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Call _ Jfojim, 

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By the same Author 








Art Arcbaeoii^iail and Dmmtmarf Stady 



DUtt^, FkDr, Hm. 0 i 3 . St A«dttm 

PrcftiHF Emrriiiu if /£rif«T tf Rtls^ m the 
Wvtrsity Latdim, FeHenf ^ UnmnfsitY CiUtge 
emd FHim if K&i/V Cdlep, JUuh£m 



Oricnlct & Foreign Boo^-Eellert 
P.B. tl65i N«S»f.L DELHl-6 

CiMl K^ki 1 AtOLA-XjJGA/fc 
iUi^ Mm _ UlLt. .. 






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The Palaealirhic Calmi 
Siulpiured Femk Statu(ttfs 
Skill « Amleti 
Tk FerttHtf Dm(t 
Tie D^uikn pf ibf Cttlt 

The Nffilitliic Culms 
Titf AippdiiyAh Fi^vrma 
Tk Htffc/W “UWU Ptriaii 
Titf WprkPtthi 

Farly Imn ini TurkxtiH 

The Bronie Age of Western tmiu 


Tk Iffitf ViUey 

Egypt and the Eaitem Mditmancan 
Mnom Ctrte 

Wnficm Europe 

Tk Iherkn PatfHsuU 
Nprtkuftsl Eufppt 





2 D 

22 . 








The Mdopotaufiiai' Motlicr^godde*s 

Inmiii^lshtpr mi DiK\f 2 $^Ttmmtz 
Tk Stffffi Mtrfk^ of the CpUcis mti tk /Gnj 
Tie Akim Ffiih/il if Bitjkft 


^ ^ ^ ^ « K t. 8 , 



The Goddicss in the Kile Vallcf 54 

Tie Monarchy tfmf the GeAkw 54 

Tie HeliifpeliUm Em*i 55 

Nm tfW Rr 

fi^tb&r aai Hent 5^ 

The Great GoUest Neith 

hit cf Matty Nemtt 

Tie Mawaje c/ Hdtiwr and Htfw 

Qfm Hatibiptut, Daiigbter of Aaton^Ra ^5 

Tiehui Qaemf iJ "Hr Caft ^ 


The Cult in Palcsdne ^ 

Baal and Anat in tfc U^tit Twrtr ®9 

Asherabf El and Baal 7® 

Anta 77 


Wtir Bdffi/r7f ^tXrJ^ad^ 7^ 

Yahw^b and Baalim 79 

Rtinal Prattitutfan 


Tic HiUi^ CoiiHT ®4 

Tic YaziBhxya Rjlkfs ^5 

Tie Sun^^ess aj Amm ^ ® 

The TeUpiny Myth 9 o 


The EhtmlU Caideit i>J 

Anahfti S4 

iUriimi end Amhita ^ 


ItfdaArvdan Retathnt ^ 

Shiva ^ Hit Gwerts * 

Vithnu AiJ Liikshmi 
Braimid and Sairatvoti 
Dyam Pilar and Prithfvi 

CsfUenis 7 

The Vflh^ ^*3 

The Fmtt MffArf * ^ 

TSf S^creJ Marr^^f 
The Cuk aj the C<n» 


The Gitai Minaan Godiicn 
The Snak^ eni 

Tlif Chtbme Ctdieis 0 / Fertility >5* 

The Tree and Pilkr Csr/f * 

The MfiWitam^mfither *34 

Ttf Mktresi ^ At^m^ *37 

Tie Male Cj^ * 3^ 

The Godsictta of the Greek Paiubemi 14 * 

Rktf «ii Zew 

Here *4^ 




Dmeier end Kart *^3 


The Ida™ Moiher of Phrygia 

and Kyhek *^* 

Ttif CuJiBf/ m jin'fl 

T6f TawvWAnff *^3 

TIk Magtu Maicr in ihc Gracco'Rmnan World l(S# 

TV HeUtnizetm of Ae Coiksi **4 

TV SpAt^ FejtfwJ 


TV C«it% ^Kyieif Rflwif 

TV ElcfMtv PK^sian 370 

TV Hihtrk 

Tbc Hdicmacd Isii Cnk * 74 

TV ImtiaHon Rites *77 

TV Caiicis of Mmq Names *79 


The rc'Ocanunadon of the archaeological and dtKumenta^ 
matrnal now available concerning the myth and nti^ of the 
Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean in which I have 
been engaged in recent yeais has revealed the unique position 
occupied by the Goddess cult in this tradition. Its prominence 
and prevalence, in Oct. were such that it seemed to require 
more detafled investigation than it has received if the part it has 
played throughout die age, epccially in Near Eastern religion, 
was to be correctly etimatsd. Clearly it was an essential el^ 
ment very deeply laid in the long and complnt history of the 
body of bdiefs and practices which centred in and around the 
mysterious processes of fecundity, birth and genCTauon, alike m 
nature, the human species and in the animal kingdom ,; 

/ Whether or not the Mothcr^goddas was the earliest manifc^ 
taiion of the concept of Deity, her symbolism unquestionably 
has been the most pcrsisicnt feature iu the archaeological iKord 
of tlw ancient world, from the sculptured Venuscs of the 
Gravetuan culture in the Upper PalacoUthic and the s^lized 
images of the decorated caves, to the emblems and i nscnpuoTU 
of the cull when it became esublished in the Fertile Crescent, 
Western Asia, the Indus Valley, the Aegean and Crete 
between the fifth and third millennia B.c, Moreover, it is now 
bccooiing incrtasingly tvidcm in its dispersal its 
ciadleland in the Southern Russian steppe and Wc^ Asia, 
it was destined to have a widespread influence and to pUy a 
very significant role in the subsequent development of the 
Ancient Neat Eastern rcligiians from Iti^ to the Mcdiier/ 
ranean from Neolithic times to the Chnstian era. 

With the rUe of agriculture and the domesticauon of ammals 

I a Bt/Wp 

2 s the figure of die Coddns became more clearly defined, and 
with the growing cumdousness of the duality of male and 
female in the generative precesi^ fiom being the Unmarried 
Mother pet^nifyiug the divine prindple in maiermiy she 
became assodated with die Young God as her son or consort. 
While she remained the dominant figure the cult assumed a 
twofold aspect in the seasonal drama in which both partners 
m procreation played thdr respective roles^ until ultimately, 
after the syncrcdstic Magna Mater had emerged* it acquired a 
mystical and theological contetil in Christendom. Then it was 
interpreted in rerms of die Church as the Mater Ecclesia, and 
the Virgin Mother of the incarnate Son of God as the Madonna^ 
A theme and cult us of such pcfsistencc and pcrmanem signi-- 
ficance cannot be lighdy dismissed^ While the subject has been 
investigated and discussed in a variety of diffetent contexts, 
anthropologicah archaeologtcal. philobgicai. psychological 
and theological, so far as I am aware no single volume has 
been devoted to the elucidation of the Codd^ cult as such 
in relation to the archaeological and documentary data now 
available. Its widespread InHucncc is becoming increasingly 
tecognired^ panicularly in the Near East and the Eastern 
Mediterranean, but its origin, development, diffusion and 
purpose present a set of problems more complicated and 
obscure than would appear at ftrst sight. These are brought 
under review in this inquiry in an attempt to estimate die pan 
pbyed by the cuk and its principal figures, and to determine 
the purpose of the riics and ihdr associated beliefs. Wliilc the 
piychnlogical aspects of the subject lie outside my pmviticc, 
nevertheless it may be hoped that an objective examination of 
the factual evidence concerning the practice which not ini' 
frequently have been die means of affording m emodonal 
oudet at cntical junctures in the life of the communiEy and of 
its individual members, will he of some inierest for those 
engaged in these and in other intcipmadons of the phenomena, 
in the rebted disciplines. 



The Antecedents of the 
Goddess Cult 


An adeqiuic itipply of offspriitg and food being a neccss^ 
condition of human existence, the promotion and cons^won 
of Life have been a fundamental uige from PaJaeoUthic times 
to the present day which has found magico'religious exptesuon 
in a very deeply laid and highly developed cuhus. Exactly 
when and where it arose is still very obscure, but it was from 
Western Asia, the South Russian plain and the valley of the 
Don that female figurines, commonly called *Venuses, in bone, 
ivory, stone and bas'idiefr often with the maternal organs 
grossly exaggerated, were introduced into Eastern and Central 
Europe at the bc^ning of the Upper Palaeolithic by an 
Asiatic migration in what is now known as the Gtavetuau 
culture; the former Upper Autignacian. The diStinon^ntic 
of the blade^tod, or gravettc, from which it cakes its name, was 
W«tem Asia and the Eurasiatic steppe. Thence it appears to 
have made its way into Europe through the loess'lands of the 
Danube to Moravia and Austria, where it became associated 
with the Brunn type of Homa sapiens, to whom in this icgfon 
the statuettes have been assigned. 

Seulpti^ted Female 

It was^ however, cssentijiUy in Easicm Europe and Western 
Asia that bone and ivory were employed for tooUmaking add 
the fkshiomng of human figures of the Veum vancty with 
pendulous breasts, bmad hips, rotund buttocks and acccssiw 
corpulency suggestive of pregnancy* Thus, examples of this 
type have been found at Kostietikj» Gagarino^ Mezinc, and 
especially at Malu near Ukc Baikal in Siberia, where their 

14 Antfcr^nts of tht Co^tss Cutl 

productjon was on a considerable scaJe and inctuded a highly 
convenuoiuUzcd figure.^ As the technique was diffused from 
die Sowhera Russian steppe to Central and Western Europe 
it tended to become cruder and tnore canventioiulized. In the 
stjoai type the £ice was seldom portrayed though the ivory 
statuette of a girl from the Crotte du Fape^ Brassempouy, in 
the Landes (belonguig to the Middle Atnignacian ratho: than 
to the GravettUn culture) was an exception to this rule. Here 
the face was {ashioned and, as in the otample in oolitic ]ime<' 
stone from WiUendoiC near Vienna, the hair was braided. In 
the wajendorf Venus, while the arms arc only very slightly 
indicated, the abdatrten is prominerit and the buttocks are 
snongly developed* Traces of ted ochte occur in the porous 
lijncstonc, 3 Jid the emphasis clcarljf wias on the scxiul features 
of the nude figure. In the same !evd a mote degant form in 
ivory ham the tusk of a tnammoth was djscovexed in 1926,® 
In the Haute Garonne a sJulfuUy executed cuiious ivory 
figurine from Lespugne with the legs fused capering to a point 
and huge breasts, has a sort of loincloth from the b uttocks to the 
back of the calves of the legs.’ This reptescnls another variety of 
the technique in cont™ 10 the slim Magdalenian figure, called 
the ‘immodest Venus', from Laugcrie^Sassc, Dordogne. 

To the notth-^ast of Wtlicndorf Dr Absolon in 1929 
brought to light a Venus near Untcr Westernitz to the south 
^ Brno in Moravia which occupies an intermediate position 
^cen the slim and grotesque varicrics.-' This was followed 
by further discoveries at Wistei^tz (Vestonice) between 1934 
^ j number of plastic anthropomorphic caricatures 

modelled in ^ound and burnt mammoth^boncs inured with 
loam and fat like the Venuscs, together with a small tvory head 
^ryed in the form of a sculptured portrait of a human being, 
beheved by Ktrth to represent a woman showing a fine 
animated face,* in striking contra^ to tlie crude plastic carica' 
tures and the particular figurines which sufficed fbr cult 
purpostt. Normally all that manertd in these cases was to 
cmp maternal organs and so they were grp&ily 

geme ^ 2$ in the cximptcs thiu hjvc bcett considered. SittuLu" 

The Ptilof iilithk Culm ^ S 

statvtma hive been recovered from Sireuil In the Dordogne, 
the Grimaldi caves on the FranccMltalim fromier at Mentone, 
and in Italy they have been found in Emilia at Savignano sid 

Panaio.* ,, 

In 1 rock-^sbelicr at Lamsel in the valley of the Beutie ne^ 

Le» Eyiici in the Dordogne, the well-known figure of a nude 
woman, apparently prcgiiant, holding in ha nghi hand the 
horn of a bison, was carved in relief on a block ^ stone about 
cichtetn inches high. The body had been coloured with red pig¬ 
ment, so widely used in Palacobthic ritual as a life-giving agent, 
the surrogate of bloorL The face was featureless and cgB-sbaj^ 
though the head in profile was turned towards the horm On 
the ground were four oth« similar two of which had 

horns and the head turned in their direcuoiu One was a male 
figure, apparently in die act of shooting with a bow and anow 
(if such weapons were in use in Palaeolithic times), and another 
has been imapreted cithet as an accouchement or ^ a copub- 
tion.'^ But an inspection of the origtnal relief at the house of 
Madame Lalanne at Bordeaux some years ago did not convtOM 
the present writer that a copulation was indicat^. An erouc 
dement may have been inherent in the tradiuon, hut_childbitTh 
rather than conception seemed to be the purpose of the repre¬ 
sentation, the main purpose of the cultus having been ^e giving 
of life through the outward signs of maiemal fecundity. 

Slidif 4i -dfliiffrff 

For this purpose shells also appe^ to have been used m the 
Upper Palaeolithic as amulets, judging from that frequem 
oecurrenct in gt<iv« whac iht^ sam to have had a lifo-giviiig 
significance. Thus, in the Grimaldi burials in the GrottC dea 
Enfants four rows of placed sbdis were arranged found the 
head of a youth whose skclaon had been stained red wiih 
paoride of iron. On the arms of the righdy flexed wom^ 
buried with him were shell btarelctSi between the skulli 
lay two pcbblH of sapenrinc. and anotha against the jaw of 
the woman.® In the adjoiniug Crotte du Cavillon were no less 
dun 7,863 marine shdls (JVarrfl iienW) of which 875 wae 

16 Antmdfnti of fW Goddtsf Cull 

pierccfl, doubtless having belonged to necklaces, aoo of them 
occmmng near the head. On the cranium was a fillet of sea' 
shells, and twenty'CWo pcilbrated canine teeth of deer were near 
the frontal bones.* At Banna Grande, the fifUt cave of the 
senes, the skeleton of a boy in a grave lined with red ochre was 
similarly adorned with Naaa shells and canine teeth, all pet' 
forated, together with ivory pendants, a necklace and two large 
cowrie shells (Cypree miUepunctilii)^ otigiiially apparently a 
garter>*^ The young woman in this imennent had much the 
same ceremon^ equipment, including a collar of shells, teeth 
and vertebrae. In the sixth cave—Baousso da Tone—a shell 
collar, a fillet and a grille with shell pendants rEcuired. 

In the rockrshelter known as CiO'Magnon at Les Eyzia, 
where the fitst skeletal remains of Upper Palaeolithic man weie 
detected in joo sea'shdls, mainly LiVterfnfrirYfdiVir, and pet' 
forated pendants, wete among the bones, while a mile away on 
the opposite bank of the Vczetc at Laugeric'Basse, cowries had 
been carefully arranged in pairs on a corpse; two pain on the 
forehead, one near the humerus, four in the region of the knees 
and thighs, and two upon each foot.^^ Such a distribution 
hardly could have been other than lor nugiceweligiorts put' 
poses connected with the restoration of hie to the deceased li ke 
the widespread practice of depositing ochreous powder in 
PalieohthJc interments, with which shells and necklaces are so 
closely associated as ^avc'goods. As blood, or its surrogate red 
ochre, was regarded apparently as a vitalizing agent, so certain 
shells, such as the oowiie shaped in the form of the portal 
through which a child enters the world, seem to have been 
connected with the female principle, and to have been etU' 
ployed as femlity charms.^® It is nor improbable, therefore, 
that this widespread fbturc of Upper pjaeolithic mortuary 
ritual was in the nature of a life-^ving rite closely connected 
with the female figurines and other symbols of what laier 
became the Goddess cuk. Indeed, it may have made its way 
into Europe &om the East in association with die Venuscs with 
the test of the Cravcniati culture, and as will be seen as this 
inquiry is pursued, the worship of the Goddess always was 

Tbt PthnUibie Cultuf ^7 

very closely rcUicd to the cult of the dead in its Uicr develop 

The Fniility Duntt 

It was not, however, only to make the human spmes fruitful 
and leplenish the eanh, and to levivi^ Ac dead, that this 
of ritual was practised in Palaeolithic times. It was also 
employed, particularly by the Magdalemans. to sdmulKc fecutij 
dity among the animals on which Early Man mainly depended 
for his food/supply: Thus, in the vaUcy of Beunc not very 
far from LausscL proceeding in the diicctian of Lcs EpicSp 
lies a long ttinncHikc cave, known as Combaiellct* comaining 
quantities of engravings of Pleistocene amrnaU inclu^ng rcin^ 
deer, bison, mammoth, horses, lions, bem and a rhin^oi, 
together with a series of anthropomorphic figures on the wall 
of a recess which may perhaps be those of masked dancers 
clothed in skins and wearing tails. In one silhouette the shape 
of a mammoth s head is suggested with the arms made to 
resemble the tusks. Elsewheic there is an ol^ man appaicntly 
following a woman,interpreted sometimes as having an 
erotic significance. But the main purpose of the scm« seems 
to have been to depict a fertilUy ritual dance, doubdess to 
renda prolific the animals on which man depended lor his 
subsistence, like the engraving on stag-horn ofthe tl^ 1"“^ 
figures masquerading in the skin of a ebamoh at Abrt Mege, 
Dordogne:, and those with animals* heads in the caves at 
Maisoulas, near Salies du Sarlai in the Haute Garonne. On 
a schist plaque at Lourdes a man with a long heard, the tail 
of a hotsc, and what may be the andets of a stag is dcpiaed, 
while siniilar anthropomorphic designs have been detected in 
the cave at Altamira and at that of Homos de la Pena in 
Cantabria, near Santander. 

That dances woe held to promote fecundity » mow clear y 
shown in the cby models of a female bison followed by a mdc 
placed against a projecting rock in a small cumber at Ac 
cud of a long narrow passage in Ae Tuc d'Audouben oi^c 
estate of Ac Count Begouen in Ariige near St Girons, about 

13 Aitiecricnts of the CaJstff Cult 

700 uictws from the entries. In a recess near by were pieces 
□f clay in the form of a phallus, and on the soft clay floor of ihe 
gallery were impressions of human feet and an incomplete 
bison I i ccniimetra long. To the right were fifty smaU'sized 
hedrmarb, thought to be those of young dancm engaged 
perhaps in a fcnility dance round the iimil hillock in the centre 
in the presence of the clay bison. 

Similarly, in the adjoining cave called after the three advent 
curous sons of die Count, Les Tiois Frires, who in 1918 
first vetuuied into it and found rhcK among an immense array 
of paintings and engravings a mysteiioias masked figure known 
as 'the Sorcerer' depicted in black on the wall of a small 
chamber at tlie end of a winding corridor in ftont of a kind of 
window. Eitacdy what was the meaning and purpose of this 
composite figure 75 centimetres high and 50 centimetres wide, 
4 metres above the ground, can only be conjectured. The head 
is full face with round eyes like an owl and between them is a 
nose. The ears are those of a wolf and the two antlers above the 
forehead arc thoM of a stag. The claws are those of a lion and 
the tail of a horse or wolf. The forearms are raised and joined 
horizontally, ending in two hands. The feet and toes are care*' 
fully desigiied to indicate a movement suggestive of dancing. 

Whether or not, as was first supposed, this masted figure 
represented the chief lorcern or shaman embodying the attrt/ 
butes and functions of the animals,^^ or, as is now suggested, 
potTrayed the spirit consolling hunting expediaons and the 
tnuldplicadon ofgame,^* a ctilt is indicated in which animals 
and human brings woe brought together in a joinr effort to 
conserve and promote abundance of the specie on which man 
depended for his means of subsistence. The mysterious forces 
of nutrition and propagation bring among the chief ccnires of 
emotional intercsi and concern, a ritual technique was devised 
to bring them under supcnutural conaol, nature bring man's 
'living larder*, as Malinowski has remarked, To this end a 
ritual expert arrayed himself in the skin and andcis of a stag, 
or the feaihert of a bird, and imhated the behaviour of the 
Species he personified in the belief that for the rime bring, and 

The Palaeefitbic Cultu; ?9 

for ihc prescribed purpoie, he was what he represented liimiclf 
to be. In that capacity he believed he made the copulation of 
male and female effective in the leproduclion of offspring just 
as he was able, as he supposed* to control the fowunes of the 
chase by depicting animais wounded by spears and missiles* 
and uttering incantations over his designs and thereby caiching 
and killing the prey. 

The figures of the masked dancers in animal disgtu^ suggest 
a cult in which the ritual expen impersonated the ‘spirits' of 
the animals he embodied, and represemed dramatically m a 
scries of sacred actions what it was earnestly desired should be 
accomplishcdl The will to Uve as a primary emotion was 
disehaiged by anticipatory rites as a pteyprescntaiion of cither a 
successful hum or of the piopagadon of the species. It was not 
so much that ‘like produces Ukc^ as thai a ritu^ which mvolved 
z reproduction of i pr3.crical activity 2nd a d^aked 

result established the ex postJeeUt idea of'sympathetic* causation. 
The primary functian was to give expression to a vaA impulse, 
the urge to act discharging itself on the symbol, the ritual being 
the vent of pcm*up emodons. The purpose of the acrions 
performed and of their representation in visible f^ was to 
secure the prey or to effect a successful birth of offspring through 
the ritual technique, and so to relieve the tension in a precanous 
situation on which human wi^bbring and survival depended. 
The symbol was regarded and treated in the same way as the 
spiritual entity it symbolized by virtue of the sufwiMtuial 
quality it acquired. Hence the efficacy of die mimeoc dances 
and of the amulets, designs and disguises employed to these 

ends in the culius. kt 

In a great cavern sancnuiy like Les Trois Frerct, Nuiw, 
Font^de^Gaumc or Lascaux, the ceremonies muH have iiu 
volvcd an organized dfoit on the pan of the community in a 
collective anempt to control natural forces and processes by 
supernatural means directed in the common good. The sacred 
tradition, be it in relation to the food^upply. die rn^oy of 
bictb and propagation, or of death, anMe and funraoned. it 
would appear, in response to the will to live here and hctealtci. 

20 Antecedents of the Ceddesr Cult 

Therefore^ i: was centred in the cnciEral, arresdng and. disturbing 
ueccsijties and occasJans of everyday life and cxpoicncet and 
tended to assume a communal character to enable the group to 
cope with the evcTi-preseni perplexities, hazards and cxienuaung 
circumstances, the ritual experts exerc^ng their funcrions in a 
rcpitscnrarive capacity. 

rbf Diffusion a/ the Cult 

As individualized divine beings came to be regarded as uki^ 
maiely responsible for the control of the vital processes* and 
acquired a recognized sutus and stylized fornii the Mother/' 
goddess, especially in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe^ 
occupied a predominam position by virtue of ha life-giving 
properties pot exeeilcnee^ While the Magdalcnians in the Pajaeo^ 
lithic conccniraced upon the maiutenance of the vagaries of the 
chase as the chief source of the food-supply* their Gravetdan 
and Atirignadan predecessors, as has been considered, wac 
interested essentially it would seem in the maternal aspect of 
the mystery of birth and pnopagadon. Since their cradleland 
appean to have been in the region of the Caspian Sea* where 
the Goddess cult subsequendy became most prominent, it is in 
this area that its most probable original home ha. In its 
westerly extension in Europe it became sufficiendy established 
to become a permanent tradition, especially in the Meditcr^ 
ranean phase, where it conrinued apparently without passing 
through the Solutican and Magdalenian stages of Palaeolithic 

In the Soluuean interlude, centred it would seem in the 
mountainous country of Hotthem Hungary^ where in its 
earliest phase it was contemporary with the later Aurignacian 
culture, there arc indications of CraveErian JnHucticcs not only 
in some of its blade implements but also In its relief-sculpture 
(e.g. die animal-'friczc on limestone at Le Roc, Charente,)^* 
ivory statuencs such as the male figure from Brno, head collars 
like that at Predmost, and peiforaiKl pebbles at Laugcric-Hauic. 
The Magdalcnians perfected the art of carving as well as of 
cavc/'paitidng, which reached its hc^ht in the ^eat poly^ 


Tbt Paheelitbie Cultnf 

chromes ai Altimira, Font-'dc-'Gaume and Lascaux« They 
were confined, however, for the most part to France and 
Cantabrian Spain with outposts in Bavaria, Bdgium and 
Souilicrn England. Elsewhere the Aurignacian tradition con' 
tinned to develop independently, as it did where the Solutrcans 
never pcnetiatcd"i.c. north and south of an area stretching 
from Northern Hungary to the Pyrenees, and to North'west 
France, East Anglia and Southern England. 

In France the Magdalenian emerged from a combination of 
Cravettian and Solucrean influences, bur outside this restricted 
region the Upper Palaeolithic culture remained basically 
Auiignacian, as is revealed in rlic Grimaldi caves at Mentone 
and at CiesswcU Crags in Derbyshire. It would seem unlikely, 
rherefore, that there was any definite break in the tradition in 
which the Venus cult arose and from which in due course it 
was destined to come to fruition in the worship of the Great 
Goddess. Moreover, in ihe Solutrcaii'Magdalenian interlude 
in Central and Western Europe it was the same urge to 
fecundity that found expression in the sacred dances and their 
associated rites to promote the propagation of the specla upon 
which man dqscnded (or his subsistence. 

Thus, the famous dancing scene now so faded as to be hardly 
visible in the rock/shcltcr adjoining the village of Cogul about 
twelve miles from Loida in Catalonia would seem to be con' 
netted with the Venus type of fertility cult. As k now appean, 
nine narrow'waisted women with long pendant breasts, dad in 
caps and in belhshapcd skins reaching to the knees, but show' 
ing no facial features, arc depicted in association with a small 
naked male figure^® which, since the penis is not erect, can 
hardly have a phallic significance, as has been suggested. The 
scene seems to have been the work of several Palaeolithic 
artists, perhaps at difTcrent times, and the little dark brown 
male figure may have been added to the earlier black group of 
the women. Even so, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 
its insertion was conneaed with a fertility rite in which the 
women were grouped round a male emblem, perhaps rlut of 
a boy, to fadlitaie the production of life. It k most unlikely, 


Aiilfcrients af the C&Jicfs Cull 

however* that at this w\y period i mile god ptaycid any pin 
iti the antecedents of the Mother-Goddess cult, which chiough^ 
out this Pikeotithic phase fbund expression In styUied female 
figurct in clay or paint or bas-relief with hartging breasts, soulJ 
nidimentary heads, waspwaists* and sometimes clothed in 
bell^kirts. Indeed, from its emergence in die Gravertian cuhute 
the cult persisted in the various components and derivatives of 
the Amignacian in Europe, Nonfa Africa and the Middie 
East, until it acquired z nov lease of life under NcoEthic 


With die transitioti from food^gathering to food^production 
the female principle continued to predomioate the cultus that 
had grown up around the mysceriom processes of birth and 
gcneratioiL Woman bring the modier of the race, she was 
essentially the lile-produccr and in rhat capacity she played tlie 
essential role in the production of offspring. Neve^clesSp. as 
agriculture and herding became the established modes of main^ 
taining the food^supply, the two poles of creative energy, the 
one female and receptive, the other male and begettive, could 
hardly fail to be rtcogniaed and given chrir respective synibolic 
signiiicance. But although phallic emblems became incttasingly 
prominent from Neolirliic times onwards, the maternal prin-^ 
dple, in due course personified as the Modier^goddesSp con^ 
tlnued to assume the leading role in die ctiittis, especially in 
WcBern Asia, Crete and the Aegean, where the male god 
was subordinate to the Goddess, Essential in pbimolcGical faa 
as the conjunction of mak and female ri in die producrioo of 
life, it would seem thar at first there was some uncettainty about 
the significance of pimsmity,^*^^ Therefore, as the precise function 
of the male partner in relaaon to conception and birth was less 
obviou^ and probably less clearly utidmtood, it is Imrdly 
surprising that he should be regarded as supplemctitary raihct 
than as the vital agent in the process. Consequently, the mothe;r 
and her maternal organs and attributes were the lifc^ving 
symbols par excellence. 

The Ntviitbk CuUut 


The ArpxUyeb Ftfftrina 

Thus, iti the Mosul (listrict of Northern Iraq, within ten miles 
of the Tigris and the ancient city of Nineveh, in the Chalco' 
litbic mound Tdl Arpachiyali, the beginning of which go 
back before 4000 BX-, numerous headless cby female lucuettci 
have been found of the Venus type. Some have been roughly 
modelled in the round, others aie fiat, but in all of them the 
bicasts are pendulous, the navel is prominent, the waist slender 
and the buttocks are highly developed, are represented in 
a squatting posture suggestive of childbirth, but some would 
seem to indicate a state of pregnancy. As in the Palaeolithic 
Venuscs. the bead seldom is shown and the 'sttatopygous 
squatting variety eichibii a tendency towards conventionaliza^ 
ibn, the body in some cases having bren reduced to a peg or 
cone, though retaining the legs in a sitting position m its 
simplest form. The painted type with bent head and pendulous 
breasts, in what is designated as the T.T.6 level of the mound 
belonging to the height of the Chalcolithic HaUfian period, 
was adorned with a ganncm in red pigment and braces crossed 
bctwKD the breasts. The truncated fiddle/shapcd flat forms in 
sun^iied day. either painted or unpainted, have a lugb peg.- 
shaped head, prominent breasts and navel, and sometimes they 
arc perforated suggesting that they had been worn as «s- 
Some of those in terracotta, on the other band, have hoUow 
bodies, one of which in all probability had been intended to 

be used as a vase.*® . - r ■ t 

This remarkable coUccrion of female figurines a of particular 

interest because it reveals that these emblems of the Godd^ 
cult, having unmistakable afanirics with the PalacoUthjc 
examples, were in common use in a variety of shapes in 
Northern Iraq, probably In the fifth millcniuum B.C„ mug 
before they appeared in the Eastern Meditoraneam Morrovre. 
they were aisodared with the double axe and the dove, the 
bull’s head and the serpent, as in Crete and the Ac^n. 
Though often the siaruenel are inferior in design and techmque 
they are aUied to die Graveman prototypes and constitute 
an importaiu link between the Palaeolithic and the Uict 


AtHttedenii aj the Cult 

Ch^cob'chlc 2nd Bronze Age nunifncations of die culms in 
Anztolu, Crete and the Aegezn in the west, 2nd in Persia, 
Baluchisun 2nd the Indus valley in the east. Somcomes they 
were so badly modelled, showing only the nutetnal organs, 
diat they can have been employed merely as chaiim and 
amulets to inenase fruitfulness and fadliute delivery of the 

Thus, in 2 much later parallel group of five nude female 
figurines from an Iron Age Israelite occupation level (Stratum 
^ Tell B^t Miisiiu in the south of Patesttne (probably the 
Canaanite city Kirjathsephef) 'the process of accouchement’ is 
believed by Dr Albright to have been represented in the 
exaggerated protruuon of the vulva legion in an attempt to 
suggest the dcscHii of the head of an in£im at the moment of 
birthp doubtless for the purpose of hastening parturition 
magical means." It is hardly likely, as he says, that figures of 
this Mtute wherevet they occurred reprcsenied die Goddess 
hctscU; being essentiaUy aids to ehildbiith and fecundity. 
Nevct^elcss. they constitute a prominent dement in this widely 
cxtcndtti cult. 

Oticc the mMemal prindple had been personified it was 
adnr a single Goddess, the Great Mother, with diffeient 
tunenons symbols, or a pumbet of independent and 
sep^ deiucs exercising their several roles m the processes of 
birth, generation and fertility, in whom the cult was centred 
At first It would seem to have been concentrated upon die 
mj^tcry of birth, including all the major aspects of fecundity 
Md nutrmon as the vital concern of man, food and children 

n i 5 n ^ nquiremcnrs at a]] times. Thetefote, as 
Dr Mailoww, says, there can be Ihile doubt that Tcrdlity wor. 

-Maho-godd™- cuk i„d«d k 
wmld'“ iittviving tcL'gions of the andcni 

In the Chakolithic penod it became the dominating in. 
fltience from the Middle Near JUst to Anatolia, die A^ean 

r r*’ ^ Baluchisun and India. In the e^icst 

Neolithic utes, however, apart from TdJ Arpachiyah it was 

The H^toikhic Culm xs 

noi very prominent: in Western Asia prior to the HaUf period 
when female Ggininci became abundant. At Tell Hasiuna in 
North Iraq near Mosul west of the Tigris, in the prC'Halaf 
stratum a few day female statuettes have been tecoveitd from 
level rV resembling those Ibutid at Aipachiyah,*^ In level V 
a squatting woman in red day poorly preserved and unbaked 
has an excrescence on the left diigh. The head occurred in five 
fragments in ^eenish day, two of which suggest curved horns 
with the impa'sUon of a reed running through the centie to 
strengthen it.*® In the post-Haasona levels day statuettes te^ 
appear, and in the Halaf deposits they become ptevalent 
everywheie from the Syrian coast to the Zagros mountains 
where this Halaf culture Hdurished. 

Tl)f Halaf aad 'Uhaid PtriaJs 

Thus, at Tepe Cawra near Nineveh, northwest of Arpachiyah 
on the caravan route to Iran, thqf are of common occurrence 
in the lower levels of the mound and conform to a standardized 
type. Though male figures ptedominate on the pottery and in 
seal designs, they are rare In the form of figurines, which 
Invariably depict women, usually in the squatung posture and 
holding their br«sfs. The heads are merely pinched out of the 
i/lay, but the (acial features sometimes are painted without any 
attempt at modelling. The eyes are drawn in black paint, and 
horizontal lines on the shouldcn, amu and feet may tcprcsent 
some form of omamcntiiaon, or possibly artidcs of clothing. 
Similarly, palmed terracotta types recur, as we have seen, at 
Arpachiyah, and also at Tell Halaf and Cbagai Bazar in North 
Syria, where in addlnon to details of dress of uttoo marks tliey 
are sometimes seated on circular stools as if in parturition, and 
wearing turbans.** At Cawia a highly cotiveudorulized 
‘fiddle/shaped* torso with prominent breastt was found in 
level B of area A. in which all details of the lower part of the 
body are emphasized in contrast to those of the waist and hips. 
The sexual triangle is marked by incised lines below the navd. 
The head is merely a short projection while the back is flat. It 
being at this site an isolated example of this kind of stylization, 


Aniraienti of tiif Goddeif Culi 

it may have been introduced specifically to icrve the purpose 
of safe and speedy delivery. ® “ 

The stratified deposits of the mound hive yielded identical 
figurines painted on the neck and shoulden in brown, red or 
black, and with the same kind of pinched heads, or with no 
hcai at all. Some are armless, without pointed knees, and 
having prominent breasts and a painted skitt or kilt suspended 
from tl« shoulders by two snaps between die breasts- There 
are also painted strokes nn the back and on the shins which 
may indicate tattoo marks or cicatrices, and horizont^ lines on 
the lower pan of the back, possibly representing the spinal 
column. Fattening of the buttocks, distention of the abdomen 
Of protuberance of the navel do not occur at Cawra. Only one 
figurine has separate legs, and on this armless and headless 
ip«im«i the breast* are not marked.^' Two others from the 
Ubaid period arc so stylized that apart from the brcasti there 
IS little or nothing to suggest that they are human 6gurci.*“ and 
it is quire impossible to determine whether they aro of the 
squatting or the erect type. But at Cawra where the poaure is 
shown squatting is the invariable mlc, and even in the stylized 
cones it rs usually suggated. The most prominent types are 
Cither tniw of the Hikl pointed knees decorated \rariccy with 
arms encircling the breasts, pinched and decorated heads and 
bands across the neck and shoulders; or a later armless type 
with prommcni breasts and a skin suspended by crossed straps 
on ^ shoulders. Instead of poiiucd knees the bps slope and 
the are very short. Both ate common in die lowest levels, 
but becoine progr^vely less numerous, disappearing alto. 
g«ber at the cod of the ’Ubaid period in stratum XIII. The 
only ^e figure found in the mound has a spot painted at the 
end of the pl^us and came &om near the temple stratum X. 
Jn all probabihty this was a cult objea.^® 

In Southern Mesopotamia a series of cby figurines with 
elongated grotesque heads and reprilun features has been 
levered from below the Hood deposits at Ur belonging to 
1 marshes of the Euphrates delta ('Ubaid 

1 and II). The bodies are well modelled with feet together and 

Tht NeolitbU Cultas 27 

hands at die waist, or holding a child to the breast, of some/ 
times icsdi^ on ihe hips. Bands and itnpes ate painted on 
the nude body to indicate ornaments or tatttxjing, and the 
pubes and division between the legs are depicted by linear 
incision. Some are greenish as a result of overfiring of die clay; 
others ate much lighter in colour. Both repre«nt the slender 
type painted in bbcit and icd with wigs of bitumen applied 
to the bead.®* A few small clay models survived the Al ’Ubaid 
period and became shapdess gtotesques devoid of the skill in 
tcchnit]uc displayed m the earlier figurines. At Abu Shahrain 
(Eridu), 14 miles fiom Ur, the upper part of a similar figure 
was found hy Dr H. R. Hall having a momtioiis head with 
beak/like profile and flattened shoulders. Probably it was that 
of a male in much the same posture as the Al 'Ubaid females, 
though less skilfully modelled.*^ 

The fVarka Periott 

In the mound of Warka which marks Erech, the andem Uriik 
in Mesopotamia, the female statuettes resemble those of Ur in 
form and ornamentation executed in black p^. One lias a 
cylindrical body, a splayed base with the division between the 
legs marked by incision and wing/like arms. Nude women 
holding their breasts, with large hips and slcndet waists, teem 
on rectangular reliefs, with almond eyes and rounded face. 
Round the neck arc necklaces and incised lines on the wrists 
indicate bracelets. Sometimes, however, the head is monstrous 
with a snout and gashes in strips of clay for eyes, and having 
a peaked hcad/diess. Odicrs are small and devoid of fcatuics 
except for a large nose. In some of the examples a diagonal band 
had been painted across the shoulder and under the nght aim. 
The hair is coiled round the head and locks frequently hang 
down on to the shouldos. Between the C and D levels of the 
Anu Ziqqurat die upper totso and arms of a very small nude 
female figure in light translucent stone, excellently modelled 
with arms bent at the elbow and clenched fists, was used m all 

probability for amuledc purposes.®* 1 r - u 

In the Early Dynasdc Protolitcrate paiod ai Khaiaje the 

iS Antecedents cf the Goddess Cult 

uppa: pan of a slah^litc human Hgure ftewn rlie Sin Tempk V 
has a projecting baked nose and a prominent occipital region. 
The eyes were rcpresenced by cutiing across an applied pellet 
of clay with a horiaomai gash^ and the cytbrowi by applied 
Strips nicked to show hair. Clay figurines in Jemdet Nasi Jaym 
(Sin Temple VI b and laj-er rac of the house ara)^ and from 
Tel] Asmar, wsh a similar facial representation have brea^ 
marked in the form of small pellets and the usual emphasis 
on sexual feaiurcs.^^ In Siii Temple IV a small figure* 
10 centimetres highi represents a woman in a short skirt and 
the hands clasped below the breasts. The upper part of the 
body IS nude, die head u bare and the hair hanging to the 
waisL The rounded face is summarily Indicated apart tom 
the carefully modelled booked nose; the eyes arc deep* the 
eyebrows Tidged^ and the brasts arc prominent^ in technique 
corresponding to the clay figurines of the earlier periods.^® 


In Anatolia the mound Alishar Huyuk, 45 kilometres souths 
east of Yoigad in the cenue of the highland region, first 
discovered by Dr Osten in has produced a number of 

pottery f^ale figurines with pronnunced sexual characteristics 
in stratum II which accumulated during the occupation of the 
site by au intrusive group of people of different racial type 
characterked by whed^made pottery having Cappadocian 
afiinidcs. Wkh them are three in lead more elaborately con-' 
stmcted, in one of which the upper part is nude and the arms 
indicate that due hands, though missing* originally held the 
brcaiR, below which a dress extends to the feet. In addition to 
3. scmicitcnLi head-dress arc five necklaces and dtsk'shaped 
ornaments. The other two represent males, but one of them 
shows well-pronounccd breasts combined with a phallic eleva- 
tion.*® suggcstiiig a divine figure combining male and female 
attributes. In the clay and poacry types the face is conven¬ 
tionalized with an exaggerated nose and a disk indicating the 
eye, and in those of women the conical breasts arc very promi¬ 
nent and often touched by the hands. The protruding abdomen 

The Nt^lHhk Cutats iS 

$i]ggcstSi pregnancy in a few casot and on one henruspherjcal 
breast there is a small dcprtssiati marking the mamiwUa.*^ 
Occasionally ihc sexual organs are indicated by horizontal 
dashes with a triangle ot with a rectangular incision open 
below, and the navel by a circular deprcisioti.** 

In the ancient mound Yu milk Ttpe, about z miles to the 
notthi'West of (he small port of Mersin in Cilicia on the southern 
Turkish coast, situated on the direct route fiooi cast to west, 
the Neilson expedition under John Garstang brought to light 
sevaal female figurines which seem to symbolize the cult of the 
Mother^goddess. One from the Bronze Age level (VIII) is 
made of stone, and its companion from level IX B of pottery.** 
In the earlier Chalcolithic levels has come an even cruder 
example** among the remains of the village community 
engaged in agriculture and stodubreeding, and the associated 
cult ptactices, going back to a period (r. D.c.) bcfbie the 

time of the Halaf culture when a semi'nomadic mode of life 
was giving place to that of the settled agriculturist. 

Early Iran arid Titrfcutait 

In Persia when fbod^produetion began to supplement and 
supplant foocUgaiheiing, a quandiy of figurines representing a 
naked goddess have been found on prehistoric Iranian sites. In 
the Tepe Sialk, however, on the western edge of the arid 
plateau in Noith/west Iran, the most ancient staincne was that 
of a clothed male figure giving no indlcarion of having been 
a coll object of any kind,*® just as human figurines arc absent 
in the mmi ancieoi Icvd at Tepe Hissar,** which cannot be 
much earlier than the late Uruk period and Sialk III in the 
beginning of the third millennium fi,c. At Tepe Giyan near 
Nihavend, south of Hamadan, on the other hand, at about 
the same rime nude female figurines occurred witli painted hair 
and eyes but without excessive emphasis on the maternal 
organs.*^ In short, while in Early Iran there are no traces of 
the cull in the no^'cast, it appears to have flourished in the 
south and south-west. 

Thus, at Susa in Elam, where the nearest known material 


AnUcfients tbe G^idess Cult 

comparable with that of Ciyin V, Sialk III and Hissar I occurs 
ill the earliest senlamem (now distingukhed as Susa A)/® 
Egtircs of women modelled in ctay have been recovered with 
the eyes and breasts rendered by dibs, the nose and browi by 
thick rolls stuck on rhe flat slab and on an incised sexual 
triangle.^® In the First EUmlte period (c aSoo n.c*) a staturttc 
was found on the Acropolii on which one of the splayed hands 
k placed on the stomach and the other h shown holding the 
breast*^" In another Ggntine with a cylindrical body rhe hands 
aic daspedf the head appears to be covered with a turban, the 
eyes are indicated by incised lines, and two bracelets are shown 
on each wrist,^^ very much as in a iater example, now in the 
Ashmolean Museum in OxGird, in addition to a turban and 
bracelets, a necklace of two strings of large beads is shown 
with a Tosrtte pendant in the middle, and another necklace 
passing across the chest A* In the proton Elamite period the 
use of neckUccs in this type of figurine was an established 

In Russian Turkestan at Anau near Askabad in Ttans^ 
caspia on the border of the plateau, m all the fragmentary 
figurines of naked female forms the httascs, and usually the 
navel, are clearly marked. A necklace is shown m se\'eral 
torses but of the face only the nose is represented by a projection 
and the eyes by small depressions. The hips are strongly 
developed and the legs are brought together to a poinL In one 
spedmen the region of the vulva k emphasized in a realistic 
nuntier by punch^marks^®* These come Eom the middle 
strata of ihc South Kurgan in which the culture has some 
affinities with that of Hissar III_ It is also dgnificant rhat 
□cither at Tepc Hissar nor at Amu liavc figurines been recorded 
in the car best deposits. This, coupled with the marked change 
in pottery Kchniquc in the earlier and later setdements, suggests 
that an rntrusion of a new people occutied in Northern Iran 
and Turkestan at this time,®® and that it was they who intrtv 
duced the Goddess cult both among those who settled at 
Anau and at the adjacent extensive mim of Old Merv, now 
called Gbianr Kala, For there on the Aaopolis and on rhe 

Tbt Brotue Age oJWtsttm InSt 3i 

pUtcau uf the main city naked female torsos have been 
lecovercik sometimes in a sitting posture and painted in ted, 
black and yellow, A robed standing female figure in relief is 
adorned with neck omaments though the head is missing. In 
her right hand she holds a mirror before her breast, and the left 
hand is placed lower down.** 

the bronze age of western INDIA i 

Although the couise of events in Western India is obscure 
before 3000 b.c., it would seem that in the secluded mountain 
valleys in Baluchistan small farming communidei were cstab.' 
lished in villages, similar to the Early Iranian s^ements on 
the edge of the Persian desert—e.g. Sialk and Giyan-—as self' 
contained peasant societies with a uniform preliistoric culture, 
but each having its own local distinguishing features. Thus, in 
the pottery techniques adopted, while in Persia buff ware was 
characiciistic of the south and red ware of the ntmh, black on 
red predominated tn the Zhob valley in the north, and black 
on buff in the south at Nal, Quetta and Kulli; and at Amn in 
Sind, wb«c typolog?cally the earliest sherds have occurred.*’ 
Now it is in both the Kulli culture in the foothills of 
Southern Baluchistan, established in Maliian before 3000 B.c,, 
and in the Zhob valley culture in the north, that numerous 
clay figurines of women have b«n found. Those in the KuUi 
site^ arc splayed at the waist in a flat'hottomed pedestal, the 
arms are bent with hands 00 the hips, but where the brea^ 
arc shown at all they are not unduly exaggerated. This applies 
to the rest of the maternal organs and features. The faces are 
grotesque caricatures fashioned in clay with eyes made from 
pellets, the hair is elaborately dressed and either plaited or kepi 
in place by a fillet. Oval pendants resembling cowrie shells 
sometimes hang from three tows of necklaces below which are 
strings of beads reaching to the waist, each having a pendanL 
Over the ears are conical ornaments, and on the wrists are 
several bangles, repeated on the left arm at the elbow. 

In the cultures to the north and northreast of Quetta grouped 

3 ^ Axtettiints of the CoJdts^ CnU 

round the Zhob river which flows tiorrh<<2stward$ towards 
the Indus plain, a number of idcnricaJ tciracota flgurines have 
been found in several sites (e.g. Dabar Kt«, Peruno Ghundai, 
Sur Janga] and Mogul Chunda^ in this red ware province, 
although they have not been recorded in the besz^known tell, 
that of Rana Ghiindai, the strariEcatio n of which was invesrii' 
gated by Brigadier E. J. RHasj between 1^35 and 1940.** 
Elsewhere they belong to the third occuparion in the Rana 
Ghundai sequence, assignable perhaps m the third millennium 
B.C.* and consist of clay female Egurcs, ending at the waist in 
small pedestals, as in the KuIIi scries, and adorned with neck¬ 
lace, But as Professor Piggoii points out, the heads are hooded 
with a coif Of shawh the foreheads are high and smooch, the 
noses are owl-like and beak-shaped, the eye-holes are drculai, 
the mouths slits, and the breasts arc mere exaggerated than in 
thar southern counterparts.^® 

In style and foatuies th^ are so uniform that Sir Aurd Stein 
conjectures that they might have been intended to represent 
some tutelary goddess,« while Professor Piggon concludes 
th« tl^ TORI to be 'a grim embodiment of the mother-goddess 
who IS also the guardian of the dead—an underworld deity 
imncemrf ^ke with the crops and the seed-corn buried beneath 
the earth, That they had a fcriUity significance is shown by 
me reproentanon of a phallus carved in stone at the mound of 
Mngul Ghundai nca the left bank of the Zhob river, lourh- 
wca of Fore Sandeman, and at the ncighbouiing mound of 
Ponaiw Ghundaj on the right bank of the river whcc a vulva 
js depicted with greu promineiicc^** 

Tie V^ky 

In Sind and the Punjab the remarkably homogeneous urban 
nvib^on that floutishcd there finm 2500 to tsoo B.c. which 
11 the excavations in and around the Indus 

vaUcy at Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and Chanhu-daro since 
1522, the quannty of tertaeo«a female Egurinei brought to light 
suggest t^ « in Baluchistan, the Goddess cult in some fJn, 
was (srabbhed m what « now generally known as the 

71 ^ Brsnzi of Wtskrn /niiftf > J 

■Hatappa culnutt;’. The majority of the statuettes are midcs 
except for 1 small skitt, sometimes ottiametited with medallions, 
secured by a girdle round the loins, which may have b«n 
made of beads like the girdle so constnictcd found at MohenJO' 
daro/® A curious fan'shaped hcad'dress with patinieT^likc 
side projecriotu varying in size arc a feature of many pfihese 
figurines, Black stains on the paruiicrs, which may have been 
made by smoke, has led Dr Mackay to lurmisc that they were 
used sometimes as small lamps in the practice of a cult caii^ 
nected with ihe Mother^oddess, of whom the statues, he 
thinks, were an image.®® 

In support of this conjecture similar head-dresses, as will ^ 
considered, recur in Syria and the Eastern Meditctrancan m 
this conicjct, and an abundance of jewellery, including bead 
necklaces wirh pendants, ornamental collars with metal rings, 
armlets and bracelets of spiral wire, finger rings and anklets of 
beads or embossed metal.®* Some of the little clay figuiitiK in 
the higher levels were seated with hands clasped round the 
knees, roughly modelled and devoid altogetlrer ofornamenR.*'’ 
Others w ere in postures suggesting tliat they were engaged in 
a ritual dance such as is shown by the figures on a faience 
plaque.®* On one female figure an erection on ihe top of the 
head might represent horns, though they could be doves, an 
important cmblcin in the Goddess cult,®* Homed-masks 
having a magico-rcligious function have also been dis¬ 

So lar as the facial features arc concerned flat pellets of clay 
slightly oval or of almoiid'shapc serve the purpose of eyes, the 
pupil being only very rarely incised. The nose was produced 
by pinching the clay. The mouth is indicated by an incision 
with or without any attempt to produce lips by the addition 
of a grooved narrow strip of clay. The elaborate head-dress 
precluded the fashioning of the can. Many of the images have 
been badly damaged, perhaps because only those which had 
been broken were thiown away, the rest, as a treasured posses¬ 
sion. having been carried off with the domestic equipmeni 
when the city was deserted, like the ‘household gods procured 

34 Anrecfdffitf fl/ ffcf GwMf/; Ctflt 

and concealed by Rachd in the Jacob story in the book of 
Gcnciu/^ To enhance thdf lifc^iving properties most of 
them were painted over with a red shp or wash, as are many 
Hindu figurines todays a practice that was current also irt 
Andent Egypt* Mesopotamia and Malta in ptehmoric umcs/“ 

These sacr^ images in aJJ probabilify repteseniedr as Sir John 
Manhall says, ^a g^dcss with attributes very similai lo thoic 
of the great Motber^oddesSj ”die Lady of Heaven” and a 
special patroness ofwomcn\"^^ Thcrcfafc, they otay have been 
kept in the dwellings and streets of Mohenjci.'^fElaio and Harappa 
as a imelaty divinJtyf very much as the Mother^oddess Js still 
the guardian of die house and village in India presiding over 
childbirth and daily needs,. As household deities they were 
preserved perhaps in a niche in the wall in almost every house 
in the ancient Indus valley cities, and held in the same 
veneration as ate thdr sticcesso*^ today among the illitcraic 
population perennially faced with the perpetual struggle to 
bring forth and to feed and nurture the ever-increasing family 
amid aU the hazard of outrageous fortune. 

Whether or not the goddess nr goddesses who presided over 
the mystery of birth and its concomitants had a male counter^ 
part as a son and partner cannot be determined from the 
available evidence. In the Harappa culture male gods, fie- 
quendy horned, recur/® but they do not appear to have been 
prevalent and seldom aie brought into conjunedon with 
goddesses in the iconography, as is also the case in respect of 
the village goddesses in modem India. On pottery they arc 
also race, and unlike the skirted female statuettes aie eotirely 
nude, though on one of the male figiues ted lines on dhe arms 
and neck may represent bangles and a scarf necklace/^ Usually 
they are bare-headed or have merely a simple fUla round the 
fot^ead ID keep the Itair in place*^® No attempt has been 
made to conceal the sexual oigans. 

Thai at lease some of these male figmes represent a ddty is 
suggested by their adommetiL In the welbknown carved seal 
from Mohenjo-dato showing a three^&oed male god sitting in 
what has been interpreted ai the p^a posture, heeU together 

Tfft Aff cf IVtstm Jpi& 15 

and aimi ouutretchcd, k covered with bangles. On die ch«f 
arc tmngidai: necklaces or torques resembling the hguiina 
from KuUI and Zbob in Baluchistan, and on die arms a 
number of bracelets. A pair of horns crowns the bead with a 
tall head^'dress between them, and at the end of the waistband 
a pTojection which might be the phallus. The figure has three 
faces, one in front and two in profile, and on either side arc 
four animals; an elephant and tigef on his nght» and a rhino/ 
ceros and buffalo on his left. Below the dais on which it is 
seared are two deer.^* Bodi the form and symbolism indicaic 
that here is portrayed a prototype of the Hindu god Shiva in 
his aspect as Pasupad, Lord of the Beasts and Prince of Tejtr. 
Moreover^ on sevoral other scab a similar nude figure occurs 
associaied with the pipinhutc (Le. the sacred fig/fice) and cult 
animals.One of them has three faces, and all have bangles 
and hcad^dicsses and horns. The flowen or leaves rising from 
the head between the horns suggest a fertility modf 

On another seal a homed goddess is represented in the nridsr 
of 1 pppaf-^ec before which a homed figure is kneeling. Behind 
is a goal with a huirun face, and a row of seven females, each 
wearing a sprig on the head and a long pigtail behind, but 
without horns. Since tbep/pji is still regarded as a Ufe-giving 
sacred tree to which offerings are made by women m secure 
male offipttng, the practice may have been derived from the 
Harappa culture, where it seems to have been firmly established 
as one of the aspects of the cult, to which these scena bear 
witness and in which male and female generative organs, often 
in assodariort widi the pip^l^ have such a prominent place. 

In addition to these scal/amulcis and figurines a number rff 
limestone conical ifir|a; have been found at Harappa compare 
able to the phallic emblems 6om Mogul Ghundai^ and still in 
use in India among rhe Saivitcs for iifobestowing purposes. In 
the light of the Shiva figure horn MobcnjcHdaro that these cones 
were cult objects employed as fettihry charms and amulets is 
by no means improbable,though it is possible that some of 
the smooth wont large stones at MohcoJoAlaro in dwellings, 
and some of the beautifully fashioned cones in chalcedony 

jt; Aute£ciin!S Cali 

c^ndmip lapis lizulif alabasin* liicncc and limesioDCi could 
bavc been 'chessmen* used in bpaid^ginira- But the mote 
rolistically modelled Examples"* unquestionably arc phalli, 
juit as certain Large undulating stone rings ■reptesem their 
fEmalc counterpart (Lc* ydifw or viilva)i®'^ sumeumes btfought 
into coiyutiction to lodicate the union of the two organs^ as, 
for example* in the yjflJ hates of Jj/rjd, Th us* a convcitaoinahzcd 
lm£^ in ydlow sandstone at Haiappa with finely cut coils and 
necklaces may have had a ymi base, and six occurred in an 
earthenware jar with some small pieces of shdh a u njcom seal, 
scone pestles and a stone palette. Some ntiitiatuie cxmical haetyls 
have a son of ring round the body which hat been tcgaided as 
3 possible 

It would secuit therefore, that the widespread venerarion of 
the Iin£is in the w^ooihip of Shiva in Hindu India is very deeply 
laid in the prehistoric substratum of the Huappa culture, going 
back to the third tnilkmiium B.*c, in the form of large and 
small conc^baped lin£a and yom rings like their Hindu counter^ 
parts. Behind this phallic cult lay die mystary of binh and 
predominance dF the female statucues over male figures in 
the earliest levels of all the cultutES in w'hich they occur in the 
Ancient East, from the Indus valley to the Mediterranean, 
suggests that attcuUDO ar first was concentrated on the fcmhiine 
and maternal aspects of the process of genmdon, whether or 
not its divine personificaiion (when it occurred) was a virgin 
or mother^goddBi or goddesses. Generally speaking, when 
deities of this nature emerged, in their cadicst represctitarioni 
they wm not accompanied with a consort oi male figure of 
any kind, young or mature- Their primary function was to 
promote fecundity m its several aspects and attributes* to guard 
the sacred poctil through which life cniercd the world, and not 
infiequetidy to pLy their pan in the caic and revivification of 
the dead* chough in the Harappa cuUute they do not appear 
to have assumed this lok. There, as in Baluchistan* they were 
connccccd essentially with household shrines and the wclh 
being of home and family lil^ sometimes it would seem 
presiding over the village or diy as the cult developed. 

E^ypt W fk MtJitemuKM 17 


In the Nile valley thtee small figures of women have been 
loilnd in graves of the Bailaiian Age. One is very narrow 
w’aisted and somewhat itearopygpus, the breasts arc small and 
pointed, the atnis folded in front and a wide soma! rriangle has 
horiaontal lines. The second has little waist, no stcatopygy, the 
breasts arc long and pendulous, the triangle it narrow with 
some vertical lines, and the nipples are clearly marked, « arc 
the nose and eyes. The third figure is very crudely fashioned 
without arms and legs, and the pendulous breasts me broken. 
The triangle is wide and shallow, having diagonal Unes, the 
waist is defined, the bunoeb are steatopygous, the head is small 
mth a string of beads in fiont of the neck, and there arc three 
chevTont in the centre of the back, icrembling in several of these 
respects limilar Amraiian statuettes.** 

These figurines of the so^alled steatopygous ty-pc are all 
female, and P«rie links them vriih the PalaeoUthic flrasstm^ 
pouy examples.®’ They arc almost all from the Early Period 
(SD. 51-34)* recur until Ptotodynasuc dmei when 

they are plentiful at Hierakonpolis and Abydos.*® Pendant 
breasts are mote common than thickening of the buttocks, and 
ihe resemblances are most marked among the pottery and clay 
figures where the sexual triangle and narrow waists me recurrent 
features. Whether or not the steatopygous group belong id an 
earli« race, as Petrie contends.*® they M into line wth those 
of die Venus tradition, and are combined with a slim variety 
as elsewhere. 

Thus, in Cyprus, which from Mycenaean rimes became the 
easternmost outpost of Aegean culture,*'^ while fiddlc^haped 
squatring and flat figurines in stone have been found in the 
Chalcolithic city at Khirokiria (between 4000 and SS® ^-C*) 
with pijcticaJly no indication of sex,®* in the Erimi culture at 
the ttansition from the Chalcolithic to the Early Bronze Age. 
the genitalia arc pronounced,sometuncs with printed onumcn^ 
cation in the cerracotu female statuettes. As at Aipachiyah in 
Nonhem Iraq, they were discovered in the neighbourhood 
of die iholoi and in association widi fetriUty amulets and 

j3 AntiitirnU $f the C^ddesy Cult 

omacnmu, which include ^ model of a goddess on a pendant*** 
They are true to rype and may have been iricrodtiocd as a remit 
of culture contact with Western Asia» whcrcp as wc have 
seen, the cult was so firmly establiihcd in the Cbalcohihic 

In the first dry of Troy jmo or 1750 b.C.)i occupying a 
key position on the Hellespont as the mecring/point of trade 
routes by land and sea from Mesopotamia to the Aegean across 
the Anatolian plateau and up the Scraits» a relarivcly large 
figure of the Goddos^type, roughly beaitKshapedp hw been 
found carved in low reUef on a stele flanking the gateway^ 
accentoated by the arrangement of the hairi represented by a 
series of holes on either side of the head* The nose is rathet 
longp and the left eye and month arc marked giving an owi^likc 
appcarajice. To the Icfi is whai seems to be the shafi of a staff 
or sceptre, with a tpherical knob^ Below the &cc to the right 
fuitbcr carving can he detected^ possibly an arm or band- ** In 
the second dty (c 1600 b,c.) jan with similar figures having 
Anatolian and Sumerian affinities rccuip*^ while in the first 
four of the supertmposed andent towns of Thermi in Lesbos, 
which are pat^d to the first dty of Troy, there arc Units with 
the Troadp Southern and Centrd AnatoUa and Msopotaitua^ 
also with the Cydades and Thessaly, 

The stone statuettes are highly conventionalized in die low 
(i^Cr cailier) Thermi towns, the fiddle-^typc predorruoaiirig. 
Later they were replaced by terracotta figurines in clay, badly 
fired and often ftagmciuary. Some art dr^d and amamented, 
chough die head and arms often may be missing. Scraps often 
arc crossed across die breasts, and meet low down at the bacL 
The punaured dots on the chest and shoulders may represent 
a necklace. Sometimes when the sex h indicaicd the nose and 
breasts are rendered plasiioilly, but gcnctally the generative 
organs arc emphasized if ibown at all The hips may be 
angular or curved^ and the legs divided with the arms folded 
on the breasts. At the neck and bdow die waist art ftinges or 
lines of embroidery, perhaps a beli or collar to the ditss^ 
Pendants also have been nude anthropomorphic by the 

Egypt md ihc E<attrn J9 

addition of breasts and perfbfaicd for sospeosion at the top. The 
Gddlc^hapcd txamples somedmes were pyuctured with holes, 
apparently lor the inserdon of some foriji of omamentadoa.*" 
In the CycIideSi where the culture reactwd its height in the 
third nuUennitim b.c.. very crude fiddle figurines in marble 
occur in the poorer ptehistoric graves at Ajiriparos, but the 
technique improves in those fcom the cemetery to rhe south/cast. 
The sexual triangle is invariably tepreserued on the female 
statuettes, and in one case the sitting posture is indicated. From 
A mo^os came a female torso with the aim of another person 
round her hack, and in some of the graves were single marble 
legs. The head invariably was pointed, resembling the blade of 
a stone implement, and everywhere there was an excess of 
female itaiucnes over male, suggesting, it has been concluded, 
that a Goddess cuh wai practised.*^ 

On rhe mainland, except in the case of a stone head from a 
mound at the village of Topuslai in Nonh^castem Greece, 
where the features were Indicated plastically, the Theualian 
stone figurines bear little or no resemblance to those in the 
Cyclades. This also applies to the fiddle^haped vancy where 
the neck is much larger than in the Cycladic types and the 
features are not represented plastically,’* The majority of the 
tenacoua otampUs are female and fragmentary. Those belong' 
ing to the First and Second Neolithic periods are ckhei 
standing stcatopygous figures with long necks and hands 
touching the breasts, or seated with the thighs and buttocks 
ratha less highly developed, and die hands sometimes placed 
on the knees instead of on the breasts. In one inaance the 
woman it shown seated on a four'leggcd stool nursing a baby. 
They are all well nude and polished, care having been givra 
to detail in the rendering of the hair and other features in 
conmst to the shapeless degenerate type at the end of the 
Second (Neolithic B) period, and in the Third or ChalcoUthic 
period, undl they come to an end in the Bronze Age. 1 q 
nique the terracotta figurines recovered from the site at Dimitii 
near the Gulf of Volo, which flourished from the Second to 
the Fourth Thessalian pichlnoric periods, are inicriot to those 

40 AniitfdMt fl/ Cwff 

{rom Scsklo. Twngli and die otlicT deposit where the First 

period was rcpresctilHL®^ 

Since die affinidcs of these Neolithic Thessalian figurines arc 
with Thrace and die ooith rather tlian with the metal^uicrs in 
the Tread, Anatolia^ the Aegean basin and Crete* it is possible 
that they represent an independeni phase in the development 
and diffusion of the cult from the Near East when generations 
of peaceful farming communities lived in rebtivc isokuon 
from thdr warlilce neighbours unnl they were invaded by the 
people who fomfied Dimini and the assomted sitei, some of 
whom may have cgme &om Vinca on the loess bank of the 
Danube and the surrounding district herwetn Belgrade and 
Nil in what is now Yugoslavia* Here too female figurines in 
clay and stone abounded crudely modelled with die genital 
organs emphasized* The older solid statuettes are stcatopygous, 
standing or eke seated* sometimes on a throne. The face is 
triangular and in the more developed varieties the nose and 
eyes are indicated by indsed lines nr painting* except in the 
decadent examples where rt is bud^shaped with a monstrous 
nose* The upper pan of the body is nude with or without 
ornamentation* and tw^o square^ut loincloths lianging from 
a belt. The connexions in type and technique are with die 
Aegean^ the Cyclades and the Morava and Vaidar vallrys with 
Anatolian and the Vinfa^Koros region. 

Mirojii Creif 

It was. however, in Minoan Cr^c that the cult found its fuUesr 
expression in the Eastern Mediteiraneacu There in the earhesc 
Neolithic stratum at Knossos all the piindpal types of clay 
figurines in South^eanera Europe, the Aegean basin, Anatolia 
and Western Asia arc represented, thongb it is mainly to the 
squatritig and sitting varieties that the majority belong.^ 
Invariably the head has been broken off or is a protuberance 
until in the succeeding period in Central Crete attempts were 
made to reproduce facial feanites. In a sub^Neolithic marble 
specimen ircatopy0 is indicated by means of an expanded 
comour suggesting the shortened legs of the crouching type. 

^g,ypt vtd iht Eaiifrti AUdittmufiUi 4^ 

and showing afRnitles with the Westetn Asiatic types, notably 
those of Northern Syria and Noitb Iraq, 

Since it was from Asia Minor that the earliest NcoUthic 
influences were felt in Crete about 4000 fl.c,, there can be no 
leasonable doubt that it was from these centres that the Goddess 
emblems wetc introduced together wtdi the double axe and the 
dove, both of which, as we have seen, occurred in iWs context 
among tlie Arpachiyaliians and elsewhere in the Ancient Middle 
East in the Chalcolithic period, a thousand years before the cult 
was established in the Eastern Mediterranean, When this was 
accomplished, however, Crete became virtually io cradlelatid 
in the west, and lata it was represented as the original home of 
rhe Phrygian mysteries of Cybclc (e.g, Rhea), Here the 
Minoan Goddess was depict^ in clay and porcelain as the 
Earth>'niotlia, the Mountaiii'mother, the Miitros of trees and 
the Lady of wild beasts with outstretched or uplifted arcM, 
often holding or encircled by snakes, and clad in a skirt wtih 
flounces, wearing a high crown. Sometimes slie was accom^ 
panted by a priestess or a facsimile of herself, together with the 
double axe, horns of consccrarion and votive garments.^®* On 
some of the seals and signets she is reprerented as seated beneath 
her tree receiving offeritigs of the fitst'friucs of her bounty, or 
in later Minoan seems (c. 15™ ai die hunting goddess 
itcompiiiJcd by lions awd witK ^ spear in liej handi or repLac^a 
by a pillar or mountain stiiuiding between rampant 
But tlicsc Minoan figures bebng to a Mge in tbc develop 
mcnit of the cult when the Mothcr-'gpddess had cm^ged as a 
clearly defined personification of the fonaJe prindple in a 
manner not portrayed in the Neolithic ^idols or the 
lithic Venuses, That tlicy all stand in the iimc tradition is 
suggested by their technological affinities, their distribuuon and 
diagiccvrcligious significance and funoioni- Morrovp^ as 
Evans has pointed oui, it can scarcely be a mere comcidc^ 
that all the vadous centres &om ihc Aegean to Elam in which 
they occur became ^the laiei scenes of the culip tinder varying 
names and anribuiesip of a seria of Great GoddesseSp who often 
combined ideas of moiherhood and vijginity\ Fiirtbmnore* he 

4^ of tbc Codiest Cult 

iruuntiined that *ia Cr^ kscif it Is impofsible m diacxriate 
these primiiive images from those that appear in the shditcs and 
saitctuadcs of the Great Minoan Goddcss^^®^ 

It may be that originally they were symbolic of the tnaternal 
attnbutes and functions of womanhood without any very 
jpedfic pcisonlficaiioD in an all-'cmbradng Goddess of iccurv 
dity, or in ihar of a scries of sepataie and independent fertility 
divinides. Nevertheless, they represent the antecedents of the 
Goddess cult giving expression to die deeply rooced mysrery of 
birth and generation^ of fertility and rcgcneraiiaD, With the 
development of conceptual thought and of technical skill the 
special attributes and funetjons associated with the Mother^ 
goddess became dciRed^ dilTercntiated and personalised in a 
being or bdngi conmiuung the major aspects of the generative 
process in its maniiold forms and phas^, with its various 
symbols and emblems. The mode of portrayal necessarily has 
been conditioned to some extent by the medium employed 
fe.g. bas^TcIidi* cylinder seals and sIgnetSp [erracotta vonve 
offerings^ day figurines, potsherds and sarcophagi) as well as 
by the purposes for which they were designed* 


On the saared island of Malta^ which from the third millen/ 
nium ii.c« appears to have been the mceting^place of a number 
of streams of culture from Western Asia^ the Eastern 

Mediterranean, the Balkans and Italy,^»» an obese female statue 
of Westenj Asiatic type was of immense proponiorLSt It stood 
in the main court of the temple at Hal Tatxjcn; over 7 feet 
arrayed in a fluted ski^ with thick pcar^haped legs* fn 
spite of its fragmentary condition it obviously closely resembled 
the naked steatopygous headless figurines which have been 
found in considerable numhets at Hagar Qrin and at the great 
rockycut Hypogeum at Hal Saflient* In attendance apparently 
were priests dressed in long skirts and short wigs like Chaldean 
officials. ofTcring before the statue burnt sacrifices on the ncary 
by altar. Blood would seem to have been poured into a 


IVfjtfm Eurcpf 

cylindnc^ stone v«ic] with 2 lioltow base:, decorated with pit 
marks on the ouuidc and a deep cavitjr at the rap to receive it* 
while inceme was burnt in the cup^haped cylindneal tops of 

The Malt(» NeoUdiic megalithic "temples*, like the tholoi at 
Arpachiyah, appear to have been pri[naiily sanctuaries Iseforc 
they were ossuaries^ judging from their structure^ decoration 
and cult objects. Thus, in the vast Hypogcum of Hal Saflieni 
with m subtenanean domed vaults decorated with spirals, 
caves and chambers wirh huge trOithons in front of them, 
contained in addition to some 7,000 imerments* shell necklaces, 
amulets, clay and alabaster figtitincs of the naked stcatopygous 
type, comparable to those found at Kagar Qim and in the 
Tatxien group* together with a wcU^baked clay model of a 
woman lying asleep on a couch whh the head resting on her 
arm supported by a pillow**^® This inay indicate, as Zammit 
suggests, that it was used for the practice of incubation in the 
consultation of orades, with cubicles lor devoted who slept 
there to have their dreams inicrpreicd by the priests in the 
service of the Goddess, since emblems of her cull abound in 
the sanctuary. The breasts of the sleeping figure arc large and 
prominent, the abdomen is transversely grooved and the hips 
are enormous. Above the flounced skirt the body is naked, 
and conforms in all essentials to the Tarxicn and Hagar Qim 
type. With it was a simlUr letracotta model* very fat, ruked to 
the waist and showing the remains of red pigment. It lies on 
its tice, and although the head is missing the pUlow remains, 

It would seem, thetdbre* that in these great shrines with ihdr 
Wdtem Aiiadc affinities, a complete and composite cultus was 
practised centred in the worship of the Ceddds, so deeply laid, 
as we have seen* in the Tell Halaf and associated culrurcs. The 
Neolithic pottery in die sites, which conforms to a Near 
Eastern Anatoli^ and Cretan tradition rather than to that of 
the Eastern Mcditertancan and the A^can,^^* tnpporti the 
conclusion that the cult cannadons were with Western Asia 
by way of the hintetland of Soudvwest Asia Minor and 
Thessaly, though there are indications also of Neolithic Cretan, 


AnttfiienU of ilx Godiltts Cuh 

Cycladic and SicuJan mHucnccs having been fck before ii 
readied the iacred isle (Malta) about jooo B.C.* prior to the 
iotroducQon of metal o.f which there is no trace in the Maltese 

The Jbttiatt PtHinmla 

Passing westwards It spread to the Iberian Peninsula, where in 
Almciia it produced vast quantities of female figurines, man^ 
of which have been recovered from the megalithic tombs and 
huts ar Los MUlares on the Andarax river. So numerous, in 
fact, were ihej' that in addition to their prominence in the cult 
of the dead they would seem to have {bund a place in the 
regular sacred domestic equipment of every household, as at 
Mohenjo'daro in the Indus valley. Here, however, it is the 
Aegean type of stone statuette that occurs together with schist 
plaques without faces, bone or ivory cylinders and bovine 
phalanges decorated with 'owl-'cycs*. Often they arc stylized 
almost beyond recognition, and they are never as excessively 
corpulent as the Maltese figures. At El Cared on the high 
giound near the Mediterranean coast of Soutlvcast Spain, in a 
district rich in copper and silver and lead, a small fiddle^ 
shaped 'idol' characteristic of the Eastern Medicertancan tiadi# 
don suggests that the first Meolithic settlers on the mamland of 
Western Europe (c ayoo B.c,) were familial with the cult 
which doubdess they brought with them from the Eastern 
Mcditeirajican islands and the Fertile Ctescent, their cultural 
afliiiiues being wish those of the Badarians, the Merimdians 
and the Fayum. Similar examples have recurted at El natnirCT 
near Pavia and Alemiejo in PortugaL^i^ 

From El Garcc! the cult spread to the southwest of the 
Ibcnan Peninsula where marble cj'lindrical idok with incised 
face and eyes became a charactahuc lature distinct from the 
Almctian phalange^boncs with osvl/eyes*. The Aegean type 
of stone figurine simplified into a flat plaque^gure of schist 
common in Almcria^* rccuts in collective tombs on the 
plateau of Granada in the neighbourhood of Guatdix, Gor 
and Corafe,Similar designs arc incited on crozios and 


Wt^tern Eurapt 

plaquC'-idoU in the P^mclla graves in Portugal in addition to 
phalange and Almciian statuenei. On the Portuguese high 
landt schist and marble Egutines arc among the funerary funu' 
ttire in the sla.b'^jsts, and on the north^astem Spanish coast 
phalangn recur sporadically in Caudonia.^ ** Bur like the mega" 
liihic monuments with which the cult was intimately associated 
in the Ibetian Peninsula, in the hinterland and the north, the 
more conventionalized and degenerate does it become. 

