Wednesday, 4 July 2018
Continuities In Religious Observances
"Erissa knelt, said a prayer, divided a loaf of bread and laid a portion on the boulder for the nymph to give her birds. Rising, she said, 'We are welcome. Bring our food and wine from the wagon. And Peneleos, won't you remove that helmet and breastplate? We can see anybody coming miles away; and it's not meet to carry weapons before a female deity.'
"'I beg her forgiveness,' the guardsman said."
-Poul Anderson, The Dancer From Atlantis, CHAPTER TEN, p. 81.
Sounds familiar? (We can substitute the Mother of God or a female saint for the female deity.)
Theseus fears the All-Mother but also regards Her as "'...only the wife of Father Zeus...'" (CHAPTER NINE, p. 78) so the same kind of synthesis has occurred in the Mediterranean as in Scandinavia. See here.