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The great Dionysiak myth



Robert Brown






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THE



GEE AT DIONYSIAK MYTH



VOL. L



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LOKDOX I PEIMTKD BY

SPOTTI8WOODR AXD CO., KRW-STaSET SQUARE

AXli PAIILIAMKST 8TBBBT



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Fr0nh'fpifcf,



DIONYSIAK RKPRRSKNTATION AT SOUTHWKI.U






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V

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THE



aREAT DIONTSIAK MYTH



By EGBERT BROWN, Jun., F.S.A.



* I Btriya and strngi^ to deliver right
That mnsio of my nature, daj and night,
With dream and thonght and feeling interwonnd»
And inly answering all the senses round
With oc^TBs of a mystio depth and height
Which step oat grandly to the infinite
From the daric edges ol the sensoal ground'

BUZABBTH BABRBTT BUOWNINa



VOL. I.



LONDON
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

1877

All rights rtserved

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-:2v






PEEFACE.



In the midst of other and varied occupations I have

amused sonae leisure hours with the consideration of the

DiONYSiAK Myth, — a study which has at length taken

a tangible form in the following pages. Whilst the outline

of the subject is sufficiently familiar, its present treatment

will, it is beUeved, be found to be novel to a great extent,

and, moreover, to be in accordance with the recent and

Splendid discoveries whose magical force has reduced to

uselessness vast quantities of earlier effort in this direction.

Those who have not followed the thought and progress of

the age are naturally unable to imderstand the present

immense importance of Eeligious-mythology, and too

generally regard it as a mass of idle, unmeaning, and often

highly objectionable, fables ; or, again, suppose that the

subject has been exhausted by the efforts of luminaries

long since extinguished. But the keener minds on all

sides, whether religionists or not, are becoming fully alive

to the magnitude of such enquiries in a rehgious point of

view ; and the study has, at the same time, claims no less

strong upon the archaeologist, the psychologist, and the

historian. One of the vastest questions which can be

submitted to the mind — a question, moreover, which is



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r<M 9nrk



VI PREFACE.

rapidly coming to the front in the great debates of the
age — is, Whether Eeligion and all that it entails sprang
from man's unaided cogitations upon himself and the
material world around ? An answer to this momentous
enquiry is supplied by the scientific consideration of the
historic course of religious thought.

With respect to my chief modem authorities, and in
order to satisfy the reader at the outset that the views of
various important writers have not been overlooked, I
have consulted the leading Assyriologists and Egyptologists
of the time, such as Baron Bunsen, Sir J. G. Wilkinson,
Sir H. C. Eawlinson, Canon Eawlinson, and Messieurs
Birch, George Smith, Fox Talbot, Sayce, Cooper, Lepsius,
Brugsch, Chabas,, Lenormant, and Maspero. Acquaint-
ance also with the admirable Transactions of the Society
of Biblical Archaeology^ and with the Records of the
Past^ must be possessed by all writers on Mythology who
do not confine themselves exclusively to Aryan studies
or to the beliefs of modem savages. I have also, as far
as is necessary in the treatment of the subject, considered
the standpoint of Payne Knight, Dulaure, and the phallic
school, down to the late Dr. Inman ; and the researches
of D'Hancarville, Lobeck, Creuzer, Movers, Gesenius,
Welcker, EoUe, Donaldson, K. O. Muller, Mure, Grote,
Sir G. C. Lewis, Maury, Preller, Deutsch, Professor Kuskin,
Mr. Gladstone, Dr. Schliemann, Dr. Tylor, Sir John
Lubbock, Professor Max Muller, the Eev. G. W. Cox,
Messieurs Herbert Spencer, C. W, King, A. S. Murray,
F. A. Paley, and others.

In a subject so wide and so replete with difiBculty all
dogmatism, especially on minor points, is altogether out



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PREFACE. VU

of place, yet I cannot but own my strong confidence in
the correctness of the general conclusions arrived at ; and
I gladly take this opportunity of expressing a deep sense
of thankfulness to those great minds of the past and of the
present, ^vhose previous labours have alone rendered the
compilation of this work possible.

