Dwarves (from the Latin. Gēnomos - underground inhabitant, or from other Greek. Γνώση - knowledge) - fairy dwarfs from Western European, primarily German-Scandinavian , folklore, frequent heroes of fairy tales and legends   . They are known in different languages under the names “Dverg” ( dr. Scand. Dvergr, plural dvergar ), “Zwerg” ( German zwerge ), “dwarf” ( English dwarfs ), “dwarf” ( Polish krasnolud ) , “Trebastok” ( Czech. Trpaslík , church-Slav. Trpѧstъk )  as well as, in antiquity, “ Nibelungs ” and “Lower Alves ”, kobolds . According to the legends, they live underground, wear beards and are famous for their wealth and skill.
In alchemy and occultism, the gnome is the spirit of the earth as a primary element, the elemental of the earth. Dwarves, along with elves , goblins and trolls , are popular heroes of the literary fantasy and role-playing genres .
Name in different languages
The word lat. gnomus (probably from the Greek. Γνώση - knowledge) in the meaning of "underground inhabitant", popularized by the alchemist Paracelsus in the XVI century    . This name is also found in many Renaissance texts on mythology, as well as in the writings of the English writer Alexander Pope .
The word "gnome", generally accepted in modern Russian, is less used in the languages of the German family. In English, gnomus or gnome denotes only the Earth's elemental and garden gnomes - decorative sculptures. Today in Europe this term is rarely used as an analogue of the Russian meaning.
The Germans call these creatures "zwerg" ( zwerg ), the English - "dwarves" ( dwarf ) - both of these words also translate as "dwarf" . In the languages of the Romanesque family, neither “miniature” nor “dwarf” took root: in French, the dwarfs are called nain , in Italy - nano , both words also mean “dwarf” and come from Greek. νᾶνος - "tiny".
Other European languages have their own words that are not associated with any of these roots - Polish. krasnolud , fin. kääpiö , Czech trpaslík , etc. At the beginning of the 19th century, along with the “gnome”, a variant of the “carla” was often found in Russian literature.
Svartalva in the Edds
One of the main prototypes of gnomes is the lower alves or tsverg (dwarfs) from German-Scandinavian mythology  . In Scandinavian mythology, the tsvergas are lower, "dark" relatives of the Alves (elves), Svartalvs, and the myths of the lower Alves pay much more attention. The Svartalvas were created by the gods from grave worms crawling in the corpse of the giant Ymir . They are small in stature and dark in face, live in Svartalvheim . So that they would not meet their brethren - the "bright" Alves - and not be at enmity, the gods sent a curse on them: under the influence of sunlight, the tsvergs turn into stone. When the annoying dwarf Alvis dared to get married to Thor's daughter, Labor, the cunning ace began to test his wisdom and extended his time until the morning when the sun killed the insolent. (The motive is spoiled by John Tolkien in the story " The Hobbit ", where, on the contrary, the dwarves are saved from trolls ).
The Svartalvas are glorious as great blacksmiths who create weapons and magical things for the gods. They forged some of the greatest and most powerful items, such as the Gleipnir chain that holds Fenrir , the hammer of Thor Mjolnir , the ship Skidbladnir , the spear of Odin Gungnir , the ring of Draupnir , the hair for the goddess Siv . Loki competed with the lower Alves, preventing them from creating wonderful things, as he bet on his head that the dwarves would not be able to fulfill the order.
In the " prophecy of the Völva " there is a listing:
Song of the Nibelungs
In the ancient Germanic epic “ Song of the Nibelungs ” underground treasure keepers are called “Nibelungs”. Two brothers, the kings of the Nibelungs, could not share their treasure. They asked the hero Siegfried to organize a divide, but they were not satisfied with them and blamed the hero for his squad. Enraged Siegfried defeated the kings and began to own their treasure and the country of the Nibelungs. Dwarf Albrich, the keeper of the treasure under the former kings, began to serve Siegfried.
Further, the saga transfers the name "Nibelungs" to all owners of the treasure, including the Burgundians who killed Siegfried and took possession of his treasure. Thus, this word eventually loses its connection with the dwarves  .
In the Song-related legends cycle, Horned Siegfried , Siegfried’s relationship with the dwarfs is revealed in more detail. Here Siegfried defeats the dragon with the help of the king of the tsverg of Egwald: the king with his spells makes the hero invisible so that he can get closer to the dragon  .
In Occultism and Alchemy
In alchemy and occultism, the gnome is the spirit of the earth as the primary element, the elemental of the earth. Paracelsus described the gnomes as two- span creatures (about 40 cm), extremely reluctant to make contact with people and able to move through the earth’s firmness with the same ease as people move in space  . A similar description can be found in the work of Villard in 1670, where, however, the gnomes are represented as friends of a person who are ready to gladly help him for a small fee.
