Paradise Found, by William F. Warren, , at sacred-texts.com
(Illustrating Chapters i. and vii. in Part Four; Chapter ii. in Part Six, and other passages.)
So herrscht gleich über den Ort wo die Unterwelt zu denken sei ein merkwürdiger Zwiespalt.Preller.
Bei Homer ist eine doppelte Ansicht von der Lage des Todtenreiches zu erkennen, einmal unter der Erde, und dann wiederum auf der Oberfläche des Bodens in dem ewigen Dunkel jenseits des westlichen Ocean. Die Ansichten von den beiden Hades fliessen beständig durcheinander. So weit aber die mit jeden verbundenen Vorstellungen zu sondern und einzeln aufzufassen möglich ist, müssen wir sie darzulegen im Folgenden versuchen.Völcker.
Where does Homer locate the realm of Hades?
In the whole broad field of Homeric scholarship it would be difficult to find a more fascinating question. Few have been more written upon. The literature of the subject is itself almost a library. No mythologist, no commentator upon the poet, no class-room interpreter even, can evade the question; and yet, in their answers, the Homeric authorities of all modern times, whatever their nationality, present only a pitiable spectacle of helpless bewilderment. Classifying these various interpreters according to the answers they respectively give to the question propounded, they stand as follows:
First, a class who content themselves with the general assertion that the earth of Homer was a "flat disk," and that his Hades, like that of the ancients generally, was undoubtedly conceived of as a dark recess or cavern in the bosom of this earth-disk. Anything in the Odyssey
or elsewhere inconsistent with this view is simply a play of poetic fancy.
Second, a classif class it bewho say with the genial Wilhelm Jordan, "Das Hadesreich der Odyssee ist die von der Sonne abgekehrte Rückseite der Erdscheibe, die ἀντίχθον, Gegenerde, eines weit späteren Zeitalters. Von der ζείδωρος ἄρουρα und vom Götterhimmel aus betrachtet bleibt es allerdings Unterwelt, ὐπὸ κεύθεσι γαίας, aber nicht als Erdinneres, sondern als jenseitige Oberfläche." 1 Here the earth is still a flat disk; but Hades, instead of being within it, is simply its under or reverse side.
Third, a class who locate the shadowy realm on the same plane with the inhabited earth, but in the far West, just inside the Ocean-stream. This includes all commentators who, locating Hades above ground in the West, place Kirkè's isle in the same quarter, and hold that Odysseus did not cross over the Ocean-stream.
Fourth, a class who locate it in the far West, just outside the Ocean-stream. This includes all commentators who, locating Hades above ground in the West, place Kirkè's isle in the same quarter, but hold that Odysseus crossed the Ocean-stream. 2
Fifth, a class who locate it in the far East, just inside the Ocean-stream. This class includes all who place Kirkè's isle in the East, and hold that Odysseus did not cross the Ocean-stream in visiting the superterranean Hades.
Sixth, a class who locate it in the far East, just outside the Ocean-stream. This includes all who place Kirkè's isle in the East, and hold that Odysseus crossed the Ocean-stream in visiting the superterranean Hades.
Seventh, a class who try to harmonize the conflicting representations by making the one set of expressions relate to a Hades in the bosom of the flat earth, and the other set of expressions relate to "the entrance" of the passage leading down to it from the world of living men. This class is again subdivided into four sub-classes, according as they maintain a cis-oceanic or trans-oceanic location of this mouth of Hades, and place it to the East or to the West of the poet.
Eighth, a class who hold that the difficulty is in the poet himself, he having got two incompatible mythologies mixed up together.
Ninth, a class who try to solve all discrepancies by assigning the different representations in the two poems, and in different parts of the same poem, to different ages and to different authors.
Tenth, a class who query whether or no it be not admissible to hold that Homer had two realms of Hades,the one "subterranean," and the other "beyond the Ocean."
Eleventh, a class who, with Altenburg and Gerland, resolve the whole story of Odysseus descent to Hades into an astronomical myth; 1 or with Cox see in it simply a mythologico-poetic expression for the prosaic fact that the Sun, the "lord of day," returning after his morning
and noontide wanderings to his western home, sometimes finds it necessary to make his way behind dark clouds. 1
Twelfth, a class who point out the manifest difficulties of the problem, but frankly profess their utter inability to present a solution.
Of the more important of the maps of "the world according to Homer," those of Bunbury, Völcker, and Forbiger are constructed according to the view of class fourth; that of Ukert, according to the view of that division of class seventh who locate the Hades portal in the far West, just inside the Ocean-stream; that of Gladstone, 2 according to the view of that division of class seventh who locate the Hades portal in the far East, just inside the Ocean-stream. Völcker, however, is inclined to believe in two Homeric Hades-realms,the one interterranean, the other at the West superterranean and trans-oceanic.
