of having first distinctly formulated the laws of sound-correspondence in the different languages, especially in the vowels (those more fleeting elements of speech previously ignored by etymologists).[1]

The Grammar was continued in three volumes, treating principally derivation, composition and syntax, the last of which was unfinished. Grimm then began a third edition, of which only one part, comprising the vowels, appeared in 1840, his time being afterwards taken up mainly by the dictionary. The Grammar stands alone in the annals of science for its comprehensiveness, method and fullness of detail. Every law, every letter, every syllable of inflection in the different languages was illustrated by an almost exhaustive mass of material, and it has served as a model for all succeeding investigators. Diez's grammar of the Romance languages is founded entirely on its methods, which have also exerted a profound influence on the wider study of the Indo-European languages in general.[1]

Grimm's law

Jacob is recognized for enunciating Grimm's law, the Germanic Sound Shift, which was first observed by the Danish philologist Rasmus Christian Rask. Grimm's law was the first non-trivial systematic sound change to be discovered. Grimm's law, also known as the 'Rask-Grimm Rule' or the First Germanic Sound Shift, was the first law in linguistics concerning a non-trivial sound change. It was a turning point in the development of linguistics, allowing the introduction of a rigorous methodology to historic linguistic research. It concerns the correspondence of consonants between the ancestral Proto-Indo-European language and its Germanic descendants, Low Saxon and High German, and was first fully stated by Grimm in the second edition of the first part of his Grammar. The correspondence of single consonants had been more or less clearly recognized by several of his predecessors, including Friedrich von Schlegel, Rasmus Christian Rask and Johan Ihre, the last having established a considerable number of literarum permutationes, such as b for f, with the examples bœra = ferre ("to bear"), befwer = fibra ("fiber"). Rask, in his essay on the origin of the Icelandic language, gave the same comparisons, with a few additions and corrections, and even the same examples in most cases. As Grimm in the preface to his first edition expressly mentioned Rask's essay, there is every probability that it inspired his own investigations. But there is a wide difference between the isolated permutations described by his predecessors and his own comprehensive generalizations. The extension of the law to High German in any case is entirely Grimm's work.[1]

The only fact that can be adduced in support of the assertion that Grimm wished to deprive Rask of his claims to priority is that he does not expressly mention Rask's results in his second edition. But it was part of the plan of his work to refrain from all controversy or reference to the works of others. In his first edition, he expressly calls attention to Rask's essay, and praises it ungrudgingly. It is true that a certain bitterness of feeling afterwards sprang up between Grimm and Rask, but this may have well been Rask's fault, who, impatient of contradiction and irritable in controversy, refused to consider the value of Grimm's views when they called for the modification of his own.[1]

German Dictionary

Grimm's monumental dictionary of the German Language, the Deutsches Wörterbuch, was started in 1838 and first published in 1854. The Brothers anticipated it would take 10 years and encompass some 6–7 volumes. However, it was undertaken on so large a scale as to make it impossible for them to complete it. The dictionary, as far as it was worked on by Grimm himself, has been described as a collection of disconnected antiquarian essays of high value.[1] It was finally finished by subsequent scholars in 1961 and supplemented in 1971. At 33 volumes at some 330,000 headwords, it remains a standard work of reference to the present day. A current project at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities is underway to update the Deutsches Wörterbuch to modern academic standards. Volumes A–F were scheduled for release in 2012.

Literary work

The first work Jacob Grimm published, Über den altdeutschen Meistergesang (1811), was of a purely literary character. Yet even in this essay Grimm showed that Minnesang and Meistergesang were really one form of poetry, of which they merely represented different stages of development, and also announced his important discovery of the invariable division of the Lied into three strophic parts.

