In mythology and speculative fiction, shapeshifting is the ability of a being or creature to transform its physical form or shape. This is achieved through an inherent ability of a mythological creature, divine intervention or the use of magic; the idea of shapeshifting is present in the oldest forms of totemism and shamanism, as well as the oldest extant literature and epic poems, including works such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad, where the shapeshifting is induced by the act of a deity. The idea persisted through the Middle Ages, where the agency causing shapeshifting is a sorcerer or witch, into the modern period, it remains children's literature and works of popular culture. The most common form of shapeshifting myths is that of therianthropy, the transformation of a human being into an animal or conversely, of an animal into human form. Legends allow for transformations into plants and objects and the assumption of another human countenance. Popular shapeshifting creatures in folklore are werewolves and vampires, the huli jing of East Asia, the gods and demons of numerous mythologies, such as the Norse Loki or the Greek Proteus.
Shapeshifting to the form of a wolf is known as lycanthropy, such creatures who undergo such change are called lycanthropes. Therianthropy is the more general term for human-animal shifts, but it is used in that capacity, it was common for deities to transform mortals into animals and plants. Other terms for shapeshifters include metamorph, the Navajo skin-walker and therianthrope; the prefix "were-," coming from the Old English word for "man", is used to designate shapeshifters. While the popular idea of a shapeshifter is of a human being who turns into something else, there are numerous stories about animals that can transform themselves as well. Examples of shapeshifting in classical literature include many examples in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Circe's transforming of Odysseus' men to pigs in Homer's The Odyssey, Apuleius's Lucius becoming a donkey in The Golden Ass. Proteus was noted among the gods for his shapeshifting. Nereus told Heracles; the Titan Metis, the first wife of Zeus and the mother of the goddess Athena, was believed to be able to change her appearance into anything she wanted.
In one story, she was so proud, that her husband, tricked her into changing into a fly. He swallowed her because he feared that he and Metis would have a son who would be more powerful than Zeus himself. Metis, was pregnant, she built armor for her daughter. The banging of her metalworking made Zeus have a headache, so Hephaestus clove his head with an axe. Athena sprang from her father's head grown, in battle armor. In Greek mythology, the transformation is a punishment from the gods to humans who crossed them. Zeus transformed King Lycaon and his children into wolves as a punishment for either killing Zeus' children or serving him the flesh of Lycaon's own murdered son Nyctimus, depending on the exact version of the myth. Demeter transformed Ascalabus into a lizard for mocking her sorrow and thirst during her search for her daughter Persephone, she turned King Lyncus into a lynx for trying to murder her prophet Triptolemus. Athena transformed Arachne into a spider for challenging her as a weaver and/or weaving a tapestry that insulted the gods.
She turned Nyctimene into an owl, though in this case it was an act of mercy, as the girl wished to hide from the daylight out of shame from being raped by her father. Artemis transformed Actaeon into a stag for spying on her bathing, he was devoured by his own hunting dogs. Galanthis was transformed into a weasel or cat after interfering in Hera's plans to hinder the birth of Heracles. Atalanta and Hippomenes were turned into lions after making love in one of Zeus' temples. Io was a priestess of Hera in Argos, a nymph, raped by Zeus, who changed her into a heifer to escape detection. Hera punished young Tiresias by transforming him into a woman and, seven years back into a man. King Tereus, his wife Procne and her sister Philomela were all turned into birds, after Tereus raped Philomela and cut out her tongue, in revenge she and Procne served him the flesh of his murdered son Itys. While the Greek gods could use transformation punitively – such as Medusa, turned to a monster for having sexual intercourse with Poseidon in Athena's temple – more the tales using it are of amorous adventure.
Zeus transformed himself to approach mortals as a means of gaining access: Danaë as a shower of gold Europa as a bull Leda as a swan Ganymede, as an eagle Alcmene as her husband Amphitryon Hera as a cuckoo Leto as a quail Maia as a gopher Semele as a mortal shepherd Io, as a cloud Nemesis transformed into a goose to escape Zeus' advances, but he turned into a swan. She bore the egg in which Helen of Troy was found. Vertumnus transformed himself into an old woman to gain entry to Pomona's orchard. In other tales, the woman appealed to other gods to protect her from rape, was transformed. Unlike Zeus and
The Inquisition was a group of institutions within the government system of the Catholic Church whose aim was to combat heresy. It started in 12th-century France to combat religious dissent, in particular the Cathars and the Waldensians. Other groups investigated included the Spiritual Franciscans, the Hussites and the Beguines. Beginning in the 1250s, inquisitors were chosen from members of the Dominican Order, replacing the earlier practice of using local clergy as judges; the term Medieval Inquisition covers these courts up to mid-15th century. During the Late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, the concept and scope of the Inquisition expanded in response to the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation, it expanded to other European countries, resulting in the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. The Spanish and Portuguese operated inquisitorial courts throughout their empires in Africa and the Americas; the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions focused on the issue of Jewish anusim and Muslim converts to Catholicism because these minority groups were more numerous in Spain and Portugal than in many other parts of Europe, because they were considered suspect due to the assumption that they had secretly reverted to their previous religions.
