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Full text of "Dionysos and immortality : the Greek faith in immortality as affected by the rise of individualism"

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IMMORTALITY AND THE NEW THEODICY. By 

George A. Gordon, D. D. i6mo, ^i.oo. 1897. 
HUMAN IMMORTALITY: Two supposed Objections 

to the Doctrine. By Professor William James. 

i6mo, $1.00. 1898. 
DIONYSOS AND IMMORTALITY: The Greek Faith 

in Immortality as affected by the rise of Individualism. 

By President Benjamin Ide Wheeler. i6mo, $1.00. 

1899. 

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO. 
Boston and New York. 



DIONYSOS 
AND IMMORTALITY 

THE GREEK FAITH IN 
IMMORTALITY AS AFFECTED BY THE 
RISE OF INDIVIDUALISM * 

BY 

BENJAMIN IDE WHEELER 

PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
AND INGERSOLL LECTURER FOR 1898-99 




BOSTON AND NEW YORK 
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 

1899 



COPYRIGHT, 1899, BY BENJAMIN IDE WHEELER 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



REP. GEN. UB. 17.9^0^1 

access.no. '-'*-' 
GIFT 



cfe Fu-ss'e^v*; 






THE INGERSOLL LECTURESHIP 



Mxtraci from the will of Miss Caroline Haskell Ingersoll^ 

•who died in Keene^ County of Cheshire^ New 

Hampshire, Jan. 2b, iSqs. 

First. In carrying out the wishes of my late 
beloved father, George Goldthwait Ingersoll, as 
declared by him in his last will and testament, I 
give and bequeath to Harvard University in Cam- 
bridge, Mass., where my late father was graduated, 
and which he always held in love and honor, the 
sum of Five thousand dollars ($5,000) as a fund for 
the establishment of a Lectureship on a plan some- 
what similar to that of the Dudleian lecture, that is 
— one lecture to be delivered each year, on any con- 
venient day between the last day of May and the 
first day of December, on this subject, *Uhe Im- 
mortality of Man," said lecture not to form a part 
of the usual college course, nor to be delivered by 
any Professor or Tutor as part of his usual routine 
of instruction, though any such Professor or Tutor 
may be appointed to such service. The choice of 
said lecturer is not to be limited to any one religious 
denomination, nor to any one profession, but may 
be that of either clergyman or layman, the appoint- 
ment to take place at least six months before the 
delivery of said lecture. The above sum to be 
safely invested and three fourths of the annual in- 
terest thereof to be paid to the lecturer for his 
services and the remaining fourth to be expended 
in the pubHshment and gratuitous distribution of 
the lecture, a copy of which is always to be fur- 
nished by the lecturer for such purpose. The same 
lecture to be named and known as " the Ingersoll 
lecture on the Immortality of Man." 



^^885847 



DIONYSOS AND IMMORTALITY 




■SJO people has ever possessed a reli- 
^ gion more delicately responsive to 
its moods than the people of ancient 
Greece. This they owed in large measure 
to the absence of an ecclesiastical organiza- 
tion. The Greek instinctively abhorred all 
mechanism, for mechanism, as guaranteeing 
like and constant output to like time and 
like material, ignored free personality, — 
and this free personality was to the Greek 
the one recognized source of all creative 
movement. Least of all did he need the 
ecclesiastical machine. There was no 
priestly hierarchy either for Greece as a 
whole or for single cantons; not even 
among priests of the same cult in different 
cantons was there organized cooperation. 
Some popular shrine or oracle might win 
more than local prestige and secure the 



4 Dionysos and Immortality 

protection and support of various neighbor- 
ing states, but there the drift toward central- 
ization and organization found its limit. 

At no time did there exist an organized 
authority which could formulate standards 
of faith or dictate the usages of religious 
etiquette. Ritual, seeking that which in 
matter and manner was believed to be well 
pleasing to the gods, followed the traditions 
of the individual shrines, and there were no 
better theologians than the poets. Dogmas 
there were none. I n cbntrast with^J Jj^ 
religious experience of a^ lapd lil^p^ Tnrlip, 
Greece stands at the extreme. There re- 
ligio njvas imposed as j ^ jystfim f rmp with- 
out, here it sprang as a s ocial and civic 
i mpulse from within. 

This fundamental characteristic endows 
the study of Greek religious thought at 
once with singular charm and with singular 
difficulty. We know on the one hand that 
if we can penetrate through the thick-tangled 
meshes of mythology and ritual to the un- 
spoken faiths lying behind, we shall find 



The Greek Religion 5 

them hard by the life conditions and the 
views of life which were their source. On 
the other hand, as no authority essayed 
to formulate what Greeks should believe, so 
no contemporary was moved to state in con- 
nected form, nor presumably even to think, 
what they did believe. 

Research has spent itself in following the 
shifting forms of the mythology through 
glade, and fen, and grotto, until they prove 
themselves most mere will-o'-the-wisps, — 
light-winged fancies, whether of poets who 
write, or of poets who dream and write not. 
Sometimes they are mirror flashes from the 
ritual thrown upon the valley mist, some- 
times they are dim ghosts of a storied past, 
sometimes they are shadowy images of na- 
ture and her signs, but seldom are they 
trusty guides into the land of reality. Other 
guides we must follow if we would come to 
a knowledge of the plain faith by which men 
stayed their lives, measured their duty, esti- 
mated the meaning of life's beginning and 
life's end. 



6 Dionysos and Immortality 

I p ropose in what follows to speak of one 
phase of t his plain, inner faith amoag_t he 
Greeks, the belief in t he life after death , 
and, lest 1 wander toofar afield, to speak 
in particular of the marvelous quickening 
and development which that belief under- 
went during one most significant epoch in 
the national life. It is in its readjustment 
to changed conditions of life and new views 
of the world that a people*s faith best be- 
trays whither its face is really set. tDiaL 
which conditions it then becomes the/bgckJ 
ground against jwhiich we measure it. 
I In ^ undertaking this task we do not shut 
pury%yes to the fact that in Old Greece 
there were, as now, many men and many 
minds,/ — that there was diversity in the 
beliefs of different tribes and districts, that 
there were strongly marked strata of intelli- 
gence or culture, that survivals from earlier 
horizons of belief, be it through the forms 
of ritual or through the revered texts of the 
national epic, continually intruded them- 
selves to confuse the bearings in the new, 



Primitive Dualism ^ 

but still there is a law in things human that 
that which holds itself below the attacks of 
systematic reason tends toward homogeneity 
and unity, — and Greece in the period with 
which we deal had not yet fallen ill of phi- 
losophy. 

As part of the common stock of primitive 
human thought the Greek inherited the nat- 
ural consciousness for being as absolute, as 
unbounded by non-being. To forget is the 
one gate of annulment. The common hu- 
man be lief in the shadowy second-self, r e- 

xr/^alp/ij i> may -yvpll V>P^ in fVi^ f^vpAn'^nr^^c 

of sleep and dreams, s wr^^^pc ar»ri ^r>cfac;^<^ 
was a lao his bel i ef, and to him man was body 
and soul. 

vV TYCii a man dies, the soul issues forth 
from the SS dy t O ^6 ek Olhei ' 1 esidence . And ■ 
not mar>\c|Jif e alone is thus dual ; a ll life, of 
b east, of tree, of the river current, oL ^the 
founta in, of the wind and the .<;i;r>rm-d^"<^, ^'s 
m ade up of bndy anH snni — For the primitive 
Greek as for the primitive man^ t^^r^ wag 
no other way in which to think of life. 



8 Dionysos and Immortality 

Even philosophy when it made its first at- 
tempts began in terms of this same s imple 
dualism which dominated all thought, and 
the apxfi, water, air, or fire, which Thales, 
Anaximenes, and Herakleitos inquired after, 
was conceive d in th e analogy of the ^x^ ; 
it was the world-soul. 

If we are to believe, as it seems likely we 
mustj j:hat the religion of primitive m an ^ 
receive dL its character in the strug gle to 
conciliate and be at peace with soul-life 
dwelling and wandering in his environment, 
then we can say that the primitive Greek 
religion, or, if we dare use the term, the 
Indo-European religion,^ had made so much 
advance upon this, that it had introduced 
certain classifications, a certain system and 
order, certain limitations into th^ ^^^^s of 
soul-dreads anr ^ <^mi1-wn rships. It had de- 
veloped the family, the greater family or 
clan, and the tribe as definite organizations 
existing for the purpose, or held together by 
the usage, of caring for the souls of an- 
cestors, the family the nearer, the tribe the 



Soul'WorsUp and Nature-Worship g 

remoter. It had restricted the care for 
spirits resident in natural objects mostly to 
specific cults and shrines, and through gen- 
eralization upon naturaL- objects and pheno- 
mena had obtained certain types of the so- 
called, " nature-gods." Nature-gods as such, 
however, there were none. 