Nfrtb'ttvit Europe 

I That in its diifusion along the Atlantic littoral and from 
the Pyrenees to the Seine^Oise^Mamc fS, 0 ,M.) region in 
France the worship of the Mother^goddess was an IntEgral 
element in the megalithic culture is diown by the recurrence 
of its symbolism in the form of statue/menhirs and limikr 
designs in Brittany, the Paris Basin, tlie Mame and the Channel 
Islands. Thus, the female figures with breasts and U'shaped 
necklaces in Aveyron, the Tam and Card, and in Guernsey 
conform to the Goddess tradition, while the Abbe flreui! has 
detected what he believes to be the face and fbtmes of die 
Goddess in highly conventionalized 'buckler' and ‘octapus’ 
patterns on the slabs of a tomb on the island of Gavi inis in 
Southern Morbiban.^^^ The centre of the cult In this repon 
was the Seine and Oise valleys, where it was a charactcrlsuc 
fearure of the S.O.M culture, intioduccd from the south of 
France. Saidinia and the Balearic Isles, spreading up the 
Rhone valley to the Paris Basin and the clialk Downs of 
Champagne. Having acquired a funerary signilicance, thence 
it reached the Amorican Pcniiisula as the great pilgrimage 
centre widr its Iberian contacts and extensions to the Channel 
Isbnds and the mouth of the Loire. 

in its northerly diffusion it made its way across the English 
Channel to Britain, where It has been detected on the chalk 
Downs and uplands from Wessex to Devon. At Maiden 
Casde in Dorset a conventionalized headless torso has been 
found with two holes at the base for the insertion of legs, and 
from Wiudnull Hill near Avebury in WUishJre (the site tliat 

46 tf/ i'/jf CcJdcSS Ciiit 

has given its name to the Neolithic A culture in Btitain) a 
femaJe staxaettc tagethet with phaJli carved m the chalk have 
been rccovcrcd,^^^ A carved object in bpne fiom the Neolithic 
occupation level at Trundle above die Goodwood racen-course 
in Sossex tcsembles a phallus*and in a long barrow on 
Thickthom Dowrif Cranboumc Chasc^ Dorsetp a more con/ 
vindng wdl/catvcd example has been discovered in a^sodadon 
with the Windmill Hill culture*Similai firids have been 
recorded at Whitchawk Camp on the Bnghton race^course 
with its causewayed camp typical of the Windmill Hill 
Neolithic A culture, and in flint/mincs at Blackpatch on the 
Sussex Downs- 

In the flini/jnincs ax Crimes Giavcs in Norfolk an obese 
figure of a pregnant woman carved in chalk was brought to 
light in 1919 in Pit 15 with a phallus below her, also carved 
in the chalk on the left side* In hour was an erecdon composed 
orhlocks of dim in the form of a cdangle with a chalk cup at 
the base opposite the female figure, and seven deer ander picks 
on the ^alrar'p perhaps as a vodve ofTcring* This remarkable 
ritual deposit has been interpreted as a shritic of an Earths 
goddess pbced in a stcnlc shaft to restore its productivity^ or 
to make the mine as a whole a rich fllnvbedp^^*^ thereby 
extending the idea of the earth s abundance to its mineral 
content* The affinity of this staruette^ however, is with the 
Palaeolithic Venuscs rather than with the Ibcdaii technique, 
while is associated phallic symbolism suggests Anatolian and 
Minoan influences in contra^tinedon to those of the Mediteti' 
rancan littoral and Western Europe, where the mynery of birth 
and generadan* and of fertility in all its forms and phases, 
found expression primarily In the various antecedents of the 
Goddess cult and its tradition. 


The Goddess Cult 
in Mesopotmk and Egypt 

Whether or not die very incleni cuk ceoued in the mystery 
of birth and fecundity in its Palaeolithic and MeoL'thic modes 
of expitssion can be nghdy described as that of a single goddess 
or of several goddesses pmanilying and coniralling all (be 
processes of generation and fertilky, it can be safely asserted that 
it was in this context that whb the rise of agdcultute and the 
keeping of docks and herds in the Ancient Near East that the 
hgurc of such a divine bring or beings emerged and became 
clearly defined. In the first instance it seems to have been as the 
unmairied Goddess that she became the dominanc influence 
Eom India to the Mednerraneaii. Thus, in Mesopoumia, as 
Langdon pointed out, whereas 'the ioiensity of the worship of 
other gods depended somewhat upon the political importance 
of the dries where their chief cult existed, before the orders of 
the gods of nature arose, before the complex theology of eiiuna' 
tjpns supplied the triigion with a vast pantheon, in which ihc 
RuscuUnc clement predominated, the productive powers of the 
earth had supplied in prehiftoric rimes a divinity in which the 
female riemcni predominated*.^ 

With the establish mem of husbandry and domesdeariou, how** 
ever, as the funcrion of the male in the process of gcoeration 
bec^e more appaient and was recognized to be a vital 
clement in the shuarion, the lif&produdng Mother, be it as 
Motbcr^eaith or in any other capacity, was assigned a spouse 
TO play his essential lole as the begetter, even though, as in 
Mesopcrtamia, he remained the servant or son of the Goddess, 
the producer of all life. Moteova, when the birth cult was 

Tlte Cult m E^ypi 

brought into rcladon with the seasood q^de and its vegeudon 
ritual in agriculture] commumti-eSf such as thnse of the Tlgri:^ 
Euphrara vaUcy, the Eatth^goddRS was conceived as the 
generative power in nature as a whole and so she became 
responsible for the periodic renewal of life in the spring after 
the blight of the winter or the summer drought. TbercforCi she 
assumed the form of a manjTi^sidcd goddess, both mother and 
bride, destined to be known by irtany names and epithets such 
as Niohumga* Mali, Ntnmah, Inamiadshtarp Nintuor Aniru. 
Thus, in Sumerian myihology the Goddess Ninhursagaf 'the 
modrer of the land’, was NindkiHa^ 'the pure lady*, until she 
was approached by EnkI, the Waier^od of wisdom, and gave 
birth to a number of deities. Then she became Nintu ama 
Kalamma, ^thc bdy who gives birth, the mother of the land\ 
When she had accepted him she was Dam^al^nutina, 'the 
great spouse of the prince' {j.c, Enki), and having conceived 
as die fertile soil and given birth to vegetation, she was Nin^ 
hur^sag^ga, "the lady of the mountain*, where nature manifbtcd 
its posvers of fecundity in the spring on its lush slopes.® 

ImtiftH'lskiir and Dumuzi^Tammuz 

Similarly, inanna, although as a mamageahre girl she was 
represenced as having accepted the divine farmer Enkidu for 
her husband and rejected the advances of the divine shepherd 
Dumuzi/ nevertheless* as the Sumerian counterpart of Ishtar* 
her nuptials with Dumitzi-'Tammuz were cekbtaied annually 
at die spring festival in Isin to awaken the vital forces in nature^ 
Whatever may be the inierpretation of the relative meriu of the 
shepherd and (he farmer as her respective woesm in the 
mytliopocic tradition^ the ritual situadon required the unJoo of 
the goddess who incarnated fertility in general with the god 
who incarnated the cteadvc powers of spring in order to 
rcawaJccQ the dormant earth and the process offecundJty at thit 
seaioti. Therefore, it was her mamag^c with Dumu^ that gave 
expression to the vegetado n cyde. As 'the faithfu l son of the 
waters (hai came forth horn the canh* he was csscndally 
the youthful suffedng god who was dependent upon his 


The Mtsopi‘ta0iitn 

ipausc^moihcrt the Goddess Atinu^lj^ he died 

in the norma] rotadon of the leasom and pasted tnio the 
land of darkness and death fiom whkh there was no return for 
ordinary mortais^nanna, however, as qu«n of heaven {being 
among her many matrimomal alhances the wife of Anu, the 
Mesopotamian god of the sky), had determined to visit, the 
nether regions in order to rescue her lover<'Son. 

Arraying herself in all her regalia, and equipped with the 
appropriate divine decrees, she set foith on her perilous quest 
instructing her messenger Nioshubur to raise the alarm in the 
assembly hall of the gods and in their principal dues on earth 
should she nor return within three days. Arriving at the gate 
of the grim abode, she gained admittance on false pretences, 
but, having been recognized, she was led through its seven 
gates, losing at each of them pan of her robes and jewels until 
on reaching the lapis bzoU temple of Ereshkigah queen of the 
underworld, she w'as stark riaki^ and prompdy turned into a 
corpse by *ihc look of death' that was fastened upon her. On 
the fourth day Niushubur followed his instructions, and Enki, 
the Water^god of wisdom, devised a plan to restore her to l ife. 
Fashioning two sexless creatures, he sent them to the iictJier 
regions witli the '(bod ofUfe’ and the "water of life* to sprinkle 
them on Jier corpse. This they did and she revived. Aocom^ 
panied by some of its shades, bogies and haipiK, she left the 
land of ic dead and ascended to the earth, where with her 
ghostly companions she wandered fiom city to city in Sumer.^ 

Here the Sumerian version of the mytli breaks off, but as it 
killows so closely the Semitic 'Descent of lihrar to the Nether 
Regions* inscribed on Akkadian tablets dating from die first 
millennium fl.G,, of which clearly it is the prototype, there can 
be little doubt that the sequel was not very diPFerent from thai 
in the later story. Thus, some new maieriai now indicaies that 
Inanna did bring with her ihe shepherdogod Oumuri on her 
return, but because he did not show any signs of mourning 
for her descent to rescue him, ‘searing himself on a high^seat', 
she banded him over to the demons, praumably to cany him 
back whence he had come. Bur here, again, the text breaks off 

50 Tfw Cult in attJ E^pi 

ai the cnjcid pmni,^|NirvenhrIcsf, k » clear that Inanni was 
cssenmlly the Sumedan counterpart of the Akkadian tshuTp 
and in this capacity she stood m moch the same relation to 
Dumuzi as did Uhtar to Tammui, the cmbodimenE of the 
creapvt powers of spring and the ^sotuficadon of the 
autumnal decline m the seasonal qfcIeJin the Semitic myth, 
however^ although the precise purpose for which Ishtat visited 
her sister Emhkigal in the n^er tegiotis is not specified, it 
would appear to have been to rescue the sliepherd^od 
Tammuz, since it seems that it was tlicir joint return that 
restored the blight that had fallen on the land during her 

Thus, in the Tammuz litutgtes, and subsequently in the 
Annual Festtval when Maiduk had assuined a Tammuz role 
on replacing Enlil ai head of the pantheon after the city of 
Babylon had become the capital (r. 172R BpC^)i this theme of 
the suFertng god and the sorrowing goddess was enacted, 
accompanied with bitter wailing and die dngjng of diiges 
dvcF the effigy of the dead god, for the scorched earth of 
summer seemed to threaten a letum of the desolation when 
Ishtar wandered in barren fields and empty shecpfolds while 
her lovcr^n was in the underworld In the laments of the 
priests and people the cry of ilir suffering youthful god was 
echoed until he was released by the Coddest and restored to 
the upper world as her 'resurrected child"* Then sorrow was 
turned into joy and defeat mio victory which ar the Annual 
festival was celebrated by a dramatic re'cnacttnenr of the 
primeval cosmic battle between the bcncfiGcnt powers led by 
Marduk and the hosts of chaos under Tiamai^ the imprison^ 
ment of Marduk in a mountain (i.c. the land of the dead)^ his 
subsetjuent release and Teutiion with the Goddess. 

. TU Samd Marrid^ df she Gi?dlifrj and tk King 
[in this recreative ritual Summan rulers played the pan of 
Durnuzi^Tammuz, incarnating the lifc^iving forca of spring 
through union with Inanna^Ishtar, the source of all life, by 
engaging in a sacred marriage with the queen or a priestess to 

The Mcjopotamhn M\^£ber^£wlJffi 51 

rci(or€ fcciiJndi[y tn namne^jThui, in a hymn to khcif u ihe 
pknec-Venus written lot tne cult of the driiacd king of hin-' 
D^gan as Tinimu^^ the third Idog of the Amoricc dynasty 
(t. ZZ$S-ZZ 37 O.cOi there aie references to his enjoying the 
amours of the Mothcr^goddess at the season of her return &om 
the Und of the dcad^ bringing Tammoz with her* Images of 
the king and the Goddess lay side by side on a marble bed in 
die sancnuiy, and when the utiion had been consummaied the 
Ling became the symbol of life and deachj having thereby 
actjiiircd the status of the dying and reviving god,* But 
throughout the Goddess is represented as taking the Imtiarivc. 
It was to her Yar^famed temple' that the king wem, bringing 
to her cakes *%o set the table for the rca5t\ and it was she who 
cmbroced her belovned husband who was subservient to her 
will and enjoyed the favotus she was pleased to besiow upon 

The prosperity of the New Year and the bounty of the sacred 
marriage were vouchsafed fay the Goddess^ her conson being 
merely the instrument she employed to bestow her gifts. This 
has led Frankfort to conclude dial it was only those king^ 
were deified who had been commanded by a goddess 10 share 
her couch*® But whether or not this rule was universally or 
widely observed* unquesrionably the sacred rrurriagr of a 
local ruler to a goddess was of fundainental importance in the 
Sumerian New Year celebrations as a ritual ohser\ance 10 
secure the revival of nature in the spring. 

[ In Mesopoumia ^mother earth'' was the inexhausriblc source 
of new life. ThareIore» the divine power manifest in fmihty in 
all its mamfbtd forms was personified in the Goddess who was 
regarded as the incamarion of the reproductive forces in nature 
and the mother of the gods and of mankind. It was she who 
renewed vegetariou* promoted the growth of the crops and the 
propagation of man and beast. In her Inanna^Iihtar guise her 
marriage with the shepherd^god Dumuzi or Tamtnui, who 
incarnated the aeative powers of spring* was held to symbolize 
and effcci the renewal of life at the lura of the year* delivering 
the earth from the blight of sterility* But this union was otdy 

51 Tht Ciiddcii Cult in Metitpotamij md Egypt 

achirved and consiinirnaiid afin the perennial struggle between 
the twio opposed icicei Jn nature, those oflwundicy and barrcn>' 
ness, had been sutcestTulljF accampliihcd and Tam muz had 
been rescued fiom the land of the dead in the fullness of his 
virile nunliood. It was upon this icstoratioa of the 'resurrected 
child’ of the Goddess that the revival of the new life spri nging 
fords from the parched ground depcrrded» '•/ 

Tie AkJtu Etstivat at Bnhylon 

When Babylon became die capital and Maiduk replaced 
Tammuz as the central male deity in die Annual Fesdval, 
known in Akkadian as the Akitu. held in spring during the 
first eleven days of the month of Nisan, the king played the 
leading rote. This itivolved in addition to an elaborate series 
of purificatory rites and the recitation of the story of creation 
(Einunid eiifj;), his abdication and icinstallation on the fifth day 
in the shiine of Marduk, There before the statue of the god he 
was stripped of his royal insignia and diverted of all his regalia, 
struck on the cheek by the high''priest and forced to his knees 
and made to declare that he had not been negligent regarding 
the divinity of 'the brd of the lands’, or of Jiaving destroyed 
Babylon. He was then re-established in his office, having made 
a negative confession (T have not been ncgh'geni*, etc.), Just as 
on the smli or seventh day Mirduk, his divine counterpart, 
was released by his son Nabu fiom the mountain (i.e, the 
underworld) in which he had been imprisoned. Thus, on 
seals of the Sargonic Age in the middle of the tliird mitJe n, 
nium B.c. iighdng groups are shown which may tef^ to the 
battle waged during the Festival to free the god. Similarly, the 
Goddess scaled on a mountain from which the head, arms and 
legs of the imprisoned deity project, seems to depia Inanna- 
fshtai seeking and leading forth Tammuz-Marduk from bis 
mountain-grave.^® The god miraculously revived is shown 
emerging from the ground, assisted by ^e Goddess, while 
another god pulls up and destroys the vcgecauon upon the 
mountain, personifying the sun whose raj^ in summer arc 
inimical to all life. 

Titf MQihff'g&JdtSi 53 

In the Akitu edebrauon the fdease of Maidnk and the 
tdmtatemenc of the king, the statues of the vatious gpdi taking 
part in the Festival were assembled m the Cham bet ofDcsnnies 
on. the eighth day to confer upon their leader (Maiduk) thdr 
combined strength for the conquest of the forces of deadi and 
to dtKtrtiitte tlit MKiinifi’ dming the forthcoming year^ The 
resuscitated iovcrcigfii having reedved a fresh outpouring of 
divine vitality^ conducred the statue of Marduk in a tnumpbil 
procession to the Festival House (Bft aktta) outside the dry, Ac 
iliis point the statements in the liturgica] texts and the inscrip^ 
tiotis of the Nco^Babylonia kings art confused, buc it is not 
improbahie that k was in the Festival House that the primeval 
battle was enacted between Marduk and Tiamat, depiacd by 
Sennacherib on its copper doots^ the king himself personifyi ng 
the 'victorious prince* who had conqucitd the powers of evil 
at the turn of the year. Thus, at the conclusion of the rites in 
the hit akitu a banquet appears to have been held to celebrate 
the viaoryi and after the mum to the Esagila on the nth of 
Nisan a sacred rnamage between the king and a priestess, 
probably of the royal blood, was consummated J' For dus 
purpose a shrine containing a sacred bridal chamber ot chapel, 
called was erected^ apparently on one of the stages oftl« 

ziqquraii and decorated with greenery.^® In it the connubium 
was accompluhcd for the purpose of restoring the fertility of 
the fields, of the flocks and of mankind, through the intercourse 
of the human embodiments of the god and the goddess upon 
whom fecundity depended^ But in this union, although the 
king in the capacity of Tanimu^ personified the generative 
force in nature as the husband^on onshtm, the Goddess was 
the active partner who summoned him to her couch and 
thereby gave him a divine but subserviem status in the ettanve 
process. Thus, Lipitdshtar was deified as a prelude to his sacred 
marriage whb Ishtai by being fused with a fertility god Urash 
after he had been appointed king of Ism by Anu, the god of 
the skyj and the Ism texts leave no doubt that the iniLLativc was 
ascribed tn the Goddess.^^ 

54 The Ciiddtfs Cult in and E^ypt 

/"Tht Eiyptian Mmiereby and tb< C&ddfss 
In EgypL on the otbtt haJidt it was the Pharaoh rather than 
the Goddess who was predominam bocatise since he was the 
mcarnatiDn of the Sun/gdd and the living son of Osiris^ from 
the Fifth Dynasty (f, 2jSo 3.c.) when the solar theology was 
established by the Heliopolitan priesthood, he exercised his 
lifc^ving functions in his own right by virtue of his divine 
origin and office. In all the converging tradiuons and mytho^ 
logics handed down from remote prchistoiic dmcsi his divinity 
became so fi rmly established that he was the epitome of all that 
was divine in the Nile valley- Before the beginning of die 
dynastic period (c, jioo B.c.) the country was divided into 
a numbet of admitiistradve nomes ruled by local gchds &cim 
whom the nomarchs (i.e* the chiefs of the dans) derived thdr 
authority. When the nome became a kingdom and the 
nomarch a king he was regarded as the son of die god who 
exercised his rule and fnnetions by virtue of his divine status. / 
During the first Frotodytiastic civilization a group of Aiiaric 
people arrived in the Nile valley who were worshippers of 
Horns* a sky deity of the falcon clan. From the neighbourhood 
of Kopecs they made thdr w^ay to the Western Delta and sec 
up a single line of kings with a centralized adminlsnarion, 
making Hietakpnpolis in the tliird nome the ptedynasde centre 
of this worship-^ ther Mcon^ods were identified with HoruSp 
and King ^Scorpion\ who probably preceded the uadiudnal 
founder of the dynasty, Meries* claimed to be the incarnadon 
of Horns- Upper Egypt* the Eastern Delta, and the desert 
tegionsp however, remained under the dominion of Seth, the 
indigenous god, untd his worshippers were driven south by 
the Horus conquerors who made Edfu (Bchdet) their cult 
centre* Hcncrfoith Horns became known as the flehdedre* *He 
ofBchdet^ and with the union pfthe *Two Lands* (i.e. Upper 
and Loww Egypt) ^ a single narion he became the pre^ 
eminent figure in the kingship represented as the last of die 
Protodynasuc kings in visible form and henceforth embi>dj€d 
in the person of the Pharaoh upon whom he bestowed their 

The Codiefs in ibe Nile Valley 55 

Hciriis^namc. fMorcDVET, ihc Fajcoii>god Horns is rcprcscnicd 
in the Pyramid texts 4$ the source df life and deaths of rain and 
of ccicida] fire, thereby connecting the rdgning king with an 
andenf pr^ynastic 5 ky^ and Weathered be^re he had been 
replaced by the Stin^god 

In tlic Eastern Delta at Busitis (Per^Dsire;, or Djedu), the 
capital of the ninth nomr, the cuk of Osiris, another andem 
mid who w^as thought to have been a ddfied human king, was 
established at an early date. This death and rtsutteciioti culms 
also seems to have entered the Nile valley from the East and 
to have had very close afEnidcs wkh that of Taminux in 
Western Asia. In both the divine hero personified vcgHaiion 
and water, and stood in a very intimate relationship with the 
Goddess associated with hirth and fertility and with the king^ 
ship. Nevertheless, the rebtion of Osiris to his rister^spouse 
Iris was very differtnt from that of Tammu:^ to Ishtatp. as, 
indeed, ft was to the reigning monarch in Egypt who occupied 
the throne as Horus, the living son of Osiris, as against die 
Mesopotamian conception of rhe king as the insmimcnt and 
servant of the Goddess* Exactly bow and under what circum^ 
stances Horus the Elder became identified with the son of 
Osiris h still a matter of debate. It is possible that originally 
Osiris was the chief and leader of the second wave of imnu.' 
grants from Western Ada wlio subsequently was deified after 
he had introduced agrictilcurc among the indigcnouis people in 
the nonhern part of the Delta. At first they may have regarded 
him as a brother of their own god Seth and of their goddess 
Isis of Sehennyies, who eventually became the deified throne 
—the ‘throne woman^ who gave biith to the prototype of the 
living king in his Homs capacity 

Tiff Enneai 

In the meantime during the Second Predynastic dvilizatioD 
another group of intruders, comiag probably &om the Eaircm 
Mediterranean, penetrated the Delta and settled at Heliopolis* 
As they were worshippers of Re, the Sun^od, this dry w^hich 
they established at the head of the Deka became the centre of 

TU Cfiidesr Cah in E^ypt 

thdr solar theology* dcsdDcd to attrdic a vay profoiind iiv 
duence on the subsequent course of development of Egyptian 
civilizauoii. It was there m the Fifth Dynasty (e* 2 5 Bo B*c*) 
that its priesthood equated the solar line of kings wih rheir god 
Amm-'Rc and then assodaied him with OiJiis in the clahora' 
don of their Ennead in which the gods were grouped in pairs 
derived uldimtely from Arum^Rc, the head of the solar 
pantheon. Atom having emerged fiom Nun, the waters of- 
Chaos* at the creadon and become an aspea of Re* the 
penonificadon of the snn, appearing in the form of a phoem'ie 
on the top of the primordial *sandhill\ Thu hecame the centre 
of the earth, and on it *the House of the Obelisk* was erected 
as the great solar temple. Arutn-^Re then mated witli himself 
and produced Shu^ the god of the atmosphere* and his consort 
Tefnur, the goddess of moisture, from whom were born Geb* 
the Eauh^god, and Hut, ilte Sky^oddess, the parents of Osiris 
and Isis and of Seth and Nephthj^* 


Sha = Tdbut 

Get — Ntir 

Osirii=bh S«h=Nepktiys 

When after the unifteadon of Upper and Lower Egypt Re 
became the head of this Great Ennead of Heliopolis he com^ 
bined in himself all the creative forces in nature and was 
absolute in his control of his government in the Nile valleyp 
Therefore, in the Pyramid Age he was equated with Atutn, 
the originat Sun^god who created out of himself the rest of the 
gods standing on the Primeval Hill in the midst of the waters 
of Chaos (Nun)* and so Re was also accredited with begetting 


Geddas in th^ Nile V^Uty 

the rest of the Hdiopolitan Ennead. Comtqucnily, he beciafiie 
the scir<tcatcd Cre^r, the source of life ind increase and the 
father of the gods as wdl 2$ the prr^nifitaiion of the sun and 
its manifold aspects.*^ ThuSp he assuTned the role elsewhere 
played by the Morhet^oddess^ and like her he had many 
tiames. As the begetter of the gods he was addressed as 
‘Creator’ and "Bod/ of A turn ^ since from him had proceeded 
the remaining dght gods of the Enneadi including Horus* 
Khepri (the rising sun) and Rc-'Harathie^ the youthful god 
of the eastern horizon, undl mntually m the Eighteenth 
Dynasty he was worshi pped with great magnificence at Kamak 
and Luxor as Atnon-'Rc, 'the king of the gods'^ supreme in 
heaven and on canh.^*^ 

Rc and Horus the Elder, however, were essentially royal 
celestial gods associated primanly with the throne and its 
stability^ Osiris, on die other hand^ was the god of the people 
who had bestowed his beneficent g^fis on nunkind* and after 
himself falling a victim of the malice of his brother Seth, he 
was restated to life by rhe aid and tmervendon of Iris Iris 
devoted sister^spouse* Anubis the funerary phyrician, and 
Horus his posthumous son* and $0 became ibe judge of the 
dead* Behind this mythology may lie the peaceful penetration 
of the nomadic Ariadc people who, after having setded in the 
eastern section of the Ddta and adopted an agrictiltiiraJ mode 
of life, w'tldcd the Horns and Re groups inro a confederacy 
with themselves and so produced a united kingdom of Lower 
Egypt. This accomplidied, the extension of the domain of the 
Osiris clans to Abydos raised the hosdlity of the Seth group, 
who drove them back to the Eastern Delta and slew Osiris at 
Burins, where a portion of his dismembered body was said to 
have been buried. The traditional mortal combat of Horus, 
the son of Osiris* with hU uncle Seth may be a reminiscence 
of the predynasric tribal conflicts which resulted in the conquest 
of Upper Egypt by the Horus kings and the union of the ^Two 
Lands' in a single monarchy consolidated on the basts of a 
combination of the solar and Osuian thrDlogt0<P This found 
expression in the Great Ermcad in wEkh Atum^Re conrinued 

5S Tbe C&idtn Cult in Mtsapoumk arti E^pt 

lo reign supreme, but the ancicni Sky^od Horus was Osirian^ 
ized as 'the seed uf Ceb' and transformed into the posthnmnuj 
sou of Osiris by [sb bom to avenge the murder of his £iE:her. 
Moreover, die celestial gods and goddesses of the solm cycle 
were brought inm rebdon with die earth and chdiomcdivinities 
of the Osirian traditi on* and with the cult of the dead. 

It was this Heliopolitan £nnead, famubted before the 
Pyramid texts were preserved from the Fifth Dynasty, which 
became the pattern followed by od'jer towns and districts in 
their genealogical paiitiioons (c.g» those of Memphis, Hermes 
polls and Thebes)^ Therefore, ir determined die way in which 
the cosmic order was envisaged m Dynastic Egypt. Unlike 
Mesppoumb^ Western Asia and the A^ean* in the Nile 
valley the caith was not conceived in terms of the Goddess, 
'Moihcr/cardi\ On the contrary, the earth wa$ represented as 
a male god, Ceb, or in die Memphite Theology as hatched 
from an fashioned by Ptah, the Supreme Creator, who in 
the Ennead of Memphis was elevated above SimJ^ 

larly, from the dawn of Egypdan dvdiaadon it was the male 
god Min of Koptos who personified the generative force in 
nanirc as the bestower of procreative power, 'opening die 
clouds\ and so giving life to vegetadon-^ *^ 

Nat 4ttd Rj 

It was Heaven that was regarded is a woman deiEcd as the 
Goddess Nut whom, as the Goddess of the West, the Sun 
enters in his daily ooutse to be reborn by her in the sky. He 
makes his entrance by Impregnating hex and his coming Is 
greeted hy her as diai of ^the Bull of Heaven'—the dommating 
male and cmbodimcnc of vidk fertility*^® 'O Re, impregnate 
the body of Nut with the seed of diat spirit that must be in 
her.'*® Similarly, Ceb, the Eitth^god, was called the Bull of 
the Skyi^oddcss Nut,** the sky like the qucetvmodier was 
described is 'the cow who bore the bull*; the dsing sun being 
the calf bom of her each morning. 

Being the cclesdal couutcipatt of Non, Nut wai *thc Lady of 
Heaven^ who gave bitih to the gods, and also *Misu:Ess of the 

Ttf in fk Nik Vmlky $9 

Two Lands' on earth and propxietrm of die dead iu the undcr^ 
world. Like Isis^ she was depicted usually widi cow s horns 
and often in the form of a great cow with stats on het body and 
her legs corresponding 10 die four pillars ac the caidinal points 
of the compass- The stars were hn children while the souls of 
the dead could be seen at nighE on het body as stars. She was 
the *onc with a thousand souk^ but she was too 

remote to be an object of worship. Therefore, she had no 
temples though in the ‘Osireion* su Abydos there were sculp.^ 
tured representations of her on the roof of a chamber beliind 
the temple of Sed I belonging to die Nineteenth Dynasty. In 
course of time she absorbed the attrib utis of many goddesses as 
her vaiious tides indicate. In one myth she w^as the Sky^motfaer 
who produced the Sun^god* and somedmes Re was shown 
seated on her back. At Dendctah she wa5 identified with 
Hadior, the Mothcr-goddas p^r fXCflUiia whose name means 
"the House of Horus"; the dedgnadon of drat part of the sky 
which is called Qebliu.^* 

Hathr and H^rus 

Wonhipped in the form of a cow* Hathor became the mother 
of Horus the Elder* and later one of his many wives when all 
the great goddesses became one of her Ibrms and attributes 
worshipped under different names.She was not, however, 
exclusively the husband of Horus* as Junker has conrended,^® 
since originally she was his mother* just as Ishtar was the 
mother of Tam muz* She was never* however, the spo use of 
Osiris or the mother of his son Horus* the posthumous off^ 
spring bom of Isis. It was not until all reproductive goddesses 
became identified widi Hathor that Isis was equated with her 
and adopted her horm, when as the *throne woman it was she 
(Isis) who was said to give birth to the prototype of the living 
king in his Horus capacity. *Thou art Horus, son of Osiris, 
the eldest god, son of Hathor^^’^ notwithsianding the assertion 
that the son of Hathor w-as the celestial Homs. Since boch 
goddesses excictscd maternal functions and were associated 
with the composite deity Horus* who was so intimately 

60 Tfir Ctf in end Ejyp: 

coimectcd wkii the kinship, it is not surprising that a good 
dE;a.l of confiuion oro&e in tht complex myih oiid cimal that 
grew up aronndi them. 

The Cmt Ceddess Ne/fi 

Thus, in the Eighteenth Dynasty the very ancient goddess 
Neith of Siis in the Western Delta mi tdetiu£ed with Ids and 
Haikar, and so became at once the wife of Osiris, die mothei 
of Homs and *rhc great cow w'liich gave binh to Re*^ Indeed* 
she was 'the great goddess, the mother of all the gods’, and tw^o 
of the querns of the Fins Dynasty (c,g, Ncii/Hotcp ajid Mcryt^ 
Nett) adopted her name, and sixteen out of seventy of the stelae 
round the tomb of Zer bore names compounded with Neith. 
Eventually, m the late Dynastic times, she was regarded mcicly 
as a form of Hathor, and represented various aspects of mother^ 
hood as a Cow-^oddess, though originally she seems to have 
been a persomficaHon of the primeval watery chaos like Nut, 
w'ith wEom she may have been idenulied if her name Neith cr 
Net was akin in meaning to Nut, as Brugseh has suggested. 
But her oldest symbols (j.e. arrows or a shield) connect her 
with hunting or war before ihe became a personlGcaiipii of the 
pte-^smic w atm and of the sky. In any case she combined a 
number of goddesses and tlieir rtspeoive functions which 
eventually were brought togethci in a composite figure identilied 
widi Isis and Haihor^-® 

As early as the Fourth Dynasty she was regarded as at once 
the motlicr and die daughter of Re, and possessed ako the 
power to conceive and give bicdi to the new Sumgod daily. 
Since she w as called *the opmet of the ways* she w-as a kind 
of female counterpart of Anubis and protectress of die dead, 
giving rebirth to the deceased m the afiei<life,^^ Jt was as Isis 
that she first gave birth lo a god^ and as Hathor she produced 
Re.=^^ As 'the Lady of Heaven and “Mistress of all the gods’ 
she occupied a position in the pantheon comparable to diai of 
Re or Pcah, or of Hathor, as the supreme Goddess, and in the 
Twenty--sixth Dynasty she rote to a position of pre-eminence 
when die Pharaohs of Sais were at the height of didr pow er. 


The Gciikss ht fir Nik t^nUey 

frdm which exalted sttitm ihc dccUned a&cr the uf rhe 
Dyrusty (663-525 is.c,). Tih then she was the di>inc being 
par fXcelltna^ the cresdvc and ruling power of heaven, earth 
and die underworld, and of every creature and thing in them,®- 
She was eternal and seiDproduced, pcrsonilying from very early 
times the female prindpk^ sclCenastenip scU>sostaimng and aH#- 
pm^ading. Thus, without the aid of a male partnet she was 
bcLcvcd to have brought forth the transcendent Sun^god Re 
very much as in the Memphite Theology Ptah errated all 
things vinually fx mlHla, by thinking as. the ^heart^ and com/ 
manding as the tongue'. In her character of the univcml 
mother she 'nude the germ of gods and men, the mother of 
Re, who raised up A turn in primeval dmeSp who existed when 
nothing else had being and who created that which cxises aiicr 
she had come imo being'.®^ 

Wf af Many 

VThc most popular and important of all the matemal goddesses^ 
however, was Isis* the prototype of motherhood and the cm/ 
bodi merit of wifely love and fidelity. Around her myths and 
legends have accumulated, logcrher with a mystery cultus 
which have given her a unique position in the Goddess cult, 
notwithstanding the fact that she was not hetself a Modier/ 
goddess comparable to bianna/Ishtar, or Nut, or Hathor and 
■ Ncith, In addition to being the daughter of Geb and Nut and 
the sistcr^spouse of Osiris and the mother of his son Harus, in 
the Heliopolitan Ennead, she was also the daughter ofNeith, 
according to The Conkfiiitip^ af H^rus mid $ft in the Chester 
Beatry Papyrus, while Plutarch represented het as the daughter 
of Thoth. Originally, as we haw seen, she was a prcdytustic 
goddess of the Twelfih Nome of Lower Egypt, Sebennjtos, 
and in all probability it was there that she was first incorporated 
in the Osiris nadition which came from Djedu* the capital of 
the Ninth Nome* Per/Usirc, the "house of OsL^is^ Since her 
name means "seat" or ^throne" it is very probable that originally 
she was the deified throne, as we have seen, and since enthrone/ 
mem hai long been an essential elemcni in royal inscallanon, 

62 The C^dtn Cult in Mcscp0tatiik md Ejypt 

'the throne which imdc die king' readUy would become the 
Great Mother charged with die m^tcrious power of Idogship,^* 

Depicted in female form with a vulmrc licad^re^^, the homs 
of Hathor and the solar disk with mo plumes surmounted hy 
the hieroglyphic symbol of her name (i.e. the throne), and 
sometimes wearing the double crowns oi Uppci and Lower 
Egypt, adorned with the feather of trndi (mcjf) and holding 
in her hands a papyrus teepere and the rrMx msutti (dgn of life) 
with the uracus over her forehead showing her divine origin, 
she was unquestionably the greatest and most bendieem god^ 
dess in Egypt, personifying all that was most vital in the 
maternal principle* its attributes, functions and duties. Often 
she has bhMn represented with her son Homs on her lap. like 
the Virgin and Child in Christian iconography, and in the 
Book of the Dead and on a stele from a Nineteenth Dynasty 
tomb at Saqqara she is shown, standing behind Osiris in the 
Judgment HalL In the later examples often she is crowned with 
either die crescent moon or lotus flowers, and holds in one hand 
a sritrum and in the other the horn of plenty. A long veil covers 
her head, and she u cUd in a tunic with fiinge reaching to 
her fccL 

In her various capacities not only was she idctidfied in some 
way with almost every goddess in Egypt, as *thc Goddess of 
many names", but eventually in spite of her subservience to 
Osiris she was equated with the Great Mother of Western 
Asia. Greece and Komc, as well as with the great indigenous 
goddesses of the Nile valley (e,g. Hathor* Ndth, Bast of 
Bubastis)» Thus, as will be considcicd bier, her search for the 
mortal remains of her murdered husband (Osiris) at fly bios in 
the Delta* as described in the classical literature, was identical 
with that of Demetcr for her daughter Korc (Persephone) at 
Eleusis, while in assoebuon with the Memphite cult of Seiapis 
at Alexandria, the worship of Iris spread rapidly in the 
Helleniscic period until it became a predominant element in 
the welter of religions in the Roman Empire before and after 
the beginning of the Christian era. In its sanctuaries in the 
Campus Martins in Rome* at Pompeii, ar Tithorca and Pbilae. 


Tbf Goddess in f/rf Nik Volky 

(0 mention but a few of the cult centrcsi. the syticrecistic vencrar 
ti on of the composite goddess ittricted more and more voices 
during the first century B.c** when in spite of official apposition 
it had spread throughout ihe Empire fiom AthciiSi the Aegean 
and the adjacent islands. In the process, however, it lost much 
of its origiml charactei and absorbed so many of the features 
of the Greek and Asiatic cults that it is very difficult to deter-' 
mine to what cjctent these later Byblitc versions in the classical 
sources can be regarded as leprescntaxivc of uncontaminaKd 
Egyptian worship of Isis and Osiris. 

All the goddesses^ however, were concerned with mother-^ 
hood as their ptindpal function, giving birth to gods* suckling 
kings and conferring upon them their divinity and immortality^ 
But altliough Isis stands in this tradition and die l^haraohi 
reigned as her son Homs, as regards their divine potency they 
were Homs the son of Hatbor, Isis provided the royal descent 
wliich gave the occupant of the throne his right of succession 
through the instrumentality of his human mother die quecn^ 
who was the vehicle of his ijicarnarion,*** though his divinity 
came from Hathor and the royal god Horus, Nevertheless, in 
practice all the mothetbood goddesses "were treated as more or 
less synonymous divine figures so that Hathor and Isis and Nut 
and Ncith were never clearly difficrentiated, especially in respect 
of the royal sacred marri^e mydi and ritual. 

Tie Marrio^e of Hatter oiiJ Horus 

This becomes apparent in the Hdleuistic period when on the 
i Sth day of the tenth mondi (Payni) the image of Harhor 
was titkcti by ship by her priests from her fcmple at Denderah 
on the western bank of die Nde, about 40 miles north of 
Thebes, to Edfu (Bchdet) to visit her husband Homs, with 
whom she consorted for a fortnight.^ ^ On the eve of the festival 
in honour of the victory of Homs over Seth, Homs of Edfu 
and his rednue went fotth in procession to meet the Goddess 
and Homs of El^Kab and embarked on her ship to make a 
triumphal mcry into Edfu, pausing en route to sacrifice to Geb, 
the wife of the Eacth^od Nut. Arriving at their destinarionp 

64 Cult in M^pffittmk mtd E^ypt 

the vaiioiis and their fdllowcrs pissed the night near the 
temple at Edfn and then proceeded to an ^tipper temple" on 
the desert level There they performed the prescribed rites to 
celebrate the viaory of Horus in his combat to the satisfaction 
of Isis^ who rcjojted ’because he (i.e. Horns) has undertaken 
this charge wiiii a glad hean\ 

When *aU that had been commanded has been accom^ 
plished"' the procession broke up and went to the halls of the 
school to offer a goat and an ox as a burnt offering. After 
reading 'The veneration of HoruSi whose inheritance is made 
iUTc\ and four other Uwksp offerings were made to Re, who was 
called upon ‘in all his names'* Loaves, jugs of beer, dateSp milkp 
geese and w^inc were brought to him. Then the priests pro^ 
claimed, 'Praise to thee, Re; praise to thee* KheppCp in all these 
thy bcautifdl names. Thou comest hithec strong and mighty 
and hast ascended beautiful, and hast overthrown die dragon 
(Apophii), Incline thy beautiful counttnance to the king.* 
Fom geese were then rclcised to fiy to the four winds to inform 
die gods that ‘King Horus of Edfu, the great god, die lord of 
heaven, had taken the wHie crown and had added the red 
crown thereto*. Four arrows were shot to the four quarters of 
heaven to slay the enemies of the gods* An qx was killed and 
its right leg thrown to a man called Horus, and a number of 
crrcmunics weic performed for die purpose of destroying the 
enemies of the gods and the king. This accomplished, the 
ritual of the day ended and the evening was spent in icydry, 
"drinkJog before the god* (i.e* Horus of £dfu),^“ 

Since k was "to consummate die beauteous embrace with her 
Horus* that Hathor sailed &om Detiderah to Edfu,^*^ a ritual 
marriage must have occurred during the course of the festivai * 
Thus, on the fourth day the young Horus is said to have been 
conceived to be boro on die aSth of the eighth month (Phaj' 
muthi)* This is confirmed by a similar marriage festival at 
Luxor in the latter half csf the second month (Piophi), depiacd 
on reliefs in the walls of the coun of Amenbotep III in which 
is shown the image of Amon and Ills consott Mut and their 
son Khomu being conveyed by river in barge eeorted by the 


Tbt in thf Nilf Valky 

king and quMiip (he printip masidam and nables, ftom the 
temple li K^rnaJe to his Mm at Luxor>* As the embodiment 
of Haihor, die queen as ^ihe God's Wife^ and the musician^ 
priestesses as bis cDiicubines under her rtilc^ exercised their 
rutictiom ill the ‘Southmi Harim of Amon (i.c. the temple at 
Luxof)t aitd there die union of the god and the queen was 
supposed to take place when at the Theban festival of Opet 
he vkited the sanctijary in aJl his magnificence for this pur^ 
pose**^ Therefore^ it was on these relidi that the conceptioti 
and binli of the Phataoh were depictedp^^jusl as in the tempk 
of Haishepsui at Dcir cl Bahari die presentation of the infant-^ 
queen to ha: heavenly father Amon and die ptesiding goddesses 
is diown in the birth scenes. 

Hutskpuiit, Dau^hitr cf Am^n^Rjc 
The anomalous posidon of Queen Hatshepsnt^ the only 
surviving child of Thutxtiose I by his half-'sistcr, reigning as 
Pharaoh m her own right in a councry where women were 
excluded from accession to the dirone^ required special regu^ 
laiizadoh. Therefore! die reliefs in her templcp Amon-'Re is 
shown taking die form of Thuimosc I in order to have inter' 
course with hh queen, a princess directly descended from 
Ahmosc 1 and of the same name. Having in this way bteomt 
a wife of the royal blood, as the teict otplainSi Amon then 
'went to her immediately; then he had intercourse with her't 
and dedarc-d. *now Khenemct'AmorvHatshepsut is die name 
of my daughter whom 1 have placed in chy body^ « « » She is 
to ocacise beneficent kinship in this entire land/'*^ As 'the 
daughter of hU loins whom he lovcd^ the royal image\ bvir^ 
for ever on the throne ofHorus! she was shown^ acknowledged 
and wonhipped by the gods^ surrounded with their proicaioii 
of life and wclbbeing, ra:shioned by Khnum, the ram^headed 
god^ upon hts potter's wheel at the express command of 
Amon.^^ But bwause she claimed to reign as kingp not as 
queen! she was represented as a boy, presumably as a concession 
to tlie tradinon of succession in the male line. 

After her birth amid celestial jubilationp and her presentation 

d* Tbt CuU in jieJ Egypt 

m the gods and the nobles, she was depicted at the time of Jier 
accession visiting the ancient shrines in great pomp in cveiy 
part of Egypt* 'beautiful to look uwn* and ‘Eke unto a god\ 
On her arrival at Heliopolis she ms crowned by the kitig. 
Thurmose i* and set upon his throne before Amon^Rc in the 
presence of the nobles and Sta^e ofEciaLls^ who did homage to 
her. Entering tire sanctuaiy, she is show'll having the white 
crown of Lower Egypt placed on her head by the priests in the 
guise of Hotus and Seth, and then the red crown of Upper 
Egypt, Wearing the double crown she appears seated on a 
throne between the two gods of the south and the iioirb 
(Lc- Hotus and Seth)^ who tie together under her feet flowers 
and branches of papjTUs* the emblems of Lower and Upper 
Egypt, to symbolke the union of the Two Lands. FitoHyi 
arrayed in her crown and mandc and holding in her hands the 
scourge and flail of Odrii, her procession round the walls of 
the sanctuary is represented to iridicaie her taking possession of 
tlic domains of Horus and Seth wEich hencefortli she will 
protect. The scenes conclude witli her bang kd to the shrine 
of Amon to be embraced by her celestial father as his daughteti 
duly installed by him in the duonc oF HomSp'*'^ 

Aliliough the special circumstances under which Hatshepsut 
acceded to die throne kd to her divine status with the approval 
of the gods being given pardcukr emphasis in the reliefs in her 
temple at Deir cl Bahari* this was only to bring her into line 
with her predecessors as a ged incarnate; the living Homs 
conceived and bom in a sacred marriage in which the Pharaoh 
in die guise of the Sun^god had scicual relations with the queen 
as the wife of the god m order to beget an hdr 10 the ihtone. In 
the case of Hatshepsut every aspea of the process of generation 
was associated with the divine intcrvmiion of hex heavenly 
father Amon^Rc to make it quite clrai that in fact she w'as his 
olSpring designed by him to reign as his daughter. Bui this was 
only became for a woman to assume die royal status required 
official inteipretaiion and justiCcadon as a divine decree. It waS| 
however* only the andent belief and practice concerning the 
monarchy diai was applied to her in spite of her seXi the 

Tbf GiwAtjf m tbe Niif 67 

procedure being the oormd method of mainuinmg the royal 

Tbehatn Queens ^ ^Tbf Cifd*^ Wife 

Therefore, in Egypt imteid of the king beitig uivjtcd to shifc 
the nupti^ couch of the Mother^pddess as in Mesopcitamia, 
he cohabited wiih the queen in his divine sums as the incarna^ 
□on of the Stin^god. As the *fiull of Heaven^*' he was the 
dominam male, the embodiment of viHlc fertility, and in this 
capadty he impregnated die queen, called *the cow who bore 
the buU\ as Re impregnated die body of Nut ‘with the seed of 
tliat spirit that must be in her***** Thus, die consort of the 
ancient king of HeliopoUs was the wife of the Sun^od on 
earthp and so was identilied with Hathar his celestial spouse to 
enable him to become the physical father of die Pharaoh. Since 
her husband was die high-^pricst of Re» from the Fifth Dynasty 
in theory bis wife was the high-'pdestess, and eventually 
Ahhotep, the mother of Ahmosc I, the founder of the Eigh-- 
tcenth Dynasty, was described as ‘the Gods Wife’.^^ The tide 
‘Divine Wife* was assumed, k is true, by Queen Nefcm in the 
Eleventh Dynasty, but it was not until die Eighteenth Dynasty 
that ‘God's Wife* became the designation of the queens as the 
chief^priestesses of Amon-'Rc. 

Fmm (hen onwards royal heiresses became increasingly 
pronunent in Egypt* HetciiaTy queens bore the titles The 
Royal Daughrer'* ‘Royal Sister", ‘Great Royal Wife^, Heredia 
tary Princcss^i ‘Lady of the Two Lands'i as well as the priestess 
designation ‘God^s Wife\ They were not confinedp however, 
to a quccii^onsort, and could be cjcttnded to priestesses of 
Hathor and those who stood in the Goddess tradition fay virtue 
of their office. But the Divine Wives of Amon and the 
Mothers of the god Khonsu (who at Thebes became the son 
of Amon and Mut) were of royal rank, while the title of 
'Divine Worshipper* (iVftcr carried with it virtual inde^ 
pcndencc of tlic throne of Thebes. Indeed, in the Twenty^ 
second Dynasty the God's Wife overshadowed the throne and 
the Ampmie priesd^ood, and it only remained for Asurba ni^palto 

6B Tlv Ciik hi mtd E^ypt 

conq Her Thebes iQ 661 to tcdticc Amoivileto the ran k of a local 
god. Witli die mabliEliEnrut of the Saidc line (r* 663-525 b,c*) 
a succession of five "God's Wivcs\ who were no longer d3e 
wivK of die Pharaohs, bccimc the goveritoTs, and betide whom 
in the State the high^pnesti were little moiediaiifiguic-'hcads. ®*^ 
The practice of sisieT^marriagK still prevaded, and the high' 
priestess succession continued lo follow in the fimalc line widi 
the title 'Mistress of Egypt' assigned to the Theban pricitess, 
in the temple of Osiris at Karnak a life-sized alabaster statue 
of the Quceti Amcnettas, the daughter of Kashta^ presumably 
by his wife Shepenapt fl, the Theban priestess-sovcidgn who 
shared the crown with her two brothets, has the following 
inscriptiotit * Tills Is an offering for the Theban Amon-Re of 
Apt, to the god McntU'Re, the Lord of Thebes. May he grant 
everything diat is good and pure, by whidi the divine (natorc) 
lives, all that the heaven bestows and the earth brings fortbi 
to the princess the most pleasant, die most graciouf, the kindest 
and the mofSt amiable queen of Upper and Lower Egypt, the 
dstcT of the king^ the cver-Uving daughter of the deceased king* 
the wife of the divine one—Amenettas—may she live.* 

was the wife of the divine one, a bendketress of her dry 
(Thebes), a bounteous giver of her land. 1 gave food to die 
hungry, drink to the durstyp clothes to the naked/^^ 

For many years Queen Amcnritas had dominion over Thebes 
as the princess-priestess, ^nd when die Ethiopian Dynasty came 
to an end about 663 its sovereign rights were cairied over 
to the new Sairic rulers by Shepenan III, the Royal Daughter 
of Pankhy H and Amenertas, from whom she had inherited 
the Theban principality.^® Thus, at the accession of die Sastjc 
kingPsammcdchus I (663^5<^) his daughter Nitaqm was made 
die legal heiress of Shepenart, the former queen,^^ iu an attempt 
to trammit metaphorically the solar succession through the line of 
priestesses of Amnii's harem, very much as Hatshepsut's posioon 
had been rcgularisted by the intcrveniion of Amon. So the fietton 
was maintaj ned long after theearthly embodiments ofthe gods and 
goddesses they incarnated had ceased to be the dynamic centre of 
the united nation consolidated in their divine sovcreigtiiy. 


Palestine and Anatolia 


vIn Palestine the Goddess cuk is less dearly defined in tKc 
available documentacy and archaeological sources than in dsose 
of Ancjtni Egypt and Mesopotamia* NcvcrthdcsSt as we have 
seetij an abundance of female £gurineSp amulets and “Astatic’ 
phques have been recovered from almost every important 
excavation iti the country from the Cliakollthic and Bronze 
Age to the Early Jton tliough the identdication of the 

figures depiacd with panic uUr goddesses often is mote coiv 
jcctural than elsewhere in Western Asia- Some of tliem, how^ 
ever^ arc closely dlied in their form and features to the Egyptian 
examples showing nude females wearing a Hathor hcad^dress^ 
and sometimes the sexual triangle,® A lotus blossom or a 
papyrus sceptre may be held in an outstretched handp^ as in 
many Egyptian Hathot figures of the Twelfth Dynasty and 
oQw^ards^^ v/hile on others a feather bead^rss occurs familiar 
in the Kassite period in Mesopotamia. In Syria and Palestine 
It Y^ould seem dicsc various feaiures were brought together in 
the Goddess cult in the Late Bronze AgCp and subsequently in 
Egypt in the Nineteenth Dynasty as a goddess called Qadah* 

and Amt k the L7finfr/V Texts 

So as Palestine is conccrued* the principal goddesses whose 
names recur in the literary sources most fieqncmly and con^ 
tinuously arc those of Anat* Ashcrah* Astartc and Ashtaioth, 
all of whom have much in common with each other and with 
the icomc representauons in the female figurines in their several 
forms and adommcntSi as wdl as in their ctiliic context, ThuSp 
in the Ugaritic texu fint diicoveted in 1929 at Ras Sbamra 
(the ancient T Igarit) by C, F, A* Schaefl^ on the north coast 
of Syria and deciphered by H, Bauer and E. Dhorme* there 



arc ujinmtakiblc indicatiDiis of die Codder cult os an integral 
eUmeni in the great BiuJ^Anat epic* From these clay tablets 
wiitten in alphabetic coneirorm in an archaic Camanite dialect 
akin id ancient Hebrew and Phoenidan, which date mainly 
from the fourteenth century B*c.^ though going back in origin 
to a much earlier age. it has become apparent that early 
Catuaniic myth arid ritual had much in common with that 
of the rest of Western Aiia. Like the Babylonian tablets, these 
Ugaritic texts appear to be part of the archives of the local 
temple and, therefore, originally to have been compiled prior 
to the middle of the second millenitium Vaiiani examples 
of the same alp habedc mipt have been found at Beth Shemesh 
and Mount Tabor, but as it was suitable only for use on clay 
tablets, which were never the normal medium of writing in 
Palestine^ it was a CanaaniioHurrian dialectal adapution of 
cuneiform of short duration. Nevertheless^ die very consider/ 
able nu mber of large and small fragments of mjtliological texts 
shows that while k lasted the literature was piolifrc, and in it 
the leading roles wetc played by Aleyan/Baal and the Goddess 
Anat, his consort and sister, who is also called *thc Lady of 
the Mountain".^ 

As elsew'hetc in the Near East and die Aegean, she was the 
principal patroness of die Stomi^ and Wrather/god designated 
in the Ras Shamra texts Aleyan^Baal, who full ofstrengdi and 
vigour rose m pre-eminence in the Ugaritic mythology after he 
had cebpsed El, the remote and shadowy Supreme Deity, the 
progenitor of the gods and of mankind. Thus, Baal occupied 
a position similar to that of Matduk in Babylonia when as 
the you nger god he replaced Anu and Enlil at the head of the 
pantheon—a tcctinence in both regions of die Older and 
Younger god themes. Once he was established as the personi^ 
ficadon of the storm, die wind and the clouds, and the con/ 
ttolltr of the rainfall and the growth of die crops, Baal became 
the counterpart ofTammuz as die femlity-god of v^etation 
whose descent into the nether regions caused the languishing 
of the earth, though in a modifted guise peculiar to this complex 
and still vtty fragmentary mphology. 

The Cult m Paksiine 


In the cycle, in which dw gloTificirion as 

die hero is the central iheme, k appears diat he was insEalled in 
a royal palace in the heavens aficr he had engaged in a victDrious 
struggle with the dragonj Yam or Nahar, At fint he refused to 
have any windows in it, perhaps as a ptecaDtionary measure lest 
one of his several encEnics (e.g. Yam, lord of the Sea, or Mot, 
the ruler of the underworld) should attack liini through ihem. 
When these misgivings w^eic dispelled he ordered the lattice to 
be madc^ presumably to allow the rain to fall on the earth when 
it was opened.^ Dr Gaster, in fact, suggests that the episode is 
a myihologieal interpretation of a rain^making ceremony during 
the autumnal festival when the windows in the temple at Ras 
Shamra were opened to simulate the opening of die ^windows 
of heaven^ through which the rain w^as rdeased. ^ SdiadTer has 
made the ingenious suggestion that ilic rain, which was to 
begin to fall at the decree of Baal, was perhaps intended to 
descend through the skylight in the roof of the temple on the 
face of the god represented on a stele which stood in the 

Be this as it may, Ba^ was the giver of fettdiiy nourished by 
die vitalise ng rain over which he exercised controL He was "the 
Rider of the Clouds^ and in Syria rain was the primary source 
offcrtility» riot a river like the Nile in Egypt or the Euphrates 
in Mesapotanua. Therefore, because he was equated w*ith the 
rainfall svhich gave life to the earth he was lord over the 
furrows of the ficld^ and *Prince, lord of the Eartii\® When 
somehow his adversary Mot, the god of sterility and death, 
contrived to cause him to descend to the nether regions where 
he was killed, all vegetation languished and fecundity ceased 
amid universal lamcncation^^^ Xo remedy this devastating state 
of ailairs his sisicr/cotrsort Anar, whh the help of the Sun' 
goddess Shapesh, went in search of Baal, hunting every mouu' 
tain in the land, lamenting as bitterly as Dcmctcr or Adonis 
grieved for Korc and Aius, ‘desiring him as doth a cow her 
calf or a ewe her lamb\^^ 

For what reasons he descended to tlie nether r^ions and was 
killed cannot be deterntined from the fragmentary state of the 

7i Palesittte mid Anmlia 

texts At this point. It Appeats* however, that he was found dead 
iu the pastures of Shtmmi, and although El was thereby tid of 
his rival, even he joined in sorrowing and mourning for his 
loss, and under the name of Ltpn, god of mctcyi he went down 
from his exalied tl:Lrone in heaven and sat on the earth in 
sackcloth and ashes, laceradng himself and crying 'Baal is 
dcad*^—a refrain repeated hy Anat when she found his body. 
Taking hk mortal remains to the heights of Sapan^ his former 
abodcp^^ she performed the prescribed mortuary rittul and 
buried him,^^ This duly accomplished, Anat, knowing that 
her rival Ashcrah, the conson of El* would try to get one 
of her sons (i.e. Attar) appoiiiced to the vacant throne of 
Baal^ she poured out her complaiot lo die Supreme God, El, 
taunting Ashcrah and her brood with rejoicing at the 
demise of the fertility/god (Baal). A violent discusdon 
ensued and Attar recognised his incapacity to succeed to the 
throne. ^ ^ 

In the meantime Anat had continued her search for Mot, 
whom she knew to have been responsible for her 1ovct*s death. 
Having at length found him* she seiacd him* ripped bis 
garments, and demanded hex brothcr/spouse. He admitted that 
he had killed him, 'making him like a Iamb iti hk moudi and 
crushing him in hk jaw like a kid". Thereupon Anal clave 
Mot with a ktrpi (ritual sickle), winnowed him in a sieve, 
scorched him, ground him in a mill, scattered Iks flesh over the 
fields, like the dismembered body of Osiris, and gave him to 
the birds to catJ ^ In short, she treated him as the reaped grain, 
which is an anomaly in view of Mot being represented as the 
god of death and sterility whose abode was the uuderw^orld. 
But consisicncy k not a characteristic feature of mythological 
traditions of this nature, and iu seasonal folkdore die conv 
spirit often has been created as was Mot and equated with 

Although Mot played a niirnber of roles in the Ugaritic 
texts, nevetthelcEi be was essentially the antitlieiis of Saal in 
the vegoadoD theme. As Baal wai the god of rain an d fertihry, 
so his adversary (Mot) was the god of aridity and drought* 


llx Cult i» Palestine 

Viiidcring over every mountain to the hem of the orth, every 
hill to die earth’s very bowels’, turning them into dcsolarion by 
robbing all living things of the breath of life. ^ * When he was 
treated by Anar as the harvested grain it was as the slain com' 
spirit dying at the io'gatljcring of harvest drat he was reprc' 
tented, ushering in the season of sterility until life w» reuored 
and renewed with the release of Baal from the nether regions, 
the land of death, whither he had taken the raifi'pioducing 
clouds. Then 'the heavens rain oil and the wadies run with 

Since the theme was the perennial stru^le between life and 
death in nature, be it of annual or septennial rccurtcnce, neither 
of the contending Ibrces could be ultimately destroyed. There' 
fore, notwithsunding Anat’s drastic treatment of Mot, he 
survived to continue the combat when Baal rctunted to life. 
At their first encounter Baal had been completely paralysed 
with fear, and returned to his house weeping at the approach 
of his enemy, ready to become his slave without resistance.*^ 
This loss of vigour typified the decline in vitahey and the dying 
vegetation in the dry season, even though summer fruits may 
still ripen. Widr the return of the ranis dre renewal of the urge 
of life in its full strength &und mythological expression in the 
energetic baiilc waged by Baal agaittst Mot with the aid of the 
Suu'goddess, Shapesh; Eaal attacking with all his might and 
resources. They bit like serpents, gored each other like wild 
bulls and kicked like chaigcn. Neither yielded, untd at length 
the Smvgoddcss intervened, urging Mot to give up the lighi 
since he was vanquislied, and return to the underworld because 
the season of his reign had came to an end. Now it was the 
turn of Baal to bring hfc out of the earth, and so to continue 
the struggle was osclesi.** Therefore, £l 'overturned Mot’s 
throne' and 'broke the sceptic of his dominion', thereby forcing 
him to surrender and acknowledge ihe kingship of Baal. The 
drought then ended and fertility was iC'CSiablished on earth. 
Thus, the efforts of Anai on behalf of her hiothcr/husband 
uhinutcly prevailed. 

Indeed, throughout his varied and tumultuous career she was 


PaUftint and AnaU>l{a 

always at Ills side in her dual capacicy as his sister and consort. 
She did n-oi hesitate to threaten to use agaimr hcf father El, the 
head of the panthcoQp all the violence in which she delighted 
if he did not comply with her wishes on behalf of In 

the A<jbt tact she and Baal arc represemed as caking opposire 
sides* it is truCp but otherwise they always Ibugi^t logcdier, Anat 
being the goddess of war and sLiughtci* wallowing in blood, 
chough she never ceased to be primarily concetned wkb love 
and fcrdlity. In the Has Shainra texts this aspect of her character 
to some CKtent has been overshadowed by Aleyan^Baal having 
assumed the role ofrhe giver of life pur cxallttta* As hts consort 
she was his helper* but she never occupied the predominant 
position of Inann2>Iihtar in Mesopotamia- With her Baal has 
passionate marital inicrcoiirsc described in a manner suggesting 
that originally it may have been conneaed with die sacred 
marriage in the Annual Festival cukus,®® if the texts w^rc in 
faa cult rituals reciied dramatically* as has been suggested witli 
some plausibility. 

For dimple, in die ^Gracious Cods* texts (jz)* first puU 
hshed by Virolkand in which Eh- Caster maintains 

w'ere the libretto of a sacred drama addressed to ccnaiii 
^Gracious and Bcauriful Gods" described as ‘princes* and ^high 
onCiV and pctformcd at the Camanitc Spring Festival of the 
fint^&uits, dicTc is an crouc scene between two girls who may 
be Idenrificd with Arise and Asberah* bcsdi of whom arc 
characterized as at once the daughters and wives of El.^^ The 
ag^ supreme god, having duly impressed his admirers by his 
agihty in drawing and carrying water lor cooking* and by his 
marksmanship in securing a bird for die pof^ inddenti which 
seem to be capable of interpretation in terms of sexual sym^ 
holism, he then kissed and seduced them* with the result that 
they conceived and bore two sons* Shahru, rlie Dawn, ajid 
Shalmap the Sunset.*^ The birth was duly armouuced to El, 
and they were called ^Gracious Gods* who *s tickled the breast 
of Mistress Lady Queen* (Ashcrah).^® 

The crude episode would seem to have been connected 
with the hkras£amcf^ probably during the New Year Festival 

The Ciih in PitlesUne 75 

when El was the principal ddey in the fertility cultus before he 
hid been replaced fay BaaL In all probafailiiy it represents the 
climajc of a sacred dance in a ritual manJage between the priests 
of £1 and the temple priestesses in order to produce symhoUcally 
the birth of ccrain gods (c*g. Shahru and Shalma) and the 
promorion of fcrdlicy^ very likely to seoJic abundance of bread 
and wine when the gathering of the first/fruits was celebrated 
at the begiDning of summer, or possibly as a septennial obser^ 
vance at the end of every stvcti^ycai cycle, But w^hatever may 
liavt been the precise occasion of the ritual, there is every 
indication that the sacred marriage in Its customary setting 
wa$ an essenrial element in the uudctlying theme of the 

In the sexual symbolisitv however^ Efs impotence is indi^ 
cated. Therefore, it is not surprisiDg that Amt also became the 
wife of the virile younger god Baal, the Rider on the Clouds,^ ^ 
tiieir union being represented as that taf a bull and a cow*^® 
Consequently^ when Baal was said to love a heifer^^ tliis was 
merely a mythological expression of his union with Anau 
Ncvmhclcss^ since she, with Asherah, is alleged to have had 
sexual relations with El in hts old age*®^ it is not imptofaabk 
char originally she was his consort when he was head of the 
pantheon before Baal became the dominani figure and the most 
porenc force in nature. When the older god El became 
subservient to, or was eclipsed by* the younger divinity Baal* 
Anal assumed the status of bis (Baal's) wife and sister while 
El was regarded as her father. But notwithstanding her promi^ 
nence in the A.B. texts^ although she took her place by die ride 
of Baal as the goddess of birth, and fought his battles as a 
warrior goddess, in some measure she receded into the back^ 
ground. It was BaaJ who w^as the supreme Egiire dwarfing all 
the ocher divinities, male and female alike* but in the beginning 
in all probability it was El and Anat who together dotniTUted 
the scene. Although the original character of Anac is very 
obscure, she was principally concerned with sex and war, 
sensuous and perennially fruidul, yet without losing her 

Paltiiiar mi Aiatcilia 

Asbtnth, El mi Baal 

Her rivil aod areh enemy Asberah seems co have occupied 
much the same position as Anat as the corunn and daughter of 
Eh who bote to him a brood of seventy gods and goddesses, 
thereby earning her epithet 'Creatress of the gods*, 'lady of the 
Sea'.^^ Her rebcions with Baal, however, arc by no means 
dear. On the one hand she is represented as his modier and hU 
bitter antagonist, even apparently to the extent of conceiving 
and giving birth to the ‘Devoutm' for the purpose of destroying 
him at the command of El,®* if this is the correct rendering of 
tlie very defective ubict entitled *L« chasses dc Baal', published 
by Virollcaud in In atiy case, as we have seen, Anat 

chided Ashcrah and her sons witli rcjnaidng at the death of 
Baal, anti it was one of her (Asherah’s) offspring who was 
made king in his stead.■*“ Yet Anal and Baal joined forces in 
seeking the help of Ashetab in the creation of his palace,*^ and 
while she had to be bribed wkh silver and gold to intervene 
with El on his behalf she seerns to have recognized Baal's 
claims to prcyeminence, since she refers to him as ‘oui king’, 
'our judge', asserting that 'none is above him'."*^ 

The situation is involved, btii it may be diai the change of 
attitude is to be explained as a result of Baal's ascendancy over 
El as the leading god controlliiig the weather and the storms 
as the Rider on the Clouds, and as virile as the bull he sym^ 
hoUzed in die promotion of fenilky and setting the seasons. 
Then Asherah was content to be the daughter of El*® and to 
champion the cause of the young gpd, uow supreme in power, 
as described in the texts, w'hich doubtless come from the Baal 
priesthood of rather later dare after his temple was complete.** 
The precise Tcladonship of Ashetali to liim in diis capacity 
cannot be determined. Sometimes it seems that she is Jiis 
mother, but in the list of sacrifices reference is made to an *ox 
for Baal and Ashetab’ as though she was connected with him 
in much the same way as formerly she bad been the conson of 
El. It is not improbable, therefore, that although Baal had his 
own wile Anat, he nuy have annexed Ashcrah when he 
obtained absolute sovereignty, as tinder dicsc conditions the 


Tbt CvU in Pifestim 

chief god in the pamheoa invariably couponed with the chief 
goddess, often in the capacity of spouse and listcr. 

In Sytia die emphasis was on the w'aflike as well as on the 
emtic aspects of these patronesses of the forces of reproduction 
and sexiialiiy» Consequently, the goddesses in coropetnion 
with each other strove against dieir rival to become the consort 
of the leader of the pantheon and to dominate the uatural 
processes on which the welhbeing of mankind depended.'*^ 
Thus, both Anat and Asherah appear as allies in the building 
of Baal’s palace. This may be the result of the two tablets 
representing different accounts of the same event told by 
difTetenc ruirators and wntteti by diifrtent senbes, as Obetmann 
has suggested.*® But probably behind the saga lay the conflia 
between the two goddesses to attain the starus of the wile of 
Baal. In this straggle, however, neither seems to have 
victDiioui since both Anat and Asherah remained in joint 
possession of one and the same office in which fertility ^d war 
were combined without ever merging completely into the 
‘Goddess of many names'. 


In Egypt, Anat was fused with Astarie, the Semitic Ashtaroth, 
a goddess of war and (he counterpart of the Syrian Ashcr^. 
Thus, in the New Kingdom in Egypt, when the Semitic 
influences were strongly felt, especially at Memphis, she bec^e 
the composite deity Anta. 'the Mistress of the sky, Lady of the 
gods’, the daughter of Puh, or of Re, ‘the master of the 
universe', in the magical texts she was described as the goddas 
who ‘conceives but never brings forth', and in the treaty with 
the Hittites she with Asune was represented « the national 
goddess of the Syrian Khcta. In addition to being mtmss ol 
hones, lady of chariots’, and 'shield of the king ig^nst hu 
enemies’, she was the goddos of love—‘the forrign Aphi^tt, 
In many syncredsms she was identified widi Isis and Naihot 
os a mother^oddess, with Sekhmet, the wife of ^ah, and 
Rameses UI called liis lavoutiie daughter Bfwr Jufa, daughter 
of Anta'. Bui although the attributes and funcuotis of Anat and 

Fskstiiif iTfrif Arnfaiia 


Astanc were vinually indi^iiguuhable, the two ibreign god> 
<lcs 5 e$ aetuaJJy were almost distiact Id £gypt as were Anar and 
yS.shcrah in Sjiia. Indeed, wliile they normally exist logethcTt 
in the fifih^ceniury Antmaic Elephantine papyri Anat is 
compounded with Yahu as the coEisort of Yahwch.*’ 


Ashlafilh and the Baaliiii in IsMti 

til Israel, Asherali (Lc. Asfatatoch) was coupled widi Baat,'*^ 
but the word 'asherah* lias a wider significance in the Old 
Testament as it is frequently applied to the wooden posts 
symbolizing the mothcTi^oddcss w^hlch stood beside the altars 
or mazzeboth (i,e. menliirs) in the sanctuancs and sacied 
giToves where vegetaiion rites were performed.**' No doubt 
when the Biblical narratives were drawn up bdore and after 
the Exile, Asherah as the name of the goddess bad become 
confused with anything connected w’itli her cult, so it was 
employed in a generic sense, just as all vegetariou gods and 
their tulius were called 'Baal'. But at an earlier pciiod the 
deities wete clearly defined as is shown by the tradition cou' 
cnnJng the grim struggle between Elijah, the JViiit of Yahwch, 
and Ahab's queen, Jezebel, an ardent devotee of the Tyrian 
Baal (later known as the chthonic Melkan) and his wife or 
mother Ashcrab. That Mount Carmel was a sanctuary of ilic 
Catiaanitc deity Aleyan'Baal is by no meant improbable,®" 
and the conBici alleged to have been enacted thereon may 
represcni a snuggle between Yahwism and the fiaal^Asherah 
cult at this impoitani centre of the cultus in Northern Palestine, 
served, it is asserted, by some four hundred and £fiy priests of 
Baal and four hundred priestesses of Asherah,*^ That Asherah 
was tlie chief goddess of Tyre is indicated in the Ugarhlc Keret 
text,"'* where the hero Keret is said to have visited *thc shrine 
of Asherali of Tyre and Elath (die goddess of Sldon)* in order 
to make a vow to them on his way to obtain the daughter of 
King Pabd lor his bride.*® Therclbre, as one of die votaries of 
Baal, Jezebel doubtless regarded Carmel as a vamage-'point in 
the conflict between the two rival cults, and it may w'cll have 

Lrael 79 

been tlierc that the dtual bmtle bero^Mfi Baal-^Ashcrali and 
Yahwch tock place, 

Yabweb m4 Bioiltsm 

Although Elijah is r^prsented as having triumphed in the 
cooilictr while Yahweh hencefonh may have been the demii- 
nant deity in Israel^ Baalism continued to flonrish. Indeed^ 
according to the narrative^ in view of the bitter bunentadou of 
Elijali at Horcb conccfoing the throwing down of die altars of 
Yahwch and die wholesale slaying of the Yabwistic prophets, 
there was a violent reaction, so, as he imagined, he alone 
remained and went in terror pf his life. ® * The term Baal, it is 
truc^ was the designation of foreign gods in general, and it was 
incorporated in die names of Israelites (c^g. Jerubba^al, Meri^ 
baal), Yahwch himself being worshipped as a Baal in die guise 
of a young buU.*^ But as the central figure of a highly organized 
fertility and sexual cult us, the Canaanitc Baal and his worship 
became die object of strenuous opposition in the monarchy in 
and after the ninth century when the Yahwistic prophetic 
movement began to make its influence fell* however exag^ 
gciatcd tliis may be in the litdrature that was compiled after the 
conflict had reached its climax. 

In fact, such was the strength of the Canaamte cult that 
Yahwch from being a desm god was tramfoTtned viitually Into 
a vegetadon ddty. From the day? of the Judges when the 
loosely consolidated tribes were struggling to gain a loothold 
in Palestine and to contiol die fcttilc plains^ the indigenous 
religion had been assimilated so that die ferule aspects of Baal 
and his associates were predominant. £ven Gideon, who is 
represented as the Manassitc protagonist of Yahwch^ was named 
jerubba'ah "Baal fighc*, and his father Joash^ notwidistanding 
hi5 dcsignadon (Y<5= Yahwch), was the custodian of an altar 
to the Canaaniie god and its ashcrah (i.c sacred pole). The 
two cults, therefore, would seem to have been interchangeable, 
though always liable to come in confliett as apparently 
on this occasiau, if the very audetit tribal story bears any 
rcladon to what actually occurred before it w^as rdmerpreted 


Pultstint and AnattiJia 

by ^ iatCT Yabwimc Bull wonJiip with Ju fertility 

significance continued to flouEuli at the northern shdne^ (e^g. 
sEcchem, Shiloh, Cilgah Bethel* ctc»)i*^ and ihsotbed many 
of the attributes of the Canaam'tc fertility cultus centres in the 
Storms and Weachcr^od Alcyan^Baal and his consorts. 

The Astanc £gurJne$ recovered fiom Ce^cr with didr 
homed hcad-d.tess, and a similar rqsre^tntacion of the goddess 
on a stele at. Beth^Shan dedicated to Ashtorcth^Kamaim, '^” 
together with numerous Astarre plaques and fiagmetitary 
female figurmes in clay and stone from Late Broti 2 e Age and 
Early Iron Age deposits elswhcrc (c,g. Tell Beit Mirdm* 
Shechem^ Megiddo and Ccrar) show that the cult was firmly 
established in Palestine except at Gibcali, Tdl en-Nasbeh and 
Shiloh, and in the Early Israelite levels in the central region 
There can be litde doubt that Amr was as much at home at 
Beth-'Shan or Ce:er as at Ugarit or Beth^Anat or Dendcrah,® ^ 
as was Astartc everywhere. 