Such are the multifarious, contradictory, confused, and despairing answers given to our question by the most learned and eminent of Homeric scholars. It would be an easy task to fill a volume with citations illustrating these various positions, and the ingenious but mutually destructive arguments by which their respective advocates have sought to establish them. It will be more profitable to turn from such a Babel of ideas, over which the darkness of Hades itself seems to have fallen, and inquire what the poet himself has to say on the subject.
The region of the dead is represented in Homer as one of perpetual night. Its name is Erebos. 3 From the
name of the divinity presiding in it, it is generally called the house or abode of Aides (Hades). 1 That it was conceived of as underneath the earth appears from the perpetually recurring expressions, both in the Iliad and in the Odyssey, relating the descent into and ascent out of it. 2 In certain passages it is in fact expressly spoken of as "under the earth; " 3 in others, as "under the recesses of the earth." 4 Hence Aïdes himself is styled Ζεὺς καταχθόνιος, "the Subterranean Zeus." 5
In the Battle of the Gods there is a vivid picture of this underworld and of its trembling king:
Thus the blessed gods inciting, both sides engaged, and among them made severe contention to break out. But dreadfully from above thundered the Father of gods and men, while beneath Poseidon shook the boundless earth and the lofty summits of the mountains. The roots and all the summits of many-rilled Ida were shaken, and the city of the Trojans and the ships of the Greeks. Aïdes himself, king of the nether world, trembled beneath, and leaped up from his throne terrified, and shouted aloud, lest earth-shaking Poseidon should cleave asunder the earth over him, and disclose to mortals and immortals his mansions, terrible, squalid, which even the gods loathe. 1
But while the abode of Aïdes is thus clearly represented as under the earth, it is nevertheless represented as just across the Ocean-river, and capable of being reached by ship. In the eleventh and twelfth books of the Odyssey, the voyage of Odysseus to this region is described in the same apparently literal nautical terms as is the voyage to the Land of the Lotus-Eaters. And of his interview with the dead, Hayman says, "The whole scene is conceived by the poet as enacted on a geographical extension of the earth beyond the Ocean-stream." 2 There is no hint of any descent into the interior of the earth, no passage through or into subterranean caverns. The journey is as natural in all its aspects as any voyage from one coast of the Atlantic to its opposite. 3 Thus opens the eleventh book:
But when we were come down to the ship and the sea, we first of all drew the ship into the divine sea, and we placed a mast and sails in the black ship. And taking the sheep we put them on board, and we ourselves also embarked grieving, shedding the warm tear. And fair-haired Kirkè (Circe)an awful goddess, possessing human speechsent behind our dark-blue-prowed ship a moist wind that filled the sails, an excellent companion. And we sat down, making use of each of the instruments in the ship, and the wind and the pilot directed it. And the sails of it passing over the sea were stretched out the whole day; and the sun set, and all the ways were overshadowed. And it reached the extreme boundaries of the deep-flowing Ocean, 1 where are the people and city of the Kimmerians covered with shadow and vapor, nor does the shining sun behold them with his beams, neither when he goes toward the starry heaven, nor when he turns back again from heaven to earth, but pernicious night is spread over hapless mortals. Having come there we drew up our ship, and we took out the sheep, and we ourselves went again to the stream of the Ocean, until we came to the place which Kirkè mentioned.
Here the hero performed the rites and held the consultation which Kirkè had previously prescribed in these terms:
"O noble son of Laertes, much-contriving Odysseus, do not remain any longer in my house against your will. But first you must perform another voyage, and come to the house of Aïdes and awful Persephonè, to consult the soul of Theban Tiresias, a blind prophet, whose mind is firm. To him, even when dead, Persephonè has given understanding, alone to be prudent, but the rest flit about as shades."
"Who, O Kirkè, will conduct me on this voyage? No one has yet come to Aïdes in a black ship."
