The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

166 GREEK DIVINATION chap.

as the first sight of a white man, or it may be an event qualitatively abnormal. The sound of the dog howling,1 and that of the owl hooting,2 are of themselves uncanny enough to account for the universal fear which they have inspired. The birth of a calf with two heads or some

1 As a presage of death in Italy, Germany, and among Kamtschadals (Hopf, Thierorakel, pp. 22, 33, 58, 60); among Magyars (Jones, Magyar Folk-Tales, p. Ixii.); in Macedonia (Abbott, op. cit. p. 107); in Lower Bretagne (Grimm ap. Crofton Croker, iii. p. 152); in Cornwall, Yorkshire, and the Northern Counties (Hunt, op. cit., 2nd series, p. 106 ; Mrs. Gutch, County Folklore, ii. p. 70; Henderson, op. cit. p. 48); among Malays (Skeat, op. cit. p. 183), and the Koita of British New Guinea (Seligmann, The Melanesians of British New Guinea, p. 189). The Pygmies say that the dog's howl is oudah (Marett, The Threshold of Religion, p. 101); in sixteenth-century Germany it brought "Bose Zeitung " ("Der alien Weiber Philosophey," Zeitschrift f. d. Myth. u. Sittenkunde, iii. p. 313); cf. Pausanias iv. 13. I ; Plutarch, De superst. ii.

2 Anth. Pal. ii. 232, and the references in Thompson's Glossary of Greek Birds. For Italy, Germany, Albania, Macedonia, Magyars, Switzerland, Kalmucks, West Australia, New Guinea, Java, Borneo, Philippines, China, Siam, India, Dahomey, and West Africa, see Hopf, Thierorakel, pp. 22, 33, 39, 102, 106, no ; Swainson, Folklore of British Birds, pp. 126, 128 ; Jones, Magyar Folk- Tales, p. Ix. ; Rose, " Punjab Folklore Notes," Folklore, xxi. p. 216 ; Seligmann, loc. cit. ; Abbott, loc. cit. Maories and Tatars, Tylor, Prim. Cult.z i. p. 119 ; Takelma, Sapir, Journal American Folklore, xx. pp. 35-36. Owls tend to be the form adopted by ghosts. Ancient Arabs, Doutt£, op. cit. p. 361 ; Pima, Russell, A.R.A.B.E. xxvi. p. 252. In Madagascar it is called the " Ghost Bird" or " Spirit Bird," Sibree, Folklore, ii. p. 341. Similarly wizards, vampires, and evil spirits appear as owls. Cherokees (Mooney, Myths, etc., p. 284); Haida (Swanton, op. cit. p. 27) ; Tlingit (Swanton, A.R.A.B.E. xxvi. p. 471) ; cf. charm to scare the strix, Bergk, Anth. Lyr. (Teubner, 1907), Carm. Pop. 29—

ffrplyy' airoiro/j.ire'iv WKnfltiav, ffrptyy diro XetoO

ftpviv &vwvvfj.lav (btcvirbpovs ^Tri vrjas.

Cf. the Latin striges, Ovid, Fasti vi. 132 foil., and the modern Greek o~Tply\a, the Albanian strigha, Italian strega.

Pages
About | Preface | Contents | Index

165

166

167
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW