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whatever, in the shape of story and legend, is told of them in common in the mythologies of different countries, must have existed before the final break up of the Aryan family. This is what constitutes Comparative Mythology in the strict, or if you like, in the narrow sense of the word. This stronghold must never be surrendered, and in order to keep it impregnable it must be kept distinct both from the Analogical and from the Psychological divisions of Comparative Mythology.
Sarad and Ceres. To take another instance. If I have succeeded in proving the identity of Ceres and Sk. sarad, autumn or the ripening season, a solid foundation is laid. That foundation must be examined by scholars, and no one who is not an expert, has anything to say here. He must simply accept what is given him, and, if he cannot himself decide between two opposite opinions, he must at all events not try to pose as a linguistic Hercules in bivio. Neither common sense, nor even forensic eloquence, will here be of any avail.
Now it is well known that the Romans had their own etymology of Ceres. Servius, V. G., i. 7, says), alma Ceres a creando dicta, quamvis Sabini Cererem panem appellant. If this were true, Ceres would originally have been conceived as creatrix. We know that the ancient Romans did not pretend to be more than folk-etymologists, but even they would have hardly found a bridge from creare to Ceres. Modern etymologists , however, have taken the hint, and have proposed to derive Ceres from the Sk. root kar,
1.Preller, Römische Mythologie, p. 403.
to make, from which they also derive Cerus or Kerus, a creative genius, invoked in the Carmen Saliare as Cerus Manus, applied to Janus, and supposed to mean creator bonus. Preller goes so far as to connect with these names the word cerfus (the Vedic sardha) of the Umbrian Inscriptions, which is utterly impossible.
Leaving Cerus for further consideration, we cannot deny that phonetically Ceres might be derived from the root kar, as well as from the root sar, to ripen. This is a dilemma which we have often to face, and where we must have recourse to what may be called the history and the geographical distribution of roots. No purely phonetic test can tell us, for instance, whether Vesta, Greek 'Eoria, is derived from vas, to dwell, or from vas, to shine, to say nothing of other roots. Curtius derives it from vas (ush) to shine forth, from which vasu, the bright gods, bright wealth, etc. ; because the goddess was first the fire, and afterwards the hearth and the home. Roth derives it from vas, to dwelli. I prefer vas, to shine forth, because the root vas, to dwell, has left no other traces in Latin.
I feel the same objection to kar, to make, as the etymon of Ceres, which I feel to vas, to dwell, as the etymon of Vesta. The root kar (or skar), first of all, does not mean to create, even in Sanskrit; but to fashion, to perform ; secondly, there is hardly one certain derivation of kar in Latin, for both Cerus and creo, cresco, etc., are doubtful. Grassmann, who rejected the derivation from kar, proposed to derive Ceres from karsh, to draw a furrow. But karsh never occurs in the North-Aryan languages in the sense of ploughing, nor is Ceres the deity of ploughing or sowing, but of reaping. I therefore prefer the root sar, which means to heat, to cook, to ripen; from it srita, roasted, and sarad, harvest, autumn. A secondary form of the same root is srâ, caus. srapay. From this root, not from carpere, to pluck, we have in Greek kaprós, the ripe fruit, in Anglo-Saxon hærfest, autumn, the time of ripening. The Latin corpus, like Sk. sarîra, may possibly come from the same root, and have meant originally the ripe fruit of the body (leibesfrucht).
1 Kuhn's Zeitschrift, xix. pp. 218, 222.
Now, considering that even the German Herbst, the English harvest, may be derived from this root, in a causative form, what doubt can there remain that Ceres is sarad, and was an old name of harvest ? What was the substratum of Sarad and Ceres, whether the time of harvest, or the earth at the time of harvest, the harvest-sun or the harvest-moon, which seemed every year to cause the ripening temperature, these are questions impossible to answer. When the concept of deity had once come in, definite thought became unnecessary, and the poet claimed perfect freedom to conceive his Ceres as suited his own imagination. How early the harvest, the furrow (Sîtâ), the field (Urvarâ), the days, the seasons, and the year were raised to the rank of goddesses, may be seen from the invocations addressed to them in the Domestic Sacrifices ? of the Brâhmans. Almost all
i On the final d and s, see my article on Ceres, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, xviii. 211. For some of Gruppe's bickerings, see Griechische Culte, p. 105, note 1.
