Page 1


INTERPRETATIONS OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY Edited by Jan Bremmer


First published in paperback in 1987 by Croom Helm L t d First published in paperback in 1988 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Reprinted 1990 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Interpretation of Greek mythology. 1. Mythology, Greek I . Bremmer, Jan N . 292'. 13 BL782 ISBN 0415-4)3451-5

Filmset in Baskerville by Pat and Anne M u r p h y , Highclifle-on-Sea, Dorset Printed and bound in Great Britain by Billing & Sons Limited, Worcester.


Contents

List o f Figures and T a b l e Abbreviations Preface 1.

W h a t is a Greek M y t h ? Jan

1

Browner

2.

O r i e n t a l and Greek M y t h o l o g y : T h e M e e t i n g o f Parallels Walter Burkert

10

3.

Oedipus and the Greek O e d i p u s C o m p l e x Jan Bremmer

41

4.

Wolves and Werewolves in G r e e k T h o u g h t

60

Richard 5.

O r p h e u s : A Poet A m o n g M e n Fritz

6.

Buxton 80

GraJ

Reflections, Echoes and A m o r o u s R e c i p r o c i t y : O n R e a d i n g the Narcissus Story

107

Ezio Petlizer 7.

Greek M y t h and R i t u a l : T h e Case o f K r o n o s

121

H. S. Vermel 8.

Spartan Genealogies: T h e M y t h o l o g i c a l

Representation

of a Spatial O r g a n i s a t i o n

153

Claude Calame 9.

M y t h s o f Early A t h e n s

187

Robert Parker 10.

M y t h as H i s t o r y : T h e Previous O w n e r s o f the Delphic Oracle Christiane

11.

215

Sourvinou-Inwood

T h r e e Approaches to Greek M y t h o g r a p h y

242

Albert Henrichs 12.

Greek M y t h o l o g y : A Select B i b l i o g r a p h y (1965-1990) Jan

278

Bremmer

Notes on C o n t r i b u t o r s

284

Index

287


Figures and Table

Figures 2.1

Seal Impression from N u z i : D e a t h o f H u m b a b a

30

2.2

Shield Strap from O l y m p i a : Perseus and G o r g o

31

2.3

Seal f r o m C y p r u s : H e r o F i g h t i n g M o n s t e r

31

2.4

Seal f r o m Assur: D e a t h o f H u m b a b a

32

2.5

C l a y Plaque f r o m G o r t y n : D e a t h o f A g a m e m n o n

32

2.6

Seal f r o m T e l l K e i s a n : D e a t h o f H u m b a b a ?

33

2.7

Seal from N i m r u d : G o d F i g h t i n g the Snake

33

2.8

C o r i n t h i a n A m p h o r a : Perseus and the kêtos

34

8.1

T h e Aegean W o r l d

157

8.2

T h e P é l o p o n n è s e and C e n t r a l Greece

167

8.3

T h e Genealogy o f the First K i n g s o f Sparta

181

Table 11.1

V a r i a n t s o f the K a l l i s t o M y t h

256-257


Abbreviations

ABV

J , D . Beazley, Attic Black-Figure

Vase Painters

( O x f o r d , 1956) Add

L . B u r n and R . G l y n n (eds), Beazley Addenda. Additional References to ABV,

ARV

& Paralipo-

mena ( O x f o r d , 1982) AJA

American Journal oj Archaeology

ANEP

J . B . P r i t c h a r d , The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament ( P r i n c e t o n , 1954 ( S u p p l e m e n t 1968))

ANET

J . B . P r i t c h a r d (ed.) Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3 r d edn (Princet o n , 1969)

ARV

J . D , Beazley,

BCH

Bulletin de Correspondance

BICS

Bulletin

Attic

Red-Figure

Vase-Painters,

2 n d edn ( O x f o r d , 1963) Hellénique

of the Institute of Classical Studies at the

University of London B u r k e r t , GR

W . B u r k e r t , Greek Religion. Archaic and Classical (Oxford,

HN

1985)

Homo Necans. The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial

Ritual

and Myth

(Berkeley,

Los Angeles, L o n d o n , 1983) OE

Die orientalisierende Epoche in der griechischen Religion und Literatur, SB

Heidelberger

A k a d e m i e der Wissenschaften, Philos.-hist. Kl. S&H

1984, 1. Structure and History

in Greek Mythology

and History (Berkeley, Los Angeles, L o n d o n , 1979) C a l a m e , Choeurs

C . C a l a m e , Les Choeurs de jeunes filles en Grèce

CQ CR

Classical Quarterly

archaïque, 2 vols ( R o m e , 1977) Classical

Review

D é t i e n n e , Dionysos M . D é t i e n n e , Dionysos mis à mort (Paris, 1977)


Abbreviations Invention

LTnvention

de la mythologie (Paris,

1983)

FGrH

F. J a c o b y , Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker

GR BS

Greek, Roman, and Byzantine

HSCP

Harvard Studies in Classical Philology

IG

Inscriptiones Graecae

Jdl

Jahrbuch des deutschen archäologischen Instituts

JHS

Journal of Hellenic Studies

JNES

Journal of Near Eastern Studies

LIMC

Lexicon

(Berlin-Leiden,

1923-58)

Iconographicum

Studies

Mythologiae

Classicae

(Zurich, 1981- ) MH

Museum

Para

J. D .

Helveticum Beazley,

Black-Figure

Paralipomena,

Additions

Vase-Painters and to Attic

to

Attic

Red-Figure

Vase-Painters ( O x f o r d , 1971) PCG

R.

Kassel and C . A u s t i n (eds), Poetae Comict Graeci ( B e r l i n and N e w Y o r k , 1 9 8 3 -

RE

Realencyclopädie der klassischen

SEG

Supplemenium

SIG

W . D i t t e n b e r g e r , Sylloge Inscriptionum

epigraphicum

)

Altertumswissenschaft

Graecum Graecarum

3rd edn ( L e i p z i g , 1 9 1 5 - 2 4 ) SM SR TGrF

Studi e materiali di storia delle religiom Tragicorurn Graecorum Fragmenta,

v o l . 1, ed. B.

Snell ( G ö t t i n g e n , 1971); v o l . 3, ed. S. Radt (1985); v o l . 4, ed. S. R a d t (1977) ZPE

Zettschrift für Papyrologie und

Epigraphik


Preface

T h i s collection o f o r i g i n a l studies offers new interpretations o f some o f the best k n o w n characters a n d themes o f Greek m y t h ology,

reflecting the c o m p l e x i t y and fascination o f the Greek

i m a g i n a t i o n . F o l l o w i n g analyses o f the concept o f m y t h a n d the influence o f the O r i e n t on Greek m y t h o l o g y , the succeeding chapters shed new light on the t h r e a t e n i n g appearance o f w o l f a n d w e r e w o l f a n d on such f a m i l i a r figures as O e d i p u s , O r p h e u s and Narcissus. T h e p u z z l i n g relationship o f m y t h and r i t u a l is i l l u m inated by a discussion o f the a m b i g u i t i e s i n the t r a d i t i o n s surrounding

K r o n o s . W h e r e does m y t h

end a n d h i s t o r y begin?

Studies o f the first Spartan a n d A t h e n i a n kings demonstrate ways in w h i c h m y t h is m a n i p u l a t e d to suit h i s t o r y , and an e x a m i n a t i o n of the early stages o f the D e l p h i c oracle shows that some history is actually m y t h . F i n a l l y , an analysis o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y illustrates how m y t h s were handed d o w n in the Greek t r a d i t i o n before they became part and parcel o f W e s t e r n c i v i l i s a t i o n . T h e v o l u m e is concluded w i t h a b i b l i o g r a p h y o f the best m y t h o l o g i c a l studies o f recent decades. A l l chapters are based on the most recent insights a n d methods, a n d they display a great variety o f approaches. T h e v o l u m e w o u l d never have materialised w i t h o u t a chance m e e t i n g w i t h R i c h a r d S t o n e m a n , Senior E d i t o r at C r o o m H e l m . I a m very grateful for his most pleasant co-operation i n the preparat i o n o f this b o o k . I also owe grateful thanks to Sarah J o h n s t o n a n d K e n D o w d e n , w h o were w i l l i n g to shoulder the difficult task o f revising most o f the translations. Kees K u i p h o f skilfully

gave

cartographical assistance. F i n a l l y , a D u t c h i n i t i a t i v e i n m y t h o l o g y w o u l d have greatly


Preface surprised F r i e d r i c h C r e u z e r , one o f the great students o f Greek m y t h o l o g y i n the nineteenth c e n t u r y . H a v i n g left H e i d e l b e r g i n the s u m m e r o f 1809 to take u p a professorship at L e i d e n , he soon r e t u r n e d to G e r m a n y : for, as he put i t , he could not conceive any 1

m y t h o l o g i c a l t h o u g h t s because the c o u n t r y was too flat.

Holland

still has no m o u n t a i n s , b u t interest i n m y t h o l o g y abounds as we hope this book m a y show. JB. Ede, H o l l a n d

Note 1. C f . F . C r e u z e r , Aus dem Leben eines allen Professors ( L e i p z i g and D a r m s t a d l , 1848): " I n Holland dann — feine S t ä d t e , h ü b s c h e Leute — aber ich konnte keinen mythologischen Gedanken fassen in dem flachen L a n d e . " I owe this reference to Albert Henrichs.


1 What is a Greek Myth? J a n Bremmer

1

W h a t exactly is a Greek m y t h ? I n the past, m a n y solutions to this p r o b l e m have been proposed, b u t i n the course o f t i m e all have 2

p r o v e d to be unsatisfactory. T h e most recent analyses stress that m y t h belongs to the m o r e general class o f t r a d i t i o n a l tales. For e x a m p l e , W a l t e r B u r k e r t , the greatest

l i v i n g expert o n Greek

r e l i g i o n , has stated that ' m y t h is a t r a d i t i o n a l tale w i t h secondary, p a r t i a l reference

to s o m e t h i n g o f collective i m p o r t a n c e ' .

d e f i n i t i o n raises three i m p o r t a n t problems that we w i l l

3

This

discuss

briefly i n this i n t r o d u c t i o n . First, how t r a d i t i o n a l is a Greek myth? Second, to w h a t degree does Greek m y t h contain m a t t e r o f collective importance? A n d

finally,

i f m y t h is a t r a d i t i o n a l tale —

what then is the difference between m y t h a n d other genres o f t r a d i t i o n a l tales, such as the fairy-tale or the legend?

1. H o w T r a d i t i o n a l is G r e e k M y t h ? It is e x t r e m e l y difficult to d e t e r m i n e the age o f the average Greek m y t h . M a n y tales were recorded relatively late, a n d therefore we cannot

ascertain

the precise date o f t h e i r o r i g i n . Y e t H o m e r

already refers to the T h e b a n C y c l e , the A r g o n a u t s and the deeds o f Herakles. M o r e o v e r , there are a n u m b e r o f vignette-like passages in

his

poems

in which

he

briefly

m e n t i o n s heroes such

as

H i p p o k o o n , Phorbas a n d Anchises, all o f w h o m are located i n the Peloponnese a n d are also found i n m a i n l a n d t r a d i t i o n s . H o m e r also makes fleeting reference to details that apparently have been d e r i v e d f r o m l i t t l e - k n o w n sagas that range i n setting f r o m Crete 1


What is a Greek

0

Myth

to N o r t h e r n Thessaly, such as 'the grave o f A i p y t o s where men like to fight h a n d to h a n d ' {Iliad

2.604), A r e i t h o o s 'the club-

bearer' (7.8f, 137f) or A m y n t o r w h o lived i n a ' s t r o n g h o m e ' in Eleon ( 1 0 . 2 6 6 ) . N o n e o f these persons comes f r o m I o n i a , Aeolia or the islands, so they most p r o b a b l y derive from sources d a t i n g back at least to the t i m e before the Greeks e m i g r a t e d to those areas at the e n d o f the second m i l l e n i u m B C . T a k i n g the m a i n l a n d as o u r point o f departure,

we can also observe that the archaic

poet

A l c m a n (about 600 B C ) m e n t i o n s details about Odysseus and C i r c e that are different from those found i n H o m e r but not necessarily o f a later date. I f , indeed, various figures o r i g i n a t e i n p r e - e m i g r a t i o n sources,

then

the existence

m y t h o l o g y seems assured.

of a Mycenaean

layer

in Greek

4

C a n we go back further? T h e great philologists o f the last cent u r y discovered that Greek a n d V e d i c poetry shared the formulas kleos aphthiton, or ' i m p e r i s h a b l e g l o r y ' , a n d klea andron, or 'glories 1

o f m e n . F u r t h e r investigations have c o n f i r m e d the existence o f a c o m m o n I n d o - E u r o p e a n poetic language; organisations o f poets such as the H o m e r i d a i o f C h i o s or the K r e o p h y l o i o f Samos w o u l d have been bearers o f this poetic t r a d i t i o n .

3

Investigations into

I n d o - E u r o p e a n m y t h o l o g i c a l themes have been less successful. The

whole fabric o f I n d o - E u r o p e a n

mythology, which

Max

M i i l l e r a n d his contemporaries erected in the course o f the nineteenth c e n t u r y , had already collapsed by the end o f that century. Yet some complexes stood the test o f t i m e . T h e m y t h o f H e l e n , for e x a m p l e , has been shown to have close analogies i n V e d i c and Latvian

m y t h o l o g y . I n Sparta,

H e l e n was w o r s h i p p e d as

the

goddess who supervised the life o f girls between adolescence and m o t h e r h o o d . A s the w e d d i n g also plays an i m p o r t a n t role i n V e d i c and L a t v i a n t r a d i t i o n s , the p r o t o - m y t h o f H e l e n was p r o b a b l y part of Indo-European wedding poetry.

6

C a n we go back even further? B u r k e r t recently has studied H e r a k l e s ' capture o f cattle, w h i c h were h i d d e n in a cave, from a shape-changing o p p o n e n t . T h i s capture, as he shows, is closely analogous to the V e d i c I n d r a ' s fight against the d e m o n V i s v a r u p a , or ' o f all shapes', w h o had also h i d d e n his cows in a cave. But B u r k e r t also showed that there are close analogies for these fights in the m y t h o l o g y o f various h u n t i n g peoples o f Siberia and the Arctic.

7

A n o t h e r ancient t r a d i t i o n lies b e h i n d the epic o f the T r o j a n 2


What is a Greek Myth? W a r . V a r i o u s leading figures, such as Achilles, display the characteristics o f the ephebe, the Greek w a r r i o r at the b r i n k o f a d u l t h o o d . Many

details o f A c h i l l e s '

life

correspond

to such

figures

as

C u C h u l a i n n , the e x e m p l a r y ephebic w a r r i o r o f Ulster; Nestor's y o u t h f u l exploits are part o f a s i m i l a r i n i t i a t o r y t r a d i t i o n . M o r e over, a m o n g a n u m b e r o f E u r o p e a n peoples the s t o r m i n g o f a (fake) castle was part o f the y o u n g m e n ' s r i t u a l s . A s F r i t z G r a f observes, the convergence o f G r e e k a n d I r i s h t r a d i t i o n strongly suggests an I n d o - E u r o p e a n epic t r a d i t i o n closely connected w i t h the y o u n g w a r r i o r ' s i n i t i a t i o n . M y t h s associated w i t h the central i n s t i t u t i o n s o f archaic societies, such as the w e d d i n g and the rites of p u b e r t y , or w i t h matters o f vital concern, such as the quest for animals ( H e r a k l e s a n d I n d r a ) , have a m u c h better chance o f surv i v a l , indeed, t h a n m y t h s connected w i t h m o r e t e m p o r a r y i n s t i t u tions, such as the f o u n d a t i o n o f clans or temples. I n the case o f i n i t i a t i o n , a poetic t r a d i t i o n is all the more probable because some 8

Greek poets (still?) acted as i n i t i a t o r s i n the archaic age. T h e close association o f poets w i t h i n i t i a t i o n can also be found i n The Book of Dede Korkut, a collection o f tales set i n the heroic age o f the O g h u z T u r k s , who in the course o f the n i n t h and tenth centuries emigrated from Siberia i n the d i r e c t i o n o f A n a t o l i a . M o r e o v e r , the t r a d i t i o n o f the T r o j a n w a r finds a close parallel in Caucasian m y t h s , i n w h i c h a hero besieges a k i n g who has offended his h o n o u r , and takes his castle t h r o u g h a ruse; the s t o r m i n g o f a castie is also part o f Caucasian folklore. D o we perhaps encounter here m y t h i c a l themes o f Eurasian pastoral peoples that reach back into t i m e i m m e m o r i a l ?

9

O n the other h a n d , m y t h was also often u n t r a d i t i o n a l . T h e suitors o f Penelope request the newest song {Odyssey 1.352), a n d archaic poets r e g u l a r l y stress their o w n o r i g i n a l i t y .

10

I n fact, m a n y

rnythox clearly are not very o l d . H e s i o d derived part o f his theogony from the O r i e n t (cf. B u r k e r t , this v o l u m e ) ; the epic o f the Nostoi

y

the h o m e c o m i n g o f the T r o j a n heroes, presupposes Greek colonisation i n Southern I t a l y ; and the m y t h o f Theseus' f o u n d a t i o n o f democracy illustrates the decline o f the aristocracy's power i n the late archaic age. T h e respective audiences o f these mythoi must surely have recognised the novelty o f these tales at the t i m e o f their first

performances, even t h o u g h they soon became incorporated

into the t r a d i t i o n a l corpus o f m y t h s . M y t h o l o g y , then, was an open-ended system. As has been p o i n t e d out recently, it is precisely 3


What is a Greek Myth? this i m p r o v i s a t o r y character o f m y t h that guarantees its c e n t r a l i t y in Greek r e l i g i o n . T t is not b o u n d to forms hardened a n d stiffened by canonical a u t h o r i t y , b u t m o b i l e , fluent and free to respond to a c h a n g i n g experience o f the w o r l d . '

1 1

O n the other h a n d , the d i v i n e

a u t h o r i t y o f the archaic poet assured the truthfulness o f the tale (cf. b e l o w ) . I t was o n l y i n H e l l e n i s t i c times that C a l l i m a c h u s (fr. 612) had to w r i t e : T sing n o t h i n g w h i c h is not attested'. W h e n the poet had no m o r e d i v i n e a u t h o r i t y , t r a d i t i o n had to be i n v o k e d as the l e g i t i m i s i n g factor.

2. T h e C o l l e c t i v e I m p o r t a n c e of M y t h H a v i n g seen that m y t h s can be tales f r o m t i m e i m m e m o r i a l but also c o n t e m p o r a r y inventions, we w i l l n o w look at their place i n Greek society. I n the m o d e r n W e s t e r n w o r l d , m y t h s o f the Greeks and other peoples are p r i m a r i l y read, but i n the earliest Greek l i t e r a t u r e , the H o m e r i c epic, mythos meant ' w o r d , t a l e ' .

12

T h e oldest mythoi,

then, were tales recited i n front o f an audience. T h e fact o f oral performance means that m y t h cannot be looked at i n isolation; we must always consider by w h o m and to w h o m the tales were told. I t is impossible to trace here i n detail the development o f the t r i a d n a r r a t o r - mythos - audience t h r o u g h the whole o f Greek history; l o r o u r purpose it is sufficient to make a few observations about the m a i n differences between the archaic age and later periods. I n H o m e r , the n a r r a t o r ol\ mythoi was the poet, the aoidos, w h o was society's bearer of t r a d i t i o n and its educator par excellence. Public performance obliged h i m to r e m a i n aware o f his p u b l i c ' s taste; u n p o p u l a r new m y t h s or unacceptable versions o f o l d ones w o u l d be rejected by the p u b l i c a n d , surely, not repeated i n further performances. T h e poet's stature i n society was reflected by his, i n a certain sense, near-supernatural status. H e a n d his songs were called ' d i v i n e ' and he h i m s e l f ' o f the gods'. H i s epic poetry was believed to have been t r a n s m i t t e d by the Muses w h o ' w a t c h everyt h i n g ' . T h e d i v i n e o r i g i n o f his poetry enabled h i m to invent new myths or change the content o f the o l d ones; he could also freely change the poetic f o r m

— the o r i g i n a l

I n d o - E u r o p e a n eight-

syllable line was developed into the h e x a m e t e r .

13

I n the course o f the archaic age, a whole complex o f factors, such as colonisation, the g r o w t h o f democracy, a n d the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f 4


What is a Greek Myth? w r i t i n g and m o n e y , d r a m a t i c a l l y changed the character o f society. These developments

the status o f the poet,

the

acceptance o f m y t h , a n d the nature o f the poet's audience.

also changed

As

C l a u d e C a l a m e has s h o w n , the Muses played an increasingly subo r d i n a t e role i n archaic p o e t r y . T h i s d e c l i n i n g p o s i t i o n , as he persuasively suggests, reflected the poet's m o r e secular role i n society and g r o w i n g consciousness o f his o w n c r e a t i v i t y . M o r e over, the a r r i v a l o f literacy enabled intellectuals to fix a n d scrutinise the t r a d i t i o n . T h e t r a d i t i o n a l mythoi now came u n d e r attack f r o m philosophers a n d historians — authors w h o wrote i n prose a n d w h o d i d not subject their o p i n i o n s to the censure o f the comm u n i t y i n p u b l i c performance. A t first sight, the m y t h s ' audience r e m a i n e d the same, as the poets c o n t i n u e d to p e r f o r m i n aristocratic circles, b u t their patrons were n o w i n the process o f losing part o f their political p o w e r — a development that must also have had repercussions for the poet's p o s i t i o n i n society. These developments accelerated poets still

i n the course o f the classical p e r i o d , a l t h o u g h

continued

to relate

myths

(tragedy!),

and

in

the

Hellenistic age the poet's f u n c t i o n i n society had largely been lost to

philosophers

and

historians.

The

versions

of myths

that

C a l l i m a c h u s and his friends w r o t e were no longer directed at society at large, b u t rather p r i m a r i l y at a small circle o f l i t e r a r y friends.

Post-Hellenistic

recorded

the archaic

travellers,

such

m y t h s connected

as

with

Pausanias,

still

the temples

they

visited, but these tales n o w had lost completely their erstwhile relevance to the c o m m u n i t y .

1 4

I n one area, however, certain aspects o f m y t h c o n t i n u e d to prosper. T h e Greek colonisation o f the East p r o m o t e d feverish activity i n the i n v e n t i o n o f m y t h i c a l founders and genealogies, and in the e x p l a n a t i o n o f strange names. I n general, however, the new m y t h s , w h i c h were mostly bricolages o f the o l d , established ones, no longer were composed b y poets b u t by historians, w h o wrote i n prose a n d d i d not c l a i m to be d i v i n e l y inspired. T h e p o p u l a r i t y o f m y t h lasted well i n t o the R o m a n E m p i r e , but the mythoi, w h i c h once

helped

men

to

understand

or

order

the

world,

now

functioned p r i m a r i l y as a major part o f a c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n whose importance

increased

as Greek

independence d i m i n i s h e d . A s

various cities lost their political significance, it was their m y t h i c a l past that could still furnish them w i t h an i d e n t i t y and help them to distinguish themselves f r o m other cities. M y t h , then, meant rather 5


What is a Greek Myth? different things to the Greeks at different stages o f their h i s t o r y .

15

3. Myths and Other Traditional Tales W h e n we take the t r i a d p o e t - m y t h o s - a u d i e n c e

as o u r point o f

d e p a r t u r e , it becomes easier to see the difference between Greek m y t h a n d other genres o f p o p u l a r tales, such as the fairy-tale or the legend. Fairy-tales are told p r i m a r i l y i n private a n d i n prose; they are

situated,

f u r t h e r m o r e , outside

a specific t i m e and

place.

Whereas Greek m y t h always details the place a n d o r i g i n o f its heroes, fairy-tales content themselves w i t h stating that 'once u p o n a t i m e ' a k i n g was r u l i n g — we never hear i n w h i c h c o u n t r y or i n w h i c h age. A n i n d i v i d u a l fairy-tale therefore exists i n isolation, w h i l e a Greek m y t h evokes further m y t h s i n w h i c h the same n a m e d heroes are i n v o l v e d ; it is almost true that every Greek m y t h is u l t i m a t e l y connected i n a chain o f association w i t h every other G r e e k m y t h . M o r e o v e r , fairy-tales are told not to order or explain the w o r l d , but to entertain their audience, a l t h o u g h moralistic overtones were often i n t r o d u c e d . T h e English w o r d ' l e g e n d ' comprises two genres o f tales that in G e r m a n are distinguished as Legende a n d Sage. T h e Legende is p r i m a r i l y a hagiographical legend, a story i n prose about a holy person whose life is held u p to the c o m m u n i t y w i t h the exhortation:

'go a n d do l i k e w i s e ' . These stories,

t h e n , clearly were

invented or told by the c h u r c h to influence the lives o f the faithful. As such, they are restricted i n scope a n d also are typical products of a m o r e l i t e r a r y age — ' l e g e n d ' comes from the L a t i n legenda, or ' t h i n g s to be r e a d ' . T h e Sage is a legend that explains b u i l d i n g s or stresses the boundaries between m a n a n d animals (cf. B u x t o n , this v o l u m e , C h . 4); it accounts for e x t r a o r d i n a r y events a n d catastrophes; and it describes a w o r l d peopled by spirits a n d demons. F o r those who believed these legends, Sagen w i l l have functioned very m u c h like mythoi i n archaic Greece. A n d just as mythoi helped to bolster the identity o f the Greeks u n d e r the R o m a n E m p i r e , Sagen acquired a political significance i n the later nineteenth c e n t u r y when they were collected by G e r m a n bourgeoisie i n search o f a c o m m o n past.

16

O n the other h a n d , a l t h o u g h these legends c l a i m to be t r u e , 6


What is a Greek Myth? there are no claims o f d i v i n e i n s p i r a t i o n ; m o r e o v e r , the stories n o r m a l l y are t o l d i n p r i v a t e and i n prose; I t has recently been persuasively suggested that the w o r d Sage presupposes an archaic, perhaps even I n d o - E u r o p e a n , n a r r a t i v e prose t r a d i t i o n . U n l i k e at R o m e , however, where the f o u n d a t i o n m y t h o f R o m u l u s and R e m u s was a p p a r e n t l y handed d o w n i n prose, i n archaic Greece m y t h s were the exclusive t e r r i t o r y o f poets. It is true that dist i n g u i s h e d scholars, such as G . S. K i r k , have made use o f the n o t i o n o f the folktale to e x p l a i n motifs o f Greek m y t h , but it must be stressed that such tales s i m p l y are not attested Greece.

i n archaic

17

W h a t exactly is a G r e e k m y t h ? W e started this chapter w i t h B u r k e r t ' s d e f i n i t i o n o f m y t h as 'a t r a d i t i o n a l tale w i t h secondary, p a r t i a l reference

to s o m e t h i n g o f collective i m p o r t a n c e ' . T h i s

d e f i n i t i o n has p r o v e d to be v a l i d for the whole p e r i o d o f Greek h i s t o r y . A t the same t i m e , h o w e v e r , we have seen that m y t h s are not always t r a d i t i o n a l tales, n o r is t h e i r collective i m p o r t a n c e the same d u r i n g the whole o f Greek h i s t o r y . Perhaps one could propose a slightly simpler d e f i n i t i o n :

' t r a d i t i o n a l tales relevant to

society'. I t is true that to us the appearance o f gods a n d heroes is an essential part o f Greek m y t h , but the supernatural presence is only to be expected

when religion

is embedded

in society.

18

W e s t e r n secularised societies have nearly abolished the supern a t u r a l , but they usually still have their favourite (historical) tales that serve as models o f b e h a v i o u r o r are the expression o f the c o u n t r y ' s ideals. I t is t h e i r relevance to G r e e k society that makes the mythoi still fascinating today, for however different the Greeks were from us, they were also very m u c h the s a m e .

19

Notes 1. T h e notes are confined to the most recent literature. I am in general much indebted to Fritz Graf, Gnechtsche Mythoiogie ( M u n i c h and Z u r i c h , 1985). 2. For a survey of the various explanations, see G . S. K i r k , Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient Mythology and Other Cultures (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1970) 1 - 4 1 ; W . Burkert, 'Mythos und Mythoiogie', in Propylden Geschuhte der Ltteratur, I (Berlin, 1981) J 1 - 3 5 ; Graf, Mythoiogie, 1 5 - 5 7 . 3. Traditional tales: K i r k , Myth, 3 1 - 4 1 and The Nature of Greek Myth (Harrnondsworth, 1974) 2 3 - 3 7 ; Burkert, S&H, 23; Graf, Mythoiogie, 7. 4. Pre-Homeric mythology: Graf, Mythoiogie, 5 8 - 6 8 . Mycenaean layer: A . Hoekstra, ' E p i c Verse before H o m e r ' , Med. Ned. Ak. Wet., AJd. Letterk., NR., JOS (1981) 5 4 - 6 6 ; note also A . Snodgrass, 'Poet and Painter in Eighth-Century

7


What is a Greek Myth? 4

G r e e c e , Proc. Cambr. Phil. Soc., 25 (1979) 1 1 8 - 3 0 , esp. 122. A i r m a n : C. C a l a m e (cd.), Alcman ( R o m e , 1983) 487, 496, 574, 612. 5. Formulas: see most recently E . D . Floyd, Kleos aphihiton: An Indo-European Perspective on Early Greek Poetry', Glotta, 58 (1980) 1 3 3 - 5 7 ; G . Nagy, 'Another Look at Kleos Aphthiton, Würzh. Jahrb, 7 (1981) 1 1 3 - 1 6 ; but see now M . Finkclberg, CQ 36 (1986) 1 - 5 . Poetical language: the standard study is R Schmitt, Dichter und Dichtersprache in indogermanischer Zeit (Wiesbaden, 1967); sec most recently W , M e i d , Dichter und Dichtkunst in indogermanischer Zeit (Innsbruck, 1978); C . Watkins, 'Aspects of I E poetics', in E . P o l o m é (ed.), The Inda-Eumpean\ in fhf 4th and 3rd Millenia ( A n n Arbor, 1982) 1 0 4 - 2 0 , Poetic organisations: VV. Burkert, 'Die Leistung eines Kreophylos: Kreophyleer, Homeriden und die archaische Heraklesepik', MH, 29 (1972) 7 4 - 8 5 , 6. Helen: M . L . West, Immortal Helen ( L o n d o n , 1975); C a l a me, Chœurs I, 333 - 5 0 (Helen in Sparta). 7. Herakles: Burkert, S&H, 85f, who is overlooked by J . M . Blazquez Martinez, 'Gerion y otros mitos griegos en O c r i d e n t e , Gerwn, I (1983) 21 - 38. 8. Initiation and T r o j a r W a r : Graf, Mythologie, 7 1 - 4 . Ritual background of T r o j a n W a r : J . Bremmer, 'Heroes, Rituals and the T r o j a n W a r ' , Studi StornoReligwsi, 2 (1978) 5 - 3 8 ; F . Bader, 'Rhapsodies h o m é r i q u e s et irlandaises*, in R. Bloch (ed.). Recherches sur les religions de l'antiquité classique (P'aris and G e n e v a , 1980) 9 - 8 3 Poet as initiator. C a l a m e , Choeurs I , 3 9 3 - 5 ; Graf, this volumc^Ch. 5, section 9; note also J . F . Nagy, The Wisdom of the Outlaw. 7he Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Garlic Narrative 'Tradition (Berkeley, Los Angeles, L o n d o n , 1985) C h s . 1 and 6, on Finn as poet and initiator. 9 Oghuz T u r k s : G . Lewis (ed.), The Book of Dede Korkut (Harmondsworth, 1974) 5 9 - 8 7 . C a u c a s i a n parallels: W . J . Abaew, ' L e C h e v a l de T r o i e . Parallèles C a m asiens', Annales ESC, 7^(1963) 1 0 4 1 - 7 0 ; Bremmer, 'Heroes', 31 (storming i-asile). For other possible age-old traditions, see Burkerl, S&H, 85, 95. 10. Originality of poet: Horn, Od. 1.351 F; A l c m a n fr. 14 Page = 4 C a l a m e ; Pind. 0 / 3 . 4 , 9.48f; W . J . Verdenius, ' T h e Principles of Greek Literary C r i t i c i s m ' , Mnem. I V 36 (1983) 1 4 - 5 9 , esp. 221 (with extensive bibliographies). 11. J . G o u l d , ' O n M a k i n g Sense of Greek Religion', in P. Easterling and J . V . M u i r (rds). Greek Religion and Society (Cambridge, 1985) 1 - 3 3 , 2 1 9 - 2 1 . 12. For the meaning of mythos, see C . Spicq, Notes de lexicographie néo-testamentaire, II (Fribourg, 1978) 5 7 6 - 8 ; D é t i e n n e , Invention, L . Brisson, Platon, les mots et les mythes (Paris, 1982). 13. Poet: H . Maehler, Die Auffassung des Dichterberufs im frühen Griechentum bis zur Zeit Pmdars ( G ö t t i n g e n , 1963); B. Snelt, Dichtung und Gesellschaft ( H a m b u r g , 1965); Verdenius, 'Principles', 2 5 - 3 7 . Divine origin : Horn. //. 18.604; Od. 1.328,8.498, 17.385 and 518f; Hes. Th. 94f; P. M u r r a y , 'Poetic Inspiration in Early Greece', JHS, 101 (1981) 8 7 - 1 0 0 ; Verdenius, 'Principles', 3 7 - 4 6 . Poetic form: N. Berg, 'Parergon metricum: der U r s p r u n g des griechischen Hexameters', Münch. Stud, zur Sprachw , 37 (1978) 1 1 - 3 6 . 14. Declining role of Muses: C . C a l a m e , 'Entre oralitc et écriture: Enonciation et é n o n c é dans la p o é s i e grecque a r c h a ï q u e ' , Semiotica, 43 (1983) 2 4 5 - 73. Critique of myth: D é t i e n n e , Invention, 1 2 3 - 5 4 ; J . B r c m m e r , 'Literacy and the Origins and Limitations of Greek Atheism', i n j . den Boeft and A . Kessels (eds), Actus: Studies in Honour of H L W. Nelson (Utrecht, 1982) 43 - 55. T h e role of myth in Hellenistic poetry and post-Hellenistic authors is still in need of investigation; there are some good observations in P. V e y n e , Les Grecs ont-tls cru à leurs mythes.- (Paris, 1983). 15. C f . P. Weiss, 'Lebendiger Mythos: G r ü n d e r h e r o e n und städtische G r ü n d u n g s t r a d i t i o n e n im g r i e c h i s c h - r ö m i s c h e n Osten', Würzb. Jahrb , 7(9 (1984) 179-207. 1

1

1

8


What is a Greek Myth? 16. Difference between myths and other traditional tales: see most recently L . R o h r i c h , ' M ä r c h e n - M y t h o s - S a g e ' , in W . Siegmund (ed.). Antiker Mythos in unseren Märchen ( K a s s e l , 1984) 1 1 - 3 5 , 1 8 7 - 9 ; J . Scullion, 'Märchen, Sage, Legende. Towards a clarification of some literary terms used by O l d Testament scholars', le tus Test., 34 (1984) 321 - 3 6 . Political significance ni Sagen: R . Srhenda. Maren von Deutschen Sagen. Bemerkungen zur Produktion von " V o l k s e r z ä h l u n g e n " zwischen 1850 und 1870', Geschichte und Gesellschaft, .9 (1983) 2 6 - 4 8 . 17. Indo-European prose tradition: E . R i s c h , 'Homerisch ennepo. Lakonisch epheneponti und die alte E r z ä h l p r o s a ' , ZPE, 60 (1985) 1 - 9 . Folk tales: K i r k , Myth and Nature of Greek Myth. 18. For the notion of embedded religion, see R . C . T . Parker, 'Creek R e l i g i o n , in The Oxford History of the Classical World (Oxford, 1986) 2 5 4 - 7 4 . 19. For information, comments and correction of the English I am indebted to Fritz Graf, Nicholas Horsfall, Sarah Johnston, A n d r é Lardinois, Robert Parker, and Professor Rudiger Schmitt. 1

9


2 Oriental and Greek Mythology: The Meeting of Parallels Walter Burkert

1. Some G e n e r a l Reflections A r e there m i g r a t i n g myths? T h i s question, w h i c h has often been asked, is a fascinating one, b u t it is not at all clear whether we should start searching for e m p i r i c a l evidence w i t h w h i c h to answer it,

or preclude

i t , from

the outset,

by d e f i n i t i o n .

have haunted the study o f folklore from

'Parallels'

the start; theories o f

m i g r a t i o n or o f m u l t i p l e , spontaneous generation still confront one another; A d o l f Bastian advocated the concept o f ' E l e m e n t a r g e d a n kenV

Waldemar

Liungmann

proclaimed

'Traditionswan-

2

d e r u n g e n E u p h r a t - R h e i n ' . T h e fact that any diffusion o f tales must have taken place largely t h r o u g h oral transmission, whereas o n l y w r i t t e n sources are available for historical d o c u m e n t a t i o n , m u l t i p l i e s the problems. B u t it is the very concept o f m y t h that engenders a special d i f f i c u l t y

J t h o u g h no readily available defini3

tion o f m y t h has w o n general a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t , the consensus is that m y t h , c o m p a r e d w i t h folktale i n general, must have a special social a n d intellectual relevance to archaic societies. T h i s requirement binds m y t h to p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l and ethnic entities, to t r a d i t i o n a l closed societies or groups. Some o f the most

successful

m o d e r n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f even Greek m y t h o l o g y are based on such an a s s u m p t i o n , and concentrate on the closed circle o f the 4

u n i q u e Greek p o l i s . But the m o r e i l l u m i n a t i n g a n d f u l f i l l i n g the message o f m y t h may appear in such s u r r o u n d i n g s , the less transferable, by d e f i n i t i o n , it w i l l be. L e i b n i z i a n monads stand w i t h o u t w i n d o w s t h r o u g h w h i c h to c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h what m i g h t be outside. T h e most n a r r o w d e f i n i t i o n o f m y t h as 'the spoken part o f 10


Oriental and Greek Mythology the r i t u a l ' generally is rejected nowadays, but the connection o f m y t h w i t h r i t u a l remains an i m p o r t a n t fact, and the concept o f 'charter m y t h ' repeatedly proves useful. But indeed, on account o f this, m y t h seems tied to historically u n i q u e organisations or even organisms; acceptance o f this assumption w o u l d dispose o f any idea o f ' m i g r a t i n g m y t h s ' were it not for m i g r a t i n g societies: the Locrians i n I t a l y w o r s h i p p e d their A j a x as they had in central Greece; the b e g g i n g priests o f the A n a t o l i a n M o t h e r Goddess, the metragyrtai, b r o u g h t r i t u a l castration and the c o r r e s p o n d i n g A t t i s m y t h to the Greek and R o m a n w o r l d s B u t these are special cases. Yet it is clear that Greek m y t h o l o g y spread w i d e l y t h r o u g h o u t the M e d i t e r r a n e a n , d o m i n a t i n g in p a r t i c u l a r the i m a g i n a t i o n s o f the Etruscans a n d R o m a n s ; to explain this diffusion as either a series o f misunderstandings or a schoolchild's m e m o r i s a t i o n o f l i t e r a t u r e , rather than as an example o f l i v i n g a n d ' g e n u i n e ' m y t h , w o u l d be m u c h too simple. But i f it is granted that Greek m y t h s ' m i g r a t e d ' to I t a l y , then not even Greek m y t h can be assumed to have arisen spontaneously from u n c o n t a m i n a t e d ' o r i g i n s ' ; it arose w i t h i n a society that f o r m e d itself in intense c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h older. Eastern civilisations. Myth,

in

fact,

is

a

multi-dimensional phenomenon,

and

a l t h o u g h its function is most v i t a l in closed archaic societies, it should be seen a n d investigated in all its various aspects. T h e r e are two m a i n dimensions o f m y t h , c o r r e s p o n d i n g to the w e l l - k n o w n linguistic d i s t i n c t i o n between the ' c o n n o t a t i v e ' and ' d e n o t a t i v e ' functions o f l a n g u a g e :

6

there is a n a r r a t i v e structure that can be

analysed as a syntagmatic chain o f ' m o t i f e m e s ' , and there is some reference, w h i c h often m a y be secondary and tentative, to phenomena o f c o m m o n reality that are thus a r t i c u l a t e d , expressed and c o m m u n i c a t e d ; this reference is most manifest i n the use o f proper names. I n most m y t h i c a l texts, b o t h dimensions i n t e r t w i n e and influence one another; their d y n a m i c s , however, are q u i t e different. T h e n a r r a t i v e structures are based on a very few general h u m a n or even p r e - h u m a n p r o g r a m m e s o f action, a n d thus are quite easily understood and encoded i n m e m o r y , to be reproduced, or re-created, even from incomplete records. T h i s is the fascination o f a tale to w h i c h we all are sensitive. O n e favourite tale type is the 'quest* — the subject o f V l a d i m i r Propp's

Morpho­

logy of the Folktale. Its u b i q u i t o u s subtype is the ' c o m b a t tale'; other types include 'the g i r l ' s tragedy' and 'sacrifice and r e s t i t u t i o n ' / 11


Oriental and Greek Mythology T h e denotative ' a p p l i c a t i o n ' on the other h a n d , w h i c h t u r n s a tale to m y t h , is a n y t h i n g but general; it depends on p a r t i c u l a r situations, w h i c h m a y well be u n i q u e . Yet because tales are a means o f communication,

not private signs, p a r t i c u l a r i s a t i o n is l i m i t e d ;

there are no private m y t h s . I n fact, there are v a r y i n g levels o f generalisation i n most h u m a n aspects o f reality; certain societal configurations a n d p r o b l e m s w i l l recur i n s i m i l a r forms i n m a n y places; the n a t u r e - c u l t u r e antithesis, d o m i n a t i n g the analysis o f m y t h s by C l a u d e L ĂŠ v i - S t r a u s s ,

8

is basic to m a n k i n d , a n d

the

p a r t i c u l a r theme o f life-versus-death opens still w i d e r horizons. T h u s , some diffusion definite

not o n l y o f tales but o f m y t h s , i n c l u d i n g

'applications',

becomes

possible

after

all.

Even

if

' g e n u i n e ' , l i v i n g m y t h is rooted i n a special h a b i t a t , it m a y well find

fertile soil, to w h i c h it can easily adapt, i n other places or

times;

it m a y

even

transform

new

surroundings,

processing

reality, as it were, by its special d y n a m i c s . O n e should still pay a t t e n t i o n to the d i s t i n c t i o n made by A l a n Dundes,

among

others,

9

between

'motifemes'

and

motifs:

a l t h o u g h a tale, even a m y t h i c a l tale, consists o f a well-structured chain

of 'motifemes',

each

of which

has

its necessary

and

i m m u t a b l e place, there are also single surface elements that are detachable a n d may ' j u m p ' f r o m one tale to another, especially i f some o r i g i n a l , 'salient' feature o f one catches the i m a g i n a t i o n , like genes, as it were, ' j u m p i n g ' between chromosomes. T h u s , certain motifs recur t h r o u g h o u t the w o r l d ; or at any rate this is the impres10

sion conveyed by Stith T h o m p s o n ' s indispensable W h e t h e r historical diffusion

Motif-Index.

has occurred even at the level o f

motifs is still a serious q u e s t i o n . B u t it is a question that must be kept distinct f r o m the p r o b l e m o f ' m i g r a t i n g m y t h s ' , the concept o f w h i c h implies the transfer o f a n a r r a t i v e chain and thus also, usually, the transfer o f ' a p p l i c a t i o n ' , or the message o f the m y t h . I n the catch-phrase ' O r i e n t a l a n d G r e e k ' the specialist still hears a r i n g o f d i l e t t a n t i s m ; methodological c i r c u m s p e c t i o n encourages avoidance o f the topic. Sheer a c c u m u l a t i o n o f evidence, however, has begun to force the issue. Greek l i t e r a r y culture d i d not t h r i v e i n isolation, b u t rather i n the shadow o f older civilisations, assum1

i n g a n d then o u t g r o w i n g what was ready at h a n d . ' T h e t e r m ' o r i e n t a l ' i n itself is m o r e than questionable; it is a label that all too clearly echoes the ethnocentric perspective o f 'Westerners'

and

tends to obscure the fact that quite different civilisations existed 12


Oriental and Greek Mythology m o r e or less to the east, or the southeast, o f E u r o p e . T h e r e was the first

rise o f h i g h c u l t u r e , characterised by state organisation and

literacy, i n M e s o p o t a m i a and Egypt i n the t h i r d m i l l e n i u m B C . Whereas E g y p t is enclosed by n a t u r a l boundaries, M e s o p o t a m i a n influence began to spread towards b o t h the M e d i t e r r a n e a n and the I n d u s at q u i t e an early date. D u r i n g the second m i l l e n i u m there developed several adjacent civilisations each o f an i n d i v i d u a l type, Europe

t a k i n g a share o f c u l t u r a l pride w i t h the rise o f the

M i n o a n - Mycenaean civilisation. T h i s civilisation, unfortunately, has not produced any extant l i t e r a r y texts as yet and thus must still r e m a i n i n the b a c k g r o u n d as far as m y t h study is concerned. M o r e fertile archives are p r o v i d e d by the c o n t i n u i n g literature o f Egypt and M e s o p o t a m i a , or come from S y r i a n U g a r i t - R a s Shamra and from

Anatolian Hattusa-Bogazkoy.

Bronze Age t r a d i t i o n s end

a b r u p t l y i n b o t h places, as i n Greece, at about 1200 B C . After the ' D a r k Ages' there emerge,

in a d d i t i o n to some relics o f H i t t i t e

t r a d i t i o n i n Southern A n a t o l i a , a lively and v a r i e d u r b a n civilisation i n S y r i a and Palestine, w h i c h can claim the decisive i n v e n t i o n o f the ' P h o e n i c i a n ' script, and also the ' m i r a c l e o f Greece', w h i c h asserts its status t h r o u g h the poetry o f H o m e r and H e s i o d . T h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n was to endure, whereas, o f the S y r i a n - Palestinian l i t e r a t u r e , only the H e b r e w Bible was to survive later catastrophes. W h a t is left, thus, is a chance selection taken from m u c h richer literatures a n d , p r e s u m a b l y , oral cultures, w h i c h can be the basis for a c o m p a r i s o n o f ' o r i e n t a l ' and Greek m y t h o l o g y : SumeroA k k a d i a n and E g y p t i a n sources are rich but geographically distant from those o f Greece; O l d T e s t a m e n t texts are o f a very peculiar t y p e . T h e r e r e m a i n the fragmentary tablets from

Bronze Age

H a t t u s a and U g a r i t ; the Phoenician and A r a m a i c literature from I r o n A g e S y r i a , w h i c h must have been closest to that o f the Greeks, has vanished completely, as has the P h r y g i a n and L y d i a n literature o f A n a t o l i a , i f indeed it ever existed. T h e r e are t w o m a i n periods w h e n c u l t u r a l contacts between the East and Greece apparently were most intensive: the late Bronze Age ( 1 4 / I 3 t h c e n t u r y B C ) o n the one h a n d (to C y r u s G o r d o n is due 12

the concept o f an ' A e g e a n K o i n e ' for this p e r i o d ) and the 8/7th c e n t u r y B C , w h e n Phoenicians and Greeks were to penetrate the whole o f the M e d i t e r r a n e a n i n a c o m p e t i t i v e effort. T h e latter has been called the ' o r i e n t a l i s i n g p e r i o d ' by archaeologists; its historical b a c k g r o u n d is the m i l i t a r y expansion o f Assyria that b r o u g h t 13


Oriental and Greek Mythology u n i t y a n d devastation to L a t e H i t t i t e s , Syrians, Palestinians and E g y p t i a n s . T h a t the later periods shall not concern us here should not detract from their i m p o r t a n c e ; at that t i m e , however, Greek civilisation had l o n g reached its o w n f o r m a n d was r e p e l l i n g all unassimilated

'barbarian'

elements.

The

formative period o f

Greek c i v i l i s a t i o n , i f it ever existed, must have belonged to the 'orientalising period'.

2. N i n u r t a a n d H e r a k l e s O f all Greek m y t h o l o g i c a l figures, Herakles is perhaps the most complicated a n d the most interesting. H e is by far the

most

p o p u l a r o f G r e e k heroes, a fact reflected by the f o r m i d a b l e mass o f evidence. A t the same t i m e there is not one a u t h o r i t a t i v e literary text to account for this character — i n the way H o m e r ' s

Iliad

accounts for Achilles — but rather a plethora o f passing references; f u r t h e r m o r e , no single place gives h i m a home and b a c k g r o u n d , but rather the whole M e d i t e r r a n e a n provides a c h a n g i n g complex o f stories connected to q u i t e different local cults. Yet there is an identity m a r k e d by his name a n d by a canon o f iconography that was established at an early date. T h e attempts to understand the origins and the development o f the Herakles figure as a series o f literary ' i n v e n t i o n s ' are b o u n d to f a i l .

1 3

T h e i d e n t i t y o f Herakles consists i n a series o f exploits, dthla, w h i c h all are o f the 'quest' t y p e . M o s t o f t h e m have to do w i t h animals; their canonical n u m b e r is twelve. Herakles is a m a r g i n a l figure, w e a r i n g a l i o n s k i n , w i e l d i n g a c l u b or a b o w , leading an i t i n e r a n t life. H e has an i n t e r m e d i a t e status even w i t h regard to gods, he is w o r s h i p p e d both as a dead hero a n d as an i m m o r t a l god. A l t h o u g h i n v i n c i b l e , he must s u b m i t to the c o m m a n d o f a k i n g o f ' w i d e p o w e r ' , ' E u r y s t h e u s ' . H i s father is Zeus, the r u l i n g god o f the p a n t h e o n . Ever since the o r i e n t a l evidence Mesopotamian noticed.

14

parallels

to

the

became available, s t r i k i n g

Herakles

figure

have

been

N e w texts a n d pictorial representations are still t u r n i n g

up a n d more surprises m a y lie ahead. O n e i m p o r t a n t S u m e r i a n A k k a d i a n text, ' N i n u r t a and the A s a k k u ' , was finally published i n 1983.

15

T h e god N i n u r t a , ' L o r d o f the E a r t h ' , w h o became conflated 14


Oriental and Greek Mythology 1

w i t h N i n g i r s u , ' L o r d o f G i r s u , at an early d a t e ,

16

is a valiant

c h a m p i o n w h o fights monsters, p r o v i n g v i c t o r i o u s in each case. H i s r e n o w n — and this has become fully k n o w n only w i t h the recent p u b l i c a t i o n o f the text — is based on a series o f twelve 1

' l a b o u r s : he overcame,

k i l l e d , and b r o u g h t to his city twelve

fabulous monsters. T h e y include a w i l d b u l l or bison, a stag, the 1

A n z u - b i r d , a l i o n , ' t e r r o r o f the gods , and above all a 'seven1

headed serpent ; n a t u r a l l y this last attracted a t t e n t i o n most o f all since it had become k n o w n f r o m texts and pictures. T h e series has been called 'the trophies o f N i n u r t a ' . A n e n u m e r a t i o n o f twelve labours is also contained i n K i n g G u d e a ' s description o f the temple o f N i n g i r s u at Lagash, k n o w n as G u d e a ' s ' C y l i n d e r A \ incomplete list occurs i n another

7

An

Sumerian - Akkadian literary

c o m p o s i t i o n , ' T h e R e t u r n o f N i n u r t a to N i p p u r ' . texts, so far, gives an elaborate

1

1 8

N o n e o f the

n a r r a t i v e account o f N i n u r t a /

N i n g i r s u ' s ' t r o p h i e s ' , they are j u s t m e n t i o n e d as i f they were a w e l l - k n o w n series. T h e epic texts may be somewhat

later than

K i n g G u d e a ' s r e i g n , w h i c h is dated to c. 2140 B C , but clearly belong to the epoch o f ' S u m e r i a n renaissance' (22/21st century B C ) . Consider that, i n a d d i t i o n to ' t w e l v e l a b o u r s ' , N i n u r t a is a son o f E n l i l , the s t o r m g o d , the r u l i n g god o f the pantheon, that he 1

is said to have ' b r o u g h t the trophies to his c i t y ,

1 9

that he is usually

identified w i t h the figure o f a god w i t h c l u b , bow and a n i m a l ' s skin on

Mesopotamian

seals,

20

and

the association

with

Herakles

becomes inescapable. L e v y and F r a n k f o r t , impressed by the seal p i c t u r i n g the

fight

w i t h the seven-headed snake, have already

stated that this must be a case o f m i g r a t i o n o f m y t h from East to West ( n 14); v a n D i j k

is positive about

the connection, too,

a l t h o u g h he prefers to hypothesise a ' c o m m o n source'

i n pre-

history. As one looks more closely at details, however, the outlines o f the m y t h s become less distinctive, and peculiarities come to the foreg r o u n d that make the 'parallels' less s t r i k i n g . I t is not only that the ' t r o p h i e s ' are not q u i t e the same i n different texts (the same can be said for the labours o f Herakles), but also that some o f t h e m r e m a i n quite o b s c u r e ,

21

and even those readily understood include

' g y p s u m ' and ' s t r o n g copper', demons difficult to i m a g i n e in confrontation

w i t h Herakles. W h a t is more i m p o r t a n t is that

the

m y t h s o f N i n u r t a / N i n g i r s u are deeply enrooted i n the w o r l d o f Sumer, the cults and the temples. G u d e a ' s C y l i n d e r A assigns a 15


Oriental and Greek Mythology place to all the twelve ' t r o p h i e s ' at the N i n g i r s u temple o f Lagash, at a 'place o f l i b a t i o n s ' , i.e. a place integrated i n the temple cult. ' N i n u r t a and the A s a k k u ' tells h o w a d e m o n o f the ' M o u n t a i n ' was overcome

in order

to make

the m o u n t a i n s

available for

m i n i n g , and the 'fate' o f 19 minerals f i t t i n g l y concludes the narrative; it was G u d e a who started the economic e x p l o i t a t i o n o f the ' m o u n t a i n s ' ; his p a t r o n god therefore assumes the role o f c u l t u r e hero i n this context. T h e p o e m , no d o u b t , was to be recited at a festival;

22

this function is clearer still in the case o f ' N i n u r t a ' s

R e t u r n to N i p p u r ' . W e are d e a l i n g w i t h m y t h s i n the full sense, i n their u n i q u e historical setting — w h i c h makes them u n l i k e l y candidates for ' m i g r a t i o n ' . N i n u r t a / N i n g i r s u t u r n s out to be so very S u m e r i a n that the resemblance to Herakles fades. O n e m i g h t even become suspicious that orientalists, w h o are still based strongly i n a classical b a c k g r o u n d , sometimes find their evidence to be j u s t slightly more Greek than w o u l d an u n t r i e d eye. Van

D i j k w o u l d allow the S u m e r i a n

'stag w i t h six heads' to

correspond to both the C e r y n t h i a n h i n d and the E r y m a n t h i a n boar — neither o f w h i c h , i n c i d e n t a l l y , is k n o w to have had more than one head Ninurta.

2 3

— and wishes to add cows to the exploits o f

M o r e d i s q u i e t i n g is the fact that G i l g a m e s h has been

credited w i t h a ' l i o n s k i n ' i n practically all translations available, whereas the crucial w o r d in the A k k a d i a n text m a y equally be read as ' d o g s k i n ' , w h i c h seems to suit the occasion better: to put on this skin is an act o f self-abasement in the context o f m o u r n i n g for Enkidu.

2 4

T o complicate matters further, there are other identifications for both N i n u r t a and Herakles i n the dialogues o f East and West: the Asakku

monster

in ' N i n u r t a and the A s a k k u ' couples w i t h a

m o u n t a i n , begetting a b r o o d o f f o r m i d a b l e stones that frightens even

the g o d s .

25

T h i s seems parallel to the

Hittite

myth of

K u m a r b i begetting U l l i k u m m i , the d i o r i t e monster destined to o v e r t h r o w the g o d s .

26

I f K u m a r b i , i n t u r n , is understood to corres-

p o n d to K r o n o s , and U l l i k u m m i to T y p h o n , then the c h a m p i o n and saviour o f the gods, i n line w i t h N i n u r t a and the

Hittite

weather god, w o u l d be Zeus instead o f Herakles. I n fact, N i n u r t a , when fighting the A s a k k u , has all the e q u i p m e n t o f a weather g o d , i n c l u d i n g the r a i n s t o r m and the t h u n d e r b o l t . W h e n , o n the other hand,

knowledge o f the 'seven planets'

was t r a n s m i t t e d

from

B a b y l o n i a to the Greeks, p r o b a b l y i n the fifth c e n t u r y , N i n u r t a ' s 16


Oriental and Greek Mythology star

was

'translated'

as

that

of

Kronos/Saturnus,

whereas

M a r d u k ' s star became that o f Zeus/Jupiter, w i t h Herakles t a k i n g no p a r t .

2 7

O n the other h a n d , there is the w e l l - k n o w n identifica-

t i o n o f Herakles w i t h M e l q a r t o f T y r e , w h i c h , a l t h o u g h its basis r e m a i n s unclear to us, was taken for granted for m a n y c e n t u r i e s . W a s the basis p r i m a r i l y the gods

1

28

role i n colonisation, or the fact

that b o t h were i m m o r t a l i s e d t h r o u g h fire? A n o t h e r , m u c h discussed syncretism o c c u r r e d at T a r s u s i n C i l i c i a , where Santas/ Sandon was understood to represent Herakles, again, as it seems, i n the context o f a fire r i t u a l .

2 9

T h i s syncretism i n no way can be

traced to N i n u r t a / N i n g i r s u . T h e r e is, m o r e o v e r , an identification o f Herakles w i t h N e r g a l , the M e s o p o t a m i a n god o f the Netherworld,

3 0

whose i c o n o g r a p h y includes c l u b a n d b o w . It has been

suggested that even H e r a k l e s ' name can be d e r i v e d f r o m that o f Erragal-Nergal,

3 1

but

such suggestion

rests on u n c o m m o n l y

slippery g r o u n d s . T h u s , the real p r o b l e m is not a lack b u t rather a surplus o f interrelations. S i m i l a r i t i e s w i t h i n the m y t h s a n d iconographies o f a large g r o u p o f d i v i n e figures native to several adjacent civilisations or language groups seem to be ' f a m i l y resemblances', b u t there is not a single clear line that ties one element to another a n d to n o t h i n g else. T h e r e is no single ' H e r a k l e s m y t h ' that could have been passed, like a sealed parcel, to new possessors at a certain t i m e a n d place. C o m m u n i c a t i o n is b r o a d b u t i n d i s t i n c t . I n fact, we are d e a l i n g here w i t h the most general type o f tale, the 'quest' a n d ' c o m b a t t a l e ' . T h e snake or d r a g o n is suited ideally to play the role o f the adversary i n this c o n t e x t ,

32

as is the lion i n

m o r e heroic variants. E v e n a w i d e l y significant n u m b e r such as twelve

could

recur

i n different

cultures

independently.

Any

connection w i t h the twelve signs o f the zodiac, i n c i d e n t a l l y , should be discarded as far as the older p e r i o d is c o n c e r n e d .

33

A n d yet the parallels between N i n u r t a a n d Herakles seem deep a n d pervasive. T h e i r quests, f u l f i l l i n g the basic goal o f 'get a n d bring',

serve t h e i r c o m m u n i t i e s by m a k i n g the

surroundings

h u m a n l y manageable, b y t u r n i n g ' n a t u r e ' i n t o ' c u l t u r e ' , be it by t a m i n g animals or by disclosing m i n e r a l s . B o t h Herakles a n d N i n u r t a are c u l t u r e heroes; a comparison o f the two o b v i o u s l y aids in i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by p l a c i n g this specific role o f theirs i n sharper relief. It

34

is the

leitmotiv

o f the

'dragon 17

with

seven

heads'

that


Oriental and Greek Mythology encourages one to assume m o r e direct connections. Seven is a favourite n u m b e r

in Eastern

Semitic civilisations. T h e

headed snake first makes its appearance in glyptic a r t

V}

seven-

and also

appears somewhat later in S u m c r i a n l i t e r a t u r e . T h e S u m e r i a n Akkadian

bilingual

texts remained

available u n t i l

the fall o f

N i n i v e h ; a list o f N i n u r t a ' s trophies, i n c l u d i n g the seven-headed snake, entered into a r i t u a l l i t a n y used in the temple cult o f the first millenium.

3 6

T h e S u m e r i a n designation mus-sag-imin is u n e q u i v o -

cal and readily understood, as is the A k k a d i a n t r a n s l a t i o n , seru seha qaqqadasu. T h e r e is clear evidence that the god slaying the sevenheaded serpent entered West Semitic l i t e r a t u r e in the Bronze Age and s u r v i v e d there d o w n to the first m i l l e n i u m ; the c h a m p i o n is Baal at U g a r i t , but the text d e s c r i b i n g the exploit recurs nearly w o r d for w o r d i n Isaiah's praise o f J a h w e .

37

T h e f o r m u l a must

have been preserved o r a l l y , as part o f a r i t u a l l i t a n y . T h i s still does not tell us h o w , w h e n a n d where this m o t i f reached the Greek world.

H e i a k l e s f i g h t i n g the h y d r a appears as a d r a w i n g on

Boeotian fibulae about 700

BC.

3 8

It is not possible to show icono-

graphic dependency o n an Eastern model i n this case, but for the curious detail that a crab is connected w i t h the scene,

whereas

crabs ( o r scorpions) appear o n the earliest, pre-Sargonic representation.

3 9

It w o u l d be excessively sceptical to deny any connection

w i t h the East, where a b r o a d a n d c o n t i n u o u s t r a d i t i o n o f the 'seven-headed snake' is established by the documents we have, but the contacts must have taken place at an inaccessible level o f oral tales. T h e l i o n fight enters Greek iconography somewhat earlier and clearly derives f r o m Eastern prototypes; but this is a separate tradition.

4 0

T h e hypothesis o f b o r r o w i n g , however, does not e x p l a i n w h y Greek m y t h o l o g y locates the d r a g o n fight at L e r n a , a place o f springs where the d r a g o n developed into a water snake, hydra, or the details o f the crab's a n d Iolaus* p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the c o m b a t , or w h y the l i o n was transferred

to Nemea.

L o c a l , perhaps pre-

existing A r g i v e Traditions m a y have been o v e r l a i d by o r i e n t a l influence. It m i g h t be claimed that we are t r a c i n g o n l y single motifs that ' j u m p e d ' between basically s i m i l a r yet separate m y t h i cal conceptions. W e r e m a i n completely in the dark as to (he question whether a complete system o f 'rwelve labours' ever was transm i t t e d . I f such a list of H e r a k l e s ' labours in Greece can be traced to Peisandros of Rhodos, i.e. before or about 600 B C , transmission 18


Oriental and Greek Mythology o f a complete set c o u l d be i m a g i n e d . F r a n k B r o m r n e r , not a negligible expert, insists that the cycle is not attested unequivocally before 300 B C .

4 1

M o s t scholars, however, w o u l d be inclined to use

the twelve metopes o f the temple o f Zeus at O l y m p i a to establish a clear terminus ante quern for the cycle o f twelve. Even so, the gaps in o u r d o c u m e n t a t i o n cannot be closed.

3. Cosmogonic M y t h Few events i n Greek studies o f this c e n t u r y can rival the impact K u m a r b i created a r o u n d 1950. T h e r e had been signals before, but it was G u t e r b o c k ' s Kumarbi o f 1946, made w i d e l y k n o w n by A l b i n Lesky,

among

others,

42

that definitely

d r e w the a t t e n t i o n o f

Hellenists to the H i t t i t e s . A t nearly the same t i m e the epochm a k i n g d e c i p h e r m e n t o f L i n e a r B engendered

a general e n t h u -

siasm for the Bronze A g e , and B o g a z k o y - H a t t u s a and M y c e n a e began to be viewed as partners, not to forget Bronze A g e T r o y . T h e H i t t i t e text that has been called ' K i n g s h i p i n H e a v e n ' offers parallels to Hesiod's Theogony so close i n o u t l i n e and details that even sceptics c o u l d h a r d l y object to their c o n n e c t i o n . B o t h texts present a sequence o f d i v i n e dynasties, each b e i n g o v e r t h r o w n by the next, u n t i l the r u l i n g god o f the p a n t h e o n , the weather g o d , finally

assumes c o n t r o l . T h e god * H e a v e n ' himself, A n u / U r a n o s ,

is vanquished by means o f castration, p e r f o r m e d by K u m a r b i i n the H i t t i t e version, K r o n o s i n the Greek; the castrator is an intermediate

figure,

w h o rises to power o n l y to lose it again. H i s

speciality is s w a l l o w i n g what he cannot c o n t a i n : K u m a r b i swallows the ' m a n h o o d o f A n u ' and becomes pregnant

with

three

gods, a m o n g t h e m the weather god; K r o n o s swallows his o w n c h i l d r e n , i n c l u d i n g the weather god Zeus. These chronologically parallel correspondences o f extremely strange events leave

no

doubt that the texts are related i n t i m a t e l y , the H i t t i t e text being earlier by some 500 years. I t is possible, o f course, to stress the differences amidst the c o m m o n features, 4

43

or i n a F r e u d i a n vein to

point to unconscious h u m a n desires' u n d e r l y i n g both v e r s i o n s ;

44

but that diffusion, nay, b o r r o w i n g o f m y t h d i d occur i n this case has not been seriously denied. T h e m a i n p r o b l e m that seemed to r e m a i n was whether such b o r r o w i n g took place d u r i n g the Bronze Age or later d u r i n g the 19


Oriental and Greek Mythology ' o r i e n t a l i s i n g e p o c h ' , i.e. a r o u n d the t i m e o f H e s i o d . T h e degree of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and re-elaboration o f o r i e n t a l materials i n b o t h H e s i o d a n d H o m e r a n d the splendour o f the M y c e n a e a n w o r l d together argue for an early transmission, but the trade and comm u n i c a t i o n routes f r o m the ' L a t e H i t t i t e s ' and from S y r i a via C y p r u s right to Hesiod's Euboea have attracted greater attention recently; e v i d e n t l y there were q u i t e intensive contacts i n the eighth century.

45

It is clear that the t w o theses — Bronze Age and I r o n

Age transmission — are not m u t u a l l y exclusive; there m a y well have been early contacts a n d late reinforcements. T h e decision thus m a i n l y depends o n general p r e s u m p t i o n s about stability or m u t a b i l i t y o f an oral system o f m y t h . Questions become m o r e c o m p l e x , however, as it is realised that i n this case, too, it is not enough to compare one H i t t i t e text w i t h one w o r k o f H e s i o d i n o r d e r to establish a one-way c o n n e c t i o n . A s i n the case o f the Herakles themes, there exists q u i t e a family o f related texts that represent several civilisations a n d literatures; it becomes troublesome to identify definite channels i n a complicated n e t w o r k . ' K i n g s h i p i n H e a v e n ' has a k i n d o f sequel, ' T h e Song o f Ullikummi':

4 6

K u m a r b i , d e t h r o n e d , takes his revenge by copu-

l a t i n g w i t h a rock a n d e n g e n d e r i n g the d i o r i t e monster that is to o v e r t h r o w the gods. T h i s story e v i d e n t l y corresponds to the Greek story o f T y p h o e u s / T y p h o n , who challenges the reign o f Zeus after the T i t a n s ' defeat. T h e connection is made certain by a detail o f locality, the gods i n ' U l l i k u m i ' assemble o n M o u n t Casius in C i l i c i a , a n d it is o n this very m o u n t a i n that Zeus fights w i t h T y p h o n , according to A p o l l o d o r u s .

4 7

T h e reference to a region

where H i t t i t e , H u r r i t e a n d U g a r i t i c influence meet could not be clearer. Yet the A p o l l o d o r e a n version o f the T y p h o n fight bears still stronger

resemblance

Illuyankas',

4 8

to another

Hittite

text,

'The

Myth

of

i n w h i c h a d r a g o n fights the weather g o d . I n both

tales the weather god is defeated by his adversary i n the

first

onslaught, a n d v i t a l parts o f his body are taken from h i m — heart a n d eyes i n the H i t t i t e text, sinews i n A p o l l o d o r u s — w h i c h must be recovered by a t r i c k , i n order that the weather god m a y resume battle a n d emerge v i c t o r i o u s . I l l u y a n k a s is a 'snake', T y p h o e u s is endowed w i t h snakeheads i n H e s i o d and has a snake's tail i n A p o l l o d o r u s a n d i n sixth-century i c o n o g r a p h y .

49

T y p h o n , thus,

could be called a conflation o f U l l i k u m m i a n d I l l u y a n k a s , although 20


Oriental and Greek Mythology this still w o u l d be simplistic. H i s name has been connected w i t h the Semitic w o r d ' N o r t h ' — sapon in H e b r e w . T h e r e is the ' M o u n tain o f the N o r t h ' , w h i c h , from Syria, again w o u l d be M o u n t 50

Casius; there is a ' B a a l o f the N o r t h ' , Baal Sapuna.

I n fact,

T y p h o n has the character o f a storm god himself. H e is thus a complex figure that cannot be derived from one or two threads o f a linear transmission. T h e c o m p l e x i t y o f m y t h i c a l t r a d i t i o n even w i t h i n the w o r l d o f the H i t t i t e s is exemplified by a sudden reference in the ' U l l i k u m m i ' text to 'the olden copper knife w i t h w h i c h they separated heaven a n d e a r t h ' ,

51

w h i c h reflects a version o f the

cosmic m y t h especially close to that o f the Hesiodic K r o n o s , who cuts H e a v e n from E a r t h w i t h a steel knife, but apparently different from that o f K u m a r b i , as found i n the text ' K i n g s h i p i n H e a v e n ' . H i t t i t e and U g a r i t i c texts have restored the respectability o f an account o f Phoenician m y t h o l o g y that survives i n an elaboration o f i m p e r i a l date, by H e r e n n i u s P h i l o n o f B y b l o s .

52

Hesiodic touches

in his account cannot be denied, b u t he has four generations o f ' k i n g s ' i n heaven, Elioun 'the H i g h e s t ' preceding U r a n o s a n d thus c o r r e s p o n d i n g to Alalu i n ' K i n g s h i p i n H e a v e n ' . T h i s is enough to establish

the

survival

o f Bronze

Age

cosmic

mythology in

Phoenician cities d o w n to late a n t i q u i t y , a l t h o u g h p r o b a b l y neither in u n i t a r y nor unchangeable forms. H i t t i t e and U g a r i t i c civilisations c o m m u n i c a t e d both directly and t h r o u g h a t h i r d c i v i l i s a t i o n , that o f the H u r r i t e s ; the names K u m a r b i and U l l i k u m m i are H u r r i t e , and H u r r i t e influence is p r o m i n e n t in r i t u a l as i n m y t h o l o g y . But interconnections extend still

further.

Even

Macdonald Cornford,

before 5 3

the

Hittite

discoveries,

in the wake o f the ' M y t h and

Francis Ritual'

m o v e m e n t , had recognised the remarkable s t r u c t u r a l resemblance of Hesiod's Theogony to the B a b y l o n i a n epic o f creation, Enuma 5

elish\ *

a systematic investigation o f the relationships, i n c l u d i n g

those i n v o l v i n g K u m a r b i , was u n d e r t a k e n by G e r d Steiner, Enuma elish, too, includes a sequence o f r u l i n g gods a m o n g w h o m arise two m a j o r conflicts; a father god is laid to rest — although not ' H e a v e n ' i n this case, b u t A p s u , the ' W a t e r o f the D e p t h s ' — and the leading god o f the pantheon

— M a r d u k i n the case o f

B a b y l o n i a — qualifies for the k i n g s h i p t h r o u g h a Enuma

elish,

however,

is only

one

o f several

fierce

fight.

Mesopotamian

creation stories, and by no means the earliest. O n e i m p o r t a n t precedent, as it n o w turns o u t , is ' N i n u r t a and the A s a k k u ' . 21

5 5

The


Oriental and Greek Mythology adversary i n this text, c o u p l i n g w i t h the m o u n t a i n a n d begetting stones, is an avatar, i n t u r n , o f K u m a r b i a n d U l l i k u m m i ( n 26), We

finally b e g i n to hear a m a n y - v o i c e d i n t e r p l a y o f S u m e r i a n ,

A k k a d i a n , H i t t i t e a n d West Semitic texts, all o f w h i c h seem to have some connection w i t h H e s i o d . I t is impossible, however, to construct a c o n v i n c i n g s t e m m a o f these relations; perhaps it w o u l d not

even make sense to t r y . I t is better to acknowledge the lively

c o m m u n i c a t i o n between these societies a n d to take into account the general b a c k g r o u n d o f the m y t h s w h e n i n t e r p r e t i n g the special adaptations f o u n d i n the single texts that have s u r v i v e d by chance. A

remarkable

addition

to

the

Greek

corpus

has

recently

emerged: the D e r v e n i papyrus preserves q u o t a t i o n s f r o m an early O r p h i c theogony, w h i c h can p r o b a b l y be dated to the sixth century BC.

5 6

T h i s theogony includes generations o f ' K i n g s ' a m o n g the

gods, c o r r e s p o n d i n g closely to those i n H e s i o d , b u t also diverges in some r e m a r k a b l e ways. W e find that the castration o f U r a n o s by K r o n o s , w h o c o m m i t t e d 'a great d e e d ' , is i n t e r p r e t e d by the c o m m e n t a t o r as the separation o f heaven a n d earth; later, however, Zeus is made to ' s w a l l o w the genitals' o f the god ' w h o first had ejaculated the brilliance o f the sky (ailherY'; the 'first k i n g ' .

5 7

this must be U r a n o s ,

T h r o u g h this act Zeus somehow gets pregnant

w i t h all the other gods, the rivers, springs, a n d all other sorts o f beings; they all ' g r e w i n a d d i t i o n o n h i m ' ( 1 2 . 4 ) , whereas he had become the o n l y one, the monogenes ( 1 2 . 6 ) . S u r p r i s i n g l y e n o u g h , this text thus preserves the most s t r i k i n g incident o f the K u m a r b i story: the s w a l l o w i n g o f the genitals a n d the conception o f m i g h t y gods, i n c l u d i n g a r i v e r — the T i g r i s i n the case o f K u m a r b i . I t is also r e m a r k a b l e that the O r p h i c theogony has four generations o f ' k i n g s ' a m o n g the g o d s ,

58

as i n the H i t t i t e text and i n P h i l o n o f

Byblos, a l t h o u g h the count has been shifted by the a d d i t i o n o f Dionysos a n d the d r o p p i n g o f a k i n g before U r a n o s . T h i s may be connected w i t h the fact that Zeus fills the role o f K u m a r b i . T h e D e r v e n i text has m a n y lacunae a n d interpretations w i l l r e m a i n controversial;

but it does p r o v e , finally,

that O r i e n t a l - Greek

relations, at least i n regard to cosmogony, were not confined to the single channel that led to H e s i o d . T h e r e was m u c h m o r e a r o u n d than we had i m a g i n e d . C o s m o g o n i c m y t h , for us, has a special d i g n i t y a n d significance because it appears to foreshadow the philosophy that was to evolve w i t h the Presocratics. T h i s was already the perspective o f Plato 22


Oriental and Greek Mythology and A r i s t o t l e ,

59

a n d it n o w appears that 'the o r i g i n o f Greek

philosophy f r o m H e s i o d to Parmenides' — to paraphrase a wellknown title

6 0

— must be extended back to Sumerians, B a b y l o n -

ians a n d H i t t i t e s , not to m e n t i o n the Egyptians. T h e r e is a certain danger i n this perspective, w h i c h m i g h t be called the teleological fallacy: instead o f b e i n g j u d g e d in its o w n r i g h t , a p h e n o m e n o n is j u d g e d by what was to take its place i n later e v o l u t i o n . T h i s is not to deny that the stories o f procreation and combat that make u p the narrative structure o f m y t h i c a l cosm o g o n y show remarkable speculative energy and acquire a u n i q u e appeal by means o f the repercussions o f the vast and w o n d r o u s object to w h i c h they are a p p l i e d . But at the same t i m e , cosmogonical m y t h s , j u s t as other m y t h s , have settings and functions defined and particularised by the t i m e and place in w h i c h their archaic c o m m u n i t y o f o r i g i n exists. I n the Near East, cosmogony had special relationships to r i t u a l . It was the discovery that Enuma dish was recited at the B a b y l o n i a n N e w Year festival that triggered the 1

' M y t h and R i t u a l m o v e m e n t ,

61

the exaggerations of w h i c h should

not obscure the basic facts. O l d e r compositions such as Lugal-e no less clearly refer to festivals; Illuyankas is explicitly called the cult legend for the P u r u l l i festival o f the H i t t i t e s .

6 2

Theodor

Gaster

m a y have gone too far i n c o n s t r u i n g j u s t one pattern o f d r a m a t i c festival to w h i c h the m y t h s should be r e l a t e d .

63

But it is evident

that stories about the generations o f gods and their final fight for power were understood to reflect a n d c o m m e n t u p o n the establishment o f power in the c i t y , w h i c h was renewed periodically at the N e w Year festival. R i t u a l is the enactment o f antitheses,

from

w h i c h the thesis o f the present order — the status quo — differs; a n d m y t h tells about distant times when all the things we take for 1

granted and consider self-evident or ' n a t u r a l were 'not yet' there: the past reflected by r i t u a l presents alternatives, inchoate perverse

in contrast

to what

remarkable that Greece,

has

been

achieved.

and

It is most

unlike other ancient societies, d i d not

utilise these applications o f cosmogonic m y t h in permanent instit u t i o n s . T h e festival o f K r o n i a , Year

festival,

could

be

6 4

fittingly placed before the N e w

compared,

but

it

remained

rather

insignificant i n the sequence o f celebrations. Zeus' fights w i t h the T i t a n s and T y p h o n , as far as we can see, never directly entered r i t u a l ; they were used freely, however, in art a n d poetry, r e t a i n i n g a message o f sovereignty against debased enemies; thus T y p h o s is 23


Oriental and Greek Mythology i n t r o d u c e d i n P i n d a r ' s first P y t h i a n ode. C o s m o g o n i c m y t h i n the n a r r o w e r sense equally r e m a i n e d free for r e t h i n k i n g by the Presocratic philosophers. Y e t cosmogonical m y t h had fulfilled still another r e q u i r e m e n t : it f o r m e d part o f incantations for magical healing. P r i v a t e superstition m a y seem a strange bedfellow w i t h august ceremonies o f the cities a n d w i t h nascent p h i l o s o p h y . B u t cosmogony makes sense even there: as illness is an i n d i c a t i o n that s o m e t h i n g has gone w r o n g a n d is m o v i n g towards catastrophe, it is o f v i t a l i m p o r t a n c e to find a fresh start; the most t h o r o u g h m e t h o d is to create a w o r l d anew,

a c k n o w l e d g i n g the dangerous

forces

preceding or

still

s u r r o u n d i n g this kosmos b u t e x t o l l i n g the v i c t o r i o u s power that guarantees life a n d lasting o r d e r . T h u s , i n B a b y l o n i a n texts we find

cosmogonies used as charms against a toothache or a head-

ache, or for facilitating c h i l d b i r t h ; practically all the l i t e r a r y texts can also be used as m y t h i c a l precedences o f magical a c t i o n : to stop evil w i n d s , to procure r a i n , to w a r d o f f pestilence. T h e people w h o p e r f o r m e d such cures, w h e t h e r we call t h e m priests or magicians, were the intellectuals o f t h e i r epoch, a n d they were often m o b i l e groups that c o u l d successfully make a l i v i n g i n foreign lands. I n classical Greece, i t i n e r a n t priests w h o offered various cures accompanied by p e r t i n e n t m y t h s a n d r i t u a l s were k n o w n as ' O r p h i c s ' ; it is all the m o r e r e m a r k a b l e that N e a r Eastern m y t h s can be found in O r p h i c t r a d i t i o n . E v e n the n o t o r i o u s O r p h i c m y t h o f anthrop o g o n y , the rise o f m a n k i n d f r o m the soot o f the T i t a n s w h o had killed Dionysos, has its closest analogy i n M e s o p o t a m i a n m y t h s about the o r i g i n o f m a n f r o m the blood o f rebellious gods, slain i n revenge.

65

One 'conduit' p o r t e d from

6 6

t h r o u g h w h i c h cosmogonic m y t h was trans-

East to West m a y thus be identified

with

these

i t i n e r a n t magicians o r charismatics. Yet detailed d o c u m e n t a t i o n is still not available, and we cannot fix either t i m e or place i n a precise w a y . T h e r e m a y have been other, contemporaneous channels o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , o p e r a t i n g at the various levels o f folktale, intellectual c u r i o s i t y , or even l i t e r a t u r e . H o w m u c h o u r knowledge depends on chance has been shown once more by the D e r v e n i find, a stroke o f luck not likely to occur a second t i m e .

24


Oriental and Greek Mythology 4. T r a i l s of I c o n o g r a p h y A l t h o u g h m y t h o l o g i c a l research n o r m a l l y gropes i n the d a r k for a r e a l m o f o r a l t r a d i t i o n that is not d i r e c t l y accessible, one f o r m o f evidence still springs to the eye; it is especially rich and influential j u s t by its permanence, and its t i m e and place o f o r i g i n is usually identifiable: the pictorial t r a d i t i o n , i c o n o g r a p h y . Pictures or sculptures m a y survive for m i l l e n i a ; pictures easily j u m p

language

barriers. I f m y t h s are expressed i n pictures, these play a fundam e n t a l role i n the

fixation,

p r o p a g a t i o n and transmission o f those

m y t h s : h a v e n ' t most o f us f o r m e d o u r concept o f ' d r a g o n ' from the pictures we have seen, p r o b a b l y at an early age? I n fact it is neither n a t u r a l n o r necessary that pictures should refer to m y t h s or tales. J u d g i n g f r o m present evidence there were no representations o f this k i n d i n M y c e n a e a n a r t .

6 7

Yet Sagenbilder

make their appearance i n Greek art about 700 BO a n d have played a p r o m i n e n t role ever s i n c e ;

68

and there were precedents b o t h i n

M e s o p o t a m i a n and E g y p t i a n art. O f course, o u r knowledge is largely dependent u p o n the physical properties o f the materials used: some, such as t e x t i l e s

69

or paintings o n wooden tablets had

h a r d l y a chance o f s u r v i v a l ; there was j u s t a slight chance for some of the most i m p o r t a n t , w a l l paintings and metal reliefs; stone sculptures are most d u r a b l e , but least transportable; the richest corpus that remains is seals, especially the typical M e s o p o t a m i a n c y l i n d e r seals and t h e i r impressions preserved i n c l a y .

7 0

Painted

ceramics were not used for pictures o f this k i n d i n the East. Y e t m y t h i c a l picture books must be used w i t h special

care.

Pictures are j u s t signs, a l t h o u g h we h a b i t u a l l y give t h e m some sign i f i c a t i o n . T h i s signification often m a y be some definite action, such as greeting,

fighting,

l o v e - m a k i n g , and this makes corre-

spondence w i t h a tale possible, as any n a r r a t i v e structure consists of a sequence o f actions. C o m b a t scenes, especially, can h a r d l y be m i s u n d e r s t o o d . T h e sequence, nevertheless, cannot be contained in one p i c t u r e ; the p r o d u c t i o n o f a sequence o f pictures to illustrate one tale is a rare and special development. I t is equally impossible for a simple picture to give the k i n d o f explicit reference

that

language affords by proper names. T h u s on p r i n c i p l e it is unclear whether a picture refers to an i n d i v i d u a l m y t h , made specific by the proper names contained i n i t , such as ' H e r a k l e s ' or ' A c h i l l e s ' . A g a i n , to add names by w r i t i n g , or to w o r k out a specific canon of 25


Oriental and Greek Mythology attributes to differentiate gods, heroes o r saints is a rare and secondary development. Greeks have used these devices since the archaic age. O r i e n t a l art is less distinct. A t the same t i m e iconography develops its o w n canon, as pictures are copied f r o m pictures: these are clear a n d demonstrable filiations, but totally at the level o f signifiant, w i t h little regard for signification a n d none at all for reference. T h u s i c o n o g r a p h y clearly indicates connections even between different civilisations; yet as re-interpretations a n d misunderstandings may occur at any t i m e , pictures cannot securely indicate the diffusion o f a m y t h . E v e n the c e r t a i n t y that special compositions o f m y t h o l o g i c a l content have been t r a n s m i t t e d is not yet a solution to the p r o b l e m o f ' t r a v e l l i n g m y t h s ' . O n e iconographic p a t t e r n o f M e s o p o t a m i a n art demands special a t t e n t i o n because it is connected w i t h the most p r o m i n e n t literary text o f the East: Gilgamesh and Enkidu

slaying Humbaba. I t m a y be

described as the s y m m e t r i c a l three-person

combat scene: two

c h a m p i o n s are a t t a c k i n g from either side a w i l d m a n , represented en face

i n the m i d d l e ,

nearly collapsing o n his knees i n the

' K n i e l a u f p o s i t i o n , w h i c h signifies an a t t e m p t at escape. T h i s type makes its appearance i n O l d B a b y l o n i a n times a n d continues to appear d o w n to the A s s y r i a n a n d n e o - B a b y l o n i a n epoch, spreadi n g also to I r a n , S o u t h e r n A n a t o l i a , Syria a n d G a l i l e a .

71

T h e r e is

no direct p r o o f that the figures should be called G i l g a m e s h , E n k i d u , and H u m b a b a , i n accordance w i t h Gilgamesh T a b l e t I I I to V ; but because H u m b a b a is a m a n o f the woods, a n d there is w r i t t e n evidence that H u m b a b a is represented by a frontal g r i m yet g r i n n i n g f a c e ,

72

this identification o f the ' w i l d m a n ' at the

centre o f the c o m p o s i t i o n w i t h his mask-like face has usually been accepted for at least the b u l k o f the representations. I t is almost the only m y t h i c a l scene i n M e s o p o t a m i a n iconography that thus can be i n t e r p r e t e d as r e f e r r i n g to a l i t e r a r y text; n o r m a l l y glyptic art seems to be j u s t heraldic, symbolic or ritualistic. It has been p o i n t e d out m o r e t h a n once that i n G r e e k art this scene became 'Perseus k i l l i n g the G o r g o ' :

7 1

at the centre is the

G o r g o , w i t h the mask-like, g r i n n i n g face o f a ' w i l d ' creature, in 'Kniclauf

position; the c h a m p i o n s — Perseus and A t h e n a —

stand o n either side, t a k i n g hold o f the monster. Even the detail that is so i m p o r t a n t for the G r e e k tale, that Perseus should t u r n his eyes away from the monster, has o r i e n t a l precedents. I n these, the c h a m p i o n s are

frequently differentiated, one 26

wearing a

long


Oriental and Greek Mythology g a r m e n t , the other a short one; for the Greeks, the fighter w i t h the l o n g skirt has become a female, A t h e n a . T h e correspondence is c o m p e l l i n g : the Greek artists must have seen o r i e n t a l models o f the type, p r e s u m a b l y either i n the f o r m o f seals or metal reliefs. A t the same t i m e , it is clear that this transference o f a m y t h i c a l scene does not constitute a transmission o f m y t h . T h e r e is not complete m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g either, however: the signification o f the ' c o m b a t scene', two fighters h e l p i n g each other against a ' w i l d ' creature, has been understood clearly. Yet the contexts do not m i n g l e . T h e H u m b a b a fight belongs to the exploits o f a c u l t u r a l 1

hero: G i l g a m e s h secures the access to the cedar forest in order to procure t i m b e r for the city, a feat analogous to N i n u r t a ' s

fighting

the monster o f the m o u n t a i n . T h e tale o f Perseus, on the other h a n d , has clear characteristics o f an i n i t i a t i o n m y t h : the hero travels to m a r g i n a l areas to get his special weapon that c o m m a n d s death. T h e most s t r i k i n g detail, the hero t u r n i n g his face away from the e n e m y , proves to be a creative m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g : on the o r i e n t a l p r o t o t y p e the hero is l o o k i n g for a goddess w h o is about to pass h i m a weapon; Greek i m a g i n a t i o n has a monster instead w i t h p e t r i f y i n g eyes. Details o f the G o r g o type, i n c i d e n t a l l y , have their special iconographic ancestry; Humbaba,

7 4

it cannot be derived fully

from

T h e new creation, for the Greeks, is an iconographic

sign w i t h o u t special ties to rituals or local groups, to be used freely in an ' a p o t r o p a i c ' sense o n pediments, shields, or in other contexts, a t e r r o r to scare away mischief from temples or w a r r i o r s . T h e r e is a curious seal from C y p r u s b e l o n g i n g to this context that deserves special m e n t i o n .

7:5

I t differs from the type i n so far as

it has only one c h a m p i o n . H e is decidedly t u r n i n g his face away from the monster, w h i c h he is seizing w i t h his left h a n d while raising his w e a p o n , a harpe, w i t h his r i g h t . T h e monster, en face and in ' K n i e l a u f , has E g y p t i a n i s i n g locks and something like diffuse rays stretching out from its head — for Greeks, these w o u l d be the snakes s u r r o u n d i n g the G o r g o ' s head — and the feet are huge b i r d ' s claws. T h i s detail is securely rooted i n Mesopotamia!! iconography, where L a m a s h t u a n d Pazuzu, dreaded demons, are represented in this w a y . B o t h , i n c i d e n t a l l y , have some further traits i n c o m m o n w i t h the G o r g o (n 74). T h e picture was published at the b e g i n n i n g o f this c e n t u r y in Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen und rÜmischen Mythologie as being a clear illustration o f the Perseus story; Pierre A m i e t , on the other h a n d , has recently interpreted 27


Oriental and Greek Mythology the seal i n the context o f U g a r i t i c m y t h o l o g y , w i t h o u t ever m e n t i o n i n g Perseus and the Greeks. I t is unclear w h e t h e r the seal came f r o m a Phoenician or a Greek c i t y o f C y p r u s ; i n t e r p r e t a t i o n must p r o b a b l y r e m a i n a r i d d l e . T h e r e were also other o r i e n t a l or o r i e n talising versions o f the Perseus m y t h . A t Tarsos he had some special connection w i t h

fish;

76

this m a y or m a y not be connected

w i t h the huge fish b e h i n d the c h a m p i o n o n the C y p r i o t seal. Perseus' ties to fish and the sea are still m o r e p r o m i n e n t i n another

feat,

the

slaying o f the

ketos a n d

the

A n d r o m e d a . T h i s event was set at I o p p e / J a f f a ,

77

liberation of a n d there is a

C a n a a n i t e m y t h that seems to be the direct antecedent o f the Greek tale: Astarte is offered to J a m , the god o f the sea.

78

One

Greek vase p a i n t i n g o f Perseus, A n d r o m e d a , a n d the ketos (all i n d i cated by i n s c r i p t i o n s ) , the oldest o f its k i n d that is k n o w n so far, has some o d d singularities: Perseus is

fighting

w i t h stones, and

A n d r o m e d a , unfettered, is h e l p i n g h i m . These very details t u r n out to be d i r e c t l y dependent o n an o r i e n t a l p r o t o t y p e , represented especially by one seal o f N i m r u d that has often been r e p r o d u c e d :

79

a god is assaulting a monstrous snake and t w o m i n o r figures are assisting h i m . T h e

iconographic correspondence, especially

as

regards the stance o f the c h a m p i o n a n d the monster's head, is o v e r w h e l m i n g . Y e t for M e s o p o t a m i a n s ,

this clearly was a g o d ,

engaged i n cosmogonic struggle, M a r d u k fighting T i a m a t , accordi n g to the c u r r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ; o n another, q u i t e s i m i l a r seal he is c a r r y i n g l i g h t n i n g i n his h a n d s ;

80

for the Greeks, this is another

heroic adventure i n a context o f i n i t i a t i o n . T h e r e is a curious misi n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n v o l v e d : on the A s s y r i a n seal, the six dots i n the sky b e h i n d the c h a m p i o n represent a constellation, as paralleled o n m a n y seals o f the k i n d (usually these are 'seven stars'); the Greek artist, i n a m o r e realistic v e i n , took t h e m for stones and placed the pile o n the g r o u n d securely between the c h a m p i o n ' s feet. W e thus find

a strange interplay o f contacts and separation: the story, the

setting and the picture are ' o r i e n t a l ' , but the parcel is u n t i e d , the strings are separated and made to enter novel c o m b i n a t i o n s so that the result is a n y t h i n g b u t a mechanical replica o f its antecedents. T h e three-person

combat scene, however,

produced

another

strange offspring in Greek art: one o f the oldest representations o f the death o f A g a m e m n o n killed by K l y t a i m n e s t r a and Aigisthos evidently Gortyn,

8 1

reproduces

the

pattern.

This

a

clay

plaque

a place notorious, in any case, for its strong 28

from Eastern


Oriental and Greek Mythology connections d u r i n g the archaic p e r i o d ; the very technique o f using terracotta m o u l d s was developed i n Crete f r o m Phoenician practices. T h e t w o c h a m p i o n s , d i f f e r i n g i n their dress, have become male a n d female, j u s t as i n the Perseus version; the v i c t i m is seen en face, as ever, pressed d o w n f r o m b o t h sides. Y e t the v i c t i m is made a k i n g by the a d d i t i o n o f throne a n d sceptre, w h i c h Aigisthos is seen

to

grab;

and

the

tricky

garment

used

to

suffocate

A g a m e m n o n has been added. T h i s is a deliberate c o m p o s i t i o n , meant to illustrate a famous G r e e k tale, but the iconographic outlines have been b o r r o w e d f r o m the o r i e n t a l p r o t o t y p e ; r e m o d e l l i n g has not been a complete success. A s to the contents, there appears to be no c o n n e c t i o n at a l l : A g a m e m n o n is not a ' w i l d m a n \ Y e t there m a y be u n k n o w n intermediates. I t is s t r i k i n g that on some o r i e n t a l exemplars,

especially one that comes

Semitic r e g i o n , T e l l K e i s a n i n G a l i l e a ,

82

from

the West

there is a f o u r t h person

added to the three-figure scene, a smaller female r a i s i n g her hands in a gesture o f m o u r n i n g . F o r the Greeks, this w i l l be Electra. T h i s w o u l d suggest that even i n this case o f creative m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g , there was not j u s t one chance event that has to account for the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , one artist i n G o r t y n s t u m b l i n g o n an o r i e n t a l model w h i l e t r y i n g to illustrate the tale o f A g a m e m n o n , but m u l t i p l e channels o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n . T h i s essay has been neither systematic n o r a i m e d at completeness, e n t e r i n g , as it does, a field where m u c h is still to be e x p l o r e d . I t has been restricted to connections w i t h M e s o p o t a m i a , while similar observations o f equal i m p o r t a n c e c o u l d be made w i t h regard to E g y p t ; suffice it to m e n t i o n A m p h i t r y o n .

8 3

T h e examples adduced

here m a y serve to establish some m o r e general tenets, however: ' O r i e n t a l ' a n d Greek m y t h o l o g y were close enough i n t i m e , place a n d character to c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h each other. M o r e than casual parallels are

evident;

sparks j u m p e d

from

one

to the

other

repeatedly. T h e r e are fundamental similarities, for instance i n the quest o f the c u l t u r e heroes, be it N i n u r t a or Herakles; there was diffusion o f motifs such as the l i o n fight or the seven-headed snake; more

profound

cosmogonic

influence

myth;

there

came was

about

also an

with

the

adoption of

impact o f iconography

especially i n the o r i e n t a l i s i n g epoch, w h i c h however left r o o m for m a n y creative re-interpretations. I t is not, or not yet, possible to isolate specific occasions

or single routes o f transfer. 29

One


Orientai and Greek Mythology should rather acknowledge a complex n e t w o r k o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , w i t h single achievements standing out against a c o m m o n

back-

g r o u n d , w h i l e the ' o r i g i n s ' o f m y t h are not to be sought i n East or West, Bronze A g e or N e o l i t h i c , but in a more c o m m o n ancestry.

human

84

F i g u r e 2.1: Seal I m p r e s s i o n from N u z i : D e a t h of H u m b a b a . (See note 7 1 , p. 39)

30


Oriental and Greek Mythology F i g u r e 2 . 2 : S h i e l d S t r a p from O l y m p i a : Perseus a n d Gorgo. (See note 73, p. 39)

F i g u r e 2 . 3 : Seal from C y p r u s : H e r o F i g h t i n g M o n s t e r . note 75, p. 39)

31

(See


Oriental and Greek Mythology F i g u r e 2.4: S e a l from A s s u r : D e a t h of H u m b a b a . (See note 71 p. 39)

F i g u r e 2.5: C l a y P l a q u e from G o r t y n : D e a t h of A g a m e m n o n . (See note 81, p. 40)

32


Oriental and Greek Mythology F i g u r e 2.6: Seal from T e l l K e i s a n : D e a t h of H u m b a b a ? note 82, p. 40)

(See

F i g u r e 2.7: Seal from N i m r u d : G o d F i g h t i n g the S n a k e .

(See

note 79, p. 39f)

33


Oriental and Greek Mythology F i g u r e 2.8: C o r i n t h i a n A m p h o r a : Perseus a n d the ketos.

(See

note 79, p. 391)

Notes 1. O n the concept of ' Elementargedanke' by Philip Wilhelm Adolf Bastian, see Enzyklopädie des Märchens I (Berlin, 1977) 1 3 2 4 - 7 . 2. W . L i u n g m a n n , Traditwnswanderungen Euphrat-Rhein, 2 vols (Helsinki. 1937/8). 3. See C . S. K i r k , Myth, Its Meaning and Functions tn Ancient and Other Culture^ (Berkeley, Los Angeles, 1970) 1 - 4 1 ; Burkeri, S&H, 1-34; F . Graf, Griechische Mythologie ( M u n i c h and Z u r i c h , 1985) 7 - 14. 4. See especially the publications of the 'school of Paris': e.g. J . - P . V e r n a n i , Mythe et société en Grèce ancienne (Pans, 1974); J . - P . Vernant and P. V i d a l - N a q u e l , Mythe et tragédie en Grèce ancienne (Paris, 1972); M . D é t i e n n e . Les jardins d'Adonis (Paris, 1972) and Dionysos. 5. Burkcrt, S&H, 102-3 6. Ibid., 1 - 3 4 . 7. V . Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (Bloomington, 1958; original edn. L e n i n g r a d , 1928); Burkert, S&H, 14-18. 8. C . L é v i - S t r a u s s , Mythologiques I - I V (Paris, 1 9 6 4 - 7 1 ) ; idem. ' L a geste d ' A s d i w a î \ in Anthropologie structurale deux (Paris, 1973) 1 7 5 - 233. 9. A. G . Dundes, The Morphology of North American Indian Folktales (Helsinki, 1964); idem, Analytic Essays in Folklore ( T h e Hague, 1975) 61 - 7 2 (1st edn 1962). 10. S. T h o m s o n , Motif-Index of Folk-Literature I - V I (Copenhagen. 1 9 5 5 - 8 ) . 11. See Burkcrt, OE. 12. C . H . G o r d o n , 'Horner and the Bible'. Hebrew Union Coll. Ann., ^6 < 1955) 43-108. 13. A recent attempt by F . Prinz in RE Suppl. 14 (1974) 1 3 7 - 9 6 ; the fullest

34


Oriental and Greek Mythology account of the literary evidence remains L . Preller, Griechische Mythologie, 4th edn, ed. C . Robert, vol. II (Berlin, 1921) 4 2 2 - 6 7 5 ; for the archaeological evidence, see F . Brommer, Herakles, 4th edn (Darmstadt, 1979); see also Burkert, S&H. C h . I V . 14 See A . Jeremias in W . H . Roscher ( c d ) , Ausführliche* Lexikon der griechischen und romischen Mythologie (henceforth cited as RML) vol. II ( L e i p z i g , 1 8 9 0 - 7 ) 8 2 1 - 3 with reference to earlier suggestions; B. Schweitzer, Herakles ( T ü b i n g e n , 1922) 133 - 41 ; after the discovery of the T e l l A s m a r seals (see below, n 35), G . R . Levy, ' T h e oriental origin of Herakles', JHS, 54 (1934) 4 0 - 5 3 ; H . Frankfort, Cylinder Seals ( L o n d o n , 1939) I 2 l f ; see Burkert, S&H 8 0 - 8 3 . 15. j . van Dijk, LOCAL UD ME-LÂMbt NIR-fiÀL, Le récit épique et didactique des travaux de Ninurta, du déluge et de la nouvelle création, vol. I ( L e i d e n , 1983). ( T h e text is henceforth cited by the traditional incipit Lugal-e). A preliminary and sometimes misleading account had been given by S. N . K r a m e r , Sumerian Mythology, 2nd edn (New Y o r k , 1961) 7 8 - 9 2 ; see also T . Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness (New H a v e n , 1976) 1 2 9 - 3 1 . 16. O n Ningirsu and Ninurta see D . O . Edzard in H . W . Haussig (ed.), Wörterbuch der Mythologie I (Stuttgart, 1965) U l f , 114f; the twelve 'trophies' are enumerated in Lugal-e 1 2 9 - 3 3 , cf. van Dijk 1 0 - 1 9 . 17. G u d e a A . X X V . 2 4 - X X V I . 14; (outdated) transcription and translation in F . T h u r e a u - D a n g i n , Die sumerischen und akkadischen Königsinschriften ( L e i p z i g , 1907) 1 1 6 - 1 9 ; translation in A . Falkenstein, W . v . Soden, Sumerische und Akkadische Hymnen und Gebete ( Z u r i c h , 1953) 162f; new treatment in J . S. Cooper, ' T h e Return of Ninurta to Nippur', Anal. Or., 5 2 ( 1 9 7 8 ) 1451"; only here the number 12 comes out. These beings are called 'heroes killed , X X V I . 15 ( ' g e t ö t e t e Helden' Falkenstein; ' h é r o s tués' van Dijk 10). 1

18. See now Cooper, ' T h e Return of Ninurta', traditional incipit: An-gim dimma. T h e 'trophies' occur in lines 3 2 - 4 0 and 5 4 - 6 2 . A comparative analysis of the lists of 'trophies' is given by Cooper 1 4 1 - 5 4 ; further comments by van Dijk 10-19. 19. T h i s detail is in the text of An-gtm. 20. See below, note 24. 21. For six of them van Dijk gives only a transcription instead of a translation. 22. See van Dijk 7 - 9 . 23 V a n Dijk 11, 17, with explicit reference to the cows o f G e r y o n . 24. Gilgamesh V I l . i i i . 4 8 = V I I I . i i i . 7 (where the relevant sign is partially destroyed); R . C . T h o m p s o n , The Epic of Giigamtsh (Oxford, 1930) transcribes maskt kalbim at the first, maskt labbim at the second place (p. 45, 49); labbim also in W . v . Soden, Akkadisches Handwörterbuch 526 B , s.v. labbu. Sign no. 322 (Borger) can be read kal as well as lab. Masak kalbt appears on a school tablet, Materialien zum Sumerischen Lexikon, vol. V I I ( R O M E , 1959) 123, 20. For kalbu, 'dog , to denote 'humility', 'disparagement of oneself see Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, vol. V I I I ( K ) (Chicago, 1971) 72. T h e translations opt for 'lion': E . Ebeling in H . Gressmann (ed.), Altorientalische Texte zum Alten Testament, 2nd edn (Berlin, 1926) 165; A . Heide), The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels, 2nd edn (Chicago, 1949) 59; ANET, 86; P. Labat, Les Religions du Proche Orient (Paris, 1970) 191, 197; A . Schott, Das Gilgamesch-Epos, neu herausgg. von W . v . Soden (Stuttgart, 1982) 67. T h e seals have many gods or heroes with club and bow. Very few seem to wear 'animal skins' O n e figure with 'lion skin' in D . Collon, Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the British Museum; Cylinder Seals, vol. II ( L o n d o n , 1982) no. 213. 1

25. Lugal-e 2 6 - 4 5 ; van Dijk 5 5 - 7 . 26. H . G . G ü t e r b o c k , Kumarbi (Zurich, 1946); The Song of Ullikummi H a v e n , 1952); E . Laroche, Catalogue des textes Hittites (Paris, 1971) no. 345; 1 2 0 - 5 ; see n 46.

