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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/533

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Reviews. 495

Romans, and Syrians. He sees traces of it in the Old Testament. The pillars set up in the Temple by Solomon and called Jachin and Boaz were Dioscuric. The three men who appeared to Abraham and delivered Lot from Sodom were Dioscuri. This identification is superficially tempting; but here we feel that the argument is becoming somewhat a priori. If there is a theophany recorded in the Old Testament which contains a suggestion of Dioscurism it is surely that described in Josh. v. 13 ff. The 'Captain of the Lord's host' irresistibly recalls the Great Twin Brethren and the battle of Lake Regillus. But then he is only one, whereas, had the cult in question had any currency among the Hebrews, it is strange that a writer of legends should have so barely missed introducing it here.

We pass on to the chapters in which the author deals with Twins in the Calendar, a subject which he has already exploited in Dioscuri in the Christian Legends. And here, looi^ing at the case as impartially as we can, we cannot follow him in his main contention, viz. that almost all the pairs of saints in the Calendar who have like-sounding names, or to whom are assigned functions analogous to those exercised by the Dioscuri, are myths invented by the Churchmen for the purpose of supplanting a local cultus of the Twins. We are far from denying that in some cases the early hagiologists have em- bellished their stories of the martyrs with reminiscences of classic folk-lore. We think that Dr. Rendel Harris has shewn that. But having discovered it, he is inclined to look at everything through Dioscuric spectacles ; and he fails at times to allow due weight to the independent investigations of impartial scholars. The note of confidence which rings throughout the book is pitched somewhat too high, nor are the lights and shades of probability sufficiently emphasised. Dr. Rendel Harris has apparently as little doubt that the inscription upon one of the great columns at Edessa (of which more just now) mentions the Twins as he has about the Dioscuric character of Romulus and Remus. Among the pairs of saints whom he maintains must be ' baptized ' Dioscuri are Nearchus and P0I3 euctes. Polyeuctes must be the Christian form of Polydeuces; he is