Contre la maladie

Texte du charme

Wið dweorh,

Man sceal niman VII lytle oflætan, swylce man mid ofrað, and writan þas naman on ælcre oflætan : Maximianus, Malchus,Iohannes, Martimianus, Dionisius, Constantinus, Serafion. Þænne eft þæt galdor, þæt her æfter cweð, man sceal singan, ærest on þæt wynstre eare, þænne on þæt swiðre eare, þænne hufan þæs mannes moldan. And ga þænne an mædenman to and ho hit on his sweoran, and do man swa þry dagas; him bið sona sel.

 

Her com in gangan, in spiderwiht,          
hæfde him his haman on handa,
cwæð þæt þu his hæncgest wære,          
legde þe his teage an sweoran.
Ongunnan him of þæm lande liþan;
sona swa hy of þæm lande coman,
þa ongunnan him ða liþu acolian.          
þa com in gangan deores sweostar;          
þa geændade heo and aðas swor          
ðæt næfre þis ðæm adlegan derian ne moste,          
ne þæm þe þis galdor begytan mihte,  
oððe þe þis galdor ongalan cuþe.     

Amen. Fiað.

Traduction

Against a Dwarf,

You must take seven little wafers, such as are used in worship, and write these names on each wafer: Maximianus, Malchus, Johannes, Martinianus, Dionisius, Constantinus, Serafion. Then again, you must sing the charm which is stated below, first into the left ear, then into the right ear, then over the man's head. And then let a virgin go to him, and hang it on his neck, and do this for three days. He will soon be well.

"Here came a spider wight a-walking in,
He had his harness in his hand.
Quoth that thou his blood-horse wert.
He puts his traces on thy neck.
They from the strand began to sail.
As soon as from the land they came,
They then began to cool.
The sister of the beast then came a-walking in.
Then she ceased and swore these oaths:
That this should never scathe the sick,
Nor him who might this charm acquire,
Nor him who could this charm intone.

Amen, fiat."

Commentaire sur la traduction
Traduction de : Grendon, Felix, "The Anglo-saxons charms," The Journal of American Folklore, April-June, 1909, 22-84, American Folklore Society, p105-237, (p166 à 167).
Commentaire sur la formule

Charme "contre a dwarf", sujet à interrogation sur la signification de "nain" et sur ce qu'il soigne. Le terme "dwarf" est polysémique. Ce charme pourrait soigner les verrues, ou la fièvre, ou les cauchemars, ou encore des hallucinations cauchemardesques.

La figure du nain apporte les maladies dans la mythologie germanique mais peut aussi en soigner. Le titre du charme peut ainsi se traduire de deux façons différentes, "contre" ou "pour".

Le début du charme dit de graver sept noms. Ces sept noms sont ceux de la légende des dormants d'Ephèse.

Date de copie du charme
XIe siècle
Description du charme
Identifiant du charme
11-06
Domaine d'application
Modalités d'application
Forme textuelle
Éléments composants le charme
Langue(s) du charme
Manuscrit contenant le charme
Source

Titre du recueil ou du traité
Lacnunga (Leechbook)
Manuscrit
London, British Library, Harley, MS 585, 167r-167v, Xe siècle, XIe siècle.
Place du charme dans le feuillet : Corps du texte
Description du manuscrit :

Codex en parchemin et une feuille de papier. 192 X 115mm. Contenant des textes en vieil anglais, latin, irlandais, et vieux français. Lacununga (Leechbook) : collection de vieux réceptaires médicaux, charmes magiques et invocations en vieil anglais, latin et vieil irlandais. 

Numérisation du manuscrit : https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=harley_ms_585_f167r
Édition

Cockayne, Thomas Oswald, Leechdoms, wortcunning, and starcraft of early England : being a collection of documents... illustrating the history of science in this country before the Norman conquest. Vol. 3, Londres, Her Majesty's stationery office, 1864 : (en ligne : https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k50239k).

Bibliographie

Grendon, Felix, "The Anglo-saxons charms", The Journal of American Folklore, 1909, 22-84, p. 105-237.

Pettit, Edward, Anglo-Saxon Remedies, Charms, and Prayers from British Library MS Harley 585: The « Lacnunga », Lewiston et Lampeter, Edwin Mellen Press, 2001.

Bill Griffiths, Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic, Norfolk, Royaume-Unis, Anglo-Saxon Books, 2003.

Roper, Jonathan, Charms and Charming in Europe, Grande-Bretagne, 2004, p. 32-46.

Collaco, Gwendolyn, "With Sleep Comes a Fusion of Worlds: The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus Through Formation and Transformation", Senior Capstone Projects Paper 3, Poughkeepsie, Vassar College, 2011.

Contributeur(s)/trice(s)
Valentine Viaud