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to remind the reacler here that dark groves were sometimes sacred to Hekatê, as e.g., near Lake Avernus in Lower Italy.1 Black female lambs were also offered to the goddess.?
It is evident that this triple-moon-phase, Unicornhorse, Serpent and Dog, familiar alike to the artist of the Horn and to the writer of the Argonautika (not to mention others), is of a high antiquity. Hekatê has a triple power in • Hesiod,' the Euphratean Moon-god is equally connected with triplicity; 8 but the chief point in the present investigation is that the Unicorn, whom we have seen in Babylonian art in the closest connexion with the lunar power, is shown by this venerable Horn to be beyond all contradiction the undoubted emblem of the crescent-moon.
Elsewhere I have observed, “Hellenik divinities whose shapes are grotesque, monstrous or unhuman, are invariably not indigenous. Apparent exceptions to this canon, such, for instance, as the Horseheaded Dêmêtêr of Phigaleia, or the Arkadian Pan, on careful examination, serve only to confirm it.' 4 After noticing the Four-faced Karthaginian Baal,'
i Vide A. S. Murray, Manual of Mythology, 78. 9 Plutarch, Quaest. Rom. xlix.
3 If the three-headed Lion-god of Meroe (vide Rawlinson, Herod. ii. 35), who has four arms (vide my remarks on the four-armed Lakedaimonian Apollón, G. D. M. i. 359 et seq.) be solar, we should have an instance of solar triplicity also. The Triform Hekatê appears at times on Roman lamps (vide Birch, Ancient Pottery, 507, 511. As to these representations of the goddess, vide also Petersen, Archaeologisch-epigraphische Mittheiliungen aus Oesterreich, vol. iv. pt. ii.).
4 G. D. M. i. 359. In this work I have examined many instances of unanthropomorphic divinities which appear in Hellenik regions.
the solar Time-king in his four changing seasons, I remarked ;
“In the Kerameikos, at a place where three ways met, stood a four-headed Dionysiak statue, the work of the sculptor Telesarchides. It has been frequently said that Hekatê and Hermes derive their occasional triplicity, and other unanthropomorphic adjuncts, from presiding over places where three roads met and the like. But although in later times these ideas were to some extent connected, and though the statue of a tri-kephalik or tetra-kephalik divinity might indeed with much propriety be erected where three or four roads met; yet the previous supposed character of the personage would occasion the act, the idea of many heads would not spring from that of cross-roads. That the heads in origin were quite independent of the roads, is well shown in the instances before us, in which a four-headed god presided where three ways met.'1 Other epithets of Hekatê, such as Trioditis,2 Triceps, Tergeminus, Trivia, etc., require no further remark; and with the degradation of the goddess, the process by which she at length becomes a demon-witch, culminating in the Shaksperian Hekatê, I am not here concerned, nor in the present investigation can I refer further to the Moon-dog.
MEDOUSA THE GORGÔ.
FROM the Triple-moon and the Unicorn-horse-moon I pass on to the Serpentine-full-moon, the victim of the solar Perseus, another version of the oft-recurring story. Careful study of the Homerik Poems reveals the intrinsically archaic nature and high antiquity of the majority of their ideas, and in the consideration of any mythic personage a passage in Homer, if available, almost always supplies an excellent startingpoint. It is generally, but not quite accurately stated that · Homer knows only one Gorgo.' The passages are as follows ;
"On it [the aigis of Athenaiê] was a Gorgeian head of a dreadful portent.' 1
• Hektor, having the eyes of a Gorgô.'2
An awful-looking Gorgô ’3 was the device upon the shield of Agamemnôn.
Odysseus fears “lest Persephoneia from Hades should send a Gorgeian head of a dreadful portent.'4 From these passages we gather :
1 Ilias, v. 741. The phase decvoio nelúpov occurs again in the same connexion (Od. xi. 634). It is not necessary to render newp'monster.' The essential meaning of the word is 'portent (cf. Il. ii. 321: néhwpa Dewy, portents sent from the gods'). That which is portentous is often monstrous, the appearance of monsters being particularly connected with the anger of heaven.
2 II. viii. 349. 3 Ibid. xi. 36. 4 Od. xi. 634-5.
1. That whilst there was certainly one Gorgô, there may also have been others.
2. That its eye constituted the chief terror of the
3. That this appearance, originally portentous, 2 became, or was considered to be, monstrous.3
4. That, though having a bright eye, it is connected with Darkness and the Underworld. And
5. Was used heraldically as arms upon a shield.
Fick would connect the obscure word Gorgô with the European root garg, 'to cry,' and compares the Sk. garj, “to emit a deep sound ; ' 4 but the idea of sound is so truly out of place in the myth (a circumstance which we are bound to consider), that I am compelled to reject this derivation. I had deemed the term as possibly an intensive variant of orgê,
natural impulse,' primarily “swelling' (first physics, then meta-physics), as applied to the swollen, fullfaced Moon; for from Homer alone it is not very
1 Cf. the prominent unicorn-eye (sec. III. Nos. V. XIII. XXX).
"As when the sun new risen
Paradise Lost, i. 594-7. 3 As Hekatê.
4 Wörterbuch, i. 565. A g sound appears to have been considered suitable to express the increasing, rounded (cf. yoyyódos), humpbacked gib-bous-moon. In Akkadian gub means to wax' as the moon (vide R. B. Jr., Language and Theories of its origin, 1881, sec. xvi. Occult Imitation).
difficult to gather that Gorgô=Luna. But the detail of a myth is the true test by which to try various etymologies of the name of its protagonist, especially when in the abstract several distinct derivations appear to have an almost equal claim to acceptance. Now the Gorgon-power (as will more fully appear)=Nocturnal-darkness + Moon, not darkness merely or the moon merely. Darkness, it will be remembered, is frequently like Chaos) depicted in monstrous form ; but especially is it a Devourer or Swallower. The Proto-Aryan root gar, 'to swallow, gulp,' appears in the intensive form gargar, the Gk. variant of which would be Gorgô, the earliest form of the word in that language. Gorgô is “the Swallower,' the devouring darkness which has a bright head—the Moon, a head capable of being cut off. Hence the combined beauty and horror (hideousness) of the Gorgô, a hideousness which does not arise in the first instance from the lunar-serpent-rays, and hence the open mouth, so marked a feature in the Gorgoneion and one not in the least lunar. Mr. Dennis observes ;
•The most remarkable type on the coins of Populonia is the Gorgoneion; not here “the head of the fair-cheeked Medusa ” 3_
“A woman's countenance with serpent locks," as it is represented by the sculptors of later Greece
1 Vide my remarks on the unique Etruscan demon Tuchulcha (R.M.A. Appendix D) whose enormous open beak="the jaws of vacant darkness' (Tennyson, In Memoriam, xxxiv.).
? Fick, Wörterbuch, i. 70; vide R. B. Jr., R. M. A. sec. xix. The Law of Reduplication.
3 Pindar, Pyth, xii. 28.