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142 GREEK DIVINATION
at any rate, the Old Man of the Sea, jeptov 6\ocf>d>ia elScbs, whether he is called Nereus, Proteus, or Glaukos, has the knowledge, if he has the will, to reveal the future.1 Amphitrite, in a Lesbian version of 7~^ Dolphin Rider, is given the credit for oracular powers.2
Poseidon is a deity whose history is full of perplexities for the student. He is not only the sea-god ; his power seems originally to have extended over part at least of the domains assigned to his brothers. It can hardly be doubted that he was once the god of all water, perhaps even particularly of fresh water.3 He is the god of the earthquake, and has associations with the nether world, and at Tainaron, with which he was so closely connected,4 was a •tyvxoTrofjL-n-eiov, or oracle of the dead. In many of the Greek states his cult appears in conflict with that of other Olympians. In Athens,
1 Apollodoros ii. 5, n, 4; Schol. Ap. Rhod. iv. 1396; F.H.G. i. 78; Horace, Carm. i. 15; Odyssey iv. 410-460; Vergil, Georgic iv. 387; Ovid, fasti i. 367; Euripides, Helena 13, Orestes 362 ; Diodoros, iv. 48. 6 ; Athenaios, loc. cit. ; Schol. Lykophr. 754.
2 Plut. De soil. an. 36, 984 E.
3 Cornutus 4; Paus. ii. 2. 8, iii. 21. 5; Farnell, Cults, iv. pp. 5-6, and references. We hear of Poseidon Nu,u</>a7^T7js or K/njvoOxos, Cornutus 22; the harbour at the extremity of Malea was called Nymphaion, and contained a statue of Poseidon, Paus. iii. 23. 2.
4 Poseidon Tainarios of Sparta (Paus. iii. 12. 5 ; Hesychios, s.v. Taivapfos), and the Temple of Poseidon at Tainaron, with the hell-gate through which Herakles dragged Kerberos, Strabo viii. 5. I, 363 ; Paus. iii. 25. 4; Find. Pytk. iv. 45 ; Schol, Acharnians 509,