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Translation request[edit]

Could we get a translation of the Aelfric? And a pronunciation guide? I don't know many people who would recognize all of those charecters, much less know how to pronounce them. I don't think I know anyone who would be able to understand what Aelfric has written.Finnbjorn (talk) 20:34, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

What does Ælfric of Eynsham have to do with this? David Spector (talk) 20:18, 18 March 2013 (UTC)


Brilliant! --Yak 13:45, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Reference request[edit]

Can someone please tell us who said the following: "it is reasonably certain that the New Testament contains no reference to a yearly celebration of the resurrection of Christ." It is very confusing to see quotation marks but not know who is being quoted. ThePedanticPrick 01:05, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This quotation seems no longer to appear in the article. David Spector (talk) 20:22, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Linguistic issues[edit]

The article currently says:

"The most determined proponents of an Ishtar/Easter connection are not neopagans but certain fundamentalist Christians, notably Ralph Woodrow, whose Babylonian Mystery Religion includes the Easter/Ishtar fallacy and condemns the celebration's trappings as unchristian."

This is an assertion without linguistic backing.

The Egyptian name for Isis is "Ast" or "Aset". The connection between this and "Astarte" was known to, and written of, by the Egyptian Christians contemporary while the religions of Ast and Astarte were both thriving. The Romanization of Ast is pronounced "ē sēs". The Babylonian counterpart of Astarte was Ishtar, "ēsh tar". I believe you can find primary source material documents that show that the worshippers of these respective entities did equate them, that this is neither a Roman Imperial gloss nor a Ralph Woodrow fabrication.

I happen to agree that there are many fallacious arguments for one single unbroken continuity of goddess worship, and that such did not exist, certainly not to prehistoric times- but this particular expanse of continuity is legit.

"though as Eostre's characteristics as a goddess have never been recorded, this is entirely speculative."

This is inaccurate as well. There are commonalities of worship in isolated yet disparate regions of Europe and Asia Minor, places that are known to have preserved more ancient linguistic patterns. It is probable that their folk traditions also contain vestiges. If scrutinized cladistically, these customs appear to be remnants of a larger continuity that travels from the estuary of the Danube to England. There is a preponderance of similarities, making common ancestry a legitimate inference.

Coloring eggs and adorning the clothing of marriageable girls with images of rabbits are but two of them. To say the connections have "never been recorded" is inaccurate. At best, we can say we have no written records. Archaeological and anthropological data says otherwise. --Talzhemir

The issue is not one of a continuity between Isis and Astarte, but of a continuity between either of these deities and Easter. Speculative linguistic connections are not the same as demonstrable continuity.

Eostre's characteristics have not been recorded. To quote Professor Ron Hutton:

'Our sole authority for Eostre is Bede, who says that she was the Anglo-Saxon goddess after whom the month of April is named. He did not associate her with hares, and modern scholarship finds her name cognate with many Indo-European words for dawn, which presents a high possibility that she was a dawn-goddess, and so April as the Eostre-month was the month of opening and new beginning, which makes sense in a North German climate.'

Coloring eggs and adorning the clothing of marriageable girls with images of rabbits are but two of them. To say the connections have "never been recorded" is inaccurate.

We do not know whether Eostre even *existed*. The elements you refer to above may or may not be remnants of an Eostre tradition. To say that they *are* records of such presumes the definite existence of that Goddess, which we cannot do.Cavalorn 12:28, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand how Grimm's Law would preclude a link between an Etruscan mention of Astarte and Eostre amongst Germans. The Runic alphabet is a development of the Etruscan alphabet. If Astarte is actually mentioned by Etruscans it wouldn't be ridiculous for that word to be current in Central Europe. Grimm's Law describes how for example an 'st' doesn't change in German. Grimm's Law describes how Indo-European words develop on the German branch - does this mean German is incapable of any borrowings at all? Presentation that Eostre is linked to Eos/Hausos is a alternative to Astarte, and therefore they can't both be true would be better. Stevebritgimp 21:09, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

@Stevebritgimp: I'm not sure why you mention Grimm's law – maybe you've misunderstood something, or the article used to include misleading phrasing that has been removed since then. Grimm's law specifically refers to the consonant shift that happened shortly before the Proto-Germanic period. You are correct that this sound change is irrelevant here, and there is nothing that prevented Proto-Germanic from borrowing words from other Indo-European or non-Indo-European languages in principle; in fact, quite a number of words solidly reconstructed for Proto-Germanic are thought to be borrowings, such as *hanipaz (cf. Greek kánnabis), which became hemp in English. The actually relevant sound change is the one that led from Proto-Germanic (and Early West Germanic) *au to Old English ēo or ēa. It compels us to reconstruct something like *Austra for the West Germanic period (cf. Old High German ôst(a)ra "Easter"). And the resemblance between *Austr- and Phoenician ʻAshart or Etruscan Uni-Astre, as she is attested as in the Pyrgi Tablets, let alone Ishtar, is evidently not very compelling – where does the Germanic diphthong come from? Ignoring this kind of mismatches is a hallmark of unprofessional, dubious (pseudo-)etymological speculation. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:57, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Some of these issues have been discussed at Talk:Ishtar. AnonMoos (talk) 10:40, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

A notable proponent of the theory, from whom Woodrow got the theory, was 19th century philologist Alexander Hislop -- (talk) 08:09, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Hislop was a Presbyterian minister, not a philologist, as a glance over his publication history would reveal (5 works on the Roman Catholic church, 3 on infant baptism, 0 on philology). Ben (talk) 20:40, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

I just put the question regarding whether Astarte and Easter are cognate on the Astarte talk page here [[1]] I will go and link it to this thread as this page seems to cover most of it EdwardLane (talk) 21:04, 4 April 2010 (UTC)


I'm new, so forgive me if I'm doing this wrong, but why is there no mention of Eos, the goddess of the dawn in Greek mythology, here in Eostre's entry? It would certainly seem there are similarities. VanessaR

I believe this is due to the highly speculative nature of the connection. There is no etymological evidence to suggest a 'direct' link between the two words, despite them seeming to be very similar. What etymology studies have hypothesised is that there was an earlier goddess called H₂ewsṓs from which a number of dawn goddesses may have arisen - one of which is Eos and one of which later is Eostre. But as far as a direct link between the two, there is none.You can see this in the entry for Eos Davidtalk (talk) 19:52, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's particularly speculative. The etymology section here just doesn't unpack it all quite yet. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:24, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Do you think the etymology evidence and/or other evidence shows that Eos evolved into Eostre rather than the connection between the two being the earlier H₂ewsṓs? Davidtalk (talk) 00:35, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
No, I don't think there's reason to assume that. The PIE dawn goddess is probably the best attested PIE deity known next to Dyeus. The horse brothers, reflexes of Dyeus, and here the dawn goddess appear to be attested in what meager Old English sources we have. The Old Norse sources are another policy (I don't think the dwarf has anything to do with anything; simply a stand-in for the cardinal direction); there's a lot of discussion regarding Eos's relation to Aphrodite, and something similar might have happened with Freyja as well, but that requires a lot more analysis that hasn't happened here yet that would need to be done in a comparative context. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:56, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
The close resemblance between Eos and Eostre is accidental, but the words are ultimately related as they go back to the same verbal root. It's like a German Tocharologist who pointed out that the sentence three oxes came in Tocharian B sounds almost exactly like the German translation, which is fortuitous, although the words are indeed cognate. Sometimes cognates are accidentally closer sounding (or looking, when spelt) than you might expect from the degree of relationship of the languages in question, which means they aren't false cognates, but true cognates that just happen to appear obvious. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:54, 17 April 2017 (UTC)


Hi, could we get some IPA for the name, or some guide to pronunciation? - FrancisTyers 17:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

The words all come from long dead languages, so we would have to apply some guesswork, check out Old English phonology for start. I would guess that the e in e:ostre and o in o:stara was long, and that the words otherwise were pronounced similarly how to they were spelled, unlike modern English words =P. Note that I am in no way a professional scholar of the subject, and that someone with some more knowledge about it is free to fill in. 惑乱 分からん 22:54, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

The theory proposed by Oppenheimer that those in the Southeast of England were Germanic (not Celtic), combined with the orthodoxy of a Germanic nature to Eostre's name and practices, would suggest that this is where one should look for the pronounciation. Assuming the spelling is 'estre' - some letter pairings change the sound - then it might be something like "eh zz t r eh" (the 'z' being emphasized as it is the first consonant), using the soundings believed used for Old English as probably pretty close. I don't see anything about silent consonants (except where S or F are used at the start or end of words) and I don't see anything about 'st' or 'tr' being one of the grouped consonants that should be treated differently.

Merging with Ostara[edit]

I don't see why this would be merged at all with the Ostara entry, as has been suggested. This entry is about the goddess Eostre, while the Ostara entry is mainly about the holiday. They are clearly two different subjects, and the connections are extremely varied for each individual's interpretation. Not all celebrants of the Ostara holiday involve Eostre, and not all discussions of Eostre involve the Ostara holiday. Rob T Firefly 20:26, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the point above. There is a very clear distinction between the two. Merging them would likely be entirely confusing. - Dootsie

I don't know if just us two count as a consensus of NO MERGE, but after several months of no further activity I'm taking the liberty of removing the merge tags. Rob T Firefly 03:30, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

More from Bede[edit]

I have verified the supposed quote from Bede, De ratione temporum, and added the other bits which refer to Eosturmonath from the same chapter (after all, this is the one and only source in the historical record for it all). I've also added the reference to Faith Wallis' translation of the work. I hope that's OK with everyone. Roger Pearse 13:33, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Bede on Eosturmonath (Latin): Bede; Giles, John Allen (1843). Complete Works of Venerable Bede. VI. p. 178. . --Jbergquist (talk) 23:27, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Biasometer Pegged[edit]

See, this is the problem with an on-line encyclopedia, especially if the editors seem to have a bent one way or the other: The information gets skewed. If all our information is based on the opinion of the majority rather than upon the facts of what is or what was to the best extent possible -- which includes all points of view! -- then we are in deep weeds in the future. This is how people become misinformed and herded to gather behind tyrants, be they political or intellectual.

Upon reading this article, it has an EXTREMELY Christian/non-pagan bent to it: Any references outside of Christianity seem to be scoffed at here. Prudence would suggest that a lot more research be done on this before so offhandedly dismissing this as an exclusively Christian holiday. Not that it would be right to deny Christians a holiday, but considering they absconded with all the Pagan ones, it would behoove them to actually come up with their own.

The estrogen/eostre link is immediately debunked, but since the languages, as admitted, are "long dead", rather than admit to the possibility of a link between the two, the other approach is taken; i.e. "no proof of the link is there so we won't even look at the possibility." This is an absurd way to disseminate information. There really is no proof that there is no connection between Eostre/Ishtar or Eostre/Estrogen, because we can't find it. The conclusions which have been "authoritatively" drawn have been drawn by those who have a decidedly monotheistic patriarchal point of view.

The thing that definitely points out the bias is the bibliography at the bottom of Eostre's page -- they are Biblical references, which indicates that no other points of view (or, in fact, ANY factual evidence) have been presented. Wraukon 21:10, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

So find some references, and be bold! Instead of just fussing about how the editors are biased, actually be an unbiased editor, and fix it.  :) -Aleta 02:51, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Like Aleta said, if it's broke, fix it. Don't just whine at the world.Dogface 14:30, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Wraukon on the point regarding the Christianocentric bias in this article. Although unsurprising considering one of the two references was a Bible Encyclopedia, let's admit it, Christians don't have a sterling history on respecting other religions and I'm sorry to say, this article smacks with similar disdain.Mermaidlost 02:48, 3 April 2007 (UTC)mermaidlost
So quit just whining about it and actually do something. If your knowledge of the matter is superior, share that knowledge and edit the article. Don't just sit on your butt and whine about how the article doesn't meet your standards. Bring the article up to your standards. Otherwise, you're just empty. Dogface 16:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I actually don't think this article is "Christianocentric," and this is coming from an Ásatrú man. The Venerable Bede, although he knew his native Northumbria well, wasn't above making things up to fit a model. The sole fact that we only have Bede to rely upon as a source for Eostre/Ostara should tell its own story, in fact. We don't have enough information to say that Eostre was definitely worshipped in any Germanic land, not even specifically Anglo-Saxon England. Germanic tribes usually had a cult-center of some sort for important gods and goddesses. Archaeologically no cult-centers or remnants thereof have been found to corroborate Eostre.

As for the supposed connection between Eostre and Ishtar/Astarte, it's entirely possible (and quite likely) that Bede was drawing on his knowledge of the "classical" pantheons (Egyptian and Babylonian in this case) to invent Eostre much in the same way that Snorri Sturluson drew on his knowledge of the Greek Fates in order to rewrite Nornir (women of fate) as three goddesses similar to Greek counterpart goddesses.

All in all I'd say that this article is fairly factual. Although the claim "history is a lie" is quite popular among neo-Pagans, I've not seen evidence that this really is so, especially considering the objectivity of modern academia.

AsatruThorsman (talk) 08:50, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

It's hard to figure out how Bede could have even heard of Ishtar at all (though he might have heard of Greek Astarte...). AnonMoos (talk) 12:21, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Please compare the April 4, 2007 article to which you are responding to comments regarding, to the July 18, 2008 article that we have now. You will find it has changed considerably. It could be better, and I will improve it in time, but keep in mind the date on comments when responding to them. As for this "cult center" business, I assume you're making this assumption off of toponym names. Obviously, most "centers of worship" did not survive the Christianization process, even in toponyms, and most of the numerous gods attested do not have corresponding toponyms. As for dubious Ishtar-Eostre theory, I think it's a bit more logical to consider Indo-European cognates (and subsequently making it likely Bede wasn't pulling things out of thin air, which wouldn't make a lot of sense anyway). :bloodofox: (talk) 15:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I'll admit that I didn't read the date of the previous comment. Having said that, though, it's not assumption to say that there were cult-centers for important gods among the Germanic tribes. For example, you had the annual moving of the image of Frey in communities in what we now call Sweden. And yes, you're right that the centers of worship mostly didn't survive the Christianization process (at least not overtly); however, there were always some remnants of these centers of worship that survived - in fact, churches were often BUILT OVER temples to older gods as opposed to those temples being utterly destroyed (e.g. Uppsala). Even accounting for centers dedicated to local gods, there's nothing of a supposed Eostre cult that survived.
By the way, I'm quite interested to know what "Indo-European cognates" you're referring to, especially considering that the theory of an Indo-European proto-culture has yet to be conclusively proven. What verifiable cognates of Eostre might there be?AsatruThorsman (talk) 21:01, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Certainly there were cult centers (as evident in city names like Odense and in surviving attestations of places like Old Uppsala) and churches are commonly known to have been placed on top of either burial mounds or other places of indigenous worship (on top of burial mounds in the center of town in Aarhus, for example) but the fact that Eostre isn't mentioned anywhere doesn't mean anything. Obviously, most of the Anglo-Saxon pre-Christian toponyms are long gone as they officially Christianized considerably earlier than the Northern Germanic peoples, and in Scandinavia we can probably assume that most of the pre-Christian toponyms are also long gone. As I've added to the article and is often brought up, Indo-European cognates include Greek Eos, Roman Aurora, and Indian Ushas, combined with the etymological connection to "east", equate to probably the strongest evidence for Eostre. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:01, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I've had time to look at your assertions. Firstly, Germanic tribes didn't name months for any of their regin (gods), they named them for important events. The term "Eosturmonath" more likely refers to what we would consider a Spring festival and what the Saxons likely considered the beginning of Summer, seeing as how Germanic tribes only really recognized Winter and Summer and that Summer Finding began during what we would now call April. The fact that there are some dodgy "cognates" such as the ones you have rolled out just shows that a couple of other cultures actually have Spring goddesses. Seeing as how no Germanic tribe had a concept of Spring at the time, that would negate the need for a supposed Spring goddess. Additionally, the fact that Eostre isn't mentioned anywhere except by Bede is quite meaningful, especially considering the fact that Bede showed not only contempt for but also a lack of willingness to understand his pre-Christian ancestors' views. His references to classical Greek sources also seems quite reluctant. In Bede we see the zeal of a new convert to Christianity, not someone who appreciates the views of his ancestors. In all likelihood he assumed Eosturmonath to refer to a goddess by the name of Eostre, for whom we have no verifiable evidence but his own writing. It's a bit circular and I for one am not convinced. (talk) 07:32, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
you are free to remain unconvinced of whatever you like. The article merely lays out the evidence. The cognates it "rolls out" are solid. Quite independently of Bede (from OHG), we know that there was a Germanic spring (or "beginning of summer" if you prefer) festival with a name cognate to the IE dawn goddess. Whether the name still identified an actual goddess in Germanic times is anyone's guess. I find Grimm's reconstruction prefectly reasonable, but it is of course a reconscruction, and does not pretend to present conclusive proof of anything. --dab (𒁳) 09:00, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
While I'm not here to persuade you about anything, regarding references to gods in the Germanic calendar, the Anglo-Saxon calendar features a couple of pretty obvious ones: regarding Modraniht Bede clearly states this is the "night of the mothers" and this is generally considered a reference to the Matres. Then there's also Hretha, and this is just what survived into Bede's accounts. Besides, Ēostre would hardly be the only Germanic deity with a single attestation. :bloodofox: (talk) 10:05, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

False cognate moved here[edit]

"the only comparable material of Germanic mythology is found in terms for "East" (Icelandic Austri) and in the Germanic name of Easter. There is no connection between ost etc. ("east") and Eostre. The German cognate already appears in the opening paragraph. --Wetman (talk) 23:47, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

why are you saying this? To the best of my knowledge, east is directly cognate to the Aurora etymon (which, I submit, is hardly surprising semantically). Grimm (s.v. Ost) has:

der zu grunde liegende stamm austa von einer wurzel aus, sanskr. vas (aufleuchten, tagen) hängt zusammen mit sanskr. usha morgenröte, griech. εως, ηως, lat. aurora (für ausosa), lit. auszra, altslav. utro (für ustro)

--dab (𒁳) 17:45, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

To Wetman, I think my reference regarding the etymology is very solid. If you can find a reference that says otherwise, you are welcome to add it as well. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:03, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree that this etymology is well sourced. Why was I so rash? To make amends, I'll insert the following at the appropriate point: Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, "Eástre, the goddess of the rising sun, whose festivities were in April. Hence used by Teutonic christians for the rising of the sun of righteousness, the feast of the resurrection," noting Bede, Grimm 1855 (on-line text) --Wetman (talk) 03:07, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I would be pleased if the capitalized word "Heathen" was replaced with a less biased description, such as "pagan, or neo-pagan". 01:55, 17 March 2013 §piqu — Preceding unsigned comment added by Piqu (talkcontribs)

It's typically used in an Anglo-Saxon context because it comes from the Old English equivalent haethen to Latin paganus. It should be lowercase, but I don't see why it is biased. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:08, 17 March 2013 (UTC)


The following was rightly deleted (WP:OR) but might not be without interest:

A revised etymology of Eostre might be in order, since so much speculation has been erected on Bede's single remark.

The Latin meaning of oestrus comes directly from Greek oistros, originally referring to a "gadfly"— specifically the gadfly that Hera sent to torment Io, who had been wooed and won in her heifer form by Zeus. Homer uses the word to describe the panic of the suitors in Odyssey book 22. The modern technical Latin meaning of estrus became more prominent after it was revived in 1890 to describe the female equivalent of "rut": hence "estrogen", the "hormone that generates oestrus".

Oestrus/oistros also meant "frenzy". Euripides uses it both to describe the madness of Orestes, and of Heracles. In x (line 1144), Heracles has murdered his own children and cries, 'Where did the madness seize me? where did it destroy me?'

More to the point, Herodotus (Histories ch.93.1) uses oistros to describe the desire of fish to spawn.

Oestrus is an irrational drive: Plato, Laws, 854b:

“My good man, the evil force that now moves you and prompts you to go temple-robbing is neither of human origin nor of divine, but it is some impulse bred of old in men from ancient wrongs unexpiated, which courses round wreaking ruin; and it you must guard against with all your strength."

In the Republic, Plato again uses the word, to describe the soul "driven and drawn by the gadfly of desire"

The earliest English language sense is of "frenzied passion."

It seems reasonably certain that 'Eostre' refers to the annual Romano-Briton spring celebrations during 'Eostermonat' as Bede reported. But Bede, writing in the late 8th century, may have extended the festival to apply a name to the goddes. The goddess's original pre-Roman name appears to have been lost, for the name of her springtime 'rising of the sap' festival was translated into Latin, in some form of Oestrus, before the Roman legions left in the 5th century, it would be reasonable to suppose. --Wetman (talk) 00:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

interesting, but, as you say, WP:SYN without some further reference. dab (𒁳) 07:09, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I came to the same conclusion as well, the second I saw "eostre" I thought 'estrogen'. Additionally, I noted that similarity - etymologically and religiously (if fertility rituals in Easter come from Eostre worship) - to the Phoenician god Astarte(Greek spelling) exists; called in the Roman Pantheon "Venus" and "Aphrodite" in the Greek. Eostre's name could be a direct etymological take from Astarte. The old English "easter" is "Astre". Perhaps oistros was some variant of Astarte. There seem, to me, to be too many coincidences. -- (talk) 07:15, 5 December 2009 (UTC)


The recent spate of unsourced personal speculation, following other revisions down-playing the single fact, are copied here. Can anything encyclopedia-worthy be made of the following personal ruminations unconnected with Bede's Eostre? (Wetman (talk) 10:18, 22 March 2008 (UTC))

Whether the derivation is from a Goddess of "Spring", or of "Dawn", is to some degree a moot point, when the term is examined in its use in far northern climes, since there the two concepts are somewhat cognate - the return of Spring is indeed the return of dawn after a long hiatius; and the return of the sun each day after is merely a mini-version of the same event, the dismissal of darkness and resurrection of life and warmth. The extent to which this agreement occurs declines toward the equator, and is gone before reaching the tropics.
Celebration of Easter in modern cultures - and particularly in the Southern hemisphere where Easter is paradoxically celebrated in Autumn, not Spring, due to the cycle of seasons being out-of-phase compared with the Northern hemisphere - has become almost completely removed from any conscious knowledge of its meaning as ritual celebration of return of the sun, that event so important to agrarian society.
I've just linked Eoster to Thai New Year. The whole article is flagged as "unsourced" since April 2007, mainly because sources are hard to come by. While "dawn" in Thai is "arun" (sounds like aroon or arune), there is no "Goddess of the East" in popular culture, and the directions of east and west are simply where the "day-bringer" comes out and falls; so the criticisms with regard to Easter similarly apply here. Pawyilee (talk) 06:39, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
PS. I also linked Thai New Year to Easter; even though the holidays are both unrelated and calculated differently, the Thai holiday occasionally coincides exactly with Easter weekend. Pawyilee (talk) 06:48, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
PPS. I moved my new entry from the beginning to the very end, under In other calendars, and limited it to just the facts, ma'am. Pawyilee (talk) 09:59, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

recent updates[edit]

the recent edits are mostly ok-ish, altough it is difficult to see how they are improvements in some instances. The section title of "accountability of Bede" I find difficult to explain other than by wrong assumptions about the meaning of "accountability". What it appears to be about is the reliability of Bede's account. Beginning the lead with "Ēostra (Latinized from Anglo-Saxon Ēostre)" is incredibly pedantic. Giving *Ēostre as unattested is flat out wrong, since this is the perfectly well attested form of the Old English for "Easter". Likewise, it is wrong to claim that " Using comparative linguistic evidence from continental Germanic sources, the 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of an equivalent form of Eostra among the pre-Christian beliefs of the continental Germanic peoples." I am sorry, but the article has been perfectly clear on the fact that both names, eostre and ostara are perfectly well attested. The speculation does not concern the linguistic form of the name, but simply the possiblity that the name may have been a theonym once.

