Myth, Ritual, and Religion/Volume 1/Chapter 10
GREEK COSMOGONIC MYTHS.
The authorities for Greek cosmogonic myth are extremely various in date, character, and value. The most ancient texts are the Iliad and the poems attributed to Hesiod. The Iliad, whatever its date, whatever the place of its composition, was intended to please a noble class of warriors. The Hesiodic poems, at least the Theogony, have clearly a didactic aim, and the intention of presenting a systematic and orderly account of the divine genealogies. To neither would we willingly attribute a date much later than the ninth century of our era, but the question of the dates of all the epic and Hesiodic poems, and even of their various parts, is greatly disputed among scholars. Yet it is nowhere denied that, however late the present form of some of the poems may be, they contain ideas of extreme antiquity. Although the Homeric poems are usually considered, on the whole, more ancient than those attributed to Hesiod, it is a fact worth remembering that the notions of the origin of things in Hesiod are much more savage and (as we hold) much more archaic than the opinions of Homer.
While Hesiod offers a complete theogony or genealogy of deities and heroes, Homer gives no more than hints and allusions to the stormy past of the gods. It is clear, however, that his conception of that past differed considerably from the traditions of Hesiod. However we may explain it, the Homeric mythology (though itself repugnant to the philosophers from Xenophanes downwards) is much more mild, pure, and humane than the mythology either of Hesiod or of our other Greek authorities. Some may imagine that Homer retains a clearer and less corrupted memory than Hesiod possessed of an original and authentic "divine tradition." Others may find in Homer's comparative purity a proof of the later date of his epics in their present form, or may even proclaim that Homer was a kind of Cervantes, who wished to laugh the gods away. There is no conceivable or inconceivable theory about Homer that has not its advocates. For ourselves, we hold that the divine genius of Homer, though working in an age distant rather than "early," selected instinctively the purer mythical materials, and burned away the coarser dross of antique legend, leaving little but the gold which is comparatively refined.
We must remember that it does not follow that any mythical ideas are later than the age of Homer because we first meet them in poems of a later date. We have already seen that though the Brahmanas are much later in date of compilation than the Veda, yet a tradition which we first find in the Brahmanas may be older than the time at which the Veda was compiled. In the same way, as Mr. Max Müller observes, "we know that certain ideas which we find in later writers do not occur in Homer. But it does not follow at all that such ideas are all of later growth or possess a secondary character. One myth may have belonged to one tribe; one god may have had his chief worship in one locality; and our becoming acquainted with these through a later poet does not in the least prove their later origin."
After Homer and Hesiod our most ancient authorities for Greek cosmogonic myths are probably the so-called Orphic fragments. Concerning the dates and the manner of growth of these poems, volumes of erudition have been compiled. As Homer is silent about Orpheus (in spite of the position which the mythical Thracian bard acquired as the inventor of letters and magic and the father of the mysteries), it has been usual to regard the Orphic ideas as of late introduction. We may agree with Grote and Lobeck that these ideas and the ascetic "Orphic mode of life" first acquired importance in Greece about the time of Epimenides, or, roughly speaking, between 620 and 500 B.C. That age certainly witnessed an curious growth of superstitious fears and of mystic ceremonies intended to mitigate spiritual terrors. Greece was becoming more intimately acquainted with Egypt and with Asia, and was comparing her own religion with the beliefs and rites of other peoples. The times and the minds of men were being prepared for the clear philosophies that soon "on Argive heights divinely sang." Just as, when the old world was about to accept Christianity, a deluge of Oriental and barbaric superstitious swept across men's minds, so immediately before the dawn of Greek philosophy there came an irruption of mysticism and of spiritual fears. We may suppose that the Orphic poems were collected, edited, and probably interpolated, in this dark hour of Greece. "To me," says Lobeck, "it appears that the verses may be referred to the age of Onomacritus, an age curious in the writings of ancient poets, and attracted by the allurements of mystic religions." The style of the surviving fragments is sufficiently pure and epic; the strange unheard of myths are unlike those which the Alexandrian poets drew from fountains long lost. But how much in the Orphic myths is imported from Asia or Egypt, how much is the invention of literary forgers like Onomacritus, how much should be regarded as the first guesses of the physical poet-philosophers, and how much is truly ancient popular legend recast in literary form, it is impossible with certainty to determine.
We must not regard a myth as necessarily late or necessarily foreign because we first meet it in an "Orphic composition." If the myth be one of the sort which encounter us in every quarter, nay, in every obscure nook of the globe, we may plausibly regard it as ancient. If it bear the distinct marks of being a Neo-platonic pastiche, we may reject it without hesitation. On the whole, however, our Orphic authorities can never be quoted with much satisfaction. The later sources of evidence for Greek myths are not of great use to the student of cosmogonic legend, though invaluable when we come to treat of the established dynasty of gods, the heroes, and the "culture heroes." For these the authorities are the whole range of Greek literature, poets, dramatists, philosophers, critics, historians, and travellers. We have also the notes and comments of the scholiasts or commentators on the poets and dramatists. Sometimes these annotators only darken counsel by their guesses. Sometimes perhaps, especially in the scholia on the Iliad and Odyssey, they furnish us now and then with a precious myth or popular märchen not otherwise recorded. The regular professional mythographi, again, of whom Apollodorus (150 B.C.) is the type, compiled manuals explanatory of the myths which were alluded to by the poets. The scholiasts and mythographi often retain myths from lost poems and lost plays. Finally, from the travellers and historians we occasionally glean examples of the tales ("holy chapters," as Mr. Grote calls them) which were narrated by priests and temple officials the pilgrims who visited the sacred shrines.
These "chapters" are almost invariably puerile, savage, and obscene. They bear the stamp of extreme antiquity, because they never, as a rule, passed through the purifying medium of literature. There were many myths too crude and archaic for the purposes of poetry and of the drama. These were handed down from local priest to local priest, with the inviolability of sacred and immutable tradition. We have already given a reason for assigning a high antiquity to the local temple myths. Just as Greeks lived in villages before they gathered into towns, so their gods were village gods before they were gods of towns, and gods of towns before they were national deities. The local myths are those of the archaic village state of "culture," more ancient, more savage, than literary narrative. Very frequently the local legends were subjected to the process of allegorical interpretation, as men became alive to the monstrosity of their unsophisticated meaning. Often they proved too savage for our authorities, who merely remark, "Concerning this a certain holy chapter is told," but decline to record the legend. In the same way missionaries, with mistaken delicacy, often refuse to repeat some savage legend with which they are acquainted.
The latest sort of testimony as to Greek myths must be sought in the writings of the heathen apologists or learned Pagan defenders of Paganism in the first centuries during Christianity, and in the works of their opponents, the fathers of the Church. Though the fathers certainly do not understate the abominations of Paganism, and though the heathen apologists make free use of allegorical (and impossible) interpretations, the evidence of both is often useful and important. The testimony of ancient art, vases, statues, pictures, and the descriptions of these where they no longer survive, are also of service and interest.
