Storyology - Essays in Folk-Lore, Sea-Lore, and Plant-Lore
by Benjamin Taylor
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Where is it? 'At Charing Cross, of course,' says the self-assured Londoner; and in one sense he may not be far wrong. 'At Boston,' says the cultured inhabitant of the 'hub' of the universe. 'Wherever I am,' says the autocrat who essays to sway the destinies of nations. Well, we all know the story of the Head of the Table, and even if we did not know it, instinct would tell us where to look. But the centre of the world, in an actual, physical, racial, and mundanely comprehensive sense—where is it?

One does not find it so easy to answer the question as did good old Herodotus, who scouted as absurd the idea of the earth being circular. 'For my own part,' says the Father of History—and of lies, according to some people—'I cannot but think it exceedingly ridiculous to hear some men talk of the circumference of the Earth, pretending without the smallest reason or probability that the ocean encompasses the Earth, that the Earth is round as if mechanically formed so, and that Asia is equal to Europe.'

Herodotus found no difficulty in describing the figure and size of the portions of the earth whose existence he recognised, but then he said, 'from India eastward the whole Earth is one vast desert, unknown and unexplored.' And for long after Herodotus, the Mediterranean was regarded as the central sea of the world, and in the time of Herodotus, Rhodes was accounted the centre of that centre.

It is very interesting, however, to trace how many centres the world has had in its time—or rather within the range of written history. The old Egyptians placed it at Thebes, the Assyrians at Babylon, the Hindus at Mount Meru, the Jews at Jerusalem, and the Greeks at Olympus, until they moved it to Rhodes. There exists an old map in which the world is represented as a human figure, and the heart of that figure is Egypt. And there exists, or did exist, an old fountain in Sicily on which was this inscription: 'I am in the centre of the garden; this garden is the centre of Sicily, and Sicily is the Centre of the whole Earth.'

It is a grand thing to be positive in assertion when you are sure of your ground, and the builder of this fountain seems to have been sure of his. But then other people can be positive too, and in that vast desert eastward of India, imagined by Herodotus, there is the country of China, which calls itself the Middle Kingdom, and the Emperor of which, in a letter to the King of England in this very nineteenth century, announced that China is endowed by Heaven as the 'flourishing and central Empire' of the world.

And yet, once upon a time, according to some old Japanese writings, Japan was known as the Middle Kingdom; and the Persians claimed the same position for Persia; and according to Professor Sayce, the old Chaldeans said that the centre of the earth was in the heart of the impenetrable forest of Eridu.

This forest, by the way, was also called the 'holy house of the Gods,' but it does not seem to have had anything to do with the Terrestrial Paradise, the exact location of which Mr. Baring-Gould has laboriously tried to identify through the legends of the nations. It is a curious fact that a ninth-century map, in the Strasburg Library, places the Terrestrial Paradise—the Garden of Eden—in that part of Asia we now know as the Chinese Empire, and it is also so marked in a map in the British Museum.

In a letter supposed to have emanated from the mysterious if not mythical Prester John, it is written: 'The river Indus which issues out of Paradise flows among the plains through a certain province, and it expands, embracing the whole province with its various windings. There are found emeralds, sapphires, carbuncles, topazes, chrysolites, onyx, beryl, sardius, and many other precious stones. There, too, grows the plant called Asbestos.'

And all this was reported to be just three days' journey from the garden from which Adam was expelled, but as the geographical position of the province was not specified the information was a trifle vague. Prester John, however, described a wonderful fountain, the virtues of which correspond with those of a well in Ceylon described by Sir John Mandeville, and this is why some people say that the Garden of Eden was in the Island of Spices.

There is a twelfth-century map of the world at Cambridge, which shows Paradise on an island opposite the mouth of the Ganges. And in the story of St. Brandan, the saint reaches an island somewhere 'due east from Ireland,' which was Paradise, and on which he met with a man who told him that a stream—which no living being might cross—flowing through the island, divided the world in twain. Another centre!

In an Icelandic story of the fourteenth century are related the marvellous adventures of one Eirek of Drontheim, who, determined to find out the Deathless Land, made his way to Constantinople. There he received a lesson in geography from the Emperor. The world, he was told, was precisely one hundred and eighty thousand stages, or about one million English miles, round, and is not propped up on posts, but is supported by the will of God. The distance between the earth and heaven, he was told, is one hundred thousand and forty-five miles, and round about the earth is a big sea called the ocean.

