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- the road to Holland -
© 2009 by Joannes Richter Published by Lulu www.lulu.com All Rights Reserved ISBN: xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx
1 Introduction............................................................................7 2 Holland...................................................................................9 The deity Nehalennia......................................................9 Etymology for the names Helle and Har.......................10 Etymology for the names Jane, Diana...........................11 The dual- resp. quad-headed deity Janus .....................12 The light-sources at the North Sea................................16 Etymology for the names Eve, Eva...............................16 The trading route...........................................................17 Helium, Hellevoetsluis..................................................18 The Helle-holes at Roermond.......................................18 The Hellgate at Maastricht............................................18 3 The German Hellweg...........................................................19 Etymology for the name Hellweg.................................21 The Hellweg-routes.......................................................21 Unrelated Hellweg-stations...........................................26 4 The Hellweg as a medieval Highway..................................29 The bifurcation at Paderborn.........................................30 5 The Hellweg in Iceland .......................................................33 6 Etymology for Hell- / Höll-names ......................................37 Höll-names....................................................................37 Hel ................................................................................37 7 Uninvestigated Hell-locations..............................................39 Hellas (ancient Greece).................................................39 Europe...........................................................................39 8 Hellweg-routes in Google-Maps..........................................41
In the Middle Ages the Hellweg was an ancient east-west route through Germany, from Duisburg, at the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, to Paderborn, with the slopes of the Sauerland to its south. The Hellweg, as an essential corridor that operated in overland transit of long-distance trade, was used by Charlemagne1 in his Saxon wars and later was maintained under Imperial supervision. This book reports the traces of trading routes called „Hellweg“ between Duisburg2 up to Frankfurt at the Oder and to Hamburg. Just like the Way of St. James3 the trading route Hellweg spreads towards the East in numerous directions. The main route obviously did lead from Duisburg towards Frankfurt at the Oder. From Dortmund however another trail leads northward to Minden and Hamburg. A second trail is connecting Minden and Hildesheim-Salzgitter. Obviously the Hellweg may have been called the Highway4 to Holland, respectively to Highway to Hell, which has been the name for the North Sea. This title would interprete the Hellweg as an ancient trading route between Holland and Germany.
Infos from Wikipedia → Charlemagne (742 – 814) The city of Tuiscoburgum obviously had been devoted to Tuisco (→ see the book The Sky-God Dyæus by Joannes Richter, 2009) 3 Way of St. James towards Santiago de Compostela
Originally the word highway refers to the elevation above the water levels.
A book in Dutch language titled Logica van het gevoel 5 by the author Arnold Cornelis describes a number of interesting details with respect to the Hellweg.
The deity Nehalennia
5 6 7
t the estuary of the river Schelde, which today is named Easterschelde we may meet a sandbank called Neeltje Jans. This peculiar name had not been registered at early navigational maps, but the sailors were very well informed of its position. At the beginning of the 19 th century Neeltje Jans has been documented at a French map. As an etymological derivation of the name Arnold Cornelis derives the combination NE-HELLE-JAAN-S, which may be interpreted as „Jane near Helle“. The trailing letter „s“ is a Locativus, indicating a location6. The location describes a temple or an area with some sanctuaries. At the shoreline a lake called Helinium referred to Helle as well. t the 12th century the Westerschelde is known to have been arisen from a great flood (St. Elisabeth's flood). In 1647 however near the city Domburg the sea revealed around 40 pieces of altars and sculptures. A great number of these parts had been devoted 7 to a deity called Nehalennia8 Logica van het gevoel by the author Arnold Cornelis
Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , page 397 Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , page 402 8 Source : http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehalennia
ust like Eve Nehalennia always had to be depicted with apples, which may indicate a correlation between "Eve" and "eve" = "water"9. Nehalennia also has been depicted with a dog. Dogs of course have been held at the temples for their ability to clean wounds by licking.
