Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/357

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The European Sky- God. 343

and returned to the Assembly of Teltown to relate their adventure.

The name Liigaid is derived from Lug/ the Irish sun- god. This story, therefore, reinforces the lesson that we learnt from the Baile an Scdil, vis. that the king of Tara was regarded as Lug incarnate and husband of the goddess who possessed the sun-tree.^ But our story does more than that. For the resemblance of its dinouement to that of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine raises a strong presump- tion that Sir Gawain too will prove to be a sun-king married to the goddess of a sun-tree,

Gawain was the son of Lot, king of Norway,^ behind whom lurks the ancient British sky-god Lud.* Miss Weston inferred from this relationship that Gawain 'was originally a sun-deity.' ^ She also pointed out that ' one of the most striking characteristics of Gawain, and one which may undoubtedly be referred to the original con- ception of his character, is that of the waxing and waning of his strength as the day advances and declines. . . . Scholars have seen in this growth and waning of Gawain's power, directly connected as it is with the waxing and waning of the sun, a proof that this Celtic hero was at one time a solar divinity.' ^ On these and other grounds'^ Miss Weston concludes that Gawain had solar powers. She also makes out a good case for believing that he, like Bran, Connla, Oisin, etc., went on a quest to the Otherworld described as the Chateau Merveil ; that he found it to be a

^D'Arbois Les Celtes p. 43, V^popie celiique p. 512.

'Folk-lore xvii. 157 ff.

^ See the genealogy in Miss J. L. Weston's translation of Wolfram von Eschenbach Pa7-zival London 1894 i. 295.

  • Folk-lore xvii. 47 ff. ^ Miss J. L. Weston Sir Gawain p. 52.

^ Ead. ib. p. I2f.

"' Ead. ib. p. I3ff. Gawain's horse Gringalet or A'eincaled, and Gawain's sword Escalibor or Caledmvlch. The former recalls the horses of various solar heroes : the latter, when drawn, ' throws so great a light . . . that it is as if two torches had been kindled.'