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festival of the following year. Here, therefore, if we accept Lobeck's emendations, the corn-spirit is conceived as alive throughout the year; he lives and works under ground, but is brought up each autumn to be renewed and then replaced in his subterranean abode.1
If it is objected that the Greeks never could have conceived Demeter and Proserpine to be embodied in the form of pigs, it may be answered that in the cave of Phigalia in Arcadia the Black Demeter was portrayed with the head and mane of a horse on the body of a woman.2 Between the portrait of a goddess as a pig, and the portrait of her as a woman with a horse's head, there is little to choose in respect of barbarism. The legend told of the Phigalian Demeter indicates that the horse was one of the animal forms assumed in ancient Greece, as in modern Europe,8 by the corn-spirit. It was said that in her search for her daughter, Demeter assumed the form of a mare to escape the addresses of Poseidon, and that, offended at his importunity, she withdrew in dudgeon to a cave not far from Phigalia in the highlands of Western Arcadia. The very cavern, now turned into a little Christian chapel with its holy pictures, is still shown to the curious traveller far down the side of that profound ravine through which the brawling Neda winds under overhanging woods to the sea. There, robed in black, she tarried so long that the fruits of the earth were perishing, and mankind would have died of famine if Pan had not soothed the angry goddess and persuaded her to quit the cave. In memory of this event, the Phigalians set up an image of the Black Demeter in the cave; it represented a woman dressed in a long robe, with the head and mane of a horse.4 The Black Demeter, in whose absence the fruits of the earth perish, is plainly a mythical expression for the bare wintry earth stripped of its summer mantle of green.
1 It is worth nothing that in Crete, 3 Above, p. 281 sq i/.
which was an ancient seat of Demeter 4 I'ausanias, viii. 25 and 42. On the
worship (see above, p. 170), the pig Phigalian Demeter, see W. Mannhardt,
was esteemed very sacred and was not M.F. p. 244 >yy. I well remember
eaten (Athenaeus, ix. pp. 375 F-376 A). how on a summer afternoon I sat at the
This would not exclude the possibility mouth of the shallow cave, watching the
of its being eaten sacramentally, as at play of sunshine on the lofty wooded
the Thesmophoria. sides of the ravine and listening to
- I'ausanias, viii. 42. the murmur of the stream.
Passing now to Attis and Adonis, we may note a few facts which seem to show that these deities of vegetation had also, like other deities of the same class, their animal embodiments. The worshippers of Attis abstained from eating the flesh of swine.1 This appears to indicate that the pig was regarded as an embodiment of Attis. And the legend that Attis was killed by a boar2 points in the same direction. For after the examples of the goat Dionysus and the pig Demeter it may almost be laid down as a rule that an animal which is said to have injured a god was originally the god himself. Perhaps the cry of " Hyes Attes! Hyes Attes 1 "s which was raised by the worshippers of Attis, may be neither more nor less than "Pig Attis! Pig Attis!"—hyes being possibly a Phrygian form of the Greek hys, "a pig." *
In regard to Adonis, his connection with the boar was not always explained by the story that he had been killed by a boar. According to another story, a boar rent with his tusk the bark of the tree in which the infant Adonis was born.5 According to another story, he perished at the hands of Hephaestus on Mount Lebanon while he was hunting wild boars.6 These variations in the legend serve to show that, while the connection of the boar with Adonis was certain, the reason of the connection was not understood, and that consequently different stories were devised to explain it . Certainly the pig ranked as a sacred animal among the Syrians. At the great religious metropolis of Hierapolis pigs were neither sacrificed nor eaten, and if a man touched a pig he was unclean for the rest of the day. Some people said this was because the pigs were unclean; others said it was because the pigs were sacred.7 This difference of opinion points to a hazy state of religious thought in which the ideas of sanctity and unclean ness are not yet sharply distinguished, both being blent in a sort of vaporous solution to which we give the name of taboo. It is quite consistent with this that the pig should have been held to be an embodiment of the divine Adonis, and the analogies of Dionysus and Demeter make it probable that the story of the hostility of the animal to the god was only a late misapprehension of the old view of the god as embodied in a pig. The rule that pigs were not sacrificed or eaten by worshippers of Attis and presumably of Adonis, does not exclude the possibility that in these rituals the pig was slain on solemn occasions as a representative of the god and consumed sacramentally by the worshippers. Indeed, the sacramental killing and eating of an animal implies that the animal is sacred, and that, as a general rule, it is spared.1
1 Above, p. 131. * Ibid.
3 Demosthenes, De corona, p. 313.
4 The suggestion was made to me in conversation by my friend Mr. R. A.
Neil of Pembroke College.
7 Lucian, De dea Syria, 54.
The attitude of the Jews to the pig was as ambiguous as that of the heathen Syrians towards the same animal. The Greeks could not decide whether the Jews worshipped swine or abominated them. On the one hand they might not eat swine; but on the other hand they might not kill them. And if the former rule speaks for the uncleanness, the latter speaks still more strongly for the sanctity of the animal. For whereas both rules may, and one rule must, be explained on the supposition that the pig was sacred; neither rule must, and one rule cannot, be explained on the supposition that the pig was unclean. If, therefore, we prefer the former supposition, we must conclude that, originally at least, the pig was revered rather than abhorred by the Israelites. We are confirmed in this opinion by observing that down to the time of Isaiah some of the Jews used to meet secretly in gardens to eat the flesh of swine and mice as a religious rite.8 Doubtless this was a very ancient rite, dating from a time when both the pig and the mouse were venerated as divine, and when their flesh was partaken of sacramentally on rare and solemn occasions as the body and blood of gods. And in general it may be said that all socalled unclean animals were originally sacred; the reason for not eating them was that they were divine.