With the exception of the Papal States, the institution of the Inquisition was abolished in the early 19th century, after the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and the Spanish American wars of independence in the Americas. The institution survived as part of the Roman Curia, but in 1908 it was renamed the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office". In 1965 it became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; the term Inquisition comes from the Medieval Latin word "inquisitio", which referred to any court process, based on Roman law, which had come back into use during the late medieval period. Today, the English term "Inquisition" can apply to any one of several institutions that worked against heretics within the judicial system of the Roman Catholic Church. Although the term Inquisition is applied to ecclesiastical courts of the Catholic Church, it has several different usages: an ecclesiastical tribunal, the institution of the Catholic Church for combating heresy, a number of historical expurgation movements against heresy, or the trial of an individual accused of heresy."he Inquisition, as a church-court, had no jurisdiction over Moors and Jews as such."
The Inquisition was concerned only with the heretical behaviour of Catholic adherents or converts."The overwhelming majority of sentences seem to have consisted of penances like wearing a cross sewn on one's clothes, going on pilgrimage, etc." When a suspect was convicted of unrepentant heresy, the inquisitorial tribunal was required by law to hand the person over to the secular authorities for final sentencing, at which point a magistrate would determine the penalty, burning at the stake although the penalty varied based on local law. The laws were inclusive of proscriptions against certain religious crimes, the punishments included death by burning, although the penalty was banishment or imprisonment for life, commuted after a few years, thus the inquisitors knew what would be the fate of anyone so remanded, cannot be considered to have divorced the means of determining guilt from its effects. The 1578 edition of the Directorium Inquisitorum spelled out the purpose of inquisitorial penalties:... quoniam punitio non refertur primo & per se in correctionem & bonum eius qui punitur, sed in bonum publicum ut alij terreantur, & a malis committendis avocentur.
Before 1100, the Catholic Church suppressed what they believed to be heresy through a system of ecclesiastical proscription or imprisonment, but without using torture, resorting to executions. Such punishments were opposed by a number of clergymen and theologians, although some countries punished heresy with the death penalty. In the 12th century, to counter the spread of Catharism, prosecution of heretics became more frequent; the Church charged councils composed of archbishops with establishing inquisitions. The first Inquisition was temporarily established in Languedoc in 1184; the murder of Pope Innocent's papal legate Pierre de Castelnau in 1208 sparked the Albigensian Crusade. The Inquisition was permanently established in 1229, run by the Dominicans in Rome and at Carcassonne in Languedoc. Historians use the term "Medieval Inquisition" to describe the various inquisitions that started around 1184, including the Episcopal Inquisition and the Papal Inquisition; these inquisitions responded to large popular movements throughout Europe considered apostate or heretical to Christianity, in particular the Cathars in southern France and the Waldensians in both southern France and northern Italy.
Other Inquisitions followed after these first inquisition movements. The legal basis for some inquisitorial activity came from Pope Innocent IV's papal bull Ad extirpanda of 1252, which explicitly authorized the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics. However, Nicho
Gudmund Stenersen was a Norwegian painter and illustrator. He was born in Ringsaker as a son of veteriarian Stener Johannes Stenersen and Helga Hermana Heltberg, he was a grandnephew of theologian Stener Johannes Stenersen, Sr.. He took his examen artium in Hamar in 1883, took education and work as a dentist while painting on his spare time, his first work to be accepted at the Autumn Exhibit was I Baadstøe in 1885. After working as a dentist in Tønsberg from 1886 to 1889, he studied in Paris under Léon Bonnat and Fernand Cormon from 1889 to 1892. Time from 1893 to 1894 was spent in Italy, he moved to Stavanger. There, in January 1897, he married photographer's daughter Karen Wally Jacobsen. In 1898 they moved to Christiania, he became a father-in-law of Carl Semb, who married Stenersen's daughter Helga Louise Stenersen in February 1926. He painted in the naturalist style, with portraits of Christiania as well as Odal, Gudbrandsdalen and Valdres, he portrayed many notable people of the day. He was a notable illustrator, among others in the books Vestlandsviser, Fra fjeld og fremmed Land, Smaafæ (by Hans Aanrud, 1906 as well as his own release Besøg i skogen.
