9. This Guy Invented Gnomes Because He Couldn’t Read
Some scholars believe that Paracelsus, a Renaissance occultist who named zinc, botched a Greek translation. Paracelsus used the word Gnomi as a synonym for Pygmæi—or what we now know as pygmies.
8. This Is What Your Garden Gnome Does All Day
Pygmies are like your garden gnome’s father—whose mortal enemy happens to be migrating cranes. That’s what the Iliad says, anyway.
7. This Garden Gnome Is Worth $1.58 Million
Garden gnomes were introduced to the United Kingdom in 1847, when Sir Charles Isham brought 21 figures back from Germany. Lampy is the last remaining original garden gnome—probably because he killed the others.
6. This Is How Gnomes Faced Discrimination—and Won!
This year the Royal Horticultural Society, which runs the Chelsea Flower Show lifted a 100-year-ban on garden gnomes.
5. This Is Where Gnomes Go to Escape Your Garden
The Italian branch of the Garden Gnome Liberation Front established a European Gnome Sanctuary in Barga, Italy. Your garden gnomes are on their way there now.
4. This Is the United States’ Largest Garden Gnome
3. This Is What Garden Gnomes Could Have Looked Like
Lawn statues were popular during the Renaissance. In 1616, Jacques Callot produced 21 designs of Gobbi, the Italian word for hunchback.
2. This Is Why Garden Gnomes Wear Red Hats
Apparently Mediterranean fishermen used to wear white hats at night if they wanted to be seen, and red hats if they did not. Gnomes almost never want to be seen.
1. This Guy Is Your Garden Gnome’s Grandfather
Ancient Greeks used to put statues of Priapus, a minor fertility god, in their gardens. Like your garden gnome, the statues protected livestock, fruit plants, gardens, and male genitalia.
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