صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

The Lunar Phases.


X. The Old Moon. Ultima phasis.

The epithets menoeides, corniculata, and the like, apply to any crescent phase of the moon. During the first half of its course the moon is Selênê auxanominê, Luna crescens, the Waxing moon; during the last half, Selênê phthinousa, Luna decrescens, senescens, the Waning moon. As the Crescent-moon is nearest the Sun, so it is the crescent-moon that is represented with the young sun in its arms; 2 and the crescentmoon is also the mother of the old moon and of the fuil moon. This is shown in the east window of Herringfleet Church, Suffolk, where the crescent surrounds the full invisible moon, in the circle of which is the face of an angel. The Unicorn-goat » during the first half of its career bounds forward from the sun, at which and the earth it looks back, and hence is regardant; during the second half of its career it bounds back towards the sun, looking round to the point whence it has begun to return.4

The lunar phases received the greatest attention from Babylonian and Akkadian observers; but we are not yet in a position to formulate results, as in the case of the Classical languages. Every position and alteration was more or less portentous, the system of portents being founded on the triple basis of (1)

Cf. W. A. I., III. lviii. 5: The Moon the Sun overtook, and with it had lingered. (It is) horned' (ap. Prof. Sayce in T. S. B. A. iii. 212)..

2 Vide Lenormant in Chaldean Magic, Device on back; Inman, Ancient Faiths, ii. 261, 325; Moor, Hindu Pantheon, pl. ii. Sectarial Marks; inf. sec VIII.

3 Vide Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, vi. 459; vide also sec. III. No. XIV.

4 Vide sec. III, No. III.

[ocr errors]


actual natural incident, (2) anthropomorphic analogy, or (3) synchronous occurrence. The left horn' and “the right horn' of the moon are both mentioned, but it is also described as having, like the Unicorn, a single horn. Thus we readIna ri-ib Karnu 1 STY la ikh-khi-rav. Owing to rain, the Horn was not visible.'? Another passage states, ' Venus is in the ascendant; and (is) on the Horn of—'3 Prof. Sayce supplies the Sun.' Rather, I think, the Moon.? Again,— A dark cloud covered the Horn.'4 Again,• the moon in its horn like the stars is white.'5 The Crescent-moon is called Karunu, · Horned.'

1 The ideograph shows the horned cap of the early Babylonians. Karnu, Heb. keren, which reappears in the Gk. KRoNos, for KaRNos (“There is no such being as Kpóvos in Sanskrit.'—Professor M. Müller, Selected Essays, 1881, vol. i. 460), Apollôn-Karneios, etc., singularly resembles the Lat. cornu, Eng. horn, as the Gk, keras does the Heb. keren; but Semitic and Aryan words must not be allied without the most stringent proofs. .? W. A. I. III. li. I, ap. Prof. Sayce. 9 T. S. B. A. iii. 199.

4 Ibid. 226. 5 Ibid. 297.



With the lunar phases is closely connected the mysterious goddess, Hekatê, “the-Far-shooting,' whose Aryan name, like the epithets Hekatos, Hekatebolos, Telephos, Telephassa, etc., describes 'the far-reaching action of the solar or lunar rays.'1 Unmentioned in the Homerik Poems, she appears before us in the pages of Hesiod ? as an august figure, daughter of Perses 8 and Asteria, the starlighted splendour of space, honoured above all by Zeus and the other gods although a Titanic being of a race earlier than the completed Pantheon of Olympos. Sole-begotten, a survival of the fittest, endowed with a triple dominion in earth, sea, and heaven, she sits in the seat of judgment beside kings, crowns whom she will with victory in war and in the gaines, grants wealth and honour, is patron of riders and mariners, and is generally Kourotrophos, ha Nursing-mother.' This remarkable personage, whose character seems more complicated than that of an ordinary Aryan divinity, and who receives the . Rev. Sir G. W. Cox, Introd. 66. Theogonia, 409–52.

3 Vide secs. VII. XII. subsec. 3.

utmost respect from the race of Zeus to which she does not belong, presents a striking analogy with the august Moon-god of the Euphrates' Valley, solebegotten amongst the stars that have a different birth,' wise and ancient ruler of the sea, connected with growth, with the horse, and, as we shall see, with the Unicorn, and in some way or other of a triple character; Hesiod gives her dominion in earth, sea, and heaven, whilst others give her sway in heaven, earth, and underworld. True she has received an Aryan name, and in accordance with the lunar feelings of the Greeks, is represented as a goddess; but these circumstances are by no means conclusive on the question of her origin. I am unable, however, to pursue the enquiry here, suffice it to draw attention to the parallel. The cult of the goddess appears to have entered Greece from the direction of Thrakê.

The very important element of triplicity is a remarkable link between the Euphratean Moon-god, Hekatê 2 and the Unicorn. The Moon-god Sin, as we have seen, is represented by the three tens from the natural circumstance that his course was completed in

[ocr errors]

1 Cl. Paus. II. xxx. 1.

2 • Tergeminam Hecaten, tria virginis ora Dianae' (Vergil, iv. 511). According to Pausanias, ' Alkamenes (cir. B.O. 420] first made for the Athenians the statue of Hekatê with three bodies joined in one' (Paus. II. xxx. 1). There was also a 'three-handed Hekatê' (Sir G. W. Cox, M. A. N. i. 370). The statue of Alkamenes was not unanthropomorphic, but three female figures addorsed (vide G. D. M. i. 426), like the example given by Montfaucon (vol. i. pt. i. pl. xc. fig. 5), and frequently since reproduced.

3 Sec. IV.

· Hekate.

about thirty days. This is one aspect of his triplicity, and tends to bring his trigonic phase into greater promi. nence; but he was also regarded by the Babylonians as having a threefold movement, 'one in longitude, one in latitude, and one in an orbit,'' and here is a second aspect of triplicity. But ere men calculated the course of the moon, or considered its real or supposed different movements, they observed the orb itself, and noticed its three phases or forms—Crescentmoon, Half-moon, and Full-moon. •Cum tribus pingebatur, faciebus, inquit Cleomedes, quia veteres tres in luna figuras observabant, bicornis scilicet lunae, mediae et plenae.'? In the Argonautika, a poem of late date, but to which in common with numerous other apocryphal productions the name of Orpheus 4 has been attached, Hekatê Triformis appears as Horse, Dog, and Snake. Sir G. W. Cox connects the Horse with the Full-moon, the Snake with the Waxing-moon, and the Dog with the Waning-moon; but, whilst this connexion is anything but obvious, another view of these phases will I think be admitted to be the correct one. And here let me call special attention to one of the most venerable relics in England, a drawing of a portion of which forms the Frontispiece of this Monograph, namely, the ivory horn of Ulf

1 Prof. Sayce, in T. S. B. A. iii. 147.
? Montfaucon, vol. i. pt. i. p. 152.
3 V. 975 et seq.; vide Sir G. W. Cox, M. A. N. ii. 142.

4 Probably 'the Vedic Ribhu or Arbhu, a name which seems at a very early period to have been applied to the sun' (Sir G. W. Cox, Introd. 191 ; cf. R. B. Jr., G. D. M. i. 10).

« السابقةمتابعة »