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THE VENUS OF MILO. 



THE VENUS OF MILO 



AN ARCHEOLOGICAL STUDY OF 
THE GODDESS OF WOMANHOOD 



BY 

PAUL CARUS 



ILLUSTRATED 



ai6oii7i' \pv<TO<TTe<))avoi' KaX'rfp ' \(f>po8iTr]y 
aaofiai — Homeric Hymn. 



CHICAGO LONDON 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPANY 

1916 



COPYRIGHT BY 

THE OPEN COURT PUBLISHING COMPAN"* 
1916 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

List of Illustrations v 

The Discovery of a Rare Art Treasure 1 

Dumont d'Urville's Report 5 

Viscount Marcellus on his "Souvenirs" 11 

^Debay's Drawing 15 

/^ A Description of the Statue 22 

./^ Restorations 27 

Recent Theories 42 

^•^hat the Facts Reveal 51 

(^^e Meaning of "Aphrodite" 62 

The Cult of Aphrodite 68 

The Goddess of War 11 

The Descent into Hades 83 

The Magna Dea of the Nations 96 

The Origin of Woman 121 

/^Aphrodite in Art 145 

Classical Hymns 171 

Index 179 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

PAGE 

The Venus of Milo (Frontispiece). 

The Field of Yorgos Bottonis 2 

The Site of Melos from the Port 6 

Fragments Found at Melos 12 

Debay's Drawing of Venus 16 

Head of the Venus of Milo 18 

The Head of Tralles 19 

The Venus of Milo 23 

A Mutilated Statue of Eros 28 

Venus with Shield and Pencil 29 

Venus with Mirror 30 

Venus as Victory 31 

Drawing by Hasse and Henke ^^ 

Restoration by Furtwaengler S3 

Saloman's Latest Restoration 34 

Restoration by Saloman 35 

Venus Sending out the Dove 36 

The Mother of the Gods. Painting by Francisca P. Del Mar 38 

Venus on the Swan 55 

Head of Venus of Milo. Profile view 57 

Head of Venus of Milo. Front view 59 

Heavenly and Worldly Love. By Titian 66 

Birth of Venus. Ludovisi relief 70 

Detail from the Ludovisi Relief 72 

Winter and Summer 73 

Venus and Anchises 75 

Venus Victrix 77 

Eros in the Underworld 84 



VI THE VENUS OF MILO. 

PAGH 

Carrying in Procession the Symbol of Istar 97 

Isis and Horus 99 

Egyptian Representation of the Dead Man and His Soul . 99 

Astarte and the Dove 100 

The Human-Headed Bird 101 

Amulet of the Mycenaean Period 102 

Isis and the Fish 102 

Aphrodite with Rabbit 103 

Relief from Boghaz-Koei 104 

A Later Astarte 105 

A Leaden Idol 105 

Astarte in Cyprus 106 

The Goddess of Navigation 107 

Sargent's Astarte 108 

The Immaculate Conception. By Murillo 109 

Kwan-Yon and the Fish Ill 

A Poem on Kwan-Yon 112 

Benten, The Japanese Goddess of Divine Love 113 

Kwan-Yon. By Li Lung-mien 114 

Kwan Yon as the Buddha 115 

T'ien Hou, Queen of Heaven 116 

Freya 119 

Adam and Eve Called to Account 133 

The Creation of Woman 136 

Detail from Ghiberti's Doors 137 

The Creation of Woman. By Michelangelo 138 

Adam and Eve in Paradise. By Gustave Dore 139 

The First Family. By Schnorr von Carolsfeld 140 

Primitive Man. By Gabriel Max 142 

Babylonian Clay Figures 145 

The Venus of Brassempouy 146 

Lakshmi 147 

Coins of Cilicia, Tarsus, Gaulos and Perga 148 

Coins of Perga in Pamphylia 149 

Three Artemis Medals 149 

Coin of Antiochus Euergetes ISO 

Istar on a Coin of Tarsus 150 

Coins of Emesa, lasos Caria, Paphos and Lydia 151 

The Diana of Ephesus in the Vatican 152 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Vll 

FAGB 

The Diana of Ephesus in Naples 153 

Cyprian Aphrodite 154 

Archaic Aphrodite with Dove 155 

Archaic Venus in Pompeian Style 155 

Aphrodite Sosandra by Kalamis 156 

Aphrodite and Ares 157 

Attic Sculpture of the Fifth Century B. C 158 

Aphrodite of Alcamenes, Known as Venus Genetrix 159 

Head of the Cnidian Venus. Profile 160 

The Cnidian Venus of Praxiteles 161 

The Venus of Praxiteles on a Cnidian Coin 162 

Head of the Crouching Venus : 163 

Venus Crouching in the Bath 164 

Venus with the Unguent Jar 165 

The Venus of Panderma. Front view 167 

The Venus of Panderma. Rear view 168 

The Venus Head in the Museum of Bardos 169 

Head of the Cnidian Venus. Front view 172 

Another View of the Cnidian Venus 175 



THE DISCOVERY OF A RARE ART 

TREASURE. 

MELOS (Italian Milo), one of the smallest 
Greek islands, would scarcely be known at 
all except to specialists in geography or ancient his- 
tory, had not a happy accident brought to light on 
one of its hillsides that most beautiful piece of sculp- 
ture which ever since its discovery has been known 
as the Venus of Milo. 

Melon means apple, and the island of Melos (the 
''apple island") belongs to the Cyclades, being the 
most southern and western member of that group. 
It lies almost straight west from the southern tip of 
the Peloponnesus and in a direction south to south- 
west from Athens. 

Melos was inhabited in ancient times by Dorians 
who sympathized with Sparta against Athens, but 
when the Athenians conquered it after a most stub- 
born resistance they slaughtered the entire Dorian 
male population and replaced them by Athenian 
colonists. Since then the island remained abso- 



2 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

lutely faithful to Athens, in fact it was the last 
possession which still belonged to Athens when the 
Ionian confederacy broke up, and the friendly re- 
lations between Melos and her metropolis continued 
even after Greece had become a Roman province. 
On this island of Melos, a peasant by the name of 




THE FIELD OF YORGOS BOTTONIS. 

Cross shows where the Venus was found. (From the Century 

Magazine, 1881, Vol. I, p. 99.) 

Yorgos Bottonis and his son Antonio, while clearing 
away the stones near the ruins of an ancient 
theater in the vicinity of Castro, the capital of the 
island, came accidentally across a small underground 
cave, carefully covered with a heavy slab and con- 
cealed, which contained a fine marble statue in two 



THE DISCOVERY OF A RARE ART TREASURE. 6 

pieces, together with several other marble frag- 
ments. This happened in February, 1820. 

The Rev. Oiconomos, the village priest who 
guided the finder in this matter, invited M. Louis 
Brest, the French consul of Melos, to see the statue 
and offered it to him (in March of the same year) 
for 20,000 francs. M. Brest does not seem to have 
been in a hurry to buy, but he claims to have written 
to the French minister at Constantinople. One thing 
is sure, no answer had come by April when His 
French Majesty's good ship "Chevrette" happened 
to cast anchor in the harbor at Melos and an ensign 
on board. Monsieur Dumont d'Urville, went to see 
the statue. The inability to sell it had brought the 
price down, and the finder was willing to part with 
it to the young Frenchman for only 1200 francs. 
M. d'Urville was more energetic than M. Brest and 
as soon as he reached Constantinople the French 
Minister at once authorized a certain Count Mar- 
cellus, a member of the French embassy, to go to 
Melos and procure the statue. 

Count Marcellus arrived on the French vessel 
"Estafette" in May, but found that the statue in the 
meantime had been sold to a certain Nikolai Morusi 
for 4800 francs and had just been placed aboard a 
little brig bound for Constantinople, the home of the 
buyer. At this juncture the three Frenchmen, M. 
Brest, M. d'Urville and Count Marcellus, decided 
not to let their treasure so easily escape them, so 
M. Brest protested before the Turkish authorities 



4 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

that the bargain had been concluded, declaring that 
Bottonis had no right to sell his prize to any other 
party. They even threatened to use force and, being 
backed by the French mariners of the ''Estafette," 
said that under no conditions would they allow the 
statue to leave the harbor. 

While the three Frenchmen claimed that France 
was entitled to have the statue for 1200 francs they 
were willing to pay not only 4800 francs, the price 
promised by Alorusi, but 6000 francs. The new 
buyer had not yet paid and so the peasant was satis- 
fied with the cash offered him, while the Turkish 
authorities did not care either way. Thus it came 
to pass that the valuable marble was transferred to 
the French warship on May 25, 1820, (so at least 
runs the original report without the fantastic story 
of a battle) and after much cruising was carried 
to Constantinople where it was placed on the 
"Lionne," another French ship bound for France 
and destined to bring home the French Minister, 
Marquis de Riviere. The ''Lionne" reached France 
in October, 1820, and the statue was delivered at 
the Louvre in February, 1821. 



DUMONT D'URVILLE'S REPORT. 

THE most important passage of Dumont d'Ur- 
ville's report^ about the discovery of the 
statue reads in an EngHsh translation thus: 

'The Chevrette set sail from Toulon on April 3 
(1820) in the morning, and anchored on the six- 
teenth in the roadstead of Milo .... 

"On the 19th I went to look at some antique 
pieces discovered at Milo a few days before our 
arrival. Since they seem to me worthy of attention 
I shall here record the result of my observation in 
some detail .... 

''About three weeks before our arrival at Milo 
a Greek peasant digging in his field. . . .came across 
some stones of considerable size. As these stones 
. . . .had a certain value, this consideration encour- 
aged him to dig still further, and so he succeeded in 

^ Published under the title "Relation d'une expedition hydro- 
graphique dans le Levant et la mer-Noire de la gabarre de Sa 
Majeste la Chevrette, commandee par M. Gauttier, capitaine 
de vaisseau, dans I'annee 1820," in Annales maritimes et colo- 
niales de Bajot, 1821, and reprinted in Archives de I'art fran- 
gais, publies sous la direction de M. A. Montaiglon, II series, 
Vol. II, 1863, pp. 202ff. 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



clearing out a sort of recess in which he found a 
marble statue together with two hermae and some 
other pieces, Hkewise of marble. 



1 ') 




"The statue was in two pieces joined in the 
middle by two small iron tenons. Fearing he would 



DUMONT d'uRVILLE's REPORT. 



lose the fruit of his toil, the Greek had the upper 
part of the two hermae carried away and deposited 
in a stable. The rest were left in the cave. I ex- 
amined all very carefully, and the various pieces 
seemed to me in good taste, as far as my slight 
acquaintance with the arts permitted me to judge 
of them. 

"I measured the two parts of the statue separately 
and found it very nearly six feet in height ; it repre- 
sented a nude woman whose left hand was raised 
and held an apple, and the right supported a gar- 
ment draped in easy folds and falling carelessly 
from her loins to her feet. Both hands have been 
mutilated and are actually detached from the body. 
The hair is coiled in the back and held up by a 
bandeau. The face is very beautiful and well pre- 
served except that the tip of the nose is injured. 
The only remaining foot is bare; the ears have been 
pierced and may have contained pendants. 

"All these attributes would seem to agree well 
enough with the Venus of the judgment of Paris; 
but in that case where would be Juno, Minerva and 
the handsome shepherd? It is true that a foot clad 
in a cothurnus and a third hand were found at the 
same time. On the other hand the name of the 
Island Melos has a very close connection with the 
word iJLrjXov which means apple. Might not this 
similarity of the words have indicated the statue 
by its principal attribute? 

"The two hermae were with it in the cave. Be- 



8 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

yoiid this fact there is nothing remarkable about 
them. Their height is about three feet and a half. 
One is surmounted by the head of a woman or child 
and the other by the face of an old man with a long 
beard. 

''The entrance to the cave was surmounted by a 
piece of marble four feet and a half long and about 
six or eight inches wide. It bore an inscription of 
which only the first half has been respected by 
Time. The rest is entirely effaced. This loss is in- 
estimable ; .... at least we might have learned on 
what occasion and bv whom the statues had been 
dedicated. 

"At any rate I have carefully copied the remain- 
ing characters of this inscription and I can guaran- 
tee them all except the first, of which I am not sure. 
The space which I indicate for the defaced part has 
been measured in proportion to the letters which are 
still legible : 

:AKXEO:iATIOYYIIOrY \:i 

TANTEESEAPANKAITO 

EPMAIHPAKAEI 

''The pedestal of one of the hermae also bore 
an inscription but its characters had been so muti- 
lated that it was impossible for me to decipher them. 

"At the time of our passage to Constantinople 
the ambassador asked me about this statue and I 
told him what I thought about it, and sent to M. de 



DUMONT d'URVILLE's REPORT. 



Marcellus, secretary of the embassy, a copy of the 
inscription just given. Upon my return M. de Ri- 
viere informed me that he had acquired the statue 
for the museum and that it had been put on board 
one of the vessels at the landing. However, on our 
second trip to Milo in the month of September I 
regretted to learn that the affair was not yet ended. 
It seems that the peasant, tired of waiting, had de- 
cided to sell this statue for the sum of 750 piasters 
to a neighboring priest who wished to make a pres- 
ent to the dragoman of the Captain Pacha, and M. 
de Marcellus came just at the moment when it was 
being shipped to Constantinople. In despair at see- 
ing this fine piece of antiquity about to escape him 
he made every effort to recover it, and thanks to the 
mediation of the primates of the island the priest 
finally consented, but not without reluctance, to 
abandon his purchase and give up the statue. . . . 

"On April 25 in the morning we doubled the 
promontory indicated . . . . " 

I understand from M. Dumont d'Urville's report 
that the statue was in "two parts" each about three 
feet high, that both hands were mutilated and de- 
tached from the body, "and that he had reason to 
believe that the "left hand was raised and held an 
apple and the right supported a garment." I say 
"he had reason to believe" it, but he positively 
speaks as if he had seen it although this cannot be 
the case, for he contradicts this fact by the unequiv- 
ocal statement that the hands "are actually detached 



10 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

from the body." He says, "it represented a nude 
woman, etc." and the word ''represented" need not 
mean that it was complete with all the limbs intact 
and in their proper places. 

Obviously M. d'Urville here describes the statue 
restored with the fragments which were found in 
the cave, were bought of the finder, the peasant 
Bottonis, and are now preserved in a glass case in 
the Louvre at Paris. One of these fragments is a 
hand holding an apple, and there is also a portion 
of an arm. 

This interpretation is important in so far as dis- 
cussions have arisen in later years as to the original 
position of the hands when attempts to restore the 
statue were made, and then the claim was made that 
the statue had been found complete, that it had been 
broken by the French sailors in its transportation 
and that the French authorities had been careless in 
handling the whole affair. 



VISCOUNT MARCELLUS ON HIS "SOU- 
VENIRS. 



)) 



IT is important to know the facts with regard to 
the debris found together with the so-caUed 
Venus of Milo, as stated by a second eye witness, 
the Viscount MarceHus. He wrote his reminis- 
cences on the Venus of Milo in a book entitled 
Souvenirs, and the second edition of this was re- 
viewed by Lenormant. In answer to some objec- 
tions of the latter the Viscount published "a last 
word on the Venus of Milo."^ 

In this he enumerates as follows the objects 
brought away from the cave where the Venus had 
been found : 

"No. 1. The nude upper part of the statue. 

"No. 2. The lower draped portion. 

"Yorgos, their original owner. . . .gave me at the 
same time three small accessories of the statue 
found in a field near by ... . These were : 

"No. 3. The top of the hair commonly called the 
chignon, etc. 

^ "Un dernier mot sur la Venus de Milo," in the Revue Con- 
temporaine, 1839, XIII, pp. 289ff. 



12 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



"No. 4. A shapeless and mutilated fore-arm. 

''No. 5. Part of a hand holding an apple. 

"The last two objects seemed to me to be of the 
same kind of marble and of a grain near enough 
like that of the statue, but I could not tell whether 
they could reasonably be assumed to belong to a 
Venus whose attitude I no longer remembered .... 






FRAGMENTS FOUND AT MELOS.* 
Nos. 4 and 5 of Viscount Marcellus's list. 

"The primates at the same time sent me the three 
hermae (Nos. 6, 7 and 8) which were still at Castro, 
and a left foot in marble (No. 9) which had been 
found in the neighborhood of the field of Yorgos 

* These fragments are preserved in a glass case at the win- 
dow in the same room of the Louvre where the Venus of Milo 
stands. 



VISCOUNT MARCELLUS OX HIS ''SOUVENIRS." 13 

lower down toward the valley where the burial caves 
are. 

"They wished also to give me the inscription 
found in the same locality which I had already 
seen in their town. It is the one which commences 
with the Greek words : ArXE02 ATIOY 

''I here repeat that with this exception I took 
away from ^lilo everything which had been taken 
from the ground with the Venus or near by, and I 
have no remembrance of having seen there, much 
less of having received or acquired myself, any other 
Greek inscription which made mention of a sculptor 
with a mutilated name, etc. Of course I would be 
eager enough with anything that might be able to 
throw light on the discovery, and since in my Soii- 
z'cnirs de V Orient (I, p. 249) I cite an epigraph of 
almost no significance I would not wittingly or 
negligently have omitted any Greek letters near the 
excavation or relating to its details. Neither should 
it be forgotten that in fact I indicate only 'three 
hermae, some pedestals and other bits of marble 
debris' (I, p. 237) as the result of Yorgos's suc- 
cessive excavations; and further down (p. 48) 
these same hermae and other antique fragments 
without ever speaking of any inscription." 

The inscription more completely mentioned by 
Dumont d'Urville has also been published by Clarac 
with only a few insignificant variations. He adds the 
missing B at the beginning, reads I in place of E, 
and has two 2's. It is a votive inscription which has 



14 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

no connection with our Venus. Being of little value, 
the authorities of the Louvre did not take good care 
of it and it is now lost. The probable meaning of 
the inscription is ''Bakchios, (son of) Atios the 
subgymnasiarch (has donated) the arcade and the 
.... [he has erected according to a vow] to Hermes, 
Heracles, 



• • • 



These reports of two eye-witnesses are important 
not so much for what they contain as for what they 
do not contain. Neither ^I. Dumont d'Urville nor 
Viscount Marcellus mentions the name of the artist 
of the statue. x\n inscription is copied by both in 
which Bacchus, Hermes and Heracles are men- 
tioned, but no reference is made to the name of 
Agesander or Alexander of Antioch as having been 
seen on a fragment of the pedestal — an artist who 
makes his appearance in a mysterious way and 
whose acquaintance we shall make in the next chap- 
ter. ^Moreover, since other pieces of debris were 
found either in the cave or in a neighboring field, 
there is no reason whatever that any one of them, 
let alone the left hand holding an apple, should have 
been attached to our statue. 

We shall have occasion to refer to these points 
again. 



DEBAY'S DRAWING. 

THE famous French painter David happened 
to be in exile at the time of the discovery 
of the Venus of ]\lilo, and, taking an especial inter- 
est in this wonderful piece of ancient art, he induced 
one of his disciples, a certain Debay, to have his 
son Auguste Debay, a young art student, make a 
drawing of the statue as soon as it was put up in 
the Louvre. This drawing was afterwards pub- 
lished bv M. de Clarac in his "Notice" and we here 
republish it on account of the importance it has 
gained as a document in the history of the statue. 
Debay's drawing shows a plinth bearing an in- 
scription and also exhibiting a square hole in the 
ground near the left foot of the statue. The angle 
of vision is indicated by the line ",t',r" which shows 
the height from which the statue was viewed by 
]\I. Debay. The point a corresponds to the place of 
the eye projected horizontally at a distance in front 
which cannot have been more than one and one-half 
times the height of the statue. Geometrically this 
place is determined by the intersection of two lines 



16 



THE VEXUS OF MILO. 




crn=5k 






DEBAY'S DRAWING OF VENUS. 



debay's drawing. 17 

from a and b constructed in a horizontal plane at 
right angles to the vertical axis of the statue. 

The inscription on the pedestal of M. Debay's 
drawing reads : 

. . . ^ANAPOS HNIAOY 
. . . lOXEYSAnOMAIAXAPOY 
EnOIH2EN 



ii 



. .andros son of Menides of [Ant] lochia on 
the Maiandros." 

