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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/298

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274 Reviews.

(Passow, No. 307 a) is perpetuated "the ancient Rhodian Xe\i^o»^- icryua, the ideas in each being much the same, and the first line the same word for word, so in some of these others may live the Linos Song, or the dirge of Adonis.

A general idea of the contents of the first volume has been given already in discussing the classification adopted in this work. Among the " Zoonist " poems are dialogues between personified natural objects, such as the dispute of Olympos and Kissavos (i. 51) : horses, wolves, deer, birds, and trees discourse, or con- verse with human beings. The "Magical" section contains poems about dragons and other monsters, witches, haunting- spirits, the vampire, and one or two spells. In the " Communal " division fall dirges, love - songs, lullabies, and nursery rimes, together with a few distichs that have been translated ; there are also dancing and festival songs, and a few of a humorous sort. The " Historical " section is very full and interesting, and may be regarded as the most satisfactory in the book. It begins with portions of those epic ballads which commemorate the half- mythical hero, Digenes Akritas (tenth century), about whom an explanatory and critical note is given (p. 404). Around this name a complete circle of ballads has grown up, which might form the germ of another Odyssey if Greece should produce another Homer ; and Digenes has even appropriated exploits of the ancient heroes, strangling snakes like Herakles at his birth (405), and performing deeds of valour when yet an infant. Other memories of Byzantine days are followed by verses on most of the events that attended the fall of that empire and the struggles of the Greeks with Turkey: the sack of Constantinople and Salonica, the battle of Lepanto, the heroic defence of Souli, the rout of the Moslems at Sphakia, even down to the rising in Thessaly during the year 1880. These are interesting to a wide circle at the present time, illustrating as they do the traditional Turkish war- fare of rape and ravaging. The prose extracts under this head are less numerous and slighter. There are some vivid descriptions of events that occurred during the Turko-Greek struggle ; but the most significant of this group is a piece which alludes to the pre- historic Hellenes, or giant folk, who lifted in their hands the great stones that form Cyclopean walls (412).

The volume of Tales contains a good many parallels of well- known tales, such as Cinderella and Puss-in-Boots. The familiar