In ancient Egypt, within historical times, the pig occupied the same dubious position as in Syria and Palestine, though at first sight its uncleanness is more prominent than its sanctity. The Egyptians are generally said by Greek writers to have abhorred the pig as a foul and loathsome animal.1 If a man so much as touched a pig in passing, he stepped into the river with all his clothes on, to wash off the taint.2 To drink pig's milk was believed to cause leprosy to the drinker.8 Swineherds, though natives of Egypt, were forbidden to enter any temple, and they were the only men who were thus excluded. No one would give his daughter in marriage to a swineherd, or marry a swineherd's daughter; the swineherds married among themselves.4 Yet once a year the Egyptians sacrificed pigs to the moon and to Osiris, and not only sacrificed them, but ate of their flesh, though on any other day of the year they would neither sacrifice them nor taste of their flesh. Those who were too poor to offer a pig on this day baked cakes of dough, and offered them instead.5 This can hardly be explained except by the supposition that the pig was a sacred animal which was eaten sacramentally by his worshippers once a year. The view that in Egypt the pig was sacred is borne out by the very facts which, to moderns, might seem to prove the contrary. Thus the Egyptians thought, as we have seen, that to drink pig's milk produced leprosy. But exactly analogous views are held by savages about the animals and plants which they deem most sacred. Thus in the island of Wetar (between New Guinea and Celebes) people believe themselves to be variously descended from wild pigs, serpents, crocodiles, turtles, dogs, and eels; a man may not eat an animal of the kind from which he is descended; if he does so, he will become a leper, and go mad.1 Amongst the Omaha Indians of North America men whose totem is the elk, believe that if they ate the flesh of the male elk they would break out in boils and white spots in different parts of their bodies." In the same tribe men whose totem is the red maize, think that if they ate red maize they would have running sores all round their mouths.8 The Bush negroes of Surinam, who practise totemism, believe that if they ate the capiat (an animal like a pig) it would give them leprosy; * perhaps the capiat is one of their totems. In Samoa each man had generally his god in the shape of some species of animal; and if he ate one of these divine animals, it was supposed that the god avenged himself by taking up his abode in the eater's body, and there generating an animal of the kind he had eaten till it caused his death. For example, if a man whose god was the prickly sea-urchin ate one of these creatures, a prickly sea-urchin grew in his stomach and killed him. If his god was an eel, and he ate an eel, he became very ill, and before he died the voice of the god was heard from his stomach saying, "I am killing this man; he ate my incarnation."s The Syrians, in antiquity, who esteemed fish sacred, thought that if they ate fish their bodies would break out in ulcers, and their feet and stomach would swell up6 These examples prove that the eating of a sacred animal is often believed to produce skindisease or even death; so far, therefore, they support the view that the pig must have been sacred in Egypt, since the effect of drinking its milk was believed to be leprosy.
1 The heathen Harranians sacrificed Cyprus on 2nd April (Joannes Lydus,
swine once a year and ale the flesh De mensibus, ir. 45) represented
(En-Nedlm, in Chwolsohn's Die Ssabier Adonis himself. See his Religion of
und der Ssabismus, ii. 42). My friend the Semites? pp. 290*7., 411.
W. Robertson Smith conjectured that * Plutarch, Quaesl. Cmviv. ir. 5.
the wild boars annually sacrificed in 3 Isaiah Ixv. 5, Ixri. 3, 17.
VOL. II X
1 Herodotus, ii. 47; Plutarch, /sis et Osiris, 8; Aelian, Nat. Anim. x. 16. Josephus merely says that the Egyptian priests abstained from the flesh of swine (Contra Apioncm, ii. 13).
1 Herodotus, I.e.
3 Plutarch and Aelian, ll.cc.
* Herodotus, I.e.
"Herodotus, ii. 47 )/.; Aelian and Plutarch, ll.cc. Herodotus distinguishes the sacrifice to the moon from that to
Osiris. According to him, at the sacrifice to the moon, the extremity of the pig's tail, together with the spleen and the caul, was covered with fat and burned; the rest of the flesh was eaten. On the evening (not the eve, see Stein's note on the passage) of the festival the sacrifice to Osiris took place. Each man slew a pig before his door, then gave it to the swineherd, from whom he had bought it, to take away.
Again, the rule that, after touching a pig, a man had to wash himself and his clothes, also favours the view of the sanctity of the pig. For it is a common belief that the effect of contact with a sacred object must be removed, by washing or otherwise, before a man is free to mingle with his fellows. Thus the Jews wash their hands after reading
1 Riedel, De sluik- en kroesharige * J. Crevaux, Voyages dans I'AmJ
rassen tusschen Selebes en Papua, pp. riaue du Sud, p. 59. 432, 452. * Turner, Samoa, pp. 17 so., 50 so.
» ThirdAnnualReport ofthe Bureau _ * l'luiTM% D.' "i/*rslilio"e, »° = *f Ethnology (Washington, tS84), p. *<"r*W, DeabsUncnUa .v. 15. As
* to the sanctity of hih among the
Syrians, see also Ovid, Fasti, ii. 473 so.;
Ibid. p. 231. Diodorus, ii. 4.