Since of the last missing letter before the A the 
lowest stroke of a Greek H or of an 2 is discernible 
in the drawing, the name must have read "Alexan- 
dros'' or ''Agesandros." This man cannot have lived 
before the third century B. C. because his native city 
Antioch on the ^laeander was founded by An- 
tiochus I, the second of the Diadochs (280-261 
B. C. ) According to Professor Kirchhoff's view 
the character of the letters belongs to the first cen- 
tury and may in his opinion be dated' back at most 
to the middle of the second century B. C. 

We have no information whatever why the plinth 
was joined to the statue. All we know about it is 
that it appears on the Debay drawing and is lost 
now, but it continues to be a mystery to archeol- 
ogists. 

Some consider it as genuine and denounce the 
authorities of the Louvre for their extraordinary 
carelessness in having allowed so important a docu- 
ment to be lost, and others see no reason whv this 



18 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 





1^1 


^^^^BF- 




^^ A 


l^^^^^l 


^B m 


fl^^^H 


^^^^^^^^^Hhk. ^^i^Nr^I^Ik' 


^^^^^^^1 


^KaimiMiMi^iMiii -If "'-Til 


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J 



HEAD OF THE VENUS OF MILO. 



DEBAY S DRAWING. 



19 




THE HEAD OF TRALLES. 



20 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

piece of marble which possessed no significance 
whatever should be so highly treasured. 

If the piece of the pedestal with the inscription 
belonged to the statue, for which assumption, as we 
have seen, there is no reason whatever, the statue 
would be of a comparatively late date, but we really 
do not know what the plinth bearing the name 
''. . . .andros" has to do with the statue. 

Archeologists have discovered other heads show- 
ing a remarkable similarity in their features to the 
Venus of Alilo. Among them is a head discovered 
in Tralles, Asia ]\Iinor, which shows almost the 
same face as the Venus of Milo. So close is the 
resemblance that both seem to have been made 
after the same model. It may be that one has been 
copied from the other or both chiseled from a- com- 
mon prototype. We here reproduce the heads of 
both, after half-tone pictures published by Salo- 
man.^ 

Overbeck believes that the Venus of Alilo is not 
an original. He says : ''It seems permissible to doubt 
the originality of this composition, and to refer it 
back to an older original which we can no longer 
determine, as the common prototype of the statue 
of Milo and of other similar statues. For this rea- 
son there would be no objection to assigning the 
origin of our statue to the period of imitation. Al- 
though I deem the dependence of the statue upon 

1 Geskel Salonian, Die Restauration der J'eiius von Milo, den 
Mancn de Claracs gezvidmet. Stockholm, 1895. Plate IV. 



DEBAY^S DRAWING. 21 

an older original assured, I am disinclined to deny 
a certain degree of originality, but in those very 
features which I deem to be original are the very 
marks of a late revision." 

Conze" compares our Venus of Milo with the 
style of the Pergamene sculptures, and in his essay 
on the results of the excavation at Pergamum, page 
71, he calls attention to the fact that the warm tone 
of the skin and the sketchy method of the treatment 
of the hair seem characteristic of a later period, 
pointing out the similarity of a piece of Pergamene 
sculpture with the head of the Venus of ^Nlilo. 

Shall we assume that this head of Tralles is older 
than the Venus of Milo and that we must look upon 
the art of Pergamum as the school in which our 
artist, Agesander or Alexander or whoever he may 
have been, drew his inspiration ? We have no posi- 
tive proof on either side but internal evidence speaks 
in favor of regarding the Venus of Alilo as original, 
and we cannot place any confidence in the genuine- 
ness of the plinth in the Debay drawing, so may 
regard the statue as the work of a classical, though 
unknown, Athenian artist, or at least one who 
worked for Athens and her temples. 

- Conze, Die Ergebnisse dcr Ausgrahiingen zii Pergainon. 



A DESCRIPTION OF THE STATUE. 

WE have before us in the statue of the Venus 
of ^lilo one of the greatest masterpieces 
of ancient Hellas, and it is of secondary importance 
whether or not it was the artist's intention to rep- 
resent the goddess of love and beauty. Surely 
this work of art represents womanhood at its best 
— a noble feminine figure in full maturity, not a 
maiden but fully developed, a wife or mother; and 
yet not as a mother with a child, nor as a wife with 
her husband, but simply as a woman. 

There is nothing frivolous about her, no coquetry, 
nothing amorous. Her eyes betray not the slightest 
touch of a sensual emotion, not that sentimental 
moistness, t6 lypov as the Greeks called it, and 
thereby the artist succeeded in transfiguring naked 
beauty by a self-possessed chastity unrivaled in the 
art of statuaiy. 

The consensus of art admirers, which is almost, 
though not quite, universal, sees in this marble the 
great mother-goddess, das ezvig Weiblichc, idealized 
femininity, the goddess of beauty and love, whom 
the Greeks called Aphrodite and the Romans Venus. 




THE VENUS OF MILO. 



24 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

The goddess (if we may so call her) stands be- 
fore us erect in queenly dignity. Her dress is fall- 
ing down leaving the upper body entirely uncovered, 
and yet in spite of the nudity of the figure we are 
struck with its unparalleled purity and nobility of 
expression. 

The statue has suffered many injuries. Both 
arms have been broken off and are now lost, and so 
is the left foot. The tip of the nose has been restored, 
and there are scratches and cudgel marks all over 
the body which could not be mended without de- 
stroying the original work in the general treatment 
of the skin. The ears are pierced, so there must 
originally have been earrings which robbers had 
torn away before the statue was secreted in the 
cave. 

A line in the hair of the statue shows holes which 
prove plainly that on top of the head there must 
have been a coronet like that commonly worn by 
Greek goddesses and called by the Greeks o-(/)ei'8on;, 
''sling," because with the strings attached it resem- 
bles a sling. It was worn especially by the Queen 
of Heaven, Hera (the Juno of the Roman pan- 
theon). 

Since the arms have been broken oft* and lost, 
the artist's conception with regard to the posture 
can only be surmised. The face is calm and without 
passion. It wears a commanding expression, appar- 
ently with a suggestion of surprise, even of self- 
defence. 



A DESCRIPTION OF THE STATUE. 25 

Judging from the muscles of the left shoulder the 
left arm must have been raised. Sometimes it has 
been claimed that the broken hand with the apple, 
which with other debris was found in the neighbor- 
hood, belonged to the statue : and that the apple 
being the emblem of A^enus and at the same time 
that of the island of ]\Iilo as well, the statue repre- 
sented the patron goddess of the island, but this is 
very doubtful. ' Archeologists are not in full accord 
upon this point for the mere reason that the frag- 
ment of the hand with the apple is of rough work- 
manship and is commonly judged as not worthy of 
the statue ; at best it might 1)e regarded as the work 
of an ancient restoration. All critics, however, are 
pretty well agreed that the right hand must have 
grasped for the falling garment, preliminarily held 
up by the raised knee. 

The Venus of ]\Iilo is at present the pride of the 
Louvre at Paris, and the place where she stands on 
account of her ]M-esence alone may be likened to an 
ancient pagan shrine, comparable to the room in the 
Dresden gallery where the Sistine ^Madonna stands, 
the latter being a Christian counterpart of the for- 
mer. 

Our Blessed Lady of ]\Iilo, as we may call this 
beautiful representative of Greek paganism in imi- 
tation of Veit Valentin's name Die hoJic Fran von 
Milo, has always a group of admiring visitors sit- 
ting quietly Ijefore her, and there is often a hush 
in the room which recalls the sanctitv of relieious 



26 THE VEX US OF MILO. 

chapels attended by quiet worshipers. There is a 
sacred atmosphere surrounding the statue and even 
the hurried globe-trotter feels that he has come into 
the presence of some divinity that exerts her in- 
fluence upon the world not by might, but by beauty, 
grace and loveliness. 



RESTORATIONS. 

MAXY attempts have been made to restore the 
statue of the A^enus of ^lilo, and we here 
reproduce a number of them, but none of them 
have proved successful. It ahiiost seems, as the 
German poet Heinrich Heine somewhere says, that 
the \^enus of Milo in her helpless condition with 
her arms broken off a])peals more to our sympath}- 
than in her original condition of glory when she 
received the homage of faithful worshij^ers. and it is 
true the very mutilated form is extremely attractive 
in its present dilapidated state. Broken by fanatics 
of a hostile faith, she represents in dignity and 
beauty the natural charm of Greek religion at its 
best. The hordes of bigoted monks vented their 
hatred with especial wrath against the goddess of 
love and also against her son, Eros, as may be seen 
from a figure of this god represented in his dain- 
tiest vouthfulness. Here too the marks of the clubs 
of a furious mob are visible, betraying the same 
spirit as in the treatment of the Venus of ^lilo. It 
is the fanaticism of ascetic frenzv in the bitterness 




A MUTILATED STATUE OF EROS. 



RESTORATIONS. 



29 



of its wrath against nature in general and love in 
particular that showed itself in these iconoclastic 
demonstrations. 




VENUS WITH SHIELD AND PENCIL. 



Wt regret now the destruction of the Greek idols 
as a barbaric warfare waged upon art. We have 
begun to sympathize with the vanquished gods, and 



30 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



archeologists are trying to restore what early Chris- 
tianity ruthlessly destroyed or mutilated. 

Those restorers of the Venus of Milo who reject 




VENUS WITH :\nRROR. 



the genuineness of the right hand holding an apple 
enjoy the greatest liberty in their work of recon- 
struction, and we find some of them representing 



RESTORATIONS. 



31 



our Venus as holding a shield on her knee and 
writing upon it. Others assume that her right hand 
holds a mirror, while still others who claim that 




VENUS AS VICTORY. 
Probably by T. Bell. 

there is no necessity of interpreting the statue to be 
a Venus, believe her to be a Victory or Nike, and 
put wreaths in her hands. 




DRAWING BY HASSE AND HENKE. 



RESTORATIONS. 



33 



Hasse and Henke have treated the problem of 
restoration from the standpoint of anatomy, and 
plausibly claim that the left hand should be raised 
higher than other restorers have proposed. 




RESTORATION BY FURTWAEXGLER. 
The restoration of Furtwangler, according to 
which the goddess rests her left arm on a column 
and holds an apple in her hand, has for a long time 




SALOMAN'S LATEST RESTORATION. 



RESTORATIONS. 



35 



been considered the most probable, and yet even this 
can scarcely be regarded as satisfactory. 

Mr. Geskel Saloman, a Swedish archeologist. also 




RESTORATION BY SALOMAN. 

places a column at her left side and uses it for her 
elbow to rest on. In consideration of some an- 
cient descriptions of a dramatic ceremony performed 



36 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 




] J 



00 
CM 




\ j 



> 






■'"^. 



\^ 



J'v 



RESTORATIONS. 37 

at Corinth he places a dove on her right hand. The 
idea is that having received the apple as the prize 
of beauty she sends out the dove to her worshipers 
to announce her triumph and inform them that they 
may celebrate the victory. 

Veit \^alentin attempts to construct his restora- 
tion out of the data furnished by the marble itself 
and seems to come nearest to the truth. He assumes 
that the goddess, when in the act of undressing for a 
bath, finds herself surprised by an intruder. There is 
no fear or alarm in her attitude, but she raises her 
hand in protest with a self-poised assurance and 
grasps with her right hand the falling garment 
which she attempts to support by a hurried motion 
of her left knee, ^^'e regret that we have not seen 
either a picture or a statue of this restoration, but 
we are deeply impressed that this idea is most prob- 
ably correct. 

The latest restoration comes from Francisca Pa- 
loma Del ]\Iar (Frank Paloma ) who places a child 
on the left arm of the goddess, and this conception 
is defended in a special pamphlet by Alexander Del 
.Mar.^ 

i\Ir. Del ]\Iar brings out the idea that the rever- 
ence in which the great mother goddess was held ' 
among the pagans was not substantially different 
in piety from Christian ^Madonna worship, and this 
view is brought out in the painting by the artist 

1 The Venus di Milo, Its History and Its Art. New York, 
Cambridge Encyclopedia Co., 1900. 



38 



THE VEXUS OF MILO. 




THE MOTHER OF THE GODS. 
From a painting by Francisca P. Del !Mar. 



RESTORATIONS. 39 

f 

Frank Paloma here reproduced. Mr. Del ^lar thinks 
that the pagan goddess served the inhabitants of 
Melos as a Christian Virgin. He says : 

''What more natural than for the pious islanders 
of Melos, terrified by the harsh edicts of Theodosius, 
to simply burn the pedestal and inscription belong- 
ing to their pagan goddess, and continue to worship 
under another name the same embodiment of that 
holy sentiment of love and maternity which they 
had hitherto been accustomed to adore." 

Mr. Del ^lar relies on the testimony of Count 
Marcellus who finally concluded the bargain in the 
name of the French government and quotes him as 
saying in his Souvenirs de rOricnt, I, 255 : ''It can 
be demonstrated that the statue represented the 
Panagia or Holy Virgin of the little Greek chapel 
whose ruins I saw at Milo." 

It seems to us that the statue cannot have car- 
ried a child on her left arm because the marble 
would show more trace of pressure where the 
mother must have touched the babe, even when we 
make allowance for a polishing in the restored por- 
tions; and we would suggest further that the arm 
carrying the child would be held farther down. 
When a mother carries a child, her upper and lower 
arms are naturally at right angles and the position 
of having them at a very acute angle at the elbow 
appears quite artificial. 

The haloes placed upon the heads of mother and 
child and the apple of empire in the infant's hand 



40 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

are attributes belonging to the Christian era and so 
constitute other objections to Mr. Del ]\Iar's resto- 
ration. The halo is of late pagan origin, and in the 
form of rays it was first used to characterize gods 
of light, as for instance Helios and Selene. The 
round form of the nimbus is later still and seems to 
have arisen with the development of the art of 
painting. The apple of empire was not used in the 
days of antiquity but appears frequently in Con- 
stantinople and in early Christian symbolism. 

W^ithout entering into details we leave it to the 
taste of the reader whether he would select any of 
these restorations as a possible solution of the prob- 
lem ; we prefer to admire the statue as it appears 
now; for after all the broken figure still remains 
dearer to us in its wonderful and appealing beauty 
than any of the restorations. We ourselves believe 
that modern man will come to the conclusion that in 
this image in its present shape we have a noble mar- 
tyr of ancient paganism. Even the original statue 
itself in all its perfection, if it could be restored to 
us as it came fresh from the artist's workshop, 
could not replace the torso as we know it now. 

This is the reason why we do not take a great 
interest in the various restorations of the Venus 
of Milo, and therefore are not inclined to under- 
take a close study of them or to enter into an elab- 
orate recapitulation of these otherwise quite laud- 
able attemi)ts. We can only sa)- tliat none of the 
restorations here discussed seems to solve the prob- 



RESTORATIONS. 41 

lem. Nevertheless we do not believe the problem 
to be beyond the possibility of solution, and we will 
state briefly what in our opinion the facts suggest. 

We believe that among all the propositions made 
by restorers the simplest one, that of Veit Valentin, 
alone deserves our interest. 

If we consider the dominating motive of the 
statue we must grant that it neither belongs to the 
very earliest times in which Venus was fully dressed, 
nor to the latest in which nudity, intensified in its 
suggestiveness by prudery, had nearly become the 
most characteristic feature of the deity of love. 
It takes its place in the midst of Greek art develop- 
ment when the first attempt was made to show the 
human form, and this is done in such a way as not 
to go to the extreme of a complete denudation but 
only suggests it and, as it were, with a protest on 
the part of the goddess. For the attitude of the 
statue plainly indicates that the goddess endeavors to 
retard the falling garment so as to give the right 
arm a moment's time to grasp it and to hold it up. 
It is more than merely probable that the left arm 
was raised toward an unexpected intruder in warn- 
ing not to approach. There is no fear in the ex- 
pression of the face, no fright, no anticipation of 
danger. The whole attitude makes us suspect that 
the missing left hand was raised with a forbidding 
gesture, expressing the command, Ne prorsum! Ne 
phis ultra! Noli me tang ere! 



RECENT THEORIES. 

THE statue discovered on the island of Milo 
acquired a fame beyond the greatest expec- 
tations, and the intense interest taken in it fre- 
quently gave rise to bitter discussions about its his- 
tory and the causes of its mutilation. Thus it hap- 
pened that the authorities of the Louvre, or even 
the French government itself, were held responsible 
for the sad state of desolation in which it now 
appears. 

Accusations were made that this venerable piece 
of classic art had been treated with inexcusable 
neglect, that important inscriptions belonging to it 
had been lost, and the claim was even made that 
the statue was whole at the time it was found. The 
dissatisfied parties interpreted M. Dumont d'Ur- 
ville's report in the sense that he had seen the 
statue whole, quoting from his description : "It 
represented a nude woman whose left hand was 
raised and held an apple and the right supported 
a garment draped in easy folds and falling care- 
lessly from her loins to her feet." This in their 



RECENT THEORIES. 43 

opinion meant that M. d'Urville had seen the statue 
complete in this posture when he bought it. The sen- 
tence which runs, ''Both hands have been mutilated 
and are actually detached from the body," according 
to this contention is to be interpreted that this must 
have happened before the French party delivered the 
statue to the Louvre, probably at the time when the 
French marines forced its transfer from the Turk- 
ish brig to the French warship "Estafette." 

The points raised in this discussion overlook 
some significant facts which if duly considered dis- 
pose of the claim that the statue was whole and 
unmutilated when discovered and sold to M. Du- 
mont d'Urville. Viscount Marcellus enumerates 
the objects discovered in the cave and mentions 
fragments of the statue found in the field nearby. 
Could he, an eye witness, have believed that it was 
whole and unmutilated when he assumes that a 
number of separate fragments belonged to it? 

It is not impossible that the quarrel between the 
French marines and the Turks was a regular fight; 
that they came to blows, but scarcely to shots. If 
there had been any fatalities we would have heard 
of it in the first report of the acquisition of the 
statue; but no serious wounds in the struggle are 
mentioned even in the later report, although in it 
we learn of a fight on the beach about the possession 
of the statue, and this later became humorously ex- 
aggerated into a battle involving drawn cutlases and 
a bleeding ear. 



44 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

The discussion was renewed in 1912 by M. Al- 
card who laid much emphasis upon the testimony 
of Lieutenant ]\Iatterer, a comrade of j\I. Dumont 
d'Urville. He is claimed to have felt such disgust 
about the endless disputes on the original form of 
che Venus of Milo that he wished to put an end to 
them. He says : "When I saw the statue in the hut 
of Yorgos Bottonis on whose field it was found, 
the left arm was attached to the bust and held an 
apple over her head." 

This positive statement stands in plain contra- 
diction to the older records and it seems that the 
imagination of the valiant naval officer played his 
memory a trick after the lapse of nearly half a 
century. Perhaps it is impossible to evolve the 
exact truth definitely, but it seems to me that we 
must not estimate these later testimonies too highly, 
for it would be more difficult then to explain the 
actual condition of the statue and its agreement with 
the older descriptions, than now to account for these 
later depositions of a few excitable and imaginative 
men who feel that they have something of great im- 
portance to declare. Moreover, the most important 
witness, Lieutenant flatterer, is characterized in 
these accounts as ''an officer of great merit but no 
literary cultivation," which does not seem to make 
his opinion especially reliable. 

The Sunday Record-Herald of Chicago (Nov. 24, 
1912) contains a summary of this later phase of the 
discussion as to the condition of the Venus of Milo 



RECENT THEORIES. 45 

from which we quote a few passages that in spite 
of the sensational character of the account may be 
of interest. The American reporter, relying on his 
French sources, says : 

"The great Thiers began his start in journalism 
by a study of this Venus and the riddle of her arms. 
So when he became president of the French republic 
he ordered the ambassador to Greece, Jules Ferry, 
to make a trip to Melos and pick up local tradition. 
Ferry did better. He found the son and nephew 
still alive, Antonio and Yorgos Jr. 'They have 
grown to be beautiful old men — white-bearded, 
ruddy, robust and bright-eyed,' reported Ferry. 
'Examined separately before the French vice-consul 
at Castro they declared steadily, with minute details 
and explanatory gestures and poses, that Venus, 
when they found her, was standing upright on her 
pedestal, her right arm sustaining her draperies 
and her left arm raised and extended, its hand hold- 
ing an apple.' " 

I assume that the old Greek peasants spoke Greek, 
and so M. Ferry probably understood their meaning 
mainly from their "explanatory gestures and poses" 
which might as well have expressed their idea of the 
original attitude of the statue as the way in which 
they actually saw it. 

