Religion Past and Present

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(458 words)

[German Version]

The appearance of small-sized beings in the beliefs of various cultures and religions finds its premise in the real occurrence of small-sized people. In ancient and medieval tradition, beings that are conceived of as smaller than humans are usually located at the periphery of the known world. In the third song of the Iliad (Homer), the dwarf peoples are referred to as pygmies; Megasthenes located them in distant India, while 15th-century cartographers such as Klausen Svart placed them in Greenland. In the history of European religion…

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Mohn, Jürgen, “Dwarfs”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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