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    Gods and Goddesses : Melusine

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    Soaring Bird
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    Gods and Goddesses : Melusine

    Post  Soaring Bird on Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:46 pm

    Melusine


    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia





    Melusine's secret discovered, from Le Roman de Mélusine. One of sixteen paintings by Guillebert de Mets circa 1410. The original is held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

    Melusine (or Melusina) is a figure of European legends and folklore, a feminine spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers.

    She is usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish (much like a mermaid) from the waist down. She is also sometimes illustrated with wings, two tails or both, and sometimes referred to as a nixie.

    Melusine is sometimes used as a heraldic figure, typically in German and Scandinavian Coats of arms, where she supports one scaly tail in each arm. She may appear crowned. The Coat of Arms of Warsaw features a siren (identified in Polish as a syrenka) very much like a depiction of Melusine, brandishing a sword and shield. She is the water-spirit from the Vistula who identified the proper site for the city to Boreslaus of Masovia in the late 13th century. Ferenc Frangepán, Archbishop of Kalocsa in Hungary, included in his will of 1543 a series of seven tapestries representing the story of "The Beautiful Melusina." [1]

    The Archbishop's tapestries will have shown the most famous literary version of Melusine tales, that of Jean d'Arras, compiled about 1382 - 1394 and worked into a collection of "spinning yarns" told by ladies at their spinning. The tale was translated into the English language c. 1500, and often printed in both the 15th century and the 16th century. (There is also a prose version called the Chronique de la princesse.)

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