Several interpretations of the legend have been put forward by modern scholars.
(1867), and for the history of the interpretations, C. D.
It is possible that the story may originally have been connected with tree-worship. Here again, as in the case of Iasion, a conflict between an older and a younger cult seems to be alluded to (for the numerous interpretations see O.
Various interpretations have been given of the horse-headed form of the Black Demeter: (I) that the horse was one of the forms of the corn-spirit in ancient Greece; (2) that it was an animal " devoted " to the chthonian goddess; (3) that it is totemistic; (4) that the form was adopted from Poseidon Hippios, who is frequently associated with the earth-goddess and is said to have received the name Hippios first at Thelpusa, in order that Demeter might figure as the mother of Areion (for a discussion of the whole subject see Farnell, Cults, iii.
The bishops' Interpretations and Further Considerations, issued in 1560, tolerated a lower vestiarian standard than was prescribed by the rubric of 1559; the Advertisements, which Parker published in 1566, to check the Puritan descent, had to appear without specific royal sanction; and the Reformatio legum ecclesiasticarum, which Foxe published with Parker's approval, received neither royal, parliamentary nor synodical authorization.