° Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775-1854), German philosopher and educator. Schelling's ideas were popular with the Romantics, and he attempted to write a history of God.
° Heine is making an ironic reference here to the famous description of Italy in Goethe's song from Wilhelm Meister, "Kennst du das Land": Knowest thou the land where the lemon trees bloom? In dark foilage the golden oranges gleam... Where the myrtle is still and high the laurel stands.
° "Ocean-laced Schleswig-Holstein oysters" is a reference to the Schleswig-Holstein song ("Schleswig-Holstein meerumschlungen"), the anthem of German nationalists who resided in Schleswig-Holstein under Danish rule.
° Arnold Ruge (1803-1880), German writer and colleague of Karl Marx. Ruge edited various radical journals.
° Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810-1876) German Poet, author of "Der Mohrenfürst", colleague of Karl Marx.
° Cauterets: a scenic village in the Pyrenees mountains of France. Heine sojourned in the Pyrenees in 1841 in hopes of improving his declining health.
° The Grand'-Chaumière is the most famous arts academy in Paris.
° Carlos María Isidro De Borbón(1788-1855): byname Don Carlos, the first Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne (as Charles V) and the second surviving son of King Charles IV. During the first Carlist War, in July 1834, he put himself at the head of his partisans in the Basque provinces. According to author George Borrow in The Bible in Spain, "...the Spanish armies of Don Carlos were composed entirely of thieves and assassins, chiefly Valencians and Manchegans, who, marshalled under two cut-throats, Cabrera and Palillos, took advantage of the distracted state of the country to plunder and massacre the honest part of the community."
° Schnapphahnski was Heine's comical name for Prince Felix Lichnowski (1814-1848), who supported Don Carlos in the Carlist war, and was later put to death by German peasants during the uprisings of 1848. Georg Weerth developed the theme further in "Leben und Thaten des berühmten Ritters Schnapphahnski." In German, "Schnapphahn" means a highwayman.
° Maria Christina of Bourbon (1806-1878) was Queen Consort of Spain (1829 to 1833) and Queen Regent of Spain (1833 to 1840), after marrying King Ferdinand VII of Spain. After Ferdinand's death, Maria Christina secretly married an ex-sergeant from the royal guard, Don Fernando Muñoz y Sanchez (1808-1873). Maria Christina and Muñoz had several children together while trying to keep their marriage a secret. Eventually, news of Maria Christina's marriage to this low-ranking soldier became public. That news made Maria Christina deeply unpopular. Putana means "whore."
° From the Chanson de Roland (The Song of Roland) (c. 1080): Ronceval(Roncevaux) is the valley where Roland, the nephew of Charlemagne, was defeated, allegedly due to the treason of Ganelon of Mainz. Too late, Roland sounded a horn called Oliphant, which, like that of the Moorish Prince, was made from an elephant's tusk.
° The blue flower is a central symbol of romanticism, representing yearning, love, and the metaphysical striving toward the infinite.
° It is an old folk belief that infant bears were born as unformed clumps, and it was only through the devoted licking of the mother that they assumed their bearish forms.
° Hans Ferdinand Maßmann (1797-1874) Prof. Dr. phil. Achieved some fame as a gymnast, and was associated with the Burschenschaft, a nationalistic student league that Heine joined, and later left due to its growing xenophobia and anti-semitism. In 1811 Ludwig Jahn, a key organizer of the Burschenschaft, founded the first German gymnastics center, with the motto "Frisch, fromm, fröhlich, frei" ("frisky, pious, blithe, free"). In 1828 Maßmann was awarded a professorship in Munich that Heine had hoped to obtain for himself. He is a favorite butt of Heine's jokes throughout his works.
° Laertes, in Homer's Odyssey, was the father of Odysseus, who wandered the world while his wife, Penelope, waited at home.
° "Camel" is a term of ridicule in German; here Freiligrath is the "camel that has sung the lion."
° Friedrich von Raumer (1781-1873), German historian and politician
° Tuisco: According to Tacitus, the ancient Germans "...celebrate an earth-born god Tuisco, and his son Mannus, as the origin of their race, as their founders."
° Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872) German philosopher
° Bruno Bauer (1809-1882) German philosopher and theologian
° Isengrim (or Isegrim in German) was the European fable-name for the wolf, with a connotation of evil. Petz was the German fable-name for the bear.
° Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786), German philosopher and Orthodox Jew who integrated Jewry into German life. He was the inspiration for Lessing's "Nathan the Wise."
° A Chignon is a knot of hair worn at the back of the head.
° Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Flemish painter
° Mumme is a beer, brewed only in the German city of Braunschweig.