After this brief examination of the sources of our knowledge of Greek myth, we may approach the Homeric legends of the origin of things and the world's beginning. In Homer these matters are only referred to incidentally. He more than once calls Oceanus (that is, the fabled stream which flows all round the world, here regarded as a person) "the origin of the gods," "the origin of all things." That Ocean is considered a person, and that he is not an allegory for water or the aqueous element, appears from the speech of Hera to Aphrodite: "I am going to visit the limits of the bountiful earth, and Oceanus, father of the gods, and mother Tethys, who reared me duly, and nurtured me in their halls, when far-seeing Zeus imprisoned Cronus beneath the earth and the unvintaged sea." Homer does not appear to know Uranus as the father of Cronus, and thus the myth of the mutilation of Uranus necessarily does not occur in Homer. Cronus, the head of the dynasty which preceded that of Zeus, is described as the son of Rhea, but nothing is said of his father. The passage contains the account which Poseidon himself chose to give of the war in heaven: "Three brethren are we, and sons of Cronus whom Rhea bare—Zeus and myself, and Hades is the third, the ruler of the folk in the under-world. And in three lots were all things divided, and each drew a domain of his own." Here Zeus is the eldest son of Cronus. Though lots are drawn at hazard for the property of the father (which we know to have been customary in Homer's time), yet throughout the Iliad Zeus constantly claims the respect and obedience due to him by right of primogeniture. We shall see that Hesiod adopts exactly the opposite view. Zeus is the youngest child of Cronus. His supremacy is an example of jüngsten recht, the wide-spread custom which makes the youngest child the heir in chief. But how did the sons of Cronus come to have his property in their hands to divide? By right of successful rebellion, when "Zeus imprisoned Cronus beneath the earth and the unvintaged sea." With Cronus in his imprisonment are the Titans. That is all that Homer cares to tell about the absolute beginning of things and the first dynasty of rulers of Olympus. His interest is all in the actual reigning family, that of the Cronidæ, nor is he fond of reporting their youthful excesses.
We now turn from Homer's incidental allusions to the ample and systematic narrative of Hesiod. As Mr. Grote says, "Men habitually took their information respecting their theogonic antiquities from the Hesiodic poems." Hesiod was accepted as an authority both by the pious Pausanias in the second century of our era—who protested against any attempt to alter stories about the gods—and by moral reformers like Plato and Xenophanes, who were revolted by the ancient legends, and, indeed, denied their truth. Yet though Hesiod represents Greek orthodoxy, we have observed that Homer (whose epics are probably still more ancient) steadily ignores the more barbarous portions of Hesiod's narrative. Thus the question arises, Are the stories of Hesiod's invention, and later than Homer's, or does Homer's genius half unconsciously purify materials like those which Hesiod presents in the crudest form? Mr. Grote says, "How far these stories are the invention of Hesiod himself is impossible to determine. They bring us down to a cast of fancy more coarse and indelicate than the Homeric, and more nearly resemble some of the holy chapters (ἱεροὶ λόγοι) of the more recent mysteries, such, for example, as the tale of Dionysos Zagreus. There is evidence in the Theogony itself that the author was acquainted with local legends current both at Krete and at Delphi, for he mentions both the mountain-cave in Krete wherein the newly-born Zeus was hidden, and the stone near the Delphian temple—the identical stone which Kronos had swallowed—placed by Zeus himself as a sign and marvel to mortal men. Both these monuments, which the poet expressly refers to, and had probably seen, imply a whole train of accessory and explanatory local legends, current probably among the priests of Krete and Delphi."
All these circumstances appear to be good evidence of the great antiquity of the legends recorded by Hesiod. In the first place, arguing merely a priori, it is extremely improbable that in the brief interval between the date of the comparatively pure and noble mythology of the Iliad and the much ruder Theogony of Hesiod men invented stories like the mutilation of Uranus and the swallowing of his offspring by Cronus. The former legend is almost exactly parallel, as has already been shown to the myth of Papa and Rangi in New Zealand. The latter has its parallels among the savage Bushmen and Australians. In is highly improbable that men in an age so civilised as that of Homer invented myths as hideous as those of the lowest savages. But if we take these myths to be, not new inventions, but the sacred stories of local priesthoods, their antiquity is probably incalculable. The sacred stories, as we know from Pausanias, Herodotus, and from all the writers who touch on the subject of the mysteries, were myths communicated by the priests to the initiated. Plato speaks of such myths in the Republic, 378: "If there is an absolute necessity for their mention, a very few might hear them in a mystery, and then let them sacrifice, not a common pig, but some huge and unprocurable victim; this would have the effect of very greatly diminishing the number of the hearers." This is an amusing example of a plan for veiling the horrors of myth. The pig was the animal usually offered to Demeter, the goddess of the Eleusinian mysteries. Plato proposes to substitute some "unprocurable" beast, perhaps a giraffe or an elephant.
To Hesiod, then, we must turn for what is the earliest complete literary form of the Greek cosmogonic myth. Hesiod begins, like the New Zealanders, with "the august race of gods, by earth and wide heaven begotten." So the New Zealanders, as we have seen, say, "The heaven which is above us, and the earth which is beneath us, are the progenitors of men and the origin of all things." Hesiod somewhat differs from this view by making Chaos absolutely first of all things, followed by "wide-bosomed Earth," Tartarus, and Eros (love). Chaos unaided produced Erebus and Night; the children of Night and Erebus are Æther and Day. Earth produced Heaven, who then became her own lover, and to Heaven she bore Oceanus, and the Titans, Cœeus and Crius, Hyperion and Iapetus, Thea and Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phœbe, Tethys, "and youngest after these was born Cronus of crooked counsel, the most dreadful of her children, who ever detested his puissant sire," Heaven. There were other sons of Earth and Heaven peculiarly hateful to their father, and these Uranus used to hide from the light in a hollow of Gæa. Both they and Gæa resented this treatment, and the Titans, like "the children of Heaven and Earth" in the New Zealand poem, "sought to discern the difference between light and darkness." Gæa (unlike Earth in the New Zealand myth, for there she is purely passive), conspired with her children, produced iron, and asked her sons to avenge their wrongs. Fear fell upon all of them save Cronus, who (like Tane Mahuta in the Maori poem) determined to end the embraces of Earth and Heaven. But while the New Zealand, like the Indo-Aryan myth, conceives of Earth and Heaven as two beings who have never previously been sundered at all, Hesiod makes Heaven amorously approach his spouse from a distance. This was the moment for Cronus, who stretched out his hand armed with the sickle of iron, and mutilated Uranus. As in so many savage myths, the blood of the wounded god fallen on the ground produced strange creatures, nymphs of the ash-tree, giants, and furies. As in the Maori myth, one of the children of Heaven stood apart and did not consent to the deed. This was Oceanus in Greece, and in New Zealand it was Tawhiri Matea, the wind, "who arose and followed his father, Heaven, and remained with him in the open spaces of the sky." Uranus now predicted that there would come a day of vengeance for the evil deed of Cronus, and so ends the dynasty of Uranus.