'But what is to the south of the earth?' asked the inquisitive Eirek.

'Oh,' replied the Emperor, 'the end of the earth is there, and it is called India.'

'And where shall I find the Deathless Land?' he inquired; and he was told that slightly to the east of India lies Paradise.

Thereupon Eirek and a companion started across Syria, took ship and arrived at India, through which they journeyed on horseback till they came to a strait which separated them from a beautiful land. Eirek crossed over and found himself in Paradise, and, strange to say, an excellent cold luncheon waiting for him. It took him seven years to get home again, and, as he died soon after his return, the map of the route was lost.

Still, Eirek's Paradise may not improbably have been Ceylon.

The latest location of the Garden of Eden is by a recent traveller in Somaliland, in the north-east shoulder of Africa and south of the Gulf of Aden. This is in the neighbourhood of the country of Prester John, but in its present aspects can by no means be regarded as a Terrestrial Paradise.

Sir John Mandeville's description of the Terrestrial Paradise which he discovered gives it as the highest place on the earth—so high that the waters of the Flood could not reach it. And in the very centre of the highest point is a well, he said, that casts out the four streams, Ganges, Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates—all sacred streams. Now, in the Encyclopaedia of India it is stated that 'The Hindus at Bikanir Rajputana taught that the mountain Meru is in the centre surrounded by concentric circles of land and sea. Some Hindus regard Mount Meru as the North Pole. The astronomical views of the Puranas make the heavenly bodies turn round it.' So here again we have a mountain as the terrestrial centre.

In the Avesta there is reference to a lofty mountain at the centre of the world from which all the mountains of the earth have grown, and at the summit of which is the fountain of waters, whereby grow two trees—the Heavenly Soma, and another tree which yields all the seeds that germinate on earth. From this fountain, according to the Buddhist tradition, flow four streams to the four points of the compass, each of them making a complete circuit in its descent.

This central mountain is the Navel of Waters where originated all matter, and where sits Yama under the Soma tree—just as in the Norse legend the Norns, or Fates, sit by the great central earth-tree, Yggdrasil.

According to the Greek tradition, Jupiter, in order to settle the true centre of the earth, sent out two eagles, one from east and one from west. They met on the spot on which was erected the Temple of Delphi, and a stone in the centre of that temple was called the Navel of the World. A golden eagle was placed on each side of this stone. The design is preserved in many examples of Greek sculpture, and the stone itself is mentioned in several of the Greek plays.

With reference to this, Mr. Lethaby, in his Architecture, Mysticism, and Myth, observes: 'We may see embodied in this myth of the centre-stone the result of the general direction of thought; as each people were certainly "the people" first born and best beloved of the gods, so their country occupied the centre of the world. It would be related how the oldest and most sacred city, or rather temple, was erected exactly on the navel. A story like this told of a temple would lead to the marking in the centre of its area the true middle point by a circular stone, a stone which would become most sacred and ceremonial in its import.'

And Dr. Schliemann thus writes of a central circle he unearthed in the palace at Tirynthus: 'In the exact centre of the hall, and therefore within the square enclosed by the four pillars, there is found in the floor a circle of about 3.30 m. diameter. There can be little doubt that this circle indicates the position of the hearth in the centre of the megaron. The hearth was in all antiquity the centre of the house, about which the family assembled, at which food was prepared, and where the guest received the place of honour. Hence it is frequently indicated by poets and philosophers as the navel or centre of the house. In the oldest time it was not only symbolically but actually the centre of the house, and especially of the megaron. It was only in later days, in the palaces of the great Romans, that it was removed from the chief rooms and established in a small by-room.'

All which may be true enough, and yet the placing of the hearthstone in the centre of the house may have had less reference to the earth-centre idea, than to the fact that in the circular huts of primitive man it was necessary to have a hole at the apex of the roof. Still, it is interesting to note that, as in the Imperial palace at Constantinople, so on the floor of St. Peter's at Rome, and elsewhere, is a flat circular slab of porphyry, associated with all ceremonials.

Is there any connection between the old central hearthstone and the Dillestein—Lid of Hell—one meets with in Grimm?

