By Karolyn Elizabeth Smardz
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Additional info for The Sacred Tree in Ancient Greek Religion
But the old, intimate tie be- tween tree and god was gone. The associating of the holy tree with a god was, however, retained in old myths, local cult, in the oral tradition, and in the many cultic epithets attached to the names of the gods which betrayed their original connection with the tree cult. Some of these titles continued in use for centuries, and found their way into the literary material of later ages. 4 5 island of Rhodes, Helen is called deY-Of ~~'ls On the , and there re- mains a tradition that she was hanged from a tree in that place.
With the growing affluence and sophistication of Greece in the archaic period, temples were constructed to house the images of the gods, which themselves grew more and more elaborate. The relationship between tree and god was broken in a physical sense, although the traditions recording their affinity remained. JO die hard; Old religious concepts it is suggested, then, that the reason why the images of certain gods even in the days of Pausanias, were wrapped in the foliage of the tree or plants sacred to them, was the necessity of somehow recharging, as it were, the image with the life potency contained in the living vegetal element with which they were most closely associated.
Rose, Primitive Culture in Greece 1925), p. 65; W. Burkert, Homo Necans: (London: Interpretationen altgriechischer Opferriten und Mythen , p. 467 (Delphi), p. 471 (Menelaion), p. R. Desborough, The (London: 1972), p. 280. ; Hawkes, The Dawn of the Gods Jacquetta (Toronto: 1968), p. 34. (The worship of Athena at Athens). llEvans, p. 127. 12Nilsson, Geschichte, pp. 211-222. 13H . A. Frankfort, "Myth and Reality" in Before Philosophy (Baltimore: 1971), pp. 26-29. 14M. P . Nilsson, The History of Greek Religion, trans.
The Sacred Tree in Ancient Greek Religion by Karolyn Elizabeth Smardz