Etymology for the names Helle and Har
he name Helle has been used for the North Sea, which was called Holle, referring to "Holland". The Frisian name for the North Sea is Harle respectively Har, which correlates to herring10 , and to the following number of (mostly Dutch) town-names: Middelharnis, Haringvliet, Harlem, Harlingen, Hargen11, Harle12 and in English: Harwich as well as in the English word „harbour“. he dangerous North Sea may also have been respected as "Way of the Dead" and the route to the underworld Hell. The word Harlequin derives from Old French Hellequin, leader of la maisnie Hellequin, thought to be related to the Old English Herla, a character often identified with Woden see: 13. According to Arnold Cornelis the word Harlequin is to be interpreted as „Child of the North Sea“, a devil or „one of our children“14.
Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 407 in Dutch: haring 11 A village between Alkmaar and Den Helder in Northern Holland 12 in northern Germany at the shore opposite of the island Spiekeroog
Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 397
ike in French language the „h“-sound in Helle may often be suppressed, which transforms Helle to "Neelle". Ellemeet is a border-town 15 towards Helle. Ellewoutsdijk16 is a dam at the forest near Helle. The demonic Mother Hulda or Frau Holle probably refers to "de Hol" ("the sea"). Holland of course may be translated as „Sealand“17.
Etymology for the names Jane, Diana
aan or Jane belongs to the ancient, dual indo-european godhead of light (Diana) and correlates with "dies" (English: Day) and in Celtic language to IJ for water, which may be found in a great number of names (IJzer, IJssel, Isar, Isère, Iceland, island, Paris, Rijssel, etcetera). Of course other variants of the name Jane will be found in English and in various neighbouring countries in Jeanne, Joan, Diana, etc. Diana has been identified as the female half Jana of the androgynous sky-god Dyæus 18.
"meet" bedeutet "Grenze". deutsch: Hellewaldsdeich 17 deutsch: "Seeland"; Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 395 18 → see for details to the Indo-European deity the book The Sky-God Dyæus by Joannes Richter, 2009
The dual- resp. quad-headed deity Janus 19
n Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnants in modern culture are his namesake, the month of January, which begins the new year. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions. Janus is one of the few major deities in Roman mythology that does not have a Greek origin or counterpart. William Betham argued that the cult arrived from the Middle East and that Janus corresponds to the Baal-ianus or Belinus of the Chaldeans sharing a common origin with the Oannes of Berosus ultimately derived from the Mesopotamian hero king Uan.
anus was usually depicted with two heads looking in opposite directions. According to a legend, he had received from the God Saturn, in reward for the hospitality received, the gift to see both future and past.  Janus-like heads of gods related to Hermes have been found in Greece, perhaps suggesting a compound god: Hermathena (a herm of Athena), Hermares, Hermaphroditus, Hermanubis, Hermalcibiades, and so on. In the case of these compounds it is disputed whether they indicated a herm with the head of Athena, or with a Janus-like head of both Hermes and Athena, or a figure compounded from both deities. Janus' double head reflects the Assyrian depictions of Oannes with a human head in front and a fish head behind.
Info from Wikipedia-entry (Janus)
Fig. 1: Janus-Sculpture (Vatican-City)
The Romans associated Janus with the Etruscan deity Ani. However, he was one of the few Roman gods who had no ready-made counterpart, or analogous mythology. Several scholars suggest that he was likely the most important god in the Roman archaic pantheon: this is reflected in the appellation Ianus Pater, still used in Classical times. He was often invoked together with Iuppiter (Jupiter). According to Macrobius and Cicero, Janus and Jana (Diana) are a pair of divinities, worshipped as the sun and moon, whence they were regarded as the highest of the gods, and received their sacrifices before all the others. Both refer to „day“, respectively „deus“, which correlates to „God“ (and in Proto-Indo-european language also to the sky-god „dyeus“).
n general, Janus was the patron of concrete and abstract beginnings, such the religion and the Gods themselves, of the world and the human life, of new historical ages, economical enterprises. He was also the God of the home entrance (ianua), gates, bridges and covered and arcaded passages (iani). He was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another. He was also known as the figure representing time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. Hence, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, births and other beginnings. He was representative of the middle ground between barbarity and civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood.
