the beast. He fired again, and the elephant pursued him

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[66] Meyer, in Bunsen's Philosophy of Universal History, Vol. I. p. 151.

the beast. He fired again, and the elephant pursued him

[67] Aimoin, De Gestis Francorum, II. 5.

the beast. He fired again, and the elephant pursued him

[68] Taylor, Words and Places, p. 393.

the beast. He fired again, and the elephant pursued him

[69] Very similar to this is the etymological confusion upon which is based the myth of the "confusion of tongues" in the eleventh chapter of Genesis. The name "Babel" is really Bab-Il, or "the gate of God"; but the Hebrew writer erroneously derives the word from the root balal, "to confuse"; and hence arises the mythical explanation,--that Babel was a place where human speech became confused. See Rawlinson, in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I. p. 149; Renan, Histoire des Langues Semitiques, Vol. I. p. 32; Donaldson, New Cratylus, p. 74, note; Colenso on the Pentateuch, Vol. IV. p. 268.

[70] Vilg. AEn. VIII. 322. With Latium compare plat?s, Skr. prath (to spread out), Eng. flat. Ferrar, Comparative Grammar of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, Vol. I. p. 31.

It was in this way that the constellation of the Great Bear received its name. The Greek word arktos, answering to the Sanskrit riksha, meant originally any bright object, and was applied to the bear--for what reason it would not be easy to state--and to that constellation which was most conspicuous in the latitude of the early home of the Aryans. When the Greeks had long forgotten why these stars were called arktoi, they symbolized them as a Great Bear fixed in the sky. So that, as Max Muller observes, "the name of the Arctic regions rests on a misunderstanding of a name framed thousands of years ago in Central Asia, and the surprise with which many a thoughtful observer has looked at these seven bright stars, wondering why they were ever called the Bear, is removed by a reference to the early annals of human speech." Among the Algonquins the sun-god Michabo was represented as a hare, his name being compounded of michi, "great," and wabos, "a hare"; yet wabos also meant "white," so that the god was doubtless originally called simply "the Great White One." The same naive process has made bears of the Arkadians, whose name, like that of the Lykians, merely signified that they were "children of light"; and the metamorphosis of Kallisto, mother of Arkas, into a bear, and of Lykaon into a wolf, rests apparently upon no other foundation than an erroneous etymology. Originally Lykaon was neither man nor wolf; he was but another form of Phoibos Lykegenes, the light-born sun, and, as Mr. Cox has shown, his legend is but a variation of that of Tantalos, who in time of drought offers to Zeus the flesh of his own offspring, the withered fruits, and is punished for his impiety.

It seems to me, however, that this explanation, though valid as far as it goes, is inadequate to explain all the features of the werewolf superstition, or to account for its presence in all Aryan countries and among many peoples who are not of Aryan origin. There can be no doubt that the myth-makers transformed Lykaon into a wolf because of his unlucky name; because what really meant "bright man" seemed to them to mean "wolf-man"; but it has by no means been proved that a similar equivocation occurred in the case of all the primitive Aryan werewolves, nor has it been shown to be probable that among each people the being with the uncanny name got thus accidentally confounded with the particular beast most dreaded by that people. Etymology alone does not explain the fact that while Gaul has been the favourite haunt of the man-wolf, Scandinavia has been preferred by the man-bear, and Hindustan by the man-tiger. To account for such a widespread phenomenon we must seek a more general cause.

Nothing is more strikingly characteristic of primitive thinking than the close community of nature which it assumes between man and brute. The doctrine of metempsychosis, which is found in some shape or other all over the world, implies a fundamental identity between the two; the Hindu is taught to respect the flocks browsing in the meadow, and will on no account lift his hand against a cow, for who knows but it may he his own grandmother? The recent researches of Mr. M`Lennan and Mr. Herbert Spencer have served to connect this feeling with the primeval worship of ancestors and with the savage customs of totemism.[71]

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