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(or Annwn). # 562: In a strange and mystic poem by Taliesin the Magic Cauldron of Abundance is described as part of the spoils of Hades, brought thence by Arthur, in a tragic adventure not otherwise recorded. # 730: Hades is generally spoken of as a place, but for Homer Hades was the god of the Underworld and the human subconscious, while he was also the god of the new life through cyclic rebirth. Odysseus is extremely frightened by what awaits him, for he has to go through the harsh ceremony of initiation. This is to occur on another island in the same region, the home of Hades, whose name means the 'Invisible One'. In his WHERE TROY ONCE STOOD, Iman Wilkens explain, step by step, why Hades (or the home of Hades) is placed in the northern region of what is now the Netherlands and not somewhere in Greece. During his stay on the island of Hades, Odysseus was obviously in some kind of second state of his initiation, because his environment such as the poet describes it does not exist in reality. The eternal darkness, 'never does the bright sun look down... but baneful night is spread over wretched mortals' (OD. XI, 15) describes the world of the subconscious. The three rivers are also symbolic, as their names suggest: the Periphlegethon (river of Flaming Fire), the Cocytus (river of Lamentation) and the Styx (the Terrifying One, river of irrevocable oaths by which the gods swore). The rock at the meeting place of the rivers is also imaginary for there are only dunes in the area, so that Odysseus is able to dig a big hole in the sand with his sword. Hades, in the concrete sense, is thus nothing but a hole in the sand into which Odysseus pours the blood of the sacrificial animals provided by Circe for this ritual. These animals are black, as Homer repeats, because only black animals were offered to the gods and spirits of the Underworld. # 562 - 730
Hadrian's Wall is the concept of Hadrian much more than the Stanegate system is of Trajan; it is an accurate reflection of the man and his politics. Hadrian had gone through the normal career of a Roman senator, as Trajan had done. He had served with distinction as a legionary tribune, as a legionary commander, as a provincial governor. He had served Trajan faithfully, and probably had always been intended to be his successor (despite the doubts surrounding the adoption and the inevitable tensions between 'king' and 'heir-presumptive'); yet Hadrian and Trajan were far apart in thought. Hadrian intended to give the Empire permanent frontiers. His first act was to abandon the untenable conquests of Trajan in the East. Thereafter in two great journeys he visited all the armies of the Empire, inspecting them rigorously to ensure that they were kept in training and good dicipline while winning their favour by his interest in their welfare and abolition of abuses. His policy was clear and decided: peace, stable, controlled frontiers, a well-trained and diciplined army, all under the vigilant eye of an itinerant emperor. When Hadrian came to power in 117 he found trouble in Britain, and it was presumably in response to the disorders at the beginning of his reign that Hadrian decided to deal effectively with the northern frontier in Britain. His inclinations were to conserve rather than to expand, and so he chose to improve the existing frontier on the TyneSolway line rather than conquer the whole of the island of Britain or move forward to the much shorter Forth-Clyde isthmus. Hadrian visited Britain himself in 122 and, among other matters, concerned himself with the problem of the frontier. The other frontiers of the empire were usually formed by natural boundaries: a sea, or a great river such as the Rhine or Danube, or a desert as in North Africa.
In North Britain there was no such clear demarcation line and therefore Hadrian decided to create an effective frontier by the construction of a wall from sea to sea, a wall which would, as his biographer put it, divide the Roman from the barbarians. The only really effective method of control was a running barrier, a wall, which would allow the army to supervise small-scale movement of people, prevent petty raiding, hinder large-scale attacks and so encourage the peaceful exploitation of the province right up to the frontier line. The purpose of the barrier was to control movement, not to prevent it, as the liberal provision of gateways demonstrates. Civilians, whether merchants, local farmers moving their cattle and sheep or simply local people visiting relatives on the other side of the Wall, would be allowed through the gateways, though only presumably when they had satisfied the guards of their peaceable intentions and on payment of customs dues. The frontier could only be crossed, unarmed, under guard and after paying a fee. The Wall was an artificial frontier, the finest Roman artificial frontier in its elaboration and in the impressiveness of its remains. Its history and developement mirrored that of the Roman frontier system in general, and though it shared the weaknesses of that system it had some success, for the barbarians from the north never made a lasting settlement within its range. - Many books have been written about Hadrian's Wall, but there are still much to know, and most pressing of all, perhaps, is the history of the people of the land, who lived with the Wall in their midst, who seemed little-affected by Rome materially but nevertheless enjoyed or endured the Pax Romana, with peace, communications, and markets as never before. # 94
Rival of Arawn; mortally wounded by Pwyll. The otherworldly opponent of arawn whom he was destined to fight every year. Arawn obligated Pwyll to fight his enemy for him, bidding him give but one blow since the second would revive him. Hafgan resembles closely the Green Knight and Gromer Somer Joure, the two opponents in Gawain's story. # 272-439-454-562-672
# 701: The Celtic chooser of kings was the Hag of Scone, whose spirit was embodied in the famous Stone of Scone, which still rests under the coronation throne in Westminster Abbey. Christian tradition insists that she was turned to stone by a missionary's curse. But there are still indications of their former spiritual authorithy. In sixteenth-century English literature, 'hag' is a synonym for 'fairy.' The New Year festival used to be a 'Hag's Moon' (Hagmena), although clergymen insisted that the ceremony meant the devil was in the house. Like the word CRONE, hag once connoted an elder woman with the spirit of the Goddess within her, just after menopause her 'wise blood' remained within her body and brought her great wisdom. # 100: There were thought to be supernatural hags, such as those who haunted the Fen country in Mrs Balfour's story of the DEAD MOON; and giant-like hags which seem to have been the last shadows of a primitive nature goddess, the Cailleach Bheur, Black Annis or Gentle Annie. # 100 - 701 p 258
HAGS OF GLOUCESTER
Nine witches who lived with their mother and father. One of them trained Peredur (Perceval) in the use of arms. They had slain Peredur's cousin whose head had been seen by Peredur on a platter. Peredur and Arthur's men destroyed them. See also: GLOUCESTER. # 156 - 346