35

(New ANET


Oriental and Greek Mythology 27. References for 'Planet Ninurta' in F . G o e s s m a n n , Planetarium Babylonicum. Summerisches Lexicon, ed. A . Deimel, vol. I V 2 ( R o m e , 1950) 53; cf. 124. 28. H d t . 2.43f; bilingual inscriptions, e.g. P . M . Fraser, Ann. Br. Sch. Athens, 65 (1970) 3 1 - 6 ; Tyrioi HerakUistai on Hellenistic Delos, etc.; see R . Dussaud. 'Melqart', Syria, 25 (1946/8) 2 0 5 - 3 0 ; U . T ä c k h o l m , ' T a r s i s , Tartessos und die S ä u l e n des Herakles', Opuscule Romana, 5 (1965) 1 4 2 - 2 0 0 , esp. 1 8 7 - 9 . D . van Berchem, 'Sanctuaires d'HercuIe-Melqart*, Syria, (1967) 7 3 - 109, 3 0 7 - 3 8 ; C . Grottanelli, 'Melqart e Sid fra Egitto, L i b i a e Sardcgna', Rio. Studi Fenici, I (1973) 1 5 3 - 6 4 . T h e inscription from Pyrgi brought testimony for the 'burial of the god (see J . A . Soggin, ' L a sepoltura d é l i a d i v i n i t à ' , Äir. Stud. Or., 4 5 ( 1 9 7 0 ) 2 4 2 - 5 2 ) corresponding to the 'tomb' ( C l e m . R o m . Ree. 10.24.2) and the 'awakening' of Melqart (Menandros, FGrH 783 F I ) at T y r e ; for a representation of the 'god in the flames' at Pyrgi see M . V e r z a r in Met. Ec. Fr. Rome, 92 (1980) 6 2 - 7 8 . 1

29. H . G o l d m a n , 'Sandon and Herakles', Hesperia, Suppl. 8 ( 1 9 4 9 ) 1 6 4 - 7 4 ; E . Laroche, ' U n s y n c r é t i s m e g r é c o - a n a t o l i e n : Sandas » Herakles', in Les Syncrctismes dans les religions grecque et romaine (Pans, 1973) 1 0 3 - 1 4 ; S. Salvatori, ' I l dio SantaSandon: U n o sguardo ai testi', Parotû del Passaio, 30 (1975) 4 0 1 - 9 ; on the numismatic evidence see P. C h u v i n , / des Sao. (1981) 3 1 9 - 2 6 . 30. H . Seyrig, ' A n t i q u i t é s Syriennes: H é r a c l è s - N e r g a l ' , Syria, 24 (1944/5) 6 2 - 8 0 ; W . Al-Salihi, 'Hercules-Nergal at H a t r a ' , Iraq, 3 3 ( 1 9 7 1 ) 1 1 3 - 1 5 . 31. M . K . Schretter, Atter Orient und Hellas (Innsbruck, 1974) 170f following a suggestion of K . Oberhuber. Erragal (Irragal) as a name for the god of the under­ world occurs in Atrahasis II.vii.51 = Gilgamesh X L 101. 32. See B u r k e n , S&H 6; 1 4 - 1 6 ; 20. 33. Porph. 'Pen agalmaton' fr. 8, p. 13,3 Bidez; cf. O . G r u p p e in RE Suppl. 3 (1911) 1104. Number 12 of the zodiacal signs has a complicated prehistory and is not established before the sixth century; see R . Böker in RE 10A (1972) 5 2 2 - 3 9 s.v. Zodiakos. 34 See Burkert, S&H, C h . I V , 35. ( I ) Predynastic seal from T e l l A s m a r : Oriental Institute Communications 17: Iraq Excavations 1932-1933 (Chicago, 1934) 54, fig. 50; G . R . L e v y , JHS, 54 (1934) 40; H . Frankfort, Stratified Cylinder Seals from the Diyala Region (Chicago, 1955) no 497; Burkert, S&H 82; P. Amiet, La Glyptique Mésopotamienne archaïque, 2nd edn ( P a n s , 1980), no. 1393; (2) Predynastic shell plaque: ANEP, no. 671; Amiet, no. 1394; (3) Sargonic seal from T e l l Asmar: Or. Inst. Comm., I7 49, fig. 43; JHS, 54, pi, 2; Frankfort, Strat. Cyl. Seals, no. 478; R . M . Boehmer, Die Entwicklung der Gtyptik während der Akkad-Zeit (Berlin, 1965), no. 292; ANEP, no. 691; Amiet, no. 1492; (4) Sumerian macehead in Copenhagen: H . Frankfort, Anal. Or., 7 2 ( 1 9 3 5 ) 1 0 5 - 8 , fig. 1 - 4 ; O . K e e l , Wirkmächtige Siegeszeichen im Alten Testament (Fribourg, 1974) fig. 40. y

( 1 ) - (3) are combat scenes; (4) has the snake above ' Imdugud' birds; ( 1 ) and (4) show coiled snakes, (2) and (3) four-footed dragons. From the back of the creature at (2) and (3) there rise vertical lines which have been intepreted as either 'tails (Boehmer, 52) or 'flames' (Frankfort, Or. Inst. Comm., 17, 54; idem, Cylinder Seats (1939) 122); they recur in the Late Hittite relief from Malatya, showing gods fighting with the (one-headed?) snake, E . Akurgal, Die Kunst der Hethiter ( M u n i c h . 1961) fig. 104; ANEP, no. 670, 36. T h e 'Converse Tablet' ed. W . Lambert in Near Eastern Studies in Honor of W. F. Albright (Baltimore. 1971) 3 3 5 - 5 3 , 336f; cf. Cooper, ' T h e Return of Ninurta', 147. 37. M . Dietrich, O . Loretz and J . Sanmartin, Die keilatphaheiischen Texte am Vgant (Kevelaer, 1976) no. 1.5 I 27-30 (A NET p. 138); Isaiah21,\, L . R . Fisher (ed.). Ras Sharnra Parallels ( R o m e , 1972) I 3 3 - 6 , no. 25. 1

36


Oriental and Greek Mythology 38. K . Fittschen, Untersuchungen zum Beginn der Sagendarsteilungen bei den Griechen (Berlin, 1969) 147f; Brommer, Herakies, 13, pl. 8; Burkert, S&H 78,2; 81. T w o champions fighting a huge two-headed ( ? ) snake appear on a white-painted plate from C y p r u s , eleventh century: V . Karageorghis, Comptes-rendus de i'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (1980) 28, fig. 7; there are no clear iconographie correla­ tions to Eastern or Western types. 39. Burkert, S&H 80f with n 3. 40. Fittschen, Untersuchungen 8 4 - 8 ; Burkert, OE 22f. 41. F o r Peisandros, see G , L . Huxley, Greek Epic Poetry from Eumelos to Panyassis ( L o n d o n , 1969) 1 0 0 - 5 . Brommer, Herakles 5 3 - 6 3 ; 82. 42. H . G . G ü t e r b o c k , Kumarbt, Mythen von churritischen Kronos ( Z u r i c h , 1946) with the texts ' K i n g s h i p in H e a v e n ' ( L a r o c h e , Catalogue, no. 344; ANET 120f) and 'Ullikummi* (see above, n 26). T h e discovery had been signalled by E . Forrer in Mélanges F. Cumont (Brussels, 1936) 6 8 7 - 7 1 3 , cf. F . Dornseifl" in L'Antiquité classique, 5 ( 1 9 3 7 ) 2 3 1 - 5 8 ; A . L e s k y , Gesammelte Schriften ( B e r n , 1966) 3 5 6 - 7 1 (1st edn, 1950); cf. A . Heubeck, 'Mythologische Vorstellungen des Alten Orients im archaischen G r i e c h e n t u m ' , Gymnasium, 5 2 ( 1 9 5 5 ) 5 0 8 - 2 5 ; P. Walcot, Hesiod and the Near East (Cardiff, 1966); M . L . West, Hesiod Theogony (Oxford, 1966). 43. M . P. Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 3rd edn, vol. I ( M u n i c h , 1967) 515f. See also K i r k , Myth, 2 1 4 - 2 0 ; Burkert, S&H 2 0 - 2 . 44. E . R . Dodds, The Greeks and the irrational (Berkeley, 1951)61. 45. Transmission via Late Hittites and/or Syria was Heubeck's thesis; cf. Burkert, OE, passim. Walcot, Hesiod, 1 2 7 - 9 and West, Theogony, 28f argued for transmission in the Mycenaean epoch. S u r v i v a l of the Hittite Illuyankas myth into late Hittite times is usually inferred from the Malatya relief; see above, n 35. 46. See above n 26; on C a u c a s i a n parallels, W . Burkert, ' V o n U l l i k u m m i zum K a u k a s u s : Die Felsgeburt des Unholds', Würzb. Jahrb. N.F., 5 (1979) 2 5 3 - 6 1 . 47. ANET 123; Apollod. 1 (41) 6.3.7. T h e Iliad has Typhoeus en Arimois (2.783; cf. Hes. Theog. 304), which might be the first Greek reference to 'Aramaeans'. O n Typhoeus in Hes. Theog. 8 2 0 - 8 0 , see West, Theogony. 48. Laroche, Catalogue, no. 321; ANET 125f; cf. Burkert, S&H 7 - 1 0 . A n independent variant of the myth still recurs in Nonnos 1 . 1 5 4 - 6 2 , cf. M . R o c c h i , Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatotici, 21 (1980) 3 5 3 - 7 5 . 49. Hes. Theog. 8 2 4 - 6 ; speirai Apollod. 1 (42) 6.3.8; Chalcidian H y d r i a in M u n i c h : K . Schefold, Frühgriechische Sagenbilder ( M u n i c h , 1964) pi. 66. 50. Baal Sapuna ' L o r d of the North', is attested at Ugarit and in the treaty of Esarhaddon with T y r e (ANET 534); cf. Exodus 14.2; s i.e. dad will appear as / in A r a m a e a n , cf. SBr (Ugaritic, Hebrew) = Tyros. See O . Eissfeldt, Baal Zaphon, Zeus Kasios und der Durchzug der Israeliten durchs Meer (Halle, 1932); E . Honigmann in RE 4A (1932) 1576f; F . V i a n in Eléments orientaux dans la religion grecque ancienne (Paris, 1960) 2 6 - 8 . 51. U l l i k u m m i iii-c, ANET 125. 52. T e x t in FGrH 790; O . Eissfeldt repeatedly advocated the authenticity of the 'Sanchuniaton tradition: Ras Schamra und Sanehunjaton (Halle, 1939) 7 5 - 9 5 ; idem, ' T a au tos und Sane hunjaton', Sitzungsber. Berlin (1952), 1. T h e new commentary by A, I . Baumgarten, The Phoenician History of Philo of Byblos ( L e i d e n , 1981) concludes that Philo is better explained in n o n - U g a r i t î c terms. See also J . E b a c h , Wettent­ stehung und Kulturentwicklung bei Philo von Byblos (Stuttgart, 1979). 53. F . M . C o r n ford, Principium Sapientiae (Cambridge, 1952), esp. 'Cosmogonical Myth and R i t u a l ' , 2 2 5 - 3 8 , and ' T h e H y m n to Marduk and the H y m n to Zeus', 2 3 9 - 49. T h i s book was edited posthumously; the chapters had been written before the K u m a r b i discovery; see E . R , Dodds's note, p. 249. 54. New edition of the cuneiform text: W . G . Lambert and S. B. Parker, 1

37


Oriental and Greek Mythology Enuma EUS (Oxford, 1967); transcription of I - I V in G . Steiner, Der Sukzessions­ mythos in Hesiod's 'Théogonie* und ihren orientalischen Parallelen ( D i s s . , H a m b u r g , 1959); ANET 6 0 - 7 2 ; A . Heide), The Babylonian Genesis (Chicago, 1942; 2nd edn 1951). 55. See van Dijk, 9f. Some other Babylonian creation stories are included in Heidel, Babylonian Genesis, 6 1 - 8 1 , A further Sumerian text i n j . van Dijk, 'Evistet-il un P o è m e de la C r é a t i o n " s u m é r i e n ? ' , in Cuneiform Studies in Honor of S. N, Kramer, ed. B. L . Eichler ( N e u k i r c h e n - V l u y n , 1976) 1 2 5 - 133. 56. T h e whole text has become available, though not in a final form, in ZPE, 47 (1982). Seven columns had been edited by S. G . Kapsomenos, Deltwn, 79(1964) 1 7 - 2 5 ; cf. W . Burkert, 'Orpheus und die Vorsokratiker', Antike und Abendland, 14 (1968) 9 3 - 1 1 4 . See now M . L . West, The Orphic Poems (Oxford, 1983) 6 8 - 1 1 5 . 14

57. oç fiey %Q(:£ev 10.5; the author etymologises Kronos from xçoveiv, as 'things being clashed together' were separated^ and the sun was fixed in j h c middle between earth and sky, col, 10/11. otiàoïov xot\r\tmvtv, o% outdoor txdoQt TTQÙTOS 9.4. "KQUToyovov ßaoikwi aiêoîov 12.3. That txdoQtiv is used as a transitive verb is clear from 10,1 exâoQJji TOP Xa^QOTarov Tt \kot\ X]ti'xd[r]arov paraphrasing aîdnça ixÛoQt\ cf. ÜQOJOXCOV Aesch. fr. 15 Radt = 133 Mette. West, Orphic Poems, 85f, followed b y j . S. R ü s t e n , HSCP, #9(1985) I25f, takes oïtàolov as an adjective, combining ingeniously 4.5 with 9.4, and thus makes the K u m a r b i motif disappear. T h i s is to impute to the commentator a gross misunderstanding of the Greek text he had before his eyes in a complete copy; he twice makes ôaifiova \ X V 6 Q \ 6 V the object of Tkccßtv (5.4; 4.8), not of xartinué. West (p. 86) also inserts Phancs Protogonos before Uranos, in accordance with the O r p h i c Rhapsodies, but without support in the Dervcni text. 10.6 OvQctvôs ïïvtpQovtôns, o î ITQÜ>TLOTOC ßctoihtvatv must be identified with the T O W T 0 7 O V O Ç ß(xOi\tvs 12.3, or else Uranos would not be the 'first' king. 58. T h e four kingdoms appear in the crucial testimony for O r p h i c anthropogony, Orphicorum Fragmenta 220 K e r n = Olympiod. In Phaed. p. 41 f Westerink, in accordance with the Derveni evidence. See also OE 116f. 59. Plato refers to Iliad 14.201 = 302 in Crai. 402 ab, Tht, 152e, 180cd, as does Arist. Met. 983 b27. Eudemus fr. 150 W e h r l i , preserved by Damaskios, De primis prtnetpus I 3 1 9 - 2 1 Ruelle, made a systematic collection of cosmogonie myths. 60. O . Gigon, Der Ursprung der griechischen Philosophie von Hesiod bis Parmenides (Basle, 1945). For the continuity from mythical to Presocratic cosmogony see also U , H ö l s c h e r , 'Anaximander und der Anfang der Philosophie', in Anfängliches Fragen ( G ö t t i n g e n , 1968) 9 - 8 9 (Ist edn 1953). 61. S. H . Hooke, Myth and Ritual (Oxford, 1933). For the ritual of the Babylonian New Y e a r ' s Festival, see ANET331 - 4 , with mentions of the recital of Enuma elish. 62. 'What follows is the cult legend of the Purulli Festival', ANET 125. For Lugal-e, see above, n 15. 63. T . H . Gaster, Thespis. Ritual, Myth, and Drama in the Ancient Near East, 2nd edn (Garden C i t y , 1961). 64. L . Deubner, Attische Feste (Berlin, 1932) 152- 5. C f . Burkert, GR, 2 2 7 - 3 3 ; V e r s n c l , this volume, C h . 7. 65. See Burkert, OE, 1151. 66. T h e investigation of 'conduits' and 'multi-conduit-transmission' goes back to L i n d a D é g h , see Enzyklopädie des Märchens I I I (Berlin, 1981) 124—6. 67. See Vermeuk* and V . Karageorghis, Mycenaean Pictorial Vase Painting (Cambridge, 1982). 68. See Schefold, Sagenbilder, Filtschen, Untersuchungen. 69. K. S. Brown, The Question of Near Eastern Textile Decoratton of the Early First

38


Oriental and Greek Mythology Millenium B.C. as a Source for Greek Vase Painting of the Orientalizing Style (Diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1980) thinks this influence has been rather overrated. 70. A n indispensable older work is W . H . W a r d , The Seal Cylinders oj Western Asia (Washington, 1910); still useful is O . Weber, Altonentalische Siegetbilder ( L e i p z i g , 1920); Frankfort, Cylinder Seals; A . Moortgat, Vorderasiatische Roilsiegel (Berlin, 1940; 2nd edn 1966). Recent interest has concentrated on the early epoch: Boehmer, Entwicklung; Amiet, La Glyptique Mésopotamtenne archaïque; D . Collon, Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the British Museum: Cylinder Seats II ( L o n d o n , 1982); a good survey with bibliography: R . M . Boehmer in Der alte Orient. Propyläen Kunstgeschichte X I V , ed. W . O r t h m a n n (Berlin, 1975) 3 3 6 - 6 3 . 71. D . O p i t z , 'Der T o d des H u m b a b a ' , Archiv für Orientforschung, 5 (1928/9) 2 0 7 - 13; P. C a l m e y e r , 'Reliefbronzen in babylonischem Stil', Abh. Bay. Ak. der Wiss ., NF , 73 (1973) 44f; 1 6 5 - 9 ; C . Wilcke, RealL der Assy rwlogie I V (Berlin, 1975) 5 3 0 - 5 s.v. Huwawa; E . Haevernick and P, Calmeyer, Arch. Mitt. Iran, N.F. 9 ( 1 9 7 6 ) 1 5 - 1 8 . For late Hittite reliefs at T e l l Halaf, K a r k e m i s h , Karatepe, sec H . Frankfort, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient ( L o n d o n , 1963) pi. 159 C ; H . J . K a n t o r , JNES, 21 (1962) 114f. T h e composition seems to be misunderstood or reinterpreted in Phoenician art, R . D . Barnett, Iraq, 2 (1935) 202f, but a fine example of the normal type is a bowl from N i m r u d , ibid. 205 = V i a n , Eléments orientaux (above, n 50) pl. I V b . For a seal from Galilea see below, n 82. See Figure 2.1, this volume: Seal impression from Nuzt, Ann. Am. Sch. Oriental Res., 24 (1944/5) 60 and pi. 37 728; JNES, 21 (1962) 115; Figure 2.4, this volume: Seal from Assur, Berlin 4215, eighth century B C : D . O p i t z , Arch, f. Orientforsch., 5 (1928/9) pl. X I 2; AJA, 3 5 ( 1 9 3 4 ) 352; Moortgat, Vorderas. Roilsiegel, no. 608 (date: p. 670; C a l m e y e r , 'Reliefbronzen', 166, fig. 124. 72. Wilcke, s.v. Huwawa, 534, See also V . K . Afanasyeva, 'GilgameS and E n k i d u in Glyptic Art and in the E p i c ' , Klw, 53 (1970) 5 9 - 7 5 . 73. C . Hopkins, 'Assyrian Elements in the Perseus-Gorgon-Story', AJA, 38 (1934) 3 4 1 - 5 8 ; B . G o l d m a n , ' T h e Asiatic Ancestry of the Greek G o r g o n ' , Berytus, 14 (1961) 1 - 2 3 ; H . J . Kantor, 'A Bronze Plaque with Relief Decoration from Tell Tainai\JNES, 21 (1962) 9 3 - 117; Burkert, OE, 81 - 4 . Figure 2.2, this volume, is a shield strap from O l y m p i a , E . K u n z e , Olympische Forschungen I I (Berlin, 1950) pl. 57; K a n t o r 115. 74. T . G . K a r a y o r g a , Gorgeie Kephate (Athens, 1970); J . Floren, Studien zur Typologie des Gorgoneion ( M u n i c h , 1977); Burkert, OE, 8 1 - 4 , also for relations to Lamashtu and Pazuzu. 75. M . Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, the Bible, and Homer ( L o n d o n , 1893) pi, 31, 16 cf. p. 208; A . de Ridder, BCH, 2 2 ( 1 8 9 8 ) 452 fig. 4; RML I I I ( 1 9 0 2 - 9 ) 2032, art. 'Perseus'; W a r d , Cylinder Seals, no. 643c p. 21 If; Weber, Siegetbilder, no. 269; AJA, 38 (1934) 351; Berytus, 14 (1961) 22; P. Amiet, Ortentalia, 45 (1976) 27 with reference to Ugaritic mythology (26); Burkert, OE 83, 22; see Figure 2.3, this volume. B. Brentjes, Alte Siegelkunst des Vordenen Orients (Leipzig, 1983) 165, 203, has a new drawing, the inventory number V A 2145, and the information — contrary to Ohnefalsch-Richter — 'in Bagdad gekauft'. H e simply calls the picture 'Greek'. 76. See Burkert, HN 209f. 77. Strabon 16 p. 759; K o n o n FGrH 26 F 1, 40; los. Belt. lud. 3.420; Paus. 4.35.9. Andomeda's father Cepheus is son of Belos as early as Hdt. 7.61; E u r . fr. 881. 78. T h e 'Astarte Papyrus', a heavily mutilated Egyptian text with Canaanite names, ANET 17f 79. See Figure 2.7, this volume: Neo-Assyrian Seal, 'Williams Cylinder' (Pierpont Morgan Collection no. 688, New Y o r k ) : W a r d , Seal Cylinders 20If, no. T

39


Orientât and Greek Mythology 578; A . Jeremias, Handbuch der attOTicntalischen Geis tes kuliur, 2nd edn (Berlin, 1929) 431, fig. 239a. Weber, Altor. Sicgelbilder, no. 347; K r a m e r , Sumcrian Mythology pi. X I X 2; M . L . West, Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient (Oxford, 1971) pl. H a ; P. Amiet, Syria, 42 (1965) 245. For the interpretation ' M a r d u k fighting T i a m a f see W a r d 20If; he also states that the six 'stones seem to be derived iconographically from the seven dots = seven stars often represented on seals. Figure 2.8, this volume: Late Corinthian A m p h o r a , Berlin; RML I I I 2047; Schefold, Sagenbtlder pi. 45; LIMC 'Andromeda' no. 1 (where the singularities mentioned in the text are set forth). 80. W a r d . no. 579; Weber no. 348; K r a m e r pl. X I X 1. 81. LIMC 'Agamemnon', no. 91, from G o r t y n ( M u s . Iraklion) , 675/50 B C ; Schefold, Sagenbilder pl. 33; M . L Davies, BCH, 93 (1969) 228, fig. 9 - 1 0 . See Figure 2.5, this volume. Davies especially deals with a Cretan seal (about 700 B C ; LIMC, Agamemnon no. 94); this has only two persons and thus does not belong directly to the type treated here. 82. O . K e e l , i n j . B r i e n d a n d J . B . Humbert (eds), Tell Keisan (1971 -76), une cité phénicienne en Galilée (Fribourg, 1980) 276f, pl. 89,17; 136,17. See Figure 2.6, this volume. C f . the Assyrian SeaJ, W a r d , Seat Cylinders, 211, fig. 642; Hopkins, 'Assyrian Elements', 354, fig. 12. 83. T h e begetting of the Pharao by A m u n is represented in Egyptian temples by a pictorial cycle, first at Der-el-Bahri (Hatchepsut, 1 4 8 8 - 1 4 6 7 ) and L u x o r (Amenophis I I I , 1 3 9 7 - 1 3 6 0 ) ; see H . B r u n n e r , Die Geburt des Gottkönigs (Wiesbaden, 1964). J . A s s m a n n , 'Die Zeugung des Sohns', i n j . A s s m a n n , W . Burkert and F . Stolz, Funktionen und Leistungen des Mythos ( F r i b o u r g , 1982) 1 3 - 6 1 ; that the Amphitryon story is derived from there, with the detail that T o t h = Hermes should accompany A m u n = Zeus on his amorous ways, has been stated repeatedly: A . W i e d e m a n n , Herodots zweites Buch ( L e i p z i g , 1890) 268; Brunner 214; W . Burkert, MH, 2 2 ( 1 9 6 5 ) 168f; S. M o r e n z , 'Die Geburt des ä g y p t i s c h e n G o t t k ö n i g s ' , Forschungen und Fortschritte, 40 (1966) 3 6 6 - 7 1 ; R . Merkelbach, Die Quellen des Alexanderromans, 2nd edn ( M u n i c h , 1977) 7 7 - 8 2 . T h e decisive motif, the god assuming the shape of the king, does not appear in the oldest Greek sources, Od, 1 1 . 2 6 6 - 8 . and Hes. fr. 195 = Aspis 1 - 5 6 , but may be presupposed on the chest of Kypselos (Zeus as a 'man wearing a chiton'; Paus. 5.18.3); see also Pherekydes FGrH 3 F 13; C h a r o n FGrH 262 F 2. 1

84. M y thanks to Sarah Johnston for correcting the English style of this essay — responsibility for its final form, though, remains with me — and to Cornelius Burkert for his drawings.

40


3 Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex Jan Bremmer

O e d i p u s is one o f the few figures o f G r e e k m y t h o l o g y whose name is still a household w o r d . H i s fate has i n s p i r e d p l a y w r i g h t s , libret1

tists,

film-makers,

a n d attracted the a t t e n t i o n o f F r e u d and L ĂŠ v i -

Strauss, the f o u n d i n g fathers o f psychoanalysis a n d structuralist a n t h r o p o l o g y respectively (cf. b e l o w ) . I n spite o f the enormous interest, a satisfactory i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the m y t h has still not been a r r i v e d at. T h e f o l l o w i n g i n q u i r y does not p r e t e n d to present the last w o r d about O e d i p u s , b u t it hopes to show that historical, sociological and structuralist approaches can all cast l i g h t o n one a n d the same m y t h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a n d sometimes have to be e m p l o y e d s i m u l taneously. O n l y an eclectic analysis makes the best use o f the riches o f the m y t h o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n . T h e O e d i p u s m y t h has been discussed i n v a r i o u s ways. O l d e r scholars t r i e d above all to recover the m y t h ' s earliest stages. T h e y c o m p a r e d its various versions i n epic, tragedy a n d later Greek m y t h o g r a p h y , a n d i n this w a y they were able to demonstrate that in

the course

example,

o f t i m e i m p o r t a n t changes had occurred.

originally

Delphi

was

absent

from

the

story,

For and

O e d i p u s r e m a r r i e d after his wife's death. O n l y i n classical times d i d the poets' interest shift f r o m the family to the i n d i v i d u a l ; i n archaic Greece an Antigone was u n t h i n k a b l e .

2

T h e most recent, structuralist approach has proceeded regardless o f these c h r o n o l o g i c a l considerations. I n a n o t e w o r t h y analysis,

Claude

LĂŠvi-Strauss

compared

the

relationship

between

K a d m o s a n d his sister E u r o p a to A n t i g o n e ' s attitude to Polynices' corpse,

and concluded that these incidents have as a c o m m o n

feature the o v e r r a t i n g o f blood relations. I n a d d i t i o n , he drew 41


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex far-reaching conclusions f r o m the physical defects w h i c h are sug1

gested, a c c o r d i n g to h i m , by the names o f O e d i p u s , ' S w o l l e n foot , his 4

father L a i o s ,

1

1

Left-sided , and

his grandfather

Labdacus,

L a m e ' . H o w e v e r , it has to be objected that A n t i g o n e is only a

p o s t - H o m e r i c a r r i v a l in the O e d i p u s m y t h , a n d the name Laios (Laws)

does not derive f r o m the Greek w o r d laios, ' l e f t ' . H i s t o r i c a l

a n d linguistic knowledge remains indispensable, even i n a structuralist approach. Levi-Strauss's procedure is o f course perfectly understandable from his experience w i t h the non-literate peoples o f L a t i n A m e r i c a ; it is usually impossible to distinguish between historical layers i n his o w n chosen area. I n G r e e k m y t h o l o g y , on the c o n t r a r y , such a d i s t i n c t i o n is often possible, and a chronological d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the v a r i o u s motifs must therefore always be a t t e m p t e d .

3

A l t h o u g h I shall incorporate the c h r o n o l o g i c a l perspectives o f the older scholars and shall make use o f structuralist methods, I shall be more indebted to scholars w h o followed a rather different approach,

n a m e l y the great

Belgian M a r i e D e l c o u r t .

4

Russian

folklorist P r o p p a n d

the

B o t h scholars analysed the m y t h by

s t u d y i n g the m e a n i n g o f all o f its i n d i v i d u a l motifs. T h e y t h o u g h t they could detect an i n i t i a t o r y pattern i n the m y t h , but failed to integrate O e d i p u s ' incest c o n v i n c i n g l y into this s o l u t i o n . Yet i n p r i n c i p l e their approach seems sound â&#x20AC;&#x201D; o n l y by s t u d y i n g all the i n d i v i d u a l motifs against the b a c k g r o u n d o f a u n i f y i n g p a t t e r n can a m y t h as a whole be p r o p e r l y evaluated. H o w e v e r , the p o p u l a r i t y of the O e d i p u s theme means that the scope o f the i n q u i r y has to be d e l i m i t e d . F o l l o w i n g Levi-Strauss's m e t h o d o l o g i c a l guideline that a m y t h should be studied w i t h reference to its o w n e t h n o g r a p h i c a l context,

5

I shall analyse the O e d i p u s m y t h as m u c h as possible

w i t h i n the context o f the archaic a n d classical age. I n practice, this means that the sources can be restricted to those versions w h i c h 6

were k n o w n to the tragedians o f the fifth c e n t u r y ; versions w h i c h have become rationalised or adapted to the m o r e bourgeois climate 7

of Hellenistic times need not be taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n . T h i s chapter, t h e n , w i l l concentrate o n t w o aspects o f the m y t h . First, successive episodes o f O e d i p u s ' life w i l l be looked at, w i t h particular reference to the p a r r i c i d e a n d incest, and secondly, an attempt w i l l be made to locate the Greek O e d i p u s complex i n a specific historical setting.

42


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex 1. O e d i p u s How

d i d it all begin? I n the fifth c e n t u r y , various versions o f the

m y t h ' s early h i s t o r y were c u r r e n t . I n Aeschylus' Seven against Thebes the D e l p h i c oracle warns the T h e b a n k i n g Laios that he w i l l o n l y save the city i f he dies childless. I n Sophocles' Oedipus Rex the oracle proclaims that the n e w b o r n son w i l l k i l l his father, but in E u r i p i d e s ' Phoenissae the oracle takes place before O e d i p u s ' b i r t h . T h i s v a r i a t i o n can h a r d l y be due to chance. T h e very b e g i n n i n g o f the m y t h was an area where the poets could freely exercise their i n g e n u i t y w i t h o u t a l t e r i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l plot o f the m y t h . Both oracle and prophecy w i l l not have been i n t r o d u c e d into the m y t h before the eighth c e n t u r y , since that was w h e n D e l p h i first rose to fame and the Greek polis came into existence. T h e oracle probably replaced a seer: a poet could h a r d l y get O e d i p u s away

from

Thebes a n d i g n o r a n t o f his true parentage w i t h o u t a prophecy (however given). Even i f there is an answer to this p r o b l e m for the pre-history o f the m y t h , for the classical period the presence o f the oracle is most i m p o r t a n t because it introduces such motifs as h u m a n v. d i v i n e intelligence, v a i n attempts to escape f r o m oracles, l i m i t a t i o n s o f h u m a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d fate â&#x20AC;&#x201D; motifs w h i c h evidently fascinated the classical audience.

8

I n o r d e r to forestall the outcome o f the oracle, K i n g Laios had Oedipus

exposed.

The

myth

indicates

two locations o f

the

exposure w h i c h are not as different as they m i g h t appear at

first

sight. A c c o r d i n g to the first version, O e d i p u s was exposed on M t C i t h a e r o n and f o u n d by a shepherd f r o m S i c y o n . T h e t r a d i t i o n o f O e d i p u s ' discovery near Thebes by a S i c y o n i a n shepherd is an interesting glimpse into the sparsely

documented

activities o f

Greek herdsmen. U n d o u b t e d l y , his presence is a nice example o f transhumance â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the system by w h i c h herds graze i n the m o u n tains i n the s u m m e r , a n d in the valleys d u r i n g the w i n t e r . A detailed exposition o f the m y t h m a y well have elaborated the difficulties experienced by the shepherds i n b r i n g i n g the f o u n d l i n g home!

9

A c c o r d i n g to the second version, O e d i p u s was put i n a

chest and t h r o w n into the sea. F o r t u n a t e l y , he was rescued by the queen o f C o r i n t h ( o r Sicyon) w h o was d o i n g her l a u n d r y at the seashore. W a s h i n g clothes m a y not seem a very royal a c t i v i t y , but in the Odyssey Nausicaa too departs o n a washing e x p e d i t i o n ; the m o t i f w i l l predate the Classical A g e when the enclosure o f w o m e n 43


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex was too strict to allow such a c t i v i t i e s .

10

B o t h versions e m p l o y c o m m o n m y t h o l o g i c a l motifs. Paris was exposed o n M t I d a and rescued by a shepherd, a n d Perseus was exposed at sea i n a chest. Whereas older scholars felt the need to d e t e r m i n e the p r i o r i t y o f one o f the two versions, the structuralist w i l l observe that sea a n d m o u n t a i n s are b o t h i n o p p o s i t i o n to the fertile l a n d a r o u n d the polis. E v i l beings a n d p o l l u t e d objects were carried to the m o u n t a i n s o r cast into the sea, a n d a Greek curse tersely says: ' i n t o the m o u n t a i n s or i n t o the sea'. B o t h areas, t h e n , c o n t a i n the same message: the c h i l d was exposed o n a spot f r o m w h i c h no escape was possible,

11

O e d i p u s was not the o n l y f o u n d l i n g to s u r v i v e . W e need o n l y t h i n k o f other famous persons such as Sargon, C y r u s , Perseus, R o m u l u s a n d R e m u s , a n d Pope G r e g o r y i n o r d e r to realise that this m o t i f is v e r y w i d e s p r e a d . mon

12

A l l these foundlings have i n c o m -

that they g r o w u p to become i m p o r t a n t w o r d l y o r s p i r i t u a l

leaders. V a r i o u s scholars have suggested that the exposure reflects a r i t u a l theme such as the rites o f i n i t i a t i o n , o r , as i n the case o f O e d i p u s , the p u n i s h m e n t for p a r r i c i d e ( i . e . to be d r o w n e d i n a bag).

13

N o n e o f these explanations is really c o n v i n c i n g . I t is m o r e

n a t u r a l to see i n the exposure a n a r r a t i v e p l o y : the i m p o r t a n t posit i o n o f the hero i n later life w i t h i n the c o m m u n i t y is t h r o w n into greater relief by his earlier r e m o v a l f r o m that c o m m u n i t y .

1 4

Given

its knowledge o f the exposure m o t i f i n the case o f Perseus a n d other heroes, a Greek audience u n f a m i l i a r w i t h the m y t h p r o b a b l y w i l l have interpreted O e d i p u s ' exposure i n an analogous w a y u n t i l it d a w n e d u p o n t h e m that i n this p a r t i c u l a r case the exposure prepared the way for terrible things to come. W h e n O e d i p u s was exposed, his feet were m u t i l a t e d . V l a d i m i r P r o p p (above, note 4) has p o i n t e d out that i n m a n y legends the f o u n d l i n g is symbolically k i l l e d . T h i s could also be the e x p l a n a t i o n for

O e d i p u s ' m u t i l a t i o n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the w o u n d e d feet meant a de facto

death. O n the other h a n d , there is s o m e t h i n g o d d about this m o t i f . A f t e r a l l , O e d i p u s was a baby: h o w could anyone have expected that he w o u l d r u n away? T h e role o f the m u t i l a t i o n is actually secondary i n the m y t h . I t does not occur i n those versions where O e d i p u s is exposed at sea, nor does Sophocles let his hero l i m p i n 15

the Oedipus Rex.

A n d yet, this subsidiary m o t i f has exercised an

enormous influence on m o d e r n interpretations. A c c o r d i n g to their various orientations, scholars

have 44

explained it as a sign o f


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex a u t o c h t h o n y , a defect o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , the reverse o f good k i n g ship o r the o v e r c o m i n g o f fear o f c a s t r a t i o n .

16

A l l these explana-

tions misjudge the typical Greek w a y o f p l a y i n g w i t h names. P o p u l a r etymologies always c o n f i r m the values already ascribed to the bearer o f a name; they do not produce these values. I n other w o r d s , the e t y m o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n is always secondary, cannot be used as the m a i n key i n decoding the m y t h .

and

1 7

A f t e r the shepherds h a d found O e d i p u s , they b r o u g h t h i m to the court o f K i n g Polybus. T h e k i n g ' s name is fixed i n all versions o f the t r a d i t i o n , b u t the name o f his wife varies; she is called M e r o p e , P e r i b o i a , M e d u s a or A n t i o c h i s . E v i d e n t l y , c h a n g i n g w o m e n ' s names was one o f the poetic means o f g i v i n g a story a new l o o k .

1 8

E v e n t h o u g h the r o y a l couple pretended that O e d i p u s was their o w n son, his education at another c o u r t can h a r d l y be separated f r o m fosterage, the i n i t i a t o r y custom a c c o r d i n g to w h i c h Greek a n d o t h e r I n d o - E u r o p e a n aristocratic c h i l d r e n were raised at a court or f a m i l y different f r o m t h e i r o w n . T h i s once widespread custom lasted u n t i l the later M i d d l e Ages, a n d i n E n g l a n d became transformed

into

the

institution

o f the

public school.

19

The

exposure m y t h s c o u l d easily incorporate i n i t i a t o r y motifs, since boys usually had to spend some t i m e away f r o m home d u r i n g their rites o f p u b e r t y ; C y r u s ' a n d R o m u l u s a n d R e m u s ' g r o w i n g u p a m o n g t h e i r contemporaries also reflects Persian a n d R o m a n rites o f i n i t i a t i o n . I t was n o r m a l for the y o u n g aristocrat to r e t u r n home w h e n he had g r o w n u p i n o r d e r to pass t h r o u g h the final p u b e r t y rites. S i m i l a r l y , O e d i p u s left the court w h e n he h a d adulthood.

reached

20

W e need not analyse the reasons w h y O e d i p u s left his foster parents, o r w h y Laios left Thebes i n order to consult the D e l p h i c oracle. M o t i v a t i o n s were t y p i c a l l y a t e r r i t o r y where poets could use t h e i r i m a g i n a t i o n . I t is far m o r e interesting to i n q u i r e w h y O e d i p u s k i l l e d his father at a t r i p l e crossroads. C a r l R o b e r t spent m u c h effort o n localising the scene o f the c r i m e , a n d even p u b lished photographs o f i t ,

2 1

b u t it seems m o r e i m p o r t a n t to observe

that the Greeks considered a triple crossroads an o m i n o u s spot. I t was the place where ghostly Hecate was w o r s h i p p e d , where Plato wants corpses o f parricides to be stoned, a n d where i n Late A n t i q u i t y the poet N o n n u s still has w o m e n c o m m i t m u r d e r s .

22

E v i d e n t l y , m y t h o p o e i c i m g i n a t i o n d i d not chose its scenery at r a n d o m but deliberately. 45


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex A f t e r the m u r d e r o f his father, O e d i p u s c o n t i n u e d his j o u r n e y to Thebes where he solved the S p h i n x ' s r i d d l e . A full text o f the r i d d l e o n l y emerges i n the fourth c e n t u r y : T h e r e walks on l a n d a creature o f t w o feet, o f four feet, a n d o f three; it has one voice, but sole a m o n g animals that g r o w on l a n d or i n the sea, it can change its nature; nay, when it walks p r o p p e d o n most feet, then is the speed o f its l i m b s less than it has ever been before. Versions o f the r i d d l e have been collected i n other parts o f the w o r l d , but the Greek version, u n l i k e that o f other peoples, m e n t i o n s the various stages o f life as m o r n i n g , afternoon evening.

23

never and

T h e earliest sources locate the monster i n the m o u n -

tains where it usually kills T h e b a n youths; later sources dramatise the s i t u a t i o n by m e n t i o n i n g the ecclesia or acropolis o f T h e b e s .

24

M o n s t e r s n a t u r a l l y belong i n the w i l d , but it m a y seem curious that i n l i t e r a t u r e and i c o n o g r a p h y the S p h i n x is v i r t u a l l y always represented as a g i r l , a l t h o u g h a vase w i t h an o n a n i s i n g Sphinx does exist. T h e monster's female sex fits i n well w i t h the Greek tendency to represent monsters as female, i n p a r t i c u l a r as girls and/or o l d w o m e n , as is illustrated by the cases o f the M e d u s a , Gorgo,

Chimaera,

Lamia,

the

Sirens,

Erinyes,

Scylla

and

C h a r y b d i s . Whereas m o d e r n fiction likes to represent the u l t i m a t e danger as c o m i n g f r o m

outer space, male Greek i m a g i n a t i o n

always t h o u g h t o f the opposite s e x .

25

It has recently been argued that the episode w i t h the S p h i n x is a later a d d i t i o n to the O e d i p u s story, since there is no u n a n i m i t y r e g a r d i n g the sender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; H e r a , Ares a n d Dionysos are m e n t i o n e d ; moreover,

the

episode is absent f r o m

a r g u m e n t is unacceptable.

s i m i l a r folktales.

First, H e s i o d (Th.

This

326) knows o f the

Sphinx as a threat to the T h e b a n s , a n d parts o f the r i d d l e ' s text already appear on a newly published sixth-century vase; allusions to it are to be found i n early fifth-century l i t e r a t u r e . T h i s chronological evidence w o u l d i n itself dispose o f the c l a i m that the Sphinx is a later a d d i t i o n . Secondly,

m o t i v a t i o n is variable i n poetic

t r a d i t i o n , as we saw before. T h i r d l y , the comparison w i t h other folktales forces the S p h i n x episode i n t o the shackles o f a p r i m e v a l version w h i c h is non-existent i n the historical t r a d i t i o n but has to be reconstructed f r o m m u c h later versions. T h e r e is no reason, 46


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex t h e n , to exclude the S p h i n x episode from the o r i g i n a l m y t h .

2 6

By freeing the T h e b a n s f r o m the S p h i n x , O e d i p u s acquired the t h r o n e a n d the h a n d o f the queen. T h e Odyssey version o f the O e d i p u s m y t h , the oldest version that exists, stresses the role o f Epikaste (Jocaste) i n this m a r r i a g e : 'she w h o had m a r r i e d her son' (1 1.273). S i m i l a r l y , the suitors o f Penelope were w a i t i n g to see w h o m she w o u l d choose to m a r r y . These m y t h s presuppose a m a t r i m o n i a l system i n w h i c h g a i n i n g the hand o f the q u e e n - w i d o w implies occupation o f the t h r o n e . T h e same system could be found elsewhere. H e r o d o t u s relates the g r i p p i n g story o f Gyges and the wife o f the L y d i a n k i n g Candaules; another L y d i a n k i n g was also succeeded by a subordinate w h o m a r r i e d the adulterous queen. I n Persia, the M a g u s Smerdis m a r r i e d Cambyses'

w i d o w Atossa,

w h o was i n c o r p o r a t e d into D a r i u s ' h a r e m after Smerdis' death, and — a very late example — i n the eleventh c e n t u r y , the Scandin a v i a n K n u t m a r r i e d the w i d o w o f E t h e l r e d , the defeated English king.

2 7

I f O e d i p u s ' w e d d i n g h a d been the end o f the m y t h , the result o f the analysis w o u l d have been o b v i o u s . I n the 1930s, L o u i s Gernet had already c o m p a r e d O e d i p u s ' c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h the S p h i n x w i t h ordeals o f other heroes such as Theseus, Iamos and Pelops, a n d interpreted these tests as an ' i n i t i a t i o n r o y a l e ' . T h e pioneer o f the study o f Greek i n i t i a t o r y rites, J e a n m a i r e , also recognised i n this part o f the m y t h 'le t h è m e d ' a v è n e m e n t ' , but at the same t i m e he w o n d e r e d about the l i n k w i t h incest a n d p a r r i c i d e . C o u l d these latter two motifs really be connected w i t h the theme o f i n i t i a t i o n ?

28

T h e r e can be no d o u b t , i n fact, that parricide can be brought i n t o the o r b i t o f p u b e r t y rites, as is illustrated by the Theseus m y t h . Scholars have l o n g recognised that the A t t i c version o f the m y t h reflects an i n i t i a t o r y scenario: the prince who is educated away from home defeats the monstrous M i n o t a u r a n d

returns

home to become k i n g . I n the case o f Theseus, the k i n g is not s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y m u r d e r e d , but his suicide is caused by Theseus forgetting to change the sails. I n other w o r d s , i n this particular case m y t h has m i t i g a t e d parricide. I n its u n d i l u t e d f o r m , the c r i m e occurs in a B o r o r o m y t h . A boy n a m e d G e r i g u i g u i a t u g o raped his m o t h e r a n d was therefore abandoned by his father. After the performance o f a series o f h u n t i n g feats, he r e t u r n e d , p r o v i d e d his tribe w i t h fire a n d killed his father. T h e rape o f his m o t h e r symbolises separation from the w o r l d o f w o m e n . T h e k i l l i n g o f his 47


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex father expresses a 'social p r i n c i p l e o f universal v a l i d i t y :

"for

society to go o n , sons must destroy (replace) t h e i r fathers" \ W a l t e r B u r k e r t has wisely p o i n t e d to the i n i t i a t o r y p a t t e r n o f this B o r o r o m y t h . L ĂŠ v i - S t r a u s s , o n the other h a n d , m e n t i o n s the connection o f the m y t h w i t h i n i t i a t i o n b u t fails to note its i m p o r t a n c e for the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the very m y t h w h i c h constitutes s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f his analysis o f South A m e r i c a n m y t h o l o g y .

the

2 9

W e can systematise these m y t h s as follows: Oedipus

Theseus

fosterage

fosterage

parricide

conquest o f monster

h u n t i n g feats

conquest o f monster

'parricide'

parricide

king

king

c u l t u r e hero

Geriguiguiatugo

U p to this p o i n t , these m y t h s display a comparable structure: a y o u n g m a n performs an impressive feat, defeats a monster, kills his father ( o r is the cause o f his death) a n d becomes k i n g (or c u l t u r e h e r o ) . T h e o r d e r o f motifs 2 a n d 3 is different i n the case o f O e d i p u s a n d Theseus, b u t this difference does not seem to be o f any p a r t i c u l a r interest. P r o p p attached great value to the fixed o r d e r o f the motifs i n a g i v e n folktale, b u t his p o i n t o f view is h a r d l y supported by Greek m y t h s a n d t h e i r p l o t s .

30

Y e t , however

comparable these m y t h s are u p t i l l this p o i n t , the p r o b l e m remains o f h o w Oedipus* incest can be fitted i n t o this scheme. Is an interp r e t a t i o n w h i c h takes r i t u a l as the s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f the

myth

perhaps m o r e satisfactory? A r o u n d the b e g i n n i n g o f this c e n t u r y an e x p l a n a t i o n o f the m y t h was looked for i n O e d i p u s ' connection w i t h D e m e t e r at the level o f cult. I t was t y p i c a l o f historians o f G r e e k r e l i g i o n that they t r i e d to regain firm g r o u n d by c o n c e n t r a t i n g o n r i t u a l instead o f m y t h after the excesses o f M a x M u l l e r a n d Usener. A n d indeed, a local h i s t o r i a n L y s i m a c h o s m e n t i o n s a cult o f O e d i p u s a n d his grave i n the sanctuary o f D e m e t e r i n Boeotian Eteonos.

Carl

R o b e r t , recently followed by B u r k e r t , saw i n this cult the o r i g i n o f O e d i p u s ' m a r r i a g e , since D e m e t e r was the G r e e k m o t h e r par excel­ lence. H o w e v e r , the b u r i a l i n D e m e t e r ' s sanctuary does not make O e d i p u s a son o f the goddess. M o r e o v e r , the assumption implies that at a very early stage the Boeotians o f Eteonos already worshipped an u n k n o w n hero w h o had n o t h i n g to do w i t h O e d i p u s , 48


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex a n d w h o , for u n k n o w n reasons, was transferred to Thebes by an u n k n o w n poet; i n a d d i t i o n , this solution leaves the l i n k w i t h p a r r i cide totally

u n e x p l a i n e d . I t seems rather

less complicated to

assume that the cult at Eteonos o r i g i n a t e d i n epic t r a d i t i o n like so m a n y other heroic c u l t s .

33

Solutions v i a i n i t i a t i o n or v i a r i t u a l prove to be unsatisfactory: an i n v e s t i g a t i o n into the s t r i k i n g c o m b i n a t i o n o f p a r r i c i d e and incest m a y perhaps be m o r e r e w a r d i n g . W e start w i t h a closer look at p a r r i c i d e . M o d e r n W e s t e r n society has become differentiated to such a degree that few people are dependent on t h e i r fathers for their f u t u r e ; neither are fathers v e r y dependent on their c h i l d r e n any m o r e for care i n t h e i r o l d age. C o n s e q u e n t l y , p a r r i c i d e does not play a m a j o r role i n the m o d e r n i m a g i n a t i o n . I t is therefore well to r e m e m b e r that i n ancient Greece sons were totally dependent o n t h e i r fathers for t h e i r later status, a n d that parents looked to t h e i r c h i l d r e n as a k i n d o f pension. T h e great stress Greeks laid o n h o n o u r i n g parents is a clear i n d i c a t i o n o f a s i t u a t i o n in w h i c h a n u n d e r l y i n g tension between fathers a n d sons must always have existed.

32

A n ever-present possibility, p a r r i c i d e was considered to

be one o f the most a p p a l l i n g o f crimes. O n e o f the signs o f the rule o f H a t e , as envisaged b y Empedocles, is the m u r d e r o f the father, followed b y the c o n s u m p t i o n o f his flesh. I m p u t a t i o n o f parricide was one o f the u n s p e a k a b l e t h i n g s ' w h i c h could well result i n legal action;

even

the

word

reluctance, i f at a l l .

' p a r r i c i d e ' was o n l y

mentioned

with

3 3

Incest was equally a p p a l l i n g , even t h o u g h the Greeks d i d not have a specific w o r d to denote the practice; n o r d i d they c o n d e m n sexual relationships between relatives to the same degree as has been usual i n the m o d e r n W e s t e r n w o r l d . M a r r i a g e s between u n c l e / a u n t a n d niece/nephew were relatively c u r r e n t i n b o t h the archaic a n d classical p e r i o d . M a r r i a g e s o f first cousins and those between half-brothers a n d half-sisters were also not u n c o m m o n .

3 4

Those between brothers and sisters seem to have been j u s t b e y o n d the l i m i t s o f the admissible, a l t h o u g h C a r i a n s , Egyptians and the Ptolemies p e r m i t t e d t h e m .

3 5

T h e Odyssey can still describe

the

m a r r i a g e o f A e o l u s ' c h i l d r e n w i t h o u t c o m m e n t , even t h o u g h it is located on an

island outside n o r m a l civilisation.

In

Hesiod's

Theogony, brother/sister marriages a m o n g the gods are evidently not considered to be a p r o b l e m , but such marriages occur in most mythologies o f the w o r l d w i t h o u t any apparent c o n d e m n a t i o n . I n 49


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex the classical p e r i o d , i m p u t a t i o n o f incest w i t h a sister belongs to the n o r m a l vocabulary o f legal and political abuse, but these accusations never seem to have led to a f o r m a l t r i a l . I n the early H e l l e n istic p e r i o d , Philetas still mentions a m a r r i a g e o f A e o l u s ' c h i l d r e n without

any

penalty

or

punishment.

In

the

same

period,

H e r m e s i a n a x relates the story o f L e u c i p p u s falling i n love w i t h his sister. A l t h o u g h his m o t h e r condoned the affair, it had terrible consequences. W h e n the sister's fiance denounced the couple to their father, the o l d m a n t r i e d to catch the couple in flagrante delicto. I n the t u r m o i l that followed the daughter was i n a d v e r t e n t l y killed by the father, w h o i n t u r n was killed by the son, also i n a d v e r t e n t l y . Even in this Greek soap opera, love between brother a n d sister is condoned by the m o t h e r , a l t h o u g h the p a r r i c i d e indicates rejection 6

by the poet/* T h e same disapproval appears i n E u r i p i d e s who lets Aeolus put his incestuous daughter to death. O v i d even pictures her fate i n the cruellest o f terms â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it was apparently a relationship w h i c h only g r a d u a l l y became totally i n a d m i s s i b l e .

37

N o t so sex between parents and c h i l d r e n . I n O r p h i c m y t h o l o g y , Zeus' rape o f his m o t h e r R h e a / D e m e t e r results i n the b i r t h o f a daughter, Persephone, w i t h t w o faces, four eyes and horns: the m o t h e r is so shocked that she leaves her baby. T h e same poetry has Zeus m a t i n g w i t h Persephone i n the shape o f a snake. H o w e v e r , the b a c k g r o u n d o f these idiosyncratic beliefs is still very m u c h under-researched; it seems therefore too early to d r a w conclusions from t h e m . T h e i m p u t a t i o n o f sex between father a n d daughter or m o t h e r and son was part o f n o r m a l political a n d legal abuse. W e can h a r d l y be surprised, t h o u g h , that discussions o f real cases are l a c k i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even today these matters are usually clouded i n a veil o f secrecy. A t the i m a g i n a t i v e level, however, various examples o f such relationships can be found. H a v i n g tasted his o w n c h i l d r e n , Thyestes later i n a d v e r t e n t l y slept w i t h his daughter and i n this way begat A i g i s t h o s , the m u r d e r e r o f A g a m e m n o n . I n a p r o b a b l y Hellenistic {ale, the chief o f the Pelasgians,

Piasos raped

his

daughter Larissa, w h o in r e t r i b u t i o n managed to d r o w n her father in a barrel o f w i n e . I n another tale, H a r p a l y k e o f A r g o s was raped by her father K l y m e n o s . Subsequently, she killed her youngest b r o t h e r ( o r her son) and served h i m up to her father d u r i n g a public banquet. T h e gods changed her into a b i r d and her father committed suicide.

38

I n these stories, incest leads to p a r r i c i d e or c a n n i b a l i s m , whereas 50


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex p a r r i c i d e can lead to incest ( O e d i p u s ) or c a n n i b a l i s m (rule of H a t e ) . T h i s cannot be chance. For the Greeks, incest, parricide a n d c a n n i b a l i s m were the great taboos

w h i c h m a r k e d o f f the

civilised from the rest o f the w o r l d . Transgressions in these part i c u l a r areas were the crimes ascribed to the tyrannos,

the one

person w h o had placed himself outside n o r m a l society. These were also the transgressions propagated by the C y n i c s in their opposition to the r u l i n g n o r m s o f the polis. C a n n i b a l i s m , incest and k i l l i n g o l d people were also the crimes w h i c h the Greeks ascribed to s u r r o u n d i n g peoples in order to stress the s u p e r i o r i t y o f their o w n c i v i l i s a t i o n . T h e y were not u n i q u e in this a t t i t u d e , t h o u g h .

3 9

C a n n i b a l i s m a n d incest were also standard accusations levelled by Europeans against i n h a b i t a n t s o f countries discovered i n the early m o d e r n age; indeed, these i m p u t a t i o n s seem to occur all over the world.

4 ( 1

W e can now see that there is a strong moralistic flavour about these stories, since the m o n s t r o s i t y o f the transgression is c o m mented u p o n by l e t t i n g the protagonist c o m m i t a further m o n strosity. W h o e v e r c o m m i t s incest is prone to become a p a r r i c i d e or c a n n i b a l as w e l l . O r , whoever c o m m i t s p a r r i c i d e w i l l

become

incestuous and consume h u m a n flesh. T h e corollary must be that O e d i p u s ' incest is not a p r e - F r e u d i a n reflection on his relationship w i t h his m o t h e r b u t a c o m m e n t o n his p a r r i c i d e . T h e lack o f any p r o f o u n d interest i n his m o t h e r is c o n f i r m e d by the v a r i e t y o f her names: epic poetry calls her Epikaste, tragedy J o c a s t e .

41

T h e r e are t w o m o r e aspects to be considered. First, those w h o break the great taboos sometimes experience an a b n o r m a l end, as two further examples m a y illustrate. A late archaic poet related how Odysseus' son by C i r c e , Telegonus, u n k n o w i n g l y killed his father.

Subsequently

he

married

Penelope,

and

his

brother

Telemachos, i n a way his d o u b l e , m a r r i e d C i r c e . Both sons, then, m a r r i e d the wife o f their father who was not their o w n m o t h e r â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a 'soft' version, so to speak, o f the m y t h s we have been discussing. After the w e d d i n g all the protagonists were i m m e d i a t e l y removed to the Isles o f the Blessed. T h e heroisation shows that people who c o m m i t crimes like p a r r i c i d e or incest acquire a status beyond n o r m a l h u m a n s , a l t h o u g h they can also become i n f r a - h u m a n . T h e Hellenistic poet Boios told a story about A e g y p u s , a Thessalian boy w h o i n a d v e r t e n t l y slept w i t h his m o t h e r , Boulis. I n this case the ' c u l p r i t s ' were changed into birds. O n e last example. T h e 51


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex death o f O e d i p u s i n K o l o n o s as related by Sophocles is a typical A t h e n i a n Lokallegende w h i c h arose i n the

fifth

century when a

n u m b e r o f heroes, such as A d m e t u s , Adrastus and Orestes, were annexed by A t h e n s . H o w e v e r , as the previous examples show, the A t h e n i a n heroisation o f O e d i p u s was the actualisation o f a possib i l i t y inherent i n the m y t h , a l t h o u g h the t r a d i t i o n o f his t o m b and his heroic status c o u l d conceivably antedate fifth-century A t h e n i a n t r a d i t i o n . T h e m o n s t r o s i t y o f the acts is further illustrated by the fact that poets can h a r d l y i m a g i n e that any person w o u l d deliberately k i l l his father or sleep w i t h his m o t h e r . I n most cases, the deeds are c o m m i t t e d i n a d v e r t e n t l y or as the p u n i s h m e n t o f a g o d .

4 2

A f t e r the incest was discovered, Jocaste hanged herself:

per-

m a n e n t incestuous relationships were u n t h i n k a b l e . T h i s way o f death was typical for female suicides. Weapons were the realm o f m e n , and w o m e n seem to have respected their m o n o p o l y . O e d i p u s r e m a r r i e d , a n d again the names o f his wife v a r y . I t is h a r d for us to understand that a poet c o u l d let O e d i p u s r e m a r r y , b u t the wedd i n g m a y well have been a poet's solution to the question ' W h a t happened next?' I n a w a y , the m y t h was finished after the discovery o f the incest b u t an audience always wants m o r e . So what can a poet do other than go on w i t h what always happens? T h e earliest stages o f the I n d o - E u r o p e a n languages d i d not have a w o r d for ' w i d o w e r ' . T h i s absence u n d o u b t e d l y reflected a social reality: to be a w i d o w e r was not a p e r m a n e n t male status. So O e d i p u s had to r e m a r r y . S i m i l a r l y , Jason gave funeral games after his m u r d e r o f Pelias, and Orestes p r o v i d e d a funeral banquet after k i l l i n g the m u r d e r e r o f his father. A l t h o u g h we are told that O e d i p u s suffered greatly, he r e m a i n e d k i n g , most likely died i n battle and received a n o r m a l funeral; his blindness is p r o b a b l y m e n t i o n e d first i n the Oedipodeia an epic poem o f the seventh (?) c e n t u r y . Does this mean y

that the H o m e r i c age rated parricide a very serious c r i m e , but still less serious than later centuries? O r are the strife and death o f his sons also part o f the terrible consequences o f O e d i p u s ' parricide? T h e r e is s o m e t h i n g unsatisfactory about his e n d .

4 3

H a v i n g looked at the successive periods o f O e d i p u s ' life, we can finally consider the p r o b l e m o f the m y t h ' s o r i g i n . W h e r e was the m y t h told first? As B u r k e r t (see n 2) observes, its place o f o r i g i n is h i g h l y u n c e r t a i n . T h e family o f O e d i p u s is not well established at Thebes at a l l , since there are no indissoluble ties w i t h local institutions and cults. T h e c o m p o s i t i o n o f the m y t h illustrates this lack o f 52


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex dependence o n any one specific local r i t u a l . T h e Oedipus m y t h is clearly a hricolage from various m y t h i c a l motifs: the exposure, the c o m i n g o f age o f a p r i n c e , and the c o m b i n a t i o n o f parricide and incest. As we have seen, these motifs can occur separately in a variety o f m y t h s , but they have been c o m b i n e d to p a r t i c u l a r l y s t a r t l i n g effect i n the O e d i p u s m y t h w h i c h an early poet located in Thebes for reasons u n k n o w n to us. Despite the u n c e r t a i n t y about the m y t h ' s o r i g i n we w o u l d like to close this study w i t h a suggestion r e g a r d i n g its m e a n i n g and place o f recitation i n the early archaic age.

I n the classical p e r i o d ,

O e d i p u s ' life had become part o f the tragic chain o f events o f L a b d a c u s ' d o o m e d house, b u t his life is still considered i n its o w n right

i n the oldest

version o f his m y t h {Odyssey

11.271-80).

O e d i p u s ' father was the k i n g o f Thebes, and O e d i p u s himself, as the Odyssey notes, ' c o n t i n u e d to r u l e ' after his m o t h e r ' s suicide â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thus sovereignty is singled out as his most i m p o r t a n t q u a l i t y . L i k e m a n y other archaic m y t h s , the m y t h o f O e d i p u s is concerned w i t h the succession to the t h r o n e .

44

I n this case, however, the m y t h relates the story o f a perverted succession â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the incest b e i n g the n a r r a t i v e expression o f society's disapproval o f p a r r i c i d e : O e d i p u s is a m o d e l o f h o w not to succeed to the throne. I n the classical p e r i o d the aspect o f succession no longer appealed to the poets, but i n the early archaic age this aspect must have been h i g h l y relevant. C o n s i d e r i n g the i m p o r tance attached to sovereignty, it is not impossible that at one t i m e the m y t h was t o l d to princes d u r i n g their p u b e r t y rites. B y g r o w i n g up,

princes f o r m a threat to their fathers whose throne they w i l l

one day have to occupy. I n a w a y , the Oedipus m y t h can be read as a w a r n i n g to the y o u n g e r generation: ' Y o u have g r o w n up b u t you

must continue to respect y o u r fathers.' T h e r e is something

F r e u d i a n about this m y t h .

2. A G r e e k O e d i p u s C o m p l e x ? Freud

proposed

a

different

solution.

H a v i n g observed

that

neurotic c h i l d r e n m a y be i n love w i t h their m o t h e r and want to k i l l their father, he stated that the same feelings, although less clear and less intense, can be f o u n d i n n o r m a l c h i l d r e n ; the Oedipus myth

supported

this observation. T h e thesis has r i g h t l y been 53


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex c o m b a t e d by V e r n a n t w h o p o i n t e d out that his foster

mother

w o u l d have had to be the focus o f O e d i p u s ' feelings, not J o c a s t e .

45

It is nevertheless s t r i k i n g that we do find a k i n d o f O e d i p u s c o m plex i n classical Greece.

I n the Oedipus Rex, Jocaste says to

O e d i p u s : " M a n y mortals have slept w i t h t h e i r m o t h e r i n their d r e a m s . ' Plato m e n t i o n s s i m i l a r dreams, a n d i n a chapter o f his Dreambook w h i c h reads like a Greek K i n s e y r e p o r t , A r t e m i d o r u s gives a detailed exposition o f t h e m .

4 6

Is it p u r e l y by chance that we

first start to hear about these dreams i n the fifth century? Probably not.

I n the early archaic age upper-class mothers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the only ones

about w h o m we have any i n f o r m a t i o n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; w i l l have had l i m i t e d contact w i t h t h e i r sons, since at an early age these were r e m o v e d from home for fosterage or other types o f i n i t i a t o r y education. M o r e o v e r , w o m e n had a relatively v a r i e d social life in w h i c h u p to a certain extent they could freely m i x w i t h males. I n the course o f that age drastic changes took place. Except i n certain D o r i a n c o m m u n i t i e s , the c u s t o m a r y rites o f i n i t i a t i o n gradually disappeared, and husbands started to separate t h e i r w o m e n f r o m the presence o f other m e n ; a not so splendid isolation became the r u l e .

4 7

These changes must have had a considerable impact o n the mother-son

relationship. W e

may

compare

developments

in

m o d e r n Greek villages. Since the tractors have r e m o v e d w o r k i n g w o m e n f r o m the fields, w o m e n are leading a m u c h m o r e restricted life at h o m e . T h e p a m p e r i n g o f t h e i r sons has n o w become one o f the foci o f t h e i r life. T h e same development w i l l have taken place i n classical Greece. T h e w o m e n o f the upper classes had to stay at h o m e , and they were not even allowed to dine w i t h their husbands w h e n other m e n were present. R a i s i n g the c h i l d r e n now became one o f their m a i n activities. I n Plato's Laws,

the A t h e n i a n stranger

m e n t i o n s that the c h i l d r e n are u n d e r the care o f their nurses and mothers u n t i l they come into the hands o f teacher and paidagogoi. T h e Obsequious M a n o f Theophrastus even has to ask his host to let the host's c h i l d r e n j o i n them for d i n n e r . T h e consequent close contact between sisters and brothers enables Electra to say to Orestes: ' n o r d i d the household raise y o u : I was y o u r nurse'. W e do not

k n o w exactly how l o n g a boy r e m a i n e d u n d e r his m o t h e r ' s

w i n g , but d u r i n g the events leading u p to the l i b e r a t i o n o f Thebes f r o m the Spartan d o m i n a t i o n i n 379, a T h e b a n b r o u g h t his

fifteen-

year o l d son along to a banquet organised by one o f the pro-Spartan collaborators. T h e boy came from the w o m e n ' s q u a r t e r s . 54

48


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex It was these changes i n w o m e n ' s lives, I suggest, w h i c h gave rise to dreams o f sleeping w i t h the m o t h e r . S i m i l a r l y , we cannot fail to note that F r e u d ' s observations took place after drastic changes in most w o m e n ' s lives, since in the course o f the nineteenth century the social contacts open to w o m e n once again became restricted in the upper classes. It seems likely that this development, coupled w i t h the rise o f the nuclear family as we k n o w it today, generated the social e n v i r o n m e n t w h i c h produced the feelings observed by Freud.

4 9

Even the O e d i p u s complex has a h i s t o r y .

50

Notes 1. C f . L . E d m u n d s , Oedipus. The Ancient Legend and Its Later Analogues (Baltimore and L o n d o n , 1985) 3 - 6 (with earlier bibliography); add C . Ossola, Edipo c ragioni di S t a t o \ Lett. It., 39 (1982) 4 8 2 - 5 0 5 ; H . Schmitz, 'Oedipus bei Durrenmatt', Gymnasium, 92 (1985) 1 9 9 - 2 0 8 . Edmunds's study is very infor­ mative regarding the later analogues but less satisfactory in its treatment of the Creek myth; see my review in JHS, 706(1986). 2. See the balanced appraisal by E . L . de Kock, ' T h e Sophoklean Oidipus and Its Antecedents', Ada Class., 4 (1961) 7 - 2 8 (with earlier bibliography) and Acta Class., 5 (1962) 1 5 - 3 7 ; see also W . Pôtscher, 'Die Oidipus-Gestalt', Eranos, 71 (1973) 1 2 - 4 4 ; T Stephanopulos, Vmgestaltung des Mythos durch Euripides (Athens, 1980) 99fT; W . Burkert, 'Seven against Thebes: an O r a l Tradition between Babylonian Magic and Greek Literature', in / poemi epici rapsodici non orner ici e la tradizione orate ( P a d u a , 1981) 2 9 - 4 8 ; J . - P . V e r n a n t , 'Oedipe', in Y . Bonnefoy, Dictionnaire des Mythologies I I (Paris, 1981) 1 9 0 - 2 ; R C . T . Parker, Miasma (Oxford, 1983) 385f. 3. C . L é v i - S t r a u s s , Structural Anthropology I (Harmondsworth, 1972) 2 1 3 - 1 8 , Isi edn (1955). Contra. E . L e a c h , Lévi-Strauss ( L o n d o n , 1970) 62ff; D é t i e n n e , Dionysm, I9f. 4. M . Delcourt, Oedipe ou la légende du conquérant, 2nd edn (Paris, 1981); V . J . Propp, ' E d i p v svete folklora', Ucenye zaptski Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo unwersiteta, Ser. fil. 72 (1944) fasc. 9, 138- 75 = V . J . Propp, Edipo alla luce del Jolclore ( T u r i n , 1975) 8 5 - 137 = L . E d m u n d s and A . Dundes (eds), Oedipus A Folklore Casebook (New Y o r k , 1983) 7 6 - 121. 5. C . Le'vi-Strauss, Anthropologie structurale I I (Paris, 1973) 1 7 5 - 2 3 3 . 6. I will only give the older sources. For an exhaustive study, see C . Robert, Oedipus, 2 vols (Berlin, 1915) and Die gnechische Heldensage I (Berlin, 1921) 8 7 6 - 9 0 2 , and E d m u n d s , Oedipus, 6 - 1 7 ; add the reference to Oedipus' incest in I b y c u s ( P a g e , Suppl. Lyr. G Y , 222); P . J . Parsons, ZPE, 26(1977) 7 - 3 6 a n d j . M . Bremer, A . V . E r p T a a l m a n K i p , S. R. Slings, Some Recently Found Greek Poems (Leiden, 1987) 1 2 8 - 1 7 4 , on Stcsichoru.s* version of the Oedipus myth, 7. I follow here C . SourvinouTnwood, Theseus as Son and Stepson ( L o n d o n , 1979) 65 n 68, who has introduced the notion of the 'original pattern' of the myth, îhat is to say 'all versions formed while the mentality which operated on ihe creation of the myth was still alive and operative, so that the myth was understood and reshaped in its own terms'. 8. C f . J . Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1978) 55ff, 96-100. 1

55


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex 9. Exposure on Cithaeron: Soph. 0T\ E u r . Phoen. 25; S e n . Phoen. 3 1 - 3 ; Nie. D a m . FGTH90 F 8; Apollod. 3.5.7; J . R u d h a r d t , 'Oedipeet les chevaux*, MH, 40 (1983) 1 3 1 - 9 . Shepherds: C . Segal, Tragedy and Civilisation: An Interpretation of Sophocles ( C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . , 1981) 31; M . C . Amouretti, 'L'Iconographie du berger* in Iconographie et histoire des mentalités (Paris, 1979) 1 5 5 - 6 7 . T r a n s h u m a n c e : S i Georgoudi, Rev. Et. Gr., 0 7 ( 1 9 7 4 ) 1 6 7 - 9 . 10. W a s h i n g queen: Corp. Vas. Ant. France 23; Louvre 15, pi. 10; H y g . / a A . 66. Nausicaa: Horn. Od. 6 . 9 0 - 5 . O t h e r washing women: Od. 15.406; E u r . Hipp. 121fT; Nonnus D. 3 . 9 0 - 3 . 11. Paris: R . A . Coles, A New Oxyrhynchus Papyrus: The Hypothesis of Euripides* Alexandros ( L o n d o n , 1974); P. Oxy. 3650. Perseus exposure: M . Werre-de H a a s , Aeschylus' Dictyutci (Diss., L e i d e n , 1961) 5 - 1 0 ; J . H . O a k l e y , Danae and Perseus on Seriphos', AJA, 86 (1982) 1 1 1 - 1 5 . Polluted objects: Parker, Miasma, 210: C u r s e : H . S. Versnel, Studi Stonco-Religiost, I (1978) 41f, 12. C f . G . Binder, Die Aussetzung des Königskindes: Kyros und Romulus (Meisenheim, 1964); idem, in K . R a n k e (ed.), Enzyklopädie des Märchens I (Berlin and New Y o r k , 1977) 1 0 4 8 - 6 6 ; B . L e w i s , The Sargon Legend ( C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . , 1980). 13. See especially Delcourt, Oedipe, 1 - 6 5 . 14. O n the exposure motif see also J , B r e m m e r and N . Horsfall, Roman Myth and Mythography ( L o n d o n , 1987) 27-30. 15. Mulilation of feet: Soph. 0 7 1 0 2 6 ; E u r . Phoen. 28 - 31 ; Androtion FGrH 324 F 62; Peisandros FGrH 16 F 10; Apollod. 3.5.7. M a r g i n a l role: P. G . MaxwellStuart, Mam, 27 (1975) 3 7 - 4 3 . Sophocles: O . T a p l i n , Entr. Hardt., 29 (1982) 155f. 16. C f . L é v i - S t r a u s s , Structural Anthropology I I ; J . - P . V e r n a n l , ' F r o m Oedipus to Periander', Arethusa, 15 (1982) 1 9 - 3 8 ; D . Anzieu et al., Psychanalyse et culture grecque (Paris, 1980) 9 - 5 2 ; note also the critique of L é v i - S t r a u s s and Vernant by H . Lloyd-Jones, 'Psychoanalysis and the Study of the Ancient W o r l d , in P. Horden (ed.), Freud and the Humanities ( L o n d o n , 1985) 1 5 2 - 8 0 , esp. 1 6 6 - 7 1 . 17. C f . E . R i s c h , Kleine Schriften (Berlin and New Y o r k , 1981) 2 9 4 - 3 : 3 ; C . C a l a m e , ' L e nom d'Oedipe', in Edtpo. It teatro Greco e la cultura europea ( R o m e , 1986) 3 9 5 - 4 0 7 ; idem, Le récit en Grèce ancienne (Paris. 1986) 1 5 3 - 6 1 , 2 1 5 - 1 7 . 18. T h e r e are many examples of changing names of females in Pherecydes FGrH 3; note also the various names of Orpheus* wife (Graf, this volume, C h . 5, section 1), and of Oedipus' mother and his second wife (below), see also Henrichs, this volume, C h . 11, section 2, on names in myth. 19. Fosterage: Bremmer and Horsfall, Roman Myth, 53-6. Public school: N . O r m e , From Childhood to Chivalry: the Education of the English Kings and Aristocracy 1066-1530 ( L o n d o n , 1984) 44-80. 20. C y r u s : G . Widengren, Der Feudalismus im alten Iran (Cologne, 1969) 6 4 - 9 5 . Romulus and R e m u s : Bremmer (above, note 14). R e t u r n home: Schol. Od. 11.271. 21. Killing: Soph. 0 7 8 0 6 - 7 , 8 1 0 - 1 3 ; E u r . Phoen. 44; Nie. D a m . FGrH90 F 8; Apollod. 3.5.7; cf. Robert, Oedipus I , 86f. 22. Hecate: Sophocles F 535.4 Radt; A r . Plut. 5 9 4 - 7 ; Apollod. FGrH 244 F 110a; Chariclides PCG I V F 1 with Kassel and Austin ad l o c ; Parker, Miasma, 30. Plato: Leg. 873c. Nonnus: D 9.40, 47.484. 23. T e x t of riddle: Asclepiades FGrH 12 F 7a (tr. L . E d m u n d s ) ; cf. A . Lesky, Gesammelte Schriften ( M u n i c h , 1966) 3 1 8 - 2 6 ; H . Lloyd-Jones, in R . D a w e et at. (eds), DionysiQca (Cambridge, 1978) 60f. O t h e r versions: Frazer on Apollod. 3.5.8. 24. Sphinx: A . Lesky, RE I I 3 ( 1 9 2 9 ) 1 7 0 3 - 2 5 ; J . - P . Moret, Oedxpe, laSphxnxet 1

1

56


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex les Thébains, 2 vols ( R o m e , 1984). Location Sphinx: Moret, Oedipe I , 6 9 - 7 5 . Ecclesia: Asclepiades FGrH 12 F 7b. Acropolis: Apollod. 3.5.8. 25. Sphinx a girl: Pindar fr. 177d; Soph. OT 1199; E u r . Phoen. 48, 806, 1042; Moret, Oedipe I , 511 (who stresses the Sphinx's resemblance to the Pythia). Onanising Spinx: Moret, Oedipe I , 1 4 4 - 6 . Monsters female: J . G o u l d , . / / / S , 100 (1980) 551; J . Bremmer, T h e O l d W o m e n of Ancient Greece , in J . Blok and P. Mason (eds), Sexual Asymmetry (Amsterdam, 1987) 1 9 1 - 2 1 5 , esp. 203. 1

26. Contra: L . E d m u n d s , The Sphinx in the Oedipus Legend ( K ô n i g s t e i n , 1981); note also the critique by C . C a l l a n a n , Fabula, 23 (1982) 3 1 6 - 1 8 ; R . Parker, CR, 34 (1984) 336. Vase: Moret, Oedipe \, 39f, Allusions: West on Hes. Op. 533. 27. L y d i a : H d t . 1.713; Nic. D a m . FGrH90 F 44. Atossa: Hdt. 3.68, 88. K n u t : D . Whitelock et at. (eds), The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 2nd edn ( L o n d o n , 1965) C 1017. 28. L . Gernet and A . Boulanger, Le Genie grec dans la religion, 2nd cdn (Paris, 1970) 77f; H . J e a n m a i r e , Rev. Phil., 21 (1947) 167; Delcourt, Oedipe, and Propp ' E d i p \ also suggested a connection with initiation. 29. Theseus and initiation: H . J e a n m a i r e , Couroi et couretes (Lille, 1939) 2 4 3 - 5 , 3 3 8 - 6 3 , F . Graf", ΜΗ, 3 6 ( 1 9 7 9 ) 1 3 - 1 9 . Interpretation of parricide: SourvinouInwood, Theseus, 15, quoting L e a c h , Lévi-Strauss, 80. Bororo myth: Burkert, S&H, 14; C . L é v i - S t r a u s s , The Raw and the Cooked ( L o n d o n , 1970) 3 5 - 4 8 . 30. For a critique of Propp, ' E d i p ' , see A . T a y l o r , T h e Biographical Pattern in Traditional N a r r a t i v e ' , / Folkl. Inst., 1 (1964) 1 1 4 - 2 9 . 31. Eteonos: Lysimachos FGrH 382 F 2, cf. Robert, Oedipus I , 44; Burkert, 'Mythos und Mythologie', in Propytàen Geschichte der Literatur I (Berlin, 1981) 1 1 - 3 5 , csp. 19. L . Farnell, Greek Hero Cults and Ideas of Immortality (Oxford, 1921) 334 had already noted: ' H i s [Oedipus'] cull is extraneous and cannot be dated to a very early period.' L . E d m u n d s , ' T h e C u l t s and the Legend of Oedipus', HSCP, 85 (1981) 221 - 3 8 , is not convincing. 32. Honouring parents: K . J . Dover, Greek Popular Morality in the Time of Plato and Aristotle (Oxford, 1974) 2 7 3 - 5 . Father/son relationship: S. Bertman (cd. ). The Conflict of Generations in Ancient Greece and Rome (Amsterdam, 1976); A . Maffi, ' Padri ν figli ira diritto positivo e diritto imaginario nella G r e c i a classica', in E . Pellizer and N . Zorzetti (eds). La paura del padri nella società antica e médiévale ( R o m e and B a n . 1983) 3 - 2 7 . 33. Parricide: Parker, Miasma, 124. Hate: Empedokles Β 137 D i e l s / K r a n z . Unspeakable: D . C l a y , 'Unspeakable Words in Greek T r a g e d y ' , Am. J. Phil., 103 (1982) 2 7 7 - 9 8 . 34. Uncle/aunt and niece/nephew: Bremmer, ZPE, 5 0 ( 1 9 8 3 ) 175 η 13, 181 η 43. First cousins: W . T h o m p s o n , T h e Marriage of First Cousins in Athenian Society', Phoenix, 21 (1967) 2 7 3 - 8 2 . Half-brothers/sisters: W . Lacey, The Family in Classical Greece ( L o n d o n , 1968) 106; A. R . W , Harrison, The Law of Athens I (Oxford, 1968) 22f. 35. C a r i a n s : S. Hornblower, Mausoius (Oxford, 1982) 3 5 8 - 6 3 . Ptolemies and Egyptians: K . Hopkins, 'Brother-Sister Marriage in R o m a n Egypt', Comp. Stud, in Soc. and Hist., 2 2 ( 1 9 8 0 ) 3 0 3 - 5 4 . It is noteworthy that incest between brothers and sisters is not mentioned in the Egyptian, late Hellenistic (cf. L . Koenen, ZPE, 54 (1984) 9 - 1 3 and in Studia Hcllenistica, 27 ( L e u v e n , 1983) 1 7 4 - 8 9 ) Potter's Oracle, although in later apocalyptic literature sex between siblings frequently is a sign of the end of the world; cf. Κ. Berger, Diegriechtschc Daniel-Diegese ( L e i d e n , 1976) 89f. 36. Aeolus: Od, 1 0 . 5 - 1 2 ; cf. P. V i d a l - N a q u e l , Le Chasseur noir, 2nd edn (Paris, 1983) 53. Imputations: H . Mattingly, The University of Leeds Review, 74(1971) 284 (Ostracon mentioning C i m o n ) , cf. Parker, Miasma, 98, L y s , 14.28 (Alcibiades). Philetas: Parthen. 2. Leucippus: Parth. 5; cf. Ε. Pellizer, Favote d'identité —favole di

57


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex paura ( R o m e , 1982) 6 6 - 9 . For all the mythological stories, see J . R u d h a r d t , 'De l'inceste dans la mythologie grecque*. Revue franc de psychanal., 46 (1982) 731 - 6 3 , esp. 7 3 3 - 9 , to whom I am deeply indebted; add E . R o h d c , Der griechische Roman und seme Vorläufer, 3rd edn ( L e i p z i g , 1914) 448, 37. Aeolus: Euripides Aeolus (Nauck, Tr. Graec. Fragm., p. 365f); cf. Arist. Nub. 13711, Ran. 1081; Plato Leg 838c; O v . Her. 1 1 . 3 - 130. 38. O r p h i c mythology: M . L . West, The Orphic Poems (Oxford, 1983) 93fT. Abuse: Hipponax tr. 20 Degani ( = 12 West); Lysias fr. 30; Isaeus 5.39. Pclopeia: R a d l on Sophocles Thyestes (p. 2390- Larissa: Parthen. 28; Nie. Damasc. FGrH90 F 19; Strabo 13.621c; Schol. A p . R h o d . 1.1063; Eustath. 357.43f, Harpalyke: Euphorion fr. 26; Parthen. 13; H y g . Fab. 206, 242, 246, 253; Non nos D 1 2 . 7 0 - 5 ; Schol. //. 14.291; Rohde, Der griechische Roman, loc. cit. 39. C a n n i b a l i s m , incest and parricide as the great crimes: D é t i e n n e , Dionysos, 154; A . M o r e a u , 'A propos d'Oedipe: la liaison entre trois crimes — parricide, inceste et cannibalisme', in S. Said et al., Etudes de littérature ancienne (Paris, 1979) 9 7 - 127; Parker, Miasma, 326. l'yrannos: D é t i e n n e , Dionysos, 144; Vernant (above), n 16), 33f. C y n i c s : V i d a l - N a q u e l , Chasseur, 368; Parker, loc. cit. Stock accusa­ tions: A . Henrichs, Entr H-rdt., 27 (1981) 233f (cannibalism); J . Bremmer. The Early Greek Concept of the Soul (Princeton, 1983) 103f (killing old people); B. H . Stricker, ' C a m e p h i s ' , Med. Nederl. Ak. Wet , Afd Letterk., N R . 38, 3 (1975) with an exhaustive, if uncritical, collection of references to incest in the ancient world (I owe this reference to T h e o Korteweg). 40. C f . W . Arens, The Man-Eating Myth (New Y o r k , 1979) who wrongly denies the existence of cannibalism altogether, cf. P. V i d a l - N a q u e l , Les juifs, la mémoire et le present (Paris, 1981) 197 ff; A . Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man ( C a m b r i d g e , 1982) 80-90. 41. Epikaste: Horn. Od 11.271; Apollod. 3.5.7. Jocaste: Soph. 0 / 632, 950; E u r . Phoen 12, 289, etc. 42. Telcgonus: Proclus apud K i n k e l , Ep. Gr. Fr 57f; Apollod. Epit. 7.36 with Frazer ad loc. Boios: Anton. L i b . 5. Athens: A . Brelich, Glieroigreet ( R o m e , 1958) 40. Athenian cult of Oedipus: A . Henrichs, ' T h e "Sobriety" of Oedipus: Sophocles OC 100 Misunderstood', HSCP, 87 (1983) 8 7 - 1 0 0 ; Vidal-Naquet in J . - P . Vernant and P. VidaJ-Naquet, Mythe et tragédie en Grèce ancienne, II (Paris, 1986) 199f. 43. H a n g i n g Jocaste: Od. 1 1.277f; Soph. 07M263f, Ant. 53f, cf. N . L o r a u x , ' L e corps é t r a n g l é ' , in Y . T h o m a s ( é d . ) , Du châtiment dans la cité ( R o m e , 1984) 1 9 5 - 2 1 8 and Façons tragiques de tuer une femme (Paris, 1985). Names of wives: Oidipodeia apud Paus. 9.5.11; Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 95; Peisandros FGrH 16 F 10; O n a s i a s apud Paus. 9 5.11; Schol. / / . 4.376. O n the problem of Oedipus' wives and children see also the forthcoming commentary on his new edition of the epic fragments which D r Malcolm Davies kindly let me read. I regret that I was only able to read his illuminating commentary at too late a stage in the preparation of this chapter. Widower: P. Koschaker, Zs. f. ausl. u intern. Privatrecht, Sonderheft zu Bd. 11 (1937) 1 18. Death and funeral: //. 23.679; H e s . fr. 192; Soph. Ant. 53f. Blindness: Burkert. 'Seven against Thebes', 30 (Oedipus' blindness in the Oedipodeia): R . G . A . Buxton, ' Blindness and Limits: Sophokles and the Logic of M y t h ' , J H S , 100 (1980) 2 2 - 3 7 ; D . Bouvier and P. M o r e a u , ' P h i n é e ou le père aveugle et la marâtre avruglante', Rev. Belge Phil. Hist., 61 (1983) 5 - 19. 44. C f . Gernet and Boulanger, Le Génie grec, 76f on the archaic myths concern­ ing the succession to the throne. 45. S. Freud, Die Traumdeutung ( V i e n n a , 1900) I 8 0 f f ( = Standard Edn I V , 258, 261 - 4 ) . Contra: V e r n a n t , 'Oedipe sans complexe', in J . - P . Vernant and P. V i d a l Naquet, Mythe et tragédie en Grèce ancienne (Paris, 1972) 7 5 - 9 8 . It seems, though,

58


Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex thai V e r n a n i docs not always do Freud full justice, if. F . St huh. Hephat\tus. ,W> (1983/4) 2 6 5 - 7 ; Llovd-Jones, 'Psychoanalysis*, 164Âť 46. Soph. 07*9811'; Plato Rep 5 7 l r ; Artemidorus 1.79: cf. Park I'lVubnrr edition) ad loc. and S. Price, ' T h e future of dreams: from Freud to Artemidorus', Past & Present (1986); E . R Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeli v and Los Angeles, 1951) 47, 61 f 47. W o m e n : G . W i c k e r t - M i c k n a t , Die Frau = A n haeologia Honierii\t 111 R (Gottingen, 1982). Fosterage: see note 19. Initiation: Brelich, GU erox gu\ i, 1 2 4 - 8 . 48. Modern Greece: M . - E . H a n dm an, La Violence et la ruse Hvmmcs rt Jernmr\ dans un village grec (Aix-cn-Provence, 1983) 12lf, 1 4 1 - 4 Raising children Plait) Leg. 7.8C8e; T h e o p h r . Char 5.5; Soph. FA 1 1 4 3 - 8 ; Plut. Pel. 9.5, Mor. 595b. For this p a n of my argument I am totally indebted to M . - G o l d e n , Aspects of Childhood in Classical Athens (Diss , Toronto, 1981)268- 71, to whom the reader is referred for a more detailed discussion of these passages. 49. L . Stone, The Past and the Present Revisited ( L o n d o n , New Y o r k , 1987), p. 353f: ' C l i n i c a l F r e u d i a n i s m , with its stress on penis envy, early incestuous experiences (real or imagined), and the Oedipus complex, looks increasingly like the product of a V i c t o r i a n , central E u r o p e a n , middle-class, male chauvinist society. Some of its major hypotheses may well not apply to other times and other places.* 50. For information, comments and correction of the English I would like to thank R i c h a r d Buxton, C l a u d e C a l a m e , Albert H e n n c h s , Andre Lardinois, Alasdaii M a c D o n a l d and Robert Parker. I owe a special debt to J . M Moiet for the generous and timely gift of his splendid Oedipe.

59


4 Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought Richard Buxton

O n e o f the most p r o m i s i n g developments i n the recent study o f m y t h has been the emphasis placed on the 'logic o f the concrete'. T h i s phrase, b o r r o w e d f r o m

L é v i - S t r a u s s ' s investigation o f la

pensée sauvage^ refers to the tendency o f ' p r i m i t i v e ' forms o f classification — as deployed, for instance, i n m y t h s a n d rituals — to be articulated i n terms o f e m p i r i c a l categories ( r a w / c o o k e d , w i l d / tame, i n the b u s h / i n the village, etc.) and tangible things i n the real w o r l d (honey, oak-trees, g o l d , etc.). I n the present paper I take the example o f one t h i n g i n the w o r l d — the w o l f — to show how this sort o f t h i n k i n g operated i n ancient Greece. I n section 1. I e x a m i n e a variety o f contexts i n w h i c h wolves appear. M y a i m is to demonstrate how the complex reality o f the w o l f tended to be pared d o w n i n the t r a d i t i o n to a small n u m b e r o f characteristics w h i c h were 'good to t h i n k w i t h ' ,

2

and how even w r i t e r s o f a

'scientific' type were influenced by features o f the w o l f as depicted in m y t h . I n section 2. I use the specific example o f the w e r e w o l f to indicate how Greek wolves were ' g o o d to t h i n k w i t h ' i n one particular m y t h - a n d - r i t u a l complex; and I make some m o r e general points about ways i n w h i c h m y t h a n d r i t u a l can be seen to complement and yet to contrast w i t h each other.

1. G r e e k W o l v e s , R e a l a n d I m a g i n e d Before m a n k i n d ' s systematic attempts to exterminate i t , the grey w o l f {canis lupus) was a tremendously widespread p r e d a t o r .

3

In

N o r t h A m e r i c a it was found coast to coast; i n the O l d W o r l d it 60


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought extended f r o m B r i t a i n south to Spain and P o r t u g a l , east across Europe to Russia, C h i n a and J a p a n . I n the N e w W o r l d grey wolves are n o w v i r t u a l l y extinct except i n Alaska: extensive use o f strychnine i n the nineteenth c e n t u r y , and a decline i n the population o f the w o l f s

prey (especially c a r i b o u ) , have c o n t r i b u t e d

towards the decline, A comparable t h o u g h less drastic sequence o f events has o c c u r r e d i n E u r o p e . By 1800 wolves were extinct i n the B r i t i s h Isles.

4

A c c o r d i n g to a major investigation published i n

1975 b y the I n t e r n a t i o n a l U n i o n for the C o n s e r v a t i o n o f N a t u r e and

N a t u r a l Resources,

5

wolves are

n o w extinct i n

France,

B e l g i u m , the N e t h e r l a n d s , D e n m a r k , East and West G e r m a n y , S w i t z e r l a n d , A u s t r i a a n d H u n g a r y ; v i r t u a l l y extinct i n F i n l a n d , N o r w a y and Sweden; a n d endangered i n P o r t u g a l , S p a i n , I t a l y , B u l g a r i a , Czechoslovakia, Poland and the U S S R . T o j u d g e by figures

for w o l f kills, the p o p u l a t i o n o f wolves i n Greece is fairly

stable. K i l l s stand at about 6 0 0 - 7 0 0 per year, the b u l k o f them being i n M a c e d o n i a ,

b u t some also i n E p i r u s , Thessaly

and

T h r a c e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y n o reliable inference can be made about the size o f the whole w o l f p o p u l a t i o n o f Greece on the basis o f figures for kills. T h e a n i m a l responsible for the decline o f the w o l f is m a n . W h y this h u m a n hostility to the wolf? N o r m a l l y wolves prey on large, hoofed beasts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the ungulates: c a r i b o u , bison, antelope, deer, moose,

elk. W h e n these are scarce the w o l f turns to smaller

m a m m a l s such as mice and rabbits, or to m a n ' s domesticated herds. I t is the fact that since the N e o l i t h i c p e r i o d m a n has raised stock w h i c h has b r o u g h t h i m i n t o conflict w i t h the wolf. It

is no surprise,

numerous

t h e n , that

i n classical a n t i q u i t y we

references to the w o l f as a c r u e l , predatory

find

enemy.

P l u t a r c h (Sol. 23.3) reports that 'the A t h e n i a n s were f r o m o f o l d great

enemies o f wolves, since

their c o u n t r y was

better

for

pasturage than for g r o w i n g crops'. So Solon i n t r o d u c e d a law that 'the m a n w h o b r i n g s i n a w o l f is p a i d five drachmas; for a wolfcub, one d r a c h m a ' .

6

( A c c o r d i n g to D e m e t r i o s o f Phaleron,

five

drachmas was the price o f an ox, one d r a c h m a that o f a sheep.) Wolves were p r o v e r b i a l for cruelty; hence Orestes' words about his o w n and his sister's i m p l a c a b i l i t y : 'like a r a w - m i n d e d wolf, o u r disposition, w h i c h we get f r o m o u r m o t h e r , cannot be appeased' (Aesch. Cho. 4 2 1 - 2 ) . A l r e a d y i n H o m e r the w o l f is seen as deadly and b l o o d t h i r s t y , as i n the famous simile about the M y r m i d o n s ( / / . 16.156A). 61


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought In

representing

wolves as cruel adversaries o f m a n

Greek

thought was s i m p l y reflecting the stark fact o f the c o m p e t i t i o n between the two species. But other qualities ascribed by Greek t r a d i t i o n to wolves begin to take us away from a direct transcription o f ' r e a l i t y ' . I t w i l l be convenient to concentrate on the two most p r o m i n e n t qualities: wolves co-operate;

and they

belong

outside. T h e perception o f wolves as co-operative does far m o r e than s i m p l y reflect the existence o f wolf-packs. I n a range o f historical periods and i n m a n y different types o f source, from the technical to the poetical to the anecdotal, the p o i n t is developed and elaborated. X e n o p h o n (Hipparch.

4 . 1 9 - 2 0 ) describes h o w , i n attacking a

c o n v o y , some d r i v e o f f the g u a r d while others seize the p l u n d e r . An

e p i g r a m i n the Palatine A n t h o l o g y tells o f a traveller who

j u m p e d into the N i l e to escape wolves: ' b u t they c o n t i n u e d the chase t h r o u g h the water, each h o l d i n g o n by its teeth to another's t a i l . A l o n g bridge o f wolves was f o r m e d over the stream, and the self-taught (9.252). (NA

7

stratagem

o f the s w i m m i n g beasts caught the

man'

A e l i a n too describes how wolves co-operate at a k i l l

8.14), and he also has the tail story: when wolves cross a r i v e r

'they fasten their teeth in one another's tails . . . and s w i m across without

h a r m or danger' (NA 3.6). T h e i e

is alas no reliably

recorded evidence o f w o l f behaviour o f this k i n d â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the w o l f is i n its own

8

right a p a r t i c u l a r l y powerful s w i m m e r . T h e i m p o r t a n t t h i n g

is that wolves were perceived as acting co-operatively. T h e t r a d i t i o n o f l u p i n e co-operation is a l o n g one. T h e g r a m m a r i a n T i m o t h e o s o f Gaza ( 5 / 6 t h century A D ) observes i n his On Animals'* that, when t w o wolves coincide at a k i l l , 'the shares are equal'. actual

1 0

Once more it is instructive to consider the situation at an

kill.

I n Greece today â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and it is u n l i k e l y that things were

very different in a n t i q u i t y â&#x20AC;&#x201D; large kills are rare, so the issue o f sharing does not arise. ( Y o u d o n ' t share a mouse.) W h e n a large kill is made, the cubs w i l l usually be allowed in first, and thereafter there is a definite new-equality: d o m i n a n t

animals ( i . e . those

highest i n the ' p e c k i n g ' o r d e r ) get first go, and so on d o w n the line. But what is true is that there is a structured aspect to a k i l l , so that the n o t i o n of co-operation has a basis i n actual behaviour. M y t h 'clarifies' an asymmetrical order into equality. It is a small step from the idea that wolves treat each other as equals to the idea that wolves are all alike; and this step was also 62


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought taken i n G r e e k belief. T h u s we find i n Aesop (343 P e r r y ) a story about a battle between the dogs a n d the wolves. T h e d o g general was u n w i l l i n g to engage the enemy because they (the wolves) were all alike, while the dogs — some b e i n g C r e t a n , some M o l o s s i a n , some T h r a c i a n , not to m e n t i o n the v a r i a t i o n s in colour — were all different. O n c e m o r e the u n d e r l y i n g n o t i o n is that the wolves w i l i prove successful by v i r t u e o f b e i n g able to co-operate more closely than their adversaries. L i k e the co-operative wolf, the w o l f as outsider has a g r o u n d i n g in observable reality. N o t o n l y do wolves i n general r o a m i n areas w h i c h seem to h u m a n s to be outside the confines o f h u m a n t e r r i t o r y , but the lone w o l f — h a v i n g d r o p p e d out o f or been expelled from a pack as a result o f w o u n d i n g i n a fight or i n f i r m i t y , a n d thus b e i n g a k i n d o f outsider even amongst a c o m m u n i t y o f outsiders — is a recognised part o f w o l f ecology, k n o w n to a n t i q u i t y as to us (e.g. A r i s t o t . HA 594a30). H o w e v e r , as w i t h co-operation, the point is developed so that the w o l f becomes a powerful image for the m a n apart from other m e n . I n his poem about a person i n exile A l k a i o s writes as follows: ' I live a life i n the wilds, l o n g i n g to hear the agora . . . I am i n exile, l i v i n g on the b o u n d a r y . . . here I settled alone as a lykaimiais" (Lobel/Page 1 3 0 . 1 6 - 2 5 ) . T h e last w o r d is a puzzle, a n d the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 'a wolf-thicket man* is far from c e r t a i n .

11

But for an association w i t h exile, wildness and soli-

tariness a c o m p o u n d o f lykos, * w o l f , is highly a p p r o p r i a t e .

12

There

is a similar logic i n Pausanias' aetiology for the shrine o f A p o l l o L y k i o s at A r g o s , according to w h i c h , w h e n Danaos a r r i v e d as an outsider i n A r g o s , he found a w o l f k i l l i n g the leader o f a herd o f cattle. T t occurred to the A r g i v e s that G e l a n o r ' — D a n a o s ' rival for the throne — 'was like the b u l l , a n d Danaos like the wolf; for as the w o l f w i l l not live w i t h m e n , so Danaos u p to that t i m e had not lived w i t h t h e m [ i . e . the A r g i v e s ] ' — because he had come from Egypt ( 2 . 1 9 . 3 - 4 ) . wolves was

1 3

A n o t h e r m y t h i c a l exile who had to do w i t h

A t h a m a s ( A p o l l o d . 1.9.2).

Having

killed his son

t h r o u g h H e r a ' s madness a n d been banished f r o m Boeotia, he was told by an oracle to dwell where he should be entertained by w i l d beasts. T h i s he d u l y d i d w h e n he found

wolves ' d i s t r i b u t i n g

amongst themselves portions o f sheep'. H e r e a h u m a n settlement replaces sharing-between-wolves. T h u s o n .the one hand wolves prefigure h u m a n society: to share is to be part o f a c o m m u n i t y . O n the other h a n d they contrast w i t h it as b a r b a r i t y contrasts w i t h 63


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought c i v i l i s a t i o n : w h a t they are s h a r i n g , after a l l , is raw meat.

The

A t h a m a s story neatly embraces b o t h the p r i n c i p a l features o f the m y t h i c a l w o l f i n Greece: as co-operator, it i l l u m i n a t e s the h u m a n c o n d i t i o n by s i m i l a r i t y ; as outsider, it i l l u m i n a t e s it by c o n t r a s t .

14

So far m y account has been synchronic, and has d r a w n together material from

a v a r i e t y o f sources w i t h o u t d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n

on

g r o u n d s o f date or context. T o what extent do we need to m o d i f y that approach i n view o f the evidence? W e m a y start w i t h the m a t t e r o f h i s t o r i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t . T h e most recent scholarly treatment o f the w o l f i n ancient Greece, that by C . M a i n o l d i , puts f o r w a r d the a r g u m e n t that G r e e k perception o f the w o l f u n d e r w e n t one m a j o r change over t i m e : f r o m b e i n g 'le modele de T a n i m a l f o r t ' i n the H o m e r i c poems, the w o l f subseq u e n t l y became m a r g i n a l i s e d as an e m b l e m o f savagery above

a l l , o f dolos,

trickery.

1 5

The

post-Homeric

and,

association

between the w o l f a n d dolos is indeed c e r t a i n : i n Pythian 2 P i n d a r expresses the w i s h : ' M a y 1 love m y f r i e n d ; b u t against m y e n e m y I shall make a secret attack, like a wolf, t r e a d i n g n o w here now there o n m y crooked paths' ( 8 3 - 5 ) ; a Platonic letter describes a false or t r i c k y friendship as lykophilia (318e); A e l i a n k n o w s h o w wolves can make u p for a lack o f strength by f e i g n i n g a frontal attack, d a r t i n g aside a n d l e a p i n g o n the back o f the v i c t i m (NA 5.19); a n d perhaps the w o l f s best dolos is his s i m i l a r i t y to a d o g , as stated i n Plato's Sophist ( 2 3 1 a ) .

16

also i n the Iliad

H o w e v e r , not o n l y i n the E u r i p i d e a n Rhesus but does the spy D o l o n wear a w o l f s k i n d u r i n g his

c u n n i n g n i g h t exploit ( / / . 10.334; E u r . Rhes. h a r d l y coincidence that Odysseus'

204ff);

grandfather,

17

a n d it is

who h a d

given by H e r m e s o u t s t a n d i n g skill ' i n theft a n d i n o a t h

1

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

latter on the p r i n c i p l e that w h o e v e r has power over bonds power also to break t h e m â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is i n the Odyssey n a m e d as

been has

Autolykos

(19.394ff). I n short, the idea that t r i c k e r y is a later development i n the Greek image o f the w o l f seems to me unjustified. N o t o n l y that: i n m y v i e w no development i n that image can be isolated a n d located c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y u n t i l we reach the zoological studies o f Aristotle. D i f f e r e n t i a t i o n by context, o n the other h a n d , is possible a n d revealing. I n H o m e r i c epic the emphasis ( w i t h the exception o f the D o l o n episode) is o n wolves as a collectivity, fierce i n the fight and so suitable for c o m p a r i s o n to w a r r i o r s . I n the field o f political philosophy Plato characteristically uses the violent aspect o f the 64


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought w o l f to t h i n k about t y r a n n y .

1 8

I n fable the w o l f appears frequently,

often w i t h emphasis o n its c u n n i n g , and often too b e i n g presented in contrast w i t h the d o g .

1 9

I n such contexts, a n d i n others â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for

instance the passages f r o m Choephoroi and Pythian 2 cited earlier â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the w o l f is used as a means for expressing s o m e t h i n g about h u m a n b e h a v i o u r . B u t there is another sort o f context w h i c h illustrates even m o r e s t r i k i n g l y j u s t h o w pervasive were the patterns o f t h o u g h t embedded i n m y t h . I refer to w o r k s w h i c h were explicitly about a n i m a l s , a n d w h i c h we m i g h t v a r i o u s l y ascribe to the categories ' f o l k l o r e

1

and ' z o o l o g y ' . A s we shall see, the d i s t i n c t i o n is

not u n p r o b l e m a t i c . W e m a y b e g i n w i t h a report b y P l u t a r c h : A n t i p a t e r i n his b o o k On Animah asserts that wolves give b i r t h at the t i m e w h e n trees that bear nuts o r acorns shed their flowers: w h e n they eat these, t h e i r w o m b s are opened. B u t i f there is no supply o f these

flowers,

t h e i r offspring die w i t h i n t h e m and

cannot see the l i g h t . M o r e o v e r those parts o f the w o r l d that are not fertile i n nut-trees o r oak-trees are not t r o u b l e d by wolves. {Qu. Nat. 38) T h i s is a fine example o f h o w Greek t h o u g h t c o u l d c o m b i n e a t r a d i t i o n a l pattern o f ideas w i t h shrewd e m p i r i c a l observation. Our

first

reaction is perhaps to

find

a ' l o g i c o f myth* b e h i n d

A n t i p a t e r ' s account, since there was i n at least one region an acknowledged religious l i n k between acorns and wolves: A r c a d i a . A r c a d i a n s are perceived as acorn-eaters, hence as p r e - c i v i l i s e d ;

20

Arcadians are also worshippers o f Zeus L y k a i o s , i n whose cult b o t h wolves and oak-trees figure (see b e l o w ) ; wolves are outside c i v i l i s a t i o n , and

so are associated w i t h acorn-eaters, w h o are

before i t . B u t there is sound zoology here too. W o l v e s do indeed share a habitat w i t h n u t - and oak-trees. G o o d years for nuts and acorns mean

plentiful

supplies o f the small animals eaten by

wolves, and this plenty means i n t u r n that wolves produce large litters. But w h e n food is scarce, there is i n foxes and rabbits a higher p r o p o r t i o n o f aborted foetuses t h a n i n times o f plenty, and it is likely that the same is true for wolves. A n t i p a t e r ' s assertion thus provides evidence

for a remarkable

coincidence

between

t r a d i t i o n a l and e m p i r i c a l modes o f t h o u g h t . W e m i g h t expect a prion that i f any ancient a u t h o r i t y is g o i n g to 65


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought privilege the e m p i r i c a l against the t r a d i t i o n a l , it w i l l be A r i s t o t l e . A n d i n some cases we do indeed f i n d h i m carefully r e c o r d i n g data w h i c h subsequent zoological research has c o r r o b o r a t e d :

'poly-

dactylous quadrupeds (such as the d o g , l i o n , wolf, fox and j a c k a l ) all b r i n g forth their y o u n g b l i n d , and the eyelid does not separate u n t i l some t i m e after b i r t h ' ; 'the penis is b o n y i n the fox, wolf, marten

and

weasel'.

More

rarely,

statements o f a

f o r w a r d l y zoological k i n d are s i m p l y w r o n g , e.g. flexible

straight-

'the neck is

and has a n u m b e r o f vertebrae i n all animals except the

w o l f and the l i o n , i n w h i c h the neck consists o f one bone o n l y ' .

2 1

In

fact all m a m m a l s have seven bones i n the neck; b u t , interestingly, some wolves suffer f r o m severe a r t h r i t i s o f the spine, and it is possible that A r i s t o t l e ' s i n f o r m a t i o n resulted f r o m observation o f an a n i m a l so afflicted â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it is on general grounds not i m p r o b a b l e that i n f i r m wolves offered greater o p p o r t u n i t y for close scrutiny than healthy ones. I n a d d i t i o n to

findings

o f the sort j u s t m e n t i o n e d ,

though,

A r i s t o t l e has other things to say about the wolf; a n d here the m y t h i c a l representation o f the a n i m a l becomes visible once m o r e . A t one p o i n t he describes it as gennaios ( t h o r o u g h - b r e d ) , agrios ( w i l d ) and epiboulos (scheming) ( Hist. An. 4 8 8 b l 7 ) . A t another the d i r e c t i o n o f the e n q u i r y seems to be affected by the t h r e a t e n i n g a n d p r e d a t o r y figure cut by the w o l f i n p o p u l a r belief, w h e n he tackles the m a t t e r o f wolves e a t i n g people. B u t the specific c o n t r i b u t i o n made by A r i s t o t l e to this ( a p p a r e n t l y ) endlessly i n t r i g u i n g issue â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he asserts that o n l y lone wolves eat m e n , not wolves i n packs (Hist. An. 594a30) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is zoologically plausible: the lone wolf, w h i c h b y d e f i n i t i o n lacks the support o f the pack, is l i k e l y to have restricted access to p r e y , a n d so m i g h t i n e x t r e m i t y have to resort to h u m a n

meat.

22

I n fact,

even

where

A r i s t o t l e ' s zoological

researches are e x p l i c i t l y influenced by the m y t h i c a l t r a d i t i o n , what is r e m a r k a b l e is the coolness o f his j u d g e m e n t : A n account is given o f the s h e - w o l f s p a r t u r i t i o n w h i c h comes very near the fabulous [pros muthon],

v i z . that there are j u s t

twelve days i n the year d u r i n g w h i c h all wolves b r i n g forth their y o u n g . T h e reason for this, they say, is f o u n d i n a fable, w h i c h alleges that it took twelve days to b r i n g L e t o f r o m the l a n d o f the H y p e r b o r e a n s to Delos, d u r i n g w h i c h t i m e she had the appearance o f a she-wolf because she was afraid o f H e r a . 66

Whether


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought twelve days really was the t i m e o r not has not yet been definitely established by observation; that is merely what is asserted. An.

(Hist.

580al4)

It m a y be added that the s i t u a t i o n is identical today: we k n o w n o t h i n g about the exact b i r t h - p e r i o d s o f E u r o p e a n wolves; but it is zoologically certain that there w i l l be a restricted p e r i o d for b i r t h , and it is unlikely that this will

be more than 2-3

weeks. As w i t h

A n t i p a t e r ' s assertion m e n t i o n e d above, the coincidence

between

m y t h and e m p i r i c a l observation is notable; and so too is the a b i l i t y of A r i s t o t l e to set h i m s e l f apart f r o m the t r a d i t i o n and to reflect critically u p o n i t . A few conclusions m a y be d r a w n f r o m the m a t e r i a l presented i n this section. (1) Sometimes Greek perception o f the w o l f directly reflects the facts o f h u m a n and l u p i n e existence: h u m a n s compete w i t h wolves for food, so wolves appear i n m y t h as cruel foes. (2) I n other respects t r a d i t i o n a l t h o u g h t works on reality by selective emphasis and ' c l a r i f i c a t i o n ' : wolves share a k i l l equally] they are all alike. (3) T h e t r a d i t i o n is not u n i f o r m : i n different contexts different aspects o f the w o l f are stressed, t h o u g h w i t h i n the b r o a d l y similar image shared b y all. (4) A r i s t o t e l i a n zoology represents a m a r k e d contrast

to the m y t h i c a l t r a d i t i o n . B u t the d i s t i n c t i o n

between folklore a n d zoology is not r i g i d : we f i n d excellent zoology in anecdote, a n d m y t h o l o g i c a l patterns and concerns i n zoology.

2. T h e W e r e w o l f of A r c a d i a H a v i n g t r i e d to give a general o v e r v i e w o f the place o f the w o l f i n Greek t h o u g h t , I t u r n n o w to one p a r t i c u l a r aspect o f the subject: the cult and m y t h o f the A r c a d i a n werewolf. T h i s complex o f religious practice and belief constitutes the single most s t r i k i n g instance o f the w o l f as ' g o o d to t h i n k w i t h ' s u r v i v i n g f r o m ancient Greece. W e begin w i t h a p o i n t o f t e r m i n o l o g y . I t seems sensible to distinguish between w e r e w o l f i s m a n d l y c a n t h r o p y . T h e f o r m e r m a y be defined as the belief that people are able to t u r n i n t o wolves; the latter denotes a psychotic disorder according to w h i c h one believes that one has oneself t u r n e d into a w o l f ,

2 3

C o m p a r e d w i t h the enor-

mous n u m b e r o f w e r e w o l f and l y c a n t h r o p y cases recorded for 67


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought medieval E u r o p e ,

2 4

evidence for such phenomena i n a n t i q u i t y is

rare. ( W e are o f course at l i b e r t y to w o n d e r h o w representative o u r sample is, b u t all we can do is to operate w i t h what i n f o r m a t i o n we have.) Instances o f l y c a n t h r o p y are few a n d late, b u t M a r k e l l o s o f Side

significantly

reports

that

sufferers

experienced

s y m p t o m s at n i g h t ( i n F e b r u a r y ) a n d i n cemeteries,

their

i.e. i n a

context r e m o v e d b o t h t e m p o r a l l y a n d spatially f r o m that o f n o r m a l life â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we recall that the P e t r o n i a n w e r e w o l f metamorphosed b y m o o n l i g h t a n d o n a r o a d beside some g r a v e - m a r k e r s .

25

Stories o f

ancient w e r e w o l f belief are again scarce, a l t h o u g h there is this t i m e a certain a m o u n t o f m a t e r i a l f r o m Greece. O n c e m o r e we should note

the typical geographical remoteness,

as w i t h the

Neuri,

adjacent to the Scythians i n H e r o d o t o s ' n a r r a t i v e : ' T h e Scythians, a n d the Greeks settled i n Scythia, say that once a year every one o f the N e u r i is t u r n e d i n t o a wolf, a n d after r e m a i n i n g so for a few days returns again to his f o r m e r shape* ( H d t . 4.105). T h a t the N e u r i are located by H e r o d o t o s next to the A n d r o p h a g i is w h o l l y logical: i n accordance w i t h a p a t t e r n o f t h o u g h t c o m m o n i n Greece and i n a vast n u m b e r o f other cultures, m a r g i n a l peoples are perceived as b e h a v i n g i n ways inverse to those favoured by the 'central* p e o p l e .

26

W h e t h e r the story about the N e u r i is e n t i r e l y a

p r o d u c t o f this sort o f inverse p r o j e c t i o n , or whether an actual r i t u a l lies b e h i n d i t , is impossible to decide; but the existence o f an i n i t i a t o r y rite de passage is perfectly plausible, either o n the assumpt i o n that the participants literally adopted w o l f - d i s g u i s e ,

27

or o n

the view that one w h o t e m p o r a r i l y w i t h d r a w s 'outside' is metaphorically wolfish. T h e N e u r i were outside, b u t the A r c a d i a n s were before â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n fact, before the m o o n , proselenoi\

2S

and A r c a d i a was the location o f

the w e r e w o l f cult best k n o w n to us f r o m the Greek w o r l d . Even today M o u n t L y k a i o n has a remote and slightly eerie beauty; how m u c h m o r e eerie i n a n t i q u i t y since, so it was said, a rite o f c a n n i balism was practised there. Pausanias refuses to discuss it ( 8 . 3 8 . 7 ) ; but Plato speaks o f a rite i n w h i c h h u m a n innards are m i x e d w i t h parts o f other animals, a n d the person w h o tastes the h u m a n must t u r n into a w o l f (Rep. 565d). O n e does not need to go all the way w i t h A r e n s ' ultra-sceptical approach to a n t h r o p o p h a g y doubtful

29

to be

about at least some reports o f institutionalised canni-

balism: as Servius puts i t , ' i n sacred rites that w h i c h is simulated is accepted as r e a l i t y ' ( o n Aen. 2.116). W h e n K o u r o u n i o t i s d u g the 68


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought site at the b e g i n n i n g o f this c e n t u r y he f o u n d no h u m a n b o n e s ,

30

and, as W a l t e r B u r k e r t has p o i n t e d o u t , o n l y a very few people are going to k n o w exactly what is i n the casserole â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the rest is suggestion.

3 1

B u t m o r e profitable t h a n speculation about

the precise

contents o f the c a u l d r o n is some consideration o f the s y m b o l i s m and social context o f the r i t u a l . A n d here we do get a clue from Pausanias, w h o reports: T h e y say that ever since the t i m e o f L y k a o n a m a n was always t u r n e d i n t o a w o l f at the sacrifice to L y k a i a n Zeus â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but not for his whole life; because i f he kept o f f h u m a n flesh when he was a wolf, he t u r n e d back i n t o a m a n after n i n e years; i f he tasted h u m a n flesh, he stayed a w i l d beast for ever. ( 8 . 2 . 6 ) T h e w o l f stands for one w h o by his b e h a v i o u r has set h i m s e l f beyond h u m a n i t y : so m u c h is clear. B u t w h y d i d the Greeks enact this ceremony

o f r i t u a l exclusion?

Before we can attempt

an

answer we m u s t consider a r i t u a l w h i c h sounds r e m a r k a b l y similar to the L y k a i o n c e r e m o n y . P l i n y the Elder reports that, according to the A r c a d i a n s , a m e m b e r o f the f a m i l y o f A n t h o s was chosen by lot, left all his clothes o n an oak-tree, swam across a p o o l , went a*vay ' i n t o a deserted area', and t u r n e d into a wolf. After nine years, p r o v i d e d he had eaten no h u m a n meat, he swam

back

across the p o o l , took u p his clothes, a n d resumed h u m a n shape (NH

8.81). A s i m i l a r version is given by A u g u s t i n e ( c i t i n g V a r r o ) ,

though he refers m o r e vaguely to 'the A r c a d i a n s ' instead o f to a specific f a m i l y (Civ. Dei 18.17). T w o questions present themselves: (1) H o w do we interpret the r i t u a l described by Pliny? (2) H o w does it relate to the ceremony m e n t i o n e d by Pausanias and Plato? (1) P l i n y ' s r i t u a l centres on t w o symbolic gestures: s t r i p p i n g , and crossing water. B o t h m a r k the t r a n s i t i o n f r o m inside to outside, h u m a n to a n i m a l . S t r i p p i n g is associated w i t h a n i m a l metamorphosis b o t h i n a n t i q u i t y and later. Pamphile and L u c i u s in The Golden Ass strip before their metamorphoses take place ( 3 . 2 1 , 2 4 ) . T h e w e r e w o l f i n Petronius removes his clothes before changing shape; and the crucial i m p o r t a n c e o f the clothes for the t r a n s i t i o n is indicated by the fact that the w e r e w o l f 'fixes' t h e m by u r i n a t i n g around t h e m , after w h i c h they t u r n to stone (62). medieval

w e r e w o l f legends

confirm 69

the

role

of

Numerous clothes

as


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought b o u n d a r y - m a r k e r , as i n M a r i e de France's lay Bisclavret. A B r e t o n l o r d changes into a w o l f three days a week; before d o i n g so he removes his clothes, w i t h o u t w h i c h he is d e p r i v e d o f the means o f t r a n s i t i o n back to h u m a n i t y . H i s wife a n d her lover steal his clothes, but eventually the l o r d is able to recover t h e m , a n d w i t h t h e m his h u m a n f o r m .

3 2

W a t e r is another b o u n d a r y between the h u m a n and wolfish states. O n c e m o r e there are medieval parallels: i n 1580 J e a n B o d i n recorded a story, set i n L i v o n i a , i n w h i c h crossing water is a prelude to metamorphosis ( o f twelve days' d u r a t i o n ) into wolfish form.

3 3

O n e a l l - t o o - c o m m o n reductionist tactic is to l i n k such

p h e n o m e n a to the fact that rabies â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a supposed ' o r i g i n ' o f werew o l f belief â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is characterised by h y d r o p h o b i a : water thus q u i t e literally marks a b a r r i e r between m a n a n d w e r e w o l f ( = rabies victim).

3 4

But such a realist approach gets us nowhere i n o u r

attempt to understand the symbolic role o f the supposed ' s y m p t o m ' in its r i t u a l c o n t e x t .

35

M o r e plausibly one m i g h t regard the

A r c a d i a n pool i n a w h o l l y content-free way as simply a b o u n d a r y between inside and outside; but that w o u l d be to ignore the place o f water i n general, and b a t h i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r , i n Greek c u l t .

3 6

W a s h i n g or b a t h i n g i n water f r o m a s p r i n g is an element i n several important

Greek

rites de passage. A f t e r

death

the corpse

was

stripped, washed a n d dressed i n new robes as a prelude to being ' c a r r i e d o u t ' ; before m a k i n g the t r a n s i t i o n back to n o r m a l life the m o u r n e r s w o u l d themselves bathe. A f t e r a b i r t h , m o t h e r a n d c h i l d w o u l d bathe as a part o f the r e t u r n to n o r m a l i t y . B r i d e and g r o o m bathed before the m a r r i a g e ceremony. W a s h i n g , a n d sometimes b a t h i n g and c h a n g i n g o f clothes, was r e q u i r e d before the performance o f prayer or sacrifice, a n d preceded other forms o f access to the sacred such as prophecy, i n c u b a t i o n , and i n i t i a t i o n into the mysteries.

37

T h u s crossing the b o u n d a r y between sacred and n o n -

sacred space, a n d between sacred and non-sacred periods o f t i m e , is r e g u l a r l y accompanied by b a t h i n g . I n one way the relevance o f this to P l i n y ' s A r c a d i a n r i t u a l is clear enough, since e n t e r i n g and leaving a sacred space is clearly part o f the symbolic d r a m a . But i f the r i t u a l as a whole is a rite de passage, then b a t h i n g becomes that m u c h more a p p r o p r i a t e . I n recent

38

years a good deal o f a t t e n t i o n has been directed

towards rituals o f t r a n s i t i o n i n ancient Greece. I n p a r t i c u l a r there have been investigations i n t o the presence o f i n i t i a t i o n rituals â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or 70


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought survivals o f t h e m — i n archaic and later Greek c u l t u r e .

3 9

Fruitful

t h o u g h m u c h o f this w o r k has p r o v e d , there has been an occasional tendency to exaggerate the e x p l a n a t o r y value o f i n i t i a t i o n . It may therefore be w o r t h spelling out that some rituals — c o n s u l t i n g an oracle, for instance — were self-evidently not i n i t i a t o r y , while others — such as the ceremonies s u r r o u n d i n g b i r t h , marriage and death

— c e r t a i n l y shared w i t h i n i t i a t i o n rituals the pattern o f

separation/marginalisation/reintegration

but

were

equally

cer-

t a i n l y not i n i t i a t o r y i n the w a y that, say, the ephebeia was. Yet i n spite o f those reservations

it seems to me likely that the r i t u a l

described by P l i n y was indeed i n i t i a t o r y ; at least, the evidence we have is c o m p a t i b l e w i t h such a hypothesis. A m a n — p r o b a b l y , as we shall see, a y o u n g m a n — u n d e r w e n t a rite o f separation, left society

and

became

returned and,

temporarily

a

non-person,

subsequently

after a rite o f r e i n t e g r a t i o n , rejoined the c o m -

m u n i t y , p r e s u m a b l y w i t h a different (? a d u l t ) status. T h e negative i m a g e r y (wolf; i n the w i l d s ) characterising the l i m i n a l p e r i o d is j u s t w h a t we should expect, given the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l p a r a l l e l s .

40

One

aspect o f the s y m b o l i s m is p a r t i c u l a r l y interesting: abstention f r o m h u m a n meat. T h e ' w o l f must retain one l i n k w i t h h u m a n i t y i f his eventual r e t u r n is to be possible. (2) T h e r e are obvious similarities w i t h the L y k a i o n r i t u a l : the avoidance o f h u m a n meat, the metamorphosis

i n t o a wolf, the

p e r i o d o f n i n e years. A t the very least Pausanias a n d P l i n y were r e p o r t i n g rituals w h i c h shared some o f the same symbols. But were they r e l a t i n g different aspects o f the same r i t u a l ?

41

Perhaps the

most persuasive account is that o f B u r k e r t , a c c o r d i n g to w h o m the P l i n i a n version reflects a w a t e r e d - d o w n , ' c i v i l i s e d ' f o r m o f the ritual

w h i c h became confined to a single conservative f a m i l y .

4 2

On

this v i e w we should i m a g i n e an earlier situation i n archaic Greece in w h i c h a whole age-group o f y o u n g m e n were i n i t i a t e d i n t o A r c a d i a n adult society. Before they became fully-fledged citizens they were o b l i g e d to u n d e r g o a p e r i o d o f separation from society as ' w o l v e s ' , i.e. outsiders. W h e n they reached the age o f full social a d u l t h o o d they became true descendants o f A r k a s , ' T h e Bear' — Pausanias c o n v e n i e n t l y tells us that A r c a d i a n w a r r i o r s wore the skins o f t w o a n i m a l s , the w o l f and the bear ( 4 . 1 1 . 3 ) . S u p p o r t i n g the i n i t i a t i o n hypothesis is the story (recorded by Pausanias, P l i n y and A u g u s t i n e )

4 3

o f an A r c a d i a n w h o r e t u r n e d after a nine-year 71


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought l u p i n e absence to w i n the O l y m p i c b o x i n g event: it was surely a young m a n w h o went i n t o the w i l d s . T h e o n l y p r o b l e m w i t h this i n t e r p r e t a t i o n seems to me the nine l

years. W e could o f course take it as merely symbolic o f a p e r i o d o f t i m e ' , and leave the m a t t e r at t h a t .

44

B u t i f we take it at face value,

and i f we see the r i t u a l as a p p l y i n g , at least o r i g i n a l l y , to a whole age-group o f y o u n g m e n , then we have to give a reasonable answer to the question, ' W h a t were they doing for n i n e years?' â&#x20AC;&#x201D; nine years o f 'das L e b e n als " W o l f e " i n der W i l d n i s ' .

4 5

I t is not quite

the same as w i t h d r a w i n g to the y o u n g m e n ' s huts for a spell o f a couple o f m o n t h s before r e j o i n i n g the t r i b e ,

4 6

I f we w a n t to regard

the L y k a i o n r i t u a l as being o r i g i n a l l y an i n i t i a t i o n ceremony for an entire age-group then we have to be sceptical about those nine years, at least u n t i l they are explained i n a way w h i c h makes sense in relation to the real life o f a historical A r c a d i a n c o m m u n i t y .