We have seen that the centre of the world is placed in Europe, in Asia, and in Africa, but who would expect to find it in America many centuries ago? Yet the traditions of Peru have it that Cuzco was founded by the gods, and that its name signifies 'navel'; and traditions of Mexico describe Yucatan as 'the centre and foundation' of both heaven and earth. We must, however, go back to the East as the most likely quarter in which to find it, and as the quarter to which the eyes of man have been most consistently turned.

To successive centuries of both Jews and Christians Jerusalem has been the centre of the world, and the Temple the centre of Jerusalem. The Talmud gives directions to those who are in foreign countries to pray with their faces towards the sacred land; to those in Palestine to pray with their faces towards Jerusalem; to those in Jerusalem to pray with their faces towards the Mount; to those in the Temple to pray with their faces towards the Holy of Holies. Now, this was not merely because this sacred spot was a ceremonial centre, but also because it was regarded as the geographical centre of the earth. According to the Rabbis the Temple was built on the great central rock of the world.

It is written in the Talmud: 'The world is like the eyeball of man: the white is the ocean that surrounds the wall, the black is the world itself, and the pupil is Jerusalem, and the image of the pupil is the Temple.' And again: 'The land of Israel is situated in the centre of the world, and Jerusalem in the centre of the land of Israel, and the Temple in the centre of Jerusalem, and the Holy of Holies in the centre of the Temple, and the foundation-stone on which the world was grounded is situated in front of the ark.' And once more: 'When the ark was removed a stone was there from the days of the first Prophets. It was called Foundation. It was three digits above the earth.'

This claim is direct enough, and at Jerusalem to this day in the Dome of the Rock, supposed to occupy the site of Solomon's Temple, is a bare stone which, as Sir Charles Warren was assured, rests on the top of a palm-tree, from the roots of which issue all the rivers of the world. The Mohammedans have accepted this same stone as the foundation-stone of the world, and they call it the Kibleh of Moses. It is said that Mahomet once intended making this the sacred centre of Islam, instead of Mecca, but changed his mind, and predicted that at the Last Day the black stone—the Kaabah—will leave Mecca and become the bride of the Foundation-stone at Jerusalem. So that there can be no possible doubt of the centre of sacred influences.

Concerning the stone at Jerusalem, Professor Palmer says: 'This Sakhrah is the centre of the world, and on the day of resurrection—it is supposed—the Angel Israfil will stand upon it to blow the last trumpet. It is also eighteen miles nearer heaven than any other place in the world, and beneath it is the source of every drop of sweet water that flows on the face of the earth. It is supposed to be suspended miraculously between heaven and earth. The effect upon the spectators, however, was so startling, that it was found necessary to place a building round it and conceal the marvel.'

According to Hittite and Semitic traditions mentioned by Professor Sayce and Professor Robertson Smith, there was a chasm in this central spot through which the waters of the Deluge escaped.

Right down to and through the Middle Ages Jerusalem was regarded by all Christians as the centre of the world; sometimes as the navel of the earth; and sometimes as the middlemost point of heaven and earth. The Hereford map of the thirteenth century, examined by Mr. Lethaby, shows the world as a plane circle surrounded by ocean, round whose borders are the eaters of men, and the one-eyed, and the half-men, and those whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders. 'Within this border we find everything the heart could desire; the sea is very red, the pillars of Hercules are pillars indeed; there is the Terrestrial Paradise enclosed by a battlemented wall, and unicorns, manticoras, salamanders, and other beasts of fascinating habits are clearly shown in the lands where they live. The centre of all is Jerusalem, a circular walled court, within which again is a smaller circle, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.'

Even when the earth was recognised as a sphere, the idea of Jerusalem being the centre was not given up. Dante held to it, and veracious Sir John Mandeville endeavoured thus to explain away the difficulty: 'In going from Scotland or from England towards Jerusalem, men go always upwards, for our land is in the low part of the earth towards the west; and the land of Prester John is in the low part of the world towards the east; and they have the day when we have the night, and on the contrary they have the night when we have the day; for the earth and sea are of a round form, and as men go upward towards one point they go downward to another. Also you have heard me say that Jerusalem is in the middle of the world; and that may be proved and shown there by a spear which is fixed in the earth at the hour of midday, when it is equinoctial, which gives no shadow on any side.' Ingenious, if not convincing!

