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a personality. Her personality, it is true, faded before the dominant
personality of the Mother of Eleusis, but her presence in the
ancient ritual-formulary speaks clearly for her original actuality.
Once she had faded, all the other more successful goddesses, Ge,
Artemis, Hekate, Leto, Demeter, Aphrodite, even Athene, contend
for her name as their epithet. There is no controversy so idle and
apparently so prolific as that which seeks to find in these ancient

1 B. M. Cat. B 168.

- Ar. Thesm. 295 and schol. ad loc. The words ry Trj have been interpolated
after KovpoTp6(f>i{3 but without ms. authority.


The Making of a Goddess


inchoate personalities, such as Kourotrophos and Kaj'Jc neia, the
epithets of the Olympians they so long predated.

The figure of the Mother as Kourotrophos lent itself easily to
later abstractions. Themis is one of the earliest, and she attains
a real personality; her sisters Eunomia and Dike are scarcely flesh
and blood, they are beautiful stately shadows. The ' making of a
goddess ' is always a mystery, the outcome of manifold causes of
which we have lost count. At the close of the 5th century B.C. at
the end of the weary, fatal Peloponnesian war, Eirene, Peace, almost
attained godhead, and godhead as the Mother. Cephisodotos, father
of Praxiteles, made for the market-place at Athens a statue of her
carrying the child Ploutos, the
Athenians built her an altar
and did sacrifice to her, Aristo-
phanes brings her on the stage,
but it is all too late and in vain,
she remains an abstraction as
lifeless as Theoria or Opora,
and finds no place among the
humanities of Olympus.

Tjche, Fortune, another late
abstraction of the Mother,
though she is scarcely more
human than Eirene, obtained a
wide popularity. Pausanias^
saw at Thebes a sanctuary of
Tyche; he remarks after naming
the artists, 'it was a clever
plan of them to put Ploutos in
the arms of Tyche as his mother
or nurse, and Cephisodotos was
no less clever ; he made for the
Athenians the image of Eirene holding Ploutos.'

These abstractions, Tyche, Ananke and the like, were popular
with the Orphics. Their very lack of personality favoured a
growing philosophic monotheism. The design in fig. 65 is carved
in low relief on one of the columns of the Hall of the Mystae of

1 P. IX. 16. 2.

Fig. 65.

vi] Demeter and Kore 271

Dionysos, recently excavated at Melos\ Tyclie holds a child —
presumably the local Ploutos of Melos — in her arms. Above her
is inscribed, ' May Agathe Tyche of Melos be gracious to
Alexandres, the founder of the holy Mystae.' Tyche, Fortune,
might be, to the uninitiated, the Patron, the Good Luck of any
and every city, but to the mystic she had another and a deeper
meaning ; she, like the Agathos Daimon, was the inner Fate of his
life and soul. In her house, as will later be seen (Chap, xi.), he
lodged, observing rules of purity and abstinence before he was
initiated into the underworld mysteries of Trophonios, before he
drank of the waters of Lethe and Mnemosyne. It is one of the
countless instances in which the Orphics went back behind the
Olympian divinities and mysticized the earlier figures of the
Mother or the Daughter.

Demeter and Kore.

So long as and wherever man lived for the most part by
hunting, the figure of the ' Lady of the Wild Things ' Avould
content his imagination. But, when he became an agriculturist,
the Mother-goddess must perforce be, not only Kourotrophos of all
living things, but also the Corn-mother, Demeter.

The derivation of the name Demeter has been often discussed^
The most popular etymology is that which makes her A.a/.u]Tr]p,
Earth-mother, Ad, which occurs in such interjections^ as cpev Bd,
olol 8d, being regarded as the equivalent of Fa. From the point
of view of meaning this etymology is nowise satisfactoiy.
Demeter is not the Earth-Mother, not the goddess of the earth in
general, but of the fruits of the civilized, cultured earth, the tiWi ;
not the ' Lady of the Wild Things,' but She-who-bears-fruits,
Karpophoros. Mannhardt was the first to point out another
etymology, more consonant with this notion. The author of the

1 Mr II. C. Bosanquet, 'Excavations of the British School at Melos,' J.H.S. xviii.
1898, p. 60, Fig. 1, and Dr P. Wolters, 'Melische Kultstatuen,' A. Mitt. xv. 1890,
p. 248.

