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animals he tries to appease them and their fellows, p. 396 ; thus bear-hunters' fatter and cajole the slain bears, pp. 396-400 ; elephanthunters beg pardon of the elephants, p. 400 sq.; marks of respect shown to dead lions and leopards, p. 401 ; eagle-hunters feed the dead eagles, p. 401 sq.; respect shown for animals varies according to the strength and utility of the beast, p. 402 sq.; propitiation of sables and beavers by the hunters, pp. 403-406 ; propitiation of deer, elan, and elk by American Indians, pp. 406-408; respect shown by Esquimaux and Greenlanders for the reindeer and seal they have killed, pp. 408-410; propitiation of fish, especially the first fish of the season, by fishing people, pp. 410-415 ; bones of game respected, sometimes from a belief in the resurrection of animals, pp. 415-417; bones of men sometimes preserved or destroyed to facilitate or prevent their resurrection, p. 417 sq.; resurrection of animals and men in folk-tales, p. 418 sq.; sinew of the thigh of slain animals preserved, perhaps as necessary for the reproduction of the species, pp. 419-421 ; vermin, such as weevils, leaf-flies, caterpillars, locusts, mice and rats, propitiated by farmers to induce them to spare the crops, pp. 422-426; images of the noxious creatures made as talismans against then, p. 426 sq.; Greek gods worshipped under the title of the pests they exterminated, hence Mouse Apollo, Locust Apollo, Mildew Apollo, Locust Hercules, etc., p. 427 ; the worship originally paid not to the gods but to the pests themselves (mice, locusts, mildew, etc.), p. 427 sq.; Wolfish Apollo and the wolves, p. 428 sq.; certain animals or species of animals spared because they contain the souls of dead people, pp. 430-435; attitude of Ainos and Gilyaks to the bear explained, p. 435 sq.; two types of animal worship, p. 436 sq., and corresponding to them two types of animal sacrament, the Egyptian and the Aino types, p. 437 ; sacraments of pastoral tribes, pp. 438-441 ; procession with image of sacred snake as a form of communion, p. 441 sq.; “hunting the wren” and processions with the dead bird on Christmas Day or St. Stephen's Day, pp. 442-446 ; procession with man in cowhide on last day of the year, p. 446 sq.; such customs probably were once modes of communion with a divine animal, p. 447 sq.
KILLING THE GOD
“Sed adhuc supersunt aliae superstitiones, quarum secreta pandenda sunt, . . ut et in istis profanis religionibus sciatis mortes esse hominum consecratas." -Firmicus Maternus, De errore profanarum religionum, c. 6.
1. Killing the Divine King
LACKING the idea of eternal duration primitive man naturally supposes the gods to be mortal like himself. The Greenlanders believed that a wind could kill their most powerful god, and that he would certainly die if he touched a dog. When they heard of the Christian God, they kept asking if he never died, and being informed that he did not, they were much surprised, and said that he must be a very great god indeed.' In answer to to the inquiries of Colonel Dodge, a North American Indian stated that the world was made by the Great Spirit. Being asked which Great Spirit he meant, the good one or the bad one, “Oh, neither of them,” replied he, “the Great Spirit that made the world is dead long ago. He could not possibly have lived as long as this.” ? A tribe in the Philippine Islands told the Spanish conquerors that the grave of the Creator was upon the top of Mount Cabunian. Heitsi - eibib, a god or divine hero of the Hottentots, died several times and came to life again. His graves are generally to be met with in narrow defiles between mountains. When the Hottentots pass one of them, they
1 Meiners, Geschichte der Religionen 3 F. Blumentritt, “Der Ahnencullus (Ilanover, 1806-1807), i. 48.
und die religiosen Anschauungen der
Malaien des Philippinen - Archipels,” ? R. I. Dodge, Our Wild Indians, Mittheilungen d. IViener geogr. Gesell.
schaft, 1882, p. 198. VOL. II
throw a stone on it for good luck, sometimes muttering “Give us plenty of cattle.” 1 The grave of Zeus, the great god of Greece, was shown to visitors in Crete as late as about the beginning of our era. The body of Dionysus was buried at Delphi beside the golden statue of Apollo, and his tomb bore the inscription, “Here lies Dionysus dead, the son of Semele." 3 According to one account, Apollo himself was buried at Delphi ; for Pythagoras is said to have carved an inscription on his tomb, setting forth how the god had been killed by the python and buried under the tripod. Cronus was buried in Sicily, and the graves of Hermes, Aphrodite, and Ares were shown in Hermopolis, Cyprus, and Thrace.
The great gods of Egypt themselves were not exempt from the common lot. They too grew old and died. For like men they were composed of body and soul, and like men were subject to all the passions and infirmities of the flesh. Their bodies, it is true, were fashioned of more ethereal mould, and lasted longer than ours, but they could not hold out for ever against the siege of time. Age converted their bones into silver, their flesh into gold, and their azure locks into lapis lazuli. When their time came they passed away from the cheerful world of the living to reign as dead gods over dead men in the melancholy world beyond the grave. Even their souls, like those of mankind, could only endure after death so long as their bodies held together; and hence it was as needful to preserve the corpses of the gods as the corpses of common folk, lest with the divine body the divine spirit should also come to an untimely end. At first their remains were laid to rest under the desert sands of the
1 Sir James E. Alexander, Expedi. tion of Discovery into the interior of Africa, i. 166; Lichtenstein, Reisen im · Südlichen Africa, i. 349 sq.; W. H. I. Bleek, Reynard the Fox in South Africa, p. 75 sq.; Theophilus Hahn, Tsuni. ll Goam, the Supreme Being of the KhoiKhoi, pp. 36, 69.