4 7

In

any case it is unwise to be too d o g m a t i c about what happened o n M o u n t L y k a i o n . W e k n o w , for instance, o f a r i t u a l there connected

with making r a i n ;

4 8

we k n o w also that the opposition

sunlight/shadow was i m p o r t a n t ;

4 9

and it is difficult, a n d p r o b a b l y

m i s l e a d i n g , to t r y to incorporate all this m a t e r i a l into a single r i t u a l complex. B u t i f we retain the idea o f an i n i t i a t o r y rite o f passage we have at least a very plausible hypothesis for understanding the logic o f the central w e r e w o l f ceremony. W e have not yet finished w i t h M o u n t L y k a i o n , for associated w i t h it there was a m y t h . T h e most d r a m a t i c a l l y e x c i t i n g account o f L y k a o n is i n O v i d ' s Metamorphoses Book 1, but the most suggestive f r o m the m y t h o l o g i c a l p o i n t o f view is i n Pausanias (8.1 - 2 ) . A c c o r d i n g to his version, L y k a o n ' s father was Pelasgos, the

first

m a n w h o lived in A r c a d i a . Pelasgos i n t r o d u c e d certain aspects o f c i v i l i s a t i o n : shelters against the elements and c l o t h i n g made from sheepskins. M o r e o v e r he stopped his subjects eating leaves, grass and roots, and i n t r o d u c e d t h e m instead to acorns. L y k a o n cont i n u e d the c i v i l i s i n g process by f o u n d i n g a city and i n s t i t u t i n g games in h o n o u r o f Zeus. A t that t i m e , because o f their justice and piety, m e n ate at the same table as the gods. But L y k a o n carried out the sacrifice o f a c h i l d on Zeus' altar on M o u n t L y k a i o n ; as a consequence he was t u r n e d i n t o a wolf. O n e way o f c o m i n g to grips w i t h the Greek myths is to identify recurrent themes, and so to observe what Greeks felt to be i m p o r tant. A m a j o r theme in the L y k a o n m y t h is the importance o f 72


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought m a i n t a i n i n g proper relationships w i t h the gods, and the dangers o f not so d o i n g . Countless other m y t h s make a s i m i l a r p o i n t : punishment follows all kinds o f transgression failure

to h o n o u r

rivalry

(Arachne,

them

against

the gods,

from

( H i p p o l y t o s , Pentheus) to ill-advised

Marsyas)

to

figurative

or

real

violation

( A k t a i o n , Teiresias, I x i o n ) . M o r e specifically, the L y k a o n m y t h narrates the consequences o f a b u s i n g h o s p i t a l i t y , and here it resembles the story o f T a n t a l o s , another w h o was host to the gods at a cannibalistic feast. B u t L y k a o n is a b r i n g e r o f culture as well as a c r i m i n a l , and the whole n a r r a t i v e i n Pausanias is from

another

point o f view the story o f the o r i g i n s o f civilisation i n A r c a d i a : after relating what Pelasgos and L y k a o n d i d he tells us that one o f Lykaon's

descendants,

Arkas, will

invent agriculture,

bread-

m a k i n g and w e a v i n g ( 8 . 4 . 1 ) . H o w e v e r , the m y t h also makes clear that h u m a n i t y ' s c u l t u r a l progress is not u n a l l o y e d : part and parcel of the h u m a n c o n d i t i o n as we k n o w it is that we no longer eat w i t h the gods. T h e r e is a close analogy w i t h H e s i o d ' s account o f what happened at M e k o n e , where P r o m e t h e u s '

attempted deception o f

Zeus resulted i n a definitive end to the c o m m e n s a l i t y o f m e n and gods (Theog.

535ff). B u t the difference is as s t r i k i n g as the s i m i -

larity: i n the L y k a o n story the r u p t u r e between m e n and gods is far m o r e drastic. T h i s becomes evident i f we look at some o f the variants â&#x20AC;&#x201D; another f r u i t f u l way o f u n c o v e r i n g the logic o f m y t h . A c c o r d i n g to A p o l l o d o r o s L y k a o n ' s sons are the g u i l t y ones, and they (except the youngest) and t h e i r father are

thunderbolted

(3,8); while H y g i n u s speaks o f L y k a o n t u r n i n g i n t o a w o l f and his sons being t h u n d e r b o l t e d (176). T h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the equivalence between t h u n d e r b o l t i n g and metamorphosis i n t o a w o l f have been d r a w n by B o r g e a u d .

50

I n the case o f t h u n d e r b o l t i n g , Zeus'

power is completely manifested (cf. the fate o f Semele); i n the case of metamorphosis, the g u i l t y party is not s i m p l y banished Zeus'

table, he is banished

from

i n t o a n i m a l i t y . C o u p l i n g the two

versions we a r r i v e at a d o u b l y radical break between men and god: men

recede below h u m a n i t y ,

god's d i v i n i t y

is

unanswerably

affirmed. O n l y i n future generations w i l l h u m a n / d i v i n e relations be on a firmer footing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at a more respectful distance. A n o t h e r significant theme is the metamorphosis

itself.

51

Not

only is L y k a o n like a wolf, he is, p e r m a n e n t l y , a wolf. H e r e again is an e n o r m o u s l y c o m m o n pattern i n Greek m y t h : a departure 73


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought from the n o r m â&#x20AC;&#x201D; often a transgression â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is fixed for ever by a change into a n o n - h u m a n state, frequently one (as w i t h L y k a o n ) a p p r o p r i a t e to the nature o f the transgression or a b n o r m a l i t y .

5 2

F u r t h e r m o r e the fact that i n the L y k a o n m y t h (as usual in Greek metamorphoses)

it is a god w h o effects the alteration is w o r t h

b e a r i n g i n m i n d i f the analogy between classical and m e d i e v a l werewolves threatens to become too insistent. I n both cultures to be a w o l f signifies that one has forfeited h u m a n i t y and is obliged to 1

lead an ' o u t s i d e existence. But the medieval werewolf, perceived as b e i n g able to change his shape f r o m the G o d - g i v e n h u m a n f o r m w i t h w h i c h he started, is typically represented as h a v i n g that power thanks to d e m o n i c assistance. T h e conceptual b a c k g r o u n d medieval werewolfism is C h r i s t i a n i t y .

to

5 3

A n y G r e e k m y t h should be responsive to an e n q u i r y into its themes. B u t some m y t h s , thanks to the accidents o f s u r v i v a l a n d the character o f the stories themselves, m a y take o n added significance w h e n seen in j u x t a p o s i t i o n w i t h a r i t u a l . T h i s is u n d e n i a b l y the case w i t h the m y t h in question here, w h i c h exists i n a v i r t u a l l y s y m b i o t i c relationship w i t h

the w e r e w o l f c e r e m o n y o f M o u n t

L y k a i o n . O n the one h a n d the m y t h ' c o n f i r m s ' the r i t u a l , g i v i n g it greater

resonance.

Each t i m e a m a n leaves the sanctuary

to

become a wolf, that m a n i n a sense is L y k a o n : i n v i r t u e o f the conclusive

banishment

originally

experienced

by

Lykaon,

the

exclusion d r a m a t i s e d i n the r i t u a l is that m u c h m o r e intense (or so we m a y surmise â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the emotions i n v o l v e d i n a r i t u a l are h a r d enough to assess i n a c o n t e m p o r a r y context, let alone in one sketchily k n o w n f r o m a n t i q u i t y ) . O n the other h a n d m y t h a n d r i t u a l are contrasting s y m b o l i c languages, the one t e n d i n g to make explicit a n d absolute that w h i c h the other leaves i m p l i c i t

and

t e m p o r a r y . T h u s the metamorphosis o f L y k a o n is p e r m a n e n t , while the exclusion dramatised i n the r i t u a l is t e m p o r a r y and reversible. O n e m a y note the parallel w i t h the scapegoat: i n m y t h the designated i n d i v i d u a l is k i l l e d ; i n r i t u a l merely e x p e l l e d .

54

A M o d e r n Postscript A t certain points i n this paper I have discussed the far f r o m simple relationship o b t a i n i n g between

t r a d i t i o n s about

observation o f the w o l f i n Greek 74

antiquity.

and e m p i r i c a l

M y invoking of


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought m o d e r n zoology as a c o n t r o l o n some o f the ancient data m a y have created an impression that nowadays we have an accurate and tradition-free p i c t u r e o f the wolf. I t is true that in this century the science o f ethology has made quite e x t r a o r d i n a r y strides;

and

studies o f w o l f b e h a v i o u r are no exception to this g e n e r a l i s a t i o n . But

knowledge o f such matters

55

is very t h i n l y diffused. I n the

industrialised West, at any rate, the w o l f is present largely as a residual folklore image. A n d i n the m i n d as in terms o f actual population it seems to be on the decline: i n u r b a n folklore, as the m o t o r w a y has replaced the forest as the location o f danger, so the p h a n t o m h i t c h h i k e r threatens to oust the w e r e w o l f . tinuing

p o p u l a r i t y o f w e r e w o l f films and

56

But the con-

literature

57

perhaps

suggests that this beast remains good to t h i n k w i t h , since it calls into question the b o u n d a r y between h u m a n and ' b e s t i a l ' . Even o r d i n a r y wolves still cause public and m e d i a t e r r o r i f they get out of place. A b o v e all there remains

a fascination â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the l u p i n e

equivalent o f the debate over cannibalism â&#x20AC;&#x201D; w i t h the question, l

Do

wolves make u n p r o v o k e d attacks on h u m a n b e i n g s ? '

58

The

evidence seems i n fact to be that, while rabid wolves w i l l indeed r u n amok and bite at r a n d o m , n o r m a l l y wolves are too terrified o f m a n to attack even when h u n g r y . I t is o f course h a r d to substantiate this, since it is often impossible to decide whether any given report, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f it is not c o n t e m p o r a r y , involves a r a b i d or a nonrabid wolf; a n d , to add to the confusion, feral dogs can easily be mistaken for w o l v e s .

59

I n any case, such cool evaluations o f the

evidence seem flimsy w h e n confronted w i t h a powerful folklore image. W h e t h e r that image w i l l d i m i n i s h or g r o w w h e n all the real wolves have been e x t e r m i n a t e d is b e y o n d even g u e s s w o r k .

60

Notes 1. C . L ĂŠ v i - S t r a u s s , The Savage Mind ( E n g . tr., L o n d o n , 1966). 2. O n the pedigree of this expression see G . E . R . L l o y d , Science, Folklore and Ideology ( C a m b r i d g e , 1983) 8, n 7. 3. For general discussions see L . D . M e c h , The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species (New Y o r k , 1970) and E . Z i m e n , The Wolf: His Place in the Natural World ( E n g . tr., L o n d o n , 1981). 4. C f . A . Dent, Lost Beasts of Britain ( L o n d o n , 1974) 9 9 - 134. 5. Wolves, ed. D . H . Pimlott (Morges, 1975). 6. Rewards offered in late eighteenth-century France are set out in A . Molinier and N . Molinier-Meyer, Environnement et histoire: les loups et l'homme en 4

75


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought France*, Rev. d'hist. mod ei contempt 28 (1981) 2 2 5 - 4 5 . a( 228; this is the only serious attempt known 10 me which offers a historical ecology of the wolf in a particular region. Bounties of £ 5 per head in C r o m w e l l i a n Ireland: C . Fitzgibbon, Red Hand: The Ulster Colony ( L o n d o n , 1971) 37. 7. Here and several times elsewhere I have followed or adapted the Loeb translation. 8. For advice on all matters of wolf biology and behaviour mentioned in this article I am indebted to D r S. H a r r i s of the Department of Zoology at Bristol University. 9. M . Haupt, 'Excerpta ex T i m o t h e i G a z a e i libris de animalibus', Hermes, 3 (1869) 8, lines 2 7 - 9 . 10. See M . D é t i e n n e and J . Svenbro, ' Les loups au festin ou la cité impossible', in M . D é t i e n n e and J . - P . V e r n a n t , La Cuisine du sacrifice en pays grec (Paris, 1979) 2 1 5 - 3 7 , on the parallel with 'isonomic' distribution between hoplites. 11. See D . L . Page, Sappho and Alcaeus (Oxford, 1955) 2 0 5 - 6 . 12. Connection between wolf and outlaw: H a r r y A . Senn, Were-wolf and Vampire in Romania (New Y o r k , 1982) 16, and J . N . B r e m m e r and N . M . Horsfall, Roman Myth and Kiythography ( L o n d o n , 1987) 43, n 73 (bibliog.). 13. O n this passage see C . M a i n o l d i , Limage du loup et du chien dans la Grèce ancienne d'Homere à Platon ( P a r i s , 1984) 2 5 - 6 . (Mainoldi's study is careful and extremely interesting.) Apollo Lyk(e)ios: F . Graf, Nordwmsehe Kulte ( R o m e , 1985) 220-6. 14. W e may recall that the origins of R o m e were perceived as lying with a renegade band of young men, led by the foster-children of the she-wolf— outsiders in co-operation; cf. A . AIföldi, Die Struktur des voretruskischen Römerstaates (Heidelberg, 1974), esp. 1 1 9 - 3 3 . 15. Mainoldi, L'Image, 9 7 - 1 0 3 , 127. 16. Wolves and dogs similar: cf. also D i o d . Sic. 1.88.6. But the perceived relation between the two is complex and ambiguous. Although dog can be seen to stand to wolf as tame to wild, the tameness of dogs is problematic. O n the one hand, they protect human civilisation by warding off wild beasts, and are domesti­ cated to the extent of being regularly eaten (cf. N . - G . G e j v a l l , Lerna, vol. 1, The Fauna (Princeton, 1969) 1 4 - 18). O n the other hand, dogs are potential killers and may threaten man (n.b. Aktaion). O n dogs see H . H . Scholz, Der Hund in der griechisch-römischen Magie und Religion (Berlin, 1937); R . H . A . Merten, De Canibus Dog and Hound in Antiquity ( L o n d o n , 1971); N . J . Zaganiaris, ' L e chien dans la mythologie et la littérature g r é c o - l a t i n e s ' , Platon, 32 (1980) 5 2 - 8 7 ; Mainoldi, Limage. N . b . also T . Ziolkowski, Varieties of Literary Thematics (Princeton, 1983) C h . 3 ( ' T a l k i n g dogs: the caninization of literature'); and, for a brilliant analysis of a medieval cult and legend, J . - C . Schmitt, The Holy Greyhound ( E n g . tr., C a m b r i d g e , 1983). 17. Dolon the wolf: L . Gernet, The Anthropology of Ancient Greece ( E n g . tr., Baltimore, 1981) 1 2 5 - 3 9 ; F . Lissarrague, 'Iconographie de Dolon le loup', Rev. Arch (1980) 3 - 3 0 . T h e attempt by Mainoldi, L'Image, 20, to explain away the wolf/trickery link in the Doloneia is unconvincing. 18. E . g . Rep. 416a, 5 6 5 e - 6 6 a ; Phaedo 82a. C f . Mainoldi, L'Image, 187-200, and D . L a n z a , / / liranno e il suo puhblico ( T u r i n , 1977) 6 5 - 7 . 19. List of references given by Mainoldi, L'Image, 2 0 9 - 1 0 , n 12. 20. C f . P. Borgeaud, Recherches sur le dieu Pan ( R o m e , 1979) 3 0 - 2 . 21. Aristotelian references: Gen. An. 742a8 (eyelid); Hist. An. 500b23 (penis); Part An. 686a21 (neck); translations adapted from Loeb. 22. But see postscript. 23. Lycanthropy is not unknown to modern psychiatry, although it is very rare:

76


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought see H . A . Rosenstock and K . R . Vincent, ' A case of lycanthropy', Am. Journ Psychiatry. 134A0 ( O c t . 1977) 1 1 4 7 - 9 . 24. G . R o n a y , The Dracula Myth ( L o n d o n , 1972) 15, gives a figure of 30,000 cases of lycanthropy investigated by the R o m a n C h u r c h between 1520 and the mid-seventeenth century. O n werewolf belief in early modern Europe see L . HarfLancncr, L a metamorphose illusoire: des théories c h r é t i e n n e s de la m é t a m o r p h o s e aux images m é d i é v a l e s du loup-garou', Annales ESC, 40 (1985) 2 0 8 - 2 6 . M . S u m m e r s , The Werewolf ( L o n d o n , 1933), may still be consulted, though with great circumspection. l

25. G a l e n , On Melancholy, ed. K ü h n , X I X , 719; text of Markellos in W . H . Roscher, 'Das von der " K y n a n t h r o p i e " handelnde Fragment des Marcellus von Side', Abh. der K'onigl. Sachs. Ges. Wiss., phil.-hist. C I . , 17 (Leipzig, 1897) 7 9 - 8 1 . Ancient lycanthropy. G . Piccaluga, Lykaan: un tema mittco ( R o m e , 1968) 60ff; M . U l i m a n n , ' D e r Werwolf. E i n griechisches Sagenmotiv in arabischer Verkleidung', Wiener Zs f. die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 68 (1976) 1 7 1 - 8 4 ; Burkert, HN, 89 with n 28. Burkert rightly States that lycanthropy is culturally determined, but his view that it 'no longer plays a role in modern psychiatry' needs rephrasing as 'a significant role'; cf. my n 23. Petronius: Satyr. 6 1 - 2 . 26. C f . T . E . J . W i e d e m a n n , 'Between men and beasts: barbarians in A m m i a n u s Marzellinus', in Past Perspectives, ed. I . S. Moxon, J . D . Smart and A. J . Woodman ( C a m b r i d g e , 1986) 1 8 9 - 2 0 1 . O n the 'other' in Herodotos see F . H a r t o ç , Le Miroir d'Hérodote (Paris, 1980); on perceived cultural differences between 'same' and 'other* see T . Todorov, La Conquête de l'Amérique (Paris, 1982). 27. C f . K . M e u l i , Gesammelte Schriften (Basle, 1975), vol. 1, 160. 28. See Borgeaud, Recherches, 1 9 - 2 3 . 29. W . Arens, The Man-Eating Myth (New Y o r k , 1979). 30. Eph. Arch. (1904) 1 5 3 - 2 1 4 , at 169. More on the excavation at Eph. Arch (1905) 1 6 1 - 7 8 ; Praktika (1^9) 185-200. 31. Burkert, HN, 90. 32 Bisclavret: S. Battaglin. 'II mito del licantropo nel Bisclavret di M a r i a di Francia* in his La coscienza letteraria del medioevo (Naples, 1965) 3 6 1 - 8 9 ; M . Bambcck, D a s Werwolfmotiv im Bisclavret , Zeitschr.fi Roman. Phiiol., # 9 ( 1 9 7 3 ) 1 2 3 - 4 7 ; F . S u a r d , 'Risclauret [sic] et les contes du loup-garou: essai d'interpréta­ tion', in Mélanges . . . offerts à Ch Foulon, vol. II ( L i è g e , 1980) 2 6 7 - 76. l

1

33. De la démonomame des sorciers (Paris, 1580) 99. 34 For the werewolf-rabies equation see C h . 12 of I . Woodward's lurid book The Werewolf Delusion (New Y o r k , 1979). 35. Equally beside the point is the attempt to explain the religious phenomenon of werewolfism by reference to iron-deficiency porphyria (New Scientist, 28 O c t . 1982, 2 4 4 - 5 ) . O n e may compare C . G i n z b u r g , 7he Night Battles ( E n g . tr., London, 1983) 18, on the need to explain the beliefs of the Friulian benandanti 'on I he basis of the history of popular religiosity not on that of pharmacology oi psychiatry'. 36. See M . Ninck, Die Bedeutung des Wassers im Kult und Leben der Alten, Philologus Supplbci. 14.2 (Leipzig, 1921) 148IÏ, for the role of water in mythical metamorphoses. 37. Death: R . G i n o u v è s , Balaneutikè (Paris, 1962) 2 3 9 - 6 4 ; R . Parker, Miasma {Oxford, 1983) 3 5 - 6 . Birth: G i n o u v è s 2 3 5 - 8 ; Parker, 5 0 - 1 . Marriage; G i n o u v è s , 2 6 5 - 8 2 . Prayer, sacrifice: G i n o u v è s , 3 1 1 - 1 8 Prophecy, incubation: G i n o u v è s , 327 - 7 3 . Mysteries: G i n o u v è s , 3 7 5 - 4 0 4 . 38. There is a striking parallel with the rite of adult baptism in the early C h u r c h . M a n y fonts had three steps leading down from one side and three steps leading up out of the other side: the initiate thus crossed the font. (See. A .

77


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought Khatchatrian, Les Baptistères paléochrétiens (Paris, 1962) nos. 83, 136, 194, 270 and 371.) T h e going down into the font was regarded as equivalent to Christ being placed in the tomb, and the going up out of it was interpreted in terms of resurrec­ tion (e.g. Ambrose de Sacr. 3.1.2; cf. J . G . Davies, The Architectural Setting of Baptism ( L o n d o n , 1962) 2 2 - 3 ) . 39. T h e major anthropological influence is A . van G e n n e p , Les Rites de passage (Paris, 1909), with important amplification by V . T u r n e r , The Forest of Symbols (Ithaca, 1967) 9 3 - 1 1 1 . O n Greece see H . J e a n m a i r e , Couroi et Courbes (Lille, 1939); A . Brehch, Faides e Parihenoi ( R o m e , 1969); J . Bremmer, 'Heroes, rituals and the T r o j a n W a r ' , Sludi Storno-Rel, 2 (1978) 5 - 3 8 ; Burkert, GR, 2 6 0 - 4 . 40. See T u r n e r , Forest, esp. 96. 4 L For the different views see Mainoldi, L'Image, 31, n 11. 42. Burkert, HN. 88. 43. Paus. 6.8.2; Pliny 8.82; A u g . Civ. Dei 18,17. 44. Seven years as wolf: Giraldus C a m b r e n s i s , Topographta Hibermca 2.19; one year: The Mabinogwn, tr. J . G a n t z (Harmondsworth, 1976) 105. Nine years as a transitional period: Felix's Life of Saint Guthlac, ed. B , Colgravc (Cambridge, 1956) C h . 18. C o m p a r e also Homeric 'for nine days . . . but on the tenth . . .': Lex. des frühgr. Epos s.v. ennea, ennemar, N . J . R i c h a r d s o n , The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (Oxford, 1974) 1 6 5 - 6 . 45. Burkert, orig. edn of Homo Necans (Berlin, 1972) 105. 46. See B . Sergent, L'Homosexualité dans ta mythologie grecque (Paris, 1984) 51 - 2 , on two months as a common period for initiatory withdrawal. 47. C f . J . Z . S m i t h , Imagining Religion (Chicago, 1 9 8 2 ) 6 0 - I , on the need not to abandon 'our sense of incredulity, our estimate of plausibility', in such matters. 48. Paus. 8.38.4. Piccaluga, Lykaon, interprets the entire cult activity on Lykaion in terms of drought/water: the first item in her subject index is 'acqua: passim'. But her desire to unify the heterogeneous data is over-zealous. 49. According to Pausanias (8.38.6) no person could enter the precinct of Zeus Lykaios on normal, i.e. non-sacred occasions. If anyone, man or beast, did enter, he cast no shadow — in other words, ceased to be alive. ( A variant also recorded by Pausanias makes this explicit: a person entering dies within a year.) Polybius (16.12.7) and Plutarch (Qu. Gr. 39) confirm the shadow story. Evidently it marks in an emphatic way the inside-sanctuary/outside-sanctuary boundary. But is there more to it than that? In front of the altar of Zeus there were two pillars 'towards the rising sun', with gilded eagles upon them (Paus. 8.38.7). T h e detail is enigmatic and, given the state of our knowledge, the sunlight, like the rain, must remain peripheral to our reading of the werewolf rite. 50. Borgeaud, Recherches, 4 5 - 7 . 51. O n this see in general the B u d é edition of Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses, by M . Papathomopoulos (Paris, 1968), and G . K . Galinsky, Ooid's 'Metamorphoses' (Oxford, 1975). 52. Some examples i n J H S , 700(1980), 3 0 - 5 . 53. Augustine (Ctv. Dei 18.18) ascribes all metamorphoses to demons, who have no power of creation but who change in appearance things created by G o d . O n philo­ sophical disputes about the status of metamorphosis in medieval times see C h , 2 of Summers The Werewolf', and cf. G . Ortalli, 'Natura, storia e mitografia del lupo nel Medioevo', La Cultura, 11 (1973) 2 5 7 - 3 1 1, at 286f. 54. Cf. J . Bremmer, 'Scapegoat rituals in ancient G r e e c e , HSCP, #7 (1983) 2 9 9 - 3 2 0 , at 3 1 5 - 1 8 . 55. C f . works referred to in notes 3 and 5. 56. See J . H . B r u n v a n d , The Vanishing Hitchhiker (New Y o r k , 1981). 57. See T . Gerhardt, ' D e r Werwolf im Groschenroman', Kieler Blätter zur 1

78


Wolves and Werewolves in Greek Thought Voikskunde, 9 ( 1 9 7 7 ) 4 1 - 5 4 . 58. Respectable scholars take the matter up eagerly. Eduard Fraenkrl, Horace (Oxford, 1957), put in a stop-press footnote: ' I can now add that during the exceptional cold spell of February 1956 a postman was attacked and eaten by wolves . . . in the immediate neighbourhood of Horace's farm' (186, n 3). Peter Levi repeats the topos in the Penguin translation of Pausanias (Harmondsworth, 1971) 324, n 115. 59. Molinier and M o l i n i e r - M e y e r , Environnement et histoire, analyse 45 attacks by wolves on humans between 1797 and 1817 in six French départements. Their guarded conclusion is that non-rabid wolves would attack children, especially those looking after flocks. Less often, adults were attacked; and, according to these authors, the attackers were not always rabid. But all adults fatally wounded or 'partiellement d é v o r é s ' were victims of rabid wolves. T h e authors estimate statis­ tically that the rabid wolf is twenty times more dangerous than the non-rabid wolf. 60. Versions of this paper have been read at Ioannina, Bristol, Oxford, Swansea and at an annual meeting of the Classical Association at Nottingham. I am indebted to the many colleagues who offered advice and criticism on each of these occasions. I am also most grateful for help received from don Renato De Vido, Professor J . G Davies, and the editor of this volume.

79


5 Orpheus: A Poet Among Men Fritz Graf

T h e m y t h o f O r p h e u s , i n the f o r m i n w h i c h it entered E u r o p e a n consciousness,

is q u i t e y o u n g : it was V i r g i l (Georg.

4,453-525)

and O v i d (Met. 1 0 , 1 - 1 1 . 8 4 ) w h o n a r r a t e d it i n its canonical f o r m . Their

accounts

look organic e n o u g h .

Orpheus

lost his

wife,

E u r y d i c e , at the t i m e o f their w e d d i n g ; grief-stricken, he went d o w n to Hades, overcame all hostile powers t h r o u g h the power o f his song, b u t failed i n the end: t u r n i n g too soon to see his wife, he lost her for g o o d . I n reaction, he fled h u m a n c o m p a n i o n s h i p , especially that o f w o m e n , a n d his m o u r n f u l s i n g i n g attracted w i l d beasts, trees a n d rocks. F i n a l l y maenads attacked h i m , tore his body to pieces a n d t h r e w it into a r i v e r ; m i r a c u l o u s l y preserved, his head kept o n s w i m m i n g and s i n g i n g o n the waves. A look at the earlier testimonies a n d the m y t h o g r a p h e r s , however, shows that this n a r r a t i v e is a composite o f four themes:

1

different

the story o f h o w O r p h e u s lost his wife a n d t r i e d to fetch

her back; h o w his music attracted a n i m a l s , trees, and even rocks; how he died at the hands o f the maenads or o f T h r a c i a n w o m e n , and what happened

to his severed

head.

These

four

themes

account for nearly all the m y t h s we k n o w about O r p h e u s : a fifth major theme, one not integrated into the vulgate b u t , to anticipate, attested at the earliest date, is the story o f h o w O r p h e u s accompanied the A r g o n a u t s on their adventurous t r i p . T h e task o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g the figure o f O r p h e u s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a T h r a c i a n singer a n d lyre-player, son o f a M u s e and a shadowy k i n g or the god A p o l l o h i m s e l f â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is not an easy one, in consequence o f the inadequacy o f o u r sources. I t has, nevertheless, been u n d e r t a k e n m a n y times a n d w i t h w i d e l y divergent results. 80

2

T h i s essay w i l l ,


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men once again, attack the same p r o b l e m . A n d t h o u g h sketchv i n some parts, it hopes to present a w e l l - k n o w n m y t h o l o g i c a l fig ire in a partly new l i g h t .

1. T h e m o v i n g story o f O r p h e u s ' frustrated love goes back, as is universally agreed, to a H e l l e n i s t i c source.

3

T h e r e is m u c h less

agreement about earlier forms o f this m y t h . D i d it always end u n h a p p i l y , or was there a version where O r p h e u s succeeded i n his quest? T h e evidence seems, at first, somewhat a m b i g u o u s . The

first

allusion

to an

unsuccessful

e n d i n g is i n

Plato's

Symposium (179 D E ) , i n a rather s u r p r i s i n g f o r m . T h e gods, Plato makes Phaedrus say, deceived O r p h e u s by not g i v i n g h i m his wife but o n l y s h o w i n g h i m an a p p a r i t i o n , phasma, o f her, as a punishment for his cowardice: had he not been a c o w a r d , he w o u l d have died to follow her, as Alcestis h a d done w h o died out o f love for her husband. T h i s v a r i a t i o n c e r t a i n l y is Plato's â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but he varies the canonical f o r m w i t h its u n h a p p y e n d i n g . T h e evidence before Plato is less clear. T h e first reference to the m y t h occurs i n E u r i p i d e s ' Alcestis,

p e r f o r m e d i n 438 B C . Alcestis,

who chose to die instead o f her h u s b a n d A d m e t u s , takes her farewell;

i n a l o n g speech,

A d m e t u s expresses his grief a n d

promises to love her for ever â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a n d i f he h a d the power o f O r p h e u s , he w o u l d go d o w n to entice Persephone a n d her husband to give h i m back his wife, a n d neither Cerberus nor C h a r o n could keep h i m back 'before I w o u l d b r i n g back t h y life to the l i g h t ' ( 3 5 7 - 6 2 ) . T h e w o r d s are a m b i g u o u s , and it does not necessarily follow that O r p h e u s h a d been successful. O n e m i g h t even argue that A d m e t u s hopes to have more success than his famous predecessor, w h o m Cerberus a n d C h a r o n h a d kept b a c k .

4

N o r does a

successful e n d i n g follow f r o m a passage i n Isocrates' Busiris

(8)

where the r h e t o r compares Busiris ' w h o killed the l i v i n g before their t i m e ' to O r p h e u s ' w h o b r o u g h t back the dead from Hades': what matters is the clever contrast, and Isocrates at all events overstates his case, since he makes O r p h e u s b r i n g back the dead, tous tethneotas. It is not difficult to see that he d i d not m e n t i o n the outcome i n o r d e r to avoid e n d a n g e r i n g his recherche comparison. A s i m i l a r a m b i g u i t y surrounds the t w o references i n Hellenistic 81


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men poetry. H e r m e s i a n a x ( a r o u n d 300 B C ) ends his account o f how O r p h e u s went to Hades for his wife w i t h the words: ' T h u s s i n g i n g , he persuaded the great L o r d s that A r g i o p e [as H e r m e s i a n a x calls the wife] m i g h t take the spirit o f fragile life

1

(fr. 7 Powell). T h e

o u t c o m e is open, and since the poet narrates the m y t h i n praise o f another poet's love, as a m y t h i c a l precedent o f his o w n love and poetry, he needs must leave it open — especially i f the m y t h had ended i n failure. I n the a n o n y m o u s Epitaph for the poet Bion,

its

a u t h o r wishes to be able to go d o w n to Hades, like O r p h e u s , like Odysseus, like Herakles, and to sing before K o r e ( 1 2 1 - 3 2 ) : he is certain that his song w i l l m o v e the Mistress o f the D e a d — especially since she is S i c i l i a n , as is his bucolic song. A g a i n , it is the powerful song that matters; the poet m i g h t hope to be m o r e successful than O r p h e u s — after a l l , his song is nearer a n d dearer to Persephone t h a n O r p h e u s ' had been. T h e r e is,

finally,

the famous relief from the later fifth century

w h i c h comes, p r e s u m a b l y , f r o m the altar o f the T w e l v e Gods o n the A t h e n i a n A g o r a . It represents H e r m e s , O r p h e u s and his wife. As to the exact i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , archaeologists are d i v i d e d into those who see a ' t r a g i c a l n o t e ' , i.e. the final p a r t i n g o f the lovers, and those w h o do not. For o u r discussion it is therefore not very helpful.

5

T h e r e is, t h e n , no u n a m b i g u o u s t e s t i m o n y to a h a p p y e n d i n g o f O r p h e u s ' quest. W h a t is m o r e , it seems clear that at least the w r i t e r s ( I venture no o p i n i o n about the u n k n o w n sculptor) were not so m u c h interested i n the o u t c o m e as i n the story — that O r p h e u s went out o f love, i n his l i v i n g b o d y , d o w n to Hades, a n d overcame all the dangers there, thanks to his p o w e r f u l music. I t is a m y t h about a master-musician a n d , at least i n Hellenistic t i m e , a poet's poet, a m y t h i c a l p r é f i g u r a t i o n o f the poet. E v e n Plato, i n his emphasis o n the katabasis i n life, w h i c h he devalued w h e n c o m pared to suicide, shows this p o i n t o f view. H i s f o r m u l a t i o n — 'the gods only showed h i m a phasma o f her' — is, t h e n , a perfectly understandable a b b r e v i a t i o n o f the finale we k n o w f r o m V i r g i l a n d Ovid.

2. W e m a y , therefore, assume that the m y t h has had a relatively 82


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men u n i f o r m pattern f r o m its first attestation i n 438 B C . As to its age and its possible earlier appearance, we simply lack i n f o r m a t i o n . Nevertheless, scholars a t t r i b u t e d to it a hoary a n t i q u i t y . It was reckoned to be *the most significant . pared

to shamanic

ideology and

. element that can be comtechnique'.

t h o u g h , is somewhat m o r e complex than t h i s .

6

The

problem,

7

It is not i n dispute that a m o n g the most i m p o r t a n t tasks a shaman

has to p e r f o r m is the r i t u a l l y enacted j o u r n e y to the

beyond to get i n f o r m a t i o n or to fetch back a soul; he does this o n behalf o f his c o m m u n i t y . H e is helped by his d r u m , w i t h o u t w h i c h he w o u l d be helpless, a n d by his spirit, b o t h o f w h i c h he had acquired d u r i n g his p e r i o d o f i n i t i a t i o n . T h e m y t h o f O r p h e u s thus could be viewed as reflecting shamanistic r i t u a l — there are even shamans who use a stringed i n s t r u m e n t instead o f a d r u m . changes — that O r p h e u s

8

The

is a master-musician, not a healing

priest, a n d that he acts out o f his private love — are understandable as adaptations to the level o f classical Greek c u l t u r e . C o m p l i c a t i o n s come w i t h a whole body o f stories aptly labelled ' T h e O r p h e u s T r a d i t i o n ' , most o f t h e m from N o r t h A m e r i c a n Indians, some f r o m the Pacific r i m s o f Asia and from Polynesia.

9

I n these stories, a m a n ( r a r e l y a w o m a n ) goes to the w o r l d o f the dead to fetch back a near relative — wife, h u s b a n d , lover, b r o t h e r or sister. He/she overcomes the difficulties o f this alien w o r l d , is helped by its i n h a b i t a n t s a n d rulers a n d is g i v e n back his beloved — u n d e r c o n d i t i o n s , t h o u g h , w h i c h m a y resemble those o f the Greek m y t h ( n o t to look back or not to touch the beloved o n the way u p ) o r m a y concern t h e i r life afterwards (never to strike her, a m o n g other t h i n g s ) . I n most cases, these conditions are b r o k e n (this is, after aU, t h e i r n a r r a t i v e f u n c t i o n ) , a n d the quest fails. T h e attestations o f these stories present some f o r m i d a b l e problems o f o r i g i n a n d diffusion. T h e i r closeness o n both sides o f the Pacific makes it likely that they o r i g i n a t e d from one source, presumably i n A s i a ; i n any event, the story must have existed l o n g before the last I n d i a n crossed the B e r i n g Strait sometime between 10,000 a n d 2,500 B C , w h e n we find the oldest E s q u i m o cultures in these parts: the Esquimoes show no traces o f this s t o r y .

J0

A s for its

o r i g i n , the closeness to shamanistic experience has often been stressed, a n d Ake H u l t k r a n t z suggested that its nucleus was the record o f an actual shamanistic seance — a l t h o u g h i n very few cases, a n d never i n A m e r i c a , is the Orpheus-figure a shaman, and 83


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men he never succeeds t h r o u g h his musical a b i l i t y .

13

O n e m i g h t thus

doubt H u l t k r a n t z ' s hypothesis; still, the s i m i l a r i t y o f the stories, not least their c o m m o n difference from actual shamanistic r i t u a l , is p r o o f that the diffusionist theory is r i g h t . I f this is so, and i f the story goes back some m i l l e n i a , then some doubts may be cast on the relevance o f its shamanistic o r i g i n for the u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the Greek m y t h : it m i g h t have become detached from its r i t u a l o r i g i n l o n g ago and have travelled t h r o u g h the populations between Pacific Asia a n d the M e d i t e r r a n e a n i n the m o u t h s o f m a n y generations o f story-tellers. T o the Greeks at least, it d i d not point to s h a m a n i s m , but explored the power o f music w h i c h could bridge the gap between m o r t a l i t y a n d i m m o r t a l i t y , albeit not to the extent o f resuscitating the dead. N o b o d y i n Greek m y t h o l o g y — not Herakles a n d Odysseus w i t h t h e i r heroic arete, not even Asclepios w i t h his sophia as a healer — was p e r m i t t e d this u l t i m a t e power w h i c h w o u l d have touched u p o n the very b o r d e r l i n e between the h u m a n a n d the d i v i n e c o n d i t i o n i n a m u c h more f u n d a m e n t a l and devastating way t h a n simply the descent into Hades by a l i v i n g man.

3. T h e second theme — O r p h e u s e n c h a n t i n g animals, trees and rocks w i t h his song — is attested somewhat earlier. Simonides i n a fragment o f one o f his odes is the first to formulate i t for us; then follow Aeschylus a n d E u r i p i d e s .

12

A g a i n , it is an image o f poetry

a n d music surpassing the boundaries o f h u m a n existence, this time the b o u n d a r y between m a n and the rest o f the creation. A s Greek m a n defines his status as hrotos c o m p a r e d to the ambrotoi, the u n d y i n g gods, so does he towards animals: full h u m a n i t y , accordi n g to Greek a n t h r o p o l o g y , was gained by o v e r c o m i n g the a n i m a l {3

like c o n d i t i o n , theriodes bios.

For this story again, shamanistic roots have been c l a i m e d . I n the Finnish

poem Kalevala,

the singer,

b l a c k s m i t h , and m a g i c i a n

V a i n a m o i n n e n attracts the animals by his marvellous song (canto 41), and parallels are found i n N o r t h European poetry as well as i n epics in N o r t h e r n Eurasia, I n d i a , or C h i n a . A r i t u a l b a c k g r o u n d is possible: the magical attraction o f animals t h r o u g h music before the h u n t , one o f the tasks o f the s h a m a n . 84

14

But again, the p r o b l e m


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men is not that easy. T h e extant testimonies, at least those from poetry, show the p r i d e a n d self-definition o f the singers reflected i n the m y t h i c a l image o f the marvellous singer; there are, f u r t h e r m o r e , possible Near Eastern parallels as w e l l .

1 5

A g a i n , the shamanistic

b a c k g r o u n d recedes to a p o i n t where it is v i r t u a l l y o f no consequence for u n d e r s t a n d i n g the Greek m y t h , and again possible ways o f transmission other t h a n direct contact w i t h a shamanistic culture are at least conceivable.

4. T h e next theme is the death o f O r p h e u s . T w o m a i n t r a d i t i o n s are preserved: i n one, O r p h e u s is killed by o r d i n a r y T h r a c i a n w o m e n , i n the other b y maenads, m y t h o l o g i c a l beings. T h e

Romans,

Virgil

maenads

and

Ovid,

b l e n d the t r a d i t i o n s , m a k i n g the

T h r a c i a n w o m e n â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Ciconum matres (Georg. 4.520) or nurus (Met. 11.8), ' m o t h e r s ( v i z , daughters) o f the C i c o n i a n s ' ; T h r a c e , to t h e m , is a c o u n t r y w i t h m y t h i c a l dimensions. A t h i r d t r a d i t i o n is local, and has O r p h e u s killed by l i g h t n i n g : it goes back, as I . M . L i n f o r t h c o n v i n c i n g l y argued, to p r o - T h r a c i a n m y t h - m a k i n g at the b e g i n n i n g o f the Peloponnesian

War.

1 6

T h e maenads are

attested earlier: Aeschylus i n his Bassarai is the first to introduce them.

1 7

T h e m o t i v a t i o n s for their attack v a r y , but it is always, i n

some way or other, the w r a t h o f Dionysos w h i c h sends them (except i n V i r g i l a n d O v i d who motivate from purely h u m a n reasons). T h e Aeschylean account is preserved i n the remnants o f Eratosthenes' n a r r a t i o n o f how the lyre became a constellation. It had been invented by H e r m e s a n d handed over to A p o l l o (this story is k n o w n since the H o m e r i c H y m n to H e r m e s ) , then to O r p h e u s ; after the latter's violent death, Zeus set it a m o n g the stars, Eratosthenes gave as m o t i v a t i o n ( i n M a r t i n West's reconstruction) that O r p h e u s

i n his j o u r n e y to the Beyond had a

revelation w h i c h made h i m convert f r o m Dionysos,

thus

rebuked,

took

his

Dionysos to Helios:

revenge.

H y g i n u s in

his

Astronomica (2.7) offers a different reason: when singing in praise o f the gods before Pluto and Persephone, Orpheus forgot Dionysos â&#x20AC;&#x201D; this is a c o m m o n m o t i f , most p r o m i n e n t i n the m y t h o f the C a i y d o n i a n H u n t , w h e n Oeneus forgot to sacrifice to A r t e m i s , who

sent the boar to punish h i m . 85

1 8

T h e other m o t i v a t i o n is


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men singular, but c o n v i n c i n g : after the j o u r n e y i n the d a r k , H e l i o s ' p o w e r m i g h t be better appreciated. I t c o u l d have been Aeschylus' own invention. T h e r e are m o r e reasons g i v e n i n o u r sources for the attack o f the T h r a c i a n w o m e n , b u t there is nevertheless one c o m m o n theme. T h e m o t i v a t i o n s given by Plato (Symp.

179 D : the gods punished

O r p h e u s for his cowardice) and Isocrates (Busir.

38f: the gods

punished h i m because he told shocking stories about t h e m ) may be set

firmly

aside as idiosyncrasies o f their respective authors; a

further e x p l a n a t i o n offered by H y g i n u s (Astron.

2.7: A p h r o d i t e ,

disappointed o f the love o f A d o n i s , made all the w o m e n m a d w i t h love for O r p h e u s and they p u l l e d h i m to pieces w h e n they tried to get h o l d o f h i m ) looks rather like a bad j o k e based o n a w e l l - k n o w n m y t h . T h e other explanations agree i n the fact that the w o m e n resented O r p h e u s because he kept away f r o m t h e m â&#x20AC;&#x201D; either he stayed

away

assembled

from

human

o n l y the m e n

homoerotic l o v e .

1 9

beings

completely ( V i r g i l )

a r o u n d h i m or he even

or

he

introduced

A t t i c red-figured vases f r o m the 480s onwards

always depict the attack

by T h r a c i a n w o m e n , and

never

by

maenads; vases o f the same p e r i o d show h i m singing a m o n g the men

only

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

background.

20

but

i n one

case

armed

women

lurk

in

the

T h i s , t h e n , is the vulgate version: O r p h e u s died at

the hands o f T h r a c i a n w o m e n because they were angered about his aloofness. T h e vases show that this vulgate preceded Aeschylus i n t i m e : he already knew a story where O r p h e u s came to grief i n T h r a c e , at the hands o f w o m e n . H e also k n e w about a special relationship between

Orpheus

and

Dionysos. T h e o n l y

such

connection we k n o w o f is attested later: O r p h e u s is the poet o f the Bacchic mysteries; explicitly stated i n a host o f later texts, this is alluded to i n the still somewhat enigmatic bone-tablets f r o m O l b i a , dated to the latter half o f the fifth c e n t u r y .

21

T h e Bassarai brings

this theme u p to the 470s or 460s; a few vases attest it for the m i d d l e o f the century ( n 20). O r p h e u s is not o n l y a powerful poet, t h e n ; his poetry is, at an early stage, connected w i t h Bacchic mystery-cults.

5. O r p h e u s is also always a T h r a c i a n . T h r e e localisations are m e n t i o n e d . A physikos Herakleides, not necessarily Heraclides Ponticus, 86


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men A r i s t o t l e ' s p u p i l , connects h i m w i t h the i n t e r i o r o f T h r a c e , a r o u n d Mt

H a e m u s : here, according to Heraclides, i n a sanctuary o f

Dionysos recipes.

22

there The

were

tablets

geographer

(sanides)

Pomponius

with

Orpheus'

magical

M e l a (2.17) adds that

O r p h e u s had i n i t i a t e d the maenads i n the same region. M o r e texts connect

h i m w i t h the coast o f Southern T h r a c e ,

around

Mt

Pangaeum. Aeschylus i n the Bassarai made the m o u n t a i n the place where the maenads attacked a n d killed the singer (see n 17). Several authors call h i m a C i c o n i a n : it is a purely poetical localisat i o n , d e r i v i n g from H o m e r ' s knowledge o f this t r i b e .

2 3

Another

tribe O r p h e u s is connected w i t h are the Odryseans: they became p r o m i n e n t i n the years between 450 and 330, w h e n Teres and his son Sitalces founded the T h r a c i a n e m p i r e w h i c h was, d u r i n g the Peloponnesian W a r , an ally o f A t h e n s . It was presumably d u r i n g this p e r i o d w h e n this localisation o f O r p h e u s o r i g i n a t e d .

24

But neither the i n t e r i o r n o r coastal T h r a c e could show a grave o f Orpheus,

despite his presumed

death o n M t P a n g a e u m .

25

A

grave, or rather two graves, are attested i n a t h i r d r e g i o n : Pieria, to the northeast o f M t O l y m p u s . T h e region is, i n historical times, M a c e d o n i a n , but T h u c y d i d e s a n d Strabo preserve the t r a d i t i o n o f an earlier, expelled T h r a c i a n p o p u l a t i o n . Archaeology confirms this change i n p o p u l a t i o n a n d dates it to the early archaic a g e .

26

T h e central site for O r p h e u s is L e i b e t h r a , o n the foothills o f M t O l y m p u s . T h e t o w n possessed a statue (xoanon) o f O r p h e u s , carved out o f cypress w o o d : it had sweated w h e n A l e x a n d e r set out on his c a m p a i g n , to foreshadow the sweat A l e x a n d e r ' s exploits w o u l d cause historians and p o e t s .

27

T h e t o w n also had a sanctuary o f

O r p h e u s where he received O l y m p i a n sacrifices and w h i c h w o m e n were forbidden to enter. C o n o n , w h o collected the story at the b e g i n n i n g o f the C h r i s t i a n era, adds the aetiological m y t h

(FGrH

26 F 1,45). O n certain days, O r p h e u s assembled the w a r r i o r s o f Macedonia and T h r a c e

2 8

i n a b u i l d i n g well equipped for i n i t i a -

tions (teletat); w h e n celebrating these r i t u a l s , they had to leave their weapons outside. T h e w o m e n resented being excluded. Perhaps also, C o n o n adds, they resented the fact that O r p h e u s was not interested i n their love. T h e weapons outside the b u i l d i n g gave them their chance: one day, they took t h e m u p , entered the b u i l d i n g , killed whoever opposed t h e m , tore O r p h e u s to pieces a n d t h r e w the l i m b s into the sea. I n e v i t a b l y , a plague ensued. T h e oracle w h i c h the Leibethreans consulted ordered t h e m to b u r y 87


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men O r p h e u s ' head. A

fisherman

caught it at the m o u t h o f the river

Meles, u n t o u c h e d by death and sea-water. It was b u r i e d u n d e r a great m o n u m e n t , and a sanctuary and cult developed. T h e sources o f C o n o n are n o t o r i o u s l y difficult to trace; o u r account is no e x c e p t i o n .

29

N o t e v e r y t h i n g i n it is clear, L e i b e t h r a is

well away f r o m the sea; how then c o u l d the l i m b s be t h r o w n into it? T h e r i v e r Meles, w h i c h washed the head out into the sea, is another puzzle: it cannot be the w e l l - k n o w n r i v e r near S m y r n a but must be a local stream, unattested elsewhere.

30

T h e importance

given to the head is also somewhat i n c o n g r u o u s : there are other stories about O r p h e u s ' head, but there its role is m o r e functional: it either gives oracles or causes exceptional musical a b i l i t y (see b e l o w ) . Still, there is no good reason to suspect that

Conon's

n a r r a t i v e is fraudulent â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a n d , as w i l l be shown presently, its u n d e r l y i n g assumptions are c o r r o b o r a t e d f r o m elsewhere, h thus attests a cult o f O r p h e u s a n d an aetiological story i n v o l v i n g secret rituals o f O r p h e u s for the local w a r r i o r s . A more complex account o f O r p h e u s Pausanias

(9.30.4-12),

He

starts

by

i n Pieria is given by sketching

the

vulgate

m y t h o l o g y o f O r p h e u s , w i t h a longer account o f his death: he was killed by T h r a c i a n w o m e n w h o were angry because he had taken their m e n f o l k away a n d r o a m e d w i t h t h e m all over the c o u n t r y . T h e w o m e n o n l y dared attack t h e m w h e n all were d r u n k , and they killed O r p h e u s . T h i s is the reason w h y the T h r a c i a n w a r r i o r s have to intoxicate themselves w h e n they go

fighting.

T h i s , o f course, is

j u s t a slight rationalisation o f a very archaic fighting technique, the ' K a m p f w u t ' â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an ecstasy or trance w h i c h the w a r r i o r s reach by various means before the battle and w h i c h enables t h e m to perform

spectacular

feats.

It is attested

for m a n y archaic

E u r o p e a n societies, a m o n g t h e m the G e r m a n s ,

Indo-

the Celts, the

Iranians a n d , later, I r a n i a n Assassins. T h e i m p o r t a n t t h i n g is that these

ecstatic

warriors

always

form

secret

societies

(most

p r o m i n e n t l y the Assassins): O r p h e u s r o a m i n g the c o u n t r y w i t h a huge b a n d o f presumably w e l l - a r m e d m e n looks like the m y t h i c a l image o f such a society.

31

T h u s far, Pausanias does not give a precise localisation. But w h e n he comes to the grave o f O r p h e u s , he does: the

grave

m o n u m e n t , a c o l u m n w i t h an u r n o n top c o n t a i n i n g the bones o f O r p h e u s , can be seen at the very place where the w o m e n killed h i m , close to the t o w n o f D i u m , at the r i v e r H e l i c o n or Baphyras, 88


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men shortly before it vanishes u n d e r g r o u n d . T h e reason for this disappearance is again the m u r d e r o f O r p h e u s : w h e n the w o m e n wished to clean themselves i n the stream, it simply vanished. I t m i g h t be that this is no m o r e than Pausanias' o w n attempt to connect the m y t h he told o f O r p h e u s ' death w i t h the m o n u m e n t near D i u m â&#x20AC;&#x201D; b u t , at any rate, he knows o f a grave at this place. T h i s leaves L e i b e t h r a o u t : i n Pausanias exist.

32

1

t i m e it had ceased to

A friend i n L a r i s a had t o l d h i m w h y . T h e Leibethreans

h a d received an oracle that a sow (hys) w o u l d destroy their city i f the sun c o u l d see the bones o f O r p h e u s ; understandably enough, they d i d n ' t w o r r y m u c h about this. B u t one day, a shepherd s l u m bered at the base o f Orpheus* m o n u m e n t , a n d the b u r i e d hero made h i m play so sweetly that a c r o w d o f shepherds was attracted: i n their eagerness to be as close to the music as possible, they toppled a n d broke the u r n . T h u s , the sun c o u l d see the bones. T h e f o l l o w i n g n i g h t a r i v u l e t , the H y s , swollen because o f heavy rains, overflowed a n d destroyed the t o w n . I t never was r e b u i l t , and the people o f D i u m b r o u g h t the m o n u m e n t i n t o their t o w n . This

story

is

clearly

an

alternative

explanation

for

the

m o n u m e n t at D i u m . T h a t it was fetched from L e i b e t h r a is i n c o m patible w i t h the idea that it still m a r k s the very spot where O r p h e u s d i e d . N e i t h e r does the story square w i t h C o n o n ' s description o f a temenos a n d a m o n u m e n t u n d e r w h i c h O r p h e u s ' head was b u r i e d ; but Pausanias is t a l k i n g about something w h i c h no longer existed i n his t i m e , a n d his friend projected the m o n u m e n t o f D i u m into that o f L e i b e t h r a . T h e whole story is an i n v e n t i o n w i t h a clear bias against L e i b e t h r a , the most p r o m i n e n t place in O r p h e u s ' m y t h ology. M u c h earlier, Strabo h a d heard another story at D i u m . T h e T h r a c i a n ( C i c o n i a n ) O r p h e u s spent his t i m e i n the village o f P i m p l e i a near D i u m , acquired m a n y followers t h r o u g h his music, prophecies a n d r i t u a l s , a n d became a political power, till some o f those w h o m he had scorned (hypidomenous) killed h i m (7 fr. 18). T h i s looks like the transposition o f the usual story into another frame, that o f political power play a n d i n t r i g u e , D i u m , at any rate, had its o w n t r a d i t i o n as w e l l . T h e r e is m o r e to this story. I t is s u r p r i s i n g l y close to the account o f h o w the Pythagoreans ( o r , as other sources u n h i s t o r i c a l l y relate, Pythagoras himself) came to a violent end i n C r o t o n . Pythagoras, as m u c h priestly figure as philosopher, collected m a n y followers, and the g r o u p gained political power, u n t i l their opponents set 89


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men fire to t h e i r m e e t i n g place a n d killed m a n y o f t h e m .

3 3

Strabo's story

about O r p h e u s seems dependent o n the Pythagorean one w h i c h is attested

from

the late fourth century a n d preserves

historical

knowledge about the end o f Pythagorean politics i n C r o t o n . T h e r e are other connections between Pythagoras a n d Pierian O r p h e u s . T h e pseudepigraphical D o r i c Hieros Logos o f Pythagoras, w r i t t e n i n late Hellenistic t i m e somewhere i n southern I t a l y , opens w i t h the story o f h o w Pythagoras had gone to L e i b e t h r a to be be i n i t i a t e d (orgistheis)

a n d had learned f r o m the i n i t i a t o r (telestas)

A g l a o p h a m u s this same Sacred T a l e (Hieros Logos) about the gods. It went back to O r p h e u s w h o h a d learned it from the M u s e , his m o t h e r , on M t P a n g a e u m . the a u t h o r telescopes

34

T h e geography is slightly b l u r r e d :

P i e r i a n L e i b e t h r a a n d the T h r a c i a n M t

Pangaeum; he is not the o n l y one to do so, a n d i n general the D o r i c Pseudopythagorica seem somewhat hazy about the Greek East.

35

T h e i m p o r t a n t t h i n g is that again L e i b e t h r a is to the fore:

here A g l a o p h a m u s i n i t i a t e d , as O r p h e u s h a d before h i m ; this t r a d i t i o n was then handed over to Pythagoras. G i v e n this, it is not impossible that the story o f the Pythagoreans

influenced the

O r p h e u s legend. I t m i g h t even have been the same m i l i e u o f the southern I t a l i a n Pythagoreans w h o had developed the

Pseudo-

pythagorica w h i c h was also responsible for the story i n Strabo. T h e r e is one slight but revealing difference. I n the Pythagorean story, the enemies are political opponents;

i n the story about

O r p h e u s , they are m e n w h o m O r p h e u s had ' o v e r l o o k e d ' : this detail must come f r o m the vulgate t r a d i t i o n , where O r p h e u s had ' o v e r l o o k e d ' the w o m e n , his murderesses. T h u s , t w o places i n Pieria preserved m o n u m e n t s o f O r p h e u s . I f the place where a hero has his grave is really his place o f o r i g i n ,

3 6

O r p h e u s is no T h r a c i a n , b u t a P i e r i a n . I t is, o f course, j u s t possible that b o t h L e i b e t h r a a n d D i u m took over the Panhellenic m y t h o f O r p h e u s a n d created cults a n d m o n u m e n t s at a t i m e w h e n local p a t r i o t i s m wished to glorify the past, a n d w h e n they also wished to have a hero k n o w n all over Greece. I t is strange, t h o u g h , that i n these legends we meet an O r p h e u s somewhat different from the singer we have encountered u p to n o w : a leader a n d i n i t i a t o r a m o n g w a r r i o r s , celebrating secret rituals i n a telesterion o r r o a m i n g over the countryside â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n short, a priestly leader o f a men's society.

That

should

preserve

tradition. 90

traces o f a local,

indigenous


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men 6, But there is m o r e . T h e story o f how O r p h e u s b u i l t his telesterion and assembled the m e n has a parallel i n the famous story Herodotos ( 4 , 9 4 - 6 ) tells about Z a l m o x i s , the T h r a c i a n slave o f P y t h a g o r a s .

37

Z a l m o x i s , u p o n r e t u r n i n g to his native t r i b e , built a m e n ' s house (andreon),

assembled the eminent m e n o f the tribe, feasted

and

taught t h e m that eternal life was i n store for them after their death. T o prove his p o i n t , he disappeared into an u n d e r g r o u n d chamber he had secretly b u i l t . T h e tribesmen m o u r n e d h i m as dead — but after three years he r e t u r n e d alive. T h e story points i n t w o directions. O n one side is T h r a c i a n r e l i g i o n . U s u a l l y , Z a l m o x i s is considered a d i v i n i t y w h o acted as a d i v i n e i n i t i a t o r i n a secret c u l t .

3 8

B u t it had a political side as well,

alluded to already in the H e r o d o t e a n account — that he invited the most p r o m i n e n t m e n o f the t r i b e ((on astön tous protous).

Other

sources say that he had been councillor to the T h r a c i a n k i n g before b e c o m i n g a god (Strabo 7.3.5 p. 298, after Posidonius) and that he was a l a w g i v e r a m o n g T h r a c i a n s ( D i o d .

1.94.2): his mysteries

were no m a r g i n a l eschatological cult, but had to do w i t h the centre of power, and the priests w h o p e r f o r m e d them were considered his successors and

at

the

same

t i m e royal

councillors —

most

p r o m i n e n t being Decaenus, the high priest i n the reign o f k i n g Burebistas (Strabo, loc. c i t . ) . T h e i n s t i t u t i o n is reminiscent o f the role the w a r r i o r s ' secret society developed into i n the I r a n i a n k i n g d o m , where the initiated w a r r i o r s became the closest followers and vassals o f the k i n g ; the former secret society retained the political

and

military

power

o f the

kingdom.

3 9

An

ancient

etymology for Z a l m o x i s ' name points the same w a y . I t derives the name from zalmos, 'bear's h i d e ' , because as a baby Z a l m o x i s was enveloped i n such a hide — but the berserkir, ' B ä r e n h ä u t e r ' , is a N o r d i c ecstatic w a r r i o r clad i n a bear's s k i n .

4 0

O n the other side is the Pythagorean connection, well k n o w n and

often discussed.

Z a l m o x i s to the

41

Herodotos

fact that

he had

attributes

the stratagem

learnt such

wisdom

Pythagoras. A very similar account o f a trick Pythagoras

of

from per-

formed is told by H e r m i p p u s (fr. 20 W e h r l i ) . W . B u r k e r t concluded from it that Pythagoras had the aspect o f a ' h i e r o p h a n t i n the

cult o f D e m e t e r ' ,

42

that

is, again,

o f an

initiator.

The

Pythagorean society was not only a political club, but also a cult 91


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men association w i t h Pythagoras as its head. O r p h e u s , as we met h i m at L e i b e t h r a and D i u m , is a k i n to b o t h Zalmoxis

and

Pythagoras.

But

the

Herodotean

account

of

Z a l m o x i s cannot be reduced to Greek fancy along the lines o f the legend o f Pythagoras, as H e r o d o t o s already implies for reasons o f chronology ( 4 . 9 6 ) , because there is independent a n d c o n c u r r i n g evidence for a T h r a c i a n d i v i n i t y Z a l m o x i s . S i m i l a r l y , the legend o f O r p h e u s cannot be reduced to simple i n v e n t i o n after the m o d e l o f Pythagoras. I t seems rather that Pieria preserved ( a l t h o u g h transformed) i n s t i t u t i o n s a n d rituals o f a w a r r i o r s ' society, a n d that O r p h e u s was connected w i t h it as the heroic o r d i v i n e i n i t i a t o r . W e cannot

know

whether

the

T h r a c i a n or M a c e d o n i a n .

4 3

o r i g i n s o f these

institutions were

O n e m i g h t even v e n t u r e a further

guess. H o m o s e x u a l i t y can belong to this sort o f b a c k g r o u n d , especially to its i n i t i a t i o n rituals: O r p h e u s '

introducing homo-

sexuality to T h r a c e m i g h t preserve older t r a d i t i o n s than we had thought.

44

T h e r e is another trace o f this same b a c k g r o u n d . Ephorus 70 F 104)

tells that

mysteries from

Orpheus

had

learnt

his

(FGrH

initiations

the Idaean Dactyls o n Samothrace,

and

w h o were

sorcerers and initiators. T h i s g r o u p , centred a r o u n d a Great Goddess, also reflects the structure o f a secret s o c i e t y .

45

T h e art o f

O r p h e u s , it seems, was at least not i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h this.

7. Except i n the account o f C o n o n , the legends about the head o f O r p h e u s are centred a r o u n d one place, the island o f Lesbos. M y r s i l u s , the island's h i s t o r i a n , locates its grave near Antissa: it is the reason w h y the nightingales o f Antissa sing m u c h more sweetly than those elsewhere (FGrH

477 F 2 ) . O t h e r authors make it the

reason for the spectacular musical a b i l i t y o f the Lesbians, w i t h o u t g i v i n g an exact location o f the g r a v e .

46

T h r e e later texts are more c i r c u m s t a n t i a l . A c c o r d i n g to L u c i a n (Adv.

Indoct.

1 0 9 - 1 1 ) , the head was b u r i e d i n Lesbos,

'there,

where now their Baccheion is*. Problems r e m a i n : it is clear neither w h i c h temple o f Dionysos is meant ( t h o u g h H . - G . Buchholz sus47

pects the one at A n t i s s a ) , nor what the exact relationship was between god and hero. I n the Life of Apollonius 92

of Tyana ( 4 . 1 4 ) ,


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men Philostratus tells how his hero visited the oracle o f O r p h e u s ' head on Lesbos, I t had been closed l o n g ago by A p o l l o himself, but i f we are to believe Philostratus, the site was still visible. I n the Heroicus ( 2 8 . 8 - 1 2 ) , the same w r i t e r cites t w o oracles o f O r p h e u s , uttered 1

by his head ' i n a h o l l o w o f the e a r t h (en koitei (es ges), perhaps a cave. B o t h oracles are fictitious: one is uttered at the t i m e o f the T r o j a n W a r , the other is g i v e n to C y r u s o f Persia. I f we c o m b i n e these data, we should locate the oracle i n the Baccheion o f Antissa, or rather, since Antissa was destroyed i n about 167 B C and its inhabitants transferred to M e t h y m n a ( L i v y 43.31.14 and P l i n y Nat. 5.139), i n a

Temple

i n that city: both L u c i a n and Philostratus

are w r i t i n g well after the disappearance o f Antissa. M e t h y m n a had a famous cult o f Dionysos Phallen whose strange statue was carried a r o u n d d u r i n g his festival; it consisted o f not m u c h m o r e than a head a n d perhaps a p h a l l u s .

48

Fishermen had once fished it out o f

the sea. T h e t w o legends are very close, the one perhaps modelled o n the other; yet, the O r p h e u s m y t h is no* d e v o i d o f m e a n i n g . T h e r e exists a whole b o d y o f legends about h o w an object was b r o u g h t from the sea. I t was always rather strange, and it always caused a cult w i t h certain peculiar features to be i n s t i t u t e d â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n one case, a legend from O s t i a , an oracle o f H e r c u l e s .

49

A t the same

t i m e , these strange arrivals inaugurate something new, not yet existing. T h e other story, h o w the head o f O r p h e u s b r o u g h t about the musical a b i l i t y o f the Lesbians, w o u l d thus c o n f o r m as w e l l .

5 0

T h e literary texts range from the early t h i r d century B C to the early t h i r d c e n t u r y A D . Somewhat earlier is a g r o u p o f pictorial representations. A red-figured h y d r i a i n the Basel m u s e u m , from the 440s, shows the head somewhere lower d o w n ; to the left and slightly higher u p is a bearded male w i t h a w r e a t h and two spears, b e n d i n g towards the head. T h e rest o f the picture is filled w i t h M u s e s . T h e i d e n t i t y o f the m a n is u n k n o w n , but he seems to be the finder o f the h e a d .

51

N o t very m u c h later are two other red-figured vases. A h y d r i a i n D u n e d i n shows O r p h e u s ' head confronted by A p o l l o a n d , again, s u r r o u n d e d by two females, the Muses. T h e head on the g r o u n d a n d A p o l l o seem to be c o n v e r s i n g .

52

A cup i n C a m b r i d g e again

has the god c o n f r o n t i n g the head. T h i s t i m e A p o l l o stands to the r i g h t , stretching out his r i g h t a r m over the head, w h i c h again is l y i n g o n the g r o u n d , towards a y o u t h sitting to the left. T h e head addresses the y o u n g m a n w h o busily writes d o w n its utterances. 93


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men O n the back there are again t w o M u s e s .

53

T h e same d i c t a t i o n

scene is found on two Etruscan m i r r o r s from the f o u r t h century, w i t h the exception that instead o f A p o l l o and the Muses a c r o w d o f d i v i n i t i e s stands a r o u n d . O n e m i r r o r , i n the Siena m u s e u m , has the name V P F E , i.e. O r p h e u s , beneath the h e a d .

54

T h e C a m b r i d g e cup has been understood as the scene where A p o l l o stops the o r a c l e .

55

T a k e n together w i t h the three related

representations, this seems rather u n l i k e l y : nowhere else is there resistance either from a god o r from the Muses. I t is equally easy to understand the C a m b r i d g e scene as s h o w i n g how A p o l l o orders the y o u t h to take notes. Notes o f what? Texts o f O r p h e u s w r i t t e n d o w n on tablets are m e n t i o n e d at about the same t i m e the C a m b r i d g e cup was p a i n t e d . I n his Alcestis, E u r i p i d e s speaks o f the tablets (samdes) on w h i c h the voice o f O r p h e u s (Orpheia gerys) has w r i t t e n d o w n medicines as strong as those w h i c h A p o l l o had g i v e n to the sons o f Asclepius (966 - 7 1 ) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but not even they can b r i n g the dead back to life. T h e 'voice o f O r p h e u s w r i t i n g d o w n ' : it is a strange expression, even for a choral l y r i c , and the idea o f d i c t a t i o n is not far off. T h e tablets, then, contain magical recipes for healing. T h i s is not very far from oracles: oracles are,

a m o n g other things, concerned

with

the

healing o f illness, both p r i v a t e and epidemic. A p o l l o is the healer as well as the oracle-giver; Asclepius heals t h r o u g h dream-oracles; another great healing-hero is the seer A m p h i a r a u s . T h e r e is m o r e . I n some passages i n the Greek magical p a p y r i , the performer o f a magical r i t u a l has to keep a w r i t i n g tablet ready and to w r i t e d o w n whatever the god reveals d u r i n g the r i t u a l or i n a d r e a m p r o v o k e d t h r o u g h the r i t u a l : what is thus w r i t t e n d o w n is a pharmakon, a recipe, or an o r a c l e .

56

T h e magician busily w r i t i n g

d o w n what the god or d e m o n dictates comes very close to the vase paintings. F u r t h e r m o r e , there exist numerous gem-stones w i t h the representation o f a d i c t a t i n g head and a scribbling y o u t h , all from I t a l y , all amulets, dated to the t h i r d century B C . F u r t w a n g l e r connected them w i t h the m y t h o f O r p h e u s . T o d a y ,

archaeologists

prefer to see the Etruscan d e m o n Tages revealing the

disciplina

Etrusca. But since the m i r r o r s show that the m y t h o f O r p h e u s ' head was well k n o w n in E t r u r i a in the fourth c e n t u r y , and the iconography of the gems is not far from that o f the vases and m i r r o r s , Orpheus m i g h t still be somewhere i n the b a c k g r o u n d â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a magical O r p h e u s , that is, p r o c u r i n g a m u l e t s . 94

57


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men Euripides calls the tablets T h r a c i a n , a n d his scholiast cites the enigmatic Herakleides r e g a r d i n g a sanctuary i n the i n t e r i o r o f T h r a c e where such tablets could be seen (see n 22). T h i s m a y go too far. B u t at any rate magical spells o f O r p h e u s ( w h i c h Euripides knows as well i n Cyclops 6 4 6 - 8 ) have not m u c h to do w i t h the legend o f O r p h e u s ' head on Lesbos. I t w o u l d be advisable to separate the images from the texts. O n A t t i c pottery, it seems somewhat easier to see the representation o f a m y t h e x p l a i n i n g w e l l - k n o w n magical recipes, than o f a local Lesbian legend i n a f o r m unattested before the h i g h E m p i r e : M y r s i l u s and Phanocles, the Hellenistic sources, present it i n quite a different f o r m . T h a t leaves o n l y the Basel h y d r i a unaccounted for. Its iconography does not fit i n t o the rest o f the series a n d could point to the Lesbian version or have another m e a n i n g , yet to be f o u n d .

5 8

A g a i n , these legends have been connected w i t h there are shamanistic stories o f p r o p h e s y i n g h e a d s .

shamanism: 59

B u t such

stories are spread m o r e widely than the n a r r o w area o f shamanism, and there are even G r e e k examples w i t h o u t any further possible shamanistic t r a i t . A g a i n , the evidence for an O r p h e u s myth

with

Orpheus

a shamanistic b a c k g r o u n d is a m b i g u o u s , at best.

the

magician a n d

oracle-giver, the mantis (seer)

Philochorus o f A t h e n s calls h i m (FGrH

as

328 F 76), could as well

originate i n the rites a n d ideologies o f men's secret societies: the Dactyls, the initiators o f O r p h e u s (note 45), are well versed i n magic, the members o f I r a n i a n secret societies were t h o u g h t to be magicians as w e l l , a n d the G e r m a n i c W o t a n / O d i n , w h o presides over initiations a n d ecstatic w a r r i o r s ' societies a n d whose name is connected w i t h ' w u o t ' ,

fighting

ecstasy, is also a sorcerer.

60

8. T h e r e is one theme left, O r p h e u s the A r g o n a u t . T w o comprehensive but rather late accounts exist, one i n D i o d o r u s Siculus, going back to the m y t h o g r a p h e r D i o n y s i u s Scytobrachion i n the t h i r d century B C , the other o f A p o l l o n i u s o f Rhodes at about the same time.

6 1

I n A p o l l o n i u s ' lengthy epic, O r p h e u s is represented as a

m i r a c u l o u s singer whose art charms animals a n d all nature. I t had been the wise centaur C h i r o n w h o advised Jason to take O r p h e u s a m o n g the crew: he was the o n l y one to overcome the perilous 95


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men songs of the Sirens. A b o a r d ship, he was principally the keleustes who beat the rhythm to the oarsmen; he was also the bard who sang during symposia, festivals, even the wedding of J a s o n and Medea. H i s prayer also dealt very effectively with the Hesperids (4,1409ft), his advice makes the Argonauts initiate themselves into the Samothracian mysteries (1.915fl), erect an altar to Apollo after an apparition (2.669ff), and offer the Apolline tripod to T r i t o n in order to overcome the dangers of L a k e T r i t o n i s ( 4 . 1 5 4 - 9 ) . H e is, however, no mantis; the official seers are Mopsos and I d m o n . Orpheus, once again, is mainly a mighty singer. W h e n he sings a theogony and hymns to the gods, this reflects existing poetry under his name; both a theogony and hymns are known to the commen­ tator in the Derveni papyrus in the later fourth c e n t u r y .

62

Dionysius is more rationalising and excludes most fairy-tales and miracles, as befits a follower of E u h e m e r u s . T h e supernatural powers Orpheus possesses are his as a gift of the Samothracian gods whose only initiate aboard ship he i s ( D i o d . 4.43.1). By virtue of this distinction, he stills the storms through his prayer to them (4.43) and gains the favour of the sea-god G l a u c u s ( 4 . 4 8 . 5 - 7 ) , Earlier evidence is scanty. I n the earlier fourth century, the historian Herodoros knows that it was C h i r o n who sent O r p h e u s , because of the Sirens (FGrH be attested

31 F 43a). T h i s episode might even

much earlier. O n an Attic black-figured vase in

Heidelberg ( 5 8 0 - 5 7 0 ) a singer is depicted, standing between two Sirens: he has been called O r p h e u s .

63

It cannot be totally excluded

that on this Orientalising frieze, the juxtaposition of two Sirens and a singer has no deeper meaning. Still, the image is isolated, and the interpretation tempting. Euripides in his Hypsipyle,

the story of the L e m n i a n princess and

mistress of J a s o n , mentioned Orpheus among the Argonauts; his name occurs twice among the extant fragments.

H e was the

keleustes of the A r g o , as in Apollonius; after the death of J a s o n , he cared for his two sons by Hypsipyle, and educated E u e n u s in music and his brother in a r m s .

6 4

A g a i n , O r p h e u s is only the

musician, though a valiant one. Pindar, in his fourth Pythian ode of 467 B C , gives the list of the Argonauts (v. 170flf).

Besides

Orpheus, sent by Apollo, there are Herakles and the Dioscuri, sons of Zeus, Poseidon*s

sons

E u p h e m u s and Periclymenus,

E c h i o n , sons of H e r m e s , Zetes and K a l a i s , the Boreads, and 65

finally Mopsos, the mantis.

Orpheus is the 'lyre-player, father of 96


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men songs, well-praised O r p h e u s ' — again not m u c h more than a poet's poet. T h e earliest certain representation,

a metope

from

the

Sicyonian treasure-house at D e l p h i , is a surprise; besides Orpheus (his name inscribed), there stands o n the p r o w o f the A r g o another singer, whose name is i l l e g i b l e ,

66

W h a t e v e r his name, the fact that

at this t i m e there were t w o singers aboard the A r g o is confusing. O r p h e u s , as far as the sources go, is a m e m b e r o f the g r o u p because o f his one special skill, music, as T i p h y s is included because o f his skill w i t h the h e l m , a n d Mopsos as the seer. T h e skill o f O r p h e u s , t h o u g h , has one special goal: to overcome the Sirens' song. T h e Siren adventure belongs to the oldest s t r a t u m o f the epos, as K a r l M e u l i showed, a n t e d a t i n g the text o f the Odyssey

6 1

It

w o u l d thus be a fair guess that O r p h e u s h a d been i n t r o d u c e d already very early, together w i t h the Sirens (this was the o p i n i o n o f M e u l i ) , were it not that the second singer on the Sicyonian metope makes such a conclusion appear somewhat hasty. B u t even i f O r p h e u s was a later a d d i t i o n to the story, eclipsing his predecessor, the u n k n o w n singer o n the metope, he was i n c l u d e d specifically as a singer. T h i s is at variance w i t h — again — the shamanistic theory. T o those w h o h o l d i t , the voyage o f the A r g o is a shaman's voyage into the B e y o n d , w i t h

Orpheus

as the leading s h a m a n .

68

T h i s is

untenable. N e i t h e r is O r p h e u s the leader o f the b a n d , not even the s p i r i t u a l leader, not is the t r i p o f Jason and his crew a shaman's voyage. T h e parallels p o i n t i n another d i r e c t i o n . It is well k n o w n that the list o f the A r g o n a u t s varies from author to author. L i k e other stories o f this sort, notably the C a l y d o n i a n H u n t , it offered itself as a focus for different t r a d i t i o n s . T h e r e is, however, a c o m m o n d e n o m i n a t o r a m o n g the participants. T h e y are y o u n g , adolescents rather t h a n adults — neoi, kouroi, litheoi, as A p o l l o n i u s often says. T h e very few older m e n a m o n g t h e m have an interesting p o s i t i o n . O n e , I p h i c l u s , is the m a t e r n a l uncle o f Jason;

another,

Meleager.

69

an

I p h i c l u s again,

is the

maternal

uncle o f

I n m a n y archaic societies, Greece not excluded, the

m a t e r n a l uncle is quite i m p o r t a n t . H e has to initiate the nephew, as do the sons o f A u t o l y c u s , the brothers o f Odysseus' m o t h e r , the young Odysseus.

70

A p o l l o n i u s also says that m a n y o f the partici-

pants were sent by their fathers, a n d P i n d a r uses similar phraseology: this m i g h t be an o l d feature o f the m y t h a n d points to the interest the fathers felt i n the p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f their sons. 97

71

Jason


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men h i m s e l f has characteristics o f an adolescent d u r i n g i n i t i a t i o n , as A n g e l o Brelich showed w i t h regard to the curious detail o f his w e a r i n g o n l y one s a n d a l .

72

B u t Jason and his crew are not just a

b a n d o f initiates. T h e y are the prince and his fellow-initiates. T h e p i c t u r e is reminiscent o f the custom E p h o r u s (FGrH

70 F 149)

records f r o m aristocratic C r e t e : the y o u n g n o b l e m a n , d u r i n g his i n i t i a t i o n i n the wilderness, is accompanied by an older m a n , his lover, a n d a g r o u p o f friends f r o m the same a g e - g r o u p .

73

The

erotic element is not w h o l l y absent f r o m the A r g o n a u t s either: a m o n g t h e m , there are Herakles and H y l a s , lover and beloved (Ap.

Rhod.

Polyphemus

1.131) o r , as another and

version has

i t , the

H y l a s ( E u p h o r i o fr. 76); even

Lapith

though

these

variations cannot belong to a very o l d s t r a t u m o f the story, they fit into the c o m m o n b a c k g r o u n d . T h e b o u n d a r y line between such a g r o u p and a g r o u p o f w a r r i o r s is very n a r r o w , i f they

stand

together l o n g e n o u g h , as the A r g o n a u t s certainly do. A n d b e h i n d A u t o l y c u s at least, the werewolf, a n d the A r c a d i a n Ancaeus w h o is w e a r i n g a bear's hide, appear again the N o r d i c ecstatic w a r r i o r s who formed similar bands. F r o m another, even appears. M e u l i

74

m o r e speculative

connected

side, a s i m i l a r result

the m y t h o f the A r g o n a u t s w i t h

a

f a m i l i a r fairy-tale p a t t e r n , called after the G r i m m brothers ' D i e kunstreichen

Bruder\

A

young

hero

performs

difficult

and

dangerous tasks to gain a princess or a treasure or b o t h , and he is helped by a g r o u p o f specialists, often brothers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one runs swifter than

the w i n d (compare

the Boreads a m o n g

the A r g o n a u t s ) ,

another sees m i r a c u l o u s l y far ( L y n c e u s ) , and so o n ; O r p h e u s and T i p h y s could fit into the p a t t e r n . M e u l i d e r i v e d this tale f r o m an even m o r e archaic one, the ' H e l f e r m a r c h e n ' , where the hero is helped not by h u m a n specialists but by animals. T h e structural connection is c o n v i n c i n g , the e v o l u t i o n a r y p a r a d i g m m i g h t be m o r e open to d o u b t . M o r e i m p o r t a n t , t h o u g h , V l a d i m i r P r o p p derived the ' H e l f e r m a r c h e n ' f r o m the scenario o f i n i t i a t i o n rituals. O n e m i g h t do the same for the structurally equivalent version, and thus for the m y t h o f the A r g o n a u t s .

human

75

N o t a shamanistic b a c k g r o u n d , t h e n , lies b e h i n d this m y t h , but that o f archaic i n i t i a t o r y rituals â&#x20AC;&#x201D; m o r e specifically, the i n i t i a t i o n o f aristocratic w a r r i o r s . T h i s b a c k g r o u n d is at least as widespread as the shamanistic one, and it is preserved at the t i m e o f Ephorus a m o n g the b a c k w a r d Cretans. Just where O r p h e u s comes i n , is 98


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men less clear. A s one o f the specialists, his role could be very o l d , as M e u l i t h o u g h t . B u t it is equally well conceivable that he was added later, at the latest i n the seventh century B C . It is t e m p t i n g to connect his inclusion i n an i n i t a t i o n m y t h w i t h the role he had i n L e i b e t h r a , i f o n l y he were m o r e central i n the m y t h s o f the A r g o n a u t s . A s it stands, his o u t s t a n d i n g musical a b i l i t y is explanat i o n enough for the inclusion.

9. W h o , t h e n , is Orpheus? T o the Greeks, he p r i m a r i l y was the most gifted m u s i c i a n and singer, potent enough to overcome the Sirens and the L o r d s o f the N e t h e r w o r l d , to transcend the boundaries o f h u m a n i t y i n c h a r m i n g a n i m a l s , trees and rocks, to inaugurate the musical ability o f the Lesbians, a n d o f their nightingales. H e was considered an author o f theological poetry, and as early as Aeschylus he was connected w i t h the cult o f Dionysos. T h i s connection must stem from the fact that he wrote texts for these mystery cults (later, other cults attracted h i m as well). A d d i t i o n a l l y , he or rather his head was the a u t h o r o f powerful spells â&#x20AC;&#x201D; poetry a n d sorcery are not all that far a p a r t .

76

Deeper d o w n in t i m e and structure, there m i g h t be some elements c o m m o n to shamanistic n a r r a t i o n s . B u t none is so m a r k e d that it presupposes direct contact w i t h a shamanistic culture; all could have travelled as stories w i t h o u t rituals over countries a n d centuries. M u c h m o r e p r o m i n e n t are elements w h i c h belong to an i n i t i a t o r y society o f w a r r i o r s , a phenomenon well attested a m o n g the Indo-Europeans a n d still l i n g e r i n g j u s t beneath the surface o f some archaic Greek i n s t i t u t i o n s .

77

T h e Leibethrean cult, i f we are

to believe C o n o n , was a m o n g t h e m . T h i s m i g h t be another reason for his association w i t h the secret societies o f Bacchic m y s t e r i e s . Nothing Thracian?

looks very T h r a c i a n . 7 9

The

answer

can

only

W h y , then,

is O r p h e u s

be tentative and

78

a

sketchy.

O r p h e u s , first o f a l l , is not the o n l y mythological singer w h o is regarded as a foreigner. T h a m y r i s is a T h r a c i a n too, as is Musaeus ( t h o u g h he was perhaps formed after O r p h e u s ) ; even the Muses come from T h r a c i a n Pieria. O l e n , whose h y m n s Delos r e m e m bered, was considered a L y c i a n . O n l y Linos was a Greek from 99


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men Thebes, it seems, t h o u g h a son o f the M u s e U r a n i a ; the o r i g i n o f the shadowy Pamphos is u n k n o w n .

8 0

D i d all the m o r e p r o m i n e n t

m y t h i c a l singers originate i n non-Greek m y t h o l o g y ? T h e question, asked this w a y , starts from a w r o n g assumption. W h e n a figure i n Greek m y t h o l o g y is given a foreign o r i g i n , this does not necessarily mean that he was, at a certain p o i n t o f Greek history o r rather pre-history, i n t r o d u c e d f r o m outside into the system o f Greek m y t h o l o g y . I n the first place, it means that this figure was felt as foreign, strange to this system, at least i n archaic a n d classical times, w h e n most m y t h s gained their definite forms. T h e r e are, o f course, figures w h o really d i d o r i g i n a t e outside Greece — Cybele for example, the P h r y g i a n , or perhaps Hecate, the C a r i a n : b u t their o r i g i n was r e m e m b e r e d because it corresponded always to an essential strangeness o f these d i v i n i t i e s and their cults — the ecstatic frenzy o f the M e t r o i c rites, the dogsacrifice or the connection w i t h sorcery and the dead i n the case o f Hecate.

81

O t h e r figures m i g h t or m i g h t not have o r i g i n a t e d i n a

foreign m y t h o l o g y — take Ares the T h r a c i a n or Dionysos, w h o was said to have come f r o m Asia M i n o r or T h r a c e : b o t h are already present i n the M y c e n a e a n p a n t h e o n , a n d it is impossible to prove or disprove whether they were i n t r o d u c e d from outside or not. But it is highly u n l i k e l y that such an i n t r o d u c t i o n w o u l d have been r e m e m b e r e d t h r o u g h the D a r k Ages: in historical times, they were experienced as strangers, their cults retained strange features — Ares, the d i v i n i t y o f the bloody a n d cruel aspect o f war w h i c h is kept well outside o f the o r d e r o f the polis; Dionysos, the god w h o sends ecstatic madness w h i c h disrupts the ordered life o f the polis.

82

T h e reality O r p h e u s and his fellow-singers belongs to is mousike, music and poetry. Seen i n this perspective, their foreignness must point to an otherness not q u i t e congruent w i t h the daily life o f the polis w h i c h archaic Greeks felt i n relation to poetry and music, a n d to poets as w e l l . T h e r e are some indications o f this, o n different levels. T h e r e is, o f course, Plato w h o puts poetic i n s p i r a t i o n under the general heading o f mania,

madness (Phaedrus

245 A ) . B u t

i n s p i r a t i o n , as Penelope M u r r a y showed, does not necessarily have such an ecstatic character; i n a less violent f o r m it is already present i n the archaic age. T h e poet has a special relationship w i t h his i n s p i r i n g d i v i n i t i e s , the Muses, w h i c h at the same t i m e sets h i m apart f r o m his fellow-men. A l r e a d y Demodocus and Phemius i n 100


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men the Odyssey c l a i m this relationship ( 8 . 4 4 , 2 2 . 3 4 7 - 9 ) ; H e s i o d and A r c h i l o c h u s had been personally i n i t i a t e d by the M u s e s .

83

Homer

himself, the arch-poet, was b l i n d : this is a s y m b o l o f otherness current detail.

i n other

84

contexts

as w e l l ,

no incidental biographical

Poets, i n the archaic age, aspired to a special social stand-

i n g because o f their sophia, w i s d o m , as d i d other e x t r a o r d i n a r y figures.

85

Poetry and music,

finally,

belong to special, sacralised

occasions. T h e poets o f o l d were m a i n l y poets o f religious hymns ( O r p h e u s , O l e n , Musaeus): religious poetry is sung d u r i n g sacrifices, r i t u a l l y m a r k e d o f f f r o m d a i l y life — see, for example, the paean sung by the Achaean youths to p r o p i t i a t e A p o l l o ' s w r a t h early i n the Iliad: after the hecatomb a n d the c o m m u n a l meal, ' a l l day l o n g , the y o u n g m e n o f the Achaeans p r o p i t i a t e d the god w i t h dance and song (molpe), s i n g i n g the beautiful paean' (1,472f). A n d outside the religious occasions proper, the p r o m i n e n t place for poetry was the s y m p o s i o n , another occasion m a r k e d off as sacralised by i n t r o d u c t o r y a n d closing r i t u a l s . No

need, t h e n ,

86

to look for a special

reason for

Orpheus'

Thracianness. N e i t h e r his association w i t h Dionysos or w i t h other mystery-cults caused i t , n o r is there any reason to read his m y t h o n l y i n a h i s t o r i s i n g w a y , as previous generations o f scholars d i d . Rather, his fame as a poet made h i m — or kept h i m , i f he really was a hero or god o f the Pierian T h r a c i a n s — a T h r a c i a n : it is, we recall, j u s t this role as a poet w h i c h we met i n all his m y t h s . As to the b a c k g r o u n d o f secret societies we f o u n d i n his Pierian m y t h , we cannot be absolutely certain whether this is a projection o f his role in Bacchic societies or rather preserves traces o f a r i t u a l o r i g i n o f Orpheus.

But since C o n o n ' s account preserves genuine-looking

r i t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n , since the details i n Pausanias fit i n , at least i n a general w a y , w i t h what C o n o n says, since Bacchic societies are nowhere i n Greece all-male groups but rather female associations,

87

and since,

finally,

according to some scholars the poets o f

archaic Greece show features w h i c h make them come close to initiators,

88

it seems plausible to credit Orpheus w i t h a genuine

r i t u a l b a c k g r o u n d i n such secret societies.

101

89


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men Notes 1. T h e sources are collected in O , K e r n (ed.), Orphicorum Fragmente (Berlin, 1922) Pars prior; Testimoma potiora. T h e main mythographical accounts are Apollod. 1.14; H y g . Astr. 2.7; C o n o n , FGrH 26 F 1,45; a remarkable synopsis of all the material is K . Ziegler, RE 18 (1939) 1268- 80; the early testimonies are discussed at great length in I . M . Linforth, The Arts of Orpheus (Berkeley, 1941). 2. T o give a sample: Orpheus a divinity of the Netherworld: E . Maass, Orftheus ( M u n i c h , 1895), still repeated by M . G u a r d u c c i , Epigraphica, 3 6 ( 1 9 7 4 ) 29. A Frazerian priest-king: L . R . Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, vol. 5 (Oxford, 1909) 105f. T h e sacred fox, totem animal of a fox tribe: S. R e i n a c h , Mythes, cuttes et religions, vol. 2 (Paris, 1910) 1 0 7 - 1 0 . A n old 'Jahresgott* whose song symbolises the joys of summer (a very Nordic feeling), whose death, the winter: C . Robert, in his edition of L . Pre Her, Griechische Mythologie, vol. 2 (Berlin, 1920) 400, A historical personality, a Greek missionary among the wild T h r a c i a n s : W . K . C . Guthrie, Orpheus and Greek religion (Cambridge, 1st edn 1935; 2nd cdn 1952) 56 A shaman who had lived in Mycenaean Boeotia: R . B ö h m e , Orpheus. Das Alter des Küharödcn ( B e r n , 1970) 1 9 2 - 2 5 4 . A Bronze Age T h r a c i a n known in Greece before the Archaic Age: M . Durante, Sulla preistorta delta tradtzione poetica greca, vol. 1 ( R o m e , 1971) 157 - 9 . A 'mythical shaman or prototype of shamans': E . R . Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeley, 1951) 147 — the most fashionable idea nowadays, see notes 6f. 3. T h e most influential study is still C . M . Bowra, C ( M 6 (1952) 1 1 3 - 2 6 , who thinks that the unhappy ending is the invention of Virgil's Hellenistic source. E . R . Robbins, i n j . Warden (ed.), Orpheus, The Metamorphoses ofa Myth (Toronto, 1982) I5f, duly repeats this. 4. Linforth, Arts of Orpheus, 16f, considers it the only reference to a happy ending. 5. Ample bibliography in W . H . Schuchhardt, Das Orpheusrelief (Stuttgart, 1964); seeesp. H . A . Thompson, Hesperia, 2 / ( 1 9 5 2 ) 4 7 - 8 2 ; E . B. Harrison, ibid. 33 (1964) 7 6 - 8 2 ; M O . Lee, ibid. 4 0 1 - 4 ; E . Langiotz in Festgabe Johannes Straub (Bonn, 1977). 91 - 1 12. 6. T h e first to connect Orpheus and shamanism was K a r l Meuli in an intro­ duction to the translation of the Katevala (Basle, 1940); see his Gesammelte Schriften (Basle, 1975) 697. M u c h more influential became E . R . Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational; after him, M . Eliade, Shamanism. Archaic Technique of Ecstasy ( L o n d o n , 1964) 391; then R . B ö h m e with his adventurous thesis, Orpheus, and most recently M . L . West, The Orphic Poems (Oxford, 1983) 3 - 7 (henceforth cited as West, OP). 7. T h e problem has become urgent because contemporary anthropologists, after a period of rather loose terminology, are bringing back the concept of shamanism to a narrow functional approach; see, for a short survey, J . N . Bremmer, The Early Greek Concept of the Soul (Princeton, 1983) 25 - 48, es p. 48, n 95. 8. See M . Eliade, Shamanism, 1 6 8 - 8 0 (drum); D . S c h r ö d e r , in C . A . Schmitz (ed.), Religionsethnologie (Frankfort, 1964) 3 1 2 - 4 (spirits): H . F r o m m , Das Kaiewala. Kommentar ( M u n i c h , 1967) 259 (string instruments). 9. T h e standard monograph is Ake Hultkrantz, The North American Indian Orpheus Tradition (Stockholm, 1957); lor more see D . Page, Folktales in Homer's Odyssey (Cambridge, 1973), 1 5 - 18; G . R . Swanson, Ethnology, 75(1976) 1 1 5 - 2 3 . 10. For a summary, see H . - G . Bandi, Urgeschichte da Eskimos (Stuttgart, 1965), esp. 1 3 8 - 4 2 . T h e absence of the Orpheus Tradition is all the more striking since both shamanism and eschatological accounts are well attested in Esquimo cultures; see, e.g., H . Barüske (ed.), Eskimo-Märchen ( D ü s s e l d o r f and Cologne, 1969) nos. 8-14.

102


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men 11. A story about M a n c h u shamans in A . Hultkrantz, North American Indian, 192; the origin in an actual seance, ibid. 2 2 0 - 9 . 12. Simonid. fr. 567 Page; Aesch. Ag. 1 6 2 9 - 3 1 ; E u r . Bacch. 650 and Iph Aul. 1 2 1 1 - 4 . T h e motif became powerful in later antiquity, see R . Eisler, Orphnchdionystsche Mysteriengedanken in der christlichen Antike ( V o r t r ä g e Warburg, 1922- 3) 3 - 3 2 ; E . Irwin, in W a r d e n , Orpheus, 5 1 - 6 2 . 13. For a summary see W . K . C . Guthrie, A History oj Greek Philosophy, v o l . 3 (Cambridge, 1969) 6 0 - 3 . 14. V ä i n ä m ö i n e n and Orpheus: Meuli, Schriften, 697; the ritual background, ibid. 693; the literary parallels in F r o m m , Das Kalewala, 2 5 6 - 9 . 15. B. K ö t t i n g , in Mutlus. Festschrift Theodor Klauser ( M ü n s t e r , 1964) 211 (pictorial representations). 16. Alcidam. Ulix. 24 cites an epigram about Orpheus' death by lightning; the same story with verbal reminiscences in another epigram in Diog. Laert. prooem 1.4 and Ant. Pal. 7.617 which goes back to Lobon of Argus fr. 508 Suppl. Hell.; a prose account in Paus. 9.30.5. T h e interpretation in Linforth, Arts of Orpheus, 15f, with reference to his earlier study, Tr. Am. Phil. Ass., 63 (1931) 5 - 1 1 . 17. Aesch. fr. 82 Mette (cf. p. 138f R a d t ) ; an ample discussion in M . L . West, BICS, 30 (1983) 6 4 - 7 . 18. T h e sources in West, BICS, 30 (1983) 66f. 19. Orpheus assembling the men: C o n o n , FGrH 26 F 1,45; Paus. 9.30.5; introducing homoerotic love, Phanocles fr. I Powell; O v . Met 1 0 . 8 3 - 5 ; Hvg. Astr. 2.7. 20. F . M . S c h ö l l e r , Darstellungen des Orpheus in der Antike (Diss., Freiburg, 1969) 5 5 - 6 9 ; E . R . Panyagua, Helmantica, 23 (1972) 9 0 - 1 1 1 ; see also F . Brommer, Vasenlisten zur griechischen Heldensage, 3rd edn ( M a r b u r g , 1973) 5 0 4 - 7. O n e v a s e , ARV 1042, inf. 2 introduces Dionysos as well, see West, BICS, 30 (1983) 81 note 18; several vases from the mid-fifth cent, add a satyr to Orpheus' audience. Sch öller 53 (influence from the stage?). 21. See West, OP 17 - 19, with the necessary references. 22. Schol. E u r . Ate. 968. Cobet had conjectured Herakleitos; Wehrli keeps the text out of his fragments of Heraclides Ponticus. 23. T h e Cicones in Horn. / / . , 2,846.17.73; connected with Orpheus, Ps.Aristot. fr. 641,48; V e r g . Georg. 4,520; O v . Met l l , 4 ( b u t Edomdae ibid. 69); Suid. O 655. 24. K i n g of Macedonians and Odrysians: C o n o n , FGrH 26 F 1,45; Odrysian: Suid. O 656; West, BICS, 5 0 ( 1 9 8 3 ) 81, n 16, puts the connection too late. 25. T h e only testimony as to a grave in Ciconian territory is Ps.-Aristot. loc. cit., an epigram whose wording comes close to the one of Lobon and which Diog. Laert, gives to the grave at D i u m (see n 16); the third epigram, the epitaph in Alcidamas, gives no localisation. 26. T h e testimonies for Pieria in Orphicorum Fragmenta T 3 8 - 4 1 , first although vague attestation is E u r . Bacch. 560. T h e expulsion of the T h r a c i a n s in T h u c . 2.99 and Strabo 10.2.71, p. 471; for T h r a c i a n towns more to the North, see Hecataeus FGrH 1 F 146; for the archaeological record, N . G . L . H a m m o n d , A History of Macedonia, vol. 1 (Oxford, 1972) 4 1 6 - 18. 27. Plut. Alex. 14.9.671 F , A r r i a n . Anab. 1.11.2; more in Orphicorum Fragmenta T 144. 28. Obviously a compromise between the mythical tradition and Conon's own historical and geographical knowledge. 29. See FGrH ad l o c ; Henrichs, this volume, C h . 11, section 1. 30. See N . G . L . H a m m o n d , Macedonia, 129, n 4. Guthrie, Orpheus, 35 opts for (he Smyrnaean river and makes unfounded conclusions.

103


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men 31. For a survey see G . Widengren, Der Feudalismus im alien Iran ( K ö l n and O p l a d e n . 1969) 4 5 - 6 3 ; A Alfoldi, Die Struktur des ooretruskisehen Römerstaates (Heideiburg, 1974) 3 3 - 7 . Add the Assassins from M a r c o Polo, II Mittone, ed. D . Ponchiroh ( T u r i n , 1974) C h 31, 3 2 - 4 ; for the Celts also H . G . Wackernagel, Altes Volkstum m der Schweiz (Basle, 1956) 1 2 4 - 6 . 32 T h e archaeological record for Leibethra contains only archaic and hellenistic finds; H a m m o n d , Macedonia, 136 (if the site really is Leibethra). 33. Principal source is Aristoxenus fr. 18 Wehrli; see K . von Fritz, RE 24 (1963) 2 1 1 - 1 8 ; W Burkert, Lore and Science ( C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . , 1972) 1 1 5 - 1 8 . 34 Iamb. Vit Pyth 146 - H . TheslefT, The Pythagorean Texts of the Hellenistic Period (Abo, 1965) 164. 35. For the Italian pseudopythagorica see H . Thesleff, An Introduction to the Pythagorean Writings of the Hellenistic Period ( Ä b o , 1961) esp. 9 9 - 1 0 1 and 104f; geographical confusion also in H i m e r . Or. 46,3 Colonna; Pieriê Bistonis in A p . R h o d I 34 is a poetical way of saying T h r a c i a n Pieria. 36. For the grave as the centre of heroic worship see already E . Rohde, Psyche (2nd edn Freiburg, 1898) vol. 1, 1 5 9 - 6 6 ; F . Pfister, Der Retiquienkult im Altertum, vol. 2 (Giessen, 1912) 51 Of. T h e maxim has, of course, no value for pan-Hellenic heroes, especially those of epic poetry: it is all the more regrettable that we cannot know whether Orpheus was already part of the oldest stratum of the Argonautica; see below, note 67. 37. For Zalmoxis, see A . D . Nock, CR, * 0 ( 1 9 2 6 ) 1 8 4 - 6 ; J . C o m a n , Bull. Inst. Arch. Beige, 70(1950) 1 7 7 - 8 4 , F . Pfister, in Studies D. M. Robtnson(St L o u i s , 1953) vol. 2, 1 1 1 2 - 2 3 ; M . Eliade, Zalmoxis. The Vanishing God (Chicago and London, 1972) 21 - 7 5 ; Burkert, Lore and Science, 156f; A . Pandrea, Balkan Studies, 2 2 ( 1 9 8 1 ) 2 2 6 - 4 6 ; for an analysis of Hdt. 4 . 9 4 - 6 see F . Hartog, Le Miroir d'Hérodote (Paris, 1980), 1 0 2 - 2 6 . 38. Hellanicus FGrH 4 73, in a passage otherwise heavily dependent on Herodotus, states expressts verbis that he taught secret rites (teletas kaUdeixeri) to the T h r a c i a n Getae'. See especially M . E l i a d e , Zalmoxis, who is very careful to separate Zalmoxis and shamanism. 39. Sec Widengren, Der Feudalismus^ especially 9 - 4 3 ; Alfoldi, Römerstaates, 3 4 - 7 ; from a different perspective, R . M c k e l b a c h , Mithras ( K ö n i g s t e i n , 1984) 23-30. 40. Alfoldi, Römer Staates, 46f; O . Höfier, in O . Beck et al. (eds), Realtexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, vol. 2 (Berlin and New Y o r k , 1976) 2 9 8 - 3 0 4 . 41. Especially by W . Burkert and F . Hartog, see above, note 37. 42. Burkert, Lore and Scie nee, I 19 (the citation), 159 (Hermippus), 43. T h e role of Artemis T a u m pol us in the Macedonian army rests on these same institutions, see F . Graf, Xoidiortische Kulte (Rome, 1985), 413-17. 44. T h e initiatory aspect of homosexuality is discussed by J . N . Bremmer, Arethusa, 13 (1980) 2 7 9 - 9 8 ; cf. H . Patzer, Die griechische Knabenliebe (Wiesbaden, 1982); J . N. Bremmer (ed.), From Sappho to de Sade ( L o n d o n , 1989) ch. I . l

45. See Burkert, GR 2 8 0 - 3 . 46. Phanocles fr 1 Powell; Aristid. Or. 24.55 K c i l ; a similar story, but for Pierian nightingales, in Paus. 9,30.6. 47. H . - G . Buchholz, Methymna ( M a i n z , 1975) 203, 209f. 48. Paus. 10.19.3; Euseb. Praep. Eu. 5 . 3 6 . 1 - 3 . See M . P. Nilsson, Griechische / ^ ( L e i p z i g , 1906) 282f; Burkert, HN 202f. 49. Discussion in Graf, Nordtonische Kulte, 3 0 0 - 3 . 50. Burkert, HN 201 f.

104


Orpheus; A Poet Among Men 51. M . Schmidt, Ant. Kunst, 75(1972) 128 - 37 (a very thorough discussion of all relevant documents). 52. ARV 1 174. Bibliographies in Schöltcr, Darstellungen, 69; Schmidt, ibid. 130. 53. ARV 1401,1. Bibliographies in Schöller, ibid. 69; Schmidt, ibid. 130. 54. Bibliographies, S c h ö l l e r , ibid. 98, notes 10 (Siena) and 13 (Paris), see Schmidt, ibid. 134. 55. C . Robert, Jdl, 32 (1917) 146f. It became the opinio communis, see e.g. Guthrie, Orpheus, 36, despite some objections, the most important from Schmidt, ibid. 131, who separates the vases from the texts. 56. Pap. Graec. Mag. V I I I 90, X I I I 91.646. 57. A . F u r t w ä n g l e r , Die antiken Gemmen (Leipzig and Berlin, 1900) vol. 3, 2 5 4 - 5 2 ; contra R . Herbig, Jdl, 49/50 ( 1 9 4 4 - 5 ) 113f; reasonable objections, Schmidt, ibid. 133f. 58. M . Schmidt, ibid. 132f, thinks the finder was the poet Terpander; it is a guess. She also thinks that the head was in a cave where one had to descend with the help of ropes, which would recall Philostr. Heroic. 28; but the finder does not have ropes, but two spears, as far as I can see. 59. Dodds, The Greeks, 147; Eliade, Shamanism, 391; the protest in J . N . B r c m m c r , Early Greek Concept, 46f, with ample parallels; some more in C . G . J u n g , Gesammelte Werke, vol. 11 ( Z u r i c h , 1963) 2 6 2 - 8 . 60. Iran: G . Widengren, Der Hochgottglaube im alten Iran (Uppsala and Leipzig, 1939) 324f; O d i n : J . de V r i e s , Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte, vol. 1, 2nd edn (Berlin, 1956) 4 9 9 - 5 0 2 (initiations); vol. 2, 2nd edn (Berlin, 1957) 73f (magician), 9 4 - 100 (men's societies). 61. Diod. 4 . 4 0 - 5 6 = J . R ü s t e n , Dionysius Scytobrachion (Opladen 1982) 1 4 4 - 6 8 ; A p . R h o d . 1 . 2 3 - 3 2 and passim\ see K . Ziegler, RE 18 (1939) 1 2 5 5 - 7 . 62. P. Derv. in the preliminary edn ZPE, 74 (1982); hymns are mentioned col. 18,11; a theogony is cited throughout. 63. H . Groppengiesser, Arch. Anz. (1977) 5 8 2 - 6 1 0 . 64. E u r . HypsipyU fr. 1, col. I l l 8 - 1 4 and fr. 64, col, II 9 8 - 1 0 2 Bond. T h e Euenus story is an aition for the Attic genos of the Euenidai. 65. T h e epithet euainetos reminds one of the epithet used by Ibycus fr. 306 Page, onomaklytos: lack of other distinctions of O r p h e u s , or a common epic tradition? Onomaklytos would fit into a hexameter. See also n 71. 66. Fouilles de Delphes, vol. I V : 1 (Paris, 1909) 2 7 - 3 0 (description); vol. I V (plates) (Paris, 1926) plate 4. 67. M e u l i , Schriften, 5 9 3 - 6 7 6 , a slightly abbreviated version of his doctoral dissertation Odyssee und Argonautika (Basle, 1921); for Orpheus, see ibid. 567. 68. E . Robbins, in W a r d e n , Orpheus, 7 f 69. Jason's uncle, A p . R h o d . 1.45; Meleager's, 1.20!; he is accompanied also by his father's brother, 1.191. 70. For Greece, J . N . Bremmer, ZPE, 50 (1983) 1 7 3 - 8 6 ; for a wider back­ ground, idem. i n j . N . Bremmer and N . M . Horsfall. Roman Myth and Myelography (London, 1987) 5 3 - 6 ; for the initiatory background of the Odysseus and M c l t a g c r stories, N . Rubin and \ V . Sale. Arethusa. Id• (1983) 1 3 7 - 7 1 . 71. For another possible hint of earlier traditions see above, note 65. 72. A . Brelich, La Nouvetle Clio, 7/9 (1955/57) 496ff, see also his Gli eroi grea ( R o m e , 1958) 220. 73. T h e classical account is H . Jeanmaire, Courot et Coureies (Lille, 1939), C h . 6; cf. J N . B r c m m c r , Arethusa, 13 (1980) 2 7 9 - 9 8 . 74. Autolycus as a werewolf: Burkert, HN 120; Buxton, this volume, C h . 4; Ancaeus and bears, K . M e u l i , Schriften, 60If. (without, however, connecting him with the berserks); s e e j . N . Bremmer, ZPE, 47 (1982) 1461". 75. M e u l i , Schriften, 5 9 3 - 6 1 0 ; V . Propp, Istonceskt korm volsebnoj skazki.

105


Orpheus: A Poet Among Men ( L e n i n g r a d , 1946). (Italian edn, T u r i n 1972; French edn, Paris 1983; Spanish edn, M a d r i d 1984.) 76. Bacchic cults since the O l b i a (ablet, see above note 19; the literary sources, explicit since D i o d . 1 . 9 6 . 4 - 6 , in Orphicorum Fragmenta Τ 9 4 - 101 (Damagetus Ant. Fat 7,9 would be earlier, but its authenticity is dubious). Eleusis since A r . Ran. 1044 ( F . Graf, Eleusts und die orphische Dichtung Athens (Berlin, 1974) 2 2 - 3 9 ; objections: D é t i e n n e , Dionysos I69f; West, OP 23f). For the archaic unity of poet, seer and magician, Ν . K . C h a d w i c k , Poetry and Prophecy ( C a m b r i d g e , 1942); according to J . V e n d r y è s , La Religion des Celtes (Paris, 1948) 302, the Celtic term for seer, ofydd, derives from the name of O v i d ; see also E . Bickel, Rhein. Mus., 94 (1951) 257ff 77. A s M . P. Nilsson tried to show long ago for the Homeric kingship, Sitzungs­ berichte Berlin (1927) 2 3 - 4 0 - Opuscuia Selecta, vol. 2 ( L u n d , 1952) 871 - 9 7 78. For O r p h e u s and initiation see now also the contributions of J . N . Β re m m er and M . Schmidt to Ph. Borgeaud (ed), Orphisme et Orphée ( G e n e v a , 1990). 79. Although the vases depict O r p h e u s first as a Greek and only after about 450 as a T h r a c i a n , and although Pausanias was surprised at the Greek costume of Orpheus on the painting Polygnotus had executed in the 460s at Delphi (10.30.6), this does not mean that around 450 O r p h e u s changed nationality. Rather, the Greeks became more interested in the peculiarities of barbarians at about that time and wished to differentiate them better from themselves. 80. F o r the evidence see West, 0 P 3 9 - 6 I (singers) and L . R . F a r n e l l , The Cults of the Greek States, vol. 5 ( O x f o r d , 1909) 4 3 4 - 7 ( M u s e s ) . 81. C y b e l e . M . J . V e r m a s e r e n , Cybele and Attts ( L o n d o n , 1977) 1 3 - 3 7 ; Hecate. T . K r a u s , Hekate (Heidelberg, 1960); for both see also Graf, Hordionische Kulte, 1 0 7 - 15, 2 5 7 - 9 82. Ares: a T h r a c i a n divinity, M . P. Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 3rd edn, vol. 1 ( M u n i c h , 1967) 517; C . DanofT, in KL Pauiy, 5 (1975) 7 7 9 - 8 1 (import from T h r a c e in M y c e n a e a n times): the Mycenaean material, M . G é r a r d Rousseau , Les Mentions religieuses dans Us tablettes mycéniennes ( R o m e , 1968) 38f, more in Burkert, GR, 57. Dionysos: the Forschungsgeschichte, P. M c G i n t y , Interpretation and Dionysos ( T h e Hague, 1978); A . H e n r i c h s , HSCP, 04(1984) 2 0 5 - 4 0 ; the role of Dionysos in Greece, A . H e n r i c h s , in Jewish and Christian Self-Definition ( L o n d o n , 1982) vol. 3, 1 3 7 - 6 0 . 83. Hesiod Th 2 6 - 4 3 ; Archilochus SEC 15,517, col. I I 2 2 - 4 0 ; inspiration in Archaic Greece, P. M u r r a y , JHS, 101 (1981) 8 7 - 1 0 0 . 84. Blindness and seers, W . R . H a l l i d a y , Greek Divination ( L o n d o n , 1913) 7 7 - 9 ; and outsiders, Paus. 7.5.7; see also R . Buxton, JHS, 100(1980) 22-37. 85. Poets: H . Maehler, Die Auffassung des Dichterberufs im frühen Griechentum ( G ö t t i n g e n 1963); J . Svenbro, La Parole et le marbre. Aux origines de la poétique grecque ( L u n d , 1976); B. G e n t il i, Poesia e pubblico nella Grecia antica ( R o m e , 1984) 2 0 3 - 3 1 , other 'wise men': M . D é t i e n n e , Les Maîtres de vérité dans la Grèce archaïque, 2nd edn (Paris, 1973). 86. T h e r e is no detailed study of the ritual aspect of the symposium; see mean­ while P. V o n der M ü h l l , Ausgewählte kleine Schriften (Basle, 1976) 489. 87. Α . Henrichs, in Mnemai. Classical Studies . . Karl Κ. Hulley ( C h i c o , C a l i f , 1984) 6 9 - 9 1 corrects earlier misconceptions. 88 See Bremmer, this volume, C h . 1, note 8. 89. I thank J . N . Bremmer, Ν . Horsfall and my Zurich colleague H . - U . M a a g for valuable help and information.

106


6 Reflections, Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity: On Reading the Narcissus Story Ezio Pellizer Translated by Diana Crampton 1

n Conon, Diegeseis 24 T h e r e is i n the region o f Boeotia a t o w n called Thespiae, not far f r o m M t H e l i c o n , where the c h i l d Narcissus was b o r n . H e was very beautiful, b u t also disdainful o f Eros and o f those w h o loved h i m . Whereas his other lovers eventually stopped l o v i n g h i m , A m e i n i a s persevered, constantly pleading w i t h h i m . A n d , because Narcissus gave h i m no hope, and indeed sent h i m the gift o f a s w o r d , the said A m e i n i a s stabbed h i m s e l f at the y o u t h ' s door, not w i t h o u t first i n v o k i n g the vengeance o f the god. So Narcissus, c o n t e m p l a t i n g his o w n reflection i n a s p r i n g , and c o n t e m p l a t i n g his o w n beauty reflected in the water, absurdly fell i n love w i t h himself. I n the end, Narcissus,

i n despair,

a d m i t t e d he h a d suffered a just punishment for the wounds inflicted on the l o v i n g A m e i n i a s , and killed himself. F r o m then o n , the Thespians decided to h o n o u r and venerate the god Eros even m o r e , not only w i t h public sacrifices, but also w i t h private cults. T h e people of the t o w n t h i n k that the Narcissus flower first grew i n that place where the blood o f Narcissus was spilt.

2

n Pausanias 1.30. J T h e altar w i t h i n the city called the altar o f Anteros they say was dedicated

by resident

aliens,

because the A t h e n i a n Meles,

s p u r n i n g the love o f T i m a g o r a s , a resident alien, bade h i m ascend to the highest p o i n t o f the rock and cast h i m s e l f d o w n . 107


Reflections,

Echoes and Amorous

Reciprocity

N o w T i m a g o r a s took no account o f his life, a n d was ready to gratify the y o u t h i n any o f his requests, so he went and cast himself d o w n . W h e n M e l e s saw that T i m a g o r a s was dead, he suffered such pangs o f remorse that he t h r e w himself from the same rock a n d d i e d . F r o m this t i m e , the resident aliens worshipped as A n t e r o s the a v e n g i n g spirit o f T i m a g o r a s . (tr. by W . H . S . J o n e s ( L o e b ) )

3

n Pausanias

9.31.7-8

(a) I n the t e r r i t o r y o f the Thespians is a place called D o n a c o n (Reed-bed).

H e r e is the s p r i n g o f Narcissus.

T h e y say

that

Narcissus looked i n t o this water, a n d not u n d e r s t a n d i n g that he saw his o w n reflection, unconsciously fell i n love w i t h himself, a n d died o f love at the s p r i n g . B u t it is u t t e r s t u p i d i t y to i m a g i n e that a m a n o l d enough to fall i n love was incapable o f dist i n g u i s h i n g a m a n f r o m a m a n ' s reflection. (b) T h e r e is another story about Narcissus, less p o p u l a r indeed t h a n the other, but not w i t h o u t some support. I t is said that Narcissus h a d a t w i n sister; they were exactly alike i n appearance, their h a i r was the same, they wore s i m i l a r clothes, a n d went h u n t i n g together. T h e story goes o n that Narcissus fell i n love w i t h his sister, a n d w h e n the g i r l d i e d , w o u l d go to the s p r i n g , k n o w i n g that it was his reflection that he saw, but i n spite o f this knowledge finding some relief for his love i n i m a g i n i n g that he saw, not his o w n reflection, b u t the likeness o f his sister. T h e flower narcissus grew, i n m y o p i n i o n , before this, i f we are to j u d g e by the verses o f Pamphos. (tr. by W . H . S. Jones ( L o e b ) )

4

n

Vatican Mylhographer

IL180

T h e n y m p h A l c y o p e created Narcissus f r o m the r i v e r called Cephisus; the soothsayer Teiresias foretold that he w o u l d be fortunate i f he d i d not place too m u c h faith i n his beauty. T h e daughter o f I u n o , Echo, fell i n love w i t h h i m , and, unable to w i n his love, followed h i m although he fled from her, repeating 108


Reflections,

Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity

the last sounds o f his w o r d s , and thus died o f love. W e have only her voice, for she was t u r n e d into stone and h i d d e n i n the m o u n tains. T h i s happened at the instigation o f I u n o , because Echo often delayed her w i t h her verbosity, so that she was not able to surprise J u p i t e r as he chased n y m p h s t h r o u g h the m o u n t a i n s . It is also said that because o f her d e f o r m i t y she was hidden i n the m o u n t a i n s so that she could not be seen, but only

heard.

R e g a r d i n g the said Narcissus, for the extreme disdain and cruelty shown to Echo, he was made to fall i n love w i t h himself by Nemesis, that is, the Fate w h o punishes the disdainful, so that he was consumed by no lesser flame. So he fell exhausted f r o m the h u n t by a f o u n t a i n , a n d as he d r a n k the water, he saw his o w n image, a n d believing it to be that o f another, he fell i n love, a n d was so consumed by his desire that he died. F r o m his remains grew the

flower

that is called the narcissus by the

n y m p h s called the Naiades, w h o cried for the sad fate o f their brother.

