§ 1. The Worship of the Sky in general
The subject of the lecturers the worship of nature.
IN my last lecture I said that the natural religion of simple folk comprises two main branches, the worship of nature and the worship of the dead, and I indicated that I propose to take the former of these two worships for the theme of my Gifford lectures. On that subject we enter to-day.
I pointed out that the worship of nature is based on the assumption that natural phenomena, whether animate or inanimate, are living personal beings analogous to man in their nature, though often far superior to him in power. In short, the worship of nature is based on the personification of nature. This general thesis I intend to illustrate in these lectures by taking some of the principal phenomena of nature and showing how they have been personified and deified by various races of men.
The worship of the sky.
The treatise of Professor Pettazzoni on sky-gods.
Of all the phenomena of nature the most universal is perhaps the sky. It is the great canopy which covers, or appears to cover, all the races of men in every part of the world. Even the earth on which we stand is less universal, since to the mariner out of sight of land it disappears and is replaced by a great expanse of water. No wonder that a phenomenon so universal and so impressive should at an early date have inspired men with wonder and awe and found a place in their religion. Accordingly I shall begin our survey of natural religion with the worship of the sky. The subject has recently been treated by Professor Pettazzoni of Rome in an elaborate work, in which he describes and discusses the belief in sky-gods among primitive peoples all over the world.1 To his very learned book I must refer those of my hearers who desire to study the subject in detail. The scope of these lectures precludes me from dealing with more than a small part of the evidence accumulated by Professor Pettazzoni. And whereas in this volume the Italian scholar limits his survey to the celestial beings or sky-gods of primitive or uncivilized races, I propose to begin mine with the sky-gods of our Aryan forefathers, partly on the ground of the superior antiquity of the documents, partly on the ground of the higher interest which attaches to a form of religion which was long held by our own ancestors, and which has perhaps not been without its influence in moulding the religious thought of much later ages.
§ 2. The Worship of the Sky among the Vedic Indians2
The hymns of the Rig Veda.
Professor Macdonell on Vedic mythology as a personification of natural phenomena.
The oldest literary documents in the Aryan or Indo-European languages are the Sanscrit hymns of the Rig Veda, which were composed in north-western India probably between 1500 and 1200 B.C.3 Vedic mythology, says. Professor Macdonell, occupies a very important position in the study of the history of religions. Its oldest source presents to us an earlier stage in the evolution of beliefs based on the personification and worship of natural phenomena, than any other literary monument of the world. To this oldest phase can be traced by uninterrupted development the germs of the religious beliefs of the great majority of the modern Indians, the only branch of the Indo-European race in which its original nature worship has not been entirely supplanted many centuries ago by a foreign monotheistic faith. The earliest stage of Vedic mythology is not so primitive as was at one time supposed, but it is sufficiently primitive to enable us to see clearly enough the process of personification by which natural phenomena developed into gods, a process not apparent in other literatures. The mythology, no less than the language, is still transparent enough in many cases to show the connexion both of the god and his name with a physical basis; nay, in several instances the anthropomorphism is only incipient. Thus uṣas, the dawn, is also a goddess wearing but a thin veil of personification; and when agni, fire, designates the god, the personality of the deity is thoroughly interpenetrated by the physical element.
Vedic mythology based on primitive animism.
The foundation on which Vedic mythology rests is still the belief, surviving from a remote antiquity, that all the objects and phenomena of nature with which man is surrounded are animate and divine. Everything that impressed the soul with awe or was regarded as capable of exercising a good or evil influence on man, might in the Vedic age still become a direct object not only of adoration but of prayer. Heaven, earth, mountains, rivers, plants might be supplicated as divine powers; the horse, the cow, the bird of omen, and other animals might be invoked; even objects fashioned by the hand of man, weapons, the war-car, the drum, the plough, as well as ritual implements, such as the pressing-stones and the sacrificial post, might be adored.
The Vedic gods are anthropomorphic representatives of natural phenomena.
This lower form of worship, however, occupies but a small space in Vedic religion. The true gods of the Veda are glorified human beings, inspired with human motives and passions, born like men, but immortal. They are almost without exception the deified representatives of the phenomena or agencies of nature. The degree of anthropomorphism to which they have attained, however, varies considerably. When the name of the god is the same as that of his natural basis, the personification has not advanced beyond the rudimentary stage. Such is the case with Dyaus, Heaven, Prthivī, Earth, Sūrya, Sun, Uṣas, Dawn, whose names represent the double character of natural phenomena and of the persons presiding over them. Similarly in the case of the two great ritual deities, Agni and Soma, the personifying imagination is held in check by the visible and tangible character of the element of fire and the sacrificial draught, called by the same names, of which they are the divine embodiments. When the name of the deity is different from that of the physical substrate, he tends to become dissociated from the latter, the anthropomorphism being then more developed. Thus the Maruts or Storm-gods are farther removed from their origin than Vāyu, Wind, though the Vedic poets are still conscious of the connexion.4
General evolution of deities of nature.
This lucid exposition of the development of Vedic mythology and theology, which I have quoted from Professor Macdonell, would probably apply, mutatis mutandis, to the evolution of all religions, which, starting with the personification of natural phenomena, have ended in a pantheon of anthropomorphic deities whose original connexion with nature has been more or less obscured and forgotten.
Two Vedic sky-gods, Dyaus and Varuna. Dyaus the counterpart of Zeus and Jupiter.
Vedic mythology appears to have included two distinct sky-gods, Dyaus and Varuna, Of the two, the celestial nature of Dyaus is the more transparent; indeed no possible doubt can subsist on this point, for in the Rig Veda the of name dyaus occurs at least five hundred times as a designation of the physical sky, without any mythical implication.5 The name is derived from a root div, meaning bright, shining, which appears again in the names of the kindred deities Zeus and Jupiter, the sky-gods of ancient Greece and Rome:6. Thus Dyaus signifies the Bright or Shining One, an eminently appropriate name for a sky-god.
Father Heaven (dyaus pitar) and Mother Earth (pṛithivī matar).
Personified as the god of heaven, Dyaus is generally coupled with Pṛithivī, Earth, the pair being regarded as the universal parents. In their marriage the sky-god Dyaus is the divine father, and the earth-goddess Pṛithivī is the divine mother. Thus in a hymn of the Rig Veda the poet invokes Father Heaven (dyaus pītar) along with Mother Earth (pṛthivī mātar);7 and in many other passages of the hymns his paternity is either expressly stated or implied by association with the Earth Goddess. Indeed, so closely were Father Heaven and Mother Earth associated in the minds of their worshippers that their names are generally linked together in the dual compound dyāuāpṛthivī.8
Father Heaven and Mother Earth the universal parents.
Dyaus as a bull.
But in some passages of the hymns the Heaven is separately styled father, and the Earth mother.9 The two were regarded as the parents not only of men, but of the gods, as appears from various texts where they are designated by the epithet devaputre, having gods for their children.10 Thus the goddess of Dawn (Ushas) is repeatedly called the daughter of Dyaus; and the Fire-god (Agni), the Sun-god (Surya), and the Storm-gods (Maruts) are described as his sons or children.11 In one passage he is spoken of as the father of the great god Indra.12 But apart from the conception of paternity there is little to show that in Vedic mythology the sky-god Dyaus was invested with personal attributes. In a few passages he is spoken of as a bull, and in one as a bull that bellows. The point of the comparison is probably the generative power of the animal, which is implicitly likened to the rain of heaven falling on and fertilizing the barren earth. The bellowing of the bull may signify the peal of thunder which accompanies heavy rain.13 Elsewhere, with reference to his prolific virtue, Dyaus is spoken of as rich in seed.14 In one passage he is compared to a dark horse decked with pearls, in allusion to the star-spangled sky of night.15
Epithets applied to Dyaus and Pṛithivī (Heaven and Earth).
Moral attributes ascribed to them.
As personifications of the sky and the earth, Dyaus and Pṛithivī are characterized in the hymns by a profusion of epithets suggestive of the physical phenomena of which they were the mythical embodiments, such as vastness, breadth, profundity, productiveness, unchangeableness. Yet the two were not conceived of merely as nature powers, as simple Moral personifications of physical objects; the poets ascribe to them attributes of a moral or spiritual order by speaking of them as beneficent, wise, and promoters of righteousness.16 Thus in one hymn we read:
At the festivals I worship with offerings, and celebrate the praises of, Heaven and Earth, the promoters of righteousness, the great, the wise, the energetic, who, having gods for their offspring, thus lavish, with the gods, the choicest blessings, in consequence of our hymn.
With my invocations I adore the thought of the beneficent Father, and that mighty inherent power of the Mother. The prolific Parents have made all creatures, and through their favours have conferred wide immortality on their offspring.17
Prayers to Heaven and Earth
O Heaven and Earth, with one record promoting
with high protection, as of queens, our welfare,
Far-reaching, universal, holy, guard us. May we,
car-borne, through songs be victors ever.
To both of you, O Heaven and Earth, we bring
our lofty song of praise,
Pure ones! to glorify you both.
Ye sanctify each other's form, by your own proper might ye rule,
And from of old observe the Law18
Filled full of fatness, compassing all things that be,
wide, spacious, dropping meath, beautiful in their form,
The Heaven and the Earth by Varuna's decree, unwasting,
rich in germs, stand parted each from each.
The everlasting pair, with full streams, rich in milk,
in their pure rule pour fatness for the pious man.
Ye who are regents of this world, O Earth and Heaven,
pour into us the genial flow that prospers men.
Whoso, for righteous life, pours offerings to you, O Heaven
and Earth, ye hemispheres, that man succeeds
May Heaven and Earth make food swell plenteously for us,
all-knowing father, mother, wondrous in their works.
Pouring out bounties, may, in union, both the worlds,
all-beneficial, send us gain, and power, and wealth.19
Once more we read:
As priest with solemn rites and adorations I worship
Heaven and Earth, the high and holy.
To them, great parents of the gods, have sages
of ancient time, singing assigned precedence,
With newest hymns set in the seat of Order
those the two parents, born before all others.
Come, Heaven and Earth, with the celestial people,
hither la us, for strong is your protection.
Yea, Heaven and Earth, ye hold in your possession
full many a treasure for the liberal giver.
Grant us that wealth which comes in free abundance,
Preserve us evermore, ye gods, with blessings.20
Heaven and Earth created by a divine artificer.
Yet there is a passage in the Rig Veda which proves that by one solitary thinker at least Heaven and Earth were conceived of, not as existing from all eternity, but as having themselves been created by the hand of a divine artificer. We read:
These Heaven and Earth, bestow prosperity on all,
sustainers of the region, holy ones and wise,
Two bowls of noble kind: between these goddesses
the god, the fulgent Sun, travels by fixed decree.
Widely-capacious pair, mighty, that never fail,
the Father and the Mother keep all creatures safe.
The two world-halves, the spirited, the beautiful, because
the Father hath clothed them in goodly forms
Among the skilful gods most skilled is he, who made
the two world-halves which bring prosperity to all;
Who with great wisdom measured both the regions out,
and established them with pillars that shall ne'er decay.21
Myth of the separation of Heaven and Earth.
It is a common belief of primitive peoples that sky and earth were originally joined together, the sky either lying flat on the earth or being raised so little above it that there was not room between them for people to walk upright. Where such beliefs prevail, the present elevation of the sky above the earth is often ascribed to the might of some god or hero, who gave the firmament such a shove that it shot up and has remained up above ever since. In some parts of Polynesia this exploit is attributed to the famous hero Maui; in Micronesia it is said to have been the work of various deities.22 A similar story of the original conjunction and subsequent separation of sky and earth meets us in Vedic mythology. We read that these two worlds (heaven and earth) were once joined. Subsequently they separated. After their separation there fell neither rain, nor was there sunshine. The five classes of beings (gods, men, etc.) then did not keep peace with one another. Thereupon the gods brought about a reconciliation of both these worlds. Both contracted with one another a marriage according to the rites observed by the gods.23
The personification of Dyaus and Pṛithivī vague and shadowy.