On the wall at Mizpch (Tell en^Nasbeh) temples of 
Ashcrah and Yahweh appear to have stood side by side in the 
ninth century 0,c*, and to have survived until the city was 
destroyed. Jn the centre of whar is thought to have been a 
temple of Yahweh* resting on the Canaanite city wall, w^as 
the base of an altar, and on cither side wAi a smaller room with 
a storage bin containing two flint knives but no female 
statuettes^ To the east stood the Astartc temple consimcted in 
the same manner, and in it was a clay dove, a fragment of a 
female figpnnc painted red, and a ^saucer lamp’' in the three^ 
branch fork of a tret* bodi in icrracoiLi. Mear by were a number 
of similar figurines and a conical mazstebah.**^ This equipment 
^ centre nf the Goddess cuk where Astattc 
was worshipped, probably in later times alongside of Yahweh 
at the neighbouring shdnc, possibly as his consotr. If this were 
so, the goddess^ under Canaanite names (eg. AnadirYahu 
comparable to Yo^-EIai in die Ugaritic texts) assigned to 
Yahweh in the Jewish community at Elephantine after the 
Exile can hardly have been an mtiovadon. 

In spite of the repeated artempts at drastic reformation by the 

IsMtl 8i 

pre^txilic mono'Yahwim in the northmi and southern king' 
doms of Israel and Judah, so dccpljr ingrained was the Goddess 
cull that it still flourished in die last days of the monarchy after 
the death of Josiah (f. 609 b.c.)- Thus, it is recorded that 
Jeremiah to his dismay encountered children gathering wood 
in the streets of Jerusalem and in the cities of Judah for the fires 
to be kindled by their lathers for the worship of the Queen of 
Heaven, while the woosen kneaded the dough to make the 
sacrificial cakes on which her image was inscribed** ‘ When 
he remonstrated with them after the £xjlc, they declared Aat 
they would continue to bom incense and pour out drink 
offering? to her as their kings and princes had done always, for 
ihen there was food in abundance and the people were well 
and knew no evil,** Since the colt had been suppressed 
by Josiah nothing but misfortune had btfollco them, they 
declared—Jehojhaz had been deported to Egypt. Jehoiachin 
and the cream of the nation had been carried away into 
captivity in Mesopoumia. Jerusalem bad been captured, 
Zedekiah had had his eyes put out. and after the murda of 
Gedaliah the remnant left in the capital had bad to flee into 
£gyp[ xo escape the retaliation of the Chaldaeans. Confronted 
with such a succession of catastrophes attributed to the neglect 
of the Queen of Heaven, all tlie prophet could reply was that 
in Jact they woe reaping the due reward of their apostasy from 
Yahwism. and to heap upon them curses for their back' 


Similarly in the Northern Kingdom Amos and Hosea were 
no less scathing in that denunciations of the cultus at the local 
shrines (Bethel. Cilg?!. Beersheba) in their day,*’ and in alt 
probability it was refugees fiom Bethel who played an impot' 
rant pait in the development of the syncrrtisiic cull m Elcptian^ 
tine in the sixth and fifth centuries At Shiloh at the 

beginning of the monarchy pricstases appear to 
attached to the temple there with whom the sons of Eh had 
inKfcourse.** and Amos inveighed againsi those who profaned 

fl- PjSeFtiiK jnd AilatoUo 

the nnme of Yaltwcli by having confess with ilie sunab (i.e, 
ritual prostitute) ai a sacrificial meal, ‘drinking rhe wine of the 
rapedV“]ti« aa Jeremiah later chided the people nf Jerusalem 
for assembling themselves by troops in the sanctuaries of sacred 
prostiiures whose blandishments he described.’^ As in Meso^ 
potamia the king was invited to share the couch of the 
Goddess, so these Palestinian shrines were equipped with 
beds of love' for the priestesses and riicir lovers’® who assumed 
the same role as the Babylonian king and queen in the 
dramatization of the sacred marriage.’® 

It is not improbable that the prophet Isaiah of Jerusalem 
resorted to one qf these shrines to obtain a second child by a 
professional prophetess (Le. a zemb) for ritual purposes,’"* and 
in the Northern King Jam, as Hosca makes ahundandy clear 
(75(^755 B.C.), the priestesses exercised their functions with 
undiminished vigour in his day in spite of all tlic efforts of the 
reformers like Asa to drive the z^tutb and ^rderliim (Sodomites) 
out of the land.’® The Dcuteronomic Law in the south in the 
next century, which endeavoured to suppress both male and 
female hierodouloi,’* was equally unsuccessful As in the case 
of other aspects of the Goddess cult, the practice was too deeply 
laid in the Palesrinian culius to be eradicated by denunciation 
and Deuicronomic legislation, going hack as an esublishcd 
institucion to protohistoric rimes, as the Patriarchal tiadirion 
suggests, ‘ ’ in spite of the gloss over the cu ltic terms zotab and 
qedtd'jb by later narrators who repraented them as common 
harlots ratlicr than sacred prosriruies in the service of the 
Mothcr^oddess. Behind the story of the Gileadite hero 
Jephthah, himself the son of a liy the ritual bewailing 

of t^ir viiginky by the maidens of Gilead, and although the 
cuJtic function of sacred women in general became confused, 
the cult. X wc have sera, persisted until after the Exile, nofc* 
withstanding the drastic action of Josiah who destroyed the 
houses of the Sodomites and of those of the sacred pros^ 
tiiuies who wove hangings for Asherah and practised her 
rites in the temple at Jerusalem.’** If the liirc of a harlot 
could not be accepted by the sanctuary, the proceeds gained 

Israel 81 

by the rirual prostiEutes were intended for ilie worskip of 


To climinatit from Yahwism ihcie very andent crude 
practices Hosea eudcavouml to give i lofiier inieipretalion to 
the conception of the marriage of Istae] with m god in a 
maimer that was in accord with the agricoltuial tiadidon of 
the popular religion, looking forward to the rime when the 
nation would be purged of its corruptions and be remarried 
to Yahweh* Then the soil would be agdn cultivated and yield 
boutitiful harvests, and the people would Tecogcuae that it was 
Yahweh and not die Baalim who had given the increase in the 
fruitfulness of the land,*^ Since the country was his and he 
was the true husband of Israel, in consoling with other gods 
(j«e^ the Baalim) and keeping loveis the people had been 
unfaithful to him and their fertility riies wetc likened to fornix 
cation and adultery^ This is ocpiessed in terms df the prophet’s 
own unliappy domestic life, married as he is alleged to have 
been to an unfaithful wife^ Comer, who may have been 
originally a sacred prostitute.®* Anyway, the symbolism 
employed is that of the Goddess ritual, and the underlying 
theme is that of the culms rdhtetpreled in relation to the 
Yahwist conception of the coverunt with Yahweh in which 
no place is allowed for alien deities and their worship^ include 
ing the sacred prostimrion which almost invariably was a 
concomitant of the Goddess cult in Syria* Phoenicia and 

The (all of Samaria in 721 U.C, before the Assyrian forces, 
followed by the destrucrion of the cidcs of Phoenicia In the next 
ccniurj' (<i77“<573), gave a freih impetus to Mesopotamian 
influences tD the Aramaic culture that developed in the nosx 
Ass}Tiaii Ganaanitc province. Moreover, in Judah it stimulated 
the pagan TtactioD under Ahaa (r. 735^15 B-C.) and 
Manassch (c. 687-^642). But although Assyria now became 
dominant as the focus of influence, the resulring product was 
a Syro^Mesopoumian syncretism in which the worship of 
Baal and Asherah was combined with that of ^Molcch^ whaU' 
ever this obscure term may imply 1®^ and Adrammclech* a 

®4 Paltstine anJ Ajurolia 

form ofSyrian god HadaJi, and th« Sumerian Anu, which 
included chil<bsacTifice.®* That the Goddess cult was among 
the prominent elements is clear from the references to the 
jfdrrif/m and zonah in the temple at Jcfusalem as vocarin of 
Ajherah, and to women weeping for Tammua; the consort of 
and their Canaanite counterparts. Thus, having become 
firmly rooted in the Aramaean culture on Palestinian soil it 
survived the breabup of the Israelite communities in 72.1 and 
B'C, until in the pos^cxilic period Yahwism was re¬ 
established purged of most of its Canaaniie and MesopotamiaQ 
acernions- * ^ 

riltf Hitiiti CoJJfjs 

Closely relarcd both geographically and cuhuraity to Syria and 
Palestine, ‘the Land ofHatti* to the north-east of the Anatolian 
plateau of Asia Minor, within the circuir of the Hals river 
(Kizil Irmak), the Hiiriic Empire flourished in the second 
millcnmurn B.c. In the Middle Bronze Age the prc-Himtc 
AnaioHan princes had established a stable civilization in this 
mountain stronghold, and recent excavarions in 1954 to 195^ 
at Kultepe (Kanesh) near Kayseri have brought to light an 
imcrifraon on a brotae spear-head bearing the words 'Palace 
of Anittas, the ^ng', whose name occurs on three tablets in 
cuneiform Hitriir as a historical character who apparently 
controlled the greater part of the plateau himself, residing at 
Kussara: From him the royal Hittitc line may have descended, 
though m fact it was from the ancient ruler Labarnas that the 
^tuie kings traced their lineage,** By about l?8o B,c. the 
bngdom bad been established by Suppiluliumai, king of 
Hatti, who conquered and incorporated into his empire the 
Mesopotamian kingdoms ofMitanni and the Hussilands, and 
Knt aroucs into Syria and Palestine making Lebanon his 
frontier^, nyo). Thmfoie, the rdctoices to the Hittitcs in 
the Old Testamem nanativo as one of the Palestinian tribb 
whom the Hebrews encountered and with whom they bad 
relaaons ditnng their occupation of Canaan** are misleading 



lincc [licy pkce [hi$ great andent dvilization on a level with 
the Perimtes, Rcphaiim, GifgssHitcs and Hivites. It was niit 
until the time of the manaichy that its imponance stems to 
have b«n itcognized.*’ 

It has only been in recent years, however, tliat the full 
significance of the Hitdtc culture and religion hat become 
apparent as a mult of the tecovery and dedpherment of the 
inscriptions and texts written in this patdculai form of cunei^ 
form script fiom about 1900 to 1100 B,c. Hrozny led the way 
by pubUthing the first attempt at a grammar and gradually, in 
spite of many setbacks, it has become possible to translate a 
number of tablets that are now available, and so to gain 
a Considerable knowledge of the life and beliefs of this highly 
syncTciistlc dviUzation occupying a key position in Alia Minor. 

Thus, so far as our present inquiry is concerned, it now 
appears that the Hiiiitc dty■-states were welded as a group under 
the rule of the 'Great King’, who in addition to bcii^ the head 
of the army and the supieme judge was also the chief priest of 
the gods and ‘held by the hand' of the Goddess. Altho ugh he 
was never regarded as divine during his lilctime, he was 
believed to be endowed with supernatural powers, and it is in 
his priestly capadty in relation to the Wcatbcr'god that he has 
been usually depicted on (he momimcnts. At the death of the 
quccn-motbcr the rdgning queen became the tavanud, the 
priestess of the Mothcr^goddess. and she could then act as 
regent during his absence. Indeed, k was thtough her probably 
that the sovereign was brought into relation with the Coddea 
by means of a sacred marriage. Here, however, the evidence is 
obscure and its interpretation can he only conjectural, based as 
it is mainly on the iconography of Yazilikaya. 

Tbe YaziUluyg Relitfs 

In this great rock^anctuaty about two miles fiom the village of 
Boghaakoy where the oldest Hitdtc settlement at Haitosas 
occurs, there are bas.-rdiefi of two converging processions of 
gods and goddesses which meet in the centre at the end w 
of the chamber, opposite the entrance. On the right side, except 

PaitJtiiu 0ti Amjth 

I for two maJes, aij [hd figuro an: those oftohcd females, while 
on the left side they are males with two ftinalt's, togctlier with 
winged mythological beings. The weathering of the rocks 
makes it extremely difficult to idcniiTy any of the diviiutiej 
depjaed in the absence of the ipedfication of the gods by their 
names with the exception of that of the goddess designated in 
the hieroglyphic script Hepatu (i.e. Hebat. or Hepit, the cliief 
goddess in the Human pantheon, the conson of Tesliub the 
WeaiheT'^od), She is represented standing on a panther or 
lioness and clad in a fuUi^eevEd robe with pleated ikiit. Her 
hair is braided and on her head she wears a riara. In her left 
hand she holds a long staff, and with her right hand stretched 
I aw to greet the male figu^ approaching her she proifm her 
I gins in the form of symbolic ot hieroglyphic signs. 

I Behind her in the procession, also mounted on a lioness or 
panther, is a smaller figure of a beaidlcn youth with a pigtail, 
wearing a short tunic, upturned shoo and a conical fluted hat. 
He too clasps a staff with his ourittctchcd right hand, and in his 
left hand he holds a double axe. His symbol, a pair of human 
legs, suggests that he may depict the youthful son of the 
Goddess whose name in Hurrian was Sharma or Shartuma, 
who appears again on die large scale in the small gallery 
beside the mdn s^nc holding King Tudhaliya IV in his 
embrace. Behind him {oUdw two goddesses vested like Hapatu 
CHefaat) at the head of the procession, making the same gestures 
but standing on 2 single doublc^headed eagle with outspread 
wings. They may represent MazauUa, the daughter of the Sun. 
godd^s of Arinru* ajid Zintulti. her granddiughEer, The 
divinity in the background, wearing a homed mitre, clad in 
a kilt and carrying a mace or club and a sword, may be the 
Storm, and Weather.god (Teshub), who leads the males in die 
^ocessjon on the left walls just as the females on die right are led 
by the Sutt^oddess of Arirma; both gioups moving towards 
die god and goddess, followed by priests and priestesses.*** 

In the smaller chamber, the entrance to which is guarded by 
two winged figures, a colossal erect figure of the 'dirk.god' is 
curiously carved to represem a youthful dciry with a human 

S 7 

head, wearing a conical cap, and the body compo$ed of four 
croueJung Hons, two C^ing downwards and two upwards, 
back to back. Bdow the knees the legs taper to the point of a 
sword. To the right aic two figures, the larger simitaily dad, 
tcsembling the youth on the panther in the outer sanctuary^ has 
his left mn round the neck of the smaller figure, a beardless 
priest^king in a cloak ftom which the hilt of a sword projects. 
Mil right wrist is grasped by the god's left hand, and a staff 
{liiuui) is held in bis right h^d, as in the lepiessentatio n of the 
priest in the outer sanctuary. In the palace of Ala Hiiyiik 
(Euyuk)* some twenty miles to the notih^ea^ of Beghazkay, a 
similar figure is followed by a priesttss* each with one hand 
rahed, approaching the image of a bull on a pedestal with an 
alur before it. On another relief the priest followed by a 
priestess is shown moving tow^ards a seated goddess pouring 
a liharion ac her feet®® 

Of the various uses and purposes of the gtcat sanctuary 
known as YaziUkaya it is higlily probable that the outer recess 
was 3 shrine of the Nioihcr^oddess and the inner ebamber a 
shrine of her son, die Young CodL m which the king had 
access by virtue of hii office as higb^pritsu Since the rdieft on 
its walls seem to give symbolic expression to the sacred tnamage 
of the Goddess with the Hattie W^her^godi it is by no 
unlikely that the reigning king and queen repaired to Yazili^ 
kaya at the spring festival to perform the renew^al rites so widely 
ptactiMd in Western Aria-**" If this conjecture is correct, it is 
probable that the sacred mariiagc between the Sujvgoddcss of 
Atinna and the Wcather^od of Ham was enacted in the mam 
hall in the presence of Sharma, the Young God. Caistan^ in 
fiict, suggests dm it may have been the scene of the union of the 
Hurrian Teshub with the Muther^odd^ Hebat of Kizzu^ 
wama (the Oataonia uf the iloman pertod), accompanied by 
didr rmnues on the occasion of the marriage of Hattusilis III 
to the high>pricstess of the Sorvgpddss of Arinna, Pudi^cpa, 
the daughter of the priest of Isbur of Lawazantiya- **^ Thetc is 
nothing in the totts to canfiim thii mterestiog conjecture, but 
in the Egyptun version of the aaty beiwecn Hattuiilis ind 

88 Patfsfi'ne anJ Anatolia 

Raineses n the Hittitc queen Pudubepa appean on. the royal 
seal embracing the Sun/goddess of Aiitina**® The conver gin g 
processbns suggest perambulatiotis in the New Year riiual 
closely connected with the sacred mairiage, and since the bull 
is the animal of the Weatber^god with whom originally he was 
equated in his feraUty functions, the presence of the bulbman 
in them doubtless had the same significance. 

Throughout Anatolia and Northern Mesopaumia the 
buctanium recurs from the Early Bronze Age, as, for instance, 
on the seals and on Tell Halaf painted pottery, and in graves 
ai Aladjahuyuk,®^ while in Hinriin mythology and icono' 
grapby Teshub is associated with two bulls, probably Seri and 
Huni, ‘Day and Night’, who are attached to his chaiiot. 
Sometiines he is. represented standing on a bull and holding a 
thunderboh in his hand, thunder like nun being among his 
fotility aspects as the Storm.' and Wcather.god, juu as the 
tempest and tlse tain were in the hands of Baal, the ‘energizer' 
and Ridn on the Clouds’ in Syria. Thus, the bull being the 
embodiment or symbol of vital forte so iniiinately connected 
with the Goddess and the cow, its appearance round the legs 
of the Weaihcr^od and his consort at Yazilikaya leaves litdc 
room for doubt concerning the nature of (he ritual at this great 

The of Ammo 

The pt^non of the Sun.'gtxldess of Arinna is more diHiculi to 
determine. She was the consort of the Weathet^od of Hath, 
who, as we have seen, was connected with the bull, ** and was 
the chief Hittitc deity of the principal religious centre (tx. 
Arinna), In the State religion she was 'ihc Queen of the Land 
of Hatu, Heaven and Earth, Alistress of the king^ and queens 
of the Land of Haiti, directing the government of the King and 
Queen oTHatri, but unlike the Hurdan Hebat she was cssen^ 
lially a solar deity.** Her relationship, however, wiih the male 
Sun^od was nevet clearly established. Originally the principal 
goddess at Arinna was called Wurusemu, and Arimitti,** 
whose consort was subordinate to her just as in the State the 



Suti^goddcw of Acitiiia became the suptemc goddeis. Her 
huiband, however, was tlie Wcathd-^od of Haiii. not the 
Sutvgod, and although he was a war^god like his spouse, it 
was she who fought his battles. 

When the Hitiitc Empire came undci Human iufiuence 
its goddess Hebit was idemilied with the Suti'goddcss of 
Arinna,’'’ and it is not improbable that the Huitian Teshub 
then was equated with the Weaiher-'gpd of Hatii and his sgti 
Shaima with his opposite number, the Wcathct^od of NOTk 
and Zippalanda.*® Similarly, in this process of syncretism 
Shauihka, the Human goddess of love, sotuality and watfme, 
the sister of Teshub, was identified with the great Babylonian 
goddess Ishtar, and worshipped in Southeast Anatolia at 
Samuha and elsewhere in the Hurrian region.*® Among het 
female anendants were the goddesses Ninaua and Kulina. and 
there were also a number of local ‘Ishtats’ who must have been 
known originally under Anatolian names. 

At Kummand (i-c. Coinana Cappadodac) in ihcTauius 
area, where some of the oldest Hittite sanctuaries were atuated. 
the Goddess Hcbai, eventually known as Ma, became possessed 
of the essential attributes of the Svm-'goddess of Arinna, and, 
like Ishiai and Anai, developed madal chaiacieristics so that 
she was identified by tlic Romans with Ma.'Bcllotia, thereby 
following the (imiliar transfoTination of the frrdlity^goddea 
ioto a war^goddess; a feature absent from die Hitriie tcins. Hh 
alliance with Teshub in the Hurrian pantheon led to thm 
being wotshipped together ai Aleppo, Samuha (t Malatya)* 
Huma and Apaisna, as well as ai Comana. At Ya^dlika^ 
however, the youthful Wcailier-god. her son and lover, Me 
Tammuz in relation to Ishtar, occupied a subordinate position 
before he was eiealted as ‘Lord of Heaven and became c 
husband of the Sutivgoddcu of Arinna. 

Here the Suti/god docs not seem lo have been conspicuous, 
despite the fact that the chief deity was the Sur^goddess. It i^y 
be that he was not indigenous in the Hittite pantheon and _ i 
it was only after he had been introduced inio * 

acquired a definite status the SuU'goddess. ** 


P^tstiiie aitd AiuiaUis 

once he was cclcstialiied as the ruler of the skies he could hardly' 
fail to be ideniiJicd with the Sun, even though io the official 
theology the husband of the Sun^oddess of Arinna was the 
Weather^god of Hath, who appropriately became the Weather^ 
god of Heaven, since lus function was the lettilizaiion of the 
earth. Similarly, the Anatolian goddesses were primarily 
-Earths tnotli CIS, and the Sun^goddess of Axmna onginally was 
tlo exception to the rule apparently as the was so indmately 
connected with die indigenous fcnility tradition and its divide 
ties. She was Lady of the Land and of *the king and queens 
□f Hatu: indeed, 'the father and mother of every land’ and the 
patroness of kingship, She was, however, essentially a soUt 
deity,and with her the kingship was inesttricably linked in 
which the queen exercised an independent coldc role, espe^ 
cially at the New Year Festival in the winter when, as it would 
seem, the nuptials of the Cloddcss and her spa use were celebrated 
in the manner customary in the Ancient Near Patt 

The Tflspitui Myib 

Ncvctihelcss, although the Sun/goddess of Arinna was the 
supreme Goddess with whom the life and coitus of the State 
were bound up, and through a process of syncrctizarion she 
had absorbed most of the characteristic features of the local 
goddesses and the sun^gods of a limilar type, largely as a result 
of political fusion it was Hannahanna, the ‘Grandmother’, 
whose name was wiitien with tire ideogram of the Sumerian 
Mother-goddess Nintud, In the Telipinu myth it was she who 
was consulted by the Wcadier-god and took the iniriaiivc when 
/a drought had brought all life to a standsrill on the eaith as 
[a result of his son TcUpinu, the Hmite Dumuzi-Tammuz, 
living dhappeared in a rage and taken the grain with him. So 
the cattle, sheep and mankind no longer bred, and those with 
young could not bring forth. The v^ctarion dried up and the 
trees were unable to produce hesh shoots. Thus, a famine arose 
which tliteaiened the life of the gods as well as of the human 
race, since they were dependent upon mankind for thdr 
sustenance. In this devastating state of affairs the Sun-god 



imngcd i great fcasr to which be inviicd the fhouund gods. 
They aw, Imwcvct. but wot not satisfied; they drank but their 
thirst was not quenched. Then the Weaiher-gpd remembered 
that hit son Telipinu was not in the land and these ditasteis 
must have aiiscrt becautc of his withdrawal in high dudgeon. 
Consequently, a diligent search for him was made in the hi^ 
mountains, the deep valleys and the watery abyss, but nowhere 
could he be found. Rcalking that if something were not done 
it once alt would die of starvation, the VVeatbet-'god sought 
the advice of the Goddess Hannahantia, being heiself so l^dy 
responsible for Imility. Thereupon she urged him to go himself 
to the city of Tcliptnu, but without success. The goddess then 
sent forth a bee, who finding him asleep near ihe tow n of 
Lihzina stung him on bis hands and leei. This only made him 
mote furious and determined to destroy aU life upon the earth. 
At this point there is a break in the ten, but eventually his 
malice was exorcized by the goddess of heahng, KamrusepaSt 
who made him return on the wings of an eagle. Then tlK 
sheep went to the fold, the cattle to the pen, the mother tended 
her child, the ewe her lamb, the cow her calT, An account 
follows of the ritual performed to assuage the math of Tchpinu 
and restore fertility culminating in his bending the king ^d 
queen and providing them with enduring life and vigour. An 
evergreen was set up in the temple and from it the flcttc was 
suspended in which the fat of sheep was placed, and offering 
of com and wine, oxen and sheep were made to Tchptiu. 

In this very incomplete version of the Telipinu myth m the 
Ibrm of a ritual commentary intended to be used in a ty 
cult, the Tammuz theme was hienU though it differed cpnsid«> 
ably in its details from the Babylonian story. The cause o t e 
wrath of the son of the Weathei/god is missing, but the eflems 
of his disappearance were the same as those produced y e 
descent of Tammuz into tire underworld. Again, it was t e 
Mothcfvgoddcss who intervened to secure his return, but m 
arc no indications that Tdipinu had died and was resto 
from the nether regions. Moreover, Hannahatma is n« ttp^ 
sented as his consort or mother. His raum, however, roug t 

atiJ Anat&lia 

aboui a rcne^h-al df vcgctadoa and recundity in genera], and of 
the life and vigour of the king and queen in panicular, widoh 
doubtless constituted the purpose ^ the ritual ceremony in 
sccdon C of the text appended to the nanalive. 

Although the episode is not connected with a seasonal rite, 
the theme and its ritual suggest that the mjih was associated 
with the vegetation cult drama. Closely connected with it is 
a combat story recited at the Pwr«/i!i festiva] dial may have been 
held in the spring, in which the ^X^eather^od slays a 
dtapn, lUuyankas, personi^ng the forces of evil in their 
vaiiQiis aspects with Ac help of a goddess Inaras. In Ac cycle 
of cult legcnA grouped round Ae Weathcr^god and hh 
conions Ac principal figures—the vegetation ddty, Ac MoAer^ 
gr^dcss, the king and Ae queen—assume Aeir customary roles 
wiA local peculiarities and AfTcTcnuationSt while in Ac back* 
ground arc Ac Sumero'Babylonian cosmic struggles among Ac 
gods, as, for example, in the Hurrian Song of UUikummi.*^®® 
The predominant Acme centres in a blight Aai descended 
upon Ac land because of a conflict between Ac WcaAer-god 
and a malign supernaiural being in whtcli Ac Goddess, with 
whom he stood in an mdmace iclaiionAip, championed hit 
cause But alAough Ac texts cannot be explidtly connected 
wuh a particular seasonal celebration, Aeir contents ^ve cvety 
indication of having been cult legenA, recited cither at Ac 
critical junctures at the turn of Ae year, or whenever occasion 
required, for Ac purpose of restoring and maintaining Ac tight 
ordering of Ae cosmic forces and tdnvigoraung Ae process of 
vegetation in Ae seasonal sequence. 

chapter rv 

Iran ani India 


i In thfl wckcr of rcUgions which characterized Watern Aiia 
in the third and second millennia B.c. tlic Iriman pLatuu by 
vinuc of it$ gcograpliical podtion was demned to becorne tihe 
connecting link between the west and the east in the develops 
ment pfa cofnpositc myth and nnul* a* wdl as in other respects 
of a complex culture in which many streams met . To die south 
and south^nst lay Mesopotatniap the Arabian Sea and the 
Pmian Ciilf Northward to the east of the Caspian Sea* 
Tuikcsun on^ded as a broad low'kndh and to the cast the 
plain of the Indus valley* with the hill>villages of Afghanistan 
and Baluchistan* Makian and Sind, to die west of the Punjab, 
forming another line of communication widi India, So placed 
in the very heart of the ciadlcland of the agricultural dvilkation 
of Western Asia, the Iranian plateau hardly could fail to make 
m contribuupn to the development and ddfusion of the Cod^ 
dess cult, which was firmly established in the pcriphetal regions 
of ancient Persia. 

Tfce Goddess 

Thus* as has been considered,^ on the plairis of Elam in the 
pTotohiscpric and in the First Elamke period (r. 2Bpo n.c.) 
rude female hgurlnes holding the breast, often adorned with 
bTacclcts, pendants and necklaces, were prevalent.,< On a bas/ 
relief on a rock at the entrance to the village of Saiiri^pul, on 
the andent highway from Baghdad to Teheran, Annubanimi 
king flf LuUubi is depicted with the Goddess Niuni in a 
fringed kdiiimke:; with a uU mitre on her head* leading on a cord 
two captives and stretching out her hand to ibc king. The 
accompanying Akkadian insctipcion invoking various gods 
against the enemy shows that strong Babylonian mHucnccs 


Iran end Indie 

woe exercised in £Um in [he fini half of the third millemtium 
B.c. when the scene was inscribed and erected. In the second 
millentuum a,c„ however, the Goddess Shala and her consort, 
rnshushinak, were invoked rather than thpr Babylonian 
cou nterpatts. At Susa the iettiIity'‘goddcss was worshipped 
under the name of Kinosha, who on £uri$can votive disks 
was represented in her cliaracterkic attitudes, holding her 
breasts and squatting in the posture of childbirth.* So deeply 
laid wiss the cult, extending from Asia Minot to Susa, tliat it 
survived the breat^up of the Elamite power in <1:40 ii-t:., and 
Under the name of Nanaia the Mothcr'^oddess continued to 
exercise hn cusmmaiy functions down to the Parthian period 
; (r 250 B.C.-A.D, 229). 


By a sltniJar process of synerrtistn she became the AvesUn 
goddess of fertility and water, Anahita, who in the Yashts 
personified the mystical lilc/giving river'in the shape of a maid, 
fair of body, most strong, talldbrmed, higlvgirdcd, pure, nobly 
bom of a glorious race’.a As the goddess of the WMCts let down 
from heaven to fructay the earth and bring increase to flocks 
and herds and mankind, ^ labour to women and abundant 
nulk, she vvas endowed with the form of Ishtat, depicted in tlic 
statues creaed at Susa, Ecbatana, Damascus, Babylon, Bactria, 
and elsewhere by Artaxerxes II, with prominent breasts, a 
CTown of gold, a golden embroidered cloak, ear-rings, a neck> 
lace and a girdle. As such she was worshipped as ‘the Great 
Goddess whose name is Lady’, the ‘all-powerful immaculate 
one, putting ‘the seed of males and the womb and the milk 
of females*,* Like most Mty^oddesscs. she was also regarded 
as engaged in warfare, riding in a chariot drawn by four white 
horses in which are wind, tain, cloud and hail. She was, in 
fact, the Iranian counterpart of the Syrian Ann, the Babylonian 
Inanna'Jsbtar, the Hittitc goddess of Comana, and the Creek 
Aphrodite .5 and as a member of the triad, Ahura Maala^ 
Mthra^Anahiia in Maadaean paiubeon, she appears in 
Achacmenian cuneiform insenpdons in associaiion with 


Mithra as the Young God itnd victorious hero libcradiig life 
by the sacrifacc of die primeval bull,® 

Although Aitajccixes U (414-161 flx.) is said m have beta 
the first 10 ertct images of Anahiu in vanous parts of his 
doimnion»^ the popular appeal of the cult is to be explained 
by the long history chat by behind k in Iran and the surrounds 
ing countries. In ligypt as the goddess of Kheu she was 
leprcscntcd seated on a throne or on a horse, holding a spear 
and shield and brandishing a halbcm^ In Cappadocia and 
Cilicia she was identified with the Moiher^oddcss Ma and 
equipped with a retinue of priestesses engaged in sacred ptosuV 
tuuon.” Her very close resemblances to Ishtar reveal Mesopo.' 
tamian influences, but while Herodotus may have been justified 
to regarding her as a Ibreigner in Persia, identi^tng her with 
an Assyrian goddess called Mylitta whom he confused with 
Mithras,*® she stands in the same traditian as the Elamite 
KititisHa and Nanaia, so that the colt has a continuous history 
in Iran down to the Paitkbn pniod (e, zjo b.c.-a.d- 129) 
w'hcn it became preponderant. The cult centres established 
throughout die empire by Attaxctxes li and the other 
Achaemenian kings were further extended, so dial all the 
temples mentioned in the texts of the Parthian period were 
sacred to her. At Ecbatana, the summer royal residence, k is 
stated that ‘they sacrifice always to her’; at Arsak, where 
Tiridalcs I was crowned, she had another shrine; and at 
Kengavar she was worshipped as the ’Persian Artemis', the 
'Misrress of the Beasts’, fuliilling the role of the Hellenic 
Artemis and Gaia as the mother of all creatures from wlioni 
they derived their sustenance and protection over all the 

Sitnilarly, in Elymais two sanctuaries dedicated to Attemis 
and Athene were associated with her, very much as at Susa she 
was woishipped as Nanab. At Isiakhr there was a fiic^emplc 
of Anahita in the Sasanian period (c. a.d. 259-651). In a 
rocl^rclief at Naqsh'i/Rustam an investiture scene depicts 
King Naiscli (a.d. 293,-502) receiving his inrignia &om 
Anahita,** just as in a high teUef ou the walls of the huge 

tran end Indie 

grotto u Ta^'')-'BustaLn near Kctmaiuhah Chosroes II (a.d, 
iSOHS^a) is shown being presented with the symbols of h« 
office by Anahita. and Oimuzd (Le. Ahun Mazda).In 
Northern Iran in the district of Shiz, Azerbaijan, die tiadi^ 
donal homcofZaiathustra, the chirf Gr&templc was dedicated 
to her, and she was held in greai veneration by the very ancient 
Magian community there, who maintained the traditiona] 
Goddess cult in conjunction with Zoioasaianism in a highly 
complex synctedstit cultus. 

Outside Iran it was especially prominent not only in Lydia, 
' Pontus and Cappadocia, bur particularly in Armenia. Tbcie 
'the great Lady’ was ‘the glory and life^giver of the nation', the 
daughter of Abura Mazda, and the bendacncss of all man' 
kind,She was not, however, equated with water and the 
planet Venus as in the Avesian Yeibt, Although she was 
called by Tiiidates ‘the mother of aU sobiieiy', she also had a 
sexual and possibly an oigiastic side. According lo Strabo 
ritual prostitution was a promineni Ibattue, as in Cappadoda, 
the most illustrious men of the nation' giving their virgin 
daughters to the Goddess lor a considerable period before their 
matdage.^^ Indeed, Anahita is said to have had male as wdl 
as female 'servants' (hicrodules) consecrated to her service at 
her temple at Akilisene as at Castabala in Cilicia and Zela 
in Pomus, as wcU as in her Cappadocian sancruarics.' ^ In 
Lydia she was syncrctizcd with her Creek and Phrygian 
counreipaiTs, including ICybelc, and in this gEitse eventually 
she emerged as the Magna Mater, as will be considered later, 

Mithref and Ambile 

Her association with Mithra and Ahura Mazda in the insciip^ 
lion from Hamadan (the andem Ecbatana), now in the British 
Museum, shows that when the andent Iranian nature religion 
was rstored by Artaxcixs 11 under Magian influence, it 
remained irttc to type.^The Goddess cult, as we have seen, was 
established in the second millennium a.€. when the nomadic 
pastoral IndrvEunopcan tribes began to enter the plateau in a 
succession of waves, wme of whom settled permanently in Iran, 


bringing wiih liifm their own Vcdic pantheon of narurc 
gods.” In the resulting proceis oTfusion Mitra became Michras, 
the Lord of the Heavenly Light (not the physical sun), cve^ 
alert, and being light he was the giver of life and increase; 'the 
Urd of wide pastures' and of rccundiiy, as weU as the antagmv 
«t of aU the forces of darkness and cvU. It was he who gave 
abundanw, making the fertile soil to produce its fruits and the 
herd£ their progeny. ^ 

In India, Mitra was associated with Varuna, the alL 
encompassing sky who supported heaven, earth and the air, 
like the Greek Ourams (sky) with whom im name is equated 
in Sanskrit.” He was also the hestower of rain and in his 
celestial realms he lived in a golden abode. This connected 
him with Mitra as the light proceeding from the sun. There, 
fore, the t^o gods, Vartitia and Mitra, were regarded as the 
gicat Twin firotheis representing two aspects of celestial light. 
Behind them Uy the ancient IndcEiuopean Sky. and 
Weathtr.god, Dyaus Pitar, who perionilicd the heavens, the 
prototype of the Greek Zeus and the Roman Juppitcr. As the 
source of tlic ferdlizmg rain in his procreatiyc capaci^ he was 
united with Prithivi, the earth, but in the Rig.veda he was only 
vc^ vaguely conceived, having been replaced by Vanina. 
Mitra and the Vedic nature gods and goddesses. In Iran the 
dfvar ('shining ones’) were transformed into daewr (‘evil spirits’), 
and the demons (jsum) were made the aWa ('lords’ and 
'masters’) with Asura Varuna proclaimed by Zaraihtistra as 
Ahura Mazda, 'the Wise Lord*, the sole supreme Deity, To 
him all other divine beings were subordinated in the Zotoas. 
trim reform as his aaribuies, modalities of his acdoti. There, 
fore, Mitra (now called Mithra) ceased to be bis Twin Brother, 
and in the Avestan Gathas he is not even mentioned. 

Ncyerthdess, in the perennial struggle between good and 
evil, light and darkness, the Sky.g^ Varuna had been brought 
into conjunction w-ith the celestial Mitra under the guise of 
Ahura Mazda, and raised to the level of a genuine ethical 
monotJicisdc deity. Both the ancient gods who lie behind the 
All.wise Lord ofthc Avesta wcie heavenly beings representing 

£r4N India 

the ^^conip^^ng sky in its compltincmary aspects* nociur^ 
nal and diumaL Altliougb Mkhra was not the hh 

celcsdal otigitu and conncidons with the light opened ihe way 
hir him to acquire solar attributes and fuDctions until in the 
Mithraic Mystery event ually the identiCciUon became cotnplete. 
In the later Avesian Utm^urCt however, as we have seen* 
Mithia leappcared in as^Iation with Ahura, who was reptc/ 
sented on the Achaemcruan tombs and monumenis at Persa> 
polis by a winged disk out of which die head and shoulders 
of (he Wise Lord arose* symboliziiig his reigii in the sky and 
his protection of the earth. Often he was surrounded with 
divine assistants who origLnally were the andent nature gods, 
and the equation of Mithia and Anahita in the Mazdaean 
mad shows die high position these two divitudes held in 
rclauon to Ahura Mazda in later Zoroasm^an theology^ and 
how clpscly they were connected widi each other. 

In order (o fulfil the needs of mankind the bcndicencc of the 
celestial realms had to be made accessible on earth, providing 
&uicful seasons* destroying die forces of evil and giving 
tality to the dead. Therefoie^ the Sky cult had to be brought 
into conjunendQ with that of the Earth^ods and goddesses. In 
this syncredsm the heavenly god as the Sky-^Cubct usually has 
been the Supreme Being responsible for sending rain and giving 
fcitilky to the soil, but he has been regarded as fulfilling his 
functioiis in union with the Eardvmother. It is not surprising, 
therefore* diai in Achaemenian Iran the worship of the Lord 
of fecundiry was fused with that of the Goddess of the waters, 
representing together the Father and the Mother aspects of 
nature—Ahura^Mithras and Anakita—an assimiUdon that 
may have been fostered largely under Anatolian mfluenee 
where the Goddess cult was so very piomincnr. Moreover* it 
was with Kybde and the worship of the Magna Mater that 
Mithraism eventually was allied (e,g. in the Taurobolium),*** 
But Mithiaism was essentially a male cult, and althaugli the 
alliances were made with female divinititi Anahita f^Ud to 
retain a permanent place in the Mystery as the companion of 



The same cambination of Western Aiiatic and Indo^Eumfcan 
traditions manifest in Iran recurred in Notdvwca India in the 
second milletintu01 £<rC> In botli these rc^otis a firoijy cstab^ 
lished cultus in which the Mothcr^goddest played an important 
part was overlaid by an influx of Indo-European divinities 
when the tall, light-skinned Aiyan-s peaking intruders made 
ihor way &om the Eurasian plains of Southern Russia into 
Sind and Punjab between ijoo and laoo fl.c. In their 
earlier habitat they must have been very closely asscKiated in 
language and culture with the rest of the undifferentiated Indo- 
Irfans even though they may not have been in actual contact 
with each other in thdr cradlekiid east of the Caspian Sea* 
This common home is reflected in the Iranian mythology, but 
it does not occur in the earliest Vedic texts (i.e. the Rig-veda) 
in the latter half of the second millennium fi.e., notwithstand¬ 
ing die recurrence of Iranian names in India and implied 
references to Persia in the Vedic literature,®* perhaps because 
die two groups had long been in a state of hostiliiy. They were 
both, however, part of the eastetn branch, commonly known 
as Indo-Iramans, One section crossed the Caucasus in an 
eastern direction and made their way to Notdtem Mesopotamia 
and the Zagros mountains (e.g. the Miiaimi and Kassites) 
whose mien bear Indo-European names.®® Another group 
entered the Iranian pbieau and soiled there as the Ariana, white 
a third later moved padually towards India through Trans- 
oxiana, the Oxus (Amu-Datia) and Bactria m the Hindu 
Kush passes, catling with them their pantheon, even though 
they regarded their dim as benefleem and the mira as malign, 
thereby reversing the carHer Iranian differendatiom 
There can be little doubt that it was they who encountered 
the Harappa civilkanon which had flourished as a highly 
organiacd urban culture from about 2500 to 1500 fix.,*® and 
appaiendy was brought to an end summarily by barbatUn 
invaders fiom the weit who sacked Harappa on the Ravi 
rivets and Mohenjo-daro and Chandhu-daro in the Lower 


him mid hdi^ 

Indus valley^ ind burnt the Baluchi villages. To wlui cxctntp 
if at aJI, the Aryans were involved in this dcstiucuon is djf!icut[ 
10 $ayp bur they may have settled in the ruins of the ancient 
cidcs. In any case, to the louth of the citadel of Harappa a 
post^Harappan cemetery (known as 'ccmccery IT) contains the 
skeletal remains of what appears to have been an alien popular 
tioup though its ctlinologicil affinities have yet to be established. 
The pottery is distinedve, and on one cif the burial ums a 
symbolic scene in the fiiczc has been related to Vedic concept 
tinns of the transmigration of souk®^ Sgt the prc/Aryan 
culmrc with its myrhs, legends and culms was by no means 
obliterated 1 On the concrar)'^ the ecnei^cDJC product w'as a 
composite creatioii, the waip of its original texture being 
Harappan (i.e. probably Dravidian), and the weft Indo^ 
European (Aryan)* 

As the Indo-European immigrants were Arj^an^peatingp so 
in all probabihty the builders of the andeui dtics in Sind and 
the Southern Punjab were of Dravidian speech- This is almost 
certainly the oldest language m India, brought into the conti¬ 
nent by invaders from the north-west in the third mijjcnmum 
B.G. bdbre it passed to the south. Thus, the oldest form of the 
word Tam// or Dravida was apparently DrdmUt or Drmiza, 
and had afGnities with Asia Minor and the Easicm Mcditcr-^ 
rancan. Moreover* many traits of a pre-^Aryan culture have been 
detected in Old TamiL ®® Again^ that the mcjvcmriit was from 
north to south is indicated fay the exiiceoce of a Dravidiaiv 
shaking tribe, the Bralitti, in Baluchistan, and throughout its 
diimbudon in India it gives the appeaiancc of having been an 
intrusive cultural dement overlaying the aboriginal pre- 
Dravidian substratum that survived in the Veddas and Todas 
and the hill tribes. Ethnologically it represented a mixtutc of 
types, and alter the advent of the Aiyaiis the two main linguistic 
and cultural streams cnalcsced in spite of subsequeot attempts 
in the second half of the firs: millentiium B.c, to keep them 
a pan by the Castc-^em imposed by the dominant Aryans, 
based originally on a colour baj^ irjma, the Hindu term for 
caste, meaning 'colour"* 

Irtdiit 101 

There a no intiication, however, of any elivmoQ of this kind 
in the mctkI literature of the early Vedic period, and it wai 
not uniil about the fifth cenmry D.c. that Caste began to make 
m appearance in the Ganges valley in districts ruled by Atyan 
hcreiuiy rajahs, and under the powerful influence of Biah/ 
maniim to spread rapidly throughout the country, interpreted 
as an ordinance of divine appointment. By then, however, the 
synermsm had become permanendy established, Hinduism in 
praedee bang a combination of prc'Aiyan (Dravidian) and 
Vcdic Aryan dements inextricably fus^ into a composite 
system of belief and practice in which the Goddess cult played 
an essential tole. 

Throughout the distribution of the Dravidian people the 
Earth-mother and her male counterpart were rccuirent figures 
of fundamental importance in the r^gious, social and econo¬ 
mic life of the community. The Aryans, it is true, were 
familiar with the Sky-god, Dyaus Pitai, usually coupled with 
Prithivi Mata, the Eatili-goddcss, as the nnivcnal parents. But 
they were vaguely eoncrived as father and mother and their 
antliropomorphism was never clearly defined. Dyaus Pitar was 
overshadowed by Varuna, and Ptidiivi, like other Vcdic 
goddesses escept the Ushas, was not much more than a faint 
reflection of her husband, though as ‘the earth'she had a status 
of her own^ut it was the material heavens and the earth that 
they personified rcspccuvcly, whereas the Dravidian concepnon 
was that of the fundamental forces of fertility and fecundity 
upon W'hich all life depended.' 

Sbw^ Uni Hit CopiOTts 

^yfshiva was the god of many name! who became identified with 
the Vcdic Storm-god Rudra and with Agni, the Lord of lire 
and sacrifice, while on his orgiastic side he was Bhairava, a 
Bacchic figure and the centre of a licentious cultus revealing 
traces of the Mother-goddess tradition going hack to the 
Harappa civilization. The union of a god with a goddeu 
typified the sources of rcproducticin in which male and female 
were united and became symbols of a single divine powa with 


Irdn nisi Wrd 

male and fmale aspem so that Sliiva 'the auspidous' was 
regarded as the androgynous Creator M'ho produced his own 
conson from the female side of his nature^ But when a deity 
had a dual nacure, one quiescent and dae otlier active, his female 
energy usually was pmonified as his wife, inseparable 
from him and joining with him in creation, sustaining and 
destroying the phenomenal universe. Thus, the worship of the 
Mothci^Dddesses received Bralimanical sanction by interpret' 
ing them as tnani&staiions of Sdkti pcrsoniHcd in tlie consort of 
Shiva, Combining in one shape life and death'. At a higher 
level s&kti was Interpreted as the etetnal reptoductive principle 
(prakriti) united with die eternal male piindple (puwhe) io the 
generation of the gods and the universe, and Shiva {became pure 
; spirit assuming a body to render himself pcrccpriblc. 

Since the principal emblem of Shiva always has been the 
litfga, a phallie symbol typifying the male generative orgajn, 
which at MohenjcMdaro and Harappa was assodated with 
ycni lings representing the vulva^ there can be litilc doubt that 
he was essentially a fettility^godi This is cotifirmcd by the hull^ 
knowTt as Nandi, being his constant attendant. Tlierefbrc, his 
living representarive, the white bull, has been allowed m 
wander in complete freedom cveryuhere, and his image has 
been depicted in smne in all Saivire teniples as die guardian of 
^ - the shrtne.i To this day at Benares holy inviolable cattle main 
about the narrow streets of the sacred city as wcU as in the 
courtyards of the ccmpksp umtiolcstcd and receiving quasi 
divine honours. Thne Shiva k worsliipped as Vtsvesvara, the 
Lord of AU^die divine Ruler of Benares, and a linja of 
iujpremt sancti^ is there venerated by Ins votaries. Therefore, 
this aspect of his nature has survived throughout die ages, and 
when gradually his character as the regenerator of nature and 
the destroyer of evil was tranderred from die physical to the 
moral sphere, he became the purifier of the soul and the 
guardian of mankincL But the and the bull have remained 
the principal symbols of rhe cult, together with an undisciplined 
scxualism in its popular practice^ even though from being 
a phallic symbol the linga stands for a Supreme Being as 

India toj 

the Uhim^tc Reality of the cvoluiioD and mvolution of die 
univeiK*^* It is true that neither the iconagraphy nor the 
ntuaJ IS priapjc* and maiiy of its devotees may be ijuite 
oblivious of the onginil significance of the objects pomayed 
and the sacred actions pctformcd* The naiuial functions of 
procreation quite reasonably are not regarded as obscene per $e^ 
and su there seems to be nothing improper in personilying 
male and female energy (saki) in tcligious wordiip and divine 
reUiicnships, or in erotic mythology* interpreted as allegories 
embodying spiritual ralidcs^ (hough among the unsophisticated 
it has too often degenerated into sordid license. 

But howevet the cult may have been ciansfonned and intcr-^ 
pteted mysucally, mmpkysically and symbolicallyp m original 
character and significance are apparenL The phallic element 
unquestionably goes back to the prehistoric substratum of the 
Goddess cuk^ and* ^ Sir John Marshall has pointed our* the 
religion of the Indus peoples is ‘so charactedmcally [ndian as 
hardly to be distinguishable from still living Hinduism^ or at 
least from that aspect of it whidi is bound up with anJausm 
and the cults of Siva and the Mother-goddess—still the two 
most potent forcts in popular worship^*® From this source k 
was introduced into Vcdic worship as an intrusive elcmeni, bur 
because it answered to cemin fundamental human needs it 
found a ready response and acquired deeper and more philo^ 
sophic traits which were given expiessiou in the syncreiisdc 
figures ol Shiva and his consort without descTDyiug their 
ori^nal pccsonalirics as vegciarion ddaes. The'Great Cod" was 
*in the falf of the leaT* yet he was primarily CDnccmed wiih the 
renewal of naruic, the death and decay of vegetatioD beir^ but 
the prelude m ks revival in the spring. As the symbol of life 
he was identified with the processes of reproduction in all their 
forms and aspects as creative energy in the cycles of binh and 
death and rebirth,^* 

riThui, Uma (‘light')* die wife of Shiva, was a syncrctisric 
goddess of nature and fertiliiy in the beginning, as foreiga to 
the Vedic tradmon aj her husband. In course of development 
she evolved into his female counterpart becoming the feminine 


/rjji Jfi4j India 

lidf of his chazaacT, In her northern craiileLind she was a 
Mountain'goddess, Farvati, and ch«e she acquired the wild and 
furious attributes of a sitniUr jnountain^oddess, Vindhyava^ 
sini, who also became a wife of Shiva, just as Uma was 
idendlied with the wife of Rudra, and. as Kali or Mahakati 
('the black') she was at once helpful, sinister and tmible. In 
eoursc of time a number ofgoddcsSK bcncGcetit and malevolent 
wore combined into one Great Goddess, the spouse of Shiva 
penonifying his wfai, often bearing the name of Devi or Dntga, 
one of the common epithets of Uma, especially in her tcnilic 
character, at the end of the Vcdic period. 

Some of the goddesses she absorbed and fused in the one 
consort of Shivai'Rudra may have been connected with moun<' 
tains and with the element of fire which was peisaniGcd in its 
sacrificial aspects as Agni the mediatoi between heaven and 
cartli and the sustaincr of the universe, destnicdve yei expiating 
evil Consequently, sometimes she was rtgaided in the Sanskrit 
literature as the daughter of Agni. or of the sun,*® and in this 
capacity she again was conneaed with new birth, since the 
function of the god of Ere was that of punfying, cleansing, 
protecting and giving new life and vigour, %ht and wisdom. 
He consecrated marriage, was a spiciiua] husband of maidens 
and brother of men, as well as priest and mediator between the 
gods and mankind. When the firc'altar was erected by the 
Brahmins in seven layers in the form of a falcon, representing 
the structure of the utuversc which was desetibed as the body 
of Agni who became Frajapati. the Lord of generation, they 
were thought to repeat the process of cteadon. Since Agni was 
‘yonder sun', when he was bom anew every mortiing the sacred 
flame kindled by the lir&sticlcs of die priests rc'cieated the life 
that pervaded the univene and sustained it.*^ 

Thus, the equation of Uma with Agni brought her into 
relation with the Crahmanic iire.^tat symbolism which was 
the Vcdic counterpart of the renewal rites of the Ancient Near 
Lsst. The Gialimins as gods played the same role as the divine 
l^g in the seasonal drama of regenersrion to ensure the con.' 
tinuance ofthe cosmic order and the prosperity oftlie community. 


"The univcEsc is the BwhmiusV says the Code of Mann* 
for the fifahmin is entitled to the universe by his superiority 
and bis binh/“® ThercfotCi the priesthood m Vedte India 
usurped the poiition previously held hy the saerd kingship in 
the supreme control of the fortunes of heaven and earth, of the 
gods and tneo, and of the State, As rtusters of the aU^ustaining 
sacrifice they wine able to bring within their sphere of absolute 
jurisdiction every aspect of creative supernatural power. This 
was fadliiated by the conception of a single cosmic divine 
principle^ rt^r beyond the gods governing alike the mundane 
and transcendental ciders and associated particularly with 
Vanjna/theKingofHeavenp and subsequently with Shiva and 
his consorts and with Agni* the Lord of sacrifice. Consequently* 
it only required this fundamental principle (r;*i) to he made 
subject to the contioi of the Erahmanic ritual technique as the 
Vomb of rtS^^ to esubUsh the complete supremacy of the 
priestly offering and all that thiE implied. Every part of the altai 
was identified with some part of the universe and the god who 
was responsible for in The sacrilicer in becoming the sacrifice 
w"as united with the universe in all its parts resolved into a unity 
and sustained by a cosmic offering in which the body of the 
Creator in Iiis several Ibrnu and attributes was broken anew 
and restored for the conicrvatlon of the world. 

fly making Lima, whose name signiffes ^light*, the daughter 
of Agni she was brought into the closest teladonship with the 
god (Agni) whose abode was in the eternal light and who was 
the first prindptc of all things*^* Like him* she too made 
women to conceive and all the &uit 5 of the earth to spring up 
and grow.^* Tha^efore, when she fuse appealed in the last 
pmod of the Brahmana te^tts and in the later Puranas* she had 
become the fetnini ne expression of the chatacter both of Agni 
and Shiva» creative and destructive. She was the author and 
giver of life seated in her temple on the summit of a mounmin 
adored by Shiva* Agni* Vishnu* Brahma and India* with the 
sun (Surya) and the moon (Candra) in dieir chariocs above 
her.®* But she w^as equally potent as the terrible foe of the 
demons* anacking the Daltyas with her three h^ds and twenty 


tt<tn mi bliss 

amw, sUying them in enormous numbers. Even in the Vaislv 
nivite Mahabharata she is represented sitting enthroned beside 
her husband (Shiva), while Ambtka, *the good mother*, is 
identified with her in the familiar role of the sister of the God of 
fertihry. Uma, in short, is the exact counretpan of Shiva, with 
her many names and &rms and funedons as the Goddess of life 
and death, 

yishru end 

Tlie wife of Vishnu was Lakshmr or Sci, who oiigiiially was 
an Aryan deity, the Indian eotmterpart of the Latin Ceres, 
and, clicrefore, connected wtth the liarvcit or corn, as well as 
with beauty, pleasure, wealth, well^^bcmg and victory. But in 
her associarion with Vishnu she too appears to have been 
indigenous and privAiyan:®^ Vishnu, in fact, like Sliiva, was 
himsclT a composite figure, being a combinariotj of the 
Diavidi^ Sky/god and the Aryan Snn^otL’* In the Rig^ 
veda he is only mentioned in six bymns, bur in the firahmanas 
he wmes into greater prominence by being idendfrcd with 
sacrtfice ajid all tltat this involved and implied in the cotitrol 
of the vital processes in heaven and on earth,** By the fourth 
ccniiiry at the end of the V edic period the name Naiayana 

('moving in the waras’) had been applied to him, and the 
god Vasudcs'a, the celesdal father of Krishna, originally proh' 
ably a non^Aiyan divinity in the norths west,** was regarded 
as his incarnation, together with the ‘Man/Uon’ Narasimha, 
Nevertheless, he did not rival Shiva in the Brahmanas, and it 
was not uDdl the gjcai Mahabharata epic was composed in its 
present form from the second centuty fl,c, to the second 
century A.D. that the Vaishnavile Cultus became a cential 
fearurc in the Bhakti devotional movement and Vishnu the 
most popular Hindu deiry. The Mahabharata, it is true, may 
go back at least to 400 B,c. in iq earliest forms, but it was not 
uniil the beginning of the second century s.c. char Krishna 
became like Rama, one of his amtan, or'descents’, and assumed 
the status of an tWii, occup^ng an intcrmediaic position 
bctw'cen the Absolute and his projeacd avstsr, who was 


viruuUy 1 divine king (i,c. 4 man^gtsd) concerned with the 
renewal of the world and iu processet and with the matcEu] 
and spirituJ well-being of mankind. Thus, Krishna waj 
almost indistinguiiliable froin a ‘personal saviour', while 
Vishnu was the 'preserver' of all things.* * 

In popular belief Vishnu is thought to sleep for four months, 
from the eleventh to the bright half of the month AiarlLfJune- 
July) until the correspanding period in the month Karttik 
(October-November), During this time demons are abroad 
and yegcution is in a state of decline. To contract marriages 
in this season of the year is inauspicious, being liable to become 
devoid of issue and to attacks by the rampant forces of evd. At 
the commencement of the sugar-cane liarvesi in the noith 
figures of Vishnu and liis wife Lakshmi arc painted on a 
wooden board on which offerings are placed. A fut-sacriiice 
is oEfcied and five sugar-canes are tied together at the top of a 
board. The mill is then marked vvith red paint and lamps are 
lighted upon it, Vishnu is thereupon awakened with an 
incantation and called upon to arise because 'the clouds are 
dispersed, the full moon Wi soon appear in perfect brightness*. 
Fresh fruits of the season are offer^ to him and the harvest 
burins with mirth, revelry and dancing.** Thus, the Vaish- 
navite cultus is brought into line with the seasonal vegetation 

The consort of Vishnu, Lakshmi, who according to the 
Ramayana came forth at the clrurning of the primeval ocean, 
or was bom from a lotus on the for^ead of Vishnu, unlike 
Uma and Kali, had only a vague and shadowy penonality, 
being litdc more than a reflex of her husband. Origmally, 
however, she appears to have bwn an independent goddess 
who was subsequently made over to Vishnu. She was also the 
wife of Ptajapariand of Dlurma, the son of the Sun-god Kam. 
Indeed, she appeared in as many guises as her spouse chose to 
assume, so that when he was reborn as Ratna she was Sita; 
when he was incarnated in Krishna she was Rukminl She 
appeared as divine when he took a celestial form and as a 
mortal when he became mortal.*^ 


irjji lti£si 

^■Ticn, like Af>lui>dj[£, she rose glodous from a sea of tnjik 
churaed up by gfxls and demotis, she was greeted by i Iteavcnly 
choir and nymphs danced before her; the Ganges and other 
sacred riven followed her, and the heavenly elephants poured 
the waters upon her. The sea of milk presented her with a 
wreath of uiifolding dowers and the gods adorned her with 
omaments. Thus arrayed, she cast herself on die breast of 
Vishnu and ttclining thee as his wife slie gaicd upon the gods 
who were enraptured witli her. Having become die beloved of 
her spouse and removed a curse that had been placed on 
Indra, the sun shone with a new splendour.^’’ 

A nature myth of clouds and storms wtiuld seem to lie in 
the background of diis curious stoty with gods and demons 
engaged in a moitai combat found all over the world, before 
it was all^oriaed in terms of the liberation of the soul through 
die practice of asceticism. That Lakshmi wai the source of 
life which was covered alike by the gods and the demons is 
suggest^ in the Safapjiba Bfabtuina, where they are represented 
as sKking the pennission of Prajapau to kill her. Instead he 
advis^ them to take her gifts without depriving her of 
her bfe. Therefore, 'Agni took ha food; Soma, kingly 
authontyj Vatuna, impaial authority; Mitra, maitial energy; 
Indra, force; Btihaspad, priesdy glory; Savitri. dottunion; 
Pushan, splendour; Sarasvari, nounshment’.*® 

But she remained the model of constancy and wifely devo^ 
tion, and when Vishnu was mcamated as Kama of ha own 
will she sprang from the furrow as Sita, the pardon ofthc most 
faithful of wives, Neverthdess, she was essentially ‘the motha 
of the world, acrnal. impoishable'. As Vishnu was ‘alb 
pervading', so she was otnniprcsait. ‘He is meaning, she is 
speech; he is polity, she pnidencc. He undcisianding, and she 
intellect; he righteousness and she devorion. In a word Vishnu 
IS all that is called male and Lakshmi all that is termed female; 
there is nothing else tlian they.’« Her fint binh was as the 
daughter of Bhrigu and Khyad. It was at a subsequent period 
that she was produced from the sea at the churning of the 
ocean by the demons and the gods,^' But while the cult of die 


recnalc cGUHitfrpjjt of Shiva in its mdous Qn^mfesotioD^ 
pi^ommaicii in Saivismp in Vaishnavism Vishnu his it<talii^ 
hi5 siiprcniacy. L^nhmip notwithstanding her charm and 
beauty of charaacr in het vajJoui guisesj has been so iccom^ 
modating td her husband that sJie has never fulfilled the lolc 
of the active and virile Goddess to the same exiem is the 
Saxvite Sakd of a thousand namjcs^ the motha* of the universe, 
the reproducer, the destmettess; mild and benevolent^ fierce and 
cruel—Uma and Parvap, Duiga and Kali. 

md Safisu^i 

Similarly, Saa^ss^ati, the wife of the first of the three great 
Hindu deities^ Brahma the supreme pre/exiitent Creator who 
as Prajapad became the Lord of pioduction and the source of 
Lght and life;** was subordinate to her husband, though she 
was renowned as the Goddess of w^isdom and was known as 
the Mother of the Vedas'* In the Rig>vedat however, she is 
represented as a river-'goddess, though she is invoked for fruit-- 
fulness in other characteti, and once she is assciclated with a 
nvcT^godt Sarasvat.'*® Later she became the patrons of 
learning and literary accompltsbmentp rcpTCScntcd sitting on a 
lotus, gracefuJ in form and appearance and adorned with 
a Crescent on her bmw« But her name signifies ^thc watery one^ 
and in ancient Hindu tradition she was assigned to a river 
which now survives only as the dried bed of Hakra in Rajput 
tana where a number of prehistoric sites Iiave been discovered 
by Sir Aurcl Sidn^ In the Vedic Age it was the holy stream 
piie ^xcillencft and its disappearance is memioned in the 

Consequently, the goddess whose 
name it bore must have been of conilderabk antiquity, and its 
sacred waters iosdnet with tlie divinity she cunfated upon 
them were to the early Hindus what the Canges has 
become to their descendants.®^ Thus* in die Rig-vcda 
they were said to 'purify with butter*, to 'hear away defile^ 
mcnt so that those who bathe therein 'come out of them 
pure and cleansed^ Indeed, they were declared to ’possess 
excellent power and immottalit)': ye arc the nustiesscs of 

110 Iran iitti InJiit 

wcaltK And progeny; may Saruvati b«iow this vitality on her 

That she was pTunaiily a nvcr.’goddeu is dear from die 
numerous rererences to her in this capacity in the Vcdic Jiymns 
and the Bralimanas in connexion with the saeriGcei offered on 
the banks of the river, and with her reputation for sanctity 
throughout the region westward of the Jumna river.®* It was 
she who was regarded as the patroness the ceremonies 
celebrated at the holy stream, and who was identified with the 
hymns song at them as an essentia) pan of the "uttered titeV In 
the later mythology she became the daughier of Brahma and 
under various names his spouse, like most Mother<>god{lessi:s, 
the One Being dividing himself into a duality of male and 
female, husband and Among the Vaishna vas offienga) 

she was also one of the wives of Vishnu, but when 
disagreed he nansfrned her to Brahma and Ma Ganga to 
Shiva, conteniing himself with Lakshmi as his sole spouse. 
But in the main tradition she was originally betrothed to 
Btahnu and was a goddess of wisdom and doc^uence invoked 
as a Muse. In the Mababharata slie is described as die ‘mother 
of the Vedas',®* and in the Brabmanas as the wile of Indra, 
containing in him&df all worlds.*' 

Brahma abo is accredited with a second wife Cayaiti in the 
SiMnda Purtna as a result of the refusal of Sarasvaxi to assist at 
the offering of a sacrifice at Pusbk ara, apparently for rhe 
purpose of obtaining rain. Her presence being essential for the 
due performance of the rice, Brahma in auger and despair 
commanded Indra to procure liim a wife from somewhere. 
Seeing a pung and beauciful milkmaid, Gayairi, carrying a 
jar of buncr, he brought her to the assembled gods and holy 
sages to espouse her to Bralima. When the maid had been 
adorned with costly omameiiis and seated in the bower of the 
bride while the priests ofTcred the sacrifice, Sarasvari arrived, 
accompanied by the wives of Vishnu, Rud^ and of the other 
gods. Loudly she protested against the 'shameful act’ whereby 
she had ban rejected as the wedded wife of the Supreme Cod 
and cuned all concerned in the betrayal Brahma should never 



he worshipped in i temple except on one day in the year, she 
decreed; indra should be bcmid in chains ^nA confined to a 
srrang^ counxry; Vishnu, who gave Cayaiti in ntaiTiage to 
Brahma, should be bom amongst meo as the humble keeper 
of cattle; Rudra should be deprived of his manhood: Agni 
should be a devourer of all things; wMe the priests and 
Brahmins hencetbrth should perform saciifioe solely to obtain 
gifts. Cayatn then miadiiied the curses, promising blessings 
and the final absorpdon into Brahma to all hii worshippers. 
Vishnu and l_akahmi, however, induced Sarasvaei to return 
and at her own icquHt both she and Cayatti were to be 
attached to Brabma as his joint wives. 

According to the later PaJma Purana^ to this union Gayatri 
agreed, declaiing ^thy orders will 1 always obey, and esteem thy 
friendship precious as my life. Thy daughter am I, O God^ 
dess* Deign to protect mel* Hence in its mythological guise rhe 
title Samvati Gayatri was applied to the consort of Brahma. 
But before she acquired her later creadvt quaiides of learning, 
language and invendon as the patroness of the arts, thetoric and 
knowiedge—the Goddess of speech and wisdom—she was 
primarily a river ddty, the pcrtomflECadon of the fcrdlizing 
Waters of the itJtam that bore her name, brought into nupdal 
relation with the Creator of the universe, Brahma. When 
eventually he became the one impersonal self existent Being 
(i^c. the neuter Brahman) out of which all things, itiduding 
the Creator and his cotisorts, were evolved, the penona] 
Brahma (masculine) was the producer and insdgator of the 
phenomenal order, united in the Hindu Tri^murti with dicir 
female counterparts. 

DymiS Pitar and Pritkivi 

TThus, besides the three great gods the oldest and chief among 
the Vedic deities, Dyaus Piiar* the Sky^fathcr* going bade in 
the Indo/Euiopean period and identical with the Greek Zeus 
and the Latin Juppiter, has been paired with Prithivi, the 
Eatth-'mocher, in the compound Dyavaprithivi, the uni versa! 
parents of the godi and mankind.*** Among the gods he is 


Imti itttd /ndifii 

repmmtcd as die Ikther of Ushu, dieCoddas ofDiwii. who 
rues perpetually tn the east clad b a garment of light and 
exhibits her youthful graces. Night is her sister, and the sun 
her lover, though because she precedes him she is also said to 
be his mother. She u never, however, described as m amed to 
the SuDogod, though he always continues to pursue her. In die 
Rig.'veda the original divine pair, Dyaus Piur (Sky) and 
Prithivi (Eaith), were fashioned from tlic primevat cosmic 
waieis, appaiently by the god Tvashtii, die Hindu Vulcan, 
and from them India was born.*® Gradually he supetseded 
his faiber as die cliam pion of the gods against Viitra and his 
consorts, and forcing heaven and earth apart be nlcased the 
cosmic waters and gave birth to the sun. The demons were 
then relegated to the nctbci regions.*" 

Nevertheless, although Dyaus laded inio the back^nund be 
and his consort Ptithivi condoued ro be represented in the 
Vedas as the progenitots of the gods and the beneficent Father 
and the mi^ty Mother of all creatures,*^ Their funedons, 
however, did not advance beyond the idea of patemity and 
^cmity—Dyaus being the bull fertilizing the earth (Prithivi) 
in the manner commonly adopted by male and fetn^e deides 
in the Ancient East. Therdbrc; it was the marriage of Heaven 
and Earth rather than their personifications that was empha' 
sized in the texts, iirapective of the particular divine beings 
concerned in rhe union. It sufficed that 'the gods brought the 
two. Heaven and Earth, together and pcrforaied a wedding of 
the gods’.*® But while the original pair, Dyaus and Prithivi, 
were superseded by India when he was said to have produced 
heaven and earth, not to mention the venerable Varnna as 
the all-encompassing heavens, they were invoked at the fisdvals 
with offcruigs as the prolific paresis who made all creatures, 
and thiough whose favours immortality has been conferred on 
thdi offspring. *■* 

It is not iinprobable that India Came (o occupy a posidon 
in the iradidon of the more ancient Indo-European divinity, 
Dyaus, and that as bis consort Prithivi retained many of the 
attributes and functions of the Earth-mother, it was she rather 

IttJia ] f 3 

than her huiband who was the chief object of devotion in the 
cultus. Oyaus is not mentioned in ali the hymns celebrating 
Heaven and Earth,*® and often Heaven and Earth arc called 
the 'two mothns’. even when Dyaus is one of them. Thus, the 
Earth is besought to be ‘kindly, full of dwdlingl and painless', 
and to give protection.** The dead are crehortod to *gp into 
kindly mother card] who will be "wooUsofi like a maiden" 
Similarly, Aditi, the mother of Vanina, is also an ancient 
Vedre deity akin to the Mother^goddess whn in the Rig^^veda is 
supplicated for blessings on children and cattle,*'* and some# 
times equated with Prkhivi as the protectress of the earth,** 
But the Earth being regarded as the common womb of all 
existenoes the goddess who personifies it cannot be contained 
in a single figuie. She is 'what has been born, and what will 
be bom‘,’“ very much as the various manifestations of waicrin 
the form of rivets, sueams, springs, clouds and rain have been 
conceived as the substrarum of life and fecundity with which 
fertility vegeuiion goddesses have tended to be identified. 

Tbt FtWajf Cftidlrrre/ 

Therefore, the worship of the Earth and its lutilMng waters 
has assumed many forms, the cult having become universal in 
India. It is not surprising that its pdndpa] petsonificaiion, 
Prithivi, should have been made die consort of the most ancient 
Sky#god Dyaus Pitar, and though she and her husband were 
eclipsed by the more popular and iminiate sectarian figures— 
Shiva and Uma; Parvau, Ourga and Kali; Vishnu and 
Lakshmi; Rama and Sita; and even Brahma and Satasvati— 
the sanctity of the Earth has remained a fundamental belief 
throughout India for all time, and around it the Goddess cult 
has found its several modes of expression. Thus, in every village 
the Mothcr#godde$£ is represented as the tutelary deity (jnmta 
ieveia) under various names, such as Mata, Amba, Amma, 
Kali, Rati and so on; lomedmes dreaded, sometimes protective, 
warding off evil influences and imparting fertility by virtue of 
her Iifc#giving energies (rolcAf). Usually a male partner is asso# 
ciated with her, but as his funciiorts on the whole are less 

Irmi md InHa 


onerous he tends lu play a more passive rale, rclegatijig to his 
female counterparts (nc. die female half of his nature) the 
conttol of traiural forces and potendalitics m relation to the 
sttpcmatutal order. (Therefore, in spite of the fact diat in 
Brahmanism where the highest condition of Bclf'cxistcni Being 
(Brahma) is quiescent irtaaivjty^ goddesses inevitably are at a 
discount except as the persomHcatioii of abstract qualities of 
maternal energy, in Saktism (notably in Saivisni) and in the 
popular village ailtus the female principle is worshipped not 
only symbolically but in die person of a goddess and her human 

Thus, the cult of di e divine Matiis or Mothers is one of the 
most outstanding features of Hindu ruraJ commu rudest in the 
north under the name of Mata or Amba^ in die soudi under 
that of Airum or Ankamma. Each village has its own local 
goddess^ and practically all the people except the firalunins 
join aedvely in the Sacrtliccs and die atfendant rices held in her 
honour and to sccuic her good ofEces, particularly when 
cholera* smallpox and other scourges are rampant- Being at 
once propitious and malevolent she can either protea or 
datroy* and so it bdioves those who hve within her "sphere of 
influence* not to neglect her worship or offend her in any way* 
lest instead of securing their welhbdng she brings upoti them 
disease and deadi, drought and sterility* and all the ills to 
which flesh js hem Indeed, ^dic Mothers* are more dreaded 
chan loved, though some of them are pri manly bcneficcnti as* 
for example* Dbartii Mai who sustains all life and represents 
a continuation of the Vedic worship of die Earth^mother* 
Ptitbivi and Ma Gang^.j 

Shashthi, the ‘Sixth Mother^ is the guardian of die home in 
the United Provinces presiding over childbirth* ptotecung 
infants and manied women in their various avocaiions. 
Theretbre* she is worshipped by mocheis arrayed in their best 
auirc with all their ornaments at least six dmes a year, and 
every month when they have a Icksc child. To the sinall stone 
which is her emblem in the shrine under a banyatvtcee they 
bring dieii offerings. These are blessed by the offciaittig priest^ 

Miff iij 

and alicr they have been presented lo the gndde» they are then 
given either to him or m women desiring a child who eagerly 
receive them, vowing to nuke similar ofTctings every year if the 
goddess bestows this blessing upon them. On the sixth day 
after birth, when an inlant is especially liable to contract 
lock-jaw, figures of the goddess arc drawn on the wall and 
the father performs the appointed rites at the shiine. On the 
twenty .-first day, when the danger is over, if all has been well 
the rnodicr makes a thank^^ofieting, placing garlands on the 
Slone. Should she be unable to visit tiie shrine a branch of the 
banyan<iTee is taken to her house and the ceremomes arc 
performed there before it. 

As a village goddess MothcT'^cartli is generally aniconic and 
her shrine often is in charge of women, or of a nati^Brahminic 
priest drawn fiom one of die pre^Aryan tribes. Jn this capacity 
as Motherveatth she is le^irdcd as beneficent, beiag the up*- 
holder of human, animal and vegetable life omnipresent in the 
ground with which she is equated, as in the Rig.-veda where 
she is the petsorufied 'furrow’, and later a godiing of die 
ploughed field. In the Ramayana Sita is a inanifcstaiion of 
Mother-earth having risen ftom the furrow which her adopted 
father Janaka was ploughing. Stmilarly, Balarama, 'Rama the 
strong', the ai/alfft of the chihonic serpent Sesha or Anatita, 
appears to have been an andent agricultural deity who presided 
over the tillage of the soil and the harvest,'*^ His weapon is die 
ploughshare with which he cuts down his wile to suft his 
stature, v^ much as Anar treated Mot as the reaped grain in 
the Ugatidc mydi.^s Therefore, like the Goddess, be had his 
imistct side, annihilaung hh enemies by the glances of his eye 
when he was filled with wine. 

