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KRONOS Vol VII, No. 1
CHILD OF SATURN (PART I)
Copyright (C) 1981 by Dwardu Cardona
At the recent San Jose seminar – "Velikovsky and Secular Catastrophism" – I read a paper(1) that, among other matters, treated of various inconsistencies to be found in Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision and questioned his belief that the proto-planet Venus was ejected as a cometary body by the planet Jupiter.
Despite the fact that able scholars, among them Eric Crew(2) and Peter Warlow,(3) have accomplished much toward the acceptance of this theory, what is at issue here is not whether such an event could have taken place but whether it ever did.
It should, at the outset, be remembered that Velikovsky based his theory of Venus' ejection from Jupiter on the mythological record, and the mythological record alone. In fact, his only foundation for the event is Hesiod's tale of Athene's birth from the head of Zeus,(1) a tale that was very popular among the ancient Greeks. Athene's identification as the planet Venus was ably shown by Velikovsky;(2) and more recently, Peter James has added valuable information which further cements this identification.(3) As for Zeus, the Greeks themselves admitted that he personified the planet Jupiter. Even so, how solid a basis is Hesiod's tale for the event in question?
Despite the popularity of Hesiod's tale, Athene's parentage, as also the nature of her birth, was not unanimously agreed upon among the Hellenes. To some it was Poseidon who fathered Athene, Zeus becoming her adopted father only because the goddess disowned the god of the sea.(4) To others, Athene's father was Itonus, king of Iton in Phithiotis.(5) Next in popularity to Hesiod's tale was that which claimed that Athene was fathered by the giant Pallas whom she later slew and flayed.(6) According to Apollodorus, on the other hand, Pallas was the name of Athene's playmate whom she also slew, but accidentally, while engaged in friendly combat.(7) Apollonius Rhodius tells us that, according to the Pelasgians, Athene was born on the shores of Lake Tritonis in North Africa,(8) having been fostered by Triton (or Tritos), the deity of the lake.(9) Velikovsky himself stated that "One or two authors thought that Athene was born of Cronus".(10) Philo Byblius, basing his report on that of Sanchoniathon and quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea, was definitely one of those who stated that Athene was the daughter of Kronos.(11) As far as the Greeks were concerned, Kronos (or Cronus) was the god of the planet Saturn.
[*!* Image] Aphrodite of Melos – popularly known as Venus de Milo. Photograph by Ken Moss – Courtesy of the Louvre, Paris.
[*!* Image] Athene - Roman sculpture. Photo by Dwardu Cardona. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
While, other than the Pelasgian myth, these sources may be said to be later than Hesiod, it must also be borne in mind that, from a Velikovskian point of view, the Greeks themselves were a very late people. By this is meant that the Greeks settled the land that was to become Hellas (Greece) well after the alleged ejection of Venus from Jupiter which supposedly took place prior to 1500 B.C. Their earliest extant works, those of Hesiod and Homer, appeared even later. If mythological themes are truly a documentation of cosmic catastrophes, it would be logical to assume that those documented closest to the event would contain the most correct record. Concerning the event in question, Greek sources cannot vie for this distinction. In this instance, Greek sources can only be upheld if, and only if, their content does not contradict that of earlier records.
Velikovsky stated that "the consensus of ancient authors makes Athene-Venus the offspring of Jupiter".(12) By this is meant that Hesiod's tale seems to have been the most popular. This does not, however, necessarily make it the most correct. After all, according to Velikovsky himself, the most popular "tale" concerning the Queen of Sheba, which made her a queen of Saba in Arabia, did not turn out to be correct at all.(13)
In view of the multiple answers to the question concerning Athene's real parentage, we are left with no choice but to apply the tested equations imposed by comparative mythology. As all students of Worlds in Collision and comparative mythology should know, the Venerian goddess had her counterparts in the mythology of almost every other race and people on Earth. It behooves us, therefore, to look into these Venerian deities in an endeavor to unmask the goddess' real father.