Gnomes in Literature
In literary tales and fantasy, a collective image of the gnomes is presented. In the era of romanticism, gnomes are increasingly portrayed as ugly and very small dwarfs, but their traits such as treachery, wealth, and ability to magic are preserved. Just like trolls in Scandinavian tales, among the Germans, gnomes are the main source of mysteries and miracles that happen to heroes.
Such gnomes appear in German tales of the 17th-19th centuries: among the brothers Grimm , Wilhelm Gauf , Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann  . Their gnomes are either positive characters ( Snow White ) or negative characters ( Rumpelstiltskin , Belyanochka and Rosochka ) - sometimes it depends on the behavior of people. Dwarves can reward for kindness and severely punish for indifference, cruelty or greed (for example, as in Selma Lagerlöf in the story " A wonderful journey of Nils with wild geese ").
Sometimes they give magical gifts that, fulfilling wishes literally, can turn against the owner (Wilhelm Gauf, "Frozen"). In Scandinavia, tales of the gnomes, in addition, are intertwined with tales of trolls , sometimes the only difference between them is the name and place of action. German fairytale gnomes served as a prototype for popular decorative figures called Garden Gnomes .
In England, the attitude to the Dwarves was more frivolous, they seemed to be another variety of fairies ( fairy ) and served, most of all, comic characters. In the 20th century, among writers such as John Tolkien and Clive Lewis , the dwarves lack the mysticism and power that the Germans endowed them with; they are only one of the many species of inhabitants of the magical worlds (Middle-earth and Narnia, respectively). Tolkien's dwarves were not only rich and secretive, but also warlike, their favorite weapon is a battle ax . Compared to the tiny dwarfs of the Grimm brothers, the Tolkien dwarves are quite tall: from 1 to 1.5 meters.
Tolkien greatly influenced the archetype of the Dwarves in the public mind, and the role-playing system Dungeons & Dragons consolidated it completely. In the second half of the 20th century, to this day, the gnomes in literature, cinema, and games are youngish, rude and warlike bearded men, the embodiment of the archetype of Falstaff and Porthos .
Also, the dwarves are involved in the "Yellow Fog" and "The Secret of the Abandoned Castle" from the cycle of A. M. Volkov about the Emerald City . They are 45 centimeters tall, are good at sewing clothes, making shoes, hunting, frying meat, keeping records and spying. In the Yellow Mist, the dwarves submit to the evil sorceress Arachne. Despite this, they themselves are not villains, but rather neutral characters. In The Secret of an Abandoned Castle, the gnomes are already subject to the Scarecrow and are positive characters.
In movies and computer games
In cinema, gnomes and dwarfs are often represented in the film adaptations of fairy tales and fantasy books. They play a large role in films based on the fairy tale of Snow White , in the film adaptations of the books of John Tolkien, Clive Lewis and Frank Baum . In the movie " Willow " the main character is a dwarf, whose role was played by the famous dwarf actor Warwick Davis . In the Hobbit movie trilogy, based on the Tolkien novel of the same name, most of the main characters are gnomes.
Dwarves (in some translations - dwarves) are often represented as a game race in computer games. Developers often give dwarfs the features of Scandinavians or Germans (weapons and armor of a characteristic kind, names, the use of runic alphabets or Old Germanic scripts), less often - Celts (checkered fabrics, kilts, Celtic patterns on weapons and armor). Under the growing popularity of steampunk , later settings ( Warhammer , Warcraft , The Elder Scrolls , Arcanum and Overlord ) often bring gnomes out as carriers of technological progress, rejecting magic and superstition. Here they are the creators of steam engines, complex mechanisms and firearms, including flamethrowers .  . Sometimes gnomes (or some of them) are described as powerful wizards who command the powers of the earth.
It should be noted the trend in the creation of games in the genre of God simulator, where gnomes can also be their characters. This is due to the geological theme in the game mechanics of such simulators and the gameplay partially inherited from Dungeon Keeper . One of the most striking examples is the game Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress , which, in turn, inspired the creators of the popular Minecraft game.
Dwarf and gnome
The Dungeons & Dragons role-playing system  had a great influence on the current understanding of gnomes. In this system, some of its settings ( Forgotten Realms , Dragonlance ) and a number of other fantasy universes based on D&D archetypes (for example, WarCraft ), along with the dwarf race, there is the gnome race. This creates difficulties for translators into Russian  . In the absence of fundamental plot obstacles, they are often translated as “gnome”  . In cases where the distinction must be emphasized by translation (for example, in the Terry Brooks book “ Shannara ”, where these peoples are at enmity), many translators resort to neologism “dwarf” or “dwarf”. There are also translations where dwarfs are translated as “gnomes”, while gnomes are named in some other way (for example, “dwarfs”, “gnums”, “gnomes”, “ midgets ”)  , and such where dwarfs are called dwarfs, and gnomes are called dwarves. Andrzej Sapkowski , a Polish science fiction writer, using Western archetypes, brought out simultaneously the “gnomes” and the “red people”.
