Asianic Elements in Greek Civilisation.
A. EUROPEAN AND ASIATIC GREEKS. — In comparing the Greek with the Anatolian or even with the Old-Ionian speech, we must disabuse ourselves of the idea that the Greeks of Europe are the same race as the Old-Ionians of Asia. They are related, and their general similarity of origin was fostered and increased by the frequent and growing intercourse between them.
Their situation, with a long and deeply indented coast-line,1 compelled them to be seafarers, not land-travellers; and the Aegean Sea with its numerous islands tempted them on westwards and eastwards. They were really very close neighbours, because the sea, with its regular winds,2 which could be calculated with almost perfect certainty, did not disjoin them, but formed a path for them. It was not an “estranging sea,” but a pathway and a bond of union (as was proved and also disproved in the famous history of the intended massacre at Mitylene by the Athenian democracy). They had the same enemies, as they were both threatened, and were ultimately overcome by invading hosts from Inner Asia; and the Mermnad Lydians and Phrygians in later time (probably also the Carians), introducing a dominant armed conquering caste of soldiers from 282 Macedonia and Thrace, were more or less active enemies; so also were the Gauls.
The same lesson is taught in history, and vainly repeated from time to time through the centuries. Every attempt to create a European Greek domination on the Asian coasts has resulted in disaster and ruin. The Athenian Empire in the fifth century B.C. was short-lived, and only weakened the civilising power and stopped the development of Athens. The brief domination of Sparta on the Asiatic coast was a mere passing episode, which did no good to any one concerned, least of all to Sparta. There is, doubtless, truth in the semi-historic accounts of emigration from European Greece to Asiatic coasts in the century after the Trojan War; for the exact statements about the sons of Codrus, and the Pylian Oikistai and Thymbraros of Thessaly, etc., are too detailed to be mere legends; they satisfied Strabo, who was a good judge, and had at his command3 much historical material, now lost. They may well satisfy us. But those colonists went not as conquerors, but as noble refugees, seeking asylum, not dominion. They made cities, not empire.
The proper rôle of the Greeks is peaceful penetration and the possession of trade. When they try to fight and create foreign domination they are ruined, and are the cause of ruin to others. The Balkan peoples, Macedonians and Thracians, with the later Gauls, conquered and made new states; but they gradually merged in the conquered peoples and adopted a mixed Graeco-Asiatic system of society and government. The Gaulish soldiers clung tenaciously to a Gallic tribal system, but their chiefs soon practised and inculcated conformity to the native religion and the native manners; and the united people as a whole acquiesced in the native custom, which was afterwards Christianised.4283
Long before the migrations which arose out of the Trojan War, with its great results in opening the Dardenelles and the Black Sea to freedom of trade, the “sons of Yavan,” i.e. the Greeks of Asia, were in active intercourse with the Asiatic peoples of Western Asia, and the point of contact was in the Aegean archipelago (as that ancient document contained in Genesis chap. x. shows). The Anatolian Bridge between East and West has been the path of civilisation and mutual influence between Asia and Europe.
The Central Anatolian Plateau has been the pathway and the scene of war and of peaceful trade and intercourse between Ionians (Yavan) and Ashkenaz of the inner country, as the Aegean Sea has been between European and Asiatic Greeks. The resulting system in Asia Minor has always been neither Asiatic nor European, but a mixed civilisation, half Greek, half Oriental, really Graeco-Asiatic.5 To avoid misunderstanding, it is best to sum up all the Greeks of Asia under the Semitic term “Sons of Yavan”; the great historical record preserved in Genesis x. must be always kept before us. The name Yavan, i.e. Ion, has been preserved only by one section of the Asian Greeks, the Ionians, who proved the most progressive and enterprising of all. Yet eventually Asian Aeolians and Asian Dorians are included in Genesis x. as the “Sons of Yavan.” The dialects differed in the historic period, but the difference resulted from the more rapid development of the Ionian speech; it is fairly certain that the earliest Ionian speech was closer to the Aeolian dialect on the north-eastern coast than to its developed form in Herodotus; and the great Doric school of medicine, with its chief representative in Hippokrates, employed Ionic, not Doric, to express its growing science (see Chapter I.)
The attempts of European Greece to dominate the west coasts of Asia Minor have not merely failed: they have even during their brief period of apparent success roused bitter feeling among the Old-Ionian races against the European Greeks; this hatred produced 284 dissension and even war; where European domination lasted, it provoked rebellion of the Asian Greeks, the sons of Yavan, against European Greeks. In this way the valuable influence of the Greek element in Asia Minor was weakened and wasted. The Roman Empire in its best days always regarded Hellenism and the Hellenic languages as its most useful ally and agent in dominating Asia; and in this case also war proved to be a bad and disintegrating influence. All that Rome accomplished in Asia for good was the work of peace and intercourse and trade, and of facilitating travel in the interest of science or of commerce. War was an almost unmixed evil, except in so far as it was temporarily required to stem the progress of some Barbarian like Mithridates, and of later tribes pressing in from Central Asia. Augustus had this danger always in his mind, and Horace says that he was even watching the possible movements in China and their effect on the Empire.