Between soul-worship and nature-worship, 
at least from the point of view of Greek re- 
ligion, no sharp line of demarcation is to be 
drawn. The primitive belief in the residence 
of souls in natural objects colored all the 
later developments of the theogony, and 
the great gods, the " nature-gods," carried 
up with them from their origin the sem- 
blances of ancestor-gods, and as such always 
had the character of persons, members of 
the community, first citizens of tribe or 
state. 

Thus Hermes, who always bears in his 
character suggestions of the phenomena of 
the wind, and develops attributes determined 
by the impression which these phenomena 
make upon the minds of men, is a fellow- 



lo Dionysos and Immortality 

citizen, an honorary member of the state- 
guild, an embodiment of the purpose and 
meaning of society and the state. Respect 
for him is a constituent part of loyalty ; im- 
piety toward him and his kind is treason, 
and treason has no other definition than 
impiety. 

After the analogies of ancestor-worship 
kings traced their descent back to these 
gods, who were thus joined by the geneal- 
ogies to the fate and fabric of the state. 
The gods, too, were related among them- 
selves, and their organization into a bond 
of relationship gave color to the instinct of 
unity among the diverse tribes who owned 
them as kin. One of- them bore, indeed, 
from Indo-European times, the title of 
"father" (Zev Trdrep, Jupiter), and he re- 
mained in his character as father the per- 
sonal sponsor for Hellenic unity. 

All tb^ ()b«^'"rv;iTir^'i of the rifinl tpnlr 
thei r form from the primitive usages of 
frnjijc nnd rntrrtniiiiii^ iiirih The feast 

for <4»A.Hpqrlj Qt ^^Th^rh in fhp innpr fljfrlfi of 



Festival and Sacrifice 1 1 

the family the soul of the depart ed was es - 
t eemed the guest of honor, dfflered in^ sub- 
stan ce no whit from the great sacrifices 
which the state offered its great g ods. The 
fu neral games for Patroklos were of the 
sa me significance as those offered for e n- 
tertainment of Zeu g I'n thP'p\^\n nf mympjp^ 
Throughout the whole life and practice 
of Greek religion the festivals retained the 
scantly disguised form of entertainments in 
honor of the gods as "first citizens" of 
the state, the tribe, or the association. The 
sacrifices were feasts at which the god and 
his entertainers dined together and partook 
of the same food, if not of the same life. 
The priests were the specialists in divine 
etiquette who knew what portions and what 
manners were pleasing to the personages 
who were the guests of honor. The games 
were an entertainment offered to the guests 
which were as certainly believed to be grati- 
fying to their sight as a review of troops 
or a deer-hunt to a modern European 
sovereign. 



!2 Dionysos and Immortality 

To return now to our characterization of 
primitive, i, ^., pra e-Homeric Greek religi on,^ 
we k now that it maintained a system of 
offerings to the souls of the departed, and 
that 




t o which on occasions they were won^ to 
r eturn. They were offerings of food, in 
^mchjtheoffering of Jbk>odjpkyeij,.,pi:^ 
nent part , ai^ d wer e intended to appfia, gft 
a nd conciliate the sn^^ ]^ ^ ^ nd p revent t he 
ban eful intrusion of their wrath into the 
life of living men. 

A belief in a place beneath the earth, a 
deep cavernous abode where all the s ouls 
we re assembled, not for punishment or 
blessing, but simply for residence, was a 
part of the earliest faith, apparently derived 
from prae-Greek, probably Indo-European 
^ faith. The Vedic idea of a residence for 

is, as O ldenberg^ has made almost cer- 
tain, a 'inbstjtiitg for nn earliftr bHif^f in an 

abndft beneath the ^arfh In the Indo- 



\A. 



Cultus of the Dead ij 

Iranian beliefs which lie behind the sepa- 
rate Indian and Iranian religions the dead 
wer e^ as he seems t o have demonstrated, 
conc eived of as residing in the eartTiTa nd 
i n conformity to this view the cult of the 
dead was originally celebrated. To induce 
the soul to r etire into this common a bode 
of the dead and there find contented rest 

is apparently <->>p QnprPmP qitt^ ppH pnrpngfi 

of the rites ofj -he grave among the ea rly 
indoos as am ong the early Grgeks^ 
In marked contrast now with this early 
faith and practice, which we have thus far 
been considering, the religion represented 
in the Homeric poems discovers an almost 
complete atrophy of the cultus of the dead. 
Once " the life-e nergy had left the white 
bone sl^^'^ana tne^ funeral pyre with i ts \ i 
"st out force of gleaming fire o'ermas - V^*^--^.^,,^^ 
tered '' flesh and bones, then the psyche 
"flitt ing off like a dreani is flown" to the 
" asph odel moors'' beyond the rive r. 

There it tarries in a shadowy existence 
without memory or will, and without in- 



14 Dionysos and Immortality 

terest ji Lthe affairs of men, or powe r to 
intrudeitsel f_into them . The recurring 
observances at th e tom b had ceased. The 
feeding of souls and all the rites of soul- 
worship ^ad been discontinued, for, after 
the soul had once been led by Hermes the 
guidedown " the dank ways " and under 
"the n iisty gloom/' it never retraced the 
pa th nor crossed the river again. Some 
strange wind of skepticism, some cold, clear 
tramontana of spiritual agnosticism, whose 
source and meaning we may never know, 
had purged of ghosts the air of Homer's 
world.^ Proper burial was the one condi- 
tion of purgation. So much at least lin- 
gered of the old. 

As Achilles slept in the night after slay- 
ing Hector, the psyche of Patroklos, still 
free to wander about; while the body re- 
mained" unburied, still possessed of reason 
and will, came and stood above Achilles' 
head, " altogether like to his very self, in 
stature, fair eyes, and voice, and like in the 
raiment he wore ; " and spoke to him thus : 



The Souls in Hades 75 

" So thou dost sleep, Achilles, but me thou 
hast forgotten. Not when I lived wast thou 
remiss, but now that I am dead. Make 
haste and bury me, that I may pass the 
gates of Hades. The spirits keep me wide 
aloof, these phantoms of the weary dead, 
nor suffer me to join with them beyond the 
river, and vainly do I roam around the wide- 
doored house of Hades. Nay, give me, I 



entreat of thee, thy hand, for nevermore 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^,,^,^1^^ ii mif< i iiwi i , iiiiiiii mil l . M il i i w 

shairrcom^^ from, Hadfi&Vklldiii»toM 
yejia^g^^d me once ^^y ^"** ^j, fifHnimftBidi. 
nevermore among the living s h^\gg^g|t 
without the circle of our comrades and 
there take counsel with each other '^*^"'''*^ 
TEe psyches, like vain shadows, "strength- 
less heads of the dead,'* reft of t\iQ fkreneSf 
the organs of will and emotion,® flitted hither 
and thither without plan or purpose or hope. 
Thus at the close of Achilles' vision : " So 
spake he, and stretched out his hands but 
grasped him not, for vapor-like the spirit 
vanished into the ground with squeaking, 
gibbering cry. And in marvel sprung up 



i6 Dionysos and Immortality 

Achilles, and smiting his hands together 
uttered the word of woe, Ay me, verily then 
there is in the dwellings of Hades a spirit, 
a phantom, hxnt phrenes it hath not at all/* 

And so after Odysseus has slain the suit- 
ors : " Cyllenian Hermes summoned to- 
gether the shades of the suitors; and he 
held in his hands the wand that is golden 
and fair, wherewith he closes to sleep the 
eyes of whomsoever he will, while others 
he wakens from sleep. Therewith he 
started them forth and led them along, 
while they followed on with squeaking, 
gibbering cry. And just as when bats fly 
chirping about in the depth of some mon- 
strous cave, and one has fallen from the 
cluster on the rock, and they cling fast 
one to the other, so they went on and 
chirped as they went, but Hermes the 
helper went on leading them down the 
dank ways, past the streams of Oceanus, 
past the White Rock, along by the gates 
of the Sun, past the parish of Dreams, till 
they come to the asphodel moor, where 



Odysseus and the Psyches // 

the spirits have their abode, the phantoms 
of way-worn men." ^^ 

The psyches are fuj;thermor(^> repre- 
sented as without memory or the power of 
recognition, and in the N^^j^-^^^ 
through drinking the sacrificial blood from 
Odysseus* trench that these are restored ta- 
them.^ " And I drew my sharp blade from 
my thigh and therewith dug a pit as much 
as a cubit this way and that. Around it I 
poured my libation for all the departed, first 
with the milk and the honey, then with 
sweet wine, and thirdly with water; and 
over it barley-meal white I strewed." 

