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more prominence to clouds and tempests than to sun
and dawn, discern in Saranyu * the dark and impetuous
storm-cloud,'^ and there is, therefore, far from being a
consensus of authority on her character. But to pass on ;
what is there of a dawn-character about the concept of
Demeter? Mr. Cox apparently hesitates to follow his
usual guide here, remarking ^Professor Max Miiller seems
to see in Demeter, not the Earth, but the Dawn-mother ; *
and he has laid down the judicious rule, that identifi-
cation of personages is not to be made, * unless their
names, their general character, and their special featmres,
carry us to this conclusion.'^ But the general character
of Demeter is undoubtedly not that of a dawn-goddess.
Next as to Poseidon : ' ijT he expressed the sim rising
jfrom the sea — .' Now unfortunately for this view, Posei-
don, who does not appear at all in Vedic mythology, has
nothing solar about him, and we, therefore, are not justi-
fied in linking him in any way with the sun. Had the
personages in the Hellenik legend been Helios and Athene,
for instance, anyUiing more satisfactory than the Vedic ex-
planation could hardly be imagined ; but as it is, they are
Poseidon and Demeter, and we must make the best of the
facts. Creuzer deals with the tale at some length, but not
happily, giving one of those explanations which leave all
the chief difficulties unexplained. Waiving all dogmatism

^ Mythology of the ArymNatiaM, » Ibid, 210.

i42d.



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422 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

on so doubtful a matter, I will endeavour to analyze the
legend, and display its underlying significance. Onkos,
son of ApoUon, like numberless similar mythological
personages, is excogitated to furnish an explanation of
the name Onkeion, and it appears that at a place called
Onkeion, which in some way was especially noted for or
connected with horses — (Perhaps by play of words : thus,
Hippon is defined as * the sexual parts of a woman or of a
man ; a large fish,' ^ and according to some, the word is
Semitic in origin, and in accordance with the principles
of occult symbolism is pictorially concealed beneath the
Hellenik hippos^ horse.) — there was an ancient temple
or abode of a goddess which, as early as the time of
Antimachos, B.C. 420, was connected with Demeter, for
that poet writes * There they say was the abode of Deme-
ter Erinys.' ^ ApoUodoros, too, states that Demeter, when
met by Poseidon, was ' like an Erinys.' ^ Demeter, it will
be observed, attempted to hide herself amongst the horses
already there, and she was, at the time, wandering over the
earth in search of her daughter. The original Onkeian
shrine, therefore, did not belong to Demeter^ though a temple
was afterwards raised to heron the spot. Who, then, was
the original goddess of Onkeion ? The Phoenician Athene-
Onka, I presume, whom we find located in the suburbs of
Thebai.* Of course the name Athene is merely conferred
upon the goddess, because she was supposed to correspond
with the great Aryan divinity. But Onka is a horned, lunar
queen of destiny and of ever-living vitality, and as the
imaginary Onkos is called the son of ApoUon, there was
apparently a solar and limar cult established on the spot ;
as elsewhere, the statues of Sun-god and Moon-goddess

* HesYch. in voc, * Vide smt, V. v. 8^ 6 ; wf. IX.

• ThAais. Frag, Ixxxvii iii. TaUeB of Homed Dwmities cf the
' Apollod. iii. 6. Kamic (m4i Phoenician Pantheons,



