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behind. Again, he is represented as a child with clusters of grapes round his brow, and a call's head, with sprouting horns, attached to the back of his head.? On a red-figured vase the god is portrayed as a calf-headed child seated on a woman's lap. At his festivals
At his festivals Dionysus was believed to appear in bull form. The women of Elis hailed him as a bull, and prayed him to come with his bull's foot. They sang, “Come hither, Dionysus, to thy holy temple by the sea; come with the Graces to thy temple, rushing with thy bull's foot, O goodly bull, O goodly bull !"4 According to the myth, it was in the shape of a bull that he was torn to pieces by the Titans ;' and the Cretans, when they acted the sufferings and death of Dionysus, tore a live bull to pieces with their teeth. Indeed, the rending and devouring of live bulls and calves appear to have been a regular feature of the Dionysiac rites. When we consider the practice of portraying the god as a bull or with some of the features of the animal, the belief that he appeared in bull form to his worshippers at the sacred rites, and the legend that it was in bull form that he had been torn in pieces, we cannot doubt that in rending and devouring a live bull at his festival the worshippers of Dionysus believed that they were killing the god, eating his flesh, and drinking his blood.
Another animal whose form Dionysus assumed was the goat. One of his names was “Kid." At Athens and at Hermion he was worshipped under the title of “the one of the Black Goatskin," and a legend ran that on a certain occasion he had appeared clad in the skin from which he took the title. In the wine-growing district of Phlius, where in autumn the plain is still thickly mantled with the red and
i Welcker, Alte Denkmäler, v, taf. 2.
? Archaeologische Zeitung, ix. (1851), pl. xxxiii., with Gerhard's remarks, pp. 371.373.
3 Gazelle Archéologique, v. (1879), pl. 3.
+ Plutarch, Quaest. Graec. iit., Isis et Osiris, 35.
5 Nonnus, Dionys. vi. 205.
O Firmicus Maternus, De errore profun, religionum, 6.
i Euripides, Bacchai', 735 599. ; Schol. on Aristophanes, Frogs, 357.
8 Hesychius, s.v. 'Epipos ó Atórvoos, on which there is a marginal gloss ο μικρός αίξ, ο εν τω εαρι φαινόμενος, ήγουν ο πρώϊμος ; Stephanus Byzant. 5.v. 'Axpupela.
9 Pausanias, ii. 35. 1; Schol. on Aristophanes, Acharn. 146 ; Etymolog. Magn. s.a'. 'Atatoupia, p. 118. 54 599. ; Suidas, S.ττ:. 'Απατούρια and μελα vaiyida Scórroov ; Nonnus, Diony's. xxvii. 302. Compare Conon, Narrat. 39, where for Melavdion we should perhaps read Μελαναιγιδι. .
golden foliage of the fading vines, there stood of old a bronze image of a goat, which the husbandmen plastered with goldleaf as a means of protecting their vines against blight. The image probably represented the vine-god himself.
To save him from the wrath of Hera, his father Zeus changed the youthful Dionysus into a kid ;' and when the gods fled to Egypt to escape the fury of Typhon, Dionysus was turned into a goat.% Hence when his worshippers rent in pieces a live goat and devoured it raw, they must have believed that they were eating the body and blood of the god.
This custom of killing a god in animal form, which we shall examine more in detail presently, belongs to a very early stage of human culture, and is apt in later times to be misunderstood. The advance of thought tends to strip the old animal and plant gods of their bestial and vegetable husk, and to leave their human attributes (which are always the kernel of the conception) as the final and sole residuum. In other words, animal and plant gods tend to become purely anthropomorphic. When they have become wholly or nearly so, the animals and plants which were at first the deities themselves, still retain a vague and ill-understood connection with the anthropomorphic gods which have been developed out of them. The origin of the relationship between the deity and the animal or plant having been forgotten, various stories are invented to explain it. Thcse explanations may follow one of two lines according as they are based on the habitual or on the exceptional treatment of the sacred animal or plant. The sacred animal was habitually spared, and only exceptionally slain ; and accordingly the myth might be devised to explain either why it was spared or why it was killed. Devised for the former
1 Pausanias, ii. 13. 6. On their return from Troy the Greeks are said io have found goats and an image of Dionysusina cave of Euboea (Pausanias, i. 23. 1).
? Apollodorus, iii. 4. 3.
