UNTIL our present day the gods of vast Asia have remained all but unknown to the cultured European. They were all confused together in a sort of queer and quaint Olympus. Their names, seldom pronounced, seemed unpronounceable.
But now to-day these gods are drawing closer to us. Seen from nearer at hand, they ceased to be monstrous or inert. For many Europeans they are already clear and distinct, alive and kind, almost friends. There is a desire to learn their legends, to recognize their attributes, to follow their avatars.
And this curiosity is no mere passing fashion. It is linked up with a great spiritual current, the deepest and strongest that has touched the Western world since the Renaissance.
In the sixteenth century Europe all at once found the ancient gods anew. Jupiter and Juno, Apollo and Diana, Mars and Venus, the Satyrs and the Muses, were hideous demons no longer. They dwelt in the imagination of poets and the palaces of princes. And they brought in their train a whole dancing world of ideas, of fancies, of shapes. It was like a sudden growth of the spirit. Man was vividly enlarged by a whole human past that had