But in this passage the union, separation, and final marriage of the two great natural powers savours almost as much of a cosmogonical speculation as of a mythical personification of the two powers in question. And of shadowy. Dyaus and Pṛithivī generally we may say that their personification is still vague and shadowy; they hover, so to say, on the border between the physical and the divine. They do not appear to have been the object of a highly developed worship; on the whole, we may say that they occupied a subordinate place in Vedic religion. Certainly there is nothing to show that Dyaus, the Indian Sky-god, was the Supreme Deity of the Vedic pantheon, as Zeus and Jupiter, the Greek and Roman Sky-gods, were unquestionably the Supreme Deities of their respective pantheons.24 Yet his identity in name and nature with these two great gods seems to prove beyond question that the Sky-god, if not the principal, was certainly one of the oldest of the Aryan deities, and that his worship dates from the time when the forefathers of the Aryan or Indo-European peoples still lived together before the dispersion which scattered their descendants from the Ganges to Ireland.25
The other Vedic sky-god is Varuna, the equivalent of the Greek Uranus.
He is the king of the gods. His great powers.
The other great Sky-god of the Vedic pantheon is Varuna, whose name appears to be etymologically identical with the Greek ouranos (οὐρανός), which was the name both of the physical sky and of the old mythical sky or Sky-god, Uranus.26 The name appears to be derived from a root var, to cover, so that Varuna means the Encompasser, with reference to the overarching vault of heaven.27 But in Varuna the old physical basis of the god is far less transparent than in Dyaus; the process of personification has been carried much farther, and in particular the moral character of the deity has been more fully developed. Side by side with Indra he is the greatest of the gods of the Rig Veda.28 He is described as king of all, both gods and men, of the whole world, of all that exists.29 He is the upholder both of the physical and of the moral order. He is the great lord of the laws of nature. He established heaven and earth: he supports them: he dwells in all the worlds: he set the sun in the sky: he opened a broad path for him: he made him to shine like a golden swing in heaven: the wind which whistles through the air is his breath: by his ordinances the moon moves on in splendour through the night, and the stars are fixed in their places aloft: he measured the earth with the sun as with a measuring-rod: he caused the rivers to flow, and in obedience to his command they stream for ever: he clothes himself in the waters, he moves in their midst, his golden house is there, his house with a thousand doors: men pray to him for rain, and he bestows it on them: he tilts his casks, and they pour water on heaven and earth and air, they moisten the parched ground, they bedew the pastures with oil and the regions of the world with honey: he causes the mountains to be veiled in clouds: the gods themselves obey his ordinances: neither the birds as they fly nor the rivers as they flow can reach the limit of his dominion, his might, and his wrath: man cannot escape from him, though he should flee far beyond the sky: he knows all thingsthe flight of the birds in the sky, the path of ships in the sea, the course of the far-travelling wind: he beholds all the secret things that have been or shall be done: he witnesseth men's truth and falsehood: the very winkings of their eyes are all numbered by him, and whatever they do, or think, or devise, he knows it all.30
The moral character of Varuna.
As a moral governor of the world Varuna stands far above all the other Vedic gods. His wrath is roused by sin, the breach of his ordinances, and he punishes it severely: he binds sinners with threefold and sevenfold fetters, which ensnare the liar but pass by him who speaks the truth. But he is gracious to the penitent: he unties the bonds of sin and sets the sinner free: he pardons men their sins and the sins of their fathers: he spares the suppliant who has transgressed his laws, and he is gracious to such as have broken them through thoughtlessness. There is indeed no hymn to Varuna in which the suppliant does not pray for forgiveness of guilt, just as in hymns to other gods he prays for worldly prosperity. Varuna is on a footing of friendship with his worshipper, who communes with him in his heavenly mansion and sometimes beholds him with the eye of faith.31
Prayer to Varuna.
One hymn may serve as a specimen of the prayers which his worshippers addressed to Varuna:
Let me not yet, king Varuna, enter into the house of clay:
Have mercy, spare me, mighty lord!
When, thunderer! I move along tremulous like a wind-blown skin,
Have mercy, spare me, mighty lord!
O bright and powerful god, through want of strength I erred and went astray:
Have mercy, spare me, mighty lord!
Thirst found thy worshipper though he stood in the midst of water-floods;
Have mercy, spare me, mighty lord!
O Varuna, whatever the offence may be which we as men commit
against the heavenly host,
When through our want of thought we violate thy laws, punish us not, O god, for that iniquity.32
The divine majesty of Varuna.
A god so high and holy is clearly far from being a divine simple personification of the blue vault of heaven. In regard to no other deity of the Vedic pantheon is the sense of the divine majesty and of the absolute dependence of the creature expressed with the same force and dignity: we must turn to Job and the Psalms to find similar accents of heartfelt adoration and humble supplication.33
The relation of Varuna to Mitra.
Yet his old physical nature as a Sky-god pure and simple may be said to peep out here and there under the gorgeous drapery which religious poetry has thrown over his august figure. Thus he is very often coupled with another god Mitra, and some good scholars are of opinion that in origin Mitra was a sun-god like his Iranian counterpart and namesake Mithra.34 Nothing could well be more natural than to associate a sky-god with a sun-god. The Vedic poets speak of the sun as the eye both of Varuna and Mitra;35 and if Varuna was indeed originally the sky, the comparison of the sun to his eye is apt and appropriate; though on the other hand, if Mitra was originally the sun, the sun could hardly be spoken of as his eye until his original conception had been obscured and absorbed in that of the Sky-god, with whom he was constantly associated.36 The abode of the two gods is described as golden and situated in heaven.37 In a passage of the Satapatha, Brāhmana the god Varuna alone, conceived as the lord of the Universe, is stationed in the midst of heaven, from which he surveys the places of punishment situated all around him.38
Great antiquity of the worship of Varuna.
The Sky-god Varuna appears to date from the time when the ancestors of the Iranians and of the Aryan Indians still lived together and worshipped the same deities; for the great Iranian deity Ahura Mazda, who figures in the Avesta, agrees with Varuna in character, though not in name.39 Further, the similarity in name and nature between Varuna and the old Greek sky-god Uranus suggests that the worship of this personification of the firmament goes back to a still remoter period, when the Aryan ancestors of Greeks, Indians, and Iranians still formed one people, dwelling in the same land and united in the worship of the same divinities.
Of the two Vedic Sky-gods Dyaus is perhaps the older.
Thus it appears that the Indians of the Vedic age and their Aryan forefathers worshipped two separate personifications of the physical sky, which they distinguished by different names. In Vedic mythology one of these personifications is Dyaus, and the other is Varuna. Of the two, if we may hazard a conjecture on so obscure a question, Dyaus is perhaps the older. For his name as the appellation of a deity is much more widely diffused than that of Varuna, since it meets us in the Old High German Zio, the Anglo-Saxon Tiw, and the Eddie Tyr, as well as in the Greek Zeus and the Latin Jupiter40 Moreover, the old physical basis of the deity remains much clearer in Dyaus than in Varuna, in whom it has been largely overgrown and concealed by a rich vein of religious and moral reflection; and this greater simplicity and transparency of Dyaus as compared to Varuna may be thought to plead in favour of his higher antiquity. The association of the Earth-goddess Pṛithivī with Dyaus but not with Varuna points in the same direction; for the conception of Sky and Earth as a pair of wedded deities appears to be exceedingly ancient, if we may judge by its frequent occurrence among savages, whose mental condition on the whole represents an earlier stage in the evolution of thought than that which meets us in the most ancient literature of the Aryan race. To some of these savage ideas concerning the marriage of Sky and Earth I shall presently invite your attention.
§ 3. The Worship of the Sky among the ancient Iranians
Herodotus on the religion of the ancient Persians.
That a people of the Iranian stock adored a great Sky god we know from the testimony of Herodotus, who tells us that the ancient Persians deemed it unlawful to set up images and temples and altars, and that they reckoned men fools who did so; for they did not conceive the gods to be of like nature with men, as the Greeks conceived them. Hence, instead of employing the work of men's hands as the symbols and instruments of worship, it was the wont of the Persians to ascend to the tops of the mountains and there offer sacrifices to Zeus, giving the name of Zeus to the whole circle of the sky.41 It is highly probable that in this passage Herodotus has recorded, with a slight variation, the native name of the ancient Aryan Sky-god in the Persian language; for the Old Persian form of the name would be Diyaus, and this, as was well observed by the late Professor J. H. Moulton, would inevitably suggest its Greek cognate and synonym Zeus to the ear of a Greek traveller.42 Elsewhere Herodotus informs us that the Scythians worshipped Zeus and the Earth, whom they regarded as the wife of Zeus.43 It is highly probable, that by Zeus the historian here designates a Scythian sky-god;44 and if the Scythians were Iranians, as there is some reason to suppose, it will follow that the Vedic myth of the marriage of Heaven and Earth had its counterpart in Iranian mythology.45
Some scholars think that the Supreme God of the Iranians, Ahura Mazda, was originally a personification of the sky.
Some scholars of high authority have held that Ahura Mazda himself, the Supreme God of the Iranians, whose name signifies Wise Lord, was originally a personification of the sky and therefore substantially identical with the Vedic Dyaus and the Greek Zeus, both of whom were sky gods and the heads of their respective pantheons. The great antiquity of Ahura Mazda is attested by the oldest cuneiform inscriptions of the Achaemenian dynasty, in which, under the name of Auramazda, he is invoked as the Creator of heaven, earth, and mankind, as the protector of the kings and the source of their dominion. Thus Darius acknowledges that it was Auramazda who made him king and helped him, along with the rest of the gods.46 In support of the view that Ahura Mazda was originally a personification of the sky, the eminent Iranian scholar, James Darmesteter, quoted the following passage of the Zend-Avesta:
Ahura Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathushtra, saying: Do thou proclaim, O pure Zarathushtra! the vigour and strength, the glory, the help and the joy that are in the Fravashis47 of the faithful, the awful and overpowering Fravashis; do thou tell how they come to help me, the awful Fravashis of the faithful. Through their brightness and glory, O Zarathushtra, I maintain that sky, there above, shining and seen afar, and encompassing this earth all around. It looks like a palace that stands built of a heavenly substance, firmly established, with ends that lie afar, shining in its body of ruby over the three-thirds of the earth; it is like a garment inlaid with stars, made of a heavenly substance, that Mazda puts on.48
However, it may be observed that in this passage the sky is said to be maintained by Ahura Mazda; it is not identified with him, though it is compared to a star-spangled garment which the deity puts on. But again in another passage of the Zend-Avesta the sun is called the eye of Ahura Mazda, and Ahura Mazda himself is described as the radiant, the glorious.49 On this Darmesteter remarks that a radiant and glorious god who has the sun for his eye can be nothing but the Sky-god or the Sun-god, whether he be Zeus, or Varuna, or Indra, or Odin.50 Again, in support of the original identity of Ahura Mazda with the sky, the French scholar notes that the Fire (Âtar) is called his son, and that the Waters (Âpô) are called his wives. Both these mythical relationships, he thinks, are naturally explicable on the view that the Sky-god weds the Rain-clouds and begets on them the lightning.51 On the whole, Darmesteter concludes that Ahura Mazda was originally a god of the sky, especially of the bright sky, and he thinks that this view harmonizes with, and is supported by, the testimony of Herodotus cited above.52 To this opinion the eminent historian of Mithraicism, Franz Cumont, has briefly signified his assent53 Professor Williams Jackson also sees in Ahura Mazda certain mythical traits which point to a connexion between him and the old idea of a Sky-god.54
But this view is rejected by other scholars.