He made illustrations in Aftenposten in 1917, made Christmas magazines. Notable paintings include Fra Siena and Njosgardene i Valdres, which are owned by the National Museum of Art and Design. Stenersen chaired Tegneforbundet from 1901 to 1926, was a freemason, he died in August 1934 in Oslo
Scanian is a related group of South Swedish dialects spoken in the province of Scania in southern Sweden. Scanian formed part of the old Scandinavian dialect continuum and are by most historical linguists considered to be an East Danish dialect group, but due to the modern-era influence from Standard Swedish in the region and because traditional dialectology in the Scandinavian countries has not considered isoglosses that cut across state borders, the Scanian dialects have been treated as a South Swedish dialect group in Swedish dialect research. However, many of the early Scandinavian linguists, including Adolf Noreen and G. Sjöstedt, classified it as "South Scandinavian", some linguists, such as Elias Wessén considered Old Scanian a separate language, classified apart from both Old Danish and Old Swedish. There has been active campaigning from local Scanian interest groups to promote Scanian as a separate language on par with the official minority languages, though this has been rejected by Swedish authorities.
Swedish linguists view Scanian as just one of many local or regional Swedish dialects, some of which differ from Standard Swedish but don't meet the criteria of a separate language. Scanian was classified as a separate language in ISO 639-3, but was declassified as a language in 2009. A request for reinstatement was submitted during the 2009 annual review process, but rejected on the grounds of mutual intelligibility. Within the previous SIL International classification of Scanian were the dialects in the province of Scania, some of the southern dialects of Halland, the dialects of Blekinge and the dialects of the Danish island of Bornholm. With the establishment of the Scanian Academy and with recent heritage conservation programs, funded by Region Skåne and the Swedish Government, there is a renewed interest in the region for Scanian as a cultural language and as a regional identity among younger generations of Scanians. Many of the genuine rural dialects have been in decline subsequent to the industrial revolution and urbanization in Sweden.
The population of Scania consists of around 13.5% of the total population in Sweden. Swedish and Danish are considered to have been the same dialect, Old East Norse, up until the 12th century. However, some scholars speculate that there might have been certain dialect differences within the Nordic language area as early as the Proto-Nordic period; the term Swedish is not mentioned in any source until the first half of the 14th century, no standard spoken language had developed in either Sweden or Denmark before 1500, although some scholars argue that there may have been tendencies towards a more formal "courteous" language among the aristocracy. Scanian appeared in writing before 1200, at a time when Swedish and Danish had yet to be codified, the long struggle between Sweden and Denmark over the right to claim the Old Scanian manuscripts as an early form of either of the two national state languages has led to some odd twists and turns. Two Scanian fragments dated to around 1325 were claimed to be Old Swedish, but further research in modern times has claimed that the language was not Swedish, but Scanian.
During the 20th century the fragments were thus relabeled early Old Danish by Scandinavian linguists, as explained by Danish linguist Britta Olrik Frederiksen, the fragments are now thought to "represent as such a newly claimed territory for the history of the Danish language". Like the Scanian Law, one of the fragments, a six-leaf fragment, is written in the runic alphabet; the place of writing, according to Frederiksen, has been tentatively identified as the Cistercian monastery at Herrevad Abbey in Scania. The fragment contains a translation of Mary's lament at the cross; the other fragment is a bifolium with just over a hundred metrical lines of knittelvers, a translation from Latin of the apocryphal gospel Evangelium Nicodemi about Christ's descent into hell and resurrection. In modern Scandinavian linguistic research, the assertion that Old Scanian was a Swedish dialect before the Swedish acquisition of most of old Skåneland is now argued by linguistic scholars, although the comparative and historical research efforts continue.
