Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/318

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the father of Cronus, and thus the myth of the mutilation of Uranus necessarily does not occur in Homer. Cronus, the head of the dynasty which preceded that of Zeus, is described[1] as the son of Rhea, but nothing is said of his father. The passage contains the account which Poseidon himself chose to give of the war in heaven: "Three brethren are we, and sons of Cronus whom Rhea bare—Zeus and myself, and Hades is the third, the ruler of the folk in the under-world. And in three lots were all things divided, and each drew a domain of his own." Here Zeus is the eldest son of Cronus. Though lots are drawn at hazard for the property of the father (which we know to have been customary in Homer's time), yet throughout the Iliad Zeus constantly claims the respect and obedience due to him by right of primogeniture.[2] We shall see that Hesiod adopts exactly the opposite view. Zeus is the youngest child of Cronus. His supremacy is an example

    by them as persons. In this regard the archaic and savage view of all things as personal and human is preserved. "I maintain," says Grote, "moreover, fully the character of these great divine agents as persons, which is the light in which they presented themselves to the Homeric or Hesiodic audience. Uranus, Nyx, Hypnos, and Oneiros (heaven, night, sleep, and dream) are persons just as much as Zeus or Apollo. To resolve them into mere allegories is unsafe and unprofitable. We then depart from the point of view of the original hearers without acquiring any consistent or philosophical point of view of our own." This holds good though portions of the Hesiodic genealogies are distinctly poetic allegories cast in the mould of the ancient personal theory of things.

  1. Iliad, xv. 187.
  2. The custom by which sons drew lots for equal shares of their dead father's property is described in Odyssey, xiv. 199–212. Here Odysseus, giving a false account of himself, says that he was a Cretan, a bastard, and that his half-brothers, born in wedlock, drew lots for their father's inheritance, and did not admit him to the drawing, but gave him a small portion apart.