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self-supporting, immortal and ethereal fire. Like Athene, Isis also was regarded as ruler of the sea, as is represented on very ancient coins. On one of the Maffei gems, Athene holds a rudder in the right hand; and near the rudder the rest-giving staff of Hermes, which is held between poppies; which poppies, like the cornucopia, have reference to the Kabiric Demeter. Here the electro-magnetic forces, as well as the magnetic sleep, are pointed out with sufficient distinctness. The miraculous helmet of Pluto is, moreover, sometimes worn significantly by Athene—the helmet which belongs to the nine divinities, armed with lightning, "with which she passes through the heavens large enough to cover the foot soldiers from a hundred towns;" thus showing herself a superhuman, gigantic being, and as a heavenly apparition, speedily withdrawing herself again from sight. Minerva is by her nature essentially prophetic. Her mother, Metis-Wisdom-a daughter of Oceanos and Tethys, was
, the first wife of Zeus. After Metis had withdrawn herself from Zeus by passing through a variety of forms, she announced to him that she should give birth to a son and daughter who would assume the sovereignty. Upon this he swallowed her, as she was pregnant with Athene, and thus produced her himself (Apollod. i. 3, 6; Hesiod. Theog. 886). According to Hesiod, Zeus swallowed Metis, by the advice of Uranos and Gæa, who communicated to him the important announcement of the future; and hidden in the interior of Zeus she prophesied to him good and bad.
Homer mentions no inother. According to him, Minerva sprang at once from the head of Zeus, and thence was called Tpiroyhvela, the chief-born ; which word is, however, variously explained, as for instance, that it means born on the third of the month. According to Democritus, because she conferred three cardinal virtues,-profound counsel, sound judgment, and justice in action. According to others, she is called a daughter of Hephæstos; and accordingly the people's festivals, Χαλκεία, and 'Αθηναία, and Πάνδημος, were held unitedly at Athens in honour of Minerva and Hephæstos, as the divinities who presided over the artsFrom the same cause, Athena comes much into connection with Prometheus, as she who counselled him to steal the fire from heaven.
According to Orphic hymns, Athene is the personified productive principle, and as such is synonymous with Phanes. Pre-eminently is Athene as the daughter of the omnipotent Zeus and Metis, or Wisdom, that being amongst the Olympic divinities in whom power and intelligence were united; on which account she was denominated the protector of states, the goddess of wisdom and the arts, especially the useful arts. At the same time she is the protecting goddess of war, under the name of Pallas ; but she does not delight in the slaughter of men, like Ares, but rather held back men from mutual carnage, where wisdom counselled it. We find her in Homer bearing no weapons but such as she borrowed from Zeus (Il. v. 735). In Athens she was the general protecting power, the helper, Σωτέρια, and goddess of healing, Υγιέια παιωνία, to whom the serpent, as the regenerating strength, was sacred. It is remarkable that Athene was also amongst the Etruscans one of the divinities of lightning.
Thus she stands on a coin of Severus waiting upon Vulcan, who is forging thunderbolts for her; and the owl of Minerva on coins is represented as the bearer of lightnings. Thus she is made to say in Æsculus that she alone of all the gods knows where the lightnings lie concealed. Tzetzes of Lycophron gives the legend that Athene had been a queen, called Belanica, a daughter of Brontes, who had been married to Hephæstos, and was the mother of Erichthonius.
Besides the well-known names which she received from the various places where she was worshipped, she was called the singer—'Anoúv, the patriotic, the counseller, the helpful, the stiller of the wind. According to a Spartan popular legend, her worship was brought out of Colchis by the Dioscuri (Pausan. iii
. 24-5). She had in Sparta a fine temple adorned with brass, and a brazen statue. As Pallas, she was called the warrior maid—IIálaš ; Ilavia, who gives health and plenty; Ekipas, Sciras, after the prophet of Dodona; and thence the feasts, the Scirophoria, in which a white canopy was carried down from the palace to the temple of Athene Sciras by the priestess. called okipov, after the Telchines, who came out of Cyprus and Beotia, and built a sanctuary to the goddess on the mountain Teremessos ; and she had also the cogno
men of the slayer of giants and the Gorgon. The olivebranch, the serpent, the owl, and the cock, were sacred to her.