° In the Aeneid of Virgil (and other references to Greek mythology), Proserpine is the woman who, after being kidnapped from earth, is now the queen of the underworld (Hades). Charon is the ferryman who carries passengers across the river Styx into the underworld.
° A Doppelgänger is a ghostly counterpart of a living person.
° The Cagots were a race inhabiting the valleys of the Pyrenees, who until 1793 were political and social outcasts (Christian Pariahs). They are supposed to be a remnant of the Visigoths.
° Bagneres is a town in the Pyrenees.
° A Voltairean would be a follower of Francois Marie Arouet (pen name Voltaire) (1694-1778), French author and philosopher.
° St. John's Eve is the summer solstice. The Wild Hunt appears in various forms throughout Northern European folklore, originally associated with ancestor worship. It is typically a hunting party of ghosts and demons, often led by the Norse god Odin, or by King Arthur.
° Traditionally, Hochwild were those game animals reserved for hunting by the upper nobility, especially
deer, chamois, bear, wolf, capercaillie, and wild boar. The lower nobility were only allowed to hunt Niederwild,
such as hare, rabbit, small deer.
° Ogier the Dane (Holger Danske) is a fictional Danish hero who first appears in the Old French chanson de geste.
° A Weather frog was an old European custom, a tree frog kept in in a jar and furnished with a tiny ladder. It was believed that the weather would be sunnier the higher the poor frog climbed.
° Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg (1802-1869), a German theologian who defended Lutheran orthodoxy against the rationalism typified by Goethe ("Wolfgang"). Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) was the most famous of German poets, and much admired by Heine.
° Franz Horn (1781-1837), a German writer of literary criticism and "Christian apologist"
° Actaeon was the hunter who was torn to pieces by his own dogs after having been turned into a stag by the goddess Diana, whom he had seen unrobed.
° Habondia (Abondia, Abunciada, Habonde), goddess of abundance, was celebrated, particularly in
medieval European times, as the special divinity of witches. Apparently she was, or was descended from, an ancient
Germanic or Celtic earth goddess. She sometimes appears as leader of the Wild Hunt.
Greuze (1725-1805), a French painter
° Scheherezade was the story-telling bride of the "Thousand and One Nights."
° Herodias, the biblical mother of Salome. Salome was born to Herodias and Philip the tetrach. Salome was only a teen when her mother left Philip to marry Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee and Philip's brother. John the Baptist had condemned the marriage because under Jewish law, a man could not marry his brother's wife while he lived. At a feast, Salome danced for Herod, who, much impressed by her sensuality, offered her the reward of her choice. Asking her mother first, Salome hurried back to the king and asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter in revenge for the embarrassment that John had caused.
° Romagna is an historical region of north-central Italy, center of Byzantine influence in Italy and later under papal rule.
° Avalon, in Celtic mythology, was the blissful otherworld of the dead.
° Yerushalayim is the Hebrew name for Jerusalem.
° In 18th century Italy, a cavaliere servente was the acknowledged lover of a married woman, one who attends to her every need and desire.
° Jason and the Argonauts sought the Golden Fleece in Homer's Illiad.
° Colchis was an ancient country on the north coast of the Black Sea, the fabled destination of Jason and the Argonauts.
° Espadrilles are Spanish sandals.
° Girandoles are ornamental branched candleholders, sometimes backed by a mirror.
° Giacamo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) was a German/French composer who was alternately a friend and a foe of Heine. Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable has been called the first romantic opera. A character named Bertram summons up the sinful dead nuns ("Nonnes qui repose"), commanding them to action. They rise from their tombs, at first slowly, and then work themselves into a frenzy, shedding their habits and dancing a bacchanal.
° A gallopade was a lively dance in duple time, popular in the 19th century.
° The Greek sun-god, Helios, drove a golden chariot across the sky every day, from east to west. Later, this practice was identified with Phoebus Apollo.
° Swabian (Schwäbisch) is the dialect spoken in the southwest German region of Swabia (Schwaben).
° Karl Mayer (1786-1870) Swabian poet, member of the so-called Swabian school which included Uhland, Mörike, and Kerner.
° Goldlack is another name for Wallflower, Cheiranthus allionii (Brassicaceae), A bushy biennial or perennial variety with an abundance of vivid orange flowers occurring on short, compact plants. The flower was often used, in olden times, as an adornment for religious festivals, and is seen as an expression of the character of the Swabian people.