BABTOir-lTPOK-HTTlCBXB :

Jan. 1, 1877.



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CONTENTS

OF

THE FIBST VOLUME.



CHAPTER I.
THE SUBJECT AND ITS TREATMENT.

PAOB

Beeign of the Work; objections considered « 1

Recent undue extension of Aryan principles 4

Unity of man and of God ...» 5

The aourcee of Religious-mythology 6

Its eseentially componnd character 8

Treatment of the sabject adopted 10

Style of nomendatore • 11

Relation of Hie enquiry to present questions 12



CHAPTER II.
THE DIONTSOS OF THE THEOLOQERS

SECTION L

THE HOMERIK DIONYBOS.

Siihsectian L — The Episode o/Lykourgoa.

Oonsideration of R Ti. 128-41 15

Homerik consistency as shown in the conduct of Diomedes ... 17

Real meaning of the legend 19

Orertlurow of opposers of the Dionysiak cult 21

Svheection IL — Diohysos Son of Semele,

Consideration of B. xiv; 826 , , . 22

Important historic element in the legend of Kadmos . . , • 23
Dionysoe as a source of joy 24



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X CONTENTS OF

Subseetion III. — Dionysoi €md Naxo$.

rod

Nysa and Dionysos .



PAOB

Consideration of Od xi. d21 24



Subsection IV, — Dionysos cmd the Tyrsenoi,

The legend of the Homerik Hymn • . 26

Sayage dde of the cult 27

Svhsection F. — 7^ Youth of Dionysos,
The impersonation of joyous country life 27

Subsection VI, — General Character of the Dionysos of
the Homerik Hynvns,

Dionysos a Semitic divinity 28

His solar aspect 29

Progress of historic research 80

Svhsection VII — Dionysos wnd the Kyldik Poems,

Survival of the lUas and Odysseia 81

Dionysos as Zagreus 81

Myth of Roio and her sisters in the Kyprian Verses .... 82

Care required in drawing explanations from names . . , . . 88

Subsection VIII, — Eikon of the Homerik Dionysos,
The two aspects of the Earth-god . . . . . .34

Dionysos not the Homerik Wine-god . . . . . 86

SECTION II.

THE DIONYSOS OF HBBI0D08.

Subsection I, — Dionysos Son qfSemele,

Con^deration of 7^^. 940-2 86

Dionysos as Phanee and Phaidimos 87

Subsection II, — Dionysos wnd Ariadne,

Phoenician character of Minos 88

Pompeian fresco of Dionysos and Ariadne 89

Subsection III, — Grapes the Gift of Dionysos.
Double aspect of wine . . . v 40 .

Subsection IV, — Eikon of the Hesiodik Dionysos,
His foreign and kosmogonic character 40



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THE FIRST VOLUME. XI
SECTION m,

THE OBPHIK DIONYS06.

Sttbseetion L — Thrake cmd Orphik Myaticiam.

PAOl

Mythical Thrakian hutU 41

Asiatic connectioii of Thrake 42

The Orphik ritual not derived from Earn 43

Qaotatioa from the ^o^roc^' , . • 44

Subsection II, — Dionyaoa cmd ApoUon,

Theory of Macrobins 44

Oracle of ApoUon Elarioe . * 45

Bunsen and Bishop Browne on the Oracle 46

The Aryan and Semitic Sun-gods 47 .

Svhseetion IIL — Dionysoa the Demvurge.

