Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/348

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traveller as Herodotus had encountered the Maoris, for example, he would certainly have explained by borrowing, on one side or the other, the resemblance of the story of Cronus and the story of Rangi. A similar explanation of the common points in the myths of El and Cronus is offered by the Phœnician, but whether his view be correct or not, we can only conjecture. Probably the human mind, at an early stage, might anywhere develop tales as crude and hideous as these early guesses at truth.[1]

  1. The theory of Baudissin (Studien zur Semitischen Religionsgeschichte, vol. i., 1876) is that Philo himself wrote what he ascribes to Sanchoniathon, but that he worked on materials more or less genuine. See also A. von Gutschmid (Enc. Brit., xviii. 802). I am indebted here to Professor Robertson Smith. M. Renan (Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscrip., 1868, pp. 272–273) is disinclined to believe that Greece borrowed the story of Cronus from Phœnicia. As to the origin of the work attributed to Sanchoniathon, M. Renan holds that Phœnicia had an ancient cosmogony of her own; that it was crossed later with Greek and Egyptian ideas; that a Phœnician (Sanchoniathon) of 300–150 B.C. compiled a work out of various local myths loosely stitched together, and that about Hadrian's time Philo of Byblus, an euhemerist, translated it freely, making it even more euhemeristic.