Of the Old Franconian Idol Lollus

It’s still possible to read about an alleged heathen idol whose type and name are unique to Franconia. This one is called “Lollus”, “Löllus”, or “Lullus”, whose particular center of worship is said to have taken in the regions surrounding the river Main, near the modern-day city of Schweinfurt. The iconic image of the idol was found in the shape of a male youth, with curly golden hair. There was a garland of poppy flowers hanging around his neck and over his chest. With the right hand the figure reached for his mouth and grasped the tongue with his thumb and index finger. With the left hand he held a goblet of wine which contained ears of grain. Apart from a loincloth, the figure was entirely nude. The idol stood in a sacred, fenced-off grove close to the shores of the Main, and the local people brought grapes and grain ears as a sacrifice at certain times. Even today a location at this wine-blessed side of the Main is called the “Löhle”, or “Lölle”.

It is said that Lollus was worshiped in Franconia at the same time as Diana, whose holy temple was allegedly on the Frauenberg in Würzburg until the arrival of Saint Kilian, the “Apostle of the Franconians”. The only source about this Lollus, from which all later authors who wrote about him drew, is the three-volume work of a physician: Dr. Joh. Laurent. Bausch: Collectanea chonologica Swinfurtensia. Tom I. §. 4. p. 4.. And nobody knows where the statue of the alleged idol came from, nor when, how, and where it was discovered.


Source: Bechstein, L. Der Sagenschatz des Frankenlandes. 1842. p. 25f.

Notes & commentary: With The Old Gods