On the other hand the opinion that Ahura Mazda was originally a sky-god has been decidedly rejected by some Iranian scholars who speak with authority. Thus, summing up the result of his investigation of the character of Ahura Mazda, the veteran German scholar, Fr. Spiegel, observes: We have found two things: first, that Ahura Mazda is conceived of as a thoroughly spiritual being; second, that he stands infinitely high above all other beings, even those of the world of light, all of which, collectively and individually, are viewed as his creatures. This unique position which Ahura Mazda occupies in the Iranian religion is very noteworthy. Among his features no single one reminds us of an Aryan or even an Indian god, and I therefore entirely share the opinion of Windischmann, that Ahura Mazda does not date from the Aryan period but is a creation of the Iranian genius.55 To the same effect J. H. Moulton held that when in the doctrine of Zarathushtra the great god Ahura Mazda took his place at the centre of the Iranian religion, he had lost, if he ever possessed, all real traits of an elemental deity and was conceived of as essentially a moral and a spiritual God.56 Another eminent scholar, the late L. von Schroeder, also denied that Ahura Mazda was a personification of the sky or indeed of any natural phenomenon; like Spiegel and Moulton, he held that Ahura Mazda was a purely spiritual deity, but unlike Spiegel he would practically identify Ahura Mazda with Varuna and refer him, or at all events the original on whom he was modelled by Zarathushtra, back to the pantheon of the still undivided Aryans.57
On the respective validity of these conflicting opinions I am not competent to pronounce an opinion; I am content to record the two views without attempting either to judge or to reconcile them.
§ 4. The Worship of the Sky among the ancient Greeks
Two ancient Greek sky-gods, Zeus and Uranus.
The ancient Greeks personified and deified the sky under two different names, Zeus and Uranus; and, as we have seen, these two sky-gods corresponded in name and origin to the two Vedic sky-gods, Dyaus and Varuna.58 But the history of the two Greek gods, like that of their Indian counterparts, was very different. For whereas Uranus, a transparent personification of the sky, the name of which he bore,59 always remained a dim, remote figure of mythology, to whom no temples were built, no sacrifices offered, no prayers addressed, Zeus on the contrary occupied from the earliest times of which we have record a position of acknowledged supremacy over all the other gods, and as time went on his old physical basts in the vault of heaven tended to fall more and more into the background, obscured by the glory of the ethical and spiritual attributes with which a purer morality and a higher flight of religious thought gradually invested his majestic figure.
The myth of Uranus, how he narrated the Earth-goddess and began the Titans.
How Uranus was mutilated and deposed by his own son Cronus.
But though the old sky-god Uranus was never admitted to a share of Greek worship, he played a not unimportant part in Greek mythology. In the beginning of time he is said to have married the Earth-goddess, and by her to have become the father of Ocean, Rhea, Cronus, and other ancient divinities known as the Titans.60 But Uranus was a cruel father, and as fast as his wife bore him children he hid them away in a secret den of the earth and would not suffer them to come up to the light of day, and, lost to all paternal feelings, he even chuckled over the wicked deed. But the Earth-goddess was straitened by reason of the monstrous brood thus crammed into her entrails, and she plotted against her unfeeling husband. She made a great sickle of adamant or flint and offering it to her imprisoned offspring urged them to attack the author of their being with this formidable weapon. They shrank appalled at the impiety and danger of the task; Cronus alone, the youngest of them, plucked up courage, and undertook to do the deed. So his mother placed the sickle in his hands and put him in ambush. And when night fell, and Uranus went to bed and embraced his spouse the Earth-goddess, Cronus stretched forth his hand, and shore off his father's genital member, and cast it away behind him. The drops of blood all fell on the bosom of the Earth-goddess, and quickened by them she in due time gave birth to the Furies and the Giants. But as for his father's severed member, Cronus threw it into the sea, Tossed to and fro on the billows, the salt-sea foam gathered round it, and from the foam issued Aphrodite, goddess of love.61 Not content with mutilating his father, the unnatural son Cronus deposed him, and with the help and assent of his brethren was himself elevated to the vacant throne of heaven.62
How Cronus married his sister Rhea and swallowed his offspring by her, lest he should be deposed by one of his sons.
How Zeus, his youngest-born, escaped his father's maw.
But ill deeds do not prosper, and the punishment which How he had inflicted on his father was in time to recoil on his own head at the hands of his offspring. For Cronus married his sister Rhea and had by her the goddesses Hestia, Demeter, and Hera, and the gods Pluto, Poseidon, and Zeus. But an oracle of Earth and Sky warned him that he should in time be dethroned by his own son, and to prevent the fulfilment of the prophecy the unnatural father adopted the precaution of swallowing his progeny as soon as they were born. Five of the family had thus perished; but when the mother was about to give birth to Zeus, the youngest, she besought her parents the Sky-god (Uranus) and the Earth-goddess to help her to conceal the babe. So they sent her to Crete; and when the infant Zeus was born, the Earth-goddess hid him in a cave, and wrapping up a stone in swaddling bands, she gave it to Cronus to swallow instead of the child. The trick was successful. Deceived by the baby linen, the divine father bolted the stone without a qualm or a scruple, and congratulated himself on having thus effectually disposed, as he fancied, of the last pretender to the throne of heaven. Little did he suspect that his latest-born son Zeus survived and would yet conquer him, drive him from the throne, and reign over the immortal gods, even as he himself had deposed his father and reigned in his stead.63
How Zeus and his brothers and sisters made war on their father Cronus and deposed him.
How Zeus, Poseidon and Pluto divided the vacant kingdom.
Now Zeus was a very fine child, and when he had grown up to manhood, or rather to godhead, he called in the help of Metis (Cunning), daughter of Ocean, and she gave Cronus a dose. No sooner had he gulped it down, than he was seized with a fit of vomiting, when up came, first of all, the stone, which must have lain heavy on his stomach, and after it the divine infants Pluto, Poseidon, and the rest, whom he had swallowed. With the aid of these, his brothers and sisters, Zeus waged war on his father Cronus and the whole brood of the Titans. The war lasted ten years. The Cyclopes supplied the three gods with arms. To Zeus they gave thunder and lightning, to Pluto a helmet, and to Poseidon a trident Armed with these weapons, the gods conquered the Titans and shut them up in the gloomy depths of Tartarus, a dank and mouldy dungeon in a gulf so deep that a man would be a whole year in falling from top to bottom, tossed about upon the wings of grievous whirlwinds. From that dismal place there is no escape; for the roots of earth and sea compose the massy roof; and round about there runs a wall of brass, and brazen gates, wrought by Poseidon's hand, are shut upon the prisoners; and on the walls and at the gates monsters with hundred hands keep watch and ward.64 Having thrust the fallen Titans down into this dolorous abyss, the three brother Zeus, Poseidon, and Pluto, cast lots for the now vacant sovereignty. To Zeus fell the dominion of the sky, to Poseidon the dominion of the sea, and to Pluto the dominion of the infernal regions.65
How Zeus swallowed his wife Metis that he might not be deposed by her son.
Afterwards Zeus, now established on the throne of heaven, married Metis, the daughter of Ocean, who had helped him to the throne by administering the emetic to his father Cronus. Now Metis, whose name means Craft or Cunning, was wiser than gods and mortal men; but Sky and Earth warned Zeus, as they had warned his father before him, that his wife would give birth to a son who should prove more mighty than his sire and should reign as king over gods and men. To prevent this catastrophe Zeus had recourse to the same simple expedient as his father Cronus; but instead of awaiting the birth of a son and then swallowing him, Zeus preferred to take time by the forelock by swallowing his wife before she could give birth to the heir apparent. This accordingly he did,66 and the stratagem would seem to have been perfectly successful; for henceforth Zeus remained the undisputed lord of heaven and head of the Greek pantheon until he was finally deposed by the Christian god.67
Cronus an obscure figure in Greek mythology.
Comparison of his myth with the Semitic practice of sacrificing children to the gods.
Orphic story of the mutilation of Cronus.
Such, in brief, is the barbarous legend of the three Greek Sky-gods, father, son, and grandson, who reigned successively after each other, and of whom the first two were deposed and cruelly ill-treated by their offspring. That the first and third of the triad were sky-gods, is certain; there is more doubt about the middle one, Cronus, whose figure remains among the darkest and most mysterious in the Greek pantheon. No satisfactory derivation of his name has been suggested. He may be, as many have thought, a foreign deity, perhaps the god of an aboriginal race which the Greek invaders found in possession of the land and conquered, annexing some of their gods as well as part of their territory. The story of how Cronus swallowed his children has often been compared to the Semitic practice of sacrificing children to the gods, in particular to the Carthaginian practice of placing children on the sloping hands of a brazen image from which Semitic they rolled into a pit of fire. The Carthaginian god to whom these human sacrifices were offered was identified by the Greeks with Cronus,68 and this identification lends colour to the theory that in the story of Cronus and his children we have a reminiscence of a cruel ritual rather than a cosmogonical myth of physical phenomena.69 Yet whatever may have been his original meaning and attributes, when we find him interpolated in a mythical story between two undoubted sky-gods, as the son of the one and the father of the other, we can hardly doubt that in the mind of the story-teller Cronus was at least temporarily invested with the character of a sky-god. If we cut out the episode of Cronus as a later interpolation, due to the contact of the Greeks with an alien race, we shall be left with the two unquestionable sky-gods, Uranus and Zeus, as father and son, instead of grandfather and grandson, and shall be driven to regard Zeus instead of Cronus as the unfilial mutilator of his own father.70 Indeed, Orphic according to one tradition, which was adopted by the Orphic theology Zeus made his father Cronus drunk with honey-wine, bound him fast, and castrated him, even as Cronus had castrated his own father, Uranus.71
The story of the mutilation of Uranus is perhaps a myth of the separation of earth and sky.
Be that as it may, the savage tale of the mutilation of Uranus by his own offspring is most plausibly explained as a myth of the separation of earth and sky,72 which were supposed by the ancestors of the Greeks, as by many other separation primitive peoples, to have been originally joined together, or in mythical language, locked firmly together in a nuptial embrace. A reminiscence of the time when the sky was supposed to lie flat on the earth, involving it in total darkness, seems to linger in the statement of the story-teller that Uranus hid away his children in a secret place of the earth and would not suffer them to see the light.73 Indeed, the belief that sky and earth were of old inseparate is recorded by Euripides in some verses which he puts in the mouth of the heroine, Melanippe:
Not mine the taleI learned it from my mother
That heaven and earth were once a single whole;
But when they parted each from each asunder;
They brought forth all things and produced them to the light
Trees, winged things, beasts and the creatures of the brine
And race of mortals74
However, we cannot be sure that Euripides is here reporting a genuine popular tradition; for Diodorus Siculus, who quotes the passage, reminds us that the poet was a disciple of the philosopher Anaxagoras, and it may well be that in these lines the tragedian is merely stating a cosmogonical speculation of his master or possibly a deduction of his own. Certainly, it was a tenet of Anaxagoras that formerly all things were together, infinite in number and in minuteness; and when all things were together, it was impossible, on account of their minuteness, to distinguish anything.75 From such a cosmogonical theory, which reminds us of the nebular hypothesis of Laplace,76 it would have been an easy inference that sky and earth were once intermingled and indistinguishable.
Euripides on the marriage of Sky and Earth.
Elsewhere, however, Euripides has described in undoubtedly mythical language the mythical marriage of Sky and Earth. In a passage descriptive of the power of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, he tells us that:
The Earth doth love the rain, what time the parched ground,
Barren with drought, doth crave a shower.
The solemn Sky, too, full of rain, doth love
To fall upon the Earth, when Aphrodite prompts.
Then when the two are joined in love's embrace.
They make all things to grow for us, and feed them too,
Whereby the race of mortals lives and thrives77
Aeschylus on the marriage of Heaven and Earth.
In writing thus Euripides may well have had in mind similar lines of his great predecessor, Aeschylus, on the nuptials of Heaven and Earth. The passage runs thus:
The holy Heaven doth-live to wed the ground,
And Earth conceives a love of marriage.
The rain that falls from husband Heaven
Impregnates Earth; and she for mortal men gives birth
To pastoral herbage and to Ceres corn.78
In these passages from the tragedians the word for sky or heaven is, as usual, ouranos, or, in its Latinized form, uranus. Thus the identity of the mythical Uranus with the physical sky is manifest and indubitable. If there could remain any doubt on this point, it would be resolved by a passage in an Homeric hymn addressed to Earth, Mother of All Things, in which the poet says, Hail, Mother of the gods, wife of starry Uranus!79
Sky (Uranus) and Earth invoked in oaths.