One of the artifacts sometimes referred to as support for the view of Scanian as separate from both the Swedish and Danish language is a letter from the 16th century, where the Danish Bible translators were advised not to employ Scanian translators since their language was not "proper Danish". After the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the former Danish provinces of Blekinge and Scania became a Swedish dominion, but they were allowed to keep their old privileges and customs. However, from the 1680s, a process of Swedification was introduced, including a switch of languages used in churches and restrictions imposed on cross border travel and trade; the situation in Scania was unique from a linguistic point of view. As pointed out by the Norwegian scholar Lars S. Vikør, professor and Linguistics Studies, University of Oslo, in the 2001 book Language and Nationalism, the "animosity between the two countries, the relative closeness of their standard languages, made it imperative to stress the difference between them in the standardization process".
According to Vikør, the "Swedish treatment of the Scanians sho
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are known as barrows, burial mounds or kurgans, may be found throughout much of the world. A cairn, a mound of stones built for various purposes, may originally have been a tumulus. Tumuli are categorised according to their external apparent shape. In this respect, a long barrow is a long tumulus constructed on top of several burials, such as passage graves. A round barrow is a round tumulus commonly constructed on top of burials; the internal structure and architecture of both long and round barrows has a broad range, the categorization only refers to the external apparent shape. The method of inhumation may involve a dolmen, a cist, a mortuary enclosure, a mortuary house, or a chamber tomb. Examples of barrows include Duggleby Maeshowe; the word tumulus is Latin for'mound' or'small hill', derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *teuh2- with extended zero grade *tum-,'to bulge, swell' found in tumor, thumb and thousand.
The funeral of Patroclus is described in book 23 of the Iliad. Patroclus is burned on a pyre, his bones are collected into a golden urn in two layers of fat; the barrow is built on the location of the pyre. Achilles sponsors funeral games, consisting of a chariot race, wrestling, running, a duel between two champions to the first blood, discus throwing and spear throwing. Beowulf's body is taken to Hronesness. During cremation, the Geats lament the death of their lord, a widow's lament being mentioned in particular, singing dirges as they circumambulate the barrow. Afterwards, a mound is built on top of a hill, overlooking the sea, filled with treasure. A band of twelve of the best warriors ride around the barrow, singing dirges in praise of their lord. Parallels have been drawn to the account of Attila's burial in Jordanes' Getica. Jordanes tells that as Attila's body was lying in state, the best horsemen of the Huns circled it, as in circus games. An Old Irish Life of Columcille reports that every funeral procession "halted at a mound called Eala, whereupon the corpse was laid, the mourners marched thrice solemnly round the spot."
Archaeologists classify tumuli according to their location and date of construction. Some British types are listed below: Bank barrow Bell barrow Bowl barrow D-shaped barrow – round barrow with a purposely flat edge at one side defined by stone slabs. Disc barrow Fancy barrow – generic term for any Bronze Age barrows more elaborate than a simple hemispherical shape. Long barrow Oval barrow – a Neolithic long barrow consisting of an elliptical, rather than rectangular or trapezoidal mound. Platform barrow – The least common of the recognised types of round barrow, consisting of a flat, wide circular mound that may be surrounded by a ditch, they occur across southern England with a marked concentration in East and West Sussex. Pond barrow – a barrow consisting of a shallow circular depression, surrounded by a bank running around the rim of the depression, from the Bronze Age. Ring barrow – a bank that encircles a number of burials. Round barrow – a circular feature created by the Bronze Age peoples of Britain and the Romans and Saxons.
Divided into subclasses such as saucer and bell barrow—the Six Hills are a rare Roman example. Saucer barrow – a circular Bronze Age barrow that features a low, wide mound surrounded by a ditch that may have an external bank. Square barrow – burial site of Iron Age date, consisting of a small, ditched enclosure surrounding a central burial, which may have been covered by a mound. In 2015, the first long barrow in thousands of years, inspired by those built in the Neolithic Period, was built near All Cannings in England; the project was steward of Stonehenge. The barrow was designed to have a large number of private niches within the stone and earth structure to receive cremation urns; the structure received significant media attention, with national press writing extensively about the revival of the structures, various episodes of filming, for example by BBC Countryfile as it was being built. It was subscribed within eighteen months; this was followed soon after by a new barrow near St Neots. Further plans to revive barrows are at Soulton in Shropshire.