"O noble son of Laertes, much-contriving Odysseus, let not the desire of a guide for thy ship be at all a care to thee; but having erected the mast, and spread out the white sails, sit down, and let the blast of the North wind carry it. But when thou shalt have passed through the Ocean in thy ship, where
is the easy-dug 1 shore and the groves of Persephonè, and tall poplars, and fruit-destroying willows, there draw up thy ship in the deep-eddying Ocean, and do thou thyself go to the spacious house of Aïdes. Here indeed both Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus, which is a stream from the water of Styx, flow into Acheron; and there is a rock, and the meeting of two loud-sounding rivers. There then, O hero, approaching near as I; command thee, dig a trench the width of a cubit each way; and pour around it libations to all the dead, first with mixed , honey, then with sweet wine, and again the third time with water, and sprinkle white meal over it. And entreat much the powerless heads of the dead, promising that when thou comest to Ithaca thou wilt offer up in thy palace a barren heifer, whichsoever is the best, and wilt fill the pyre with excellent things, and that thou wilt sacrifice to Tiresias alone a black sheep, all black, which excels among thy sheep. But when thou shalt have entreated the illustrious nations of the dead with prayers, then sacrifice a male sheep and a black female, turning toward Erebos; and do thou thyself be turned away at a distance, going toward the streams of the river; but there many souls of those gone dead will come. Then immediately exhort thy companions and command them, having skinned the sheep which lie there slain with the unpitying brass, to burn them and to invoke the gods, both mighty Aïdes and dread Persephonè. And do thou, having drawn thy sharp sword from thy thigh, sit down, nor suffer the powerless heads of the dead to go near the blood before thou inquirest of Tiresias. Then the prophet will immediately come to thee, O leader of the people, who will tell to thee the voyage and the measures of the way and thy return, how thou mayest go over the fishy sea." 2
In the following passage Odysseus narrates how, having arrived "at the place which Kirkè mentioned," he fulfilled her commission:
Then Perimedes and Eurylochos made sacred offerings; but I, drawing my sharp sword from my thigh, dug a trench the width of a cubit each way, and around it we poured libations to all the dead, first with mixed honey, then with sweet wine, again a third time with water, and I sprinkled white meal over it. And I much besought the unsubstantial heads of the dead, promising that when I came to Ithaca I would offer up in my palace a barren heifer, whichsoever is the best, and that I would sacrifice separately to Tiresias alone a sheep all black. which excels among our sheep. But when I had besought them, the nations of the dead, with vows and prayers, then taking the sheep, I cut off their heads into the trench, and the black blood flowed; and the souls of the perished dead were assembled forth from Erebos,betrothed girls and youths, and much-enduring old men, and tender virgins having a newly grieved mind, and many Mars-renowned men wounded with brass-tipped spears, possessing gore-besmeared arms, who in great numbers were wandering about the trench on different sides with a divine clamor; and pale fear seized upon me. Then at length exhorting my companions, I commanded them, having skinned the sheep which lay there, slain with the cruel brass, to burn them, and to invoke the gods, both Aïdes and Persephonè. But I, having drawn my sharp sword from my thigh, sat down; nor did I suffer the powerless heads of the dead to draw nigh the blood, before I inquired of Tiresias.
So far it might appear uncertain whether the hero were really in Hades, or only near it, at some point accessible alike to the living and to the dead. But the lines immediately following show that he was truly in "the house of Aïdes:"
And first the soul of my companion Elpenor came, for he was not yet buried beneath the wide-wayed earth; for we left his body in the palace of Kirkè, unwept-for and unburied, since another toil then urged us. Beholding him I wept, and pitied him in my mind; and, addressing him, spoke winged words: "O Elpenor, how didst thou come under the dark west? Thou hast come sooner on foot than I with a black ship."
Thus I spoke, but he groaning answered me in discourse: "O Zeus-born son of Laertes, much-contriving Odysseus, the evil destiny of the deity and the abundant wine hurt me. Lying down in the palace of Kirkè, I did not think to go down backward, having come to the long ladder; but I fell downward from the roof, and my neck was broken from the vertebræ, and my soul descended to Hades."
In line 69, Elpenor speaks of Odysseus "going hence from the house of Aïdes;" and in line 164, as elsewhere (x. 502; xi. 59, 158; Xii. 21; xxiii. 324), the expressions leave no chance to doubt that Odysseus voyage was a genuine descensus ad inferos. 1
Here, then, are the two grand tests of every proposed solution of the problem of the location of the Homeric Hades:
II. It must be on the surface of the earth, beyond the Ocean.
This strange and perplexing difference, not to say contradiction, in the Homeric representations, did not escape the notice of the older commentators and writers on mythology. Especially has it called out the ingenuity of German scholars. F. A. Wolf recognized it, but did not profess to be able to give an explanation. J. H. Voss invented the method of solving the problem by placing Hades itself within the bosom of the earth-disk, but its "entrance" on the westernmost point of Europe on the inner shore of the ocean. Völcker rejected this solution, but, in the absence of a better, cautiously suggestedas we have seenthe possibility of Homer's having held to two kingdoms of the dead, one within the earth, and one
