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The two ideas are not exclusive : they could have lived all over Europe
before the Celts, and been pushed by them into the corners.

On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hallo conlangers!
>
> On Wed, 28 Mar 2012 23:08:11 +0200 Peter Cyrus wrote:
>
> > I thought the Elves were the pre-Germanic inhabitants of Scandinavia, the
> > ones who sacrificed to Freyr and Freya in Elfblots.
>
> Maybe; some scholars say so.  But AFAIK the tradition of "Elves"
> was much more vigorous among the Anglo-Saxons who perceived the
> Elves as sharing their country (I recommend reading _Elves in
> Anglo-Saxon England_ by Alaric Hall), while in Norse myth the Elves
> just live in a faraway country "between Heaven and Earth" (perhaps
> Britain as it appeared when the Germanic people were not yet the
> formidable mariners of later ages, and the North Sea seemed large
> to them?), and they don't figure prominently in the Eddas.  And the
> Insular Celts definitely believed that Elves lived in their country,
> too.
>
> It is thus my hypothesis that the "real" Elves were a civilization
> in the British Isles.  But I know that it is just a hypothesis; it
> could have been otherwise.
>
> --
> ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
> http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
> "Bęsel asa Ęm, a Ęm atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Ęmel." - SiM 1:1
>