Lastly, Earth and Sky (under his proper name of Uranus) were personified and coupled together as witnesses to oaths, with the implication that as deities they would punish perjury. This appeal to the deified powers of nature is as old as Homer. Thus in the Iliad Hera swears by Earth and Sky and the dripping water of Styx, and in the Odyssey Calypso calls the same three powers to witness that she will do no harm to Ulysses.80
The other Greek Sky-god. Zeus was always conceived as a personal being, closely associated with the vault of heaven.
His epithets are commonly derived from the celestial phenomena, clouds, rain, thunder, and lightning.
Zeus as the rain-god.
The prayer of Aeacus of Zeus for rain.
So much for the old Sky-god Uranus. We must now turn for a little to the other Greek Sky-god Zeus who, through the splendours of Greek poetry and art, cast his ancient rival and mythical grandfather into deep shadow. In Zeus the process of personification was carried much farther than in Uranus; his physical basis in the sky is overgrown and obscured by a luxuriant growth of mythology. Indeed, it appears that the name Zeus never occurs in Greek as a simple designation of the sky; it is always the name of a personal being, a mighty god, who stands in some relation, near or remote, to the vault of heaven. Yet that Zeus, like his Vedic namesake Dyaus, was in origin a sky-god, there can be no reasonable doubt.81 His epithets and attributes combine unmistakeably to prove it. He was addressed as Heavenly (ouranios) Zeus,82 and as Heavenly Zeus he was worshipped at Sparta, where one of the two kings regularly officiated as his priest.83 But commonly his epithets and attributes refer to celestial phenomena, such as clouds, rain, thunder and lightning, rather than to the actual vault of heaven. Thus Homer speaks of Zeus gathering clouds, wrapt in black clouds, wielding the lightning, delighting in the thunderbolt, and so on.84 In one passage he says that Zeus rained continuously;85 and elsewhere he speaks repeatedly of the rain of Zeus.86 He declares that Zeus set fast the rainbow in the clouds to be a sign to mortal men.87 A Greek expression for rain-water is water from Zeus.88 On the acropolis of Athens there was an image of Earth praying to Zeus for rain.89 And in time of drought the Athenians themselves prayed, saying, Rain, rain, O dear Zeus, on the cornland of the Athenians and on the plains90 An altar of Showery Zeus stood on Mount Hymettus, and there were altars of Rainy Zeus in various parts of Greece.91 One of them was in the island of Cos, and the members of a religious society used to go in procession and offer sacrifices on the altar when the thirsty land stood in need of refreshing showers.92 On the ridge of Mount Tmolus, near Sardes, there was a spot called the Birthplace of Rainy Zeus, probably because omens of rain were drawn from clouds resting upon it.93 On Mount Parnes there was an altar on which people sacrificed to Zeus, invoking him either as the Showery god or as the Averter of Ills.94 The climate of eastern Argolis is dry, and the rugged mountains are little better than a stony waterless wilderness. On one of them named Mount Arachnaeus, or the Spider Mountain, stood altars of Zeus and Hera, and when rain was wanted, the people sacrificed there to the god. The prayer and goddess.95 It is said that once, when all Greece was parched with drought, envoys assembled in Aegina from for win every quarter and besought Aeacus, the king of the island, to intercede with his father Zeus for rain.96 The king complied with the petition, and by sacrifices and prayers he wrung the needed showers from his sire Zeus, the sky-god. Complying with their petition, Aeacus ascended the Hellenic mountain, and stretching out pure hands to heaven he called on the common god, and prayed him to take pity on afflicted Greece. And even while he prayed a loud clap of thunder pealed, and all the surrounding sky was overcast, and furious and continuous showers of rain burst out and flooded the whole land. Thus was exuberant fertility procured for the fruits of the earth by the prayers of Aeacus.97 In gratitude for this timely answer to his prayers, Aeacus built a sanctuary of Zeus on Mount Panhellenius in Aegina.98 No place could well be more appropriate for a temple of the sky and the rain; for the sharp peak of Mount Panhellenius, cutting the sky-line like a blue horn, is a conspicuous landmark viewed from all the neighbouring coasts of the Saronic gulf, and in antiquity a cloud settling on the mountain was regarded as a sign of rain.99
Zeus associated with mountain-tops. Rain-making ceremony at a spring on Mount Lycaeus.
As a god of the sky and the rain, Zeus was naturally associated with mountains, whose tops seem to touch the mountain-sky, and are often veiled in rain-clouds. The god was said to have been reared on Mount Lycaeus in Arcadia, where there is a spring which was reported, like the Danube, to flow with an equal body of water winter and summer. If there was a long drought, and the seeds in the earth and the leaves of the trees were withering, the priest of Lycaean Zeus used to look to the water and pray; and having prayed and offered the sacrifices enjoined by custom, he let down an oak branch to the surface of the spring, but not deep into it; and the water being stirred, there rose a mist-like vapour, and in a little the vapour became a cloud, and gathering other clouds to itself it caused rain to fall on the land of Arcadia.100 In these ceremonies the sacrifices and prayers for rain were reinforced by the magical rite of dipping an oak-bough in the water. As the oak-tree was sacred to Zeus,101 it was natural to suppose that the damping of the oak-leaves would induce or compel the reluctant or forgetful deity to send the wished-for showers.
Ceremonies to avert bad-clouds at Cleonae Argolis
At Cleonae in Argolis watchmen were maintained at the public expense to look out for hail-storms. When they saw a hail-cloud approaching they made a signal, whereupon the farmers or vinedressers turned out and sacrificed lambs or fowls. People who were too poor to offer lambs or fowls pricked their fingers and offered their own blood to the clouds to induce them to go away somewhere else. We are told, and may readily believe, that the obliging hail-cloud turned aside quite as readily from a field in which a few drops of human blood had been offered to the cloud as from one in which it had been propitiated with more costly sacrifices. But if the hail-storm obstinately refused to accept the sacrifices, and to hearken to the spells of the magicians, and the crops suffered in consequence, the watchmen were brought to the bar of justice and punished for neglect of duty.102 From Plutarch we learn that the men thus set to look out for hail-storms made use particularly of mole's blood and menstruous rags for the purpose of averting the clouds.103
The personification of the clouds implied by these ceremonies represents a more primitive stratum of religions belief than the worship of Zeus.
In these quaint rites for getting rid of hail-clouds there is no mention of Zeus, and we need not suppose that he entered for a moment into the minds of the farmers when slaughtered their lambs or scratched their fingers; it was the clouds which were personified as divine beings who could be appeased with blood or moved to compassion, and so induced to comply with the wishes and prayers of men. Here, therefore, we touch a deeper stratum, a more primitive form, of religious belief than in the worship of the great sky-god Zeus; for whereas in that worship the sky, the clouds, the rain, the thunder, the lightning have been, so to say, gathered up and generalized in a single comprehensive conception, the personification of the clouds lags behind at that old stage of thought known as animism, which, in capable of rising to large general ideas, is content to attribute to every object in nature its own individual spirit. The persistence of such a primitive worship of the clouds among peasants long after the great sky-god Zeus had been enshrined in stately temples and adored with pompous rites, is very instructive; it reminds us of the old truth, which we are too apt to forget, that contemporaries in time are often very far from being contemporaries in mental evolution. The philosopher and the savage rub shoulders in civilized society to-day as they did in Greece of old; for when farmers and vinedressers were offering their blood to the clouds at Cleonae, Seneca was philosophizing at Rome, and Jesus had already preached and died in Judea. If in discussing the nature of Zeus as a sky-god I have noticed the quaint rustic rites of Cleonae, it is because they exhibit in an elementary and perfectly transparent form that personification of celestial phenomena which attained its highest manifestation in Zeus.
Aristophanes on the divinity of clouds.
In his amusing parody of the Socratic method and doctrine, Aristophanes represents the philosopher as discrediting the existence of Zeus, but treating the Clouds as great goddesses, who are the real causes of rain, thunder, and lightning.104 Doubtless the poet himself regarded the idea as manifestly absurd; but we may suppose that many of his rustic hearers, who had flocked into the city to witness the Dionysiac festival or to escape the prowling bands of the enemy in the open fields, saw nothing to laugh at in the divinity of clouds, and their faith in the aerial deities may have been strengthened if, while they sat in the open air on the benches of the theatre, which still rise, tier above tier, on the sunny side of the Acropolis, a heavy bank of clouds, drifting up from Mount Fames, blotted out the blue Attic sky and, bursting with a peal of thunder overhead, drove the spectators, drenched and dripping, to their homes. As they scurried away to seek shelter, the pious Athenians may have thought to themselves, This is what comes of poking fun at the Clouds and denying the existence of Zeus!
Zeus as the God of thunder and lightning.
As a sky-god Zeus was supposed to wield the thunder and lightning; a multitude of epithets lavished upon him deal with that formidable side of his nature.105 It is said that when Zeus released the Cyclopes, whom their father Uranus had imprisoned, they rewarded their deliverer by fashioning for him the lightning, the thunder, and the thunderbolt Armed with these weapons Zeus then overthrew the Titans, and trusting in the power of the celestial artillery he thenceforth ruled over gods and men.106 In Homer he thunders and hurls the thunder-bolt with deadly aim and fatal effect;107 moreover, he gives omens to men by the flash of lightning and the crash of thunder.108 At Olympia and elsewhere he was worshipped under the surname of Thunderbolt;109 and at Athens there was a sacrificial hearth of Lightning Zeus on the city wall, where some priestly officials watched for lightning over Mount Parnes at certain seasons of the year.110 Further, spots which had been struck by lightning were regularly fenced in and dedicated to Zeus the Descender, that is, to the god who came down in the flash from heaven. Altars were set up within these enclosures and sacrifices offered on them. Several such places are known from inscriptions to have existed in Athens.111
Zeus worshipped as a god of cool breezes in the island of Ceos.
As a god of the sky and the upper air Zeus could send cool winds to temper the burning heat of a Greek summer. Once upon a time, we are told, in the Aegean island of the Ceos, the blaze of the midsummer sun about the rising of the Dogstar had parched the fields and spread a wasting sickness among men and beasts. In their distress the people summoned Aristacus, son of Apollo, to their aid, that he might end the drought and stay the pestilence. He came and built an altar to Zeus under the title of Icmaeus or Icmius, that is, God of Moisture. On that altar in the mountains he offered sacrifices to Sirius or the Dogstar and to Zeus. The god accepted the sacrifice and sent the Etesian winds to blow and cool the earth for forty days. Thereafter in the island of Ceos the priests continued every year to offer sacrifices on the mountains to the Dogstar and to pray to Zeus that he would send cool breezes, and every year Zeus hearkened to the prayer and sent the cool Etesian wind for forty days. In gratitude for this service Aristaeus was numbered among the gods; according to the learned poet Callimachus, he even took the title of Zeus Aristaeus.112 A sober Greek historian, Heraclides Ponticus, recorded that every year the people of Ceos were wont to observe carefully the rising of the Dogstar, and from the appearance of the splendid star, whether shining brilliantly in a serene sky or looming dim through mist and cloud, they prognosticated the weather of the coming year, and with it the salubrity or unwholesomeness of the seasons.113 It is thus that religion may develop, or degenerate, into science, and an altar make room for an observatory.
With the progress of thought the conception of Zeus, the Sky-god, tended to absorb that of all the other gods.
But Greek thinkers could not rest content with the conception of a world parcelled out between a trinity of brother godsthe god of the sky, the god of the sea, and the god of the nether regions. The idea of a tripartite divinity furnished them with no permanent halting-place on the long march from polytheism to monotheism. Urged by that imperious craving after simplicity and unity which is a fundamental impulse of human nature and essential to the conduct of human understanding, they tended more and more to resolve the trinity into unity, to fuse the three gods into one; and on this one great god they bestowed the name of Zeus. Thus the Sky-god finally absorbed and extinguished his brother deities: they were lost in his radiant glory, like stars that vanish before the rising sun.
Aeschylus on the university of Zeus.
To this thought of the essential unity of the divine nature the deeply religious genius of Aeschylus gave powerful expression in the fifth century before our era. He said:
Zeus is the ether, Zeus is the Earth, and Zeus the sky.
