Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/378

This page needs to be proofread.

342 The Binding of a God.

Lacedaemonians as he is fettered, just as Victory will always remain with the Athenians because she cannot fly away. Pausanias also describes a Wingless Nike in Olympia, which he says Kalamis made in imitation of the Athenian statue. The best authority on the Athenian monuments, Miss J. E. Harrison,^ dismisses this explana- tion as fanciful. The old Wingless Nike was simply a representation of Athene in one of her forms. Later on, Nike separated completely from Athene, and the antique wingless statue was deemed anomalous and required a story to account for it. I refer to the case here merely as an illustration of the ideas prevailing in the time of Pausanias, if not much earlier.

Wherever we find these chained images the same ex- planation is given — that it is intended to keep them under control. For this reason the Romans fettered the image of Saturnus,^ as they kept the real name of the city of Rome secret that no one might work evil on the city through knowledge of the name. The sacred boulder which marks the theophany of the goddess at Kioto in Japan is honoured by a straw rope wound round it.^ Pausanias tells us of the goddess to whom is given not only the title of Orthia, " but also they call her Lygodesma (bound with willow), because it was found in a willow-bush, and the willow bound about it made the image upright." "* The

' Mythology and Momuneiits of Athens, p, 361 ; and see Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, vol. i. pp. 312 sqq., 338.

- Jevons- Plutarch, Romane Questions, Intro. Ixxx.

^ Palgrave, Ulysses, p. 241, a reference which I owe to Miss G. M. Godden. I am informed by the Rev. Walter Weston that the custom is common in Japanese Shinto shrines. Here too a straw rope is tied round the temple of the sun-goddess, a rite which is said to be intended to keep off evil gods ; more probably to keep the deity at home. Reed, Japan, its History, Traditions, and Religions, vol. i. p. 34. For the same practice, see Mitford, Tales of Old Japan, vol. i. p. 71. [See also Folk- Lore Journal, vol. v. p. 154. Several versions of its legendary origin are given in the Nilwngi, Aston's transl., vol. i. pp. 40-50. Ed.]

  • iii. 16, 7.