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DI0NY80S IN ART. 423

tstood side by side.^ But what is the connection between
Onka and the horse? Souidas tells us that Poseidon is
called Hippios,^ and observes : * Hippeia Athena. They
say that she was the daughter of Poseidon and Polyphe,
daughter of Okeanos. It is said that she was called
Hippeia fix)m having first constructed a chariot.** In
another work, specially devoted to the Poseidonik myth,
after noticing the god's connection with the horse, I
observed that his cult was introduced into Hellas from
the same region as the chariot, and remarked, * Thus the
war-car, like the god Poseidon, passed over from Idbye
into Greece, and hence the connection of the Libyan
Poseidon with the war-horse.'* Onka, the Phoenician
goddess, comes as a stranger into Hellas, with Poseidon
the Phoenician god ; she not unnaturally is regarded as
his daughter ; but he is Hippios, Lord-of-the-horse, and
similarly she becomes Hippeia. This is not the Aryan
Athene who, in the great contest with Poseidon for
Athenai, far from being an Hippeia, produces an olive,
whilst at his command the war-horse starts up. We
have seen^ that Hellenik statuary is almost invariably
anthropomorphic ; and in the light of the foregoing con-
siderations I think it nearly certain that the monstrous
and very ancient statue referred to by Pausanias, and
popularly connected with Demeter, was not originally
that of the Aryan Earth-mother, but simply a statue of
Onka-Hippeia ; holding in one hand the dolphhi, in allusion
to the sea across which, like Palaimon, she had come,^
and in the other a mystic bird, here called a dove.^ Onka-
Hippeia is also connected with the Phrygian Kybele,
so early identified with Demeter, and who ' in Phrygia

* Cf. Pau8. Ti. 24. * Sup. sec. ii. Vionysidk Statuary,
« In voc. JET^os, • Of. inf. VIII. ii. Dolphin.

* In voc. Hippeia Athena, ' Vide mp. sec. i. Vase No.

* ' PoBeidm; xxiL XXVIIL



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424 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

was represented with a horse^s heady^ and Tiere again we
have a special reason for the peculiar bizarre form. In a
thoughtful paper on The Myth of Demeter and Perse-
phone^ Mr. W. H. Pater observes, *she is the goddess
of dark caves, and is not wholly free from monstrous
form.' * He apparently alludes to the Demeter of Phiga-
leia ; but the examination of the myth shows that she,
like other Hellenik divinities, is invariably anthropomor-
phic. The dark cave is in no way connected widi mon-
strous form, being merely the hidden Under- world, into
which the beautiful Persephone, who never appears as
unanthropomorphic, constantly descends. Any student of
the Posddonik myth must be struck with the many con-
tests in which the god on entering Hellenik regions is
engaged with the various Aryan divinities ; ^ and here we
find him, in harmony with his general history, making an
assault upon the Aryan Demeter. 1 have ventured to
assert that the * truth which underlies such legends is that,
on the introduction of his foreign cultus into Hellas, it
was everywhere opposed by that of rival divinities, most
of whom were the already established Aryan deities of the
country ; ' and this view has been styled * a most ingeni-
ous piece of Euhemerism.' To me it seems very natural
that disputes between opposing religionists should be
poetically regarded as contests between their respective
divinities.'* Thus the campaign related on the Moabite
Stone takes the form of a grand duel between Chemosh
and Yahveh. Demeter repairs to the abode of Onka-
Hippeia, and having thus come within the sphere of
equine influence, is said to assume the form of a mare,

' Schliemann, TVoy and its Re^ ^ FartiUghUy Iteview, Jan. 1876,

mains, 353. Pausanias thinks that p. 72.

Poseidon was so very generally cidled * Vide * Poseidon,'^ xxL Territorial

Hippies from haTing invented the Contests of Poseidon.'

art of riding, and Quotes //. xxiii. * Vide inf, X. iv. Note on the

684, in illustration (Paus. viL 21). god Zu.



