Cook, Arthur B.
Zeus: a study in ancient religion (Band 1): Zeus god of the bright sky — Cambridge, 1914

Page: 63
DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cook1914bd1/0122
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
0.5
1 cm
facsimile
Wolf-god or Light-god ? 63

§ 3. Zens Lykaios.

(a) Wolf-god or Light-god ?

On the summit of Mount Lykaion in Arkadia was a far-famed
cult of Zeus Lykaios. Tradition said that Lykdon, son of Pelasgos,
had founded the town of Lykosoura high up on the slopes of the
mountain, had given to Zeus the surname of Lykaios, and had
instituted the festival called Lykaia1. On the significance of this
group of names scholars are by no means agreed. Some take
them to be pre-Greek or non-Greek2. Thus Fick maintains that
they represent a Hittite tribe to be identified with the Lycaonians
and Lycians of Asia Minor3, while Berard argues for a Phoenician
cult comparable with that of Baal4. Most critics, noting the
essentially Greek aspect of the names in question, are content
to seek an explanation in the • language of Greece. But even
here opinions are divided. Some, starting from the undeniable
fact that the wolf {lykos) plays a part in the local myths5, hold
that Zeus Lykaios was in some sense a 'Wolf-god6.' This view,
however, is open to a grave objection. The word Lykaios cannot

1 Paus. 8. 2. r, Aristot. frag. 594 Rose ap. schol. Aristeid. p. 323, 12 f. Dindorf,
schol. Eur. Or. 1647, marm. Par. ep. 17 p. 8 Jacoby, Plin. nat. hist. 7. 205.

2 P. Weizsacker in Roscher Lex. Myth. ii. 2173.

3 A. Fick Vorgriechische Ortsnamen Gottingen 1905 pp. 92, 132.

4 V. Berard De Vorigine des cultes arcadiens (Bibliotheque des ecolesfrancaises d'Athenes
et de Rome Paris 1894 lxvii) pp. 48—93. Cp. also J. A. Hartung Die Religion und
Mythologie der Griechen Leipzig 1865—1866 iii. 6, 26 ft"., W. Mannhardt Wald-und
Feldkulte1 Berlin 1904—1905 ii. 342, 346.

5 Infra pp. 70 ff., 77 ff.

6 F. Creuzer Symbolik und Mythologie* Leipzig and Darmstadt 1841 iii. 76 f. Avkcuos
= Avic6epyos, Lupercus, 'Protector against the Wolf.' J. A. Hartung op. cit. iii. 6, 27
n. 45 Avkcuos, ' Wolf-god,' the wolf (\6kos connected with AiWa) denoting fierceness.

0. Jahn 'Uber Lykoreus' in the Ber. sdchs. Gesellsch. d. Wiss. 1847 Phil.-hist. Classe
p. 423 drew a parallel between Zeus Avkcuos of Mt. Lykaion and Zeus AvKdbpeios of
Mt. Parnassos (Steph. Byz. s.v. AvKwpeia), pointing out that in the myths of both localities
the ' wolf symbolises the exiled founder of the cult. W. Immerwahr Kult. Myth. Arkad.

1. 21 ff. and W. H. Roscher in the fahrb.f. class. Philol. 1892 xxxviii. 705 follow O. Jahn.

0. Gruppe Gr. Myth. Rel. p. 805 likewise takes Zeus Avkcuos to be Zeus god of'wolves'

1. e. exiles (ib. p. 918 n. 7). H. D. Midler Ueber den Zeus Lykaios Gottingen 1851 p. 13 ff.
and in his Mythologie der griechischen Stdmme Gottingen 1857—186[ ii. 78 ff.' Avkcuos,
' Wolf-god,' the wolf being a symbol of his chthonian character (ib. p. 93 f.). V. Jurgiewicz
De Jove Lycao Odessoe 1859 pp. 1—32 reaches the same conclusions as H. D. Midler,
adding Slavonic and Germanic parallels (ib. p. 19 ff.).

Others with more circumspection abandon the slippery path of symbolism.
W. Mannhardt Wald- und Feldkulte1 ii. 336 ff. explains the Avkcuo. as a solstice-
festival involving a procession of ' Harvest-wolves' (cp. the Hirpi Sorani). W. Robertson
Smith in The Encyclopedia Britannico? Edinburgh 1886 xxi. 136 s.v. 'Sacrifice,' Lectures
on the Religion of the Semites'1 London 1907 p. 366 n. 5, regards Zeus Avkcuos as the god
loading ...