"The popular story of the countryside also," con- 
tinued Ferry's report, "is a tale of battle. At fifty 
years' distance the recollection remains and tradition 
is not yet born. The discovery of the Venus Vic- 



46 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

trix, the dispute of which she was the object, the 
fight on the beach, the victor}^ of the French and 
her final abduction violently impressed the islanders 
— and the impression remains." 

"The battle of the beach" is described in sensa- 
tional terms. The French war-schooner "Estafette" 
had reached ^lelos in May 1820, when her com- 
mander Robert saw the Greek brig "Galaxidion" 
(flying the Turkish flag) anchored nearby, and to 
the consternation of himself and Marcellus, the 
secretary of the French embassy at Constantinople, 
there appeared on shore at the foot of the hill a 
crowd of Greek and Turkish sailors laboriously 
transporting the upper half of the statue toward 
that same Turkish brig. The account continues : 

"The Greeks and Turks advanced slowly, chan- 
ging shifts and reposing. ^larcellus and Robert 
looked in each other's eyes. 'There's just time,' 
said Robert. They armed a long-boat full of ma- 
rines, Alarcellus and Robert with them in com- 
mand, and reached the shore just as men from a 
Turkish long-boat came running to protect their 
brethren. From the hill of Castro M. Brest, the 
French vice-consul, was making good time to the 
melee. Cutlasses and clubs opened the dance. 

"The Turks dropped the marble idol. Around 
Venus it was slash and parry, kick, bite, jab, gouge 
and roll. A cutlass takes off a Turkish ear. Enough 
carnage ! When you fly the Turkish flag you don't 
soak the sands with your life-blood for a graven 



RECENT THEORIES. 47 

image made against the law of the Prophet. The 
Turks pull for the brig. The French have copped 
the peerless one, Venus Victrix, impassive, stares 
past them at the white-capped sea, where she was 
born. Is there a faint smile of satisfaction on the 
lovely lips? 

''The stretcher had been injured. All were ex- 
cited. Hurry, the Turks may return in force ! That 
stretcher is no good. Put rollers under the flat of 
the block. Pull on the ropes ! Attentionl The bust 
is slipping! Malheur, she's on her back? Tant pis\ 
Now, my children, yet another effort! Good old 
long-boat! Embark! It was hot work, but she's 
ours. Best say as little as possible about it. Mon- 
sieur le Vice-Consul, you will please to arrange the 
settlement of this annoying episode diplomatically! 

''Negotiations lasted two days. Finally the Turk- 
ish brig ceded to the French the lower part of the 
statue; but when the 'Estafette' sailed for Piraeus. 
Venus bore irreparable wounds. 

"So they say. Such is said to be the secret — or 
part of it. Among fragments of marble gathered 
up after the battle of the beach were debris of her 
arms — in particular of the beautiful left arm which 
MM. d'Urville and Matterer had seen entire on her 
shoulder, lifting the triumphal apple!" 

The report of M. Ferry makes the trip from 
Paris to Melos worth while and may have pleased 
the learned president of the republic, M. Thiers. 
The American reporter's account throws light on 



48 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

the theory suggested by the results of M. Ferry's 
trip : 

"Venus Victrix was received in Paris by the 
Count de Clarac, curator of the Louvre, then Royal 
Museum. Did he know of the fight? Perhaps. 
Was it to forestall a possible hint that a French 
war-ship could attack and plunder the war-ship of 
a friendly power in profound peace, or to prevent 
a dream of the impossible possibility that the mar- 
velous statue could have been mutilated in any 
French hands, by accident or otherwise, that he 
assumes Venus to have been dug up [in its present 
condition] ?" 

The official report of Count de Clarac when the 
statue was received at the Louvre runs as follows : 

*'Bust and front have scarcely suffered from the 
ravages of time. They keep the velvety skin of a 
master of the great Greek period, who, after pol- 
ishing, once more skimmed the chisel over the per- 
fect work. But here and there are slight lesions, 
due, probably, to careless pickstrokes in digging 
her up. The shoulders have been much damaged, 
traces of cords indicate that she was dragged along 
the shore toward the Turkish brig, and in that fatal 
passage the shoulders and haunches were scraped 
and worn, several finger breadths being taken off 
the former.'* 

The fertile imagination of the account changes 
the Greek brig ''Galaxidion" into a Turkish man- 
of-war so as to impress the reader that there is a 



RECENT THEORIES. 49 

diplomatic secret to be hidden which might involve 
the French authorities into a war with Turkey. 
The cause, being about the goddess of love, would 
be quite romantic but a war is serious enough to 
make the authorities wish to avoid it and prefer to 
cast a shadow of mystery over the whole affair. 

We shall see later that the mutilations of the 
statue need not have originated from careless han- 
dling on the part of the French marines when they 
took possession of the statue. 

Here is another passage which describes the na- 
ture of the injuries of the Venus statue without, 
however, being proof of the battle of the beach: 

''The shoulder has been broken, not merely scraped 
and worn, by dragging. And the author of another 
report, M. Lange, chief restorer of the Royal Mu- 
seum in 1820, specialist of vast experience and a 
workman to boot, notes certain exfoliations or 
scrapings of the left arm fragments 'running 
straight up on to the shoulder of the statue, and 
found also on the back of the hand fragment, which 
show that these different parts formed one with 
the shoulder; and these straight scratches could 
only have been made, all following the same direc- 
tion, when the left ann was entire !' " 

This quotation is made to prove that the arm was 
still connected with the statue before it was scraped 
along the ground, but may not this scraping have 
taken place before it was hidden in the cave? 

The Louvre's acquisition of the Venus of Milo 



50 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

proved in some respects a misfortune to the Count 
de Clarac. Charles Lenormant, the archeologist, in 
a contribution to the Correspondant in 1854 merci- 
lessly attacked the director of the Louvre and his 
staff, saying (as reported in the Record-Herald) : 

"I have always believed that from the beginning 
to better accredit a production which is its own best 
proofs, they designedly caused to disappear acces- 
sories which might derange the idea that they had 
just conquered a chef-d'oeuvre of the grand epoch 
of Greek art. Thus, besides the arms, they sup- 
pressed the debris of an inscription." 

Can we entertain the suspicion that the authori- 
ties of the Louvre purposely destroyed the inscrip- 
tion assumed to have been found with the debris of 
the Venus of Milo and that they suppressed facts or 
the knowledge of facts which might bear testimony 
against their cherished theories as to the proveni- 
ence of their favorite piece of art? Scarcely! The 
inscription, as we have seen, was doubtless lost be- 
cause nobody cared for it, for there was no evidence 
that it belonged to the statue. 



WHAT THE FACTS REVEAL. 

OF all the statues of classical antiquity the 
Venus of Milo is the greatest favorite, not 
only with the public at large but with art critics as 
well, and it is strange that the statue has acquired 
this popularity, for it is by no means perfect in 
conception nor has it been made by any one of 
the famous artists. The sculptor is either not known 
at all or, if the pedestal bearing the name of Age- 
sandros or Alexandros actually belonged to the 
statue, he was a man unknown to fame, and it seems 
difficult to point out the reasons which give to this 
most badly wrecked piece of marble its |>eculiar 
charm. 

We cannot help thinking that the artist worked 
after a living model and followed details pretty 
faithfully. It has been noticed for instance that the 
feet of the Venus are larger than those of the aver- 
age woman of to-day and the head is unusually small. 
In fact this close adherence to actual life may be 
the main secret of the charm of the statue, for on 
account of this reality there is a personal element in 



52 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

it, and we can almost read the character of the 
woman who stood as a model. We see at once an 
absence_ of any and every hsrivinns tr?^it quite com- 
mon to Venu s figures of a later period, _a nd in the 
face there is a remarkable unconsciousness of self. 

We may assume that the artist belonged to the 
famous school of Rhodes or to the group of those 
artists who made Pergamum famous with their 
work, but no statement can be made with certainty. 
Upon archeological grounds we cannot place the 
date of the statue earlier than about 400 B. C, nor 
later than the first part of the second century B. C, 
and this opinion is mainly based upon the excellent 
workmanship, the peculiar warmth of the skin as 
well as the classical simplicity of the statue as a 
whole. It appears that this valuable piece of art 
is worthy of a Phidias, a Praxiteles, a Lysippos, or 
a Scopas. 

Having searched art books in vain for an ex- 
planation of the history of the Venus of Alilo and 
its tragic fate, we will here briefly recapitulate what 
the simple facts of the statue, its workmanship, its 
sad and mutilated condition and also its place of 
discovery, can teach us. 

The statue shows a few scratches which indicate 
that it may have been dragged along the ground, 
but the marble bears innumerable indentations which 
can scarcely be explained otherwise than as due to 
blows with heavy sticks or clubs. The story of M. 
Ferry recapitulated in the foregoing chapter does 



\ 



WHAT THE FACTS REVEAL. 53 

not suffice. Some mutilations may be due to a 
rough handling in transportation, but the scratches 
are few and the cudgel marks are many. Appar- 
ently the statue has stood an attack of a mob of 
infuriated enemies who hated the goddess and re- 
garded her as a devil^:;^s the patron deity o f the 
worst of sins. She must have endured a terrible 
persecution at the hands of implacable enemies, and 
these enemies can only have been Christians. 

It is obvious that the statue has been hidden, and 
we need not doubt that it was concealed by pagan 
worshipers who wanted to preserve the effigy of 
the goddess. The marks of brutal treatment visible 
all over the body of the statue indicate that the fair 
goddess had been most furiously belabored as if in 
corporeal chastisement with rods and any weapons 
that happened to be at hand. The arms are broken 
and we must assume that the statue was upset and 
thrown from its pedestal. Probably the goddess 
fell on her right shoulder which is crushed, while the 
left arm exhibits a smooth fracture as if it had 
been broken by the concussion of the fall. If the 
arms are not the fragments enumerated by Count 
Marcellus and now preserved in the Louvre, they 
must have been lost : possibly they were smashed 
to small fragments. 

Can we assume that the provincial population of 
a small island could have produced the greatest 
piece of art of antiquity? Could a few farmers have 
engaged a sculptor who must have been the equal of 



54 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

Phidias and Scopas? If the statue had represented 
the tutelary goddess of the island, would not some 
Greek author have alluded to its existence; would 
not Pausanias have mentioned the fact? The idea 
that the statue was of indigenous workmanship is 
a mere assumption and by no means probable. But 
whence can the statue have come, and how did it 
find its way to this little island in the ^gean Sea? 

This question is not unanswerable; we need only 
consider the history of the island and its political 
connections. n 

The island of Milo was too small a place to have 
a temple that could afford a statue of such extraor- 
dinary value, and we must assume that it was car- 
ried thither on a ship. Athens is the only place 
that we can think of which might have been its 
original home. 

The early centuries of the Christian era were 
troublesome times. Lawlessness prevailed and a 
general decadence had set in, which was due to the 
many civil wars in both Greece and Italy. The 
establishment of the Roman empire checked the 
progress of degeneration but only in external ap- 
pearance. In reality a moral and social deteriora- 
tion continued to take an ever stronger hold 'upon 
the people. The old religion broke down and the 
new faith was by no means so ideal in the beginning 
as it is frequently represented by writers of eccle- 
siastical history. 

Our notions concerning the vicious character of 



WHAT THE FACTS REVEAL. 



55 



ancient paganism are entirely wrong. Even the 
worship of Aphrodite and of the Phenician Astarte 
was by no means degraded by that gross sensuaHsm 
of which the fathers of the church frequently accuse 




VENUS ON THE SWAN. 
A kylix from Capua. 



it. Wherever we meet with original expressions of 
the pagan faith we find deep reverence and childlike 
piety. In many respects the worship of Istar in 
Babylonia and Astarte in Phenicia, of Isis in Egypt, 



56 THE VENUS OF MILO. ^ 

of Athene, Aphrodite and Hera in Greece, of the 
Roman Juno, and Venus, the special protectress of 
the imperial family, was noble in all main fea- 
tures, and did not differ greatly from the cult of the 
Virgin Mary during the Middle Ages. We shall 
discuss this phase in a subsequent chapter and here 
reproduce an ancient platter which is ascribed by 
archeologists to the fourth century B. C, and shows 
a noble and serene Venus who is fully draped and 
flying on a swan. 
f^ When Christianity spread over the Roman em- 
pire, the city of Athens was the last stronghold of 
paganism, but even there the mass of the population 
had become Christian. There was a time in the de- 
velopment of Christianity when it was hostile not 
only to ancient pagan mythology but also to pagan 
science and to pagan art. This was the age in which 
almost all the statues of the Greek gods were either 
destroyed, or maltreated and shattered so that not 
one has come down to us unmutilated. 

Prof. F. C. Con3^beare of University College, Ox- 
ford, describes conditions of that age in his trans- 
lation of the Apology and Acts of Apollonius and 
Other Monuments of Christianity, as follows: 

'The obvious way of scotching a foul demon 
was to smash his idols; and we find that an enor- 
mous number of martyrs earned their crown in this 
manner, especially in the third century, when their 
rapidly increasing numbers rendered them bolder 
and more ready to make a display of their intol- 



WHAT THE FACTS REVEAL. 



57 



t. 




HEAD OF THE VENUS OF MILO. 
Profile view. 



58 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

erance. Sometimes the good sense or the worldly 
prudence of the Church intervened to set limits to 
so favorite a way of courting martyrdom; and at 
the Synod of Elvira, c. A. D. 305, a canon was 
passed, declaring the practice to be one not met with 
in the Gospel nor recorded of any of the Apostles, 
and denying to those who in future resorted to it 
the honors of martyrdom. But in spite of this, the 
most popular of the saints were those who had re- 
sorted to such violence and earned their death by 
it; and as soon as Christianity fairly got the upper 
hand in the fourth century, the wrecking of temples 
and the smashing of the idols of the demons became 
a most popular amusement with which to grace a 
Christian festival. As we turn over the pages of 
the martyrologies, we wonder that any ancient 
statues at all escaped those senseless outbursts of 
zealotry." 

It must have been in one of these '^outbursts of 
zealotry" that one of the temples of Aphrodite was 
attacked and the statue of the goddess brutally as- 
saulted. The mutilated statue presumably lay prone 
upon the ground at the foot of its pedestal at the 
overturned altar, and had to suffer under the clubs 
of fanatical zealots. When night broke in and the 
rioters sought their homes, the few friends of pa- 
ganism, perhaps the priests, perhaps some well-to-do 
philosophers and admirers of the ancient Greek 
civilization, came to the rescue. They met stealthily 
at the place of the tumult and with the assistance of 




HEAD OF THE VENUS OF MILO. 
Front view. 



60 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

their servants had. the statue carried away down to 
a ship at anchor in the harbor. Before the riot could 
be renewed on the next morning the ship set sail 
for the island of ^lilo where the devotees of the 
goddess may have had friends, or where possibly 
one of their own number possessed a fann. There 
they hid the statue, and it is certain that the act of 
concealment was done in the greatest haste, for it 
was only lightly covered over, and a mark, discov- 
ered later on by careful investigation of the place 
of hiding, was scratched into the curbstone on the 
wayside to indicate the spot. 

This explanation seems to me simple enough to 
be acceptable. The facts seem to tell it. Consider 
the age when paganism broke down; consider the 
fanaticism of the early Christians, the uncultured 
mobs led by fanatical monks, mobs capable of tear- 
ing to pieces a noble woman — I refer to Hypatia — 
in the conviction that they were doing a good deed 
pleasing in God's sight. Other statues of pagan 
ijods have received exactlv this treatment. Is it 
possible to explain the cudgel marks on the statue 
of the Venus of ]\Iilo differently? 

It seems strange that this explanation has not 
been offered before. The data of the conditions in 
which the statue was found, the place of hiding, 
the political relation of Melos to Athens, and the 
character both of the few pagans and of the multi- 
tudes of Christians who lived in the beginning of 
the Christian era, tell us the story of the statue, its 



WHAT THE FACTS REVEAL. 61 

sad fate and why it found here a safe place of con- 
cealment. 

The pagan remnant was small and kept quiet for 
fear of persecution, but we may very well imagine 
how they lived in the hope that paganism would 
celebrate a revival, that the storms of these barbar- 
ous outbursts would pass by and the temples of the 
gods would be restored in all their ancient glory. 
Then would come the time to bring the goddess back- 
to her ancient dwelling place, to raise her altar again 
and light the sacrifice anew. But though the riots 
ceased and the authorities restored order, though 
for a short time a pagan emperor sat again on the 
throne of Caesar, the ancient gods never returned 
and Christianity permanently replaced paganism. 
The devotees of the lost cause died without seeing 
their hope fulfilled. The desecrated statue remained 
hidden and their secret was buried with them in the 
grave. 



THE MEANING OF "APHRODITE 



>f 



THE etymolog}^ of the name Aphrodite is doubt- 
ful. The Greeks derived it from the word 
a(f>p6^ = foam, because the goddess was said to have 
risen from the foam of the sea. This wild guess 
of ancient Greek philolog}^ may have been respon- 
sible for the fable that Uranus (Heaven) nightly 
embraced Gaia (Earth) until he was attacked and ' 
mutilated by his rebellious son Kronos. Uranus, 
deprived of his creative ability, retired to the out- 
skirts of the world. Mythologists assume that here- 
with the creation of the raw material of the universe 
ceased, but that the generative principle being now 
mingled with the sea changed into foam, whence 
rose the goddess that represents all fertility and 
creativeness in both vegetable and animal domains. 
If this legend of the origin of Aphrodite is not 
simply the product of the wrong etymology of her 
name^ it is assumed to have been imported from 
Phenicia. The only other similar myth known is 

^ As we might suppose in reading Hesiod, Th., 195ff, and 
Plato, Crat., 406 c. 



THE MEANING OF '^APHRODITE." 63 

found among the South Sea islanders where Rangi 
(Heaven) and Papa (Earth) embraced one another 
so closely that no life could originate, Rangi being 
regarded as a great blue canopy of stone. Then 
Tane Mahuta, their youngest son, corresponding 
to Kronos, the youngest child of Uranus and Gaia, 
cruelly separated the couple and forced his father 
upward and pressed his mother down, thus becom- 
ing the creator of life on earth.^ 

The ancient Greeks were poor philologists and 
similar failures of etymological speculation are quite 
common among them. Thus they explained the 
origin of names like Heracles as "the fame of Hera," 
or Amazon as ''the woman without breasts," or 
Prometheus as ''the forethinker," etc. All these 
derivations are wild and obviously wrong guesses, 
nor may our modern philologists, though more scien- 
tific, be always exactly correct. We are taught now 
by comparative philology that Prometheus, the fire- 
bringer, is the Sanskrit word pramathyns, "the 
driller," denoting the hard stick^ which by a swift 
rotation in a soft piece of wood produces the spark 
that calls forth the beneficent flame. 

This explanation seems probable but we cannot 
say that our etymologies of other names have been 
equally successful. 

2 Taylor mentions this Maori legend in his New Zealand, 
119. Cf. Andrew Lang. Myth, Ritual and Religion, I, 302, and 
Roscher, Lex., s. v. "Kronos," col. 1542. 

3 H. Steinthal, "Die Sage von Prometheus," in Zeitschrift 
fi'ir Volkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft, II, ii, 8-9. 



64 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

One recent interpretation of "Aphrodite" would 
make us regard the name as an Egyptian importa- 
tion, explaining the word to mean Apharadat, "the 
gift of Ra/' the sun-god, derived from Pha Raa 
Da-t with the prosthetic A; but this, like the sug- 
gested derivation of Psyche from Pha Sakhu, ''the 
mummy," seems to be a mere accident of homoph- 
onv. Other Greek names such as Elvsion from 
Aalu, the Elysian Fields of the Eg}'ptians, Charon 
from Kerc, driver or skipper (ferryman), are better 
attested, but if the name Aphrodite came from 
Eg}'pt the cult of a goddess by that name and. char- 
acter has been lost or obliterated. 

H^ -fj ^ 

Originally Aphrodite was the same figure as Hera 
or Juno, Artemis or Diana and Pallas Athene or 
Minerva. These female deities are differentiations 
of the idealized and personified activities of woman- 
hood : Hera as the queen of heaven, the protectress 
of wifehood; Diana of girlhood and virginity; 
Athene as the goddess of battles, as protectress of 
arts and sciences, as wisdom personified ; Aphrodite, 
the personification of beauty and love. 

