Apollo in Leucas. Pausanias (iii. 22) mentions certain colonists who were guided by a hare to a site where the animal hid in a myrtle-bush. They therefore adore the myrtle, καὶ τὸ δένδρον ἔτι ἐκείνην σέβουσι τὴν μυρσίνυν. In the same way a Carian stock, the Ioxidæ, revered the asparagus. A remarkable example of descent mythically claimed from one of the lower animals is noted by Otfried Müllor. Speaking of the swan of Apollo, he says, "That deity was worshipped, according to the testimony of the Iliad, in the Trojan island of Tenedos. There, too, was Tennes honoured as the ἥρως ἐπώνθμος of the island. Now his fathor was called Cycnus (the swan) in an oft-told and romantic legend. . . . The swan, therefore, as father to the chief here on the Apolline island, stands in distinct relation to the god, who is made to come forward still more prominently from the fact that Apollo himself is also called father of Tennes. I think we can scarcely fail to recognise a mythus which was local at Tenedos. . . . The fact, too, of calling the swan, instead of Apollo, the father of a hero, demands altogether a simplicity and boldness of fancy which are far more ancient than the poems of Homer."
Had Müller known that this "simplicity and boldness of fancy exist to-day, for example, among the Swan tribe of Australia, as in tho ancient Irish tale of Connaire's father, the bird, he would probably have recognised in Cycnus a survival from totemism. The fancy survives again in Virgil's Cupavo, "with swan's
- Ælian., xi. 8.
- Plutarch, Theseus, 14.
- Proleg., Engl. trans., p. 204.
- [Canne on Conon, 28.]