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women abstained from eating corn ground in a mill. Such acts would probably have been deemed a sacrilegious partaking of the life or of the bruised and broken body of the god. From inscriptions it appears that both at Pessinus and Rome the high priest of Cybele was regularly called Attis." It is therefore a reasonable conjecture that the high priest played the part of the legendary Attis at the annual festival.” We have seen that on the Day of Blood he drew blood from his arms, and this may have been an imitation of the selfinflicted death of Attis under the pine-tree. It is not inconsistent with this supposition that Attis was also represented at these ceremonies by an effigy; for we have already met with instances in which the divine being is first represented by a living person and afterwards by an effigy, which is then burned or otherwise destroyed.” Perhaps we may go a step farther and conjecture that this mimic killing of the priest, accompanied by a real effusion of his blood, was in Phrygia, as it has been elsewhere, a substitute for a human sacrifice which in earlier times was actually offered. Professor W. M. Ramsay, whose authority on all questions relating to Phrygia no one will dispute, is of opinion that at these Phrygian ceremonies “the representative of the god was probably slain each year by a cruel death, just as the god himself died.” We know from Strabo" that the priests of Pessinus were at one time potentates as well as priests; they may, therefore, have belonged to that class of divine kings or popes whose duty it was to die each year for their people and the world. The name of Attis, it is true, does not occur among the names of the old kings of Phrygia, who seem to have borne the names of Midas and Gordias in alternate generations; but a very ancient inscription carved III PRIESTS OF A TTIs 135
* Duncker, Geschichte des Alter. Archaeologische-epigraphische .//itthei
thums," i. 456, note 4; Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon d griech. u. rom. Mythologie, i. col. 724. Cp. Polybius, xxii. 20 (18). In two letters of Eumenes and Attalus, preserved in inscriptions at Sivrihissar, the priest at Pessinus is addressed as Attis. See A. von Domaskewski, “Briefe der Attaliden an den Priester von Pessinus,”
Jungen aus Oesterreich. Ungarn, viii.
(1884), pp. 96, 98.
in Annal. d. Inst. 1856, p. 1 Io, re
ferred to in Roscher, l.c.
Ardia Britannica, 9th ed. xviii. 853.
in the rock above a famous Phrygian monument, which is known as the Tomb of Midas, records that the monument was made for, or dedicated to, King Midas by a certain Ates, whose name is doubtless identical with Attis, and who, if not a king himself, may have been one of the royal family.' It is worthy of note also that the name Atys, which again appears to be only another form of Attis, is recorded as that of an early king of Lydia ;” and that a son of Croesus, king of Lydia, not only bore the name Atys but was said to have been killed, while he was hunting a boar, by a member of the royal Phrygian family, who traced his lineage to King Midas and had fled to the court of Croesus because he had unwittingly slain his own brother.” Scholars have recognised in this story of the death of Atys, son of Croesus, a mere double of the myth of Attis; * but in view of the facts which have come before us in the present inquiry" it is a curious coincidence, if it is nothing more, that the myth of a slain god should be told of a king's son. May we conjecture that the Phrygian priests who bore the name of Attis and represented the god of that name were themselves members, perhaps the eldest sons, of the royal house, to whom their fathers, uncles, brothers, or other kinsmen deputed the honour of dying a violent death in the character of gods, while they reserved to themselves the duty of living, as long as nature allowed them, in the humbler character of kings 2 If this were so, the Phrygian dynasty of Midas may have presented a close parallel to the Greek dynasty of Athamas, in which the eldest sons seem to have been regularly destined to the altar." But it is also possible that the divine priests who bore the name of Attis may have belonged to that indigenous race which the Phrygians, on their irruption into Asia from Europe, appear to have found and conquered in the land afterwards known as Phrygia." On the latter hypothesis the priests may have represented an older and higher civilisation than that of their barbarous conquerors. However this may be, the god they personated was a deity of vegetation whose divine life manifested itself especially in the pine-tree and the violets of spring; and when they died in the character of that divinity they corresponded to the mummers who are still slain in mimicry by European peasants in spring, and to the priest who was slain long ago in grim earnest on the wooded shore of the Lake of Nemi. Another of these embodiments of the flowery spring may have been the fair youth Hyacinth, who was said to have been slain unwittingly by Apollo, and whose annual festival was celebrated on a great scale by the Spartans at Amyclae. The festival fell in spring, and the mourning for the death of Hyacinth was followed by rejoicings, probably at the supposed resurrection of the god. Dancing, singing, and feasting went on throughout the day; and the capital was almost emptied of its inhabitants, who poured out in their thousands to witness and share the festivities of the happy day. The hyacinth—“that sanguine flower inscrib'd with woe"— sprang from the blood of the slain divinity, as the scarlet anemone grew from the blood of Adonis and the purple violet from the blood of Attis ; like these vernal flowers it heralded the advent of another spring and gladdened the hearts of men with the promise of a joyful resurrection.” One spring, when the hyacinths were in bloom, it happened that the red-coated Spartan regiments lay encamped under the walls of Corinth. Their commander gave the Amyclaean battalion leave to go home and celebrate as usual the festival of Hyacinth in their native town. But the sad flower was to be to these men an omen of death; for they had not gone * See W. M. Ramsay, s.v. “Phrygia.” Metam. x. 161-219; Pliny, Mar. A'ist. in Æncyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed. xxi. 66; Schomann, Griechische Aster. xviii. 849 sy. ; id., in Journ. of Hellen. thumer," ii. 457 sq.; S. Wide, Zakonische Stud. ix. (1888), p. 350 sq. Aulte (Leipsic, 1893), pp. 285-293. As to the date of the sestival, see G. * Herodotus, ix. 7 ; Lucian, De F. Unger, in Philologus, xxxvii. (1877), saltatione, 45; Pausanias, iii. 19. pp. 13-33, according to whom the cele
* W. M. Ramsay, in /ournal of Aellenic Studies, ix. (1888), p. 379 sqq.; id., in Journ. Z/e//en. Stud. x. (1889), p. 156 sy/. ; Perrot et Chipiez, Histoire de T.Art dans "...Intiquite, v. 82 sqq.