° "Sausage-soup" refers to Metzelsuppe. Every winter, the farmer
would hire the local butcher to come over to the farm and butcher
the pig (Hausschlachtung). On that day, the Schlachttag, much
of the meat was processed into sausages, which were cooked in a
huge cauldron right away. The Metzelsuppe was the broth in which
the sausages had been boiled, plus bits and pieces of sausages that
had burst open and disintegrated during the cooking process.
Stukkert is the Swabian name for the city of Stuttgart.
° "...I honor my Swabians, who hold this view at least honestly and may with great rectitude carry on about German racial purity. Their current house organ, the Cottasche Dreimonatsrevue, is infused with this pride, and their editor, the diplomat Kölle (a witty man, but the greatest gossip on this earth, one that has certainly never kept a state secret under wraps!), the editor of that review is the crustiest race-rebuker, and his every third word is always German race, Roman race, Semitic race... His greatest sorrow is that the champion of Germanism, his favorite, Wolfgang Menzel, carries in his face all the hallmarks of Mongolian ancestry." - Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Börne. ein Denkschrift
° Justinus Kerner (1786-1862) German poet of the Swabian school, who dabbled in the paranormal
° A Goethean would be a follower of Goethe.
° Gustav Pfizer (1807 - 1890), Swabian poet
° Baldomero Espartero(1793-1879), Spanish general and statesman. Espartero fought on the side opposed to Don Carlos in the first Carlist war. Lichnowski/Schnapphahnski fought in support of Don Carlos.
° Pamplona is the capital of Navarre , in northern Spain, on the Arga River. An older spelling is Pampeluna.
° Emilia Galotti (1772) is a play by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Johann Jakob Bodmer wrote a theatre piece in 1778 called Odoardo Galotti, Father of Emilia.
° In Lessing's play, as Emilia dies, she says: "plucked is the rose, ere the storm robbed her petals."
° Charlemagne (742 or 747-814), King of the Franks, Holy Roman Emperor, and uncle to Roland - his Latin name was Carolus Magnus
° Valhalla was the home of the gods and fallen heroes in Nordic mythology, also the name of a nationalistic marble temple, built by King Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786-1868), near Regensburg. The bracketed references to Ludwig were apparently censored; in the first edition, only asterisks appear in those places.
° Zeitgeist: the spirit of the times
° Sanscullotte: a term originating with the French Revolution, meaning more generally a radical or violent extremist in politics
° Deborah was an Israelite prophetess during a time that Israel was dominated by the Canaanites. Deborah instigated an attack by the tribes against the Canaanite army at Mt. Tabor. A sudden rainstorm caused the Canaanite chariots to get stuck in the mud and the Israelites routed them. After the overwhelming victory, Deborah sang a triumphal song of praise to God.
° The Hydra, from Greek mythology, was a terrifying monster had the body of a serpent and many heads, and if any of the heads was severed another would grow in its place. It is often used as a metaphor for a pernicious problem.
° Ludwig Philipp (Louis-Philippe) (1773-1848), also called the Citizen King ("Roi Citoyen", "Bürgerkönig"), was from 1830 to 1848 (the so-called July monarchy) the last official king of France.
° The marquis de La Fayette (1757-1834) was the French hero of the American Revolution.
° Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), German poet, dramatist, historian and philosopher. This is a slightly paraphrased quote from Schiller's poem, Die Götter Griechenlands (The Gods of Greece).
° The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France.
° Alsace is a region in northeastern France.
° Karl August Varnhagen von Ense (1785-1858) was a German chronicler of the Romantic era, biographer, diarist and diplomat. He and his wife Rahel were instrumental in supporting their mutual friend Heine as he strove to gain recognition as an artist.
° Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533). Ariosto was one of the most influential poets of the Italian Renaissance. He began his career in the diplomatic service of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, serving as liaison to Popes Julius II and Leo X. He is best known for his romantic epic poem, Orlando furioso (Furious Roland).
° Chamisso, Brentano and Fouqué were Romantic poets.
° According to folklore, geese saved the Romans with their warning cries when the Gauls attacked the citadel of the Capitol.
° Bellona was the Roman goddess of war.
° The May Beetle "pumps" with its wings, producing quite an ominous racket, before it actually flies. There was a League of the May Beetle (Maikäferbund) and its associated journal, Der Maikäfer: eine Zeitschrift für Nicht-Philister ("The May-Beetle: a journal for non-Philistines"), founded in 1840 by Gottfried and Johanna Kinkel. It was a circle of German poets, among them Ferdinand Freiligrath and Georg Weerth, who harbored revolutionary and socialist symphathies; the publication was banned at the time of the revolution of 1848.
° Beserkers were ancient Scandinavian warriors, frenzied in battle and believed to be invulnerable.