In truth, Zeus is all things and what there is beyond them114
Zeus identified with the ether by Euripides.
Euripides identified Zeus with the all-embracing ether. In verses of a lost play, verses often quoted by the ancients and translated by Cicero, he says:
Seest thou yon infinite ether aloft
That clasps the earth in moist embrace?
That ether deem thou Zeus, esteem it God.115
In another passage of a lost play he introduces a speaker who affirms that the ether is what men name Zeus.116
Elsewhere he couples the ether of Zeus and the Earth as the universal parents:
Earth the mighty and the ether of Zeus,
He is the begetter of men and gods;
And she, when she has caught the rain's moist drops,
Gives birth to mortals,
Gives birth to pasture and the beasts after their kinds.
Whence not unjustly
She is deemed mother of all things.
But that which has been born of earth
To earth returns;
And that which sprouted from etherial seed
To heaven's vault goes back.
So nothing dies of nil that into bring comes,
but each from each is parted
And so takes another form.117
The Supreme God identified with the air by Anaximenes.
But we can hardly doubt that for the poet the name of Zeus was merely a cloak, a threadbare cloak, to hide a profound religious scepticism, which elsewhere he hardly takes the trouble to conceal. In one passage he says plainly, Zeus, whoever Zeus may be, for I know him not except in speech118 and elsewhere he passionately asserts that there are no gods in heaven, and that nobody but a fool would believe such an old wives tale.119 No doubt all these sayings are put in the mouth of fictitious personages created by the poet to suit the exigencies of the drama; but in them we seem to catch a ring of personal conviction which it is hardly possible to mistake; they probably reflect the real belief of the dramatist.120 In identifying Zeus with the ether he appears to have accepted the doctrine of the early philosopher Anaximenes, who taught that the infinite air was the original matter out of which all things were produced in the past, are produced in the present, and will be produced in the future, the processes of evolution and dissolution going on perpetually and to all appearance simultaneously. This air, infinite in extent and for ever in motion, he identified with God or the Supreme God; for according to one account he supposed the popular gods to participate in the universal process of generation and decay.121
Zeus identified with the air by the comic poet Philemon.
About a century later than Euripides the comic poet Philemon again gave expression to the view that Zeus was the air; but in his verses, as in those of his great predecessor, the name of the deity appears little more than a mask to cover a materialistic philosophy. He introduces the god himself speaking as follows:
Whom no one, neither god nor man, can e'er deceive,
In what lie does, or shall do, or has done in former days,
That being, I am lie,
To wit, the air, and you may also name me Zens.
The function of a god is mine in this, that I am everywhere,
Here in Athens, in Patrae, in Sicily,
In all the cities, and in every house,
And in you all. There is no place
Where air is not; and he who everywhere exists
Must needs in virtue of his omnipresent e be omniscient122
Hymn Zeus of the Stone philosopher Cleanthes.
A far more deeply religious spirit breathes in the famous Hymn to Zeus composed in the third century before our era by Cleanthes, one of the founders of the Stoic school. He addresses the god in terms of serious, indeed enthusiastic adoration:
Most glorious of the Immortals, thou of many names, omnipotent for aye,
O Zeus, founder of nature, who dost govern all things by law,
All hail! For mortals all enjoy the right to call upon thee,
Since we are thine offspring; the lot having fallen on us to be thine echo,
We alone, all mortal things that live and creep on earth.
Therefore will I hymn thee and sing thy might for ever.
All yonder world that wheels about the earth.
Obeys thee, wheresoe'er thou leadest; and, willingly is swayed by thee.
Such minister hast thou in thine unconquered hands,
The two-edged, fiery, ever-living thunderbolt,
For at its stroke all nature quakes.
By it thou dost direct the universal reason, which through all things
Runs, mingled with the lights both great and small.
So great art thou, a king supreme for ever.
Without thee, power divine, there is naught done on earth
Nor in heaven's holy vault, nor in the deep,
Save what bad men in their own folly perpetrate.
But thou dost know how best to make the uneven even,
To order the disorderly, and make the loveless loving.
So hast thou harmonised in one all good things with the bad
That they should form the Reason of the Eternal Universe,
Which evil men, fleeing abandon,
Mortals ill-starred, who, coveting the gain of fancied good,
Do neither see nor hear God's universal law,
That fine, to which obedience yielding they might lead a life of sense and virtue.
But they, strangers to goodness, seek their various ends:
Some on the feverish quest of glory all agog,
Others intent on lucre's sorry gain,
Others, voluptuous, all on ease and pleasure bent,
Wander this way and that, nor ever reach the goal.
But thou, O Zeus, all-bounteous, wrapt in dusky clouds, lord of the thunderbolt,
O save men from their baneful ignorance,
Disperse it, Father, from their soul afar; grant that we do attain
That wisdom, wherein trusting thou dost rule all things in justice,
To the end that we, honoured by thee, may thee requite with honour,
Hymning thy works for evermore, as doth become
A mortal man; for sure nor men nor gods can win a guerdon greater
Than to hymn the universal law in righteousness for aye123
Through this hymn, which I have rendered very imperfectly, there runs a tone of religious fervour, which bespeaks the sincerity of the poet. In the concluding address to the deity there is something of the organ swell with which Milton ends his lines At a Solemn Music:
O may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endless morn of light
Certainly no contrast could well be greater than that between the Mephistophelean sneer of Euripides at Zeus and the ecstatic hymn of Cleanthes, between the conception of a world moved by cold, impersonal, unconscious forces alone, and that of a universe fashioned and guided by a being of supreme wisdom, supreme power, and supreme goodness, whose praises it will be the highest bliss of mortals to sing in a rapture of music for ever.
Aratus on the omnipresence and beneficence of Zeus.
Contemporary with the philosopher Cleanthes was the presence poet Aratus; who introduced his astronomical poem with an exordium addressed to Zeus, which enjoys the distinction of being the one solitary passage of pagan literature quoted in the Bible. The lines run somewhat as follows:
From Zeus let us begin; him never do we men pass by
In silence. Full of Zeus are all the streets,
And all the market-places of men; full is the sea,
And full the invent; surf at every turn we all have need of Zeus,
For toe too are his offspring; and lie, out of his kindness, gives to men
Auspicious omens, and doth wake the world to work,
Reminding men to earn their bread. He tells what time the clods are best
For ox and mattock; tells when the buxom season most invites
To plant the shoots and cast the seeds of every sort,
For himself it was who set the signs in heaven,
Marked out the constellations, and for the year contrived
What stars should best the heralds be
Of seasons to mankind, that so all things should grow unfailingly.
Wherefore men do reverence to him ever, first and last.
Hail, Father, mighty marvel, mighty blessing
The providential character and fatherhood of Zeus.
In these verses, as in the hymn of Cleanthes, the gracious and providential character of Zeus is strongly marked. In both he is the wise and mighty Father of mankind, who has ordained all things for the good of his children. This thought of the fatherhood of Zeus is very, ancient, for in Homer he is commonly addressed as Father both by gods and men,125 and in ancient India, as we saw, his namesake Dyaus was regularly accorded the same endearing epithet by his worshippers. But while Aratus conceives Zeus as a deity chiefly concerned in ministering to the material well-being and comfort of mankind, the thought of the Stoic Cleanthes takes a much higher flight, dwelling mainly on the moral aspect of the deity as the source of that universal reason and universal law to which not mankind alone but all living beings must conform at their peril. For the philosopher is clearly at pains to solve the ancient, the perennial problem of reconciling the existence of evil in the world with the supposition of an all-wise, all-powerful, and all-good Creator. On that knotty point he appears to take refuge in the popular solution of the freedom of the will: if men go wrong, as unquestionably they do, it is all the fault of their own blind folly, for which the Creator cannot justly be held responsible. Let them only conform to the order of nature and the moral law established by the deity, and all will go well with them.
The pseudo-Aristotle on the universal divinity of Zeus.
But perhaps the most complete expression of the universal divinity of Zeus is to be found in a treatise on the universe which passes under the name of Aristotle and is included in his works, though no doubt it is the composition of a much later age. The passage runs as follows:
There is one being of many names, who is designated by all the attributes of which he is himself the author. We call him Zen and Zeus, using the words to signify He by whom we live (zōmen). He is said to be the son of Cronus and of Time (chronos), because he endures from eternity to eternity. He is called He of the Lightning, He of the Thunder, He of the Thunderbolt, Bright, Etherial, Rainy, after the rain, the thunderbolts, and all the rest. Moreover, he is named Fruitful after the fruits, and Civic after the cities; from his social relations he is called the Family God, He of the Courtyard, He of the Kinsfolk, the Paternal God; also the God of Fellowship, the Friendly One, the Hospitable, the Soldier God, Holder of Trophies, Purifier, Avenger, and the Gracious One, as poets say, the Saviour, the Deliverer in truth, and, in a word, the Heavenly and the Earthly God, who takes his names from the whole range of nature and of fortune, since he is himself the cause of all. Hence in the Orphic poems it is not 511 said:
Zeus wits the first and Zeus the last, god of the fashing thunderbolt;
Zeus is the head, and Zeus the middle, for of Zeus were all things made,
Zeus is the foundation of the earth and of the starry sky.
Zeus was a male, Zeus was a nymph divine.
Zeus is the breath of all things, Zeus the rush of the unwearied fire.
Zeus is the root of Ocean, Zeus the lord of all, god of the flashing thunderbolt.126
Arius Didymus on the identification of the universe with Zeus.
Finally, the stoical deification of the whole universe under the name of Zeus is summed up in a few words by a certain Arius Didymus, a writer of unknown date: The whole universe, with all its parts, they call God. They say that it is one alone, and finite, and living, and a god, for in it are contained all bodies, and there is no vacuum in it For these reasons we must deem that the god who directs the whole takes thought for men, seeing that he is beneficent, and good, and kind, and just, and possessed of all the virtues. Wherefore the universe is also called Zeus, since to us he is the cause of life (zēn).127
Thus from a simple childlike personification of the sky, Greek thought advanced step by step to the conception of a Supreme God, a Heavenly Father, the beneficent Creator and Preserver of the universe.
The ideal of Zeus embodied by Phidias in his image of the goal at Olympia
If in Greek philosophy the idea of Zeus, the Sky-god, reached its culminating point somewhat late, after the genius of the nation had passed its meridian and was declining towards its still splendid sunset, it was otherwise in Greek art. At the very moment when that genius touched its zenith, the great sculptor Phidias embodied the ideal of Zeus in that famous image at Olympia, which, if we may judge of it by the praises lavished on it by antiquity, must have been one of the greatest glories of the ancient world, one of the most marvellous creations of the human hand.128 The Roman general, Aemilius Paulus, the conqueror of Macedonia, was deeply moved by the sight of the image; he felt as if he were in the presence of the god himself, and declared that Phidias alone had succeeded in embodying the Homeric conception of Zeus.129 Cicero says that Phidias fashioned the image, not after any living model, but after that ideal beauty which he saw with the inward eye alone.130 Quintilian asserts that the beauty of the image served to deepen the popular religion, the majesty of the image equalling the majesty of the god.131 A poet declared that either the god must have come from heaven to earth to show Phidias his image, or Phidias must have gone to heaven to behold the deity in person.132 The statue was reckoned one of the seven wonders of the world,133 and to die without having seen it was deemed a misfortune134 The Greek rhetorician, Dio Chrysostom, a man of fine taste, extolled it in one of his speeches. He calls it the most beautiful image on earth, and the dearest to the gods.135 He represents Phidias speaking of his peaceful and everywhere gentle Zeus, the overseer, as it were, of united and harmonious Greece, whom, with the help of my art and in consultation with the wise and good city of Elis I set up, mild and august in an unconstrained attitude, the giver of life and breath and all good things, the common father and saviour and guardian of mankind, so far as it was possible for mortal man to conceive and imitate the divine and infinite nature.136 And elsewhere he says: Methinks that if one who is heavy laden in mind, who has drained the cup of misfortune and sorrow, and whom sweet sleep visits no more, were to stand before this image, he would forget all the griefs and troubles that are incident to the life of man.137
The Greek Sky-gods Zeus and Uranus compared to the Vedic Sky-gods Dyaus and Varuna.
