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Prevuius group

Group No. 120


H. Tests

Group No.

H200 – H299

Group name

Tests of truth


H210. H210. Test of guilt or innocence. Icelandic: Boberg.
H210.1. H210.1. Guilt or innocence of souls tested by bridge. Irish myth: Cross.
H211. H211. Criminal detected by having child hand knife to him. *Type 950; Köhler-Bolte I 202.
H215. H215. Magic manifestation at execution proves innocence. Types 451, 710; Irish: Beal XXI 316; German: Grimm Nos. 3, 6, 120; Spanish Exempla: Keller.
H215.1. H215.1. Sword magically changed to wood when executioner is to decapitate innocent person. Chauvin V 173 No. 96 n. 1.
H215.2. H215.2. Gallows rope breaks when innocent person is hanged. Irish: O‘Suilleabhain 44.
H215.3. H215.3. Grass refuses to grow: indication of innocence of man hanged there. (Cf. E631.2, F974.) U.S., Wales: *Baughman.
H215.4. H215.4. Ineradicable handprint as indication of innocence. (Cf. D1654.3.) U.S.: Baughman.
H216. H216. Indications of innocence.
H216.1. H216.1. Garden filled with flowers on innocent girl’s approach. India: Thompson-Balys.
H216.2. H216.2. Voice from heaven testifies to innocence of accused. (Cf. F966.) Jewish: *Neuman.
H216.3. H216.3. Church door opens magically, as proof of priest‘s innocence. Irish: O’Suilleabhain 29.
H217. H217. Decision made by contest. India: Thompson-Balys; Japanese: Ikeda; Korean: Zong in-Sob 195; Philippine: Fansler MAFLS XII 137.
H217.1. H217.1. Decision of victory by single combat between army leaders. (Cf. H218.) Icelandic: *Boberg.
H217.2. H217.2. Decision by single combat or holmgang of who is to marry girl. Icelandic: *Boberg.
H217.3. H217.3. Holmgang to decide owner of gold. Icelandic: *Boberg.
H217.4. H217.4. Holmgang to decide who is to be king. Icelandic: *Boberg.
H218. H218. Trial by combat. Guilt or innocence established in judicial combat. Thien Motive 41f.; *Schoepperle II 338ff.; Dickson 74, 77 n. 38, 78 n. 40, 130f., 153, 174, 226; *Ashdown Modern Lang. Review XVII 113ff.; Bell ibid XVIII 22ff.; *Boje 88; *Hibbard 35ff., 132 n. 11. – Irish myth: *Cross; English: Child V 490 s.v. “ordeal”, Wells 97 (Chevalere Assigne); Icelandic: *Boberg; Italian Novella: *Rotunda; Jewish: Neuman; Hindu: Tawney I 396.
H218.0.1. H218.0.1. Vindication by champion. Usually noble lady or king accused. Child II 34 – 48, 508a, 510b. See also most references to H218.
H218.1. H218.1. Judicial combat interrupted by friends of loser. *Dickson 79 n. 40.
H218.2. H218.2. Wrestling to test legitimacy of son. India: Thompson-Balys.
H220. H220. Ordeals. Guilt or innocence thus established. **Patetta Le Ordalie (1890). *Hdwb. d. Abergl. III 994ff.; Penzer VIII 196 n.; Keith Encyc. Relig. Eth. s.v. “ordeal”; Basset RTP XVII 397, 597, XIX 156ff., XXIII 182. – Irish: *Cross, Beal XXI 317; English: Child V 490 “ordeal”; Icelandic: Boberg; West Indies: Flowers 455.
H221. H221. Ordeal by fire. Suspected person must pass through or jump over fire to determine guilt or innocence. Basset RTP VI 631; Scala Celi 6b, 46b Nos. 38, 259; Herbert III 605f., Alphabet Nos. 69, 221, 434; *Gaster Exempla 191 No. 28. – Irish: O‘Suilleabhain 71; English: Child V 490 s.v. “ordeal”; Jewish: *Neuman; India: *Thompson-Balys; Hindu: Keith 128; S. A. Indian (Brazil): Ehrenreich Int. Cong. Americanists XIV 661; Am. Negro (Georgia): Harris Nights 248 No. 42; Jamaica: *Beckwith MAFLS XVII 238 No. 9.
H221.1. H221.1. Ordeal by burning coal. Basset RTP VII 284; Jewish: Neuman.
H221.1.1. H221.1.1. Ordeal: carrying live coals in robe or cloak without harm to garment or bearer. *Loomis White Magic 34.
H221.1.2. H221.1.2. Sanctity of person tested by survival in burning house. Irish myth: *Cross.
