Plate Iv

God with the Wheel

This deity, who carries S-symbo!s as well as the wheel, was probably a solar divinity (see p. 8; for the wheel as a symbol cf. Plate II, i, 3, and for the S-symbol Plates II, 2, 4, 7-9, 11, III, 3, XIX, 2-5). The statue was found at Chatelet, Haute-Marne, France.

Digitized by Microsoft ®

also of the modern "mythological" school. Not satisfied with the beautiful or wild stories as they stand, they must mytholo-gize them still further. Hence they have invented a pretty but ineffectual mythology of their own, which they foist upon our Celtic forefathers, who would have been mightily surprised to hear of it. The Celts had clearly defined divinities of war, of agriculture, of the chase, of poetry, of the other-world, and they told romantic myths about them. But they did not make all their goddesses dawn-maidens, or transform every hero into a sun-god, or his twelve battles into the months of the solar year. Nor is it likely that they had mystic theories of rebirth, if that was a wide-spread Celtic belief; and existing examples of it always concern gods and heroes, not mere mortals. They are straightforward enough and show no esoteric mystic origin or tendency, any more than do similar myths among savages, nor do they set forth philosophic theories of retribution, such as were evolved by Pythagorean and Indian philosophy. Modern investigators, themselves in the mythopoeic stage, easily reflect back their ideas upon old Celtic tales. Just as little had the Celts an esoteric monotheism or a secret mystery-cult; and such genuine notices of their ancient religion or its priests as have reached us know nothing of these things, which have been assumed to exist by enthusiasts during the last two centuries.

0 0

Post a comment