The word kurgan is of Turkic origin, derives from Proto-Turkic *Kur-. In Ukraine and Russia, there are royal kurgans of Varangian chieftains, such as the Black Grave in Ukrainian Chernihiv, Oleg's Grave in Russian Staraya Ladoga, vast, intricate Rurik's Hill near Russian Novgorod. Other important kurgans are found in Ukraine and South Russia and are associated with much more ancient steppe peoples, notably the Scythians and early Indo-Europeans The steppe cultures found in Ukraine and South Russia continue into Central Asia, in particular Kazakhstan. Salweyn in northern Somalia contains a large field of cairns, which stretches for a distance of around 8 km. An excavation of one of these tumuli by Georges Révoil in 1881 uncovered a tomb, beside which were artefacts pointing to an ancient, advanced civilization; the interred objects included pottery shards from Samos, some well-crafted enamels, a mask of Ancient Greek design. Tumuli are one of the most prominent types of prehistoric monuments spread throughout northern and southern Albania.
Some well-known local tumuli are: Kamenica Tumulus Lofkënd Tumulus Pazhok Tumulus More than 50 burial mounds were found in Kupres. Man from Kupres- the skeleton found
Scandinavian folklore or Nordic folklore is the folklore of Norway, Denmark and the Faroe Islands. It has common roots as, have been mutually influenced by, folklore in England, the Baltic countries and Sapmi. Folklore is a concept encompassing expressive traditions of a particular group; the peoples of Scandinavia are heterogenous, as are the oral genres and material culture, common in their lands. However, there are some commonalities across Scandinavian folkloric traditions, among them a common ground in elements from Norse mythology as well as Christian conceptions of the world. Among the many tales common in Scandinavian oral traditions, some have become known beyond Scandinavian borders - examples include The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body. A large number of different mythological creatures from Scandinavian folklore have become well-known in other parts of the world through popular culture and fantasy genres; some of these are: Troll, trolde is a designation for several types of human-like supernatural beings in Scandinavian folklore.
They are mentioned in the Edda as a monster with many heads. Trolls became characters in fairy tales and ballads, they play a main part in many of the fairy tales from Asbjørnsen and Moes collections of Norwegian tales. Trolls may be compared to many supernatural beings in other cultures, for instance the cyclops of Greek legends. In Swedish, such beings are termed'jætte', a word related to the Norse'jotun'; the origins of the word troll is uncertain. Trolls are described in many ways in Scandinavian folk litterature, but they are portrayed as stupid, slow to act. In fairy tales and legends about trolls, the plot is that a human with courage and presence of mind can outwit a troll. Sometimes saints' legends involve a holy man tricking an enormous troll to build a church. Trolls come in many different shapes and forms, are not fair to behold, as they can have as many as nine heads. Trolls live throughout the land, dwelling in mountains, under bridges, at the bottom of lakes. Trolls who live in the mountains may be wealthy, hoarding mounds of gold and silver in their cliff dwellings.
Dovregubben, a troll king, lives inside the Dovre Mountains with his court, described in detail in Ibsen's Peer Gynt. Trolls hate the smell of Christians; the Huldra, Skogsrå or Skogfru is a dangerous seductress who lives in the forest. The Huldra is said to lure men with her charm, she has a long cow's tail. If she can manage to get married in a church, her tail falls off and she becomes human. In Scandinavia, there existed the famous race of she-werewolves known with a name of Nattmara; the mara appears as a skinny young woman, dressed in a nightgown, with pale skin and long black hair and nails. As sand they could slip through the slightest crack in the wood of a wall and terrorize the sleeping by "riding" on their chest, thus giving them nightmares, they would sometimes ride cattle that, when touched by the Mara, would have their hair or fur tangled and energy drained, while trees would curl up and wilt. In some tales they had a similar role to the Banshee as an omen of death and if one were to leave a dirty doll in a family living room, one of the members would soon fall ill and die of tuberculosis.
There is controversy as to how they came into being and in some tales, the Maras are restless children, whose souls leave their body at night to haunt the living. If a woman were to have a horse placenta pulled over her head before giving birth, the children would be delivered safely. Nøkken, näcken, or strömkarlen, is a dangerous fresh water dwelling; the nøkk plays a violin to lure his victims out onto thin ice or in leaky boats and draws them down to the bottom of the water where he is waiting for them. The nøkk is a known shapeshifter changing into a horse or a man in order to lure his victims to him; the Nisse or tomte is a good wight who takes care of the house and barn when the farmer is asleep, but only if the farmer reciprocates by setting out food for the nisse and he himself takes care of his family and animals. If the nisse is ignored or maltreated or the farm is not cared for, he can sabotage a lot of the work on the farm to teach the farmer a lesson or two. Although the nisse should be treated with respect and some degree of kindness, he should not be treated too kindly.
