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Full text of "The origin of pagan idolatry ascertained from historical testimony and circumstantial evidence"

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THE ORIGIN 



OF 



PAGAN IDOLATRY. 



Pag.Id^U VOL* III. 



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7J7 i5^ H^hl Eonf'KMCHOL.iS K4NSITTART. CHANCELlA)R of tlir, EX(^HE(jnER . 

t?tis riiite u respect/iiUt/ inscribed by his obliged hzimblr Savmt 

THE.IUTHOH. 

rubiiflud Feb. i U16 at the Act duvtU by. ftMrtdJJtu^uftoti Jl/ltuir Juox/i HaxLlM/t^t ^ 



THE 

ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY 

ASCEKTAIKEb FEOM 

HISTORICAL TESTIMONY 

AMD 

CmCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. 



BY GEORGE STANLEY FABER, B.J). 

BBCTOK or lOMO-MBWTOK. 



Ereiy lOMMiaU* ByfvOtuia ihonMbe nipporfed on a fiu>t 

Warbvhton's Div. Leg. vol. t. p. 466. 



THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. III. 

JUmnonr 

PrinUdbgR.mutR. OiOert, S$. J«lm'$ Sqimrt, CUrhemwttt, 
FOR F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD. 
1810. 



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VOLUME III. 



BOOK V. 



CHAPTER \. 

PAOS 

OmMlr1(k^fStliti^^ Imutri-terrene tkaracter of the great 

goddesses of (he GentikB • . . . • • 3 



L All die prindpil ydMattm yatolte tkfiilfiea jyto mi»; aad that one is 

equaU; the Earth and the Moon - • - iK 

n. Exem^ification of this point from the teslimonies of the dd mythologistt 4 

HL The Moon and the Earth mystkiai; ideatiifd • . 5 



CHAPTER n, 

JRespectmg certain remarkable v p inimis, which the Gentiles enters 

tained of the Moon and the Earth « - • • * 6 



L ^B Moon was compared to a ship^ and was desmbed as floating co die 

• * • • ^ • ■ ^ lb* 



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vi CONTEWTS. 

YAOB 

II. Th'w ciremnstancc will ezplun many singular nodons entertained of die 

Moon in various parts of the world - - - 8 

1. Among the Hindoos , - , - - . - - 9 

2. Among the Pernans - -• - , • • 11 
S. Among the Greeks - • • - - 12 

4. Among the Egjptians - . - - • - IS 

5. VisionofTimarchus - • - - - 15 

6. The Moon styled Salus, and venemted as the mother of the uutiated ib. 

7. Among the Druids • - - - - 16 

8. Fable of the man in the Moon equallj known in opposite quarters of 

the globe ..--•&• 

9. Otaheitean l^end - - - - ' }^ 

III. Intercoipmunion of character between the Earth and the Moon - ib. 

IV. The legends, which describe the Earth and the Moon as floating oo the 

surfaceoftheocean, originated from the Ark - - 19 
V. For the same reason the universal frame of Nature was compared to a vast 

ship .----- *^ 



CHAPTER in. 



Respecting the navicular, infernal, and human, character of the 

great mother ^-------35 



I. The great mother was a ship; and that sWp was the Ark - - W 

1. Navicular character of the Indian Isi - - - ">• 

2. Navicular character of the Egyptian Isis . •• - «* 

3. NavicMbr character of the Gothic Isb or Frca - -^ ^ 



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C0NTXKT8. 



VU 



PAGE 

4. Nmcular character of the Celdc CeridweB • - .£6 
6. Nayicubur character of the daadcal Ceres • • • 27 

. 6. Navkular character of the Phrygian Cybeli - .28 

7« Navicuhur character of the classical Hera or Jimo - - 31 

8^ Navicuhur character of the Syrian Semiramis - • 33 

9* Navieolar character of the classical Iris - • - - 38 

10. Navicular character of the Pheniciaa Astoreth - - ib. 

II. The great mother is equally proved to^ be a diip by the symbols^ under 

iR^hich she was represented - - • - ib. 

1. The sea-fish^ the egg> the navicular ciqp, and the lunette - 39 

2«r Hie floating lunar ishuid - - - •41 

5. Thelotos - « . . - 42 
IIL Hie whole history of the great mother corre^xnids widi her navicular cha* 

racteiv and proves her to be die ArJc - - • . 43 

1. The Aric at sea ^ - • - - ib. 

(1.) The co uin i i tliBg <rf the Aifc to Ae ocetn - - ib. 

(2*) Its remaining in the great deep - • * 45 

(3.) Its %uative birdi out of die deluge • • 46 

2. The Ark boin out of the dekqte on die top of a lofty hill - 47 

3. The Ark was the unsrersal mother of the hero-fods and of the whole 

werid - ... . .49 

4t The members of die.Noedc fionily and the rudiments, of the new world 

were bom from a door in the side of the Ark - •51 

6. The Ark^ previous to its appulse^ vras in an erratic state • ib. 
6. The Ark afforded safety to one family, but appeared as the genius of de^ 

* struction to all the rest of mankind . • • -52 

IV. The great mother viewed as die female regent of Hadea • - 53 

1. Gvound of the opinion • • • • ib. 

2. Ezemplificatioa of it - - • • - 54 

3. Its influence upon language - • - -^ 5S 

4. The death and revival of the great fethet - • •' • 5S 
.V. The human character of the great mother ... • iIk 

]. Proof of the position . • * * • ibw 

2* The self-triplication of die great mother ^^ - - 57 

3. Her butoan character 19 sometimes litMdfydecbved * • 58 



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CHAPTER IV: 

tAGB 

Respecting the hernuiphroditic uni^ of the ^eai uiikenat parents 60 



L All the gods of the Gentile8> male and female^ fim^ aageh> tWwafiHre> mte 

one hermaphroditic divinity «. « - m CO 
KTh]adiiiinil|]rw88iidltli«tn»€M - <*• -fit 

2. The great hemiaphrodite wai compoooddl «f die* gneai fiitWr and Ike 

great mother ^ « - , ^ ^ ' 65 

3. The notion primarily ori^natiedirMi a matahfin^vfewef tb^coeatioii of 

Adam and Eve m - m m m -» 68 

H. Examples of the hermaphroditic dirvini^* Bite of hn pmaCs «» 72 
1. Seth^ CronusHAnubis^ Adorns, Bmi^VmB, Venos^ Man^ Aidhanarv 

Meuca» grant modier, Jupiter, Mbien% Bacdios, ImbB* • 73 
£. Supposed mutilation of the great father, and imitative mutifaitien #£ his 
priests^ exeaspH&diaSiM^ Onris, Aadiqnaf ^ Attis^ BwdMa^Saten, 

Uranus • • ^ • . ^ 76 

3. HermaphroditQB, Herme* • « « •77 

4. The AaMsona •* ... ^79 
HI. The worship of the sacred Omphalos - « « 8^ 

1. Instances of the siq>er8tition . «• » % ifa^ 

£. The literal symbol of a navel vvas venerated • * 83 

3. Mr. Bryant's etymological speculations on die-sulgect shewn to be onte^ 

aable . • • . • 84 

4. Import of the symbolicid navel * * - • 86 

fl.) Shewn from the mythology of HindostaB • . ib. 

(2.) Shewn from the mydiology of other nations * -» 89 

5. The sacred navel was deemed oractdar, like the diq> Afgo •» ib. 

6. The sacred navel vms the same at the mystic cups^ and shieidi^aMlother* 

cognate sjrmbols ••«... gi 

7« Fable of Hercules and Omphali • » m g% 



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COKTENTS. 



CHAPTER V. 



Respecting the d4)ctrine of the two ind^endent principles 



94 



The doctrine origiiiftted from die tenet of an endless succession of worlds^ alter- 
nately destroyed and reproduced « . - ib. 

L Comparative cBscussion of the doctrine • • . 95 

IL The two principles were necessarily deemed alike eternal^ on the established 

inaziins of P^u j^osophy - - - .97 

in* The antiqui^ and real import of the doctrine appears from Scripture 98 



CHAPTER VI. 



Respecting the nature and purport of the ancient Mysteries • 99 



I. Thx Mysteries of aH nations were substantially the same^ and treated of the 

same matters - • •* • * ib* 

n. An inquiiy into die origination of the Mysteries • . • 104 

1. Bp. Warburton's theory of deducing them from Egypt b unsatisiactoiy ' ib* 
£• The invention of them must have been anterior to the dispenoon : cod* 

sequently> diey must haVe been brought by aU nations from Babel 105 

HI An inquiiy into the nature and purport (tf the Mysteries * -^ 10$ 

1. The dieory of Bp. Warburtoft is misadsiacloiy • ^ ib« 

(!•) It is umrrarranted even by his own premiaea • <* 108 

Pag. Idol. TOL. HI. * b 



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CONTENTS. 



109 
no 
lis 
ib. 
»i 

123 

ib. 

127 

128 

ib. 

129 

131 

tb. 



<2.) It 18 deduced from a defective statement of facts 
2. A general statement of the purport of the Mysteries 

IV. Respecting the sacred ark of the Mysteries » • * 

1. General use of an implement of this description 

2. Ideas attached to it« The ark was at once a boat and a coffifl 

3. Exemplification of such ideas - - - - - 
(] .) Ark of Osiris and ship of Isis «» - * 
(2.) Ark of Adonb or Thammuz or Baal-Peor 
(3.) Ark of Attis - - - * • 
(4.) Ark of Bacchus . • - - . 
(5.) Ark of Ceres - - 
(6.) Ark of the Samothracians and Phenicians 
(7.) Ark of Hu - - - 

4. The Mysteries, it appears, related tb the inclosure of some person in an 

ark, which was deemed his coffin - - , • 132 

V. As the great father was Adam no less than Noah, the sacred aik represented 

the earth no less than die ship of the dduge - - 3>. 

1. The doctrine of an universal regeneration was set forth in the Mysteries 133 

2. This will enable us to account for much that is said, both of the hero of 
the-Mysteries, and of the Mysteries themselves - • 135 

VI. The doctrine of the Metempsychosis and the Metamorphosis was an essen* 

ml part of the Mysteries - - - - 142 

1. The Metempsydiosis. Cupid and Psyche. The descent of En^ into 
Hades - - - • - -144 

2. The Metamorphosis. How it was literally exhibited in the Mysteries 146 

3. Application of the Metempsychosis and the Metamorphosis to the Mys- 
teries --"*"* ^^ 

VII. A summaiy of the peculiar doctrines taught in the Mysteries • 150 
VUI. SubstanUatson of what has been said from tbe accounts which bave come 

down to us of the va^io^s modes of initiation - • 151 

1. Tbe first part of initiation represented a descent into heU^ and was com- 
pared todeath - . - • - -152 

(\.) Examples of diis process - • - ib. 

(2.) Hie j^ptian plague of darkness aUudes to the Myst^es - 155 

2. The second part of initiation landed ]die aspirants in Elysinm - 159 

(i.) It was compared to a revival and a new biriH - - l6l 

(2.) Vision of Timarcbus, and other examples - • 162 



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C0KTSK7i# XI 

PAGE 

9» The aflfMrai^ were born aguD out of the infemid boat • l6B 

4. An account af the Druidical Mysteries^ as eihibited in the initktioB of 

Taliesin • - . . • -165 

(K) The magic cauldron - « - • . 167 

(2.) The Metanioq[>ho8es « « « - 171 

{$.) The inclosure of the aqpiiant widiin the Kint-Vaen^ repremitbg 

Ae womb of the ship-goddess ... ]7<2 

(4.) The committing of the aspirant to sea in a dose eorade • 174 
(5«) His initiation was mwed, as a descant into hdl^ and as a passq^e 

to the Eiysian ishind over the infernal kke •* . 175 

(6.) The aspirant was liberated from the coracle at the saose lime that 

Noah was liberated from the Ark - - - 177 

5* An account of the Persian Mysteries of Mithras • * 178 

(1.) RqioMratioB of Ae asfHrant from the door of a rocky owern 179t 

(2«) The reg^eneratioa of the asfmant from a boat. Fable of Homai 

and Danb . • • * .- \p 183 

6« Regeneration from the rocky orifice . • « ^84 

(1.) Among the Hindoos . . • . ib. 

(80 Among the Jhmia - .. . « . ]g5 

7^ Regeneration from a pit • -. • .« 197 

& An account of the Mmucan Mysleries «^ • » 188 

9* Import of the sacred door - *. • • 18^ 

VK Fraa-masoni7 not impiobably borrowed from the ancient Mysteries igot 



CHAPTER VII. 

Comerning the places used Inf the Pagans for rdHgwm worek^ t9S 



TaB great fiither is thouf^t to have been thefirst^ who built tempos and instihtted 
' sacrificea * - • • . - 



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rii COKTEKTTS. 

PAGE 
I. The primeiral places of ^miAp were dock groves, lofty mmmtitDs, rocky 

caveroB^ and small idands . • * - 194 

L Notiooa entertained by the Heathens respecting their consecrated moun- 
tains - - - - • • 200 
(1.) Each high place at once represented Paradise and Ararat « 1201 
(2.) Each high place was also a ^mbol of the generative great fiuher 202 
(3.^ Each high place, as sustaining the lunar Ark, was a mountain of 

the Moon . - . - . 203 

(4.) Mountains widi two or three peaks were pecidiarly venerated. 
The reasons, why they were thus venerated - - 204 

«. Notions entertamed of the sacred caverns. They fcprcsented the gloomy 
interior of the Ark as wedged &st among the rocks of Ararat - 208 

(1.) Caverns combined with a holy mountain - - ib. 

<2.) Universal prevalence of cavern worship, whedier the cavern be m 

a mountain or in a holy island - - • * 210 

(3.) Prooiii of the supposed import of the sacred cavern - 212 

(4.) Exemplification of the mode, in whidi the <iavem vraa used • 215 

(5.) Virgirs feble of Aristius exfdained * * • £17 

3. Sacred lakes and islands. The Earth, the summit of Ararat, and the 
Ark, were each an island. Lake of Paradise. As the dduge retired 
from the mountains of Ararat, it woidd present the appearance of a lake 
studded with islets - - - - - 221 

(1.) Lakes and iaknds immediately connected ^ith traditions of die 
deluge. Chemmis. Delos. Sacred western island of the Moon. 
Lake Titiaca and its island. Islands of Hu either in lakes or in the 
sea - 

(2.) Lakes and islwids not quite so distinctly marked, but referred 
analogically to the same class. CotjM. Lake and islands of Va- 
dimon. Delian Trodtokies« lak& apd island of EUora. Lakes 
and islands of the gods. Floating island of Vulcan • - 226 

4. As the waters of the deluge retired, the top of Ararat would form the 
cirde of the visible horizon. Hence originated the notion of the sacred 
circle of hills on the top of the mundane Meru - - 229 

6. Grove-worship. As Ararat locally coincided with Paradise, imitative 

holy groves were associated with mountains, caverns, and islands • 230 

{ I .) Origin of grove-worship ascertained from Isaiah • £31 

(2.) Beauty of the sacked groves . - • • 234 



224 



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PAGE 



II. Fron dioae lUriliieind pliM^ pf worship^ which were fumuhed by the hand 

of naturey or^oated corresponding artificial sanctoaries - 23S 

Iw Every toDiulaa^ or artificial h^h place^ or pyramid^ or pagoda^ was a 
tnnscript of the holy, mountaiiu Hence^ in their arrangements^ they e^L- 
actly correspond widi the falM Mem . . « ib. 

(l.)Tbwer of Babel • - - - 238 

(2;) Pyranw* of Egypt . - - - «4« 

(3-) Pagodas of Hindostoir - - - - £45 

<4.) Pyranwhl temples of BaddlBi . - - 246 

(5;) Artificial tnmuli of the Scythians and Celts. Altyn-Obo. New- 
Grange. Sflburyhill ..... 247 
(6.) As the art^ciid tnmuli represented Ararat ; they were often 
raised, either on the shore of the sea, or on the banks of rivers, or 
on small islands, or in the midst of a kke. Pagodas of Hindostan. 
Pyramids mentioned by Herodotus. Pyramidal temple of Vitdi- 
putzli. Insidar pagoda of Seringham. Tumulds near Tyre. Ota- 

heitean Morai - - • • - 250 

«. Every artificial excavation was imitative of the natural <»wra - 254 

(l.^ Excavations in mountains. Hlora. The Mithratio groUos^ 

Caverns of the Tbebais. Caverns near Tortosa. Excavations at 

CaieU. ExcavatiOTs in the Crimea. Excavations iu^ Norway. 

Excavation in mount OKvet. OrottoofTr<^phoniu« • ib. 

(2.) Excavations in insttlar roomitains. Elephanta. Canarah - 260 

(3.) Dark central chambers in artificial Ulls or pyramids. Tower of 

Babylon. Great pyramid. Indian pagodas. New-Giangd 265 

3. Dark cavemal chambers in temples devoted to the celebration of the 
Mysteries were rfso imitative of the natural cavern. Cavern temple at 
Tenarum. Egyptian temples. Labyrinths. Temple of the Eleusiman 
Ceres. Druidical Kist-Vaens. Templet of the Peruvians and Mexi- 

. ■ - .... .267 

4. Every temple of whatever description was deemed a copy of the World, 

by which we are to understand conjoinUy the Earth and the Ark • 272 

5. Temple^ were so frequenUy built on hUls, because the Ark rested on 
mount Ararat. Examples - - - ' ^75 

6. The celestial temple on the summit 4)f Meru was an imaginary circle of 
hills. Hence originated artificial circular temples, whetiier open or co- 
vered. When they were finished with a dome, tiie additional idea was 
taken from the mundane egg . - - - 27S 



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%iv CONT£KT$;i 



FAOX: 



(1.) Open round temples. PeniYk». Phiygian. PheniciiD. Da* 
nith. Dniidical: Stongehenge; Abnry. Temple of Cw^hia. 
Phifae - - - - - - £7ft 

(2.) Covered round temples* Perrian Pyradieia* Temple of Vesta. 
Pantheon. Temple on mouni Zilmissus. Temples of Jagan-Natb, 
Mathura^ and Benares. New-Grange. Mexican and l^enivian 
round tem|^es -' - - - * • 28S 

7. The dome and the pyramid were sometimes blended together, in douUe 
reference to the cavern and the hdy mountain* Temple in Ceylon. 
Pyramids of Deogur. Pyramids ^f Sakarra. Cbmese Tien>-tan • 285 

8. Cruciform temples. Benares. Malhura. New-Grauge. Origin of 

the form . • - • • • ^®* 

9. Ship temples. Piigoda of Tanjore. lAtm mount Alban. Ship tem. 
pie of Osiris. Celtic ship temple m Ireland. Ship temple of Escula- 
piHs. Stone ship of Bacchus. Stone ship of Oidris. AgdusofCybeld. 
Tolmen in Cornwall. Stone mother alluded to by Jeremiah.. A ship 
symbolical of mitiation into the Mysteries . . • 28a 

10. Temples imiti^tive of groves. Why'the portals of such twnples looked 
totheeast . . • - - 294 

11. The ancient pagan style of architecture has beea adopted both by 
Christians and Mohammedans * • - - 295* 

HI. The worship of the Gentiles was of a sepulchral nature. Hence origi* 

nated the notion, that the pyramids were tombs • • 29^ 

!• The temple of the great father was always deemed his tomb -^ 298> 

(1.) Ground of this opinion .. -. «i « ib» 

(2.) Exen^lification of it •. ^ -^ « 501 

(3.) Errcmaous etymological conjecture of Mr. Bryant - SOS: 

£« The deep uid death of the gceat father being the samo^ he was often 

represented as in a state of slumbea. His.bed therefore was the same 

as his co&a or ship - • - - - ib.. 

(!.) Instances of this. superstition , -^ -. 307" 

(«.) Bed of the Mysteries • - • • 311 

3. Close aflbiity between literal sepuldires and temples ^ - 312 



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f 
I 

CONTENTS. X7 



CHAPTER Vra. 

PAOB 

On the originatiofi of Romance from old mythologic Idolatry • 314 



RoMAKCB maj be divided into Romance secular^ Romance ecclesiastical^ and 

Romance magical or necromantic * - • ib* 

L Romance secular, whedier ancient or modem • - • ib. 

1« Entrance into an ark or boat or ship « • * 3]5 
(1 .) Exposure of an infant in an ark either on tiie sea or on a riveri 
Perseufl. Telephus, Anius. Tennes. Taliesin. Darab. Ro* 

nuilus. Pradyumna. Amadis. Bahman^ Perviz^ Parizadd ib. 
(8.) Inclosure in an ark> ^rvbere no mention is made of the sea or a 

river. Cypselus. Jason. Ion« Erecbthonius. Comatas • Sl6 
(S.) Entrance of an adult into a ship in quest of adventares. Her- 
cules. Theseus. Merlin. Arthur. Entrance of knights into 

inchanted barks. 21eyn - - - • 317 
«• The lake^ the presiding fairy^ the cavern, the oracular tomb> die deep- 

^ ing or sitting giant, and the inchanted stone figure * • SfiO 
(1.) Merlin. He fairy Morgana or the lady of the lake. SirLaun- 

celotofthekke • - - - - 321 

<^) Durandarte • • • • - 323 

<3.) Giant of Rushin castle - - - - 324 

<4.) Gyges - - • • - 526 

(6.) Theseus. King of the black isles - • • 327 

(6.) Cai-Caus, Rustam, and tiie White giant of MasenJeraun • ib. 

IL Romance ecciestastkal - ' • - - . - 329 

1. The seven sleepers - - - - • 330 

8. The wandering resuscitated Jew - - •SSI 

3. Lqjeud of St. Antony - • . . 332 

4. Legend of St. Owen and St. Patricks purgatory - - ib. 
Jb. St Winifred's needle and legend - - . - 336 
6. Voyage of St. Brandon to the Mooa " r * 337 



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Xvi CONTENTai 






»A6E 


7- Legend of St. CuUibcrt 


- 




337 


8. Legends of St. Columba 






341 


9. L^end of St. Dionysius 






344 


IIL Romance magical or necromantic - 






345 


1. The witching cauldron 






ib. 


£. Evocation of the spirits of the dead 






348 


3. Judicial astrology - - 






351 


4. Magical Metamorphosis 






352 


5. Miscellaneous superstitions* Ma^ealbead. 


DemoiHship. 


Inchant- 


ed island - - - 


* 


- 


ib. 



BOOK VI* 



CHAPTER L 



Rejecting the primeoal union of all mankind in a single hochf 

politk, and the building of the tower of Babel - • 359 



L All mankind must once have been united in a single commonily * iN 

IL Scripture declares this to have been the case . • • 360 

III. Theory of Mr. Bryant, that the Cuthitea alone were concerned in Ae 

building of Babel^ shewn to be untenable • • » SSH 

1. The Aeory stated * . . - •* . ibw 
fi. Arguments against it^ on die supposition diat k doea aot absolutely 

contradict Scripture • • • . • SOS 



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COKTJCKX0. Xvii 

. ?: PAGE 
3. .^fgMMMi If^id^l it/ 09 'tke^ottnd of its being imooiidlcabto wkh 

the scriptural narrative .. . • « 365 
^ ( U) The fiinst afgoment;^ froot a ^art of .Mr. Bryant's translation of tfie 

. ; >{^Oaliltrrajtive: : ^^ « • ib. 

.<9,)jTh^ fi^ood efgumetit^ from the narrative contained in Gen« x. 369 
^ (3^) Tb^JJiird aigywmit^ AtNA another partof Mr. Bryant's tranda- 

tion - • 371 

IV. RoiAe of iBimkiiid from Ararat to Shinar ... 372^ 



CHAPTER IL 



Heipeeimg the chronological epoch and duration of the primeval 

Iranian empire, and the peculiar form of its civil polity - 37T 



Limits of Iran in its greatest extent. It is nearly coincident wkh the Cnsba* 

Dwip within of Indian geography - - - *• 

I. Extent oLNimrod's empire. It commenced at Babylon; but the scat of 

government was soon truisierred to Nineveh * - 37S 

II. Chronological arrangement of its revolutions - - - ^^ 

1. Biae of the independent Median ^tDgdoa^ when the ancient Cutbico* 
Assyrian empire fell asunder towards the dose of the ninth century be* 
fore Christ - . - - ib. 

9. Nearly synchronical rise of the independent kingdom of Persia - 387 " 

3. Nearly synchronicid commencement of the Assyrian kingdom ca the 
second Assyrian empire under a new dynasty. ]^poch of Jonib • 391 

^Tag. Idol VOL. III. c 



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Xirm C0KTEVT8. 

Tkom 
IIL Historicdiioftkesofdie greatliwiniorAtfyiM 

rod and the Cudiim - - - - • 994 

I. According to the aathor of 4be Dabistsn^ the Mahtbttdiaa djiMMtf 
preceded the Pishdadian b the gOTemment of Iran. • Bat the Pinbda- 
dkn cannot have commenced earlier than the hitter end of the ninth cen- 
tory before Chriat. TberefcHre the Mahabadian mitft be tfie aame as 
the old Cuthico- Assyrian • . - « . SQS 

IS. Dmvtion of the Cuthico- Assyrian emjMre, as coUeded firom ^ rq;al 

catalogues of SynceUus^ Polyhistor^ and Ctesias - - 996 

9. This empire is the same as the primeval Scythian empire, noticed by 

Justin and Strabo as preceding the Assyrian empire known to the 

Greeks - - . - - - ?98 

<].) Justin's aocounC of it - - - - ib. 

(£•) Strabo's account of it - - * - ib. 

IV. An inquiry into the character and origin of the Scythians^ who founded this 

early Asiatic empire - • • . - - 400 

] . The Scythians or Scuthim were the Cuthim of Nimrod * 403 

i. Respecting the nature of Scythisfn and lonism - * 407 

(1.) Scythism and lonism are described^ not as two successive em- 
piresj but as two successive heresies or apostasies from pure reli- 
gion : and they are respectively the same, as what I have called 
Buddhism and Brahmenum - - - ib. 

(9.) How we are to understand the termination of the Scythic name 

and succession in the days of Senig ... • 411 

(3.) How the Scythic heresy prevailed from the flood to the tower ^ 412 

V, Respecting the era of the old Scythic empire, and of the building of the 

tower - - ^ - • -- - 413 

1 . The emigration from Armenia could not have taken place until after the 

death of Noah and his three sons «> - - ib. 

-fi. The early postdiluvian chronology of the Hebrew Pentateuch shewn to 

be erroneous . . « • . 417 ' 

3. The early postdiluvian <rhronology of Josephus shewn to be erroneous 4^1 

4. The early postdiluvian chronology of the Ixx shewn to be erroneous ib. 

5. The early postdiluvian chronology of the Sanuuitan Pentateuch shewn 

to be perfectly genuine • . - - ' 422 

a. The dates of the commencement and termination of the Scythic empire ' 
Jiscertahiad • • . • • 494 



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CONTJENTS. xit 

PAOB 

VL Polity of Nimitxfs empire • * . . 426 

1. Its polity consisted ia aa arrangemeot of tbe community bto four di»- 
tinct castes or tribes : the s^cerdotal^ the military, the mercantile, and ' 
to^flenfue •* • ■ » • ' • « 4S7 

2. Circtnbstantial evidence aiddocedin proof of such an opbion - 432 

(}.) From Jasdn - - . • * ib. 

(£•) From Scripture . • . . 435 

(d.) From tbe Dabistaa - . . . • . . 441 

V1I» Maduavellian politics of Nimrod • -> ... . 449 



sLm 



SS9k 



CHAPTER in. 

Me^eiing the primitive division of the world among the children ^ 
of Noah, the triads of the Gentiles, the confusion of languages, 
andthemode of the dispersion from JBdbel • • - 446 



h The inheritance of Japhet was the whole of Europe and nortbeni Alia 447 

1. Ooraer - . . . « • ib 

2. Magog, Tribal, and Afesecb .... 44g 

3. Madai - - • • .r ^ 44* 

4. Javaa . - . . . . ^^ 

5. Tlras - - . - fc ^ ^j 
n. Tbe inheritance of Shem was soudiem Asia intermingled with Ham - ib. 

!• Elam - • • . ^ ^ •■ 

«• Ashur • - - . ^ • 46£ 

S. Arphaxad • • - - - ib 

OOPelef . . • . I a^ 



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XX 



CONTENTS. 



PAOK 
* (2.) Joktati . - - • • •. i 45ft 

4. Lud • « • - • • ; 453 

5. Aram •• - - ■. -m . •.>- '^t ib. 
in. The inheritance or acquiatiens of Ham^ at the first divLnonof the earthy 

were the whole of Africa, and aondieni Asia intermingled with Sheni . ib. 
1. CuA - - - - - ^- 454 

fi. Misr • - - - . . 455 

3. Phot • - . * - . • 456 

4. Canaan - -- - • -,..•-. .ii5f 
tV. The confusion of languages in some centrical region may be ascertained 

even independently of Scripture • • . . 45s 

1. Mankmd divide themselves into three great races ; Hindoos, Arabs^ 
Tartars - • • • . 

2. limits of India - « • • 

3. Limits of Arabia « - « • 

4. Limits of Tartary - . :'m. . ,' ^ 

5. To these three races all mankind may be traced up 

(IJ) Members of th^ Indian nice • ' ^ 

(20 Members of the Arabian race 
(3.) Members of the Tartarian race 

6. Analogous to the three races, there are three primeval languages; Sans* 
crit, Arabic, and Sclavonic ... 

(1.) Dialects of Sanscrit 

(2.) Dialects of Arabic - * " ■ 

(3.) Dialects of Sclavonic • . • 

7. The three races and the three languages are all found in Iran 
. 8* Hence Il^n must have been the cradle of mankind 

g. The confusion at Babel was a real confusion of language : b^t only 
three different tongues were produced at the tune of tbedisp^ision 
v. The division of the world by Noah amoi^his sons. - ~ 

1. This di^sion was triple, ^ agreeably to the number of his.sons ; iind it - 
was well known to the Gentiles - • ' - - ... 466 

2. From the three 60ns of Adam, viewed as reappearing in dieihme sons 

of Noah, originated the divine triads of the Gentiles • - - 468 

VL Respecting the peculiar mode of the dispersion from Babel • > . ' 475 

i. Existence of castes in various different regions • «... 476 

(1.) Summary of what has been learned from the inquiry > 482 



- 


ib. 


• 


ib. 


« 


459 


• 


ib. 


• 


ib. 


r. 


% 


w 


460 




ib. 


sans* 


ib. 


- 


ib. 


• 


ib. 


• 


ib. 


- 


ib. 


. 


. 4C» 


tonly 






463 




,466 



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VAOB 

(2.) ,Ck>nclu8ion ded)ic^iny|nit -. :* , '^ • 4%l 

2. There )8 svBkkpt c^vklence to .praife^ tliat the. various Noikic tribes 
went <^ under Cuthic leaders^ sacerdotal wai militaly. . Hence the 
Catbim^ as constituting 4ie two superior orders of priests and tniiitary 
noUes, were. mis|[^d;Wi^, their tm^ in alpaost every part of .the 
world - _ • . - - , . : . 485 

(h) Proof of. ^C^ip f^P^t of the seTeial sacer^lotal and mititary 

classes^ from hi^pnbd notices . . « - ^ ib. 

(e.) proof of 1^ same ponti^n, ftpqn the semarkable travds of mem- 
bers of thos^dim^ . . • -* * : • • 4g3 
(3.) JProof of the same position^ from the circumstance of diesacerilo- 

tal orders of .different nations aU bearing ^miliur fiunily titles - 495 

(4.) Proof of die same position^ from certain extraordinary names borne 
by Ae several military classes. . . ., •' 496 



CHAPTER IV. 

Respecting the various settlements and migrations of the unblended 

part of the mUitartf caste - • . 499 



L A Urge body of the Cttdiim vteni off from Bob^ in an unmixed Mate, . 

owing to the schism of the two grait sects •* - • ib. 

1. These were deemed excommunicated by the others - - 501 

fi. Their chief settlements were ift the. three Caucasi ; or in that conti^ 
nuous high range of country^ which stretches from the Enxine sea to 
upper India^ and which the Persians denominate the stony girdle of the 
earth - - - - - - 504 

II. Origin and progress of the Scuthim or Scythians « - 506 



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xxii CONTENTS. 



PA6& 



1. The Scythians came out of tbe region of Caf or Caucasus: and their 
setttements extended aB the way firom upper In<fia to the shores of the 
Euxme - - - - - • 507 

£• From Asia they passed into Europe - • * *. *^ 

( 1 .) Here they penetrated to the utmost extremity of die west - ib,. 

(«.) The Germans were Scythians - - , - 510 

(S.) But the Scythians, or ScuAim, or CutWm, or Oiusas/ Were the 
same race as the Getes or Goths. Whence die Germans were 
Goths : and, as the Indo-Scydiae or ChusauB claim to this day the 
patriarch Cusha as their general ancestor, the Godis were Cuths or 

Cuthim - - - - - *^* 

(4.) Scythians of Scandinam - - . . 515 

(5.) Cossacs - - * - - ' 516 

(6.) High character of die ancient GoUis . • . ib. 

S. Their opposite progress from upper India to the extreme east • 517 

(1.) The Chinese . . - . - ib* 

(2.) The Japanese - - - - - 421 

(3.) The CcMsais, the Siamese, the Peguers, the Burmans •• 522 
-4. Their progress to the south-west^ briefly touched upon, and reserved 

for a separate discussion • • . . ]b» 

5. Pivision into castes wa3 necessarily unknown amoi^ the unmixed 

Cuthim' • - • - * 523 



CHAPTER V. 

Respecting the Shepherd-kings of Egypt, and the various settlements^^ 

of the mUUarjf caste in consequence of their expulsimi 536 



I. HbtoryoftheShepherd-ldngsof Egypt - - • ib. 

1. As recorded by Manetho . • • - ib. 

2. As noticed by Piodorus^ Lysunacbus^ and Tacitus . - 530 



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PAGE 

IL ChroMlogyoftbeptrtoraldoiimiatbii . * • 559 

UL Theoiy of Mr. Bryant rdatife to die Sbepherd-kiags . - • 538 

1* The theory stated • « • • * - ib. 

2. Shewn to be ttfiMtisfiu^tory • • • . 541 
IV. Aoolber Aeory proposed • ' • • . • 545 

1. The pastoral history connected with that of the Israelites, as gathered 

firom pimne writers • , • • * . jb« 

9. Agreement of pi^an with -sacred diroQology . • 548 

3. The return of the SbepberdJdngs into Egypt, after their first expulsion, 

is distinctly mentioned in Scripture - • . • 550 

4. Their domination after that return lasted 106 years - . 55s 
&. This arranj^ement \b confirmed by Scriptural ch ro nology - 555 
6* The Cuthic Shepherd-^ii^, not thenatiTe Miaraim^ were the oppressors 

of Israel m Egypt • • -• « . 557 

7* The pyramids^ere builtiiy the Jaboor of iIm Israelites • , . 559 

V. An mqidry into the origin and nationality of the Shepberd^kings - 560 

L The Shepberd»king8 were Asiatic Ethiopians or Phenidaqs or PhiUtim « 

("sometimes miscalled Arabians), who invaded Egypt from the east ib. ' 

ft. Tie Phenicians were not Canaanites, but Asiatic Cushim or Scythians.. 
They were the same race as the scriptural Anakim. In the time of 
Abraham, there were two distinct races in Pidestine; the descendants 
of Cttsh, and the descendants of Canaan. Enumeration of them. The 
conquest of Egypt by the Phenicians was the same as that effected by 
the Shepherd-kings . « ^ . « $Qi 

3. The Philistim were not children of Misr diroi^ die line <tf Cashih, as 
many have ima^^oed from a misunderstood expression of Moses ; but thejr 
were of the race of the ludo -Cuthic Pali or Shepherds • 565 

4. Entrance of the Shepherds into Palestine, first from the north-east 
round the great Arabian desot, then retrogressivdy fit>m the south- 
west - • • - - - 570 

5. In their progress from the Indian Caucasus, they subdued Chald^ and 
established themselves round the head of the Persian gulph. They are 
styled Jrabi by various authors. ProtMfble origination of that misap- 
plied title .-..-. 572 

6. The remembrance of their emigration was accurately preserve^, both 
(I.) In the West, where they planted the African Ethiopia or Cusha- 

dwip without; • • • ^ • 574 



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Xxiv CONTENTS. A- 

rA6B 
(2.) And in the East, where they had occuj^ ttstacto of a monf •»• 

cient Ethiopia - - - ". . " ^^ 

7. The accuracy of these traditions i»«onfirmed by several mcideotal par- ; 

ticulars - - • • - 584 

(1.) PaMhan, Goshen, and Auarit, are all Sanserit words of tbewnie 

import - - - " . *; *' 

(2.) Resemblance between India and Egypt, both oatarri and artificid 585 

(3.) Verbal mythological coiacidences - - - • 586 

VI. Varions emigrations of tiie Ckithic Shepheiids, wbeo finally cxpdled from 

Egypt - - - . - - 589 

1. DantdorDanavas - . , -.,-.. ib. 

2. Cadmians or Catfanonitet at Codoaaitea - - - 591 

3. ColchiaBS - - . - ■ . - . - . ^^92 
.4. Cossacs - - -- - -603 

5. Adantians or Mfertem Ethiopians - - - 595 

6. MUesians of Ireland -, - . - 696 

7. Coloni8t«<rftiieMeditenrBW»nshofe8ofAfric» - « OOO 



CHAPTER VI. 



Respecting the mode, in ■which Pagan Idolatry originated ; th: 
resemblance between the SUual Law of Moses and the Ritual 
Otdmances of the GentUes ; and certain pecidiarUies in the 
several characters of the Messiah and the great father 603 



ib. 
604 



I The mode, in which Pagan Idolatry originated from Patriawshism 
1 Pagan Idohitry was Noetic Patriarchism corrupted and perverted 
(1.) Matters recorded respecting Adam. The Chenibim and ark ib 



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CONTENTS. XXV 

PAOB 
(2.) Matters recorded respectipg Noah, He must have been ac- 

quainted with the forms of the Cherubim - . 608 

(3.) Matters taught us respectiiq; Jehovah and the Word of Jehovah 

bemg visibly manifested in a human form • , . ib. 

ft* How these various welUknown partiodars. were perverted by the idola- 
ters of ^abel • . • • » 610 
(i.) FerveisioQ of the chariK^er of Jehovah the Word to Ae great 

Either. Rise of the doctrine of Avatars or incarnate manifestations - 

^thegr^fiither • - - * ib. 

(2^ Points of resembhmce between the characters of the Wordj of 

Adsim, and of Noah, were eagerly laid hoU of • • 613 

(S«) Rise of hero«worship from the doctrine of incarnate manifestations 613 
(40 Origination of the Metempqrohosis irom the same source * ib« 

(5.) Sunucuaiy of the character of the great ftther as thus or^mating ib« 
(6.) Perversion of sacrifice^ of the doctrines of ^e fall and r^enera- 

tioD^ and of the ark and Cherubun • • » 614 

(7.) In the fint stage of idolatry^ the Godhead vru given out to have 

been suooessivdy incarnate in the persons of Adam and Noahj each 

multipljring.himself into three sons • • « 616 

(8.) Rise of Sabianism from hero-worship and perverted astronomy 618 

3. The outward forms of Patriarchism v?ere studiously copied into Ido* 

htiy - - - • - • - lb* 

(1.) King and priest • • • - 6J9 

(«.) Sacrifice on the tops of hilk - - - ib. 

(3.) Worship in consecrated groves • • • 620 

(4.) Symbolical stone eohimns • - « ib« 

(5.) Teraphim or Cherubim - - • - 621 

(&) Jacob's bidder i^ pyramidal staircase - • 682 

4. The leading ideas of Patriarchism were ako copied into Paganism. 
Exemfrfification from a remarkable passage m the book of Job • 623 

IL The cause of the resembhmce between the Ritual Law of Moses and the 

Ritual Ordinances of the Gentiles ... 624 

1. The resemblance can only be accounted for in one of three ways • ib. 

(1.) The thcoiy, that Paganinn borrowed its ceremonial from the 

Ritual Iaw of Moses^ examined and discarded • * 625 

(2.) The opposite theoiy^ that the Ritual Law of Moses was bor» 
rowed from the ceremonial of Paganism^ examined and discarded 627 
Pag. IM. VOL. III. d 



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XXn C0NTENT5> 



PkfTB^ 



(3.) The theory, that they were each a traB8crq>t of a more ancient 

ritual, namely that of Patriarcfabm, examined and approved - 63a 

S. The same tram of thought is thence observable bodi in Paganism, Ja- 

daism and Christianity - - - 631 

(1.) Instanced in the case of the AA, the deluge> antf t*e Cherubink 

Notions of the Philistim respecting the ark of the covenant - ib^ 

(2.) Further instanced in the case of 4e tabernacle, the temple, and 

the high-priest - - • - 637 

(3.) Furtlier instanced m the characters ^ CSuist and his consort the 

Church - • " . * . " ^*^ 
(4.) Further instanced in the phraseology of Scripture. Fish of Jo- 
nah. Christ viewed as a fish. Moses in the ark. A state of 

Miction symbolized by a flood - . • 643 
III. Certain peculiarities in the several characters of the Messiab and the great 

fether accounted fop - - -- • • 648 

1. Infidel theory of Mr. Volney stated and examined ' • - ib* 

(1 .) His theory of the non*existence of a literal Christ -> 649 * 
(2.) His assertion, that the literal existence of Christ rests on the sole 

testimony of Tacitus -.••.• 652: 

(3.) His etymologies . . - • 653^ 
£. True ground of the resemblance between the Messiab and the great 

fiither in certain peculiarities of character • - • - • 654 

(i.) Typical character of Adam ^i. ^ •. 656^ 

(2.) Typical character of Enoch • .. • 657 

(3 J Typical character of Noah - - • • ib«. 

3. How the Buddhists came to confound Christ with Buddh» i* 65a 



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EXPLANATION OF THE FIGURES IN ^LATE HI- 



3%e rise Mnd progress of Tetfifte' Arthitettwe. 



I. The lun^r sbip of Osiris^ with the oracular navel containiyg the god in the centrr 

of it. From Pococke. 
£• The lunar ship resting on the summit of Ararat^ the ^iginal mountain of the 

Moon. 
5. The sacred mountam with two natural peaks^ viewed as a physical copy^ on an 

immense scal^ of the two horns of the lunette or of the stem and stem of the 

ship. 

4. The lunar ship^ with tfie great father supplying to it the place of a mast^ resting on 

&e top of the mountain of the Moon. 

5. The sacred mountain with three natural peaks^ viewed as a physical copy of the 

two horns and mast of the lunette. This is a supposed' foroi^ of Mem ^ and the 
real form of the sacred mount Olivet^ on the three peaks of which were wor^ 
shipped Astoreth^ Chemosh^ and Mitcom^ 

6. Japanese temple at Quano> built as a copy of the lunar mountain. From Kaamp*^ 

ferli Japan, pi. xxxii. fig. 14. 

7. Indian pi^oda at Taujore^ supporting the hull of a ship. From Maurice's. Ind. 

Ant. 

8. Great pagoda at Tanjorcj terminating^ like the &bled Mern^in three peaks. From. 

Maurice's Ind. Ant. 
p. Ancient pagoda at Deogur^ sustaining the roys^ egg and trident; which last is a 

copy of the lunar ship Argha with its mast. From Maurice's Ind. Ant. 
30» TempTe of Belus at Babylon^ according to Herodotus. This seems to have been 

ihe ancient tower of Babel completed by Nebuchadnezzar. It is a supposed 

form of Mem. 

II. An l^ptian pyramid near Sakarra. From Norden. 

12. Mexican temple of the Sun and Moon* From Mausice's Ind. Antr. 

13* Great pyramid of Cairo* ^ I 



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XXViii EXPLAICATION OF THE FIGUEES IN FLATE III] 

Fig. 

14. Shoemadooj the great temple of Buddha at Pegiu From Symes's Eoribassy to 

Ava. 

15. A holy moontam with a eonsecrated cavern m its mde* 

16. Section of the great pyramid of Cairo^ exhibitmg its dark central chamber or arti- 

ficial cavern. From Pococke* 

17* Holy two-peaked artificial tumulus of New-Orange with Mercurial columns and 
door of approach to its central chamber. From Ledwidi's Aut of Ireland* 

18. The Ark^ restmg among the crags of Ararat and exhibiting the sembUmce of a 
dark grotto. 

19* Rock temple of Jugneth Subha at Ellora^ excavated out of the bowels of a moun- 
tain in imitation of the Ark. Such places of worship fi-equendy occur in Indiai 
Persia^ Fgypt, Palestine^ and the Crimea. From Asiat Research, vol. vi. 

20. Gateway of the Egyptian temple at Edfu^ designed to imitate the two-peaked moun- 

tain and sacred cavemal door. From Norden* 

21. A supposed form of mount Meruj surmounted by the Idacvratta or sacred mundane 

ring of hills. 
t2. A temple of the sort usually called Dnddical, designed to imitate the Ida-vratta 

on the top of the lunar mountain. 
d3. A temple of Buddha m Ceylon^ unitii^ the two forms of the egg and the pyramid. 

From Asiat. Research, vol. vi. 

24. A pyramid at SakiMra^ uniting the two forms of the egg and the pyramid. From 

Norden. 

25. A Persian fire-temple, exhibiting the form of the ^g. From Hyde. 

26. The Pantheon at Rome, exhibiting the form of the egg. 

^7* Oviform Tolmen in Cornwall^ with the sacred door or orifice used in the initiation 

of aspirants. From Borlase. 
28. A holy grove of palms. 
29* Portico of an imitative Grecian temple. 
30. An Egyptian temple at Essnay, exhibiting conjointiy the mountain, the cavern, and 

the grove. The cornice over the portal is decorated with die hieroglyphic of 

the winged globe and serpent. See Plate I. Fig. 8. From Norden. 
Jl • Kitt's Cotty house in Kent. An artificial cell or cavern of Ceridwen, within which 

aspirants were wont to be inclosed, and from which they were reputed to be 

bom again. Trmm Borlase. 



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I r 



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CHAPTER I. 



Concerning the Identity and lMnari4errene Character qfihe great 

Goddesses of the Gentiles. 



X vow proceed to consider the character of the great goddesses of the 
Gentiles, wUch will be found to bear a close analogical ref&rence to that 
of their great gods. The female diyinities, however apparently multiplied 
according to the genius of polytheism, ultimately resolve themselves into 
one, who b accounted the great universal mother both of gods and men : 
and &is single deity is pronounced to be alike the Moon in the firmament 
imd jtbe all-prodnctive Earth. 

I. On the present point both the eastern and the western mythologists 
are remarkably explicit The Hindoos inform us, that, although each god 
has his own proper consort; yet, as the gods coalesce first into three and 
afterwards iaVo one, so the goddesses in like manner blend together, first 
l)ecoming three who are the wives of their three chief divinities^ and after* 
wards one who is the mysdc consort cf their telf-tripltcating great hth&r^ 
Sometimes the order of speaking of this personage is inverted : and then 
we are told, that Devi or the goddess (as their great mother is styled by 
way of emmenoe) multiplies herself into the three forms of Parvati, 
Lacshmii and Saraswati, and afterwards assumes as many subordinate 



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4 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN IDOLATRY. 

•ooK ▼. forms or characters as there are female divimties m the mythology of Hin- 
dostan, Yet each of these is severally, we are assured, both the Moon 
and the Earth : and each, accordingly, is represented by the common sym- 
bols of the cow and the lotos. Such is always the case with the mysterious^ 
female, who still remains one, however she may be multiplied. Whe^lier 
she be Devi, or Iva, or the White Goddess, or Ila, or Anna-Puma, or 
Sita, or Isi; she is equally Maya or the great .mother : and this great 
mother is pronounced to be at once the Earth and the Moon'- 

II. As Isi, she is manifestly, according to the just remark of Sir Willianv 
Jones, the Isis of the Egyptians*. Nor is she proved to be the same by 
the mere identity of names : the whole of her character minutely agrees 
with that of Isis; and the Brahmens themselves acknowledge, that the 
mythology of Egypt is but a transcript of their own \ But Isis, like Isi, 
is declared to be equally the Moon and the Earth :. and she is at the same 
time unanimously determined by the ancient theologists to be one with. 
Ceres, Proserpine, Minerva, Venus, EWana, Juno, Rhea, Cybelfe, Jana,, 
Atargatis, Semiramis, Vesta, Pandora, lo, Bellona, Hecatfe, Rhamnusia, 
Latona, the Phenician Astartfe, the Lydian and Armenian Anais> and thse 
Babylonian Mylitta. These again are said to be mutually the SMae with 
each other: and, if we descend to particulars, we stilL find them indiffcD- 
cntly identified with the Earth and the Moon ♦. 

« Moor'8 Hind. Panth. p. 21, 22, 3S, 119, 1S6; TO, 81, 116, 125, 119, 138, SO, ISY, 158', 
101, 405, 186, 111, 134, 447. Asiat. Res. toL i. p. 263, 253. TdL iJi. p. 147. voU viL pi 
263. Td. xl p. 28, 108, 110. et alSbi. 

• Asiat. Res. voL L p. 253. 

' Asiat. Res. vol. ii. p. 335. 

4 Herod. Hist. lib. iL c 59. lib. i. c 131. Dioff. BiBl. lib. I p. 10, 11, 13, 21. Heliod. 
iEthipp. lib. ix. p. 424. Lactant. Instit. lib. i. c 21. Plut. de Isid. p. 354, 361. Apul. 
Metam. Kb. ii. Serv. in ^irg. Georg. lib* i. ver. 5. Vatt. de re rust, Kb. L c. 37. Ai>- 
gust. de civ. Dei. Kb. iv. a 11. lib., vu. c 2. Macrob. Saturn. Kb. i^ c. 10,. 15, 21,.17, 12. 
Simp, in Arist. Ausc Pbys. Kb. iv. Plut.. in vit CrassL p..553^ Chroiv, Pasch. p. 36. 
Tzetz. Schol. in Lycoph, ver. 707. Pans. Lacon. p. 192. Strab. Geog. lib. xi. p. 512, 
S32. Kb. xu. p. 559. Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. i. p. 322. Stat Sylv. lib. Hi. Luc. de dea 
Syra. Luc. Dial. Deor. p. 123. ApuL Metam. Kb. xi. Phumut. de nat. dcor. c 28, & 
Orph. Fcagm. p. 395/ 



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CHAPTER II. 



Respecting certain remarJcahle Opinions which the GentUes 
entertained oftlie Moon and the Earth. 



jMLucb light will be thrown upon the origin and nature of the worship 
paid to the great mother, if we examine certain remarkable opinions which 
the Gentiles entertained respecting the Moon and the Earth of which this 
mysterious goddess was an acknowledged personification. The opinions 
in question are perfectly analogous to those, which prevailed respecting 
the Sun '• I have already had occasion to give a partial statement of 
them : I may now proceed to a more full and general discussion of the 
subject*. 

I. As the ancient Egyptians represented the Sun under the figure of a 
man sailing in a ship, so they similarly depicted th^ Moon as a woman 
floating on the surface of the ocean in a raft or barge '. The same idea 
may be traced in the mythology of Hindostan. Saraswati is described, as 
bearing on her front the lunar crescent, and as seated in the calix of the 
aquatic lotos ^ Now the lotos is declared to be the typie of the ship 

• Vide supra book iv. c. 2. * Vide supra book ii. c. 4. 

^ Plut. de Isid. p. 364:. Porph« de ant. Dymph. p. ^S6. * Asiat. Res. voL iii. p. 5S5. 



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8 THE QRIOIK OP PAGAN IlK>LATItr« 

•-•book v. perly asserts the Bans and the Argo to be the same '. The Moon thereof 
fore, and the cow dedicated to the Moon, were alike symbols or hierogly-^ 
phics of the ship of Osiris ; the one astronomically, the other physicdly. 
Consequently, when the Moon was de^^ted floating on the surface of the 
ocean, we seem obliged to conclude, that the planet was no fiirtber in* 
tended, than as a symbol of that Moon or luniform ark into which Oskis 
was compelled to enter by Typhon. The same observation applies to the 
lunar cow. Though her living representation was dedicated to the Moon, 
and was studiously made to exhibit the figure of that planet: yet the name, 
by which she was distinguished, was Theba^ which literally signifies an ark; 
and she was palpably the same as the ark into which Osiris was driven by 
Typhon, because the god is indifferently said to have entered ao ark and a 
wooden co^ when pursued by the fiiry of that destructive monster. But 
Typhon, as the Egyptians informed Plutarch, was a personification of the 
sea* : and the hero-god, who was constrained by the rage of the ocean to 
take refuge in an ark, was certainly Noah. The ark of Osiris therefore^ 
as we have already seen, was the ark of the great father. This ark how* 
ever was mystically deemed a floating Moon, and in the commemorative 
Orgies of the god it was represented accordingly. Hence I see not what 
conclusion can be reasonably drawn, except that the Moon was made the 
astronomical symbol of the Ark. 

Such a mode of typifying the Ship of Noah is both strictly analogical, 
and may likewise be accounted for even on the score of natural fitness. 
When the Sun was chosen as the hieroglyphic of the great father, analogy 
required that the Moon should be selected as the hieroglyphic of the great 
xBOther : and, as the mystic consort of Noah was a ship, none of the hea- 
venly bodies could have been more happily pitched upon than the Moon; 
which, during ks first and last quarters, exliibits the precise similitude of 
the vessel denominated by the Greeks Amphiprymnm. 