The festival HALLOWEEN used to be the Feast of the Dead (Celtic Samhain). It was perhaps the most important of the cross-quarter days, when the 'crack between the worlds' could open up and let the spirits pass through. Therefore the ghosts of dead ancestors could revisit the earth, join their descendants at the feast, and give necromantic interviews and omens. In Ireland, all the sidh or fairy hills (grave mounds) were said to open up for the occasion. Folks insisted that it was impossible to keep the fairies underground on Halloween. Since these 'fairies' were simply pagan spirits, the church naturally insisted that demons were abroad on Halloween, summoned by witches, which was the usual term for the ancient pagan priestesses whose business it was to communicate with the dead. # 701 p 180
The kingly regalia or emblems of empowerment wielded by the king or hero, often the object of quest. The Hallows of Ireland were the Stone of Fal on which kings were inaugurated; the spear of Lugh, which gave victory in battle; the sword of Nuadu, which none could escape unwounded and the cauldron of Dagda from which no one came unsatisfied. These were brought from the Otherworld by the Tuatha de Danaan. The Thirteen Treasures of Britain represent a parallel tradition. The concept of the Hallows has been inherited by later traditions. Within folklore they are the pole of combat, the sword of light, the cauldron of cure and the stone of destiny. Magical tradition retains the four representative emblems of the elements: sword, spear, cup and pentacle. These emblems appear on orthodox tarot packs as the four suits. In Arthurian tradition they are: the Sword which is broken, the spear of the Dolorous Blow, the Dish on which the head of the withdrawn Grail guardian is processed, and the Grail itself as a sacramental vessel or cauldron of plenty. The modern hallows exist as the regalia of the British monarch - the Sceptre or Rod of Equity and Mercy, the Swords of State, the Ampulla of Holy Oil and the Crown itself - replacing the ancient crowning stone as the primal symbol of Sovereignty. These items were guarded inviolate in the Tower of London, and have inherited an early sovereignty myth: that as long as the ravens never leave the Tower, Britain shall never be invaded. The Tower was once called the White Mount and was the place where Bran's head were buried, to be a similar protection against invasion. It is his ravens which remain. # 56 - 104 - 439 - 453 - 454 - 461
Defeat of Hamilcar at Himera, by Gelon. # 562
Preserved in syntax of Celtic languages. # 562
Handfasting was the old pagan ritual of marriage in the British Isles; it remained legal in Scotland all the way up to 1939, commonlaw marriages were quite acceptably validated by the couple themselves simply joining their hands in the presence of witnesses. After Lord Harwicke's Act for England from 1753 (marriage valid only when performed by a clergyman) the town, Gretna Green became a mecca for eloping couples who fled to handfast themselves in legal wedlock. # 701 p 180
# 701: Eostre's hare was the shape that Celts imaged on the surface of the full moon, derived from old Indo-European sources. Queen Boadicia's banners displayed the Moon-hare as a sacred sign. Both hares and cats were designated the familiars of witches in Scotland, where the word Malkin or Mawkin was applied to both. # 161: Caesar said that hares were important to the early Britons and as such were not eaten. Boadicia released one at the start of each campaign; her prophetic hare was kept and fed. The lunar significance of the animal is prominent in the mythology of northern Europe. For the Celts it was an attribute of all moon deities and hunter gods, who were often depicted holding a hare. # 454: The hare has long been associated with the power of transformation, and its strange movements were utilized in ancient modes of divination. This is recorded by Tacitus in his reports about the Icenian revolt by Boudicca (Boadicia). # 161-454-701 p 377
A mountain in Scotland which N. Tolstoy argues was the dwelling place of Merlin. # 156 - 673
HAVELOCK THE DANE
He was the true heir to the Danish throne but was ordered to be killed by Godard, the Usurper. He was taken by a fisherman, Grim, to England where Havelock became a byword and he was forcibly married to Princess Goldborough, the heir of King Athelstan, whose regent wished to humiliate her. Havelock came to Grimsby with his wife and she discerned the light shining from his mouth and the cross on his shoulder, and knew him to be of royal blood. He was eventually recognized and made king of England and Denmark. # 454 - 525
In medieval times, the hawk, from kestral to eagle, was flown for sport. Celtic tradition records that the oldest animal was the Hawk of Achill, who tricked the eagle into giving up her warm nest in search of the answer to the question 'who can remember the coldest winter night?'. Although the salmon is normally considered to be the oldest and wisest of beasts, the hawk was the oldest animal in this ancient oral tradition. Gawain's ancient British name was Gwalchmai or Hawk of May. # 439 - 454
In Celtic tradition the tree was sacred to Olwen. It also represented fertility in the druidic alphabet, where it formed the letter H, Uath. - The Goddess as death-bringing Crone was connected with the hawthorn in the legend of CuChulain. After pronouncing her death curse on the hero, in her carrion crow shape, she settled in a hawthorn thicket on the plain of Muirthemne. Therefore, the place is known as 'the hawthorn of the Crow.' # 701
An important food tree, producing the once-prized hazelnuts (filberts), the hazel was sacred to witches and to the Celtic sea god, Manannan. It was considered symbolic of female wisdom. Bards used to claim that their knowledge of rhymes, epic tales, secrets of magic, and poetic inspiration came from eating 'sacred hazelnuts' that dropped from the tree of wisdom - symbolically, the Goddess as instructress. The tree's alphabetical letter was C (coll). Its wood came to be known as 'witch hazel' because it was the wood of choice for witches' divining rods. # 701 p 465
Mummified heads were speaking oracles in numerous Celtic tales. Bran, Lomna, Finn Mac Cumhal, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight were all heroes of the oracular head cult. Celts often made fetishes not only of real heads, but also of heads carved from stone or wood for the same purposes. The ceremoni of knighthood - touching with a sword first one shoulder, then the other - was another remnant of earlier beheadings that made heroes or gods out of ordinary men. One of the old Celtic gods of the oracular head metamorphosed into a Christian saint named Alban, originally Albion, 'White Moon,' an archaic name for Britain. The Christianized story said that Saint Alban was beheaded in the third century AD, but this story was written three hundred years later by the monk Gildas, a great inventor of mythical sainthoods, all of them replete with marvels and miracles. Saint Alban was depicted with a fountain springing from between his feet, a common pagan symbol of esoteric knowledge. In Irish folklore the oracular spirit took the form of the Dulachan, a ghost carrying its own head, riding horseback (a Celtic symbol of apotheosis). This Irish spirit was the probable origin of Sleepy Hollow's famous headless horseman. - As among the ancient Hebrews and Celts, the mummified head was respectfully treated as a magical oracular object. The general idea was still extant in England during the fourteenth century AD, when a Southwark sorcerer was found in possession of a corpse's head, which he used for divination. # 701 p 315 ff