It has always been observed that the magnetic meteoric stone, the Batylus, was worn as a divining stone by the priests of Cybele. Livy relates that a meteoric stone was brought with great solemnity from Pessinus to Rome, as a symbol of the mother of the gods, and that it was received by the Vestals, and was borne from hand to hand to the Temple of Victory. He states that the touching of it cleared the dubious character of a Vestal, and that she then was esteemed as more sacred than ever. From this we perceive the connection of the service of the Vestals with the Samothracian mysteries, as well as the secret use of the
power of the magnet in the temples. Traditions on this head are, it is true, so rare, owing to the secresy used, and to the strictness of the prohibition of publication, as well as to the withdrawal of the Palladii, as images of the the gods held sacred, from all physical inquiry. Thence it happens that Vesta is frequently confounded with Cybele. Vesta was also frequently depicted with lightnings in her hand. With this accords a remarkable picture in the work of Raoul Rochette-Monumens d’Antiquité figurée, tab. 58—which is unmistakeably a representation of an initiation into the mysteries of the mother of the gods, or of the Eleusinian Demeter. Like the erect-haired one, as Pan was called, all the figures here have their hair streaming out on all sides, with the exception of the mysterious or Cabiric Demeter, from whom the idea is that the power issues, and a person who kneels, and who, as it seems, is about to be initiated into the mysteries. There are twelve heads with such erect hair. Schweigger traces farther the connection of Vesta with Apollo and Hermes; and in Creuzer's Symbolic, in the fifth table and third figure, we see Vesta, with her staff in her left hand, appear, and extending her right hand towards Hermes, as though she would seize the magic wand with which, according to Virgil, he chases the winds, while Hermes bolds this in his left hand towards her. We have already noticed that the priests of Cybele frequently used the
Idaic Dactyls instead of the small magnetic stone; whence these dactyls are so frequently found in the
mysteries. This much is, therefore, clear, that the myth of Cybele, with which that of Demeter and Ceres 'is so frequently confounded, is identical with the Cabiric worship, and that the agricultural religion, which taught the allnurturing power of mother nature in all the different seasons of the year, arose
originally from an observance of electrical phenomena. “Their demons are the Cabiri,” says Lucian (Dea Syria, xv. 97)—"and therefore are the Cabiri worshipped by the sacrifice of dogs in the Zerynthian cave, where, in the depths of the subterranean world, Persephone and the fire-god Vulcan, are believed, to prepare the warmth of life for the coming season of the year, necessary for the production of flowers and fruit. Hence the connection of the name of the great Idaic-mother, the beast-producer, the fruit-bringer, with Ceres. According to Schelling, Cybele is the counterpart of the outstretched heavens; according to him the mother of the gods represents the beginning of organic nature, -as Kronos, Typhon, Moloch, do that of the inorganic. Amongst the Egyptians ruled gods of the stars; the first principle, the gods, was predominant with them; while amongst the Greeks it was the sacred principle, that of creative ideality and of spiritual illumination, and thence the glorious powers which they produced. The Greek gods are not of flesh and blood, yet they are beings resembling men.
Cybele is so called from Kubh, a cave, in which her priests, Cureti, dwelt, nine in number, and there held their religious ceremonies and weapon dance, striking with their swords or their shields; a practice which some derive from Phrygia, because in Phrygia especially the cultivation of the Curetidance and orgiestic music are to be sought. Thus, according to Strabo, the Curetes were originally priests, advanced later to demons and gods, to whom men erected temples, and by whose names they swore. He lays down two opinions : either the Cureti, Corybantes, İdaic Dactyls, and Telchines, are identical, or they are kindred beings, and only differ in some minor particulars; and he thence comes to the conclusion that they are of enthusiastic and Bacchic character,--that is, belong to an orgiestic nature-worship, and that the Curetes have much resemblance to the Satyrs.
It was on the sacred mountain of Rhea that the weapon
dance was held, and ore was brought out to the day; by which we perceive that connection with the Dactyls, that is, with the demons of strength and the arts; for they forged weapons from the ore delivered in by the attendants ; " and it is thus natural," says Strabo, " that the Idaic Dactyls should be confounded with the Samothracian Cabiri, whom in Rhodes the Telchines represented. In this,” he continues, “ all agree, that the Idaic Dactyls first forged iron on Mount Ida ; that they were the servants of the mother of the gods, who dwelt in Phrygia near Ida. By Phrygia is meant the district of Troy ; for the Phrygians appropriated the lands of Troy, after that city was destroyed by the Grecians. It is supposed also that the Curetes and Corybantes were descended from the Dactyls, for there were at first a hundred Cretans who bore the name of the Idaic Dactyls. From these hundred men arose nine others, who were the Curetes; and every one of these produced two children, and these were then called Idaic Dactyls, like their grandfathers. Others suppose three original Corybantes, as there were three original Curetes, and three divine Bacchuses. The priests of the goddess ran about with wild cries, and with a terrific din of kettle-drums and cymbals, of horns and pipes, dancing their armed quire through woods and mountains, or practised the orgiestic dance, in which in a religious phrensy they wounded each other” (Lucian. de Sallust. 8).
The goddess herself cured madness (Pynd. Pyth. iii.; Diod. iii. 57). “Her priests were physicians-Cybele cultores pathici. Onione, the wife of Alexandros-Parislearned from her the Mantic doctrines (Apollod. iii.) Æsculapius was also brought into connection with the Cybele-worship and the Cabiri. According to Damascius, Åsculapius is not a Greek but a Phænician ; for Sadyc had seven sons, who were declared to be Cabiri or Dioscuri, but the eighth was Æsculapius-Esmun. He was very beautiful, and was beloved of Astarte, the mother of the god. In order to avoid her passion, he mutilated himself, and the sorrowing people placed him amongst the gods, and called him Paan."
We cannot dwell longer on the worship of Ceres; to which belongs the myth of Triopas and his son Erysichthon (Kornbrand), whom the goddess punished with terrible