This story was one of the great stumbling-blocks of orthodox Greece. It was the tale that Plato said should be told, if at all, only to a few in a mystery, after the sacrifice of some rare and scarcely obtainable animal. Even among the Maoris, the conduct of the children who severed their father and mother is regarded as a singular instance of iniquity, and is told to children as a moral warning, an example to be condemned. In Greece, on the other hand, unless we are to take the Euthyphro as wholly ironical, some of the pious justified their conduct by the example of Zeus. Euthyphro quotes this example when he is about to prosecute his own father, for which act, he says, "Men are angry with me; so inconsistently do they talk when I am concerned and when the gods are concerned." But in Greek the tale has no meaning. It has been allegorised in various ways, and Lafitau fancied that it was a distorted form of the Biblical account of the origin of sin. In Maori the legend is perfectly intelligible. Heaven and earth were conceived of (like everything else), as beings with human parts and passions, linked in an endless embrace which crushed and darkened their children. It became necessary to separate them, and this feat was achieved not without pain. "Then wailed the Heaven, and exclaimed the Earth, 'Wherefore this murder? why this great sin? Why separate us?' But what cared Tane? Upwards he sent one and downwards the other. He cruelly severed the sinews which united Heaven and Earth." The Greek myth, too, contemplated earth and heaven as beings corporeally united, and heaven as a malignant power that concealed his children in darkness.
But while the conception of heaven and earth as parents of living things remains perfectly intelligible in one sense, the vivid personification which regarded them as creatures with human parts and passions had ceased to be intelligible in Greece before the times of the earliest philosophers. The old physical conception of the pair became a metaphor, and the account of their rending asunder by their children lost all significance, and seemed to be an abominable and unintelligible myth. When examined in the light of the New Zealand story, and of the fact that early peoples do regard all phenomena as human beings, with physical attributes like those of men, the legend of Cronus, and Uranus, and Gæa ceases to be a mystery. It is, at bottom, a savage explanation (as in the Samoan story) of the separation of earth and heaven, an explanation which could only have occurred to people in a state of mind which civilisation has forgotten.
The next generation of Hesiodic gods (if gods we are to call the members of this race of non—natural men) was not a more fortunate than the first in its family relations.
Cronus wedded his sister, Rhea, and begat Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and the youngest, Zeus. "And mighty Cronus swallowed down each of them, each that came to their mother's knees from her holy womb, with this intent that none other of the proud sons of heaven should hold his kingly sway among the immortals. Heaven and Earth had warned him that he too should fall through his children. Wherefore he kept no vain watch, but spied and swallowed down each of his offspring, while grief immitigable took possession of Rhea." Rhea, being about to become the mother of Zeus, took counsel with Uranus and Gæa. By their advice she went to Crete, where Zeus was born, and, in place of the child, she presented to Cronus a huge stone swathed in swaddling bands. This he swallowed, and was easy in his mind. Zeus grew up, and by some means, suggested by Gæa, compelled Zeus to disgorge all his offspring. "And he vomited out the stone first, as he had swallowed it last." The swallowed children emerged alive, and Zeus fixed the stone at Pytho (Delphi), where Pausanias had the privilege of seeing it, and where, as it did not tempt the cupidity of barbarous invaders, it probably still exists. It was not a large stone, Pausanias says, and the Delphians used to pour oil over it, as Jacob did to the stone at Bethel, and on feast-days they covered it with wraps of wool. The custom of smearing fetish-stones (which Theophrastus mentions as one of the practices of the superstitious man) is clearly a survival from the savage stage of religion. As a rule, however, among savages, fetish-stones are daubed with red paint (like the face of the wooden ancient Dionysi in Greece, and of Tsui Goab among the Hottentots), not smeared with oil.
The myth of the swallowing and disgorging of his own children by Cronus was another of the stumbling-blocks of Greek orthodoxy. The common explanation, that Time (Κρόνος) does swallow his children, the days, is not quite satisfactory. Time brings never the past back again, as Cronus did. Besides, the myth of the swallowing is not confined to Cronus. Modern philology has given, as usual, different analyses of the meaning of the name of the god. Hermann, with Preller, derives it from κραίνω, to fulfil. The harvest-month, says Preller, was named Cronion in Greece, and Cronia was the title of the harvest-festival. The sickle of Cronus is thus brought into connection with the sickle of the harvester.
Let us now examine the various attempts to explain the myth of Cronus. Mr. Max Müller's explanation of the myth of Cronus (regarded as Time) is ingenious.
"There is no such being as Κρόνος in Sanskrit. Κρόνος did not exist till long after Zeus in Greece. Zeus was called by the Greeks "the son of Time." . . . It meant originally, not that Time was the origin or source of Zeus, but κρονίων or κρονίδης was used in the sense of connected with time, representing time, existing through all time." To be brief, this meaning of κρονίδης was forgotten, and the word was mistaken for a patronymic, meaning "son of a more ancient god, Κρόνος." Having thus got their "more ancient god," the Greeks wanted a myth for him. They said that he mutilated his own father and swallowed and disgorged his own children. Why the Greeks attributed these disgusting feats to Cronus, and especially why they did so long after they had become thoroughly Hellenic in language, is exactly what Mr. Müller does not appear to explain, though he started by declaring that myths like these were precisely what wanted explaining. "Among the lowest tribes of Africa and America we hardly find anything more revolting."
Among explanations of Cronus and his legend which do not regard him as a myth or allegory of time, we have our choice between two leading and contradictory hypotheses. To the mind of Schwartz, Cronus is a storm-god, a god of the dark tempest. In the opinion of Preller and Böttiger, he derives many of his characteristics, especially his cannibalism, from the Phœnician worship of Moloch. Now as Moloch means "king," and is one of the names of the Semitic sun-god Baal, there is obviously a great discrepancy between the idea of Cronus as a sun-god and Cronus as a storm-god. The details of his legend, however, aye, as usual, made without difficulty to fit either hypothesis.
