Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/108

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


The Death Coach. (Vol. XXV. p. 388 sq.)

Miss Mabel Peacock enquires whether there are representations of chariots carrying away souls in the art of Rome, Greece, and Egypt.

With regard to Greece, Miss J. E. Harrison writes :

"The question takes us into the thick of controversy. Naturally, the dead, certainly in Greek art and literature, do not go to Hades by coach. But (a) on the Hagia Triada sarcophagus (most easily accessible in Archivf. Religions- wissenschaft, vol. xii. 1909, p. 161 [cf. Miss J. E. Harrison, Themis, 1912, p. 159 sqqJ^) there is a representation which von Duhn claims to be the dead man in a chariot going to Hades {op. cit. p. 183). I doubt his interpretation. {b) Hades carried off Persephone in a chariot, and that scene occurs frequently on sarcophagi as symbolic of the dead man's transit to Hades."

As regards Egypt, Miss M. A. Murray writes :

"As far as I know, the soul flew away in the form of a bird or a scarab. It flew to the Boat of the Sun, and in that boat it went through the abode of the dead and came out on the other side. This was the "Ba." The " Ka," which may have been another soul, arrived at the land of the dead by means which are not indicated. It just went there. The nearest approach to a car or chariot which I can think of is a scene which is usually painted on the foot- board of a cofilin. It belongs apparently to the popular, and not to the state religion. The mummy is there shown lying on the back of a galloping bull. I do not think that the Egyptian mind would ever conceive of a car or chariot, as their only means of locomotion in early times were walking and boats. There is, of course, the ceremonial voyage in a boat, which might typify the passage of the soul to the other world. The litter is like an Indian dandy or janpan, but it is very rare, and does not occur in funerary scenes. The books on Egyptian religion do not take into account that the Egyptians appear to have believed in a multiple soul, like the modern African."