The Greek Church still regard Jerusalem as the middle of the world, and Mr. Curzon tells that in their portion of the Holy Sepulchre they have a magnificently decorated interior, in the centre of which is a globe of black marble on a pedestal, under which, they say, the head of Adam was found, and which they declare to be the exact centre of the globe.

The Mohammedans generally, however, regard the Kaabah at Mecca as—for the present, at any rate—the true centre. This stone is supposed to have been lowered directly from heaven, and all mosques are built to look towards it. Even in the modern schools of Cairo, according to Mr. Loftie, the children are taught that Mecca is the centre of the earth.

The Samaritans, however, look upon Gerizim as the holy mountain and centre of the religious and geographical world. And the Babylonians regarded the great Temple of Bel, according to Professor Sayce, as the house of the Foundation Stone of Heaven and Earth.

Gaya, again, is the Mecca of the Buddhists, where Buddha sat under the tree when he received enlightenment. This tree is the Bodhi tree described by Buddhist writers as surrounded by an enclosure rather of an oblong than of a square shape, but with four gates opening to the four cardinal points. In the middle of the enclosure is the diamond throne which a voice told Buddha he would find under a Pipal tree, which diamond throne is believed to be of the same age as the earth. 'It is the middle of the great Chiliocosm; it goes down to the limits of the golden wheel and upwards it is flush with the ground. It is composed of diamonds; in circuit it is a hundred paces or so. It is the place where the Buddhas attain the sacred path of Buddhahood. When the great earth is shaken this spot alone is unmoved. When the true law decays and dies it will be no longer visible.'

According to Sir Monier Williams, a stone marked with nine concentric circles is shown at Gaya as the diamond throne, and the Chiliocosm is not the centre of the world alone but of the Universe.

But in China, also a land of Buddhists, we find another centre, and in India there is an iron pillar at Delhi, dating from the fourth century, supposed by the Brahmans to mark the centre from their point of view. And in Southern India the Tamils have the Temple of Mandura, in the innermost sanctuary of which a rock comes through the floor, the roots of which are said to be in the centre of the earth.

The Indian Buddhists, of course, denied that China could be the Middle Kingdom, as the place where Buddha lived must necessarily be the centre. Nevertheless, the centre is now found by Chinese Buddhists in the Temple of Heaven at Pekin, where is one circular stone in the centre of circles of marble terraces, on which the Emperor kneels surrounded by circles—including that of the horizon—and believes himself to be in the Centre of the Universe and inferior only to Heaven.

But in the sixth century a certain Chinese traveller, called Sung-Yun, went to India for Buddhist studies, and he made his way by the Pamirs, the watershed of the great Asiatic rivers Indus and Oxus. And of this country he wrote:

'After entering the Tsung Ling mountains, step by step, we crept upwards for four days, and reached the highest point of the range. From this point as a centre, looking downwards, it seemed just as though we were poised in mid-air. Men say that this is the middle point of heaven and earth.'

This was written more than thirteen hundred years ago, and men to-day still call this part of Asia the Roof of the World.




Aaron's rod, 25

Aeschines, 18

Agricola, 29

Albertus, 84

Animal instinct of cure by plants, 161

Anthropomorphon, 84

Architecture, Mysticism and Myth, 193

Ahmed, Prince, 42

Aristotle, 153

Arthurian legends, 23

Asterodia, 2

Australian legends, 8, 20, 21


Baaras, root of, 80

Bacchus, 73

Bacon, 68, 85

Baring-Gould's Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, 37-39, 60, 61, 88

