Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/346

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the atmospheric disturbances produced by the sun's heat among the first vapours and wandering elements of the world. "And male and female" (hitherto combined in single shapes) "began to stir in land and sea." Next,[1] the first men worshipped τὰ τῆς γῆς βλαστήματα, stars, sun, and moon, and the elements and natural forces, and regarded them as gods, and offered them sacrifice.

Here we have merely the author's theory of the origin of religion. He returns to mythical matter when he derives the first mortal human being from the embraces of Colpias (the night wind?) and his wife Baau (=Bohu?). Their descendants were sun-worshippers, and discovered the earlier arts of life. Of this family were φῶς, πῦρ, καὶ φλόξ (light, fire, and flame), who invented the art of fire-making by rubbing sticks together. These had gigantic sons; morality declined, and there was the usual battle between two semi-divine brothers. The world was chastised by a water age and a wind age, as in Australian myths. So far this fragment goes; the next brings forward new culture-heroes.

Of these, one was Chousor or Chrysor, who practised magic and spells, and, like Maui in New Zealand, invented hooks, as well as lines, baits, and boats. He was honoured after death as a god—in Greek, Zeus Meilichios (Malâk=the seaman?); or Malâk may be the name of a brother of Chousor's, who invented architecture and brick-making. A number of the other arts were discovered by other members of this race, and Taût, who invented letters, was occasionally identified with Hermes by the Greeks.

Here, without any particular break, but in the course of the disjointed narrative, begins what is really a new statement of the cosmogony.

There was a being named "The Most High" ('Elioun), who, with his wife Berouth, inhabited Byblos. Here, apparently, the Bybline local version is summarised. Epigeios was their child, and he later received the name of Ouranos. His sister was named, in Greek, Gê, and here is the old myth of the wedding of Heaven and Earth in the Phœnician form.[2] The being called the Most High met his end in a fight with wild beasts, and was deified. Then, as in Greek and Maori myths, Heaven wedded Earth. Their children were Elos (El), called Cronus by the Greeks; Bætylus (Bê-

  1. Eusebius, Præp. Evan., i. 9.
  2. Names more or less Phœnician are given by Lenormant.