So far did the Sky-god Zeus outrun his mythical predecessor, the Sky-god Uranus, in the race of glory. By a Uranus curious antithesis the careers of the two Greek Sky-gods were almost exactly the reverse of those of their two Indian namesakes. For whereas the Indian Dyaus always remained true to his simple origin as a personification of the sky, and as such was regularly coupled with his wife, the Earth-goddess, his Greek namesake Zeus never wedded the Earthgoddess, and lost more and more the traces of his connexion with the merely physical heaven, overshadowed as it were and obscured in the transcendent glory of his elevation to the position of Supreme God. On the other hand, while the Greek Uranus remained to the last a transparent personification of the sky, his Indian namesake, Varuna, soon sited that character and underwent a transformation analogous to that of the Greek Zeus. Thus, whereas in name Uranus corresponds to Varuna, and Zeus to Dyaus, in their mythical or divine character it is Uranus who answers to Dyaus, and Zeus to Varuna. If we are asked why two pairs of sky-gods, with names originally identical, ran opposite courses, we can only surmise that in each case the god who bore the ordinary name for the sky naturally kept the closer to his original nature; in Sanscrit he was Dyaus and in Greek Uranus; whereas the god who bore a name which was no longer the ordinary name for the sky was more easily divorced from, the physical heaven, and thus lent himself more readily to the play of mythical fancy: in Sanscrit he was Varuna and in Greek Zeus.
§ 5. The Worship of the Sky among the ancient Romans
The Sky-god Jupiter the head of the Roman pantheon.
In Roman religion we meet with the same old sky-god as in Vedic and Greek mythology. His name is Jupiter, which is etymologically identical with the Vedic Dyaus pitar and the Greek Zeus pater, the latter part of his name (-piter) being only a slightly altered form of pater, father, while the first part (Ju-) is contracted from Diov, as appears from the forms of the divine name Iovis and Diovis which occur in Old Latin and Oscan. A rare alternative form of Jupiter is Diespiter, in which the original form of the first part of the name is more clearly preserved.138 The sky-god Jupiter was always the head of the Roman pantheon, just as his namesake the sky-god Zeus was always the head of the Greek pantheon; but unlike Zeus the process of personification was never carried so far in Jupiter as to obscure his original connexion with the sky. The Latin poets not uncommonly use his name as equivalent to sky,139 and Ennius in a verse which is often quoted says:
Behold yon shining firmament which all name Jove.140 In another passage the same poet declares that Jupiter is what the Greeks call their, which is the wind and the clouds, afterwards the rain, and the cold which follows rain141 In quoting this latter passage the learned Roman antiquary Varro says plainly that Jupiter and Juno are the deified Sky and Earth;142 and many centuries afterwards the learned Christian Father, St. Augustine, declared that the identity of Jupiter with the sky was affirmed by a multitude of witnesses.143
Jupiter as the god of rain.
As a sky-god Jupiter was naturally associated with the rain, the thunder, and the lightning, of all of which he was supposed to be the author. One of his epithets was Rainy144 and another was Serene, with reference to a cloudless sky,145 because by his look he was believed to clear the cloudy heaven and still the storm.146 In time of drought prayers were put up to Jupiter for rain. At Rome the women used to go in procession with bare feet and streaming hair up the slope to the Capitol, and implore the deity to send the needed showers; whereupon, we are told, the rain used immediately to fall in bucketsful, and they all returned home as wet as drowned rats. But nowadays, says the writer who records these good old times when rain was to be had of Jupiter for the asking, nobody believes that the sky is the sky, nobody fasts, nobody cares a brass button for Jupiter, and that is the reason why farming is now in so bad a way.147 Speaking of these prayers for rain, the Christian father, Tertullian, says contemptuously, You sacrifice to Jupiter for rain, you command the people to go barefoot, you seek the sky on the Capitol, and you expect clouds from the ceiling148. In his capacity of a deity from whom rain could be elicited by prayer, like water from a barrel by turning a tap, Jupiter had an altar on the Aventine which was said to have been dedicated by the pious King Numa.149
Jupiter as the god of thunder and lightning.
The Temple of Thundering Jupiter on the Capitol.
But of all the celestial phenomena none were so frequently ascribed to the direct agency of Jupiter as thunder and lightning. Many epithets derived from thunder and lightning were applied to him;150 indeed the very names for lightning and thunderbolt were coupled with his name as if he were identical with these phenomena.151 In the Field of Mars at Rome there was a shrine of Lightning Jupiter.152 In a familiar passage Horace speaks of Jupiter sending snow and hail on the earth, and hurling lightning from his red right hand, as if the Bash of the lightning spread a ruddy glow over his uplifted arm.153 Augustus founded a temple of Thundering Jupiter on the Capitol in gratitude for a narrow escape which he had had of being killed by lightning. For once, when he was marching by night in Spain, it chanced that a flash of lightning grazed his litter and struck dead the slave who was carrying a torch in front of him. This Temple of Thundering Jupiter on the Capitol the devout emperor used often to visit Once he dreamed that Capitoline Jupiter appeared to him and complained of the loss of his worshippers, who were drawn away from him by the attractions of the new temple. The emperor endeavoured to pacify the irate deity by assuring him that he had only planted the Thunderer there in order to serve as doorkeeper to the genuine and original Jupiter in his ancient temple hard by; and to lend an air of plausibility to the excuse he caused bells to be hung from the gable of the Thunderer's temple, so that visitors to the temple might ring a bell to advertise the god of their approach and to ascertain whether he was at home, just as Roman gentlemen did when they called on their friends. The story is instructive as illustrating the extreme jealousy of the divine nature; for in this case Capitoline Jupiter was clearly very jealous of Thundering Jupiter, though in point of fact the Thunderer was only himself under another name. The anecdote shows, too, how easy it is to multiply gods by the simple process of multiplying their names; for no doubt many simple-minded people would take the two Jupiters for two distinct and even rival deities, who competed against each other for the custom of their worshippers. In this or some such way Roman mythology might have developed a god of thunder different from and independent of the god of the sky. Elsewhere such a differentiation of divine functions has actually taken place. We shall see presently, for example, that the Babylonian pantheon included a Thunder-god as well as a Sky-god, the two deities being distinct in both name and nature.
Jupiter Best and Greatest (Optimus Maximus).
The supreme place which Jupiter occupied in the Roman pantheon is sufficiently indicated by the titles Best and Greatest (Optimus Maximus) which were commonly bestowed on him, but which belonged especially to Capitoline Jupiter at Rome.154 When Cicero, on his return from exile, appealed to the pontiffs for the restoration of his house, which in his absence had been pulled down by his enemy, the ruffian Clodius, he concluded his speech with a peroration in which he solemnly invoked the protection of the Roman Gods, beginning with Capitoline Jupiter under his titles of Best and Greatest, and explaining that the Roman people gave the name of Best to Jupiter on account of his benefits, and the name of Greatest on account of his power.155 When Anthony addressed Caesar as king and attempted to place a crown on his head, Caesar refused it and sent the crown to Jupiter, Best and Greatest, on the Capitol, saying that Jupiter alone was king of the Romans.157 Down to the end of paganism this worship of Jupiter Best and Greatest on the Capitol remained the heart of Roman religion: in a late dedication the deity is styled the chief of the gods the governor of all things, the ruler of heaven and earth.158 He was indeed the divine embodiment of the Roman empire; and when the emperor Constantine abandoned the old for a new religion, it was fitting that he also abandoned the ancient capital for a new seat of empire nearer to the birthplace of the Oriental faith which he had borrowed from Judaea.
R. Pettazzoni, Die: Formazione e sviluppo del Monoteismo nella Storia delle Religioni, vol. i. L Essere celeste nelle Credenze dei Popoli Primitivi (Roma, 1922).
The worship of the great Sky-god among all the people of the Aryan family has been treated elaborately in a learned monograph by the late Leopold von Schroeder (Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott. Leipzig, 1923). But while he holds that the Supreme God of the Aryan pantheon was a Sky-god, he denies (pp. 345 sq.) that this Supreme God was a personification of the physical sky.
F. Max Müller, Lecture on the Vedas, Selected Essays on Language, Mythology, and Religion. (London, 1881), ii. 119 (as to the date); W. Crooke, in The Imperial Gazetteer of India, New Edition, vol. i. (oxford, 1909) p. 403 (as to the place of composition).
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, (Strassburg, 1897), p. 2 (Grundriss der indo-arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde, herausgegeben von G. Bühler, vol. iii. Part I. A). Compare A. Barth, The Religions of India (London, 1882), pp. 7 sq.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 21; E. W. Hopkins, The Religions of India (London, 1896), p. 58.
O. Schrader, Reallexikon der indogermanischen Altertumskunde (Strassburg, 1901), p. 670; H. Hirt, Die Indogermanen (Strassburg, 19051907), ii. 506; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott (Leipzig, 1923), pp. 300 sqq. and 309 sqq. (as to the paternity of Dyaus); H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda (London, etc., 1923), p. 14.
Rig Veda, vi. 51. 5 (vol. ii. p. 394 of Griffith's translation); A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 22.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, pp. 21, 22; H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 98 sq.
J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. (London, 1884) pp. 22 sq.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 21.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 21; Rigveda, iv. 17. 4 (vol. ii. p. 119, Griffith's translation).
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 21; 22. In Rig Veda, v. 58. 6, to which Professor Macdonell refers, the bellowing of the bull is understood by Mr. R. T. H. Griffith to signify thunder; for he translates, Let Dyaus the red steer send his thunder downward (vol. ii. p. 269).
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 21.
Rig Veda, x. 69. 11 (vol. iv. p. 239 Griffith's translation); A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 22.
J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 22.
Rig Veda, i. 159. 1 sq.; J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 21.
Rig Veda, iv. 56. 4-6; The Hymns of the Rigveda, translated with a popular commentary by Ralph T. H. Griffith (Benares. 18891892), ii. 180.
Rig Veda, vi. 70. 1-3, 6 translation, vol. ii. pp. 423 sq.).
Rig Veda, vii. 53 (Griffith's translation, vol. iii. p. 68). For another translation, see H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, p. 98.
Rig Veda, i. 160 (Griffith's translation, vol. i. p. 273). For another translation, see H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 98 sq. Compare J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 22. In this hymn it will be observed that Heaven and Earth are spoken of as two goddesses. The explanation is that in about twenty passages or the hymns dyaus (heaven), curiously enough, is feminine even when heaven is personified. See A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 22. Moreover, instead of father and mother, Heaven and Earth are often spoken of as the two mothers. See E. W. Hopkins, The Religions of India, p. 59.
E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture, i. 322 sqq.; Andrew Lang, Custom and Myth (London, 1884), pp. 44 sqq. As to the Polynesian legend, see Sir George Grey, Polynesian Mythology (London, 1855), pp. I sqq.; The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, ii. 226, 275; as to the Micronesian legend, see The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, iii. 58, 59 sq.
Aitareya Brāhmana, iv. 27, quoted and translated by J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 23.
Compare H. Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, p. 240; E. W. Hopkins, The Religions of India, pp. 58 sq.; A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 22; 11. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 100 sq.
Compare L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 309 sqq.
The identity of Varuna with ούρανός (Uranus) in name and nature appears to be generally, though not universally, accepted by scholars. See F. Max Müller, Lectures on the Science of Language6, ii. 454, 475; id., Introduction to the Science of Religion (London. 1873), p. 231; id., Comparative Mythology, Selected Essay, on Language, Mythology, and Religion (London 1881), 370 sq.: J. Darmsteter, Ormazd et Ahriman (Paris 1877), p. 53; A. Kaegi, Der Rigveda2 (Leipzig, 1881), pp. 85, 200 sq.; J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 76; A. Barth, The Religions of India, p. 16; E. W. Hopkins, The Religions of India, pp. 63, 66, 70; A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, pp. 27 sq.; id., Vedic Mythology, in J. Hastings's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, xii. (Edinburgh, 1921) p. 603; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I.Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, p. 322; H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 112 sq. Professor Meillet proposes to derive the name Varuna from the Sanscrit vrata, ordinance. See J. H. Moulton, Early Zoroastrianism (London, 1913), p. 64.