The village ‘Mothers’, in faa, invariably assume a malignam 
charaacr and are very £Sir from maternal in thdr ways and 
works. Thus, in Cujerat among the 140 Crama-devata wor¬ 
shipped ftxim time immemorial all are said to delight in blood 
and to be the cause' of sickness and death when it is not 
presented to them by the sacrifice of goats, swine and cocks. 
One requires no less than three or Hbur thousand kids annually 


hofi fl/fj 

to kerp her from her jnischievous aiucks on the vilkgm. The 
oothreak of cholera or smallpox is attributed to an aiigiy 
Mother, as is whooping^ough and the various symptomi of 
demoniacal possession* such as cpilcpsjr. hysteria, delirium, 
convulsions and fever.^* Smallpox^ in ts assigned to a 
special divine Mother under difFcrent names all over India* In 
the Nonhem Provmccs she is called Simla Devi* 'she who 
makes Cool*, a euphemistic title based on the high fevet that is 
die customary lymptom of the disease. Among her other 
names (e.g. Mata* *Mothcf*j Maiaji, 'Honourable Mother*; 
Maha Md, ^thc Great Mother") 'mata'' mcanitig ^Mother*, and 
smallpox is usually included* since she is the goddess who at 
one and the same time prevenEs* produces and petsonifies the 

The Pods regard her as dicir chief deity, and in the Central 
Provinces she is worshipped under die form of itidcnted stones 
pbeed beneath a medicinal Nim^tree* alleged to have the 
powei of curing lepers. In the Punjab her abode is a Kikar^ 
tree* the roots of which are watered by women to cool ihose 
who arc tulTeiing from smallpox. In the Maiatha districts an 
image of the goddess is bathed tn water mixed with Nim 
leaves, and sprinkled on the padeni. On his or her recovery 
rice and curds are oReied m her* and chicken and goats arc 
sacrificed^ Cosdy silver images sometimes arc among the votive 
oflerings to Sitala to lecorc recovery without loss of sight or 
disfigurement.^'^ Utde respect is paid to her by men* however* 
except daring epidemics. 

In Southern India in the Tamil country sItc is known as 
Mari Amma. 'the destroying Mother", and in the Tclugu 
region as Poletamma* Her shrines of mud and stones usually 
arc outside the village, often on the tide of a reservoir* and 
contain merely an upright stone as the image of dhe Goddm. 
When smallpox occurs cactus is placed outride die house of 
the viciiin in the hope that the Goddess will think the place is 
uninhabited. Then a sheep oi buffalo is tied to the bed on 
which the rick man is lying and subsequently sacdCced outride 
the village. On the decapitated head of the animal pots of food 



a:c left outside the l>ouiidahc& to k«p PolcrainmA at bay. If 
this docs not ptOYC to be efficacious and the disease hecotties an 
epidemic a more elaborate rke (jeVare) Is performed after Ibod 
and butter milk have been coUeacd from each house in the 
village^ and the legend of Potrramma recited describing her 
powers and the need to placate her. The fourth of in anna* 
some turmeric^ charcoal and rice arc placed in a new pot which 
is carried in procession through the village on the first day of 
the festival to the accompanimem of the beating of drums. 
Offerings of food are made at the house of the dead man of the 
shepherd caste. The various vows to the Goddess aie then 
publicly announced and mote food is collected from the 
houses. The procession goes to the temple of Poleramma ou^ 
side the village^ where the image of the Mother is bathed and 
beftire it are placed the pot of food and other offerings. The 
royal staff and snakeV bloody having been kept in water all night, 
arc earned to the temple after the sheep has been sacrificed and 
placed beside Poleramma,. On the nesci two days the process 
sions arc resumed, and in the afternoon of the diird day food is 
cooked, offered to the goddess and eaten by the villagers amid 
menyyinaking and a procession of gaily decorated carts and 
oxen round the temple. On the fourth and last day the 
principal event is the decapitation of a buffalo after the sioiy^ 
tellers have worked up the people to a great state of excitement, 
the licad being placed bdbie Poleramim to propitiate hct.^^ 

An almost ideitdcal rite is held for the same purpose in 
coujuncuon with the Great Mother Peddamma in the Tetugu 
country^ and with Aokamma, the Goddess of cholera, in the 
same districtShe too is represetued by a stone image in a 
temple outside the village^ and Is the recipient of sheep and 
buffaloes amid wild dindug, drumming and hom-'blowing. 
Tim too iticludcs the impaling of live animals on stakeSp the 
goddess being supposed to be propitiated by dm terrible 
suffering and shedding of blood. Food b then pouted out 
before Ankamma and the festival closet with the usual 
procession of carts round the temple. 

Muneyalammap whose main concern b typhoid fever* though 

IrjH tmi India 


ihc u alio 3 i3in'g<Kldc$Sf lus an almost idcnticat tutius centred 
in the bufl^D sacriHcc, while DDli Pnlait ii a village and housc<- 
hold Mother who betiows prospcitty on the farm and the herd. 
To renew thdr marruge a wife remover her firli iottus (marriage 
symbol), and her husband ucs ii again round her neck with 
a new soring. Tlien they eat together and wontiip Dilli PoUsi. 
As a public cult a group oflainiljcs assemble, the bead of one 
of them acting as priest. A sheep is sacrificed and tlten they go 
to the water and trace a panem on the pound with 

lime or ricc^flour. Ropes and pots are taken from the water and 
carried in procession through the village. On reaching the 
house another sheep is sacrificed to drive away evil spirits 
before they cnicr to pay their lespecis to the image of the 
goddess and listtari to the storyteller, who recites legends in the 
tradirional manner. Her sister Bangaramma, 'the golden one', 
of the Madigas ouicastes, is treated to much the same way as 
Polcramma and the oilier goddesses who have jatara ofTcred to 
them with the buffalo taeiifice as the central observance, during 
the course of which the caste people are violently abused. 

The special Madigas goddess, however, is Mathamma, who 
is greatly feared by all seciiont of the com mu nicy. Her festival 
(_fii/ffrtf) follows the normal pattnn, concluding with the cutting 
off of die head of a fowl and brushing away all the sacred marks 
on the image in order m remove all traces of the evil 

proceeding from Mathamma. Her spirit is believed to possess 
an unnumed girl who henceforth becomes die Matangi in 
whom ^lathamma is incarnate. Having been duly initiated by 
a Brahmin info her office and status, the rushes about ecstatic 
cdly, spitting on all and sundry regardless of caste, touching 
cm with her stick to puige them from nncleanness, uneiing 
wild cries, ptaphecies and abuses, and using obscene language, 
Atiaycd in a netkbee of cowry shells, her free painted with 
turmeric powder, she walks behind the master of the cercmoiiics, 
continuing her invective and humiliations in the houses of the 
rahtmns, ^“Ugh only a few Btaboiin families now acknow^ 
Jtdge her allegiance* 

The origins of the supremacy of the Matangi is obseme, but 

from the numerous Dfavidiin legends concerning her it would 
sera that the Bralimios only reluctantly idopted the aboriginaj 
culms since most of the stories desettbt how it imposed 
upon them by dire nreraiity after they had refused to worship 
the embodiment of the Goddess Mathiiinma, didr refusal 
luving brought upon them all kinds of woes; Mathamma 
being icptesemcd as a powerful demon as well as a bestower 
oflifc^vingand purifying qualities, Thcrcrorc, her much and 
saliva arc eagerly snughtp but the Btahmin household is anrious 
m be rid of her as speedily as possible. 

This dual nature of the Moiher^ciddcsses is a charactcrisric 
feature of the cult everywhere. As Whitehead says^ to the 
peasant of South India they arc ndther ej^elusivcly evil spirits 
nor unmixed bentractors. They are rather looked upon as 
beings of uncertain temper^ very human in their iiahility to 
take offence,®’® When they eauK trouble, as they are wont to 
do, they are greatly feared and have to be promptly propidated 
and adcquatdy worsliippcd. Even the deadly and dreaded 
serpent, so prolific attd venomous throughout Tndij ^ vencr^ 
ated as well as propitiated, partly on account of the widespread 
belief in its periodic rejuvenescence by the renewal ofiu skin.®^ 
Thus* in Bengal, Manasa, the Snalte^mothcr, has her four 
festivals, at three of w^hich she is ttpresented by her sacred 
Euphotbia- 4 ree, having the power of repelling snak<s planted 
in the couri/yard of the house where the fciriva! k held. TJiis 
emblem of her, or a pan of water surrounded by clay images 
of makes, is worship^- Sheep, goats, buftiloes and pig^ arc 
offered to her, tog^cr with rice and milk, to prevent her 
wreaking vengeance by sending deadly serpents* particulaily 
the cobra, to ihc houses of the peopici On Eebruary 5th the 
festival known as Nagapanchami k held, and figures of 
snakes are then painted on the walls of the houses* but no 
image of the goddess usually is made apart from her symbol 
(the Euphorbia-'tree, the pan of water, or an earthen scrpcmji. 
As queen of the snakes she is the siscer of Vasuki* king of the 
Nagas who upholds the world, and wife of a sage naiiiKl 
Jaraikam. One of the Naga kings, Sesha, a chthonic snake 


hm hdiii 

with a thou^nd hcads^ i$ JTCpresrfnifd ^ ^mdng ^ 2 hcd to 
Vi&linu. Above him Shiv^ Is snted on the JialT^mocint 
below in the lower coil Vishnu redliics inended by Latshmi* 
while fir^uu springs from a locus in the centre. Sesha^ how^ 
ever, before he waf incorpor^ed in the Hindu Triad was a 
god of harvest and \bc plotigh-'bcarcr", who presided over the 
irt^therlng and the tillage of the soil^ armed with a plough^ 
sharc;^* hence his surname, Hdkhimt. As an agricuku^ deity 
he fulhUcd the normal function of the serpetiE in its fciulky 
aspect in the Goddess cult h is this undicrlying motive that 
made the Snake^moditr baicficcnt in spite of her venomous 

The Fmji Mj^ibers 

The Forest Moihcn, on the other hand, uuiike the Village 
Mothers, not being connected with the agricultural stage in the 
devdopment of dvtiitauoint ate not propitiaied with animal 
sacrifice. All that is required by way of recognition is for the 
passcfi^by to add a stick pt a stone to the heap that marks the 
abode of the goddess^ ^n the Rig^veda the Jungle goddess 
Aranyam is invoked as the ^Mother of Beasts' and represented 
the forest as a whole*abounding in food without tillage^ and 
in weird and uncaimy sounds heard in its numinous soliiudep 
In Northern India, where she is known a$ Vanaspatti in the 
form of Ban sapti Ma, "Mistress of the wood", she is kept under 
control by flinging a stoue or a branch on her cairn as a tribute 
to her dreaded presence^®* SomedmeSp however, a cock or goat 
or a youi^ pig may be olfcred to bcT by village herdsmen who 
graate their herds in the forest* and with the sptead of agricuh 
rural condinons Forest Morthers tend to acquire mote and more 
the characteriscici of the Village Mothers, Thus, among the 
Paniyans* a forest tribe, a goddess Kad Bhagavari (who also * 
occuti as a sexless deity called Kuli) is a malignant and terrible 
being dwelling in a stone* a cairn or a tree,^* resembling in its 
^ntstcr features the fiercer types of Dravidian godlings. 
jj^n their earliest forms all these Mothers ate local manifesta^ 
dons of either the Harth^ddess, beneficent* malevolent or 

12 f 

chthonic, or of other aspem offotiUty and lutural phenometu. 
in their benign or siniuer activities. As they have become more 
specialized m their functions, from being agents of fccimiiity 
in eetic^ have been associated with particular diseases 
and cpJdenucs (e-g. smallpox and cholera^ and practices 
(dandtig, possession, etc.) undl when they have been adopted 
by Brahmanic idinduism they have lost their earlier local 
character In their original Diavidun culm;. As great goddesses 
they have developed a universal significance with unlimited 
spheres of acdon and influence. Nevertheless, in the Vedas 
they aje subordinate to their male parmers, until with the 
reinsurgence of the protohistonc agricultural civilization the 
Goddess cull again has come into greater prominence as a 
result of the rise of the Bhaktt icetanan movement, notably 
m Saivism and Vaishnavism. Among the Dravidian tribes in 
the South they have survived little changed throughout the ages. 

Tb( Sacred Marrit^ 

That the sacred marriage has been practised by many of these 
tribes both in the north and the south is shown by the periodic 
union of the Eaith^goddess with her partner, as, for example, 
among the Kharwata of Chota Nagpur, who every third year 
celebrate the nuptials of MuchaJt Rani (the Earth^motherl. A 
small stone painted with red pigment is brought out of a cave 
and dressed in wedding garments. It Is then carried on a litter 
to a saared tree, whence it is conveyed in procession (o an 
^jacent hill, where the bridegroom is thought to reside. There 
it is thrown Into a chasm in which an undeigtound paautge is 
believed to communicaie with the cave fiom which the stone 
has been uken, and through which it is supposed to return for 
the repetition of the dtes iliree yean bter.®* The Oraons in the 
Ranchi and Palamau districts in the province of Bengal and 
the Orissa States celebrate the ritual marriage of the head of 
their pantheon, Dharmi, the source of hfe and light, with the 
Eareh/goddess at the Rhaddi festival held annually in the 
spring when the sacred se/'tiee begins to blossom. The ptiest 
and bis wife with some of the villagcn repair to a grove 

hdii and hdis 


occupied hy i spirit Kalo F^kko^ identified for die otcaiion 
with Dhani Mata, Mothcr-^aith. After sacrificing a fowl and 
orTcring dee and flowers^ he applies oil and venBilipn to the 
iiwts of a id/^e, and hy tying a cord round the trunk unites 
the Earth-'goddess to himself in the capadty of Dharmi 
Daubing liis own forehead, cars, arms and breast witli ibe red 
pigment, he ucrificcs another fowl and exclaims, Kala 
Pakko, may there he abundance of rain and fruitfulness in our 
houses and fieldsf After further sacrifice of fbwU to evil spirits 
a uiarriagc feast is held with the customary carousing. In die 
evening the pncit is carried back to his bouse where his wifr 
meets him and washes his feet. The next morning he goes 
rutind the village, his fret again being washed by die women 
at the door of each house and an offering is made to him of 
rice and money. After he has danced with die women they 
throw water over him, and he gives them jTd/^flowers to put in 
their hair* His assistaiii throws waii!j on every roof of the houses 
visited^ Some of which is taken inside to bring prosperity. 
Feasting, meny-^making, dancing and the ringiiig of obscene 
songs amid general licence brings the proceedings to an encL®^ 
In the United ProvinceSp Bansapti. die Forest'^modicrp is 
married to Gaiisam (Bansgopal), the phallic deny who is 
represented by a mud^pillar in the form of a while 

in Khandesh during a ceremony lamng seven days ihe marriage 
of die Goddess Ranubai is performed, together with the invest 
utute with the sacrexi thread of an image of her made of 

The DravJdian Malayalis m the Salem district marry their 
god Sevara)^ to a goddess of the Canvciy river every year in 
May. The emblems of the two deities are placed in two cliariots 
bedecked with flowers. |ewcli and tapestries amid umbrellas 
taken in procession to the temple on Canvery 
t the people throwing fruit, nuts and coco^nut w^ater after 
e cars. Incantations are rcdied by the priest, and when die 
nuptials have been completed the procession re-forms and 
marches down the hill, baking at cairns erected for the purpose 
to enable the deities to invoke a blessing on the villas and 

htdiil lij 

their ifihabiunts to secure thdr prorperity.In the Rajshabi 
distric[ of Bengal the Sun is luamed to Chh^tmati, the Sixth 
Day Mother* and a male image is wedded to Koila Alata^ a 
Mothcr^goddess of Bhhar, when a well is dug.“^ At the 
beginning of the ploughing season in Central India the Bhds 
at die Akhdj festival maxty two wooden images repiesentiiig 
the deidcs who enmro] the rains^ and throw them into a stream 
when the rains come.®* 

Although the conception of the Motlner^oddcss, derived 
mainly from dm of the Eardi-^moiher^ is such an outstanding 
feature m the Dravidian cuUus in the souih^^ and a hardly lets 
important dement In dut of the Northern and Central tribes, 
the sacred marriage seems to Jiave heen developed mainly under 
Brahmanic influence. Thus, in die Earoda State of Bengal the 
Goddess Tulasi^ die impersonadon of the sacred Tulsi plants 
is married to Vishnu,®^ and in Kachiaw^ar* in the peninsula of 
Cujarar on the west coasts it is married by Hindus to the 
ammonite in die Gir forest near Una* where Krislma 
is believed to have ravished TulasI and was liimself changed 
intn the stone by her,®'* In die Bljaput district the mamage of 
the Goddess Parvati with Sangameshvari the God of the sacred 
river, on the banks of which the Saivitc temple is erected with 
its numerous lin^a and images of Shiva, and Jain figures, 
is celebrated annually on January ladi. A local Brahmin 
officiates as die bridegroom* and a priestess as the bride. The 
ceremony extends over four days and on the fifth day it 
concludes with a procession in which Sangamesbvar is carried 
in a car through the village*®^ very much as tn the Himalaya 
during the rainy season Parvari is solemnly mairied to Shiva 
at the Nandaslitami f«rival to promote the well-being of the 
crops*®® In the fourth compartmenr of the west porch of the 
Great Cave on the island of Elephanta (Gharapiiri)^ about 
six miles from Bombay* the marriage of Shiva and Parvari is 
depicted showing Parvati standing at the right of Sliiva 
adorned as a bride for her husband. At Iier left is a three^faced 
figure, apparendy aedng the pan of the priest in the miprial 
rite* The bridal pair are accompanied by Brahma^ Vishnu and 

Ir0t uttd Indiif 


Siurya, the Sun^god* the mtwher of the bride ind Saravsisti, the 
godded who hles$ei the uniofi^ as is sbovm in Cave XXIX of 
the group of Jaio and Buddhist Cave^emplcs at Ellora in tlic 
Deccan, coostrucied and occupied from the fifth to the tenth 
cenrurics Following this scene at Elcphanu tn the fifth 

comparunent on the south side of the ^istem porticn^ Shiva 
and Parvati arc represented seated together on a raised floors 
arrayed as in the other seuLpcuics with a female carrying a child 
standing behind the goddess; doubdess a nurse with Skanda^ 
the warrior son of Shiva- 

rfcf Cuh cf the Cm 

In all this kooi^gtapKy the emphasis is laid on die um^on of die 
primtv^ pair for the purpose of assuring the fertility of the soil 
and the increase of tnan and beast. In her beticvoletit aspect 
the close association of the Mothcr/goddess in India with the 
cow brings her info line with her counterpaits in the Fertile 
Crescent and Western Asia* Like Neith and Hathor in 
Egypt* Nin/Khunag in Mesopocamb* and Anat in Syria, 
Lakshmi and Parvart becainc equated with the divine cow as 
the Source of li& and fecundity* though this was a relatively 
late development in Brahmanic Hinduism. As w^e have seen* 
it was unknown in die Rjgi^veda in the second millennium 
and in the Harappa civilization in the previous miUcnnium 
cowworship has not been detected in spite of the faa that it 
seems to have arheti in the indigenous Dravidian culture. 

The first prohibidou of cown^kijling occurs in the compara^ 
tivdy late Aibarvawcda, a collection of hymns in which nom 
Aryan influences are apparent. In one of them Wiiajp who 
verily was dus universe in die beginning** is said to have come 
to gods men who milk fiom her the calf, the milker and 
the milking-^csscL *Manu son of Vivasvant was hex calf; earth 
was her vessel; her Prithu son of Vena milked; from her he 
milked both cultivaiion and gtain/**^ This conception of the 
Earth under the figuic of a tow was elaborated in a myth in 
the Puranas in which the Eanh, assuoring the form of a cow, 
was assailed by Prithu, soo of Vena, a saaal king who 

hiia 125 

endeavoured to recover its fruits when dicy had all perished* 
At length she yielded to him and undertook to fecundate the 
soil with her milk. He then ftattmed the surface, and having 
made the calf he milked the Earth far the beneKt cd' mankinds 
As a result com and vegetables have abounded evet since. 

Having attained this status the sancticy of the cow was such 
that every pan of her body was r^arded as divine and her hair 
inviolable. Even her excreta has become hallowed and cow 
dung is now regarded as the most stringrnt purifying agent 
in otistcncc* sancti^ng everything it touches and making 
siuneii. into saints* Therefore, 10 kill a cow is rhe most 
heinous crime and sin imaginable, and those guilty of this 
sacrilege arc doomed "to rest in hell for as many years as there 
are hairs on the body of the cow so slain*. For the Creator, 
Daltsha, having drunk a quanaty of necur, became elaicd andi 
from him an eructation proceeded that gave birth to a cow 
which he names Surabhi and who was his daughter. She 
brought forth a number of cows who became the mothers of 
the world; ‘the means of livelihood of all ersturs**^®^ Being 
the daughters of the heavenly Surabhi (^thc cow of plenty") who 
was created by Prajapad ftom his breath/”'* they are divine in 
origin, anribuies and funciion, and, therefore, the object of 
venetatimi and surrounded with an elaborate system of tabus. 
But although the cow became the centre of a peculiar svoiship 
with mantras and rites/requiring the devotees of Surabhi to 
subsist on the five products of the eow (milk, curds, ghi, dung 
and urine), to bathe and to use dung as prescribed, no Image 
has been used by Hindus in rhe cukus. 

All arc required annually to perform an act of worship in the 
cow-^house befnre a jar of water, while the more devout may 
throw Bowers daily at the feet of a cow alter bathing and 
feeding her with fiesh grass, saying: "O Bhagavati cat!" They 
then walk round her three or seven rimes, making obeisance. 
In the Central Provinces a ewemony called Maun Charaun 
(*che Silcnr tending of Canle*) is observed id commcmoiadon 
of Krishna feeding the cows in the pastures of Braj. Those 
caking part nsc at daybreak, bathc^ anoint themselves with oil 


Iran and Jndia 

ind lung garLinds of flowcn round their rucks, remjJning 
absolutely iflem throughout. They then gp to the pastmts, still 
in perfect idcnce, holding a. pcacocFs feather over their 
shouldcri to drive away demons. For several hours they renuio 
in silence with the cattle and then return home,^"** The fact 
that Krishna ii thought to have spent his early life among 
cowherds and become the lover of thde daughters, especially 
Kadha, has given an odour of sacredness to cows, Krishna 
being one of the greatest and most venerated of ie anatars 
among Hindus, 

Nevertheless, in spite of this ejctraordinary icvcrence now 
shown to cows, in the earlier Vedas the sacrifice of cattle to 
Indra, Vanina and other deities was enjoined, though it is 
said to liave been abhorrent to public opinion, suggesting that 
they were already r^arded as sacred animals by the non'Aryan 
population, as in Western Asia and the Fertile Cresccn^ It 
would seem diat the cult arose in India in die indigenous 
Dtavidian civilization when with the development of agricul' 
lure the cow as the source of milk needed for sustenance 
became essentially the emblem offcnility and general wd I-being 
hedged round with ubus. so that even in the Rig'vcda, doubt' 
^ under prc'Vedic influences, die epithet a^lmyax, *not to be 
• c to This was carried a stage funher 

in the Bralimanaj where die cadng of its flesh was prohibited, 
admitted that he ate it provided it ww 
tender. Indeed, as btc as the time of the Sutras and Epics 
It teaumed an ancient rite of hospitality tn offer to slay a cow 
for a gu«t. though in bet the gesture was steadfastly refused, 
*e giultlcB cow’ being the Goddess Aditi, the Eanh^mother. 

orm^ y owever, the Aryans both ate and sacrificed oxen 
quite freely. 

y ^^ 1 ^ the Vedk Indiam were meai<ateri and engaged in 
agriculture, like their predecessors they were primarily a 
pasio P^'^P * wiih milk and its products as a very important 
^ments m their ^pk dicL While the ox, the sheep and the 
gMt were killed for food, and, like the horse, as sacrificial 
vjcams, the cow acquired an increasing sanctity by virtue of 

In^'a 127 

its bang the source of the milk^yppl^p In Jndtylranian dmeg 
It wjis titmtcd With care and icspcct> milked three times dail^ 
and kept in a stall during the night and when the sun was at 
its height. Bulls and oxm used ihr ploughing fotili^ed the land 
by their droppings and so played thdr pan in the cukivaiion 
of the sail. 

^Thus» the bull became sacred to the noo^Vedic god Shiva, 
wKof as we have seen, bad a fertility s^nificanct inherited from 
his prototype Pasupaii, the Lord of Beasts, and the pamier of 
the Metber^oddess* In his Rudraic aspect he was connected 
with the Storm^od, who throughout the Ancient East has 
been associated with rhe Wcathar-'god and the Goddess cult. 
The worship of the bull wras a feature oftheHarappao dviliza^ 
don which in due course became a dominant element of non# 
Aryan origin in fiiahmanism. and the Icmalc figurines leave 
little room for doubt that the ver.cradon of the Goddess w as a 
prominent feature in the domestic life of the Indus cities. With 
these emblems of the maternal principle the bull and tlie 
were symbols of repioducuon embodied in Shiva, at once the 
Reproducer and the Destroyer. In due course every buU and 
every cow came to be regarded as embodying the spirit of 
fmtUty- Therefore, to destroy catde was to jeopaniize fecundity 
at its source and to bring disaster upon the froitr of the earth 
everywheat. Hence the tabu gradually imposed on cow^killing 
an Vcdic India which. In the last analysis, arose out of the 
Goddess cult in the pre#Aryan ludo^tranian culture. 


Crete and Greece 

A smiATiOK not unlike dui which obtained in India recurred 
in Greece and the Aegean, where an Ifido'Eufopcan cuIeus was 
supetimposed on dial of the Minoan^Myccnaean tradition tn 
wi^ch the Goddess was predominant^ Thus^ on the nutniand 
and the adjacent islands she was the piinclpai object of wQnhip 
in the Bronze Age« especially in Crete, Cyprus and the 
Pe!oponnese, where her emblems and adjuncts abounded^— 
those of the snake, dove, double axe» boms of cDnseciation, 
phalli and obcic female figurines, together with repicscntations 
of sacicd pillars, trees attd tnouncains on which oficn she is 
depicted as accompanied by wild and fantastic beasts and 
homed sacritidal victims. These cuh objects and scenes 
doubcedljf were for the most part of Asiatic origin and signii^ 
ficance, having passed from the Near East through Arutolii 
to the Eastern Mediterranean region, while others made their 
way from Egypt to the klandi and thence to the mainland. 
This, as we have seen, is very apparent in the Neolithic and 
ChaicolithJc statuettes and bas^eUds in the Troadp the 
Cyckdes, Cyprus, Crete, Thessaly and the Pclopormcse in 
the third millctmium B.c.J though the technique in some 
insrancts indicates independent development! and diffusions 
in the Eastern Mediterranean, Ncvettbeless* the Aegean was 
virtually an Anatolian province® which became an area of 
charaaerization of the Goddess cult before 3000 n.c. when 
Western Asiatie influences had penetrated to Crete. 


At Kcossos the flat liddle^haped figurines were peculiar to the 
Middle Neolithic period (r. 3500 BX,)| but the stumpy steaits^ 
pygous type continued to the last phase of the Neolithic, arid 
as Sit Arthur Evans says, in Crete it is impossible to dissociate 

The Creat CoddciS 

these prirmtive statuettes froin those th^r appear subsequently in 
ihcshrmct and sanctuaries of the Mjnoan Goddess.^ Therefore* 
the beginnings of the cult can be tra ced back in the khnd to 
the middle of the fouith millennium h.c* when connexiom 
with Asia Minor liad been established. It was not, however. 
Until the Middle Minoan period (r, iiocKryoo B.c.), when 
these Asiatic relations increased, that the Goddess bencif 
emerged as an individualized anthtqpomorphic figuic in her 
threefold capacity of the Earth^mothcTg the chtbonic divinity 
and the Mountain^mother, Mistress of the Trccs^ Lady of the 
Wild Beasts, and guardian of the dead* represented with her 
various symboUt associaiK and backgrounds. Eventually on 
the mainland her functions and attributes were divided among 
a number of goddesscip but in Crete she lA-as cssenuaJly the 
Minoan goddess par execZ/mce, Brito martis or Ditiyantm, later 
idcnriiicd with Artemis and her other Greek associates. 

Tfce mi Eartb^^&diksf 

In die central shrine at Knossos she waa arrayed with a high 
tiara, a necklace, a richly embroidered bodice with a laced 
corsage, and a skirt widi a short double apron, made in faience. 
Her hair is shown falling behind her neck and on lo htr 
shoulders, her cj^es are black, her bream bare* and coiled round 
her are three snakes with greenish bodies sported wirh purplci^ 
brown. Ill her tight hand she holds out the head of one of 
them, the test of its body curling rmind her arm, behind her 
shoulders with the uil ascending to her left arm and hand. Two 
more snakes are mterkced below the waist in the form of a 
girdle round the hip while a third runs up &om the hips, over 
the bodice to the left car and round the dara.^ At Goumia in 
East Crete the principal object in the shrine, which was a 
public sanauary, is a more primirive unpainied figure of the 
Siuke^goddess Eilcithyia. with raised hands and a snake 
twined about the body, clad in a bdl^haped skirt in 
the conventional lAmoin manner. In the centre stood a 
Zow earthen table wtih three legs and the base of a vase 
supporting a bosvl, presumably for offerings. Around it were 

I ^0 Crete Mid Grtea 

three tubular vtsseli with a vertical row of three or four handies 
on cither side. Above a larBcr handle was a pair of horns of 
CDOsccratioti, and one of the vessels were entwined with two 
snakes. Other representations of the Goddess included heads, 
foTOUtns and hands, apiece of a pithos decorated with a double 
axe, and a round disk like the emblem of Mathor in £gypti® 
Tubular vases recur at the household saticiuaries at Kuoiasa 
and Prinia, and in a small chamber known as (he Snake Room 
of a private house at Knossew, having attached to their sides 
two pairs of cups. Ringed ot grass snakes moulded in relief 
were also placed on tlw sides and ihown in the act of drinking 
from the cups, which in all ptobability contained olFcringt of 
milk or of Some otlta Uejuid. With these tubular vcsseli were 
also found a tcrracDcta tripod or table, the upper sm^ce of 
which was divided into four separate compartments by grooves 
and partitions to accommodate four snakes each of which was 
tepresented drinking from the bawl in the centre of the table. 
The conclusion drawn fiom thae designs by Sir Arthur Evans 
is that in the Snake Room the reptiles were venerated as ‘the 
visible impeiSDiiatiDii of the spirits of the household’.* 

In addition, however, to being the ‘Housc'mother’, in this 
early form of the cult going hack to ihe Early Minoan period 
(e. 2500 B,c.), as he has pointed out, she U depicted in her 
destructive chthonre aspect holding the venomous viper rather 
than the harmless snake. ^ The bcnelicent Mother of the domes' 
he sanctuaries would hatdly have as her emblem so deadly a 
foe of mankind as the addci. Thercfocc, when she appean in 
this guise it is tea»nablc to suppose that she has acquired die 
mote sinister qualitis attributed to the Goddess, everywhere in 
one of her phases. Moreover, at Coumia, wluch was neither 
a house nor a palace shrine, although she was essentially the 
Snake'goddess she was not apparently the centre of a domestic 
cult as at KnossdS, in spile of her similar representatiou and 
equipment with a table of offerings surrounded by tubular 
vessels, and the close association of the snake with the guardian 
of the house. Here it would seem that she was rather the 
cbtbotiic Eanh'mothcr in the dual aspect of the Goddess of 

Th Gt^at Miimn Codim 


fatility and the Mistress of the nether r^iom. Thui> nm only 
were cups a.b5cnt from ihe vases but they were also hollow 
lubes diTOUgb which doubtless offerings were poured on to the 
earth as libations to the cbthonic Snakc^goddesSi very much as 
in the shrine at A sine a large jug decorated with paiallel stripes 
was found upside down on the cult ledge the bottom of which 
had been deliberately broken off to enable it to be used fpr 
libations of some kind.^ 

Thf Ciflwn/V oj Ferlility 

Similarlyp, in the famous cult scene painted on the sarcophagus 
at Hagia Triada, two mdes from Phaestos near the south coast 
of Cicte^ in a kind of chamber-^oitih ascribed to the Laic 
Minoan II and 111, bottomlesa libadon jars occur through 
which the blood of a bull sacrilited on an altar Hows down 
into the earth. Above the altar arc horns of consecration and 
a basket of fruit. In front of k stands an olivc#trec with spreading 
branches, a pole painted pink with a double axe and a birdt 
and a priestess with a vessel of offering and a libaiicm jar. Then 
follows the sacriEce of the bull, its blood being collected iu the 
bottomless pail. Behiud tire well is a Egute playing die double 
pipes, and a pnoecess clad in the skm of a victim offers libations 
at an altar.^ 

Here the Goddess is represenred in a funerary setting, n 
would seem, with her priestesses as the offdants in a sai^dal 
□bbriou on behalf of the deceased^ the Ufci^ving blood of the 
victim being conveyed to them by means of ritual jars which 
carry ihe offering to Mocher^ardi, regarded as the uldmaie 
source of rebirth. Professor Pedersen^ on the othci hand:, thinks 
the episode depicts the sacred marriage uf Zctis with Hera and 
her bridal faai as a mythical cjcpr^on of the spriug rains 
renewing natme* The goddess^ n ts sdi is carried away on 
a chariot with griffins before the end of the year and brought 
back in a chariot with horses in the spring to be united with 
the god in the form of a cuckoo^ the tw^o tcafrclad pillars 
symboliziiig the union. The goddess then disappears and die 
pillar IS denuded bnc the blood of the bull offered in sacrifice 

I j z Cttlt jifd Gwff 

cfFeos a renewal* the tebirth of nature being expremed by the 
olfering of the bath and the calvci*^® Similarly* Harriion 
oiaintains that ‘the picture spealu for itself^ it is the passing of 
winter and the coming of spring, the passing of the Old Ycati 
the incoming of the New^ it is the Oeath and Resunecdon of 
Nature, her New fiirth\ It is the springiimc of man and bird 
and Rower as recorded in die Hebrew Wisdom literature in 
the book of Canticles {ii, lo); the bridal song of the new birth 
of vegetation translated into ritual action in the seasonal 

It is diffkctilt^ howcvcit to avoid the conclusion that the 
drama represents the Goddess cult in its funerary settings con^ 
ncctcd probably with rhe journey of die soul to its final abode* 
where in its royal status it may [lave received divine honours,^* 
Evans thinks the sacrificia] rites were performed temporarily to 
summon k back to the land of the hving while the divirircy 
was charmed down into its maierial rrsuiig^placc aided by the 
music and ritual chains as well as the sacrifice. As they occur 
on a tomb in which one of the Miiioan priest^kings may have 
been buried* it is not unrcaionablc to think that the cult of a 
heioiaed member of the royal line was associated with that of 
the Goddess who combined chthonic and vegetation attributes 
as the author and givet of lifct the symbolism suggesting a 
comhioanon of mortiury cituat with that of the Minoan 

T 7 jf Trcf and Pillar Cuit 

As the patron offmiliiy she was very frequendy represemed in 
association with a sacred tree or pillai, -Somdimes the branches 
of a nee loaded with leaves and fmk are shown spreading 
over a bactyl or a aim with attendants holding libation jars. 
Thus, on the mainland in tholoi of the lower town at Mycenae, 
Professor Tiountas discovered two glavs plaques with lion^ 
headed daemons pouring libations fiom ewets; in one case on 
a heap of itgncs surmounted with a latger block* and in the 
other on a square pillar remtoiicent of the anointing of the 
menhir at Bethel In rhe Jacob story in Hebrew tradition 


Tbc Crtat Mimm C&idfss 

Similirl/p on a gem 6om the Vaphao tomb the same kitid of 
d4citiofi$ are repteieiitcd watering a nutsHng palm-tree from 
two spouted vasesp while on a third pbque from Mycenae the 
Ubadon is pouted into a kind ofbuwl Testing on a column with 
three stippotting Icgs.^* 

As bactylic stones and piUars are among the most ptomitiem 
featiires of the Minoan^Mycemcan shrines^ second only to horns 
of consecration and the double axe, and lecur with great 
frequency on engraved signets and grnis* very often assodated 
with mythical animaU and sacred trises, there can be no doubc 
that these aniconic ritual objects were regarded as the embodi^ 
ment of an in/d welling dlvinlry like the ma^ebdth and 
asberoth in Semitic sanauarics^ Hcncc the pouring oriibadons 
upon them in conjunction with the ideniical neatment of the 
sacred tree, so frequently found aan^tig beside the menhir* or 
very intimately connected with k*(Thc piUiTt however, was .. 
not exclusively the aniconic image of a male god, as Evans 
supposed,^* since it often has been the abode of a goddjss like 
the ashcrah* and in the Minoan culMcenes the presence of 
piiesiesses atid female votaries performing ritual actions m 
honour of the Mother^oddess predominate* Moreover, some 
of the pillars at Knossos were structural radicr than religious in 
theif purpose, and it is nai very likdy that they were aUo 
vcncfated as sacred baetyls.^" It was only those which were 
erected dtfimtely as menhirs that can be regarded safely as cult 
objects/iTherEfoTc* without accepting the ituctpretation of the 
double axe merely as a mason*s mukg which docs not seem to 
be at all probable, tvetything containing this sacred sign ruced 
not have been a divine embodiment, any more than in Christian 
practice a sacrametim) meaning cannot be attached to all objects 
marked with a cross. But, in any case, the double axe was 
associaied with the Mother^goddess as well as with the 

Sky^od*^* I * 

That anthropotnorphJe repmentatiorts of the Goddess* or of 
goddesses impersonating the maternal principle, were an 
integral clement in the earliest marufotarions of the cult is clear 
from the widespread and continuous use of female figurines in 

* J4 Cttfe end Grrete 

this connc^on from PaUcolMiic dmes. Indeed, these Venuses 
ue not infrequently described as ‘idols’. Nevertheless, in Crete 
it a^ppea^ to have been under the influence of the palace 
sanctuaries and dirir cultus that the earlier aniconic forms 
assumed an anthropomotphic guise in the Middle Minoan 
period (f. iioo-itSw B.C.). Fnr example, in the Neolithic 
cave sanauary of Amnisos near Hcrakteion, tlie old harbour 
town of Knossos four miles east of Candia, identified with the 
goddess of birth, Eilejthyia,*® two stalagmites in the centre 
surrounded with broken sherds and enclosed by a rough stone 
wall were venerated as her aniconic embodiment as a sacred 
pillar. But m figurines of any kind have been recorded in the 
site,*® Similarly, in the double cave of Psychro on Mount 
Dtkte in the lower chamber were stalactite columns with 
double^xc blades and a bronac object placed edgewise into 
the vertical crevices. This was in aj] probability the legendary 
birth-place of Zeus whither the Goddess Rhea carried her 
new-bofi, babe;*i she doubdess being in bet original form 
the Minoan Mother-goddess,^® represented in the Middle 
Minoan Age aiuconically in the stalagmite pillar when the 
Dictacan cave began to be frequemed.®® 

The Mountm^moiber 

How very deeply bid was this hactylic imagery is shown by its 
sumval afoanduopotnorphic representation had become cstah- 
hshtri m the Aliddle Minoan in the sanctuaries on mountain 
P^, in sacred groves and in the palace cult. With the pillar 
pines, painu, cypresses and fig-trees invariably occurred in the 
mountam sl^cs, sometimes in a stone enclosure and over¬ 
shadowing the menhir. This is particularly conspicuous on the 
u and signrt-engravmgs where the Earth-mother as at once 
the goddQs of vegetation and the Meter khrm is deriaed 
often with her attendant lions or genii, and standing on a 
mouniaui, sometimes mih her youdifu! male partner. Thus 
on a gold nng from Knossos fig-trees are shown overhanging 
the entrance to a temenos with an obelisk in front of die 
sancniary enclosed by a wall of masonry. Before the pillar i$ 

Tbf Creat Miima CtfiAtff il^ 

i female figufc With her Hands eaiscd in an attiiudc of incantj^ 
tion, while suspended, as it were, in the air is a male figure 
holding out a staff or weapon, diought by Evans to be that of 
the Young God summoned by his mother^patamour, the 
Minoan Goddess.®* She appears to be standing on a stone 
terrace, possibly indicative of a mounrain. In the middle of the 
portal of die sanctuary- a smaller pillar is set up having some 
affinity w'ith the Cypriote female baetyL 
On a Late Minoan signet from Mycenae the Goddess h 
represented in a Flounced skirt, apparently as die Mattr Jslom^ 
bowed in gnef engaged in lamentation over a kind of miniature 
temenos widnn which stands a litdt bactylic pillar with a umaTT 
Minoan shield hanging beside it. To the right another figuie, 
apparently that of the Goddess repeated, is about to receive the 
fruit of a sacred tree in a small sanctuary containing a pilljf , 
a young male attendant being shown bending the branches 
towards her.®* If the enclosure tepresents a tomb containing a 
phallic stone, the scene is brought into line with the grave of 
Aids in Phrygia and that of Zeus at Knossos,®® Therefote, it 
may be a frUnoan version of the SufTeting Goddess theme in 
Westctti Asia in relation lo the vegetation cyde; the coming of 
spring being expressed in the budding leaves and ripening 

This IS Confirmed by the scene on a gold nng in the 
Museum of Candia, showing the sacred tree in an enclosure 
will) scanty foliage. The stem is grasped by a woman with both 
hands, and on the left is an almost identical female figuie in a 
flounced skin with the upper part of her body naked, revealing 
prominent breasu. She is standing with her back to the tree 
and her arms extended to A Lhjid woiTiAn clad in the Identical 
matiner ai her companjons^ In the fields ai:c chevrons, Here 
the biitcjincss of winter gives place to die epiphany of the 
Goddess in its spring £etdng« ai in the ease of that reprod uced 
on a ting from a cist in a small tomb wbenc an orgiastic dance 
in a field of lilies by four Icimk vcories in typical Minoan 
garmcnis is portrayed. Above die chief worshipper in the 
centre is a small female figure, appiircnily rapidly descending. 

Cnk ijjid Crtm 


and to the let a human eye which may symbolize the Cnddesi 
regarding the ccstadc dance being performed in her honour at 
the renewal of life In the spring of which the snahe by the side 
of the cencia] figure below the eye is an emblem.®® The buUp 
again^ as we have seen^ has always been a potent emblem of 
reproductive power in nature, and in Crete it was the king^ 
priest in conjunction with his consort as the Goddess who 
played the leading part in the slaying of the Minotaur to 
overcome death and renew' lifc.^*^ 

On die ring from Ehe Vapheio tomb near Sparta a female of 
the same type stands beneath the overhanging branches of a 
fruit-tree at the foot of which is a stone colpmn. Rocks below 
suggest that a hill or mountain indicated die setting of the 
scene. A naked male figure is bending die btanches either to 
pluck the fruit for (he Goddess or to enable her to garlier it 
hcnelC®® On a Late Minoan ring, now in the Ashmolcan 
Museum at Oxford, which is said to have come from this 
tombp a kneeling vroman is depicted bending over a large jar 
wiih her left arm bent ar the elbow Testing on the rim. Her 
head is iticlined forward supported by her left hand in an 
arritude of mourning. Above her ate the eye and ear symbols, 
and a liide to the left in the air is a small rigid male iigurc 
holding an oval object that looks like a bow. Below is a richly 
dressed female figure with wavy Imr. thought by Evans in he 
the Mother-goddess, wliile both he and Nilsson identify the 
small figure^ high in the scene, as her young male parmet 
armed as the youthful archer,Professor Petsson thinks that 
since the vessel Signifies a pithos burial the theme is that of 
sorrow over death. The object next to the jar he incetprets ai 
an elliptical rounded stone with the Imdcss branches of a tree 
behind it, symboliiing, as he suggests, the dying vegetation 
in winter and man s sorrow over deaths the gods by their 
epiphanies giving renewed hope of the icsurrecuon of the dead 
in response to this display of grief and lamcntauon.®* 

As the Lady of the Dead’ the Mou ntain-mocher combined 
the o ffice and functions of a chthonic divinity ruling the grim 
nether regions and guarding its denizens with those of the 

The Crf 4 t Mitt&m C^dlrff 137 

Goddess of ihc uppor regiooSj exalted in triumpli oq the 
grandeur of her mounuutv^peak, where m her hRy sinctuades 
she was worshif^ with upraised hands and rccdvcd libadons 
and vodve offerings* In these shrines the sacred utt and pillar 
occupied a promincnc position but am the snaicc, which was 
cotifincd fa the chthonic and household cult of the domestic 
Goddess. In a recess of the central conn of the palace of 
Knossos fragments of a series of clay sealings made by a rigtirt 
WOT discovered on the cement floor, which when rcitoTcd 
showed the Goddess in a flounced skin standing on a rock or 
mountain^pcah guarded by two Ikms with her Icfi arm out^ 
strecched and holding in her hand a sceptre or lance* Behind 
her is a shrine with columns and sactal homs* and in front of 
her the figure of a youthful male votary or divmliy, or, as Evans 
suggests, a pricst^king.*® In the eastern quaner of the palace a 
simpler seal impressioti was found in a chamber with the 
Goddess between two Lions, and otlier standing goddesses with 
sacred animals reveal the Mother of the Mountains as the 
Mistress of the Beasts* 

yjTfx Mistress 0/ Animals 

The lioni'guardcd Goddess, in fact, with her male satellite, 
shrine and cult objects is essentially the Minoan Mother repre^ 
stnted in her various forms, aspects and attributes on the 
sanauary seals everywhere in Crete as well as on the Cypto^ 
Mycenaean cylinders. Sometimes in addition to lions a dove 
IS heldp and groups of the cow and calf and wild goat and 
homed sheep appear on the faience reliefs of the Goddess shrine* 
On one clay seal from Knossos, reminiscent of that of the 
Mother of the Mountains^ she wears a high peaked cap, a 
shon skirt, and holds a spear and shield with a lioness or dog 
at her side.^^lNo signs are shown, howc\^cr, of a mountain or 
rocky peak, a pillar or a votary, in any of the eleven e^camples 
that have been found of this impresriom But clearty they 
represent the same divine pair in an almost identical setting, 
belonging to Middle Minoan III. 

In her capacity of Mistress of Animals she was intimately 

l|8 Crett anJ Gr!Cf£i 

Associated wiih hunting and wild life in gtnetal. Although 
there arc no indications of a Minoan^Mycenacan animal cult, 
die Codde^i and her male aucudAUC were cunsuutly sur^^ 
rounded with real and mpmtmus creatures^ among whom 
lions, doves, bulls, gtiffins and spluiixes predominated^ SPtne^ 
rimes in a hybrid form,^^ Daemons with the head of a horse 
an d the body of a IJon coolt the place of other fabulous beasts 
on seal impressions from the palace of Knossos, Besides the 
usual bulls, lions, rams, dogs and moufflons^ there are flying 
fish and monsieis* and a Hounced goddess lays her hand on 
the necks of two lions, while on a gem from Kydonia a male 
figure grasps by theii heads two lions sitting uprightBut 
the cciitral figure usually is female and conforms in type to [he 
Mnioan ModiCTp and the animaU and satyrs arc her servants, 
Sometimes represeiiied^ as at Magia Triada, i n the performance 
ofhcrculL y 

Tlhf Malf Ced 

‘j The male god when he appeared at all was apparently a later 
addition venCTated in a subordinate capacity, held less in honour 
as well as being later in time and youtliful in age and appear^ 
ance. His most conipicuous occurrence is on a Icntoid bead-' 
seal of Spartan basalt, discovered near Canca, tlic site of the 
andem Kydonia* Tlicrc he is showm nude except lor a gltdlc, 
standing between two sacra] horns (a sure sign of divinity) 
with his arms foldedTlTo the left is a daemon holding a libation 
jar, and to Jus right a winged goat widi the tail and hind^ 
quarters of a lion.^^ This is a heraldic design devised to 
represent the \ oung God as the "Master of Animals’—the male 
counterpan of the Goddess as their Mistress* portrayed in rhe 
same manner. On the Mycenaean gem fiom this site (Kydonia) 
he reappears* as we have teen, W'ith his irins outstretched and 
sup^ned by lions on either side, as well as on the signet ring 
m the Ashmolcan Museum, where he is a small figure holding 
a spear, or on that fiom Knossos where he b represented 
descending from ihe air. 

On an clectrum ring from a tomb in the lower town at 

T!^ Crfai Minaan Coddeir^ x 

Myctfiue a mdc youth holding a spear m his left hand extends 
his right hand to a goddess rype offemalc^ seated on a throne, 
whom £vans regards as the A'linoan Mother in cotivcrsation 
with her consorL^^ With less probability it is interpraed by 
Furtwanglcr as tlic pUghdng of their troth The representation 

of a youth with upliltcd arms wearing a tnhre, standing erect 
before the Gaddess» who is arrayed like the ehrysclcphanrinc 
statuette of the Snake^goddess of Knossos in the Beaton 
Museum clad in a Hounced skirt with a scries of small aprons 
contained by a narrow giidle of gold, a tight-fitting jacket 
exposing the breasts, and on het head a tiara with several peakip 
She is holding out her hands towards the boy, and in them axe 
two snakes coiled about her aims* This is interpreted by Evans 
as depicting an act of adoration of the Minoan Mother by the 
Boy-god, but the conjecture is by no means conclusive. 
More significant is die scene on a signet-ring from a tomb at 
^ Thisbc in floeoda* showing the Goddess vested on a throne 
widi a child on her koee and holding out her left aim in 
reponsc to two adoring male figures approaching her* In her 
right hand she holds a disk^haped object with a central cup* 
wliilc behind her a female artendant has a rimila r object, 
thought by Evans to be a bronze cymbal, which Ltcr was 
associated with the worship of Kybele.*^ Unfortunately, how¬ 
ever, die hoard from Tliisbc is such a 'mixed bag* of genuine 
and spurious contents that this scene is open to grave doubti, 
like die Ring of Nestor. 

Nevertheless, although the available evidence is not impres¬ 
sive* that a young male divinity was associated with the 
Goddess in Crete and the Aegean cErtainly cannot be denied* 
even though he did not play a promixiept or essential role in the 
Minoan-'Myceuaain cult. Except as the Master of Animals he 
was seldom in evidence and when he did appear it was never 
on equal terms with the composite and complex Minimn 
Goddess, From her in one or crther of her several forms and 
attnbtitcs aid was sought for the promotion of fertility, the 
well-being of the natural order and the profectioti of the housc- 
y Furthermore* as a chthonic ddty she wts venerated in 

*4® Cmt fni Grtta 

the nether world, while as the Mountain Mother her rule 
extended to the upper legions. When she passed from the 
island to the mainland she, like so many of her counterpam in 
the Near East, acquired wirrior characicriuirs. Thus, on a 
painted limestone tablet from the Acropolis of Mycenae, 
ascribed to the Late Minoan I period, she may have been 
depicted covered by a large eigbt'shaped shield and venerated 
by two ft male votaries.*® In its present mutilated conditon the 
figure is didicuk to decipher, but it may represent an armed 
wai/goddcss, chough in the Cretan scenes the divinities who 
carried weapons were connected with the chase rather than with 
warlare. The Minnans were relatively peaceful people, whereas 
the Mycertjteans in their (bnified towns were coustandy fighting, 
and, thrrc&re, it is not at all improbable that the Coddess then 
assumed her familiar mattial role as elsewhere. This certainly is 
suggested by the tablet from Mycenae, where she may have 
been the forerunner of Athena, very much as at Knosjos she 
appeared as the ‘Lady of th e Sea’, reposing on the waves which 
protected her island home.*® 

WTieiher in all these manifold fimctions and relationships 
she was one and die same composite goddess, like the Magna 
Mater in the Gracco-'OrientaJ world, or that each manifestation 
represented an independent goddess with her own individuality 
and departmental cpticcms, is the recurrent problem of the 
cult.|jn favour of rtgarding the Minoan Mother as the one 
Great Goddess. Evans has contended that it is substantially the 
same form of religion as that so widespread at a later dare 
throughout Anatolia and Syria. She can be idcniiSed with 
^ea, the Cretan Mother of Zeus, and assimilated with the 
Syrian Goddess Ma and the Phrygian Kybelc, ) v 
■' With the Young C^d ai her paramour, son or comon. she 
IS true to type, as she is in her chthonic associations, her dove, 
snake, guardian lions and double-axe symbofs. her exposed 
breasts and her apparel. She was apparently the source of all 

vegetation, the Earth-mother, the Mistress of Animals and of the 

sea, and she hunted with bow and arrow like Artemis. It is not 
surpruing, therefore, that Evans, Matinaios and many other 

Tb( Cttat Aihi^ 

scholars^* have regarded her as a universal deity, the Goddess 
of namre. and that from her and her youthful male saicIL'te in 
his customary role, the Cretan counicrpart of Adonis, Kinyras, 
or Attis, the hJelltnic pantheon developed with its gods and 
goddesses as distinct and independent Fgutes, eventuaJJy 
hiought together in the Olympian theology under the rule of 
Zeus, the l«hcr of gods and men. 

v^il^n, on the other hand, argues In favour of a plurality 
of divinities from the beginning,*® the Minoan Mother in her 
several guises being the syncredsdc equivalent of Artemis. 
Rhea, Athena, Aphrodite and the rest of die Greek goddesses, 
each separate and dJstinci as an independent entity. While it is 
t™c that the ^noans had a number of lesser gods and spirits 
like other ancient peoples in much the same state of culture, it 
IS difficult to conceive of the identical representation of the 
Great Goddess in so many forms recurring over such a wide 
aiea from Syria and beyond to Crete, unless tliere was a funda/ 
mentd underlying unity in die personification of the female 
principle. In any case, so lu as Crete is concerned, the various 
aspects of the Groddess can hardly be diilRentiated as separate 
personalities. The syncretism and fusion wcie so complete that 
they can scarcely be c^laincd other than as several forms of 
one and the same divine figure — the Minoan Great Goddess 
with her subordinate satellites. ^ ^ 


Rhtff and Zeut 

In Greece, however, this Minoan divinity unquestionably 
emerged in a plurality of goddesses with particulai names and 
penonalitics as distinct developments of Rhea, Britomartis, 
Dictunna and Aphaia in pre^HcIIetiic Crete. Thus, Rhea, the 
Cretan counterpart of the Anaxolian Kybclc, and often indite 
dnguishablc from Ge or Gaia, Mother<ardt, was a majetpc if 
somewhat vague figure, with or without a partner. Crac was 
her original traditional home and the earliest scat of her worship, 
and it was there in the pre.#Homcric period, probably after a 
Dionysian wave had passed over the island, that the birth and 

14 ^ Cffft and Creetf 

infancy of Zeus were usocuted wirli its caves ind attributed to 
Rhea^ Then the Sky^god of the riomeric ttadition was repre^ 
scnied as the son of the Cretan goddess who hid Iiim in a cave 
in the mauntain called Aigaion, and where later he was said to 
have been suckled by a goat. From this cavern, according to 
a curious tale, every year a ffic Hashed when ‘the blood frotn 
the birth of Zens streamed forth’, suggesting in all ptoba^ 
biliiy, u Nilsson says, that 'this child is the ycar^god, the spirit 
of fertility, the new life of spring’.*'* ^ 

This Cretan Zeus was a much more primidve figure tlian 
the Indo-European Sky-god, Hr embodied the processes of 
fecundity on earth rather than renewed them by sending the 
vitalizing tain from the heavens. It d not surprising, therefore, 
that he should be represented as the son of Rhea in dris version 
of his birth and infancy, and that around this tradition a 
vegetation legend and cultus should have developed. Thus, 
the acuoiogical story of the Cretan Kourites mentioned by 
Euripides m the Bacebae (lines 119-23), and repeated by brer 
writers and inscribed pti coins and monuments in the Helletv 
iitic period, ebshing their shields and swords in their ecstatic 
dance to drown the cries of the Zeus-child concealed from the 
vengeance ofliu bthet Kioiios, as Strabo recogniicd,*' was 
simply the orgiastic worship of the Asiatic Mothet-goddess as 
a fcnrhty rite rebted to the tearing of Zeus, This is now 
clear fiom the inscription containing the hymn to the 
Dictaean Zeus diseoveted in the mins of the temple at 
Palaikastio on the cast coast of Crete.*'* Although it was 
comp«ed m the Hellenistic Age. it seems m corsdtuic a 
twval of a fettility cult practised before the temple was 

d^cd after the break-up of Miiman power in the second 

millennium D-Cv 

a Sky- and Wca|hcr-god should be identified with the 
flocks and hnds is not surprising. Such a coalescence fiequendy 
had oreuTied m the Near East fiom the Fertile Crescent and 
An^oha to thclndo-lranian region, and when the Olympian 
myth and tituj of the Indo-Europeans reached Greece and 
were fused with ihc Goddess worship of the Aegean basin, 

Tbt Cd^dtsses of tbf Gtftk PiintbeoH 143 

Zcu% continued to cxctcjsc hii customJiy functions witliout 
subitamijil change, in combinaiion with those of die 
indigenous chdionion vegetadon cultus. 

Moreover, under Dionyaan influence, before he atuined his 
exalted position in the Hesiodic and Homeric tradition he was 
engaged in. the overthrow of the Titans, an earlier group of 
gods from whom he was himself descended through his father 
fwTonos and his mother ^hca. hiere there may be a feminism 
cence of a historical situation when the Olympian Sky^rcligion 
defeated to some extent the chthooian Goddess cult of the soil, 
but only to incorporate many of its essential traits in the same 
way as the human race was alleged to have imbibed a Titanic 
element in its ancestry in combination with the divine nature 
derived from Zagtcus^Pionysus, This dual character of Zeus 
is recorded in his celestial aspects and attnbuies, brought into 
telation with his vitalizing functions in connexiou with the 
fcttihiy of the earrh and of vegetation, when the invaders had 
to live on the produce of the soil of the land of their adoption 
after ilieir settlement on the plains of Thessaly, 
v/ The various unions of Zeus with Earth/ and Corn/goddesscs 
—^Hcra, Dione, Demctcr, Semele and Persephone (Kore)— 
suggest tliat in the background of these traditions lay the wide/ 
spread conception of the marriage of Heaven and Earth in 
which he pbyed the role of the 5 ky/(ather in alliance with his 
many consons. JWhen the local legends were cortelated in the 
Epic literature one of the brides was exalted to the status of the 
ofScial wife of Zeus while the rest were regarded as bis mis/ 
tresses, this being more in accordajice with the custom that 
prevailed in dre Creek States wheie monogamy was established 
but concubinage was tolerated as an accepted irregularity.*’ In 
this way Zeus was accredited with a considerable number of 
iUegitimate offspring, pardy divine when bom of goddesses, 
and partly human when their mothers were mottal women, 
hut behind this adaptation of the mythology to the existing 
social practice lay the sacicd marriage of Heaven and Earth, 
mterpreted in terms of the fettilization of the ground by the 
life/giving rain.*’ 

Crrtf and Cmce 


'With the fusion, of the Olympiaii and the chthonian cults, 
whereas in the Minaan-^Mycenaean cult the male god was 
subordinate to the Mother/goddm» Zeus as the Sky^fachcr 
became predominant. Therefore^ henceforth hk consorts were 
relatively minor figures so that often it k difficult to determine 
ro what extent they were his wives. His legitimate consort 
unquestiotiably was HerSp but in faa her cult had IMe to do 
with Zeus, and her union with him was meidy the nesult of 
her having been the chief goddessp and so the fttiDg pifincr 
for the chief god, in spite of his previous nuptials wkh other 
Eaith-i and Com^goddesses like Demcter, Scmelc and Thcmk 

Originally Hcia seems to have been mainly coneemed with 
birth, marriage and matermtyp though occasionaHy she was 
regarded ai a petpetua! virgin and as a widow*^^ She was 
essentially the goddess of wo men and of fecundity (particularly 
though not exclusively of childbmh),^-' and consequently of 
every side and aspect of female Ufe and its funedons and attri^ 
butes. This doubtless accounts for het close association with 
the earth and its uterine capacities, even though apparently she 
was noc actually an Earth^oddess and only mditectly aiso^ 
dated with vegetation.*® Ha connexions with the moon also 
were very secondary and derived from its supposed influence 
on the life of w^omen- 

NcvenhelcsSp ha union with Zeus in myth and rite ac m.any 
places was represented in terms of a sacred marriage (fe^dc 
which p as we have seen, normally cvetywhae had for 
its objea the renewal of die life in nature in the seasonal cycle. 
Thar it had no such signiftcance in Cteccc is contradicted by 
the union of Demetcr with lasion and by the mystery ritual. 
Indeed, as Professor Rose agrees* such weddings had for their 
object the productioii of ferulityp especially that of the soil. 
Moreover, he recognizes that *it is not without reason thar a 
reminiscence of this u feiind in the famous passage of the llidi 
in which all manner of flowers and also thick soft grass spring 
up to mate a mamagc/hcd for Zeus and Hm on Mount Ida^** 
The rite can hardly be separated from its usual purpose 

The C^idmei 6/ tfx Cmk P<intbeoA i ^ ^ 

dsewhcK, es^cially a there ii no reason to suppoic that die 
ancient Cieeb undJ well after the sixtli cemury d.c. discrimi^ 
naied between fecundity in mankind and in that of the rest of 
the natural order., Thctcforc, since Hera was the goddess of 
bir^ and matanity her life^bestowing powers cannot be 
excluded from the femie soil and its products. Thus, she stands 
m the Cretan Rhea tradition with its Minoan background, 
though her own origin is obscure. From time inunemorial she 
w« the Great Goddess of Argos-'Argivc Hera’ of the 
—but Samos also w-m her traditional birthplace and a very 
important seat of her cult, going back, it was alleged, to the 
umc before she contracted her alliance with Zcus.*« In Crete 
at her shrine neat Knossos, Diodorus maintains dut her sacred 
mamage was still cckbraied annually in the first century b.c..*^ 
and in Greece her very andem cult (including the 
)^oc) was widely practised, especiaUy in the sites of the 
ddest avilizaiion (e.g. Argos. Mycenae. Sparta), except in 
Thosaly and the northern coast.*® In Argos and Samos ihe 
attained the dignity of a city-goddess, and among aU die 
diviniocs connected with birth and marriage she was supreme 
as the wife of Zeus, and doubtless, by viiruc of her. own 
ancestry, in the Goddess cult ‘guarding the keys of wedlock’.®* 
Thus, the goddesses of childbirth (JEilcithyiai) were called 
her daughters,®^ and in Argos she was venerated as both maid 
and mother, since by bathing in die spring Kanathos at 
Nauplia she renewed her virginity every year.*^ That her 
matrimonial affairs were not always regarded as running 
^oothly®* may be an indication that her cult and that of 
Zeu had separate origins and were in oppositian to each other. 
Originally, like her Cretan and Wot Asiatic prmotypes, she 
may have had either no male partna or only a very subordinate 
satellite. ^ 

‘ Athena 

Similarly, as Nilsson has shown, Athena almost certainly was 
a survival of the Minoaii'Myccnacan household goddess bear-' 
mg a shield, who protcacd die ciudd and the person of die 

Crat Cmce 


king. iThus, in the Qdymy $hc is represented ^ hiving had 
her dwelling in the palicc of the Prince hrcchrheus,^^ ind in 
her own dty^ Athens, she lived on the oitidcL her temple being 
the site of 1 Myccnaf 4 n palace*®^ jf-Iaving become the pittone&s 
and protector of the city that bote hei iiame» she issumed a 
martiaJ charicter. though originally irt her pacific Creun 
; surroundings she was primarily 1 household and civic diviiiity, 
with fmility attributes revealed in her snake and tree symbolism. 
Her assodarion with craftsmanship (xi^tTy) was derived from 
her domestic Minoan prototypeas the goddess of the houses 
hold, and it was not undl she was brought into the service of 
the Myctnatan princes on the mainland thai her more warlike 
characteristics became dominant. Then gradually she was 
transformed into the beUicose Athena of dae Homeric poems, 
far removed £:om the peaceful domestic pre^HcUenic goddess 
of fertility and skill in the arts in which she excelled. Always, 
however, she was a dynamic figure, the goddess of action and 
wisdom, helper of crafismen, the protectress of the home and 
the dtadel, and eventually of heroes. 

Her name as well as her charaacr is probably of pre^ Greek 
origin, with its non-^Hdlcnic suffix /fta as in the pbcc^name 
Mvxi^yal, whcMc goddess Myksm (a heroine) in the Odps^f ^ 
may have been ousted by Athena.®^ In any case, she was a 
tutelary goddess of the Cman and Mycenai^i princes* subset 
Cjiiendy niiscd to the dignity of tlic goddess oi the republican 
State, the important Attic city being named after hen As its 
puroncss, taking the place of the king, she became involved 
in its wars and acquired a military charaacr, undl eventually 
she was a mighty and furious war.goddess fighting all and 
sundry*®® But she never abandoned her earlier lemale attributes 
and funedonsp and continued her interest in the am and crafts, 
of which she remlined the kigldy skilled mister, until uld^^ 
maedy she was regarded as the personification of wisdom*®® 
Her ddc Palbj, probably a form of the Creek miXiax^iu, 
concubinage in its rimal sense, was larer applied to maiden^ 
priestesses, and the image of Pallas Athena that Zein leni 
down from heaven was called the PalladJon.^® These 

The GoJdetses of tbf Crttk PsHthtors 147 

dcsigniiioiis may rcfo to a Creek maiden-^oddcH of [ndo/ 
European origin who waj absorbed by the tion^Hellenic 
Athena and incorporated in her cultus. Be this aj it may, she 
(Athena) was subsequently depicted as a beautiful and stately 
virgin, whether or not. like her prototypes, she was a Mother^ 

i Apbroditt 

More glamorous and voluptuous than the dignified, wise and 
comely Athena, the Mistress of the home, lamily and city, was 
Aphrodite, another goddess of the mothcr'type. who made her 
w'ay into Grcescc from Cyprus, Originally she was the Western 
Asiatic Goddess, akin especially to Eshtar and Asune.’*! 
Therefore, in name and personality and function she was utu 
Hellenic, and in connast to Athena she was not realJy 
Hcllenized when the Homeric poems were wriaco, for there 
she is thoroughly anti-'Achaean, and treated with little respect, 
Nevettbdess, she is represented as the daughter of Zeus and 
Dionc, and as the faithless wife of Hephaestus.^® Ares, who 
later is described as her husband in the Od^fity, is her para^ 
mout/^ and Aeneas became her son by the Trojan Anchiscs,’* 
v/j Primarily she was the goddess of ferrility and love with the 
usual emphasis on the sexual characteristics of generarion, 
bang the pcrsonificaiipn of the maternal principle in protO' 

• historic Asiatic fashion. In her Oriental guise her beloved was 
the youthful vcgcution god Adonis ('the Lord'), described in 
the Creek myths as the handsome young hunter killed by a 
boar, represented as Ares In disguise. According to another 
version of the story, she hid him as an infant in a chest which 
she entrusted to Petsephone, the spouse of Hades. So enrap" 
Hired was the queen of the underworld with the babe that she 
refused to return him to Aphrodite, even though the goddess 
went hersdf to the nether regions id leclaim him. It was not, 
in £ici, until Zeus decreed that Adonis should spend part of 
the year on earth with Aphrodite and the rest with Persephone 
in the lower world that the dispute was settled. Thus, Adonis 
assumed the rote of the Babylonian Tammuz, and Aphrodite 


Crete end Creeee 

thu of the Helleiuc Dcmcter, resembling the RleuiinUn godi* 
dc$i in her searching for and bitter gnefand lamentation at the 
loss of her beloved, whcthci this was brought about by a wild 
boar ifi the chase, or by abduction on the pan of the queen of 

It was this death and rtsurtecdon theme tliat was celebrated 
annually at Byblus on foe coast of Syria with a period of 
mourning followed by rejoicing ai the restoration of tlic youtiv 
ful vegetatJon^god in the spring in the figure of Adonis.^® 
Simflar nics which included ritual prostitution may have been 
held at Paphos in Cyprus, where at Kuklia there is an ancient 
sanctuary of Aphrodite,’* In foe Adonias^tite of Theocritus, 
however, there is no reference to foe restoration of die god in 
foe areount of foe nuptial ceremonies which were held annually 
tn ^ejcandna to commemorate foe sacred marriage of Adonis 
an Aphrodite.” Images of foe god and goddess on two 
couches were displayed and foe next day foe figure of foe dead 
god was earned to foe seashore amid lamentation and thrown 
into foe sea, apparendy in the ratlicr vain hope that he would 
come back again. Similarly, in Attica at foe height of summer, 
cffigica of the dead Adorns were earned in procession to foe 
snarns dfwKpmg and waOing.’s while in Afoens foe 'gardens 
0 Adonis (i.e. baskers containing earth in which cereals had 
been sown) w«e exposed to foe sun during the eight daw of 
he fesuval m the sprmg or autumn. When they had withered 
y were flung sadly m foe sea or in springs to typify the 
deccaw of the god.” Adonis, therefore, was essentially adcad 
Anhm?^, r“ jj 'vonhipped in conjunctioti with 

Aphrodite as foe goddess of vegetation. 

Her lovcn^ however, were numerous and when the reached 
Crt^ foe found herself fkced with sraoiu well^ublifocd 
riv^ such as Hera. Afoena and Artemis, wifo whom she 

n^ons with foe major Hdlenic deities, apart from Hermes, 

Im H« f r forth Hermaphro. 

fotus. Her fesHvaJj also were of little importance cjtcem in 

Cyprus, and at Delos in the Cyclades, foe legendary birthplace 

Tbf C«ar«w of tbt Greek PjtiihfOH 145 

of Artemis ind Apollo, where she absorbed the cult of 
^adnc, rhc daughter of Minos. It was in Cyprus, however. 
Aai according to her myth she first came ashore when she arose 
m her exquisite beauty from the foam and was carried in a 
sea<$hdi to Kythcra, an island off the coast of Sparta, whence 
she was driven by the ride to her Cypriote resdng.placc. There 
as she stepped on the ground the earth blossomed under feet 
and ^e gods received her joyfully and arrayed her in divine 
reg^a.*“ Although she emerged within the sea and came 
forth from it, she was not a sea^goddess as Poiddon was a 
s^god. It was from the foam, the gencrarive organ of Uranus, 
tnat Kronos hi6 mutik^cd and thrown into the sea^ tlut she 
was botn, and, ^nehite, she was regarded in Cyprus as 'the 
Celcstia]’, her origin being connected with the cosmic myth of 
Heaven and Earth. In this status she turned to flight the winds 
and the clouds of heaven, making 'the levels of the ocean 

f"V . spreading 

light. So she was called Goddess of the Sea, like several of 
CT picdccc^rs (c+g. and sht became the pairancss 

of iaibrs. 

S^larl]^, she also had warlike qualiuts in Cyprus and 
particuLirly in Sparta, and ac Delphi, where a statue of her 
was called Aphrodite of the Tomb;®* ihc assumed chthomc 
charaaciidcr. At Corinch she retained her Cypriote tide of 
Urania ( Celestial^, and had in her service a rednuc of sacred 
prosdrutes^ thereby preserving her original nature as the godded 
of love, sexuality and fecundity^ In lact, all her other aspecti 
true to type inasmuch as they were feaiurcs common to 
the Great Mother, matron or virgin* everywhere; being essen^ 
bally the author and pver of life and Its restorer through the 
natural processes of birth and rebirth. She was the Lady of 
die spring blossoms in the Pemiilium Vnitri^ {rjff}* and 
wherever she went the flame of love was kindled and new life 
generated,®® "Thrangh seas and motintams and tearing 
tivcts the leafy haunts of birds and verdant plains* she 
^ruck fond love into the hearts of all, and made them in hot 
desfre to renew the stock of their races, each after hif own 

^ Crtit and Cmee 

kijid',** regardless of all restriciioni m an abanddn of lavislv 
ment and volupiiiauincss. Her girdle, indeed, could render 
those who wore it innistible,*^ impatung as it did all her 
unconfjucrable passion of love and desire, irrespective of die 
consequences ior good and ilL Such were her gilis to mankitid 
and the world, bringing peace and joy. light and life, conTusion 
and strife, darkness and death. 

- Arltmis 

Another pre/Hdlcnic virgin goddess who appears to have 
been of Minoan originBa became the sister of 

Apollo and while the was rail an Earth'mothei and Misucss 
of the fieasti in the lorests and hills in which she roained« 
hunted and danced before she became a dty^divioity. As a 
daughter of Zeus she was ‘Lady of the wild animals’ {-t6Tm<t 
and as sister of Apollo she was a huntress®* who, 
ncvcrthel^, protected the young of alt creatures, was tender 
to cubs of lions, pregnant hares and all suckling and roving 
beats, " because she had been thdr mother in her ongitial 
gtiisc. This role is given prominent expression in her Ephesian 
tcmple^sutue with its many breasts, and as a goddess of fertility 
she assisted females of all species to bring forth their young and 
helped women m tire pains of childbirth. She was. therefore, 
often called ^^eithyia and KourotroplitK, though her precise 
functions in thwe respeas arc obscure. ( 

In Crae and Lakonis. Eilcithyia was worshipped as an 
mde^ndent goddess of childbirth wirh a culms of her own 
Snl Greece and the neighbouring 

th daughter of Hera.** Her associadon with Artemis was the 
rwult of that common functions in connexion with midwifery, 
though .^cmis, who was the most popular goddess in Greece 
among the pcasai^y** and in whom the life of nature became 
enrt^, a wider agnificance, preserving the main diaiac 
Great Mmoan Goddess well into classical times. 

In her earlier mamfesuaons she was chiefly an Earth^Eoddess 
pnnapdl, wid, wild lit birf, „hMe 

The thi Cmk t j i 

beginnings must bt sought in her Muio^ti-^Myccnacaii bseki^ 
ground mthcr than, as Famcll supposed* in her Greek forms.®* 
The ccscitic dances so promincni in hn worship connect her 
with Phrygia and Kybde* as do the lions with which so often 
she has been Banked. At her fadval* the in the 

spring her creative and all^sustaimng powers woe stressed in 
her manyxbjxastcd image believed to have fallen from heaven* 
with its outstretched arms and lions and rams (or bulls), and 
in the orgiastic and sacrifidal rites which included a sotc of 
bulliight ijaur&kdtbopria) rciruniscent of the Minoan bull-' 
gardes.®® She was the ^wiv/it^ixnog —the cnultimamntia—like 
her Anatolian counterpart, served by virgin priestesses and a 
high^pricst (Megabyzas) who was a eunuch and was vested 
in the same manner as the eunuchoid priests on Hitdre bas- 
reliefs. It is nne improbable* in fact* that as in the case of the 
Astatic Goddess Ma in Komanap her cukus included wild 
orgies in which her votaries castrated themselves in dedication 
to her service.®* 

Similarly^ another female touipamon Hcllcnizcd as Brito- 
nMiis, with whom Artemis was identified* was of Cretan 
origin*®® Having escaped from King Minos^ who had pursued 
her for nine months p she leapt over a clifF into the scip where 
she was caught in fishermen s nets, and so it was alleged she 
was called Diktjnna* ^thc net\ from dumor. But in aU 
probability under ikis name she was venerated in Western 
Crete because originally she was the goddess of Mount Dikte, 
the most conspicuous mountain on the island. Siibse<]uently 
Diktynna was interpreted etymologically in terms of a net in 
the late actiologicaJ myth told by Callimachus to account for 
her designation, and to explain why henceforth she was wor¬ 
shipped as Aphaca in A^na* where in a grove of Anemis 
she was said to have sought refuge afiet she had again escaped 
from Minos**® But in fact Diktynnai like Britainaitisj at first 
w^as a Cretan Mother-goddess—an aspect of the Minoan 
Mother—called after the most striking mountain on w^hich she 
was worihippcd before they were both brought into relation 
with Artemis and the Greek Goddess cult. 

