Gold of Nibelungen to Goliards

Gold of Nibelungen (The), unlucky wealth. “To have the gold of Nibelungen” is to have a possession which seems to bring a curse with it. The uncle who murdered “the babes in the wood” for their estates and money, got the “gold of Nibelungen;” nothing from that moment went well with him—his cattle died, his crops failed, his barns were destroyed by fire or tempest, and he was reduced to utter ruin. (See Nibelungen.)—Icelandic Edda.

Gold of Tolosa (The), ill gains, which never prosper. The reference is to Cæpio the Roman consul, who, on his march to Gallia Narbonensis, stole from Tolosa (Toulouse) the gold and silver consecrated by the Cimbrian Druids to their gods: He was utterly defeated by the Cimbrians, and some 112,000 Romans were left dead on the field of battle (b.c.106). (See Harmonia’s Necklace.)

Gold Poured down the Throat. Mar cus Licinius Crassus, surnamed “The Rich,” one of the first Roman triumvirate, tried to make himself master of Parthi a, but being defeated and brought captive to Orodês king of Parthia, he was put to death by having molten gold poured down his throat. “Sate thy greed with this,” said Orodês.

Manlius Nepos Aquilius tried to rest ore the kings of Bithynia and Cappadocia, dethroned by Mithridatêes; but being unsuccessful and made prisoner, he was put to death by Mithridatêes by molten gold poured down his throat.

In hell, the avaricious are punished in the same way, according to the Shephearde’s Calendar.

And ladles full of melted gold
Were poured adown their throats.
   —The Dead Man’s Song (1579).

Goldemar (King), a house-spirit, sometimes called king Vollmar. He lived three years with Neveling von Hardenberg, on the Hardenstein at the Ruhr, and the chamber in which he lived is still called Vollmar’s chamber. This house-spirit, though sensible to the touch, was invisible. It played beautifully on the harp, talked freely, revealed secrets, and played dice. One day, a person determined to discover its whereabouts, but Goldemar cut him to pieces and cooked the different parts. Never after this was there any trace of the spirit. The roasted fragments disappeared in the Lorrain war in 1651, but the pot in which the man’s head was boiled was built into the kitchen wall of Neveling von Hardenberg, where it remains to this day.—Steinen: German Mythology, 477.

Golden Ass (The), a romance in Latin by Apuleius , in eleven books. It is the adventures of Lucian, a young man who had been transformed into an ass but still retained his human consciousness. It tells us the miseries which he suffered at the hands of robbers, eunuchs, magistrates, and so on, till the time came for him to resume his proper form. It is full of wit, racy humour, and rich fancy; and contains the exquisite episode of Cupid and Psychê (bks. iv., v., vi.).

(This very famous satire, together with the Asinus of Lucian, was founded on a satire of the same name by Lucius of Patræ, and has been imitated in modern times by Niccolo Machiavelli. T. Taylor, in 1822, published a translation of the Aureus Asinus; and sir G. Head, in 1851. Lafontaine has an imitation of the episode; and Mrs. Tighe turned it into Spenserian verse in 1805.)

(Boccaccio has borrowed largely from The Golden Ass, and the incidents of the robbers in Gil Blas are taken from it.)

Golden Dragon of Bruges (The). The golden dragon was taken in one of the crusades from the church of St. Sophia at Constantinople, and placed on the belfry of Bruges; but Philip van Artevelde transported it to Ghent, where it still adorns the belfry.

Saw great Artevelde victorious scale the Golden Dragon’s nest.
   —Longfellow: The Belfry of Bruges.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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