Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/231

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Reviews.

o 2 I

it is based appeared in these pages under the title of " The European Sky God."^ " I had meant," he tells us in his Preface, "to go further along the same road. But at this point Dr. Farnell in the friendliest fashion put a spoke in my wheel by convincing me that the unity of an ancient god consisted less in his nature than in his name. Thereupon I decided to abandon my search for ' The European Sky God.' . . . After some hesitation I resolved to start afresh on narrower lines, restricting enquiry to the single case of Zeus." The result of this change of method is that we now possess a detailed investigation of a single mythological problem, carried out with that wealth of learning and vigour of thought which we are accustomed to expect from the Cambridge school of anthropology and folklore. The Syndics of the University Press have liberally undertaken to publish the work in fitting style, and this volume, with its numerous fine illustrations and excellent typography, makes a splendid book.

Naturally, the monograph owes its origin to the impulse of The Goldefi Bough, but Mr. Cook does not agree with many of Sir James Frazer's conclusions, and the general outlook of the two writers on the question of religion is very different. Mr. Cook distinctly avoids the " use of ethnology as a master-key to unlock the complex chambers of Greek religion," and he urges that "analogies drawn from a contiguous area are much more likely to be helpful than analogies gathered, sometimes on doubtful authority, from the ends of the habitable earth." He will not accept the theory advanced in The Go/den Bough that Zeus was named " Bright" as being an oak-god, the wood of the tree being used for fire-making. He recognises in Zeus Lykaios a god of light, not a wolf-god. He rejects Sir James Frazer's account of the relation of magic to religion, denying that magic everywhere came first, religion second, the latter being directly due to the unmasking of the former. " The baffled magician," he argues, "would most plausibly account for his failure by attributing it to the counter-charms of some rival practitioner on earth, say a neighbouring chief, or else to tlie machinations of a ghost, say a dead ancestor of his own. Why should he — how could

^ Folk- Lore, vols, xv., xvi., xvii., xviii. (1904-1907).