in the dark trans-oceanic West. 1 Eggers 2 and Nitzsch 3 inclined to the support of the Vossian compromise; and in 1854 Preller could still speak of it as the one "at present chiefly prevalent." 4 Still, as Preller and others urged, nothing in the descriptions of the western Hades corresponds with the idea of a "portal" or "entrance" to a subterranean world extending so far eastward as to be situated under Greece and Asia Minor: 5 hence the latest interpreters have been as free as were the earlier to take their choice among the wild and contradictory conjectures classified at the beginning of this paper. The latest of these guesses is that of Jordan; and, though it comes within a hair's-breadth of the truth, it has been the most ridiculed of all. 6
As pointed out in earlier pages, the one false principle which has vitiated and confused all modern discussions of Homeric cosmology is the groundless notion that the earth of Homer is a flat disk. This mistaken presupposition is responsible for the failure of all hitherto attempted demonstrations of the true location of the poet's Hades. Once conceive of the Homeric Cosmos as represented
in the accompanying cut of the "World of Homer," and the problem of the site of Hades is solved at a glance. It is the southern or under hemisphere of the upright spherical earth. In this conception, whatsoever is "trans-oceanic" is also and of necessity "subterranean." Now for the first time can it be understood how Leda and her noble-minded sons can be "on a geographical extension of the earth" on the farther shore of the Ocean, and at the same time νέρθεν γῆς (Od., xi. 298). In this Cosmos, Hades cannot be beyond the Ocean without being also underneath the earth. On the traditional theory of a flat earth, the passage is and ever must be the palpable inconsistency which Völcker represents it. Even the theory of two or of twenty Homers does not reasonably explain it. Precisely so with the passages relating to Elpenor. His soul at death goes κατὰ χθονός, yet it is found with the other ghosts in the shadowy land just across the Ocean-river. So again with the passages relating to the shades of the slain Suitors. These reach the Underworld (xxiv. 106, 203); but it is by a route along the surface of the ground to the Ocean-stream, in full sight of the gates of the sun and of the stars of the Milky Way (xxiv. 9-12). 1 Illustrious scholars have accused the poet of Widersprüche gröber and ärger than usual in this account; 2 but the whole trouble has been, not in the poet, but in the poet's interpreters. With the spherical earth, all is consistent and precisely as it should be. In this reconstructed Homeric Cosmos, every crosser of the Ocean-stream, whether it be Hermes, or Odysseus, or Herakles, reaches the groves of Persephonè and the house of Aïdes. Wherever Kirkè's isle is located, the "blast of the North wind" will drive the voyager thence towards the realms of the dead. In like manner it can now be understood how the stolen
bride of Subterranean Zeus, while descending behind swift steeds to the Underworld, can yet for a considerable time behold the starry heaven, the earth, the sunlight,
Click to enlarge
The World of Homer.
For a convenient account of this reëstablished world-view of the ancients, for the use of schools, see The True Key to Ancient Cosmology and Mythical Geography (third edition, illustrated, Boston, Messrs. Ginn, Heath and Co., 1882), from which the cut is taken.
and the fishy sea. 1 Though the god has power to penetrate the solid sphere, 2 it is down no yawning chasm that his chariot disappears. As far as we can trace him and his victim, they are still at the surface, simply moving from the upper to the lower hemisphere. 3 In perfect accordance with the requirement formulated by Völcker, Odysseus and his companions descend (xi. 57, 476), while the ghosts ascend (xi. 38), to reach the meeting-place on the lower edge of the Ocean-stream. Beautifully exact and strikingly natural is now the poet's declaration that Tartaros is "as far below Hades as earth from heaven,"a declaration as fatal to many of the fifteen or more traditional explanations of Homer's Hades as it is to Flach's elaborate and ingenious diagram of the Hades of Hesiod. 4 With this inverted hemisphere for the kingdom of the dead, Voss need not longer trouble himself about the mention of "clouds" therein. 5 In fine, with the correct Homeric conception of the earth and of Hades, the manifold alleged contradictions of the poet instantaneously vanish. Better than that, the dual images
of Hades, which have so long perplexed and blurred the vision of Homeric interpreters, suddenly resolve themselves into one perfectly focused stereoscopic picture of startling vividness and beauty.
One ground of misgiving and doubt may possibly still occur to cautious minds. "Is it credible," it may be asked, "that the early Homeric Greek, unschooled in the exercise of the scientific imagination, could picture to himself that pendant under-surface of the earth as habitable even by ghosts? Could he so long before 'Newton's day' have gained such knowledge of gravitation as to see how infernal rivers and infernal palaces could cling to an under-hemisphere? That Aristotle and the Greek philosophers of his age were able, we know from their writings; 1 but is it credible that the Greek of the Homeric age was equal to such a task? This proposed conception of Hades requires that we should think of a world where everything is upside down, exactly contrary and antipodal to our own. Can we believe that 'prehistoric men' could achieve such a prodigy of abstract thought?"
