« ForrigeFortsæt »
In this way
Babylonia, where the population was essentially agricultural, the moon-god took precedence of the sun-god and was indeed reckoned his father.
Thus it would be no matter for surprise if, after worshipping the crops which furnished them with the means of subsistence, the ancient Egyptians should in later times have identified the spirit of the corn with the moon, which a pseudo-philosophy had taught them to regard as the ultimate cause of the growth of vegetation. we can understand why in their more recent forms the myth and ritual of Osiris, the old god of trees and corn, should bear many traces of efforts made to bring them into a superficial conformity with the new doctrine of his lunar affinity.
§ 7. Dionysus The Greek god Dionysus or Bacchuss is best known as the god of the vine, but he was also a god of trees in general. Thus we are told that almost all the Greeks sacrificed to “ Dionysus of the tree.” 4 In Boeotia one of his titles was “ Dionysus in the tree."" His image was often merely an upright post, without arms, but draped in a mantle, with a bearded mask to represent the head, and with leafy boughs projecting from the head or body to show the nature of the deity. On a vase his rude effigy is depicted appearing out same result. The custom is certainly influence of the moon on human affairs very common among savages, as I hope see Note B, “The doctrine of lunar to show elsewhere, but whether it has sympathy,” at the end of the volume. contributed to foster the fallacy in 3 On Dionysus in general see Preller, question seems doubtful.
Griechische Mythologie,i. 544 599.; 1 E. A. Budge, Nebuchadnezzar, Fr. Lenormant, article “ Bacchus” in King of Babylon, on recently-discovered Daremberg et Saglio, Dictionnaire inscriptions of this King, p. 5 sq. ; des Antiquités grecques et romaines, A. H. Sayce, Religion of the Ancient i. 591 599. ; Voigi and Thraemer's Babylonians, p. 155 ; M. Jastrow, article “ Dionysus” in Roscher's AusReligion of Babylonia and Assyria führliches Lexikon der griech, und röm. (Boston, U.S., 1898), pp. 68 sq., 75 sq.; Mythologie, i. col. 1029 549. L. W. King, Babylonian Religion and 4 Plutarch, Quaest. Conviz. v. 3: Mythology (London, 1899), p. 17 sq. Διονύση δε δενδρίτη πάντες, ώς έπος The Ahts of Vancouver's Island, a ειπείν, "Έλληνες θύουσιν. tribe of fishers and hunters, view the 6 Hesychius, s.v. "Evdevopos. moon as the husband of the sun and as 6 See the pictures of his images, a more powerful deity than her (Sproat, taken from ancient vases, in Bötticher, Scenes and Studies of Savage Lije, p. Baumkultus der Hellenen, plates 42, 206).
43, 43 A, 43 B, 44; Daremberg et 2 For more examples of the supposed Saglio, op. cit. i. 361, 626.
of a low tree or bush.' He was the patron of cultivated trees ;? prayers were offered to him that he would make the trees grow ;' and he was especially honoured by husbandmen, chiefly fruit-growers, who set up an image of him, in the shape of a natural tree-stump, in their orchards. He was said to have discovered all tree-fruits, amongst which apples and figs are particularly mentioned ;5 and he was himself spoken of as doing a husbandman's work. He was referred to as “well-fruited," "he of the green fruit,” and “making the fruit to grow." One of his titles was “teeming" or "bursting” (as of sap or blossoms) ;8 and there was a Flowery Dionysus in Attica and at Patrae in Achaia.” The Athenians sacrificed to him for the prosperity of the fruits of the earth.20 Amongst the trees particularly sacred to him, in addition to the vine, was the pine-tree." The Delphic oracle commanded the Corinthians to worship a particular pine-tree "equally with the god," so they made two images of Dionysus out of it, with red faces and gilt bodies.12 In art a wand, tipped with a pine-cone, is commonly carried by the god or his worshippers.18 Again, the ivy and the fig-tree were especially associated with him. In the Attic township of Acharnae there was a Dionysus Ivy ;14 at Lacedaemon there was a Fig Dionysus; and in Naxos, where figs were called meilicha, there was a Dionysus Meilichios, the face of whose image was made of fig-wood.15
Like the other gods of vegetation whom we have been considering, Dionysus was believed to have died a violent death,
1 Daremberg et Saglio, op. cit. i. 626.
? Cornutus, De natura deorum, 30.
