Back to motif List page

Back to Thompson motifs main page

Back to Masa Site

Back to Hebrew Masa site


Search the database

Next group

Prevuius group

Group No. 182


M. Ordaining the future

Group No.

M100 – M199

Group name

Vows and oaths


M100. Vows and oaths. *Penzer X 355 s.v. ”vow“; *Hdwb. d. Abergl. II 659ff.; *Encyc. Rel. Ethics IX 430ff.; Estonian: Loorits Grundzüge I 198ff.; Missouri French: Carrière; Jewish *Neuman.
M101. Punishment for broken oaths. Kristensen Danske Sagn VI (1) (1900) 33ff., (1936) 18ff.; Jewish: *Neuman.
M101.1. False swearer not allowed to approach altar. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 485.
M101.2. Broken oaths cause of maimed people. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 487.
M101.3. Death as punishment for broken oath. Irish myth: *Cross.
M101.3.1. Death caused by elements (exposure, drowning, etc.) as punishment for broken oath. Irish myth: *Cross.
M101.3.2. Man offers to sacrifice bangles if he is given a son; when he takes bangles back, son dies. India: Thompson-Balys.
M101.4. Broken oath causes girl’s hand to wither. (Cf. D2062.) Spanish Exempla: Keller.
M101.5. Punishment for broken oath: loss of the inheritance of earth or heaven. Irish myth: Cross.
M105. Equivocal oaths. Icelandic: Boberg.
M106. Escape from vengeance caused by broken oaths. India: Thompson-Balys.
M107. Vow fulfilled in next existence. Buddhist myth: Malalasekera II 1221.
M108. Violators of oaths.
M108.1. Babylonians do not keep their oaths. Jewish: *Neuman.
M110. Taking of vows and oaths.
M110.1. Swearing while one knows that his oath is rendered valueless. India: Thompson-Balys.
M110.2. Oath is valid only when decreed in presence of ten. Jewish: *Neuman.
M110.3. Oath uttered by pious when in danger of succumbing to temptation. Jewish: *Neuman.
M111. Oaths taken over severed pieces of horse. Pieces are then buried. Greek: Fox 25.
M112. Oath taken on ring. Hdwb. d. Abergl. II 67; Brumer Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte I 258; Icelandic: *Boberg.
M113. Oath taken on arms. Irish myth: *Cross.
M113.1. Oath taken on sword. Scottish: Campbell-McKay No. 20; Icelandic: Herrmann Saxo II 197; Jewish: Neuman.
M114. Oath taken on sacred object. Jewish: Neuman; Icelandic: *Boberg.
M114.1. Oath on sacred book.
M114.1.1. Oath by Tora. Jewish: *Neuman.
M114.2. Oath taken on holy stone. (Cf. M119.5.) Icelandic: Boberg.
M114.3. Vows taken on holy swine. Icelandic: Boberg.
M114.4. Swearing on sacred relics. Irish myth: *Cross.
M114.5. Taking oath on cowdung. India: Thompson-Balys.
M114.6. Oath by touching sacred thread. India: Thompson-Balys.
M115. Only one oath binding. It must be by so and so or else it is worthless. Italian: Basile Pentamerone IV Nos. 6, 8, V No. 4.
M115.1. Three-fold oath. India: Thompson-Balys.
M115.1.1. Oath so heavy it dries up stream; oath so great it splits the rock in twain; oath so violent it makes the tree wither. India: Thompson-Balys.
M116. Oath taken on hand of saint. Irish myth: Cross.
M116.0.1. Swearing on hand of king. Irish myth: Cross.
M116.1. Swearing by saint‘s bachall. Irish myth: Cross.
M116.2. Swearing by saint’s bell. Irish myth: Cross.
M117. Vow to perform certain act unless cataclysm occurs. Irish myth: *Cross.
M118. Swearing on a skull. Irish myth: Cross.
M119. Taking of vows and oaths – miscellaneous.
M119.1. Swearing by the elements: sun, moon, stars, wind. Irish myth: *Cross; Greek: Argonautica III 689, Odyssey V 185.
M119.1.1. Oath by River Styx. Greek: Grote I 56f.
M119.2. Swearing by (clan) gods. Irish myth: *Cross.
M119.3. Vows taken as an old Norse custom at the festival of Yule. Icelandic: Cleasby and Vigfússon Icel. – Eng. Dict. (1874) 853 s.v. ”heitstrenging“; Lagerholm 18, *Boberg.
M119.4. Vows taken by placing one‘s foot on a certain post in the hall. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M119.5. Swearing on a stone. (Cf. M114.2.) Irish myth: Cross.
M119.6. Swearing by ”the Seven Things which they serve.“ Irish myth: *Cross.
M119.7. Oath by placing hand on genitals. Irish myth: Cross; Jewish: *Neuman.
M119.8. Oath taken by the life of a person. Jewish: Neuman.
M119.8.1. Swearing by one’s father and mother. India: Thompson-Balys.
M119.8.2. Swearing by life of father. Jewish: *Neuman.
M120. Vows concerning personal appearance.
