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the conduct of Prometheus as r^ards Zeus, and (2) to
the use made of them by the Bakchai against their oppo-
nents.^ The choric earth-dance has been noticed.

The Chorus, identifying the cult of Dionysos, Ehea and
Kybele, proceed to connect it with the Island of Krete,^
which presented an extraordinary mixture of races and
consequently of rehgionsJ The mysterious Kouretes and
Korybantes are represented as the ministers of this joint
ritual, and it is therefore necessary to refer to some extent
to their origin. I may first remark that the Kabeiroi,
Kouretes, Korybantes, Daktyloi, Idaioi and Telchines are,
according to the Natural Phenomena Theory, simply —
clouds ; and those who desire to see the reasonings which
lead to this misty conclusion should refer to the Eev. G. W.
Cox'simportant work, the Mythology of the Aryan Nations.
I have thought it unnecessary to allude to his views on this

* Sup, sec. ii. 2; vide inf, YUL conclusions were, *that the Mizrw-
ii. Cone, mic Eaphtoureem first colonised the

* Vide VIII. ii. JS^xjts, island at a remote period ; that the

* I^'otrept, ii. 18. Kydones, a Japhetic tribe, subse-

* Of. Hd, 1861 ; vide inf, VIIL quently established themselves in the
ii. Ftnnel-giant, north-western portion of it ; that

* Of. V. 147 with V. 762 ; vide these two races were both found
Loukianos, The Dionysiak Discourse, there by the Phoenician colonists ;

* V. 121. and that, lastly, other Hellenik tribes.
' Cf. Poseidon, xxx. xxad. My settled in the country.*

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point in detail, inasmuch as the arguments in favour of
the Semitic connection of these personages and of Dionysos,
when viewed in their totaUty, present the same kind of
evidence which is available in support of the right way
of putting together a child's dissected map ; we feel
convinced that it is correctly done by a double proof,
namely, (1) every piece fits exactly in its place, and
(2) will not fit elsewhere. I trust that the reader, while
duly observing detail, will also as he proceeds weigh the
combined force of the connected evidence. To return to
the Kouretes and Korybantes. The family pedigree of
the latter is as follows. From Zeus, the broad, bright
heaven, and the nymph Elektra, a feminine personifica-
tion of Eliktor the Beaming-Sun, also caUed Phaethon,
and corresponding with Dionysos Antauges the Sparkler,
proceed three children, Dardanos, lasion, and Harmonia.^
Dardanos sailed to Samothrake, the special home of
Semitic Mysteries, and, crossing thence to the Troad,
received a grant of land from Teukros, son of the river
Skamandros and the nymph Idaia, and first king of Troia.
He thus became the ancestor of the Troians, and was an
associate of Kybele and initiated in her Mysteries. lasion
is represented as the beloved of Demeter and of Kybele,
a circumstance shewing the early identification of the
two: the myth is of great antiquity, for the passion
of Demeter for him is alluded to by Homeros^ as a
familiar instance of the danger of association between
mortals and immortals. To lasion Zeus discovers the
celebrated Samothrakian Mysteries, and his son is Korybas,
the child of Kybele and ancestor of the Korybantes, who
crosses with his mother into Asia and introduces her
worship there, a circumstance illustrative of the fact that
the cult of the Mother of the Gods was not Phrygian
in origin. Harmonia, the sister of Dardanos and lasion,

» Of. Schol. ApoU. Rhod. i. 916. « Orf. v. 126.


