(5 syl.). The most northern people, who dwell beyond Boreas (the sent of the north wind), placed by Virgil under the North Pole. They are said to be the oldest of the human race, the most virtuous, and the most happy; to dwell for some thousand years under a cloudless sky, in fields yielding double harvests, and in the enjoyment of perpetual spring. When sated of life they crown their heads with flowers, and plunge headlong from the mountain Hunneberg or Halleberg into the sea, and enter at once the paradise of Odin.
The Hyperboreans, it is said, have not an atmosphere like our own, but one consisting wholly of feathers. Both Herodotos and Pliny mention this fiction, which they say was suggested by the quantity of snow observed to fall in those regions. (Herodotos, iv. 31.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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