As to the relations between Cronus and Moloch, they were originally perceived or imagined by the Greeks themselves. However we may explain the fact, it is certain that the deities and myths of most ancient and of most savage religions have numerous points in common. The Greeks recognised Dionysus in the Egyptian Osiris, Aphrodite in the Semitic Astarte, Cronus in the Semitic Moloch. In the same way the Romans identified Hercules with Heracles, Saturn with Cronus, and so forth. But just as readily Sahagun and Acosta and other early missionaries recognised Venus, Mars, and Ceres in the figures of the Mexican or Peruvian Olympus. Had the Greeks discovered Mexico, they would have found Ares or Heracles in Huitzilopochtli, Zeus in Tezcatlipoca, and Demeter in Chicome Coatl. The Greeks would have accounted for these resemblances (as they did in the case of the Egyptian gods) by some hypothesis of borrowing. Probably scholars will not now maintain that Greeks ever borrowed from Mexicans, or Maoris from Greeks. But the hypothesis of borrowing is still favoured, and may or may not be correct, when a Greek is found to correspond to a Phœnician, or a Phœnician to an Accadian or Chaldæan deity. This theory of borrowing is applied by some mythologists to explain the myth of Cronus. Mr. Max Müller, we have seen, thinks Cronus a late Greek god, invented to explain the name Cronion. The Greeks, on the other hand, recognised their Cronus in the Phœnician Moloch. Thus Porphyry describes the human sacrifices with which the Rhodians adored Cronus, and when the Greeks had to speak of the Carthaginian offering of children to Moloch, Moloch was spoken of by them under the name of Cronus. We have, therefore, our choice between two hypotheses. The Greeks borrowed their legend of Cronus and their custom of human sacrifices from the Phœnicians, or the Greeks, like the Phœnicians, had originally a god fond of human blood, and under the Phœnician Moloch they recognised their own original Cronus. The idea that the Greeks borrowed a god and a custom they would never have invented is maintained, among others, by Böttiger. In the story of the victory of Zeus and of the exile of Cronus to the distant west, Böttiger sees the victory of the Hellenic religion of Zeus and the retreat of the Phœnician faith "before the folding star of Crete." Professor Sayce is struck by the resemblance between the legend of Moloch, (or Baal under the name of Moloch) and the legend of Cronus; but he regards Moloch as a deity of non-Semitic origin, a deity borrowed by the Phœnicians "from the primitive Accadian population of Babylonia. Like the Cronos of the Greeks, he (Baal, Moloch, the sun-god) slew his own son Sadid" (which, however, Cronus did not do) "and cut off his daughter's head with the sword, while he rent his father, the sky, into pieces, filling the streams and rivers with the blood that flowed from the mangled corpse. Here" (says Professor Sayce) "the veil of the legend can be easily lifted. The blood of the sky is the rain which is poured upon the earth before the sun-god pierces the dark storm-cloud that covers his face." As a matter of fact, the "piercing" comes first in the myth, the drops afterwards; whereas, in nature the drops (according to Professor Sayce) precede the piercing.
According to this pedigree of the myth of the mutilation of Uranus, it ought to be originally Accadian. But the Scandinavians, and the Maoris, and the Indians, and the Tinnehs, and Tacullies of North America cannot have borrowed their analogous myths from the Accadians.
The mythological theory of Schwartz does not regard Cronus as borrowed from Baal, who again is the sun-god, but as a god of storm and thunder. The sickle with which Cronus wounded Uranus is (to Schwartz's mind) the rainbow, "the sickle of thunder." The blood=drops are not raindrops, as in Professor Sayce's theory, but flashes of lightning. Preller, again, looks on Cronus neither as time, thunder, nor the sun, but as a kind of god of harvest and of the ripening autumn. This theory is supported by the derivation of κρόνος from κραίνω, to accomplish, to fulfil, to ripen. The famous sickle goes well with a harvest-god, and it has been observed that the harvest-feast was known as Cronia. Yet this explanation matches but ill with Scwhartz's notion that the defeat of Cronus by his children means the exile of winter by the summer months. Schwartz also recognises Cronus as the thunder, when he pursues his wife in the shape of a horse, while she assumes the form of a mare. It will now be plain enough that some scholars must be wrong somewhere. Cronus can scarcely be both time and thunder, both sun and cloud; he cannot be originally Greek and originally Phœnician or Accadian; he can hardly be at once the winter weather and the sun-god.
To these interpretations, and to many others which have exercised or amused the ingenuity of the learned, may now be added the explanation of Dr. C. P. Tiele. "I shall explain what I can," says Dr. Tiele, "but I cannot explain everything." He will not explain the sickle of Cronus as the rainbow, the crescent moon, or the Milky Way. "It is simply the ancient attribute and arm of the Titan, sabre or scimitar." Nor does Dr. Tiele fly for aid to etymology. He prefers to examine the place and character of Cronus in Greek religion and myth, so as to deduce the fundamental idea of the god from the sum of his relations. The main point is that Cronus was worshipped with human sacrifices, which seems in conformity with his character as a "devourer" or "swallower." Again, the Attic festival called Cronia, on the twelfth day after the summer solstice, was at once a harvest-home and a memory of the fabled age of gold, like the Roman Saturnalia. Cronus himself, in Pindar, flourishes in a kind of golden age in the Fortunate Islands. Thus Cronus has a benevolent side to his usually truculent character. He is also represented in art as veiled or concealed. A veiled god who "lives in the west, that is, where the sun sets, and the deeps under the earth," and who rules over dead Titans and heroes, must be a god of death, and consequently god of harvest, for seed is fructified by subterranean powe rs. Even so Persephone, "goddess of spring" (according to Dr. Tiele), passes half of her year in the under-world. Thus Preller and Kuhn make the mistake of explaining the god in only one of his aspects. With Kuhn he is the god of the nocturnal sky, with Preller the god who ripens the grain. Really he is both. He unites his apparently contradictory characteristics, because he is the god par excellence of the under-world, while at the same time he is the god of the upper air, the midnight sky. He goes up aloft at night and in winter "from the depths where he dwells to reign in the higher world."
Turning from the character of Cronus thus set forth in ritual to his myths, Dr. Tiele discovers that these depict the same phenomena of Nature. They are mythical parallels, and a synthetic mythology, under the influence of art, has united them in a single consecutive story. The first incident, the severing by Cronus of Uranus and Gæa, "refers to the passage from day to night, from Winter to summer, from light to darkness. What ends the union of the warming and fertilising heaven-god with mother earth? It is Cronus, the god of the lower world and of death, armed with his sharp-toothed harpe." At the moment of the contact of heaven and earth he mutilates his parent, and throws away the portion abstracted. "It needs but a little of the true sense for mythology to see that this is merely the description of the setting sun." This is proved by the birth of Erinnyes, giants, and Melian nymphs from the blood of Uranus; for the Erinnyes are noctural goddesses, and "the Melian nymphs are not ash-nymphs, but bees, that is to say, stars." The blood represents the red of sunset; and if Aphrodite rises from the sea-foam where the amputated portions fell, "she manifests herself here in the moon."