Even among the Greeks, Athene was not the only Venerian deity. In fact, the Hellenes themselves never identified Athene as the planet Venus; Velikovsky's identification was based on comparative mythology. To the Greeks, the goddess of that planet was Aphrodite whom Velikovsky misidentified as the Moon.(1) Peter James has meanwhile replaced this goddess in the planetary niche where the sources demand she rightly belongs.(2)
Aphrodite's Roman counterpart was Venus whom Velikovsky also identified as the Moon(3) – which made for a somewhat confusing situation. As James pointed out, "One cannot argue with the obvious fact that Venus was Venus, in Greek Aphrodite".(4)
Who was Aphrodite's father?
The tale of Aphrodite's birth is well-known. Hesiod told how the goddess was born of the foam – from which her name is derived that was generated in the sea by the severed genitals of Uranus when Kronos, his son, castrated him.(5) If Aphrodite truly had a father, according to this tale it would have to have been Uranus and, in fact, one of Aphrodite's titles is Urania. Robert Graves gave the meaning of Urania as "queen of the mountains,"(6) although elsewhere he also translated the name as meaning "heavenly".(7) I argue with neither translation but could it not be that these meanings originally applied to Uranus himself and that Aphrodite merely inherited them as his daughter? In other words, could not Urania simply have stood for "daughter of Uranus"?
In any case, we agree with James when he states that:
How the Greeks ended up with two distinct goddesses for the two facets of the same planet, where other nations seem to have been satisfied in combining the dual characteristic of the luminary in one and the same deity, is also ably explained by James.(9) According to him it seems that, whereas the astronomers of other, and more ancient, nations were aware that the evening and morning stars were one and the same planet, the Greeks did not make the discovery until late in the seventh or sixth century B.C. In the process, still according to James, Athene's role as Venus the Morning Star seems to have been suppressed and eventually forgotten while Aphrodite came to the forefront as the sole deity of that planet.
What remains to be explained is the reason why Hesiod made Uranus the father of Aphrodite/Venus. James does not seem to have given this point much thought, perhaps because mythologists, both ancient and modern, have almost been unanimous in identifying Uranus as the personification of the sky. Obviously, regardless of which planet might or might not have given birth to the one we call Venus, it could safely be stated that the sky was its logical birthplace if not its actual parent. Research, however, indicates that Uranus was only an alias, or alter-ego, of Kronos.
Granted, not all of the truth has yet been told. There will be those who will already know that Aphrodite, like Athene, was allotted different fathers by the Greeks. I will return to that anon. In the meantime it rests upon me to demonstrate that Uranus and Kronos were one and the same, a realization that first came my way through Lewis M. Greenberg.(10)
4. Janus and Uranus
Despite the fact that Graves identified the Greek Uranus as "king of the mountains,"(1) it is well known that Uranus, perhaps more properly transcribed Ouranos, is Greek for "heaven" and/or "sky". As such did Hesiod describe this deity, often alluding to him as "starry heaven".(2)
The Roman counterpart of Uranus seems to have been Janus, even though this deity is not usually identified by modern mythologists as such. It has always escaped me why.
F. Guirand, for instance, has stated that:
I disagree. The deeds attributed to Janus differ widely from those attributed to Uranus but similarity of deeds is not the only equation at the disposal of comparative mythology.
Guirand was also guilty of an overstatement when he wrote that "Janus was first the god of all doorways".(4) To be sure, Janus has always been associated with jani (singular janus), meaning "gates" and/or "doorways". Originally, however, Janus seems to have been much more than this. The mistake should not, for instance, be made that his name derived from jani. Guirand himself informed us that:
A. B. Cook put it simply when he stated that "the most probable etymology of [Janus'] name," corresponding with the series Diviana, Diana, Iana, can be traced through Divianus, Dianus, Janus.(6) He concluded that:
Again I disagree – with Cicero, Guirand, and Cook. According to Varro, the Romans did identify Janus as the sky/or the universe.(8) So did the Etruscans.(9) They did so, however, without recourse to etymology. Cicero's attempt, as well as that of modern mythologists, to find some connection between the god's name and the Latin word for "sky" is a futile and unnecessary exercise.
