Book: The Fairy Mythology
Author: Thomas Keightley

The Fairy Mythology By Thomas Keightley

Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 650
Publication Date: 1870

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A huge study on fairy and fairy mythology from around the world. Chapters include: Persian Romance; The Peri-wife; Arabian Romance; Middle-age Romance; Fairy Land; Spenser's Faerie Queene; Eddas And Sagas; The Alfar; The Duergar; Loki And The Dwarf; Thorston And The Dwarf; The Dwarf Sword Tirfing; Scandinavia; Elves; Sir Olof In The Elve-dance; The Elf-woman And Sir Olof; The Young Swain And The Elves; Svend Faelling And The Elf-maid; The Elle-maids; Maid Vae; The Elle-maid Near Ebeltoft; Hans Puntleder; Dwarfs Or Trolls; Sir Thynne; Proud Margeret; The Troll Wife; The Altar-cup In Aagerup; Origin Of Tiis Lake; A Farmer Tricks A Troll; Skotte In The Fire; The Legend Of Bodedys; Kallundborg Church; The Hill Man Invited To The Christening; The Troll Turned Cat; Kirsten's Hill; The Troll-labourer; The Hill Smith; The Girl At The Troll Dance; The Changeling; The Tile-stove Jumping Over The Brook; Departure Of The Trolls From Vendsyssel; Svend Faelling; The Dwarf's Banquet; Nisses ; The Nis Removing ; The Penitent Nis; The Nis And The Boy; The Nis Stealing Corn; The Nis And The Mare; The Nis Riding; The Nisses In Vosborg; Necks, Mermen And Mermaids; The Power Of The Harp; Duke Magnus And The Mermaid; Northern Islands; Iceland; Feroes; Shetland; Gioga's Son; The Mermaid Wife; Orkneys; Isle Of Rugen; Adventures Of John Dietrich; The Little Glass Slipper; The Wonderful Plough; The Lost Bell; The Black Dwarfs Of Granitz, and many more.

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The pure and simple religion of ancient Persia, onginating, it is said, with a pastoral and hunting race among the lofty bills of Aderbijan, or, as others think, in the elevated plains of Bactria, in a region where light appears in all its splendour, took as its fundamental principle the opposition between light and darkness, and viewed that opposition as a conflict. Light was happiness; and the people of Iran, the land of light, were the favourites of Heaven; while those of Turan, the gloomy region beyond the mountains to the north, were its enemies. In the realms of supernal light sits enthroned Ormuzd, the first-born of beings; around him are the six Amshaspands, the twenty-eight Izeds, and the countless myriads of Ferohers. In the opposite kingdom of darkness Aherman is supreme, and his throne is encompassed by the six Arch-Deevs, and the numerous hosts of inferior Deevs. Between these rival powers ceaseless warfare prevails; but at the end the prince of darkness will be subdued, and peace and happiness prevail beneath the righteous sway of Ormuzd.

From this sublime system of religion probably arose the Peri- or Fairy-system of modern Persia; and thus what was once taught by sages, and believed by monarchs, has shared the fate of everything human, and has sunk from its pristine rank to become the material and the machinery of poets and romancers. The wars waged by the fanatical successors of the Prophet, in which literature was confounded with idolatry, have deprived us of the means of judging of this system in its perfect form; and in what has been written respecting the Peries and their country since Persia has received the law of Mohammed, the admixture of the tenets and ideas of Islam is evidently perceptible. If, however, Orientalists be right in their interpretation of the name of Artaxerxes' queen, Parisatis, as Pari-zadeh (Peri-born), the Peri must be coeval with the religion of Zoroaster.

The Peries and Deevs of the modern Persians answer to the good and evil Jinn of the Arabs, of whose origin and nature we shall presently give an account. The same Suleymans ruled over them as over the Jinn, and both alike were punished for disobedience. It is difficult to say which is the original; but when we recollect in how much higher. a state of culture the Persians were than the Arabs, and how well this view accords with their ancient system of religion, we shall feel inclined to believe that the Arabs were the borrowers, and that by mingling with the Persian system ideas derived from the Jews, that one was formed by them which is now the common property of all Moslems.

In like manner we regard the mountains of Kaf, the abode alike of Jinn and of Peries and Deevs, as having belonged originally to Persian geography. The fullest account of it appears in the Persian romance of Hatim Tai the hero of which often visited its regions. From this it would seem that this mountain-range was regarded as, like that of the ancient Greek cosmology, surrounding the flat circular earth like a ring, or rather like the bulwarks of a ship, outside of which flowed the ocean; while some Arab authorities make it to lie beyond, and to enclose the ocean as well as the earth. It is said to be composed of green chrysolite, the reflection of which gives its greenish tint to the sky. According to some, its height is two thousand English miles.

Jinnestan is the common appellation of the whole of this ideal region. Its respective empires were divided into many kingdoms, containing numerous provinces and cities. Thus in the Peri-realms we meet with the luxuriant province of Shad-u-kam (Pleasure and Delight), with its magnificent capital Juherabad (Jewel-city), whose two kings solicited the aid of Caherman against the Deevs and also the stately Amberabad (Amber-city), and others equally splendid. The metropolis of the Deev-empire is named Ahermanabad (Aherman's city); and imagination has lavished its stores in the description of the enchanted castle, palace, and gallery of the Deev monarch, Arzshenk.

The Deevs and Peries wage incessant war with each other. Like mankind, they are subject to death, but after a much longer period of existence; and, though far superior to man in power, they partake of his sentiments and passions.

We are told that when the Deevs in their wars make, prisoners of the Peries, they shut them up in iron cages, and hang them from the tops of the highest trees, exposed to every gaze and to every chilling blast. Here their companions visit them, and bring them the choicest odours to feed on; for the ethereal Peri lives on perfume, which has moreover the property of repelling the cruel Deevs, whose malignant nature is impatient of fragrance.

When the Peries are unable to withstand their foes, they solicit the aid of some mortal hero. Enchanted arms and talismans enable him to cope with the gigantic Deevs, and he is conveyed to Jinnestan on the back of some strange and wonderful animal. His adventures in that country usually furnish a wide field for poetry and romance to expatiate in.