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often complain of the fetters of language. But in the early stages of language, during which mythology first arose, the powers of nature were conceived as active and therefore as powerful agents, and, when the question of sex arose, as masculine. That masculine character, however, became prominent and outspoken only when agents, distinctly female, were placed by their side. Whenever that happens, whenever we have a female representative of a natural phenomenon by the side of a male representative, the male may almost always be taken as the earlier form.
Dyaus, as a masculine. To give an instance. Professor Gruppe (p. 79), to whom the identity of Zeus, Jovis, O.H.G. Ziu (gen. Ziwes) with the Vedic Dy aús is evidently a great stumbling-block, as proving a common belief in a supreme deity before the Aryan Separation, tries to minimise the consequences which follow from this equation by suggesting that in Sanskrit this name was originally a feminine and meant heaven, and that each nation might afterwards have changed the appellative word for heaven into a proper name and the name of a god. He evidently did not observe that in the Veda dyu is first of all a masculine, while in later Sanskrit only it becomes exclusively a feminine. In the Rig-veda forms derived from the base dyu are always masculine, forms derived from the base div are masculine in the singular, in the plural feminine, while forms derived from base dyo or d y a v may be masculine and feminine. If, however, we examine the passages in which dyauh is feminine in the singular, we shall find that in all of them dyauh
means the real sky, mentioned either alone (VI. 17,9), or together with the earth (I. 22, 3, 57, 5; V. 54, 9; VIII. 40, 4); or together with earth and sky (X. 60, 71). Wherever Dyaus occurs, not as the visible sky, but as a power, as active or personal, he is always masculine, he is pitâ, the father, by the side of the earth, as mother; he is the father of the Dawn, of Agni, of the two Asvin (day and night), he is in fact Zeus and Jupiter. The sky was conceived as active and as masculine before it sank down to a mere name of the sky, which then, by the analogy of the names for earth, dwindled down to a feminine. The facts therefore are the very opposite of what Prof. Gruppe supposes or wishes them to be.
The mere naming of the sky as an active power, or even as a masculine, might be called a matter of language only, not yet of mythology. But you will see how facile the descensus is from such a word to an incipient myth, nay even to religious ideas. We have watched the origin of Zeus in the Veda, where Dyaus, the same word, is clearly the bright, the warming, the cheering, the enlivening sky, and where Dyaush pitâ, Heaven-father, shows us one of the first steps in Aryan mythology. Remember that this Dyaush pitar is the same as the Greek Ζευς πατήρ, and the Latin Jupiter, and you will see how this one word shows us the easy, the natural, the almost inevitable transition from the conception of the active sky as a purely physical fact, to the Father Sky with all his mythological accidents, and lastly to that Father in heaven whom Aeschylus meant when he burst out in his majestic prayer to 'Zeus, whosoever he is.' 1 On the passage X. 63, 3, see M. M., Rig-reda Sanhitâ, vol. i. p. 249. LECTURE XVI.
N EXT to language as such, it is myth or mythology
W which supplies us with materials for the study of Natural Religion.
The outline of the genealogy of languages which I gave you in some of my former lectures will be equally useful for the genealogy of mythology. It will in fact be the chief object of this and the next following lectures to show that what we call myth is a natural and inevitable phase in the development of language; that in its initial stages that phase showed itself before the different languages belonging to the same family had become finally separated, and that therefore, besides much that is peculiar to each, we find in all a common fund of mythology which we may look upon as the earliest stratum likely to contain the germs of religious thoughts.
If we use myth and mythology synonymously, we have the authority of Greek writers for doing so, for mythology (uvooloyia) with them does not mean, as it often does with us, a study of myths, but it is used in the sense of a telling of mythic legends, and afterwards of these legends and tales themselves.
Meaning of Mythology. Few words, however, have of late changed their meaning so completely as myth and mythology. Not very long ago Greek mythology meant Greek religion, Roman mythology meant Roman religion, and each was supposed to consist of a body of traditions and doctrines which a Greek or Roman had to believe, just as Christians believe in the New, or the Jews in the Old Testament. As mythology was taught at school chiefly from manuals, a very general impression prevailed that the legends collected in them existed in this collective form in Greece and Italy, that they formed in fact a complete system, and were known as such by every Greek and Roman, man, woman, and child; the fact being that hardly a single Greek or Roman could have passed an examination in our manuals of mythology, nay that the very names of many of the gods and heroes therein mentioned would have been utterly unknown to the majority of the inhabitants of Greece and Italy.
Etymology of pūdos. Before we discuss the meaning which mythology has assumed, chiefly owing to the discovery that myth is a phase of language, inevitable in the early development of speech and thought, it may be well to ask in what sense uūdos was used by the Greeks themselves.
The etymology of uulos is unknown, or at all events doubtful. It is well to be reminded from time to time how many words there are still in Greek and Latin, to say nothing of Sanskrit, of which we cannot render any etymological account. Of course, we can
guess that uūdos is derived from uów, to shut, to close. This is used of shutting the eyes, as in uúwy, uów nos, literally closing the eyes, then shortsighted; and it is likewise used of shutting the lips. From this a secondary base might be derived, uváw, which means to compress the lips, to express contempt. In Sanskrit we have a root mû, to bind, from which mû-ka, dumb, lit. tongue-bound, and likewise Latin mú-tus, dumb, and Greek ut-tes, which Hesychius mentions in the sense of άφωνος, as well as μύτης and μυττός. Possibly uvéw, to initiate, to teach secrets, may likewise come from that root, while uúorns and uvot“plov might owe their s to analogy. Still it would be strange if müdos, word, had meant originally a muttering with closed lips, even though we can appeal to Latin muttum, a muttering, muttire, or mutîre, to mumble. The Gothic rúna, secret counsel, has likewise been mentioned as a parallel case, because it is derived from a root RU, to whisper
All we can say is that a derivation of uūdos from the root mû, to bind, to close, is phonetically possible, and this is more than can be said for another etymology which connects uwlos with uúśw, to murmur, for in uúćw the final of the root is guttural, not dental, as is shown by uvyuós, muttering.
Though the etymology of jūlos is somewhat doubtful, its meaning in Greek is clear enough. It means word as opposed to deeds, and hardly differs originally from čos and lóyos. Afterwards ?, however, a dis
i Connected with Gothic rûna we find the Old Norse rún, secret, then the Runic letters. In A. S. we have rûn, secret, rûnian, to whisper, Med. English to roun, which has been changed into to round; German raunen. The Latin rumor too has been traced back to the same cluster of words.
2 Pind, 0, 1, 47; N. 7, 34.