1. Conon's

1

story ( n ) , as

is c u s t o m a r y ,

begins

with

a

general

utterance, f u n c t i o n i n g to situate the n a r r a t i v e events i n a part i c u l a r space (Thebes, Boeotia, etc.); there then follows a descript i o n o f the character and qualities o f one o f the persons w h o w i l l be i n v o l v e d i n the events. I n this case, we find Narcissus, extrao r d i n a r i l y beautiful a n d at an ephebic age, yet disdainful intractable i n his amorous adventures.

and

I t is i m p l i c i t that o u r

subject ( S i ) swims against the social, or rather the u n d e r l y i n g psychological c u r r e n t , w h i c h is safeguarded by the god w h o presides over amorous encounters (Eros); i n other words a y o u n g m a n of e x t r a o r d i n a r y beauty generally should not be averse to the attentions o f his lovers, as such an attitude constitutes a violation of the amorous dike sanctioned by the god himself. The

1

f o l l o w i n g segment introduces a second subject ( A m e i n i a s ,

S2) w h o , i n contrast to the other erastai (lovers), soon becomes bored w i t h c o u r t i n g the ungrateful ephebe in v a i n , and persists, w i t h great constancy, i n his desire for Narcissus. W e may describe quite simply a second general utterance, whereby S2 is in disjunction 109


Reflections,

Echoes and Amorous

w i t h his object (Narcissus),

then there

Reciprocity is a m o d a l

utterance,

because A m e i n i a s wants to o b t a i n the c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h his object, but i n this story his desire is not realised. F u r t h e r m o r e , we

find

ourselves confronted w i t h a second complex object, w h i c h i n this case is a m o d a l object:

S2*s desire

turns

b o t h o n a simple

t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f state (that is the c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the object f r o m w h i c h he finds h i m s e l f d i v i d e d ) and a m o d a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , as Narcissus i n t u r n is r e q u i r e d to desire ( o r , rather, to want to do). I n Ameinias* intentions and desires we have a c o n j u n c t i o n , that is, the a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f an object, as well as a

persuasive

action: all set i n m o t i o n by Eros, the heavenly figure o f passionate love, w h o seems to constitute the addresser ( i m p l i c i t l y or explicitly) characteristic o f this type o f story, and who i n n appears as the addresser o f the

final

1

i n particular,

sanction, as we shall see

below. A m e i n i a s i n love, then, desires to achieve a persuasive act, a transfer o f the m o d a l i t y o f w a n t i n g o n to Narcissus; such a transfer aims to make the object o f his desire do. I n other w o r d s , it is a p r o g r a m m e o f seduction, w h i c h i n o u r story is not realised. T h e t h i r d segment is a performance,

w h i c h at

extremely simple, consisting i n the transfer

first

appears

o f an object

(the

sword) from Narcissus to A m e i n i a s , S i h a v i n g the function o f addresser, S2 o f addressee. Y e t it is easy to see f r o m the qualities o f this transferred object (a w e a p o n , an i n s t r u m e n t o f separation and death) that after h a v i n g been interpreted by the addressee (accordi n g to some competence that is not made clear here) as an obligat i o n (an i n v i t a t i o n , an i n j u n c t i o n , that is, a persuasive act), it sets i n m o t i o n the f o l l o w i n g utterance, that is, the a u t o - a t t r i b u t i o n o f death by A m e i n i a s . A persuasive action thereby is accomplished by Narcissus, w h o pushes his lover to p e r f o r m a suicide prog r a m m e â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the lover, however, not failing to invoke the wildest maledictions against the y o u n g m a n before d y i n g . A p a r t from being defined as a negative sanction against Narcissus* actions, this disillusioned lover's curse is also an i l l o c u t i o n a r y act o f request to the deity, to sanction what has happened

and to execute a

further n a r r a t i v e p r o g r a m m e , one o f p u n i s h m e n t and vendetta. T h e transformations set i n m o t i o n by the deity are shown i n the f o l l o w i n g t w o segments: the first consists i n the realisation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at least partially â&#x20AC;&#x201D; o f the n a r r a t i v e p r o g r a m m e , unsuccessful Ameinias, wanting,

to p e r f o r m the o r even

better,

transfer

o f the

a particular and 110

m o d a l object complex f o r m

for (the of


Reflections, Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity w a n t i n g , that is, amorous desire) o n to Narcissus.

But because

such a desire this t i m e focuses o n Narcissus h i m s e l f ( S I ) , we once again find a reflexive act, i n w h i c h S i attributes the m o d a l object to himself. I n the changed j u d g e m e n t o f Narcissus, w h o is sorry not to have r e t u r n e d

A m e i n i a s ' love, there is, then,

a

new

sanction, and hence a second t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , s y m m e t r i c a l to that manifested i n the second n a r r a t i v e p r o g r a m m e and consisting i n the fact that Narcissus

also kills himself. So we have a t h i r d

reflexive act, i n w h i c h someone attributes the object — i n his case, death — to h i m s e l f once m o r e . I n conclusion: one unrealised and three complete n a r r a t i v e prog r a m m e s d r a w i n t o relief the very simple n a r r a t i v e structure o f this story, w h i c h is articulated i n the m o d a l i t y o f impassioned w a n t i n g , and presents i n characteristic fashion a specific recurrence: the addresser and addressee coincide three times, or at least the same w o r k i n g subject is the object o f the action performed by itself. T h i s redundancy, o r better, this manifest recurrence, times three, has i n the economy o f the story the effect o f s h o w i n g the complex seme o f / r e f l e x i v i t y / . I n other w o r d s , a vast constellation o f reflexive actions seems to be d e r i v e d from the negation o f recip r o c i t y i n amorous relations. A l t h o u g h the names o f the characters are changed, and the geographical location is different, story n

2

(Pausanias) appears to be

constructed according to a practically identical n a r r a t i v e structure: it varies o n l y i n some elements o f d e t a i l , as a simple analysis o f those segments constitutive to b o t h stories m a y s h o w .

2

Further-

m o r e , the story o f Timagoras* u n h a p p y love for the y o u n g Meles provides us w i t h an interesting d e f i n i t i o n — b o t h onomastic and m o r p h o l o g i c a l , as well as figurative — o f the second contextual seme p e r t a i n i n g to these stories, as we shall see below: the w i n g e d 3

figure o f the god A n t e r o s (brother o f E r o s , a n d represented as his counter and m i r r o r image), a p u n i s h i n g d e m o n (daimon alastor) o f unreciprocated

love, it must be a d m i t t e d , is a most

effective

i n c a r n a t i o n o f the seme o f / r e c i p r o c i t y / .

2. W e can see h o w these diverse figures, at the level o f discursive structures, are semantically invested i n the stories o f u n h a p p y love 111


Reflections, Echoes and Amorous

Reciprocity

we have e x a m i n e d , a n d how they are articulated according to semantic isotopies amenable

to a consistent r e a d i n g o f all the

possible v a r i a t i o n s . Let us begin w i t h the m i r r o r . Narcissus' falling in love w i t h h i m s e l f is p r o v o k e d by the c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f his o w n beauty reflected in a s p r i n g , w h i c h serves as a m i r r o r . T h u s , the m i r r o r image that reproduces oneself to oneself appears, a visual m e t a p h o r o f reflexivity a n d o f the double, o f the coincidence o f the other w i t h oneself. I n other w o r d s , Narcissus' m i r r o r functions as a sort o f hyper-mask i n w h i c h the / and the he coincide, quasim e t a p h o r o f the t h i r d person b e i n g compressed

into the

first

4

p e r s o n . O t h e r interesting isotopies m a y be found i n other stories r e l a t i n g to the theme o f Narcissus, i f we wish to account for its entire system o f transformations a n d v a r i a t i o n s . T a k e for instance, 3 b

the events i n the f o l l o w i n g logos by Pausanias ( n ) , where the story o f Narcissus is subjected to a r a t i o n a l i s a t i o n procedure ( w h i c h is rather ingenuous b u t diffuse f r o m the sixth c e n t u r y B C u n t i l about the b e g i n n i n g o f the last c e n t u r y ) , that attempts to present m y t h s 5

as more p l a u s i b l e . Pausanias ( o r his source) perceives that the most intolerable and scandalous element o f the story is that a y o u n g m a n should be so s t u p i d as to fall i n love w i t h the reflection o f his o w n image w i t h o u t realising i t . H e therefore proposes a different version, e v i d e n t l y a i m e d at a t t e n u a t i n g such an absurdi t y . I n fact, a passionate love for a t w i n sister occurs i n the new story, hence the love is s i m p l y an incestuous love. H i s sister, t h e n , is described as totally identical (es hapan homoion to eidos)

y

which

accentuates the fact that this is an i n t e n t i o n a l search for i d e n t i t y : 'they dressed i n similar clothes, they w o r e t h e i r h a i r i n the same way*. H e r e , t h e n , appears / g e m e l l a r i t y / , w h i c h e v i d e n t l y functions as genetic i d e n t i t y , c o r r e s p o n d i n g to a physical difference, w h i c h in this case is one o f gender. H e r e too, a f o r m o f ' s p e c u l a r i t y ' is repeated

i n the m o m e n t o f searching for s i m i l a r i t y i n the love

object, w h i c h m a y tend towards total i d e n t i t y w i t h oneself; one attempts to short-circuit t r a n s i t i v i t y o n to the other, a n d thereby to deny the difference i n a sort o f compression o f the reciprocal into the reflexive. T h e m i r r o r (reflection o f the spring) here is relegated to the lower level o f aide-memoire, o f small consolation for the loss o f the loved object, but it must be said that i n this love between twins, 'specularity'

and

reflexivity

are

definitely

present.

6

Both

the

identical clothes and the identical hairstyle attempt to elide the sexual differences between male and female; the denial o f any 112


Reflections, form

o f difference

A n t e r o s are

Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity

is notable.

brothers

Furthermore,

( a l t h o u g h not t w i n s ) ;

even

Eros

and

they are comple-

m e n t a r y , to the extent that the g r o w t h o f one is impossible w i t h o u t the presence a n d reciprocal g r o w t h o f the other, as recounted by Themistius.

7

3. Echo, the w o o d n y m p h (I chose, somewhat r a n d o m l y , the story 4

f o u n d i n Vatican Mythographer 11.180). V e r s i o n n is by far the best k n o w n t h r o u g h o u t the E u r o p e a n

c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n , thanks to

O v i d , to L a t i n a n d medieval m y t h o g r a p h e r s a n d to Boccaccio. It also spread

d u r i n g the

Renaissance ( N a t a l i s Comes,

etc.) to

influence the p a i n t i n g , the music a n d the l i t e r a t u r e o f subsequent centuries. T h i s story is constructed i n such a way as to d r a w clearly i n t o relief the coherence a n d homogeneity o f the 'Narcissus story' in its entire system o f v a r i a t i o n s , a n d it p e r m i t s us to see h o w n a r r a t i v e mechanisms f u n c t i o n , generating different versions o f the stories, c e n t r i n g o n a definite character â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or, i f y o u l i k e , to see h o w the transformations o f a theme are organised d i a c h r o n i c a l l y , 4

over a l o n g p e r i o d o f t i m e . I n version n , the figure o f A m e i n i a s , the u n f o r t u n a t e erastes, does not exist any m o r e ; hence the element o f the homosexual relationship disappears. T h e person w h o plays the actantial role c o r r e s p o n d i n g to that o f the u n h a p p y lover 1

2

( A m e i n i a s or T i m a g o r a s i n n or n ) , g o i n g m o r e or less a l o n g the same ' f i g u r a t i v e p a t h ' (parcours figuratif),

is n o w a n y m p h , o f the

female sex ( r e m e m b e r the appearance o f the sister i n n

3 b

) , called,

as everyone k n o w s , Echo. I n this n y m p h ' s name a n d v i r t u e s , it is almost too easy to see her distinctive characteristics, that is to say, /vocality/

and,

moreover,

/reflexivity/.

I n other

words,

the

u n h a p p y n y m p h i n love, described b y O v i d (by verbal games that 8

today m a y appear to be i n b a d taste )

as a voice w i t h o u t a

presence, a n d w h o identically repeats the last syllables presented to her, is none other t h a n 'specular' vocality. T h i s reflected vocality thereby pertains, at this level o f c o m m o n isotopy, to preceding stories, to w h i c h , however (even i n its transformations, a n d indeed thanks to t h e m ) , it adds o n l y the seme o f / v o c a l i t y / . It therefore seems possible to conclude that a story, subjected to variations i n its enunciative m o d a l i t y (or simply narrated i n a 113


Reflections,

Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity

different c u l t u r a l context) can generate, i n itself, several o f its o w n variants, s i m p l y by a m p l i f y i n g , along a homogeneous axis, the choice o f relevant semantic traits. T h i s must be exactly what happened i n o u r case, because Echo's story seems indeed to be constructed successively (by the w o r k o f a hellenistic A l e x a n d r i a n poet f r o m w h i c h m a y derive O v i d ' s story, or by O v i d himself), and apparently was inspired by a preceding tale about Narcissus i n which

there

was no trace o f vocal reflexivity,

but

in w h i c h

appeared the optic reflexivity o f the m i r r o r . T h e complex seme o f / r e f l e x i v i t y / , i n a certain sense, m a y have generated this v a r i a n t , simply t r a n s m u t i n g the optic o n to the vocal axis. As we have seen, 3 b

s o m e t h i n g similar o c c u r r e d in the Pausanias version ( n ) , where 'specularity' and i o v e o f the same', a t t e m p t i n g to 'rationalise* the absurdity o f the m y t h , together produced the figure o f the t w i n sister.

4. A powerful name: Plato. I f we n o w look t h r o u g h the vast a m o u n t of m a t e r i a l offered us by the imaginaire o f ancient Greece, searching for a figure that s y m m e t r i c a l l y unifies the traits o f c o m p l e m e n tarities, o f the double pressed into one, o f r e c i p r o c i t y that compresses itself into u n i t y , o f a sort o f ' s p e c u l a r i t y ' where the m i r r o r seems to j o i n itself to the reflected image (rather like the c h i l d who moves towards the m i r r o r to the p o i n t o f t o u c h i n g i t , pressing his or her nose to i t ) , we note that this figure indeed exists, even i f it is an

effort

to i m a g i n e i t ; the result, once visualised, m a y

be

decidedly monstrous. T h e figure we seek is described i n Plato, Symposium 180 et seq., i n the famous story o f Aristophanes about the o r i g i n o f love. O n c e , Aristophanes says, m e n had r o u n d i s h bodies, w i t h four hands and four legs, t w o sexual parts, t w o faces attached to one head, a n d four ears. T h e r e were three genders, female, and androgynos, gender whether these strange

male,

being d e t e r m i n e d according to

beings had two male sexual parts, two

female sexual parts, or one male and one female part. A n d because these i n d i v i d u a l s , who were so complete i n themselves, were too self-confident and somewhat t r u c u l e n t , Zeus had to cut t h e m i n half

H e then pulled the skin over the w o u n d , t y i n g it u p at the

point that is n o w the navel, and begged A p o l l o to twist the head so 114


Reflections,

Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity

that it faced i n the same d i r e c t i o n as the cut. F i n a l l y , because these halves had some problems c o p u l a t i n g — as one m i g h t imagine — Zeus also caused the sexual parts to be displaced to the front. F r o m then o n , these halves looked for each other, a t t e m p t i n g to j o i n themselves together again, desperately l o o k i n g for their lost u n i t y and o r i g i n a l i d e n t i t y . T h e platonic m y t h o f the androgynos is too well k n o w n to require r e p é t i t i o n o f all its details. I n any case, one must recognise that this famous figurative representation o f a coincidence o f the reciprocal in the reflexive reveals itself as h i g h l y pertinent to the entire system o f m e a n i n g that we have t r i e d to reconstruct i n the preceding stories. M o r e o v e r , it provides an extremely v i v i d picture o f how it is possible, via the figures o f the imaginaire, to reconcile somehow the u n i t y , the i d e n t i t y , the totality o f the i n d i v i d u a l w i t h complementariness, 'otherness'.

'specularity',

or d u p l i c i t y

with,

in a

word,

9

A n apparently clearly articulated u n d e r l y i n g system can be perceived t h r o u g h this series o f v i v i d representations,

whether they

are n a r r a t i v e or not. T h i s system seems to be constructed accordi n g to a f o r m o f logic. W e can see delineated, for example, i n the very linguistic f o r m u l a t i o n o f the n a r r a t i v e discourse, the specific function o f some g r a m m a t i c a l categories — for example the function o f the reflexive p r o n o u n heautos, or the reciprocal adjective allelous, w h i c h is f o r m e d by d o u b l i n g alios, ' t w i c e o t h e r ' , and has no n o m i n a t i v e . These g r a m m a t i c a l forms are, not s u r p r i s i n g l y , repeated several times, not o n l y i n the story o f the androgynos, but also i n the other stories e x a m i n e d . F u r t h e r m o r e , we can see how the figurative — or n a r r a t i v e — e x p l o r a t i o n o f passionate attitudes (love, passion par excellence) renders operative various possibilities of rapprochement and j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f the t w o p r i n c i p a l verbal diatheses, the active — w h i c h the ancient I n d i a n

grammarians

called parasmaipadam,

' w o r d for an other' — and the m e d i u m —

called

'word

atmanepadam,

for i t s e l f

whereas the

passive

diathesis is secondary, s i m p l y the active seen from the point o f view o f the object. F i n a l l y , a general o v e r v i e w o f this system o f n a r r a t i v e representations shows, it seems to me, the a r t i c u l a t i o n o f some logical categories, /otherness/,

which

may

and reveals the opposition / i d e n t i t y / v . be

represented

schematically

by

a

G r e i m a s i a n carré, i n w h i c h also are organised the contradictoires ( / n o n - i d e n t i t y / v. /non-otherness/ i n the axis o f the sub-contraires): 115


Reflections, Echoes and Amorous identity ^

w

Reciprocity otherness

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1 non-otherness ^

non-identity

I f general reflection on passionate love seems above all to d r a w i n t o relief the p r o b l e m o f r e c o n c i l i n g oppositions o f the t w o contraries â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that is, o f d e f i n i n g the possible relations between the experience o f the self and the recognition o f the other â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it is possible also to situate along the inferior axis (called that o f the sub-contraries) some hypothetical and i m a g i n a r y possibilities o f different

types

include the

o f intermediate orientations.

figure

o f the t w i n sister,

Such possibilities

who is not identical to

Narcissus a l t h o u g h she is o f the same b l o o d and s i m i l a r to h i m , and also the figure o f the androgynos from w h o m it is possible to y

construct a monstrous image ( w h i c h is neither the identical nor the o t h e r ) , s i m p l y by e x p l o i t i n g the possibilities i n t r i n s i c to the n o t i o n of s y m m e t r y . W e should note that each o f the t w o parts o f the androgynos is called by Plato symbolon\ certainly not i n the actual sense o f the w o r d , b u t i n the o r i g i n a l (etymological) m e a n i n g o f 'one part o f a w h o l e , d i v i d e d i n t o t w o , w h i c h m a y be made to coincide by p u t t i n g it together (sym-ballo) w i t h the other h a l f , as is possible w i t h the t w o parts o f a c o i n , or w i t h pieces o f a stick broken in two.

5. T h e n a r r a t i v e theme explored here has taken us a l o n g way and could take us even further. I have endeavoured to show some o f the rules o f the game that generate these representations, a r t i c u l a t i n g their n a r r a t i v e manifestations, i n an attempt to conclude whether it is possible to identify some f o r m o f logic at the basis o f such rules. I t is possible to conclude tentatively that, t h r o u g h the figurative

and discoursive e x p l o r a t i o n o f the categories

w i t h passion and lack o f r e c i p r o c i t y , indifference,

dealing

desperation,

reflexive love followed again by m o r e despair and remorse, etc., that is, dealing w i t h a series o f euphoric, aphoric and dysphoric states and actions, these stories attempt to express a vast reflection 116


Reflections, Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity that

focuses

o n the d e f i n i t i o n

o f the self and

the other,

on

reflexivity, complementariness and amorous reciprocity. A n d it is precisely passionate love that seems to function as the privileged operator o f those transformations that reveal the m e a n i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or at least one m e a n i n g â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shared by all these stories: the definition o f the correct o r i e n t a t i o n o f passionate attitudes i n interpersonal relationships. T h i s , then, is the ' m o r a l o f the s t o r y ' , whereby the w i n g e d figure o f the daimon A n t e r o s , together w i t h that o f the u n h a p p y androgynos seems, o n its o w n , to be the most effective metaphoric image. I n conclusion, I w o u l d like to examine another short passage f r o m Plato, from the Phaedrus, another dialogue m a i n l y dedicated to e x a m i n i n g the passion o f love (255 c - e ) . H e r e Plato unites, i n a rather impressive m a n n e r , a large n u m b e r o f the figurative elements that we have found scattered here a n d there i n the course o f o u r i n q u i r y , p r i n c i p a l l y using a metaphorical system, the s i m i l a r i ties o f w h i c h to that system revealed by the e x a m i n a t i o n o f the Narcissus stories are too strong to be mere coincidence or 'free i n v e n t i o n ' o f the A t h e n i a n philosopher. H a v i n g ascertained that amorous desire is like a rheuma, or c u r r e n t that flows from the loved object, Plato adds that this c u r r e n t o f beauty, like a breath o r an echo (hoion pneuma e lis ekho) reflected from a smooth and solid surface, bounces back to the point o f o r i g i n , r e t u r n i n g to the loved one t h r o u g h the eyes, i n a look. H e then continues ' a n d like someone w h o has contracted an eye disease from someone else, he cannot explain h o w , b u t w i t h o u t realising i t , sees himself in the loved one, as in a mirror [hosper en katoptroiY. A n d w h e n the lover is far away, the loved one, now also i n love i n t u r n , 'desires and is desired, b e a r i n g anteros as the reflected image o f eros\

that is, he

perceives the effects o f passionate love i n terms o f 'specular' reciprocity. Plato is, w i t h o u t d o u b t , p r i n c i p a l l y interested i n d e f i n i n g the other by means o f s t u d y i n g the effects love produces on the self, whereas the preceding accounts attempt rather to demonstrate the disastrous effects o f refusing reciprocity, w h i c h produces a closure in the narcissistic circle o f the self. O n e realises, however, that in this impressive passage o f Plato's, the reappearance o f the figure o f anteros, o f amorous r e c i p r o c i t y , o f the self w h o merges w i t h the other and then returns to the self, o f this

finding-once-more

with

this bounce-back the image o f the echo and the m i r r o r , serves as a 117


Reflections, Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity s u m m a r y , as an i n v e n t o r y o f the elements that constitute the system o f m e a n i n g o n w h i c h is based the theme o f Narcissus i n all its variations a n d n a r r a t i v e manifestations. W e can n o w follow it t h r o u g h a l o n g t r a d i t i o n , leading f r o m C o n o n to Pausanias, from Ovid

t h r o u g h the medieval m y t h o g r a p h e r s

and

Boccaccio to

Natalis C o m e s , f r o m C a l d e r o n to Scarlatti, a n d hence ( w h y not?) to S i g m u n d F r e u d a n d his followers. T h e deep structures o n w h i c h this has been articulated, however, were already present i n the m i n d o f the philosopher who not i n f r e q u e n t l y amused h i m s e l f by t e l l i n g certain ' m y t h s ' that were no longer m y t h s , but rather i n t e n tionally symbolic systems, elaborated i n the space o f very r i c h a n d organised t h o u g h t , j u s t as they had been present i n the imaginaire that generated these stories i n an unspecified a n d unspecifiable epoch, certainly before the t i m e o f Plato himself. A f t e r h a v i n g followed the t o r t u o u s events o f these stories — or rather, h a v i n g a t t e m p t e d to e x p l a i n t h e i r mechanisms — I still have the impression that the history o f m a n y n a r r a t i v e themes that have attained greater fame i n o u r c u l t u r e , a n d therefore a consistent part o f the h i s t o r y o f l i t e r a t u r e itself, are perhaps (to paraphrase J . L . Borges) no m o r e than 'the history o f differing i n t o n a t i o n s o f some m e t a p h o r s ' .

10

Notes 1. T h i s rule has been illustrated well by Bruno Gentili, ' I I "letto insaziato" di Medea e ii tema dtWadikia a livello amoroso nei lirici (SafTo, Teognide) e nella Medea di E u r i p i d e ' , Studi Class. Or , 21 (1972) 6 0 - 7 2 ; p. 63: ' I f respect for dike necessarily demands that the lover should in his turn be loved in an indissoluble chain of faithfulness and reciprocal loyalty, violation of this rule (adikta) in turn necessarily constitutes a sin which must be expiated' (emphasis in text); p. 64: '. . . sooner or later whoever rejects the love of the lover will pay the price for his own adikia*. O n the use of the couplet dikeJadxkia in the language of love, see also M a r i a G . Bonanno, 'Osservazioni sul tema délia "giusta" reciprocita amorosa da Saffo ai c o m i c i \ Quad. Urb. Cult. Class., 76(1973) 1 1 0 - 2 0 , M . Vetta, ' L a "giovinezza giusta" di Trasibulo: Pind, Pyth. V I 48', Quad. Urb. Cult. Class., n.s., 2 ( 1 9 7 9 ) 8 7 - 9 0 , and my ' L a donna del mare. L a dike amorosa "assente" nel giambo di Semonide sopra le donne, vv, 2 7 - 4 2 ' , also in Quad. Urb. Cult. Class., n.s., 5(1979) 2 9 - 3 6 . O n the forms of eros in Greece see also my Favole d'identita — Favole di paura ( R o m e , 1982), and the very useful volume edited by C . C a l a m e , Vamore in Greeia ( R o m e - B a r i , 1983). 2. For an introduction to the analytical method used in this article, see J . Courtes, Scmiotique narrative et dxscoursiue (Paris, 1976): Groupe d'Entrevernes (various authors), Analyse sémiotique des textes ( L y o n s , 1979); A . J . Greimas, Du sens IF Essays sêmwtiques (Paris, 1983).

118


Reflections, Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity 3. T h e rather facile psychoanalytic approach of D . Braunschweig and M . Fain, Eros et Antcros. Reflections psychanalytiques sur la sexualité (Paris, 1971 ) 139 - 158, to the function of these two daimones does not seem very useful. A n enigmatic Antcros may be found in the singular sonnet of G e r a r d de Nerval's Chimères, see the fine analysis by J . Geninasca, Analyse structurale des Chimères de Nerval (Neuchatel, 1971) 38 and 2 2 3 - 3 6 . O n the ephebic eros in mythical stories, cf. B. Sergent, L'Homosexualité dans la mythologie grecque (Paris, 1984) 9 7 - 123, 210, which provides a rich biblio­ graphy on this theme; also the little-known study by C . Diano, 'L'eros greco", in Saggezza e poetiche degli antichi ( V i c e n z a , 1968) 1 6 7 - 8 3 = Utisse, 18 (1953) 698 et seq. 4. See the interesting reflections of L . M a r i n , 'Masque et portrait: sur l ' o p é r a t e u r *'masque" dans quelques textes du X V I I è m e siècle français*, in Atti del Convegno internationale 'Net senso délia maschera; Au sense du masque', Montecatini, 1 5 - 1 7 October 1981, forthcoming. For mirror effects in painting, cf. Caterina L i mentan i Virdis, / / quadro e il sua doppio Effetti di specularita narrativa nella pittura fiamminga e olandese ( M o d e n a , 1981) (brought to my attention by Oddone Longo) and in general J . B a l t r u î a i t i s , Le miroir: révélations, science-fiction et fallacies (Paris, 1979). O n the mirror and mask in Greek mythology and culture, the reflections by J . - P . Vernant in the Annuaire du Collège de France 1979-80. Résumé des cours et travaux, 4 5 3 - 6 6 , have, as always, been most stimulating for me. 5. For Pausanias' attitude to myth see P. V e y n e , Les Grecs ont-ils cru à leurs mythes? (Paris, 1983) 1 0 5 - 12 and passim. 6. T h e bonds of reciprocity and 'specularity' that are formed in the psychology of two twins (in this case both male) are remarkably perceived and described in the novel by Michel T o u r n i e r , Les Météores (Paris, 1975). 7. C f . T h e m i s t . Orat. 24, 305 a - b : ' O Aphrodite, your true son Eros may perhaps have been born alone, but certainly he could not grow up alone; it is necessary for you also to have Anteros, if you wish that Eros may grow. A n d these two brothers will be of the same nature: they will each cause the growth of the other. And looking at each other they will also blossom, but they will diminish, if one (or the other) is left alone.' 8. For example, O v i d . Met. 3 . 3 8 6 - 7: 'Hue coeamus!' ait, nutlique libentius umquam responsura sono 'coeamus! ' rettulit Echo, . . . ('Here let us m e e t / he cries. E c h o , never to answer another sound more gladly, cries: 'Let us meet* . . . ) . There is a double-entendre in the verbe tone, meaning 'to meet, come together' and also 'to copulate'. O n these playful echo effects in O v i d see G , Rosati, Narciso e Pigmaiione (Florence, 1984) 2 9 - 3 0 ; a shorter version of C h . I, 'Narciso o I'illusione letteraria appeared as 'Narciso o 1'illusione dissolta' in Maia, 28(1976) 8 3 - 108. 1

1

9. I shall limit myself to citing the study by L . Brisson, Bisexualité et m é d i a t i o n en G r è c e ancienne', NOUIK rev. psychoanal., 7(1973) 2 7 - 4 8 . T h e entire volume, on the theme Bisexualité et différence des sexes, is of great interest for the study of these problems. 10. A general bibliography on Narcissus would be inappropriately long; many references may be found in the notes in Rosati, Narcissus, and P. Hadot, ' L e mythe de Narcisse et son interprétation par Plotin', Nouv. rev. psychanal., 13 (1976) 81 - 108. T h e entiie volume is dedicated to the Narcissus theme and its mythical, literary, artistic and psychological aspects. See however the notable study by Louise Vinge, The Narcissus Theme tn Western Literature up to the Early 19th Century ( L u n d , 1967). I wish to offer grateful acknowledgements

119

to Bruno Gentili, C l a u d e C a l a m e and


Reflections, Echoes and Amorous Reciprocity Catherine and Jacques Geninasca, who patiently read an early draft of these reflections and who offered to me, as always, helpful suggestions and wise counsels.

120


7 Greek Myth and Ritual: The Case of Kronos H . S. Versnel

'Myth,

i n m y t e r m i n o l o g y , is the counterpart o f r i t u a l :

myth

implies r i t u a l , r i t u a l implies m y t h , they are one and the same'; thus E . Leach takes his stand i n a discussion that can have no e n d . A t the b e g i n n i n g o f that discussion stands m y t h , identified

1

as

' m i s t a k e n e x p l a n a t i o n ' o f r i t u a l , to use Frazer's famous phrase. A n inverse relationship has been postulated by the m y t h - a n d - r i t u a l school o f H o o k e and his followers: m y t h as the scenario for r i t u a l . A t h i r d possible e x p l a n a t i o n for the l i n k between the t w o was offered by J a n e H a r r i s o n : ' T h e y p r o b a b l y arose together. R i t u a l is the utterance o f an e m o t i o n , a t h i n g felt i n action, m y t h i n words or thoughts. T h e y arise pari passu.' O n e recognises expressions o f this view i n several m o r e recent a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l studies. O n the other h a n d , i n his f u n d a m e n t a l critical w o r k , G . S. K i r k argues that any m o n o l i t h i c theory r e g a r d i n g m y t h a n d r i t u a l should be rejected: all three forms o f i n t e r r e l a t i o n do indeed occur, b u t it must be r e m e m b e r e d as well that there are m a n y more rites w i t h out m y t h s and m y t h s w i t h o u t rites t h a n there are related rites and myths. K i r k does have a p o i n t , o f course, but that does not mean the end o f the m y t h a n d r i t u a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n . I f ' m y t h a n d r i t u a l do not correspond i n details o f content b u t i n structure and a t m o s p h e r e ' , it

is w o r t h w h i l e

i n v e s t i g a t i n g whether

there

are

indeed

2

any

examples at all o f a m y t h a n d rite o p e r a t i n g pari passu as ' s y m b o l i c processes for dealing w i t h the same type o f situation i n the same affective m o d e ' ( C I . K l u c k h o h n ) . W . B u r k e r t has done so i n recent years w i t h regard to Greece, i n his analysis o f m y t h and r i t u a l complexes, specifically the A r r h e p h o r i a festival and the m y t h o f 121


Greek Myth and Ritual the L e m n i a n w o m e n . A l t h o u g h even K i r k has been convinced by B u r k e r t ' s arguments that indeed

are

in these complexes

myths and

rites

more or less parallel representations o f a certain

affective atmosphere s u r r o u n d i n g the t u r n o f the year, it cannot be denied that in both complexes strong aetiological components are present, too; i f the m y t h does not explain details o f the r i t u a l , it does, at any rate, translate them i n t o words and

images.

It is m y belief that there was i n Greece a m y t h and

ritual

complex — also related to the transition from the old year to the new — i n w h i c h m y t h and rite have indeed been formed pari passu, possibly even more clearly than in the cases just m e n t i o n e d , and have developed as parallel expressions — i n t e r r e l a t i n g ones, true enough, but i n t e r r e l a t i n g in such a subtle and at the same t i m e complicated m a n n e r that here at least the rite cannot be taken as example for the m y t h , nor the m y t h as scenario for the rite. I am r e f e r r i n g to the m y t h and

r i t u a l complex o f K r o n o s and

the

Kronia,'^

1. K r o n o s : t h e M y t h T h e oldest version o f the m y t h o f K r o n o s is also the most c o m plete. A p a r t from m i n o r additions and variations — in themselves often q u i t e significant — the m y t h as H e s i o d tells it i n the Theogony has

not

changed

essentially

in the course o f t i m e .

4

A

short

summary: L i k e Iapetus, T h e m i s , Rhea and so o n , K r o n o s belongs to the race o f the T i t a n s , c h i l d r e n o f U r a n o s and Ge, the first generation o f gods. K r o n o s hated his father, w h o had banished his c h i l d r e n to the depths o f the earth.

A t their m o t h e r ' s

lamentations,

only

K r o n o s a m o n g the T i t a n s was prepared to take action against his father, a n d w i t h his sickle he cut ( ' m o w e d ' ) (181) o f f U r a n o s ' genitalia. F r o m the resulting drops o f blood sprang the E r i n y s , the giants a n d the n y m p h s . O u t o f the froth ( = the semen) o f the genitalia, w h i c h had fallen i n t o the sea, A p h r o d i t e was b o r n . N e x t , K r o n o s and his sister/spouse, Rhea produced c h i l d r e n , i n c l u d i n g the first generation o f O l y m p i a n s , the f a m i l y o f gods c u r r e n t l y i n power: H e s t i a , D e m e t e r , H e r a , Poseidon, Hades, and lastly Zeus. K r o n o s , fearing that one o f t h e m w o u l d o v e r t h r o w h i m (462) ' g u l p e d d o w n ' all his c h i l d r e n i m m e d i a t e l y after 122

their

births


Greek Myth and Ritual (katepine: 459, 467, 473, 497). Rhea, however, b r o u g h t her last c h i l d , Zeus, into the w o r l d o n C r e t e , where he grew up h i d d e n i n a cave w i t h o u t his father's knowledge. Instead o f the baby, Rhea had fed K r o n o s a stone w r a p p e d i n s w a d d l i n g clothes. Once he had g r o w n u p , Zeus forced K r o n o s to regurgitate the other c h i l d r e n ; first came the stone, w h i c h has been displayed i n D e l p h i ever since (cf. S o u r v i n o u - I n w o o d , this v o l u m e , C h . 10, A p p e n d i x ) .

After

this l i b e r a t i o n he freed K r o n o s ' brothers, the Cyclopes, w h o had been chained i n the U n d e r w o r l d by their father, U r a n o s (501); in r e t u r n for their rescue, the Cyclopes gave Zeus his t h u n d e r b o l t . T h e h u n d r e d - h a n d e d giants also were freed ( 6 5 2 659) from their 1

subterranean prison at the edge o f the w o r l d (621/2), where they had been held i n heavy irons (618), i n order to assist Zeus and the other O l y m p i a n s i n their battle against the T i t a n s . A n interpolated passage (Th. 6 8 7 - 7 1 2 ) does, indeed, say that Zeus destroyed the T i t a n s w i t h his t h u n d e r b o l t , but the authentic text ascribes the victory to the h u n d r e d - h a n d e d giants, w h o drove the T i t a n s deep under the earth a n d b o u n d t h e m i n strong chains (718). It is true that this part does not say explicitly that K r o n o s suffered the same fate, but a later passage, i n w h i c h the monster T y p h o e u s ( w h o according to the scholiast o n //, 2,783 is a son o f K r o n o s ) waylays Zeus,

includes

an

interpolated

line

(851):

"The

Titans,

in

T a r t a r u s , keeping K r o n o s c o m p a n y . ' In

Works and Days 168, it is m e n t i o n e d that Zeus settled the

heroes after their deaths along the edges o f the earth, where they lead carefree and happy lives o n the Islands o f the Blessed, where the spelt-giving soil yields a rich harvest three times a year. A n l

interpolated verse (169) then continues: f a r from the i m m o r t a l s . A m o n g t h e m K r o n o s is k i n g ' , a n d i n a subsequent interpolated passage it is stated: 'his bonds the father o f m e n and gods had b r o k e n ' . A l t h o u g h not Hesiodic, this version must have k n o w n as early as the archaic e r a .

5

been

P i n d a r is familiar w i t h it (01.

2.70 v . ) . Since the p u b l i c a t i o n o f the H u r r i a n - H i t t i t e K u m a r b i m y t h i n 1945

6

scholars have

agreed

all b u t u n a n i m o u s l y that H e s i o d

indirectly must have d e r i v e d i m p o r t a n t parts o f the K r o n o s m y t h from this m u c h older tale. For here K u m a r b i castrates his father A n u by b i t i n g o f f his genitalia and becomes pregnant by t h e m w i t h three (or five) c h i l d r e n , a m o n g w h o m is the god o f the storms, comparable to Zeus. K u m a r b i regurgitates all the c h i l d r e n except 123


Greek Myth and Ritual the god o f the storms, w h o emerges by a m o r e or less ' n a t u r a l ' route a n d dethrones his father. H i s father makes a final attempt at resistance w i t h the assistance o f a monster b o r n f r o m his semen ( U l l i k u m m i ) , but to no avail. T h e s t r i k i n g resemblance between the t w o tales has led even to 7

the hypothesis, n o t a b l y argued b y W . B u r k e r t , that the d e r i v a t i o n o f the Theogony m y t h f r o m an o r i e n t a l t r a d i t i o n could not have taken place u n t i l the e i g h t h o r seventh c e n t u r y , as this was the p e r i o d i n w h i c h ' o r i e n t a l i s a t i o n ' h a d a m u c h greater i m p a c t o n the Greek

world

than

scholars

previously have

been

inclined

to

believe. Parts o f the m o t i f are f o u n d as early as the Iliad: K r o n o s is the father o f Zeus, Hades a n d Poseidon (15,187) a n d o f H e r a ( 5 . 7 2 1 ; cf. 4.59). H e resides at 'the l i m i t s o f the earth a n d o f the sea', where Iapetus is, too. T h i s place is identified w i t h the depths o f T a r t a r u s , w h i c h 'lies a r o u n d i t ' ( 8 . 4 7 7 - 8 0 ) a

subterranean

abode to w h i c h Zeus has expelled his father and where he remains a m o n g the 'subterranean gods' (14.274; cf. 15.225). L a t e r versions add new elements.

I n Apollodorus l . l f f ,

the

Kouretes have a secure position as Zeus' protectors. I t is by means o f an emetic that K r o n o s is made to v o m i t ; f u r t h e r m o r e , he also has fathered the h y b r i d C h e i r o n ( 1 . 2 . 4 ) . A p o l l o d o r u s does not enlarge on K r o n o s ' whereabouts after his defeat, although it is this aspect i n p a r t i c u l a r that t r a d i t i o n a l l y was enriched elsewhere w i t h stereotyped features, and w h i c h r i g h t d o w n to R o m a n times gave rise to v a r i a t i o n a n d a m p l i f i c a t i o n . T h i s tendency also began w i t h Hesiod. So far the picture has been largely negative, a p i c t u r e that already i n a n t i q u i t y met w i t h resistance: p a r r i c i d e , infanticide — 8

even c a n n i b a l i s m — rebellion i n a ruthless struggle for power, a complete absence o f m o r a l standards,

and lawlessness: all these 9

elements were spotted and — sometimes — c o n d e m n e d . K r o n o s ' stock epithet ankulometes — possibly m e a n i n g ' w i t h the curved sickle' o r i g i n a l l y

1 0

— was generally i n t e r p r e t e d as ' w i t h crooked

tricks' or ' d e v i o u s ' , a negative description; his actions were part o f the u n b r i d l e d excesses o f a distant past, his p u n i s h m e n t seemed just,

his t i m e was

over.

A p p a r e n t l y the

oriental m y t h

was

associated w i t h a god, possibly o f pre-Greek signature, w h o no longer functioned as an active and i n t e r v e n i n g god. Yet all this is only one side o f the matter. T h e r e is another, w h i c h is the d i a m e t r i c a l opposite o f this negative p i c t u r e . K r o n o s 124


Greek Myth and Ritual is k i n g , o r to express it m o r e strongly ' K r o n o s is the k i n g ' .

1 1

The

title basileus ( k i n g ) is stereotypical from Hesiod u n t i l late a n t i q u i t y . S t r i k i n g l y , J u l i a n , Conviv. 317 D , still makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between K r o n o s and Zeus: ' O , K i n g K r o n o s and Father Z e u s ' . K r o n o s is even presented as the one w h o i n t r o d u c e d the p r i n c i p l e o f k i n g ship. H e s i o d (Th.

486) calls h i m 'the first k i n g ' and as late as

B y z a n t i n e times an a u t h o r says: ' K r o n o s i n t r o d u c e d k i n g s h i p . ' T h a t n o t h i n g negative is i m p l i e d b y the t e r m basileus is apparent f r o m another epithet: megas (great), w i t h w h i c h he is qualified i n the Iliad,

as well as b y H e s i o d ,

1 2

O n the c o n t r a r y ,

Kronos'

k i n g d o m , w h i c h usually is visualised as existing o n earth, was a realm

o f peace, justice

and

prosperity.

associated such benefits w i t h h u m a n

Pindar

so

strongly

kingship that he calls the

abode w h i t h e r the pious travel after death, a k i n g ' s 'tower* 2.125vv).

13

Such references b r i n g us to the topic o f the

(Oi

famous

Saturnia regna o r 'life at the t i m e o f Kronos*, as the A t h e n i a n s called the happy

p e r i o d u n d e r Pisistratos ( A r i s t o t l e Athenaion

Politeia

17.5), the G o l d e n A g e at the b e g i n n i n g o f t i m e , n o w irrevocably i n the past. T h i s image, too, is f a m i l i a r even to H e s i o d .

I n his

description o f the races o f m e n , w h i c h perhaps also was derived from o r i e n t a l m y t h a n d seems to have been a t r a d i t i o n u n k n o w n to H o m e r , he says e v e r y t h i n g began w i t h the G o l d e n Race

(Works

and Days 1 0 9 - 2 6 ) : people lived like gods, w i t h o u t w o r r y , exertion or suffering. T h e y were not bothered by o l d age: their l i m b s were eternally y o u n g and they revelled h a p p i l y (115). D e a t h came like sleep. T h e earth yielded fruit o f its o w n accord, a b u n d a n t l y

and

p l e n t i f u l l y , and people l i v e d contentedly i n the midst o f peace and profusion. A f t e r their disappearance f r o m the face o f the earth they became good daimones,

guardians o f mortals and bestowers o f

wealth (126). T h i s marks the b e g i n n i n g o f a rich t r a d i t i o n o f u t o p i a n i s m and

'wishing-time'

1 4

w i t h w h i c h K r o n o s is closely

associated; this, too, since H e s i o d , for according to h i m the people of the G o l d e n Race lived w h e n K r o n o s was k i n g i n H e a v e n ( Works and Days 111), T h e t r a d i t i o n o f m a k i n g this Utopian time K r o n o s ' era can be followed from the Atkmaeonts,

via Empedocles and the

Inachos o f Sophocles (alone among tragedies); the theme widens i n O l d C o m e d y , as is shown especially in Athenaeus 6.267E ff. I n O l d C o m e d y the m o t i f o f abundance, o f a 'land o f Cockaigne' receives particular a t t e n t i o n ; there are descriptions of p r i m e v a l eras, of Pluto's

u n d e r w o r l d , and of the far-away

125

land o f the


Greek Myth and Ritual Persians, luxury.

w h o generally

were

notorious

for their excess

and

1 5

I n connection w i t h this m o t i f and partly as a reaction to it as well, there arose i n the fourth century a remarkable

alternative,

possibly u n d e r the influence o f Antisthenes. A c c o r d i n g to Plato, K r o n o s ' realm is not one o f superabundance. O n the c o n t r a r y , it is a r e a l m o f s i m p l i c i t y , indeed, o f the s i m p l i c i t y o f animals.

Here

bliss is defined ethically and justice is the code-word; this theme blossomed i n L a t i n l i t e r a t u r e , p a r t i c u l a r l y u n d e r the influence o f C y n i c s and the like, as rejection and c o n d e m n a t i o n o f the decadent l u x u r y o f real l i f e ,

1 6

T h i s rejection led to the development o f a

peculiar a m b i g u i t y in the appreciation of, a n d accordingly i n the 'setting* o f the ' n a t u r a l , w i l d existence'. W h e n the n a t u r a l , w i l d existence was p o r t r a y e d as u n b r i d l e d and i n h u m a n , it was placed before the r e a l m o f K r o n o s / S a t u r n u s , w h i c h b r o u g h t m o r a l standards, justice and civilisation. A l t e r n a t i v e l y the era o f K r o n o s / Saturnus itself was the w i l d life, but then ' w i l d ' had the sense o f the simple, n a t u r a l , but not bestial â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a life w i t h o u t the complexities o f civilisation. As the

geographic

further to the W e s t ,

17

h o r i z o n expanded,

Kronos

moved

ever

where he was identified w i t h s i m i l a r deities,

such as Saturnus. E v e n t u a l l y we find h i m on a Utopian island west of B r i t a n n i a , where he is represented as either asleep or i n chains. O n the other h a n d he was also placed to the East in P h r y g i a , asleep again.

18

I n structural terms, a god sleeping and a god w e a r i n g

chains are i d e n t i c a l :

19

both gods are ' o u t o f a c t i o n ' .

T h i s highly selective survey offers a r e m a r k a b l y

ambiguous,

even c o n t r a d i c t o r y , picture. K r o n o s is, on one h a n d , the god o f an i n h u m a n l y cruel era w i t h o u t ethical standards; o n the other he is the k i n g of a G o l d e n Age o f abundance, happiness and justice. H e is the loser who has been exiled, chained and enslaved, but also the great k i n g par excellence, who has been liberated and rules supreme. H i s realm

is thought

to have existed

either

before

historical

times, or after t i m e , i.e. in death. It was sometimes situated on the earth, sometimes deep d o w n i n the earth, sometimes at the edge o f the

world,

tt

is possible

to construct

oppositions:

126

the

following

table o f


Greek Myth and Ritual Negative

Positive

K r o n o s as a person:

father-mutilator child-murderer cannibal tyrant

wise, great king

H i s rule:

lawlessness lack of moral standards unstable hierarchy struggle for power, rebellion

ideal situation materially: abundance land of Cockaigne no slavery ideologically: natural order and justice peace simplicity

H i s present situation:

locked up, chained enslaved asleep: powerless

liberated or escaped a great king of blessed people

I n a d d i t i o n the f o l l o w i n g oppositions b e y o n d the categories o f positive a n d negative can be set forth: Place or time of Utopia:

in illo tempore irrevocably past

still existing but not in 'this world':

out of reach

either in the hereafter (for chosen people) or in far away outer regions (e.g. the West) w i t h i n reach, in a special sense

Such

a violent

ambiance

calls

opposition w i t h i n for

an

one

explanation.

and

the

Explanations

same have

divine been

proposed, o f course. T h e y generally boil d o w n to a denial o f the seriousness o f the contradictions. T h e difficulty o f accepting such explanations, however, becomes clear from a review o f the cult and the rites s u r r o u n d i n g the god, i n w h i c h exactly the same a m b i g u i t y exists.

2. K r o n o s : the R i t e ' K r o n o s scheint i m K u l t keinen festen Platz zu haben, er is ein Schatten': thus N i l s s o n , unconsciously v a r y i n g a statement by v o n W i l a m o w i t z : ' E r ist eben ein G o t t ausser D i e n s t e n , abgetan wie die rohe U r z e i t . '

2 0

T h e evidence fully bears out the correctness o f these statements. 127


Greek Myth and Ritual A really o l d cult is attested o n l y i n O l y m p i a , where K r o n o s ' priests are called hoi basilai — a possible, but not c e r t a i n , correlate o f K r o n o s ' k i n g s h i p (basileus). W e k n o w o f o n l y one temple i n Athens b u i l t by Pisistratos for K r o n o s and Rhea. T h e o n l y k n o w n temple statue is the one o f Lebadeia, b e l o n g i n g to the T r o p h o n i o s sanct u a r y . I n A t h e n s , o n the 15th o f E l a p h e b o l i o n ( ± A p r i l ) , K r o n o s was given a cake h a v i n g twelve little globules o n i t . These few facts o u t l i n e the cultic t a b l e a u :

21

a few further pieces o f r i t u a l data w i l l

be given below. R e a l i s i n g , o n the other h a n d , that ' K r o n i o n ' , as a m o n t h name as well as a city n a m e

2 2

— the latter especially i n

Sicily — is q u i t e c o m m o n , one cannot but come to the conclusion that, i n earlier times, K r o n o s must indeed have had a cultic significance that he later lost, perhaps after b e i n g ousted b y a n e w l y i n t r o d u c e d generation o f gods. T h e result is, to quote Nilsson ( i b i d . ) once again: ' E r ist m y t h o l o g i s c h , n i c h t k u l t i s c h / T h i s is, as I hope to show, a correct conclusion, h a v i n g , however, i m p l i c a tions reaching m u c h further t h a n was suspected b y N i l s s o n , w h o was interested p r i m a r i l y i n gods tangible i n c u l t . T h e f o l l o w i n g short description o f a n u m b e r o f rituals associated w i t h K r o n o s does not contradict this conclusion, but rather, as w i l l become clear, confirms i t . Kronia were celebrated o n Rhodes o n the sixth o f M e t a g e i t n i o n (text: Pedageitnion). P o r p h y r y (On Abstinence 2.54) tells o f h u m a n s being

sacrificed

condemned

to

Kronos

during

that

festival.

23

Later,

a

c r i m i n a l was kept alive u n t i l the K r o n i a , a n d then

taken outside the gates to A r i s t o b u l e ' s statue, given w i n e to d r i n k and slaughtered.

F r o m the date it has been concluded that this

typical example o f a scapegoat ritual springs f r o m the A r t e m i s cult and became associated w i t h K r o n o s o n l y later. T h i s m a y q u i t e well be true, a l t h o u g h it is dangerous to b u i l d a case on a chance t e m poral coincidence. I m p o r t a n t , however, is the fact that elsewhere as w e l l , K r o n o s is associated specifically w i t h bloody and cruel h u m a n sacrifices; the ancient attitude is s u m m a r i s e d by Sophocles (Andr.

fr. 126 R a d t ) as follows: ' O f o l d there is a custom a m o n g

barbarians to sacrifice h u m a n s to K r o n o s . ' C l e a r l y this is about barbarians,

as

are

Phoenician-Punic

other

testirnonia.

Best

known

are

the

h u m a n sacrifices, w h i c h are supposed to have

been i n t r o d u c e d by a former k i n g , E l / K r o n o s .

2 4

The Carthaginian

god i n whose huge bronze statue children were b u r n t to death also was identified w i t h K r o n o s / S a t u r n u s . 128

25

It was said that i n Italy and


Greek Myth and Ritual Sardinia,

too,

h u m a n s had

been sacrificed

to S a t u r n u s

p r o b a b l y j u s t as legendary a fact as Istros* (FGrH

26

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

334 F 48) r e m a r k

about C r e t e that the K o u r e t e s i n ancient times sacrificed children to K r o n o s , o r the later reports by C h r i s t i a n authors about h u m a n sacrifices i n Greece itself. S u r v e y i n g all these data, one is n o t surprised that i n places K r o n o s stands as a signum for h u m a n sacrifice, b l o o d y offering and even c a n n i b a l i s m . Side b y side w i t h the above-mentioned text by Sophocles

stands,

for

instance,

Euhemerus

1

view

(Ennius

Euhemerus 9.5) that K r o n o s and R h e a and the other people l i v i n g then used to eat h u m a n flesh. A m o r e negative a n d gruesome p i c t u r e h a r d l y can be i m a g i n e d . Therefore, the appearance o f another, again u t t e r l y contrasting one is all the m o r e s t r i k i n g . A c c o r d i n g to Empedocles, Pythagorean

circles generally,

u n b l o o d y sacrifice. tion o f t h i s ,

2 8

27

and in

K r o n o s is the very symbol o f

T h e A t h e n i a n cake sacrifice is a good illustra-

and Athenaeus 3,110B i n f o r m s us that by way o f

offering the A l e x a n d r i a n s used to put loaves o f bread i n K r o n o s ' temple, f r o m w h i c h everybody was allowed to eat. T h i s peaceful and j o y o u s aspect crops up i n an almost hyperbolic f o r m i n the A t t i c celebration o f the K r o n i a .

2 9

A p a r t f r o m a short m e n t i o n by

Demosthenes 24.26, w i t h m e n t i o n o f the date (12 H e k a t o m b a i o n = Âą A u g u s t ) , we have t w o somewhat more detailed reports. Plutarch Moralia

1098B: 'So too, w h e n slaves h o l d the K r o n i a

feast or go about celebrating the c o u n t r y D i o n y s i a , y o u could not endure the j u b i l a t i o n a n d d i n . ' M a c r o b i u s Saturnalia 1.10.22: Philochorus [FGrH

328 F 97] says that Cecrops was the first to

b u i l d , i n A t t i c a , an altar to S a t u r n and O p s , w o r s h i p i n g these deities as J u p i t e r and E a r t h , and to o r d a i n that, w h e n crops and fruits

had

been garnered,

heads o f households

everywhere

should eat thereof i n c o m p a n y w i t h the slaves w i t h w h o m they had borne the t o i l o f c u l t i v a t i n g the l a n d , for it was well pleasing to the god that h o n o u r should be paid to the slaves i n considerat i o n o f their l a b o u r . A n d that is w h y we follow the practice o f a foreign

land

and

offer

sacrifice

to

Saturn

with

the

head

uncovered, ( t r . P. V . Davies). T h e former text merely says that slaves/servants had a festival 129


Greek Myth and Ritual w i t h a banquet, d u r i n g w h i c h they enjoyed themselves m i g h t i l y , and w h i c h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n Plutarch's t i m e at least â&#x20AC;&#x201D; was celebrated in A t t i c a at any r a t e .

30

T h e latter t e s t i m o n i u m is more explicit.

F i n a l l y , the R o m a n poet Accius {Ann. fr. 3 M , Bae.; Fr. poet, lat. M o r e l p . 34) adds that most Greeks, but the A t h e n i a n s i n part i c u l a r , celebrated this festival: ' i n all fields and towns they feast u p o n banquets elatedly a n d everyone waits u p o n his o w n servants. F r o m this had been adopted as well o u r o w n custom o f servants and masters e a t i n g together i n one and the same p l a c e / Some scholars have contended that Accius projected the attested R o m a n custom o f masters w a i t i n g u p o n their slaves at the S a t u r n alia, to the Greek K r o n i a , about w h i c h we k n o w only that masters and

slaves d i n e d together. H o w e v e r , there is no g r o u n d for such

scepticism. First, o u r other sources are m u c h too scanty. Secondly, w h e n masters regale their servants, this implies n a t u r a l l y some sort o f reversal o f n o r m a l functions, whether this is r i t u a l l y d e m o n strated or not. A n u m b e r o f closely related ' S a t u r n a l i a s festivals in Greece show that freedom o f slaves could indeed take various forms.

I n T r o i z e n , for instance, the slaves were for one day

allowed to play knuckle-bones w i t h the citizens, and the masters treated the servants to a meal, possibly d u r i n g a Poseidon festival. D u r i n g the Thessalian festival o f the Peloria, dedicated to Zeus Peloros, strangers were offered a banquet, prisoners freed o f their fetters; slaves lay d o w n at d i n n e r a n d were w a i t e d u p o n by their masters,

w i t h full

freedom o f speech. A t H e r m e s festivals o n

C r e t e , too, the slaves stuffed themselves a n d the masters served. Ephoros (FGrH

70 F 29) even knows o f a festival i n K y d o n i a on

C r e t e where the serfs, the K l a r o t e s , could lord it i n the city while the citizens stayed outside. T h e slaves were also allowed to w h i p the citizens, p r o b a b l y those w h o had recklessly r e m a i n e d i n the city or re-entered i t . I n connection w i t h this, B o m e r

3 1

has d r a w n

a t t e n t i o n to a f o r m e r l y neglected d a t u m , to w i t , that o n a specific day o f the Spartan acquaintances

Hyakinthia

'the citizens treated all their

and their o w n slaves to a m e a l ' . T h e

Hermes

Charidotes festival o n Samos, d u r i n g w h i c h stealing a n d r o b b i n g were p e r m i t t e d , presents a slightly different s i t u a t i o n , because the specific

master-slave

relationship

was

not

involved.

More

examples could be g i v e n , b u t these suffice. Before s u m m a r i s i n g o u r findings about the r i t u a l , there must be one

more

word

about

iconography. 130

32

Except

on

coins,


Greek Myth and Ritual representations o f K r o n o s w i t h uncovered head are very rare for the older p e r i o d . T h e usual type o f statue is o f a seated Zeus-like god,

his head l e a n i n g o n a h a n d . T h e back o f the head is almost

always covered by a fold o f the robe. T h i s type occurs as early as the fifth c e n t u r y B C , and is f o u n d q u i t e frequently u n t i l late i n the R o m a n p e r i o d . Even the ancients could o n l y guess at the m e a n i n g of this headgear, w h i c h was unusual i n Greece: 'Some c l a i m his head is covered because the b e g i n n i n g o f t i m e is u n k n o w n ' â&#x20AC;&#x201D; such is the guess o f the V a t i c a n M y t h o g r a p h e r I I I . 1.5, a l l u d i n g to the identification o f K r o n o s / C h r o n o s . M o d e r n scholars have considered grief as a possible reason â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sadness at his d o w n f a l l a n d oppression â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or the secrecy o f his plans. N o u n a n i m o u s conclusion has been reached, however. W e are told several times that the feet of the R o m a n statue o f Saturnus were shackled (or w r a p p e d i n woollen bandages) and that o n his h o l i d a y the statue was freed o f its chains.

33

A p o l l o d o r u s o f A t h e n s (FGrH

224 F 118) states that this

was also a Greek custom w i t h regard to the K r o n o s statue, although M a c r o b i u s , w h o quotes h i m , i n c o r r e c t l y dates this festival i n December. Some m o d e r n scholars, i n c l u d i n g J a c o b y ,

34

interpret

this statement as r e f e r r i n g to R o m a n customs that this a u t h o r o f the second century B C supposedly knew of. I n m y o p i n i o n it is at least equally probable that he was f a m i l i a r w i t h such a custom from his own Greek s u r r o u n d i n g s , perhaps i n p a r t i c u l a r from A l e x a n d r i a , where he lived a n d from

where o u r knowledge o f other new

elements comes as well. A K r o n o s / S a t u r n u s i n chains is, for that matter, a topos i n the later magical p a p y r i .

3 5

T h i s survey o f cultic a n d r i t u a l aspects has b r o u g h t us to the conclusion that K r o n o s is j u s t as a m b i g u o u s a figure i n r i t u a l as i n m y t h . For r i t u a l , too, we can d r a w up a d i a g r a m o f opposing positive and negative elements. Negative

Positive

T y p e of sacrifice:

pre-eminently bloody

bloodless sacrifices, cakes, loaves of bread

Atmosphere of K r o n o s rite:

frightening ritual of homicide, infanticide: extreme tension

exulted celebrations with unlimited freedom and abundance: extreme relaxation

Iconography

head covered ( = ?) in shackles all year long

freed from shackles on holiday

(the last possibly, but not conclusively, Greek)

131


Greek Myth and Ritual 3 . K r o n o s : the C o n t r a d i c t i o n It has become clear that oppositions w i t h i n the m y t h o f K r o n o s have close correspondences i n r i t u a l . O n one h a n d , there is a c o m plex o f f a i l i n g standards and lawlessness, patricide a n d infanticide, c a n n i b a l i s m , rebellion and enslavement: Kronos ankulometes. O n the other h a n d , there is the complex o f peace and n a t u r a l w e l l - b e i n g , m a t e r i a l abundance and ethical j u s t i c e , the b r e a k i n g o f chains: Kronos megas. Either o f the t w o complexes

is i n itself q u i t e f a m i l i a r : the

negative one shows the characteristics typical o f chaos, w h i c h , as we w i l l see, i n m a n y cultures has been visualised as a p r i m o r d i a l era before the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f h u m a n c u l t u r e , but w h i c h i n certain situations can r e t u r n to the real w o r l d for a short w h i l e .

3 6

The

positive complex presents the usual image o f U t o p i a where — not always, b u t often — a n a t u r a l abundance eliminates social tensions and

suppressions,

sometimes

eliminates

even

the

existing

hierarchy. T h e b e w i l d e r i n g t h i n g about K r o n o s is that, i n his surr o u n d i n g s , these extreme oppositions are u n i t e d i n one greater u n i t — w i t h o u t , however, b e i n g reconciled. T h i s has n a t u r a l l y not escaped scholars' a t t e n t i o n . 'Diese V o r s t e l l u n g e n sind u n v e r e i n b a r , ' v o n W i l a m o w i t z w r o t e i n 1929; *Ce C r o n o s , pere de Zeus .

. est u n personnage d i v i n fort a m b i g u , ' V i d a l - N a q u e t wrote

fifty years l a t e r . That

37

the ancients also observed

the contradictions

— con-

sciously or unconsciously — is apparent f r o m a great n u m b e r o f details. T h e

stock epithet ankulometes is usually interpreted

as

m e a n i n g ' p l o t t i n g crooked, devious t h i n g s ' , b u t side by side w i t h this it is also explained matters'.

38

as

'sensibly

also leads to contradictions: Athenaeus' rians

1

deliberating on

crooked

T h e opposition between bloody and bloodless sacrifices report o f the A l e x a n d -

sacrificing loaves o f bread to K r o n o s v i o l e n t l y clashes w i t h

Macrobius* i n f o r m a t i o n (Sat.

1.7.14 v v ) that it was the A l e x a n -

drians i n particular who made bloody sacrifices to their K r o n o s (and Serapis), i n a typically Greek m a n n e r . C o m p a r a b l e to this is the fact that i n the A t h e n i a n i n s c r i p t i o n m e n t i o n e d above the u n b l o o d y sacrifice o f a r o u n d cake to K r o n o s is i m m e d i a t e l y followed by a sacrifice of a piece o f pastry i n the shape o f an ox ( u n b l o o d y , but referring to bloody m a t t e r s ) . ever since Pherecydes

40

39

C h e i r o n ' s status

as the son o f K r o n o s , is i n m y o p i n i o n , 132


Greek Myth and Ritual based o n this a m b i g u i t y : C h e i r o n , too, is a creature m i d w a y between h u m a n and a n i m a l , h a v i n g elements o f the w i l d , bestial and u n c o n t r o l l e d (especially w h e n connected w i t h the centaurs as a g r o u p ) and also h a v i n g elements o f culture and justice: C h e i r o n teaches the art o f h e a l i n g and other arts, and already i n H o m e r is called 'the most righteous o f the centaurs' (//. 11.832). I n a n t i q u i t y , too, people noticed the paradox and sometimes t r i e d to get r i d o f i t , for instance by c o n d e m n i n g and i g n o r i n g Kronos* negative aspects. M o d e r n scholars dislike contradictions even m o r e , perhaps. O n e o f the commonest m o d e r n mechanisms for

e x p l a i n i n g contradictions

developed

accidentally,

either

is to call t h e m u n d e r the

anomalies

influence

that

o f foreign

cultures o r as a result o f the gradual clustering w i t h i n Greece o f initially

quite

unrelated

traditions.

Furthermore,

an

internal

e v o l u t i o n and d e f o r m a t i o n is also possible. Pohlenz, for instance, searches for a solution to his p r o b l e m : 'das goldene Zeitalter . . . passt schlecht genug zu d e m Frevler K r o n o s ' , i n a m e r g i n g o f different t r a d i t i o n s : the m y t h i c a l one i n v o l v i n g an evil K r o n o s supposedly was c o m b i n e d later w i t h the m e r r y a g r i c u l t u r a l festival that was assumedly specifically A t t i c . M a r o t — 'Kronos ankulometes auch sonst scharf v o n Kronos megas zu t r e n n e n ' — even perceives two completely independent

o r i g i n a l K r o n o s figures, namely, a

cosmogonic and a vegetative d y i n g and r i s i n g g o d .

4 1

T h e dis-

covery o f the K u m a r b i p o e m , o f course, p r o v i d e d the ' o r i e n t a l excuse': this h o r r i d tale allegedly had n o t h i n g to do w i t h

the

o r i g i n a l K r o n o s a n d s i m p l y was ascribed to h i m later o n . M a n y more such 'solutions' have been proposed. Gods, m y t h s and rites are — and o n this issue I w o u l d not leave any d o u b t — products o f age-long t r a d i t i o n s s h o w i n g development, deformations, assimilations

and

example;

42

amalgamations.

The

multi-faceted

Apollo

is

one

an opposition w i t h i n one name, Zeus O l y m p i o s and

Zeus M e i l i c h i o s , another. Nevertheless, the analysis o f such historical processes offers a solution o f very restricted relevance o n l y . For assimilation a n d identification do not occur a r b i t r a r i l y ; there must have been affinities or similarities encouraging the process: why was K r o n o s the one to be identified w i t h K u m a r b i ? U n doubtedly not merely because he was a fading god, who suffered no damage from

this nasty i m p u t a t i o n . I n other words,

the

question should not concern p r i m a r i l y the how, but the why. M o r e relevant is, however,

the f o l l o w i n g : even i f a diversity i n the 133


Greek Myth and Ritual origins o f various elements can be s h o w n , the most i m p o r t a n t p r o b l e m remains: the e x p l a n a t i o n o f the fact that the Greeks since H e s i o d â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n whose w o r k s the o p p o s i t i o n , as we have seen, is already fully present â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not o n l y tolerated the clashing components o f the K r o n o s figure for centuries,

but apparently

deliberately

enlarged t h e m : we find specifications about K r o n o s as god o f the h u m a n sacrifice i n the same p e r i o d i n w h i c h K r o n o s was given a d d i t i o n a l significance as the god o f Cockaigne i n comedy and as gentle k i n g o f a realm o f peace i n philosophy. A n y explanation is in this case o n l y entitled to that name i f it accepts the coincidentia oppositorum as a structural d a t u m and makes it the core o f the problem. M a t t e r s are complicated by the fact that there is no u n a n i m i t y about the development o f the isolated complexes either. G o l d e n A g e and A t t i c K r o n i a evidently belong together as far as atmosphere is concerned. B u t h o w d i d they come together? T h e explanations o f the older studies, practically w i t h o u t exception,

presup-

pose a development. T h e m y t h came first, then the r i t u a l , says v o n W i l a m o w i t z : ' D i e Menschen

w o l l e n fur einen T a g das

selige

L e b e n fuhren, wie es i m goldenen Zeitalter u n t e r K r o n o s gewesen w a r . ' N o , the ritualists riposte, ' a n t i k e Feste entstehen nicht a u f diese Weise' ( D e u b n e r , as well as N i l s s o n , Z i e h e n , J a c o b y , B o m e r and others), and E d . M e y e r explains that the image o f the G o l d e n 43

Age arose precisely from this type o f f e s t i v a l . T h e festival itself, it was u n a n i m o u s l y decided, belongs to a widespread genre that entitles oppressed people, servants o r slaves, to one single day o f r e l a x a t i o n , for reasons o f h u m a n i t y for i n s t a n c e .

44

A t any rate it is

certainly not connected o n l y w i t h the harvest, and therefore it could be associated w i t h various gods. T h e very same ' w h i c h was first' question applies to the negative aspects o f the m y t h and r i t u a l . A c c o r d i n g to G r u p p e , the m y t h o f the child-devourer was fabricated after the example o f the r i t u a l child and h u m a n sacrifices;

Pohlenz, on the other h a n d , sees

things exactly the other way r o u n d : because the m y t h was familiar, K r o n o s came to be associated w i t h all kinds o f h u m a n sacrifices.

45

Indeed the o n l y Greek h u m a n sacrifice, v i z . the one o n Rhodes, o r i g i n a l l y belonged to A r t e m i s . A l l these views involve a fundamental assumption o f the interrelatedness o f m y t h and r i t e , b u t none o f t h e m even approaches a m e a n i n g f u l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the K r o n o s complex as a w h o l e . T h e 134


Greek Myth and

Ritual

o n l y theory f r o m this p e r i o d (the early t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y ) that does aspire emphatically untenable. F r a z e r

46

after

that

goal has

one

drawback:

it is

has integrated the whole o f the K r o n o s m y t h

and r i t u a l complex i n his comprehensive theory o f the d y i n g and rising g o d / k i n g o f the year: K r o n o s is a vegetative d y i n g and r i s i n g god.

H i s festival therefore must be considered a celebration sur-

r o u n d i n g the t u r n o f the year; the h u m a n sacrifices are explained as a substitute for regicide. U n d e r this theory the dark and the b r i g h t aspects are integrated i n one comprehensive p i c t u r e . Frazer is, however, a fallen colossus and a l t h o u g h elements o f his general theory have certainly r e m a i n e d o f value, A n d r e w L a n g ' s a t t a c k

47

on the K r o n o s theory i n p a r t i c u l a r is irrefutably final. T h e K r o n i a are not evidently harvest festivals i n all cases, K r o n o s ' sickle does not necessarily make h i m a vegetation god, m e r r y slaves' feasts are not connected o n l y w i t h K r o n o s , etc., etc. T h e golden b o u g h is b r o k e n , and yet Frazer was the first to take the c o n t r a d i c t i o n seriously and to t r y to integrate it i n a holistic e x p l a n a t i o n . W i t h out Frazer, the f o l l o w i n g passage b y K a r l M e u J i ,

4 8

w h o actually

uses a different m o d e l o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , w o u l d not have been conceivable: ' B e i den gefesselten G ö t t e r n zeigt sich der Z u s a m m e n hang v o n L e b e n u n d T o d , v o n G l ü c k u n d G r a u e n ; sie sind b ö s e und g e f ä h r l i c h , d a r u m bindet m a n sie m i t K e t t e n fest; u n d sie sind w e n n i h n e n die Fesseln gelöst sind, g n ä d i g u n d g ü t i g u n d schenken den M e n s c h e n das G l ü c k . ' H e r e too is a serious approach to the c o n t r a d i c t i o n , b u t it departs f r o m another p o i n t : the festival o f unchained gods and m e n . For ' I m m e r gilt für die M e n s c h e n , was für ihre G ö t t e r gilt; b e i m Fest sind auch sie gelöst u n d v o m Z w a n g des Alltags befreit.' Whereas the m y t h and r i t u a l complex o f the d y i n g a n d r i s i n g vegetation was Frazer's frame o f reference, M e u l i concentrates o n the l i n k w i t h death. W e w i l l not follow h i m i n this view any m o r e t h a n we followed Frazer. D e a t h s y m b o l i s m does play a p a r t , but is not the centre o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h e complex o f c h a i n i n g and b e i n g u n c h a i n e d , rather, w i l l be the s t a r t i n g p o i n t for o u r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the coincidentia oppositorum, a n d , b e h i n d i t , o f the connection between K r o n o s ' m y t h and r i t u a l .

4. T h e F e s t i v a l of R e v e r s a l T h e K r o n i a belong to the ' S a t u r n a l i a - l i k e ' festivals, as has often 135


Greek Myth and Ritual been stated. A s in the case o f carnival o r one o f its medieval equivalents,

' l a fete des fous', social and hierarchical roles

are

reversed: the fool is k i n g and rules at w i l l . U n d e r his rule, humans t u r n into animals, w o m e n play m e n ' s roles; children c o m m a n d their teachers, slaves their masters. W e find freedom for w o m e n at other Greek festivals; at the K r o n i a and related festivals it is the slaves who are free. T h e y sometimes are literally unfettered, then treated to a banquet, often even waited u p o n by their masters. T h e r e is freedom o f speech, i n R o m e even the freedom o f p u t t i n g the masters on t r i a l ; also i n R o m e , slaves take the w h i p to freemen, or, something more peaceful but no less unusual, play knucklebones w i t h t h e m . D r i n k i n g wine is sometimes explicitly p e r m i t t e d ; this is quite c o n t r a r y to conventions, for slaves do not d r i n k w i n e , or at best d r i n k it o n l y i n scanty measure. T w o aspects are c o m b i n e d here: o n one h a n d the reversal o f roles, o n the other the elation caused b y the collective abundance o f food and d r i n k , summarised by M a c r o b i u s Saturnalia 1.7.26: tota servis licentia permittitur. I n m o d e r n l i t e r a t u r e , this k i n d o f festival is known

under

different

names:

'periods

o f licence'

(Frazer),

' r i t u a l s o f r e b e l l i o n ' ( G l u c k m a n ) , ' r i t u a l s o f conflict' ( N o r b e c k ) , ' l e g i t i m a t e r e b e l l i o n ' ( W e i d k u h n ) , side by side w i t h G e r m a n terms such as 'legale A n a r c h i e n ' , ' V e n t i l s i t t e n ' or *Ausnahmezeiten' ,

4 9

T h e emphasis o n the legitimate deviance is l i n k e d to the type o f functionalistic

explanation

attached

to

i t . For

a short

time,

oppressed social groups are given an o p p o r t u n i t y to release pentu p aggression i n a game o f reversed roles; thus the

possible

dangers o f a real r e v o l u t i o n are neutralised. T h i s is i n fact the ' n o nonsense' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Nilsson and B o m e r , a n d this f u n c t i o n o f the festival has sometimes been recognised as such by the participants themselves; for instance an ex-slave typified it i n 1855 as a 'safety-valve to carry o f f the explosive e l e m e n t s ' .

50

Nowadays

m o r e emphasis is l a i d on the demonstrative and symbolic aspects: via r i t u a l , the conflict is made clear i n an enlarged b u t symbolic f o r m , and the real conflict is encapsulated. ' T h e supreme ruse o f power

is to allow itself to be

contested

ritually

consolidate itself more effectively' ( G . B a l a n d i e r ) .

i n order

to

51

T h i s e x p l a n a t i o n , useful t h o u g h it m a y be, does not cover the total range o f the phenomena. A t least equal attention should be paid to the l e g i t i m i s i n g effect. T h e established order is c o n f i r m e d by the absurdity o f the w o r l d t u r n e d t o p s y - t u r v y . A precursor i n 136


Greek Myth and Ritual 5 2

this view was G l u c k m a n ,

according to w h o m these rites 'give

expression, i n a reversed f o r m , to the n o r m a l rightness o f a particular k i n d o f social o r d e r ' .

T h e i r m a i n function is to attain

'cohesion

1

i n the w i d e r society . O f course, both functions can

reinforce each other, b u t they are still distinguishable: neutralising potential aggression is not identical to l e g i t i m a t i n g the social status quo by means o f the absurd. O r as B . Sutton S m i t h

5 3

says about

' p l a y i n g ' : ' W e m a y be disorderly i n games either because we have an overdose o f order or because we have something

to learn

through being disorderly.' I n p o i n t o f fact, b o t h aspects often exist side by side i n different forms: the dissociative one acted out i n the conflict o f role reversal, the i n t e g r a t i n g and l e g i t i m i s i n g one present not o n l y i n the rolep l a y i n g b u t also demonstratively so i n the collective and egalitarian experience o f the festival as image o f abundance. Whereas earlier interpreters o f the c a r n i v a l laid special emphasis o n the

'safety-

valve effect', recent scholars pay a t t e n t i o n to the solidarising and l e g i t i m i s i n g functions t o o . different c o n t e x t s rituals

(Frazer)

55

5 4

Reversal rituals m a y function i n very

and are b y no means restricted to a g r i c u l t u r a l

or

death

symbolism

(Meuli).

The

religious

anchorage is q u i t e variable too, i.e. there is not necessarily a connection w i t h any one specific reversal g o d . Indeed, gods need not be i n v o l v e d at a l l . T h e theories m e n t i o n e d above deal w i t h categories o f social and socio-psychological processes, a level at w h i c h l e g i t i m a t i o n and solidarising take place v i a general consensus about the rightness o f the established

order. T h i s is the field i n w h i c h generations o f

sociologists since D u r k h e i m have operated, and the field i n w h i c h , in their o p i n i o n , r e l i g i o n was a f u n c t i o n too. M a n y o f t h e m , however, i n c l u d i n g convinced functionalists, have w i t h d r a w n from this extreme p o i n t o f v i e w : 'the functional explanation o f r e l i g i o n does not e x p l a i n r e l i g i o n , rather it explains a d i m e n s i o n o f society' â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thus M . E . S p i r o , and P. B e r g e r , our

attention

to

'substantive

56

too, has once more b r o u g h t

versus functional definitions o f

r e l i g i o n . ' ' A l l societies are constructions in the face o f chaos. T h e constant

possibility o f anomic

legitimations collapse,

1

obscuring

the

terror

is actualized

precariousness

Berger and L u c k m a n

5 7

are

whenever

threatened

or

w r i t e , and i n such situations, or

more regularly i n ceremonially created periods o f crisis â&#x20AC;&#x201D; literally: separation

between

t w o eras, situations, 137

periods

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

a

'deep


Greek Myth and

Ritual

l e g i t i m a c y ' is r e q u i r e d , r e f e r r i n g to a m y t h i c a l reality outside ours, 'the other r e a l i t y ' , l y i n g outside history and space, an eternal t r u t h that existed before t i m e but still exists behind it and b e h i n d o u r reality,

and

exception'.

occasionally

mingles

with

ours

in

'periods

of

58

Seen f r o m this perspective, the reversal r i t u a l offers another, deeper m e a n i n g . A l t h o u g h not l i n k e d to any p a r t i c u l a r type o f festival or sector o f social life, as I have said, reversal rituals are found p r e d o m i n a t e l y i n the ceremonies a c c o m p a n y i n g a critical passage i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l or social year, m o m e n t s o f stagnation and r u p t u r e at w h i c h chaos threatens, e.g. i n i t i a t i o n , festivals o f the dead, and in p a r t i c u l a r the eating or offering o f the first fruits o f the harvest or the first w i n e as a recurrent, o r the accession o f a new r u l e r as an i n c i d e n t a l , incision i n the progress o f t i m e . O n e or m o r e such events m a y develop i n t o one or m o r e regular N e w Y e a r celebrations, pattern.

59

i n w h i c h various elements are u n i t e d i n t o a

Eliade

and

Lanternari

6 0

fixed

i n p a r t i c u l a r have given

a

complete description o f this ' g r a n d e festa'. I t is essential that the caesura between o l d and new is experienced as a d i s r u p t i o n o f social life, a v a c u u m that is filled by a t e m p o r a r y r e t u r n o f the m y t h i c a l p r i m o r d i a l era f r o m before C r e a t i o n or before the b i r t h o f the present c u l t u r e .

61

T h i s i n v a r i a b l y happens i n images o f chaos,

dissociation, dissolution o f order,

a t o p s y - t u r v y w o r l d , e.g.

a

t e m p o r a r y a b o l i t i o n o f k i n g s h i p and laws. T h e r e are orgies i n the sense o f d r i n k i n g bouts as well as i n the sexual sense, r i t u a l

fights

between t w o groups, r e t u r n and welcome o f the dead. Rites de separation m a y precede ( p u r i f i c a t i o n , expulsion o f the

pharmakos

(scapegoat), bloody sacrifices, e x t i n g u i s h i n g o f fire), rites d'aggregalion follow: the w e a r i n g o f new c l o t h i n g , l i g h t i n g o f fire, renewal o f k i n g s h i p , the ' f i x i n g o f the fate' for the c o m i n g year. T h e chaos that is acted out r i t u a l l y is often anchored m y t h i c a l l y i n p r i m e v a l chaos, for instance i n the image o f the struggle between

creator-

god and chaos-monster, or o f deluge and consequent re-creation. T h i s p r i m a l chaos manifests itself as a t e m p o r a r y e l i m i n a t i o n o f all contours, a r e t u r n to a state undefined by bounds and m o r a l standards, expressing itself i n the creation o f monsters and m o n strosities; a p e r i o d o f total freedom ( = total lawlessness as well as total a b u n d a n c e ) .

62

T h i s lends to the festival an atmosphere o f

utter ambivalence: sadness, a n x i e t y , despair because o f the catastrophe o f the disrupted order; e l a t i o n , j o y and hope because o f 138


Greek Myth and Ritual the l i b e r a t i o n f r o m chafing bonds, a n d the pleasant experience o f t e m p o r a r y abundance. T h u s the reversed w o r l d o f society i n crisis is an image o f the cosmic chaos o f m y t h i c a l times. B o t h m o d e r n approaches to the reversal festival, the functionalist one and the cosmic-religious one, w i l l c o n t r i b u t e to an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the contradictions o f the K r o n o s m y t h and r i t u a l complex.

5. T h e licentia of the K r o n i a a n d R e l a t e d F e s t i v a l s 5.1

The Paradox of the Impossible Harmony

L i k e the p e r i o d o f licence i n a n t h r o p o l o g y , the K r o n i a ( a n d similar festivals) have t w o aspects. T h e first one is the 'orgiastic* aspect o f the shared experience

o f m e r r y - m a k i n g a n d abundance i n an

atmosphere o f dissolution o f h i e r a r c h y , w h i c h includes a com63

ponent o f strong cohesion and s o l i d a r i t y . N o t o n l y the slave, but everyone experiences the l i b e r a t i o n as t e m p o r a r y relaxation based on equality. H e r e , therefore,

harmony prevails. T h i s h a r m o n y ,

however, was experienced as unpleasantly ambiguous as we learn from two closely related l i t e r a r y representations o f ' D e r T r a u m v o n der grossen H a r m o n i e ' :

6 4

comedy and U t o p i a .

Just like the S a t u r n a l i a n festival, comedy is p r e - e m i n e n t l y a solidarising m e d i u m .

6 5

Collective laughter is cohesive and m a r k s the

boundaries o f the cognitive and affective t e r r i t o r y o f a g r o u p . Old

Comedy,

the

representation

o f the

land o f

6 6

In

Cockaigne,

generally as image o f the golden p r i m e v a l era, occasionally as a vision o f the future, is a standard theme. I n this i m a g e r y , the earth bears fruit o f its o w n accord and the food offers itself cooked.

67

ready

Q u i t e frequently this automaton implies the superfluity o f

labour and consequently o f slaves, i n Aristophanes' Birds 7 6 0 - 5 i n passing, i n K r a t e s ' Wild animals (PCG I V F 16 Kassel/Austin) as the central theme o f a discussion. T h i s image also is found i n philosophers such as Empedocles (B128 D i e l s / K r a n z ) and Plato, Republic 271 D-272 B .

6 8

I n complete freedom there was complete

equality and complete abundance, i n K i n g K r o n o s ' time 'people even

gambled

w i t h loaves o f bread'

( K r a t i n o s PCG I V F 176

K a s s e l / A u s t i n ) , and Telekleides Amphictyones fr. 1 K o c k , describes a c o u n t r y where there were indeed slaves, w h o , however, d i d not w o r k (!) but 'played at dice w i t h pigs' vulvae and other delicacies'. T h a t is utter freedom, b u t it is actually too good to be true. 139


Greek Myth and Frequently,

therefore,

Ritual

a few u n c o m f o r t a b l e

afterthoughts

are

f o u n d i n the same context. Pherecydes fr. 10 K o c k describes a slaveless society, but also makes it perfectly clear that i n consequence the w o m e n have to w o r k t h e i r fingers to the bone i n o r d e r to get the w o r k done, and the fields are neglected so that people starve ( i d e m fr. 13). I n 69

Herodotos 6 . 1 3 7 , H e k a t a e u s for the same reason makes the slaveless p r i m e v a l situation end negatively via the l a b o u r o f w o m e n and c h i l d r e n . A n d i n his Utopian scheme for w o m e n , Aristophanes grants everybody equal p r o p e r t y , but does not manage this w i t h out the l a b o u r o f slaves. I n other words: abundance, equality and a b o l i t i o n o f slavery are all very w e l l , b u t o n l y for a short t i m e , i n an i m a g i n a r y w o r l d . I n such a chaos, reality w o u l d disintegrate. H e r o d o t o s 3,18 relates an E t h i o p i a n custom o f l a y i n g 'a table o f H e l i o s ' : at n i g h t boiled meat is taken to a meadow and d u r i n g the day everybody is allowed to eat i t . T h e natives, however, say that it is the earth itself that t i m e and again produces this food. H e r e again the automaton/luxury

m o t i f is f o u n d i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h the

n o t i o n o f e q u a l i t y . T h e sacrificial loaves i n the temple o f K r o n o s i n A l e x a n d r i a , w h i c h e v e r y b o d y was allowed to eat, come to m i n d . Such images b r i n g us to the concept o f U t o p i a , w h i c h also is related to the S a t u r n a l i a ,

70

H e r e , too, elements o f the automaton

and easy l i v i n g p r e v a i l : they are f o u n d as early as H o m e r ' s l a n d o f the Phaeacians, i n the tales o f the H y p e r b o r e a n s , o f I a m b o u l o s ' Sun Islands a n d o f E u h e m e r u s '

Panchaia.

I n the latter t w o ,

slavery is absent. B u t these are U t o p i a s o f a fairy-tale nature ( ' u t o p i a d'evasione'), w h i c h b y d e f i n i t i o n lie at the edge o f or over the edge o f the w o r l d , the eschatiai, an all but unreachable l a n d , and at the same t i m e a ' l a n d o f no r e t u r n ' , like E l y s i u m after death. B u t as soon as the political or social U t o p i a takes o n a model function as ' u t o p i a d i r i c o s t r u z i o n e '

71

and consequently is not

absolutely inconceivable ( H i p p o d a m o s , Plato, A r i s t o t l e ) , labour is indispensable and slavery a m a t t e r o f course. I n the Messianic U t o p i a n vistas a c c o m p a n y i n g the accession o f R o m a n e m p e r o r s we also

find

72

i n great detail all the themes o f abundance and

isonomia, the a n n u l m e n t o f debts and disappearance o f poverty â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all this sometimes summarised as a l i b e r a t i o n from chains â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but there is no question o f a l i b e r a t i o n o f slaves. W h a t is possible i n the fairy-tale is undesirable in real life, it is even threatening. L u c i a n (Saturn.

33) says that equality is most pleasant at table, but that 140


Greek Myth and

Ritual

K r o n o s grants this e q u a l i t y o n l y d u r i n g holidays ( i b i d . 30). Such aspects o f the K r o n i a p o i n t out a m a r k e d ambivalence i n the G r e e k concept o f h a r m o n y : the ideal o f freedom a n d a b u n d ance is unstable, it cannot last, because it carries the seed o f real social a n o m i e a n d anarchy. I t is a dangerous game, j u s t as was the d i c e - p l a y i n g allowed to the slaves: o n this day the relationships are open, the dice are t h r o w n a n d there is the possibility that it is not tne master b u t the slave w h o w i l l w i n . T h i s is e q u a l i t y no longer, it is the w o r l d t u r n e d upside d o w n . 5.2

The Paradox of the Festive

Conflict

T h e second socially functional aspect o f the K r o n i a a n d related festivals is that o f the reversal o f roles. T h e r e is no h a r m o n y here; on the c o n t r a r y there is intensified a n d formalised conflict: the hierarchy is t u r n e d the other w a y r o u n d . Cockaigne a n d the w o r l d reversed v e r y frequently go hand i n h a n d . Adunata often herald the c o m i n g o f the G o l d e n A g e .

7 3

B u t the radical shifting o f boundaries

in role-reversal offers not o n l y greater boisterousness deeper

disturbance:

here,

anarchy

has

a

truly

b u t also subversive

character. O n c e a g a i n , comparisons w i t h comedy a n d U t o p i a are enlightening. T h e freedom o f slaves i n O l d C o m e d y never implies their d o m i nance. Aristophanes experiments to the very l i m i t w i t h reversal between the sexes, b u t he is extremely reticent o n the topic o f reversal between slaves a n d citizens. Slaves do not even assist i n the r e v o l u t i o n o f w o m e n : ' D e p o u v o i r servile, i l n'est pas et i l ne peut pas ĂŞ t r e q u e s t i o n . '

7 4

T h e reason is evident: even as a comic

scene, this image w o u l d meet w i t h resistance: slave rebellion was a structurally feared p h e n o m e n o n , a n d b y no means an i m a g i n a r y one. O n e can even less expect, therefore, to f i n d rule by slaves i n U t o p i a . I t is possible to i m a g i n e a reversed w o r l d , often transformed i n images f r o m the a n i m a l w o r l d i n w h i c h the weak gain the v i c t o r y , for instance i n the chiliastic expectance o f salvation, but slaves r u l i n g society is a n o t i o n that can enter the heads o n l y o f slaves. A s a m a t t e r o f fact, E u n o u s , the leader o f a slave revolt i n Sicily, does call h i m s e l f k i n g and has his f o r m e r masters wait u p o n h i m ; the C i r c u m c e l l i o n e s have their carts pulled b y t h e i r f o r m e r lords.

75

T h i s m i g h t have been their idea, but it certainly was not the

idea. I t is precisely the task o f r i t u a l , d r a m a a n d wish-dream to 141


Greek Myth and Ritual canalise a n d neutralise any excessive i n c l i n a t i o n s i n this d i r e c t i o n . T h e reversal o f roles is supposed to legitimise its opposite, not itself. R i t u a l is m o r e direct t h a n l i t e r a r y representation. I t is understandable that r i t u a l reversal, however necessary as a ' h o l i d a y ' o f limited

d u r a t i o n , includes a strongly t h r e a t e n i n g

component.

Images o f reversal m a y , as has been said, precede o r accompany the G o l d e n A g e , but they also, a n d often, precede or accompany apocalyptic catastrophe.

I n strong contrast

to the

Messianic

images o f reversal d u r i n g the early i m p e r i a l era, the text o f T e r t u l lian Apologeiicum 20: ' h u m b l e ones are

raised, h i g h ones

are

b r o u g h t d o w n ' serves as an a n n o u n c e m e n t not o f the r e a l m o f bliss but o f a p e r i o d o f chaos and catastrophe: 'justice becomes a r a r i t y . . . the n a t u r a l shapes are replaced by monsters', exactly as i n E g y p t i a n prophecies a n d elsewhere.

76

Reversal, therefore, m a y

p o i n t i n t w o directions: to total freedom

= abundance,

and to

total freedom = lawlessness, chaos. O n e o f the i m p l i c a t i o n s is that rites o f rebellion carry the

seeds o f real r e v o l u t i o n .

Aeneas

T a c t i c u s 22.17 states that festivals are the most frequent occasions o f r e v o l u t i o n i n the s t a t e ,

77

a n d that goes a fortiori for those festivals

that c a r r y an element o f r i t u a l r e b e l l i o n , as is illustrated by the rich t r a d i t i o n o f c a r n i v a l and r e v o l u t i o n i n p a r t i c u l a r .

78

I n b o t h aspects o f the socially l e g i t i m a t e licentia, the h a r m o n i o u s and the connective, we observe a violent c o n t r a d i c t i o n : o n one h a n d they a i m at r e l a x a t i o n by means o f laughter, elation a n d abundance,

o n the other they refer to the impossible and the

undesirable: chaos, r e v o l u t i o n , a n d , i n close alliance w i t h these, murder

and

manslaughter,

lawlessness,

the

disintegration of

society. W h a t is a social a m b i g u i t y here, has been made the structual theme i n the c o s m i c - m y t h i c a l m o d e l .

6. K r o n o s as K i n g of P r i m e v a l C h a o s L i k e other cultures, A t h e n s had several N e w Y e a r festivals. O n e o f these, the A n t h e s t e r i a f e s t i v a l ,

79

shows an all but complete set o f

characteristics o f the 'grande festa': the o p e n i n g o f the wine-jars (primitiae s i t u a t i o n ) , licentia i n the f o r m o f r i d i c u l e a n d abuse, collective w i n e - d r i n k i n g i n w h i c h c h i l d r e n a n d slaves were allowed to share, a sacred w e d d i n g o f the k i n g . I n a d d i t i o n to these j o y o u s aspects there are t h r e a t e n i n g elements: the a r r i v a l o f Kares o r 142


Greek Myth and Ritual Keres, p r i m e v a l inhabitants or ghosts o f the dead who are given a w a r m welcome and subsequently wished away, banquets for the dead, the t e m p o r a r y closing d o w n o f the temples i n an atmosphere of d o o m . I n all respects, clearly, there is a t e m p o r a r y r e t u r n of chaos i n its two aspects, m y t h i c a l l y represented i n the c o m m e m o r a t i o n o f deluge and re-creation. T h e official N e w Year's D a y , however, fell i n m i d s u m m e r ,

i n the m o n t h o f H e k a t o m b a i o n ,

f o r m e r l y called K r o n i o n . T w o veritable N e w Year festivals, the Synoikia and the Panathenaea, are preceded by two festivals that have the typical structure o f the incision festival, m a r k i n g the period ' i n between': the S k i r a and the K r o n i a .

8 0

T h e Skira on 12

S k i r o p h o r i o n shows the f o l l o w i n g characteristics: an apopompe o f the priests and the p r i m e v a l k i n g out o f the city â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n the m y t h the k i n g is k i l l e d ; w o m e n , at l i b e r t y to call meetings, take over m e n ' s roles; boisterous fun and p l a y i n g at dice; a sacrifice o f an ox, w h i c h is called disertis verbis bouphonia, ' m u r d e r ' . A complex, therefore, i n w h i c h j o y and g l o o m unite i n role reversals and the a b o l i t i o n o f the n o r m a l social relationships. These festivals are not connected w i t h K r o n o s , but the K r o n i a festival i n w h i c h , as we have seen, role reversal a n d licentia d o m i nate, and w h i c h falls between S k i r a and the N e w Year festivals, is emphatically dedicated to K r o n o s , i n the m o n t h that o r i g i n a l l y bore his name. I n light o f the cosmic-religious i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the festivals s u r r o u n d i n g the t u r n o f the year, several o f o u r earlier observations suddenly take o n an understandable and structural m e a n i n g . ' K r o n o s ist m y t h o l o g i s c h , nicht k u l t i s c h ' , Nilsson said. H e is more r i g h t t h a n he realised; indeed, this statement touches the

heart

o f the

matter.

During

the

festivals

mentioned

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

although this is not k n o w n o f the K r o n i a â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one o f the expressions of stagnation o f the ' n o r m a l ' existence is the closing d o w n o f the temples: the contact w i t h the gods c u r r e n t l y r u l i n g is b r o k e n , the p r e - O l y m p i a n era returns t e m p o r a r i l y . I t is precisely K r o n o s ' m y t h i c a l character as god o f a p r i m o r d i a l t i m e that explains his presence i n the

un-cultic v a c u u m

between

the

times.

He

is

p r i m e v a l chaos i n person, i n its d u a l aspect o f freedom as a j o y and freedom as a threat. L a c k i n g fixed boundaries, there is a h i g h ' e n t r o p y ' . T h e unstable

equilibrium

m a y be upset any t i m e .

R i t u a l l y , this is expressed b y , a m o n g other things, the freedom to play dice and gamble; i n this chaos between times, fate still must be d e t e r m i n e d : the ' f i x i n g o f the fate' i n B a b y l o n is an annual 143


Greek Myth and

Ritual

re-creation, i n I t a l y F o r t u n a P r i m i g e n i a reigns w h e n J u p i t e r is still puer.

8[

E v e r y t h i n g is still unsettled, as is the question o f w h o w i l l be

boss: slave o r master. I n Greece, too, this era before history or this t i m e between the times, is characterised by ' a b n o r m a l ' creatures w h i c h do not fall in n a t u r a l categories: K r o n o s ' era is the p e r i o d o f giants, creatures w i t h a h u n d r e d hands, monsters and Cyclopes. T h e Thessalian Peloria festival â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a typical reversal festival â&#x20AC;&#x201D; refers to m y t h i c a l giants f r o m the p r i m e v a l e r a .

82

As 'masks' they

m a y r e t u r n t e m p o r a r i l y i n the p e r i o d o f crisis between the times. I n fact this is a v a r i a t i o n o f the r e t u r n o f the dead, w h o also belong to another t i m e a n d another reality: the w o r l d o f the dead, too, is 'upside

down'

8 3

and

shows

the

ambivalence

of

'dämonische

B e d r o h u n g oder die eschatologische V e r h e i s s u n g ' ( B . G l a d i g o w ) .

8 4

I n the m a t t e r o f the Kares or Keres the t w o images, p r i m e v a l creatures a n d the dead, seem to i n t e r m i n g l e . K r o n o s is the god i n chains: already

i n H e s i o d the

terms

' b i n d i n g ' a n d ' f e t t e r i n g ' are typically connected w i t h his m y t h . H i s statue is ' c h a i n e d ' , perhaps already i n the Hellenistic p e r i o d , certainly i n R o m e . K r o n o s does exist, b u t o n l y i n m y t h i c a l times: before the present reality ( d u r i n g the p r i m e v a l era), or after it (death), or at the outermost edges o f this reality (the eschatiai).

He

is either a prisoner or asleep. W i t h o u t b e i n g able to go i n t o details I interpret his representations w i t h covered head as follows: as always i n the G r e e k - R o m a n w o r l d , c o v e r i n g or w r a p p i n g u p the head indicates that the person concerned is ( t e m p o r a r i l y ) w i t h d r a w n f r o m the present reality, is i n (or i n contact w i t h ) 'the other reality'.

8 5

T h i s is the essence o f K r o n o s . H i s era, however, returns

once m o r e i n the chaos o f the year festival: he is u n c h a i n e d , he wakes u p or he is r e v i v e d a n d again assumes k i n g s h i p for a l i m i t e d p e r i o d : the r e t u r n o f the basileus, a t e r m a n d a concept that for Greek and certainly for A t h e n i a n ears carries the p r i m o r d i a l conn o t a t i o n o f the b e g i n n i n g o f t i m e ,

8 6

as elsewhere, too, the r e t u r n o f

the w i s h - t i m e is closely connected w i t h the figure o f a k i n g (the r e t u r n o f the 'sleeping' k i n g , slave risings, E u n o u s , etc., Saturnalium princeps,

rex\ Prins C a m aval). H i s rule refers to the d u a l

freedom o f u n l i m i t e d abundance a n d a b o l i t i o n o f the established hierarchy on one h a n d , a n d o f the absence o f law and standards, and o f rebellion, on the other. A l l this is expressed by the m y t h i c a l a n d r i t u a l images that we have described i n the first part o f this study, the Utopian images o f abundance and euphoria a n d 14-4

the


Greek Myth and

Ritual

dystopical ones o f the absence o f m o r a l standards, i n h u m a n i t y and rebellion.

7.

Conclusions

O u r conclusions can be expressed concisely, because they are in fact obvious f r o m the foregoing. W e have asked h o w we can explain the violent contradictions i n K r o n o s ' m y t h and r i t u a l i f we do not content ourselves w i t h the unsatisfactory emergency-solutions that resort to the fortuities o f d e r i v a t i o n , a c c u l t u r a t i o n and e v o l u t i o n . O u r s o l u t i o n , to w h i c h , indeed, others have given the first i m p u l s e s ,

87

is that the c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the j o y o u s and

the f r i g h t e n i n g aspects o f the K r o n o s complex is a structural characteristic o f the god a n d his religious context. T h e explanation of this lies i n his function as god o f the periods o f reversal and chaos. W e have found that there are a m b i g u i t i e s on t w o levels. I n the functionalistic v i e w , the l e g i t i m a t e anarchy nears the l i m i t s o f the permissible. T h e collective c u l i n a r y orgy as well as, a fortiori, the reversed h i e r a r c h y contains the seeds o f the socially impossible and undesirable. T h e o x y m o r o n o f e u p h o r i a a n d panic reaches a p a r o x y s m i n the R h o d i a n K r o n i a : the v i c t i m is given w i n e to d r i n k and then m u r d e r e d . I n the cosmic-religious v i e w , o n the other h a n d , abundance a n d role reversal appear to be images o f the renewed experience o f p r i m e v a l chaos that is U t o p i a and dystopia at once: the r e l a x a t i o n o f the banquets o f the G o l d e n A g e u n d e r K r o n o s i n one a n d the same image as the 'sardonic' tension o f K r o n o s ' T h y e s t i a n repasts.

88

T h i s means that o n b o t h levels the

c o n t r a d i c t i o n is a s t r u c t u r a l characteristic o f K r o n o s ' m y t h and r i t u a l a n d that, therefore, attempts to soften the c o n t r a d i c t i o n or 'render it harmless' v i a an exclusive appeal to historical development are not o n l y superfluous but unjustified. O u r m a i n question concerned the relationship between m y t h and r i t u a l . H o w are we to see this relationship i n the case at hand and to what extent is m u t u a l dependence present here? W . B . Kristensen wrote l o n g ago: 'Saturnus was a slave h i m s e l f . ' was berated for his folly and praised for his c o u r a g e .

90

8 9

He

T h e brachy-

logy o f this phrasing must lead inevitably to misunderstandings. None the less it refers directly to the question we have asked ourselves. Is the m y t h i c a l ' u n c h a i n i n g ' o f K r o n o s a projection o f the 145


Greek Myth and Ritual slave's freedom at festivals such as the K r o n i a ? O r , on the other h a n d , was the m y t h o f the G o l d e n A g e the example for the relaxat i o n o f the K r o n i a festivals? F u r t h e r m o r e , h o w are we, then, to interpret the dependence o f the d a r k and cruel aspects o f m y t h and rite: was h u m a n

sacrifice the example o f or an i m i t a t i o n o f

K r o n o s ' m y t h i c a l atrocities? It w i l l be clear by now that there can be no question o f such a one-sided dependence o f m y t h a n d rite, i n any d i r e c t i o n . By no means do I deny that the m y t h and r i t u a l complex we have described

is a crystallised product

o f processes to w h i c h

many

influences â&#x20AC;&#x201D; non-Greek as well as Greek â&#x20AC;&#x201D; have c o n t r i b u t e d and whose details escape us. But the tenets o f anthropology a n d c o m parative r e l i g i o n enable us to design a hypothesis about the fundam e n t a l connection between the m y t h i c a l a n d r i t u a l components u n d e r l y i n g this process o f assimilation and e v o l u t i o n . O u r s t a r t i n g p o i n t is the statement that K r o n o s , for whatever reason, disappeared from active cult and became a ' m y t h i c a l ' g o d , and that this god consequently was considered to be a representative of the m y t h i c a l era before history proper, w h i c h began w i t h Zeus and the O l y m p i a n s . G i v e n this essential p o i n t , this kernel was open to connections w i t h t w o chains o f association, i n p r i n c i p l e independent but psychologically closely related, w i t h regard to the m y t h i c a l character o f this p r i m e v a l era and the r i t u a l e x p e r i e n c i n g o f the same atmosphere at some points o f stagnation d u r i n g the year.

B o t h these associations

are characterised

by the phrase

'absence o f o r d e r ' . M y t h i c a l l y , the p r i m e v a l era is represented i n m a n y cultures as chaos o f t w o types: a positive, U t o p i a n one and a negative one â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the catastrophic a n n i h i l a t i o n o f h u m a n values. E q u a l l y , the absence o f order is expressed r i t u a l l y o n all sides by feasts o f abundance on one h a n d a n d reversal o f roles on the other. H e r e , ' a b n o r m a l i t y ' m a y lead to associations w i t h m u r d e r i n the f o r m o f h u m a n sacrifice. B o t h m y t h and rite 'say' the same t h i n g : the U t o p i a n cannot, the dystopian must not exist ' i n r e a l i t y ' . I n m y t h , this is expressed by the projection o f these images o n the eschatiai o f t i m e and space, K r o n o s ' m y t h i c a l t e r r i t o r y . I n r i t u a l it is expressed by realising the impossible for j u s t a few hours a n d thus u n d e r l i n i n g its exceptional character:

the relaxation and

reversal are indeed subservient to society's w e l l - f u n c t i o n i n g , but as images o f cither the impossible or the undesirable and therefore as exceptions. Whereas

such festivals are understood widely as a 146


Grttk Myth and Ritual temporary return of chaos — and show by their nature every characteristic of it — in Greece it was natural to associate them with K r o n o s ' mythical era, which was thought to return for one day. All this justifies the conclusion that we do have in this complex, indeed, an example of correspondence between myth and rite in 1

'structure and atmosphere , and in such a way that both 'symbolic processes deal with the same type of experience in the same affec­ tive mode',

and this *pari passu\

according to the postulates

referred to in our introductory section.

