IN Pausanias we find an account of a goddess represented in the very attitude of the Apocalyptic "Woman." "But of this stone [Parian marble] Phidias," says he, "made a statue of Nemesis; and on the head of the goddess there is a crown adorned with stags, and images of victory of no great magnitude. In her left hand, too, she holds a branch of an ash tree, and in her right A CUP, in which Ethiopians are carved."--(PAUSANIAS, lib. i., Attica, cap. 33, p. 81.) Pausanias declares himself unable to assign any reason why "the Ethiopians" were carved on the cup; but the meaning of the Ethiopians and the stags too will be apparent to all who read pp. 48, 49, and 50, etc., ante. We find, however, from statements made in the same chapter, that though Nemesis is commonly represented as the goddess of revenge, she must have been also known in represented as the goddess of revenge, she must have been also known in quite a different character. Thus Pausanias proceeds, commenting on the statue: "But neither has this statue of the goddess wings. Among the Smyrneans, however, who possess the most holy images of Nemesis, I perceived afterwards that these statues had wings. For, as this goddess principally pertains to lovers, on this account they may be supposed to have given wings to Nemesis, as well as to love," i.e., Cupid.--(Ibid.) The giving of wings to Nemesis, the goddess who "principally pertained to lovers," because Cupid, the god of love, bore them, implies that, in the opinion of Pausanias, she was the counterpart of Cupid, or the goddess of love--that is, Venus.
While this is the inference naturally to be deduced from the words of Pausanias, we find it confirmed by an express statement of Photius, speaking of the statue of Rhamnusian Nemesis: "She was at first erected in the form of Venus, and therefore bore also the branch of an apple tree."--(PHOTII, Lexicon, pars. ii. p. 482.) Though a goddess of love and a goddess of revenge might seem very remote in their characters from one another, yet it is not difficult to see how this must have come about. The goddess who was revealed to the initiated in the Mysteries, in the most alluring manner, was also known to be most unmerciful and unrelenting in taking vengeance upon those who revealed these Mysteries; for every such one who was discovered was unsparingly put to death. - (POTTER'S Antiquities, vol. i., "Eleusinia," p. 354.) Thus, then, the cup-bearing goddess was at once Venus, the goddess of licentiousness, and Nemesis, the stern and unmerciful one to all who rebelled against her authority. How remarkable a type of the woman, whom John saw, described in one aspect as the "Mother of harlots," and in another as "Drunken with the blood of the saints."! 2bab037.htm
Dr. Hales has attempted to substitute the longer chronology of the Septuagint for the Hebrew chronology. But this implies that the Hebrew Church, as a body, was not faithful to the trust committed to it in respect to the keeping of the Scriptures, which seems distinctly opposed to the testimony of our Lord in reference to these Scriptures (John v. 39; x. 35), and also to that of Paul (Rom. iii. 2), where there is not the least hint of unfaithfulness. Then we can find a reason that might induce the translators of the Septuagint in Alexandria to lengthen out the period of the ancient history of the world; we can find no reason to induce the Jews in Palestine to shorten it. The Egyptians had long, fabulous eras in their history, and Jews dwelling in Egypt might wish to make their sacred history go as far back as they could, and the addition of just one hundred years in each case, as in the Septuagint, to the ages of the patriarchs, looks wonderfully like an intentional forgery; whereas we cannot imagine why the Palestine Jews should make any change in regard to this matter at all. It is well known that the Septuagint contains innumerable gross errors and interpolations.
Bunsen casts overboard all Scriptural chronology whatever, whether Hebrew, Samaritan, or Greek, and sets up the unsupported dynasties of Manetho, as if they were sufficient to over-ride the Divine word as to a question of historical fact. But, if the Scriptures are not historically true, we can have no assurance of their truth at all. Now it is worthy of notice that, though Herodotus vouches for the fact that at one time there were no fewer than twelve contemporaneous kings in Egypt, Manetho, as observed by Wilkinson (vol. i. p. 148), has made no allusion to this, but has made this Thinite, Memphite, and Diospolitan dynasties of kings, and a long etcetera of other dynasties, all successive!
The period over which the dynasties of Manetho extend, beginning with Menes, the first king of these dynasties, is in itself a very lengthened period, and surpassing all rational belief. But Bunsen, not content with this, expresses his very confident persuasion that there had been long lines of powerful monarchs in Upper and Lower Egypt, "during a period of from two or four thousand years" (vol. i. p. 72), even before the reign of Menes. In coming to such a conclusion, he plainly goes upon the supposition that the name Mizraim, which is the Scriptural name of the land of Egypt, and is evidently derived from the name of the son of Ham, and grandson of Noah, is not, after all, the name of a person, but the name of the united kingdom formed under Menes out of "the two Misr," "Upper and Lower Egypt" (Ibid. p. 73), which had previously existed as separate kingdoms, the name Misrim, according to him, being a plural word.
This derivation of the name Mizraim, or Misrim, as a plural word, infallibly leaves the impression that Mizraim, the son of Ham, must be only a mythical personage. But there is no real reason for thinking that Mizraim is a plural word, or that it became the name of "the land of Ham," from any other reason than because that land was also the land of Ham's son. Mizraim, as it stands in the Hebrew of Genesis, without the points, is (the word being derived from Im, the same as Yam, "the sea," and Tzr, "to enclose," with the formative M prefixed).
If the accounts which ancient history has handed down to us of the original state of Egypt be correct, the first man who formed a settlement there must have done the very thing implied in this name. Diodorus Siculus tells us that, in primitive times, that which, when he wrote, "was Egypt, was said to have been not a country, but one universal sea."--(DIOD., lib. iii. p. 106.) Plutarch also says (De Iside, vol. ii. p. 367) that Egypt was sea. From Herodotus, too, we have very striking evidence to the same effect. He excepts the province of Thebes from his statement; but when it is seen that "the province of Thebes" did not belong to Mizraim, or Egypt proper, which, says the author of the article "Mizraim" in Biblical Cyclopedia, p. 598, "properly denotes Lower Egypt;" * the testimony of Herodotus will be seen entirely to agree with that of Diodorus and Plutarch.
His statement is, that in the reign of the first king, "the whole of Egypt (except the province of Thebes) was an extended marsh. No part of that which is now situate beyond the lake Moeris was to be seen, the distance between which lake and the sea is a journey of seven days."--(HERODOT, lib. ii. cap. 4.) Thus all Mizraim or Lower Egypt was under water.
This state of the country arose from the unrestrained overflowing of the Nile, which, to adopt the language of Wilkinson (vol. i. p. 89), "formerly washed the foot of the sandy mountains of the Lybian chain." Now, before Egypt could be fit for being a suitable place for human abode--before it could become what it afterwards did become, one of the most fertile of all lands, it was indispensable that bounds should be set to the overflowings of the sea (for by the very name of the Ocean, or Sea, the Nile was anciently called,--DIODORUS, lib. i. p. 8), and that for this purpose great embankments should enclose or confine its waters. If Ham's son, then, led a colony into Lower Egypt and settled it there, this very work he must have done. And what more natural than that a name should be given him in memory of his great achievement? and what name so exactly descriptive as Metzr-im, "The embanker of the sea," or as the name is found at this day applied to all Egypt (WILKINSON, vol. i. p. 2), Musr or Misr?
Names always tend to abbreviation in the mouths of a people, and, therefore, "The land of Misr" is evidently just "The land of the embanker." From this statement it follows that the "embanking of the sea"--the "enclosing" of it within certain bounds, was the making of it as a river, so far as Lower Egypt was concerned. Viewing the matter in this light, what a meaning is there in the Divine language in Ezekiel xxix, 3, where judgments are denounced against the king of Egypt, the representative of Metzr-im, "The embanker of the sea," for his pride: "Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which saith, My river is mine own, I have made it for myself."
When we turn to what is recorded of the doings of Menes, who, by Herodotus, Manetho, and Diodorus alike, is made the first historical king of Egypt, and compare what is said of him, with this simple explanation of the meaning of the name of Mizraim, how does the one cast light on the other? Thus does Wilkinson describe the great work which entailed fame on Menes, "who," says, "is allowed by universal consent to have been the first sovereign of the country." "Having diverted the course of the Nile, which formerly washed the foot of the sandy mountains of the Lybian chain, he obliged it to run in the centre of the valley, nearly at an equal distance between the two parallel ridges of mountains which border it on the east and west; and built the city of Memphis in the bed of the ancient channel. This change was effected by constructing a dyke about a hundred stadia above the site of the projected city, whose lofty mounds and strong EMBANKMENTS turned the water to the eastward, and effectually CONFINED the river to its new bed. The dyke was carefully kept in repair by succeeding kings; and, even as late as the Persian invasion, a guard was always maintained there, to overlook the necessary repairs, and to watch over the state of the embankments."--(Egyptians, vol. i. p. 89.)
When we see that Menes, the first of the acknowledged historical kings of Egypt, accomplished that very achievement which is implied in the name of Mizraim, who can resist the conclusion that Menes and Mizraim are only two different names for the same person? And if so, what becomes of Bunsen's vision of powerful dynasties of sovereigns "during a period of from two to four thousand years" before the reign of Menes, by which all Scriptural chronology respecting Noah and his sons was to be upset, when it turns out that Menes must have been Mizraim, the grandson of Noah himself? Thus does Scripture contain, within its own bosom, the means of vindicating itself; and thus do its minutest statements, even in regard to matters of fact, when thoroughly understood, shed surprising light on the he dark parts of the history of the world. 2bab038.htm
The name of Shing Moo, applied by the Chinese to their "Holy Mother," compared with another name of the same goddess in another province of China, strongly favours the conclusion that Shing Moo is just a synonym for one of the well-known names of the goddess-mother of Babylon. Gillespie (in his Land of Sinim, p. 64) states that the Chinese goddess-mother, or "Queen of Heaven," in the province of Fuh-kien, is worshipped by seafaring people under the name of Ma Tsoopo. Now, "Ama Tzupah" signifies the "Gazing Mother;" and there is much reason to believe that Shing Moo signifies the same; for Mu was one of the forms in which Mut or Maut, the name of the great mother, appeared in Egypt (BUNSEN'S Vocabulary, vol. i. p. 471); and Shngh, in Chaldee, signifies "to look" or "gaze." The Egyptian Mu or Maut was symbolised either by a vulture, or an eye surrounded by a vulture's wings (WILKINSON, vol. v. p. 203.)
The symbolic meaning of the vulture may be learned from the Scriptural expression: "There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen" (Job xxviii.7). The vulture was noted for its sharp sight, and hence, the eye surrounded by the vulture's wings showed that, for some reason or other, the great mother of the gods in Egypt had been known as "The gazer." But the idea contained in the Egyptian symbol had evidently been borrowed from Chaldea; for Rheia, one of the most noted names of the Babylonian mother of the gods, is just the Chaldee form of the Hebrew Rhaah, which signifies at once "a gazing woman" and a "vulture." The Hebrew Rhaah itself is also, according to a dialectical variation, legitimately pronounced Rheah; and hence the name of the great goddess-mother of Assyria was sometimes Rhea, and sometimes Rheia. In Greece, the same idea was evidently attached to the Mother of the children of the sun (see ante, p. 20, Note), For one of her distinguishing titles was Ophthalmitis (SMITH'S Classical Dictionary, "Athena," p. 101), thereby pointing her out as the goddess of "the eye." It was no doubt to indicate the same thing that, as the Egyptian Maut wore a vulture on her head, so the Athenian Minerva was represented as wearing a helmet with two eyes, or eye-holes, in the front of the helmet.--(VAUX'S Antiquities, p. 186.)
Having thus traced the gazing mother over the earth, is it asked, What can have given origin to such a name as applied to the mother of the gods?