The etymology section shows the typical traces of etymology discussions that have fallen victims to "editors who hate etymology", and are unable to distinguish what is straighforward and undisputed from what are tentative suggestions by individual scholars. I have tried to restore it to its former quality. --dab (𒁳) 09:53, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Ostara is not well attested as the name of a deity. The word 'Ostara' was a plural, and referred not to a deity but to the festival days. Grimm 'reconstructed' Ostara as the equivalent name to Eostre, but there is no record of a deity called Ostara outside of Grimm's speculation. --Cav

That's what I said. Ostara is in fact attested, in the singular, as the name of Easter, even though the plural is more common:

ahd. ôstarâ, ôstrâ, mhd. ôster, gewöhnlich im plur. ôstarûn, ôstrûn, ôsteron, ôstron, ôsteren, ôstern; ags. eâster, plur. eâstra

The article made it sound as if the linguistic form was reconstructed. It is not. The only "reconstruction" here is that the name was formerly a theonym. There is a difference between reconstructing forms and reconstructing meanings. The article makes it absolutely clear that the only medieval source pointing to a goddess is Bede. --dab (𒁳) 11:42, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Apologies - I was rereading and it dawned on me that you had said exactly that. --Cav —Preceding undated comment added 11:46, 6 April 2009 (UTC).

Ahem. *Eostre and *Ostara are per Simek (2007), which is a perfectly scholarly and recent (!) source. Are you seriously saying I "hate etymology" here? Please. --:bloodofox: (talk) 14:23, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Furthermore, the "accountability" section title referred to the question of whether or not Bede should be held accountable for making up the name or not (obvious enough considering what the section covered...). Anyway, I don't have time to get into all of this now, but suffice to say I will return to it. I at least expected that, if you were going to replace my very well referenced etymology section, you would have replaced it with something a bit better than <ref>[[OED]]</ref>. Come on Dab, this isn't 2006. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:11, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
@ bloodofox -- "Furthermore, the "accountability" section title referred to the question of whether or not Bede should be held accountable ..."
What, you're gonna give him a whuppin' for tellin' lies ? That's the funniest thing I've read this week, thank you :P (talk) 09:09, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

your "well referenced etymology section"? I am sorry, are you actually trying to say that the section as I encountered it was "better" than what we have now? You may not "hate" etymology, but you certainly never bothered to find out about it. --dab (𒁳) 16:09, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

100%. I invite anyone out there to compare versions. Mine is fully sourced per Wikipedia standards and conventions, using solidly attributed sources. Yours is... not. Viewers, compare and contrast: [2]. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:32, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


The current OED accepts that Eostre was a dawn goddess without further ado.

" her name (OTeut. *austrôn- cogn. w. Skr. usrā dawn; see east) shows that she was originally the dawn-goddess."

The etymology of the term is perfectly undisputed. That the etymon was the name of the dawn goddess in origin is also undisputed. The only thing left open to speculation is whether the goddess was lost in pre-Germanic times, in early Germanic times, or only with Christianisation. The article can state with conviction that we are looking at a theonym. It has been going out of its way to emphasize how uncertain and academic all of this is supposed to be. I don't know why. The English and German terms for Easter are clearly cognate, they are perfectly well attested, and they are evidently connected to the east etymon. None of this is speculative. We don't have anything concerning the goddess qua goddess, it is true, but that's not very surprising in view of the state of our knowledge of Continental Germanic paganism in general.

Personally, I have no opinion on this btw. The goddess may have been lost 500 years before Bede for all we know. Nevertheless, we have two independent clues to the goddess, Bede is an independent confirmation of the "dawn goddess" idea that comes from etymology exclusively. In the light of this, it seems likely that there was a living memory in Bede's time that Eostre "had once been a goddess". This makes it seem unlikely that the goddess was lost in remote pre-Germanic times, but it may still be true that the goddess had faded away long before Christianisation in the 7th century. --dab (𒁳) 10:36, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Etymology associates the word 'Eostre' with dawn and with the east, but not necessarily with a goddess. 'Dawn' and 'The Goddess of Dawn' are clearly distinct notions. The Eostre-month could just as easily have been 'the month of new beginnings' or 'month of openings' rather than 'the month of Eostre the goddess'. Whether Eostre is a theonym certainly is disputed, not least by Dr. Elizabeth Freeman of the University of Tasmania, who produced a 'debunking' of the supposed Goddess some years ago. --Cav —Preceding undated comment added 11:01, 6 April 2009 (UTC).

The main point I am making above is that the OED accepts the derivation from the theonym. Eostre is not the Germanic word for "dawn", it is derived from the Indo-European theonym of the dawn goddess, see Hausos. It may be disputed that Old English Eostre is a theonym, but it may not be disputed that its IE predecessor was a theonym. Can we please keep apart the (speculative) claim that "Eostre was an Anglo-Saxon (post-invasion) goddess." and the (uncontroversial) statement that Old English eostre derives from a pre-Germanic form corresponding to the name of the PIE dawn goddess. --dab (𒁳) 11:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Hausos is described in that very article as the reconstructed name of a theoretical goddess. How, then, can we assert that the IE predecessor of Eostre was indisputably a theonym? Cavalorn (talk) 11:55, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Hm. I take it you are not very familiar with the practice of linguistic reconstruction. No IE records predate 2000 BC, so by saying "PIE", the reconstructed nature of term is implicit. There are still lots of reconstructions that are completely uncontroversial (while others are, of course, speculative). "Hausos" is among the uncontroversial ones.


In the interest of exploring Eostre-scepticism, I would still be interested in your Elizabeth Freeman reference. Although I doubt she can add anything to what has been said in the 19th century. In particular, the idea that Bede derived the idea of the goddess from the month name seems pulled out of thin air, seeing that no other month of the Anglo-Saxon calendar is at all based on a theonym. --dab (𒁳) 11:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Hrethmonath was supposedly derived from the name of the Goddess Hretha, no? Regarding Elizabeth Freeman, the best I can find is a link to an article describing her research, rather than that research itself:

Hutton on Eostre: 'modern scholarship finds her name cognate with many Indo-European words for dawn, which presents a high possibility that she was a dawn-goddess, and so April as the Eostre-month was the month of opening and new beginning, which makes sense in a North German climate.' This was my point of departure, taking Eostre as cognate with IE terms for 'dawn' rather than as having a single definitive predecessor meaning 'dawn goddess'.

Point taken, anyway. Cavalorn (talk) 12:10, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

edit, you are right about Hretha, sorry. Although Hretha has pretty much the same status as Eostre, you may as soon claim that Bede made up Hretha to parallel Eostre than the other way round. --dab (𒁳) 14:00, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

yes, there is nothing wrong with your Hutton quote, we can well put it that way. It appears that the Freeman reference is in fact dedicated to the Easter bunny (and might be duly quoted at that article). I agree of course that a claim of the "Easter bunny as the magical companion of the Saxon goddess Ostara" is completely pulled out of thin air. We have good references to the effect of "it has been suggested that her lights, as goddess of the dawn, were carried by hares". This is worth noting, but I absolutely agree it is pure speculation. --dab (𒁳) 12:44, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

The Easter Bunny angle appears to be the spin that 'The Mercury' put on Dr Freeman's work to give it popular appeal. Significantly, she offers no opinion of the Easter Bunny, but states outright that Eostre the Goddess was fabricated: 'He has definitely made up that goddess... Bede was extremely influential and his view has survived until the last 50 years when scholarship developed to the level it could show he was wrong.' In the hope of getting some substantiation of this, I've written to Dr. Freeman directly. We'll see if anything comes of it. Cavalorn (talk) 12:52, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I hope this quote is not actually by Freeman because it would completely discredit her. his view has survived until the last 50 years when scholarship developed to the level it could show he was wrong is complete nonsense in that it ignores intellectual and philosophical giants like Grimm, who were fully aware of the uncertainties of the question (why, you only need to open Grimm's Mythology for a full account of the pros and cons) and who were probably better qualified in terms of "level of scholarship" than anyone alive today. A random author from Tasmania putting herself above the brilliant philologists who founded the field in such a snotty way wouldn't be more than a joke. --dab (𒁳) 13:15, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

trying to trace this Freeman thing, it seems to originate in 2005, with The Mercury. This essay here was "originally published in White Dragon", apparently this publication. I don't think there is any actual publication behind this, it appears some Australian magazine rang up Dr. Freeman and quoted her with some embarassing statements. The irony is that there are many, many bullshit claims in Neopaganism, but that Neopaganism in this case is bashed for something it isn't to blame for. --dab (𒁳) 13:30, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

ahem, I take that back in as far as the claims attributed to Nigel Pennick in the "White Dragon" (connection with estrus and "Saxon poets equated Eostre with India's, Great Mother, Kali", wtf?) article are, of course, hilarious nonsense. It is one noble task of Wikipedia's to make the publication of such preposterous nonsense more difficult for would-be authors. --dab (𒁳) 13:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Just wanted to say that I am really glad to see a mostly benignly sceptical discussion of this topic. I wrote about this years ago at I had repeatedly heard a claim that Oestra had the head of a hare, but was frustrated by a total lack of sources for these claims. It seems to originate in a book called [1] They quote [2] Eventually, I managed to find a picture of a rather androgenous figure claimed to represent Oestra which can be seen at the link above. It looks too modern to be Anglo Saxon, but he/she is wearing a hood with long ears. Pignut (talk) 13:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

clarification please[edit]

an anon rushes in with a random blanking/ reverting spree [3] and is duly rolled back four times over. Then bloodofox (talk · contribs) appears and reverts to the anon's version with the illuminating edit summary of "revert".[4] what is going on here?

I've sprotected the article for the time being until this anon weirdness stops. --dab (𒁳) 16:07, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the brief edit summary, I intended to add more text there to clarify. The revert isn't to the vandal's edit but to the version of the page prior to your recent edits. Basically, I'm bringing back the properly sourced and attributed etymology section while attempting to work in and source your suggested changes. We can talk about a restructure and whatever, and I'm glad to see additions, but they all need to be sourced out. The asterisks are per Simek (2007), our most recent source. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:11, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It looks to me like you mostly differ over presentation and wording rather than any particular facts. I'm sure we can work this out. Haukur (talk) 16:13, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, the article before currently uses basically the same text that I rewrote, but I perhaps I need to explain a few things. This article doesn't only cover Eostre, but also the associated Germanic month names. The "attestations" section would ideally cover the important attestations for the month names, and not just Bede's mention, for example. I just haven't had a chance to get around to it until now. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:15, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

boo, this looks like the beginning of another giant waste of time just because you refuse to back down or accept your vesion is inferior.

No, this isn't an article about the AS month, we have Anglo-Saxon calendar for that.

Please leave the discussion of the etymology section to those editors competent in etymology.

