The Glory That Was Greece

even the stately Hera herself alternates between the crafty courtesan and the scolding fish-wife. And yet Homer is the “Bible of the Greeks”! Herodotus said, and said truly, that it was Hesiod and Homer who assigned to the gods their names, distributed their honours and functions, and settled their appearance and characteristics. In after-times Homer was the universal primer of education. It is extremely probable that Homer and Hesiod selected certain deities out of a vast number for special honour as members of the Olympian family. Why in the world, then, did not Homer honour them? Various explanations have been given. The old explanation was that this is the naive expression of primitive anthropomorphism, which makes gods in the likeness of men, enlarging the human vices as well as the virtues. But no one who really studies Homer can believe in a theory which makes him simple and childlike. Homer’s ridicule of the gods is not the

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