Grimm's text-editions were mostly prepared in conjunction with his brother. In 1812 they published the two ancient fragments of the Hildebrandslied and the Weißenbrunner Gebet, Jacob having discovered what till then had never been suspected — namely the alliteration in these poems. However, Jacob had little taste for text editing, and, as he himself confessed, working on a critical text gave him little pleasure. He therefore left this department to others, especially Lachmann, who soon turned his brilliant critical genius, trained in the severe school of classical philology, to Old and Middle High German poetry and metre.[1]

Both Brothers were attracted from the beginning by all national poetry, whether in the form of epics, ballads or popular tales. They published In 1816–1818 a collection of legends culled from diverse sources and published the two-volume Deutsche Sagen (German Legends). At the same time they collected all the folktales they could find, partly from the mouths of the people, partly from manuscripts and books, and published in 1812–1815 the first edition of those Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales), which has carried the name of the brothers Grimm into every household of the western world. The closely related subject of the satirical beast epic of the Middle Ages also held great charm for Jacob Grimm, and he published an edition of the Reinhart Fuchs in 1834. His first contribution to mythology was the first volume of an edition of the Eddaic songs, undertaken jointly with his brother, and was published in 1815. However, this work was not followed by any others on the subject.[1]

The first edition of his Deutsche Mythologie (German Mythology) appeared in 1835. This great work covered the whole range of the subject, attempting to trace the mythology and superstitions of the old Teutons back to the very dawn of direct evidence, and following their evolution to modern-day popular traditions, tales, and expressions.[1]

Legal scholarship

Grimm's work as a jurist was influential for the development of the history of law, particularly in Northern Europe.

His essay Von der Poesie im Recht (Poetry in Law, 1816) developed a far-reaching, suprapositivist Romantic conception of law. The Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer (German Legal Antiquities, 1828) was a comprehensive compilation of sources of law from all Germanic languages, whose structure allowed an initial understanding of older German legal traditions not influenced by Roman law. Grimm's Weisthümer (4 vol., 1840–63), a compilation of partially oral legal traditions from rural Germany, allows research of the development of written law in Northern Europe.[3]


Jacob Grimm's work tied in strongly to his views on Germany and its culture. His work with fairy tales and his philological work dealt with German origins. He loved his people and wished for a united Germany, he and his brother were vocal proponents of expansionist Pan-Germanism. In the German revolution of 1848, he was given a chance to make these views known when he was elected to the Frankfurt National Parliament. The people of Germany had demanded a constitution, so the Parliament, formed of elected members from various German states, met to form one. Grimm was selected for the office in a large part because of his part in the University of Goettingen's refusal to swear to the king of Hanover expounded upon above. He then went to Frankfurt, where he did not play a big part, but did make some speeches, which tended to stray into the realms of history and philology rather than whatever political question was at hand. Grimm was adamant on one subject, however; he wanted the Danish-ruled but German-speaking duchy of Holstein to be under German control. He talked passionately on this subject, which showed his fierce German nationalism.

Grimm was not made to be a politician, and also soon realized that the National Assembly was not getting anywhere (it was eventually dissolved without establishing a constitution), and so asked to be released from his duties and returned with relief to his former studies. His political career did not bloom into anything great, but it does illustrate his characteristics—his nationalism and his moralism. He believed that good would triumph in the Parliament, and pushed for human rights legislation just as he wished for a unified Germany.


Jacob Grimm died on September 20, 1863, in Berlin, Germany from disease[4][5]


The following is a complete list of Grimm's separately published works. Those he published with his brother are marked with a star (*). For a list of his essays in periodicals, etc., see vol. V of his Kleinere Schriften, from which the present list is taken. His life is best studied in his own Selbstbiographie, in vol. I of the Kleinere Schriften. There is also a brief memoir by Karl Goedeke in Göttinger Professoren (Gotha (Perthes), 1872).[1]