A pertinent and perhaps sufficient answer to these questions might be given by pointing to a most curious and instructive funeral-custom among the modern Karens of Burmah. This tribe is certainly not more highly gifted or more highly civilized than were the Greeks of the heroic age, yet they have precisely this Homeric conception of an antipodal Hades. A most competent authority gives us the following account: "When the day of burial arrives, and the body is carried to the grave, four bamboo splints are taken, and one is thrown towards the West, saying, 'That is the East;' another is thrown to the East, saying, 'That is the West;' a third is thrown upwards towards the top of the tree, saying, 'That is the foot of the tree;' and a fourth is thrown downwards, saying,
[paragraph continues] 'That is the top of the tree.' The sources of the stream are pointed to, saying, 'That is the mouth of the stream;' and the mouth of the stream is pointed to, saying, 'That is the head of the stream.' This is done because in Hades everything is upside down in relation to the things of this world." 1
Striking, however, as would be this answer to the questioner, a better can be given. The better one points out to him the foolishness of the assumption that either the Greeks or the Karens originated for themselves their conceptions of Hades. Both simply inherited from their fathers the old pre-Hellenic Asiatic idea of an antipodal Underworld. Ages ago the notion which underlies the Karen's rites was so prominent in the mind of the East Aryans that the sudden and inevitable reversal of the points of the compass, consequent upon entering the Underworld, became a poetic circumlocution to express the idea of dying: thus, "Before thou art carried away dead to the Ender by the royal command of Yama, . . . before the four quarters of the sky whirl round, . . . practice the most perfect contemplation." 2 Ages ago the notion which underlies the southward voyage of Odysseus led prehistoric Akkadians, in naming the cardinal points of the compass, to designate the South as "the funereal point;" and in locating the kingdom of the dead, to place
it opposite the stars of the south polar sky. 1 Through all the lifetime of Babylonia and Assyria, as through all the lifetime of ancient India, 2 the mount of the gods was at the summit of the earth at the North Pole; its counterpartthe mount of the rulers of the deadexactly opposite, beneath the earth, and at the South Pole. 3 Hence life and light proceeded from the North, darkness and death from the South. 4 In like manner the Egyptians had their heaven-touching mountain in the farthest North,
and an antipodal counterpart in Amenti, or the abode of the dead. 1 As in ancient India's, so in ancient Egypt's, thought, this world of the dead was exactly the reverse or counterpart of the world of the living. 2 "The tall hill of Hades," like Ku-meru, is therefore a "pendent" one, 3the southern or under terminus of the egg of the earth. 4
[paragraph continues] The assertion sometimes made, that the Egyptian Amenti was just over the hill to the west of Abydos, 1 is only worthy of such cosmologists as Popsey Middleton, or the still more illustrious author of the "Zetetic Astronomy."
About a thousand years before Abraham went down into Egypt,at least, that is the date assigned by Egyptologists,a scribe engrossed upon a papyrus a fair copy of a tale of shipwreck. It is now one of the treasures of St. Petersburg. At the Congress of Orientalists, held in Berlin in the year 1881, its existence was first made known to the modern world through the translation then submitted by M. Golénischeff. The tale proves to be a kind of anticipation of the voyage of Odysseus to the realm of Aïdes. As in the Odyssey, it is the ship-commander himself who narrates his adventures. There is no imaginative and poetic vagueness about the details. The ship was one hundred and fifty cubits long, forty broad. The crew consisted of one hundred and fifty men. Upon the Ocean he is wrecked, his crew lost; he himself, however, is driven upon an island in the neighborhood of the nether world of the dead. Indeed, the place itself was called "The Isle of the Double;" and it was, as Maspéro believes, peopled by Shades invisible to the voyager only because he was as yet in the body. The king of the island was a huge serpent, thirty cubits long, and possessed of a wonderful beard. 2
In what direction lay this mysterious land?
Not in the West, where all our Egyptologists persist in locating Amenti, but in the South. Directly up the Nile, and out into the Ocean at its head-waters, lay the voyager's track. As in the case of Odysseus, so many centuries later, it was the blast of the North wind which bore him thither. 1
In conclusion, if both the ancient Egyptians 2 and Chaldæans 3 believed that like as the stars of the northern hemisphere are set over the realm of the living, so the stars of the southern hemisphere are set over the realm of the dead; if in ancient Hindu thought "the gods in heaven are beheld by the inhabitants of hell as they move with their heads inverted;" 4 if in Roman thought
if in Greek cosmology the tall Pillar of Atlas is, as Euripides makes it, simply the upright axis of earth and heaven, 2then the earth of the ancients is incontestably a sphere, and Hades its under-surface. The "flat disk" notion is itself a myth, and a myth without foundation. In ancient thought, in a sense unrecognized even by the writer of the words, was it true,
467:1 Printed in advance in The Boston University Year Book, vol. x.
468:1 Fleckeisen's Jahrbücher, 1872, vol. cv., pp. 1-8.
468:2 Rinck, Die Religion der Hellenen, Th. ii., p. 459: "Bei Homer ist das Schattenreich noch keine Unterwelt, sondern jenes liegt ausser dem von der Sonne beschienenen Bereich der Erde, jenseits des Okeanos." Here, and in some other writers, along with a retention of the unity of the authorship of the Iliad and Odyssey, we find an intimation that the perplexing discrepancy in Greek representations of Hades is due to a gradual translocation of it from the far West to the interior of the earth, in consequence of advancing geographical knowledge. Perhaps a separate class should have been introduced, consisting of the representatives of this view. But had this been done, yet a fourteenth class would have been necessary to include those who, with Charles Francis Keary, exactly reverse the process, and make the oldest Greek Hades interterranean, and the trans-oceanic one at the West a later product. The Mythology of the Eddas. London, 1882: p. 14.
