and the evidence of Sophocles, Pindar, Plutarch, and others demonstrate that religious consolations were somehow conveyed in the Eleusinia. But Greece had many other local mysteries, and in several of these it is undeniable the Greeks acted much as contemporary Australians, Zunis, and Negroes act in their secret initiations. Important as these analogies are, they appear to have escaped the notice of most mythologists. M. Alfred Maury, however, in Les Religions de la Grèce, published in 1857, offers several instances of hidden rites, common to Hellas and to barbarism.
There seem in the mysteries of savage races to be two chief purposes. There is the intention of giving to the initiated a certain sacred character, which puts them in close relation with gods or demons, and there is the introduction of the young to complete manhood or womanhood, and to full participation in the savage Church. The latter ceremonies correspond, in short, to confirmation, and they are usually of a severe character, being meant to test by fasting (as Plutarch says) and by torture (as in the familiar Spartan rite) the courage and constancy of the young braves. The Greek mysteries best known to us are the Thesmophoria and the Eleusinia. In the former, the rites (as will appear later) partook of the nature of savage "medicine" or magic, and were mainly intended to secure fertility in husbandry and in the family. In the Eleusinia the purpose was the purification of the initiated, secured by ablutions and by standing on the "ram's-skin of Zeus," and