Der Sagenkreis vom geprellten Teufel. Von Aug. WiJNSCHE. Leipzig und Wien, Akademischer Verlag, 1905.
Dr. Wunsche claims the cycle of the Devil Outwitted as specially German. He traces its origin partly to Christian sources. Not merely the Gnostic view of the Atonement, but those of Irenaeus, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and a line of subsequent Fathers of the Church, makes it in some sense, he contends, a cheating of the devil. What, however, he sees chiefly in the stories is the influence of the old Teutonic religion with its giants, gods, and elves, all of whom are tricked in turn. His study of the cycle is consequently confined almost entirely to German sources. He seems not to be aware that similar tales occur everywhere in Europe and over a very wide area beyond. The latest I have read was obtained by the Rev. John Campbell, in 1820, from a chief of the Koranas, in South Africa. In their myth of the origin of their race the primeval Bushman plays the part of the devil, and the primeval Korana that of the devil's successful opponent. Cases of this kind, and they are numerous, render Professor Wiinsche's theory untenable.
E. Sidney Hartland.
Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten, herausgegeben von Albert Dieterich und Richard WuNSCH. Gieszen : J. Ricker. I. Attis : seine Mythen und seine Kult, von Hugo Hepding. (1903.) M. 5. II. 2 : De Mortuorum ludicio, scripsit Ludovicus Ruhl. (1903.) M. I. So. II. 3 : De Poetarum Romanarum doctrina magica quaestiones selectae, scripsit Ludovicus Fahz. (1904.) M. I. 60.
These books contain collections of sources, and therefore belong to a most useful class. The one indispensable merit of such collections is accuracy; and, so far as we have been able to test them, these books are accurate. The first chapter of