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

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ig6 The Sun as the Eye of Zeus

(c) The Sun as the Eye of Zeus.

Fortunately evidence of a less equivocal nature is to hand.
There is reason to think that the Greeks, like various other peoples1,
at one time regarded the sun and moon as the eyes of the animate
sky2. The sun especially was the eye of Aither, 'the Burning Sky3,'
and might therefore be called the eye of Zeus. Euripides in his
tragedy The Mysians spoke of Zeus as 'sun-eyed4.' A magical
hymn preserved in a papyrus of the Berlin Museum addresses the
sun-god thus:

Sun famed-for-steeds, Zeus' earth-embracing eye,
All-bright, high-travelling, fallen-from-Zeus, heaven-ranging5.

And Macrobius states that 'antiquity calls the sun the eye of
Zeus6.' The phrase seems to have been current in the jargon of
later oracles also—witness sundry responses of Apollon first
published by N. Piccolos7. The god bade one Poplas attain his

Praying the ageless eye of all-seeing Zeus8.

On another occasion he advised the same man to propitiate—

The brilliant eye of Zeus, giver of life9.

1 See e.g. E. B. Tylor Primitive Culture* London 1891 i. 350 ff., J. Grimm Teutonic
Mythology trans. J. S. Stallybrass London 1883 ii. 702 f., 1888 iv. 1500, A. Erman
A Handbook of Egyptian Religion trans. A. S. Griffith London 1907 pp. 7, 81, E. A.
Wallis Budge The Gods of the Egyptians London 1904 i. 298 f., H. Oldenberg La religion
du Veda Paris 1903 pp. 40, 158.

2 N. G. Polites '0 "HAtos /card robs S^wSets /xvdovs Athens 1882 p. 33 f., Gruppe Gr.
Myth. Re I. p. 380.

QjXristoph. nub. 285 f. o/x/xa yap aidipos aKajxarov creXayeiTai \ /xap/xapiais ev avyah
with schol. adloc. and Souid. s.v. b/x/xa yap aiOepos. Cp. Soph. Ant. 102 f. xpucr^as | a/xepas
f3X£<papov, 879 f. rode XafJL7r&8os iepbv \ b/x/xa, Eur. /. T. 194 f. iepbv...o/x/x' avyas [ aXios, Ov.
met. 4. 228 mundi oculus, Mart. Cap. 185 mundanusque oculus, Georg. Pisid. hexaemeron
218 to KOivbv 6/x/xa rr\v TravoirrpLav nbpr/v.

4 Eur. frag. p. 531 Nauck2 ap. Philodem. 7rept eixrefieias 50 p. 22 Gomperz <Ei)pt7rt>
Srjs 5' eu Mu<<ro?s Kal>rbv Aia /cat <ovpavb>v rfkLWirbv (sc. \£yei).

5 H. mag. 2. 13 (Abel Orphica p. 288) r}e\ie /cXur67rw\e, Atos yai-qoxov (yairjbxov cj.
Schenkl) o/x/xa.

6 Macrob. Sat. 1. 21. 12 solem lovis oculum appellat antiquitas. Whether Hes. 0. d.
267 iravra idwv Atos ocpdaX/xbs /cat wavra voj]<ra% can be referred to the sun, is doubtful :
cp. Soph. 0. C. 704 f. 6 yap aiev bpQv kijkXos \ \evacrei viv Moptou Atoj, supra p. 187 n. 9.
To judge from Hesych. ojcnrep oiKpOaX/xbs Atos- ws atTTpainq, 'the eye of Zeus' was an
expression used also of lightning; on which conception see infra ch. i § 6 (d) vi, (g) xx
(7), ch. ii § 1.

7 N. Piccolos Supplement a VAnthologie Grecque Paris 1853 p. 183 ff.

8 Cougny Anth. Pal. Append. 6. 152. 2 \iaaofx£v<£ Ttrjvbs iravbtpKios a<pBnov b/x/xa.

9 Id. id. 6. 153. 1 ikaaKov Ztrjvbs fiiobibropos dyXabv o/x/xa.

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