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The Kyklops in Folk-Tales 989

ii The escape of the hero, who gets off

either (a) by clinging under a sheep, goat, ox, etc.,
or more often (/3) by putting on a sheep-skin, goat-skin, ox-hide, etc.
Of these alternatives (a), which implies gigantic sheep, was earlier than
(/3), which makes less demand on the hearer's credulity.

iii The attempt of the giant to recapture the hero by flinging after him a
magical ring (Dolopathos, Italy, Argyllshire, Basses-Pyrenees, Sieben-

biirgen, Bohemia),
a golden staff (Poland, Servia),

an axe with a golden or silver haft (Russia, Lithuania, Wotyaks),

a sabre (Great Russia),

a copper coin (Little Russia),

a white stone (Altai Mts.).

This episode, which probably formed part of the original tale1, bulks big
in Russia, Galicia, Italy, and Basses-Pyrenees, but does not occur at all
in Greece.

Group B (50 variants) is marked by another episode :

iv The hero escapes detection by giving his name as ' Self or ' Myself,'
rarely as 'Nobody' {Odyssey, Anjou)2.

This motif belonged originally to a distinct tale, current in northern and
central Europe, which told how a man injured an elfish creature of some
sort—mermaid (Sweden), water-nixie (Germany), wood-nymph (Sweden),
fairy (France), kobold (Riigen), dwarf (Germany), or devil (eastern
Europe)—commonly by means of fire or something hot, and then eluded
the vengeance of his victim's companions by giving his name as 'Myself
or the like3.

Group C (47 variants) is a late combination of i Q3), the blinding of the
giant by way of cure, with iv, the name-trick. It is found only in Fin-
land, Lettland, and Esthonia4.

It will be seen from this analysis that the story of Polyphemos, as related by
Homer, includes episode i, the blinding of the giant, in its south-European
form, and episode ii, the escape of the hero, in its earlier and more miraculous
aspect, but omits episode iii, that of the magical ring, altogether5, substituting
for it episode iv, the originally alien motif of the name. Homer, in short, picks
and chooses. He may tolerate a monstrous ram, but he omits mere magic, and
prefers to insert a conspicuous example of human cunning.

As regards the vexed question of ultimate significance Hackman, after
admitting that almost all investigators of the tale (Grimm, Krek, Jubainville,
Cerquand, etc.) have taken the single eye of Polyphemos to be the sun0, reaches
the cautious conclusion : ' Das Stirnauge des Riesen, das jedenfalls schon der
Grundform angehort hat, war wohl urspriinglich ein die Sonne symbolisirendes
Attribut des Himmels- oder Sonnengottes. Doch hat diese friihzeitig in Verges-
senheit geratene mythologische Bedeutung des Stirnauges nichts mit der Sage
im Ubrigen zu tun7.'

1 Id. ib. p. 177 ff. 2 Id. ib. p. 204. 3 Id. ib. p. 189 ff. 4 Id. ib. p. 206 ff.

5 Unless indeed we may suppose that a trace of the ring-throwing subsists in the stone-
throwing of Polyphemos (a. b. c). C. Nyrop loc. cit. p. 218 suggests e contra that the
ring-episode is itself an expansion of the Homeric stone-throwing—a view rejected by
Hackman op. cit. p. 177 n. 1.

6 Id. ib. pp. 3 fF., 217 b 7 Id. ib. p. 221 (cp. also p. 218).
 
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