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

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2go Zeus and the Solar Wheel

Isaac Tzetzes in his twelfth-century commentary on Lykophron's
work informs us that the deity here in question was Zeus, and adds
that he was named ' the Oak-tree-god' in Pamphylia, Promantheiis
at Thourioi, Aithiops and Gyrdpsios in Chios1. Not much is known
about the Zeus-cults of Chios2; but there are traces of solar deities
in the myths of the island3, and the name Aithiops or Aithops, 1 He
of the Burning Face,' is applied elsewhere to one of the sun-god's
horses4. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to suppose that Aithiops
Gyrdpsios denoted Zeus in his solar aspect. But Gyrdpsios means

' He of the Round Wheel5,' so
that the Chian Zeus is here de-
scribed as ' He of the Burning
Face, He of the Round Wheel'
—a combination of epithets that
may fairly be referred to the
Flg' 2I°' conception of the sun as a glow-

ing wheel. Nevertheless it would be unwise to infer from this
passage an early cult of a solar Zeus in Chios. Lykophron, writing
in the third century B.C., not improbably found the local worship
influenced by that of some Asiatic sun-god. After all, it is but
a few miles from Chios to the coast of Asia Minor, where Zeus-
cults in general tended to take on a solar character6. And the
title Gyrdpsios has the air of being a late and erudite compound
rather than an early and popular formation.

1 Tzetz. ad loc. Aptifivios 6 Zeus ^rot dai^tov ovtcj irapa Hap.<pv\tOLS, Hpo/j,avdeds 8e irapa
QovpioLS, Ki6io\p de xal Yvpa\J/t.os irapa Xtots.

2 Zeus"E(pLirvos (Hesych. s.v. "E<piirvos) has been regarded as a god who presided over
ovens (iirvbs): see O. Jessen in Pauly—Wissowa Real-Enc. v. 2853, Gruppe Gr. Myth.
Rel. p. 932 n. 3, Boisacq Diet. ttym. de la Langue Gr. p. 379 f. There were also cults
of Zeus MeiXt'%tos {Ath. Mitth. 1888 xiii. 223) and Zeus Harpuios (Dittenberger Syll.
inscr. Gr.2 no. 571, 35); and Zeus HeXivvaios was worshipped on Mt. Pelinnaion
(Append. B Chios).

3 According to Ion of Chios ap. Paus. 7. 4. 8, Oinopion came from Crete to Chios
with his sons, including TdXos (cp. TaXws infra ch. i § 6 (h)). Orion, when blinded by
Oinopion, recovered his eyesight by walking eastwards through the sea in such a way as to
face the rays of the rising sun (Pherekyd. up. Apollod. 1. 4. 3; Hes. ap. pseudo-Eratosth.
catast. 32, Hyg. poet. astr. 2. 34, schol. Nik. ther. 15, schol. Caes. Germ. Aratea 331;
Serv. in Verg. Aen. 10. 763).

4 Supra p. 195 n. 5, infra p. 337 n. 3.

5 J. Potter on Tzetz. in Lyk. Al. 536 ' qui formae est orbicularis, et circularem
motum circa terram nostram quolibet die et anno peragit.' The epithet is compounded
of yvpos, 'round,' and di/'ts, 'the felloe of a wheel,' which (as I pointed out in the Class.
Rev. 1903 xvii. 419) is used of the wheel of the Sun's chariot (Eur. Phaethon frag. 779,
2 f. Nauck2 axpida <tt)v \ kcltoj dirjcrei, Ion 87 f. ttjv rjfxepiav \ a\p?8a) or of the curved course
described by the Sun (Archestratos frag. 33 Brandt ap. Athen. 326 B orav Qaedwv irv^dLnqv
a\j/i8a duppeur)).

6 Folk-Lore 1904 xv. 273^
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