II. The conclusion, to which we have thus been brought, will serve as a 
key to explain many very singular notions which have been entertained by 
^he pagans respectmg the Moon : and those notions again will confirm the 

'Flutdelsid.f>. 359. ^ Plut de bid. p. 35& 



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s^K ^. Agreeably to this view of the subject, the Hindoos tell us, that the ne# 
^oon, which was produced out of the churned or violently agiteted ocean^ 
was one, which would answer the p&rpose of living creatures whel^r 
moveable'or immoveable ; meaning, I apprehend,, that it was suitable for 
their abode and adapted for their preservation. They represent it^ as shel- 
tmng-its votaviesfrom danger; as floating about at random on tHne sur&c* 
of the sea ; as being a terrestrial Moon, in eontradistinetion to the celestial 
one; and as being the taiie and original Lunar White Island, of which ettdi 
literal sacred island is but a transcript 1^ holy islaad of the Moon 4a 
Q0i]^>66ed erf the Amrila or water <rf iauooKtali^, wfaidi. was once* lost, but 
which was afterwards recovered fipoot the oceaiu M wcfa it is incapabto 
of deci^ r and, securely floating on the mAice of the boundkw^ deep, it 
- sundvet^wkfa.^ beatified inbabkrats the ruin of every successive World^ 
wkh theregenerattoo^or reaovatioAf of which it is* immediately connected 
IPo the ioating Lunar Islaiid 'm added anothei that is staUe^r or, as the 
Quutter.is sometimes expressed^ die floflling island itself becomes fiked; by 
which, is meant, that the first is rooted or atteehed to the second. This^ 
which the Bvahmens describe as silualedfar to the west, ia also a terresi- 
trial Moon: it contains or.«iflicides with the .on^nal momtain of the 
Mood: within it b to be son^t tbe Paradise of the Moon : it is the iUkkIo 
of the spirks of the blessed, or <rf those deufied patriarehs who flourish, at 
die comn^eacement ef every WiMdd: and it is the fmoatite residence of 
Cririma, wbo there reposes on the folds of die great navicular sea*serpent 
whichhadbeeotbevehideof tbe skeping god over the waters of the inters* 
mioaUe oeeiM»\ i 

It is easy to percrive, aa I have already had occasion to observe, thtf 
die sacred Lunar Islands of the west are die Ark and mount Ararat; 
which, whctt the floating island became fiaed at theck>s6 of thedduge, lay 
%> the wipt of Hindostan and were ^the undoubted cradle of the Brab- 
roenical theok^\ But of these blands there were numerous transcripts: 
for, every sacred island beihg a symbol either of the floating Moon or of 

' Aiiat.Re«.ToLzLp.85,d6,41,4S,M,46,47,48,90,6e,92; 
• Vide saprm b0ok iL a & 



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TffS ORIGIN 09 TAQAV: JI>OLATft7; II 

^.QMe;SM^^ laniur sioutataiti, wbtt was true oily of the mystic ocean* c9a^v^* 
liQm cceaoMt aad of the Paradkiacal Ararat was tbeoce trauferred to 
(fadr various insular representatives. ^ 

; SiKh bekig.the casoi we shall readily perceive^ why the White Iskmd/ 
&0ugh proQouDced to.be sittiatad in the ocean fiu* to.die west, is yet said * 
|a have fae^ brought into various parts of India. < Wherever, as in the 
VEtftance of EUora, a small island was constant in the bosom of a deep 
Uif/^ there, t^ White Island of the Mo<»i was reco^nsed and venerated t 
m^ whenever the inhabitwjts of ft jai;ger idand in the ooeaa were devoted 
^ the worship ctf the floating lunette, there, as in the instance of iiumatra^ 
^ have an m^otal island of the Moon* Bat still t\ie same notions are 
£>und to predominate : still does the lunar White Iriand survive the w^nck 
of worlds; still doM it float on the surfttee of the boosdless ocean ; still 
if it.tbe peea^ abode.of the her«^^ of wisdam ; still is it tbe residence 
of the flMgt^eMs^«bapacadise.of the juit ones, tbe&voitfite haunt tit 
Ihose dm^ mortals whoareUterHHy said to have Imm praprved in an arir 
at* the period of t^ universal deluge* , • - -^ 

A^peeably to these spemhttions we are ^«t^ 
xnfe ^ daughter i^ (beSun, andyeA^ttrnt sbeis abotfaeo&pringof the 
wonderful architeot Twa^itiL After what haa afaready been said in the 
courseof the piesent work, auohn fiction can require but little eluoidatioil* 
The Sun is the astfioooowal r^[>iMe«lative of Menu^Satyavrata^ w1m> war 
{^reserved in an ark with the seven Risbis: the floatmg Moon thrrdbrer 
which is equally hju consort and hw child, can only be the Ark. la m 
similar manner, tbe sage architect Twaahta, who is also declared to be the 
parent of the Moon, must clearly,, sq ieyr an i can ju^ lie the wise master* 
builder; whO|^ ioHnediately before tbe war of the gods. and.. the giinM,^ 
framed the navicular l^unette t,hat received the gmX ftuber within its won4> 
and saved hiqi from imp^dkig destruction '. 

S. Exactly tbe samenoUons prevailed in pther parts of the world. 

According to the Zend-Avesta, whence waters of tbe deluge retired' 
from off the surface of the earth, the peak of Jnount Albordi was tbe first 

' Asiat Ees. vol. ai.^S4»M; 46,97, 67»88,90bai. Maor> JUnii gbstfi. jp, Mg> 



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18 THE ORiaiN OF FlAGAN IVOiLATmn 

Moft t. kmd that becttue TisiMa At lAm ti&ie the Sun mA tiie MooftHp^MMd 
upon it5 summit: and the latter of tteseia said to have meetwdi and pn^ 
served, and purified, the seed or offspring of the second man^bull} wlio» 
trith three subordinate partiiersy was the appointed ioatamieiit of bringing 
dver die face of the earth an uraversal inwMlation* Sin ia filiewise de^ 
dared to have caused every thing to be bam \rben 4Jie weiM tvaa renewed 
after die catastrophe of the deloge ; she it pronomced to be the only om 
of her kind that ever was formed ; and she is celebrated as liie geoBeral 
mother, fixrni wluise womb proceeded aH the various descriptions of €xa* 
mab* The whole of tfab is palpably a4eMription of the Ark: med itis no 
ftrrther applicable to the Moon^ than as tbe pk^iet wms the^MlroiiomiwI 
symbol of the ship '. ^ 

3. Similar q[)eci^iora may be<equal}y traced in aM» western tegions^ 
We are told by caaisioal writer*, that ^Moon was the motben of Ba6« 
cfaus. Yet Bacchus is said to have been exposed' at bm in an ark^ and to 
have been mystically bom on 4he summit of Mem where the Atk rested 
after the deluge. He is also acknowkfdged to be the same deity as-Osiritf^ 
who was set aftoat )& an tfrk fifhaped like the Moon. Hence it is evident, 
tiiat the birth of the iskite BaMhus fVoiti the Moon is ho other than the 
bitth or ^ress 6f Oriria from the l9o«tliig IVfeon withki whicii he was ioh 
closed by Typhon^* As the Moon wai the mother ef Bacchus; so like- 
wise was it esteemed by the Egyptians the mother of the whole World,. 
In both cases the ground of : tbe opinion was the very same^ the great 
father and the rudiments of tbe new World were alike fmxluced from what 
the old astronomical mystagbgues considered as a floatmg Moon or as a 
lunar erratic island K Such also wa^ the reason, why ^ouls regenerated in 
the Mysteries and why all mortal bodies were fiibled to be bom from a 
door in tiie side of tbe Moon, and why that planet was deemed to be the 
confines of life and death*. These apparently w3dii6tions are perfectly 
intelli^ble, if understood d the floating Moon of Osiris; bat, how they 

* Vide supra book iiL c. S. $ I, IV. * Cicer. de nat deor. Kb. in. c. 2Sb 

^ MvTf^ tftXnniP T» xo^fdif. Plot de bid. 

^ Porfijh. da aitVByiiph. ^ ti68^flei# Maemb^ ia sssiik Sc^. fib. i e. lU 



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TBM OEIOIK OF FAOJLN XDOIATRT. 19 

M'SpldkaUe to the literal Moon in the heftyms, it is beyond the wit of 
msa to dkoorer. 

4. The Imiar ark of Osiria was deemed his coffin : and his entrance into 
It ifw considered as equivalent to a descent into the infernal regkxis. 
Honoe ll^eNMe and the Acherusian marsh, where hb Mysteries were ode^ 
brabed/ became theriver and the lake of Hades : and the floatiog Moon of 
the god was esteemed the nancolar vehicle of d^Murted souls,, over which 
he {irauded bj the nameaod in the character o! Charon. What the Nile 
was to the Egyptian mjtfx^gists, the Gaines and the Styx were to those 
of HiadostaD and GreeccL Each had its boat and its infernal ferryman i 
anc^ as tfaenavigator of the Styx like that of tiie Nile b Charon or Osirb; 
so, what abundandy unfolds the import of diese parallel legends, the 
mariMr of the Ganges is Meim-Sal^avrata under the name of SaHvahima, 
that MeM, who was preserved with seven companions in an ark and was 
aftarwahb oonstituted the god of dbsequies^ Here then the floating Moon 
ef Osilis appears as an infernal Moon, agreeably to the doctrine <^ th^ 
lifysteries w:hich placed the Moon in Hades and identified it with Proseiv 
pine or Hecat^. 

This wilt lead ns to understand the import of some very curious parti- 
ealafs^ which Plutarch mentions as beii% presented to the imagination of 
TinMurcfaus in hb vision of the infenwl regions. 

The firiendly spirit, who acts the part of an bierophant (for the pretended 
vision seems evidently to describe ^ process of an initiation^ informs 
Urn, that Proserpine b m ^ Moon, and that the infernal Mercury or 
Pluito b her companion* Thb Moon is wholly dbtinct from the celestial 
Moon ; being what some call a terrestrial heaven or paradise^ and others 
a heaoenly Earth. It belongs to the genii or deified mortals^ who tenant 
the Earth: and it is described, as wearing the semUance of a floating 
island* It b surrounded with other blands, which similarly float on the 
bosom of the great Stygian abyss : but it b loftier than them all, and there* 
fore not equally exposed to the destructive fury of the infernal riven In 
thb navicular Moon or Lunar Island there are three principal caverns. 
The largest b called the sanctuary ofHecati; and here the wicked suffer 
the punbhmeat due to tiieir crknes« The other two are rather doors or 



exits IN 



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14 THE ORIGIN OF FAOAN IDOLATET. 

BOM V. outlets than caverns ; the first looking towards heavra, the. second towarda 
the earth. These serve for the ingress and egress of souls : for the Moon 
is the universal receptacle of them ; into her they enter by .one door, and 
from her they issue by the other door. She receives and gives^ cooapotinck 
and decompounds ; and on her depend all the conversions of . generation^ 
While the Moon thus floats on the waters of the Styx, the infernal met 
strives to invade^and overwhelm it. Then the souls through fear break 
forth into loud lamentations ; for Pluto seizes upon many, who happen to 
M off. Some however, who are plunged in the raging flood, contrive, bff 
dint of great exertimi and good swimmifig» to reach the shores of .the Mooft ; 
but the Styx, thundering and bellowing in a most dreadfol iQMoer» does 
not allow them to land. Lamenting their fate, they we thrust headlcpg 
into the abyss, and are hurried away to partake of another r^genera^09# 
Many are.tiius disappointed, whilst aknost touching the ^hoiies of the Moon; 
and others, who had even already gained the wished-ftn* preservii^ island^ 
are suddenly dragged again into the deep. Those however, who.efiefik 
their escape, and who stand firm on the beach of this floatis^ Moon, aM 
crowned with the plumes of constancy*. 

It must, I think, be evident, even on the most superficial view of ^tl|e 
question, that the Moon, which is here represented as floating on the boBOm 
of the sacred infernal river and as being the generative vehicle of soub, is 
no other than the luniform ark or floating Mopa within which Osiris was 
inclosed by Typhon or the ocean : for this very ark of Osiris, which was 
called Baris and Jrgo and JTicba, is the identical boat which Charon em- 
ploys to ferry souls over the Acherusian lake. But the ark of Charon of 
Osiris is the same as the infernal Gaiigetic boat of Salivahana or Menn- 
Satyavrata, who was pres^ved in an ark at the time of the deluge. The 
conclusion therefore from the whole seems to be alike obvious and inevit* 
able. As the entrance into the Ark was considered in the light of a descent 
into the infernal regions ; and as the quitting the Ark was viewed, as a 
return from those regions, or as a restoration of life to the dead, or as a 
mysterious new birth from the womb of a great mother : the Moon, which 

' Plutarch cited by Wilford. Ami. Set, vol. xi. p. 1 14—U7. 



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16 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN IDQtATBT. 

BOOS ▼. able the better to understand the import of those notions respectii^ the 
Moon, which yet remain to foe adduced. 

7. At Autun in France a sculptured bass-relief has been ft^imd, which 
represents the chief Druid bearing his sceptre and crowned wHh a garland 
of oak-leaves; while another Druid approaches him^ and displays, iq his 
right hand a crescent resembling the Moon when six days old. To this 
ceremonial Taliesin evidently refers in one of his poems. He deacribes a 
solemn ait of worship paid to the Moon ; and yet be at the same time ei&* 
pressly styles the lunette, borne by the inferior Druid, a boat ofglas^ \ 

The toy was doubtless a representation of the lunar ship 9r floating 
Moon, which was so highly venerated by the gentile mythologbts in eveatj 
part of the world. This was the Moon, within which Osiris was incloeed 
hy Typhon, within which Crishna and Siva alike found refuge, and withm 
which the seven companions of the diluvian Menu underwent the lu/stration 
of a mysterious penance. This was the Moon^ of which the Arcadians 
spoke, when they claimed for their fitmily a hi^er degree of antiquky than 
even that possessed by the planet itself \ And this was the Moon, which 
gave its name to so many lofty mountains where old tradition placed the 
resting of the Ark after the deluge ^ 

8. From the same source of astronomical my^cism ori^ated the fable 
of the man in the Moon, which has been carried into regions very widely 
aeparated from each other. This personage is no other than OiHris, or 
Bacchus, or Siva, or Crishna; each of whom is aaid to have once tenanted 
the lunar orb. The tales of our £nglish nurseries make him, I believe 
perform penance in the Moon on account of his having gathered sticks on 
the sabbath-day while the children of Israel travelled through the wilder- 
ness : but some of the aboriginal inhabitants of South-America, in a manner 
which better accords wjth the speculations of ancient Paganism, supposed 
him to be confined in the Moon as in a prison on account of bis having 
committed incest with his sister \ The incest was that, which is so con- 
stantly ascribed to the great father on account of the varied degrees of 
relationship in which he was thought to stand to the great mother, A 

" Davies's Mythol. df Brit. Druid, p. 277. 
* Lycoph. Cassand. ver. 482. Ovid. Fast lib. ii. ver. 290. ' Vide supra b. li. c. 4. § IV. 

* Purch. Pilgr. b. iz. c L p. 822. 



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'18 THE ORIGIK O* PAGAN iMLAtRY. 

»ooE T. racter between these two so nearly allied objects of iddatrous veHeratidiu 
Nor shall we be disappointed: as the same goddess represented them 
both ; so they are themselves exhibited under, common symbols, and arc 
diescribed with similar attributes. 

The Moon, we are informed, is a celestial Earth, tenanted by its prdper 
inhabitants, and comprehending within its sphere the Elysian fiield» or 
Paradise. It is also, as we have seen, a floating island, and a ship or ark 
"within which the principal god of the Gentiles was once constrained to seek 
shelter from a dreadful inundation of the sea. 

In a similar manner, acccnrcfing to the doctrine of the ancient Babylo- 
nians, the Earth is a vast ship floating on the surface of the greiett abyss '• 
The same notion prevailed among the Jews, being adopted by them most 
probably during the period of the captivity '. It may also be traced in the 
writings of the Orphic poet, who describes the Earth as an immense island 
girt on every side by the circumambient ocean ^ And it appears with 
remarkable distinctness in the speculations of the Hindoo sages, who at 
once symbolize the earth by a ship and speak of it as a large floating island \ 
From the centre of this island rbes the sacred mount Mem ; on the sum- 
mit of which, no less than m the Moon, they place their Elysian fields or 
the Paradisiacal abode of the hero-gods : and, as every smaller island is a 
transcript of the Earth or a World in miniature ; we likewise find an 
universally prevailing opinion, that the seats of the blessed are to be sought 
for in certain sacred islands situated £ur to the west in the midst of the all- 
pervading ocean. 

So agcun : the Moon was typified by the lotos, the cow, and Uie mysteri- 
ous ship Argo or Barb or Tlieba : for we perceive the hmar goddess with 
the crescent on her forehead floating in the aquatic lotos ; we n^et with a 
legend that Isis or lo or the Moon was once changed into a cow, while the 
horns of that animal are positively declared to represent the lunar crescrat 
and while we are told that the figure of a crescent was studiously impressed 

' DiocLBibLlIb.iLp.117. 
* Windet de vit. fimct. statu, p. 242, 243. i^ud Magee on atonement. voL ii. p. 165. 
3d Edit. ' Orph. Frag. p. 401.. 

^ Asiat. Res. vol iii. p. 133, 137. voL viii. p. 274, 306, 312. 



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so THE OEIQIN OF PAOAN IDOLATBT. 

960% T. iimilarly eootatning^ duriog the period of the floods all dmt exiMfed of the 
human race, all that reaiaiiied of the aniifial and regetabld creatboi . Tfatf 
original great fatiier^ the parent of three tans, was born out of the Earth) 
the second great father, likewise the parent of three sons, esteeited only a 
transmigratory reappearance of his predecessor^ was bom oat of the Ark. 
The £arth, according to the accurate notions of the ancients wbo wero 
ignorant of the existence of a second distinct large continent, is an island 
surrounded on all sides by the ocean : the Ark or smaller World was also 
an island, similarly begirt by the waters of the deluge. The Earth, viewed 
after the manner of the Hbdoos and Babylonians as comprehending under 
one grand whole every detached smaller island, is, duriog the intermediate 
space betiveen deluge and deluge, the sde mysterious lotos which i^es 
above the surface of the sea : the Ark or sacred lunar island, which never 
perishes but which survives the wreck of each successive World, whidi is 
never submerged beneath the sea hot which always floats securely do its 
bosom, was the sole mysterious lotos which rose above the surface oi the 
ocean when for a season no other World was visible. Such being the true 
points of resemblance between tlie Earth and the Ark, to make the moalogf 
complete one only particular was wanting ; and this JictHUms pomt the 
speculative genius of old mythology scrupled not to supply. The Ark was 
not only an island, but a floating island ; not only a floating island, but a 
ship : the Earth therefore, which is really an island, was pronounced to be 
a floating island ; and, as the smidier World was a siup, the larger World 
was also determined to resemble a ship, and as such was symbdiied by the 
sacred boat. 

With respect to the Moon, as Sabianism constitoted a very prominent 
part of ancient idolatry, when the great father was venerated in Uie Sun» 
the great mother was by a necessary consequence, venerated in the Moon. 
And this latter heavenly body was the rather chosen for such a purpose 
from the form which it was observed to assume during its first and last 
quarters- It then exhibits the exact figure of a boat: so that nothing 
could have been more happily chosen by the astronomical mythologist to 
represent upon the sphere the Ship of the deluge '• 

' See Plate III. Fig. 1, S. 



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22 THE OniGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 

BOOK V. verse itself bemg Isis or Isi, is exhibited to us under the image of a ship 
of most stupendous magnitude. The whole Mundane System in its largest 
sense is one mi^ty vessel : and, as the Ark was manned by Noah and his. 
seven companions ; so the huge ship of the World has the Sun. for its pilot 
and the seven principal heavenly bodies for its crew *. - 

• MartUD. CapdL Saiyric. 19). u, p. ^ 



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24 THE ORIGIN OF f AGAN IDOLATRY. 

BOOK ▼• Here, in a most curious legend which can scarcely be misunderstood, 
we find the great mother Isi unequivocally represented, as being the ship 
which floated upon the surface of the deluge ; and as afterwards, when 
the flood abated, assuming the form of the identical bird which Noah sent 
out of the Ark. Isi therefore, whom the Hindoos pronounce to be both 
the navicular Earth and the floating island of the Moon, is likewise palpa- 
bly the Ark of Noah. 

2. But the Isi of ifindostan is certainly the Isis of Egypt: consequently 
the fable respecting the former goddess will teach us how we ought to 
understand the parallel fable respectiag the latter. Now Isis, like Isi, was 
venerated under the form of a ship: for in the rustic calendar of the Ro« 
mans, who systematically adopted Ae rites of «!): other oatioosy we find ap 
Egyptian festival in honour of the ship of Isis noted down for celebration 
in the month of March', There was likewise a tradition, that she sailed 
over the whole world in a ship, and that she first invented sails *• But this 
ship was certainly the vessel, which the Greeks and Egyptians called Argo^ 
and which the Hindoos still denominate Argha; a point, which may easily 
be shewn by a comparison of circumstances. 

The entrance of Osiris into the ark^ and his inqlosure within the floating 
Moon, were celebrated at two opposite seasons of the year, spring and 
autumn '• Now it appears from the rustic calendar, that th^ festival of 
the ship of Isis was celebrated in March. But this was the time, when 
the enbtmce of Osiris into his lunar boat was cdebrated at the vernal fes- 
tival Tberefcure the ship of Isis is the ship of Osiris. But the ship of 
Osiris was the ship Argo or Theba or Baris : and it is described as being 
a floating Moon and a wooden cow dedicated to the Moon. Isis however 
is declared to be herself the very Moon, within which Osiris was inclosed. 
Consequently the ship of Isis must likewise be the ship Argo : and Isis 
herself, beii^ identified with the floatiog Moon which is again idaitified 
, with the ark of Osiris, must be the same also as the ship Argo or Theba. 
This result exactly accords with the Hindoo legend. Isi is at once the 

' Gruter. Inscrip. p. 138. Lactant. Instit lib. i. c. 1 1. p. 59. 
» Hyg. Fab. 277. » Plut de Wd. p. S56. 



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fi6 7BB OBIGIN OF PAQAN lDOLATn,T. 

s^oft V. The Isioc ^ley of the Suevi is, ioftrodiiced into the Edde under liie naotf 
of the ship of the hero-gods. In this vessel they are described as- sattti^ 
together upon the ocean^ precisely in the sasie matrner as the Egyptieids 
and Hindoos set their deities afloat ki a ship : and we dre told^ Uiat,. air 
though it was so large that all the gods might sit in it at their ease, yet 
th^ could at an;y time reduce it to so somll a size that it might be parried 
in the pocket*. 

The origin of such a fable may perhafm be conjectuited without tniiebt 
difficulty. The literal ship of the hero-gods or deified patriarchs was in* 
deed of an immense siae: but the model of it, which was used in the Myis^ 
teries and which often in form resembled the lunar ^rrescent; wbs not uq*» 
frequently so dimmutive as to be a inece toy. Thus, ia tlie Druidicdl 
superstition, the sacred boat, as we leara from TaUesin and the A^tmi 
monument, w^as^a aoMll lunette made of ^ass, which an attendant priest 
bore iu his hand : yet in this vei7 boat of glass the primeval Arthur and 
his seven companions are feigned to have been preserv^d^ .wh^ 4U.the 
rest of mankind perished by the wirfers of the dehige\ , , 

4. Precisely the san^e mode of symbolizing the great mother preyailsd 
among the Celtic tribes. . • . ; 

As the galley was the hieroglyphic of Isis among the Suevi; so the glass 
boat, in which eight persons were saved at the time of the flood, repre^^ 
seated the goddess Ked or Ceridwen or Sideie among the ^M^ieptBritou^ 
Thus Taliesin, describing his initiation into the Mysteries which scenically^ 
exhibited the several events comecled with the deluge^ tells us, that Ce^ 
ridwen, within whose womb he had been inclosed, and from whom e^w 
imitative aspirant he had been bom agam, swelled o6t like ft ship upon the« 
waters, received him intaa dark receptacle^ set sail with him^ and carried 
him back into the sea of Dylaa K If we iiiqiure who this Dylan was, we 
are informed, that he was the son of the oceaai and tb<it^ wheq.the floods 
came forth from heaven, and when the fountain^ of the ^eat deep were 
broken up, he floated securely iipon the surfsure of the waters in the very 

' Edda Fab. xxii. * TaUet. Preidden* Annwn apud Daviet^s MythdL p. 522^ 

» J)fim69^ M]rtlM>L Pt 25f. < 



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eS T8£ OKTGIN Of FAQ<4N 2»)dLATIIT« 

JBy the Gm€dc mytfaolbgists Ceres or Hifipit iBrsaid ibi./hme receivM 
Bacchus idto her womb and afterwards to have produced hitb again by a 
new and ineffable birth, fi^it tbb god is also feigned: to have been ex- 
posed in an ark at sea and to bare been ivonderfelly bom^ottt of a floathig 
Moon. HiB' quitting the wek therefore is the some as im bnag borti dctt 
of the floating Moon: and, since Ceres or Hippa is declared tobie tiie 
Moon, his birth from the Moon is the same as his birth Iroto Ceresii : £ut 
«he floating Moon is the ark^ within >^ich be was inclosed llierefei^ 
Ceres or Hippa must likewise be the ark or ship of Bacchus ^. 

Agreeably to tbis^ conclusion, we find her worshipped by the Phigalen- 
^ians of Arcadia on a sadred hill, which- they d^iominated the mountain df 
tke oUw* Her appeanmee w^a^ that of a woman with thci head of a horse : 
and in the one band she held a dolplnni abd in the oth^r a dove\ It is 
almost superfluous to Remark, that, in thewo^rship of the diluvian ship^ 
goddess, the mountain of the olive is a transcript of mount Ararat, nxiA 
that the dove is the dove of Noah. But we 'have a yet more tlivett testi- 
moAy, that Ceres, like Isb and Isi and Ceridwen, was a personification <tf 
a ship. Pausanias mentions a picture, in which a priesless-of . Ceses waft 
represented holding a boat upon her knees : and he explains the drcumr 
stance by observing, that it resembled those sacred boats which it was 
customary to make in honour of the goddess ^ Now, since thit^ custoai 
prevailed among the Greeks, since Ceres is determined to be the same as 
Isis, and since a ship was a special symbol of the Egyptian divinity ;^ it can 
scarcely be doubted, that the boat (k Ceres and the ship of Isis were one 
and the same hierogfyphic, each being designed to represent the ark or 
floating Moon Theba or Argo, into which Osiris was compelled to enter 
by the fury of Typhon. 

6. The Phrygian rites of Attis and Cybeld were of precisely ^ same 
description as thme of Osiris and Isis : and no reascNiaUe doubt can be 
entertained of the identic of the two goddesses. We find accordki^yi 
that the mystic boat is equally characteristic of the Asiatic and of tho 
Egyptian deity. 

■ Orph. Hymn. 3dviiL Proc b Ffait. Tim. apud Orph. Progm. p. 401. 
* Paus. Arcad. p. 52$. ' PauSi. Fhoc p. 662» 



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so TRX ORIGIN Ot VAOAV IBOJJAVBT* 

tf6oi V. ^ The identity kdeed 6f die $h}|>goddes9 %bd& bud the ship-goddess 
Ida appears at once irom l3m}r names and from their characters. ' i -^ 

Cybelfe was highly venerated in mouiiit Ida, whence she was denomi- 
nated theli^an tnothtr or mother Ida. But this b thte pr^tiae title lof the 
Indian navicular goddess, who was similarly revered in mount Mem.; the 
summit of which is from her denomineted /ift^vritf/a or ^Ae istamdmA 
circle of Ida. • i. : • 

Nor is Uiere less resemblance in point of character bet^ireen tite Idfeaft 
mother of Phrygia and the Idfean moth^ of HindostaOr The circle of IdAy 
which crowns tiie top of Meru, is said to be a nng of mountains ; and it is 
considered as the symbol of the World, fiut Meru is tba hill; <ln wUck 
the ark of Menu rested after the deluge : and that ark and the World mie 
represented by common symbols, aad are thus blended together by 3.<solt 
of mystical intercommunion. The circle of Ida therefore, on the top^ of 
Meru denotes thte Ark no less than the World, each of these two WorUb 
being equally typified by the lotos and the ship Argha. Buti ^lAblikl 
Id^n circle is the prototype of tiie massy circular lempforformed.of.lar^ 
upright stones; which have often, though erroneously, bben deemed jbecti^ 
/rartothe Druidical superstition. They were indeed emirzen^/y ^used bj^ 
tiie Druids, and the appellation which they bestowed upon * StOdeheage 
ahews the light in which they considered them; for they wer6 wont to style 
that wonderful monument the mundane Ark or the Ark of the WorU^ 
deeming it a symbol of their ship-goddess Ked or Ceridwen: but they ar6 
to be found in other parts of the globe besides those, in which the Celtic 
priesthood flourished. Now it is a very curious circumstance, that oiie of 
these circular temples still exists on the summit of a conical hill, which 
rises like a vast natural altar at the base of the Phrygian mouiit Ida.^ J% 
was dearly, I think^ a copy of the sacred Ida-vratta; and was dedi^^ated 
to the great Id^an mother Cybelfe, just as the circle on tiie top of Mena ia 
the; circle of the Hindoo Id^an mother, and as Caer-Sidee or Stonehenge 
is the temple of the navicular Ceridwen. I suspect, that the old super* 
stition of the Iliensians feigned a larger Ida-vratta on the top of Ida itself, 
as tlie Hindoo superstition places one on the top of Meru : and I believe, 
that tliis more accessible temple was designed to represent it The spe- 



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99ojkf. of the tiaiM Juii9 h the Hebrew or Bahylomypmh at Tumh ^ J[ui^ 
cur Jmiah; for thus i^uriously QMy this oriontal tfi|)eUalioa be Qxpfqssid ip 
<Hir wcstera characters. It sigoifias ad^m^: aod it is used by Moaes in hii 
account of the deluge I mi the raU^er iad to adopt such an opfnipo ; be* 
cause I ftsd^ both that Isi or Yon) is actually saicji to a^ume the foroi of 
that bird, and because her naiae J^aroati denc^ a4oK»: a^d I am thn 
more confirmed in it, bemuse the n^thcdogii? history of th^ western Juno 
equally shews its propria in the cage of that £i>dde4s alsa 

We learn from Dion Caasius, that at mount AlbaA in Latium a flacre4 
ship was venerated, which was denomioated tht sh^ qf Jum \ It appear^ 
therefore, that the ship was Uie symbol of Jum, no less than of Isi, {91^ 
and Cybel^: aod the nature of the worship m^y, I thinlc^ be collected iram 
the title by which the holy moantain of the Latins was distinguished* 
. Alban is the same name as Afb$nuf, Albion^ and Jttjfn. This appellation 
was bestowed upon the high range of covntry contiguous to Armenia; and 
the peak itself> where the Ark was believed to have rested, bore the titU 
of JAikan or Zaim. Mban however is t^it a variation of IfObffn : eich. 
word signifies tk^ Moon; and the Moon was originally so c^led firom thct 
whiteness of its aspect Hence, in the west,' the I^imdqfJlbyn or 4i6ioi^ 
is equivalent either to the Island ofthfi Moonox^ to the Wliite Xskm4: and, 
hence, in tte east, nmmt Zaban or Alkun means either the nmmf^inof 
At Moon or tht momtam of the White Goidise. Of the primitive lunar 
or arkite mountam the sacred mount Alban of the I^tiqs was a local ^tran^ 
seript: and the ship, which was venerated upon its summit, was bqt acopy. 
^ the. Ark testing on the top of I^tban or Ararat This sacred ship of 
Juno was constructed, I apprehend, in the foi^n of the luni^ ^e^orot; fw; 
such seems to be the natural iqferenc^, both from the ship of J^js bearing. 
tiiAt Ahiape, from the Qame of the mouptain on which the. |!^atin ship ^as 
neBcrated, and yet more directly from th? aptiu^l figure of Juno as sl^e WM 
worshipped by the Samians. They represented her standing upon a lu- 
nette; the circular part of which dipped into a luminous straight line so as 
to be partially concealed by it, and the horns of which pointed upwards. 

< Dion. Cass. lib. xxxix. 



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M ns ORiofN OF nkOAN iDoc^ATan 

Mos ^ vtry eoauBOB practice q£ eoMragos taking the appeUatbof cf the detiies 
wbon they served : yet the earliest SeauramiB, who is repte^eoled as beiog 
the w^ of the Assyiiaii Niius and who at the aaaie time is imalediatelf 
connected with the. founding of Babylon, is certainly a goddess ; and, by 
theaecotmts ctf her-whkh have cionie down to us, her true character may 
be easily ascertained. She was feigned to be the ^ogbter of Derceto or 
Atargatis, and the sirter of Ictiiys or Dagon ; for Icthys m desaribed as 
Mng the son cS Derceto. But Derceto iras the piscine ship-goddess of 
ibe Syrians, bekig uadoobtedly the same pet*soiM^ as the navieutiar Venus 
lOr Jtmo or Is»'. Semiramis thiarefore is tte ofl^tbg of the Ark. Horn 
aucb a genealogy is to be understood, we are tu^ very uneqinvocaUy 
iiy a curious tradition respecting ber : she b said to hiave been transformed 
into a dove ; and we are likewise to|d, that her standard was a dove, which 
insagne was adopted by all Ibe Assyrian princes after her\ Semiramis 
then was a dove: she was greatly venerated at Hierapolis: and, in the 
temple of Juno at this very place, there was a figure of a female bearing a 
goiden dove upon its head, whidi the Syriainft denominated Sima or tkc 
tokem. Putting these different circumstances together, I feel persoade^ 
that the image in cpiestion was the statoe of the dove-goddess Semiramis; 
and I think we may farther conjecture, that the origm of the name Semi^ 
roMUi is to be sou^t for in the word Sema. If the simple Sema denote a 
ioien, the compound Sema-Rama will denote a lofty toktn : and this ap- 
pellation was bestowed upon her whom the Greeb cidled SemhramSf b^ 
cause, as we learn from her mythological history, she was a aymbolicid 
personification of the dove. Hence she is made the daughter of the ship- 
goddess and the sister of Dagon, whom we have ahready shewn to be the 
«ame character as Noah : hence, tike the Indian Isi who successively 
assumes the form of a ship and a dove, she is sometimes Uentified witii 



' Luc de dea Sft. f 14. Ovid. Metam. lib. iv. ver. 44. Athtn. Lsgat e. «vL ;Cfladv 
MpoA Athen. Deqpnot. lib. Tiii. p. 846. Artemitil Oairoo. Ub. L c 9. Euieb. Pn^. Evaa. 
iib. i. c. la Glje. AnnaL p. 184w 

^ Ovid. Matam. lib. w» ver« 44i Altok L^al. e. xswV David Gaaa* ChfanaL in 
1958 apud Byrinl. 



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9# TH« ORIGIN OP FA OAK IBOLATftT^ 

AooKi^* di«D8dve^ k was plaioly soimthmg wbidi was 

as an instrument to keep them tc^ether m one body. Now, if we suppoao^ 
Sem to mean a name in the sense of tokm or a sign or a banner, we shall 
immediately perceive its close connection with the avowed (mrpose of th0 
Babyloiiians. They a^preed to adopt a oatioaal badge and to emxdi tbcgn- 
selves under one particular ensign ; in order tbat» by tints having a rally- 
ing pointy they might prevent themselves horn being dispersed. Acecnrd* 
ingly we find from history, not only that they had a national standard ; but 
that that standard was a dove and that they designated it by the word here 
employed by Moses, calliiig it uneompoundedly Sema or ihe token and 
eompoundedly. Sema-Rama or the Iqfty token. Their banner probably 
exhibited a woman bearing a dove on h€^ head^ like (he token of the Hiera* 
politans : and, Mice it was kmiediately connected with the superstition, 
which ori^^nated at Babel,, it waa deemed, sacced; and thence, as was usuat 
among the old military idolaters, was worshipped as a divinity '• By the 
Greeks, and perhaps even by themselves in process of time, it was mistaken 
for a deified princess, the supposed founder of Babylon^t but the real 
diluvian character of the personified Sema-Rama was never thoroughly for- 
gotten. She was still made the daught^ of the fish-goddess Derceto : she 
was still thought to be the sister of the fish-god Dagon : she was still con- 
nected with the flood of Deucalion and the first-built ^ip : she was stiUi 
&bled either to have been transformed into a dove, or to have been fed by 
doves in her infancy, or to have been the first that bore a dove for her en* 
sign, or to have been distinguished by a name which some how or other 
either signified a dffoe or was connected with one\ In the legend of her 
being fed by doves we again find the word Sem ; by which the dove was 
called in its capacity of a symbolical ensigPi-and wbich Moses (if I mistake 
not) applies to the banner adopted by the primeval Babylonians. When 
exposed during her infancy, she is said to have been discovered and pre* 

' Diod. BibL lib. ii. p. 107* The Romans, in a aimilar manner, worshipped the eaglet 
on their standards; whence Tacitus calls them propria legtonum numina. The modem 
practice of consecrating the banner of a regiment is evidently a relic of this ancient ido» 
Jatrous custom. 

• DUkL Bibk lib. iL p. 9^ 9S, 107. Luc de dea Syra. Hesycb. Lex. - 



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as m auroiK or wAoiot tmiukiswe^. 

utMv. ft The«hiikfpddaftJaiiabQlogtbw^ ikmmgfi6» 4m^t 

vm AM percent the reaaott, yvhy tii6 oitibov 91^ u^dor the BMxm ^ 

This bewliiBd phmomenon mu another Seim or aacmd. tttlkm : Md itr 
is a e«mu8ieii:cit»6ta]i0e> tbat^ m & Igrnw to Stimt or 4be lufliar bMl: 
aacribfd to Hoasr, the tcrjr <£& of Amais giwn to il % Tbr wopd waii 
borrawedl by the Greeks frontbeoriiaitoliyalMt^ aod il wtt ^«iOd by tlirai> 
precisely in the same sense. Thus Homer, both in the hymn |o S4i(Di^ 
aad eisowbere ia tte Iliadi calls tho raiabaw> almo9k.ia te ymsy woi^ of 

not BDprobable, ibat the Sem»*Ratta of the Aasyiiaoa^ whw owj^e^* 
exbibHed the i^>pearance of a wooiaa boadog oa her bead a dove svrw: 
rounded by the rainbow, thus vnttiBg togdtiier the pagan Juno and Iris : at; 
leasts I think it abundantly. cle«r, that the peacock was coasecrfited, to tbo; 
queen of the gods, because in its gaudy plumags ^ exhibits the varioMSr 
lints of the rainbow. 

10. The Astan^ or AstereA of the PhaqMaae^ who waa. worshipped in 
conjunction with Adonis in the same manner as Isis. was venerated \a> 
eoojunctkm with Osiris, was equally the goddess Of the saiered luoiMr ship«^ 
According to Sa no ho n iatiio^ her head, like that of Isis^ol! lo^ was. deccnratad: 
with horns which exhibited the figure of (be naviculur cresceot : and coins. 
i»re yet extant, in which she 4s represealed standing on the i»row of a gaUey, 
with a spear in her left hand and a bead in her ri^ '• 

The head is doubtless thirit of Osiri% which wsas: tbou^ to float supeiy* 
aaturally every year from £^pt to Byblos : and the ship ia clearly the 
same as the Argo or Argha, the sacred vessel of Isis or Isi, 

11. Hitherto I have considered the great mother, as openly and unre- 
servedly either identified or connected with a mysterious ship ; in which, 
the great father is described^ as having floated upon the surface of th^^ 

' TiMfiar^ li fi^nui um cn^m mvitlmm Hom. Hymn, in Luiu.ver. 1S« 

Xf nfi* Afiih ^rtfmt fa/Mrtrv m9^fifkm. IliacL lib. zL ¥er. 27* 
Hun w^fv^9 %Hr hvf^ wbmwvii 
. ZiH *t «c<uit** ▼'f'c iiAftM9eu» JQisd* lib* XTii* ver* 547* 
' Eussb. Pnep. Etsiu lib. Lc la Vaillant. Niub. Imperat. p. S74. 



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40 THE XkEK^IN OF FAQAK^ IDOLAfBr^ 

BOOK ^« reported'to haveiMeii ftom heaven into itlri rivefr .Edphttles vhI to btie 
7)eea rolled by fishes to the Wik* ;Upo« it sipit a dove : and out of it was 
;at length produced that Venus^ who was afterwards styled the Syriau 



Nor 16 thi^ dfaty less comiected rwhih the. ahell und the c\i^. ,Someti0ieS| 
attended by her do^es^ she appean ^Ubor standing in a Aargef cockle-sh^ 
w seated in one which, is supporM by two Tritoiis. At oliier times, ia» 
fitead of a aheU^ she is Airnished with a sacred qup shaped like a bolit : and, 
if we inquire into the history of this nayicular goblet, we shall be told, that 
it is/one of the same sort^ as.thatof Bai^chos and i^ those in which Heretics 
aod.Helius sailed over the ocean \ Such vessels wer^ frequently adorned 
wtth the figures of doves perching upw them, jujst fts the floating egg of 
Venus was surmounted by a bird of that species; and it was usu{d to make 
libations out of them to the KKmxk K . 

t Thare can be no difficult ioj understanding ^e import of tiaese ^^r 
bdical repcesentotiona. The fishi the egg, th^ ^hell, anjd |he naviculfir cup^ 
arieaU.^quidly that,^hip; in wj;iich thi% s^ery goddess, under the imme of 
Jstarih, is sometimes literally exhibited to us sailing upon the sea. 

We m^ observie, that the e>gg is described as having fallen into the 
Euphrates out of heairen. Thie pa^ of the fable contains a very curious 
astroncwkal aUuaion. % the^iall of the ^g from heaven was meant the 
mystic descent of the Moon or lunar boat : for the Moon-deity of the 
Asiatics was venerated under the figure of an egg attached to the lower or 
circular part<of acroscent; and a notion prevailed, that the egg of Leda, 
which was the same as the egg of Venus, fellfrpm the Moqn^ Nothing 
more was really intended by it than the launching of the diluvian Ship. 

As for the Euphrates, where the scene of the transaction is laid, it was 
ihe original sacred river of the primeval Babylonian idolaters. This holy 
,atream jOows from the region of Paradisiacal Aiarat; which was esteemed 



• Hyg. Fab. 197. Ampd. c 2. 

* Macrob. Saturn, lib. v. c 21. Atheo. Deipnos. lib. xi. p. 482. 

3 Athen. Peipiio9. lib. xu p. 487, 490^ Macrpb. Saturn, lib* v. c. 21. 
^ Athen. D^pnds. lib. il. p, 57. 



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»ooK r. b^ng Specially the Island of the Moon, and as being the ftfouiito abode 
of the great father add of the beatified ancertore of mankind \ 

The history of Latona, whether told by the Oreeto or the Egyptfans, afibrdk 
VLB another parallel instance of this mode of exhibiting tie great rftoibeff. 
According to the former, when pursued by the serpent Python, she tack 
wftige in the floating island Delos ; and there^ grasping an oHfe tree, she 
tjecame the parent of the Suti and the Moon. Accerdbg io the hmt, 
when similarly pursued by the monster Typbon, she fled with the youtfaM 
Horns to the island Chemmis, which then floatAd in a lake ntear Boto. By 
Typhon or Python was meant Ae ocean at the time of the ^doge : fi>r this 
same fictitious demon, that chases Latona into a floating island and tfawft 
compels Venos to take the shape of a flsh, is also saM to baite forced 
Osiris to enter into an ark formed like the Moon. Ddos was once calk^ 
Jsteria: and the reason assigned for the appellation is, Uiat the nympli 
Asteria, the sister of Latona, was metamorpiioi&ed into that island. Such 
a metamorphosis is exactly ecjuivlilefot to the tran^fontiatian of bi into the 
ship Argha : Ae only diffferetice is^ that, in oae case, the story is toM lato> 
rally; and, in the other, hierogiypbically. Asteria = and Ladonaf wero im 
teality the same person : and, unless 1 am greatly mistaken, the na»e of 
the first is but a Oreek corruption of the Phetilrfan Astartk or Jtsfar^th \ 

3. From the fish, fhe egg, the cup, and the floating island of the Moon^ 
we may next proceed to notice the aquatie lotos as connected with' the great 
•universal motlier. 

The Hindoos positively tells us, that this flower is an eminent symbol of 
Uie ship Argha; the tatix repre^fehting ^ vessel itself, and the petd 
shadowing out its ^lot the god Siva. Heipice; wUen we find tbe diief god^ 
dess of Paganism seated in the loK», the same klea b conveyed, aar when 
idle is painted sitting in a ship« 

Instances of thiis mode of representMion maiy be adduced from the «r^ 
l}K>logy both of Hhidostan ffi^i of Japan «'' and, since the Egypliaii» car- 

' Asiat Res. vol. zL p. 119, 12a 
* Hyg. Fab. 5S. Nona! Dionys. Hb. xxxiiL p. 5Si. Anton. LSbef. Metam. c SS. Apol- 
kd. BibL lib. L c 4. TzeU. ia Lyc<9h. ver. 401. Heiiod.1Iitt.fik.iI. c 156.' 



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BOOK V. perceive, ibtd the lite in question wis designed to sliadiw oat lis lamiekl^ 
ing of the mystic Argba '^ : 1 : i.ii ^ ./ ! i; !* ;: { 

The some, rite prbvaifed is Egypt, omther^iodbeil ppeVaab'evfeo tbJtfi^ 
present day : for a clay statue is ateraaliy madeiti itbe fonii^ a wooiba; 
and thrown into the Nile. It has beda thought that this rite was saerw 
ficial : and an Arabian wmter Mortadi has* been ^itdd as asset^g, «ftia% if 
was custoa»iry with the ^ypCians to d^bte^Stf Che rirer Nile a young aii4 
beautiful virgin by ttngiag faer decked in tbe-inchest attare into idle strMHil 
Such may have been the case : but, even if it were, I tfbottMdbAbt wMstbtf 
the ceremony was strictly Mm/Scia/. ■ isi or Durga is sCy palpably the satM 
as the Egyptian Isis, and the solemnity on the Ganges so perSsctly resem^ 
bles that on the Nile, that I catmot beMMf* to interpret dfeulbotb-lil a 
similar manner. Neither of them, I believe, was sacri^mh eiadb k» 
eqimlly and strictly c&mmem^pathe.* Since the Hindoo rite toiksisis ikl 
rfjsteriog to the wmters the sbip*goddess Fsi ; I isifer, thalt the. Egypticdi rite 
consisted in ^milarly restoring to the waters the sfaip-fiMideasi^isi ' What 
was oast into the Nil^ whether it-was a Hving virgin or -an' iniinimatii^b- 
slitute, was not so cast properly hy^t^ of sact^iee to the nvt9\'h^Vb^ 
way of eommemor^^mg the entrance of the Ark into the Mwoim omaiK 
The virgin or the iaiage represented Isis berseffj and Isis^Uke^Iai, 'Was 
the ship Argo or Argha*. : ./....: 

. This view of the Egyptian ceremony will be confirm^ by advierting to 
a paraUei rite^ which pmiraiied among the ancient Gemmaii , We haw 
seen, that among the Suevi the goddess Isi or Isis was venerated no less 
than among the Hindoos and Egyptians; her -ikrorsbip having 4weh dotibt- 
Less brought into Europe by the Goths or Scythians from Ibair p#im)tm 
Asiatic settlements. Now TaeiOis, who gi«es us this information, may be 
furlJiaer addnired to prove, that just the same rite ofcommittiqgithefgoddeid 
to the water was established abo in Germany. InaMisUimiinrtkidtem^ 
says he, is a sacred grove, and in it a chariot mverid m>A a 'g^rmeht\ 

• Atiat.'Reg. vA u p. ass. 

* See Maurice's Ind. Ant. vol. iii. p. r09* and Niebuhrs Traveb. tect* ii«- o#'8« Dr. 
Magee follows Mr. Maurice in fab opjnion «f tliisictfrMaony : bat I omttUf tlMaltt ftr ths 
preceding strictly analogical >eteofis, tbsii tftsir iriew of it is- srr^isoaBt • ^ ^ 



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Mo« V. OD ^U.QcoMiQQs xtTf €iiiio6titly. iq^^card 86 IT mm»imb goddcw* £;i ^ 
mrioiie inedak itf this licity wbMb have oooie dowft t)i» w, im amb^bim 
find her flfetmg.upoQ a dolphin aod hoMitig a doi^ Id ber lap; iomctkieft 
rktngout of die sea in a aheU supported by two Tritons; soiwtiaies SMte4 
iD a chaii0t drawn by two sea-horses; sometiav^ riding vpo« a sea^gaali 
and attended 1^ Nereids and Cnpids mounttd npon dolphins ; and smm* 
tinM borne by a sinj^ Triton, while she hoMs in her h^md what imt 
usually beien adlad a shield on which isiiepicWd ahMdf but what is reaify 
the sacred Argha exhibitifig tim head of Osiiis^ $otnetWM again hefAMtr 
mg chariot is drawn by doves : and sometiiMSi «iojii»te4 ^ipon s0a^rM% 
she seems to skhn over the waves of the ooeao, her head covered w^ a 
veil which swells tike a sail li the wind, a Cupid swioHning M her sida^ 
and an oar placod at faeribot'. Agreeably; to thioae modes of IrepneiMat- 
log her, she is celebrated^ by the poets ai the fc^etat of thosea, and is Sk^ 
tingoMhed by titles expressive either of her existence in the sea dr htr 
attitude offlMlineiapon its siiftee^ finch alstttatfaechanacter of JDmhii 
whoy as an ii^Mmii goddess^ ideiitifies heiMlf wiib Pi^^ 
Mvioilar Moon of the msr Styx« Arten»doms> Pauaaiiiafl, and fitnribdi 
ril concur in bestowing upon her the appdlationof iMMorif or themtofiw 
HmcAky: in anandentiincription preserved^y Gmter^ shekcidbdJjfci 
fueen of the waves: and ApoUonius describes Orpheus as invokii^ her 
under the name of NeossoiU or the preserver of skips K 

(a) Kor is the emerging of the Ark oult d the ooeaoi orbits mystical 
Mr^ at Uie dose ofthe deluge, left nmiQtioed in tho fobulons history olsha 
great mother. 

The Indian Isi or Lacshmi is represented as being the daughter of Sa* 
miidr or Oceanus : Venus is md to have been bom out of the sea : and 
Isis is dfiscribed by Apuleius as emei^;^ out of the sea»~ «b^ «h!» ap^* 



, AfythoLvol.fi. p. 885, ass. : 

* Lueroi.demMiat.Uli.L ver.8,8,9. Mas* Hev. el Lesnd. ver. Ssa filisiodoaof 

«iBSlo4 lVii«Kat J!;p9W9lft^ 
' Artcmid.Oiiiroc. lib.fi. c4£. Bms. Corindu p* SHi LsQoii. y.aOB. Momob. f^ 

t22. Smb. Geog. fib. vKL p. 881. AmM. laisiv. f«^7« A»A A^w. Mb. t 

ver. S70L 



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BOOK ▼• represented as a chM : and ber iexposilre M thetMMMuti is tbe fMittgiif 
the Ark on tbe top of Ararat 

It was with a' siinihrtefenence to the.Amieniui moantain, that tb& SM^ 
born VeniiB was worshipped on the Pbemamn Lebaocm and the Seiluun 
£ryx. Jakamn signifies the mf&mUmn of the Mo$ms and im. Ibci wninmit 
of this hill, the local Ararat of tbe couolry, Vemis^ under tim wmm^ioi 
Jfxhitis or tkegoddea of the Argha^ waB.adDre4i»cQiijuiiol^ v((itb:the 
^tlMvian Adonis or Osiris^\ £ryx was- another of her high plaee^ dittwr 
gaii^ed by a i^ry famoas tsempfe of tbe goddess^ and' noted >fer tbe.cbla^ 
bration of tH*6 most txtraontttnavy ;fe8tivaU. TbcBei were denoiMt lated. tJm 
feast of the sending out, and the feast of tke retmnu ■. Dnri^ ibe fii^' 
Venui was thought td iy airay dver tbe jea^: daring tbet second, sb(a was 
Mi^^^ to return to^ her mbuotain sanctoary. I think it evident^ that, tbl9 
two festivals related to the history of tiie Noetic ^iwe.^ for that Wrdi |is. w« 
ttiay t^lect from the Hindoo faUe of th» Aigha and tbedoi^ wtut^d^cn^i^ 
a ibrm of tiie sbifi-gQddeas. But the poi^t does oDt rest sol^y v^foi 
myttiologic analogy : it laestaMiibed beyond a jdoubt ^ the ext^^rpal ^s»fi 
of tbe ceremony* In tbe «cgion of jmimA £ryj^ as in tbcMe of Pal(Bsti99 
and Syria^ cbves were acGouated'SftCffed:,and, at tbe tiftiQ wb^ V^w 
was £ibled: to take her deparMi^, scioi^ef Ihose holy IwdsA^er^ lei IpeM 
and sufiered to % away -from the island; but one of tbeiia w«ial^v#^ 
observed^ at the proper seaam, to^come baob from ttie sea and to fl j te 
the temple 6f the goddess^*. The bird was <if eonrae pn^pierly trained to 
perform its parr with aH due deoommr md we have no reason.^o dja«> 
b<eHeve tbe literal circumstance of its return:' but^ when we roc(rftect(Ab9 
navicular cbaraeter of Venus, and when we call fai mind that Isi.and JwMt 
and Proserpine and Semimmis were all either ebanged. into- la dove: or it^Kh 
nected with one, we can have little difficultytinF comptrib^ndin^tJarpurpoift 
of these remarkable Sicilian festivals. 

Juno on the summit either of mount Ida or .mount OlymfMs iaainotber 
example of the ship-goddess resting on the top of Ararat : for Ida and 

' Mpcnib.Satqini.Iib.L cm* * -r'; /: : * 

* Atheiu Deipnos. lib. ix. p. 395. JEyea*. Var.Hist ttH i« iUtl & 



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50 iBZ QUOJN OF TAf 4N UKHkftTBT* 

'^^ ^* io general \ IsH, tinder the yteioua oatnes of Laahmi^ Sktnmati^ SUtf, 
and Faroatij is said to iiave hud aU tbe mwdaae el^peats produced withi(> 
her womb, to have been tbe motiier of tbe worlds to have been the female 
power of generation when the earth was covered by tbe waters of the de« 
luge, and to have once comprebended withm^ her ^ whole family of the 
hero-gods *• Nor are we left in any doubt respectbg. the character of thp 
deities, who are thus fabled to have been^ bom from the great navicular 
parent of the Universe. S<^metimes they are described to us as beiqg 
eight, and sometimes as only three, in; number: the first alluding to the 
Noetic ogdoad ; the second, to the Noetic triad, Thua the Egyptians 
eminently worshipped eight godsj who were depicted sailing together in the 
sacred ship of Isis: these eiight divinities therefore, if we adopt the figur 
jrative language of the initiated^ were those identical hero-gods who weae 
comprehended within the womb of tbe great mother of the immortals f» 
Ttius tbe Japanese, while they denominate their aquatic goddess Quanwop 
an emblematical represpttation of the birth of the gods in general, teach us 
veiy plainly what gods they mean, by placing round her head e^t little 
children \ Thus tbe Hindoos sayj that Siva, who was inclosed within the 
womb of tl^ ship-goddess Argha daring the prevalence of, the delugey 
afterwards shone conspicuous on the summit of mount Meru in qight di- 
vine forms ^. And thus tbe. ancient Prui^ were wont to t^acb, tbat thp 
crew of their navicular Ceridwea, at tbe pei;iod when all mankind perishe4 
by water, consisted of the primeval Arthur and his seven god-like compa-* 
nions \ Thus also Rhea or Cybelfe is said to have been the consort of 
Saturn and the parent of the great classical ti'iad Jupiter-Neptune-Pluto# 
And thus Isi, under the name of the JVIute Goddasyis at once represented 
as containing ail the gods in her womb, and yet ^ specially comprehend- 
ing within her the human forms of the Hindoo Trimurti, Brahmft^ 
Vishnou-Siva ^ . ^ 

' Ksemp&r's Japan, p. 542. 