469:1 "Odysseus in der Unterwelt." Archiv für Philologie, 1840, pp. 170-188. G. K. C. Gerland, Altgriechische Märchen in der Odyssee. Magdeburg, 1869: p. 50.
470:1 Mythology of the Aryan Nations, vol. ii., 171-180.
470:2 Mr. Gladstone has more recently abandoned the flat-earth theory, and tentatively advocated an interterranean Hades with its mouth downwards. See his Primer, London and New York, 1878, pp. 5457; and Homeric Synchronism, London, 1876, p. 231. Perhaps this view also should have been included in the foregoing classification.
470:3 "Dénomination assyrienne." Félix Robiou, Questions Homériques. p. 471 Paris, 1876: p 13. The Shemitic origin of this term is significant. It prepares us to find an agreement between the Homeric and the Assyrio-Babylonian ideas of the realm of the dead. Mr. Gladstone says, "Long before . . . I had been struck by the predominance of a foreign character and associations in the Homeric Underworld of the eleventh Odyssey." Homeric Synchronism. London, 1876: p. 213. On the remarkably expressive cuneiform ideograph for eribu, see the explanation given by Robert Brown, Jun., in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archæology, May 4, 1880.
471:1 This term is also believed to be of Oriental origin, exactly corresponding to the Bit Edi of the Akkadians. See the translations of The Descent of Istar. "Talbot regards, and I think justly, the usual etymology of Hadesquasi Aïdes, 'invisible'as an afterthought." Robert Brown, Jun., The Myth of Kirkè, p. 111 n.
471:2 Iliad, vi. 284; vii. 330; xiv. 457; xxii. 425. Odyssey, x. 174, 560; xi. 65, 164, 475, 624; xxiii. 252; xxiv. 10, etc. "Von einem besondern Eingang zu diesem unterirdischen Hades," remarks Völcker (Homerische Geographie, p. 141), "meldet der Dichter nichts; vielmehr gehen die Seelen, durch nichts gehindert, begraben and unbegraben überall unter die Erde." Granting this, there is no ground for his other assertion, "Dieser Hades ist nicht unter, sondern in der Erde." The immaterial shade can as easily pass through the whole globe to an opposite surface as through a thick crust to a central cavern. But see Mr. Gladstone's Homeric Synchronism, p. 222: "There is not in all Homer a single passage which imports the idea, or indicates the possibility, of our passing through the solid earth."
471:3 Iliad, xxiii. 100; xviii. 333.
471:4 Odyssey, xxiv. 204. Comp. Iliad, xxii. 482.
471:5 Iliad, ix. 457. Comp. iii. 278; xix. 259; xx. 61. Comp. Herodotus, ii. 122.
472:1 Iliad, xx. 61 ff. That there may be no question as to the impartiality of the translations given in this paper, the well-known and widely circulated version by Theodore Alois Buckley, of Christ Church, Oxford, is followed. A version giving more accurately the force of the verbs expressing upward and downward motion would in many passages be more favorable to the cosmological view here presented.
472:2 Henry Hayman, D. D., The Odyssey of Homer. London, 1866: vol. ii., Appendix G 3, p. xvii.
472:3 "Von einem Hinabsteigen findet sich keine Spur. Wer beweisen kann, Odysseus sei im Innern der Erde gewesen, der versuche es!" Völcker, Homerische Geographie, p. 150.
473:1 That is, the farther shore. See Völcker, p. 145.
474:1 Buckley well expresses dissatisfaction with this rendering. Völcker translates the term "ein niedriges Gestade." It is perhaps the low-down shore as contrasted with the upper or opposite one.
474:2 Odyssey, X. 488-540.
476:1 See Preller, Mythologie, vol. i., pp. 504, 505, where he says that the region visited was "die ganze and wirkliche Unterwelt, nicht etwa bloss ein Eingang in die Unterwelt." See also Völcker, Homerische Geographie, § 76.
477:1 This, if allowed, would afford no relief; for, as Hentze says, "the subterranean character of even the Odyssean Hades can by no means be got rid of." Ameis, Anhang., Book X., 508.
477:2 De Orco Homerico, Altona, 1836. But Eggers located the Hades entrance inside the Ocean-stream, Nitzsch outside.
477:3 G. W. Nitzsch, Erklärende Anmerkungen zu Homers Odyssee. Hannover, 1840: Bd. III., p. xxxv., 187.
477:4 Griechische Mythologie, I., p. 505.
477:5 See Preller: Mythologie, vol. i., p. 504. Eisenlohr, Lage des Homerischen Todtenreichs, 1872. Bunbury contents himself with the cool remark, "It is certainly not worth while to inquire what geographical idea the poet formed in his own mind of this visit to the regions of Hades." (!) History of Ancient Geography, vol. i., p. 58.
477:6 See Kammer, Einheit der Odyssee nach Widerlegung der Ansichten von Lachmann-Steinthal, Köchly, Hennings, und Kirchhoff. Leipsic, 1873: pp. 486-490.