I am very willing to work together with Haukurth in this. I am not willing to spend even one minute discussing etymology with bloodofox.

Haukurth, if you can find anything of value lost from boo's version, please spend a minute and re-insert it judiciously. --dab (𒁳) 16:18, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, this "superior" version is basically the version I wrote up, just re-arranged and the etymology section hacked up with your "superior" <ref>[[OED]]</ref> referencing and original research insertions. My version is fully sourced. Instead of rambling on about me, you ought to consider the quality of the article. Further, Anglo-Saxon calendar does not exist, and the month name is bolded and handled along with Eostra here. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:24, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy to work with either or both of you but let's discuss the issues and not make this personal. Bloodofox doesn't have a degree in linguistics but I don't think he hates etymology or that he can't be talked to about it. On the other side, I wouldn't say Dab's version of the article had "original research insertions". Really, we're talking about fairly minor differences here. Haukur (talk) 16:33, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I've been in private communication with both of you. Dab says we shouldn't say "According to <particular scholar>" for widely accepted facts. I agree with that. Bloodofox wants Dab to dot his i's and cross his t's when referring to the OED or other dictionaries. That's fair too. The point I'm not entirely certain about is whether the Eastre-Ushas etymology is widely enough accepted for us to relay it as fact. I remember seeing some alternative suggestions. Maybe I'll check a few more sources. Haukur (talk) 16:48, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I am fine with this. I would actually prefer to see some sort of survey of sources here to present what is widely accepted and what else is out there (in scholarly circles). This would result in a superior version to any we've seen yet. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:53, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I did some checking in some dusty tomes and in the end I found that the best source was... Wikipedia! Check out de:Ostara#Etymologische_Diskussionen, that seems to lay out the issues pretty neatly. I need to go for at least a few hours now. Haukur (talk) 17:28, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I should note that I do think it's reasonable for the article to cover the eponymous month and possibly pre-Christian (West-)Germanic Easter customs. Haukur (talk) 16:28, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's entirely sensible. It's going to be impossible to handle the month without also handling Bede's attestation at the same time, so it's only logical that they be handled together. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:37, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Neil Gaiman's reference to Easter[edit]

Should we add something regarding the book American Gods referring to the pagan Easter god?

When I spoke to Neil in person about it a few years ago, he was very scathing about the neopagan Eostre accretions, and said that Bede was all we had to go on. Cavalorn (talk) 22:26, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Grimm on cognates and folk customs (including Easter eggs)[edit]

A quick note for future work (perhaps only to myself): on page 780 of Stallybrass' 1882 translation of volume II of Teutonic Mythology, Grimm continues his commentary about Eostre/Ostara; he mentions folk customs in connection to Eostre/Ostara, including Easter eggs, and proposes potential Slavic and Lithuanian cognates for the goddess. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:46, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


I added this page to the Category:Fakelore category a while ago, an edit that has been subsequently removed. I would argue that Eostre is perhaps the most obvious and prominent example of fakelore (being almost certainly Bede and Grimm's invention), and if Lada, Radegast and Belobog qualify for the category, Eostre absolutely should. Thoughts? Proserpine (talk) 06:11, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Bad idea. Eostre is by no means considered "fakelore" by modern scholars. :bloodofox: (talk) 08:06, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I have yet to find a modern scholar who believes Eostre legitimate, and I don't see any cited in the article. This is something that would be good to add, if it is in fact true that modern scholars are of the opinion that Bede didn't simply make her up. Proserpine (talk) 02:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Have you looked? Here are two standard modern handbooks for matters relating to Germanic mythology that feature entries on this very topic:
  • Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-34520-2
  • Simek, Rudolf (2007) translated by Angela Hall. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. D.S. Brewer. ISBN 0-85991-513-1
Both authored by scholars. Note that Simek is cited in the article. :bloodofox: (talk) 05:26, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Even if Bede had invented it (something which is by no means clear), I don't think that would qualify it as "fakelore" in the usual sense. Also, Grimm speculations were mainly in the etymological/linguistic/philological sphere. AnonMoos (talk) 08:33, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Well my point is sort of that if Radegast, Lada and Belobog are 'fakelore' (because they're in the category) then so is Eostre, most likely, unless there's some compelling evidence I haven't seen for her being something other than Bede's invention. If 'fakelore' is something more specific than 'supposed tradition made up by an author after the fact', then I don't think any of those other gods qualify either. Proserpine (talk) 03:01, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
"Fakelore" is usually invented by revivalists and/or romantic nationalists of some kind, or by extravagant tall-tale spinners, usually in the 19th-century or later (unless perhaps you would include early modern frauds like Ossian and Psalmanazar). Bede simply does not fall within these parameters. AnonMoos (talk) 21:57, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Bede was neither a Romanticist nor pagan enthusiast. He was a historian, and he reported in best faith that Eostre was a pagan goddess. Whether Bede was correct is another question. It is indeed plausible that Bede was correct, but if he wasn't, we are looking at an honest scholarly mistake, not "fakelore". Also, if you are willing to extend your definition of "fakelore" so far into the past, you might as well claim that Yahweh is "fakelore" made up by the Yahwist. As for Grimm, there is a difference between "faking" (or inventing) and reconstructing. Grimm reconstructed the goddess, also in best scholarly faith, he didn't pretend to have first-hand information on her. --dab (𒁳) 10:03, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah, fair enough. I was going with the idea of 'fakelore' as mythological/religious/folkloric pseudohistory, and perhaps that is not entirely correct. I suppose that makes sense, though I'm not entirely confident that Grimm 'reconstructed the goddess in best scholarly faith', unless we are to make the same argument on behalf of Robert Graves and his White Goddess. Perhaps we are! In which case nevermind. For the record, AnonMoos, I would count Ossian as fakelore for sure. Proserpine (talk) 07:15, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Comparing Grimm to Graves is a bit like comparing Wolfgang Pauli to Deepak Chopra. Both are notable figures no doubt, both wrote about things "quantum", and both were successful with their respective audiences, but the similarity ends there, because one is a towering figure in the establishment of a scholarly field and the other wrote popular bestsellers. Both Grimm and Pauli are not above criticism, to be sure, but if you're going to criticize either you should make sure you have an excellent case. Yes, Ossian was fakelore. Almost the prototype of, so to speak. But Ossian has been recognized as faked for so long now that it is of greater interest as literature in its own right by now. dab (𒁳) 09:18, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
As discussed also on the Easter- talk page, I would like to clarify that Grimm and his assumption of an Ostara have definitely not been state of the art for quite some time. Simek has been mentioned here who obviously does not comment on Ostara (I don`t have him at hand but I take it from a quote by bloodofox at Easter talk page) but just references her to Grimm. As for Grimm & Ostara I know of no German linguistic or historic scholar who accepts her factuality any more. I recommend the Ostara-entry in HDA Handwörterbuch des Deutschen Aberglaubens vol 6, col 1311-1317, a bit older, but a vast collection of sources. HDA-summary: "If an Anglo-Saxon Eostra stood on shaky ground, research has shown a German goddess Ostara as unverifiable." (my translation)).
Reading Grimm (Jacob Grimm: Deutsche Mythologie; Ausgabe, 1843, Göttingen, pp 266 -268) there is a lot of vague speech "könnte, mag..." and postulates "muß"; in my words: speculation. "Ostara" is of 0.00 value for any question concerning Eostre and also for this entry should be reduced in volume including the correct info that she is out of business, plus footnote giving some reference.-Kipala (talk) 10:02, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
A few points:
  1. You have completely changed your position from rambling about Nazis to attempting to claim that the identification by Grimm is not definite identification. I refer readers to your previous post at Talk:Easter ([5]). I responded thereafter with a series of modern scholarly works passively identifying Eostre<*Hausos above ([6]—some of which we should replace our current etymology section with), not about the plausibility of Grimm's reconstructed cognate, for which a modern scholarly examination seems to be wanting.
  2. I am quite familiar with Grimm's Teutonic Mythology, thanks, and for our readers, you can find all four volumes of the Stallybrass English translation with a simple Google Books search. In fact, I'm the primary author of this very article (minus the current poorly referenced etymology section). Grimm mentions Eostre/Ostara in a few different sections, most notably in his section covering goddesses in volume I.
  3. Your reference is a "bit older"? The volume you cite is from *1935*. This qualifies as an example of modern scholarship on the issue how exactly? I think you're going to need to find some works within the last 25 years for the scholarship to still be called "modern", and Simek does provide several references, the most recent of which are from the 70s. Simek does not dismiss Ostara and neither does Orchard (both are modern scholars that I cite above and Orchard is even more recent). I have yet to see any evidence for this supposed modern anti-Ostara consensus.
Cite some modern scholarship and we can talk. :bloodofox: (talk) 14:49, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Dear, YOU are the one claiming that there is substance in Ostara. You reference Simek (whom I don't have available) and your quote shows NOTHING about him arguing for Ostara. Otherwise you quote Grimm (19th century) - what substance do you see in him beyond speculation? HDA (you can`t read German??) is not new, but still the thorough compilation I have found to be referenced. Do you know any German who claims to have found anything new since?? I am glad to learn. --Kipala (talk) 19:09, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm not arguing for Ostara, I'm pointing out that while you've dropped the talk about Nazis, you have yet to produce evidence of your argument, whereas I've only found information contradicting it. You are arguing that there is some sort of consensus that there is poor basis for *Ostara, yet all you have mustered up to show this is an article from 1935, which is hardly the opinion of the far more recent articles I've found. For the readers, here's the Simek entry in question:

Ēostre (or perhaps *Ēastre; Anglo-Saxon). A goddess mentioned by Bede, from whom the Ēostur-monath (= April) takes its name according to Bede (De temporibus ratione 15). Grimm concluded from this reference and also from the name of the OHG [Old High German] Easter festival Ôstarûn (pl. of *Ôstara) a West Germanic goddess of sunrise and of spring-time, Proto-Germanic *Austrō, OHG *Ôstara (cf. Latin Aurora). Despite repeatedly expressing doubt one should not disregard Bede's information totally. However, a spring-like fertility goddess will have to be assumed instead of a goddess of sunrise, despite the name, seeing that otherwise the Germanic goddesses (and matrons) are mostly connected with prosperity and growth. Cf. Hreda.

Simek points to Grimm's reconstruction without further comment and notes that Grimm had evidence in Ôstarûn. This is far more an endorsement than a dismissal. Want to bring up some more recent scholarly sources? :bloodofox: (talk) 20:13, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
You mentioned before that Simek (whom I unfortunately cannot get at this time) has references about Ostara from the 70ties. Would you mind bringing them here? Because without such this very short entry about Eostre hardly is a valid reference on Eostre herself; the passing mention of Ostara in just 1 sentence leaves even you to guess that it looks more than endorsement than dismissal. True, it is no dismissal, but Ostara is not his topic. Even for Eostre Simek pleads not to throw out Bede altogether... I apprecite if you add some info. --Kipala (talk) 06:39, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Kipala, while bloodofox has a tendency to prolong a discussion by needless antagonism, he is factually correct on this. There is no reason to doubt that *Austrō was a theonym in Common Germanic. The report by Bede and the philological argument by Grimm are perfectly sufficient to substantiate this. This doesn't change the fact, of course, that we know absolutely nothing about this early Germanic goddess other than her general association with springtime.

It is fair enough to report the 19th century debate on whether Bede "invented" the goddess, but I must note that we have no evidence that this debate is ongoing as suggested by the lead. As far as I am aware, modern sholarship is content to admit that this is a nice etymological equation, albeit with no further semantic information attached.