» Moor'« Hind. Panth. p. 127, 132, 1S6^ 187. A«iat. R^. vol. vL p. 52S, 477* 

' Herod. Hist lib. ii. c 145. Porph, de antr. Dyoiph. p. 256. 

^ Kaempfer's Japan, p. S9S. ' Moor*a Hind.. Panth, p. 12, 105^ 

* IHrries's MylhoL p. 515-*526. 7 Asiat. Res. vol. xi. p. 11% 12a 



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Si TH^ OHSeiN 'OF PAOrAN XB0LATIK7* 

V, long tossed about in a wonderful cauldron of boilbg water and afterwards 
procuring rest to him who was the first sacrificer* Still bowever tbe same 
circumslance b designed to be sbcldowed out: the cow was i^ symbol of 
the ship-goddess. 

6. The Ark afforded safety to the chosen few who were shut up wkhin 
it : but to the great mass of mankind it appeared under the opposite ^ba^-^ 
racter of the geniusy that presided over death and destruction. 

Such precisely is the two-fold aspect which the Gentiles give to th^ir 
ririp-goddess. Proserpine is at once the life and the death of mortala;, 
because she alike, as we are taught by the Orphic poet, canies and de» 
stroys all things *. (Jeres is a roost lovely and beneficent deity, who con*^ 
fers upon her votaries aU tbe blessing of peace and plenty: yet, wbea 
she assumes the title of Erimtysy she becomes a» malignant fury that, takes 
vengeance upon the wicked *• Ceridw6n is tbe auspicious preserver o£ 
Koe and hk seven companions : but she is not the less^ oa that account^ 
~ a hag, a fury, and a grimly-smiling giantess ^ Isi is the saviour and the 
refuge of Crishna; and she is described as a perfect model of femalo love- 
liness: yet she appears also as the vindictive destroyer of living being?, 
whose seat is a corpse and wliose joy is derastation ; and, when she mani- 
fests herself by tlie name of tbe terrific CaU^ her form is that of a hideous 
and mishapen goblin ^ Diana is a beauteous nymph, the guardian of 
mariners and tbe preserver of their vessi^ls : but she is also tbe female de* 
mon of dcstructioR, who delights in Uood and havock and humaa sacri^ 
fices. Tbe great universal lunar mother is safi^y and health and a savi« 
our : yet she is likewise the stern avenger (tf the guilty K Isis is the holy 
and benevolent preserver of tbe bumau race: but when she appears a^ the 
dreadful Tithrambo, her character is wholly changed, her very looks bring 
death upon the beholder, and her office is that of an unrelenting^inflicter 
of punishment ^ 

' Orplu Hymiu zxTiii. 

* Apollod. Bibl. lib. iii. c- 6. Tzetz, in Lycoph. ver. 1225. Paus. Arcad. p. 494, 495. 
? Daylet't MythoL p. 229, 260, 256. 

^ Asiat. Res. vol. xL p. 112. Moor's Hind. Panth. p. 36, 150. See plates 17 and 27* 
' Orph. Hymn. xiiL 7. Ixvii IxviiL bdx. Macrob. ^turn. lib* i. c 20. 

* ApoL Metam. lib. xi» 



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54 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN lOOLATRT. 

Boot r. rior of the Moon^ when she is venerated as the deity of the iunar cres* 
cent 

This being the case, as the souls of the literally dead were thought to 
enter into the abode of sphrits within the central cavity of the Earth : so; 
when Noah and his family entered into the gloomy interior of the Ark, 
they likewise were mystically said to taste of death, and were represented 
as being shut up in a coffin, or as descending into the infernal regionsi 
On the same grounds, we analogically find a Moon in hell floating upon 
the river Styx; which itself also has a central cavity, distinguished as the 
cave of Hecat^ or ^ infernal Diana, and described as the residence of 
departed spirits. 

The great mother therefore is said to be Hades or an iofemal goddess ; 
because, whether she be the Earth or the Ark or the Moon, in each case 
Hades is still considered as her womb. Consequently, an entrance either 
into the grave, or into the Ark, or into the floating Moon, was equally 
reputed by the raystss to be an entrance into the infernal re^ta* 

8. With this conclusion, which necessarily follows from the now esta« 
blished character of the great mother, such particulars as have come down 
to us will i>e found minutely to correspond. 

Bacchus, Osiris, Ilu, Adonis, Attis, and Siva, each of whom is said to 
have been shut up in an aik or to have taken refuge within a floating Moon^ 
are all equally feigned either to be infernal gods or to have descended into 
the infernal regions. And, in a similar manner, all those ancient charac* 
ters, who are said to have been initiated lato the Mysteries, are likewise 
said to have entered into Hades. Nor are we suflered for a moment to 
imagine, that the entrance into Hades might mean one thing, and the 
entrance into the ark another thing. The mythology of Egypt unequi^ 
vocally teaches us, that the very same idea \vas intended to be conveyed 
by these two apparently different modes of expression. It was the dead 
Osiris, whom Typhon or the ocean shut up and set afloat in a luniform ark: 
and this same Osiris entered by ^ath into the infernal regiont. The 
entrance Aerefore into the ark, aqd the entrance into Hades, are one and 
the same circumstance. Accordingly we find, tbat^ as the ark was the 
vehicle of the mystically dei^ Osiris, it was thence esteemed bis cofiia : 



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56 t«B OEICIN or PAGAN IJMLATKt^ 

•ooB ▼• deceaised wttUo the gloomy interior of a aepi^c^ral tkittn was deemed s 
retara into the womb of the great aniversal mother \ 

A. The entrance of Osiris into the ark being the same as his death ci 
descent into the infernal regions^ his quitting the ark was of course esteemed 
his revival or retorti from Hades. It was likewise viewed as his birth from 
the womb of hb mystic parent the ship-goddess. 

This was the regeneration of the Mysteries : and, accordmgly, every 
aspirant, imitatmg the sufferings and final triumph of the great father, after 
descending into a mimic hell and after experiencing an inclosure within 
the womb of the goddess, returned ag«n to the light of heaven and claimed 
to have been botti anew from the womb of her who floated as a ship upon 
the deluge. 

V. There is yet another character sustained by the gr^at mother; which 
might indeed have been inferred from analogy, which for the most part 
appears but dimly in the myth(^ogic system of the Gentiles, but which at 
times is nevertheless positiveiy and explicitly ascribed to her. As the great 
fatiieris Adam transmigratively reappearing in the person of Noah; so the 
great mother is £ve transmigratively reappearing in the person of the wife 
of Noah^ Respecting this ancient personage it would be said in the mystic 
phraseol(^ of the Hindoo divines, that €be Earth, the Moon,; the Ark, and 
even Universal Nature itself, were all forms of the first divine female, the 
general parent of the human race» 

). The most direct proof of the position now before us is to be found in 
the mythology of Hinddstan. 

We are told, that Swayambhuva or the first Menu had for his consort 
Sat^rupa ; that Uiis primeval pair btfre also the nadnte of Adima and Iva^ 
pronounced Adim and E^e; that Adim was the first of men, as Eve was 
tke first of women; and that these two were the common parents of all 
mankind. We are further told, that Satanipa was likewise the wife of 
Menu-Satyavrata, who escaped with seven companions in an ark when the 
whole M'orld perished by water : for, as Menu*«S%tyavrata was a reappear* 
ance of Menu*^wayambhnva, so this younger Satarupa was similarly a 

• Naked came I out efmy mather^s tomb^ and naked shalll return ibither. Job L 21. 



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THB OfilOyN' OP PAGAN IDOLATBT. SI 



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58 THE okrctii^ 6r tA&Aur ti>oi^f%T^ 

•ooK T. forms of the three ybunge^r goddesses. These, un^r the nkt^m of &m»- 
wati^ Parcatij and Lacskmi, are severally the wives ef Brlihma, Sivt, and 
Vishnou : while Isi herself, from whose unity they fell proceed and uitD 
whose unity they may again be resolved, is eminently ti^ consort of ds 
great paternal Isa ; fron) whom, in a similar manner, the three gods pro- 
ceed, and into whom they similarly resolve themselves. iThis double unity 
male afid female, producing a double triad of gods and goddesses, and thus 
completing the sacred tiumber eight, is manifestly Adam and Eve with 
their three sons and three daughters at the commencemetrt Of the antedi- 
luvian world, and Noah and his wife with their three sons and three 
daughters at the commencement of the postdiluvian world. Yet, as the 
motlier w as made to sustain certain additional characters ; so the daugh- 
ters, being viewed as only portions or emanations of their great parent, 
were equally made to sustain additional characters. Isi existing alike in 
all the three ; each, as a form of Isi, is at once the Earth, the Moony the 
JVrk, and the regent of Hades. Hence originated the great triple goddess 
of the Gentiles, whose fabled nature bears the strictest analogy to that of 
their great triple god. The three-fold Isi of Hindostan is etidently die 
three-fold Isis or thrice invoked Dark Goddess of Egypt, the three^fold 
Night or black Venus of the Orphic poet, the three-fold Diana of GreeOe 
and Scythia, the three Parcae or Erinnyes of the fabled Inferum, the three 
floating eggs from which the three great gods were produced, the three 
Worlds into which the Universe is feigned to be divided '. 

3. What is thus variously set forth in the mystic jargon of the epoptasi 
is sometimes literally and unreservedly declared to us* 

Saturn, whom we have seen to be palpably the same as Adam reappear* 
ing in the person of Noah, is said to be the husband of Rhea or Opis, the 
Satar-Upa of the Hindoos. These are the parents of three sons and three 
daughters: and, agreeably to their number, the World, that universal 
empire of their father, is divided for them into three portions. The same 

' Asiat. Res. vol. xu p. 110, 111, 112. vol. iii. p. 161, 163. Moor's Hind. Panth. p. 
21, 22, S3, 70, 81, 116, 119, 125, 136. Bryant on the plagues of Egypt p. 170. Cud- 
worth's Intell. Syst. b. i. c. 4. p. 414. properly 354. Orph. Fragm. p. 406. Pearson dn 
ihe Creed* vol. ii. p. 57 Moor's Hind. Panth. p. 40. Orph. Hynm. hm. hdx» 



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CHAPTER IV. 



Respecting the hermaphroditic Unity of the Oreot Um0er9al 

Parent. 



L As all the gods of the Gentiles finally resolve themselves into one god, 
who is yet said to be mysteriously triplicated ; and as all Ac goddesses of 
the Gentiles finally resolve themselves into one goddess, who is sha^ihurly 
described as appearing in three forms : so this god and this goddess, the 
great father and the great mother of pagan theology, ultimately unite to-> 
getiier, and thus constitute a single deity who partake of the nature of 
them both. 

Here, so far as I can judge, we have the only divine unity that the 
heathens ever worshipped : an unity, which has often been mistaken for 
Chat of the Supreme Being, but which really has nothing in common with 
him, save that it bore the name and was decorated with the usurped attri* 
butes of the Deity. It was, in fact, composed of that great father and tiiat 
great mother, whose mythologic characters have now been so largely con* 
sidered. Hence, if neither of these personages were severally the true 
God ; a point, than which nothing can be more palpably evident : the two 
canjoinlfy^ when viewed as one great hermaphroditic divinity, can just as 
little be the true God. 



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$<i THE OIIIGIN 0> TAQAV IDOLATKT; 

••««»• Aeir gods as bekig ejwtf/fy one and many •. Whatewr therefore the many 
be severally, the one must be cottectwehf : because the unity is but* cobi* 
bmation of the j^urality. Hence, since the many are hero-gods ; the one, 
which mystically comprehends them all in an ima^nary henna|Arodiftio be- 
ing, must evidently be a panthdstic congeries of hero-gods, «ad Prefers 

cannot be the true God '. 

. Yet, notwithstanding this plain consequenoe from an HKonliowrtibly 
established position, namely the mortal origm of the kenhgodty so. p«rpe» 
tually has the divine unity of the pag^ mythotogists been mistaken for the 
divine unity of tlte real Godhead, that Synesins, himself « Christtan Wshop* 
has most strangely ascribed to Jehovah the henaaphroditic nature of the 
one great universal parent venerated tbrou^iout the gentile woiW*. Th«» 
mischievous is the unscriptural notion, that Oie pagans worshipped the two 
God, either under the many names of tlieir various idols, or at least uoder 
the unity into which they all resolved themselves. 

1 . The old mythology of Hindostan is the most eKpiiqit in setting forth to 
OS the nature of that unity, within which aU the deitiee both male «>dfe«ialo 

» See Codword»»8 IntelL Syrt. p. 877-r«l«. 
• Cudworth adairtWy thews, tfcat «U the go*, andgoddesse. of the Gentilee «9 «I«. 
mately one numen, de«»ibed as pertakingof the nirture of both sexes: but, unfortunate^ 
imagining like Warburton that the unity must be the true God, he thence, more con- 
sistently than the author of the Divine Legation, makes erery individual of il« plurality 
- the true God likewise ; worshipped indeed erroneously ami materially blended whh die 
Universe, but still the true universal Num«». His aJgument ougbt to have Jahen «'di»eclly 
contrary course. In,te«I of inferring the divimly of e«jU individual fiom the assumea 
proper divinity of the mystic unity^ he ought rather to have inquired into the nature of 
the individuals, and thence to have established on a sure basis the nature of that unity 
which confessedly comprehends them aD. Now (as Warburton most strenuously and jusdy 
maintains, for no truth can well be more evident) the many gods of the Gentiles were 
deified mortals : the c<mdusion therefore ought to have been, that the imity was a ceag(K 
ries of deified mortals; not the unity of the true God. Cudworth however Is at lew* Cffl|. 
■istent; but Warburton is not so: for the latter, afta righdy insisting diat the many 
gods are deified mortals, yet maintains, that the unity taught in the mysteries, an unity 
composed qf thia very plurality, was the unity of die true God» 

xv y •ffv, I" * ^v(' 



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64 THB OfilOm OF PAOAN" tBOLATRr* 

BooE ▼• compound figure, decorated on the right with aU Ae symbols of Isa and on 
the left with all the symbols of Isi, c^pews seated on the top of the sacred 
mount Meru, where the Hindoos pkce the garden of Paradise, and where 
they suppose the ark of Satyavrata to have rested after the deluge '. 

Here then we have the sole divine unity, which the Brahmens worship 
as god : an unity, not of the invisible Creator of heaven and earth, btj^ 
composed by the mystic amalgamation of the great father and the great 
mother, whose characters have already been very sufficiently ascertained. 

With this opinion, which runs directly counter to the often advanced 
notion that the Hindoos entertain the most sublime conceptions ef the true 
God and tiiat He alone is the fcal object of their adoratbn, the unreserved 
declarations of these very Hindoos themsdves precisely correspond. Ask 
" one of that nation, whether learned or unlearned^ if he worships the Sur 
preme Being, if he prays to him, if he offers to him sacrifices ? He will 
immediately answer, JVb, never. Inquire, if he does not at least worship 
him mentally? The doubt will be, whether he- understands the import of 
the question ; but, if he do, he will again answer, No. Do you praise 
hhn? No. Do you meditate on hb attributes and perfections? No. What 
then is that silent meditation^ whicbsome learned authors adduce as a clear 
proof of your venerating the one true invisible God? Hcl will tell you^ 
that, with eyes closed and looking up to heaven, with hands* moderately 
open and a IHtle elevated, be compases his thoughts ; and,, without moving 
his tengue or u^ing any of his organs of speech, says, / am Brahma or the 
Supreme Beings If you ask him,, what this supreme bebg is, you will find 
that it is a being altogether different from him whom we have learned by 
revelation to venerate under the name of Jehovah. The Hindoo will tell 
you, that the supreme being, upon which he meditates, is identified with 
himself; that it is forbidden to adore him or to offer prayers and sacdfices 
to him, because that would be to worship himself; but tiiat we may vene^ 
^te collateral emanations from biui and: evea mere mortab. He will add^ 
that the worship of images is recommended, when, after consecration, the 
deity has been called down and forced into them by powerful spells. Do 

* Moor*8Hiiid4F«mth.p.SS,8S>.98,99« platesTandSk Sec Bate IL Fig. 8^ 



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^66' THE OftlOlN or PAG-AN IDOfiATET* 

900K V. ^er: and the issue were kine. She^oMs changed into a mare^md he htoji 
stallion ; one was turned into a female tisSy and the other into a nude one:, 
thus did he again approach her ; and the one-hoofed kind was the o^j^spring. 
She became a female goat^ and he a male one ; she was an ewe, and he a 
ram : thus he approached, her ; and goats and sheep were the progeny, im 
this manner did he create every eating pair -whatsoever^ even to the 4Mt 
and mimdest insect^. 

The notion of Viraj dividing bis own substance into male and femal* 
occurs in more than one Furana ; so does that of an incestuous aianriage 
of the first Menu and hb daughter Satarupa : and the oommentatOFB oa 
the Upanishad understand that legend to be alluded to in tbia place, ^ow 
the first Menu and his wife Stftarupa, who are thus understood as jointly 
constituting the primeval demiurgic hermaphrodite, are likewise denomH 
nated Adima and Iva^ are said to have been eminently the parents of tbreo 
sons one of whom was murdered by his brother at a sacrifice, and are den 
Scribed as being the commcm progenitors of the whole huoMO race. But 
Adima and Iva are themselves manifestations of Isa arid Istt, or of firahmtt 
and Saraswati. Hence we find, that exactly the same story is told of 
Brahma. 

According to the Matsya Pur ana ^ Brahma ^ in the north<wtst part ef 
India about Cashtnir, that is to say^ in the lofty region of Meru wfaei« the 
Hindoos place the garden of Paradise, assumed a mortal shape : and^ ont 
half of his body springing oia without his suffering any dimintMion what^ 
tver^ he framed out of it Satarupd. She was so beaut iful, that he fett in 
kroe with her ; but^ having sprung from bis body^ \he considered her as kia 
daughter y and was ashamed*. During this eonJBct between shame and Aroe^ 
he remained motionless with ^.eyes fixed upon her. Satarupa, perceiving 
itis situation and desiring to aooid his lodkt^ stepped aside. Brahna^ unabk 
to movCf but still Tmshikg to see bety caused a face to spring out in thi 
direction to xohich she s^kgocd, • She shifted her place four times: arid as 
many faces^ corresponding with the four corners of the fu^rld^ grew out of 
his head. Having rewoertd his intelkcts, the other hatf of his body 
sprang from him and became Menu-Swayambhuva *. 

^ AsiaU Ret. voL yiiL p. 44L "* AsiaL Ret. voL vLp. 4fl% 4^ 



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^ .TH£/0EIOIN^ OF IPAGAIT IDO£AT&r. 

«x»« ^* Vtsvd^Jenm^ or the mother oft ke world; she is loa^ or a ford qfl the 
female energy of nature ; she is Para^ or the greatest. Both are lil» 
Mahadiva and his Sacti^ whose names are also Isa and hk. Swayambbuva 
is Brahma in a human shape^ or the first Brahma ; for Brahnais manim^ 
dhoidualfy % and also colkctvoely mankind: hence Brahma U^aid to bcbtrn 
md to die efvery day. Collectively he dies evefy hundred years ; this being 
the utmost Jindts of life in the Calityug: at the end^thi wotldy Brakina 
or mankind is smd to die also at the end of a hundr^ dfome years.. Ffom 
the beginning to the end of things, when the ztfhfde creation will sbe amdkii 
lated and al^orbedinta the stfpreme being, there mil be five gneat Calpas of^ 
pifiodst Every Calpd, cMept thejirsty is preceded by a renovation of the 
world and a genetal flood. At theetidi^hisiOQin Cklpa, emh hetmdphmki 
ditic Brahma or Menu is deprhced by his successor of the masculine prm^ 
ciple of fecun^ty, who attracts^ the xofpok creaiioato^ himself t4t swallow it 
up or devour it ;. and, at the close ff- his own Calpayhe disgorges thewM^ 
creation. Swayambhuva is, conjointly and indisridiudUyy Bfsahmay Vishms^ 
and Isa. To SwayanMwtoa leoere bom three daughters i and \Bnttbim 
created or produced three great Rajapatis 4$ be their husbands^\ . , j j 
' As each roan is tbus iddividtially said to be Brahtna, who 10. jbheisemecM 
Swayambhuva or Adima, becausehe 13 bom from hmi: and is ^th^i^^ore % 
portioti of Iiis essefice : so each wroman is iiidividuiiUy proooiitici&d to (le. tf 
form of I or the female pnueiple, and thence to be rtolly Xva .or Cte or 
the white goddess Isi ^ But Adima aqcfi Im con«tittt(e jointly the 'great 
henpaphroditic unity Ardhanari : and this^ sofarias I can. learn, is thei 
only supreme demiurge, from whose essence the souls of all mankind were 
thought by the gentile mythoiogists to hsuire been excerpted; this, I am 
IbUy persuaded, is the sole divine unity, which the apoitate heatbeils have 
worshipped instead of the u&ity of Jehovah. 

S. The notion of the first-created oian being an hermaphrodite has 
doubtless arisen from a misconception of the primeval tradition, wliicb 
through Noah wa$ handed down to the builders of the tower, respecting 

' Heixc^ as we have seen, the Hindoo devotee asserts, tl^at he himself is Brahma or 
(be supreme being, and that to worship this supreme being is in &et to worship himself. ' 
» Asiat Res. val. r. p. »7, ««* » Asiat* Res. vol si; p< 11 1, ll4. 



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i#<Ni t» Salyinrrate, who^ aAer lumng bfeen pteaeffed in an trk, wasciDmtitaM ^ 
god of olMequieB. Ym botb Osim ftnd Itwara are tbe Sup : wd the Stiti 
agaia U described u being a fyam\e no less than m tml9* Xbi)8 we iil|il( 
run the sanie round ; and are atHl brought to Ihe aaoie condosfQiV ^\ febe 
supreaae henna{>broditte unity of (be pi^n world biul ttotiiiog in flwi«i0% 
i^ve the name of deity^ with tbe Suprsoie Vni^ oC tbe^nEie.Qi94«; 

There is a curious passage in ^ Cwomum of. Plato, ^vbkh will tbrom 
additional light on the subject, and which will atiU iuKther tend to ptmi% 
that I have assigned its true. eriigiQ to tbe bermapboditic unity c^ Hbe Gen* 
^les. When it comes to tbe turnr of Aristof^banes to 9peak» ^if^de^crtbcKl 
as sayiofr that our kumm mture 0su net ofMn^hatit mm i^i iiut dif*. 
Jkrent fivm U. For atjti^ tlm^ were thru sorts ofAmwm bemgsi mid 
nottwoomly, Motppcsemt, fnalcrndfemk^ But qf the third sort m^ 
thing now remains, except the ntm^ This was somam, smd nmtfe ufi ^/ 
' the two others: for mm smd woman were then om hind, and had one gOf. 
mral mmey and partook both oftbs^mak andfmak se^^ Afierwacds hm 
is mfde to tell us, that emsk hmum being in thfi. primti^^ sj^afe of the ^smU^ 
btfiste the sexes were dkAded, wasrmsni, encompass^ with ba f hand sifks^ 
and furnished with fhur hands and fsssr feet and twofaoa. But. at 
kngtk Jupiter resohed to divide this hermepkroi^ia creature into Jtwat 
ami the oonsofuence was, that the^one severed haff. almeifs^ hereafter fdt a 
longing desire to embrace its other half. Hence k asmestoipass, tkia tha 
txoOf winch were original but em, nutmraUjf experience a mutual affect. 
' tioni'^md'ffttfTo^ is coer striving tp make only one ag^m wt of two, and 
thus to heal human mOwe which was wounded bt/ the disruptive pr oducti o m 
oftwa out of the. primeval one** It is sufficiently evident, that this &ble in 
snhstantialVy the same aa the parallel legend of the Uindooa. . Each nq^ 
doubt orig^iated from s^ conunop source : and eacbj, if I.nwtake nc^ wall 
worked up into its present fantastic shape by the apostates of Babel ; 
whence &e notion of an hermaphroditic unity in the person of the great 
demiurgic hero-god diffused itself over the face of the whole earth. As for 
tbe source, it was clearly an ancient tradition, handed down from Adam ta 

f SiaiaxuCoom^jf. 18& spud Kiddcr'»DcmoBS» fmSLf^ 1S£» 



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BOOK V« 



72 THE ORIGIK: OF PAGATT IDOLATlir* 

originally attached to the fnafe half of thatprimitii^e human bekig, ifvbd was 
created both male and female '. Other arguments^ equally coovinomgr am 
adduced by these Hebrew sages, to establish from Holy Writ the wm% 
notable opinion : and they might, had they been so inclioed, have addi«. 
tionally contended, that Moses strongly insinuates it by tiie speech wMch 
he piitS' into the mouth of Adtun» This^ is now bone of my bones, andjlesh 
ofmyflesht she shall be called itnoman, because she was itAen aia of nuuu 
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother , and shall cleave unia 
bis wife : and they two shall be one flesh \ 

The purpose, for which I have noticed these speculations of the gentile 
Aristophanes and of the Jewish Rabbbs, is to shew, what ^t hermaphnK 
ditic unity really was, which the pagans venerated as the great universal 
parent both of gods and men and as the periodical renovator of the dissolved 
mundane system^ Now, froni the whole of what has been said, I think it 
abundantly evident, that it was no divine unity of the true God which they 
worshipped, but an imaginary created unity prcklueed by t2ie andro^noUs 
conjunction of the great fiEither and great mother^ 

II. The more we pursue the subject, die more will this plain truth shine 
out Like the Hindoos, all nations adored as the first demiuBgic cause aa 
hermaphroditic divinity : hut, if we inquire! who this divinity was^ we shall 
invariably find, that he was not the spiritual and almighty Creator of hmvea 
and earth ; but, indifferently, eidier the gceat father who is said to have 
floated in an ark upon the surface of the deluge, or the great mother who is 
fabled to have assumed the form of a ship. Sometimes this deil^ is de* 
scribed as being properly an hermaphrodite : and sometimes he is repre« 
sented aa becoming one, so fiEv as the ad0ptk>aof such a character was pos* 
sible, by suffering mutilation. His votaries, as was usaal throughout the 
gentile world, esteemed themselves his visible proxies : and^ as such, tbe^ 
studiously endeavoured to imitate his character. Hence originated some 
of the most horrible abominations of Paganism : for^ whatever the an^ 

■ Men« Ben. Isr. Concil* p. li. Babboth. foL 9. col* S. apud Kidder's Demoni. part iit. 
p. 121. 

* Gen.ri.2S H Comip. Matt. xuc. 4^5, & Markx.6,7>8« lCor.v)ll6. Eph«v.9h 



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BOOK ▼• 



74 THE ORIGIN OF PAQAK IPOJLATETi 

tlmn Dag \ Sk-On or Sid-On was highly venerated by tiie Tyriaoa : audi 
he equally communicated his name to the two cities Sidon and Sedom. lie 
was also adored by the Egyptians and the Moabites : for Seth was an ap- 
pellation of Typhon ; and Typhon, by the mystic theocrasia of the Gen- 
tiles, ultimately identified himself with Osiris and Baal-Peor, who is thence 
mentioned in Holy Scripture by the name of Seth\ Such being the casev 
Seth will be the same likewise as Cronus-Anubis and Adonis : for Osiris u 
plainly one with each of those deities. Now footh.Anubis and Adonis were 
thought to be hermaphrodites. Hence it will follow^ that Seth or Sed was 
also an hermaphrodite : and we may safely infer, that the same notions 
^ere entertained of him, and the same rites instituted in honour of him^ 
that marked the fabulous history and distinguished the ndisurious worship 
of Anubis and Adonis. But the hermaphroditic Cionus-Anubis was de- 
scribed, as being at once the father and mother of the Universe : and the 
hermaphroditic Adonis was declared to have been guilty of the very same 
mbcalled religious abominations, as those which produced the miraculous 
destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha '. 

Hence, I thmk, there can be no doubt of the source, from which die 
wickedness of those cities origioated. It was not merely wickedness, 
viewed abstractedly and unconnectedly as such : but it was u peculiar farm 
of wickedness, which necessarily resulted from the professedly imitative 
worship of the androgynous Sed or Adonis. Accordingly, wherever this 
worship prevailed, there we always find a strong bias to the enormity in 
question; and, as it prevailed generally throu^M>ut the heatlien worid, 
such also was the prevalence of its detestable concomitant 

Adonis then or Seth united in his own person the two characters of 
Osiris and Isis or of Iswara and Isi, being in fact that compound monster 
whom the Hindoos call Jrdhanari: and it is observable, that a similar 
duplicity of sex was also ascribed to his paramour Venus or Astoreth ; 
who, in her female capacity, was the same as Isis or Isi, The Cyprians 
represented her with a beard, and supposed her to be both masculine and 
feminine. Philochorus tells us, that on this account men sacrificed to her 

' Just Hist PhiL lib* xviii. c. S« * Numb. xxk. 17. 

' FluC de bid. p. S68. Pul. Hqph. Nov. Hist. lib. v. p. SS& 



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76 l-HE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRrJ 

BOOK ▼. should yet be sdgtnatized by the strong expression of an abanrniation to 
Jekwah: but tlie strict propriety of such phraseology will immediately be 
visible, when we iitid, that this interchange of garments was in reality no 
trifling matter, but a well-known badge of the infamous worship of the 
hermaphroditic deity '. 

The notion, that the principal hero-god was androgynous^ and that i^s 
such he was the mother of the World, may be observed in various deli- 
neations of his character besides those already adduced. Thus the Orphic 
poet speaks of the primeval Jupiter, as uniting in his own single person a 
male divinity and an immortal aymph; and declares, that from this myste* 
rious conjunction all things were generated \ Thus also he celebrates 
Minerva or Neith, as being at once both male and female'. Thus like- 
wise he ascribes the very same peculiarity of character to Bacchus or 
Osiris : and, in explanation, represents him, as being of a double nature; 
so that he comprehends in himself the two persons of the legislator Dionu- 
sus and the ineffable queen Misa or MiEU-Isa or the Great Isis, from whoni 
the arkite hill in Armenia is occasionally denominated Mam\ And thus 
Macrobius informs us, liiat some mythologbts pronounced Janus to be a 
combination of Apollo and Diana or of Janus and Jana : while Ovid ex« 
hibits him, in a manner closely corresponding with the Orphic description 
of the androgynous Jupiter, as containing in his own essence the whole 
circuit of the Universe ^ 

S. As the priests of the heathen gods endeavoured to express in their 
own persons the characters and actions of the deities whom they served ; 
and as for this purpose the mmisters of the androgynous divinity were wont 
to mutilate themselves, and to confound the sexes by studiously imitatbg 



B 



Deut. xxii. 5. ^ * Orph. Fragm. p. S65 — 367. 

5 Orph, Hymn. xxxi. 10. * Orph. Hymn. xli. 

J Macrob. Saturn, lib. i. c. 9. p. 157. Orid. Fast. lib. i. This probably was the true 
reason, why he was depicted with two faces ; the one provided with a flowing beard, the 
other smooth and beardless. He was the Ardhanari of the old Etruscans : and hence he 
was represented with the &ce both of a man and a woman. It may be observed in favour 
of this conjecture, that the two heads are placed back to back looking opposite ways, just 
in the same manner as the oriental fiible describes the first pair to have been originally 
4Dreated* 



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78 THE OiirGIN OF PA^Air fDO&ATItrr 

>oox ▼• some believed him to be a god who from time to time nmn^sted himself 
to men *. 

The carious ftible, preserved by Ovid rielative to this imaginary beb]^ 
is replete with mythological information, though dressed up to suit th« 
taste of the lovers of romance. Hermaphroditus was educated in the caves- 
of mount Ida by the Naiads or water-nymphs. At the age of fifteen he 
chose to wander from the sacred haunts of his boyhood, and at teogtb 
arrived at the brink of a beautifully pellucid lake. This was the favourite 
resort of the Naiad Salmacb ; who, observing the youdi in the act oi batt> 
ing himself, plunged into die water; and,, inflamed with passion^ clasped 
him in her arms. Her afiection however was not returned r but the gods^ 
commiseratkig her slighted love, inseparably united the two bodies, which 
thenceforth constituted a monster both male and female. Ever afterwarda 
the water of that laice was thought ta possess the power of transHdrming inta 
hermaphrodites such as bathed in it *. 

H^re we may observe the saci^ cave, the sacred lake, and the sacred 
mountain, which ever make so conspicuous a figure in the theology of the 
Gentiles. The Phrygian- Ida was a copy of flie Indo-Scythic Ida-vrattay 
as that was a transcript of the Armenian Ararat: and within its recesses 
were celebrated the Mysteries of the mountain'-bom Cybel^ and her emas^ 
culate paramour Attis or Agdestis ; as were those of Venus and Adonis in> 
the Phenician Lebanon, and as Siva and Argha united together in the 
single form of Ardhanari are stitt venerated as tenanting the lofty summit 
of Ida-vratta. Now we have seen, that both Venus and Attis and Ado- 
nis, like the classical Hermaphroditus and the Indian Ardhanari, were 
fabled to be androgynous. Hence I think it evident, that Hermaphroditus 
/and Salmacis conjointly are the same as Venus- Adonb, Attis-Cybel^ and 
Siva-Parvatl The one is the god of the symbolical lake; the other is ita 
goddess. Like Adonis or Attis or Siva^ the male Hermaphroditus is the 
deity of the ship : like Venus or Cybel^ or Parvati, the female Salmacis ia 
a personification of that ship ; whence she is exhibited as a Naiad, who 
to sport in the waters of a consecrated pooL In the midst of 



' Djod. BibL lib. h. p. 214, 21& » OirkL Metam. Vb. h. ver. S85-SM; 



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80 TB-E ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 

BOOK V. phatus did long ago ; I am not equally satbfied with the conjeetare, that 
the word Amazon is no Greek terdi and consequently has no relation te 
the de^ciency of a breast I doubt, whether there is sufficient evidence 
to prove, that any people were in their aam language styled Amazi^ns ; 
a circumstance, absolutely necessary for the admission of Mr. Bryant's 
proposed etymology. The Greeks indeed speak of Amazons in the region 
of mount Atlas, in Thrace upon the river Thermodon, in mount Caucasus 
near Colchis and Albania, in the country bordering Aipon the Palus Meo* 
tis, in Ionia, in Samos, in Italy, in Ethiopia, and in India'; and I doubt 
not of their being perfectly accurate in what they say : but then the term 
is truly and properly their own; it is not a name that was ever really borne 
by the inhabitants of those several districts ; but it is an appellation, which 
the Greeks rightly bestowed upon certain semi-female forms, which had 
actually no more than a single breast. The subsequent error consisted^ 
not in any misapplication of the word Amazon; but in the absurd exten^ 
sion of the term to whole communities, which gave rise to the fable of vari* 
ous entire nations of female warriors. 

What we are to understand by the Amazon or one-breasted woman of 
classical fiction, is abundantly plain from the circumstance of our being 
told that Amazons were to be found in India. The recent inquiries of our 
learned countrymen have very fully laid open the mythology of that inte^ 
resting country : and, in perfect harmony with the assertion of the inqui* 
sitive though fabulizing Greeks, we may still behold in Hindostan the one^ 
breasted Amazon of the ancient Hellenic legends. A remarkable figure 
yet exists in the deep recesses of the rocky Elephanta pagoda ; to which 
Kiebubr, Hunter, and Maurice, have all agreed to give the name oi Amazon* 
Precisely as the Greeks described their imaginary race of heroines, this 
statue wants the right breast, while the left is full and globular. It isi pro- 
vided with four arms: one of which rests upon the head of a bull ; another 
hangs down in a mutilated state; the third grasps a hooded snake; and 
tiie fourth sustains a circular shield. Mr. Maurice professes himself wholly 

* IKod. Bibl. lib. ui. p. 185, 188. Slrab. Geog. lib. xi. p. 504, 505. Scylac. Parip. ia 
Geog. yet. vol. ii. p. 31. Scbd. ia ApoU, Argon. Ud. iL ver. 966. Plut. Qusst. Graec 
voL i* p. S03« Tzetz. ia I.ycopb. ver^ 995,^ 1SS& Polytm. U)). i. p. 11« apud Bryant, - 



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B2 TH2 ORIGIN OT PAOAN IVOLATtLTs 

BOOK ▼• I apprehend, be found very difficult; the reader probably will have already 
ftnticipated me in the performance of it 

The Amazon of the Elephanta pagoda and of the wonder-loving Greek 
fabulists is manifestly no other than the compound hermaphroditic deity, 
who by the Hindoos is called Ardkanariy and who is formed by the lateral 
conjunction of Siva with Parvati This monster, as delineated by the my* 
thological painters of India, has, from the head to the feet, the right side of 
a man and the left side of a woman. His arms, agreeably to the form of 
the statue in the Elephanta pagoda, are four in number: and near him, as 
near the statue in question, reposes die mysterbus bull Nandi» One of 
his hands bears a sword : and XhQ right breast, since his right side is that 
of a male, is of course wanting; Now this was the identical breast, which, 
according to the Greek fabulists, was extirpated by tho^ Amazonian fe« 
males ; who were to be found, as in other regions of the globe, so likewise 
in India : and the whole figure of the warlike one-breasted Ardhanari i& 
precisely such, as would suggest to a person who knew not its real natures 
the idea of a military heroine deprived* of her right breast \ 

III. I shall dose this subject with some remarks on the worship of the 
sacred Omphalos or naveL 

L There is a curious fable respecting the classical Jupiter, which I take 
to be nearly allied to his hermaphroditic character and to his connection^ 
with the nymph Tbeba or Argha. We are told by DiodoruS,. tha^ whila 
the infant god was nursed by the Guretes in die sacred cave of the Cretan 
Ida, his navel fell into the river Triton : whence the territory, adjoining to 
that river, being consecrated, was called Omphahn, and the surrounding, 
plain Omphalioni both from Omphalos^ which signifies a navel*. The- 

' Moor's Hind. Panth. plate 7 and 24^ See Plate II. Fig. 8. Exactly the same hiero* 
glyphic occurs in Persian romance) and doubtless it originated from the same source. The 
Nim-Juae and the Nim-Chebr are supposed to be a human figure split in twxy; the male 
forming the right half, and the female the left. Each has half a face, one eye, one arm,,, 
and one foot:' yet they run with incredible speed, and are reckoned very dangerous and 
cruel. The notion of their cruelty} like the similar notions respecting queen Lamia»^ the^ 
Cyclopes, and the Ogres of our nursery tales, originated from the bloody sacrifices oT 
ancient Paganism. See Hales's Chronol. voU iii. p. 32. 

* Diod. BibL lib, v. p. 337^ 838. 



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84 TBE ORIGIN OF PAGAN lOOXJLTRT* 

WH>K y. that hiero^yphic was conspiouously iotroduced into the worBhip of Jupiter* 
Amnion. He tells us, that the figore of the gdd resembled anavclythBtit 
was adorned wkb precious stones, aqd that it was carried by the priests* io 
a gilt ship whenever the oraclie Was about to be consulted '• There was a 
similar representation of the navel at Delphi, executed in white maFbl^ 
and exhibited in the temple, doubtless with the same idea as diat whieb 
was shewn in (he boat of Ammon \ And it seems probbble, if we ibay 
argue at least from analogy, that, wherever the iacred nmel was venerated^ 
there also was displayed a carved image of it. 

3. Mr. Bryant contends, that the whole of this remarkable superstitioi| 
originated from a mere misprision of terms. He justly observes, tba(; 
wherever there was a story about a ncpoel^ in the same place there was sure 
to be an oracle. Now the compound term OnhPhi or -^»i-PAr will doubt- 
less signify the mouth or orack of Ham or the Sun: a6d the word Om* 
phalos, in the Greek language happens to denote a naoel Froin these pre** 
mises he contends, that the several legends respecting navels arose fronii thfe 
circumstance of the Greeks confounding OnhPhi widi Omphalos; tiiat ge^ 
nuine ancient mythology knew nothing of these pretended nawis, which 
existed solely in the imagination of the Greeks, ever prone, from a silly 
nationaliQr) to appropriate and misinterpret foreign words ; and that each 
Omphalos was in truth no navel, but an Om-phi or solar oracle. 

I am sorry, that I cannot assent to the opinion of this excellent writer; 
who, in the present instance at least, appears to me to have unjustly cen*- 
sured the vain humour of the Greeks. If we never met with any tale about 
a navel except in countries where the Greek language was spoken, the mis* 
prision alleged by Mr. Bryant would be a circumstance far from impro* 
bable : but, if we meet with parallel stories in countries where that lan- 
guage was not spoken, the conjecture of the misprision must, so far as I can 
judge, inevitably fall to the ground. Now we have the testimony of Quin» 
tus Curtius, adduced by the learned author himself, that precisely the same 
veneration of a navel prevailed among the Egyptians ; who, as we have 
just seen, used it as a symbol of Jupiter- Ammon or Osiris, and carried it 

' Quint. CuTU lib ir. ci. 7. * Fiaus. Phoc p. 657. Strab. Qtog. lib. xz. p. iSa 



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S€ TB£ ORIGIN OF FAdAN IDOLATRY. 

ftooK V. pressly tells us was placed in the ship whenever the oracle w^s about to be 
consulted ? Thus I think it manifest, that the Egyptians really used a 
navel as a symbol : whence it will follow, since the mythology of Greece 
was closely allied to that of Egypt and largely borrowed from it, that the 
Greeks cannot be charged with a misprision of terms when they speak of 
consecrated navels, but that navels were really meant by their Omphali 
although the Omphali themselves were doubtless oracular. 

4. The mythology of Hindostan will both establish the same position, 
and will lead us to a right understanding of what was intended by the 
mystic navel. The Hindoos speak Greek no more than the ancient Egyp- 
tians did : yet the navel of Vishnou is as much celebrated among them, as 
the navel of Jupiter was among the Cretans. Hence again it b clear, that 
the Greeks ought not to be charged with that misprision of terms for which 
Mr. Bryant contends ; but that a navel was equally a sacred symbol m the 
kindred theological systems of Egypt, Greece, and Hindostan. We have 
only therefore to inquire what we are to understand by it : and, when that 
is ascertained, we shall be brought to the true exposition of the fable re* 
specting the fall of Jupiter's navel into the river Triton. 

(1.) I have shewn, how very common it was among the old mythologists 
to represent their principal god or goddess as an hermaphrodite, endeavour* 
ing to blend together into one person the two characters of the great uni* 
versal father and the great universal mother : and I have mentbned, tha^ 
when thus considered, the symbolizing humour of Paganism venerated them 
under the hieroglyphic of the combined male and female principles. 

That such was the case, we positively learn from the mythology of Hin- 
dostan : in which we are told, that, during the prevalence of the deluge; 
the two powers of nature, male and female, were reduced to their simplest 
elements; that these powers were Isa and Isi; that the female power 
assumed the form of the ship Argha, while the male power supplied the 
place of the mast ; and that, thus united so as to constitute a single com* 
pound hieroglyphic, they were wafted over the great deep under the pro* 
tectioQ of \ ishnou '• 

' Asiat. Bes. YoL vi. p. 523* 



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8^ THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOIATRTW 

»ooit V. that the primogeniture was his, but offering to re^gn it to either of them 
who should be able to reach the crown of his head or the soles of his feetx 
Brahma and Vishnou each made an ineffectual attempt in opposite direc-^ 
tions : but the treachery of Brahma, who falsely pretended that he had 
reached the summit of Siva's head, induced the angry god to pronounce 
Vishnou the real first-born '. 

The latter part of this story has probably been built upon the conten* 
tions between the rival sects of Hindostan, each of which seeks to give the 
precedence to its favourite deity : but the former part, with which I am at 
present chiefly concerned, may serve additionally to elucidate the symbo- 
lical navel of pagan antiquity. The navel, as we have just seen, is one of 
the hieroglyphics of the Argha or (to speak with more strict precision) of 
the door in tlie side of the Argha : and we are informed, that the aquatic 
lotos, which from its property of always rising to the surface of the water 
aptly represents a ship, is another hieroglyphic of the same vessel *. When 
we are told therefore that the lotos sprang from the navel of Vishnou, we 
have in fact a mere symbolical repetition : for the lotos and the navel alike 
mean the Argha. Consequently, the birth of Brahma from the lotos is in 
reality his birth from the navel : and this birth, when the import of those 
symbols is considered, must of course denote his birth from the door of the 
ship Argha which floated upon the great deep during the prevalence of the 
deluge. But Brahma is also said to have been born from the floating egg, 
so highly celebrated in the mythology of the Gentiles *. Hence the egg 
must be the same as the navel and the lotos, from which he is also said to 
have been produced : and consequently, since the egg and the lotos (as I 
have already shewn at large) are equally symbols of the diluvian Ship, the 
navel must likewise be viewed as an hieroglyphic of that Ship. 

Thus, I think, we have sufficiently ascertained what we are to under^ 
stand by the mystic navel. It was esteemed the same as the female power 
of nature: it represented the door of the Ark, which that power was em* 
ployed to symbolize because the Ark was reckoned a great universal mo* 

■ Ariat. Res. vol. iii. p. 126—148. Moor's Hind. Panth. plate viL See Plate II. Eg. 1. 
* Asiat Res. voL iii. p. 133, 134. ' Inst of Menu. chap. i. 



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90 TH£ ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATKT. 

tooK V. As for tlie navel in the centre of the Egyptian Argo which was the coai* 
secrated ship of Osiris or Amnion^ it b obviously (according to the accu<< 
rate description of it by Quintus Curtius) that identical symbol which the 
Hindoos call the navel of Vishnou^ and which they similarly place in the 
centre of the ship Argha. The navel then of Vishnou is the navel of 
Osiris : and, since Osiris has been identified with the Cretan Jupiter, the 
submersion of Vishnou's navel in the ocean, and the plunging of Jupiter's 
navel into tiie river Triton, are fundamentally the same fiction. The Triton, 
like the Nile, the Ganges, and the Styx, was a sacred river, which repre^ 
sented the ocean at the period of the deluge : and the supposed fall of the 
navel into it meant the same as the £eill of the Dion^n egg into the 
Euphrates and as the launching of the Baris or Argo into the Nile ; each 
equally denoted the committing of the Ark to tiie waters of the flood \ 

5. Though fi*om what has been said Mr. Bryant appears to have been 
too hasty in charging the Greeks with a misprision oS terms, and iQ ridicule 
ing and altogether denying the existence of such a symbol as the nave\; yet 
be is perfectly right in saying, that, for the most part, wherever there was 
an Omphalos, there also was an oracle of the great &ther. Thb circurn* 
stance will additionally serve to prov^ that the same mytholpgical reveries 
prevailed in the west and in the east : that the navel meant the same as the 
female power : and that both alike denoted the Ark or great mother ; the 
very appellation indeed, which the Hindoos apply conjointly to the navel 
and the female power considered as one symbol \ 

Among the various Omphali which the Greeks revered, they specially 
claimed the preeminence for that of Delphi. Now, as we may collect from 
the very name of Delphi which signifies the womby the sacred navel was 
certainly viewed by the Hellenic mythologists in the same light as it is by 
those of Hindostan : that is to say, it was a symbol of the great mother^ 
who is a personification at once of the Earth and of the Ark. Agreeably 
to thb opinion^ the whole system of worship established at Delphi was 

' Agreeably to this supposition, the Nile itself actually bore the name of T^rUim. 
Txetz. in Lycoph. ver. 119« 
' See Asiat. Res. voL iii. p. 1S7. 



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P2 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT* 

BOOR V. tiged with the ship that preserved him and his seven companions at the 
period of the general deluge ' : and that ship again I believe to have been 
nearly allied to the celebrated round table of that fabulous Celtic sove« 
reign. His table^ or (as it is sometimes called) his stone, is thought by 
Camden to have been originally near thirty tons in weight : and under it 
is a cell, whicH the common people suppose to have a communication with 
the sea*. The well was a rocky cleft or sacred navel, similar to that at 
Delphi : the stone or table represented the egg or stone-ship of the great 
father : and, respecting the character of its fictitious icnights, the compa- 
nions of the nautical Arthur, we may form no improbable conjecture from 
the wild legend which makes them a sort of infernal deities who were ac- 
customed to ferry demons over the rivers of Hades ^ What in one age is 
mythology, in the next melts into romance. Hence, as the weird sisters 
certainly appear to have borrowed their magic cauldron from the cauldron 
of Ceridwen, their infernal horse from the hag- mare of the goddess, and 
their rites of necromancy from the old worship of the diluvian or infernal 
deities : so I am inclined to think, that the unbroken egg-shell and the cir- 
cular sieve, in either of which they fearlessly traverse the ocean, were ori- 
ginally the very same as the floating egg, the consecrated Argha, the navi- 
cular cup, and the mystic navel. 

7. To a kindred source I ascribe the classical fable of Hercules and 
Qmphal^. We are told, that the hero-god, who sailed over the sea in a 
golden cup, was so completely subjugated by the charms of this youthful 
beauty, that he resigned to her his ponderous club and lion's skin, while 
be himself plied the distaff of his capricious enslaver. The legend, I think, 
is clearly built upon the imagined hermaphroditic character of the great 
universal parent. Omphal^, as the name imports, is a personification of 
t})e Omphalos or sacred navel ; and the appearance of the god in the attire 
and employment of a female, and the appearance of his mistress in the 
garb and attitude of a male, perfectly correspond with that of the distaff- 
bearing Mercury and that of the armed Venus or Minerva. The imitative 

« 
' Davies's Mythol. p. 51?. * Camden's Brit apud Davies's Mythol. p. 394. 

3 Rabejais. livr. ii. c» SO, 



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CHAPTER V. 



Respecting the Doctrine of the two independent Principles. 



XT will be proper for me here to offer a few observations on the doctrine 
of the two independent principles, which was strongly held by the Per- 
siaas, and which may be traced also in the mythologies of some other 
nations. ' 

According to this ancient tenet, there is an eternal principle of good, 
which delights in order and harmony, which regulates and disposes all 
things, and which itself is a light pure and ineffable : but there is also an 
eternal principle of evil, which rejoices in mischief and confusion, which 
seeks to overturn and disorganize the fair frame of the Universe, and which 
itself is a darkness thick and impenetrable. These two principles are ever 
at war with each other; but, bemg equally independent and eternal, nei- 
ther of them is able completely to subjugate its rival. Sometimes the em- 
pire of darkness extends itself over the whole world. At that period every 
thing is consigned to inevitable destruction ; a general disorder prevails ; 
and all nature is resolved into the primeval chaos. But, as light is immor- 
tal no less than darkness, and as neither can entirely prevail over the other, 
the tyranny of the evil principle mast necessarily have its limits. Hence, 
after a certain allotted period, the empire of light again begins to arise from 



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96 THE 0RI6IH OF PAGAN IDOLATST. 

Boox T. But tbis is not the tt^Aofe of what is said : Ahriman likewise intiockiees phjf^ 
ncal evit into every pwt of the creation ; and thus at length brings on the 
catastrophe of the deluge, over which the second man^buQ Taschter is said 
to have presided^ and by whicb the world was thought to be reduced to its 
original chaotic state* Afterwards Ormusdt creates all things ane^ : * and 
then our present mundane system commences from Taschter imd bis three 
companions. Here the matter appears under a different aspect, but under 
an aspect which cannot easily be misunderstood. It has clearly « refereoc^ 
to the hypothesb, that after certain great though limited periods the world is 
destroyed by an inundation either of fire or water, that it remains a year 
of the immortals in chaotic darkness and confusion^ and that afterwards it 
emerges from the deluge in renovated beauty and light and order. Hence 
it is evident, that Ahriman or the evil principle must be viewed, not itierely 
as the author of moral evil ; but as the power of destruction, by which all 
things are from time to time reduced to a state of darkness and disprga^k- 
zation : and it is equally evident, that Ormusdt or the gpod piiQcq)Je mnst 
be viewed, not so much as the real omnipotent author of all goodness; 
but as the great father^ who has been made to usurp the attributes of God^ 
and who is invariably represented as creating the World anew after having 
floated in the mysterious ship on the surface of the intermediate deluge* 
Ormusdt therefore, or the pure light of goodness, is, like Mithras, the trans- 
migrating great father; who appears at the commencement of every mun*- 
dane system to change disorder into harmony, and who was asttronomically 
venerated in the ethereal light of the Sun : whUe Ahriman^ or tile thick 
darkness of evil, is the chaotic inundation, whether igneous or aqueous^ 
viewed as a work or even as a personification of the wicked one; by wbich^ 
at the close of every mundane system, harmony is changed into disorder 
and confusion. 

ouch an opinion necessarily results from the circumstance of the good 
and evil principles of the Persic theology sustaining the very same parts^ 
as the deified great father who restores the World, and as the destructive 
agent who dissolves it For what ai*e the functions ascribed to the good 
principle, but those which are discharged by the demiurgic Isa or Woden 
or Osiris? And what are the Unctions ascribed to the evil principle, but 



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58 THE ORIGIK OFJ^AOAK IPOLATBT. 

Booiv. distinct manifestation of him. Hence it followed^ that destruction or the 
evil principle, though it might lie dormant for a season, was by the very 
nature of things immortal ; and that the reproducing great father or the 
good principle, though he might from time to time be vanquished and over- 
powered^ was in himself physically immortal likewise. 

HI. Holy Scripture at once testifies the remote antiquity of such spe- 
culations : and decidedly proves, that the pure light or good principle of 
the Persians was not the true God, as some have imagined ; but, no less 
than the thick darkness or evil principle, a mere creature. In the address^ 
of Jehovah to Cyrus hb anointed, he is represented as saying, in manifest 
allusion to the philosophy of the Magi : / am the Lord^ and there is none 
else. I form the light, and create the darkness: I make the peace, and 
create the eviP. /, the Lord, do all these things \ 

* Tbt peace or harmony of the renovated world ; the evil or confusion of tbe dissolved 
•world. * Isaiah xlv. 6, 7. 