- All the proposed etymologies, possible and impossible, are collected by Mann-
hardt, Mytholoriische Forschini<it>n, p. 287. To his discussion most now be added
Dr Kretschmer's view that AS lilie MS. means mother and that the form Sa/JidT7]p
arose when Act had crystallized into a i^roper name. See Festschrift der Wiener-
Studien, 1902, p. 291. '

■* Aesch. Prom. Vinct. 568.

272 The Making of . ' Goddess [ch.

Etymologicon Magnum^, after string: r.ig together a whole series of
senseless conjectures, at last stumbli-s wn what looks like the truth.
' Deo,' he says, ' may be derived from Taii 8r]d^, for barley grains
are called by the Cretans SrjaL' The Cretan word Brjai is near
akin to the ordinary Greek ^eid, the word used for a coarse wheat
or spelt ; the fruitful field in Homer''* bears the epithet ^eiSwpo?,
'spelt-yielding.' Demeter, it will later be seen (p. 565), probably
came from Crete, and brought her name with her ; she is the
Earth, but only in this limited sense, as ' Grain-Mother.'

To the modern mind it is surprising to find the processes of
agriculture conducted in the main by women, and mirroring them-
selves in the figures of women-goddesses. But in days when man
was mainly concerned with hunting and fighting it was natural
enough that agriculture and the ritual attendant on it should fall
to the women. Moreover to this social necessity was added, and still
is among many savage communities, a deep-seated element of super-
stition. ' Primitive man,' Mr Payne^ observes, ' refuses to interfere
in agriculture ; he thinks it magically dependent for success on
woman, and connected with child-bearing.' ' When the women
plant maize,' said the Indian to Gumilla, ' the stalk produces two
or three ears. Why ? Because women know how to produce
children. They only know how to plant corn to ensure its germi-
nating. Then let them plant it, they know more than we know.'
Such seems to have been the mind of the men of Athens who sent
their wives and daughters to keep the Thesmophoria and work
their charms and ensure fertility for crops and man.

It was mainly in connection with agriculture, it would seem,
that the Earth-goddess developed her double form as Mother
and Maid. The ancient ' Lady of the Wild Things ' is both in one
or perhaps not consciously either, but at Eleusis the two figures
are clearly outlined ; Demeter and Kore are two persons though
one god. They take shape very charmingly in the design in
fig. 66, from an early red-figured skyphos^, found at Eleusis. To
the left Demeter stands, holding in her left hand her sceptre,
while with her right she gives the corn-ears to her nursling,

^ Etym. Mai), s.v. A-rjui sub tin.: r} Arjui, wapa, ras drjds' ovrw -yap Srjai irpoaayopiv-
ovrai iiwb Kpr/rwv ai KpiOai.

- Hoiu. //. II. 528 j'eiSwpos oipovpa.

^ History of the New World, vol. ii. yi. 7.

* 0. Rubensobn, ' Eleusiuische Beitriige,' A. Mitt It. ISD'J, pi. vii.


Demeter and Kore


Triptolemos, who holds his 'crooked plough.' Behind is Kore,
the maiden, with her simple chiton for dress, and her long flowing

Fig. 66.

hair, and the torches she holds as Queen of the underworld. Mother
and Maid in this picture are clearly distinguished, but not infre-
quently, when both appear together, it is impossible to say which
is which.