A fragment of Sanchuniathon (pp. 16-19), in regard to the Phenician mythology, furnishes us with a satisfactory reply. There it is said that Rheia conceived by Kronos, who was her own brother, and yet was known as the father of the gods, and in consequence brought forth a son who was called Muth, that is, as Philo-Byblius correctly interprets the word, "Death." As Sanchuniathon expressly distinguishes this "father of the gods" from "Hypsistos," The Most High, * we naturally recall what Hesiod says in regard to his Kronos, the father of the gods, who, for a certain wicked deed, was called Titan, and cast down to hell.--(Theogonia, 1. 207, p. 18.) The Kronos to whom Hesiod refers is evidently at bottom a different Kronos from the human father of the gods, or Nimrod, whose history occupies so large a place in this work.
He is plainly none other than Satan himself; the name Titan, or Teitan, as it is sometimes given, being, as we have elsewhere concluded (pp. 275, 276), only the Chaldee form of Sheitan, the common name of the grand Adversary among the Arabs, in the very region where the Chaldean Mysteries were originally concocted,--that Adversary who was ultimately the real father of all the Pagan gods,--and who (to make the title of Kronos, "the Horned One," appropriate to him also) was symbolised by the Kerastes, or Horned serpent. All "the brethren" of this father of the gods, who were implicated in his rebellion against his own father the "God of Heaven," were equally called by the "reproachful" name "Titans"; but, inasmuch as he was the ringleader in the rebellion, he was, of course, Titan by way of eminence. In this rebellion of Titan, the goddess of the earth was concerned, and the result was that (removing the figure under which Hesiod has hid the fact) it became naturally impossible that the God of Heaven should have children upon earth--a plain allusion to the Fall.
Now, assuming that this is the "Father of the gods," by whom Rhea, whose common title is that of the Mother of the gods, and who is also identified with Ge, or the Earth-goddess, had the child called Muth, or Death, who could this "Mother of the gods" be, but just our Mother Eve? And the name Rhea, or "The Gazer," bestowed on her, is wondrously significant. It was as "the gazer" that the mother of mankind conceived by Satan, and brought forth that deadly birth, under which the world has hitherto groaned. It was through her eyes that the fatal connection was first formed between her and the grand Adversary, under the form of a serpent, whose name, Nahash, or Nachash, as it stands in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, also signifies "to view attentively," or "to gaze." (Gen. iii. 6) "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes," etc., "she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat."
Here, then, we have the pedigree of sin and death; "Lust, when it had conceived, brought forth sin; and sin, when it was finished, brought forth death" (James i. 15). Though Muth, or Death, was the son of Rhea, this progeny of hers came to be regarded, not as Death in the abstract, but as the god of death; therefore, says Philo-Byblius, Muth was interpreted not only as death, but as Pluto.--(SANCHUN., p. 24.) In the Roman mythology, Pluto was regarded as on a level, for honour, with Jupiter (OVID, Fasti, lib. vii. 578): and in Egypt, we have evidence that Osiris, "the seed of the woman," was the "Lord of heaven," and king of hell, or "Pluto" (WILKINSON, vol. iv. p. 63; BUNSEN, vol. i. pp. 431,432); and it can be shown by a large induction of particulars (and the reader has somewhat of the evidence presented in this volume), that he was none other than the Devil himself, supposed to have become incarnate; who, though through the first transgression, and his connection with the woman, he had brought sin and death into the world, had, nevertheless, by means of them, brought innumerable benefits to mankind.
As the name Pluto has the very same meaning as Saturn, "The hidden one," so, whatever other aspect this name had, as applied to the father of the gods, it is to Satan, the Hidden Lord of hell, ultimately that all came at last to be traced back, for the different myths about Saturn, when carefully examined, show that he was at once the Devil, the father of all sin and idolatry, who hid himself under the disguise of the serpent,--and Adam, who hid himself among the trees of the garden,--and Noah, who lay hid for a whole year in the ark,--and Nimrod, who was hid in the secrecy of the Babylonian Mysteries. It was to glorify Nimrod that the whole Chaldean system of iniquity was formed. He was known as Nin, "the son," and his wife as Rhea, who was called Ammas, "The Mother."
The name Rhea, as applied to Semiramis, had another meaning from what it had when applied to her, who was really the primeval goddess, the "mother of gods and men.'" But yet, to make out the full majesty of her character, it was necessary that she should be identified with that primeval goddess; and, therefore, although the son she bore in her arms was represented as he who was born to destroy death, yet she was often represented with the very symbols of her who brought death into the world. And so was it also in the different countries where the Babylonian system spread. 2bab039.htm
The name "Ala-Mahozim" is never, as far as I know, found in any ancient uninspired author, and in the Scripture itself it is found only in a prophecy. Considering that the design of prophecy is always to leave a certain obscurity before the event, though giving enough of light for the practical guidance of the upright, it is not to be wondered at that an unusual word should be employed to describe the divinity in question. But, though this precise name be not found, we have a synonym that can be traced home to Nimrod. In SANCHUNIATHON, pp. 24, 25, "Astarte, travelling about the habitable world," is said to have found "a star falling through the air, which she took up and consecrated in the holy island Tyre."
Now what is this story of the falling star but just another version of the fall of Mulciber from heaven (see ante, p. 233), or of Nimrod from his high estate? for as we have already seen, Macrobius shows (Saturn., lib. i. cap. 21, p. 70) that the story of Adonis--the lamented one--so favourite a theme in Phenicia, originally came from Assyria. The name of the great god in the holy island of Tyre, as is well known, was Melkart (KITTO'S Illus. Comment., vol. ii. p. 300), but this name, as brought from Tyre to Carthage, and from thence to Malta (which was colonised from Carthage), where it is found on a monument at this day, casts no little light on the subject. The name Melkart is thought by some to have been derived from Melek-eretz, or "king of the earth" (WILKINSON, vol. v. p. 18); but the way in which it is sculptured in Malta shows that it was really Melek-kart, "king of the walled city."--(See WILKINSON'S Errata prefixed to vol. v.) Kir, the same as the Welsh Caer, found in Caer-narvon, etc., signifies "an encompassing wall," or a "city completely walled round;" and Kart was the feminine form of the same word, as may be seen in the different forms of the name of Carthage, which is sometimes Car-chedon, and sometimes Cart-hada or Cart-hago.
In the Book of Proverbs we find a slight variety of the feminine form of Kart, which seems evidently used in the sense of a bulwark or a fortification. Thus (Prov. x. 15) we read: "A rich man's wealth is his strong city" (Karit), that is, his strong bulwark or defence. Melk-kart, then, "king of the walled city," conveys the very same idea as Ala-Mahozim. In GRUTER's Inscriptions, as quoted by Bryant, we find a title also given to Mars, the Roman war-god, exactly coincident in meaning with that of Melkart. We have elsewhere seen abundant reason to conclude that the original of Mars was Nimrod (p. 44. Note). The title to which I refer confirms this conclusion, and is contained in the following Roman inscription on an ancient temple in Spain:-
Templum communi voto
(See BRYANT, vol. ii. p. 454.) This title shows that the temple was dedicated to "Mars Kir-aden," the lord of "The Kir," or "walled city." The Roman C, as is well known, is hard, like K; and Adon, "Lord," is also Aden. Now, with this clue to guide us, we can unravel at once what has hitherto greatly puzzled mythologists in regard to the name of Mars Quirinus as distinguished from Mars Gradivus. The K in Kir is what in Hebrew or Chaldee is called Koph, a different letter from Kape, and is frequently pronounced as a Q. Quir-inus, therefore, signifies "belonging to the walled city," and refers to the security which was given to cities by encompassing walls. Gradivus, on the other hand, comes from "Grah," "conflict," and "divus," "god"--a different form of Deus, which has been already shown to be a Chaldee term; and therefore signifies "God of battle."
Both these titles exactly answer to the two characters of Nimrod as the great city builder and the great warrior, and that both these distinctive characters were set forth by the two names referred to, we have distinct evidence in FUSS's Antiquities, chap. vi. p. 348. "The Romans," says he, "worshipped two idols of the kind [that is, gods under the name of Mars], the one called Quirinus, the guardian of the city and its peace; the other called Gradivus, greedy of war and slaughter, whose temple stood beyond the city's boundaries." 2bab040.htm
The ordinary classical derivation of this name gives little satisfaction; for, even though it could be derived from words that signify "Bull-killers" (and the derivation itself is but lame), such a meaning casts no light at all on the history of the Centaurs. Take it as a Chaldee word, and it will be seen at once that the whole history of the primitive Kentaurus entirely agrees with the history of Nimrod, with whom we have already identified him. Kentaurus is evidently derived from Kehn, "a priest," and Tor, "to go round." "Kehn-Tor," therefore, is "Priest of the revolver," that is, of the sun, which, to appearance, makes a daily revolution round the earth. The name for a priest, as written, is just Khn, and the vowel is supplied according to the different dialects of those who pronounce it, so as to make it either Kohn, Kahn, or Kehn. Tor, "the revolver," as applied to the sun, is evidently just another name for the Greek Zen or Zan applied to Jupiter, as identified with the sun, which signifies the "Encircler" or "Encompasser,"--the very word from which comes our own word "Sun," which, in Anglo-Saxon, was Sunna (MALLET, Glossary, p. 565, London, 1847), and of which we find distinct traces in Egypt in the term snnu (BUNSEN's Vocab., vol. i. p. 546), as applied to the sun's orbit.
The Hebrew Zon or Zawon, to "encircle," from which these words come, in Chaldee becomes Don or Dawon, and thus we penetrate the meaning of the name given by the Boeotians to the "Mighty hunter," Orion. That name was Kandaon, as appears from the following words of the Scholiast on Lycophron, quoted in BRYANT, vol. iv. p. 154: "Orion, whom the Boeotians call also Kandaon." Kahn-daon, then, and Kehn-tor, were just different names for the same office--the one meaning "Priest of the Encircler," the other, "Priest of the revolver"--titles evidently equivalent to that of Bol-kahn, or "Priest of Baal, or the Sun," which, there can be no doubt, was the distinguishing title of Nimrod. As the title of Centaurus thus exactly agrees with the known position of Nimrod, so the history of the father of the Centaurs does the same.
We have seen already that, though Ixion was, by the Greeks, made the father of that mythical race, even they themselves admitted that the Centaurs had a much higher origin, and consequently that Ixion, which seems to be a Grecian name, had taken the place of an earlier name, according to that propensity particularly noticed by Salverte, which has often led mankind "to apply to personages known in one time and one country, myths which they have borrowed from another country and an earlier epoch" (Des Sciences, Appendix, p. 483). Let this only be admitted to be the case here--let only the name of Ixion be removed, and it will be seen that all that is said of the father of the Centaurs, or Horsemen-archers, applies exactly to Nimrod, as represented by the different myths that refer to the first progenitor of these Centaurs.
First, then, Centaurus is represented as having been taken up to heaven (DYMOCK, sub voce "Is\Ixion"). that is, as having been highly exalted through special favour of heaven; then, in that state of exaltation, he is said to have fallen in love with Nephele, who passed under the name of Juno, the "Queen of Heaven." The story here is intentionally confused, to mystify the vulgar, and the order of events seems changed, which can easily be accounted for. As Nephele in Greek signifies "a cloud," so the offspring of Centaurus are said to have been produced by a "cloud."
But Nephele, in the language of the country where the fable was originally framed, signified "A fallen woman * --and fallen from the primitive faith in which she must have been brought up; and it is well known that this "fallen woman" was, under the name of Juno, or the Dove, after her death, worshipped among the Babylonians. Centaurus, for his presumption and pride, was smitten with lightning by the supreme God, and cast down to hell (DYMOCK, sub voce "Ixion"). This, then, is just another version of the story of Phaethon, AEsculapius, and Orpheus, who were all smitten in like manner and for a similar cause. In the infernal world, the father of the Centaurs is represented as tied by serpents to a wheel which perpetually revolves, and thus makes his punishment eternal (DYMOCK, Ibid.). In the serpents there is evidently reference to one of the two emblems of the fire-worship of Nimrod. If he introduced the worship of the serpent, as I have endeavoured to show (p. 228), there was poetical justice in making the serpent an instrument of his punishment. Then the revolving wheel very clearly points to the name Centaurus itself, as denoting the "Priest of the revolving sun."