478:1 Porphyrius, De antro Nympharum, 28, explains that stumbling block of commentators, "the people of dreams."
478:2 Völcker, Homerische Geographie, p. 152.
480:1 Homeric Hymn to Demeter, 30-35. Foerster places the origin of this hymn early in the seventh century before Christ: Der Raub and Rückkehr der Persephonè. Stuttgart, 1874: pp. 33-39. See Sterrett, Qua in Re Hymni Homerici quinque Majores inter se different Antiquitate vel Homeritate, Boston, 1881.
480:2 Lines 16-18. Precisely so in the Indian epic, the Ramayana: one and the same point in Hades is reached, whether we accompany Ansumán digging through the heart of the earth, or follow the goddess Gangâ along the surface of the earth and across the Ocean-bed. Book I., canto xl. Compare Odyssey, xi. 57, 58.
480:3 The much-debated Nysian field whence the goddess was stolen was in the land of the gods at the North Pole. Menzel, Die vorchristliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, Bd. i., 64-67; ii., 25, 87, 93, 100, 122, 148, 345.
480:4 Das System der Hesiodischen Kosmogonie, Leipsic, 1874.
480:5 Odyssey, xi. 591. Völcker, while locating this Hades above ground far to the West, is also embarrassed with these clouds, since his Homeric heaven does not extend over the trans-oceanic region, or even over the Ocean: p. 151.
481:1 See Dr. H. W. Schäfer, Entwickelung der Ansichten des Alterthums über die Gestalt and Grösse der Erde, Leipsic, 1868, quarto.
482:1 Mason in Journal of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, XXXV., Pt. ii., p. 28. Spencer, Descriptive Sociology, No. 5, p. 23. At least one tribe of our American Indians at the time of their discovery had a myth of creation in which the earth was conceived of as a ball. H. H. Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States, vol. iii., p. 536. That the same idea underlay the Hades-conception of the New Zealanders is plain from various indications. See present work, note on pp. 125, 126.
482:2 Mahâbhârata, xii. 12,080. Muir, Metrical Translations from Sanskrit Writers, London, 1879, p. 220. "To the gods this sphere of asterisms revolves toward the right; to the enemies of the gods, toward the left." Sûrya Siddhânta, xii., ch. 55. Comp. Aristotle, De Clo, lib. ii., c. 2.
483:1 Dupuis, Origine de Tous les Cults, tom. i., 624. Lenormant, Chaldæan Magic (English edition), pp. 168, 169. On the significance of the South in Hindu belief, see Colebrooke, Essays, vol. i., pp. 174, 176, 182, 187, vol. ii., pp. 390-392; Monier Williams, Sanskrit Dictionary, Art. "Yama;" Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. v., pp. 284-327; and India literature passim.
483:2 Sûrya Siddhânta, ch. xii. Journal of the American Oriental Society, New Haven, 1860, vol. vi., pp. 140-480. Keightley, Mythology (Bohn), p. 240, n. 9.
483:3 Of the latter mount, Lenormant correctly says that, in ancient Chaldæan thought, it is "située dans les parties basses de la terre," but at times he incorrectly locates it in the West. In like manner the mountain of the gods"le point culminant de la convexité de la surface de la terre"he places not in the North (Is. xiv. 14), but often in the East or North-east. Origines de lHistoire, Paris, 1882, tom. ii. I, p. 134. See also Tiele, Histoire Comparée des Anciennes Religions, Paris, 8882, p. 177, where he speaks of the entrance to Hades as at the South-west. This is certainly a mistake, for the Akkadian expression mer kurra, "the cardinal point of the mountain," must, at least originally, have signified the North. And as to Lenormant's location of the antipodal mountain of Hades in the West or South-west, our latest German writer upon the subject, Dr. Friedrich Delitzsch, an eminent Assyriologist, affirms that in the cuneiform literature thus far known he has discovered no trace of such a location. Wo lag das Paradies? Leipsic, 1881, p. 121.
483:4 "Nach der pythagoräischen, orphischen und neuplatonischen Lehre brachte der Nordwind Leben der Südwind Tod, wohnten hinter dem Nordwind die Seligen und die Götter als Schöpfer und Erhalter der Welt, hinter dem Südwind aber die Verdammten und alle bösen zerstörenden Urmächte." W. Menzel, Die vorchristliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, vol. ii., p. 101; also pp. 36, 168, 345, and passim. Compare A. Maury, Histoire des Religions de la Grèce Antique, Paris, 1869, tom. iii. 354.
484:1 For the first, see Brugsch, Geographische Inschriften altägyptischer Denkmäler, Leipsic, 1858, Bd. ii., p. 57; for the second, The Book of the Dead, passim.