So this earlier incident, with all its foul details, is merely a curious and disgusting old Greek way of saying that the moon rises from the sea after a fine sunset.
The second myth, says Dr. Tiele, has a wider signification, though it is still more barbarous than the former. The myth is that which tells how Cronus swallowed his children. The central idea here is "the devouring of the luminous gods, lords of day, by the god of the nether regions," who disgorges them at dawn. The episode of the stone offered to the cannibal father in place of Zeus is an addition needed for the introduction of the story about the education of Zeus in Crete. There, "in conformity with his nature, Zeus is fed with the honey of the bees that nest in the cave of Ida (the stars of night), and with the milk of the she-goat Amalthea, the moon, that is to say, with light." The combination of these ideas produces the myth of Cronus. All this interpretation is perhaps too elaborate, too pat, too ingenious. Honey and milk were naturally a baby-god's food; we need not see in them the moont and the host of heaven. For our part, we may say with Grote, "Although some of the attributes and actions ascribed to the persons are often explicable by allegory, the whole series and system of them are never so. The theorist who adopts this path of explanation finds that, after one or two simple and obvious steps, the path is no longer open, and he is forced to clear a way for himself by gratuitous refinements and conjectures. . . . The theogony of the Greeks . . . cannot be translated into a string of elementary, planetary, or physical changes." Like Dr. Tiele, we are content only to explain what we can, but he can explain far more than we pretend to understand. Though a confession of ignorance is distasteful to most mythologists, it is to this that a cautious student of the stories of Cronus is reduced. The feat of severing the secular embrace of heaven and earth is intelligible enough, if the position of people who believe that heaven once actually touched earth is understood. Intelligible, too, is the Maori myth, in which the forest-god, thrusting his branches upwards, causes the divorce. But it is less easy to see why Cronus, in particular, took this rôle in Greece, because nothing is known of the meaning of the name Cronus, nor (beyond his truculence) of the god's original character and status.
The second myth, in which he swallows his children, has numerous parallels in savage legend. Bushmen tell of Kwai Hemm, the devourer, who swallows that great god, the mantis insect,and disgorges him alive with all the other persons and animals whom he has engulphed in the course of a long and voracious career. The moon in Australia, while he lived on earth, was very greedy, and swallowed the eagle-god, whom he had to disgorge. Mr. Im Thurn found similar tales among the Indians of Guiana. The swallowing and disgorging of Heracles by the monster that was to slay Hesione is well known. Scotch peasants tell of the same feats, but localise the myth on the banks of the Ken in Galloway. Basutos, Eskimos, Zulus, and European fairy tales all possess this incident, the swallowing of many persons by a being from whose maw they return alive and in good case.
A mythical conception which prevails from Greenland to South Africa, from Delphi to the Solomon Islands, from Brittany to the shores of Lake Superior, must have some foundation in the common elements of human nature. Now it seems highly probable that this curious idea may have been originally invented in an attempt to explain natural phenomena by a nature-myth. It has already been shown (chapter v.) that eclipses are interpreted, even by the peasantry of advanced races, as the swallowing of the moon by a beast or a monster. The Piutes account for the disappearance of the stars in the daytime by the hypothesis that the "sun swallows his children." In the Melanesian myth, dawn is cut out of the body of night by Qat, armed with a knife of red obsidian. Here are examples of transparent nature-myths in which this idea occurs for obvious explanatory purposes, and in accordance with the laws of the savage imagination. Thus the conception of the swallowing and disgorging being may very well have arisen out of a nature-myth. But why is the notion attached to the legend of Cronus?
That is precisely the question about which mythologists differ, as has been shown, and perhaps it is better to offer no explanation. However stories arise—and this story probably arose from a nature-myth—it is certain that they wander about the world, that they change masters, and thus a legend which is told of a princess with an impossible name in Zululand is told of the mother of Charlemagne in France. The tale of the swallowing may have been attributed to Cronus, as a great truculent deity, though it has no particular elemental signification in connection with his legend.
This peculiarly savage trick of swallowing each other became an inherited habit in the family of Cronus. When Zeus reached years of discretion, he married Metis, and this lady, according to the scholiast on Hesiod, had the power of transforming herself into any shape she pleased. When she was about to be a mother, Zeus induced her to assume the shape of a fly and instantly swallowed her. In behaving thus, Zeus acted on the advice of Uranus and Gæa. It was feared that Metis would produce a child more powerful than his father. Zeus avoided this peril by swallowing his wife, and himself gave birth to Athene. The notion of swallowing a hostile person, who has been changed by magic into a conveniently small bulk, is very common. It occurs in the story of Taliesin. Caridwen, in the shape of a hen, swallows Gwion Bach, in the form of a grain of wheat. In the same manner the princess in the Arabian Nights swallowed the Geni. Here then we have in the Hesiodic myth an old märchen pressed into the service of the higher mythology. The apprehension which Zeus (like Herod and King Arthur) always felt lest an unborn child should overthrow him, was also familiar to Indra; but, instead of swallowing the mother and concealing her in his own body, like Zeus, Indra entered the mother's body, and himself was born instead of the dreaded child. A cow on this occasion was born along with Indra. This adventure of the κατάποσις or swallowing of Metis was explained by the late Platonists as a Platonic allegory. Probably the people who originated the tale were not Platonists, any more than Pandarus was an Aristotelian.
After Homer and Hesiod the oldest literary authorities for Greek cosmogonic myths are the poems attributed to Orpheus. About their probable date, as has been said, little is known. They have reached us only in fragments, but seem to contain the nrst guesses of a philosophy not yet disengaged from mythical conditions. The poet preserves, indeed, some extremely rude touches of early imagination, while at the same time one of the noblest and boldest expressions of pantheistic thought is attributed to him. From the same source are drawn ideas as pure as those of the philosophical Vedic hymn, and as wild as those of the Vedic Purusha Sukta, or legend of the fashioning of the world out of the mangled limbs of Purusha. The authors of the Orphic cosmogony appear to have begun with some remarks on Time (Κρόνος). "Time was when as yet this world was not." Time, regarded in the mythical fashion as a person, generated Chaos and Æther. The Orphic poet styles Chaos χάσμα πελώριον, the "monstrous gulf," or "gap." This term curiously reminds one of Ginnunga-gap in the Scandinavian cosmogonic legends. "Ginnunga-gap was light as windless air," and therein the blast of heat met the cold rime, whence Ymir was generated, the Purusha of Northern fable. These ideas correspond well with the Orphic conception of primitive space.
