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Thunder as a sound independent of Zeus 827

§ 4. Zeus and the Thunder,
(a) Thunder as a sound independent of Zeus.

Thunder was sometimes, perhaps originally1, venerated as
an independent phenomenon, not connected, or at least not ex-
pressly connected, with the name of Zeus. Thus at Bathos in
Arkadia, where—according to local tradition—the battle of the
gods and giants took place, sacrifices were offered to Lightnings,
Storms, and Thunders2. Similarly the writer of the proem to the
Orphic Hymns addresses his prayer to ' Winds, Thunders, and
parts of the four-pillared World3.'

This conception of Lightnings and Thunders as Augenblicksgotter
has left a trace of itself in a custom common to both Greeks and
Romans. When a lightning-flash was seen, folk at once made a
loud smacking noise with their lips4. Why ? Pliny seems to have
thought that the worshipper was thus, so to speak, blowing a kiss
to his god: 'the nations by common consent,' he says, 'adore the
Lightnings with smacking sounds5.' More probably the sounds in
question were prophylactic6 and meant to avert the danger of being
struck by the lightning7. To the same primitive stage of formless
fear belongs one of the strange taboos8 by which the wife of the

1 So H. Usener in the Rkein. Mas. 1905 Ix. 13 ( — id. Kleine Schriften Leipzig—Berlin
1913 iv. 482). See further supra p. 13 n. r.

'J Paus. 8. 29. 1 Ovovaiv ' Aarpairais avrbdi /ecu GueWcus re /cat Bpourats with the notes
of Sir J. G. Frazer, H. Hitzig and H. Bliimner. A. G. Bather and V. W. Yorke in the
Journ. Hell. Stud. 1892—3 xiii. 231 attribute the localisation of the Gigantomachy to the
prevalence of earthquakes, the existence of an intermittent spring, the frequent firing of
peat-fields, and the finding of mammoth-bones.

3 Orph. ei>xv 7rp6s TAovcaiov 38 f. (quoted supra p. 141 n. 1).

4 Aristoph. vesp. 626 k&v darpd-pw, ttott-kv^ovctlv with schol. Wos yap reus aaTpairals
■woTnrv'^eLv. irapd 8e to. eiuidoTa Xeyeadat vtto tuv dvd pihirwv eirl tou inrepjBdWovTos <po[3ov
\eyei, ore fipovrai Kai dcrTpairai yivovrai, waifav.

5 Plin. nal. hist. 28. 25 fulgetras poppysmis adorare consensus gentium est. So C.
Sittl Die Gebdrden der Griechen und Romer Leipzig 1890 p. 185 interprets the action as
a blandishment: ' Der Blitz, meint man, fiihlt sich geschmeichelt, wenn der Mensch, statt
zu erschrecken, sein Wohlgefallen ausdrtickt.'

6 C. Wessely Griechische Zauberpapyrus von Paris und London Wien i883 p. 35 pap.
Par. 561 f. eVetra avpioov /xaKpov a a, eweira woTnrvaov \eywi> k.t.X., id. Neue griechische
Zauberpapyri Wien 1893 p. 48 pap. 121. 833 ff. Troirirv<ip.6s, arevayp-Oi, avpiynos, k.t.X.,
alib. Cp. C. O. Thulin Die etruskische Disciplin i Die Blitzlehre Goteborg 1906 p. 125.

7 E. Riess in Pauly—Wissowa Real-Enc. i. 42 f. (on the strength of Aristot. anal. post.
2. 11. 94 b 32 ff. uirnrep ei (Spoura &Troaf3evvvp.evov re tov irvpbs avdyKr/ fft^eiv Kai \po<peiv, Kai
el J>s o'l llvdayopeioi cpaaiv d.7reiX^s eveKa rois if r<2 TaprapL:}, oirws cpofiwvraL and Iambi, v.
Pyth. 156 oTav 5e ^pouTr/ay, rrjs yrjs dipaadaL TraprjyyeWe) supposes that a thunderstorm
was regarded as a repetition of the Titanomachy and that men could help the gods to win
by these apotropaeic noises.

8 Frazer Golden Bough3 : Taboo p. 14.