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day people allege that wood cut at the new moon does not dry." In the Hebrides peasants give the same reason for cutting their peats when the moon is on the wane ; “for they observe that if they are cut in the increase, they continue still moist and never burn clear, nor are they without smoke, but the contrary is daily observed of peats cut in the decrease.”” Thus misled by a double fallacy primitive philosophy comes to view the moon as the great cause of vegetable growth, first, because the planet seems itself to grow, and second, because it is supposed to be the source of dew and moisture. It is no wonder, therefore, that agricultural peoples should adore the planet which they believe to influence so profoundly the crops on which they depend for subsistence. Accordingly we find that in the hotter regions of America, where maize is cultivated and manioc is the staple food, the moon was recognised as the principal object of worship, and plantations of manioc were assigned to it as a return for the service it rendered in the production of the crops. The worship of the moon in preference to the sun was general among the Caribs, and, perhaps, also among most of the other Indian tribes who cultivated maize in the tropical forests to the east of the Andes; and the same thing has been observed, under the same physical conditions, among the aborigines of the hottest region of Peru, the northern valleys of Yuncapata. Here the Indians of Pacasmayu and the neighbouring valleys revered the moon as their principal divinity. The “house of the moon” at Pacasmayu was the chief temple of the district; and the same sacrifices of maize-flour, of wine, and of children which were offered by the mountaineers of the Andes to the Sun-god, were offered by the lowlanders to the Moon-god in order that he might cause their crops to thrive.” In ancient Babylonia, where the population was essentially agricultural, the moon-god took precedence of the sun-god and was indeed reckoned his father."
1 Sauvé, Polk-lore des Hauses. Posses, M. o. 5 Martin, “1)escription of the Western Islands of Scotland,” in Pinkerton's Joyages and 7 rarels, xvi. 630. * E. J. Payne, //istory of the Aero World callea America, i. 405. In his remarks on the origin of moonworship (p. 493 sy/.) this learned and
philosophical historian has indicated the true causes which lead primitive man to trace the growth of plants to the influence of the moon. Compare E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture,” i. 130. Mr. Payne suggests that the custom of naming the months after the principal natural products that ripen in them may have contributed to the same result. The custom is certainly influence of the moon on human affairs
Thus it would be no matter for surprise if, after worshipping the crops which furnished them with the means of subsistence, the ancient Egyptians should in later times have identified the spirit of the corn with the moon, which a pseudo-philosophy had taught them to regard as the ultimate cause of the growth of vegetation. In this way we can understand why in their more recent forms the myth and ritual of Osiris, the old god of trees and corn, should bear many traces of efforts made to bring them into a superficial conformity with the new doctrine of his lunar affinity.”
§ 7. Dionysus
The Greek god Dionysus or Bacchus" is best known as the god of the vine, but he was also a god of trees in general. Thus we are told that almost all the Greeks sacrificed to “Dionysus of the tree.” In Boeotia one of his titles was “Dionysus in the tree.” His image was often merely an upright post, without arms, but draped in a mantle, with a bearded mask to represent the head, and with leafy boughs projecting from the head or body to show the nature of the deity." On a vase his rude effigy is depicted appearing out
very common annong savages, as I hope
see Note B, “The doctrine of lunar
of a low tree or bush." He was the patron of cultivated trees;* prayers were offered to him that he would make the trees grow ;” and he was especially honoured by husbandmen, chiefly fruit-growers, who set up an image of him, in the shape of a natural tree-stump, in their orchards." He was said to have discovered all tree-fruits, amongst which apples and figs are particularly mentioned ;” and he was himself spoken of as doing a husbandman's work." He was referred to as “well-fruited,” “he of the green fruit,” and “making the fruit to grow.” One of his titles was “teeming” or “bursting” (as of sap or blossoms);” and there was a Flowery Dionysus in Attica and at Patrae in Achaia.” The Athenians sacrificed to him for the prosperity of the fruits of the earth." Amongst the trees particularly sacred to him, in addition to the vine, was the pine-tree.” The Delphic oracle commanded the Corinthians to worship a particular pine-tree “equally with the god,” so they made two images of Dionysus out of it, with red faces and gilt bodies.” In art a wand, tipped with a pine-cone, is commonly carried by the god or his worshippers.” Again, the ivy and the fig-tree were especially associated with him. In the Attic township of Acharnae there was a Dionysus Ivy;” at Lacedaemon there was a Fig Dionysus ; and in Naxos, where figs were called metlicha, there was a Dionysus Meilichios, the face of whose image was made of fig-wood.” Like the other gods of vegetation whom we have been considering, Dionysus was believed to have died a violent death,
* Plutarch, Quaest. Conviz. v. 3.
