Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/232

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2 2 2 Reviews.

he — assume a sky-god, unless the sky was already regarded as a divine Potency ? And if this was the case, then religion was not subsequent to magic, but either prior to it or coeval with it." This is not the place to discuss serious questions like these, but it is hardly necessary to remark that there is no real conflict between these two scholars. " It was Sir James G. Frazer," writes Mr. Cook, " who first advised me to put together in permanent form the materials that I Iiad collected ; he has seen about a third of the present volume, and though well aware that I differ from him on certain vital issues, he has with characteristic generosity more than once encouraged me to persist in my undertaking."

It is premature to discuss this book in detail until the second volume, which promises to be the more interesting of the two, is published. It will be sufficient to say that up to this point of his journey Mr. Cook arrives at the following conclusions: Zeus, whose name means "the Bright one," was originally conceived in zoistic fashion as the bright sky itself; the change from the zoistic to the anthropomorphic Zeus was occasioned, not by any despair of magic, but rather by a naive attempt to express heaven in terms of earth. The divine dark sky, as supreme weather- maker, was represented under the guise of an ordinary magician or weather-ruling king. Besides this, Zeus was brought into connexion with every celestial luminary, but genuine Hellenic religion never identified Zeus with sun or moon or stars. Again, the conception of him as a procreative god appears in great prominence, and as sky-father he is in essential relation to an earth Mother, or to a goddess like Demeter, an earth Mother that has developed into a vegetation goddess.

The book on the Asiatic Dionysos stands in a different class. The writer adds a good knowledge of Sanskrit to that of Greek, and her main thesis is that Dionysos is identical with the Vedic Soma. A reaction is now setting in against what M. Salomon Reinach called le mirage Oriental, and the modern school of mythologists having disposed of the theory of Babylonian influence on Greek belief will hesitate to accept the theory of direct, exten- sive borrowing from the Hindus. They look forward rather to the decipherment of the Minoan records to show that Greek cults and