Then the shades flocked about the 
trench, but Odysseus kept them off with 
his sword, waiting to catch sight of the seer 
Teiresias, who was the prime object of his 
search. Among them he saw the psyche 
of his mother ; " and I wept at sight of her 
and pitied her in my heart, but even so, 
sore grieved as I was I suffered her not to 
draw nigh to the blood, till I first had in- 
quired of Teiresias." 



i8 Dionysos and Immortality 

Finally, after Odysseus had found the 
seer and talked with him, he asks him how 
he may bring his mother to recognize her 
son : " I see the spirit here of my departed 
mother; silent she sits beside the blood, 
but has not ventured to look into the face 
of her son nor speak with him. Pray tell 
me, master, how she may know it is I. So 
I spoke, and straightway he gave me his 
answer: *An easy saying will I tell thee 
and fix it in thy heart : whomsoever of those 
who are dead and gone thou lettest draw 
nigh to the blood, he will speak the word 
of truth ; whom thou dost begrudge it, he 
will go back to his place.' So saying, the 
spirit entered the house of Hades, the 
spirit of great Teiresias, who had told the 
decrees of the gods. But I kept my place 
on the spot, till my mother came near and 
drank the dark blood. Straightway she 
knew me." 

It is to Rohde and his famous book 
"Psyche''^ we owe it — a book which I 
cannot help thinking has in other regards 



The Hades of Homer 19 

set many simple things awry — that this 
service of blood has been recognized as 
a reminiscence or survival from a horizon 
of faith that has passed away. It lingered 
with other rites in the ceremonies of burial 
as mere form divorced from the earlier faith, 
which alone gave it meaning and which alone 
can give it now interpretation. It is a part 
of the old cult of souls, the feeding of the 
dead. 

it was no cheerful place, this land of 
Hades where the shades abode. Slimy and 
wet were its paths, where the gloomy black 
poplar and willows grew, misty and murky 
was its air. The "asphodel moor " whither 
the souls were led by guide Hermes was 
not the green pastures. The pale, ghastly 
asphodel, blooming from its unsightly stem, 
haunts in the upper world, we know, the 
barren lands, and that was the part it 
played below. "Son of Laertes, seed of 
Zeus, Odysseus of many wiles, what seekest 
thou now, wretched man } Why hast thou 
left the light of the sun to come here and 



20 Dionysos and Immortality 

look on the dead and see this joyless 
place? "13 

Onr g ^nd p T^ce only, in Homer there is an 
allusion to the Elysian Fields w1iefe"KKa- 
damanthys dwells, and where Menelaos, 
another kinsman of Zeus, will find a place 
of rest, " where is no snow, iand no wintry 
storrn, nor ever the torrent of rains, but 
ever the light-breathing zephyrs Oceanus 
sends from the west with cooling for men." 
But this, like the later refuge in the blessed 
islands, is only for here and. there one of 
the great ones of this earth, such as are 
really of the kin of gods, alro^lt^was' indeed, 
as such, a reminiscence of the old hero- 
worship, now for a time in abeyance, but to 
revive again in a reinvigorated Hellas. 

For men after the flesh, the future life 
offers prospect neither of bliss nor of punish- 
ment. The passage, Odyssey XL 566-631, 
which tells of the punishments of Tityos, 
Tantalos, Sisyphos, has been unmistakably 
identified by Wilamowitz-Moellendorff ^^ as 
the product of a much later period, the 



The Homeric Despair 21 

times of Solon and Peisistratos, and infused 
with a spirit and with ideas for which Ho- 
meric life had no place. 

For Homer's men, there was no hope for / 
a future life in wlncS action and personaliiy ti. 
were continued with values derived and , 
transplanted from the world of sunlight f 
and sense. Hades was a dreary land of ' 
banishment, where there was no trikl or joy, 
nothing to risk and nothing to achieve. 
All this belonged to the life under the '^' 
blessed sunlight, and when that closed, the 
mission of personality was at an end. The 
earlier faith had found its solace in the con- V ^ 
tinuation of personal life through the family """^**««fe 
and the tribe, as symbolized in the continued 
sacrifices for the dead. Homeric thought 
while living still under the shadow of the 
tribal idea had lost in lar2:e measure ils^^v 
cohsoTatioh, and could coritent itself only 
with recognition of the harsh inevitable. ^^ 

Homer stands at the end, not the be- 
ginning of an order of life, civilization, and 
thought. His voice is the swan's song 



t/ 



22 Dionysos and Immortality 

of an order that like all, both men and 
communities, which have lost, before or 
since, the power to trust and hope, was 
going down the ways of death. It told 
the tales of a mighty world whose record 
is left in the walls and art and treasure 
of Mykenai, Tiryns, Orchomenos, and told 
them in a guise of thought and speech 
peculiar to the old Ionian ^^ tribal aristo- 
cracy, itself doomed, in its materialism and 
its lifeless adherence, to the forms without 
the spirit of the old, to extinction and death. 
Between Homer and the new Hellenic life, 
that found its centre in the Athens of Pei- 
sistratos and Perikles, there is a deep gulf 
fixed, and across it come only the words of 
Homer and the thud of the rhapsode's foot. 
But it is this gulf which made Homer's 
words the message from another world, 
and transformed the lays to a sacred book. 
In the period between 750 and 600 b. c. 
Greece passed through a change that made 
it new from the foundations. It was the 
period of the. transition from mediaeval to 



The National Awakening 23 

classical GreecCj^^^^^^he phenomenally rapid 
colonialexpansion of the century from 750 
to 650 B. c. marks the occasion, and to a 
large extent the cause. Within this cen- 
tury, prosperous mercantile colonies were 
formed along the coasts of the Euxine, the 
iEgean, the Mediterranean from Kolchis 
and the Crimea at the east to Cumae and 
Marseilles on the west. Through the con- 
trast with peoples of other race and tongue, 
the Greek people of many tribes and cities 
awoke to a consciousness of national unity, 
and the Greater Greece was born, named 
with the new name Hellas. 

Trade with the colonies, and through 
the colonies with distant inland popula- 
tions, burst into sudden vigor. Everywhere 
the Phoenician trader yielded to the Greek. 
Industries rapidly developed to supply the 
demands of trade. The smith, the cutler, 
the potter, the weaver, the dyer, the wheel- 
wright, the shoemaker, and the shipbuilder, 
all were spurred to their utmost to supply 
the demands of the new export trade. 



24 Dionysos and Immortality 

The demand for labor brought in the 
slave, a new element. Thus far Greece had 
known only the serf. Wealth poured into 
the land, luxury increased, the demands of 
life became greater and more diversified. 
The coinage of money, just begun, rapidly 
extended. Barter and local exchanges gave 
way to the money standard. Prices were 
no longer fixed by local conditions, but the 
remotest villages became part of the eco- 
nomic world at large. 

Men flocked from the farms and pastures 
into the cities. The new wealth came often 
into the hands of others than the old no- 
bility. Timocracy for a time displaced 
aristocracy. The new population of the 
mercantile and manufacturing centres, con- 
fused of merchants, tradesmen, manufactur- 
ers, and laborers, sundered from their old so- 
cial and political ties, could no longer respect 
the traditional usages and classifications of 
tribal aristocratic institutions, which in the 
undisturbed life of the home and the vil- 
lage had never been questioned. 



New Legal and Political Conditions 25 

The old law and the old methods of ad- 
ministering justice no longer suffice. The 
new conditions demand one law for all, 
nobleman and laborer, and a court main- 
tained by the state, and they demand that 
the caprice of the judge shall be limited by 
definite written statutes. Hence appear at 
this time all over Greece the great codifiers, 
Zaleukos the Locrian, Charondas of Ka- 
tana, Pheidon of Corinth, Pittakos of Mity- 
lene, Dracon, then Solon, in Athens. 

In the political life,too, the old sacks would 
not do for the new wine. The old ruling 
class admits to its ranks here and there the 
holders of the new wealth and so com- 
promises with the new situation, but the 
tiers dtaty the demos, pushes for a hearing, 
and the assembly (or ekklesia) gradually 
asserts its claim to be the state. In the 
rapid shifting of conditions political and 
economic, it was the peasant and the coun- 
try squire who suffered most, but as is al- 
ways the case when economic and social 
dislodgments such as this occur in the his- 



26 Dionysos and Immortality 

tory of a people, discontent muttered on 
every hand. Discontent and joy are both 
the legitimate children of opportunity. 

The breaking of the traditional moulds 
in which the old tribal life was set had re- 
leased the individual from bondage to the 
destiny of that group into which he was 
born, and given him the opportunity, and 
thrown upon him the responsibility of a 
man. He became the bearer of his own 
destiny. With the rise of individualism, 
culture, thought, literature, institutions, and 
life hastened in widely branching differen- 
tiation to assume the many-sided type that 
sets the Greece of the sixth and following 
centuries in such marked contrast- to the 
plain nai've monotony of its earlier days ; 
for Greece had then passed out of child- 
hood into the years of discretion and man- 
hood. 