B. VARIETIES OF ORTHOGRAPHY. — It is necessary to weigh against one another the style of speech that is characteristic of Anatolia and that of European Greece. Even the dialects of the Ionian and Aeolian and Dorian Greeks of Asia partake of certain characteristics that are Anatolian and non-European. The western Greeks were weak in pronouncing the spirants “w” and “y” (which are frequently used in Anatolia), and had no Greek symbols to indicate them. What was to be done? Greek had distinct nasal sounds and symbols, but no nasalised vowels; the Greeks did not pronounce sharply or clearly an initial aspiration, and they did not use a variety of sibilants.
Gradually or from the first those disabilities affected their alphabet (borrowed from Asia). Symbols that were unnecessary passed out of use or were used in new meanings. The spirant “F,” indicating a sound something like our “w” or “v,” was disused in most Greek dialects at an early date; it was the lost digamma. The spirant “y” seems never to have had any special symbol, but was sometimes represented by “i” or occasionally in late inscriptions 285 by doubling the symbol “ii,” as the sound only appeared between iota and a following vowel. The ghost of digamma remained in the rough breathing at the beginning of words, which is hard to distinguish from the smooth breathing and was little more than a mere graphic survival.6 Nasalised vowels were practically never represented graphically in Greek (except perhaps in some Asianic dialects); the symbols passed out of the Greek alphabet, and their meaning was forgotten. In European Greece generally, amid many varieties of dialect, the sibilants were simplified to sigma and double sigma. In Attic σσ often became ττ, and was so written: this remarkable change in graphic expression corresponds to some real fact of pronunciation. Yet an old symbol of various form Τ or φ or ψ was long used in remote half-Greek districts, and implied a sibilant strange to the most typical abodes of the Greek civilisation. We must represent it by “sh,” and I make no attempt to give a precise scientific definition.7
The spirant “w” or “v” is represented in late Anatolian inscriptions by ου or β indifferently, or it is dropped out entirely in some cases. In modern Greek it is represented by β, while there is no way of indicating the English “b” except by the cumbrous μπ.
What was the case in the Anatolian spoken language with all these difficulties, and many more? Yet all our surviving authorities wrote Greek. Educated Anatolians in the Hellenistic and Roman periods learned the Greek language, and had often to face and fail to overcome the difficulties in writing Anatolian personal 286 and place names; ου or β or υ or even nothing represent our “w” or “v” almost indiscriminately. The sound is omitted in some cases, as in Ἴσαρα for Ἴσαυρα (see Miss Ramsay in Studies in the Eastern Roman Provinces, p. 47).
The Latin alphabet is better suited to express Anatolian pronunciation than the Greek alphabet, and therefore Anatolian words are often presented in Latin lettering throughout the preceding pages. Especially the Greek upsilon is not a good representation of the Anatolian vowel “u,” and the Latin vowel should be preferred.
The Greek system of accentuation, a very late invention, intended to aid foreigners in learning Greek, must be abandoned in writing Anatolian words; and even when I have written these in Greek letters, by which they are expressed in our authorities, who are Greek, I have sometimes omitted the accents; although sometimes, whether for mere appearance or because the accent marks may give some indication, I retain the accentuation of the authorities.
The letter “r” appears and disappears in perplexing fashion in Anatolian words as written in Greek alphabet.8 Probably a soft “r” was used in Asia Minor, as in the English word pretty; but there were doubtless more sounds than one “rho” in Anatolian, although they cannot now be distinguished. In Greek the “rho” was rougher, and is written ῥ, except in Aeolic (which is more Anatolian in type). In Attic ρρ took the place of the old, ρσ, e.g. θάρρος, θαρσος; and initial ρ was in Greek doubled after a preposition ending in a short vowel, after α negative, and after the augment. Initial “rho” was so pronounced in metre as to lengthen a short vowel at the end of the preceding word. In Aeolic final sigma became “rho”; in Latin the same (or the contrary) was the case, e.g. honos honoris. In Latin 287 original “s” between vowels was changed to “r”; the famous Papisius Cursor became Papirius in the third century B.C.
C. THE CITY OF ATTOUDDA, as mentioned on p. 59, was situated amid an extraordinary district of hot springs, hot mud baths, places where the ground, when it is trodden on, throws up jets of boiling hot water, beautiful deep clear pools of hot water, etc. The district of Laodicea, Attoudda, Menokôme, etc., was a resort of many sick strangers and the seat of a school of doctors, who treated their patients with the various kinds of cure that the neighbourhood afforded; and it was also a place where treatment that was not curative could be procured. The curative powers of the various springs and waters have ceased to be much used in the recent centuries.