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100 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATBr; 

iwojt ▼. of a mysterious regeneration to the initiated. If therefore we have been 
compelled^ by the evidence of facts and by the positive assertions of the 
pagans themselves^ to identify the various gods and goddesses of gentile 
mythology : we must inevitably no less identify the various Mysteries of 
all those kindred deities. Hence I cannot but think Bp. Warburton some« 
what inconsistent^ when he rightly and strenuously maintains the identity 
of the Mysteries, and yet denies the identity of the gods '• The two posi- 
tions must; so far as I can judge^ stand or fall together. We may either 
prove from circumstantial evidence the identity of the gods, and thence 
argue the identity of the Mysteries : or, inverting the process, we may 
demonstrate the identity of the Mysteries, and thence argue the identity of 
the gods. In each case we shall still be brought to the same general con- 
clusion : for I see not, how it is possible to assert the identity of the one 
and yet to deny the identity of the "other. 

But we have no occasion to depend entirely upon inductive reasoning. 
Both propositions may be demonstrated separately and independently. 
As we have proved the identity of the gods, so may we likewise prove the 
identity of the Mysteries. Thus will circumstantial evidence bring us to 
the very conclusion, which we have just reached in the way of almost ne- 
cessary deduction. 

The Mysteries then, though frequently called by the names of diflferent 
deities, were in substance all the same. Thus Strabo asserts, that the 
Curetic Orgies, which were celebrated in memory of the mystic birth of 
Jupiter, resembled those of Bacchus, Ceres, and the Phrygian Cybelfe : 
and he further observes, that poets and mythologists were continually ac* 
customed to join together the Mysteries of Bacchus and Silenus, the rites 
of Cybelfe, and the worship which was paid to Jupiter at mount Olympus*. 
Thus the author of the Orphic poems identifies the Orgies of Bacchus 
' with those of Ceres, Rhea, Venus, and Isis : and evidently speaks of them 
as being the very same with the Mysteries, which were celebrated in 
Phrygia, in Crete, in Phenicia, in Lemnos, in Samothrace, in Egypt, and 

' Warburton's Div. Leg. b. iu sect. 4. p. 6. b. iiL sectt S. p. 59. b. iv. «ect. $. p. 234^— 
238. note, p, 429. 8vo edit. 
* Strab. Geog. lib. x. p. 468-^70. 



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lOS THE ORIGIN 07 PAGAN IIIOCATRr<» 

*ooi V. laus hierophant Orpheus was a Tbracian^ and that the Orgies themselves 
were of Thracian origin '. Sometknes however they ascribed their inven- 
tion to the dd Pelasgi ; who at one period; in the course of their wandep* 
logs, tenanted Samothrace\ These two accounts are in substance the 
same, and I entertain no doubt of their accuracy. The Thracians and the 
Pelasgi were the ancestors of those Greeks, who did not emigrate front 
Egypt and Phenicia. They were equally children of one great family : 
fi)rthey were branches of the Indo-Scytbic or Pallic or Gothic race, which 
sent out colonies in almost every direction^ and whidi communicated their 
religious institutions to their descendants the elder Hellenes. Thus we 
need not wonder at the perfect identity of the Indo-Scythic and the Samo- 
« thracian Mysteries : nor have we any occasion to reject as incredible tha 
well-founded opmion^ that the Orgies of the barbarous northern and north* 
eastern nations were really the same, both in nature and purport, as those 
of the more civilized Greeks and Phenicians and Egyptians. On the con^ 
trary, it wUl serve to shew the justice of that remarkable classification, by 
which Clemens enumerates, as teaching much the same doctrines and as. 
philosophizing in much the same manner, the priests of Egypt, the Chal- 
d^ns of Assyria, the Druids of the Gauls, the Saman^ns of the Bactrians, 
the sages of the Celts, the Magi of the Persians, the Brahmens of the In-> 
dians,. the philosophers ef the Scythians, and the various, wise men among 
the Odrysse and the Get® and the Arabians and the Philistines and (to 
use his own sweeping expression) ten- thousand other nations'. From these 
misnamed barbarians Pylhi^ras, as he truly observes, borrowed very: 
largely : and, of what nature as well as of what extent his obligations, 
were, Jamblicbus informs u& very explicitly. He taught, it seems, certaia 
rites of purification ; he initiated his disciples into the Mysteries ; and^ 
uniting a divine philosophy with rel^ous worship, he instructed them with, 
the greatest accuracy in the knowledge of the hero-gods. What he com* 
municated however, he had himself previously karned; for the specula- 
tions, which he delivered, were no mere novel inventions of his own. He; 

* Suid. Lexic. * Herod. Hist. lib. ii. c. 5K 

' ClfiDU Alex, Strom, lib. i. p. SOS, SOS. 



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104 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN IpOtAtKT. 

»oox ▼• 11. The identity of the Mysteries being thus estft]:dished9 ivie may neit 
inquire, whence they originated; for the very circumstance of tteir idetir 
tity necessarily proves them all to have had some commoa origin. 

1 . Bp. Warburton, agreeably to his system of deducing every thing from 
Egypt, contends that they were first invented in that country : whence, in 
process of time, they were carried into Greeee, Persia, Cyprus, Crete, Sa*^ 
mothrace, Lemnos, Asia Minor, Britain,. Hindostan, and ail tliose barbar-* 
ous nations wherever situated amongst which we find them established'. 

This theory seems to me so utterly incredible, that I feel myself altoge^ 
ther unable to adopt it Whatever was the origin of the Mysteries, such 
' also must have been the origin of the whole fabric of pagan mytholo^ : 
for the two are so intimately connected, that it is impossible to separate 
them from each other and to derive them from distinct sources. If then 
we subscribe to the hypothesb of Warburton, ire must prepare ourselves 
to believe, that the whole frame of gentile idolatry with the sacred Myste*- 
ries attached to it was the exclusive contrivance of the Egyptian priest-* 
hood; and that the entire human riace were but the servile copyists of one 
single nation. We must believe, not only that the neighbouring Greeks 
and Pbenidans borrowed from Egypt ; but that the most remote commu* 
nities, the British Celts, the Pelasgic Scythians, the Magi of Persia^ the 
Chaldeans of Babylon, and even the Brahmens of Hindostan, were all con- 
tent to receive their theology fiom the same country. We must believe 
too, that this universal obligation to Egypt was imurred in the very ear- 
liest ages : for, not to enter into a discussion respecting the Jtntiquity of 
Babylon or Persia or Hindostan, we find the Orgies of Adonis or Baal- 
Peor and of Astart^ or Sida completely established in Palestine prior to 
the time of the exodus; and we observe the Greeks acknowledging, that 
they had already received from the northern PeUsgi or Thracians those 
very Mysteries which were again imported by the southern settlers from 
Egypt. The whole of this appears to me perfectly incredible. Egypt no 
doubt was a civilized and well-regulated state at a very remote period : 
and its established idolatry was, I believe, coeval with its very existence 

* Diy« Leg. book ii. sect. 4. p. S, 4, 5. 



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106 TH1B ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY^ 

mook V. I undoubtedly account for the matter, precisely as I account for the' 
identity of the various systems of pagan mythology. So remarkable and 
exact an accordance of sentiments and institutions, which may be distinctly 
traced in every part of the world, leads us inevitably to the belief, tiiat, m 
tiie infancy of society when as yet mankind were- but few in number, all the 
children of Noah were associated together in a single community; that,, 
while thus they formed but one empire, a great apostasy from the worship 
of the true God took pkce; that at that period the original system of 
idolatrous mythology and the sacred Mysteries attached to it were first con- 
trived ; and that afterwards, when colonies were sent forth from the parent 
society and when new independent polities were gradually established, the 
same mysterious rites and the same peculiar mode of worship were carried 
by the emigrants to every pcurt of the world. Such, even if the scriptural 
history had never been written, would be the only rational and satisfactory 
metiiod of accounting for a feet as undoubted as it is curious; But it need 
scarcely be observed, how decidedly that history establishes^ the present 
conclusbn : while, on the other band, the conclusion, to which we are thus 
inevitably led by actually existing circumstances, affords an fllustrious at- 
testation to the truth of the sacred volume. We have an extraordinary 
fact, which nothing can adequately explain but the supposed occurrence of 
one particular event; the union of all mankind^ at some remote period, in a 
single community : the Bible declares, that this identical event, which exi^t-* 
ing circumstances so imperiously require, really took place at BabeL 

III. The inquiry, which now demands our attention, is the nature and 
purport of those ancient Mysteries ; which, originating in the plains of 
Shinar, were thence carried by them of the dispersion into all parts of the 
globe. 

1. Bp. Warburton endeavours to prove, that the Mysteries were a pro- 
found political invention of the Egyptian legislators ; and that their sole 
object was, first to expose to the initiated the futility of the established vul- 
gar polytheism, and afterwards to declare to them the existence of one 
Supreme Being the creator and moderator of the Universe. The method^ 
which was adopted in conveying these important truths, he supposes to 
have been this. The solemnity commenced with reciting to the aspirants 



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108 TB£ OKIGIK 09 PA6AK IDOLATET. 

MOK ▼• sufficiently imposing : yet we mo^t not foe too hasty in admitting it^ as er^* 
faibiting the real state of the matter. Hb theory affords much room 6xt 
remark^ much also for complaint 

(I.) Admitting then for the present his delineatioD of the Mysteries to 
be accurate and perfect, we shall still hare to inquire whether his premises 
warrant his conclusion. Now eren this I greatly doubt 

That the Mysteries treated of the hero^gods^ Bad that they described the 
death and sepulture of those objects c^ popular adoration, is dear and ii^ 
disputable ; whether any sudi formula as the mydiolo^c history of San* 
choniathb was used, or not : hence the initiated m^ht, if they were so dis^ 
posed, draw the inference that they were all mere deified ooortals. Bo^ 
though such was truly their orighi, as the %hop very properly cooteods ; 
still I see no sufficient evidence to prove, that the object of the Mysteries 
was to reveal their human origin ; nor am I at all convinced, that their 
deadi and sepulture were a literal death and sepulture, diough phraseology 
of this description was doubtless very liable to be mistaken* 

So again : that the Mysteries taught a divine unify of some sort, is 
equally indisputable : but it is not quite so clear, that this tmity was that 
which Bp. Warburton imagines ; namely, the unity of the true God intro- 
duced for the purpose of superseding the vulgar polytheism. Yet here 
likewise we find a phraseology employed, whith might easily lead an mean* 
tious inquirer to adopt the very error, which our learned author patronises* 
The old Orphic bierophant does indeed teac^h his initiated dbciple, that 
1)^e is but one deity ; and he s^aks of thM deity in terms, which m%ht 
well mduce us at first siglit to imagine, that the Supreme Author of all 
tfiings was really intended : but, before we take op such an opinion in all 
the latitude of the Warburtonian theory, we may be allowed to inquire a 
little into the notbns of the ancient pa^ms and to hear what the Orphic 
poet himself declares respecting his imagined sole spiritual divinity. Now, 
as we have already seen^ it was the universal doctrbe of the pagans both 
in the east and in the west, not that their hero^gods were to give place to 
one totally distinct and different deity ; but that all those gods were ultp- 
vuUely the eame^ and therefore that they BMjoinily constituted only one god. 
It was similarly their doctrine also, that all their goddesses were ultimately 



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110 THE ORIGIN OT PAGAN IDOLATRr. 

BOOK r. the Mysteries, and which eminently lead us to a right trnderstaading of 
their import : it wholly omits one of the most peculiar descriptions of the 
Mysteries themselves ; a description the more important, because it immet- 
diately refers to the ceremonials in question : it wholly omits those curious 
formulas of the hierophant, which throw a strong li^t on the real nature of 
the Mysteries, though they cannot be easily accommodated to the hypor 
thesis advocated by the bishop. In short, the statement selects what might 
seem to favour the theory ; but passes by^ as if wholly' undeserving of no^ 
tice, the various matters to which I have just alluded* These shall all be 
adduced with merited prominence in the course of the present disquisition : 
and, as they give an aspect to the Mysteries totally different. from that ex- 
hibited by his lordship, I conceive that we have a fair right. to complain of 
the defectiveness of his statement ; I conceive that we ane warranted in 
asserting, that his decision rests only upon partial evidence, 

2. Since the Mysteries were the never-failing concomitant of idolatry in 
every part of the world, since we have reason to believe that the two 
alike originated with the apostates of Babel, and since (Bp. Warburton 
himself being judge) the former certainly treated of the, latter : it would 
seem almost a necessary conclusion, even upon principles of abstract rea- 
soning, that, of whatever nature the idolatry was, of the same nature also 
were the Mysteries. Now the idolatry, as we have seen, consbted of Heror 
worship, united with Sabianism and Materialism, and blended with certain 
philosophical speculations of a very extraordinary nature respecting an end- 
less succession of similar worlds and a transmigratory reappearance of all 
the actors jn each successive mundane system. Hence it is reasonable to 
infer, that the Mysteries must have related to these several matters : for 
the religious rites of the hero-gods must have been more or less allied to 
the mythological history of those gods and to the several particulars con* 
nected with it Such accordingly we shall find to have been the case, not 
in this country or in that country, but in every region where the Mysteries 
were established. 

The purport then of these ancient rites may be thus briefly stated, be- 
fore we enter more at large into the accounts which have come down to 
us. 



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112 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 

BOOK V. into the infernal regions ; and his rites assumed a funereal aspect^ untfl he 
was joyfully hailed as one restored from death to life, when he quitted his 
navicular coffin and when he returned from the shades below. Sometimes 
he was lost or became invisible^ but at length was found again ; and^ as he 
was inseparably united with his ship during the period of his* confinement^ 
the same language was equally applied to the ship-goddess : then it was 
the business of the aspirants to seek for him with mimic anxiety, nor to 
rest satisfied until his discovery was announced. Sometimes he was ex- 
posed to great danger, and underwent most appalling labours ; but, in due 
time) was happily liberated from his peril and his bondage: then the 
mystffi, after his calamities had been sufficiently bewailed, were exhorted to 
rejoice and be of good cheer because their god was saved. Sometimes he 
slept on the surface of the mighty deep, cradled either in the mystic egg or 
on the navicular leaf or on the folds of the great sea-serpent ; and, at the 
commencement of a new World, awoke from hb slumber : then all was 
confusion and disorder, while he slept ; all was joy and harmony, when 
he roused himself. 

The whole of Uiis curious set of particulars was singularly blended with 
the former set. As the mariners of the Ark literally emerged from a com- 
fortless and gloomy confinement into the very precincts of the garden oif 
^ Paradise : so, in the Mysteries, the erratic state of the darkling aspirant 
during the first part of his initiation, while groping in search of lost puri^ 
and happiness, was made to correspond with the sepulchral inclosure of the 
Noetic family within the Ship ; and his sudden entrance into all the splen- 
dor of the Eiysian fields or the islands of the blessed was similarly com- 
mingled with the entrance of the patriarch and his household into the once 
happy region of the Paradisiacal Ararat. 

Nor did the fantastic parallel end here. Since the initiating hierophant 
solemnly declared the mystic unity of the hero-god, in whose honour the 
Orgies were celebrated, however repeatedly he might manifest himself 
under difiercnt forms ; since that single hero-god, who is described as in- 
variably appearing at the commencement of every new World, is certainly 
an imaginary character produced by the union of Adam and Noah ; and 
since the great mother was the Eftrth or larger World, no less than the Ark 



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114 TBS ORIGIN OF PAGAN IVOLATJtYl 

BOOK v» gods did and iufiered, the iaitiated were said to do and su0br ISks^^ 
Hence we may deduce those wiU iancies both of the simple M6tem|)sycbosi0p 
by which the same human soul wab thought to tenant ^ariws swtreaajwei 
human bodies; and of the more complex MetamorphfctransfnigHrtiQQ^. by; 
which the same human sotl was thought to pass succe9siyely throagh thiqr 
bodies of various animals. 

But this was not all : as the worship of the hciro^gods was lar^yblendeds 
wiUi asbtmomical speculations, audits Ab Moon from its occasionally Jia^ 
vicular forai!i was employed to represent the .Ship of the deluge^ a notioof 
prevailed, that the gireat father was bom ag^in, not only out of the. ark o^ 
€ofBn within wliich he had been inclosed^ but likewise; iMt of the ^ M/c^oni;. 
whence the ark itself was often made in the shape of a lunette or crescent^ 
The same idea was transferred to the initiated^ . who studiously copied iik 
their own persons the whole fabol6us history of thdr deity. Every^epoptes^ 
was said to be a child of the Moon : and a singular fnncy prevatled> that! 
all human souls, previous to their occupying bodi^ upon earth, had expe* 
rienced a strange kind of sidereal Metempsychosis,' tod had been bom 
from eertain doors or gates in the Sun and Moon ; yet this very Mooh>^ 
from which they are thus produced, is described as floatbg like an idaiid 
on the surface of the infernal lake or river.. . - ) ,; ^ i . . 

It b obvious, that all these various particulars could n6tbe treated of itf tl^ 
Mysteries without entering very deeply into certain recioadite pbysk)logici^ 
speculations : and accordingly we are told^ that such was actually the cuse; 
tiiey taught the nature of thii^s, na less Khan the natura of the gods.^ Tbfit 
philosophy however, which they inculcated, wa$, iapjpaefli^ly ,€cppe<;te4( 
with the established theology, or ratbei* formed aA essftntial part of it* 
This physiology constituted a most prominent featore of antcient Paga^imi^ 
and indeed was the very bas» upon which the whole airy febric wac^ 
erected. Now we find but one description of natural philosophy generally 
prevalent among the Gentiles ; a philosophy^ not resting on the solid foun-^ 
dation of experiment, but altogether visionary and speculative and dogma*- 
tical : and this philosophy is radically and inseparably connected with the 
itheology taught in the Mysteries. Hence we may rest assured, that it waa 
the identical physiology of which, the Mysteries treated . , 



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Moox V. tbeir pertt in the one^ aisled 9Smh similar p^rta if» Uie otber;: tiiat tUn oew 
World was destined Bffm to ginfe' pkte^ to fidi exactly correapooding jiufiK 
cesser, as itself bad arisen out of the fregmeotB of MexM^y oorraspendtag 
predecessor: that tins alternation of destmctioa and ffpraduetigti WMi 
eternal, both TetroaptictiTely. and pnMpecthreiy : itMttitO d«a(roy WM^^^Wb- 
seqqaitly, nothing move tbin tx> create tmder a ntew iorm ; Q&d that ji^atfTt 
or the mnddy watery Cbaos, waB the or%jb of all things. 

This was the philosophy, that i¥a3 iocukated in the Mysteei^ : and^ 
agreeably to such speculations, the aUegorical death and aepulteire and Mr 
vival of the great fidther, i/vbo qh ^material system was hermapfaroditi^ 
caUy identified with the whole Univerae^ ahadiowed oat tiie deatmction aal 
reproduction of die World, no less than^lbe death of Adam and his tramii* 
migratory resorrection in the peiaon of Noah, or the entrance of the latinr 
patriarch into the ship and his aubsequent birth &om its gloomy aeptilchcai 
womb. The Mysteries, in short, trealtedithroughont ^of a grand and totd 
fegeneratipn ; a regeneration; wiiieh ;alifcet respected the whole Worlds tha 
giieat demiurgic parent, and every indii^idiial part or member of the Wcnid* 
Hence the golden figure of a seTpeftit, £rom the faculty which tiirnt aoioaal 
possesses of shedding its skin and oomiqg forth in renovated youtb,^ mm 
placed m the bosom, of tiie initiated^ aa^ a! token liiatAhey hid mpeHepead 
the regaieration of ;dieMyBteriesij and idence, ^m the ewrliest a^, tbe 
male and female principles of fetaadity^ whtdi were theng^ Ito r^prodiioe 
the mundane system as often aa it W|aa destroyed, were deemed saoml 
symbols of the great father and the great mother; wAf as snoh» were wr 
variably introduced into the Otgiea. 

Bp. Warburton doesindted contend, that tbeMysteoieajntere origitH^ 
pure and innocent, and that the abominaiions.of the pbaltic worship wei^e 
subsequently and only partialbf ingrafted upon them : aod he is dispoaed 
to give in an eminent degree the palm of wncUty to the rites of Isis, while 
those of Venus or Astart^mr Qercetaor Mylitta wore 0»>3sly and shaiae* 
fiiliy corrupted \ I fear hawewiv that his ionUup'a anxiety to exhibit 

' Div. Leg. book H sect. 4^. Br. Hales adopts Bp. Warburton'3 opinion. See Chrond; 
«oLiiLp.4e». ^^ 



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1 1 8 TlffE 6RIOIN <ir PAGAN iDOLATttlT* 

'^tToK V. born two successive Worldsj and with Meru every imitative hi^place o^ 
pyramidal pagoda, is viewed as a mysterious symbol of tbe grand object 
of Brahmenical veneration : and to tbb day the primeval obscene worship 
of Babylonia, Palestine, Egypt, and the whde western world, is reii^ousl;^ 
kept up within the precincts of the temple of Jagan*Nath. Here, as of 
old, lust sits enthroned hard by hate : and the power, theA alike presides 
over destruction and regeneration, that at once (aar the Orphic poet speaks) 
consumes and reproduces all things, is still propitiated with human blood 
in reference to the former attribute and with obscenity in allusion to the 
latter*. 

These are unpleasing subjects to touch upon, yet are they not without 
Hlieir use. They shew us, how low man may degrade himself when left to 
follow his own imaginations : and they teach us how to be thankful to the 
atl-pure Author of good, for having called us Grentiles from the dark celU 
of lasciviousness and the blood-stained altars of a murderous superstition 
into the li^t and life of the glorious gospel of his Son. 

IV. Ancient authors unanimously represent a certain isacred ark, as 
T)eing of prime importance in the due celebration of the Mysteries. Nu- 
merous instances of this have been selected by Dr. Spencer, witli a view 
of establishing his own peculiar hypothesis. I shall avail myself of them, 
adding at the same time others, which have not been, and m hich in some 
cases could not have been, noticed by that learned writer. 

I. Apuleius mentions the ark of Isis ; and describes it as containing the 
secret symbols, which were used in the Mysteries : he also exhibits Psychfe, 

' AfiiaL Bjta. vol iiL p. 132—136. vd. viiL p. 273, S74w Moor*0 Hind. Pantfa. p. SST, 
' 593, 389> 399. Asiat. Res. voL i. p. 24^9, 250, 254. ¥ol. iv. p. 4<2a. Buchanan's Chris* 
%\m Research, p. 133« 138, 139, 145, 146. It is well remarked by Dr. Buchanan, in 
answer to those who would persuade us that the btroduction of Christianity into Hindos- 
tan IS needless on account of the high moral purity of its inhabitants, that vile indeed must 
^ the tendency of a reli^on, under die sanction of which the indecent symbols, to which 
I have had occasion to allude, are shamelessly exposed to the unrestrained gaze of the 
youth of both sexes, while the officiating priestesses are a band of consecrated prostitutes. 
As this religion is substantially the same as ancient Paganism wherever adopted, we may 
view its obvious moral tendency in the rites of the Babylonian Mylitta, the Armeniaift 
Anals, the Cyprian Venus, the Fhenician Astart^ and the £gypdan Isi& 



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120 .THE onmiir or vaoan iDOLAmn 

«^<><» V. waa pideed in tiie ma^piificeot tanple of Jtmo at Elii, aoU wMiln whidi 
Cypseltis is iBaid to have been inclosed by his mother whoi the Baccbite 
nought his Ufe% Every writer, who treats of ladiaD mythotpjgyyBotiee* 
the Arglui or sacred ark of the god Siva or Isa\ Talieiin tamdon the 
ark of the British god Uu or Aeddon : €UEid the wboie tdnor df the Draid^ 
ica) superstition deotionstrates, that it was of no less importance in tht 
Cekic Mysteries than in those of Greece^ £gyp^ I^y^ Pbeniciay Baby**' 
lonia^ and Hindostan ^ The Spaniah authors, who discuss the early his* 
tory and mythology of the Mexicans, teach as^ that th^r great god MexitB 
or Vitdiputzli was carried ]D.a.8ac]:«ed ark on die shoulders of his priests 
during their progress in quest of a settlenaent; aad that afterwards^ wtien 
they finally established theosselves, the same ark containing the mage of 
the deity was solemnly placed in his templet Adair affirms^ as an eye^ 
witness, that a precisely similar ark was venerated by the North-Americaik 
savages of the back-settlements, that it was used as.the vehide of certain 
holy vessds, and that it was borne from place to place by ministers afH 
pointed for that special purpose K Tacitus meatieiis^ thi^t the Germanici 
or Gothic Suevi employed in their religious worship an ark or ship, wfaicb 
be identifies witii the ship of the Egyptian Isi^^ And'Cooki while pro-* 
secuting his discoveries in the great Pacific ocean, observed with some sur-^ 
prize, that the natives both of Huaheine and of Otaheite highly revts^enced 
a consecrated ark, which was [H'ovided with two poles like those of a sedih^ 
chair for the purpose of being carried about, and which was considered afif 
the house of their national divinity ^ 

Thus it appears, that, in the due celebration of their kindred Mysteries, 
a certain holy ark has been equally used by the Greeks^ the Italians, the 
Celts, the Goths, the Phenicians, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Hin- 
doos, the Mexicans^ tte northern Americans, and the islanders of the Pa«* 

' Pans. 1 Eliac. p. 919, S20. 
* Asiat. lies, vol vi. p. 523. vol. nl p; 1S4, 1S6, 132. ▼ol. viii. p» 2741 Moor's HinA. 
Panth. p. 68, SSB, 9S7, 385, 388, 390, 39f . 

» Davies's MythoL p. 118, 554f. ^ Purcft. P0g, book viif. c. 10. p. 790. c 11. p. 79& 
^ Adair's Hist, of Amer. Ind. ^ Tacit, de mor. Germ, c. 9. 

' Cook's first Toyage b« i c 20. third roysgt b. iii. e. 2. 



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1£2 THE ORIOIir OF FAOAir JlKMLATltT* 

jooK V. bath \ The same double mode of expression was adopted ltt;ewise by 
the Celtic Britons. They considered the ark of Aeddon aa bis temple, or 
sanctuary, or restmg^place : yet this very sanctuary they were accuatomed 
to style his Bedd; which word, like tiie Coptic Bwtf denotes a grwe or 
Cqffhi *. Similar phraseology may be detected like^rtse in the ancient Cbal- 
daic or Babylonic or Hebrew language : whence we vMy re$t assured^ tbat 
it equally prevailed in d)e dialect used by the PheniciaQs and tbeCanaanr 
ites. The very same word is used in Holy Scripture to desigpate the arfc 
of the covenant and the soros or coffin wkfain wbich the dead body of Jor 
seph was deposited '. This word is Aron or Artm: and it baa boen car^ 
ried <into the west by those cdonists, who migrated originaJly from the 
region of Babylonia. Thus Boiotus or Butua, who is the same as the ori- 
ental Buddha and whose history is inseparably united with that of Tl^a 
or the city of the Ark, is teigned to have been the offspring of the Qoemr 
god and the nymph Am^ or Areo^ : and thus the grave or arkitesaoctuarf 
of the Celtic Hu or Tydain is said to be in tiie border of: the mount of 
Aren\ The nymph Arn^ was the same HiythQk)giml peiBonagie a$ th( 
nymph Theba : and the mount of Aren is evidently the mount of the /ark 
or sacred coffin of Tydain. 

3. This singular uniformity of expression can sourcely be attributed (^ 
mere accident : so tiiat, even if we had nothing further to adduce, we should 
be naturally 4ed to believe, that the ark (rf* the Mysteries was, for soiqe 
reason or another, viewed in the double Ug)^t of a boat vA a coffitk But 
the purposes, to which that ark was applied, leave us no room to doubt 
that such phraseology was studkmsiy adopted : for we find, that it was 
actually considered as being at once the coffin and the ship of the ptin- 
cipal hero-gods ; though it is more generally and more expressly desoribed 
as being the former. ,, 

(1.) In the Egyptian Mysteries of Isb and Osiris, the image of a dead 

* Moor's Hind. Ftolh. p. 556. Asigt. Res. vd. iu. p. 21 L 
^ Daviet'8 MydioL p. 1 18, 1 IS, 369, S9S, 193, 194. 
' Exod. XXV. la et alibi. Gen. 1. 26. 

4 Diod. BibU lib. ir. p. 269. Eustath. in Dion. Perieg. ver. 486* Dsvieg's MythoL 
p. 193, 194. 



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124 THE ORIGIN OP PAOAK IBOLATET. 

BOOK V. hence Theophilus describes the loss and rekiventioD of Ostrii^ at being 
annually celebrated by those who had been initiated '• Hence also. Athe^ 
nagoras and Julius Firmicus ridicule the absurdity of the Egyptians, who 
first bewail the death and burial of Osiris, and then, exulting at his 8up«* 
posed revival, offer sacrifices to him as to a god * : and hence a Latin poet^ 
cited by Lactantius, speaks of the dead Osiris^ as being shut up in a wooden 
coffin, and idly venerated by the Egyptian populace'. This remarbtbte 
ceremony is well declared by Fimucus to be the sum and substance of the 
Isiac Mysteries \ Yet it was occasionally varied: and Hwus t;he son of 
Isis, instead of Osiris her husband, was described as tiie person lost and 
sought for and found again. This also is said by Lactantius to be the snbf 
stance of the sacred rites celebrated in honour q£ ImK The two assert' 
tions are only apparently at variance: for Osiris add Horos. were reaUy 
the same divinity, viewed as bearing the two different relations of consort 
and son to the great mother. Accordingly, eadi is said to haye undergrae 
- the same calamities, and each is represented as having been slain and i^ 
stored to life again. In short, all -those ancient writers, who have tnsaMA 
on the subject, positively declare, that the Or^pes of Isis were oi a, fpnere^ 
nature, that they exhibited the principal hero-god as dead and shut ap ki 
the sacred ark or coffin, and that they aiEterwards represented him as <iuitr 
ting the ark and as experiencing a wonderful reisurrection from Hadei. 

But we are not left to consider the mysterious ark of Isis^ as being soktjf 
the coffin of the deceased god: this ark was sometimes called th^Mpif 
IsiSf just as the ark of Juno was called the ship of Juno; and correspond* 
ent with its name was the use, to which it is said to have been origiiMdly 
applied. Would we understand what was fiiUy meant^ by the indosure 
of the dead Oaris within his coffin; we must obviously attend to the my- 
thologie history of the transaoion, which the Mysteries professed sceni- 
cally to commemorate. Now the transaction was this. Osiris was attue|£e4 
and murdered by Typhon, whom the Egyptian priests declared to bo 

■ Theoph. ad Autol. lib. i* p. 343. 

* Athen. Legal, c xiL JuL IRrm. de error, prof. rel. p. 4, 5. 
^ Lactant. Instit* Mb. t c. 21. p. 1 18> ^ Firm.de error, prof. reL p. 4; 

* Lactant. Inst Ub. i. c. 21. p. 117* 



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126 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAV IDOLATaT. 

i^ook r. person, which were celebrated on the lake of ButD, were also odetanated 
on another small lake at Sais. The testimony of Herodotas resptatiQg the 
purport of them is remarkably expUek^ and ther^ore well desenret our 
attention. He tells us> that at Sab they shewed the tomb^ aod cdebrated 
the commemorative fonareal Orgies, of one, whose name he deemed it no* 
lawful to mentioo. The place demoted to tiieir celebratkin was a circiilar 
lake, about the size of that in DelM named Ttmimdoii On the sur£u8 
of this pod they sceaioaUy exhibited the su&rings of the person, whom 
the historian would not venture to specify : and these, iie adds, wete the 
rites, which the ^yptians called Aeir nocturmi 3fy9teTm\ The decla- 
ration of Herodotus perfectly corresponds with what we are ttld by Db- 
dorus and Jambltchus : the former saya, that the Mysteries related to the 
cdamities which the gods experienced from Typfaon ; the latter inliaiatea, 
that they treated of the bursting asunder of the li^iven^ tte displayii^ of 
the secr^s of Isis, the shewing of the ineffable wonders of the greafe ai^, 
the resting of the ship Baris at the conclusion of ks voyage, «h1 tiie Kat- 
tering to Typhon the limbs of Osiris \ Such infonaation can scarcely be 
misunderstood. The ship Baris or Argo or Theba was tiae shq^ of Osiris : 
but th^ ship of Osiris was that floating ark or navicular eoffin, withia whiefa 
his dead body was inclosed Iry^ I^phon. It wsa also ifae sUp of Charon 
or of Oi^ris viewed as the ferryman of Hades t $xiA It is dearly the same, 
both as the ship of the infernal Buddha, and $s the ark or Argha e€ the 
Indian Siva. Now the Argha is the ship> in whidi Siva iMied oar the sur^ 
&ce of the deluge : and the Infernal Buddha is that Mena*Si^avrata, who 
was preserved in an ark at the time of the flood, and who was dience con* 
stttuted ^e god of obsequies. Hence it is dear, that the Mysteries de» 
scribed the voyage of Noah ; that the sacred ark was the Ship of* the de- 
luge; and that, as the great fethef died Out of one Worid and was bom 
again into another, that ark was considered likewise as his coffin. 

The very same complicated idea was attached to the ark of the Myste- 
ries in every other part of the Egyptian ritual. Thus the dead body of 

> Herod. Hist lib. ii. c. 170, 171. 

* Diod. B9td. lOu i« p. S7« Jamb^de mystted^vi^ei SI# 



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128 TH£ OftlOIN OF PAGAN IBdLATBT. 

BOOK ▼• only on the sea-coast or on the banks of a sacred river, but likewise on the 
summit of Lebanon or the mountain of the Moon'. Tlie reason was, be- 
cause here his ark or Baris or floating Moon was fiEtbled to have rested^ 
as the Ark of Noah first came to land on the primeval lunar mountain of 
Ararat 

(S.) Of a similar nature were the Mysteries celebrated ia honour of 
Attis and Cybel^. The goddess was supposed first to bewail the death of 
her lover, and afterwards to rejoice on account of his restoration to life \ 
Her alternate lamentation and triumph were imitated by her votaries: and, 
as the whole was a scenical exhibition of the sufferings of Attis, his imag^ 
like that of Osiris, was placed, when the mournful part of the Orgies com- 
menced, in a boat or ark or coffin formed by the excavation of a pine^tree^ 
What we are to understand by this indosure may readily be collected from 
the parallel Mysteries of Egypt: but we may gather, even from the l^ead 
of Attis himself, that the hollow tree was designed to representit ship nb 
less than a coffin ; he was thought at one period of his lifetoba/veperfoiined 
some remarkable voyage over the ocean ^. 

(4.) Clemens Alexandrinus rightly pronounces the mutHated Attis to.bi^ 
the same as Bacchus, while Bacchus himself is identified with Osiris h 
Hence again we shall find, that the sacred ark was an implement of high 
importance in the Dionysiaca, and that the god was alternaitely bewailed as 
one dead and rejoiced over as one restored to life*. 

That his ark was a ship, cannot be doubted: both because he is said to 
have been exposed in an ark at sea during his mythological infency, and 
because he was^ depicted sailing in a ship decked with vine-leaves and ivy 1 
Such being the case, and the god hhnself being no other than the Egyptian 
Osiris, we shall be prepared to observe the palpable identity of his Myste- 
ries and those of Isis. At Laphria in Achaia was shewn the aacieat ark^ 
which I have already mentioned as thought to have been conveyed thitlier 
by Eurypylus from Troy. It contained a statue of Bacchus-Esymnetes : 

■ Macroli. Saturn, lib. L c 21. » VaL Flacc. Argon, lib. viS. ver. 2Sa 

* JoL Firm, de error, prof. reL p. 50. ^ CatuIL EUg. Ix. ' Clem. CoborU p. 12. 

* JqL FinD. de error, prof. rel. p. 14>» 15. Arnob. adv. gent. lib. v. 

7 Pans. Acbaic« p. 4S6. Philostrat. Icon. lib. L c 19. Pftas.Laooa.p.20& 



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1 so JRtt O«I0i » Of TA9A^ BD<«^1»^ 

BOOS v« iDTeloped tbie Noetic family^ while cmfidtid wkhi& the wcfob of the Ark 
or floating coffin i allusively ^o/ if I uustake Dot» to the priioei^ darkr 
nsBs which invelpped ^e mundane Chaos i vkd the waQderipgs^of the.godr 
dess, like those of Cybel^i Venusy Isis, luid Latpna, in quest, either qf a 
son or a husband or a lover, refer to the erratic state of (he dilMviam Ship 
upon the sur£EU» of the waters ; for each of those 4iviaities» las we bi^vt 
already seen, was a personification of the ship Arghai Argpv Baps,: or 
Thefaa. 

Hence the sacred ark waa a necessary iratnonept in the due celebratioa 
of the Eteusinian Mysteries. It was borne in solemn procession on the 
back of an ass; because an ass was deemed a symbol ^f Typhon or the 
ooean, which sustamed upon its waters the Ark of the deluge ' : and its 
contents, according to Clemens Aleiandrinus, were certain conical pyra« 
mids, cakes formed so as to exhibit the semblance of navels, poniegr%» 
nates^.and the indecorous hier<^yphic of the female principle*. These 
Irene; all ^gnificant emblems, employed universally by^ the ancient ido^ 
laters. ' The.kst of them was a symbol of the Argba or great another; 
^ 98 tiEie first shadowed, out the mariner of the Argha or the great fiither : the 
cakes represented &e mysterious navel, of which sufficient has already been 
said in another place: and tbepomegrmates, burstiog with innumerable 
seeds, were used, both in the east and in; the west^ to designate Ceres 
or JuQO or Rimmon, that is to say, the all-productive hermaphroditio 
j^arent'* 

To the ark which contained these various embleois, the formula o[ the 
Eleusinian Mysteries, preserved by Clemens, evidently related : / hao£ 
fasted; Ihme drunk the medicated liqtMir ; I fufoe received from the ark ; 
what I reem>ed I have placed in the ba$k6t;from the basket I Jutoe 
returned it to the ark\ It is not very difficult to guess the import of &ach 
expressions. The symbol, taken out of the turk and afterwards restored to 
it, was either the image or the hieroglyphic of the great father : and the 
whole ceremonial respected hb mystic interment and resurrection. 

' Apul. Metam. lib. xL Flat de laid. p. $62. Epipb. udr. hser. Vb. iii. p. 1093. 
* Clenu Cohort, p. 14. ^ Faus. Corinth, p. 114* Sdd« de diis Syr. synt. ii c 10. 

* Clem. Cohort, p. 13. 



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152. THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOhAThX.; 

>poK ▼• rated as the Cabiri of Sainothrace, namely Bacchus and Ceres, and Proser^ 
pine, were equally venerated as the great divinities of Britain, Hence iC 
will follow, that, whatever were the Mysteries of the latter island, such, 
also were the Mysteries of the former. 

4. On the whole it is evident from this part of the subject, that, the 
Orgies related to the iiaaginary death and revival,, or loss and recovery^ oi 
some ancient personage ; that this personage was so lost and recovered, by 
entering into a floating ark which was deemed his coffin, and by afterwards 
quitting it; that this entrance into the ark was esteemed a descent into the 
infernal regions, and the liberation from it a return from Hades; and thUi 
as his death was bewailed with loud lamentaxions^ so his revival was an« 
nounced with the most violent expressions of joy. 

Several of these expressions or watch-words have been handed down tq 
us, and they' are precisely of such a nature as might have been anticipated^ 
Thus, at the dose of the Isiac Mysteries^ the initiated were taught to ex«. 
claim, fFe have found him; let us rejoice together^. Thus each epoptes^ 
omsidered as exhibiting in his oiyn person the varied fortunes of, the ark- 
god, was instructed to say, / hme escaped an eoU^ I have found a better 
lot \ And thus, as we learn from Julius Firmicus, when, m the nocturnal 
celebration of the Orgies, an image had been laid upon a couch as if dead; 
and had been bewailed with the bitterest lamentations ; lights, after a sufr 
ficient space of time had been consumed in all the mock solenmity of woe^ 
were introduced into the mystic cell, and the hierophant slowly chaunted i^ 
distich to the following purpose : Be of good cheer, ye mysttB, since our god 
has now been preserved; to us therefore shall be the safety fromwr 
labours '. 

y. It must not however be forgotten, that the gcesX father^ whose varied 
fortunes constituted the chief subject of the Mysteries, was Adam as well 
as Noah or rather Noah viewed as a reappearance of Adam; and that the 
sacred ark, in consequence of this supposed transmigration, represented not 
only the Ship of the deluge, . but likewise the Earth which was thought to 

' Athen. Legat. c. xuu p. 88. ^ Demos, de coron. § 79. p. 1S& 

s Jul. Firm, de eiror. pro£ rel. p. 4^. 



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134 THE ORIOra OP PAaAN XDOLATItr* 

iTooE v« have descended into the womb of the. great motber : Noi^ iiaviiig entered 
into the mterior o£ the Ark at the titne of his mystic inclosara within bin 
coffin/ was similarly said to have been received into. the womb of tine great 
parent. The universal fathisr however was thought to have didd in the per* 
son of Adam, the Menu of the antediluvian WorM; and to have tran^wr 
grdtorily revived in the person of Noab» tb6 Mfenu of the pbstdiluviw 
World* Hence, in the Mysteries, the idea of a literal .death was mingled 
with that of a figurative death ; the idea of a nativity from ^ Eartl^ with 
a nativity frobi the Ark ; and the idiea of a transmigratory revival: or i^egot 
neratibh, witli that of an allegorical revival or regeneration from the floats 
ing coffin. 

The notion was rendered yet more complex by the material character 
ascribed to the great fatherland great mother, or^ in one word, to the great 
hermaphroditic parent. According to this character, t^ androgynous dekf 
of the Gentiles, as we have already sedn, was the miivers^ frame of Na- 
ture, Matter operated tipoti by Nous; ^p M^u ca* M^ns or IntetUfctual 
Sph^it Now the' W<»id, $& we have also ^e^, Was thought to ke ^bject 
to certain great periodical changes^ jbdependent of those smaller mutations 
which it yearly and daily experiences. In the course of each diurnal revo- 
lution, it dies away into the gloom of night ; and revives, or is bom i^aiui 
into the light of day. In the course of each annual revolution^ it sinks into 
the dark inactivity of deathlike winter ; and is regenerated, or restored to 
lifi^ l^ the return of spring. In the course of every revolution of die 
seasons, tlie whole vegetable creation dies, is buried, and revives under a 
form different indeed yet still the same. In the course. of each revolutioa 
both of human and bestial life, a generation perishes from oS the face of 
the earth, and is replaced by another generation of similar living beings. 
Lastly, in the course of each grand mundane revolution ; for so the gentUe 
philosophers speculated from the single real circumstance of the ante^ 
diluvian World having been succeeded by the postdiluvian: in the course 
of each gi'and mundane revolution, all nature is resolved idto its primeval 
Chaos, and universal death is induced by a tremendous deluge ; but, ailer 
a certain period given to the sleep of destruction, every thiiig is restored to 
fresh life^ a new earth is born again from the shattered womb of its prede- 



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196 THE 0B.I6XN OP PAGAN IDOLATBT. 

BOOK V. have been either born or nursed in a sacred cave. And thus the Persiaii 
Mithras was declared by those, who were initiated into hb Mysteries, to 
have been born out of a rocky or stoney grotto '. 

All these different legends equally respected the birth of the great father 
from the ship Argo or Argha, which was the sacred ark of the Orgies, and 
which doubly shadowed out the Ship of the deluge and the Ship of the 
World. For, when Porphyry tells us that the sacred grotto represented 
the Universe ; since the ship, the egg, the cow, the lotos, the Moon, and 
the goddess, were all double symbols ; we may rest assured, that the grotto 
was likewise a double symbol, that it was employed to exhibit the Ark no 
less than the Earth : and accordingly we find, that the Mysteries indiffer« 
ently treated of the entrance into, and the egress from, an ark and a cavern; 
and that the same god was indifferently said to be born out df a grotto and 
out of a ship. 

The birth from the grotto was effected by the aspirant's passing through 
its rocky door : and sometimes the sacred caverns were furnished with two 
doors ; one for the ingress, and the other for die egress. This orifice was 
the mysterious portal, over which the god and goddess of the door, or the 
great father and the great mother viewed as Prothyr^us and Prothyr^ were 
thought to preside : and its double prototype was the door of the rock- 
hewn sepulchre, and the door in the side of the Ark. Hence, in the cele- 
bration of the Orgies, the entrance into such grottos, like the entrance of 
Osiris into the ark, was esteemed a descent into the infernal regions ; and 
the egress from them, through the stone portal, was accounted a bhth into 
a new life, or a resurrection from the dead. The door of the sacred cavern, 
was in effect the same as the door in the Moon ; from which every soul 
that inhabits this lower world was believed to be bom, after previously ex- 
periencing a wonderful sidereal transmigration. But the whole of that 
wild legend originated from the primeval combination of idolatry t^ith 
astronomy ; and, as the Moon, from the door of which souls were thought 
io be born, was a Moon that floated like a ship ou the surface of the in* 
fprnal lake ; the cavern, from the door of which souls were equally thought 

' Just Mart. Dial, cum Tryph^ p. 296. 



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138 THE ORiaiN OP FAOAN IDOJJkTJir* 

^^^^ ^* All these matters originated from the same source^ the mystic identity 
of the sacred ark and the sacred grotto : and on this account we not uq« 
frequently find the two associated together. Thus, not to repeat the in- 
stances which have already been adduced of the birth of the ark-god from a 
cave, Synesius tells us, that the Egyptian hierophants, when celebrating the 
Orgies, not only bore in solemn procession certain holy arks or small boats; 
but likewise descended into consecrated caverns, where the most recondite 
part of their worship was performed ' : and thus the soros or stone coffin of 
Osiris, which has so often been mistaken for the literal coffin of some really 
deceased king, may still be seen deposited in the central chamber or arti* 
ficial grotto of the great pyramid. 

The Mysteries however treated, no less of the destruction and renovation 
of the whole mundane system, than of the allegorical death and revival of 
the chief hero-god. We learn firom Cicero, that the Orgies of Samothrace 
and Eleusb, when rigidJy understood, related more properly to the nature 
of things than to the nature of the deities ; or, in other words, that they 
taught a system of natural id;iiloaophy, riither than gave any satisfactory in- 
formation respecting the Godhead \ We are told by Cesar, that, while the 
Druids disputed largely concerning the strength axid power of the immortal 
gods, they likewise taught their pupils many tilings of the stars, of the mag* 
nitude of the Universe, and of the nature of things '. We gatiier from Cle- 
mens, that the priests of Egypt, the Chaldeans of Assyria, the Druids of 
Gaul, the Saman^ans of Bactria, the Magi of Persia, and the Gymnosophists 
of India, were all devoted to the study of a certain favourite philosophy ^ 
And we are assured by Jamblichus, that the Mysteries related, not only to 
the resting of the ship and the calamities of Osiris, but likewise to some 
great physical revolutions which affi^ted the whole frame of the Universe ^ 
Now we are also informed, that Pythagoras received his collective wisdom 
irom the various Orgies into which he had been initiated, and that the 

Nat. Hist. lib. xxix. c 1. Dion. Halic. in excerpt, a Vales. Ovid. Metam, lib, iii. ver. 6^9^^ 

700. Nonni Dionys. lib. xlrii. 

' Sjrnes. in Calvit. encom. * Cicer. de nat. deor. Ub. L c. 42. p. 117, 118« 

' Can. de belL Gall. lib. vi. c. 14. « Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. L p. S05. 

5 Jamb, de myst. sect. vi. c 51* 



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I4d ttt£ dttiour at fag ait iDauiTicr^ 

HOOK V. This att-{^odmtSve uid aainabsorptive tmitf )» tbe onity <iecltr«d hy ti0 
Orphic bieropham to tbe initiated Ijlustes^ a» the fundoiedtal secret tit 
the Mysteries* Bat such axr onit^ oaeaad mmny (as it wsBdeseiibed tii 
be)) wa^ ecluaily tbe basis^ of that natural pfaih)6ophy, trhich wastirnqriirf 
rably bleaded wit|> ancieftt mythology, and which therefore the Mysteriea 
seduloQsly inculcated Hence, as it has been most justly remarked,: eimy 
pagan cosmogony was ISsewise a theogony : aad heiiee, as tiie Ovgiea treateai 
of the death and regeneration of the hero-gods, they of course also treated 
dfthe destruction and reproduction of 1^ World ; fer tlMese two Htm were, 
in tbe miadd of ^ gentile philosopher^ indivisibly associated mitk each 
olber. Hence moreover, as the hierophant was esteemed the special re^ 
presentative and deputy of tbe demiurgic great father' wfao was said to be 
the prifdeval Druid or Brahmen or Mi^us^ the learned poet Virgil plaeei 
in the moudi of Silenus, who was the same aa Bacchus oi Oskris, just such 
a cosmogonical song as was chaunted in tbe Mysteries to the initiated : 
and hence the ancient Babylonians described the piscine Oannes, who waa 
tJieir origmal archimage, as emerging from the waters of the Erythrian sea^ 
and as deKrering in the capacity of an Itieropbant the history of a grand 
eosmogomcal revohitioa '• 

This philosophy expressly taught the doctrme of the MetenipsycfaMis ; 
for it maintained, both that the great father with his three sons, and that 
erery individual human being who was descended from bitti^ reappeared 
with new bodies in each renovated World, wfid acted over again tbe same 
parts which they had already sustained during the existence of a former 
system. Now the tnmsmigration of tbe soul was equally inculcated in 
the Mysteries, and along with it the Metamorj^bosis or transformation of 
the body: for such was the nature of pagan physics, that the two dogmas 
were inseparably united, so that they stood or fell together. They differ 
in iact only in respect to the particular shape of the body, into wt»ch the 
flitting soul was believed to enter : for the term Metempsychosis is used to 
describe tbe passage of the soul from one human body into another; while 
the term Metamorphosis is employed to describe the similar passage of tbe 

' Vicg. Edog. n, ^nveell. Cfaronog. p. 29. 



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142 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATKT; . 

BOOK ▼• or form of the two great parents. From this source originated the Egyp« 
tian fiible, which was borrowed by the Greeks wd which made a conspi* 
cuous figure iii the Mysteries', respecting the various bestial shapes, which 
were taken by the hero-gods during the persecution which tiiey experienced 
from Typhon : and from the same source may be deduced the prevailing 
idea, which so pervades the entire mythological poem of Ovid as to confer 
upon it the appropriate name of the Metamorphoses. But, whatever the 
hero-gods did and suffered as exhibited in the Mysteries^ that the imitative 
epopts afiected to do and suffer likewise : for the whole process of their 
initiation was a studied transcript of the varied fortunes of the great father. 
Accordingly, as the souls of the gods passed from body to body, whether 
human or bestial, until they had accomplbhed the grand circle of the crea- 
tion; so each aspirant was diligently instructed in the abstruse doctrines of 
the Metempsychosis and the Metamorphosis. 

Nor did the matter stop here : the same philosophy, which blended 
physics with idolatry, did not overlook that important branch of physics^ 
astronomy ; but still, true to its purpose, it no less minted astronomy with 
hero-worship. Such being the case, the souls of the demon-gods were 
Jabled to migrate into those heavenly bodies, whether the Sun or the Moon 
or a Star or a Constellation, which were made to represent them upon the 
sphere*: and, analogously to this Sabian Metempsychosb, the souk of the 
initiated 'were feigned to pass through all the elements of nature and to 
experience a wonderful sidereal or planetary or solar or lunar transkni- 
gration '. 

VI. The supposed Metempsychosis of the great father and the hero-gods 
took place during the intermediate period of the deluge ; for they were 
thought to be bom out of one World into another, and each world was 
separated from its successor by an universal flood or chaotic dissolution. 
But there was a very generally prevailing notion, that the waters, which 
swept away the antediluvians, cleansed the earth from the impurities which 
it had contracted ; and thus,, by restoring it in some measure to the Para- 

« Died. BiW. lib. i. p. 87. * Vide supra book i. c i. J II. book iv. c 1 • ^ I. 

J Cudworth's Intell. Syst. p. 788— 791. Porph. de ant nymph, p. 263—268. Aput 
lfeUm.lib.xL 



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•OOK V. 



344 ABZ oKioiN or ^aoan iiunjin». 

1. Notions, Mcordingly, (3( ihu^deumplimmBaf^ 
in theaoGibiit Mysterin; rfmd, agremUyto Ihe tpocolatioBS reipectiiig^tfae 
Metempsycbosift of the hcpo-gods^ me ^find wcfa notions aloKNit hiviunably 
associated with the kindred doctnoesof the Metempsydioas aqd theMeta* 
morphosi^ 

Plato asfturains, that tfae^esign of initiation into the Oi|^ was^to m* 
store the soul, as at first, to that state of pMfeetkn, ifirom wldeh it hoA 
deflected ' : and, in strictfaecordanee with Hxh alleged end, the hierophant 
taught, that, while the souls of the profane, at their leaving the body, sttsck 
fiist in niiry iiMi and venmined ^ut up in impenetrable darkness, the souls 
of die initiated winged their fligliA directly to the happy islancb or the Pa- 
radisiacal habitations of: tibe hero*gods \ These ideas pervade the <whole of 
the Platonic phUoK^y, which is essentially tiie same as the old Orphic 
and Pythagorean: said we peffietoally imd in it allusions to what b called 
the deplumation of the eoul, its^fall from some prior etate Of blissful into- 
grity,)its incarceration withinftfae hody, and its fiiml vestoration after per>^ 
fiinrmingiMimberlBSs tmnsmignttory circuks to the holiness .winch it iied 
forfeited. iSuch nrestoration was 'fondly thou^t to be aecompUMied by 
initiation, into te Mysteries; when, after the pattern of the faero^gods, the. 
aspiraat descended into 'Hades, and tlienoeltransm^rated or was bom i^ain 
from the womb of the ^eat mo^er into a mimic Paradise. 