The rapid change of attitude which had 
thus passed over the Greek people in re- 
spect to the world of politics, of society, of 
justice, of economics, could not fail to seek 



Individualism in Religion 27 

its expression in terms of the greater world 
of ultimate destiny and purpose. The in- 
dividualism which had received in the marts 
equal opportunity, and had demanded of the 
courts equal justice, and was demanding of 
the state equal hearing, and which in life 
carried the burden of its own responsibility, 
could no longer be satisfied before the 
oracles of religion with a destiny that in 
arbitrary violence robbed personality of its 
fulfillment or merged its fate and its hope 
in the fate of the clan or the race. 

The period with which we have been 
dealing marked the rise, and the following 
or sixth century the full development, of 
the Greek faith in personal irxu nortality. 
From the seventh century on, new elements 
and new states, Corinth and iEgina, Megara 
and Sparta and Thebes, later Athens, came 
to the front in Greek affairs. 

The, c ivilization localized in the eastern 
hem of Greek life, that which Homer repre- 
sents, and which bears the name of Ionian, 
burned itself out with luxury and material- 



28 Dionysos and Immortality 

ism in the exuberance of its precocious 
bloom. From the sturdy mountain peoples 
of central Hellas, who had thus far re- 
mained in the background, and in their iso- 
lation from the culture of the iEgean had 
preserved the old standards of simplicity 
and the old usages of religion, came a fresh 
infusion of Hellenic blood, new aggressive 
vigor, and above all a sturdier faith. It was 
preeminently the Dorian elements which 
lent to this second wave of the Greek tide 
its strength and mass. As it advanced 
into eastern Greece, it took on the color 
of the "Extern culture, but Jts Jife-strg^ 
was the primitive old Greek spirit. 

Everywhere the old simplicity of the 
earlier Greek-jidigiQiLxaYiyed^a^^ 
the standard; indeed, with these peoples 
themselves it had never flagged norTai[eff. 
Soul-worship in all its various forms,joffer- 
ings for the dead^ th,e., household^odS|^ the 
go3s of clans, institutions like the pryta- 
neion table as a feast with the gods of the 
state, hero-worship, the worship of cave 



The New Quest of Faith 29 

spirits and mountain spirits, consultation of 
spirits and oracles, in all these and many 
other forms emerged, and emerged not 
from long sleep, butJ»om.4oiig-GonG€alment. 
While the old jgjyJ^mMr.sto^Qg a soil 
upon which a new vision and assurance of 
the mission and fate of the soul beyond the 
^ave might arise, it could not in itself 
afford that vision or satisfy the newborn 
craving of men. It dealt only with the re- 
lations of the livi ng to the d ead^ not with 
those^i)iJll^ii3d^^ 
ESbi^- M en wanted som^..M mk^&&^ 




.iWjrf**'**"*'*'' 




what they were themselves to be and do in 

the other life, and not merely to c)e occ 

pied with Q^^ of the 

spirits toward this life. That they shoma"! (r^ • 

live after death, this they knew ; no forme _..--- — 

of Tjreek faith had ever implied or taught {^lUS^^ 

anytmngeTse ; no Greek of the folk had <^^ 

eveFtKoB^Sf ' anything else ; but Aow theyJU^. 

were to live, that was what the individual in 

hisTSngcfousness qf a personality possess- 

ing worth, meaning, and responsibility, de- V 



50 Dionysos and Immortality 

sired to know. To this desire the Mys- 
teries of Eleusis gave answer first. 

In the isolation of the Thriasian plain 
had been maintained at Eleusis, time out of 
mind, the peculiar^cult "Of the earth-goddess 
Demeter. Something had invested its 
strange rites with an unusual sanctity, but 
still its repute, like the membership in its 
guild, remained until near the end of the 
seventh century well-nigh restricted to the 
immediate locality. It was a local institu- 
tion, owned and controlled by a few great 
families of the parish. 

After the union of Eleusis and Attika, 
however, and the reception of the cult 
under the protection and guarantee of the 
state, an entirely new and larger careei: 
was opened, especially when Peisistratos, 
as the tribune of the people, reformed and 
broadened the organization of the worship 
so as to open it to universal use and make 
it worthy of the state. 

So it became, in contrast to the cults of 
phratry and clan, in which membership 



Eleusis J/ 

was determined by birth, an eminently 
democratic and popular association. No 
one was excluded, whatever his city or tribe. 
Citizens and metics, men and women, 
slaves and children, all were admitted. It 
was as individuals that they came to be 
cleansed, and to gain the assurances of 
/'""tuture blessin^^wlSch the mysteries had to 
give, anT*so no wonder that it was the 
sixth century, the century of the awakened t-—- ~^^_ 
individualism, in which the mysteries ac- I 



quired their unique popularity. 

No one of the thousands initiated to 
the rites has ev^ betm^ de- 

bated secret. ButJJiey.JDau&t..lKfe^^,an be 
^erSin, have offered something which an- 
sweredlo Hfg^pgTof IKreHeir '^:^ 
is he," sjLy^^.,JP^j4ai^^^^^ having seen 

these rites goeth under the earth. He 
knoweth the end of life, he knoweth too its 

"TKrice hagpy they among mortals who 
depart into Hades after their eyes^ have 
seen these rites: yea, for them alone is 



\/ 



32 Dionysos and Immortality 

there a life ; for jother^^men^l^ is 

ill;" and Plato in the Phaedo:!^ "The 
"founders of the mysteries would appear to 
have had a real meaning, and were not talk- 
ing nonsense, when they intimated in a 
figure long ago, that he who passes un- 
sanctified and unmitiated , into the. world 
below will lie in a slough, but that he who 
arrives there after initiatiQn and pydfifica- 
tion wTfl dwell wit h^,th^,^^Qd^;^^^ in the 
Frogs Aristophanes lightens the gloom of 
the nether world with the song of the in- 
itiates, ^^ who now dance in veritable flow- 
ery fields, — the song ending with the 
words : " We alone have the sun and its 
gladsome light, we who have taken the 
sacred vow, and have lived a^^l^fe^^ in, J:he 
fear of god toward stranger and toward 
friend." 

Th^*iS5i!SSSX..9? ^^^ antiquity to the in- 
spiring and uplifting influence of the., mys- 
teries is impre^iyjim^uaa;^333^9!jij5. No voice 
K raised in criticism. Wherein lay their 
influence and convincing power we can 



■J 



The Mysteries 5^ 

only surmise from the sum of allusion. It 
certainly was not conveyed through doc- 
trine or creed, argument or exhortation, 
but rather through some f qroi of^rj^JS^^ 
which the loss and t^i^^^§aJ!,p^^ ,m^!^£^ 

sephone wa|.jh|,^j:S»t^^ 
like the Christian drama of the mass,** ,« 
quickening the dormant fjaith,^^^^ t<>^- 

the beholder some suggestion of a definite 
State and condition of future existence. No 
one seems to have questioned the validity 
* or authority of the assurance that the in- 
itiated, and they alone, should find peace. 
They who saw knew, and they who knew 
must needs attain. It was no question of 
authority. Thejr^belie^^ 
constrained by their yearning to ,bdie;v;ip. 
The "faith and^its ^ j^^^ mm,,wM^ 
themselves. 

Among the reforms of the Eleusinian 
worship, which in th^skth centui^ virtu- 
ally made the cult anew, and gave it its 
universally human fonn, and which all tend 
to attach themselves to the sponsorship of 



J4 Dionysos and Immortality 

Peisistratos, there is one which is almost 
certainly his work, and which apparently 
more than any other thing served to give 
the Mysteries their distinctive character. 
This was the introductTon" BrtEe youth 
lakchos and his^ worsKp'Tnfon^^ family 
and bond of Demeter and Persephone. 
Most^quently the shifting myths repre- 
sent him as son of Zeus and Persephone, 
rescued from the slaughter of the Titans to 



a new resurrection life. Sometimes he is 
a son of Demeter, sometimes of Dionysos, 
again he seems merely a^l^aSpwQ^^^^ 
SOS himself, but whatey^r iie was, certain 
it is that his character and spirit was entirely 
the product of the J^^i^iZSg^SSIgljia^ 
shapen into the mystic forms of the Orphic 
theoRJgyT^ He was unmistakably the child 
JJonysos permanently^jgparated and difFer- 
entiated^^QjUtJ3£-^l^ -whok-stoiy-of ^^i^^ 
and made a distinct type by himself. Deme- 
ter searching in the darkness for ^er child 
that-^wafi.-*last< — symbol of the seed-corn 
buried in the earth, offered a ready analogy 