Oonoderalion of Orphik Fragmefnt viL 48

Pantheism, or God in All as opposed to All in GKkL . . . . «^ 60

The Demiurge reduces the Uniyerse to order • . • . • />I

And is manifested chiefly in a Solar aspect . • . , . • 62

Bishop Colenso on the lao-myth ........ 64

lao a name of the Hebrew Tahyeh . . . . « . . 66

The circumstance no assistance to the anti-religionist .... 67

lao in Qnostic art . • 69

Svhsectian IV, — Dianysos and Zem,

The Orjpbik concept of Zeus 60

The kosmic Zeus-Dipnysos ^ §^^

Subsection V, — The Neo-PUUonik Orphik Hymns,

IHonysofl son of Persephone . 62

Various Dionysiak epithets • • .63

Seilenos • • • . * 66

Adonis •••••••.•....66

Subsection VI, — 'Neo-Platonism,

Cause of its rise 67

Taylor, the last Neo-Platonist 68

Worthlessnees of the system ••..*.•. 69

Subsection VII — JSikono/the Orphik Dionysos,

The solar Demiurge 70



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xii CONTENTS OF

CHAPTER III.

THE LYRIC DION YS OS.

SECTION I.

THE DIONYSOS OF PINDABOB.

Subsection I. — Dionyaoa Son ofSemele.

PAOR

Piofessor Ruskin and the Bey. G. W. Cox on Semele ... 72

Her koamogonic character 74

Consideration of the myth of Zeus and Semele 7^

The symbolism of flowing locks [7Si

The chested Semele 79

^Subsection IL — Dionysos and the Dithyramb,
Bakchik cult of the North Dorik cities of the Peloponnesos . . . 60
The legend of Arion 60

Subsection IIL — Dionysos Associate of Demeter,

Demeter and Kjbele 81

Dionysos Eurychaitee 84

Effect of geographical aflinity . ...'.... 85

SECTION H.

OTHER LTBIC DIONYSIAK ALLUSIONS.

Subsection L — Vvnal AUusions,
Manifestations of the Theoinos 86

Subsection IL — Non-vinal AUusions,

lakchoe Thriambos . 88

The bull-fEU^ god 89

SECTION lU.

EIKOX OP THE LTBIC DIONYSOS.

His foreign character 90

CHAPTER IV.
TffJE DIONYSOS OF THE ATTIK TRAGEDIANS,
SECTION I.
THE DIONYSOS OF AI8C7HYLOS.

Subsection I, — DionysiaJc AUusions in Extcmt Plays,
EumenideB, 24r-e , .......... 91

Zagretts the Guest-receiver 92



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THE FIRST VOLUME. xiii
Subiection II.— The 'Lykawrgeia.*

PAOK

Legend of Lykourgoe 93

The Edonlan cult 94

Subsection III, — Other Diow/siak AUuriona in the
'Apoepasmatia.'

Dionysoe and the Kabeiioi 96

The DUmyeou Trcphoi 97

SECTION n.

THB DI0NT80S OF 80PHOKLE8.

Subsection L — Bionyaoa and Nyea.

Conaideratioii of the TriptolemoBf Fng. xi 98

Subsection IL — Dionysos cmd Thebaic

Bakchoe Ohiysomitree 99

Hie pme-cone 100

The Inrocatioii in the AntigtMe . 101

Ph)greBB of Dionysos in the West 102

SECTION IIL

THB DI0NTS06 OF EURIPIDES.

Subsection /. — Dionysos cmd the Dance.

The joyonB Bakchik dance 103

The orgiastic Bakchik dance 104

The mnreTsal mystic nature-dance 106

Cyclic phenomenal motion 108

(Areolar erections 110

< The impious ciifMi' ........... 113

Subsection II.— The 'Bakchai.'

Argument of the Play . « . . 114

Eastern taraTels of Dionysos 116

The bullrhomed god 120

Axidkearsoe at Elis 121

Kameios the Horned-sun . 123

DionyBoe serpenlrcrowned 125

Dionyriak adjuncts « . . . . 127

The Kouretee and Eorybantes 128

TheSatyroi 188



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XIV CONTENTS OF

PAGB

The Dionysiak goat . . » 134

Dionysos Omestes and human sacrifices 135

The Aryan concept Pan 137

Eosmogonic symbolism 140

Dionysiak materialism 142

Dionysos the Prophet 144

' The Bakchik branch' 148

SubsecHon IIL — The Svffervnga of Dionysos.