M121. Vow not to shave or cut hair until a certain time. *BP II 431ff.; A. Bugge ”Harald Haarfagres løfte“ Edda VII 166; Helm Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte I 301; Eitrem Opferritus und Voropfer (Skrifter Vidensk. Selsk. i Oslo No. 1, 1914) 400; Frazer Golden Bough III 194; Kruyt Het Animisme 33; FFC LXXXIII xxiv. – Irish: O‘Suilleabhain 24, 45, Beal XXI 307, 316; Icelandic: *Boberg; Swiss: Jegerlehner Oberwallis 308 No. 39; Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 53 No. 400B*; Greek: Roscher Lexikon s.v. ”Achilleus“; Jewish: *Neuman.
M122. Vow: woman not to bind hair till enemy is conquered. Alphabet No. 529.
M125. Vow not to change clothes till a certain time. Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 53 No. 400B*.
M126. Vow not to wash till a certain time. Greek: Iliad XXIII 49.
M130. Vows concerning sex. (Cf. M151.2, M152.)
M131. Vow of chastity. Penzer I 67; Wesselski Mönchslatein 142 No. 117; Irish myth: *Cross; Missouri French: Carrière; Greek: *Grote I 162f.
M132. Vow of virginity. Penzer III 40.
M133. Vow: man will love only a virgin. Malone PMLA XLIII 427.
M134. Prince vows to marry no woman unless he can beat her daily. India: *Thompson-Balys.
M135. Vow never to remarry. Irish myth: *Cross; India: *Thompson-Balys.
M136. Vow not to marry till iron shoes wear out. Köhler-Bolte Zs. f. Vksk. VI 71 (to Gonzenbach No. 32); *Roberts 137.
M137. Vow never to be jealous of one’s wife. Wells 64 (The Avowynge of King Arthur, etc.); Irish myth: *Cross.
M137.1. Woman requires husband free from jealousy. Irish myth: *Cross.
M138. Vow to marry first person performing certain act. India: Thompson-Balys.
M138.1. Vow to marry off two daughters to first two men father looks at on the following morning. India: Thompson-Balys.
M141. Vow never to strive against a woman. Irish myth: Cross.
M142. Vow never to carry a woman. Irish myth: Cross.
M145. Vow to wed no man who cannot perform certain feat.
M145.1. Vow to wed no man who fears to saddle and mount a lion. India: Thompson-Balys.
M146. Vow to marry a certain woman. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M146.1. Vow to marry queen of fairies and not to eat or drink inside kingdom until this is done. India: Thompson-Balys.
M146.2. Boy vows to marry none but girl born under the same circumstances as he. India: Thompson-Balys.
M146.3. Vow that magically conceived children shall marry (or be friends). India: Thompson-Balys.
M146.4. Brother and sister arrange marriage of their unborn children to each other. India: Thompson-Balys.
M146.5. Vow to marry none but daughter of certain man. Jewish: *Neuman.
M146.7. Vow of enemy chief to marry princess of besieged city. Jewish: Neuman.
M149. Vows concerning sex – miscellaneous.
M149.1. Lovers vow to marry only each other. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M149.2. Vow to die rather than marry unwelcome suitor. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M149.3. Vow to kill more successful rival. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M149.4. Quarreling prince and princess vow that if they are married he will desert her on the wedding day and she will make him eat boiled rice and thin broth for six months. It so happens. India: Thompson-Balys.
M149.5. Oath to marry daughters only into family with bridegroom for each daughter. India: Thompson-Balys.
M149.6. Vow to get stubborn girl half-married only. India: Thompson-Balys.
M149.7. Vow only to marry daughter to the man who kills snake by her house. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M150. Other vows and oaths.
M151. Vow not to eat before hearing of adventure. Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight § 5; Irish myth: *Cross; India: Thompson-Balys.
M151.1. Vow not to eat before learning secret. India: Thompson-Balys.
M151.2. Vow not to marry until quest is concluded. Irish myth: Cross.
M151.2.1. Vow not to reign and to starve to death unless picture‘s original is found. India: Thompson-Balys.
M151.3. Vow not to take food or drink until manner of father’s death is learned. Irish myth: Cross.
M151.4. Vow not to take food or drink until enemy is killed. Irish myth: Cross; Jewish: Neuman.
M151.5. Vow not to eat or sleep until certain event is brought to pass. Irish myth: Cross.
M151.5.1. Vow not to eat, drink, or move from position until dead anchorite comes himself to accept necklace. India: Thompson-Balys.
M151.6. Vow not to eat or drink before knowing if king is alive. Icelandic: Boberg.
M151.7. Heroine will not laugh till arrival of destined hero. (Cf. H341.) Irish myth: Cross.
M151.8. Vow not to eat until lost son is found. India: Thompson-Balys.
M151.9. Vow not to see friends until quest is completed. English romance: Malory XI 12.