uma in his regulation of the Roman calendar called the first month Januarius after Janus, at the time the highest divinity. Numa also introduced the Ianus geminus (also Janus Bifrons, Janus Quirinus or Portae Belli), a passage ritually opened at times of war, and shut again when Roman arms rested. It formed a walled enclosure with gates at each end, situated in the Roman Forum which had been consecrated by Numa Pompilius. In the course of wars, the gates of the Janus were opened, and in its interior sacrifices and vaticinia were held to forecast the outcome of military deeds. The doors were closed only during peacetime, an extremely rare event. Livy wrote in his Ab urbe condita that the doors of the temple had only been closed twice since the reign of Numa: firstly in 235 BC after the first Punic war and secondly in after the battle of Actium in 31 BC. 14
temple of Janus is said to have been consecrated by the consul Gaius Duilius in 260 BCE after the Battle of Mylae in the Forum Holitorium. The four-side structure known as the Arch of Janus in the Forum Boarium dates to the 4th century CE. In the Middle Ages, Janus was also taken as the symbol of Genoa, whose Latin name was Ianua, as well as of other Italian communes. Some English words are still referring to Janus, e.g. January as the first month and the janitor as the doorkeeper. Originally both faces of Janus did symbolize the sun and the moon. Janus used to be depicted with a key. Initially one face was bearded and the other face beardless, but in later eras both faces were to be depicted bearded. The combination of bearded and non-bearded faces may indicate an androgynous symbol, which refers to a combination of male and female elements. Obvious pairs of deities Jupiter & Juno, Dianus & Diana, Zeus & Dione may be seen as basically identical symbols. Their origin refers to the Indo-European word "Di", which may be translated as „bright“. In earliest eras Janus 20 is said to have reigned in the oak-woods of Janiculum at the right shores of the river Tiber. The idea of a bright light source may also be identified in other words, e.g. "dia", "diamond", "jade" (Spanish: "ijada"). The healing powers of light may be coorelating to "iatros" (physician)21.
The Golden Bough (1890-1900-1911/1915)-von James George Frazer Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 401
The light-sources at the North Sea
Wherever the waves of the North Sea are breaking at a sandbank the phosphors of the plankton-particles will be illuminating. As soon as the sailors had reached the brightening area under dark weather conditions they knew they had reached Nehalennia respectively Neeltje Jans. Today the name Neeltje Jans refers to a new major storm surge barriers22, which has been built after the North Sea Flood of 1953 and consists of dams and floodgates (storm surge barriers23). They are open and allow free passage but close when the land is under threat of a storm surge.
Etymology for the names Eve, Eva
n Celtic languages the root for the word „water“ refers to "eve", which may be traced in Evreux (city at the river Eure24). The "eve"-root may also be traced back to „Ebro“ in Spain (Galicia). In Dutch language "eve" is found in river-names with "ee" and in town-names like Edam and Ede.
Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 392 Major storm surge barriers are the Oosterscheldekering and Maeslantkering in the Netherlands which are part of the Delta Works project, and the Thames Barrier protecting London. 24 The Eure is a river leading to the Seine
he variant "awa", Gothic "ahwa", Latin "aqua" is to be found in river-names "Aa" and in town-names like "Adorp" and "Breda". A vocal-shift transformed the vocals in "ie" in "Krommenie" and "Middelie", respectively "ij" in "island"25, "IJssel", "Iceland". Lille has been derived from l"Isle 26, which of course refers to Rijssel27.
The trading route
n analogy to the Way of St. James28 leading to Santiago de Compostela the ancient trading route to Nehalennia may originally have been used as a pilgrim's way29. At the Colijnsplaat (1970) fishermen did find some ancient parts of sculptures in their nets revealing the names of rich traders, living at Cologne and referring to trading connections with Great Britain. Similar findings have been located in Cologne. These findings suggest that Nehalennia has been known at the German settlement of Cologne. In total more than 100 pieces of altars and sculptures have been found, which refer to the deity Nehalennia30. These parts have been identified as belonging to the Roman era (200 A.D.)