To the worship of the sun in the character of the "Revolver," there was a very distinct allusion not only in the circle which, among the Pagans, was the emblem of the sun-god, and the blazing wheel with which he was so frequently represented (WILSON's Parsi Religion, p. 31), but in the circular dances of the Bacchanalians. Hence the phrase, "Bassaridum rotator Evan"--"The wheeling Evan of the Bacchantes" (STATIUS, Sylv., lib. ii., s. 7, v. 7, p. 118). Hence, also, the circular dances of the Druids as referred to in the following quotation from a Druidic song:--"Ruddy was the sea beach whilst the circular revolution was performed by the attendants and the white bands in graceful extravagance" (DAVIE'S Druids, p. 172).
That this circular dance among the Pagan idolators really had reference to the circuit of the sun, we find from the distinct statement of Lucian in his treatise On Dancing, where, speaking of the circular dance of the ancient Eastern nations, he says, with express reference to the sun-god, "it consisted in a dance imitating this god" (LUCIAN, vol. ii. p. 278). We see then, here, a very specific reason for the circular dance of the Bacchae, and for the ever-revolving wheel of the great Centaurus in the infernal regions. 2bab041.htm
In different portions of this work evidence has been brought to show that Saturn, "the father of gods and men," was in one aspect just our first parent Adam. Now, of Saturn it is said that he devoured all his children. * In the exoteric story, among those who knew not the actual fact referred to, this naturally appeared in the myth, in the shape in which we commonly find it--viz., that he devoured them all as soon as they were born. But that which was really couched under the statement, in regard to his devouring his children, was just the Scriptural fact of the Fall--viz., that he destroyed them by eating--not by eating them, but by eating the forbidden fruit. When this was the sad and dismal state of matters, the Pagan story goes on to say that the destruction of the children of the father of gods and men was arrested by means of his wife, Rhea. Rhea, as we have already seen, had really as much to do with the devouring of Saturn's children, as Saturn himself; but, in the progress of idolatry and apostacy, Rhea, or Eve, came to get glory at Saturn's expense. Saturn, or Adam, was represented as a morose divinity; Rhea, or Eve, exceedingly benignant; and, in her benignity, she presented to her husband a stone bound in swaddling bands, which he greedily devoured, and henceforth the children of the cannibal father were safe. *
The stone bound in swaddling bands is, in the sacred language, "Ebn Hatul;" but Ebn-Hat-tul * also signifies "A sin-bearing son." This does not necessarily mean that Eve, or the mother of mankind, herself actually brought forth the promised seed (although there are many myths also to that effect), but that, having received the glad tidings herself, and embraced it, she presented it to her husband, who received it by faith from her, and that this laid the foundation of his own salvation and that of his posterity. The devouring on the part of Saturn of the swaddled stone is just the symbolical expression of the eagerness with which Adam by faith received the good news of the woman's seed; for the act of faith, both in the Old Testament and in the New, is symbolised by eating. Thus Jeremiah says, "Thy words were found of me, and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. xv. 16).
This also is strongly shown by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who, while setting before the Jews the indispensable necessity of eating His flesh, and feeding on Him, did at the same time say: "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John vi. 63). That Adam eagerly received the good news about the promised seed, and treasured it up in his heart as the life of his soul, is evident from the name which he gave to his wife immediately after hearing it; "And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living ones" (Gen. iii. 20. See Dr. CANDLISH's Genesis. p. 108).
The story of the swaddled stone does not end with the swallowing of it, and the arresting of the ruin of the children of Saturn. This swaddled stone was said to be "preserved near the temple of Delphi, where care was taken to anoint it daily with oil, and to cover it with wool" (MAURICE's Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 348). If this stone symbolised the "sin-bearing son," it of course symbolised also the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, in whose symbolic covering our first parents were invested when God clothed them in the coats of skins. Therefore, though represented to the eye as a stone, he must have the appropriate covering of wool. When represented as a branch, the branch of God, the branch also was wrapped in wool (POTTER, vol. i., Religion of Greece. chap. v. p. 208). The daily anointing with oil is very significant. If the stone represented the "sin-bearing son," what could the anointing of that "sin-bearing son" daily with oil mean, but just to point him out as the "lord's Anointed," or the "Messiah," whom the idolators worshipped in opposition to the true Messiah yet to be revealed?
One of the names by which this swaddled and anointed stone was called is very strikingly confirmatory of the above conclusion. That name is Baitulos. This we find from Priscian (lib. v., vol. i. p. 180, Note, and lib. vi., vol. i. p. 249), who, speaking of "that stone which Saturn is said to have devoured for Jupiter," adds, "quem Groeci Baitulov vocant," whom the Greeks called "Baitulos." Now, "B'hai-tuloh" * signifies the "Life-restoring child." The father of gods and men had destroyed his children by eating; but the reception of "the swaddled stone" is said to have "restored them to life" (HESIOD, Theogon., 1. 495, p. 41). Hence the name Baitulos; and this meaning of the name is entirely in accordance with what is said in Sanchuniathon (lib. i., cap. 6, p. 22) about the Baithulia made by the Phenician god Ouranos: "It was the god Ouranos who devised Baithulia, contriving stones that moved as having life." If the stone Baitulos represented the "life-restoring child," it was natural that that stone should be made, if possible, to appear as having "life" in itself.
Now, there is a great analogy between this swaddled stone that represented the "sin-bearing son," and that Olenos mentioned by Ovid, who took on him guilt not his own, and in consequence was changed into a stone. We have seen already that Olenos, when changed into a stone, was set up in Phrygia on the holy mountain of Ida. We have reason to believe that the stone which was fabled to have done so much for the children of Saturn, and was set up near the temple of Delphi, was just a representation of this same Olenos. We find that Olen was the first prophet at Delphi, who founded the first temple there (PAUSA IAS, lib. x., Phocica, cap. 5, p. 321). As the prophets and priests generally bore the names of the gods whom they represented (Hesychius expressly tells us that the priest who represented the great god under the name of the branch in the mysteries was himself called by the name of Bacchus, p. 179), this indicates one of the ancient names of the god of Delphi.
If, then, there was a sacred stone on Mount Ida called the stone of Olenos, and a sacred stone in the precincts of the temple of Delphi, which Olen founded, can there be a doubt that the sacred stone of Delphi represented the same as was represented by the sacred stone of Ida? The swaddled stone set up at Delphi is expressly called by Priscian, in the place already cited, "a god." This god, then, that in symbol was divinely anointed, and was celebrated as having restored to life the children of Saturn, father of gods and men, as identified with the Idaean Olenos, is proved to have been regarded as occupying the very place of the Messiah, the great Sin-bearer, who came to bear the sins of men, and took their place and suffered in their room and stead; for Olenos, as we have seen, voluntarily took on him guilt of which he was personally free.
While thus we have seen how much of the patriarchal faith was hid under the mystical symbols of Paganism, there is yet a circumstance to be noted in regard to the swaddled stone, that shows how the Mystery of Iniquity in Rome has contrived to import this swaddled stone of Paganism into what is called Christian symbolism. The Baitulos, or swaddled stone, was stroggulos lithos (BRYANT, vol. ii. p. 20, Note), a round or globular stone. This globular stone is frequently represented swathed and bound, sometimes with more, sometimes with fewer bandages. In BRYANT, vol. iii. p. 246, where the goddess Cybele is represented as "Spes Divina," or Divine hope, we see the foundation of this divine hope held out to the world in the representation of the swaddled stone at her right hand, bound with four different swathes. In DAVID's Antiquities Etrusques, vol. iv. plate 27, we find a goddess represented with Pandora's box, the source of all ill, in her extended hand, and the swaddled globe depending from it; and in this case that globe has only two bandages, the one crossing the other.
And what is this bandaged globe of Paganism but just the counterpart of that globe, with a band around it, and the mystic Tau, or cross, on the top of it, that is called "the type of dominion," and is frequently represented, as in the accompanying woodcut , * in the hands of the profane representations of God the Father. The reader does not now need to be told that the cross is the chosen sign and mark of that very God whom the swaddled stone represented; and that when that God was born, it was said, "The Lord of all the earth is born" (WILKINSON, vol. iv. p. 310). As the god symbolised by the swaddled stone not only restored the children of Saturn to life, but restored the lordship of the earth to Saturn himself, which by transgression he had lost, it is not to be wondered at that it is said of "these consecrated stones," that while "some were dedicated to Jupiter, and others to the sun," "they were considered in a more particular manner sacred to Saturn," the Father of the gods (MAURICE, vol. ii. p. 348), and that Rome, in consequence, has put the round stone into the hand of the image, bearing the profaned name of God the Father attached to it, and that from this source the bandaged globe, surmounted with the mark of Tammuz, has become the symbol of dominion throughout all Papal Europe. 2bab042.htm
In the exoteric doctrine of Greece and Rome, the characters of Cybele, the mother of the gods, and of Venus, the goddess of love, are generally very distinct, insomuch that some minds may perhaps find no slight difficulty in regard to the identification of these two divinities. But that difficulty will disappear, if the fundamental principle of the Mysteries be borne in mind--viz, that at bottom they recognised only Adad, "The One God" (see ante, pp. 14, 15, 16, Note). Adad being Triune, this left room, when the Babylonian Mystery of Iniquity took shape, for three different FORMS of divinity--the father, the mother, and the son; but all the multiform divinities with which the Pagan world abounded, whatever diversities there were among them, were resolved substantially into so many manifestations of one or other of these divine persons, or rather of two, for the first person was generally in the background. We have distinct evidence that this was the case. Apuleius tells us (vol. i. pp. 995, 996), that when he was initiated, the goddess Isis revealed herself to him as "The first of the celestials, and the uniform manifestation of the gods and goddesses.... WHOSE ONE SOLE DIVINITY the whole orb of the earth venerated, and under a manifold form, with different rites, and under a variety of appellations;" and going over many of these appellations, she declares herself to be at once "Pessinuntica, the mother of the gods [i.e. Cybele], and Paphian Venus" (Ibid. p. 997). Now, as this was the case in the later ages of the Mysteries, so it must have been the case from the very beginning; because they SET OUT, and necessarily set out, with the doctrine of the UNITY of the Godhead. This, of course, would give rise to no little absurdity and inconsistency in the very nature of the case.
Both Wilkinson and Bunsen, to get rid of the inconsistencies they have met with in the Egyptian system, have found it necessary to have recourse to substantially the same explanation as I have done. Thus we find Wilkinson saying: "I have stated that Amun-re and other gods took the form of different deities, which, though it appears at first sight to present some difficulty, may readily be accounted for when we consider that each of those whose figures or emblems were adopted, was only an EMANATION, or deified attribute of the SAME GREAT BEING to whom they ascribed various characters, according to the several offices he was supposed to perform" (WILKINSON, vol. iv. p. 245). The statement of Bunsen is to the same effect, and it is this: "Upon these premises, we think ourselves justified in concluding that the two series of gods were originally identical, and that, in the GREAT PAIR of gods, all these attributes were concentrated, from the development of which, in various personifications, that mythological system sprang up which we have been already considering" (BUNSEN, vol. i. p. 418).
The bearing of all this upon the question of the identification of Cybele and Astarte, or Venus, is important. Fundamentally, there was but one goddess--the Holy Spirit, represented as female, when the distinction of sex was wickedly ascribed in the Godhead, through a perversion of the great Scripture idea, that all the children of God are at once begotten of the Father, and born of the Spirit; and under this idea, the Spirit of God, as Mother, was represented under the form of a dove, in memory of the fact that that Spirit, at the creation, "fluttered"--for so, as I have observed, is the exact meaning of the term in Gen. i. 2--"on the face of the waters." This goddess, then, was called Ops, "the flutterer," or Juno, "The Dove," or Khubele, "The binder with cords," which last title had reference to "the bands of love, the cords of a man" (called in Hosea xi. 4, "Khubeli Adam"), with which not only does God continually, by His providential goodness, draw men unto Himself, but with which our first parent Adam, through the Spirit's indwelling, while the covenant of Eden was unbroken, was sweetly bound to God.