  • Über den altdeutschen Meistergesang (Göttingen, 1811)
  • *Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Berlin, 1812–1815) (many editions)
  • *Das Lied von Hildebrand und des Weissenbrunner Gebet (Kassel, 1812)
  • Altdeutsche Wälder (Kassel, Frankfurt, 1813–1816, 3 vols.)
  • *Der arme Heinrich von Hartmann von der Aue (Berlin, 1815)
  • Irmenstrasse und Irmensäule (Vienna, 1815)
  • *Die Lieder der alten Edda (Berlin, 1815)
  • Silva de romances viejos (Vienna, 1815)
  • *Deutsche Sagen (Berlin, 1816–1818, 2nd ed., Berlin, 1865–1866)
  • Deutsche Grammatik (Göttingen, 1819, 2nd ed., Göttingen, 1822–1840) (reprinted 1870 by Wilhelm Scherer, Berlin)
  • Wuk Stephanowitsch' Kleine Serbische Grammatik, verdeutscht mit einer Vorrede (Leipzig and Berlin, 1824) Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic – Serbian Grammar
  • Zur Recension der deutschen Grammatik (Kassel, 1826)
  • *Irische Elfenmärchen, aus dem Englischen (Leipzig, 1826)
  • Deutsche Rechtsaltertümer (Göttingen, 1828, 2nd ed., 1854)
  • Hymnorum veteris ecclesiae XXVI. interpretatio theodisca (Göttingen, 1830)
  • Reinhart Fuchs (Berlin, 1834)
  • Deutsche Mythologie (Göttingen, 1835, 3rd ed., 1854, 2 vols.)
  • Taciti Germania edidit (Göttingen, 1835)
  • Über meine Entlassung (Basel, 1838)
  • (together with Schmeller) Lateinische Gedichte des X. und XI. Jahrhunderts (Göttingen, 1838)
  • Sendschreiben an Karl Lachmann über Reinhart Fuchs (Berlin, 1840)
  • Weistümer, Th. i. (Göttingen, 1840) (continued, partly by others, in 5 parts, 1840–1869)
  • Andreas und Elene (Kassel, 1840)
  • Frau Aventure (Berlin, 1842)
  • Geschichte der deutschen Sprache (Leipzig, 1848, 3rd ed., 1868, 2 vols.)
  • Des Wort des Besitzes (Berlin, 1850)
  • *Deutsches Wörterbuch, Bd. i. (Leipzig, 1854)
  • Rede auf Wilhelm Grimm und Rede über das Alter (Berlin, 1868, 3rd ad., 1865)
  • Kleinere Schriften (F. Dümmler, Berlin, 1864–1884, 7 vols.).
    • vol. 1 : Reden und Abhandlungen (1864, 2nd ed. 1879)
    • vol. 2 : Abhandlungen zur Mythologie und Sittenkunde (1865)
    • vol. 3 : Abhandlungen zur Litteratur und Grammatik (1866)
    • vol. 4 : Recensionen und vermischte Aufsätze part I (1869)
    • vol. 5 : Recensionen und vermischte Aufsätze part II (1871)
    • vol. 6 : Recensionen und vermischte Aufsätze part III
    • vol. 7 : Recensionen und vermischte Aufsätze part IV (1884)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Carl" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter G" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  3. ^ Dilcher, Gerhard (2001). "Grimm, Jakob". In Michael Stolleis. Juristen: ein biographisches Lexikon; von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (in German) (2nd ed.). München: Beck. p. 262. ISBN 3-406-45957-9.
  4. ^ "Obituary.; DEATH OF JACOB GRIMM". The New York Times. 1863-10-09. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  5. ^ "Jacob Grimm". Biography. Retrieved 2019-03-06.

External links


Aprus (or Aper, French: Apre, Epvre, Evre or Avre) is a Latin masculine given name that may refer to:

Aprus of Reims, 4th-century archbishop of Reims

Aprus of Toul (died 507), 6th-century bishop of Toul

Aper of Tarbes, 6th-century bishop of Tarbes

Aprus of Sens, 7th-century saint

Aprus, deity or hero posited by Jacob Grimm as the namesake for the month of April

Deutsche Mythologie

Deutsche Mythologie (German: [ˈdɔʏtʃə mytoloˈɡiː], Teutonic Mythology) is a treatise on Germanic mythology by Jacob Grimm. First published in Germany in 1835, the work is an exhaustive treatment of the subject, tracing the mythology and beliefs of the ancient Germanic peoples from their earliest attestations to their survivals in modern traditions, folktales and popular expressions.

The structure of the Deutsche Mythologie is fairly encyclopaedic. The articles and chapters are discursive of philological, historical, folkloristic, and poetic aspects of the pre-Christian Germanic religions. The sources are varied epochally and geographically. In many instances, Grimm cites the North and West Germanic variants of a religious entity; thus the entry on Thor is titled 'Donar, Thunar (Thôrr)'. Older Germanic words, particularly those concerning ritual, are often compared to Latin equivalents, as evident in the table of contents.

The English translation by Stallybrass (3 vols., with vol. 4, supplement), is based on the fourth edition.

Ear (rune)

The Ear ᛠ rune of the Anglo-Saxon futhorc is a late addition to the alphabet. It is, however, still attested from epigraphical evidence, notably the Thames scramasax, and its introduction thus cannot postdate the 9th century. It is transliterated as ea, and the Anglo-Saxon rune poem glosses it as

ᛠ [ear] byþ egle eorla gehƿylcun, / ðonn[e] fæstlice flæsc onginneþ, / hraƿ colian, hrusan ceosan / blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosaþ, / ƿynna geƿitaþ, ƿera gesƿicaþ.

" ᛠ [ear] is horrible to every knight, / when the corpse quickly begins to cool / and is laid in the bosom of the dark earth. / Prosperity declines, happiness passes away / and covenants are broken."Jacob Grimm in his 1835 Teutonic Mythology (ch. 9)attached a deeper significance to the name.

He interprets the Old English poem as describing "death personified", connected to the death-bringing god of war, Ares.

He notes that the ear rune is simply a Tyr rune with two barbs attached to it and suggests that Tir and Ear, Old High German Zio and Eor, were two names of the same god. He finds the name in the toponym of Eresburg (*Eresberc) in Westphalia, in Latin Mons martis.

Grimm thus suggests that the Germans had adopted the name of Greek Ares as an epithet of their god of war, and Eresberc was literally an Areopagus.

Grimm further notes that in the Bavarian (Marcomannic) area, Tuesday (dies Martis) was known as Ertag, Iertag, Irtag, Eritag, Erchtag, Erichtag as opposed to the Swabian and Swiss (Alemannic) region where the same day is Ziestag as in Anglo-Saxon.

Grimm concludes that Ziu was known by the alternative name Eor, derived from Greek Ares, and also as Saxnot among the Saxons, identified as a god of the sword.

For a Swarm of Bees

"For a Swarm of Bees" is an Anglo-Saxon metrical charm that was intended for use in keeping honey bees from swarming. The text was discovered by John Mitchell Kemble in the 19th century. The charm is named for its opening words, "wiþ ymbe", meaning "against (or towards) a swarm of bees".In the most often studied portion, towards the end of the text where the charm itself is located, the bees are referred to as sigewif, "victory-women". The word has been associated by Kemble, Jacob Grimm, and other scholars with the notion of valkyries (Old English wælcyrian), and "shield maidens", hosts of female beings attested in Old Norse and, to a lesser extent, Old English sources, similar to or identical with the Idise of the Merseburg Incantations. Among some recent scholars the term has been theorized as a simple metaphor for the "victorious sword" (the stinging) of the bees.

In 1909, the scholar Felix Grendon recorded what he saw as similarities between the charm and the Lorsch Bee Blessing, a manuscript portion of the Lorsch Codex, from the monastery in Lorsch, Germany. Grendon suggested that the two could possibly have a common origin in pre-Christian Germanic culture.