In Dutch: eiland, "IJssel", "IJsland" French for: the island 27 Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 394 28 Way of St. James towards Santiago de Compostela
Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 407 Logica van het gevoel, Arnold Cornelis , Seite 402
n Southern Holland the town Hellevoetsluis is located at the Maas-estuary. The Romans used to call this place Helium. inter Helium ac Flevum, ita appelantur ostia, in quae effusus Rhenus ab septentrione in lacus, ab occidente in amnem Mosam se spargit , medio inter haec ore modicum nomine suo custodiens alveum31.
The Helle-holes at Roermond
n Roermond (Limburg, southern Netherlands) at the mouth of the river Roer into the Maas a minor and a major "Hellegat" has been identified32. bei der Mündung der Roer in die Maas befinden sich (lt Quelle) ein kleines und ein großes "Hellegat".
The Hellgate at Maastricht
he Hellgate (in Dutch: "Helpoort") at Maastricht is the oldest entrance gate to a city and belongs to the medieval city walls.
Jacob Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, page 262: referring to : Plinius. 4,29, and also Tacitus 2,6
3 The German Hellweg
In the Middle Ages the Hellweg was an ancient eastwest route through Germany, from the Rhine east to the mountains of the Teutoburger Wald, reaching from Duisburg, at the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, to Paderborn, with the slopes of the Sauerland to its south. The Hellweg, as an essential corridor that operated in overland transit of long-distance trade, was used by Charlemagne33 in his Saxon wars and later was maintained under Imperial supervision. Its breadth was decreed as an unimpeded passageway a lance's width, about three metres, which the landholders through which the Hellweg passed were required to maintain. Its name, connoting the wide "bright" clearway through the forest, derives from Low German helwech with this same significance. Another etymology for Hellweg is from Salzweg, the "Salt road" on the ancient root halys (Greek), and hal (Celtic), meaning "salt". Yet another meaning connotes a "Way of the Dead". In Grimm's dictionary, Helvegr is the route to the Underworld. This book reports the traces of trading routes called „Hellweg“ between Duisburg34 up to Frankfurt at the Oder and to Hamburg.
Infos from Wikipedia → Charlemagne (742 – 814) The city of Tuiscoburgum obviously had been devoted to Tuisco (→ see the book The Sky-God Dyæus by Joannes Richter, 2009)
Just like the Way of St. James35 the trading route Hellweg spreads towards the East in numerous directions. The main route obviously did lead from Duisburg towards Frankfurt at the Oder. From Dortmund however another trail leads northward to Minden and Hamburg. A second trail is connecting Minden and Hildesheim-Salzgitter. Obviously the Hellweg may have been called the Highway36 to Holland, respectively to the Highway to Hell, which has been the name for the North Sea. This title would interprete the Hellweg as an ancient trading route between the Holland and Germany. Later in the Middle Ages the trading route may have been replaced by Hanse-routes, which may refer to the traditional trading goods (tweeds from the southwest and corn, woods, amber37, from the north or east).
35 36 37
Way of St. James towards Santiago de Compostela
Originally the word highway refers to the elevation above the water level. See for information towards amber trading (in German language) → Der Brenner Codex by Joannes Richter, 2009
Etymology for the name Hellweg
ome etymologists derive Hellweg from helwech which simply translates to a „bright road“, which allowed the traders to feel safe against robbery and guaranteed short travelling times. Another etymological explanation Hellweg as a Salt-route may eventually refer to some parts of the Hellweg. The third etymological explanation relates to the "Way of the Dead". In Grimm's dictionary, Helvegr is the route to the Underworld. The Germans used to bury there dead relatives at the roadside, preferring the roadcrossings.According to Grimm the Hellweg has been the road to transport the dead corpses. According to a Germanist Wolfgang Golther38 the Helvegr is the road to the Underworld, corresponding to the westfalic Hellweg, Totenweg. The root Hel had been thought to relate to the Germanic underworlddeity Hell, but there is no explanation for these correspondences.
