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Re: CHAT: Easter & the Saxon Calendar (was: Passover/Easter)

From:yl-ruil <yl-ruil@...>
Date:Friday, April 28, 2000, 20:52
Raymond Brown wrote:

> Wondering why the Norsemen called 'Easter' "pâskir" and not *austrur, he > concludes "they had never worshipped a goddess Austra, or her cultus was > already extinct." Strange for a goddess who is supposed to have been so > important. And what of the Goths? Ulpilas writes 'paska', not *áustro.
Old Icelandic replaced the god-names of the days of the week (Odhinn's day etc.) with things like Firstday, Seconday and so on.
> Only, it seems did the Saxons & the High Germans call the festival > 'Easter(n)s' and I have no reason to doubt that there was such a > pre-Christian festival, of several days, held during the 4th month of the > Germanic lunisolar calendar. The east, of course, is the region of
> dawn, uprising light, of resurrection of new life after winter; both the > timing & the symbolisms must have fitted well with the Christian > Paschaltide; little wonder, it seems to me, the name was retained. > > [CONCLUSION] > I have no doubt that Bede is correctly reporting the Saxon month name and > quite correct in saying it took its name from the festival dayS celebrated > during that month (i.e. round about the time of the Passover/Pasch). But > the goddess seems now even more shadowy than ever; the only evidence is
> short passage in Bede. Grimm's attempts of the last century to resurrect > Eastre (still less to rename her Ostara) look desperate to me & IMHO carry > little conviction. I do not for one moment think Bede is deliberately > misleading us; but I am inclined to the view that her name is a bit of > "folk etymology" to explain the name of a festival whose origin had been > forgotten. > > Ray.
========================================================== Gravissima calamitas umquam supra Occidentem accidens erat religio Christiana -- Gore Vidal AD 1987 ==========================================================