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receives from Athene the celebrated necklace and pqplos^
' the star-bespangled robe,* so famous in the mythic
history of Thebai, and is married to Kadmos, the Man-of-
the-East, its founder and the son of the Phoenician
king.^ It is not diflScult to estimate the true value
of Hellenik mythic genealogies ;^ they have evidently
some meaning, and are founded on certain facts. But
this signification is to some extent esoteric. Thus the
pedigree in question illustrates (1) the natural connection
between the two eaith-goddesses, Demeter and Kybele,
which has been already noticed, (2) that the mystic
Korybas is born in the home of non-HeUenik mystery,
and that many of his connections are Phoenician ;
(3) that the whole family are descended from the beaming
sun of Eastern cKmes, Dionysos Pyropos, the Kery-feced,
are in fact the children of a flame-cult. But in order
that the pedigree may be correct in form, the Sun is
changed into a female, the bright-beaming nymph
Elektra, and as such, is duly wedded to Zeus, the Aryan
All-father. Thus the Elektran, the fourth of the Seven
Gates of Thebai, was dedicated to the Sun.^ Strabo
gives an interesting dissertation on the Kouretes and
Korybantes, in which he notices that Pindaros* and
Euripides identify the Bakchik and Phrygian rites. He
states that the names Kabeiroi and Korybantes were
invented to designate the ministers, dancers, and servants
employed about the sacred rites, that these beings were
not only ministers of the gods, but were themselves also
called gods.^ Quoting many authorities, he says that
there were nine Telchines in Ehodos, who accompanied
Ehea to Krete ; that Korybas was one of them, and that
certain Ehodians held that the Korybantes were daemons,

1 Of. Ephoi-08, Frag. xiL ; Diod. v. Eur. Phoi, 1129 ; Nonnos, v. 76.
48-9. < Dithyrambs. Frag. ix.

2 Of. Poseidon, xxvii. » Of. Hippd, 143.
« 0£ Aifl. Hept. epi The. 418;

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children of Athene and the Sun ; that they were the same
as the Kabeiroi and that they went to Samothrake. He
further states that the Kouretes were Kretans, that in the
Kretan history they are called the nurses and guardians
of Zeus, and that Demetrios of Skepsis, cir. B.C. 160, who
wrote a very learned work entitled Troikos DiakosmoSj
' The Troian Array,' held that the Kouretes and Kory-
bantes were identical. Quoting Pherekydes the cele-
brated logographer, cir. B.C. 470, he says that there were
nine Korybantes who lived in Samothrake, and three
Kabeiroi, children of Hephaistos and the nymph Kabeira,
who were especially worshipped at Lemnos, Imbros, and in
the Troaxi. He adds that Ehodos was anciently called
Telchinis, fix)m the Telchines, who according to many
writers, excelled in the mechanical arts, and were found
also in Krete and Kypros.^ Pausanias gives the names
of the Kouretes, one of whom is lasios, and states that
they came from Mount Ida in Krete.^ Thirlwall is of
opinion that the Telchines were Phoenicians, and that the
l^ends respecting them 'embody recollections of arts
introduced or refined by foreigners who attracted the
admiration of the rude tribes whom they visited.'^
That their connection is Phoenician is highly probable,
although not matter of absolute history. The Bishop's
views have been objected to as unsupported by evidence,
but there is still less evidence that the Telchines were
clouds. The Emperor Julianus states that Korybas is,
i.e. represents, the Sun.'* The Pseudo Orphik Hymns,
xxxi. and xxxviii. are addressed to the Kouretes, and
Hymn xxxix to Korybas, who is called one of the
Koiuretes, who are themselves identified with the Kory-
bantes. They are said to dwell *in ihe sacred region

' Strabo, x. 3, xiv. 2. * Histtf Greece, pt I. iii.

* Pans. V. 7. * Orat, in Mat, Deorum,

K 2

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of Samothrake.' Taylors translation is not without
merit : —

Deathless Curetes, by yoiir pow'r alone,

The greatest mystic rites to men ai first were shown^

Who shake old Ocean thund'ring to the sky,

And stubborn oaks with branches waving high.

'Tis yours in glittering arms the earth to beat

With lightly leaping, rapid, sounding feet ;

Then every beast the noise terrific flies.

And the loud tumult wanders through the skies.

The dust your feet excites, with matchless force

Flies to the clouds amidst their whirling course ;

And every flower of variegated hue

Grows in the dancing motion formed by you.

Immortal daemons, to your pow'rs consign'd

The task to nourish and destroy mankind —

Curetes, Corybantes, ruling kings.

Whose praise the land of Samothracia sings.