This theme is minutely dwelt on in Pagan story, and the evidence is very abundant; but I cannot enter upon it here. Let this only be noticed, however, that the Romans joined the two terms Juno and Khubele-or, as it is commonly pronounced, Cybele--together; and on certain occasions invoked their supreme goddess, under the name of Juno Covella-(see STANLEY's philosophy, p. 1055)--that is, "The dove that binds with cords." In STATIUS (lib. v. Sylv. 1, v. 222, apud BRYANT, vol. iii. p. 325), the name of the great goddess occurs as Cybele-
"Italo gemitus Almone Cybele
Ponit, et Idaeos jam non reminiscitur names."
If the reader looks, in Layard, at the triune emblem of the supreme Assyrian divinity, he will see this very idea visibly> embodied. There the wings and tail of the dove have two bands associated with them instead of feet (LAYARD's Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 418; see also accompanying woodcut , from BRYANT, vol. ii. p. 216; and KITTO's Bib. Cyclop., vol. i. p. 425).
In reference to events after the Fall, Cybele got a new idea attached to her name. Khubel signifies not only to "bind with cords," but also "to travail in birth;" and therefore Cybele appeared as the >"Mother of the gods," by whom all God's children must be born anew or regenerated. But, for this purpose, it was held indispensable that there should be a union in the first instance with Rheia, "The gazer," the human "mother of gods and men," that the ruin she had introduced might be remedied. Hence the identification of Cybele and Rheia, which in all the Pantheons are declared to be only two different names of the same goddess (see LEMPRIERE'S Classical Dictionary, sub voce), though, as we have seen, these goddesses were in reality entirely distinct. This same principle was applied to all the other deified mothers. They were deified only through the supposed miraculous identification with them of Juno or Cybele--in other words, of the Holy Spirit of God. Each of these mothers had her own legend, and had special worship suited thereto; but, as in all cases, she was held to be an incarnation of the one spirit of God, as the great Mother of all, the attributes of that one Spirit were always pre-supposed as belonging to her.
This, then, was the case with the goddess recognised as Astarte or Venus, as well as with Rhea. Though there were points of difference between Cybele or Rhea, and AStarte or Mylitta, the Assyrian Venus, Layard shows that there were also distinct points of contact between them. Cybele or Rhea was remarkable for her turreted crown. Mylitta, or Astarte, was represented with a similar crown (LAYARD'S Nineveh, vol. ii. p. 456). Cybele, or Rhea, was drawn by lions; Mylitta, or Astarte, was represented as standing on a lion (Ibid). The worship of Mylitta, or Astarte, was a mass of moral pollution (HERODOT., lib. i. cap. 199, p. 92). The worship of Cybele, under the name of Terra, was the same (AUGUSTINE, De Cavitate, lib. vi. cap. 8, tom. ix., p. 203).
The first deified woman was no doubt Semiramis, as the first deified man was her husband. But it is evident that it was some time after the Mysteries began that this deification took place; for it was not till after Semiramis was dead that she was exalted to divinity, and worshipped under the form of a dove. When, however, the Mysteries were originally concocted, the deeds of Eve, who, through her connection with the serpent, brought forth death, must necessarily have occupied a place; for the Mystery of sin and death lies at the very foundation of all religion, and in the age of Semiramis and Nimrod, and Shem and Ham, all men must have been well acquainted with the facts of the Fall.
At first the sin of Eve may have been admitted in all its sinfulness (otherwise men generally would have been shocked, especially when the general conscience had been quickened through the zeal of Shem); but when a woman was to be deified, the shape that the mystic story came to assume shows that that sin was softened, yea, that it changed its very character, and that by a perversion of the name given to Eve, as "the mother of all living ones," that is, all the regenerate (see Note I), she was glorified as the authoress of spiritual life, and, under the very name Rhea, was recognised as the mother of the gods. Now, those who had the working of the Mystery of Iniquity did not find it very difficult to show that this name Rhea, originally appropriate to the mother of mankind, was hardly less appropriate for her who was the actual mother of the gods, that is, of all the deified mortals.
Rhea, in the active sense, signifies "the Gazing woman," but in the passive it signifies "The woman gazed at," that is, "The beauty," * and thus, under one and the same term, the mother of mankind and the mother of the Pagan gods, that is, Semiramis, were amalgamated; insomuch, that now, as is well known, Rhea is currently recognised as the "Mother of gods and men" (HESIOD, Theogon., v. 453, p. 36). It is not wonderful, therefore, that the name Rhea is found applied to her, who, by the Assyrians, was worshipped in the very character of Astarte or Venus. 2bab043.htm
"Almost all the Tartar princes," says Salverte (Des Sciences Occultes, Appendix, Note A, sect. xii. p. 490), "trace their genealogy to a celestial virgin, impregnated by a sun-beam, or some equally miraculous means." In India, the mother of Surya, the sun-god, who was born to destroy the enemies of the gods (see ante, p. 96), is said to have become pregnant in this way, a beam of the sun having entered her womb, in consequence of which she brought forth the sun-god. Now the knowledge of this widely diffused myth casts light on the secret meaning of the name Aurora, given to the wife of Orion, to whose marriage with that "mighty hunter" Homer refers (Odyssey, lib. v. ll. 120, 121). While the name Aur-ora, in the physical sense, signifies also "pregnant with light;" and from "ohra," "to conceive" or be "pregnant," we have in Greek, the word oap for a wife. As Orion, according to Persian accounts, was Nimrod; and Nimrod, under the name of Ninus, was worshipped as the son of his wife, when he came to be deified as the sun-god, that name Aurora, as applied to his wife, is evidently intended to convey the very same idea as prevails in Tartary and India.
These myths of the Tartars and Hindoos clearly prove that the Pagan idea of the miraculous conception had not come from any intermixture of Christianity with that superstition, but directly from the promise of "the seed of the woman." But how, it may be asked, could the idea of being pregnant with a sunbeam arise? There is reason to believe that it came from one of the natural names of the sun. From the Chaldean zhr, "to shine," comes, in the participle active, zuhro or zuhre, "the Shiner;" and hence, no doubt, from zuhro, "the Shiner," under the prompting of a designing priesthood, men would slide into the idea of zuro, "the seed,"--"the Shiner" and "the seed," according to the genius of Paganism, being thus identified. This was manifestly the case in Persia, where the sun was the great divinity; for the "Persians," says Maurice, "called God Sure" (Antiquities, vol. v. p. 22). 2bab044.htm
What could ever have induced mankind to think of calling the great Goddess-mother, or mother of gods and men, a House or Habitation? The answer is evidently to be found in a statement made in Gen. ii. 21, in regard to the formation of the mother of mankind: "And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made (margin, literally BUILDED ) he into a woman." That this history of the rib was well known to the Babylonians, is manifest from one of the names given to their primeval goddess, as found in Berosus (lib. i. p. 50). That name is Thalatth. But Thalatth is just the Chaldean form of the Hebrew Tzalaa, in the feminine,--the very word used in Genesis for the rib, of which Eve was formed; and the other name which Berosus couples with Thalatth, does much to confirm this; for that name, which is Omorka, * just signifies "The Mother of the world." When we have thus deciphered the meaning of the name Thalatth, as applied to the "mother of the world," that leads us at once to the understanding, of the name Thalasius, * applied by the Romans to the god of marriage, the origin of which name has hitherto been sought in vain.
Thalatthi signifies "belonging to the rib," and, with the Roman termination, becomes Thalatthius or "Thalasius, the man of the rib." And what name more appropriate than this for Adam, as the god of marriage, who, when the rib was brought to him, said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man." At first, when Thalatth, the rib, was builded into a woman, that "woman" was, in a very important sense, the "Habitation" or "Temple of God;" and had not the Fall intervened, all her children would, in consequence of mere natural generation, have been the children of God. The entrance of sin into the world subverted the original constitution of things.
Still, when the promise of a Saviour was given and embraced, the renewed indwelling of the Holy Spirit was given too, not that she might thereby have any power in herself to bring forth children unto God, but only that she might duly act the part of a mother to a spiritually living offspring--to those whom God of his free grace should quicken, and bring from death unto life. Now, Paganism willingly overlooked all this; and taught, as soon as its votaries were prepared for receiving it, that this renewed indwelling of the spirit of God in the woman, was identification, and so it deified her. Then Rhea, "the gazer," the mother of mankind, was identified with Cybele "the binder with cords," or Juno, "the Dove," that is, the Holy Spirit. Then, in the blasphemous Pagan sense, she became Athor, "the Habitation of God," or Sacca, or Sacta, "the tabernacle" or "temple," in whom dwelt "all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Thus she became Heva, "The Living One;" not in the sense in which Adam gave that name to his wife after the Fall, when the hope of life out of the midst of death was so unexpectedly presented to her as well as to himself; but in the sense of the communicator of spiritual and eternal life to men; for Rhea was called the "fountain of the blessed ones." * The agency, then, of this deified woman was held to be indispensable for the begetting of spiritual children to God, in this, as it was admitted, fallen world. Looked at from this point of view, the meaning of the name given to the Babylonian goddess in 2 Kings xvii. 30, will be at once apparent. The name Succoth-benoth has very frequently been supposed to be a plural word, and to refer to booths or tabernacles used in Babylon for infamous purposes. But, as observed by Clericus (lib. i. De Chaldoeis, sect. 2, cap. 37), who refers to the Rabbins as being of the same opinion, the context clearly shows that the name must be the name of an idol: (ver. 29, 30), "Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans have made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth."
It is here evidently an idol that is spoken of; and as the name is feminine, that idol must have been the image of a goddess. Taken in this sense, then, and in the light of the Chaldean system as now unfolded, the meaning of "Succoth-benoth," as applied to the Babylonian goddess, is just "The tabernacle of child-bearing." * When the Babylonian system was developed, Eve was represented as the first that occupied this place, and the very name Benoth, that signifies "child-bearing," explains also how it came about that the Woman, who, as Hestia or Vesta, was herself called the "Habitation," got the credit of "having invented the art of building houses" (SMITH, sub voce "Hestia").
Benah, the verb, from which Benoth comes, signifies at once to "bring forth children" and "to build houses;" the bringing forth of children being metaphorically regarded as the "building up of the house," that is, of the family.
While the Pagan system, so far as a Goddess-mother was concerned, was founded on this identification of the Celestial and Terrestial mothers of the "blessed" immortals, each of these two divinities was still celebrated as having, in some sense, a distinct individuality; and, in consequence, all the different incarnations of the Saviour-seed were represented as born of two mothers. It is well known that Bimater, or Two-mothered, is one of the distinguishing epithets applied to Bacchus. Ovid makes the reason of the application of this epithet to him to have arisen from the myth, that when in embryo, he was rescued from the flames in which his mother died, was sewed up in Jupiter's thigh, and then brought forth at the due time. Without inquiring into the secret meaning of this, it is sufficient to state that Bacchus had two goddess-mothers; for, not only was he conceived by Semele, but he was brought into the world by the goddess Ippa (PROCLUS in Timoeum, lib. ii. sec. 124, pp. 292, 293). This is the very same thing, no doubt, that is referred to, when it is said that after his mother Semele's death, his aunt Ino acted the part of a mother and nurse unto him.
