What gave it strength was that it united an ancient mythology and a thorough-going materialistic dualism with an exceedingly simple spiritual worship and a strict morality.
The only part of the Manichaean mythology that became popular was the crude, physical dualism.
Add to this, that, according to Jensen, Ishtar in mythology was the cousin of Marduk, just as the legend represents Esther as the cousin of Mordecai.4 The same scholar also accounts for Esther's other name Hadassah (Esth.
The difficulty of mythology is to account for the following among other apparently irrational elements in myths: the wild and senseless stories of the beginnings of things, of the origin of men, sun, stars, animals, death, and the world in general; the infamous and absurd adventures of the gods; why divine beings are regarded as incestuous, adulterous, murderous, thievish, cruel, cannibals, and addicted to wearing the shapes of animals, and subject to death in some stories; the myths of metamorphosis into plants, beasts and stars; the repulsive stories of the state of the dead; the descents of the gods into the place of the dead, and their return thence.
His views on the connexion between magic and mythology are explained in 19.133 and 17.305; those on folklore are described in 10.601.
Xenophanes in the middle of the 6th century had made the first great attack on the crude mythology of early Greece, including in his onslaught the whole anthropomorphic system enshrined in the poems of Homer and Hesiod.
Macdonell, Vedic Mythology (Strassburg, 1897).
Boiardo occupies a similar position by the fusion of classic mythology with chivalrous romance in his Orlando Innamorato.
His subsequent works were dissertations on the origin of alphabetical writing (Die Erfindung der Buchstabenschrift, 1801), on the antiquity of the Codex Vaticanus (1810), and on ancient mythology (Ober den Mythos der alten Volker, 1812); a new interpretation of the Song of Solomon (Das hohe Lied in einer noch unversuchten Deutung, 1813), to the effect that the lover represents King Hezekiah, while by his beloved is intended the remnant left in Israel after the deportation of the ten tribes; and treatises on the indissoluble character of the matrimonial bond (De conjugii christiani vinculo indissolubili commentatio exegetica, 1816) and on the Alexandrian version of the Pentateuch (1818).
Of all the minor creatures of mythology the fairies are the most beautiful, the most numerous, the most memorable in literature.