Päraskara Grihya S. II. 17, 9. Sîtâ, the furrow, in later times the wife of Râma, is here invoked as the wife of Indra. Urvarâ is ápovpa ; from Sitâ and sitya, frumentum, oitos has been derived, though the initial s requires justification. On the days, as thirty sisters, see Paraskara G. S. III. 3, 5 a; on the seasons and the year,
that we are told of Ceres, as an aboriginal Italian deity, can be fully explained by this her etymological character, and with this the task of the Comparative Mythologist is finished. Her absorption by the Greek Demeter, and all that flows from it, belongs to the domain of the classical scholar and need not detain us at present.
Mythological Etymologies. It seems to me that after the etymology of a mythological name has once been satisfactorily settled, we have not only the real starting point in the history of a deity or a hero, but also a clear indication of the direction which that history followed from the first. I look in fact on these etymologies and on the equations between the names of deities in different cognate languages as the true capital of Comparative Mythology, and on every new discovery, if well established, as a permanent addition to our wealth. If we want to know the real founders and benefactors of Comparative Mythology, we must look for them among those who discovered such equations as Dyaus= Zeus, and defended them against.every objection that could reasonably be raised against them.
Changes in the Character of Gods. Still, it often happens that, after we have established the true meaning of a mythological name, it seems in no way to yield a solution of the character of the god who bears it. No one can doubt the phonetic identity of the names Haritas in Sanskrit and Xápites in Greek, but the former are the horses of the rising sun, the latter show no trace whatever of an equine chaIII. 2, 2. Sarad is invoked in the same place as a bha yå, free from danger.
racter. Kuhn supposed that Prometheus took its origin from the Vedic pramantha; yet pramantha is only the stick used for rubbing wood to produce a fire, Prometheus is the wisest of the sons of the Titans. Sârameya in Sanskrit is a dog, Hermeias a god. Kerberos in Greek is a dog, Sarvarî in Sanskrit the night. The Maruts in the Veda are clearly the gods of the thunderstorm, but there are passages where they are addressed as powerful gods, as givers of all good things, without a trace of thunder and lightning about them. We see, in fact, very clearly how here as elsewhere l the idea of gods of the thunderstorm became gradually generalised, and how in the end the Maruts, having once been recognised as divine beings, were implored without any reference to their meteorological origin.
Strange as this may seem, it could hardly be otherwise in the ancient world. If one poet became the priest of a family, if one family became supreme in a tribe, if one tribe became by conquest the ruler of a nation, the god praised by one individual poet could hardly escape becoming the supreme god of a nation,
1 Mr. Bancroft (Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, 1875, vol. iii. p. 117) remarks that in many of the American languages the same word is used for storm and god. Mr. Brinton writes (Myths of the N. W., p. 50), “the descent is almost imperceptible which leads to the personification of the wind as God.' How easily the wind be. comes a hero, sometimes the ancestor of the human race, has been shown by Reville, Religions des Peuples Non-civilisés, vol. i. p. 218. Goldziher (Mythology among the Hebrews, p. 224) quotes from Nachtigall that the Baghirmi in Central Africa use the same name for Storm and Deity. The Akra people on the Gold Coast of Africa say, “Will God come ?' meaning, Will it rain ?' In the Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie, 1875, Schrader, in an essay on The original signification of the Divine name Jahve-Zebaoth, p. 317, drew attention to the Assyrian name for wind, a-iv (ha-iv), a-u (ha-u), root 11n, to breathe, to blow; so that God, the breather, would have to be placed parallel with the storm-god Ramnân.