M152. Vow not to go to bed with wife till enemy is killed. Icelandic: Boberg.
M152.1. Vow not to kiss anybody until father is revenged. Icelandic: Boberg.
M152.2. Vow not to sit on father‘s high-seat until he is revenged. Icelandic: Boberg.
M155. Vow to perform act of prowess. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M155.1. Vow to kill wild boar alone at night. Wells 64 (The Avowynge of King Arthur, etc.).
M155.2. Vow to find vanished sister. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M155.3. Vow never to flee from fire or weapon. Icelandic: Boberg.
M156. Vow to watch at frightful place all night. Wells 64 (The Avowynge of King Arthur).
M157. Vow to ride the forest all night and slay all comers. Wells 64 (The Avowynge of King Arthur, etc.).
M158. Vow never to refuse food to any man. Wells 64 (The Avowynge of King Arthur); Icelandic: Boberg.
M161. Vow never to flee in fear of death. Irish myth: *Cross.
M161.1. Vow to attack (kill) the enemy or die. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M161.2. Vow to revenge (king, friends, father) or die. English: Malory XX 10; Icelandic: *Boberg.
M161.3. Vow to live and die with the king. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M161.4. Vow rather to die (on a spear) than to accept grace. (Cf. M165.) Hdwb. d. Märchens II s.v. ”Gnade ausbitten“; Icelandic: Ragnars saga Loðbr. 139-41, *Boberg.
M161.5. Rather die than go in the enemy‘s service. Icelandic: Boberg.
M161.6. Rather die in battle than in bed. Icelandic: cf. MacCulloch Eddic 305ff., *Boberg.
M162. Vow not to be killed by a single opponent. Irish myth: Cross.
M163. Vow never to make a nocturnal assault. Irish myth: Cross.
M164. Bard vows that none of his profession will make a request of any man. Irish myth: Cross.
M165. Vow to ask nobody for peace, grace. (Cf. M161.4.) Icelandic: Boberg.
M166. Other vows about fighting.
M166.1. Vow never to give more than one blow in a fight and never to beat a fallen enemy nor take his weapons. Icelandic: Boberg.
M166.2. Vow rather to be cut in pieces than permit oneself to be bound. Icelandic: Boberg.
M166.3. Vow to kill anyone who touches his beard. India: Thompson-Balys.
M166.4. Vow: never to fight with brother. Buddhist myth: Malalasekera II 1019.
M166.5. Oath not to fight relatives of king. English romance: Malory X 44.
M167. Vow to serve only the most generous of all kings. Icelandic: *Boberg.
M168. Vow not to devastate country or take revenge after release. Icelandic: Boberg.
M168.1. Vow not to deceive the man who spared one‘s life. Icelandic: Boberg.
M171. Vow never to accept a man who does not know any sport. Icelandic: Boberg.
M172. Vow not to touch certain thing.
M172.1. Vow never to touch money and to give what anyone begs for. India: Thompson-Balys.
M172.2. Vow not to touch certain tree. Later cannot cross bridge made of this wood. India: Thompson-Balys.
M175. Pledge to say but a single phrase. In carrying out this agreement the men innocently confess a crime. *Types 360, 1697; BP II 561ff.; Wesselski Mönchslatein 37 No. 44; India: *Thompson-Balys.
M177. Vow to change religion.
M177.1. Vow to become a Christian.
M177.1.1. King swears to become Christian if he wins battle. Spanish Exempla: Keller.
M177.1.2. Oath not to be christened until he has fought in seven battles for Jesus. English romance: Malory X 47.
M177.2. Prince vows that he will always be servant of a goddess (Kali). India: Thompson-Balys.
M182. Vow not to enter any house before reaching one’s own. Icelandic: Boberg.
M183. Religious vows. (Cf. M177.)
M183.1. Vow to build shrine. India: Thompson-Balys.
M183.2. Vow to bathe in the Ganges. India: Thompson-Balys.
M183.3. Vow to find Holy Grail before returning to Round Table. English romance: Malory XIII 7.
M183.4. Vow to become monk should he escape execution. Buddhist myth: Malalasekera II 817.
M184. Vow if queen bears another girl she and child will both be killed. India: Thompson-Balys.
M184.1. Vow that no daughter born to chief‘s wife will be allowed to live until she bears a son. Hawaii: Beckwith Myth 526.
M185. Vow to abide by laws. Jewish: *Neuman.
M186. Vow never to pass over demarcation line into other’s property. Jewish: *Neuman.
M187. Oath to abide by results of lot drawing. Jewish: *Neuman.
M188. Oath not to mention what has been seen. Jewish: *Neuman.
M192. Vow to put to death every king that comes his way unless engaged in marrying a lady at the time he sees them. India: Thompson-Balys.
M193. Vow to destroy kingdom by austerities. India: Thompson-Balys.

Next group

Previous group