We may indeed with Mr Andrew Lang explain the many myths of the bestial transformations of Zeus on the theory that the God was the tribal ancestor and assumed the shape of the animal-totem in order to engender the tribal patriarch; 7 but on the actual cults of Zeus theriomorphism has left less trace than on those.
There occur almost as many trenchant sayings on life and human affairs as on art and natural law; and of war he has disposed in two words as a "bestial frenzy" (pazzia bestialissima).
Men ask themselves why their gods are worshipped in the form of beasts, birds, and fishes; why their gods are said to have prosecuted their amours in bestial shapes; why they are represented as lustful and passionate - thieves, robbers, murderers and adulterers.
So far the peculiar mark of the wilder American tribe legends is the bestial character of the divine beings, which is also illustrated in Australia and Africa, while the bestial clothing, feathers or fur, drops but slowly off Indra, Zeus and the Egyptian Ammon, and the Scandinavian Odin.
There was something horrible and bestial in the fleeting glance they threw at the riders and in the malevolent expression with which, after a glance at Kutuzov, the soldier with the sores immediately turned away and went on with what he was doing.