The religions of Greece and Rome deified woman; Sexuality of and if you run through the records of rational mythol-Heathen Gods ogy, you will find the sexual life its vital element.
Jupiter, the father of all the gods, along with being the husband of seven wives, became a very Proteus to gratify his sexual passion ; and his children were numerous as his mistresses. He was the Amnion of the Africans, the Belus of Babylon, the Osiris of Egypt; and only a little literary research is needed to show that the method he took to appease the marital jealousy of Demeter, by castrating himself in the form of a ram, was entirely consistent with his character, and only one of those many little tricks with which not only the gods amused themselves at human expense, but which, in all ages of the world, have been resorted to to throw too inquisitive husbands off the track.
In. ancient language, words expressed not abstract ideas but concrete substances. Thus the terms day, night, earth, spring, dawn, not only possessed terminations of gender, but carried with them the corresponding idea of sex; so that they became possessed of not only an individual but a sexual character. In the mythopoeic age, therefore, if a poet spoke of "the shining one pursuing the burning one"—meaning the sun following the dawn—it was only natural for the primitive reader to form a mental picture of a male following a female, both inflamed with sexual passion; or a man pursuing a woman—in all ages, if the fair ones will pardon the ungallant comparison, the hunted beast of history.
Apollo was an amorous young god, chasing a lovely, but too reluctant Daphne; who, to evade her pursuer, changed herself into the flower which at present bears her name.1 Apis, the great god of Egyptian Memphis, was a bull in every sense of the term, and is now generally conceded by scholars to have been, on account of his fertilizing and procreative powers, a type or symbol of the river Nile. The Vedic hymns, which ascribe to Indra, Mitra, and the other Aryan deities of India, such lofty attributes of moral virtue, will be found, on a little closer examination, to be scarcely more than a divine ckronique scnndalcuse of sexuality; and wherever we turn, in the mythological records of the world, Scandinavian, Australian, African, North American or Oriental, we find the same erotic thread running through it all, and exercising the same profound influence upon the religions and society of the times.
> Max Muller—"Selected Essays," i, 398, el seq.
The love of Khadija inspired, largely, the suras of Mohammed; that of Hoovi, the Zend Avesta of Zoroaster; and from "Gitche Manitou the mighty," of the American Indian, to the miserable insect-god of the Australian Bushman, the first great law of human passion and procreation, bequeathed to Adam in the garden of Eden, is perpetuated.