This curious passage cleariy indicates their close affinity
with Dionysos, as assistants in the vast kosmic dance,^
and at once the nurturers and destroyers of mankind,
as he is to men at the same time the mildest and most
terrible of divinities. It is unnecessary to analyse these
legends and myths in detail ; they are all evidently har-
monious, and teach the non-Hellenik character of the
Kouretes and Korybantes, thus connected by Euripides
with the Dionysiak ritual. Among other points, may be
noticed, (1) Their solar connection as the children or
associates of Helios, not as the Clouds against whom he
wages war, and the implication of this connection as
pointing to a foreign cult ; (2) Their connection with
Phoenician personages such as Kadmos, Hephaistos and
the Kabeiroi, Phoenician arts such as metallurgy, and
Phoenician localities such as Kypros, Ehodos, Krete,

* Of. KreteSj Frag. ii. ; Sup, subsec i.

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Lemnos, Imbros and Samothrake ; (3) Their mutual close
and intimate aflSnity, though not absolute identity, as
perhaps being different phases of the same personages,
and (4) Their connection with the kosmogonic Dionysos,
both as ministers of death and life, and as choir-leaders
in the universal nature-dance or rhythm of motion.^
Strabo sagely concludes his Kouretik dissertation with
the remark, ' all discussion respecting the gods requires
an examination of ancient opinions, and of fables, since
the ancients expressed enigmatically their physical notions
concerning the nature of things, and always intermixed
fables with their discoveries. It is not easy, therefore, to
solve these enigmas exactly ; but if we lay before the
reader a multitude of febulous tales, some consistent with
each other, others which are contradictory, we may thus
with less difficulty form conjectures about the truth/^

* And hard by the raving Satyroi performed the rites
of mother Ehea, and they added the dances of the trien-
nial festivals in* which Dionysos rejoices, glad on the
mountains when from the running bands of revellers he
fells on the plain, having a sacred garment of faun-skin,
hunting for the blood of goat-slaughter, a raw-eaten
delight.** The Satyroi, according to the Natural Phe-
nomena Theory, are * the phenomena of the life which
seems to animate the woods as the branches of the trees
move in wild dances with the clouds which course
through the air above, or assume forms strange or gro-
tesque or fearful, in the deep nooks and glens or in the
dim and dusky tints of the gloaming.' ^ The objection
to this view, which applies rather to Pan and the Paniscs,

* Souidas (in voc. Kouretes and chios similarly (in voc. Korubas),

Koureton sterna) calls them a nation, calls Korubas a ^ priest of Rhea.'

and says prophetic power was as- * Falconer's Translation, ii. 191-2.

cribed to tnem. Dionysos also is a 'Of. OrpMk Ht/mns, xlv. lii.

Prophet (-Bo*. 298). Souidas (in voc. * Vs. 130-9.

Korubarttei) calls both Kouretes and * Mythd, of the Art/an Nations, ii.

KorybantQS children of Rhea. Ilesy- 15.

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is twofold ; (1) it is unsupported by evidence, and (2) it
does not account for the particulai fonn under which the
Satyroi are represented, i.e. with pointed ears, two small
horns and goats' tails, or by later writers with larger
horns, and goats' feet and legs. According to Donaldson,
* the Satyrs were only the deified representatives of the
original worshippers, who probably assumed as portions
of their droll costume the skin of the goat, which they
had sacrificed as a welcome offering to their wine-god/^
The first point for consideration is. What is the connec-
tion between Dionysos and the Goat ? Virgil says that
the goat is sacrificed as a vine-injming animal,^ and the
constellation Aixj the Goat, was similarly supposed to
affect vines injuriously at its rising.^ This may be one
link in the case, but there are others also, for as Virgil
himself notices, various animals injure the vine, and
Satyroi might, if this point comprised all the affinity
between the god and the goat, have been represented
with bulls' or rams' tails. The Bakchik cry * Eua ' has been
said to be an imitation of the goat's bleat, and the goat as
homed has, like the ram and bull, a certain connection
with the god. But the chief hnk between the Satyroi,
the goat and Dionysos is the erotic character of the animal,*
corresponding to that phase of the god when the general
vigour of the earth-hfe, Dionysos Karpios or Erikepeios,
passes into personal amorousness as Ephaptor or Polypar-
thenos. The Satyroi ' represent the luxuriant vital powers
of nature,'* and hence their connection with the kosmo-
gonic god. This does not exclude Donaldson's idea, which
is probably correct in itself, but manifesdy too slender a

* Theatre of the Oreekt, 25; d. * Of. Diod. i. 88 ; Kinff Lear, i.