The relation of these early matriarchal, husbandless goddesses,
whether Mother or Maid, to the male figures that accompany them
is one altogether noble and womanly, though perhaps not what
the modern mind holds to be feminine. It seems to halt some-
where half-way between Mother and Lover, with a touch of the
patron saint. Aloof from achievement themselves, they choose a
local hero for theii- own to inspire and protect. They ask of him,
not that he should love or adore, but that he should do great deeds.
Hera has Jason, Athene Perseus, Herakles and Theseus, Demeter
and Kore Triptolemos. And as their glory is in the hero's high
deeds, so their grace is his guerdon. With the coming of patriarchal
conditions this high companionship ends. The women goddesses
are sequestered to a servile domesticity, they become abject and

H. 18

274 The Making of u Goddess [ch.

It is important to note that primarily the two forms of the
Earth or Corn-goddess are not Mother and Daughter, but Mother
and Maiden, Demeter and Kore. They are, in fact, merely the
older and younger form of the same person, hence their easy con-
fusion. The figures of the Mother and Daughter are mythological
rather than theological, i.e. they arise from the story-telling
instinct :

* Demeter of the beauteous hair, goddess divine, I sing,
She and the slender-ancled maid, her daughter, whom the king
Aidoneus seized, by Zeus' decree. He found her, as she played
Far from her mother's side, who reaps the corn with golden blade i.'

The corn is reaped and the earth desolate in winter-time.
Aetiology is ready with a human love-story. The maiden, the
young fruit of the earth, was caught by a lover, kept for a season,
and in the spring-time returns to her mother ; the mother is com-
forted, and the earth blossoms again ^ :

' Thus she spake, and then did Demeter the garlanded yield
And straightway let spring up the fruit of the loamy field.
And all the breadth of the earth, with leaves and blossoming things
Was heavy. Then she went forth to the law-delivering kings
And taught them, Triptolemos first.'

Mythology might work its will, but primitive art never clearly
distinguished between the Mother and the Maid, never lost hold
of the truth that they were one goddess. On the Boeotian plate^
in fig. 67 is figured the Corn-goddess, but whether as Mother or
Maid it is difficult, I incline to think impossible, to decide. She
is a great goddess, enthroned and heavily draped, wearing a high
polos on her head. She holds ears of corn, a pomegranate, a torch ;
before her is an omphalos-like altar, on it what looks like a pome-
granate — is she Demeter or Persephone ? I incline to think she
is both in one : the artist has not differentiated her.

1 Hovi. Hymn, ad Cer. 1.

- Horn. Hymn, ad Cer. 470. The elaborate aetiology of the whole Homei-ic
Hymn to Demeter has been fully examined and explained by Mr F. B. Jevons in
his Introduction to the Histoni of Ih-Uifion, ch. xxiii. and Ajipeiidix.

^ Athens Nat. Mus. 484. Fig. 07 is reproduced from a photograph kindly sent
me by Prof. Sam. Wide. For further particulars of this class of vases I must refer
to Prof. Wide's article 'Eine lokale Gattung Boiotischer Gefiisse,' A. Mitt. xxvi. 1901,
23. 143. Prof. Wide makes the interesting suggestion that tlie bird in the field is
a bird-soul and points out that merely decorative 'Fiilltiguren' do not occur on this
class of vases. This interpretation seems to me highly probable, but till further
evidence emerges, I hesitate to adopt it as certain.


Demeter and Kore


The dead, according to Plutarch's' statement, were called by
the Athenians ' Demeter's i^eople.' The ancient ' Lady of the Wild

Fig. 67.

Things,' with her guardian lions, keeps ward over the dead in the
tombs of Asia Minor, and every grave became her sanctuary. But
in Greece proper, and especially at Eleusis, where the Mother and
the Maid take mythological, differentiated form as Demeter and
her daughter Persephone, their individual functions tend more and
more to specialize. Demeter becomes more and more agricultural,
more and more the actual corn. As Plutarch- observes — with full
consciousness of the anomalous blend of the human and the
physical — a poet can say of the reapers :

' What time men shear to earth Demeter's Hmbs.'

The Mother takes the physical side, the Daughter the spiritual
— the Mother is more and more of the upper aii-, the Daughter of
the underworld.

Demeter as Thesmopboros has for her sphere more and

more the things of this life, laws and civilized marriage ; she

grows more and more human and kindly, goes more and more

^ Plut. de fac. in orb. lun. xxviii.