Hente, in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius which t^liolly treikt of the 
ancient Orgies, we are presented with the curious nfiytiios or allegorical 
tale of Cupid and'Psydi^or Love and^the SouL Prom it we learn all the 
benefits which were believed to result from ihitiatioa, and all the evils which 
tlie soul experienced >in consequence of its lapse from pristine integrity. 
But, as we learn tlieseparttcnlars in immediate oonnection with theMy^o- 
ries which equally taught them ; so we learn them likewise iu immediate 
conoectioo with the character of the great transmigrating father himself. 
Cupid, who is rightly described as the olde«t of the deities, who first ap^ 
pears when tiie renovated World springs out df the watery Chaos, and who 

' Flat. Phfled. apud Warburton. 
* Pl^t. Ph»d. f>. 69, SI. ArlsticL Bleus. p. 454>. 6t apud Stob. serai. 119. ScfaoL in 
San. Anstoph. Diog. Laert. in vit. Diog. Cyn. apud Waiburton. 



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146 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY 

BOOK V. being accomplished with due fortitude^ they suddenly emerged from the 
horrors of the artificial Hades, and were admitted as regenerate souls into 
the overpoweringsplendor of the sacred isles of Elysium. 

To such a process Virgil alludes in the sixth book of the Eneid. As 
all the initiated, whether Hercules or Theseus or Orpheus or Bacchus or 
Ulysses, are invariably said to have descended into hell; so the po^ con- 
ducts his hero into the realms below, commencing his narrative with the 
identical formula which the hierophant was wont to use while the doors 
were closing upon the profane *. After safely passing through much oppo- 
sition and through many appalling spectacles, £n^ at length arrives in 
the Paradisiacal fields of Elysium. Here Anchises, perscMiating the hiero- 
/ phant, sets forth in a solemn oration the sum and substance of the mystical 
philosophy : and, in the course of it, fails not io describe those purgatorial 
trials, through which the aspirants were required to win their way, ere they 
could transmigrate or be born again into the Paradisiacal islands of the 
blessed \ 

Now these were the precise triab undergone by such as were initiated 
into the Mysteries of Mithras. They are the same also as those, to which 
the devotees among the Hindoos still fanatically submit. In each case 
moreover the end was still the same. Such austerities were invariably 
practised with a view to obtain that purification of soul, or rather that 
enthusiastic abstraction from every worldly object and that union of mind 
with the great father, which was believed to constitute the spiritual part 
of the regeneration of the Mysteries. Hence, among the Hindoos, no less^ 
than among the Persians, the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the Celts, those, 
who have submitted to such frantic austerities, are dignified with the appel*. 
lation of the twice-born '. 

2. As the purifying transmigration took place during the passage of the 

* Schol. in Apoll. Argon. lib. i. ver. 916. Schol. in Equit. Arist. ver. 782. SchoL in 
Arist. Ran. yer. S57« apud Warburton. Albric. de deor. imag. c xxii. p. S24«. Tzetz. in 
I^ycoph. ver. 1328, 51. Apollod. Bibl. lib. ii. c. 5. § 12. Virg. ^neid. lib. vL ver. 
119—124, 258. 

• Virg. ^neid. lib. vi. ver. 723 — 755. 

J Maur. Ind. Ant. vol. v. p. 954. Instil, of Menu. chap. ii. § 79, 108, 146—150. 



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148 THB OBtOIir 0^ VAQAS IX>OLAT&T« 

BOOK T. or vizors the aspirants were actually made to exhibit the several forms of 
tike animals, into which they were said to be metamorphosed. This opi* 
nion I have ahready had occasion to express^ when discussing the fabled 
birds of Memnon \* and it receives additional strength from a curious pas- 
sage of Porphyry, which seems at once to shew^ how distinguished a part 
of the Mysteries the Metamorphosis was considered, and likewise how io 
the celebraiion of them that Metamorphosis was actually e^hited* 
After stating that the Metempsychosb was an universal doctrine of the 
Persian Magi ; he remarks, with no less ingenuity than truth, that that 
tenet was apparently set forth in the Mysteries of Mithras. For the Magi| 
wishing obscurely to declare the common relationship of men and animals, 
were wont to distmguish the former by the several names of the latter. 
Hence the men, who were initiated into the Orgies, they denominated 
lions; the women, lionesses j and the ministering priests, ravens. Some^ 
times also they styled them eagles and hawks: and, whosoever was initiated 
into these leontic Mysteries, that person was constancy made to assume 
the forms of all sorts of animals^ He adds, that Pallas^ in hb treatise on 
the rites of Mithras, says, that this Metamorphosb was usually thought to 
relate to the different animals of the zodiac : but he intimates, that its true 
origin was to be ascribed to the doctrine of the soul's transmigratory revo** 
lutbn through the bodies of every kind of bird and beast and reptile. He 
then, after instancing the common practice among the Latins of applying 
to men the names of animals, intimates, that the hieropbants were equally 
accustomed to designate the demiurgic hero-gods themselves by parallel 
appellations. Thus they called Diana a she-wolf; the Sun^ a bull or a 
lion or a dragon or a hawk; and Hecat^, a mare or a cow or a Ikmess or 
a bitch. In a similar manner, they denominated Proserpine Pherephatta, 
because the phatta or wild dove was sacred to her : and, as the priests and 
priestesses, of the heathen gods ordinarily assumed the names and attri-* 
butes of the deities whom they venerated, and as Maia or the great nursing 
mother was the same as Proserpine; they thence, as we learn from Hero- 
dotus, styled the oracular priestesses of the ship-goddess pigeons. For the 

> Vide supra book W.cS.§ XXIX. 3. (6.) 



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THE ORIGIN Oy ^AGAfiT iDOLAT&r* Up 



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150 THE OEIGIN OF FAGAN IDOLATRTi 

BDo» V. His phraseology is remarkable': and it seems very dearly to allude to tbe 
particolar 'mode, in which such metamorphoses were accomplishedi By 
. means of bestial vizors and garments aptly made out of proper skins, the 
aspirants successively appeared in the characters of whatever animab they 
were appointed to personate: and this was denominated iheir trMsmigm^ 
tory Met(morphods\ Accordingly, as I have elsewhere observed, the 
Bembine table exhibits various human figures with the heads of birds off 
of beasts : and, because the priests of Anubis disguised themselves with 
canine masks, the Greeks, who dearly loved the marvellous, invented the 
tale of there being in the upper Egypt a whole tribe of men who had heada 
like that of a dog^ 

VII. The ancient Mysteries then described the death and regeneratioa 
of the transmigrating great father, and with it set forth the received phy- 
sical system of an endless succession of similar worlds. The first part of 
them was of a doleful and terrific nature : and this shadowed out the death, 
or descent into hell, or entrance into the lunar ship, or painful purificatory 
passage of the chief hero-god ; together with the miiversal dissolution of 
the mundane frame, and the reduction of the World to its primeval chaotic 
state. The second part of them was of a joyous and lively nature : and 
this exhibited the revivjfl, or return from hell, or egress from the lunar ship^ 
or accomplishment of the purificatory passage feom World to World, op 
figurative regeneration, of the same hero-god j together*with hb recovery 
of Paradise when on the summit; of Ararat he quitted the womb of the now 
stationary Baris, and the production of a new World out of ihe all-per- 
vading waters which had inundated and destroyed the oW World. Such, 
with ^e addition of the dependent doctrines of the Metempsychosis and 
the Metamorphosis, and with the declaration that at each great mundane 
catastrophe the univei-sal hermaphroditic parent was left in the solitary 

* Hence originated the notion, that the Hyperborean or Celtic Druids eould dumge 
themselves into birds. Ovid. Metam. lib. xv. ver. 356. 

• In all that Bp. Warburton says respecting the Metempsychosis and the Metamor^ 
phosis, lie appeiM to me lo be as much mistaken as he is in his gentod idea of the 
Mysteries. 



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tHB OftlOIK OF PAdAK IDOLATRY. 151 



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I5S THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IDOLATRY. 

BOOK T* h H^e it may be premised, that the ordinary titles by which inidatioa 
itself was distinguish^, was that of a descent into hell: for, as the great 
father was thought to have gone down into Hades when he entered into hif 
floating coffin, so every aspirant ivas made to uiMlergo a sio^sn: imitative 
descent Hence some of the pretended Orphic hymn^, that were chaujijited 
at the celebration of the Mysteries, bore this identical title ; wlud^ was 
therefore equivalent to the sacred discourse of the epopt<B^: and hence 
Virgil, in describing the descent of Eu^s, uses the veiy formula by which 
the hierophadt excluded the profane, and expressly refers to the Orgies (^ 
the Eleusinian Ceres \ Hence also, in the f^rogs^ of Aristophanes, when 
Hercules tells Bacchus that the inhabitants of Elysium were the initiatedi 
Xanthius says, And I am the ass carrying Mysteries^ alluding to the cir- 
cumstance of the Typhonian ass being employed to carry the sacred ark 
with its contents; on which the scholiast justly observes, that the Hadei^ 
of the mystae was to be sought for in the Orgies of Eleusis': and hence, 
in Lucian's dialogue of the Tyrant^ when persons of every condition in life 
are represented as sailing together to the infernal world, Mycillus exclaims 
to the Cynic, You have been initiated into the Eletmnian Mysteries; does 
not our present darkling passage closely resemble that of the aspirants? 
To which his companion immediately replies, Most undoubtedly \ 

(1.) Agreeably to such intimations, those ancient writers, who describe 
an initiation, describe it as a descent into hell and as a final escape inta 
Elysium. 

Thus we find Apuleius saying of himself, / approached the confines of 
death ; and, hwoing crossed the threshold of Proserpine, I at length re- 
turned, borne along through all the elements. I beheld the Sun shining i^^ 
the dead of night with luminous splendor : I saw both the infernal and the 
celestial gods. I approached and adored them K Thus also Themistius 
represents an a&pirant, as first encountering much horror and uncertainty^ 
but afterwards as beii^ conducted by the hierophant into a place of tran- 
quil safety. Entering now into the mystic dome, he is filled with hqrror 

* Warburt. Div. Leg. b. ii. sect. 4v p. 102» * Virg. JEneid. lib, vi. ver. 25S» 

' Arist. Ran. ver. S57. Schcl. in loc. Bfnd Warburton. 

^ Luc. Catap. p, 645. apud Warburtoiw ^ Apul. Metam. lib* xi. apud Warburton. 



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THE OBIGIH OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 153 



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J54 THE OftlOIK or PAOAK IDOtATET. 

WOK V. gions, and initiation where thoseregi<»9twre8ce«icaUy exhibited; between 
also a restoration to Ufe or a resurrection from the grave, and the mystic 
emerging from Hades into the light and liberty of Elysium. The mnd, 
says he, m affected and agitated in death, just as it is in imtiatim tnto the 
Jand mysteries. And word answers to word, as weil as thing ta thing.' 

for TELEUT AN M TO DtE ; aud TELEISTHAI is TO BE ilf WIATED. ITtC 

first stage, or the mournful part of the Mysteries, is nothing but errors and 
uncertainties, laborious wanderings, a rude and fearful march through 
night and darkness. And nm, when the aspirants haoe armed on the 
verge of death and imtiation, everjf thing wears • dreadful aspect: tttsaU 
horror, trembling, sweating, and qfrightment. But, this scene once omr, 
or at the commencement of the joyful part of the Mysteries, a nuracukm 
and droine Ught displays itself, and shining plains andjhmerp tneadam open 
on aU hands before them. Here they are entertained with hynms and 
dances, with the sublime doctrines of sacred knowledge, and with reverend 
and holy tnsions. And, now become perfect andinitiated, they are free and 
no longer under restraints: but, crowned and triumphant, they walk up 
and dawn the regions of the blessed, cowoerse withpure and holy men, and 
celebrate the sacred mysteries, at pleasure*. ^ 

These two parts of the Mysteries, namely the first or mourarful part and 

the second or joyful part, were sometimes distinguished >y Ae nan^ of 

the maller.lthegreatn Mysteries. '^ ^^^ ^oj^^' ^'^ ^V""' J^f 

h ough the former, says of himself. Being now aba»a to *»frgoJhe lus- 

Zti^^whiehimmediLly precede initiation nto the grea^^ 

they called me happy^: and thus Euripid^, elegantly alludrng to th^ dm- 

sion of the Orgies, denominates sleep the smaller Mystenes of death K 

It was doubtless to these two parts, which invariably succeeded each other; 

the one terrific and mournful, the Other cheerful and consolatory ; the one 

Exhibiting the descent into Hades, the other the escape mto Elysium : .t 

was doubUess to these two parts, which constituted the smaller and the 

greater Mysteries, that Aristides referred, when he styled the pantomimic 

> Stob. Edog. Senn. CXIX. p. 605. agnd Warburton. 
MBDiv«.Q««t.apttdW«burt<». ». Euri|. .pud W«burtoa. 



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JUZ O^iqilSf OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 155 



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ISS THE ORIGIN OF PAOAK ID0LATR7* 

BOOK r. Cecropian goddess roared from its inmost recesses : the holy torches of 
Eleusis were waved on high by mimic furies : the snakes of Triptolemu» 
hissed a loud defiance : and the howlings of the infernal dogs resounded 
' through the awful gloom, which resembled the malignant and imperfect 
light of the Moon when partially obscured by clouds. In tlie midst of dark-* 
ness were seen monsters of every shape and description, from the fabulous 
Centaur to the triple Geryon and the three-headed Hecat^ \ Now, as we 
. may collect from the specified time, during which the Egyptian Osiris was 
inclosed within his floating cofiin and the Grecian Hercules within the 
great fish ; the aspirants were usually compelled to remain in this dismal 
state of darkness and discomfort no less a period than three days computed 
after the oriental manner : that is to say, they entered into the ai*tificial 
Hades the evening of the first day, and were not liberated until the mom* 
ing of tlie third day. And this confinement was sometimes extended even to 
a greater length : but still the allotted period was always produced by a 
cabalistic multiplication of three into itself. Thus Pythagoras, when he was 
initiated into the Cretan Mysteries of Jupiter, is said to have been actually 
immured within the sacred Id^an cave three times nine days \ The ge« 
nuine period of confinement therefore, during the progress through the 
imaller Mysteries, was three oriental dmfs: and these days, when we recol- 
lect the manifest character of Osiris, related to the period during which 
Noah was shut up in the ark ; for, putting each day for a year according 
to the mystic eastern mode of reckoning, we shall find, that he entered into 
the Ark towards the close of one year, remained in it » complete second 
year, and quitted it at the commencement of the third year. 

And now let us apply these observations to ascertain the nature and ob- 
ject of the plague of darkness. 

The scriptural account of it is very brief; yet it sets forth one circum- 
stance of high importance: Mere woi a thick darkness in all the land of 
Egj/pt THREE days; thcjf saw not one another^ neither rose an^from his 
place for three days '• It appears then, that the duration of the preter* 

' Virg. wSneid^ lib. vi« ver. 256-^89. Claud, de rapt. Proserp. sub Jnit. 
* Porph. in vit. P^rth. p. 187. ' Exod. x, 22^ 23. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATUr* 



157 



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158 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY* 

As for the illusions of art magic, they were put^ down ; and their taunting 
in wisdom was reproved \pith disgrace. For they, who promised to drive 
axoay terrors and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of fear, 
worthy to be laughed at. For, though no terrible thing did /ear them; 
yet, being scared with beasts that passed by and hissing of serpents, they 
died for fear, refusing to look upon the air which could of no side be 
avoided. They, sleeping the same sleep that night wherein they could do 
nothing and which came upon them out of the bottoms of inevitable helk, 
were partly vexed with monstrous apparitions, and partly fainted, their 
heart failing them; for a sudden fear and not looked for came upam 
them. So then whosoever there fell down was straitly kept, shut up in a 
prison mthout iron bars. Whether it were^a whistling xoind, or a melodic 
€iis noise of birds among the spreading branches, or a pleasing fall of water 
running violently, or a hideous sound of stones cast down, or a running that 
could not be seen of skipping beasts, or a roaring voice of most savage wild 
beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains; these things mack 
them to swoon for fear. For the whole world shined zoith clear light, and 
none were hindered in their labour. Over tJiem only was spread a heavy 
night, an image of that darkness which should afterward receive them \ 

In this very remarkable passage, besides the mention that b made of 
dreadful noises and monstrous apparitions, we may perceive a perpetual 
reference to the notions which prevailed respecting the Mysteries. They^ 
who were shut up in the consecrated cell or grotto, were considered as 
temporary prisoners, and like their god were supposed for a season to lie 
bid in darkness *• To this disappearance from the eyes of mortals, the veil 
of feis, by which she was shrouded from the too curious gaze of the pro- 
fane, seems evidently to refer. It was deemed the veil of death-like forget- 
fulness : because the great father, while inclosed in the Ark, appeared to 
be consigned to the oblivion of utter extinction ; and was thought to float 
in his coffin upon the surface of the waters, wrapt in the heavy slumber of 
the tomb. Such mimic exhibitions were converted, during the preter- 
natural darkness, into awful realities. The initiated Egyptians felt them* 



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^Il£ OEIGIK OF PAQAN^ IDOLATET^ 1^9 



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160 TB£ ORIGIN OF FAGAN IDOLATB^T. 

^ooK ▼• lofty mountain, in the orb of the Moon, and in the midst of die ali*pervad« 
ing ocean. What we are to understand by these Elysian fields, even inde- 
pendently of all that I have already argied on the subject, is told us very 
unreservedly in the magic oracles of Chald^a. The soul, after its various 
transmigratory purgations, is th^re indifferently exhorted, to. hasten to the 
luminous abode of the great father from whom it emanated, and to seek 
after Paradise: and, accordingly, in the precise phraseology of the Mys- 
teries, this Paradise b explained by Pletho as meaning the universally 
illuminated residence of the soul when regenerated \ 

The Elysium then of the Orgies was a Paradise : but where are we to 
look for this Paradisiacal abode of the twice-bora soul ? Being an island; 
it could only be approached by water : being situated within the orb of the 
Moon, it must be viewed as immediately connected with the floating Moon 
or sacred lunar island : being fixed also to the summit of a lofty mountain, 
it must be sought on the top of a mountain of the Moon, which once being 
surrounded by the ocean, while its peak emerged from the waves, was 
really and literally mi island. The scite of a Paradise or an Elysium, thus 
peculiarly characterized, may easily be collected from the Mysteries : and 
the inference will exactly correspond with the opinion, to which I have 
been elsewhere conducted \ 

In the Orgies, the approach to Elysium was over the waters of the in- 
fernal river Styx : the appointed vehicle was the Baris or ship of Charon : 
and out of this ship the transmigrating soul was born again into a better 
state, when it reached the shore of the sacred island. Now the ship of 
Charon was no other than the ship of Osirb or Iswara or Menu-Satyavrata. 
But that ship was certainly the Ark. The ship of Charon therefore was 
also the Ark. Hence, the infernal river which he navigated must inevit* 
ably be the deluge. Accordingly, the Greek mythologists tell us, that the 
Styx was really the boundless ocean : the Egyptian mythologists viewed 
the Nile and the Acherusian lake in a similar light, for they called their 
sacred river the ocean and launched into it the ark of the great father: and 
the Hindoo mythologists plainly shew the uniformity of their sentiments 

* Orac. Mag. p. 17; IS. TleA. SchoL in loc. p. 54. ^ Vide supra book ii« c 4» & 



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162 THE ORIOIN OF FAGAN IDOLATETk 

BOOK V, the early part of the first quarter. The ark therefore of Osiris was symbolized 
at once by the Moon and by a cow : and, in consequence of this circum- 
stance, in the old dialect of the Syrians and the Egyptians the same word 
nebacamt equally to denote a caw and an ark^ Hence, as the gr^ak 
father entered hito an arlc, and afterwards quitted it; he was mystically 
said to have been born out of the Moon, within which he once took re£age 
during a time of danger : and, for the same reason, as he was feigned to 
have been shut up in a wooden cow ; so, when he was liberated from tiie 
ambiguous Theba, he was said to have been regenerated from the womb of 
a cow. Of this second birth from the Moon or from a cow, Baccbu% 
Osiris, Siva, Chrishna, and Woden, severally afibrd us the requisite in*- 
Mances: and, since the Moon and the cow were equally symbols of the 
Ark or the ship Argo, the regeneration from such symbols is clearly equi- 
valent to a second birth from the Ark. But, whatever the great father did 
or suffered, that also the imitative aspirants professed to do and sufien 
Hence, as the Elysian island was sometimes placed in the orb of the Moon^ 
because the floating Moon rested after the dduge on the Paradisiacal 
mountain of Ararat ; so the initiated, who were bom again out of the luni* 
form Baris when they landed on the shore of Elysium, were wont to be d&* 
nominated children of the Moan : and hence, as the lunar boat^ which 
wafted tbem over the Stygian flood, was called Theba and was symbolized 
by a cow ; so the epoptae were said to experience a regeneration from the 
womb of that animal, because tiiey were mystically born agedn from its 
prototype the lunar boat. 

(2.) Of such notions and such hieroglyphical pantomimes it is not diffi^ 
cult to adduce examples. 

In Plutarch's vision of Timarchus, every initiated soul, which is bom 
into the world, is described as being bom out of a Moon which floated on 
the Stygian lake : and, in Porphyry's treatise on the cave of the nymphs, 
the souls of men are similarly said to be born out of a door in the side of 
the Moon, which on that account was deemed the female president of gene* 
ration. By this Moon, which flootetl on the waters of the Styx, we are 
plainly to understand the luniform ark or Baris of Osiris or Charon : for 
^at was the only Moon, which thqs floated ; and that was the identical 



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164 THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IDOLATEr* 

BOOK V. cally^ exhibited. I take it, that in the large edifices or temples, which 
were constructed for that purpose, an artificial lake or river of real water 
was introduced ; and that this river was furnished with a boat shaped like 
the lunar crescent The one of course represented the infernal stream, 
which separated Tartarus from the Elysian island; while the other 
shadowed out the fiaris or luniform ark of Osiris and Cliaron« When the 
aspirants had courageously passed through the terrific pageants of the 
lesser Mysteries, they arrived at the bank of the mimic river ; and, entering 
into the boat, were ferried over to the island of the blessed. Here they 
were born again out of the ship or floating Moon within which they had 
been inclosed ; and, having landed safely on the shore of Elysium, they 
were forthwith initiated into the exhilarating secrets of the greater Mys« 
teries. 

It seems necessary to suppose something of this kind, both from the cir* 
cumstances of the Orgies being universally described as a descent into hell 
and an evasion into Paradise, and from the actual adoption of such fen- 
tastic mummery when they were celebrated in the open air. Herodotus 
informs us, that the nocturnal Mysteries of the god, whose name he shud- 
dered to mention, were exhibited to the initiated on the surface of a con- 
secrated lake '. But, if such were the case, then it is plain that a boat 
must have been used : and the boat in question was doubtless the luniform 
ark of Osiris, which they literally set afloat on the Acherusian pool as the 
Baris of the infernal ferryman Charon *. Now, if a boat were used when 
the Mysteries were celebrated in the open air, it is natural to presume, 
since we are expressly told that they represented a descent into hell and an 
escape into Elysium, that a boat would also be used upon a small artificial 
piece of water when they were celebrated within the recesses of those vast 
buildihgs which were contrived for the special purposes of initiation. Ac- 
cordingly, as Virgil in the sixth book of the Eneid fails not to notice the 
barge of Charon as an essential part of the machinery : so Apuleius, after 
describing his approach to the confines of death and the threshold of Proser- 
pine, represents hb passage to Elysium in terms which imply a turbulent 

' Herod. HigU lib. ii. c. 170, 171. "^ Died. Bibl. lib. I p. 86, 87. 



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16^ TffE OEMIir OF FA6AN IBOUtTET.^ 

B00& ▼• by this circumstance^ deterroioed, agreeably to the mystery of the boofcs ol 
Pheryllty to prepare for him a cauldron of the water of inspiration. Whea 
the cauldron began, to boit, it was requisite that the boiling should be con^ 
tinued without interruption for tiie space of a year and a day, until three 
blessed drops of the endowment of the spirit could be procured*. That this^ 
might be eflSected, a person named Gwum the Utile was appointed to watch 
it, while Ceridwen applied herself to the study of botany and astronomy* 
About the completion of the year, three dropa of the potent liquid flew out 
of the cajiildron and alighted upoathe finger of the aspirant Gwion. The 
heat of the water caused him to put his feiger into his moiAh. As soon a» 
he tasted i^ every event of futurity was opened to bis view ;: and, per* 
ceiving that his greatest concern was to beware of the stratagems of Cerid« 
wen, he precipitately fled towards his native country. As for the ciiuldron^ 
it split into tu o halves : and the whole of the water which it contained, ex«» 
cept the three efficacious dropS) was poisonous. At thb moment Ceridwea 
entered ; and, enraged at her disappointment, set forth immediately in pur^^ 
suit of Gwion. The culprit, perceiving her at a distance, transformed him* 
self into a hare, and redoubted his speed : but Ceridwen assumed the shape 
of a grey- hound, and chased him towards a river. Leaping into^the stream, 
he became a fish v but his enemy, as an otter, traced him through the 
water. He now took the fDrm of a bird, and pnounted into the air : but 
Ceridwen, as a sparrow-hawk, pursued him so closely that she was on the 
very point of seizing him. While he was terrified at the near approach of 
death, he perceived a heap of clean wheat on the floor ; and, instantly; 
dropping into the midst of it, he metamorphosed himself into a single grain :: 
but Cecidwen> now become a black*crested hen, scratched him out of the 
wheat and swallowed him. The consequence was,' that the goddess found 
herseH* pregnant, and in due time brought forth the late object of W pur- 
suit When dius bom s^n, he was so^ lovely a babe, that she had not 
resolution to put him to dei^. She placed him however in a coracle 
covered with a skin ; and, on the twenty ninth of April, cast him into the 
sea. The coracle drifted safely to shore ; and, on the eve of May, waa 
taken out of the water by Elphin the son of Gwyddno. His attendant 
opened k> and, perceiving the forehead of an* infant, exclaimed, BehoUt 



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168 THE OKICIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT* 

MOK ▼• of a c&ward who is not bound by his sacred oath. Against him wiU Se 
Uftid the bright'gleandng sword; and in the hand of the sword-bearer shall 
he be left : and before the entrance of the gate of hell shall the horns of 
Ught be burning. fFhen we went with Arthur in his splendid labours^ 
excepting seven, none returned from Caer Vediwid. Am I not contending 
for the honor of a lore which deserves attention ? In the quadrangular 
tnchsurCy in the island with the strong door, the twilight and the pitchy 
darkness were mingled together, whilst bright wine was the beverage 
placed before the narrow drele. Thrice the number that would haoeftNed 
Prydwen, we embarked upon the sea : excepting seven, none retumedfrom 
Caer Rigor. I will not redeem the multitudes with the ensign of the 
g&oemor. Beyond the indosure of glass, they beheld not the prowess of 
Arthur. They knew not on what day the stroke would be given, nor at 
what hour in the serene day the agitated person would be bom, or whoprc'* 
served his going into the dales of the possession of the water. They knew 
not the brindled ox with the thick head-band. When we went with Arthur 
ofmourtful memory, excepting seoen^ none retumedfrom Caer Vandwy \ 

Here we find the cauidroo ascribed to the ruler of the deep ; and^ iit 
what manner it is so ascribed, is sufficiently plain from the whole tenor of 
the song* A just man, the supreme ruler of the world, celebrated as the 
first mythological Arthur whose allegorical consort bears the name of 
Gwenhwyvar or The lady on the surface of the water, enters into the in^ 
closure of |he ship-goddess Sidi^ described not unaptly as a prison, in ccm- 
sequence of the prophetic mission of Intellect or Nous or Menu ^ Within 
this quadrangular inclosure, this floating island with a strong door which is 
represented as being the gate of hell, he sits darkling at the head of seveu 
companions, who alone return in safety from a perilous voyage when the 
rest of mankind perish in the mighty deep. These know, neither the day 

' Preiddea Anawn.. apud Daviet's Mythol. p. 514* 
* Caer Vedimd, Caer Rigor, and Caer Vanthoy, are but different names of Caer Sidi 
or the Inclosure of Sidi* This was the mystic title of Stonehenge, which shadowed out 
the Ark and the World. Hence the Druids were accustomed to style it the Ark of the 
World, and hence Aej feigned it to have sailed oyer the sea which separates Irelaiul 
from Britauou. 



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*H£ ORIGIN OF ^JkGAK IDOLATRT* 169 



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170 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATfir^ 

%oQKY. raging flood, approach the ark of tiie just man and unploie protectiom 
This burden b not written in the Celtic, but in some foreign language : 
and it is a most curious circumstance, that, upon lamination, that lan-^ 
guage proves to be genuine Hebrew or Cbaldaic, agreeably to the express 
assertion of Taliesin, that his lore has been ^peered in Hebrew \ The 
chaunt seems to hare been brought out of Asia by the ancestors of the 
Britons*: and it is wonderful, how accurately the Druids have jMneserved 
it by the eai*, agreeably to the observation of Cesar, that their pupils were 
required to learn by heart a great omnber of traditional verses then deemed 
too sacred to be committed to writing. Its purport exactly agrees with 
the general tenor of the poem, in which it occurs : for the following is a 
literal translatioD of it Alas my covenant f The covenant it is of Nuk^ 
The wood of Nuh is my zsritness. My covenant is the ciwenant of the ship 
besmear ed. My witness ^ my loitness, it is my friend*. 

Here we find> that the cauldron of the British Mysteries represents that 
mighty vessel, in which the symbolical cow is boiled or tossed about during 
the space of an entire year: and that boiling fa studiously introduced into 
a song, which palpably relates to the deluge. The bailing is completed^ 
and the sacrificer rests in peace, on the eve of May. But that is the iden* 
tical day, on which the coracle of the initiated Talfesin drifts to shore : so 
that the initiation of the bard stands inse[»trably connected with the bmU 
ing of tb6 cow ; and the boiling of the cow again stands equally connected 
with the voyage of Nuh or Menwydd or Menu, which' he performs in tb» 
womb of Kydd or Ceridwen then floating as a ship o& the surface of the 
waters, and which (according to the local figment of the Druids) termi^ 

' ' Angar CyvjmdawcL apud Davies^s Mythol. p. 57S. 
^ The chaunt is expressed in the fbllowing words ; which, as being in some fbreiga 

language^ Mr. Davies leaves untranslated. O brithi hrith oi nu oet nu edi hriihi brUk 

unhai sych edi edi eu roL I express them more accurately, and write diem in Hebrew 

i^haracters as below. 

O Brithi! Brith i Nuh. : mJ «»n n*^a : »nna »W 

Es Nuh edi. : nr mJ r^f 

Brithi Brith ani such. : TiD OH nna •una 

Edi edi eu roi. • *3n von nj^ np 



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THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IDOtATRlT. , 17 J 



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17S THE ORTOIN OF PAGAN IBOX^ATRT* 

BOOK ▼• arrested by the several metamorphoses underg^me by the goddess and the 
aspirant These are evidently the transformations ; which constituted so 
prominent a feature in the shews of the ancient Mysteries^ which are nearly 
allied to the metamorphosis of the Egyptian deities into various animals 
when pursued by the oceanic TyphoUi and which still decorate so many 
oriental tales with specious miracles \ 

(3.) The metamorphic mummery however, which seems to have beeo 
exhibited by means of suitable vizors, was but preparatory to the grand 
business of initiation. As Ceridwen was the goddess of the Ark, it was 
necessary that the aspiratit should be inclosed within her ; in order that^ 
like the great transmigrating father^ he might thus experience a second 
birth. 

This ceremony, wildly as it is described by Taliesio, appears to have 
been literally gone tlirougb by the Initiated. The goddess was represented 
by one of those stone cells or artificial caverns, of which so many are yet 
remaining in different parts of our island. They were called Ki^-Vaem 
or Maen-Jrchsy terois alike denoting iirib of stone: and they were consi« 
dered as transcripts of that floating prison, within which the just man and 
his seven companions were for a season inclosed \ In these the aspirants 
were shut up as prisoners : and, as such edifices typified the great navi* 
cular mother, they were figuratively said to be swallowed by Ceridweaand 
afterwards to be born again as infieints from her womb. Accordingly^ 
Taliesin explains Ceridwen's absorption of him, by informing us, that the 
I4an or cell, within which he was inclosed during the process of his initi- 
ation, was above ground '• It was the same as the st^ne ship of Bacchus^ 
the rocky insular cavern of Saturn, and the navicular s^tone coffin of Osuis i 
and, in what light we are to understand the confinement within it ai^d the 
numerous metamorphoses undergone by the goddess and her novitiate, may 
be collected from the words of this bardic poet^ wherein he expbans tlie 

*^ See particidariy the tale oTthe flecond Caleikler in the Arabian nights Entertainments, 
lliere ifl sa close a resemblance between the series of metamorphoses undergone by Ce^ 
tidwen and Gwion and those undergone by the princess and the evil genius, that they must 
apparently have originated irom a cammon source* 

« See Plate IIL Fig. 3K f Pavies's MjthoL p. 39«--40i. 



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THE ORIOIMT OP PAGAN IDOLATRT. ITS 



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!74> tnt OttlGIN OF PAGAK IDOLATRT. 

.•001 V. ff^^ royal knees ; ttheuy like the rushing of hostile spears^ thefiooi^ came 
J or ih from hewoen to the great deep. . No other bard will sing the violence 
of convulsive throes j when forth proceeded with thundering din the billows 
against the shore in Dylan's day of vengeatice; a day^ which^ in the cele- 
bration of our commemorative Mysteries, extends to us\ 

(4.) The inclosure within the stpne-ark or artificial cavern, which repre^ 
sented the womb of the ship-goddesSi served to initiate the aspirant accord*^ 
ing to one mode of celebrating the Mysteries : but, when he had been duly, 
confined under a strict discipline in the allegorical prison of Ceridwen, and: 
when he had been born again by issuing through its rocky portal, a greater 
trial of hb fortitude and patience still awaited him in his initiation according 
to another mode of celebrating them. He was committed in a close coracle 
to the sea, which shadowed out the deluge : and he was thus suffered to 
drift, at the mercy of the waves and tides, to a reef of rocks, which typified 
the mount of debarkation. Here he was received by the officiatmg hiero« 
phants: and, when this adventure, which was frequently attended with 
considerable danger, had been achieved, his initiation was complete* 
Henceforth he was one with the great solar patriarch ; that general pri« 
mary bard, who transmigratively exists throughout all ages: he might bear 
his name and claim a participation of his attributes \ 

This was the case with Taliesin, when taken out of the coracle by Elphin 
and solemnly presented to his spiritual father Gwyddno. Hence we may' 
conclude, that these two personages were two hierophants ; Gwyddno, as 
holding the higher rank, being the Arch-Druid. Agreeably to such' a con- 
elusion, the bard speaks of Elphin, who in his capacity of a hiempbant 
was the representative of the transmigrating creator, as the sovereign of 
all the disciples of Druidism ; and identifies him with the solar orb itself, 
which was the astronomical symbol of demiurge': while, in an ancient 
song evidently relating to the ceremony of inclosing the hierophant withhi- 
a coracle and launching him into the sea, Gwyddno appears as the acknow- 
ledged Archimage who presides over the whole process. Tlie song is in 

> Oavies's Mythol.p. 100, 101. . ^ Davies's MyOkci. p. 348« 

* Davie8*8 MythoL p. 247. 



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BOOK¥« 



175 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAIST IDOLATRY, 

over the infernal lake, and as a landbg on the Elysian island of the WesseA 
But we may do much more than merely gather by induction^ that such were 
the speculative ideas attached to Druidical initiation. 

Dionysius tells us, that, when the British females celebrated the Myste- 
ries of their great god Bacchus or Hu, they passed over an arm of the sea, 
in the dead of night, to certain smaller contiguous islets: and Tzetzes, after 
observing that many esteemed Britain and its dependencies the sacred 
islands of the blessed, proceeds to relate ; that the souls of the dead were 
currently thought to be conveyed in a wonderful ship from Gaul to that 
country over the narrow sea which separates them, that a particular tribe 
of Celts who tenanted the coast acted as ferrymen^ and that this appalling 
voyage was always performed in the night-time '. 

It is not difficult to ascertain the origin and import of such accounts; 
The nocturnal voyage of the dead was an initiation into the Druidicial 
Mysteries : their ship represented the ship of the deluge : the arm of the 
sea, which they crossed, was the infernal river of the flood : and tiie faUed 
Elysian island, with which their voyage terminated, shadowed out the 
Lunar White Island or the ocean-girt summit of the Paradisiacal Ararat 
I'he whole was an exact transcript of the Egyptian Orgies of Osiris, which 
were similarly celebrated in the dead of night on a sacred lake. Now it ii 
evident from the aquatic mode of celebration, even if direct assertion were 
wanting to prove the fact, that in each case a boat must have been used : 
and, as in Egypt the boat was the holy Baris or Theba or Argo of the in- 
fernal Charon or Osiris, so among the Britons the boat must have been 
the ark of Hu considered as the god of obsequies. Within this the aspi- 
rant was inclosed as a dead body within a coffin : and was thus, in the 
night-time, wafted over, either the English channel from Gaul to Britain^ 
or a narrow frith from Britain to Anglesey or Bardsey or Lindisfarne or 
lona, or an arm of the sea which separated one part of the country from 
another. 

Of such a nature was the initiatory voyage of the mystically dead Ta- 

' Dion. Perieg. ver. 565 — 574. Tzetz. in Lycoph. ver. 1200. See also some curious 
particulars detaOed in Strab.G«og. lib. iv. p. 198. 



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THEX)RIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 177 



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178 THB ORiaiN or PAGAN IDOtATRn 

BOOK V. son of the great father's principal festival ; and lodia^ Babylonia, Britain, 
and Ireland, have agreed in celebrating at that time the Orgies of ti^ir 
chief divinity. The reason of sqch a choice I take to have been, that Noah 
then quitted the Ark : for, according as Moses reckons by the ecdeaiaft- 
tical or the civil year, he must have quitted it either in the spring or the 
autumn ; and the former is the most probably because he would then have 
the whole summer before him« 

5. Closely allied to the Orgi^ of Hu and Ceridwen were those of the 
Persian Mithras : and consequently the initiations into the latter were cf 
the very scune descripdon as the initiations into the former. We have the 
fullest authority for saying, that aspirants were tboi^ht to be bom again 
by issuing forth from a rocky cavern : and we may infer from a curious 
legend which will presently be noticed, that their regeneration was some* 
times deemed to be accomplished by quitting a small bmt within which they 
had previously been inclosed* 

The rites of Mithras were cdebrated, accordmg to the universal voice of 
antiquity, in deep caverns or grottos, sometimes, natural and sometimes 
artificial. Of the latter many are still in existence, being calculated from 
their imperishable nature to resist all the attacks of time : and of the former 
the first is said by Porphyry to have been consecrated to the god in the 
mountains of Persia. He tells us, that the Mithratic grotto was a symbol 
of the World, and that it was dedicated to Mithras in the capacity of the 
great demiurgic feaher '. Xn this he is accurate, provided his assertion be 
rightly understood. The sacred cavern did indeed shadow out the World; 
hut it no less typified that smaller floating World, the Ark. Hence, as 
the ship Argha and every other parallel hieroglyphic doubly represents both 
the Megacosm and the Microcosm ; so, in the Mysteries, the aspirant was 
indifferently said to be born i^ain firom the ship and from the stone cell. 
Hence also, as the great father was the literal architect of the smaller 
World, out of which he himself was afterwards produced ; he was mysti- 
cally said to be the demiurgic author of the larger World, over the reno« 
vation of which he was thought to preside at each successive metempsy*^ 

' Porph. de aat. nyinph* p. 253, 254. 



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180 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAK IDOLATRT. 

BOOK ▼• From this account we may easily collect the natare of the Mithratic 
initiation. Tiie aspirant first entered into the gloomy cavern, which action 
represented what the mystagogues termed his descent into hell; a descent 
invariably supposed to have been accomplished by the great fiither, whe^ 
ther denominated Osiris, Bacchus^ Adonis, Hercules, IFoden, Buddha, (mt 
Menu-Sraddadeoa. After he had remained shut up the appointed time^ 
he emerged through the door of the cave (that door, from which Mithras 
himself was born, and which doubly symbolized the door of the Ark and 
the mouth of a sepulchre) into light and liberty. This was his return from 
Hades, or his new birth from the rock : and, as I have already observed^ 
it was of precisely the same import as hb allegorical birth from the Moon 
or from a cow. For Porphyry first informs us, that the ingress into the 
cavern and the egress from it typified the descent of the soul into Hades 
and its subsequent return : and he afterwards remarks, that the Moon was 
esteemed the female president of generation ; that the priestesses of the 
infernal Ceres were called bees; that the Moon herself was said to be a 
bee ; that she was likewise said to be a bull or rather a cow ; and that 
new-born souls, that is to say, souls regenerated in the Mysteries, were 
represented by bees, and were supposed to be bom from a heifer '. The 
birth therefore from the heifer was the birth from the Moon, of which it 
was a symbol ; and the birth from the Moon was the birth from the rock. 
But the Moon in question was that floating Moon, which served Osiris for 
a coffin, and which was the same as his Argo or Theba or bovine ark. 
Hence the new birth of the Mysteries, whether it be firom the door of a 
grotto or from a door in the side of the Moon or firom the womb of a cow, 
invariably means the birth of the transmigrating great father first from the 
womb of the Earth and afterwards from the door of the Ark. As the priest- 
esses of the infernal Ceres were called bees, and as those of Isb and Ammon 
were styled dmes; so, in allusion to the raven of the ark, the priests of 
Mithras were denominated raoens and sacred ravens \ Accwdingly, this 
bird is introduced as a figure into a piece of sculptured marble, which re« 
presents Mithras on the sacred bull, and of which Montfaucon has given a 

> Porpb. de anU nymph, p. 261, 262. * Porph. de abtliii. lib. iv. § 16. 



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J 82 THE 0RTG1N OF PAGAN IDOLATKT. 

BOOK V. thought to have some connection with the heavenly bodies ; wWch agai% 
as we have already seen, were reciprocally supposed to have some relattoik 
to a ship. Mithras as 'the Sun, and the seven planetary Jjates, constitute 
the Noetic Ogdoad, and jointly man the stupendous Ark of the Universe : 
while, on the other band, those souls, which were deemed to be bom again 
from a rock or a cow or the Moon or the ocean, were also thought to 
undergo a wonderful sidereal transmigration through the gates of the Sun 
and the seven planets. 

I have just intimated, that the gate or door thos mnWpBed was properly 
but one, namely the door of the Ark : and I think, that we may easily trace 
the progress of its multipUcation. When the great father was blended with 
the great mother, the being thus compounded was esteemed an hermaph* 
rodite, the mixed universal parent of the World. Hence^ in the sphere, he 
was both Helius and Lunus, Helia and Luna. This being the case, the 
Sun and the Moon had each its gate or door, from which soab were sup- 
posed to be bom : and each \««s alike esteemed the president of genera- 
tion Now it is observable, that there are only ixoo gates mentioned by 
Porphyry ; and doubtless they were the two principal gates. But, whea 
the chief Cabirus was placed at the head of the seven Cabin, every plane! 
had its own gate assigned to it; consequently, the number of gates, includ- 
ing Uiat of the Sun as specified by Porphyry, wiU amount to eight, the pre- 
cise number of the arkite mariners. These observations perfectly accord 
with the character of Mithras. Like Siva, Osiris, Bacchus* Adonis, Ve- 
nus, and Minerva, he was an hermaphrodite, and was vcnemted at once as 
the'sun and the Moon ; tliat is to say, as the god both of the solar and th© 
lunar gate. That he was the Sun, is well known : bot Herodotus informs 
us, that he was also the Moon, and the same as Mylitta the Assyrian 
Venus or female principle of generation ". Or, if we suppose Mtkra to 
be rather the feminine form of Mitkras, as Jam is of Jams and Maia of 
Maiug, the position will still be virtually the same : for the great father and 
the great mother were perpetually joined together in one compound being, 
who was then esteemed the universal hermaphroditic parent. 

< H«r<KUHist.Iiki.e.lSl. 



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184 THE ORIGIN OF ^AOAN IDOXAffiT. 

^00% V. tated the fabled great mother of Pagankm. The appellation Homai seems 
to be the Sanscrit Huma^ which is a title of the Earth or the femde prin- 
ciple or the ship Argha' : and Khamani is probably the compound Cai^ 
Mani, which is equivalent to the illustrious Menu. Incestuous mixturei^ 
were but too common among the Persian princes, so that a literal Homai 
may have been pregnant by her father : but the practice itself originated 
from the various degrees of relationship, which the two great parents were 
thought to bear towards each other. If Homai then be a real character, 
we are not on that account prevented from supposing Darab's exposure in 
the ark to mean his initiation : but, if she be a tmfthological character, the 
supposition will then be yet more probable. In this case, Darab is mysr 
tically bom from her, just as Taliesin is from Ceridwen : whence, in the 
usual phraseology of the Orgies, he is, also like the Celtic bard, styled an 
infant. Afterwards, still in close analogy to the double initiation of Ta- 
liesin, this infont is shut up in an ark and committed to the sacred river 
Gihon ; from which perilous situation he is iq due tincie extricated by the 
officiating hierophant, whom the Persic legend has converted into a dyer. 

Now, if I be right in such a view of the subject, it wUl obviously fol- 
low, that the Magi nsed initiation by the boat no less than by the rocky 
cavern. 

6. As the idea of being bora again from the Tbeba or bovine Ark pro- 
duced the regeneration from the womb of a cow, which I have already had 
occasion to notice : so the idea of being bora again from the sacred cavern 
produced tiie regeneration, which was thought to be effected by squeezing 
the body through a hole in a rock. Of tbb latter process very distinct 
traces may be observed both in the east and in the west^ 

(1.) The vast artificial grottos, which occur in different parts of Hindos* 
tan, bear so close a resemblance to the Mithratic excavations in Persia^ 
that we can scarcely entertain a doubt of their having been employed for 
the very same purpose of initiation into "the Mysteries : and this belief is 
strengthened, both by the doctrine of a new birth being so universally pre« 

' Asiat. Res. vol. vi. p. 515, 530. He&oe the Persians denominated the great fiither 
Cfft- Vmunh or the iUustrioui lord nf Uma. 



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^H£ ORIGIN OF fAOAN IDOlATftT. 185 



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186 THt OmOiN OF FA04N IPOI^TRT. 

BOOS T. bust beiDg dug op in the place; seems evidendy to hare been ijedicatad to 
the Hindoo Trimurtn 

But the points, yvitix which I am chiefly coneerped, are the peculiar idea* 
attached to the orifice and to the passage through it* Now the orifice is 
deemed a symbol of the lemale principle; exactly i<i the. same oaanner ^ 
the door in the Ark, the door of each Mithratic caveiTi, aod tlie door in ^ 
floating Moon, through all of which souls were indifferently thought to bp 
bom m their traaomigration from one World to another : and, agreeably to 
this universally prevailiBg opinion, the asporants, who pass throu^ the 
tocky cleft of Bombay, are belsered to be purified from all their sins by 
experiencing what is termed a regeMration ot new-birih. Nor aire we left 
in ai»y doubt, how we ought properly to understand this regeneration. The 
deities, who preside over it, zte ^tva the regenerator, aod his Sacti or energy 
or consort Parvati. But, atthe time of the deluge, Parvati floated on the sur- 
jhce of the waters in the form of the ship Argha, while tlie mariner Siva 
supplied the [dace of.a mast to the vessel, fjence it is evident, since the 
ihip Argha is an acknowledged type ^4 the female power, and since ^ 
cleft at Bombay is also a type of the teme power, that the regeneration 
effected by passing through the latter moat be the very regeneration of die 
ancient Mysteries \ 

(£.) Similar noitions may very easily be traced la the west 

Dr. Borlase mentions a Druidical monument, wbich occurs in Seilly and 
Cornwall, and which still bears the name of Tobnen or the kale tf ^tw€* 
It consists of a large orbicular or oviform stone, supported by two others, 
between which there b tt passfl^ Of this kind of monument the most 
astonisbing specdaien occttfs in the pariah of Constaotine. It is one vast 
-egg-lite atone pdaced on the pointe of two natural rocks, so that a man mi^ 
creep under the great one and between its supporters, through a passage of 
aboot three feet.equare \ 

Respecting tbe use of such monuments, Dr. Borlase conjectures very 
happily, that those, who passed through the stone or^ce, were tbou^ to 
acquire a sort of holiness ; and that the orifice itself was used for the pur* 

* Moor's HincL Panth. p. S9S— S97. • See Plate III. Kg. 2T. 



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188 THE OHIO IN OF PAGAK I0OIiATEr# 

BOOK V. lium as described by Prudentius, the hi^priest or bierophiuH^ when aboot 
to be solemnly iuaugutated into his office^ descended into a pit dug for the 
purpose ; and received upon his head and gariuentSi through a perforated 
floor of boards, tlae blood of a slaughtered bullock : then, emerging from' 
his temporary confinement, he shewed himself to the awe-strudc multitude 
as a person, who by thb symbolical regeneration had acquired an ineffable 
degree of holiness '. 

It was in allusion to such rites, that Plato, whose philosophy was largely 
tinged with the doctrines of the Mysteries, was wont to say, that truth 
must be sought for at the bottom of a well, fiy truth he meant the spe- 
culations revealed to the initiated, who were thenceforth styled epopts or 
persons who see things as they truly are : and by the well he meant tbe^ 
sacred pit or cavern, where the Mysteries were so frequently celebrated 

8. Strictly analogous to the Orgies of the great eastern continent were 
those of the Mexicans, at the time of their conquest by the Spaniards: and 
it can scarcely be doubted, from the palpable similarity, that, when the an- 
cestors of that people emigrated with their ark-god from Asia into America^ 
they brought with them the ancient Mysteries of that divinity; 

Like the idolaters whom they left behind them, tliey were accustomed to 
sacrifice on the tops of mountains in commemoration of the primeval sacri- 
fice on the Paiadisiacal Ararat, and to adore their bloody gods in dark 
caverns similar to those employed in the worship (^ Mithras. Their 
Orgies, like all the other Orgies of the Gentiles, appear to have been of a 
peculiarly gloomy and terrific nature, sufficient to strike with horror even 
the most undaunted hearts. Hence their priests, in order tlmt they might 
be enabled to go through the dreadful rites without shuddering, anointed 
themselves with a particular ointment, and used various fantastic ceremo-* 
qies which had the effect of removing all sense of fear. Thus prepared^ 
they boldly sallied forth to celebrate their nocturnal rites in wild mountains 
and in the deep recesses of obscure caves ; much in the same manner as 
the nightly Orgies of Bacchus, Ceres, Hu, and Ceridwen, were wont to be 
celebrated by their respective votaries. A similar process enabled them 

' Ihrud. apud Ban. Mytjiol. vol. i. p. 274» 



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THE OEiaiK OF PAGAN I0OLATar. 189 

tiaa without dread to offer up those heciMtoiiibs of bumaa ybtims, by which ch^p. ru 
their blood-staiued superstition was more eminently distinguished than even 
that of Mdech^ Cronus, Calii or JaganrNatb. Like the ancient wor* 
shippers of Mithras and the modem Saniassis of Hindostan, their priests 
were accustomed to poder^ the greatest severities and to submit them* 
selves to the most austere bodily mortifications and penances. Sometimes 
they voluntarily endured the pain of long fasts; sometimes they violently 
disciplined themselves wiUi knotted cords ; and sometimes, liice the frantic 
votarks of Cybel^ and Attis, they emasculated themselves, that thus they 
might be rendered more acceptable to the hermaphroditic deity whom they 
worshipped The Mexicans had also an institution precisely resembling 
that of the vestal virgins : and any breach of chastity on the part of their 
consecrated females was punished with all the severity of the ancient Ror 
man laws. Both these women and the priests, while engaged in the wor- 
ship of their idols, were wont fanatically to cut themselves with knives after 
the manner of the vcAaries of Baal and Bellona. As the Mexicans had a 
monastery of vestal virgins, so had they likewise a sacred fire which burned 
perpetually on the hearth of their god. This was held in high veneration 
by tj:mo, most probably as being the symbol of their deity considered as 
presiding in the orb of the Sun \ It was the same, I apprehend, as the 
artificial San or lambent flame, which darted its lustre through the deep 
recesses of the holy cavern during the process of an initiation. 
. ^. In what^per mode the Mysteries were celebrated, we invariably find 
a certain door pr gate viewed as being of primary importance. Sometimes 
it was the door of the temple ; sometimes, the door of the consecrated 
grotto ; spmetitnes, the hatchway o{ the boat within which the aspirant was 
inclosed ; sometimes, a boie either natural or artificial through or between 
rocks; and sometimes, a gate in the Sun or the Moon or the planets. 
Through this the initiated were bom again, and from this the profane were 
excluded. The notion evidently originated firom the door in the side of the 
Ark, thrott^ which the primary epopts were admitted while the pro&no 
Mtediluvia^s were shut out. 

' P^rcL Pilg. book viiL c. 13. 



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190 TBI: oaiaiK of i^^aoak is&iAfttr* 

v« This cu-camstancc gave rise to tiie appointment of an cAeer^ whd eerw 
tainly bore a conspicuous part in the Brkteh Orgies, and who probaMy was 
not unknown in the Mysteries of otfa^r countries* He was styled th€ door^ 
keeper of the partial caoering : and, since be was ccmsidered as the tnystk 
husband of Ceridwen, be was certainly the representative of the great fafber 
Hu or Noe \ Hence he must have sustained ibe same character as Janus, 
when viewed as Thyrhis or the god of the door; while Ceridwen mmilaiiy 
corresponds with Venus or Ceres in her capacity of Prothyria or the god* 
dess of the dodr. This personage was stationed before what Taliesin, ifl 
exact accordance with the prevailing ideas of the Mysteries, denominates 
the gate of hell: and he was armed with a bright gleaming sword, whence 
be had the additional title of the sword-bearer. His office was at once to 
exclude the profane, who might sacrilegiously attempt to gain admittance ; 
and to punish even with death such of the initiated, as should impiotisly 
reveal the awful secrets committed to them *• The same penalty, and (I 
apprehend) from the hand of a similar officer, awaited those, who should too 
curiously pry into or divulge to the profane the wonders of the Eleusian Mys«> 
teries. Yet, notwithstanding every care that could be taken, we repeatedly 
find an adventurous epopc, who was content to run all ris<]ues rather than 
lose the pleasure of communicating a secret. Probably the Cretans, who 
ridiculed the reserve of their more cautious brethren and who declared 
without scruple all that they knew about the matter, might eflfect the first 
opening. Be that however as it may, we certainly from tnore than one 
loquacious epopt have learned enough to form a tolerable id^a of the naturt 
of the ancient Mysteries. 

