Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/307

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Greek Votive Offerings. 281

attendant animals (pp. 374 f., 380 ff.). He denies, however, if I have understood him aright, that any animal thus dedicated was symbolic, i.e. "an equivalent for the deity himself" (p. 380), and explains them as models of prey or gain, toys, &c. Dr. Rouse's collection of facts, here as elsewhere, is most valuable. But it may be questioned whether the inference that he has drawn from them is the whole truth. There is a vast amount of evidence for the prevalence of animal-worship in early Greece, and hardly a Greek divinity who was not fabled to have adopted one or more animal disguises, see e.g. M. W. de Visser de Graecorujn diis non referentihiis speciem humanam, 1900, pp. 129-165. The attendant animal, whose nature, as Dr. Rouse says (p. 40), was often determined by the local fauna, is merely the favourite animal disguise or animal shape of the god. Pious folk anxious to increase his prestige might well dedicate votive figures of it. For example, the Athenian Acropolis, where stood Athena's temple, was once, and indeed still is, frequented by owls ; hence the owl came to be looked upon as the "attendant " of the goddess, who, as the epithet <fkavH.oiiTL<i goes far to prove, was at some early date thought to appear as an owl herself. Now the lists of Athena's treasure mention no less than ten owls {C. I. A. ii. 678 B 76, 706 B 3), besides "a little silver owl on a small column" {ih. 735, 33). What are these but likenesses of the divine animal — a virtual multiplication of the goddess ? Dr. Rouse objects (p. 380) that " we should expect not a few, but whole series of such dedications." I do not think so. Anthropo- morphism had long since set in, and Athena, even in Homeric days, was normally conceived as a goddess, not a bird. Consequently those of her worshippers who desired to do her honour would seldom repeat the old animal shape. That such repetitions become more common in and after the fourth century is probably due to that universal phenomenon, the recrudescence of primitive ideas