Barth, 52

Benjamin's sack, 49

Beryl, the, 48 the spirits of the, 48

Bhasa, 71

Bion's Lament, 124

Black Kaspar, 48

Bodhi Tree, 199

Book of Days, 73, 75

Brand's Popular Antiquities, 97, 100, 107

Breton legends, 8

British Guiana legends, 8-20

Britomart, 50

Browne, Sir Thomas, 28, 29, 83

Browning's, Mrs., Dead Pan, 80

Buddha's foot, 11

'Bull-roarer,' the, 17, 18

Bushman legend, 63


Cagliostro, 51

Cain in the Moon, 62

Cambuscan's mirror, 49

Camelon, 27

Capnomancy, 13

Cat and the Well, 6

Catoptromancy, 50

Celestial Paradise, 189

Chaldaeo-Babylonian legends, 92

Chaucer, 49, 62

Chinese legends, 20, 95

Cingalese legends, 11

Circaea, or Enchanter's Nightshade, 81

Circe, 82

Cleopatra, 79

Clover leaf, the, 130

Coles' Art of Simpling, 86

Columbus, 107

Columella, 84

Conway's Demonology, etc., 24, 71, 72, 85, 95

Cornish legends, 66-103

Cox and Jones's Tales of Teutonic Lands, 2, 3, 7, 9

Cronus, 8, 9, 20

Crusade legends, 129, 136

Crusades, the, 13, 93

Cupid, 124


Danae, 5

Dante, 62

Davy Jones, 114

Dawn Myths, 2, 5, 6

Dee's, Dr., Spherical Speculum, 48, 50

De Gubernatis, 72

Dekker's Wonderful Year, 147

Delphi, 19

Demeter, 19

Demosthenes, 18

Dessoir, Max, 56

Devil's Kettles, 95

Devil's Punch-bowls, 95

Devonian legends, 65, 122, 127

Dioscorides, 134

Divination by smoke, 15

Divining-rod, the, 30-32

Dove and the ark, 24

'Duffy,' 114

Dutch legend, 96


Earth-man, 79

Eden, the Garden of, 190 Eastern idea of, 191 Icelandic idea of, 191 Mandeville's, Sir J., 192 Somaliland, 192 Prester John's, 190

Ellacombe's Plant-Lore of Shakespeare, 149

Endymion, 72

Esquimo legend, 67

Esthonian legend, 73

Eucharist, the, 24


Fairy-lore, 12, 13

'Fairy-ring,' the, 12

Feast of Demeter, 16

Fian, Dr., 27

Fleur de lys, the, 130

Flying Dutchman, the, 96

Folk-lore methods, 15, 16 Bible, 88

Friend's Flowers and Flower-Lore, 147


Ganymede, 67

Gargantua, legend of, 8

Garlic (or 'Poor Man's Treacle'), Pliny on, 170 Bacon on, 170 Eastern belief in, 170, 173

