Open To Interpretation
Apology in mythology
I forgive you
We'll put aside
What made us quarrel
We'll bring flowers together everyday
To the altar of Eleos
No end to myths.
Notes: there's this notion that Christianity swept away mythology, and introduced forgiveness and mercy as something new in the world...I was going through the radio stations, and happened on an evangelist going on about things like that, that the concept of original sin, and being forgiven, was an invention of Jesus...I don't know how things like this can be 'invented', or people can be ignorant of them...people are people all over the world, and all back through time...just on the facebook scroll today was the congress lady with an odd sense of history...Columbus discovered America with help from God and the continent was empty, waiting for Christians to colonize it...of course, everyone reacts to this like a misspelled word in the lead story of their morning newspaper...'of course there were Indians'...and, of course the congresswoman is criticized for religious myopia...and so the comments go!...anyway, I took it hard that 'forgiveness' wasn't a notable feature of classical mythology, and, and to the evangelist's credit, I had to look a bit!...but it was a good hunt...poem up is a souvenir of the study!...the absence of mention of forgiveness in the myths is due, I think, to the myths that have come down to us being about the pantheon of gods and goddesses dear to the aristocracies...household gods and goddesses, and likely tales and such to go with them, weren't likely recorded...I'm not sure what I mean by 'household'!...I'm certain there was forgiveness and mercy in people's hearts before the arrival of Jesus...but the evangelist is right, in that no prominent figure like Jesus was in the heavens, not even in the Old Testament...but there is a singular Greek goddess of note, Eleos, Clementina to the Romans...
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 17. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"In the Athenian market-place among the objects not generally known is an altar to Eleos (Mercy), of all divinities the most useful in the life of mortals and in the vicissitudes of fortune, but honoured by the Athenians alone among the Greeks."
Statius, Thebaid 12. 481 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"There was in the midst of the city [of Athens] an altar belonging to no god of power; gentle Clementia (Clemency) [Eleos] had there her seat, and the wretched made it sacred; never lacked she a new suppliant, none did she condemn or refuse their prayers. All that ask are heard, night and day may one approach and win the heart of the goddess by complaints alone. No costly rites are hers; she accepts no incense flame, no blood deep-welling; tears flow upon her altar, sad offering of severed tresses hang above it, and raiment left when fortune changed. Around is a grove of gentle trees, marked by the cult of the venerable, wool-entwined laurel and the suppliant olive. No image is there, to no metal is the divine form entrusted, in hearts and minds does the goddess delight to dwell. The distressed are ever nigh her, her precinct ever swarms with needy folk, only to the prosperous her shrine is unknown.
a quibble might be that there was Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy in Asian religions, like from India eastward to Japan...early Christians in Japan, who were nearly persecuted out of existence, morphed Mary mother of Jesus into Kannon...and there's the notion that the ancient Egyptian iconography of Isis with child Horus on her lap, morphed into Mary with Jesus on her lap...mythological heavenly quibbles are endless too!...brb...oh, did search: 'eleos jesus'...eleos is the Greek word for mercy, and shows up much in conversation of Jesus' mercy...maybe that evangelist's talkabouts too!