When we first explored the Lycus valley it was inhabited only by Turks, with one Greek village high above Colossai on the steep side of Chonas Dagh, planted there in safety from the Arab raids between A.D. 660 and 964. A few Greek traders were beginning to settle in the towns like Sarai-Keui and Denizli (“full of waters”), the latter the chief city of the region. At Sarai-Keui (“Mansion-village”) we were informed that the village was chiefly modern, and that there was formerly held a market near the site of Attoudda, which had lasted through the Middle Ages. This was evidently the survival of one of the very ancient international and intertribal markets, which were such an important influence in determining the growth of civilisation in the Aegean and Anatolian world. Such markets and exchanges were the resort of merchants from a wide range of country. Safety and fair dealing were the necessary conditions of the market, and these were guaranteed by the goddess. The congregated merchants met in her worship, and she, as Dika or Nemesis, made the laws of fair trade and punished all who broke her law. The markets were her festivals, and there was much enjoyment as well as trade and religious ritual at such meetings. There gathered a motley crowd (see Strabo, xii. 8. 17, p. 578: also Chapter V.).288
Already in the Homeric Hymn to the Delian Apollo the range of such a market and religious feast is described. The power of Apollo of Delos extended as far as Crete, Aegina, Athens, Thessaly, Samothrace and the Troad, Lemnos, Lesbo, Claros, and Samos: in other words, his worshippers came as traders to the central market of the Aegean world with all its coasts and islands. The festival of the Panagia, the Mother of God, at Tenos, has been the modern survival of the ancient Delian market.
D. CATALOGUES IN THE “ILIAD.” — I must confess that the difficulty stated in Chapter X., whether Homer composed the Catalogue as a real historical memory of 1200 B.C., must be answered as the negative. From a sound historical tradition, possibly expressed in lays by older bards, he knew that united Greece was determined and assembled to open the navigation of the salt river, flowing from the Black Sea to the Archipelago, for trade. The Greeks knew that their life depended on commerce with the Black Sea and freedom to share in its rich products. The Catalogue, however, expresses rather Homer’s knowledge of the Greece of his time than the facts of 1200 B.C. There are exceptions to this. The Achaeans and Achivi are truly preserved by historic memory. The “king of men, Agamemnon,” was their leader. What, however, has become of the Greeks of Asia, who were so keenly interested in the struggle? The war has been transformed from a struggle to open navigation to the Achaeans into a war of Europe against Asia, just as the great struggle between Greece and Persia appeared to Herodotus.
Mythology remembered always that Ion (i.e. Yavan) and Achaeus were brothers; there is no question in really old mythology of necessary war between Europe and Asia. Homer even ranges Milteus against Greece. Jealousy raged in his time between Aeolic Smyrna (his home near the gently flowing Meles) and Miletus, which had succeeded in almost monopolising the Black Sea trade; Miletus to him is classed with the Barbarian-speaking 289 Carians, and is hardly Greek, but marshalled against Greece as an Asian ally.
On the other hand, the Catalogue knows very little about the Black Sea and its harbours. Thracians are allies of Troy, breaking the ideal conception that the war was between Asia and Europe. Thracians had become close enough to Greece to be its enemies by Homer’s time, and therefore they are placed among the friends of Troy.
E. ACHILLES AND HELENA. — Achilles was not merely the real hero of the Iliad and of the Trojan War. He was one of the most widely known and worshipped gods or heroes of the Greek world, both east and west of the Dardanelles and Troy: it is needless to summarise the list of cult-places enumerated in Pauly-Wissowa, Real Encycl. s.v. From Kroton on the west to the remotest depths of the Black Sea he was reverenced. The coast of the Black sea was ringed round with places that bore his name, and he was worshipped as Achilles Pontarches, both on the south coast at Sinope and on the west coast (modern Roumania) in the Pentapolis (or Hexapolis). He was the Lord of the Black Sea, who had disclosed the wonders and the wealth of the Pontus to the early mariners. One of his temples was in the island Leuke, off the mouths of the Danube. Storm-tossed sailors found here a haven of rest, and strange tales were told about this uninhabited islet, where Achilles and Helena dwelt together; after a wandering, harassed life came the blissful rest for the heroes and the sailors alike.
The Anatolian conception was that the dead man becomes a god to his descendants, and his grave is the temple where they meet and celebrate his rites, chiefly the annual feast on the day of his death. Achilles the hero, therefore, becomes a god to all his worshippers. The only remarkable thing is the wide extent of his cult. A grave was frequently his temple, and the women mourned him in Elis with vehement mourning of the Oriental type. He is the god who dies young, the life of the year and of nature, withered 290 by the hot sun. The grave and the mourning are the two essential features of his worship.