- Plut. de Is. et Osir. lxvi. ttoctjtt;? de tis eirl tQv depi'^ovTOJv 'Trj/xos or al^riol
L^r)jj.rjTepa KuiXoTo/j-evaiv.'


276 The Making of u Goddess [ch.

over to the humane Olympians, tiU '■.:■• the Homeric Hymn she, the
Earth-Mother, ij an actual denizeu of Olympus, The Daughter,
at first but the young form of the mother, is in maiden fashion
sequestered, even a little farouche ; she withdraws herself more
and more to the kingdom of the spirit, the things below and
beyond :

' She waits for each aud other,
She waits for all men born,
Forgets the earth her mother,
The life of fruits and corn.
And spring and seed and SAvallow
Take wing for her and follow
Where summer song rings hollow
And flowers are put to scorn.'

And in that kingdom aloof her figure waxes as the figure of
the Mother wanes :

' daughter of earth, my mother, her crown and blossom of birth,
I am also I also thy brother, I go as I came unto earth.'

She passes to a place unknown of the Olympians, her kingdom
is not of this world.

' Thou art more than the Gods, who number the days of our temporal breath.
For these give labour and slumber, but thou, Proserpina, Death.'

All this is matter of late development. At first we have
merely the figures of the Two Goddesses, the Two Thesmophoroi,
the Two Despoinae. Demeter at Hermione is Chthonia, in
Arcadia^ she is at once Erinys and Lousia. But it is not sur-
prising that, as will later be seen, a religion like Orphism, which
concerned itself with the abnegation of this world and the life of
the soul hereafter, laid hold rather of the figure of the underworld
Kore, and left the prosperous, genial Corn-Mother to make her
way alone into Olympus.

The Anodos of the Maiden Earth-goddesses.

In discussing the Boeotian plate (fig. 67), it has been seen
that it is not easy always to distinguish in art the figures of the
Mother and the Maid. A like difficulty attends the interpretation
of the series of curious representations of the earth-goddess now
to be considered (figs. 68 — 72).

1 P. vni. 25. 4—7.


The Anodos of the Maiden


We begin with the vase-painting in fig. 68, where happily an
inscription makes the interpretation certain. Th^ design is from
a red-figured krater, now in the Albertinum Museum at Dresden ^
To the right is a conventional earth-mound (;;^(w/ia 7>}<?). In front

Fig. 68.

of it stands Hermes. He holds not his kerykeion, but a rude
forked 7'habdos. It was with the rhahdos, it will be remembered
(p. 44), that he summoned the souls from the grsive-jnthos.
Here, too, he is present as Psychagogos ; he has come to summon
an earth-spirit, nay more, the Earth-goddess herself Out of the
artificial mound, which symbolizes the earth itself, rises the figure
of a woman. At first sight we might be inclined to call her Ge,
the 'Es.rih-Mother, but the figure is slight and maidenly, and over
her happily is written (Phe)rophatta. It is the Anodos of Kore —
the coming of the goddess is greeted by an ecstatic dance of goat-

1 Jahrbuch d. Inst. Anz. 1893, p. 166.


The Making oj 'J Goddess


horned Panes. They are not Satvr- : these, as will later be seen
(p. 380), are horse demons. B\ the early middle of the 5th
century B.C., the date of this rea-figured vase, the worship of the
Arcadian Pan was well-established at Athens, and the goat-men,
the Panes, became the fashionable and fitting attendants of the
Earth-Maiden. The inscriptions above their heads can, unfortu-
nately, not be read.

A vase of much later date (fig. 69) shows us substantially the

Fig. 69.

same scene. The design is from a red-figured krater* in the
Berlin Antiquarium. The goddess again rises from an artificial
mound decorated with sprays of foliage. The attendant figures
are different. A goat-legged Pan leans eagerly over the mound,
but Dionysos himself, with his thyrsos, sits quietly waiting the
Anodos, and with him are his real attendants, the horse-tailed
Satyrs. In the left-hand corner a little winged Love-god plays on
the double flutes. The rising goddess is not inscribed, and she is

1 Berl. Gat. 2646. Mon. d. Inxt. xii. tav. iv. Tliis vase with others of the same
type is explained by Dr Robert, ArchiiolofiixcJie Mnhrchen, p. 196, as the rising of
a Spring-Nymph, but the inscribed Berlin vase was not known to him, see also
'Delphika,'V.2/.S'. xix. 1899, p. 232.


