that flowed from the mangled corpse. Here" (says Professor Sayce) "the veil of the legend can be easily lifted. The blood of the sky is the rain which is poured upon the earth before the sun-god pierces the dark storm-cloud that covers his face." As a matter of fact, the "piercing" comes first in the myth, the drops afterwards; whereas, in nature the drops (according to Professor Sayce) precede the piercing.
According to this pedigree of the myth of the mutilation of Uranus, it ought to be originally Accadian. But the Scandinavians, and the Maoris, and the Indians, and the Tinnehs, and Tacullies of North America cannot have borrowed their analogous myths from the Accadians.
The mythological theory of Schwartz does not regard Cronus as borrowed from Baal, who again is the sun-god, but as a god of storm and thunder. The sickle with which Cronus wounded Uranus is (to Schwartz's mind) the rainbow, "the sickle of thunder." The blood-drops are not raindrops, as in Professor Sayce's theory, but flashes of lightning. Preller, again, looks on Cronus neither as time, thunder, nor the sun, but as a kind of god of harvest and of the ripening autumn. This theory is supported by the derivation of κρόνος from κραίνω, to accomplish, to fulfil, to ripen. The famous sickle goes well with a harvest-god, and it has been observed that the harvest-feast was known as Cronia. Yet this explanation matches but ill with Scwhartz's notion that the defeat of Cronus by his children means
- Contemporary Review, September 1883.
- Schwartz, Der Ursprung der Mythologie, pp. 133, 135, 139, 149; Preller, Griechische Mythologie, p. 44.