Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/310

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


284 Greek Votive Offerings.

Germanic-speaking peoples of Europe [yotirn. Anthr. Inst. 1900, p. 22 ff.).

Much more convincing is Dr. Rouse's final paragraph. " In taking a last look backwards it is impossible not to feel with a new force how little there is in early times of the specialization of functions. The local deity or hero was lookt to for help in all emergencies, and all sorts of offerings might be paid to him" (p. 393). The British public has indeed been told so often that the Greek gods were nothing but abstractions of human qualities — Athena abstract wisdom, Ares abstract courage, Aphrodite abstract love — that they have got to regard it as an axiom. Even the Germans have helped to perpetuate this notion. Zeller in his History of Greek Philosophy i. 54 says : " Not only is the outer form of the gods idealised as the image of the purest beauty, but their essential nature, especially in the case of the Hellenic gods proper, is formed by ideals of human activities." Nothing could be more misleading than this ; and it is the logical outcome of the " specialization " theory, against which Dr. Rouse raises his voice.

I have left but little space for comment on the series of interesting chapters, in which Dr. Rouse collects and arranges his materials. They are full of happy thoughts and shrewd observations hidden away in the mass of accu- mulated facts. I must content myself with noting a point here and there.

The heroised pair on early Greek funeral reliefs is " dis- tinguished by being larger in size than the human adorers " : Dr. Rouse quotes an apt illustration in a marionette show that he saw in India "representing the siege of Delhi; in which the English general w^as twice the size of his men, and the Great Mogul within towered high over the walls of his citadel " (p. 5, n. 4). He might also have added a refe- rence to Iliad 18. 519 aiJ,^l<i dpi^r']\(0, Xaol S' utt' oXt^ove'i Tjcrav.

On p. 12 f. Dr. Rouse suggests that the "deserted