The ancient pagans were not so very unlike the 
Christians; e. g., Istar, like the Virgin ^lary, repre- 
sented at the same time eternal virginity and mother- 
hood, and the name of the temple on the Acropolis 
might truly be translated "Church of the Holy Vir- 



THE MEANING OF "APHRODITE." 65 

gin," for Parthenon is derived from irapBivo^, "vir- 



gin." 



In prehistoric times there was more reverence 
for the female deity than for the male god. So 
Ares (or Mars) is the god of fight, of combative- 
ness, while Athene is the teacher of the art of war- 
fare, of generalship, of strategy in battle. 

The character of Aphrodite as a universal prin- 
ciple was never lost sight of. She was and remained 
the giver of life, joy, love, loveliness, grace, fertility, 
increase, exuberance, rejuvenescence, springtime, 
restoration of life, immortality, prosperity and the 
charm of existence, — and all this she was in one, 
all as a universal principle and in its cosmic signifi- 
cance. 

The same idea is also expressed in Eros, called 
in Latin Amor or Cupido, who is regarded as the 
oldest and at the same time the youngest of the 
gods, represented as a beautiful youth. This same 
Eros is said to have existed prior to Aphrodite, for 
when she rose out of the sea, Eros met her at the 
shore, while according to another version he was 
regarded as her son. 

The notion that AphrnHite is the cosmic prin- 



cjpl eoFTove has foimd expression i^ poety-^nH 
philosophy, but her mythical nature has never been 
d'efimtelysettled: TToiiTer, who calls Aphrodite 
Cypris (KiVpt?) speaks of her in the Iliad {Y , 312) 
as the daughter of Zeus^ and Dione, the goddess 

4 Atos Kovprj, 




> 

o 

Q 
g ^ 

°^ 

w 
> 

< 
w 



THE MEANING OF '*APHR0DITE/' 67 

who in olden times was worshiped on the AcropoHs 
in Athens, in Dodona, and in other locaHties, as the 
wife of the Olympian ruler and as his female coun- 
terpart. Dione is probably the same word as Hera's 
Latin name Juno. As her daughter, Aphrodite is 
called Dionaea (Aiojvaia) and also by her mother's 
name Dione. 

Being the goddess of sexual love, Aphrodite was 
also held responsible for all relations between men 
and women, and philosophers felt the need of 
distinguishing between heavenly love and vulgar 
passion, calling the former ''Aphrodite Urania," the 
latter ''Aphrodite Pandemos." In Plato's Sympo- 
sium (180 D) the heavenly love is described as 
"the older one, born without mother, the daughter 
of heaven," while the younger and less divine 
Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. The 
same contrast is brought out in the age of the 
Renaissance by Titian in his famous picture of 
heavenly and worldly love. 

The distinction between celestial and earthly love 
however is artificial and has certainly not influenced 
the cult of the goddess. It is a later thought, in- 
vented by philosophers for the purpose of teaching 
a lesson. 



THE CULT OF APHRODITE. 

P0LYTHEIS3.I is not a stable religion. It 
changes with the growth of civilization, and 
we do not know a time in which it was not con- 
stantly in a state of transition. 

The myths which connect Aphrodite in one place 
with Adonis, in others with Mars, Hephsestos, An- 
chises and other gods or mortals, were originally 
several different developments of the same funda- 
mental idea, the love story of the goddess of love. 
This is quite natural and ought to be expected, but 
when in the days of a more international communi- 
cation these myths were told in different shapes in 
all localities, they in their combination served greatly 
to undermine the respect for the goddess and to 
degrade the conception of her even as early as in 
the time when the Homeric epics were composed. 
Nevertheless, since the sarcasm remained limited 
for a long time to the circle of heretics and scoffers, 
the noble conception of Aphrodite was preserved 
down to the latest days of paganism. 

In other words Venus was originally the mother 



THE CULT OF APHRODITE. 69 

of mankind. She was at once the Queen of Heaven 
or Juno, the Magna ^Mater or Venus Genetrix, the 
educator and teacher or Pallas Athene, the eternal 
virgin or Diana, and the all-nourishing earth-god- 
dess, Demeter or Ceres ; and this view had better 
be stated inversely, that the original mother of man- 
kind became differentiated in the course of history 
into these several activities of womanhood, as Juno, 
Venus, Diana, Ceres and Athene, which divinities 
were again reunited in Christianity in the form of 
Mary, the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of God, the 
Lady as an authority and guide in life, and the 
Eternal Virgin. 

Aphrodite was worshiped in a prehistoric age, and 
the origin of her cult is plainly traceable to the 
Orient, especially to Phenicia and further back to 
Pamphylia, Syria, Canaan and Babylon. The Phe- 
nician Astarte was imported to the islands of the 
.Egean Sea. to Cythera, Paphos and Amathus. 
Hence even in the Hellenistic age she was still hon- 
ored with the names Cytherea, Paphia and Ama- 
thusia. 

From the .Egean islands the cult of Aphrodite 
spread rapidly to Sparta, Athens and other Greek 
centers. The barbaric origin of the Aphrodite cult 
is in evidence in the myth of Aphrodite's birth as 
the foam-born, but it is difficult to say whom we 
shall deem responsible for the legend — perhaps the 
inhabitants of the islands. Certainly we cannot 
lay the burden of the invention of the story upon 



70 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 






> 
o 




-o 


m 


n 

1 


w 
> 


> 




(i> 


\^ 


t— 


o 


'^ 




r- 


h-H 


• ^« 


hI-i 

H 




Pd 


7 






THE CULT OF APHRODITE. 71 

the Asiatics, at least not on the Syrians, for accor- 
ding to an account of Nigidius Figulus,^ the fish of 
the Euphrates found a large egg in the floods and 
pushed it ashore, where it was brooded upon by a 
dove until the Syrian goddess came forth from it. 

An exquisitely graceful relief pictures the birth of 
Venus from the foam of the ocean. She appears as 
a young maiden covered with a diaphanous garment, 
and is being lifted out of the water by the Graces. 
The marble is preserved in the National Museum 
at Rome and was discovered by excavations in the 
grounds of the Villa Ludovisi in 1887. 

The Oriental goddess was originally the queen of 
the starry heaven, either the moon or the morning 
star, and as such she was the same figure which in 
other places gave rise to the development of Artemis. 
We may emphasize here that like the Christian 
Mary the pagan female divinity was at the same 
time both the eternal virgin and the celestial mother. 
Mythology cannot stand the application of logical 
rationalism, and we must not try to make the tra- 
ditional legends rigidly consistent. 

While we recognize a strong Oriental influence 
in the Greek construction of the Aphrodite cult, we 
must acknowledge that in Greece we have a new 
and independent origin of the divine ideal of fem- 
ininity. In Mesopotamia Istar was a very popular 
deity, and innumerable idols have been found in 
the shape of a naked woman, commonly called 

Ws reported in Roscher's Lexikon, s. v. "Aphrodite." 




DETAIL FROM THE LUDOVISI RELIEF. 



THE CULT OF APHRODITE. 



7Z 



''Beltis" or ''Lady," but this conception of the god- 
dess of femininity cannot be regarded as the proto- 
type of the Greek Aphrodite who at an early period 
assumed a definitely Greek figure and character. 
Without detracting from her universal significance 
as the cosmic principle of generation, the artistic 
conception of the Greek mind at once idealized her 
as the incarnation of loveliness and grace, and from 




WINTER. SUMMER. 

End pieces of the Ludovisi relief. 

Phidias down to the end of paganism she has re- 
mained this ideal. 

In Cnidos Aphrodite was worshiped in three 
forms: as gift-giver (Swpms), as goddess of the high 
places (aKpaia) and as the lucky sailor (eiiTrAoca), and 
we learn that bloody sacrifices were not permitted 
(Tac, Hist., II, 3), even on the main altar in 
Paphos. 



74 THE VENUS OF MILO, 

Originally, Aphrodite was not only love, grace 
and beauty, but the mistress, the lady, the queen; 
and so she is represented in Cythera as fully armed. 
The same is true in Sparta and in Corinth where 
her temple was erected on the highest place of the 
city, called Acrocorinthus. 

The sensual features of the Aphrodite cult were 
certainly not absent in ancient Hellas. We know 
that in Corinth there were large numbers of hiero- 
dules in the temple who helped to make the cere- 
monies gorgeous and impressive, but judging from 
the language used by ^schylus and Pindar they 
were highly respected and received public acknowl- 
edgment for their fervent prayers during the Per- 
sian wars. 

In the early imperial time of Rome, the authority 
of Venus was promoted by the fact that she was 
the tutelary deity of Caesar, who through the simi- 
larity of his name ''J^i^ii-^s" with ''Ji-^^^'^s," the son 
of ^neas, was encouraged to derive his legendary 
pedigree from .^neas, the mythical founder of the 
Latin race, the son of Anchises and Aphrodite. 

With the rise of Christianity the worship of 
Venus naturally deteriorated very rapidly, and the 
fathers of the church referring to all the different 
versions of her love affairs maligned her in the eyes 
of the world by identifying the Venus Urania with 
the Venus Vulgaris, and their views have contrib- 
uted a good deal to disfigure her picture in later 
centuries. 



THE CULT OF APHRODITE. 



75 



In the times of Caesar she was still the great god- 
dess whose domain was not limited to beauty and 
love nor even to the procreation of life, in which 
capacity she was called Venus Genetrix, but she 




VENUS AND ANCHISES. 



was also Venus Victrix, or the goddess who in 
battle assures victory. Yea, more than all this, she 
was the goddess of life and immortality connected 
with the chthonian gods — the powers of death in 




76 . THE VENUS OF MILO. 

the underworld. Her emblem, the pomegranate, is 
also found in the hands of Persephone, indicating 
a kinship between Aphrodite and the daughter of 
Demeter. 

It is not accidental that Aphrodite as the goddess 
of love and generation is also the queen of the 
underworld. She begets life, she restores to life; 
she leads into Hades and back out of Hades into the 
world of life. It is for this reason that, according 
to Pausanias (II, 10, 4), her statue in the temple 
at Sicyon carries the chthonian symbols, the apple 
and the poppy, in her hands, and there her priestesses 
were bound by a vow of chastity. 

The chthonian aspect of the Aphrodite cult ap- 
pears in the legend of the death of Adonis with all 
its details of funeral lamentations and ceremonies 
and the great hope of his resurrection. Istar herself 
descends to the underworld, as we shall see further 
down (see pp. 85-95), and we know at least that 
in Cyprus a tomb of Aphrodite has been shown.- 

2 Preller, Gricchischc MythoJogic, I, p. 364. 



THE GODDESS OF WAR. 



ONE special function of the mother goddess 
was leadership in war. It was a custom 
among the Arabians until 
recent times that the war- 
riors of a tribe were led in 
battle by a girl riding at 
their head with breast ex- 
posed, inspiring them in 
their attack to the display 
of irresistible courage; and 
if it was a common practice 
in prehistoric times, we may 
assume that this function of 
womanhood established the 
character of Istar as the 
goddess of war, later on dif- 
ferentiated as the Greek Pallas Athene and the 
Roman Bellona. 

* Engraving on a gem representing the statue of Venus Ery- 
cina on the Capitohne. This interpretation does not exclude 
other possibiHties. Certainly the attitude of little Eros is 
artistic and pleasing. 




VENUS VICTRIX.* 

After Hirt, Bilderhuch, 

Plate VII, 11. 



78 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

We may be sure that the character of Aphrodite as 
Venus Victrix is by no means a late Roman inven- 
tion of the days of Caesar but dates back to the most 
ancient days of Babylonian tradition. She was from 
the start of history the great Magna Mater, the 
All-Mother and Queen to whom the people appealed 
in all their needs, especially in war. In Greece she 
is frequently addressed as vLKr](j>6po<s, bringer of vic- 
tory. 

A penitential psalm on the destruction of the 
ancient city of Erech has been preserved in a frag- 
ment which in Theodore G. Pinches's translation 
reads thus :^ 

"How long, my Lady, shall the strong enemy hold 

thy sanctuary? 
There is want in Erech, thy principal city ; 
Blood is flowing like water in E-ulbar, the house 

of thine oracle; 
He, the enemy, has kindled and poured out fire 

like hailstones on all thy lands. 
My Lady, sorely am I fettered by misfortune; 
My Lady, thou hast surrounded me, and brought 

me to grief. 
The mighty enemy has smitten me down like a 

single reed. 
Not wise myself, I cannot take counsel;^ 

^ The original is written in a Sumerian dialect with a trans- 
lation into the Semitic Babylonian. See Records of .the Past, 
New Series, Vol. I, p. 85. 

"Literally, "I do not take counsel, myself I am not wise." 



THE GODDESS OF WAR. 79 

I mourn day and night like the fields. 
I, thy servant, pray to thee." 

As Venus Victrix, the warlike goddess akin to 
the Greek Pallas Athene, Istar, appears to Asur- 
banipal in a vision, recorded in a cuneiform inscrip- 
tion of the annals of this powerful Assyrian king, 
and refers to the invasion of Tiumman, King of 
Elam. The passage reads in H. Fox Talbot's trans- 
lation thus :^ 

'Tn the month Ab, the month of the heliacal rising 
of Sagittarius, in the festival of the great Queen 
[Istar] daughter of Bel, I [Asurbanipal, King of 
Assyria,] was staying at Arbela, the city most be- 
loved by her, to be present at her high worship. 

"There they brought me news of the invasion of 
the Elamite, who was coming against the will of the 
gods. Thus : 

"'Tiumman has said solemnly, and Istar has re- 
peated to us the tenor of his words: thus: 'T will 
• not pour out another libation until I have gone and 
fought with him." ' 

"Concerning this threat which Tiumman had 
spoken, I prayed to the great Istar. I approached 
to her presence, I bowed down at her feet, I be- 
sought her divinity to come and save me. Thus : 

" 'O goddess of Arbela, I am Asurbanipal, King 
of Assyria, the creature of thy hands, [chosen by 
thee and] thy father [Asur] to restore the temples 

' Records of the Past, Vol. VII, p. 67. 



80 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

of Assyria, and to complete the holy cities of Akkad. 
I have gone to honor thee, and I have gone to wor- 
ship thee. But he Tiumman, King of Elam, never 
worships the gods .... 

[Here some words are lost.] 

" 'O thou Queen of queens, Goddess of war. Lady 
of battles, Queen of the gods, who in the presence 
of Asur thy father speakest always in my favor, 
causing the hearts of Asur and IVlarduk to love me 
....Lo! now, Tiumman, King of Elam, who has 
sinned against Asur thy father, and has scorned 
the divinity of Marduk thy brother, while I Asur- 
banipal have been rejoicing their hearts. He has 
collected his soldiers, amassed his army, and has 
drawn his sword to invade Assyria. O thou archer 
of the gods, come like a [thunderstorm] . .in the 
midst of the battle, destroy him, and crush him 
with a fierv bolt from heaven!' 

''Istar heard my prayer. 'Fear not!' she replied, 
and caused my heart to rejoice. 'According to thy . 
prayer thine eyes shall see the judgment. For I will 
have mercy on thee!' 

jK + * 

''In the night-time of that night in which I had 
prayed to her, a certain seer lay down and had a 
dream. In the midst of the night Istar appeared to 
him, and he related the vision to me, thus : 

" 'Istar who dwells in Arbela, came unto me 
begirt right and left with flames, holding her bow 



THE GODDESS OF WAR. 81 

in her hand, and riding in her open chariot as if 
going to the battle. And thou didst stand before 
her. She addressed thee as a mother would her 
child. She smiled upon thee, she Istar, the highest 
of the gods, and gave thee a command. Thus : 
''take [this bow]," she said, ''go with it to battle! 
Wherever thy camp shall stand I will come." 

" 'Then thou didst say to her, thus : "O Queen of 
the goddesses, wherever thou goest let me go with 
thee !" Then she made answer to thee, thus : 'T will 
protect thee! and I will march with thee at the time 
of the feast of Nebo. ^^leanwhile eat food, drink 
wine, make music, and glorify my divinity, until I 
shall come and this vision shall be fulfilled." 

"'Thy heart's desire shall be accomplished. Thy 
face shall not grow pale with fear : thy feet shall 
not be arrested : thou shalt not even scratch thy skin 
in the battle. In her benevolence she defends thee, 
and she is wroth with all thy foes. Before her a 
fire is blown fiercely, to destroy thy enemies.' " 

Mr. Talbot makes the following editorial com- 
ment on the historical event connected with Asur- 
banipal's narrative : 

"The promises which the goddess Istar made to 
the king in this vision of the month Ab were ful- 
filled. In the following month (Elul) Asurbanipal 
took the field against Tiumman, and his army speed- 
ily achieved a brilliant victory. Tiumman was slain, 
and his head was sent to Xineveh. There is a bas- 



82 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

relief in the British Museum representing a man 
driving a rapid car, and holding in his hand the 
head of a warrior, with this inscription, Kakkadn 
Tiumman, 'The head of Tiumman.' 



) >) 



THE DESCENT INTO HADES. 

AS the goddess of love Venus is the restorer of 
^ life, and as such she descends into the under- 
world and brings the dead back to life. Lewis 
Richard Farnell in his Cults of the Greek States^ 
reproduces a remarkable votive tablet which shows 
Hermes the soul-dispatcher {psychopompos) con- 
fronting a woman holding in her outstretched hand 
a pomegranate blossom (the symbol of both the 
chthonian Aphrodite and Persephone) and Eros, 
the god of love, on her arm. The obvious meaning 
of the tablet indicates that it is love which redeems 
from death. This conception of the great goddess 
found a fit expression in the myth of Demeter's 
daughter Persephone (called in Latin ''Proserpina") 
who, after being snatched away by Pluto, the ruler 
of Hades, is allowed to return to earth. So life on 
earth with its bloom of vegetation dies off each 
winter but returns annually in the spring. 

This idea became a symbol of human immortality 
in the Eleusinian mysteries, presumably derived 

' II, PI. XLVIII. p. 697. 



84 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



from older sources which go back to religious cults 
in Babylonia and Asia Minor, and the Christian 
doctrine is apparently derived from the same tradi- 
tion. Paul says (1 Cor. xv. 36-38) : 

"Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quick- 
ened except it die. And that which thou sowest, 
thou sowest not that bodv that shall be, but bare 




EROS IN THE UNDERWORLD. 
Votive terra-cotta tablet. 



grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other 
grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased 
him, and to every seed his own body." 

Jesus echoes the same argument and uses the same 
simile of the grain of wheat in John xii. 24: 

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn 



THE DESCENT INTO HADES. 85 

of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth 
alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." 

The most important document still at our com- 
mand relating to the chthonian Venus is a frag- 
mentary poem called "Istar's Descent to Hell." The 
main subject is introduced in order to justify the 
possibility of conjuring the dead from Sheol. Dr. 
Jeremias- explains the situation as follows : 

"A man grieves over the death of his sister. He 
consults a magus as to how to release the spirit of 
the deceased from the prison of Hades. The priest 
tells him the story of Istar's descent to Sheol for the 
sake of proving that the gates of Sheol are not un- 
conquerable, and advises him to address Istar, the 
conqueror of Hades, and Tammuz her consort, 
with prayer and sacrifice, in order to gain their 
assistance. He is requested to comply with funeral 
ceremonies at the coffin of the dead and to begin 
his- mourning with the assistance of the Uhats, the 
companions of Istar. The spirit of the dead, hear- 
ing the lamentations of her brother, requests him to 
rescue her from the horrors of Sheol through 
mourners' music and sacrifices in the davs of Tam- 



' For further details see Dr. Alfred Jeremias, who publishes 
the text of the passages here quoted and offers a literal Ger- 
man translation with editorial notes and other explanations. 
The conception of the document as set forth in the quoted 
passages is based upon the interpolation of Dr. Jeremias, which 
he justifies in his critical notes. Dr. Jeremias's interpretation 
of the concluding words is justified bv another cuneiform tablet 
which while relating a conjuration of the dead begins with the 
same description of Sheol as does the legend of Istar's descent 
to Hell. 



86 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

muz, which is the time when the people sing and 
weep, as told by Ezekiel viii. 14, and mourn for 
their dead under the shape of Tammuz. The con- 
cluding lines of the poem, which are summed up in 
these words, form the core of the whole, while the 
legend of Istar's descent to Sheol is only an intro- 
duction to it, and constitutes a part of the conjura- 
tion of the dead. From other documents of Baby- 
lonian literature we learn that on the names of Istar 
and Tammuz, the hero and heroine of the legends 
of the descent to Sheol, depend the hopes of a rescue 
from Sheol." {Loc cit., pp. 7-8.) 

