Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/297

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Greek Votive Offerings. 271

at Olympia and Athena on the Acropolis were not merely huge but sublime : Pheidias their creator could fairly claim " to have added something even to the received religion ; to such an extent did the majesty of his work rival the god- head (Quint. 12. 10. g.) The enormous Helios that Chares cast in sections for the Rhodians towered up 105 feet in height, and doubtless expressed the pride that the sun- worshippers felt in their pre-eminent deity : Lucian the wit makes Helios claim a front seat in heaven because of his bulk and cost (Luc. Iiip. trag. 11). Other examples of Greek colossi could be quoted. But good taste imposed certain limits ; and for the most part Greek artists, especially during the fine period of Greek art, eschewed extravagance in size. All the more they turned their attention to other methods of glorification. To beautify an existing statue was also a meritorious act, inasmuch as it brought fresh lustre to the deity : thus the Athenians fitted the old wooden figure of Dione at Dodona with a new and beautiful face (Hypereid. /r(7 Eux., col. xxxv., 24 ff.). But the rank and file of Greek worshippers could neither magnify nor beautify the god. They were, therefore, content to multiply him : and this was in all probability the motive underlying not merely the row of bronze Zanes or statues of Zeus, which stood in the Altis at Olympia (Paus. 5. 21.2) and the score of Apollos sent to Delphi by the Liparaeans (Paus. 10, 16. 7), but also the innumerable terra-cotta figurines of different divinities that have been found in Greek precincts. For to present a god with his own likeness was ipso facto to increase his prestige and power. This conception would serve to explain the first two groups of " ideal " offerings recognised by Dr. Rouse, viz. " the image of the patron deity" and "the deity in his power." At least it deserves a mention ; for apart from it the point and purpose of these offerings remains obscure or vague.

A second principle of yet wider application may be ex- pressed thus. Unsophisticated man acts towards his god