Arne G Carlsten wrote:
> "Pigs are a non-IE cultural feature, btw"
> Given the important roles accorded to swine in both Celtic and Germanic
> culture (I have no knowledge regarding their role or lack-there-of in
> Slavic or Balt cultures), could you elaborate on this?
> It's been awhile since I had to deal with domestication theories, so I can't
> recall the current thinking on the original origin of the domestic swine.
> But there is certainly a considerable amount of mythology, art and so forth
> from western Europe featuring pigs. Though I'm none too certain if these are
> domestic, wild or feral...
Pigs have different meanings in different I-E cultures. For
example, according to the Celts, boars were a sign of millitary prowess,
with their fierceness shown especially in their erect back bristles in the
iconography. Furthermore, consider the role of the pig in tales such as
'MacDaTho's Pig.' In Greece, however, Pigs were associated with the
Goddess Demeter, being the primary animal sacrificed to her (many piglet
bones have been found at Eleusis and at the Pnyx, where the Thesmophoria
were caried out.) Furthermore, "painting" a person with pig blood was one
of the elements in Greek purification rituels. Evidently the Greeks
thought that the pig somehow resembled female genitalia, and thus the pig
blood some how represented re-birth, if you follow all that.
In the tale of Kirke (Circe) the pigs merely represent the animal
nature which exists in all humans, which Kirke the enchantress was able to
bring to the surface in Odysseus' men. She was not a priestess, and the
pigs did not represent anything religious.
[log in to unmask]