Homer is in a certain sense what he has often been called, the Bible of Hellenism. He has advanced far beyond the stage when the Greeks of Asia were developing separately on their own lines, and he was felt to be the poet of the entire Greek world; yet his origin and surroundings are clearly Anatolian, and from him we may date the first beginnings of the spirit of Hellenism, though it took centuries to develop it, and then it faded quickly, like the hero-god Achilles.
It is a blissful ending to a long and memorable war. Helena is the prize of victory, and the hero-goddess dwells with the hero-god in the islet of the Black Sea. Sailors worshipped them together. In Christian times St. Phocas of Sinope was the object of the sailors’ vows in the Euxine, just as St. Nicholas, originally a bishop of Myra, played the same part in the eastern Mediterranean. In his great church at Bari Italian sailors going to the east made and paid their vows. The Adriatic Sea and the entrance between Albania and Italy is often dangerous. For the old small sailing ships there were many risks on the voyage round the south coast of Greece and Crete and Asia Minor. S. Nicholas was the saviour to whom sailors on that route prayed.
Between Troy and Homer many great changes had occurred in the Aegean world. The Achaeans are presented to us in the Hittite inscriptions as the great power on the west coast of Asia Minor. In the Trojan War the Achaeans, under their king Agamemnon, were the leaders of the traders from the Aegean who were bent on forcing their way into the Black Sea, and resisting the impositions placed upon their trade by the robber city of Troy. After the Trojan War there occurs apparently a reversal of the current of civilisation. The Ionians are represented as migrating from Greece into Asia Minor, but any such return movement must have been comparatively unimportant.291
The Old-Ionians, the Sons of Javan, are beyond all doubt a race which originally had its home and conducted its trade and its colonisation on the coasts of Asia Minor. They are presented to us in the tenth chapter of Genesis as the great power. By them were the lands of the west civilised and partly peopled. They represent all that the Semites knew about a Greek people. In Cilicia, in Tarsus, in Rhodes9 they have their settlements, and are brought in contact with the Semite. At the present day, or until the results of the Great War had caused such enormous changes, Cilicia was the meeting-place of East and West, of Greeks and Syrian Asiatics, and there was a mixture of Syriac-speaking peoples with Turkish- and Greek-speaking races. The traveller felt, as he passed down through the Cilician Gates from the central plateau to the low land of Cilicia, that he was passing from one world and one set of nationalities to another. So it was in the time when Genesis chapter x. was written.
In the Iliad, however, the Ionians play a very subordinate part. They are represented as somewhat effeminate, while the Achaeans have ousted them from the leadership of the eastward movement. The so-called Ionian migration from European Greece back to Asia Minor can hardly be considered such an important event as it is represented to be in modern presentation of history. It was due to the event called the Return of the Herakleidae, which was really an invasion of Greece from the Balkan Peninsula; but, as usual, mythology sought a moral justification for invasion, and presented it as a return of the descendants of ancient heroes. Mythology always tended to present the past as the reign of law and justice and ancient right. It is clear that certain Ionian chiefs were driven eastward to the Aegean Coast, and were received there with the respect due to their ancient lineage, and became leaders in the cities where they settled. The whole of Anatolian history, down to the centralisation 292 policy of Mahmud II. about 1830, shows itself as moved by great local families, who led, and were beloved by a sturdy peasantry.
F. ROMANCE AND CHIVALRY are ideas foreign to the Greeks. They involve an element of unselfishness and even self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice, to which the Hellenes never attained. There is abundant patriotism among them, though it is not patriotism to a common universal Greek nation, but patriotism to the confined narrow group of some glen or district, and is quite consistent with hatred and war against neighbours beyond the fixed limits. Boeotia hated Attica. Attica despised and loathed Boeotia, almost as much as it hated and ridiculed the Scythians, from whom it derived mainly its subsistence. The common man of Athens lived almost entirely on bread made of corn from the Black Sea (Roumanian) rich fields, and the tunny-fish, with a few vegetables grown at home.
Perhaps the only trace of chivalry in Greek history is in the conduct and character of Callicratidas, the Spartan general who stubbornly stood his ground at Arginussae. There is in him more than mere patriotism. He was esteemed a friend by both enemies and his own men; he refused always to take any advantage of his foes except in fair combat; he was a good and honourable fighter, and a brave man.
The romantic in scenery was never appreciated by the Greeks. They loved comfortable and restful landscape; the impressive was not to their taste, and was rather disliked. There are in Homer traces of appreciation of the romantic aspect of scenery, and even the storm was not an object of dread; but it was not appreciated by the Greeks of the true Hellenic period, 500-400.
Almost the only instance of appreciation by an individual of what we should call the romantic and impressive in scenery is recorded of a pure Asiatic, King Xerxes. When he reached Thermus-Thessalonica, he was struck by the wonderful view of Olympus and the mountains on both sides of the famous gorge of 293 Tempe, and, finding that his march would not bring him within a good near view, he embarked on board a special trireme in order to enjoy the spectacle. One cannot imagine a Helen of the great period doing or feeling anything like this.