H221.1.3. H221.1.3. Sanctity of books tested by throwing them into fire. Irish myth: *Cross.
H221.2. H221.2. Ordeal by hot iron. *Penzer VIII 195 n. 3, 196 n.; Basset RTP VII 284, 615, VIII 20, 431, 561; Irish myth: *Cross; Icelandic: *Boberg; Spanish Exempla: Keller; India: Thompson-Balys.
H221.2.1. H221.2.1. Ordeal: virgin to pull on hot iron and name men. Only with guilty will she and he be burnt. India: Thompson-Balys.
H221.2.2. H221.2.2. Ordeal by red-hot iron applied by druids. Irish myth: *Cross.
H221.3. H221.3. Ordeal by burning oil. Basset RTP VII 282, VIII 20; India: *Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Eberhard FFC CXX 22.
H221.4. H221.4. Ordeal by boiling water. Basset RTP VII 281, 616, VIII 561; Irish: *Cross, O’Suilleabhain 50, Beal XXI 318; Icelandic: Boberg; India: Thompson-Balys.
H221.5. H221.5. Ordeal by spitting. Extinguishing fire is proof of innocence. England: *Baughman.
H222. H222. Ordeal by water. Guilt or innocence shown by ability to swim. *Kittredge Witchcraft 232ff., 536ff.; Penzer VIII 195f.; Basset RTP VII 285; *Fb “svømme” III 695b, “vand” III 999b, “vandprøve” III 1005b; Loomis White Magic 41. – Irish myth: *Cross; Greek: Frazer Pausanias III 388; Lithuanian: Balys Index No. 3664; Jewish: Neuman; India: Thompson-Balys; West Indies: Flowers 456.
H222.0.1. H222.0.1. Ordeal by water applied by druids. Irish myth: *Cross.
H222.1. H222.1. Legitimacy of children tested by dipping them in river. English: Child I 271 n.
H222.2. H222.2. Ordeal by holy water. If simpleton closes his eyes to holy water he is possessed; if he laughs he is merely an idiot. U.S.: Baughman; Italian Novella: Rotunda.
H222.3. H222.3. Guilt or innocence shown by effect of enchanted water. Irish myth: Cross.
H222.4. H222.4. Sanctity of books tested by throwing them into water. Irish myth: Cross.
H223. H223. Ordeal by poison. Penzer VIII 196 n.; Basset RTP VI 631, VII 278, 616; Irish myth: *Cross; Jewish: Neuman.
H224. H224. Ordeal by crocodiles (snakes). Judgment depends on whether person is devoured or rejected by crocodiles. Basset RTP VII 286; English: Child V 490 “ordeal.”
H224.1. H224.1. Ordeal by kissing poisonous serpents. Irish: O‘Suilleabhain 46.
H225. H225. Ordeal by rope-walking. Africa (Basuto): Jacottet 182, (Ekoi): Talbot 402; Jamaica: *Beckwith MAFLS XVII 238 No. 9.
H225.1. H225.1. Ordeal: walking on ladder of knives. Chinese: Eberhard FFC CXX 22.
H225.2. H225.2. Ordeal: walking on eggs. Chinese: Eberhard FFC CXX 22.
H226. H226. Ordeal by balance. Defendant is weighed twice. He must be lighter second time. *Penzer VIII 195 n. 3.
H227. H227. Ordeal: carrying murdered man’s blood. Must not spill it. Fb “blod” IV 47b.
H228. H228. Ordeal by creeping under a sod partially detached from the earth without its falling down. Icelandic: *Boberg.
H232. H232. Ordeal by bread and cheese. Declaration: if I am not innocent may I choke on bread and cheese. Kittredge Witchcraft 237f., 543 nn. 85 – 91; England: *Baughman.
H233. H233. Ordeal: taking stone out of bucket. Color indicates guilt or innocence. Irish myth: *Cross.
H233.1. H233.1. Ordeal: names of suspected persons are placed in chalice on altar: the one to whom the lot falls is guilty. Irish myth: Cross.
H234. H234. Scales test: weighing witch against Bible. England, U.S.: *Baughman.
H235. H235. Ordeal: cock under pot crows when guilty person touches pot. England: *Baughman.
H236. H236. Ordeal by exposure. (Cf. S141, S331.) India: Thompson-Balys.
H240. H240. Other tests of truth. Icelandic: Boberg.
H241. H241. Worn-out shoes as proof of long journey. *Köhler-Bolte I 574f.; Fb “sko” III 288b; Icelandic: Saga och Sed 1940 p. 35, *Boberg; Spanish: Espinosa Jr. No. 114.