Austro has a good Indo-European etymology, something that is very rare in the Germanic pantheon (apart from Tyr there are mostly just dodgy equations such as those for Thor and Fjörgynn). It is not surprising that the old name was lost in the early Germanic period along with most others. The suggestion that Austro is the old name of Old Norse Freyja (in origin just a honorific) would bear closer examination. --dab (𒁳) 12:06, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

The Form *Austrô is just a possibility, but no proof for a deitiy at all. Grimm concluded this form from just one recorded name (Eostra; for *Ostara is nothing else than just an other reconstructed form!) Your statement Grimms reconsturctions are "perfectly sufficient to substantiate" a deity *Austrô is nothing else than a Begging the question! Besides, the recorded Oldenglish form Eostra (which could be ie. *H2eus-r-eh2 with secondary /t/) does not fit exactly to Indoeuropean *H2éus-ōs (which gave skt. Uṣāḥ, gr. Ēōs and also lat. Aurōr-a). --al-Qamar (talk) 20:06, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Dab, you seem to have missed the fact that we are not discussing the validity of Eostre but rather how well accepted Grimm's Ostara is as a cognate. Regarding your snipe, anyone with enough patience to check our edit histories will find that this "antagonism" that you refer to is essentially just me calling you out for being a serial original research inserter and generally just being exceedingly bad about referencing your additions.
I do, however, agree that we're probably beyond the level of debate about Bede and Eostre - as my references have pointed out, scholars nowadays generally accept Eostre as valid, and by no small part by ways of etymology. In fact, these references pretty much present Eostre as fact:
  • Adams, Douglas Q. Mallory, J. P. (2006). The Oxford introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European world. Oxford University Press. ([7])
  • Adams, Douglas Q. Mallory, J. P. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture. Routledge. ([8]—note also attempt at reconstructing a Proto-Indo-European "Dawn Goddess" myth)
  • Mallory, J. P. (1991). In Search of the Indo-Europeans. Thames and Hudson.
Kipala, I should note that Simek also has an entry specific to Ostara, which reads (brackets are my own):
*Ostara(OHG [Old High German]) was perhaps a heathen goddess of the Spring (proto-Gmc [Proto-Germanic] *Austrō) which could be derived from the OHG name of the Easter festival Ôstarûn and the reference to an Anglo-Saxon goddess Ēostra in Bede (Grimm). It is uncertain whether the goddess derived her name from the Easter month or vice versa. In any case, the Christian Easter festival has received a heathen name by the name of the month.
Simek refers to his Ēostra entry for references, which includes sources from 1875-78 (Grimm), 1929, 1933, 1970, 1973, and 1975. Per request (Kipala), here are the references from the 70s:
  • J. de Vries, Altgermanische Religiongeschichte, Berlin 1970
  • H. Wesche, Beiträge zu einer Geschichte des deutschen Heidentums (PBB 61) 1973
  • Å. V. Ström, H. Biezais, Germanische und baltische Religion, Stuttgart 1975
If anymore modern recent sources regarding Ostara pop up, I'd like to see them. :bloodofox: (talk) 20:03, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Bloodofox, you are right that my contribution confines itself to the presentation of the Ostara hypothesis in this article. As I cannot access many sources from my present place of living I am glad that one of the contributors to the German Ostara-entry could help me out. I now have Simeks entries on Ostara and Eostre in front of me, your English translation look correct.
Where do you get the idea that Simek endorses Ostara to be factual? Looking at the sentence "*Ostara(OHG [Old High German]) was perhaps a heathen goddess of the Spring (proto-Gmc [Proto-Germanic] *Austrō) which could be derived from .. and .. Bede (Grimm)" I see "perhaps" and "could be" - that is not an endorsement! The maximum you get out of it is that does not trash her and obviously gives the idea some credit - see his final sentence (whatever that means in the light of the present discussion).
Short note on the references: Wesche 1973 is an error, that should read 1937, it is a dissertation from 1929 (a bit obvious from the title, isn`t it?); similar for de Vries; the 1970 edition is a reprint (de Vries died in 1964!) of 1956. ( critical reading of references does no harm). Simek`s German edition at least references also Udolph, J. "Ostern" 1999, who declares Ostara with Eostre as invention and deducts "Ostern / Easter" from a Nordic root "ausa" (pour water) (accepting a proposal by Siegfried Gutenbrunner 1966) thus originating from the main baptism service during Easter night. Has this part of the debate not yet arrived in English?
The presentation of Ostara in the present form thus is misleading; I repeat: in the German debate I do not see anyone including Simek who advocates historical substance for Ostara. (as per your quote; cf. else for the new German research J. Udolph, "Ostern", in: Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, Volume 22, 2000) That should be made clear. Can we agree? Kipala (talk) 08:01, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I have not had a chance to check Simek's references. Obviously, Simek does not dismiss Grimm's Ostara and it's clear enough that it's the notion is valid enough for him not to dismiss (note the very terms you highlight). Udolph's paper is just another theory, and I hardly see evidence of consensus. We're exactly as we were before and, clearly, as modern scholarship is willing to entertain the notion, we are nowhere near the realm of "fakelore". We're clearly still lacking in modern sources handling these issues, but I have yet to see anything approaching the consensus you claim. Exactly what did de Vries say about Ostara? :bloodofox: (talk) 16:16, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Simek has also an article about (Cisa, Zisa), which Grimm discusses as an old southgermanic deity of Augsburg, but modern scientists, Simek included, desagree with Grimm, because the sources (11.c.) are not thrustworthy. Then you will find in Simek’s handbook also entries like (Woglinde), *Frô, (Froh), (Lollus) or (Erda), some of them are just characteres of Richard Wagner operas with no historical background, others are nothing else than specualtion. Obviousliy a lemma in Simek’s handbook says nothing about the historicity of a deity. He just tells what you can find in the books about the subject, good books and bad ones, old and new ones! As Kipala wrote above, Simek writes *Ôstara (watch the star!) was perhaps a deitiy, who could be etc.
de Vries writes in his book "Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte" after citing Grimm: "There is no reason to accuse Beda; but it is not clear, if the feast is named after her or viceversa …" Afterwards he mentions a theory of Frings (Germania Romana 54f), who thinks England and Southgermany could be some kind of "Randreliktgebiete". Later on he discusses the indoeuropean etymology (citing Krappe 5,50) and gives some speculations about the character of the goddess: "She was probably the victorious rising sun in the springtime and because of that, of course the giver of growing and fertility." This was in 1956! (translation from German by al-Qamar)
There is no mention of Ostara in the chapter about continentalgermanic deities in Åke V. Ström’s book "Germanische Religion". In the chapter about the British Islands he gives the opinion, Hreda was a winter-deity and Eostra a goddes of the springtime. Allthough he mentions the festivalname ôstarun, he does not use the name *Ostara at all! But he translates the constructed protogermanic word *austrô as "light", "springtime-sun". He also mentions the derivation of the festival-name from Oldnorse austr "Schöpfwasser" (I have no idea, how to translate it into English). But in his last chapter Ström thinks, Ostara-Eostre is in germanic folklore still living as "goddess of spring and eggs", and strangely enough, in the next phrase he writes, Rudra-Śiva is still living in swedish folklore as Knut! I do not know, who Knut is, but Rudra and Shiva are (postvedic) deities of Hinduism ... far away of Sweden ... Hmm! Obviously Ström’s book has to be read very carefully and critically. Though, I like it anyway.
I admit with Kipala, in German philology, there is some kind of consense about *Ôstara: Since Beda is a thrustworthy man, a goddess Eostre was most probably worshipped by Anglosaxons, (what does not mean, that she was also known by other germanic tribes!). A continentalgermanic goddess *Ôstara may have existed (probably), but there is no proof at all about it and all what is written about *Ôstara is just speculation The connection between her (if she ever existed) and the festival-name Ostern is not clear at all. For the festival-name ôstarun, there are several etymologies in discussion. But there is a consense, the festival-name is no proof for a goddess named *Austrô/*Ôstara! --al-Qamar (talk) 19:21, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
  1. Your comparison between Simek's listing of Wagner's valkyries and Ostara is utterly false and misleading. Simek, as I made very clear (in fact, quote is above), entertains the notion, whereas he also makes it very clear that Wagner's valkyries are exactly that; Wagner's valkyries. If you are going to engage in ridiculous arguments like that in an attempt to further your point, I will not entertain them nor take you seriously.
  2. Simek dismisses Zisa but other modern scholars do not. See our article on Zisa (goddess) (which I wrote).
As for the rest, all information on article pages requires references, and we have a pretty clear consensus regarding Eostre in the works I've cited. Eostre is not really a subject being debated nowadays; we're now trying to find out the situation on Ostara. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:51, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
It is not worthy to discuss with people who think their counterparts are ridiculous. But this behavior is - unfortunately - very typically for Wikipedia. Do and write what you think is the best! I have for sure better things to do - and also better counterparts for fruitfull discussions! --al-Qamar (talk) 08:25, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Dear bloodofox I have seen you on this page boasting quite a bit about "original research" while tryin to dispute the very factual information that in German philology there is nobody who vouches for any historic Ostara beyond her being Grimm's speculation. You try to ridicule opponents without having to show something for it. YOu tried to evade discussing the vastly referenced entry from HDA (which you are probably not able to understand because of the language, right?) by ridiculing s age; instead you came up with wrongly dated references from the 1930s and 1950s - which you claimed to be recent research but did not takethe rouble to check that you quote reprints of older stuff, all of it far less thorough than what you try to ridicule. You claim that you "had no chance to check" this - well it takes three clicks - that much about "original research. Instead you try to twist the very clear quotation of Simek (fom a short dictionary entry) to mean that he gives her a meaning he obviously does not.
Is it possibly to have an adult debate on this page?
I repeat: the present mention of Ostara in this article is far out of proportion and hiding the fact that in German philology no one tries to portrait Ostara as historic. This has to be corrected. --Kipala (talk) 18:00, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure what definition you're using of "boasting" here, but you might want to make sure that's the word you mean to use. Either way (and regarding whatever it is you're referring to), Wikipedia:No original research is, yes, a primary policy, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. No, I have not had time to dig up Simek's references and translate them over, and, yes, the reference dates are straight from Simek. I have not "twisted" anything, the quote is above for the world to see. Like I said, Simek does not dismiss Ostara, and simply says that it's "possible". And since when is pointing out a date "ridiculing it"? Again, we're still looking for modern consensus and commentary on Ostara, not attempting to claim any sort of "historicity". :bloodofox: (talk) 14:06, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Dear bloodfox. Thank you giving the tip about Zisa (goddess). Obviously you are not able to distinguish between "neutral" scholars of universities like Professor Rudolf Simek and representatives of neopagan circles, whose interest is only in making others beleaving what they beleaf ... All cited authors of your Zisa article are "modern scholars" (how you call them) with strong connections to neopagan circles. What about you? I have no problem with neopagan people, as long they stay honest and pay the necessary respect to non-neopagan people and views ... Honesty means: writing that neopagan people beleaf, that Zisa and Ostara were old deities, allthough philologists and researchers of religions say the contrary ... Other peopble call this NPOV. --al-Qamar (talk) 11:11, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Wrong and misleading again. Jones and Pennick were (and are now again) cited as "authors". Stephan Grundy is, yes, a scholar and is there cited in a scholarly publication (regardless of whether or not he is a neopagan). Your attempts at smearing "neopagans" ("whose interest is only in making others beleaving what they beleaf" ...seriously?) hold no water, and neither does your criticism of said article. Perhaps read the article and if you care to make cited improvements, by all means do it. As for my religious beliefs, that's frankly none of your business—you time would be far better adding to the article rather than attempting eye-roll inducing ad hominem attacks against other editors and scholars (Grundy) who you happen to disagree with. :bloodofox: (talk) 14:06, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Bloodofox, you keep on twisting words, in this case Simek's, mine and al-qamar's. My argument is that I do not know anybody in German philology who attributes historical substance to Ostara, and that because of this the present presentation of Ostara in this Eostre article is grossly out of proportion and misleading. You told me, that I am "completely wrong" and tried to point to Simek. Simek in his very short and not at all elaborate lexikon entry keeps the whole topic in a deliberately vague language (that' what the use of Konjunktiv in German is for and how it has been translated accordingly - if you can`t read the original) and does not take an explicit position - he does not attribute anything to her. Besides, if Simek really quoted Wesche and deVries from their reprint dates - that is definitely NOT "the most basic modern scholarly source on the matter (on the "German side")" as you claimed; Else you were not able to quote anyone from the German debate from the years YOU claimed to be decisive; when pointed to e.g. Udolph's recent publication you just try to dismiss what is not suitable. Udolph is not debated for dismissing Ostara but for his etymology of the word "Easter" from "ausa".
You were the one calling al-qamars points "ridiculous" - that is what I call ridiculing. Remarkable for someone who claims "original research" while recommending others to get up to date without checking what he reads - how do I call that? OK, "funny" is enough.
I propose to get to the point: The presentation of Ostara in this article is misleading and has to be balanced and probably be shortened considerably - Grimm's romantic age speculation does not help for the Eostre question. Ok?
Next point to look at would be the part on hares and Freya which is just weird. - --Kipala (talk) 21:51, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Not fakelore IMO. Bede was interested in promoting Christianity in a land which still contained pagans, and was threatened by pagan invaders, so any admission that Easter is not simply a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ shows honesty. Look at it from the other side: Did people all over Europe feel that eggs were a good symbol for the stone in front of the tomb of Jesus, or were eggs already a symbol of an existing seasonal festival?. I would say that eggs feature in the festival because chickens and other poultry as well as wild birds begin laying at this time of year when other foods are scarce. In other words this is very likely a widespread pagan/agriculturalist tradition with a Christian gloss over the top. Grimm's speculations follow pretty logically from this. Eostre may have been known by other names elsewhere in Europe. Our knowledge of Germanic paganism is extremely sketchy. If it wasn't for Christians like Bede and Snorri Sturlesson, we would know almost nothing. There is no need to treat Eostre as an anomaly to be swept under the carpet.Pignut (talk) 14:24, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

