By Martin Persson Nilsson
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Extra resources for A History of Greek Religion
They were not, like the latter, rationalized and refined in courtly circles, but were first related by the meditative peasant~ GREEK RELIGION poet, Hesiod. From the drops of blood of the mutilated Uumos the earth gIVes bIrth to the creatures for which mythology had no father ready to hand-furies, giants, the nymphs, and the wood-nymphs, the :Meliae. From the foam which formed when his genitalia were cast into the sea, Aphrodite' arises. The myth is here associated with an etymology (cl4p6~, ' foam ').
This hypothesis has quite recently received valuable confirmation from the discovery of what appears to be a second Mycenaean grave close to the temple of Artemis; it is presumably the grave of the two other Hyperborean Virgins, Opis and Arge, which is also mentioned by Herodotus. 2 The Hyperborean Virgins are closely connected with the tree-cult, with Artemis and Apollo. Thus the cult at the old Mycenaean grave lived on for more than a thousand years, but acquired a new significance. For the Hyperborean Virgins do not belong to the circle of the heroes.
But when he utters the forbidden word or does the forbidden thing, she departs once again to her element and returns at most once or twice to see her children. Greek mythology furnishes a typical example in the Thetis story. Thetis was. a sea-nymph whom Peleus won in battle. He kept hold of her although she changed herself into different forms, and compelled her to accompany him to his house. This power 01 transformation, which is also familiar from the folk-tale, was in Greece the special attribute of the creatures of the sea.