Garrett's Dictionary of India, 89

Gaya and Buddha, 199

Gerarde's Herball (1597), 81, 128

Gerizim, 199

German legends, 60, 93, 94

Gesta Romanorum, 42

Glam (the moon), 72

Goldsmith's Citizen of the World, 50

'Good folks,' 12

Goodrich's, Miss, experiments in crystal-reading, 53-55

Gordon-Cumming's, Miss, Wanderings in China, 64

Greek legends, 3, 4, 10, 19, 21, 60, 67, 82, 127

Grimm, Fairy Tales, 6, 66, 129


Hades, 19

Hamlet, 41

Harpocrates, 124

Hartmann, Dr. Franz, 46

Hephaistos, 2

Hera, 19

Hermes, 82

Herodotus, 29, 30, 63, 73

Hesiod, 9

Highland superstitions, 10, 12, 13

Hindu legends, 20, 68, 71

Holcroft, the actor, 116

Holinshed, 27

Holy Spirit, symbol of the, 24

Homa, 87, 88

'Hot-cross buns,' 77

Hussin, 6

Hutton's Jacob's Rod, 39

Hydra, the, 93


Icelandic legend, 95

'Ink-pool,' the, 48

Israfil, 196


Jack and Jill, 61

Jacques Aymar of Lyons, story of, 37, 38

Jacob Boehme's tin cup, 49

Jamieson, Dr., and the Moon, 60

Jason and the Golden Fleece, 21

Jewish legends, 60, 90

Jobson, Richard (divining-rod), 34

Jonah, 115

Jonson's Tale of a Tub, 145

Josephus, 65, 81

Judas Iscariot, 62, 107


Kaabah-stone, 198

Kaffir legend, 20

Kingsley's Water-Babies, 105, 111


Lane's Magician, 51

Lang's Custom and Myth, etc., 4, 8, 14, 17, 21, 30, 34, 66, 82

Lao's looking-glass, 50

Leek, the, in Welsh tradition, 171

Legends: Australian, 8, 20, 21 Breton, 8 Bushman, 63 Ceylon, 11 Chaldaeo-Babylonian, 92 Chinese, 20, 95 Cornish, 66, 103 Devonian, 65, 122, 127 Dutch, 96 Eskimo, 67 Esthonian, 73 German, 60, 93, 94 Greek, 3, 4, 10, 19, 21, 50, 67, 82, 127 Highland, 12 Hindu, 20, 68, 71 Icelandic, 95 Jewish, 60, 90 Kaffir, 20 Lenormant, Francois, 93 Lid of Hell, 195 Malay, 8 Maori, 62, 63 North American, 8, 62 of British Guiana, 8, 20 of St. Cecilia, 129 of St. David, 171 of St. Patrick, 131 of St. Peter, 109 of the Crusaders, 129, 136 Persian, 125 Roman, 124 Russian, 94, 110 Scandinavian, 61 Sicilian, 73 Syrian, 93 Talmudic, 92 Zulu, 8

Lethaby on Architecture and Myths, 193

Levi, house of, 25

Lhasis, 80

Lien Chi Altangi, 50

Lilly, John, 59

Linnaeus, story of, 33

Lotus legends, 128 the Buddhist, 127 the Egyptian, 128

Lucian, 59

Luna, 63, 73


Magic, 23

Magellan, 107

Malay legends, 8

Mandrake, the, 78, 83 anthropomorphon, 84 or Devil's Apple, 85 or Stone Apple, 85

Mandura, 200

Maori legends, 62, 63

Mecca, 198

Medea, 67

Merlin's mirror, 49

Michael Scott, 11

Middle Kingdom, the, according to Herodotus, 189 Eastern idea of, 189, 197, 200 Jewish tradition of, 196 Jupiter's, 193 Mecca, the, 199 Mexican tradition of, 195 Prester John, 198

Midsummer Night's Dream, 62

Milbanke, Lady, 39

Mister Storm-Along, 119

Mohammed, legend of, 126

Moonfolk, Lucian's, 59

Moon-lore, Australian, 67 Bushman, 67 Egyptian, 67 English, 70, 74, 76 Eskimo, 67 Greek, 67, 87 Maori, 67 North American Indian, 67 South African, 67

Moon, the, 2, 58

Moon-worship, 76

Moonwort, 153, 154 Conway, Moncure, 155 Culpeper, 154 in Divine Weekes, 154 in legend, 153

Moses' rod, 25, 26, 29

Mother Carey's chickens, 97, 104, 109

Mueller, Max, 9

Mythology, Chinese, 63 Eskimo, 63 German, 133 Greek, 10, 78, 121 Hindu, 63, 87 Scandinavian, 116 Vedic, 72


Nautical superstitions, 98, 100

Navel of the World, 193

Nebuchadnezzar, 28

Neptune, 93

Nether Lochaber, 12

Nikke, 96

North American legends, 8, 62


Odin, 73

Odysseus, 82

Old Nick, 93

Onion among the Romans, 167 as food, 164 Homer on, 167 in The Arabian Nights, 165 Juvenal on, 165 Malagasy use of, 166 Mohammedan legends of, 167 myths, 168, 169 Napoleon and, 174 of the Greeks, 163, 165 of Herodotus, 166 Pliny on, 165, 167 Shakespeare on, 163 Sinclair, Sir J., on, 175

Ophelia, 148

Othello, 80


Paracelsus's magic mirror, 43, 44

Paradise, the Garden of, 190

Parkinson the Herbalist, 151

Penelope, 49

Persian legend, 125

Peter the Hermit, 13

Pharaoh, 25

Pleiades, the, 21

Pliny, 132

Plutarch, 73

Pope Leo X., 107

Poseidon, 19

Potato, the, as food, 184 Buckle on, 177 Christopher Columbus and, 176 folklore of, 183 Gerarde on, 177 in Scotland and Ireland, 181 in Shakespeare, 179 introduction into Europe, 176 Sir Francis Drake and, 177

