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Mouse Tower

(The), on the Rhine, said to be so called because Bishop Hatto (q.v.) was there devoured by mice. The tower, however, was built by Bishop Siegfried, two hundred years after the death of Bishop Hatto, as a toll-house for collecting the duties upon all goods which passed by. The word maus or mauth means “toll,” and the toll collected on corn being very unpopular, gave rise to the tradition referred to. The catastrophe was fixed on Bishop Hatto, a noted statesman and councillor of Otho the Great, proverbial for his cunning perfidy. (See Hatto.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Mouse Tower from Infoplease:

  • Mouse Tower - Mouse Tower (The), on the Rhine, said to be so called because Bishop Hatto (q.v.) was there ...
  • Hatto - Hatto Archbishop of Mainz, according to tradition, was devoured by mice. The story says that in 970 ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: M - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "M"

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