Strabo, x. 8. Vide ntf. VII. ii., Re- 2, ' his goatish disposition.' Goats'

marks on Pan and Heabani. flesh was sometimes eaten as a saty-

« Oearg. ii. 372-83; cf. Ovid, rion (Athen. ix. 16). Vide Payne

Metam, xy. 114. Knight on the Qoat in Art.

> Paus. ii. 13. * Smith, C/aw. Dia. Satyri,

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foundation to be an exhaustive explanation of the facts.
Each Satyros is thus another and a lower personification
of the sensuous divinity, the goat becomes a fitting
sacrifice, and the god is known as Aigobolos, the Goat-
smiter.^ But Dionysos the Exarchos, or Choir-leader^ of
the revelling bands, is described as bounding down the
mountain sides to the plain, clad in the sacred faun-skin ^
* hunting for the blood of slaughtered he-goats, a raw-
eaten delight.' Here we meet the god again in his
ferocious aspect as appeased by blood, as Omophagos,
Omestes, and Omadios,* the Eaw-flesh-eating. Thus, in a
Fragment of the Kretes of Euripides, quoted by Porphyrios,^
the Mysticdevoted to Zagreus, speaks of having ' completed
the carnivorous feasts,' and the same writer informs us
that human sacrifices were offered to Dionysos Omadios
in Chios and Tenedos, when a man was torn in pieces.^
But a more innocent cult is natural in Hellenik regions ;
and ultimately, when the savage Semitic element is over-
powered, animals, especially the goat, take the place of
human victims. Thus at Potniai, a place a Uttle south of
Thebai, the inhabitants to atone for their impiety were
commanded to sacrifice to Dionysos a boy in the flower
of his youth, but not many years afterwards ' they say
that the god [or in reality a less noxious cult] changed
the sacrifice of a boy for that of a goat.'^ This is similar
to the case of Iphigeneia, who is preserved when about to
be sacrificed and a stag substituted for her,® and to that of

» Vide ff/. Vin. L AigcMos. A * Orphik Hymm, xxx. 6, lii. 7.
fling^ular instance of the direct connec- Vide inf. VIII. i. OntesteB,
tion between the animal and the solar * Pet-i Apoches Emp9ychfm.iY, 19.
diyinity occurs in the case of the • iW6?.ii.66;cf./(w. 1126, 'Xouthos
inhabitants of Kleonai in Argolis, went to the place where the BakcMk
who, when smitten by pestilence, fire of god leaps forth, that he might
mider the direction of the Delphlk wet the double rocks \i,e. " the two-
Oracle, sacrificed a goat to the rising topt mount diyine '^ ot Dionysos with
son. (Paus. x. 11.) the blood of victims.'

« V. 141. ^ Paus. ix. 8.

» 0£ Vs. 24, 111.606. « Of. Iph. enAul. 1601 et seq.