484:2 See Tiele, History of the Egyptian Religion (English edition, 1882), p. 68, "the reversed world;" and the still more forcible expression in his Histoire Comparée (Paris, 1882), p. 47, "le monde opposé au monde actuel." Compare Book of the Dead (Birch's version), where it is styled "the inverted precinct;" and Thompson's Egyptian Doctrine of the Future State, wherein Hades is described as "the inverted hemisphere of darkness," and where it is said to be "evident that the leading features of the Greek Hades were borrowed from Egypt." Bibliotheca Sacra, 1868, pp. 84, 86. Still more recently Reginald S. Poole has remarked, "Now that we recognize the Vedic source of a part of the Greek pantheon, and its generally Aryan character, we may fairly look elsewhere for that which is not Vedic. If embalming were derived from Egypt, why not the ideas which the Greek saw surrounding the custom,the pictures of the Underworld, with its judgment, its felicity, and its misery? The stories which Homer makes Odysseus tell, when he would disguise his identity, show the familiarity with Egypt of the Greeks of the poet's time." The Contemporary Review, London, 1881, July, p. 61. It would be better to say that Homer's Hades, while agreeing with the Egyptian and Babylonian and Vedic, was not necessarily "borrowed" from either of these peoples, but more likely agreed with the Egyptian, Babylonian, and Vedic, simply because in each case there was a common inheritance,a survival of still more ancient ideas of prehistoric ancestors.
484:3 Records of the Past, vol. x., p. 88.
484:4 Tiele, History of the Egyptian Religion, p. 67: "The heaven (at night) rests upon the earth, like a goose brooding over her egg." Chabas, Lieblein, and Lefévre have each maintained that the ancient Egyptians were acquainted with the spherical figure of the earth; while Maspéro, despite his language in Les Contes Populaires de lÉgypte Ancienne (Paris, 1882, pp. lxi.-lxiii.), in a private letter of still more recent date admits the possibility that the Egyptians held to such a view as long ago as eighteen centuries before the Christian era. In this connection it may be useful to state that Professor p. 485 Tiele informs the present writer that he has abandoned his conjecture touching Cher-nuter, expressed in his Vergelijkende Geschiedenis van de Egyptische en Mesopotamische Godesdiensten, Amsterdam, 1872, p. 94; French edition, 1882, p. 51; English edition, 1882, p. 72.
485:1 As, for example, by Marius Fontane, Histoire Universelle, Les Égyptes, Paris, 1882, p. 154. The following is particularly timely: "While at Abydos I explored the mountain cliffs to the westward in the hope of finding early tombs in them. In this, however, I was disappointed, as I came across only a few tombs of the Roman period." Professor A. H. Sayce in letter from Egypt in The Academy, London, Feb. 2, 1884, p. 84.
485:2 Les Contes Populaires de l'Égypte Ancienne, pp. 145-147. On the p. 486 conflicting views of Egyptologists as to the interpretation of terms designating the points of the compass, see Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache, 1865, 1877, etc.
486:1 The universality of the ancient belief that disembodied souls must cross a body of water to reach their proper abode has attracted the attention of Mannhardt, and led him to remark, "Da auch die keltische, hellenische, iranische and indische Religion diese Vorstellung kennt, so ist es von vorn herein wahrscheinlich, dass dieselbe über die Zeit der Trennung hinausgeht." Germanische Mythen, Berlin, 1858, p. 364. This is a far more reasonable explanation than the fanciful attempt of Keary in the work already cited, and in his paper before the Royal Society of Literature entitled Earthly Paradise of European Myths.
486:2 Creuzer-Guigniaut, Religions de lAntiquité, tom. ii., p. 836. Comp. the language of the recently discovered epitaph of Queen Isis em Kheb, mother-in law of Shishak, King of Assyria (circa 1000 B.C.): "She is seated all beautiful in her place enthroned, among the gods of the South she is crowned with flowers." The Funeral Tent of an Egyptian Queen, by Villiers Stuart, London, 1882, p. 34. Notwithstanding this, Mr. Stuart, a few pages later,so powerful is the influence of tradition,alludes to Amenti as located in the West (p. 49, also p. 27). But the inscription continues: "She is seated in her beauty in the arms of Khonsou her father, fulfilling his desires. He is in Amenti, the place of departed spirits." Comp. p. 33.
486:3 Diodorus Siculus, ii. 31, 4. Lenormant, The Beginnings of History, New York, 1882, pp. 568, 569.
486:4 Garrett, Classical Dictionary of India, Art. "Naraka." See also Obry, Le Berceau de lEspèce humaine, p. 184 n.
487:1 Vergil, Georgics, i. 240, ss.
487:2 Peirithous, 597, 3-5, ed. Nauck. Comp. Aristotle, De Anim. Motione, c. 3. Samuel Beal, Four Lectures on Buddhist Literature in China. London, 1882: p. 147. Luken on Atlas in Traditionen des Menschengeschlechtes. Münster, second edition, 1869. Also The True Key to Ancient Cosmology, pp. 13-21.
487:3 Morris, The Epic of Hades (fourteenth edition). London, 1882: p. 230.