The differences between these two types are small and do not go back to mythology, but mainly to the role-playing system Dungeons & Dragons, where peoples are described in this way  :
Dwarfs are stocky and strong dwarfs with bushy beards. They are usually portrayed as prominent blacksmiths and dashing warriors, reminiscent of stunted Vikings . Their recommended class in D&D is the fighter.
Gnomes are dwarfs of even smaller stature and not so powerful physique. At D&D, their recommended class is an illusionist magician. In many fantasy worlds with steampunk elements, gnomes are portrayed by talented technical engineers creating complex mechanisms, gunpowder and firearms, airships or helicopters. Similar examples exist in the worlds of D&D - such are the gnomes-mechanics of Krynn ( Dragonlance ) and Lantana ( Forgotten Realms ).
Women gnomes are not much different from men - this topic serves as a source of interest and jokes. In particular, there is a common theory about the presence of beards in female gnomes, embodied in several universes and works.
In Dungeons & Dragons, the presence of a beard depends on the setting : in Greyhawk women have beards growing, but they are usually shaved; at Forgotten Realms they have whiskers, but not beards or mustaches; in the Eberron world they don’t have beards at all. Whiskers are also worn by female gnomes in the Disciples setting. In Terry Pratchett ’s Flat World series , female gnomes are little different in appearance and psychology from men, and the essence of gender relations is “tactfully determine who is hiding under a beard, man or woman.”
However, there are works with exactly the opposite tendency, such as “ Guardian of Swords ” by Nick Perumov  . Also, in Korean MMORPG Lineage II , gnomes are pretty young girls, which creates a strong contrast with bear-like gnomes. In the game Heroes of Might and Magic V: Hammers of Fate, gnome women have pronounced Mongoloid features.
It is believed that “male gnomes are usually ugly, female ( gnomes ) are beautiful”  .
In Russian, there is no single word for a gnome woman. Different translators and authors can find options: “gnome”, “gnome”, “gnome”, “gnome”, “dwarf”.
Songs of the Dwarves
- Battlelore - Khazad Dum
- Korpiklaani - “ Wooden Pints ”
- Pink Floyd - " the Gnome "
- Rhapsody - " Village of Dwarves "
- Summoning - “The Mountain King's Return”; "In Hollow Halls Beneath the Fells"
- Svartby - Riv album , Hugg och Bit
- Therion - Schwartzalbenheim
- Wind Rose - Stonehymn (2017) album dedicated to Tolkien Dwarves
- Agatha Christie - Dwarf Cannibals
- Rowan Tower - "Gnomichy Dance"
- David Bowie - The Laughing Gnome
- Alexander Gorodnitsky - “March of the Gray Dwarfs”
- Pavel Kashin - “Dwarves”
- Yuri Kukin - “Little Dwarf”
- “ Secret ” - “Song of the Dwarves”
- Troll yoke spruce - "Stone Ale"
- The Yogscast - “Diggy Diggy Hole”
- Demon (Egyptian mythology)
- Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language: In 4 vols. / Ed. D. N. Ushakova .. - M .: Soviet Encyclopedia ; OGIZ ; State Publishing House of Foreign and National Dictionaries , 1935-1940.
GNOME, a, m. In Western European mythology - an ugly dwarf.
- Gnome // Great Soviet Encyclopedia , vol. 17
Gnome (from the late Lat . Gnomus ), a dwarf, a fantastic creature in Western European mythology, living on earth. G. often found in fairy tales, in epic poetry.
- trebastok // Etymological dictionary of the Russian language = Russisches etymologisches Wörterbuch : in 4 volumes / auth. M. Fasmer ; per. with him. and add. Corr. USSR Academy of Sciences O. N. Trubacheva , ed. and with the foreword. prof. B. A. Larina [vol. I]. - Ed. 2nd, erased - M .: Progress , 1986-1987.
- Gnome . Encyclopaedia Britannica Online . Date of treatment March 12, 2008.
- gnome // Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
- Borges H.L. Gnomes Archived December 12, 2007 on Wayback Machine // Fictional Creature Book
- Daria Bukreeva. Bestiary: Dwarves. Children of the dungeons . " World of fiction " No. 10; June 2004
- Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary
- Paracelsus . Ex Libro de Nymphis, Sylvanis, Pygmaeis, Salamandris et Gigantibus, etc. - Nissae Silesiorum : Ioannes Cruciger, 1566.
- The Best Computer Games Magazine. Gnomes and dwarfs
- Dwarves, in mythology // Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary : in 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additional). - SPb. , 1890-1907.