Prince Zeyn Alasnam, story of, 42

Proctor, R. A., 60

Prose Edda, 71

Prospero, 70

Pryce's Mineralogia Cornubiensis, 32

Pseudosia Epidemica, 83

Pyromancy, 47

Pythagoras, 84


Rashi, 77

Red Riding Hood, 5, 6

Rhabdomancy, 28, 39

Rhea, 19

Riley's Book of Days, 64

Rink, Dr., 63

Rod, Moses', 25, 26 of the house of Levi, 25 the, 23 the divining, 30, 32

Roman legend, 124

Romeo and Juliet, 79

Rona in the Moon, 62

Roof of the World, the, 100

Rosemary, 123

Roses, Feast of the, 125

Rue as a disinfectant, 162 as salad, 152 derivation of, 150 in Aristotle, 153, 159 in Drayton, 153 in Ellacombe's Plant-Lore of Shakespeare, 149 in French perfumery, 152 in Milton, 151 in Parkinson, 151 in Pliny, 157 in Shakespeare, 149, 153 in Spenser, 151 in Warburton's works, 152

Ruskin's Queen of the Air, 4

Russian legend, 94, 110

Ruth, 150

Ryence, King, 50


St. Brandan, 117

St. Cecilia, legend of, 129

St. Christophoros, story of, 26

St. David, legends of, 171

St. David's Day, origin of, 171

St. Joseph, legend of, 127

St. Nicholas, 93

St. Patrick, 131

St. Peter, legend of, 109

St. Peter's Day, 110

St. Ursula, 2, 3

Satan, 79, 85

Saturn, 8, 19, 20

Scandinavian legend, 61

Schliemann, Dr., 194

Sea chanties, 119, 120

Septuagint, the, 49

Shakespeare, 2, 62, 79

Sharpe, Charles Kirkpatrick, 92

Shelvocke's voyages, 106

Shew Stone, 50

Sicilian legend, 73

Sidney, Sir Philip, 72

Solomon's Temple, 196

Soma, 63, 87, 89, 90, 193

Song of Sixpence, 5

Sorcerer's Root, 78

Spring Myths, 10

Stormy petrel, 99

Sung-Yun and the Pamirs, 200

Superstitions: Accadian, 16 Aztec, 16 Bushmen, 21 Chinese, 75 Greek, 16 Highland, 10, 12 Jewish, 16, 76 Nautical, 98, 100, 117 Peruvian, 16 Red Indian, 16, 20 Sicilian, 16

Syrian legend, 92


Talmudic legend, 92

Tannhaeuser, 3

Tylor's Primitive Culture, 5, 65

Tempest, the, 70

Theal's Kaffir Folklore, 18

Thiselton-Dyer, 31, 34, 64, 78, 100, 131, 145

Thistle, the, 132 Stewart, Dr., on, 135 of Dioscorides, 134

Timbs, 79

True Thomas of Ercildoune, 3

Tutenganahau, story of, 20

Tweed, the, 10

Tylor, 6, 65

Typhoeus, 117


Ulysses, 42

Urim and Thummim, 49


Vampire, the, 70

Vedic Agni, 2

Venus, 30

Venus's looking-glass, 49

Verne, Jules, 59

Vervain of the Druids, 158 Friend on the, 159 of the Greeks, 158 Thiselton-Dyer on, 158

Virgin Mary, 106

Von Buelow's Christian Legends of Germany, 26

Vulcan's mirror, 49


Warburton, 152

Warts, the cure of, 160

'White Rose Day,' 125

Winslow, Forbes, 76

Winter's Tale, The, 149

Winter Myths, 10

Witches' broom, the, 70

Witches' Mannikin, 78

Wolf and Seven Little Kids, 6, 7, 9, 66

Wurmbrand's Visionen im Wasserglass, 53


Yama, 193

Yggdrasil, 193


Zafarana, 73

Zeus, 19, 67

Zillah, legend of, 126

Zulu legend, 8

Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, London.


[1] Farrer: Primitive Manners.

[2] Lang: Custom and Myth.

[3] Lang.

[4] See Custom and Myth.

[5] In 'The Cruel Brother: A Tragedy.'

* * * * * *

Transcriber's note:

Passages in italics are indicated by underscore.

The misprint "Lihgtning" was corrected to "Lightning" (page 68).

The misprint "Catroptromancy" was corrected to "Catoptromancy" (index).

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation have been retained from the original.

Additional spacing after some of the quotes is intentional to indicate both the end of a quotation and the beginning of a new paragraph as presented in the original text.

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