furies. As in the Maori myth, one of the children of Heaven stood apart and did not consent to the deed. This was Oceanus in Greece, and in New Zealand it was Tawhiri Matea, the wind, "who arose and followed his father, Heaven, and remained with him in the open spaces of the sky." Uranus now predicted that there would come a day of vengeance for the evil deed of Cronus, and so ends the dynasty of Uranus.
This story was one of the great stumbling-blocks of orthodox Greece. It was the tale that Plato said should be told, if at all, only to a few in a mystery, after the sacrifice of some rare and scarcely obtainable animal. Even among the Maoris, the conduct of the children who severed their father and mother is regarded as a singular instance of iniquity, and is told to children as a moral warning, an example to be condemned. In Greece, on the other hand, unless we are to take the Euthyphro as wholly ironical, some of the pious justified their conduct by the example of Zeus. Euthyphro quotes this example when he is about to prosecute his own father, for which act, he says, "Men are angry with me; so inconsistently do they talk when I am concerned and when the gods are concerned." But in Greek the tale has no meaning. It has been allegorised in various ways, and Lafitau fancied that it was a distorted form of the Biblical account of the origin of sin. In Maori the legend is perfectly intelligible. Heaven and earth were conceived of (like everything else), as beings with human parts and passions, linked in an endless
- Apollod., i. 15.
- Theog., 209.
- Euthyphro, 6.