Notes 1. I n treating this subject I have had to restrict myself most severely. W i t h regard to what is said here in the Introduction I must refer to my detailed review of the myth-and-ritual discussion in L . E d m u n d s (ed), Approaches to Greek Myth (Baltimore and L o n d o n , 1989) 25-90, which will also appear in my Inconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion, vol. 2 (Leiden, 1991). T h e r e , too, the sources of the quotations will be found; at the time I had not seen C . C a l a m e ' s ' L e processus symbolique', Doc. de travail. Centro Intern. Semiot. Lingu., 128/9 (1983). Furthermore I have confined myself in this article to essentials and kept the body of notes, especially, as concise as possible. 2. T h u s the recent formulation by F . G r a f , ZPE 55 (1984) 254. 3. Materials and discussions in: M . M a y e r , * Kronos*, in Roschtr Lexikon I I , 1 (1897) 1 4 5 2 - 5 7 3 ; M . Pohlenz, ' K r o n o s und die Titanen*, NeveJahrb. 79(1916) 5 4 9 - 9 4 ; idem, ' K r o n o s in RE X I (1921) 1982-2018. Recent literature in W . Fauth, ' K r o n o s ' , in Kteine Pauly 3 (1979) 3 5 5 - 6 4 . T h e s e authors are cited hence­ forth by name and year only. 4. A structuralist analysis of the Hesiodic myth: M . D é t i e n n e and J . - P . Vernant, Us ruses de l'intelligence. La metis des Grecs (Paris, 1974) 6 2 - 103. 5. See M . L . West, Hesiod. Works and Days (Oxford 1978); W . J . V e r d e n i u s , A Commentary on Hesiod Works and Days, vu 1 -382 ( L e i d e n , 1985) ad Ioc. 6. T h e texts in ANET 1 2 0 - 6 . A short and recent treatment with extensive bibliography: Burkert, S&H, 1 8 - 2 2 . 7. W . Burkert, 'Oriental M y t h and Literature in the I l i a d , in R . H à g g ( e d ) , The Greek Renaissance of the Eighth Century B.C. Tradition and Innovation (Stockholm, 1983) 5 1 - 6 ; Burkert, OE. 8. Even allowing for the differentiation in categories of cannibalism as suggested by D é t i e n n e , Dionysos, 136. 9. E . g . Plato, Resp. 2 , 3 7 7 E - 3 7 8 D ; Eutyphro 5 E - 6 A ; Cicero, ND 2,24,63(1. 10 See : Lexikon des fruhgriechischen Epos, s. v. ; C h a n t rai ne, Dictionnaire étymologique de ta langue grecque, s.v. 11. T h u s : J . E . Harrison, Themis, 2nd edn ( C a m b r i d g e , 1927) 495; 'Kronos immer basxleus genannt': M . P. Nilsson, Geschichiedergriechischen Religion I , 3rd edn ( M u n i c h , 1967) 511 n 4. ï n Hesiod: Th. 462,476,486,491, Erga l l l , 1 6 9 i T . More references in Pohlenz (1916) 558 and (1921) 1988; M a y e r (1897) 1458; on the %

t

1

1

147


Greek Myth and Ritual regime of Kronos. 'das ja immer cine Königsherrschaft ist': B. G a t z , WtHalter, goldene Zeit und sinnverwandte Vorstellungen (Hitdesheim, J967) 134 and register A3a; A4b. 12. //. 5.271; 14.192 and 243; Hes. Th. 168,459,473,495. 13. C f . L . Gernet and A. Boulanger, Le Geniegrec dans la religion, 2nd edn (Paris, 1970) 89. 14. T h e two most accessible surveys: A . Ü . Lovejoy and G . Boas, Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity (Baltimore, 1935) 2 3 - 1 0 2 ; G a t z , Weltalter. 15. O n these motifs see G a t z , Weltalter, 114ff and the literature cited below, note 67. 16. H . H o m m e l , 'Das hellenische Ideal vom einfachen L e b e n ' , Studium Generale, 11 (1958) 7 42 IT; R . Visscher, Das einfache Leben. Wort und Mohvgeschuhtliche Unter­ suchungen zu einem aktuellen Thema ( G Ö t l i n g e n , 1965). 17. See Pohlenz (1921) I998ff. 18. Kronos was often assimilated with divinities of Asia Minor: K . Meuli, Gesammelte Schriften I I (Basle and Stuttgart, 1975) 1076; L . Robert, Hetlenica, 7 (1949) 5 0 - 4 . 19. W . B . Kristensen, ' D e antieke opvatting van dienstbaarheid', Med. Kon. Ak. Wet. (1934) = idem, Verzamelde bijdragen tot kennis der antiekegodsdiensten (Amsterdam, 1947) 215; I . Scheftelowitz, 'Das Schlingen und Netzmotiv', Ret. Vers. Vorarb., 12 (1912) 8. O n the other hand 'Wecken und L ö s e n sind verschiedene Bilder für denselben religiösen Gedanken': M e u l i , Gesammelte Schriften I I , 1076. 20. Nilsson, Griechischen Religion, 511; U . v. Wilamowitz, ' K r o n o s und die T i i a n e n \ Sitzber. Berlin (1929) 38 = Wilamowitz, Kleine Schriften, 2nd edn, V , 2 (Berlin, 1971) 1 5 7 - 8 3 . 21. For full references and more details on the cult see: Pohlenz (1921) 1 9 8 2 - 6 . O n the popanon: L . Deubner, Attische Feste (Berlin, 1932) 154. 22. Collected by Pohlenz (1921) 1984f; Nilsson, Griechischen Religion, 512, Wilamowitz, * K r o n o s ' , 36; RE, s.v. Kronion. 23. It is irrelevant to my investigation whether this is indeed a historical human sacrifice or, more likely, a legendary sacrifice framed on the theme of the cruel myth, such as the case treated by A . Henrichs, ' H u m a n Sacrifice in Greek Religion , in Le Sacrifice dans I'antiqutte (Entretiens Hardt 27, G e n e v a , 1981) esp. 222 n 6. 24. E . g . Philo of Byblos ap. Porph. De abst. 2.56; Euseb. Praep. ev. 1.38 d, 40 c; Or. pro Const. 13. 25. T h e locus classicus: Diod. 20,14,6. See M . L e G l a y , Saturne Afruam (Paris, 1966). 26. E . g . Dion. H a l . 1.38.2; Diod. 5.66.5; Demon in Schol. Horn. Od 20.302; Suda, s.v XapdcxvMK yi\u)f on which see M . Pohlenz, Berl. Phil. Wochenschr (1916) 949. C f . D . Arnould, ' M o u r i r de rire dans T O d y s s e V : les rapports avec le rire sardonique et le rire dement , BAGB (1985) 1 7 7 - 8 6 . 27. See Pohlenz (1916) 553; (1921) 2009f for references. 28. O n sacrificial cakes and bloodless sacrifices see A . Henrichs, ' T h e Eumenides and Wineless Libations in the Derveni Papyrus', in Attt del XVII Congresso Int di Paptrologia. I I (Naples, 1984), 2 5 5 - 6 8 , esp. 2 5 7 - 6 1 . 29. T h i s festival and related ceremonies of the 'Saturnalian' type both in Greece and Rome h?. e been discussed many times. T h e most important discussions are: M . P. Nilsson, Griechische Feste (Berlin, 1906) 3 5 - 4 0 , 393, F . Börner, 'Untersu­ chungen über die Religion der Sklaven in Griechenland und R o m ' , I I I , Abh Ak Mainz, Geistes- und Sozialw, Kl. (1961) 4 1 5 - 3 7 ; H . K e n n e r , Das Phänomen der verkehrten Welt tn der griechisch-römischen Antike (Klagenfurt, 197G) 8 7 - 9 5 . I have not seen Ph. Bourboulis, Ancient Festivals of the Saturnalian Type (Thessalonica, 1

1

4,

148


Greek Myth and Ritual 1964). A short summary: Burkert, GR 23If. O n the Attic K r o n i a in particular: Deubner, Attische Feste, 1 5 2 - 5 . I n a recent informative article on 'Poseidon's Festival at the Winter Solstice', CQ 34 (1984) 1 - 1 6 , ' N . Robertson curiously underestimates the fundamental meaning of role reversal both in festivals of Poseidon and in general. 30. Some'scholars argue that the masters have retired from the festival by this late period (Nilsson RE 1 1 (1921) 1975f; Börner, 'Die Religion der Sklaven*. 417), or, even more ingeniously, 'Probably the masters only appeared for the first course or two . . ( H . W . Parke, Festivals of the Athenians ( L o n d o n , 1977) 30), but it is equally possible that only the most conspicuous features have found a place in the reports. 31. Börner, Die Religion der Sklaven', 179: Polykrates ap. Athen. 4,139 C IT (FGrH 588 F 1). All other references may be found in the literature cited above, n 29. 32. See the extensive discussions in M a y e r (1897) 1 5 4 9 - 7 3 ; Pohlenz (1921) 2014ff 33. Macrob. Sat. 1.8.5; M i n . Fei. 22.5; Stat. Silv. 1.6.4 (and commentary by Vollmer); Arnob. 4.24. C f . Börner, 'Religion der Sklaven', 425. O n fettered gods in general see: G . A . Lobeck, Aglaophamus ( K ö n i g s b e r g e n , 1829) 275; Meuli, Gesammelte Schriften I I , 1 0 3 5 - 8 1 ; M . Delcourt, Hephaistos ou la legende du magicien (Paris, 1957) 18ff; 65ff 34. FGrH C o m m . 244 F 118, followed by M e u l i , Gesammelte Schriften I I , 1039 n 9. 35. A . Dieterich, Abraxas (Leipzig, 1891) 76ff. 36. O n the symbolism of chaos see literature cited by H . S. Versnel, 'Destruc­ tion, Devotio and Despair in a Situation of Anomy: T h e Mourning for Germanicus in Triple Perspective', i n G . Piccaluga (ed.) Perennitas ( R o m e , 1980) 591 n 209 and 594 n 216; M . Eliade, Tratte d'hisioire des religions, 2nd edn (Paris, 1964) C h s X I and X I I , passim. C f . below, note 76. 37. Wilamowitz, ' K r o n o s , 36; P. Vidal-Naquet, Le Chasseur noir, 2nd edn (Paris, 1983) 363. 38. References in note 10 above. 39. Deubner, Attische Feste, 154f; K . Marot, 'Kronos und die T i t a n e n ' , SMSR, 8 (1932) 4 8 - 8 2 ; 1 8 9 - 2 1 3 , esp. 67 n 2. 40. Pherecydes in schol. Apoll. R h o d . 1.554; 2.1235; Pind. Pyth. 3.Iff; 4.115; Nem 3.47; Apollod. 1.9; V e r g . Georg. 3.92. Pan, too, is the son of Kronos in one tradition: P h . Borgeaud, Rechcrches sur le dieu Pan ( R o m e 1979) 66f. 41. Pohlenz (1921) 2006; K . Marot, ' K r o n o s ' , 58 and 213. 42. See H . S. Versnel, 'Apollo and M a r s one hundred years after Roscher', Visible Religion, 4 (1986) 1 3 4 - 7 2 . 43. Wilamowitz, ' K r o n o s ' , 37; Nilsson, Griechischen Religion, 514; other references in Börner, 'Religion der Sklaven', 420 n 2; E . Meyer, Kleine Schriften I I , 39fT. 44. Nilsson, Griechischen Religion, 36; Börner, 'Religion der Sklaven', 422. 45. Pohlenz (1921) 1998, where other references can be found. 46. J . G . Frazer, The Golden Bough 3rd edn, I I I , 9ff; V I , 351 ff; I X (Aftermath) 290ff. 47. A. L a n g , Magic and Religion ( L o n d o n , 1901) 82ff. For (critical) views on Frazer in general see Versnel (above, note 1) 234 n 15 and 239 n 82. 48. Meuli, Gesammelte Schriften I I , l034f. 49. For more literature on rites of reversal see Versnel, 'Destruction', 582ff; idem (above, note 1) 241 n 99; 242 n 115. 50. F . Douglass, My Bondage and my Freedom (New Y o r k , 1855) 253ff and the 1

149


Greek Myth and Ritual comments by E . Genovese, Roll, Jordan, /?<?//(New Y o r k , 1974) 577ff, both cited by J . N . Bremmer, Myth and Ritual in Ancient Rome: the Nonae C a p r a t i n a c ' in J. N . Bremmer and N . M . Horsfnll, Roman Myth and Myelography (London. 1987) 85f. A . C . Zijdcrveld, Reality through a Looking-glass ( L o n d o n , 1982} demonstrates the same awareness in medieval carnival-Hubs. 51. G . Balandier, Political Anthropology (Harmondsworth, 1972) 41. C f . I. M Lewis, Social Anthropology in Perspective (Harmondsworth, 1976) 142, with interest­ ing parallels of modern 'feasts of fools*. Similar views on chiliastic movements: A. F . C . Wallace, Religion: An Anthropological View (New Y o r k , 1966); W . E . M ü h l m a n n , Natwismus und Chiliasmus. Studien zur Psychologie, Soziologie und his­ torischer Kasuistik der Umsturzbewegungen (Berlin, 1961). 52. M G l u c k m a n , Custom and Conflict in Africa (Oxford, 1959) 1 0 9 - 3 6 from which I quote; idem, Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa ( L o n d o n , 1963) 1 1 0 - 3 6 . His first remarks: An Analysis of the Sociological Theories of B Malinowski (Oxford, 1949) 16. 53. B. Sutton Smith, 'Games of O r d e r and Disorder' as quoted by V . W . T u r n e r i n B. A. Babcock (ed.), The Reversible World{ Ithaca and L o n d o n , 1978)294. 54. Safety-valve: e.g. in P. Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe ( L o n d o n , 1978) 202ff; N . Z . D a vies, Society and Culture in Early Modern France ( L o n d o n , 1975) l22ff. T h e aspect of legitimation: inter al. in Zijderveld, Reality and H . Pleij, Met glide van de Blauwe Schutt. Literatuur, volksfeesl en burgermoraal in de late mtddeleeuwen, 2nd edn (Amsterdam, 1983) 63, 87, 241 f; N . Schindler, ' K a r n e v a l , Kirche und die verkehrte Weh', Jahrb. f Volkskunde, N F 7(1984) 9 - 5 7 . For some specific cases see: A . H . G a l t , ' C a r n i v a l on the Island of Pantcllaria', Ethnology, 12 (1973) 3 2 5 - 3 9 ; D . Gilmore, ' C a r n a v a l in Fuenmayor: Class Conflict and Social Cohesion in an Andalusian T o w n ' , Journ. Anihrop. Res., 32 (1975) 3 3 1 - 4 9 ; L . Barletta, / / carnevale del 1764 a Napoli. Protesta e integrazione in uno spazw urbano (Naples, 1981). 55. T h i s was demonstrated by E . Norbeck, 'African Rituals of Conflict', Amer. Anihrop., 65 (1963) 1 2 5 4 - 7 9 with a mild criticism of G l u c k m a n . 56. P. L . Berger, 'Some Second Thoughts on Substantive versus Functional Definitions of Religion', Joum. Scient. Study Rei, 7 3 ( 1 9 7 4 ) 1 2 5 - 3 3 . 57 P L . Berger and T . L u c km an, The Social Construction of Reality (New Y o r k , 1971) 121. 58. These concepts are being used by P. Weidkuhn, ' T h e Quest for Legitimate Rebellion. T o w a r d s a Structuralist Theory of Rituals of Reversal', Religion, 7 (1977) 1 6 7 - 8 8 , who finds his inspiration in Eliade. 59. Several New Y e a r festivals in one year: M . P. Nilsson, Primitive Timereckomng ( L u n d , 1920) 270. 60. M . Eliade, Le mythe de l'éternel retour Archétypes et répétition (Paris, 1949) C h . I I , pp. 83ff; idem, Traité d'histoire des religions, 2nd edn (Paris, 1964) 3 2 6 - 4 3 ; V . Lanternari, La grande festa. Stono del Capodanno nelle ctviltà primitive, 2nd edn (Bari, 1976). 61. T h e death of a king may provoke the very same associations and imagery: Versnel, 'Destruction on mourning, chaos and anomy. 62. O n chaos as 'l'absolue liberté' and the ambiguity of the sentiments involved, see Eliade, Traité, 76 and passim. 63. O n the cohesive force of the Greek festivals see: F . D u n a n d , 'Sens et fonction de la lete dans la G r è c e h e l l é n i s t i q u e . Les c é r é m o n i e s en l'honneur d'Artemis L e u c o p h r y è n è ' , Dial Mist Ane, 4 (1978) 2 0 1 - 1 8 . 64. T h e G e r m a n title of the translated version of J . Servier, Histoire de l'utopie ( M u n i c h , 1971), 65. T h e relationship was already noticed by F . M . Cornford, The Origin of Attic 1

150


Greek Myth and Ritual Comedy ( L o n d o n , 1914); on the social function of Greek comedy see, e.g., J . - C . Carrière, Le Carnaval et la politique. Une introduction à la comédie grecque (Paris, 1979); for Rome see E . Segal, Roman Laughter, 2nd cdn (Cambridge, M a s s . . 1970). 66. C f . A . C . Zijderveld, ' T h e Sociology of H u m o u r and Laughter', Current Sociology, 31 (1983) 1 - 1 0 3 , esp. 47. 67. O n the truphè motif see: H . Langerbeck, 'Die Vorstellung von Schlaraffen­ land in der alten attischen K o m ö d i e ' , Zeitschr. f Volksk., 5 9 ( 1 9 6 3 ) 1 9 2 - 2 0 4 ; W . Fauth, 'Kulinarisches und Utopisches in der griechischen K o m ö d i e ' , Wiener Stud,, 7 (1973) 3 9 - 6 2 . O n the automaton motif: Gatz, Wettaller, 118 and register B 1,1; H . J . de Jonge, ' B O T P Y C B O H C E L , in M . J . Vermasercn (ed.). Studies in Hellenistic Religions ( L e i d e n , 1979) 3 7 - 4 9 . O n absence of slavery: R . von P ö h l m a n n , Geschichte der sozialen Frage und des Sozialismus in der antiken Welt, 3rd edn ( M u n i c h , 1925); J . Pecirka, 'Aristophanes' Ekklesiazusen und die Utopien in d i r Krise der Polis', Wiss. Zeitschr. Humboldt Univ. zu Berlin, Gcsellsch -Sprachw. Reihe, 12 (1963) 215IT; Vidal-Naquet, Le Chasseur noir, 230fT. 68. Theopompus FGrH 115 F 215 says that in Arcadia masters and slaves were sitting at the same tables and sharing the same food and drink. 69. O n this passage as a conjunction of Utopia and elysium: L . Gernet, ' L a cité future et le pays des morts' in idem, Anthropologie de la Grèce antique (Paris, 1968) 139; Vidai-Naquet, Le Chasseur noir, 363. 70. A survey i n j . Ferguson, Utopias of the Classical World (London 1975). O n easy living, e.g. A . G i a n n i n i , 'Mito e Utopia nella letteratura greca prima di Platone', Rend. 1st. Lornb., 7 0 / ( 1 9 6 7 ) 109ff. O n the Phaeacians: Vidal-Naquet, Le Chasseur noir, 60fï; on the Hellenistic Utopias see the literature cited by M . Zumschlinge, Euhemeros. Staat s-theoretische und Staat s-utopische Motive (Diss., Bonn, 1976). O n absence of slavery in Utopias: J . Vogt, 'Slavery in Greek Utopias' in: idem, Ancient Slavery and the Ideal of Man (Cambridge, M a s s . , 1975) 2 6 - 3 8 , esp. 29ff; G a t z , Weltalter, 127 and register B4c. 71. T h e terms are introduced by G i a n n i n i , Mito e utopia. I'l. See the references to epigraphical sources: Versnel, 'Destruction', 55Iff. T h e literary sources in G a t z , Wettalter, 13Iff Releasing of fetters e.g. in Philo, Legatw ad Gaium 146. T h i s is a general image of the coming of the millemum: W A Meeks, The First Urban Christians. The Social World of the Apostle Faul (New Haven and L o n d o n , 1983) 184f. 73. Kenner, Das Phänomen, 70 gives examples and literature in n 214; S. Luria 'Die Ersten werden die Letzten sein', Kilo, 22 (1929) 4 0 5 - 3 1 regards these as two stages of an historical process, which is quite unnecessary. 74. Vidal-Naquet, Le Chasseur noir, 226 and 2 6 7 - 8 8 ; cf. N . Loraux, Les Enfants d'Athéna (Paris, 1981) 1 5 7 - 9 6 ; J . C . C a r r i è r e , Le Carnaval; L . Berteiii, 'L'utopia sulla scena: Aristofane e la parodia délia c i ( i à \ Civtttà class, e enst., 4 (1983) 2 1 5 - 6 3 . E . D a v i d , Aristophanes and Athenian Society oj the Early Fourth Century BC (Leiden, 1984) rightly contrasts this with the general criticism of social misuses 75. O n the messianistic side of Eunous' revoir see P. G r e e n . ' T h e First Sicilian Slave W a r ' , Past and Present, 22 (1962) 8 7 - 9 3 . O n the Cirrumcellions: Versnel. Destruction , 552 and P. G . G . M . Schulten, De Circumcetlionen. Fen socianlreligieuze bewegmg in de late oudhetd (Diss., Leiden, 1984), 76. O n these very interesting Egyptian prophecies see, e.g., S. L u r i n , 'Die Ersten ; J . Bergman, 'Introductory Remarks on Apocalypticism in Egypt', and J . Assman, ' K ö n i g s d o g m a und Heilserwartung. Politische und kultische Chaos­ beschreibungen in Aegyptischen T e x t e n ' , both in: D . Hellholm, Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and the Near East ( T ü b i n g e n , 1983) 5 1 - 6 0 and 345 - 78. 77. Some instances: X e n . Hell. 4 . 4 . 2 - 4 ; A e n . T a c t . 17.3; Diod. 13.104.5. Festivals are also ideal opportunities for sudden attack. L . A. Losada, The Fifth 1

1

151


Greek Myth and Ritual Column in the Peloponnesian War ( L e i d e n , 1972) 101; 11 If. 78. O n carnival and revolution see the literature cited by J . N . Bremmer, The Early Greek Concept of the Soul (Princeton, 1983) 118 η 133. 79. O n the Anthesteria see the discussion and literature in Bremmer, ibid., 108-20. 80. A very good survey of this range of feasts in Burkert, GR, 2 2 7 - 3 4 . 81. See the pertinent observations by A . Brelich, O s s e r v a z i o n i sulle "esdusioni rituali" \ SMSR, 22 (1949/50) 16fT. 82. T h u s Nilsson, Griechische Feste, 37. T h e Pelores are unconvincingly inter­ preted as the (great) dead by M e u l i , Gesammelte Schriften I I . C f . Bremmer, op. tit., 123. E v e n less can I accept that 'the name Peloria is most naturally taken as desig­ nating the tables heaped with food'; Robertson, 'Poseidon's Festival', 8. 83. J . Z . Smith, Map is not Territory ( L e i d e n , 1978) 1 4 1 - 7 1 . 84. B . Gladigow, 'JenseitsvorstelJungen und Kulturkritik', Zeitschr. Religwnsund Geisiesgesch., 26 (1974) 308. 85. H . Freyer, Caput velare(Diss., T u b i n g e n , 1963) is quite unsatisfactory in this respect. 86. See, e.g., R . Drews, Bos ileus. The Evidence for Kingship in Geometric Greece (New H a v e n and L o n d o n , 1983) 7 - 9 . 87. I mention here only: M e u l i , Gesammelte Schriften I I and 'Der U r s p r u n g der Fastnacht', ibid. I , 2 8 3 - 9 9 ; A . Breiich, 'Osservazioni' and idem, Tre variazioni romane sul tema delle ongim, 2nd edn ( R o m e , 1976) 8 3 - 9 5 ; Burkert, GR, 198: 'Kronos, the god of the first age, of reversal, and possibly of the last age', and 232: 'and so at his festival there is a reversion to that ideal former age, but a reversion that of course cannot last'. 88. Kateptne — not only in Hes. Theog. (above, section 1; Burkert, this volume, C h . 2, section 3) but also in Plato Eutyphro 6A and Apollod. 1.1.5 — is the very expression of this gluttony run wild. 89. Kristensen (above, note 19) 15. 90. 'einfach absurd': Börner, 'Religion der Sklaven', 425; 'un lavoro geniale per impostazione e per alcuni intuizioni': Brelich, 'Osservazioni' 16 η 3.

152


8 Spartan Genealogies: The Mythological Representation of a Spatial Organisation Claude Calame Translated by A . Habib

1. T h e C o m p a r a t i v e P e r s p e c t i v e :

Anthroponym

as Spatial

Symbol F r o m the archaic period onwards, the Greek taste for genealogies is s t r i k i n g : there are

genealogies o f gods ( H e s i o d ) , o f heroes

(Hekataios), o f legendary kings whether related i n epic (Eumelos at C o r i n t h ) or heading the chronographical sequence defined by 1

the archon list ( A t h e n s ) . T h i s p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f genealogical activity is i n no way s u r p r i s i n g : its double f u n c t i o n o f m e a s u r i n g historical time whilst l i n k i n g the present o f the city to its legendary past is well k n o w n . Sparta is no exception, even i f for us moderns there survive o n l y late traces o f this interest, i n Pausanias and i n the ' L i b r a r y ' a t t r i b u t e d to A p o l l o d o r u s . B u t as early as the seventh century B C we find i n T y r t a i o s echoes o f a r o y a l genealogy l i n k i n g the rulers o f Sparta w i t h the legendary H e r a k l e i d a i . A n d is it not precisely to this type o f genealogy that the lectures given by the sophist H i p p i a s at Sparta, described by Plato, owed their outstanding success?

2

W e shall t u r n later to the historical and l i t e r a r y p r o b l e m o f dating the Spartan royal genealogy. First let us read a passage that Pausanias significantly puts at the b e g i n n i n g o f his description o f Laconia:

3

After the

figures

o f H e r m e s we reach L a c o n i a o n the west. 153


Spartan Genealogies A c c o r d i n g to the t r a d i t i o n o f the Lacedaemonians

themselves,

Lelex, an a b o r i g i n a l , was the first k i n g i n this l a n d , after w h o m his subjects were n a m e d Leleges. Lelex had a son M y l e s , and a younger one P o l y k a o n . P o l y k a o n retired into exile, the place o f this r e t i r e m e n t and its reason I w i l l set forth elsewhere. O n the death o f M y l e s his son Eurotas succeeded to the t h r o n e . H e led d o w n to the sea by means o f a trench the stagnant water on the p l a i n , and w h e n it had flowed away, as what was left f o r m e d a r i v e r - s t r e a m , he n a m e d it Eurotas. H a v i n g no male issue, he left the k i n g d o m to L a k e d a i m o n , whose m o t h e r was T a y g e t e , after w h o m the m o u n t a i n was n a m e d , while according to report his father was none other than Zeus. L a k e d a i m o n was wedded to Sparte, a daughter o f Eurotas. W h e n he came to the t h r o n e , he first changed the names o f the l a n d and its i n h a b i t a n t s , calling t h e m after himself, and next he founded and named after his wife a city, w h i c h even d o w n to o u r day has been called Sparta. A m y k l a s , too, son o f L a k e d a i m o n , wished to leave some m e m o rial b e h i n d h i m , and b u i l t a t o w n in L a c o n i a . H y a k i n t h o s , the youngest a n d most beautiful o f his sons, died before his father, and his t o m b is in A m y k l a i below the image o f A p o l l o . O n the death o f A m y k l a s the e m p i r e came to A r g a l o s , the eldest o f his sons,

and

afterwards,

when

Argalos

died,

to

Kynortas.

K y n o r t a s had a son O i b a l o s . H e took a wife f r o m A r g o s , G o r g o phone, the daughter o f Perseus, and begat a son T y n d a r e u s , w i t h w h o m H i p p o k o o n disputed about the k i n g s h i p , c l a i m i n g the throne on the g r o u n d o f b e i n g the elder. W i t h the aid o f Ikarios a n d his partisans he far surpassed T y n d a r e u s i n power, a n d forced h i m to retire in fear; the Lacedaemonians say that he went to Pellana, but a Messenian legend about h i m is that he fled

to A p h a r e u s

in Messenia,

Aphareus

being the son o f

Perieres and the b r o t h e r o f T y n d a r e u s o n his m o t h e r ' s side. T h e story goes on to say that he settled at T h a l a m a i i n Messenia, a n d that his c h i l d r e n were b o r n to h i m w h e n he was l i v i n g there. Subsequently T y n d a r e u s was b r o u g h t back by HerakJes recovered

his t h r o n e .

and

H i s sons too became kings, as d i d

Menelaos the son o f A t r e u s a n d son-in-law o f T y n d a r e u s , a n d Orestes the h u s b a n d o f H e r m i o n e the daughter o f Menelaos. O n the r e t u r n o f the H e r a k l e i d a i i n the r e i g n o f Teisamenos, son of Orestes, b o t h districts, Messene a n d A r g o s , had kings put over t h e m ; Argos had T e m e n o s a n d Messene Kresphontes. I n 154


Spartan Genealogies L a c e d a e m o n , as the sons o f A r i s t o d e m o s were t w i n s , there arose t w o royal houses; for they say that the P y t h i a n priestess approved. A n y o n e sensitive to the discursive representation o f space notices i m m e d i a t e l y the coincidence, i n the first generation o f the Spartan kings, between a n t h r o p o n y m s and t o p o n y m s : Eurotas, Taygete, Sparta, L a k e d a i m o n , A m y k l a s are at the same time royal actors and specific local sites. T o recount the sequence o f m a t r i m o n i a l alliances a n d royal births is a strange way to stake out t e r r i t o r i a l space a n d to constitute political geography. Yet the same process is met again in a more complex f o r m at Greece's antipodes. T h e I a t m u l , recently visited on the banks o f the

river

Sepik

in P a p u a - N e w

Guinea,

are

i n the

habit o f

c o m p e t i n g i n l o n g oral contests, w i t h each clan's m y t h o l o g y as the stake. W h y devote to a m y t h o l o g y so i m p o r t a n t a part o f heated political debates b e a r i n g on m e n ' s families? T h e fact is that the mythological debate is essentially a matter o f long lists o f proper names; and every name is related to a l i v i n g m e m b e r o f the l a l n i u l c o m m u n i t y as well as to an ancestral figure, a mythological tale, a physical or biological p h e n o m e n o n , but above all to a location in the I a t r n u l ' s real or m y t h o l o g i c a l g e o g r a p h y .

4

It is a way o f classi-

fying the l i v i n g , a way o f t y i n g them to the clan's history and to the universal physical o r g a n i s a t i o n , a way, i n fine, o f representing space â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n terms o f course o f social space w i t h its corollary, economic order. T h i s is how the l a t m u l can debate a clan-estate problem by c o m p a r i n g lists of a n t h r o p o n y m s a t t r i b u t e d to the mythical figures o f the clans i n question. I f one disregards the strict genealogical organisation w h i c h Papuans on the banks o f the Sepik set aside i n favour o f a series o f substitutions o n the paradigmatic axis, the parallel w i t h ancient Sparta is positively s t r i k i n g . Ideally we w o u l d gather other parallels that w o u l d enable us to reach an abstraction o n a reality o f a structural order; but lack o f space precludes t a k i n g the comparison any further. A t least it has the m e r i t o f s h o w i n g the fruitfulness o f the c o m p a r a t i v e perspective in e x p l a i n i n g the religious phenomena o f a n t i q u i t y . A l t h o u g h Spartans are no Papuans, there is at P a l i m b e i , as there was at Sparta, a sequence o f a n t h r o p o n y m s designating legendary figures which n o t a b l y enunciates a social space and a social organisation. I f the Papuan parallel points at least to the general function o f 155


Spartan Genealogies setting u p a series o f m y t h o l o g i c a l names, one m a y go o n to ask w h y the Spartan a n t h r o p o n y m i c sequence assumes the f o r m o f a genealogy. T h e question here is no longer that o f the social role played by m y t h i c discourse, b u t o f the n a r r a t i v e function o f its discursive and t e x t u a l presentation. So it is no longer c o m p a r a t i s m that is called for, b u t n a r r a t i v e analysis â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even w h e n the genealogical f o r m ,

compared

w i t h the p a t t e r n that n a r r a t o l o g y

has

a t t e m p t e d to f o r m u l a t e , displays singular and even b e w i l d e r i n g features. Since genealogical n a r r a t i v e as seen f r o m the n a r r a t i v e standp o i n t is essentially made o f state-enunciates, and since the a t t r i b u t i o n o f a series o f predicate qualities to the semiotic subject concerned belongs to this category o f enunciates, o u r analysis here w i l l be p a r t i c u l a r l y focused o n the values each actor, i n t r o d u c e d by the genealogy, is invested w i t h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all the m o r e so since i n fact Greek authors d r a w readily f r o m the m e a n i n g o f proper names a confirm a t i o n o f the qualities ascribed to the actors i n the state-enunciates o f the same n a r r a t i v e .

5

2. S p a r t a n Genealogy a n d its S p a t i a l D e v e l o p m e n t 2.1 Lelex and the Leleges: Autochthonous Generation As i n A t h e n s , the first Spartan k i n g was an a u t o c h t h o n . T h i s p r i m o r d i a l qualification fixes i n L a c o n i a n soil the roots o f a being whose name refers nevertheless to a m u l t i t u d e o f sites i n continental Greece as well as i n I o n i a . A n a b o r i g i n a l p o p u l a t i o n called Leleges

is i n fact

attested

i n regions

A k a r n a n i a or L o k r i s i n western Greece;

as

diverse

as

Aitolia,

Boeotia, M e g a r a ,

or

Thessaly i n central Greece; even i n M i l e t o s and various places i n the T r o a d . F r o m a historical p o i n t o f v i e w , this diffusion o f the Leleges appears to be part o f the legendary t r a d i t i o n as soon as it can be observed i n l i t e r a r y texts. I n the Iliad,

the Leleges

are

closely related to the T r o j a n s since it sites t h e m at Pedasos i n the T r o a d and states that L a o t h o e , P r i a m ' s concubine, is the daughter o f their k i n g . H e s i o d makes L o k r o s , one o f the founders o f L o k r i s , the ruler over the Leleges. A n d A l k a i o s mentions that the city o f A n t a n d r o s , an A e o l i a n t o w n not far from the T r o j a n M t I d a , is the

foremost

city o f the

Leleges.

6

Besides

Sparta,

it is only

according to the t r a d i t i o n o f Leukas that the e p o n y m o u s r u l e r o f 156


Spartan Genealogies F i g u r e 8.1: T h e Aegean W o r l d

157


Spartan Genealogies this omnipresent tribe o f Leleges is considered as an autochthon. Elsewhere, at M e g a r a for instance,

Lelex appears b e a r i n g the

features o f a stranger, Poseidon's son, w h o , a r r i v i n g from E g y p t , took over the succession to the royal power after the M e g a r i d s adopted the D o r i a n s ' mores and language.

7

W h e t h e r they are descended from a k i n g or b o r n on their soil or from a ruler exiled from E g y p t , or whether o n the contrary they have their o r i g i n i n C a r i a (as Herodotos seems to suggest) and are even C a r i a n slaves, the Leleges represent i n any case one o f those a b o r i g i n a l tribes, like the Pelasgians or the C a r i a n s themselves, to w h i c h the Greeks a t t r i b u t e d the earliest occupation of their o w n t e r r i t o r y . A m o n g these early tribes m e n t i o n e d by the Greek narratives o f the foundations o f cities, m o d e r n historians have of course looked for the t r a i l o f a p r e - H e l l e n i c ethic substratum and reconstituted a no less hypothetical historic process o f p o p u l a t i o n settlement i n Greece. B y these means they have attempted to confer a historic value o n the m i g r a t o r y movements, o f w h i c h aborigines are often the protagonists. T h e decipherment o f L i n e a r B and the setting back from the eighth century B C to the fourteenth century B C o f the p e r i o d when the Greek language was first in use has fortunately dealt a definitive blow to such historical speculations.

8

I n e v i t a b l y i n the research into the o r i g i n o f the Leleges there r e m a i n some conjectures

r e g a r d i n g the etymology o f the name

they bear. M o s t likely, as w i t h ' b a r - b a r i a n s ' , r e d u p l i c a t i o n i n the name o f the Leleges indicates they spoke a language w h i c h was 9

alien to Greek ears. I n the various legends p o r t r a y i n g t h e m , the Hellenic successors o f the Lelegian dynasts are generally occupied g i v i n g new names to cities founded by a b o r i g i n a l tribes: this is a probable way for the i m a g i n a t i o n o f legend to m a r k the passage from non-Greek to Greek. It seems that i n the series o f proper names which the l a t m u l use for j u s t i f y i n g their clan claims, the m o r p h o l o g y o f the first name in each list â&#x20AC;&#x201D; unlike the other names, which are w i t h o u t exception redende Namen â&#x20AC;&#x201D; does not lead to a directly decipherable

signification: o n l y from

the

second

' g e n e r a t i o n ' does the a n t h r o p o n y m designate t h r o u g h its signifier and its m o r p h o l o g y the qualities o f the i n d i v i d u a l it is n a m i n g . O s c i l l a t i n g between autochthony and its opposite,

1 0

territorial

e x t e r i o r i t v , the Lelegian r u l e r embodies i n any case the otherness that will allow the assertion o f i d e n t i t y . Hence his i n i t i a l , a b o r i g i nal, p o s i t i o n . As w i t h every tale, genealogy begins its narrative 158


Spartan Genealogies process w i t h a lack-situation, and the o n l y ' a c t i o n ' i n the Spartan genealogical narrative ascribed to K i n g Lelex corresponds to his g i v i n g his subjects his o w n name, a name that i n all p r o b a b i l i t y signifies otherness. B u t this i n i t i a l lack, t h r o u g h its autochthonous r o o t i n g and above all t h r o u g h the process o f generation, contains in itself the elements o f the semantic universe that is to be asserted. It is a w a y , as i n the first phases o f the Hesiodic theogony, o f assuming and f i g u r i n g the t r a n s i t i o n from an state to a first, semantically m a r k e d , existence. noticed,

significantly, that

two t r a d i t i o n s

undifferentiated 11

A n d it w i l l be

parallel

to that

of

Pausanias give a wife to Lelex. Therefore differentiation does not occur t h r o u g h parthenogenesis, but is i m m e d i a t e l y constituted by the masculine/feminine

d u a l i t y . W h e n e m b o d i e d by a naiad or

n y m p h , this feminine belongs also moreover to the outside non-civilised

field.

and

12

2.2 Myles: the Space of Cereal Cultivation In Pausanias' t r a d i t i o n , Lelex ends up by being the cause o f differentiation,

through

the

process o f generation.

Genealogical

narrative attributes two sons and one daughter to Sparta's

first

sovereign. T h e eldest, M y l e s , carries in his very name a trace o f the action legend ascribes to h i m . M y l e s was i n fact considered the first m a n to have invented the m i l l (mule) since he is the first to g r i n d (alesai) c o r n i n a place n a m e d Alesiai w h i c h was between the site o f the future Sparta and M t Taygetos. W i t h this etymological double-play, genealogy does not l i m i t itself to the slicing o f a first space into Leleges t e r r i t o r y , h i t h e r t o not defined: it binds that space together w i t h one

o f the

features c o n s t i t u t i n g the

very

foundation o f the Greek

representation o f civilisation â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

with

g r o u n d c o r n , s y m b o l o f a g r i c u l t u r a l activity and, to put it more accurately, o f cereal c u l t i v a t i o n as opposed to h u n t i n g and pastoral activity.

13

So there is no surprise i n discovering i n the space, where

Myles lays the economic and material foundation o f Spartan c i v i l i sation, a sanctuary to L a k e d a i m o n , the ruler w h o w i l l give his name to this l a n d . W i t h Lelex's other c h i l d r e n the Lelegian t e r r i t o r y w i l l undergo, from this central point m a r k e d by the c i v i l i s a t i o n o f g r o u n d c o r n , some remarkable spatial extensions. First, i n Messenia: there is no room for P o l y k a o n , the second son, to take his place next to his brother,

Lelex's

successor.

He 159

retires

i n t o exile beyond

Mt


Spartan Genealogies Taygetos a n d m a r r i e s , i n w h a t is to be Messenia, the daughter o f T r i o p a s o f A r g o s , Messene. T o ensure the conquest o f the l a n d that bears her name a n d before she gives it a capital c i t y , A n d a n i a , Messene calls to her aid the A r g i v e s a n d also the Spartans. I t is therefore due to the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f a f e m i n i n e figure that the civic d e f i n i t i o n and i d e n t i t y o f the Messenian t e r r i t o r y are established, while a male contingent f r o m A r g o s puts a m i l i t a r y seal o n that conquest

and

men

from

Sparta

ensure

the

political

power

sequence. T h e coincidence o n the one h a n d w i t h the f e m i n i n e and masculine, a n d o n the other, w i t h the A r g i v e ancestry a n d the Spartan sovereignty, w i l l leave its m a r k . For Messene the A r g i v e a n d P o l y k a o n the Spartan w i l l lay the foundations o f a sanctuary to Zeus o n M t I t h o m e i n the geographic centre o f the Messenian territory.

1 4

W e must recall here that T r i o p a s , like Lelex, is one o f

those characters w h o , related to n u m e r o u s m i g r a t o r y moves, finds h i m s e l f placed at the start o f several royal genealogies, i n p a r t i c u lar

i n Thessaly where he is l i n k e d w i t h the L a p i t h s , i f not at

Rhodes reverse.

a n d i n C a r i a where he follows the Leleges' 15

T r i o p a s has

also an

route i n

i m p o r t a n t part to play,

even

negatively, i n establishing D e m e t e r ' s cult. I t is not excluded either that t h r o u g h his daughter cultivation

values

he b r o u g h t to Messenia the cereal

indispensable

to

this

territory's

economic

development, t e r r i t o r y coveted by the Spartans for its a g r i c u l t u r a l wealth. But future Sparta, t h r o u g h the genealogical n a r r a t i v e , extends also f r o m its a g r i c u l t u r a l centre as defined by the m i l l e r - k i n g M y l e s towards the east: T h e r a p n e Lelex's daughter.

16

gets its name f r o m that o f

T h e r e is no reason to believe that it is by

chance that the legend conjures u p at the genealogical b e g i n n i n g o f Sparta the probable place o f residence and the actual place o f the cult o f the ' M y c e n a e a n ' sovereigns, Menelaos a n d H e l e n , a n d that o f the D i o s k o u r o i , H e l e n ' s t w i n brothers. T h i s does not mean that the genealogical n a r r a t i v e , w h i c h we shall date to the start o f the classical p e r i o d , keeps intact the m e m o r y o f events g o i n g back to the t h i r t e e n t h c e n t u r y B C ; but at Sparta, as i n so m a n y other Greek cities, it is a M y c e n a e a n site w h i c h , as early as the archaic p e r i o d , w i l l serve as a setting for the cult devoted to the

protagonists

t u r n e d heroes o f the T r o j a n W a r . Archaeological discoveries reveal that i f the site o f Sparta itself was p r o b a b l y not occupied before the protogeometric era ( f r o m the tenth century B C ) , on the other h a n d 160


Spartan Genealogies Therapne region.

17

is w i t h A m y k l a i the richest M y c e n a e a n site i n that T h i s n o n - o c c u p a t i o n o f Sparta proves the vacuity o f any

use o f genealogy as a d o c u m e n t for its early h i s t o r y . O n the other hand,

a genealogical representation

d a t i n g from

the

classical

period c o u l d not fail to site a place so i m p o r t a n t i n cult a n d legend at that t i m e i n r e l a t i o n to the centre. T h i s is a p o i n t we shall make more t h a n once: the genealogical n a r r a t i v e retells history i n the perspective o f the political s i t u a t i o n i n Sparta at the start o f the fifth c e n t u r y B C . 2.3 Eurotas: Extension of the Cultivated Space Let us n o w r e t u r n to the centre a n d to the direct agnatic descent from M y l e s , i n i t i a t o r o f Spartan cereal c u l t i v a t i o n . I t is M y l e s ' son, Eurotas, w h o succeeds his f a t h e r .

18

Genealogical t r a d i t i o n

ascribes to this t h i r d k i n g o f Sparta the c l e a r i n g a n d d r a i n i n g o f the L a c o n i a n plains a n d the canal d u g to let the then stagnant waters flow towards the sea. I t became the r i v e r b e a r i n g his name. A late text adds that the c l e a r i n g o f the l a n d that became the valley o f the Eurotas took place after the F l o o d , that is to say, according to the Spartan c h r o n o l o g y , before the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f Lelex, himself linked w i t h the t i m e o f the F l o o d .

1 9

I f this relative d a t i n g o f a

civilised i n t e r v e n t i o n is c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y speaking not absolutely consistent, it nevertheless harmonises w i t h the series o f c u l t u r a l actions o f the first rulers o f legendary Greece. I n any case, this cleansing by Eurotas represents a second extension o f L a c o n i a n space a n d simultaneously an expansion o f civilisation: not o n l y Alesiai but

the whole p l a i n o f the Eurotas

is given over to

agriculture. F r o m then o n the Eurotas is a river o f c i v i l i s a t i o n ,

20

A n d doubtless it is not mere coincidence that the Spartans later associated i n a single sanctuary to H e r a the c o m m e m o r a t i o n o f Eurotas o v e r f l o w i n g o n t o the arable soil a n d that o f the sacrifice offered to A p h r o d i t e - H e r a b y mothers w h o saw their daughters j o i n i n the state o f m a t r i m o n y . I t is well k n o w n that i n Greece i n the representation

o f c i v i l i s a t i o n , cereal c u l t i v a t i o n is used i n

particular as a m e t a p h o r for m a r r i a g e : Eurotas,

domesticated,

ensures the p r o d u c t i v i t y o f the entire p l a i n it has created; mother w h o bends her daughter

u n d e r the m a t r i m o n i a l yoke

guarantees the c o n t i n u i t y o f the Spartan f a m i l i e s .

161

the

21


Spartan Genealogies 2 . 4 Lakedaimon and Sparte: the Political Centre Eurotas, however, i n another respect confronts us w i t h a blockage in the process o f the agnatic l e g i t i m a c y , since he has no male issue.

22

So he gives his daughter Sparte i n marriage to one o f the

other great hero-founders o f L a c o n i a , L a k e d a i m o n , the son o f Zeus and o f the n y m p h T a y g e t c . W h a t e v e r the reason for substit u t i n g a uterine lineage for the agnatic lineage, it tallies w i t h a basic reorganisation o f L a c o n i a n space: first, by d e f i n i n g a p o l i t i cal centre and i n c l u d i n g this centre in a well-demarcated t e r r i t o r y . T h i s inclusion is figuratively represented as an enclosure o f the female by the male: Sparta is ' e m b r a c e d ' by L a k e d a i m o n . T h e son o f Zeus and Taygete actually starts by g i v i n g the l a n d and its inhabitants his o w n name; then he lays the f o u n d a t i o n o f a city a n d gives it his wife's name. L a k e d a i m o n ' s c o u n t r y , L a k e d a i m o n i a , n o w possesses its capital city, founded by a m a n and not a w o m a n , as was the case for A n d a n i a i n Messenia, I n this t o p o n y m ic d e f i n i t i o n , genealogy, t h o u g h capable o f reconstructing a story, is also t r y i n g to rationalise a l i n g u i s t i c usage already

somewhat

f l u c t u a t i n g . A l t h o u g h for the ancients as for the moderns

Sparta

designates

name,

hardly

a n y t h i n g else but

the

city

o f this

L a k e d a i m o n refers to the city and also to the region o f w h i c h it is the capital, thus c o v e r i n g the sense given to the geographical t e r m L a c o n i a . W h i l s t g i v i n g coherence to the use o f names, w h i c h had been n o r m a l since the t i m e o f H o m e r , the genealogical n a r r a t i v e at the same t i m e removes their a b o r i g i n a l name from the natives to endow t h e m w i t h

a definite i d e n t i t y o f a political order:

the

inhabitants o f the Eurotas plain are no longer b a b b l i n g Leleges, but L a k e d a i m o n i a n s , that is free men given the freedom o f the city in the state o f L a k e d a i m o n . I n a n t i q u i t y , the name L a k e d a i m o n i a n s always a n d officially refers to a political e n t i t y and not to an ethnic one.

2 3

T h r o u g h the f o u n d i n g acts o f L a k e d a i m o n ' s predecessors

runs an isotopia o f an a g r i c u l t u r a l order; those o f L a k e d a i m o n define a civic perspective.

It is evident also that

Lakedaimon's

relationship w i t h Zeus links his image w i t h the civic state. Sparta's new k i n g is therefore the son o f the k i n g o f the gods, the keeper o f 24

the w o r l d - o r d e r . T h i s d i v i n e descent puts h i m o n an equal footing w i t h Zeus' other sons w h o are generally c u l t u r e heroes a n d / o r city founders: M i n o s , founder and k i n g o f Knossos: A r k a s , e p o n y m o u s hero o f the A r c a d i a n s ; Zethos and A m p h i o n , builders o f Thebes; :

Epaphos, m a k e r o f m a n y c ties; and several other names c o u l d 162


Spartan Genealogies be c i t e d . M o r e often than not these various heroes have for their m o t h e r a n y m p h seduced by a Zeus generally metamorphosed, L a k e d a i m o n is therefore no exception. T h e privileged relationship that Sparta's founder enjoys w i t h the k i n g o f the gods is moreover c o n f i r m e d by the existence i n Sparta o f the royal cult performed in h o n o u r o f Zeus L a k e d a i m o n ( H e r o d o t o s 6.56.1); the epiclesis tends to identify the son w i t h the father. L a k e d a i m o n is i n any case k i n g by d i v i n e r i g h t . L a k e d a i m o n is also master o f spatial d e l i m i t a t i o n s by means o f names. Just as he honours his wife, w h o has transferred to h i m the political power o f the Leleges, by n a m i n g the newly founded capital after

her,

so he honours

his m o t h e r ,

Atlas'

nymph-

daughter that Zeus seduced, and gives her name to the highest m o u n t a i n range i n the l a n d .

2 5

T o the definition o f Spartan t e r r i -

tory and its political centre, Sparta, is added the identification o f a b o u n d a r y , i n fact the l i m i t par excellence. T h e Taygetos

range

clearly divides Sparta from Messenia, its higher peaks reaching over 2,400 m . T h e fact that it coincides w i t h a n y m p h ' s image does not p e r m i t M t Taygetos simply to act as a topographical l i m i t : it embodies also m a r g i n a l values that the image o f the mother does not represent

so strongly i n Greece as that o f the

n y m p h . T h e famous throne o f A m y k l a i shows the y o u n g Taygete abducted by Zeus. Consequently the n y m p h , a m a i d e n , is forced to submit to male violence, outside wedlock. T h e legend adds that the parthenos harassed by the god's attentions is granted the help o f the v i r g i n A r t e m i s and changed into a doe. T h i s metamorphosis places the n y m p h twice over u n d e r the j u r i s d i c t i o n o f the goddess of the extra-civilised field: maiden a n d doe, she ends u p by becoming its i n c a r n a t i o n i n a m o u n t a i n o u s and w i l d c o u n t r y .

Pindar

already had cited the doe w i t h the golden antlers consecrated by Taygete

to O r t h o s i a , Sparta's A r t e m i s .

2 6

Lakedaimon's

wife,

through her name a n d the legitimacy o f the royal power she hands d o w n , had inscribed the space defined by the new k i n g o f Sparta i n the political field; his m o t h e r , o n the other h a n d , all r o u n d this civilised t e r r i t o r y , stands for the l i m i n a l field o f the w i l d . O n e must take note that other versions o f the legend o f Eurotas ascribe other daughters than Sparte to the r i v e r - k i n g . T h e most significant

version goes back,

i f not to P i n d a r ,

certainly to

Sosibios, a L a c o n i a n historian o f the Hellenistic p e r i o d ; here Eurotas is not Sparte's father, but Pitane's: this gives its o r i g i n to 163


Spartan Genealogies one o f the obai, the districts o f classical Sparta. T h i s is another way o f i n s c r i b i n g into E u r o t a s ' issue Laconia's political centre while it adds perhaps to the Spartan genealogical n a r r a t i v e a look i n the d i r e c t i o n o f A r c a d i a a n d Elis. E v a d n e , the daughter b o r n to Pitane t h r o u g h her u n i o n w i t h Poseidon, w i l l become the m o t h e r o f Iamos w h o , after h a v i n g been fed o n honey b y the snakes o f the Alpheios w i l l found the oracle o f the I a m i d s at O l y m p i a . A parallel version gives to Eurotas a daughter n a m e d M e k i o n i k e ; from her u n i o n , also w i t h Poseidon, she w i l l start the line o f descendants who w i l l become the founders a n d colonisers o f T h e r a a n d K y r e n e , L a c o n i a n sites i n o r i g i n . of

the

Spartan

2 7

So it is here that the space o f the process

colonisation is staked

out

and

inscribed i n

genealogy. A separate study c o u l d be devoted to this new d i r e c t i o n followed b y the genealogical n a r r a t i v e . 2.5 Amyklai: Enlargement of the Political Territory and of its Centre As a result o f the b r i e f m a t r i l i n e a r i n t e r r u p t i o n i n an otherwise entirely

patrilinear

genealogy

presented

by

the

union

of

L a k e d a i m o n a n d Sparte, sole heiress o f E u r o t a s ' power, L a c o n i a ' s political centre a n d the d i v i n e o r i g i n o f the r o y a l power has been defined; and i n a d d i t i o n boundaries have been set vis-a-vis

the

w i l d , the d o m a i n o f A r t e m i s . A m y k l a s ' accession to the t h r o n e , as a son o f L a k e d a i m o n and Sparte, signifies the r e t u r n to an agnatic lineage. T h i s r e t u r n coincides w i t h a c o m p l e m e n t a r y d e f i n i t i o n o f the political centre. For A m y k l a s is founder o f a t o w n that w i l l take his

name. A s w i t h T h e r a p n e , we learn f r o m archaeology that

A m y k l a i was an i m p o r t a n t site d u r i n g the M y c e n a e a n p e r i o d , and at the b e g i n n i n g o f the archaic p e r i o d became the most i m p o r t a n t of the c i t y ' s cult places. I n the course o f the eighth century B C it was added to the four obai c o n s t i t u t i n g the city o f Sparta, being integrated i n this way w i t h the political c e n t r e .

28

So i f it is w i t h

T h e r a p n e , Lelex's daughter, that the place o f w o r s h i p dedicated to ' H o m e r i c ' heroes enters i n t o the space defined by the genealogical n a r r a t i v e , it is w i t h A m y k l a s , the son o f L a k e d a i m o n and Sparte, that the inclusion o f the M y c e n a e a n site is b r o u g h t about both on the political level a n d that o f heroic cult. T h e political aspect o f this narrative is shown i n the f o u n d a t i o n o f a t o w n ; the cultic aspect is embodied in the figure o f one o f A m y k l a s ' sons, H y a k i n t h o s , the athlete ephebe killed i n a d v e r t e n t l y by his lover A p o l l o . Both were h o n o u r e d when one o f the greatest festivals o f ancient Sparta took 164


Spartan Genealogies place: i n c l u d e d i n the celebration o f the final phase o f the i n i t i a t i o n that Spartan youths, boys and girls, u n d e r w e n t , the H y a k i n t h i a was a festival that gathered together at A m y k l a i every social group f o r m i n g the political c o m m u n i t y .

2 9

Before we come to the next generation', we should not pass over E u r y d i k e , daughter o f L a k e d a i m o n and Sparte. H e r exogamic marriage to A k r i s i o s , k i n g o f A r g o s , extends Spartan space in the direction o f the A r g o l i d . M o r e precisely, this u n i o n makes Spartan genealogy coincide w i t h its A r g i v e equivalent. For Akrisios like Proitos is a grandson to L y n k e u s , h i m s e l f a nephew o f Danaos, the famous c u l t u r e hero o f the D a n a o i o f the A r g o l i d w h o succeeded to the k i n g d o m o f the descendants o f A r g o s , founder o f the city o f that n a m e . T h e u n i o n o f the A r g i v e Akrisios w i t h the Spartan E u r y d i k e b r o u g h t about the b i r t h o f Danae, m o t h e r o f Perseus, the famous slayer o f the G o r g o .

3 0

T h e evidence given o n the extent o f Spartan t e r r i t o r i a l and political claims by the genealogy's marriage alliance w i t h one o f the first kings o f A r g o s receives s t r i k i n g c o n f i r m a t i o n i n Sparta on both the spatial and cultic levels. F o r i n the centre o f the city there was a temple dedicated to the protectress d i v i n i t y o f A r g o s , H e r a Argeia â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a temple erected by no other than E u r y d i k e , daughter o f Lakedaimon.

31

B u t the marriage relationship that represents and

lays d o w n the Spartan claims o n A r g i v e space has a very different character from the Messenian case. F r o m the Spartan perspective, the marriage o f Polykaon and Messene was uxorilocal but patrilinear; that o f E u r y d i k e and A k r i s i o s is virilocal but m a t r i l i n e a r . W e shall see that this i n v e r s i o n reflects a precise political and historical situation i n the relationship o f Sparta w i t h its neighbours and i n the t e r r i t o r i a l organisation o f the whole Peloponnese. 2.6

The Sons of Amyklas: Confirmation of the Centre and Opening towards

the Exterior T h e legendary founder o f A m y k l a i obviously does not r e m a i n celibate: he marries D i o m e d e , w h o t h r o u g h her father Lapithes, founder o f the genos o f the L a p i t h s , links the house o f the Spartan kings w i t h the Thessalian g e n e a l o g y .

32

She provides A m y k l a s w i t h

a good n u m b e r o f male descendants, but the q u a n t i t y seems to have as

a corollary a relative feebleness o f

Hyakinthos

is certainly

the

most

original

characterisation.

of Amyklas

1

and

Diomede's three sons; it is w i t h h i m that A m y k l a i ' s inclusion on 165


Spartan Genealogies the cultic level is achieved. B u t H y a k i n t h o s is not A m y k l a s ' eldest son: at his death he is succeeded by Argalos, also k n o w n as Harpalos,

w h o even

i f he dies y o u n g has

a son from

whom

A g e n o r , then Patreus, eponymous hero and founder o f Patras in A c h a i a , w i l l be descended. F r o m n o w on the kings o f Spartan o r i g i n that the genealogy establishes i n the l a n d o f the Achaians extend over practically the whole o f the Peloponnese the clanic representation

o f the Spartans' spatial

pretensions.

33

Sparta's

official genealogy, however, seems r a p i d l y to forget about Argalos, s u b s t i t u t i n g on the Lacedaemonian throne A m y k l a s ' second son, K y n o r t a s . A l l one knows o f this equally ephemeral

k i n g is the

t o m b the Spartans built for h i m , w h i c h in Pausanias' t i m e still stood i n the centre o f the city next to the funeral m o n u m e n t o f Castor the T y n d a r i d . Nevertheless it is to be noticed that both A r g a l o s ' and K y n o r t a s ' names can be connected w i t h the various names given to the obai, the 'villages' that formed the city o f Sparta.

34

As their father d i d before t h e m , A m y k l a s ' sons seem to

have become eponymous heroes o f the spatial and political constituents o f the centre. 2.7

Oibalos: Reassertion of the Argos-Sparta-Messenia

Triangle

W i t h K y n o r t a s ' descendants, the genealogy, after representing the development and semantic d e f i n i t i o n o f a t e r r i t o r y by means o f the hitherto concluded unions, is i n a way g o i n g to ' d y n a m i s e ' first

construction. This 'dynamisation'

this

inside the space so far

defined begins w i t h the m a r r i a g e o f K y n o r t a s ' son Oibalos w i t h Perseus' daughter G o r g o p h o n e , i.e. the m a r r i a g e o f the k i n g o f Sparta w i t h his cross-related grand-daughter! T h e s t r i k i n g fact in this marriage is not so m u c h the u n i o n w i t h a collateral relation than, w i t h i n the context o f the rapprochement o f Sparta w i t h A r g o s , the u n i o n w i t h a w o m a n who has been m a r r i e d before and had children from

her

first

marriage.

For, according to Pausanias

( 2 . 2 1 . 7 ) , Gorgophone's

marriage

was to Perieres, the son o f

Aiolos. A n d she w o u l d become the

first

w o m a n to have been

m a r r i e d twice. T h e spatial consequences o f this double u n i o n are t r u l y significant. A c c o r d i n g to legend, the line o f the first Messenian

king,

P o l y k a o n , was extinct after the fifth generation. A n d it is actually the Thessalian

Perieres w h o w i l l be asked to take the throne o f

Messenia. After its first foundation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as w i l l be recalled â&#x20AC;&#x201D; by the 166


F i g u r e 8.2: T h e P é l o p o n n è s e and C e n t r a l Greece


Spartan Genealogies A r g i v e Messene w i t h the help o f her Spartan a n d L e l e g i a n husb a n d P o l y k a o n , Messenia undergoes a second act o f f o u n d a t i o n t h r o u g h the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f the Thessalian Perieres w h o takes as his first wife G o r g o p h o n e , also an A r g i v e . I t is beyond question that this t a k i n g o f power constitutes a new act o f f o u n d a t i o n , for it is evidenced as m u c h by the character o f Perieres' father Aiolos as by that o f his sons. For Aiolos is not merely the A e o l i a n s ' ancestor as founder o f a people â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a function guaranteed by his forbears D e u k a l i o n and H e l l e n (the hero that left his name to the Hellenes or Greeks) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; b u t he is also the father o f seven sons, each o f w h o m becomes the founder o f a city or state: O r c h o m e n o s ,

Corinth,

Iolkos,

Perieres,

Phocis,

Elis,

Magnesia

and

finally,

with

Messenia. T h e t r a d i t i o n p o r t r a y i n g A i o l o s ' a n d his sons' acts o f f o u n d a t i o n is i n any case ancient: traces are found i n B o i o t i a i n the texts o f H e s i o d as i n Sparta itself i n a fragment o f A l c m a n .

3 5

The

installation o f the Thessalian Perieres o n the throne o f Messenia a n d his u n i o n w i t h Perseus* A r g i v e daughter result i n the decisive r e m o v a l ( b y an act o f f o u n d a t i o n ) o f the l a n d o f Messenia from Spartan

power.

It

will

be

seen

that

Gorgophone's

second

m a r r i a g e , to the Spartan O i b a l o s , w i l l prepare indirectly at by

way o f cross-cousins,

first,

a new rapprochement between the two

countries a n d at the same t i m e the p o l e m i c a l relationship destined to set t h e m at odds. It should, however, be stated that another version o f the legend that goes back to Stesichoros ( f r . 227; A p o l l o d o r o s 3 . 1 0 . 3 ) , turns Perieres into a Spartan, s u b s t i t u t i n g h i m for O i b a l o s as son o f Kynortas. Messenia

This back

attempt under

to

manipulate

the

legend

to

bring

the genealogical j u r i s d i c t i o n o f Sparta,

repeating P o l y k a o n ' s act o f f o u n d a t i o n , is nevertheless d o o m e d to r e m a i n ineffective. For, as we shall see later, a t t r i b u t i n g O i b a l o s ' sons o n the one h a n d and Perieres' o n the other to the same father w i l l do n o t h i n g to h i n d e r their m u t u a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n . So for the t i m e b e i n g , let us leave the A r g o s - S p a r t a - M e s s e n i a

triangle

b e i n g b r o k e n u p t h r o u g h the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f A e o l i a n e x t e r i o r i t y . R e t u r n i n g n o w to the first version o f the legend, there are a few signs that allow us to see i n the figure o f O i b a l o s a foundei like his Messenian counterpart Perieres. T h e Spartans had b u i l t a h e r o o n , to A m y k l a s ' grandson, l i n k e d by its topographical position w i t h the sanctuary o f Poseidon Genethlios, the g u a r d i a n o f the gene, the clans c o n s t i t u t i n g the first Spartan citizens. F u r t h e r , since H e s i o d , 168


Spartan Genealogies Tyndareus,

the

most

famous

o f all O i b a l o s '

sons,

has

the

p a t r o n y m Oibalides\ this name w i l l be taken u p again, i n the p l u r a l , by an i n s c r i p t i o n o n T h e r a to designate the ancient aristocratic families o f Sparta who claimed t h r o u g h this onomastic expedient descent from O i b a l o s .

3 6

So here we have, opposing each other,

Perieres, second ( A e o l i a n ) founder o f Messenia, and O i b a l o s , w h o begins a new dynasty after the political and religious recentring o f Sparta, n o t a b l y e m b o d i e d i n the figure o f A m y k l a s . 2.8 2.8.1.

The Children oj Gorgophone: Deviances and Polemics The Messenian Branch. Perieres has t w o sons. T h e eldest,

Aphareus, p r o m p t l y gives Messenia a new capital. T h e former capital, A n d a n i a , where Perieres still lives, w i l l continue to be the place o f one o f the most i m p o r t a n t Greek mystery cults after Eleusis. O n the other h a n d , he m a r r i e s none other t h a n A r e n e , daughter o f O i b a l o s . H e gives the t o w n he has j u s t founded the name o f his y o u n g wife, j u s t as P o l y k a o n n a m e d Messenia after his wife M e s s e n e .

37

T h u s Messenia's bonds w i t h Sparta are n e w l y tied

t h r o u g h a w o m a n a n d no longer t h r o u g h a m a n , as was the case i n the

second

generation

with

Polykaon.

Moreover,

where

Gorgophone was the first w o m a n to m a r r y twice, A r e n e a n d Aphareus have the same m o t h e r : so their u n i o n represents a second v i o l a t i o n o f the n o r m o f u n i q u e , exogamic m a r r i a g e . Furthermore, Aphareus

receives

at A r e n e i n Messenia

his

second-cousin Neleus, like h i m a grandson o f A i o l o s . H e then proceeds to d i v i d e his k i n g d o m a n d gives his parallel second-cousin, expelled f r o m

Iolkos by his t w i n b r o t h e r Pelias, the western,

m a r i t i m e part o f Messenia, o f w h i c h Pylos becomes the capital. A n o t h e r version o f the legend makes Pylos a f o u n d a t i o n independent f r o m

Messenia,

due to the Leleges that came from

the

M e g a r i d ; it is then later conquered b y Neleus a n d not made over by the Messenian k i n g . B u t the p o i n t is nevertheless that one must see w r i t t e n i n the genealogy a most i m p o r t a n t p a r t i t i o n o f the Messenian t e r r i t o r y and the d e f i n i t i o n o f a coastal region w h i c h , once abandoned, w i l l never be economically as i m p o r t a n t for the Spartans as the central p l a i n .

3 8

O n e can add to this t e r r i t o r i a l d i v i s i o n , asserting a second t i m e the A e o l i a n , not Spartan, connections o f Messenia, the welcome that A p h a r e u s gives to the figure representing Neleus* A t h e n i a n counterpart, L y k o s , the son o f P a n d i o n , expelled f r o m Athens by 169


Spartan Genealogies his b r o t h e r A i g e u s . Lykos w i l l be concerned w i t h r e a c t i v a t i n g the mysteries o f A n d a n i a on the pattern o f those o f E l e u s i s .

39

The

t e r r i t o r y o f Messenia, after a Spartan attempt at c o n t r o l , again looks n o r t h w a r d s , i n the d i r e c t i o n o f Thessaly and A t t i c a . 2.8.2

The Spartan Branch. O n the Spartan side, one can witness the

same c o n t r a d i c t o r y concomitance o f the w o r k o f r e f o u n d i n g the city w i t h a b n o r m a l a n d polemical relationships between the representatives o f political power. G o r g o p h o n e gives Oibalos three sons w h o w i l l be in conflict the m o m e n t the p r o b l e m o f their father's succession arises. T y n d a r e u s , the rightful heir qua eldest, takes power, but H i p p o k o o n , on the pretext that he h i m s e l f is the eldest, forms an alliance w i t h I k a r i o s , the youngest son, to contest the l e g i t i m a c y o f T y n d a r e u s ' power. T h e latter sees h i m s e l f forced to surrender the throne to his brothers. H e takes refuge at Pellana not far from the source o f the Eurotas, or, a c c o r d i n g to a different version, i n Messenia

with

his half-brother Perieres,

or again w i t h

King

Thestios at P l e u r o n i n A i t o l i a . T h e scholiast o n E u r i p i d e s ' Orestes sums u p best the spatial aspect o f these various versions a n d shows that T y n d a r e u s ' refuge corresponds to the eschata, the most remote parts o f Sparta. T h i s is c o n f i r m e d by P l u t a r c h w h e n he states that the frontier o f the l a n d o f Sparta was not far from Pellana. O n e notes i n c i d e n t a l l y that the various versions o f this famous legend o f T y n d a r e u s ' exile have seen to it that the illegitimacy o f his brother H i p p o k o o n ' s action is based on his h a v i n g a different m o t h e r than G o r g o p h o n e a n d being consequently a b a s t a r d , 2.9

The Tyndarids:

40

Centripetal Polemics

T h e recovery o f power s t a r t i n g f r o m the boundaries o f Spartan t e r r i t o r y involves the c o n f r o n t a t i o n o f T y n d a r e u s ' sons w i t h those o f H i p p o k o o n . T h i s n a r r a t i v e sequence i n the genealogy compels us to anticipate i n order to e x a m i n e the generation f o l l o w i n g that of T y n d a r e u s , an a n t i c i p a t i o n all the m o r e necessary since t r a d i tion not o n l y gives H i p p o k o o n twelve, even t w e n t y sons, b u t adds to T y n d a r e u s ' sons the prestigious D i o s k o u r o i , receivers o f cultic h o n o u r par excellence as the d i v i n e i n c a r n a t i o n o f the neos, the y o u n g athlete w h o after his i n i t i a t i o n gains the status o f s o l d i e r - c i t i z e n . Our

41

analysis w i l l be centred o n the genealogical aspect o f the m a n y

qualities a t t r i b u t e d to the T y n d a r i d s a n d o n the spatial representat i o n that derives f r o m i t . Castor and P o l l u x are, t h e n , the sons o f 170


Spartan Genealogies T y n d a r e u s and L e d a , the daughter o f Thestios the A i t o l i a n w i t h w h o m the Spartan k i n g sought refuge after the coup o f his brother H i p p o k o o n . But the D i o s k o u r o i are Dios kouroi, 'sons o f Zeus', from the earliest t r a d i t i o n that shows these t w i n heroes i n both their h u m a n and their d i v i n e a n c e s t r y .

42

T h i s double filiation is

again, as w i t h L a k e d a i m o n , g o i n g to place the responsibility for the recapture o f power on Zeus. T h e D i o s k o u r o i w i l l i n fact be the agents by the support they give to their h u m a n father T y n d a r e u s . But this reassertion o f the legitimate power i n Sparta also takes on a spatial aspect since the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f the D i o s k o u r o i begins from the boundaries o f the Spartan t e r r i t o r y where their father is exiled. W h e n their p a t e r n i t y is a t t r i b u t e d to Zeus, the D i o s k o u r o i are

born

on

Mt

Taygetos.

But

when

legend

makes

them

T y n d a r e u s ' sons, they are b o r n on Pephnos, a small island on the frontier between Messenia and L a k o n i a . F r o m Pephnos, H e r m e s takes them to that other frontier t e r r i t o r y , Pellana. F i n a l l y , the genealogical text o n w h i c h the present analysis is based locates the birth o f the D i o s k o u r o i at T h a l a m a i , a L a c o n i a n village not far from P e p h n o s .

43

T h e various versions o f the legend o f T y n d a r e u s ' exile and the birth o f the D i o s k o u r o i i m p a r t a centrifugal m o v e m e n t we have not

seen so far to the Spartan genealogical structure. But this

movement from the centre towards the margins o f the t e r r i t o r y is meant â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as we have said â&#x20AC;&#x201D; better to prepare a new establishment of the centre. A sudden change i n the sernio-narrative structures u n d e r l y i n g the genealogy narrative w i l l correspond precisely to this first separation. Spartan genealogy has been presented so far as a c u m u l a t i o n o f state-enunciates; i n the f o r m o f m a t r i m o n i a l alliances, these enunciates have progressively defined the l i m i t s o f Spartan t e r r i t o r y as well as openings towards the exterior, m a r k i n g out

space i n a way b e f i t t i n g good neighbours.

B o r n from

the

interior, i n the very centre o f this space, the r i v a l r y w h i c h suddenly opposes some o f O i b a l o s ' sons to others introduces a polemical relationship expresssed n a r r a t i v e l y by the appearance o f an antisubject and also by an action ( ' H i p p o k o o n banishes T y n d a r e u s ' ) . Spatially, the

irruption

o f c o n f r o n t a t i o n into the narrative is

conveyed by the centrifugal m o v e m e n t described above. 2.9.1

The Battle against the Hippokoontids.

The

'lack-situation'

brought about by T y n d a r e u s ' unjust exile w i l l be reversed by the 171


Spartan Genealogies i n t e r v e n t i o n o f his sons against those o f H i p p o k o o n : the narrative equilibrium,

broken

by

the

polemic

relationship,

must

be

regained. W e cannot here go into all the details o f an account that w o u l d take us far beyond Laconia's frontiers, but it must be ment i o n e d that the legend sets all the weight o f the restoration o f the e q u i l i b r i u m o n H e r a k l e s ' shoulders. For it is to the famous culture hero, the son o f Zeus and the M y c e n a e a n A l k m e n e , that genealogy, transformed into n a r r a t i v e , ascribes T y n d a r e u s ' restoration to the throne o f Sparta. T h i s restoration o f order and l e g i t i m a c y i n Sparta figures i n a series o f H e r a k l e s ' interventions i n various cities o f the Peloponnese. T h e hero's fight beside the T y n d a r i d s a n d their father to regain power usurped by H i p p o k o o n a n d defended by his o w n sons is n a r r a t i v e l y m o t i v a t e d by the help the latter are b r i n g i n g to Neleus. Neleus a n d his sons dared to stand against H e r a k l e s ' i n t e r v e n t i o n at Pylos, and i n his battle against the Neleids the hero spares o n l y Nestor, the future k i n g o f the city. Let us leave aside the probable r e d u p l i c a t i o n , after his i n t e r v e n t i o n at Pylos, o f H e r a k l e s ' fight at Sparta against the H i p p o k o o n tids and the other m o t i v a t i o n s that the legend m e n t i o n s , i n order to stress the fact that already i n the seventh c e n t u r y B C A l c m a n had p u t the m y t h o f H e r a k l e s ' battle w i t h the H i p p o k o o n t i d s i n the m o u t h o f one o f the choroi o f y o u n g girls for w h o m he composed the Partheneia, and had doubtless made the H i p p o k o o n t i d s rivals i n love o f the D i o s k o u r o i . T h e p r o b l e m o f the succession to the throne of Sparta combines again w i t h the question o f marriage alliance. As i n the previous stages o f the genealogy, the t a k i n g over o f a political space is a m a t t e r o f the i m p l a n t a t i o n and i n t e g r a t i o n o f womanhood. 2.9.2

4 4

The Fight against the Apharetids. T h e polemical relationship is

not solely set u p i n the i n t e r i o r ; it becomes also the new mode for asserting power outside o f the t e r r i t o r y that the genealogy demarcates. T h e fight o f Herakles and the T y n d a r i d s against the H i p p o koontids has taken us f r o m the father's generation to that o f the sons, even

i f the outcome

restores the power o f the

father,

T y n d a r e u s . After H i p p o k o o n ' s sons, it is the sons o f A p h a r e u s , k i n g o f Messenia, w h o m , according to legend, the D i o s k o u r o i must meet next, t h o u g h the episode a d m i t t e d l y is not integrated i n the genealogical text. Besides A p h a r e u s , Perieres has a second son called

Leukippos. Aphareus,

t h r o u g h his u n i o n w i t h 172

Arene,


Spartan Genealogies daughter o f O i b a l o s , has t w o sons, Idas a n d L y n k e u s . L e u k i p p o s has t w o daughters,

H i l a e i r a a n d Phoibe, better k n o w n as the

L e u k i p p i d a i . L e u k i p p o s ' daughters, while still v i r g i n s , w i l l soon find themselves at the centre o f the r i v a l r y i n love w h i c h opposes Castor a n d P o l l u x , sons o f the Spartan T y n d a r e u s ( t h e i r crossrelated cousins) a n d Idas a n d L y n k e u s , sons o f the Messenian Aphareus ( t h e i r parallel cousins). T h e legend, w h i c h goes back to the Kypria a n d is alluded to by P i n d a r , has several versions. I n spite o f t h e i r inevitable variations, each is centred o n an i n f r i n g e m e n t o f social rules: an attempt at endogamic u n i o n (the A p h a r e t i d s are about to m a r r y their parallel cousins, the L e u k i p p i d a i ) ; subversion o f the rules o f hospitality ( A p h a r e u s ' sons, guests o f the T y n d a r i d s , make a m o c k e r y o f their hosts); a b d u c t i o n , d i s r e g a r d i n g the rules o f offering a gift i n compensation ( a c c o r d i n g to the A p h a r e t i d s , the T y n d a r i d s abduct the L e u k i p p i d a i w i t h o u t g i v i n g a d o w r y to the maidens'

father);

p l u n d e r i n g on the economic level (the D i o s k o u r o i seize the p l o u g h oxen o f the A p h a r e t i d s ) ; c o n t r a v e n t i o n o f the rules o f combat for hoplites ( A p h a r e u s ' sons attack P o l l u x by t h r o w i n g a stone from their

own

father's

tomb

at

h i m ) ; forsaking the

dying

(the

Apharetids die alone, says P i n d a r ) . B u t for the a r t i c u l a t i o n o f the plot, one always finds at the centre o f the legend the m a t r i m o n i a l union

o f the

Tyndareus.

Leukippidai

with

the

Dioskouroi,

the

sons o f

45

It is once m o r e t h r o u g h the device o f m a r r i a g e alliance that the political c o n t r o l o f Sparta over Messenia is represented. W i t h the marriage o f L e u k i p p o s ' daughters w i t h T y n d a r e u s ' sons a n d the physical disappearance o f their Messenian suitors, legend denies to Perieres' f a m i l y any male issue a n d consequently any c l a i m to the throne o f Messenia. O n c e again, as o n the occasion o f Perieres* accession, the t h r o n e o f Messenia is left w i t h o u t a legitimate heir. But here the gap i n the legitimate line o f descent o f Messenia occurs t h r o u g h acts o f w a r , o r rather by means o f a series o f violent and deviant actions b e a r i n g the character, i n the G r e e k representation o f age-classes, o f the activity o f the neo-initiate about to become a citizen-soldier. R e v e r s i n g the rules o f adult behaviour, as the Greeks do i n their i m a g e r y o f adolescence, these actions go as far as to assimilate A p h a r e u s ' sons to savage monsters sharing the p r i m e v a l a n d violent nature o f the T i t a n s . T h e narrative consequence is that Sparta no longer controls Messenia t h r o u g h 173


Spartan Genealogies the means o f m a t r i m o n i a l u n i o n s : Messenia submits completely t h r o u g h an agonal battle that takes o n the deviant aspects o f p r i m o r d i a l i t y . Some support for this can be f o u n d i n the fact that w h e n presently the H e r a k l e i d a i intervene i n the

Peloponnese,

Nestor at Pylos is the sole representative o f Messenia. 2.9.3

Helen and her Inheritance. T h e

re-institutionalisation o f

Spartan power is begun by T y n d a r e u s i n the ' d y n a m i s a t i o n ' o f relationships between the protagonists o f the genealogy and continues w i t h a n a r r a t i v e i n a p o l e m i c a l key. T h a t this is a matter o f a stage i n the reassertion o f r o y a l power is p r o v e d by the double i n t e r v e n t i o n o f Zeus, w h o was already present i n the first definit i o n o f L a c o n i a ' s political centre by L a k e d a i m o n . Zeus, d i v i n e father o f the D i o s k o u r o i , steps i n at P o l l u x ' s side to strike Idas w i t h a t h u n d e r b o l t as once he struck his rivals the T i t a n s w i t h l i g h t n i n g i n the T i t a n o m a c h i a .

4 6

Zeus again is d i v i n e father to H e l e n ,

heiress to the throne o f Sparta after her b r o t h e r ' s

disappearance.

C a s t o r the m o r t a l , is killed i n the fight against the A p h a r e t i d s ; P o l l u x , Zeus' protege, is made i m m o r t a l by his d i v i n e father. O l d T y n d a r e u s then s u m m o n s M e n e l a o s , H e l e n ' s h u s b a n d , to succeed h i m o n the Spartan t h r o n e .

47

I n spite o f the legend's variations

c o n c e r n i n g a succession t r o u b l e d p a r t i c u l a r l y by the T r o j a n war, it is i n fact Menelaos a n d H e l e n who are r u l i n g over L a c o n i a when Telemachos,

i n his search for his father, stays at the court o f

Sparta. So there has been a real m a t r i m o n i a l exchange between the rulers o f the A r g o l i d a n d those o f Sparta: K l y t e m n e s t r a , T y n d a r e u s ' elder daughter, is m a r r i e d to A g a m e m n o n w h o rules over A r g o s a n d M y c e n a e ; a n d Menelaos, his younger brother, marries K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s sister, thus i n h e r i t i n g Sparta's monarchic power a n d b e c o m i n g T y n d a r e u s '

successor. T h e m a r r i a g e o f

Menelaos w i t h H e l e n is therefore uxorilocal a n d , as w i t h Sparte, it is by m a t r i l i n e a r i t y that power is t r a n s m i t t e d by T y n d a r e u s ' successor; but Sparta's new k i n g is no longer a L a c o n i a n like L a k e d a i m o n , Taygete's s o n .

48

For the first t i m e i n the genealogy,

autochthonous lineage seems to lose its g r i p o n power. 2.10

Hermione and Orestes: the Death Knell of Endogamy

T h e conjugal exchange between Sparta and A r g o s takes a second form

i n the

daughter

of

following Menelaos,

generation is

w h e n H e r m i o n e , the

married 174

to

Orestes,

the

only

son

of


Spartan Genealogies Agamemnon and Klytemnestra,

4 9

I n this way Orestes becomes

heir to the A r g i v e power as well as the Spartan; but this concentrat i o n , c o i n c i d i n g w i t h an alliance between d o u b l y parallel cousins, is by d e f i n i t i o n d o o m e d to failure. F r o m the Spartan standpoint, this d o u b l y endogamic alliance puts an end to any p a t r i l i n e a r and virilocal legitimacy centred o n Sparta. L e g e n d i n any case has Orestes die not i n Sparta, but i n A r c a d i a ! 2.11

The Herakleidai: Definitive Establishment of Power at Sparta

U n l i k e the second i n s t i t u t i o n a l o p e r a t i o n o f the genealogy that resulted i n asserting t h r o u g h Sparte a n d L a k e d a i m o n ' s marriage the political aspect o f a spatial centre, the t h i r d o f these operations, a n a r r a t i v e development o f polemics a n d o f the semantic figure o f warfare, is f u n d a m e n t a l l y negative as regards Sparta. Even H e l e n , heiress to the t h r o n e after her brothers' disappearance,

flees to

T r o y . M o r e o v e r , the transmission o f power b y means o f m a t r i linear a n d u x o r i l o c a l succession does not create any r e c e n t r i n g o f power as was the case w i t h Sparta. I t is not s u r p r i s i n g therefore that Teisant^nos, the o n l y son o f the cousins H e r m i o n e a n d Orestes, fails to restore the s i t u a t i o n . H i s deviant heredity has no other result t h a n to prepare the r e t u r n o f the H e r a k l e i d a i and their installation o n the Spartan throne and o n that o f other regions o f the Peloponnese that he later h e l d .

5 0

T h e result o f this w a r l i k e

i n t e r v e n t i o n is a new p a r t i t i o n o f the Peloponnese, a repeat o f the Spartan

genealogy's

original division,

and the installation o f

definitive dynasties: to T e m e n o s , the A r g o l i d ; to Kresphontes, Messenia; a n d L a c o n i a goes to the t w o sons o f the t h i r d brother, Aristodemos. Eurysthenes and Prokles thus become the initiators of the Spartan double k i n g s h i p o f Agiads and E u r y p o n t i d s .

51

Legend seems i m m e d i a t e l y to w r i t e Sparta's supremacy into the narrative o f the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f the H e r a k l e i d a i : it is o n l y b y guile that Kresphontes manages to get Messenia; the legitimacy o f his power

is thus

i m m e d i a t e l y questioned.

On

the other

hand,

Herodotos h i m s e l f tells us that a c c o r d i n g to the Spartans the twins who began t h e i r double r o y a l dynasty were b o r n to A r i s t o d e m o s by a w o m a n n a m e d A r g i a . T h r o u g h this conjugal device, the H e r a k l i d dynasty, as H e r o d o t o s adds,

not only goes back to

Herakles, but can also c l a i m descent o n the A r g i v e side from Perseus and his grandfather A k r i s i o s ,

52

So the establishment o f

H e r a k l i d p o w e r i n the Peloponnese marks a new b e g i n n i n g whilst 175


Spartan Genealogies t a k i n g u p and reasserting the spatial schema that was b u i l t i n the first stages o f the genealogy.

3 . B i r t h of a Genealogy: the H i s t o r i c a l C o n t e x t I f the genealogical n a r r a t i v e is looked at as a reasoned

representa-

t i o n o f a space, it poses a n u m b e r o f questions o f an historical type to anyone w h o examines i t . I stated earlier that I prefer to leave to others the t h o r n y p r o b l e m o f an eventual relationship between the actions a n d actors o f the genealogy a n d h y p o t h e t i c a l historical events enacted by real protagonists. W i t h o u t d e n y i n g the possib i l i t y o f relationships o f this type, it must be recognised

that

archaeology at least shows that Sparta d i d not physically exist at the t i m e w h e n , about the fifteenth c e n t u r y B C , a relative chronology w o u l d place the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f Lelex and his descendants. A s for T h e r a p n e a n d A m y k l a i , M y c e n a e a n sites very active i n the t h i r t e e n t h century B C , we saw that i n the course o f the eighth c e n t u r y the i n s t i t u t i o n o f heroic cults gave them a new f u n c t i o n , m a r g i n a l i n relation to the civic role Sparta began to assume, but essential for the f o u n d i n g ideology o f the archaic city a n d the r i t u a l observances that gave it physical e x p r e s s i o n .

53

T h e gap between

the scenario o f the genealogical n a r r a t i v e a n d any k i n d o f historic ' r e a l i t y ' , however, can o n l y discourage an a t t e m p t to see i n the first a reflection o f the second. O n the other h a n d , one is j u s t i f i e d i n asking i f the legend as representation, i n p a r t i c u l a r as ideological representation, is not a 'narrativisation'

o f a precise

state o f the

t e r r i t o r y ' s political

divisions i n a given historical s i t u a t i o n . T h i s situation w o u l d then coincide w i t h the m o m e n t w h e n the genealogy was f o r m e d and its elements w o u l d refer to the s i t u a t i o n o f the e n u n c i a t i o n . Y e t to i n q u i r e about the conditions o f the e n u n c i a t i o n and about the d a t i n g o f the n a r r a t i v e comes d o w n first to posing the rather c o m plex p r o b l e m o f the sources o f Pausanias a n d i n p a r t i c u l a r his t h i r d book, devoted to L a c o n i a .

5 4

I f there is no possibility o f deter-

m i n i n g the exact source o f the genealogy o p e n i n g Book 3, there are nevertheless some scattered indications d r a w i n g o u r a t t e n t i o n towards

sixth-century epic

poets,

in particular K i n a i t h o n

of

Sparta, a u t h o r o f epic genealogies quoted b y Pausanias for the descendants o f Orestes, a n d Asios o f Samos, cited i n connection 176


Spartan Genealogies with Leda's ancestry.

55

O n e can add to these indications allusions

to some o f the genealogy's protagonists i n fragments o f Spartan poets o f the end o f the seventh century: T y r t a i o s , w h o praises Zeus' gift o f Sparta to the H e r a k l e i d a i , and o f course A l c m a n , relating the legend o f the combat o f the D i o s k o u r o i w i t h the sons of H i p p o k o o n a n d p r o b a b l y also w i t h the A p h a r e t i d s .

56

But it is

clearly impossible to recover and reconstruct from the mosaic o f isolated fragments the linear development o f the genealogy whose f r a m e w o r k Pausanias gives us. T h e last resort â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to be h a n d l e d w i t h care lest one falls into the trap o f an h e r m e n e u t i c circle â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is the correspondences

between

the definitive spatial image presented by the genealogy and the historical p o i n t w h e n the t e r r i t o r y is s i m i l a r l y d i v i d e d . I n the genealogical n a r r a t i v e , t h e n , asserted at the t i m e o f each re-institutionalisation a n d c o n f i r m e d b y the d i v i s i o n o f the

Peloponnese

amongst the H e r a k l e i d a i , one finds the A r g o s - S p a r t a - M e s s e n i a triangle, w i t h Sparta as apex. T h i s image can o n l y have taken shape after the final submission o f Messenia d u r i n g the seventh c e n t u r y a n d loses all reality after its l i b e r a t i o n i n 370. A t the same t i m e , it is an image that also very likely takes into account two fundamental

political

events:

the

Spartans'

appropriation of

Orestes w h e n the hero's bones are b r o u g h t back from A r c a d i a to Sparta i n the m i d d l e o f the sixth c e n t u r y , a n d the neutralisation o f the A r g o l i d after the successive incursions o f the Spartans i n the T h y r e a t i d (544) a n d at Sepeia

in 495/4.

57

Sparta's policy o f

expansion towards the A r g o l i d , w h i c h takes the ideological f o r m o f the a n n e x a t i o n o f the Achaean genealogy to w r i t e it into the aboriginal genealogy, has left several traces, i n p a r t i c u l a r i n H e r o d o t o s ' works. E v e n well into the fifth c e n t u r y , the h i s t o r i a n echoes the Spartan attempts since the m i d - s i x t h c e n t u r y to achieve hegemony over the Peloponnese, a n d their efforts at j u s t i f i c a t i o n t h r o u g h the alleged Achaean ancestry o f t h e i r r u l e r s .

58

O n e m a y therefore

entertain the idea that the genealogical n a r r a t i v e we have analysed found its canonical f o r m and consequently its enunciative setting d u r i n g the p e r i o d o f the consolidation o f the Spartan hegemony over the m a i n part o f the Peloponnese, d u r i n g the second half o f the sixth c e n t u r y a n d the first q u a r t e r o f the

177

fifth.


Spartan Genealogies 4, T h e Genealogical N a r r a t i v e as a S y m b o l i c Process T h e ideological function o f the Spartan genealogy is to represent, w i t h i n precise historical conditions o f the expansion o f the city, not o n l y a space w i t h its given political limits and social values, but also the m a n n e r

in w h i c h

the spatial situation was

gradually

brought about. T h i s has been stated repeatedly. But w h y use the form o f genealogy? First,

probably,

because,

through

the

narrative

process o f

c u m u l a t i o n instead o f c o n f r o n t a t i o n , it allows a linear ( d i a c h r o n i c ) development to lead into a static (synchronic) representation. So i f Spartan genealogy does assume correctly the ideological function assigned to i t , one may ask for example i f it does not bear the i m p r i n t o f the ideology o f the three I n d o - E u r o p e a n

functions.

Answers to this question have been attempted not unsuccessfully in relation to the Spartan double k i n g s h i p ( r e d u p l i c a t i o n o f the first function) a n d . rather less successfully, r e g a r d i n g the t r i p a r t i 59

tion o f the P Ê l o p o n n è s e between the 1 i e r a k l e i d a i . Since the intervention of Heraklts

1

descendants represents the outcome o f the

genealogy, w h y should its development up to this new starting point not bear equally the i m p r i n t o f the ideology o f these three functions? Such is certainly the case w i t h i n the genealogy for the act constitutive of the space of Messenia: the m a r k o f political and religious power is seen i n the i n s t i t u t i o n , by the first rulers o f Messenia, Messene and P o l y k a o n , o f the cult o f Zeus; the w a r r i o r function enters w i t h the support o f A r g i v e and Spartan

soldiers i n the

occupation o f the t e r r i t o r y o f the future Messenia; the activity o f agricultural

production

is alluded

to i n the conflict

between

Demetr-r and T r i o p a s , Messene's father. But it is probably also the case w i t h the process o f the constitution o f Sparta and

L a c o n i a as developed

by the

genealogical

narrative o v e r a l l . T h e three-functional ideology can be seen in a d i v i s i o n o f the ten royal generations preceding the H e r a k l e i d a i into three groups f o l l o w i n g each other i n the narrative t e m p o r a l i t y o f the genealogy. F r o m Lelex to Eurotas v i a M y l e s , the isotopia which runs t h r o u g h these rulers' f o u n d i n g acts articulates above all the values attached to the earth and to cereal c u l t i v a t i o n : the narrative begins, then, by actualising the function of p r o d u c t i o n . S t a r t i n g w i t h Sparte and her husband L a k e d a i m o n , son of Zeus, c o n t i n u i n g 178


Spartan Genealogies w i t h A m y k l a s , the founder o f A m y k l a i , and then his son H y a k i n thos at the start o f the A m y k l a i a n festival i n h o n o u r o f A p o l l o , it is obvious that the political and religious function is t a k i n g shape. N e x t , Oibalos assumes a position o f i n t e r m e d i a r y between n o r m and deviance, between a n a r r a t i v e that is static and one that is truly

p o l e m i c a l , and also i n t e r m e d i a r y between

affirming

the

i n i t i a l spatial triangle and challenging i t . T h i s failed re-institutionalisation

is

the

act

of

(Tyndareus,

D i o s k o u r o i and

the

three

following

H e l e n , Orestes),

generations

and the

agonal

fights i n w h i c h they are the protagonists clearly actualise

the

m i l i t a r y f u n c t i o n . T h u s , thanks to the genealogical f o r m , diachrony and synchrony come to coincide i n a probable manifestation o f the I n d o - E u r o p e a n ideology o f the three functions. But beyond the I n d o - E u r o p e a n i m p r i n t and the coincidence between static or o n the c o n t r a r y linear and genetic structure, the genealogy allows one above all to give shape to the t r a n s i t i o n from a degree zero to a state o f d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . I t is then able to take provisionally the t u r n o f t r a d i t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e w h i c h always presupposes d u a l i t y i n the o p p o s i t i o n i n action o f subject and a n t i subject or, i f one admits the existence o f the level o f fundamental syntax and semantics, the relationships o f c o n t r a r i e t y and contradiction that the semiotic square o f G r e i m a s ' theory a r t i c u l a t e s .

60

Seen from this perspective the development o f the Spartan genealogy is entirely significant, especially i n its spatial manifestation. I n the first two stages o f its development ( t e r r i t o r i a l d e m a r c a t i o n assuring Sparta's economic foundations, d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the political centre and boundaries o f its t e r r i t o r y ) , the text makes full use o f the n a r r a t i v e possibilities specific to genealogy w i t h the a t t r i b u t i o n o f o r i g i n a l characteristics w h i c h every new b i r t h and every m a t r i m o n i a l c o n j u n c t i o n establishes by means o f state-enunciates. T h e t e r r i t o r y constituted i n the genealogy thus grows spatially as well as q u a l i t a t i v e l y , w i t h o u t essential reversals, t h r o u g h the f o r m of the various actors that every new state-enunciate sets u p . I n the end, e v e r y t h i n g happens as t h o u g h the constant

actor

who in t r a d i t i o n a l narrative assures the u n i t y o f the n a r r a t i o n had been replaced by space, since it is t e r r i t o r i a l u n i t y that assures the narrative coherence o f the genealogy over the succession o f its actors. M o r e o v e r , the generation o f the t e r r i t o r y and its representatives o r i g i n a t i n g in a u n i q u e autochthonous ancestor enables the narrative i n a way to put the genealogy i n t o perspective and to 179


Spartan Genealogies establish Sparta definitively as the centre o f focus. Lelex's position thus refers to the situation o f the enunciator o f the

genealogy.

61

B u t no sooner is the centre defined w i t h its t e r r i t o r y and b o u n daries w i t h i n the A r g o s - S p a r t a - M e s s e n i a tation arises. T h e n ,

from

the double

triangle than confron-

marriage

o f the A r g i v e

G o r g o p h o n e , the tensions between the three poles come to light; t h r o u g h the expedient

o f simple conjugal unions covering the

state-enunciates actualised up to this stage, genealogy

becomes

' n a r r a t i v i s e d ' and is the site o f a polemical action. T h e r e seems to be no other way o f re-establishing the n a r r a t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m than t h r o u g h the m a r r i a g e o f H e r m i o n e and Orestes, w i t h the u n i q u e power i n s t i t u t e d by this u n i o n o n the c o n f r o n t i n g parties; b u t this is o n l y h o w it appears, since the alliance i n fact bears i n its d o u b l y endogamic character the very reasons o f its i n a n i t y . Hence the r e t u r n o f the H e r a k l e i d a i a n d the r e a f f i r m a t i o n o f the c o n f i g u r a t i o n to w h i c h the first t w o stages o f the

spatial

genealogical

process had already led. So the r o y a l genealogy constitutes a real p r i n c i p l e o f explanation and o f figurative manifestation for the t r a n s i t i o n f r o m the one to the m u l t i p l e a n d to the differentiated. Y e t generation also passes t h r o u g h m a t r i m o n i a l u n i o n and it is due to conjugal u n i o n that womanhood

becomes integrated

into the political centre.

This

w o m a n h o o d is i n general a representation o f e x t e r i o r i t y , whether defined i n relation to the adult m a n ' s civilisation ( L e l e x ' s wife is a n y m p h or a naiad; Taygete, L a k e d a i m o n ' s mother, is a v i r g i n and a n y m p h ) ; or whether she signifies otherness i n relation to political t e r r i t o r y (Messene is A r g i v e , as is G o r g o p h o n e ,

Oibalos'

wife;

D i o m e d e , A m y k l a s ' wife, is Thessalian; L e d a , T y n d a r e u s ' wife is A i t o l i a n ) . W o m a n h o o d fixes its roots not so m u c h i n the n o n civilised as i n the exterior, i n the O t h e r . B u t because o f these roots and because o f conjugal u n i o n , the passage f r o m the exterior to the i n t e r i o r takes place w i t h i n w o m a n h o o d . T h e m a r g i n a l i t y often a t t r i b u t e d to the Greek image o f w o m a n has, then, a c o n d i t i o n a l value;

62

her presence is o n l y acknowledged as a means for the

political adult i d e n t i t y to take shape, Zeus'

illegal and savage

u n i o n w i t h the m a i d e n Taygete is transformed i n the succeeding generation

into the e m i n e n t l y political marriage

o f their

son

L a k e d a i m o n w i t h Sparte, thus r u s h i n g to the rescue o f the Spartan p a t r i l i n e a r legitimacy i n dire need o f a male heir. F u r t h e r m o r e , the conjugal u n i o n , sign o f the wedded couple's 180


10

9

8

I

=

I

{Argos)

Temenos

r

\

I

=

Teisamenos

1 Pollux

Castor

\

Zeus

Oibalos

i Eurysthenes

=

i r rokles

Argeia

{Sparta)

~

Danae

=

i

I =

Idas

Arene

Lynkeus

Aphareus

Gorgophone

I

Aknsios

Taygete

Perseus

Eurydike

Ikarios

T

=

=

Messe ne

Triopas

Phorbas

Aiolos

Hdaeira

I

Phoibe

Leukippos

P e r i e r e s {Messenia)

(Argos)

(Messenia)

Kresphontes

Nestor

(Pytos)

Kretheus

(iolkos)

{Messenia)

(Argos)

Thessa/y)

Neleus

? Lapithes (

4 generations

Polykaon

Kleochareia'Peridea

Lakedaimon

2eus

12/20 Hippokoonndai

I

Hippokoon

-

Therapne

Lelex

Hyakinthos

Amyklas

Aristodemos

Menelaos

=

=

Kleta

Sparte

=

Teledike

Kynortas

Diomede

Leda

Hermione

Helen

=

Argalos

{Thessa/y)

Tyndareus

Klytemnestra

Orestes

Agamemnon

I

P e l oIp s (Efts) A t r e u s [Argos)

TantaJos

T

Zeus

Âą

Eurotas

Myles

{Sparta)

F i g u r e 8 . 3 : T h e G e n e a l o g y of the F i r s t K i n g s of S p a r t a

Aristomachos

Kleodaios

Hylios

Herakles

" I "

Zeus


Spartan Genealogies passage to adult social status, corresponds narratively to the sanc­ tion of a condition. I n the narrative within which it acts as narra­ tive operator, it is then capable of representing the establishment of an order. Lastly, the process of begetting and of the succession of generations shares with the narration a certain image of the linearity of temporal developments, with this peculiarity, that for once it is space that finds temporal representation, and not the other way round. W a s it not after all precisely the genetic pattern which served the nineteenth century as a basis and image for every explanation with a claim to being 'scientific*? H e r e , then, is something that throws back into question too neat a distinction between 'rational' thought and 'symbolic' thought, not to mention the supposedly arbitrary operation of the latter!

63

Notes " T h i s contribution is a version of a paper presented at the Universities of Lausanne and U r b i n o . I would like to thank J . - M . A d a m , A . - C . Berthoud, Ph. Borgeaud, J . B r e m m e r , M . Del Ninno, M . D é t i e n n e , B. Gentili, M . H a u s , D L a n z a , G . Paioni, H . P e r n e t , J . - B . R a c i n e , and C . Reichler for their most helpful suggestions. I am especially grateful to A . H a b i b for her translation of this contribution into English. 1. H e s . Theog. H6ff; Hecat. FGrH 1 F 3ff, E u m e l . FGrH451 T J , F Iff; Marm. Par. FGrH 239 (cf. D e m . Phal. FGrH 228 F 1) O n t h é o g o n i e and (historical) genealogies see now, respectively, M . L . West, Hesiod. Theogony (Oxford, 1966) 1 - 16 and F J a c o b y , Atthis (Oxford, 1949) 1 3 4 - 4 0 , 2 1 9 - 2 3 . O n the genealogical genre in general see F , Graf, Grtechische Mythologie ( M u n i c h and Z u r i c h , 1985) 1 1 7 - 3 7 and M . L . West, The Heswdtc Catalogue of Women (Oxford, 1985) 1 1 - 1 8 . 2. T y r t . fr. 2 . 1 2 - 1 5 West - l a . 1 2 - 1 5 Gentili/Prato; see also below, note 56, Hippias' lectures: Plato Hi. Ma. 285de, with the commentary by D é t i e n n e , Invention, 1 6 3 - 7 . 3. Paus. 3 . 1 . 1 - 5 , tr. W . H . S. Jones and H . A . O r m e r o d ( L o e b ) , spelling adapted. 4. C f . M . Stanek, Sozialordnung und Mythtk in Paltmbei = Easier Beitr z. Ethnol., 23 (Basle, 1983) 1 7 4 - 8 2 . 5. See C a l a m e , ' L e Nom d'Oedipe', in Edtpo, il teatro greco e la cultura europea (Rome, 1986) 3 9 5 - 4 0 7 ; idem, Le récit eu Grèce ancienne (Paris, 1986} 1 5 3 - 6 1 . 215-17. 6. C f . Horn. / / . X X . 9 2 - 6 , X X I . 8 6 f ; Hes. fr. 234; Aie. fr. 337 Voigt; Hdt 1.171; Pherekydes FGrH 3 F 155; F G e y e r , RE 12.2 (1925) 1 8 9 0 - 3 ; W . K r o l l , ibid., 1893. 7. Aristot. fr. 546 ( - Strabo 7.7.2); Paus. 1.39.6 and 44.3 O n the many foundations of cities by autochthonous heroes see A . Brelich, Git eroi Greet ( R o m e , 1958) 1 3 7 - 9 . 8. See, e.g., G . Busolt, Gnechische Geschichu I (Gotha, 1893) 1 8 2 - 5 . F . Kiechle, Lakonien und Sparta ( M u n i c h , 1963) 2 0 - 9 commits the same methodological error.

182


Spartan Genealogies although ro a lesser extent. 9. Strabo 7.7.2 connects the name with the verb (sut)lego 'to speak'. O n modern etymologies of Leleges, see P. Kretschmer, 'Die Leleger und die ostmediterrane U r b e v ö l k e r u n g ' , Giotto, 32 (1952) 1 6 1 - 2 0 4 , who connects the name with the root *iäg meaning ' m a n ' ('Mensch'); see also H . Frisk, Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch 11 (Heidelberg, 1970) 103; Burkert, S&H, 132. O n the onomatopoeic value of the term barbares as referring only to the acoustic perception of a foreign language, see H d t . 2.57. 10. Stanek, Sozialordnung, 177. 11. C f . Hes. Thcog. 116-!57; A l c m . fr. 5.2 Page ( = 81 C a l a m e ) with mv com­ mentary in Alcman ( R o m e , 1983) 4 4 4 - 5 4 . 12. C f . Apollod. 3.10.3 ( L c l e x ' s wife is the naiad Kleochareia); schol. E u r . Or. 626 calls Lelex's wife Peridea (not Peridike, as Schwartz suggests on the basis of a single manuscript); see also J . A n d r é e - H a n s l i k , RE 19.1 (1937) 720. 13. Paus. 3.20.2, cf. T h e o p h r . fr. 2 Pötscher, M . D é t i e n n e , Les Jardins d Adonis (Paris, 1972) 1 9 4 - 2 1 7 , and M . D é t i e n n e a n d J . - P . Vernant, La Cuisine du sacrifice en pays grec (Paris, 1979) 5 8 - 6 3 , !4. Paus. 3.1.1, 4.1.1 f, 4.3.9. T h e artificial creation of an archaic capital by ihe Messenians in their attempts at rewriting history after the liberation of their area in the fourth century hampers in exact localisation of Andania; cf. F . Kiechle, Messenische Studien ( K a l l m ü n z , 1957) 7 8 - 8 1 and below, note 37. It is noteworthy that Paus. 4.31.11 describes a temple decorated with pictures of the Messenian kings beginning with Aphareus. 15. C a l l . Ccr. 2 4 - 3 0 ; Diod. Sic. 5.61.2, cf. E , W ü s t , RE 7 A (1939) 1 6 8 - 7 4 . 16. Paus. 3.19.9; see also schol. E u r . Or. 626. 17. It seems impossible to identify Helen and Menelaos' 'Mycenaean' Sparta (Horn. Od. 4.1, 10) with T h e r a p n c ; cf. P. Cartledge, Sparta and Lakoma ( L o n d o n , 1979) 44f, 7 5 - 9 3 , 3 3 7 - 9 . O n the Mycenaean occupation of T h e r a p n e and the Menelaion, see H . W . C a t l i n g , 'New Excavations at the Menelaion, Sparta', in V. Jantzen, Neue Forschungen in griechischen Heiligtümern ( T ü b i n g e n , 1976) 7 7 - 9 0 . The studies by C . Bexard and A . Snodgrass, in G . Gnoli and J . - P . V c r n a n t (eds), La Mort, les morts dans les sociétés anciennes (Cambridge and Paris, 1982) 8 9 - 105 and 107- 19, respectively, discuss the foundation of heroic cults iin ancient Mycenaean sites. 18. Schol. E u r . Or. 626 call Myles' wife Teledike and not Kleochareia, as Schwartz wrongly conjectures, forgetting that according to a different version Kleochareia is Lelex's wife (cf. above, note 12). 19. Schol. E u r . Or. 626; cf. Hes. fr. 234. Deukalion and the Flood: Apollod. 1.7.2; Marm. Par. FGrH 239, A 4. O n the uncivilised aspects of the personified river before it becomes the Eurotas, see the legend in Ps. Plut. Fluv. 17.1, which reverses the genealogical order by making Eurotas son of the nymph T a y g e l c and Lakedaimon (cf. below, note 25). 20. Schoi. E u r . Or. 626 attribute to Myles a daughter Pedias (the manuscripts offer the readings patdtan, kepedian and kepaidtan), but Apollod. 3.14.5 makes Pedias (whose name he considers to be a derivative in -ad-) the daughter of the Lacedae­ monian Mynes, a name which naturally has to be corrected in Myles (with the genitive Mylau rather than Mytetos). Pedias married the successor of Kekrops to the throne of Attica, Kranaos, whom Apollodorus connects with the time of Deukalion and the Flood. 21. Paus. 3.13.8f; on the connection between marriage and cereal agriculture see J . - P . V e r n a n t , Mythe et société en Grèce ancienne (Paris, 1974) 1 4 6 - 5 1 . 22. For the terminology used, see C . L é v i - S t r a u s s , Les Structures élémentaires de la parenté (Paris, 1949) 1 5 3 - 8 7 and S. T o r n a y , ' L ' E t u d e de la p a r e n t é ' , i n j . Copans

183


Spartan Genealogies et al., L 'Anthropologic Science des socxetes primitives? (Paris, 1971) 4 9 - 111. 23. Cf. F . Böltc, RE 3 A . 2 (1929) 1 2 6 7 - 9 4 (on the denotations of the names Lakedaimon and Sparte) and ibid., 1 2 8 0 - 9 2 (Lacedaemonians). 24. C f . B u r k e n , GR, 2 0 0 - 7 . 25. See also Apollod. 3,10.3; schol. E u r . Or. 626. Ps. Plut, Fluv. 17.3 relates that Taygcte, having been raped by Zeus, committed suicide from grief; this suicide took place at Mt Amykfaion, since called Taygetos. 26. Paus. 3.18.10, Pind. OL 3.30 with the scholia ad toe. O n Artemis and Taygele see also Horn. Od. 6.103; E u r . Hel. 3 8 1 - 4 . 27. Pind. Ol 3.30 and schol. ad loc. = Sosib. FGrH595 F 21; schol. Pind. Pyth. 4.15. O n the five obai which constitute the city of Sparta see, e.g., A . Toynbee. Some Problems of Greek History (Oxford, 1969) 2 6 0 - 5 ; on Euphemos, Poseidon's son, see F . C h a m o u x , Gyrene sour la monarchic des Battiades (Paris, 1953) 8 3 - 9 . 28. See Paus. 3.1,3; Apollod. 3.10.3; Steph. Byz. s.v, Amyklai. O n Amyklai's history see most recently Cartledge, Sparta, 6 5 - 8 , 1 0 6 - 8 . 29. Apollod. 3.10.3. O n the archaeological proofs of Mycenaean Amyklai and its continuous inhabitation into the archaic age, see E . Buschor and M . v. Massow, 'Vorn Amyklaion', Ath. Mitt.. 5^ (1927) 1 - 85; Cartledge, Sparta, 3 0 - 101; J . T . Hooker, The Ancient Spartans (London and Toronto, 1980) 2 5 - 4 6 , O n the Hyacinthia in Amyklai see C a l a m e , Chaeurs I , 3 0 5 - 2 3 ; Hooker, Spartans, 6 0 - 6 . Note also that the rhetor Aristides Or. 11.79 mentions Apollo as honouring Amyklas, Narcissus and Hyakinthos. 30. See especially Pherccyd. FGrH 3 F 10; Apollod. 2 . 2 . 1 - 2 ; Paus. 3.13.8. O n the role of Egyptian Danaos in the Argolid and of L y n k e u s , the son of his brother Aigypios, s<-c G . A . Mcgas, 'Die Sage von Danaos und den Danaiden', Hermes, 68 (1933) 4 1 5 - 2 8 and Detienne, Dionysos, 3 7 - 4 0 . 31. Paus. 3.13.8; cf. H . Hitzig and H . Bluernmer, Pausaniae Graeciae descriptw, vol. 1.2 (Leipzig, 1899) 782. 32. Apollod. 3.10.3; Schol. Nie. Ther, 902 make Diomedr into a nymph. O n Lapithes see Dtod. Sic, 4 . 6 9 . 1 - 5 , 5.61.3; Steph. Byz. s.v. Lapithe. 33. Paus. 7.18.5; c f Hitzig and Bluernmer, Pausaniae Graeciae descriptw, 811; H s c h . s.v. Agigaios. 34. Paus. 3.13.1. Aristid. M i l . FGrH 444 F 1 makes Leukippos into A m y k l a s son, which make. Koronis, Asklepios' mother by Apollo, Amyklas' grand­ daughter — a new way of associating Sparta's king with Apollo (cf. n 29). If Kynortas' name is to be associated with the well-known name of the oba Kynosoura, Argalos' name cannot but be associated with the oba Arkahn which is known from one fifth-century inscription only (IG V . 1.722, 4 = SEC 11.475a, 4); cf. A . J . Beattie, ' A n Early Laconian Lex Sacra , CQ, 4 5 ( 1 9 5 1 ) 4 6 - 5 8 ; Kiechle. Lakonien, 1 2 3 - 5 . 1

1

1

35. Paus. 4.2.2, 4; Apollod. 1.9.5, 2.4.5. O n Aiolos' offspring, see Hes. Jr. 10; Apollod. 1.7.3. Peri^res was known in Sparta at least from the seventh century onwards; cf. A l c m . fr. 78 Page = 202 C a l a m e . 36. Paus. 3.15.10; cf. S. Wide, Lakonische Kutte (Leipzig. 1893) 4 5 - 7 ; Hes. fr. 199.8; IG X I I . 3 . 8 6 9 , 6; see also E . W ü s t , RE 17.2 (1932) 2 0 9 2 - 5 . 37. Paus 4.3.7, 4.1.5, 4.2.4. A re ne's location is even more uncertain than that of A n d a n i a . which is situated north of Mt Ithome in the northern part of the Messenian plain; cf. M . N . V a l m i n , Etudes tapographiques sur la Messenie ancienne ( L u n d . 1930) 8 9 - 125. 1401. 38. Paus. 4.2.3f; sec already Horn. Od. 1 1.235- 59. O n the various versions of Neleus' legend set- M . - C . van der Kolf, RE 16.2 (1935) 2269-HO. O n die history of Pylos and Methoner see Kiechle, Messenwche Studien, 31 - 3 , 6 5 - 7 1 . 39. O n Lykos sec Soph F 24.2 Radt; Paus, 4.1 .5. This is perhaps a very young

184


Spartan Genealogies tradition, cl'. W . A . Oldfather, RE 13.2 (1927) 2 3 9 9 - 4 0 1 . 40. Cf. schol. Horn. //. 2.581; schol. E u r . Or. 457. Pellana lies on the eastern slopes of the Taygetos, not far from the sources of the E u rotas, cf. Strabo 8.4.4 and 7.5; Pellana is also Lykurgos* refuge (Pol. 4.81.7). O n T y n d a r e u s ' flight to Pellana sec also Paus. 3.21.2; on his flight toThestios see Apollod. 3.10.5; Strabo 10.2.24, which perhaps derives from the epic poem the Alcmaeonis (cf.fr. 5 Kinkel). Cf. also Apollod. 3.10.4f which makes Ikarios into T y n d a r e u s ' companion. 4!. Hippokoontidai: J . Zwicker, REH.2(1913) 1 7 7 4 - 6 ; Henrichs, this volume, C h . 11, section 2. O n the Spartan cults of the Hippokoontidai and Dioskouroi see Wide, Lakonische Kulte, 3 0 4 - 2 5 ; C a l a m e , Chœurs I , 332f 347f and I I , 54f. 42. Castor and Pollux as sons of T y n d a r e u s : Horn. Od. 11.298-305; sons of Zeus: Hes. fr. 24. Double ascendance: H. Horn. 17.2, 33. If; Ale. fr. 2, 10(b) Page = 2, 82a C a l a m e (in Sparta itself at the end of the seventh century); see also E . Bethe, RE 5 (1905) 1112f. 43. H. Horn. 17.3, 33.4; Paus. 3.36.2 (deriving from A l c m . fr. 23 Page = 211 Calame); Paus. 3.1.4. 44. Horn. //. 5.396f and 11.689-761 already mentions Herakles' intervention in Pylos; Sosibios FGrH 595 F 13 the one in Sparta, which is already mentioned by Alcm. fr. 1 Page = 3 C a l a m e . For a detailed discussion, with all sources, sec Calame, Chœurs I I , 5 2 - 9 . 45. O n the rivalry between the Apharetidai and T y n d a r i d a i concerning the Leukippidai, who were the incarnation of the newly initiated girls ready for marriage, see the detailed discussion in C a l a m e , Chœurs I , 3 2 6 - 3 3 . 46. Pind. Nem. 10.71 f; cf, C a l a m e , ' L e s figures grecques du gigantesque', Communications, 4 2 ( 1 9 8 5 ) 1 4 7 - 72. 47 Divine origin nf Helen: Horn. //. 3.199, 488; Od. 4.184, 23.218, etc. Leda as mother of Helen and the Dioskouroi: S. Eitrem, RE 12.1 (1924) 1 1 1 6 - 2 5 . Death of the Dioskouroi: Cypr. fr. 5 and 9 K i n k e l ; Apollod. 3.11.2. Contest lor Helen's hand: Stes. fr. 190 Page; E u r . Iph. Aul. 58; Isoer. Hei. 10,40; Apollod. 3.10.8. Note that only Paus. 3.1.5 (rather vague in this respect) lets the T y n d a r i d a i themselves rule for a time. t

48 Stes. fr. 216 Page even moves Agamemnon's palace from Mykenae to Sparta (cf. also S i m . fr. 549 Page). Pindar Pyth. 11.32 situates the palace at Amyklai, in this way re-establishing virilocality. T h e uxorilocal and matrilinear character of Helen's wedding with Menclaos has nothing to do with matriarchy, as i ^ M U j g r s i r d li\ S. P n m r i o v . Goddewe\. \\'lwre\. \\'ire\. and Slaves (New York. V >/,">) 221. 49. Orestes in Sparta: Pind. Pyth. 9.24, 27 and Nem. 11.44; Paus. 2.18.Ö, 3.16.7. Horn. It. 3.175 already knows Hermione as the only daughter of Helen and Menelaos. but in the Odyssey ( 4 . 4 - 1 7 ) she marries Achilles' son, Neoptolemos. Eur. Or. 1653 - 9 (note also Andr. 9 6 6 - 76) combines both versions of the legend. At least Sophocles ( 7 ' C r f 3, p. 192 Radt = Fust. Od 1479.10- 12)) already mentions Orestes' marriage with Hermione. 50 O n Tcisamenos and his eviction by the Herakleidai, see the summary of Sophocles' Hermione (quoted n 49); Paus. 2.18.7f, 2.38 1, 7 . 1 7 ; Apollod. 2 . 8 . 2 - 3 ; Pol. 2.41.4; Strabo 8.7.1, etc. 51. C f . C . Robert, Die griechische Heldensage I (Berlin, 1920) 6 5 6 - 6 4 , 671 - 75; C . Brillante, La leggenda eroica e la civilth micenea ( R o m e , 1981) 1 4 9 - 8 2 (from a historical perspective; F . Prinz. Gründungsmylhen und Sagenmythologie ( M u n i c h . 1 I7<») 2 9 9 - 3 1 3 . 52. Kresphontes: Isoer. 6.22, Plat. Leg 692b; Apollod. 2.8.4. Aristodemos and Argia: H dt. 6.5 2 f, 7.204. 8 131, cf. G . L . Huxley, Hrrodotos on Myth and Politics i n Farly Sparta', Proc Roy Irish Ac, 101 (1983) 1 - 1 6 , a n d P. Carlier, La Royauté' en Grèce avant Alexandre (Strasbourg, 1981) 375—8(1. (

185


Spartan Genealogies 53. C f . C a l a m e , Choeurs I , 3 0 5 - 2 3 and 3 4 1 - 5 0 on the political significance of both Helen and Menelaos' cult at Therapne and oi' the Hvakinthia festival celebrated at Amyklai; see also Brillante, La teggenda rroica. 8 7 - 145. 54. Of. O . Rcgrnbogen. AfA'Suppl. 8 (1956) 1019-24; I . . Bcschi and D . M u s h . Pausama Guida delta Grecia I . L'Attua { M i l a n . 1982) X X 1 V - X X X V . Pausamas* book 4 on Messenia in general derives its information horn the histories written alter (he liberation of Messenia in the fourth century (Rhianos and Myron); ci. L Pearson, ' T h e Pseudo-Historv of Messenia and its Authors', Historia. 11 (1962) 397-426. 55. Pans. 2.18.6 ( = Cinacth. fr. 4 K i n k e l ) . 3. 1 3.8 ( = Asms fr 6 Kinkel = test. 7 Gentili/Praio). O n these two indirect citations and the possible dates of these two poets, see G . L . Huxley, Greek Epic Poetry ( L o n d o n . 1969) 40, 801'. 9 4 - 6 . When introducing the Spartan genealogical narrative. Pa usa ni as (3.1.1) simply speaks of an (oral?) Lakedacmonian tradition. 56. T y r t . fr. 2 . 2 - 1 5 West = 1 a. 12 - 15 Gentili/Prato; A l c m . IV. 1.1-11 Page = 3 . 1 - 1 1 Gala me and 7 P = 19 C ; see also A l c m , IV. 2 P = 2 0 ; on the legendary tradition which connects the Spartan king list with the Herakleidai see Oartledgc, Sparta, 53, 341 - 6 . 57. O n the double conquest of Messenia and the various military interventions of Sparta against Argos see, especially, G . L . Huxley, Early Sparta ( L o n d o n . 1962) 5 6 - 9 , 681, 831; Cartledgr. Sparta, passim. Hooker, Spartans, 106- 14. 1 4 5 - 5 7 58. C f . Huxley, 'Herodoios on M y t h ' , 5 - 1 6 ; on the origin of the Peloponnesian League sec A . H . M . Jones, Sparta (Oxford, 1968) 4 4 - 7. 59. B. Sergent, ' L a représentation spartiate de la r o y a u t é ' , Ret Hist Re/., I8 ) (1976) 3 - 5 2 and * Le partage du P é l o p o n n è s e entre les H é r a c l i d e s ' , Rev Hist Ret.. 190(1977) 121 - 3 6 and 191 (1978) 3 - 2 5 . 60. Cf. A . J . G r e i m a s and J . Courtes, Sémiottque Dictionnaire raisonné de la théorie du langage {Vnvh, 1979) 29-33* 1 5 7 - 6 0 , 3801; J . - C . Coquet. ' L ' E c o l e de P a n s ' , in J . - C . Coquet ( é d . ) , Sémiottque. L Ecole de Pans (Paris, 1982) 5 - 6 4 . esp. 4 8 - 5 2 . 61. C f . M . - J . Bore! et aL, Essai de logique naturelle (Bern, 1983) 5 3 - 70 on the processus de schématisation '. 62. Cf. L , G alio, ' L a donna greca c la margin a) it à'. Quad. Urh Cult Class., 47 (1984) 7 - 5 1 . 63. See C a l a m e , ' L e processus symbolique". Document de travail du Centra Internazwnale d\ Semwtua e di Linguistica ( U r b i n o , 1983) 1 2 8 - 9 . {

186


9 Myths of Early Athens Robert Parker In memory of T. C. W. Stinton *

I n g l a m o u r a n d ancient r e n o w n , A t h e n i a n m y t h o l o g y can scarcely compete w i t h several other regional mythologies o f Greece. Few Athenian heroes appear i n early sources, and perhaps the only ancient A t t i c geste o f the first q u a l i t y was tiiat o f Theseus w i t h the M i n o t a u r . A t t i c m y t h o l o g y has none the less a distinctive interest for the m y t h o g r a p h e r ,

for several reasons. Rare though A t t i c

stories may be in H o m e r or H e s i o d , in A p o l l o d o r u s a n d O v i d they abound. I n the fifth and fourth centuries Athens and A t h e n i a n s increasingly d o m i n a t e d literary and artistic c u l t u r e , while there emerged in A t t h i d o g r a p h y a distinctive literary genre specifically concerned w i t h the c o u n t r y ' s antiquities, i n c l u d i n g its m y t h o l o g y . As a result many existing local stories were dignified w i t h a place in high art and l i t e r a t u r e , a n d not a few others were told for the first t i m e . T h u s the development o f A t t i c m y t h o l o g y is a notable instance o f the ' i n v e n t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n ' . public

and

sometimes

political

1

M o s t o f these stories have

themes.

While

the

myth

of

Oedipus, say, is o n l y coincidentally T h e b a n , the A t t i c m y t h s are almost all intrinsically A t t i c , i n that the city's origins and institutions f o r m their subject. O n l y two cycles treat that most characteristic theme o f Greek m y t h o l o g y as a whole, the tensions and traumas o f domestic l i f e .

2

A t t i c m y t h o l o g y is therefore a distinc3

tively ' p o l i t i c a l m y t h o l o g y ' , t h r o u g h which the Athenians forged a sense o f their identity as a people. T h e quite e x t r a o r d i n a r y development that the

figure

o f Theseus underwent i n the

fifth

century is a g l i t t e r i n g example o f an ' i n v e n t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n ' which was also the f o r g i n g o f a ' p o l i t i c a l m y t h ' .

4

A final attraction o f A t t i c m y t h o l o g y is the o p p o r t u n i t y it offers 187


Myths of Early Athens o f observing a set o f myths i n a specific social a n d historical context. A m y t h is an item o f shared c u l t u r a l p r o p e r t y , and has no intrinsic or essential m e a n i n g . Even i f one c o u l d find what M r Casaubon

5

and so m a n y others have sought,

a ' K e y to (all)

Mythologies*, it w o u l d o n l y t u r n to reveal an e m p t y r o o m . T o speak o f a m y t h ' s ' m e a n i n g ' is legitimate only as a shorthand way o f r e f e r r i n g to the sum o f the qualities that cause people to listen to it w i t h interest a n d r e m e m b e r i t . A n d that is all that the interpreter 1

needs to or can e x p l a i n , tht source o f a m y t h ' s appeal for a p a r t i c u lar society at a p a r t i c u l a r t i m e . ( T h i s is not, o f course, to deny that a m y t h may continue to appeal to m a n y different societies for broadly

the

approached

same

reasons.)

Myths

ought

therefore

to

be

t h r o u g h a study o f * hearer/ viewer response'

and

' r e c e p t i o n ' , i f we m a y b o r r o w and adapt these terms o f contemporary literary theory.