The Anodos of the Maiden


best left unnamed. She is an Earth-goddess, but the presence of
Dionysos makes us suspect that there is some reminiscence of
Semele (p. 407). The presence of the Love-god points, as will be
explained later (Chap, xii.), to the influence of Orphism,

More curious, more instructive, but harder completely to
explain, is the design in fig. 70, from a black-figured lekythos in

the Bibliotheque Nationale^ at Paris. The colossal head and
lifted hands of a woman are rising out of the earth. This time
there is no artificial mound, the scene takes place in a temple or
sanctuary, indicated by the two bounding columns. Two men, not
Satyrs, are present, and this time not as idle spectators. Both are
armed Avith great mallets or hammers, and one of them strikes the
head of the rising woman.

Some possible light is thrown on this difficult vase by the con-
sideration of two others. First we have two designs from the
obverse and reverse of an amphora-, shown together in fig. 71.

1 Cat. 298. Milliet et Giraudon, PI. lii. b, discussed by Prof. Furtwiingler,
Jahrhuch d. Inst. 1891, p. 113, and Prof. Gardner, J.H.S. xxi. 1901, p. 5, and
J. E. Harrison, ' Delphika,' J.H.S. xis. 1899, p. 232.

- Yasi dipinti del Museo Yivenzio designati di C. Angelini nel iinccxcvi,
Illustrato di G. Patroni 1900, Tav. xxix. All the plates of this publication are
of course reproduced from very old drawings and are quite untrustworthy as regards
style. The vase under discussion is now lost, so that the original cannot be
compared. Sig. Patroni thinks the drawing is authentic. I reproduce it partly
because the subject is not wholly explicable, partly in the hope that by making
it more widely known, I may lead to the rediscovery of the vase, which may be in
some private collection.


The Making q; ' a Goddess


On the obverse to the left we h.ive a scene fairly familiar, a
goddess rising from the ground, 'a filched by a youth, who holds in
his hand some sort of implement, either a pick or a hammer.

Fig. 71.

The meaning of the reverse design is conjectural. A man, short
of stature and almost deformed in appearance, looks at a curious
and problematic figure, half woman and half vase, set on a
quadrangular basis. Before it, if the drawing be correct, is a
spiked crown ; round about, in the field, a number of rosettes. A
design so problematic is not likely to be a forgery. Before its
meaning is conjectured, another vase, whose interpretation is
perfectly clear and certain, remains to be considered. Its meaning
may serve to elucidate the others.

The design in fig. 72 is from a red-figured amphora^ of the
finest period, in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. At a first
glance, when we see the splendid figure rising from the ground
with outstretched arms, the man with the hammer and Hermes
attendant, we think that we have the familiar scene of the rising
of Kore or Ge. As such, had no inscriptions existed, the design
would certainly have been interpreted. But, as it happens, each
figure is carefully inscribed. To the left Zeus, next to him
Hermes, next Epimetheus, and last, not Ge or Kore, but Pandora.
Over Pandora, to greet her uprising, hovers a Love-god with
a fillet in his outstretched hands.

1 Prof. Percy Gardner, 'A new Pandora Vase,' J. U.S. xxi. 1901, Plate 1.


The Anodos of the Maiden


Pandora rises from the earth ; she is the Earth, giver of all gifts.
This is made doubly sure by another representation of her birth
or rather her making. On the well-known ^a^e-cylix of the


Fig. 72.

British Museum^ Pandora, half statue half woman, has just been
modelled by Hephaistos, and Athene is in the act of decking her.
Pandora she certainly is, but against her is written her other name
(A)nesidora'^, 'she who sends up gifts.' Pandora is a form or title
of the Earth-goddess in the Kore form, entirely humanized and
vividly jDersonified by mythology.