The same circumstance suggests that, when Xerxes allowed the three Greek corn-ships to pass his bridge over the Hellespont, he may have been actuated by higher motives than the Greeks could appreciate. They thought he was merely a fool and a braggadocio; but probably there was a touch in his action of the unselfishness which desired a fair fight and a clean victory. To neglect any advantage was to the Greeks pure folly; and there are cases where patriotism in war must neglect no advantage that chance offers.
So much must be allowed, but we admire more the fair fighter than the man that looks for every advantage. Some of us would say of such a man and his leadership, “c’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre”; but the old Hellenes would have called it “stupide,” instead of “magnifique.”
In art and literature, chivalry or romance is singularly lacking. The combat between civilisation and barbarism was portrayed as a fight between men and women on both sides of the Aegean, in greatest perfection on the Asiatic side, but there largely by the artists scattered through the impoverishment of Athens by war.
In literature there are many pictures of delightful scenery; but love of home and country is stronger generally than love of the romantic in nature. In Sophocles’ Ajax the famous ode, with its appeal to Pan and Mt. Cyllene, is an exquisite example of poetry and of the human yet not unselfish element. In Homer many touches show pure delight in the beautiful side of scenery, but they come mainly from Asiatic Yavan, not from typical Hellenes of Greece. In Iliad xiii. 795-799 the picture of the tossing sea under a keen strong north wind is magnificent, and shows the hand of a poet that has seen the sight. I have seen it only in the winter, “when the wind blew snell an’ cauld.” In the Iliad it is the attack 303 of the Trojans that is pictured in the simile. Again in Iliad viii. 557-559 the comparison of the winkling lights of the Trojan camp in the plain to the stars on a moonlit night reveals pure unselfish delight in the beauty of sky ad earth; yet here there is at the end a touch of the Hellenic love of usefulness and making life easy, “the shepherd rejoices in his heart.” Pope puts in the right touch of the Greek spirit when he makes the shepherd “bless the useful light.”
Callinus, another Asian poet, has a pure love of romantic beauty in his scanty remains.
Yet, as a whole, the want of that element of unselfishness and love of nature for its own sake, apart from its effect on self, is characteristic of the Hellenic spirit; and the traces of its presence are found on the Asian side of the Aegean Sea, not in European Greece.
G. THE DATE OF HOMER. — The best of authorities are Herodotus (who gathered the floating tradition in the ports of Asia Minor and Attica) and the Parian Marble: these give (approximate) 820 and 900 B.C. as the date. A friend would prefer 1000 B.C.
When we take into consideration the introduction of Asian legend, as in Chapter VI., the interposing of the gods into the real events of the war, and the very free, frequently impious, handling of this divine interposition, we must, I think, admit the long interval which Greek tradition attests.
It was, of course, characteristic of the Asian Greek spirit to travesty the old mythology, and to exhibit the gods in ludicrous situations. Not merely do the gods take sides in the war, they fight with one another, wound one another, make peace and heal their mutual quarrels, and they are even attacked by mortal men.
The most sacred scene of the “Mysteries,” the “Holy Marriage” of the god and goddess, is caricatured both in the Iliad and 294 in the Odyssey. In the Iliad it becomes part of the action of the war of Troy, and is used as a device by the goddess to tempt the god from watching the conflict and thus give time to the Greeks to press their advantage. The flowers that spring on Ida and carpet the ground at the due season10 are transformed into an incident of the war, accompanying the seduction of the god of Heaven, the sender of rain, from his duty in holding the scales fair in the conflict of men.
In the Odyssey Ares and Aphrodite are trapped in the sacred marriage, and exposed to the derision of the gods. What was secret and sacred and not allowed to be seen when done on earth in the mystic ritual was made open and public in heaven by the god Hephaestus. Here heaven is on a lower order of morality than earth.
A transformation such as this was certainly gradual; but how long it took we cannot guess. We can only follow the tradition.
H. NATURE OF THE PHRYGIAN MYSTERIES. — At Konia in 1914 Lady Ramsay and I saw in the possession of a Greek an extremely rude relief which is of considerable hieratic interest; it is evidently common coarse village work. In the centre sits the goddess, wearing the veil in the usual fashion. She holds a large torch in both hands at her left side. The torch reaches from the ground nearly as high as the level of the shoulder. Beside her, to the spectator’s left, is a male figure, whose head reaches about half-way up her head. His smaller size doubtless indicates that he is a man, either priest or worshipper. On the other side of the goddess is a seated male figure, evidently the god, holding in his left hand a cup. In front of him is a table or altar, on which stand two cups. In the zone immediately under this relief, not divided from it by any special band of ornament, are a tree and a goat. The goat apparently is browsing on the foliage of the tree. The two zones are Heaven and Earth (Chapter XV.).295
Two features in this relief arrest attention. (1) The goddess holds a large torch in her hand. The importance of the torch in the worship of Cybele has been already indicated by various slight details. Near Pisidian Antioch we found an inscription belonging to the period about 300 after Christ, which describes the equipment of an artificial closed chamber called antron. Part of the equipment was a large torch (δάος). (2) The priest of a group of deities not far north of Antioch is called Lampadephoros. In this present relief we have the goddess herself represented as a torch-bearer, daophoros, or dadouchos, which must be taken as equivalent to lampadephoros. She does what her priest does, giving him the lesson of divine ritual (Chapter XV.).
