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Custom and Myth

Page: 2

These objections are not made by the unscholarly anthropologist alone. Curtius has especially remarked the difficulties which beset the ‘etymological operation’ in the case of proper names. ‘Peculiarly dubious and perilous is mythological etymology. Are we to seek the sources of the divine names in aspects of nature, or in moral conceptions; in special Greek geographical conditions, or in natural circumstances which are everywhere the same: in dawn with her rays, or in clouds with their floods; are we to seek the origin of the names of heroes in things historical and human, or in physical phenomena?’

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