Page:The Mythology of the Aryan Nations.djvu/347

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MYTHOLOGY OF THE ARYAN NATIONS.

CHAP. II Nor is this blinding of the sun recorded only in this Theban story. Bellerophon, when thrown from his winged steed Pegasos, is said — ' to have been both lamed and blinded, and the story may be com- pared with the blinding of Samson before he bends the pillars of the temple and brings death and darkness on all who are around him.^ The feuds and crimes which disgrace his family when he has yielded up his sceptre to his sons are the results of a moral process, and not of the strictly mythical developement which makes him the slayer of Laios, a name which, denoting simply the enmity of the darkness to the light, is found again in Leophontes as an epithet of Hipponoos, who is also called Bellerophon.^

Oidipous amd Antigons. But if lokaste, the tender mother who had watched over him at Oidipous his birth, is gone, the evening of his life is not without its consolation. His sons may fill the city with strife and bloodshed ; his daughter Ismene may waver in her filial allegiance ; but there yet remains one who will never forsake him, and whose voice shall cheer him in his last hour In this beautiful being, over whom Sophokles has thrown. a singular charm, M. Breal sees the light which sometimes flushes the eastern sky as the sun sinks to sleep in the west.^ The word must certainly be compared with such names as Anteia, Antiope, Antikleia ; while the love of Antigone for Oidipous seems to carry us to the love of Selene for Endymion or of Echo for the dying Narkissos. With the death of Oidipous, her own life draws towards its close. It is brought about indeed by the despotic cruelty of Kreon; but the poet could scarcely withstand the force of the feeling, which in accordance with the common phenomena of the heavens bound up the existence of Oinone, Kleopatra, Brynhild, Althaia, with

other story. In the story of the "Prince unnecessary to say that the evidence who was afraid of Nothing " (the Sigurd for the historical existence of Zaleukos of Brynhild), the hero is blinded by a is worth as much and as little as that giant, but the lion sprinkling some which is adduced for the historical water on his eyes restores the sight in character of Minos, Manu, Lykourgos, part, and bathing himself in the stream and Numa. The story told of Zaleukos which he finds near him, the prince himself that he agreed to have one of necessarily comes out of the water able his own eyes put out rather than allow to see as well as ever. In the Ahorse his son, who had been convicted of Talcs (Dasent) Oidipous appears as the adultery, to lose both his eyes, points blinded brother in the story of True to the myths of the blinded Oitlipous and Untrue, and as the blinded prince and the one-eyed Kyklops or Wuotan. in that of the Blue Belt. The law by which the punishment is

In the same way the Athenian inflicted simply reflects the story of Drakon, whose name corresponds pre- Oidipous, who is strictly punished for cisely to that of the Spartan Lykourgos incest by the loss of his eyes ; and the and the Lokrian (Ejiizephyrian) law- name Zaleukos, the glistening or gleam- giver Zaleukos, has but one indiscrimi- ing, carries us to Apollon Lykios, the nate punishment of death for all offences. Latin Lucius, Lucna, Luna, &c. In the code of the Lokrian Zaleukos,

' See the section on Bellerophon. the punishment of adulterers is said

' Breal, Lc Mythe (TEdipe, 21.

to have been loss of the eyes. It is