The Ancient Library

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that of a god or a magical poison, depends on the power of the person approaching it, a power which in many cases necessitates the previous fulfilment of certain ritual conditions. It may be death for boys who have not passed through the ceremonies of initiation, which bestow the full powers of the initiate, to look on the magic paraphernalia of the men. Contact with great power is a test of quality or of certain conditions having been fulfilled ; mana finds out the weak spots in those who approach it. The tendency shown in developments of the ordeal for this weakness to be thought of as moral, and the development of a god who deals out punish­ment according to desert, are elements of real importance in the evolution of religion. Take, for example, the case of ritual purity, where the final development is surprisingly late. It is originally a rule of taboo for those who are brought into contact with power or divinity. When Daphnis breaks the taboo, which forbids intercourse with a mortal woman, his nymph lovers blind him.1 The priestess of Apollo Deiradiotes must be a virgin ; the bull's blood which made evdeos the priestess at Aigai shows us why. Union with the god was fatal to the unchaste. A further

1 Parthenios, Narr. Am. xxix. ; Servius, ec. v. 20.

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