number of Hellweg-routes may be identified in Germany. The best-known „Hellweg“ is to be found as an east-west -route for a medieval Rhein-Elbeinterconnection along the hills in the middle of Germany. In particular the main route has been reserved for the traject between Duisburg and Paderborn. This west-falic route may have existed well over 5000 years, starting at the Rhine near Ruhrort at Duisburg, Essen, Dortmund, Unna, Werl, Soest, Erwitte, Geseke, Salzkotten, Paderborn up to Bad Driburg.
at the end of the 19th century
he route started a a Rhine-crossing near Duisburg passing the Kuhtor (translated: Cow-gate) to enter the lowlands of the lower-Rhine territories eastwards. After the historical Ruhr-crossing near Broich-castle the road did lead to Mülheim, using a highway at the water divide between the rivers Ruhr and Emscher / Lippe north of the Ardeys. This route had proven to be usable permanently throughout the year. Settlements at the route had been chosen at intervals of a day's journey for a heavy wagon and for traders at foot-journeys. The elder and larger cities like Duisburg, Dortmund or Soest, were located at greater distances. Smaller towns like Bochum, Unna or Werl received trading rights in the later medieval eras. In Roman eras the Rhine crossing had been chosen at a more southern location at the opposite side of Krefeld-Gellep, which was called Gelduba. Another Rhinecrossing had been located at the modern city of Moers, and finally after some Rhine-relocations at the city of Duisburg.
The main route of the right-sided Hellweg may be traced between Duisburg to Paderborn by the following stations: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ruhrort, Duisburg Kuhtor, 47051 Duisburg Schloß Broich, Mülheim Essen Hellweg, Essen Hellweg, Kray Wattenscheider Hellweg, Bochum Hellweg, Bochum Harpener Hellweg, Lütgendortmund Dortmund Lütgendortmunder Hellweg, Lütgendortmund at 44388 Dortmund Dorstfelder Hellweg, Dortmund Körner Hellweg, 44143 Dortmund Wambeler Hellweg, Brackel 44143 Dortmund Brackeler Hellweg, Brackel Dortmund Asselner Hellweg, Brackel Dortmund Hellweg, 59423 Unna Hellweg Unna Hellweg, Ampen 59494 Soest Hellweg Sassendorf, 59505 Bad Sassendorf, Soest Am Hellweg, Stirpe Hellweg 59597 Erwitte Hellweg, 59597 Erwitte, Soest Hellweg, 59590 Geseke, Soest Salzkotten Paderborn Hellweg, 33100 Paderborn Am Hellweg, Bad Driburg 23
• • • • • • • • •
ear the city of Geseke the Hellweg reveals several tracks between Bad Sassendorf and Salzkotten respectively Paderborn. The route may have been varying the tracks. As an optional eastward prolongation of the Hellweg some street-names suggest the following route from Bad Driburg: Hellweg 33034 Brakel Hellweg, 37671 Höxter Hellenthal, Helleberg, Eimen Hallensen ... Helldamm, 39179 Barleben (near Magdeburg) Helweg, Frohnau 13465 Berlin Hellweg, 15234 Frankfurt (at the Oder)
and westward for instance towards: • • • • • Helmond39, Netherlands the Hellegaten near Roermond the Helltor at Maastricht Hellevoetsluis (Roman: Helenium40) the Nehalennia-sanctuary, at the island of Walcheren
The Dutch city of Helmond is located at the prolongation of the Hellweg towards the westcoast.
The correlation between Helena and Helenium is unsure.
