Oberon Togatus Redux, or a Second Budget of News from the Neo-Latin Faerieland

As a sequel to an earlier KFLC paper on Neo-Latin faeries, in this paper we shall hear even more of Oberon, the king of the faeries, as well as of the elves of early England from a seventeenth century lexicographer, the queen of the faeries from a manuscript collection of  magic spells, and the Scottish brownie from a sixteenth century gospel expositor. Moving further afield to more exotic and foreign faeries, we have a description of the trolls of Orkney from a sixteenth century ethnographer, the White Women (Weiße Frauen’ ) of German folklore from a daemonologist of the same century, the gigantic trolls and  varieties of elves of Iceland in the early seventeenth century from the Bishop of Skálholts unique manuscript preserved in the Bodleian Library, while the habits of Sarmatian house-spirits, including the disgusting potation which the head of a household would have to drink in order to gain their loyalty, are detailed in a report on the customs of the Russians, which drew the attention of  the seventeenth century English writers Sir Thomas Browne and Thomas Heywood. More modern sources include a Latin translation of Perrault’s ‘Le Maître chat ou le Chat botté ’ (’Puss in Boots’ ) from 1816 by a member of the Académie française, which provides a Latinised-Greek  word for ‘ogre’, and two twentieth century versions of Collodi’s ‘Pinocchio’ which exemplify the modern tendency to coin unique ‘ad hoc’ words for  faeries, without any reference to the historic Neo-Latin faerie corpus. A more exact faerie nomenclature derived from this corpus may be of some use to Latin translators in our day, who seek to Latinise fairie tales for children or the  fantasy works of a J.K.Rowling or Tolkien.



  • Neo-Latin Studies