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Re: CHAT: Apollo and like

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, March 27, 2000, 6:09
At 3:50 am -0900 26/3/00, Mike Adams wrote:
>It would not be the first time a God changed sex, or better yet absorbed >a previous deities ways/means and like.. You see it in Norse myths, with
Probably in many polytheistic systems. It had certainly happened among the Greeks. But AFAIK there's no evidence that Apollo was ever female. [...]
> >Showing a likely mixing of cultures and more. Like I think it was Zeus >who seems to have been born on Crete,
Certainly - according to the Cretans; but IIRC both Mount Ida & Mount Dikte are claimed as his birth place (I've been in the cave on Dikte but not on Ida). But the Cretans also claimed that he died there! While the other Greeks were happy enough to go along with his being born there, they were quite scandalized by the thought of his dying there, since Zeus was one of the immortals. That's why the Greeks always said that Cretans were liars. But the name Zeus is of IE origin; it cognate with the old English god Tiw (still weekly remembered on Tiw's day [Tuesday]), Scandinavian 'Tyr' etc. The Cretans quite clearly took the name and applied it to a very different god. Apollo, on the other hand, was native to the area. The name may possibly be, as Philip suggested, of Tyrrhenian origin - we don't know. But I find the instances of his being worshipped in a triad with Lato (Leto) & Artemis intersting. Lato is the mother of the twins, Artemis & Apollo. Lato has many of the attributes one would expect of an earth mother goddess. Artemis & Apollo were both unquestionably linked with the moon & sun respectively throughout the ancient Greek period. In many mythologies the earth predates the creation/birth of the sun & moon - it does so in the first chapter of Genesis, e.g. (and in the Silmarillion :) Does this triad refelect a myth in which the earth mother gave birth to the twins, moon & sun. And is Apollo/sun really the god who died annually. Were the Cretans disguising their own myth by so publically propagated the dying Zeus myth which they knew would offend their fellow Greeks?
>or was it Herakles (likely a title >than a name = Hercules)...
Don't see why. Names normally meant something in days done by. That 'Herakles' might mean "famed by Hera" (or some such), doesn't mean that it was not a name. We don't, e.g. think that 'Amadeus' was a title given to Mozart, tho the meaning of the name is transparent. Hercules BTW is a normal Latin derivation from Etruscan 'Herkle' with the epenthetic vowel {u}; the Etruscan was, of course, derived from the Greek. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================