Forseti (Old Norse "the presiding one," actually "president" in modern Icelandic and Faroese) is the god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology. He is generally identified with Fosite, a god of the Frisians. Jacob Grimm noted that if, as Adam of Bremen states, Fosite's sacred island was Heligoland, that would make him an ideal candidate for a deity known to both Frisians and Scandinavians, but that it is surprising he is never mentioned by Saxo Grammaticus.Grimm took Forseti, "praeses", to be the older form of the name, first postulating an unattested Old High German equivalent *forasizo (cf. modern German Vorsitzender "one who presides"). but later preferring a derivation from fors, a "whirling stream" or "cataract", connected to the spring and the god's veneration by seagoing peoples. It is plausible that Fosite is the older name and Forseti a folk etymology. According to the German philologist Hans Kuhn the Germanic form Fosite is linguistically identical to Greek Poseidon, hence the original name must have been introduced before the Proto-Germanic sound change, probably via Greek sailors purchasing amber. The Greek traveller Pytheas of Massalia, who describes the amber trade, is known to have visited the region around 325 BC.

German Fairy Tale Route

The German Fairy Tale Route (German: Deutsche Märchenstraße) is a tourist attraction in Germany originally established in 1975. With a length of 600 kilometres (370 mi), the route runs from Hanau in central Germany to Bremen in the north. Tourist attractions along the route are focused around the brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, including locations where they lived and worked at various stages in their life, as well as regions which are linked to the fairy tales found in the Grimm collection, such as The Town Musicians of Bremen. The Verein Deutsche Märchenstraße society, headquartered in the city of Kassel, is responsible for the route, which travellers can recognize with the help of road signs depicting the heart-shaped head of a pretty, fairylike creature.

Germanic philology

This article is about the history of the discipline, for linguistic phenomena, see Germanic languages and the navigation template below.Germanic philology is the philological study of the Germanic languages, particularly from a comparative or historical perspective.The beginnings of research into the Germanic languages began in the 16th century, with the discovery of literary texts in the earlier phases of the languages. Early modern publications dealing with Old Norse culture appeared in the 16th century, e.g. Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus (Olaus Magnus, 1555) and the first edition of the

13th century Gesta Danorum (Saxo Grammaticus), in 1514.

In 1603, Melchior Goldast made the first edition of Middle High German poetry, Tyrol and Winsbeck, including a commentary which focused on linguistic problems and set the tone for the approach to such works in the subsequent centuries. He later gave similar attention to the Old High German Benedictine Rule. In England, Cotton's studies of the manuscripts in his collection marks the beginnings of work on Old English language.

The pace of publication increased during the 17th century with Latin translations of the Edda (notably Peder Resen's Edda Islandorum of 1665).

Germanic philology, together with linguistics as a whole, emerged as a serious academic discipline in the early 19th century, pioneered particularly in Germany by such linguists as Jacob Grimm, who discovered Grimm's law, on the sound change across Germanic languages. Important 19th century scholars include Henry Sweet and Matthias Lexer.

The structure of the modern university means that for the most part work on the field is focused on medieval English studies, medieval German studies, etc. Only relatively few universities can afford to offer Comparative linguistics as a discrete field.

Grimm's law

Grimm's law (also known as the First Germanic Sound Shift or Rask's rule) is a set of statements named after Jacob Grimm and Rasmus Rask describing the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) stop consonants as they developed in Proto-Germanic (the common ancestor of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family) in the 1st millennium BC. It establishes a set of regular correspondences between early Germanic stops and fricatives and the stop consonants of certain other centum Indo-European languages (Grimm used mostly Latin and Greek for illustration).

Göttingen Seven

The Göttingen Seven (German: Göttinger Sieben) were a group of seven professors from Göttingen. In 1837, they protested against the abolition or alteration of the constitution of the Kingdom of Hanover by Ernest Augustus and refused to swear an oath to the new king of Hanover. The company of seven was led by historian Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann, who himself was one of the key advocates of the unadulterated constitution. The other six were the Germanist brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm (famed fairy tale and folk tale writers and storytellers, known together as the Brothers Grimm), jurist Wilhelm Eduard Albrecht, historian Georg Gottfried Gervinus, physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber, and theologian and orientalist Heinrich Georg August Ewald.