10. Whether the curiosity of the profane may be gratified at some future 
period by a similar disclosure of the portentous secret of free-masonry, 
remains yet to be seen. I have frequently been inclined to suspect, that 
this whimsical institution, which some have deduced from the Mithriac or 
Buddhic Manich^ans through the medium of the knights-templar, is nothing 
more than a fragment of those Orgies which have prevailed in every part 
of the world : and the peculiar rites of the Britbh Ceres, as their nature 

> Dams's MytboK p. 198—202. • * Daties's Mythd. p. 518, 519. 



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TRC ORlOlirjCW PA«Air IDOLA'TRT. 191 



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192 THE OniGIV OF PA6AK IDOLATRT. 

BOOK ▼• This epopt, it seems^ was a field-officer of acknovrledged bravery, wba in 
battle bad often faced death without shriDking : yet, when be returned 
from the chamber of final iniliationy like his brethien of old as described by 
Themistius and Aristides and the ancient writer in Stob^us, he exhibited the 
most undissembled marks of extreme terror. A cold sweat bedewed his 
forehead; a livid paleness overspread his countenance; and his whole 
frame shook with excess of agitation. What he had seen or heard, my 
informant knew not : this alone was a clear case, that the man had been 
heartily frightened; and his terror apparently resembled that, which is 
ordinarily produced by unrestrained superstition^ 

: But I tread oii forbidden ground : and it behoves one of the profane te 
recollect with becoming reverence the old formula of the Orphic poe^ the 
alleged father of tiie Greek and Thracian Mysteries ; 

To thode alone I. speak, ^om nameless rites ^ 

Have rendered meet to listen* Close the is»my 
And carefully exclude each wretch profanci 
Lest impious curiosity pollute 
Our secret Orgies '• 

' ^Sf7|ofi«i Sk liftK ^9i^* %v^(Bt^ f ffir»0f^f $$pn>Aif 
lUurtf SfAH* Orph. TtBg. apud Justin. Martyr, in Orj^ Oper« p^ S5t^ 



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194 THE OttrOIN OP PAGAN IDOLATRT* 

«0ox V. Though the latter supposition be literally true : yet the old traditional 
opinion ought not to be too hastily rejected, on the presumption that the 
argument of Cluverius is irrefragably conclusive. The opinion may not 
indeed be perfectly accurate : yet, would we understand the sense in which 
the first temples are ascribed to the great father, we must inquire what 
were the priqseval ten^les df the gentile world ; for, wice the most ancient 
temples are ascribed to him, it is evident, that those primeval temples of 
whatever nature could alone have been intended by the framers of the tra* 
dition* Now I suspect, that, .when thi^ matter is duly weighed, we shall 
find the legend in question not very far removed from the truth. 

I: ^<i^M¥haJtov& part of the w,orldi. w^ direct oor attentio]:^ we sha;^ 
almost invariably find, that the first places used for religious worship were 
thick groves of trees, lofty mountaias, cocky caverns, and small islands 
washed either by the waves of the ocean or by the waters of some conse* 
crated lake. Such being the case, it is sufficiently obvious, that, when the 
Gentiles reprfesented I^q gr^t fathdr to ^ b^^ilder of tbet mo^ «9ci«nt 
temples, tbese^ and no other, were the teoipli^ whi^b tbay «)ieftDt: eadi 
although in absolute propriety of bugubge be wmok be md to bave fr«a% 
eonstructed them ; yet, if he were the first tbdt used tham, 9iu0G «U ttrore 
vecent temples were necesBajrily btailt by aome. one, and sinte theae workA 
of nature were viewed in the l^t of temple^ he woqld be leputed not un^ 
naturally ta have been tbek fouoder^ 

But these were the ictentical placea enaplojped as oratoriea by tlmt eooi« 
pound character, the supposed transmigrating great fiither; Tlie sacred 
grove of Par&diae, in the lofty mouhtaiaous re^^ of Annmia^ was the 
t^ip^ple of A^m I while the summit of monnt Ararat ia the same country; 
which nX the time of the e^^^s from the Ark was surrounded like an island 
l^ the waters of the reiiripg deluge, was the tmple of Noah wbei^ be 
o^red up the first poetbdiluyiaA sieuarifice to Jehovah. Whedier these patri« 
mrcl^ used a literal eave, dbea not iqspear firom the scriptural history : I 
am inclined to think that they did, both from ibtt circuaastance of J^xrt's. 
retiring to a rocky grotto when in the tenth generation from Noah the 
waters of the dead sea inundated the cities of the plain, and from, the high 
veneration in which moiintain-caverns were universally held by the ancient 



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7Hf OBIOIN QF FAOAN IBOI^ATBYf 19f 



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196 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATEr. 

BooKv. pagans, a mode however which ceased not to prevail even in morQ 
modem ages, it may seem almost superfluous to bring forward proofr 
of a matter which is so universally well known : yet it will not be im* 
proper to select a few, by way of an apposite introduction to the main sub« 
ject. 

Holy Scripture is full of references to such a mode of devotion, as having 
obtained firm footing throughout Palestine even before the exodus^ and as 
never being completely eradicated until perhaps after the return from the 
Babylonian captivity. 

When Balak wished Balaam to curse Israel, he took him up to the sum« 
mits of various lofty hills^ which are all generally described as being high 
places of Baal, One of them is simply mentioned under that commoa 
appellation ; another was the top of Pisgah ; where the heavenly bodies 
were worshipped in conjunction with the hero-gods under the name of 
Zophim or divine (werhokers, no doubt the Z^pke-Samen or ceksHal cwr* 
lookers of the Fhenician theology: and a third was the top of Peor, ki*; 
famous for the impure sepulchral Orgies q£ BaalrPeor or Osiris or Adonis. 
On each of these, in reference to the seven astronomical mariners of the great 
mundancfShip who were reckoned so many forms or emanations of the solar 
pilot, were erected seven altars ; and every altar was stained with the blood 
of a ram and a bullock'. Here Balak worshipped after the mann^ ci 
bis country^ ascribing, as was usual among the Gentiles, the attributes of 
Jehovah to the deified great father. Of a similar nature was mount Tabor 
or Tabaris, a local copy of the Armenian Tebriz or Tebaris : mount Her* 
mon : mount Nebo : mount Lebanon : and the lofi^ promontory oi Baal* 
Zeph^n or Baal of the north; that b to say, the lord of the northern Ar^ 
menian mount' of assembly \ 

. Into such idolatrous hill-worship as well as grove«worship we find the 
Israelites perpetually seduced. Thus we are told, that king Ahaz made 
bis son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the 
heathen whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel ; and 
that he sacrificed and burned incense in the high places, and on the hills^ 

* Numb^ xxiL 4L xxiiL S, IS, 14, 27, 38« * Seebaiahxiv. ia« 



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•»HE ORIGIN OF 1?AGAN IDOlATRT. 'Iff7 



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196 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATBT# 

MOK Yt great day of the Lord, he describes the vain worshippers of the hero-gbday 
as entering into the rocks and as going into the cra^y <^vems of the ektAi 
while the indignation of the Deity rests upon all the groves of Bashan and 
of Lebanon, and terribly shakes every high mountam and every lofty hfl). 
But the clefts of the rocks and the tops of the ragged rocks, or the sacred 
foramina throng which the aspirants were wont to pass and the high places 
on the summits of craggy precipices, are alike unable to protect them and 
their useless idols ; when the Earth itself or the uiiivers»d great motiier, 
trembles before the Most High and acknowledges a present God '. In 
another place, when he reproaches the degenenUB Isradites with their spi- 
ritual adultery, he exhibits them, as inflaming themselves with idols under 
«very green tree, and as sacrificing children in liie valleys under the clefts 
of the roeks ; as venerating the smooth stones of the consecrated river with 
a drink*offering and a meat-offisring, and as going up to the top of a lofty 
mountain in order to ofier sacrifice. He then proceeds to specHy with 
much exactness the precise nature of such devotion^; teaching us m fiM^t, 
that it was immediately connected with the cdebratioo of the old funereal 
Mysteries. These apostate worshippers in groves, in caverns, on the banks 
of rivers, and on the summits of hills, visit Motech with perfumed oint* 
aient ; and send out wandering knitattve messengers, after the manner of 
the frantic Bacchanals and Menades. Th^ descend into hell, or the 
mimic infernal regions ; tliey weary themselves with the leng& of those 
erratic progresses, which are copies of the mystic wanderings of the great 
father and the great mother. Yet^ in the midst of their doleful Orgies, 
they do not give themselves up to despair, as if their divinity was lost never 
to be recovered : on the contrary,, in due season, tiiey find the life of him 
vrfao is accounted their sovera^ power; and, thus receivmg him from the 
dead, they are no longer grieved, but their temporary sorrow is changed- 
ittto the most tumultuous joy \ 

« Isaiah H. 10-2K 

« Isaiah IvIL 3—10. Neilher Bp» Lo«rth nor 6^ Stock seem to me to have understood' 

the true meaning of this yery curious passage; though they both rightly observe, that it 

rehites to the multiplied idolatrous rrait4aion8 of the Israelites. The latter piut of it ought, 

I apprehend, to b« translated as follows. Jbo thou didM •visit Moleck toA4 ehimietft^ and 



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BOOK V. 



fiOO TH£ ORIOIN OT PAGAN IDOLATBY^ 

armies '« Lofty mounteiDs,. each viewed as the mouotain of deborkatioir,. 
were equally venerated by the ancient Celts ; and the most terrific rites of 
the Dniids^ were celebrated in deep groves of oak ^ Such likewise even 
now is the worship of the Hindoos and Japanese and Burmans: and^ whea 
America was first discovered by the Spaniaids^ the priests of Mexico were 
wont to select^ for their religious incantations, rocky cdvems^ lofty moun« 
tains> and the deep ^oom^ of eternal forests'. In short, every towering 
bill was reckoned hoiy : and we are assured by Melanthes, that it was the 
universal practice of the ancients to offer sacrifice on the highest mountains 
to him who was accounted the hi^^est god^ 7^ same remark may be 
made witii regard to islands* Among the Hindoos, the Egyptians, the 
Greeks, the RomanS) the Scythians, the GeltSi and the Americans, they 
were alike accounted sacred and were alike used for the purposes of devo- 
tion : insomuch that the learned BaiUyi struck with, this universal agree* 
meut, notices indeed the circumstance, but is unable to give any satbfac^ 
tory reason for it ^ Various instances of this superstition have ahready^ 
been adduced : hereafter, in the proper place I shall resume the sul]^^ 
distinguishing between the firm island and the floating island«^ 

!• If we inquire into the notions, which the old iddaters entertained; 
and which modern idolaters still entertain, respecting their consecrated' 
mountains or high places, we shall constantly find ourselves brought to the 
very same point They esteemed the summits of them the peculiar aboda 
of the hero-gpds: and they commonly described them, either, as a sort of 
Paradise, or as the place where the Ark rested after the deluge* Some- 
times they united the two ideas ; and thus exhibited the holy mountain^ 
both as an Elysium tenanted by the great fietther, and as the final scope of 
his perilous voyage from one World to another. Such legends and suchu 
opinions leave no room for doubt. The hero-gods were those mortals^ 
who flourished in the two gpLden ages antediluvian and postdiluvian : and 

' Appian. de bell. MithdiL p. 215^ 

* Davie»'s Mjthol. p. 192. Lucam FharsaT. lib. iiu ver. 898— >425. 

• Maun Ind. Ant. vol. ii. p. 39. Kampfer'g Ji^an b. v. c. 8. p. 417. Purcb. Pilgrim,. 
b. viii. c- 12. p. 803* Symea's Embaaa. to Ava, vol. ii^p. 81, 183, 238. 

♦ Natal, Cgm. lib. L c. 10^ s Leitwa aur PAtlantide^p* 86K 



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TP« PAWfW OJ PACtAN iPftU-TttTi* Wl 



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rMoxT. usurping the very Elysium of the hero-gods, describes the presumptuous 
king of BabyloUi as meditating to exalt his throne above the stiuB oif God 
and to sit upon (what the Brahmens still call their mount Mem) the mmnt 
i>ftht assembfy in the regions of the north \ 

(9.) But the Grentites not only considered the sacped mountain as the 
high-place of the great father; they viewed it also as an expressive symbol 
of the chief h^o«god himself. 

The origin of such a speculation I take to have been thisK All mankind 
were born from the great ffttfaer r but all mankind were likewise figuratively 
bom from that moutttain, whidEr was die scite of Paradise i»tlie old Worlds 
and which was the abode of the first postdiluvians in the new World* 
Hence the mountain and the god were spoken of convertibly, precisdy in 
the same manner and for much the samereasonsi as the Ark mid. the Earth 
ivere. Thus, in the Hindoo tl»ology, Siva is the ouist of the Argha as it 
iioafo upon the surface of the deluge. But the two. conjointly are repre* 
sented by the petal and the calkc of the aquatic lotos. And again the pttid 
and the calix of the lotos are declared to shadow out the holy mount Mem 
rising out of the bosom of the Earth, which reposes like a hi^ boat on the 
-waters of the abyss. Siva dMrefere is typified by Meru» while hb navi* 
tular consort is typified by the lower regions of the Earth : and, as these 
two deities are venerated as the male and female principles of fecundity^ 
precisely the same ideas are entertained of Meru and its terrestrial sub- 
stratum. 

Every mountain k thus made a symbol of the great father viewed as the 
god of g^eration : and it is not more his resting place, than his express 
and visible emblem \ Hiis wiU explain certain notions and observances 

' Isaiah xiT. 19. Ezek. xxviS. IS, ?4. Tbib Hin^ tenet k exempKfied at large in Mix 
jBontb^'s fine romantic poem The curse efKAwmoy of which it forma Ihe basis. The 
attempt of the impious Rajah, which is. ia strict conformity with an established doctrine of 
Brabmeniam, is made in the very spirit of the parallel attempt which Isaiah, ascribes to 
the Piibylonian monarch* With admirable propriety^ he bitterly foreteUs his downfall ia 
language borrowed from the notions and peculiar worship of the apostate gentile worMt 
% * Compare Asiat Res. voL vL p. 5SS. voL viii. p. 260, 273, 274!» 808, 319. vol. iii. p. 135 

— ISS. Moor^s Hind, Panth. p. 45, 46. The result from, the comparison will be this. 



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'f^E OBlGiy OF PAGAN IDOLATRF. 803 



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fi04 THE ORlAiy OV FAGAN ID0£ATE7« 

HOOK T, f(0m o/* f^ Mean : and die title oiSmutgiri or fMuntmns fftkeJHA$H h 
similarly i4)plied to two smidl faillocki, io the same lofty n^ioo^ Bear the 
edifice wbicb is shewn a» the tomb of Noah\ At the head of die Nil^ 
according to the Indiatt g^K^;raph«^, k the Meiru of Ae seudieraheaBi^ 
sphere : this also is a mountain of the Moon, as we are tao^t eqoatty in 
the legei^ of the Brahmens and of the western mytiioiogisiB); Che coantry 
hear it is the land of the Moon; the bero-god9 aresaid to have l^ean bwft 
ki its Tiduity; and the hermaphroditic lunar deity is^ fabled tb have there 
concealed herself, and afterwards to have become the mother of a numerous 
progeny liy th^ 8itt\ At the sources of the Hhin^ I9ie Rhone, tiie Po, and 
the Danube, all of which were holy rivers, is what may well be styled the 
'Meru oftkt west: here again we have a moontain of die Moou; for Alpan is 
but a variation oiLabm^ and Jura or Ira or Ithh denotes the Mem e<)aaUy 
b the Celtic and the Babylomc dialects^ Lebanoii^ at the head of the sa^ 
bred river Jotdto, was another lunar mountein: add, ji§t«abiy to its 
appellMfon, (he navicular Adonis and the ship-gaddesi Astartfe or Architif 
was eminently worshipped on ks summit Mount Alban t^r Labm, whe«* 
thrr in Italy or In France, was also a lunaf mountain : henea we find die 
'^hip of Juno, which in form resembled a crescent, ven<ersted on the top of 
ihe Latin hill. And, even hi die island of Borneo, the peak at the heMi of 
its largest river is known by the tide of the mountain of the Mom* 
' (4.) Such being the astronomical ideas assocfatxid wifdi^ the Ark and 
mount Ararat, when the ancient pagans viewed the lunar boat lampty^ as 
restmg on the summit of the hill; the £gure, presented to tSieh* imagination^ 
would be a conical peak terminating in two points formed by die two honis 
W the crescent: but, when diey viewed it complexlj/tj as furnished with its 
mast which represents (we arc assured) die mariner god standing apr^t 
in the midst of it ; the figure, then exhibited to their imaginadon) woidd 
be a conical peak terminating in three points formed by the two horns of 
the crescent and its centrical mast Here we may perceive the reason^ 
why the pagans deemed those mountains peculiarly sacred^ which branched 
out fX their summits into either two or three smaller peaks or tumuli^ 

* AiiBt. Bei« voL L p. 34& voL vL p. 482. * Atkt Res. rd; iH. p. ^, 60, 6& 



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T»E (ykiom OF pagan jvolatvt. SO J 



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$08 rHE ORIGIN .or TAGJK^N IDOLATftVin 

toot V. ^e viry coonterptrt df the Indian Mera : audi bs I mipposB the ^two poinlf 
of Nysa and Cyitha to exhibit upoa a vast scale the lunar boat resting oa 
(he top <rfthe \A% s^PyrHiaaftd Deucalion ase .fobledto have landed opoa 
its summit dut^^f that Atk ^vtiieh was asttonoinicaHy symbolned by the 
crescent of the Moon \ -'• 

2. When the huge Ship of the deloge fixed itsdf immoveably among the 
hhte rocks and ciiags of the tempest-beateo Ararat ; the surrounding cHffi» 
its oWh gloomy interior, aiid' the toafrovir door of entrance in its perptodL- 
<iolar side^ ^ould all <:oti0pii^ toge^ier tio ^%cjl^ the idea of a spacioos 
fcaverh \ Him ifemUance of a gfotto would necessarily, I should conceive^ 
for a season be at once the habitaition and tiie oratory of ^e Noetic 
ifamily 1 for, until, as their nuinbers increa^^ they had been able to con- 
struct for tbemaetves impre odmmodious dwdMi^ they would obviously 
prefor'tfae friendly ^Mlter off thO' Ark tteiore an exposure to the iodemency 
of the weather* Htoce origtoated the saoodty of caverns : hence we rarely 
find a holy mountldn unprovided wiHk 4 giK>tto eitbdr nathral or artificial : 
and hence we meet wiCb so many uies of the ^:eat fether^ being either 
born from a cave, or nursed in a cave, or dwelling in a cave, or taking 
refuge in a cave w4ien he fitted the Ark witfaia wfaich he had been ex^ 
posed at sea '. Hence too the tmitaUve regeneration of the Mysteries was 
indifferently thought to be procured by an evasioQ either irofli a cave or 
from a boat: hence the ship Argo and the sacred grotto were elite deemed 
oracalar : and hence the entrance bbx the mystic cavern and die entrance 
into the fleal^ng navicolar cofih w^re Equally reckoned a descent into 
Hades or an inclosure within the womb of the great infernal ship^goddess. 
Other matters^ as we proceed in the inquiry, will serve to corroborate a 
position, which already may seem to be suflSciently estaUished. 

(1.) Of the cavern combined with the sacred mountain it b easy to 
produce a variety of instances: and so much has been dready said respect- 
ing the character of the deities worshipped in such holy places, that on that 
point nothing more need be added. 

■ Asiat. Ret. vol. vi. p. £01. See Plate III. Fig. 2, 3. 
« See Flute ni. Pig. 1«» • See Plate m. Fig. 15. 



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Mrs OBIGIK OF FAOAV IDOX^ATBY. SOS 



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210 n THE ORIGIN OF PAOAK IBOLATET. 

BOOK V. tanian mount Adas, which is described by Maximas Tyrius as a sort of 
deep hole like a well : it was of such a size, that fruit-trees grew in the 
bottom of it; but its steepness, and the peculiar sanctity atti^buted to it^ 
dike precluded the possibility of a descent\ There was ajaotber in moun^ 
Argfeus near Tyana : this sacred hill yet bears the name of Argau ; but 
both its ancient and its modem appellation is equally derived from the 
cavern worship of the ship Argo or Argha % Nor was the natural grotto^ 
as attached to the holy mountain, solely venerated in the great eastern con- 
tinent : tiie Flondans of America, we are told, weie accustomed to adore 
the Sun under the figure of a cone in a sacred cavern, which ran deep into 
the bowels of a lofty hill '. This mode of worship is in every particular an 
exact transcript of the superstition that overspread the whole pagan worl^. 
The cone or phallus was employed to represent the great father in perhaps 
every region from Hindostan to Ireland : and the Floridan mountain with 
its cavern was but the local Meru or Parnassus of the x:ountry« 
*' (2.) Natural grottos are rarely found except in craggy mountainous di3- 
* tricts, whether continental or insular. Hence we may pronounce, thut 
^^Vlmost every sacred grotto/was in the vicinity of some sacred hill : and, if 
that hill rose as an island 'out of the sea, it was the more valued ; because 
a more exact representation was thus obtained of mount Ararat, surrounded 
by the waters of the retiring deluge, and bearing amidst its rocks that Ark 
which presented to the &ncy an image of a gloomy excavation. For the 
same reason caverns on the sea-shore were highly venerated: and the 
traditions, associated with them, are usually such as have an immediate 
reference to the flood and ^ ai*k-god. 

Thus Anius was bom in a rocky cavern in the island of £ub^ ; where 
the ark had drifted, within which his mother Rheo, while pregnant, had 
been consigned to the waves : and we find a legend, that bis daughters were 
afterwards changed by Bacchus into doves ^ Thus Jason^ the fabulQus 
navigator of the ship Argo, was educated in Uie cave of Chiron^. And 

" Max. Tyr. Dissert xxxYiii. p. 875, 874: ^ Bryant's AnaL voL i. p. 215 

' Bani6r*8 MythoL voL L p. 144*. 
^ Tzelz. in Lycoph. vcr. 57a Ovid Metam. Ub. xiii. vcr. 674# 
* Tsets. in Lycoph. ver. 175. 



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THE ORIGIN OF fAQA'H IDOLATRY. fill 



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2li THE ORlblK or fACAKlDOZAtmr. 

BOOK V. bcten-goddess Calypso is placed by the poet in a sacred iAbAd, ^hicb hb 
styles not undesignedly the furoel of the sea \ 

(3.) If tbe mythologic nature of such caverns require any yet more ^ 
finite explanation, than is affiorded by the legends attached to them ; we 
shall have it most amply furiushed to us ih certain specimens of this super* 
stition, which I have designedly kept back for this v6ry purpose* 

We are informed by Porphyry, that Saturn once btiik a wonderful cave m 
the midst of the ocean, and that within it he concealed hb children wfaeii 
they were threatened by some impending danger*. Now, when we recol- 
lect that Saturn is palpably tbe transmigrating Noah and that his family 
consisted of three sons and three daughters ; ti)e grotto, which he con* 
structed in tbe midst of the sea and which he used as a place of conceal- 
ment for his children, must necessarily be the AA. And this conclusioii 
precisely agrees with every particular, which has been adduced respecting 
the sacred cavern : l^r the oceanic hiding-place of the classical god and his 
family, which comprehended iq the whole precisely eight persons, is mani- 
festly the very same, in point of mythological import, as the sea-girt sanc- 
tuary of Hu, the cavernous hiding-place of the Japanese great fath^, the 
maritime grotto of the ark-exposed Bacchiis and Anius, the cave whence 
the ancestors of tbe Peruvians issued at the close of the deluge, the rocky 
cell in short of the two universal parents by whatever names they might be 
venerated. 

Porphyry most truly says, that the Mithratic cavern, and thence all 
other similar caverns, represented the World ' : but, would we rightly un* 
derstand this assertion, we must call to mind what has been so repeatedly 
observed respecting the intercommunion of the Earth and the Ark. These 
two, which were viewed as the Megacosm and the Microcosm, and which 
were each thought to float like a ship upon the surface of the ocean, were 
invariably blended together in the imagination of the Gentiles : so that they 
were ever personified by one and the same goddess, ever represented by 
common symbols, and ever spoken of in terms strictly convertible. The 
egg, the lotos, the cavern, and the Ship of the deluge, all shadowed out the 

' Horn. Odyss. Hb. i. ver. 50. * Porph. de aat. nymph, p. 254w 

' Porph. de ant. njrmph. p. 254. 



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THE ORIGIK OF TAQAV IDOLATRT^ CIS 



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f 
S14 TB£ ORIGIN OF FA6AK IDOXATKT* 

BOOK ▼• World was planged beneath the wavea of the dehige, was the sole World 
that visibly exbted. 

Such a conctusioa is finally establbhed by the almost naked declaration 
of the Indian theologists. In the holy city Banares, there is a cavern, 
which is termed Machodara or the belly ofthejkh ; the consecrated moun- 
tain, which rises in the centre of the city, b also denominated Machodara: 
and the whole town, as well as any place in the midst of the waters which 
can afford shelter to living beings, is sometimes distingubhed by the very 
same appellation. Now, what the Brahmens mean by the phrase thus 
alike applied to the sacred cavern^ the sacred mount, the sacred city which 
frequently becomes an bland by the overflowing of the river, and any place 
surrounded by water which may preserve living creatures from being swal- 
lowed up by an inundation ; what they mean by this phrase, they them- 
selves unreservedly tell us : for they bestow the identical name Macho^ 
dara or the belly oftheJi$h upon the vast ark, within which Mecui or 
Buddha was concealed and preserved in the midst of surroundmg waters '• 
A similar notion evidently prevailed among the Egyptians : for, as the 
Brahmens term their holy city Machodara or the belly ofthejishf so the 
Egyptians styled their holy city Theba or the Ark; and, as the Brahmens 
extended the appellation Machodara to every place surrounded by water, 
BO the Egyptians extended the name of Theba in a special manner to those 
Elysian islands of the blessed which were thought to be clipped by the vast 
circumambient ocean*. 

: Agreeably to thb conclusion, the Indian Puranas declare, that in the 
sacred White Islands of the west there b a wonderful cave, the door of 
which represents the sacred Yoni or female principle of fecundity K Now 
it has been shewn at large, that by those islands we are to understand 
mount Ararat and the Ark ^ : and we are assured, that the female principle, 
of which the insular cave is expressly pronounced to be a symbol, floated 
on the surface of the deluge in the form of the ship Argha, Hence it b 
obvious, that by the holy cave of the White Islands was meant the Ark 
resting on the crags of Ararat 

• A$iat» Bei. vol. vi. p, 480, 481. * Lye Cassan. vcr. 1204. TztU. in loc 

^ Asiat. Res. vol. vL p* 502. 4 Vide supra book iL c 5. 



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iil6 THE OaiQIN Of PAOAN IDOlATflTt 

loox ▼« was apparently acquainted with the water and cavern described to him by 
Bardesanes : for, in the letters which he addressed to the Brahmens, be 
was wont to use as a formula of abjuration, No, by the TantaUan wat^^ 
hf which you imtiated me mto your Mysteries. The e{uthet TantaUan 
lie is supposed to have applied to it, froin the tantalizing state of suspense 
in which it held the impatient aspirants'. 

We may learn by this narrative both the unchanging nature of Hindoo 
superstition and the use which the Brahmens made of their sacred caverns. 
The mountain in the centre of the Earth, where Uie grotto is described as 
being situated, b evidently the centrical mount Meru, which b considered 
as rising out of the midst of the worldly lotos, and which may be viewed as 
really occupying the middle region of that insular World which was known 
to the ancients. The hermaphroditic statue at the entrance of the cavern 
is precisely that compound being, now venerated by the Hindoos under the 
appellation oi Ardha-nari. It is formed, just as the Ardha-nari is formed, 
by the lateral conjunction of Siva and Parvati ; so that of the whole image, 
from top to bottom, the bne half is male, and the other half female. This, 
no doubt, was the prototype of the Amazons: and its station in tlie sacred 
cavern of the arkite and Paradisiacal Meru perfectly answers to its cha« 
racter ; for it b composed by the hermaphroditic union of the ship-god 
and the ship^goddess or of the transmigrating great father and great mo^ 
ther. In the speculations of Materialism, the two jointly constituted the 
World : and, accordingly, like the Orphic androgynous Jupiter and the 
Hindoo androgynous Siva, the statue is described as being a symbolical 
picture of the Universe; which Brahma, the son of Vishnou by being born 
from his navel, creates anew after every periodical deluge. Hie passage 
through the rocky door of the cavern b the identical superstition, which 
still prevaib in India, and of which I have already given various instances: 
and we may gather, both from the whole ceremonial and from the oath of 
Apollonius, that aspirants were initbted into the Mysteries of the Brah- 
mens, precisely as they were initiated into those of the Persian Magi, by 
being born again through the narrow portal of a grotto which represented 
the Ark resting on mount Ararat 

• Porph. de Styg, p. 283—285. 



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filS THE ORIGIK 67 FAOAK IDOLATEr. 

•^* ^* surface of the earth. And now his mother, after dfte purification hj water, 
directs, that a solemn libation should be made from tte cup of Bacchus to 
Ocean the universal father, and that the central fire which blazed on the 
hearth should be sprinkled with liquid nectar. She then enjoins him to 
consult the hoary marine seer Proteus; and directs him, how be may most 
^ectually secure the often metamorphosed prophet He carefully ol>* 
serves her maternal instructions : and, in despite of every effort on die part 
of the reluctant Proteus, holds him hst in the rocky grotto which the segr 
god was accustomed to haunt. His successful labour meets with its due 
reward. The prophet, after discussing largely the fate of the hapless Eury- 
dic^ the descent of Orpheus into hell, the boat of Charon^ the nine-foi4 
Styx, the dog Cerberus, and the various terrific portents of Hades, con- 
cludes his theological lecture with assuring Arist^us ; that, provided only 
he will slay four bulls and as many cows,^ leave their cfurcases in n. holy 
grove for nine days, and at the end of that period perfinm due obsequies 
to the ghosts of Orpheus and Eurydic^ all his wishes shall be accom- 
plished and his loss be fully repaired. The shepherd obeys : when, lo, at 
the stated time, every carcase teems with new life ; and a superabundant 
swarm of bees is marvellously generated from the putrefying l>odies of the 
slaughtered animals '. 

It must, I think, naturally strike any person, who reads this singular tale 
with merely poetical eyes, that, however highly it is wrought up by the 
exquisite taste of Virgil, the end seems most strangely disproportioned to 
; the means. Arist^us, it appears, had the ill luck to lose a fine swarm of 
bees. This, no doubt, was provokingly unfortunate : yet, as every bee- 
master knows, it required no mirack to repair the loss. But Virgil, in 
apparent defiance of the sound poetical canon that a god must never be 
introduced when the knot can be untied by a mortal^ moves heaven and 
earth in order that the shepherd Aristius may not be disappointed of his 
honey. A river opens; a goddess appears; a simple swain penetrates 
into a cavern never before trodden by human foot Nor is even this ma* 
chinery sufficient to recover the dead bees : Curen^ can only direct her 

' Virg. Georg. lib. iv. 



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220 TH£ OBIOIN Of PAGAN IDOLATRY 

BOOK Y. Other than the great father: bis numerous transforinations allude to the 
sceoical metamorphoses of the Mysteries : and his whole discourse riespect- 
ing the infernal regions is perfectly in character with him, as the. univer- 
sally acknowledged god of the dead. 

But it is time that we attend to his directions for producing a new swarm 
of be6s^ which is the very jut of the entire story from beginning to end* 
Here let us take Porphyry for our guide. In his treatise on the Homeric 
cave of tlie Nymphs, which cave is clearly the prototype of the Arist^ai^ 
grotto, he telb us, that those divine female^, whom the Latin like the Greek 
poet describes as occupied in weaving, are human souls about to be bora 
into the World These souls the ancient mythologists called bees : and, as 
Proserpine or the infernal Moon was the repined female principle of geqe^ 
ration, she was likewise denominated a bee; and from her the priestesses 
of the infernal Ceres were distinguished by the same title, doubtless as 
the mystic representatives of the Nymphs. But the souls, which were 
bom out of the grotto, were also said to be born from a door in the side 
of the Mooq : and this Moon was not only styled a bee, but likewise a 
f^i/er. Hence, Porphyry observes, bees were fabled to be produced from 
a heifef : and souls, advancing to the birth, were mystically described in 
the very same manner and under theivery same appellation. For this( 
reason, he adds, honey was made a symbol of death; and libations of honey 
were wont to be poured out to the infernal gods. He then proceeds to 
notice, in connection with his subject, the high antiquity and general pre* 
valence of worship in caverns ; that is to say, such caverns as those which 
concealed the Nymphs or bees or souls about to be bom into the World '. 

And now we may plainly enough perceive the drift of Virgil s curious 
mythological story ; which peifiEsctly accords with the received character 
of the Arcadian shepherd Arist^us, as drawn at the commencement of this 
discussipn from other sources : we may now safely acquit him of any vio** 
lation of that poetic canon, which at tlie first view he might seem to have 
so lightly disregarded. He had a knot to untie, which indeed required the 
tad of a divinity ; for, under the form of an apologue, he was delivering 

' Porplu de i^it nympb. p. 260—262. 



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^ that the neighbouring p^aks of Annenk emerged ttom benea& tfaeav the 
retiring deluge, becomiog what aeamen t^rm land-hcked^ woidd resemble^ 
80 fieur as the eye could reach, a spacious lake studded witii numerous isleta. 
Tlie top then of Ararat would be deemed an immoveable isUmd, and would 
be viewed as the happy termination of a' voyage from one World to 
toother. 

£ut there would naturally be associated with it a second island of a 
totally dtffisrent descrijrtion. The Ark had long floated in an erratic state 
on the surface of the all-prevailing ocean, bearing the rdics of the old and 
the rudiments of the new World : henoe, by a familiar and easy figure of 
speech^ that enormous vessel would obviously be denommated a Jtoating 
kUmd; and, as it ceased to float after its appolse, it would be celetotted 
as an ishmd, which had once wandered about at the mercy of the wmds 
and waves^ but which afterwards became immoveably fiiced '« 

The garden however of Paradise, as it was r^htly and universally bo- 
Keved, ewncided geographically with Ararat ; and Uie Ark finally rested on 
the summit of that mountain. Such being the cas^ both the insular peak 
and the once floating island would be esteemed Elysian islands, or fortu« 
sate islands, or islands of the blessed, or islands where pious souls that 
passed from one World to anoUier were destined ultimately to disembarks 
and, partly from a remembrance of the real origin (tf tiiese fabled islands 
and partly from the astronomical speculations which so intimately blended 
themselves with ancient theology, they would be styled, as we actually find 
them styled, Tkcba or arks and fioating Moons or lunar islands. They 
would also be said, sometimes to be seated in the midst of the vast ocean, 
and sometimesi to be separated from the world of the living by the infernal 
lake or river of death. Nor would thdr association with a holy lake be 
solely derived from the appearance exhibited by the retiring deluge: ac- 
cording to the scriptural account of Paradise and its four rivers, those 

* The Tittt bulk of the Ark would naturally lead to its betng deesied an island^ If we 
reckon the cubit at 18 inches, the burden of this Tossel -would be 42,413 tcms: in other 
words, it was equal in capacity to 18 of our first-rate men of war. Hence it would hare 
carried 20,000 men with provisions for 6 months, besides the weight of JSOO cann(ms and 
an military and naval stores. See Hales*8 C%ronoL vol. L p. S28. 



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iSl24 tH£ ORIOIK OP FAOAN iDOLATBr. 

BOOK Y. surface of the waves, but which afterwards beeomei» firmly rooted fo ititf 
bed of the sea or lake that contaios it 

' (1.) Such is the naturally deduced theory, by which I account for that 
nniv^sal persuasion of infsular sanctity that so mtieh engaged the attention 
and excited the curiosity of the learned and inquisitive Bailly '. I shall 
liow adduce some instances of the superstition. / 

One of the most remarkable is that afforded by the Egyptian island 
Chemmis. Herodotus infoilns us, tiiat near Buto there was a deep and 
broad lake; in which,, according to the people of the country, floated the 
island in question. It contained a large temple, dedicated ta Apollo and 
furnfshed with three altars : and its magnitude was such, tkat a grove of 
palm-trees flourished in the soil whicli covered it, and surrounded the sch^ 
cred edifice. Herodotus himself did not witness the circumstance of its 
floating : but Pomponius Mela asserts, that it really swam, and that it 
was impelled in this or in that direction at the pleasure of the winds. The 
Egyptians maintained, it seems, that the island did not originally float ; 
but that it lost ibi firmness in consequence of Latona, taking refOge upok> 
it, with the infant Horus, from the rage of Typbon*. 
' The Chemmis of this Egyptians is.tlie Delos of the Greeks: and the 
story attached to the one is substantially the same as tiie story attached to 
the other. Latona is pursued by the monster Python ; and is unable to 
find safety in any part of the earth. At length the floating island Delos 
receives her, when she is delivered of the Sun and Moon : and the former 
of those deities, after he has vanquished bis adversary Python, renders the 
island stable in gratitude for his preservation. It is to be observed, that 
Delos was originally the nymph Astoria, who assumed the shape of a float*^ 
ing island iii Ordfer that she might save Latona '• • But Asteria was the 
Phenician Astart^ or Astoreth : and Astart^ was the maritime Venus or 
the goddess of the ship. In one particular, the Greek story is a precise 
inversion of the Egyptian : Chemmis is stable at first, and afterwards, when 

* See his Lettres sur PAtlantide. p. 861. 

* Herod. Hbt lib. ii. c 156. Pomp. Mel. lib. i. c 91 

3 Ovid. Metam. lib. vi. Ver. S32« Nonnl Dion, lib* xxxiiL Callim. Hymn* ad IbeL 
vcnSS— 70. Hjg.T9b.B$. 



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'THE ORIGIN O? ?AOAN IDOLATET. SS5 



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■WT1 



S2ff THE ORIGIN OF ?A0AN IDOLATRr# 

BOOK V. believed to have imce floated on the sdrface.of the ivater : and in lakes ot 
bays of the sea, which wanted this necessary appendage of superstition, 
the hierophants seem to have constructed a kind of rc^s or floats in imita^ 
tioh of them. There was formerly one of these artificial ifi^lets in the middle 
of Pemble mere, and another in a small lake situated ambng the, mountains 
x)f Brecknock; as may be plainly enough collected from legends respecting 
certain wonderful islands in each of those pieces of water, which are now no 
longer in existence^ Giraldus Cambrensis mentions a lake in the recesses 
of Snowdon, remarkable for a wandering island, concerning which some 
traditional stones were related : and Camden thinks, that it may still be 
recognized in a pool called Llyn y Dywarchen or the lake of turf^ from 
a little green moveable patch of gix)und which floats upon its bosom. Of 
what nature these traditional stories were, may easily be conjectured from 
the curcumstance of Snowdon being made by the Druids the place of tiie 
Ark's appulse after the deluge. Another floating bland was ascribed to 
Loch Lomond in Scotland : and Camden observes, that many legendary 
stories were told of the other islands, with which it is studded. Each of 
tiiese moveable rafts was deemed a sanctuary of the ship-god Hu; and 
Taliesin describe them, as provided with a strong door, as mounting upon 
the surface of the waves, as surrounded by a mighty inundation, and aa 
Pandering about from place to place. But the Druids had also sacred 
islands of a difibrent description, which were evidently viewed as copies of 
the insular Ararat rising above the waters of the deluge. These were vari- 
ously denominated the rock of the supreme proprietor^ the chief place of 
iranquiUity^ the landing-stone of the hards, and the harbour of life: 
and their mystical import is very unequivocally shewn in the British rites 
of initiation ; for the aspirant was set afloat in a small coracle, and after 
encountering the dangers of a mimic deluge was finally landed upon a rocky 
precipitous island or projecting promontory*. 

(2.) From these lakes and islands, which are attended by traditions th^t 
clearly point out the nature of the worship celebrated in them, I may 
proceed to others, which are not quite so distinctly marked^ but which 

• Davies's Mythol. p. 120, 154, 1S5, 157, 158, 161, 16% 16S, 145. 



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TO* OWQIN OJt PAO>^N niOLATBT. 827 



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228 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT* 

BOOK V. The accurately defined shape of ^e lake Vadimon uras prpbaUy effected 
by art : and the object was to procure the figure of a ring or circlCi vfbkh 
the ancient mythologists so peculiarly venerated. Of this form was the 
small consecrated lake, named Tf'ochmdes^ in the once floating island of 
Delos: of tbb form also was the lake at Sais, on the waters of which were 
nocturnally celebrated the Mysteriesof the deceased yet regen«*ated Osiris i 
and of this form is the holy lake at EUora, which fi*om its reputed sanctity 
and wonderful excavations may well be termed the Thebes of Hmdostan. 
The last mentioned pool is situated in a mountainous country : and, agree- 
ably to the prevalent usage of Gentilism, it contains a small island in its 
bosom, while a montiform pyramid or pagoda rises aloft upon its bank^ 
and while the nei^bouring rocks are scooped into an infinite number of 
sacred caverns *. ^ 

This lake is doubtless a lake of the gods^ agreeably to a [Araseology 
equally familiar to the Mexicans and the Hindoos. Such was the appella- 
tion bestowed by the former upon their holy lake : and such is the appet' 
lation, by which the Brahmens still alike distinguish the lake in the southern 
Mem at the head of the Nile, the lake in the northern Meru at the head of 
the Ganges, and the lake in the high mountainous country at the head <tf 
the Oxus \ With a similar idea, they denominate lake Baikal the holy 
sea^ and consider all the adjacent country as sacred : whence it is even yet 
occasionally visited by pilgrims '* From lakes the natne passed to islands^ 
but still with the same palpable reference to the ancient hero-worship. 
Thus Britain was deemed the peculiar island of Uu and Ceridwen : thus 
the islets on the coast of Scodand were all dedicated to different deities : 
thus a small island near Bombay yet bears the appellation of the island of 
the gods ^: and thus ApoUonius Rhodbs gives to Vidcan or Phtha, the 
great architect of the navicular world, a marvellous floating island for hia 
work-shop^ 



* Herod. Hist lib. iu c. 170, 171. Asiat. Res. vol. vi. p, 389 — i-SS. Plate oppos. p. 41(5^ ' 
» Asiat Res. vol iii. p. 56^ 60, 89. vol. viiL p. S27— 329, 330, 331. 
« AsiaU Res. vol. viii. p. 332. ' 4 Mdor^gHbd.Paath.p. 3S5. 

' AfolloB. Argon* lib* ill ver. 41--43. 



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930 ^H£ CmiOIN or FA€IAK idoxatrt* 

BOOK V. by their mcestors from tipper India : for the Scythians ace etbibited by 
Justin as saying, that their native country^ which was the high land of 
Meru or Cashgar or Bokhara, is an elevated 3poty which toweiB above the 
rest of the World, and from which rivers flow b all directions '. But the 
n)Odt complete transcript of the Indian Ila-vlratta is to be fociad in Penu 
Upon twelve mountaiqs, that surround the city of Cusco, there were twelve 
stone columns dedicated to the Sun and answering to the twelve months of 
the yean Now this ring of mountains, each crowned with a pillar, was 
clearly, I think, consecrated with the same idea, as that which produced 
the imJBiginary or rather perhaps the literal circle of hills that surround the 
plain of Ida on the summit of Meru *. 

In each case that has been considered, the mystic ring was the circle of 
the World Such however was not its exclusive character. As it if as 
placed on the top of Ararat, as the World and the Ark were venerated in* 
terchangeably under the character of the great mother, and as the Ark 
rested on the high ground of the very mountain which was crowned by the 
holy ring : the circle was thought to represent the inclosure of the Ark, no 
less than the periphery of the Universe. Hence we find, that Ila car Ida^ 
by whose name the circle is distii^ished, thou^ the word itself literally 
signifies the TVorld, is yet described as the wife and daughter of Menu or 
Buddha who was preserved in an ark, and is palpably the same personage 
as Isi or the diluvian ship Argha« Hence also^ in plain allusion to the Ida^ 
vratta, the sacred models, of that ship are sometimes made of a round figure ; 
though it is acknowledged, that the legitimate form is oval or navicular* 
And hence the Druids were wont to call the mystic circle of Stonehenge, 
which was an artificial copy of the ring of Ida, the Ark of the IVorid; 
most curiously expressing the double idea in a single phrase. 

5. The land of Ararat was no less the scite of the antediluvian Paradise, 
than the region of the Ark's appulse* From this circumstance, groves and 
gardens were used as places of worship, and were perpetually associated 
with mountains, caverns, and islands. Enough has already been said 

f Asiat. Bes. voL viiL p. S14— S16. Edda, Fah. viL Just. Hist lib. ii. c 1. 
^ Porch. Pilgr. b. ix. c. 12. p. 885. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN IBQLATl^r* £31 



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fiSSI *fiE OJIIOIK 6t PAOAN IDOlATfiT; 

aoox T. be placed, namely in the centre of mount Mienmo ; which ^ir Buddiitc 
brethren of Thibet^ in reference to the garden of Paradise, decori^ with 
the heads of four animals, and describe as the lofty region whence^ four 
rivers are seen to flow to the four quarters of the World. The bneeof HiiH 
dostan, Siam, and Thibet, is clearly the sacred ash ef Gothic mythology ; 
which is planted in the midst of the Id^an city of the hero-gods, which 
overshadows both the city and the whole world witli its widely-sprrading 
branches, and under which the deities assemble every day to adminirt^ 
justice. It is the same also as the tree with golden apples, which rose con- 
spicuously among the other trees in the garden of the Hesperides, and 
under which Hercules is sometimes represented as standing while a serpent 
coils round its trunk. And it is the same too as the tree of knowledge, 
whi^h the aiicient Cehs associated with their Ogham or Macusan, and 
from which they believed every science to emanate \ In fact, the two 
ideas of life and of knowledge were blended togetioter in this cential trec^ 
which held so eminent a place in the sacred gardens of the Gendles : and 
it was doubtless in reference to it, that the ancients, as we learn from Pliny, 
used graves for temples ; and that, even in his days, the most conspicuous 
tree of the holy inclosure was peculiarly dedicated to the deity of the place \ 
Such then was the tree, which Isaiah describe9 as being in the midst of the 
consecrated gardens: and the necessary infereaice is, that the gardens 
themselves were copies of the primeval garden of Paradise. 

These central trees are the oaks,. I apprdiend, which, in the first-cited 
passage, he mentions in conjunction with, though distinctly from, the holy 
gardens : conjointly, because each garden had its precmuicnt oak ; dis* 
tinctly, because this tree in the midst was reputed to be of special sanctity. 
I need scarcely observe, that the mouse and the sow were considered as 
sacred animals ; insomuch that from the word Mus some would even de- 
rive the terms Mustes and Mmterion^ as the Greeks write Mysta and 
Mysterium: I shall rather hasten to offer a few remarks on the second 
pass£^e, which has been adduced from the writings of Isaiah. 

Here the imitative gardens are, with the strictest mythological accuracy^ 

» See Vallancey'8 Vmd, p. 86—94. * PUn. Nat. Hist. lib. xH. c 1. 



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XHB OftlGIK XMT 9AOAN XDOCATET. ^£93 



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234 THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IBOLATRT* 

MOK V. at least accurate in thus exhibiting an ancient Bntisb superstition^ whicfi 
perfectly corresponds with the similar rite of Greece, Italy, and Palestine! 
The identical ceremony, to which Isaiah alludes (as Bp. Lowth remarks^ 
and as St. Jerome bad remarked many ages ago), prevailed among the 
Celtic highlanders of Scotland, save only that the skin of a bullock was 
used instead of the skin of a ram. In this the person, who wished to pry 
into futurity, was wrapped up ; and then laid beside a water-fall, or at the 
bottom of a precipice, or in some other ^ild situation wbei^ the scenery 
around suggested nothing but objects of horror. Here he confidently waited 

* for the afflatus of the demon '. Isaiah concludes his description of the 

garden and cavern Orgies by presenting U5 with the formula ; which, it ap* 
pears, was ordinarily used at the time of their celebration : Keep to thyself, 
come not near me^ for I am holier than thou. It is almost superfluous to 
remark, that this is the identical formula of the officiating hierophant in 
the ancient Mysteries ; and that the idea associated with it is the precise 
idea which was entertained respecting the benefits of initiation. Begone, 
ye pdvfane ; close the doors against all the impure together^ was always the 
preliminary injunction of the Archimage : and, as those that were without 
were deemed unholy, so the regenerated were thought to acquire a peculiar 
degree of sanctity by the austere trials to which they were subjected. 

(3.) The saci*ed groves or gardens were often of extraordinary beauty; 
thus designedly corresponding with that primeval garden which they all 
equally represented. Such was the grove of Ammon or Osiris in one of the 
Oases of Africa. The consecrated habitation of the deity ^ says Quintus 
Curtius, incredible as it may seem^ was situated in the midst of a vast de-^ 
sert; and it was shaded from the sun by so luxuriant a vegetation^ that th^ 
solar beams could scarcely penetrate through the thickness of the foliage.. 
The grffoes were watered by meandering streams^ which flawed Jrom numer^ 
ous fountains : and a wonderful temperature of climate^ resembling most of. 
all the delightful season of spring, prevailed through the whole year wit hi 
an equal degree of salubrity \ Very similar is the description,, which Vir^- 

* See Scott's Lady of the lake. cant. iv. and note (m stans. 4% 
I ^ Quint. Curt. lib. iv.. c 7. 



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S96 na obioin^ or pagak iDoiAT&r; 

▼• places devoted to the reigtung superdtHidn^ and tiiey were raised bj^ 1km 
labour of man to supply tbe local deficiency of nature. 

If this were no better than a mere conjecture^ it wckild at least be a pro^ 
bable one ; because it would exactly quadrate with tbe general prindiplea 
of idolatry : but it is no conjecture ; we have the most positive declandons 
of tbe reality of the circumstance* 

Various opinions are entertained among the Brahmenists^and the BiMl<t> 
bists respecting the shape of the holy mountain Meni. It is represented^ 
sometimes as a cone> sometimes as a huge barrel or round pillar or truii* 
cated cone^ sometimes as a square pyramid^ and sometimes «s a pyramid 
with seven stages or steps, that is to say, as a pyramid composed of eight 
squares placed one upon another which successively diminish in eke fSrom 
the bottom'. 

We may readily perceive, that ^ fbrm of a trunci^ted cone is occa* 
sionaliy preferred, in order that its flat circular top may exhibit Ae Ida«* 
vratta or circle of Ida : and, with respect to the o^r alleged shapes, the 
cone displays a perfect resemblance (tf the artificial rwnd tumulus; th^ 
square pyramid ii the exact figure of the pyramids of ^^ypt and' the pago* 
das of Hindostan ; and tbe pyramid with seven stages presents tbe complete 
similitude of the sacred Babylonian tower, whicb was dedifi^ed to tbe^great 
father Belus. 

Accordingly, the Hindoos plainly tell us, that all such monUform erec* 
tions are studied transcripts of Meru. We read in their books, of princes^ 
who raised mountains of gold and silver and precious stones : some, three ; 
others, only one. And we are told, that, when a single pyramid was raised, 
it was intended simply to represent Meru ; but, when three were con- 
rtructed, they were meant to exhibit the three* peaks of that holy mountain^ 
Thus, at Samath near Benares, there is a conical pyramid of earth finished 
with a coating of bricks, which was bulk by a king of Gaur or Bengal : 
and, in the inscription found tiiere some years ago, it is declared to have 
been raised as a copy of mount Meru \ Thus also other Hindoo princea 

i 

* AsiaU Res. toL vuL p. 260, 990, 291, S80, S53. See Plate IIL Fig. la 
* Amt. Ret. toL viiL p. 260, 291. nd/z. p. 1S& 



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i88 rSE OftlOIN OF PAOAN IDOLAAT* 

"•eox ▼•* fiaoie god : and, as Mem is said to be the tomb of tbs great father ; so 
every pyramid is also said to be his tomb, and is ieij^d to hold a portion 
of his rdics, inasmuch as it is an avowed copy of the mondane temple ol 
the deity which is the tomb of his first embodied fpnn '. 

We have tiow obtained a clue for the right understanding of the object^ 
with which so many tumuli or pyramidal buildings have been constructed 
in different parts of the world : nothing more therefore is necessary than 
to adduce examples; and it will be found, as we proceed, that every in- 
stance serves to shew the truth of what the Hindoo divines have told us on 
the matter. 

(I.) When the children of Noah left the high laud of Armenia, they 
journeyed until they reached the flat country of Shinar. During their |Mro- 
gress, or possibly before they quitted mount Ararat, the ambitious Nimrod 
at the head of his enterprizing Cuthites accustomed them to submit to his 
rt|le, and laid the foundations of that idolatrous apostasy which he after-* 
wards completed at Babylon. Noah and the three great frateroiU patri- 
archs were now dead : and I am strongly inclined to auspect, that, even 
before the emigration from Armenia, the worship of the true God on the 
summit of Ararat was perverted to the worship or at least to the excessive: 
veneration of the self-triplicating great father and the vessel out of which 
he had been bom into the postdiluvian World*. 

As his posterity advanced, bearing with them die consecrated model of 
the ship which in succ^ing ages was tcstecmed the ark or ship or Argp 
or Ar^a of Bacchus or Ceres or Osiris or Siva ; they would at every haU- 
ing-place, so long as they continued in a mountainous country, repeat the 
sacrificial rites, which, however debased, originated with Noah himself 
immediately after the deluge, by constructing an altar and offering up vie- 
tims on the top of some studiously chosen hilL But, when at length they 
descended into the plain of Shinar where nature offered them no elevated 
ground for the purpose of such commemorative rites, other the rites must 
henceforth cease to be. per^med ait^ the primeval manner, or an artifi* 

» Moor's Hind. Ftoth. p. 999, 45, M. Attat Rat. vol. iiL p. 186. voL It. p. SS2^ $93, 
vol. n. p. 128, 1S91 ( 

^TbititibJectwiBbedisciiiMdlieseaftor. VkUlnfrab. vi.c. 1»& - 



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THB^ ORIGIIT' OF FAGAN; IDOLATRY* 999 



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^4d ^mt 0%IGXK Of 9AaAK IDOLAntT^ 

BOOS V. Belus was the original tower now fintdbed according to the derign of iU 
first founder '. Such being the case, the description, which bos coitae down 
to us of the temple, will give us a very full idea of the shape of the tower 
so far as it was carried up in the time of Nimrod. 

