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Thread: House-elves in Italy

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  1. #1
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    House-elves in Italy

    Part of one of my fics is set in Italy.

    The hero is reasonably wealthy and in UK his family have house-elves. However, I'm wondering if there's an Italian eqivalent to an 'elf' which is a British type of mythical creature.

    Any ideas please share and of course I'll credit you.

    Carole
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    I just had an idea.. If you take the more mythological idea of an elf as a creature of nature, like the elves in Midsummer-Night's Dream, for example, your best shot would probably be a nymph. Nymphs are, I think, usually assigned to a certain part of nature (water, land, woods, ...); they only feel "at home" in those places, and care for 'their' places (for example a spring etc).

    Maybe (though this is me talking here now, not much to do with fact anymore) wizards could have something like house-nymphs whose whole purpose in life is - similar to the house elves - keeping the house habitable and wonderful.

    You could make them different in some ways ... for example, the nymphs could have the very strong urge to keep everything clean, but they won't take just any orders. They don't actually accept the wizard as their master, but only listen to him because he is the one that "rules" the house... Am I making sense at all? I think nymphs were very strong willed in mythology. Maybe they'll keep everything spotlessly tidy, but won't go to pick up your groceries. And of course they'd be beautiful instead of small and bat-eared...


    EDIT: Thinking about all the things house-elves do besides cleaning... in that case maybe a really wealthy family would have several nymphs with different areas of expertise - for example, one nymph takes care of the house, while the other one cooks and takes care of guests/the children/...
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    Would the Italians have something different from House Elves to begin with? To me, House Elves seem to be common throughout the wizarding world (or at least the Western bit). And considering that these creatures can Apparate without a wand, I would imagine their species would be widespread.

    That said, I'm more interested to know what House Elf names would be like in Italian, how they would speak.

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    Would the Italians have something different from House Elves to begin with? To me, House Elves seem to be common throughout the wizarding world (or at least the Western bit).
    The reason I asked this is because elves, gnomes and pixies are peculiar to Germanic North European folklore and not Roman/Italian/Greek. I want something that is more in keeping with Mediterranean mythology.

    Carole
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    Carole.

    According to Hamilton's Mythology, this seemed like an option for your Italian creature/servant.

    Nymphs = Their attention span is too short and they would tend to focus on solely herbology (plants/ flowers) and not household chores. Plus, the size of those pixies? Personally, I don't see that working out.

    Options:

    Satyrs = the goat peoples who servd Dionysus (god of wine)

    Corybantes = dressed/ robed humaniods (god, really? ) who look like Cupid minature and follow the will of their god. For example, Aries (Mars) and Dionysus (wine god) use these to their pleasure and bidding. They are to follow any orders given by their gods/masters and they do a fine job (or die).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuri
    Nymphs = Their attention span is too short and they would tend to focus on solely herbology (plants/ flowers) and not household chores. Plus, the size of those pixies? Personally, I don't see that working out.
    Ooh but then it depends on what kind of nymph. A river-nymph cares more about the water than about plants, too. And then a house-nymph (which would, of course, be a new invention) would focus on the household.

    And I'm not sure there's a fixed size for nymphs either... When you look at paintings and mosaics from ancient Rome/Greece, they look human-sized (or god-sized, depending on the scene in the painting)...

    I'm not sure I'd go with Satyrs... As you say, they served the god of wine, and that's how they usually behave in stories too. They are associated with drink and sexual desire, and I'm not sure that would fit in every household... Though, I guess maybe you could have kind of a "domesticated" satyr version that stays sober and doesn't always want to party...
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