Cntt atid Cftert 


The chdioniin goddeu Heluie has been confused with 
Artemis since she too was ji goddess of women with Junar 
^turcs inrimateljr connected with fertility', victory in war, skill 
in games, horsemanship and fishing, as well as with the u'ndet^ 
world, caide^brceding and the nurture of children. Here, j ea.Ti 
II seems that an ancient Eanh^oddess of obscure origiti 
acquired a number of aspects and attributes when she became 
Ktahlishcd in Greece, which often made her indistinguishable 
from Ariemin The Creeks, however, were themselves much 
perplexed about her and her dual conncxioni with the earth, 
the nether regions and the moon; with Artemis and Selene’ 
Demetcr and Persephone, and with H<rmes.^*“ 

No mendon of Her occurs in Homer, and in the Hcriodic 
Tbecgottjf she suddenlyr emerges as the daughter of the Titan 
Penes and Asterie, daughter of Koios and Phoebe, In 
Mousmos she is represented as the daughter of Zeus and 

IDS to have been Leto. 

Night, while in a Thessalian myth her parents are Admeius 
and a woman orPhcraea.i<n According to the Hesiodic frag, 
ment mcotporared in the the was a fully formed great 

aivjiuty having neither brother nor sister, described as^otwiiWe 
(I.C. from a single parent) mighty in heaven, on earth and in 

the sea, endowed with ftghtening magical powers exercised 
m lorcefy, 

^though her culms was firmly established in Boetia, pairi^ 
rularly m A.^ and was widespread in the northern and 
jouthein islands of the Aegean coast, in Asia Minor. Italy and 
atciiy, she was almost unknown in Arcadia. Her name 
be a Ctcck epithet signifying ‘one from afar*, if it is 
derived from ataiyf^s, Tar^arting' or ‘sliootitig’, although 

Apollo wiA whoi 

™“” “I” «^cd. Bo. if she wee MoJl, tf 

Hellenic ongin her cult must have been obscuted and even, 
i^ly was in the north of Greece, which may have 

been her cradleland. There she was an ancient goddess of 
femlity who. as so frequently has happened, became connected 

TTif Ci>ddfsm the Crtck 15I 

with the underworld 2nd the dead. Hence her chthonic asso^ 
□ations 2 nd funedom, often of 2 sinuttr nature. It wii doubts 
ks5 because the ruled over gliosd and demons that ihe wai 
regarded 21 the goddess of the cross^roids who drove aw2^ the 
evil influences from these dangerous spots. Therefore^ at night 
under a fuU moon* ritually prescribed food ofiering^ known 
as 'Hekate's suppers"^ were placed at the parting of the ways to 
placate hcf if and when she appeared with her hounds ofhclL^”* 

Dmtur }Stid ICjiv 

Very different was the Goddess Demeter* the daughter of Riica 
and Kronos and the mother of Korc {Pmephonc}^ who 
became the abducted wife of Hades. In the Homcnc Hy™ ia 
Demeieff assigned to the levetuh century the story is 

recorded for the purpose uf explaining the origin of the 
Mysteries celebrated in honour of Demeter at EUusts when in 
the autumn the fields were recovering &om the drought of 
summer, and preceded in the spring by lesser prtpatatoty ritei 
ai Agrai on the Ilissus. Behind the natrauve by a long and 
complex history* going back to anctcru seasonal fusuc riles at 
the critical junctures in the annual sequence of sowing, plough/ 
ing and reaping. While from her name Demctcr seems to have 
been of Indo-European origiot if as is very probable the last 
two syUablcs (/Jtfrtje) mean *madi€T\ is more difficult to 
determine. Its meaning is very unccnaim U could be rendered 
as 'catth’ by transposing it into but for this there is no 
adequate evidencedMannhardt* on the other hand, has 
interpreted it as a form of C«d, 'spel t', akin to the Cretan 
^barley', and so has made Demetcr the 'Spelt/moiher This 
too is conjectural as Demeto: is not at all indmaicly associated 
with either barley or with Crete. 

However, as Nilsscm has urged, there are grounds for think/ 
Ing that she was the Creek Com-mothct* and It is by no means 
improbable that the Elcusinian Mysteries arose, as be suggests, 
out of a very ancient agricultural fatival celebrating the bring¬ 
ing up of the com from the silos in which aficf threshing in 
June it had been stored away undl it was ready to be sown in 


Cntt and Cnta 

Ociobfl.i'" During the four jummer months j'n which ii was 
bchw ground ihc fields wc« barren and desolate until rhe 
autumn rains began. Then the pJonghing season opened in 
Atoca, the corn was sown and immediately the fields became 
^ agiun as the crops sprouted in the mild winter montb 
(except m January). The flowers, having appeared In carlv 

by M,y dK U 

^^r«pcd and threshed ai the beglmung of the dry scion 

» If r ** “ T^\ whether Demeter was the 

in general, or exclusively 

maiden embodying the new harvest, unquestionably she was 
mnccnicd taitfa the vegetation cycle. At Eleusis hcr^colt was 
^nnaUy an agncultural ritual which doubdess centred very 
g y tn the cuinvanon of the grain on rhe Raiian plstim 
reover, she was* as is almost certain, originally a Creek 

Mmoan Goddess cultus in which were incorporied the vious 

cclcbra^ to promote the 

nature, Thetefore. while they may have begun as a corn ritual 
SMpestd perhaps by the stowing away^f the grain in the 

In ihe fulfilmm, of the role of the Great Goddess. Demeter 
olain ^ ranged beyond the cornfields of the RaHan 

Sfcof of 

Tbt CcdiUsst 4 0/ the Cretk P^ntbem 155 

she WM Msociiiicd with Dcmctcr, Wheo this tramfcitnce was 
siccomplished the wiy was opened for the legend to describe 
the abduction of the daughter of Demeicr ai she was gathering 
flowers in the meadows with the daughters of Okeanos in the 
rich plain of Pharos. Appearing suddenjy in his golden 
chariot* the amotoos Pbto bore away the protesting Persephone 
to his nether realms. Thereupon the sorrowing mother w^an^ 
dered far and wide in search of her* carrying a torch to hght 
up the deep recesses where she might be cooeealed Such was 
her grief that she withheld her fructifying gifts from the earth 
io that utuvcrsal famine was threatened- 
As the story in the Homeric hymn continues* disguising 
herself as an old woman* Demeter went throu^iout the land 
undl at length she came to Eletisis* There she sai down near 
the wayside well called the Fountain of Maidenhood, and was 
cncoumtrcd by the daughters of the wise lord of Bktisis, 
Kcicos, to whotn she told a ftedtioas story about her escape 
from pirates. Having won their confidence* she was talten to 
the palace and became nurse to Domophoon* the infant son of 
the queen* Mciandra. To mate the child immortal* which was 
Demeser’s intentionp unknown to his paictits she anointed him 
with ambrosia* the food of the gods* and breathed upon him 
by day, and at night hid him in the fire to consume hh 
mOTtaljty, As a result of this treatment he grew like an immortal 
being until* disturbed one night at her fiery operadons by 
Mctancira* who screamed in terror when she saw her son in the 
ftte, Demeicr revealed her identity^ 

Although in her wiaih ai her plajis for Domophoon having 
been upset she refused to complete the process of immortaliza^ 
uoQ, or to continue her stay io the royal household* before she 
left the palace she commanded the people of Elcusis 10 build 
i fi^ctuary in her honour on the hill above the Foutuain of 
MAidenhood where she first met the daughters of Kdeos* and 
there the rites she would tcich her votaries should be performed 
for the purpose of bestowing Immortality on all who hence^ 
forth would be initiated into her mysteries* After another 
terrible year of drought and famine, which even deprived the 


Cffte gfiJ Crrete 

gods on Olympus of thdr sacriSda] susitnance, Zeus iniex^ 
vened on bcluFof Kore. Sending a mcsjcngcr to the undcr^ 
world m the penon of Hermes, it was airajigcd that she should 
be relcas^ provided that she had not eaten of the food of the 
dead. Pluto, however, had forestalled this by giving her 
s^ptitiously some pomegramie seeds. This bound her to 
lum for the thud pan of the year, and had the dTea of produce 
ing the decline m vegetation while she was in Ms realm. Par the 
rct^nmg eight months she lived with her mother in the 
upper world, and durmg this period Dcmeter allotvcd the earth 
to kai ite ftuics again. Tnptolemus. one of the young princes 
of Hcusis. was commissioned to go all over the world in his 
ehanoi «ach men how to coldvaie the soil under the 
dircoion of the Gtddess. and how to perform her rites. 
fo the form which the cult legend is told in the Homeric 

mX TjT ^ ^ ^ confusion and intermingling of 

myths. Th^ the ntual and its story arc pre^HcUenic in origin is 
sugge^ by the Mycenaean foundations of the sanctuary at 
Eleusis middle of the fifteenth centurj^^^ fo 

Mycena^ Agc,>i= and the^rimitive 

Tb«mo^ona. celeb^cd by women at the autumn sowing 
Indeed. Oemeter w« hetidf called lbcs,.opLorcs. and shrand 
Kore were the two ibfsmopbem.^^i ^ 

fJilinf? ^ open air as a 

^ *7’”* cropfwbr. U„, 

the^^l! immortality for those who undenvem 

M ^jirccKj rtgardJcss of sex or social rk-„ 

bmnK a p^Htlfcnjc iiKinidon, though 

Aachon of ,h, aocL 

The Cadiesffr ojibt Grrtk 157 

assisted by the priestly faimitct, the Kerykts or the Eumolpidae, 
who wete in charge of the rites. 

What form the dromena took when the cult was first ■ tta h - ' 
luhcd in its tain guise is very largely a matter of conjecture as 
the available tnformaiion comes mainly &om leladvely laic and 
not very reliable sources, apart from the arcbaeologicai material 
Kcovcred fiom the sanctuary. Being an esoteric m^'slcry its 
Kcttis were carefully guarded with dire penalties mned our to 
any who divulged the things revealed during the protracted 
process of inidarion.^^* From the few vague references to what 
look place that have sutvived it seems that after engaging in the 
leiset myacrics at A^ai in the spring, the mystae undciw'cnt a 
course of insifuctioi] in the knowledge to be imparted to them 
in the chief celehtaiion in (he month of Boedromion (Septem' 
her), together with purifications and asceucisms of various 
kinds. On the ipdi day of the month they were led forth in 
procession along the sacred way from Athens to £fcutis, 
accompanied by the statue of lacchos and thcidicsof Demcter 
guarded by her priestesses. At the shrines, temples and baths 
or route pauses were made to perform the piescdbed rites at each 
of them. On arrival at Elcusis, after (acchos had been cere# 
monially recaved, they bathed in the sea and roamed about 
the shore with lighted torches in imitation of Demetcr's search 
for Kotc recorded in the myth.^^^ 

On the aand day of B(^romion, which coincided with 
die autumnal sowing, after a nocturnal vigil the neophytes 
repaired to the telefterion, the remains of which have now 
been excavated within the sacred precincts. In the large square 
hail, metres in length with stone steps on all four sides, 
and with two doors in each of three of the four walls, the roof 
suppotted by fbrty#two columns arranged in rows of six at 
right angles to the main axis, the final riles took place with 
great solemnity. Veiled in darkness and in complete silence, 
tuiiDg on these loira of steps, which perhaps were covered with 
sheep/skins, the myslae beheld the sacred sights in the onaktoront 
Ok itoet shrine of the Goddess in the centre of the hall in 
which her xehes were deposited and the mystic rites were 


Cretf chJ Crtfa 

performed by the hjCTophaiit. verted in the offieia] robcj of the 
high^pncst of Efeusis, It seems that they may have included 
certain mystic and symbolic utterances and (lie 

revahng to the neophytes of cult objects (deiknyrnttm), as wdl 
as the enactment of dri>iiuita in the form of dramatic pciforuu 
antes dcpicung the abduction of Kore, episodes in the 
wandmngs of Demeicr, her experiences at £lcusis, and her 
reunion with her daughter. Thus, in the museum at filcusis 
there IS a ^e showing ou a tablet an initiate in process 
of being led by the ttsyaa^ajtfi ^Le, sponsors) to Demeter, and 
Kore ^(ed in dieir sanauary, while on rclids in frotit of 
the wall m room near tlic entiatice the rape of Persephone 
IS tepresemed. In aaother telief Ocmeter is seated and Korc 
«TOding near her holding toidics, with votaries approaching. 
The citcular box on which the Mothet^oddess is sitting may 

be a sacmd chest containing the holy symbols revealed to 

The mission of Triptolemus to teach the people how to 
^luvarc grain IS also prominent in the iconoeraphy, where he 
« shown holding a scepae and seated on a magnifieently 
^cd throne drawn by dragons. In his right hand he holtb 
tlilT of corn and looks intently at Demetcr in an attitude 
h suggests ^cmQg to her insiructians. On a later very 
l«gc plaque dedicated by the priest Laktatades In the TJt 
ccutury B.C. put together from fragments found during thl 
IrfJhw!! he is represented holding Jt his 

bit I. t," r who is seated 

torches, and cW 

nVk if! 7 '"^ bis sceptre as kj'ng of the underworld. To the 
ngk is a god on a throne, and a goddess with a sceptre, who 

be the andent divinirics wor^ 

^pp^ ar Eleusis before rbc cult of Demeter waT^hlired ' 
there ^d whose names were unknown, At the back is the 

iwnbol, U., Eanh.god*o » sIk»™ difng fre™ tht gnioad 

Tht Ceidesses vj tlx Cntk PamUm 159 

Hid liftiiig 4 ccmucopia. on the top of which sits a male child 
whom she presenu to a goddess standitig to the right holding 
a sceptre. To the left of Demeter is a figure, possibly that of 
Koic, and above her head is Triptolcmm in his winged car.^** 
Nilsson idrtjtilia the child as Plouton/^" the (luii ofthe fields 
and reprcscniative of vcgmiion, while Triptolcmus was a 
reveaier of the secrets of Demeter. the promoter of agricultuie 
and IwiowcT of bounty, who invariably stands by the side of 
the divine pair, the Cpttl'mother and Eanli^goddess, and her 

It is ptMsi ble that some of these iconogiaphic scenes give some 
indication of the nature of the dmnifta at Eleusis. In the late 
literary sources reference is made to the drinking of barley, 
gruel, taking certain sacred things from the chest, tasting them 
and placing them in a basket, and from the basket into the 
chest as ‘the password of the Elcusiniaji mysteries'.^ This 
suggests that a sacramental meal occurred during the course of 
Ac rites and may have been reenacted in the passion drama 
in Ae telttttnett. But what Ae Ainking of the kyktw signified 
is not known. Dr Fanicll chinks Aai Ae votary Jck a certain 
fellowAip wuh Demeter who had herself partaken of it, 
though, as he uys. it docs not appear that it was consecrated 
on an altar, or that ‘the communicant was ever penetrated with 
any mystic idea Aai it contained Ae Avmc substance of the 

AccorAng to the post'Christian writer Hippolyius, an ear 
of corn was reaped in a blaze of Hghi before Aeir wondering 
eyes, and the birA of a Avine child, Bdmos or lacchos, was 
solerruily announced.^’® This lias led to Ae assumption Aat 
At dtvmata coact uded with a sacred [uatriage between Zeus 
and Demeter symbolized by Ae union of Ac hierophant and 
Ae chief priestess in an underground chamber when Ae torches 
were exonguished.^^* But Ae excavations have not revealed 
any such chamber in the sanctuary, and Hippolyius seems to 
have confused Ac Atds rites with Aosc of Demeta.^*® If a 
cDni>>token, in fact, was one of Ac sacred objects shown to Ac 
initiates such a marriage would be m place in the vcgetatioti 


Crtit Gwff 

sctdiig of the mystery a$ part of the somiuJ drama. The 
gcrniiii^ng ear would be at once the symBol of the harvest of 
the gram and that of the rebirth to immortal life of the nco^ 
phytes. This background is demonsuared in the iconography 
and seems to be presupposed by the documentary data. More¬ 
over, as FatneU has pointed out, the formula in Proclus when 
the worshippers gaaing up to the sky exclaimed "Rain (O Sky), 
ronceive (O Earth), be fruitful'^®* savours of a very primitive 
liturgy resembling the Dodenaean invocation of Zeus and 
Moihcr-eaiib. Late though it is (fifth century a.d.), it may well 
be 'the genuine ore of a religious stratum sparkling alJ the 
more for being found in a waste deposit of Neoplatonic 

Therefore, while the sacred marriage as an integral element 
in the Elcusinian mystetiR cannot he demonstrated, and the 
conjectUTR on which the assumption rests are based on very 
uncertain, confused and later literary souren. nevertheless it i 
highly probable that the theme of the seasonal drama lay behin d 
Elcusinian drameru and teftbir, vested as a hcTedkary posses¬ 
sion in the Mcicm pricjdy familiR. When they had become 
transformed into a death and tcsuirection ritual centred in the 
pledge of a blissful tmmortahty, for more than two thousand 
years it would seem they gave to their initiates hope and 
confidence alike in this life and beyond the grave. 


The Magna Mater 


The affinity of the 'Lady of Ida*, the Matir JJm, as her official 
title suggests, to the EphesLan Artemis, Hekate and the Cretan 
Rhea has long been rcctjgnized. Thus* Strabo regarded the 
Goddess of Asia Minot as idetidcal or very closely connccicd 
with her counterparts In Nordiern Greece, Thiace and Crete.* 
In her original Phrygian home* in fact, she was vinually indis^ 
dnguisbablc from the Great Mother in the Ancient Near East* 
being primarily the goddess of fetrility^ mistress of wild life in 
nature responsible for the healrh and well-being of man and 
rhe animals, the protector of her people in war* and the 
recipient of orglasdc ecstatic worship in her chief sancruaty at 
Pcssinus. With her youthful lovci AttU* the god of vcg«aaoii* 
she was the guardian of the dead, perhaps under Thracian 
jnduence, associating her with the EaTth-motbcTj while she was 
at die same time the Dtu icmitta Diniififstnft the goddess of 
the mountain iti her Asiatic lioTne, and later she acquired 
astral and cdesrial characteristics* Attended by her Thraco- 
Phrygian daemonic Koiybantcft she was a Dionysian figure, 
juit as Phrygian and Bacchic cults were fused in Rhea and her 
worship. Similarly, the Uons yoked to her car bad their 
counterparts in the guardian lions with which the Goddess 
was accoioparutd in Crete and the Aegean* 

md KyUlt 

Attis, again, played much the same role in relation to Kybde, 
the Mffter Idtica, in Phrygia and Lydia as did Adonis to 
Aitaite io Syria. Both are said to have castrated ihcmsclvH* 
and Agdisrii* the hernuphrodite moostcr* was afierwaids 
deprived of male organs by the gods. From these gcmiak an 
almond-tree was said to have sprung up from the fruit of which 

1 The Mtijna Matrr 

Attis wajs conceived by his virgin mother Nana.® When later 
Agdistis fell in love with him, to prevent his marrying la, the 
king’s daughter, the struck him with madness and caused liim 
to emasculate himself under a pin&tree:, where he bled to 
death,^ In a Lydian version of the story, like Adonis, be was 
killed fay a boar,* but both agree that he met an undmely 
end through misadventure.® la, after wrapping the body in 
wool and mourning over him, killed herself, and Kybele took 
the pine to her cave, where she in company with Agdistis 
(with whom she was identified in die version of Arnobins) 
wildly lamented Attis. The corpse remained undecayed and 
Was Consecrated at Pessitius, where rites were Insiirutcd and 
performed annually in bis honour. 

Tbt Cullus in Aria Minor 

In Anatolia the worship of the Mother of the Gods and her 
consort was the predominant featutc from the fourth cenrury 
B.C. Notwithstanding local vadadons in names, epithets and 
forojs. the two central figures retainwJ their identities and 
maintained their posidon in spite of their syncretisms with the 
-goddesses and gods of Asia Minor and the Aegean^ The wild 
and savage nature of the Thraco/Phiygian culms with its ecstadc 
revels and mutiladons, barbaric music and irandc dances, 
reminiscent of the Oionysian orgies and indicaiivc of consider'' 
able antiquity, reveals its original character and significance. 

The ntes Eicing designed for the purpose of establishing a 
highly cmodonal communion with the deities on the pan of 
their frenzied votaries, the jjffor was called because 

he was n^ded as the male embodiment of the Goddess 
Kybele and the high''pTicK at Pessinits was himself Atris.® In 
this capacity he was a kind of sacra] king who owed his status 
^id influence to his union with the god whom be incarnated 
for the time being during the course of the ecstatic ceremnm'es. 
The votaries underwent a process of regeneration which appear 
to have inejudd a sacramental meal, eating from a timbrel 
(drum) and drinking from a cymbah both of which instiu^ 
ments were used in the orchestra of Aids.’ A more drastic 

The Idafdri M 0 tbcr cf Pbry^id KSj 

af sectiriRg rcbiitli wis the wclt^known taurobolium 
g^aphicillf described by Prudencius,* when the imckie bio 
the Mysteries of Aids in the spring was reguriod to ^tand 
in a pit beneath a gnritig over which a bull w'as stabbed 
TO death with a consecrated spew. Saturated with its blood 
in every part of his body, he emerged bom again and clcanjed 
from every stain of impurity, scaled with the seal of the 

The T^ur^hiilim 

Out knowledge of this grim rite comes from post'Chrisdan 
sources when it was practised in the Roman world in and 
after the second century a.d. in conjunction with the Attis 
Mjiteries. Then it had acguired a more lofty spiritual re* 
interpretation of rebirth, in spite of its crude setting, and was 
regarded as cflicacious for twenty years* until eventually one at 
least who underwent the experience was said to be in ^cternum 

By A.o* i h it ivas established in the cult of Venus at 
Puicoli, and fiom the Phrj^gian sanctuary of Kybelc on the 
Vatican hill near the present basiUca of St Peter k spread to 
Ostia. Narbonensis, Aquitania, Spain and North AfticaJ® 
Its origins arc obscure, but. like the rest of the A^i^Kybek 
cultus* it was completely foreign to the Roman religious 
tradition. The priests were Asiatics and at first no Roman 
citizen was allowed to take part in any of these alien rites. 

Unquestionably the ciadkland of the cult of the Magna 
Mater must be sought in Phrygia Jlim as that of Ma Bellona. 
With w^hich later it became largely fused, w^as Cappadoaa,*^ 
and that of Atargatis was Syrk-p'® The cesanc dmces, out^ 
tandish music, the Phrygian pipes and cap, the cmasculaied 
priests, the lion/drawn chariot, the sacriftet of the bull or ram, 
and the sacramenul meal from the drum and the cymbal, with 
Aids called the ^cornstalk' in the hWgy: all these features point 
to a Western Asiaric source of the Atiis^Kyfaele cultus as do 
the eunuch priests at Ephesus and such cult objects as the 
aitragalo] (which may have been attached lo their scourges), the 
pine-cones, pomegranates, the cymbals, tambourines and 

1^4 The Meter 

sheep'sluns. All these, so clostly connected with the Magna 
Mater cnltus, indicate its provenance. 

Although there is no positive evidence that the taurobolium 
and criobolium woe practised in Phiygia in this connexion, 
that they came rroni Asia Minor, and were related to the 
worship of the Magna Mater, is very probable. Cumont, 
having abandoned his earlier suggestion that originally it was 
held in honour of the Eastern Aitcmis Tautopolos, and the 
deities closely allied to her’^ (e.g. Anaitis and MaBellona) 
later deduced the name ftom the lassoing of wild bulls.** 
Wi^out adopting this conjeciurc since the word signifies the 
sacnficia] slaughtering of a bull, it may have arisen where wild 
bulls weir hunted, and having aci^uircd a femliiy significance 
they may have been slain ritually and the bloml drunk or 
applied sacramentally to give a renewal of life. In this event 
the practice would be associated very readily with the Goddess 
cult as in inicegtil pan of the process of regeneration and 
purificaaon, especially in the case of her chief priest, the ja/fw, 
who had sacrificed his virility in her service. Thus, in the 
Roman Empire it was fwrfonned for the welfare of the 
Emperor and the eoromuniry until it was given a wider and 
mote personal application in the third and fourth centuries A.n. 
h may wdl have been, thcTEfoxic* that when it arose k was 
confined to the chief priest of die Magna Mata. 

The fielleHization oj the CeUdess 

Wblc, as we have seen, from the fifth century fl.c, the Phrygian 
Magna Mater was identified with the Cretan- Aegean Rhea, 
and after her loiponadon from Asia Minor the two cults 
OMT^d more and more; yet it was in her HeDetitzed form that 
the Goddess funcuoned in Greece itself where none of these 
Thiaco-Phiygiii, religions had much vogue until in the 
Hclleiiisnc Age largely under Semitic influences in Asia 
J^nor, th^ had undcigone a very conriderablc modification. 
Me the Orphic Dionysiac. Thus Aids was represented as a 
hunter who was killed fay a boar like Adonis.** or who 

The Magm Mater m the IV&tld *65 

mutiloitd himsdf under a pinotrcc,*® while Kybck was 
cqiutcd widt the less orgkidc Hck^te ind Anemis and 
her Semitic counterpart Ishur or AstanCp^^ In a terracotta 
relief from the neighbourhood of Smyrna she is represented m 
a shiinc (rrdrcvk) caressing one of her Unm and wearing a 
chiton and mantle. Below her are t^^^o Manyas playing flutes, 
while an attendant (possibly Attis) pouts out a libation bom 
a jugp At the sides are Hgurcs in a frenaied attitude^ and at the 
base a liiezc of lions and bulls. 

As the ecstadc emotional worship became increasingly popu^ 
lar among the unsophisticated masses it was regarded with 
disapproval and disdain in Hellenic dfcics, both on account 
of its character and tontem, and of its alien origi ns and signi^ 
(icancc. It was condemned, for example, by the Pythagorean 
Phintys as inconsistent with female modesty*^® Neveftheless, Jt 
was too closely allied to the Dionysia of Thracian origin to fail 
to secure a comidetable popular foUowing in Greece witliout 
fundamentally changing the essential character of the cuit. 
Once the Dionydac religion had become established in post^ 
HomeTic dines a$ a fordgn intrusion, in spite of the hostility it 
aroused in ctaditional Achaean circles^ the way had been 
opened for the worship of the Phiy^gian Magna Aiater to take 
toot because it supplied w'hat w'ls lacking in the prosaic heroic 
cult of the IndcM'Huropean ruUng classs with which it became 

For an agricultural and pastoral people fertility in its varksus 
aspects was a vital necessity, and it wai this which the Great 
Mother provided, summing up in her complex personality the 
office and functions of the goddess connected with the maternal 
principle in nature, giving life to the crops, the flocks and 
herds, and to mankind. Her rnalc partner w^as uf secondary 
importance in this process and so be occupied 1 stibordinarc 
position in relaxion to bei, Attis, like Tammuz, bang the 
young gpd or servant, or high-^pricK of Kybelc, the Ishtir of 
Asia Minor and the Aegean. Her pfoi^^pc Rhea, it is true, 
was the mother of Zeus and die other children of Kronos, and 
was overshadowed by her illustrious offspring. NevcnhelciSi 


T/v Afagita Mdtfr 

(he fact remains, as Nibson has maintained, that the youthful 
paramo^ of the Minoati NatuiC'goddesx was a year-gpd, 
embodying the new life of spring, fulfilling tlie role of the 
Consort^ of (he Alagna Mater. Theii joint function was the 
promotion of the fertility of nature, especially in connexion 
with the revival of vegetation itiierpreted in tenru of the reunion 
of the son^Iover and his mothcr^spouse after their separ^on, 
typified by the decline of viiiliiy in winter and us renewal in 
the spring. 

Tie Spn'trj Feytivjl 

Thus, as the androgynous Kybelc was alleged to have sprang 
om the ground, and from her several male genital organs an 
almond^ee arose, the Iniits of which gave birth to Attis by 
Nana, the daughter of the river Sangarios, so in the Spring 
Fesaval the geratab of her emasculated priests were consecrated 
to her to renew fecundity by the potency in them. For the same 
purpose a fir^ or pinc/trec was wrapped round with bands of 
wool, decorated with violets, and on it an image of Arris was 
hung M the embodiment of the vitality which dwelt in the 
tree, which was then buried anrid lamentation. After three 
days J! was dug up and preserved until at the end of the year 
« was^ burned. According to Diodorus these rites were per^ 
formed k the command of Apollo, who taught the Phrygians 
wc rittiaJ, thereby giving this vety ancient culrus some status 
in the Olympian tradiriou in Greece, notwithstanding its 
nonyHellenic character.®^ 

&hmd it Ly the long and complex history and devebpmcnr 
oi the Goddess cub in us mamfold forms. Thus, before it was 
introduced into Phrygia, leave alone Greece, it was abeady 
hrmly established m its ma«i features and purposes. From its 
j m the Andent Near East it appears to have be™ 
diffused to the Acpin. chiefly by way of Anatolia and Asia 
Minor, where similar influences produced an almost idcnrical 
cub « Northern Syria, Thus, the Goddess Kubaba, cone, 
^on^g » the Greek Kybete, was primarily the queen of 
Garchcmish represented in relief seated on a lion, and 

The Mdftttf AlffWf in tise Crm^^R^man World i6j 

meniioncd m Cappadocian tablets as Kubabat.^^ Elsewhere in 
texts she is only a minor Hunian goddess but as the Magna 
Mater she assumed the status and ftmctiDii of the Sumetian 
Mother-Goddess Nintud tinder the name of Hannahanna (the 
*Grand mother’) ^ though without the Phrygian orgiastic rites 
piaedsed at Pessinus. 

Thf Galli 

On the other hand, the of the Syrian goddess Asutte 
of Hierapolis at the Spring Festival bcerated their arms and 
scourged ood another to the actom pariiinent of the beating of 
drunu, playing on pipes and the utterance of dcafetiing cries. 
Many of the young men were caught up in the Eenzy, stripped 
off thrir clothes and emasculated themselves, running through 
the dty with the severed organs and throwing them into any 
house. In exchange they received female atriie and ortia' 
ments.®* Throughout Phrygta, Syikt Lydia, Cappadocia^ 
Pontus and Galada^ whm ^e Magna Mater reigned suptemCp 
with ot without her youthful partneip reckless ecstatic passion 
of this namre w'as of common occuncnec ai the Annual 
Festival, involving acts of sexual murilaiion to secure com.^ 
plctc identity with the Goddess. But although Attis was a 
Thraco^Phry^an figure and Adonis a Western Semitic form 
of Taminuz, the orgiastic element in thdx culms was not a 
Mesopotamian feamre in the Spring Festival- Lapicntaiion 
there was with * women weeping for Taminuz, but die cclebra-' 
lion of the death of the year'god of fertihty never otdtcd the 
frenzy in the Euphrates valley it product in Western Asia, 
any mote than devoiion to the Goddess led to the sexual mad' 
ness it created in Phrygia and Anatolia. The same is true of 
Crete and Greece, where in the Minoan'Mycctiaean idipan 
and its aftermath the Goddess cull was rclaiivtly resnaincd, 
dignified and sober until it came under Thtaco'Phiygian 

Castration was regarded as a fofcign extravagance in the 
GraccO'Roman w^orld* to be cither prohibited altogether ot to 
be kept strictly within the limits of the alicnSi who pracused 


The Msgna Mater 

the uDedifymg rites. A cutiuch^'priesthood was forbidden by 
Hellenic, BabylonJin and Judaic law, and, as ia prinutivc 
society, those who served the altar, be it of the Goddess or of 
any other deity, must be virile and free from blemish like the 
victims they offered to the source of all life, Thetefore, ^alli 
were excluded far bypatbesi from tcmple#worship, as in the Code 
of Lesbos. How or when sel£«tnascuIatioti arose in Phrygia is 
an unsolved problem, but it seems to represent an extreme 
expressjon of an ardent desire far commu nion with the Magna 
Mater which became a mental aberration. Thus, the frenzied 
eunucb'pricst was called and, as the male cuunicrpait 

of the Goddess, by saciifrdng bis virility he assimilated lumself 
to her so completely that he shared in her lilc'givJng power.** 
Henceforth he adopted female attire, having consecrated liim.' 
self to her service even at the cost of his manhood. 

The practice may have long preceded its myrhological inters 
pretarion in rel^on to the Kybclc-Attis cult legend, especially 
as there ate indications of Anatolian cunuch-pricsts in addition 
to those associated with the £phcsian Artemis, Atargatis and 
f^^bate, not to mention the reference to die castration of the 
gods (e.g. Uranus and Ktonos), These have Ittde in common 
in tlm respect wkh the Attis story and its ritual, the closest 
aEniries being with the Adonis and Attarte cultus. Kcvcithe^ 
less, as bavc been demonstrated, selfymutilahon in some form 
or another was a recurrent clement in the Goddess cult, and in 
that of the Magna Mater k reached its height in the Phrygian 

The Cmiit£ a/ Kyheie ti Rome 

Even when her worship gained access to Rome in the third 
century b.c., just before ihe cud of the Hannibalic war 
(204 B.c.), the orgies had by no means spent their force. 
Whether or not the true nature of the Phrygian Grcai Mother 
and her rites was properly appreciated, in response to the 
tccommcndaoon of the prophetess of the Sibylline boob, it 
was decided to bring to the capital the stna]] bbek meteorite 
m which the Goddess was embodied. The situation was 

Tbt Afo/ffiS in the World 

bccamiTig desperate. The war had kaed for twelve yeare and 
it$ end was trill nowhere in tight. FuithcrmorCp Uicre had bem 
rccendy several nminons showers of pebble raio, portending, as 
it was thought, some approaching calamiry. These evtoK led 
to the oracles being consulted, with the result, according 
tfl Livy^ that it was declaicd that Vhen a foreign foe had 
invaded Italy it could he driven out and vanquished if che 
Idacan Mother were brought from Pcssinus'.^** It was 
decided, thciefotc, to follow this oracnlai counsel and to 
dispatch at once an envoy to the sacred Phrygian city to 
convey the prcaous symbol of the Mother of rhe Cods to 

After some demur on the part of AttaluSp the king of 
Pergamos, who then had the custody of the stone* the request 
for its removal was granted. Placed in a spcdal ship, it was 
borne to Ostia, where there were strangjc happenings on its 
arrival* The boat was grounded on a sand^bank in the mouth 
of the Tiber, from which, after all efforts to release it had failed, 
a Roman imtton of noble birth, Claudia Quinia, drew it off 
quite easily after having prayed lo the Goddess, and thereby 
clearing her cbmeter of charges of unchasrity that bad been 
made against hcr.^® It then proceeded up the rivet lo Rome^ 
where on April 4th, 204, die sacred stone was received with 
due reverence by matrons who carried it to the temple of 
Viciory on the Palatine hilL There it remained unril in tor b-c, 
the temple of the Magna Mater was erected in her honour on 
the bilL^® 

As soon as she had been installed in her temporary sanctuary 
her influence was fdc, for that summer produced a bumper 
harvest,^® and the following year Hannibal left Italy for 
Africa^ having made his Lst stand in the mountains of 
Bnittium. The prediction of the Sibyls had come true, for 
Kybele* it seemed, had rid the Und of the invaders. It is not 
tuiprising, therdbre, that the people of Rome bmught their 
gifts to her shrine in icturo for hei beneficence^ and insniutcd 
a festival to be held on April 4th in her honour in rect^nition 
of the services she had rendered to them. At it a k^tkUmiafn 

IT® The Mmir 

(sacred banquet) and Wi (games) were hcld,®^ which ten 
yean later took the form pf scenic peefarmances —Ludt 
fcmfj-*®® After die erection of the temple on the Palatine, 
dedicated to the Magna Mater Idaca on April lodii tpi, the 
Mepksia were included in the State calendar^ and so were given 
official recogniiioa,^^ 

In due course they were elaborated and occupied the entire 
week ficoui April 4^ to ApiU loth^ being celebrated by the 
whole nadon. On the first dLay the prjeljr uri^nurf representing 
the State, made a solemn offering lo the Goddess in her 
temple,®* and (entertainments) were given by 

Plays were paformed on the third day,^* and on 
the last day races were run which eventually faeeame the most 
popular eveiu«®'^ Menrjvmaking and licence, reminiscent of the 
Saturnalia in December, remained a fearureofthe observance*^^ 
even after the wilder aspects had been brought under control 
and sobered. 

Tbe Efstatic PtiKtrshn 

At first the strange spectacle of the Phrygian Magna Mater, 
being conducted in her chartot drawn by lions through the 
streets of Rome by her jja/lj leaping and dancing and gashing 
themselves amid strains of oudandtsh music, muse have been 
no imall cmbaErassment to the Senate. If the Goddess bad 
brought relief from the Hannibalic hosts she had introduced 
a v^ dangerous element of ccstaiic fanaticism completely 
foreign to the Roman tradition and temperament, but none the 
less capable of becoming a serious menace and alarmingly 
infectious. The scene has been described by Luactius and 
eonfinned in gicat measure by Ovid* 

‘Borne from her sacred precinct in bci car she drove a yoke 
of lions; her head they wt^thed wirh a batilemented crown, 
because embattled an glorious heights she sustains towns; and 
dowered with this emblem even now the image of die divine 
mother is carried in awesome state through grcai countries. 
On her the diverse niuiont in the ancient rite of worship call 

Th Miitfr k tht IV^rld 171 

the Mother of Id^, and they give her Phrygian bands to 
bear her company, because from those buds first they say 
com began to be produced chnonghout the whole world. The 
mudlated priests they assign 10 heip because they wish to show 
that those who have offended the godhead of die Mothci* and 
have been found ungrateful to their parents, must be thought 
to be unwortliy to bring offspring Jive into coasts of lighL 
Taut rimbreU thunder in their lunds and hollow cymbals all 
around^ and horns menace with haish^ounding bray^ and 
the hollow pipe goads their minds m the Phrygian mode* 
and they carry weapons before them^ the symbols of their 
dangerous frenzy^ that they may be able to fill with fear 
through the goddess's power tbe thankless minds and urv 
filial beans of the multitude* And so as soon as she rides on 
through great dries, and silently blesses mortals Viith no/ 
spoken salutation^ with bronac and silver they strew all the 
path of her journey, enriching her with bounteous alms, and 
snow rose^blossoms over her, overshadowing the Mother and 
the troops of her escort. Then comes an armed band, whom 
the Greeks call the Curetes, whenever they sport among the 
Phrygian troops and leap in rhythmic moveintntt gladdened 
at the sight of blood arid shaking as they nod their awesome 
crests upon their heads, recall the Curetes of Diete. 

Making due allowance for Lucretius having bonowed much 
of the embellishincnt of his narrative from the songs of die 
learned poets of the Greeks in the days of old\ the procession, 
nevertheless, must have put the civil authorities in a quandary 
bciwccn the respect due ro the Goddess who had demonstrated 
her power in delivering Rome from the Garthaginiani and 
giving fruitful seasons, on the one hand, ^ud the maiuteoance 
of dignified, decent and orderly behaviour on the part of its 
citizens, subject to these wild and violent oigtes in their main 
tboroughfaxes, performed by a motley crowd of forrigneis in 
didr unfamiliar garmctitSj and with their outlandish tanv 
hourincs^ Under the circumstances the rites could not be 
cither suppressed or ignored. Theicfoit. with their gcoiuj for 

1?^ Tix Mt£na Mater 

statesmanlike compTomise, and foTcwamed by ibe tinedifying 
Bacchanalia in which Roman citizens already had beenme 
involved they lacilitated the building of the temple for Kybcle 
on the Palatine as a separate edifice so thai the cultus could be 
cophned as much as possible within its own sacred enclosure. 
For the rest, the presence of the prsttor urhams at the rites, 
while giving the Megatesia ofGdal tecognition, enabled him to 
exercise a watching hricTovci the proceedings. Furthermore, it 
was strictly forbidden for any Roman citiaen to become a 
jeWwr, to Iwld any office in the service of the Goddess, or to 
take pan in the processions,*® 

These Umiiaaons and regulations had the effect of isolating 
the cull and its observances, confining it to Phrygians and their 
emasculated priesthood, who for the most part had been 
brought over from Asia Minor for the purpose. Soon, regarded 
merely as a spectacle, the procession appears to Iiave lost a good 
deal of its novelty for Romans, and, shorn of its Oriental 
extravagances, the Megaltsia became in due course little more 
than a holiday celebiaied in honour of the Magna Mater. 
Indeed, by the end of the Republic it had so far declined in 
public esteem that when a hi^^priesr from Pcssinus appeared 
in the Forum arrayed in hi vestments and ornaments to 
demand a public expiation of an alleged profanation of the 
statue of the Goddess, he was mobbed by the populace.*^ 

Tbe Hilaria 

It was not unri] the establisbtnem of the Empire that the cult 
WM revived and given a new status. Then the temple on the 
Palodne, which had b^ burned down in a.d. 3, was restored 
y Augustus, though It was not until the tdgn of the Emperor 
laudim (aj>. 41—that the Phrygian woiship was incor> 
ponied m the State rdigion of Rome, and the Spring Festival 
ol Kybele and Attis was inaugurated iti a scries of observ ances 
in MmcH.*® These began with a procession of camiopbori, or 
rce 'b^ers, on the fifreenth day of the mondi in commemota/ 
uon of the finding of the youthful Attis by Kybcle in the reeds 
of the nver Sangarios in Phrygia, intended perhaps originally 

17 } 

Tbt Mapia Msitr m tU Gnif»''R47ni4fl World 

to sccuic the fotiUty of the fields,'*'^ A lix^yciT'cld bull catried 
in the piocessioa was sactiiiccd by the arcbigallui, and aftci a 
fast from biead for a week a jjcied pmC'Cree was felled in the 
wood of Kybcle outside Rome, wrapped In linen to represent 
the dead A(d$, garlanded with violets because violets were said 
to have sprung from the blood of the vegetation deity Aitis, with 
his cfHgy tied to the stem, and then taken to the Paladne temple.*^ 

When these ancieut agrarian rites of Phrygian origin had 
been duly performed, the next day a strict fast was ob^ved in 
preparation for the solemn celebration of the Dies Stotts on 
March a4tb. This was the day devoted to lamcntarion ior 
the death of the god, with piercing cries, the blowing of 
pipes, and the making of an incision in his arm by the 
arclugalJus, symbolizing the sdfrmutilation of the neophytes 
in the earlier Phrygian rite.*® Tlie rest of the ^alli scourged 
and cm their ftcsli to unite their blood in a common oficriiig 
to the sorrowing Magna Mater and her dead lover, doubts 
Jess as a survival of an ancient renewal and funerary rite. 

In the evening the lamentation was renewed and continued 
during a night offasung and vigil (pamtyebis) until, piesumably 
at dawn on the i5^bi the longed'fbr annotmeement was made 
by the priest, ‘Be of good cheer, neophytes, seeing that the 
god is saved; for we also, afier our toils, shall find salvation.’ 
Sonow was then turned into joy because the inidaics were 
united wkh the Goddess in the relationship of a new Attis, and 
the restoration of the dead god in all probability was an earnest 
of the resurrection of those who shared in his triumph over 
death.** The Dies Sanguis became the fitieria, the Festival of 
Joy (which has given irs designation to the whole Spring 
Festival^, celebrated in Rome as a carniva] with feasting, mcni.' 
ineiit, wanton masijucradcs and universal licence, satiimal ian 
in its absence of all restraint and respea for authority, which 
nciriy ctssi one emperor his 

The cicccssei of jiibilitiDn^ not uticommQn it the end of an 
obs^ance of ^ nature at the vernal equinox, which so often 
reached its diinax in a sacred marriage and the attendant 
ceremonies, were followed by the lavatio after a day of 

17 + The Muter 

much'nccdccl rest an the 26th (ret}uieiia). Thus, on the morn^ 
ing of the JTih the untge of the Coddess in a wagon W4i 
drawn by oxen in proccsiiDQ to the river AJmo outside 
the Potu Capeju, preceded by barEfooied nobles, and to rbe 
accomparument of the music of pipes and lambotinnes. On 
amving on the banks of the river near the wails of the city the 
arebi^allut, vested in purple, washed the image and the wagon, 
^d the other sacred instruments in accordance with an ancient 
rite.** With these ablutions the festival concluded, the wagon 
and the oxen, sdll adorned with spring lowers, returning with 
the mysterious meteoritic image in its silver setting to its shrine 
on the Palatine hill, there to remain in virtual isolation until 
die crude Phrygian Paster diania was again reenacted when 
the festival recurred the next year. 


Rita of this nature, however, were not conlined to the Kybcle- 
Attis cult. Closely associated with them were the Lamcntaiioiu 
and rqoicings of the Isis vouria in the autumn when they 
celebrated the scattering of the remai ns of Osiris hy Seth (or 
Typho as he was called in the Craeco^Roman world), and 
their recovery by Isis and ratoratjon to li&, thereby giving 
assurance of a blissful immortality in union with Ositiv 
Serapis and ‘the Coddas of many names’.*® By the fourth 
nntury a.c, h« wonbip had been esublishcd in Greece by 
the Egyptians in the Piraeus, often combined in the Aegean 
unth that of Serapis, Anubis and Haipocraics, and somciimes 

Demner and Aphrodite, 
while her son Horus was equated with Pros. As she became 
more and mote syncictisiic she was almost a universal goddess 
and. to type, her husband-brothn Osiris then assumed a 
submdinateposuioQ. In ha several roles she was the beneficent 
MoAer, who concaved, brought forth, and nourished all life 
in this world, renewed vegeiadon at its source, and restored 
the dead beyond the grave. She was the penonificarion of the 
matcmal pnnciple, and the highest type of the faithful wife and 
loving mother* 

The HflUnizeJ bis Cult 175 

This bccainc mosi apparent in ind ^ficr the Piokmaic period 
when Akxindcr, having completed the conqiuest of Westetp 
and Southern Asia Minor^ defeated the Persians at the battle 
of Issus in n B,c.p placed Egypt, Palestine and Phocnida 
under the control of Ptolemy Soter (305-2S5 The 

cull of Scrapis and the Hcllcniacd Iiis was then inmtuted by 
mingling the Egyptian and Greek dements into a composite 
whole. Although its origins are obscure,®® die worsliip of the 
Memphite Apis bull, brought into conjunction with thar of 
Isis in the Scrapaeum he founded in Alexandria, spread rapidly 
over the Gtaecoi^Romaji world. Greeks and Macedonians in 
the military and commerdal services may have been largely 
responsible for its propagation! and an Egyptian priest of 
Heliopolis, Manctho, was acrivdy engaged in its formatioo and 
disse^nadon. But by the time that the flood of Eastern 
divinities poured into the We$t^ especially towards the end of 
the Roman Republic, Isis had eclipsed Scrapii to a very 
considerable extent. Even in Alexandria she soon became the 
more important of the two deides, and it was her festivals in a 
Hellenic setting, rather than those of Seiapis, which were more 
frequently celebrated. 

According 10 Plutarch, Ptolemy St5fcr employed Manctho 
and TimoiheuSi a member of the Elemlman family of the 
Eumolpides, to formulate this syncreiistjc Hellenized Isis 
mystery cult in assocradon with Serapis who was identified 
with Osiris, The priesthood remained Egypdan and when 
some of the ceretnpnics were pet&rmcd by Creeks they 
shaved their heads and wore white robes like Egyptians, 
Although Greek became the common language for the 
ritual, the limrgy was Egyptian, and reference is made by 
Apuleius, as late as the second century to a Uturgical 
book in use in the Mysteries at Cod nth j written in hiero¬ 
glyphics.*^ The cult-legend was brought into rdarion with 
the Osman doctrine of immortality, and its counterparts in 
Western Asia and Anatolia, while Isis became ilie compre¬ 
hensive ^Goddess of many names", like the Phrygian Magna 
Mater, In the iconography she was represented hequendy in 

176 The Mn^na Akitr 

Creek desigm, and a$ Hathor she became idendlied with 

The aim of the Piolcmaic lyncrctijm wai ra create a divinity 
in whom both Egypium and Greeks could unite in a commoii 
worship at Alexandria and wherever the cult was esubltshcd 
in the GraeccvRonmi world* When this was accomplished 
Isis came to be more and more all things to all men, com-' 
pletely overshadowing her male partner, Smpis; her worship 
combining the fcatiircs of a public ritual and an esoteric 
mystery. The succoi of the effort was due very largely to the 
fact that the composite figure met the fundamental needs which 
the Coddeis cult in ks various aspects supplied. Moreover, in 
the Craeco^Rcman guise Isis Mysreries had undergone a 
spiritual refinement and spnituali^tion which dlffeieniiated 
them from the original drama at Abydos while retaining the 
essential dcarh and tesUTTcction theme and all that this offered 
as a warrant of rebirth and future existence for the ir^dividual 
inidated, and tlie widet implications for the well-being of 
mankind. Templet were erected for ihe conduct of the ntes in 
Athens, at Halicamaisus near Corinth^ and at Antioch, and 
after having gained a focithold in Cyprus as well at in Syria 
and Asia Minor^ Isis in due course obtained official rccognirion 
in the Roman Empire equal to that enjoyed by Kybeic, 

From the Eastern Mediterranean the syncredstic cult made 
its way to Rome through Sidly in the third century BX., and 
having become established at Syracuse and Catania it reached 
Pompeii and Pozzuoli, the port of the Campama, in the next 
ceninry* In spite of several attempts by the Senate to suppress 
ic in the capital as a corrupting influence and pervasive of 
piety and moral bebaviourf the popular demand was such that 
it conld not be tvitbstood. Therefore, when the destruction of 
statues and altars of Isis on the Capitol on five -consecudve 
occasions between 59 and 4S B.c. proved to be wholly io^ 
effectual^ temporary rtcognidon was given to the cult in 
43 B.c.®* Subsequendy it was equai^ with the allies of 
Antony and Cleopatra and again suppressed by Augustus,®* 
but the decree was reversed by Gaiut on his accession in 

Tht Hetlfnixed I^^s Cult 177 

A.D. J7, It may have been in hii rdgn fhai the Iliac wai fint 
cclebiatcd in a temple in the Campus Martius in Romc,^* but 
it was not until about a.d. Z15 that Aurelius Caracalb 
(a.1>. 188-217) gave the Goddess a place in the Roman 
pantheon with a magnificent temple on the Capitolinc bill.®* 

TlEur ittitiatiQif RStes 

The uiiptecedcnted victory of the cultus over oflicial opposition 
and its persistence duting the first three centuries of the Christ 
tian era are a testimony to the deep and genuine religious 
emotion aroused in the iniiiares by the ritual. This is shown 
very clearly in the graphic account of die converaion of Lucius 
^ven by Apuleius in the middle of the second century ajj, 
in his Mrtamarplvttt (i.e. TTif CelJta Ait), In this curious 
romance based apparcmly on a Creek Ibllt^le in the first 
instance, the adventures of its heto (Lucius) ate narrated with 
a strange combination of witchcraft and magic asceticisms, 
Tcvciations of secret mysteries and profound religious expetv 
cnees, brilliantly written with humour and imagination. 
Opening with the young man Lucius having been changed 
into an ass accidentally by a clurm he was handling, the 
mysterious sights he sets and the things he heais arc recorded 
while he is in this state before he regains his human form. 
Some are grotesque, fantastic and uncdilying; others ate truly 
religions and almost certainly represent the actual experiences 
of Apuleius when he was himself initiated into the Iliac. Thus 
Lucius is represented as being required 'to abstain from piofanc 
and evil foods that he might more rightly approach the secret 
mysteries of this, die purest of religions'.*® 

As he proceeds he cncounteis Isis, who declares that she, 
nature s mother, queen of the dead, priina] ofisptitig of die 
ages, mightiest of deities', the single form of all divinities, is 
much moved by his supplications, and encourages him to go 
forward with liis initiation. ‘When thou shall have run the 
course of thy life and passed to the world beneath,* she said, 
there too in the very vault below the eanh thou shak »c one 
shining amid the darkness of Acheron and reigning in the 


Tire Mi^na Miter 

sccirt domains of Styx, and thyself dwelling in the fields of 
Elysium shah faithfully adore me as thy protector.' No wonder 
then that the spectators cried, 'Happy and thrice blessed is he 
who by the innocence and constancy of his former life has w^n 
so nobly an inheritance from heaven, that he should be reborn 
and forthwith devoted m tltc service of the sacred rites/ 
Iniriaiion appears to have consisted of three stages. The first 
was that of Isis, the second of Osiris'Seiapii, and the third of 
admission to the priestliood. The climax was leachcd when 
Lucius (i.e. Apuleius) was at length taken to the inner 
chamber of the temple at night. There with the aid of sacred 
drama and occult methods he was brought face to face with 
the gods to receive mystic revelations and to witness riies which 
unfortunately could not be divulged, being an Integral part of 
ihe esoteric mystery. He says, however, that he 'penetrated to 
the boundaries of the earth; that he approached the borderland 
of deaih and setting his foot on the thtcsbold of Proserpine 
[Peisepbone], when he had been borne through all the four 
elements he returned again; ai midnight he beheld the Sun 
glcatning with bright light; and came into the presence of the 
gods below and the gods above and adored them face to face'. 
In the morning be was presented to the people clad in the 
gorgeous vestments of a Sun/god, with twelve stoles, a coloured 
garment of linen, and a precious scarf on his back, all decorated 
with animal designs. In bis right hand he earned a burning 
torch, and on bis head he wore a crown of palm leaves. Thus 
adorned he was shown forth for the ad miration of the adoring 
crowd. A year laicr he was advanced to a liJghcr status, that of 
the invincible Osiris, and then to that of the priesthood and 
mcmbcfship of the sacred college t)i putifplitrf, dedicated to the 
service of the Goddess for the test of his lifc.'^^ 

Making due allowance for die fanciful charactet of this novel, 
unquestionably it was based on inner knowledge of the Isiac 
initiadon rites and their significance. Enough has been icvealed 
to show their strenuous demands on those who underwent *a 
voluntary death' to obtain the sure and certain ‘hope of 
salvation'. Unlike those of the Phrygian Magna Mater, the 

The Hflletiized iftir Cijth 


cmpliaiis waa on subduing the fl«h li a means of obtaimng 
clearer spiritual perceptions, not infrequently to the despair of 
husbands whose wives were votaries of lsis, ThuSp they regarded 
with dismay and appreherksion the approach of the pitfi of 
the Egyptian Goddess when ihcii spouses slept apart on their 
chaste couches in preparation for her rites. 

At Brst these abstinences from sexual intercourse, and from 
flesh and even bread, and the repeated abludotu before raking 
part in the ceremonies, doubtless were designed to rid the 
worshipper of ritual impurity and to ward off maligu influences. 
At the beginning of the Christian era* however, they had 
acquired a more ethical and spiriiual significance. Thus, 
Lucius was said to have abstained frarn and evil 

foods" in order ^rightly to approach the secret myiterics of the 
purest of religions".SimiEarlyp Plutarch maintained that the 
purpose of the asceticisms was moral and practical, clcanli^ 
tiess of body being conjoined with purity of hearts Thcieforc, 
in the first three centuries of the new era those who weie 
invited to *sup ai the couch of the Lord Serapis" and his chaste 
spouse in the temple of Im may be accredited with finding 
behind die prescribed ablutions and abstenuons, and the 
subsequent esoteric ritual observances, a deeper meaning w^hich 
enabled them to gain renewal and strength from the Goddess 
in tliis life, and in the world to come everlasting bliss through 
the immortal glory of Osiris. 

The Ci>ildess cj Afurty Namei 

t^The mystery cult of a goddess difTctcd from that of a god in 
that the one was the mystery of birth and generation, of life 
issuing from life; tl^e other was the mystery of death and 
rebirth, of life rising renewed from the grave* Therefore, 
ftriginglty Osjtis was the lord of the dead and die god of 
vegetation, whereas Lsis was the ‘throne^woman", the mother 
of Horus the reigning king. So in due course she became the 
protector and patroness of the living, summing up the atmbutes 
of the Mother of the Gods in her various manifesrations—as 
Kybele, Dcmetcr, Athena, Venus—but purified of the orgiastic 

I Bo 

Tbc MjfljM Makr 

elements of the Phiygian emit of the Mjitct and 

survival in the Aegean^ Like ihe sublime Virgin Mndicr who 
eventually was to dethrone her* she was the "goddess of many 
names^ the queen ofheaveDp mother of rhe stars* Hrsi^bom of 
all agesp parent of patroness of sailots, star of the sea^ 

and Mater giving comfort and consolation to motirncts 

and those in distress, and finally* in the Met^mi^rpbms, 'the 
saviour of the human race', the tedemptnx. Thus* ii was said 
of her that “the Phrygians called her Mother of the Gods 
(Magna Maicr), rhe Athenians Minerva (re Athena)p the 
Cyprians Venus* the Cretans Dictynna, the Sicilians Ptoicr^ 
pine, the Eleuslniani Ceres (/f. Demeter), others luno* 
BcHona* Hecate, or the Goddess of Rhamnus (Ncmesis}p 
but the Egyptians called her by her tight name, the queen 
liis^<^- / 

In fact, however, as we have seen,®^ Isis iti Egypt was not 
the Mothcf^^oddcsSp and it was only in her HcUeni^cd guise 
chat she became equated with the hhigru Mater, and pmoni^ 
£ed as the female piindple in nature, 'the Goddess of ten 
thousand names'.^* But although her votaries claimed that she 
was a universal divinity rather than merely a national goddess* 
the source of all life and beneficence, of law and order, im/ 
perfectly worshipped by the barbamns under another name* 
the Isiac mysteries never really exercised the profound tnHucnce 
ova the Graeco-'Roman world in its declining years compare 
.,ahle to that of the Magna Mater of Asia Minors Her appcalj it 
is true* w^as ucuvnsal, and her temples in all the larga centres of 
the far-flung Empire were thronged with devotees, the w^omen 
in particular finding in the young and gracious queen^mothei 
a mysdc object of devotion who met their universal needs as 
did none other goddess. With Miibraism* its male conntcipart* 
her culius was the most effective rival to Christianity from the 
second century onwards, and during the temporary revival of 
classical paganism in Rome in a.d. 1^14, it was her festival 
that was celebrated with great magnificence,*® Even afier the 
closing of the Serapaeum in Alexandria three years laicr. her 
temple on the isbnd of Philae in the fir^r Cataraa survived 

Tbe Hfllitiiz/d Ifif Cult iSf 

until 5^0* when the worship was prohibited and finally 
brought to an cud by the Emperor Jusdnbn. 

Nevertheless, popular and attractive as (he Goddess of many 
mmci and attributes was^ she was essentially a synctetisde 
divinity, Egyptian in origin and mode of worship, but uu^ 
Egyptian in character* By amalgamation with Greek and 
Asiatic names^ dttes and mythologies she secured and retained 
her posidon in the Honun world because she absorbed rhe 
qualities and functions of all other goddesses. Moreover, she 
gained dominion not only over nature but also over the hearts 
and lives of those who dedicated themselves to her service. In 
these ways and capaddes she fuHillcd (he role of the Great 
Mother, but she was rarely identified in worship with any 
Hellenic deity, and the gods of Egypt, Greece and Home had 
(PC litdc in common to be capable of any true bknding* At the 
most it was but a cr ude and imperfea fusion (hat was achieved- 
Even at Alexandria, with its cosmopobtan population drawn 
Urgdy from Greek and Egyptian sources, the eclectic Ggntc of 
Scrapis, whilt bringing into conjunction the tw^o main streams 
of religious ideas and worship current in the capita^, was 
predomiuamly Hellenic and reduced Osiris to a subordinatt 

For the populace, however^ he had little influence on their 
daily life, being essentially the official supreme creator and 
controller of the universe. It was to his causort^ Isis, that men, 
and espcdally women, turned for the sads^cdon of their 
personal and domestic needs* But even so, she never possessed 
the same influence as Kyhele because, unlike Serapis, she 
retained her Egyptian a^ffinities- Her temples, though numtious 
and widespread^ wete small except at Phitae and Alexandria, 
and the worship in them often was localized in its character, 
intnmons and distinctive epithetSt conducted by priesu and 
priestesses of Egyptian extraction or appearance, sometimes not 
wholly above suspicion of en^ging in licendous practices in 
the pursuit of thdr office* The suppression of her cultus, rightly 
or wrongly, was in fact attributed to the scandafous behaviour 
tn her temples neecssiudug their destruction and the cessation 

1S2 MtiXtiA MdCff 

of her private worship. Even her staiue was removed from the 
Capitol, and when subsequendy the restrictions wcie lifted, 
her sancttiaries were only allowed otiiside tlic pomoerium.®^ 
These may have been merely rules Imposed on foreign insutui^ 
tions regarded with suipidout like those applied to Christianity 
for similar rcasotu. Bui whether or not they were justifiedp it 
was not uniil the rime of Vespaiian (a.d^ 60-79) that the 
hiac became firmly established and took its place in the Magna 
Mater tradidon in the Roman world. 

Among the new cults that had close affioiiiK widi those of 
Kybde and Isis was that of the Cappadocian Ma(Lc. Mother), 
identified with Bellona, the Roman war-^goddess associated 
with Mars. Like those of the Magna Mater her priests were 
Asiatics, and Roman citizens were forbidden to take pair in 
her fierce ecstadc rites in which the (as the priests or 

^alli were called) armed with swords and axes worked them-' 
selves into a firenzy by outlandish music and dandng. This 
orgiastic cult to all probability was introduced by soldiers who 
bad come into contact with it during the carnpaigns of SuUa 
and Pompey in Asia Minor. In the last half-century of the 
Republic it was practised in Rome more or less secretly, or at 
any rate privately. Indeed, it did not receive recognition undl 
the ilixrd century A.D., although the first temple to BeUona was 
vowed by Appius CUudius in 296 n.c. during chc war against 
the Samnites. and erected somewhat later in the Campus 
Matlius near the altar of Mars. At the pillar coLumna belLica 
in front of it dectaradons of wax were made symbolically by 
Launching a spear over it. 

The Goddess, however, had po fesdval or flamtn. her priests 
{htihmriiyM as we have seen, being Asiatic ec^rics (Jsmsid) 
who, clad in bbek vestments, gashed themselves with thdr 
swords to the sound of drums and trumpets and sprinkled the 
statue of the Goddess with the blood as it gushed lonh. In a 
state of dcluium they foretold the future, but the main purpose 
of the ferocious rites was to arouse a warlike spirit in thcmielves 

The CiSppiidmdn Md^Bclldtux iSj 

md so {A become invincible^ Later the culi was bmugbi into 
conjunedon with that of the Magm Mata» and the same people 
often mlglit combine the ptiesrhood of Bdlona with that of 
Kybcle.** Bur although in a subordinate capacity it was very 
closely associated with the worship of the Magna Mater^ and 
adopted the Dirr Sengm and the Taurobolium as iis own 
rkes, even after the resitictions upon its acdvidcs had be™ 
withdrawn at the beginning of the Chdiftian eiip it had only 
a very brief period of populaiiiy, and never exercised a disdne-' 
tive inHuence in the welter of foreign Oricnutl cults that arose 
m die declining centuries of the Roman Empire* 

Atar^atis, the Dea Syria 

It was those introduced fiom Syria by slaves and traders that 
made a much deeper and more permanent impression. ThuSp 
on the Janiculum there were successive temples to Syrian 
dextieSp and from Northern Syria came Ataigaris who in Rome 
was known as the Dta Syrid^ popularly called Diasuria^ or 
lasurap the goddess of Hicrapolis^Bambyce near the Euphrares. 
Her origins arc obscure, but Eom the description of the cult 
and of the temple at Hicrapolu to the south of Carchemishp 
given by Lucian of Samosata in the manner of Herodotus in 
the second century A.D.p we ate Idt in no doubt about its 
licentious nature; equipped as it was with its phallic symbols, 
eunucb^pricsts and ritual prosdtutcsp dedicated to the service of 
the Goddess.^^ Nevertheless, although ks debauched character 
is strongly emphasked^ it confamu to the general pattern of the 
Mothcr^ddess cultus in Western Asia, be it in Phrygia, 
Anatoliip Mesopotamiap or Syria. Indeed the worship of 
Atargam as a ferrility-^oddcss^ the coutitcrpait of Aphrodkep 
with her consoTt Hadad, the Mesopotamian equivalent of the 
Hurrian and Kittitc Wcaihcr^od, is merely the localized 
version of that of the Magna Mater throughout the region^ 

In all Its essendal features the pricsiSp rites and sanctuaries 
arc true to type* and differ litde from the account given of the 
worship of the Dea Syria in the Roman world by Apuldus*™ 
Moreovet, these dcscriprioru have been confirmed by the 

i B4 Tk Matir 

evidence from the time of Alexandei to the third 
century a.d*, and thai of Macrobius, who wrote about 
A.D. 40 Op Thiii, the local coins portray the Goddess seated on 
a lion or on a throne supported by a IbOp while the male deity 
survives in his bull symbol as a countcrpait of the Uon-'goddess 
on the obverse side. But sometimes the bull is shown in the 
grip of the lion, suggesting the ultimate triumph of the Coddess 
cult. Againp irucrlpdons in Delos, where Syrian slaves 
ibounded and the cult was firmly established* on a number of 
vorive inscriptions dating from j ust before the Ghrisuairi era the 
name of Atargads and Hadad are combined* the Goddess 
being idetiflficd with Aphrodite, and licr priests called 'Hicra/ 
politans’.^^ Fishes and doves were sacred to her, and she was 
said to have been changed into a fish and her daughter, 
Semiranm, into a dovc,’^® 

In the Lucian natiaiivt this temple is said 10 have been the 
largest and richest in Syria, equipped with oracular statues, 
huge stone phalli, a bronze altar, and in an inner shrine to 
which only certain priests had access there were three golden 
images. The first of these was that of Atargads* haviug ihc 
attributes of Hera, Athena^ Aphrodite, Rhea.* Artemis, Selene* 
Nemesis and the Fatei, carrying in one hand a sceptre and in 
the other a distaC On her head, sunounded with rays, she 
wore a lower as a crown^ and round her waist the girdle of 
Aphrodite, as on the coins, and she stood on lions."® The 
second image is described as Zeus, but actually it w'as Hadad 
sitting on bulk, as Macrobius indicates in his account of the 

^he Syrians [he says] give the name AJed to the god 
which they revere as first and greatest of alL They honour 
him as all powerful, but they associate with him the goddess 
names Adariads, and. assign to these two divinities supreme 
power over ev^yihing, recognizing in them the sun and the 
earth. Without expressing by numerous names the different 
aspeas of their power, their predominance h implied by the 
different attributes assigned to the two divinities. For the 

The Cappaii}cittti rSj 

stame of AJaJ k encircled by desccndijig rays which iiidicatc 
chat the force of heaven resides in the rays which the sun 
sends down to eardi^ the rays of the statue of Adae^ads rise 
upwardsp a sign that the power of the ascending rays bdngi 
to life evnything which the tmh ptoduces. Below this statue 
are the figures td^lionSp cmbletnatic of the earths for the same 
reason that the Phrygians so represent the Mother of the godsp 
that is to sajFp the earthy borne by lions.^^^ 

Between these two images stood a third deity differem from 
the others, the lex of which Lndan failed to determine. Ii was 
without name, and he could obtain no information about Its 
origin or form. It was called ‘sign\ but this was an 

error on his part^ as almost ceminly the divinity represented 
was Ate, the Aramaic ^Atar\ the second ekmem in Arargatis. 
The Identity of thk deiiy has been a matter of considerable 
conjcctmcj and falsdy it has been confused with Astarte. The 
most that can be said with any degree of certainty ii that this 
andent Semitic divirutyp whatever may have been its precise 
name and narure and locadoni was associated with the Mother^ 
goddess under her various designations—being the local form 
of Isbtar^Athtai—and it Is possible diat Atns, the consort of 
Kybcicp is another variation of the name. 

As to the origin of die temple it was attributed to Deucalion, 
DionystiSi Semiramis and Ate, Lu dan inclining to Dionysus. 

Its priesthood was divided into classes according to the fiinC' 
tions performed. The eunuchs were the most conspicuous, and 
in the descripdon of the rites given by Lucian and Apuleius 
the crowd of painted young mtOp who paraded the streets in 
female attire^ with an ass bearing the image of (he Coddtas, 
were kd by an old eunuch of dubious repurarion. Under his 
guidance they worked themselves into a Irenzy^ aided by their 
Syrian flutci* and flagellated themselves before seeking lavish 
rewards from the wondering spectators. The gifts included jan 
of milk and wine, Bour and cheeses, ai weU as bronze coins. 
Lucian regarded the orgies as having been borrowed from the 
cult of Attisp who was the traditional original founder of the 

tgfi Tk Matir 

shritic at HierapoUs* ThiiSp it was an (mage called Ate that wai 
uken to die sca/^hore twice each year when a procession went 
to bring thence jars of sea-^atcr taken to the temple whece the 
water was poured into a hole in the precincts.^** 

Moteovcf. Ludan repeats the tradirion that Aiargaris was 
Rheap by which designation was meant Kybelc, not the Cretan 
goddess, just as the shrine was the work of Anil. Now this 
Attis* be says, was a Lydian^ and it was he who first taught 
the sacred mysteries of Rhea (i.c* Kybele). The ritual of the 
Phrygians and the Lyduns and the Samothracians was entirely 
Icami from Aites. For w hen Rhea deprived him of his powersp 
he put oif his manly garb and assumed the appearance of a 
woman and her dresSp, and roaming over the whole cartli he 
pctlormed his mysterious rites, nattating his sufferings and 
chanting the praises of Rhea.' In due coiuse, he reached Syriap 
and there erected a feinple at Hietapolis in which the rites of 
the Magna Mater were held in the prescribed manner. As in 
her Phrygian ciadleland she was drawn in her chariot by lions 
holding a dram in her hand and carrying a tower on her head. 
Her piiesrs castrated themselves in her honour, like her own 
jrtiiV ^d behaved in the same franiic way in thdr wild 

There can be Ititlc doubt that the 'omnipotent and aU/ 
producing Syrian goddess^ was in ha the Magna Mater, 
however she might be described and wot^hipped, mdistin/ 
guishable from Kybele and her counterparts. As the local 
form of the universal figure ihc controlled bitdi, vegeurion and 
fertility in at! its various aspects, and taught mankind law and 
the worship of the gods. Widi the rest of these goddesses she 
shared the same emblems (c.g. doves, lions, fish and sexual 
symbols), and was associated with the lifr^iving waters. Her 
Syrian cult^centte would appear to have been Hierapolis, and 
there she was venerated as Atargaris. Thence het cult was 
diffused in the wake of the worship of AscartCp and so pene^ 
crated westw^ards until at length it reached the Creek islands, 
the Mediterranean liuoral and die Cracco^Roman world in the 
HcJlcnudc period. 

Ttf CappaJixijtt Ma'BtUom i 87 

Historically Ataigatis and Asonc were distinci^ and it is 
now clear dial the Dca Sym and the North Syrian Coddtss 
cuJes had been subjected to Anatolian itifluences*'^ ThuSp on 
a coin from the earliest leveb at Hicrapolis the figure of a 
pricst/king is depicted designated Abd^Hadad, the 'servant 
ofHadadV vested in a Hitcice robe and hat^ while at Bogha2> 
Kcui a similar tepresentadon k dad in a toga^likc garment 
holding a curved Htuus and wearing a Hittite pointed cap.^^ 
The HierapoHun culi/images (e.g. die bulf lion, double axe) 
arc Anatolian connecting the Syri^^ usually seated and 
tobedp with the Idean Mothcig the Piirygiaa Kybele or Rbeip 
with the Greek Hera die consort of Zeus. Therefore^ in what 
was once the Hittite capital on the Euphrates she inherited 
many of her Anatolian features which distinguished her from 
the more spedfically Astane and idencjfied her with the Magna 
Mater par 

Tt>e M&tif Cfiltur k M^y D^y Cekhnstiam 
This synoeustfc ecstatic cultus of the Mother of the Cods* 
originally indigenous in Pbrygiap when subsequently it found 
expression in the Roman Empire after the introduction of 
Kybele in 204 b*g., spread along the northern coast of Africa 
into Spain^ and throughout Southern Cauh along the Rhone 
vaUey to Autun, into Germany and Mysia-*^ While, as we 
have seen^ the highly emotional character of the orgiastic rites 
was considerably modified when they were given official recog^ 
nition in Imperial dmesp in their Romanized form the story of 
Attis and Kybele was cnaaed as a sacred drama in the month 
of March* This no doubt was current in Asia Minor in die 
second millennium n.c* long befrire it acquired a pbee in die 
Attis Spnng festival in Rome*®^ But in the form in which it 
was presented from die £5di to the 27th of the months the 
pattern was set which down to modem times survived in 
Centra] and Northern Europe in folk [radition^ transferred 
from the vernal equinox to May ist* 

This transition was effected apparendy by the confusion m 
reckoning of the dates in the pre^julian and our present 

iSS Tlw Mater 

csJcntlin. Thus, out IWUy is[ every alternate year is the same 
day as March a5th in the pr&'JuLiaTi cakudaTp®^ ajid just 
as March isth* commonly called Lady Day, is set apart in die 
Christian Year for the commemoratiou of the Aimunciaiion 
of the Incatnariou to the Madoniia so the month of May has 
now been dedicated to her* With the me of ChrisdanJt)' in die 
Roman world in the fourth ceiuury and the suppresdon of the 
pagan cults, the popular festivals were retained in their leu 
obnoxious aspects, and so far as possible given a new inter/ 
pTctacion. As a result of ihis procedure the tiadifional customs 
continued little changed in their outward form and character, 
whatever modiftcauons they may have undergone in their 
doctrinal theological ioterpTmtion and popular presentation. 