2 Callimachus, Hymn to Zeus, 9 sq.; Diodorus, iii. 61; Lucian, Philopseudes, 3 ; id., Jupiler Tragoedus, 45; id., Philopatris, 10; Porphyry, Vita Pythagorae, 17; Cicero, De natura deorum, iii. 21. 53 ; Pomponius Mela, ii. 7.
112; Minucius Felix, Octavius, 21.
3 Plutarch, Isis el Osiris, 35 : Philochorus, Fragm. 22, in Müller's Fragm. Hist. Graec. i. p. 378; Tatian, Oratio ad Graecos, 8, ed. Otto; Tzetzes, Schol. on Lycophron, 208. Cp. Ch. Petersen, “ Das Grab und die Tod. tenfeier des Dionysos,” Philologus, xv. (1860), pp. 77-91.
* Porphyry, Vit. Pythag. 16.
• Philochorus, Fr. 184, in Fragm. list. Graci. ii. p. 414.
6 Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. 574 sy.
mountains, that the dryness of the soil and the purity of the air might protect them from putrefaction and decay. Hence one of the oldest titles of the Egyptian gods is “they who are under the sands.” But when at a later time the discovery of the art of embalming gave a new lease of life to the souls of the dead by preserving their bodies for an indefinite time from corruption, the deities were permitted to share the benefit of an invention which held out to gods as well as to men a reasonable hope of immortality. Every province then had the tomb and mummy of its dead god. The mummy of Osiris was to be seen at Mendes; Thinis boasted of the mummy of Anhouri ; and Heliopolis rejoiced in the possession of that of Toumou. But while their bodies lay swathed and bandaged here on earth in the tomb, their souls, if we may trust the Egyptian priests, shone as bright stars in the firmament. The soul of Isis sparkled in Sirius, the soul of Horus in Orion, and the soul of Typhon in the Great Bear.? But the death of the god did not involve the extinction of his sacred stock; for he commonly had by his wife a son and heir, who on the demise of his divine parent succeeded to the full rank, power, and honours of the godhead.' The high gods
I G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient classique : les ori. gines, pp. 108-111, 116-118.
3 Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 21.
3 A. Wiedemann, Die Religion der alten Aegypter, p. 59 sq. ; G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient classique : les origines, pp. 104-108, 150. Hence the Egyptian deities were commonly arranged in trinities of a simple and natural type, each comprising a father, a mother, and If the Christian doctrine of the Trinity took shape under Egyptian influence, the function originally assigned to the Holy Spirit may have been that of the divine mother. In the apocryphal Gospel to the Hebrews, as Mr. F. C. Conybeare was kind enough to point out to me, Christ spoke of the Holy Ghost as his mother. The passage is quoted by Origen (Comment. in Joan. II. vol. iv. col. 132, ed. Migne), and runs as follows: “My mother the Holy Spirit took me a moment ago by one of my hairs and carried me away
to the great Mount Tabor." Ср. .
of Babylon also, though they appeared to their worshippers only in dreams and visions, were conceived to be human in their bodily shape, human in their passions, and human in their fate; for like men they were born into the world, and like men they loved and fought and even died.
One of the most famous stories of the death of a god is told by Plutarch. It runs thus.
In the reign of the emperor Tiberius a certain schoolmaster named Epitherses was sailing from Greece to Italy. The ship in which he had taken his passage was a merchantman and there were many other passengers on board. At evening, when they were off the Echinadian Islands, the wind died away, and the vessel drifted close in to the island of Paxae. Most of the passengers were awake and many were still drinking wine after dinner, when suddenly a voice hailed the ship from the island, calling upon Thamus. The crew and passengers were taken by surprise, for though there was an Egyptian pilot named Thamus on board, few knew him even by name. Twice the cry was repeated, but Thamus kept silence. However at the third call he answered, and the voice from the shore, now louder than ever, said, “When you are come to Palodes, announce that the Great Pan is dead.” Astonishment fell upon all, and they consulted whether it would be better to do the bidding of the voice or not. At last Thamus resolved that, if the wind held, he would pass the place in silence, but if it dropped when they were off Palodes he would give the message. Well, when they were come to Palodes, there was a great calm ; so Thamus standing in the stern and looking towards the land cried out, as he had been bidden, “ The Great Pan is dead.” The words had hardly passed his lips when a great sound of lamentation broke on their ears, as if a multitude were mourning. This strange story, vouched for by many on board, soon got wind at Rome, and Thamus was sent for and questioned by the emperor Tiberius himself, who caused inquiries to be made about the dead god. It has been plausibly conjectured that the god thus lamented was not
mystical nature of the deity. Thus it seems not impossible that the ancient Egyptian doctrine of the divine Trinity may have been distilled through Philo
I L. W. King, Babylonian l'eligion and Mythology (London, 1899), p. 8.
? Plutarch, Dedefectu oraculorum, 17.