A oneparent family

We have identified a father Heaven, a mother Earth, a daughter Dawn, and twin sons. A nice happy family, it might seem. But the sons and the daughter have nothing to do with Mother Earth. Their affinity is strictly with the sky. The union of Heaven and Earth, with his fertilization of her by means of his rain, is all to do with the production and sustenance of terrestrial plant and animal life. They may be celebrated in general terms as the parents of the gods as well as of mankind, but in the few cases where they are the parents of a

86 Güntert (1923), 272 f.; Ward (1968), 46 f.; Gelling-Davidson (1969), 126-8, 176-9.

87 See illustrations in R. Ghirshman, Artibus Asiae 21 (1958), 37-42. He interprets them in terms of the later-attested myth of the birth of Ohrmazd and Ahriman from Zurvan (Time).

88 E. Krüger, Trierer Zeitschrift 15 (1940), 8-27; 16/17 (1941/2), 1-66, esp. 44-7; de Vries (1956), ii. 248-50. Dokana: Plut. De fraterno amore 478a.

89 Varia (1992), 182 Abb. 26. The twin gods Lel and Lelpol (or Polel) reported from a sixteenth-century Polish chronicle seem to be spurious (Vara, 204).

specific god, it is one connected with earthly fertility, like Dionysus the son of Zeus and Semele, or Persephone the daugher of Zeus and Demeter.

If Earth is not the mother of Dawn and the Twins, who is? The answer is that there need not be one. This is mythology, not biology. In Hesiodic myth Chaos, Gaia, and Hera all achieve parthenogenesis, and Zeus fathers Athena by himself, out of his cranium. The birth of Dawn is a natural daily event: she appears in or out of the sky. It is impertinent even to ask how *Dyeus fathered the Twins. It is enough that they are his children. There need not have been any story about their births.

G. E. Dunkel, in an elegant but tenuous argument expounded in an inaugural lecture, has sought to identify the missing mother as *Diwona.90 This would be a spouse-goddess of a type discussed in the last chapter, with a name formed from her husband's by suffixation. Dunkel suggests that she survives in Dione, Zeus' consort at Dodona, and in myth the mother of an Aphrodite who might have usurped the place of the Dawn-goddess. In Vedic one might expect the remodelled form *Divani. It does not occur, but Dunkel thinks that, as Indra has become the chief god, *Divani's personality has been taken over by Indra's wife Indram. In RV 10. 86, a humorous dialogue poem, Indram displays (under provocation) something of a jealous and quarrelsome disposition, reminiscent of Hera's in Homer. Dunkel hypothesizes that this was a traditional feature of *Diwona, transferred from *Divani to Indram in India and from Dione to Hera in Greece.

Evidence for *Diwona does not extend further, for as Dunkel acknowledges, the Roman goddesses Iuno and Diana are not relevant. In Greek, however, besides Dione, there are traces of another consort of Zeus with a name formed from his, in the Mycenaean di-u-ja, di-wi-ja, Pamphylian AiFia. A goddess Dia (Afa < *Diw-ya), identified with Hebe, was worshipped in classical times in Phleious and Sicyon (Strabo 8. 6. 24). There was also a Dia, represented as a mortal, to whom Zeus made love in the form of a horse, resulting in the birth of Peirithoos.91 Dia then married Ixion, whom Zeus befriended and received in heaven. There Ixion was overcome with a desire for Hera. He was deluded with a phantom Hera made from cloud, and from their union the first Centaur was born, half horse, half man.

This strange story shows beguiling similarities with the Indian myth of Saranyu. Her father, the god Tvastr, offered her in marriage. She was given to the mortal Vivasvat, but after becoming pregnant with the Asvins she assumed the form of a mare and ran away, leaving Vivasvat with a facsimile of herself. Or according to a later version she was not yet pregnant, and Vivasvat

90 'Vater Himmels Gattin', Die Sprache 34 (1988-90), 1-26.

91 Sch. Oxy. 421 and D on Il. 1. 263; Nonn. Dion. 7. 125; Eust. in Hom. 101. 1.

(now interpreted as the sun) took the form of a horse and pursued her, and it was then that she conceived.92 Common to the Indian and the Greek myth are the union of immortal bride and mortal bridegroom, the substitution of a facsimile for the wife, the motif of horse-metamorphosis, and the birth of a son or sons with equine characteristics.

Finally, we should consider the Homeric epithet Sta, meaning originally 'belonging to Zeus'. We have noted that this is applied in epic formula to Eos, the Dawn, originally the daughter of *Dyeus. It is also applied to xO^v, the earth.93 It is possible to speculate that this goes back to a time when *Dhghom was still the consort of *Dyeus, and that from this collocation xO^v Sta the adjective came to seem appropriate to other major constituents of the cosmos, hence dAa Slav, alOepa Slav. It may also be suggested that the formulae Sta Oedwv and Sta ywaiKwv, in extant epic applied freely to any goddess, nymph, or respectable woman, originally designated consorts of Zeus.

92 RV 10. 17. 1 f.; AV 18. 2. 33; Yaska, Nirukta 12. 10; Brhaddevata 6. 162-7. 7; Wendy D. O'Flaherty, Hindu Myths (Harmondsworth 1975), 60 f., 69, 318.

93 Il. 14. 347 xO^v Sta, 24. 532 xO<iva Slav, etc.

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