In the case of the Magna Mater cekbmtions, the rites having 
been shorn of what remained of their ecstatic frenzies by 
incorporation in the cult of the Empire, Lady Day, wliich 
invariably falls in Lent and occasionally coincides with Good 
Friday, was mt an appropriate day for making camivaL 
Moreover, the more solemn aspects of the Hilaria—viz, the 
Dks Sanguis —were observed in their Christian interpretadon 
in Holy Week culminaring in the Easter death and resurrection 
sacred drama. While this concluded with manifestations of 
rejoicing, they assumed their later forms when in and after 
the eleventh century they were cekbiatcd on May ist, with 
its eakndricaJ connexions with March 25 th* It was then 
that Kybcle reappeared in the guise of the May Queen with 
Atris as the Green Man, and the May-'pok decorated with 
greenery as his symbol* Moreover, the ceremonies conformed 
to the observances in die Roman celebration of the Hibria. 
Thus, as die sacred pinc/tree represendng die emasculated 
god Artis was taken in procession by the dendrophori from 
Kybclc^s wood to the lempk of the Magna Mater on the 
Palatine hill on March 22ndp®* so it has been a common and 
widespread custom in peasant Europe fat youths to g:o out to 
the woods after midnight, cut down a tree, lop off the branches, 
leaving a few at the top, and after wrapping it round with 
purple bands to decoraie it with violets like the figure of Attis* 

The Cappadodim 1 3 ® 

It tb^ mkcn b^ck to the vilbge ai suniisc on Miy Day 
to the accompammenE of the bbwhig of Euies and bomSi 
logger with citber young tr«i or branches which were 
fastened over the doon and windows of the honscst while the 
May^polc was erected on the village gteen or in some central 
place, often near the church. Somedmes a doll has been fitted 
to the tree, like the Acds tmagCt mendoned by Firmicus 
Matemus,*^ bound on the middle of the sacred tree. Alierna^ 
dvely !t has been carded in a basket or cradle &om house to 
house by young girls, or dangled in the midst of two hoops at 
right angles to each other and decorated with flowers as the 
May Lady*^® 

The May^pole often has stood more than si^ feet high* and, 
like Kybele in her car drawn by a yoke of lions or oxen, it has 
been conveyed in a w'agon by &om twenty to forty oxen, each 
adorned with garlands on the horns, foUowcd by men and 
women and cJ^dien ^with great dcvodon"*®^ On its amval at 
the seiected spot tn the village it was erected, very much as the 
pine^ee was exposed for vcncraiion and set up nisr the temple 
of the Magna Mater on the Palatine,^® and aiouud it dances 
were held. Sometimes those taking pan in them were confined 
to lovers, though frequently all the younger members of the 
community joined in the mcny>making. In England Inng 
streamers are now attached to the top of the pole, each held by 
a childp and as they dance loniid it the ribbons aic twined 
round it, to be untwined when the dancers reverse. These may 
be survivals of the bands of wool on the Atth tree- 

Not infiequcntly the May Queen herself has been taken in 
triumph to the village green in a decorated cart drawn by 
youths or maids of honour, and headed by the May-^pole, 
After she has been crowned and enthronedp the dances and 
revels have been held before her rarher than around the May> 
pole. Moreover, during her year of office slie has presided at ill 
the gatherings and revels of the young people in the village*®^ 
The May King, who has often been ajSfxriaced with her, has 
been represented by a man, usually a chimney-sweep, dad in 
a wooden framework covered with leaves in the guise of the 


Tk Miskr 

Jack-'in^thc-'Crcca. Sometimes he has been uken to ihc villa^gc 
on a sledge, or on horseback with a pyramid over him^ suT^ 
rounded by a cavalcade of young men- The leader might be a 
clown wirh coloured fringes and frills on liri blouse^ and 
hanging from his bcaver^hai, who amused the crowd by his 
gestures and hilarity/'^ 

Sometimes the symbolism was that of a sacied marriage of 
the May Queen and the May King, united to each other as 
bride and bridegroom, thereby unconsciously fnlfilUiig the role 
of iheir ptotocypes, Kybele and Attis. As Kybek was respond 
siblc for the flowering of the Helds* lo the May Queen sat in 
an aibour wreathed with flowers^ or in the porch of the church* 
resembling Kybcle seated ai tbe enttance of her mountain 
abode and receiving floral offerings from her vouries.^^ Her 
spouse, ihe Green Man, has been treated In a similar manner 
tHCcausc in him Artis, the beloved of die Coddess, has lived on 
in undying folk tradition and its immorul scasotul customs. 

It IS true that May Day observances that have survived in the 
peasant cultures in Europe have lost their scrimis character and 
become merely an occasion for merry-making and the collcctioii 
of peurbeim from the houses visited by the pmeesrions, led by 
ihe May King and Queen and the jP^ay'^poIcH The principal 
told now often are played by children, as, for example* in 
Warwickshire where the Queen is a small girl wheeled with 
a ^maJl-^an** or perambulator, by an older girL The Mayp'pole, 
with its conical framework and hoops covered with flowcrt, is 
borne by four boys, and a young girl carries a money-box as 
the children go from home to house singing thdr ttadirioiial 
songs and collecting money for their tea and neat in the 

Nevertheless* although die ancient rites have degenerated 
into Uttle more than picturesque popular pasumes, clownish 
burlesques and children's diversions, they have retained their 
original figures and trails little clianged through more than 
two thousand years during which they have persisted, however 
much their purposes and functions may have become dc^ 
sacrahaed. So ingrained in these customs and observ^ances were 

Tfe C^pf&iman Ma'Belhna 191 

the myth ind diiul of the Phrygian Magna Mater and her 
consort that centred in the Spdng Fescivalp known in Rome as 
the Hilarup that the enactment of the theme has been handed 
doA^ thraughouc the ages* If in the meantime the annual 
rebirth of nature tn the spring in the popular mind has become 
less dependent upon the pertomumcc of this ancient cuhus» the 
May Queen and the Green Man have survived true to type in 
their respective roles* even though the frultfulntss of the earth 
may no btiger be thought to rest upon the fuMmeEii of 
their time-honoured offices. Behind them and their symbol, the 
bedecked May/pole, are the shadowy forms of Kyfacle* Atds 
and the resurrection drama in Western Asia* the Eastern 
Mediterranean and the A^ean^ and in the cultus of the Magna 
Mater *0 widely distributed and firmly laid in the Roman 


The Mater Ecdesia and 
the Madonna 


As the missionary enterprise of the Early Church w^s partis 
cularly active from Apostolic times in Asia Minor, where the 
cult of the Magna Mater was so very deeply laid and very 
promiiicm. k k not surprising that it was in this re^on that 
the pagan conception of the Mother of the Cods influenced its 
Chikdan counterparts- This is most apparent among the more 
obscure Cnosdc sects, such as the Naassenes. the Nicolaitans, 
the CoUyridians and the Montamsts, in which the female 
pcinciple was idendfied with the Holy Ghost biinging forth 
the male pnndplc (Sophia or Pnitiicijs) as the Gnosdc Aejn 
matres^ Indeed, as Bouiset mainiainedp there are grounds for 
regarding Gnosdeism as in the main a cult of the Asian Magna 
Mater. ^ 

Cnostic Mother Dmmtirs in Phry^k 

These sects flourished very proiriincntly in the FettUe Crescent 
and Asia Minor in the opening centuries of the Chnsdan era, 
and became a syncmiidc excresotnee of the worship of Kybelc. 
Isis and Demeicr« This found expression in a complex cosmo 
logical mythology in which the mother^ement was predouii^ 
nant. As Ircnaeus rernarked* ‘thtir Aeons they insist upon 
terming "gods** and ^^fathers^^ and "lords" and "heavens"* along 
with then Mother whom they call both "Earth’" and "^jerusa/ 
Icrn". besides applying a host of other names to bcT\^ In this 
miscegerudon nf pagan and Judaco/Chiisdan clemenu the 
creative aspects of ^e Goddess wetc combined with the 
Isaianic^Paubne conception of fecundity of ihc Heavenly 
Jerusalem; the univetsal Mother nourishing the children she 

192 , 


Thf Msttr Etdesk in Phry^k 

his brought forth.Even Chdst did not refriiii from leferHng 
to the Holy City in personal imteriial terms,® SiniiUtly, the 
Church was represented as the Bride of Christ® very much as 
Israel was described as the Spouse of Yabwch.^ So deeply laid 
was this ecclesiastical symboListn in die Early Chinch that it 
was inseparahlc &otn the allegory of the two Jerusalems in 
St Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (iv. 21-31)* the "Church' 
spouse" being *the mother of us all', the Second Eve, and the 
means whereby the mystical unJan between its members and its 
divine Head is mairitained* 

Now it was this imagery that in sub'ApostoUc rimoi was 
developed by the Gnostics when they incorporated it in their 
syncretisms, equating the role of the Cracco^Oriental Mother^ 
goddesses with that of the Holy Ghost and the celestial and 
polymorphous Mother. In the case of some of the more 
exuberant sects the Phrygian prototypes ware taken over little 
changed. Thus» the Naassenes, according to Hippolytus^ 
derived their name bam die Ggiue of the serpem (Naas) adored 
in EdcRTi® the conneidon bring with the cult of Sabarior^ and, 
as we have seen, the symbolism was very prominent in that of 
the Minoan Mother.® But, notwithstanding didi dcsignadonp 
scrfKnt worship was only a minor feature in die group of 
anonymous Gnostic sects called Ophite. From such inlorma' 
tion about ihcir speculations as is available^ derived mainly 
feom Origen'i Ciffttra CAsum (vi. 24-38), and feom the 
Advfr^us Hmtsrs of Ircnacus (L 10}, togedier widi rcferenccf 
by Epiphanius^® and the pscudo'TcrtuIliaji*^^ it appears that 
dieir gnosis consisted in the Primal Man* or Universal Father, 
selfACjdsccnt in the primeval abyss, holy and inscruLabte, pto^ 
jeering from himself the Son of Man, with the female princi ple 
brondding ova chaos. It was this Primal Woman who 
became the modiet of die being who to effect the work of 
redemption descended to rescue the feUen divmiiy, Sophia, a 
very obscuic dgiire in the earlier forms of the cult. In the later 
developments PrunJeus^Sophia was rcprticnttd as emerging 
as a potency from the left side of the female principle, or divine 
spirit, which eventually produced seven pov^m among whom 

1^4 MiJtcr Ecckua the M^d^rma 

the DcpiiuTge, idmti&cd with laiciahaodi, the hoitilc god 
of the Old Tcitamcnt* It was he who ettoted Adam and gave 
him Eve whom Sophia seduced through the agency of the 
serpent to induce her m rebel agoir^ the Demiurge. In the geeii 
conflict between loldabaodi and Sophia the serpent (together 
with Coin* Esau, die SodomiteSp Koroh and Judos; Le. the 
viedms of the wrath of the God of the Old Tesumem) was 
extolled and vencratedp and In those sects in which the 
Redeemer occurs (e.g. the Noossaies), some attempt was made 
to icbre the Heavenly Mother to the ChriM os an Aeon* The 
association of Sophia with hii redemptive w^k was a concesp- 
sion to die ideimHcation of the Judaic conception of Wisdom 
with the Hellenistic Logos doctrine^ and the Christian inters 
prmdon of the Incamation in terms of the Theotokos. 

The Ophite sects appear to represent an early form of 
primitive Gnosticism, as Hippolytus iminuined,^^ in which 
Anatolianf Syrian, Mesopotamian and Iranian influences were 
predominant* though late Gnoidc and Christian accretions also 
were added in roune of time. * ^ In origin^ however, they leem to 
have been pre-^Christian, and to have picieiv^ among the various 
features of pagan belief and ptaaice those borrowed from the 
Goddess cult. Thus, the Nicoloitans* mentioned in the Johan-' 
nine Apocalypse, or, as is more probable* a later Gnostic 
sect of the name, are said to have worshipped die Magna 
Matcr/^ and to have engaged in immoral praedees which 
included ritual prosdtudon.^ * Their purpose* howevcTp appears 
to have been to prevenr the sexual propagation of the human 
race in order to bring to an end the perpetuation of evil. A good 
deal of confusion has arisen by die idcnrificarion of a Uicr 
Gnosuc group with the Jobanninc Bolaamitcs, the alleged 
foliowtrs of Jezebel, and of Nicolaus, the proselyte of Antioch 
of an earlier period.^^ 

TAf Bcstatic Caltur 

Of the movement initiated by Montanus in the middle of the 
second century in Mysu adjoim'ng Phrygia^ who liad been a 
pagan ecstatic before his conversion to Chrisdanity^ we ore 

TV Matrr Eak^^^^ in Phrygia 195 

better infomicd. In cour^ of time be wu joined by two 
piopheiessH, Maximilk and Prisca, or Pcisalla, who also 
claimed 10 have the same chads nutic powm, and together to 
have fulfilcd the promise, as it was affirmed, of a new out^ 
pouring of the Holy Spirit. But although the ecstatic pheno/ 
mtna were repfesented ^ the coming of the Paraclete as at 
Pemceost, in faa the prophesying^ were indistinguishable from 
those of die frenzied votaries of the Goddess, except that they 
wmked themselves into a state of imciise emotion—a deUbet^ 
aedy induced madness—to cxdtc to repentance and penitence, 
Montanus, indeed, claimed to be the mouthpiece of the 
Paraclete, and ai any rate after his death die prophetesses were 
regarded as having taken his place in this capacity. 

A: fim, howcvcTi the movement docs not appear to have 
been unorthodox in its Christian teaching, however ecstatic 
and Phrygian may have been its methods. Nevertheless, it 
provoked a good deal of edddsm* suspiciem and oppoddon 
on the part of the ThracckPhrygian episcopate. One bishop 
from Anchiale in Thrace attempted, in fact, to exorcize Prisca. 
AI] efrbos attesuaim* however, proved to be of little avad, and 
the vast majority of Phrygian Christians became Montanlsts in 
spite of confutations by ApoIImarius, bishop of Hicrapolk, 
and others, denuriciattons of synods and cxcommiijticaiipns, 
ctilmtnating in the expulsion of the movement as a whole from 
the Cathohe Church not later than the year 177.^^ But die 
Phrygians, accusromed to the orgiastic worship of Kybele, 
found Montanist Christianity congenial with its ecstatic 
prophesyings, asceticisms, sadisdc love of suffering, and cult 
of martyrdom. From all die remote villages they flocked to the 
headquarters of Montanus at Pepnza, located by Ramsay west 
of Eumeoia near PentapoUs,^^ in the expectation of an imme^ 
diaie Parousia taking place dieie. Virgjniqr was strongly urged 
and chastity striedy c^tced as a preparadon for ecstisyt and 
as became those who belonged to the spotless Bride of Christ. 
Women assumed the offices of bishops and prists as weU as 
of prophetesses, tho ugh Tcrtullian would not allow them to 
*9pcak in the church, nor to teach, to baptize, nor to offer, nor 

19 ^ Tlk M^itr Ecchjk md (be 

to jU^ume any fiinctJOD which belongs to i thereby 

rejecting Phrygian practice. He was equally strenuous in his 
opposition to pagan accretions in Aslan Moncamsm. 

In ihe west it was Gaul, notably in the Kiifine valley at 
Vienne and Lyom, rhat the influence of the movement was 
mon apparent, and attempts wkc made to resolve the sebum. 
The absence of a Phrygian background doubtless in some 
measure accounrs for the lelu nance of the Christians in riiis 
region to accept Monranism as readily as their brethren in Asia 
and Phrygia, and prompted them to act as ambassadors for 
*fhc peace of the churches" by taking letten to Rome expressing 
their view of tht movemenr^ Indeed, they were described by 
Eusebius as "pious and oithodoxV^® even though they approved 
of the ecstaric prophesyings and tht right of women to engage 
in these exetdses. In its setting and techniques the cultus was 
csscnrially Phrygian* deeply rooted in the orgksric antecedent 
centred in the worship of Kybele. Thus* Priscilla claimed that 
Christ visited her and slept by her side at Fepuza, though she 
discreetly added that he did so in the form of a woman, '’ebd 
in a bright garment, and put wisdom into me, and revealed to 
me that ihis place is holy, and that here Jerusalem above comes 

y Tbc AfyiijW CcKceptioti the Mj/ff 

As Christ was regarded as the Spouse of those who were filled 
with die Spirit, in Gaul and North Afiica the Church was 
called Maier Ecclcsiau®^ This nuptial symbolism, in faa, may 
have been diffused m Lyons and Vienue by iu contacts with 
Phrygia and Asia Minor based on the conception of Christ 
IS the divine bridegroom standing in a marital rdatiomhip 
with his Bride the Church, as Ireiiaeus stressed.After his 
lapse into Montanism, TertuUian emphasized the virginity of 
rhe Church without spot or wrinkle as a virgin free from the 
stain of fonucadoiL^^ Nevertheless, the nuptial symbolism 
remained his predominant theme, and he developed the Pauline 
tradition in reladon to tbc underlying Goddess culnii in Asia 
Minor, interpreted in terms of Christ as the source of all true 


The \hur Euhsiij in l^fy£k 

lift. As pliyiica] liie cune ilirough Adurt, so ic wai maJutained 
that the Church k the Secotid £vc, ‘the true Mother of die 
living^®® through whom spimua! life was mediated ifrom 
Christ, ibc Second Adam^ first by the waters of baptism and 
then not infrequently in the mucbrcovoted bapdim of blood in 
the arena. 

Clement of Alexandria (t jQ"22o) adopted an allegodcal 
intcfpreiation of the converts who by virtue of thdr baptismal 
rebir^ had become children of the Vitgin Mother the Church. 

"She alone had no milJc because she alone did not become 
womans but she is both virgin and mothcTp being undcGlcd 
as a virgin and loving as a mother; and calling her children 
to her, she nurses diem with holy milk^ because the Logos 
was milkt giving nourishment to this child frur And bom in 
His own houstp the Body of Christ, the youthful band, 
wliom the Lord Himself brought forth in labour of th e flesh 
and whom the Lord Himself swathed in His precious bloods 
The Logos is all to the child—^farher^ and mother and tutor 
and nurse, “Eat ye my flcsb"\ He says, and ‘^Drink my 
blood‘*. Such suitable nourishment does the Lord minister 
to us^ and He offers His Hesh and pours out His blood; and 
nodiing js wanting for the chUdreu’s growth*’ 

As Virgin and Mother tlie Church is thus represented as 
undcfilcd by htlsc doctrine and ever loving and watchful of 
those who come within het affectionate embrace, sanctifying 
them as children of Cod* training diem on earth and so 
preparing diem to attain to cmacnship in heaven*^ ^ In £ia, as 
St Paul maintained, every baptized person was called to repny 
duce in himself die life of Chnst, bom* nourished and sustained 
by the Church, under the symbolism of his Mystical Body and 

*Tbc Lord Christ, the fruit of the Virgin, did not pto^ 
nounce the breasts of women blessed, not selected them to 
give pqurishment; but when the kind and loving Father had 

193 Tbi Mister Eccbsm md ibt 

lidncd down the Word, Himidf became spbimal tiouriih-^ 
meiic to the good^ O myisdc marvel! The universal Farher is 
one, and one is the utuvroal Word? and the Holy Spirit is 
one* and the same evEryw'hcrCi and one is the Virgin 

For Origen (r. 1S5-251)* the pupil of Clement at Alexarv 
dria, all who are mystically united with the Logos in a spintual 
marriage consdmte the visible Church on earth* the true 
Bride of Christ* chough it is cximposcd of all crrdsntts, many of 
whom are hi fioni having attained perlection.^’ Bui the desire 
of the soul must be to be joined to the Lc^os and to enter into 
the myrtcrics ofhls knowledge and wisdom as into the chamber 
of a heavenly Bridegroom, there to experience spiritual inters 
course (ymmflfh) and the partundon (td«oc) of good works* 
The womb of the soul is opened by God thai it ^begers His 
Logos and bccomci His moihcr',®^ Siodlarly* Macarius, the 
first anchorite in Egypt (c 3 89)* uses the same nuptial termi^ 
nology in describing how a soul 

"putting away the shame of her face, and no longer mastered 
by die disgrace ofher thouglits nor caused to commit adultery 
by the evil one, has commumon with die heavenly Spouse, as 
being herself simple (/jororeaeiof); for, wounded with His 
love, she languishes and faints (if! may dare to speak thus) 
for die beauteous spiriiual and mysd^ commerce in die 
incorrupt union of communion in hob ness. Blessed indeed 
and happy h such a soul, which, conquered by spiritual 
love, has been worthily affianced to God the Word/^ 

Therefore, \ht five wise and prudent virgins could all go 
together (<Twi}3Eiv) into the heavenly Thalamos\^^ 

Methodius, another diiid^ccntury mystic who apparently had 
lived in Asia Minor,®® adopted much the same interpretation 
of the espousal to Christ of faithful souls as 'virgin hclpmaxes^P 
From him they conceive 'the pure and fertile seed of His 
doctrine" brought forth "as by mothers in travail", and 

Thf Atj/ff Ecclena in Pbryih 199 

Vcgcnerited tjnto the and beauty of vimic\ When 'by 

tht process nf tl^eir growth in their turn have become the 
Chuichi they too co-operate in the birth and nurture of other 
children, bringing to fruition in the womb of the soul as in 
the womb of a mother, the unblemished will of the Logos 
Thus, St Paul is quoted as an cjumplc of the new-born 
inmate, nourished after his baptism by the milk of the Gospel, 
who on attaining manhood was made *a helpmate arid bride 
of the Logos^ Receiving and conceiving the seeds or!ift\ and 
so becoming ^ihe Church and a mother'. In this state of 
spiritual per^tion he "laboured in birth of those who through 
him were believers in the Lord, umil in them also Christ was 
formed and botti',^® 

Similarly, the Jobannine apocalyptic vision of the Woman 
in travail that appeared in heaven clothed with the sun and 
bearing a crown of twelve sum* and having the moon for her 
footstool, was interpreted as 'our Mother, being a power of 
herself and distina from her childien\ In other words, the 
Church* called by the prophets ‘somciimes Jcrusalctti* some^ 
times a bride, sometimes Mount Siortt sometimes the temple 
and tabernacle of God', is always bbouring to faring forth her 
children, and tlien gathers them to her from cverywheie* run# 
ning to her ‘scekiug thdr rcsutrectioTi in bapiism\*^ Adorned 
as a bride and a queen in her garment of light proceeding from 
the Logos, with a diadem of itars, she stands on the moon, 
symbolizing 'the laith of those who are cleansed from cotrup# 
lion in the bath of bap[ism\ Being in labour, she is the Mother 

Vcgctieraring sensual mem For just as woman conceives 
the unformed seed of a mart and in the course of time brings 
forth a perfect man, in the same w^ay, one may say, does 
the Church ever and ever conceive those who flee to the 
Lt^os* forming them in the likcticss and form of Christ, 
and in the course of time make them inio citizens of those 
blessed eterniiics. Whence must she of necessity stand over 
the bath of baptism, and bringing forth those who arc 
washed in it/’** 

200 Tbt Mater Ectltfia thr Mad&imu 

The likeness and form of the Logos being sumped upon 
them and engendered in them* the baptized receive the 
ciiifactcrisdc features and manliness of Chrisi, so that in each 
one He is bom spidtually^ For this reason the Church as their 
Mother is pregnanr and in labour utnil Christ is formed and 
born in each of the sainc. making them very Chrisfs (ancinted 
ones); the spiritual children of Sion* illuniinared and uans^ 
formed in the Logos,But like the 'Devouress' waiting to 
consume the soul, should the scales not babnee in the Egyptian 
Judgment scenes the Dragon is represented in the vision as 
waiting to devour the man'cliild of the Woman as soon as it 
is born, because the Devil is ever on the alert to destroy the 
Cbri$t^possessed soul after his bapdsm^ Hence die need of the 
protection of 'our Mother rhe Churchp uninj uTcd and tmdeii led 
by the wrath of the Beast* that* like the wise virgins, all faithful 
souls may keep their virginity secure through all the arduous 
5 trugglc\^* Thus* at length iliey may join the ranks of the 
martyn* imitaring their Mother* the Mater Ecclesia, by courages 
ouily brooking *the burdens and vicissitudes and aFRictions 

In all this nuptial inugcry the Phrygian cradlebnd in which 
it arose is cloxly in the hackgrouncL fieliind it lies that of 
the Goddess cult in Asia Minor interpreted in terms of 
the mysdeal thought and language of the motherhood of the 
Virgin Church conceiving children spiritually through the 
natural process of parturition with its attendant labour and 
travail. The female principle, originally personified in the 
Magna Mater^ became the Mater Ecclcaa* at once the Bride and 
Body of Christ* the Mother of the futhful proceeding tow'aids 
perfection* in whom the Bride is merged. Shorn of its cruder 
symbolism and Asian emotionalism, die nuptial element 
remained an integral feature in Catholic mysticism in the West 
as in the Byzandne tradition. After the time of St Augusdne* 
who made the marriage of Chiisc and the Church the central 
theme of his Christology^^® it was brought into rebrion with 
the Roman claim of unJvcrul sovereignty* and notably by 
St Bernard of Clain'aux (rosK)-it5i)* its mystical aspect was 

The Maier EccUsk in Plyrypn aoi 

conccunsLitd niiinly on the Cinticlcs. This collection of 
Hebrew erotic lyricSi whether or not tlicy had any coimcxion 
with the cull of Ishtar as Meek has lUggcsted/' were treated 
in a highly spiritual and emotional manner and coupled with 
chivalrous romantic love which became increasingly popular 
in the Middle Ages. 

For St Augustiiie 'all the Church is Christ's BridCj of 
which the bcginiung and first-^fruiis is the flesh of Christ* 
because there the Bride joined to the Bridegtoom in the 
flcsh\^* ^Tbe nuptial union is ihai of the Word and the Flesh; 
the bridechamber of this union* the Virg;in*^s womb* For the 
flesh itself was itself united to the Word: w^hence also it saith 
*^Hencefotth they arc not cw^np but one flesh". The Church 
was assumed unto him out of tlie human race! so that the flesh 
itself* being united to the Ward* might be the Head of the 
Church; and the rest who believe members of the Head.^ In 
the Virgin s womb the Bride had already been united to Christ 
and made Head of the Church so that at His narivity the 
Church already was His Body*^“ 


Although ^lary was held in very high esteem by Si Augustine 
and her perpetual virginity and impeccability were uiamtaincd 
in spite of liis doctrine of original sin/^ as the instrument of 
the Incarnation she occupied a secondary positiori in the 
capacity in which the Lord Chrht deigned to dwell and 
become cnnsubstaniia] with bet. Tndeedi during the opening 
centuries of the new era the influence of the Magna Maier 
tradition on Christian thought and practice was confined for 
the most part to the imagery of the Alatcr Ecclesia. It was only 
in the Gnosric Ophite sects that the Virgin hersdf was aaually 
worshipped as a goddess, and as late as the fbunh century* as 
wx have scerip Epiphanius condemned in no uncettain terms 
the CoIIyndians who oficred cakes to het as the Queen of 
Heaven. Thus* he declared that 'the body of Mary is holy but 
she is not Cod; she is Virgin and worthy of great honour bur 
she is not given to us in adoration* rather she adores Him Who 

Z02 Thf Mdfer Ealtna end the AUdomte 

iji born of lier flesh"* Consequendyt Ici Maiy be honoured but 
let the Fiiher, Son and Holy Spirit be adoted. Let no one 
adore Similarly^ Ambrose whose influence on St 

Augumne was very considerable^ maintained that *Mary was 
the temple of Cod not the Lord of the temple. Tbetefote, only 
he IS to be adored who worked within the Temple/ 

The Cbmh mi the Cult ef Mury 
Undoubtedly popular veneration of the Virgin, which ran to 
exuavagant lengths in the Phrygian sects, was widespread in 
the Conciliar period^ especially in the Byzantine Empire^ after 
Constantine's adoption of Christianiiy, For those who accepted 
the doctrine of the Incarnation with its stupendoui claims, 
involving nothing less than the Creator of the universe assunv 
ing a human body in the womb of a mortal w^oinant the 
vehicle of this amazing event of necessity must be regarded as 
a unique personality to be held in the vety highest esteem^ 
Therefore, in an age in which (he Goddess cult was so deeply 
laid the Mother of the Redeemer liardly could escape being 
assigned a poiidon which in many respects corresponded to 
that of the Magna Mater in the pagan w'arld, panicularly in 
ihosfi areas in which she had been ptedominant* Ncvcrthdcss, 
(0 assume that the cult of Maiy was merely the Christianized 
version of its pagan prototype is a simpUficadon of a complex 
situaiion which is not supported by the evidence.*^ 
Christianity moved in a very <^ifercor world of thought* 
belief and practice from that which lay behind the "Goddess of 
many pames^ Marian doctrine and piety emerged and 
developed within dieir own theological and historical context. 
To some eanent no doubt in some of tlieir modes of expression 
they represent the univmal psychologica] reactions to the Great 
Mother archetype^he archetypal Feminine—the symbolism 
of which in recent years has been the preoccupation of those 
engaged in psych&Hanaljtical interpretation and fanrasy^^—an 
aspect of the phenomenon which lies nutsidt the range of out 
picsenr inquiry. Bui regarded from thcanthropolpgicalp historv 
cal* comparative and theological standpoints* In so far as the 

Tbt Mater Eceletk in Pbry^k 20 j 

£u]y Church was influenced by tl» cull of the Msgiu Mater 
primarily, as has been demonstrated, k was in its conception 
of the Mater Eccicsia rather than in that of the Madonna. Thus, 
for exampk, in Armenia even the title Theoiokoi in the first 
instance was applied to the Virgin Mother and inntiaculate 
Bride the Church, and not until much later to the physical 
mother of Christ, after her cultus had become established in 
the twelfth and thirteenth ceomrics. The assumptinn of the 
Virgin, again, was ttansformed from the cxaltaaon of the 
Church by the risen and ascended Christ to that of Mary as 
the Queen of Heaven.®* This process of transmitting attributes 
of the Church to the Madonna was responsible for a good deal 
of the confusion of the one with the other, and gave Mary 
cenain aspects which she inherited from the Bride Church 
rather than directly from the Mother/'goddess. But the concepi 
of the Church as a hypostatic heavenly being, coeval with 
Christ and on a level with Wisdom and die Word of God 
(the Logos), was too unrealistically mystical to remain the 
final intcrpretaiioii of die pagan Magnae Mattes mystery drimena 
and mythei in Christendom. It was only a quesdon of dmc, 
thetefote, before the Madonna as a living pctsonality of unique 
status in the divine revelation was apostrophized as n« only 
die mother but also as the bride of Christ with all that this 
involved ju the subsequent developments of Marian thought 
and piety. 


In the beginning, however, it was not so. In the caDonical 
scriptures of the New Testament surprisingly little is recorded 
which throws light upon the problem. Apart fiom the Lucan 
infancy narratives there are only two or three incidents in the 
Gospels in which Mary is memioned, and after the Day of 
l?^entcco5t she does not again appear in the literature, with ^e 
possible exception of the strange vision of the Woman with 
Child in the twelfth chapter of the Johannine Apocalpse. In 
both the Matthaean and Lucan narratives she is represented as 
having conceived by an act of faith and obedience widiout the 

204 MstStr Ec^kiia amf the Aiadmm 

aid tnd inim^nuDn of hit man paiemicy, and io brought forth 
Him who was to be the Saviour of mankind.*^ 

if St Paul was aware of iht daccTine of the Virgin Butb he 
makes no icfercncc to it in his extant lettcrSp even when he 
developed his ihcttie of the Two Adams and of the birth 
pangs of rhe new era based on the Genesis Fall sioiy.^*^ In lus 
lomewhai involved rypological argumenis he could have iniro^ 
duced Mary as the Second Eve with great advantage. Instead 
he made the Church the new £ve in the role of the bfide and 
mother married to the new Adamp with whom she was *onc 
flesh'see against the backgrpiind of creation personified as 
Modier^arth undergoing the travail of Eve in the process of 
the rebirth of a new huDmiky.^^ Similarly, in the Pauline 
allegory of Sarah as the mother of the faithful*^ she was 
identified not with Mary but with the heavenly Jerusalem like 
the Brido'chureh. 

This imagery of cotusc is capable of inicrpretadon in terms 
of Marian theology and culrus, as later writas have shown, but 
it was not so reptesenred by St PauL if he had been familiar 
with it be could hardly have failed to have seen its relevance 
foi hii allegorical themes and to have developed his doctrine 
of the two Eves accordingly, and indeed more convincingly, 
since the £dcn story occupied such a conspicuous place in his 
typology. But in iaa it war not until the posi^Apostolic period* 
from the second century and onward, that the Marian cult 
began to be formulated and gradually to take definite shape in 
Christian rradltioa 

At first rdfefnccs to Mary cominued to be very few* In the 
earliest litcraiurc (e.g. the Didacbc^ Clement of Rome* HermaSp 
Polycarp, Tatian) dim is no mention ai all of heip and only 
very occasionally by Iguanus* Aristides* Justin Martyr and 
Irciueus^ It was io teacdon to Cnosdc Doceiism,iD wluch the 
real humanity of Christ was denied* that she was brought inro 
relauon with Eve by Justin and IrcnaeuSp her obedience being 
represented as loosing the knot of Eve i disobcdienccp and 
setting &ee by her &ith what her prototype had boutid fast.*^ 
Having received faith and joy at the annunciation to her 

The Madmnit A05 

unique vocation by the angel Gabriel, dietc was born of bet 
'He by whom Coti destroys both the serpent and tlie angels 
and men that resemble it, and frees from death those who 
repent of theii bad deeds and believe.'** Thus, she was ^signed 
the place and function in the process of redemption inherent 
but not expressed in the Pauline allegories. Origen and Tettoh 
lian adopt the same attitude towards bet maternal office and 
its significance. ** and if h« perpetual virginity was a matter 
of dispute, the reality of her maternity was maintained even to 
precise anatomical details.** 

In the struggle first against Gnosticism and Docetism, and 
then in opposition to Aiianism, Mariology came inro inertaS' 
ing prominence since the role played by the Blessed Virgin In 
the work of the Incarnation and of redemption was one of the 
principal contentions in the prolonged CDnirovcraes of die 
period. As Irenaeus affirmed, without a mother of Cod, God 
would not have recapitulated in Christ His creation that had 
fallen. Upon this issue the struggle against Arius was 
pursued because if Mary was not the mother of the Lc^os he 
could not have been consubsiantial —bomiKtinil in the formula 
of Athanasius—‘with the human race.*® Thcicforc, she became 
the key figure in the doctrine of die incatnadon and in orthodox 
Christology at a crucial moment in the formarive period of the 
Early Church when on the one hand the divinity and on the 
other the humanity of Christ were being denied. To meet this 
atuck and safeguard the Catholic faith, that Mary was the teal 
mother of Jesus had to be affirmed and established beyond 
doubt. Against the Docedsts and the Arians it was equally 
important, if the orthodox position was to be maintained that 
her status should be made absolutely secure. It was out of this 
Chtistological controversy that the dtle Theotokos, Mother of 
Cod, was confened upon her at the Council of Ephesus in 431. 

Behind the Ephesian Mariology lay the testimony of the 
earlier Apologists, beginning with Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and 
Tcnullian, in which the 'Eve^Avc' doctrine wm developed, 
based on the Eden typology in tcladon to the Second Adam. 
Out of it emerged the emphasis on the perpetual virginity of 

2q 6 The Mdtff EcdtSid nhd tht 

MajYp her sinlcssncss* ^nd her instjuineiit^lity m the redeiiipdvc 
process. Thai the c tilde teacdon to this developing Maiiart 
theology arose earlier in the East than in (he West is not 
without significance m our present inquiry, since, as has been 
abundantly demomtiated, it was in this region, especially in 
Asia Minor* that the IVlagna Mater was so firmly esLablished. 
Hence the grave warning agaiim rteadug Mary as a goddess 
issued by Epiphanius in the fourth century to prevent the 
incursion of the p^n cultus into what easily could have 
become iis Christian counifrpart, 'La Mary be honoured, but 
la the Father^ (he Son and die Holy Spirit be adored,'®® In 
the West where these heresies and acemions were much less 
insisteni the defence of the perpaual virginity suEced, The 
Larin Fathers in particular were primarily concerned to uphold 
the orthodox posidon respecting the uature of Christ in its dual 
aspects of perfect Cad and true man, and to this Mariolo^ was 


Nevenhcless, the defeai of Arianism at the Council of Hicaea 
in 325 and the cmblishmcnt of the 'consubstanEialiry" of Cod 
the Son with the Father confirmed the title Theotokos assigned 
to the Virgin by Atharusios because, as he had proclaimed, 
'from the flesh of Mary the Son of Cod by essence and nature 
did proceed',' ® Actually it had been in use, probably from the 
dme of Ofigen, before it was adopted by Athanasius to express 
the divine humanity of Christ against the Arian denial of his 
full Godhead. It was* in fact, diEcult to confute die entrent 
heresies rapcctmg his teal manhood while malntainirtg his 
divinity except in terms of God as his father and Mary as hii 
mother. Therefore, Nestorius* the Patriarch of Constantinople* 
raised a crucial issue when in 42S be opposed rlic use of the 
title on die grounds that in Holy Sctipture Jesus is called 
Christ or Lord but not Cod« Mary* he said, should be 
described as Chrittatdhs ‘because giving biuh to the Son of 
God she gave buth to a man who* by his union with the Son 
of God, can be called Son of God^'^^ But although the 

Tif Madonna 207 

infatnce miy hivt bE?cn mistakcTi, he gave the impression of 
contending ihai Christ actually two pecsonsp one human 
and the other divine; a kind of dual personality divided 
between die earthly and the heavenly orders of mamfotarion* 
Catholics, on the other hand, mainuiried that he was a single 
person uniting hntnaniiy and divinity completely in himsel£ 
it was in the first instance to safeguard this doctrine that the 
title Theotokos was steadfastly uphel-d 
In continning the cnutrovcnyt tn a scries of sermons 
Ncstoritis repeated his assenion that *that which is bom of 
woman is not solely God or solely man, but humaniry united 
to divinity*. He was prepared to accept as a formula that ‘the 
two natures which perfectly united with each other and without 
confusion are adored in the one person of the Only Begotten*. 
But this could too readily be given a monophysite interpretarion 
of Christ having one nature and that divine, to be acceptable 
at (hat juncture. Against it Cyril, the Patriarch of Alexandria, 
employed all ihe resources of Nicene orthodoxy in support of 
the hyposiatic utiion of die human and divine natures in the 
One Christ when be addressed the Fathers of the Council of 
Ephesus assembled in the basilica of the Thenrokos in 431. 
There, if anywhere, in the city so notorious for its devodon to 
Arternis, or Diana as ibc Romans called her, where her 
image was said to have fallen from heaven,under the shadow 
of the gre^t temple dedicated to the Magna Mater since 330 B.c^ 
and containing^ according 10 tradition, a temporary residence 
of Mary, die tide ‘God^bearer* hardly could fail to be upheld. 
St Cyril, howcvcfi took no risks, and opened die Council on 
June j^and without waiting for the arrival of the Syrian biihops 
led by John of Antioch, w^ho were most likely to take a 
sympathetic view of Ncstorius- 
Havii^ assumed the presidency, Cyril, after the redmion of 
the Nicene Creed, oiused his second letter to Ncstorius to be 
read. This he declared to be in accordance wtih the faith set 
forth at Nicaea, arid then proceeded with die cxcommunica^ 
ticin of the Patriarch of Constantinople, which was confirmed 
amid immense public exclamation. As a tesult Nestoriui was 

10^ Tbf Ecdtrid fJrf Madonna 

^excluded fiom ill episcopal dignity itid liom every assembly 
of bishops', before ekhcr tbe Syrian bishops or die pipd envoy 
from Rome had arrived. John and his party replied by anathc'' 
matizing Cyril and his partisans, accusing them of the heresy 
of Apollinarius in virtually denying the manhood of Christ 
by excluding from him a radonil souL Thus» once again the 
controversy mmed on the Chrisrological issue, which through-^ 
out the dispute overdue ude Theotokos rermined the funda^ 
rnental quesdou. Mary was declared by Cyrd to have been 
truly the Mother of God because the was the “indcstmctiblc 
temple, the dwelling of the Illimitable Mother and Virgin, 
through whom he is called in the holy gospels '^blessed who 
conreth in the name of the Lord”\'^'* Nesiorius, on the other 
hand, maincalned that she was the mother of the man Chtia 
Jesus who by his union with Cod could be called the Son 
of GtxL 

However right from the Alexandrian standpoint Cyril may 
have been in upholding at all costs its conception of the 
preodstent divine Logos tailing human nature to himself as 
the divine Wotd through Mary as the Theotokos, this interpny 
tarion of the Incamarion in lact had the effect of making the 
Saviour of mankind somf^hat remote. Therefore, the need of 
some mote intimate and truly human intetmediary became 
increasingly felt, and in this role the sorrowing and glorified 
Mother of God made a strong appeal to popuW imagination 
and requirements. And in the early developments of the 
Marian cultus devorion to Our Lady was popuhu rather than 
scholarly^ Alexandrian and Byzantine rather than Augiisriniau 
and Roman. Although the Neitotian heresy only concemed 
Mary incidentally, being centred upon her Son, ucveithcless 
fresh emphasis was given to her as mediatrix. But, ai when 
the Gnostics denied the manhood of Christ she became the 
Picroma of all Plcromas, and even snmefimci a Mother-' 
goddess, so when the Conned of Ephesus vindicated the tirle 
Theotokos it gave theological expression to the growing devodon 
ID the Virgin as the Mother of Cod, especially in the East. 

As a result her divine maternity and perpetual vtigitiiiy were 


further stressed, hiving become the touebtone of CailiDlic 
onhodoTty in the Nestoriiii controvmy* ind been defended by 
Hilary of Poitiers (f. the 'Athanasius of tlic West*, 

ind Sc Ambrose (£. U9S7)* mnong other Latio Fathers in 
the fourth and fifth coittiries. Though she was not aettuUy 
designated mediatrix unul the term was applied to 

her by Jolm of Damascus in tbe cigliih century, to all inreou 
and purposes she had long fulfilled thii role in Asia Minot 
and the Eastern Mcditerra neaiip Bui the cult of Mary was not 
as rapid in its growth after the Counal of Ephesus as might 
have been expected, even where the ground had been so wtB 
prepared by pagan votaries of the Magna Mater. This no 
doubt was because it arose and developed in the first in&iancc 
within the context of the doctrine of the IncarnatlQn in which 
she occupied a uruque positionj uot from the pre-Christian 
veneration of the feminine principle in divinity which, as we 
have seen, found expression rather in a ddfied Mater Ecclesia. 

hUrtufi U^nc^raphy 

Nevertheless, the Council Ephesus gave a powerful impetus 
to the Marian culms which was represented almost at once in 
iconography! Thus, alleged authentic portraits of the Virgin 
began to appear of which the Hcde^ctm aitnbuted 

to St Luke is a well-known example, said to liave been sent 
from JerusaJem in 418 by the Emptcssi Eudotua 10 her sister 
in-law Pulcheria, who placed it in the church of the Hodegin 
in Constantinople.^^ This was venerated in the East for 
centuries as an imperial palladium and earned to battle in a 
caTi very much as the image of Kybclc had been buitie in like 
manner in the streets of Romci Aciuallyp however, it is a 
convenrional Byzantine representaton of the Madonna of the 
sixth ccitturyi showing her standing erect holding the Holy 
Child seated on her left arm. With bis right hand he is in the 
act of blessing, and in his left hand he cames a rolL In another 
pDttiait of the same type in a church built by Pulchcria at 
Blachcmac, near Constantinople, she appears as an oraiiic with 
extended arms inierceding for ihe faithfuL ' * 

iio The Matir Ecclaia an^ iLt Msdama 

Of the likeness of Mary we know DOthing. is Augustine 
aliirmcd.^^ In her earliest representations in art she was shown 
as a member of a group in scenes such as the Annunciatian, 
the Visiiarion, the Nativity, the Presoitaiion, and especially 
the Adotahon of the Magi. In the vast mosaic on the westem 
lace of the triumphal arch in S, Maria Maggiote in Rome 
(c. A.D, 433) she is, howcvei, seated in a chair with two winged 
angels in anendaitce, the dove hovering in the air above, and 
Cabtiel flying towards her to deliver his message. 

CbuTtlxt Dtdicated la the Medtnna 

Indeed, k is true, that ai the end of the fourth century and at 
the beginning of the tilth century, when churches began to be 
dedicated to her honour, in iconography frequcmly she was 
enthroacd in the manner and likeness of Isis and Homs, 
wearing the mural crown of Kybelc, and having the gorgon 
at her breas ts like Athena, with the Holy Child sometimes 
enclosed in a sacred mandala on her bicast.^" Nor was such 
reprcicnution confined to Byianiine Mariology. In the apse of 
the cathedral at Parenzo in Istria on the Adriatic a Virgin 
enthroned at the centre of the conch of the apse was set up, 
probably by workmen from Ravenna, about 540. On cither 
side is an angel with saints in the background who include 
Bishop Huphtasius, the founder, and Claudius his Arclv 
deacon. Below on the vertical wall of the apse ate scenes of the 
Annunciatian and the Visitation, but these may be rather 
later. In 1944 fiescoes of this period in a Hellenistic style 
depicting the life of the Viigiii, the Atmunciaiion, Visitadon 
and proof of her virginity were found in the little church at 
CasieUcprio near Milan. 

In the catacombs a fresco of the third century in the cemetery 
of Priscilla shows the Annunciation, and in a painting of ihe 
neat century in the CefiKtitieriam mi^ui the Holy Child is repro 
seated at his mothers breast with outstretched arm. Above 
their heads are two stars, and to the left a male figure, probably 
one of the prophets, pointing to the »ar. The Aonunctaiion 
forms [he subject of two paintings, one belonging 10 the end 


II i 

df the second century and the other to the third ccmiiry. The 
Virgin is scatedp the angel stands hdoit her in human form- 
Only once is the Nativiry depicted^ and this is on a fresco of 
lacei date in the catacomb of St Sebastian- Ustidly is 
seated on a throne holding the Holy Child forward, sometimes 
to icceivc ihe adoration of the Magi. On a fresco in die 
cemetery of St Castulus. outside the Porta Maggiore in RomCp 
the Virgin is with the infant Jesus between two of the Magi, 
while near the crypt of St Emerennana in the Cdem^nteriMin 
Ffi^W in the Via Namentana, on a fresco of the fourth century 
in which Byzantine features are beginning to occur^ she is 
represented as an orante interceding for those in die tomb. It 
can hardly be later than the beginning of the fifth century, but 
the recurrence of Mary in the very early an and iconography 
shows the gradual development of her importance and signi' 
ficanct in Christian theology and devotion. 

By the sijtth century Madonnas had become a standard 
product of an in Christcndotii, with the Holy Child or stands 
ing as aji orante with upraised hands and arms intcrcediiig. As 
early as the first quarter of the fifth cemury gilded glasses froni 
the catacombs bore the name ^Mana* and showed the Virgin 
standing between St Peter and St Paul in the amtude of 
praycti and baMclicfs of her as an urantc occur In the church 
of Santa Maria in Porto in Ravenna^ and in mosaic pictures 
over the of the archiepiscopal palace diKCp as wcU as in 
the chapel of St Venantius in the Lateran in Rome (r. 642). 
Justinian turned to the Theocohos for protection for what was 
Icfi of the Empire, very much as in the fourth century U-C* it was 
to the Phrygian Magna Mater that r^ourse ¥^as made to save 
die ecemal dry in its hour of need. Jusnnians gcndal* NarscSi 
sought her advice on the field nf battle much as the Sibylline 
books were consulted for divine guidauce duriiig the Hanm^ 
balic war^ and as the sacred meteor of Kybele was brought in 
triumph to Rome so Heraclius bote in the &ay a banner of 
Mary with her image on it. In a catacomb on the Appian Way 
near Albano her hands are outstretched in prayert and in the 
corridor In the Wall of Aurclkn near the Appian Gale (Porta 


Tin Maifr Ecchsia thf 

di San Sebasdano) a Byzandnc Virgin and Child of the lixdi 
ceniury may biv? been depicted for the besMfit of the ttoops of 
Bcli&anui during the degt of the city by Vidge^ in 5 381 when 
the fortificaiions were repaired. Even as far from the Bj'zaiTDiie 
world as Britain the Marian cuh Kcmi to have flouruhed in 
the monasiic centrti in these UJe^p Thus, it appears that the 
monks of Glastonbury invoked the Vtrgiii in their hturgy, and 
when Ambrosius revived imperial sentiment they acquired a 
Madonna in the Byzantine style. The ancient histone churchi 
around which legend has been so rife^ ts spoken of as an 
'oratory of Peter and Paul', but tveniualiy it was rededi^ 
cated appirendy. to ^Otic Lady St* Mary of Glastonbury"* 
This probably was the first centre of the Marian cult in 

In Rome the basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minervat near 
the Pantheon, was superimposed on a former dedication to 
Minerva as the name indicates, and dose by was a sanctuary 
of lsis« Bur Sania Maria Maggjore on the Esqmline Hill is the 
largest of the eight first and great chu rches in Rome dedicated 
to out Lady* k was buik originally in the fourth century by 
Pope Liberiui, when it w^as called the basilica Liberian- In 
the seventh centuryp if not earlier, it was known as Santa Maria 
ad praesepe because beneath the high altar the relics of the crib 
are alleged to rest. It is said to have been ereacd on the site of 
a temple of Kybde* while a few hundred yards away was a 
temple to Juno Lucina^ protectress of pregnant motben*^* On 
the Capitoline Hill with all its sacred associations wkh the 
Goddess cuk stands Santa Maria in Ara CocUi called origui^ 
ally Santa Maria in Campiiolio, in which in the chapel of the 
Presepio is the famous pracsepe* In this crib the Sant& 

S Ar 4 Carli, rudely carved in olive wood and said to have 
come from Palestine, is txpe^cd from the Eve of the Nativity 
to the Feast of the Epiphany, adorned with jewels of great 
valiic- In a groao behind arc the Virgin with the Bambino on 
her knee, and St Joseph with the ox and the ass behind* The 
shq>hcrds4 the Magi and the women bringing their offerings 
of fruit in die background complete the scene with remarkable 

Tilt Maditiiu 

cfToci. Abcjvc, Cod the Father ii represented with angels and 
cherubs, and forincrly St Augustine and the Sibyl painted to 
the Holy Child. This depicted the medieval legend of Greek 
origin that the Incarnation was foretold in the Sibylline books, 
and an altar was erected on the site of the church by the 
Emperor Octavius, who, when consulting the Tibutiinc sibyl, 
heard a voice sayi ng 'this ii the altar of the Firstborn of Cod". 
In the Benedictine chronicles it is said lo have been buik by 
Gregory the Great In j9r, and such b its antiquity that its 
foundation traditionally was assigned to Constantine, suggest^ 
ing that it was one of the earliest thiuches erected in Rome, 
and, therefore, placed on the Capitol and dedicated to the 
Moier of God. Similarly, in Athens when the Erechtheum 
on the Aciopolb, sacred to Pallas, was convened into a church 
it was placed iindei the patronage of the Madonna, as was the 
Anthenaion, the Roman temple in Syracuse. 

The superimposing of churches dedicated to the Virgin on 
the Goddess sanctuaries marks the development of the Marian 
cultus, and doubdess involved the tiansloencc of at least some 
of the beliefs and practices connected with the pagan occupants 
of the shrines in popular piety. THs was almt^i inevitable, 
however desirable and necessary the procedure may have been 
in die circumstances in which it occurred. It certainly made for 
the localbtaiion of the Madonna rathet along the lines of the 
earlier 'Goddess of many names', though of course it was never 
supposed for a moment that Mary was other than one person., 
the Theotokos. Nevertheless, her office and functions tended to 
be dcpaiuncntalizcd so that she became not only the patroness 
of churches with special characteristics in their earlier assoeb' 
tioru, but also the protectress of particular cities, towns, 
sanctuaries and localities, with dtSes, such as our Lady of 
Zaragoza, Mount Garmel, Glastonbury, ^Vabtngham and, 
since tlie authorization of the apparitions to Bernadette in i 3 jS, 
Notre Dame de Lourdes, as well as of occupations like thai of 
saibrs in her capacity of Star of the Sea. 

;i4 The Mtitff Ectitsia and the MaifWJ 

JiARIAN festivals 
The Asruifipdan 

Another upect of her cultus found expression in the place 
assigned to her in the calendar. Again, it was in the East that 
the prindpal fesdvah were fiist observed—thc Assumption, the 
Annunciation, the PurificaiiDn and the Naiivity, Of these the 
Donnition, or 'Faliing Asleep of Mary the Mother of Ctxl’ 
or Dafwf/iifl), is said, by Nicephorus Callistus to 
Have been instituted by the Eoiperor Mauricc (jSa-tSoa)*® on 
August I jib, [bough it may have been observed in the previous 
century round aboin that time in Syria and Palestine, according 
to the lite of St Theodosius (li i29)> In Egypt and Arabia it 
was celebrated in January, and in the sixth centuty in the 
Callican Lhurgy it was observed by the monks in Gaul on 
January iSth until the Roman dte was introduced. In lact, 
although it became the principal Marian feast its univcnal 
observance was only very gradually established outside dte 
Byzantine East. 

That it arose as a commcmoraiion of the dedicadon of a 
church is mote probable than that it w'as tlte outcome of the 
Council of Ephesus, or that it w'as introduced in Rome by 
St Damascus. If this were so, then behind it doubtless lay a 
long uadirion lacking dednition or geticral acceptance. Thus, 
according to a Gnostic and Collyridian legend the body of 
Mary was waited on a cloud ro Jerusalem at the dme of her 
death, and in the presence of the apostles her soul was taken 
Eom her body to Pandise by Gabriel. But when they proceeded 
(o lay her mortal remains in a tomb in the valley of jehoshaphat, 
Chdsi himself appeared and reunited them with her soul, 
which had been brought hack from Paradise by Michael and 
an angelic host. This story in the apocryphal De Qbitu 
S. Deminat, and in the book De Transitu Virimis Mariat 
UhtTt^^ falsely aiciihed to St Melito of Sardis, was confuted 
by Epiphanim, who said, 'search the Scriptures, you will not 
dnd cither the death of Mary or whether ^e died, or that she 
did not die, or that she was buried or was not buried’. That 
her death and burial were surrounded with the honour hn 

Afdffiiii Fistwab 


virgin purity merited p and that hrr holy body was blessed and 
glorified, he affirmed, but 'no one knows her Such, 

indeed, was the ignorance during the first ux centuiia respect-- 
ing the date and place of her 'falling asleep^ that the way was 
open for speculation and the gmw^ of a legend w hich was 
condemned as hetedcal in the D^rfe^lnff Jt lifrnV Cjwciifhff 
Ecclesi&s(i£tis ft Apcfryphi^M attributed to Pope Celasius in 49-f 
It was not until after the Council of Ephesus that credence 
was given officially to these fabulous traditions when m the 
sijcth century the Nesrorian controvetsy had brought the vtnera/ 
tion of the Theotokos into such prominence that her corporeal 
assumption became a widespread "pious hclicT. Anempts were 
then made to suppon it by attribuung the heretical treaiis^ to 
St John Meliio of Sardis^ Athanasius, St Jerome and St 
Augustine, all of which in fact are spurious. The Chiomclc 
of Eusebius was made to assert that ‘in the year 48 Mary the 
Virgin was taken up into heaven u some wrote that they had 
it revealed to them^ in order to reedve his authority for the 
doctrine that was then in process of formulation. Gregory of 
Tours tccotded the apocryphal itory of the Uhtr (k Transkn in 
his Dc Gloria Martyrum (1. c* 4). and as related by him k was 
incorporated in the GalUcan Liturgy* The tklc "assumpdo’ first 
appeared in the canons of Bishop Socmadus of Rheims (t, 630)1 
and under this designation it occurred in the Gelastan Sacray^ 
mentary^ Duchesne maintains that like the othet three festivals 
of the Virgin it was a Byzantine imponation, and that the 
couniries of the Callican rite knew nothing of them until they 
were adopted in the Roman Liturgy.*^ But the absence of any 
menrion of the legend in the Celasianum may suggest that a 
Mass commernoraring the death of the Virgin was said on 
August 15th, since the feast setim to have been observed in 
Rome ax Santa Maria Maggiote in the sutth century* By the 
time of Sergius I (700) it was a major fesavaf subsequendy 
observed with an octave except in the Ambrosian rite in Milan. 
It was ttoc, however, as rtcenily as 1050 that the increase 
ingly widely held belief that ^when the course of h« canhly life 
was run' the Mother of God was 'assumed In body and in soul 

216 The Mdtcr and the AfodjfMu 

10 heavenly glofy\ was decUred ex tatbeit^ by papal decree to 
be 4 rfe fde aidck of faitli. 

The Arinmekiimi 

Since the Mirian ctdms rests on the unique statas and office 
claimed for the Virgin in the Incarnation of the Son of God, 
attention could hardly fail to have been concentrated upon the 
supreme moment when she was confronted with the archangel 
Cabricl and called upon to tnake her momentous decision 
upon which the salvation of mankind depended. That this 
event should have been a major commemoration in the 
calendar was inevitable, though there is no historical account 
of the institution of the Feast of the Ann uncurioa. 

As the generation of the Chost/child always has been held 
to have been a normal physiological prenecss extending over 
nine months# onct the date of the Nadviry was fixed in the 
West on Decemba 25 th that of the A nnunciation naturally 
fdl on March ajth. This, however, raised a problem in the 
East, since the Council of Laodicca in the fourth centuty 
&rbade the keeping of holy days In Lent, except on Saturdays 
and Sundays.*'* The situation was relieved fay an cxccptiou 
being made in favour of its observance at the Council of 
Tmilo in 692. In the West when it was first kept in Spain it 
was held at different dates in different places undl the Council 
of Toledo in 656 fixed December i Eth as the day of the festival 
because, as it was explained, it could not be held in Lent ot 
Eastertide. But in die Mozaiabic rite the same Mass iS appointed 
for both December iSth and March 25th.*® It was not until 
much later that this procedure was adopted in Home# and no 
mention of the feast occurs among the festivals ordered by tbe 
Council of Metz in 811 (can* xxxvi)* 

It would seem# then, diat the commemoration of the Annutv 
Clarion arose about the time of the Council of Ephesus in 431# 
as k was not known apparently when the Synod assembled at 
Laodicca in 3721 and the first mention of it in the West is in 
the Sacramentary of CcLuius in a seventh^century manusctipip 
and in a manuscript of the Sacrameutary of Sc Gregory in the 

Marian Ftititmis 217 

next century. Therefore, in Rome the feast very likely was a 
product of tlic seventh century,®* though it was observed 
earlier m Spain and in the Em as a Dominican lather than a 
Marian fatival, the emphasis being on the virgina] conception 
of the Incarnate Christ. It was not until the Marian culms 
developed that it was held primarily in honour of the Mother 
of Cod. Oripnally, in fact, in the West it was only in countries 
of the Callican rite that any such feast was celebrated, and then 
it was confined to that held for the purpose in the middle of 
January.®’ As a special commemoration die Annunciation 
lias never been rigidly fixed to Match ajth, as might have been 
expected. Thus, in the Ambrosian rite it was assigned to the 
last Sunday in Advent while the Aimenlans kcpc it on the 
Eve of the Epiphany 5 '^) transfmed n to 

April 7th. 

Tie PnrificatJ^it 

Like the Atitiunciarion, the PuriEcarioti of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, or Candlemas as it has been commonly called, origin' 
ally was a Dominical festival and has so rcmaiiicd in Eastern 
Christendom. Its Byzantine origin is shown in tlie title, 
‘Hypapante', designating the 'meeting* of Christ with Simeon 
and Anna at the presentation in the Temple. In the West it 
was the Puriiicadon of Mary according to Jcwisli ctmom 
that was emphasized, and since the commeiiiDratioii coincided 
with a prc'Christian Feast of Lights when randies and torches 
were carried in procession, held at the beginning of Februa^ 
as a protection against plague, famine, peirilciice and c™' 
quake, it came to be known as CandlcniM, symEmlism 
being interpreted in terms of the Nunc Dimitris in me Bibiicaf 
naitarive. In the fourth century (c. jSj) a solemn proc^on 
was held on February t4th (Quadrajefima de m 

Jerusalem in the church of the Anastasis, to which reference (s 
made by a pilgrim of Bordeaux, Ethetia or Silvia.®® But no 
mention occurs of the Purification of the Virgin in connexion 
with it, Ccdienus, an liistorian of the eleventh century, 
assigns the institution of the (estival to the Emperor Justin 

ZJ$ Tlx M^Ur Ecchna atfi the M^domu 

CDnstandnoplc in the year $ 26 ,^^ and it was thctip or in the 
tcign of his successor Jusiinkn in 541,’^ that it became cstab^ 
lished on February znd^ after the Feast of the Nativky had 
been transferred to December l5tli under Ladn uiH Pence in 
By^nttunt. When it was introduced into Rome is obscure, 
fiaronius attributes it 10 Pope Celasius (492-6) as the Christian 
councetpan of the Fulercaiia*®® but this was mere conjectutc- 

Although k was described by the ancietii writers as a 
Wrdtfd or purijicath^ it did not bear any vety obvious connexiotiS 
with the Candlemas procession. The Lupeicalia was a fcrdlicy 
rite in which two parries of youths clad in a girdle orgoarskins 
ran round die boundaries of the PaLtinc Hill, srrikitig women 
with thongs of goat^hide to mate them &nitfuh Therefore; it 
was the prototype of die Kogadondde procc^rion rather than 
that of Candlemas. Nevcnheless, it is true that behind the 
symbolism of the Feast of Lights lay the ancient perambularioEis 
associated with the return of the Goddess fro m the underworld 
and the rebirth of nature in the spring and of that of the 
neophytes in the Mysteries. Thus, in the Eleuriniaii rites they 
earned lighted cncehes in canimemoration of the search of 
Demeter for Kotc as a part of the pucihearion ritual in piepaia/* 
lion for the sacred drama in die Similarly, it was 

anxid a blaze of torches that *the fiir young god Tacchos* was 
borne along the sacred way from Athens to Elcusis. Or, again, 
in rhe Lesser Myslmcs at Agtai, which began on the eleventh 
of the month Anthesterion (March and),, when Kore was 
supposed to reruin from the underworld in the young com and 
bring with her lerigthtning days, a proc^on assembled during 
the afternoon of the second day of the festivalj and at ax oVlock 
in the evening started with torches in celebration of the return 
of life and light after rhe death and dailmess of the yearns 

While the Eleminian Mysteries could have exercised only 
m indirect influtnee on Chrisrian pracucc^ nevertheless the 
Early Fathets w'ere by no mcaiu unaware of their rivalry, 
especially after the Emperor Julian, whom they described as 
^bc Apostate, had himself become an inimte at EJeusis in 

Mtsfim Fesimli 

fcacuoiT to his ChiistiiUi upbringing and education. Indeed, 
w has been consideicd, a good deal of our infotmatian con^ 
ccTtiing these rites comes from Christian sources, such as the 
writings of Hippolytus. The reverse process, ihereforc, cannot 
he ruled out arising from the spiriiu^ condition of the world 
in which Christunity arose, and which favoured the spread 
and pasistence of the CraectvOriental Mystery idigioiis. This 
cenainiy is not least apparent in the Marian coitus after the 
Virgin as the Theotokos replaced die Matei Ecclcsia as the 
Magna Mater of Christian tradition, and herself was installed 
as the centra] figure in the festivals of the Goddess cult with 
their long^establishcd cciciriDnial. Thus, in the case of the Feast 
of Lights, February isi was the day on which fires had been 
lighted and torches left burning all night as life-^ving a^nts; 
customs which were so deeply rooted that they survived in the 
Christian era long afier their original significance had been 
abandoned, at any rate 'officially'. In Scotland, for exampl^ 
the sacred fire of Si Bride, or Bridget, was carefully guarded, 
and a bed made of com and hay on the Eve of Candlemas 
surrounded by candles as a fertility rite.*® Here St Bride played 
the role of Kore, and the fire symbolized the victorious emer/ 
gence of the sun from the darkness of the departing winter. 

At candles were emblems of the divine vitalizing power of 
the tun, not inappropriately th^ were blessed and carried in 
procession at the end of the Christmas fesriv J to cammemorate 
the presentation of the sun of righteousness' in the temple of his 
heavenly Father. Furthermore, as the sacred light ^ 

symbol of tbc Holy Child who was declared to be the light 
to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of his P“P^ ” 

as Mary came into greater prominence as tlie ‘hghtds^er, the 
Mystery significance of the festival was complete- The procra' 
sion depiaed die cutty into the world of the ime ligh^ e 
blessing and distribution of die candles to be earned roun t e 
church anriclockwisc {Lc. in the penitenrial ‘y™' 

bolized his illumination of the whole earth; and ^ 

the Purificaiion of the Blessed Virgin Maty which 
biought the Incarnation, which 'ttandated mankind from t e 


The Ecck^A the 

power of darkness into the clcai light of his beloved Son'* into 
relition with the pure Virgin who was the 'lighti^bcarer'. The 
penitential character of the procession was in accord with [he 
purificatory preparation in the mystery ceremDrdal^ while die 
candle ritual wai derived from the ancient torch and light 
symbolism which was brought into conjunction with that of 
the Virgin Mothca* presenting herself in the Temple with her 
divine Son, nor as a goddess like Ishtai or Isis but making the 
simple pcasani offeting of a pair of turtk^ovts or two young 
pigeoru. Once again the Church superimposed its own faith 
and practice on the established coitus in the culiine in which 
ChdsttarLity emerged, adapting it to and interpreting it in 
terms of its cardinal doctrines* and so formulating its own mjth 
and ritual a^ a living reality. 

Tbf Feait itj the 

Thui^ the festival of the Incamatiou^ which taken as a whole 
wai spread ovd' forty days from the Nativity to CandlcmaSp 
illustrates this process. While the determinaiiDn of the date of 
Christmas Day is very obsctite,** that it was observed at the 
winter solstice when the rebirth of the sun as the author and 
giver of life and light was celebrated is beyond que^om Morc^ 
over* whatever may have been the cause, the selection of 
December 25th as the Feast of the Nativity in the West in the 
fourth cemury brought it into direct relation with the Diis 
NetdiiV reiff Imicti of MithraisEn—the annual commemoration 
of the victory of light over darkness. This was not an inappro^ 
priate occasion (or the Church to celebrate the ^rising of the sun 
of righreousntas witli healing in his wings'* even though it 
involved the fact that in the background lay the earlier assoda^ 
dons of the pagan winter festival. It was then that in £gypt die 
Suivgi^d was born anew like Horus, son of Osiris, in the amis 
of Isis, who 'when his arm was strong' fijughc against Seth and 
prevailed at the cost of his eye* At midnight on DEcember 25ih 
the constellation of Virgo, symbolizing the Mothcr-^goddess in 
Babylonia* gave biith to the life-giving sun, just as in the 
Balder myth the avenger of the slain hero (Baldet)* the good 

hhrim Ftsdvab ia r 

ind beautiful son nf Odin, appealed on the night of Decern-' 
her 24th, rising amid universal rqoidng like the new-bom sun 
10 destroy the power of darkness- Indeed, the Syitans and 
Armenians accused the Latins of sun'WorsWp in transfening 
the Christmas festival 10 December 25th, regardless of the lact 
that their own observance of the feast on Januaiy fiih was held 
at the winter solstice in the J ulian calendar, which in Alexandna 
was also the birthday of Osiris- 

Epiphanius identified Dccemba 25^1 with the Roman 
Satuinalia, but this esent ended on Deccmbei ijrd, though 
some of its festivities seem to have been incotpnraied in the 
Christmas observances. Christ was born, he said, thineen days 
after the winter solstice when at Alexandria the Koreian was 
celebrated in the sacicd cndosuie of Korc. 

‘The whole night through they keep watch* [he declarod], 
‘ringing to the idol with hymns to a flute accompaniment. 
Having finished their vigii, when the cocks have crowed, 
they descend with torches in their hands to an underground 
chapel and take up a naked image of cars'ed wood. This they 
set on a litter. On its brow it has a golden seal, as also on 
both knees, five seals in all worked in gold. They cany ths 
image seven times in procession round the inner temple, wim 
flutes and drums and hymns, and then bring it back to the 
imdciground place in a Bacchic roun If you ask them ^e 
meaning of this mystery they reply; At this hour in'- y 
Kore (that is the Virgin) bore Aenn-'”*^ 

Therefore, it was whilst the heathen were busied w^ th^ 
profane ccTcmoiiies’, as St Chrysottom ^ 

Cbmtiirts performed ^their holy titB midistwrbcd ^ 
Neverthdess, established beUeft and customs die liard, ari 
Leo the Great (440-61) condemned those current in Rome in 
his day as itidtstmguishablc from solar worship, m laoncht^ 
his campaign agaitisi the cutrenr pagan practices _ 
with the winter solsdoe. As late as the eighth century, Boiulacc 
had to deal with these same abuses In Northern Europe, an 


The Mdift Efriwij and ibe Madivina 

three hundred years laicr, despite consiint denundaiJons in 
canons, hontiiieSj capitularies and penitentiaU, Buichardus 
mentiDns heathen practices mil in vogue in his day. If the 
pracsepe owed anything originally to the cave in which Adonis 
was bom^ as Usenet suggests,®* it w^as so completely Clirisiian^ 
ized that any vesriges of pagan symbolism were eliminated 
when as 'the cradle of Christ^ it became the principal object of 
devotion in the Christmas festival after it was blessed with 
incense and holy warei at the Midnight Mass, and lighted with 
candles, to receive the hambino in the manger after the corner 
craiion. ^The Virgin has brought fortli, light increases^—the 
anckni cty of the celebraini ai midnight in Syria and Egypt— 
throughout the ages has been the theme of the Christmas 
mysffity drama horn the Hve of the Narivity to Candlemas. 
Around it has collected a miscellaneous aecamulation of 
ancient customs and beliefs assodated with the witner Ibstival, 
but only those like the praoepe and the Feast of Lights, that 
have been relevant to it* have been consecrated by die Church 
as an integral part of the observance* The rest have been 
condoned so long as they have not been out of keeping with 
the annual commemoration of the Nadvity of the Son of Mary. 

Tbt Cenapthn 

From die beginning the virginity of the Madonna was coupled 
with her immaculate purity so that at the time of the Council 
of Ephesus she was haiUd ^innocent without blemish, immacu/ 
late^ inviolate^ spodcss, holy in soul and body, wEo has 
blossomed as a lily from among thorns, unlearned in the evil 
ways of Nevertheless* the Early Fathers were by no 

means agreed about her sinkssness. On the contrary, although 
Origtn accorded to her a very high degree of sanctity, he 
included her among those who were offended in Christ ar his 
Passion when the sword of doubt passed through her soul as 
she stood by his cross-In fact, it was needful, he main^ 
tainedp that she should thus sin in order to be redeemed by 
him, ChrysostoDip again, thought that she was guilty of ambri 
rion in putting forward her son as a worker of miracles at the 

Mmoh Fistivah 

manUgc feast ai Cana,*®* while St Auguituic, although be 
exempted her from actual sin, asserted that the received her 
phytical life it peaati prapoiim through die tainted line of 

Therefote. when the Feast of the Concepdon the Blessed 

Viigin Mary was fiist insdtuted, perhaps originally as a 
monastic observance !□ PaJcsiinc as early as the seventh century, 
it did not give expression to the larei doetdne ofher immaculate 
conception free from all taint of original sin, as promulgaied 
by Pius IX on December 8 tb, 1854- The first mention of the 
feast is in a sermon of John Euboea in the middle of the eiglith 
century,*®* and it passed to the West through Gteek sedas in 
Italy in the next century when it appeared in the Ncapoliun 
calendar as the 'Conceptio S, Anne Marie Vir.’. Having 
spread to litland, it reached England by the beginning of the 
eleventh century, though there is some reason to think that it 
may have been cclebraied m the British Isles befort the Norman 
Conquest, introduced into England possibly in the fint in' 
stance by Archbishop Theodore (ddS-po), who was a native 
of Tarsus. Be this as it may. mention is made of'the day of (he 
Conception of the holy Mother of God, Mary', in a t»oiifical 
pf Canterbury before 1050, and December 8 th is asngned to 
the observance in two very early calendars of the minsters m 
Wincbesier. But it was not unul the twelfth wotuiy (f.r t 
that it was reimroduced in the Benedictine monasteries m 
Normandy and Britain, and supported by legendary reve. 
lations it became widely adopted in spite of the strenuous 
opposition of Bernard of Clairvaux, who condcinne n 
because he felt it conflicted with the Augusioian doctnne 

original sin.*“® - , 

This was the general consensus of opinion among ail the 
theologians of the twelfth and thincetwh centuries^i Vickh, 
Peter Lombard, Albetius Magnus Bonavcniun and St 
Thomas Aquinas—though they refrained from trying to sup 
press the feast on December 8 th, explaining it in te^ of 
sanctification of Mary being alleged to have taken place at e 
tnoment of the infrision ofher soul in her body, and so mg 

224 Atof Ecckm uni tbt 

possible the dogtm of her itmnicuUtc conception as it was set 
forth by Duns Seems {c 1264-13 oB). This English Ffanctscan 
having been brought up in die apociy^phal tradition of the 
imnuculatc concqnion derived odgiiijly from the secondn' 
cemury Joachiin and Anna legend in the Pftffci^artjfe//™ 0J 
Jam^St contended that Many had been prcsen.'cd from all sin 
from the moment of her conception by die subtle deWee of 
making the sanctiiicauon aficr animahon follow in the order 
of nature not of time so that she was subject to original iin 
only at one instanr, and then that temporal instant raolvcd 
itself inio a pntdy logical instant. This was too ingenious ro 
allay the controversy which continued to rage between the 
Dominicans and Frandscans until in 1439, after a discusion 
that lasted for mo years at the Council of fiasle^ and m face 
of the opposidon of die University of Paris, the do>gma of the 
Immacul^c Conception w^as declared to be a pious belief 
consonant with Catholic faith and worship.^®® In 1476 the 
feast was approved by Sixtus IV» and a proper Mass and 
Breviary Office assigned to it which in 1708 was extended to 
the uni venal calendar by Clemenit XI as a feast of obligation. 
So great was the appeal of the Marian culius that the victory 
of popular piety over scholastic theology was hailed with 
delight and approval by the people cveryw^hetc- Once the 
doctnne and its festival had been accorded official statuSp 11 was 
only a tjuesrion of time before a pious sentiment became an 
anidc of faith as defined m [854. 

HowevH the cult is to be imetpreted and evaluated theolo^ 
gically, the faa remains that the Madonna of Catholic devotion 
is very much more than devotion to the simple, wholly dedi^ 
caiedt peasant maiden of Nazareth. She is nothing less tlian the 
Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven, the Woman clothed 
with the sun, having the moon under her feet and a crown of 
twelve ^ais above her head* and on earth the imuiaciiUte cver-^ 
virgin, the Lily of Edeti, the Second Evt, the Star of the Sea, 
the co^tedemptress, the compassionate Mother, the besrower of 
grace, the giver of good counsel, Our Lady of Victory, and 
now as Notre Dame dc Lourdes she has been bailed as the 

Marian Ftstiuals 225 

bestowcr of ncA. 1 few mcdkill/ attested iniraculous cuic$ 
her wDrld^rcnowned Pyremcan stirinc. 

la this uttique syncrcdstic figure almost every aspect of the 
cult of the Goddess of many lYames and the Young Cod finds 
a- place. But the Marian cuUus cannoc be eatphiaed merely in 
icTim of the s unrival of an outworn relic of paganism. It if a far 
too vital phenomenon to be so litnply dismissed, for bowevci 
its validity may be assessed, it has been and sdll is a tremendous 
force ia Western and Eastern Christendom, occupying a 
unique place in both Catholic and Onbodoac piety, and having 
behind it all the power of a supernatural faith rooted and 
grounded in ronote andquicy. As has been considered, die 
batoning the dignity assigned to Mary arose as a result of bet 
relatio n to Christ in the doctrine of the Incamadon. Prior to the 
Coundi of Ephesus she figured mainly in the Christolugical 
controveisicf with which the Church was then preoccupied 
by virtue of her matemicy of Jesus. The attempts by several 
Gnostic sects to transform her into a goddess were promptly 
suppressed r and it was not until het position In relation to the 
humanity and divinity of the Second Person of die Triniiy had 
to be vindicated that the title of Theotokos having been con^ 
fened upon lici. the cult was definitely established and 
developed in respect of her several aitiibutcs of motherhood— 
her virginity, her siidcssncss, her mediarion, and her assump 
rion^ It was, however, as the Second Eve bringing forth the 
Second Adam to reverse the judgment on &Ilen humanity, 
not as the Magna Mater and die consort^mothcf of the Young 
Cod, that the Christian Fathcis represented Mary and the 
Church in their respective roles in the new dispensation* 
Around rhese two figures the traits of the pre-Christian myih 
and limal were reassembled^ nor as survivals but as the rc^ 
cvaluacioTi and representadons of very deeply laid beliefs and 
practices determined by, and deriving their mcaiur^ from, 
fundamental values in the InicrTtlatcd cultures in which they 
recurred as a basic structuial pattern regulating the behaviour 
of the members of the community*^”^ It tmy he true that the 
title "^Lady of Ishtar\ current among the Wot Semitic peoples 

zi 6 Tb€ Mmf Eidfik md tbt MaicniM 

in ijie period immcdUtely preceding and fnllowing the riie of 
Chrisdamtyi was tiansfened to the Madoniia, as fiel, the 
of Lie Creek wriim, may have provided the title Kyri^)t Clmsic^ 
for her But chh does not explain the esscnual nature and 

significance of the figures around whom many of the ancieni 
beliefs and practices in the cult of the Codd^ and the Young 
God were reassembled^ or why they became the dririnedve and 
dominant values of a new culture^ reinvested with a present 
value and vitality which have given them a living function of 
their own in a faith that has claimed the allegiance of millions 
all over the world It was not merely that the cult was Christian/ 
ized, since the Church took a strong stand against the old 
beliefs and customs. Whar it did was to make its own myth 
and ritual—in this case its central doctrine of the Incarnation 
—^as secure as possible from unorthodox interpretations. 