Dionysos-Iakcbos 35 

to the fostering lov£^a^^^ which 

the Maenad nurses tended thQ ba.be of Jifysi^e, 
— the springing vegetation of the new^^b^^ 
ginnii}^ y^ar. Though it has been ques- 
tioned -- 1 think on insufficient grounds — 
that the legend of Demeter and Persephone 
has its source in the alternate 4ist^i^®^i^P«ice , > L^ 
and reappearance of the grain, it cannot be 
doubted that it came to be interpreted 
in connection with that phenomenon and 
received much of its character from the 
analogy. In the cult of Dionysos-Iakchos, 
however, resided from the beginning a direct 
meaning for the ex^^^^ / 

ual human life, and it was through this V 
type of lakchos that the mystery of Per- 

sephone's xetura.^iKaa..giwn4t^fik^ 
application to the resurrection ho^e of hu- 
manity. The mysteries, in other words, 
were made what they^wgrg^^J^^^ ingraft- 
ing ^he^J3iQ|^^,s..^pirit. 

j The rise of Dionysos worship is the most Lm 
important single phenomenon in the history 
of Greek religion. Unknown to the loni- 



') 



S6 Dionysos and Immortality 

ans of Homer's day except as a local or a 
stranger's worship, and having no place 
within the Olympfen circle, it arose from 
its obscurity, and coming out from the 
mountains and from the villages of pea- 
sants, witF the fresh flbod'o^^ 
seventh century brought into eastern 
Greece, it swept into city and state as the 
Solvation Army of the tiers ^taty and in de- 
fiance of all the opposition of the staid con- 
servatives and of the j^^-fe^^ who, cling- 
ing to the old Ipqal and private worships, 
would hear nothing of Demeter or Diony- 
sos, it forced its way into public sud. official 
i^gggsM9B.^P^^^"^^%^ ^-Atta^a^ domi- 
nated the popular interest, infused a new 
life into the dead formalism of religion, 
quickened^^and _ enej^ed- ..tk^ 
lectual and ^,,$piritual life of Greece .to..the 
very^^fingep^tips. It was the religion of 

J Its primitive form we know in outline 
from the practices observed among the 
Thracians, who like their brother Phrygi- 



Genesis of Dionysos Worship ^7 

ans were distinguished as its devotees, and 
through whom indirectly the worship may 
well have found introduction into Greece, 
but usages and a belief in general analo- 
gous, and resting upon the same general 
attitude toward nature, are found widely 
scattered among European peoples. 

A primitive belief that regards the life 
and death of vegetation after the analogies 
of human life, attributes the withering 
winter ai>d the revival of spring t^^^^^ de- 
parture and return, or the slumbering and 
reawakening, of the psyches or spirits whose 
reunion with matter all life consists. The 
spirits ox(daimonts of the vegetation which 
has slumbered^thrqugh_the w , 

needs be wakened or recalled in sprine:.. 
In the wild dances and cries of those who , 
act the life of the spirits they wish to re- 
ca^the bacchagiaJ^ecstas^ 

their root ; the blood of the J^orn victini '•*'^^,,g,|f 
which the maenad ^catter^^^^ 
is then a reminiscence of Jheblo^^ / 

feeds the spirits aad..,brin^ them to con - 




}8 Dionysos and Immortality 

sciousness and activity ; the maenad who 
devouri''tTile f^W'lteSh'"'^^^^ drinks the blood 
is herself inspired to the ecstas}r \vhich re- 
preseiits the revived and restore^, life ; the ? " 
satyrs who followed in the thiasos of Diony- 
sos are in their first signification, if this all 
be true, nielfiemBodirnents of ^h^daimm^es 
of vegetation conceived in the form. of- Jd 
victim through whose death they come to* 
lif erand following in the train of their lord 
Dionysos himself, whois Zagreus, the first- 
fruits of the resurrection. The limitation of 
his festivals to the period between the winter 
solstice, as the primitive Christmas, and the 
vernaTequino^ as the primitive Easter, and 
his occupation of the Delphic shrine during 
\^ the winter months while Apollo withdrew, 

|/ vii%'' *^ ^ould also conform to this explanation of 
t} ^^^ c^ijyisinv^ and4;^yal 

oftheveg^tatioa, 4^^ 

But whether this be or be not the native 
source of the bacchanal rites, certain it is 
that their central feature f;f:jgm-ik^ earliest 
obtainable evidence is tl^^ ** ecstasy J) of the 




Genesis of Dionysos Worship 59 

or^ia. In many different forms among 
people of various civilization there appear 
ever and anon these practices whereby with 
different means the body is benumbed or 
otherwise brought into apparent subjection 
and annulment in order that the soul may 
wander in realms other^than those of its 
everj^^ajLejgDerienci,^^^ with V 

spirits outside of and above the known. \J 
The reiterated cadences of music, the rhythm / ^ 
of the dance, the repetition of words, con- 
tinued swaying or whirling of ^t^^^^^^ 
influences of narcotics or stimulants, are all S^ 
used to produce in most various types, from 
that of the Indian medicine man to that of 
the Mahomedan dervish, these superpersonal 
states whereby one thinks to lose himself in 
union with the spirit jw^yi. 

Though profoundly tempered from its 
primitive crudity in the atmosphere of 
Greece, and particularly in the sobering 
atmosphere of Attika, the holy madness of 
the Dionysos revels was in genesis and in 
spirit one and the same with them alL 



40 Dionysos and Immortality 

Except as we appreciate this, we cannot 
understand the various outgrowths and in- 
fluences of the Dionysiac religion, nor indeed 
that religion itself. 

Even the drama, choicest of its products, 
and impersonation, upon which it depends 
^, for its existence, arise out <)f the Dipnysiac 
M / effort to break loose from one life and 
(^ livelSnotiliii"' ^ the be- 

ginning the charm of the drama, and has 
been, so far as it is true to itself, ever since, 
is its power to release those who behold it 
for a littje while from the Jgurden 'and ,in- 
thrallment of the commonplace, workaday 
life, and batKeTfieir wearied souls in dreap^j^^ 

This is the very heart of Dionysos, and 
this, too, is his claim to control of the fruit 
of the vine. But his relation to the vine 
is no more than an incident. His mission 
is to lift men out of themselves^ angLi^^fcli^^ 
ing them into cominunion and -assoaklfen 
witii that above and withoaitJ:henv.to^which 
they are unwittingly akin,and which is nobler, 
higher, and purer than they, t^ pm^e^and 



The Orphic Theology 41 

renew them. He is the god of the cleans- 
ing in the ideairTis'sucff TTTefies^ 
EeFpollution, calls upon him by the lips of 
the Sophoclean chorus to " come with cleans- 
ing foot ovei^heslo£)e^^;^^ 
the moaning strait." ^i 

His faith lay hard by the gate of mys- 
ticism, and men entered abundantly in. In 
Southern Italy, Sicily, and Attika, there 
arose during the sixth century the strange 
appariti on of the J &f|Smcth^^ With 

its doctrine of the body as a prison house 
and of the soul as akin,, to G^.jof the long 
toil of liberation, and the devious wavto 



-"-'flifinriaiii* 

reunion with its own, and the "wheelof 



birtihsT^it is a strange phenomenon indeed, 
and has tempted men to dream of some 

mysterious channel of Easte]|^ ^^influence. 

co?necpig, despite chron^oggjj^^jjgj^ with 
Buddha, which should explain this and 
Pythagoras as well.22 But sharp as the 
contrast is with the traditional mood of Hel- 
lenic faith, bo th Orp hism and Pythagoras 
are the^^^o^yg^^mistakably ajtid directly 



42 Dionysos and Immortality 

of Dionysos. The Orphic religion is merely 
a speculative theology of the Dionysiac 
faith, confused with weird fancies and 
popular superstition, and ca.st , iiiL^^^,^oetic 
mouldj^ — that and nothing more. 