3 Pindar, quoted by Plutarch, Isis
4 Maximus Tyrius, Dissertat. viii. 1.
6 Himerius, Orat. i. 10, Jióvvo os
7 Orphica, Hymn l. 4. liii. 8.
9 Pausanias, i. 31. 4; id. vii. 21. 6.
10 Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscrip. lionum. Graccarum, No. 382.
11 Plutarch, Quaest. Convit. v. 3.
1Pausanias, ii. 2. 6 sq. Pausanias does not mention the kind of tree; but from Euripides, Bacchae, 1064 $99., and Philostratus, Imag. i. 17 (18), we may inser that it was a pine, though Theocritus (xxvi. 11) speaks of it as a mastich-tree.
13 Müller-Wieseler, Denkmäler dir alton kunst, ii. pl. xxxii. sqq. ; Baumeister, Denkmäler des klassischen .Altertums, i. figures 489, 491, 492, 495. Cp. Lenormant in Daremberg er Saglio, Dict. des Antiquités, i. 623; Lobeck, -Iglaophamus, p. 700.
14 Pausanias, i. 31. 6.
but to have been brought to life again ; and his sufferings, death, and resurrection were enacted in his sacred rites. The Cretan myth, as related by Firmicus, ran thus. He was said to have been the bastard son of Jupiter, a Cretan king. Going abroad, Jupiter transferred the throne and sceptre to the youthful Dionysus, but, knowing that his wife Juno cherished a jealous dislike of the child, he entrusted Dionysus to the care of guards upon whose fidelity he believed he could rely. Juno, however, bribed the guards, and amusing the child with toys and a cunningly-wrought looking-glass lured him into an ambush, where her satellites, the Titans, rushed upon him, cut him limb from limb, boiled his body with various herbs and ate it. But his sister Minerva, who had shared in the deed, kept his heart and gave it to Jupiter on his return, revealing to him the whole history of the crime. In his rage, Jupiter put the Titans to death by torture, and, to soothe his grief for the loss of his son, made an image in which he enclosed the child's heart, and then built a temple in his honour. In this version a Euhemeristic turn has been given to the myth by representing Jupiter and Juno (Zeus and Hera) as a king and queen of Crete. The guards referred to are the mythical Curetes who danced a war-dance round the infant Dionysus, as they are said to have done round the infant Zeus. Pomegranates were supposed to have sprung from the blood of Dionysus, as anemones from the blood of Adonis and violets from the blood of Attis. According to some, the severed limbs of Dionysus were pieced together, at the command of Zeus, by Apollo, who buried them on Parnassus. The grave of Dionysus was shown in the Delphic temple beside a golden statue of Apollo. Thus far the resurrection of
1 Firmicus Maternus, De errore pro. picced together, not by Apollo but by fanarum religionum, 6.
Rhea (Cornutus, De natura deorum, ? Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. ii. 30). 17. Cp. Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. Lobeck, 1glaophamus, p. 572 549. MITT 599
For a conjectural restoration of the Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. ii. temple, based on ancient authorities 19.
and an examination of the scanty 4 Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. ii. remains, see an article by J. H. 18; Proclus on Plato's Timaeus, iii. p. Middleton, in Journal of Hellenic 200 D, quoted by Lobeck, Aglaophamus, Studies, vol. ix.
The p. 562, and by Abel, Orphica, p. 234. ruins of the temple have now been Others said that the mangled body was completely excavated by the French.
the slain god is not mentioned, but in other versions of the myth it is variously related. According to one version, which represented Dionysus as a son of Demeter, his mother pieced together his mangled limbs and made him young again. In others it is simply said that shortly after his burial he rose from the dead and ascended up to heaven ;or that Zeus raised him up as he lay mortally wounded ;or that Zeus swallowed the heart of Dionysus and then begat him afresh by Semele," who in the common legend figures as mother of Dionysus. Or, again, the heart was pounded up and given in a potion to Semele, who thereby conceived him."