In Germanic legends, Frau Holda (or Frau Holle) was the protectress of agriculture and women's crafts. Holda, Holle, Huld, and Hulda may be cognate of the Scandinavian creature known as the huldra. Jacob Grimm made an attempt to establish her as a Germanic goddess.


Idistaviso is the location on the Weser river where forces commanded by Arminius fought those commanded by Germanicus at the Battle of the Weser River in 16 CE, attested in chapter 16 of Tacitus' Annales II. The name was amended by Karl Müllenhoff and Jacob Grimm in the 19th century to Idisiaviso, meaning "plain of the Idisi" or "women's meadow".


Ilmr is a figure in Norse mythology who is listed as a goddess and who occurs in skaldic kennings. Her associations and original nature are unknown.

Ilmr is attested at two points in the so-called Nafnaþulur appended to the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál: between Iðunn and Bil in a list of ásynjur, and in a list of words that can be used in kennings for "woman". No further information other than her name is provided. She is not mentioned in Eddic poetry, but her name does occur several times in skaldic poetry of the 10th and 11th centuries, particularly in verses by Kormákr Ǫgmundarson.It is impossible to determine the associations of the goddess Ilmr. Jacob Grimm pointed out that while the goddess name Ilmr is feminine, the masculine word ilmr means "pleasant scent" (suavis odor); an association with scent would be unique among Norse deities. Kormákr, at least, used valkyrie-names as well as goddess-names in forming kennings referring to women, and it is possible that he thought of Ilmr as a valkyrie; one other kenning using her name, in a verse preserved in Landnamabók and attributed to Hrómundr halti, is of a type (kennings for battle formed with a female name) that is only attested with names of valkyries. In his 1989 etymological dictionary of Icelandic, Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon suggested that this might indicate the name Ilmr was related to the noun jalmr (noise) with which it is coupled in the kenning; this is a known type of valkyrie-name. Eir, Þrúðr, and the norn Skuld are other female figures variously identified as valkyries and goddesses within the Old Norse corpus. Alternatively, Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon suggests Ilmr is a tree dís, with a name etymologically related to almr, elm. The elm is associated in folklore in many nations with death, which might have led to her being classed as a valkyrie.

Jacob Grimm (sculpture)

Jacob Grimm is a sculpture of German philologist Jacob Grimm by sculptor Elisabet Ney. Completed in 1858, the piece is a portrait bust rendered in marble. The bust was modeled and carved in Berlin, but it is now held by the Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin, Texas.

Moss people

The moss people or moss folk (German: Moosleute, "moss folk", wilde Leute, "wild folk"), also referred to as the wood people or wood folk (Holzleute, "wood folk") or forest folk (Waldleute, "forest-folk"), are a class of fairy folk, variously compared to dwarves, elves, or spirits, described in the folklore of Germany as having an intimate connection to trees and the forest. In German the words Schrat and Waldschrat are also used for a moss person. (Compare Old Norse skratti, "goblin".) The diminutive Schrätlein also serves as synonym for a nightmare creature.They are sometimes described as similar to dwarves, being the same size as children, but "grey and old-looking, hairy, and clad in moss." Sometimes, Moss folk are also bigger. In other descriptions they are said to be pretty.


In Germanic mythology, Seaxnēat (pronounced [sæɑksnæːɑt]) or Saxnōt is the national god of the Saxons.

The Old English form Seaxnēat is recorded in the genealogies of the kings of Essex. The Old Saxon form Saxnōt is attested in the Old Saxon Baptismal Vow along with the gods Uuoden (Woden) and Thunaer (Thor).