H242. H242. Credential tests: proof that messenger comes from certain person. Africa (Fjort): Dennett 75 No. 16.
H242.1. H242.1. Riding speckled horse as credential test. Irish myth: Cross.
H243. H243. Nature fruitless if false judgment is passed. Irish myth: Cross; India: Thompson-Balys.
H244. H244. Person magically disfigured when he speaks falsely. Irish myth: *Cross.
H245. H245. Casting lots as truth test. Irish myth: *Cross.
H245.1. H245.1. Incantation which when recited over certain “lots” causes them to distinguish between guilt and innocence. Irish myth: Cross.
H248. H248. Test of death: to see whether person is dead or feigning. English: Child V 3, 6, 498 s.v. “tests”; Africa (Mpongwe): Nassau 16ff. Nos. 1, 3, 3 version 2; (Basuto): Jacottet 14 No. 1.
H248.1. H248.1. Sham-dead person tested by hot lead poured on hand. *Wesselski Märchen 197.
H248.2. H248.2. Sham dead tested by stinging insects down back. Africa (Yaunde): Heepe 253ff. No. 31.
H248.2.1. H248.2.1. Crocodile masking as dead obeys suggestion that he make flesh quiver. India: Thompson-Balys.
H248.3. H248.3. Sham dead tested by pricking. Italian Novella: Rotunda; Jewish: Neuman.
H248.4. H248.4. Test of death by putting burning wood in the mouth of fallen warriors. Icelandic: Boberg.
H248.5. H248.5. Sham dead detected by batting eyes. India: Thompson-Balys.
H251. H251. Test of truth by magic object.
H251.1. H251.1. Bocca della Verità. Person swearing oath places hand in mouth of image. If oath is false the hand is bitten off. *Bolte Reise der Söhne Giaffers 216; *Pauli (ed. Bolte) Nos. 8, 206; *Krappe Nuovi Studi Medievali II fasc. I (1925); *Spargo Virgil the Necromancer 207ff.; English: Child I 269, 270 n., cf. Alphabet No. 418; Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
H251.1.1. H251.1.1. Oath of truth before magic lion. If oath is false perjurer is dismembered. India: Thompson-Balys.
H251.2. H251.2. Stone of truth. When one stands on it he must utter truth. Fb “sten” III 554b; *Loomis White Magic 132. – Irish: Plummer clvii, *Cross.
H251.2.1. H251.2.1. Stone cannot be moved by one who speaks falsehood. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.2.2. H251.2.2. Magic stone detects perjury: sheds water. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.2.3. H251.2.3. Stone on which saint was born pours forth water when perjury is committed under it. “But if (the) oath be true, the stone remains in its proper nature.” Irish myth: Cross.
H251.3. H251.3. Other magic object tests truth.
H251.3.1. H251.3.1. Tree tests perjury. Irish: Plummer cliii, Cross.
H251.3.2. H251.3.2. Thief detected by psalter and key. Closed Bible with key inside at magic text loosely held by diviner and client. Name of suspected thief on end of key. As verse is spoken, if name is that of thief, book and key will turn around. Kittredge Witchcraft 196 nn. 65 – 82.
H251.3.3. H251.3.3. Thief detected by sieve and shears. Sieve put on open shears and then grasped by two fingers so as to balance. Charm recited. If sieve trembles when name is called, that person is guilty. Kittredge Witchcraft 198ff. nn. 83 – 94; England: Baughman; Danish: Kristensen Danske Sagn VI (1900) 389ff., (1936) 188ff.
H251.3.4. H251.3.4. Stick with money in it breaks and betrays thief who swears his innocence. Hdwb. d. Märchens I 248a; *Zachariae Zs. f. Vksk. XXXIII 78; Chauvin II 129; BP IV 323, 389; Jewish: Gaster Exempla No. 121, *Neuman.
H251.3.5. H251.3.5. Oath taken before image. If oath is false the image turns around (or changes color). Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