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Isaac, all these being instances of disapprobation of the
bloody cult peculiar to Kanaanite, Phoenician, and Kar-
thaginian. At Tenedos the legend ran that the Aeolians
sacrificed to Dionysos Melikertes a new-bom calf instead
of a new-born child, * shoeing it with buskins and tending
the mother-cow as if a human mother.'^ So similarly the
Phoenician Poseidon was appeased by human sacrifices,'"^
and his children the Kyklopes are represented as can-
nibals.^ Human sacrifices prevailed to a considerable
extent in early Hellas, but probably only, or chiefly, in
connection with the non-Aryan divinities.* The raw-flesh-
eating god, when unable to glut himself with human
victims, bounds like a were-wolf upon the he-goat, tragos^
which, ' was another name for Saturos the goat-eared
attendant of Bacchus,'^ who ' was called by the name of the
animal he resembled in character'; and 'Tragodia is
not the song of a goat, but a song accompanied by a dance
performed by persons in the guise of Satyrs.'^ There
may also be a further and astronomical connection between
Dionysos and the goat, as Aigokoros or Capricornus the
Goat-horned, one of the Kakopoioi Asteres or Stars-of-evil-
influence, a sign which appears on a Babylonian Zodiac
of the date of B.C. 12007 Both Dionysos and Aigokoros
were said to have greatly distinguished themselves in the
War between the Gods and the Giants.^ Tityrus,^ accord-
ing to Servius, signified * aries major,' the leading ram of
the flock,^^ ' lingua Laconia ;' but according to others^^ a
goat. * Tituros is the Doric form of Sisuros, which also

* Tylop, Prinu Cult, ii. 367. ings of tragoa as connected with life-
' Poseidon, xv. yigour.

* Od. ix. ; Ovid. Metam, xv. 98. ^ Hawlin8ony^noMn^3fo?w.ii.574.

* Of. Herod, vii.197 ; Plout. Symp, As to the ancient Zodiac, vide inf,
viii.; Pans. vii. 19, 21. Vide inf. XI. XU. i. 2. ^ v
ii. Cult of Melqarth-MolekL « Of. /on, 216 ; Diod. iii. 73, iv. 16 :

» Theatre of the Greeks, 40, and Ilor. Car, i. 12, ii. 19.
authorities cited. * Vir. JEc, i.

« Ibid, 68. Vide the various mean- '° Of. Od,vi,4Sl et seq,

" Of. Schd. in Theok. ui. 2.

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originally meant a goat,' and by some was perhaps
wrongly connected with Saturos.^ Such are the principal
points of connection between the horned, phallic, vine-
destroying goat, and Dionysos with his voluptuous phase
of nature and sensuous worshippers. A goat-thighed
image was mutilated in the secret exhibitions at Eleusis,^
in which the cult of Demeter and Dionysos was combined,
a rite based on the same reason as the practice of the
Phrygian priests of Kybele, who honoured 'the great
reproductive force of the world by the sacrifice of the
reproductive power in her ministers/* The goat-footed,
two-homed Pan, though apparently belonging to the
group of Dionysos and the Satyroi, and called by Frere,
* the first Avater of the worship of Bacchus,' is in origin
quite unconnected with them. The pastoral god of
Arkadia is an Aryan divinity, ' the purifying breeze, the
Sanskrit pavana^^ a name which reappears in the Latin
Favonius,'^ and his form merely typifies his affinity with
flocks and herds. This apparent connection between Pan
and Dionysos is noticed in the Homerik Hymn to the
former, almost every line of which illustrates his charac-
ter as the gentle wind, by the statement that * all the
immortals weredelighted withhim, but especially Dionysos,'*
evidently because the newly-introduced divinity so much
resembled himself But Pan being a satyr in form
naturally suffers from the circumstance, and so in works
of art is represented as coarse and sensuous, although
there is nothing in his mythic history, in his love of
Pitys the Pine-tree, or Syrinx the Eeed-pipe, or Echo,
' sweetest nymph,' which justifies such a theory of his

' Cf. MUller, Doric Race, ii. 358, ' Mythol, of the Aryan Nations, ii.

and authorities cited. 812.

« Of. Clemens Alex, apud Euseb. * Cf. Max Miiller, C^)8, ii. 169.

Euan PrfMoroi, ii. 3 ; Protrep. ii. 1 5 ; * Mythol of Aryan Nations, ii. 248.