Since the Madonna and the Mater Ecclesia were the prin^ 
dpal divine agents in this event, the one responsible for the 
entry inio the world of die Son of Cod, and the other for the 
perpetuation of the redemptive process to the end of time, they 
inevitably occupied the key position in the new dispemarion. 
Wliaievcr was meorporated &om the pagan background in 
defence of their claims was transformed and had a revitallziEig 
cfiect on the eadJer tradition, preventing it from degenciaring 
into merely decadent and dfcie supeisridon (i.c, survival). As 
Maimonidcs observed in another connexion, 'these things have 
a pagan and superstmoui origin, but they muse not be called 
lupcrsutionSp for their origin no longer dominates the meaniug 
attached to these ocremonies** Every age and culture produce 
their own belids^ cusEoms, ideologies, cukic figures and synv 
bols, and only when (hey become detached from the life of the 
eormnuniEy in which they occur and cease to exercise thdr 
proper functions in it* do they become ttierely survivals of 
bygones^ But when they are incorporated in recurring structural 
ritual patterns ofgrear anaquity they acquire a new signiGcancc 
and detcrmijiatiorL Whai is received in the course of the 
transmon is trandbrmed. 

Thus, die pagan and Christian traditions represent parallel 

AfiJff^in Fwffwiii 


but indepctidcnt developmrms which wfihouc dcltbcotdy 
borrowing the one from the other hive codesced 2nd rcicted 
upon each other inasmuch as both are cxpresiions of cenain 
fundxmenial attitudes to hJe^ and to the social and rcli^ous 
condidoiu m which they arose. Old feasts were resusdtatedp 
like the Conception of the Virgin* and given 1 place in the 
calendar. This opened the way for ihc cstabliihmeni of a culiiu 
that entered into the daily life of the people, providing them 
with spiiitual edification and sattsfactioa coupled often with 
relaxation and recreadon^ bur it could hardly expect lo escape 
Etom the nansfeTcncc of parallel traits in some mcasure» even 
though they were brought within the oibii of the established 
faith and made subservient to its cudinaJ doettinjes (e.g. the 
Incamadon m Mariology)p 

The fecquent denunciations of current supenutious practices 
leave no room for doubt that the least edifying survivals did in 
faa persist in popular belief and practice in spite of the 
strenuous efforts to climmatc the ephemeral, wamon and trami^ 
tory elements in the pagan envitonment in which Cbrutianity 
had DO render its own ^th and life explicit. For the most parip 
however, it was the pagan observances that survived, ritual 
always being more stable than behef. Thus, as we have seen, 
the May Day revtU appear to have been a folk survival of the 
Hilariap die spring festival of Kybele, May ist on altcrnare 
years corresponding to March ijth in the prc/Julian calendar. 
Whether or not there was any connexJon originally between 
these popular celebrations and the Feast of the Armunciation 
having been kept at the vernal equinoxt they have lost any 
Chris tian significance that may have been attached to them,, 
and so have ceased to have a serious purpose. Even the reladvdy 
modem devodofLa] dedicatioD of the month of 34 ay to Mary 
has not given so much as a Christian veneer to the folk 


The Goddess 
and the Young God 

’^Fhom the foregoing survey of ihc Goddess cult in its many 
forms, phases and manifestations die Life^produdjig Mother as 
the pcrsomCcation of fecundity stands out clearly as the central 
fgurt. Behind her lay the i 3 i)is(cry of birth and gcncradon m the 
abstract, at first in the human and animal world with which 
Paiacolitliic Man was mainly concerned in his struggle for 
tJtistcncc and survival; then, when food/gathtring gave place 
to fbod^produedon, in the vegeubk kingdom where Mother^ 
earth became the womb in which the crops were sown, and 
from which they were bmughr fetth In due season. With the 
establishment of husbandry and the domestication of flocks 
and herds^ however, the function of the male in the process of 
generation became more apparent and vital as the phystologica] 
facts concenung paternity were more dearly understood and 
lecognizcd^ Then the Mother^^oddess was assigned a male 
partner* cither m the eapacity of her son and lover, or of brotfaet 
and husband* Nevertheless* although he was ^e begietter of 
life he occupied a subordinate position to her. being in fact a 
secondary figure In the cuJrus. 

MoiberbfioJ anJ the Family 

Whether or uot this reflects a primeval system of matriarchal 
socia] organization, as is by no means improbable* the fact 
reirtains that the Goddess at first had precedence over the Young 
God with whom she was associated as her son or husband or 
lover. A number of causes may have contributed to her 
enhanced status in soacty and in the pantheon* but the 


The Divine Prindph Matemit)' 

immng^poim iit the jn^mcion of the family and in widcs 
ninific^uions in kinship can haidly have been other than the 
rcUtionship of modier aod child in the Em tmunoe. That an 
infant is the offspring of its mother never could be in donbi* 
however its origta and genmdon may have been explained, 
it indeed, thcic was any speculation on the subject in its 
physical aspects. The role of the lather might be very obscure 
and even non-existent, but that of the mother was not open to 
question, being metely a mancT of obsemdon. Therefore, 
around the matmial centre a network of emodons and senti^ 
meats arc^e-^e care and protection of the offspring and their 
sense of dependence upon thdr parents giving rise to respect 
for parental authority and guidance—all of which were cssentul 
for the survival and well-being of the human tace and the tight 
ordering of family life. And, as Mareit says. Tear tempered widi 
wonder and submisrivcncss and thus transmuted into reverence 
is die fererunner of lovc\^ 

Woman with her inexplicable nature and unaccounublc 
atiiibutes and functions, such as menstruadon, pregnancy, 
childbirth and bctacion, has been a mysterious person, calUug 
forth a numinous ttacdoti and evaluarion, permeated with 
religious sentiments, rendering htf at once sacred and tabu. 
Regarded as die sole source of the family, the parental instinct 
doubtless &om the first was primarily female, descent invariably 
following die disulT Tliis probably explains to a considerable 
octeni the priority of mother^right in primitive society, somc^ 
rimes as a unilateral organization in which die woman may 
have remained among her own people and the husband was 
little more than a visitor and stranger in her kin. The modicr 
alone then became the fountain-head and the self-sufficing 
source of the family, and by implication the personification of 
the principle of life* 

The Birtb^matber and Agriculture 

When these more extreme forms of manilocal marriage did not 
obtain, the husband and the sons would be occupied cbieHy 
with the chase, the pursuit of game, warfare, or tending the 

21Q The W the Ycufi^ C&d 

flocks ind hcrdsi while the oiothct and her daughters aneoded 
to (he domestic chores, and after the discovery and practice of 
agriculture (for which in all probahiliEy women were mainly 
responsible), hoeing and the cultivation of the crops on a small 
, scale around the homestead^rnie fertiliry of the soil and thai of 
women has been one of th7 saLent feaiuro in agnculiuial 
sodery u ail dmes, and k was not until sowing and reaping 
expanded* involving heavy manual labour, thar it was iransi- 
rened to the male seciion of the community. It w2S then that 
the plough acquired a pholUc significance, being the instni^ 
mem employed to break up the earth and make it fordle. But 
originally the soil was exclusively the domain of Mothcr^earth, 
and to- disturb k was a perilous undertakingj, usually demaiid^ 
ing appeasement by a sacrificial oblation of some kind.^ Even 
when the ^ound was cleared and farmed by men the breaking 
of the soil and die pbnting was done by women, who as the 
, child'bearcTs alone could enable the earth to bring forth 
abundantly, .I 

(a) Crme 

For the Creeks* as wc have seen, k was Ce or Caia, the Eartfv 
goddess, who first gave birth to OtnanuSi the hcavensp and they 
then became rhe primeval pair, begeuing the inoumcrablt 
family of gods* including die Titans* Cyclops and the mythical 
Giants, while by an indirca process of descentp of gods and 
men in general. Thus, long before Zens at Dordona was 
coupled wirh the Earrl^goddesSi she was the creatrue of all 
things in heaven and in the world, and the other goddesses— 
Aphrodite, Scmele* Artemis, Dcmctcr* etc.—woe derived 
fiom or assoaated with her* It was she who sent up the fruits 
of the ground, and to her they were offered in return for her 
beneficence- AuS the cultivated caiih she was the Gram^m other 
and the Goddess of vegeution as well os of flocks and heids,^ 
And it seems rhot Kore, die Corru maiden, odglnally was 
primarily concerned with the seed^com when it was stored 
away in the silos after the harvest. She too, therefore, like her 
modiei Dcmeter, had the chaiacteristicf of the Eotth^oddesk 

The DiVirtf PriHCiplt 0/ Mitltmity z j 1 

2nd these she combintd with chthoniaii axmbuccs 2nd zjpcctSp 
2% WZ5 tkot iniicqucDtly the cue in her nuniTesiitiDns^ 

To the primicivt religions corksclousncss the earth in the first 
insUDCC was cxpcncaccd as the id^haustiblc repositoty of all 
the vital forca respomible for the vanous manifestadom of life 
and maicmkyp and of cosmic cadstcncc, independent of any 
cnalc mterventiort and agency. As in die pTcx:ication of children 
so in the ot:^iti of alt things. It was the idf^femUzidg female 
principle that was the operative canse In feenndity to the cxcltti' 
sion of any 'begetter' exercising paternal funedons. It was not 
until the physiological facts concerning generatloa became 
better undemood and appreciated In agricultural society that 
the Euth-^mothcr was assodaced with a otale partner and a 
chthonian maternity^ ai the Clear Goddess of a seasonal ritual.) ^ 
Then the place of Gaia was uken by Demetcr, and the 
primeval pair personif^ng Heaven and Earth became the Sky^ 
lather and the Eattb^mothcr, Ouranus and Gaia* and their 
counterparu elsewhere in the Aegean* the Eastern Mcditer^ 
lanean. Wesetrn Asia* India, and wherever the cultus occuned- 
But behind this sacred drama culminating in a bimfjmQS Uy 
the earlier personifit^on of the principle of birth and maternity 
as Mothcr^unh. 

Thus, in the H^mefrc Hymn it would seem that die parsonic 
fied Earth was distinct from DemetcTj and* indeed* opposed to 
her, since Korc is represented as having been induced hy the 
Earth/goddess to wander in the Elcurinian meadows in search 
of Nardssus and so to become an easy victim of the rnachina/ 
tions of Pluto A While both Dcmeici and Korc were concetned 
with the Suits of the earth they were primarily com^goddesses* 
and although the last two syllables of the name of Demetcr 
mean "mothcr\ the prefix zfi/ is not. as w'AS formerly supposed, 
a dialeoyvaiiatic for earth A Goro or possibly barley (drjtif) 
would be a rendering more in accordance with her funedons 
and those ofKore, who seems to have been a youngs venton 
of herself before she was transformed into her daughter* as the 
generative power in the com, and probably originally the wife 
of Plouton, the god who gave the wealth of the fertile earths 

The Cifdiess aitJ iIk Ymuif Gw/ 

Nevertheless^ the very intinuie assochdon of the Conv 
goddess 2nd Eirth-'^mothet remained, and as Euripides said in 
reference to Demeter, *Shc h the Earth * -. call her what you 
wilir* As the patron of agriculture she conooUed the processes 
of vegeiariom Thus, she refused to allow the soil to bear firuit 
afier the abduction of Persq>honc; and when eventually her 
release Croin Hades and their teunion were effected she removed 
the spell and sent the young prince Triptolemus all over the 
world to teach men how to cultivate the earth and to perform 
the rites she iniriaied at Eleusis^ But, in fact, they were older 
than Dcmeta, being pte^Hcllemc in origin and in all ptoba^ 
bility, as has been considcredi^ arising out of the practice of 
scoring away the seedcom in the rilos before the drought of 
summer. If this wtre so the connexion of the Com^maiden 
and the Carn^motlicr with the earth is not far to seek, and the 
subsequent re-'intetprcuuon of the culius in terms ofachthonian 
myth and ritual in which the fruitfulness of the cairh was 
transformed into a seasonal vegetation drama, the ipToutlng of 
the new life becoming a symbol of immortality. 

Primarily the earth was venerated for its endlc^ capacity to 
bear fruit, and in Greece EleusU cldmed to be the centre from 
which knowledge of agricukute was derived.® Thetefoie, if 
Demetcr was not hctself the Earthi-mother, she stood in diis 
tradition like Ceres, her Roman opposite number whose cult 
was equated with that of Telltis Matet, the ancient Eaith^ 
goddess, and who was as vaguely conceived as Gaia in Greece, 
having been originally the persordfed soil in general—the 
undefined Mother, (Under the influence of the practice of 
agriculture the several exptessjons of fecundity became more 
clearly dcfrntd in spedfic divintdes, such as Demeter, Korc and 
Ceres, as com^goddesscs, until at length the Eanb^mothcr 
vLRually passed into oblivion as the Great Goddess of vegetal 
rion and the harvest, became increasingly a synertttsue figure*^ ^ 

(i) MmpctQmk 

Similarly, in the Andcm Middle East the daughters and wives 
of the fctriliry and vegetation gods in all probability had been 

Tlx DiV/Jlf Priftsipk of Msttimty i j j 

Eaiilvgoddc«cs in die beginning, occnpymg much the same 
seams and having the same sigmficince as Caia in Greece and 
the TcUus Mater in Rome. Thuip in Mewpatamia Ishtar 
assumed ihc role usually assigned to such goddesses being the 
mother of the gods and the controllo: of vegetation and fotElity, 
whose descent into the nether legions symbolized the death in 
^ the soil in wmtef.;: As she moved downwards from one stage 
to anotherp change and decay took place in the upper world, 
vegetation languished and djcd, and all the signs of life ceased. 
With her return* there was a corrcspoudkig emergence in 
fiamre {joui its dcith^^like slccp and the revival cf vitality* Thus, 
Ishur pmonified this ceaseless sequence of the seasons— 
emerging ftosn the soil, coming to Cruitionp and then droopxi^ 
and perishing in the bought of summer, until it was again 
restored in the spring. So regarded, inevitably she was identified 
with Moiher^aith. 

Therefore, in Mesopotamia the Eanli cult was brought 
reUtioii with ihc seasonal cycle in a myth and riiual in which 
the Goddess Inannai^lshtar represented die source of all genera^ 
live powH in nature and in mairktnd as the Universal Mother. 
Being in the first instance the embodiment of fecundity symhoh 
ized in the ferule soil from which all vegetation springs* before 
agncultuial divinities took the pbcc of the priinmve goddesses 
of the eanh she rdgned supreme as the author and giver of the 
productive powm in natur^It appears to have been the same 
inexhaustible creative activity of motherhood that by behind 
such diitalf goddesses as Damkina i Lady of the Earthy who 
became the consort of Ha* or Enkii the god of the waters* 
Agaitip Ninlil* the wife of the god of the eanh Ecdil* who gave 
birth to Na nna^ the Moorvgodi and a succession of 
world deities, in all probability w^ herself an Earth/divini^ 
before Enlil acquired this stains and functioti as a result of 
cohabiting with her in the strange mannet: related in the 
Sumerian myth.® Indeed* in the early lists of the gods* drawn 
up in the middle of the thiid millenuiuin B.c*, the fcaith/ 
goddess, known under a variety of names as Aruru* 
Ninmah and Ninhursag (who may perhaps be identilied 

234 Goddess ffw YVviij CoJ 

Ki, Uhc Eanh-'motha of the knd*), was auociaied with the 
first great Triad of deities* Anu^ Enlil and Ea (Eaki). In each 
case she was reprcsenicd as primarily conccmcii with child/ 
birth and maternal funcrions while Allatu* the goddess of the 
underw'orld (somedmes called ‘Irsitu** the earth)» the rcccivei 
of men, appears to have been another aspect of the Eatth«^ 
goddess in her chthooian capacity^ 

In Mesopoamia ail life seems to have been cDnceiVcd as 
proceeding firom a union of earth, air and water, personified as 
the goddesses. Thus, Nammu, the comiollcr of the primeval 
waten* gave birth to Anu and Ki as a bisexual combination 
of heaven and carrhp They then produced Enlilp the Storav 
and Air^god* and the second member of the Triad, who 
separated them as male and female—nhe Heaven^god and the 
Earth/gc 3 ddcis—with respective capacities and functions. By 
union with Ki (Ninhursag), Enlil begat Nanna* the Moony 
god* and vegetable and animal life Eom the earth, though 
man seems to have been a product of Nammu (i.e* Nitnah 
and Ki) and the Waier/god Enki. Throughout this succession 
of creative alliances, although the goddess represented as the 
mother of the various divine penonllications hote difTereai 
names, they appear to have been merely several designarioni of 
one and the same ctcatrix* he she called Ki, Ninmah* Ninhury 
tag» or Nammu. Originally doubdess she was the embodiment 
of the gencrarive process as a whole and the source of id power 
alike in nature and in mankind, uoiil* as more clearly defined 
diyinirics emerged, the pantheon began lo assume its later form 
with its dcpartmetitalia^ nature and agrictilrutal deirieSj and 
the Goddess of many names was assigned one or more malt 
paitncn. But she always retaintd to some extent her original 

(c) Syria 

in the Semidc region in Western Asia* notably in Syria, the 
great Mother/goddesscs of this region, Anar* Ashetah (Asianc) 
and Ataigards, were* again, all concerned with maternity, 
fenility and childbirth and while the tlocumentary evidence is 

The Dii’ifie PritidpU ojMaternity 23 j 

idaiively Lite {f. 1400-1 jjQ b.c.) and very fbgmrnuEy, dim 
iscvtiy indication that they too originaUy were Eatth^goddesics. 
Moreover, like Dcmctcr and Korc, Anat and Baal were asio* 
ciated wi^ a com cidtus. Thii is cleat from the Ugaridc tutu, 
where in the Baah-Anat Epic the v^etation theme is prt' 
eminent, whether it be associated with an annual ot a septctinial 
Ti V'^l In fjfhgr case the leading roles in the seasonal diama 
ate played by two goddesses—Ashcrah and Aiiat—who as the 
rival aspirants to the supreme status both sought to become the 
consorts of the virile Stomv and Weaiher^god, Aleyan/Daal, 
the bestowet of the fiucri^ing tain, giving life to the earth as 
the *Lord over the furrows of the field'. As the wife of the older 
Supreme Deity. El, Asberah at first was the adversary of Baal, 
but since she is also represented as joining loicts with Anat, his 
wife and sister, in fiuthering his cause and fighting his battles, 
it would seem that Ashcrah transferred her allegiance to the 
Young God ( AlcyatuBaal). Although he had his own spouse, 
Anat, be may have been supposed to have annexed Ashcrah 
when he became head of the pantheon, as the chief god so often 
consorted with the chief goddess, either as her broiher-'hushand 
« her sotwlover. 

Be this as it may, the two goddesses are the most impicssive 
figures in the texts, and they ate so intendated and brought 
into juxtaposition that in spite of their cotuiadjctoiy attitudes 
and allegiances, they would seem to have represented one and 
the Same divuiity in the banning. Ncveirheles!, when ^ey 
are encountered in these very imperfectly pieserved lexn it « 
always in company with a male partner, be he El or Baal, at 
they appear. This apparently has condidoned and differentiate 
their status and chaiacieristic fcaiutts to a considerable wttciu, 
(hough, as in Mesopotamia, the Du Syria in her several ronro 
always was the predominant figure, combining with fciiuny 
and sexuality bdligerent traits and propenndes. It was 
whp watched over her 'Master' (Baal), and when he esaped 
ftom her vigilaiK eye and left the security of his mountaui'haBte 
on Sapen to bunt in the plains below, n was she who wi^ m 
search of him, only to discover that he had fallen a victtm 

1^6 Tbc md G^d 

wild, half^hum^n, haEommal cream res called "die devomitig*. 
With the help of the Survgoddcsi she took his corpse back to 
the holy mountain and buried it. But though she offered 
seventy animals on %m successive octasiocs to give him 
nourishment in the nether regions, his demise appears to have 
become a recuneot evcm» having reciprocal cfTects on life in 
nature. Therefore, if the rains should be delayed wholly or iu 
pan, the cause w'as atifibuted to the Goddess having repeated 
her search lor the murderer of Baal, designated Mot^ meaning 
^deathV personified as die brother of tbc deceased god. Having 
found hicEL, noewithitaoding his icprcseniing death and sterility, 
she treated him as the reaped g;ralni ground him in a 
mill Ukc flour, and scartcred his flesh over the fields to 
fatihzc them. Then Baal was restored to life again and 
vegetation revived. 


If this is a correct rendering of the fiagme ntary myths, aEthough 
they mt full of contradictions nevertheless a vegetation ritual 
is depicted itx which Arut was the viuHaing power of nature 
in general like the Eanlvmothcr^ Baal was the malt god of 
fcttilicyt 5nd Mot the 'dead* sccd^om buried beneath the 
ground to rise again. All this is strictly in line with the 
seasonal drama that gave eApressioo m the emotioiial need 
created by the agricultural situation when the life of mankind 
depended upon the fctality of the crops and a plcndful rainfall 
w^hetber or not it was enacted annually or in relation to the 
tecurreni cycles of drought. Nature had to be kept going by 
the due pcrfbimajicc of the rites by which its forces were 
sustained and renewed at these critical junctures whenever they 
were likely to occur. They varied according to the cUmadc 
condiirons in diffetent regions. Palestine, for in^ance, depended 
upon the rain for its fcmliry, whereas in Mesopotamia and 
Egypt theiir respective rivers gave life to the soil they watered. 
But everywhere they were centred in a goddess as die maternal 
Source of generative power and a young male god embodying 
the sequence of vegetation. From this basic concepnan of the 

The Malt Cod zij 

lactcd draoiA of naturt the caltndrical myth and titua] 
developed aroUfid these two fundameoul Ggujres. 

The Y0un£ Ged and the Goddess in Mtsapoimta 
ThuSp m (he ancient eivilizadotis of Wescotn Ama and the 
Fertile Crescent the Eaith^moihcr as the penonirii^on of the 
principle of maternity tended to become obsemed when she 
became the Mamed Goddess, at once mother and biide, and 
wife and daughter of a male divinity. As we have seettp this 
was apparent at a very early period in Mesopocamia wheti 
Dtimuzip the Sumerian Shepherd^god and coimicTpan of the 
Atsyro'Babylonian Tammui, was associated with Ishtar as 
het loveryson in the drama of the death and resurrection of 
vcgctatiori. Since he was regarded as *the faithful son of the 
waicrs that tame forth from the eaith^ (i*c» the Apsu) it was 
the reunion of Dumnzi-^Tammuz with Inanna^fhtar that 
teaw-akctied the dormant earth in spring and made it bring 
forth abundandy. Indeed, it was not confined to the sphere of 
vegetation. Beyond the domain of plant life it emended to the 
life, death and rebirth of martkitidp and, therefore, the myth and 
ritual had to be periodically repeated to renew the lifc^process m 
the human as well as in the natural order of csdstctice. Thui^ 
the death and lesnrrectioii of the vegetation Goddess and the 
Young Cod became the archetype of all deaths and oi all 
rcstmcctiDns in whatever plane they might ocenrp 
It was the GoddesSi however, who was die dominant force 
in this act of renewal whatever form it took. The Young God 
died in the rotation of the seasons and Irad to he rescued by her 
from the nether regions. Moreover, k was she who resuscitated 
himp and by so doing brought about the revival of life in 
nanirc and in rnankindL So m the last analysis Inanna/lshtar 
Was the ultimate soutcc of regenerarion, Dumirat^Tammui 
bring instrumental as her agent in the preset* She wai the 
embodiment of cr^rivc power in all its fullness; he was the 
personification of the decline and revival of vegetation and of 
all gencruuve force* , , 

When Marduk assumed the role of Tamtnuz afier his ckjj 

2 %^ Tk and tk Cijwf 

Babylon* had become ihe capital about 172S s.c.p although 
tht New Year Festival was Qvcrlajd with acetoions, the death 
and resuirection of the fOTilky^god and hh consort remaiiied 
die fundamental theme. It was his restoradon as "the resurrected 
child'—i.c. the Young God—of ibe Goddess that caused 
sotrow at his impmonment in the mountain, symbolking the 
land of the dead, to be turned into joy* and defeat into 
victory. Then the Icing in what was vinually the Tammuz 
lolc* having been reinstated alter hii ceremonial abduedon* 
engaged in a connubium with the queen (or a priestess)^ 
typifying the sacred mairiagc of the Goddess and the Young 

By so doing he renewed kb reign annuallyp but it would 
seem chat it was the Goddess who was thought to have taken 
the initiative throughout. Thus, It was she who invited him to 
share her couch, and she embraced him in the guise of the 
Young Cod.^® He was subservient to her will and enjoyed 
the favours she conferred upon him^ She was the supreme 
source of life- he was her servant in the renewal of the repro' 
ductive Ibrces^ From her he took his origin* being called her 
son* though he was raised to the divine status as her husband- 
Thus, he became the virile genctidve force manifest in tiaiurc 
but dependent upon the Goddess. He died annually, was 
tnoumed and restored as her of&piing, and was subject to die 
vicissitudes of the seasonal cycle. She* on. the otlicr hand, 
temamed the epnsum source of all life, perpetuating vitality 
fiom season to season, arid from geueration to generation, in 
order that fecundity and procreation might condnue. Therc&re* 
she continued to maintain the status and exercise the functions 
of the Eanh-'mothcf * though she did so in partnership with the 
youthful male god, who as her instrumeni died young to rise 

Tk AfutalioH IViatbir^^cd v/irf the CcfJdfSf 
In the 'Land of Hatd" to the north^an of the Anitoliin 
plateau* in the second millennium BpC. the Hiedee kings were 
the chie&priests of the Storms and Wcather^od, and *hcld ihe 

Tipf M^k CidJ 

hand' of ihc Goddei&f while at the death of the quccivmcHchar 
the rdgriing queen succeeded to her office as the priestc^ of the 
Coddesi. Although the king was never dcilied in his lifcdmej 
he was called the son of the gods, and through the 
(queen^mothcr) he was brought into a rdatloa of sonship with 
the Goddess.^^ Thus, in the rcUdi at Yazilikaya, as we have 
secDp the chief^oddeu of the Human panrhenn, Hcbat, is 
depicted standing on a pamhs or lioness holding a staff in her 
left hand, and stretching out her right hand to greet a male figure 
who may be the king in his filial capadey* and offering him 
symbolic or hieroglyphic signs. If the smaller figure of a beards 
less youth standing on a panther behind her represents Sharma, 
the son of Tcihubp he too is her soUp who again appears in die 
small gallery holding King Tudhaliya IV (c. 1250 b.c*) m his 
embrace. It is possible, as we have considered,^® that it was to 
this sanauary that the king and queen repaired at the Spring 
Festival to engage in a ritual marriage, as in the ziqqurar at 

But while there can be litrle doubt about the equation of die 
Hurrian Goddess with the Hinitc Wcathei^od* the rdadon of 
the Human and Himie Goddess h very obscuit The Sun^ 
goddess of Aiinna, as we have seen, was the wife of the 
Wcathcr^od of Hard whose Hitdtc name U still unknown^ 
but who was so intimately connected with the buU, the embodii^ 
menr or symbol of virility, that according to an older conception 
he was himself a bull. Like Baal and Zeus be comroUed the 
rain and was manifest in thund« and lightning, and, therefore, 
he was essentially a fertilityi^god, vegetation in Anatolia bemg 
dependent upon the tains. But he was also the divine king as 
well, owning the Land of Hard as Yahweb claimed to be in 
possession of Palestine. So numerous, in fan, were his functions 
that although originally they were almost certainly manifesta^ 
dons of one and the same deity, they came to be created as 
vinually localized independent gods. 

This aUo appbes to his consort who appears to have been at 
once the Sun^oddess of Aiiniia iti Hatti and Hebat in the 
'Land of the Cedar" (i.c, Hnrri),^^ and yet treated as separate 

^40 Tbi C^fddfu 4 nd the Cod 

goddesses; the Hitdtc Sun-goddess uaUkc the Hurrian Hebat 
being essentially a solar divinity, leigniug supreme and giving 
the king victory over hU cnetrucs* The Sun-god was subordi¬ 
nate to hs:, and he was nc« her husband; she being the wife of 
the Weather-god of Hauip the queen of bcavciip the chief 
goddess of the State, the protector of the reigning sovereign, 
and, as tn the case of rhe Earth-muchcr, the guardian of the 
dead as well as of the crops. But here, again, when the gads 
and goddesses were grouped in pantheons the iupteme Goddess 
assumed a number ofdiidna divine personalities, each exercis¬ 
ing her own particalai role in the Hitrite ecanoniyp 

SimOarlyp the Anatolian counterpart of Ishur^ known 
in Huirian as Shauhkta, the sUicr of Teshub, combined 
bcUigerem qualities with those of sexuality and love» The same 
applies to the Hurmn goddess, Hebat, who assumed the 
attributes of the Sun-goddess of Arinna before she deveioped 
martial characteristics, and who was identiJied with Ma 
Bellona by the Romans, But it was Hannahanna, the ^Grand¬ 
mother", whose name was written with the idcagram of ^e 
Sumerian Mother-goddess, Nintud, who was the Anatolian 
equivalent of tlie ^gna Mater. It was she in the TcUpinu 
myth who was consulted by the Weadier-god when Iris son 
vanished in a ragCg and* like Dumuzi-Tammiiz in Mesopo¬ 
tamia* brought all life to a standstill by his abscncCp. On het 
advice the bee was sent out to discover the whereabouts of the 
musing god, and although this device (ailed, she appears to 
have been instrumental in securing his return and the restoration 
of fttifliiy. 

iThus* throughout the Ancient Middle East the Goddess cult 
in issodarion wirh drat of the Young God had the same 
characteristic featura centred in the rhythm of the seasons in 
w^hich she was the embodiment of gencrarion and procreation 
in perpctuicy, and her youthful male partner personified the 
transitory life of the ever-changing sequence of the cosnric cycle, 
each taking on its own autonomous rignificance. But although 
in Syria, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and die Aegean the Goddess 
was the predominani figure, in Egypt the poriuon was Teversed- 

The Affffc Gflrf 


In the Nik valley when the official priesthoods systemarized 
theological speciiUtion and orgamacd the local cula on the 
basis of the unified rule of the Wo lands" under the one 
Pbaraaht the king became the incamation and physical son of 
the Sun^od Re at Hellopolk and of Amon at Thebs. In this 
capacity be reigned as the eanhly represenuiivc of AmoivRe, 
the nadonal god of Egypt^ and when the Osiris myth was 
solarized he occupied die throne as the living HoruSp the 
posthumous son of the fcirilky deity pjf cx€€tknce (Osuisli^ 
Therefore, he owed his divinicy and his stattis in the nation to 
the gods he embodJedp -dl of whom were males, 

Oiim and Isis in E^ypi 

Isis originally being rhe "throne womanV personified the sacred 
corooadon stool charged wkh the mysterious power of king/ 
ship. As such she was the source of vitality before she became 
the prototype of the life/giving mother and Ikiihftil vrife. She 
taught her husband/brerther the secrets of agricultutep sent him 
on hisciviUriug missionp searched for him after hii assassinarionp 
collected his disincmbcicd bodyi and w^as rcspamiblc for its 
restotation and tnummificadon. It was by her son Homs, the 
Young Cod, that he was revivifiedp though he remajned the 
dead god who lived in his son as the reignLiig Pharanh. But 
Osiris and the Pharaoh were nevei sufaserviciu to Isis* noewith/ 
standing the prominent position she held in the Osiris myth. 

In Egypt the Pharaohs reigned as gods incarnate in theii own 
right* unlike the Babylonian kin^* while the gods whoin they 
embodied were equally dominaiit in ihrii own spheres- Thcre^ 
forcp neither they nor theii earthly counterpara were secondary 
to the Goddess. Indeed* though Isis eventually became the 
syncretistic "Goddess of many names’ and attributcSi in the 
beginning she did not fulfil the functions ofa Mothet/goddess, 
This was rather the role of Hathor* the Cow/goddess of 
Dendcrah, with whom she became identified. In fact, the 
office was split up among several goddesses (e*g. Nut, Neith* 
Isis)* all of whom sliaicd in tome of its attributes, but none 
attained to the dominant position of the Ct^ Goddess of 

2^1 TU GcddtfT jwfif the T^TMrtf God 

Wcstmi Asia until in HclknUtic times Isis virtually became 
equated with the Magna Mater in the Gracco-*RoinaD world 
when her syticrcdsdc mystciy was established there from 
333 a.c. onwards. Then she became the most popular of all 
Egyptian divinideSp and was identified wiih all the allied 
foreign goddesses* Silent and lo, Demetert Aphrodjtc and 
Pelagia^ her brother and husband OdrU playing a subordinate 
role. Always her worship was far more popular ihaii that of 
OsiriSi and when she was incorporated in rhe Otiiis myth her 
devotion to her husband made a strong cmcjdonal appeal in 
spite of the fact that she was never a tragic figure like Ishtax, It 
is not surprising^ therefore, that at length she became the Great 
Mother, devoted to her son Horus* and the ^thful wife of her 
husband Osiru, when she captured the popular imagination 
of the Roman Empire. 

Tie Male and FemaU Prindpk^ in India 

In India^ again, the w^onhip of the active female principle 
(rflirfi) aa manirest in one or other of the consorts of Shiva 
(e,g. Uma, Kali, Parvad, Durga) has a long history bdund it, 
having anseti out of the impersonation of kminlnc enctgy in 
the form of the Earth>mothcT in the pre^Aryan cult of the 
vfUage^goddesses.^* Thus, in the Dim^Mobatmyo, a luer 
popular text, Durga h made to declare, O gods, I shall 
nourish (Le. uphold) the whole universe with these plants 
which support life and grow from my very body during the 
rainy season. I shall then become glorious upon the earth like 
("who feeds the herbs") and in that same season, 1 
shall destroy the gicat asura called Durgama (the pcsonification 
of diought)’.^* Being at once the goddess of fertility woirshippcd 
in a great variety of local vegetation cults, the Durga was the 
authoi and giver of life to the fruits of the earth as its primordial 
essence, the manif^raiion of cosmic vitality in perpetual process 
of regcntraiion, and at the same time a destructive force in the 
universe, identified with Kali and the malignant 
Thus, in her chthonic aspect she was the chief divinity of death 
and of the spines of the dead. 

The Mfflc G)rf 241 

. Sf^Liunip in as an off^hoct of die Eanh ciiJm&, Jui 
developed along linci parallel to those of the Goddess in 
Western Ask and the Aegean. Thetefate* in addition to the 
personification of the female prindplt a male deity was also an 
object of veneration^ revealed in the figure of the thrcc^faced 
god at Mohenjo^daro as the prototype of Shiva.^® Thii 
becomes apparent in die association of the Vedic Eanhi- 
mother* Ptihivi, with the Sky^fkthcr Dyaus Pilar* the Aryan 
Zens and Juppitcr, in the capacity of the universal pogenitocs 
of gods and men^^^ having themselves emerged from the cosmic 
waiers, like Nun and Ceb in Egypt. Nevertheless, so nebulous 
is Dyaus in die Vedas that he it Urfe mcite than the designation 
of the ’bright sky"* and it is to Piidiivi alone that one of the 
hymns in the Rlg^veda ts devoted.^® The sky was regarded as 
omniscient and creative* bui throughout die ages Eanh has 
been revered in the tnoming ritual before sowing, plou^iing, 
and at milking die sacred cow, as the dynamic source of all 
life. And even as "the Sky* Dpus has been replaced by Varuna 
since the beginning of the Vedic period whose univmal 
sovereignEy in this capacliy has been supreme* It was he, not 
Dyaus, w^ho was the guardian of the cosmic order* seeing and 
knowing cvcrytiimg* absolute alike in the magical and 
mystical powers* c^rcrcising all the prerogauves of royal 

Therefore, although Dyaus and Prithivi were pcisonifica^ 
tions respectively of heaven and earth from whom the other 
gods, mankind and die universe were ihought to have sprung 
ibeir functions were coti£ned 10 initial generation. Beyond this 
they played very little part in the course of events^ whereas 
devotion 10 the Earth-^modier has continued to find ritual 
expression^ especially among die Dravidians, all over India 
and ail down the ages. After each successive harvest* the soil 
having become exhausted has had to be renewed ^ the 
pcrfannance of fertility dances, somedmes involving tevltaliza^ 
don by the sacrifice of human hlood* as among Khonds 
of Bengal in the weU-^known offering of the Metiah to Tari 
Pennu^ the Eaxth^oddess^ to obtain ’good crops* good wcadicr 

244 ^ fttii the Goi 

2nd good bcaltfa'; ifac fle^h of the vicum bang buried in the 
Adds and the adi es of the burnt banes spread over the plough- 
Lands to ensure a good harvest. So fundamental was this the 
that it continued to be ptactised undt ii was suppressed under 
British rule, and then a goat nr buffalo was substituted for die 
human Medah. who incidentally originally was a voluntary 
victim bom of parents who had themselves fulfilled the role.. 

VI In her more Ixncvoknt form the Goddess is regarded as the 
motha of idl things producing fertihty In man and beast as 
well as in the fields. Just as fecundity of women lias a reciprocal 
effect cm vegetatio-n^ so the fertility of the fields assi-sts human 
mothen in conception. But^ as has beeti considered, die Indian 
goddesses are at once divinities of fertility and destruction, d 
birth and of deaths Thus, in their benign charaaer they preside 
ovec die operations of nature since upon them depend the 
fecundity of the soil and the health and Inctease of the commits 
nity and its flocks. But, on the other handr in their malevolent 
and chihonic aspects they are as terrifying and tmible as in 
beneficent forms they are auspicious. ThuSp Kali ‘the black’, 
encircled with snakes, dripping with bteodf and adornsd with 
skulls, is a fomudabk figure, but she is also called 'the gende 
and benevolent Similarly, her male panner Shiva combines 
bodi these clemcuts as the archetype of the pobrity of the 
utiJ verse in its rhythmic sequence of birth and death, of renewal 
and dissolution. ^ 

In the process tfftegcucration through death the Goddess is the 
cenrral figure by virtue of her Hfe-giviog qualities and functions 
in all their forms and phases. From her identity with the earth 
has sprung the analogies between women and the soi!| sexuality 
and sowing, death and rebtnh, and the conception of the 
fundamental unity of organic life. From this one and the same 
principlt the male and female duality has developed, crcaiive 
and destructive^ kindly and malevolent, so conspicuous in the 
Indian cultus. Behind it lies the bisexuality of Shiva and Kali 
as a single divine endty {flftflidiiiiwVyflrij), half male and half 

Tk Mak G«f >45 

fcmJc, symbolizing the union of Purusha and Prakini, and 
of Dyaiu and Prithivi, representing heaven and earth as a single 
pair, the masculine and Eeminine designadons of one and the 
same divinity.^® In iht concept of deity male and female 
dements always have been essential features, and divine 
androgyny has been a rccurrcni phenomenon In the Goddess 
cult everywhere reflecting the primeval cosmic unity from 
which all creation has been thought to have emerged. Prom this 
single ultimate androgynous priodplc or saciedncss the contrast 
between father and mother, active and passive, was differeru 
riated when an all^embraring mor her hood as the lif&producer 
was brought into a nu ptial relationship with the patcrml 6gure 
of the generator. For life may he saacd in cither a mascuUnc 
or ferrrinine aspect. Under rrutiiarchal conditions the emphasis 
naturally will be on maretnal pcKendes, whereas in patriarchal 
society the male will tend to predominate In his works and ways. 
Sex, however, in its respective characteristics and attributes 
may not always have been clearly determined and firmly fi:sed 
in independent divine pctsotLaliries, the village^goddes&es somc^ 
rimes being more or less hermaphrodites, partly male and partly 
female in their features and fuucriaus, just as they are ambivalent 
in their characters, 

Tk Bucranum 

Nevetthcless, the sacredness of female life in its various aspects 
has played the prindpaJ role in agriculiural societj^ and vegeta/ 
rion ritual, the male partner in the first irrstance being the 
tover/son, or young god, rather than a heavenly father. When 
greater importance has been auacbed lo authority thiin to 
generation the term father has had a connotation of the elder 
51 opposed to the younger in an age^oup^ not to paternity in 
its sexual rignificance. Then Sky^^gods have been brought into 
relation with the Great Goddesses^ primarily as fccundaiors.. Thus, 
under die symbol of the bull their virility as Weathcr^ods 
fitsqucntly has found expression in the iconographyi as, for 
example, in Anatolia and Mesopotamia where the bucraiuum 
is 10 prominent, going hack to the fourth mfllennium B.c- 

246 Tht Goddess itnd ebe God 

m tlic Tdl Halif ptKLcry mod£t and in the bronic figure 
of bulU io the Aladjahay^k grave. That it survived in 
relation to the Goddes cult is shown by the reliefs on the 
sphinx gate at AladjahOyuk at the end of the New Empire^ 
where the Goddess h depicted in assodation with her consort, 
the Wcaiher^od, who is fcprcsenied as a bull In the Late 
Hittitc period he appears standing on the hill while these 
sacred animals arc attached to his ehariotp as in all probability 
they were in Human mydiology to that of Teshub* under the 
names of Sheri and Hum, "Da/ and ‘Night’. Moreover^ at 
Aladjahiiyuk the Hinite king is represented worshipping the 
Weather>god in the tmage of a buU,^^ 

Sioiilarlyp in ihe Ugaritic texts £I is Ukciied to a ‘mighty 
bulft and Baal is said to have fallen like a bulL^^ In the 
Rig^veda* Dyaus is described as a bull**® and Indra in his 
fertility capadty is called ^the bull of the world'^^® Rudra 
united with the Cow-^oddess in his procteadve activities**^ 
just as in Egypt Min was "the buh of his mother’. It is tint 
improbable that the Cretan myth of the unnarural love of 
Pariphas, the wife of MinoSp for the Minotaur was of Egyptian 
origin. Though we cannot be sure that the bull was actually 
venerated by the Minoans,®^ he seems to have been identified 
wkh die sun as a feniKzing agent in Cr«c,^“ and it is very 
difficult to dissociate his Cretan maniTestations from bis firmly 
established role as the dynamic force of fertility throughout 
Asia Minor where in association with the Goddess he was 
regarded as the Ikundaror dike of Hocks and herds and of 
vcgctaiion* In Mesopotamia Frankfiirt has suggested that the 
bull symbolized drought, as seveo lean years are said to follow 
his onslaught, and showers of rain arc shown on a seal as a 
result of his having been slain^^^ 

On 1 ting fipm a chamberHomb near Aikhanes* south of 
Knpssos, an ithyphallic figure of a bull occurs in a scene 
portraying the bull^amcs in whiefa he seems to reprcieut the 
reproductive force in nature. In front of bim are objects which 
Evans interprets a$ "sacid knots' as a sign of consecration, and 
he has no doubt about the religious cluraetn of the sports 

Tfcf Malt Qx? 247 

which he believes were held unda [he piuomge of the Goddess 
whose pillai sJuine overlooked (he aieni. It wjs for this reason 
that wclUbted ghls (00k part in there highly skilled, dangetout 
feats as votaries of die Goddess,^* 

While Minoan inHuciiccs were very strongly felt in the cultus 
on the mainland, there are no indicadons dm the bulbgaincs 
were practised in Greece, though they may be detected in the 
Theseus saga in the seven youths and maidens delivered hum 
their (ate as sacrificial victims of the Mluotaor, the bull of 
Minos. Wbether or not anything approaching the Dionysian 
Otniiphiiii as a Teasi of raw desh’ was in (act held in Crete, as 
is suggested in the Iragment of the play of Euripides, Tht 
CffftfJV.®* Dionysus, so intiinaicly associated with vegetation, 
was believed to be embodied in the buU, and was ideiuified 
with growth, decay, and death leading to rebirth, as evidenced 
by the seasonal cycle. 

In the Thracian orgies the devouring of the raw flesh of the 
bull or of a goat in which Zagreus dwelt w'as the culmination 
of the mountain madness of the maenads,^* thereby becoming 
possesred by the deity at Bacchoi. So crude and ptimitivc a 
rite must have had a long history behind it, and after it had 
b«n sobered under Delphic influences and obtained a place 
in the Olympian tradition in the Cracco^Odcnral Mystciies, 
the nocturnal ficnzics and Bacchanalia could not be suppressed 
completely among the private dvatiir. Indeed, sometimes they 
continued to secure a measure of ofHdal recognition so that the 
wife of the Archon of Athens engager) in a matriage with 

Dbnysus in a former tesidence of the ruler which was called 
the Bukdian (the *ox<^tall' of the 'mighty buU', i.e, Dionysos),®* 
The suppression of the culms by the Roman Senate in 187 fl*c. 
showfs how firmly established it must have been in the GraecOi' 
Roman world in the first century B.C., since Bacchic bands of 
women still assembled annually with their /b/tjei, and in the 
manner of the maenads raved in the presence of Dionysus,®* 
who remained the principal vegciation god among the Creeks, 
worshipped in all the vigour of his manhood as at once a bull 
and a young man of great beauty and virility. 

248 The Gifdikjis and ihe Ymtig 

When ai length Dionysus gained a place in the Olympian 
pantheon he became the ion of ZenS| the much^married 'father 
of gods and men', himself having been originally a Sky^ and 
Wcathcr/god ccmtioUing the rainfall among his celestial func/ 
rioni. Thcieforc, Zeus wastcadily idenrihed with the indigenous 
fenility divinities and thcii culms when he became the domt^ 
nani figure in the Olympian tradition, and^ in of the 
invading Giceks when they settled in Thessaly* Even so 
essentially Hellenic a deity as Poseidon^ who e\^etitually 
assumed the status of a majoi god as the brother of Zeus (i-e 
the son of Kionos), in hh original capacity was the moisture 
of the earth and ihe consort of Gaia. Thcrefoiep he gave life to 
the soil- For this leasoti bulls were sacrificed to him^" as the 
male god of ferritiiy dwelling in the earthy and be was 
often associated with Oemeter In myth and limal for cult 

In this rolci however^ like mo&t other nialc partners of the 
Goddess, he occupied a rtlarively tmimpenant position^ and 
k was not until he was given rule over the ocean when the 
universe was divided between the sons of Kronos that he came 
into gteatet prominencCp especially among those who ^wxnt 
down to the sea in ships and occupied their business in great 
waters*- It was always the Mother of the gods in one of her 
aspects and manifestations w^ho was predominant because she 
was at once the protector and giver of life- But norwithstanding 
the fact thar she w^as the embodiment and mistress of fccundiqr 
m general, she exercised her regetieiadve functions in union 
with her male partner. ThctcforCi as the ploughed earth was 
regarded as the Mother who bore the crops sown in het in due 
season* so she liad to contraa a sacred manugc in order to 
become fetalc. Thus, in India the furrow was identified with 
the y<tm (vulva)* and the seeds in it with the smen 
while an ancient Anglo-Saxon speU used when the land was 
banen declared, ^Hail, Earth* Mother of liicUr be ferdle in the 
god‘s embrace, he filled with Emit for man's use/*® 

When this w'ls effected by the sky pouring its life-giving 
rain on the earth, the process of rcgencraiion w'as interpreted in 

The Mjb Cc 4 249 

terms of a sacred manuge between the Sky^faiher and rbc 
Eanh-'mothcr* as is dearly ^tmd in a ftagmetii of the pUy of 
AcschyltUf the DiinmdesJ^ There Aphrodite k made to say. 

The pure Sky yeanu passioiuicly to pkree the Eaiih. 

And yearns hkewite for her maniige^ 

Rjm falls froin the bndegroom Sky makci prcgcant the Earth* 

And she brings fonh her brood Ibr rnaetal men— 

P^iniics of floda and coin^ Demefer*i 
While tTOi from that same waary bdiliaiice grow 
Their ftnin to fulness. 

Thus^ the earth k represented as the emhodiment of the 
Mother^goddess, bearing its £Kiiti in human fashion fertilized 
by the sky whose seed is irnpaned In the tain that descends 
upon the ground. 

While it is very doubtful whether Heta, the legtdmate wile 
of Zeus, was an Earth-^goddess,** nevertheless their nupdal 
rdaiions were intjmatdy associated with the productivity of the 
soih and of the flocks and herds under her protection, as wcU 
as of manJdnd^ in her capadty of the pacraness of marriage 
and birth. But ZeuSf having attained pic^cmincnce in the 
Olympian pantheon, unlike many of the comorts of the 
Goddess elsewhere, he was no longer subservient to his spouse^ 
On the contrary, he tonuracted liaisons with goddesses at will, 
to say nothing of his "affairs" with less eatalied mortal femalei. 
Bui the Mother of the Gods, by whatever spedEc name she 
might be called, and however she cxetdscd her functions, was 
thcoldest.the moa rc\^<Tcd and the most mysterious of divinitieSi 
extolled fay tlic poets^® and supplicated by the people for ihcii 
daily needi, especially ro piomoce the growth of the crops* 


The M^vnruin^m&ther 

Thus, in Greek templa the omphehs, or navel of the world, 
was a symbol of both the earth and of all birth, taking the form 
of an eminence teprtsendog the sacred mountain which 

±50 Tbt Gi^dldSf// md ttx Gcd 

cmciged our of ihc warm of chaoi (Lc, ih^ primcsrdid hil]*“), 
Bdiig regarded as rhe point where heaven and cardi met at 
the centre of the worldp on ii was located the abodes of the gods 
(c.g. Heliopolis^ Olympus, Sinai, Mem* Himingbjorb, Geni^ 
dm)* Therefore, it is not surprising that the earliest representa^ 
dons of the Minoan Mother are the seal^impfessiotis showing 
her standing on a hili in her flounced skin, holding a sceptre 
or lance, and flanked by guardian lions, near a pillar shiine 
with horns of consecration.'*® In these scenes she is shown 
alone as the Eanh^goddess in all her majestic strength and 
power with a male worshipper in a stare of ecstasy before her, 
or with a youthful male god in process of descending from the 
iky; evidcmly in a completely subordinate statuip and doubtless 
for the purpose of fettiMzing her as Moihec/eaith* There ate no 
indication! in these Minoan intagUo impressions of the pro' 
dominance of the tnale god as the supreme Sky^father so that 
in Crete, unlike Thessaly, it was the Mountairngoddess rather 
than the Olympian god who was personified in amtudes that 
leave no room for doubt concerning her supremacy, while the 
presence of a sacred tree in these peak sanctuaries, together with 
pilUti, horns of consecration and the double axe, sug;^st the 
nature of hs cukus. 

Thai it was one Great Goddess of the mountaitu, who was 
also the Earth^mother, the Mistress of the atumak, the Patroness 
of fkulity, the u nderworld, and the goddess of war and of the 
seas, who was venerated first in Crete and then on the mainland 
in the Minoan^Mycemean cult Is highly probable in spite of 
Nilsson's contention that these several £gures represent a 
plurality of indq^endent divinities, each with het own pard’r 
cutar individual funedons and atmbuies.. It seems much more 
likely that Evans was coreea when he affirmed that Vc arc in 
the praence of a largely monotheisde cult in which the frmale 
form of divinity hdd the supreme placed 

It is, as he says, substantially the same form of religion as 
that so widespread throughout the Anatolian and Syrian 
regions. There, as we have seen, k prevailed in Wcsteni Aiia 
from Carchemish to Ephesus, from Kadesh to the Black Sea 

The Mi)tber <*/ the i 

2 nd the Mcditcn-iincifL Origiiully a nature cult derived in the 
lint insiance from die proriticdvity of the earth capable of selfr 
reproduction as the Umvrrsal Mother^ in due course it incor# 
poraicd the Young God as a satellite of the Geddas, From the 
fertile plains of Mesopotamia it was introduced into Aria 
Minor through the inAuence of HJnite peoples, the Goddess 
appearing as Kybek in Pbrygiaf ArtcniJs in Ephesus, Ma in 
ComaiLap Anat and Ashciah in Syria^ the Sun^gesddess at 
Arinnai and Hebat and Shaushka in the Hurrian region, in 
aasoctaiion with her youthful consort, Attis, Adonis^ Baal, 
or Teshub, whose viriUty was necessary to complete ha 

Before the Mother of die Cods and her partner, whcthei as 
mother and ton or as wife and husband, in their several aspects 
and varied lymbolisin, cclcsiiali chthonic, sexual and fertility, 
became differentiated with individual funednns hy fusion with 
local deities as synercristic Agures, they would seem pritturily 
to have persotufied the bestowal of fccundiry through rain, as 
in Mesopotamia, in the capacity of a universal Naturc/goddess 
and a Wcadief^god tcspecrivcly. So long as divbities were 
thought to resemble human bdiigs and their rcladonships no 
one ddty, male or female, was a single unifying principle 
absolute In power* At first it would appear the frmale form of 
divinity held the supreme place for the reasons which have 
been discussed, and even in the urban civilization of Greece it 
was the goddesses who presided over the dcsanict of dries who 
were venerated and honoured chiefly by all who enjoyed their 

Nevertheless* when the highly complex Zeus* who combined 
many strands in his personality derived from a number of 
different sources, IndivEuropean, Hellemc* Cretan, Cypriote 
and Western Asiatic, attained to prMinrncnce in the Olympian 
pambeon he txcupied a unique posirion. From being a Slty^, 
Weather^ and Mountain^god he became *the father of gods 
and men’ unril at length, when in the lancr part of the sixth 
century BX. the idea arose of *onc Cod* the greaic^ among g^ 
and men, like unto mortals neither in form nor in thought 

1^1 Thi Ci»idess mi tbe Cci 

Zeus gradually reached the mmi of a single primuy Being 
and Lifcforce^ fiom whom all odsccncc emamted and co 
whom all things wat destined to return. ThrougliDut his long 
and checkered career, fiom his IndoHmopeati dtsgim u a 
Raiii-H, Cloud.'* Thunder- and Mountam.*god and despode 
ruler on high Olympus^ to his heroic Mycenaean eminence and 
Jiis subsequent overwhelming power and righteousness in the 
classical age of Aeschylus, and his Hdlcnisric idendficadon 
with the Reason pervading and animadng die universe, only 
in Crete was he subservient to the Goddess. There as ihc son 
of Rhea, the Earth-mother, who hid him in a cave lo prevent 
his being swallowed np by his Qdier Kronos» he was a more 
primitive figure than the tndck European Sky-' and Weather^ 
god, teptesendng the Minoan conception of the year-god. In 
the Olympian ctadidon endirnned on his sacred mountain he 
usurped the position elsewhere occupied by the Mountain- 
modier and all she signified in the Goddess cuk, until at length 
be became ground of all cicauun* the source and renewer of 
life pantheisdeally conceived by the poets* 

The Modier of the gods* on the oihcr hand* remained a 
syncretistie figure, personifying the female pdndple in its mam- 
fold manifestatioiis. symbols and attributes, absorbing first one 
divinity and tlien anodiei in this locality and in that, wherever 
her cult w^as difiusedp If she was not actually herself the earth, 
ihc was so intimately associated with the Earthi^oddesses as to 
be virtually indistingukhablt from them, as, for example, in 
the case of Gaia in Greece, or Prithivi in India, or Nimt in 
Mesopotamia, until cvcnltially, w'hcn she had annexed the 
young male god» she became the Anaiohan Magna Matet, 
Kybek Alike m Asia Minor and the Aegean, she appeared 
under her several names and exercised her various fijnetions as 
the pit-cminent divinity. But while she rdgned supreme she 
was never a monotheistic deity, wEethcr as the Mountain/ 
mother, the Mistress of animak or as the Phrygian Great 
Mother. She always tended to be blended wills a son or 
cotisott and with the goddesses she absorbed whose identity 
was never completely lost. 

The Mother ef tht Gtfif 253 

Thui, alibouglii Rhea wm 4 somewhat nebulous figuit, 
when she came tq be identified wiih Kybcle-^° in the fifth 
ccntuiy B,c., and the argiasdc Phrygian culms was transferred 
to her with its cymbab, drums aod pipes,she retained her 
idenrit) in the Creek theogonics.®! As dac moibcr of the Cretan 
Zens by Kronos, who may well have been an anejent pre-' 
Hellenic agnculiurai deity* perhaps, as NiUson suggests, a god 
of the harvest, she stood in the same vegetation tradition as 
Kybelc and her counterparts elsewhere. Therefore, behind both 
divinities by the uni venal coucepi of the Goddess representing 
the ultimate source and embodiment of life andferulityp penoni^ 
fying the female ptiticiple, rather than a single monorheistic 
divine being. Like the Theocokoi of Christian tradition, how^ 
ever, in spite of having given birth to so illustrious a son 
who was destined to become the self^atiiient Creator and 
unking principle of tire universe, Rhea never attained the 
unique status of Zeus any more than Mary ever DfBcially was 
assigned equality with her divine Son whom, as it is affirmed, 
she conceived by the Holy Ghost. 

Tfcf Mpriyr ibt Mystmis 

Nevertheless, in popular esteem the Mother of the Gods and 
the Virgin Mother were held in such vennadon as the personi^ 
ficadon of maternity in all its aspects, that it was to them rather 
than to the more remote transcendent Deity that devodon was 
paid among the maaes. Thus, as we have seen* in Western 
Asia and India, in the Eastern Mediterranean, Crete and 
Aegean, and in the Craeco^Roimn world, the Goddess cult 
was widely practised, either in its myidcal or m^teiy guise 
The main purpose of the rites was to secure the union of the 
votary with the Great Mother in one or other of bar forms, not 
infrequently by the aid of frenzied dandng, wild music and the 
sexual symbolism of the saaed marriage, in the hope that a 
condidon of abandonment and communion with the source of 
all life aud vitality might be obtained. 

Whether or not this was prompted by some unconsdouj 
desire to mutu to the maternal womb, either of the actual 

254 aiid rdMffJ 

mother or of that of i lymbolic womb of the earthy it would 
seem to have been in urge lo retom to a biocosmie unity 
inhcrcm in tlic maternal principle in order thereby to acquire 
a renewal of life ai its very source and centre, Thcrcforcp the 
principal occasion of the cultus invariably was the spring when 
nature was in process of reawakening from its nocturnal 
slumber during the long dark night of winier. Then mankind 
sought to be reborn to newness of life and vigour by a ritual 
orgy and a mystery regeneration and reinicgradon. Thus, 
al^ough May Day customs and the associated popular obser^ 
vances have long since lost their original significancCi Easter 
has remained the queen of festivals w ith life through death as 
its themCp and the mosr popular season for wcddingSi thereby 
preserving ihe vny dose bond between marriage, maternity 
and vegetation. SimOarlyp the in^gathcring of harvest at the 
autumi^ turn of the year continued to be marked by 
so much debauchery that at the begioning of the Chris-' 
dan era harvest festivals were condemned altogether* and 
at the Council of Auxcire in a.d. 590 were prohibited* 
Even so, the licence continued wcU into the Middle Ages, 
and still survives here and there in Central and Southern 

Tie MjdonHJi 

[t was this aspect of the Goddess cult, so very deeply laid and so 
fundamental in its fcrultiy and sexual significance^ that was 
largely responsible for the reticence of the Early Church to 
adopt or countenance its incorporation in Christian faith and 
praedee, and especially in the Marian cultus. As has been 
considered* Mariology was inseparable &om Christolcgy. The 
fine feasts dedicated to Mary in the fourth century* those of the 
Atmunciadbo and the t?TCsniutian* were chkBy fadvals of 
Christ. Tt was not until the next century that the Karivicy and 
the Assumption appeared in the East, and they were not 
observed in the West until the seventh century. Churches had 
begun to be dedicated to her in Rome in the fourth century 
(e.g. Sama Maria MaggiorCp Santa Maria in Trasteverc, Santa 

Tfcf Mcihcr &J tht C^is 255 

Maru Aiiuqui)* and this praaicc fosrcrcd the cyltus. Ontc 
established, it grew rapidly, sdmuLted by the Christobgital 
cpdtrovcniR in which she became the crucial figure as the 
Theotokos, until at length in the Middle Ages she wai rqste-- 
scnied as the final glory of the Mystical Body of Christ, the 
Church, and the mediatrbtp or co^tedcmpcrix^ in ihe process 
of rcdemptkjti, But here, again, it was within the context of 
theological speculation concerning the natuie and function of 
the Mater Ecclesia that the Marian cukus developed without 
reference to the Goddess cult. 

This applies also to the doctrine of the Immaculate Gancep^ 
don in wliich the fieedom from all sin on the part of the Virgin 
Mother was 4 corollary of the essential holiness of the Church^ 
And in this connexion it is not without significance that the 
final formulation of the dogma in the West in 1854 coincided 
with that of papal infallibility in 1870, Behind it lay the 
perfections and status of CliriK raihcr than those of the Mother 
of the gods, however much the earlier cult may have prepared 
the way for and anticipated the position eventually assigned 
to Mary in Catholic chenlogy and devodon* first in the East 
and then in the West. But it was her divine maternicy inherent 
in the doctrine of the IncarnatiDii that gave her her unique 
status in Christendom, and in Marian typology it was to the 
Jewish Signs and symbols (e,g. the burning bush, the Heece of 
Gideon, the temple. Wisdom's tabeirucle, the Ark of the 
Covenant, Sinai and the tain bow)^ and to Hebrew archetypes 
(e.g. Eve^ Hannah, Sarahs £>cborah^ EstbcTt Judith)* not to 
those of the CraecrvOdental cult that appeal was made, in spite 
of the fact chat the Old Testament symbolism and typology 
were much less relevant than those of the pagan Goddess 

In the highly patriarchal Hchirw tradinon chc divine female 
principle was a relatively inconspicuous feature by comparison 
with its prominence in the surrounding cuhura. When k did 
occur it was as a foreign accretion, of a lurvjvai of the indi-' 
genous agricultural ritual. Therefore, at any rate in pmphedc 
and mono^Yahwist circles, it was nor regarded with Givour^ 

Ij6 n?^ tk CaJ 

and lo far ai poiiiblc it was supprc5Sed» notwithstanding the 
prevalence of sacred ptostitution and the worship nf the Queen 
of Heaven in popular practice, Mary as a chaste Jewish maiden 
could hardly be equated with any of these fettility figures 
and the associated cukus, TbeicfoTC, her antecedents were 
confined to Eve and the pfoiotypes menrioned* to the 
Emmanuel sign (Is. vii. 10^14)* and to other prophedea] 
harbingers of the Incarnation* for clearly she stood com*' 
pietcly oumde die Israelite sexual cuk with its Western 
Asiauc affinities. 

In Aimtolia» on the other hand, the culture had been built 
up very largely on the supreme importance of mother hoodp and 
this was reflected in the matriarchal character of its social 
snucEure and in the worship of the Goddess bdbre the 
Phr^'gians introduced the Fathcr-^god^ who when die civiliza^ 
lions were fused became the consort of the Mothcri^goddess, In 
Israel ibe Goddess cult was only incorporated unoffidally and 
syncrctisdcally in that of Yahwch who alone was regarded as 
the legitimate god of the land. In Asia Minor the worship of 
the Mother of the gcjds was so firmly estabUsbed that in its 
diffusion in the West it became the dominant influence in the 
Aegean and the Gracco/O dental world, having made m way 
through Anatolia to the Troad, Crete and Greece* and then 
into die Balkans. At Tiaf, Frankfort has called attention to 
hice^iuns as images of an owl^cyed Mother^goddess which at 
the fourth city of Therini go back to the middle of the third 
millennium ^.Cp, together with a limestone side diowing a 
crude female lace flanked with slabs and carved in low relief* 
standing just outiide the gate of the dty.^® These symbols nf 
the Ishtar cuk so widely distdbuted throughout Syria, Anatolia, 
Egypt* the Troad and the Cyclades, uiiquesdonably were of 
Northern Mesopotamian origin, as has been demonstrated 
beyond reasonable doubt* going back to the Brak ^cyc^idoh* 
and the Hassuna painted face vessds to the founh millennium 
B-C-t and behind them to the Palaeolithic female fig;imncs and 
the stylized engravings in the decorated caves of Pcch-^Mcrle 
and Combarclles, 


Tbt Mother of the Coir 

The Onj/ii, Function and PeraftCHce of the Cult 
WMc it is uticcruin whether the carlicit images representea the 
Mother^oddess i$ such* they were indicative of the recognidon 
And vcncratiott of mateftiity as a divine principle. Since they 
arc most abundant as amiileis in the West Asiatic sites of the 
Cravetuan cukuTCi it ts the Southern Rusiian loess plain that 
Constitutes the most probable original dlfifusionicentrc of the 
cul4 extending thence to the Danube basin*io Southern Ftanoc 
and Nonh^wat Europe, Thus, it was fiom this Eurasian 
ciadleland that it was diffused, both in easterly and westerly 
dirccdons in the succeeding Chakoliihic pmod and the 
Bronze Age when the Modier^goddcss and her cultus had 
become a predomimnt feature of the culture from India to 
Bntain. In the Hourishing Hcolithic dvilizaaon at Aipachiyah 
neat Nineveh it had become Grmly esubiished in the fifth 
miliennium b^c* There the squatong female figurines are in 
the direct line with the Palaeolithic Lespugne, Wisiernicz and 
Willcndorf fcchniquep®^ and are combined with bulls' heads 
suggestive of the buctanium* But in the Neolithic the male god 
pcrsonilying virility and paternity does npt appear to have 
been in evidence, the Mnthcr-'goddess still rctaLning her earlier 
status as the fertile Earth, the womb from wliich all life was 

Mixed (arming, however^ In which agridjltuie and ddEnesti^ 
cation were combined in the maintenance of the friod^supply, 
seems to have produced in due course the growing consciousness 
of the duaHty of male and female in the generative process. It 
was then that the Young Gnd, embodied in man and the bull, 
became the son and consort of the Goddess in the seasonal 
drama. Nevertheless, while Motha^earth retained hei status and 
significance, and continued to rdgn supiemc as the Mountain^ 
mother from Western Asia to Minoan Crete, it was in their 
dual capaddes that they usually appeared when the cult in Its 
developed form was dispersed from its area of chaiaaerizadon 
through Cappadoda to the Easaem Mediterranean, and across 
the Iranian plateau and Baluchistan to India. 

In the background, however, there was also the shadowy 

^58 Tiw CcddfFs and thf Yatmg Ct>d 

cCHmic figure oTiiic Sky^fitheXp the Supreme fidjig who 
trolled the wcithet and particulaTly the rain&U, and was 
manifest ia the thunder and lightning and dispbyed his power 
in humeancs and storms. Ai he came into greater prominence, 
especially under patriarchaJ condidotu^ as the personification 
of transcendence pat txalknci, he was destined to become in 
Greece "the father of gods and men* as die head ofthc Olympian 
pantheon. In Egypt* Re-Atutn, the seltcteaccd Creator, made 
his first appearance alone in the primordial waters of Nun and 
began to rule that which he had creaied before heaven and 
earth were scpaiatcd or the rest of the gods have been brought 
into being. In Hebrew tradidon Yahwch being absolute in 
transcendence and aucortomy, neither the earth nor the sun nor 
the iky was divine. He stood over and against cvety pheno*' 
mcnon of naiuie to the excluiion of any legitimate pattnetj 
male or female* once Hebrew monotheism was fully estab^ 
hsh^. He was a Skyi^od and a Storm^od* it is true, bnc 
unlike other Supreme Beings he was the absolutely sovereign 
and omnipotenE Creator of the emirc universe and kj processes 
so that he was never merely die spouse ofthc Ctcat Goddess* 
even though in the popular ctiltus hom time to- time goddesses 
may have been iBodatcd with him. 

Chriidanity having arisen in die first instance as a sectarian 
movement widim post^xilic Judarstn* its conception of the 
triune Godhead was essentially monotheistic* though in its 
docirine of the Incarnation emphasis was laid also on divine 
unmanience. Moreover, since it was claimed that the Logos 
was Mde flesh through a human mother* when the Jewish 
sect became the Catholic Church centred at Rome and 
Constan^ople rather than in Jerusalem, and in this status 
was destined to be the unifying dynamic of the disinicgtadng 
empire* the andem cult of the CoddcH and the Young God 
was re-^:^ablishcd in a new synthesis. Within the context of 
one single and supreme tramccndetit Deity, the creator and 
ground of all existence, the Incarnate Lord was represented at 
once as the Son of God and the Son of Mary the Madonna, 
while the Church and his Bride and mysdcal Body was the 

The McsUf ef the i j9 

Miter Ecclejo, In this spirimalizisd ind impressive theological 
senitig the age-long widely diffused quest of life in a oominiul 
process of renewal, bound up with the rcsuirecdon of vegeti^ 
lion and the myttny of birth and generation, acquired a new 
significance which gave the andeni iheme and its ritual, shorn 
of tlieir earlier fcitilicy mouisp a permanent place and funmon 
in Cbristcndoni. 

Such a persistent tradition surviving and reviving tbrouglv 
out the ages, continually undergoing innumerable traniformai' 
tionSp fusions, accretions and abitracuonSp yet always retaining 
inherently a pcrrruncnce of structure and comcm^ can be 
explained only on the assumption that it has given expression 
to a vital dement in rchgioiis experience and in rhe endeavour 
of mankind to go forth on life’s pilgrimage with hope and 
confidence in a strenuous, precarious and often adverse 
environment* Its symbolism comtitutei die earliest evidence 
available in the archaeological data of a concept of divinity 
with vaguely defined traits, going back to Pdaeahthic times 
before agiic^ukurc and herding were practised and the archer 
typal Earth-'Hiother or the Gr^ Goddess had emerged as a 
syncredsric pcrsonalicy. 

With the rise of husbandry and the dcvclopmort of the 
techniques of faimingp agriculture and pastoral ways of life in 
their vanons aspects, the cult and its figures and symbols were 
adapted to the cultural condmons, just as with ever^eepening 
spiritual percepdonj and mysticisms in the rdigious conscious^ 
ness they assumed correspoading qualities, artributes and modes 
of representation. The manift^rarions often may have been 
vastly differtntp but there has been no break in continuiry Corn 
the earliest to the latest, the lowsi to the highesi attitudes to 
one and the same fundamental quest, be it in the material or 
in the spiritual sphere of operatiorip in which in an evolving 
world of human experience and understanding new model of 
thought and pcrccpdon^ of empirical knowledge and philo/ 
Sophie and theological insight, were continually arising, 
making possible new ways of embracing rcabry. The factors 
in the process were many and various, cultural, icchnicalj 


The Cfidiess W dx YeuH£ GoJ 

econaidc, soda], incelleaual, ethical and ipiritualr hue they 
one and all opened new vism in which the genetall^ benign 
but tomedmet malign figure of the Mothei'goddess in her 
manifold forms and phases, accretions and transformations, 
occupied a dotninani position because she and her colt met 
etttain of the vita] needs of mankind at all times. 



1. jmmr, 15^14, pp. ^ihnanyjMtKhJkr PriS^Kantdi 

und EtSmt^fphisfbr Kumf {LP^EJCj^ voJ. vii, 19ji, 

1. 1 J^.RK, ad^ p. iSi. 

A* luodi, isij, p. fig. 2, pK i-Hl 

. 4- 7 h lUmrgtfd Lsndm Mw. Nov^mbtr ja, 15^29, figi- 
j. ihii.^ Ocipber 1, 1&37, pp. 

6 . AmdcdltllL, iJ^^Kr, xi, S926^ pp. 4fiE; VAjiib^irp., xxxvi^ iffidi, p. 431^ 

Sac, Ajiditfp^ iflcu4 p+ 771; Eui^p Ettraat S^^ftntriiHaUs Ajtsi^, 
vol Hdiinki, 1934* i^l P^sstnuni, Ler 
ithtfipjfjgrr^ NlmjB^ pL I4 |ig. I* pL iii 

7, I aknne and Brtuili VAnihnp., xxu, pp. jcnii^ fpli* 

pp. I 2 pfl 4 PaifetUind, ap, dt* pp, iji fl; Gapbn, /Iw. ii Tifrdt 

xxu, r9T£p pp. 3:16^.; Luqueif uuf ^Foijii M^ut^ New J-Lmcn^ 

i93C^r pp^ t£, 15, tiD. 

,,l. Vemeu^ If Gir^Wilfi vd. xii Motuevv Z 90 ^. pp- 3,]. xTpH 

9. pp. 19SH^ 

iOp Ihil, pp. J3. fig. 4, p. II. 

11. Cmpkf'Ejcnius ic l*Acd. its Sdtmf^ limv, 1S71, pp, IO60C.; Book; Ln 
/Jdmmer Pa.Ri* IflaJ* p+ 

J. W, Jicksmt SMh ai FAiiKce ^ ibe Ait^aiimi ^ Cdhtn, Mu^ 

chcKCTp E9i7t pp. IIEUiot Sciuth, Tbf £ifr/ifdffn ^ the Dre^ 
MuichcUcr, rslp, pp- ijOfl; 
l|. C^pitin, L& C^rnktrsUir mtiC Ey^S, 1924, p!. vL 

14. B^um, L*AiiihTtf., aadii^ 191 j, pp. 057^4 Cmpcrj^iUniat it fAcai, 

IniiT^. tt iff 12* pp^ lEMK^ xi| roifi, pp. iiffff. 

15, Bcgponi. Anti^ty, iiii 1929, p, ii- 

iflL firmH, QtgiTf ams dkh ^ 4 ff jMfiW. r 9 S 4 , p. ipfi. 