Between the essential Pantheism of In- 
dian thought and the mystical Idealism 
involved in that feature of Greek thought 
we are now discussing, there was in reality 
no highway. To the one tl|e AlDis the 

\god ; the visible world of matenal is his 
* urLMdigg ; there is from it no escape ; weal 
is found in submisSiolT and accord. To the 
Other the material things of sense are the 
^ouTsJb^ll and^ the divine has cre- 

ated them, but is not in them and they are 

f I flight. The Dionysiac "i^ay of salvatioipL*' 

\ is the way of liberation and cleahsine^. The 

., soul is in essence divine. Because of its 

I sin it is shut off in,, .the,, world of body 

\ and matter. /The ,,fe,,Q4yi jl^-a -priso^ 

^^ \ Now and again in ecstatic vision the god- 
born spul^esgapes from its duress, realizes 



The Uplifting Power of the New Insight 4) 

its higher being and mission, and revels in 
communion with its own. Howlo be rid 
forever of the ball and chain, how to 
turn the brief vision into a continuous life — V^x*-*-^ 
that is the Dionysiac problem of salvation. ^^\ 
Death will not accomplish it. Through 
the long circuit of births thesbul must toil 



U-- 



on, freeinsf itself more and more from the 
drosSj^jLintil at the distant goal, "rescued 
from misery it breathes free at last/'f* 
IntEe'rec^e for cleansing and liberation, 

/mortification of the body and moral ;^sceti- 
cism found smalljplace, or none at aj[l. The 
question.. of morals ^ was for that matter in 
jio wise involved. It was, if we may so term 

I it, a ir^t^aj>fiysical salvatio]6i^ not a moral one, 
that men weresegg^jg. The means of re^ 
cue, too, which was proposed, was positives 



not negative, — ike expulsive pozvcr of J^d^ 



^^^^ i W^ ^'^^^i^^ |P^hfagH3i^^l!^. or better, 

^^^ Igiiililiiliiii(lii[p<l^ 

The force and influence of this new de- 
parture in the life of Greece did not exhaust 
itself in religious fervors. It laid hold upon 



jM 




44 Dionysos and Immortality 

all the thought of men and gave shape even 
to the forming moulds of philosophic re- 
flection. Without Dionysos and Orphism 
there could tetve--4)ee»y-f#r- Jastance, no 
Plafor~iFlat6's philpsophy builds oi a faith, 
and t hat faith is Dionysisrii) Everywhere 
in his thinking 2^ religion gleams through 
thejl^ijn Ifauze of philosophic form, and ex- 
cept his system be understood as a religion 
and as a part of the history of Greek re- 
ligion, it yields no self-consistent interpre- 
tation, and is not intelligible either in its 
whence or whither. The things many and 
various he has to tell about the Ideas refuse 
to take orderly place and position in a doc- 
trine of logical realism ^uch as metaphysics 
teaches, but. are 5^^:1566^^-9}^^^ 
of spirituality and the higher life, such as 
poetry and religion can preach. 

The universe which Plato feels is in sub- 
stance the universe which the Dionysos en- 
thusiasms presuppose. There is a world of 
th^ outward and material, ever shifting, un- 
steady, perishable, behind it. is a vwld^of 



V 



Plato's Religion 45 

the unchanging norm, the essential pur- 
pose, the supreme reaHty. To the former 
belongs the body, to the latter by nature 
andjgigjgg the soul. This mortal life is an 
entanglement of the soul in the meshesjDf 
the materSli' Still, through the pervertins: 
and obscuring medium of that which enfolds 
it iGGe soul catches glimpses of the "true, 
and gathers intimations of its own kinship 
with the ideal and the abiding. All the 
Platonic arguments for the immortality of 
the soul, in the Phaedrus, in the Republic,^^ 
in the Phaedo, diverse as they seem, unite * 
as being merely^,,:v:ariQu§^^^ayj5 g^^^d^^ i 
for setting forth a central faith whose fixsJ: I 
inspiration had come f rpm the Dignysps cult. 

The influence of Eleusis and of Dionysos X 
covers all the latter day of Hellenic, Jife, 
but peculiarly strong is it written upon 
the thought and in the literature of the 
closing years of the sixth century and of 
the greater pcSionl of tfie fifth. The sixth 
century marked a period of genuine reli- 
hM^^ — not a revival merely of ob- 



^^ 



46 Dionysos and Immortality 

servances and rites, but a stirring of the 
personal interest in matters of faith and 
personal destiny that approaches the devel- 
opment-t5f -^^Xmae^^ re- 

ligion. We miss, to be sure, from our point 
of view, the firm outlines of a formulated 
theologic faith concerning personal relation 
to the eternal, such as we are wont to iden- 
tify with personal religion; but men were 
thinkin§^^J^Qa^,^gfed^^ responsi- 
bilitjr, and forms of theology distinct from 
Jthe state and tribal tj^os^^^^^Q^^trgmg 
an^d'Were preparing the way for the rgjipn- 
alism of which Euripides stands in litera- 
ture as the early exponent. 

Expressions concerning the life after 
death, however much they rnigjit cling to 
the traditional moulds of the old-time, or to 
what we may call the Homeric, faith regard- 
ing the geoggijj^^jfj^^^^ as 
contrasted with the Homeric view, a radi- 
cal change in the conception ,.o£.^^ life 
itself. Thus Pindarics 

"Victory setteth free the essayer from 



Pindar 4y 

the struggle's griefs, yea, and the wealth 
that a noble nature hath made glorious 
bringeth power for this and that, putting 
into The iieart of man a deep and eager 
mood, a staFTfar seen, a light wherein a 
man shall trust, if but the holder thereof 
knoweth the things that shall be, how that 
of , all^who die the guilty souls pay penalty, 
for all the sins sinned in this realm of Zeus 
One judgeth under earth, pronouncing sen- 
tencS'by unloved constfainfr'" 

" But evenly ever in sunlight night and 
day an unlaborious life the good receive, 
neither with violent hand vex they the 
earth ngrttae^aterr 
\gyrld ; but with th^e ji^ 
whosoever had pleasure in keeping.ofi^ 
thejr^ossess a tearless life; but the other 
part sufiEa:4iaku^o dire to look upon, 

" Then whosoever harcTJeeSoF^gooH' cour- 
age to the abiding steadfast thrice on 
either side of death, and have refrained 
their souls from all^inijui]^^^ the road 

of Zeus unto the tower of Kronos ; there 



48 Dionysos and Immortality 

around the islands of the blest the ocean 
breezes blow, and golden flowers are glow- 
ing, some from the land on trees of splen- 
dor,'^nd some the water leedetti, with 
wreaths whereof they entwine ffielr'TSands : 
So ordereth RhacSmanffios' ''] ust'^^^^d^^ 
whom at his own right hand hath ever the 
father Kronos, husband of Rhea, throned 
above all worlds." 

Similarly in the following fragments of 
dirges : — 

"For them shineth below the strength 
of the sun while in our world it is night, 
and the space of crimson-flowered meadows 
before their city is full of the ^^ shade of 
frankincense trees, and of f ruits-rf--gold. 
And some in horses, and in bodily feats, and 
some in dice, and some in harp-playing 
have delight ; and among them thriveth all 
fair-flowered T)liss ; and fragrance streameth 
ever through— the— levely^- land, as they 
mingle incense of every kind upon the 
altars of the gods.^ 

" By happy lot travel all unto an end that 



Pindar 49 

giveth them rest from tojls. And the body 
indeed is subject unto the great power of 
death, but there remaineth yet alive a 
shadow of the life; for this oiily is from 
the gods ; and while the, lijiihs stir, it sleep- 
eth, but unto sleepers in dreams discover- 
eth oftentimes the judgment that draweth 
nigh for sorrow or for joy/* ^ 

Most significant here, as betraying how 
fully Pindar's thought shaped itself in Dio- 
nysiac or Orphic moulds, are the expressions 
"this only is from the gods," and "while 
the limbs stir, it sleepeth." The real ex- 






istence of th£ soul as thedivine element of , 
man's life is the existence freed from the \ 



tifM«m¥mi*9mimt 



constraint of the bod y which dulls it and ! \/ 

' l i t I iiii iii iJ i iiwmw i ^i w w itAi o Bwfey^--- ■-■■--- -^■■^y^.ry^ mmX 

This is Paul's "Now we see in a mirror 
darkly."^ 

Another more distinctively Orphic touch 
is involved in a third fragment : " But from 
whomsoever Persephone accepteth atone- 
ment for pn^^oxdent woe, their souls unto 
the light of the sun above she sendeth 



$0 Dionysos and Immortality 

back again in the ninth year. And from 
those soHls^.^prjjig.,jiiQhle. .finp^ men 

swift and strong and in wisdom very great : 
and through the alter'time they are cd^ 
holy heroes^amoii^menr^ar^^ 

^"Sophocles represents his Antigone as act- 
ing in this present world of transitory and 
superficial law in respect for the " unwrit- 
ten, irrefragable ordinances of the gods,"^ 
which "not for to-day alone and for yester- 
day but forevSr'Ii^e their, life, — and no 
man knoweth wh^^^ are. ' ' ^^ These 

laws are the laws of Hades as the great 
other, outer world of the eternal, and they 
govern \]^^i^.,^^i^^/d^^ of J)ik6, 

who " dwells with the netJte'gads/*^^^^^^^^^ 
ance of temporal la32^,,§fegu.«^ the 

bu;rial rites of her brother : "Fair thing it 
is for me in doing this to die ; dear shall I 
lie with him my dear one, having wrought 
a pious crime ; for^ long<^x is the time that I 
m^l jiJe3L^&jth§jp«Les.4)^^ those up 

here ; since there forev^r^^^^ll J li<^'' ^ In 
obeying the laws of the nether kingdom 



Sophocles 5/ 

she counts herself already its subject and 
its citizen ; such she has become that she 
Iniiay minister unto those of her kindred who 
dwell within it. Her sister Ismene, who in 
fear of the laws of the upper world has 
withheld her aid, she counts as of this 
world. " Thou art alive, but my soulldtig 
since passed into death, to mtdtstcr^ unto 
those who are dead." ^ _^ 

It is in the light of thisjsense for a con- I 
tinuance of personal ties beyond the grave, 
that the Attic segulchral monuments, with 
their peaceful scenes of family reunion and 
associatiQ^^ mu.st fittdtb^ rightful interpre- 
ta^iipn. It remained now for Plato, in har- 
mony with this newly quickened conception 
of a real personal continuance after death 
and continuance, in a life bearing relations 
to the life on earthr to £ffer the first philo- 
sophic argument for tJxoi^ thej 
soyJL - 

The chirping psyches of Homer's nether 
world were rnex^^^^j^ apologies to a 

stolid, helple§j§.,Jb^ef in continuance; the 



52 Dionysos and Immortality 

offerings^ the 

early non-Homeric Greeks were a tribute 
to the idea olXj^^d^MdmxlYM^ity- This 
was all that the older faith of the Greeks 
could offer. 