H251.3.6. H251.3.6. Chain around neck tests truth. Tightens when wearer speaks falsehood. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.3.7. H251.3.7. Magic object cast on water sinks if person is guilty. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.3.8. H251.3.8. Magic object clings to hand of guilty person. Irish myth: *Cross.
H251.3.9. H251.3.9. Magic spring detects perjury: disfigures perjurer. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.3.9.1. H251.3.9.1. Magic spring detects parricide and idolatry. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.3.9.2. H251.3.9.2. Well rises for sheep only for rightful owner. Jewish: Neuman.
H251.3.10. H251.3.10. False judgment by judge causes fruit to fall. Just judgment by judge causes fruit to be perfect. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.3.11. H251.3.11. Pig that can be boiled only after four true stories are told. Irish myth: *Cross.
H251.3.12. H251.3.12. Truth-testing vessel. Irish myth: *Cross.
H251.3.13. H251.3.13. Magic cup as test of truth and falsehood. Irish myth: Cross.
H251.3.14. H251.3.14. Calumniated princess’ dead body fails to rot; accuser repudiated. India: Thompson-Balys.
H252. H252. Act of truth. Person asserts a thing as true declaring: “If my words are true, may this or that happen.” W. J. Rees Lives of the Cambro-British Saints 193; J. P. Collier Old Shakespeare Society XIV 82; Alphabet Nos. 35, 486; *Burlingame Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (July 1917) 429ff.; Fb “ildebrand” II 13. – Irish myth: *Cross; Icelandic: *Boberg; Jewish: *Neuman; India: *Thompson-Balys, *Penzer II 31ff., III 179ff., IV 239 n. 3; Buddhist myth: Malalasekera I 23, 96, 151, 490, 531, 707, 832, II 412, 473, 614, 679, 816, 841, 933, 1060, 1098, 1153, 1258.
H252.0.1. H252.0.1. Test: telling true stories. Irish myth: *Cross.
H252.1. H252.1. Placing hand on genitals as test of truth. Irish myth: Cross.
H252.2. H252.2. Amount of blood in spittle as test of complete subjection. Incomplete till all is blood. Irish myth: Cross.
H252.3. H252.3. If oath is false, fruit will fall. (Cf. H251.3.10.) India: Thompson-Balys.
H252.4. H252.4. Oath taken on boy‘s head: boy to die if false. India: Thompson-Balys.
H252.4.1. H252.4.1. Act of truth: boy falls dead though what has been said is the truth; when lie is told he is resuscitated. India: *Thompson-Balys.
H252.4.2. H252.4.2. Women swear falsely by their husbands and children, who immediately fall dead. India: Thompson-Balys.
H252.5. H252.5. Act of truth: island sinks into sea, after hanging of man who has appealed to God to cause the phenomenon as indication of his innocence. (Cf. F948.) U.S.: *Baughman.
H252.6. H252.6. Act of truth: cursed church clock never runs correctly. England: Baughman.
H253. H253. Oaths before gods as test of truth. Chinese: Werner 403.
H255. H255. Test: which of twins is elder. Younger unthinkingly hands chopsticks to elder and thus betrays his junior rank. Burmese: Scott Indo-Chinese 356.
H256. H256. Test of innocence: apple and gold offered. Innocent person takes apple. Hdwb. d. Märchens I 93a; BP I 203, III 236.
H256.1. H256.1. Test of child’s innocence: onyx stone and coal of fire offered. (Cf. H501.) Jewish: Neuman.
H257. H257. Holiness of saint tested: asked to perform miracles. India: Thompson-Balys.
H257.1. H257.1. Grade of holiness tested: one whose candle burns down first. *Loomis White Magic 129.
H261. H261. Gold in the Bible. A man professes to be a great Bible reader. King leaves a piece of money in the Bible. On his next visit it is still there. Anderson FFC XLII 361. Cf. Type 1453.
H263. H263. Test of sin. Irish myth: Cross.
H263.1. H263.1. Exposure in boat as test of sin. Irish myth: Cross.
H264. H264. Footsteps in manure (dust) as proof that dead man has walked. Chinese: Graham.

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