17. Malidirw'iki^ jti ScSct^^ Riltjm mti Rcaiity^ iffif, p. 44. 

CC Obttmakr, Fasal Mpi ai Spaw+ pp- ii7i 
... Iff, H. Mamn, iii, pp- 4^C 

.20. Bjrcui! and Calve Agbilcj jw* iffPA 

, 21. Tbr tcchpiijue nidksm z Caipian odgiii eiT tliii type d* £ji;stem Spunfli 
aiE whkh tn Ndob Afnea in itt mily phaAC roneippzulcd ^ the Middle 
A tr rignaf ian and Gfavetdan ihocgti k evroinued umil die Nodiduc. 
la. GC S. Hanknd, Pmuthfc Panmiy, iffOij; Malmowdu* The Jefkr ht 
Primitive 1917* Sfjcwd L^r ^ Swwjfrr k Mekmm^ 

iffiff* pp, i4fia” 

262. Notes 

^ 51 . M. £. L. Alalbvm «id J. Cniileihink Rok; /mj, voL ti, p, i, ipjj, 
pp^ jsB; 

.. 54. p, 91 . e£ p. I7. 

,.il. Aj 4 .£.QJt, nx-xxii, 194], pp. nil; TW Anit»!cjji ef Ptlatki 0 \i tie 
BA!t, New York, tpiz. p. 149, 

^ /m 4. wL ii, pt i, (Mj, p, «7. 

^a?. SdiHvLkfd and Fuad Safir^/N^JS., iv. (fl+i, p. asp, pU. x, i, 14; 

». I. 

aS. Bii., pL aviij. 1. 

ip. MalLswaii, Sym. woL iii, ipjfi, pp. isf!, fig. v, i-ia; pL 1. Ai Tell Brak 
in the Kluhue valley in Eauem Sylia ^ccfidolt with vny Ijj^ tytt have 
bnn faund in ahonduice, ptotuhly dnedy rcUied lu ibc doddcu culc 
(f. JOM B.C.): ct fdallowan. Ifaj, ved, k, 1947, pp. i jsfl;: vwi Baftn, 
btl. \fjL xii, ipjtj, pp. i4i£; O. G. S, Cnwfiml, Tie Eyt Cttien, 
1 P 17 . pp- 51 C 1 J 9 . 

y 10. A. H. Tohlcr, ExftMtmii si Tipr Gitine, waL ii, Phitaddphu, ipjO; 
pp. tejf.; pL bean; vtoLclui, figa i-id. 

, ji, lUi^ pi. Lm, d. m, 1. 

_ ja. IWt pL din. fig. 5. 

It. AH, p. iffj. 

14. Woollsy. im. 4. *Sto, pp. 3ilfl, pL revai; Tie Dteetep' 

mai^^mmeH Art. iws, pp. ijt; pb. i; Hall and Wodley, Ur 
Exuvstkas, Oxlurd, ipay. voL t, p. til. 

tl. P>ttetiiii£t ^ Soaitf 4 AirtrfMtmr, ipip, p. jj, % iii/.EA, ix, 1923, 
pi, xxxvii, ^ 

in Undt^H^JrJb. vroL vii. Balm, isjtfv fI* 4^, 
vfsL vni, pp. 50^ ^ pK 49r, tirrt 

CMht du Mudc Lattftt (nrw ed.* 1913), p, ji. 

17- Fnitk^Rt, F^ih PrtitmmgFY ExptditiiHi^ IBJS, p^ jip pL 57; 

Ptzkini, CmpirififiY ^ Early AfrAspfmiir, Chicago^ 194^^ 

p. t S h 

Omtul tviii^ CiLkaga, 1942^ ij; Ui 1941* 

pH 1, pL i; ^liv, ipj9, pp. 19^47, 

IPv Of^nfif IiutSkfi^^ na. 2^ pp, jjt 

44 X £. Schmicb, The AkAsrHiiyi^ Str^mi wjta, Oik^, ifija, m. i 
p. % 157. 

Ihiisf p, H It Egs I 4 ti (£ pt KUDU 1927^ Jfij 47, 

42- JfeL, p. 

43 - Cwjtai^ PrdisMc Mtrdn, Oaibrd, igi^g 217, ijfi. 

44 - 7 ip lS^v 

4J* Rv Chinhmuip Fmllfs it Si#&, Piui, wl i, p. ip. 

4iS. E- F, SdiimA, Mjw* PJULuWpIiiii, t9J7. ^ 


47- R* Ghi KhmafT, Fmlitt itt Tq^G^, Pam* p. 50* pL vL 

Natts 2fi3 

4I. D. E. MtCown, Tht CmpdfitiM J/w, Chkaga, le+i, 

pp. ts. 4!ifn 

4$, CpmcnaUp vqL viup tdijiF- irft ii is «iirf^pWl!W, 

piiii^ IP14* p. JP* %, si; dl p. ii, fig. 59: J. ^ Mcfgan* Di^j^iW en 
MtJMjm, voL i, ipH\ p, la?* fig, 196; c£ p. ijoi* pk viip 44, 
viii^ 1^. 

JO. Ffaxd or PotcicTp I/j Af^i^iiik it k SuidWp Pack p- 
jl- JW-, p. 14JI 

ji* JW^f^ Oilsir^, Ailuwlmi Muieuin, tw, 274, 
j), Z>f d^., voL i« p. i|f 3 p plL vii| ic; P^zafi^ at,, p. 139; 

CoDTfiuUp Lt Dhm, fig. fia. 

54. Fympdif, Expkmmi m TudbfiAm 1904, voL i, Wstt^ngccFiv ^ 9 ^* 
p. 17}^ pk 4^, 60, lit 14, III io«» io&> 

Sj. JlfkCcF^ ^ df.* pp. J7£ 

515. H. Sdimidip 10 Pumpellyp tp. ck.^ p. 100, pL 55. 

57. S. Pjgg!>n« i^vkifniu; Ih^, istjoi pp. 72^4 Ajiontf lux i, 194^* 
pp* iC; nq. ip. i947p pp. ttliTj dl McOmu, J.ME&* v* 194^, 

j«. J^MS^ V, E94iSp pp, 171 (E 

js^ F'^cxt, Prfbiitsttk pp. lojil* liCi4 Sifin, Afinit«jTj ^ StiTvef 
if Jfirfw, nOi 17, igij, pp. ji, 42, 7JJ pk i** p.w. 9 i p- ^ 

:cvi, d.ii 4 d.k. 5 J. fil. 

60. C^. tk.^ p. 60, 

(S[. pKhiitwk Inik^ p. tij. 

01. Sfdn, ip. ck.f pL bt, P.C, 1?. 

fil. GE Manhall, W A? /nJjtf muy^ iii pi. civk 

Mjickaj* FftnhtT Emvuiidnf ££ AftfiBj’i'Jiftfp iP 17 * k pk 1 ™m , . 

bodi* 5i dS Uxvi t« f, Lwi, 31 ^ 23 . 

A4. Mickiy, dp. atst vcL ii^ pk bdii, 4^ kxiu, i, 4p ^ Ixxv, i* 4, s, 11 ^ 33 * 
Muih^ tp, ek., voL iii» pk aedv^ 14* ^ 

65, MxJuy^ i^. dSlt, voL 1, pp- afitiK 

flfi. Jiit* vd. i pk kjaj* 7; kj3U| i* y, kxv, ii\ 14,17, 

67. iWf., pi, Ikv, E4* rfiy 
£i. iiilp pE Iridti, Ip t; xd, Jcck 
jfW.p voL ip p. 3^. voi it, pE Ixxvt* j- 

70. IhiLf vol. ii, pk bodvp ii, ii, 15s kjcvi* 

71- CcB. vm. iglE 

72. Eruraon and Cinm.'Thofl^SMi* Tif 192I, p* 59 S 

Wiianey.. 4 ntif.>r>M/.»i.i))ji. p- i«<: Ziunmit.i» 7 - 

71. Mdjtkdlp voE it F- 31^ 

74* Mackiyp ffp. aT-* voE i* p* 3 J 9 . * - 1 1 « 

7 J. Mushall, voL iii, pi atriv, iij Mackafp w a, pk k*i 4 ^ 

kivi. j| Van, ExcmOiiiii at 'wt- •>» !><“. P^** 

dl voL 4 pp. 29311 



?«. Ai u>iU be MDiidmi tun f«£ Chapter IV), alihw^h in the Veibt 
gotlJetMi pUy ID iniifiiiificiqt put, ibh limatutt bewg eunmally a 
ptD^ of the Aryan intnioti and thorfiife in fyndamentaJ oppoutwn tn 
th* tiH^gemsut culna, in popular pnnicc they h«r rrmauMt predominant. 
Heoct (he pwanintim af icmale imagery of fcnndity in Hindu 
graphy, ofira teJisM (e£ die Black Buck Temple iti Chiiugong) bu( 
wmoiiM lymbolic and myaioi fe-g. the invnied triangle and rarinui 
bmu of 

77. Minh^ ifff, fftr, wsl. iii. pL tl* 

7». voL ii, pk Ixjcvp* (E, a), 24; hadi, i-m. 

n- M^nluU. tp. dL, vaL i, pp. S2(C, pL 

ikL Miuiiy, pp, dt.^ ttoL i, Ph nsTf vat a, pk 121, auj stiv* 


Si. MinML op. rff., val jii, p. pL mac, A 

Si. CL Van, vdL t pp* sj* 114 

Sj, Mankall, .jy. vol ^ pk ^io, xj jdv, 2, 4. 

*4 JW, pL ^ 7; Vati, vol. 4 ppa 1414 i7f. 

Sj. Van, fit, J7CJ, 

5«. Petrie; fW/brie wio, pp. glE. pb. iv, i. p- y. r-ji tf. tt. ii; 
Biunton and CatonrThompion, dl^ pp. joff. 

l7- Pane, jp. (et, p. p, 

It. Quibell, 1900, pf. J, p. y. pb. ^ 3. Pj^. 

i50J.ftK,p.34,pl,,r. ' 

S9. p. 9. 

*0. Hqganh. J«M aiwf lie £nr, Oafind, 1909, p. se. 

9t. Bikuoi. Ox£nd, 1951. pp. ipsfT, pli. aev, caliii, cadiv. 

A ilijdiE mdicarion of lemalc gcnualia occun on two jqnamnts ccamplei, 
pL xcv, fitn, ^ ^ 

9 z. Dikaiot, ar £nm. Cjpmt. 1936; pL mric Z™. ™L im, 

>mpp. 7i£ ^ 

91. ^Hmati, Li DAsif ime Uyltnia^, ftri*, 1914, pp. 77JT. 

94- ^ W. < AHieeefcjy, *li, (jjy. p. ,59. pi ^ 

Cukey, ItawMO and Speding, Tny, i, Ptinetinn, 1950; pp, 

4^t. pLlifiL 

CAdiM/Aut. 1947. p. 43, 19s New 144* m 

JMart Aawftf Etre, 1934. pL 197, fig. 7i. 

^ fr 7^ ^ “d H. W, 

.p. [V ^'^-> ***• >#**! fp- joflt, ph «ii; Lamb, EfeeaMriaine tt 
Jtww la tflto. Camhodge; 1931I, pp. i49ir,, pb. jtt-Bnii; p. ,77, rf. 
xacvi. *' 

97 m Bcm, V* 1SS4, pp, 4901 

9*. A. J. B. Wa« and M. S. ThompMa, JAttiotrit iW/y, Canthridgr, 
isra, pp, 70.13. 

99. Iktt, pp. 4t, <59.1,, laj. 


VanH xiVp igo7^* ^ jiiffij W. A. Hcunkf, Jhrhttittk 

Maitiemi, CunbrM^e, 191% pp. I3P. i«j. 
roi. Ewu^ Tfaf ^voL i, ipu^ pp. 4 jC, %l la* t j* 

iCKu Hpfflff. m5f4 tfeiod, Ttf^p Diodcinjip vuL :i j C; 

J. E Hirraon. iWip Cambbdgi; (912, pp. 54* tt. 7^ 1^4; P^ff/tnnauf 
la B&f ^ Cmk Rilipm^ Canibiid^ 1903, p. 444 

103. Evaittp 4^. dL, vvL i pp. soofL, %t ijs, iSj; Nikaa. 

Afj^juf M ipjo, pp. 3 P 9 f.: E E, Wmiamj, PhiUddphii^ 

J 9 o«. pp. 47 fl-. pi- ii- 

104. Evsm, iy. dir, voL iv, p. $$% %. jiii c£ B.S«rf 4 ,p vii, igoo, p. 19, 9, 

105^ qp. dLi ^ ^ p. 42* 

1D6. Zommiit /Miiizirnf M^ 4 i, 1910, p. 43; 

FmtititfMi ^ EnfUjit, pp. 

]07« <^.dE.. pp. i^p 44^ 94I, pi. c£ Zsmmk u\d Sing^, 

JJLA.Lt liv* 1924, pp. 7sfr.p pk e, 7, 9; Kk, au; B.trMg1ti, tJ^£JL, 
1917, pp. rjjC* t-io. 

lOfl. Zunnujf Tlr p, 49: 

livp i024|. pt. Ir, 2a. 

X09- pi X, 1 ]. 

no, Ct GfciJiic^ J 3 bu?t Ei^rapofl) CiviBzMtkM^ 1947* pp. 1471 
III, iSita, ipo^p pp. lOj 21; Lff pKiflinr mAil 

y^eit it PUifp iM$. 

til. Conk, Cmindn dt fmfrttiy^afktfKM f pwtiftafikfi, Msddil 

1921 , pp, 27* 63 If, %!. JOi 46, Jlp 
ril« 1908^ pp. fiC 

[14. Cotfcb^ tip. dl,, p. 74. 

If j, Jitm tuprmrpam txf&Mmff Maiirid^ 1930, Mcmi. je. § 1 12^ 

n6. tx Ecmikp C#iiwi:, Mn^s^StMtioi jjm f/piri/jfWMijfj- ^imlrtittf «lAjia 

1914. fpi l3f4K«idtkkp^T£rHniAMkj]r 
a/ llfif C&nRivl IfiWf p vol I 1928, p. 11; Jmn 4 , I9i|« pp. 
429 lfi 

J17. Piggott^ NifflHbic Ct^ftT nf ihe BritUh lAh 19^ F- ^4t *0* 

118. Cunvm« Smsf 3 C Afthutsbghd Ca/kfkcfp vcL kx^ 1929, p. 50, fig. 173- 

119. Dfvw 2itd PiggoOp P.RS. N.Sp, vhH iip t 936 » pp» 

12Q. C£ Piggpfl, Mttfflri&i: CiduflfJ ^ fk p. 4^- pl J- C- 

Hawkci, PnhUt^m Mfdw. 1947, p. jp. 


^ I- Tiwflii^z’ mJ JjAfif, Ojifijrd* 191+1 p- ii 
i Kunm^ SftmiHm Fhikiidphk 1944, pp. Jfill; ArN.ET^ 

pp, i7ff:; jKohco* JJd£S.^ k. i» 46 . p. iW Tb™ti-D2i^a. 
Rfwtf rmymk^ it efMirJair, Parii. 18 * 4 . PP- 


j- Kiiam, AJ^£.T^ pp-4j£; JarabKn* Inffllimd Aimoatt ^Attaint Mm, 
Chiaga, ip46w pp. i66C 

4. Knmcr, Pwtimp ^ ^ Amimm katv, isi+i, 

fFp. jpifT, pk j 4.N,ET.* pp. $ 2 t 
j, p. 

^ Speucf» pp. nj/ff, 

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Ofmiiii?if, vqL ms* pp. vif4 A. flcdin, 1^49, 

ppi 81 fH; EsL vii. 14. 

i. kiDgtion.yJL^^., leic, pp. jjftr cdL vi, eslT 

ICtrf^iBip W c£tf Cudf, p, 197, 

la Fnnli&rc^ Cj^linitr 19^9, pp. 117C, pL xiic^ t-A 

II, P^Jlk &%Wim .* 4 My pp, T24£^ 17I* 

IJ. p*llw, ilL, pp, log, ip7(r^ S. Smiik/JtA^,, iffii, pp* 

TiUijuiit, S^Mtriifbtkiailitbt Nmstr dtr T-sJJftwIfi HckiDglm, 1914* p* i€, 

n. 4. 

IJ - ZimmdEi], flrfvkf wifr if^ {^rrlwiJZan^ irr K^L Saihdjfhnt GistHsch^i itt 
Wimntch^ta, Phtl^hta. KUra, vd. kviii* 1916. 

14. Sedie, Ur^sth/ikt tmi AAtsift Rtii^m dir Afffpur^ L&pXi^, l9jo, p_ Ay, 

M. A. jtlv, T9li, pp. joaC 

1^. F.T., 1479. IJ2T. 

16. FpT,» 12481 M 75 p cC fludgf* rfcf Gffl^ ^ ibr vqI. 1904, 

PP- Siifr. 

17, SudgE, Fr<i« Fefiv^ Qti m Axmi ^Qpf, Orfafi^ (914, pp, 175^ 

CacUwi^ Dff Cflfi Ciww, Cluckfud, J9J7. pp. jaC 

15. GjulJikr^ i 47 _/?tef if iin Min, Cun>. ipj i, pp* 194^ 3-jc 


iOi F.Tj 90dd. 

11. FT., 3f6ff. 

12- Ai Sckidf^ SwmtnittiiT^ Bcdin, ipii, p* 391* 

ij- PtT^ 580, 817(4 Buclgc, T6f B^k ^ik Ord^, p. 10^ 

14* F.r.Pfpii.i 9 s. 

ij. WjalEjmnii, ^ liff Aiii^ ^Q(p£^, 1897, p, 145^ 

2^., iirf Sfkpiif iKtt/ Cdffg Mtiiichai, 1941, pp, 4ofl 

27. P T.,4«*^ 

II. Mewbcny, Aackrti i^pf. 1914, p, 

19 - &iid^ TSf Gtdi ^ik ^gj^eKs^ voL 4 pp, 45001 
30, Budgr; TV i>*f, chap. xR 11; kvi, 1. 

ji- Mallo, £4 Cak^ ^ NtH i Sm, Pan*, iSlB, pp, 140^ 242, 

11. dt,, p. 191- Bui^ Gdif ^Ibr vd, 4 p. 4^9* 

33- Buii^ The Gflif if dst vol i* p. 433* 

Frank^M, Tfcf InidltifMd Admtmrt f Aiidmi Mm, p. tj. 

CL Pburcli, Dt hl^a Osmit, p, ly 

16. CF C* £, Saadtr.Hamai, Dto in Atnm^ Oipcnhagm, 1940. 




17 , JiinkiSf Dit Ormmli^nit, Wieei^ ipij* Ji«t 
FrtHan^ A Hs»^fsck ^ 19^^ pp, 215 £ 

J9. JunkcTp EHt Onurif^jiniii, 11& 

40. Btaclunan, htsew mi Ut pps ToC; W. WqU^ Dm sibrnr 

Ftft vm Opitf Ld|rog;» 19IU PP- 73 ff. 

41. Blar:kmah,J.£^., ati, ipij* p. 150, a, j. 

4L. Lt Tof^r /r Lmx 9 t, 1894, pk 1xiu£i 

4). Sohe, Utkunim iff Ai^gyptu^m Alkrtum, voL LrL|n%« l 90 li p<^ i27t 
P.T^ I9fi-20l; Navilfc^ Tie ^ DflSr vd. 14 pk l-liii; 

Mdcc4 Dw €mtiiht rflgfwip 1 ( fimaiftt, Pirii, Wl, pp* jjlE 

44, Sethe, Ufkmiimt vqL iv, pp. jipC 

45, /tftiCH. pp. i4+£j hAm, pp. di., pp. 53 C 

46, Njvi^ Tkf Ttmpit pf Dnr vd, itt, pk IilT; Mon^ tp. di. pp** 

79 ff 

47- RT,| 2 t 2 £. 

4B. AX, 99od* 

49. SctliCi t/rfcnwH voL IV, pp. ifi. 29, 34, 77 S flcMcd, Anomf Risjfii ^ 
^fptt vd, ii* Cliicago^ 1906, § 14* Hi F . tmja , df*, 

P-T 3 . 

5Q. Bceaiffid, tp. at., vd. iVi, § 9 $ 7 - 

51. Bnigich, Egypt tmitr dn Phtnohi^ 19<X4 p, 410^ 

51. dt, vd-iv, IpjiC^pSiff.^ErmMijLjTf'A* 

pp, itf5<E 

53, firci^, ip. flSf.p vd. iv* | pBsD. 


GC clup. L p- 14; j- Pmciuii Fai^xaif New K^v^n, 

1941. pp. 5 ^' . 

^ 2. 119I ^ ipapp pL S 4 i PP^ ^ 

pt ^1 if PP- voL Mil, I 937 i F^* 

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v-4. lah^ ZtHtthtift fif Aes/fUidx Spndx mi Aimimikmlt. 64. 1909. 

pp. 6 ill 

5. C. H. Cordeo, U/V^ Ra"«» t« 7 * “■ P- 

i. Carnet, Tiapii. Ktw YoA, ipS®. PP- S 7 «^ 

Unmii, Edinbuigti, isjfi. pp. ntt; Sjrr^ voL wi. nja.pp. i«H‘ 

7- Outtr, <F. dL, p. nil (£ Gbi. «t. 1 1 . Viii. a: Kii^ wi. j, ig; MaJ. 
uL to &( Ltmoi and taiiL 

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fl. Tftrtt (AB.). tl, jgfE; 4 ic tV. a?. iPS K«- >»«. «J. ui. 



10. jC 

tt. AA, 4J? n, iff (IV, j 4 .fl., iL tjj, A< Anat b auocuied with die o^, 
and fiaiJ ii aid M haw nuiol widi a iMde ia die ficldi ti^ Shlnum n 
produce a male ofliFtiiig, dicy are hiah conneeud whli thccow'^tyinboliuu 
rfthc Mocho-^oddes diewhcrc in WEStem Alia and Egypt; cC Duuaud, 

Aftw dr I'biittirt ir Arl^mr, iii, ipji, pp, ty 

11. AA, «y! VI, «ff 

I]. A.ff, $ti I, ij. 

14. A.B., «a: I, tS^ 

ij. A 3 ^ 4b: I, ti-ij, J4. 
t«w AS^ 4®: U, lolt 

17. CL Fhht. CtfUni Awjh, pt. vE. pp. aicff; V. Jaeoh. PJanwi TWwiwf 
Awmt. )I. 1:141, PF- toE- 

CulcTf di^ p, 114, 

t 9 - I AB.^ ^ 

30. 41?: m, 12, 

31 . jliVU, 4j-^7:U. iDfr. 

3 i A.B^ 4/^ V, tfCs VI, ijC 

33. CofdDDp tfp. Ciiiibei^, AJ^.KT^ 19S5* pp. i3p“43: Vin^Qiii!^ 
Sfrh^ voL iVi, tpjjp pp, 3^4 yA Kvia* pp. 150^® 

34.™n^,tfjr,;c£nAqhj:vi 4 sr.,m 

15* Engodl, j'/Ww ^ DiviiK Uppsala, 1941^ pp, 77C 

2d. Syrk, vul idv, Ibc. 3. pp. uSf.; Gimbct^ /JLA 5 .. 

pp. 45n. 

17- G3im,/A.O.S., ip+s, pp. 50, J4, 

iS- Fope, B in ffe Ldcini. ip5j* pp. jpK 

35?. d 4 i.B.p Uj, 4^{S4d; ^ U fli^ 4J- 

aOo Q^aa, p* 73; Cordon, U*mi)£ Uttfsimf p. <7. 

ji. AM,. 7 rElL,iC . ^ 

J 3 - 7^111 25-IHJ JQ^ IS7: JgC 

Jl- diT; V, 17-iL 

U- J 3 ! 4j; JIJ V, 47£; V, 6 At 

* J+ PopCi ci£^ pp> uff.; A- Sw Kiipcljcud, BW Ai jiw JUf Si»mm 

Cnp^^cn^ 1553^ pp. jifl: 

Albdgk, 4 fr^% mi tU RAi^ tf lmB, 1945. pp* 7|£ 

J7^ 5f: r:33 ^ itk 2fi4 34^- JV, 4i£ 

Jd- vU.p 7j: u jjsE 

IP. 5 )t^, xw, ip 35 p pp. 34^-^^ Mdtu^oEiuxy, Ivf, 193^^ 

pp. 32dfl.t Giiubcrg, ih Pakuhv Or^Kfi^ iPldi pp^ 


40. A.E., 4j: i: ii-u, 

41. AJt.,si 7 tirailC 
ii. A.B^ 51! rV:4jff 
41- A^., jK Vt 47I; 

Nflirf 269 

44. Obcrnuim, Lffirvlir New Havto^ pp+ 11^ 7 |. > 5 ^ 

4j. A*B^ 51: It; isir 4 4 ^ i: iifT^ 

4^^ C)L tlLt pp. iiC 

47. A Cawli^, Afiwi 4 ^f ^ At PjftS Cmitj Oiford, 1913, 
pp. Ssft; MnccTp AW(ifUfi, vcL New Yurlc^ ^ 9 }$* pp« i?b£| 

W* CL CiahAin and G. Mafp Cnhurr mi Cmstkiict^ Chin^, 
pp. 90, tm, 

41h 2 ICingt raE. 4; JiuL E III X. iSii I Sam. til 4: xE 10. 

49. JuA td. ajp 2&, jd DeuL m 5; jcvi ai; i Kmp. acv. rj; jcvl jj; 

a Kingi <$; xvE lo; smil 4; vvilt. 4, 14; Jcr, aviL a. 

JO. AJlp FGflihriJt €kcr^. BhTp pp. t-il^ Zititkr^ fit 

Alaeftmttmhfbr Wisstfwhiifft I959i LVlTi pp. 1-31. 

51. I Kiingi xviE I 9 ¥ 

J3U /<,jES.fc i: I97-JW5- 

j3p Albdgk, B.A-5.0JLp no. 94p ih+p PP- ^ 

rk Lilmiurr ^ Rjt Shmm, Lddco, 1955« pP- 4i Gordan^ UjMritk 
Uitnturr, lOiP. 

J 4 . I KJngi 14* 

SSn 1 Kk^ lE laj tE Ghi. actbc- i4. 

56. JihL vi, 25-l*p 

57. JuA be. 17; im. igAl; t Sam. I }, u; L t9 
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A. Rowt; Brtb Sha»i Tipf^r^hf mi FldLuklpliu. 

pL 4*- 

so. Mflttrjtf 4 pp* Alibd^p Arihstiliiff mi dif itAjpM fl/ 

irwi, p. 114; MacaltfliT+ qp. lE* vdL iil pEi. cckx, coacE Pfnk* 
i9aS, pE xxTTk TOETt; Orkaia! lAitkuk Gmatmcetmit toL acrE 
Chica^ I 9 “* pE aEKiu-jara. 

6u Gaihai:i] ^ May, tp. dt* p. Jj®> 

da. W. F, Eade, Qiifftr^y Sw/swrai At Pdtstnit Btpkra^ FutiA kii, 
lOjo, pp- Gilifc™a+ loaE pp. 

no« I. 

«1. Gwtiv HiJichfr, Dii Pt^ UaUrp^i^ Wr. n, 

t_Mpig, 1714, p. 163; 

ferit y K9}7i Dujsiuii^ AfMtf RtUffvntt viir cv* Picii, i 9 i^ 

pp. a+jH:: Gaatt, Qwrto^ Sulmmt PJ. J&giiw- I™* *»H, 

pp. t4(C 
04. Jer. vil il^ 
tij. JcT. sdiv. 15 E 
dd. Jcr. xlivi 2 oE 
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09. 1 Sam. E 22. 

70* Amoi E Tffp 



71. Jcr* V. 7; iv, JQ. 

72. Is. Im. Z: EzjcL jtiiii* 17; Cml iii. 

7 S. Pl Jdv. s^^t 

74- vtiL i: cC J. M P. Snuib, WitFtitfthifi, 

woL p* iii, 

7J. I Kif^ jcv. Hen- iv. ^Ql 

7d, l>iiL zxiiL ijW. 

77. Gtri. KinnV. j r; xaucvnl 1 j, n; Jnliiu a iJf. 

7a* Judgr; jd r, 

7»* i Kingj wnL 7* 

ZtK Dcinv ixiiL 
ii. Ho«- E j 6 fL 
Si. Hta, E silf. 

C£ F i n f HA , ^ m utti I^htii^aben tend dai E/tie 

dti Gotitj 191 j. 

14. Ewk. viii; icviii, 4; lotL 1-7^ 1 Kwgi. mil 1-14. 

15. S, Hardy^ AJ^X, Iviii. 1941^ pp^ fTSff. 

id. Ghl f9ft; rrtii; aivi. 54; jotxvL r*i; Num. eul 105 JdiIhui ip 1-4; 
uL 10. 

S7. T Kin^ 3 cL i; a Kingi vii. fi£; j Chmo. L 17. 

la. R. Diuniid, AW^ftw Hiuitej n Jti Houmi^, Pirii, pp. jjsC; 

E, Latdd^ JwTw/ ^ Stuiiti, vi, 1953, pp. Reihtfilmt 

rvT kr iMwtf iei dknx hiutifft Parii, 1947, pp. 47^1 lofij Ctimcy, Atufi 1^ 
Afdmt^U^gf Mi 17* LimpiMl, 1940, pp. t(^ 12C; Ciimc^ 

Tk Mfihit Biipm, pp. pjC; Tif L^i ^ dfF Mkitm, pp. uiE, 
pk bdv-Usd; B. Bktel, R. Namnaiffl. R Oeo* Ldpoff, 

J 94 t* 

> 9 . Cawang, Tltf IW ^ ik pp. mC, jjfiC; Rimuy^/iLAJ,, 

NX* tSSj* pp, jtjC; G. Pctnir and Gk Chipkr, Himirrit fArt 
iMM tAniifdii, ™L iv* pp. 

90. Canary Tk Lmid ^ ihr Hiil^, pp, jiSJE; Tht Sjria C^ddiiF, 1913, 
?p^ 7 ft 

9J. Tfif JW ^J±tf fUtiitei, pp. JiaC 

92. W. M. MuUa^ A£!Efnl'iuig^ itr Vifirifr^'^iMtii£hcn vii, 1901, 

t»* if FP- fc AMET., pp, 199 1 K-tJA » xxir nov 17- 

91 - Bofxrt, pp. 

94- IC£/A, vip 4 j^GDcizr, dcf ipil. p^ i jo- 

9j. Gunvy* (p, pp, re£^iiC: 07; F, Spmmap Ziitfdniji 

fir AstyrUkj^, 4a, 1940, N.S.^ pp. 11* 14, 

9®. UrodKi Ih ^ p iofi{/sHirsM/ ^ Cw^fnii 

Si^/. ^ 1947, pp. aeiC 

97. JCLTil, Kxi, no. 17; Gao^ p. ug. 

9S. Gufttiqr* Tit Hithtrit 19JI, p, 141. 

99. Laracfer* >ifnf/ ^ S^wdSir, i* p. 9a. 


too* Gttnicy, TWHAViifin, pp. iis(E 

10T. CuziK^r^ F^ym of Munili £f« ^ AfthitMgf md 

Lirapod, Ifr^o, pp, H ff. 
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pp. 151^; Ottcot Dk Uhetikarm^ itf TiUpitm'Mfiht^ (MK^.G.^ 
1), Leipadp, 

104* Giski, Tfcopif, pp. 117C 

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Nut, vi, 17, 11 ji Mutaidi, FJf. 17; Poljhici^ x. 17. 
fl* Wmdbadi^Bang, E>k dtptrtuthin 44 « 4 ^ 

7^ Cleoimi of Alcxiodiia, if, flit* j, § aj; Tiiift x. 

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10. Cumoot, Lrr if AdMaw^, wl* 4 Patii, pp- 

Rk^veda, Ti* 17. »; IT* Si- v, J* 7 - , 

,*1. Tbe eiilica otainpk of a dcfioiidy Aryan type of tp«eb «CitM ai 
rtamn of the Mm* Varuna and NtaiyM m ihe MW between^ 
Hinm king Sbmbbihihiiiiu and the Mitand king Mumus iboui 
1400 meu; c£ CfflilF% ^ Jiidri, voL i I siia. p. 7 i 

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pp. iilE 

y' 26 * CT S, SJiivapadiwdikminp The SatM Seiael ef ipi^, p, i 

47. G. Ciiaian, Imfffid ef bdk, visL ii, p, +2j„ 

and the 1/tJi/s Ckritizatian^ ¥qL p. vii 
C, Eliot. HinJuum W voL li, p. 144* 

Jo, Tiafflfriiv at* 7* 

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3 f. R^i^cikp ill, Ip ioj 3 t. lip 3; SK 17, 9. 

36. £. Moor, TV fjiifiM MaAasi 1897, pL xxxL 

37. tvcogar, Drmik Sltdki^ vd). iB, p. 

]L p. Iifl, 

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40, A. E. Haydott* B^ej(rapbY ^iV Go^, X941P pp, tqi E 

41* Rig^mk^ ip ii, if5-54i IJ4, 

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43. KoV»f/W..bLSQ. 

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45* Seti^itha Brahmasa^ jd, 4, 3. 

PTfVir Pinsm^ bk. 59, 

47. JWp Bo. 

41, R^^vcda, ac, IJ9. i-& 

49. R^>vtdj. vii, 96, 4, fi, 

JO* *. 75i S* 1 13 f 3* ^ Muii, Orr^W i^AMdbif Tcaff/p vd. v, 1871, 


51. XKT, 10^ 0* 

5 ^ RigiWJa. iiip i|, 4^ Allhough k bu becoisc ilic Indian cduotmpjiT of the 
Egyptian Nik; it doB iw appett m have been bdd in poftkulaHy high 
mixm m tfac R^^eda, wW k 11 only twin meationod. Iti goddeu, 
Cai^p bowever, wai ibe ddci daughnr of Himvut, Uma being her 
younger simr, b waien billing Eom the fiwt of Viihnu and filling on die 
hod of Shin. So aiMr k k the holicK of all rii™. 

SI* Rig'^ve^ VI, liS:; x; 17* 

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58* Rig^vttla*x, iicp 9; iii, I, ti; ii, 153. 1. 

59* N. fl(ri3wii*/,AO.J4,lEii, 1941, pp, tjfr, 

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67. Rig^vcdiij ^ I a* 10. 

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pp. IS fid 

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Grpdtr P^ttUr Rdirf^ N<v(? Vcitk, i940p p* 51. 

Ill, SchcilH* SaphodE}, Qeiipu Cthnm, sii: CGS^ toL iii, pp. jiff 
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125» iroL io, pp. 177, laj, 

laei. Fhidu4 ad PUio, Tjm«ii/ (Lo^Hck), p* i^j. 

C*G.5.p vol, iii, p* laj. 


I. Sml», J, If; i, Jtiv, 1. jo; d; Juliw. O^if., v, 159. 
j. Piuuniu, vii, 17. lo-jj; dl Araofeiui, AJuttnif Nttuuu, v. 1-7. 

|. Scnni, oo Viigil, Anutt, k, 115. 

^ PiuaniB. vii. 17. to-ij, dC Scholiai*. on Nkaoiltf. AStMplarmm, *. 
j. Wliilfi ^ dcuOi aicduiie^ in KTOj] of the imuitnt the icir^nirjticia 
it a pctnuocni fniun; (£ Ovid, iv, 4J1-4. 

& Pd^Lii, aa, aOr 

7. Clemrot of AknndtLi, PrftTtfi^ ii. 15, p, ij (ed. Pootr); Finnknt 
Mtttcniu, Dt trfdrrprtjfimvm nUimurn, chap, is, 

I. a, IQJ4-9,1076; pinnkui Maumut, tf. at., J7, j; Wiaawa, 

Rfliptti Mi K»ha ier Rmet, Munich. 190a. pp, jjj (f. 

9. Dotau, IitsitiptieKt Utinm Sdii^. not 4IJJ, 

to. DatiM. tit, pot 414J.4147,41^,^ C~LL, *iii. 1741, 

n» lai, H, 

12^ CJJ>p vi* 49s; it* J146, 

IJ. ftffw fW/ttin H ie Ua/ftiMt ntfgitiuei:, voL vi. m. a, ipot, p. ^7- 

»+ Tie OtwHid Ad^Mr «r fUwM tpti, p. 67. 

15, Paiuaniat vii, 17,9. 

IS. Ovid, FttH, iv, laj f 
17. Lociai, Dt Det Sfrit, ij. 

It. Dhdorai Siculut, iii, ftt; Ckawn of Aloundm, PrMtft., viii, 
7 ®-t 

Stohaeui, FforiL^ liottv, 

Hiifary Gredlr ji. 

II, Duxionu Siculut* ai, 55, 7* 

ii. Hepdn^ mti nlni CicisCfi, rjoj, tji; 

in JStijKdin'j Uxthan ier ffiedr. mi tm "Kybdc", vul u* 

aj. Wo^, pc. i ,jar. pL b_ j. Hwj Dk tSUapnexit Mt 

4 W AMnin^ FrUi Htlm, Ldpi^ ipjci, p, *. 

44. Luciaii, Or Dm S| 7 M, 4 jI, ft 

FjfikU, C.G. 5^1 iiif pp- joflC; Chatp W Bdl/W, ipir^ pp, ijfiC 
IS. Livy* ^dic* lot 

27. Juli^ Chvtk V, tj^ Ovkl, Fifti, iv* AmobiLHw AdinTmt 


1*. Lkf^ 3Que* IQ-14; Ovid, P^im, k* 147-72, 

Livy, xxxvi, js, 4* 
ja P|my» iViit Httr, xviu, is« 

|i, Iivy,jt£p;, [4, 

31. Livy, luxiv, 54. 
n. Livy. XXXVI, js. 

J4. Dianyiiuv HaL Am. Rm^ it, ip, ^ 

IS- AtilmGdliuvii,i42;ivui.2, n- OvuL /=**; iv* 351, 4* Ckno, dc 
SiittA, iit4S* 
ifi, Fd^Jv, 177^ 

S7* JuvciuJ,x4 1$^], 

CkXTQ^ dr Sfjwi^. 45. 

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pp. 2S7E 

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41. Dtodonu Skulm, xxxvi <SS Pimiidi, Mmur, T7* 

42. Tbit ihc EmpcTDt wai CUudiLu Cdchkm m 24^; cL Donmzewiki 

^ R 4 W«ff Swiiej^ i i^i|. p. ^dL 

43. Shcrwmran^ The Gmif Mt^liyr ^the God^, 277; Cii£^kil /dunuL 

xi ifM, ipi Cisilldi:, J> Cwfff ic Piria, 1911. pp. iiyL 
44^ Amcbmi, AiivfxHif GfRAtf., v, 7, jSi, 39* iS7£; Julim, Omt* v* iflS; 

Hrpding, ep. dDr., Gioxn, ipoj, pp. is, iPiL, siS. isifll 
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p. 1S7; Crxillcic* ep. dt., p. I}eL 
47 i Microbrui^ SoAiinuliidp i xzi, ifH 

4lv Ovid, Parti, iv, 337 ^ 145 ; Araobiui, GmAct, vd 32,49J Luottiiiv, 

Or rtTinn mr., n. ticiS-ia. 

49. Mimidiu Felix, OcflxWiLri 22, i. 

4a Tacitiii, Hid-t tv, firj PlunrGh, jSi/-|Sj/. 

41^ 3 ti 21. 

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69. Sfrim Gfddfis by Scnxog. and Cnuang^ l 9 Ht 41 % 

JO. via, 14-^7- 

71* Edlftm ie Citrrtfp^tiimt 407; vi, vii, 477; via* iji; 

*vi* 741,785, 

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vol. tdf iSjOp pp* Btand^ Pppvkr Aid^ititit ^ 4 iSSl, ppi l[3fl4 

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Amtmii ej thi Arntnim Sib^^ts <1/ OHenUil Resmbt New 

AnMt^Bnl TexU. 

Amcrian Jwrjiut SfnhkLtin^tHt^indlJmtuTrf^ Chicago. 
Ancknt Ncir Eistm Texts f# riir DM Tisismnt. 

J. B. PtEtcJiudL Lcd^ i 9 Si^ 

VAxdtr&p&b^t Farits 

Btilktin a/ Ac AmeHaa Stbo^b s/ Ofkntai Resewrth, New 

^nuaf. Bfitfsb Sfh^l fl/ Atfaw. 

Cult <p/ tbt Cndt Swst by L, fL Faroell, Ozfonl. 

Corpus Insmpisotxf 

Encythpaeik aj Rilijpffn ofJ EiUti (Hastings). 

Jabebuch fir Pr^sistarische m^Ethnap^hisebi KuNSt^ Cblog^c. 
JounuJ aj Bl^fptkn Anheotagy. 

Jfurml if Heikt^ Stxiks^ London. 

Jifitfml if the Ameritim OrknkI Sidety^ New Havm. 
Jiunal ijf Nftff Eistm SnatUs, Oticaga. 

JaurmI aj the Rityet Asksk Sadety^ London. 

Jininul ^the Reyit Ajtibropcbgtad Institute^ Lot»don. 
KdbtbrffatAamdeit mus 

Mitseilmgen der Vir^rasiatuA^Aegypfistben GestllstbifL 
Pitrckgk Graece (Migne). 

Puttekfgh Latma (M^dc). 

PnmUngs PrArstam Saekty. New Smef. 

PyrmM Texti^ 

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Sittei Backs cf the East, Oxfordp [875^1910. 



Albdght, W. F.. Tht Aniuntejy ef mI tht BikIt, New Yotk, 

Brciiil, H.. totUsiiih i'tft partdal, Montigiuc, I 9 i 4 - 
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Childe, V. C., Ntw Uiht «i tbt Mut Aiuimt But, 1914; Tie Dtitm aj 
Bdnpm CMtitatitu, i 9 + 7 - 
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Cnwibrd. O- G. S.. The Eyt CsfUai, «957. 

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Tobls, A. J.. Ej^arijiw at Tept Gaiwe. Philadelphia, I9j0, 

288 Bihlioirapby 

Van Buttti. A. E. D., CUy FJ£KTiw nf Oihyimt tui Astyrit. Yak Prcsi. 

Vrrrwjii, R,, Lef Cnttts it Gmwliif, Monaco, i5»ofi. 

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Cairungj J., Tlr Hittiie En^rt, 1919; The Land eJ ik Hithtts, 1910; Tk 
Syii^ Coiitts, i9i)> 

Gasttr, T, R, Tkjpir, New York, 1950. 


Cflrdcm* C, H. HittiiMkt Rome, 1^47, 

Gijihjunp W, C.p And May^^ H. G., Cutium md Consihut^ Chicago, 

Cray* J., The Krt Tifxt itr fht Uttmtuft a/ Rms Sbamn^ Leidoi^ W$~ 
Cuniey^ Ok R., Tbi Anrab ^ W Anihropaht^t 17, Uver-^ 

pool, 1940; Tk 1951, 

Kapclrud^ A,, Btti/ m iht Rju Shamn TexUt Copcnhagca, 1951+ 
Larochf, E., Ri€bcnhct iur £cr fumf dcr iwyjr biUittJ^ Padi, 19471* 

Lc^Cf E, A.* 7 lv Old Ttstamai m rk U^bl af its Catmetdie Bail^Fmatist 
New Yort, i9i(S. 

Obcmuniv Ujatitk Myib&l^, New Havens 194®. 

Pdtrfiard, J. B., iViutiue New Havcn» 194J, 

Schaeffer, C. F* A., The Ctme^am TtxUaf Rm Sbamra^U^tt I9J9- 


flanh* A^t The Pjcli^n of India, 1914, 

Burgess* J., The Pjodt^Trmptii of Elepbonta CSdn^urr; Bombay, 1I71. 

Comirid^ Hifiory of Indta, voL i, Cainbetdge, 1911. 

CLougk, E Wh 3 e Stiein^ Sandals, New York* 1899. 

Crooke, W,^ Popubr Rtli^ attd Folic^bn ^Northern Indta^ iSjmS^ 
CiuDDiii, F*.p Le^ Mpsiem i£r Mthms, PacE (S99« 

Eliot, Sii Cm tUndahm mi BviAim, 

Ebnaie, W, T,. Dmddian Gods in Modem IRndMtm, New York, I9iy. 
FerguuoEL, J-, aod Bwgesi# J* E, H&f Cm Tbrpfrj of /jidu, ilto. 
Gait, £. A, Cesisus Export, Beryel, vol, i, 1901- 
Ghirshman, R.* Itttq, 1954, 

Haydoo* A. E. of the Cods, [94K 

Hcrafcld, E E* Areboeohirtil History tf Iiwji, T9H- 

Ivcngar, F, X SaqiviM* Pre^Asym Tomil Cuttum^ Madiai, 1920* 

MacdoEcJI, A. Am ^eHi Mytbobjyp Soasburg. 1897. 

Manhall* Sir John* Moberfo^ra and the Indsts CiwiUzathn,^ 19JI. 
Momcr^WillLuiii. Sir Mfloier, ExU^as Thoo^be rmd Life in tndk, i8ij, 
MooTp E,, The InHon Pantheon, Madras* 1897+ 

Riilcy* FL R, Castes and Triks of BenpK 1891* 

Shivapaduuruiinim, S** Tie Sww Sdwil of HinAiimt 19 J4^ 

. ThuniQD, E, Castes W Tf/ki of Sainhefn IfflAk* Madras* 1909. 

Van, AL S.p Ecoiiiiftw at Harappa^ New Delhi* 1940. 

Whitchcadp Hm ViUa^ G*fr of South Indkt Oxford. ipitS- 




Alien* W., E. £** HiHiday^ T* Ilf HjiwffiV HymaSt 
Oadbcflt r9S<5. 

Eiiidiiun* W,, ufli &w(wi, Leipzig, 1911. 

Cook^ A. B., Zmt, CuDbndgr* 1914- 
Evani, Sir Aiihur, Ptlacg of Mhaj* 1921, vols. iii, hr. The Etflier 
ej GnKi iff the IJ^bt of Gretim Di^myrTk^f 19 J1; MyceitaciH Tm 
PiUtT Ciffc* ipoi. 

Fundi, Lp Cufi ef the Greek StMtei, vdIs. it II1 Oidufdp 1907; 

fl7jf£rr Apcffr of Creek 1912. 

Fouait, P., Izf Cnoidir Mfst^rtf Puii^ 1900* 

Fma^ J. C.p Tlf Golden Bov^h, pL v, 1914- 

Cntkicp W* K, C.p The Gfrdfci nnd Their Godi^ i9S0i Orpheus mi Greek 
Retf^hn, I P S 5 . 

Hantioi^ Themiff CAiniiddgCp 1912; Prob^\fmem io the Study of 
Cttek FUli^n^ Cainbddgc, 1922 (31^ ed,). 

Jimes* E* Oil Mytb md RJmtk the Ne^rEast^ 195S. 

KcanMiniccii;, Kr, Ebujis^ AiFcos* jgi 6 , 

Loibcek, CL A** AilufbMius^ Leipzig* 1829. 

MybiuSp G.p Hymns at Demeier and Her Sanetmry at Ebui>* Sf Loujfi 


NHiscinp M. Reh^iotu Lundp uid ed^ I9j0- 

Pmson* A. Hr Rili^on of Greece m PmlHSiorit HmeSt Caiifonsi^t 


Rhodei Pfyebe (E.T. by W. B. Hillij}^ 1915. 

Km, H* ^ Greek Myihob^t 19111 Greek 


WQLumtp B. PhiLddphk, 1908. 


Apulduft A^fiini? 7 p 80 jrf. 

Bailey^ C*^ Abuer k the ef AtimiU Raim, 1912. 

Bfand. J*t Pbpubr Aniifa^ of Crtai BnWrr. 1822-3. 
ChamberSp K,, Book of Dtyr, 18I61 
Coak, A. fi.p ZtMU Cambridge, 1914. 

Cumoatp F.* Tie OiicifAtf iff KtfJWiff Pe^sm, ipi r. 

Dyer, J* F. ThudetoDt Bridsh P^lnr Crnimr, 

Famdl, L. K., Cult of the Creek States, vnL ul, Odard, 1907* 

BiHiograpby 291 

Fram, Sir J, G*. The F^itf OvU j voli.* 1519; Gffiaifji &>si^h, pt ii* 
1911. i 

CinUDg^ J., and SiTong^ R A-* Ha Syrm C^Hesru 1913; LW a/ 

Ctaillcrfr H,, i> Ciricf i* Q-Wt^ Patifp lari 

HcpdiDgp R^ nine Mydan «rn ni/i CtoKn^ 1903+ 

Luctaii, Df Dn Synt. 

Macrnbtu&p Stiumaik. 

Maimhaidt, W., Axtikt Wetd^ uni Feldkitlte^ Berlin, tEjy. 

Plnurdi* de Iside it Qimie. 

Shnwmiuti. G.p Tfe Gnar M^fthereJ da G«& (Bulletfn of the Universiy 

of Wisconsin, iuck, 43, phiL and Ik. series, i* 3^ 1901). 

Toutain^ J-| Let Cvkts paom dam rmpirr Parii^ 1911^ 

Wissowa, Gh» RtH^kn tmd Kulim der RdmerM Mimichi 1902. 

Wright, A< Bfitisb Gakudar Cuitimi, tpjAp 


fiouun, W,* Haupipr&ikm Jer Gtads, GdEtmgni* 1907, 

CcccbcUi, Gp, Maar Chritd, Rome. 1946. 

DLehcmr, L-i Cbrisikn IVmbip (E.T. hf M. L. McCluct), 1912^ 
Fiyc, E, if Gwrifwr et^nestiaimit Pirit. 191J* 

Hippolyrm, Pthrltf/JiphiffiMii. 

Ircnacus, Adversaf Haenns, 

Lcggc. F.p FaJTnmflerr and RJimh af Cbnsdmky^ Ctmbridge, 191 j* 
Mcthodini, Sympaiium. 

Miqggc, G., The PrijiW Mary (ET. by W. Smith), 1955. 

Mura, E, La earps mystiqia da Ghrifi^ Paris, 1916^ 

PlumpCp J. C.p Matff Eeeleitat WashingEDn, 1943 p 

Ptumm, K., Dir cbriiilida Glauhi hh St ildaHniieha Wtih Lriprig, 193 

Ramsay, W.^ GtHei and ^thepria af Phry£tag Qjtfiifii, ii97« 

Rcjacnnriii, R.p FffiHunJnLt, Leipzig t^H- 

UscDcr, H.j RiBjhiu^ebidillida Unttrstuhun^n, pc. v Bonn, iiB9. 


Acsebybi, Tk Dmid^. 

OUinuchui, Hymut ^ CfrcfUM. 

Cook« A. B.« ZrWp Cambridge, 1914- 

19 ^ 

DumoiLp G.* Ojuvwi^K^rjwt, Padt^ 1914 - 
Endpidcs, BtfrffoTp CiTAiif. 

Ema^ Sir AiAnr, TBe fVJW voL ii!* f9Jo; Jl« Etrlkt RtV^ 

fl/ Grrftf hf At U^k iif Cittat Ditc&mkff I 93 r. 

L. ILf Cuh §f Ac Creek Si^j^ vok ik tv^ Odbek 1907^ 
Fnakfon, H., Stnt^ Ctkr)d§r Sc^b fiem Ac Dy^U Pj£i0r^ Oiicago* 
191 J- 

Ffa2ci» Sic C.* The Gi>t^ B»¥^b, pt^ ii| [911* 

Gumey, O- Tk 1952; Ait/mts Arckedfyy 4 rsi AnArep^h^t^ 

ijf UvttpDolt [940^ 

Guthek, W« PL Ofpbtvt ^ Greek 1911* 

Harriiotu J* E., Pr^lrymcjiM ihe Study $J Greek Rehjhft^ Cunbddge. 

Jaiiio« E. MyA W Ritml fn Ac Anaent Nm Best, X 9 jS^ 

Krappe^ A- H.^ Studes k mfA^b^ el iefiMfftt ^tmmifie^ Paditt 19^- 
Kilned* M- P-, Reh^t lud cd-i 1910. 



A Jfpw {dU typt m the for a t^i ^ the page numkf sf a 

lukrffctkn u^PT ribff athjra ii imstri a£ ^ami kn^. 

Abri Mtet, nuiked figure, ij 

Abydoi* ^udnn 41. 17 
Osmu cult at^ 57, X76 

Adaou iht Primil Miu, 191^ 197, 

Aditi, 113 ,126 

Ademis. 147* T64, 1157, 222 

Aegean figqmia, 12S 
A^istit, [<S2r 

Agni* Tuip 104 

Aliabp 7fl 

Ahnnt MAxda^ 97 T. 

Aluuj fnuViJ^ fhc» sxt 
Albd^tpW. E.p 24^ ifip* 287 
Aleyan^EaaU 76^ 235 
AJislur HiiyLitp (Tgimuci 2f^ 28 
AUea T. W_p 277^ 290 
AfUbaid, figurines 2% i&L 

Ambnuep Sl» 202, 209 

Amim.'Rc, ti5ir.p 68p 241 
Amndan (icnod^ 37 
AnakiUt 94S 
Anatp 69^, 2i5t 
Anau, 30 

Androgyny. 102* ififip 244r. 
Ankimnu^ j r7 

AmuincudGn, the feast of the. 
Ania. 77 

AnUp TQ 

Aphrodite. 77p idS, 14 ip 147. 176.^ 
183 f,. 249 

ApoUop r49p %66 
Apophisp 64 
AfHit, the. 2|7 
Apuldiii. T 77 * tSIp 279p 290 
Aiianifiiip 205 

Adnnip Suii^Dddcss cf^di^c^ iaC. 
88f.t 239 ^ 

AipachiyaK Tell. Figininei ai, 
2 J, 57. 2$7 

thnloi. 2t^ 4j 

Ancmii. 129. 140^ 150 ff., i68p 


Alyim, in Indiii. ioo£ 

Asbeahp dp. 7^,7^. 78, tn. 235 
A^Livnpcior^ tht fcasi uf the. 

Astaiodip 69. 7B (c£ Aiherah) 
Amiw, dp, 77f X 6 l, Id7, Tid 
Atargaikp id|, idi. 183 
Admudui. 205, 206 

AthenOi 140, i45ff. 

Atds, 141* 161 id4p ifid. 

171 . 185. 


AagiisdnCp SCp 201, 21 3 p 123 
Au^Sccinp Sir. 32, 109^ 2^3. 2B7 
Atmgnicun culture* the, 

22 (c£ Cravettun) 
the bered, 4rp 128^ 130,1331 


Baal (c£ Aieyani^Baal) 

BAdariJn Cgucmes. 17 
fidluchlstuL, %uniic5 in, 31 
Bamu Grande, grave giods in the 
«ve at* 16 
Banh, A.. 273. 289 
fidt Minurip Tell. %uriiics,t 24. 79 
Dotiardf S(* 200, 223 
Bedidi apE 

Eixthp the myitcry cT. 22 ^ 24,47 
Black matt, A. M.* 2fi7i 288 



381. 391 

the, xoji iiSC» ixj 
Bmscmpouy venui, ihc, 14, 
Breiacd, J. H., 367, 288 
Brcuili Abbe 4S, xm, 587 

Briiic, St,p fcASi of, M9 
Bhtonurdi, tjl 

Brutitoti, G., 287 
Bucnniuiii, the* 18, i45^-i 
Budge, £. 28S 

Bull, (be cub of the, in: 

Anitolix, 88 . l 6 i 
^gyp^ 58* *7 

CtPie, I ja, 14^ 

Indk, loa, iTi. X46 
Mdopotamu, 251, 246 
Miihutum, 95 
Ugaiitic tcjcn, 75 , 246 
Buig^, J.. 37+ 3.89 
Burkin, M. CL, 261 

Cak~dL£MAS, tbc tas of, ii7C 
Cumcl, unemuy on mounf, 78 
CavinDu, ^uac dc. ihdts tn, 1 j C 
Cetei (ct DetMecr) 

Childe, V. G., 265, iSj 
ChtyiDMom. St, 321 f 
Church, the, u ibe Bride of 
Christ, igif, t9(S, 198, 201C, 
258 f 

the Seetpud Eve, 197 (cf. Eve) 
Clcmenr of Alexandria, 197 
Cogul, Cbdlity %inci in cave oSt xt 
C otlyiidiam, the, 192, 214 
Combarellei, dancing seme in, 
17, ^$6 

Contnuu, 3 l&), 287 
Coot, A* B„ 274, 290, 291 
Cnm^oddeis, the, iiP, 230 (c£ 
Demexer and Kore) 

Cow, the goddess, 5BE, Oo, 24T 
in ipff, 241 
in Indu. T14C 
tn Ugiririr lero, 75, 2 j^ 

Cowrie shells, 16, 31 
Ctawfocdp O* Gi Sp, 257, 2161 
Crete, ixlfl". 

Ctooke,W-« 272£, 2S9 
Cttpnaar, f164* 371* 28® 

Cyprus, TlS 

CynU Sl, loyt 

Dances, fertility* PakeeilithiCi 

Greere, iftif. 

Haiappa, JJ 
India, 248 
May Day, iSp 
Rome, i7fF.* i8|f 
Phrygian, tOj, 170 
Dw S^rk, she* 183, 235 (c£ 


21 Bp 23Df, 231 
Dcudetah, 59. e jC 
Dhotme, Eh, 69 
OictaeiD cave, the, 134 
Diodoni2r T156 
Djpdysiac, nSj- 
DIonysLii, 143, 185, 247 
Doemdsm, :ia^L 
DovCp goddess cmblemp 411 8of ■ 
128^ III. T40, 184, 180, 210 
Duciu, the lacted (c£ Fcsdvali) 
Diavidians, in India, toof, t26 
Driver, G. IL, 267!., 2S8 
Duchesne^ L,, 215^ 281, 291 
DumeziL C., 284, 191 
Dumuzi, 48£, 90, 237, 240 
Chftga, 104* 109, 242 
Dtissaudp K., 270, 2S8 
Dyaus Pitar, idi, 11 iC, 2431 MS 

Ha (c£ Enki) 

Earthpgisddess (cf. Mothcr^rtb) 
Edfu, 03 If. 

Eileldiyia. 134 , 145 , 150 

El, 70,72£, 70* 215 



EUmiic goddess, 93 
Hlcphimine, goddos cuk^ 7a* 

Elcannian myKCncsv (he» 
the IcgendL isof. 
flijah* ^ 

Eliotf Sir C.^ 289 
Elmore,T,^ 271* 2*9 
Enki* 48r, aijil 
EDDcad, the Hetiopohaaii 55 
Enuim ellih, 52 

Ephesuif CoQndl oC the, 20jT* 
207, 209, list 

Epiphaiuii^ 2d[» 3o«, 214, 


Einhldg^l, 49C 

Ermin^ A*, 2*7,188 

Evans, A-, 41,130,13a, i|j. 140. 

246, 230,2fl j* 274^. ^* 7 . ^ 9 ° 
Eve, Primal Woman, the, Z93i 

FAKTreU-* L. R., 15s, 

Fertility chamts, 16* DanM (w 
Dancei and Fesivals) 
Fergnuon, 27*1 iB® 

Fcsdvali, S^sonal, 41C, 9^ 1^7* 
172L 187* Wi 339 
Figurines female, (c£ Vemvs] in 

Aegean, lyf 
AfpachiyaKt 23 
Baluchistan, 31 
Crete, 4 o£, 119 
Cyelad^ 39 
Cyprus, 17 
^gypt* 17 
£Lm, 3 o£, 93 
Ctictics Gttva, 46 
Hakt 25 
Harappo, 33 
Hassuna, 25 
Hisuh, 30 

Iberian, 44^ 

Malta, 4a 
Thessalian, 39 £ 

Zhd2 vafley* 31 
FiddL^ype, 38 
Owteyct. 3«- 4+ 15^ 

Fire^ahar, symbolisiD, 104^ 
Fiimictis Maicnmi, 189 
Forest Mother in India, rioft 
FiHican, P. 178, 290 
Franldbix, H., 246, 2^6, 166 , 2JI 
Ffierer, Sir J. G-, ac8, atj, 290, 

GaU-I, the, ifii t, 167,170 
Caistai^, J.p 29. S7 p KS2. 278, 291 
Gaiter, T* H., 71, Jit57£, iM 
Gawp. Tepe, 25 
Gaptd, no 
Get. 33 C, jlE, fi3 
Ghirshman, R., 27!, 28g 
GjDshcTg, H. L.. 268 
Giyan, Tepe, 29 

Cnofdc lecn, the, in Phrygi 2 , 
192 £ 

God. the Skydathtt in: 

Aiucolia, 87 
Canaan, ToC 
Egypt, ^ ^5® 

Greece, tflE, 248F, 2|8 
India, loi, ill 
Iwad, 258 
Mesopotamia, 49 
Cod. tl^ Young male god in: 
Ajuialia^ B7 
Canaan, 09ff'r 23e!£ 

Crete, IJ5. T18 

Hinppa, 14 

Inn, P4 

^(ttgpouinu, 47, 

Phrypa, l 6 i 

Cod'* Wt&, the, tD £grpt. 07 



Gocidcu cult, the, in: 

Aq^LLl, S4C 

Bronze Age, and Cbakolithic, 
i 4 li; 

CmMn, i35 
Chiiubjiiiy^ 192 
Crete, 11^^. 

Egypt* 54 *r‘ 

£km, 93 JT 
Greece, 164ff., 2]ot 
Hanppii i4ffr 
IndLif laifT 
Israel, tvF. 

M»D|xrumiA, 4Sir.. ^ip 212E 

Ncolithk, 12^ 47 



Syria, iSjC, 234 
Gordon, C, H., 

Coumu* i2fl, 130 
Giaillof, H., 2 Sq, 291 
Grama^devata, the, 115, 242 
Giaveimn culture, ibe, nf.. 16, 
2of., 22f.p 237 
Cray, J., 2 * 59 . 2Z9 
Gregory of Touri* iii 
Cujimv^ the, 53 

Gticney, O. R., 270, 271,289 
Guthne, W. IC C+, 285* 290, 292 

Hadau, lajC, 187 

Hagia Tmda, laitophagui, thcp 


Halaf, Teih the, 25, 245 
Hall, H- R., 27 
Haniuhanna, go, 166, 240 
Haiappa^ culitite, the, ijf, 9p£, 

Hamion, J* £., t |t* 277, 290, 191 
Haisutu, Tell, 25 
Hathor, 5gC*6j. 150.170, 241 
Katshepsiit, 6$C 

Ha^^kc^ C- F. C, 203^ 2I7 
Hcbar« £ 9 , ajsiF 

Helube, [51* 168 
H^opolu, 56,241 
Hcpding, H.p 279, 191 
Hera, 144 £, 249 
Hetodotui^ III 
Herz^Jd, E. R, 271, 2Sp 
HjcrakoDpalu, f^g^rincs at, 37, tSi 
Hilaria, the, E 7 afn, 191 
Hippolymi, 159, ipit. 219 
tilsur, 30 

Kittitc goddess, the, 85IH 
Honji, S 4 f* ijff: i9. 174* 

ZW, 2 ^iL 

Hoso and the Goddess cult, 82C 

TAcaiQS« 1 jS, I59i 2[8 
THaean Mother, the (jw Magna 
Mater, Kybde) 
nluyaidui, dragem, 92 
Immonaliry, JTjIi, 179C 
Irunna'lshEai, 480*., 52, a|7 
Tneamation, the doctiiiic of the, 
202,2*35, 109 * 2i«, aif p 238 
Lndra, tia 

Indus valley dviliunoti, the, lafT. 

(see Haiappa) 

Lrcnacui, r93, 196, 204£ 

Iihaip 40, 89, 94 p in :217* ^1^- 
242, 256 

Isis, lof, 59£, 174^1, 241 
of ■'maiify tiamei\ Oif, 174£, 
l 79 £p 

myicertei, the, 175!!'., 242 

Jalo Paxko, 122 
Jemdet NaiTp £guriiiGs u, 28 
Jaemkh aiid the godden cult. Hi 
JoskK lefommiotii the, 81 ff. 
Junker, f-L. 60, 267^ 2a S 

Kau, 104,142* 244 
Kapetmd, A., 268, 2S9 
Khoodst the samBcie to the Earth 
goddett, 24 j£ 

Kin^ the i^esai jn: 


Egypf. 54C flsCpifif 

Mesopotimk* jIaja 


KddssoIp ^tincs 40 ult, 
ihttDC itp las^ 

Kure, t 53 ;f,, iii, 


Kotybautes the^ rtf 1 
X^miKS, thc^ t^z 
Kouioiintu* K-» 177, al 8 
KramcTp S, N-* aSfl 
Kxkhna, iCMf, ii8f, 

Kionosp r4Jtf., 1491153 
Kubaba, ttftf 
KiiUi cultuiCp tbcp J5 

Kybcitp 41^ ^Sp i4ijp 151, 

itfiff^p i8j, iBff* 111, a52£ 

Lakshmi, lOtft 
Langdon. S.* 47. itftf* 288 
LaTKhc, E., 170,1*9 
Liugtzic/Bisse, cowtki at, ifi 
Lauguric-'l-LLutc^ pebbld it, io 
Liussel, T5t 17 
Lci £yzlc$, rtf t 
Les Trou Fiire% i* 

Levy* G, Rpp 287 
Lourd^ masked figurts itp 17 
Kotre Dime dc, 3.24 
Ltidin ofScimositi, iSi£ 

Ludusp i77£ 

Lucretius, 170C 
Luperalia, thcp ijI 
Luqueti C. I-L, 2 <^l* 1*7 

MatBaixoka, 89. 151^ itfiC, 

183 fn, 140 

Mackay, E. J., n, jsj f., 157 

Micriobiuit 1S4 

Midotmi, the. 114, loi fC, 115, 

JtjaC 17H1, 

May<ifinda* iio 

Migdilmian cukurCp the, 17^ 20 
Magna Muct, the, 9tf, 161 ff., 
isc^, rfij* iStf, 191, 194,101, 

Milinowiki, B,, is, itfi, 2*7 
Mallowinp M, E L, 14, itfi, 1B7 
Minim, itp£ 

Miimhircb* W.p 151 
Mirduk, 55\ 52, 70,117 
Mimige* the iicrcd iiu 
Ajutnlu, 35£. 

Cinain, 74C 
Chndinity, 198 
Egypt, aj 6tf 
Gicsecc, i4jp 148, 159 
Isdu* 111 fL 
May Qu«ii* 190 
Metopotamii, ji, 53 
MuihalL Sir J., 34, ifiiC, 187 
Mary the Vtigin, i&i C (jk 
M adomu) 

AniuitrdatiDn to, J04r, 110, 

Auumpdofi uC 103,114£ 

Bride of ChttB, loj 
Chtitches dcdicatfid to, iiofT 
Conception i5£ loj, iiz£, 155 
Culms of; 203 1 , au£* 
ill. ^7 

Fescxvils of. 1141!:, 154C 
Iconognphy of lo^il 
PuiiSmtian ai7C 
TheocokoSp 106^ uj 
Vicgitiity of ioi£, lotf 

Mill* itj, iitf 

Miter dninrou, the. 134£, i8o 
Mater codeua, the* I9il£> 109 
Maternal piiibdpk, ihCp 13,12, jtf^ 
41, tfi£, 114, T3J, 174, r*3, 
191 £. iipp 144(^1 ^ 5 ^ lii 

Midiioittu. ii8£ 

Mairiaircby* 2i3C, 145 
May Day cusonn, tbsE, 117 
May Qucei4 the, 190 


Mcmp^ii. 5*, fii, 77t 175 
Mcno, 54 

Mcnhit^OKik 45 (/et Filkr aili) 
Menion civek iIm, 14C 
Mcmx, S. A. B., 26^, iflS 
Micoui goddcti, chc^ 151^ 

Minos, 151, 3415 
Miehm, 95 £, 97r., tflo, zzt 
Mi£pch| icxnpla dt, So 
MohctijcnJirOp 3±£ 

MonjunisHt thf, e^Zi [94^ 
Moortgdt^ A.« 166 , zSS 
Mnct, J67, 281 
Mother<anh, 47, 58, 90,98^ mi, 
iizfi, ttj, izqf.p IZ4, 12&, 
129, 192, Z2S, i^ol, 131£ 
Mo(hcf''goddess, tfaCp in: 

Anainlidj 84^ 

Cinun, 69^1 
Oulcolithic pedodp 24 
Egypt, jaE 
CxcM, I4 e£p ijo 
Tndii, 112, II]24£ 
Mnopounm, 47E 
Minun Ciru^ 41, izSC 
Neolidiic period^ zz, 47 
Mnuniain^athef, the, 134^., 150 
Miinay, M. A-, 2<SC 
Mycmae. 152L, 135* 140 
Mylotus, G., 277, 290 

Naassnes, thf» 192 E 
Nzbu^ 51 
Nznz, ifii, liJist 
Niiuizr 94£ 

Kindi, 102 

Kdiivny, the Fm of the, 211,216^ 


Ndthp 60, 241 

Nephihyv 56 

New Yeir Cbrivai, the (av 

Nicaci, tlw CouodI aC 2x15,107 

KiooLiitiiu, eht, 192, [94 
Nilsson, M- P** 136^ 142, 153, 
*66, iJO, 274. 377- 384. 

Ninhunag, 48, 90, 24D 
Nmlilp 23J, 242 
Kitxmd. 481 90, 240 
Kuo, J6 

Nm, j8, 60, 67^ 241 

OBERliAKN, J.. 77, 169, 289 
Otnopliagia* the* 247 
Omphalof, the, 249C 
OrixLKp 209, 211 
Origen, m, 205* 222 
Otpbiies, the, 19 i loi 
Osirii* S4f., $6, 62,174i ITS* 2Zi, 

OuiZDUSp 230f 

Ovid* 170 

OwUeyed goddess, the 38,44,256 

Palus, S. a., 266^ 2Sa 
Parvaci, 124 
Puupaii, 15* 126 
Peddaioim, 117 
Pedersen, J.p iji 

PoKphaDCp 147, t54f.p 17S (at 

Ptroofi* A.W*t las* 275, 290 
PemE, Sir Fluidfn, 17, 264, 287 
Phallic synboli, 18, 21, 22, 26, 
2B,31 p i&i, lS3fp230 

Phmoh (at King, Hgypt) 
Phoenix, the* 56 
Pi^esft, 32*263^265, 287 
Pillar cull, the, 133C 
Folemmma, ii6£ 

Plomon, 154, 159 
Plumpc, J, G„ 282* 291 
Plutarch, 179, 266^ 2S0, 291 
Pliflo, 154, tj6 
Plljlpad, 104, 125 
Prahreri, 102, iij 



pQCltCIKS, 6S (JH G<ld*lWit) 
Pdilul Mad ajidWanun^ f 
(w Aihmt E^Ht) 

PtEtduid, J. B.p 

Pdihivi. loi E, 111£, 111, i43 ^ 145 
Procacwion* nciul, Sif. 

PtaJ], 5^, €q 
Pumpelli^ ILr idh 1B7 
PuTulli ibdval, the, «2 

Pumiha, lqi2j 245 
Q£D&SfnMi S2E 

Qiicca of Haven the* in liiael, Si 
Chrisdanity, 2.^1^ 256 

Rama, idtiE, loi 
Rjinuy^W,, 291 
JUa Sluoun (we Ugadt) 

Rr, 64 
Rc^Atum, y6 
Re^Harakhte, 57 

RLa, 134* x4iCp T45, idi, idj, 
lad, 151 

Rig^xdi, the, 99C, naE* 
ii5j lid 

Ritual expem, 19^ ao 
Rose, R J.p 144, 275 . 275* W 
Rudra, 110^ la^ 

Saivism, 101 Ep tD9t 1X4* 

loafp tijp XfaE 

Sum Mam tn Aia CmU* churuh 
qE 112 

Saiua Maria Maggioce, church of, 
3TO* aia, 21 j, 2S4 
Suavuti, i09r 
Samnuiia* the* fto* 175, aai 
SducfcTp C. F, A.* ^ jit -fi7» 

Schmidt* E F*, Ida. 2S7 
Sekhmet, 77 

Sciapiip 61, 174!!^, tTp, iSi 

Sch* 54, iS. < 5 fi. 174 
Setbe, IC* ad 7 t aSS 

ShuDu* SdE* 

Shaihthi* 114 
Shiva* %y[c of, 35 
god, the, jaiEp ia7pi44 
Shuwainajv G.p 17P* 291 
Sulk* tepc, 29 
Sita* id7C 
SitaU Ekvip 116 
Sahmean cuUure, th^ aoE 
Sophodm, 224* 292 
Siuke^oddcsx, the, 119C 
rmim at Kiuiboi, 130 
cult of the goddess. I9|£ 
syrnboliim. 119 if.* 193 
5t^ Sir Aurtip 32, top, zej, 187 
Strabo* t<Sti 371 
Sutabhip 125 
Survivals* 226 
Sou* figuiiiiei Up |0| 94 

TammiiZi 43* joflE, jaEp 70, uip 
147, 167* 237 * 
litmgicsp S<^ 

TaurDbolhiin, the, 163^, iS| 
Tavimnna* the* Ij, 259 
TdipioQ mydip the, po t* 240 
Tut^liaii, 19 205 

Teihub* set* 259* 246 
Theotokos* E&miine of ihe* 203* 
205p 306 

Thermi, ligoHw at* |S 
ThcoiiopbotLa* the* 156 
Thunfoup E, E.p 273* 289 
Tumai* jo£ 

Tobicr* J>* zdif 2S7 
Toutain* J.p 2Eo^ 291 

the sexuaU 30^ 37^ 19 
Tra cult* the* ijaft 
Triptolmmip ijd* i jj* 131 
Troy, Gguiioci u* 3 l£ 

Tsattntiip 131 

Tuc tfAudouben* buoa in cave 
of, 17C 

Typbci 174 




UCAMTic tc 3 ctv the* fisSl, i 3 $ 
Umit tojfT. 109 
Undaworldt the, 49, 72 
Ut* f^unoci at, 26 ^. 

Umk, 29 

Vaishhavtte cnltui^ lofl, lai 
Van Buroi, A. E, D*, ail 

Vaiiiiia,97« lOj^ lia, 

Vats, ^ ^64, a£g 
Vcdic tms, the, 99 Et 
Y emuo, 13C, ai, 37 * 4^ (^w 

Vcrrwuit R-, atst, A 
VtUa^ goddesses, 10 India, 115C 
Vitaj, 114 

Vtfgin binh, ihc doctrine of the, 

Virollcltid, M,, T^t 
Vidintt, ipolF., no 

Warka, period^ the* wjt 
%inneiai, 17 

Whitehead, W., 119* 17 I, 189 
WillcDdotf veoiH, the. 14, ij? 
Williiini, fi. 174^ ^ 
Wissowa, 291 
WiBemitz rauUh the, 14,137 
Wd^t, A* 191 

Yak«th and Baili 79^- 
and cemsott, 

Vazilikaya4 laoctnaiy, SjC^ 139 

Yam, 71 

Yop figure, 35 

Tanf Stones, 16, toa 

Yoot^ god, the, B7,95 (see Cod) 

Ytim^ icpc, 29 

Zagieus, 147 
Zammit, T., 265* 2SI 
Zwy 111* i|[|i4aK, 144(1,151 
Zhob Valley* %iidnci in, the. 

Zi^nd^, 81 tmul i^idtudw) 


'Archaeologfcal Library, 


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