Taylor, Dissertation on the EUusir ® V. 46.
man Mysteries, iL

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character. He is a rough, rude, jovial, rustic daemon,
fiill of life and vigour, such as a pure Hellenik Dionysos
might have been, without a trace of anything grim, sombre,
savage, phallic, or occult in his character ; an innocent
Aryan concept, originally of the gentler winds and their
doings, and subsequently of the free, merry life of the
country. Our Laureate, with his usual exquisite classic
taste, speaks of —

Lands where not a leaf was dumb ;
But all the lavish hiUs would hum

The murmur of a happy Pan :

And many an old phUosophy

On Argive heights divinely sang.
And roimd us aU the thicket rang

To many a flute of Arcady.*

This general rejoicing of rustic existence, combined
with an interpretation of the god's name as signifying

* AU,' which is at least as early as the Homerik Hymn,
naturally produced the derivative concept of Pan as

* universal nature,' a kosmogonic spirit, and so Milton
styles Christ 'the mighty Pan,'* i.e., the true hfe and
supporter of the world,^ and here again is a source of
confusion between Pan and Dionysos. But these two
divinities are distinct in origin, in phase of thought, and
in locaUty. When geographically contiguous they
naturally become associated through an apparent close
resemblance, but analysis reveals the error, and in a
word, Pan is an Aryan Dionysos, Dionysos a Semitic Pan.
There is hardly anything in which the Hellenes, and after
them the Eomans, evinced less critical acumen than in
their researches into the religious cults of foreign nations.
They appear to have considered that almost all the WOTld

' In Memoriamfiam. ' Of. Mrs. Browning, The Dead

' HymnontheMorningof Chis^9 Pan.
Nativity, 8.

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reverenced some at least of their chief divinities. Thus
Caesar tells us that the Druids worshipped Mercury,
Apollo, and Minerva.^ Herodotos, however, has pro-
bably occasioned more confusion on this account than
any other writer, for, firmly impressed with the belief
instilled into him by Kamic priests, that Eam had supplied
Hellas with nearly all the Hellenik Pantheon,* he speaks
of Zeus, Artemis, Ares, and other Aryan divinities as
being Kamic in origin. It is not therefore surprising to
find that he met with Pan in Aigyptos,^ in the Mendesian
Nome or Canton in the Delta, where he describes the
god as pourtrayed ' with the face of a goat and the legs
of a he-goat,' but this seems to be a double error of the
historian, for ' no !^yptian god is really represented in
this way.'* The god in question is Khem, and similarly
the city Chemmo, in Upper Aigyptos, was called by the
Hellenes Panopolis. Khem, *the generative principle,
and universal nature, was represented as a phallic figure.
Of him is said in the hieroglyphic legend, " Thy title is
father of thine own father." ' ^ The Egyptians, says Hero-
dotos, do not beUeve the god to be goat- shaped, or * in
any respect unlike the other gods ; * but they represent
him thus for a reason which I prefer hot to relate/ His
modesty is to be commended, and illustrates the con-
nection between the Goat and Dionysos. ' The goat was
the living, deified, animal-symbol of the god,' ^ and for
exactly the same reason that it was connected with the
Dionysiak cult. The reader will note the resemblance
between Khem, the supposed Pan of Herodotos, and

» Beli. Gal. vi. 17. * Rawlinson, Herodotus, ii. 72,

' Cf. Herod, ii. 60. note 4.

* Ibid. iL 46. * Aiguptos renders * Sir G. Willdnson in Rawlinson's

Aauipto, the mid-point of earth, a HerodotuSy ii. 243.

title round in one or the Inscriptions.* • An interesting illustration of the

(Gladstone, Homeric Sunchramsmf purely symbolical character of iman-

270.) Thus Jerusalem, Delphoi, etc. thropomorphic diyinities in Kam,

were equally supposed to he centres Assur, and Kaldea.

of the earth. ^ Bunsen, Egypt's Place, i. 385.

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Dionysos.^ Numberless writers have followed the Father
of History in his derivation of ahnost the whole of the
Hellenik divinities from Kamic originals; and the old
belief that the gods of Hellas were all Semitic is not un-
naturally followed by an undue Aryan reaction, Truth
remaining at her favourite stand-point in the centre.*

' Bakcheus, having a flaming torch of pine on his
thyrsos, rushes about at speed, arousing the wandering
chorus-bands, putting them in motion with cries of
lakchos.'^ The extraordinary Bakchik cult at once

Online LibraryRobert BrownThe great Dionysiak myth → online text (page 12 of 38)