Turning from the myth to the ritual, we find that the Cretans celebrated a biennial festival at which the sufferings and death of Dionysus were represented in every detail." Where the resurrection formed part of the myth, it also was acted at the rites, and it even appears that a general doctrine of resurrection, or at least of immortality, was inculcated on the worshippers ; for Plutarch, writing to console his wife on the death of their infant daughter, comforts her with the thought of the immortality of the soul as taught by tradition and revealed in the mysteries of Dionysus. A different form of the myth of the death and resurrection of Dionysus is that he descended into Hades to bring up his mother Semele from the dead. The local Argive tradition was that he went down through the Alcyonian
1 Diodorus, iii. 62.
2 Macrobius, Comment, in Somn.
3 Himerius, Orat. ix. 4.
4 Proclus, Hymn to Mineria, in Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. 561; Orphiia, ed. Abel, p. 235.
• Hyginus, Fab. 167.
6 The festivals of Dionysus were biennial in many places. See Schö. mann, Griechische Alterthümer,y ii. 500 sqq. (The terms for the festival were τριετηρίς, τριετηρικός, both terms of
the series being included in the numeration, in accordance with the ancient mode of reckoning.) Probably the festivals were formerly annual and the period was afterwards lengthened, as has happened with other festivals. See W. Mannhardt, Baumkultus, pp. 172, 175, 491, 533 sq., 598. Some of the festivals of Dionysus, however, were annual.
i Firmicus Maternus, De err. prof. relig. 6.
& Mythogr. latic. ed. Bode, loc.
9 Plutarch, Consol. ad uxor. Compare id., Isis et Osiris, 35 ; id., Di E Delphico, 9; id., Di esu carnium,
10 Pausanias, ii. 31. 2 and 37. 5; Apollodorus, iii. 5. 3.
lake ; and his return from the lower world, in other words his resurrection, was annually celebrated on the spot by the Argives, who summoned him from the water by trumpet blasts, while they threw a lamb into the lake as an offering to the warder of the dead. Whether this was a spring festival does not appear, but the Lydians certainly celebrated the advent of Dionysus in spring; the god was supposed to bring the season with him.? Deities of vegetation, who are supposed to pass a certain portion of each year underground, naturally come to be regarded as gods of the lower world or of the dead. Both Dionysus and Osiris were so conceived 3
A feature in the mythical character of Dionysus, which at first sight appears inconsistent with his nature as a deity of vegetation, is that he was often conceived and represented in animal shape, especially in the form, or at least with the horns, of a bull. Thus he is spoken of as “cow-born,” “ bull,” “bull-shaped,” “bull-faced,” “bull-browed,” “bullhorned," " horn-bearing," "two-horned," "horned." believed to appear, at least occasionally, as a bull." His images were often, as at Cyzicus, made in bull shape, or with bull horns ;' and he was painted with horns. Types of the horned Dionysus are found amongst the surviving monuments of antiquity.' On one statuette he appears clad in a bull's hide, the head, horns, and hoofs hanging down
1 Pausanias, ii. 37. 5 54.; Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 35; id., Quaest. Conviv. iv. 6. 2.
2 Himerius, Orat. iii. 6, xiv. 7.
3 For Dionysus, see Lenormant in Daremberg et Saglio, Dict. des Antiquités, i. 632. For Osiris, see Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians (London, 1878), ii. 65.
4 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 35; id., Quaest. Graec. 36 ; Athenaeus, xi. p. 476 A; Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. ii. 16; Orphica, Hymn xxx. 27. 3. 4, xlv. 1, lii. 2, liii. 8; Euripides, Bacchai, 99; Schol. on Aristophanes, Frogs, 357 ; Nicander, Alexipharmaca, 31; Lucian, Bacchus, 2. The title Eipa. Diurns applied to Dionysus (Ilomerie Hymns, xxxiv. 2; Porphyry, De
abstinentia, iii. 17 ; Dionysius, Perieg. 576; Etymolog. Magnum, p. 371. 57) is etymologically equivalent to the Sanscrit varsabha “a bull,” as I am informed by my friend Mr. R. A. Neil.
6 Euripides, Bacchae, 920 $4l., 1017. 6 Plutarch, Isis et
Osiris, 35; Athenaeus, 1.c.
i Diodorus, iii. 64. 2, iv. 4. 2; Cornutus, De natura deorum, 30.
8 Diodorus, 1.c.; Tzetzes, Schol. on 1.ycophron, 209; Philostratus, Imagi. mis, i. 14 (15).
9 Müller - Ilieseler, Denkmäler der alton kunst, ii. pl. xxxiii.; Daremberg et Saglio, Dict. des Antiquités, i. 619 sq., 631 ; Roscher, Ausführl. Lexikon, i. col. 1149 599.