It appears that people celebrated with special 
preference the days of the god Tammuz, who rep- 
resented the disappearance of vegetation and its 
resurrection to life. The legend of Istar's descent^ 
to Sheol reads in the translation based on Dr. Jere- 
mias's version as follows : 

(ob\t:rse of the tablet.) 

"To the land of no return, to the land [which 
thou knowest( ?)],^ 
Istar, the daughter of the moon-god, meditated 

[to go]. 
The daughter of the moon-god meditated to go 
To the house of darkness, to the seat of Irkalla, 

' The ancient poem of Istar's descent to Hades has been cast 
into poetic form by Edward Gilchrist. See The Monist, April, 
1912. (Vol. XXII, pp. 259-267.) 

* The passages in brackets are mutilated in the original and 
the words are suggested by the context or sometimes by paral- 
lel passages. 



THE DESCENT INTO HADES. 87 

5. To the house whose visitor never returns, 
On the path the descent of which never leads 

back, 
To the house whose occupants are removed 

from the light, 
To the place where dust is food, and dirt is 

meat, 
Where they (the occupants) see no light, where 

they dwell in darkness, 
10. Where they are clothed like birds, dressed with 

wings, ^ 
Where upon gate and bolt dust is spread. 



(( 



When Istar had reached the g^ate of the land 



t)* 



of no return. 
She spake to the keeper of the gate : 
'Keeper of the waters, open thy gate, 
15. Open thy gate, — I wish to enter! 

If thou openest not, if I cannot enter, 

I shall demolish the gate, I shall break the bolt, 

I shall smash the threshold, I shall break the 

doors ; 
I shall lead out the dead, shall make them eat 

and live, 
20. And unto the crowds of the living the dead 

shall I join.' 



t( 



The keeper opened his mouth and spake 



' Perhaps the dress of wings is an expression of the belief 
that the_ soul is winged, found also in Egypt, where the soul 
of man is compared to a human-headed hawk, in which form it 
is at liberty to visit other places. 



88 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

In reply to the sublime Istar : 
'Stay, my lady, do not upset [the door] ! 
I will announce thv name to Oueen Allatu.' 
25. ''The keeper entered and spake to Queen Allatu : 
'The water has been crossed by thy sister 
Istar. ..." 

[The goddess Allatu is greatly agitated about Istar's appear- 
ance in Sheol. The poem continues:] 

"When Goddess Allatu [heard) this. . . . 
Like unto a tree cut down .... 
30. Like unto reeds mowed down [she drooped 
and spake) : 
'What has driven her heart, what. . . . 
These waters have I [made encompass Sheol]... 
Like the inundation of the deluge, like the 

swelling ( ?) waters of a great flood, 
I will weep over the men who left their wives. 
35. I will weep over the wives who were taken 
from their consorts, 
Over the little children I will weep, who pre- 
maturely [were taken away).^ 
Go, keeper, open the gate. 
And strip her according to the primordial de- 
cree.' 
The keeper went, he opened the door to her : 
40. 'Enter, my lady, let the underworld [Kutu] 
rejoice ; 

' Why the goddess Allatu proposes to weep is not quite clear. 
Perhaps it is a promise to have all the funeral rituals with their 
wailings and lamentations properly attended to for the sake of 
preventing further attempts at having the dead reclaimed. 



THE DESCENT INTO HADES. 89 

Let the palace of the land of no return rejoice 

at thy arrival!' 
"Through the first door he bade her enter and, 

stripping her, 
Took off from her head the golden crown. 
'Why, O keeper, takest thou from my head the 

golden crown?' 
'Step in, my lady, for such are the commands of 

the mistress of the earth.'^ 

45. Through the second door he bade her enter and, 

stripping her, 
Took off the ornaments from her ears. 
'Why, O keeper, takest thou the ornaments 

from my ears?' 
'Step in, my lady, for such are the commands of 

the mistress of the earth.' 
Through the third door he bade her enter and, 

stripping her. 
Took off the chains from her neck. 
'Why, O keeper, takest thou the chains from 

mv neck?' 

50. 'Step in, my lady, for such are the commands of 

the mistress of the earth.' 
Through the fourth door he bade her enter and, 

stripping her, 
Took off the ornaments from her breast. 
'Why, O keeper, takest thou the ornaments 

from my breast?' 



' The goddess Allatu. 



90 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

'Step in, my lady, for such are the commands of 

the mistress of the earth.' 
Through the fifth door he bade her enter and, 

stripping her, 
Took off the gem-covered beh from her hips. 
55. 'Why, O keeper, takest thou the gem-covered 

belt from my hips?' 
'Step in, my lady, for such are the commands of 

the mistress of the earth.' 
Through the sixth door he bade her enter and, 

stripping her. 
Took off the bracelets from her hands and feet. 
'Why, O keeper, takest thou the bracelets from 

my hands and feet?' 
'Step in, my lady, for such are the commands of 

the mistress of the earth.' 
60. Through the seventh door he bade her enter 

and, stripping her. 
Took off the robe from her body. 
"Why, O keeper, takest thou the robe from 

my body?' 
'Step in, my lady, for such are the commands of 

the mistress of the earth.' 
Now, when Istar was descended to the land of 

no return — 
Allatu beheld her, and vehemently upbraided 

her ; 
65. Istar, forgetful, assaulted her. . . . 

Then Allatu opened her mouth and spake, 

I 



THE DESCENT INTO HADES. 91 

Addressing Namtar, her servant, giving him 

this comamnd : 
'Go, Xamtar, open (?) my.... 
Let her out .... the goddess Istar, 

70. With a disease on her eyes [punish her]. 
With a disease on her hips [punish her], 
With a disease on her feet [punish her], 
With a disease on her heart [punish her], 
With a disease on her head [punish her], 

75. Upon her whole person [inflict diseases].' 
When Istar, the lady, [was thus afflicted]. 
The bull no longer covered the cow, the he-ass 

the she-ass, 
The lord no longer sought the maiden of the 

street. 
The lord fell asleep in giving command, 

80. The maid-servant fell asleep. ..." 

REVERSE OF THE TABLET. 

"Pap-sukal, the servant of the great gods, 
scratched his face before Samas, 
Clothed in mourning and filled with. . . . 
Samas went : he went to Sin, his father [and 

. wept] ; 
Before Ea, the king, he shed tears; 
5. Tstar has descended into the land and has not 
returned. 
Since Istar descended into the land of no re- 
turn. 
The bull no longer covers the cow, 



92 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

The jack-ass no longer covers the she-ass, 

A man no longer seeks the maiden of the 

street, 
The lord falls asleep in giving command, 
10. The maid-serv^ant falls asleep. . . . 

Then Ea in the wisdom of his heart created a 

male being, 
He created Uddusunamir,^ the serv^ant of the 

gods: 
'Go forth, Uddusunamir ! to the door of the 

land of no return turn thy face, 
The seven doors of the land of no return shall 

open before thee, 
15. Let Allatu see thee, let her rejoice at thy ar- 
rival. 
When her heart has become calm, and her soul 

is comforted. 
Conjure her in the name of the great gods,^ 
Lift up thy head over the source of waters ( ?), 

make up thy mind (and speak) : 
'Not, O my lady, shall the spring be debarred 

from me; from its waters I will drink.' 
20. When Allatu heard this, 



' Uddusunamir means "his light will illumine." The signifi- 
cance of this being does not seem to be clear. Perhaps he is a 
mere puppet, an automaton to bear the curse of Allatu without 
suffering harm. 

' The name of the great gods is the most powerful means of 
conjuration, and Ea alone, the god of unfathomable wisdom, 
seems to have command of it. The Babylonian origin of the 
Talmudic and cabalistic belief in the power of the mysterious 
name is fully established. 



THE DESCENT INTO HADES. 93 

She smote her loins and bit her finger^^ (and 

spake) : 
*Thou hast made a demand which cannot be 

fulfilled— 
Hence, Uddusunamir, I will confine thee in the 

great prison, 
The slime of the city shall be thy food, 
25. The gutters of the street shall by thy drink, 
The shadow of the wall shall be thy habitation, 
The thresholds, thy dwelling-place, 
Prison and confinement shall break thy strength. 

[Allatu curses Uddusunamir, but the conjuration which he 
uttered is too powerful, and she must obey. Thus the power 
of the realm of death is broken and Istar is free.] 

Allatu opened her mouth and spake, 
30. To give command to Namtar, her servant: 

'Go, Namtar, demolish the eternal palace. 

Demolish the pillars, make the thresholds 
quake ; 

Lead out the Anunnaki, put them upon the 
golden throne, ^^ 

Sprinkle upon Goddess Istar the water of life; 
35. Take her away from me!' 

Namtar went and demolished the eternal pal- 
ace. 



10 



The same gestures of grief are recorded in Jeremiah xxxi. 
19 for the Hebrews, in Odyssey XXXI, 198 for the Greeks. 
In a similar wav, we read of Ea in another document, "when 
he heard this he bit his lip" (cf. A. S. K. T., LXXXVI, 24). 

" The context does not reveal why the Anunnaki, the seven 
evil spirits of Sheol, should be placed upon the golden throne. 



94 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

He demolished the pillars and made the thresh- 
olds (?) quake, 

He led out the Anunnaki and placed them upon 
the golden throne, 

"He sprinkled upon Goddess Istar the waters of 
life and led her away : 
40. Through the first door he led her and replaced 
the robe upon her body; 

Through the second door he led her and re- 
placed the bracelets upon her hands and 
feet; 

Through the third door he led her and replaced 
the gem-covered belt upon her hips ; 

Through the fourth door he led her and re- 
placed the ornament upon her breast; 

Through the fifth door he led her and replaced 
the chains upon her neck; 

Through the sixth door he led her and replaced 
the ornaments in her ears ; 
45. Through the seventh door he led her and re- 
placed upon her head the golden crown," 

[The conjurer here addresses the brother and promises the 
release of his dead sister from the power of Allatu. The poem 
continues :] 

'' 'When she (Allatu) does not afford release, 
turn to her (to Istar) [thy face]. 
To Tammuz, the consort of her youth, 
Pour pure water and costly balm. . . . [invite a 
priest]. 



THE DESCEXT INTO HADES. 95 

Cover him with the sacrificial robe, a crystal 
flute may he [blow]. 
50. Let the Uhats weep with grievous [lamenta- 
tions]. 

Let the goddess Belili break the precious uten- 
sili2.... 

With diamonds shall be filled thy . . . . " 

[Now the spell takes effect. The spirit of the departed 
sister rises from Sheol:] 

"Thus she heard the lamentations of her brother, 
the goddess Belili broke the precious 
utensil, 
With diamonds were filled the. . . . [and the de- 
parted spirit said:] 
55. 'My only brother, let me not perish. 

In the days of Tammuz play the crystal flute, 

Play the instrument .... 

In those days play to me, the male mourners 

and the female mourners 
Let them play upon instruments .... 
60. Let them breathe incense . . . . " 

"The significance of Belili's breaking a precious utensil in 
the ritual of lamentation is not clear. 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 

THOUGH we may fairly well assume that in 
prehistoric ages all nations revered a Magna 
Mater, historical development points to the Orient 
as the place whence the cult of Aphrodite was im- 
ported into Greece; there it found the soil prepared 
by the common belief in a mother goddess, a world- 
creatrix, a lady divine and supreme. The Greek 
Aphrodite was the same as the Astarte of the Tyr- 
ians, the "great goddess" of the Syrians and the 
Istar of the Babylonians. 

It is quite certain that the cult of this goddess- 
mother played a more important part in the world 
of primitive mankind than the cult of a God the 
Father, the male deity of a later age. The goddess 
of love and life under whatever name she may have 
been known, as Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven, the 
Mistress of the World, the holy mother genctrix of 
all living creatures, the Dea optima maxima or Most 
High Goddess, was practically the same all over the 
world. We may not be mistaken if we attribute 
the height of her worship to the age of matriarchy. 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



97 



In prehistoric times the Magna Dea was looked 
up to with awe and reverence, possibly even with 
a devotion more ardent than in a later period. The 
Ancient of Days or Jupiter, i. e., Diespiter, the 
father of time and light, was symbolized by the all- 
embracing sky and also by the sun. The Greeks 
called him Zeus, a name pronounced dzeiis, con- 
nected with the Latin dens and dies, and Sanskrit 




CARRYING IN PROCESSION THE SYMBOL OFISTAR 



deva, the creator and ruler of the world. The 
Magna Dea was the all-mother, and it is but to be 
expected that when the social conditions of matri- 
archy changed into the age of the patriarchs the 
reverence for an all-mother was superseded by the 
worship of an all-father. 

The Magna Dea was all in all to mankind. Her 
emblem as the goddess of vegetation and of the sus- 



98 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

tenance of life was the apple or pomegranate. As 
the goddess of the human soul she is represented 
as a bird like the Eg^-ptian representation of the 
soul, a human-headed hawk; or as a dove, the sym- 
bol which later on represents the gnostic Sophia, 
the mother of the child-god, and in Christian dog- 
matolog}^ the Holy Ghost. 

Originally the deity was triune in India, in Egypt, 
and in other countries. In India we become ac- 
quainted with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the 
Creator, the Revealer (or Avatar), and the Trans- 
former (i. e., the one who destroys and renews). 
In Babylon the universe is divided into the three 
kingdoms of Heaven, Water and Earth under the 
three rulers, Anu, Ea and Marduk; and in Eg}^pt 
men worshiped God the father or Osiris, God the 
mother or Isis, and God the child or Horus. Similar 
trinities are met with in other religions, and the 
Christian Trinity, although not taught by Jesus, is 
one of the oldest doctrines of the Christian church. 
Here indeed the Eg}^ptian conception of God as 
father, mother and child makes its first appearance 
in the apocryphal writings, for there are passages 
in heretical gospels where Jesus speaks of the Holy 
Ghost as his mother. This idea might have been 
accepted as an orthodox thought if the age had not 
been strongly ascetic and dualistic, but on that ac- 
count the feminine character of the Holy Ghost 
became offensive to the fathers of the church. In 
Hebrew the Holy Ghost as Ruah was still conceived 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



99 



as a brooding pigeon, but among the Gentile Chris- 
tians the conception of the third person of the Trin- 
ity was translated by the neuter noun -jrvevixa, and 
in Latin by the masculine spiritus. Nevertheless 




ISIS AND HORUS. 
From Lenormant. 



EGYPTIAN REPRESENTATION 

OF THE DEAD MAN AND 

HIS SOUL. 



the old symbol of the brooding pigeon was retained 
and a feminine designation such as Sophia, the con- 
sort of God, was occasionally tolerated in the Greek 
church and among the Gnostics. 

Wings have always been the symbol of thought, 



100 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



and serve as a simile to represent the soul not only 
in Eg}^ptian mythology but also in Babylon and on 




ASTARTE AND THE DOVE, 
the Greek islands. A human-headed bird attributed 
to a primitive period of Babylonian civilization has 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



101 



been interpreted as the soul of Semiramis, and may 
represent either a dead person or the goddess of 




THE HUMAN-HEADED BIRD. 

A figure unearthed among the ruins of Babylon. From 

Lenormant. 

the dead, and the same idea is expressed in a little 
figurine of the Greek islands which shows us a 



102 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



female deity with a dove on her head. Wt can 
scarcely be mistaken if we interpret this little figu- 
rine as an amulet denoting the goddess whose em- 
blem is the dove. Whether the figure represent the 
goddess herself with her emblematic bird or whether 
it be the portrait of a dead person protected by the 





AMULET* OF THE 
MYCENAEAN PERIOD 



ISIS AND THE FISH. 



dove, is of secondary importance. The main truth 
on which we insist here is that the dove is the em- 
blem of the great goddess to whom people look' 
for salvation in the dark beyond. Thus flocks of 
pigeons enjoyed great liberties in Hierapolis, the 
holy city of Syria, — probably in the same way that 
the pigeons in St. Mark's place are befriended in 

* From Woermann's Geschichte der Knnst. 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



103 



Venice both by the inhabitants and by foreign visi- 
tors. 

Another emblem of the goddess of womanhood is 
the fish, as is fully described in Lucian's most inter- 
esting treatise ''On the Syrian Goddess." In Eg}^pt 
Isis has been represented with a fish surmounting 
her head as an emblematic ornament. 

In some parts of Greece the hare or rabbit has 
also been sacred to Aphro- 
dite, unquestionably on 
account of the fertility of 
that animal. Even to-dav 
in Christian times the 
Easter hare and the ^gg 
are the symbols of spring, 
and the Easter festival 
cannot be celebrated with- 
out them. 

A remarkable monu- 
ment has been discovered 
in Boghaz-Koi in Cappa- 
docia. It represents a pro- 
cession of gods standing on their symbolic animals, 
and what interests us mainly is that it portrays 
the meeting of a god and a goddess, he standing 
on human beings, she on an animal which is ap- 
parently a lioness. Among her followers is a man 
on a leopard and two figures standing on a double- 
headed eagle. The idea of this symbol was carried 
to Europe by crusaders and became the emblem 




APHRODITE WITH 
RABBIT. 



104 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



of the Holy Roman empire ; it is still retained in the 
imperial arms of Austria and has also been accepted 
by the Czar of Russia. The subject of this monu- 



-V-r-SSC 




w 
o 

I 

N 

< 

I— I 

o 
o 



o 
Pi 

w 

l-H 

1 

I— I 

w 
Pi 



ment in Cappadocia is still considered as under 
question. There is no explanatioin and there are 
no ancient books that can throw light upon it. But 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



105 



the composition speaks for itself. . We see here the 
great goddess meeting the heroic god — whatever 
names thev mav have borne. 




A LATER ASTARTE. 




A LEADEN IDOL. 



Mardiik (or Melkarth or Bel or Baal) is a deity 
who rises to sovereignty through his victory over 
the powers of evil, and the climax of his life con- 




ASTARTE IN CYPRUS. 
From Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros. 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



107 



sists in his marriage. Can this great sculpture refer 
to any other topic than the festive occasion of the 
victorious god's marriage ceremonial when he meets 
the great bridal goddess?^ 

The name Istar has been traced also in the Phe- 
nician word Astarte. The goddess was held in 
high esteem in Phenicia and was regarded also as 
the patroness of navigation. Coins represent her 
standing on the prow of a ship, and, strange to say, 
very frequently she carries a Latin cross in her arms. 




THE GODDESS OF NAVIGATION. 
Sidonian coins reproduced from Calmet No. 6. 

Beside the cross her emblems are also the moon and 
the swastika, and the latter is frequently found on 
her dress, and in one very archaic leaden figurine 
discovered by Schliemann in the ruins of Troy, the 
swastika is placed on her body to indicate the mys- 
terious power of procreation. The idol was appar- 
ently intended to be carried in the hand, for its 
lower part ends in a shapeless stick. 

From the excavations of Cyprus we reproduce 

^ For further details with regard to this rehef see the authors 
The Bride of Christ, p. 8. 



108 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 




SARGENT'S ASTARTE. 

Reproduction with the permission of Curtis and Cam- 
eron. Altered from their copyright photograph. 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 109 




THE nniACULATE COXXEPTION. 
By Murillo. 



110 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

the picture of a well-preserved statue of Astarte 
which must have been the recipient of offerings be- 
fore an altar in some of the ancient temples (p. 106). 
A beautiful modern picture of Astarte has been 
worked out by Sargent in his frescoes on the walls 
of the Boston Public Librarv, and we can see on 
this very picture her similarity to Murillo's ideal of 
Mary in his many paintings of the ''Immaculate 
Conception." 

^ H^ ^ 

There is a counterpart of the western Magna Dea 
in eastern Asia, but we no longer know it in its 
primitive form and have it only as it is represented 
in art in the shape of a Buddhist deity, a kind of 
female Buddha, called in China Kwan-Yon and in 
Japan, Benten. Here again in some cases we find 
that the fish is her symbol as it is that of the 
Syrian goddess, and she frequently presents a re- 
markable similarity to the Christian Virgin ]\Iary. 
She is never pictured naked like the Greek Aphro- 
dite but is always dressed in the most scrupulously 
decent fashion.^ 

One picture of Kwan-Yon with the fish bears an 
inscription which is a poetical expression of wonder 
at the mystery of incarnation, and following a literal 
translation we render it into English as follows : 

* See the author's article. "The Fish as a Mystic Symbol in 
China and Japan," The Open Court, July, 1911. 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. Ill 




KWAX-YOX AND THE FISH. 
In the Pei-lin at Singan-fu. After a Chinese color-print. 