* Daremberg et Saglio, op. cit. i. * Pausanias, ii. 2. 6 sq. Pausanias
but to have been brought to life again ; and his sufferings, death, and resurrection were enacted in his sacred rites. The Cretan myth, as related by Firmicus, ran thus. He was said to have been the bastard son of Jupiter, a Cretan king. Going abroad, Jupiter transferred the throne and sceptre to the youthful Dionysus, but, knowing that his wife Juno cherished a jealous dislike of the child, he entrusted Dionysus to the care of guards upon whose fidelity he believed he could rely. Juno, however, bribed the guards, and amusing the child with toys and a cunningly-wrought looking-glass lured him into an ambush, where her satellites, the Titans, rushed upon him, cut him limb from limb, boiled his body with various herbs and ate it. But his sister Minerva, who had shared in the deed, kept his heart and gave it to Jupiter on his return, revealing to him the whole history of the crime. In his rage, Jupiter put the Titans to death by torture, and, to soothe his grief for the loss of his son, made an image in which he enclosed the child's heart, and then built a temple in his honour." In this version a Euhemeristic turn has been given to the myth by representing Jupiter and Juno (Zeus and Hera) as a king and queen of Crete. The guards referred to are the mythical Curetes who danced a war-dance round the infant Dionysus, as they are said to have done round the infant Zeus.* Pomegranates were supposed to have sprung from the blood of Dionysus,” as anemones from the blood of Adonis and violets from the blood of Attis. According to some, the severed limbs of Dionysus were pieced together, at the command of Zeus, by Apollo, who buried them on Parnassus.“ The grave of Dionysus was shown in the Delphic temple beside a golden statue of Apollo.” Thus far the resurrection of
* Firmicus Maternus, De errore pro- pieced together, not by Apollo but by
fanarum religionum, 6. Rhea (Cornutus, De natura deorum, * Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. ii. 30). 17. Cp. Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. * Lobeck, .45s/aob/amus, p. 572 sqq. I I I I s/9. - For a conjectural restoration of the * Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. ii. temple, based on ancient authorities 19. and an examination of the scanty * Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. ii. remains, see an article by J. H. 18; Proclus on Plato's Timaeus, iii. p. Middleton, in Journal of Hellenic
200 D, quoted by Lobeck, 4,7aophamus, Studies, vol. ix. p. 2S2 sy. The p. 562, and by Abel, Orohica, p. 234. ruins of the temple have now been Others said that the mangled body was completely excavated by the French.
the slain god is not mentioned, but in other versions of the myth it is variously related. According to one version, which represented Dionysus as a son of Demeter, his mother pieced together his mangled limbs and made him young again." In others it is simply said that shortly after his burial he rose from the dead and ascended up to heaven ;” or that Zeus raised him up as he lay mortally wounded ;” or that Zeus swallowed the heart of Dionysus and then begat him afresh by Semele," who in the common legend figures as mother of Dionysus. Or, again, the heart was pounded up and given in a potion to Semele, who thereby conceived him.” Turning from the myth to the ritual, we find that the Cretans celebrated a biennial" festival at which the sufferings and death of Dionysus were represented in every detail." Where the resurrection formed part of the myth, it also was acted at the rites,” and it even appears that a general doctrine of resurrection, or at least of immortality, was inculcated on the worshippers ; for Plutarch, writing to console his wife on the death of their infant daughter, comforts her with the thought of the immortality of the soul as taught by tradition and revealed in the mysteries of Dionysus.” A different form of the myth of the death and resurrection of Dionysus is that he descended into Hades to bring up his mother Semele from the dead." The local Argive tradition was that he went down through the Alcyonian
! Diodorus, iii. 62.
the series being included in the numera-