The same thing appears in the mythology of Egypt, for there we read that Osiris, under the form of Anubis, having been brought forth by Nepthys, was adopted and brought up by the goddess Isis as her own son. In consequence of this, the favourite Triad came everywhere to be the two mothers and the son. In WILKINSON, vol. vi., plate 35, the reader will find a divine Triad, consisting of Isis and Nepthys, and the child of Horus between them. In Babylon, the statement of Diodorus (lib. ii. p. 69) shows that the Triad there at one period was two goddesses and the son--Hera, Rhea, and Zeus; and in the Capitol at Rome, in like manner, the Triad was Juno, Minerva, and Jupiter; while, when Jupiter was worshipped by the Roman matrons as "Jupiter puer," or "Jupiter the child," it was in company with Juno and the goddess Fortuna (CICERO, De Divinatione, lib. ii. cap. 41, vol. iii. p. 77). This kind of divine Triad seems to be traced up to very ancient times among the Romans; for it is stated both by Dionysius Halicarnassius and by Livy, that soon after the expulsion of the Tarquins, there was at Rome a temple in which were worshipped Ceres, Liber, and Libera (DION, HALICARN., vol. i. pp. 25, 26; and LIVY, vol. i. p. 233). 2bab045.htm
That Semiramis, under the name of Astarte, was worshipped not only as an incarnation of the Spirit of God, but as the mother of mankind, we have very clear and satisfactory evidence. There is no doubt that "the Syrian goddess" was Astarte (LAYARD'S Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 456). Now, the Assyrian goddess, or Astarte, is identified with Semiramis by Athenagoras (Legatio, vol. ii. p. 179), and by Lucian (De Dea Syria, vol iii. p. 382). These testimonies in regard to Astarte, or the Syrian goddess, being, in one aspect, Semiramis, are quite decisive. 1. The name Astarte, as applied to her, has reference to her as being Rhea or Cybele, the tower-bearing goddess, the first, as Ovid says (Opera, vol. iii., Fasti, lib. iv. ll. 219, 220), that "made (towers) in cities;" for we find from Layard, at the page above referred to, that in the Syrian temple of Hierapolis, "she [Dea Syria or Astarte] was represented standing on a lion crowned with towers." Now, no name could more exactly picture forth the character of Semiramis, as queen of Babylon, than the name of "Asht-tart," for that just means "The woman that made towers."
It is admitted on all hands that the last syllable "tart" comes from the Hebrew verb "Tr." It has been always taken for granted, however, that "Tr" signifies only "to go round." But we have evidence that, in nouns derived from it, it also signifies "to be round," "to surround," or "encompass." In the masculine, we find "Tor" used for "a border or row of jewels round the head" (see PARKHURST, sub voce No. ii., and also GESENIUS).
And in the feminine, as given in Hesychius (Lexicon, p. 925), we find the meaning much more decisively brought out: Turis ho peribolos tou teichous. Turis is just the Greek form of Turit, the final t, according to the genius of the Greek language, being converted into s. Ash-turit, then, which is obviously the same as the Hebrew "Ashtoreth," is just "The woman that made the encompassing wall." Considering how commonly the glory of that achievement, as regards Babylon, was given to Semiramis, not only by Ovid (Opera Metam., lib. iv. fab. 4. 1. 58, vol. ii. p. 177), but by Justin, Dionysius, Afer, and others, both the name and mural crown on the head of that goddess were surely very appropriate.
In confirmation of this interpretation of the meaning of the name Astarte, I may adduce an epithet applied to the Greek Diana, who at Ephesus bore a turreted crown on her head, and was identified with Semiramis, which is not a little striking. It is contained in the following extract from Livy (lib. xliv. cap. 44, vol. vi. pp. 57, 58): "When the news of the battle [near Pydna] reached Amphipolis, the matrons ran together to the temple of Diana, whom they style Tauropolos, to implore her aid." Tauropolos, from Tor, "a tower," or "surrounding fortification," and Pol, "to made," plainly means the "tower-maker," or "maker of surrounding fortifications;" and to her as the goddess of fortifications, they would naturally apply when they dreaded an attack upon their city.
Semiramis, being deified as Astarte, came to be raised to the highest honours; and her change into a dove, as has been already shown (p. 79, ante), was evidently intended, when the distinction of sex had been blasphemously attributed to the Godhead, to identify her, under the name of the Mother of the gods, with that Divine Spirit, without whose agency no one can be born a child of God, and whose emblem, in the symbolical language of Scripture, was the Dove, as that of the Messiah was the Lamb. Since the Spirit of God is the source of all wisdom, natural as well as spiritual, arts and inventions and skill of every kind being attributed to Him (Exod. xxxi. 3, and xxxv. 31), so the Mother of the gods, in whom that Spirit was feigned to be incarnate, was celebrated as the originator of some of the useful arts and sciences (DIODORUS SICULUS, lib. iii. p. 134). Hence, also, the character attributed to the Grecian Minerva, whose name Athena, as we have seen reason to conclude, is only a synonym for Beltis, the well-known as the "goddess of wisdom," the inventress of arts and sciences. 2. The name Astarte signifies also the "Maker of investigations;" and in this respect was applicable to Cybele or Semiramis, as symbolised by the Dove.
That this is one of the meanings of the name Astarte may be seen from comparing it with the cognate names Asterie and Astraea (in Greek Astraia), which are formed by taking the last member of the compound word in the masculine, instead of the feminine, Teri, or Tri (the latter being pronounced Trai or Trae), being the same in senses as Tart. Now, Asterie was the wife of Perseus, the Assyrian (HERODOTUS, lib. vi. p. 400), and who was the founder of Mysteries (BRYANT, vol. iii. pp. 267, 268). As Asterie was further represented as the daughter of Bel, this implies a position similar to that of Semiramis. Astraea, again, was the goddess of justice, who is identified with the heavenly virgin Themis, the name Themis signifying "the perfect one," who gave oracles (OVID, Metam, lib. i. fab. 7, vol. ii. p. 30), and who, having lived on earth before the Flood, forsook it just before that catastrophe came on (Ibid. Note).
Themis and Astraea are sometimes distinguished and sometimes identified; but both have the same character as goddess of justice (see Gradus ad Parnassum, sub voce "Justitia"). The explanation of the discrepancy obviously is, that the Spirit has sometimes been viewed as incarnate and sometimes not.
When incarnate, Astraea is daughter of Themis. What name could more exactly agree with the character of a goddess of justice, than Ash-trai-a, "The maker of investigations," and what name could more appropriately shadow forth one of the characters of that Divine Spirit, who "searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God"? As Astraea, or Themis, was "Fatidica Themis," "Themis the prophetic," this also was another characteristic of the Spirit; for whence can any true oracle, or prophetic inspiration, come, but from the inspiring Spirit of God?
Then, lastly, what can more exactly agree with the Divine statement in Genesis in regard to the Spirit of God, than the statement of Ovid, that Astraea was the last of the celestials who remained on earth, and that her forsaking it was the signal for the downpouring of the destroying deluge? The announcement of the coming Flood is in Scripture ushered in with these words: (Gen. vi. 3), "And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
All these 120 years, the Spirit was striving; when they came to an end, the Spirit strove no longer, forsook the earth, and left the world to its fate. But though the Spirit of God forsook the earth, it did not forsake the family of righteous Noah. It entered with the patriarch into the ark; and when that patriarch came forth from his long imprisonment, it came forth along with him. Thus the Pagans had an historical foundation for their myth of the dove resting on the symbol of the ark in the Babylonian waters, and the Syrian goddess, or Astarte--the same as Astraea--coming forth from it.
Semiramis, then, as Astarte, worshipped as the dove, was regarded as the incarnation of the Spirit of God. 3. As Baal, Lord of Heaven, had his visible emblem, the sun, so she, as Beltis, Queen of Heaven, must have hers also--the moon, which in another sense was Asht-tart-e, "The maker of revolutions;" for there is no doubt that Tart very commonly signifies "going round." But, 4th, the whole system must be dovetailed together. As the mother of the gods was equally the mother of mankind, Semiramis, or Astarte, must also be identified with Eve; and the name Rhea, which, according to the Paschal Chronicle, vol. i. p. 65, was given to her, sufficiently proves her identification with Eve.
As applied to the common mother of the human race, the name Astarte is singularly appropriate; for, as she was Idaia mater, "The mother of knowledge," the question is, "How did she come by that knowledge?" To this answer can only be: "By the fatal investigations she made." It was a tremendous experiment she made, when, in opposition to the Divine command, and in spite of the threatened penalty, she ventured to "search" into that forbidden knowledge which her Maker in his goodness had kept from her.
Thus she took the lead in that unhappy course of which the Scripture speaks--"God made man upright, but they have SOUGHT out many inventions" (Eccles. vii. 29). Now Semiramis, deified as the Dove, was Astarte in the most gracious and benignant form. Lucius Ampelius (in Libro ad Macrinum apud BRYANT, vol. iii. p. 161) calls her "Deam benignam et misericordem hominibus ad vitam bonam," "The goddess benignant and merciful to men" (bringing them) "to a good and happy life." In reference to this benignity of her character, both the titles, Aphrodite and Mylitta, are evidently attributed to her.
The first I have elsewhere explained as "The wrath-subduer' (ante, p. 158), and the second is in exact accordance with it. Mylitta, or, as it is in Greek, Mylitta, signifies "The Mediatrix." The Hebrew Melitz, which in Chaldee becomes Melitt, is evidently used in Job xxxiii. 23, in the sense of a Mediator; "the messenger, the interpreter" (Melitz), who is "gracious" to a man, and saith, "Deliver from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom," being really "The Messenger, the MEDIATOR." Parkhurst takes the word in this sense, and derives it from "Mltz," "to be sweet," Now, the feminine of Melitz is Melitza, from which comes Melissa, a "bee" (the sweetener, or producer of sweetness), and Melissa, a common name of the priestesses of Cybele, and as we may infer of Cybele, as Astarte, or Queen of Heaven, herself; for, after Porphyry, has stated that "the ancients called the priestesses of Demeter, Melissae," he adds, that they also "called the Moon Melissa" (Deantro Nympharum, p. 18).
We have evidence, further, that goes far to identify this title as a title of Semiramis. Melissa or Melitta (APOLLODORUS, vol. i. lib. ii. p. 110)--for the name is given in both ways--is said to have been the mother of Phoroneus, the first that reigned, in whose days the dispersion of mankind occurred, divisions having come in among them, whereas before, all had been in harmony and spoke one language (Hyginus, fab. 143, p. 114). There is no other to whom this can be applied but Nimrod; and as Nimrod came to be worshipped as Nin, the son of his own wife, the identification is exact. Melitta, then, the mother of Phoroneus, is the same as Mylitta, the well-known name of the Babylonian Venus; and the name, as being the feminine of Melitz, the Mediator, consequently signifies the Mediatrix. Another name also given to the mother of Phoroneus, "the first that reigned," is Archia (LEMPRIERE; see also SMITH, p. 572). Now Archia signifies "Spiritual" (from "Rkh," Heb. "Spirit," which in Egyptian also is "Rkh" (BUNSEN, vol. i. p. 516, No. 292); and in Chaldee, with the prosthetic a prefixed becomes Arkh). *
From the same root also evidently comes the epithet Architis, as applied to the Venus that wept for Adonis. * Venus Architis is the spiritual Venus. * Thus, then, the mother-wife of the first king that reigned was known as Archia and Melitta, in other words, as the woman in whom the "Spirit of God" was incarnate; and thus appeared as the "Dea Benigna," "The Mediatrix" for sinful mortals. The first form of Astarte, as Eve, brought sin into the world; the second form before the Flood, was avenging as the goddess of justice. This form was "Benignant and Merciful." Thus, also Semiramis, or Astarte, as Venus the goddess of love and beauty, became "The HOPE of the whole world," and men gladly had recourse to the "mediation" of one so tolerant of son. 2bab046.htm
The reason for believing that Oannes, that was said to have been the first of the fabulous creatures that came up out of the sea and instructed the Babylonians, was represented as the goat-horned fish, is as follows: First, the name Oannes, as elsewhere shown, is just the Greek form of He-anesh, or "The man," which is a synonym for the name of our first parent, Adam. Now, Adam can be proved to be the original of Pan, who was also called Inuus (see DYMOCK, sub voce "Inuus"), which is just another pronunciation of Anosh without the article, which, in our translation of Gen. v. 7, is made Enos.