112 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



i^ A 



"Untidy o'er her temples 
Falls her disheveled hair. 
The maid is easy-going — 
In sooth she does not care. 
Not decked in precious jew- 
els 
Nor dressed in gaudy lace, 
She carries in her basket 
A fish to the market place. 
Who thinks that Buddha 

were 
Made human form in her !" 



4 ^ 



^^:^. 



til \ 






m ^^ Jl ^'"U 



A POEM ON KWAN-YON. 
Paper impression of a carving in stone. 

The Chinese deity Kwan-Yon may, for all we 
know, be the Magna Mater of most primitive China. 
At least she was an ancient popular goddess. When 
Buddhism was introduced into the Middle King- 
dom she was too dear to the people to be abandoned 
or degraded in rank, and so she was interpreted to 
be a female incarnation of the Buddha himself. 
Some pictures or statuettes represent her as denoting 
motherly love by holding a baby in her arms, which 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



113 




BENTEN, THE JAPANESE GODDESS OF DIVINE 

LOVE. 

From a relief preserved in the Field Museum Chicago. 




''S' 



^H 






.^ 




KWAN-YON. 

B}' Li Lung-mien (11th cent.)- From the original painting 
in the collection of Charles L. Freer in Detroit. 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



115 



grives her an obvious resemblance to the Christian 
Marv, the mother of Christ. 




?^^ 



KWAN-YON AS THE BUDDHA. 
In the Musee Guimet. 

The ancient Chinese were rich in divinities of 
all kinds and among them there is a goddess who 



116 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



in one way or other might easily have developed 
into the Buddhist Kwan-Yon. This is the Queen 
of Heaven or Holy Alother, who is worshiped with 




T'lEN HOU, QUEEN OF HEAVEN. 

great fervor in some localities. Emperor K'ang Hi 
bestowed upon her the high title of T'ien Hon, that 
is, ''Heaven's Ruler," but we may very well assume 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 117 

that she did not originate in his days but existed 
since older times. She, or some figure Hke her, 
must have been known before the importation of 
Buddhism, and Kwan-Yon presupposes the primi- 
tive existence of a female deity of love, charity 

and universal goodwill. 

^ ^ ^ 

The northern Venus, called Freya, the mother- 
goddess of the Teutons and in fact of all the Teu- 
tonic races, did not share the fate of the Venus of 
classical antiquity. She never deteriorated into the 
goddess of sensuality. It is strange that we de- 
scendants of the Germanic nations are better posted 
on the national gods of Greece and Rome than on 
those of our own ancestors. These are mainlv re- 
membered from the names of the week days and 
even there the god of war. Tin, has become quite 
unintelligible in Tuesday. Freya's day, Friday, is 
easily recognizable as the Latin dies Veneris or 
vendredi, and it is peculiar that on that very day 
Christian custom still retains the fish diet of the 
ancient Astarte. The motive of course is changed, 
and the fish is no longer thought of as the emblem 
of Astarte but is eaten in remembrance of the death 
of Christ on the cross. Fish has become the diet of 
fasting. Such is the logic of tradition, which per- 
sists after the reason for it has gradually been for- 
gotten. 

H. A. Guerber in his Myths of Northern Lands 
describes Freya as follows : 



118 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

''Although goddess of love, Freya was not soft 
and pleasure-loving, for the ancient northern races 
said that she had very martial tastes, and that as 
Valfreva^ she often led the Valkvrs down to the 
battle-fields, choosing and claiming one-half the 
heroes slain. She was therefore often represented 
with corselet and helmet, shield and spear, only the 
lower part of her body being clad in the usual flow^- 
ing feminine garb. 

''Freya transported the chosen slain to Folkvang, 
where they were duly entertained, and where she 
also welcomed all pure maidens and faithful wives, 
that they might enjoy the company of their lovers 
and husbands even after death. The joys of her 
abode were so enticing to the heroic northern 
women that they often rushed into battle when 
their loved ones were slain, hoping to meet with the 
same fate; or they fell upon their swords, or were 
voluntarily burned on the same funeral pyre as the 
beloved remains. 

"As Freya was inclined to lend a favorable ear 
to lovers' prayers, she was often invoked by them, 
and it was customars^ to indite love songs in her 
honor, which were sung on all festive occasions, 
her very name in Germany being used for the for- 
mation of the verb jreien, i. e., 'to woo.' " 

' Val means "the battle-field" ; the name Valkyrie designates 
"the one who chooses," viz., the maiden of Odin who selects 
heroes for Valhall, the great hall of the god of battles. The 
root Val is still preserved in the modern German word IVahl- 
statt, "place of battle." 



THE MAGNA DEA OF THE NATIONS. 



119 





FREYA. 
From Guerber's Myths of Northern Lands. 



120 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

When the conception of the mother goddess of 
antiquity began to decay, a new faith spread and 
under a new name the old ideal was revived as 
Mary, ^lother of God, Maria Theotokos; the star 
of the sea, or Stella Maris ; and the ItaHan fishermen 
sing to her the beautiful hues, 

"O sanctissima, O piissiyna, 
Dulcis mater amata." 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 

THE problem of womanhood has found differ- 
ent expressions in different ages. In pre- 
historic times all great questions were answered 
mythologically. Cosmogeny and anthropogeny, in- 
cluding gynecogeny, were expressed in stories of 
gods, while in later periods the same facts remained 
and found different solutions in religious dogmas 
and still later in scientific investigations. 

The same subjects have been treated in a differ- 
ent spirit during the Christian era and again differ- 
ently still under the influence of a scientific world- 
conception. Socrates respected the gods but he no 
longer believed in them as personalities. He ex- 
plained them as signifying some facts of experience. 
To him love found expression in a belief in Aphro- 
dite and in her powerful son, Eros. Further, his 
disciple Plato explains to us the significance of love 
and devotes a special dialogue to a discussion of its 
meaning in every aspect. This dialogue of Plato's, 
the Symposium, may truly be characterized as the 
most poetical and most interesting discussion of 



122 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

Greek philosophy. It tells of a banquet to which 
Agathon has invited his friends, among whom we 
find the philosopher Socrates, the poet Aristophanes 
(the disciple of Socrates), Pausanias, Phaedrus 
and some others. After dinner Phaedrus proposes 
to make speeches in honor of love, and Pausanias 
begins by drawing a distinction between heavenly 
and earthly love, extolling the former and giving 
scant praise to the latter. Aristophanes is the next 
speaker, but, being prevented by a severe hiccup 
from taking up the discussion, gives precedence to 
Eryximachus, the physician. This speaker approves 
the distinction made by Pausanias, but generalizes 
the conception of love by regarding it as a universal 
principle, bringing about the harmony that regulates 
nature in the course of the seasons in its relations 
of moist and dry, hot and cold, etc., and whose 
absence is marked by diseases of all sorts. Aris- 
tophanes, having recovered from his hiccup, pro- 
poses to offer a new explanation setting forth a 
novel theor}^ of the origin of human nature. We 
quote extracts from the translation of Jowett : 

''Primeval man was round, his back and sides 
forming a circle; and he had four hands and four 
feet, one head witli two faces, looking opposite 
ways, set on a round neck and precisely alike; also 
four ears, two privy members and the remainder 
to correspond. He could walk upright as men now 
do, backward and forward as he pleased, and he 
could also roll over and over at a great pace, turn- 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 123 

ing on his four hands and four feet, eight in all, 
like tumblers going over and over with their legs 
in the air; this was when he wanted to run fast. . . . 
Terrible was their might and strength, and the 
thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made 
an attack upon the gods ; of them is told the tale of 
Otys and Ephialtes who, as Homer says, dared to 
scale heaven, and would have laid hands upon the 
gods. Doubt reigned in the celestial councils. 
Should they kill them and annihilate the race with 
thunderbolts, as they had done the giants, then 
there would be an end of the sacrifices and worship 
which men offered to them ; but, on the other hand, 
the gods could not suffer their insolence to be unre- 
strained. At last, after a good deal of reflection, 
Zeus discovered a way. He said : 'Methinks I have 
a plan which will humble their pride and improve 
their manners ; men shall continue to exist, but I 
will cut them in two and then they will be dimin- 
ished in strength and increased in numbers ; this 
will have the advantage of making them more profit- 
able to us. They shall walk upright on two legs, 
and if they continue insolent and will not be quiet, 
I will split them again and they shall hop about on 
a single leg.' He spoke and cut men in two, like a 
sorb-apple which is halved for pickling, or as you 
might divide an tgg with a hair; and as he cut 
them one after another, he bade Apollo give the face 
and half of the neck a turn in order that the man 
might contemplate the section of himself: he would 



124 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

thus learn a lesson of humility. Apollo was also 
bidden to heal their wounds and compose their 
forms. So he gave a turn to the face and pulled 
the skin from the sides all over that which in our 
language is called the belly, like the purses which 
draw in, and he made one mouth at the center which 
he fastened in a knot (the same which is called the 
navel) ; he also moulded the breast and took out 
most of the wrinkles, much as a shoemaker might 
smooth leather upon a last; he left a few, however, 
in the region of the belly and navel, as a memorial 
of the primeval state. After the division the two 
parts of man, each desiring his other half, came 
together, and throwing their arms about one an- 
other, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to 
grow into one, they were on the point of dying 
from hunger and self-neglect, because they did not 
like to do anything apart; and when one of the 
halves died and the other survived, the survivor 
sought another mate, man or woman as we call 
them — being the sections of entire men or women 
— and clung to that." 

This ingenious theory of primitive man as a union 
of two human creatures is perhaps older than Plato 
and may not be original with him. At any rate the 
Biblical passage in Gen. i. 27 and Gen. ii 21-22 may 
also have been given the interpretation of man's 
creation of Adam and Eve. The oldest texts read 
plainly : ''And God created man in his image, in the 
image of God created he him, male and female 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 125 

created he them"; but it has been pointed out that 
the same primitive man is here spoken of, first in 
the singular as ''him," and then at the end of the 
verse in the pkiral, ''them." The idea that originahy 
Adam comprised in himself the nature of Eve as 
well is suggested by the story that Eve was taken 
out of the the side of Adam and was formed from 
one of his ribs. 

Obviously the idea expressed here in this passage 
of Genesis is ultimately the same as that of the 
Greek poet Aristophanes, and from the standpoint 
of modern physiolog}^ neither man nor woman is 
an individual, but the combination of two, viz., the 
father and mother. Each one of them, man alone 
or woman alone, is but a one-sided half of human 
existence. Each, by itself alone, is doomed to die; 
both together are immortal. 

The Genesis story of the creation of woman is 
portrayed in many of the artistic representations 
of the creation of Eve. 

Suggestions made to explain the original story 
of the creation of man in the sense suggested by 
Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium, may not be 
tenable but they are not altogether senseless. 

We must consider that primitive legends have 
originated from curiosity with regard to some prob- 
lem that has presented itself to man in the childhood 
of the race. In our present case we have to deal 
with the question why the ribs of man's chest do 
not entirely enclose the body, but leave unprotected 



126 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

an opening in the middle, the so-called procardium, 
where they turn upward. The primitive answer to 
this problem was the story we have been discussing, 
and thence the notion seems implied that before 
Eve, the feminine portion of man, had been taken 
out of his side he must have been an androgynous 
being, and we will add that there is a scientific truth 
underlying this primitive idea. 

Living substance is originally asexual, or rather 
bisexual,^ and in its primitive state it is immortal. 
A moner does not experience what we call death ; 
unless it is crushed or destroyed by poison it lives 
on and grows. When it outgrows its proper size it 
divides into two parts. It does not die; nor does 
it beget a young moner ; it divides. There are two 
new moners, but there is not a mother and a child ; 
the two are coordinate. Both are mothers and both 
are children. Death is not the original lot of life. 
Death comes into the world bv birth. Life in itself 
can be destroyed by physical violence or by chem- 
ical means, but if it is not thus destroyed it is un- 
ending ; or, in other words, immortality is a fact. 

The differentiation of life into two sexes places 
a limit upon the existence cf the dift'erentiated parts. 
Each individual grows to a definite size and is lim- 
ited to a definite span of duration : 'The days of 
our years are threescore years and ten ; and if by 
reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is 



their strength labor and sorrow 



)> 



^ See the author's Soul of Man, pp. 399ff. 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 127 

The story of the garden of Eden was given a 
symboHcal interpretation at an eary date. We read 
in Origen's refutation of Celsus (Book IV, Chapter 
XXXVIII) : 

"In the next place, as it is his object to slander 
our scriptures, he [Celsus] ridicules the following 
statement : 'And God caused a deep sleep to fall 
upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his 
ribs, and closed up the flesh instead threof ; and the 
rib, which he had taken from the man, made he a 
woman,' and so on ; without quoting the words 
which would give the hearer the impression that they 
are spoken with a figurative meaning. He would 
not even have it appear that the words were used 
allegorically, although he says afterward, that 'the 
more modest among Jews and Christians are 
ashamed of these things, and endeavor to give them 
somehow an allegorical signification.' " 

It is not an accident that the fruit of the tree of 
life was conceived by Christians at an early date as 
an apple or pomegranate, the symbol of Aphrodite. 
We must assume that the apples of the Hesperides 
which Hercules was requested to obtain, and also 
the apples of Iduna bestowing immortality upon the 
Teutonic gods, possess ultimately the same signifi- 
cance as the apple of Eve. 

^ ^ ^ 

We do not mean to gather here all the traditions 
about the origin of woman, but we will quote two 
accounts from a modern book of Hindu tales, called 



128 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

• 

A Digit of the Moon and Other Love Stories from 
the Hindu, and translated from the original manu- 
scripts by F. W. Bain. Here we are told of a king 
who falls in love with a princess when he sees her 
picture. He leaves his kingdom in the hands of his 
ministers and travels out in search of his love, ac- 
companied by his faithful companion Rasakosha.^ 
The passage containing the story of the origin of 
woman reads thus : 

"One day, as they rested at noon beneath the 
thick shade of a Kadamba^ tree, the King gazed 
for a long time at the portrait of his mistress. And 
suddenly he broke silence, and said, 'Rasakosha, 
this is a woman. Now, a woman is the one thing 
about which I know nothing. Tell me, what is the 
nature of women?' Then Rasakosha smiled, and 
said : 'King, you should certainly keep this question 
to ask the Princess ; for it is a hard question. A 
very terrible creature indeed is a woman, and one 
formed of strange elements. A propos, I will tell 
you a story : listen. 

^In the beginning, when Twashtri^ came to the 



(( Cl 



* Pronounce Russakosh. The name refers to the part he will 
play in the story; it means both "a ball of mercury," and "a 
treasure of taste, wit, literary sentiments or flavors," a sort of 
walking encyclopedia. The King's companion is a salient figure 
in Hindu drama : he is a sort of Sancho Panza, minus the 
vulgarity and the humor. 

^ "A tree with orange-colored fragrant blossoms." 

* The Hindu Vulcan, sometimes, as here, used for the Cre- 
ator, dhatri = Plato's Sefnovpyos. Sanskrit literature is the 
key to Plato : much of his philosophy is only the moonlike re- 
flection of Hindu mythology-. 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 129 

creation of woman, he found that he had exhausted 
his materials in the making of man, and that no 
soHd elements were left. In this dilemma, after 
profound meditation, he did as follows : He took the 
rotundity of the moon, and the curves of creepers, 
and the clinging of tendrils, and the trembling of 
grass, and the slenderness of the reed, and the bloom 
of flowers, and the lightness of leaves, and the 
tapering of the elephant's trunk, and the glances 
of deer, and the clustering of rows of bees,^ and the 
joyous gaiety of sunbeams, and the weeping of 
clouds, and the fickleness of the winds, and the 
timidity of the hare, and the vanity of the peacock, 
and the softness of the parrot's bosom, and the 
hardness of adamant, and the sweetness of honey, 
and the cruelty of the tiger, and the warm glow of 
fire, and the coldness of snow, and the chattering 
of jays, and the cooing of the kokila/' and the 
hypocrisy of the crane, and the fidelity of the cJiak- 
razvaka'^ and compounding all these together, he 
made woman and gave her to man. But after one 
week man came to him and said : Lord, this creature 
that thou hast given me makes rny life miserable. 
She chatters incessantly, and teases me beyond en- 
durance, never leaving me alone : and she requires 
incessant attention, and takes all my time up, and 

" Hindu poets see a resemblance between rows of bees and 
eye-glances. 

® The Indian cuckoo. The crane is a by-word for inward 
villainy and sanctimonious exterior. 

"The chakrazi'dka, or Brahmany drake, is fabled to pass the 
night sorrowing for the absence of his mate and she for him. 



130 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

cries about nothing, and is always idle; and so I 
have come to give her back again, as I cannot live 
with her. So Twashtri said : Very well : and he 
took her back. Then after another week, man came 
again to him, and said : Lord I find that my life is 
very lonely since I gave back that creature. I re- 
member how she used to dance and sing to me, and 
look at me out of the corner of her eye, and play 
with me, and cling to me ; and her laughter was 
music, and she was beautiful to look at, and soft to 
touch : so give her back to me again. So Twashtri 
said : Ver}- well : and gave her back again. Then 
after only three days, man came to him again, and 
said : Lord, I know not how it is ; but after all, I 
have come to the conclusion that she is more of a 
trouble than a pleasure to me : so please take her 
back again. But Twashtri said : Out on you ! Be 
off! I will have no more of this. You must manage 
how you can. Then man said : But I cannot live 
with her. And Twashtri replied : Neither could you 
live without her. And he turned his back on man. 
and went on with his work. Then man said : What 
is to be done ? for I cannot live either with or with- 
out her.' 

"And Rasakosha ceased, and looked at the King. 
But the King remained silent, gazing intently at the 
portrait of the Princess." 

Another story, of like character, is told in the 
same book, on pages 372-374, only with the differ- 
ence that it points out a lesson for woman that she 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 131 

must cleave to her husband becaiise she possesses 
no independent existence by herself. (The same, 
however, in the Indian story is not true of man.) 
This is the explanation the faithful wife Wana- 
wallari gives to the Brahman who tempts her to 
leave her husband. She says : 

''Once there was a time when there were neither 
men nor women, but the universe existed alone. 
And then one day, when the Creator was meditating 
with a view to further creation, he said to himself : 
'Something is wanting to complete the creation 
which I have created. It is blind, and unconscious 
of its own curious beauty and excellence.' There- 
upon he created a man. And instantly the creation 
became an object of wonder and beauty, being re- 
flected like a picture in the mirror of the mind of 
the man. Then the man roamed alone in the world, 
wondering at the flowers and the trees and the ani- 
mals, and at last he came to a pool. And he looked 
in and saw himself. Then full of astonishment, 
he exclaimed: 'This is the most beautiful creature 
of all.' And he hunted incessantly through the 
whole world to find it, not knowing that he was 
looking for himself. But when he found that in 
spite of all his endeavors he could never do more 
than see it on the surface of pools, he became sad 
and ceased to care about anything. Then the Cre- 
ator, perceiving it, said to himself: 'Ha! this is a 
difficulty which I never foresaw, arising naturally 
from the beauty of my work. But now, what is to 



132 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

be done? For here is this man, whom I made to 
be a mirror for my world, snared in the mirror of 
his own beauty. So I must somehow or other cure 
this evil. But I cannot make another man, for there 
would be two centers to the circle of the universe. 
Neither can I add anything to the circumference of 
nature, for it is perfect in itself. There is necessary, 
therefore, some third thing: not real, for then it 
would disturb the balance of the universe; nor un- 
real, for then it would be nothing : but poised on the 
border between reality and nonentity.' So he col- 
lected the reflections on the surface of the pools, 
and made of them a woman. But she, as soon as 
she was made, began to cry. And she said : 'Alas ! 
alas! I am, and I am not.' Then said the Creator: 
'Thou foolish intermediate creature, thou art a non- 
entity only when thou standest alone. But when 
thou art united to the man, thou art real in partici- 
pation with his substance.' And thus, O Brahman, 
apart from her husband a woman is a nonentity 
and a shadow without a substance : being nothing 
but the mirror of himself, reflected on the mirror 
of illusion." 