Hellweg before the Santforde41
• • • • • • • •
his Hellweg has been a trading route between the east and the west, connecting Minden to the west-falic Hellweg and joining a military road to the river Ems. At the Bückethaler Landwehr between Bantorf and Bad Nenndorf the Hellweg reached the Hannover-territory. From here the road connected Goltern, Leveste, Gehrden, Ronnenberg and Pattensen to the river Leine, from which the road did lead to Sarstedt and Hildesheim. A side road of the Hellweg did lead to the northern border of the Deister connecting Wennigsen and Calenberg to Hildesheim. The following stations for the Hellweg before the Santforde have been documented: Minden Leveste, Gehrden Ronnenberg Pattensen Sarstedt Hildesheim Zur Heisterburg 30890 Barsinghausen Wennigsen
Hellstraße and Hellenweg
A Google-Maps-search for "Hellstraße" and "Hellenweg" reveals a route from the Ruhr-area towards Munich, but the real value for these searches is still unclear.
The Santforde is a sandy location to cross the river
Some more Hellweg-stations, which could not be correlated are listed below42: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Hellweg, 59269 Beckum, Warendorf Hellweg, 33378 Wiedenbrück, Gütersloh Hellweg, 59192 Bergkamen Hellweg, 59514 Welver, Soest Hellweg, 59199 Bönen, Unna Hellweg, Hamm Helmond Aachen Helldamm, 39179 Barleben Hellweg, 15234 Frankfurt (Oder) Hellweg, 31863 Coppenbrügge Hellweg, 37671 Höxter Hellweg 33034 Brakel Zur Hell, 57584 Scheuerfeld, Altenkirchen Die Hell, 55487 Laufersweiler, Auf der Hell, 66606 Sankt Wendel Auf der Hell, 57290 Neunkirchen, Auf der Hell, 54579 Üxheim, Daun, Nehalennia, Walcheren Hellevoetsluis (bei Rotterdam) Hellendoorn "Hellendoornsche Berg" Hellegat Niel Belgien Hellegat, Wetteren 9230 Wetteren, Hellegat, Nieuwrode 3221 Holsbeek Hel (bei Danzig)
See also: http://www.dobrudscha.de/kray-leithe.htm 26
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Hellweg, 32609 Hüllhorst Hille Hellweg, 32312 Lübbecke Hellweg, 49811 Lingen (Ems) Hellweg, 49594 Alfhausen Hellweg, Neuenkirchen 49326 Melle, Helldamm, 49179 Ostercappeln Unterer Hellweg, 32584 Löhne Oberer Hellweg, 32584 Löhne Hellweg, 32602 Vlotho Hellweg, Hiddenhausen Hellweg, 33758 Schloß Holte Hellweg, 33813 Oerlinghausen Auf dem Hellweg, 33649 Bielefeld Senner Hellweg, Bielefeld, Hellweg, 33332 Gütersloh Hellweg, 44532 Lünen Hellweg, 59269 Beckum Hellweg, 26954 Nordenham
4 The Hellweg as a medieval Highway
n his book OWL-Echt Ostwestfalen-Lippe43 the author Matthias Rickling describes the most important bifurcation at Paderborn as follows: „In Paderborn the Hellweg bifurcated in two branches: the northern route by Horn, Hameln (Weser-crossing) and Hildesheim towards Magdeburg (B1), respectively the southern route by Bad Driberg, Brakel, Höxter, (Weser-crossing) towards Leipzig, Breslau and Kraków“
Fig.. 2: The bifurcation at Paderborn Extracted details from: Hellweg 1 (Hellwege)
trictly spoken Paderborn has been a center in the 3000 km trading route interconnecting the medieval center Aachen westwards to Brugges and eastwards Magdeburg, Berlin, Königsberg, Riga and Novgorod. Therefore the German Reich 1939 named the principal highway (Autobahn) Number 1 or B1.
ISBN 3-937924-24-8 (published 2005)
The bifurcation at Paderborn
t 15-20km intervals Charlemagne installed secured stations for traders. Paderborn however must have been a major key position in the trading route.
