Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/305

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Greek Votive Offerings. 279

ultimate explanation of many, if not all, votive models. Again, the personality of the early Greek included not merely his finger, but the ring upon it ; not merely his head, but the wreath that he wore ; not merely his limbs, but the shield that protected them. And the dedication of these things may often have been tantamount to a dedication of himself.

To pursue this far-reaching principle would be beside my purpose. But I cannot refrain from pointing out the light that it throws on the subject of magic, a subject which at more than one place overlaps that of Dr. Rouse's book. Dr. Frazer^ in the second edition of his Golden Bought i. gf., draws a distinction between two kinds of magic, which he calls viinietic and sy?npathetic respectively. The first thinks to influence the course of nature by imitating the thing desired ; the second, by operating either on some portion of the person to be affected, or at least on some- thing that has been in contact with him. Both kinds of magic were well known to the Greeks. In the Phanna- ceutria of Theocritus the deserted girl Simaetha recalls her lover Delphis by magical means. Among other charms she kindles a bundle of laurel boughs and speaks of them as " the bones of Delphis," whom she is fain to fire with love. She casts upon the blazing pile a shred from his cloak : this too will serve to inflame the truant's heart. Here we have both mimetic and sympathetic magic exemplified. And my point is that both depend upon the same conception of an extended personality. Semblance and clothing are alike taken to be substantial parts of the man himself. Dr. Frazer {ih. i, 62) explains these beliefs as due to association of ideas by similarity on the one hand, by contact on the other. That may well be the psychology of the matter : but the practical aspect of it is, I think, best expressed by the statement that early man gave a much wider meaning to the notion of " self " than we do nowadays in a more analytical age.