:jj ;{c ^ 

Earlv Christian art took little or no interest in 
the parents of mankind. So far as we can discover 
neither the catacombs of Rome nor Christian sar- 
cophagi are adorned with representations of Adam 
and Eve. Wherever they may occur they are rare 
exceptions. There is no trace of them in the fondi 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 



133 



d'oro (gold-bottomed glasses), nor in the mosaics. 
In painting they become more and more frequent 
in the beginning of the Middle Ages, and we repro- 





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duce here, as one of the oldest representations of 
the subject, a picture from the so-called Alcuin 
Bible preserved in the British Museum. 



134 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

The name ''Alcuin Bible" is not justified, for the 
work dates from some time after Alcuin ; but after 
all it comes from his school, and the book was pro- 
duced in Tours about the middle of the ninth cen- 
tury, still showing the influence of the brilliant 
scholar of Charlemagne's court. 

We will say here that the so-called Alcuin Bible 
is severely criticized by Anton Springer on account 
of "the ugliness of its figures," but there is more to 
be seen in this picture than mere awkwardness of 
style. The psychologV' of the picture here reproduced 
is exceedingly good. The eyes of Adam and Eve, 
and of the Lord in rebuking them, show real appre- 
ciation of the mental processes of the individuals. 
God walks into the garden with his finger raised, 
like a teacher who rebukes children caught stealing 
apples. God's finger is not straight, a fact which 
presupposes a close observation of life. His eyes 
express kindliness as well as admonition, while 
Adam and Eve stand conscience-stricken by the 
side of the tree. They do not dare to look into the 
face of God, and Adam, with his clumsy hand, 
points to Eve as the cause of the evil, wdiile her 
face expresses admission, though in her turn she 
lays the blame on the snake which stands erect at 
her left. 

It is true that the technique is abominable. The 
heads are ridiculously large, and the hands are out 
of proportion. The bodies do not express the beauty 
generaJly credited to both Adam and Eve as the 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 135 

most perfect handiwork of God. The paints in the 
picture are reported to be no better than the draw- 
ing. The flesh is of a gray color shaded with ma- 
roon streaks. In contrast to the sickly and poverty- 
stricken appearance of the human couple the good 
Lord is dressed in gold, like a wealthy nobleman of 
the age, and the scene is shown to be in Paradise 
by the trees too being overlaid with gold. Never- 
theless the situation is very clearly a garden, copied 
from nature, and the very stony% with all its details, 
could be reconstructed from this picture. 

In time, with the advance of art. the figures of 
Adam and Eve come more and more to assume the 
artistic appearance of natural beauty. Adam and 
Eve represent mankind in its primitive state, devoid 
of spirituality but perfect in health and vigor. It is 
noteworthy that Christian art portrays in them 
paganism in its rudeness and ignorance, and so they 
acquire a certain relationship to Greek antiquity. 

In the Renaissance we reach a perfection in the 
figures of Adam and Eve which attains the ideal of 
classical beauty. Every painter believed it his duty to 
represent the two fatal scenes, the fall of man and the 
expulsion from Paradise. Similar scenes also begin 
to appear in sculptured reliefs. A scene on one side 
of the large pillars in the front of the cathedral at 
Orvieto is devoted to the subject of Eve's creation. 

The creation of man and woman is the first scene 
portrayed on Ghiberti's great bronze entrance-doors 
of the baptister}^ at Florence. These beautiful re- 



136 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



liefs represent the beginning of a new and greater 
period of art. It is Ghiberti's merit to have created 
an originally Christian conception quite different 







< ^ 



^ .^ 



O - 

< H 

^. Z 

W 6 



from the classical reliefs of plastic art. We observe 
in his work evidence of a close study of garments 
and draperies, and the attempt to bring out not only 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 



137 



bodily beauty but a spiritual expression and allegor- 
ical meaning. Most of the characters presented are 
plainly portraits of men and women who have 
served as living models. 

In the lower left corner of this panel on Ghiberti's 




DETAIL FROM GHIBERTI'S DOORS. 
First panel. 

door God is creating man. In the center he is rais- 
ing Eve from the side of the sleeping Adam, who 
lies prostrate on the ground. God is here always 
surrounded and assisted by angels, who lift up Eve 
while the good Lord watches her rise. In the middle 



138 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



left part of the picture we see Adam and Eve taking 
the apple from the serpent which is entwined about 
the tree between them. In the right corner our un- 




to 












c 

r 

r- 
< 

u 



fortunate ancestors are being driven out of Para- 
dise. Eve stands in despair, while Adam is visible 
in the rear. 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 



139 




ADAM AND EVE IN PARADISE. 
By Gustave Dore. 



140 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



]\Iichelangelo's Creation of Eve is represented on 
the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, and 
is perhaps the most vigorous expression of the orig- 




in 

'c 
c 






< 






inal strength of the mother of mankind. It will be 
observed that here too Eve comes from Adam's side, 
although the picture seems to show her fully grown. 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 141 

From among the more modern pictures we repro- 
duce a drawing by Gustave Dore representing Adam 
and Eve. Here we see them in their state of inno- 
cence, Eve being pictured as rechning on the ground, 
while Adam looks upon her in love and admiration. 

Of the more recent pictures we will mention only 
those of Schnorr von Carolsfeld, who has succeeded 
most effectively in striking the proper traditional 
note in Bible illustrations. He represents Adam 
and Eve according to the dogmatic belief of Prot- 
estant Christianity. In the scene here reproduced 
they are portrayed after their expulsion from Para- 
dise in their comfortable primitive home, where 
Adam, leaning on his hoe, rests from his labors 
while Eve sits in the background with a distaff in 
her hand, and their two sons are playing about them. 

^ ^ ^ 

And now, in conclusion, the question as to the 
place of this theme in the art of the future. Has not 
the present generation lost interest in our ancestors ? 
Since the legend is no longer believed literally our 
artistic imagination is not attracted so strongly by 
it. The story of the fall of man has become an 
allegory, an interesting tale, but it is no longer a 
truth. We believe now in evolution, and so Gabriel 
Max has pictured a new Eve for us which is the 
mother of modern man, — the mother who be- 
queathes to her son a deeper comprehension of life 
and a truer insight into the nature of things. 



142 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 




PRIMITIVE MAN, 
By Gabriel Max. 



THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN. 143 

The picture is at first sight repulsive, but the 
more we look at it and the more we studv the artist's 
intentions, the more it grows on us. Here is a prim- 
itive couple of the ape-man type, fossil remains of 
which have been found in the Neanderthal, in Cann- 
statt and in Spy. They must have been ver}^ savage, 
and we shudder at their appearance. How unpleas- 
ant it would be to meet such creatures in a lonely 
forest I The male is very brutish while the female 
shows traces of a dawning intelligence. 

Verily, we discover in this scene represented by 
Gabriel ]\Iax a close resemblance to pictures of the 
holy family. Ancl considered rightly, the similar- 
ity is by no means fortuitous, for here we have 
indeed a holy family. It is an uncultured primitive 
couple of a speechless tribe of forest men, yet the 
hope of progress and a brave determination to take 
up the battle of life for the sake of the babe that 
is born to them becomes visible in the mother's 
eves. 

After all. the wife of Jwjuo alaliis, of the primi- 
tive speechless man, is still the same Eve. There is 
the same sacrifice of motherlove, the same determi- 
nation of bringing to life the man of the future, the 
higher, better, nobler man, whose life will be much 
more worth living than was her own. 

This is the secret of life, that we live not for our- 
selves but for others. If mankind were one great 
immortal being, how monotonous life would be; 
how egotistical would all our aspirations become! 



144 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

But nature renders all egotism futile. None of us 
finds an abiding home here on earth ; we pass away 
and new generations fill the places we leave vacant. 
Daily the world grows older, and yet it remains 
ever young. There is the same happiness, the same 
bliss and joy that ever thrilled the heart of a mother. 
Christianity has abolished Venus, the great mother 
goddess, but Eve has taken her place; and if Eve 
too is to be deposed mankind will still cling to the 
old idea of eternal womanhood, the patron of love 
and loveliness, of wifehood and of motherhood. 



APHRODITE IN ART. 



T 



HE oldest assured statues of Venus, of an all- 
nourishing mother goddess, are perhaps the 





BABYLONIAN CLAY FIGURES. 



little figurines frequently found in Mesopotamia 
representing ''the Lady" or Beltis (the feminine of 



146 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



Bel, ''the Lord") in the shape of a naked woman, 
sometimes with a child in her arms ; but we may 
fairly well assume that even the artists of the stone 
age took up this all-absorbing subject, and if this 




THE VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY. 



be the case we may be justified in calling the torso 
of a naked female figure discovered in Brassempouy 
a Venus, — so far the oldest Venus that has come 
down to us. 



APHRODITE IX ART. 



147 




LAKSHMI. 
In the Musee Guimet. 



148 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



In India the goddess of beauty was revered under 
the name of Lakshmi, and we need not doubt that 
she still finds worshipers among the Hindu popu- 
lation of to-day, but there are no statues left of 
the age of ancient Brahmanism. All monuments 
are of comparatively late origin; in fact the large 






A CILICTAN COIN. 



COIN OF TARSUS 





COIN OF GAULOS. 



COIN OF PERGA. 



mass of Hindu idols is quite modern, although it 
represents art and religious notions of a typically 
primitive character. 

Another and, as it seems, independent develop- 
ment can be traced from the worship of stone 
pillars or bethels. A bethel, i. e., ''house of God," 
well known from the Bible as a monument of divine 



APHRODITE IN ART. 



149 



revelation, developed gradually into the represen- 
tation of a stiff female figure like the Diana of 
Ephesus, but we cannot doubt that the primitive 
idea of it was the worship of an all-nourishing 
mother. From her the Greek conception of the 
chaste moon goddess, the virgin Artemis or Diana, 






COINS OF PERGA IN PAMPHYLIA. 






THREE ARTEMIS MEDALS. 



developed in course of time; but the Diana of 
Ephesus still preserves symbols of a pantheistic con- 
ception of the All under the allegory of a mother 
goddess. (For illustrations see pages 152 and 153.) 
Among the Semites the oldest bethels, or houses 
of God, were pillars of stone. We need not assume 



150 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



that they were gods or goddesses, for judging from 
BibHcal information they may be interpreted as 
monuments marking a holy place, i. e., a spot where 
a deity had revealed himself in some way. 

The primitive form of a bethel* or as the Greeks 
transcribed the Phenician term, /SalrvXo^, has often 
been represented on coins. Sometimes two columns 
are placed, one on each side, and the stone is fre- 
quently accompanied with the symbols of the god- 




COIN OF ANTIOCHUS EUER- 
GETES. 




ISTAR ON A 
. COIN OF 
TARSUS. 



dess, fruit and eggs ; sometimes doves perch on the 
sanctuary; sometimes the pillar is covered with a 
temple roof. We know one instance in which it 
l)ears the symbol of a Latin cross and gradually it 
assumes in a coarse style the features of a woman. 
Such is the beginning of the manufacture of idols 
which at first are extremely stiff and assume only 
gradually — indeed very slowly — an artistic shape. 



APHRODITE IN ART. 




:i5 



f At the dawn of the historic age the oldest Greek 
1 statues and paintings of Venus show her fully robed 



U--: 



and draped. Great numbers of Aphrodite amulets 










^ .^^ 



~- ■'t.^.jjjjjs. 



COIX OF EMESA. 




COIN OF lASOS CARIA. 




COIX OF PAPHOS. 
CYPRUS. 




COIX OF lULIA GORDCS. 
LYDIA. 



of small size and made of glazed terra-cotta have 
been found mainly on the .^gean islands where her 
cult had spread from Babylon and Syria. They re- 
semble the Babylonian Beltis statuettes in having 




THE DIANA OF EPHESUS IN THE VATICAN. 
After a photograph. 



APHRODITE IN ART. 



153 



m 










.'^i 










THE DIANA OF EPHESUS. 
Alabaster statue now in the museum of Naples. (Roscher, 

lex., I, col. 588.) 



154 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



the arms crossed over the breast, but as a rule their 
hips are unnaturally broad. Some of them have a 

j bird's (possibly a pigeon's) head and all have large 

/e^rs with earrings. 

The very oldest real statues of Aphrodite, prod- 
ucts of primitive manufacture, have been lost, and 
none of the temple idols have sur- 
vived Christian iconoclasm, but we 
have information that Kanachus^ 
in the sixth centurv- before Christ, 
and Kalamis, Phidias and Alcame- 
nes in the fifth, haye_re presente d 
the goddess as dig ; -nified_a nd severe. 
We reproduce here drawings of 
of archaic statues fully dressed. 
Some of them are still awkward 
but give evidence of the artist's 
reverence. An archaic Venus of 
the style familiar in Pompeii was 
formerly regarded as a Moera but 
to-day after Gerhard's interpretation it is considered 
as a Venus Proserpina. 

The statue by Kalamis which once stood upon 
the Acropolis at Athens and was called Aphro- 
dite Sosandra- is also fully dressed, but much 
more graceful. A veil is tied about her hair, and 
in her right hand the goddess is clasping some 

* Terra-cotta in Berlin Museum (Roscher, Lex., I, col. 407). 
^ See Pausanias 2, 10, 4. 

'Cf. Roscher, Lex., I. cols. 411-412, and Preller, Gr. M., I, 
p. 383. 




CYPRIAN 
APHRODITE.* 



APHRODITE IX ART. 






folds of her upper garment, while her extended 
left hand holds a pomegranate blossom. 





ARCHAIC APHRO- ARCHAIC VENUS IX POMPEIAN 
DITE WITH DOVE STYLE. 

Roscher, Lex., I, 409. 

Among the Attic votive reliefs there is one inter- 
preted as Aphrodite and Ares,^ which shows Aphro- 
* See Roscher, Lex., I, col. 406, and Monuments grecs, PI. 1. 



156 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



dite unveiling her face to Ares. She holds a pitcher 
in her right hand and is pouring its contents into a 




APHRODITE SOSANDRA BY KALAMIS. 
From Roscher, Lex., I, col. 412. 

vessel in his hands. It is also to be noted that the 
action takes place above an empty altar. The child 



APHRODITE IN ART. 



157 



behind her in this connection can only represent her 
son Eros. 

In the National Museum at Rome there is an 
Attic sculpture of the fifth century which is some- 




APHRODITE AND ARES. 
Votive relief from Monuments grecs, PI. I. 



what bolder in showing the outlines of the figure. 
This Aphrodite is clad in a very diaphanous gar- 
ment, the left breast being quite uncovered. 

In the beautiful statue by Alcamenes, a copy of 



158 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



which is still preserved in. the Louvre, the dress 
seems to be of slightly heavier texture and the pos- 




ATTIC SCULPTURE OF THE FIFTH CENTURY B. C 
In the National Museum at Rome. 

ture more simple and dignified. In her left hand 
the goddess holds a pomegranate and is lifting with 




APHRODITE OF ALCAMENES, KNOWN AS VENUS 

GENETRIX. 



160 



THE VEXUS OF MILO. 




HEAD OF THE CXIDIAN VENUS, 
her right hand a corner of her drapery above her 
right shoulder. 

It was in the days of the highest development of 




THE CNIDIAN VENUS OF PRAXITELES. 
In the Vatican Museum at Rome. 



162 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



Greek art that the greatest artists dared to show 
the goddess of love in perfect nudity. The statues 
of Phidias still retain the severe expression of her 
divine character, but Praxiteles endeavors to show 
her beauty as in primitive times without any dress, 
in a careless but graceful and artistic pose. So at 
least appears the most authoritative record of her 
appearance on the Cnidian coin. Other statues, 




THE VENUS OF PRAXITELES ON A CNIDIAN COIN. 
From Roscher, Lex., I, col. 416. 



especially the Vatican marble known as the Venus 
of Praxiteles, are partly dressed. It is assumed 
that many replicas of ancient masterpieces did not 
follow their originals in all details. 

This statue of Praxiteles was ordered by the 
Cnidians from the artist for public worship, and 
when finished they placed it in the temple of Aphro- 
dite Euploia built especially to serve as a shrine for 



APHRODITE IN ART. 



163 



this piece of art. The goddess was the patroness of 
the island of Cnidos and therefore her image was 




HEAD OF THE CROUCHING VENUS. 

impressed upon the Cnidian coins as the great artist 
had depicted her. The best copies of the Cnidian 




VENUS CROUCHING IN THE BATH. 
In the Vatican. 



APHRODITE IX ART. 



165 




VENUS WITH THE UNGUENT JAR. 
In the Vatican. 

Aphrodite are preserved in the Vatican and in the 
Glyptothek at Munich. 

The Vatican is rich in Venus statues of a similar 



166 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

type which have been worked out in the spirit of 
Praxiteles, and we here reproduce photographs of 
what has been called the crouching Venus and also 
the Venus with the unguent jar. 

These statues of Aphrodite in the Vatican and 
most others produced in the latter portion of the 
classical period of Greek art are entirely nude, but 
with the exception of the very latest ones we must 
grant that they are endowed with divine dignity. 
An improper feature enters only when nudity be- 
trays either an intentional display, with a pretense 
of prudery, or an obvious purpose to excite sensual- 
ity. Originally these features are foreign to the 
Greek goddess and develop only with the decay 
of Hellenic civilization. They appear obtrusively 
in the so-called Venus of Medici, and worse still in 
the so-called Venus Kalypygos, in this way justi- 
fying to some extent the harsh opinion of Christian 
pietists who have vitiated our notion of Greek dei- 
ties down to the present day. From the standpoint 
here taken I may be permitted to omit entirely any 
reproduction of pictures of this latest phase of the 
artistic conception of Venus. 

Among the portrayals ot Venus we deem two 
recent discoveries worthy of reproduction on ac- 
count of their sweetness and gracefulness. One is 
the Venus of Pandemia and the other a bust found 
in a wrecked ship by sponge divers at the bottom of 
the sea off the African coast in the Mediterranean. 
The former was found in a shipwreck near the coast 



APHRODITE IN ART. 



167 



of Pandemia in the year 1884, together with coins 
of the time of Lysimachos. It is made of Parian 
marble and shows the goddess standing near a small 
pillar over which her garment is hung. She is rep- 




.THE VENUS OF PANDERMA. 
Front view. 

resented at the moment when her hands are tying a 

long ribbon around her head to hold up her curly 

hair which falls back behind the ears. Furtwangler 

and Salomon Reinach have devoted much attention 



168 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



to the Statue, the latter in his Repertoire de la sfa- 
tuaire grecque et romainej and both praise highly the 
beauty of the goddess. 




THE VENUS OF PANDERMA. 
Rear view. 



The head of the goddess Venus now preserved in 
the museum at Bardos near Tunis must have lain 
hidden for over two thousand years. It had prob- 



APHRODITE IN ART. 



169 




THE VENUS HEAD IN THE MUSEUM OF BARDOS. 



170 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

ably been ordered by lovers of art living in Africa 
and never reached its place of destination. The 
shells which cover part of the bust have happily 
not attacked the features of the goddess and so the 
beauty of the face is left unmarred. 



\ 



I 



CLASSICAL HYMNS. 

THE worship of Aphrodite in the days of clas- 
sical paganism is best characterized by two 
hymns attributed to Homer, but it must be under-, 
stood that this whole class of poetry constitutes 
Homeric apocrypha of a comparatively late date. 
We quote the original from the Teubner edition : 

EI2 A4>P0AITHN. 

KvTTpoycK^ Kv^tpeuzv dcicro/xat, rJTC ^poTol(n 
fM€L\L)(^a Swpa StStocrtv, c<^' IfitpTt^ 8c Trpocroiirw 
aUl /tecSiaei Koi i<f> lixepTov <f>€p€L avOo<;- 

Xatpc, Oea, 2a\a/xtvos i'vKTLfiivqs /xcScovcra 
Kttt 7rd(rrjs KvTrpov 805 8' Ifxepoecrcrav aoid-qv. 
avrap cyw Kat (re to kol aWr)^ p.vrj(TOfx docS^s- 

A versified translation of our own reads thus : 

'*My verse shall praise thee, goddess fair and mighty, 
Great Queen of Cyprus, glorious Aphrodite 
Who unto mortals love's sweet gift bestowest 
And in the charm of richest beauty glowest. 
Thou boldest in thy hand the magic flower 
Whose spell subjects us to thy gentle power. 
Hail, gracious lady, soother of all woes, 
Who conquerest by pleasing smiles thy foes. 




HEAD OF THE CNIDIAN VENUS. 
Front view. 



CLASSICAL HYMNS. 173 



As we thy beauty worship and admire 
Inspire my song with thy celestial fire. 
So shall my muse forever honor thee 
And her whom thou commendest unto me. 