Heather ale. Folklore had it that the recipe for this ancient drink disappeared in 1411 when the English killed the last Celtic chieftain for refusing to divulge the secret of this legendary elixir. The beleaguered Celt leaped off a sea cliff rather than allow the hated foreigners to taste the Brew of Kings. # 383
An alternative name for Bron. It may have been invented by Robert de Boron, to make Bron sound more Hebrew, as Hebron was a place name in Palestine. # 156
HECATAEUS OF ABDERA
Musical services of Celts (probably of Great Britain) described by Hecataeus of Abdera. # 562
HECATAEUS OF MILETUS
First extant mention of 'Celts' by Hecataeus of Miletus. # 562
In Greek legend, a Trojan hero, son of Priam, defender of his city against the besieging Greeks in the Trojan War. According to the text of the ROMAN DE TROIE (an Old French romance), Morgan Le Fay loved him but, spurned by him, turned against him. See also: TROY. # 156
Irish lore associated the hedgehog with witches who could take its form to suck cows dry. - The hedgehog is called the Urcheon in Heraldry, and occurs in a number of coats of arms. # 161
Father of Rhiannon. An underworld king who sponsored his daughter's betrothal to Gwawl. # 272 - 439 - 454
Son of Gwyn. # 562
Bard at Arthur's court. # 562
HELAIN THE WHITE
Son of Bors and the daughter of King Brandegoris. He eventually became Emperor of Constantinople. # 156
Nephew of Joseph of Arimathea and ancestor of Arthur on the maternal side, according to the pedigree of John of Glastonbury. # 156 - 344
One of the allies of Mordred to whom Mordred awarded the realm of Scotland. # 156
A damsel in service to Blonde Esmerée, she brought Guinglain to rescue her mistress. At first she despised Guinglain but, as time went on, her contempt turned to respect for his prowess. # 156
HELLANICUS OF LESBOS
Hellanicus of Lesbos, an historian of the fifth century BC, describes the Celts as practising justice and righteousness. # 562
Enchantress. Lady of the Castle Nigramours (Necromancy) who attempted to win the love of Lancelot, and failing to do so, died. # 454
HELLEKIN In LI JUS ADAN
(thirteenth century) a fairy king who became Morgan Le Fay's lover. He was an established figure in Germanic lore, first mentioned by Ordericus Vitalis in his ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY (eleventh-twelfth century) in which he is described as a giant with a club leading the Wild Hunt. In later times in Italy, Hellekin became the Harlequin (Arlecchino) of the Commedia dell'Arte. Harlequin actually appears in the Arthurian pantomime MERLIN (1734) by Lewis Theobald. # 156
A sort of cyclone which occurs in the Lake District. In Cumbrian tradition it is associated with Arthur. # 156 - 315
In the line of the Grail Kings he was fourth in line from Celidoine, King of Scotland, from whose line in turn came both Lancelot and Galahad. # 454
Traditionally, the leader of the Saxon invaders of Britain who took service as a mercenary with Vortigern. He brought with him his brother, Horsa. Vortigern married Ronwen, Hengist's daughter and Hengist became King of Kent. Driven out of Britain by Vortimer. When the latter died he returned and again took service under his son-inlaw. After Vortigern's death he was defeated by Ambrosius's ally, Count Eldol. This much is Geoffrey's account. The ANGLO-SAXON CRONICLE, (a medieval list of Saxons in Britain), places his death in AD 488, but does not say how he died. Some of the earlier history may be gleaned from the Anglo-Saxon poems BEOWULF and THE FIGHT AT FINN'S BURG. These mention a Hengist who may be identical with the invader. He was a follower of Hnaef, King of the Danes. When they were visiting Hnaef's brother-in-law, Finn Focwalding, King of the Frisians, a fight occured and Hnaef was killed. Hengist became the leader of Hnaef's followers and entered the service of Finn, but later killed him. Hengist is credited with sons named Hartwaker (who was thought to have succeeded him as ruler of German Saxony and to have reigned from AD 448-80)(# 17), Octa, Aesc and Ebissa, and daughters called Ronwen and Sardoine. He has generally, if not universally, been regarded as a historical character. # 17 - 156 - 484
HENRY THE COURTLY
This character was the leader of the force sent to succour Jerusalem in the PROPHÉCIES DE MERLIN. # 156
In Welsh tradition, a pig whose offspring were going to cause trouble for Britain. When gravid, she was pursued by Arthur and she gave birth to various progeny. She eventually dived into the sea at Penryn Awstin. See: CATH PALUG. # 104 - 156
HEREWARD THE WAKE
He was said to have fought a bear and a Cornish giant and to have won a magical suit of armour. His resistance against William the Conquerer was mainly carried out in the Fenlands, where Hereward holed up with other disaffected men. His daring raids on Norman property and prowess in ambush warfare won him renown. His death was unconfirmed and it is possible that raids on the Normans persisted in his name long after his death. In the annals of British mythology, Ely is remembered as the centre of the rebellion of 'Hereward the Wake', in whose day Ely was an island set in the midst of boggy and dangerous fenland marches. Hereward is mentioned in the Doomesday book as a Lincolnshire landholder, but in fact little is known about him. What history lacks, mythology has supplied and embellished into a vast saga of derring-do. It seems that Hereward did in fact take part in a Danish raid upon Peterborough in 1070, resulting in the destruction of what had been the most wealthy of all British abbeys. Shortly afterwards he appears to have formed the centre of a rebellion against the Norman overlords by taking refuge in the swamp-surrounded Ely. So redoubtable was the courage of Hereward and his supporters, and so well-protected were they by marches and fenlands, that the Normans were unable to dislodge them, even when the wicked Ivo Taillebois called into their service the powers of an old witch (later called 'Pythonissa') who was hired to cast spells on the island defenders even as the Normans attacked. Hereward and his followers were eventually driven from Ely as a result of treason, and nothing more is heard of him from a historical standpoint. However, legend tells of his later exploits in which the supernatural plays an important part. On one occasion, while hiding in the vast forests which then stretched through Lincolnshire, he and his party found themselves completely lost. However, a huge white wolf appeared, and ran ahead of them to lead them through the labyrinth of dark trees; even as they followed, their lances began to glow like candles to light their way. The story is in some ways symbolic, for in his day the white wolf was the symbol of St Edmund, who was then the patron saint of the English and sought to guide those who fought on his behalf. Hereward is often credited as being owner of the Manor of Bourne, but this is not recorded to his name, while other manors (such as Witham-on-the-Hill) are.