Now Herodotus informs us, that ihe Babylonic temple of Belus was a 
Vast square building, each side of which was no less tiian two furlOngs in 
length : that, in the midst of this sacred inclosure (for so^ I ttiink, the histo« 
fian must plainly be understood), rose a massy^ tower of the depth and 
height of a single stadium : and that the tower itself was composed of seven 
towers, restmg upon an eighth which served ab a basis, and successively 
diminishing in size from the bottom to the tx)p» The ascent, he says^- 
wound round it on the outside, thus imitating the circuitous ascent of 9k 
mountain : and, in the last or crowning tower, there was a larg6 templ^ 
provided with a splendid bed and a golden tabte \ 

It is obvious, that a form like thb would, at a certain distance when tbd 
several stages melted into each other, present the aspect of a vast tnincttted 
square pyramid : and, accordingly, such is the name by which Strabo design 
Bates the tower^temple of Belus; adding, that it was built of brick just as 
Moses describes the tower of Babel, that its height and its basis each mea«» 
sured a stadium, that it was ruined by Xerxes, and that Alexander had 
entertained the design of repairing it'. 

Here then, I apprehend, we have the image of Nimrod*s original iowevi 
and we find it to be an exact copy of mount Meru, according to the notions 
Ivhich the Buddhists of the east entertain of that holy hill even at the pre« 
sent day: for they tell us, that Meru resembles a pyramid, formed by the 
imposition of eight successively smaller towers upon each other, and thence 
exhibiting to the eye seven peripherous steps or stages ; and they add, that 
its summit is the mundane temple of the triplicated great father. Thus we 

' Compare Gen. x* 8, 9, 10. xi. 1—9. with Dan. iv. SO* and see below book vL c % 
* Herod. Hist. lib. I c 181. See Plate IIL Kg. II). I have given what I beUeve ta 

be Ae meaning of Herodotus, ^s Strabo says, that the entire height of the tower was 

only one stadium ; it is absurd to sugpose, that such was the altitude of its lowest step 

akme. 

' * 8trab. Geog. libb xvi. p. 7d& 



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THfT OniOIN OV FA OAK IDOLATRY. 241 



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£4S TBS OEXGIK Off PAOAK XSQ^mT* 

.|KK>KT* wtsdoubdessappUedtotfaegreftt&tbermiefere^ 
birtby which iavolves the idea of iD&ncy* 

(2.) The nam^ by which the Hindoos designate the pyraaaid of Bal* 
Eswara on the banks of Uie Euphrates^ is l^adma Man&r or. Tkt tempk of 
the fotos: and sometimes, in allusion to the attached college of priests or 
sacerdotal students, they likewise call it Padma-Matha or The lotos coUege* 
Now, by Padma or The lotoSj they Hiean, we find, PMbnorDeoi or 7%e god- 
dess residk^ en the btos : wad this goddess is Parvati or Isi, who at the 
time of the deloge metaQaorphoeed herself into the ship Argha of which 
the Jotos is a qro^boL Such an appellation then as P^tdnuhMandir points 
out most unequivocaUy the design with vwhjch the tower of Babel was 
erected: but it will further serm to elucidi^ die nature of the Egyptian 
pyramids, respecting which so mair^ difierrat opinions have been enter* 
tained* 

After the building of the first Padma-Mandir on the banks of the £u« 
phrates, certain children of Sharma, who was a son of the ark-preserved 
Menu, arrived, according to the Brahmens, after a long joiu'ney, on the 
banks of the Nila. Here, when due honours had been paid to the lotoft- 
goddess, she appeared to their leader, and commanded him to er^t a 
pyramid for her 6n the very spot where he then stood. His associates 
immediately beg^ the work, and rai9ed a lofty pyramid of earth. On this 
the goddess took up ha: residence ; and, like the first pyramid of the £u« 
l^irates, it was called from her Padma-MamSr*. 

Mr. Wilford eonjectures^ that the scite of thi9 tumulus was the city^ 
which by the Greeks was denominiUed Byblos^ and which still bears its 
ancient appellation Babel: for Byblos is evidently no oth^ than the orien- 
tal Babel with a Greek termination suffixed. This is the Egyptian Baby** 
Ion, as tbe plaee was sometimes called : and the very name may itself serve 
to prove, that the superstition of the Chaldean city was the identical super- 
atition which was brought to tbe banks of the Nile. Accordingly^ the 
remarkable Indian legend now before us makes the pyramid of the Egyp- 

» Rctpcctmg this Egyptian colony of Shemites more will be said hereafter. See below 
bocdc vi. c& and App^d. Tab. v. m A.P.D» lOOSi 



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244 THE ORIOIK OF PAOAK IDOLATET* 

BOOK V. ably to the positive declaration of the Brabtnenical tbeok)gists» that all. 

triads of pyramids are thrown up with this allusion : and the tale of their 
being severally coitiposed of gold and silver and gems is but a repetition of 
the story of Indian princes building three Men^-sring^ of the. like mate- 
rials. 

There is another legend in the Puranas, which will additiontdly serve to 
explain their use. A victorious king of Egypt* one no doubt of the samt 
conquering race that subdued the whole kingdom, received assirtanee fronl 
Isi under the name of Ashtara during the rebellion of fais prime ministen 
Grateful to hb celestial patroness, he built a pyramid in honour of Ashtara- 
devi ; which, according to the writer of the Purana, was situated near the 
river Caii or Nila\ This, I take it, b the great pyramid, the. summit of 
which was dedicated to the ship-goddess Isb or (as the Phemcmns called 
her) Ashtara or Ashtorath or Astart^: and I am the more decidedly. led 
to adopt the opinion from the exactly similar idolatrous arrangement, which 
took place in the days of Solomon on the top of mount Olivet Thut 
mountain, as we have seen, b provided with three natural peaks or pyra« 
inids; which, like the three artificial pyramids or mountains of Egypt, were 
considered as representing the three peaks of Meru : and, on t^ central 
peak^ just as I suppose to have been the case with the central pyramid, 
was venerated the identical goddess Aahtoretfa or (as the Hindoos deoomi* 
nate her) Asbtara-devi. The resemblance was studiously kept up by art, 
fio Car as the unfavourable nature oi the country would allow : for, as the 
three Meru-sringas of Olivet are three hillocks rising out of a larg^ hill, 
80 tte three pyramids of Egypt have, been industriously boilt upon the &^ 
hill between Cairo and ithe western bank of the Nile *. 
. If any thing more were wanting to ascertain the desi^ whh which the 
pyramids were constructed^ it would be supplied by the positive decbion 
of the Brahmens; whose theology is so palpably the same as that of Egypt, 
that we must allow them to be no inomnpelent judges of the matter. When 
Mr. Wilford described the great pyramid to several very learned Brah« 
mens; they declared it at once to have been a temple. Ub description 

■ AA^X. Rep. vpL ia, p» 167, 168. • NM^uhrt Twfi locU v..^ % 



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BOOST, tqiicure dotiiea : bat, in Ihehr im>portk>nSy they its^inble the otb^ T^ 
tops howeyer of each dbtinctly pomt oat tte de^gn m^ wluch they wett 
conrtraeted, and prore how truly they are <leclai^ by the Uoidooft to he 
trawcripts of Meru. The chief p^oda of Tai^ore terminates b thr«e 
pealv, answering to the three peaks of the holy Biouatatki : afid,tb{>8e of 
Deogor are universally surmounted by what is coiMaonly denominated tba 
trident of Siva. Itsf^sttion onsuch buddh^wiUatiMKelead ustCMinderi- 
•tand its import, andn'itt aerVe to confirm isy supposition rdative to the oAgok 
<rf the three fabled peaks of Menu As the pagodas are avowedly copiea H 
the sticred hill, the tridents^ which are studiously placed iM ttieir tops, must 
be intended to repiesent its^three peaks. But the shiq;»e of each trident is 
that of a kmette with a spike rising out oHu centre i aad tile cusve of the 
lunette rests upon a baH which is placed on the top of the pagoda. Uence^ 
both from the general tenc^r <tf pagan mythology and firom the particular 
tenor of that which prevails m Hiadostan, we may feel assured^ ^tM the 
trident of Siva is an hieroglyphic of the floating Moon or t&e ship Argha 
with the god Umself in theoentre snpplj^i^ the phiee ei a mi»t, and that 
the ball upon whidi it rests is the aaysterious mivicular egg« Ite posHunp 
on the summit 4^ an imitative pyramid i& just what we mt^ have ex«» 
pected, since we are told that each pyramid is a copy of Meru or Ararat: 
the combination clearly represents the Ark on the top of the lunar moun- 
tain of Armenia \ 

(4.) The temples dedieated to Riddha are equalfy pyramidal in Ibrm 
as the pagodas of Deogur and Tanj,ore, and doobtless for the very sam^ 
reason : the Buddhists perfectly agree with the Bcahmeniats in declaring 
them to be copies of mount Meru or Mienmo; andrthekr deity himself b. 
no ^iiier than the transmign^ing Menu, who was preserved in an ark at 
the time of the general flood. 

That) which most attracts notice in Pegu^ isvtbe temple of Buddha vene* 
rated under the title of Shocfitadoo or the goUen great god. This extraor* 
dkiary edifice is built on a double terrace or one terrace raised upon apo^^ 
tiier. The bwer and greater is about ten feet above the natural ^vel. o£ 

^SeePIateIII.Hg.9* * SeeHtteIH.I%.*,flL 



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TBE OEIGIK OF PAOAK IDOtATRY. S47 

file groimd : the upper is raided about twtmty feet above the lower ; and ceaf, nt. 
both are alike square. These terraces are ascended by flints of stone 
ateps ; and upon the higher is constructed the temple itself. It is a pym- 
inid composed of brick and pfatister with fine shell mortar, octagonal at the 
base and spiral at the top. £ach side of the base measures one hundred 
imd sixty two feet : and tins immense breadth diminishes abruptly, so that 
tiie fabric resembles b shape a large speaking trump^. Its extreme height 
from theleveT of Ae country is three hundred and sixty one feet, and from 
the top of the upper terrace thirty feet less '. . 

There are many other temples of a similar construction scattered through* 
out the Burma empire^ which are universally dedicated to Buddha and 
Which vary in height frtim tiiree to five hundred feet. Some are solid, and 
some are hollow containing an image of the god : but tbe nattire and 
design of them afi is the same ; they are all equally copies at mount 
Mienmo \ 

A parallel style of architecture prevails in Japan : for Kaempfer assures 
us, that the temples of Buddha in that countiy resemble the pagodas of the 
Siamites which have just been noticed ; and, accordingly, in- a view with 
which he presents us of the city of Quano, there is one of these pyramids 
surmounted with the lunar crescent representing mount Ararat with the 
floating Moon on its summit K 

(5.) Of a similar nature were Uie artificial naontiform temples of the 
ancient Scythians and Celte, Miough more simple in their construction and 
therefore approachbg nxire nearly to what tiiey were designed to imitete. 

The Crimea and the adjacent country was one of the principal European 
setUemente of the Scuths, and it is held to the pr^ent day by their de» 
sceadants the Cossaes. In this region, near the road leading to Caffa, a 
very remarkable tumulus is shewn as the sepulchre of Mithridates ; but 
which, when we consider the theology and eastern extraction of the Godiic 

' Asiat* Rei. toL v. p. 115—118. Symes's Embass. to Ava. vd. ii, p. 110. Sta 
Rate ni* Fig. 14. 

^ Af iat R68. vol. ▼!• p. 89S* K«mpfer*8 Japan, b. i. c 2. p. 32, 33. SyxaeB^B Eniibatt. 
voL iL p. 822» 238. 

> Kmpfer's Japan, b. t. c 3. p. 417. plate xxxiiL fig. 14. See Plate IIL Fig. 6. 2. 



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S48 THE ORIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATRrYr 

soox V. tribes, must clearly, I think, be prooouDced a local Mem-srioga or Ararat^ 
The natives call it AUyn^Obo: and they have a tradition, that it contains 
a treasuce guarded by a virgin, who- here spends ber nights in lamentations* 
It stands on the most elevated spot m this part of tfie Crimea, and it is 
visible iot many miles round. Its shape is not perfectly conical, bat rather 
semi-sphetoidical : and its sides present that stupendous masonry, which is 
seen in the walls of Tiryns near Argos, where immense misfaapen masses of 
stone are placed blether without cement according to their accidental 
forms. The western part b entire, but the others have follen. Dke the 
cairns of Scotland, it consists wholly of stones heaped tog^er,. as may be 
distinctly perceived by lookii^ through the interstices and by examining 
the excavations made upoa its summit: its exterior however betrays a 
more artificial eonstrucUon, and exhibits materials of greater magnitude. 
On the easterA side of it is a pit i which, if it be not a part of the original 
design analogously to the well of the chief Egyptian pyramid and the tanks 
of the Indiaa pagodas, may have been sunk hy some person who wished 
to penetrate into the interior of this immense pile. The natives have tried 
in vain to effect a passage : for the stones fall in upon them as they pro- 
ceed, and render their labour fruitless. Yet they have a legend, that an 
entrance was once accomplished : and they pretend to describe the interior^ 
as a magnificent vaulted stone chamber formed by eoormous slabs which 
seem as if they would crush the spectator \ 

So firm a bold did the ancient superstition lay upon the human mind,, 
that the wiFd traditions attaclied to such edifices, which have been handed 
down from father to son, are generally built upon the truth : for mythology 
in one age becomes legendary romance in another. Every tide respecting 
the Altyn-Obo confirms me in my belief, that it was a high place or arti* 
ficial Meru. The plaintive virgin is the weeping Venus or Niob^ of mount 
Lebanon : and the idea of her nocturnal lamentations has been taken. fit>ni^ 
the nightly mourning for the lost or slain great father. The story of the 
central chamber is borrowed from the circumstance of such apartments 
being usually constructed in the middle of artificial pyramids : and I think 

• Cladcs^'f Trwrcli. vol. L c jtviii, p. 425— 427. 



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THE OEIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY* 249 

it highly probable, that one of these rooms actually exists in the heart of cbaf* nh 
the Altyn-Obo; the access to which, as was long the case with the great 
pyramid of £gypt> stilt remains concealed, but may hereafter be discovered. 
At any rate, the prevailing tradition shews, that among the Scythians such 
chambers were wont to be constructed in the midst of such edifices. The 
notion of this tumulus being the sepulchre of a king serves additionally to 
point out its real nature* Similar to it is the fancy, which has long ob* 
tained respecting the Egyptian pyramids : and the opinion in each case 
originated from the same cause ; Meru itself, and thence every imitative 
artificial mountain, was deemed, as I shall presently shew at large, the grave 
of the great father. 

The pyramidal tumulus equally prevailed among the Celts ; of which, to 
omit others, the hill of New-Grange in Ireland and Silbury hill in England 
furnish striking instances. 

Of these the former is an immense pyramid of earth in the county of 
Meath, containing in its interior a most curious oviform chamber ; the en- 
trance to which was long concealed, not being discovered until the year 16^9: 
and the latter is a still more stupendous pyramid in Wiltshire, similarly 
composed of earth. It stands in front of the Druidical temple of Abury • 
which, from its form, exhibiting as it does the figure of a snake attached to 
a circle, was certainly dedicated to the dragon-god Hu or the serpent 
Cnuphis of Egyptian theology. Such vicinity points put very unequi- 
vocally the nature of Silbury. It was a hill representing that ; which, in 
the Druidical system, was esteemed the bed or grave of the great father, of 
^hich the diluvian Hu was.said to be the ruler, and to the top of which the 
vessel with the strong door or Ceridwen in the form of a ship was believed 
to have been conveyed with infinite toil and labour. The amazing bulk of 
4t betrays the same painfully fanatical humour, which has produced so 
^any parallel structures in different parts of the globe. It rises full south 
of Abury, and it stands exactly between the head and the tail of the enoi*- 
mous mimic serpent. The figure, which it presents, is that of a truncated 
)M)ne : whence its top is a circular plain, exhibiting the sacred ring otila ". [ 

' Ledvrich's Ant. of Ireland, p. 316. Cooke o» the patriarch, relig. p. 37, 38. See Plate IIJ. 
Fig. 17. Plate I. Fig. 5. I auspect, that many of these tumuli became in a subsequent ago 
Fag. Idol. VOL. III. S X 



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850 THE ORIGIK OF VAQAV IBOLATRT;* 

BOOK V. (6.) As the artificial pyramid or hillock was designed to represfrat Mertt 
or Ararat, and as that mountain was an island during the recess of the de^ 
luge, we shall readily perceive, why such structures were so often thrown 
up either on the shore of the sea, or on the banks of lakes and riv«-s, or in 
a small natural island, or in the midst of a factitious inundation. In each 
case, the idea was still the same : and the whole of thb studied arrange^ 
ment arose from the circumstances, under which the prototypal mountain 
had once been placed. Thus the tower of Babel stood on the banks of the 
Euphrates ; and the pyramids of Egypt decorate the banks of the Nile# 
Thus also the pagodas of Hindostan are built upon the banks of the Ganges 
and the Kistna; or, if rabed at a distance from one of the sacred riverS| 

the bates of the tower-keeps of castles, for which purpose they would be adourably adapted* 
Thus the pyramid of the Egyptian Babel was converted into a strong hold, where Inarus 
with his Athenian and Egyptian auxiliaries sustained a siege of a year and a half against 
the whole Persian army under Megabyzus. Old Sarum, if I mistake not, was one of these 
religious fortresses : and it stilly rising in successive stages, presents an aspect similar to 
that which is ascribed to Meru and which was borne by the Babylonic pyramid of Belus* 
The idea was very ancient : and, as Meru was sometimes called the holy city qfthe gods^ so 
we are not without an example of a literal city being formerly built after its express model. 
Such was the Median Ecbatana. A hill was selected for its scite ; round which, from the 
bottom to the top, were constructed seven walls one within the other, forming seven con* 
centric circles. Between the different walk stood the houses : and the round space on the 
very top of the hiD, which was inclosed within the seventh and smallest ring, was occupied 
by the rojral palace containing most probably the chief temple or high place. By this 
arrangement, ^e walls to a distant spectator would appear to rise in steps abeve each 
cither, and the whole town would present the appearance of an enormous pyramid. We 
must not omit to observe, that the iqpparent steps were seven ; which is the precise number 
of stages ascribed to mount Meru and thence studiously adopted in the construction of the 
Babylonic p3n*amid« Nor did the evidently designed simiUtude end here. As the sides of 
Meru are fid)led to be tinged with various gaudy colours, yellow, red, white, brown ; so 
we are told, that the walls of Ecbatmia were similarly painted each with a di&rent colour^ 
white, black, purple, blue, or yellow. Herod. Hist h'b. L c. 98. Much the same idea may 
be traced in the construction of some of our old castles. In the centre rises the keep or 
donjon (perhaps the dun-iona or hill of the goddess Yoni or lona) on an artifical mount: 
and round it are built the circling walls of one or more ballia. The castle or palace of the 
Median sovereign was encompassed by no less than seven such walls^ enclosing betweeii 
them (in our western phraseology} six bailies. 



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tflE ORIOIV OF PAGAK IDOLATRT. S51 

tbey have invariably before them large tanks or reservoirs of water, some chap. vu. 
of which are between three and four hundred feet in breadth '• These 
are the holy streams of the several countries through which they flow : and 
on all of them, as we have already seen, were celebrated the commemora* 
live Mysteries of the great &ther and mother ; to ail of them were attached 
some legends relative to Paradise and the deluge and the infernal regions. 
I may now proceed to exemplify this branch of the subject by some other 
•appropriate instances. 

One of the most remarkable of these is afiS>rded by the two pyramids, 
ivhich are mentioned by Herodotus thou^ they now exist no longer. He in- 
forms us, that the vast artificial lake Moeris was dug by the Egyptian prince 
of that name, and that out of the midst of it arose two pyramids each four 
hundred cubits in height The lake however being two hundred cubits in 
depth, only half (he hei^t of these pyramids appeared above the surface 
of the watar. They w^re alike surmounted by a colossal statue in a sitting 
attitude, which mi^ appear to survey the wide-extended inundation be- 
low \ We have here a complete exemplification of the old Hindoo doc^ 
trine, borrowed no doubt from the state of Ararat while the deluge was 
retiring, that every island is a mountain rising from the bed of the sea. The 
two pyramids were certainly meant to represent the two outer peaks of Menif 
such as they are exhibited by the two peaks of Parnassus : and the two 
colossal statues, which were in the very same attitude as those near the 
Memnonium in the Thebais, were designed^ like them, for the great iatbw 
«nd the great mother. 

Nearly allied both in form and idea to these pyramids was the chief ' 
Mexican temple of Vitzliputzli. , According to Gomara, the sacred in- 
closure was square, each side equal in length to the shot of a cross*bow. 
In the midst rose a mount of earth and stone, fifty fathoms -square. Its 
shape was pyramidal, save that the top was flat, which was a square of ten 
&thoms. This area was furnished with two smaller pyramids : and from 
it there was a striking and extensive view of the lake, by which both it and 
the city were on every side surrounded ^ Here we have a M^ru exhibit- 

• Maurice's Ind. Ant. vol. in. p. 21. * Herod. Hirt. lib. iL c 101, U9* 

' Oomsr. spud Parch. I%.b.viiLe.ia. p* 799,800. See Plate III. Fig. 18. 



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S52 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATHT. 

BOOK ▼• ing, like Parnassus, only two peaks : we find it begirt with a wide immda^ 
tion : and the temple-mount itself perfectly corresponds with tiie character 
of the god, to whom it was dedicated ; for his image was wont to be so- 
lemnly carried about by the priests in an ark after the manner of the 
Egyptian Ammon or Osiris, and seated in that same ark it occupied the 
saceilum of the pyramid '. 

Of a similar nature is the pagoda of Seringham^ which is built in an 
island of the same name formed by two branches of the great rirar Cauveri 
that flows through the dominions of the Rajah of Tanjore. The whole 
island constitutes the vast pyramid : for the temple consists of seven square 
mural inclosures one within another, the centrical and loftiest area inclosing 
the sanctuaries. It is obvious, that by such an arrangement the island^ 
gradually rising from its shores to its summit, would' present to a spectator 
at a proper distance the exact fabled aspect of Mem and the real aspect of 
the Babylonian tower of Belus : for the seven square walls, successtvdy 
rising according to the shape of the ground, would exhibit the appearance 
of the seven steps or stages attributed to the holy mountaia and exempli^ 
fied in the first-built pyramid on the Euphrates ^ 

With the same allusion to the deluge io the choice of situation, a vast 
pyramidal mound of earth was thrown up on the sea-shore near the city of 
Tyre. As we may judge from the reignmg superstition of the country, it 
was dedicated to Thammuz and Astartfe who were venerated on the neiglv^ 
bouring lunar hill of Lebanon. It was said to have been constructed by 
the earth-born giants ; nor was the tradition erroneous : for these post* 

' That this pyramid was designed to represent a hiD, is manifest from Its oriental name. 
According to Bemal Diaz, it was styled the great Cu. But Cu is no other thaa the Persic 
Coh or Cat/, which denotes a mountain. Thus Coh'Cas or Caucasus h the mountain of 
Cush. We find this identical name, in an inverted form, among the Peruvians ; who, like 
their brethren the Mexicans, must have emigrated from north-eastern Asia. Ctisco or 
Cush-Coh is still the mountain of Cash. 

* Orme's Hist of HuEid. a^d Maun Ind. Ant. voL liL p. 50, 51,. It is almost supei^^ 
-fluous to remark, that the plan of tlvis pagoda exactly resembles that qf tjhe Median cirt^ 
Ecbatana, which 1 have already noticed. Each was clearly a studied copy of mount Menu 
There is another pyramidal temple in die Burmaq dominions^ sipiilarly situated in an island 
formed by the. river. Irmwadde?. See Sym^'s EmbasSt to Ava. vol. ii^ p. 2^. 



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THE ORIOm OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 253 

diuvian giants, who peculiarly claimed to be the children of the great chap, viu 
mother whether described as the Earth or the Moon or the Ark, were the 
military tribe of Cush ; and the Phenicians were an eminent branch of the 
Indian Chusas or Ethiopians '. 

If we finally pass into the recently discovered islands of the Pacific 
ocean, we shcdi still meet with the same architectural notions as those which 
prevailed in other parts of the world. 

The great pyramidal M orai of Otaheite, which, agreeably to the specula- 
tions of the continental idolaters, is deemed at once a sepulchre and a 
temple, is certainly no other than an imitative ^eru : and it is not impro- 
bable, that the very name of Mord noay be a corruption of the title by 
which the holy mountain is distingu'ished. This building is a pile of stone- 
work raised pyramidally upon an oblong base, two hundred and sixty seven 
feet long and eighty seven wide. Like the fabulous Meru and the Baby- 
lonian tower, it is constructed with steps or stages running round its whole 
circumference. Each stage is four feet high : and, as there are eleven of 
them, the altitude of the entire pile is forty four feet It is observable^ 
that in the two long sides of the edifice the stages are not horiwntal,^ but 
all sink in a kind of hollow in the middle ; sa that, at the top, the whole 
surface fi*om end to end is not a right line, but a curve. The pyramid, 
nearly in the manneF of the Indian and the Mexican temples, is attached 
to a spacious inclosure of which it forms one side : it b surrounded by a 
sacr^ grove : and it is built upon the sea-shore *. When we recollect the 
deity worshipped by these islanders, namely a god who is supposed to reside 
in an ark of a similar fi>rmation to the arks of Ammon and Vitzliputzlr; 
we can be in little danger of mistaking the design,^ with which this pyra- 
midal temple was erected. It is certainly a local Ararat, skidiously buih 
upon a promontory that juts out into the sea ^ and, aecoidingly, its top is 
so constructed as to exhibit the appearance of a luaap cpescent with two 
horns or peaks. 

. The same commemorative worship prevails among the natives of Atooi; 
ibr we find in that island a pyramid^ which closely resembles in form the 

. • Noimi Dionys. lib. xl. p. 1 Oi8» * Cook's Ewt voyage, b. L c 1 5. 



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254 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRr. 

•ooK v« pyramids of Egypt As the great Moral of Otabeite is erected near the 
sea; so the pyramid of Atooi stands on the bank of a small sacred lake '• 
In all these different cases the idea is still the same ; for the sea, the lake^ 
and the holy river, equally represented the deluge retiring into the great 
abyss from the arkite mount Ararat 

S. Whenever a sacred mountain was provided with a natural cave, that 
cave was highly venerated as the symbol of the gloomy mundane Ark rest- 
ing among the crags and precipices of the Armenian peak \ Hence, if a 
local Meru did not furnish the desired grotto, recourse was had to art: 
and, with infinite labour, excavations were formed out of the bowels of the 
solid rock. The same expedient was resorted to when the mountain was 
insular, for each small island towering above the sea was deemed a pecu* 
liarly appropriate representation of Ararat. And, when the mountain itself 
was artificial as in the case of pyramids and conical tumuli, a centrical 
chamber or cavern was studiously formed in the midst of the pale, that so 
the resemblance might be complete between these imitative Merus and thek 
sacred prototype. 

(1.) The many stupendous excavations in widely separated regions of 
the globe prove the boundless extent, to which the primeval superstition 
spread itself. 

Of these several yet remain in the mountainous region of upper India, 
which may well be termed the Thebais of that country. Without insisting 
upon the probably hyperbolical language of Abul*Fazil, that in his various 
excursions among the mountains he personally examined twelve thousand 
recesses cut out of the solid rock all ornamented with carving and plaister* 
work, it will be sufficient for my present purpose to notice the w6nderful 
temple grottos of Ellora. These are hewn out of the perpendicular face 
of a rocky pyramidal hill, which doubtless was viewed as the Meru of the 
place. The severdl fronts, which they present to the approaching spec- 
tator, resemble each other in their square form and in the low doors by 
which admission is gained to the interior. Each exhibits the semblance of 
a huge square chest or ark, fast wedged amidst the crags of the mountain, 

'.Missionaiy voyage to the sottlh-sea. * See Plirte III. Fig. 18. 



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TH£ ORIGIN a? PAGAN IDOLATRT. H55 

and provided with a low door or doors by no means suitable to the general okap. tu» 
magnificence of the cavern : each in short displays the precise shape of the 
Ark with its small portal^ so far as we can gather it from the description 
given by Moses \ The dimensions of these artificial grottos are wonder^ 
fully large : their roofs are supported within by pillars hewn, like them- 
selves, out of the living rock : and, amidst a vast variety of elegantly 
sculptured images, they are decorated with the statues of Siva and Parvati 
in the evident situation of being the presiding deities of the place. Hence 
we can have little doubt of the object, with which the excavations were 
formed ; since those divinities i^oated on the surface of the deluge ^s the 
presiding mariner and the ship Argha, and since they afterwards peculiarly 
delighted to dwell on the summit of mount Mem. But the title of one of the 
grottos may serve to throw further light on the nature of the Mysteries, 
which were celebrated in their dark recesses. It bears the name of Cailasa 
or Paradise : and Cailasa is that eminently sacred peak o{ Mem ; which, 
as the special habitation of Siva and his consort the Ship, (Stains a de* 
cided preeminence over the other two peaks. The remarkable construc- 
tion of this cavern answers to its name : and here it was, I apprehend, that 
the aspirant, after passing through the preliminary difficulties of initiation^ 
was received into the full glory of the illuminated Elysium. The Cailasa 
grotto exhibits a very fine front in an area cut through the rock. On the 
right hand of the entrance is a dstern of water : and, on each side of the 
portal, there is a projection reaching to the first story decorated with much 
sculpture and handsome battlements. From the gateway you enter a vast 
area CMt down through the solid rock of the mountain to make room for an 
immense temple of the complex pyramidal fi^rm. This temple, which is 
excavated from the upper region of the rock and which appears like a grand 
building, is connected with the gateway by a bridge, the component stone 
of which was purposely left when the mountain was thus hollowed out 
Beneath it, at the end opposite the entrance, is a figure of Bhavani or 
Argha sitting on the mysterious lotos and attended by two elephants. On^ 
each side behind the elephants are extensive ranges of apartments; and be* 

' SeeFlatem.Bg. 19. 



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^»^ 



i66 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 

*ooK V. yond them, in the area, two obelisks of a square form* The pynrmdi 
which, as a representation of Meru, is also a symbol of that self-conspico- 
ous image of nature that was exhibited to the epoptae when they entered 
into the mimic Elysium, is no less than ninety feet in height from the floor 
of the excavated court. Its use was the same, as that of the phallic cone 
which is alike conspicuous in the inner cavern of the Elephanta pagoda 
and in the sacellum of the Irish temple of Muidhn In the immediate 
vicinity of these excavations, is the small circular lake with the pyramidal 
island and the neighbouring pagoda, which I have already taken occasion 
to notice '. 

Of a form closely resembling the caverns at EUora are the artificial Mi- 
thratic grottos in the mountainous part of Persia. They are hewn out of 
the face of a solid perpendicular rock : and their fronts invariably present 
the appearance of a square ark, furnished with a small door, and wedged 
fast amidst the precipices of the mountain. One of them is remarkable 
from its being surmounted by a winged Cupid, the sylpliid first- bom of 
the old Hindoo and Orphic theology, seated upon the diluvian rainbow \ 

Analogous to these are the curious excavations of upper Egypt in the 
granite mountains denominated Tschebat el TCofferi and Tschabel EsseUelc. 
The square front and the low door still present themselves : and within are 
spacious saloons and other chambers, supported by pillars cut out of the 
rock adorned with images and hieroglyphics, and still exhibiting remains of 
painting and gilding '• 

Similar grottos may be seen near Tortosa to the north of Beruth and 
Tyre, hewn out of the solid rock and surmounted by two pyramidal 
towers, which were designed to represent the two exterior peaks of the holy 
biU^ 

' Asiat Res. voL vi. p. 882->4^. 
* ie Bruyn's Trav. ▼ol. iL plttte 158, 166, 167. Thevenot's Trav. part ii. c 7. 
^ Korden's Trav. voL ii. p. 83, 34, 98, 94^ The theory, which I am advocating, is 
s^r.ongly corroborated by an incidental remark of Mr. Bruce drawn from him by the mere 
inspection of the Egyptian sanctuaries. The figure of the temples in Thebes, says he, docs 
fH/t seem to he Jar remtnedjrwn the idea given us of the Ark, They were in £Eict studied 
^copies of the great gloomy ship of the deluge. Bruce's Trav. vol. ii. p. 81. 

^ Maundrell's Journey, p., 20. 



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THE 0U6IK or FAGAK IDOLATRT. 9iS7^ 

Nor are sudi excavatioDs peculiar to Egypt and the east^ w6 find them cbat.^u. 

. also in the western regions of Europe. 

Strabo mentions, that, in the mountainous promontory of Caieta there ^ 
were vast grottos evidently artificial, because he describes them as contain- 
ing magnificent and sumptuous chambers '. They were of the same nature 
as those near the sacred oracular Avemus ; which, according to Ephorus, 
were once inhabited by the Cimmerian priests and were distinguished by 
the name of Argilke. Their ancient use may be easily collected from tlie 
l^ends, attached both to the place and to the Cimmerians i» general 
They were viewed as an approach to the infernal regions: a fountain, 
deemed a branch of Styx, boiled out in their immediate vicinity : and an 
old notion prevailed, that the Cimmerians, who are evidently the same as 
the aborig^ Cymry. or Celts, and who when driven to the extremities of 
Europe still retained under the Druids their primeval superstition, were ac- 
customed to dwell in the deep ^oom of Hades \ All these tales related 
to the mysterious rites celebrated in sudi excavations : for the Orgies uni- 
versally represented a descent into hell ; and that descent was effected by. 
entering into dark grottos either natural or artificial* Such grottos were 
transcripts of the Ark ; hence the descent into Hades was indifferently ac« 

' complbhed, by passing into a cavern, or by being inclosed within an infer- 
nal boat or navicular coi&n : and, as the Ark was termed Argha and Ila^ 
an imitative grotto was denominated ArgiUa or Argh-Iia. 

Similar excavations of amazing extent may be seen near Inkerman in the 
Crimea, which was one of the chief western settlements of the old Scythas 
or Chusas. They are hewn out of the rocks which tower above the bay, 
and they are visible at a considerate distance. Ujxm examination^ says 
Dr. Clarke, they proved to he chambers mth arched mndows, cut in the 
solid rock with great care and art. The Hshop represented them to have 
been the retreats of Christians in the earliest ages : but to give an idea of 
what we saw at Inkerman would baffle every pon>er of pen or pencil. The 
rocks all round the extremity of the harbour are hewn into chapels, mo- 
nasterieSf cells, s^mlchres, and a variety of xcorks which confounded and 

' StralK Geflg. Ub. v. p. 833. ^ Strab* Geog. Iib« v.p. 244. lib. ni. p. 149. 

Pag. Idol VOL. III. 2 K 



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25B THE ORIOIK OF FAGAK IIX)£ATBr* 

asttmisked the beholder. A river Jbm$ here into the bay^ after kmmgptr^ 
haps the most beautiful valley in Europe. At the mouth of the river theses 
remarkable antiquities are situated. The caoes seem to have cmstituted an 
entire monastery ; as the rock has been so wonderfully perforated^ that it 
now exhibits a churchy with several chambers and Umgpassages leading qjjp 
in various directions. On the oppose side of the river ^ the excavations arc 
still more frequent and somewhat more distant from the bey. Professor 
PallaSf who had paid considerabli attention to the subject ^ beUewdall these 
remains to hwoe originated in a settlement of, Arians ; who, when Chris^ 
tianity met with general persecution^ fled to these rocks ^ (md fortified them^ 
selves against the barbarian inhabitants of the paansula. Similar workp 
are found in other parts of the Crimea^ particularly at Schnlu and Man* 
koup ; also in Italy ^ and other parts of Europe : and they have' generally 
been attributed to the labours of those early Christians^ who fled from per ^ 
secution \ One of the excavations at Schulu, which are all dug out of the 
bowels of a rocky emioence opposite to the house of Professor Pallas, iif 
not less than eighty paces in length and of a propottionate breadth. Its 
roof, precisely in the same manner as the Indian and Egyptian grotta 
temples^ is supported by pillars hewn out of the solid rock *. I can easily 
conceive, that these wonderful excavations may have been wed as a retreat 
by persecuted Christians : but nothing surely is more idle than to imagine, 
that such stupendous works were undertaken and accomplished by a hand«« 
All of men so circumstanced. Every particular in the description of them 
points out most unequivocally their real origin* They are the works of the 
old Tndo-Scythee, and their age is most remotely prior to that of the eariy 
Christians. The large caverns, which were probably used as churches by 
those sufferers, were evidently the principal grottos of the temple : while 
the smaller ones were the cells of the priests, and the long winding avenues 
or galleries were used for the purposes of initiation into the Mysteries. 
Such cells and such avenues are similarly attached to the rock temples of 
Egypt and Hindostan, to the Siamese pyramids of Buddha, and to the better 
known pyramids on the banks of the Nile: and, when religious edifices 

• CIaifke'jTi:HfrvoLLcxx.p.491— 498. ^ Ibid, a nil p. 5S8. 



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THE ORIGIN or TAQAK IBDLATBT^ US9 

came finally to be constructed urith masonry, the same appendages were caap« nt. 
still joined to them, and were employed for the like services. 

A kindred mode of worship prevailed also among the Scythians of Scan* 
dinavia. In various parts of Norway, are found grottos, which have been 
employed for religious purposes : and, precisely like those which have been 
already noticed, they are hewn with itHnredible labour out of the hardest 
rocks '. 

These were works of amazing labour and difficulty : but we sometimes 
meet with oracular caverns, artificially formed in natural hills, of a more 
rude and simple style ; either for want of zeal on the part of the architects, 
9T from the mountain itself not being of a nature suitable for extensive 
rock-expavatioHs. S|iU however we may perceive the same leading design: 
md still, varied as may be the degrees of ^nagnificence, we may observe 
the artificial grotto studiously^combmed witli the sacred hllL 

On the top of mount Olivet, the three peaks of which were consecrated 
to Astoreth and Milcom and Chemosh, there has been discovered a large 
and very remarkable excavation. It is a subterrain of a conical shap^* 
res!embling a hollow round pyramid : the vertex of it is level with the soil: 
and the aperture at the vertex, which affords the only entrance into it, is 
(Ocular like the mouth of a well. I thmk it was manifestly intended for 
the casern- worship of the hermaphroditic Astoreth; who, like. Siva and 
Baal and Osiris, was symbolized by the phallic or montifonn cone \ 

It was a grotto of much the same nature as that, which is described by 
Esekiel, as containing every form of creeping things and abominable beasts 
and all the borrowed idols of the house of Israel pourtrayed upon the wall 
round about'. These were the various sacred animals, into which the 
migrating soul was feigned to pass during its initiatory progress to perfec- 
licm : and their figures were, on this account, ordinarily introduced into the 
mystic caverns. The idea, as we have seen, originated from the supposed 
mode of their creation : and, as the holy grotto represented at once the 
World and the Ark^ they were depicted upon its walls not without some 

' 01. Woim. Mcmum. Daaic lib. i. p. 6. ^ Clarke^s Travels, vol. ill p» 577* 

9 Ezek. YiiL 8—12. 



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260 THE ORIGlSr or PAOAir IDOLATRT. 

BOOK V* allusion to the two sucxessHre great fisitherd surrounded by birds and beasts 
and reptiles in the garden and in the ship. 

We find another artificial cavern of no very complex construction in 
fieotia^ dedicated to Tropbonius and much frequented by those who were 
curious to pry into. futurity* It was situated above a holy grove in a moun« 
tain ; and was inclosed by a circular wall of white stone, the small mimic 
Ila-vratta or divine mundane ring of the place. Upon the wall were 
placed obelisks or pyramids of brass : and between them was the door of 
approach* Within the circle thus formed was a chasm, not natural, but 
artfully made in the most exact harmony. like the subterrain of mount 
Olivet, it resembled the mouth of an oven or a well; and its diameter was 
at the most four cubits. Its depth was about eight cubits : and, as (still 
like the Syrian subterrab) there were no steps for the convenience of de« 
scending, a light and narrow ladder was used, when any perscm wished to 
go do^wn and consult the orade* When the inquirer reached llie bottom, 
he found another smaller cave with a very strait entrance. Here he pros- 
trated himself upon the ground, holding in either hand the ofierings to 
Tropbonius ; which, after the manner of those used in funerals, consisted of 
cakes mixed with honey. Immediately his feet were seized; and his whole 
body was drawn into the cavern, with a violence like that of .a whirlpool, 
by some invisible power. He then beheld such visions, and heard such 
voices, as seemed best to the tutelary deity of the place. The response 
being given, he forthwith felt himself conveyed out of the cavern, in the 
same manner as he had been drawn in, his feet in both cases being fore* 
most'. The whole of this was done agreeably to the notion, which 
ascribed oracularity to the sacred grotto and the imitative temple ; and 
which, as these were alike symbols of the mundane Ark, attributed the 
«ame oracularity to the ship Argo or Theba, whether borne on the shoulders 
of the Egyptian prksthood or celebrated in the Greek &bles of the Minyan 
voyage to Colchis. 

(2.) As every snudl mountain-island rising above the sea was deemed an 
eminent copy of the once insular Meru or Ararat; we shall occasionally 

' Paus. Boeot p. 60S, §0^. 



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THE ORIGIN Of FAQAN II>OLATftr# S6l 

£nd in such places the same laborious excavations, as those .which dbtia- c<ap*vii* 
guish so many mountains either mediterranean or rising abruptly from the 
sea<^x)ast Among these the artificial caverns of Elepbanta and Salsette 
are peculiarly conspicuous. 

Elephanta is a small island three leagues distant from Bombay : and it 
h thus ttenoDoinated by Europeans from a large statue of an elephant cut 
oat of the rock, of which the whole island is composed. The excavation 
is about halfway up the steep ascent of this insular mountain : and, though 
it may well be deemed a pantheon of the various Hindoo deities ; yet, from • 
•^e preeminent station assigned to the enormous triple bust of the Trimurti 
which faces the main entrance of the grotto, we must specially pronounce 
It to be a rock-temple of the self-triplicated great father who floats on the 
wrface of each intermediate deluge either in the lotos or on the i^avicular 
leaf or on the boat-like folds of the serpent or in the ship Argha. In its 
dimensions it is about one hundred and twenty feet square, and eighteen 
lugb. The principal entrance is from the north : the roof is flat, like those 
pi the Egyptian temples: and the vast mass of superincumbent rock is 
^supported by four rows of well-proportioned pillars, which thus form two 
ables on each side of the central and principal aisle. Over the tops of the 
columns runs a stone ridge cut out of the rock, resembling a beam, about 
a foot thick and richly adorned with carving. Along the sides of the ca* 
vem are ranged forty or fifty colossal statues, round and prominent as the 
life, yet none of them entirely detached from the main rock. Among these, 
on the left of the great triple bust, is the figure, which has excited so much 
speculation as a literal Amazon, but which doubtless is meant to exhibit 
the hermaphroditic combination of Siva and Argha denommated Ardha- 
tmri. On the west side of the temple is a sacellum ; which, from its furnl^ 
ture, was certainly the illuminated Elysium, when the Mysteries of regene« 
ration were celebrated in darkness visible amidst the terrific forms and 
long aisles of the exterior cavern. This recess is about thirty feet square; 
and it contains nothing, save a low altar or platform surmounted by the 
conical phallus, that self ^ conspicuous image of nature so highly venerated 
by the epoptas as the symbol of the great universal father'. It is manifest 

1 Maurice's lad. Ant. voL iL p. 139—157. Asiat. Bet. vol. iv. p. 424--4S4^ 



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Sf68 THi: ORlOIir Of FA^i^K IDOLATRT. 



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tWB, OaZOlBT or T/LOAlg IM>I.ATSr. S€5 

WsAy 9X the tttremity, is a vast coojcal pyramid^ the usual symbol of the chak viu 
great father, twenty seven feet high and twenty in diameter. Round this 
Ideroglyphicy which (as I have often observed) was splendidly illuminated 
when the aspirant was conducted into the mimic Elysium, are recesses for 
lamps : and, immediately above it^ expands a vast concave dome '. The 
altered constructioa here observable was not accidental, but designed. 
Such a form, as we shall presently see, was by no means unusual : and it 
was adopted in reference to the interior of the symbolical egg; which alike 
shadowed out the greater and the smaller World, which was said to have 
floated erratfcally on the surface of the ocean, and out of which was born 
the great fether with his triple royal offspring after a deathlike confinement 
d an entire year of the hero-gods. Above these excavations the rocky 
Steep of Canarah rises pyramidally with its four peaks; and there b a 
r^ular ascent to the summit by steps cut out of the solid stone. Anquetil 
says, that one of the peaks seemed to have been worked to a point by 
human labour : and, if this be the case, it was doubtless so fashioned that 
a noore exact pyramidal fdrm might be obtained. The top, like the tops 
of the pyramids on the Euphrates and the Nile, was used,^ I apprehend 
for tiie double purpose of sacrifice and astronomical observation. Hence 
we so perpetually find the great father described, as occupying the summit 
of a lofty mountain, and as being at once the first sacrificer and the ac- 
knowled^ parent <tf astronomical science \ 

(9.) Hitherto I have considered artificial excavations in natural bilts^ 
whether continental or insular : I shall now proceed to notice artificial hills 
m pyramids purposely constructed with dark cafitral chambers. This will 
yet mbre clearly prove the derivation of such piles from the holy mountain 
of the hero-gods, agreeably to the positive and very just assertion of the 
Hindoo tfaeologiists with which we set out : for the progress of architec- 
tural imitation will be the following ; natural hills with natural caverns, 
natural hills with artificial caverns, artificial hills with artificial caverns. 
To the kist of these we are now brought in the order of regular succesr 

■ Maurlce'i IncL Ant. toL il. p. 167—172. 
» Maurice's Ind* Ani. vol. U. p. 178, 179* 



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QM 'Twf nmnm ap paoaw moLATftr. 



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XfiUB ORIOIK or FAOAN JDO£ATRn t€3 

lecently dificovered by Mr. Davi30Q who accompaDied Mr. Montague into cbap. ybu 
Egypt*. It forms wiiat nmy be termed an additional story, after the maiH 
aer of the rock excavations in Persia and Hindostan. No access has yet 
been found to the interior of the other two pyramids : but, on the north 
and west sides of the.second, there is a suite of cavenis cut out of the solid 
stone. The entrance inta them is by square openings, hewn out of the 
rock, not larger than that l^ch forms the entrance of the first pyramid 
and which is represented by Mr. Greaves as being narrow and quadran« 
gttlar. The chambers within are likewbe square and welUproportionedi 
covered and arched above with the natural rock : and in most of them there 
is a passage, leading to an bterior chamber, but so obstructed with rub* 
bish as to forbid all penetratbn into its recesses. These grottos had most 
probably some secret communication with the inner apartment of the ad* 
joining pyramid : but the entrance into it, if ever Jknown, has long since 
been forgotten \ We may reaaonably conjecture, that the caverns were 
used, partly for the celebration of the Mysteries and partly for the dwelU 
ings of the hierophant and his brethren. With respect to the former, we 
know that the aspirant was conducted through many dark and tortuous 
avenws, ere he reached the illuminated Elysium represented by the cen* 
tral chamber : and, with respect to the latter, the account given by de la 
Loubere of the ;^cred habitations of the Siamese priests may not unfairly 
warrant the supposition ; for, since the mythology of Egypt was the same 
as that of the east, it seems not unreasonable to interpret the ordinances 
of the defoact.by those of the living superstition. This writer ipforms us, 
that tibe Talapoins reside in convents, which consist of many little cells 
ranged within a large square inclosure. In the midst of the inclosure is 
the temple; which, as it is usual with such edifices, represents the holy 
ipountain Meru or Mienmo: and near and round it are several pyramida^ 
whicb are all inclosed within four walls '« To this may be added, what I 
have already noticed, the common practice among the austere Buddbic 

' Niebuhr'8 Travels. Sect. v. c. 2. * Maurice^ Ind. Ant voL ii. p. 838. 

^ HiBt. of Siam. apud Maur. Ind. Ant. vd. iL p. 838,. 889. 

Fag. Jdoh you iiu Sf L 



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m 



MOK V. 



&66 TB£ 0EI6IN OF PAGAN IDOLAHtr. 

priests of residing in dens and caverns; of \vhich caverns the srtificii^ 
grottos near the second pyramid may well be deemed imitations. 

Tfae central chamber, which marks alike \h^ tower of Bel us and the great 
pyramid of Egypt, equally distinguishes the eaoatifonn pagodas of Hia-^ 
dostan. These are provided each with a single door, which leads into aa 
apartment closely resembling a laige cavern* Receiving no light except 
through the portal, wiiieh in the pagodas of Deogur is scarcely five feet 
high, the central chamber is artificially illuminated with lamps : and here 
the most profound mysteries of the Hindoo religion are duly celebrated. 
Tbe similitude, which the internal appearance of such edifices bears to the 
excavated grotto, so forcibly struck Mandelsloe, when he visited the coun* 
try in the year 1638, that he describes these central apartments as looking 
more like caves and recesses of unclean spirits than places designed for 
the exercise of religion \ Sbmetimes they communicate with dark passages^ 
after the manner of that by which the chamber in the great Egyptian pyra* 
mid is approached, and analogously to the «uite of gloomy grottos which 
probably once conmiunicated with a room in the heart of the second pyra- 
mid. There are pyramids now at Benares, but on a small scale, with gub« 
terraneous passages beneath them, which are said to extend many miles. 
When the doors which close them, are opened, only dark holes are per* 
ceived which do not seem of any great extent : and pilgrims no longer 
resort to them, through fear either of mephitic air or of noxious reptiles \ 

Nearly similar to the specimens, which have been already adduced, is 
the central chamber which was discovered by Mn Campbell in the earth- 
pyramid of New-Grange. Observing stones under the green sod, he car- 
ried many of them away; and at length he arrived at a broad flag, which 
covered the mouth of the gallery or avenue. At the entrance, this avenue 
is three feet wide, and two high : but, at thirteen feet from the entrance, 
it is only two feet two inches wide. Its length, from its mouth to the be*' 
^nning of the chamber, is sixty two feet. The chamber itself is octagonal,' 
rising from an area of about seventeen feet to a circular dome twenty feet 

• Maurice's Ind. Ant vol. lii. p. IS, 29. See Hate III. Rg. 9. 
^ Adat. Res. yoL iii. p. 229. 



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«BS aiStlGlM Ot f AOAN ISOrLATRT* £67 

in b^^L This dome is composed of long flat stooes, the upper project* c»af. yis. 
ing a little beyood the lower^ and closed in and capped at the top with a 
4ag. Having three arms extending beyond it rectangularly to each otber^ 
it exhibits^ with these and the avenue of approach, the exact figure of a 
cross* In each of the two side arms there are two large rock basons '• 
We have here the narrow pasisage^ the central chamber rising into an ovi* 
form dome like that of Canarah, the cisterns for purification, and the 
mystic cross. which (as we shall presently see) is a figure very frequently 
adopted in the construction of temples : all these lie concealed in the midst 
of an artificial pyramid. Sach multiplied peculiarities serve to shew, thi^ 
4be tumulus of New-Grange, supposed by General Valiancey to be a cor« 
ropted transpositicMi of Gram^Uagh which signifies the atoc of the Sun, 
was thrown op with the very same religious, ideas as those which prevailed 
among the Babylonians and the Hindoos and the Egyptians. I may add 
to them, that it terminates in two peaks, * 

. 3. Since the Mysteries were celebrated in caverns either natural or 
artificial, whea temples came to be built for that purpose in which the 
montiform pyramid was less attended to, they were contrived with dark 
chambers which bore a dose resemblance to caves, and were often fur« 
iHshed with numerous intricate aisles and passages for the purpose of duly 
initiating the aspirants. The memory of their origin was long preserved ; 
and, what sa^t seem a mere conjecture, is thus converted into a certainty: 
for we learn from Lycopbron, as interpreted by his scholiast Tzetzes, that 
the ionennost parts of an ancient temple were expressly denominated 
lowest 

Agreeably to this idea, we are told by Pausanias, that on the promon* 
toiy of Tenarum, the foot of which is washed by the sea, there was a 
temple built in the precise form of a cavern : and he adds, what sufficiently 
shews the nature of the rites there performed, that through it there was 
believed to be a descent into Had^ and that Hercules was fabled to have 
dragged the dog Cerberus to light by this passage ^ Here the promontory 

' Ledwidi'f Anu of iMlaad. p. SI6^ S^ Plate HL fig. 17. 
* Twtz. in Ljcoph. yer. 206. ^ Ffml. Lscon. p. 21& 



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96$ *HE OUOJN Of fA^AN^. XOOlATAn 

BOOK V. 18 tlie local Meta or Ararat: ancl> iri exact Mcordasute Wi(h th6 Whdir 
arrctngement and legendary history of the plaoe> we find, that the tempU^ 
contained a statue of the fabulous Arion, /who was sakl to h&ve bten cot^ 
Teyed safe to land by a dolphin when in danger of being swallowed up/ by 
Ihe sea; a fiction^ which requires no comment to render it intelligible '« > 

In a similar manner, the Egyptian temples were so constructed as t6 
exhibit the appearance either of gloomy grottos or of those artificial exca^ 
▼ations which occur so frequently in Persia and Hindostaa. As for the 
former, Pococke describes a dark granite room of itiore than ordinary 
sanctity which he found in the very recesses of the chief temple of Thebes: 
and, as for as the latter, we need only compare the fitmtis of such e^cca^ 
vations with the fronts of Essnay and Luxor to be satisfied with their pal- 
pable resemblance. These templies are open on one side, and closed on 
the three other sides. Their external form is that of an abruptly truncated 
square pyramid: and thus the original idea of an excavation in the side of 
the mountain is faithfully preserved '• It may be remarked, that.the great 
gateway of the temple at Edfer is compo^d of a double truncated pyrq;^ 
mid, with the portal in the midat; thus exhibiting the aspect of a moun^ 
tain with two peaks, which affords an entrance to an interior cavern ^ 

Such imitative temples were sometimes constructed upon ah kdmense 
scale, were furnished with numerous chamber^ both supertemaoean and 
subterranean, and were provided with various intricate passages; thewhdc 
being intended for the purpose of celebrating the Mysteries. One of theses 
unless I greatly mistake, was the famous Labyrinth of Egypt Herodotus 
describes it as being composed of twelve courts, six to the north, ixtd m 
to the south, all inclosed within^ tl^ same wall. Its apartments were three 
thousand in number ; half above, and as many below, the ground The 
former were personally inspected by the historian : the latter he was not 
allowed to view, as containing, the bodies of the sacred crocodiles and of 
the kin^ who constructed the Labyrint^. He mentions, that through th^ 
different courts there was an endless multiplicity of winding passives, lead^ 

* Faiu. Lacon. p* 912; * Pocock^V Trav. p. 95. See Hale'III. Fig. SO. 