I've noticed that Evensteven claimed here that "Northumbria was pretty well Christianized in his time, though", however, as far as I've read (in an introduction to Old English language and culture, specifically), the Anglo-Saxon-dominated portions of Britain were only Christianised in the sense that the elites had officially accepted Christianity as their religion. In the wider population, pre-Christian beliefs were alive and well in Bede's time, so the Christianisation was not thorough and rather superficial, and the Church in Anglo-Saxon England was even significantly more tolerant of pagan beliefs (for example, in elves) than on the Continent. Not before the Viking Age did this change. Compare the penultimate paragraph in History of Anglo-Saxon England#Heptarchy and Christianisation (7th and 8th centuries) that starts: "It remains unclear what "conversion" actually meant." In fact, Bede himself provides the best evidence that Anglo-Saxon paganism, even though he may have treated it as not a serious problem anymore in his day, wasn't exactly completely forgotten and dead as a doornail. So the suspicion that Bede, or a source he relied on, had made up Eostre out of whole cloth, is implausible from the start, even disregarding the other evidence corroborating the plausibility of a real pagan Anglo-Saxon cult of a spring goddess Eostre. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:42, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

It is extremely unlikely that Bede simply made Ēostre up out of whole cloth. Of all people, he certainly had the least motivation to invent a new goddess, considering that he actively condemned Anglo-Saxon paganism. Furthermore, the lexical correspondance between her name as reported by Bede and the name of the Proto-Indo-European dawn goddess *Hɑéusōs essentially confirms her presence in the Anglo-Saxon pantheon. On the other hand, Bede says so little about her and she is not mentioned by any other ancient sources, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to know anything for certain about what kind of goddess she was supposed to be or how she was worshipped. Most so-called "research" about her is really just informed speculation. I would not class the goddess herself as "fakelore," since she was actually worshipped in ancient times, but much of the supposed information about her could perhaps be classified in this way. --Katolophyromai (talk) 19:51, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Summing it up, both the evidence Grimm adduced and subsequent research and evidence come to light since then, that he could not know of but that has vindicated his view, means that Grimm's conclusion that Bede's Eostre is real and goes back to an actual Germanic deity associated with spring and fertility, and has roots in Indo-European religion, while it cannot be proven beyond any shadow of doubt, is significantly more probable than any of the alternatives – including competing etymologies of Easter – proposed to date. The preponderance of the evidence, the result of weighing the evidence and alternative proposals, is reason enough to take Bede's account seriously. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:01, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
User:Florian Blaschke, I would not necessarily say there is really enough evidence to conclusively associate her with fertility. She was probably some sort of dawn goddess, judging by the correlation between her and *Hɑéusōs, but even this is questionable, considering that deities can shift attributes over time. Bede states that she had some kind of festival in the spring, but there are no other sources to back this up and Bede seems to have had extremely limited knowledge of Anglo-Saxon paganism to say the least. Although Anglo-Saxon paganism was still around at the time, Bede had little interaction with any of its adherents and seems to have been raised as a Christian. Finally, it is extremely doubtful that any modern Easter customs have any connections to Ēostre since most of them only developed within the past few centuries or so. There is really no way to say for certain what Ēostre's attributes actually may have been. We can definitely say that she was a real goddess in the sense that the Anglo-Saxons worshipped her as such, but anything more than this may be too speculative. --Katolophyromai (talk) 21:05, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
I never said "conclusively". I put it in terms of probability, but her associations (does Bede actually say anything about them?) are but a dispensible detail. Maybe I should have written "probably associated with spring and fertility". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:23, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Hares and Freyja (Luxuria)[edit]

Luxuria is currently linked to a British pop group of the same name. If anything, it should be linked to Seven_deadly_sins#Extravagance or #Lust (as the personification). Article's semi-protected, so I can't edit it yet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blubro (talkcontribs) 22:44, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

'Luxuria' is now linked to a useless disambiguation page. Someone knowledgeable should fix this. David Spector (talk) 20:52, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Pending changes[edit]

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Pending changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 00:44, 17 June 2010 (UTC).

Eostre- theophoric name[edit]

I neglected to make a note a few months ago, when I came across a theophoric name for an Anglian, perhaps a bishop at an early synod, with a theophoric name beginning Eostre-, or something recognizably close. A note regarding this might be added to the article, since theophory demonstrates the active participation of the god[dess] in the naming parent's culture.--Wetman (talk) 17:28, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Now i think the synod was the synod of Hatfield, 679/80. I still can't google up the name (not in Bede). --Wetman (talk) 17:38, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Are you referring to Eosterwine (d. 686)? If so, we'd need good secondary authorities to argue for us that the first theme may have (originally) referred to the goddess and not, for instance, to the festival of Easter. OE names beginning Eoster- are unusual anyway, so I'm afraid there's not much on which one can build any case for a theophoric naming pattern. Cavila (talk) 21:21, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
If anyone digs up some secondary sources handling the etymology of this name, I would be quite interested in reading it. In fact, if anyone has a good list of pre-Viking Age Germanic names, please let me know. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:17, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking of Eosterwine. Thank you. For a more liberal stance: "Like many Old English names it is dithematic and consists of two elements, a prototheme followed by a deuterotheme, which together could mean either 'Eastern-friend' or 'Eostre's friend'." (Richard Sermon, "From Easter to Ostara: the Reinvention of a Pagan Goddess?" Time and Mind, 1.3, November 2008)--Wetman (talk) 22:20, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Note that the date you give entails two things: although a Christian, said figure would have lived while Anglo-Saxon paganism was still alive and kicking on an "official" level, and that the adaptation of the name either stems from Anglo-Saxon tradition—and this would be by no means the first Christian in a Germanic society bearing a blatantly heathen and fully comprehensible theophoric name—and if the then-semi-Christianized (?) theophoric holiday name was intended, whoever gave the name had knowledge of the fact that Eostre was a sternly important Anglo-Saxon goddess—evidenced by the survival of the heathen name, despite people such as Bede being fully aware of the meaning—who would have been even more well known than when Bede wrote about her in the 8th century. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:36, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Interesting speculation, but speculation, nonetheless. It would fall under "original research", which Wikipedia doesn't publish.Dogface (talk) 05:34, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that we should add my talk page commentary to the article. I am only implying that we should find more people commenting on this name. This is an extremely obscure reference that I've never seen mentioned before, but perhaps someone reputable out there has made the same observations that I've made above. However, we do need to add the commentary that Wetman dug up (Richard Sermon) to the article. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:27, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

"Linguists have identified the goddess as a Germanic form of the recontructed Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn, *Hausos, some scholars have debated whether or not Eostra is an invention of Bede's, and theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic Easter customs (including hares and eggs) have been proposed."

I believe this is supposed to be reconstructed not recontructed, maybe someone can fix it. I would but it's a semi protected article and I don't have an accounr. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Changed it. AnonMoos (talk) 19:25, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Why is there always so much bad prose in this article? "Linguists have identified". This is Pythonesque ("we scientists believe").

The name Eosterwine is extremely interesting and relevant and it should be mentioned. Of course overblown claims should be avoided, and WP:SYNTH is bad, but I am really getting tired of the excessive hyper-criticism which seems to plague all Germanic mythology articles, and which makes it all but impossible to compile any coherent account. Worrying about WP:SYNTH all day, people seem to forget that it is impossible to "write an article" without synthesis. What WP:SYNTH is talking about is undue synthesis. Yes, educated judgement is required to distinguish due from undue synthesis. That's why we need expert editors. --dab (𒁳) 08:29, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

The Corvei Manuscript: Eostre, Eostar, and Erce[edit]

A manuscript containing a version of the Æcerbot charm apparently exists (or existed?) at the Corvey Abbey that has Eostar instead of the mysterious Erce. I have never seen it brought into discussion on the topic of Eostre (or Erce, for that matter) before. Digging around in scholarship over the matter, thus far the earliest mention of this that I've found is by Brooke (1892:219–220), who says the following:

"Montanus draws the attention to the appearance of this Charm in a convent at Corvei, in which this line begins "Eostar, Eostar, eordhan modor." Nothing seems to follow from this clerical error. The name remains mysterious and I am glad of it."

Later appears a mention by Chambers (1903:109), who expresses doubt at Brooke's "scribal error" conclusion:

"Brooke [. . .] states on the authority of Montanus that a version of the prayer preserved in a convent at Corvei begins 'Eostar, Eostar, Eordhan modor.' He adds: 'nothing seems to follow from this clerical error.' But why an error? The equation Erce-Eostre is consistent with the fundamental identity of the light-goddess and the earth-goddess."

