The Ancient Library
 

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CHAPTER VII

DIVINATION AT SACRED SPRINGS

'A;roAA&>i'6 Sf TrcuSas ik MeAi'as ytvecr^ai Xeyovcri T!r)vepov ko.i '\<t/j.^viov Irjvepy jj.lv Se 'Icrfj.ijviov to ovofta. e(T\fv 6

" No objects of the natural world," says Dr. Farnell, "attracted the religious devotion of the primitive and later Greeks so much as rivers and springs, and no other obtained so general a recognition in the cults of the Greek states." 2 The examples of the water ordeal which have been examined testify to the reverence paid in early times to rivers, lakes, and wells. And in oaths rivers figure frequently in the company of Helios, Earth, and Olympian deities as divine witnesses and punishers of perjury.3

1 Pausanias ix. 10. 6.

2 Farnell, Cults, \. p. 420 ; cf. Karsten, Studies in Primitive Greek Religion, pp. 26-33. " Nullus enim fons non sacer," Servius, Aen. vii. 84.

8 E.g. Iliad iii. 276-280; Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, 83-86; Euripides, Phoinissai 613 ; Rhesos 827 ; Polybios vii. 9 ; C.I.G. 2558;

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