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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/286

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262 Reviews.

bench where people congregate;" Horn. aoXXtes, "all together"). Anyhow, a connection with i'ikios is less likely than either of these. The connection of Athena with the moon, sometimes asserted, is dismissed as unsupported by evidence ; a " crescent moon " on certain coins is sometimes adduced in support, which " may be a symbol of the bird of night." But is it really a crescent moon, or an olive leaf? and if a crescent moon, may it not be a mint-mark merely ? Certainly the author is justified in rejecting this lunar theory. Of the swallowing of Metis by Zeus an explanation is suggested (285) which is ingenious, though far from convincing. Lastly, the connection of Athena with agriculture is traced. In the ritual of this part are several savage elements, as the bathing of the image (305), and daubing it with white earth (329), which the author adds " was supposed to be good for olives " (an explanation insufficient in view of many other such daubings). The eternal fire in the shrine of Athena Polias is explained as a symbol of the city's perpetual life (294), though we may more rightly regard it as a survival of the primitive practice of keeping up the fire in the chiefs house, and a doubling of the fire of the Prytaneum {cf. Frazer, The Frytaneum, 'm.Jo7irn. Phil.^ vol. xiv. pp. 145 ff.) An examination of Athena in art follows, illustrations being given from sculpture, vases, and gems of the types of the goddess and her cult ; with these we need not linger.

The other divinities are treated in the same way. The aspects of Zeus are well traced, and the ritual described ; but of explana- tion there is little. No attempt, for instance, is made to elucidate the Bouphonia, and although some explanations are quoted (88 fif.) there is no real criticism of them, and the comparative method is not applied. It may be replied that this is not within the scope of the book; true, but we wish it were. With the dictum on p. 93 (cf. 442 ff.), that legends of the substitution of animal for human victims " may well have arisen from the deceptive appearance of many sacrifices where the animal offered was treated as human and sometimes invested with human attributes," we cannot agree. Possibly it may have sometimes happened, but such substitution is too wide-spread, and it generally does not show this treatment of the victim as human; moreover, the substitution was inevitable as manners improved; and if the explanation were true, the common substitution of red-lead for blood, which we regard as another manifestation of the same principle, would be left unex-