A few decades later, Rhode (1922:39) mentions it, apparently drawing on either of the other two sources mentioned, and a considerably more recent, non-academic work by Whitmore (2010:23) also brings the subject up while critiquing Ronald Hutton's infamous work. Now, I do intend to add this to the article, but I am eager to read more discussion on this. Furthermore, does anyone know who this particular Montanus is and if/how we can track down more information about this particular manuscript? :bloodofox: (talk) 01:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The Corvey connection has been discussed extensively on the German talk page for Ostara ([die Ostara-Hypothese überhaupt in der Wissenschaft strittig oder schlicht weg vom Fenster?]. There is no such manuscript. That is the state of research from half a century ago (and nobody came up with anything new on Corvey - Eostre/Ostara, however, has shown a remarcable grade of resilience against any kind of argument..): The only reference is in Nikolaus Hocker, Deutscher Volksglaube in Sang und Sage. Göttingen 1853, who only mentions "an old hymn kept in Corvey" without any source or further explanation. BUT this is not confirmed by any researcher who has worked on old German sources and at the talk page they refer to Wilhelm Braune (Althochdeutsches Lesebuch, Halle/Saale 1875)" and Louis J. Rodrigues (Anglo-Saxon Verse Charms, Maxims & Heroic Legends" 1994). As there are examples where references and texts containing "Eostre / Ostara" have simply been made up in the 19th century there seems to be no reason to take Hockers hint serious. --Kipala (talk) 10:34, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
We assume nothing on Wikipedia; we need a section that neutrally handles both this issue and the Old High German lullaby issue. I am still digging around for more information regarding the Corvei matter. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:38, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Runaway sentence[edit]

There's a runaway sentence in the second paragraph of the introduction. Changing "... *Hausos, some ..." to "... *Hausos. Some ..." would be enough to fix it, I think. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolverian (talkcontribs)

DoneBility (talk) 20:50, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

No connection to Astarte? The names are cognates, both are godesses of fertility, doesn't this beg to be researched? (talk) 21:12, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

There is no relation. This notion seems to stem from Hislop's The Two Babylons, which is, of course, outright nonsense. :bloodofox: (talk) 23:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Neutrality in Introductory Paragraph[edit]

It is my firm feeling that the word "putative" indicates a certain amount of bias. If Bede is our only source, then why not simply address that in the first sentence? The first sentence as it is written now (Easter morning 2011 here) seems to want it both ways; the goddess is likely a fallacy and gives her name to a month? I suggest that the first sentence begin "Old English Ēostre (also Ēastre) is a Goddess described by Bede in his 8th century De Temporum Ratione" and that Ostara receive a second parapgraph to herself and then perhaps in a third paragraph we can address the right, and prudent doubts that scholars have about the veracity of Bede's account of this matter. I am open to critique on this matter and may submit a full draft of the introductory section before I make any major changes.Elwin-bennington (talk) 19:00, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Further, modern scholarship on the matter tends to just state it as a fact; besides the obvious issue of why Bede would make up the name of such a goddess in the first place, the linguistic evidence strongly indicates that Eostre was no invention of Bede's. The current introduction is hyper skeptical. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:36, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I also agree. Further, for someone unfamiliar with the academic/etymological debates raised on this talk page, the occurrence of "putative" and the somewhat obscure use of "attested" lead to the impression that the introduction is making an inappropriately metaphysical claim about this goddess's existence. (talk) 15:28, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

The use of the word "was" in the Introductory Paragraph[edit]

Currently we see: "...*Ôstara) WAS a goddess in Germanic paganism whose Germanic month (Northumbrian: Ēosturmōnaþ; West Saxon: Ēastermōnaþ; Old High German: Ôstarmânoth) has given its name to the festival of Easter." (All-caps used @"was" mine) - - and, as others above have pointed out, shortly in even the same paragraph we are criticizing Bede, our only source for the word Oestre or for our notion of the word being the name of a pagan deity. Using "was" at that point in the article is neither encyclopedic form nor appropriate to scope of the known (and unknown) facts. A preferable form would be something like: "Eostre was allegedly the name of a pagan goddess honored by the pre-Christan people of England. Historically, the sole source for the word and its function comes from (Bede reference...)" PLEASE REVISE OR UNLOCK the lead paragraph. Earrach (talk) 22:51, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Fixed. :bloodofox: (talk) 00:58, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Rewrite of Etymology Section[edit]

The current etymology section is extremely poorly referenced and needs to be rewritten to conform with more modern sources. A survey of modern Indo-Europeanists and historical linguists who present Ēostre as simple fact would also be welcomed. In addition, a very recent work on the subject of Ēostre is Philip A. Shaw's 2011 Pagan Goddesses in the Early Germanic World: Eostre, Hreda and the Cult of the Matrons. As I recall there's a fair amount to add to this article from there, and a lot of etymological discussion. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:37, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Does any of it cast significant doubt on the basic "dawn" root connection? -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:27, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
I can't recall off hand, but I'll check it out again and see what he has to say and add what I can from it. It's a pretty slim volume. :bloodofox: (talk) 01:34, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
So, as you can see, I've just pulled a lot from Shaw's work. Unfortunately, he doesn't spell out the commonly accepted etymology, and does not spend much time with the Indo-European comparative evidence at all. I can't say I am persuaded by his conclusion. However, he does provide a lot of useful information that rarely sees the light of day, and there's yet more we can draw from here from his work. :bloodofox: (talk) 01:21, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
If it has no new light to shed on the basic "dawn" etymology, then I'm far from certain why it would require radical restructuring of this article's Etymology section... AnonMoos (talk) 06:59, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
It is currently poorly sourced and needs to be rewritten around better, more current sources. Particularly post-1958. :bloodofox: (talk) 11:21, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I can add a reference to the American Heritage Dictionary 1st edition (1969) right now, if you want; otherwise I'm not sure I intend to give much priority to the matter... AnonMoos (talk) 16:28, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure, you're welcome to add that, and I can try to reinforce it if needed with Barnhart's etymology dictionary. I think I have a newer edition of the American Heritage Dictionary here with the PIE root section it as well. Let's see what we can come up with. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:08, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
It seems to me that the slight theory of Grimm has overshadowed this article and steered it into populism, thinly veiled pan-Germanicism and lack of academic backbone. The opening line with(Old High German: *Ôstara) is misleading, the asterisk does not inform the reader that this is a reconstructed, theorised form. Considering the obvious overbalancing in this article towards this theory >(which is peripheral to the actual original document of Bede's Easter) it seems moderate to at least annotate the Ostara nameform separately from the Anglo-Saxon dialects, and explain that it is a theory singular to Grimm. Bunnyman78 (talk) 17:15, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
This reconstructed form is not limited to Grimm and has seen widespread use thereafter. The reconstruction is on pretty solid grounds. Please refer to the recent work by Shaw referenced in the article for modern scholarship (albeit largely avoiding some of the strongest evidence, the Indo-European comparative material). :bloodofox: (talk) 20:32, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I understand that Shaw rejects the hypothesis that Eostre relates to a word such as 'dawn' or 'spring' when carrying out a linguistic and etymological analysis of the words Austriahenae and Eostre. Essentially emphasising his conclusion that they aren't the same entities but proposing his theory that they were both 'matrons'. However, I found the Theories and interpretations section (last two sentences of the Dea ex Machina and the matron Austriahenea section) vague in making this distinction (or at least showing a differing of opinion among scholars) when talking about the etymological connections. Shaw seems to base the connection on the fact that they were both named as matrons, whereas perhaps others will base the connection on the dawn theme. Are his linguistic and etymological studies not worthy of a mention in the Etymology section? I do not have his book unfortunately but that is what I understand from the reviews and summaries I have read. Davidtalk (talk) 21:30, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Shaw doesn't really mention the Indo-European context at all, which is weird. His solution to all this is that she is a local goddess and that this local-ness spread out.. or something. It's actually rather unclear to me, but it's been quite some time since I've sat down with this book. We could use more about his analysis, but I don't know how much support it's seen. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:14, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Significant recent pop-culture reference[edit]

Mentioned in Dark Knight Court (though called a god rather than a goddess for some reason)... AnonMoos (talk) 00:40, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

A reference to The Simpsons cannot possibly be considered significant (notable and reliable). WP is not a repository of trivial knowledge. David Spector (talk) 21:00, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Whatever -- it's probably a lot more general publicity than Eostre has obtained in other contexts, but I wasn't trying to get the Simpsons onto this article (more of a "heads up" than anything). If I felt that the Simpsons deserved a mention on this article then I would have already added it to the article... AnonMoos (talk) 02:43, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it can be quite subjective what a "trivial pop culture" reference is. The reception of this material in modern popular culture is a valid and interesting area of study and hardly ignored by modern scholarship. Let's not be too dismissive; The Simpsons has a massive audience and even small references such as these can be influential. :bloodofox: (talk) 03:32, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
If we actually saw Eostre, maybe, but it turns out to be "a silly Scottish thing" (the basis of groundskeeper Willie's Presybyterian "old believer" mini-sect's aversion to Easter)... AnonMoos (talk) 06:51, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
A reference to Alexander Hislop, perhaps? :bloodofox: (talk) 15:41, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Maybe, but no aversion to Catholicism is mentioned, only an aversion to Easter. AnonMoos (talk) 16:28, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Not Neutral, christianism propaganda[edit]

References to christianism here, are out place. An actual religion is depicted as exogenous and extempore by christian standards that should have no value in this article. It is a rude discrimination against europeans under this very own and traditional religion.

This is highly offensive — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:54, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

First off, the word is "Christianity". In any case, Eostre would be completely unknown if not for the reference by the Christian Bede. AnonMoos (talk) 10:44, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
While this is true, I should point out that—with the matronae, reflexes of *tiwaz, and the horse brothers on record—it would be possible to reconstruct this dawn goddess (or dawn goddesses) without the attestation—albeit we'd be in much murkier territory, of course. :) :bloodofox: (talk) 15:50, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I feel that there is a christian agenda to fight for the Easter tradition. The mention of christianity is out of place and without citation (not even "citation needed"). Nowhere in the "Zeus" page has there been a similar push to emphasize "was" as supposed to "is" to describe a deity within a "pagan" tradition. The difference, as I see it, is that Christians do not feel threatened by greek mythology, but the germanic symbolicism of the name Easter, the hare and egg is a sore spot. The claim that it has been "replaced" by christianity is, at best, localized and either way has no relevance to the wiki page of the goddess. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia Britannica Entry[edit]

Just thought it would be good for this section on Eostre to address the Encyclopaedia Britannica Entry conclusion which states the following:

"There is now widespread consensus that the word derives from the Christian designation of Easter week as in albis, a Latin phrase that was understood as the plural of alba (“dawn”) and became eostarum in Old High German, the precursor of the modern German and English term."[3] Hans J Hillerbrand[4]

Davidtalk (talk) 17:24, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

This is actually quite incorrect, as evidenced by numerous recent texts cited in this article. It's yet another reason why these general encyclopedia entries must be treated with caution. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:49, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Good to know. I suspected that this was the case. I guess if all mis-information regarding Eostre was mentioned to counter it, this entry would become swamped.Davidtalk (talk) 20:52, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Ostara and Eostre cannot be assumed to be the same goddess[edit]

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on this:

"Ēostre or Ostara (Old English: Ēastre, Northumbrian dialect Ēostre; Old High German: *Ôstara) is a Germanic divinity who"

In my research I have found that Ostara and Eostre can not be assumed to be identical and this article misleads by starting off with the sentence above.

Here is my reasoning. 1. There is no mention of a goddess called Ostara anywhere in history - unlike Eostre who is testified to by Bede. 2. Charlemagne in his war against Saxony changed the names of the Anglo-Saxon months probably late AD 700. Eosturmonath was changed to Ostarmanoth as testified by Einhard here. 3. Jump forward to 'modern times' and the German name for Easter is Ostern. 4. Grimm sees that the English named Easter after a goddess Eostre according to Bede. 5. Grimm SPECULATES that there must also have been a goddess that Ostarmanoth was named after by Charlemagne because they did not adopt a biblical name for the Easter celebration. 6. He SPECULATES that the goddess may have been called Ostara. 7. The basis for a goddess called Ostara is simply that they did not adopt the Biblical name...therefore it must have been the name of a goddess.

