And it is quite possible to realise very fully, as the Siberian Shamanists now do, the power of a good or evil deity without conceiving him as a well-defined person, just as nowadays we realise the force of gravity or electricity without any conception of them as definite forms in space. The prehistoric and ancient Finns thought of their gods more as spirits than as anthromorphic personages, and this not because they were Shamanists, but because they held animistic views of nature while their social state was at the lowest possible tide-mark ; while a people of hunters and fishers, without cohesion or social ties other than of the family, would naturally conceive their spirit-gods as isolated Beings, without fellowship with each other, and without interest in the human race.
The above-mentioned conclusions only form part of the Professor's labours. He gives an abstract of each Runo in the Kalevala, and analyses the epic into its component parts, following in this the late Professor J. Krohn, but presenting the results in a clearer, more methodical form. There are also two elaborate chapters on the divine and heroic myth of the Finns.
In a work of this sort it is inevitable that a few small mistakes should occur. At p. 54 the Jems are said to be first mentioned in 1043 ; it should be 1042 (v. Suomi, 1848, p. 19). At p. 142 there is a curious doubtful rendering of the Finnish Jännitti tulisen jousen, korvahan kovan tulisen, which is translated "Spannte eilig seinen Bogen, eilig bei der Feuerhütte (?), instead of "He drew his fiery bow, his very fiery (bow) to his ear". The second line appears in the O. Kalevala, i, 201. When, at pp. 252-3, it is stated that there is no trace of the magic drum left in the language or poetry of the Finns, and that they have forgotten even that the Lapps possess the instrument, the Professor has overlooked a passage (Loitsurun. p. 29e) where the parallel word to Lappalainen is käsikannus, "he that carries in his hand a kannus", a word explained by Renvall as a Lapp magic drum, and also that the North Karelians use kontakka with the same meaning.