The northern route towards Frankfurt/Oder
t the northern trading route we may identify a road named “Heerweg44” and a “Helldamm”, in Barleben near Magdeburg. Another parallel Hellweg leads from Wennigsen and Calenberg towards Hildesheim. This road directly heads eastward to Frankfurt/Oder, where a Hellweg is found in the Google-Maps-software. Is this Frankfurt to be understood as the river crossing for the king of the Franks?
Fig.. 3: The bifurcation at Paderborn
The central route
he central route starts with the Hellweg at Paderborn, to be followed by At Hellweg, Bad Driburg, the Hellweg in Brakel, the Hellweg in Höxter and may be traced in the remote towns Hellenthal, Hallensen, Helleberg (Eimen), Hilsstraße at Holzen, Holzminden. At this point the road seems to end up traceless. It may connect to northern routes to Frankfurt/Oder as well as to southern branches to Leipzig.
The southern route
n alternative route for the southern branch may already deviate from the main northern branch at Soest. The first station is identified at Zur Helle, Georgenhof, From here the Hellweg is identified in Oberlistungen 45, the Höllweg in Calden, the Hellweg in 34292 Ahnatal, the Helweg, in 37081 Göttingen and then in the city of Halle, from which the trading road may be extrapolated towards Leipzig, Breslau and Krakow.
Oberlistungen and Calden have been listed by Jacob Grimm in his German Mythology.
5 The Hellweg in Iceland
n Iceland a great number of locations refer to German mythology. Karl Simrock, who translated and commented the Icelandic Edda-tales and Walter Hansen46 () haben ggf. in spekulativen Thesen die Verbindung der isländischen Version der germanischen Mythologie und die Landmarken Islands gelegt.
very fine overview of these fascinating theses may be found in the German travelogue Island published by Barbara C. und Jörg-Thomas Titz, Reise KnowHow-Verlag Peter Rump GmbH47. The documentation describes the following mythological markers for NordicGermanic mythology at a map from the north to the south. I entered the relevant locations in an Icelandmap at GoogleMaps : • The flame-castle Hverfjall, near Myvatn • The Ida-field at the feet of the God's Castle as an assembly-place at Herđubreiđarlindir • Asgard, the living place for the gods at the table vulcano field Herđubreiđ. • The Schwarzalfenheim Askja • The border river Utbruni as a lava-river Ifing • The world of the stone-giants Dyngjufjalladur
in his book in German language "Asgard, Entdeckungsfahrt in die Germanische Götterwelt Islands"
in a recent (4.) version published in 2005, ISBN 3-8317-1403-7.
• The grave of the clairvoyant at the cave Landmannahellir • The shackles for Loki at 3 mountains of Tröllkonuhlaup • The beach of the dead Nastrand at Hellisheiði • The underworld Helheim (resp. Niflhel) at the Heklavulcano, hell for the non-heroes, who did not die in a personal combat. Heroes will directly go to Walhall. • Riding Odin's horse Hermodhr will jump the "Helgitter" as the fence between the underworld deep at the Hekla-vulcano • The narrow natural bridge (which had collapsed in 1993) leading to the underworld of the deity Hel crossing the wild border river Gjöll (Norđariofæra) • The Helweg from the underworld passing the long and deep fire-canyon Eldgja • The source Hwergelmir (and the origin of the world's Ash-tree Yggdrasil at the Katla -vulcano beneath the Myrdalsjökull-Gletscher • The world of giants at þorsmörk (Thorswald, that is: the woods of Thor) • The islands of the fire-giants at the island of Surtsey
he list immediately reveals several Hel-names. Other locations at the map of Iceland are e.g.:
• The town of Hella, which has been founded only 1927. At this place a cave with runic inscriptions have been found. At the place Oddi there is a church for Hella, where an important educational centre had been located at the Skalend-era • The river Hellisa near the Laki-vulcano • The fisher-town Hellissandur • The fisher-town Hellnar • The cave in in Landmannahellir • The beach of the dead (?) at Hellisheiði • The cave and Thing-location Loftsalahellir at the swamp area Myrdalu
n medieval eras Icelandic travellers (e.g. Leif Eriksson) have been discovering Greenland and the neighbouring islands. They called Baffin Insel Helleland.