* Herodotus, i. 94. According to Prof. W. M. Ramsay, the conquering and ruling caste in Lydia belonged to the Phrygian stock ( /ourn. of Hessen. Stud. ix. (1888), p. 351).
* Herodotus, i. 34-45. The tradi
tion that Croesus would allow no iron
weapon to come near Atys suggests
far before they were enveloped by clouds of light-armed foes and cut to pieces."
There seem to be some grounds for believing that Osiris, the great god of ancient Egypt, was one of those personifications of vegetation, whose annual death and resurrection have been celebrated in so many lands. But as the chief of the gods he appears to have absorbed the attributes of other deities, so that his character and rites present a complex of heterogeneous elements which, with the scanty evidence at our disposal, it is hardly possible to sort out. It may be worth while, however, to put together some of the facts which lend support to the view that Osiris, or at least one of the deities out of whom he was compounded, was a god of vegetation, analogous to Adonis and Attis.
The outline of his myth is as follows.” Osiris was the son of the earth-god Qeb (or Seb, as the name is sometimes transliterated).” Reigning as a king on earth, he reclaimed the Egyptians from savagery, gave them laws, and taught them to worship the gods. Before his time the Egyptians had been cannibals. But Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, discovered wheat and barley growing wild, and Osiris introduced the cultivation of these grains amongst his people, who forthwith abandoned cannibalism and took kindly to a corn diet." Afterwards Osiris travelled over the world diffusing the blessings of civilisation wherever he went. But on his return his brother Set (whom the Greeks called Typhon) with seventy-two others plotted against him. Having taken the measure of his good brother's body by stealth, the bad brother Typhon fashioned a beautiful and highly decorated coffer of the same size, and once when they were all drinking and making merry he brought in the coffer and promised jestingly to give it to the one whom it should fit exactly. Well, they all tried one after the other, but it fitted none of them. Last of all Osiris stepped into it and lay down. On that the conspirators ran and slammed the lid down on him, nailed it fast, soldered it with molten lead, and flung the coffer into the Nile. This happened on the seventeenth day of the month Athyr, when the sun is in the sign of the Scorpion, and in the eight-and-twentieth year of the reign or the life of Osiris. When Isis heard of it she sheared off one of the locks of her hair, put on mourning attire and wandered disconsolately up and down, seeking the body. Meantime the coffer had floated down the river and away out to sea, till at last it drifted ashore at Byblus on the coast of Syria. Here a fine erica-tree shot up suddenly and enclosed the chest in its trunk. The king of the country, admiring the growth of the tree, had it cut down and made into a pillar of his house; but he did not know that the coffer with the dead Osiris was in it. Word of this came to Isis and she journeyed to Byblus, and sat down by the well, in humble guise, her face wet with tears. To none would she speak till the king's handmaidens came, and them she greeted kindly and braided their hair and breathed on them from her own divine body a wondrous perfume. But when the queen beheld the braids of her handmaidens' hair and smelt the sweet smell that emanated from them, she sent for the stranger woman and took her into her house and made her the nurse of her child. But Isis gave the babe her finger instead of her breast to suck, and at night she began to burn all that was mortal of him away, while she herself in the likeness of a swallow fluttered round the pillar that contained her dead brother, twittering mournfully. But the queen spied what she was doing and shrieked out when she saw her child in flames, and thereby she hindered him from becoming immortal. Then the goddess revealed herself and begged for the pillar of the roof, and they gave it her, and she cut the coffer out of it, and fell upon it and embraced it and lamented so loud that the younger of the king's children died of fright on the spot. But the trunk of the tree she wrapped in fine linen and poured ointment on it and gave it
* Xenophon, Hellenica, iv. 5. 7-17; Aegypter, p. 112 sqq.; G. Maspero,
Pausanias, iii. Io. 1. //istoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient * The myth, in a connected form, is classique : les origines, p. 172 sqq. only known from Plutarch, Isis et * Le Page Renouf, Hibbert Lectures, Osiris, 13-19. Some additional de- 1879, p. 11o ; Brugsch, Religion und' tails, recovered from Egyptian sources, .1/; thologie der alten Aegypter, p.
will be found in the work of Adolf 614; Ad. Erman, l.c. : Ed. Meyer, Erman, Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben Geschichte des Alfertums, i. § 56 sy. im. Altertum, p. 365 sqq. Compare A. * Plutarch, /sis et Osiris, 13 ; DioWiedemann, Die A'eligion der alten dorus, i. 14; Tibullus, i. 7. 29 sys.