Dionysos-Adonis 149

The linos-Maneros dirge 151

Self-eacrifidng diyinities . . . « 153

Subseetion JV.—The 'KykiopaJ

Mr.W. W. UoydontheKyklopesandAetna 154

Seilenos 155 *

Antagonism between Here and Dionysos 155

War with the Giants and Utanes 156

Maron 157

Subsection V, — Dionysiak Allusions in the ^Apospasmatia.'

Oonsideratbn of the Kretes, Frag. ii« • • . . , . . 159



SECTION IV.

EIKON OF THE TRAGIC DIOKTSOS.

Solar and kosmogoiuc character of the god • ^ . . . . 160
His foreign origin 162



CHAPTER V.
TffJE BIONTaOa OF HERODOTOS.

SECTION I.
DIONYSOS AND THRAKB.

Ares Bendis and Dionysos 163

Samothrake and the Pelasgoi 165

Bassarens 167

SECTION H

DIONTSOS IN THB NOBTH.

The Episode of Skylas 168

Sabarios at Ollna 170



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THE FIBST VOLUME. XV
SECTION m.

DIONTBOB IN HBLLAS.

PAOB

Bakchik portents before the battle of Salamis 172

The Bakchik cult said to be introduced by Melampons . . . 178

Birth of gods computed horn the time when they axe first known . . 174

Melampons instrocted by Kadmos 175

SECTION IV.

DIONTBOB AKD NYBA.

Notices of Nysa by HerodotoB 176

SECTION V.

DIONTSOB AND UASAB.

SubsecHon I. — IT^eory o/fferodotos on the Historic Connection
between the Divimtiea of ffeUae cmd £am.

Aryan and Semitic diTinitiae of the Hellenik Pantheon • . . 176

Herodotean identifications of Hellenik and Eamio diTinitiea . . . 178

Identity of the Bionysiak and iTasarian myths 178

Sub9eetian IL — Dionyaoe considered by Herodotoa as identical wOh
UasofTy bui the Diowyriak cuU not supposed by him to be derived
/ram the Uasarian,

The Bakchik cult introduced into Hellas by the mythic Eadmoa . . 180

Subsection III, — Outline of the Uasaria/n Myth,

Ita TastnesB and intricacy 182

Assistance afforded by the Bakchik myth • . . . . 188

Bans-concept of Uasar 184

Subsection IV. — Identity of the Uasaricm and Dionysiak Myths.

Oonsensus of ancient Authors 187

Uasar and Bbnysos warriors and conquerors 190

Connected with Nysa 190

Suffering divinities . . * > • . 190

Of Asiatic origin 190

Many^named and manifold in nature 191

Chested 192

Connected with ivy 196

Both the youngest of the gods 196

Connected with spotted animals and garments 196



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XVI CONTENTS OF

PA.OB

Vinal divinitiee 196

Tauric diTimties 197

Solar divinitieB 200

Ohthonian diyinities ^ , • 201

Grote's view respecting the introduction of Kamic religious ideas into

HeUas 202

Grote on Onomakritos and the Zagrik myth 204

Rejection of the theory that the Zagrik and Dionysiak myths were

borrowed from Eam 206

Subaection V.-^Baais amd SUvrtvng Pcvrd o/ihe
Ucuario-Dionyaiak Cult*

The religion of Eam Asiatic in origin 209

Diyinities common to Eam and Aram 210

Beriyation of diyinities from Ealdea 214

An objection of Mr. Eenrick to the theozy of a Phoenician Dionysos

considered 215

SECTION VL

DIONYSOS IN ARABIA.

Orotal and the Great Goddess Alilat 217

The Great God 220

Solar character of Dionysos-Orotal 221

Connection between Dionysos and Arabia ...... 224

SECTION vn.

EIKON OF THE DI0NTS06 OF HERODOTOS.

Wide-Spread, worship and compound nature of the god . ' . 224



CHAPTER VI.
TffJE HELLENIK CULT OF DIONYSOS.

