In speaking of the various beliefs relative to plant life in a previous chapter, we have enumerated some of the legends which would trace the origin of many plants to the shedding of human blood, a belief which is a distinct survival of a very primitive form of belief, and enters very largely into the stories told in classical mythology.
A great part, not only of the heathen mythology, but of the Jewish Scriptures, are supposed to refer to it.
In classic mythology the bucentaur was half man and half ox.
In many cases a striking similarity is noticeable, showing a common origin, a circumstance which is important to the student of comparative mythology when tracing the distribution of religious beliefs.
At any rate the tree of the world, and the greatest of all trees, has long been identified in the northern mythology as the ash tree, a fact which accounts for the weird character assigned to it amongst all the Teutonic and Scandinavian nations, frequent illustrations of which will occur in the present volume.
SEE Ferguson, John C. Chinese mythology.
And hence the necessity of that new revelation which Jesus declared amid the moral ruins of a crumbling world, by which alone can the debasing superstitions of India and the godless materialism of China be replaced with a vital spirituality,even as the elaborate mythology of Greece and Rome gave way before the fervent earnestness of Christian apostles and martyrs.
Ugaritic mythology: a study of its leading motifs.
Vol.2: Eddic mythology.
The Sleep and Death of the Homeric mythology were naturally gentle divinities,sometimes lifting the slain warrior from the field of his fame, and bearing him softly through the air to his home and weeping kindred.
Life is a dream between two slumbers; sleep is death's twin-brother; night is the shadow of death; death is the gate of life:such is the mysterious mythology wrought by the sculptor of the modern world in marble.
By their conversation and familiar remarks, I observed that they were habitually under the influence of their peculiar mythology and religion.
FINGAL or FIONN, the great hero of Gaelic mythology, represented by OSSIAN (q. v.) to have ruled over the kingdom of Morven, which may be said to have been then co-extensive with Argyllshire and the West Highlands; in ballad literature he is represented as belonging also to Ireland.
I shall quote a few of these stories as told by early authorities, not adding anything to relieve their crude simplicity, and then I will see whether, when submitted to the test of linguistic analysis, this unpromising ore does not yield the pure gold of genuine mythology.
That was the reason for this mad joy-ride from end to end of the German Empire, and that is the only apology which the author has to make for introducing the latest contributions to Germanic mythology into an otherwise serious work.
SEMIRAMIS, legendary queen of Assyria, to whom tradition ascribes the founding of Babylon with its hanging gardens, and is said to have surpassed in valour and glory her husband Ninus, the founder of Nineveh; she seems to have in reality been the Venus or Astarte of the Assyrian mythology.
There is no doubt that human victims, and even young maidens, were offered to these snake-gods; even the sunny mythology of Greece retains horrible traces of such customs, which lingered in Arcadia, the mountain fastness of the old and conquered race.
The student of Vergil should rather remember how great was the need of that age for some practical philosophy capable of lifting the mind out of the stupor in which a hybrid mythology had left it, and how, when Platonic idealism had been wrecked by the skeptics, and Stoicism with its hypothetical premises had repelled many students, Epicurean positivism came as a saving gospel of enlightenment.
Nothing moved in those gloomy, waste poems whose impassive mythologies ended by finally leaving him cold.
A friend, writing to me from Italy, speaks thus of Botticelli, and of the painters associated with him: "When I ask myself what it is I find fascinating in himfor instance, which of his pictures, or what element in themI am forced to admit that it is the touch of paganism in him, the fairy-story element, the echo of a beautiful lapsed mythology which he has found the means of transmitting."
PSYCHE (i. e. the soul), in the later Greek mythology the youngest of three daughters of a king, and of such beauty as to eclipse the attractions and awake the jealousy of Venus, the goddess of beauty, who in consequence sent Cupid, her son, to inspire her with love for a hideous monster, and so compass her ruin.
It has been occasionally difficult to decide whether some of the allusions, to minute points in ancient history, mediæval mythology, and contemporary politics, should be explained or left alone; but I have preferred to err on the side of giving a brief clue to details, with which every scholar is familiar.
THE RELIGION OF SCIENCE Science also as a religion, as a faith to bind men together, as a substitute for the moribund old mythologies and theologies which kept them sundered, is commencing to be talked of in a more serious tone.
It was this capacity of the Epicurean philosophy to free the imagination, to lift man out of a trivial mythology into a world of infinite visions, and to satisfy man's curiosity regarding the universe with tangible answers that especially attracted Romans of Vergil's day to the new philosophy.