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The gods' accoutrements, and even aspects of their persons, are often described as being of gold.115 Indra and the Maruts are 'golden' (hiranyaya-, hirimat-) or 'gold-coloured' (hiranyavama-) (RV 1. 7. 2; 2. 34. 11; 5. 38. 1, 87. 5; 10. 105. 7). Indra is also hiranyabahu- 'gold-armed' (7. 34. 4) and harismasarur harikesah '(gold-)yellow-bearded and -haired' (10. 96. 8). Varuna's messenger "Vena is hiranyapaksa- 'gold-winged', just as Zeus' messenger Iris is xpvaonrepos. Aphrodite has xPvaV 'golden' as a formulaic epithet, while Apollo, Dionysus, and Demeter are xPvaoK°Ms or xpvaoedeip, 'gold-haired'. These adjectives are not applied to mortals, and surely mean more than the 'golden-haired' which we can apply in English to children or glamorous young adults. Thor's wife Sif had hair that was made out of gold by elves (Skaldsk. 35).

Indra's horses have gold manes (RV 8. 32. 29, 93. 24), as do those of Zeus (Il. 8. 42) and Poseidon (13. 24); the Norse gods have a horse called Gullfaxi, 'Goldmane' (Skaldsk. 17). The chariots that the gods ride in are of gold (RV 1. 35. 2, 56. 1, 139. 3, etc.; Yt. 10. 124; Hymn. Dem. 19, 431, Hymn. Hom.

113 RV 1. 118. 11; 2. 34. 5; 5. 59. 7, 74. 9, 78. 4; 7. 59. 7; 8. 35. 7, 73. 4; 9. 38. 4; Durante (1976), 120 f.

114 Il. 13. 62, 15. 237 f., 19. 350 f.; Od. 1. 320, 3. 372, 22. 240. For Semitic parallels see West (1997), 185.

115 Cf. Campanile (1977), 125 f.; G. Costa, Archivio Glottologico Italiano 69 (1984), 26-52; West (1997), 112 (sparse Babylonian and Ugaritic parallels).

9. 4, Pind. Ol. 1. 41); the compound hiranyaratha 'gold-charioted' (of Agni, RV 4. 1. 8) has equivalents in Avestan zaranyo.vasa (of Vayu, Yt. 15. 57) and Greek xpvodp^aros (of Athena, Bacchyl. 12. 194). Gold too are the vehicle's parts:

Mount your car with the golden seat and the golden reins, O Asvins .. . Golden are your handgrips(?), the shaft, the axle is golden, both the wheels are golden. (RV 8. 5. 28 f.)

The Iranian Vayu too has golden wheels (Yt. 15. 57). The axle of Hera's chariot is of iron, and the wheels of bronze, but they have a rim of gold ...

The car is strapped fast with gold and silver thongs, and there are two rails running round it. From it extended a silver shaft; on its end she fastened the fair golden yoke, and put in the fair golden yoke-straps. (Il. 5. 724-31)

Artemis and other deities are xpvorfvios, 'of the golden reins'. Both Indra and Zeus wield a golden goad (RV 8. 33. 11; Il. 8. 44 = 13. 26).

Of gold too are the gods' armour and weapons. Pusan wields a golden axe (RV 1. 42. 6), as do Brhaspati (7. 97. 7) and the Maruts (8. 7. 32). Mithra is zaranyo.vaa6man-, 'gold-armoured' (Yt. 10. 112). Vayu is celebrated in Yt. 15. 57 with a long series of compounds in zaranyS-: he has a gold helmet, diadem, collar, chariot, wheels, weapons, garment, footwear, girdle. Athena too has a golden helmet (Il. 5. 743 f.). Indeed she was born in armour of shining gold (Hymn. Hom. 28. 5 f.). Apollo has a golden sword (Il. 5. 509, etc.), a golden bow (Pind. Ol. 14. 10), and a golden lyre (Pyth. 1. 1).

The gods' houses are of gold (Il. 13. 21 f.; Hes. Th. 933; Pind. Nem. 10. 88, Isth. 3/4. 78; cf. Od. 4. 74), as are their thrones (Il. 1. 611, etc.; Pind. Pyth. 3. 94). The hall in AsgarS where the Nordic gods have their thrones 'is the best built on earth and the biggest. Outside and inside it is all like gold and nothing else . . . they had all their household effects and all their utensils of gold' (Gylf. 14).

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