This name, as universally admitted, is the generic name for man after the Fall, as weak and diseased. The o in Enos is what is called the vau, which sometimes is pronounced o, sometimes u, and sometimes v or w. A legitimate pronunciation of Enos, therefore, is just Enus or Enws, the same in sound as Inuus, the Ancient Roman name of Pan. The name Pan itself signifies "He who turned aside." As the Hebrew word for "uprightness" signifies "walking straight in the way," so every deviation from the straight lie of duty was Sin; Hata, the word for sin, signifying generically "to go aside from the straight line." Pan, it is admitted, was the Head of the Satyrs--that is, "the first of the Hidden Ones," for Satyr and Satur, "the Hidden One," are evidently just the same word; and Adam was the first of mankind that hid himself.
Pan is said to have loved a nymph called Pitho, or, as it is given in another form, Pitys (SMITH, sub voce "Pan"): and what is Pitho or Pitys but just the name of the beguiling woman, who, having been beguiled herself, acted the part of a beguiler to her husband, and induced him to take the step, in consequence of which he earned the name Pan, "The man that turned aside." Pitho or Pitys evidently come from Peth or Pet, "to beguile," from which verb also the famous serpent Python derived its name. This conclusion in regard to the personal identity of Pan and Pitho is greatly confirmed by the titles given to the wife of Faunus. Faunus, says Smith (Ibid.), is "merely another name for Pan." * Now, the wife of Faunus was called Oma, Fauna, and Fatua (Ibid., sub voce "Bona Dea"), which names plainly mean "The mother that turned aside, being beguiled." * This beguiled mother is also called indifferently "the sister, wife, or daughter" of her husband; and how this agrees with the relations of Eve to Adam, the reader does not need to be told.
Now, a title of Pan was Capricornus, or "The goat-horned" (DYMOCK, sub voce "Pan"), and the origin of this title must be traced to what took place when our first parent became the Head of the Satyrs,--the "first of the Hidden ones." He fled to hide himself; and Berkha, "a fugitive," signifies also "a he-goat." Hence the origin of the epithet Capricornus, or "goat-horned," as applied to Pan. But as Capricornus in the sphere is generally represented as the "Goat-fish," if Capricornus represents Pan, or Adam, or Oannes, that shows that it must be Adam, after, through virtue of the metempsychosis, he had passed through the waters of the deluge; the goat, as the symbol of Pan, representing Adam, the first father of mankind, combined with the fish, the symbol of Noah, the second father of the human race; of both whom Nimrod, as at once Kronos, "the father of the gods," and Souro, "the seed," was a new incarnation. Among the idols of Babylon, as represented in KITTO's Illust.
Commentary, vol. iv. p 31, we find a representation of this very Capricornus, or goat-horned fish; and Berosus tells us ("Berosiana," in BUNSEN, vol. i. p. 708), that the well-known representations of Pan, of which Capricornus is a modification, were found in Babylon in the most ancient times. A great deal more of evidence might be adduced on this subject; but I submit to the reader if the above statement does not sufficiently account for the origin of the remarkable figure in the Zodiac, "The goat-horned fish." 2bab047.htm
1. Nimrod, or Adon, or Adonis, of Babylon, was the great war-god. Odin, as is well known, was the same.
2. Nimrod, in the character of Bacchus, was regarded as the god of wine; Odin is represented as taking no food but wine. For thus we read in the Edda: "As to himself he [Odin] stands in no need of food; wine is to him instead of every other aliment, according to what is said in these verses: The illustrious father of armies, with his own hand, fattens his two wolves; but the victorious Odin takes no other nourishment to himself than what arises from the unintermitted quaffing of wine" (MALLET, 20th Fable, vol. ii. p. 106).
3. The name of one of Odin's sons indicates the meaning of Odin's own name. Balder, for whose death such lamentations were made, seems evidently just the Chaldee form of Baal-zer, "The seed of Baal;" for the Hebrew z, as is well known, frequently, in the later Chaldee, becomes d. Now, Baal and Adon both alike signify "Lord"; and, therefore, if Balder be admitted to be the seed or son of Baal, that is as much as to say that he is the son of Adon; and, consequently, Adon and Odin must be the same. This, of course, puts Odin a step back; makes his son to be the object of lamentation and not himself; but the same was the case also in Egypt; for there Horus the child was sometimes represented as torn in pieces, as Osiris had been. Clemens Alexandrinus says (Cohortatio, vol. i. p. 30), "they lament an infants torn in pieces by the Titans." The lamentations for Balder are very plainly the counterpart of the lamentations for Adonis; and, of course, if Balder was, as the lamentations prove him to have been, the favourite form of the Scandinavian Messiah, he was Adon, or "Lord," as well as his father.
4. Then, lastly, the name of the other sons of Odin, the mighty and warlike Thor, strengthens all the foregoing conclusions. Ninyas, the son of Ninus or Nimrod, on his father's death, when idolatry rose again, was, of course, from the nature of the mystic system, set up as Adon, "the Lord." Now, as Odin had a son called Thor, so the second Assyrian Adon had a son called Thouros (Cedrenus, vol. i. p. 29). The name Thouros seems just to be another form of Zoro, or Doro, "the seed;" for Photius tells us that among the Greeks Thoros signified "Seed" (Lexicon, pars i. p. 93). The D is often pronounced as Th,--Adon, in the pointed Hebrew, being pronounced Athon. 2bab048.htm
The passage given at the above page from Proclus is differently rendered by different translators. As I have quoted it, it is nearly the same as rendered by Taylor in his translation of Proclus. Taylor departs from the rendering of the Latin translator of the edition of Hamburgi, 1618, in regard to the word rendered "divested of their garments." That translator renders the word, which, in the original, is gumnitas, by "velites," or "light armed soldiers." But, on a careful examination of the passage, it will be found that Taylor's version, in regard to the meaning and application soldiers" entirely confounds the sense. In DONNEGAN'S Greek Lexicon, gumnitas, is made synonymous with, which in its primary signification is said to mean naked. In LIDDELL and SCOTT's Lexicon, gumnitas, is not given, but gumnitas,; and there is said, when a noun, to mean a light armed soldier, but when an adjective, to signify naked.
Now, the context shows that gumnitas, or gumnitas, must be used as an adjective. Further, the context, before and after, makes it evident that it must mean "stripped" or "divested of garments." The sentence itself states a comparison. I give the words of the comparison from the Latin version already referred to: "Et quemadmodum. . . .[and then here come in the words I have quoted in the text] eodem modo puto et in ipsa rerum universarum contemplatione rem se habere." Now, in the sentence before, the soul or person who properly gives himself to the contemplation of the universe and God, is said to do so thus: "Contrahens se totam in sui ipsius unionem, et in ipsum centrum universae vitae, et multitudinem et varietatem omnigenarum in ea comprehensarum facultatem AMOVENS, in ipsam summam ipsorum Entium speculam ascendit."
Then, in the passage following the sentence in question, the same idea of the removing of everything that may hinder perfect union of soul is represented, "et omnibus omissis atque NEGLECTIS," etc. Here the argument is, that as the initiated needed to be stripped naked, to get the full benefits of initiation, so the soul needs to divest itself of everything that may hinder it from rising to the contemplation of things as they really are.
There is only one other thing to be noticed, and that is the doubt that may arise in regard to the parenthetic words, "as they would say," whether, as they stand in the original, and as they are given by Taylor, they qualify the words preceding, or that follow after. As given in Taylor's translation, the words appear thus: "divested of their garments, as they would say, participate of divine nature." Here it is not clear which clause they must be held to affect. This can be ascertained only from the usus loquendi. Now, the usus loquendi in Proclus is very decisive in showing that they qualify what follows. Thus, in lib. i. cap. 3, p. 6, we find the following, ten akroteta tou nou, kai (hos phasi) to anthos-- "The summit of the soul, and as (they say) the flower;" and again (Ibid. cap. 7, p. 16), kai pantes (hos eipein) tesentheou sophias meteilephasi-- "and all (so to speak) have partaken of the inspired wisdom." From these passages the usage of Proclus is clear, and, therefore, while keeping the words of Taylor's translation, I have arranged the last clause so as to bring out more clearly the real meaning of the original author. 2bab049.htm
That Zoroaster was head of the fire-worshippers, the following, among other evidence, may prove. Not to mention that the name Zoroaster is almost a synonym for a fire-worshipper, the testimony of Plutarch is of weight: "Plutarchus agnoscit Zoroastrem apud Chaldaeos Magos instituisse, ad quorum imitationem Persae etiam sus habuerunt. * Arabica quoque Historia (ab Erpenio edita) tradit Zaradussit non primum instituisse. sed reformasse religionem Persarum et Magorum, qui divisi erant in plures sectas" (Clericus, lib. i. De Chaldaeis, sect. i. cap. 2, vol. ii. p. 195); "Plutarch acknowledges that Zoroaster among the Chaldeans instituted the Magi, in imitation of whom the Persians also had their (Magi). The Arabian History also (edited by Erpenius) relates that Zaradussit, or Zerdusht, did not for the first time institute, but (only) reform the religion of the Persians and Magi, who had been divided into many sects."
The testimony of Agathias is to the same effect. He gives it as his opinion that the worship of fire came from the Chaldeans to the Persians, lib. ii. cap. 25, pp. 118, 119. That the Magi among the Persians were the guardians of "the sacred and eternal fire" may be assumed from Curtius (lib. iii. cap.3, pp. 41, 42), who says that fire was carried before them "on silver altars; from the statement of Strabo (Geograph., lib. xv. p. 696), that "the Magi kept upon the altar a quantity of ashes and an immortal fire," and of Herodotus (lib. i. p. 63), that "without them, no sacrifice could be offered." The fire-worship was an essential part of the system of the Persian Magi (WILSON, Parsee Religion, pp. 228-235). This fire-worship the Persian Magi did not pretend to have invented; but their popular story carried the origin of it up to the days of Hoshang, the father of Tahmurs, who founded Babylon (WILSON, pp. 202, 203, and 579)---i.e., the time of Nimrod. In confirmation of this, we have seen that a fragment of Apollodorus (Muller, 68) makes Ninus the head of the fire-worshippers. Layard, quoting this fragment, supposes Ninus to be different from Zoroaster (Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. p. 443, Note); but it can be proved, that though many others bore the name of Zoraster, the lines of evidence all converge, so as to demonstrate that Ninus and Nimrod and Zoroaster were one.
The legends of Zoroaster show that he was known not only as a Magus, but as a Warrior (ARNOBIUS, lib. i. p. 327). Plato says that Eros Armenius (whom CLERICUS, De Chaldaeis, states, vol. ii. p. 195, to have been the same as the fourth Zoroaster) died and rose again after ten days, having been killed battle; and that what he pretended to have learned in Hades, he communicated to men in his new life (PLATO, De Republica, lib x. vol. ii. p.614). We have seen the death of Nimrod, the original Zoroaster, was not that of a warrior slain in battle; but yet this legend of the warrior Zoroaster is entirely in favour of the supposition that the original Zoroaster, the original Head of the Magi, was not a priest merely, but a warrior-king. Everywhere are the Zoroastrians, or fire-worshippers, called Guebres or Gabrs. Now, Gen. x. 8 proves that Nimrod was the first of the "Gabrs."
As Zoroaster was head of the fire-worshippers, so Tammuz was evidently the same. We have seen evidence already that sufficiently proves the identity of Tammuz and Nimrod; but a few words may still more decisively prove it, and cast further light on the primitive fire-worship.
