Hermes 'established on the Tallaian heights1,' and we know that
the mountain as a whole was famous for its cult of Zeus2.
As in Crete, so in Lakonia, Talos the sun-god came to be
identified with Zeus. Mount Taleton, the culminating peak of
Mount Taygeton3, was sacred to the Sun, and amongst the
sacrifices there offered to him were horses4. It would appear,
therefore, that the Laconians too had a sun-god akin to Talos.
But Zeus, whose worship spread by degrees over most of the
mountain-tops of Greece5, naturally usurped the position of this
ancient deity. A Spartan inscription links together Zeus Taletitas
with Auxesia and Damoia6. These were goddesses of fertility7,
and Zeus Taletitas was presumably coupled with them as being
himself a fertilising force8.
§ 7. Zeus in relation to the Moon.
(a) Direct identifications of Zeus with the Moon.
We have next to enquire whether Zeus as god of the bright
sky stood in any special relation to the second of the celestial
luminaries. Direct identification, indeed, of Zeus with the moon
is hardly to be looked for on Greek soil ; for the Greeks, at
least in historical times9, consistently regarded the moon as femi-
nine. It is only in quasi-Greek districts that Zeus appears as a
1 Corp. inscr. Gr. ii no. 2569 = Cougny Anth. Pal. Append, i. 237 ovpecri TaWaLoccrLu
(Ta\\eLoi.aiv Gruter) idpv/xeue k.t.X.
2 Append. B Crete.
:! Supra p. 155 f.
4 Paus. 3. 20. 4, supra p. 180 f.
5 Append. B.
(i Lebas-Foucart Peloponnese no. 162 k add. ...Ad TaXertra [/cat Av^rj^aig. /cat Aafxoia
k.t.X. — Inscr. Gr. Arc. Lac. Mess, i no. 363, 1 f. See Append. B Lakonike.
7 F. Dummler in Pauly—Wissowa Real-Enc. ii. 2616 ff.
8 Supra p. 291. H. Usener Gotternamen Bonn 1896 p. 1301". regarded Zeus TaAXcuos,
TaAertras, as gods corresponding with the goddesses 0aXXc6, GaXt'a, and ingeniously
compared the Zeus QaXijs of Aquileia (Inscr. Gr. Sic. It. no. 2337 an altar found at
Aquileia in 1830 Au 0ctX^ | Tt TouXios | Mafxeprcvos | dveOrjKep). For the interchange
of T and 0 he referred to H. L. Ahrens De dialecto DojHca Gottingae 1843 p. 83
(Plesych. ripios- depovs. Kprjres) and quoted ILvtlos, UoLtlos, for ntftftos (E. Boisacq Pes
dialectes doj-iens Paris 1891 p. 92, who adds av\Tiv for avdis in Collitz—Bechtel Gr. Dial.-
Inschr. iii. 2. 261 ff. no. 4991 iv 3 f.).
9 H. Usener Gotternamen Bonn 1896 p. 36 conjectures that the Greeks originally
regarded the moon as masculine, not feminine, as Mtji', not Mr/pri, and that the early
conception survived in the Phrygian moon-god Mrjv (on whom see W. Drexler's
exhaustive article in Roscher Lex. Myth. ii. 2687—2770). This, in view of the fact
that the moon is masculine in the Celtic, Germanic, Slavonic, Old Indian, and Zend
languages, appears to me not improbable.