The mystery of the title 'the Wake' seems to be derived from an attempt, made centuries after his death, to link Hereward with a Norman family (tradition insists that he was finally reconciled to William the Conquerer), for the Norman family of Wake was established in England immediately after the Conquest. We see, then, that the title has nothing to do with the idea of Hereward being 'especially watchful or awake'; indeed, he was not called Hereward the Wake until about three hundred years after his death. As the historian Charles Kightly records, the AngloSaxon word 'wak' means 'timid', and this is almost certainly the origin of the modern 'weak' - a quite inappropriate title for such a hero as Hereward. In the legendary account of his life, Hereward died fighting manfully against impossible odds, the last Englishman to continue organized rebellion against the Norman invaders. He was reputed to have been buried in Crowland Abbey church. See also: ELY. # 454 - 525 - 702
A legendary British king who, according to Walter Map, the twelfthcentury author of DE NUGIS CURIALIUM, entered the Underworld kingdom of a dwarfish king. It was placed locally on the Welsh Border, but Map's pleasing but rather diffuse account was slightly shortened by E. M. Leather in THE FOLK LORE OF HEREFORDSHIRE: Herla was the king of the Ancient Britons, and was challenged by another king, a pigmy no bigger than an ape, and of less than half human stature. He rode on a large goat; indeed, he himself might have been compared to Pan. He had a large head, glowing face, and a long red beard, while his breast was conspicuous for a spotted fawnskin which he wore on it. The lower part of his body was rough and hairy, and his legs ended in goats' hooves. He had a private interview with Herla, in which he spoke as follows: 'I am lord over many kings and princes, over a vast and innumerable people. I am their willing messenger to you, although to you I am unknown. Yet I rejoice in the fame which has raised you above other kings, for you are of all men the best, and also closely connected with me both by position and blood. You are worthy of the honour of adorning your marriage with my presence as guest, for the King of France has given you his daughter, and indeed the embassy is arriving here to-day, although all the arrangements have been made without your knowledge. Let there be an everlasting treaty between us, because, first of all, I was present at your marriage, and because you will be at mine on the same day a year hence.' After this speech he turned away, and moving faster even than a tiger, disappeared from his sight. The king, therefore, returned from that spot full of surprise, received the embassy, and assented to their proposals. When the marriage was celebrated, and the king was seated at the customary feast, suddenly, before the first course was served, the pigmy arrived, accompanied by so large a company of dwarfs like himself, that after they had filled all the seats at table, there were more dwarfs outside in tents which they had in a moment put up, than at the feast inside. Instantly there darted out from these tents servants with vessels made out of precious stones, all new and wondrously wrought. They filled the palace and the tents with furniture either made of gold or precious stones. Neither wine nor meat was served in any wooden or silver vessel. The servants were found wherever they were wanted, and served nothing out of the king's or anyone else's stores, but only from their own, which were of quality beyond anyone's thoughts. None of Herla's provisions were used, and his servants sat idle. The pigmies won universal praise. Their raiment was gorgeous; for lamps they provided blazing gems; they were never far off when they were wanted, and never too close when not desired. Their king then thus adressed Herla: 'Most excellent King, God be my witness that I am here in accordance with our agreement, at your marriage. If there is anything more that you desire, I will supply it gladly, on the condition that when I demand a return, you will not deny it.' Hereupon, without waiting for an answer he returned to his tent and departed at about cockcrow with his attendants.
After a year he suddenly came to Herla and demanded the observance of the treaty. Herla consented, and followed at the dwarf's bidding. They entered a cave in a very high cliff, and after some journeying throgh the dark, which appeared to be lighted, not by the sun or moon, but by numerous torches, they arrived at the dwarf's palace, a splendid mansion. There the marriage was celebrated, and the obligations to the dwarf fittingly paid, after which Herla returned home loaded with gifts and offerings, horses, dogs, hawks, and all things pertaining to hunting and falconry. The pigmy guided them down the dark passage, and there gave them a (small) bloodhound (canem sanguinarium) small enough to be carried (portabilem), then, strictly forbidding any of the king's retinue to dismount until the dog leapt from his carrier, he bade them farewell and returned home.
Soon after, Herla reached the light of day, and having got back to his kingdom again, called an old shepherd and asked news of his queen, using her name. The shepherd looked at him astonished, and said, 'Lord, I scarcely understand your language, for I am a Saxon, and you a Briton. I have never heard the name of that queen, except in the case of one who they say was Herla's wife, queen of the earliest Britons. He is fabled to have disappeared with a dwarf at this cliff, and never to have been seen on earth again. The Saxons have now held this realm for two hundred years, having driven out the original inhabitants.' The king was astonished, for he imagined that he had been away for three days only. Some of his companions descended from horseback before the dog was released, forgetful of the dwarf's commands, and instantly crumbled to dust. The king then, forbade any more of his companions to descend until the dog leapt down. The dog has not leapt down yet. One legend states that Herla for ever wanders on mad journeys with his train, without home or rest. Many people, as they tell us, often see his company.