3 Ovid, Metam. v. 329 ; Antoninus Liberalis, 28; llythor. Iatic. ed. Bode, i. 86, p. 29.
* Arnobius, dik'. nations, v. 19. Cp. Suidas, s.i'. aizijav. Is fawns
appear to have been also torn in pieces at the rites of Dionysus (l'hotius, Lexicon, s.7'. veßpisov ; Harpocration, s.i'. vespíšww), it is probable that the sawn was another of the god's embodiments. But of this there seems no direct evidence. Fawn-skins were worn bosh by the god and his worshippers (Cor. nutus, De natura deorum, 30). Simi. larly the female Bacchanals wore goatskins (Hesychius, s.i'. Tpampópoi).
purpose, the myth would tell of some service rendered to the deity by the animal ; devised for the latter purpose, the myth would tell of some injury inflicted by the animal on the god. The reason given for sacrificing goats to Dionysus is an example of a myth of the latter sort. They were sacrificed to him, it was said, because they injured the vine. Now the goat, as we have seen, was originally an embodiment of the god himself. But when the god had divested himself of his animal character and had become essentially anthropomorphic, the killing of the goat in his worship came to be regarded no longer as a slaying of the god himself, but as a sacrifice offered to him ; and since some reason had to be assigned why the goat in particular should be sacrificed, it was alleged that this was a punishment inflicted on the goat for injuring the vine, the object of the god's especial care. Thus we have the strange spectacle of a god sacrificed to himself on the ground that he is his own enemy. And as the god is supposed to partake of the victim offered to him, it follows that, when the victim is the god's old self, the god eats of his own flesh. Hence the goat-god Dionysus is represented as eating raw goat's blood ;? and the bull-god Dionysus is called "eater of bulls."3 On the analogy of these instances we may conjecture that wherever a god is described as the eater of a particular animal, the animal in question was originally nothing but the god himself.4
All this, however, does not explain why a deity of vegetation should appear in animal form. But the con
1 Varro, De re rustica, i. 2. 19; Virgil, Georg. ii. 380, and Servius, ad. l., and on den. ii. 118; Ovid, Fasti, i. 353 591.; id., Metam. xv. 114 sq. ; Cornutus, De natura deorum, 30.
? Euripides, Bacinai, 138:9.: dypeówn αίμα τραγοκτόν ον, ωμοφάγου χάριν.
3 Schol. on Aristophanes, Frogs, 357
+ llera aigoocyos at Sparta, Pausanias, ini. 15. 9; Illesychius, S.V. aiyoqayos (cp. the representation of Hlera clad in a goat's skin, with the animal's head and horns over her head, Miiller-Wieseler, Denkmäler der alten himsi, i. No. 299 B); Zeus aiyoøáros, Etymoloz: Vnum, s.i'. aiyopáyos,
p. 27. 52 (cp. Schol. on Oppianus, Halieut. iii. 10; L. Siephani, in Compte - Reniu de la Commission Impériale Archéologique pour l'année 1869 (St. Petersburg, 1870), pp. 16. 18); Apollo óyopáros at Elis, Athenaeus, viii. p. 346 ; Artemis kan popáros in Samos, Hesychius, s.z'. kampopayos ; cp. idim, s.i'. kplopáros. Divine uitles derived from killing animals are prob. ably to be similarly explained, as Dionysus airy3Bolos (Pausanias, ix. 8. 2); Rhea 11ecate κινοσφαγής (Tzetzes, Schol. on lycophron, 77); Apollo Aukoktóvos (Sophocles, Electra, 6); Apollo Jaipoktóvos (Pliny, Nat. Hist, xxxiv. 70).
sideration of this point had better be deferred till we have discussed the character and attributes of Demeter. time it remains to point out that in some places, instead of an animal, a human being was torn in pieces at the rites of Dionysus. This was the custom in Chios and Tenedos ; and at Potniae in Boeotia the tradition ran that it had been formerly the custom to sacrifice to the goat-smiting Dionysus a child, for whom a goat was afterwards substituted.? At Orchomenus, as we have seen, the human victim was taken from the women of an old royal family. As the slain bull or goat represented the slain god, so, we may suppose, the human victim also represented him. It is possible, however, that a legend of human sacrifice may sometimes have been a mere misinterpretation of a sacrificial ritual in which an animal victim was treated as a human being. For example,
, at Tenedos the new-born calf sacrificed to Dionysus was shod in buskins, and the mother cow was tended like a woman in child-bed. At Rome a she-goat was sacrificed to Vedijovis as if it were a human victim.
