Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/327

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It meant originally, not that Time was the origin or source of Zeus, but κρονίων or κρονίδης was used in the sense of connected with time, representing time, existing through all time." To be brief, this meaning of κρονίδης was forgotten, and the word was mistaken for a patronymic, meaning "son of a more ancient god, Κρόνος." Having thus got their "more ancient god," the Greeks wanted a myth for him. They said that he mutilated his own father and swallowed and disgorged his own children. Why the Greeks attributed these disgusting feats to Cronus, and especially why they did so long after they had become thoroughly Hellenic in language, is exactly what Mr. Müller does not appear to explain, though he started by declaring that myths like these were precisely what wanted explaining. "Among the lowest tribes of Africa and America we hardly find anything more revolting."[1]

Among explanations of Cronus and his legend which do not regard him as a myth or allegory of time, we have our choice between two leading and contradictory hypotheses. To the mind of Schwartz, Cronus is a storm-god, a god of the dark tempest. In the opinion of Preller and Böttiger, he derives many of his characteristics, especially his cannibalism, from the Phœnician worship of Moloch. Now as Moloch means "king," and is one of the names of the Semitic sun-god Baal, there is obviously a great discrepancy between the idea of Cronus as a sun-god and Cronus as a storm-god. The details of his legend, however,

  1. Selected Essas, i. 460. The idea belongs to Welcker. Griech. Götterlehre, 1857, i. 140–148.