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Zeus and Dionysos



Further, the circumstances suggest that these strata represent
distinct racial elements in the population, which had arrived, by
dint of much mutual accommodation, at a joint-recognition of their
respective deities. Zeus and Ge Themis, the original possessors of
the sanctuary, were throughout classical times admitted to be the
ultimate source of the oracles there delivered. Of the younger gods
first Dionysos, and subsequently Apollon, was affiliated to Zeus.
And, since they were gods of approximately similar character, the
populace came to regard them almost as obverse and reverse aspects
of the same divinity1. Finally, our survey of the data may enable
us to hazard at least a provisional guess concerning the races in-
volved in this curious superposition of cults. Alluvial deposits often
tell their own tale.

iv. Zeus and Dionysos.

Zeus and Ge, the sky-father and the earth-mother, were essenti-
ally Hellenic, their worship being common to every branch of the
Hellenes2. The precise character of the relations between them will
be explained in a later section3. Here it must suffice to observe
that the early Delphians seem to have worshipped Zeus as a
storm-god under the title Aphesios, which may be rendered ' He
that lets fly V and Ge as a fertility-goddess under the title Themis*,

1 In this connexion the pedimental sculptures of the temple at Delphoi are noteworthy.
From fragments found on the site it seems that in the sixth-century building the east
pediment contained a marble group with Apollon in his chariot as centre-piece, the west
pediment a poros Gigantomachy with Zeus in the middle, Athena to the left of him,
Dionysos to the right (T. Homolle in the Bull. Corr. Hell. 1901 xxv. 457—515 figs. 1—6
pis. 9—16, 18 f., F. Courby ib. 1914 xxxviii. 327—350 pi. 6 f. and in the Fouilles de Dclphes
ii. 1. 103 f. fig. 83 pi. 12). And from Paus. 10. 19. 4 to. ok iv tols de-rots, £<ttlv "Apre/xis
/cat Atjtw /cat ' AttoWiov /cat ^Slovaai dvaLS re HXiov /cat Aibvvobs re /cat at yvvaiKes at
Bt/tctSe?. /c.t.A. it has been justly inferred that in the fourth-century structure the east
pediment was occupied by Apollon and deities of his cycle, the west pediment by
Dionysos and his cortege (T. Homolle in the Bull. Corr. Hell. 1902 xxvi. 627—639,
F. Courby in the Fouilles de Delphes ii. 1. 20). The numismatic evidence is inconclusive
(Imhoof-Blumer and P. Gardner Ahum. Comm. Paus. iii. n8ff. pi. X, 22—25, J- N.
Svoronos in the Bull. Corr. Hell. 1896 xx. 35 f. nos. 53 f. pi. 27, 10—12, 44 ff. nos. 81—88
pi. 29, 11 — 18, T. Homolle ib. 1902 xxvi. 629, F. Courby in the Fouilles de Delphes ii. 1.21).

2 For Ge see W. Drexler in Roscher Lex. Myth. i. 1566 ff., A. Dieterich Mutter Erde'1
Leipzig-Berlin 1913, Farnell Cults of Gk. States iii. 1 ft"., 307 ft'., S. Eitrem in Pauly—
Wissowa Real-Enc. vii. 467 ft"., J. A. Hild in Daremberg—Saglio Diet. Ant. v. 73ft.

3 Infra § 9 (e) ii. . 4 Supra p. 179.

5 Dr Farnell op. cit. ii. 495 rightly recognizes ' that Ge herself developed into a Ge
Themis, and thence into Themis alone,' and ib. iii. 13 ff. rejects the notion ' that Themis
began her religious career as the mere personification of the abstract idea of righteousness,'
concluding that she ' was something more concrete than this, and was allied to an earth-
divinity of fertilizing function.' He compares—as does Gruppe Gr. Myth. Kel. p. 1080
n. 6—the Themis of Boucheta (Harpokr. s.v. Bovxera-...ttoXls ecrri ttjs 'B.Treipov,...rju
^CKocFT€(pavos iv tols 'B.Tr€cpwTLKols (frag. 9 a (Frag. hist. Gr. iii. 30 Miiller)) thvofj-aadai.