.^^ith Dionysos, however, therecame into 
/Greek religion and thought a new element, 
f an utterly n<sw point of view. He taught 



y 



, his followers to know that the inner life of 
^ \ man, the soul, is of like substance with the 
godsj^ and that it may commune with the 
divine. Before the days of his revelation 
there had been between the generations of 
nxgrJaUaen, who fell like the ^enfj^^^ of 
leaves, and the undying gods whose food 
is ambrosia and wjiose drink nectar, a gulf 
fixed d eep §nd impassable. After his reve- 
lation the soul was divine and might claim 
I an immortality like to that of tlie. gods. 
Dionysos had waited long m the vales of 
Nysa and Parnassos, buried like the uncut 
gem m crude^as^jJlJ^uth j^ds^^ when 



A Touch of Human Need 5^ 

A human hand, lifting its grasp toward 
immortality, stands a mute witness to a con- 
sciousness arising in the single human soul 
that it has a meaning in itsett, that it has a 
purpose and a mission of its own, that it 
holds direct account with the heart of the 
world, and of a worMlio^wfiSlSe peerage ^It 
belongs and with whose plan" and reason it 
has rights and a hearing. ' '*" 

The faitHs of men are quoted under va- 
rious names and are set forth in vari- 
ous articles, but we may not be confused 
thereby, for men are men ; control of nature 
has grown stronger and history longer since 
the day when Greece first frankly and 
straight looked nature and life in the face, 
but man himself stays much the same, — 
given the same conditions, the plain touch 
of need makes all the centuries kin. 

If in thejttoghjOf^JDtoiaysos' passion men 
seem to gain an insight into the spiritual 
harpaai»€S'^*<rf' aatur%. and intimations of 
^^^Sm^M^^b^SM^m^ M divine, 
whiQb cold reason and duUsense had not 



54 Dionysos and Immortality 

availed to give, it was still dim, groping 
vision; l)ut yet the face was set thither, 
wEiere, in a later day, — a day for which 
Greece and Dion ysos _ prepared. — men 
learned through the Convincing Love to 
know and live the Jjsmiyjjjjjtjhjn them. 



NOTES 



Note i, page 8. 
J. Lippert: Die Religionen der europdischen 
Culturvolker in ihrem geschichtlichen Ursprungey 
Berlin, 1881 ; E. Rohde : Psyche; Seelencult und 
Unsterblichkeitsglaube unter den Griechen^iAtA,^ 
Freiburg, 1898, pp. i ff ; De Coulanges: The An* 
cient City^ Eng. transl. pp. 28 fif. 

Note 2, page 8. 
It certainly is unsafe to speak of an Indo-Euro- 
pean religion without making some explanation of 
what may be meant by such a term, and what may 
be supposed to be known or knowable concerning 
such a subject. It is no longer to be assumed that 
all the peoples who appear in history, possessed of 
an Indo-European tongue, are necessarily in all 
their make-up descendants of what is called the 
Indo-European race. The presumption is against 
it, and so is the ethnological evidence. There was 
certainly an Indo-European language ; therefore 
there was once a people who spoke it. The exten- 
sion of the language through conquest — the con- 



5^ Notes 

quered peoples gradually accepting the language 
of the conquerors — is doubtless a more important 
point of view than that of its extension by migra- 
tion and increase of the racial stock. The breaking 
up into distinct languages must, it seems likely, 
be accounted for in large measure through the 
influence of the alien tongues of the elements ab- 
sorbed. The Greeks, for instance, were evidently 
not of one race ; /. e., those who at the beginning 
of history were speakers of Greek, were to a large 
extent representatives of the primitive populations 
inhabiting Greece before the Indo-European north- 
men entered the land. The fair-haired, blue-eyed 
people were, in the earliest times, a superior class, 
distinguished from the dark-complexioned peoples 
who gradually absorbed the former, so far as phy- 
siological type was concerned. 

The early hopes of the science of comparative 
religion, as represented by Kuhn and Max Miiller, 
were based on a false confidence in the methods of 
comparative philology. It was expected that com- 
parison of the various cults of the different Indo- 
European peoples would yield a restoration of the 
primitive proethnic cults, just as the comparison of 
word-forms yielded a possible restoration of the 
primitive Indo-European vocabulary. The result 
has defeated these hopes. Comparison fails to dis- 
cover any considerable number either of names of 



Notes ^7 

deities, or of fixed outlines of divine personalities, 
or of systematic forms of belief. The organization 
of the difEerent religions of the so-called Indo- 
European peoples is evidently in the main their 
own separate achievement. Whether this has been 
brought about through the influence of the local 
beliefs and cults of the absorbed populations, or 
developed directly out of the materials of a primi- 
tive Indo-European religion, has not yet proved 
determinable, but many facts point in the direction 
of the former view. When we speak, therefore, 
of a proethnic Indo-European religion, we cannot 
refer to a definite system of personified powers, but 
only to a general attitude in character of belief 
which the broadest comparison of the different re- 
ligions shows to be present as a basis in all of 
them. 

Note 3, page 12. 
When we venture to refer to a prae-Homeric 
religion, it must be understood that we are here 
beyond the range of documentary evidence. In- 
ferences from the known facts of later Greek re- 
ligion, from the facts of other Indo-European 
religions, and from the scanty and as yet imper- 
fectly interpreted remains of Mycenaean civiliza- 
tion constitute our only guidance. The altar-pit in 
the courtyard at Tiryns, and the evidence that the 



5^ Notes 

Mycenaean tombs were virtually houses of the dead, 
to which the altar-pits above them brought the 
blood-offering and food for the departed, join with 
the prior facts of Indo-European religion and the 
later facts of historic Greek religion to confirm a 
tolerably certain line of historical development. 

Note 4, page 12. 
" Wir haben hinreichenden Grund, einen Seelen- 
cult, eine Verehrung des im Menschen selbst ver- 
borgen lebenden, nach dessen Tode zu selbstan- 
digem Dasein ausscheidenden Geisterwesens auch 
in Griechenland, wie wohl iiberall auf Erden, unter 
den altesten Bethatigungen der Religion zu ver- 
muthen. Lange vor Homer hat der Seelencult in 
den Grabgewolben zu Mykene und an anderen 
Statten altester Cultur sich seine Heiligthiimer 
erbaut." E. Rohde : Die Religion der Griechen, 
Rectoratsrede, Heidelberg, 1894. Except as this 
fundamental point, established by the brilliant ar- 
gument of Rohde in his Psyche^ is accepted, no in- 
telligible connection between the Greek faiths of 
different times and places is possible, — and what 
is more, no connection of the Greek faith with the 
Indo-European that lay behind it. 

Note 5, page 12. 
H. Oldenberg : Die Religion des Veda^ pp. 543 £E. 



Notes 5P 

Note 6, page 13. 
See Odyssey XL 220 fiE. 

Note 7, page 14. 

Rohde (Psyche, pp. 27 ff.) connects the Ho- 
meric freedom from dreamed-of ghosts with the 
practice of cremation. He even attributes the 
introduction of the practice ;o a desire to be 
rid of the spirits through help of the "cleans- 
ing force of fire." The primitive notion that 
the spirits haunted the place where the body 
remained, and hung about the body itself, would 
naturally lead to the belief that the total destruc- 
tion of the body would remove this lure to the 
spirits and take from them the way of approach to 
the homes of the living. The difficulty with 
Rohde's suggestion is, however, that it takes no 
account of the fact that cremation appears as an 
institution so widespread among Indo-European 
peoples as to demand almost certainly a place 
among primitive Indo-European usages. 