In the light of this substantial identity of Pandora and the
Earth-Kore, it is possible perhaps to offer an explanation of the

1 Brit. Mus. Cat. d 4. White Athenian Vases, Plate 19. Myth, and Mon. of
Anc. Athens, p. 450, fig. 50.

2 The worship of Ge as Anesidora at Phlya will be later discussed, Chap. xii.

282 The Making of (■ Goddess [ch.

problematic vase in fig. 71. Ha v. rve not on obverse and reverse
a juxtaposition of the two scene-; he Rise of Kore, the Making of
Pandora ? On this showing the short deformed man would be
Hephaistos, and Pandora, half woman half vase, may be conceived
as issuing from her once famous pithos.

The contaminatio of the myths of the Making of Pandora and
the Anodos of Kore may explain also another difficulty. In the
making and moulding of Pandora, Hephaistos the craftsman uses
his characteristic implement, the hammer^ This hammer he also
uses to break open the head of Zeus, in representations of the
birth of Athene (p. 366). On vases wdth the Anodos of Kore
the Satyrs or Panes carry and use sometimes an ordinary j)ick,
sometimes a hammer, like the hammer of Hephaistos. The pick
is the natural implement for breaking clods of earth, the spade
appears to have been unknown before the iron age — the hammers
have always presented a difficulty. May they not have arisen in
connection with the myth of the making of Pandora, and then, by
confusion, passed to the Anodos of Kore ?

Finally, returning to the difficult design in fig. 70, I would
offer another suggestion. The fact that the scene takes place in a
sanctuary seems to me to indicate that we have here a representa-
tion of some sort of mimetic ritual. The Anodos of Kore was, as
has already been seen (p. 131), dramatized at certain festivals;
exactly how we do not know. At the festival of the Charila
(p. 107) a puppet dressed as a girl was brought out, beaten, and
ultimately hanged in a chasm. Is it not possible that at some
festival of the Earth-goddess there was a mimetic enactment of
the Anodos, that the earth or some artificially-formed chasm was
broken open by picks, and that a puppet or a real woman emerged.
It is more likely, I think, that the vase-painter had some such
scene in his mind than that the Satyrs with their picks or
hammers represent the storm and liglitning from heaven beating
on the earth to subdue it and compel its fertility-. At Megara,

1 A lost play of Sophocles was called HavSdbpa rj ^(f)vpoK6Troi. The a-<pvpa though
characteristic of Hephaistos the craftsman was used by agriculturists. Trygaeus in
the Pci.r {v. 500) remembers tliat his (r<pvpa waits at home glittering and ready,
see J.H.S. xx. 1900, p. 107.

2 Prof. FurtwJingler, Jahrhuch d. Inst. 1R91, pp. 117 and 124, 'Ein uraltes
mythisches Symbol fiir die Blitze siud aber Hammer und Beil. Sie sind es...die
mit miichtigen Gewittern den Kopf dor grossen Mutter Erde schlagen und hiimmern
bis sie erwacht und erweicht.'

vi] Pandora 283

near the Prytaneion, Pausanias^ saw 'a rock which was called
Anaklethra-, "Calling Up," because Demeter, if anyone like to
believe it, when she was wandering in search of her daughter,
called her up there.' He adds, ' the women of Megara to this day
perform rites that are analogous to the legend told.' Unhappily
he does not tell us what these rites were. Lucian devotes a half-
serious treatise to discussing the scope and merits of pantomimic
dancing, Xenophon* in his Banquet lets us see that educated
guests after dinner preferred the acting of a myth to the tumbling
of a dancing girl, but the actual ritual pantomime of the ancients
is to us a sealed book. Of one thing we may be sure, that the
' things done ' (8pu)/j,eva) of ritual helped to intensify mythological
impersonation as much as, or perhaps more than, the ' things
spoken' (eTrr)) of the poet.

Online LibraryJane Ellen HarrisonProlegomena to the study of Greek religion → online text (page 27 of 62)