>> 



Here is another hymn, not less charming : 

EIS A^POAITHN. 
AlSoLtjv )(pvaro(rT€<f)avov KaXrjv AcfypoSCrriv 
acrojxai, rj Trdcrfi KvTrpov Kp-qSefxva \€\oy^€v 
€lva\Lrj<i, ode fxiv Z€<f)vpov fX€vo<; vypov d€VTO<i 
T]V€LK€v Kara KVfia Tro\vcl>\oia(ioLO 6a\d(rcrr}<; 
d<f>p(^ €VL fiaXaKw' Tr)v Bk )(^pv(Tdp.7rvK€<s Clpai 
Sc^avr' do"7racrt'(os, irepl 8 dp-ISpora iLfxara tcraav 
Kparl 8 €7r dOavdrw (TTe(f>dvYjv €vtvktov iOrjKav 
Ka\r)v, )(pv(TeL7]V' iv 8€ rprjTOLcn Xo(Bo1<tiv 
dvOcfx 6p€i)(d\K0v )(^pv(tol6 T€ TifJirjevTOi' 
^^t-pij 8' dfx<f> aTraXr] Kal crTrjOecTLV dpyv<j>€OL(nv 

Opp.0L(TL ^pvaioLCTLV €KO(T/XCOV, olfTL TTCp aVTol 

'Qpai KO(T pL€.CcrOr]v ^pvadp.TrvKf.'i, ottttot toicv 
C5 ^opov l/xepoevTa OeCjv kol Soj/xara Trarpo?- 
avrdp CTreiSr] irdvTa irtpX xpoi Koa/xov iOrjKav, 
fjyov €9 a"avaTOv<i' ol o rjaTraQovTO loovre^ 
^cp(7t' t' iSe^LOiovTO Koi rfp-qaavTO cKaoros 
ctvat Kovpi^Liqv dXo\ov kol oIkuK dyeaOai, 
cTSos Oavjxd^ovT€s LOcrT€(f)dvov l^vOepeirj^;. 

Xatp eXiKofSX^ffiape, yAv/<v/x€iA.i;^€* Bos 8' iv dyCtvL 
VLKYjV Ta)8e <f)€p€(T6aL, ifXTjv 8' evTvvov doLSrjv. 
avrdp iyct) kol ae'io koi dWYj<s p.vq(Top. docBris • 

Translated into English verse the hymn reads : 

'The venerable Lady I adore, 

Queen Aphrodite, owner of the shore 



174 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

Of seagirt Cyprus. Thither Zephyr's breeze 
Had wafted her as babe with gentle ease. 
While yet unborn, in briny foam lay she 
Floating on billows of the surging sea, 
Whence she came forth. The Seasons young and 

fair 
With gold-embroidered bridles guided her, 
They took her to their arms and they caressed 
The little maid and had her beauty dressed 
In garments of Ambrosian fabric wrought. 
And then a crown of golden weight they brought. 
Three-handled, which above her head they placed. 
Her soft white neck with carcanets was graced, 
The strands of which her silver breast adorn 
In such a way as by the Seasons worn 
At dances in sylvestrian resort 
Or in Olympus at their father's court. 
They carried up the babe so fair and wee 
To the immortals, who in ecstacy 
Began at once to hug and fondle her 
And kiss her hands. All vowed that thev would 

wear 
The sacred flower of this divine fair maid 
At Hymen's feast in festival parade. 
Yea, such great charm the Gods e'en never saw ; 
They gazed and wondered and they stood in awe. 
O goddess, dark-browed, sweet of voice, 
In thee my song shall glory to rejoice! 
On us poor mortals here on earth below 
Life's palm and heaven's happiness bestow. 




ANOTHER VIEW OF THE CNIDIAN VENUS. 



176 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

Praised be forever thy divinity, 

And the fair sex which representeth thee." 

The nature of Venus as the mother of the uni- 
verse, the mistress of existence, and the representa- 
tive of all that is charming and lovely endeared her 
to the philosopher as well as to the poet, and so in 
Rome at a later day even the freethinker among 
classical poets, Titus Lucretius, dedicated to her his 
philosophical book of poetry, De rerum natura, in 
these often quoted words '} ^, 

''Mother of Rome, delight of Gods and men, 
Dear Venus that beneath the gliding stars 
Makest to teem the many-voyaged main 
And fruitful lands — for all of living things 
Through thee alone are evermore conceived, 
Throughthee are risen to visit the great sun — 
Before thee, Goddess, and thy coming on. 
Flee stormy wind and massy cloud away ; 
For thee the dedal Earth bears gentle flowers; 
For thee wide waters of the unvexed deep 
Smile, and the hollows of the serene sky 
Glow with diffused radiance for thee! 
For soon as comes the springtime face of day, 
And procreant gales blow from the West unbarred, 
First fowls of air, smit to the heart by thee, 
Foretoken thy approach, O thou Divine, 
And leap the wild herds round the happy fields 
Or swim the bounding torrents. Then amain, 

1 From Dr. William Ellery Leonard's translation. 



CLASSICAL HYMNS. 177 

Seized with the spell, all creatures follow thee 

Whithersoever thou walkest forth to lead ; 

And thence through seas and mountains and swift 

streams, 
Through leafy homes of birds and greening plains, 
Kindling the lure of love in e\ery breast, 
Thou bringest the eternal generations forth, 
Kind after kind. And since 'tis thou alone 
Guidest the Cosmos, and without thee naught 
Is risen to reach the holy shores of light. 
Nor aught of joyful or of lovely born. 
Thee do I crave co-partner in that verse 
Which I presume on Nature to compose 
For Memmius mine, whom thou hast willed to be 
Peerless in every grace at every hour — 
Wherefore, indeed, Divine one, give my words 
Immortal charm. Lull to a timely rest 
O'er sea and land the savage works of war, 
For thou alone hast power with public peace 
To aid mortality ; since he who rules 
The savage works of battle, puissant Mars, 
How often to thy bosom flings his strength, 
O'ermastered by the eternal wound of love — 
And there, with eyes and full throat backward 

thrown. 
Gazing, my Goddess, open-mouthed at thee, 
Pastures on love his greedy sight, his breath 
Hanging upon thy lips? Him thus reclined 
Fill with thy holy body, round, above! 
Pour from those lips soft syllables to win 



178 THE VENUS OF MILO. 

Peace for the Roman, glorious Lady, peace ! 

For in a season troublous to the state 

Neither may I attend this task of mine 

With thought untroubled, nor may mid such events 

The illustrious scion of the Memmian house 

Neglect the civic cause." 

^ ^ ^ 

The temples of Aphrodite lie in ruins, and her 
worship is abandoned ; but the ideal of womanhood 
which she represented has remained to this day, 
and will remain so long' as mankind will continue to 
exist on earth. The artist of the statue of Milo 
has left us an unsurpassed interpretation of this 
ideal which even in its mutilated condition is noble 
and beautiful. At the same time nature does not 
cease to actualize the type in every living v/oman 
that has been born into the world. Each one of 
them with all her individual traits, her preferences 
and even her feminine faults is a specimen of the 
eternal ideal of womanhood — the divinitv of love, 
of grace, of charm, of beauty, a source of inspira- 
tion as well as of physical and intellectual creative- 
ness. 

The ancient paganism has passed away and will 
never come back, but because its superstitions are 
gone we need no longer scorn its gods. We can 
recognize their grandeur, their nobility, their beauty, 
yea their truth ; and if we contemplate the represen- 
tation of their ideals in Greek art, we must own that 
the Venus of Milo is not the least among them. 



INDEX. 



Adonis, Death of, 76. 

^neas, 74. 

-Eschylus, 74. 

Agesander or Alexander of An- 
tioch, 14, 17, 20, 21, 51. 

Alcamenes, 154, 1 57-1 59- 

Alcard, 44. 

Alcuin Bible, 133-135. 

Amazon, Etymology of, 63. 

Anchises, 68; and Aphrodite, 74, 75 

Antiochus Euergetes, 150. 

Antiochus Soter, 17. 

Aphrodite, and Ares, 155-157; as 
a universal principle, 65, 7Z'< 
Birth of, 62, 69; Cypris, 65; 
Etymology of the name, 62, 64; 
Euploia, 162; Pandemos, 67; 
Sosandra, 154, 156; Urania, 67, 
74; Worship of, 55, 68-75. 

Apple, emblem of mother-goddess, 
98; emblem of Venus, 25; held 
in hand, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 25, 30, 
33. 44. 45. 47; Melos means, i, 
25; of empire, 39-40. 

Archaic Venus, 154-155. 

Ares, Aphrodite and, 155-157. 

Artemis, 149. 

Astarte, 69, 107; A later, 105; and 
the Dove, 100; in Cyprus, 106, 
no; Sargent's, 108, no; Wor- 
ship of, 55. 

Asurbanipal, 79, 80. 

Athene, 69, 77, 79; Worshop of, 56. 

Athens, 54, 56, 67. 

Babylon, Trinity in, 98. 
Bacchus, 14. 



Bain, F. W., 128. 

Bajot, 5M. 

Bardos, 168, 169. 

Battle on the beach, 43, 46-47, 49. 

Bell, T., 31. 

Bellona, 77. 

Beltis, 73, MS, 151. 

Benten, no, 113. 

Bethel, 148-150. 

Birth, of Aphrodite, 62, 69, 70; 

of Syrian goddess, 71. 
Boghaz-Koi, 103-105. 
Bottonis, Antonio, 2, 45. 
Bottonis, Yorgos, a Greek peasant. 

2, 5, 9, ID, n, 13, 44. 
Bottonis, Yorgos, Jr., 45. 
Brassempouy, Venus of, 146. 
Brest, Louis, 3. 46. 
Buddha, Kwan-Yon as the, i\2, 

115. 

Caesar, 74, 75. 

Capua, 55. 

Carolsfeld, Schnorr von, 140- 141. 

Carus, The Bride of Christ. 107: 
Soul of Man, 126. 

Castro in Melos, 2, 12, 45, 46. 

Century Magazine, 2, 6. 

Charm of statue, 26, 27. 

"Chevrette," 3, 5. 

Christian Trinity, 98-99. 

Christianity, 56, 74, 144. 

Chthonian Venus, 75, 83, 85. 

Clarac, Count de, 13, 15, 50; Re- 
port of, 48. 

Cnidian Venus, 160-163, 172. 

Cnidos, 72, 163. 



180 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



Condition of statue, 9-10, 24, 43, 

45, 48, 49. 
Conybeare, F. C, 56. 
Conze, 21. 

Corinth, Hierodules in, 74. 
Coronet, 24. 
Creation, Greek legend of, 62; 

Maori legend of, 63)1. 
Creuzer, 36. 

Crouching \'enus, 163, 164, 166. 
Cyprian Aphrodite, 154. 
Cyprus, -j^, 107; Astarte in, 106, 

no. 

Date of statue, 20, 52. 

David, 15. 

Debay, Auguste, 15; Drawing of, 

16, 21. 
Del Mar, Alexander, 37, 39-40. 
Del Mar, Francisca Paloma, 37, 38. 
Demeter, 69. 

Descent into Hades, 76, 83-95. 
Description of statue, 6-8, 22-25, 

41, 42, 45, 51, 52. 
Diana of Ephesus, 149, 152-153. 
Dionaea, dj. 
Dione, 65. 

Discovery of statue, 2, 5-6, 44. 
Dodona, 67. 

Dore, Gustave, 139, 141, 
Dove, 98, 102; Astarte and the, 

100; Venus sending out the, 36, 

Zl- 

Egypt, Trinity in, 98. 

Eleusinian mysteries, 83. 

Ephesus, Diana of, 149, 152-153. 

Epithets of Aphrodite, 65, 67. 

Eros, 2y, 28, 65, TTn, 83; in the 
underworld, 84; Statue of, 28. 

"Estafette," 3, 4, 43, 46, 47. 

Eve, Adam and, in art, 132-141; 
Apple of, 127, 138; Creation of, 
125, 127, 135, 138, 140. 

Fanaticism, 2T, 60. 
Farnell, Lewis Richard, 83. 
Ferry. Jules, 52; Report of, 45-47. 
I'iguhis. Xigidius, 71. 



Fish, 103; Isis with the, 102; 
Kwan-Yon with the, iio-iii; of 
the Euphrates, 71; on Friday, 
117. 

Foam-born, 62, 69. 

Fragments, 2, &, 10, 11, \2n, 13, 

43, 47, 53- 
Freer, Charles L., 114. 
Freya, 117-120. 
Furtwangler, 167; Restoration by, 

"Galaxidion," 46, 48. 

Gauttier, 5;!. 

Gerhard, 154. 

Ghiberti, 135-138. 

Gilchrist, Edward, 86«. 

Glyptothek, 165. 

Greek, legend of creation, 62; 

philology, 63; religion, 2-j. 
Guerber, H. A., 117, 119. 

Hades, Descent into, ^d, 83-95. 

Halo, 39-40. 

Hasse and Henke, 2)'^, 2,Z- 

Hawk, Human-headed, 98. 

Heine, Heinrich, 2T. 

Helios, 40. 

Hephaestos, 68. 

Hera (Juno), 24; Worship of, 56. 

Heracles, 14, 127; Etymology of, 

63. 

Hermae, 6, 7, 8, 13. 

Hermes, 14; (psychopompos), 83. 

Hesiod, 62. 

Hesperides, Apple of the, 127. 

Hierapolis, 102. 

Hirt, 77. 

History of the statue, 52-60. 

Holy Ghost, 98. 

Homer, 65. 

Homeric hymns, 171- 176. 

Hypatia, 60. 

Idols, Beginning of, 150. 
Iduna, Apples of, 127. 
India, Trinity in, 98. 
Inscription, on plinth, 15, 17; Vo- 
tive, 8, 13-14, SO. 



INDEX. 



181 



Isis, and Horus, 99; and the fish, 
102, 103; Worship of, 55. 

Istar, 71, 79, 80, 81, 107; and 
Tammuz, 86; Carrying in pro- 
cession the symbol of, 97; on 
coin of Tarsus, 150; Worship 
of, 55- 

Istar's Descent to Hell, 85-95. 

Jeremias, Dr. Alfred, 85. 
Jesus, 84. 
Jowett, 122-126. 

Kalamis, 154, 156. 

Kalypygos, \'enus, 166. 

Kanachus, 154. 

K'ang Hi, 116. 

Kirchhoff, 17. 

Kronos, 62. 

Kwan-Yon, as the Buddha, 112, 

115; by Li Lung-mien, 114; 

Poem on, 112; with the fish, 

I lO-I I I. 

Lady, 69, 73, "8, 96, i45- 

Lakshmi, 147. 

Lang, Andrew, 63)!. 

Lange, M., 49. 

Lenormant, Charles, 11, 50. 

Lenormant, F., 99, loi. 

Leonard, William Ellerj', 176)1. 

Life, Secret of, 143. , 

"Lionne," 4. 

Louvre, 4, 10, 12, 25, 43, 48, 49. 

53, 158; Authorities of the, 14, 

17, 42, 50. 
Love, Goddess of, 22, 39, 64, 74, 

75, 76, 83, 1 17-120, 144, 178; 

Goddess of sexual, 67. 
Lucian, 103. 
Lucretius, Titys, 176. 
Ludovisi relief, 70-73. 
Lung-mien, Li, 114. 
Lysimachos, 167. 
Lysippos, 52. 

Magna Dea, 96ff. 
r^Ian, Origin of, 122; Primitive, 
142. 



Maori legend of creation, 63 «: 

Marcellus, Viscount, 3, 9, 14, 39, 
43, 53'y Report of, 11-13. 

^Farduk, 105. 

Mary, Virgin, 64, 69, 71, no, 115, 
120; Worship of, 37, 56. 

Matriarchy, 96, 97. 

Matterer, Lieutenartt, 44, 47. 

Max, Gabriel, 141-143. 

Measurements of statue, 7-8. 

Medici, Venus of, 166. 

^Melos, I, 2, 45, 46, 47; Inhabi- 
tants of, 39, 53; Name of, 1,7; 
Site of, 6. 

Michelangelo, 138, 140. 

Mirror, Venus with, 30, 31. 

Montaiglon, M. A., 5«. 

^Torusi, Nikolai, 3, 4. 

Mother-goddess, The, 22, 68, 77, 
96fif, 117, 120, 144. 

Murillo. 109, no. 

^Mutilation of statue, 7, 24, 27, 40, 
42-43, 49, 53. 



National Museum, 157, 158. 
Navigation, Goddess of, 107. 
Nebo, 81. 

Nudity in art, 166; of statue, 22, 
24, 41. 

Ohnefalsch-Richter, 106. 

Oiconomos, 3. 

Open Court, no. 

Oriental influence, 70-71, 96. 

Original, Statue an, 20-21. 

Orvieto, 135, 136. 

Overbeck, 20. 

Paganism, 55, 135, 178; End of, 

60, 68, 73. 
Panderma, Venus of, 166-168. 
Paphos, 73. 
Paul, St., 84. 
Pausanias, 54, 76, i54n. 
Pedestal, 14, 17, 20. 
Penitential psalm, 78. 
Pergamum, 21, 52. 



182 



THE VENUS OF MILO. 



Persephone, 76; Myth of, 83. 
Phidias, 52, 54, 72^ 154, 162. 
Philology of Greeks, 63. 
Pinches, Theodore G., 78. 
Pindar, 74. 

Plato, 62, 67, 121, 124, i28«. 
Pluto, 83. 
Polytheism, 68. 

Pomegranate, 83, 98, 127; emblem 
of Venus, 76; held in hand, 158. 
Pompeian Venus, 154-155. 
Praxiteles, 52, 160-163. 
Preller, 76M, 154. 
Prometheus, Etymology of, 63. 
Purchase of statue, 3-4, 9. 

Queen of heaven, 64, 69, 74, 96, 
116. 

Rabbit, 103. 
Record-Herald, 44, 50. 
Reinach, Salomon, 167. 
Restorations, 27-41. 
Riviere, Marquis de, 4, 9. 
Robert, Commander, 46. 
Roscher, 63/1, -in, 153, 154". i55". 
156, 162. 

Sailors, French, 4, 10, 49; Turk- 
ish, 46. 
Saloman, Geskel, 20; Restorations 

by, 34, 35- 
Sargent's Astarte, 108, no. 
Schliemann, 107. 
Scopas, 52. 
Sculptor of the statue, 13, 21, 51, 

52. 53- 
Selene, 40. 
Semiramis, loi. 
Shield and pencil, Venus with, 29, 

31- 
Sistine Madonna, 25. 
Socrates, 121. 

Sophia, 99; The gnostic, 98. 
Soul, Egyptian, 98, 99. 
Springer, Anton, 134. 
Star of the sea, 120. 
Steinthal, H., 63n. 



Swastika, 107. 

Syrian goddess, 96, 103; Birth of, 
71. 

Tacitus, 73. 

Talbot, H. Fox, 79, 81. 

Tammuz, 86. 

Taylor, 63)1. 

Theodosius, 39. 

Thiers, 45, 47- 

T'ien Hou, 116. 

Titian, 66, 67. 

Tiumman, 79, 80; Head of, 82. 

Tomb of Aphrodite, 76. 

Toulon, 5. 

Tralles, Head of, 19, 20, 21. 

Tree of life, 127. 

Trinities, 98. 

Turkish brig, 43, 46, 48. 

Unguent jar, Venus with the, 165, 

166. 
Uranus and Gaia, 62. 
Urville, Dumont d', 3, 13, 14. 42- 

43, 44, 47; Report of, 5-9. 

Valentin, Veit, 25; Restoration by. 

37. 41- 

Vatican, 152, 160-163, 164, 165. 

\>nice, Doves of, 103. 

Venus Erycina, jyn; Genetrix, 69. 
75, 159; . Kalypygos, 166; of 
Milo; full figure, 16, 23; of 
Milo; head, fr., 18, 57, 591 o^ 
Milo: restored, 29, 30, 31, 32, 
33, 34. 35. 38; on the swan, 55. 
56; Proserpina, 154; Urania, 74; 
Victrix, 75, 77, 78, 79', Victrix, 
Statue called, 45, 47, 48; Vul- 
garis, 74- 

Mctory, Venus of Milo as, 31. 

War, Goddess of, 77-82. 
Wings, 99- 
Woermann, io2». 
Woman, Origin of, 127-132. 

Zealotry, Outbursts of, 58. 
Zeus, 65. 



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