We have now the names of at least three of the principal priests in the cult of Cybele in Eastern Phrygia, the torch-bearer, the archigallos, and the hierophantes, whose name may be inferred with confidence from the title sebastophantes, which appears more than once.
The inscription has almost wholly disappeared. There was one line above the relief and one or more lines underneath.
The god sits by the goddess, equal in a sense and yet secondary to the central figure. The cup, which indicates a rite of drinking, may be taken as symbolical of the Holy Marriage, in which the drinking of the common cup was a feature (see Chapter XVIII.). The Greek in whose possession the relief was said that it had been found near Yali-Baiyat, the site of Savatra. Then after a while he mentioned that he himself had brought it from Zebir, and that five11 years previously he had seen Professor Calder near Zebir, but had not allowed him to get a sight of the stone. Calder, however, while confirming the Greek’s statement that the owner had seen him in that neighbourhood, contradicted the other part of his 296 assertion by producing the copy of the stone which he had taken, with the owner’s consent, at the time.
A similar rude village inscription from Zebir was seen by Lady Ramsay and me at Konia in 1914.12 There can be little doubt about the reading of this inscription, though it is written in the most rude fashion. It is a dedication by a lady and her husband to the Mother who reigns at Andeira. Pliny speaks about Andeira as one of the ancient cities of Phrygia, and when we also compare with this the village Adeira, which occurs in inscriptions both at Sari-Kaya13 and at Laodiceia of Lycaonia, we can entertain no doubt that the usual name of the village is Andeira with the common nasalisation; and we must infer that this ancient town was one of the old seats of the worship of the goddess in the central part of the great plain west of Lake Tatta. This goddess was the protector of her people and teacher of the management of goats. She revealed to men the art of domesticating the goat, and the careful breeding by which some remarkable species of this animal were produced. In all probability the modern Angora goat is one form of the special breeds produced under the guidance of the divine teacher.
It is also an interesting point to notice that here, as in one or two other cases, the lady is mentioned first and her husband later, and apparently the husband Manes is mentioned as son of Nonna, his mother’s name being given and not his father’s name.14 We are in this way placed in a very primitive condition of Anatolian society, which might be expected to last longer amid the simple, pastoral people of the great plains than in any other part of the country. The figure of the goddess is rude in the very last degree, so much 297 so that it is difficult to have any certainty whether it is intended to represent a god or a goddess, unless the inscription were there to show what was the intention of the artist.
It is, I think, maintained in Ritter’s Kleinasien, a monumental work, and by other writers, that the introduction of the Angora goat, with its beautiful silky fleece, into the country is due to the nomads; and, indubitably, the breeding and keeping of these goats is to a considerable extent in their hands. But it would be as reasonable to maintain that the nomads brought the sheep into the land, on the ground that they now have in their hands most of the flocks. I should be disposed to demand some better evidence before accepting it as a fact that the Angora goat was unknown to the ancient inhabitants of the plateau. To take a parallel case, it is certain that the glossy black wool of the Laodicean sheep, and the violet-dark wool of the sheep of Colossae, which are celebrated under the Roman Empire and earlier, are no longer produced. Pococke in the first half of the eighteenth century saw a great many black sheep; Chandler saw only few black and glossy in the early part of the nineteenth century; my experience agrees with Chandler’s, except that I have not seen any glossy black fleeces. It is obvious that through carelessness the two breeds have been allowed to degenerate and disappear. The peculiar character of the fleeces was doubtless maintained by some kind of cross-breeding, and not, as some people have suggested, by any peculiar property of the water or the grass. Similarly, in the case of the Angora wool, a careful observer who had had long experience in the trade, an Englishman, whom I met at Angora in 1886, assured me that the true secret of the peculiar character of the fleece lay in the proper breeding. He declared as a fact known to him that the beautiful silky goats had to be crossed regularly both with the common black and the red goats (twice with the one kind, once with the other) in a certain number of generations: I cannot trust myself to give his exact statistics. He 298 asserted that the reason why the Angora goat tended to degenerate whenever the attempt was made to naturalise it elsewhere, was that the secret of breeding was unknown and the goats were kept studiously pure in breed, instead of being strengthened by regular recurrence of the fundamental stock.