SECTION I.
THE FBSnYALS OF DIONYSOS.

Svhaection I.—The AUik CvU,

The Rural Dionyda 22^

The phallic element in Religious-mythology 229

The IHonysia Lenaia 231

The Anthesteria 232

Signification of ittf symbolism 234

The Dionynan Megala 230



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THE FIRST VOLUME. XVU

PAOB

The Dbn jsia Brauronia , , . , 289

The Oschophoria 241

Subsection IL—The Boiotik Cult.

The Agrionia 243

Homed Eabeirik divinities 246

Legend of Athamas 246

Its underlying aigiiification 247

Melikertee-Melqarth 251

Ino 253

Gondderation of Od. t. 333-53 25($

TheOmaphagia 258

The Trieterika 260

Subsection IIL-^Other Festivals of the God,

TheLampteria 260

Phanes the Thebon 261

The Thyia 262

The Dionysia Arkadika 262

Aigolik contests between Here and Dionysos ' 263

TheLemaia 263

IHonysiak lakes 264

Festival of Dionysos Melanaigis 267

Contests between Perseus and Dionysos 268

Spartan Dionysiak ritual 269

Naxian Festivals of the god 270

Other Bakchik Festivals 270

Festival at Pamassos and consideration of Od, xL 681 .271

SECTION n.

DIONYSOS AT ELEUSIS.

Subsection L — The Legend of the Homerik Hymn,

The rape of Persephone 273

Demeter or the Earth-mother 276

Basis-ideas of her cult 278

Persephone 278

Her companions 280

Signification of the concept of Persephone 281

Her change of character in the Under-world . . . . . . 282

The mystic pomegranate 284

Various statements respecting the locality of the rape . . . 285

Subsection II, — The Union of the Cults,

Position of Dionysos at Eleiisis 285

Identity of Dionysos and lakchos 2^7

a



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xviii CONTENTS OF

PAGE

Illufitrations of the connection between Dionysos and the Two God-
desses 289

Harmony of ideas in.the concepts 290

Subsection Ilh — The Elettsinicm Ritual,

The Lesser Mysteries 292

Tlie Greater Mysteries 292

The Assembling 293

The March to the Sea and Sacrifices 293

The Basket-procession 294

The Torch-procession 294

TheDayoflakchos 296

Eleiidnian cult at Fheneos 297

TheEpopteia 299

Demeter Kidaria 301

Apparitions of the Furies 303

Their dance and canine character 305

Later Eleusinian ideas 308

Erinys and Saranyu 309

The Maniai and the Oharites 311

The Fury in Art 312

Final eiforts of Paganism at Eleusis 314

Later manifestations of the gods 316

SolInferuB and his golden boat-cup 317

Appearance of Uasai^Adon 318

The Return and Day of the Epidaurians 319

The Day of Earthem Vessels 319

Principal personages at Eleusis 320

SECTION in.

DIONYSOS AND THE DRAMA. /

Keason of our interest in the Drama 320

Its necessary connection with Dionysos . . . * . . , . 321

Tragedy, what . . '. 323

Comedy, what 324

The Dionysos of Comedy 325

Double aspect of the Drama and of Dionysos 326



CHAPTER VII.
DIONYSOS IN ART.

SECTION L
VASES OF THE DIOmrSIAK CYCLE.

Paucity of historic Vase-scenes « . 328

Vast number of Dionysiak Vases 329



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THE FIRST VOLUME. xix

PAQB

The Dionysos of the Vaaee . ; 330

With Ariadne 332

Dionysos Pelekjs 332

The Gryphon-myth 334

The ass Eraton , . 337

Other Vase-ficenes 338

The lynx-myth 339

Dionysos in galley-ehaped car 342

Other Vafie-Bcenee 343

The flying Eros S44

The Bakchik Thiasos 345

Its koemic grouping 347

Members of the Dionysiak Train 348

Instances of the grotesque . 349

SECTION n.

DIONYSIAK STATUABY.