6

O f course, we can almost never i n the

ancient w o r l d study the 'reception* o f a m y t h w i t h proper precision,

and often we are

reduced

to guessing

about

possible

responses f r o m a mere s u m m a r y o f the plot. B u t the A t t i c myths are an u n u s u a l l y favourable case, because r i c h and diverse cont e m p o r a r y evidence is often available, from vase p a i n t i n g and sculpture as well as from l i t e r a t u r e . I n myths as i n organisms, the capacity for change seems to be almost a c o n d i t i o n o f life. O n e o f the s t r i k i n g characteristics o f Greek m y t h o l o g y as a whole is the way i n w h i c h it retained that l i f e - g i v i n g m u t a b i l i t y l o n g after the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f w r i t i n g .

7

Of

the approaches to m y t h o l o g y that are f a m i l i a r today, the one that seems most old-fashioned is i n some respects the most soundly based theoretically: for the p a i n s t a k i n g historical analysis o f the variants and development o f a m y t h does justice to this p o w e r o f change, as well as being a k i n d o f study o f 'reception*. T h e weakness o f that m e t h o d , w h i c h received its classic expression i n the 8

w o r k o f C a r l R o b e r t , was the l u r k i n g p r e s u m p t i o n that i n m y t h o logy as i n textual c r i t i c i s m the point o f s t u d y i n g the variants is to get back to the u n c o r r u p t e d o r i g i n a l , where m e a n i n g resides. B u t it is obviously unsatisfactory to 'explain* the m y t h o f O e d i p u s by reference to a (as it happens, hypothetical) r i t u a l o r i g i n , an o r i g i n u n k n o w n to the m i l l i o n s o f people w h o have heard the m y t h w i t h fascination.

There

is perhaps no helpful

d i s c r i m i n a t i o n to be

d r a w n in terms o f ' a u t h e n t i c i t y ' between different variants o f a m y t h or stages i n its development, or between 'real m y t h ' and 188


Myths of Early Athens 'literary m y t h s ' or the like. C e r t a i n l y , very drastic alterations do take place i n the character o f the m y t h o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o r i . I m p o r t a n t variables include the social context i n w h i c h myths are reproduced, the l i t e r a r y or artistic f o r m i n w h i c h they are embodied, the principles by w h i c h they are organised, the toleration o f supernatural elements w i t h i n t h e m , the c o m p e t i t i o n that they undergo from accounts o f the past based o n different principles, the esteem in w h i c h they are held, a n d , simply but c r u c i a l l y , the extent to which they are widely familiar. But it is always the same r i v e r that flows t h r o u g h this c h a n g i n g landscape. T h e r e are developments i n the t r a d i t i o n but no breaks; no p o i n t can be located where m y t h 9

ceases, as it were, to be itself. Even the extensive effort b y fourthcentury w r i t e r s to systematise and rationalise received m y t h o l o g y , which was doubtless the most significant single reshaping o f the t r a d i t i o n , d i d not lack antecedents;

10

and i n a t t e m p t i n g to preserve

the myths as history rather t h a n j e t t i s o n t h e m as fable these writers perpetuated

one o f m y t h o l o g y ' s ancient functions, that o f pro-

v i d i n g an account o f the past. Perhaps we should consider the history o f m y t h o l o g y not as a decline from m y t h i n t o n o n - m y t h but as a succession o f periods or styles, developing out o f one another, as in art. T h a t metaphor, however, does not remove but emphasises the need to distinguish between the products o f different periods. T h e period chosen for this essay is the second h a l f o f the

fifth

century, for w h i c h the evidence is most a b u n d a n t . T h e stories w i l l be presented according to their r o u g h chronology i n m y t h o l o g i c a l time. It is u n l i k e l y , t h o u g h , that m a n y A t h e n i a n s at this date thought of t h e m i n this way. M a n y people doubtless knew something o f the order o f the kings, but the i m p o r t a n t p o i n t about most of the stories

was

surely

not

their place

i n a chronological

sequence. W h o even now can say offhand whether Demeter or Dionysos a r r i v e d in A t t i c a

first?

( T h e r e is an answer to that

question; but one puzzles i n v a i n whether the rape o f Cephalus came before o r after that o f O r i t h y i a . ) T h e s y s t ĂŠ m a t i s a t i o n o f the t r a d i t i o n was the w o r k o f the A t t h i d o g r a p h e r s , b e g i n n i n g w i t h Hellanicus at the end o f the fifth century. T h e y introduced new kings to the k i n g - l i s t ,

11

to make the chronology o f A t t i c m y t h

match better w i t h that o f Greece as a whole, and must have been obliged to assign every floating story to a specific reign. I n the fifth century there were already one or two works that grouped Attic 189


Myths of Early Athens myths t o g e t h e r ,

12

b u t p r o b a b l y most A t h e n i a n s learnt them not in

that f o r m , as a cycle, but one by one as they were p o r t r a y e d i n p a r t i c u l a r works o f art or poems or t o l d i n relation to particular cults o r shrines. W h a t really mattered chronologically about the m y t h s was that they described events o f the 'generation o f heroes' (Hdt.

3.122) and not o f m e n .

Not every A t h e n i a n m y t h can be discussed i n the space available. Since the later t r a d i t i o n s , largely d o m i n a t e d by Theseus, have been m u c h and well studied o f late, we w i l l concentrate o n the earlier ones, those that fall in m y t h o l o g i c a l t i m e before the death o f Erechtheus. T h e Eleusinian m y t h o f D e m e t e r ' s a r r i v a l and the largely apolitical m y t h o f Cephalus and Procris are deliberately excluded; other omissions w i l l probably be a c c i d e n t a l .

13

W i t h these

p r e l i m i n a r i e s completed, A t h e n i a n history can c o m m e n c e . ' It begins, one m i g h t say, w i t h the b i r t h o f A t h e n a .

1 5

4

She was

one o f several O l y m p i a n s whose b i r t h was m i r a c u l o u s ; this was a m a r k o f their h i g h destiny as well as a s y m p t o m o f the unsettled conditions o f a y o u n g w o r l d . She was b o r n , w i t h o u t a mother, from Zeus' head; she leapt f o r t h , fully m a t u r e i n all but size and heavily a r m e d , to the w o n d e r a n d terror o f the attendant

gods.

T h a t m u c h is c o m m o n to v i r t u a l l y all the descriptions and representations o f the b i r t h . T h e r e is evidently a connection between A t h e n a ' s strange o r i g i n and her strange nature. T h e goddess who 'loves d i n and w a r and battle' ( H e s .

Theog. 926) has

wholly

escaped from feminine influence and is in the most literal sense a father's c h i l d ' (Aesch. Eum. 738; cf. Pearson on Soph. fr. 564). T h e weakness o f infancy, w h e n even men are w o m a n l y , is not for her; and there is a metallic brilliance about her epiphany appropriate to one w h o never l u r k e d i n 'the darkness o f the w o m b ' (Aesch. Eum. 665). A s a female w h o 'sided w i t h the male in everyt h i n g (short

o f accepting

marriage)'

(Aesch. Eum.

737),

the

friendly helper of male heroes, she was the ideal patroness for patriarchal Athens. A t the same t i m e , her o r i g i n from the most dignified

part,

indeed almost the ' s e l f

o f Zeus,

explains

her

u n i q u e and for A t h e n i a n s most welcome closeness to the lord o f the universe (e.g. Aesch. Eum. 8 2 6 - 8 , 9 9 7 - 1 1 0 2 ) .

16

I n m a n y vase

paintings. Hephaestus has helped the b i r t h by cleaving Zeus' head w i t h an axe (cf. P i n d . 01. 7 . 3 5 - 8 ) and is shown h u r r y i n g away, alarmed no doubt by the exuberant creature who has emerged. It was right that one god o f crafts should assist at the b i r t h o f another, 190


Myths of Early Athens and the A t h e n i a n s , for w h o m the association

of Athena

and

Hephaestus was p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t , evidently relished the motif.

17

It is not clear whether certain m o r e elaborate accounts, w h i c h set the b i r t h i n a broader m y t h o l o g i c a l context, were well k n o w n at Athens. For H e s i o d , it was associated w i t h a threat to Zeus' newly established sovereignty, and w i t h the power o f metis, wiliness, ' c u n n i n g intelligence'. M e t i s (personified), Zeus' first wife, was to have borne first A t h e n a , then a son m i g h t i e r than its father. Zeus therefore swallowed her; A t h e n a emerged f r o m his head, the son remained u n b o r n ( H e s . Theog. 8 8 6 - 9 0 0 ; cf. ' H e s . ' fr. 3 4 3 ) . m y t h explained the u n i q u e resourcefulness

1 8

The

o f Zeus, w h o had

assimilated M e t i s , and o f A t h e n a , whose m o t h e r she was. It also confirmed that there were to be no m o r e revolutions i n heaven. Metis was n o w u n d e r c o n t r o l , shared w i t h the l o v i n g daughter, the father's c h i l d , but not w i t h an independent t h r e a t e n i n g son. A further elaboration (already partially present i n H e s i o d

Theog.

9 2 7 - 9 ; cf. fr. 343.1) made the b i r t h part o f a contest i n asexual generation between Zeus and the jealous H e r a . T h i s ended i n decisive h u m i l i a t i o n for the w o m a n , since Zeus w i t h o u t could

produce

splendid

Athena,

Hera

without

Zeus

crippled Hephaestus and the monster T y p h o e u s (Horn.

Hera merely

H.

Ap.

3 0 5 - 5 5 ) . T h e respective role o f the two parents in generation was long to be controversial i n Greek t h o u g h t , and the m y t h reads like a comic a n t i c i p a t i o n o f A r i s t o t l e ' s d o c t r i n e that the c h i l d ' s form derives from the father, the m o t h e r p r o v i d i n g merely the less honourable m a t t e r .

19

T h u s A t h e n a ' s lack u f a m o t h e r became less

a way o f describing her u n i q u e nature than o f m a k i n g a point about the relation o f the sexes. W e do not k n o w how m a n y A t h e nians drew this conclusion from the m y t h , but Aeschylus' A p o l l o certainly does, i n a famous passage i n Eumenides ( 6 5 8 - 6 6 ) .

2 0

As it happens, there is more artistic than l i t e r a r y evidence for the m y t h ' s p o p u l a r i t y at A t h e n s , and so the nuances o f its reception there

remain uncertain.

F r o m about

570-530

it was a

favourite subject for vase painters. I t then declined in p o p u l a r i t y and had almost disappeared by 460, but remained such a central Athenian m y t h that it could not be o m i t t e d from the Parthenon: i n a somewhat

rationalised

iconography,

with

Athena

standing

beside Zeus rather than e m e r g i n g from his head, it occupied the important east p e d i m e n t .

21

T h e association between A t h e n a and 191


Myths of Early Athens Zeus was p r o b a b l y the most i m p o r t a n t single source o f the m y t h ' s appeal for the A t h e n i a n s . I t meant that they too had contact a l o n g a chain o f patronage w i t h the r u l e r o f the w o r l d . As we shall see, 'dearness to the gods' (theophilia) is a central concern o f m a n y o f these m y t h s ,

2 2

and 'dearness to Zeus' is o f course its most desirable

form. A t h e n a took an active part i n the W a r o f the Gods a n d G i a n t s , another Panhellenic m y t h that had been so t h o r o u g h l y assimilated by the A t h e n i a n s that it must be included h e r e .

23

hints o f specific A t h e n i a n variants or offshoots,

24

T h e r e are indeed a m o n g t h e m one

that cast Theseus' cousins the Pallantids as giants, but there is no doubt that the d o m i n a n t version even i n A t h e n s was the Panhellenic one. T h e battle was p o r t r a y e d o n countless vases ( f r o m about 565), on the pediment o f the sixth-century temple o f A t h e n a , a n d , in the Parthenon, b o t h o n the metopes a n d inside the shield o f Pheidias' cult-statue. A b o v e a l l , it was the t r a d i t i o n a l decoration o f perhaps the most i m p o r t a n t symbolic object o f A t h e n i a n r e l i g i o n , the

robe

offered

to A t h e n a every

four

years at

the

greater

Panathenaea. T h e central significance o f the m y t h must have been the same for the A t h e n i a n s as for the Greeks at large. I t t o l d how Zeus had been c o n f i r m e d in his sovereignty, how therefore the present

w o r l d - o r d e r had

tempered force against

been

made

secure,

by a display o f

enemies w h o were the e m b o d i m e n t o f

hybns, lawless violence. U n l i k e the earlier w a r against the T i t a n s ( w i t h w h i c h , t h o u g h , it h a d become confused b y the t i m e o f E u r i p i d e s ) , this was a collective act o f all the O l y m p i a n s , a n d one undertaken i n defence o f the existing o r d e r a n d not i n rebellion against i t . Such a m y t h o f the establishment o f d i v i n e a n d cosmic o r d e r was fit e m b l e m for the Panathenaea, the great festival o f social u n i t y a n d o r d e r .

2 5

T h e r e was p a r t i c u l a r significance for A t h e n i a n s i n the glorious part played by t h e i r o w n warrior-goddess, second only to that o f Zeus himself. It established that she was, for all time to come, A t h e n a V i c t o r y ( E u r . Ion 1 5 2 8 - 9 ) . T h o u g h w o n i n w a r , this title was equally appropriate to her as patroness o f the s p o r t i n g competitions o f the Panathenaea: for V i c t o r y i n whatever sphere derived from the same golden goddess. Perhaps i n the fifth century victory over the giants came to be seen as a p r ĂŠ f i g u r a t i o n of the Greeks' famous victories over the barbarians. T h a t s y m b o l i s m is certainly found in the hellenistic p e r i o d ; and already in the 192

first


Myths of Early Athens Pythian Ode o f 470 ( 1 5 - 2 8 , 7 1 - 5 ) P i n d a r p o i n t e d l y juxtaposes Typhoeus, a G i a n t - l i k e

figure,

w i t h b a r b a r i a n enemies. ( I t was

even possible to deploy the i m a g e r y against other Greeks, i f we accept that the hybristic giants o f P i n d a r ' s eighth Pythian e m b o d y a victims' view o f A t h e n i a n i m p e r i a l i s m . )

26

A t all events, A t h e n a ' s

t r i u m p h over Enceladus, laboriously w o v e n o n her robe every four years by the A t h e n i a n w o m e n , helped to guarantee the strength o f their m e n f o l k ' s spears. F r o m gods we t u r n to m e n . W h a t e v e r certain antiquarians might say, the general belief a m o n g A t h e n i a n s was that their first king had been

Cecrops.

27

Cecrops had no parents,

but

had

emerged f r o m the earth itself. N o m y t h described the c i r c u m stances o f this strange b i r t h , b u t the most f a m i l i a r fact about Cecrops was that he bore the m a r k o f it i n his ' d o u b l e f o r m ' : above the waist he was a m a n , below a c u r l i n g snake (e.g. E u r . Ion 1 1 6 3 - 4 ; A r . Vesp. 438). H a v i n g emerged from the earth, he still i n part resembled the creature that slips to and fro between the upper and lower worlds. T h e next A t t i c k i n g E r i c h t h o n i u s / E r e c h t h e u s was also earthborn, and vase painters often show Cecrops as a witness o f his successor's b i r t h .

2 8

T h e j u x t a p o s i t i o n suggests that the t w o legends

should be taken together, as a pair. Cecrops i n these scenes always has his semi-serpentine f o r m , whereas the baby is fully h u m a n . The effect o f this contrasted j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f the two earth-born kings is twofold: o n the one h a n d it emphasises the idea o f autochthony, since the A t h e n i a n royal line proves to be e a r t h - b o r n twice over, while o n the other differentiation a n d progress are revealed, with Cecrops representing an intermediate stage between w h o l l y earthy and w h o l l y h u m a n .

2 9

U p o n Cecrops are unloaded all the

sinister connotations o f p r e - h u m a n b i r t h . T h e b i r t h o f E r i c h t h o n i u s / E r e c h t h e u s is one o f the earliestattested A t h e n i a n legends. I t is m e n t i o n e d i n a passage i n the Catalogue o f Ships i n the Iliad w h i c h w i l l surely go back at least to the sixth c e n t u r y , even i f it is an ' A t t i c i n t e r p o l a t i o n ' .

30

The

passage speaks o f great-spirited Erechtheus, w h o m once A t h e n a daughter o f Zeus reared, but the g r a i n - g i v i n g soil bore h i m , and A t h e n a set

h i m down

in A t h e n s , i n her rich temple (2.547-9). 193


Myths of Early Athens T h e future k i n g is b o r n from the g r o u n d , b u t taken at once by a goddess into her care. T h i s central idea is illustrated o n the

fifth-

c e n t u r y vases: a goddess emerges f r o m the g r o u n d a n d hands to the w a i t i n g A t h e n a a b a b y , w h i c h stretches eagerly to meet its new nurse. B y the end o f the sixth c e n t u r y the c h i l d had been given a father, Hephaestus, w h o is sometimes shown a t t e n d i n g the b i r t h . Hephaestus h a d been seeking to rape A t h e n a b u t the v i r g i n evaded h i m , his seed fell o n the g r o u n d , a n d f r o m it s p r u n g E r i c h t h o n i u s / Erechtheus.

31

T h i s story o f amorous mischance suited the m y t h o -

logical Hephaestus, constantly subject to l u d i c r o u s i n d i g n i t i e s , but the substantial p o i n t o f the i n v e n t i o n was surely to put the protoA t h e n i a n u n d e r the j o i n t patronage o f A t h e n a a n d Hephaestus, E r i c h t h o n i u s / E r e c h t h e u s has sometimes been identified as an instance o f a figure characteristic o f M i n o a n - M y c e n a e a n r e l i g i o n , the ' d i v i n e c h i l d ' g r o w i n g u p i n the care o f foster-nurses.

But,

however things m a y have been i n early times, post-Mycenaean Greeks must surely have felt a difference between, say, baby Zeus, a god i n exile, a n d baby Erechtheus, a c h i l d o f the earth protected by a p o w e r f u l goddess. A l l the A t h e n i a n s accessible to us seem to have u n d e r s t o o d the b i r t h o f E r i c h t h o n i u s / E r e c h t h e u s as a m y t h of national o r i g i n s . T h e r e

was

no separate t r a d i t i o n

about

the

A t h e n i a n s at large: the t w o e a r t h - b o r n kings are m y t h i c a l representatives o f the whole A t h e n i a n people i n t h e i r c l a i m to autocht h o n y . Indeed i n poetry ( p a r t i c u l a r l y ) the A t h e n i a n s were sometimes spoken o f as actual descendants o f their first kings, as 'Cecropids' or 'Erechtheids'.

32

W h a t then d i d this m y t h o f n a t i o n a l o r i g i n s say? I t put the p r o t o - A t h e n i a n i n the closest possible r e l a t i o n w i t h A t h e n a , while respecting her

virginity;

i n its developed

form

it i n t r o d u c e d

A t h e n a ' s regular associate Hephaestus as a k i n d o f father for the c h i l d . T h u s the A t h e n i a n s were ' c h i l d r e n o f blessed gods' ( E u r . Med. 825), l i v i n g i n 'a l a n d most dear to the gods' (Aesch. Eum. 869). T h e r e was no m o r e i m p o r t a n t guarantee o f prosperity than this.

3 3

A s ' c h i l d r e n o f Hephaestus'

the A t h e n i a n s were m a r k e d ,

i n t r i g u i n g l y , as a technological people (Aesch. Eum.

13). O n e

wonders whether that conception was m o r e p o p u l a r outside A t t i c a or w i t h i n i t , a n d w h e t h e r i n A t h e n s it was as dear to the knights, say, as to the p o t t e r s .

34

T h e m y t h also, o f course, endorses the A t h e n i a n s ' c l a i m to the prized 'autochthony'.

Indeed it shows a l a w y e r ' s c u n n i n g i n 194


Myths of Early Athens insisting that the A t h e n i a n s are ' b o r n f r o m the e a r t h ' , while reserving their title as ' c h i l d r e n o f blessed gods'. I n o r d i n a r y language 'autochthonous'

meant little m o r e t h a n ' n a t i v e ' as opposed to

' i m m i g r a n t ' : the m y t h interprets the idea o f 'nativeness'

with

drastic i f logical l i t e r a l i s m , as physical b i r t h from the native soil. The A t h e n i a n s were p r o b a b l y correct i n b e l i e v i n g that they had occupied the same t e r r i t o r y for longer than most o f the Greek states around t h e m . F r o m this historical reality they created what every state requires, a m y t h to make its citizens glad that they were b o r n in that state a n d no other. T h e ideal o f autochthony was a f o r m o f collective snobbery. A t h e n i a n s en masse were i n v i t e d to despise other states ( D o r i a n s above all) j u s t as an aristocrat m i g h t despise a metic. A t h e n i a n s were, so to speak, the only authentic citizens o f Greece, all other groups b e i n g mere i m m i g r a n t s , a motley rabble tainted w i t h foreign b l o o d .

3 5

N o p a t r i o t i c orator could neglect the

theme, and m a n y new twists were discovered: o n l y the A t h e n i a n s had a t r u l y filial relation to their native l a n d ; they were j u s t e r than other Greeks, because they held t h e i r land by b i r t h r i g h t a n d not seizure; they were even b o r n egalitarians, being all s p r u n g from the same e a r t h .

36

These h y p e r - p a t r i o t i c interpretations are first attested i n the 420s ( H d t . 7.161.3; E u r . Erechtheus fr. 5 0 . 6 - 1 3 ) , at a t i m e w h e n a n t i - D o r i a n sentiment was no d o u b t p a r t i c u l a r l y strong because o f the Peloponnesian

w a r (cf. T h u c . 6 . 7 7 . 1 , w i t h K . J .

Dover's

note). T h e y are applied, then a n d later, to the general n o t i o n o f Athenian a u t o c h t h o n y , not to the p a r t i c u l a r m y t h s o f Cecrops a n d Erichthonius.

W e cannot

strictly

prove that these latter had

originally been understood i n the same w a y ; they m i g h t i n theory have been merely m y t h s o f o r i g i n , answering the question 'where do Athenians come f r o m ? ' , rather t h a n m y t h s o f an o r i g i n superior to that other states. A n increase i n patriotic emphasis there no doubt was, i n the heyday o f the funeral orations; i n all p r o b a b i l i t y , though, some association between autochthony a n d ' t r u e birth* (cf. A r . Vesp. 1076) had always been present. Erichthonius/Erechtheus' c h i l d h o o d d i d not pass o f f w i t h o u t incident. A t h e n a h i d the c h i l d i n a chest w i t h a snake or snakes to guard h i m , a n d gave the chest to the daughters o f Cecrops, Pandrosus, A g l a u r u s a n d Herse, to keep, w i t h instructions not to open i t . But they d i d , a n d , terrified b y the sight o f the snakes, they hurled themselves from the A c r o p o l i s , where they l i v e d , to their 195


Myths of Early Athens death o n the rocks below ( E u r . Ion 2 1 - 4 , 2 7 1 - 4 ) . M o s t accounts add that one daughter, n o r m a l l y Pandrosus, r e m a i n e d obedient to A t h e n a a n d escaped her sisters' f a t e .

37

As has l o n g been recog-

nised, this m y t h very p r o b a b l y has its o r i g i n i n r i t u a l p e r f o r m e d by the A r r e p h o r o i , y o u n g girls i n the service o f A t h e n a w h o l i v e d on the A c r o p o l i s for a p e r i o d , at the end o f w h i c h they made a r i t u a l descent (perhaps f r o m the A c r o p o l i s ) c a r r y i n g sacred objects, the nature o f w h i c h they were f o r b i d d e n to k n o w .

3 8

B u t since the

story, a p o p u l a r one w i t h vase painters ( E u r . Ion 271), had clearly escaped f r o m the n a r r o w sacral context, we need to consider the source o f its m o r e general appeal. It is based u p o n two p o p u l a r n a r r a t i v e motifs, the 'disobeyed command'

and ' g o o d and bad sisters'.

I n t o this frame it fits

characters w h o were o f i n t r i n s i c interest to A t h e n i a n s : A g l a u r u s and Pandrosus ( t h o u g h not Herse) were p r o m i n e n t figures i n cult, and, like so m a n y heroes o f A t h e n s ' earliest m y t h s , had precincts o n or near the A c r o p o l i s . Indeed the story to some extent explains f a m i l i a r topographical facts, since the s u r v i v o r Pandrosus had her precinct o n the heights o f the A c r o p o l i s , while that o f A g l a u r u s who leapt to her death was on the slopes below i t .

3 9

Even m o r e interest-

i n g than the sisters perhaps was the snake associated w i t h the y o u n g Erichthonius/Erechtheus: for the most famous i n h a b i t a n t o f the A c r o p o l i s was the sacred snake that l i v e d , very suitably, i n the precinct o f Erichthonius/Erechtheus, and was believed to g u a r d the city ( H d t . 8.41) j u s t as its m y t h i c a l predecessor had guarded the w o n d e r - c h i l d . Is it coincidence that a recently discovered vase w h i c h portrays this m y t h introduces the figure o f Soteria,

'safety,

salvation'? Possibly the m y t h evoked i n d i r e c t l y quite powerful feelings about the safety o f the c i t y .

4 0

A n d whether or not this public

association was present, it certainly established a l i n k Erichthonius/Erechtheus,

the

exemplary

between

proto-Athenian,

the

n u r s l i n g o f A t h e n a , and any A t h e n i a n w o m a n ' s o w n c h i l d : for A t h e n i a n w o m e n put gold amulets i n the f o r m o f snakes a r o u n d their o w n babies, ' o b s e r v i n g the custom o f their forefathers and o f e a r t h - b o r n E r i c h t h o n i u s ' ( E u r , Ion 2 0 - 6 , 1 4 2 7 - 9 ) . A p o l l o d o r u s introduces a detail absent f r o m other

accounts.

A t h e n a was r e a r i n g E r i c h t h o n i u s i n secret from the gods because she hoped to make h i m i m m o r t a l ; and that, it seems, was w h y she h i d h i m i n a box and entrusted h i m to the Cecropids (BibL 3.14.6). Presumably the girls' m e d d l i n g spoilt the goddess's plans. T h i s is a 196


Myths of Early

Athens

m o t i f more f a m i l i a r f r o m the Homeric Hymn Demeter's

attempt

to

immortalise

the

to Demeter, where Eleusinian

prince

D e m o p h o n fails t h r o u g h h u m a n weakness ( 2 2 6 - 7 4 ) , I t perhaps better suits the Eleusinian context, since the story o f i m m o r t a l i t y (inevitably) lost seems there to prepare for a second best, the institution o f Mysteries that help mortals to secure a better lot i n the afterlife (Hymn 2 7 0 - 4 , 4 7 0 - 8 2 ) . I n relation to the b r i g h t hope o f early A t h e n s , by contrast, the tragic note j a r s . I t m a y none the less have been heard by some; there is no way o f t e l l i n g when the assimilation o f E r i c h t h o n i u s to D e m o p h o n m a y have first o c c u r r e d .

41

I n one respect, there was s o m e t h i n g unsatisfactory about the myth even i n its f a m i l i a r f o r m . I n cult A g l a u r u s was patroness o f the ephebes, the c i t y ' s future w a r r i o r s , and yet the m y t h showed her

first

disobedient,

then

panic-stricken. T h e

anomaly

was

removed in a p r o b a b l y f o u r t h - c e n t u r y version by a characteristic 42

procedure o f adaptation a n d c o n f l a t i o n . I n this account A g l a u r u s did indeed h u r l herself to her death f r o m the A c r o p o l i s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but i n response to an oracle d e c l a r i n g that the war against Eleusis w o u l d only end w h e n an A t h e n i a n sacrificed h i m s e l f for the city. T h e motif o f a saving sacrificial death is obviously b o r r o w e d from the older A t h e n i a n legends o f the daughters o f Leos and Erechtheus; with the help o f i t , the patroness o f the ephebes became a true model for t h e m to follow. As the most p r o m i n e n t female A t h e n i a n s o f the earliest times, the daughters o f Cecrops were credited w i t h descendants. particular, one o f t h e m , variously identified,

43

In

was seduced by

Hermes and gave b i r t h to K e r y x , f o u n d i n g father o f the Eleusinian family o f the K e r y k e s . T h i s simple and appropriate aetiological tradition is doubtless ancient, but there is as yet no trace in classical sources o f the complex story o f greed, erotic i n t r i g u e and jealousy that was later spun out o f i t .

4 4

About the doings o f Cecrops h i m s e l f there is little to be said. When in the fourth century the A t t h i d o g r a p h e r s constructed a systematic

account

o f the g r o w t h o f civilisation i n A t t i c a ,

he

became a key figure w h o i n t r o d u c e d the first basic institutions o f a way of life r e m o v e d from b a r b a r i s m . H e brought the A t t i c people together into the first twelve townships and established the earliest Athenian

rituals, those that

were

conducted

i n the

innocent

ancient way w i t h o u t blood sacrifice and that h o n o u r e d the o l d gods who ruled before Zeus. Cecrops is seen, as it were, as K r o n o s to 197


Myths of Early Athens Erichthonius/Erechtheus'

Zeus, and his reign takes o n certain

tinges o f the golden age. H e was eventually credited w i t h the found a t i o n o f m a n y i n s t i t u t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g that o f m a r r i a g e . A k i n d o f m y t h o g r a p h i c i m a g i n a t i o n was, certainly, still at w o r k i n shaping the image o f Cecrops as a ' c u l t u r e h e r o ' ; b u t there is no trace of this conception i n the fifth c e n t u r y , and even i n the fourth century perhaps not before P h i l o c h o r u s .

45

I n the early t r a d i t i o n the one great event o f his reign was the contest o f A t h e n a and Poseidon for A t t i c a . T h i s was the subject of the west pediment o f the P a r t h e n o n ,

46

and very appropriately,

since two f a m i l i a r sights o f the A c r o p o l i s were the central items o f evidence i n the gods' dispute. Poseidon asserted his c l a i m to the l a n d by s t r i k i n g the rock w i t h his t r i d e n t and b r i n g i n g forth a salt s p r i n g , the famous 'sea' o f the E r e c h t h e u m ; A t h e n a planted the first o f all olive-trees, that w h i c h still grew i n the fifth century in the Pandroseum. O n e p i c t u r e o f the scene even emphasises these local

associations

Erechtheum.

47

by

i n t r o d u c i n g the

sacred

snake

For want o f an early n a r r a t i v e account,

of

the

several

details are obscure. Cecrops was certainly i n v o l v e d i n the dispute, either as actual j u d g e , appointed 'because o f his v i r t u e ' , or as a witness, the judges being the twelve g o d s .

48

I n late versions the

land was to belong to the god w h o c o u l d offer the greater benefits to A t t i c a . A c c o r d i n g l y , they caused their respective symbols, the olive-tree and the 'sea' (or a horse), to s p r i n g from the g r o u n d d u r i n g the actual t r i a l . I t looks as i f i n the classical legend the issue was merely one o f p r i o r i t y .

4 9

Immediately on arrival in Attica,

Poseidon b r o u g h t forth the sea, a n d A t h e n a planted the olive, as ways o f staking their respective claims to the l a n d , A quarrel ensued, d u r i n g w h i c h Poseidon possibly threatened

the sacred

olive w i t h his t r i d e n t , and Zeus possibly h u r l e d a t h u n d e r b o l t to separate the d i s p u t a n t s .

50

I n the ensuing t r i a l , both gods appealed

to the tokens as 'evidence' o f their p r i o r c l a i m ( H d t . 8.55). A t h e n a prevailed, strangely to o u r ears, because she had called Cecrops to witness her act o f p l a n t i n g , while Poseidon w h o had in fact a r r i v e d first

lacked witnesses ( A p o l l o d . Bibl.

3.14.1).

51

Enraged at the

verdict, Poseidon began to flood the T h r i a s i a n p l a i n , u n t i l ordered by Zeus to desist ( A p o l l o d . ; H y g . Fab. 1 6 4 ) .

52

Several features o f this m y t h are clear. I t explains p r i m a c y in the c i t y ' s pantheon,

brings d r a m a

to the

Athena's familiar

m o n u m e n t s o f the A c r o p o l i s , and depicts the o r i g i n o f one of 198


Myths of Early Athens Attica's most characteristic products and most venerable religious symbols:

53

for, whatever the goddess's exact motives may have

been, it was a great m o m e n t when A t h e n a 'revealed the first shoot of the grey olive, a heavenly c r o w n and a glory for b r i g h t A t h e n s ' (Eur. Tro. 802; cf. Ion 1433). I f an attack o n the olive-tree by Poseidon was indeed stayed by the t h u n d e r b o l t , that w o u l d be a further most apposite d e t a i l , since A t h e n i a n s apparently believed that Zeus w i e l d e d his t h u n d e r b o l t i n defence o f the sacred olives o f Attica (Soph. OC 705 w i t h schol.). A n d this is p r e - e m i n e n t l y another m y t h that illustrates A t h e n s ' dearness to the gods. ' A l l men should praise o u r l a n d . . . first and above all because it is dear to the gods. T h e q u a r r e l and t r i a l o f the gods w h o disputed for it bear witness to w h a t I say. O u g h t not a l a n d w h i c h gods c o m mended to be praised b y a l l mortals?' ( P I . Menex. 2 3 7 c - d ) . I t was a high t r i b u t e , too, to Cecrops' qualities that he was p e r m i t t e d to judge between the gods ( X e n . Mem.

iii.5.10).

But the m y t h perhaps has another and less comfortable aspect. It is one o f a g r o u p o f m y t h s that describe the disputes o f gods for particular territories. I n these stories, the victor is the c i t y ' s chief god, while the loser is always Poseidon, except i n Sicily where it is Hephaestus.

54

T h e loser too is c o m m o n l y worshipped by the c o m -

m u n i t y i n question, but he is not j u s t their second most i m p o r t a n t god. Poseidon is the most fearsome o f the O l y m p i a n s , the sender of storms and earthquakes, and Hephaestus i n Sicily had his home in the volcano E t n a . T h e r e is an i m p l i c i t connection between the t e r r i f y i n g powers o f the god, and his anger at defeat; the m y t h explains

the

uncomfortable

presence

within

the

state

of

a

dangerous g o d . I n A t t i c a , as we have already n o t e d , the resentful Poseidon threatened

floods,

w h i l e i n A r g o s he took an opposite

revenge a n d left the great p l a i n waterless (Paus. 2.15.5). T h i s Poseidon is the malevolent god o f the Odyssey, there too, o f course, he is opposed to A t h e n a . It has recently been suggested that o u r m y t h was first invented in or near the 470s, as a way o f a c k n o w l e d g i n g m y t h o l o g i c a l l y through the figure o f Poseidon the new i m p o r t a n c e o f sea-power i n Athenian l i f e .

5 5

T h a t suggestion fits ill w i t h the analysis j u s t g i v e n ,

which was based o n the broader type to w h i c h the A t t i c m y t h belongs; for angry Poseidon m i g h t be more likely to t h w a r t than to favour A t h e n i a n endeavours at sea. T h a t consideration, t h o u g h , is decisive only for those w h o put t h e i r faith i n the fixed m e a n i n g o f 199


Myths of Early Athens a m y t h , rather than i n its historically v a r y i n g meanings.

The

A t h e n i a n s c o u l d have adopted the o l d m y t h i c a l pattern b u t chosen to stress w i t h i n it Poseidon's interest i n A t t i c a rather than his lasting resentment.

C e r t a i n l y , we find

later i n P l u t a r c h

and

Aristides the conception o f a s p o r t i n g Poseidon w h o bears no grudge for defeat ( P l u t . Quaest. Conv. 741a; A r i s t i d . Panath. 41 L e n z - B e h r ) . Poseidon c o u l d have been appeased and

brought

r o u n d to favour Athens m u c h like the Eumenides o f Aeschylus. T h i s is a case where we must practise the art o f not k n o w i n g . T h e evidence is j u s t not available that w o u l d have shown h o w the A t h e n i a n s responded to Poseidon's role i n the m y t h .

5 6

T h e related

p r o b l e m o f the m y t h ' s date o f i n t r o d u c t i o n is s i m i l a r l y insoluble. Cecrops'

only

son

E r y s i c h t h o n ' d i e d childless',

before his father ( A p o l l o d . Bibl.

apparently

3.14,2). H e was r e m e m b e r e d as

little m o r e t h a n a name, and as ( p r e s u m a b l y ) e p o n y m o f the historical A t h e n i a n genos o f the E r y s i c h t h o n i d a i . T h e few t r a d i t i o n s about h i m almost all relate to Delos, a n d were p r o b a b l y for the most part i n v e n t e d by the propagandist Phanodemus i n the fourth c e n t u r y , to prove the a n t i q u i t y o f A t h e n s ' interest i n that i s l a n d .

57

E r y s i c h t h o n b e i n g dead, E r i c h t h o n i u s / E r e c h t h e u s p r o b a b l y succeeded Cecrops. ( I n the f o u r t h - c e n t u r y king-lists, two shadowy kings i n t r u d e d between t h e m , C r a n a u s and A m p h i c t y o n . Both had been k n o w n as names i n the fifth c e n t u r y , but there is no i n d i cation that they already had a fixed place i n the royal g e n e a l o g y . )

58

T h e r e was no t r a d i t i o n either about the o l d k i n g ' s death or about his successor's title to the t h r o n e . Such lacunae are w h o l l y characteristic o f this early A t t i c m y t h o l o g y , w h i c h had never been put into order i n a continuous poetic n a r r a t i v e b u t existed i n fragments associated w i t h p a r t i c u l a r m o n u m e n t s a n d cults. I n d e e d , for Plato, Cecrops, Erechtheus, E r i c h t h o n i u s and E r y s i c h t h o n are all figures (Criti.

'whose names have been preserved w i t h o u t t h e i r deeds' 110a). O f Erichthonius/Erechtheus i n p a r t i c u l a r one m i g h t l

say that magni slat nominis umbra\

H i s pre-eminent role i n early

A t h e n i a n cult is clear f r o m H o m e r ( / / . 2 . 5 4 7 - 5 1 ; Od. 7.81), and he c o n t i n u e d to have great genealogical i m p o r t a n c e , fifth

59

b u t i n the

century o n l y one heroic deed was recorded o f h i m . Before

m e n t i o n i n g that, t h o u g h , we must touch on the issue o f his double name. I n sources o f the fifth c e n t u r y and earlier, Erechtheus is m u c h the c o m m o n e r f o r m . E r i c h t h o n i u s is not securely attested 200

until


Myths of Early Athens about 440/30. A c c o r d i n g to a t r a d i t i o n first found at the same time, they were distinct figures, E r i c h t h o n i u s being the father or grandfather o f E r e c h t h e u s .

60

T h e i r deeds too are to some extent

distinguished: E r i c h t h o n i u s is never credited w i t h Erechtheus' war against Eleusis, or w i t h his c h i l d r e n , while it is he and not Erechtheus w h o i n f o u r t h - c e n t u r y sources founds the Panathenaea. But one crucial m y t h is shared between the t w o . I n H o m e r the earthborn n u r s l i n g o f A t h e n a is Erechtheus ( / / . 2 . 5 4 7 - 8 ) ; o n vase paintings, i n Ion ( 2 6 7 - 7 0 ) and i n most later sources E r i c h t h o n i u s supplants

h i m , though

the older t r a d i t i o n still lingers o n i n

H e r o d o t u s ( 8 . 5 5 ) . I t has often been inferred that Erechtheus and E r i c h t h o n i u s were s i m p l y alternative forms o f the same name, and that the single figure w i t h t w o names came to be d i v i d e d into two figures. T h e actual development was perhaps m o r e c o m p l e x ,

61

but

it certainly seems to be t r u e that we are dealing w i t h j o i n t - h e i r s to a single m y t h o l o g i c a l inheritance. E r i c h t h o n i u s has no substantial myths o f his o w n , but borrows and usurps f r o m

Erechtheus.

Erechtheus indeed is forced to yield u p his c h i l d h o o d to the older m a n . T h i s is, o f course, another i n d i c a t i o n o f the fragmentation o f these t r a d i t i o n s , w h i c h w o r k w i t h isolated incidents rather than a continuous conception o f a whole heroic career. E r i c h t h o n i u s ' o n l y independent action was to found the Panathenaea, a n d

to make

certain

inventions associated w i t h

the

festival. These are f o u r t h - c e n t u r y t r a d i t i o n s , and must derive from E r i c h t h o n i u s ' by then canonical status as n u r s l i n g o f the goddess w h o m the great festival h o n o u r e d .

62

Erechtheus' great exploit was

the w a r against E u m o l p u s and his Eleusinian o r T h r a c i a n allies. I t was to become the first o f what one m i g h t call the ' f o u r labours o f the A t h e n i a n s ' . T h i s canon was established by the speakers o f the public

funeral

orations

that

were

so distinctive a vehicle o f

A t h e n i a n ideology f r o m about the m i d d l e o f the fifth

century.

F r o m the w i d e existing range o f A t h e n i a n m y t h s , some o f t h e m concerned w i t h i n d i v i d u a l and domestic life, they selected four that could be reshaped as paradigms o f a d i s t i n c t i v e l y A t h e n i a n blend of righteousness and v a l o u r i n the c o m m u n a l enterprise o f warfare. T w o o f the chosen m y t h s celebrated the A t h e n i a n heroism that had always i n the last resort proved sufficient to repel the threatening incursions o f barbarians. T w o presented Athens as the c o m m o n refuge o f the oppressed, the state that had both the w i l l and the power to stand u p for sacred rights. Characteristically, it 201


Myths of Early Athens was a new social i n s t i t u t i o n , the p u b l i c funeral, that s t i m u l a t e d this new development in m y t h o l o g y .

6 3

O u r first knowledge o f the m y t h comes, a p p r o p r i a t e l y , from Euripides

Erechtheus,

a w o r k deeply i m b u e d w i t h the patriotic

values o f the funeral speeches. I t was almost certainly produced while w o r k was at progress on the new E r e c h t h e u m , the foundation m y t h o f w h i c h it told. E u m o l p u s was the son o f Poseidon and o f C h i o n e , a T h r a c i a n princess w h o , at least i n later t r a d i t i o n , was b o r n o f an A t h e n i a n m o t h e r . After m a n y adventures, he led an a r m y o f T h r a c i a n s into A t t i c a to help the Eleusinians i n a w a r against A t h e n s . H e hoped to install his father Poseidon o n the A c r o p o l i s i n place o f A t h e n a , and so reverse the unjust outcome o f the famous dispute. Erechtheus consulted D e l p h i , and was told that v i c t o r y w o u l d be his i f he sacrificed one o f his daughters before the battle. W i t h the consent o f his wife Praxithea he d i d this, and

t w o further

daughters

sacrificed

themselves

voluntarily.

Erechtheus d u l y killed E u m o l p u s a n d expelled the T h r a c i a n s , but at the m o m e n t o f v i c t o r y vengeful Poseidon slew h i m i n t u r n , or persuaded Zeus to do so. O n A t h e n a ' s orders Erechtheus is now w o r s h i p p e d i n a fine temple on the A c r o p o l i s , b e a r i n g the name 'Erechtheus-Poseidon',

'because o f h i m who killed h i m ' . H i s

daughters too receive cult at the place o f their death, p a r t i c u l a r l y when

invasion threatens,

while Praxithea

was chosen

by

the

goddess herself to become the first priestess o f A t h e n a Polias. A n d a descendant o f E u m o l p u s i n perhaps the fifth generation, again called

Eumolpus,

founded

the Mysteries at

Eleusis. 1

o u t l i n e seems to have been the plot o f E u r i p i d e s p l a y .

6 4

Such

in

T h e pro-

logue was p r o b a b l y spoken by Poseidon, the exodos by A t h e n a , so that as i n Hippolytus

the t w o c o m p e t i n g gods r i n g e d the h u m a n

action o f the play. W e have, t h e n , a story o f a t h r e a t e n i n g b a r b a r i a n invasion that could o n l y be checked b y a k i n g ' s willingness to subordinate his dearest personal interests to the p u b l i c good. ( I n later allusions it is the k i n g ' s a t t i t u d e rather t h a n that o f his wife o r hapless daughters that

is stressed.)

A

leader's

daughter-sacrifice

had

been

an

a b o m i n a t i o n for Aeschylus, but the theme is here suffused i n a w a r m p a t r i o t i c glow, and the h o r r o r is m i t i g a t e d as often i n Euripides by the v i c t i m s ' ready submission to their f a t e .

65

There

was, o f course, an example i n all this for every c i t i z e n . O n the d i v i n e level the w a r was a re-enactment o f the old q u a r r e l between 202


Myths of Early Athens Athena and Poseidon, i n yet m o r e t h r e a t e n i n g terms; for the everdangerous god was n o w aligned w i t h a b a r b a r i a n horde. I n the event Athens remained a Greek and not a b a r b a r i a n c i t y , Athens and not Poseidonia; and f r o m this victory emerged a whole series of the c i t y ' s cults, i n c l u d i n g several o f the most celebrated. T h e play showed the religious order o f the city created or c o n f i r m e d by the p a t r i o t i s m o f the citizens. H o w m u c h o f this complex o f motifs antedated Euripides? T h e r e are no certain earlier allusions; but passing references i n almost contemporary works that are u n l i k e l y to be dependent on Erechtheus suggest that several features o f E u r i p i d e s ' m y t h â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Eleusinian war, the m a i d e n sacrifice, the destruction o f Erechtheus t h r o u g h Poseidon attested

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; were already before

familiar.

66

One

feature

that is not

Euripides is E u m o l p u s ' T h r a c i a n o r i g i n . I t is

thoroughly unexpected, since E u m o l p u s is evidently the e p o n y m o f the Eleusinian priestly genos o f the E u m o l p i d s , and duly appears as a respectable Eleusinian prince i n the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (154). H i s descent from Poseidon, too, well suits an Eleusinian, since the god was worshipped there under the title 'father' (Paus. 1.38.6). E u r i p i d e s ' version retains the association w i t h Eleusis, but reserves the f o u n d a t i o n o f the Mysteries for a second E u m o l p u s five generations later; by t h e n , no d o u b t , the T h r a c i a n blood w o u l d have been d i l u t e d to an acceptable l e v e l .

67

T h e r e has clearly been

an i n n o v a t i o n here at some date; but it is h a r d to believe that Euripides had no semblance o f a u t h o r i t y for c h a n g i n g a w a r against Eleusinians i n t o a w a r against T h r a c i a n s , and so t r a n s f o r m i n g one of

the

most

honoured

religious families o f all Greece

into

descendants o f a b a r b a r i a n w a r - l o r d . It was probably the prestige at Eleusis o f T h r a c i a n O r p h e u s that first made E u m o l p u s i n t o a Thracian,

68

that O r p h e u s who himself came to be seen as founder

of the Mysteries. But T h r a c e i n A t h e n i a n m y t h o l o g y had a double significance. I t was the home o f O r p h e u s and thus a source o f religious revelation, but it was also the first fully b a r b a r i a n land abutting the Greek

mainland. Eumolpus

probably became a

T h r a c i a n because o f the first set o f associations, o n l y to be transformed by the patriotic t r a d i t i o n i n t o the scapegrace e m b o d i m e n t of the second. T h e r e is some evidence that perhaps points to an earlier independent t r a d i t i o n o f a war between Erechtheus and the Thracians.

69

I f one existed, it w i l l have eased the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f

an A t h e n o - E l e u s i n i a n i n t o an A t h e n o - T h r a c i a n conflict. A t all 203


Myths of Early Athens events, the f o u r t h - c e n t u r y t r a d i t i o n h a d almost forgotten that this w a r had a n y t h i n g to do w i t h Eleusis, and r e m e m b e r e d it o n l y as the p r o t o t y p e o f the Persian wars, the first i n c u r s i o n o f barbarian arms into Greece (e.g. D e m . 6 0 . 8 ) . P r o b a b l y , therefore, the earlier m y t h used similar motifs in describing a conflict between A t h e n s a n d Eleusis. ( H o w far the process o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n had gone before E u r i p i d e s we cannot say.) Since Poseidon was a p r o m i n e n t Eleusinian g o d , the d i v i n e conflict w o u l d have been a p p r o p r i a t e i n this version too. I t used to be t h o u g h t that the m y t h i n this f o r m reflected an actual historical conflict; but the archaeological support for that view has collapsed, w i t h the d e m o n s t r a t i o n that the supposedly * archaic* defensive w a l l between A t h e n s a n d Eleusis belongs to the f o u r t h c e n t u r y . T h e r e is no independent

70

evidence to suggest that Eleusis was

i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the A t h e n i a n state later t h a n other o f the 'cities' o f A t t i c a , o r w i t h any m o r e difficulty. T h e area i n w h i c h the relation o f Eleusis to Athens was u n i q u e was, o f course, that o f religion. The

myth

emphasises this special relationship by a

technique o f contrast (since the w a r led to peace).

Pausanias'

account perhaps suggests the spirit, at least, o f the o r i g i n a l denouem e n t : ' T h e y settled the w a r o n the terms that the Eleusinians should be subject to the A t h e n i a n s i n other respects b u t should conduct the ceremonies themselves.' ( 1 . 3 8 . 3 ) , T h e m y t h o f the w a r was also no d o u b t very closely associated w i t h the several rituals that i n v o l v e d processions f r o m A t h e n s to Eleusis ( o r vice versa), or places en route; most p a r t i c u l a r l y , at the S k i r o p h o r i a , the priest o f Poseidon/Erechtheus a n d the priestess o f A t h e n a Polias, i n this context a most significant c o m b i n a t i o n , w a l k e d o u t westwards to S k i r o n , the spot where a c c o r d i n g to one t r a d i t i o n the decisive battle o c c u r r e d ,

71

T h e o l d m y t h p r o b a b l y dramatised such

local ( t h o u g h by no means t r i v i a l ) themes a n d concerns; but the struggle between n e i g h b o u r i n g A t t i c c o m m u n i t i e s that it portrayed could be seen as disreputable, and it h a d to give way to the great saga o f the b a r b a r i a n repelled. Erechtheus had several further daughters. O n e was O r i t h y i a , the b r i d e o f Boreas the N o r t h W i n d . W h e t h e r the bearer o f such a name ('she w h o races i n the m o u n t a i n s ' ? )

72

had always been a

royal princess must be d o u b t f u l , b u t that is h o w the o n l y m y t h we k n o w portrays her. O r i t h y i a was not the o n l y g i r l to have been swept away by a s t o r m (cf. H o r n . Od> 2 0 . 6 6 - 7 8 ) , a n d at one level 204


Myths of Early Athens the m y t h expresses the f r i g h t e n i n g power o f a force o f nature. But Boreas was a god as well as a w i n d , and it also illustrates the ' r o u g h favour' (Aesch. Ag.

1 8 2 - 3 ) o f the O l y m p i a n s i n their dealings

with mortals. T h e rape o f m o r t a l by god has t w o aspects. O n the one hand it is a f r i g h t e n i n g and irresistible i n c u r s i o n , a seigneurial act o f power; but it is also a contact o f rare i n t i m a c y between the two worlds, w h i c h gives the v i c t i m ' s family and c o m m u n i t y almost unique claims u p o n the condescending god. T h i s is a theme u p o n which, i n a different context, Euripides plays p o i g n a n t l y i n one o f his loveliest choral odes (Troades

8 2 0 - 5 8 ) . A p p r o p r i a t e l y , there-

fore, the rape often takes place a m i d an assemblage o f early A t t i c heroes; Cecrops and his three daughters as well as Erechtheus are all present and n a m e d , i n defiance o f c h r o n o l o g y , on an a m p h o r a by the O r i t h y i a painter, and A t h e n a , too, often watches the scene without obvious disapproval. Boreas was r o u g h a n d alien enough (witness the vase p a i n t i n g s ) , b u t he k n e w h o w to be grateful, as the help he gave against

the M e d e i n 492 and again i n 480 well

showed, w h e n the A t h e n i a n s accepted the advice o f an oracle ( H d t . 7.189) to 'call o n their son-in-law' for a i d . ( T h e Athenians at large are conceived, revealingly, as sharing i n relationships contracted by Erechtheus). T h i s display o f d i v i n e gratitude i n a crisis was the source o f the m y t h ' s great p o p u l a r i t y i n the fifth century. T h e m a n y vase paintings, the m o n u m e n t a l sculptures, the play by Aeschylus, the new temple o f O r i t h y i a by the Ilissus all served to remind the A t h e n i a n s o f how they overcame the M e d e t h r o u g h the help of friends i n h i g h places.

73

W h e n they decorated their temple

of A p o l l o on Delos w i t h t w o scenes o f A t h e n i a n s raped by i m m o r tals, they were p r o c l a i m i n g to the w o r l d the gods' great love for Athens.

74

O r i t h y i a ' s m a r r i a g e was not w i t h o u t issue; and some o f her children, Zetes and Calais and C l e o p a t r a , wife o f Phineus, were to achieve fame i n the m y t h o l o g i c a l w o r l d . T h r o u g h t h e m A t t i c a acquired a rather distant connection w i t h the glamorous A r g o nautic e x p e d i t i o n . T h e o r i g i n o f this association is u n c e r t a i n , but it was certainly k n o w n to Sophocles: the chorus i n Antigone ponder the melancholy fate that befell C l e o p a t r a , daughter o f a god and grand-daughter o f an A t h e n i a n t h o u g h she was ( 9 6 6 - 8 7 ) .

7 5

A n o t h e r daughter o f Erechtheus made an influential marriage in the early t i m e , w h e n m a n k i n d had o n l y existed for three generations and was

still b e i n g d i v i d e d i n t o its racial groups. 205

We


Myths of Early Athens encounter here a central concern o f Greek political m y t h o l o g y , the genealogical relations o f peoples. I n this case, a controversy about the o r i g i n s a n d thus the obligations o f the Ionians is fought out t h r o u g h the person o f the hero I o n . A recently published fragment of

the

1

Hesiodic Catalogue ** has

c o n f i r m e d that

the

following

stemma is ancient: Hellen (son o f D e u c a l i o n )

Erechtheus

Aeolus

Achaeus

Ion

So j u x t a p o s e d , I o n a n d Achaeus are evidently patrons o f Achaea in the northwest Peloponnese, w h i c h was recognised by the nine I o n i a n cities o f A s i a M i n o r as t h e i r h o m e l a n d a n d according to tradition

had

once

been

called

Ionia

(Diod.

Sic.

15.49.1).

N u m e r o u s sources d u l y associate the heroes w i t h this r e g i o n , from 4

H e r o d o t u s ( 7 . 9 4 ) o n w a r d s . B u t Athens too c l a i m e d to be the most ancient l a n d o f Ionia* (Solon fr. 4a.2 W e s t ) , a n d her status as such is recognised i n the choice o f an A t h e n i a n m o t h e r (a daughter o f Erechtheus,

n a t u r a l l y ) for I o n . Pseudo-Hesiod's

genealogy

is

perhaps a c o m p r o m i s e between t w o beliefs or claims about the site o f the true p r i m e v a l I o n i a . C e r t a i n l y I o n h i m s e l f is connected by H e r o d o t o s w i t h A t h e n s (8.44) as well as w i t h Achaea, and is repeatedly forced to m i g r a t e physically f r o m the one place to the other i n m o r e elaborate later a c c o u n t s .

77

T h u s A t h e n i a n s o f the fifth c e n t u r y i n h e r i t e d a t r a d i t i o n which associated I o n w i t h A t h e n s , but a little precariously, t h r o u g h his m o t h e r o n l y . I t was therefore a p r o b l e m to explain h o w he had achieved such p r o m i n e n c e at A t h e n s that the four A t t i c tribes were n a m e d after his sons ( H d t . 5.66; E u r . Ion 1 5 7 5 - 8 1 ) , as i n terms o f m y t h o l o g i c a l genealogy

they necessarily

were: for these tribe

names were also f o u n d i n I o n i a proper, a n d so were a p r i m e part o f that heritage o f I o n w h i c h was t r a n s m i t t e d t h r o u g h Athens to the broader I o n i c w o r l d .

7 8

T h e best that could be done was to say

that I o n was s u m m o n e d to serve as 'general' i n a dangerous war (Erechtheus' against the T h r a c i a n s , w h e n it is identified), and o w e d his influence to m i l i t a r y success.

79

A n exception had of

course to be made here, i n I o n ' s favour, to the n o r m a l mythological 206


Myths of Early Athens rule that kings are their o w n generals. I t was perhaps Euripides in Ion w h o first adopted the radical solution o f e l i m i n a t i n g the boy's foreign father i n favour o f A p o l l o .

8 0

As I o n was now o f pure

Athenian blood ( w i t h a dash o f i c h o r ) , he became a fit heir to the throne o f Erechtheus (Ion 1 5 7 3 - 4 ) . Euripides d u l y installs h i m there,

81

i n defiance o f t r a d i t i o n , and w i t h o u t e x p l a i n i n g how the

throne passed back f r o m I o n ' s line to Erechtheus' n o r m a l successor, P a n d i o n . A t h e n s ' relations w i t h her I o n i a n allies were at this date crucial for her very s u r v i v a l (cf. Ion 1 5 8 4 - 5 ) , and it was not inopportune to place the I o n i a n s ' ancestor at the very centre of primitive Athenian society.

82

N o r w i l l A t h e n i a n s have resented the

notion that after conceiving I o n by a god, Creusa went o n to bear Dorus and Achaeus to a m o r t a l (Ion 1 5 8 9 - 9 4 ) : I o n ' s uncle D o r u s was thus reduced to his younger half-brother, b o r n o f inferior and, to boot, h a l f - A t h e n i a n stock. B u t E u r i p i d e s ' i n n o v a t i o n ( i f such indeed it was) was too b o l d to be taken u p by the subsequent t r a d i tion, and I o n r e m a i n e d a general and an i m m i g r a n t . A n d this was, perhaps, not an i n a p p r o p r i a t e expression o f the A t h e n i a n s ' o w n sense o f their I o n i a n i d e n t i t y . A n A t h e n i a n was o f course an I o n i a n , and at certain times it was i m p o r t a n t to insist on the p o i n t ; but i n general b e i n g an I o n i a n was very m u c h secondary to the central business o f b e i n g an A t h e n i a n . Erechtheus was succeeded by . . . . But we must leave Athenians as Bacchylides portrays t h e m i n his eighteenth W a i t i n g for T h e s e u s .

the ode,

83

Notes "Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood and I join in paying tribute to a fine scholar and mythographer, whose generosity towards other scholars in time and ideas always seemed to have no limits. 1. Cf. E . Hobsbawm and T . R a n g e r (eds), The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, 1983). T h e gradual emergence in literature of Attic myths is surveyed by E . Ermatinger, Die attische Autochthonensage bis auf Euripides (Berlin, 1897) 1 - 3 6 . 2. Cephalus and Procris; Procne, Philomela and Tereus. 3. Cf. H . T u d o r , Political Myth ( L o n d o n , 1972). 4. See, e.g., W . R . C o n n o r , 'Theseus in Classical Athens', in A . G . W a r d et al.. The Quest for Theseus ( L o n d o n , 1970) 1 4 3 - 7 4 ; F . Graf, Gnechische Mythologie (Munich and Z u r i c h , 1985) 1 3 0 - 5 . 5. In George Eliot's novel Middlemarch. 6. See, e.g., T . Eagleton, Literary Theory (Oxford, 1983) C h . 2. 7. C f . D ĂŠ t i e n n e , Invention, C h . 2.

207


Myths of Early Athens 8. C u l m i n a t i n g in the venerable Die griechische Heldensage (Berlin, 1 9 2 0 - 6 ) . 9. O n the continuing vitality of the myths see P. V e y n e , Les Grecs ont-Us cru à leurs mythes? (Paris, 1983), passim\ on the developments, Bremmer, this volume, C h . 1, section 2. 10. T h e r e was extensive s y s t é m a t i s a t i o n , of a kind, in the Hesiodic Catalogue c f the 7th/6th century: cf. M . L . West, The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (Oxford, 1985) 31 - 5 0 ; while large tracts of heroic epic lacked 'incredible events' (apista) of the kind certain fourth-century writers sought to eliminate. 11. See U . K r ö n , Die zehn attischen Phylenheroen (Berlin, 1976) 106, for references to studies, above all by F . J a c o b y , on this complex topic. 12. West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 1 0 3 - 9 , argues for an extensive Attic section in that work (and for Attic origin, 1 6 8 - 7 1 ) ; and there were numerous Attic myths in the mythographic work of the Athenian Pherecydes, of perhaps the second quarter of the fifth century (FGrH 3: sec F 2, 34, 53, 84, 116, 120, 1 4 4 - 5 5 ) , though we do not know how they were arranged. 13. Ares* trial at the Areopagus is left out, though it falls in the period covered, because it needs to be discussed along with the other aetia for Attic courts, which do not. C f . Hellanicus, FGrH 323a F 1, with J a c o b y . 14. T h e r e is a brilliant sketch of Athenian mythology by N . L o r e a u x , s.v. ' C i t é grecque* in Y . Bonnefoy (ed.), Dictionnaire des mythologies et des religions des sociétés traditionnelles et du monde antique (Parts, 1981) 2 0 3 - 9 ; to this I am much indebted. For comprehensive accounts one must go back to J . E . Harrison in Harrison and M . de G . V e r r a l l , Mythology and Monuments ofAncient Athens ( L o n d o n , 1890) i - c l v i , and Robert, Heldensage, 1 3 5 - 7 4 , 6 7 6 - 7 5 6 , though much of the ground is covered in K r o n ' s excellent Phylenheroen. See also the chapter on 'Heroic Mythology' by E . K e a r n s , The Heroes cf Attica ( L o n d o n , 1989) 103-24. T h e myths of the Acropolis are briefly surveyed in R . J . Hopper, The Acropolis ( L o n d o n , 1971) C h . 2; on political aspects see M . P. Nilsson, Cults, Myths, Oracles and Politics in Ancient Greece ( L u n d , 1951) 49-64. 15. For bibliography see M , L . West's note on Hes. Theog. 8 8 6 - 9 0 0 ; E . H . L o e b , Die Geburt der Gotter in der griechischen Kunst (Jerusalem, 1979) 197 n 8; add Burkert, GR, 1 4 2 - 3 ; H . Cassimatis in LIMC I I I . s.v. Athena, 9 8 5 - 9 0 (citing the sources), 1 0 2 1 - 3 ; K . Schefold, Götter und Heldensagen der Griechen in der spätarchaischen Kunst ( M u n i c h , 1978) 1 2 - 2 0 ; idem, Die Göttersage in der klassischen und hellenistischen Kunst ( M u n i c h , 1981) 1 9 - 2 3 ; F . T . v. Straten, Lampas, 77 (1984) 162-83. 16. Athena as friendly helper: see P. Friedrich, The Meaning of Aphrodite (Chicago, 1978)83; L / M C I I . I s.v. Athena, 1026f. H e a d as 'self: see R . B . O n i a n s , The Origins of European Thought ( C a m b r i d g e , 1951) 9 6 - 1 0 2 ; J . B r e m m e r , The Early Greek Concept of the Soul (Princeton, 1983) l6f. Athena and Zeus: cf. C . J . Herington, in G . T . W . Hooker (ed.), Parthenos and Parthenon (Greece and Rome suppl., 1963) 6 1 - 7 3 ; N . L o r a u x , Les Enfants d'Athéna (Paris, 1981), 1 4 1 - 5 . 17. T h o u g h they did not invent it: see, e.g., numbers 361 - 2 of the catalogue in LIMC s.v. Athena. 18. C f . M . D é t i e n n e and J . - P . V e r n a n t , Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society, tr. J . L l o y d (Hassocks, 1978) C h . 4; and on asexual generation M . D é t i e n n e , Traverses 5 - 6 (1976) 7 5 - 8 1 . 19. C f . G . E . R . L l o y d , Science, Folklore and Ideology (Cambridge, 1983) 8 * - 1 0 5 20. C f . the superiority claimed for Aphrodite O u r a n i o s as being 'motherless' and 'having no share of the female' in PI. Symp. 1 8 0 d - 18Id. 21. See especially F . Brommer, 'Die Geburt der Athena', Jahrb. römtsch-germ. Zentralmus. Mainz, £ ( 1 9 6 1 ) , 6 6 - 8 3 .

208


Myths of Early Athens 22. O n this concept cf. F . Dirlmeier, Philotogus, 90 (1935) 5 7 - 7 7 , 1 7 6 - 9 3 ; A. W . H . Adkins. JHS, 92 (1972) 11 - 1 7 ; J . Griffin, Homer on Life and Death (Oxford, 1980) 8 5 - 8 . 23. Sec F V i a n , La Guerre des géants (Paris, 1952); P. Dcmargne in L1MC I I . 1 . s.v. Athena, 9 9 0 - 2 . No early connected account survives: for the literary allusions see V i a n , 2 n 2. 24. E . g . Soph. fr. 2 4 . 6 - 8 (Pallantids), Arist. fr. 637 (Panathenaea commemo­ rate Asterios): cf. M . M a y e r , Die Giganten und Titanen in der antiken Saçe und Kumt (Berlin, 1887) 1 8 2 - 9 3 ; V i a n , Guerre, 261 - 4 , 2 7 2 - 7 . 25. Panathenaic robe: E u r . Hex. 4 6 6 - 7 4 , IT 2 2 2 - 4 , V i a n , Guerre, 251. Its symbolic importance: e.g. A r . Eg. 566. Hybns punished: e.g. Bacch. 1 5 . 6 2 - 3 , Pind. Pyth. 8 . 1 2 - 1 8 . Panathenaea: V i a n , Guerre, 259. V i a n argues, 2 4 6 - 5 3 , that the Gigantomachy was evoked or imitated at several stages in the ritual of the Panathenaea: Nilsson in his review, Gnomon, 25 (1953) 5 - 9 , is (perhaps unduly) sceptical. 26. Victory: cf. F . W . Hamdorf, Griechische KuUpersonifikationen der vorhellenistischen Zeit ( M a i n z , 1964) 5 8 - 6 2 . Symbolism in Hellenistic period: see, e.g., Paus. 1.25.2, C a l l i m . Del. 174. For the classical period V i a n , Guerre, 288 is sceptical, E . Thomas, Mythos und Geschichte (Cologne, 1976) 40fr, receptive. O n Pind. Pyth. 8 . 1 2 - 18 see most recently M . W . Dickie in D . E . Gerber (ed.), Studies in Honour of Leonard Woodbury ( C h i c o , Calif., 1984) 8 3 - 109, who disputes the political reading. 27. See, e.g., T h u c . 2.15.1. O n the shadowy kings before Cecrops see Jacoby on Philochorus, FGrH 328 F 92; on Cecrops, K r o n , Phylenheroen, 8 4 - 103. 28. See K r o n , Phylenheroen, 90 - 2, 5 5 - 6 7 ; on representations of the birth see too C . Berard, Anodoi ( R o m e , 1974) 3 4 - 8 ; Loeb, Geburt der Götter, 1 6 5 - 8 1 . In literature: E u r . Ion 2 0 - 6 , 2 6 7 - 7 4 , 9 9 9 - 1 0 0 5 , 1 4 2 7 - 9 . 29. So L o r a u x , Enfants d'Athéna, 39. 30. Cf. K r o n , Phylenheroen, 3 2 - 7 . T h e passage is accepted as genuine, without discussion on this point, by G . S. K i r k in his commentary (Cambridge, 1985) ad Joe. 31. So, e.g., Apollod. Bibl. 3.14.6, where see Frazer's note. T h e derivation of Erichthonius' name from wool, erion, and earth, chthon, is apparently nr>t attested before the third century. Sixth century: on the Amyclaean throne, Paus. 3.18.13 (though cf. the caveat of N . Robertson, HSCP, <97(I983) 2 8 7 - 8 ) . 32. Divine-child: so J . D . Mikalson, Am. J . Phil., 97 (1976) 141 - 5 3 . National origins: see above all N . L o r a u x , 'L'autochtonie: une topique a t h é n i e n n e , in her Enfants d'Athéna, 3 5 - 7 3 (from Annates, 1979). I am less convinced by her further argument (in ' L e nom a t h é n i e n ' , ibid. 1 1 9 - 5 3 ) that the prominence in the myth of Athena, the motherless child, means that this myth too emphasises 'la dominance de la part paternelle' (146). 'Cecropids': see Robert, Heldensage, 138 n 7, and Jexica to Sophocles and Euripides s.v. Erechtheidai. Descent is claimed explicitly, beyond what the patronymic implies, in, e.g., Soph. Aj. 202, and in passages referring to the Athenians' divine ancestors, cf. E u r . Med. 825 with Page's note, 1

33. Cf. note 22 above. 34. C f . the interesting speculations of H . Jeanmaire on the influence of artisans on myth-making, Reu. Arch., 48 (1956) 2 7 - 3 9 . O n the close relations in Athenian cult between Athena and Hephaestus see the references of L o r a u x , Enfants d'Athéna, 135f, and cf. n 17 above; Loraux emphasises, p. 132, that the Athenians seem to have played down their descent from Hephaestus, which is explicitly mentioned only in Aesch. Eum. 13. 35. See the texts cited în R . Stupperich, Staatsbegräbnis und Privatgrabmal im klassischen Athen (Diss. M ü n s t e r , 1977) ii, 33, n 4 to p. 42; and cf. Loraux, 'Cite grecque' (note 14 above). It is not clear whether the famous Attic/Ionic cicada

209


Myths of Early Athens brooches were a 'symbol of autochthony' (the cicada too being earth-born) for iheir wearers, as thrv certainty were lor commentators later in antiquity (if. A . B. (look, Zeus, iii, Cambridge, 1940, 250 n 8): cf. R . L . Hunter's commentary ((Cambridge, 1983) on Eubulus fr. 10, the only relevant classical allusion (also dislussed by R . B. Egan. CO, 7 5 ( 1 9 8 5 ) 523 - 5). M'y D e m . 6U.4; L y s . 2 17: PI Menex. 239a, In a different context, special obliga­ tion* to a mother are emphasised: E u r . Heracl. 8 2 6 - 7. PI Resp. 4 1 4 d - e . 37. Su. e.g., Pans. 1.18.2, Apollod. Btbl 3.14.6. A difTerenl tradition in Amrlrsagoras, FGrH WO F 1 (el. Jacoby ad lot. for related texts). See in general U . K r o n in LIMC l.l. s.v. Aglantos, Hnse. Pandrosos, 2 8 3 - 9 8 38. Paus. 1 27.3, cf. W . Burkert, Hermes, 94 (1966) 1 - 2 5 ; E . Simon. Festivals of Attica (Wisconsin, 1983) 3 9 - 4 6 ; N . Robertson, HSCP, 87 {1983) 241 - 8 8 , the last dissenting trom the modern consensus that the descent was from the Acropolis. 39 Pandrosus: Pans. 1.27.2. Aglaurus: G . S. Dontas, Hespena, 52 (1983) 4 8 - 6 3 Pfeitier argues (on C a l l i m . fr. 238.11) that Euphorion (fr. 9.4 Powell) located the leap on the southwest side of the acropolis, some way therefore from the Aglaurion, whirh as we now know was on the cast; but it is unclear what Euphorion meant by Glaukopton (perhaps the Acropolis itself). Cecrops and, of course, Erechtheus H I S O had Acropolis precincts. 40. T h e snake: see J . G . F r a 2 e r on Apollod. Bibl. 3.14.6 (though note that Erirhihonius/Erechtheus is not himself anguiform in early sources). O n snakes and children see B u r k e n . Hermes (1966), 15 n 4, and for the 'guardian* snake Soph. Phil. 1328. T h e vase (a pyxis of the late fifth century): Archaeological Reports 1 9 8 4 - 5 , 9, cf. N. Robertson's theory, HSCP (1983), esp. 259, 276, that the Arrephoria related to a talisman of Athens' safety. T h e vase is said to ofTcr the form E r u c h ihonios: probably a slip, but one thinks of eruo-chthon, 'save-land' (a sense argued lor Erysichthon by N Robertson, Am. J. Phil., 105 (1984) 388). 41 O n their relation see N . J . Richardson, The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (Oxford, 1974), 2 3 4 - 5 . 42. Schol. D e m , 19. 303 = Philochorus FGrH 328 F 105; cf. R . Merkelbach, ZPE, 9 (1972) 2 7 7 - 8 3 . T h e alteration creates acute chronological difficulties (cf. Jacoby, ad Inc.), which make it uncertain how much of the scholion derives from Philochorus 43. Aglaurus was mother by Ares of Alcippe, Hellanicus FGrH 323a F 1, Apollod. BibL 3.14.2; the tradition derives from her close association with Ares via the ephebes, Apollod. Btbl. 3.14.3 unusually makes Cephalus a child of Hermes and Herse. In their main legend, of course, both girls die as virgins. 44. See Androtion FGrH 324 F I , with J a c o b y , and for possible representations in fifth-century art, K r o n in LIMC I I . 297. Complex story: first in Callimachus, see A . Henrichs, Cronache Frcolanesi, 13 (1983) 3 3 - 4 3 . 45. See on all this Philochorus, FGrH 328 F 94 - 8, with Jacoby; S. Eitrem in RE 11 (1922) 123; A . Brelich, Gli erox greet ( R o m e , 1958) 172; S. Pembroke, Journal of the Warburg and Courtautd Institutes, 30 (1967) 3 0 - 1 (on marriage). Before Philochorus I know unly X e n . Mem. 3.5.10 (vague), and ?Clearchus fr. 63 Wehrli (but how much is really C l c a r c h u s ? ) ; but cf. U . K r o n in LIMC I . I , 297, on her no. 29 (speculative). 46. C f . E Simon in Tainta, Festschrift R Hampe ( M a i n z , 1980) 2 3 9 - 5 5 ; J . Binder in Studies Presented to Sterling Dow (GRBS Monographs 10, 1984) 1 5 - 2 2 . 47 T h e Leningrad hydria, LIMC J I . I , 996, no. 453. O r is this the witness Cecrops (cf. C a l l i m . fr. 260.26)? 48. As judge: ^Parthenon pediment; X e n . Mem. 3.5.10; C a l l i m . fr. 1 9 4 . 6 6 - 8 ; rejected variant in Apollod. Btbl. 3.14.1; as witness, C a l l i m . fr. 2 6 0 . 2 5 - 6 , Apollod. loc cit.

210


Myths of Early Athens 49. So first C . Robert, Hermes, 69 (1881) 6 0 - 8 7 ; cf. L . Preller and C . Robert, Gnechische Mythologie 4th edn (Berlin, 1887) 20J n 1 for his subsequent controversy with E . Petersen, and now J . Binder in Dow Studies. T h e key texts in support of Robert are Hdt. 8.55, Isocr. Panath. 193, Apollod. BibL 3.14.1, and schol. Ael. Arist. vol. 3 Dindorf, 5 8 . 2 5 - 7 . 50. Cf. respectively Robert, Hermes ( 1881 ) 6 5 - 6 ; Simon, in Taima, 2 4 5 - 8 , the latter supported by a recent find said to show a thunderbolt between Athena and Poseidon; cf. R . L i n d n e r , Jdl 97 (1982) 385 n 250. Neither point is found in literary sources, and Poseidon's gesture on the Leningrad hydria (above, note 47) is not necessarily one of attack. But Poseidon's son Halirrhothius certainly attacked the sacred olives in resentment at the verdict (schol. A r . Nub. 1005). 51. O f course, a version with Cecrops as judge rather than witness might have contained different grounds for the verdict. Robert suggests a simple preference on Cecrops' part for Athena. In Hesych. s.v. Dios thakoi, Athena wins by promising Zeus, one of the judges, special privileges on the Acropolis. 52. Anger of Poseidon also in the delightful but undatable version of V a r r o ap. Augustin. De Civ. D. 18.9 (cf. schol. Ael. Aristid. vol. 3 Dindorf, 6 0 . 5 - 1 2 ) : the Athenians en masse are the j u r y ; the women, who are enfranchised at this date, all voie for Athena; angry Poseidon deprives them of the vote, decrees that no child shalJ be known by his mother's name, and forbids the women to be called Athenarae' (i.e. citizens). C f . L o r a u x , Enfants d'Athéna, l2lf. 53 Cf. M . D é t i e n n e , Rev. Hist Rel., 7 75(1970) 5 - 11, reprinted in M . I . Finley (éd.), Problèmes de la terre en Grèce ancienne (Paris, 1973) 2 9 3 - 7. 54. For Poseidon see Plut. Qu. Conv. 741a (and the Loeb notes, ad l o c ) , where some five instances are cited; E , W ù s t in RE 22 (1953) 4 6 0 - 1. For Hephaestus see Simomdes 552; cf. REQ (1913) 3 2 2 - 3 . For criticism of historical interpretations of these Poseidon myths see Pembroke, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, W (1967). 2 5 - 6 . 55. J . Binder, in Dow Studies, 1 5 - 2 2 , developing a suggestion of L . H . Jeffery that the Acropolis cult of Erechtheus only became a cult of Poseidon-Erechtheus at about that time. O n the latter point, is such a transmutation of a venerable cult plausible at this date? Would not the Athenians have preferred another way of introducing Poseidon to the Acropolis, rather than the archaic-sounding assimila­ tion? And what justified the assimilation? (Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, in conversation.) As for the myth, its antiquity was already doubted by Harrison, Mythology and Monuments, xxvi, who noted its absence from earlier art; it first appears on the Parthenon and in Hdt. 8.55, and is implied in E u r . Erechtheus (see below, note 64), t

56. But note that he remains an enemy in E u r . Erechtheus (below), and his son Halirrhothius is in Attic myth an anarchic figure (cf. RE 7, 1912, 2 2 6 8 - 7 0 ) . 57. Cf. Phanodemus, FGrH 325 F 2, with Jacoby's commentary. For the interest of the Erysichthonidae in Delos (source of Phanodemus' conception, or a consequence?), see N . Robertson, 4 m . / Phil., / 0 5 ( 1 9 8 4 ) 3 8 5 - 7 . For Erysichthon as judge in the trial of Athena and Poseidon, see Apollod. Bibl. 3.14.1 ; on possible representations in art see K r o n , Phyienheroen, 69, 93, 97, T h e eponym of the Erysichthonidae was originally perhaps another Erysichthon, the hungry father of Mestra, revealed as an Athenian by Hes. fr. 43a 2 - 6 9 , esp. 6 6 - 9 : cf. Robertson, op. cit. 3 8 8 - 9 5 . 58. Aesch. Eum. 1011, cf. Robert, Heldensage, 150; Paus. 1.14.3 = Choerilus TGrF2 F 1 O n these kings see Apollod. Bibl. 3 . 1 4 . 5 - 6 ; but Isocr. Panath. 126 still has Erichthonius succeed directly to Cecrops. 59 Cf. West, Hestodtc Catalogue, 1 0 6 - 7 , 133. 60. Erichihonius is first certainly so named, apparently, on the kylix of the

211


Myths of Early Athens Codrus painter, c. 440/30, Berlin (West) F 2537, Beazley, ARV 1268, 2, Krün, Phylenheroen, 250, E 5. T h e same vase also names a distinct Erechtheus; for their relationship see E u r , Ion 2 6 7 - 8 (where the exact sense of progonos patër, is, perhaps deliberately, unclear.) Earlier references to Erichthonius are either not verbatim (Danais fr. 2 K i n k e l , Pindar fr. 253), or may refer to someone else (Sophocles fr. 242.1), T h e fullest discussion is by Ermatinger, Autochthonensage, 3 7 - 6 2 ; cf. Krön, Phylenheroen, 3 7 - 9 . 61. Single figure: so, e.g., Burkert, Hermes 1966, 24 n 2; cf. K r o n , Phylenheroen, 38 n 129. Assimilation followed by re-division of two distinct figures with similar names is perhaps more plausible. 62. First in Hellanicus, FGrH 323a F 2; cf. Burkert, Hermes (1966), 23 n 1, and for possible earlier representations K r o n , Phylenheroen, 75f. Originally perhaps Erechtheus founded the festival. 63. C f , Stuppcrich, Staatsbegräbnis, 4 2 - 8 ; N . L o r a u x , L'Invention d'Athènes (Paris, 1981) 1 3 3 - 5 6 ; W . Blake T y r r e l l , Amazons (Baltimore and L o n d o n , 1984) 13 - 19, 1 1 4 - 1 7 . T h e other labours were the repulse of the A m a z o n invasion, and the wars in support of the Heraklidae and the relatives of the Seven against Thebes. 64. See C . Austin, Nova Fragmenta Euripidea (Berlin, 1968) 2 2 - 4 0 , H . J . Mette, Lustrum, 2 5 - 4 ( 1 9 8 1 - 2 ) 1 1 7 - 2 4 . Erechtheus is conventionally dated to c. 421 on the basis of Plut. MV. 9.7, a shaky foundation (as D r C , B . R . Pelling kindly confirms; cf.JHS, 7(9(7(1980) 1 2 7 - 4 0 , esp. 1 2 7 - 9 ) . T h e dating from Plutarch is challenged by M . C r o p p and G . Fick, Resolutions and Chronology in Euripides (BICS Supplement 4S, 1985) 79f; they favour 4 2 1 - 4 1 0 . Chione's Athenian mother: Orithyia (Apollod. 3.15.2), which means that Eumolpus' opponent Erechtheus is his own great-grandfather. F r o m this incongruity Ermatinger, Autochthonensage, 83, concludes that the association O r i t h y i a - C h i o n e must be post-Euripidean, R . M . Simms, GRBS, 24 (1983) 1 9 7 - 2 0 8 less plausibly that Eumolpus originally fought not Erechtheus but Theseus. But perhaps in relation to the O r i t h y i a - C h i o n e Eumolpus stemma O r i t h y i a was primarily envisaged as an 'Athenian princess in T h r a c e ' rather than a 'daughter of Erechtheus', so that the incongruity was not felt. Eumolpus' early adventures: Apollod. 3.15,4. Some of this is Euripidean (cf. fr. 39 Austin, with Richardson on Hymn. Horn. Dem. 154), but was there scope in a prologue for the whole of Apollodorus' elaborate account? {pace Robert, Heldensage, 171). 65. C f . J . Schmitt, Freiwilliger Opfertod bei Euripides (Berlin, 1921), and on maiden sacrifice Burkert, HN, 5 8 - 7 2 . Later allusions: see A u s t i n , Nova Fragmenta Euripidea, 2 2 - 3 . 66. W a r : T h u c . 2.15 (and cf. the bronze perhaps by M y r o n , Paus. 1.27.4, cf. 9.30.1, Robert, Heldensage, 141 n 3). Maiden-sacrifice and death of Erechtheus. E u r . Ion 2 7 7 - 8 2 . O n the pre-existence of these traditions see Ermatinger, Autochthonensage, 7 5 - 8 9 . In E u r . Erechth. and elsewhere ( D e m . 60.27, Philochorus FGrH 328 F 12) the daughters of Erechtheus are identified with the (Parthenoi) Hyacinthides, who received cult at ' H y a c i n t h hill probably west of Athens (cf. Phanodemus FGrH325 F 4 with Jacoby, RE9, 1916, 2 - 3 ) ; but in Apollod. Bibi. 3. 15.8 the Hyacinthids are sacrificed to stay famine and plague caused by Minos' curse. Evidently the floating motif of maiden-sacrifice was liable to become attached to any cult-group of maidens, and various attempts could then be made to associate them with a particular war or crisis. T h e motif could also of course attach itself to a particular king and so to his (hitherto non-existent) daughters; since such daughters would not receive cult, there was then a pressure to assimilate them to a cult-group. Euripides' further assimilation of Erechtheids to Hyades (schol. A r a l . 172, fr. 65.107 Austin) is unexplained. 1

212


Myths of Early Athens 67. Cf, the discussions cited in Schol. Soph. OC 1053; F . Jacoby, Das Marmor Partum (Berlin, 1904) 7 2 - 5 . 68. So F . H i Her v. Gärt ringen, De Graecorum jabulis ad Thracas pertinenttbus (Berlin, 1886) 33; J . Töpffer, Attische Genealogie (Berlin, 1889) 37. Orpheus as founder of the Mysteries: first in ( E u r . ) Rhes. 943f, cf. fv Graf, Eleusis und die orphische Dichtung Athens (Berlin, 1974) 2 3 - 3 9 ; Graf, this volume, C h . 5, section 9. A terminus post quern for Eumolpus change cannot be established: it is not decisive (given the possibility that divergent versions can co-exist) that he is still Greek and peaceable on the well-known skyphos of the Macron painter (Brit. M u s . E 140, Beazley, ARV459.3) and probably in Pindar fr. 346 (cf, H . Lloyd-Jones, Maia, 19 (1967) 2 0 6 - 2 2 9 : this could in theory be Eumolpus j u n i o r . ) O n Eumolpus in art see L . Weidauer, Arch. Am. (1985) 1 9 5 - 2 1 0 . 69. Paus. 1.5.2, 27.4, 38.3, as interpreted by Töpffer, Attische Genealogie, 4 0 - 4 : cf. Jacoby, commentary on FGrH 328 F 13, p. 284 and (sceptical, not unreasonably) Ermatinger, Autochthonensage\ 7 9 - 8 4 . 70. See R . A , Padgug, GRBS, 75(1972) 135-50. 71 Cf. Burkert, HN, 1 4 3 - 9 . 72. Cf. E . Frank in RE 18 (1942) 951. 73. O n all this see E . Simon, Antike und Abendland, 13 (1967) 101 - 2 6 ; on the artistic evidence also Schefold, Göttersage (1981), 3 1 8 - 2 2 , with his references. T h e myth first appears, in a surprising non-Attic context, on the chest of Cypselus, if Pausanias* controversial identification (5.19.1) is correct. Otherwise it emerges in Attica c 490, 74. O n this temple see J . S. Boersma, Athenian Building Policy from 561/0 to 405/4 B.C (Groningen, 1970) 171. 7 >. O n Orithyia's further daughter Chione see above, note 64. 76. P. T u r n e r 1 = Hesiod fr. 10a 2 0 - 2 3 , ed. Solmsen-Merkelbach-West, Fragmenta Hesiodea, 2nd edn (Oxford, 1983) 227. O n Ion I have found most useful E . Meyer, Forschungen zur Alten Geschichte, 1 (Halle, 1892) 1 2 7 - 5 0 , esp. 1 4 4 - 5 0 ; Robert, Heldensage, 1 4 5 - 9 ; see too Ermatinger, Autochthonensage, 1 1 2 - 4 2 ; U . v . Wilamowitz, edition of E u r . Ion (Berlin, 1926) 1-10; and on the myths relating to the colonisation of Ionia as a whole (including those of C o d r u s and the Neleids), F . Prinz, Gründungsmythen und Sagenchronotogie ( M u n i c h , 1979) 3 1 4 - 7 6 . 77. Strabo 8.7.1, Paus. 7.1, etc.; cf. Robert, Heldensage, 147 n 1. T h i s is probably Ephoran tradition. T h e co-existence of Athenian and Achaean claims about the colonisation is clear from Hdt. 1 . 1 4 5 - 6 . 78. See, e.g., C . Hignett, A History of the Athenian Constitution (Oxford, 1952) 50-5. 79. Hdt. 8.44; E u r . Ion 5 9 - 6 4 (the motif is transferred to X u t h u s ) ; T h u c . 1.3.2 (unnamed); Arist. Ath. Pol. 3.2 and fr. 1; Philochorus 328 FGrH F 13 and the (?)Ephoran tradition (above, note 77). He was already associated with the Fleusinian campaign in E u r . Erechtheus, if fr. 53 is addressed to him (cf. Austin, Nova Fragmenta Eurtpidea, ad l o c ) . It is not clear in early sources whether Ion has been summoned from Achaea or e.g., Marathon, where according to later accounts (Pderiving from cult; cf. IG I (3rd edn) 255 A 13 with Jameson's note) Xuthus had settled (Strabo 8.7.1; E u r . Metanippe Sapiens, Prologue, 9 - 1 1 p. 26 v. Arnim, perhaps implies Attic residence). 80. Ion, passim. Robert argues that this is a Euripidean invention; others (Meyer, Ermatinger, Wilamowitz, above, note 76) emphasise PI. Euthyd. 3 0 2 c - d , where it is said that Apollo is worshipped as Patröos at Athens 'because of the begetting of Ion'. Perhaps then Euripides' innovation was merely to introduce a local tradition into literature. But Plato might be following Euripides (other sources for Apollo's parenthood, the testimonia to Aristotle fr. 1, are dependent in 1

r

213


Myths of Early Athens their turn on Plato). Apollo's epithet is explicable without reference lo Ion. O f Sophocles Ion we know nothing. 81. Possibly also in Erechlheus: see above, note 79. 82. F o r propagation (?) of the cult of Ion in the empire note the Samian horoi of precincts o f ' I o n from Athens', J . P. Barron, JHS, 0 4 ( 1 9 6 4 ) 3 7 ; cf. R . Meiggs, The Athenian Empire (Oxford, 1972) 298. But one should not suppose that Ionians neces­ sarily resisted the notion of their kinship with the Athenians: contrast, e.g., T h u c . 1.95.1. For Ion's cults in Attica see IG I (3rd edn) 383. 1 4 7 - 9 , Paus. 1.31.3; there was another Attic Ion, too, Paus. 6.22.7. Ion scarcely appears in art, but for a possible illustration of Euripides' play see M . Schmidt in A . Cambitoglou (ed.), Studies in Honour ojArthur Dale Trendall (Sydney, 1979) 1 6 3 - 4 . 83. I am very grateful to the editor of this volume for his encouragement, patience and helpful criticism. 1

214


10 Myth as History: The Previous Owners of the Delphic Oracle* Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood In memory of T, C. W. Stinton

M a n y Greek m y t h s express i m p o r t a n t perceptions o f the society that generated them and contain insights w h i c h are (or can be reinterpreted so as to become) significant for o u r o w n age; thus they 1

can be said to be ' t r u e even today. B u t they are not ' t r u e ' n a r r a t i v e accounts o f past events ( t h o u g h they present themselves i n that guise) and they should not be taken at face value and assumed to contain descriptions o f past realities â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as they sometimes are. T h e myth I am discussing here ( w h i c h claims that A p o l l o d i d not found the Delphic oracle but took it over from an earlier goddess) has often been assumed to c o n t a i n true i n f o r m a t i o n about the oracle's early history. M o r e o v e r , this historical reading o f the m y t h has functioned as an ( i m p l i c i t ) perceptual filter shaping m a n y scholars' interpretation o f reality, that is, o f the s u r v i v i n g i n f o r m a t i o n pertaining to the o r a c l e s early h i s t o r y . M y purpose is to show that the Previous O w n e r s m y t h does not reflect cultic history but expresses certain i m p o r t a n t perceptions about the D e l p h i c A p o l l o , the oracle and the cosmos. First I w i l l deconstruct the argument in favour o f the historicity o f the m y t h and show that it depends on a series o f hidden, m u t u a l l y s u p p o r t i n g , a priori, and sometimes demonstrably wrong, assumptions and that it is fallacious. I n the second part I will analyse the m y t h and show that, while it cannot be cultic history, it makes perfect sense as a m y t h , a r t i c u l a t i n g perceptions also k n o w n to us from other sources. A variety o f deities are n a m e d as Previous O w n e r s i n the different variants, but all versions include G a i a or T h e m i s , or b o t h . ' 2

M a n y scholars believe that this story reflects a m e m o r y o f a time in which G a i a and/or T h e m i s were the oracular divinities at 215


Myth as History Delphi,

dispossessed

by

Apollo

w h o d i d not

evict

them

altogether but allowed t h e m to m a i n t a i n a cult o f secondary i m p o r tance

in the

Delphic sanctuary.

As we

shall see,

3

the only

'evidence' for the view that these goddesses had preceded A p o l l o as oracular deities at D e l p h i is the existence o f the m y t h — w h i c h can only be considered to be 'evidence' i f it is assumed that the most reasonable i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f such a m y t h is that it reflects historical reality. T h i s is an u n w a r r a n t e d

— and fallacious — a priori

assumption w h i c h , I shall show, lies at the core o f the orthodox discourse's h i d d e n c i r c u l a r i t y ; it is the product o f an

implicit,

r a t i o n a l i s i n g , euhemeristic reading o f m y t h , w h i c h , once explicitly set out, w o u l d be supported by few. For myths are not translations of events into m y t h o l o g i c a l language, w h i c h scholars can translate back into history. T h e myths o f resistance to D i o n y s o s ' c u l t , for example, are not, as some had i m a g i n e d , reflections o f a historical conflict; they articulate, and are articulated b y , religious realities 4

such as r i t u a l tensions and symbolic o p p o s i t i o n s . Since myths are structured b y , and express, the (religious, social and intellectual) realities and mental representations o f the societies that produced or recast t h e m ,

5

any echoes o f cultic history that may have gone

into the m a k i n g o f a p a r t i c u l a r m y t h are radically reshaped and adapted, by a process o f bricolage, to fit the 'needs', the 'spaces', created by the m y t h o l o g i c a l schemata s t r u c t u r i n g that m y t h , w h i c h express, and are shaped b y , those realities a n d

representations.

6

T h u s , the hypothesis that o u r m y t h is a reversible translation o f history is i n v a l i d a t e d . I n any case, even i f we cannot conclusively prove the fallaciousness o f the assumption that the most reasonable i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f o u r m y t h is that it reflects historical reality, since that assumption is a priori,

and thus c u l t u r a l l y d e t e r m i n e d (by a 1

r a t i o n a l i s i n g mode o f thought w h i c h privileges ' p o s i t i v i s t interpretations), and since it cannot be shown to be r i g h t , it must not be allowed to f o r m the h i d d e n centre o f a discourse the v a l i d i t y o f w h i c h depends on that assumption's v a l i d i t y . G i v e n that alternative interpretations o f the emergence and significance o f the m y t h are possible — not to say more c o n v i n c i n g — it is illegitimate to assume the m y t h ' s h i s t o r i c i t y and base the v a l i d i t y o f the whole case on that. I n fact, the m y t h ' s pattern o f appearance offers a serious objection to the historical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . For the two earliest accounts o f the early history o f the oracle, i n the Homeric Hymn

to Apollo

1

and

Alkaios'

Hymn 216

to Apollo,^

contradict

the


Myth as History Previous O w n e r s m y t h and present A p o l l o as the founder and first 9

owner o f the D e l p h i c o r a c l e . T h u s , the p r e s u m p t i o n must be — especially since the two h y m n s o r i g i n a t e d i n different religious environments,

and

the

Pythian

part

o f the

Homeric hymn

reflected the D e l p h i c priesthood's theology — that ' A p o l l o ' s foundation o f the oracle' was the early cultic m y t h o n the

oracle's

origins, and that the Previous O w n e r s story was invented at a later stage — unless some c o n t r a r y evidence can be adduced, w h i c h , we shall see, it cannot. T h e data, w h e n investigated i n their o w n right, cannot support the historicity o f the m y t h . T h e y can only appear to support it w h e n , i n the context o f attempts to validate that historicity, they are structured and questioned by means o f conceptual schemata dependent o n the very hypothesis that is being tested — a c i r c u l a r procedure leading to c o r r u p t e d , and thus w r o n g , conclusions. T o e l i m i n a t e bias, these data must be investigated t h r o u g h a neutral methodology w h i c h strategy

excludes

prior

assumptions.

One

conducive to n e u t r a l i t y is to investigate each o f the

relevant grids o f evidence (archaeological, cultic, m y t h o l o g i c a l ) separately and independently, to keep the deconstructive and the mythological analyses separate, and to compare the results o f these independent investigations only at a later stage. T h i s w i l l prevent the c o m m o n fallacy o f c o m b i n i n g elements from different grids, taken out o f their proper context, to make u p an

apparently

coherent case w h i c h is i n fact radically flawed by h i d d e n circularity.

I n a d d i t i o n , the proposed

strategy

allows cross-checks

between grids, w h i c h can p r o v i d e controls and, i f appropriate, confirmations. A rigorous methodology also demands that the data should be studied i n the context o f the w i d e r nexuses to w h i c h each particular

set

belongs

(e.g.

Mycenaean

firgurines, or d i v i n e

succession m y t h s ) ; for o n l y this context can help determine their meanings i n the p a r t i c u l a r case that concerns us — and so protect the investigation f r o m a priori bias. A fundamental p l a n k o f the case for o u r m y t h ' s historicity is the alleged M y c e n a e a n cult o f G a i a . T h e gist o f m y a r g u m e n t is that, though there m a y have been a M y c e n a e a n shrine at D e l p h i , its possible existence is irrelevant to the m y t h ' s historicity. For it is only i f we assume that the m y t h creates an a priori case for the existence o f a G a i a cult — an assumption w h i c h o u r investigation purports to examine — that G a i a can be considered at all in 217


Myth as History connection w i t h the M y c e n a e a n cult; thus the relevance o f the latter to the f o r m e r rests o n a c i r c u l a r a r g u m e n t . But even i f we grant that special p l e a d i n g as a w o r k i n g hypothesis, the n o t i o n that the supposed M y c e n a e a n cult provides support for the m y t h ' s hist o r i c i t y has to rely o n a further series o f u n w a r r a n t e d assumptions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a n d i n the end it proves untenable. T h e r e had p r o b a b l y been a M y c e n a e a n shrine at D e l p h i , perhaps at M a r m a r i a , at the later sanctuary o f A t h e n a P r o n a i a , Apollo.

1 1

10

but not on the site o f the temple o f

Since we k n o w n o t h i n g about the deity or deities w o r -

shipped at this hypothetical M y c e n a e a n shrine, the claim that it must have been an oracular shrine o f G a i a is w i t h o u t f o u n d a t i o n , w i l d . T h e female figurines (n 10) m a y have come f r o m a shrine, but they do not show that that shrine's d i v i n i t y was female. For almost all M y c e n a e a n figurines are female; we do not k n o w w h o m they r e p r e s e n t .

12

B u t even i f we knew that the chief deity o f the

hypothetical M y c e n a e a n shrine had been a goddess, we w o u l d still k n o w n o t h i n g about her. T h e r e is certainly no reason for t h i n k i n g she was G a i a ; for, we k n o w f r o m

the L i n e a r B tablets,

the

Mycenaeans had a genuinely polytheistic r e l i g i o n , w i t h a hierarchically articulated p a n t h e o n

13

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; i n w h i c h , i n c i d e n t a l l y , G a i a is

not attested. T h u s the n o t i o n that the hypothetical M y c e n a e a n cult at D e l p h i can support the view that Gaia's cult had

preceded

A p o l l o ' s is based o n a c i r c u l a r a r g u m e n t ; for G a i a can only be considered as a possibility at all i f we begin w i t h the assumption that the m y t h creates a p r e s u m p t i o n that Gaia's cult preceded A p o l l o ' s , a n d then look for evidence that can be made to support i t . O n that ( h i d d e n ) assumption o f historicity depends another, w h i c h i n t u r n i m p l i c i t l y supports the first: the assumption that, since the m y t h tells us that G a i a preceded A p o l l o at D e l p h i , this must be pres u m e d to be correct unless conclusively d i s p r o v e d . G i v e n that only very rarely can a n y t h i n g be conclusively p r o v e d or disproved i n early Greek r e l i g i o n , the fact that s o m e t h i n g as elusive as p r o v i n g that a p a r t i c u l a r deity was not w o r s h i p p e d at a p a r t i c u l a r hypothetical M y c e n a e a n shrine cannot be achieved has, o b v i o u s l y , no evidential

value.

And

yet

the

orthodox

discourse

assumes

i m p l i c i t l y that, failing conclusive p r o o f against i t , the view that G a i a preceded

A p o l l o at D e p h i s t a n d s .

14

Since, we saw,

the

assumption at the centre o f this a r g u m e n t (the m y t h ' s p r e s u m p t i o n o f h i s t o r i c i t y ) is fallacious, and i n fact the m y t h ' s pattern o f appearance suggests that it does not reflect historical reality, the 218


Myth as History whole case p e r t a i n i n g to the alleged M y c e n a e a n cult o f G a i a at Delphi and its relevance to o u r m y t h is clearly circular and resting on fallacies. T h e view that it is erroneous

is strengthened

by

further arguments. There is no cult activity at either M a r m a r i a or the site o f the temple o f A p o l l o between the M y c e n a e a n p e r i o d and the late n i n t h century;

15

this absence o f c o n t i n u i t y argues strongly against the

view that the hypothetical shrine o f M y c e n a e a n D e l p h i can be connected w i t h the Previous O w n e r s m y t h . For the only t h i n g that could (conceivably) have survived t h r o u g h the centuries in those circumstances is the mere m e m o r y o f an earlier cult. T h u s , the cultic d i s c o n t i n u i t y invalidates another nexus o f arguments for the historical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the m y t h , the n o t i o n ( w h i c h , we shall see, is also discredited o n other grounds) that various elements in the cult o f the D e l p h i c A p o l l o are hang-overs from Gaia's. For i f all that had survived from the hypothetical M y c e n a e a n cult had been the m e m o r y that it had existed, A p o l l o ' s cult could not have inherited any cultic elements from i t . M o r e o v e r , in so far as it is possible to assess scarce and d u m b data o f this k i n d , the evidence cannot

support

the

notion

that

Gaia

was

the mistress

of a

Mycenaean oracle. W e do not k n o w whether Mycenaean oracles had existed, and i f they h a d , what their diagnostic features w o u l d be. H o w e v e r , what we can see is that at D e l p h i , such Mycenaean elements as are capable o f a religious i n t e r p r e t a t i o n are not o f a type (or q u a n t i t y ) to suggest the presence o f a cult-place i n any way i m p o r t a n t or exceptional, a n y t h i n g other than an o r d i n a r y Mycenaean shrine. G i v e n that the Pronaia deposit had been put together by seventh-century Greeks, w h o m a y , perhaps, be presumed to have selected the most impressive and unusual finds, and â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to j u d g e by the presence o f the pottery â&#x20AC;&#x201D; also a representative sample, I s u b m i t that this observation has more value than the usual argumentum ex silentio. N o w some m o r e specific hypotheses connecting the hypothetical Mycenaean cult w i t h the Previous O w n e r s m y t h . R o u x argues that, since A t h e n a had been a M y c e n a e a n goddess there is no reason to t h i n k that it was not she w h o had been worshipped at Marmaria in Mycenaean times.

16

T h e r e are serious objections to

this a r g u m e n t . First, a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja

does not mean, as R o u x

thinks, 'auguste A t h e n a ' but ' p o t n i a (Mistress) o f A t a n a ( p r o b a b l y 1 7

a t o p o n y m ) ' . Second,

18

it is illegitimate â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially since a-ta-na 219


Myth as History po-ti-ni-ja

m a y suggest a geographically c i r c u m s c r i b e d deity — to

conclude that A t h e n a h a d been w o r s h i p p e d at M y c e n a e a n M a r m a r i a because m a n y centuries later, a n d after a break i n cult use, A t h e n a ' s sanctuary was situated on the site where the M y c e n a e a n shrine m a y have stood. T h i r d , A t h e n a is not a Previous O w n e r i n the m y t h b u t , b o t h i n cult a n d m y t h , a collaborator a n d friend o f Apollo.

1 9

Consequently, even i f we assume that there h a d been a

M y c e n a e a n cult o f A t h e n a at M a r m a r i a , a n d further that the m e m o r y o f it h a d l i n g e r e d t h r o u g h the D a r k Ages despite the break, the m y t h o f the Previous O w n e r s w o u l d still not be reflecti n g that cult. T h u s this w o u l d be an a r g u m e n t against i n t e r p r e t i n g the m y t h o f the Previous O w n e r s i n terms o f a relationship between the cult o f A p o l l o a n d the supposed M y c e n a e a n cult. I n Bequignon's v i e w ,

2 0

a M y c e n a e a n G a i a shrine at M a r m a r i a was

replaced by A p o l l o ' s sanctuary. B u t even l e a v i n g aside all the objections to the historical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , i f (as this view presupposes) the m e m o r y o f the cult had been preserved t h r o u g h the D a r k Ages, the archaic sanctuary w o u l d have been dedicated to G a i a , not A t h e n a , For Cassola

21

d i v i n e names are not i m p o r t a n t ,

they allude to a female chthonic deity whose heir was A t h e n a . B u t , we saw, there is no evidence whatsoever that the M y c e n a e a n cult i n v o l v e d a female deity, let alone that she was c h t h o n i c . T w o interdependent ( i m p l i c i t ) assumptions sustain Cassola's a r g u m e n t — and all variations o f this hypothesis. First, that the most plausible i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the Previous O w n e r s m y t h is that it reflected cultic reality. Second

— i m p l i c i t l y s u p p o r t i n g the

first

— an

u n d e r l y i n g e v o l u t i o n a r y model w h i c h , t h o u g h discredited as a serious account o f the development o f Greek r e l i g i o n , nevertheless still unconsciously i n f o r m s m a n y discourses: the m o d e l according to w h i c h Greek religion progressed

from d a r k , chthonic (and

female) deities to light a n d celestial o n e s sustained

through,

the

22

— d e r i v e d f r o m , and

misinterpretation

of

classical

Greek

symbolic articulations ( m i s t a k e n for reflections o f past events) i n this a n d other m y t h s . These u n d e r l y i n g assumptions make the historical

i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the

Previous

Owners

myth

seem

e m i n e n t l y logical, for it conforms w i t h the expectations w h i c h it helped f o r m . N o w Poseidon: it has been c l a i m e d that, since he is a M y c e naean god a n d husband o f G a i a , his cult at D e l p h i must go back to the

Mycenaean

period; and

that 220

this provides an a d d i t i o n a l


Myth as History argument for the early G a i a cult, a n d thus the historicity o f o u r myth,

2 3

one version o f w h i c h (Paus. 10.5.6) says that G a i a and

Poseidon had shared the oracle before A p o l l o . H o w e v e r , Gaia's Mycenaean existence, we saw, is p h a n t o m a t i c , and we do not know whether Poseidon

had been

worshipped in Mycenaean

Delphi. F u r t h e r m o r e , the n o t i o n that Poseidon's name designates h i m as ' h u s b a n d o f the Earth* is very far from c e r t a i n ;

24

nor is

there any m y t h o l o g i c a l support for the n o t i o n that he was the Earth's h u s b a n d .

25

cult is Po-si-da-e-ja

I n a d d i t i o n , Poseidon's consort i n M y c e n a e a n (PY T n 316.4);

26

i f the evidence o f the Pylos

tablets is to be used, as it is by R o u x for Poseidon's importance i n Mycenaean r e l i g i o n (see n 23), it should not be used selectively, and Posidaeja must not be i g n o r e d i n favour o f a phantomatic union w i t h G a i a ( w h o is unattested i n the M y c e n a e a n p e r i o d ) , a union whose claim to existence at any p e r i o d is h i g h l y dubious. Thus we are left, once again, w i t h a m y t h w h i c h , we shall see, makes perfect sense i n its o w n m y t h o l o g i c a l terms. T h e r e is no evidence for a cult o f G a i a and/or T h e m i s at D e l p h i before the first h a l f o f the fifth c e n t u r y

27

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a p e r i o d when its

emergence should be seen as a response to the m y t h .

2 8

T h e case for

an earlier cult o f G a i a at D e l p h i runs as follows. W e k n o w from a fourth-century i n s c r i p t i o n and Plutarch's description that G a i a had a shrine south o f the temple o f A p o l l o .

2 y

After the temple's

destruction at 548, its terrace was extended and a polygonal retaining wall b u i l t ;

3 0

in the process several b u i l d i n g s were destroyed.

Because the later shrine o f G a i a was in this r e g i o n , it is assumed by some that the area h a d belonged to G a i a before the

rearrange-

ment; on that v i e w , the extension o f the terrace o f A p o l l o ' s temple encroached triumph.

3 1

on

Gaia's

temenos

and

marked

the

god's

final

H o w e v e r , the assumption that the spatial organisation

of the Delphic sanctuary d i d not change between the early sixth and the fourth centuries, a p e r i o d d u r i n g w h i c h drastic rearrangements

o f space have

i n d i s p u t a b l y taken

place,

is extremely

implausible â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a n d again depends o n the a priori conviction that, given the m y t h ' s existence, Gaia's cult must be o l d . For it is illegitimate to assume, i n the case o f a c o n t i n u o u s l y g r o w i n g and developing sanctuary, that the fact that a deity was worshipped i n one

place

i n the

fourth

century

entails

that

she

had

been

worshipped i n the same place i n the early sixth, especially since we do not k n o w whether or not she had been worshipped i n that 221


Myth as History sanctuary at all i n that early p e r i o d — indeed this is what we are t r y i n g to find o u t . T h e earliest evidence for a G a i a cult probably belongs to the K a s t a l i a a r e a .

32

A m o n g the b u i l d i n g s b u r i e d under the new terrace is n u m b e r xxviii,

3 3

about the function o f w h i c h we k n o w n o t h i n g . Its south-

west angle is b u i l t against a rock, and at the foot o f the rock there is a small s p r i n g . Because o f its association w i t h the rock, and especially w i t h the s p r i n g , it has been suggested that x x v i i i was a b u i l d i n g w i t h some religious function rather than a treasury. T h i s is p r o b a b l y r i g h t . B u t there is no j u s t i f i c a t i o n for calling it a 1

temple o f G a i a \ T h i s identification depends e n t i r e l y o n two pre-

conceived — and fallacious — assumptions: first, that there must have been an early cult o f G a i a because the m y t h says so; a n d second,

that springs are associated

w i t h G a i a because i n the

context o f certain m o d e r n perceptions o f A p o l l o ( w h i c h ignore his c o m p l e x i t y and ambivalence a n d the development o f his d i v i n e personality), the A p o l l o - s p r i n g s association appears illogical, while the Gaia-springs one seems ' n a t u r a l ' .

3 4

T h u s the data are forced

into perverse explanatory patterns and l i n k e d by circular arguments, to produce interpretations w h i c h only appear c o n v i n c i n g when viewed t h r o u g h the perceptual filters o f the c u l t u r a l l y determ i n e d expectations w h i c h generated t h e m . T h e following facts show that the G a i a i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f b u i l d i n g x x v i i i rests on a fallacious basis and is highly implausible. First, springs and water are connected w i t h A p o l l o i n his oracular function also i n other important

oracles,

Didyma,

Claros and

Ptoion.

3 5

Second,

at

D e l p h i , i n the p e r i o d that concerns us, c. 600, there were two fountains associated w i t h the temple o f A p o l l o , f o u n t a i n 24 and a spring b e h i n d the o p i s t h o d o m o s . (on no evidence) that s p r i n g 1 6

37

35

It is thus perverse to assume

had a different significance and

association, and decide that it belonged to G a i a , and then identify b u i l d i n g x x v i i i as the temple o f G a i a because it is associated w i t h this spring. T h i r d , x x v i i i ' s entrance is at its n o r t h side, that is, it opens up towards the temple o f A p o l l o . I t thus related spatially to the temple, which suggests that it was associated

w i t h the cult o f

A p o l l o and not w i t h a different, r i v a l , cult. M o r e o v e r , even i f — despite what the evidence suggests — there had been a cult o f Gaia earlier than the fifth c e n t u r y , and earlier than the m y t h , this w o u l d not be evidence for the view that G a i a preceded A p o l l o as mistress o f the oracle. For, since D e l p h i 222


Myth as History was an established A p o l l i n e oracle i n the eighth c e n t u r y (see e.g. Od. 8 . 7 9 - 8 1 ) , soon after the b e g i n n i n g o f cult-activity i n the sanctuary, there is no place for G a i a as mistress o f the oracle from the late n i n t h c e n t u r y o n w a r d s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , since G a i a d i d not have an oracular cult at D e l p h i before that date, even i f her cult had begun before the m y t h ' s creation, it w o u l d not be evidence for the m y t h ' s h i s t o r i c i t y .

Myth

and

cult

interact,

myths

using

existing cultic a n d theological m a t e r i a l to weave their tales t h r o u g h bncolage. I f a G a i a cult h a d preceded the m y t h , this w o u l d o n l y entail that the chronological o r d e r o f m y t h a n d cult, the t w o a r t i c u lations o f symbolic reality, w o u l d be the reverse o f the one I envisage here; it w o u l d not be evidence for the material existence of this symbolic r e a l i t y , that is, for the m y t h ' s historicity. T h e t h i r d part o f the case i n favour o f Gaia's o w n e r s h i p o f the oracle consists i n the claim that some cultic elements â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the chasm and pneuma, the l a u r e l , the omphalos, a n d the altar o f Poseidon, Gaia's husband â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h A p o l l o ' s personality and thus a legacy from Gaia's chthonic o r a c l e .

38

Some scholars c l a i m

that the P y t h i a ' s sex a n d the i n s p i r a t i o n a l element i n the d i v i n a tion also make better sense as a legacy f r o m a chthonic goddess.

39

These arguments are w r o n g . First, the l o n g gap in the cult-use o f the relevant sites and i n archaeologically detectable cult activities precludes any c o n t i n u i t y i n oracular o r other cult practices o f the kind presupposed

by t h e m . Second, the n o t i o n o f d i v i n e per-

sonality o n w h i c h the above theory is based is fallacious. F o r it ignores the ( e m p i r i c a l l y demonstrable) c o m p l e x i t y and a m b i v a lence o f d i v i n e personalities a n d the fact that they develop i n the course o f t i m e , a n d are defined t h r o u g h their relationships w i t h the other deities o f the pantheon to w h i c h they belong, and w i t h the worshipping g r o u p and its (changing) needs.

40

T h u s , the n o t i o n

that the elements under consideration are ' u n - A p o I l i n e ' is simply a culturally d e t e r m i n e d j u d g e m e n t , the result o f the fact that we have been l o o k i n g at A p o l l o ' s personality and the oracle's early history t h r o u g h a series o f d i s t o r t i n g m i r r o r s : p a r t l y t h r o u g h the perceptual filter o f the classical D e l p h i c A p o l l o ' s persona, w h i c h had developed i n response t o , and i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h , the needs which the god had been called u p o n to fulfil in the Greek w o r l d â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and is not a good guide to the god's early profile; and partly through the filters created by o u r o w n constructs about his early history, w h i c h are based o n c u l t u r a l l y d e t e r m i n e d 223

assumptions


Myth as History about, for example, w h a t constitutes a logical connection between divine functions,

41

T h e study o f these elements'

cultic history

shows that they are not a legacy from G a i a ' s cult, Poseidon's m a r r i a g e to G a i a , we saw, is almost certainly a m i r a g e . T h e laurel is closely and w i d e l y associated w i t h A p o l l o f r o m an early date, and not s i m p l y as a result o f D e l p h i c influence; i n some cults this i m p o r t a n t aspect o f the god's persona is crystallised i n his epithet D a p h n e p h o r u s , A p o l l o defined as the carrier o f the laurel — connected w i t h the laurel f r o m T e m p e w h i c h had a central part i n Delphic m y t h and r i t u a l .

4 2

T h e chasm w i t h the vapours is a Hellenistic i n v e n t i o n , t h o u g h some, p r o b a b l y small, s y m b o l i c , o p e n i n g o f the g r o u n d w i t h a s t o m i o n is perhaps suggested by Aesch. Cho, 8 0 6 - 7 .

