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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/288

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264 Reviews.

versed in these he might have spoken witli no uncertain sound of the offerings to Hekate (511)- He might also have answered his own question (515 n.) why cross-roads "have an evil character;" or rather, it would not then have been put at all in that form. Cross-roads are chosen for the burial of murderers and suicides because the ghosts of such are peculiarly restless, and, if they walk, may perhaps fail to find the road home; that at least is one reason for the choice. Another may be that the number of people walking over the grave keep the ghost down. Then if offerings are exposed for the ghosts, a cross-road is a good place to put them, because more ghosts are likely to pass that way.

Aphrodite was not a Greek goddess, but was introduced from the East. The effect of the Greek genius is well shown here, for the cult was entirely purified from its abominations (the sole exception is at Corinth), and the ideal of the goddess was raised until it culminates in the philosophic Aphrodite Ourania. The author points out that the title Ourania had originally no moral implication whatever, and in the same way Pandemos simply meant that she was the goddess of the " whole people " in certain states ; but a popular misunderstanding degraded Pandemos to the goddess of sensual or illicit passion, and Ourania then assumed in the general imagination that meaning which the highest minds among the Greeks had given to Aphrodite under all titles. Her connection with the sea is explained as due to the fact that she was the " divinity of a class that wandered far over the Mediter- ranean " (p. 641). It may be added that water is often associated with the idea of fertility. The curious variant, by which Aphrodite seems to have been conceived of as born from a bivalve is not discussed. (There are a good many terra-cottas which show her sitting in the shell of a bivalve, several in the Hermitage, and an allusion in Plautus, Rudais, 704.) Mention may be made of some points where folklore could have been used to illustrate. We have the sexes disguised in each other's dress at a feast called the 'Y/3p<(Trt/.a (635) ; mimic death and resurrection (651) ; a pos- sible allusion to the couvade in Sparta (634) ; and Aphrodite's association with the tortoise, ram, and horse may have some- thing to do with totemism. The other cases, where a bird or beast is associated with a divinity (as Zeus' eagle, Hera's peacock, the mouse of Apollo Smintheus, Hermes Kriophoros), and the association of divinities with trees (as Asclepios Agnitas, Pans. iii.