Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/296

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Zeus of Orchomenos, Zeus Laphystius, who is explained by Suidas as "the Glutton Zeus." The cognate verb (λαφύσσειν) means "to eat with mangling and rending," "to devour gluttonously." By Zeus Laphystius, then, men's flesh was gorged in this distressing fashion.

The evidence of human sacrifice (especially when it seems not piacular, but a relic of cannibalism) raises a presumption that Greeks had once been barbarians. The presumption is confirmed by the evidence of early Greek religious art.

When his curiosity about human sacrifices was satisfied, the pilgrim in Greece might turn his attention to the statues and other representations of the gods. He would find that the modern statues by famous artists were beautiful anthropomorphic works in marble or in gold and ivory. It is true that the faces of the ancient gilded Dionysi at Corinth were smudged all over with cinnabar, like fetish-stones in India or Africa.[1] As a rule, however, the statues of historic times were beautiful representations of kindly and gracious beings. The older works were stiff and rigid images, with the lips screwed into an unmeaning smile. Older yet were the bronze gods, made before the art of soldering was invented, and formed of beaten plates joined by small nails. Still more ancient were the wooden images, which probably bore but a slight resemblance to the human frame, and which were often mere "stocks."[2] Perhaps once a year were shown the

  1. Pausanias, ii. 2.
  2. Clemens Alex., Protrept. (Oxford, 1715), p. 41.