However, they say that at last, in the first year of our (present) King Henry (the second) it ceased to visit our country in pomp as before. On that occasion, many of the Welsh (Wallenses) saw it whelmed in the Wye, the Herefordshire river (Waiam Herefordiae flumen). From that hour, that weird roaming ceased, as though Herla had transferred his wandering (Errores, a pun containing the idea of error) to us, and had gained rest for himself. (A hit at contemporary politics). # 100 - 390 - 424
A daughter of the King of Scotland, she married Meliador, one of Arthur's followers, after he had slayed another suitor called Camal. # 156
The antler-horned spirit who haunts Windsor Great Park. Like Gwynn ap Nudd and Arawn, he is said to lead the Wild Hunt and be a conductor of the dead to the otherworldly regions. # 454 - 486
Herodotus, an historian from about the beginning of the first century AD, speaks of the Celts as dwelling 'beyond the pillars of Hercules' - and also of the Danube as rising in their country. # 562
HEROES, THE BIRTH OF
Features of the birth of the heroes are specified for some of them. You will find them throughout this encyclopaedia under the name of the hero concerned. Some of the most striking features in these tales may be tabulated as follows:
- The advent and future greatness of the hero have been foretold.
- His advent is destined to bring death or misfortune to a presiding power, his grandfather, his uncle, or his mother.
- Certain difficulties have to be overcome before his future mother can fulfil her destiny:
- She is closely guarded or confined in a fortress. Or
- She has to be induced to leave home. Or
- Her own resistance has to be overcome by force or by cunning. Or
- She is married, but barren.
- There is a mystery about the hero's begetting:
- Whether he has an earthly father or not, he is usually begotten by another - a king, a man from another race, or a supernatural being.
- Others say he is born of incest.
- Others again attribute his conception to a creature swallowed by his mother in water.
- There is an auspicious time for his birth, which is heralded by signs in the natural world; his birth is delayed until the appropriate time.
- Certain animals are associated with his birth and upbringing.
- He is lost at birth, or an attempt is made to kill him; he is thrown into the sea or borne away in a boat.
- At birth and in his youth he displays qualities that reveal his extraordinary nature.
- Difficulty is sometimes experienced in securing a name for him, or he is given a name in peculiar circumstances.
The fairy knights and ladies that occur in the Celtic legends, are of human or more than human size and of shining beauty. The Lady Tryamour who bestowed her favours in Sir Launfal and the elfin woman who was captured by Wild Edric from her band of dancing sisters are examples of the fairy damsels; Young Tamlane, though a transformed human, is to all appearance a typical fairy knight, though he had an ulterior motive for his courtship. The truest type of all are the Daoine Sidhe of Ireland, dwindled gods, and the Fingalian knights, who spend their time in the aristocratic pursuits of hunting, fighting, riding in procession, as well as the dancing and music that are belowed by all fairies. The size of the fairies is variable, and even in the medieval times there are both tiny and rustic fairies as well as hideous and monstrous ones, just as in modern times some are still stately, but in terms of fashions in fairy-lore one tends to think of the heroic fairies as characteristic of medieval times. # 100
The Heron shares the attributes and mythos of the crane in many respects. # 454 - 563
An emperor of Rome who went blind and consulted Merlin who told him to slay the Seven Sages who were the imperial counsellors. When he did so, he was cured. # 156 - 238
In Wolfram, the mother of Perceval. She first married Castris from whom she inherited Wales and Northgalis. She subsequently married Gahmuret, Perceval's father. # 156 - 748
The paradisiac place of the gods from the classical western world, equivalent of Blessed Islands and Avalon, the apple-gardens of growth and fertility. In Irish romance Mador's father is the king of the Hesperides. In Greek mythology the Hesperides were the daughters of Atlas and their gardens were situated on Mount Atlas or on islands. # 156 - 406
Father of Rhiannon. # 562
HIGH KINGS OF IRELAND
Stone of Destiny used for crowning of High Kings of Ireland. See: STONE OF DESTINY. # 562
(614-80) Queen of Mercia, which later founded a double monastery and hosted the Synod of Whitby, at which Celtic and Roman Christians met to decide on liturgical matters. Her lover was pagan and she herself was Christian although she favoured the Celtic faction. She had organized her monastery after the Rule of Columbanus, but accepted the decision to universalize British practices and align them with Rome. She lived all her life with her faith, at the same time strong but also constantly doubting on what to believe about herself and the outer world she was living in. Caedmon became a monk under her influence, and he acclaimed her the mother of the poor through her wisdom and generosity. She is said to have rid Eskdale of serpents by driving them off the edge of a cliff and cutting their heads off with a whip. The ammonites whose fossilized remains are to found at Whitby, are said to be the same serpents. Her feast-day is 17 November. # 454 - 692
HILL OF AINÉ
Name of goddess Ainé clings to Hill of Ainé. Ainé appears on a St. John's Night, among girls on Hill of Ainé. # 562
HILL OF ALLEN
Finn's hounds, while returning to Hill of Allen, recognise Sadbh; On his return from the Land of Youth, Oisin made at once for the Hill of Allen, where the dun of Finn was wont to be, but marvelled, as he traversed the woods, that he met no sign of The Fian hunters and at the small size of the folk whom he saw tilling the ground. (See: OISIN). Return of the Fianna to Hill of Allen, to celebrate the wedding feast of Finn and Tasha; Finn bears Grania as his bride to Hill of Allen. # 562
HILL OF KESHCORRAN
Finn bewitched by hags on Hill of Keshcorran. # 562
HILL OF MACHA
The name of Armagh, or Ard Macha, the Hill of Macha, enshrines the memory of the Fairy Bride and her heroic sacrifice, while the grassy rampart can still be traced where the war-goddess in the earlier legend drew its outline with the pin of her brooch when she founded the royal fortress of Ulster. # 562
A Carthaginian explorer, made a voyage round the west coast of Europe and explored as far as Britain and Ireland about 500 BC. An account of his expedition, giving details of the coast and the tribes who dwelt on it, written probably by himself, was known to the ancients but is now lost. Eratosthenes (c.275-195 BC), librarian to Ptolemy III, king of Egypt, translated this account into Greek, but this work too is lost. Rufus Festus Avienus, who was proconsul for Africa AD 366, and an elegant writer of Latin, had a copy of the Greek version of Himilco's work and amused himself by rendering it into Latin verse. Of this Latin translation, written 850 years after the events it narrates, we have a fragment of some 4015 lines. These have been carefully published by Alfred Holder, under the title of RUFL FESTI ARIENI CARMINA. It should be noted that at the time of Himilco's expedition the Celts had not conquered Spain. Polybius and, following him, Strabo blame Eratosthenes for stating that the Celts held all Spain except Cadiz, which belonged to the Carthaginians, and then omitting the Celts from his list of peoples occupying the west coast of Spain. There is, however, no contradiction here. Eratosthenes, writing c.240 BC, correctly states that the Celts held dominion over the greater portion of the Iberian peninsula, but when copying the account of the voyage of Himilco, which relates to 500 BC, he does not find the Celts among the tribes occupying Iberia. We must conclude they had not yet conquered the peninsula. We know, however, from Herodotus that about fifty years after the expedition of Himilco the Celts had conquered the Iberian peninsula. The conquest therefore took place in the fifth century BC. We shall see they were subsequently conquered by the Carthaginians.