4 3

small (artificial) o p e n i n g i n the earth w o u l d relate the

Such a temple's

space ( w h i c h belongs to the h u m a n w o r l d and to c u l t u r e ) w i t h the inside o f the earth w i t h its 'other w o r l d l y ' s y m b o l i c connotations, and thus help put the p r o p h e s y i n g P y t h i a i n symbolic contact w i t h the 'other w o r l d ' , situate her between this and the ' o t h e r ' w o r l d , in an appropriate symbolic position for receiving prophetic inspirat i o n f r o m the god. I n the classical p e r i o d at least, the o p e n i n g was not a vehicle o f prophecy, nor was it connected w i t h the m y t h o f the discovery o f the prophetic chasm, presented as the source o f i n s p i r a t i o n . For there are no classical references to such a role, and no sign representing, or s i g n a l l i n g the presence of, the o p e n i n g of the g r o u n d i n the representation

o f the p r o p h e s y i n g

Themis

( s i t t i n g o n a t r i p o d and h o l d i n g a laurel-branch) o n the cup B e r l i n 2538 {ARV

1269.5; Para 4 7 1 ; Add 111). M o r e i m p o r t a n t l y , the

n o t i o n that the 'chasm' was the source o f i n s p i r a t i o n presupposes the localisation o f the consultation at one, u n m o v a b l e , spot; recent research has led A m a n d r y to doubt the established view that the f o u r t h - c e n t u r y temple had been b u i l t over the repaired foundations o f its predecessor, and to t h i n k that it m a y have been m o v e d to the n o r t h o f the earlier t e m p l e ;

44

this w o u l d i m p l y that the

o p e n i n g i n the earth — assuming that it had existed at that t i m e — was not a p a r t i c u l a r , special, prophetic chasm located at a p a r t i cular spot i n the a d y t o n ; and this fits m y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that this o p e n i n g had

s i m p l y a symbolic m e a n i n g — w h i c h was

later

reinterpreted. A s for the P y t h i a , A p o l l o had a female seer also at D i d y m a , and he was associated w i t h inspired d i v i n a t i o n also at other oracles; the (well-established) relationship between ecstatic 224


Myth as History prophetess a n d god appears to have N e a r Eastern antecedents.

45

T h u s there can be no support for the view that the P y t h i a ' s sex and the i n s p i r a t i o n a l element o f her prophecy are i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h Apollo a n d must be G a i a ' s legacy. The o m p h a l o s

46

resembles closely i n b o t h shape and associations

a particular type o f oval stone (an actual example has recently been found) represented o n some M i n o a n glyptic scenes, i n w h i c h an oval stone as a cultic object, decorated w i t h fillets, is associated w i t h eagle-type birds a n d a young male god characterised by the bow. These scenes, together w i t h some others, depict parts o f a p a r t i c u l a r ritual w h i c h I e x a m i n e elsewhere.

47

I n m y v i e w , the y o u n g god

involved i n this r i t u a l (after u n d e r g o i n g syncretism a n d change) contributed significantly to the C r e t a n c o m p o n e n t o f the historical Apollo's personality. T h e omphalos,

I believe, is one o f the

elements w h i c h A p o l l o ' s C r e t a n c o m p o n e n t c o n t r i b u t e d to the Delphic A p o l l o ' s persona;

the C r e t a n component

entered

the

Delphic cult (perhaps together w i t h the title D e l p h i n i o s ) , probably in the late e i g h t h c e n t u r y , w h e n there were contacts between Crete and D e l p h i ,

4 8

a n d the g r o w i n g D e l p h i c cult a n d its god were

developing i n response to the needs they were f u l f i l l i n g

with

increasing success, and crystallising into the m a i n lines o f the shape they were to have f r o m then o n . T h e stone's meanings in the M i n o a n r i t u a l have similarities w i t h , a n d m a y be the u l t i m a t e origin o f (after r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a n d adaptation to fit a different cult

nexus),

some o f the

D e l p h i c omphalos's

meanings

and

associations: the eagles i n one o f its m y t h s , a n d its funerary connotations â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for that M i n o a n r i t u a l involves death a n d renewal; it is also connected

with

h u n t i n g , and

according to B u r k e r t

the

omphalos pertains to the h u n t i n g r i t u a l h o r i z o n , the category o f ritual r e s t o r a t i o n .

49

Be that as it m a y , as Nilsson n o t e d ,

5 0

A p o l l o is

the god most closely associated w i t h cults i n v o l v i n g stones i n Greek religion; thus i n any case the stone is a n y t h i n g b u t u n - A p o l l i n e , and the n o t i o n that it is a legacy f r o m G a i a is w r o n g .

5 1

N o w the m y t h o l o g i c a l analysis. T h e m y t h ' s earliest-known variants belong to the fifth c e n t u r y . I n Aesch. Eum. 1 - 8 the transfer o f the oracle's o w n e r s h i p f r o m G a i a to T h e m i s to Phoebe to Apollo is friendly. I n P i n d a r fr. 55 it is a violent event: A p o l l o seized the oracle by force, hence G a i a w a n t e d h i m cast into Tartaros. I n E u r . Or. 1 6 3 - 5 the D e l p h i c t r i p o d is referred to as T h e m i s ' t r i p o d . (See the cup ( o f t . 440) w i t h T h e m i s sitting o n the 225


Myth as History t r i p o d ; ARV1269.5;

Para 4 7 1 ; Add 177). I n E u r . Iphigenia in

Tauris,

1242 - 82 A p o l l o takes over the oracle f r o m T h e m i s by violence and faces G a i a ' s h o s t i l i t y . I n P i n d . fr. 55 we are only given the bare structure o f the m y t h . N o other figure, apart f r o m G a i a and A p o l l o , seems to be i n v o l v e d .

52

A t this t i m e , the D e l p h i c A p o l l o is, above

a l l , the (celestial, male) god w h o establishes order, a lawgiver, guide and p u r i f i e r . G a i a

5 3

is a p r i m o r d i a l female d e i t y , involved

w i t h death, deceitful and t h r e a t e n i n g , dangerous, representing a stage i n cosmic history i n w h i c h vengeance and not regulated civilised law o b t a i n e d . She has given b i r t h to various creatures, pestering gods and m e n . She is also a positive n u r t u r i n g figure, but w h e n contrasted to A p o l l o , as i n this succession-by-conflict schema, she drifts towards the negative pole. T h e theme ' A p o l l o replaces another deity as master o f the o r a c l e ' , c o m m o n to all variants o f our m y t h , is a version o f the m y t h o l o g i c a l schema ' d i v i n e succession', w h i c h is shaped b y , and articulates, social, religious and intellectual realities and collective representations.

54

I n the most potent o f the

established d i v i n e schemata, the Hesiodic Theogony, as in o u r m y t h , a god o f the y o u n g e r generation replaces an older deity. L i k e the p r i m o r d i a l goddesses i n the Theogony, G a i a is integrated i n t o the new order i n a subordinate p o s i t i o n . T h u s , the P i n d a r i c m y t h is a sovereignty m y t h

5 3

i n w h i c h the establishment o f order is preceded

by disorder and followed by the i n t e g r a t i o n o f the p r i m o r d i a l powers i n the new order.

G a i a ' s revenge,

also f o u n d i n the

Theogony, depends o n the fact that she represents a cosmic era in w h i c h vengeance, and not regulated civilised l a w , o b t a i n e d . T h e G a i a - A p o l l o relationship has several meanings i n this m y t h . F i r s t , t h r o u g h the defeat

5 6

o f the female p r i m o r d i a l goddess by

A p o l l o the l a w g i v e r and establisher o f order, the t r i u m p h o f law and o r d e r and the D e l p h i c oracle's c o n t r i b u t i o n to it are articulated. Second,

this

plementarity.

relationship

expresses

G a i a ' s chthonic â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the

two

i n c l u d i n g her

deities'

com-

prophetic â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

powers are harnessed i n the service o f A p o l l o ; this is the m e a n i n g of the m y t h e m e , a n d the c o r r e s p o n d i n g cultic r e a l i t y , ' G a i a ' s cult continues i n a subordinate place at D e l p h i . ' T h e G a i a - A p o l l o relationship

also

articulates

certain

perceptions

p e r t a i n i n g to

prophecy w h i c h we shall discuss below. T h i s m y t h is structured b y , and expresses, the perception that at D e l p h i the c h t h o n i c , dangerous a n d disorderly aspects o f the cosmos have been defeated b y , and subordinated t o , the celestial 226


Myth as History guide and lawgiver. A p o l l o ' s oracle has tamed the darker side o f the cosmos â&#x20AC;&#x201D; b o t h at the theological ( G a i a ' s defeat) and at the h u m a n level: it gives m e n d i v i n e guidance t h r o u g h w h i c h they can cope with that d a r k side o f the cosmos. A comparable perception is expressed i n the m o t i f ' k i l l i n g the baneful d r a g o n ' i n ' A p o l l o ' s foundation o f the oracle' i n the Homeric Hymn to Apollo.

57

The motif

'god or hero kills a chthonic monster' is connected w i t h a foundation also i n other m y t h s .

5 8

I t represents the establishment o f order

and the e l i m i n a t i o n o f disorder, evil and danger to h u m a n i t y , symbolised by a chthonic monster, a representation o f raw nature at its most f r i g h t e n i n g a n d savage. T h u s the d r a g o n - k i l l i n g i n the Homeric Hymn expresses i n symbolic terms the significance o f the oracle's f o u n d a t i o n : A p o l l o founded it i n order to guide m a n k i n d , to give laws a n d establish order. Consequently, the m y t h o l o g i c a l representation ' A p o l l o defeats the chthonic monster a n d integrates some o f its aspects i n his c u l t ' ,

5 9

contained i n the Previous O w n e r s

myth, appears in connection w i t h A p o l l o ' s oracle already i n the Homeric Hymn. M o r e o v e r , i n that h y m n , t h r o u g h the dragoness's association w i t h T y p h o e u s , the last challenger to Zeus's power, the disorder and chaos preceding the oracle's f o u n d a t i o n w h i c h she represented are symbolically equated w i t h the conditions preceding, and opposed to, the establishment o f Zeus' rule. T h u s A p o l l o ' s killing o f the d r a g o n a n d f o u n d i n g o f the D e l p h i c oracle are represented as c o r r e s p o n d i n g symbolically to the establishment o f Zeus' reign. T h e d r a g o n - k i l l i n g is also a ' r e p l a y ' o f that struggle and victory, w h i c h ensured that Zeus' order w i l l be served by the oracle. The Previous O w n e r s m y t h contains the same symbolic equivalence between A p o l l o ' s oracle and Zeus' rule. T h i s e q u a t i o n is earlier than the Homeric Hymn. F o r the m y t h e m e 'Zeus set u p the sema o f his assumption o f sovereignty at D e l p h i '

(Appendix)

established a direct association between D e l p h i and Zeus' t r i u m p h over the o l d order; this was u n d e r p i n n e d and strengthened b y , and perhaps elaborated u n d e r the impetus of, D e l p h i ' s central role i n p r o m o t i n g order i n the Greek w o r l d , w i t h Zeus as its u l t i m a t e guarantor. I t is p r o b a b l y i n the context o f this elaboration that the ' d r a g o n - k i l l i n g ' m o t i f o f the f o u n d a t i o n legends was adapted so as to connect the monster w i t h Zeus' enemies. Because it was a monster, it was connected w i t h another monster a m o n g Zeus' enemies, T y p h o e u s ; because it was associated w i t h r a w nature and, like all challengers to Zeus' rule a n d their allies, thought o f i n

227


Myth as History terms o f the earlier gods, it was p a r t l y modelled o n G a i a , presented as a savage t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f Gaia: a dangerous

death-

b r i n g i n g female monster a n d (like G a i a ) a k o u r o t r o p h o s — o f the plague T y p h o e u s (Horn.

H, Ap. 3 5 3 - 5 ) . I n the Previous O w n e r s

m y t h the earlier order is represented by the older goddesses themselves, so the ' d r a g o n - k i l l i n g * m o t i f was reinterpreted: the dragon — modelled o n the m o t i f 'serpent/dragon as g u a r d i a n o f a spring/ sanctuary'

60

— became the g u a r d i a n o f Gaia's oracle, thus m a k i n g

explicit the symbolic equivalence ' A p o l l o kills the d r a g o n '

=

' A p o l l o takes over the oracle f r o m G a i a by force'; for the violent takeover is focused on the k i l l i n g o f the oracle's g u a r d i a n d r a g o n .

61

W h i l e i n the Homeric Hymn, A p o l l o creates order out o f chaos, in the G a i a m y t h

he establishes

a higher type o f order,

which

supersedes that o f the p r i m o r d i a l goddess. Its symbolic equivalence w i t h the order o f Zeus' r e i g n articulates the view that the Delphic oracle has a central role i n establishing that order a m o n g men. T h e fact that the m y t h ' G a i a as a Previous O w n e r ' contains f o r m a l elaborations o f motifs a n d notions w h i c h appear i n a simpler (and w i l d e r ) form i n the Homeric Hymn's

dragon-killing,

and is itself a m o r e elaborate, acculturated, version o f that m y t h , offers support for the p r e s u m p t i o n , enunciated earlier o n , that the Previous O w n e r s m y t h was later than ' A p o l l o ' s f o u n d a t i o n o f the oracle'. I n E u r i p i d e s ' IT,

1 2 3 4 - 8 3 A p o l l o took over T h e m i s ' oracle

after k i l l i n g the dragon w h o guarded i t ; to avenge her daughter, G a i a sent prophetic n i g h t dreams w h i c h made A p o l l o ' s oracle r e d u n d a n t ; Zeus, whose help A p o l l o sought, r e m o v e d the night dreams' truthfulness and restored m e n ' s confidence i n A p o l l o ' s prophecies. T h e revenge a n d the A p o l l o - G a i a conflict are also f o u n d i n P i n d a r ; i n IT the oracle's o w n e r is T h e m i s , w h o , though a p r i m o r d i a l goddess and G a i a ' s daughter, is associated w i t h Zeus' order

6 2

a n d w i t h A p o l l o — i n m y t h (Horn.

H. Ap.

1 2 3 - 5 ) and

personality. T h e m i s , then, was a symbolically m e d i a t i n g figure between A p o l l o and G a i a . I n one v a r i a n t the oracle passes from G a i a to T h e m i s to A p o l l o . transfer

from

6 3

Its transfer from G a i a to T h e m i s is a

a p r i m o r d i a l a n d often savage goddess to one

associated w i t h order and justice; that from T h e m i s to A p o l l o a transfer to the male (and thus symbolically superior) l a w g i v i n g and c i v i l i s i n g god o f the new order. 228

W h e n contrasted

to A p o l l o ,


Myth as History Themis aspect;

drifts 64

towards

her

p r i m o r d i a l female,

older

goddess

thus A p o l l o ' s ownership is symbolically correlative w i t h

the establishment o f Zeus' r u l e . Given the symbolic correlation between A p o l l o ' s D e l p h i and Zeus' rule (seen already i n the Homeric Hymn), Gaia's possession o f Delphi after Zeus became sovereign

was symbolically unsatis-

factory (at that p o i n t A p o l l o had not been b o r n , and so could not step i n ) . T h u s , w h e n the oracle acquired a p r e - A p o l l i n e past, the myth created a 'space' for an intermediate figure, defined by the traits (a) 'older goddess somehow associated w i t h G a i a ' (for the structuring schema was ' A p o l l o replaces and older goddess', and its established f o r m i n v o l v e d G a i a ) , and (b) ' f i g u r e associated w i t h values p e r t a i n i n g to Zeus'

order'.

T h i s space corresponds to

T h e m i s ' persona, a n d , i n m y v i e w , it is i n this context that she became a Previous O w n e r o f the D e l p h i c o r a c l e .

65

T h i s variant

stresses the oracle's close association w i t h A p o l l o and Zeus, and its high claims to justice and order, and thus also its i m p o r t a n t role in establishing t h e m . I n some ways, ' T h e m i s ' o w n e r s h i p ' can be seen as an elaboration o f the f o r m u l a t i o n i n Alcaeus' h y m n "propheteu\s\onta diken kai themin\

w h i c h describes A p o l l o ' s mission to D e l p h i

and expresses the same perceptions

o f the role o f the Delphic

Apollo and his oracle. G i v e n the model o f a violent

takeover

leading to a higher order i n Hesiod's Theogony, the violent transfer schema was one

potential a r t i c u l a t o r o f A p o l l o ' s takeover

of

Themis' oracle (cf. A p o l l o d . 1.4.1). But the p u l l was towards the friendly transfer,

w i t h the conflict g r a v i t a t i n g towards

Themis'

mother, Gaia. T h e m i s a n d A p o l l o were positively related.

The

myth's structure creates a contrast between t h e m â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at the same time as it brings out their similarities; but Apollo-Themis

relationship

the value o f the

i n this m y t h is also

determined

through their relationship as a pair to the pair G a i a - A p o l l o w h i c h is their alternative. W h e n related to the Gaia - A p o l l o pair, the relationship

between

Themis

and

Apollo

drifts

towards

the

friendly pole, w i t h G a i a - A p o l l o o c c u p y i n g the hostile one, as i n IT. In the IT version another set o f relationships also comes into play; the pair G a i a - T h e m i s presented as

i n f e r i o r to,

the

is i m p l i c i t l y compared pair

with,

Z e u s - A p o l l o . Zeus is

and the

sovereign, thus his offspring, A p o l l o , wins. T h i s is one o f the myth's meanings. G a i a was a g u a r a n t o r o f the old order, but she is 229


Myth as History subordinate to Zeus, the g u a r a n t o r o f the new, higher, order, and o f A p o l l o ' s prophecies. T h e ( i n t e r t w i n e d ) representations 'male is superior to female', and 'the f a t h e r - s o n relationship is superior to the m o t h e r - d a u g h t e r one' structure, and are articulated i n , this m y t h . T o understand fully the m y t h ' s meanings we must consider its d r a m a t i c context. I t is part o f a song p r a i s i n g A p o l l o at a crucial m o m e n t i n the action, thus presaging a happy e n d i n g , since it suggests that Orestes' doubts were mistaken a n d A p o l l o ' s guidance was right (see especially v . 1254). W i t h i n the song, the Previous O w n e r s m y t h foreshadows that e n d i n g most potently. F o r it says that A p o l l o ' s prophecy is guaranteed by Zeus, w h i c h is equivalent to saying that A p o l l o ' s prophecy to Orestes was r i g h t , that they w i l l be saved. T h e violent takeover o f the oracle i n the m y t h , which led to the establishment o f a superior cult, foreshadows — and thus symbolically characterises, a n d w i l l i n its t u r n be characterised by — the end o f the play: the violent takeover o f an especially holy statue and the establishment o f a new, superior, civilised, cult — of A r t e m i s T a u r o p o l o s presented as an acculturated version o f the Tauric cult.

6 6

Prophecy is an i m p o r t a n t theme i n IT,

Previous O w n e r s

myth.

I t is mysterious a n d

as i n the

i n some ways

f r i g h t e n i n g — as well as order-creating a n d helpful;

it is also

uncertain

IT

and

vulnerable

to

misinterpretation. I n

these

negative characteristics gravitate to Gaia's prophecy, w h i c h is defeated in the m y t h and also p r o v e d fallacious w i t h i n the play — for

Iphigeneia misunderstood her prophetic d r e a m ( w h i c h only

told

part

guidance.

o f the t r u t h ) ; 67

they are

also l i m i t e d ,

a n d offer

no

I n the m y t h the prophetic dreams sent by G a i a are

negatively characterised:

they are b o r n o f malice, they come

u n b i d d e n (and are thus not c o n t r o l l a b l e ) , and they are associated, t h r o u g h language and content, w i t h darkness and n i g h t . T h u s , in both m y t h and play, the d a r k side o f prophecy drifts to G a i a , and this allows A p o l l o ' s

prophecy

to emerge

as

w h o l l y positive.

Prophecy's d a r k side has been articulated, b u t , because it was a t t r i b u t e d to the defeated a n d superseded G a i a , it has not c o n t a m i nated A p o l l o ' s oracle; on the c o n t r a r y , that oracle has c o n t r i b u t e d to the dark prophecy's defeat, and is thus presented as its opposite, strengthened by its failure. T h i s v a r i a n t , then, was also shaped b y , and expressed, a belief i n progress — i n the cosmos, a n d i n prophecy, the i n s t r u m e n t of c o m m u n i c a t i o n between m e n a n d gods. I t reaffirms the Delphic 230


Myth as History oracle's r e l i a b i l i t y as guide, and emphasises the association w i t h Zeus

and

his order,

which

supersede the

darker

and

more

dangerous aspects o f the cosmos, as o f prophecy. It is a tale o f reassurance, faith i n progress i n the d i v i n e order and i n the possibility o f d i v i n e guidance for h u m a n i t y — t h r o u g h the Delphic oracle. I n the play also the r e l i a b i l i t y o f the D e l p h i c A p o l l o ' s prophecy — after i t had been repeatedly questioned

(78-103;

5 7 3 - 5 ; 7 1 1 - 1 5 ; 723) — is p r o v e d ; it offered guidance, salvation and happiness b e y o n d Orestes' expectations and led to the foundation o f a new cult beneficial for all t i m e . T h i s focal d r a m a t i c strand of the play is condensed,

and foreshadowed,

i n the

Previous

Owners m y t h i n 1 2 3 4 - 8 3 . A c c o r d i n g to Aesch. Eum. 1 - 8 , G a i a gave the Delphic oracle to Themis, succeeded w i t h her consent b y Phoebe, w h o gave it to her grandson A p o l l o o n his b i r t h . T h a t this friendly transfer foreshadows the play's conclusion has been noted by others, as has the passage's relationship w i t h H e s i o d ' s Theogony.™ Since i n the early fifth

century the established

schema for the replacement

of a

p r i m o r d i a l deity by a y o u n g e r god was the violent transfer o f the Theogony's succession m y t h — t h r o u g h w h i c h A p o l l o replaced G a i a — the friendly transfer v a r i a n t was perhaps created — i n the context o f the play's needs a n d aims — by Aeschylus. T h i s w o u l d explain w h y there is, u n i q u e l y i n his version, an extra m e d i a t i n g figure,

Phoebe, whose close k i n s h i p w i t h A p o l l o allows a friendly

power-transfer f r o m an older goddess to a younger god, t h r o u g h the schema 'gift on a special occasion' (compare, e.g.,

Diod.

v.2.3). Phoebe is also a representation — i n this play where malefemale family relationships are an i m p o r t a n t issue — o f a positive relationship between A p o l l o and the maternal side o f his family — perhaps a symbolic c o u n t e r w e i g h t to Orestes'

m a t r i c i d e and

Apollo's role i n it and i n its aftermath. T h e Aeschylean m y t h ' s meanings are a m o r e ethical, ' c i v i l i s e d ' version o f the violent variants, ascribing a higher ethical tone to the oracle (and its god) — again represented

as i n s t r u m e n t a l i n establishing order, and

symbolically homologous to Zeus' reign o f justice. O n e Ephoros fragment (FGrH Themis

founded

h u m a n i t y , another

the

oracle

70 F 31b) tells us that A p o l l o and together,

to

guide

and

civilise

( F 150) that A p o l l o obtained D e l p h i

from

Poseidon i n exchange for T a i n a r o n . T h e relationship between the two is unclear (cf. FGrH

I I C , 49). T h e y could be harmonised i f 231


Myth as History Apollo had obtained Delphi sanctuary) f r o m

as a region ( w i t h or w i t h o u t

Poseidon, a n d then founded the oracle

a

with

T h e m i s . T h i s j o i n t f o u n d a t i o n is a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the m y t h e m e ' A p o l l o succeeds T h e m i s ' , stressing the two deities' s i m i l a r i t y and c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y . I n one story (Paus. 10.5.6) Poseidon had owned the oracle j o i n t l y w i t h G a i a , w h o gave her share to T h e m i s , who gave it to A p o l l o , to w h o m Poseidon ceded his i n r e t u r n for K a l a u r e i a . I n b o t h versions A p o l l o obtains D e l p h i f r o m Poseidon t h r o u g h gift-exchange. Since it characterised Zeus' rule i n the 69

Theogony,

gift-exchange was the most fitting mode o f succession

in changes o f o w n e r s h i p between ' y o u n g e r gods', especially w h e n , as here, it is differentiated f r o m o w n e r s h i p changes i n v o l v i n g symbolically charged generational differences. Pausanias (10.24.4) explains the presence o f Poseidon's altar i n the temple t h r o u g h his Previous O w n e r s h i p o f the oracle, thus s h o w i n g that one function of the m y t h was to e x p l a i n Poseidon's role i n D e l p h i c c u l t

7 0

and

articulate his relationship to A p o l l o . T h e presence o f certain significant

physical

elements

and

phenomena

which

belonged

to

Poseidon's sphere, springs, rocks a n d earthquakes, m a y also have been seen as tokens o f that god's c l a i m o n the locality. A p o l l o and Poseidon are a n t i t h e t i c a l : A p o l l o belongs to the s y m b o l i c pole o f c u l t u r e , Poseidon to that o f w i l d n a t u r e ;

71

i n the D e l p h i c oracle —

the m y t h says a n d the cult shows — Poseidon a n d his values are subordinate to A p o l l o a n d the A p o l l i n e . Poseidon a n d G a i a are semantically related; their relationship to each other is comparable to that between A p o l l o a n d T h e m i s . As a p a i r co-operating at D e l p h i , they are opposed to ( a n d the m y t h o f t h e i r partnership m a y have been inspired b y ) the p a i r co-operating i n the cult o f the present: Poseidon

Apollo 72

and

Athena,

— and Gaia,

both

Thus,

symbolically

opposed

these variants represent

to the

D e l p h i c oracle as a c i v i l i s i n g centre, i n w h i c h the ' w i l d e r ' deities — a n d what they represented — were subordinated to A p o l l o the lawgiver a n d civiliser. C l e a r l y , the Previous O w n e r s m y t h , once established,

became

the

vehicle for a r t i c u l a t i n g

relationships

between A p o l l o a n d the other D e l p h i c deities, especially those symbolically antithetical to the o r d e r a n d civilisation represented by A p o l l o ; thus, different variants o f the Previous O w n e r s m y t h , expressing different variations o f the m e a n i n g ' f r o m savage to c i v i l i s e d ' , were created by filling the ' w i l d Previous O w n e r ' slot w i t h different d e i t i e s .

73

232


Myth as History T h e m y t h e m e ' G a i a herself prophesied at her oracle', (Paus. 10.5.6) a n d the representation

o f T h e m i s prophesying on the

tripod, connect the P y t h i a w i t h these two goddesses, ascribe this d i v i n a t i o n rite to t h e m . T h i s is correlative w i t h , and so articulates and explains, a tension between on the one hand the prophetic ritual's o r d e r - c r e a t i n g function a n d A p o l l o the c i v i l i s i n g god o f order, a n d o n the other a d i v i n a t i o n rite i n v o l v i n g disorder (the Pythia's ecstatic s t a t e ) ,

74

a mysterious access to the d i v i n e w i l l , a

temporary a n d p a r t i a l b l u r r i n g o f the l i m i t s between m a n k i n d and the gods. L i k e G a i a , the P y t h i a is an a m b i v a l e n t female figure who oversteps the n o r m a l l i m i t s ; this, the m y t h implies, is because she is a legacy f r o m G a i a , b u t now she operates u n d e r the control o f Apollo the god o f o r d e r , w h o has t a m e d the previously disordered — and fearsome — d i v i n a t i o n rite. T h u s , all variants o f the Previous O w n e r s m y t h are shaped b y , and express, positive representations o f the D e l p h i c oracle and its god, and o f the role a n d nature o f prophecy, a n d also perceptions pertaining to the r i t u a l a n d to relationships between deities — and through t h e m also to the Greek conception o f the cosmos. T h e Previous O w n e r s m y t h , t h e n , w h i c h does not fit the facts of, and therefore cannot be explained as, cultic h i s t o r y , makes

perfect

sense as a m y t h , expresses, and is structured b y , significant Greek collective representations. I n this sense, this m y t h is ' t r u e ' .

7 5

A p p e n d i x : T h e O m p h a l o s — Some F u r t h e r R e m a r k s A n i m p o r t a n t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the M i n o a n r i t u a l nexus ' o v a l stone, eagle-hawk a n d y o u n g g o d ' i n D e l p h i c cult is the nexus 'omphalos, eagles a n d Z e u s '

7 6

i n the story that the omphalos

marks the centre o f the w o r l d , w h i c h was d e t e r m i n e d b y Zeus, w h o released t w o eagles, one f r o m the East a n d one f r o m the W e s t , w h o met at D e l p h i ( c f P i n d . fr. 54). H e r e the god connected w i t h the omphalos is Zeus; it is therefore interesting that the M i n o a n god involved i n that r i t u a l nexus h a d c o n t r i b u t e d — or rather, his later transformations d i d — to the creation o f Zeus' (especially the young Z e u s ' ) p e r s o n a

77

as well as A p o l l o ' s . T h u s the fact that the

M i n o a n god connected w i t h the stone c o n t r i b u t e d to the creation of both A p o l l o a n d the y o u n g Zeus is reflected i n the omphalos's association

i n the

D e l p h i c cult 233

o f the historical p e r i o d

with


Myth as History b o t h A p o l l o (the sanctuary's

p r e s i d i n g deity i n whose adyton

the omphalos stood) and Zeus — t h r o u g h the m y t h o f Zeus' eagles.

78

Zeus is also associated w i t h another sacred stone at D e l p h i , w h i c h , i n m y v i e w , is another t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the M i n o a n god's stone: the stone swallowed by K r o n o s w h i c h Zeus set up at D e l p h i as a sema ( H e s . sovereign.

79

Th.

4 9 8 - 5 0 0 ) when he became

the w o r l d ' s

I n m y view, this m y t h e m e arose i n connection w i t h

the stone w h i c h (on m y hypothesis) entered the D e l p h i c cult as part o f A p o l l o ' s C r e t a n c o m p o n e n t , t h r o u g h the i n t e r a c t i o n between four elements. First, the M i n o a n stone's association w i t h the god who

had c o n t r i b u t e d to the y o u n g Zeus'

included the m y t h s s u r r o u n d i n g his b i r t h Crete;

80

persona

which

and u p b r i n g i n g i n

for this b r o u g h t that stone w i t h i n the o r b i t o f the m y t h o -

logical nexus o f Zeus' b i r t h a n d its sequel. I n d e e d , i n m y v i e w , the m o t i f 'stone swallowed by K r o n o s instead o f Zeus' — w h i c h is the second element that went into the m a k i n g o f the m y t h e m e we are considering — was p r o b a b l y itself a m y t h o l o g i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the r i t u a l association between the stone a n d the M i n o a n god w h o c o n t r i b u t e d to the creation o f the y o u n g Zeus' persona; for in b o t h cases ( i n the M i n o a n r i t u a l and i n the Greek m y t h ) there is a symbolic equivalence between the god's symbolic death and a stone. T h e t h i r d element is the fact that A p o l l o prophesied at D e l p h i under Zeus' supreme a u t h o r i t y , w h i c h entailed an association between D e l p h i a n d the sovereign g o d . F i n a l l y , D e l p h i ' s identity as a major Panhellenic sanctuary created the symbolic space in w h i c h Zeus' v i c t o r y could be connected w i t h

Delphi,

made D e l p h i a plausible setting for the sema o f Zeus' v i c t o r y . A l l interpretations o f the omphalos can be made sense o f i f we understand it to be one t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the M i n o a n stone (the m y t h i c o - r i t u a l nexus o f w h i c h was reinterpreted so as to fit the Delphic cultic c o n t e x t ) , w i t h Zeus' sema being another such transf o r m a t i o n . T h e centre o f the w o r l d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and the m y t h o f Zeus' eagles can be seen as an elaboration — i n i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the ( r e w o r k e d ) M i n o a n stone's associations w i t h eagles — o f the mytheme Delphi',

'Zeus which

set

up the sema m a r k i n g his sovereignty at

gave a cosmic d i m e n s i o n to the n o t i o n

sanctuary as i n some sense a centre o f the w o r l d

8 1

of a

— an enlarge-

ment u n d e r p i n n e d at another level by D e l p h i ' s central place in archaic Greece.

I n any case, i n this (centre-eagles) 234

story the


Myth as History omphalos

is also

a sema o f Zeus,

also

connected

with

his

sovereignty o f the w o r l d — w h i c h i n the m y t h he is m a p p i n g . T h e two stones, t h e n , are semantically very close, a n d this supports the view that they are related transformations o f one earlier cult object. T h e omphalos's funerary i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s

82

resulted from

the i n t e r a c t i o n between the M i n o a n stone's funerary c o n n e c t i o n s

83

and the funerary 'spaces' o f D e l p h i c m y t h and cult — w h i c h involved Dionysos and the P y t h o n . O n this view, the M i n o a n stone gave rise to different cult objects, associated w i t h different mythemes and r i t u a l s , t h r o u g h the i n t e r a c t i o n between, o n the one hand, the mythemes a n d ritualemes associated w i t h that stone when it entered D e l p h i c cult, and o n the other the 'spaces' i n Delphic cult a n d m y t h — as they were d e v e l o p i n g i n response to the needs w h i c h the oracle a n d its god fulfilled in archaic Greece. T h r o u g h fission a n d conflation these transformations were apparently d i s t r i b u t e d between t w o physical objects: the omphalos i n the adyton and Zeus' sema.

Notes " I am very grateful to Professor C . Rolley for discussing this paper with me at great length. Professor H . W . Parke was kind enough to discuss G a i a with me, despite our disagreement. 1 T h e myth: Aesch. Eu. 1 - 8 ; Pind. fr. 55; E u r . IT 1 2 3 4 - 8 3 ; E u r . Or 1 6 3 - 5 ; Ephorus FGrH 70 F 31B, F 150; Aristonoos, Paean to Apollo ( M . G . Collin, Fouilles de Delphes III Epigraphie vol. ii (Paris, 1909-13)) no. 191, iii; Paus. 1 0 . 5 . 6 - 7 , 24.4, Diod. 16.26; Plut. Pyth. orac. 4 0 2 C - E ; Schol. E u r . Or. 164; Photius, Lex s.v. themisteuein, Pind. Pyth. Hypoth. a; Apollod. 1.4.1; Menander, Rhet. Gr. ed. Spcngel, hi, pp. 4 4 1 - 2 ; Theopompus FGrH 1 15 F 80; O r p h . H 79; H y g i n . Fab. 1 1 1 ; L u r a n 5 . 7 9 - 8 1 ; O v i d . Met 1.320- 1; 4.643. C f . also Plut. De/ mac 414A-B. 2. See, e.g., H . W . Parke and D . E . W . Worrnell, The Delphic Oracle, vol. i, The History (Oxford, 1956) 6 - 13; H . Gallcl de Santerre, Dctos primitive et archaïque {Paris, 1958) 1 5 0 - 1 ; M . Delcourt, L'oracle de Delphes (Paris, 1955) 2 8 - 3 2 ; R . Martin and H . Metzger, La Religion grecque ( V e n d ô m e , 1976) 15. 2 8 - 3 3 ; Y . B é q u i g n o n , 'De quelques usurpations d'Apollon en G r è c e centrale d'après des recherches récentes', Rev. Arch (1949) 6 2 - 8 ; G . R o u x , Delphes. Son oracle et ses dieux (Paris, 1976) 21 - 3 4 ; H . - V . H e r r m a n n , Omphalos ( M ü n s t e r , 1959) 1 0 0 - 1 6 ; H . - V . Herrmann, ' Z u r Bedeutung des delphischen Dreifusses', Boreas, 5 (1982) 5 4 - 6 6 ; B. C . Dietrich, 'Reflections on the origins of the oracular Apollo*, BIGS, 25(\97S) 5. Sceptical/against: M . P. Nilsson, Geschichte der griechischen Religion I , 3rd edn (Munich, 1967) 171 - 2 ; C . Rolley, Fouitlei de Delphes V3 Les trépieds à cuve clouée (Paris, 1977) 1 3 7 - 8 ; J . Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1978) 1; 4; P. A m a n d r y , La Mantique apollinienne à Delphes Essai sur le fonctionnement de l'oracle (Paris, 1950) 214.

235


Myth as History 3. A n d as Fontenrose, Oracle, 1, noted. 4. Discussion and bibliography: Burkert, HN, 1 7 7 - 8 . 5. See, e.g., M . D é t i e n n e , Dionysos Slam (Baltimore and London, 1979) 1 4 - 6 ; N . L o r a u x , ' L a G r è c e hors d é l i e ' , L'homme, 2 0 ( 1 9 8 0 ) 1 0 8 - 1 0 . 6. See, e.g., for Delphi: C . Sourvinou-Inwood, ' T h e M y t h of the First Temples at Delphi', CQ, 29 (1979) 231 - 5 1 ; F . Graf, Gnechuche Mythologie ( M u n i c h and Z u r i c h , 1985) 1 0 6 - 7 . 7. T h e bibliography is vast; most recently: R . J a n k o , Homer, Hesiod and the Hymns. Dtachromc Development in Epic Diction (Cambridge, 1982) 9 9 - 132; W . G T h a l m a n n , Conventions of Form and Thought in Early Greek Epic Poetry (Baltimore and L o n d o n , 1984) 6 4 - 7 3 . 8. O n which: D . L . Page, Sappho and Alcaeus (Oxford, 1955) 2 4 6 - 5 0 . 9. Apollo is the first owner also in Paus. 1 0 . 5 . 7 - 8 which gives two versions of Apollo's 'foundation of the oracle': (a) it was founded for Apollo by Hyperboreans, (b) shepherds discovered it — an alternative to Diod. xvi.26 (chasm taken to be G a i a ' s oracle). T h e goat element is probably earlier than the Previous Owners myth. (Cf. below, note 47 and cf. also Apollo's pastoral function.) Paus. 10.5.7 shows that the goals were not perceived as inextricably bound with G a i a ' s owner­ ship. 10. A deposit of Mycenaean objects (pottery, a few objects of metal, stone and glass paste, and about 175 female terracotta figurines and one animal figurine) was found in the archaic sanctuary of Athena Pronaia ( R . Demangel, Fouilles de Delphes IL Topographie et architecture. Le sanctuaire d'Athêna Pronaia (Paris, 1926) 5 - 36); this is a seventh-century deposit, probably buried during the construction of the temple (cf. L . Lerat in 'Chronique des fouilles en 1956', BCH, 81 (1957) 7 0 8 - 1 0 ) , and made up of the 'holy' Mycenaean objects found by the locals while building and ploughing (cf. C . Rolley, ' L e s grands sanctuaires panhellcniques', in R . H à g g (cd.) The Greek Renaissance oj the Eighth Century B.C.: Tradition and Innovation (Stockholm, 1983) 113). 11. See A m a n d r y , Mantique, 2 0 5 - 7 , Rolley, Trépieds, 1 3 6 - 7 ; see also Martin and Metzger, Religion, 3 0 - 1 . O n the finds: L . Lerat, 'Fouilles de Delphes ( 1 9 3 4 - 1935)', Rev. Arch. 1938, 1 8 7 - 2 0 7 . T h e presence of rhyta does not entail a cult-place. R h y t a appear in domestic, funerary and cultic contexts; on the main­ land most come from graves, a few from domestic contexts; in M i n o a n Crete large groups of rhyta are found in repositories of cult implements, but in Mycenaean shrines rhyta are rare ( R . B . K o e h l , ' T h e Functions of Aegean Bronze Age R h y t a ' , in R . H à g g and N . Marinatos (eds), Sanctuaries and Cults in the Aegean Bronze ^ ( S t o c k h o l m , 1981) 1 7 9 - 8 8 ) . P. G . T h e m e l i s , Annuano, n.s, 4.5 (1983) vol. iii, 2 4 8 - 5 0 claims to have identified some Mycenaean capitals which he assumes to have come from a Mycenaean colonnaded room with a cultic function. T h e argument relies on unwarranted, mutually supporting assumptions. E v e n if the objects are (a) capitals (which is doubtful) and (b) M y c e n a e a n , they cannot support Themelis* claims. 12. So when H e r r m a n n (Omphalos, 100; 'Bedeutung', 54) states that Gaia's 'Idole* were found, he is completely misrepresenting and distorting the facts. Perhaps the archaic Greeks assumed that these female figurines pertained to a female deity, and so deposited them in Athena's sanctuary; but this says nothing about their Mycenaean significance. O n Mycenaean figurines and their function most recently: E . B . French, 'Mycenaean figures and figurines, their typology and function', in H à g g and Marinatos (eds), Sanctuaries, 1 7 3 - 8 ; E . B . French, in C . Renfrew, The Archaeology of Cult. The Sanctuary at Phylakopt ( L o n d o n , 1985) 2 0 9 - 8 0 . 13. A , Brelich, 'Religione micena: osservazioni metodologiche', Atti e Memorie del primo Congresso Internazionale de Micenologia ( R o m e , 1968) 9 2 4 - 7 . So vague

236


Myth as History notions such as 'the Great goddess of old Aegean religion' who lived on in Delphic tradition under the names of G a i a and T h e m i s ( H e r r m a n n , Omphalos, 100) are entirely out of place. 14. T h i s , for example, is the underlying implication in Roux, Delphes, 26. 15. See Rolley, Trépieds, 1 3 5 - 8 , 1 4 2 - 3 ; Rolley, 'Sanctuaires', 1 0 9 - 1 4 . 16. Roux, Delphes, 23. He takes G a i a to have been worshipped in the later sanctuary of Apollo. 17. O n a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja: M . G é r a r d - R o u s s e a u , Les mentions religieuses dans les (ablettes mycéniennes ( R o m e , 1968) 4 4 - 5 ; J . C h a d w i c k , The Mycenaean World (Cambridge, 1976) 8 8 - 9 ; Burkert, GR, 44, 364 n 17, 139, 403 n 3. 18. See also Rolley, Trépieds, 136. 19. As R o u x , Delphes, 25 admits. 20. B é q u i g n o n , 'Usurpations', 6 6 - 7 . H e thinks Mycenaean G a i a also had a small shrine at the site of the later Apollo sanctuary. 21. F . Cassola, Inni Omerici ( V e r o n a , 1975) 89. C f . also H e r r m a n n , Omphalos, 100. 22. See, e.g., Gallet de Santerre, Délos, 136; 150. 23. Sec R o u x , Delphes, 25, 2 9 - 3 0 . 24. Burkert, GR, 136; against the etymological argument also C h a d w i c k , Mycenaean World, 86 - 7. 25. Burkert, GR, 1 3 6 - 8 . 26. Cf. G é r a r d - R o u s s e a u , Mentions, 1 8 4 - 5 ; C h a d w i c k , Mycenaean World, 9 4 - 5 . 27. T h e date of the statue bases; on the latter: P. de la C o s t e - M e s s e l i è r e and R . Flacelière, ' U n e Statue de la T e r r e à Delphes', BCH, 54 (1930) 2 8 3 - 9 5 ; Amandry, Mantique, 208 n 3. 28. Metzger and M a r t i n , Religion, 30, 33 acknowledge that there is no archaeo­ logical evidence to support the priority of G a i a ' s oracle. 29. Plut. Ryth. orac. 402 C - D ; E . Bourguet, Fouilles de Delphes III. V. Epigraphie. Les comptes du IVe siècle (Paris, 1932) 25 col. I l l , A , 3 - 4 ; on G a i a ' s sanctuary: Bourguet, op. cit., 129 n 1; J . Pouilloux, Fouilles de Delphes IL Topographie et arc hitetture. La région nord du sanctuaire (Paris, I960) 96; M . F . C o u r b y , Fouilles de Delphes I I Topographie et architecture. La Terrace du temple (Paris, 1927) 1 8 3 - 4 . 30. Concise history of the site: P. de la C o s t e - M e s s e l i è r e , 'Topographie delphique', BCH, 93 (1969) 7 3 0 - 5 8 . O n this point cf. also P. A m a n d r y , 'Chronique delphique ( 1970- 1981)', BCH, 705 (1981) 6 7 7 - 9 . 31. C f . , e.g., C o u r b y , Terrace, 201; P. de la C o s t e - M e s s e l i è r e , Au Musée de Delphes (Paris, 1936) 6 9 - 7 2 ; contra: A m a n d r y , Mantique, 2)0 n 2. 32. Some have argued that the bases had been moved there from a different location (cf. short discussion with bibliography: A m a n d r y , Mantique, 208 n 3). 33. O n this building: de la C o s t e - M e s s e l i è r e , 'Topographie*, 734. 34. C f . Martin and Metzger, Religion, 1 4 - 5 ; 28. 35. O n D i d y m a , Claros and Ptoion, see Martin and Metzger, Religion, 35, 4 3 - 5 3 , 5 3 - 6 0 ; Burkert, GR, 115; B. Fehr, ' Z u r Geschichte des Apollonheiligtums von D i d y m a ' , Marb. Winckelm. Progr. 1971/2, 1 4 - 5 9 ; G . G r u b e n , 'Das archaische Didymaion', Jdl, 78 (1963) 7 8 - 1 7 7 ; E . T o u l o u p a , ' T h e sanctuaries of Mount Ptoion in Boeotia', in E . Melas (ed.), Temples and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece (London, 1973) 1 1 7 - 2 3 . At D i d y m a a laurel + spring combination as at Delphi. The hypothesis (see, e.g., Martin and Metzger, Religion, 44) that these Apolline oracles' associations with springs are a legacy of earlier G a i a cults replaced by Apollo, for which there is no evidence whatsoever, is another example of the fallacy just discussed. 36. De la C o s t e - M e s s e l i è r e , 'Topographie , 736. 37. O n which: De la C o s t e - M e s s e l i è r e , ibid. 7 3 6 - 7. 1

237


Myth as

History

38. R o u x , Delphes, 25, 2 8 - 3 3 , 116; Dclcourt, Oracle, 31, 32, 144; Parke and Wormell, Oracle, 6 - 7 ; H e r r m a n n , Omphalos, 100- 16; J . E . Harrison, 'Delphika', JHS, 79(1899) 2 0 5 - 5 1 ; B . C . Dietrich, The Origins of Greek Religion (Berlin, 1974) 3 0 8 - 9 . F o r Martin and Metzger (Religion, 1 4 - 5 , 28) the 'natural elements, water, tree, animals, c h a s m ' , were originally attached to G a i a . O n springs: see above; on animals: notes 9 and 47; and cf. Apollo's connection with wolves and deer. 39. Parke and W o r m e l l , Oracle, 10, 1 2 - 1 3 ; H e r r m a n n , Omphalos, 101 n 303. 40. See C . Sourvinou-Inwood, 'Persephone and Aphrodite at Locri: a model for personality definitions in Greek religion', JHS, 98 (1978) 1 0 1 - 2 1 ; and cf. J . - P . V e r n a n t , Mythe et société en Grèce ancienne (Paris, 1974) 1 0 5 - 10; M . D é t i e n n e and J . - P . V e r n a n t , Les Ruses de l'intelligence (Paris, 1974) 176. 41. O n this: L . Gernet and A . Boulanger, Le Génie grec dans la religion (Paris, 1932, repr. 1970) 221 - 3 1 ; see above, note 40. 42. See Sourvinou-Inwood, 'First Temples' 2 3 3 - 6 . 43. I f it refers to Delphi, and not, as the scholium (on 806) claims, to Hades. O n the chasm: A m a n d r y , Mantique, 214IT; E . R . Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeley, L o s Angeles, 1951) 7 3 - 4 , 91 - 2 n 66; Martin and Metzger, Religion, 3 4 - 8 ; Fontenrose, Oracle, 1 9 7 - 2 0 3 ; Parke and Wormell, Oracle, 1 9 - 2 4 ; Roux, Delphes, 1 1 0 - 7 ; Burkert, HN, 1 2 2 - 3 ; S. Price, 'Delphi and divination', in P. E . Easterling and J . V . M u i r (eds), Greek Religion and Society (Cambridge, 1985) 139-40." 44. A m a n d r y , ' C h r o n i q u e , 687 - 9; see also J . - F . Bommelaer, ' L a construction du temple classique de Delphes', BCH, 7(77(1983) 193. Against the view (which implies that prophesying is tied up with one spot) that the sekos was rebuilt first, because of the special needs imposed by the cult: Bommelaerop.fi/., 1 9 2 - 2 1 5 45. See Burkert, GR, 115, 116 - 7. Dietrich, 'Reflections', 5, speaks of contami­ nation between chthonic and Apolline oracles; but this is a simple assumption, based, moreover, on an a priori — and mistaken — construct: it depends on the existence of Bronze Age chthonic oracles, which itself depends on the historical interpretation of the Previous O w n e r s myth and similar legends. 46. O n the omphalos: H e r r m a n n , Omphalos, Nilsson, Griechischen Religion, 204 and n 6; E . Richards-Mantzoulinou, 'Melissa Potnia', Ath. Ann. Arch., 72(1979) 7 2 - 9 2 ; and esp. Burkert, HN, 1 2 6 - 7 . A list of representations ofomphaloi: M Blech, Studien zum Kranz bei den Griechen (Berlin and New Y o r k , 1982) 442. 47. In Reading Dumb Images. A Study in Mmoan Iconography and Religion (forth­ coming). Actual stone found: Renfrew, Phytakopi, 102; pi. 7. Scenes: stone + bird (eagle-hawk: not naturalistic, but a conflation combining the characteristics of both birds); Sellopoulo ring: Ann. Br. School Ath., 69 (1974) pi. 37; K a l y v i a ring: Corpus der minotschen und mykenischen Siegel (CMS) 11.3 no. 114, in which the stone appears to be decorated with fillets; fillets also on the object in a fresco fragment which may, as Evans suggested, be an oval stone: Sir Arthur E v a n s , The Palace of Minos ( L o n d o n , 1 9 2 1 - 3 5 ) vol. I I . 2 , 839, fig. 555 and p. 840. Stone (with pithos and plant) and young male god with bow: ring A M 1919.56: C . Sourvinou (-Inwood), ' O n the Authenticity of the Ashmolcan R i n g 1919.56', Kadmos, 10 ( 1971) 6 0 - 9 , pl. I; the ring's authenticity is now accepted: see, e.g., I . Pini, 'Echt oder falsch? — Einige Fälle', CMS Betheß 1 Studien zur minoischen und heltadischen Glyptik (Berlin, 1981) 147. I am arguing (in the forthcoming book, on the basis of autopsy, microscopic examination of a cast and the study of many parallels) that the object in the god's other hand is a wild goat's horn. In my view, Apollo's association with goats (cf. Delos keraton ( C a l l i m . Hymn to Apollo 6 0 - 4 ) , and the goats in Delphic myth) originated in Minoan Crete, but this is not the place to discuss this question. T h e M i n o a n god is also closely associated with a tree in the ritual involving the stone (cf. Sellopoulo and K a l y v i a rings) — not a laurel, but a 1

238


Myth as History fig-tree (the laurel pertains to the D o r i a n - N W Greek component of Apollo. O n Apollo's components see Burkert, OR, 1 4 4 - 5 ) . These remarks are based on the conclusions of my study of the Minoan ritual, itself based on internal Minoan evidence alone, to the complete exclusion of historical Greek data. 48. Rolley, 'Sanctuaires', 1 1 0 - 1 ; Rolley, Trépieds, 145ff. O n Apullo Delphinios: F . Graf, 'Apollon Delphinios , MH, 36 (1979) 1 - 2 2 . 49. Burkert, HN, 1 2 6 - 7 . For more on the omphalos see above. Appendix. 50. Nilsson, Griechtschen Religion, 204 and see 202. 51. For H e r r m a n n , 'Bedeutung', passim, the tripod originated in the Mycenaean figurines' high-backed three-legged throne/chair, whose occupant he identifies as the Mother Goddess worshipped at Mycenaean Delphi, in myth G a i a - T h e m i s , whom he associates with the Pythia sitting on the tripod. Apart from the implausibility of the identification of the tripod with the high-backed Mycenaean 'throne', H e r r m a n n ' s reliance on the circular 'Mycenaean G a i a at Delphi' hypothesis invalidates his case. A m a n d r y ' s suggestion {Rev. Et. Or., 97 (1984) x x - x x i . (I owe this reference to Professor C . Rolley)) that the Pythia's prophetic tripod (which, he says, had not been seen by the ancient writers and artists who spoke of, or represented it) may have been not a proper tripod but something related to the three-legged Mycenaean throne (survival of a tradition or preservation of a relic) is, in my view, wrong: (1) T h o u g h (he Pythia was probably not in view when prophesying, we cannot know that the part of the adyton in which her tripod stood was not visible at other times. (2) T h e r e is no reason to suppose that the description of the instruments of divination would be kept secret, since the consultation procedure was spoken of freely. (3) T h e Delphian priesthood certainly did know what the prophetic tripod looked like, and it is highly implausible that they would have allowed its misrepresentation on, e.g., coins ( e g Delphic Amphictyony coinage: C . M . K r a a y , Archaic and Classical Greek Coins (London, 1976) 122, pi. 22 no. 414: Apollo, omphalos and laurel, and with them, and thus part of the cult (which identifies it as the prophetic tripod) a normal tripod). ( O n the Delphic tripod: Burkert, HN, 1 2 1 - 5 ; Parke and Wormell, Oracle, 2 4 - 6 ; R o u x , Delphes, 1 1 9 - 2 3 ; F . Willemsen, *Der delphische Dreifuss', Jdl, 70 (1955) 8 5 - 1 0 4 . ) 1

52. If T h e m i s was an owner of the oracle in Pi. P. 1 1 . 9 - 1 0 , which is unlikely (the case against: H . Vos, Themis (Assen, 1956) 6 2 - 3 with bibl.), the two versions could be harmonised if in fr. 55 G a i a was, as in E u r . IT, avenging T h e m i s . T h e G a i a - A p o l l o conflict also in Theopompos FGrH 115 F 80. 53. O n G a i a : M . B. Arthur, 'Cultural Strategies in Hcsiod's Theogony: L a w , family, society', Arethusa, 15 (1982) 64, 65, 66, 7 0 - 1 , 76; Nilsson, Gnechischen Religion, 4 5 6 - 6 1 ; L . R . Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, vol. 3 (Oxford, 1907) 1-28, 3 0 7 - 11; L . Dcubner, Attische Feste, 3rd edn ( V i e n n a , 1969) 2 6 - 7 . 54. See J . - P . V e r n a n t , Religion grecque, religions antiques (Paris, 1976) 23. 55. O n Zeus' conquest of sovereignty: D é t i e n n e and V e r n a n t , Ruses, 6 1 - 1 2 4 . 56. C f . V e r n a n t , Religion grecque, 2 5 - 6 on Hermes-Hestia. 57. See Burkert, HN, 121; T h a l m a n n , Conventions, 72; j . Fontenrose, Python (Berkeley, L o s Angeles, L o n d o n , 1959) 1 3 - 2 2 , 7 7 - 9 3 . 58. J . T r ù m f , 'Stadtgrundung und D r a c h e n k a m p f , Hermes, £ 6 ( 1 9 5 8 ) 1 2 9 - 5 7 ; F V i a n , Les Origines de Thébes Cadmos et les Spartes (Paris, 1963) 94 - I 13. 59. T h e monster's rotting corpse gave Delphi the name Pytho and Apollo the epithet Pythian (Horn. H Ap. 3 7 2 - 4 ) . (Compare E u r . Ion 9 8 9 - 1 1 1 9 ) . 60. Bodson, Animal, 70 and n 89. ( I n the Horn. H Ap. the dragoness was associated with a spring (300)). In E u r . IT the monster is male and Gaia's son. 61. In Menander Rhetor and in Pind. Pyth. Hypoth. a, the dragon does not guard the oracle; in the latter it usurps it and in the former it devastates the

239


Myth as History countryside and keeps pilgrims away. (Cf. Plut. Def. orac. 4 1 4 A - B ) . 62. Hes. Th. 9 0 1 - 2 . O n T h e m i s : V o s , Themis, 3 9 - 7 8 ; F . W . Hamdorf, Griechische Kultpersoni/ikationen der vorhcllenistischen Zeit ( M a i n z , 1964) 50 — 1, 1 0 8 - 1 0 ; Burkert, GR, 1 8 5 - 6 ; E . B . Harrison, ' T h e Shoulder-Cord of T h e m i s ' , in U . H ö c k m a n n and A . K r u g ( e d s ) , Festschrift für Frank Brammer ( M a i n z , 1977) 1 5 6 - 6 0 ; H . Lloyd-Jones, The Justice of Zeus (Berkeley, Los Angeles, L o n d o n , 1971) 1 6 6 - 7 n 23; Nilsson, Griechischen Religion, 1 7 1 - 2 ; W . P ö t s c h e r , ' M o i r a , T h e m i s und T i m e im homerischen Denken', Wien. Stud., 73 (1960) 31 - 5 . O n the primordial goddesses integration in Zeus' order: D é t i e n n e and V e r n a n t , Ruses, 102; Arthur, 'Strategies', 65. In my view, G e - T h e m i s is a later syncretism; T h e m i s was not identified with G a i a in fifth-century religion; Aesch. FV. 2 1 1 - 1 3 is surely a theo­ logical statement similar to Heraclitus' (B15 D i e l s / K r a n z ) Hades - Dionysos identification. Perhaps it was inspired — given the mantic context — by our myth, under the impulse of the dramtic context: T h e m i s is Prometheus' mother in FV (18, 874). Her identification with G a i a may depend on Prometheus' ambiguous generational affiliation ( D é t i e n n e and V e r n a n t , Ruses, 8 1 - 2 . Affiliated to the T i t a n s in 206 - 20, while as a T i t a n s ' son he should be of Zeus' generation) which it helps to blur. 1

63. Schol. E u r . Or. 164; cf. Paus. 10.5.6. C f . also Aristonoos' paean in; Photius, Lex. s.v. themisteuein. 64. A comparable drift in K r o n o s ' relationships with Uranos and Zeus: D é t i e n n e and Vernant, Ruses, 101. 65. T h e connection of themistes (on themtstes: Lloyd-Jones, Justice, 6 - 7 , 84) and themisteuô (on themisteuo: V o s , Themis, 2 0 - 1 ) with prophecy enhanced her appropriateness as owner. (Cf. Diod. 5.67.4). But the original meaning of themistes was not, as has been claimed, 'oracular pronouncements' (see V o s , Themis, 1 7 - 2 2 . T h e m i s not oracular before the fifth century: V o s , Themis, 62-5; Hamdorf, Kultpcrsonifikationen, 51). In Delphic cult G a i a was more important than Themis. 66. In the play the transition from savage to civilised is effected through a move­ ment from a barbarian land to Attica, in the myth through a movement in time and divine generations. 67. In strict logic, since Zeus removed the prophetic dreams' truthfulness, Iphigeneia's dream would be different from those sent by G a i a in 1262ft". But i n symbolic logic they are the same; thus Iphigeneia believes in, and acts on, her dream. 68. F . I . Zeitlin, ' T h e dynamics of misogyny: myth and myth-making in the Oresteia', Arethusa, 11 (1978) 1 6 3 - 4 ; j . H . Finley, Pindar and Aeschylus (Cambridge, M a s s . , 1955) 277; D . S. Robertson, ' T h e Delphian Succession in the O p e n i n g of the E u m e n i d e s \ C/? (1941), 6 9 - 7 0 . C f . also P. V i d a l - N a q u e t , 'Chasse et sacrifice dans I'Orestie d ' E s c h y l e ' , in J . - P . Vernant and P. Vidal-Naquet, Mythe et Tragédie en Grèce ancienne, 2nd edn (Paris, 1981) 1 5 4 - 5 . 69. Arthur, 'Strategies', 64. 70. G . D a u x , ' L e Poteidanion de Delphes', BCH, 9 2 ( 1 9 6 8 ) 5 4 0 - 9 ; Pouilloux, La région nord, 9 2 - 8 . 71. C f . Burkert, HN, 134; Parker, this volume, C h . 9. 72. C f . Burkert, GR, 139. 73. C f . Plut. Plyih. orac. 4 0 2 C - D : the Muses G a i a ' s paredroi at the oracle. ( O n the Delphic Muses: C . B. Kritzas, 'Muses delphiques à Argos', BCH, Suppl. vi (1981) 1 9 5 - 2 0 9 ; their dark side: ibid. 209 n 93.) In ?\nd. Pyth. Hypoth. a the oracle was owned by Nyx, then T h e m i s , then Apollo, with a separate line of succession for the tripod- first Dionysos prophesied on it, then Python took it over and was killed by Apollo — probably reflecting the tradition that the tripod held

240


Myth as History the remains of Dionysos or Python (cf. Burkert, HN, 1 2 3 - 5 , also on the ApoJlo- Dionysos relationship at Delphi), reshaped through the Previous Owners schema which was a vehicle for articulating Apollo's relationships with other Delphic deities. G a i a ' s replacement by Nyx confirms that it was the slot 'primordial, antithetical to Apollo goddess* that was important. Nyx is more negative than G a i a , so the contrast was greater. 74. See also Burkert, HN, 130. 75. After this paper was completed, M . L . West's 'Hesiod's T i t a n s ' appeared in JHS, 105 (1985) 1 7 4 - 5 ; his thesis is based on the assumption of the myth's historicity against which I have argued here, and on a reversal of the usually accepted relationship between Aesch. Eu. 1 - 8 and Hes. Th. 76. Another such transformation may underlie Apollo's close association with a particular type of hawk, the kirkos. ( O n Apollo and birds: L . Bodson, HIERA ZOIA Contribution à l'étude de la place de l'animal dans la religion grecque ancienne (Brussels, 1978) 9 4 - 8 , my 'First T e m p l e s ' , 239 with bibliography.) 77. T h e M i n o a n young god is already syncretised as Dictaean Zeus (di-kaia-jo di-we) in the L i n e a r B tablets of Knossos ( K N F p 1.2). I discuss this syncretism elsewhere (cf. note 47). ( G é r a r d - R o u s s e a u , Mentions, 61 is wrong in thinking that the reading di-we is uncertain: see J . C h a d wick, J . T . Killen and J . - P . Olivier (eds), The Knossos Tablets, 4th edn ( C a m b r i d g e , 1971) 182; cf. also J . -P. Olivier, L . Godart, C . Scydel, C . Sourvinou, Index Généraux du linéaire fi ( R o m e , 1973) s.v. di-we (p. 50). 78. A third god whose persona contained transformed elements of the young Minoan god is the god who became the dying Dionysos, and whom we may call, for convenience's sake, Dionysos/Zagreus. T h u s it cannot be excluded that (the dying) Dionysos' association with the Delphic omphalos which is said to be his grave in T a t i a n , Adv. Graec, 8 may be another transformation of the association between the stone and the gods to whose persona the (transformations of the ) Minoan god had contributed, especially since, as we saw (cf. text), the funerary connections of the omphalos correspond to similar connotations of the. stone in the Minoan ritual. 79. U n w o r k e d wool was placed on it (Paus. 10.24.6), as on the omphalos. A . Frickenhaus, 'Heilige Stàtten in D e l p h i ' , Ath. Mit., 35 (1910) 2 7 1 - 2 saw this stone as the omphalos' ' V o r b i l d ' . 80. O n which cf. R . F . Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals ( L o n d o n , 1962) 199-220. 81. See on this Burkert, HN, 127, who notes that the image of the navel expressed anthropomorphically the concept 'centre of the world'. 82. Python's or Dionysos' tomb (references in Parke and W o r m e l l , Oracle, 14 n 17). 83. See text above.

241


11 Three Approaches to Greek Mythography Albert Henrichs

A p o l l o d o r u s o f Athens (c. 150 B C ) , one o f the most knowledgeable authorities o n Greek m y t h o l o g y i n the Hellenistic p e r i o d , searched the remotest corners o f Greek l i t e r a t u r e for significant m y t h s that w o u l d highlight the characteristics o f i n d i v i d u a l gods and heroes. O n e day he came across an obscure epic poem called Meropis, w h i c h described i n v i v i d detail how A t h e n a killed and flayed the monstrous giant Asteros o n the island o f K o s and put o n his impenetrable skin as a protective cloak. H i s curiosity aroused by the 'peculiar m y t h i c a l content' (to idioma tls kistorias), he took copious notes w h i c h he eventually i n c o r p o r a t e d i n his m o n u m e n t a l survey o f Greek religious beliefs e n t i t l e d On the Gods. A century later the E p i c u r e a n philosopher Philodemus excerpted

Apollo-

dorus' w o r k , or an existing c o m p i l a t i o n o f i t , and included a reference to the Meropis and to A t h e n a ' s p r i m i t i v e dress i n his scathing attack o n Greek m y t h o l o g y and o n the a n t h r o p o m o r p h i c conception o f d i v i n i t y that underlies i t . A t h e n a ' s K o a n adventure does not surface again i n the l i t e r a t u r e o f later periods, even t h o u g h the m y t h o l o g i c a l m a t e r i a l gathered by the Epicureans was widely used by the G h r i s t i a n apologists for equally polemical purposes.

1

T h i s m e m o r a b l e episode from the life o f a leading A l e x a n d r i a n scholar illustrates the concept as well as the practice o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y at least as effectively as any o f the existing accounts 2

of the major m y t h o g r a p h e r s a n d their w o r k s . T h e process by w h i c h the literary treatment o f a g i v e n m y t h was channelled into the m a i n s t r e a m o f m y t h o g r a p h y was repeated on i n n u m e r a b l e occasions,

most o f w h i c h w i l l have lacked the excitement that 242


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography A p o l l o d o r u s must have felt w h e n he discovered the Meropis.

Once

a m y t h became fixed i n the l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n , it w o u l d either survive indefinitely along w i t h the p o e m , play or other w o r k o f literature i n w h i c h it was recorded, or it w o u l d eventually perish together w i t h that record, unless some interested scholar saved it for posterity by i n c l u d i n g it i n a collection o f various m y t h s . Such collectors o f m y t h s , w h o wrote d o w n the m y t h i c a l stories i n plain prose, are called mythographers, and their collective product is mythography, a handmaiden of mythology. T h e beginnings o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y go back to the genealogists (FGrH FGrH

1 - 14) and local historians (e.g. the A t t h i d o g r a p h e r s ,

3 2 3 a - 3 3 4 ) o f the fifth and f o u r t h centuries B C . Asclepiades

of T r a g i l u s , a p u p i l o f Isocrates, c o m p a r e d the myths o f A t t i c tragedy w i t h earlier t r e a t m e n t s . collections date f r o m

3

B u t the m a i n m y t h o g r a p h i c a l

the Hellenistic or early i m p e r i a l period

(c. 250 B C to A D 150) and fall into two broad categories.

One

approach was to collect relevant m y t h s as b a c k g r o u n d material for the explanation o f m a j o r authors tragedians, Pindar,

and

such as H o m e r , Pindar,

the Hellenistic poets. T h e

Euripides,

Theocritus,

Apollonius

ancient of

the

scholia to

Rhodes

and

L y k o p h r o n are p a r t i c u l a r l y rich sources o f m y t h o g r a p h i c a l infor4

m a t i o n . T h e most remarkable corpus o f m y t h s i n this category, both for its i m p o r t a n c e and its inaccessibility, are the m y t h o graphical scholia to the Iliad

a n d Odyssey, w h i c h contain several

hundred ' m y t h i c a l narratives' (htstoriai).

T h i s vast collection o f

myths, collectively k n o w n as the M y t h o g r a p h u s H o m e r i c u s since 1892, circulated as a separate book i n a n t i q u i t y (at least from the first to the

fifth

c e n t u r y ) , but it has never been published as a

single e n t i t y i n m o d e r n t i m e s . independent

5

T h e second category

collections of m y t h s organised

around a

comprises uniform

theme, such as the star-myths ascribed to Eratosthenes (below, section 3), the love stories collected by Parthenius, or the transformation m y t h s (metamorphoseis) o f A n t o n i n u s L i b e r a l i s . O u t s t a n d i n g in this category

as the p r i n c i p a l post-Hellenistic handbook o f

Greek m y t h s is the Library ascribed to A p o l l o d o r u s (first or second century A D ) , w h i c h is arranged genealogically by m y t h i c a l families and w h i c h served as the m o d e l for m a n y m o d e r n collections o f Greek m y t h s .

6

T h e best i n t r o d u c t i o n to the nature o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y is one

that

examines

specific

problems 243

o f authorship,

dating,


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography c o m p o s i t i o n or source c r i t i c i s m that are typically encountered by those interested i n a given m y t h o g r a p h i c a l w o r k (section 1, on C o n o n ) , a m a j o r m y t h o g r a p h i c a l component (section 2, on m y t h o logical catalogues), or a p a r t i c u l a r m y t h (section 3, o n the Kallisto m y t h ) . I n dealing w i t h these topics I have t r i e d t h r o u g h o u t to emphasise the great importance o f Greek art a n d o f new papyrus finds for the proper evaluation o f the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n ,

1. A n ' O b s c u r e ' C o l l e c t i o n of M y t h s : C o n o n ' s Diegeseis Conon's

corpus o f

fifty

'Stories' (Diegeseis)

ranks as the

most

interesting and at the same t i m e the most neglected o f the smaller m y t h o g r a p h i c a l collections. O u r knowledge o f the author derives entirely f r o m his w o r k . H e must have been active d u r i n g the reign o f A u g u s t u s , since he dedicated his collection to another m a n o f letters, K i n g Archelaus P h i l o p a t o r , or P h i l o p a t r i s , o f Cappadocia (36

BC-AD

collection

17), i n the same way i n w h i c h Parthenius dedicated his o f love

stories

to

Cornelius

Gallus.

But

whereas

Parthenius' w o r k s u r v i v e d i n what appears to be its o r i g i n a l f o r m , C o n o n ' s d i d not, w i t h the exception o f three dozen lines o n a papyrus fragment. T h e extant s u m m a r y is the w o r k o f Photius, w h o excerpted the Diegeseis f r o m the same m y t h o g r a p h i c a l m a n u script i n w h i c h he also read the Library o f A p o l l o d o r u s . A t t i c i s i n g style and immeasurable

apparent c h a r m

7

as a storyteller

Conon's suffered

damage i n the process o f a b b r e v i a t i o n . Yet the

n a r r a t i v e content o f the collection appears to be intact,

even

t h o u g h Photius reproduced the i n d i v i d u a l stories w i t h less than u n i f o r m fidelity. Preserved for posterity by Photius, C o n o n is once again i n danger o f falling i n t o o b l i v i o n . T h e T e u b n e r e d i t i o n p r o m i s e d by Edgar

Martini

for the Mythographi

Graeci

never

appeared. I t d i d not do C o n o n m u c h good that Felix Jacoby i n c l u d e d h i m half-heartedly i n the first v o l u m e o f his Die Fragmente dergriechischen Historiker ( b y far the weakest i n the series), where he does not belong a n d where few readers find h i m . T h e o n l y p u b lished c o m m e n t a r y is i n L a t i n and dates from the very infancy o f m o d e r n m y t h o g r a p h y . W r i t t e n by C . G . H e y n e ' s p u p i l J o h a n n A r n o l d K a n n e ( 1 7 7 3 - 1824), it appeared i n 1798, at a t i m e w h e n H e y n e h i m s e l f was p r e p a r i n g the second e d i t i o n o f his m o n u 8

m e n t a l exegetical notes o n A p o l l o d o r u s . A s l o n g as no adequate 244


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography c o m m e n t a r y is available, C o n o n remains i n the closet. N o w o n d e r that one finds h i m described today as ' a n extremely Hellenistic m y t h o g r a p h e r ' . C o n o n is obscure

obscure

9

not because he is p a r t i c u l a r l y difficult

to

understand b u t because the miscellaneous nature o f his collection makes it difficult to consult. H e is the only Greek m y t h o g r a p h e r who adopted neither a u n i f o r m theme nor a recognisable p r i n c i p l e of organisation for his w o r k . M y t h s w h i c h describe the f o u n d i n g o f cities or the i n s t i t u t i o n o f local cults or w h i c h explain the distant origins o f geographical names and p o p u l a r proverbs alternate w i t h love stories

involving

mythical

or historical characters,

with

novelistic or paraenetic tales, and w i t h stories about incredible events. H i s collection is a m i c r o c o s m o f Hellenistic m y t h o g r a p h y in that it represents the types o f m y t h s most favoured by the leading scholar-poets and antiquarians o f the preceding centuries, who collected and disseminated

t h e m . H e records m o r e than

fifteen f o u n d a t i o n myths (ktiseis), for w h i c h he had the same preference as C a l l i m a c h u s o r A p o l l o n i u s o f R h o d e s .

10

H i s interest i n

the aetiology o f out-of-the-way cults matches that o f C a l l i m a c h u s in the Aitia.

11

A l t h o u g h he was not as fond o f m y t h i c a l love stories

as Parthenius o r O v i d , he shares w i t h t h e m several m e m o r a b l e portrayals o f pathetic love, all o f w h i c h were inspired by Hellenistic m o d e l s .

12

Since m a n y Greek proverbs are

incomprehensible

w i t h o u t exact knowledge o f the m y t h i c a l figures and events to which they allude, the provinces o f m y t h o g r a p h y and paroemiography occasionally o v e r l a p , as they do i n the case o f the two proverbs explained by C o n o n .

1 3

Also i n c l u d e d i n his collection are

three reports o f incidents c o n t r a r y to the laws o f nature.

No

m o d e r n reader w o u l d classify these stories as m y t h o l o g i c a l , but they illustrate the facility w i t h w h i c h certain stories passed from paradoxography

to m y t h o g r a p h y , two n a r r a t i v e traditions that 1 4

interacted freely t h r o u g h o u t a n t i q u i t y . T h e extreme r a t i o n a l i s m w i t h w h i c h C o n o n glosses over the more fantastic aspects o f some of his myths is reminiscent o f s i m i l a r explanations i n Palaephatus (who m a y have w r i t t e n

i n the early Hellenistic p e r i o d ) and

Dionysius Scytobrachion ( t h i r d century

BC).

1 5

Once or twice

C o n o n makes use o f the novella and the ' h i d d e n message' (ainos), in an archaising vein w h i c h takes us beyond the Hellenistic period and back to the narrative modes o f H e r o d o t u s and I o n i a n storytelling i n g e n e r a l .

16

Conspicuous by their absence, however, are

245


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography m y t h s about gods. T h e O l y m p i a n s are peripheral i n C o n o n . H e often makes t h e m intervene i n h u m a n affairs t h r o u g h oracles, dreams and p u n i t i v e actions, but they r e m a i n at best recipients o f cult, or mere ancestors o f m o r t a l heroes, w h o are the p r i n c i p a l denizens o f C o n o n ' s m y t h i c a l w o r l d . Gods take second place, and are never as p r o m i n e n t as, for instance, A r t e m i s i n the K a l l i s t o m y t h (below, section 3). Despite t h e i r rich d i v e r s i t y , C o n o n ' s fifty 'stories' are w i t h few exceptions distinctly local m y t h s a n d legends (Lokalsagen), m a n y o f w h i c h lie completely outside the m a i n s t r e a m o f Greek m y t h o l o g y . I t is this regional o r i e n t a t i o n , unparalleled except i n Pausanias, w h i c h gives C o n o n ' s collection its unmistakable flavour a n d w h i c h makes h i m an invaluable source o f local lore. B u t some areas o f the Greek w o r l d are better represented than others. W h i l e the central and southern parts o f Greece are largely i g n o r e d , the three regions w h i c h receive the most a t t e n t i o n are, i n o r d e r o f frequency, the eastern

Mediterranean

with

Asia

Minor;

northern

Greece,

especially T h r a c e ; a n d M a g n a Graecia, i n c l u d i n g Sicily, as well as R o m e . O n the whole, C o n o n ' s geographical horizons reflect the overall constellation o f political power at the t i m e o f Archelaus, w h o r u l e d over parts o f central A n a t o l i a as one o f R o m e ' s vassals. B u t the unusual emphasis o n m y t h s located i n T h r a c e requires a more specific e x p l a n a t i o n . C o n o n apparently made extensive use of

the

work

of a

local

Chalcidic historian,

Hegesippus

M e k y b e r n a (c. 300 B C ) , whose history o f Pallene (Palleniaka, 391 F 1 - 5) was presumably also available to P a r t h e n i u s .

17

of

FGrH Unlike

A p o l l o d o r u s o f Athens o r , on a lesser scale, the a u t h o r o f the Library, C o n o n u n f o r t u n a t e l y never quotes the books w h i c h he consulted. H i s failure to do so has distracted attention from his o w n w o r k by engaging scholars i n a largely futile quest for his real or alleged sources. Poor C o n o n emerged from their scrutiny as a master c o m p i l e r ( i r o n i c a l l y , a negative self-image o f nineteenthcentury scholarship) w h o ransacked one or several hypothetical ' m y t h o l o g i c a l c o m p e n d i a ' for obscure m y t h s , ostensibly w i t h no other purpose i n m i n d t h a n to enable a future generation o f even m o r e erudite m e n to reconstruct the lost sources from w h i c h he had d r a w n his knowledge. T h a n k s to such exclusive preoccupation w i t h source c r i t i c i s m , the actual content o f C o n o n ' s collection has never been fully explored and assessed, let alone

exhausted.

W h a t is needed is a comprehensive analysis o f each o f the 246

18

fifty


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography pieces, w h i c h should pay equal a t t e n t i o n to source criticism (where some

progress

can

be

expected),

narrative

technique

(more

p r o m i s i n g n o w that a true specimen o f his w r i t i n g has emerged), m y t h o l o g y , r e l i g i o n a n d social h i s t o r y . I n each o f these areas, C o n o n is likely to make some c o n t r i b u t i o n . A few samples, almost picked at r a n d o m , must suffice as appetisers. For m o d e r n m y t h o g r a p h e r s C o n o n offers not only numerous variants o f k n o w n m y t h s , but at least three m y t h s that are found nowhere else: the f o u n d a t i o n o f O l y n t h o s ; the o r i g i n o f the cult o f Apollo Gypaieus (otherwise unattested) at Ephesus; a n d the aetiological m y t h o f the t r a n s i t i o n o f the c o n t r o l over the D i d y m e a n oracle o f A p o l l o f r o m Branchos to the E u a n g e l i d a i . cult, C o n o n provides valuable details about

19

I n matters o f

the r i t u a l

abuse

(aischrology) c u s t o m a r i l y exchanged between male and

female

worshippers o f A p o l l o Aiglatas/Asgelatas o n the t i n y island o f Anaphe.

2 0

A n d finally, w i t h o u t C o n o n social historians w o u l d

never k n o w the full story o f the famous homosexual courtship to which the a u t h o r o f the Eudemian Ethics ( f o u r t h century B C ) alludes. It is about a C r e t a n n a m e d Promachos w h o undergoes n u m e r o u s and dangerous tasks (athla) to please the boy L e u k o k o m a s w i t h w h o m he is i n love, o n l y to find h i m s e l f rejected. W h e n the disappointed lover ostentatiously courts a r i v a l , the boy kills h i m s e l f .

21

C o n o n ' s version o f the story is p a r t i c u l a r l y i n s t r u c t i v e . Even the names o f the two m e n are significant o f their respective status: adulthood versus adolescence. T h i s is not a m y t h i n the full sense, but m a n y Greek m y t h s convey exactly the same message. C o n o n is only one example o f the m a n y unfinished tasks i n the field of Greek m y t h o g r a p h y that are still w a i t i n g for their heroes. Some o f the others w i l l be more difficult, i f also more i m p o r t a n t : a full-fledged c o m m e n t a r y on the Library o f A p o l l o d o r u s , not i n the manner o f Frazer's delightful farrago o f unorganised parallel passages and

old-fashioned a r m c h a i r

a n t h r o p o l o g y , but

a

more

i n f o r m e d approach that reflects the relationship o f the Library to the rest o f the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n a n d to the p r i m a r y poetic sources; a complete e d i t i o n , based on the M S S as well as the p a p y r i , of the M y t h o g r a p h u s H o m e r i c u s ; and, not an enviable task, an edition a n d source analysis o f all the m y t h o l o g i c a l Greek scholia o n G r e g o r y o f Nazianzus by the so-called P s e u d o - N o n n u s .

22

I f some

of these tools h a d been available to me, the research for the following sections w o u l d have been easier. 247


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography 2 . Some M y t h o g r a p h i c a l C o m p o n e n t s : N a m e s a n d Catalogues Greek m y t h focuses o n the i n d i v i d u a l hero, whose status depends as m u c h o n his ancestry as o n his a b i l i t y to deal successfully w i t h other heroes. M o s t m y t h i c a l accounts, whether they are found i n poetry, prose texts or vase p a i n t i n g , concentrate on heroic families a n d o n the n u m e r o u s modes o f i n t e r a c t i o n between their m e m bers. W h e n e v e r heroes come together for some a c t i o n , they are identified by their names, their lineage and t h e i r provenance. I t follows that the names a n d genealogies o f the countless heroes and heroines o f Greek m y t h o l o g y are a m a i n c o m p o n e n t o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y , m u c h i n the same way i n w h i c h prosopography and chronology constitute the backbone o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y . B u t the names o f m y t h i c a l figures were considerably m o r e susceptible to t r a n s f o r m a t i o n as they passed f r o m one account into the next than were the names o f historical persons.

R e g i o n a l versions o f the

same m y t h , for instance, w o u l d often offer new o r different names, not to m e n t i o n the desire for i n n o v a t i o n o n the part o f bards, poets or local narrators. Even after a m y t h had entered the literary t r a d i t i o n , established names could still u n d e r g o serious deformations i n the course o f l o n g centuries o f w r i t t e n transmission. B u t it was the m i n o r figures and less f a m i l i a r names that were most vulnerable. I t is not s u r p r i s i n g , therefore, that the n o m e n c l a t u r e o f m y t h i c a l figures tended to be i n a state o f flux. These

fluctuations

m e r i t close a t t e n t i o n . J u s t as v a r i a n t readings a n d certain types o f errors are i m p o r t a n t c r i t e r i a for a p r o p e r assessment o f m a n u scripts and for t r a c i n g their affiliations, the incidence o f m y t h o l o g i cal names a n d their treatment i n a g i v e n m y t h o g r a p h i c a l text often d e t e r m i n e its value as a source a n d make i t easier to define its place in relation to other sources. T h e f o l l o w i n g examples, w h i c h are very selective, illustrate some o f the ways i n w h i c h

individual

names a n d especially whole catalogues o f names affect o u r understanding o f the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n . T h e Hesiodic Catalogue of Women is a genealogical poem o f the sixth c e n t u r y B C w h i c h depends so heavily o n the prosopography o f heroic families that hexameters composed o f t w o , three and even four names are not at all u n u s u a l . I n its complete f o r m the Catalogue must once have constituted the largest n o n - H o m e r i c repertoire o f m y t h o l o g i c a l

names i n h e r i t e d from

the

archaic

p e r i o d . Even i n the fragmentary state i n w h i c h we read it today it 248


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography contains

invaluable

information on

heroic

nomenclature.

Its

reconstruction f r o m papyrus fragments and scattered quotations marks the most conspicuous c o n t r i b u t i o n to the study o f Greek mythography

i n recent

decades.

23

Because o f its

systematic

arrangement b y m y t h i c a l families, the Catalogue has done more than any other epic poem to shape the rnythographical t r a d i t i o n o f later periods. Its genealogies and lists o f names are echoed i n the Library

frequently

o f A p o l l o d o r u s . I n m o r e modest n u m b e r s

names derived f r o m the Catalogue have occasionally come to light i n rather remote corners o f the

rnythographical

landscape. T h e five

daughters o f D o r o s , whose names once appeared i n Book I o f the Catalogue as u n l i k e l y mothers o f the m o u n t a i n n y m p h s , Satyrs and Kouretes,

have re-emerged

i n a V i e n n a papyrus

various m y t h i c a l families and their p r o g e n y .

24

w h i c h lists

A n even

more

revealing instance o f Hesiodic influence o n later m y t h o g r a p h y is the d i c t i o n a r y o f metamorphoses o n a M i c h i g a n papyrus o f the imperial p e r i o d .

2 5

I t describes the transformations

of mythical

figures whose names begin w i t h the first letter o f the alphabet. Three o f its five extant accounts (historiai) are a t t r i b u t e d to H e s i o d . T h e source for the entries on A k t a i o n and A l k y o n e , daughter o f Aiolos, is explicitly identified as the Hesiodic Catalogue. I n all three cases the source a t t r i b u t i o n s w h i c h are appended to the actual transformation

stories repeat t r a d i t i o n a l formulas,

recounts (historei)' Similar

'as

Hesiod

or 'as H e s i o d says i n the Catalogue of

Women'.

attributions

occur

frequently

in

the

Mythographus

H o m e r i c u s as well as i n most o f the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n myths collected by

Parthenius

dictionary

and

is u n i q u e

Antoninus i n that

Liberalis.

it combines

But

the

papyrus

a t t r i b u t i o n s o f the

standard type w i t h m y t h o l o g i c a l accounts arranged i n alphabetical order according to the names o f their protagonists. T h e Hesiodic Catalogue is not the o n l y epic poem w h i c h is no longer extant b u t whose influence can still be traced i n later mythography.

M y t h o l o g i c a l names derived f r o m

epic sources

more elusive t h a n the Catalogue sometimes find their way into various kinds o f

rnythographical

p a p y r i , where they are not always

easy to recognise, especially i f they are unusual o r not otherwise attested. Such is the case w i t h the K o a n giant Asteros, w h o was rescued f r o m earlier.

26

o b l i v i o n by A p o l l o d o r u s o f Athens,

as we

saw

W h e n the C o l o g n e papyrus c o n t a i n i n g quotations from

the Meropis was published i n 1976, it was believed that Asteros' 249


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography n a m e as well as the title o f the poem were absent from the rest o f the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n . But eventually b o t h names were discovered i n a p o o r l y preserved passage o f Philodemus, On Piety, w h i c h had l o n g been m i s u n d e r s t o o d .

27

These names p r o v e d to be

an i m p o r t a n t l i n k between t w o m a j o r w o r k s o f Hellenistic m y t h o g r a p h y . Scholars had always assumed that A p o l l o d o r u s ' m o n u m e n t a l w o r k On the Gods was the u l t i m a t e source for the m y t h o l o g i cal i n f o r m a t i o n f o u n d i n Philodemus. T h e shared names, w h i c h occur nowhere else, are the

first

direct c o n f i r m a t i o n o f their

assumption. Less spectacular b u t still u n e x p l a i n e d is a series o f m y t h o l o g i c a l names on a C o r n e l l papyrus w h i c h lists the parentage o f Rhadam a n t h y s ('son o f Zeus and E u r o p e ' ) , M u s a i o s ('son o f A n t i o p h e m o s ' ) , E u m o l p o s ('son o f M u s a i o s ' ) and T r o p h o n i o s ('son o f Apollo').

2 8

A l l o f these genealogies have been k n o w n for a l o n g

t i m e from various other sources.

29

lies i n the preceding lines 2 - 5 ,

T h e real interest o f the papyrus w h i c h are p o o r l y edited

and

r e q u i r e further study. T h e r e can be no d o u b t , however, that the lines i n question offer several alternative genealogies o f T r i p t o lemos. T h e f o l l o w i n g translation reflects m y tentative restoration o f the Greek text: ' A s for T r i p t o l e m o s , [some (consider h i m ) the son of] Keleos, [others] the son o f [Dlysauies a n d B l r l a u r o , still others the son o f E a r t h (Ge) and H e a v e n ( U r a n o s ) . ' T h e

first

geneaology is the standard A t h e n i a n version; the second is partially echoed elsewhere; the t h i r d , w h i c h is by far the most interesting, c o n f i r m s a neglected v a r i a n t r e a d i n g i n the Library o f Apollodorus.

30

M o r e i m p o r t a n t l y , the t h i r d genealogy also recalls

the equally sublime descent ( T a m the c h i l d o f E a r t h and starry H e a v e n ' ) c l a i m e d by the m a n y initiates w h o commissioned the inscribed gold leaves w h i c h were f o u n d i n tombs o f southern I t a l y , Thessaly a n d C r e t e .

31

T h e editors o f the C o r n e l l papyrus p r o v i d e

no c o m m e n t a r y o n any o f the names. W h y were these p a r t i c u l a r names l u m p e d together? T r i p t o l e m o s , M u s a i o s and E u m o l p o s are e v i d e n t l y E l e u s i n i a n , and so are several o f t h e i r

genealogies.

32

R h a d a m a n t h y s is associated w i t h Greek beliefs about afterlife and fits well i n an Eleusinian ambience, b u t the presence o f T r o p h o n i o s is not so easily e x p l a i n e d .

33

Dysaules also points to Eleusis, where

he and his wife B a u b o appear as early as the f o u r t h c e n t u r y B C as local autochthons

said

to have given hospitable

D e m e t e r i n the distant p a s t .

34

reception

to

T h e epic f o r m o f A n t i p h e m o s '

250


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography name, i.e. A n t i o p h e m o s , derives

from

the particular k i n d o f

Eieusinian poetry w h i c h circulated under the names o f Musaios and Orpheus and w h i c h was still available to Pausanias.

35

It is

obvious that the names and genealogies offered by the papyrus are no r a n d o m collection, let alone a mere school text or w r i t i n g exercise, as its editors suggested. T h i s catalogue o f Eieusinian names is considerably

more

valuable.

I t affords a rare

prosopograpical

glimpse of a p a r t i c u l a r local m y t h o l o g y w h i c h was once so popular in Eieusinian circles but w h i c h perished i n later a n t i q u i t y . Before we can

proceed

to m o r e conventional catalogues o f

mythographical names, we must first consider some complications which have to do w i t h h o m o n y m s and v a r i a n t names and w h i c h often arise i n this connection. Different persons o f the same name are as abundant i n Greek m y t h o l o g y as they are in real life. Prose writers no less than poets add the father's name or use other means of identification to distinguish namesakes. A p o l l o n i u s o f Rhodes and H y g i n u s , to name o n l y these t w o , go out o f their way to differentiate between A r g o n a u t s o f the same n a m e .

3 6

But h o m o n y m s

that were handed d o w n w i t h o u t any specification could easily t u r n into a source o f confusion, especially i f unresolved questions o f mythical chronology made matters worse, as i n the case o f the alleged

homonyms

Pausanias.

37

Telamon

and

Chalkodon

discussed

by

H e concludes his discussion w i t h a sensible r e m a r k

which suggests the dimensions o f the p r o b l e m : 'Obscure persons who share the same names (homonymoi) w i t h m o r e illustrious m e n tend to be as c o m m o n i n all ages as they are i n m y o w n t i m e . ' V a r i a n t names for one and the same person are usually easier to deal w i t h t h a n h o m o n y m s . I n most cases they a m o u n t to n o t h i n g more than m i n o r variations o f the same n a m e , such as E u r y t e / Eureite

38

or the

alternation

between

A n t i p h e m o s and

Antio-

phemos noted above. Occasionally the t w o forms are farther apart, as i n A m p h i d a m a s / I p h i d a m a s Dorkeus

40

39

for the son o f Busiris, D o r y k l e u s /

for one o f the sons o f H i p p o k o o n or Epikaste/Jocaste

41

for O e d i p u s ' wife and for the m o t h e r o f T r o p h o n i o s . B u t fullfledged alternate names, such as

Iphigeneia/Iphianassa/Iphimede

42

for the daughter sacrificed by A g a m e m n o n , are usually found i n early stages o f the m y t h o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n , where they often raise questions that are difficult or impossible to answer. T h e n u m b e r o f possible variables rises sharply when i n d i v i d u a l names are s t r u n g together to f o r m l o n g lists o f up to fifty names. 251


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography M o s t instructive for o u r purposes are catalogues w h i c h exist i n m u l t i p l e versions and can be traced f r o m epic poetry or archaic art d o w n to the m y t h o g r a p h e r s o f the i m p e r i a l p e r i o d . M a n y catalogues fit this description,

but o n l y three or four m e r i t

our

a t t e n t i o n . O n e o f t h e m is the catalogue o f the participants i n the Calydonian

boar

hunt.

The

event

is described

i n the

Iliad

( 9 . 5 2 9 - 9 9 ) , b u t the heroes r e m a i n nameless, w i t h the exception o f Meleagros, the leader o f the h u n t . T h e earliest catalogue o f the C a l y d o n i a n hunters is f o u n d i n art rather t h a n l i t e r a t u r e . T h e Francois vase (c. 570 B C ) names t w e n t y hunters, eight o f w h o m reappear i n various l i t e r a r y accounts o f the h u n t . T h e n a m e o f Pelias' son Akastos, however, recurs o n l y o n an A t t i c black-figure 3

dinos (c. 580 B C ) a n d , a m a z i n g l y , i n O v i d ' s Metamorphoses.*

The

c o n t i n u i t y w h i c h links O v i d to the Francois vase w o u l d be less s t r i k i n g i f we c o u l d be sure that Euripides'

Meleagros.

messenger speech,

But

alas,

Akastos

the

i n w h i c h the

was m e n t i o n e d

better part

names o f the

o f the hunters

in

play's were

recorded, is lost, and Akastos is not a m o n g the four s u r v i v i n g names.

44

A n o t h e r h u n t e r , A n t a i o s / A n k a i o s , is the boar's p r i n c i p a l

v i c t i m on the Francois vase a n d o n a c o n t e m p o r a r y A t t i c dinos i n Berne as well as i n Bacchylides and the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n .

4 5

Such consistency reduces the distance between visual representations and w r i t t e n versions o f the same m y t h and provides

an

i m m e d i a t e verbal r a p p o r t between some o f the earliest m y t h o logical scenes i n Greek art and the m y t h o g r a p h y o f later periods. But the c o n t i n u i t y w o u l d be i n t e r r u p t e d j u s t as often, and o l d names were replaced b y new ones. A n interesting example o f b r o k e n c o n t i n u i t y i n the transmission o f m y t h o l o g i c a l catalogues has to do w i t h the funeral games o f Pelias. V i r t u a l l y ignored i n extant Greek l i t e r a t u r e , these games have left o n l y the barest trace in Greek m y t h o g r a p h y . A p o l l o d o r u s mentions t h e m i n passing, but gives no d e t a i l s .

46

B u t identical lists o f the heroes w h o had been

victorious o n this occasion can be f o u n d i n H y g i n u s and i n t w o p a p y r i from the i m p e r i a l p e r i o d w h i c h c o m m a n d attention i n con47

nection w i t h the t h o r n y p r o b l e m o f H y g i n u s ' Greek sources. A l l three lists are o f relatively late date and do not agree at all w i t h the names o f the victors and their various disciplines w h i c h Pausanias saw o n the chest o f Kypselos, a rare relic f r o m the archaic p e r i o d .

4 8

Pausanias read the names o f five charioteers, t w o o f w h i c h recur on Side B of the archaic C o r i n t h i a n vase k n o w n as the A m p h i a r a o s 252


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography krater.

49

B u t the names o f the r e m a i n i n g charioteers differ o n the

two vases, a n d the t w o shared names are absent f r o m the later literary lists, w h i c h follow a separate t r a d i t i o n . I n this case the cont i n u i t y seems to have ended not l o n g after the archaic p e r i o d . W h a t is m o r e , a considerable degree o f v a r i a t i o n must be allowed even for the earliest versions o f this catalogue, as the comparison o f the two vases has shown. Relatively short lists o f genealogically related names are common i n Greek m y t h o l o g y , b u t they frequently suffer abridgement when merged w i t h m o r e comprehensive catalogues. V a r i o u s texts which list the sons o f H i p p o k o o n ( H i p p o k o o n t i d s ) or the sons o f Thestios ( T h e s t i a d a i ) are revealing i n this regard. Both groups are mentioned i n connection w i t h the C a l y d o n i a n boar h u n t , a n d some o f their members double as A r g o n a u t s . T h e treatment o f their names b y poets a n d m y t h o g r a p h e r s is far from

uniform.

U n l i k e the H i p p o k o o n t i d s , the T h e s t i a d a i are as often m e n t i o n e d 1

en bloc, 'the sons o f T h e s t i o s , as they are by their i n d i v i d u a l names, d e p e n d i n g o n the preference o f the author a n d o n the context i n w h i c h t h e i r names o c c u r .

50

A u t h o r s m e n t i o n i n g the

Thestiadai as part o f a l o n g catalogue o f C a l y d o n i a n hunters usually prefer the b r e v i t y o f the generic n a m e , whereas the i n d i vidual names p r e v a i l i n texts that are p r i m a r i l y interested i n family history,

51

A l l told more t h a n fifteen different names are attested.

They tend to occur i n certain fixed g r o u p i n g s w h i c h seem to reflect distinct t r a d i t i o n s . K l y t i o s a n d P r o k a o n are grouped together i n the earliest texts, as are Kometes and P r o t h o o s .

52

L a t e r sources,

however, ignore b o t h pairs. Plexippos a n d T o x e u s f o r m another pair, w h i c h cannot be traced back b e y o n d the Hellenistic p e r i o d .

5 3

As usual, the fullest catalogues can be found i n three o f the later sources. T h e y quote f r o m four to seven names each, o n l y three o f which are identical i n all three l i s t s .

54

T h e u l t i m a t e o r i g i n o f these

lists must be sought i n early epic treatments o f the Meleagros myth.

5 5

For once the Hesiodic Catalogue can be r u l e d out as a

source. T h e extant fragments suggest that the sons o f Thestios must have been passed over i n favour o f his d a u g h t e r s .

56

A l l things

considered, the names o f the Thestiadai illustrate the

unpre-

dictable a l t e r n a t i o n o f l o n g and short lists o f related names i n o u r p r i m a r y sources, an a l t e r n a t i o n w h i c h is still echoed i n the m y t h o graphical t r a d i t i o n . T h e T h e s t i a d a i are securely placed i n the earliest n o n - H o m e r i c 253


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography accounts o f the C a l y d o n i a n h u n t . T h e case is altogether different for the H i p p o k o o n t i d s , whose p a r t i c i p a t i o n is not attested before O v i d and H y g i n u s ,

5 7

T h e i r c o m b i n e d testimony points to one or

more distant Hellenistic sources w h i c h included the H i p p o k o o n tids i n a catalogue o f C a l y d o n i a n h u n t e r s .

58

But the sons o f

H i p p o k o o n are better k n o w n as v i c t i m s o f Herakles, w h o killed as m a n y as ten or twelve o f t h e m when he restored brother T y n d a r e u s

Hippokoon's

to the k i n g d o m o f L a k e d a i m o n .

5 9

The

fight

against Herakles was their last h u r r a h , and it is in connection w i t h their defeat and death at his hands that seventeen o f their names, i n c l u d i n g several v a r i a n t names, are m e n t i o n e d .

60

O f the

five

names w h i c h survive in A l c m a n , o u r earliest source, o n l y three recur i n the two lists o f m u c h later date that are preserved i n the mythographical t r a d i t i o n .

6 5

O n e o f those shared names, Sebros,

still appears i n its o r i g i n a l dialect f o r m i n the prose account o f Pausanias. I t is t e m p t i n g to conclude that this picture reflects the gradual

conflation o f at least two separate traditions: a local

Spartan catalogue o f the H i p p o k o o n t i d s w h i c h is still available i n A l c m a n ' s Pariheneion, a n d another m o r e 'Panhellenic' w h i c h m a y have been derived from genealogical

catalogue

poetry o f the

Hesiodic type. T h e close study o f m y t h o l o g i c a l names and their t r a n s i t i o n from the poetic into the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n is a d m i t t e d l y tedious. M o d e r n unease over the t e d i u m o f the various catalogues itemisi n g the names o f A k t a i o n ' s dogs provides a measure o f the distance w h i c h separates epic d e c o r u m

and the m a r k it left o n

m y t h o g r a p h y f r o m o u r o w n aesthetic sensibilities.

62

ancient

A t the same

time such catalogues continue to be o f interest as valuable heuristic tools w h i c h make it easier to see how specific m y t h o l o g i c a l data derived from poetical accounts o f the archaic or classical period were affected once they entered the mainstream o f Greek m y t h o graphy.

3. A p p l i e d M y t h o g r a p h y : T h e K a l l i s t o M y t h A l t h o u g h m y t h i c a l names and genealogies deserve their share o f scholarly a t t e n t i o n , they are no longer the be-all and end-all of m o d e r n interest in Greek m y t h o l o g y . I n the nineteenth century, however, there were periods when ' m y c o l o g i s t s ' o f the calibre o f F r i e d r i c h G o t t l i e b W e l c k e r ( 1 7 8 4 - 1 8 6 8 ) and H e r m a n n 254

Usener


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography ( 1 8 3 4 - 1905) regarded the etymological i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f m y t h i c a l names as the magical key that w o u l d unlock the h i d d e n secrets o f many m y t h s , and w h e n it was equally fashionable for e m i n e n t scholars o f a different persuasion, i n c l u d i n g K a r l O t f r i e d M u l l e r ( 1 7 9 7 - 1840) and U l r i c h v o n W i l a m o w i t z - M o e l l e n d o r f f ( 1 8 4 8 1931), to concentrate t h e i r efforts on heroic families and to treat heroic m y t h as i f it were t a n t a m o u n t to a historical record, full o f more or less factual reminiscences o f the distant p a s t .

63

Nowadays

the various etymologies o f d i v i n e a n d heroic names w h i c h were once so hotly debated are all but forgotten, and m y t h is widely recognised as an a u t o n o m o u s mode o f Greek thought a n d selfexpression,

distinct from

historical m e m o r y and largely inde-

pendent from i t , even t h o u g h m y t h often served as a substitute for history. Since the t u r n o f the c e n t u r y the former preoccupation with isolated facets o f Greek m y t h o l o g y has g i v e n way to a g r o w i n g interest i n m y t h s as coherent narratives whose r i t u a l and social significance transcends the literary context i n w h i c h a given m y t h has been t r a n s m i t t e d . I n recent decades the foremost analysts o f Greek

m y t h s have

approached

each

mythical

n a r r a t i v e as

a

cohesive and organised whole composed o f constitutive elements which c o n t r i b u t e to its overall structure a n d w h i c h are designed to b r i n g out its inherent m e a n i n g . For all their differences,

the

d o m i n a n t schools have m u c h in c o m m o n . ' R i t u a l i s t s ' like W a l t e r Burkert tend to emphasise the social relevance o f cult-oriented myths; 'structuralists' like Jean-Pierre V e r n a n t read m y t h i c a l texts as social documents that m i r r o r the external a n d i n t e r n a l organisa1

tion o f an entire society; a n d ' n a r r a t o l o g i s t s w h o follow i n the footsteps of V l a d i m i r J . P r o p p ( 1 8 9 5 - 1970) analyse the recurrent c o m ponents function.

of mythical 64

narratives

in

terms

o f their

sequential

W h a t underlies their different approaches is a shared

concern for the whole o f the m y t h i c a l n a r r a t i v e in relation to its constituent parts, and a willingness to pay equal attention to b o t h . T h i s new o r i e n t a t i o n has advanced o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f numerous Greek m y t h s . B u t like any other m e t h o d , it also has its pitfalls. Its practitioners do not always seem to realise that it is impossible to determine the overall structure o f a p a r t i c u l a r m y t h , let alone its presumed m e a n i n g , w i t h o u t a c q u i r i n g first as complete and clear an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f its transmission in a n t i q u i t y as possible. T h i s is where m y t h o g r a p h y comes i n . G i v e n the present tendency to explore each conceivable facet o f a given m y t h and to w r i n g every 255


I

6. 7. Kallisto's death Her ultimate fate

T i m i n g of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n

5.

Explanation for t r a n s f o r m a t i o n

Z e u s ' appearance d u r i n g u n i o n w i t h Kallisto 3. Divine agent of animal transformation 4.

2.

I

=

III

= III

= III

immediately before pregnancy or after g i v i n g b i r t h

after u n i o n w i t h Zeus b u t before b i r t h of A r k a s

III

p u n i s h m e n t f o r b l a m i n g loss of virginity o n A r t e m i s

p u n i s h m e n t f o r loss of v i r g i n i t y {cf. IV 6b)

=

as in I

Artemis'

=

shot by

placed a m o n g the stars by Zeus

Kallisto as bear almost her son A r k a s

= I

= I

= I

= I

= I

III Eratosthenic Catasterisms, Ursa M a j o r = Hesiod fr, 163

II Eratosthenic Catasterisms, Ursa M a j o r = A m p h i s fr. 47

Artemis

his o w n (implied)

virgin h u n t r e s s in A r t e m i s ' train

I Eratosthenic Catastehsms, Ursa M a j o r = Hesiod fr. 163

V a r i a n t s of the K a l l i s t o M y t h

Kallisto's o c c u p a t i o n

1.

S t o r y Pattern

Sources

T a b l e 11.1:


7. Her u l t i m a t e fate

6. Kallisto's d e a t h

5. T i m i n g of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n

as in III

Kalllsto as bear s h o t by A r t e m i s (a) at Hera's request (as in V - V I I (b) as p u n i s h m e n t f o r lost virginity (cf. I 4)

as in I

Zeus' attempt to deceive Hera

Zeus

3. Divine a g e n t of animal transformation

Explanation f o r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n

(a) as in II (b) A p o l l o ' s

Zeus' appearance during u n i o n w i t h Kalltsto

as in III

as in IV (a)

Hera's jealousy a n d v e n g e a n c e (implied)

Hera

as in I (implied)

s c h o l . D I A ) //. 18.487 = CaUimachus fr. 632

as in I

V

IV

Apollod. 3.100-101

KallJsto's o c c u p a t i o n

1.

S t o r y Pattern

Sources

VI

as in III

as in IV (a)

as in I

as in V (implied)

as in V

as in I (implied)

Paus. 8 . 3 . 6 - 7

b i r t h of A r k a s

as in III

as in

after

as in V (explicit)

as in V

(a) as in II (b) -

as in I

Ovid (a) Met. 2 . 4 0 1 - 5 3 0 (b) Fast 2 . 1 5 3 - 1 9 2

VII


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography last ounce o f possible relevance f r o m i t , one w o u l d expect students o f Greek m y t h s to use the available m y t h o g r a p h i c a l sources w i t h the same d i s c r i m i n a t i o n w h i c h they apply to H o m e r , P i n d a r , the tragedians, C a l l i m a c h u s or O v i d , and to examine the attestation, a u t h e n t i c i t y and a p p r o x i m a t e date o f any piece o f m y t h o g r a p h i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n that m i g h t be relevant to their i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h i s , however, is not the case, and sheer ignorance o f the whole range o f ancient m y t h o g r a p h y has never been more r a m p a n t than it is today. N o t everybody interested i n Greek m y t h and religion can be expected to pursue the study o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y for its o w n sake. But all analysts a n d interpreters o f Greek m y t h s must be prepared to scrutinise t h e i r assumptions i n the light o f the m y t h o graphical t r a d i t i o n before general conclusions about the structure a n d m e a n i n g o f any m y t h are i n o r d e r . T h i s is the k i n d o f source-critical scrutiny w h i c h I propose to call ' a p p l i e d m y t h o g r a p h y ' . O f those m y t h s w h i c h have received such close a t t e n t i o n m o r e than once, the story o f K a l l i s t o is p a r t i c u l a r l y revealing. N o single standard version o f it existed i n a n t i q u i t y , but the recurrent elements

o f the m y t h w h i c h constitute its story

pattern according to the p r i n c i p a l versions ( I V - V I ) can be summarised as follows (see T a b l e 1 1 . 1 , vertical readings): A v i r g i n n y m p h and fellow huntress o f A r t e m i s , K a l l i s t o was seduced by Zeus. W h i l e pregnant she was transformed i n t o a bear. After she h a d given b i r t h to A r k a s , she was shot to death by A r t e m i s a n d placed a m o n g the stars by Zeus. T h i s s u m m a r y leaves r o o m for all kinds o f elaborations a n d variations. Full-fledged versions o f the K a l l i s t o m y t h w h i c h tell her entire story f r o m her innocent service o f A r t e m i s to her rape, a n i m a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , death a n d u l t i m a t e catasterism are confined to the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n ( I - V ) a n d to t w o relatively late storytellers, O v i d ( V I I ) a n d Pausanias ( V I ) , who drew u p o n various branches o f this t r a d i t i o n for their portrayals o f K a l l i s t o (see F i g u r e 1 1 . 1 , h o r i z o n t a l readings). W i t h o u t exception, the extant versions date from the i m p e r i a l p e r i o d , b u t they reproduce earlier treatments o f the m y t h w h i c h range i n date f r o m the late archaic

to the early Hellenistic p e r i o d a n d w h i c h

reported a n o n y m o u s l y ( I V , V I , V I I ) or ascribed

are

either

to specific

authors like ' H e s i o d ' ( I = I I I ) , the m i d d l e comedy poet A m p h i s 258


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography ( I I ) , and C a l l i m a c h u s ( V ) . But the appeal to earlier authorities is deceptive. Source ascriptions f o u n d i n the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l tradition are always suspect u n t i l proven accurate. I n the absence o f independent c o n f i r m a t i o n , w h i c h is usually unavailable, it is often impossible to decide whether the alleged a u t h o r i t y is the source o f the whole story o r merely o f one o r t w o p a r t i c u l a r details, or even worse, whether that source m a y have told a different version o f the same m y t h . T h e K a l l i s t o m y t h is a conspicuous case i n p o i n t . Because o f the wide chronological d i s t r i b u t i o n o f its p r i n c i p a l sources and the n u m b e r o f its variants, not to m e n t i o n the serious difficulties w h i c h they raise, this m y t h has been a favorite battleground for m o d e r n ' m y t h o g r a p h e r s ' , w h o have concentrated most of their efforts o n the mechanical reconstrution o f lost versions, those o f ' H e s i o d ' and C a l l i m a c h u s i n particular, w i t h o u t reaching much a g r e e m e n t .

65

A t the centre o f the o n g o i n g discussion lies a conglomerate o f different versions o f the story o f K a l l i s t o and A r k a s w h i c h are recorded i n various Greek and L a t i n collections o f constellation myths under the two n e i g h b o u r i n g constellations o f U r s a M a j o r and A r k t o p h y l a x ( B o o t e s ) .

66

T h e Greek constellation myths are

mainly found i n M S S o f A r a t u s , where they occur i n t w o forms, either as a separate a n o n y m o u s collection (Catast.) or interspersed with the scholia to A r a t u s proper (schol. A r a t . ) . T h e m y t h i c a l 'tales' (historiai) o f the M y t h o g r a p h u s H o m e r i c u s p r o v i d e an exact parallel for this type o f transmission. T h e L a t i n collections are represented by the Astronomy

o f H y g i n u s (Astr.),

the

so-called

Aratus L a t i n u s ( A r a t . L a t . ) , and the scholia to G e r m a n i c u s ' L a t i n adaptation o f A r a t u s (schol. G e r m . ) . M o s t o f these texts were p u b lished synoptically by C a r l R o b e r t in 1878 and Ernst Maass i n 1898.

67

B u t a d d i t i o n a l Greek sources have come to light i n the

meantime, and their i m p o r t a n c e is such that a new e d i t i o n o f the complete catasterismographic

dossier is needed. I t is essential to

know that these texts fall i n t o two fairly distinct groups.

The

principal sources ( G r o u p A ) offer a fuller text than the rest, w h i c h suffered

considerable

abbreviation

period. T h e abbreviated

d u r i n g the

later

imperial

texts ( G r o u p B) o m i t , a m o n g

other

things, not o n l y the A m p h i s version o f the Kallisto m y t h ( I I ) under Ursa M a j o r but also the problematic reference to ' H e s i o d ' (fr. 163, r i g h t - h a n d c o l u m n ) u n d e r A r k t o p h y l a x . B o t h groups

are

descended f r o m a c o m m o n ancestor, a Hellenistic collection o f 259


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography constellation m y t h s w h i c h is no longer extant. G r o u p B is represented by a collection o f epitomised catasteristic myths k n o w n as the E p i t o m e (Catast. E p i t . ) , as well as by the m a j o r i t y o f the schol. A r a t . M S S . G r o u p A consists m a i n l y o f the three L a t i n collections m e n t i o n e d above, all o f w h i c h include the A m p h i s version i n one f o r m or another. I n a d d i t i o n , however, there is a second collection o f Greek constellation m y t h s w h i c h offers fewer m y t h s b u t a more complete text t h a n Catast. E p i t . a n d w h i c h belongs also to G r o u p A.

This

collection

o f excerpts

(Catast.

Exc.)

includes

the

A r k t o p h y l a x m y t h w i t h the reference to ' H e s i o d ' b u t u n f o r t u nately o m i t s U r s a M a j o r .

6 8

A l t h o u g h R o b e r t k n e w the A m p h i s

version o n l y f r o m the L a t i n texts, he d i d not hesitate to assign it to the o r i g i n a l Greek c o l l e c t i o n .

69

H e was r i g h t , b u t it was not u n t i l

1974 that the A m p h i s version was first published i n its Greek form f r o m t w o rather u n t y p i c a l M S S o f the schol. A r a t . , b o t h o f which c o n t a i n constellation m y t h s that show close affinities w i t h Greek as well as the L a t i n representatives o f G r o u p A .

the

7 0

T h e complex transmission o f the various forms o f the K a l l i s t o m y t h i n the catasterismographic

t r a d i t i o n must be the starting

point for any attempt to reconstruct the pre-Hellenistic versions of the m y t h and to interpret their m e a n i n g . T h e earliest k n o w n versions, apart f r o m the p u z z l i n g account i n E u r i p i d e s ' Helen 375ff where K a l l i s t o ' s a n i m a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n seems to precede her m a t i n g w i t h Zeus, are exactly those w h i c h the Greek ancestor o f the extant collections o f constellation m y t h s ascribed to ' H e s i o d ' ( u n d e r Ursa Major)

and A m p h i s . T h e

same ancestor contained

numerous

other references to early or rare authors and their w o r k s , i n c l u d i n g the Naxiaka

o f Aglaosthenes (FGrH

499 F 1 - 3 ) , the Herakles o f

Antisthenes (fr. 2 4 A C a i z z i ) , the Elegies Concerning Eros o f A r t e m i dorus (Suppl.

Heli

fr. 214 Lloyd-Jones/Parsons),

the Nemesis o f

C r a t i n u s (PCG, v o l . I V , p. 179), the On Justice and the Erotikos o f Heraclides Ponticus (frs. 51 and 66 W e h r l i ) , an u n k n o w n w o r k by M y r s i l u s o f M e t h y m n a (FGrH

477 F 15), the Herakleia o f Panyassis

(frs. 3 and 10 K i n k e l or M a t t h e w s ) and o f Peisander (fr. 1 K i n k e l ) , and finally, the piece de resistance, the Cretica ascribed to Epimenides (3 B 2 3 - 5 D i e l s / K r a n z ) .

7 1

T h e nature and range o f these quota-

tions suggest strongly that the c o m p i l a t i o n was made i n the early Hellenistic p e r i o d by a well-read A l e x a n d r i a n scholar w h o is often identified

w i t h Fratosthenes o f C y r e n e

reasons w h i c h are

( t h i r d century B C ) for

understandable but far f r o m 260

compelling.

72


Three Approaches to Greek Myihography Whatever his n a m e , o u r c o m p i l e r h a d access to at least t w o , possibly three different versions o f the K a l l i s t o m y t h , out o f w h i c h he made one c o n t i n u o u s account ( I - I I I ) .

7 3

T h e A m p h i s version ( I I )

was sandwiched as a mere v a r i a n t between the Hesiodic version ( I ) and

the catasterism p r o p e r ( I I I ) . T h i s peculiar arrangement has

been a s t u m b l i n g block for m o d e r n scholars w h o w o u l d like to know whether K a l l i s t o ' s catasterism

belongs to the

Hesiodic

version, to A m p h i s ( h i g h l y u n l i k e l y ) , o r to b o t h , or whether it was taken f r o m

a third source.

74

I n the absence o f more explicit

evidence, it is not at all certain that the catasterism was already known to ' H e s i o d ' ( i . e . that it is p r e - H e l l e n i s t i c ) , n o r is it safe to conclude f r o m the d u b i o u s reference to C a l l i m a c h u s i n version V that K a l l i s t o ' s t r a n s p o r t a t i o n i n t o the skies was treated by h i m i n detail, let alone that he i n v e n t e d i t .

7 5

Regardless o f its date, the

catasterism is the most extraneous aspect o f the m y t h . I t has l o n g been recognised that the story o f K a l l i s t o ' s offence and punishment must have existed p r i o r to its connection w i t h the constellation.