In process of time Chaos produced an egg, shining and silver white. It is absurd to inquire, according to Lobeck, whether the poet borrowed this widely spread notion of a cosmic egg from Phœnicia, Babylon, Egypt (where the goose-god Seb laid the egg), or whether the Orphic singer originated so obvious an idea. Quærere ludicrum est. The conception may have been borrowed, but manifestly it is one of the earliest hypotheses that occur to the rude imagination. We have now three primitive generations, time, chaos, the egg, and in the fourth generation the egg gave birth to Phanes, the great hero of the Orphic cosmogony. The earliest and rudest thinkers were puzzled, as many savage cosmogonic myths have demonstrated, to account for the origin of life. The myths frequently hit on the theory of a hermaphroditic being, both male and female, who produces another being out of himself. Prajapati in the Indian stories, and Hrimthursar in Scandinavian legend—"one of his feet got a son on the other"—with Lox in the Algonquin tale are examples of these double-sexed personages. In the Orphic poem, Phanes is both male and female. This Phanes held within him "the seed of all the gods," and his name is confused with the names of Metis and Ericapæus in a kind of trinity. All this part of the Orphic doctrine is greatly obscured by the allegorical and theosophistic interpretations of the late Platonists long after our era, who, as usual, insisted on finding their own trinitarian ideas, commenta frigidissima, concealed under the mythical narrative.
Another description by Hieronymus of the first being, the Orphic Phanes, "as a serpent with bull's and lion's heads, with a human face in the middle and wings on the shoulders," is sufficiently rude and senseless. But these physical attributes could easily be explained away as types of anything the Platonist pleased. The Orphic Phanes, too, was almost as many-headed as a giant in a fairy tale, or as Purusha in the Rig-Veda. He had a ram's head, a bull's head, a snake's head, and a lion's head, and glanced around with four eyes, presumably human. This remarkable being was also provided with golden wings. The nature of the physical arrangements by which Phanes became capable of originating life in the world is described in a style so savage and crude, that the reader must be referred to Suidas for the original text. The tale is worthy of the Swift-like fancy of the Australian Narrinyeri.
Nothing can be easier or more delusive than to explain all this wild part of the Orphic cosmogony as an allegorical veil of any modern ideas we choose to select. But why the "allegory" should closely imitate the rough guesses of uncivilised peoples, Ahts, Diggers, Zunis, Cahrocs, it is less easy to explain. We can readily imagine African or American tribes who were accustomed to revere bulls, rams, snakes, and so forth, ascribing the heads of all their various animal patrons to the deity of their confederation. We can easily see how such races as practise the savage rites of puberty should attribute to the first being the special organs of Phanes. But on the Neo-Platonic hypothesis that Orpheus was a seer of Neo-Platonic opinions, we do not see why he should have veiled his ideas under so savage an allegory. This part of the Orphic speculation is left in judicious silence by some modern commentators, such as M. Darmesteter in Les Cosmogonies Aryennes. Indeed, if we choose to regard Apollonius Rhodius, an Alexandrine poet writing in a highly civilised age, as the representative of Orphicism, it is easy to mask and pass by the more stern and characteristic fortresses of the Orphic divine. The theriomorphic Phanes is a much less "Aryan" and agreeable object than the glorious golden-winged Eros, the love-god of Apollonius Rhodius and Aristophanes.
On the whole, the Orphic fragments appear to contain survivals of savage myths of the origin of things blended with purer and later speculations. The savage ideas are finally explained by late philosophers as allegorical veils and vestments of philosophy; but the interpretation is arbitrary, and varies with the taste and fancy of each interpreter. Meanwhile the coincidence of the wilder elements with the speculations native to races in the lowest grades of civilisation is undeniable. This opinion is confirmed by the Greek myths of the origin of Man. These, too, coincide with the various absurd conjectures of savages.
In studying the various Greek local legends of the origin of Man, we encounter the difficulty of separating them from the myths of heroes, which it will be more convenient to treat separately. This difficulty we have already met in our treatment of savage traditions of the beginnings of the race. Thus we saw that among the Melanesians, Qat, and among the Ahts, Quawteaht, were heroic persons, who made men and most other things. But it was desirable to keep their performances of this sort separate from their other feats, their introduction of fire, for example, and of various arts. In the same way it will be well, in reviewing Greek legends, to keep Prometheus' share in the making of men apart from the other stories of his exploits as a benefactor of the men whom he made. In Hesiod, Prometheus is the son of the Titan Iapetus, and perhaps his chief exploit is to play upon Zeus a trick of which we find the parallel in various savage myths. It seems, however, from Ovid, and other texts, that Hesiod somewhere spoke of Prometheus as having made men out of clay, like Pund-jel in the Australian, Qat in the Melanesian, and Tiki in the Maori myths. The same story is preserved in Servius's commentary on Virgil. A different legend is preserved in the Etymologieum Magnum (voc. Ikonion). According to this story, after the deluge of Deucalion, "Zeus bade Prometheus and Athene make images of men out of clay, and the winds blew into them the breath of life." In confirmation of this legend, Pausanias was shown in Phocis certain stones of the colour of clay, and "smelling very like human flesh;" and these, according to the Phocians, were "the remains of the clay from which the whole human race was fashioned by Prometheus."
Aristophanes, too, in the Birds (686) talks of men as πλάσματα πήλου, figures kneaded of clay. Thus there are sufficient traces in Greek tradition of the savage myth that man was made of clay by some superior being, like Pund-jel in the quaint Australian story. We saw that among various rude races other theories of the origin of man were current. Men were thought to have come out of a hole in the ground or a bed of reeds, and sometimes the very scene of their first appearance was still known, and pointed out to the curious. This myth was current among races who regarded themselves as the only people whose origin needed explanation. Other stories represented man as the fruit of a tree, or the child of a rock or stone, or as the descendant of one of the lower animals. Examples of these opinions in Greek legend are now to be given. In the first place, we have a fragment of Pindar, in which the poet enumerates several of the centres from which different Greek tribes believed men to have sprung. "Hard it is to find out whether Alalkomeneus, first of men, arose on the marsh of Cephissus, or whether the Curetes of Ida first, a stock divine, arose, or if it was the Phrygian Corybantes that the sun earliest saw,—men like trees walking;" and Pindar mentions Egyptian and Libyan legends of the same description. The Thebans and the Arcadians held themselves to be "earth-born." "The black earth bore Pelasgus on the high wooded hills," says an ancient line of Asius. The Dryopians were an example of a race of men born from ash-trees. The myth of gens virum truncis et duro robore nata, "born of tree-trunk and the heart of oak," had passed into a proverb even in Homer's time. Lucian mentions the Athenian myth "that men grew like cabbages out of the earth." As to Greek myths of the descent of families from animals, these will be examined in the discussion of the legend of Zeus.
Phœnician Cosmogonic Myths.