riginally there have been 4 powerful tribes with king-priests called "Goden" and 13 Þings in Iceland. You may visit the main Thing-location named AlÞing at the Þingvellir (translated: the Thing-plains), which had been selected 930 by the „Goden“ under the principal Grimur Geitskor. 35
he main Þingday had been defined at a Thors-day (Thursday), at which 5000 citizens gathered at the assembly place once a year. Up to 1118 the leading speaker Lögsögumanđur („declamator of the laws“) recited by heart one third of the laws at the Lögberg (mountain of the laws). Today the Icelandic banner is to been seen permanently at this place. Thing-assemblies have been known at other Germanic locations. Tacitus describes a number of details for the Celtic Thing-traditions.
• • • •
t the westside of the Lögberg the visitor identifies the canyon Almannagja (All-men-canyon), which may refer to Allemagne and Allmänner. In fact Þingvellir and especially Almannagja are located at an active Icelandic vulcano-area, where in the mid-Atlantic ridge the north-American and the Eurasian lithospheric plates are permanently drifting away from each other. Thing-locations are to be found at e.g.: AlÞing at Þingvellir (at the Thing-plains) The town Lofthair at the southern cape Dyrholaey The cave Loftsalahellir in the swamp area Myrdalur Skaftafell-national park. At the 10th century a thinglocation had been located at Skaftafell, where agriculture had been possible up to a vulcano-outbreaks (a recent outbreak followed in 1996).
6 Etymology for Hell- / Höll-names
rom Heinrich Tischner48 I received a number of interesting remarks towards the etymology of Hell and Höll, from which I translated a few relevant
ome Hessian namen Hahl-, Hall-, Heil-, Hell-, Hill-, Höhl-, Höll-, Hüll-, Hull- seem to have been derived from the word "Halde", translating to „Storage“.
n Gothic language the Greek underworld Hades is called "halja", which transformed to an ancient German expression "hell(j)a", or in fact better: "Hälle". This root may have been leading to the Icelandic "hel" for the deity's name. By the way: "Helgoland" is „holy land“, or "Heiligland" (German dialect "dat hêlge Land").
he Brockhaus dictionary explains the name "Hellweg" as a bright road. According to Tischner this explanation seems to be incorrect, as "hell" originally referred to sounds and not to the light. The antipode for "dunkel" („dark“ as a lack of light) was to be used for „licht“ („bright“ as flooded with light). The Hellweg had been considered as today's highway. Except for the nordic "helvegr" there seems to be no good explanation for Grimm's thesis, that people used the Hellweg to transport dead bodies.
www.heinrich-tischner.de aus Bensheim
he Hellweg has been used as a long distance trading route, but may also have been used as a fast military transport road. The armies always need a fast road to „go to hell“. olland has been derived from the German word Holunder for Sambucus (elder or elderberry). Frau Holle should be called "Holde" in which „ld“ transformed to „ll“ as in "Halde".
7 Uninvestigated Hell-locations
here are some unidentified „Hell“-names, which will still need to be investigated:
Hellas (ancient Greece)
ellas is the original name for Greece, used as an archaic or poetic form in English, and to render the native Greek name Ἑλλάς (Hellás, Modern Greek Ellás). Hellas may also have been used to name the Hellespont.
f Euro is to be translated to „water“ the name „Europe“ and other equivalent names may also refer to „water“.
8 Hellweg-routes in Google-Maps
nybody will be able to easily trace the Hellwegroutes by simply searching „Hellweg“ in cities and towns. A great number of Hellweg-entries have been reconstructed in Google-Maps. Please open the maps in the following web-links (you will also be able to open all three maps simultaneously): • Hellwege 1 • Hellwege 2 (Hellenwege, Hellstrasse, usw.) • Höll-Wege und Har-Wege Suggestions for additional information and corrections are welcome at http://thehellweg.blogspot.com/.
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