Sunday, November 23, 2008

Folklore of Saint Clement

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
After Pope Clement I, or Old Clem as he was known to English blacksmiths, was martyred (if he was), two of his disciples prayed to find his remains: the sea retreated for three miles, and they could walk to where an angel-built chapel was, with St Clement's remains in a chest of stone, beside the anchor. Every year the sea so retreated on St Clement's day and remained dry for seven days.

St Clement's Day marks the first day of Winter in the Julian (OS) calendar. As patron of blacksmiths and metalworkers, Clement is an aspect of the Saxon and Norse godling Wayland the Smith (Weyland; Weland; Watlende), cognate of the North-Germanic/Norse Völundr, the smith of the gods, who was the son of the giant sailor Wate and of a mermaid. We know from the 'Volundarkvida/Volundakvitha', a chapter in the Elder Edda. He is sometimes said to be the ruler of the dark elves (svartalfar).

Swords made by Wayland are regular properties of medieval romance. King Rhydderich gave one to Merlin – King Arthur's famous sword Excalibur. Rimenhild made a similar gift to Child Horn. Wayland forged the sword Balmung, and the armour in which Beowulf fought Grendel ...

English local tradition has it that Wayland Smith's smithy (a workplace where metal is worked by heating and hammering) is in a cave, known as Wayland's Smithy, a long barrow and chamber tomb site located near the Uffington White Horse and Uffington Castle in the English county of Oxfordshire ...

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