Wil Huygen - Gnomes, 1977.

A gnome is a diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th century. Paracelsus uses Gnomi as a synonym of Pygmæi, and classifies them as one of the four spirits of the four elements, making them: salamander=fire, gnome=earth, undine=water and silph=air. He describes them as two spans high, very reluctant to interact with humans, and able to move through solid earth as easily as humans move through air. The chthonic, or earth-dwelling, spirit has precedents in numerous ancient and medieval mythologies, often guarding mines and precious underground treasures.

Gnomes consist of a number of different types. The most common is the Forest Gnome who rarely comes into contact with man. The Garden Gnome lives in old gardens and enjoys telling melancoly tales. House Gnomes have the most knowledge of man, often speaking his language. Gnomes are usually an average of 15 centimeters tall (but in some stories they are said to be around a foot (30 cm) in height), but with its cap on it appears much taller. The males weigh 300 grams, and female is 250-275 grams. Most Gnomes are 7 times stronger than a man, can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour, and have better sight than a hawk. Gnomes tend to live in hilly meadows and rocky woodlands. In Huygen’s book, it says they live in trees, the house itself, with a hidden entrance from another tree.