It is safe to assert, therefore, that the breeding of the Angora goat, the Laodicean sheep, and the Colossian sheep are secrets inherited by the Turks from the old people of Asia Minor. I have found two inscriptions of Pessinus, mentioning gifts of tunics, socks, etc., sent to the Emperor Trajan by a Galatian lady:15 the socks which she thought worth sending to the Roman Emperor were probably similar to those glossy beautiful socks of Angora wool which are still sold at Sivri-Hussar,16 for she would not send such articles unless there were something remarkable and unique about them.
One curious illustration of the continuity of customs and ways from pre-Turkish time down to the present day is furnished by St. Jerome. He draws a contrast between the Arabs, who eat locusts, and the natives of Phrygia or Pontus, who would regard it as an unnatural thing if they were forced to eat a locust.17 The same contrast impresses the traveller at the present day: the people of Anatolia regard the locust, or the idea of eating it, with horror, but the Arabs feed with relish on locusts. Sir Charles Wilson pointed out this contrast to me many years ago. Now this aversion to a food which is declared to be perfectly wholesome is not likely to have been originally shared in by the Turks, a barbarous people coming from a country where food was scarce. This little trait is typical of many which force all the travellers known to me, who have been most familiar with Asia Minor, to the conclusion that the so-called 299 Turkish people of that country is fundamentally the ancient Anatolian population, into which the Turkish conquerors have melted, affecting it doubtless to some extent in the process, but disappearing in it, while they affected it.
In studying the inscriptions and monuments of Konia I have, in long residence, made it a special care to distinguish those which belong to the city from those which are mere village work. I have traced to their origin inscriptions found in very diverse regions, some from Adalia and Istanoz in the south-west, some from Savatra and Arissama on the east, some from Kybistra-Eregli and Tyana on the south-east, some from Isaura Nova on the south, some from Zebir and that district on the north. Monuments which I bought and deposited at the Konia Museum (and even in the Imperial Museum at Stamboul) are now being published, or have been published as unknown or belonging to Konia. This makes scientific study of history impossible.
I. THE LANGUAGE OF GODS AND OF MEN IN HOMER. — In the Odyssey Circe is able to speak with human voice. In the Iliad Xanthos, the horse of Achilles, speaks once with human voice, tells that a god caused Patroclus’ death at the hand of Hector, and prophesies the death of Achilles at the hand of a god and a man. Hera gifts the horse for a few minutes with power of speech; and forthwith the Erinyes stopped his voice (xix. 47). When Apollo encouraged Hector to resist the Greeks, Hector head the voice of the god (i.e. human speech, xv. 270).
Aude seems to be appropriate to a man, or to a god or an animal speaking with human voice. The law of nature, i.e. the Erinyes, assign to each kind its own method of expression.
The chief river of the Trojan plain was called by the gods Xanthos, and by men Scamander; a certain bird was called Chalkis by the gods, and Kumindis by men; a mound near the Trojan gate was called by the immortals the Sign (Sêma) of dancing Myrina, and Batieia by men. Two languages are implied, that used by the 300 gods, and that used by men. They cannot be understood to be Greek and an Anatolian or Trojan language. The Greeks would not have renamed the rivers and birds and localities of Troy in their ten years’ war.
There must have been some holy language about which Homer had some knowledge. There was such a language in the Hittite inscriptions of Anatolia, and in it are expressed prophecies. It has not yet been deciphered, and Forrer has given it the title Proto-Hittite, a mere description.
J. KILLING A DOMESTICATED ANIMAL. — As the goddess had taught the domestication of certain animals, the natural inference is that it was wrong to kill them. Definitive evidence cannot be cited in every case; but the existence of domesticated animals was so necessary to mankind that it must be protected by the strongest religious sanction. Among the Phrygians18 it was a capital crime to slay an ox used in ploughing.19 To kill a goat was an impiety, and had to be expiated and atoned for,20 even though it was killed as a sacrifice. Much of such meat offered to idols was sold to butchers, and then again sold in their shops. This caused much difficulty to casuists among the early Christians. Any meat in a feast was certain to have been sacrificed: were they to eat it or to refuse it and be discourteous to host and fellow-guest? St. Paul was consulted by the Corinthian and laid down the rule of politeness. They should eat, asking no questions for conscience’ sake: i.e. they should not obtrude their scruples on others. But, if any person openly challenged them, declaring 301 that the meat had been offered to an idol, then they should decline to eat it.
An archaic religious ceremony among the Athenians, a specially autochthonous and Pelasgian race, illustrates how the early prohibition of the sacrifice of an ox survived as a ritual ceremony. When domestication began, it was necessary to preserve the earliest domesticated animals, which could be done only by religious sanction as in Phrygia. Yet sacrifices were needed, and so was food. Hence arose the old Bouphonia, a much-misunderstood rite. A herd of oxen was driven past an altar on which corn was scattered. The first ox that came to eat the corn was slain and sacrificed by ministering priests. The guilty priests then threw down their weapons and fled. In their absence the weapons that had slain a sacred animal were tried for murder, condemned, and thrown into the sea. There is a certain similarity between this chance selection of the victim and the chance erection of altars by Epimenides (see Chapter III.). The flesh of the victim was eaten; its skin was stuffed with straw and harnessed to a plough.