# 455 p 121 ff: W. Dinan: Monumenta Historica Celtica
Hind is another word for a doe, specifically a doe of the red deer family, which also provided images of the stag horns worn by the Horned Gods of northern Europe. As the divine consort of such a god, the Goddess naturally appeared in the form of a hind. The Celtic woodland Goddess Flidhais habitually took this form. # 701 p 377
HIND OF THE FAIRIES
In Erasmo de Valvasone's LA CACCIA, an animal which led Arthur into a cave, then out on the far side of the mountain, to Morgan's palace. He was shown the heavens and the earth to give him guidance for the future. # 156 - 238
HISTORIA REGUM BRITANIAE
See: GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH. In Geoffrey's narrative there is nothing about the Holy Grail, or Lancelot, or the Round Table, and except for the allusion to Avalon the mystical element of the Arthurian saga is absent. Like Nennius, Geoffrey finds a fantastic classical origin for the Britons. His socalled history is perfectly worthless as a record of fact, but it has proved a veritable mine for poets and chroniclers, and has the distinction of having furnished the subject for the earliest English tragic drama, 'Gorborduc', as well as for Shakespeare's 'King Lear'; and its author may be described as the father - at least on its quasihistorical side - of the Arthurian saga, which he made up partly out of records of the historical DUX BELLORUM of Nennius and partly out of poetical amplifications of these records made in Brittany by the descendants of exiles from Wales, many of whom fled there at the very time when Arthur was waging his wars against the Saxons. Geoffrey's book had a wonderful succes. It was speedily translated into French by Wace, who wrote 'Li Romans de Brut' about 1155, with added details from Breton sources, and translated from Wace's French into AngloSaxon by Layamon, who thusanticipated Malory's adaptations of late French prose romances. Except a few scholars who protested unavailingly, no one doubted its strict historical truth, and it had the important effect of giving to early British history a new dignity in the estimation of Continental and of English princes. To sit upon the throne of Arthur was regarded as in itself a glory by Plantagenet monarchs who had not a trace of Arthur's or of any British blood. # 562
HJORTSPRING FIND, THE
In an English Summary (#357), the Danish scholar Flemming Kaul suggest that during the fourth century BC, a great sacrifice was made to the gods in a little bog at Hjortspring on the small island of Als in south Jutland. A foreign army had tried to force its way into the island, but had been repulsed by the local inhabitants. As thanks for the victory, the weapons of the conquered army were sacrificed - more than 50 shields, 169 spears, 11 swords and several coats of chainmail. Also one of the boats which had brought the army to the island was sacrificed. This boat, a swift, 19 metre long war-canoe is the North's oldest plank-built vessel and bears witness to a shipbuilding skill of remarkably high standard in our early Iron Age. It is quite the largest single such find, but, even though it is the oldest, one must nevertheless see it as probable that it was imported from the Celts - who lived in Central Europe at that time. # 357 p 89 ff
# 701: The word Goblin means a spirit, probably derived from the same root as Kobold, a spirit of caves and mountains. A hobgoblin, however, was a spirit of the hearth (hob), a domestic ghost or ancestral guardian of the family fireside. Because of the primitive practice of burying family dead under the treshold or under the central firepit, their ghosts were long supposed to inhabit and protect the house - even when later customs made burial places elsewhere. # 100: Used by the Puritans and in later times for wicked goblin spirits, as in Bunyan's 'Hobgoblin nor foul fiend', but its more correct use is for the friendly spirits of the Brownie type. In a MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM a fairy says to Shakespeare's Puck:
'Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are you not he?'
and obviously Puck would not wish to be called a hobgoblin if that was an ill-omened word. 'Hob' and 'Lob' are words meaning tha same kind of creature as the Hobgoblin. They are, on the hole, goodhumoured and ready to be helpful, but fond of practical joking, and like most of the fairies rather nasty people to annoy. # 100 - 593 - 701 p 259
1. King of Brittany who was brought to Britain by Arthur to help him against the Saxons. He became ill during the campaign and was left at Alclud (Dumbarton) where he was besieged by the Scots and Picts. Arthur came to relieve him. He is presumably identical with the King Hoel of Brittany who was Tristan's father-in-law. Geoffrey calls him Arthur's nephew but L. Thorpe (Arthurian scolar) argues that this is a mistake and we must read 'cousin' for 'nephew', his mother really being the sister of Ambrosius rather than Arthur. Geoffrey does not name his mother but calls his father Boudicius. The traditional dates of the Breton kings say Hoel reigned from c. AD 510-45. The BIRTH OF ARTHUR, a Welsh work of the fourteenth century, makes him a son of Arthur's sister Gwyar by Ymer Llydaw. The PROSE TRISTAN gives him a son named Runalen. He is more well known as the father of Iseult of the White Hands and her brother Kahedrin. See: GIANT OF ST MICHAEL'S MOUNT. - 2. In ARTHOUR AND MERLIN, Igraine's first husband is called Hoel rather than Gorlois and their daughters are named as Blasine, Belisent and Hermisent. The VULGATE MERLIN Continuation also mentions this Hoel, giving him the title Duke of Tintagel. See: TWENTY-FOUR KNIGHTS. # 156 - 243 - 256 - 418 - 481
(1770-1835), called 'the Ettrick Shepherd'. A selftaught man who had less than a year's schooling in his life and had been set to work at the age of seven. He began to make verses and trained himself to write them. He submitted some poems to Sir Walter Scott, who became his steady friend and employed him to collect oral material. His mother contributed many ballads to Scott's collection, but Hogg preferred to invent his own. He wrote several prose collections of stories. He knew his background extremely well, but unfortunately preferred to decorate his narrative, not believing that a simple, stragthforward style could be acceptable to an educated audience. Among his best-known prose works is THE BROWNIE OF BODSBECK; his greatest poem, 'Kilmeny', is on the well-known theme of a visit to fairyland, or the Otherworld, and the return after a supernatural passage of time, seven years in this tale. Fairyland in this poem is the land of the dead, and - unusually - of the blessed dead. Kilmeny returns with a supernatural message to deliver, and dies when she has delivered it. The poem has the rhythm and flow of a ballad, and one verse is reminiscent of an early religious poem, 'The Faucon Hath Borne My Make Away':
In yon green-wood there is a waik,
And in that waik there is a wene,
And in that wene there is a maike,
That neither has flesh, blood, nor bane,
And down in yon green-wood he walks his lane.
