Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/316

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2 8o Oft the Alleged Evidence for

hazardous course ; it does not follow that, because a people chiefly worship a goddess, they treat mortal women with particular respect or reckon descent through them ; cf. the supremacy of Hera in patrilinear Argos, and the popularity of the Virgin in southern Europe.^

(2) Passing now to beliefs certainly Greek we come to the curious cult-titles of Zeus, 'H/jaro? (Attica) and 'A^po- ^la-io'i (Cyprus). Do these imply a subordination of Zeus to these goddesses ? Considering that all we know of him, — in mythology from Homer and Hesiod onwards and in his ancient cult at Dodona, where his importance reduces his wife to that pale etymological shadow, Dione, — points to father-right and inheritance through the male, this explana- tion seems hazardous at least. The true reason for these titles is no doubt the presence in important temples of Hera and Aphrodite of small shrines of the god. Cf. Athena Atai/Ti? at Megara, and Herakles 'Hpafo?. Such a practice is as common as the tendency to exalt the deity of a particular temple, or the god one is addressing at the moment, over all others, of which Babylonian hymnology, to go no farther, gives us abundant examples.

(3) In the case of certain goddesses and heroines we find what might be considered a matrilinear family. We hear of several children of divine mothers with either no fathers or none of any importance, {a) Earth giving birth to the Giants. This we may set aside, as she was fertilized by the mutilation of Uranos. {U) The birth of Hephaistos without father from Hera {Theogony, (^2j). (c) Partheno- paios, son of Atalanta (.?= Artemis) and the rather in- significant Milanion. The second case proves nothing about family organization, human or Olympian. It is interesting as possibly going back to a remote period when, like certain modern savages, the Greeks either were ignorant of the part played by the male in procreation or did not regard

  • On the other hand, not a few matrilinear Australian tribes exclude women

from their relijTious ceremonies.