I quote Grimm: "This Ostara, like the Anglo-Saxon Eástre, must in the heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries. All the nations bordering on us have retained the Biblical ‘pascha’;" see here

So even Grimm who speculated on the existence of Ostara shows that he does not see Ostara as the same entity as Eostre. Is this reason enough to alter the article here and show with clarity the distinction between Ostara and Eostre rather than bundling them together? Davidtalk (talk) 00:50, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Grimm is suggesting that these two terms are cognate in the different languages, as he often does in his work... I would not read into "like" any inference that he considered them two distinct entities, and your argument seems to hinge on that "like"... (talk) 01:33, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Grimm isn't simply wildly speculating. As the IP above states, the terms are cognate. Grimm is employing the comparative method, which is a core element of historical linguistics, a science which Grimm played a major hand in developing and furthering. The basis for *Ostara (the asterisk means that it is reconstructed) is comparative material, such as Old High German Ôstarmânoth. Germanic month names appear to have varied considerably by region, but it doesn't seem to be particularly weird for them to contain theonyms (and what we have today may have seen some level of censorship in some regions). Note that our weekday names, with the exception of Saturday in English, still contain the name of Germanic gods, and we've still got the very heathen yule, for example. :bloodofox: (talk) 01:59, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
I never said that Grimm was wildly speculating, however, he was speculating based on what Bede wrote regarding the goddess Eostre, that is not in doubt. Bear with me and consider the following:

1.Charlemagne went to war with the Saxons and forced conversion to Christianity upon them in the late AD 700s.

2.Einhard writes the following: "The war that had lasted so many years was at length ended by their acceding to the terms offered by the King; which were renunciation of their national religious customs and the worship of devils, acceptance of the sacraments of the Christian faith and religion, and union with the Franks to form one people." here

3.He renamed all the months (Ostarmanoth in the place of Eosturmonath)

4.We find that he named the winds, not after the Latin or Greek names. Interesting all the names for the winds relating to the easternly direction either start with 'Ost' or have Ost in the word. here (NNE)Nordostroni, (NE)Ostnordroni, (E) Ostroni, SE) Ostsundroni, (SSE) Sundostroni. This incidentally is where we get our north, south, east and west from. [This suggests that Ost at the very least had an Easterly meaning, whether where the sun rises or as Grimm himself wrote that it came from the adverb Ostar meaning 'movement towards the sun'. This evidence leans the Ostar (manoth) towards referring to something regarding the eastern direction].

5.We know for a fact that there was a easterly connection from Einhard and Grimm regarding the Ost and Ostar.

6.So why the need to go further and suggest there was a goddess? Of course a word like Ostara in a linguistic analysis would have associations with the dawn. We knew that already. Dr Shaw (2011) showed that Eostre was also related to 'Eastern'. All others meanings like 'dawn' also have an eastern connection, so of course there was going to be a link.

7.The reality is that the existence of a reconstructed Ostara is based on the fact that the Germans did not adopt the biblical name for that time of year. This is the only real evidence that Ostara stands on because linguistic meanings can be explained by the association with East more convincingly than a reconstructed goddess needing to bridge a gap.If we argue that the word Ost originated because of a dawn goddess we are simply playing who came first, the chicken or the egg, rather we have to stay with the facts.

I personally think this evidence is enough to change the first sentence regarding Ostara and Eostre being the same entity. Can we really have Bede's account in AD 700 on the same level as a reconstruction by Grimm in the 1800s when we look at the evidence above? That's my issue with the first sentence based on what I have found in my research. I personally think the evidence for Ostara existing is extremely weak compared to Eostre.Davidtalk (talk) 03:48, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I think the entire point you are making is summed up succinctly for students by the conventional symbol *. (talk) 13:30, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but that symbol is not used the first time that Ostara is mentioned in this article "Eostre or Ostara (..." yes it is used later in the bracket but let's be honest, not everyone knows what the * symbol refers to. I propose Ostara be defined like the following word:

"By way of linguistic reconstruction, the matter of a goddess called *Austrō in the Proto-Germanic language..." There is no difference between Ostara and Austrō regarding a reconstruction yet one is clearly defined as being from a linguistic reconstruction and the other not. My previous points of the evidence for Ostara existing should make this distinction all the more a priority.Davidtalk (talk) 18:54, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

What does the "conventional symbol" * mean? I came to the talk page to see if I could find any clues. Can its first occurrence on the page at least have a link to an article explaining its meaning? (talk) 21:14, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Austria / Österreich (Oesterreich)[edit]

Would the Country Austria/Österreich not qualify as a location for "Locations, personal names, and the matronae Austriahenea"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

No, because the ôstar in Ôstarrîchi simply means "eastern". However, I see the same problem in the other toponymic evidence: unless in all the cases presented an argument can be presented that this alternative interpretation is unlikely, they do not seem relevant to the issue at hand. Why are scholars seemingly so sure that the toponyms refer to the goddess *Austrǭ and not simply to the east, cf. Proto-Germanic *austraz, as would be entirely inconspicuous in a toponym? @Bloodofox: Can you enlighten me on this matter? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:46, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
I'd have to look at the specific toponyms they're referring to. If they fit the usual pattern where we see theonyms in place names (eg. [theonym]+[holy-place-word], for example), that would be a solid hint. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:43, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Popular occultistic book[edit]

There's now a whole book "Ostara: Customs, Spells & Rituals for the Rites of Spring" by Edain McCoy (for what it's worth)... AnonMoos (talk) 23:14, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Protection level[edit]

Back in 2009, when this page was under vandalism-attack from an anon user on IP, it was set to be indefinitely protected by Dbachmann, renewed by OhanaUnited. I'm not sure it needs still to be protected though, given the volume of discussion on here, I can understand if people disagree. Thoughts anyone? — OwenBlacker (Talk) 21:25, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

I only dropped the pending changes after the trial was over, and reverting it back to the original protection state. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:28, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

My two cents on the easter egg thing[edit]

If modern scholars think Grimm's especial allusion is spurious, then we shouldn't be silent about it! If something absolutely must be cut, then I suppose the point can be made without the third sentence (The eggs were said to represent Christ's tomb and were dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ shed at his crucifixion), but I don't think explaining the actual origin in the course of saying "he was wrong btw" is much of a problem. - (talk) 16:41, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Pinging the relevant people: @Katolophyromai, Florian Blaschke, and Bloodofox:. - (talk) 16:46, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that the issue of the origin of the Easter egg custom is actually cut and dried, so it's better to remain neutral without implying Grimm was either definitely right or wrong; as it stands, the article does exactly that and doesn't endorse Grimm's interpretation. I'd still like to see the actual evidence, the original sources pointing to the alleged origin of the custom of painting eggs for Easter in early Christian Mesopotamian communities before I'm ready to definitely call bullshit on Grimm; after all, with his comprehensive education, he could and even should have been familiar with the existing scholarship at the time on the origin of the custom and its currency in Mesopotamian Christian communities too. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:25, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Also, keep in mind that even if the Mesopotamian origin story turns out legit, it doesn't necessarily disprove Grimm's suggestion. An association of the spring festival, or the goddess, with eggs can still have existed in Germanic paganism. In view of how little we know for certain about European paganism, it's prudent to refrain from stating anything too definite on these matters, and saying "nay" is likely just as speculative as "yea". --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:45, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
The problem I have with the quote from Grimm is that it is essentially just him speculating that, because eggs and other traditions such as sword dances and Easter cakes are associated with modern Easter customs, they must therefore have also been associated with the ancient cult of Ēostre. He provides no testimony from any ancient writers to back up this speculation. All he can offer up are modern folk traditions that are not attested in any sources earlier than the Early Modern Period and for which there is no reason to speculate that they go any further back than that. You claim that right now the article is "neutral" and does not indicate whether Grimm was right or wrong, but the mere fact that the article as it is right now does not mention any alternative position at all seems to strongly imply to the reader that Grimm's position is correct and that the subject is not even a matter of scholarly dispute. This is especially jarring considering the vast wealth of sources that seem to agree that the tradition of Easter eggs, for example, was originally a Greek Orthodox tradition.
My problem is not just with the Easter eggs, however. It is with the whole assumption that modern Easter customs must be ancient simply because they are so widespread today. I, for instance, have a similar problem with the later section on "Hares and Freyja." The entire first paragraph of the section consists entirely of unsupported quotations from nineteenth-century scholars speculating that, because hares are associated with modern Easter customs, they must have been associated with the goddess Ēostre, an assumption that has no logical basis considering that the earliest records associating hares with Easter are only a few centuries old. Thankfully, the second paragraph of the section provides a refutation of this interpretation, which is the reason why I have not attempted to edit this section. Unfortunately, the refutation seems rather wishy-washy and introduces more speculation about how Ēostre's chariot may have been pulled by hares, a completely unfounded and bizarre speculation on the part of Ernout and Meillet, indicating to me that the refutation was probably written by someone who supported the association with hares and who only included it at all to provide balance.
You claim that "saying 'nay' is likely just as speculative as 'yea,'" but the fact remains that there is no absolutely no concrete evidence whatsoever to link Ēostre with Easter eggs, sword dances, Easter cakes, or hares. While it is admittedly possible that some of these traditions could theoretically somehow stretch back to ancient times, there is no evidence to support the argument that they do and, in historical research, one cannot assume something without having any evidence to support it.
I agree that Grimm was beyond a doubt a very well-educated and influential scholar, and I do not have any problems with the section discussing him up until the point where he starts speculating about the modern Easter customs, but even the most careful of scholars can be wrong, especially considering that this particular quoted section seems to amount to essentially nothing but a rather offhand remark rather than a thoroughly researched explanation.
In regards to your claim that Grimm must have surely been aware of the Greek Orthodox explanation and had sufficient reason to doubt it, I can say that it seems rather doubtful. Grimm's area of research was Indo-European cultures, particularly Germanic cultures. The Middle East lies far beyond this area of study. Furthermore, most of what we know about the Middle East and its history was largely unknown to western scholars up until around one hundred years ago. It was only in 1850 that Edward Hincks first suspected the existence of the Sumerian civilization and only in 1869 that Jules Oppert first applied a name to them. Even then, their existence was still questioned into the early twentieth century. This may not be the best example, since the holiday customs of early Greek Orthodox Christians were probably more accessible to western European scholars than information about the remote civilization of the ancient Sumerians. My point, however, the point is that scholars in Grimm's time knew very little about the history of the Near East, especially ones such as Grimm who did not specialize in it. The fact that Grimm never even mentions the Mesopotamia explanation seems to indicate he was probably unaware of it.
I did not really want to get in a huge argument over this and I was rather hoping that the issue would be over with by now. I apologize if I have said anything that you would interpret as offensive. I am not trying to attack you personally or your beliefs. I am simply trying to argue that the evidence does not support the idea that modern traditions are in any way linked to the ancient goddess Ēostre. I will freely admit that I am not an expert on this subject, but I have read about it quite a bit and if you have proof that anything I have said here is wrong I will gladly listen to you. --Katolophyromai (talk) 21:00, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
My point that I am trying to make is that I think there ought to be some kind of rebuttal, or at least alternative explanation offered. I do not really care if the rebuttal is necessarily the one I wrote or a different one, as long as it is there. --Katolophyromai (talk) 10:41, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
No offense intended but none of this really matters. We're quoting Grimm because that what he said. We have no idea if they were associating Eostre with eggs during the heathen era. However, the Germanic peoples had eggs long before Christianization and Grimm's claim isn't particularly odd. Easter eggs, easter hares, whatever. They could well have been associated with the goddess. There's no need to assume some level of diffusion from the east. :bloodofox: (talk) 01:18, 22 April 2017 (UTC)