Early instances of pilla^^nlt . 360

Unanthropomorphic statues 352

Ideas connected with the pillar-stone 353

The statuary's art Semitic — ^Daidalos 355

Archaic statues of Dionysos ........ 357

Dionysos Agyios 358

Ilellenik divinities always anthropomorphic 359

The four-armed Eouridioe 360

The four-headed Dionysos of the Eerameikos 362

The homed Sun 363

Evolution of the human form in statuary 364

Instances of Dionysos Stylos 365

Dionysos Katapogon • 366

IHonysos Ephebos 367

Statues of the god noticed by Pausanias 369

Statues of the Dionysiak Train 370

The Arkadian Pan 371

SECTION in.

DIOKYSIAK COINS.

The archie obol 374

Peamia nnd kentah 376

Coins bearing the head or figure of Dionysos 378

Interest of numismatic study — ^importance of the reason of facts . . 380

Concept of Dionysos as deduced from the Coins 381

Semitic and Aiyan Sun-gods— coins of Khodos 383

CoinsofThasos 385

The bovine coin-type — ^the river AcheloSs 387



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XX CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

PAOK

Euboik coins * 389

The Gelan demi-bull or sun in the Under-world 390

Other bovine coin-types 3^>4

Other Dionysiak coins 308

The andro-sphinx of Chios 400

The bee of Ephesos 401

Jewish and Numidian coins 404

Kilikian coins 404

Other Dionysiak coins 406

The Gryphon of Teos 40J)

Etrusco-Roman coins 41 1

SECTION IV.

DIONYSIAK OEMS.

Various Bakchik gems 418

Th>. anrv^tiV. Ahn^Ti^ . . . . . ^ ^1«



(.</ /CM^C Xji^K^



7phon in Burmah „ 336



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THE

GEEAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

CHAPTEE I.
THE SUBJECT AND ITS TREATMENT.

To trace to its original source, and, in so doing, to explain
and illustrate the underlying meaning and significance of
that vast and varied mythologico-religious concept the
Great Dionysiak Myth, is the object of the present work.
The Hellenik Dionysos, with his endless train of Seilenoi,
Satyrs, Nymphs, Fauns, and Bakchanals, is familiar to
every student of antiquity ; and a superficial acquaintance
with the subject has reduced * the worship of Bacchus '
m popular idea to the use of wine, and that chiefly in
excess. Facts and beliefe are, however, frequently well
known, while at the same time their causes are very
obscure ; and though it is undoubtedly necessary to know
that a thing Is, before we can consider. Why it is, or, Why
it is as it is, yet an examination of the reason of actua-
lities is the chief difference between the intellectual and
the animal life. Finding, then, the concept of Dionysos,
we are next impelled to ask why it exists, and in this
particular form. To the enquiry it may be objected in
limine that the subject is (1) unimportant, or (2) already
sufficiently investigated.

To the first objection, I reply that the belief of great
numbers of mankind during many centuries, and the

B

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2 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

reasons for such belief are always, as is now more gene-
rally recognised than formerly, well worthy of the at-
tention of the philosopher, since inasmuch as the mind
of man is practically a unity,^ we are but studying our-
selves in the persons of distant ages. We thus also notice
what root ideas or principles are common to all minds in
all times, and so if any reliance can be placed upon con-
sciousness and its attendant phenomena (and if not, the
less said or done the better) we are enabled to obtain
a more correct approximation to truth.* The subject,
moreover, possesses a q)ecial Kterary and historical interest
of its own, and that of a high order. There are numerous
other considerations illustrative of the genuine importance
of such an enquiry, and deducible from the foregoing ;
but he who loves the study of religious-mythology and
archaic idea, either considered separately or in connection
with all religious ideas, will require but shght excuse to
justify his investigations. To the second possible objec-
tion — that this particular subject has already been ex-
haustively treated — ^it is enough to reply that whilst the
vast amount of scholarly labour bestowed since the era



Online LibraryRobert BrownThe great Dionysiak myth → online text (page 1 of 38)