7 6

T h e o r i g i n a l story pattern w i l l have c o m p r i s e d , at the very

least, the t w o elements w h i c h appear consistently i n the w r i t t e n sources, the loss o f v i r g i n i t y a n d the bear t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . T h e catasterism, o n the other h a n d , is an accretion o f a w e l l - k n o w n type w h i c h adds n o t h i n g o f substance. As told by the catasterismographers, the circumstances o f the catasterism are extremely far-fetched and designed to e x p l a i n the apparent p u r s u i t o f U r s a M a j o r by A r k t o p h y l a x i n the sky. Some time after her t r a n s f o r m a t i o n K a l l i s t o was h u n t e d by A r k a s and took refuge i n the sacred precinct (ahaton) o f Zeus L y k a i o s . W h e n the Arcadians prepared to k i l l t h e m b o t h , Zeus intervened and turned t h e m into stars. O v i d ( V I ) , w h o had access to a Greek collection o f constellation m y t h s s i m i l a r to the ancestor o f the extant Catasterisms, n a t u r a l l y made the most o f the near-fatal confrontation between m o t h e r and s o n .

77

T o complicate matters even

further, K a l l i s t o ' s u l t i m a t e fate is related twice i n most branches o f the catasterismographic t r a d i t i o n . I n the second account ( u n d e r A r k t o p h y l a x ) the catasterism o f K a l l i s t o and A r k t o s has been a r t i ficially c o m b i n e d w i t h the notorious c a n n i b a l i s m c o m m i t t e d by her father L y k a o n . T h e v i c t i m is A r k a s , who is restored to life by Zeus so that he can h u n t his m o t h e r the bear. T h i s curious c o m bination o f the L y k a o n and K a l l i s t o m y t h s , w h i c h is unattested elsewhere,

is

hardly

more

than 261

m y t h o g r a p h i c a l patchwork,


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography designed to b r i n g together u n d e r a single r u b r i c e v e r y t h i n g that was k n o w n about the family o f L y k a o n .

7 8

I n this connection the

n a m e o f ' H e s i o d ' is m e n t i o n e d again, evidently as a source for L y k a o n ' s c r i m e and not as an a u t h o r i t y for the c o m b i n e d stories.

79

M . L . West believes, w i t h K . O . M i i l l e r , R o b e r t and Sale, that the complex o f m y t h s c o n c e r n i n g L y k a o n , K a l l i s t o and Arkas appeared Astronomy.

twice i n 'Hesiod*, i n the 80

Catalogue as

well

as

the

I t is impossible to assign the extant Hesiodic versions

o f the K a l l i s t o m y t h to one w o r k or the other w i t h any confidence. I t is equally impossible, therefore, to d e t e r m i n e to what extent these two treatments overlapped or differed. M e r k e l b a c h and West assigned versions I and I I I as well as the L y k a o n / K a l l i s t o m y t h reported u n d e r A r k t o p h y l a x to the Catalogue ( f r . 163) rather than the Astronomy. But West n o w seems to t h i n k that the catasterismographers followed the Astronomy. I f so, we k n o w absolutely n o t h i n g about the K a l l i s t o o f the Catalogue, except that she was 'one o f the nymphs'

(Apollod.

3.100)

and

therefore

presumably

not

the

daughter o f L y k a o n . Faced w i t h such i n s u r m o u n t a b l e difficulties, students o f the K a l l i s t o m y t h w h o take the concept o f applied m y t h o g r a p h y seriously w i l l have to t h i n k twice before they reconstruct 'the o r i g i n a l m y t h ' from the elusive Hesiodic v e r s i o n s .

81

Even t h o u g h the m y t h can be traced back to ' H e s i o d ' i n the late archaic p e r i o d , it does not fully emerge from obscurity u n t i l we come to A m p h i s i n the first h a l f o f the f o u r t h c e n t u r y . I t is hardly necessary to dwell o n the A m p h i s version, w h i c h gave a decidedly h u m o r o u s twist to the m y t h . A c c o r d i n g to A m p h i s , Zeus disguised h i m s e l f as A r t e m i s when he seduced K a l l i s t o , w h o later blamed the v i r g i n goddess for the pregnancy for w h i c h Zeus was responsible. O n e w o u l d like to k n o w m o r e . Is it at all conceivable, even in comedy, that Zeus managed to conceal his true i d e n t i t y d u r i n g the actual rape,

or is it m o r e likely that K a l l i s t o recognised

her

aggressor but maliciously chose to accuse A r t e m i s o f something that was so c o n t r a r y to the goddess's o w n nature? I n O v i d ' s clever i m i t a t i o n ( V i l a ) the t r u t h surely comes out in flagrante delicto, as was to be expected. But then O v i d ' s K a l l i s t o does not put the blame on A r t e m i s . A p a r t from its adaptation by O v i d , A m p h i s ' comic parody is o f m a r g i n a l interest for the study o f the m y t h i n its more serious f o r m .

8 2

T h e three r e m a i n i n g versions ( I V - V I ) have m u c h i n c o m m o n and

derive f r o m

the same m y t h o g r a p h i c a l source, 262

either

the


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography M y t h o g r a p h u s H o m e r i c u s o r the hypothetical ' H e l l e n i s t i c handbook* (above, I ) . I n v a r i a b l y K a l l i s t o is possessed by Zeus, changed into a bear b y Zeus o r H e r a (not b y A r t e m i s ) , shot by A r t e m i s at Hera's request, and put a m o n g the stars. I t is widely held that the c o m m o n source reproduced the K a l l i s t o m y t h as t o l d by some Hellenistic poet, w h i c h is plausible i n the light o f O v i d ' s i m i t a t i o n ( V I I ) , and that this poet was C a l l i m a c h u s , w h i c h is less p l a u s i b l e .

83

Pausanias ( V I ) a n d the H o m e r i c scholiast ( V ) differ i n l e n g t h b u t not i n substance, except for the rescue o f K a l l i s t o ' s u n b o r n c h i l d , which is reported differently i n versions I V and V I b u t o m i t t e d by the scholiast. I n his usual m a n n e r , A p o l l o d o r u s ( I V ) clutters his account w i t h several variants, b u t he fails to tell us where he f o u n d them. H e alone reports ( I V 2b) that Zeus disguised h i m s e l f as A p o l l o w h e n he approached

K a l l i s t o . G i v e n her constitutional

aversion to male c o m p a n y , it is difficult to see how she w o u l d have let any m a n come w i t h i n sight o f her, even A r t e m i s ' brother. S t i l l , a Hellenistic poet ( n o t necessarily the same as the one m e n t i o n e d before) m i g h t have t h o u g h t otherwise, b u t he w o u l d have been more reluctant to a t t r i b u t e the p a t e r n i t y o f A r k a s to A p o l l o than R e i n h o l d F r a n z , w h o announced

the m a r r i a g e o f K a l l i s t o and

A p o l l o i n 1890. T h i s genealogical c o n s t r u c t i o n , w h i c h is based o n Tzetzes' m i s r e a d i n g o f A p o l l o d o r u s , has been revived i n recent years and Arcadia.

even

used as evidence

for the religious history o f

84

T h e most s t r i k i n g feature o f versions I V - V I I is the i n t e r v e n t i o n of H e r a . T h e m o t i f o f Zeus' deceived and jealous wife is m o r e f i r m l y rooted i n the m y t h s o f Semele and I o , whence it was transferred to the K a l l i s t o m y t h . I n all three cases, O v i d ( V I I ) o u t d i d his predecessors i n e x p l o i t i n g the psychological potential inherent in the triangle o f h u s b a n d , wife and mistress. Once H e r a appeared on the scene, the role o f A r t e m i s had to be drastically d i m i n i s h e d . Instead o f b e i n g the d i v i n e protagonist, she n o w became H e r a ' s creature. H e r implacable w r a t h , w h i c h is so p r o m i n e n t i n versions I - I I , was either suppressed altogether ( V - V I ) or reduced to a mere m y t h o g r a p h i c a l v a r i a n t ( I V ) . O n l y O v i d has it b o t h ways, as often,

and manipulates

A r t e m i s ' anger to set the stage for a

massive display o f H e r a ' s jealousy. T h e p r o m i n e n t place assigned to H e r a i n the ' A l e x a n d r i a n ' version o f the K a l l i s t o m y t h makes for excellent p o e t r y , b u t it leaves the o r i g i n a l substance o f the m y t h greatly i m p o v e r i s h e d . T h e conceptual connection between 263

the


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography v i r g i n goddess, the loss o f v i r g i n i t y , and the bear t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the new m o t h e r has been b l u r r e d almost b e y o n d r e c o g n i t i o n . W h a t had once been a u n i q u e and exemplary story o f a maiden's d r a m a t i c t r a n s i t i o n to m o t h e r h o o d emerges f r o m the Hellenistic r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as a c o n v e n t i o n a l , i f one-sided, love affair c o m p l i cated by the m a r i t a l dispute between Zeus and H e r a . G i v e n the relatively late date o f the available sources, it is impossible to reconstruct

'the o r i g i n a l myth* o f K a l l i s t o w i t h

absolute c e r t a i n t y . B u t the concept o f a p p l i e d m y t h o g r a p h y , once followed t h r o u g h , makes it m u c h easier to determine the narrative function a n d , i f possible, the o r i g i n o f each v a r i a n t and to separate the consistent elements o f the m y t h , w h i c h f o r m its permanent core ( t o the extent that we are ever likely to k n o w i t ) , f r o m more incidental features w h i c h owe t h e i r existence to l i t e r a r y convention or i n d i v i d u a l taste. O u r m y t h o g r a p h i c a l analysis has shown that the f o l l o w i n g variables can be safely detached f r o m the m a i n story pattern:

the disguise

used by Zeus to deceive

K a l l i s t o ( I I 2,

I V 2ab, V I I 2a); the e x p l a n a t i o n for A r t e m i s * w r a t h as f o u n d in A m p h i s ( I I 4 ) ; the jealousy o f H e r a ( V - V I I 4 ) , a n d her active role i n b o t h the a n i m a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ( V - V I I 3) and eventual death ( I V - V I 6a) o f K a l l i s t o ; a n d

finally,

agent o f the bear metamorphosis implies H e r a ' s jealousy

and

Zeus rather t h a n H e r a as the ( I V 3 - 4 ) , a variation which

foreshadows

her

revenge.

85

The

catasterism ( I I I - V I I ) , however, w h i c h forms the conclusion o f the m y t h i n all but the t w o earliest versions ( I - I I ) , is inseparable from the Hellenistic conception o f K a l l i s t o ' s u l t i m a t e fate. Yet it too must be set aside, as we have seen, as an accretion, the k i n d of stellar coda w h i c h this m y t h shares w i t h all the other constellation m y t h s . O n c e these embellishments have been r e m o v e d , the substance o f the m y t h remains. A p a r t f r o m Zeus, w h o acts as a mere catalyst, the essential components

have to do exclusively w i t h

K a l l i s t o and A r t e m i s . T h e i r relationship is described as a series o f three interconnected

events, all o f w h i c h affect K a l l i s t o

more

d i r e c t l y t h a n A r t e m i s : the loss o f v i r g i n i t y , the bear transformat i o n , a n d the v i o l e n t death. These three elements have been the m a i n concern

of modern

interpreters

for the past 160 years.

A l t h o u g h their conclusions differ substantially, they all put the emphasis, i n one way o r another, o n the t r a n s i t i o n f r o m v i r g i n i t y to m o t h e r h o o d ; o n the significance o f the bear (arktos),

either as a

'sacred a n i m a l ' o r as a t h e r i o m o r p h i c s y m b o l o f a p a r t i c u l a r 264


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography biological or social status; and t h i r d l y , o n the conceptual

link

between the loss o f v i r g i n i t y , a n i m a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , and death. T o d a y social interpretations p r e v a i l , and K a l l i s t o is w i d e l y seen as the m y t h i c a l model for the i n i t i a t i o n o f female adolescents into their adult roles, b y analogy w i t h the A t t i c ' b e a r - r i t u a l '

(arkteia),

d u r i n g w h i c h groups o f prepubescent girls w o u l d ' p l a y the bear' (arkteuein) i n various sanctuaries o f A r t e m i s . Unattested

i n the

ancient sources, the connection between the arkteia and the K a l l i s t o m y t h , t h o u g h h y p o t h e t i c a l , rests o n close structural s i m i l a r i t i e s .

86

The case has been strengthened b y the recent discovery o f an A t t i c vase w h i c h shows A r t e m i s shooting an a r r o w o n one side and a mature w o m a n a n d a y o u n g e r m a n both w e a r i n g bear-masks o n the other s i d e .

87

T h i s vase has the same shape as the n u m e r o u s

vases w i t h representations o f the r i t u a l 'bear-girls' (arktoi) were f o u n d

i n temples o f A r t e m i s t h r o u g h o u t

Attica.

that

I f the

masquerade had both a r i t u a l purpose and a m y t h i c a l reference, it is t e m p t i n g to connect it w i t h the K a l l i s t o m y t h and to assume that her bear t r a n s f o r m a t i o n was re-enacted i n the context o f the arkteia. The w o m a n w o u l d represent K a l l i s t o , the bear-mother, and the young

man

would

impersonate

Arkas,

the

eponymous

'bear-man'. W h i l e the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l approach cannot c o n t r i b u t e directly to the process o f e x t r a p o l a t i n g the m e a n i n g o r function o f a given m y t h f r o m its n a r r a t i v e content, it can and must serve as a safeguard against interpretations w h i c h are based o n distorted conclusions d r a w n f r o m incomplete evidence. T h e lack o f consensus concerning the death o f K a l l i s t o illustrates this p o i n t . M o s t interpreters assume that K a l l i s t o ' s a n i m a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n functions as a prelude to her execution by A r t e m i s . I f K a l l i s t o ' s death does indeed constitute the c l i m a x o f this m y t h , it must by d e f i n i t i o n belong to the earliest-known versions. For this reason its occurrence i n ' H e s i o d ' is often taken for granted, and r i g h t l y so, even though there is no direct p r o o f .

88

A g a i n s t this it has been argued

that the f o r m o f the m y t h ' i n w h i c h she was b o t h changed [ i n t o a bear] and shot was l a t e ' , and what is m o r e , that her death at the hands o f A r t e m i s is, strictly speaking, i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h her transformation i n t o a bear b y the same goddess.

89

T h e first objection,

raised by Sale, begs the question as l o n g as K a l l i s t o ' s u l t i m a t e fate in the pre-Hellenistic versions o f the m y t h remains

unknown.

Those who w i s h to argue, as Franz and Sale d i d , that i n 'the 265


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography Arcadian version'

(a m o d e r n

construct)

K a l l i s t o retained

her

h u m a n f o r m w h i l e being shot by A r t e m i s take recourse to two types o f A r c a d i a n coins from the f o u r t h century B C w h i c h show A r t e m i s shooting (obverse) and a purely h u m a n K a l l i s t o transfixed by an a r r o w and accompanied by A r k a s ( r e v e r s e ) .

90

T h e absence

o f a n i m a l features may merely reflect dislike o f a t h e r i o m o r p h i c K a l l i s t o o n the part o f this p a r t i c u l a r a r t i s t .

91

T h e degree to w h i c h

representations o f K a l l i s t o i n art were indeed affected by personal taste is well illustrated by four A p u l i a n vases and vase fragments w h i c h are r o u g h l y c o n t e m p o r a r y w i t h the A r c a d i a n c o i n s .

92

On

three o f the vases, K a l l i s t o is shown in the process o f b e i n g transf o r m e d i n t o a bear, whereas the f o u r t h vase shows her w i t h o u t animal features.

93

U n l i k e the

die-makers,

however,

the

vase

painters tended to separate the m o t h e r h o o d o f K a l l i s t o f r o m her death. A r k a s appears on at least three o f the four vases (one o f the t w o fragments, Boston M F A 13.206 = LIMC

A r t e m i s 1388, is too

small to j u d g e ) , whereas A r t e m i s is visible o n o n l y one vase, definitely absent o n another, a n d not i n evidence o n the two fragments. T a k e n as a whole, t h e n , the iconographical repertoire is too a m b i g u o u s to serve as a reliable substitute for lost versions of the m y t h . T o answer the second objection, it should be sufficient to p o i n t out that no w r i t t e n f o r m o f the m y t h exists i n w h i c h the bear transformation

does not precede K a l l i s t o ' s death.

I n addition,

there is the parallel m y t h o f A k t a i o n , w h o m A r t e m i s transforms i n t o a stag before he is killed by his o w n dogs, occasionally w i t h the assistance o f A r t e m i s a n d her a r r o w s , as o n the Boston bell krater (c. 470 B C ) f r o m w h i c h the Pan painter derives his n a m e .

9 4

Far

f r o m b e i n g a d u p l i c a t i o n o f effort or, i n n a r r a t i v e terms, a conflat i o n o f t w o v a r i a n t modes o f p u n i s h m e n t ,

the c o m b i n a t i o n o f

a n i m a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a n d violent death c o n f i r m s the persistent influence o f h u n t i n g rituals o n the religious m e n t a l i t y o f the Greeks d u r i n g the f o r m a t i v e phase o f t h e i r m y t h - m a k i n g .

9 5

A l t h o u g h the death o f K a l l i s t o is firmly established i n the m a i n stream o f the m y t h o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n , it is prevented for sentim e n t a l reasons i n the catasteristic version ( I I I , i m i t a t e d by V I I ) , i n w h i c h K a l l i s t o ' s son A r k a s has taken the place o f A r t e m i s as the h u n t e r w h o pursues the h u m a n bear, his o w n m o t h e r . I t follows that the c o m b i n a t i o n o f death and catasterism i n versions

IV-VI

is a secondary development, even t h o u g h O r i o n too died before he was t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a c o n s t e l l a t i o n . 266

96

T h e remarkable prevention


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography of K a l l i s t o ' s death in the A l e x a n d r i a n collection o f catasterisms is clearly a special case w h i c h does not support the view that the bear transformation is structurally detachable from the actual k i l l i n g . I n the final analysis, the c o m b i n e d m y t h o g r a p h i c a l and iconographical evidence, though fragmentary and inconsistent, seems to bear out those scholars who have always insisted on a close connection between K a l l i s t o ' s bear t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and her death as a bear. T h e preceding studies, however l i m i t e d i n scope, illustrate three different but connected aspects o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y : the nature of the relevant

sources, the heuristic value o f m y t h o g r a p h i c a l

names, and, as the u l t i m a t e goal, the concept o f applied m y t h o graphy,

which

is

instrumental

in

establishing

the

essential

elements o f a given m y t h . L a r g e areas o f the history o f Greek m y t h o g r a p h y are still u n e x p l o r e d , and several i m p o r t a n t collections o f m y t h s lie i g n o r e d . M o d e r n interpreters o f Greek myths must constantly re-examine and strengthen the o l d foundations. I f not, they b u i l d castles i n the air.

Notes 1. P. Köln I I I 126 = H . Lloyd-Jones and P. Parsons, Supplementum Hetlenisticum (Berlin and New Y o r k , 1983) no. 903A. C f . Lloyd-Jones, ' T h e Meropis (SH 903A)', Atii del XVII Congresso Internazwnale di Papirologia, I (Naples, 1984) 1 4 1 - 5 0 ; A. Henrichs, 'Philodems De Pietate als mythographische Quelle', Cronache Ercolanest, 5 (1975) 5 - 3 8 ; below, note 27. 2. C f . C . Wendel, 'Mythographie', RE 16.2 (1935) 1 3 5 2 - 7 4 ; U . v. Wilamowitz, 'Die griechische Heldensage I - I T , Kleine Schriften, V 2 (Berlin, 1937) 5 4 - 1 2 6 ; R . Haussier, ' G r u n d z ü g e antiker Mythographie', in W . Killy (ed.), Mythographie der frühen Neuzeit. Ihre Anwendung in den Künsten, Wolfen bütteler Forschungen, 27 (Wiesbaden, 1984) 1 - 2 3 (with useful bibliography). 3. FGrH 12. Asclepiades" Tragodoumena is a distant ancestor of the anonymous plot summaries (hypotheseis) for the major tragedians which have come to light on papyrus and which are an important source for the mythology of the classical period. See now P. O x y . 5 2 . 3 6 5 0 - 3 ; R . Kassel, 'Hypothesis*, in W . J . Aerts et at. (eds), Scholia. Studia D. Holwerda oblata (Groningen, 1985) 5 3 - 9 . 4. C . Wendel, 'Uberlieferung und Entstehung der Theokrit-Scholien', Abh. Kon. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen, Phil.-hist. K l . , N . F . 17.2 (Berlin, 1920) esp. 9 0 - 102. 5. C f . most recently F . Montanari, 'Revisione di PBerol. 13282. L e histonae fabulares omeriche su papiro , in Atti delXVII Congresso Internazwnale dt Paptrologta, II (Naples, 1984) 2 2 9 - 4 2 ; B. K r a m e r and D . Hagedorn, Griechische Papyri der Staats­ und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, Papyrologische Texte und Abhandlungen, 31 (Bonn, 1984) 2 5 - 3 4 (with full bibliography). 6. Edited by R . Wagner as volume I of the Mythographi Graeci (2nd edn, Leipzig, 1926). T h e most useful mythographical commentary presently available 1

267


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography is not to be found in J . G . Frazer's famous but disorganised notes attached to his Loeb edition (2 vols, L o n d o n , 1921), but in the translations of K . Aldrich ( L a w r e n c e , K a n s a s , 1975) and M . Simpson (Amherst, M a s s . , J976). T h e author of the Library (henceforth Apollod.) is not the same as his Hellenistic namesake, Apollodorus of Athens; cf. A . Diller, ' T h e Text of the Bibliotheca of PseudoApollodorus', Tr Am. Phil. Ass., 66 (1935) 2 9 6 - 3 1 3 . O n the Library see E . Schwartz, Apollodorus , RE 1.2 (1894) 2 8 7 5 - 8 6 , repr. in Griechische Geschichtsschreiber ( L e i p z i g , 1957) 2 0 7 - 2 3 ; Wilamowitz, KieineSchriften, V 2, 6 8 - 76, 1 4 9 - 5 6 . 4

1

7. Photius, Bibi cod. 186, published with French translation by R . H e n r y , Photius, Bibliotheque, I I I (Paris, 1962) 8 - 3 9 , whose notes merely summarise Hoefer (below); F . Jacoby used Martini's collations for his 1923 edition in FGrH 26 F 1 (with less than a page of commentary). H e n r y ' s edition provides the fullest information on the text of the two principal M S S but ignores important emenda­ tions, which Jacoby reports. P. O x y . 52.3648 (second century AD), edited by M . A . H a r d e r in 1984, preserves a much fuller version of substantial portions of Dieg. 4 6 - 7 than Photius. T h e papyrus is evidently part of a professional copy of the original work, whose style is exactly as Photius described it: charming and periodic but occasionally a little convoluted {FGrH 2b T 1). C f , U . Hoefer, Konon. Text und Quellenuntersuchung (Greifswald, 1890) 30 - 113 (a comprehensive but highly speculative source-critical study of all but three of the fifty stories); M a r t i n i , RE 11.2 (1922) 1 3 3 5 - 8 (mainly on C o n o n ' s style and sources, along the lines suggested by Hoefer). T h e title Diegeseis (i.e. narrationes) was also applied in antiquity to prose summaries of poetic works such as Homer's Odyssey and C a l l i m a c h u s ' collected poems; sef* R . PfeifTer, A History of Classical Scholarship, 1 (Oxford, 1968) 195. 8. Cononis narrationes L . Ex Photii Bibliotheca edidit et adnotationibus illustravit lo. Arnotdus Kanne. Praefixa est eptstola ad Heynium. Adiectum Chr. G. Heynit spicitegium observatwnum in Cononem (Gottingen, 1798) 5 9 - 167 ( K a n n c ' s commentary) and 1 6 8 - 8 2 ( H t y n e ' s notes). K a n n e ' s model was Heyne's own Apoitodori Atheniensis Bibliothecae libri tres (Gottingen, 1 7 8 2 - 3 , in two volumes; 2nd edn 1803, rep. Hildesheim 1972; only the text of the second edition was reprinted, not the more than 400 pages of exegetical notes and indices). K a n n e was a voluminous writer whose far-fetched oriental etymologies of Greek mythological names were notorious, cf. A . Henrichs, 'Welckers Gottcrlehre', in W . M . C a l d e r I I I et al (eds), Fnednch Gottlieb Welcker. Werk und Wirkung (Stuttgart, 1986) 1 7 9 - 2 2 9 , at n 11 9. P. V i d a l - N a q u e t , ' T h e Black Hunter and the O r i g i n of the Athenian Ephebeia', in R . L . Gordon (ed.), Myth, Religion and Society (Cambridge and Paris, 1981) 1 4 7 - 6 2 , at 150 ( = P. V i d a l - N a q u e t , Le Chasseur noir, 2nd edn (Paris, 1983) 156), in a discussion of the myth of X a n t h o s and Melanthos, the aetiological explanation of the A p a t u r i a , for which C o n o n {Dieg. 39) is our earliest direct source. 10. Dieg 2 - 4 , 8 , 1 2 - 1 4 , 19, 21, 2 8 - 9 , 3 6 - 7, 41, 4 6 - 7 (cf. P. O x y . 3648), 48. Cf. P. M . Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria, I (Oxford, 1972), 513f; F . Prinz, Grundungsmythen und Sagenchronoiogie ( M u n i c h , 1979). 11. Dieg. 6 (oracle of C l a r i a n Apollo; cf. Apollod. Epit. 6 . 2 - 4 ) ; 11 ( L i n d i a n sacrifice; cf. Callim.^i'f. frs 7,20 and 2 2 - 3 ; Apollod. 2.118); 15 (cult of Demeter at Pheneos, Arcadia; cf. Paus. 8.15.4); 17 (local cult of Herakles in Thessaly); 19 ( L i n o s song and Argive festival called A m i s , with dog sacrifices; cf. C a l l i m . Ait. frs 2 6 - 3 1 ; according to the Diegesis in P. O x y . 20.2263 = FGrH 305 F 8bis, Callimachus' source was the history of Argos by Agios/Dercylus; see Wilamowitz, Kteine Schriften, V 2, 1 0 8 - 1 3 , and R . Pfeiffer, Callimachus, I I (Oxford 1951) 1070; 20 ( T h r a c i a n hero cult); 24 (Narcissus and cult of Eros in T h e s p i a i ; cf. Paus.

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Three Approaches to Greek Mythography 9.31.7; B . M a n u w a l d , 'Narcissus bei K o n o n und O v i d \ Hermes, 103 (1975) 3 4 9 - 72; Pellizer, this volume, C h . 6); 30 (sagred sheep of Helios in Apollonia, Illyria; cf. Hdt. 9.93f); 33 (cult of Leukothea in Miletus and oracle of Didymean Apollo; cf. C a l l i m . fr. 229); 35 (cult of Apollo Gypaieus at Ephesus, otherwise unknown); 44 (oracle of Didymean Apollo); 45 ( = O . K e r n , Orphicorum fragmenta (Berlin, 1922) testim. 115; the fullest Greek account of the death of Orpheus, at Leibethra, Pieria, and his subsequent cult there, from which women were excluded, Graf, this volume, C h . 5, section 5; on the sacrifices to Orpheus, not mentioned elsewhere, see J . Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, 3rd edn (Cambridge, 1922) 4 6 7 - 9 ) ; 49 (cult of Apollo Aigletes on Anaphe, founded by the returning Argonauts; cf. C a l l i m . Ait. frs 7.19 and 21; A p . R h o d . 4.l694ff; Apollod. 1.139; below, note 20). C o n o n appears to have used local histories rather than C a l l i m a c h u s , in which case his information on Greek religion is particularly valuable, 12. Byblis and K a u n o s : Dieg. 2; Parth. Erot. Path. 11; O v i d Met. 9 . 4 5 4 - 6 6 5 ; Ant. L i b . Met. 30; cf. F . Bomer, P Ovidius Naso. Metamorphosen Buch Vltl-lX (Heidelberg, 1977) 4 I l f . Pallene and Kleitos: Dieg. 10; Parth. 6 = Hegesippus FGrH 391 F 2 (below, note 17). Oinone and Paris: Dieg. 23; Parth. 4; O v i d Her. 5; cf. Apollod. 3.154f. 13. Dieg. 28 ('Tennes' axe'; Paus. 10.14.3f gives the same combination of myth and proverb as C o n o n ) , 34 ('Diomedean pressure'). C f . E . Leutsch and F . G . Schneidewin, Corpus Paroemiographorum Graecorum, vol. I (Gottingen, 1839) Index 499 and 517, vol. II (1851) Index 800 and 827; H e s y c h . D . 1881, T 473; O . C r u s i u s , 'Paroemiographica. Textgeschichtliches, zur alten Dichtung und R e l i g i o n S B Kon. Bay. Ak. Wiss., Phil.-hist. K l . 1910, 4. A b h . ; W . Buhler, Zenobii Athoi Proverbia, vol. 4 (Gottingen, 1982). 14. Dieg. 5 (a cicada assists a cithara-player; cf. T i m a e u s FGrH 566 F 43); 22 (a snake saves its master; cf. A e l . Var. Hist. 13.46); 43 (the lava of Mt Aetna spares two pious sons; see W . T h e i l e r , Poseidonios. Die Fragmente, 2 (Berlin and New Y o r k , 1982) 53 on F 42). C f . A . G i a n n i n i , Paradoxographorum Graecorum reliquiae ( M i l a n , 1966); C a l l i m . fr. 407 (a collection of regional paradoxa, preserved by Antigonus of Carystus, a younger contemporary of Callimachus). 15. Dieg. 1 ( M i d a s ' gold and long ears); 37 (the earthborn Spartoi of Thebes); 40 (Andromeda's sea-monster was a ship named Ketos whose crew was rigid with fear of Perseus, whence the myth of Gorgo's petrifying head; cf. Paleaph. 37). See J , S. Rusten, Dionystus Scytobrachion, Papyrologica Coloniensia, 10(OpIaden, 1982) esp. 93fT; Palaephatus Peri Aptston has been edited by N . Festa, Mythographi Graeci, I I I 2 ( L e i p z i g , 1902). 16. Dieg 38 (about a banker who tries in vain to cheat a friend out of his deposit; cf. H d t . 6.86); 42 (Stesichorus' ainos about the power of the tyrant; cf. Philistus FGrH 556 F 6; Aristotle Rhet. 2.20, I393b9fl). 17. O n C o n o n ' s T h r a c i a n connection see Jacoby on FGrH 391; R . B , E g a n , 'Aeneas at Aineia and Vergil's Aeneia", Pacific Coast Philology, 9 (1974) 3 7 - 4 7 . Hoefer, Konon, 5 3 - 6 8 assigned eight of Conon's T h r a c i a n stories to Hegesippus, including the love story of Pallene and Kleitos also told by Parthenius (above, note 12). I n the single M S of Parthenius, two sources are given for this story, Hegesippus' Palleniaka (FGrH 391 F 2) as well as Theagenes (774 F 17), author of Makedontka. T h e source ascriptions in Parthenius, like similar Quellenangaben in other mythographers such as the Mythographus Homericus (above, note 5), are not necessarily reliable. In the case of Parthenius, however, they are unusually specific, and most scholars accept them as accurate references to texts in which the myth in question was discussed, whether Parthenius actually used them as sources or not. C f . C . Wendel, Gnomon, 5 ( 1 9 3 2 ) 1 4 8 - 5 4 ; V . Bartoletti, RFIC, 76(1948) 34f; R . Kassel, Rhein. Mus., 7 / 7 (1974) 191.

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Three Approaches to Greek Mythography 18. Unless this has been done in the unpublished dissertation by R . B . Egan, ' T h e Diegeseis of K o n o n \ University of Southern California ( L o s Angeles, 1971, Diss. Abstr. 32 (1971) 9 3 9 A ) , which is said to include text, translation and commentary. 19. Dieg. 4 (the eponymous hero of Olynthos killed by a lion); 35 and 44 (above, note 11; the rival genos of the Euangehdai does not seem to occur outside Conon), 20. Dieg. 49, with the parallels noted above, note 11. C f . H . Fluck, Skurilte Riten ingnechischen Kulten, Dkss. Freiburg ( E n d i n g e n , 1931) 5 9 - 6 2 ; J . S. Rusten, HSCP, 81 (1977) 1 5 7 - 6 1 ; Burkert, OE, 76f (but see the critique by G . N e u m a n n , Zs.j. vergl. Sprachforschung, °<9 (1985) 306). 21. Dieg. 16. C f . Strabo 10.4.12 from Theophrastus, Peri Erotos (where the erastes is called Euxynthetos, as in Plut, Amat. 20, 766D); E t h . E u d . 3.1, 1229a2l (where the erastes is a nameless but 'fabled' [mythologoumenos] man from Crete; no details are given). K . J . Dover, Greek Homosexuality (Oxford, 1978) 51 mistakenly places C o n o n ' s story 'in late antiquity and underestimates its interest. 22. O n l y various partial editions exist, including F . C r e u z e r ' s of 1817. C f . S, Brock, The Syriac Version of the Pseudo-Nonnos Mythological Scholia (Cambridge, 1971). Brock's superior edition also gives the Greek text of some of the scholia. 23. M . L . West, The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women. Its Nature, Structure and Origins (Oxford, 1985). 24. P. V i n d o b . G r . inv. 26727 lines 5 - 8 , edited by P. J . Sijpesteijn and K . A . W o r p , Chronique d'Egypte 9 7 - 8 (1974) 3 1 7 - 2 4 . Doros* descendants are described in P. T u r n e r 1 = Hesiod fr. 10a. 1 - 1 9 ; cf. West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 59. 25. P. M i c h . inv. 1447, edited by T . R e n n e r , HSCP, 82 (1978) 2 7 7 - 9 3 , with important commentary. T h e three Hesiodic fragments have been reprinted by Merkelbach and West in the O C T Hesiod (2nd edn, Oxford, 1983, pp. 231f, frs 10(d), 188A and 217A). C f . West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 60f (Aiolos' daughters), 88 (Aktaion, whose inclusion in the Catalogue as the suitor of Semele was unknown before the publication of the Michigan papyrus), and 99 (Arethousa, the third Hesiodic entry in the dictionary). 1

26. See above, note 1. 27. A . Henrichs, *Ein Meropiszitat in Philodems De Pietate*, Cronache Ercolanest, 7 (1977) 1 2 4 - 5 . T h e lines of the Philodemus passage which precede the reference to Asteros and the Meropis continue to qualify as a fragment of the Great Ehoiai, but the printed version ( H e s . fr. 363A) needs revision in light of the new readings. 28. P. Cornell 55 ( P a c k 2646), published by W . L . Westermann and C . L . K r a e m e r , J r , Greek Papyri in the Library of Cornell University (New Y o r k , 1926) 246. T h e Cornell papyri are now housed in the Michigan collection at A n n Arbor. Professor L . Koenen was kind enough to examine the papyrus for me. 29. For the genealogies of Musaios and Eumolpus see A . Henrichs, Z u r Genealogie des Musaios', ZPE, 58 (1985) 1 - 8 (where references to the Cornell papyrus should be added in notes 6 and 9). Rhadamanthys, son of Zeus and Europe: //. 14.32 If, in an enumeration of Zeus' liaisons with mortal women which reflects the tradition of the Hesiodic Catalogue. Trophonios, son of Apollo: Philodemus, On Piety ( P . Here. 243 I I I 27f, published by A . Henrichs, Gr. Rom. Byz. Stud., 13 (1972) 86fT and W . L u p p e , Cronache Ercolanest, 14 (1984) 118ff), a genealogy ultimately derived from the Catalogue via Apollodorus of Athens; Paus. 9.37.5; Philostr. VA 8.19; schol. A r . Nu. 506; cf. C h a r a x FGrH 103 F 5. 30. Paus. 1,14.3 reports four genealogies for Triptolemos: (1) son of Keleos according to the Athenians; cf. the Parian Marble FGrH 239 A 12; (2) son of Okeanos and G e according to Musaios (2 B 10 D i e l s / K r a n z = O r p h . fr. 51 K e r n ) ; cf. Apoliod. 1.32 = Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 53, where several M S S offer Uranos side uy side with Okeanos as variant names for Triptolemos' father; (3) son of Dysaules 2

l

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Three Approaches to Greek Mythography according to Orpheus ( = O r p h . fr. 51 K e r n ) ; (4) son of R a m s and of Amphiktyon's daughter according to Choerilus (TGrF 2 F I ) . Recent editors of Apollod. 1.32 either reject (Wagner) or ignore (Frazer) the variant Ouranou, which explains why it has been overlooked (below, note 31). T h e Cornell papyrus supports Ouranou. If dated correctly in the 'early first century ( A . D . ) ' by its editors, the text of the papyrus (Ouranou) could claim greater antiquity, and perhaps more authority, than the readings presented by the Library (Ouranou/Okeanou) or Pausanias (Okeanou). 1

31. C f . R . J a n k o , Forgetfulness in the Golden Tablets of M e m o r y ' , CQ 33 (1985) 8 9 - 100, esp. 95 (where the various hexametrical versions of the genealogy are conveniently collected and discussed). As far as I can see, the striking coincidence between the claim of the initiates on the gold tablets and the genealogy of Triptolemos as reported in the Cornell papyrus and in the alternate text of Apollod. 1.32 has not been noticed in the vast literature on the subject. Uranos and Ge appear in several O r p h i c theogonies as the first couple (cf. M . L . West, The Orphic Poems (Oxford, 1983) 71 and 235), whereas the pair Okeanos/Ge seems to be unparalleled. 32. For an exhaustive discussion see F . Graf, Eleusis und die orphtsche Dichtung Athens in uorhellenistischer Zeit (Berlin and New Y o r k , 1974). G r a f too ignored the Cornell papyrus and its genealogies, several of which accord well with his general thesis. 33. Graf, Eleusis, 1 2 1 - 6 on Rhadamanthys and Triptolemos as judges of the dead. T h e Boeotian Trophonios looks like an intruder in this Eleusinian company, but he too could have been drawn into the circle of Orpheus or Musaios before the Hellenistic period and without the knowledge of Pausanias, who is our principal source on Trophonios ( 9 . 3 9 . 5 - 14). Demeter surnamed Europe was known at Lebadeia as Trophonios' nurse (Paus. 9.39.5). If this connection is old, it could have facilitated the induction of Trophonios into Eleusinian literature. 34. Graf, Eleusis, 1 5 8 - 181; cf. M . Olender, 'Aspects de Baubo', Rev. Hist. Ret., 202 (1985) 3 - 5 5 , esp. 13f and 2 8 - 3 0 . Dysaules and Baubo are husband and wife in Asclepiades FGrH 12 F 4 (cf. Palaephatus FGrH 44 F 1). T h e i r relationship is perhaps implied by Clement of Alexandria Protr. 2.20.2 ( = O r p h . fr. 52 K e r n ) , where Baubo, Dysaules and Triptolemos appear as a connected series of names in a list of Eleusinian autochthons. B[r]auro in the Cornell papyrus is probably a mistake for Baubo, which may have been caused by confusion with Brauron in Attica, famous for its cult of Artemis. T h e only attested bearer of the name Brauro is the wife of the Edonian king Pittakos ( T h u c . 4.107.3). If T h r a c i a n , however, the new name of Dysaules' wife could be interpreted as further evidence of T h r a c i a n ancestors in Eleusinian genealogies; cf. Orpheus, Musaios and Eumolpos (Jan Bremmer). 35. T h e epic spelling Aniiophemos in Paus. 10.5.6 and 10.12.11 (in both cases as father of Musaios) and more appropriately in Orph. Arg. 310 recalls Herodotus 7.153.1, where Aniiphemos the founder of Gela (cf. Paus. 8.46.2) appears as Antiophemos in all M S S . 36. For instance Iphiklos, son of Phylakos ( A . R . 1 . 4 5 - 8 , H y g . Fab 14.2) versus Iphiklos the Thestiad ( A . R . 1.201, H y g . Fab. 14.17). C f O . Jessen, Prolegomena in catalogum Argonautarum (Diss. Berlin, 1889); C . Robert, 'Der Argonautenkatalog in Hygins Fabelbuch', Nachr. K6n. Ges Wiss. Gottingen, P h i L hist. K l . (1918) 4, 4 6 9 - 5 0 0 ; M . W . Haslam on P. O x y . 53.3702 fr. 2. 37. 38. 39. 40.

Paus. 8 . 1 5 . 6 - 7 . Apollod. 1.63 and Hes. fr. I0a.49. Apollod. 2.117 and Pherecydes FGrH Apollod. 3.124 and Paus. 3.15.1.

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3 F 17.


Three Approaches to Greek Mythography 41. A poll od. 3.48; schol. Tzctzes A r . Nu. 506; cf. B r e m m e r , this volume, C h . 3, on variations in women's names. 42. Schol. D . //. 9.145, Hes. fr. 2 3 a . l 7 ; Cypria fr. 14 Bethe - fr. 15 Allen. 43. ABV, 23; O v i d Met. 8.306. E v e n the longest catalogues (Apollod. 1.67; H y g . Fab. 173) omit this name. C f . Börner, Metamorphosen Buch VIII-IX, 108-9; A . Stewart, 'Stesichoros and the Francois V a s e ' , in W . G . Moon (ed.), Ancient Greek Art and Iconography ( M a d i s o n , Wisconsin, 1983) 5 3 - 7 4 , esp. 63 (with bibliography); G . Daltrop, Die KalydonischeJagd in der Antike ( H a m b u r g and Berlin, 1966) 1 5 - 2 1 , with plates 2 and 4; A . Surber, Die Meleagersage. Eine historisch­ vergleichende Untersuchung zur Bestimmung der Quellen von Ovidi met. VI IL 270-546 (Diss. Z u r i c h , 1880) 9 7 - 1 0 6 . Afcastos, one of the Argonauts (Paus. 1.18.1), also arranged the funeral games for his father Pelias (on the Amphiaraos krater, below, note 49; H y g . Fab. 273.10). 44. E u r . fr. 530 Nauck*. 45. Bern, private collection ( R . Blatter, Ant. Kunst, 5, 1962, 4 5 - 7 ) ; B a c c h . 5.117; Börner on O v i d Met. 8.315; G . Arrigoni in Scripta Philotoga, 1 ( M i l a n , 1977) 19-20. Antaios (Francois vase), which is usually taken as a misspelling of Ankaios, could be a genuine variant name. 46. Apollod. 3.106 and 3.164. 47. H y g . Fab. 2 7 3 . 1 0 - 1 1 ; P. Strasb. W . G . 332 ( P a c k 2452), edited by J . Schwartz, ' U n e source papyrologique d ' H y g i n le mythographe', Studi in onore di Ahstide Calderini e Roberto Paribeni, I I ( M i l a n , 1957) 1 5 1 - 6 , revised by S. Daris, Aegyptus, 39 (1959) 1 8 - 2 1 . T h e other papyrus will be published by D r M . A . H a r d e r in a future volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. It contains a series of mythographical catalogues comparable to those in the Strasbourg papyrus (in which a catalogue of the Muses and their liaisons precedes the victors at the funeral games for Pelias) and to the Indices in H y g . Fab. 22Iff. Schwartz suggested that the Strasbourg papyrus preserves the original Greek text of H y g i n u s . T h e O x y r h y n c h u s papyrus disproves the theory of a Greek H y g i n u s , while it reinforces the assump­ tion of one or more Greek sources for the Indices in Hyginus. P. M e d . Inv. 123 (below, note 62) is also related to the Indices. 2

48. Paus. 5 . 1 7 . 9 - 1 0 . C f . Stesich. fr. 1 - 3 ( 1 7 8 - 8 0 ) Page. 49. T h e two charioteers are Admetos and Euphemos. F o r the Amphiaraos krater (lost, formerly Berlin F 1655) see F . H a u s e r in A . Furtwangler and K . Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei, vol. I I I ( M u n i c h , 1932) 7, with plates 1 2 1 - 2 , and D . A . A m y x , 'Archaic Vase-Painting vis-a-vis " F r e e " Painting at C o r i n t h ' , in M o o n (ed.) Ancient Greek Art and Iconography, 3 7 - 5 2 , with plate 3.2b. 50. Surber, Meleagersage, 9 4 - 6 ; add Stesich. fr. 45 (222) Page, Bacch. 5.93ff and 25. Iff. 51. E u r . fr. 534.6ff. N a u c k (generic name); O v i d Met. 8.304 duo Thestiadae (identified as Plexippus and T o x e u s 8.440f; below, note 53); Apollod. 1.62 (individual names), 1.68, 7 1 - 3 (generic name). Stesich. fr. 45, Paus. 8.45.6 and H y g . Fab. 173 (below, note 57), who mention several 'sons of Thestios' by name, have it both ways. 52. T h e first pair appears in Stesich. fr. 45 and Bacch. 25.29 (formerly Pindar fr. 343 Snell), whence schol. T //. 9.567; for the second pair see Paus. 8.45.6 (in a description of sculptures by Skopas, from the early fourth century BC). T h e repre­ sentation of C a l y d o n i a n hunters in pairs was a feature of archaic art. 53. Schol. A . R . 1.199/201 b; O v i d Met. 8.440f. Other sources mention Plexippos alone (Antiphon TGrF 55 F Jb) or in combination with C a l y d o n i a n hunters other than T o x e u s ( H y g . Fab. 173; below, note 54). 54. Eurypylos, Iphiklos the Argonaut (above, note 36), and Plexippos. C f . Apollod. 1.62, schol. D ( A ) //. 9.567 and P. V i n d o b . G r . inv. 26727 lines 17-21 2

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Three Approaches to Greek Mythography (from a collection of mythological genealogies; above, note 24). 55. Surber, Meleagersage, 1 6 - 1 8 ; Wilamowitz, Kieine Schriften, V 2, 8 8 - 9 0 ; West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 114f and 137f; cf. S. Radt on Soph. Meteagros (TGrFIV, p. 345). 56. West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 47 f. 57. O v i d Met. 8.314 (generic name) and 8.362f (Enaesimus); H y g . Fab 173 (three names, two of which are corrupt, in a catalogue of heroes 'who went after the Calydonian boar'; for the transmitted text, which is ignored in H . J . Rose's deplorable edition (2nd edn, L e i d e n , 1963), see P. L e h m a n n , Abh. Bay. Ak Wtss., Phil.-hist. K l . N . F . 23 (1944) 44). 58. Professor W . H . Willis has drawn my attention to an unpublished papyrus from the second century AD in the collection of Duke University (P. Robinson inv. 10), in which '[Lyjkaios and E u r y m n o s , sons of Hippokoon' appear in a long list of heroic names which I take to be a catalogue of C a l y d o n i a n hunters. Since Lykaithos and Eurytos ( A l c m a n fr. 1 . 2 - 9 Page = 3 C a l a m e ; Apollod. 3.124) arc among the earliest attested Hippokoontids, the two names in the Duke papyrus could qualify as secondary variants (see the examples of variant names quoted above). I n fact Lykaithos" name appears as Lykaios in the scholia of the Louvre papyrus of A l c m a n fr. 1.2, and as Lykos in most of the M S S of Apollod. 3.124. 59. Diod. 4 . 3 3 . 5 - 6 , Apollod. 2 . 1 4 3 - 5 and 3.125, Paus. 3 . 1 5 . 3 - 5 ; C a l a m e , this volume, C h . 8, section 2.9.1. 60. A l c m a n fr. 1 . 2 - 1 2 Page = 3 C a l a m e (five names preserved and several more lost; cf. H . Diels, Hermes, 31 (1896) 3 4 2 - 5 ) ; Apollod. 3.124 (the longest list, with twelve names); Paus. 3 . 1 4 . 6 - 7 and 3.15.1 (a total of six names). At least two additional names can be found in O v i d and Hyginus (above, note 57), but the list of those Hippokoontids who participated in the Calydonian hunt need not have been identical with the more popular list of those slain by Herakles. 61. Thebros ( = Sebros in Alcman's dialect, whence Paus. 3 . 1 5 . 1 - 2 ) cor­ responds to Tebros (Apollod. 3.124), Lykaisos (Alcman) to Lykaithos (Apollod.), and Enarsphoros ( A l c m a n ) lies behind Emarsphoros ( M S of Apollod.) and Enaraiphoros ( M S S of Paus.). Genuine variant names include Areios (Alcman) versus Areitos (Pherecydes of Athens ap. schol. A l c m a n ; add to FGrH 3 F 1 2 4 - 9 ) . 62. P. M e d . Inv. 123 (late second century A D ) , edited by S. Daris in D . H . Samuel (ed.J, Proceedings oj the Twelfth International Congress of Papyrology (Toronto, 1970) 9 7 - 102 (forty-seven names originally, arranged by males and bitches, as in Hyginus; followed by another catalogue of mythological monsters and of para­ doxical phenomena in nature); Aesch. F 245 Radt (four names); Apollod. 3.32 (interpolated fragments of one or more lists in hexameters; cf. J . U . Powell, Collectanea Alexandria, Oxford, 1925, 71 - 2 ) ; O v i d Met, 3.206fT; H y g . Fab. 181 (two catalogues of more than eighty names); cf. P. O x y . 30.2509 (the fate of Aktaion's dogs after they killed their master). O n the controversial attribution of the hexameters in Apollod. and in P. O x y . 2509 to the Hesiodic Catalogue, see the different views of R e n n e r , HSCP, 82 (1978), 2 8 3 - 5 (with full bibliography) and West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 88. T h e practice of recording the names of dogs associated with mythical events goes back to the archaic period. T h e Francois vase and several other archaic vases with scenes of the C a l y d o n i a n hunt record the names of numerous dogs. 63. Henrichs, 'Welckers Gotterlehre'. 64. F . Graf, Griechische Mythoiogie ( M u n i c h and Z u r i c h , 1985) 3 9 - 5 7 ; Burkert, S&H, 1 - 3 4 ; R . L . Gordon (ed.), Myth, Religion and Society. Structuralist Essays by M. Detienne, L . Gernet, J.-P. Vernant and P Vidal-Naquet (Cambridge, 1981); L . Edmunds and A . Dundes, Oedipus. A Folklore Casebook, G a r l a n d Folklore Casebooks 4 (New York and L o n d o n , 1984) 7 6 - 1 2 1 and 1 4 7 - 7 3 .

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Three Approaches to Greek Mythography 65. T h e basis lor all subsequent work on the Kallisto myth is R . Franz, Dr Catftstus fabula, Leipziger Studien zur classischen Philologie 12 (Leipzig. 1890) 2 3 5 - 3 6 5 . who valiantly reconstructs the Hesiodic, Arcadian, C a l l i m a r h e a n and Ktaîosthenir versions and discusses O v i d ' s sources as well as his influence. Most of his reconstructions are vulnerable, but as a source collection Franz's monograph is unrivalled. C f . T . Condos, ' T h e Katasterismoi of the Pseudo-Eratosthenes: A Mythological Commentary and English Translation* (Diss., University of Southern California. Los Angeles, 1970; unpublished, Diss. Abstr. 31 (1971) 6029A) 1 0 - 1 4 and 4 3 - 9 (largely an uninspired summary of Franz); P. Borgeaud, Recherches SUT le dieu Pan ( R o m e , 1979) 4 1 - 6 9 , esp. 4 9 - 5 5 (a comprehensive treatment of the Kallisto myth which ignores the specific nature of the sources and their relationship). 66. C l . J. M a r t i n , Histoire du texte des Phénomènes d'Aratos (Paris, 1956) 36 - 68 for a thorough discussion of the calastcrismographic tradition. 67. C . Robert, Eratosthems Catastertsmorum reliquiae (Berlin, 1978) 4 7 - 2 0 0 (parallel text of Catast. Epit.; schol. Arat.; schol. G e r m . , an inferior version of the Arat. Lat which Robert wrongly believed to be another version of schol. G e r m , and which is of no interest; and Astr.); E . Maass, Commentarwrum in Aratum reliquiae (Berlin, 1898) 1 7 5 - 3 0 6 (parallel text of Arat. L a t . (unknown to Robert) and Catast. E p i t ) , 3 3 4 - 5 5 5 {schol. A r a t . ) , 5 7 3 - 8 1 (Catast. E x c , codex Venetus Marc ia nus gr. 444 misc., after A . O l i v e r i , Pseudo-Eratosthenis Catasterismi, Mythographi Craeci I I I 1, Leipzig, 1897). In the meantime, the immediate ancestor of V e n . M a r c . 444 has appeared (below, note 68); an augmented text of the schol. Arat, has been published by J . M a r t i n , Scholia in Aratum Vetera, Stuttgart, 1974 (users should be cautioned that Martin prints the uncorrected text of the M S S , which is informative but very misleading); and finally, a new edition of Hyginus' Astr. is now available ( A . L e B œ u f f l e , Hygin, L'Astronomie, Paris, 1983) and yet another seems to be highly desirable ( L e Boeuffle's text has a much smaller M S basis than that of Sister L . Fitzgerald, ' Hygini Astronomica' ( D i s s . , St Louis University, 1967; unpublished, Diss. Abstr. 28 (1968) 3656A); cf. M . D , Reeve in L . D . Reynolds (ed.), Texts and Transmission. A Survey of the Latin Classics (Oxford, 1983) 187-9). 68. Catast. E x c . is known from codex Vaticanus gr. 1087 misc. (from which Ven. M a r c . 444 was copied; see above, note 67), published by A . R e h m , Eratos­ thems Catastertsmorum fragmenta Vaticana, Program m des K . humanistischen G y m n a s i u m s Ansbach fur das Schuljahr 1898/99 (Ansbach, 1899), and from two other M S S (below, note 70). 69. Robert, Eratosth. 1 1 - 1 4 . 70. C o d d . Salmanticensis 233 ( Q ) and Scorialensis £ H I 3 ( S ) . published by M a r t i n , Scholia in Aratum vetera, 7 4 - 5 ( S ) and 90 ( Q ) . A m p h i s ' name is mentioned only in Q , where the Amphis version appears out of order and by itself, i.e. without versions I and I I I . S gives the full entry, i.e. I - I I I , but omits Amphis' name. All of the catasteristic historiai in S and some of those in Q seem to derive from the unepitoniised collection of constellation myths which is the ancestor of Catast. E x c , but Q and S contain catasterisms which are lacking in cod. V a t . gr. 1087 (above, note 68), including that of U r s a Major. 7 !. Cf. Robert. Eratosth. , 3 1 - 2 and 237 - 48, who argues for Eratosthenes as the source of this erudition. 72. T h e best discussions are by G . K n a a c k , RE 6.1 (1907) 3 7 7 - 8 1 and G . A . Keller, Eratosthenes und die alexandrimschc Sterndichtung (Diss., Z u r i c h , 1946) 1 8 - 2 8 . Keller believed, as did Wilamowitz, Robert, R e h m , Gurkoff and Solmsen before him, as well as Pfeifier after him (History, 168). that the lost Greek original was the work of Eratosthenes. Neither the name of Eratosthenes nor the current title

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Three Approaches to Greek Mythography Kataslensmoi has M S support, but thrre can be no doubl that Hyginus (whoever he was) used a collection of constellation myths that bore Eratosthenes' name (cf. Martin, Histoire, 9 5 - 125). Schol. D ( A , h) 11 22.29 ascribes the story of Erigonc's catasierism to Eratosthenes, presumably with his Erigone in mind (Keller). Even if the D-scholium (i.e. the Mythographus Homericus), like Hyginus, knew a collection of catasterisms ascribed to Eratosthenes, the ascription as such would hardly prove anything. 73. T h e extent of his knowledge is mirrored most accurately in the five repre­ sentatives oi G r o u p A , viz. Astr., Arat. L a t . and schol. G e r m , on the Latin side, and schol. Arat. Q and S (above, note 70) on the Greek side. 74. By far the most methodological and compelling discussion of the relevant sources and their problems is W . Sale, ' T h e Story of Callisto in Hesiod', Rhein Mus., 105 (1962) 1 2 2 - 4 1 , followed by the same author's 'Callisto and the Virginity of Artemis', Rhein. Mus., 705(1965) 11 - 3 5 . 75. F r a n z , De Catlistus fabuia, excluded the catasterism from his Hesiodic version; A . R e h m , Mythographische Untersuchungen über griechische Sternsagen (Diss. M u n i c h , 1896) 3 6 - 4 1 assigned it emphatically to Hesiod; Robert, Eratosth., 238f insisted that Kallisto's bear transformation was conceptually inseparable from the constellation of that name and that her catasterism was indeed Hesiodic; Sale, 'Story', 140 concluded strictly on methodological grounds that the myth as told in the Hesiodic Astronomy may or may not have ended with the catasterism. Franz's idea that C a l l i m a c h u s invented it is utterly unfounded. Callimachus mentions the Great Bear more than once and connects it with Kallisto (Hymn 1.41; Pfeiffer on fr. 632; Suppt. Hell. fr. 250.9f Lloyd-Jones/Parsons). Such casual references may explain why version V is attributed to Callimachus by the Mythographus Homericus (above, note 5), whose ascriptions must never be taken at face value. 76. K . O . M ü l l e r , Prolegomena zu einer wissenschaftlichen Mythologie ( G ö t t i n g e n , 1825) 7 3 - 6 and I93f; cf. the posthumous second edition of Die Dorter, published as Geschichten hellenischer Stämme und Städte, I I (Breslau, 1844) 376. Virtually all inter­ preters follow M ü l l e r and detach the catasterism from the myth proper. 77. O n the Kallisto myth in O v i d see R . Heinze, ' O v i d s elegische E r z ä h l u n g ' (1919), rep. in Vom Geist des Römertums, Ausgewählte Aufsätze, 3rd edn (Darmstadt, 1960) 3 0 8 - 4 0 3 , esp. 3 8 5 - 8 ; B . O t i s , Ovid as an Epic Poet, 2nd edn (Cambridge, 1970) 3 7 9 - 8 9 . 78. Borgeaud, Pan, 50f as well as B u r k e n , HN, 86f and 91 make too much of the combined stories. I n particular, the phrase 'Arkas married his mother unwittingly* (like Oedipus) in Catast. E x c . (above, note 68) is not remotely as significant as Burkert and, following him, Borgeaud (p. 55) suggest. T h e word 'married' is demonstrably a scribal interpolation, as the publication of S (above, note 70) has now confirmed. According to the original text of C a t a s t . , Arkas 'chased his mother' (Astr. and Arat. L a t ) . O n Lykaon see Buxton, this volume, C h . 4, section 2. 79. Sale, 'Story', 1 2 5 - 3 3 , and 'Callisto and Artemis', 2 2 - 5 . 80. West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 9 1 - 3 . 81. S. Radt (TGrF I I I , p. 216) suggests that Aeschylus 'may have followed Hesiod (fr. 163)' in his tragedy Kallisto, the content of which is unknown except for two words ( F 98), T h i s is to explain obscurum per obscurius. 82. Kallisto's seduction by Zeus posing as Artemis reappears in Apollod. 3.100, schol. C a l l i m . Hymn 1.41 and Nonnus Dion. 2.122f, 33.289ff. Maass, Commentariorum in Araium reliquiae, L X V f. argues that Nonnus, like O v i d , owed his knowledge of the Amphis vers'on to the catasterismographic tradition. I doubt that the peculiar details of the Amphis version can be safely interpreted as a mythical reflection of initiation rites involving female homosexuality in the archaic period, a

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Three Approaches to Greek Myihography view expressed by C a l a m e , Choeurs I , 432f and Borgeaud, Pan, 53f. Artemis' own attachment to Kallisto would be a better clue to the existence of such practices than Zeus' female disguise. 83. F r a n z , De Callistus jabuia, 2 8 3 - 9 7 , who rests his case for Callimachcan authorship on the Mythographus Homericus (above, note 75) and on a local (Argivc?) version of the Kallisto myth, reported by C a l l i m a c h u s ' pupil Istros ( F G T H 334 F 75), which is similar to our versions V - V I . 84. F r a n z , De Callistus jabuia, 343f; G . Maggiulli, *Artemide-Callisto', in Mythos. Scripta in honorem M. Untersteiner (Genoa, 1970) 1 7 9 - 8 5 ; G . Arrigoni, 'II maestro del maestro e i loro continuatori: mitologia e simbolismo animale in K a r l Wilhelm Ferdinand Solger, K a r l Otfried M ü l l e r e d o p o \ Ann. Sc. Nor. Sup. Pisa, ser. I l l , vol. 14 (1984) 9 3 7 - 1 0 1 9 , at 1018 (in a discussion of the modern study of the Kallisto myth; cf. T . Geizer, 'Bachofen, Bern und der B ä r , in R . F c l l m a n n , G . G e r m a n n and K . Z i m m e r m a n n (eds), Jagen und Sammeln. Festschrift für HansGeorg Bandi (Bern, 1985) 9 7 - 120).Tzetzes' error was recognised by E . Scheer in his 1908 edition of schol. L y c . Alex. 480 ( = FGrH 262 F 12). 1

85. K a l ü s t o ' s transformation into a bear by Zeus (Apollod. 3.101) is also reported by H y g . Astr. 2.1.4 and L i b a n . Narr. 12 (vol. 8, p. 41 f Förster), both of whom provide details not found in Apollodorus. T h e i r Greek sources cannot be determined. 86. T h e connection goes back to K . O . M ü l l e r (above, note 76), Die Dorier I I 3 8 4 - 9 2 , and Prolegomena 73f, who obliterated the very distinctions from which the Kallisto myth draws its meaning when he identified Artemis with both Kallisto and the bear, Artemis' 'sacred animal' (an inadequate concept); cf. Arrigoni, ' I I maestro', 9 7 5 - 1019. O n the Kallisto myth in relation to the arktexa see R . A r e n a , Acme, 32 (1979) 5 - 2 6 ; A . Henrichs, i n j . Rudhardt and O . Reverdin (eds), Lc Sacrifice dans Tanttqmte (Vandoeuvres-Geneva, 1981) 1 9 8 - 2 0 8 ; J . - P . Vernant, Annuaire du College de France, 81 ( 1 9 8 0 - 1 ) 3 9 8 - 4 0 0 , and 83 ( 1 9 8 2 - 3 ) 4 5 1 - 6 ; Borgeaud, Pan 5 3 - 5 . O n the arktexa see S, G . C o l e , ZPE, 55 (1984) 2 3 8 - 4 4 (with full bibliography); L . K a h i l , 'Mythological Repertoire of B r a u r o n ' , in Moon (ed.), Ancient Greek Art and Iconography, 2 3 1 - 4 4 ; M . B. Hollinshead, AJA, 89 (1985) 4 1 9 - 4 0 ; E . C . K e u l s , The Reign oj the Phallus (New Y o r k , 1985) 3 1 0 - 2 0 ; S. G . Cole and G . Arrigoni in Arrigoni (ed.) Le Donne in Grecia ( R o m e and B a r i , 1985) 1 9 - 2 5 , 1 0 1 - 4 , with pis. 1 7 - 1 8 . t

87. L . K a h i l , Antike Kunst, 20 (1977) 8 6 - 9 8 , pi. 20; E . Simon, Festivals of Attica. An Archaeological Commentary (Madison, Wisconsin, 1983) 87f, pi. 25; Arrigoni, Le Donne, 21, pi. I I , 88. West, Hesiodic Catalogue, 92 (Kallisto 'was killed in the story'). 89. Sale, 'Callisto and Artemis', 29 (who tries, throughout his article, to separate the bear transformation from the shooting); A . Adler, RE 10.2 (1919) 1727 and 1729. 90. F r a n z , De Callistusfabula, 2 7 3 - 8 3 , followed by Sale, 'Callisto and Artemis', 14f. T h e phrase '(Artemis) killed Kallisto' (Certamen Homert et Hestodi 118 Allen, written in the fifth century B C ) does not imply, as both F r a n z and Sale think, that Kallisto was shot in human form. She retains her human name even after her bear transformation, as in Paus. 8.3.6f and Apollod. 3.101. 91. C f . A . B. C o o k , Zeus. A Study in Ancient Religion, I I (Cambridge, 1925) 228 n 5, who reproduces both coin types (p. 229, figs 1 5 8 - 9 ) . 92. For the four vases as well as the coins, see LIMC I I 1 (1984) 'Artemis' nos. 1 3 8 5 - 9 0 ( L . K a h i l ) , 'Arkas' nos. 1 - 5 ( A , D . T r e n d a l l ) , and Arrigoni, 'II maestro', lt)I6ff, where references to illustrations can be found. 93. A vase by the Niobid painter (c. 460 B C ; ARV 604.51; E . Löwy,JdI, 47 (1932) 64, fig. 15), which shows Artemis taking aim at a woman carrying a baby

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Three Approaches to Greek Mythography and trying to escape, has been tentatively connected with the Kallisto myth by R . M . C o o k , Niobe and Her Children (Cambridge, 1964) l3f. If interpreted correctly, this vase would be the earliest example of the dissociation of Kallistn's death from her animal transformation. 94. Boston M F A 10.185 = LIMC I 1 (1981) 'Aktaion' no. 15 ( L . Guimond). T h e transformation of Aktaion is usually very graphic in representations from all periods, as G u i m o n d ' s catalogue shows. See above, notes 25 and 62. 95. Burkert, HN, 1 2 - 3 4 and, on Aktaion, 1 1 1 - 1 4 . 96. Calast. 32, pp. 1 6 2 - 7 Robert (above, note 67). But Hippe/Hippo, daughter of C h e i r o n , was transformed into a mare to save her from disgrace after she had been raped by Aiolos (other explanations for her animal transformation were given by Euripides and C a l l i m a c h u s ) ; the catasterism followed the birth of her child Melanippc (Catast. 18), 1

I owe thanks to Seth Fagen, Jeffrey S. Rusten and Scott Scullion for their help and advice.

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12 Greek Mythology: A Select Bibliography (1965-1990) Jan Bremmer

What follows is a personal sampling of the vast literature on Greek mythology. I start about the middle of the 1960s when the new approaches of structuralism and functionalism began to supersede the ruling fertility paradigm as developed by Mannhardt and F r a z e r , although some older and still valuable studies have not been omitted. What has been included here is designed to give access to the best or most inspiring recent studies; those interested in more complete listings should consult L'Année philologique.

1. I n t r o d u c t i o n s , H a n d b o o k s , G e n e r a l S u r v e y s , B i b l i o g r a p h y (a) Introductions K i r k , G . S. (1970) Myth. Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures, Berkeley and C a m b r i d g e . (1974) The Nature of Greek Myth, Harmondsworth. B u r k e n , W . (1981) 'Mythos und Mythologie', in Propyläen Geschichte der Literatur, vol. 1. 1 1 - 3 5 , Berlin. D é t i e n n e , M . (1981) L'Invention de la mythologie, Paris. (Note also the reviews by A . Momigliano, Riv. Stor. It., 94(1982) 7 8 4 - 7 a n d C . Grottanelli, Hist, of Ret., 25 (1985) 1 7 6 - 9 . ) Graf, F . (1985) Griechische Mythologie, M u n i c h and Z u r i c h . (English translation forthcoming.)

(b) Handbooks Roscher, W . H . ( c d . ) ( 1 8 8 4 - 1937) Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, Leipzig. Preller, L . ( 1 8 9 4 - 1 9 2 1 ) Griechische Mythologie, 4th edn, ed. C . Robert, Berlin. Rose, H . J . (1953) A Handbook of Greek Mythology, 5th edn, London. G r a n t , M . (1962) Myths of the Greeks and Romans, 2nd edn, O h i o and London. and H a z e l , J . (1973) Who*s Who in Classical Mythology, L o n d o n .

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A Select Bibliography Bon ne foi, Y . (1981) Dictionnaire des Mythologies, 2 vols, Paris. (Articles on Greek mythology by M . D é t i e n n e , N . L o r a u x , J . - P . Vernant and other members of the * Paris' school.)

(c) General Surveys Gruppe, O . (1921) Geschichte der klassischen Mythologie und Retigionsgeschtchte während des Mittelalters im Abendtand und während der Neuzeit, Leipzig. Vries, J . de (1961) Forschungsgeschichte der Mythologie, Frei burg and M u n i c h . Feldman, B . and Richardson, R . D . (1972) The Rise of Modern Mythology 16801860, Bloomingion and L o n d o n . Vernant, J . - P . (1974) Mythe et société en Grèce ancienne, Paris, 1 9 5 - 2 5 0 . Burkert, W . (1980) 'Griechische Mythologie und die Geistesgeschichte der Moderne*, Entretiens Hardt, 26, G e n e v a , 159 - 99. D é t i e n n e , M . (1981) L'Invention de ta mythologie, Paris, 1 5 - 4 9 . Graf, F . (1985) Griechische Mythologie, M u n i c h and Z u r i c h , 1 5 - 5 7 .

(d) Bibliography Peradotto, J . (1973) Classical Mythology. An Annotated Bibliographical Survey, U r b a n a .

2. M y t h s a n d M y t h i c a l T h e m e s Arrigoni, G . (1977) 'Atalanta e il cinghiale bianco'. Scripta Philologa, 1, 9 - 4 7 . Borgeaud, P h . (1990) ed., Orphisme et Orphée, Geneva. Bouvier, D . and M o r e a u , P . (1983) ' P h i n é e ou le p è r e aveugle et la marâtre aveuglante', Rev. Belge Phil. Hist., 61, 5 * 1 9 . Brelich, A . (1956) 'Theseus i suoi avversari', SMSR, 27, 1 3 6 - 4 1 . (1955/7) ' U s monosandales\ La Nouvelle Clio, 7-9, 4 6 9 - 8 4 . (1958) Glio erot greci, R o m e . (1958) ' U n mito " p r o m e t e i c o ' V SMSR, 29, 2 3 - 4 0 . (1969) Paides e parthenoi, R o m e . (Initiation.) (1969) 'Symbol of a S y m b o l ' , i n j . M . K i t a g a w a and C . H . L o n g (eds) Myths and Symbols. Studies in Honour of M. Eltade, Chicago, 1 9 5 - 2 0 7 . ( H u m a n sacrifice:.) (1969) ' N i r e u s ' , SMSR, 40, 1 1 5 - 5 0 . (1970) ' L a corona di Prometheus', in Hommages à M. DeUourt, Brussels, 234-42. (1972) 'Nascita di miti', Retigione e civiltà, 2, 7 - 8 0 . (Eleusis.) Bremmer, J . (1978) 'Heroes, Rituals and the T r o j a n W a r ' , StudiStorico-Religiösi, 2, 5-38. (1983) 'Scapegoat Rituals in Ancient Greece', HSCP, 87, 2 9 9 - 3 2 0 . ( M y t h and ritual.) (1984) 'Greek M a e n a d i s m Reconsidered', ZPE, 55, 2 6 7 - 8 6 . Brisson, L . (1976) Le Mythe de Tirésias, L e i d e n . (1982) Platon, les mots et Us mythes, Paris. Broek, R . v . d . (1972) The Myth of the Phoenix, Leiden. Burkert, W . (1966) 'Kekropidensage und A r r e p h o r i a ' , Hermes, 94, 1 - 2 5 . (1970) 'Jason, Hypsipyle, and New Fire at L e m n o s ' , CQ, 20, 1 - 16. (1979) Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual, Berkeley, Los Angeles, L o n d o n . (1982) ' G ô t t e n p i e l und G ö t i e r b u r l e s k e in al lorien tali sehen und griechi­ schen M y t h e n ' , Eranos-Jb., 51, 3 3 5 - 6 7 .

279


A Select Bibliography ( 1983) Homo necans. The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Soxrifical Ritual and Myth, Berkeley, L o s Angeles, L o n d o n . (1984) Die onentalisierende Epoche in der griechischen Religion und Literatur, Heidelberg. (1988) 'Denkformen der Kosmogonie im Alten Orient und in Griechenland', in M . M u n z e l ( c d ) , Ursprung = Interim 6, F r a n k f u r t / M . Buxton , R . G . A (1980) ' B l i n d n e u and L i m i t s : Sophokles and the Logic of Myth*, JHS, 100, 2 2 - 3 7 . CadufT, G . A . (1986) Antike Sintflutsagen, G ö t t i n g e n . C a l a m e , C . (1977) Les Choeurs dt jeunes filles en Grèce archaïque, 2 vols, Rome. (Initiation.) (1982) ' L e Discours mythique*, i n j . - C . Coquet (cd.) Sémiottque L'Ecolede Paris, 8 5 - 1 0 2 . f

(1985) ' L e s figures grecques du gigantesque', Communications, 42, 1 4 7 - 7 2 . (1986) Le récit en Grèce ancienne, Paris. (Cyclopes, M y t h and ritual, Theseus) (1988) ed., Métamorphoses du mythe en Grèce antique, G e n e v a . (1990) TTtésée et Timaginaire athénien. Légendes et cultes en Grèce classique, Lausanne. C a r l i e r , J . (1979) 'Voyage en A m a z o n i e grecque', Acta Ant. Hung., 27, 3 8 1 - 4 0 5 . C o n r a d i c , P. J . (1977) ' T h e literary nature of G r e e k myths', Acts Classic*, 20, 49-58. C o r s a no, M . (1979) 'Sparte et T a r e n t e . L e mythe de fondation d'une colonie*, Reo. Hist. Ret., 196, 1 1 3 - 4 0 . Delcourt, M . (1957) Hephaistos ou la legende du magicien, Paris. (1981) Oedipe ou la légende du conquérant, 2nd edn, Paris. D é t i e n n e , M . (1972) Les Jardins d'Adonis, Paris. English translation: The Gardens of Adorns (\977), Hassocks. (1977) Dionysos mis à mort, Paris. English translation: Dionysos Slain (1979) Baltimore and L o n d o n . and V e r n a n t , J . - P . (1978) Les Ruses d'intelligence, 2nd edn, Paris. English translation: Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society (1978), Hassocks. Dowden, K . (1989) Death and the Maiden: Girls' Initiation Rites in Greek Mythology, London. E l l i n g e r , P . (1978) ' L e gypse et la boue, I : S u r les mythes de la guerre d ' a n é a n t i s s e m e n t ' , Quad. Urb. Cult. Class., 29, 7 - 3 5 . (1984) ' L e s ruses de guerre d'Art é m i s ' . Cahiers du Outre Jean Berard, 9, 51-67. Fehling, D , (1972) ' E r y sieht hon oder das M ä r c h e n von der m ü n d l i c h e n Ü b e r l i e ­ ferung', Rhein. Mus., 115, 1 7 3 - % . Font en rose, J . (1959) Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and lu Origins, Berkeley, L o s Angeles, L o n d o n . (1960) The Cult and Myth of Pyrrhos at Delphi, Berkeley. L o s Angeles, London. (1966) The Ritual Theory of Myth, Berkeley, L o s Angeles, L o n d o n . (1981) Orion. The Myth of the Hunter and the Huntress, Berkeley, L o s Angeles, London. F a u t h , W . (1975) ' Z u r Typologie mythischer Metamorphosen in der homerischen Dichtung', PoetUa, 7, 2 3 5 - 6 8 . Frontisi-Ducroux, F . (1975) Dédale: mythologie de l'artisan en Grèce ancienne, Paris. G e m e t , L . (1968) Anthropologie de la Grèce antique, Paris. Gerritsen, W . P. (1984) *De omgekeerde wereld v a n de A m a z o n e n ' , in R . Stuip and C . Vellekoop (eds), Middeleeuwers over vrouwen, vol. I , U t r e c h t , 157-76, 204-7. Graf, F , (1978) «Die lokrischen M ä d c h e n ' , Studi Sionco-Religion, 2, 6 1 - 7 9 . (1979) 'Apollon Delphinioa', MH, 36, 1 - 2 2 . ( T h e s e u s . ) (1979) ' D a s G ö t t e r b i l d aus dem T a u r e r l a n d ' , Antike Weit, 10, 3 3 - 4 1 .

280


A Select Bibliography (1984) ' W o m e n , W a r , and Warlike Divinities', ZPE, 55, 2 4 5 - 5 4 . Haas, V . (1975) 'Jasons R a u b des Goldenen Vitesses im Lichte hethitischen Quellen', Ugarü-Forschungen, 7, 2 2 7 - 3 3 . (1978) ' M e d e a u n d J a s o n im Lichte hethitischen Q u e l l e n ' , Act. Ant. Hung., 26\ 2 4 1 - 5 3 . Henrichs, A . (1978) 'Greek M a e n a d i s m from O l y m p i a s to Messalina', HSCP, 82, 1 2 1 - 1 6 0 . Also in G . Arrigoni (ed.), Le donne in Grecia ( R o m e and Bari, 1985) 241-74. (1981) ' H u m a n Sacrifice in Greek Religion: T h r e e C a s e Studies', Entretiens Hardt, 27, G e n e v a , 1 9 5 - 2 4 2 . Herter, H . (1973) ' T h e s e u s ' , RE, Suppl. 13, 1 0 4 5 - 2 3 8 . Hetzner, U . (1963) Andromeda und Tarpeia, Meisenheim. Kearns, E . (1989) The Heroes ofAttica, L o n d o n . Lefkowitz, M . R . (1986) Women in Greek Myth, L o n d o n and Baltimore. Lloyd-Jones, H . (1983) 'Artemis and Iphigeneia', JHS, 103, 8 7 - 1 0 2 . Loraux, N . (1981) Us Enfants d'Athena, Paris. ( 1990) Us Mères en deuil, Paris. (1990) Us Expériences de Tirésias. U féminin et Vhomme grec, Paris. M a r c h , J . R. (1987), The Creative Poet: Studies on the Treatment of Myth in Greek Poetry, L o n d o n . Massenzio, M . (1970) Cuäura e crisi permanente: la 'xenia' dionisiaca, R o m e . Matthes, J . (1970) Z>rr Wahnsinn im griechischen Mythos, etc., Heidelberg. Nagy, J . F . (1981) ' T h e deceptive gift in Greek mythology*, A reth usa, 191-204.

14,

Nilsson, M . P. (1970) The Mycenaean Origin of Greek Mythology, 2nd edn, Berkeley. etc. ( T o be read with L . G e r n e t , Us Grecs sans miracle, Paris, 1982, 9 9 - 1 0 4 , and Graf, Mythologie, 6 8 - 7 0 . ) Pantel-Schmitt, P . (1977) 'Athena Apatouria et la ceinture', Annales ESC, 32, 1059-73. Parker, R . C . T . (1983) Miasma, 3 7 5 - 9 2 , Oxford. ( E x i l e and purification of the killer in m y t h . ) Pellizer, E . (1982) Favole d'idenittà — Favoie di paura, R o m e . (1983) ' T r e cavaili bianchi cd un cavaJlo bigio', in E . Pellizer and N . Zorzetti (eds). La paura det padrx nella société antica e médiévale, 2 9 - 4 6 , R o m e and Bari. Piccaluga, G . (1968) Lykaon, R o m e . 0 9 7 4 ) Minutai, R o m e . ( L o v e between gods and mortals, Persephone, Adonis, M e l a n i o n and T i m o n . ) Prinz, F . (1979) Gründungsmythen und Sagenchronologie, M u n i c h , R u b i n , N . Fei son and D e a l , H . M . (1980) ' M a n y meanings, one formula, and the myth of the A l o a d e s \ Semwtica, 29, 3 9 - 5 2 . R u b i n , N . Fe 1 son and Sale, W . M . (1983) 'Meleager and Odysseus: A Structural and C u l t u r a l Study of the Greek Hunting-Maturation M y t h ' , Arethusa, 16, 137-71. Rudhardt, J . (1971) U thème de l'eau primordiale dans la mythologie grecque, Bern. (1981) ' D u mythe, de la religion grecque et de la comprehension d'autrui', Reo. cur. des sciences soc., 19, no. 58. ( M y t h , Prometheus, Persephone.) (1982) ' D e l'inceste dans la mythologie grecque', Rev. franc, de psychanal., 46, 7 3 1 - 7 6 3 . Sale, W . (1975) ' T e m p l e Legends of the Arkteia', Rhein. Mus., 118, 2 6 5 - 8 4 , Segal, C . (1983) 'Greek M y t h as a Semiotic and Structural System and the Problem of T r a g e d y ' , Arethusa, 16, 1 7 3 - 9 8 . Sergent, B . (1984) L'Homosexualité dans la mythologie grecque, Paris. Siegmund, W . (ed.) (1984) Antiker Mythos in unseren Märchen, Kassel.


A Select Bibliography Sourvinou-lnwood, C . (1974) ' T h e V o t u m of 4 7 7 - 6 B . C . and the Foundation Legend of L o c r i E p i z e p h y r i i ' , CQ, 27, 1 8 6 - 9 8 . (1979) Theseus as Son and Stepson, L o n d o n . (1986), ' C r i m e and Punishment: T i t y o s ,

T a n t a l o s and Sisyphos in

O d y s s e y I I ' , BICS 33 (1986) 3 7 - 5 8 . (1990) 'Reading' Greek Culture: Texts and Images, Rituals and Myths,

Oxford.

Stoneman, R . (1981) 'Pindar and the Mythological T r a d i t i o n ' , Philologus 44-63.

x

125,

V e m a n t , J . - P . (1965) Mythe et pensée chez tes Grecs, Paris. English translation: Myth and Thought among the Greeks (1983), London. (1974), Mythe et société en Grèce ancienne, Paris. English translation: Myth and Society in Ancient Greece (1980), Brighton. (1985) La Mort dans tes yeux, Paris. ( G o r g o . ) and V î d a J - N a q u e t , P . (1972) Mythe et tragédie en Grèce ancienne, Paris. English translation: Tragedy and Myth in Ancient Greece (1981), Brighton. (1986) Mythe et tragédie en Grèce ancienne I I , Paris. V e r s n e l , H . S. (1986) 'Apollo and M a r s O n e H u n d r e d Y e a r s After Roscher', Visible Religion, 4, 134-72. V i a n , F . (1963) Les origines de Thèbes. Cadmus et les Spartes, Paris. (1968) ' L a fonction g u e r r i è r e dans la mythologie grecque', in J - P . V e r n a n i (ed.), Problèmes de ta guerre en Grèce, Paris, 5 3 - 6 8 . V i d a l - N a q u e t , P . (1983) Le Chasseur noir, 2nd edn , Paris. Weiler, I . (1974) Der Agon im Mythos, Darmstadt.

3,

Mythography

(a) Greek Mythography See the study by H e n r i c h s , this volume, C h . 11.

(b) Modern 'Mythologists ' H e y n e , C . G . ( 1 7 2 9 - 1 8 1 2 ) : A . H o r s t m a n n , 'Mythologie und Altertumswissen­ schaft D e r Mythosbegriff bei C h r i s t i a n Gottlob H e y n e ' , Arch. f. Begriffsgesch., 76(1972) 6 0 - 8 5 . M o r i t z , K . P h . ( 1 7 5 6 - 9 3 ) : M . Boulby, Karl Philipp MoriU: At the Fringe of Genius ( T o r o n t o , Buffalo, L o n d o n , 1980). C r e u z e r , F . ( 1 7 7 1 - 1 8 5 8 ) : N . - M . M u n c h , ' L a " S y m b o l i q u e " de Friedrich C r e u z e r ' , Association des Publications près les Universités de Strasbourg, 155 ( P a r i s , 1976) 6 0 - 9 . Solger, K . W . F . ( 1 7 8 0 - 1 8 1 9 ) : G . A r r i g o n i , ' I l maestro del maestro e t loro continuatori: mitologia e simbolismo animale in K a r l W i l h e l m Ferdinand Solger, K a r l Otfried M ü l l e r e d o p o \ Ann. Sc Norm. Sup. Pisa, 14 (1984) 937-1019. M ü l l e r , K . O . ( 1 7 9 7 - 1 8 4 0 ) : A . Momigliano, Settimo contributo alla storia deglt studi classici e del monda antico ( R o m e , 1984) 2 7 1 - 8 6 . Welcker, F . G . ( 1 7 8 4 - 1 8 6 8 ) : A . H e n r i c h s , Welckers G ö t t e r l e h r e ' , in W . M . Calden H I et at. (eds), Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker. Werk und Wirkung (Stuttgart, 1986) 1 7 9 - 2 2 9 . M ü l l e r , F . M . ( 1 8 2 3 - 1900): H . L l o y d - J o n e s , Blood for the GAwU ( L o n d o n , 1982) 155-64. U s e n e r , H . ( 1 8 3 4 - 1 9 0 5 ) : H . J . M e t t e , / N e k r o l o g i e einer Epoche. H e r m a n n

282


A Select Bibliography Usencr und seine Schule', Lustrum, 22 (1979/80) 5-106; A . Momigliano et al., Aspetti di Hermann Usener, flologo délia religione (Pisa, 1982); J . Bremmer, ' H e r m a n n Usener', in W . W . Briggs, J r . and W . M . C a l d e r I I I (eds), Classical Scholarship: A Biographical Encyclopaedia (New York 1990) 462^178. Rohde, E . ( 1 8 4 5 - 9 8 ) : H . C a n c i k , ' E r w i n Rohde — ein Philologe der Bismarck­ zeit , in Semper apertus. Sechshundert Jahre Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Berlin, etc. 1986), 4 3 6 - 5 0 5 . Wilamowitz-MoellendorfT, U . v. ( 1 8 4 8 - 1 9 3 1 ) : A . Henrichs, 'Der Glaube der Hellenen: Religionsgeschichte als Glaubensbekenntnis und Kulturkritik*, in W . M . C a l d e r I I I et al (eds), Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren (Darmstadt, 1985) 263-305. Frazer, J . G . ( 1 8 5 4 - 1 9 4 1 ) : G . W o o d , 'Frazer's magic wand of anthropology, interpreting " T h e G o l d e n B o u g h " , Arch. Europ. de Socio I, 23 (1982) 9 2 - 122; S. M a c C o r m a c k , ' M a g i c and the H u m a n M i n d : A Reconsideration of Frazer's Golden Bough\ Arethusa, 17 (1984) 1 5 1 - 7 6 ; R. Ackerman, J. G. Frazer: His Life and Work ( C a m b r i d g e , 1987). Otto, W . F . ( 1 8 7 4 - 1 9 5 8 ) : H . C a n c i k , ' E . c G ö t t e r Griechenlands 1929. W . F . Otto als Religionswissenschaftler und Theologe am Ende der Weimarer Republik', Der altsprachliche Unterricht, 27 (1984) 1 5 1 - 7 6 ; idem, 'Dionysos 1933. W . F . Otto, ein Religionswissenschaftler und Theologe am Ende der Weimarer R e p u b l i k ' , in R . Farber and R . Schlesier (eds), Die Restauration der Götter ( W ü r z b u r g , 1986) 1 0 5 - 2 3 . Gernet, L . ( 1 8 8 2 - 1 9 6 2 ) : S. C . H u m p h r e y s , Anthropology and the Greeks ( L o n d o n , 1978) 7 6 - 1 0 6 , 2 8 3 - 8 ; R . di Donato, ' U n e O e u v r e , un itinéraire*, in L . G e r n e i , Les Grecs sans miracle (Paris, 1983) 4 0 3 - 2 0 . D u m é z i l , G . ( 1 8 9 8 - 1986): C . S. Littleton, The New Comparative Mythology, 3rd edn (Berkeley, etc., 1982): A . Momigliano, Ottavo contributo alla storia degli classici e del mondo antico (Rome, 1987) 1 3 5 - 5 9 . Brelich, A . ( 1 9 1 3 - 1977): A . Brelich, Storia délie retigioni. perché? (Naples, 1979) 2 1 - 1 1 5 . ( A moving autobiography.) 1

1

283


Notes on Contributors

J a n B r e m m e r , b . 1944, is Professor i n the H i s t o r y o f R e l i g i o n at the U n i v e r s i t y o f G r o n i n g e n . H e is the a u t h o r o f The Early Concept of the Soul (1983), co-author Roman

Myth

Martelaren

and Mythography

Greek

(with Nicholas Horsfall) of

(1986), ( w i t h J a n

den

Boeft) o f

van de oude kerk (1988), a n d e d i t o r o f From Sappho to de

Sade (1989).

W a l t e r B u r k e r t , b. 1931, is Professor o f Classical P h i l o l o g y at the U n i v e r s i t y o f Z u r i c h . H e is the a u t h o r o f Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual (1979), Homo Necans. The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial

Ritual and Myth (1983), Die

orientalisierende

Epoche in der griechischen Religion und Literatur (1984), Greek Religion. Archaic and Classical ( 1985), Ancient Mystery Cults (1987) a n d Ursprung'.

'Wilder

Opferritual und Mythos bei den Griechen (1990).

R i c h a r d B u x t o n , b. 1948, is Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol. H e is the author of Persuasion in Greek Tragedy (1982) and Sophokles (1984). Amongst his other publications is 'Blindness and Limits: Sophokles and the Logic of M y t h ' , JHS

100 (1980).

C l a u d e C a l a m e , b . 1943, is Professor o f Greek at the U n i v e r s i t y o f L a u s a n n e . H i s books a n d articles i n c l u d e Les Chœurs de jeunes filles en Grèce archaïque

(1977), Alcman

(1983), Le processus

( 1983), Le récit en Grèce ancienne ( 1986), Thésée et l'imaginaire H e is the e d i t o r o f Rito Métamorphoses

e poesia corale in Grecia

du mythe en Grèce antique (1988). 284

symbolique athénien.

(1977)

and


Notts on Contributors F r i t z G r a f , b. 1944, is Professor o f L a t i n at the U n i v e r s i t y o f Basel. H i s p u b l i c a t i o n s o n Greek r e l i g i o n i n c l u d e Eleusis

und die

orphische Dichtung Athens (1974), Griechische Mythologie (1985) and Nordionische Kuite (1985). H e has also p u b l i s h e d v a r i o u s articles on e m b l e m a t i c s . Albert H e n r i c h s , b . 1942, is Eliot Professor o f Greek L i t e r a t u r e at

Harvard

Griechenlands, and L.

he

University. Ihr Bild

edited

Koenen)

numerous

Die

He

is

the

author

of

Die

im Wandel der Religionswissenschaft Phoinikika

the C o l o g n e

des Lollianus

Mani

Codex

(1972)

(ZPE

of

(1987)

and

(with

1975-82).

His

articles o n Greek r e l i g i o n a n d its study i n m o d e r n

times i n c l u d e 'Loss o f Self, Suffering, V i o l e n c e ; the View

Gotter

Dionysus

from

Nietzsche

to

Girard',

Modern

HCSP

88

(1984). R o b e r t P a r k e r , b . 1950, is Fellow o f O r i e l College and L e c t u r e r in Greek and L a t i n Languages and L i t e r a t u r e at the U n i v e r s i t y o f O x f o r d . H e is the a u t h o r o f Miasma: Early Greek Religion 'Greek

States a n d

Pollution and Purification

in

(1983). H i s articles o n Greek r e l i g i o n i n c l u d e Greek

Oracles

1

i n Crux.

Studies presented to

G. E. M. de Ste> Croix (1985) and 'Greek R e l i g i o n ' i n The History of the Classical

Oxford

World ( 1 9 8 6 ) .

E z i o P e l l i z e r , b . 1942, is Professor o f Greek at the U n i v e r s i t y o f T r i e s t e . H e is the a u t h o r o f Favole d'identita â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Favole dipaura (1982) and co-editor ( w i t h N . Z o r e t t i ) o f La paura deipadri nella societa antica e medievale (1983). H e has also published various articles o n archaic Greek p o e t r y , n o t a b l y 'Per u n a m o r f o l o g i a della poesia g i a m b i c a arcaica' i n A A . V V . / Canoni letierari (1981).

C h r i s t i a n e S o u r v i n o u - I n w o o d , b. 1945, is a former L e c t u r e r i n Classical A r c h a e o l o g y , U n i v e r s i t y o f L i v e r p o o l . H e r books and articles on Greek r e l i g i o n a n d i n c o n o g r a p h y i n c l u d e Theseus as Son and Stepson (1979), Studies in Girls'

Transitions (1988) and

Greek Culture: Texts and Images, Rituals and Myths (1990).

285

7

'Reading


Notes on Contributors H . S. V e r s n e l , b. 1936, is Professor o f A n c i e n t H i s t o r y at the U n i v e r s i t y o f L e i d e n . H i s books a n d m a n y articles o n Greek a n d Roman

religion include

Triumpkus

(1970)

and

Inconsistencies

in

Greek and Roman Religion, 2 vis ( 1 9 9 0 - 1 ) . H e is the e d i t o r o f Faith, Hope and Worship (1981).

286


Index (Figures i n parentheses refer to the n u m b e r e d notes)

Achaeus 206f Achilles 3, 14, 25 Acropolis 1 9 5 - 8 , 210 (39) Admetus 52, 81, 272 (49) Adonis 86, 280f Adrastus 52 adunata 141 Aegypus 51 Aeneas Tacttcus 142 Aeolus 49f Aeschylus 43, 99, 202, 231; and Orpheus 84, 99; Bassarai 85-7 Agamemnon 28f, 50, 174f, 251 Agenor 166 Aglaosthenes 260 Aglaurus 1 9 5 - 7 agriculture 159, 161 Aigeus 170 Aigisthos 28f, 50 Aiolos 1 6 6 - 9 , 249 Aipytos 2 aischrology 247 Ajax 11 Akastos 252 Akrisios 165, 175 Aktaion 73, 266 Alcestis 81 Alcman 2, 168, 172, 177, 254 Alcyope 108 Alkaios 156, 2 l 6 f Alkmene 172 Alkyone 249 Aloades 281 Amazons 280 Ameinias 107 - 13 Amphiaraus 94 Amphidamas 251 Amphis 259f Amphitryon 29 Amyklai 1 5 4 - 7 8 passim Amyklas 1 5 4 - 8 0 passim Amyntor 2 Ancaeus 98 Anchiscs 1 Andania 160, 162, 169f, 183 (14), 184 (37)

androgynes 1 1 5 - 1 7 Andromeda 28 Antaios/Ankaios 252 Anteros 1 0 7 - 1 9 passim Anthesteria 142f Antigone 41 f Antiochis 45 Anti(o)phemos 250f Antisthenes 260 Antoninus Liberalis 243, 249, 252 A n u 123 Apaturia 268 (9) Apharetids 172, 174, 177 Aphareus 154, 169, 172f Aphrodite 122, 161 Apollo 80, 85, 93f, 96, 101, 114, 133, 154, 164, 191, 263; Aiglatas/ Asgelatas 247, 268 (11); and Claros 268 (11); and Crete 225; and Delphi 215fT; and D i d y m a 247, 268 (11); and goats 238 (47); and Ion 207; and Poseidon 232; and stones 225; and water 222, 237 (35); A . Daphnephorus 224; A . Delphinios 225; A . Gypaieus 247, 269 ( I I ) ; A . Lykeios 63; A . Patroos 213 (80) Apollodorus of Athens 242, 246, 250, 268 (6) Apollodorus, Pseudo 243, 246, 268 (6) Apollonius Rhodius 95, 97, 245, ?51 Apsu 21 Arachne 73 Aratus 259 Arcadia 6 5 - 7 9 , 164 Archilochus 101 Areios 273 (61) Areithoos 2 Areitos 273 (61) Arene 169, 172 Ares 46, 100 Arethousa 270 (25) Argalos 154, 166, 184 (34) Argia 175 Argiope 82

287


Index Argolid 175 Argonauts 1, 9 5 - 9 , 253 Argos 1 5 4 - 7 4 passim Aristobule 128 Aristodemus 155, 175 Aristophanes 114, 139-41 Aristotle 66f, 87, 140 Arkas 71, 73, 162, 258f, 2 6 1 - 6 Arktophylax 2 5 9 - 6 4 Arktos 261 A r n u s 19 Arrephoria 121, 196 Artemidorus 260 Artemis 85, 128, 134, I63f; and Kallisto 2 5 8 - 6 7 ; A . Orthosia 163; A . Tauropolus 104 (43), 230 Asclepiades of T r a g i l u s 243 Asclepius 84, 94 Asios 176 Assassins 88 Astarte 28 Asteros 242, 249 Atalanta 279 Athena 26f; and Asteros 242; and Athens 1 8 7 - 2 0 7 passim; and Hephaestus 191; and Poseidon 1 9 8 - 2 0 0 , 203f 232; and Zeus 1 9 0 - 2 ; as Mycenaean goddess 2l9f; A . Apaturia 281; A . Polias 202, 204; A . Pronaia 218f; A . Victory 192

91, 121Î&#x201C; 124, 225, 255 Busiris 81, 251 Byblis 269 (12) Calame, C - 5 Callimachus 4f, 245, 259, 261, 263 Calydonian Hunt 85, 97, 2 5 2 - 4 Candaules 47 cannibalism 4 9 - 5 4 , 124, 128, 145, 261 C a r i a n s 158 Castor 166, 1 7 0 - 4 catasterism 259fT Cecrops 183 (20), 1 9 3 - 8 Cephalus 189f cereal cultivation 159, 161 Chalkodon 251 Charybdis 46 Cheiron 95f, 124, 132f C h i m a e r a 46 Chione 202, 212 (64) Ciconians 85, 87 C i r c e 51 Circumcelliones 141 Cleopatra 205 Cockaigne 134, 139, 141 comedy 1 3 9 - 4 2 Conon 87f, 92, 101, 108, 244-7 Cornford, F . M . 21 cosmogony 1 9 - 2 4 , 29 Cratinus 260 C r e u s a 206f C r c u z e r , F . 282 CuChulainn 3 culture heroes 17f Cybele 100

t

Athenian mythology 1 8 7 - 2 1 4 Atossa 47 Atreus 154 Attis 11 autochthony 156, 1 9 3 - 5 Autolykos 97f Bacchic mysteries 8 6 Balandier, G . 136 Bastian, A . 10 Baubo 250 bear 264f Berger, P. 137 Berserkir 88, 91 Boios 51

t

118,

Cyclopes 123, 144, 280 C y r u s 44f

99, 101

Dactyls 92, 95 Daedalus 280 Danae 165 Danaoi 165 Danaos 165, 184 (30) Delcourt, M . 42 Delos 200, 211 (57) Delphi 41, 43, 45, 123, 202, 2 1 5 - 4 1 passim Demeter 48f, 50, 91, 122, 250; at Pheneos 268 (11); as Europa 271 (33) Demodocus 100

Bomer, F . 130, 134, 136 Boreads 96, 98, 204f Bororo mythology 47f Boulis 51 Brauro 250 Brelich, A . 98, 283 Burkert, W . If, 7, 48, 52, 69, 71,

288


Index Demophon 197 Dcrveni papyrus 2 2 - 4 , 96, 148 (28) Deubner, L . 134, 160, 178, 189f, 197 Deukalion 168 Diodorus Siculus 95 Diomedc 165, 180 Diomedes 269 (13) Dionysos 24, 46, 85, 9 9 - 1 0 1 , 189, 280f; and Delphi 235, 240 (73); D . Phallen 93; resistance to 216 Dionysius Scytobrachion 95, 245 Dioscuri 96, 160, 1 7 0 - 8 dog 63 Dorkeus 251 Dorus 207, 249 Dorykleus 251 dragon 17f, 25, 227 D u m ĂŠ z i l , G . 283 Dundes, A . 12 D Ăź r k h e i m , E . 137 Dysaules 250

Eumenides 200 Eumolpids 203 Eumolpus 2 0 1 - 3 , 213 (68), Eunous 141, 144 Euphemus 96, 184 (27), 272 Euripides 43, 50, 84, 9 4 - 6 , 194, 202, 205, 207 Europa 41, 250 Eurotas 1 5 4 - 7 8 passim, 183 Eurydice 8 0 - 2 Eurydike 165 E u r y m n u s 273 (58) Eurypylos 272 (54) Eurysthcnes 175 Euryte/Eureite 251 Eurytos 273 (58) Evadne 164 exposure 431

250 (49) 192,

(19)

fairy-talc 61, 98 Flood 161, 183 (19) Fortuna Primigenia 144 fosterage 45, 54 Francois vase 252 Frazer, J . G . 121, 1 3 5 - 7 , 247, 268 (6), 283 Freud, S. 41. 5 3 - 5 , 118 funeral games 52

Echion 96 Echo 1 0 8 - 1 3 passim ecstatic warriors 88, 91, 98f Electra 29, 54 Eleusinian mythology 250f, 279 Eleusis 169f, 2 0 1 - 4 Eliade, M . 138 Elis 164 Elysium 140 Empedocles 49, 125, 128, 139 Enaesimus 273 (57) Enaisphoros 273 (61) Enceladus 193 Enkidu 24 Enuma dish 2 1 , 2 3 Ephorus 92, 98 Epikaste 47, 51, 251 Epimenides 260 Eratosthenes 85, 260 Erechtheum 202

G a i a 215ff Caster, T . 23 G e 122, 250, 271 (31) genealogy 1 5 3 - 8 6 Geriguiguiatago 47f Gernet, L . 47, 283 gift 281 Gigantomachy 192 Gilgamesh 16, 26f G l u c k m a n , M . 136f Glaucus 96 Golden Age 121 - 47 passim Gorgo 26f, 46, 65, 269 (15), 282 Gorgophone 154, 1 6 6 - 7 0 , 180 Graf, F . 3 Greek mythography 2 4 2 - 7 7 ; and paradoxography 245; and paroemiography 245 Greek mythology, age of I - 4 ; and cult 223; and genealogy 1 5 3 - 8 6 ; and history 2 1 5 - 1 7 ; and iconography 2 5 - 3 0 ; and Orient 1 0 - 3 0 ; and other traditional tales 6f; and ritual 23, 74, 121 - 5 2 ,

Erechtheus/Erichthonius 1 8 7 - 2 1 4 passim, and Poseidon 202, 204; daughters of 197, 212 (66) Erigone 275 (72) Erinyes 46, 122 Eros 107fr, 268 (1 1) Erysichthon 200, 211 (57) Euenus 96 Euhemerus 96, 129, 140 Eumelos 153

289


Index 279f. 282; catalogues in 2 4 8 - 5 4 ; development of 4 - 6 ; giftexchange in 23If; logic of 60; meaning of 188; metamorphosis in 73f; names in 45, 2 4 8 - 5 4 ; see also women G r u p p e , Î&#x; . 134 Gyges 47

Hippolytos 73 Homer I I , 20 Homme Hymn to Apollo 2161, 227f homosexuality, ritual 86, >2, 98, 107- 13, 247, 281 Hooke, S. 121 Hultkrantz, A . 83f human sacrifice 1 2 2 - 4 7 passim, 279, 281 H u m b a b a 26f hundred-handed giants 123, 144 hunting 159 Hyads 212 (66) Hyakinthia 130, 165. 179, 184 (29), 186 (53) Hyakinthides 212 (66) Hyakinthos 154, 1 6 4 - 9 Hyginus 85f, 25If, 254, 259 Hylas 98 Hypsipyle 96 (

Hades 122, 124 Halirrhotius 211 (50, 56) Harpalos 166 Harpalyke 50 Harrison, J . E . 121 head 190 Hecate 45, 100 Hegesippus of Mekyberna 246 Hekataeus 140, 153 Helen 2; and Sparta 160, 174f, 178 Helios 85f, 140, 268 (11) Hellanicus 189 Hellen 168 Hephaestus 190, 194, 199 H e r a 46, 66, 122, 161, 191; and Kallisto 263f; H e r a Argeia 165 Herakleidai 153, 1 7 5 - 8 Herakleides 86, 95 Herakles 1, 1 4 - 1 9 , 25, 29, 82. 84, 96, 98, 281; and Sparta 154, 172, 175, 178, 254 Hermes 85, 96, 130, 171, 177; and Cecropids 197; Hermes Charidotes 130 Hermesianax 50 Hermione 154, 174f, 180 Hermippus 91 Herodotos 9If, 177, 245 heroisation 51 f Herse I95f

lamboulos 140 Iamos 47, 164 Iapetus 122, 124 Idas 1 73f Idmon 96 Ikarios 154, 170, 185 (40) Iltuyankas 20 incest 4 9 - 5 4 , 112 Indo-European mythology 2 Indra 2f infanticide 124 initiation 3, 27f, 47, 53f, 7 0 - 2 , 8 0 - 1 0 6 passim; and Kallisto 279-81 Io 263 Ion 206 Ionia and Athens 206 Iphianassa 251 Iphiclus 97, 271 (36), 272 (54) Iphidamas 251 Iphigeneia 251 Iphimede 251 luno 108f Ixion 73

Hesiod 3, 46, 48, 101, 153, 159, 168, 191; and Kallisto 2 5 9 - 6 5 ; and Kronos 1 9 - 2 3 , 1 2 1 - 4 4 passim; Catalogue of Women 248f; Theogony 226, 229, 231 Hesperides 96 Hestia 122 Heyne, C . G . 244, 268 (8), 282 Hilaeira 173 H i p p e / H i p p o 277 (96) Hippias 153 Hippodamus 140 Hippokoon 1, 154, 1 7 0 - 2 , 251, 254 Hippokoontids 17If, 253f

Jacoby, F . 134, 244 Jason 52, 9 5 - 7, 281 J e a n m a i r c , H . 47 jocaste 47, 51 - 4 , 251 J u l i a n 125 K a d m o s 41 Kalais 96, 205

290


Index Kalevaia 84 Kallisto 2 5 4 - 6 7 K a n n e , J . A . 244 Kares/Keres 142, 144 Keleos 250 Kcrykes 197 Kcryx 197 Kinaethon 176 K i r k . G . S. 7, 121 f Kleitos 269 (12) Kleochareia 183 (12) Kluckhohn, C . 121 Klymenos 50 Klytemnestra 28, 174f Klytios 253 Knossos 162 Knut 47

Leucippus 50, 173 Leukippidai 173 Leukothea 268 (11) Levi-Strauss, C . 12, 41, 48 Linforth, I . M . 85 Linos 99, 268 (11) L i u n g m a n n , W . 10 Lokros 156 Lucian 92f, 140 L u c k m a n , T . 137 Lugal-e 23, 35 (15) lycanthropy 67f Lykaios 273 (58) Lykaithos 273 (58, 61) Lykaon 69ff, 26If, 281 Lykos 169f, 273 (58) Lynceus 98 lyre 85

K o a n mythology 242, 249 Kometes 253 Kore 82 Koronis 184 (34) Kouretcs 124, 129, 249 Kranaos 183 (20), 200 Kresphontcs 154, 175 Kristensen, W . B. 145 Kronia 23, 127-31 Kronos 1 6 - 2 2 passim, 1 2 1 - 5 2 passim, 197, 234 K u m a r b i 1 6 - 2 2 passim, 123, 133 Kynortas 154, 1 6 6 - 8 , 184 (34) Kypria 1 73 Kyrene 164

Lysimachos 48 Macrobius 131 maenads 85f, 279, 281 magicians 94f mania 100 M a r d u k 17, 21, 28 marriage 1 5 3 - 8 6 passim Marsyas 73 maternal uncle 97 Medea 96 Medusa 46 Mekionike 164 Melanthos 268 (9) Meleager 97, 252f, 281 Meies 107-1 1 Mclqart 17

Labdacus 42, 53 Laios 4 2 - 5 Lakedaimon 1 5 4 - 8 0 passim L a m i a 46 L a n g , A. 135 Lanternari, V . 138 Laothoe 156 Lapithes 165 Lapiths 160, 165 Larissa 50 laurel 224, 237 (35) Leda 171, 176, 180 legend 6f Ldeges 1 5 4 - 8 3 (9) passim Lelex 1 5 4 - 8 0 passim L c m n i a n women 122 Leos, daughters of 197 L e r n a 18 Lesbos 92 Leto 66

Menelaos 154, 160, 174 Merope 45 Meropis 242f, 249f Messenc 160, 165, I68f, 178, 180 Metis 191 Meuli, K . 9 7 - 9 , 102 (6), 135, 137 Meyer, E d . 134 Midas 269 (15) Minos 162 mirror 1 12, 114 monosandaloi 98 Moritz, Κ . P h . 282 Mopsos, 96f mountains 44, 87 M ü l l e r , Κ. Ο . 255, 262, 282 M ü l l e r , Μ . 2. 48, 282 Musaeus 99, 101, 250f Muses 4f, 9 3 - 1 0 1 passim, at

291


Index Delphi 240 (73) music 8 0 - 106 passim Myles 154, 1 5 9 - 6 1 , 178, 183 (20) Myrsilus 9 2 - 5 , 260 Mythographus Homericus 243, 247, 249, 259, 263, 269 (17)

Panyassis 260 Paris 44, 269 (12) parricide 4 5 - 5 3 passim, Parthenius 2 4 3 - 6 , 249 Patreus 166

124

Pausanias 88, 204, 246, 258, 263; and Sparta 1 5 3 - 77 passtm Pcdias 183 (20) Peisandros of Rhodos 18, 260 Pelasgians 158 Pelasgos 72 Pelias 169, 252 Pellana 154, 170, 185 (40) Pelops 47 Peloria 130, 140, 144 Penelope 47, 51 Pentheus 73 Periboia 45 Pcriclymenus 96 Peridea 183 (12) Perieres 154, 1 6 6 - 7 3 , 184 (35) Persephone 50, 85, 281 Perseus 2 6 - 9 , 44, 154, I65f, 168, 175 Persians 126 Phaeacians 140 Phanocles 95 Phanodemus 200 Phemius 100 Pherecydes 132, 208 Philetas 50 Philochorus 95, 198 Philodemus 242, 250 Philostratus 92f Phineus 205, 279 Phoebe 173, 225, 231 Phorbas 1 Piasos 50

naiades 109, 159, 180 names 44f, 2 4 8 - 5 4 Narcissus 1 0 7 - 2 0 , 268 (11) Nausicaa 43 Neleus 169, 172 Nemesis 109 Neoptolemus 185 (48) Nergal 17 Nestor 3, 172, 174 New Y e a r festivals 1 4 2 - 5 Nilsson, M . P. 127, 134, 136, 143, 225 Ninurta/Ningirsu 1 4 - 2 9 passim Nireus 279 Nonnus 45, 247 (Pscudo) nymphs 159, 180, 249 Odysseus 51, 82, 85, 97, 281 Oedipus 4 1 - 5 9 , 187 Oedipus complex 5 3 - 5 Oeneus 85 Oibalos 1 5 4 - 8 0 passtm Oinone 269 (12) Olen 99, 101 olive 198f omphalos 123, 225, 2 3 3 - 5 Orestes 52, 54, 154, 1 7 4 - 8 0 ; at Delphi 230f Oriental mythology 1 0 - 4 0 O r i o n 266 O r i t h y i a 189, 204f, 212 (64) Orpheus 8 0 - 106, 251 O r p h i c mythology 2 2 - 4 O r p h i s m 2 2 - 4 , 50 Otto, W . F . 283 O v i d 50, 80, 85, H3f, 1 18, 245, 252, 254, 258, 262

Pindar 24, 96f, 123, 125, 163, 173, 193, 282 Pitane 163f Plato 54, 81, 86, 114, 117, 140, 153 Plexippos 253 Pluto 85, 139 poets and Greek mythology 2 - 4 Pollux 170, I73f Pol y bos 45 Polykaon 1 5 4 - 6 9 , 178 Polyneices 41 Polyphemus 98 Poseidon 122, 124, 130, 147 (29), 156, 164; and Apollo 232; and Athena 1 9 8 - 2 0 0 , 203f, 232; at

Palaephatus 245 Pallantids 192 Pallene 269 (12) Pamphus 100, 108 Panathenaca 143, 192, 204 Panchaia 140 Pandion 169, 207 Pandrosus 195f, 198

292


Index Delphi 2 2 0 - 3 2 passim; P, Genethlios 168 Posidaeja 221 Praxithea 202 Procris 190 Proitos 165 Prokaon 253 Prokles 175 Prometheus 279, 281 Propp, V . J . 11, 42, 44, 48, 98, 253 Prothoos 253 Pylos 172, 174 Pythagoras 8 9 - 9 2 , 129 Pythia 155, 2 2 3 - 5 , 233

stripping 69f Synoikia 143 Tages 94 Tantalos 73 T a r t a r u s 123f Taygete 1 5 4 - 8 0 passim Taygetos 159f, 163, 171 Teiresias 73, 108, 279, 281 Teisamenos 154 T e l a m o n 251 Teledike 183 (18) Telegonus 51 Telekleides 139 Telemachos 51 T e m e n o s 154, 175 T h a m y r i s 99 Theban Cycle 1 Thebes 4 1 - 5 5 passim, 162 Thebros 273 (61) T h e m i s 122, 2 1 5 - 4 0 passim T h e r a 164, 169 Therapne 160f, 164, 176 Theseus 3, 47, 187, 190, 2 7 9 - 8 2 Thestiadai 253 Thestios 170, 253 T h o m p s o n , S- 112 T h r a c e and Eleusis 203f, 271 (34); and hero-cult 268 (11); and Orpheus 8 6 - 9 2 . 99f three-functional ideology 178f Thyestes 50 T i a m a t 28 Timagoras 1 0 7 - 1 3 T i p h y s 97f Titanomachia 174 T i t a n s 2 0 - 4 , 122f, I73f, 192 Toxeus 253 trickery 64f, 175 Triopas 160, 178 triple crossroads 45 Triptolemos 250 T r i t o n 96 Trophonios 250f Tyndareus 154, 1 7 0 - 4 , 179f, 184 (25) T y p h o e u s / T y p h o n 16, 2 0 - 3 , 123, 191f, 227f tyrannos 51 Tyrtaios 153, 177

reciprocity 111 reflexivity 111, 113 Rhadamantys 250 R h e a 122f, 128f Robert, C . 45, 188, 259, 259f, 262 Rohde, E . 283 role reversal 1 3 5 - 4 2 Romulus and R e m u s 7, 44f ritual; as symbolic language 74; of reversal 1 3 5 - 4 2 ; see also Greek mythology sacrifice, of cakes 128; of maidens 212 (66) Samothrace 92, 96 Santas/Sandon 17 Sargon 44 Saturnalia 136, 144 'Saturnalian' festivals 129-31 Saturnus 1 2 5 - 9 , 131, 145 Satyrs 249 Scylla 46 sea 44 Sebros 254 Semele 263 shamanism 8 2 - 1 0 1 passim shepherds 43f Simonides 84 Sirens 46, 9 6 - 9 Skira 143, 204 snake 193, 196 Solger, K . W . F . 282 Sophocles 43f, 125, 205 Soteira 196 Spartan mythology 1 5 3 - 8 6 Sparte 1 5 4 - 8 0 passim Sphinx 4 6 - 8 Stesichorus 168

Ugarit mythology 28 U l l i k u m m i 1 6 - 2 2 passim,

293

124


Index U r a n i a 100 Uranos 19, I22f, 250, 270 (30), 271 (31) U r s a major 2 5 9 - 6 1 , 274 (70) U s e n e r H . 48, 254, 282f Utopia 1 3 9 - 4 2

281; names of 45; of T h r a c e 85ff; suicide 52; washing 43f W o t a n / O d i n 95 Xanthos 268 (9)

t

Zalmoxis 91 f Zetes 96, 205 Zcthos 162 Zeus 1 4 - 2 2 passim, 85, 114f, 1 2 2 - 5 , 197, 202, 250, 261; and Athena 1 9 0 - 2 ; and Delphi 2 2 7 - 3 3 ; and Kallisto 2 6 2 - 4 ; and Sparta 1 5 4 - 7 4 passim; Dictaean Z . 241 (770; Lakedaimon 163; Z . Lykaios 63, 69, 261; Z . Meilichios 133; Z . Olympios 133; Z . Peloros 130

V e r n a n t , J . - P . 54, 255 Virgil 80, 85 water 70 wedding poetry 2 Weidkuhn, P. 136 Welcker, F . G . 254, 283 werewolf 6 0 - 7 9 , 98 Wilamowitz 127, 132, 134, 255, 283 wolf 6 0 - 7 9 women; and genealogy 1 5 3 - 8 6 passim; as monsters 46; in myth

z

294

INTERPRETATIONS OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY - JAN BREMMER  

MACEDONIA is GREECE and will always be GREECE- (if they are desperate to steal a name, Monkeydonkeys suits them just fine) ΦΕΚ, ΚΚΕ,ΚΟΜΜΟΥΝ...

INTERPRETATIONS OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY - JAN BREMMER  

MACEDONIA is GREECE and will always be GREECE- (if they are desperate to steal a name, Monkeydonkeys suits them just fine) ΦΕΚ, ΚΚΕ,ΚΟΜΜΟΥΝ...

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