Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/328

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are, as usual, made without difficulty to fit either hypothesis.

As to the relations between Cronus and Moloch, they were originally perceived or imagined by the Greeks themselves. However we may explain the fact, it is certain that the deities and myths of most ancient and of most savage religions have numerous points in common. The Greeks recognised Dionysus in the Egyptian Osiris, Aphrodite in the Semitic Astarte, Cronus in the Semitic Moloch. In the same way the Romans identified Hercules with Heracles, Saturn with Cronus, and so forth. But just as readily Sahagun and Acosta and other early missionaries recognised Venus, Mars, and Ceres in the figures of the Mexican or Peruvian Olympus. Had the Greeks discovered Mexico, they would have found Ares or Heracles in Huitzilopochtli, Zeus in Tezcatlipoca, and Demeter in Chicome Coatl.[1] The Greeks would have accounted for these resemblances (as they did in the case of the Egyptian gods) by some hypothesis of borrowing. Probably scholars will not now maintain that Greeks ever borrowed from Mexicans, or Maoris from Greeks. But the hypothesis of borrowing is still favoured, and may or may not be correct, when a Greek is found to correspond to a Phœnician, or a Phœnician to an Accadian or Chaldæan deity. This theory of borrowing is applied by some mythologists to explain the myth of Cronus. Mr. Max Müller, we have seen, thinks Cronus a late Greek god, invented to explain the name Cronion. The

  1. Sahagun, i. 6, 7.