In fact, there's a Swedish story in which a farmer and his wife enter their barn an early morning and find the little grey old man brushing the floor. They see his clothing, nothing more than torn rags, so the wife decides to make him some new clothes. Nisser are usually associated with Christmas and the yule time, it is normal that farms may place bowls of rice porridge on the doorsteps in a similar manner that cookies and milk are put out for Santa Claus. In the morning the porridge would have been eaten; some believe. In Swedish, the word Tomten is closely linked to the word for the plot of land where a house or cottage is built, which spells the same both in
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children: his stories express themes that transcend age and nationality. Andersen's fairy tales, of which no fewer than 3381 works have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well, his most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Little Match Girl" and "Thumbelina". His stories have inspired ballets and animated and live-action films. One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest boulevards is named "H. C. Andersens Boulevard". Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on 2 April 1805, he was an only child. Andersen's father Hans, considered himself related to nobility.
A persistent speculation suggests that Andersen was an illegitimate son of King Christian VIII, but this notion has been challenged. Andersen's father, who had received an elementary school education, introduced Andersen to literature, reading to him the Arabian Nights. Andersen's mother, Anne Marie Andersdatter, was an illiterate washerwoman. Following her husband's death in 1816, she remarried in 1818. Andersen was sent to a local school for poor children where he received a basic education and had to support himself, working as an apprentice to a weaver and to a tailor. At fourteen, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor. Having an excellent soprano voice, he was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre, but his voice soon changed. A colleague at the theatre told him. Taking the suggestion Andersen began to focus on writing. Jonas Collin, director of the Royal Danish Theatre, held great affection for Andersen and sent him to a grammar school in Slagelse, persuading King Frederick VI to pay part of the youth's education.
Andersen had by published his first story, "The Ghost at Palnatoke's Grave". Though not a stellar pupil, he attended school at Elsinore until 1827, he said his years in school were the darkest and most bitter of his life. At one school, he lived at his schoolmaster's home, where he was abused, being told that it was "to improve his character", he said the faculty had discouraged him from writing, driving him into a depression. A early fairy tale by Andersen, "The Tallow Candle", was discovered in a Danish archive in October 2012; the story, written in the 1820s, was about a candle. It was written while Andersen was still in school and dedicated to a benefactor in whose family's possession it remained until it turned up among other family papers in a local archive. In 1829, Andersen enjoyed considerable success with the short story "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager", its protagonist meets characters ranging from Saint Peter to a talking cat. Andersen followed this success with a theatrical piece, Love on St. Nicholas Church Tower, a short volume of poems.
Although he made little progress writing and publishing thereafter, in 1833 he received a small travel grant from the king, thus enabling him to set out on the first of many journeys through Europe. At Jura, near Le Locle, Andersen wrote the story "Agnete and the Merman", he spent an evening in the Italian seaside village of Sestri Levante the same year, inspiring the title of "The Bay of Fables". In October 1834, he arrived in Rome. Andersen's travels in Italy were to be reflected in his first novel, a fictionalized autobiography titled The Improvisatore, published in 1835 to instant acclaim. Andersen's initial attempts at writing fairy tales were revisions of stories that he heard as a child, his original fairy tales were not met with recognition, due to the difficulty of translating them. In 1835, Andersen published the first two installments of his Fairy Tales. More stories, completing the first volume, were published in 1837; the collection comprises nine tales, including "The Tinderbox", "The Princess and the Pea", "Thumbelina", "The Little Mermaid" and "The Emperor's New Clothes".
The quality of these stories was not recognized, they sold poorly. At the same time, Andersen enjoyed more success with two novels, O. T. and Only a Fiddler. Much of his work was influenced by the Bible as when he was growing up Christianity was important in the Danish culture. After a visit to Sweden in 1837, Andersen became inspired by Scandinavism and committed himself to writing a poem that would convey the relatedness of Swedes and Norwegians. In July 1839, during a visit to the island of Funen, Andersen wrote the text of his poem Jeg er en Skandinav to capture "the beauty of the Nordic spirit, the way the three sister nations have grown together" as part of a Scandinavian national anthem. Composer Otto Lindblad set the poem to music, the composition was published in January 1840, its popularity peaked in 1845, after which it was sung. Andersen returned to the fairy tale genre in 1838 with another collection, Fairy Tales Told for Children. New Collection. First Booklet (Eventyr, fortalte for Børn.