The poem is full of overtones and undertones, and so is the curiously touching poem, 'The Mermaid', which turns on the difference between human time and fairy time, the long-lived, soulless mermaid and the short-lived mortal with an immortal soul. The mermaid mourns her human lover whose grave has been green a hundred years, and feels the Judgement Day drawing slowly nearer, when she will perish with the earth and never know a union with her resurrected true love. It is a subtle conception, simply and movingly expressed. # 100 - 314
One of the chief protections against fairy thefts, spells or illwishing. See also: PROTECTION AGAINST FAIRIES. # 100
HOMER, PROPER NAMES IN
Referring to his book 'Where Troy Once Stood', the author Iman Wilkens' says: On rereading the ILIAD and ODYSSEY and situating the action in western Europe, one may still have difficulty in believing that the proper names are of western European origin because 'they look so Greek' and because they are no longer given to people in this part of the world. The first problem is in many cases simply a question of spelling, while the latter is due to the fact that names generally do not remain popular for ever. Few people these days have medieval first names, although the Middle Ages are as yesterday compared to the Bronze Age. However, on closer scrutiny, it appears that many Homeric first names (surnames were not yet in use) have survived, with relatively little sound change, though the spelling looks quite different. I can mention the example of Phorcys, chief of Regiment N from Phrygia (Scotland), whose name is perpetuated in the Scottish family name Forsyth(e). In England, the Trojan name Phorbas became the surname Forbes, while in the Netherlands Altes survived unchanged to become a surname. In the United Kingdom, Marpessa is still occasionally given as first name; Peleus became Pélé in Iberia and Pelle in Scandinavia; Neleus and Cloris became Nelis and Kloris in the Netherlands, surviving as somewhat old-fashioned first names in the countryside; Alastor is now Alistair in England; Rhene is now Renée in France and many other countries, while Theseus and Calais became place-names in France: Thésée and Calais. The reader will discover still other examples for himself on rereading Homer. It is curious that Homer calls the girls Briseis and Chryseis after their fathers, Brises and Chryses. According to other ancient sources, their real names were Hippodamia and Astynome respectively. The former was said to be tall and dark, and the latter small and fair. # 730
A sword unsheathed by Biausdous, the son of Gawain. This act is enabled him to wed Biautei. # 156
Roman Emperor of the West in the fifth century. See: CONSTANTINE. # 156
HOOPER OF SENNEN COVE, THE
Bottrell, in the TRADITIONS AND HEARTHSIDE STORIES OF WEST CORNWALL, VOL. II, tells of a beneficent spirit in Sennen Cove called the Hooper who gave warning of coming storms, rather like the Manx Dooinney-Oie. It appeared like a curtain of cloud across the bay, with a dull light in the middle of it. Strange hooting sounds came from it. It always appeared before serious storms, and people who attempted to set out to sea felt an unaccountable resistance. Once a fisherman and his sons defied the warning and sailed out. The threatened storm arose, their boat was lost, and the Hooper never returned to warn the fishermen. # 84 - 100
HORN OF BRAN GALED
One of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain, Merlin had to acquire this one if he were to be given the others. It had originally belonged to a centaur slain by Hercules and its particular property was that it could contain any drink one wished. # 104 - 156
Sometimes animals are represented with three horns or with horns ending in knobs (this has never been satisfactorily explained). This occurs in Celtic and pre-Celtic times, as does the horned Serpent which appears frequently with the Celtic Horned God. At La Tène (one of the most important archaeological sites from Iron Age, situated on what is now Lake Neuchâtel) birds, swans and cormorants have horns, and there was even a bird-stag. # 161
Brother of Hengist who accompanied him to Britain. He was slain by a cousin of Vortigern. His memorial was thought to have been a flint heap near Horsted (Kent). # 156 - 243 - 717
The horse was highly important in the Celtic world and was frequently an attribute of deities such as the Celtic, Welsh and Irish war gods, and especially of the Gaulish Epona, the Divine Horse, introduced into Britain and later adopted by the Romans. She is depicted as riding a horse or accompanied by horses and foals and sometimes is horse-headed. In Celtic lore horses appear in different colours and are magical animals of the otherworld, carrying people there. Sometimes there are monster horses, capable of carrying fifteen people at a time. There are also magical water-horses which, if mounted, plunge the rider beneath the waters. Magical horses belonging to heroes can fly, cross seas, and become invisible. Many Celtic solar deities could manifest as horses. The White Horse at Uffington, in England, is associated with Celtic horse gods. There are innumerable horse-ghosts, particularly those of headless horses, and witches can adopt the horse as a disguise. There were Celtic horse-headed goblins, called Krops or Cops, who were of a savage and uncertain temper.
The horse is one of the primary totem beasts of the British Isles: a fact attested to by the taboo on eating horse-meat. The reverence in which the horse was held has not lessened over the centuries as a trip to any race-course will show. Horse-breeding and discussing the points of good racers or jumpers is still the common talk in any small Irish village. The White Mare was the mount of Epona or Rhiannon, goddesses associated powerfully with the horse, whose shape she often took. The most ancient horse chalk figure, White Horse Hill in Berkshire, still testifies to the joint Celtic and Saxon reverence for this animal. The horse with its magical bridle appears throughout folklore and Arthurian legend, where many knights go in quest for it, including Gawain. When found, the beast is usually a mare who turns back into a woman. # 161 - 439 - 454
HORSES OF MANANAN
White-crested waves called Horses of Mananan. # 562
A horseshoe hung up above a stable or a house prevented the entrance of fairies and witches, and hence constituted a protection against fairies. # 100
See: SLUAGH, THE.