§ 8. Demeter and Proserpine The Greek myth of Demeter and Proserpine is substantially identical with the Syrian myth of Aphrodite (Astarte) and Adonis, the Phrygian myth of Cybele and Attis, and the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris. In the Greek myth, as in its Asiatic and Egyptian counterparts, a goddess— Demeter-mourns the loss of a loved oneProserpine—who personifies the vegetation, more especially the corn, which dies in summer to revive in spring. But in the Greek myth the loved and lost one is the daughter instead of the husband or lover of the goddess; and the mother as well as the daughter is a goddess of the corn.
| Porphyry, De abstin. ii. 55.
4 Aelian, Nat. An. xii. 34. Ср. .
llius, v. 12. 12. 6 On Demeter as a corn-goddess see Mannhardt, N/ythologische Forschungen,
p. 224 549.; on Proserpine in the same character see Cornutus, De nat. dior. 28; Varro in Augustine, Civ. Dei, vii. 20; Hesychius, s.i'. Deprepoveca ; Firmicus Maternus, De errore prof. relig. 17. In his careful account of Demeter as a corn-goddess Mannhard appears to have overlooked the very important statement of Hippolytus
Thus, as modern scholars have recognised, Demeter and Proserpine are merely a mythical reduplication of the same natural phenomenon. Proserpine, so ran the Greek myth, was gathering flowers when the earth gaped, and Pluto, lord of the Dead, issuing from the abyss, carried her off on his golden car to be his bride in the gloomy subterranean world. Her sorrowing mother Demeter sought her over land and sea, and learning from the Sun her daughter's fate, she suffered not the seed to grow, but kept it hidden in the ground, so that the whole race of men would have died of hunger if Zeus had not sent and fetched Proserpine from the nether world. Finally it was agreed that Proserpine should spend a third, or according to others a half, of each year with Pluto underground, but should come forth in spring to dwell with her mother and the gods in the upper world. Her annual death and resurrection, that is, her annual descent into the under world and her ascension from it, appear to have been represented in her rites.
With regard to the name Demeter, it has been plausibly argued by Mannhardt 5 that the first part of the word is derived from dēai, a Cretan word for “barley";and that thus Demeter means the Barley-mother or the Corn-mother;
(Refut. omn. haeres. v. 8, p. 162, ed. 4 Schömann, Griech. Alterthümer, 3 Duncker and Schneidewin) that at the ii. 393; Preller, Griech. Mythologie,3 initiation into the Eleusinian mysteries i. 628 sq., 644 sq., 650 sq. The (the most famous of all the rites of evidence of the ancients on this head, Demeter) the central mystery revealed though not full and definite, seems to the initiated was a reaped ear of sufficient. See Diodorus, v. 4; Fir
micus Maternus, De err. prof. relig. 7, 1 Welcker, Griechische Götterlehre, 27 ; Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 69; Apu. ii. 532; Preller, Pauly's Real leius, Met. vi. 2; Clemens Alex. ProEncyclopädie für class. Alterthumswiss. trept. ii. SS 12, 17; Hesychius, s.v. ri. 107; Lenormant in Daremberg Kopayeiv; S. Reinach, Traité d'Epi. et Saglio, Dictionnaire des Antiquités graphie Grecque (Paris, 1885), p. 141 grecques et romaines, i. pt. ii. 1047 599.; W. Immerwahr, Die Kulte und $94. Compare Dittenberger, Sylloge l/gthen Arkadiens (Leipsic, 1891), p. Inscriptionum Graecarum, No. 370, 100 s99. (inscriptions found at Mannote 13.
tinea). In a Greek calendar of Asia Homer, Hymn to Demeter; Apol. Minor “the ascent of the goddess" is lodorus, i. 5; Ovid, Fasti, iv. 425 dated the seventh day of the month Dius, 599.; id., Jetam. v. 385 549.
and the “descent of the goddess” the 3 A third, according to Homer, H. fourth day of the month Hephaestius to Demeter, 399, and Apollodorus, i. (W. Froeliner, Les Inscriptions Grecques 5. 3; a hall, according to Ovid, Fasti, du Louvre, No. 33, p. 50 sq.). iv. 614; id., Metani. v. 567; Hyginus, • Mythol. Forschungen, p. 292 599. Fub. 146.
Etymol. Magnum, p. 264. 12 sq.