The commercial relations between the Sidonians or Phœnicians and the Homeric and pre-Homeric Greeks make it very desirable to gain a clear view of Phœnician mythology. Though the extent of Greek borrowing from Phœnician sources has probably been exaggerated by some scholars—for example, by Duncker—the Greeks may have been considerably influenced by their Semitic neighbours. Not only the direct evidence of Homer, but the relics of Phoenician art found on Greek soil, the borrowing of letters from the Phœnician alphabet, and the famous legends of Cadmus and Europa, demonstrate the connection between the Semitic and Aryan peoples of the Levant. That their mythologies also resembled each other in some points is certain, but the inference that many Greek myths are "loan-myths," as certain Homeric words are "loan-words," from Phœnicia, must not be too hastily drawn. Resemblances between the myths of nations severed from each other by all the width of the world, races as remote as Alaska from Chaldea, have been shown to exist. Therefore contiguous races of different stocks need not have bartered myths with each other, even when their stories closely resemble each other. But the hypothesis of barter in myths, when there have undeniably been exchanges in commerce, art, and science, will always be plausible, and can never be hastily set aside.
Unhappily our information about Phœnician myths is late, scanty, suspicious, and corrupt. The chief sources are the fragments attributed to Sanchoniathon by Philo Byblius, a grammarian of the first and second Christian centuries. Now when a curious Phœnician inquirer, familiar with Greek opinion and Greek legends, and constrained, like Herodotus, to explain coincidences by a theory of borrowing, constrained also, like most polytheists, to recognise his own gods in alien deities with which they may have had little real analogy—when such an inquirer narrates his national myths, his report must be received with caution. It is not as if we were dealing either with original documents like the Vedas or the Egyptian Book of the Dead, on the one hand, or with direct popular tradition, like the Red Indian or Mexican myths collected by Brébeuf or Sahagun, on the other. A man like Philo of Byblos will mingle early philosophies, allegorical and symbolical interpretations, theories of his own, confusions from the sphere of earlier creeds, and many other elements with the myths which he narrates. Nor does the topic become simpler when we are compelled regretfully to admit that there are many signs of misstatement, and a very strong suspicion of forgery, literary and pious.
There are several cosmogonic systems in the remains of the so-called Sanchoniathon. He begins by a kind of philosophic rather than mythical hypothesis of the origin of things. There was a troubled and windy atmosphere and a black weltering chaos; these were limitless and long enduring. Then the wind (here myth, or the mythical manner at least, comes in) became amorous of its own principles, and there was a mingling or return upon self, and this was called Desire. This unconscious "becoming," as one might say, was the begetter of all things, and thence sprang Môt, a kind of watery slime. Thence, again, were developed the seeds of all existence. In Môt, a sort of vaguely animated protoplasm, arose unconscious living beings. These produced conscious living beings called "contemplators of the heavens." "And Môt was egg-shaped, and shining, and there were sun and moon, stars and planets."
Eusebius objects that this system, in which a dimly conscious evolutionism is trammelled by old mythical ideas of the early loves of the world and the primeval egg, "leads straight to atheism." The document goes on to attribute the making of animal life to the atmospheric disturbances produced by the sun's heat among the first vapours and wandering elements of the world. "And male and female" (hitherto combined in single shapes) "began to stir in land and sea." Next, the first men worshipped τὰ τῆς γῆς βλαστήματα, stars, sun, and moon, and the elements and natural forces, and regarded them as gods, and offered them sacrifice.
Here we have merely the author's theory of the origin of religion. He returns to mythical matter when he derives the first mortal human being from the embraces of Colpias (the night wind?) and his wife Baau (=Bohu?). Their descendants were sun-worshippers, and discovered the earlier arts of life. Of this family were φῶς, πῦρ, καὶ φλόξ (light, fire, and flame), who invented the art of fire-making by rubbing sticks together. These had gigantic sons; morality declined, and there was the usual battle between two semi-divine brothers. The world was chastised by a water age and a wind age, as in Australian myths. So far this fragment goes; the next brings forward new culture-heroes.
Of these, one was Chousor or Chrysor, who practised magic and spells, and, like Maui in New Zealand, invented hooks, as well as lines, baits, and boats. He was honoured after death as a god—in Greek, Zeus Meilichios (Malâk=the seaman?); or Malâk may be the name of a brother of Chousor's, who invented architecture and brick-making. A number of the other arts were discovered by other members of this race, and Taût, who invented letters, was occasionally identified with Hermes by the Greeks.
Here, without any particular break, but in the course of the disjointed narrative, begins what is really a new statement of the cosmogony.
There was a being named "The Most High" ('Elioun), who, with his wife Berouth, inhabited Byblos. Here, apparently, the Bybline local version is summarised. Epigeios was their child, and he later received the name of Ouranos. His sister was named, in Greek, Gê, and here is the old myth of the wedding of Heaven and Earth in the Phœnician form. The being called the Most High met his end in a fight with wild beasts, and was deified. Then, as in Greek and Maori myths, Heaven wedded Earth. Their children were Elos (El), called Cronus by the Greeks; Bætylus (Bêthel), the Semitic name for fetish-stones; Dagon, an old Biblical friend, and Atlas. Now the inconséquences of Heaven were numerous and fruitful, so that Earth became jealous, and would have shunned his society in her anger. As he persisted in his embraces, and tried to kill her children, Earth called in her offspring to her assistance. Then El (Cronus) declared war on his father. He himself had two daughters, Persephone and Athene. By the counsel of the former he forged an iron scimitar (harpê) and spear. Then his ally, Hermes, excited El by a magical incantation, and they assailed Heaven. Cronus or El was victor in the battle, and founded and fortified Byblos. His allies were called Elohim, deriving that name from El. Old Heaven, in exile, was still of good heart, especially as El kept cutting off the heads of his heirs and offspring, a policy hereditary in this truculent family. Heaven also invented animated stones, called Bætylia—fetish-stones, in short. Dagon invented agriculture, and was styled Zeus Arotrios by the Greeks. Finally, as the heavenly war dragged on its course, El lay in wait for Heaven, took him in an ambuscade, and treated him as cruelly as Tutenganahau used Rangi, or as Cronus mutilated Uranus. The place where all this occurred is still shown near Byblos. At a later date, El, during a famine, sacrificed his son to Heaven, and was circumcised with all his company, wherein he found no followers among the Greeks. Taût next invented for El, by way of symbols of his majesty, four eyes, two in front and two behind; and four wings, two raised, two in repose. It is needless to say that Cronus in Greek art has no attributes like these of El, his Phœnician counterpart.
All this drivel was allegorised, says the author, mixed with physical philosophy, and written out by the first Phœnician hierophant. The Greeks, he adds, borrowed, and decorated, and distorted the Phœnician cosmogonic traditions, and now the Greek myths, he complains, have superseded the old genuine traditions, "so that the truth seems raving folly, and the false story true."