The genealogy of the kings of Essex originally placed Seaxnēat at its apex. It was subsequently modified to make Seaxnēat son of Woden, with the first king of Essex seven generations later:

Woden, Seaxnēat, Gesecg, Andsecg, Swaeppa, Sigefugel, Bedca, Offa, Æscwine (r. c. 527-587)The name is usually derived from "seax", the eponymous knife which was characteristic of the tribe, and "neat", cognate with German "not", need or help, meaning "help(er) of the Saxons". 19th century etymology using methodology available at the time derived the name from "seax" and (ge)-not, (ge)-nēat as "companion" (cognate with German Genosse "comrade"), resulting in a translation of "sword-companion" (gladii consors, ensifer). This interpretation of the name is due to Jacob Grimm, who identified Saxnot with the god Tiw (Zio). Grimm's view is more recently endorsed by Chaney (1970), but Simek (2007:276) prefers an identification with Fro, following Gabriel Turville-Petre (and invoking Georges Dumézil's trifunctional hypothesis).

The word sax is the Swedish word for scissor. In Danish and Norwegian the spelling is saks and in Icelandic the word is skæri, that also has the meaning "to cut" in all the Scandinavian languages.

Thing (comics)

The Thing (Ben Grimm) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is a founding member of the Fantastic Four. The Thing was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and he first appeared in The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961).

The character is known for his trademark rocky appearance, sense of humor, and famous battle cry, "It's clobberin' time!" The Thing's speech patterns are loosely based on those of Jimmy Durante. Actor Michael Bailey Smith played Ben Grimm in The Fantastic Four film from 1994, Michael Chiklis portrayed the Thing in the 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, while Jamie Bell acted the part in Fantastic Four (2015).

In 2011, IGN ranked the Thing 18th in the "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes", and 23rd in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012. The Thing was named Empire magazine's tenth of "The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters" in 2008.

Wilhelm Grimm

Wilhelm Carl Grimm (also Karl; 24 February 1786 – 16 December 1859) was a German author and anthropologist, and the younger brother of Jacob Grimm, of the library duo the Brothers Grimm.

Zisa (goddess)

Zisa or Cisa is a goddess in Germanic paganism. Zisa is an etymological double of Tyr or Ziu according to 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm who suggests that Zisa may be the same figure as Tyr's unnamed wife, mentioned by Loki in the 13th century Poetic Edda poem Lokasenna.


Ēostre or Ostara (Old English: Ēastre [æːɑstrə] or [eːɑstrə], Northumbrian dialect Ēastro, Mercian dialect and West Saxon dialect (Old English) Ēostre; Old High German: *Ôstara ) is a Germanic goddess who, by way of the Germanic month bearing her name (Northumbrian: Ēosturmōnaþ; West Saxon: Ēastermōnaþ; Old High German: Ôstarmânoth), is the namesake of the festival of Easter in some languages. Ēostre is attested solely by Bede in his 8th-century work The Reckoning of Time, where Bede states that during Ēosturmōnaþ (the equivalent of April), pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Ēostre's honour, but that this tradition had died out by his time, replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

By way of linguistic reconstruction, the matter of a goddess called *Austrō in the Proto-Germanic language has been examined in detail since the foundation of Germanic philology in the 19th century by scholar Jacob Grimm and others. As the Germanic languages descend from Proto-Indo-European (PIE), historical linguists have traced the name to a Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn *H₂ewsṓs (→ *Ausṓs), from which descends the Common Germanic divinity from whom Ēostre and Ostara are held to descend. Additionally, scholars have linked the goddess's name to a variety of Germanic personal names, a series of location names (toponyms) in England, and, discovered in 1958, over 150 inscriptions from the 2nd century CE referring to the matronae Austriahenae.

Theories connecting Ēostre with records of Germanic Easter customs, including hares and eggs, have been proposed. Particularly prior to the discovery of the matronae Austriahenae and further developments in Indo-European studies, debate has occurred among some scholars about whether or not the goddess was an invention of Bede. Ēostre and Ostara are sometimes referenced in modern popular culture and are venerated in some forms of Germanic neopaganism.

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