1. In the first place, Tammuz and Adonis are proved to be the same divinity. Jerome, who lived in Palestine when the rites of Tammuz were observed, up to the very time when he wrote, expressly identifies Tammuz and Adonis (vol. ii. p.353), in his Commentary on Ezekiel, viii. 14, where the Jewish women are represented as weeping for Tammuz; and the testimony of Jerome on this subject is universally admitted. Then the mode in which the rites of Tammuz or Adonis were celebrated in Syria was essentially the same as the rites of Osiris. The statement of Lucian (De Dea Syria, vol. iii. p. 454) strikingly shows this, and Bunsen (vol. i. p. 443) distinctly admits it. The identity of Osiris and Nimrod has been largely proved in the body of this work. When, therefore, Tammuz or Adonis is identified with Osiris, the identification of Tammuz with Nimrod follows of course. And then this entirely agrees with the language of Bion, in his Lament for Adonis, where he represents Venus as going in a frenzy of grief, like a Bacchant, after the death of Adonis, through the woods and valleys, and"calling upon her Assyrian husband" (BION, Idyll, Id. i. v. 214, in Portae Minores Graeci, p. 304). It equally agrees with statement of Maimonides, that when Tammuz was put to death, the grand scene of weeping for that death was in the temple of Babylon(see ante, p. 62).
2. Now, if Tammuz was Nimrod, the examination of the meaning of the name confirms the connection of Nimrod with the first fire-worship. After what has already been advanced, there needs no argument to show that, as the Chaldeans were the first who introduced the name and power or kings (SYNCELLUS, vol. i. p. 169), and as Nimrod was unquestionably the first of these kings, and the first, consequently, that bore the title of Moloch, or king, so it was in honour of him that the "children were made to pass through the fire" was undoubtedly to purify. The name Tammuz has evidently reference to this, for it signifies "to perfect," that is, "to purify" * "by fire;" and if Nimrod was, as the Paschal Chronicle (vol. i. pp. 50, 51), and the general voice of antiquity, represent him to have been, the originator of fire-worship, this name very exactly expresses his character in that respect. It is evident, however, from the Zoroastrian verse, elsewhere quoted (ante, p. 245), that fire itself was worshipped as Tammuz, for it is called the "Father that perfected all things." In one respect this represented fire as the Creative god; but in another, there can be no doubt that it had reference to the "perfection" of men by "purifying" them. And especially it perfected those whom it consumed. This was the very idea that, from time immemorial until very recently, led so many widows in India to immolate themselves on the funeral piles of their husbands, the woman who thus burned herself being counted blessed, because she became Suttee * --i.e., "Pure by burning." And this also, no doubt, reconciled the parents who actually sacrificed their children to Moloch, to the cruel sacrifice, the belief being cherished that the fire that consumed them also "perfected" them, and made them meet for eternal happiness. As both the passing through the fire, and the burning in the fire, were essential rites in the worship of Moloch or Nimrod, this is an argument that Nimrod was Tammuz. As the priest and representative of the perfection or purifying by fire, and so he was called by its name.
When we turn to the legends of India, find evidence to the very same effect as that which we have seen with regard to Zoroaster and Tammuz as head of the fire-worshippers. The fifth head of Brahma, that was cut of for inflicting distress on the three worlds, by "effulgence of its dazzling beams, " referred to in the text of this work, identifies itself with Nimrod. The fact that that fifth head was represented as having read the Vedas, or sacred books produced by the other four heads, shows, I think, a succession. *
Now, coming down from Noah, what would that succession be? We have evidence from Berosus, that, in the days of Belus--that is, Nimrod--the custom of making representations like that of two-headed Janus, had begun. * Assume, then, that Noah, as having lived in two worlds, has his two heads. Ham is the third, Cush the forth, and Nimrod is, of course, the fifth. And this fifth head was cut off for doing the very thing for which Nimrod actually was cut off. I suspect that this Indian myth is the key to open up the meaning of a statement of Plutarch, which, according to the terms of it, as it stands, is visibly absurd. It is as follows: Plutarch (in the forth book of his Symposiaca, Quaest. 5, vol. ii. p. 570, B) says that "the Egyptians were of the opinion that darkness was prior to light, and that the latter [viz., light] was produced from mice, in the fifth generation, at the time of the new moon." In India, we find that "a new moon" was produced in a different sense from the ordinary meaning of that term, and that the production of that new moon was not only important in Indian mythology, but evidently agreed in time with the period when the fifth head of Brahma scorched the world with its insufferable splendour.
The account of its production runs thus: that the gods and mankind were entirely discontented with the moon which they gad got, "because it gave no light," and besides the plants were poor and the fruits of no use, and that therefore they churned the White sea [or, as it is commonly expressed, "they churned the ocean"], when all things were mingled--i.e., were thrown into confusion, and that then a new moon, with a new regent, was appointed, which brought in an entirely new system of things (Asiatic Researches, vol. ix. p. 98). From MAURICE'S Indian Antiquities (vol. ii. sect. 6, pp. 264-266), we learn that at this very time of the churning of the ocean, the earth was set on fire, and a great conflagration was the result.
But the name of the moon in India is Soma, or Som (for the final a is only a breathing, and the word is found in the name of the famous temple of Somnaut, which name signifies "Lord of the Moon"), and the moon in India is male. As this transaction is symbolical, the question naturally arises, who could be meant by the moon, or regent of the moon, who was cast off in the fifth generation of the world? The name Some shows at once who he must have been. Some is just the name of Shem; for Shem's name comes from Shom, "to appoint," and is legitimately represented either by the name Som, or Sem, as it is in Greek; and it was precisely to get rid of Shem (either after his father's death, or when the infirmities of old age were coming upon him) as the great instructor of the world, that is, as the great diffuser of spiritual light, that in the fifth generation the world was thrown into confusion and the earth set on fire. The propriety of Shem's being compared to the moon will appear if we consider the way in which his father Noah was evidently symbolised.
The head of a family is divinely compared to the sun, as in the dream of Joseph (Genesis xxxvii.9), and it may be easily conceived how Noah would, by his posterity in general, be looked up to as occupying the paramount place as the Sun of the world; and accordingly Bryant, Davies, Faber, and others, have agreed in recognising Noah as so symbolised by Paganism. When, however, his younger son--for Shem was younger than Japhet--(Genesis x. 21) was substituted for his father, to whom the world had looked up in comparison of the "greater light," Shem would naturally, especially by those who disliked him and rebelled against him, be compared to "the lesser light," or the moon. *
Now, the production of light by mice at this period, comes in exactly to confirm this deduction. A mouse in Chaldee is "Aakbar"; and Gheber, or Kheber, in Arabic, Turkish, and some of the other eastern dialects, becomes "Akbar," as in the well-known Moslem saying, "Allar Akbar," "God is Great." So that the whole statement of Plutarch, when stripped of its nonsensical garb, just amounts to this, that light was produced by the nonsensical garb, just amounts to this, that light was produced by the Guebres or fire-worshippers, when Nimrod was set up in opposition to Shem, as the representative of Noah, and the great enlightener of the world. 2bab050.htm
The identity of Phaethon and Nimrod has much to support it besides the prima facie evidence arising from the statement that Phaethon was an Ethiopian or Cushite, and the resemblance of his fate, in being cast down from heaven while driving the chariot of the sun, as "the child of the Sun," to the casting down of Molk Gheber, whose very name, as the god of fire, identifies him with Nimrod.
1. Phaethon is said by Apollodorus (vol. i. p. 354) to have been the son of Tithonus; but if the meaning of the name Tithonus be examined, it will be evident that he was Tithonus himself. Tithonus was the husband of Aurora (DYMOCK, sub voce). In the physical sense, as we have already seen, Aur-ora signifies "The awakener of the light;" to correspond with this Tithonus signifies "The kindler of light," or "setter on fire." * Now "Phaethon, the son of Tithonus," is in Chaldee "Phaethon Bar Tithon." But this also signifies "Phaethon, the son that set on fire." Assuming, then, the identity of Phaethon and Tithonus, this goes far to identify Phaethon with Nimrod; for Homer, as we have seen (Odyssey, lib. v. 1. 121, p. 127), mentions the marriage of Aurora with Orion, the mighty Hunter, whose identity with Nimrod is established.
Then the name of the celebrated son that sprang from the union between Aurora and Tithonus, sows that Tithonus, in his original character, must have been indeed the same as "the mighty hunter" of Scripture, for the name of that son was Memnon (MARTIAL, lib. viii., s. 21, p. 550, and OVID, Metam. lib. xiii. 1. 517, vol. ii. p. 467), which signifies "The son of the spotted one," * thereby identifying the father with Nimrod, whose emblem was the spotted leopard's skin. As Ninus or Nimrod, was worshipped as the son of his own wife, and that wife Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, we see how exact is the reference to Phaethon, when Isaiah, speaking of the King of Babylon, who was his representative, says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isa. xiv. 12). The marriage of Orion with Aurora; in other words, his setting up as "The kindler of light," or becoming the "author of fire-worship," is said by Homer to have been the cause of his death, he having in consequence perished under the wrath of the gods (Odyss. lib. v. 1. 124, p. 127).
2. That Phaethon was currently represented as the son of Aurora, the common story, as related by Ovid, sufficiently proves. While Phaethon claimed to be the son of Phoebus, or the sun, he was reproached with being only the son of Merops--i.e., of the mortal husband of his mother Clymene (OVID, Metam. lib. ii. ll. 179-184, and Note). The story implies that that mother gave herself out to be Aurora, not in the physical sense of that term, but in its mystical sense; as "The woman pregnant with light;" and, consequently, her son was held up as the great "Light-bringer" who was to enlighten the world,--"Lucifer, the son of the morning," who was the pretended enlightener of the souls of men. *
The name Lucifer, in Isaiah, is the very word from which Eleleus, one of the names of Bacchus, evidently comes. It comes from "Helel," which signifies "to irradiate" or "to bring light," and is equivalent to the name Tithon. Now we have evidence that Lucifer, the son of Aurora, or the morning, was worshipped in the very same character as Nimrod, when he appeared in his new character as a little child; for there is an inscription extant in these words:-
"Bono Deo Puero Phosphoro." (See WILKINSON, vol. iv. p. 410.)
This Phaethon, or Lucifer, who was cast down is further proved to be Janus; for Janus is called "Pater Matutinus" (HORACE, Sat. ii. 6, 20, p. 674; and the meaning of this name will appear in one of its aspects when the meaning of the name of the Dea Matuta is ascertained. Dea Matuta signifies "The kindling or Light-bringing goddess," * and accordingly, by Priscian, she is identified with Aurora: "Matuta, quoe significat Aurorame" (PRISCIAN, ii. p. 591, apud Sir WILLIAM BETHAM'S Etruria, vol. ii. p. 53). Matutinus is evidently just the correlate of Matuta, goddess of the morning; Janus, therefore, as Matutinus, is "Lucifer, son of the morning."
But further, Matuta is identified with Ino, after she had plunged into the sea, and had, along with her son Melikerta, been changed into a sea-divinity (Gradus ad Parnassum, sub voce "Ino"). Consequently her son Melikerta, "king of the walled city," is the same as Janus Matutinus, or Lucifer, Phaethon, or Nimrod.
There is still another link by which Melikerta, the sea-divinity, or Janus Matutinus, is identified with the primitive god of the fire-worshippers. The most common name of Ino, or Matuta, after she had passed through the waters, was Leukothoe (OVID, Metam. lib. vi. ll. 541, 542). Now, Leukothoe or Leukothea has a double meaning, as it is derived either form "Lukhoth," which signifies "to light," or "set on fire," * or from Lukoth "to glean." In the Maltese medal given (ante, p. 160), the reader will see both of these senses exemplified.
The ear of corn, at the side of the goddess, which is more commonly held in her hand, while really referring in its hidden meaning to her being the Mother of Bar, "the son," to the uninitiated exhibits her as Spicilega, or "The Gleaner,"--"the popular name," says Hyde (De Religione, Vet. Pers., p. 392), "for the female with the ear of wheat represented in the constellation Virgo." In Bryant (vol. iii. p. 245), Cybele is represented with two or three ears of corn in her hand; for, as there were three peculiarly distinguished Bacchuses, there were consequently as many "Bars," and she might therefore be represented with one, two, or three ears in her hand. But to revert to the Maltese medal just referred to, the flames coming out of the head of Lukothea, the "Gleaner," show that, though she has passed through the waters, she is still Lukhothea, "the Burner," or "Light-giver."