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DIONYSOS IN AET. 425

and Poseidon joins her. What is this but saying, in an
occult and mystic manner, that there was a union of the
rituals ? Demeter is at first angry, but afterwards lays
aside her anger ; this expresses the feelings of her votaries ;
Demeter and Poseidon ultimately Uve peaceably together,
and as she is the mother of Despoina-Kore-Persephone,
so he comes to be regarded as her sire. The cult of the
goddess Onka fades away in the course of time, and, as at
Thebai she is swallowed up in Athene, so in Arkadia she
disappears before Demeter, the tradition of the extraordi-
nary statue, which would naturally make a deep impres-
sion on the Hellenik mind, remaining. But the goddess
Hippeia reappears in Neo-Platonik mysticism as * the
imiversal soul,' ^ a kind of combination of Demeter-Onka,
as the nurtiu-er of Dionysos, the associate of Sabazios, the
* chthonian mother,' and dweller in the Lydian Tmolos,^
and in Mount Ida.® The ofispring of Poseidon Hippios
and Demeter Hippeia must needs be a horse, and so we
find the celebrated charger Areion, or ' More excellent,'
i.e. than other horses. The mother of Areion varies in
the legends, but all agree in making Poseidon his sire,
and the myth is an old one, for it is referred to in the
Homerik Poems, ^ Not if he shoxild drive behind thee god-
hke Areion, the swift steed of Adrastos, who had his
birth firom a god.* * Antimachos calls him Kyanochaites,*
With-dark-blue-mane, an epithet of Poseidon, in allusion
to the dark blue or kyanos-coloiured sea. When Poseidon
in later ages was regarded as only a sea-god, and not as
a god who had come across the sea, ships are spoken of
as his horses, as a camel is called the ship of the desert.
' For the poet calls ships horses, and we call Poseidon
Hippios.' ^ This is illustrated by the explanation of many

> Prokloe. In Timaios, Bk. ii. * II. xxiil 346-7.

» Of. Eur. Bak. 66. * Antim. apud Paus. viii 26.

• Orphik Ifynm, xlviii. 4. xlix. • Artemidoros. L 58.



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426 THE GREAT DIONTSIAK liTTIL

words in Souidas, Hesychios, and the Etymologicum
Magnum. The dragons and other wild beasts around
the head of the hippo-kephalic statue of Phigalda remind
us of the animals which surround the statue of Ephesia
Polymastos. Onka is a lunar goddess, like Hekate the
Far-shooter, who ^assmnes three heads or feces, which
denote the monthly phases of the moon — ^the horse, with
its streaming mane pointing, to the moon at its full, and
the snake and the dog representing its waxing and
waning/ ^ There is nothing originally unanthropomor-
phic about Hekate. The statues of Hekate Triformis are
merely three females addorsedj if I may so express it,
a fashion first introduced by Alkamenes, the pupil of
Pheidias.* An ancient statue of the goddess at Aigina,
where she was especially revered, was purely anthropo-
morphic. I merely quote this passage to show the
parallel between the lunar divinities in their both being
connected with the horse. For it is not at all apparent
how the full moon resembles a streaming mane, which
might rather be regarded as comet-like, nor how waxing
and waning are symbolized by snake and dog. But to
pursue this obscure subject further would take us beyond
the limits of the Dionysiak Myth.

XLHI. Tree, in vineyard, with four oscilla • hanging
from it.*

XLIV. Tree, with three oscilla hanging from it ; in the
field lao.^ A remarkable illustration of the unity of
Dionysos, the only divinity connected with the oscillum,
and the solar lao.^

XLV. Various Gnostic specimens of the time-serpent,
tail in mouth.^

" Mythcl, of the Aryan Nationi, Antiquitiee, 278.
iL 142. * Montfaucon, ii. Pt ii. PL cli.

* Paus. ii. 30. Fig. 3. « Sup. II. iii. 3.

* Vide 9up. VI. i. 1. ^ Montfaucon, il Pt. ii. PL cLdv,

* Smith, SmaUer Dictionary of Inf. VIU. ii. Serpent, No. III.



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DIONYSOS IN ART. 427

XLVI. Tatiro-kephalic personage, standing between
two inscribed columns, apparently holding the lotus in
one hand, and the ankh or crux ansata in the other.^

XLVn. The sport of the askoliasmos.^ — ^Three filleted
Satyrs, with short tails, but otherwise anthropomorphic,
are leaping and endeavouring to stand on the full wine-
skin.

The other Dionysiak gems referred to require no
further special notice ; the incidents they pourtray will be
found to harmonize with the vase-scenes and coin-emblems
relating to the Myth. Some gems give scenes which
represent the reproductive power in nature under phallic
types, but contribute no new general idea.

