Page:The Mythology of the Aryan Nations.djvu/358

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MYTHOLOGY OF THE ARYAN NATIONS.


BOOK II territories of Canaanite tribes. The assertion by itself might be worth little; but we have to take it along with a multitude of names in Boiotian mythology which unquestionably are neither Greek nor even Aryan, and are not less certainly Semitic. The word Agenor is indeed purely Greek in form; but so might we also say is Palaimon, and yet Palaimon is as surely Baal-hamon as Melikertes is Melkarth, In continental Hellas the waves of Phenician enterprise broke especially on the Boiotian coast; and when we find there myths in which a large proportion of the names are manifestly Semitic, we must be ready to weigh any evidence which may tend to show that of the remaining names some may be Semitic also. Nay more, the general suspicion becomes reasonable that mythical names or Greek traditions which cannot be referred to Greek or other Aryan sources may be Semitic; and this suspicion would rest with special force on such names as Asklepios, Astarte, and Dionysos. In spite of the explanation which traces Aphrodite to Aphros, the froth or foam of the sea, it is possible that the name may not be Aryan at all; and Agenor therefore may be simply an adaptation of the Semitic Chnas. It may, however, be a mere translation : and undoubtedly the Greek name conveys the same meaning with the Semitic Baal. In the Greek version Agenor is the husband of Telephassa, the feminine form of the name Telephos, a word conveying precisely the same meaning with Hekatos, Hekate, Hekatebolos, well known epithets of the sun and moon. His children are Kadmos, Phoinix, Kilix, and Eurôpê, although in some accounts Eurôpê is herself a daughter of Phoinix. On this maiden, the broad-flushing light of dawn, Zeus, the heaven, looks down with love; and the white bull, the spotless cloud, comes to bear her away to a new home, in Crete, the western land. She becomes the mother of Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon. But in the house from which she is thus torn all is grief and sorrow. There can be no more rest until the lost one is found again; the sun must journey westwards until he sees again the beautiful tints which greeted his eyes in the morning. Kadmos therefore is bidden to go in search of his sister, with strict charge never to return unless he finds her. With him goes his mother, and a long and weary pilgrimage brings them at length to the plains of Thessaly, where Telephassa, worn out with grief and anguish, lies down to die. But Kadmos must journey yet further westward; and at Delphoi he learns that he must follow a cow which he would be able to distinguish by certain signs, and where she lay down from weariness, there he must build his city. The cow, one of the herd to which belong the bull of Europe and the cattle of Helios, lies down on the site of