And the rays around the mitre of the god on the reverse entirely agree with the character of that god as Eleleus, or Phaethon--in other words, as "The Shining Bar." Now, this "Shining Bar," as Melikerta, "king of the walled city," occupies the very place of "Ala-Mahozim," whose representative the Poe is elsewhere (ante, p. 252) proved to be. But he is equally the Sea-divinity, who in that capacity wears the mitre of Dagon (compare woodcuts, pp. 160 and 216, where different forms of the same Maltese divinity are given). The fish head mitre which the Pope wears shows that, in this character also, as the "Beast from the sea," he is the unquestionable representative of Melikerta. 2bab051.htm
The passage of Ammianus Marcellinus, that speaks of that standard, calls it "purpureum signum draconis" (lib. xvi. cap. 12, p. 145). On this may be raised the question, Has the epithet purpureum, as describing the colour of the dragon, any reference to fire? The following extract from Salverte may cast some light upon it: "The dragon figured among the military ensigns of the Assyrians. Cyrus caused it to be adopted by the Persians and Medes. Under the Roman emperors, and under the emperors of Byzantium, each cohort or centuria bore for an ensign a dragon" (Des Sciences Occultes, Appendix, Note A, p. 486). There is no doubt that the dragon or serpent standard of the Assyrians and Persians had reference to fire-worship, the worship of fire and the serpent being mixed up together in both these countries (see LAYARD'S Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii. pp. 468-469).
As the Romans, therefore, borrowed these standards evidently from these sources, it is to be presumed that they viewed them in the very same light as those from whom they borrowed them, especially as that light was so exactly in harmony with their own system of fire-worship. The epithet purpureus or "purple" does not indeed naturally convey the idea of fire-colour to us. But it does convey the idea of red; and red in one shade or another, among idolatrous nations, has almost with one consent been used to represent fire. The Egyptians (BUNSEN, vol. i. p. 290), the Hindoos (MOOR's Pantheon, "Brahma," p. 6), the Assyrians (LAYARD's Nineveh, etc., vol. ii. chap. 3, p. 312, Note), all represented fire by red.
The Persians evidently did the same, for when Quintus Curtius describes the Magi as following "the sacred and eternal fire," he describes the 365 youths, who formed the train of these Magi, as clad "puniceis amiculis," in "scarlet garments" (lib. iii. cap. 3, p. 42), the colour of these garments, no doubt, having reference to the fire whose ministers they were. Puniceus is equivalent to purpureus, for it was in Phenicia that the purpura, or purple-fish, was originally found. The colour derived from that purple-fish was scarlet (see KITTO'S Illustrated Commentary on Exodus xxxv. 35, vol. i. p. 215), and it is the very name of that Phenician purple-fish, "arguna," that is used in Daniel v. 16 and 19, where it is said that he that should interpret the handwriting on the wall should "be clothed in scarlet."
The Tyrians had the art of making true purples, as well as scarlet; and there seems on doubt that purpureus is frequently used in the ordinary sense attached to our world purple. But the original meaning of the epithet is scarlet; and as bright scarlet colour is a natural color to represent fire, so we have reason to believe that that colour, when used for robes of state among the Tyrians, had special reference to fire; for the Tyrian Hercules, who was regarded as the inventor of purple (BRYANT, vol. iii. p. 485), was regarded as "King of Fire," (NONNUS, Dionysiaca, lib. xl. l. 369, vol. ii. p. 223). Now, when we find that the purpura of Tyre produced the scarlet colour which naturally represented fire, and that puniceus, which is equivalent to purpureus, is evidently used for scarlet, there is nothing that forbids us to understand purpureus in the same sense here, but rather requires it.
But even though it were admitted that the tinge was deeper, and purpureus meant the true purple, as red, of which it is a shade, is the established colour of fire, and as the serpent was the universally acknowledged symbol of fire-worship, the probability is strong that the use of a red dragon as the Imperial standard of Rome was designed as an emblem of that system of fire-worship on which the safety of the empire was believed so vitally to hinge. 2bab052.htm
Is it past, or is it still to come? This is a vital question The favourite doctrine at this moment is, that it is past centuries ago, and that no such dark night of suffering to the saints of God can ever come again, as happened just before the era of the Reformation. This is the cardinal principle of a work that has just appeared, under the title of The Great Exodus, which implies, that however much the truth may be assailed, however much the saints of God may be threatened, however their fears may be aroused, they have no real reason to fear, for that the Red Sea will divide, the tribes of the Lord will pass through dry shod, and all their enemies, like Pharaoh and his host, shall sink in overwhelming ruin.
If the doctrine maintained by many of the soberest interpreters of Scripture for a century past, including such names as Brown of Haddington, Thomas Scot, and others, be well founded--viz, that the putting down of the testimony of the witnesses is still to come, this theory must not only be a delusion, but a delusion of most fatal tendency--a delusion that by throwing professors off their guard, and giving them an excuse for taking their ease, rather than standing in the high places of the field, and bearing bold and unflinching testimony for Christ, directly paves the way for that very extinction of the testimony which is predicted. I enter not into any historical disquisition as to the question, whether, as a matter of fact, it was true that the witnesses were slain before Luther appeared. Those who wish to see an historical argument on the subject may see it in the Red Republic, which I venture to think has not yet been answered.
Neither do I think it worth while particularly to examine the assumption of Dr. Wylie, and I hold it to be a pure and gratuitous assumption, that the 1260 days during which the saints of God in Gospel times were to suffer for righteousness' sake, has any relation whatever, as a half period, to a whole, symbolised by the "Seven times" that passed over Nebuchadnezzar when he was suffering and chastened for his pride and blasphemy, as the representative of the "world power."*1* *2* But to this only I call the reader's attention, that even on the theory of Dr. Wylie himself, the witnesses of Christ could not possibly have finished their testimony before the Decree of the Immaculate Conception came forth. The theory of Dr. Wylie, and those who take the same general view as he, is, that the "finishing of the testimony," means "completing the elements" of the testimony, bearing a full and complete testimony against the errors of Rome.
Dr. Wylie himself admits that "the dogma of the `Immaculate Conception' [which was given forth only during the last few years] declares Mary truly 'divine,' and places her upon the altars of Rome as practically the sole and supreme object of worship" (The Great Exodus, p. 109). This was NEVER done before, and therefore the errors and blasphemies of Rome were not complete until that decree had gone forth, if even then. Now, if the corruption and blasphemy of Rome were "incomplete" up to our own day, and if they have risen to a height which was never witnessed before, as all men instinctively felt and declared, when that decree was issued, how could the testimony of the witnesses be "complete" before Luther's day! It is nothing to say that the principle and the germ of this decree were in operation long before.
The same thing may be said of all the leading errors of Rome long before Luther's day. They were all in essence and substance very broadly developed, from near the time when Gregory the Great commanded the image of the Virgin to be carried forth in the processions that supplicated the Most High to remove the pestilence from Rome, when it was committing such havoc among its citizens. But that does in no wise prove that they were "complete," or that the witnesses of Christ could then "finish their testimony" by bearing a full and "complete testimony" against the errors and corruptions of the Papacy. I submit this view of the matter to every intelligent reader for his prayerful consideration. If we have not "understanding of the times," it is vain to expect that we "shall know what Israel ought to do." If we are saying "Peace and safety," when trouble is at hand, or underrating the nature of that trouble, we cannot be prepared for the grand struggle when that struggle shall come. 2bab053.htm
We have seen that the name Pan signifies "to turn aside," and have concluded that as it is a synonym for Hata, "to sin," the proper generic meaning of which is "to turn aside from he straight line," that name was the name of or first parent, Adam. One of the names of Eve, as the primeval goddess, worshipped in ancient Babylon, while it gives confirmation to this conclusion, elucidates also another classical myth in a somewhat unexpected way. The name of that primeval goddess, as given by Berosus, is Thalatth, which, as we have seen, signifies "the rib." Adam's name, as her husband, would be "Baal-Thalatth," "Husband of the rib;" for Baal signifies Lord in the sense frequently of "Husband."
But "Baal-Thalatth," according to a peculiar Hebrew idiom already noticed (p. 38, Note), signifies also "He that halted or went sideways." * This is the remote origin of Vulcan's lameness; for Vulcan, as the "Father of the gods," * needed to be identified with Adam, as well as the other "fathers of the gods," to whom we have already traced him. Now Adam, in consequence of his sin and departure from the straight line of duty, was, all his life after, in a double sense "Baal-Thalatth," not only the "Husband of the rib," but "The man that halted or walked sideways."
In memory of this turning aside, no doubt it was that the priests of Baal (1 Kings xviii. 26) "limped at the altar," when supplicating their god to hear them (for that is the exact meaning in the original of the word rendered "leaped"--see KITTO'S Bib. Cyclop, vol. i. p. 261), and that the Druidic priests went sideways in performing some of their sacred rites, as appears from the following passage of Davies:--"The dance is performed with solemn festivity about the lakes, round which the sanctuary the priests move sideways, whilst the sanctuary is earnestly invoking the gliding king, before whom the fair one retreats upon the veil that covers the huge stones" (Druids, p. 171).
This Davies regards as connected with the story of Jupiter, the father of the gods, violating his own daughter in the form of a serpent (p. 561). Now, let the reader look at what is on the breast of the Ephesian Diana, as the Mother of the gods (ante, p. 29), and he will see a reference to her share in the same act of going aside; for there is the crab, and how does a crab go but sideways? This, then, shows the meaning of another of the signs of the Zodiac. Cancer commemorates the fatal turning aside of our first parent from the paths of righteousness, when the covenant of Eden was broken.
The Pagans knew that this turning aside or going sideways, implied death--the death of the soul--("In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die"); and, therefore, while at the spring festival of Cybele and Attes, there were great lamentations for the death of Attes, so on the Hilaria or rejoicing festival of the 25th of March--that is, Lady-day, the last day of the festival--the mourning was turned into joy, "on occasion of the dead god being restored to life again" (DUPUIS, Origine de tous les Cultes, tom. iv. pt. 1, p. 253, Paris, L'an iii de la Republique ). If Attes was he that by "his turning aside" brought sin and death into the world, what could the life be to which he was so speedily restored, but just that new and divine life which enters every soul when it is "born again," and so "passes from death unto life."
When the promise was given that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, and Adam grasped it by faith, that, there can be no doubt, was evidence that the divine life was restored, and that he was born again. And thus do the very Mysteries of Attes, which were guarded with special jealousy, and the secret meaning of which Pausanias declares that he found it impossible, notwithstanding all his efforts, to discover (Lib. vii., Achaica, cap. 17), bear their distinct testimony, when once the meaning of the name of Attes is deciphered, to the knowledge which Paganism itself had of the real nature of the Fall, and of the essential character of that death, which was threatened in the primeval covenant.
This new birth of Attes laid the foundation for his being represented as a little child, and so being identified with Adonis, who, though he died a full-grown man, was represented in that very way. In the Eleusinian Mysteries, that commemorated the rape of Proserpine, that is, the seduction of Eve, the lamented god, or Bacchus, was represented as a babe, at the breast of the great Mother, who by Sophocles is called Deo (Antigone, v. 1121, Oxon. 1808).
As Deo or Demete, applied to the Great Mother, is evidently just another form of Idaia Mater, "The Mother of Knowledge" (the verb "to know" being either Daa or Idaa), this little child, in one of his aspects, was no doubt the same as Attes, and thus also Deoius, as his name is given (ante, p. 20). The Hilaria, or rejoicing festival of the 25th of March, or Lady-day, owed its gladness to the Annunciation of a birth yet to come, even the birth of the woman's seed; but, at the same time, the joy of that festival was enhanced by the immediate new birth that very day of Attes, "The sinner," or Adam, who, in consequence of his breach of the covenant, had become dead in "trespasses and sins." 2bab054.htm