It may have been in vogue only among certain 
tribes, or have been employed at certain times, as in 
war or during absence from home, or for certain 
classes, as the kings and chieftains ; no solution 
of the strange problem has yet been found, but 
surely we are not justified in connecting a new de- 
parture in faith, such as Rohde thinks the Homeric 



6o Notes 

liberation from the soul-cults represents, with a 
practice which is old and not new. The history of 
cremation in its connection with the primitive be- 
liefs concerning immortality is a subject demanding 
a much more careful and comprehensive investi- 
gation than has yet been accorded it. Facts in 
abundance are known concerning the usages of 
various times and peoples, but no principle yet dis- 
covered has served to give these facts an intelli- 
gent connection. 

Note 8, page 1 5. 
See ///^^ XXIII. 66 ff. 

Note 9, page 15. 
Teiresias the seer alone an exception. 

Note 10, page 17. 
See Odyssey XXIV. i ff. 

Note ii, page 17. 
See Odyssey XI. 24 ff. 

Note 12, page 18. 
E. Rohde: Psyche j Seelencult und Unsterhlich- 
keitsglaube unter den Griechen^ 2d ed., Freiburg, 
1898. 

Note 13, page 20. 

See Odyssey XI. 92 ff (Teiresias to Odysseus). 



Notes 6i 

Note 14, page 20. 
See Homerische Untersuchungen^ i99fE. 

Note 15, page 22. 
The fundamental materials of the Homeric epic 
are undoubtedly iEolic or North Greek in their 
source. The language alone is enough to betray 
this, ^olic forms of the language have been pre- 
served in the midst of the prevailing Ionic where- 
ever the Ionic equivalents would not suit the metri- 
cal necessities. This concerns, however, only the 
formation of the peculiar, half -artificial idiom which 
finally became the rhapsodic fashion of speech. 
The civilization to which the songs as we have them 
were addressed was that of the old Ionic life of the 
central coast of Asia Minor, and in the current ideas 
of this civilization we must believe the setting of 
the stories was moulded. Homer therefore repre- 
sents preeminently the life and atmosphere of the 
early Ionia in the period which antedates the rise 
of extensive commerce and the sending out of the 
commercial colonies. That which gave Homer so 
soon in the ears of the succeeding generations the 
ring of the remote and the heroic was the rapid 
shifting in scene and conditions introduced by the 
ninth and the eighth centuries. Life changed from 
the tribal-patriarchal to the urban-commercial basis. 
Coupled with this was the circumstance that the 



62 Notes 

memories of the old Achaean civilization which had 
yielded the first materials of the stories were rapidly 
dulled into remote traditions by the disappearance 
of the states and the peoples that had carried the 
burden of this civilization. This disappearance is 
in some way connected with the emergence of the 
Dorians in eastern Greece. Here we confront the 
problem of the " Dorian Migrations." 

Note i6, page 31. 
Pindar : Bergk, Poet. Lyr, Fragm,, 137. 

Note 17, page 31. 
Sophocles : Fragm,, yig (Dind.). 

Note 18, page 32. 
Plato : PhcBdo^ p. 69 (transl. Jowett). 

Note 19, page 32. 
" Let us hasten — let us fly — 
Where the lovely meadows lie ; 
Where the living waters flow ; 
Where the roses bloom and blow. 
Heirs of immortality. 
Segregated, safe and pure, 
Easy, sorrowless, secure ; 
Since our earthly course is run, 
We behold a brighter sun. 



Notes 6s 

Holy lives — a holy vow — 
Such rewards await them now." 
Frere's transl. of Aristophanes, Frogs^ 448-459. 

Note 20, page 33. 
For a most illumining view of the influence of 
the mysteries upon the early Christian ritual, see 
E. Hatch : The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages 
upon the Christian Church, Hibbert Lectures, 1888. 
Lect. X. pp. 281 ff. 

Note 21, page 41. 
Sophocles : Antigone^ 1143-45. 

Note 22, page 41. 
For the most explicit statement and discussion 
of such views, see, e,g.^ Leopold von Schroeder: 
Pythagoras und die Inder, Leipzig, 1884; Richard 
Garbe : The Connection between Indian and Greek 
Philosophy, An address delivered before the 
Philol. Congress at Chicago, July, 1893 (JHonist, 
1894, p. 176 and following). 

Note 23, page 43. 

The Orphic theology has often been pronounced 

un-Hellenic in character and tone. Those who 

would find for it an Eastern or Egyptian origin 

emphasize its supposed discord with Greek ideas. 



64 Notes 

Surely it would be a stranger and interloper if it 
proposed to a Greek world an ethical reformation 
based upon a code of morals. Nothing could have 
been more un-Hellenic than that. But herein lies 
the core of the misunderstanding. Orphism con- 
tained no suggestion of moral reform, and its ec- 
stasies no more proposed an influence upon conduct 
or morab than the " blessed seasons " of a negro 
revival meeting. If Orphism is non-Greek, then is 
also the idealism of Plato, which in its religious 
bearings is its offspring. Both are, however, pro- 
foundly Greek, and only reflect the all-pervading y/ 
dualism of the popular psychology. What was new 
in Orphism and in its common basis Bacchism was 
the element of enthusiasm, the communion with the 
divine. It was the " evangelical " religion of Greece. 
It may be cause for wonder that a religious move- 
ment of such freshness and vigor should apparently 
have lost itself in the marshes, and have exercised 
no more definite influence upon the thought of the 
after-world. To this it can first of all be said that 
the real extent of its influence may easily have been 
underestimated. Orphism in its organized form 
passed quickly out of sight in the fifth century, but " 
its fundamental idea as expressed in Bacchism was 
al)sorbed into the common thought of Greece. It 
Boust furthermore be noticed that it came as an 
infusion into Greek religion at a time when this 



Notes 6j 

religion by reason of shifting historical conditions 
was moving toward inevitable decline. Greek re- 
ligion was a thing of thepolis, the city built of the 
amalgamated tribes and clans. With the poh's it 
stood, and with the fall of the jolt's as a unit of 
government it fell. Its gods were chief citizens 
of the poll's, members honorary of the associated 
guilds. When a greater world of commerce, inter- 
course, manners, and ideas arose, in which the cities 
came more and more, in spite of all theory to the 
contrary, to be no more than nuclei of population, 
the city gods and the city religions did not arise 
to meet its need. Not even Olympus raised Zeus 
high enough to oversee the land. The allegiance 
of men gradually transferred itself from ihefolis to 
the empire as the greater state, — even when they 
knew it not, and even when the empire was scarcely 
more than a vision dimly discerned through the 
warring fragments of Alexander's state. This they 
personified in the heroic form of Alexander, son of 
Ammon, — the new Zeus; his successors became 
the emperors of Rome. Through them the ideal 
of a Holy Empire was transmitted to the after- 
world. Through all this shifting of the scenes 
Bacchism in outward form of organization could 
not hold itself erect, but its spirit came ever more 
and more to be the thought of the world. The im- 
pulse it had awakened found to no slight extent its 



66 Notes 

satisfaction in Christianity ; and, on the other hand, 
Paganism in its last struggle against the propa- 
ganda of the Cross, when it chose its fittest armor, 
chose that most like the weapons of its foe, — 
Neo-Platonism, the last expression of the Dionysos 
faith. 

Note 24, page 44. 

The essential tone of Plato's writing is admir- 
ably set forth in the following statement, — a state- 
ment, it should, however, be said in justice to the 
author, not intended to support any such theory of 
Plato's connection with Orphism and Dionysos wor- 
ship as that presented in the text; "He transmits 
the final outcome of Greek culture to us in no quin- 
tessential distillation of abstract formulas, but in 
vivid dramatic pictures that make us actual partici- 
pants in the spiritual intoxication, the Bacchic re- 
velry of philosophy, as Alcibiades calls it, that 
accompanied the most intense, disinterested, and 
fruitful outburst of intellectual activity in the an- 
nals of mankind." Paul Shorey, Plato, in Libr. of 
World's Best Literature. 

Note 25, page 45. 
Republic, pp. 609, 6ro, presents a form of argument 
which has often been said (cf. Grote: Plato, II. p. 
190) to be entirely distinct from the other Platonic 
arguments. 



Notes 6y 

Note 26, page 46. 
Pindar: Ofymp. II. 95 ff. (transl. Myers). 

Note 27, page 48. 
Pindar : Fragm. Thren,^ I. (transl. Myers). 

Note 28, page 49. 
Pindar: Fragm. Thren., II. (transl. Myers). 

Note 29, page 50. 
Pindar: Fragm, Thren.^ III. (transl. Myers). 

Note 30, page 50. 
Sophocles: Antigone^ 454. 

Note 31, page 50. 
Sophocles : Antigone, 456 ff. 

Note 32, page 50. 
Sophocles : Antigone, "ji ff . 

Note 33, page 51. 
Sophocles \ Antigone, 559 ff. 



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