I bring to the attention of the reader a series of deities who have a common root forming part of their various names. That root is AN and the deities, from different nationalities, are these: The Indic Varuna, the Hittite Anus, the Phoenician or Canaanite as well as Assyro-Babylonian Anu, and the Sumerian Anu or An. Like Janus and Uranus, whose names contain the same root, these deities have all been identified, often by the ancients themselves, as personifications of the sky or heaven. This association with the sky was not etymological. As David Talbott has shown, it was a visual one.(10) Moreover, although this slight diversion is not exactly germane to the argument at hand, this association arose in later times when descriptions of the phenomenon for which these deities had once stood were misunderstood as pertaining to the canopy of heaven stretching above the Earth.(11)
Janus and Uranus, like Varuna, are only variations of Anus, Anu, or An. This impels one to conclude that ouranos, Greek for "sky," derived from the name of the god and not vice versa. It was certainly Sanchoniathon's opinion:
This process would be akin to the derivation of janus, Latin for "doorway," from Janus the god. This makes it obvious that Janus' role as the god of doorways was nothing more than a degeneration in stature. To be sure the deity was, originally, the god of beginnings,(13) the god of eternity.(14) He was, in the words of Herodian, Juvenal, and Prokopios, the first and most ancient of the gods.(15) In other words, Janus was Saturn, the original god of mankind – and this is attested to by Joannes the Lydian who, in describing the New Year festival, had this to say:
W. A. Heidel also stated:
Cook, because he too had a theory to boost, objected to the equation "Janus equals Kronos," calling it a confusion due to the "usual blunder" of "Kronos equals Chronos".(18) This was an echo of Farnell's earlier belief.(19) Heidel, however, had already taken Farnell to task;(20) and while Cook seems to have ignored Heidel's argument, de Santillana and von Dechend have now settled the issue by showing that the equation "Kronos equals Chronos" was not based on a pun derived from the similarity or sound of the two names but on a much older association of the Saturnian deity with Time.(21) More recently. Talbott has also added further evidence in favor of the equation.(22)
If, therefore, as I have attempted to show, Janus was merely the Roman variation of the Greek Uranus, and/or both of them mere variations of the more ancient Anu or An, and if Janus was merely the alter-ego or alias of Saturn/Kronos, it follows that the Greek Uranus was also merely another name for Kronos/Saturn. If not etymology, comparative mythology demands this – especially since Varuna, Anus, Anu, and An are also all identifiable as Saturn (see Appendix 1). From a Velikovskian point of view, the above is given additional substance by the fact that Osiris, the Egyptian Saturn,(23) was also known as An.(24)
Actually, I need not have taken such a circuitous route. I did so only to stem possible future squabbles. I could easily have guided the reader to the same conclusion merely by citing Sanchoniathon. He who called Athene the daughter of Kronos also made Kronos equivalent to Uranus.(25) This requires that Venus, both as Athene and Aphrodite, should be the offspring, not of the Jovian god-head, but of the Saturnian one. "Consensus of opinion" notwithstanding, I shall soon demonstrate that Sanchoniathon was correct.
5. Zeus and Dione
If Athene and Aphrodite were both goddesses of the planet Venus – one as the Morning, the other as the Evening Star – why did Hesiod describe Zeus/Jupiter as the begetter of one and Uranus/Saturn as that of the other? Or if, according to the case being presented here, Hesiod cannot be relied upon concerning the details of Athene's birth, how can we be sure he can be relied upon re the birth of Aphrodite? Besides, have we not already intimated that Aphrodite, like Athene, was allotted different fathers by the Greeks?
Here James has argued contrary to our belief. According to him, it is in the case of Aphrodite's birth that Hesiod cannot be relied upon. As he has already pointed out, Homer, Apollodorus, Euripides, and Cicero called Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus.(1) James cautioned:
Thus James concluded:
Without wishing to minimize James' work on Aphrodite, allow me to tackle some of the points he raised concerning her parentage. The fact that the myth of Aphrodite's birth from the genitals of Uranus "is a version peculiar to Hesiod" does not, of itself, make the myth any less reliable. That those authors who held to the same belief followed Hesiod also means nothing. Since Hesiod and Homer, to our knowledge, were the earliest Greek authors whose works remain extant it could not have been otherwise. By the same token it can be said that the myth which describes Aphrodite's parents as Zeus and Dione is peculiar to Homer and to the authors that followed him. And although Homer's version was more widely accepted, it does not make that particular myth any more correct. As indicated on an earlier page, popularity is not equivalent to truth. What this particular argument boils down to is that the preference of one myth over the other becomes a choice between Hesiod and Homer. But that Homer's version "is quite consistent with Velikovsky's claim that Venus was born from Jupiter" I cannot allow.