It seems impossible to determine with certainty how much of this mythic Phœnician narrative is really antique, how much it contains of Greek traditions, or how much, if anything, Greek traditions here owe to Phœnician sources. If such a traveller as Herodotus had encountered the Maoris, for example, he would certainly have explained by borrowing, on one side or the other, the resemblance of the story of Cronus and the story of Rangi. A similar explanation of the common points in the myths of El and Cronus is offered by the Phœnician, but whether his view be correct or not, we can only conjecture. Probably the human mind, at an early stage, might anywhere develop tales as crude and hideous as these early guesses at truth.
- Grote assigns his Theogony to circ. 750 A.D. The Theogony was taught to boys in Greece, much as the Church Catechism and Bible are taught in England; Æschines in Ctesiph., 135, p. 73. Libanius, 400 years after Christ (i. 502–509, iv. 874).
- Hibbert Lectures, pp. 130–131.
- Lobeck, Aglaophamus, i. 317; Grote, iii. 86.
- Aglaophamus, i. 611.
- Gibbon's comment on the evidence is amusing: "Nous ne connaissons guère le système du Paganisme que par les poëtes, et par les pères de l'Eglise, les uns et les autres très adonnés aux fictions."—Essai sur l'Etude de la Littérature, p. 76 (Londres, 1762).
- Iliad, xiv. 201, 302, 246.
- In reading what Homer and Hesiod report about these matters, we must remember that all the forces and phenomena are conceived of by them as persons. In this regard the archaic and savage view of all things as personal and human is preserved. "I maintain," says Grote, "moreover, fully the character of these great divine agents as persons, which is the light in which they presented themselves to the Homeric or Hesiodic audience. Uranus, Nyx, Hypnos, and Oneiros (heaven, night, sleep, and dream) are persons just as much as Zeus or Apollo. To resolve them into mere allegories is unsafe and unprofitable. We then depart from the point of view of the original hearers without acquiring any consistent or philosophical point of view of our own." This holds good though portions of the Hesiodic genealogies are distinctly poetic allegories cast in the mould of the ancient personal theory of things.
- Iliad, xv. 187.
- The custom by which sons drew lots for equal shares of their dead father's property is described in Odyssey, xiv. 199–212. Here Odysseus, giving a false account of himself, says that he was a Cretan, a bastard, and that his half-brothers, born in wedlock, drew lots for their father's inheritance, and did not admit him to the drawing, but gave him a small portion apart.
- See Elton, Origins of English History, pp. 185–207.
- Timæus, 41; Republic, 377.
- Theog., 45.
- Theog., 116.
- Theog., 155.
- Theog., 166.
- Muir, v. 23, quoting Aitareya Brahmana, iv. 27: "These two worlds were once joined; subsequently they separated."
- Theog., 175–185.
- Apollod., i. 15.
- Theog., 209.
- Euthyphro, 6.
- Taylor, New Zealand, 119.
- Theog., 460, 465.
- Theog., 498.
- x. 245.
- Gen. xxviii. 18.
- Pausania, ii. 2, 5.
- Preller, Gr. Myth., i. 44; Hartung, ii. 48; Porphyry, Abst., ii. 54. Welcker will not hear of this etymology, Gr. Gött., i. 145, note 9.
- Selected Essas, i. 460. The idea belongs to Welcker. Griech. Götterlehre, 1857, i. 140–148.
- Sahagun, i. 6, 7.
- Diodorus, xx. 14, 15, p. 416; Porphyry, ap. Euseb., Præp. Evang., iv. 10.
- Kunst Mythologie, i. 222, 372.
- Contemporary Review, September 1883.
- Schwartz, Der Ursprung der Mythologie, pp. 133, 135, 139, 149; Preller, Griechishe Mythologie, p. 44.
- Custom and Myth, "The Myth of Cronus."
- Revue de l'Hist. des Rel., November–December, 1885.
- Pindar, Ol., ii. 70–80. Porph. De Abst., iv. 2.
- Bleek, Bushman Folk-lore, pp. 6, 8.
- The myth of Cronus and the swallowed children and the stone is transferred to Gargantua. See Sébillot, Gargantua dans les Traditions Populaires. But it is impossible to be certain that this is not an example of direct borrowing by Madame De Cerny in her Saint Suliac, p. 69.
- Compare Tylor, Prim. Cult., i. 338.
- Hesoid, Theogonia, 886. See Scholiast and note in Aglaophamus, i. 613. Compare Puss in Boots and the Ogre.
- Mabinogion, p. 473.
- Black Yajur Veda, quoted by Sayana.
- Rig-Veda, x. 90.
- Lobeck, Aglaophamus, i. 470. See also the quotations from Proculus.
- Gylfi's Mocking.
- Aglaophamus, p. 473.
- Clemens Alexan., p. 672.
- Damascius, ap. Lobeck, i. 481.
- Aglaoph., i. 483.
- Damascius, 381, ap. Lobeck, i. 484.
- Hermias in Phædr. ap. Lobeck, i. 490.
- Suidas s. v. Phanes.
- Essais Orientaux, p. 166.
- Argonautica, 1–12; Aves, 693.
- Ovid. Metam., i. 82.
- Eclogue, vi. 42.
- Pausanias, x. 4, 3.
- Preller, Aus. Auf., p. 158.
- Virgil, Æn., viii. 315; Odyssey, xix. 163; Iliad, ii. xxii. 120; Juvenal, vi. 11. Cf. also Bouché Leclerq, De Origine Generis Humani.
- Philops., iii.
- Renan, Memoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions. 1868, vol. xxiii. part ii. The fragments are quoted, correctly or not, by Eusebius, Præp. Ev., i. 10, and are translated and commented on by M. Lenormant, Les Origines de l'Histoire, Paris, 1880, vol. i. Appendices E., G., p. 536.
- Eusebius, op. cit., i. 10 ad init.
- Eusebius, Præp. Evan., i. 9.
- Names more or less Phœnician are given by Lenormant.
- Euseb., Præp. Evan., i. 10, 29.
- The theory of Baudissin (Studien zur Semitischen Religionsgeschichte, vol. i., 1876) is that Philo himself wrote what he ascribes to Sanchoniathon, but that he worked on materials more or less genuine. See also A. von Gutschmid (Enc. Brit., xviii. 802). I am indebted here to Professor Robertson Smith. M. Renan (Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscrip., 1868, pp. 272–273) is disinclined to believe that Greece borrowed the story of Cronus from Phœnicia. As to the origin of the work attributed to Sanchoniathon, M. Renan holds that Phœnicia had an ancient cosmogony of her own; that it was crossed later with Greek and Egyptian ideas; that a Phœnician (Sanchoniathon) of 300–150 B.C. compiled a work out of various local myths loosely stitched together, and that about Hadrian's time Philo of Byblus, an euhemerist, translated it freely, making it even more euhemeristic.