Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/309

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

Greek Votive Offerings. 283

paid divine honours in Seleucia, and in the Hellenistic age (App. bell. Syr. 58) ; it may be in Arcadia (Collitz i. 1197) and Olympia (Paus. 5. 14. 9) at an earlier date." In the Hellenic period we should least expect to find the symbolic dedication of an attribute ; because, as I have already observed, anthropomorphic conceptions of the god were then paramount. But in pre-Hellenic times we might reasonably look for the dedication of such inanimate attributes as were thought to embody a deity. And we find them. Sieveking in Roscher's Lexikon d. Mythologie iii. 1327, 51 ff. contends with much probability that " auch der mykenische Schild allein als Kult-symbol verehrt wurde," and the brilliant discoveries of Mr. Arthur Evans in Crete have proved that the double-axe was often dedicated as sign and symbol of the sky-god Zeus. Dr. Rouse is still incredulous ^ (see his article in Joiirn. Hell_ Stud. xxi. 268 ff.) and prefers to explain the miniature shields found at Olympia {Bronzen von Olytnpia nos. 1002-1005) and in Crete [Atinual of Brit. Sch. Ath. vi. 109), and the miniature double-axes of the Dictaean Cave {ib. vi. 108) and of Olympia {Bro?izen vo7i Olympia pi. xxvi. 520, 525, 527), as units of currency. This no doubt is conceivable, and Dr. Rouse has no difficulty in adducing parallel customs. But the connexion of the Mycenaean shield with Athena is far too intimate to be thus disregarded ; and to say that " the axe has no special connexion with Zeus " (p. 386 f.) is not only to misinter- pret much evidence from every side of the Aegean, but to ignore Mr. Chadwick's proof that the hammer or axe is the weapon of the thunder-god throughout most of the Indo-

' Perhaps the persuasive words of M. Salomon Reinach will carry convic- tion : " Qui pourra refuser de voir des symboles dans les belles haches de jadeite, de chloromelanite, de fibrolithe ? On a decouvert a Troie, mais non encore publie, une merveilleuse hache double en lapis-lazuli, qui n'a jamais pu servir qu'a litre d'objet de culte" {V Aitlhropologie, 1902, p. 24). The magnificent double-axe, or rather axe-hammer, to which M. Reinach refers, has since been published in Dorpfeld's Troja tmd Ilion, i. , 375, fig. 326.