Velikovsky's thesis rests its case on Hesiod's claim that Athene/ Venus was born from Zeus/Jupiter. The Homeric version of Aphrodite's parents does not make a similar claim for the goddess' birth. Zeus was merely described as her father. He did not, as in the case of Athene, physically give her birth. That role was reserved, most appropriately, for Dione. According to the Pelasgians, Dione was the Titaness of the planet Mars.(s) If anything, this would imply that Venus was expelled from Mars due to a near-collision (or seduction) by Jupiter.
Let me again return to Sanchoniathon who had this to say concerning Greek mythology:
Through this, in a somewhat longer passage, Sanchoniathon accused the Greeks of "wilfully" tampering with the myths they received from other nations, changing the tales to suit the temperament of their own countrymen. It is, perhaps, an unfair accusation but there is no doubt that the Greeks did borrow the myths of other races. Sanchoniathon seems to have believed in a borrowing from his own Phoenicians. Robert Graves opted for importations from Crete, Egypt, Palestine, Phrygia, Babylonia, and even the Galla warriors of East Africa.(7) James, following Walcot, Meltzner, Güterbock, and others, adds Hurrian and Hittite origins to the list.(8) None of this is new and although, personally, I cannot see a borrowing from East African Galla warriors, research by others has indicated that all of the nations mentioned above, as also India, can lay claim to having had their myths borrowed and tampered with by the Greeks.
I, for one, do not wish to accuse either Hesiod or Homer of having tampered with the myths wilfully. In the Appendices (2 and 3) that follow this article, I supply tentative reasons why and/or how both Hesiod and Homer could have been honestly misled by the complexity of ancient belief itself. Be that as it may, it would be wise to heed James' own admonition when he argued against the use of Greek mythology as a yardstick.(9) Greek mythology, it is true, is not the only one that incorporates motifs and wholesale tales borrowed from other nations; but since the Greeks, as a people, arrived relatively late on the scene of ancient history, their mythology necessarily forms a very recent link in a long chain that stretches back into hoary antiquity. As James has stated:
It is, therefore, not a question of whether Hesiod should be relied upon concerning one myth and not the other. Reliance should rest upon the correctness of the incident reported. Hesiod, like anybody else, could have been correct in one instance and wrong in the other. In direct opposition to James, and taking my cue from Sanchoniathon, I believe that the Hesiodic myth concerning Aphrodite's birth to be correct but that which describes Athene's to be wrong. Having already decided that comparative mythology is the only true guide and that the more ancient myths should logically prove closer to the truth, I shall attempt to prove my case by reviewing and comparing the so called Venerian myths of other nations as we move further back into antiquity.
We begin in India.
. . . to be continued.
Section 1: Introduction1. D. Cardona, "Other Worlds, Other Collisions," read at the seminar "Velikovsky and Secular Catastrophism," held at San Jose, California, Aug. 30, 1980.
2. E. W. Crew, "Stability of Solid Cores in Gaseous Planets," KRONOS III:1 (Fall 1977), pp. 18-26.
3. P. Warlow, "The Birth of Planets," Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Review (henceforth SISR) IV:1 (Autumn 1979), pp. 8-11.
Section 2: Athene1. Hesiod, Theogony, 912-936.
2. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (N.Y., 1950), pp. 168-175.
3. P J. James, "Aphrodite – the Moon or Venus?", SISR I:1 (Jan. 1976), pp. 2, 5.
4. Herodotus, Historiae, iv, 180.
5. Pausanias, Descriptions of Greece, ix, 34, 1.
6. Tzetzes, On Lycophron, 355.
7. Apollodorus, Bibliotheka, III, 12, 3; See also Pausanias, op. cit., ix, 33, 5.
8. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, iv, 1310.
9. G. W. Cox, Mythology of the Aryan Nations (N.Y., 1870), p. 249. 10. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 173.