In the subsequent portion of this work, I shall con-
tinue the Hellenik analysis of Dionysos ; and, that com-
pleted, shall next attempt to trace his concept back to its
historical starting-point. Lastly, as the enquiry vastly
widens, I shall consider the basis-ideas of the archaic
Eeligious-mythology of Western Asia, in connection with
some prominent theories and opinions which exercise
many thoughtful minds in the present age. The investi-
gation of the Dionysiak Myth is not merely the history of
a second-class divinity of a single remarkable nation ; in
its true extent, it embraces almost, the entire cycle of early
religious belief.

' ^ Montfaucon, i. Pt. ii. PL cxlviii. * Smith, SmaUer Diet, of Anti-
Fig. 1. Vide tn/. IX. iii. gmties, 44; wp. VL L 1.



END OF THE FIEST VOLUME.



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THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

Volume n.



ChAFTBB VIIL — ^DlONTSUX NOMSVrCLiLTUIUI.

Section I, — The Epithets of Dionysoe.
Section II.— Bakchik Words and Things.

Including Articles on Boat, Bnll, Circle, Daemon, Dance, Dragon«
Serpent, Spots, and nnmerons other Dionysiak adjuncts.

Chapthb IX. — ^PBOTAooinsTio Phases of Dioittsos.

Bakchos, Theoinos, Tamokeros with analysis of homed diyinities
of the Kaldeo-Assyrian, Kamic, and Phoenician Pantheons;
Chrysopes, Erikepeios, Zagreus, with analysis of the Phrygian
Atys-myth and the Kamic Bata-myth ; and Indoletes.

Chaptbb X. — ^Thb IirrBODircnoM of thb Diomtsiax Cult nrro Hbllas.

Section L — The Xabeiroi of Samothiake.
Section IL — Kadmoe and Thebai.
Section III. — ^Dionysos the Traveller.
Section IV.— The Legend of Theseus.

Chaptbb XI.— Diontsos-Mblqabth in thb Phobmician Outbb-wobld.

Section L — The History of Melqarth according to Sanchonniathon«

Section II.— Cult of Melqarth-Molekh.

Section III. — General kosmical ideas of the Phoenicians.

Section 17. — Connection between the religions systems of Phoenicia, Aram,
and Ealdea.

Chaptbb XII. — Thb Diontsiak Myth in thb LiND of Sxtmib and Akxad.
Section I. — Solar phase of the Myth.

Subsection L— The Elaldean Solar Cult

Subsection IL— The Akkadian Solar Cult

Subsection IIL — ^The archaic Kamic Solar Cult

Subsection IV.— The Mithraik Solar Cult

Subsection V. — Basis and result of Solar Bel'gious Thought.
Section U. — ^Ultimate aspects of the Myth and general archaic concepts of

Diyinity.
Section III. — Contest between the Seen and the Unseen.



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BY THE SAME AUTtlOR.



POSEIDON.



* Its aim is to demonstrate that " Poseidon,'* in origin, is not
an Aryan, but a Semitic and Hamitic divinity, and his cultus
passed over into Greece from Chaldaea by way of Phoenicia Mid
Libyfi. We have no objections to the proposition.' — Athek^um.

* Mr. Brown seems to us fully to grasp what the Solar theory
is. • . • He draws a distinction which is perhaps not an unreason-
able one. He is ready to go as far as Professor MuUer, but not so
far as Mr. Cox.' — Saturdat Revibw.

' A work of remarkable scholarship.' — Standabd«

'We award all praise to its Author for his most elaborate,
though by no means tedious, demonstrations.'

Oxford Undebgbaduatbs' Journal.

'The Author maintains his proposition with an amount of
ingenuity and learning which will no doubt lead many readers to
give an attentive perusal to the book.' — Notes and Queries.

London, LONGMANS & CO.



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Online LibraryRobert BrownThe great Dionysiak myth → online text (page 35 of 38)