To: All Msg #47, Aug2393 03:00PM Subject: Re: AthenaVenusAphrodite In article 25aa52$ql5@b

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

From: Karl Kluge To: All Msg #47, Aug-23-93 03:00PM Subject: Re: Athena-Venus-Aphrodite Organization: University of Michigan EECS Dept., Ann Arbor, MI From: kckluge@glasnost.eecs.umich.edu (Karl Kluge) Message-ID: Newsgroups: talk.origins In article <25aa52$ql5@bigguy.eng.ufl.edu> greg@irl.ise.ufl.edu (Greg O'Rear) writes: From: greg@irl.ise.ufl.edu (Greg O'Rear) Newsgroups: talk.origins Date: 23 Aug 1993 11:37:06 GMT Since there is some confusion about Velikovsky's assertion that Pallas Athene (Athena) is identified with the planet Venus, I thought I'd present his sources. Besides the identification made by comparing the activities associated with Athena and Venus, there are a couple of categorical comparisons, which I quote below, indented. The quotations are from "Worlds in Collision", Part I, Chapter 9, "Pallas Athene". Velikovsky's footnotes are presented enclosed in brackets [ ]. Pallas Athene is identified with Astarte (Ishtar) or the planet Venus of the Babylonians. [S. Langdon, "Tammuz and Ishtar" (1914), p. 97] There is no mention of Pallas, Athene, Pallas Athene, or Minerva in the cited reference. The passage talks about some of the Babylonian goddesses, mentioning in a footnote that "Istar as nin-si-an-na is identified with Venus". P. 97 talks about Aja as an aspect of Innini, Queen of Heaven. The next several pages talk about Anunit, her martial aspect. On page 101 it says, "Not only is it one of Ishtar's names as the planet Venus, but a fixed star in the region of Ares (lu-zid-mal) was identified with Anunit." Algol, apparently, was also identified with Anunit. Again, no mention of Athene in any form in this discussion. Anaitis of the Iranians, too, is identified as Pallas Athene and as the planet Venus. [F. Cumont, "Les Mysteres de Mithra" (3rd edition, 1913), p. 111] After locating the passage in the 1913 French edition, I switched to the 1956 English edition (p. 112): "...then Anaitis, the goddess of the fecundating waters, who has been likened to Venus and Cybele, and who, presiding over war, was also invoked under the name of Minerva..." On page 181 Cumont says, "When, under the [Roman] empire, the taurobolium [the Mithras cult ritual involving baptism with the blood of a slain bull] was introduced into Italy, it was not quite certain at the outset what Latin name should be given the goddess in whose honor it was celebrated. Some saw in her a celestial Venus; others compared her to Minerva, because of her warlike character." In other words, (1) the identification of Minerva with Anaitis was not made until the time of the Roman Empire, rather than dating to the time of the claimed planetary encounters, and (2) the passage appears to imply that the identification of Minerva with Anaitis and Venus with Anaitis is not transitive, but rather reflects uncertaintly about which Latin goddess was the most appropriate match. So, it is incorrect to claim that Velikovsky merely "asserted" the identity of Athena with Venus, or to claim that he drew that conclusion only from the descriptions of their behaviors, in contrast to all other scholars. Velikovsky showed no evidence that Greek/Latin writers associated Athene with the planet Venus. In fact, one Latin source he quotes directly associates Aphrodite/Venus with the planet Venus. Of course, Velikovsky, rather than acknowledge this as evidence against his hypothesis, corrects his source. He has a habit of doing this. All Velikovky showed is that the Greeks and Latins sometimes identified Athene/Minerva with foreign goddesses which (in those cultures) were identified with the planet Venus. That isn't the same thing as showing that the Greeks/Latins made the identification of the goddess Athene/Minerva with the planet Venus. However, if Athena-Minerva really is the comet-planet Venus, to what celestial body does the following refer? At length as the Morning Star was beginning to herald the light which saffron-mantled Dawn was soon to suffuse over the sea, the flames fell and the fire began to die. { Homer, "The Iliad", Book XXIII, 226. } I thought the Morning Star (Lucifer, Phosphorus) was an aspect of the planet Venus. If Venus was busy fighting with Mars, what is the Morning Star? Elsewhere, Velikovsky states that Aphrodite was the goddess of the moon: The "play" of Mars with the moon was regarded by the Greeks and the Romans as a love affair. [Mars had near contacts with the moon and with the planet Venus, and as a result of these two "romances" the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) became associated in mythology with the moon as well as with the planet of that name.] I assume this is from chapter 3 of part II, in the section "When was the Illiad created?", where V. says: "I find in Lucian a statement which corroborates my interpret- ation of the cosmic drama in the ILLIAD. This author of the second century of the present era writes in his work ON ASTROLOGY this most significant and most neglected commentary on the Homeric epics: 'All that he [Homer] hath said of Venus and of Mars his passion, is also manifestly composed from no other source than this science [astrology]. Indeed, it is the conjunction of Venus and Mars that creates the poetry of Homer.' [8] "Lucian is unaware that Athene is the goddess of the planet Venus [9], and yet he knows the real meaning of the cosmic plot of the Homeric epic... [8] Lucian, ON ASTROLOGY (transl. A. M. Harmon, 1936), Sec. 22 [9] In the same sentence Lucian identifies Venus with Aphrodite of the ILLIAD." What Lucian is talking about here is not the conflicts between Athene and Ares in the ILLIAD, but the episode recounted in the ODYSSEY where Vulcan traps Mars and Venus in bed together. In "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", Joseph Campbell writes: Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Aphrodite, Venus: those were the names she bore in the successive culture periods of the Occidental development-- associated, not with the sun, but with the planet that caries her name, and at the same time with the moon, the heavens, and the fruitful earth. In Egypt she became the goddess of the Dog Star, Sirius, whose annual reappearance in the sky announced the earth-fructifying flood season of the river Nile. So while I cannot dispute that, at least at some point, Aphrodite-Venus was associated with the moon, I'm not quite sure how Velikovsky uses Homer's "Iliad" to aid him. There's such a jumble of Aphrodite-Venus-Athena- Minerva-planet-moon-comet that I can't quite make sense of it. One point in favor of Velikovsky's interpretation, I suppose, is that Ishtar is the goddess of love, fertility, and war, so there is some overlap of the attributes of the "love" goddess and the "warrior" goddess. But Ishtar is not a Greek goddess, so I'm not sure what conclusions can be drawn about similar goddesses from different pantheons. I guess this is where the comparisons of activities associated with the goddesses comes in, which comes back to Velikovsky's thesis, so I'll have to stop here, or else I'll end up quoting the whole book. I think you hit the nail on the head here, in that Velikovsky's assumption that there are 1-to-1 mappings between the different pantheons which transitively also match their associated planets is rather naive. Karl

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank