Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/296

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270 Greek Votive Offerings.

Blumner's Leben it. Sitten d. Griecheyi. Again, classifica- tion according to description, e.g. the grouping together of all votive pigs or palm trees, or what-not. is of value to the artist, but only incidentally to the archaeologist : Thiersch's book on " Tyrrhem'sche" Amphoren, for instance, which collects examples of cocks and lions and palmettes from a certain class of black-figured pottery, is strictly speaking an essay in ancient art. What the historian of religion really wants to know is the inner working of men's minds, the original intention of this or that ritual practice, and its gradual growth or decay. Thus Dr. Rouse would " trace, if possible, the motives of the dedicator, and the meaning which the act had for him " (p. i). But if, in attacking a new subject, we attempt to do this straight away, we at once fall into all manner of assumptions and preconceived notions, which merely frustrate our purpose. In the cir- cumstances the only course open is to collect our materials according to some system of grouping intelligible and, if it may be, useful in itself ; then, when we have formed our collection and considered it in detail, we can frame our generalisations on a sound basis. But this is precisely what Dr. Rouse has done. His readers, therefore, casual or otherwise, have no right to grumble.

At least^ they have no right to grumble on that score. But I think that they have on another. Dr. Rouse makes little or no use of certain great principles, which, being of world-wide validity, go far to explain the whole series of Greek votive offerings.

One of these principles is that men can literally "magnify" their god. They can make a larger and more imposing statue of him, thereby bringing him more honour and at the same time increasing his power to bless. It is significant that the Greek av^to, " I increase " or " enlarge," like the Latin augeo, was often used as a synonym of " I honour." The precinct at Delos is still strewn with fragments of the gigantic statue of Apollo, which the Naxians set up. Zeus