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

Page: 342
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342 The Sun as the Bird of Zeus

The Danai'des do so in the words—

Lo, thus we call on the saving rays of the sun1.

This invocation of the sun as the ' bird of Zeus' is probably a
deliberate Egyptism on Aischylos' part, and must not in itself be
taken to prove that the Greeks entertained the same idea. There
are, however, certain beliefs and practices current in ancient Greece
which become more intelligible on the assumption that the sun
was once viewed as a bird.

The Orphists, jealous guardians of antiquated ideas, opened
their Rhapsodic Theogony with a somewhat similar invocation:

Sun that soarest aloft on golden wings2.

The solar wheel upon which Ixion was bound is not unfrequently
figured with wings3; and the solar chariot that took Triptolemos
across the world is winged likewise4. A bird was on occasion
affixed to the zy 7tx-\vheel5. The Lycian symbol is sometimes
furnished with bird-heads6. The triskeles is superposed on a bird7,
or itself fitted with wings8. And the Greeks were familiar with a
variety of winged solar deities9.

Apart from these examples of the winged sun, several myths
merit attention. That of Kirke, as we have seen, presupposes the
belief in a solar hawk10. Ovid tells how Daidalion, grieving for the
death of his daughter Chione, flung himself from the summit of
Parnassos and, as he fell, was transformed by Apollon into a
hawk11. Hyginus adds that daedalio means 'a hawk12/ More prob-
ably the name is a mere patronymic, the 'son of Daidalos13'; for
parallels occur in various versions of the Daidalos-myth. Accord-
ing to Athenian tradition, Talos son of Daidalos' sister was hurled
from the Akropolis and in mid air changed by Athena into a
partridge14. But Talos is definitely identified by Hesychios with
the sun15. It would seem, then, that behind the stories of Daidalion

1 Aisch. suppl. 212 f. AA. /ecu Zrjvos opvtv rovde vvv /a/cX^cr/cere. | XO. KcCkodfxev av-yas
ijXiov awrripiovs. The cj. Ivlv for 8pviv is improbable.

2 Ovp\\. frag. 49, 3 Abel ap. Io. Mala], chron. 4 p. 72 f. Dindorf= Kedren. hist. comp.
57 A—B (i. 101 f. Bekker) 'HeXtc, xPva^V<rLV cf-eipd/nepe -rrTeptiyeaai. Cp. Orph. frag. 65
Abel (of Phanes) xPV(TeLaLS TrrepvyeacrL cpopevfxevos 'ivQa. koX 'ivQa.

3 Supra p. 198 ff.

4 Supra pp. 213 n. 2, 217 ff.

5 Supra pp. 253, 257. 6 Supra p. 300f.
7 Supra p. 304. 8 Supra p. 306 f.
9 Supra p. 296 ff. 10 Supra p. 240 ff.

11 Ov. met. 11. 291 ff., cp. Hyg. fab. 200, Paus. 8. 4. 6. Supra p. 241.

12 Hyg. loc. cit.

13 Ov. met. 11. 271 ff., 294 ff. makes Daidalion son of the Morning Star {Lucifer).

14 Infra ch. i § 6 (h) iv.

15 Infra ch. i § 6 (h) i.
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