A. Kaegi, Der Rigveda2, p. 200; A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 28; L. von Schroeder, op. cit. p. 322; H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 112 sq.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, pp. 22 sq.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 24.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, pp. 24-26, with the references to the Rig Veda and the Atharva Veda. To the passages cited by Professor Macdonell I have added, he measured the earth with the sun as with a measuring rod (Rig Veda, v. 85. 5). As to the character and power of Varuna, see further A, Kaegi, Der Rigveda2, pp. 85 sqq.; J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 58 sqq.; A. Barth, The Religions of India, pp. 16 sqq.; E. W. Hopkins, The Religions of India, pp. 61 sqq.; H. Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, pp. 185 sqq.; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 321 sqq.; H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 111-149. Oldenberg argued that Varuna was originally a moon-god, borrowed from the Semites or Accadians. But his views on this point appear not to have met with acceptance. See E. W. Hopkins, The Religions of India, p. 571 note; A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 28; F. Cumont, Textes et Monuments figurés relatifs aux Mystères de Mithra (Bruxelles, 18961899), i. 224 note3; C. P. Tiele, Geschichte der Religion im Altertum (Gotha, 18961903), ii. 70; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 430 sqq.; H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 147-149.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, pp. 26 sq. On the ethical character of Varuna, see especially H. D. Griswold, The Religion of the Rigveda, pp. 121 sqq.
Rig Veda, vii. 89 (Griffith's translation, vol. iii. p. 110). The hymn has also been translated by F. Max Müller (Lecture on the Vedas, Selected Essays on Language, Mythology, and Religion, ii. 148 sq.), by J. Muir (Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 67), and by H. D. Griswold (The Religion of the Rigveda, p. 123).
A. Barth, The Religions of India, p. 18. In his excellent work on the Rig Veda, (second edition, pp. 85 sqq.) the German scholar A. Kaegi illustrates the references of the Vedic poets to Varuna by apt quotations from Job, the Psalms, and the prophetic books of the Old Testament.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, pp. 7, 22 sq., 27, 29 sq; E. W. Hopkins, The Relations of India, pp. 57 sq, As to the equivalence of Mitra and Mithra, and the solar nature of both, compare H. Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, pp. 189 sqq. However, the original solar character both of Mitra and Mithra is denied by other scholars, whose opinion carries weight. See L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, 1. Einleitung, Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 361 sq., 381 sqq., 431; and below, pp. 461, 503, 509 sqq.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 23.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 27.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 23, referring to Rig Veda, i. 136. 2, v. 67. 2.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 23, referring to Satapatha BrĠhmana, xi. 6. 1.
A. A. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, pp. 8, 28; J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, v. 72; J. Darmsteter, Ormazd et Ahriman (Paris, 1877), pp. 44-57; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 334 sqq.
F. Max Müller.Lectures on the Science of Language6, ii. 468. The old German form of the name is now given as Tius or Tiuz, or again as Tiwaz or Tiwz. In any case the old German and Norse god who corresponds to Dyaus, Zeus, and Jupiter was not a Sky-god but a War-god. See R. M. Meyer, Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1910), pp. 178 sq.; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I.Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 301, 485, 490 sq., 492.
Herodotus, i. 131. Compare Strabo, xv. 3. 13. p. 732, who seems to be simple copying Herodotus.
J. H. Moulton, Early Zoroastrianism (London, 1913). pp. 391 sq.; compare id., Iranians, in J. Hastings's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vii. 418 sq.; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 337 sqq. (who doubts whether Herodotus here meant to give the Persian name of the god).
Herodotus, iv. 59.
So J. C. F. Baehr in his commentary on Herodotus, iv. 59.
J. H. Moulton, Iranians, in J. Hasting's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vii. 419. As to the evidence for the Iranian origin of the Scythians, see E. H. Minns, Scythians, in J. Hastings's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, xi. 278 sq.; id., in The Cambridge Ancient History, iii. 192 sqq.
James Darmesteter, Ormazd et Ahriman (Paris, 1877), p. 25: F. Cumont, s.v. Oromasdes, in W. H. Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, iii. 1051. As to the interpretation of Ahura Mazda as the Wise Lord, see Fr. Spiegel, Erdnische Alterthumskunde (Leipzig, 18711878), ii. 21, note4; A. V. Williams Jackson, Die iranische Religion, in W. Geiger und F. Kuhn, Grundriss der iranische Philologie, ii. (Strassburg, 18961904), p. 632; J. H. Moulton, Early Zoroastrianism (London, 1913), p. 447; J. Darmesteter, Ormazd et Arhiman, pp. 28 sq.; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, p. 282.
The Fravashis appear to have been originally worshipful ancestral spirits, but in later times the conception was extended so as to cover the spirits or doubles of the living as well as of the dead. We are told that they corresponded to the Latin genius as well as to the Latin manes. Some would limit them to the spirits of the good. In any case they appear to have been regarded as purely beneficent beings, a sort of guardian angels, and were accordingly worshipped with sacrifice. They were especially associated with the stars; but during the intercalary days at the end of every year they were supposed to descend to earth and tarry there for ten nights during which they received offerings of food and clothes from their worshippers. See Fr. Spiegel, Erdnische Alterthumskunde, ii. 91-98; A. V. Williams Jackson, Die iranische Religion, in W. Geiger und E. Kuhn, Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, ii. 643; J. H. Moulton, s.v. Fravashi, in J. Hastings's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vi. 116-118; id., Early Zoroastrianism, pp. 254 sqq.
The Zend-Avesta, translated by James Darmesteter, Part II. (Oxford, 1883) pp. 180 sq. (Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxiii.).
The Zend-Avesta, Part III. translated by L. H. Mills (Oxford, 1887), p. 199 (Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxxi.).
J. Darmesteter, Ormazd et Ahriman, p. 32.
J. Darmesteter, Ormazd et Ahriman, pp. 33 sqq.
J. Darmesteter, Ormazd et Ahriman, pp. 35-37 sqq.
F. Cumont, s.v. Oromasdes, in W. H. Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und romischen Mythologie, iii. 1052.
A. V. Williams Jackson, Die iranische Religion, in W. Geiger und E. Kuhn, Grundriss der iranischen Philologie, ii. 633.
Fr. Spiegel, Erdnische Alterthumskunde, ii. 25.
J. H. Moulton, Early Zoroastrianism, pp. 60 sq., 94 sqq.
L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I, Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 281 sq., 321, 326 sq., 334 sq., 339, 341 sqq.
The Greek sky-god in his double form is discussed by L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 445 sqq. Zeus is the subject of a monumental monograph by Mr. A. B. Cook, still in-complete (Zeus, vol. i. and ii., Cambridge, 1914-1925).
Uranus is the Latinized form of ouranos (οὐρανός), which was, and still is, the ordinary name for sky in Greek.
Hesiod, Theolog, 132-138: Apollodorus, i. 1. 1-3.
Hesiod, Theogony, 154-1 92; Apollodorus, i. 1. 2-4.
Apollodorus, i. 1. 4.
Hesiod, Theogony, 453-491; Apollodorus, i. 1. 5-7. According to Apollodorus, it was Rhea, not the Earth-goddess, who gave the stone to Cronus.
Apollodorus, i. 2. 1; Hesiod, Theogony, 492-506, 617-745. According to Homer (Iliad, xiv. 203 sq., Zeus shut up Cronus beneath the earth and the unvintaged sea.
Apollodorus, i. 2. 1; Homer, Iliad, xv. 187-193.
Hesiod, Theogony, 886-990, 929a 929t (ed. H. G. Evelyn-White); Apollodorus, i. 3. 6; Scholiast on Plato Timaeus, p. 23 D.
Diodorus Siculus, xx. 14. See further The Golden Bough, Part IV., The Dying God, pp. 74 sq., 166 sqq.; A. B. Cook, Zeus, i. (Cambridge, 1914) pp. 721 sq.
As to Cronus, see M. Mayer, Kronos, in W. H. Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, ii. 1452 sqq.; L. Preller, Griechische Mythologie4, bearbeitet von C. Robert, i. 43 sqq.; O. Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie, pp. 1104 sq.; L. R. Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, i. 23 sqq.
L. von Schroeder conjectured that in the original myth Uranus was the father, not the grandfather, of Zens, and that Cronus was a Cretan or Carian god interpolated at a later date in the story. See L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einleitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, pp. 463 note2 466 note1. The conjecture is plausible.
Porphyry, De antro nympharum, 16. Compare Dio Chrysostom, Or. xi. vol. i. p. 210 ed. L. Dindorf; Aristides, Or. iii. vol. i. p. 35 ed. G. Dindorf; Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, iv. 983.
Andrew Lang, Custom and Myth (London, 1884), pp. 45 sqq.; id., Myth, Ritual, and Religion (London, 1887), i. 295 sqq.
Hesiod, Theog. 155-159. In the corresponding passage of Apollodorus (i. 1. 3) it is said that Uranus cast his offspring into Tartarus, a gloomy place in Hades, which seems a less primitive version of the story.
Euripides, Frag. 484, in Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. A. Nauck2, p. 511. The passage is quoted by Dionysius Halicarnasensis, Ars Rhetorica, 11, vol. v. p. 355 ed. Reiske (incompletely); Diodorus Siculus, i. 7. 7 (except the first line); Eusebius, i. 7. 7. (except the first line); Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, i. 7. 8.
Anaxagoras, Frag. I, in Die Fragmenta der Vorsokratiker, griechisch und deutsch von H. Diels2, i. (Berlin, 1906), p. 313.
Compare J. H. Jeans, The Nebular Hypothesis and Modern Cosmogony, (Oxford, 1923).
Athenaeus, xiii. 73, pp. 599F-600B; Euripides, Frag. 898, in Fragmenta Tragicorum Graecorum, ed. Nauck2, p. 648.
Athenaeus, xiii. 73, p. 600 B; Aeschylus, Frag. 44, in Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. Nauck2, p. 44. In this passage I read τρω̑σαι and ἕκνσε with the MSS. instead of πλη̑σαι and ἕδενσε, with some editors.
Homeric Hymns, xxx. 17.
Homer, Iliad, xv. 36, Odyssey, v. 184. Compare Homeric Hymn to the Pythian Apollo, 156 (334).
On Zeus as a sky-god, see L. Preller, Griechische Mythologie4, bear-beitet von C Robert, i. 115 sqq.; O. Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie, pp. 1100 sq.; A. B. Cook, Zeus, i. (Cambridge, 1914), pp. 1 sqq. I formerly argued that Zeus was primarily a god of the oak, and only secondarily a god of the thundering sky. But this view I now believe to be erroneous, and I have long retracted it. See The Golden Bough, Part VII., Balder the Beautiful, vol. i. Preface, pp. ix. sq.
Callimachus, Hymn, i. 54, Epigr. liii. 3.
Herodotus, vi. 56.
For the epithets and the references to the passages, see H. Ebeling, Lexicon Homericum (Leipzig, 18801885), i. 521.
Iliad, xii. 25 sq.
Iliad, v. 91, xi. 493, xii. 286.
Iliad, xi. 27 sq.
Herodotus, ii. 13; Apollonius Rhodius, Argonant. ii. 1120; Plutarch, Quaestiones Naturales, ii. 4; Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum3, No. 93, vol. i. p. 123.
Pausanias, i. 24. 7.
Marcus Antoninus, v. 7.
Pausanias, ii. 19. 8, ix. 39. 4.
Paton and Hicks, The Inscriptions of Cos (Oxford, 1891), No. 382. pp. 269 sqq.: Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum3, No. 1107, vol. iii. pp. 266 sq.; M. P. Nilsson, Griechische Feste von religioser Bedentung mit Ausschluss der Attischen (Leipzig, 1906), p. 4. According to Professor Nilsson, the worshippers mentioned in the inscription were not a religious association but the whole community (τὸ κοτνότν).
Joannes Lydus, Demensibus, iv. 48, ed. Bekkers.