Bands of warriors 'went hosting', gathering together to go on warlike forays or cattle-reeving expeditions. Hosting was usually a seasonal activity. # 437 p 20
HOUND OF ULSTER
HOUNDS OF THE HILL, THE
A name sometimes used in English for the hunting-dogs of the fairies who live in the hollow hills. As fairy dogs they are distinct from the Gabriel Hounds, the Devil's Dandy Dogs and other spectral packs whose duty it is to hunt souls rather than fairy deer. The Hounds of the Hill are generally described as white with red ears rather than dark green like the Cu Sith described by J. G. Campbell. Ruth Tongue in FORGOTTEN FOLK-TALES OF THE ENGLISH COUNTIES, reports an anecdote heard in Cheshire in 1917 and again in 1970 about a Hound of the Hill befriended by a young labourer. It was the size of a calf with a rough white coat and red ears. Its paws seemed sore, and the boy treated them with wet dock-leaves. Some time later, going through a haunted wood, he was attacked by a spectral goat and rescued by the hound. The episode has a Highland rather than a Welsh flavour.. # 100 - 131 - 674
See: BENN ETAIR.
HOWTH, THE HIDING OF THE HILL OF
This is a short piece which is representative of a group of episodic narratives that arose out of the general tradition of the pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne. Cross and Slover tells us that the selection brought in their ANCIENT IRISH TALES, probably is much older than the long narrative mentioned above, but that it was either unknown to the later redactor or was omitted purposely. As it stands it is an interesting example of the stories of trickery which delighted Irish audiences during the Middle Ages, and that the short poem, much as it inevitably suffers in translation, is one of the gems of early Irish lyric poetry. # 166
A son of Caw and brother of Gildas. He was an opponent of Arthur who eventually had him executed. Their feud began when Arthur stabbed Gwydre, Hueil's nephew. In one tale, he and Arthur fought and Arthur was wounded in the knee. Arthur told Hueil he would not slay him, provided Hueil never mentioned the wound, but he later did and Arthur had him killed. # 26 - 156
One of the Children of Lir. # 562
Scottish writers claimed Arthur's last battle was on this river. # 156
A companion of Gawain when Arthur sent the latter on a mission to the King of the Isles. In the course of their adventures together, Hunbaut tended to show more caution than Gawain. # 156 - 450
In Henry Fielding's TOM THUMB (1730), the name of Arthur's daughter. # 156
# 562: Miled's name as a god in a Celtic inscription from Hungary. # 156: Arthurian romance assigned this country several kings. In CLARIS ET LARIS it was ruled by King Saris who captured Cologne but was killed by Laris. Elsewhere the king is called Jeremiah; Gawain married his daughter. Sagremor is styled the son of the King of Hungary. King Ditas of Hungary was listed among the followers of the Roman Emperor Thereus, when the latter attacked Arthur. In fact, Hungary did not really exist as a country until about the end of the ninth century - much later than the Arthurian period - when the territory it subsequently contained was divided amongst Gepids, Heruli, etc. # 156 - 562
(b.1790) Hunt wrote the Preface to the third edition of POPULAR ROMANCES OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND in 1881. The book had first been published in 1865, but was a fruit of long collection. # 100 - 331
A son of the King of Gascony, who came to Arthur's court to learn valour. # 156
HUON OF BORDEAUX
# 156: The hero of the romance HUON DE BORDEAUX (thirteenth century), set in Carolingian times. In this tale Oberon, king of the fairies, assigned his realm to Huon. Arthur, who had been living in Fairyland since his reign, had thought the kingdom would be his and was most disturbed, but Oberon, by threatening Arthur, ensued there would be peace between him and Huon. There seem to be some confusion in the time-table for this romance. Katharine Briggs argues in her ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAIRIES that the French romance HUON OF BORDEAUX was from the 15th century, and translated into English by Lord Berners in the 16th century.
# 100: It became very popular in England, and though the earlier editions have disappeared, the third, of 1601, still remains. This is the first literary use of Oberon as the fairy king, though there are Magicians' recipes for conjuring Oberion or Oberycom into a crystal stone. He was a dwarfish or diminutive fairy, of the size of a threeyears child, though with a most beautiful face. This small size was attributed in the romance to the ill offices of an offended fairy at his birth - one of the earliest examples of a wicked fairy at a christening - but, since 'Auberon' is the French translation of the German 'Alberich', it seems likely that Oberon was dwarfish from the beginning. This Oberon haunted a part of the forest through which Huon had to pass in his eastern travels. He was a master of glamour and was regarded as a tempting devil who must on no account be answered when he spoke. Huon was most earnestly warned about this by a good hermit, but when his courtesy was too strong for him and he answered Oberon's touchingly earnest entreaties, nothing but good came of it. Oberon was deeply grateful and became Huon's constant friend. In the end, Oberon's soul was admitted to Heaven and Huon of Bordeaux was crowned king of Fairyland in his place. It is not often in folk tradition that the pendolous, immortal state of the fairies is resolved on the heavenly side. It will be remembered that Rudyard Kipling makes Huon of Bordeaux the king of the People of the Hills in PUCK OF POOK'S HILL. # 85 - 100 - 156
A game played with sticks and balls, somewhat similar to field hockey.# 166
The Irish earthly paradise. It was considered to lie in the furthest west. Later Spanish adventurers who knew the myth applied it to the land they discovered - Brazil.# 454
(1860-1949) The first of the Irish folklorists to pursue the fully scholarly methods of research initiated by J. F. Campbell. In his collection of folk-tales, BESIDE THE FIRE, he puts the Irish and the English on alternate pages for the first time in an Irish folk-tale book. His introduction was a most scolarly piece of work, criticizing keenly but not unkindly the work of his predecessors, and noticing particularly the handicap under which Lady Wilde laboured in knowing no Irish, and strongly advising all collectors to take careful note of the source of their tales. Dr. Hyde was the founder of the Irish League to promote the study of Irish Gaelic. He was a close collaborator with Yeats and Lady Gregory in their Irish renaissance, and was elected Ireland's first President in 1938. # 100 - 333
A servant of Arthur who carried the cauldron of Diwrnach on his back when Arthur captured it. # 156 - 346