11. Eusebius Pamphili, Praeparatio Evangelica, I, x, 36, 38.
12. I. Velikovsky, loc. cit.
13. Idem, Ages in Chaos (N.Y., 1952), pp. 103-141; E. Danelius, "The Identification of the Biblical 'Queen of Sheba' with Hatshepsut 'Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia'," KRONOS I:3 (Fall 1975), pp. 3-19 and KRONOS I:4 (Winter 1976), pp. 8-24.
Section 3: Aphrodite1. I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, pp. 247, 170, 361.
2. P. J. James, op. cit., pp. 2-7; see also ensuing debate between James and A. de Grazia in SISR I:3 (Summer 1976), pp. 8-14, 19, 33; also M. Mandelkehr, "Venus: Whose Baby?" and James' reply to same in SISR I:5 (Summer 1977), pp. 23-24.
3. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., pp. 170, 361.
4. P. J. James, "Aphrodite – the Moon or Venus?" (see above), p. 3.
5. Hesiod, op. cit., 133-187.
6. R. Graves, The Greek Myths (Harmondsworth, 1964 reprinted edition), Vol. I, p. 49.
7. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 412.
8. P. J. James, "Aphrodite – the Moon or Venus?" Part 2, SISR I: 3 (Fall 1975), p. 13.
9. Idem, "Aphrodite – the Moon or Venus?" Part 1 (see above), pp. 4-6.
10. This was the result of discussions on the subject through the years. Additional supportive material is contained in an unpublished manuscript by Prof. Greenberg titled "Astral Kingship".
Section 4: Janus and Uranus1. R. Graves, loc. cit.
2. Hesiod, op. cit., 116-146, 147-177, and elsewhere in same work.
3. F. Guirand, "Roman Mythology," New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (London, 1972), p. 200.
4. Ibid., (emphasis added).
6. A. B. Cook, Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion (N.Y., 1965), Vol. II, Part 1, pp. 338-340.
8. Ibid., p. 335.
9. Ibid., p. 338.
10. D. N. Talbott, The Saturn Myth (N.Y., 1980), pp. 247-249.
11. Ibid.; more will be said on this subject in the present writer's forthcoming article "The Rings of Saturn".
12. Eusebius Pamphili, op. cit., 36b (emphasis added).
13. F. Guirand, loc. cit.
14. A. B. Cook, op. cit., p. 336.
15. Ibid., p. 335.
16. Joannes Laurentius Lydus, De Mensibus, 4, 2 (emphasis added).
17. W. A. Heidel, The Day of Yahweh (N.Y., 1929), pp. 468-469 (emphasis added). 18. A. B. Cook, op. cit., p. 374.
19. L. R. Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States (Oxford, 1896-1909), p. 24.
20. W. A. Heidel, loc. cit. (but see also note 2, p. 468).
21. G. de Santillana and H. von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time (Boston, 1969), pp. 135, note 45, 373.
22. D N. Talbott, op. cit., pp. 247, 249; see the present writer's forthcoming work, "Darkness and the Deep," re the association of Saturn with time and the reason thereof.
23. I. Velikovsky, op. cit., p. 174; idem, "On Saturn and the Flood," KRONOS V:1, (Fall 1979), pp. 4, 5; W. Mullen, "A Reading of the Pyramid Texts," Pensée (Winter 1973), pp. 13 ff.; D. Cardona, "The Sun of Night," KRONOS III:1 (Fall 1977), pp. 35, 36.
24. E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians (N.Y., 1904/1969), Vol. I, p. 446. I am indebted to Prof. Lewis M. Greenberg for drawing my attention to this fact and for providing the reference.
25. A. Hislop, The Two Babylons (London, 1972), pp. 193-194.
Section 5: Zeus and Dione1. Homer, Iliad, v, 370 and elsewhere; Apollodorus, op. cit., I, 3, 1; Euripides, Helen, 1098; Cicero, De Natura Deorum, III, xxiii.
2. P. J. James, "Aphrodite – the Moon or Venus?" Part 2 (see above), p. 13.
3. Ibid., p. 19.
4. Ibid., p. 13.
5. R. Graves, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 27.
6. Eusebius Pamphili, op. cit., I, x, 39.
7. R. Graves, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 11-12, 38. 8. P. J. James, op. cit., pp. 12, 19, notes 10, 11.
9. Ibid., p. 12.
10. Ibid. (emphasis added).