The exact details of the Bouphonia are not certain; but the general character of the rite is clear and instructive. The name literally means “the ceremonies connected with the slaying of the ox.”21 The ox was tempted to commit an impious act at the altar; he was slain for impiety, but the slayer was himself a murderer; the guilt of the murderer was visited on the guilty weapon; finally the pretence was kept up that the ox was still fit for agriculture. All guilt was punished; pretence ruled supreme in this archaic ceremony; substitution preserved an old religious law, and yet avoided its sternness.22302
Purificatory sacrifices were burned whole, and were the property of the god that gave purification; but in general the idea was that a religious act was a bargain. The worshipper gave to the god, and received a return from the god. This was the religious covenant among the Greeks. Religion was a business transaction, as Plato says. According to Hesiod the first bargain was made in the ancient Sikyon (Mêkône), where in the ordinary sacrifice Zeus was cheated through his greed; the offal and the skin were laid on one side, the best part of the meat on the other, and Zeus chose as his share the apparently bigger mass. Such was the Greek idea of the covenant between God and man and of the Promise of God.
The Anatolian Plough of ancient fashon, from a monument of A.D.. 200 at Zemma; illustrating the Peasant God (Zeus Gedeôn), Chap. xxi.
[The End of the online text Asian Elements in Greek Civilisation by William Mitchell Ramsay]
1 See Histor. Geogr. of Asia Minor, pp. 24 f. Arcadia must be excepted.
2 The Etesian winds, which are often mentioned, and which Pliny and others try to restrict to a certain brief period of the year, are really winds that regularly blow during considerable part of the year, from about dawn mainly north, calm in the later day, dead calm at sunset, and south during the night.
3 There are strong corroborating circumstances in the constitution of several cities east of the Aegean.
4 A Gaulish god in Galatia of Roman time: Boussurigios, Anderson.
5 As Mitteis has shown.
6 There is no difference perceptible to my ear between the rough and the smooth breathing in modern popular pronunciation of Greek, though perhaps some purists and worshippers of antiquity try to express some difference; and a Greek teacher in 1879 instructed me to regard them as identical in sound.
7 In Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1880, vol. i. p. 242 f., I interpreted **ΑΝΑΨΑΣ ΠΡΕΠΑΣ on coins of Perga in Pamphylia as the Greek ϜΑνασσας Πρεγίας ; and this has been generally accepted: it means “(a coin) of the Queen of Perga, viz. Artemis.”
8 Examples: Κύβιστρα and Kubista, Μαμιστρα and Mamista, Σιντρίανδος and Σινήθανδος (itself changed from Σινθιανδος to be more like Greek), Σαμονια for Σαμορνα (name of Ephesus in Hesychius), identical in origin with Μύρινα and perhaps Μυῤῥα.
9 Following 1 Chronicles i. 7 (Rodanim), not Genesis x. 4 (Dodanim).
10 Well described by Dr. Walter Leaf, Troy, 10 f.
11 No importance attaches to the number; but it happens not to be far wrong, as Calder came to Asia Minor for the first time in 1908. The Greek was trying to exaggerate the value of a valuable stone.
12 The same Greek mentioned in Section H owned and showed it to us in 1924, and told its history. It is published from Calder’s copy, in J.H.S., 1924, p. 3 and Plate I. I cannot agree that it dates from the third or fourth century; it is simply rude village work, which cannot be dated.
13 I saw an inscription with this name at Sari-Kaya in 1905.
14 Reckoning of descent through the mother is mentioned by Herodotus as a Lycian custom.
15 Still unpublished.
16 See Impressions of Turkey during Twelve Years’ Wanderings, p. 201.
17 “Compelle Phrygem et Ponticum ut locustam comedat, nefas putabit,” Adv. Jovin. iii. 7.
18 Phrygian usually means Anatolian: the Phrygian conqueror melted into the Anatolian population, especially in religious mattes. Phrygian was almost equivalent to slave in classical times.
19 Nic. Damasc. in Dindorf, Histor. Graec. Min. i. p. 148.
20 Inscription quoted in Cit. and Bish. Of Phrygia, Pt. 1. pp. 138, 150, τὸ ἱερὸν ἄθυτον αἰγοτόμιον.
21 A usual sense of the plural: cp. Διὸς Γοναί, the ceremonies associated with the birth of Zeus, seen on coins of Tralles, not the birth, but the dancing Korobantes clashing their weapons to drown his cries.
22 See Frazer, Golden Bough, ed. 2, vol. ii. p. 294 f.: also Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, v. p. 117, art. “Religion of Greece and Asia Minor.”