Pausanias, i. 32. 2.
Pausanias, ii. 25. 10. As to the climate and scenery of these barren mountains, see A. Philippson, Der Peloponnes (Berlin, 1891), pp. 43 sq. 65.
Isocrates, Evagoras, 14; Diodorus Siculus, iv. 61. 1 sq.; Pausanias, ii. 29. 7 sq.; Apollodorus, iii. 12. 6; Clement of Alexandria, Strom. vi. 3. 28, p. 753 ed. Potter; Scholiast on Pindar, Nem. v. 9 (17). Aeacus was said to be the son of Zeus by Aegina, daughter of Asopus (Apollodorus, l.c.).
Clement of Alexandria, l.c.
Pausanias, ii. 30. 4.
Theophrastus, De signis tempestat. i. 24.
Pausanias, viii. 38. 2-4.
The Golden Bough, Part I. The Magic Art, ii. 358 sq.
Seneca, Quaestiones Naturales, iv. 6; Clement of Alexandria, Strom. vi. 3. 31, p. 754 ed. Potter.
Plutarch, Quaestiones Conviviales, vii. 2. 2.
Aristophanes, Clouds, 252-411.
O. Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie, p. 111 note3
Hesiod, Theog. 501-506; Apollodorus, i. 2. 1.
Homer, Iliad, xiv. 417, xv. 117, xxi. 198 sq., 401; Odyssey, xii. 415 sqq.; Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, 288.
Homer, Iliad, viii. 170 sq., ix. 236 sq., xv. 377 sq.; Odyssey, xx. 102 sqq., xxi. 413 sqq.
Pausanias, v. 14. 7; H. Roehl, Inscriptiones Graecae antiquissimae (Berlin. 1882), No. 10; Frankel, Inscriptiones von Pergamon, i. No. 232; Joannes Malalas, Chronographia, iii. p. 199, ed. I Dindorf.
Strabo, ix. 2. 11, p. 404.
Pollux, ix. 41; Hesychius, s.v. ἡλύσιον Etymologicum Magnum, p. 341. 8 sqq.; Artemidorus, Onirocrit. ii. 9; Pausanias, v. 14. 10; Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum3, No. 992, vol. iii. p. 123, with the references to other inscriptions; Ch. Michel, Recueil d Inscriptions grecques (Brussels, 1900), Nos. 747, 748, p. 634.
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonaut, ii. 516-527; Callimachus, Aitia, iii. 1. 32-37, p. 208 ed. Mair; Hyginus, Astronomica, ii. 4, pp. 37 sq., ed. Bunte; Probus, on Virgil, Georg. i. 14; M. P. Nilsson, Griechische Feste von religiöser Bedeutung mit Ausschluss der Attischen (Leipzig, 1906), pp. 6-8.
Cicero, De divinatione, i. 57. 130.
Aeschylus, Frag. 70, in Fragmenta Tragicorum Graecorum, ed. Nauck2, p. 70; Clement of Alexandria, Strom, v. 14. 115, p. 718 ed. Potter; Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, xiii. 13. vol. ii. p. 272, ed. Heinichen.
Euripides, Frag. 941, in Fragmenta Tragicorum Graecorum, ed. Nauck2, p. 663; Lucian, Jupiter Tragoedus, 41; Clement of Alexandria, Strom, v. 14. 115, p. 717 ed. Potter; Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, xiii. 13, vol. ii. p. 272, ed. Heinichen; Plutarch, De exilio, 5 (omitting the last impious verse). For Cicero's versified translation of the lines, see De natura deorum, ii. 25. 65.
Euripides, Frag. 877, in Fragmenta Tragicorum Graecorum, ed. Nauck2, p. 642.
Euripides, Frag. 830, in Fragmenta Tragicorum Graecorum, ed. Nauck2, p. 633; Sextus Empiricus, p. 751, lines 21 sqq. ed. Bekker (quoting the first seven lines without the author's name); Clement of Alexandria, Strom, vi. a. 24, p. 750 (quoting the last three lines from the Chrysippus of Euripides).
Euripides, Frag.480, in Fragmenta Tragicorum Graecorum, ed. Nanck2, p. 510; Lucian, Jupiter Tragoedus, 41.
Euripides, Frag. 286, in Fragmenta Tragicorum Graecorum, ed. Nauck2, p. 445.
The religious scepticism of Euripides was rightly emphasised by A. W. Verrall in his book Euripides the Rationalist (Cambridge, 1895).
Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium Haeresium, i. 7; Plutarch, De placitic philosophorum, i. 3. 6; Cicero, De natura deorum, i. 10. 26; id., Academica, ii. 37. 118; Lactantius, Divin. Institut. i. 5. See further H Diels, Die Fragmenta der Vorsokratiker2, i. 17 sqq.; E. Zeller, Die Philosophic der Griechen, i. 219 sqq.
Stobaeus, Eclogae, i. 2. 32 (vol. i. p. 17 ed. Meineke).
Cleanthes, quoted by Stobaeus, Eclogae, i. 2. 12, vol. i. pp. 8 sq. ed. Meineke.
Aratus, Phaenomena, 1-15. The expression For we too are his off-spring (τον̑ γὰρ καὶ γένος εὶμέν, line 5) is quoted by St. Paul (Acts of the Apostles, xvii. 28). A very similar expression (ὰκ σοςν̑ γὰρ γένος ὰσμέν) occurs in the hymn of Cleanthes to Zeus. See above, p. 51.
Ζεν̑ πάτερ, Homer, Iliad, ii. 371, v. 757, 762 viii. 236, xiii. 631, Odyssey, iv. 341, vii. 311, xvii. 132, xviii. 235, xx. 201, xxiv. 376.
Aristotle, De mundo ad Alexandrum, 7, p. 401 ed. Bekker. The passage is quoted, with some trifling variations, as from Aristotle by Stobaeus, Eclogae, i. 2. 3, vol. i. pp. 22 ed. Meineke. Stobaeus also quotes the Orphic poem at much greater length (Eclogae, i. 2. 23, vol. i. pp. 10 sq. ed. Meineke). Most of the epithets applied to Zens in this passage are enumerated and explained by Dio Chrysostom (Or. xii. vol. i. pp. 237 sq., ed. L. Dindorf).
Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, xv. 15, vol. ii. pp. 401 sq. ed. Heinichen. As to the Stoical conception of Zeus, see farther E. Zeller, Die Philosophie der Griechen, Dritter Theil, Erste Abtheilung3 (Leipzig, 1880), pp. 324 sq.
The passages of ancient writers referring to the statue are collected and printed in full by J. Overbeck. Die antiken Schriftquellen zur Geschichte der Kunste bei den Griechen (Leipzig, 1868), pp. 125-136. Compare id., Griechische Kunstmythologies, Besonderer Theil, i. (Leipzig, 1871), pp. 34 sqq.; Pausanias, v. 11., 1, with my commentary, vol. iii. pp. 530 sqq.
Livy. xlv. 28; Plutarch, Aemilius Paulus, 28; Polybius, quoted by Suidas, s.v. ϕειδίας.
Cicero, Orator, ii. 8. Compare the passage of Plotinus (Ennead. v. 8) quoted by J. Overbeck, Die antiken Schriftquellen, p. 131. No. 716.
Quintilian, Instit. Orat. xii. 10. 9.
Anthologia Palatina, Appendix Planudea, iv. 81.
Hyginus, Fab. 223.
Epictetus, Dissert. i. 6. 23.
Dio Chrysostom, Orat. xii. vol. i. p. 220, ed. L., Dindorf.
Dio Chrysostom, Orat. xii. vol. i. pp. 236, sq. ed. L., Dindorf.
Dio Chrysostom, Orat. xii. vol. i. pp. 229, sq. ed. L., Dindorf.
G. Wissowa, Flavius Leontius v(ir) p(erfectissimus) duxRömer2 (Munich, 1912), p. 113; Aust, s.v. Jupiter, in W. H. Ruscher's Lexikon der griechischen und rümischen Mythologie, ii. 619 sqq.; O. Schrader, Reallexikon der indogermanischen Altertumskunde (Strassburg, 1901), p. 670; id., Aryan Religion, in J. Hastings's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, i. 33; H. Hirt, Die Indogermanen (Strassburg, 1905-1907), ii. 505 sq. As to the forms Diovis and Diespiter, see Varro, De lingua Latina, v. 66; Aulus Gellius, v. 12. 5 sq.; Macrobius Saturn. i. 15. 14; Servius on Virgil, Aen. ix. 567.
Thus the expression sub Jove, under Jupiter, means under the open sky. See Horace, Odes, i. 1. 25; Ovid, Fasti, ii. 138, 299, iii. 527, iv. 505; id., Ars Amat. i. 726, ii. 623; id., Metam. iv. 260; Claudian, Panegyric on the Consuls Probinus and Olybrius, 36 sq. For other cases of Jupiter used as equivalent to sky, see Horace, Odes, i. 22. 19 sq., iii. 10 7 sq., Epodes, xiii. 1 sq.; Virgil, Ecl. vii. 60, Georgics, i. 418, ii. 419.
Cicero, De natura deorum, ii. 2. 4, ii. 25. 65, iii. 4. 10; Festus, s.v. Sublimem, p. 400, ed. Lindsay.
Ennius, quoted by Varro, De lingua Latina, v. 65.
Varro, loc. cit.
Angustine, De civitate Dei, vii. 19.
Tibullus, i. 7. 26 (Pluvio-Jovi; H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, No. 3043 (Jovi pluviali).
H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, No. 3042.
Virgil, Aen. i. 255.
Petronius, Satyr. 44.
Tertullian, Apologeticus, 40.
Varro, De lingua Latina, vi. 95; Livy, i. 20. 7, Ad ea elicienda ex mentibus divinis Jovi Elicio aram in Aventino dicavit. As to Jupiter Elicius compare Livy, i. 31. 8; Ovid, Fasti, iii. 327 sq.; Pliny, Nat. Hist. ii. 140; Arnobius, Adversus Nationes, v. 1. The ancients apparently associated Jupiter Elicius rather with lightning than with rain (Livy, Ovid, Arnobius, ll.cc.; Plutarch, Numa, 15); but modern scholars are probably right in regarding Jupiter Elicius as primarily a rain-god. See Aust, s.v. Jupiter, in W. H. Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, ii. 656-658; G. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer2, p. 121. The ceremony of aquaelicia mentioned by Tertullian (Apolog. 40) speaks strongly in favour of this interpretation.
H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Nos. 3044, 3045, 3046, 3047, 3048, 3051; Festus, s.v. Provorsum, p. 254, ed. Lindsay.
H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Nos. 3052, 3053; G. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer2 p. 121.
Vitruvius, i. 2. 5. Vitruvius does not mention the place of the shrine, but that is determined by an inscription, See G. Henzen, Acta Fratrum Arvalium (Berlin, 1874), p. ccxxxviii; Aust, s.v. Jupiter, in W. H. Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, ii. 656.
Horace, Odes i. 2. 1-4.
Suetonius, Augustus, xxix. 1 and 3, xci. 2. Compare Monumentum Ancyranum, ch. 29, p. 91, ed. Hardy.
Cicero, De natura deorum, ii. 25. 64; 11. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Nos. 2996, 2997, 2999, 3000, 3001, 3002, 3003, 3004, 3005, 3007, 3008, 3009; F. Aust, Die Religion der Römer (Münster-i.-W., 1899), p. 122; L. Preller, Römische Mythologie3, i. 205 sqq.; G. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Römer2, pp. 125 sqq.; L. von Schroeder, Arische Religion, I. Einlcitung. Der altarische Himmelsgott, p. 470.
Suetonius, Divus Julius, lxxix. 2; Dio Cassius, xliv. 11.
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vol. viii. Supplementum, Pan II. (Berlin, 1894). p. 1748, No. 18219; H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, No. 2999, Iovi optima maxima deorum principi, gubernatori omnium rerum, caeli terrarumque rectori, ob reportatam ex gentilibus barbaris gloriam Flavius Leontius v(ir) p(erfectissimus) dux per African posuit. The inscription is thought to date from the fourth century A.D.