' l^prden's Trav. voL ii. p. 91. See Plate ^11. Fig. 20, 



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THE O&rOTK OF PAdAN IDOLATRY* 259 

kig from larj^r rooms to imailer oii^s, and from these again into spacious ch^'* ▼(<• 
courts. The walls and roo& were all of sculptured marble: and the edi-^ 
fice terminated with a pyramid one hundred and sixty cubits high, the 
entrance to which was by a subterraneous avenue. It was built on the 
banks of tiielake Moeris, out of which rose the two insular pyramids that 
have already . been described '. Pliny mentions three other Labyrinths^ 
besides this of Egypt; one in Crete, a second in Lemnos, and a third in 
Italy^* They were all, I believe, constructed for the celebration of the 
same, gloomy funereal rites. That of Crete was ascribed toT>edalu8, who 
h said to have lived in the time of Minos ; and it is fabled to have been 
the prbon of the Minotaur *. Such a legend amply shews the real end 
of its construction : for the Minotaur was the semi-bovine symbol of the 
great father, and the Ark was esteemed his prison. Eustathius accord* 
ii^ly represents it, as a deep subterraneous cavern, branching out into 
many intricate windings : that is to say, it was precisely of the same na* 
turc tfs those in which we know that the Mysteries were ordinarily celer 
bratedt . It seems, that these edifices were sometimes reputed to have 
been the Work of the Cabiric Cyclopes, whose fabulous character I have 
already discussed at large ^: for Strabo mentions certain caves near Nau^ 
plia in Argolis denominated Cyclopia, within which Labyrinths or winding 
passages were artificially constructed*. They were anciently, I am per- 
iuaded; tfie TOcred grottos of the country, where the sepulchral Orgies of 
the great father were duly celebrated. According to Diodorus, the origi- 
nal Labyrinth of Egypt was .built by king Mendes ; and, according to 
Pliny, by king Petesucus^ There is.no real difference between these 
accounts : for Mendes was the same as Menes or Menu or Minos ; and 
he was styled Petesucus or Petah-SuchuSy as being the priest of the Ark 
or symbolical crocodile which sitfely conveyed him to land when the whole 
country was overflowed by a deluge. . Hence the word Suchus equally 
denoted in the language of E^pt an ark and a crocodile : and hence, we 

» Herod. Hist. lib. ii c 148, 149. * Pirn. Ub. v. c 9. lib. xxxvi. 13. 

* Virg. ^neid.lib. v. ver. 588. lib. vL ver. 37. Diod. Bibl. lib. i. p. 55^ 5S. 
^ ScboL in Odyss. lib. zi* vcn 14; ' Vide stipra book it. c 5. $ XXVIII. 

^ Strab. Geog. lib. viii. p. 369, 7 Diod. Bib. lib. i. p. 55. Plin* lib. nxvi. 13« 



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F*3 



270 THE ORIGIN OP PAOAN 1D0IATRT# 

looE V. see, in the days of Herodotus, the Yaalts of the LabyriDth were the mystfc 
sepulchres both of the holy crocodiles and of the supposed royal founders 
It is evident, that the temple, built purposely for the celebration of tiie 
Eleusinian Mysteries, was a structure of much the same sort as the Laby* 
rinths. The aspirants, as we have seen, ^ere conducted through many 
dark winding passages, ere they emerged into the splendid inner apart* 
ment, which, like the consecrated grotto, was briUiantly illuimnated to re* 
present Elysium. Now the fabric, in which the pantomimes of the Orgies / 
were exhibited, must necessarily, from the very nature of those panto* 
mimes, have been ample in its dimensions : nor could they have been ex^ 
' hibited after the manner in which they are described to us, unless the con* 
struction of the temple had closely resembled that of the Labyrinths. 
Such accordingly was the case, as we learn from the express testimony of 
the ancients. Apuleius describes himself as being led by the aged hiero* 
phant to the doors of an immense teniple, within the spacious recesses of 
which he was initiated into the Mysteries : Strabo represents tbe temple 
of the Eleusinian Ceres, as being of equal capacity with one of the vast 
theatres of Greece ; and he speaks of its interior sacellum by the name of 
a mystic cell or cavern: Vitruvius similarly notices the cell; assures u^ 
that it was of enormous magnitude ; and mentions, that the temple was 
originally built without external columns, so that its sides must have pre- 
sented the aspect of dead walls precisely in tiie same manner as the old 
temples of Egypt: and Aristides yet further confirms the resemblance, by 
observing, that the whole of the spacious interior was comprehended within 
one house or one external inclosing wall, just as were the temples of Egypt 
and Babylonia, and just as still are the temples of Hindostan and tbe 
East". 

The cell of the Greek Ceres is doubtless the cell of the British Cerid- 

wen : and, however they may differ in magnitude and artfulness of con* 

' struction, they were equally designed to represent the rocky cavern, and 

were equally used for the purposes of initiation. Many of the ancient cells 

' Apd.Metfliii.lib.xL Strab. Ge<^. lib. xL p. 895. Vhrav. de architec. pne;C sd lib. 
v& Ari9.£leuain. OMI.qpQdWsrb«rt.Div.L^at.b.iiM^ 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN IDOLATRT. 871 

^ the Droidical goddess yet remab in diflferent parts of this kingdom, ckap. vxi» 
They are denominated Kist-Vaens or stone-chests: and they are univer- 
sally formed by tiiree large upright stones^ placed rectangularly to each 
other, and covered by a fourth which serves as a lid. Their front aspect 
is a rude but exact miniature copy of the Egyptian temple at Essnay: and 
it exhibits consequently, like that temple, the appearance of a cavern in a 
rock'. These stone-arks, as they were sometimes called, represented the 
womb of the great mother, who took the form of a ship at the time of the 
deluge and thus conveyed the god Hu in safety over the mighty waters*. 
Hence there was a notion, that they were rolled from the valley to the top 
of a mountain by tlie single m^hty hand of the primeval archdruid, though 
80 large that sixty oxen could not have moved one of them: hence also, as 
the great father was said to have been imprisoned within the womb of the 
ship Ceridwen, these stone-arks were viewed as prisons: and hence the 
imitative aspirant, when about to be initiated, was placed within the cavern . 
which they formed, and was then allegorically spoken of as eptering into 
the womb of the goddess or as being confined within a prison*. They 
were, in £M:t, superterranean grottos within a small artificial rocky hill : 
and, accordingly, the stone, which served as a roof, was usually laid in a 
slanting posture, so as to imitate the descent of a mountain, and thus to 
£eu^itate the access to the summit which in imitation of Ararat served as a 
sacrificial altar. 

If we finally turn our attention to America, we shall still perceive the 
same idea prevalent both among the Peruvians and the Mexicans in the 
construction of some of their temples. 

. The city of the great god Pachacamaa,^ the Bacchus or Pacis or Baghis 
of the western continent, was famous for Peruvian devotions. Here, we 
are told, the idol was placed in a dark room or cell, representing no doubt 
that mystic cavern which was held so sacred among the idolaters of every, 
part of the world : and pilgrims were wont to come not less than three 
hundred leagues with offerings to his shrine, precisely in the same manner 

> See Plate III. Fig. 81. 

* Davies's MytboL p. SS2*40e. 



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S7S TH2 ORIGTK Of PAGAN IDQLATIIT* 

BOOK ▼• as a blmd superstition even yet brings thouiands to tiie temple of the Oxm 
san Jagan-Nath '. 

A similar style of architecture was equally fiuniliar to the Mexicans* 
We learn firom the Spanish writers, that they had dark houses fell (tf idol% 
the walls of which were absolutely blackened by the putrid gore of those 
hecatombs of human victims that were incessantly sacrificed by thma a 
and we are informed, that to the pyramidal temple of Tescalipuca^lhem 
was attached a spacious chapel or cell; which was entered by a low door 
always covered with a veil, and which was accessible only to the priests 
who dwelt like those of Egypt and the east in numerous diambers ranged 
round the edifice *• 

Thus universally was such a mode of worship established : and thus aocu-» 
rately did the psalmist describe such dens, as.^^ dark places of the earth 
full of the habitations of cruelty '• 

4. As the sacred cavern represented the interior of the Ark, as the Ark 
was accounted a World in miniature, as the insular circle of Ararat was 
for a time the circle of the visible World, as the cavern and the moontain 
whether imtural or artificial were the temples of the pagans, imd as both 
the Earth and the Ark were personified by one and the same navicular 
goddess whose womb symbolized the gloomy interbrof both these Worlds: 
it is obvious, that every temple would be deemed an image of the World; 
and i^in *that the whole World would be viewed as one immense temple*^' 
But we must never forget, what I have so often had occasion to point ou^ 
that by this mundane temple we are not merely to understand the literal 
greater World, but likewise that smaller figurative World which once floated 
on the sur&ce of the deluge bearing within it the rudimeots of all things. 
Accordingly, we may both have already obsened how intimately the an« 
cient temples are connected with the Ark : and, as we advance, we siudl 
distinguish this connection perhaps* yet more definitely and clearly. 

Porphyry assures us, that the consecrated grottos were esteemed symbo- 
lical of the World : and,- as by the anciait materialists the notion of the 

' Purch. Pngnnh b. ix. c 11. p, 881| 882. 
* Purch. PiigriiKi. b. viil c 12. p. 800. ^ Ftalm budv. 2a 



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¥HK ORtOIK OF 1PA6AK iDOLAt^Y. S73 

World was extended from the Earth to the Universe, such grottos were cbap. ti». 
decorated with figures of the heavenly bodies, and the doctrine of the 
Metempsychosis was enlarged to a fanciful transmigration through the 
several spheres. 

The curious treatise of Porphyry on the cave of the Nymphs is full of 
feferences to such speculations : but the peculiar manner, in which they 
were literally exemplified, is described to us the most accurately by Celsus. 
Origen has quoted a passage from that philosophic bigot, in which he tells 
UBf that the Persians represented by symbols the two*fold motion of the 
stars, fixed and planetary, and the passage of the flitting soul through their 
different orbs. Their contrivance was this. They erected in th^ir holy 
eaves what he denominates a high ladder^ on the seven steps of which were 
seven gates or portals according to the number of the seven principal hea* 
venly bodies: and through these portals, I apprehend, the asphrants passed 
until they retched the summte of the whole; which passage was mystically 
styled a tramndgratum tkraugk the spheres*. 

The machine described by Celsus was very evidently, I think, not what 
we should cidl a ladder; for it is not easy to conceive, how there could be 
seven gates on the seven rounds of such an implement : bot it was an ascent 
famished with seven very large steps, resembling in form those of a common 
staircase. Its precise figure may without much difficulty be conjectured, 
if we attend only to the general analogy of pagan worship. We have seen 
that the adytum of initiation usually contained a pyramid, sometimes of a 
mall size, but at other times of very large dimensions. This was the self« 
eonspicuo^s image of nature, that phallic meant Mem which was deemed 
a symbol at once of the great fiither and of the Universe : and, during the 
celebration of the Mysteries, it was highly illuminated, so as to exhibit the 
Sun and the Moon and the plants of the mimic Elysium respecting which 
we hear so much in the accounts that have come down to us of the pa- 
geants of the OvffesK But the imitative pyramid was often constructed 
with exactly seven peripherous steps or stages, in reference to the imagined 

* Porph. de aaCr. nynph. f. ^S&'^BSt 963—268. Ceh. apud Origen. adv. Ceb. lib. iv. 

• Vide«yprab.v.c*6.§m,VL 

Fag. IdoL you iiu 2 M 



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foonr. $^m st^ by which momt Meru was aftcended: and titehi^mstpa^kfi 
0f tl»at hill are said to be occupied by the soJar great father aod the liuuor 
gr^ajt mother, juet as the tivo bigb^t »^^^ ^ the Mitbrati^ ladder irer* 
(according to Celsus) assigned to the Sun and the Moon. Ileoc^ tb^is 
p9n be little doubt^ that the ladder in question was jnaally a pyramid ifith 
yeven 8tep3 or stages, ^bat each stage was provide with a oarrow door 
distingpished by the qame of ow pf tibe bef^veply bodies, aod that the w^ 
rants squeezed themseives through (hfi^e doors uatil they reached tfie Bum^ 
mit aod afterwards deacended tbrougb other similar dpors oo the oi^posjito 
side of the pyramid. I^e first process was styled the asoent of tM 9mk 
the second was termed %t$ desg^if: m^ th^ao ^^ the two opposite plaoe^ 
tary trwsmigratipn^^ (o wbi<^ Porphyry alludes io bi# tr«atw9 qu th^ 
Homeric Nympb^um* 

We may perceive a clear refenence |o such speculatious, m the scrips 
tural aeoount of the pyramid, or (if we please U> call it ^p) the ladder, <tf 
Babel. Its top was to be to ^be heavens ; by which expression we are mt 
to imagine, that tbe builders, wbo had just leit a high momitauioas eoim* 
try, were silly eiM)ugb tp fancy that they conld reao^ tbe visihle heaven and 
thus provide against aU future danger ir^m a Hood, as Josepbus idly sih>« 
poses ; but we are rather to understand from it, that the top was to be (i 
representation of heaven qr tb^ Olympus q( the deified astpcoiomipal bcaco^ 
gods* Agreeably to this exposition, the Hindoos style the wmmit of Meni 
Cailasa or hsmen : and^ iu like manner, Isaiab^ in exivreas refereuce to tbe 
idolatry of Babylon, uses as synonymous terms the asceqt of the proud 
Cbald^n monarch into heaven and his seating himself upon the ooirtbera 
mount of the assembly, in imitation of which the tower was constructed'. 

Such thfu was tbe furniture of the consecrated grotto: and such was its 
connection with the World, whether viewed w^ply as the Earth or moro 
axtensively as tbe Universe. Yet, though it represented tbe literal World 
in either acceptation, it no less represented th« Ark: for tbe aspirants wera 
indifl^rently regenerated by being bom out of a boat and out of a cavern* 
the postdiluvian ancestors of mankind are indifferently said to have come 

ft ittiah xiV 1S» 



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ottt «f tf^iMfi md mft of a etfM^ the Eaflfeeis^ deefafrech to to tynkboIkeSd b;^ cai^. y*. 
«wMefltiMlr'V6JiMl which is <tescrib6d< ad floating Uporr the surface of the 
#cmnI, tb^^yeaC mot^r is pronounced to be at once the Earth and a^^ip^ 
gtfd this whole fiiame of the UniveiM » likened to an enormous g^Uey 
Bitttmed bkf defen-sidtsredl* ttiaritien while the Son sustakis the office' 6f a 
pilot Thus also, according to the Hindoos and the several votaries of 
BtfMhtt^ fliouiit Mettf k feokoMd the-mcmdaQb tempto of the great &ther : 
iinKli a^ each f^ftamit^ with or wiehout the sdt^ stages of accent, and with 
fWher ft sfai^ chapd oir witii three chl^eto on itt summit, i$ deemed ati 
mpre^ copyof Meru^ each pyrdmid'ia of course viewed id the same light\ 
Y<^the wh<^ history of Mera cbnnecte itf with the earthly Paradise, with 
Attmt, attd with tfie deluge. Hence ir is evident, diat the various artlficiat 
ebpieii of the holy mount arid of the natural cavern were all eeteetned imi« 
atfve worldly temples 

This idea,' when iiivenedf, gftve rise to a phraseology, which haef been 
¥M^ gAienalty adopted : a$ eatr^ temple was the fVorld in mimaiure^ s& 
ike wkok W&rld ttm Me grand temple. Such, accoixKngly, is the language^ 
at tlin,trf of the ancient pbildsophera: and it was^ from a fond attachment' 
to the primeval modb erf woi^hip^ that the cM Perrilinis and Celts and Scy-^ 
tManS had suc% a sti^ng dislike to aififlfcial i^vered edificesr. Thus Xerxes 
iftisiid ttr have burned the Grecian temples, on the express ground that tbe^ 
whole World was^ the m^gnfifieetit templle and habitatioA of their supreme' 
deky^K Thw Macrobius^ mentions, that the entire Umversd was judici* 
amly deemed by many the temple of god ^ Thus Plata proiiouncied the 
riti temf^ of tb» ddty to be the World>. And tht!is HefacHtus cteclared, 
that ^ Universe^ variegated with animals and plants and stars, was the' 
o«>y^genaiiiie temple of the divinity *: Let us bear in mind this spefeulafive- 
opioion ; and it will throw* mnich light on those sacred edified of the Gen- 
tHesj which yet lemaiti^ to be considered. 

51 Since we have now reached the conelumoii^ that templesi were deemed 
c^ies^of Ae World) and that b|^*the Woi*ld we are to understand conjointly 

' Amt. Res. voL x. p. 128—136. * Cicer. de leg. Ub. iL p. 335. 

> Macrob. in fomiu Scip. lib, i. c. 14. p. 51. 

« JHat. ^od Clem, Alex. Strom. lib. v. p. 58t. ' Herac. ia epist. ad Hermod. p. 51* 



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fi76 THE ORiaiK OF PAGAN IDaX«ATftr« 

soMtir« the Earth and ti^ Ark which are alike personified under ^ name of the 
great tmwersal mother; we ebali easily perceive the reason, why so many 
of those edifices were built on the summit of a hill, either natural or arti* 
fidal* Each consecrated mountiun was a copy of Ararat : each temple^ 
that crowned the top of such a mountain, was a representation of the aum-r 
dane Ark. 

The summits of Meru, of Olympus, of the British Snowdon, of Pamas* 
sus, of every lunar mountain at the head of a sacred river, and of the three 
Idas whether Phry^an or Cretan or Gothic, were all equally esteemed the 
celestial temple 61 the hero-gods or the special habitation of the higher, 
powers. But those hero^ods were the deified progenitors of mankind^ 
who transmigratorily flourished at the commencement of the two successive 
Worlds : and all these holy mountains were transcripts of Ararat, which 
coincided with Paradise before the deluge, and which sustained the Ark 
after it Hence the imagined temple or sacred city (as it was sometimes 
called) cm the top of each of them was the Ark, blended, as we find it ta 
be most curiously blended, with Paradise or the abode of the beatified 
patriarchs. From such a temple on the summit of Merii was borrowed 
every imitative temple on the summit of every imitative Meru. 

l%e pyramid of Babel was crowned with the sacellum of Belus : the 
pyramids so frequait throughout India have small chapels upon their tops: 
and the great pyramid of Mexico terminated in two pyramidal temples* 
Mount Olivet supported the three high-places of the ship-goddess Astoretb 
and of the duplicated ship-god Chemosh or Milcom. The temple of the 
Thracian Seba or Bacchus was built on the top of mount Zilmissus*. The 
Persian Pyratheia, and the old Irish fire-towers, were alike constructed on 
the summits of bills ; and were alike decKcated to the great father Belus or 
Beil or Mithras, worshipped astronomically in the Sun. Such also was 
the situation of the temple of Jupiter, whether Capitoline or Olympian or 
Cenean or Labradensian or Atabyrian or Id^n : such was that of the 
navicular Venus, whether Cyprian or Sicilian or Corinthian : such was 
that of Apollo, whether Delphic or Actiensian : such was that of Diana^ 

* Macrob. Saturn, ^b. u c« 18. p« SOU 



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THE ORIGIir OF PAGAIT IBOXATET^ . S77 

whether Pamphylkn or Rhodian : and sudi was (hat. of the hi^^ places cauw^ym. 
of Anais, whether adcnred by the Aradenians or by the mouotameers of 
Persia'. 

In the easty we not only find small chapels placed upon the tops of imi- 
tative pyramids, but lUsewise temples themselves buiHi as in the west, upoo^ 
the summits of hills. 

The pagoda of Tripetty is situated upon a high mountain about forty 
miles to the north«east of Arcot : and, bo& from its great extept and from 
the namerous attached- cells of the offieiating Brafamens, it has more the 
appearance ci a dty than of a temple. To- this hill^ according to Taverr 
nieVy there is a circular ascent every way of hewn stone, the least of jti)e 
stones which form it being ten feet long, and tiburee broad : and the hit! it* 
self, doubtless as a special imitation of. Meru, is connMiered in so sacred a^ 
light, that none hot Hindoos are ever suffered to climb it The temple is 
dedicated to ^ Indian Venus ; tiiat is to say, to the maritime Isi or fiha* 
Tani, who &>ated as the ship Argha upon the waters of the deluge and wha 
afterwards flew away m the form of a dove\ 

In a similar manner, as we learn from Kcempfer, by £a^ the greatest part 
of the Japanese temjdes of Bnddha are built m the ascmt of hiUs or moun* 
tains, and are provided with beautiful staimses of stone by. which the war* 
shippers are conducted to them K All, he tells us^ arel most sweetly sMted; 
a curious view of the adjacent country, a spring or rit^uiet of dear water, 
and the neighbcHKhood of a wood with pleasant walki^ being necessary 
qualifications of those spots of ground upon which these holy GtiiUrngs are 
to be erected: for they say, that tte gods are exttemely delighted with such 
high and pleasant places** 

From Japan we may pass to the Burman empire: and here again we 
shall find a similar attachment to hfll worship. The pyramidal tertpie of 
Shoe-Dagon stands on a rocky eminence considerably higher than the eh-- 
cumjacent country : a peculiarly sacred temple of Gaodma near Broma is 

* Spencer del^.Heb.lib.iiLdiflBert.vL 0.2. pk 308, 904^ Strsb. Geog. UIk xL p. 512. 

lib. xii. p. 559. 

* Maurice's Ind. AnU vol. iii. p. 49, 50. ' KaBinpfer'f Japan, b. iv. c. 4. p. SOS* 



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S78 . ^sim OEianr of pasak laDOAArmT. 

BOOK T4 bctttt oa the smmiiit of a conical hiH, whictt rbed abruptly from tbe weslera 
b^Eik of the river, and on- which the god left one of the holy impressious of 
hi$ foot : and, in the neighbourhood of the once magnificent city of Pagaiind^ 
every little^ hill: is crowned with a pagoda '• 

1 6^ If we inquire intd^the precise nature of die imaginary celestial templk 
on the summit of Meru, we shall find that it is a ring of roouittaiiis denof- 
minated Ida-^rattaw the circto of Hit Worid. We may also nacdlect, 
that the World was symbslized umversally by an egg. And, ifi we. either 
view tbe most common roof of a natural cavern or cast i^ oinr eyes to the 
vaulted expanse of heaven, weshall in each case be presented with the i^ 
pearance of a vast egg-shell seen internally^ or of what architects call a 
domd. But, as the World and tbe Ark were oonsidered- by tbe old idolaters 
as interchangeable teni)s> as they were represented by common symbolsi 
micias the)| were pereonified by one and the same maternal goddess: so 
we may diiserve) that Ida or Ila is described as the wife and daughter of 
the ark-preserved Menu ; that she is no other than Isi in the &rm of tfa« 
diluvian ship Argha ; that the mystic *egg is said to have floated an: entim 
year upon the surfece. of the ocean, and then; to have product SxtaxL its 
gloomy interior the triplicated great feither.or the:great fiath^r and his three; 
sons ; and that the cavern mani^esdy typified the: ship of Cronus or O^ris^ 
no less than tbe literal and material World: 
Erom these speculations originated tbe oval and circular temples; which; 
. wove sometimes open to tbe wide vault of heav^,.and which at other timet, 
were covered in by a concave shell or. dome. Tbe notion however of the . 
prototypes wis of course eKteocfaed to thearcfaitectural copies :.and| as they 
were symbols of the World both literal and mystical, so likewise were their 
imitative transcripts.' 

(1.) The link, by which the natauraMda^vratta is jwied to the artificial 
copy, may be seen tiie xeuoA perfeotfy and therefore the most di^nctly in tte^ 
Americaa re^oa of: Peru. Witb a rare felicity, the: city of Cusco is sup* . 
rounded by a ring of twelve mountains answering to the twelve signs in the 
great mundane ring of the zodiac. Here then was a natural Ida-vratta^ 

' Symes's EitiU fs Ayi^ voL.ii.p.r 110^ Ul, 18S, SS8. 



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THE XmfGlS OW TAOJLV IPQLATRT* 979 

ifiach ooqM myt M f o be observed by a body bf colooislB wbo certainly cbap^vu* 
iNTDagbt wkb tbem from Asia the wbole system of thoir theology. But they 
did more. As a rUde upright stone was the most ancient hicro^yphie bf 
the phallic and solar great Either; they reared twelve such stones on the 
tops of tbe twelve motmtainsy and dedicated tbem to the Son in his twelve 
astronomical places during the soccenion of the twelve months ' 

But such peculiar situaUons were very seldom to be had : and| when 
diey were wanting, it was necessary tbat mere art should supply tbe defi^ 
ciency. Still however in these cases the ori^nal of the projected fabric^ a 
ring of hills on the summit of a mountab^ was carefully borne in mind : 
and, if each separate stone could not be placed upon -a separate hillock, a 
ling of stones, .as the best possible substitute, was reared upon tbe ascetit 
erf' a single mountain or en)inence\ Such fabrics are commonly styled 
Druidical: but, if by tbe term we tneaa to limit ibem to the old Celts, we 
apply it most erroneously. Rock monuments of various descriptions abound 
indeed most eminently in Britaiin : but we find cuxles of stone in other 
r^ions besides this. v 

There b one upcHi the top of a hill, which rises tike a natural altar before 
the Phrygian Ida'. There seems tc^faave been another upon tbe suimnlt 
of tbe Phenician Lebanon, dedicated to VenMS and Adonis : at least we are 
told, that there were naany upright stones there of the Betylian description ; 
and, as there were many of them, and as Lebaixm was a local Meru or Ida^ 
vratta, I ^mk it most probable that they were ranged in the form of a 
circle ♦. In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, ebcy occur not unfipciiueotly * 
and they are usually placed round a small artifidtetl hill, vjrhich is crowned 
wiA the rocky cell or grotto of ftwr dtones describeid already under ita 
British name of Kist-Vaen. One of the largest of these temples is to be- 
seen in the island of Zealand. It is composed of stones of en enormoaa 
magnitude : and, like our own Stonehedge, it might almost seem to be tbe 
work of enchantment^ since there are no similar Kdt» io its immediate 
vicmity K There was another of tbem i» the island of Jersey, wbidi haa^ 

■ Purch. Pilgr. b. ix. c 12. p. 885. * See Plate III. Fig. 21, 22. 

^ Clarke's Travel8».volL m <: ^ Damasi tfpud PhoU Bibl. p. 10i7* 

^MUl0iniJNqathkABt.?QLlc. 'Z^>l«iia6«. ; 



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'S.BO THE ORIOIIT OV PAGAN IDOLATRY. 

BOOK V. been removed to England and reerected in the neighbourhood of Henley: 
and there is another at Salakee in one of the Scilly islands '• fiut by far 
the greatest number is to be found in various parts of Britain, some com* 
posed of small and some of larg^ atones, according to the zeal or ability of 
their respective founders. In Cornwall, which may well be termed the 
Thebais of the island, they abound most wonderfully : and their form is not 
always perfectly circular, but sometimes elliptical or oval. They occur 
also in the Highlands of Scotland : and there the remembrance of their true 
destination has been accurately preserved even to the present day ; for th^y 
are still denominated temples^ mid tradition reports them to have been for* 
merly the habitations of pagan priests \ In England we have Rolrich and 
the gigantic Stonehenge. Of these the former is constructed upon die sum* 
mit of a hill ; and tiie latter, not quite, but very nearly so. A bury we hadp 
until the country was deprived of it by the persevering mischief ot a stupid 
barbarian. This was a circle inclosing two other circles, and attached to 
an enormous snake formed entirely of upright stones and Imving a fourth 
circle for its head. The principal ring of Abury likewise stood upon ele* 
vated ground ; and directly to the south of il;, as I have already obberved, 
rose the artificial pyramid of Silbury ^ 

To describe such well-known monuments, curious as they are, would be 
impertinent: what I am chiefly concerned with is the idea, which was at^ 
tacbed to them, and which in fact prompted their construction. 

I deduce them all from the sacred Cor-du or imaginary Ila-vratta of 
mount Ararat ; tliougb it is not improbable, that they may have been ucca* 
sionally used as places of national or provincial conference, no less than as 
temples: and tliis opinion is clearly confirmed, while the light in which 
they were considered is unequiyocally ascertained, by the curiously de* 
scriptive titles which the ancient Druids and their successors the bards be- 
stowed upon Stonehenge They denominated it Caer-Sidee; which de« 
iK)tes the circle or inclamre of Sidee. But Sidee is the same goddess as 
the Sicilian Sjto, the Phenician Sida, the Babylonian Sidda, the Canaanitish 
Sittab, and the Indian Sita; and Sita is a title of Ila or Parvati^ who fbated 

* Boriase^s ComwalL b. iii. c. 7. p. 198. 
» Ibid. p. 192^ 193. i See Plate L F«. 5. 



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^ 
^ 



THS OBIOIN OF I^AGAN IDOLATRT. 281 

^ tb^ cMui^. aa the ship Ar^; just as <S$^^ is a Utle of Cerkiwen, ivho c^ab. vu« 
UQularly floated on the delugfS ha the form of a ship bearipg Hu or Noe in 
fi^^ty over its waves. Thus it is maoifiest, that the name CaetSidee is 
yare^bely ^ijiivaleijii; in all vespecta to. the name Ila-vrattu. Whence it 
vm follow, that Stonehenge waa a designed copy of the ring of lla or (as it 
ip sometimes called) the. ring of Buddha-Sakyjot, which ip feigned to crown 
tl^e aummit of Meru or Ararat As Ceridwea however was the gpddess of 
the Ark> W less than the goddess of the World ; so the imitative Caer< 
Sidee repire^ented ^e microcosmic Ship roatbg on the top of the mountain, 
00 le^ Umui the Megaoosm, which was once confined to the insular circle 
of the Anneoidn peak. Both these ideas were ingeniously combined to* 
gfither in. a single appellation^ by which the Druids were wont to distia* 
guish the vast ring of Stonehenge : l^ey called it the Ark of thei JVorld— 
|f suiQh a title reqqired any explanation, it would receive it from the cha^ 
i;actQr (^ Ihe deities^ to whom the temple was dedicated. The common 
saiM^ary of Noe and Eseye, or of Hu and Ceridwen. who is the Isi of Hin^- 
dostan, is said to be the great stone fence or the circular mound constructed 
of stpnerwprk. Now this sanctuary, from the very description of it, must 
^itbei; have been Stonehenge or some other similar edifice ; which is per- 
fectly immaterial to the point in question, for analogy demonstrates that; 
tfie many stone circlfss of the Druids were all constructed under the in- 
fluence of the same ruling idea. But Hu and Ceridwen, or the ship-god 
9nd the ship^goddess, are most undoubtedly Noah and the Ark. Therefore 
^nehenge was plainly called the Ark of t fie fVorldi because it was viewed 
as a copy of tlie inclosing Ark of Noah — ^This conclusion is further esta- 
blished, both by the singular languagfe of the bards, and by the other namea 
which were bestowed upon Caer-Sidee. Though the mythologic poets of 
Britain tell us, that the common sanctuary of the great father and great 
Brother was the vast circle of stonei-work ; yet they likewise speak of that 
sapctuary, as being surrounded by the tid^ and as reposing upon the sur« 
face either of a wide lake or of the boundless ocean. Now, as such de- 
scriptions have but ill accorded with Stonehenge since the portentous day 
when it crossed the Irish sea at the high behest of the enchanter Merlin, 
and as the deities of Stonehenge were Noii and a Ship: we may safely ^ 
Pag. Idol. VOL. III. 5L N 



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S82 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAK IDOLATRY* 

BOOK ▼• venture to transfer both them, and the legendary voyage of the Wiltshim 
temple, to the real floating sanctuary, of which that temple was only a sym- 
bol, and of which the true Noe was the pilot. Yet, agreeably to the uni- 
form tenor of Paganism, which always blends together in the person of one 
goddess both the Ark and the World, the Druids, by the names which they 
imposed upon their Caer-Sidee, never suffer us to forget, that, although it 
shadows out the diluvian Ship, it does not shadow it out simply or exclu- 
sively. They variously denominated this magnificent temple the mundane 
rampart^ the mundane circle of stones^ the circle of the Worlds the stall of 
the caw or of the navicular Ceridwen venerated like Isi and Isis under the 
form of that animal, the circle ofSidee, and the mound constructed of stone-- 
work representing the World ' — Each of the trilithons of Stonebehge, as 
they are called by Stukeley, formed a noble portal : and through these por* 
tals, primarily representing the door of the Ark, but finally the various 
multiplied astronomical doors of the Sun and the Moon and the Planets, 
the aspirants were conducted into the interior, and were said to be rege- 
nerated by so holy a passage — ^The edifice has been originally composed 
of two concentric circles, inclosing an elliptical adytum or cell : and, in the 
very midst of that cell, is a large flat stone, which has usually been deemed 
the altar. As for the adytum, it plainly answers to that interior sacellum, 
which in artificial temples was called the cavern ; and it was devoted, I 
apprehend, to the very same purposes : while the supposed altar was the 
mythologic grave or bed of Hu, respecting which more shall be said in its 
proper place — In this temple Hu was venerated as the serpent god * : and 
to that circumstance we may ascribe the dracontion figure attached to the 
ring of Abury. The two together formed the hieroglyphic of the serpent 
and the circle : and, as the serpent-god was usually said to have wings, the 
whole composed the famous Egyptian symbol of the globe and the winged 
serpent ; which Kircher has idly fancied to be an emblem of the Trinity. 
It was in truth the type of the serpent Cnuphis : but Cnuphb was the 
tame divinity as the serpent Hu. 

• Davies's MythoL of Brit. Druids, p. ibO, 101, 105, 108, 109, US, 114, 120, 121. 
194, 507, 508, 537, 562, 56S. 

^ Daviea's Mythol. p. 113, 114, 121^ 562. 



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fHE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 983 

AccOrdinglyy the temple of Cnupbis in the Egyptian island of Elepban- c^AP• viu 
Cina is similar in figure to the circular temples of Abury and Stonebenge, 
thougb it differs in the style of arcbitecture. It is a low building, con* 
sisting of a single apartment and surrounded by an oval cloister, whicb last 
h open to.tbe sky# The interior sacellum, like the interior circle of Stone- 
hengCi contains a plain square table; which Norden rightly conjectures to 
be meant for a tomb, though he is mistaken in deeming it a literal tomb '. 
Its religious use was the same as that of the similar table in the centre of 
our British temple. There is another oval temple in the island of Philss, 
which lies still higher up the Nile than Elephantba : and here also was a 
sacred tomb, where Osiris was believed to lie interred *• 

(3.) But, though the vaulf; of heaven was the only roof of the primeval 
round temples, convenience led, among many nations, to their bebg covered 
in. Yety when this was done, the remembrance of what they originally 
were was still carefully preserved ; and the roof, which was added to them^ 
instead of being flat, rose gracefully in the form of an egg-shell or concave 
dome. 

Thus the circular Pyratheia of the Persians, when at length they were 
covered in order that the sacred fire might be the better preserved from 
wet, were always finished with an oviform roof?. Thus the Roman temple 
of Vesta, which is generally supposed to be the present round church of 
St Stephen, was built, according to Plutarch, of an orbicular form for the 
reception of the holy central fire : and, by this £atshion of the edifice, Numa, 
he tells us, intended to shadow out, not merely the Earth or Ve^a in that 
character, but the whole universe in the midst of which the Pytbagor^ns 
placed the fire of the Sun \ And thus the Thracian temple of Bacchus- 
Seba, which crowned the summit of mount Zilmissus, was of a circular 
form ; and was lighted solely by an orifice in the top of the dome, by which 
it was covered K This last was evidently a temple of precisely the same 

' Gough^B Compar. view of the anc. monuin. of fnd. p. 15. Norden's Trav. vol. 

p. 101, 102. 

* Cough's Compar. yiew. p. 15. Diod. Bibl. lib. i. p. 19. 

' See Plate in. Fig. 25. * Maurice's Ind. Ant. rol. iiL p. 180, 181« 

i Macrob. Saturn, lib. L c* 18. p. 20L 



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BOOK V« 



286 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY* 

One of these occurs about three miles from Matura in the island of Cey- 
lon. On the top of a gentle acclivity rising from the sea and clothed with 
various kinds of trees, b the Cingalese temple in question. From the 
centre of a circular terrace, about one hundred and sixty feet in diameter 
and twelve high, rises a lofty dome shaped like a bell : and this dome is 
surmounted by a round pyramid, which rests upon & square pedestal '• 
The very ancient pyramids of Deogur are constructed after a somewhat 
similar manner. Their sides are not carried up in a straight line ; but 
they bulge out in curves, so as to produce the appearance of so many 
square domes. At the top they are truncated: and, from the square sum- 
mit thus formed, rises severally a square pedestal supporting a circular 
cone ; which is* finally surmounted by the egg bearing the trident or the 
lunar boat with its central mast \ The same ruling idea may be observed 
in one of the Egyptian pyramids at Sakarra. Of its four sides the lower 
parts bulge out with the curvature of a dome ; but the upper parts towards 
the ape^c rise rectilineally : so that the whole edifice consists of a square 
dome terminating in a square pyramid'. To this class we may add the 
Chinese Tien-tan or Eminence of heaven. The form of the hill, which is 
within the walls of Pekin, is round ; in allusion to the vault of the heavenly 
firmament, as it strikes the eye : and the single character of Tien or Heaven 
is inscribed upon the principal building, which surmounts it. In the sum- 
mer solstice, when the heat and power of the Sun are at the highest, the 
Emperor comes in solemn procession to the Tien-tan to offer thanks for its 
benign influence : as in the winter solstice similar ceremonies are per- 
formed in the temple of the Earth. We are not positively informed, whe- 
ther the building upon the summit of this tumulus is pyramidal ; but, from 
the general style of the eastern pagoda, such most probably is the case. 
At any rate, the hill seems very evidently to be the grand local Mienmo or 
Meru of China ♦. 

8. As the circular form was chosen to represent the appearance of the 

' Asiat. Res. vol. vi. p. 438, 439. and plate opp. to p. 438. See Plate III. Fig. 23. ' 

* See Plate UI. Fig. 9. 

^ Norden*s trav. vol. iL p. 14. pi vi. f g. 3; See Plate III, Fig, 24. 

^ Staunton's Embass. to China, vol. ii. c. 4. p. 324. 8vo edit. 



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THD ORIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATRY* 287 

visible horizon ; so it is probable, that the cross with four arms was selected chap. vir. 
in reference to the four cardinal points of the World. This at least is cer- 
tain, that that figure was held in high veneration long before the Christian 
era : and, accordingly, we find several temples with avenues branching out 
from the central penetrate into four rectangular arms. Such is the shape 
of the great temple at Benares. Its body is constructed in the form of a 
vast cross : and, where the arms intersect, rises a lofty dome somewhat 
pyramidal towards the summit Exactly the same likewise is the shape of 
the temple at Mathura. It presents the aspect of a high dome with four 
crucifDrm arms extending rectangularly from it \ Such again is the shape 
of the subterraneous temple beneath the pyramid of New-Grange. The 
avenue to it forms the long arm of the cross ; and three other short arms 
branch out at right angles from the central octagon sacellum, the roof of 
which rises in the form of a dome. 

This figure is the famous cross of Hermes or Taut. ' It repeatedly occurs 
on the Pamphylian and other obelisks ; and it decorates the hands of most 
of the sculptured images in Eg}^t *. Yet, as the philosophizing pagans 
never lost sight of the mundane Ship while they were considering the literal 
World, the four-armed cross, which represents the latter, was sometimes 
deprived of an arm in order that it might better typify the former. While 
the Argha floated on the surface of the deluge, Siva, standing in the midst 
of it, supplied the place of a mast. Such a combination gave rise to the 
hieroglyphical trident, which is composed of a lunette with a central spike 
between the horns ; and it was equally symbolized, if I mistake not, by the 
purposely mutilated cross of Hermes. When the perfect cross + was 
despoiled of an arm, it became that imperfect cross which was denomi"* 
nated the Taautic Tau : and, when this figure was disposed iuvertedly Xi 
it then, like the trident Y, exhibited the appearance of the Argha with its 
mast. In fact, the trident with its pole is but the perfect cross, with its 
two horizontal arms bent upwards in the manner of a crescent ; while the 
trident without its pole is the mutilated cross x> ^^^ ^^ conical strokes 
at the end of the two arms somewhat elongated, 

' Tavernier apud Maur. Ind. Ant vol. iiL p. S0| 47* 
* Maur. Ind. AnU toL iL p. 3£9> S60» 



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26* THE OBICIN or PAGAN IPOXATRY# 

BpoK Vt g. We now copae to a very pecuHar sort of temple, which may aerve 
decidedly to confirm all the preceding remarks by exhibiting the form of 
the sacred ship without the intervention of any hieroglyphic 

Since each sacred mountain, whether natural or artificial, was confess^ 
edly a transcript of Meru or Ararat ; and since, as we have seen, each 
temple which crowned its summit or was dug out of its side was an avowed 
aymboi or representation of the mundane Ark : we shall not be surprized 
to find 'the naked truth sometimes exhibited in the exact models of a ship, 
either insularly surrounded by water, or placed on the top of a holy hilL 
Thi^ accordingly, will proye to be the cs^e in more than ope region of tiie. 
e^rth. 

A pagoda, which stapds near the great pagoda of Tanjore, supports upoa^ 
its top the precipe figure of the hull of a ship furnished with a sloping deck^ 
like the rpof of a house ; the whole perfectly resembling those drawings 
of tjie Ark, to which pirtQrial licenpe sp frequently gives birth '. The sum- 
mit of the lunar mount AJban in I^iupi was of old decorated with a similai; 
figure of a ship, which was reverenced as the sacred ship of Juno or Isis% 
Sesostris is said to have built a ship of cedar two hundred ajad eighty cubits 
in length, plated over with gold on the outside and with silver in thp inside; 
which he dedicated to the god whom the Thebans worshipped, that is to 
say, to the ark-exposed Osiris *. 5uch a dedication to the navicular divi- 
nity, the costly mode in which the vessel was finished, and the circumstance 
of its being constructed in the very inl^erior of the country, all serve to 
demonstrate, that it was never meant tp be launched, but that it wa9 ^ 
fihip-temple built in studied imitation of the mystic J^aris or Ar^o* I ao^ 
inclined to think, that the ship of Isis venerated among the Suevi was no 
oth^r than a rude ship^temple: and I am the rather led to adopt such af) 
opinion from the actual existence of such a structure among the Hyper- 
boreans of Ireland. On the summit; of a bill near Dundalk is an exact 
stone model of the hull of a ship, which Mr. Wright very properly ter^a^ 
a ship- temple. Its Celtic name sigilifies the me nighfs t^ork; which, by 
a slight alteration, General Vallancey would make to denote^ though (q$ 

* See Plate UL Fig. 7. » Dion. Cass, lib. xxxix. p. 62. ^ pipj. 5151, uj,, i p^ 52, 



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"rUZ OMGllSf OF PAGAN IBOLATRT. £89 

he acknowledges) by a forced construction) the remains of the only ship, chap* nu 
I see not the necessity of this correction. The goddess Night or the black 
Venos, the InferaaL Ceridwen of the Britons, the Mother-Night of the 
GotiiSy and the gloomy Lilith of the Persians and Babylonians, was highly 
venerated in all parts of the world as the female divinity of the ship. To 
tiiat goddess the uncorrected name of the Irish temple plainly alludes : 
imd it consequently toadies us, that the 8tone»>ship on the hill was a woric 
executed in imitative honour of that divine Night or infernal navicular deity, 
who is eminendy One. But^ whatever be tlie true import of the name, the 
general analogy of ancient Paganism leaves no room to doubt of the my- 
thologic idea, with which this remarkable shi}) was studiously constructed 
on the summit of a hill '• There was another very curious ship-temple 
at Rome, dedicated to Esculapius ; who, as we have seen, was the same 
as Adonis or Attis or the great father ^. When the worship of this deity 
was first introduced irom Epidaurus, the living serpent, which represented 
him, quitted the ship as she lay in the Tiber, and glided to a small island 
in the river. Hence it was believed, that the god had chosen tiiis sacred 
spot for his peculiar residence : and acrardingly, by meaps of a breast- 
work of marble which was carried round it, the whole island was fashioned 
into a temple for him, which in form exactly resembled a ship ; one end 
of it being made higher to imitate the stern, and the other end lower to 
imitate the prow ^ * 

It is easy to percdve, that the fiEible of the stone-ship of Bacchus origi* 
nated from these imitative stone temples. An attempt was made upon his 
life by certain impious mariners, who were conveying him to Italy : but hte 
cba»ged the men into fidt^es, and the ship into stone. * This happened, we 
are told, on the coast of Tuscany : and I think it highly probable, that some 

' Collect, de reh. Hib. vol. iii. p. 199. et infra. A short tiaie since the remains of a 
wooden ship were discovered upon an eminence in the n^dst of one of the Irish morasses. 
It occasioned no smaill speculation; for the wonder was bow it came there, 'sbce it waa 
considerably above the level of the water* The stone-ship of Dandalk will explam tha 
mystttry. 

» Yide Supra book iv. c. ^ § Vf. . 

» Ban!er*s Mythol. b. v. c & p. 163. Hooic's Rpnu Hist. b. iii. c 24. p. 592. 

Paf^. Idol. ! VOL* lU. ' £ CX 



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£90 THE ORIGIN OF PA0AN XDOLATatt 

B00& T. insulated rock, wbid) in figure resembled a, ship, wag venerated as the sut^^ 
ject of the metamorphosis, and was used as a sea-gbt sanctaary of the 
god \ The vestiges of a similar superstition remain even to the present 
day in the Cnmea, which was one of the &rst European settlements 4>f the 
Scuths or Chusas ; of so durable a nature are the legends of ancient Pa« 
ganism. Between Sudak and Lambat is sliewn a rock; which, from its 
accidratal resemblance to a ship, is still believed to have been a vessel, 
that was formerly with its crew turned into stone *• It was, I am per- 
sOaded, no other than a natural ship-temple of the old Scythians; who 
were ever the patrons^ and who were indeed the first authors, of the great 
demonolatric apostasy. In its mythological nature it was the same as the 
rocky cavern, which Saturn constructed in the midst of the ocean for the 
purpose of concealing himself and his family : it was the same also, in its 
import, as the Irish insular tem[He of Muidr, and as the Egyptian holy 
island of Philee near the cataracts. This last was the reputed burial-place 
of Osiris : but the coffin of that god was the same as his ship : hence Philse, 
with its sacred excavations, was doubtless viewed as the sepulchral ship- 
temple of the gi^eat father. The stone trough in the central chamber of 
the principal pyramid, which has generally been deemed the coffin of the 
imagined royal founder, is in reality the stone-ship of Osiris : and, like the 
Argha of the modem Hindoos, it was, during the performance of the holy 
rites, filled with flowers and fruits and water for ablutions. Yet the com- 
mon suppositicui of its being a coffin is not absolutely erroneous : the mis- 
take consists rather in the character of the person to whom it is attributed, 
than in the nature of the implement itsel£ It was certainly a coffin : but, 
instead of being a literal coffin, it was a stone copy of the mythologic sepul- 
chral ship of the dead Osiris', 

* Nonni DIonys. lib. xlviL Ycr. 507> 508. Ovid tells the same story, but not qujte so 
perfectly : he only says, that the ship became fast rooted in the sea; which however im* 
plies that it was changed into a rock* Metanu lib. iii. ver. 661, 662. 

* Heber's Journal in Clarke's Travels, vol. i. c 21. p. 5S7* Closely allied to such le« 
gends h the metamorphosis of the Pheacian galley into stone, when it returned after 
conveying Ulysses to Ithaca^ See Odyss. lib. xiii. H<Hner« I have little doubt, alluded 
to some insular ship-temple. The rooting of the ship to the bottom of the sea alluded to 
the grounding of the Ark on mount Ararat. 

> VaUancey's Vindic p. 21 1| 220. Diod. Bibl. lib. i. p. 19i 



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TH£ ORXOiy OF PAGAN iDOXATRIT* 9&1 

\ We ittty not improperly refer to this description of temples ^bose vast chap, vtu 
ain^ stones^ which were occasionally venerated as symbols of the navi- 
cular great mothen There was one of these on the confines of Phrygiai 
named Agdus; which was thought to be the rock, whence the stones were 
taken that Pyrrha and Deucalion threw behind them after the deluge. It 
was believed to be divinely animated ; and it was revered as the shrine or 
actual residence or symbol of the goddess denominated the great mother \ 
I suspect it to have been of an oval or navicular form, like the enormous 
egg^tooe of the parish of C(»[istantine in Cornwall. This rests upon the 
points of two rocks; and it bears a close resemblance to a ship upon the 
stocks, the deck of which rises in such a curve as to give one at the same 
time an idea of a large egg. The orifice beneath, thus formed by the con- 
tact of the three stone% was considered as the mystic door of the vessel ; 
by passing through which the aspirants became entitled to the imaginary 
benefits of the Bacchic regeneration ^ To such navicular images of the 
groat mother^ which we may distinguish by the rmne of stone-ships^ the 
prophet Jeremiah clearly alludes, when he reproaches the apostate Israelites 
for »ying to a stone, Thm hast brought me forth ^ They, who are the! 
subjects of >his denunciation, had been bom again (to adopt the language 
of Uie Mysteries) by squeezing themselves through the rocky orifice, which 
represented the door of the ship: and accordin^y, as we have already 
seen, the same superstitious ceremony prevails throughout India even at 
the present (lay. 

These remarks will account for the curious onirocritical explanation of 
Achmetes, which seems not a little to have perplexed the learned Dr. More. 
That writer tells us, that, according to the Indian interpreters of dreams, 
if any person in the visions of the night be engaged in building a merchant- 
ship, he shall collect together a company of men for the purpose of initi- 
ating them into the Mysteries. Such an exposition Dr. More quaintly 
pronounces to be as far fetched, as from the Indies themselves. Yet he 
adds, though utterly at a loss for the reason, that it is not easy to conjee^ 

' Timoth. apud Arnob. 04v^ g^t.. 13>* v. p. 157. 
^J5orlaBe'sConiwaU.b,iii.ca.p,174. See Plate IIL Fijr. 27. -• Jcrcm. il 27* 



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t9^ THE. OWWN.OJ PAGAjN IDOLAtBT^ 

BQQx Y. ture, why /i shij^ should intknAte fAe congregating ofmmfw the tekbraticn 
of religious Mysteries^ unless we cbnonve a Mhip to represent a tempk^ 
He is doubtless rigbt in bis conjecture, though he owns^ hiaoself quite un** 
able to assign any adequate cause ^f a temple being onirocritically symbol 
Uzed by a merchant-ship '• We shall at present however have little diffi^ 
culty in accounting, both for this circumstance, and for the cbse connection 
of a ship with the. Mysteries* Teaaples were transeriptB^ eitb^ literal or 
bieroglyphical, of the diluyian Ship : that Ship, from the infinite Variety of 
its lading, was aptly deemed by the Indians a mercbant-veesel : and aspi* 
rants were initiated into the Mysteries by an imitative new birth tbrou^ 
the portal, which represented the door in its ^e % 

10. From the natural grove^ which shadowed out the garden of Para« 
dise, originated those temples, which were constructed with numerous 
pillars some without and <tfbers within the edifice. The shafts of the 
pillars represented the trunks of tlie trees r and, from the general style of 
their ca{Mtals in Greckn architecture, I should think that the sacred phenix 
jot palm was the tree chiefly selected for this purpose. Exqdisite as was 
the taste of the Hellenic builders, insomuch that it seelns to exceed the 
genitffi of man ixi invent a fourth order ^ ; they yet plainly borrowed in the 
first instance from Egypt, as Egypt (I suspect) under its Shepherd-king^ 
borrowed from Hindostan ^ The general style is palpably the saooe ; 
though the Hindoos often use a capital, which I am not aware was ever 
adopted in the west This is the flower of the sacred lotos^ which fire^ 

■ Achmet. Oniroc. c 179. More's Sjnoiop. Prophet b. i. c 8. p. 55K 

^ Since much of the machinery of the Apocalypse studiously refers to that pagan demcM 
nolatry, which under a different name was to be adopted by a corrupt Christian church, I 
am inclined to suspect, that the prophet styles the hierarchy of the mystic Babj^on *Aip- 
masters in express reference to this part of gentile superstition. The figuratif^ rfiip was 
the harlot, floating, like the navicular JA^ upon many waters. See Rev. xvii* 1« and 
xviii. 17—19. 

^ I purposely say a fourth ordevy because I can only admit the existence of three genuine 
orders ; the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian. As for the Tuscan, it is mere Doric in 
the Egyptian style as used by the old Hetruscans : and in the Composite we behold the 
exquisite Corinthian most woefully corrupted. 

« Sea Plate UI. Fig. 28, 29. 



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99fB OEIGIK OV PAOAN IVOLAJUTi ^9 

^uetitiy crowds &e wmnkof their massy pilktn. I iunkd to deduee the oh». «i. 
G#edraa and EgypUao coitfmns ftom the palai^ not only oa account of their 
striking resemblance to that teee which appeara in all the pilla» of the 
Thebaic temples and which a eaainently conspicuous in the Corbthlan 
order, but likewise fcotn its reputed sanctity and its tbeiice being so ofteii 
used in the sacred groves. To avoid prolixity, a single instance shall suf. 
fice : the floatmg islmd of Chemmis* in which Horns took refuge from the 
fucy of IVphon, was planted chiefly with palm-trees*. It is probable 
however, that^ in those cases where the roof of the edifice rose into the 
grac^ul corve instead of being perfectly flat, the notion <rf other trees may 
have been superadded ; the cturve exhibiting the arch, Which^ the bnmchce 
fenn by then- intersection. Of such buadiags we may oat unreasonably * 
eenjecture tiiat the Indian fig-tree was aSbea, though dot exdusively, tiic 
prototype. This remarkable plant forms a grove^f itself : for the bou^ 
spontaneously bending down fr^m the original parent trunk, take root in 
theeartfi; and^ the bou^s again of these new trunks successivdy pro* 
ducmg others, the tree cbntraues in a state of jn-o^eaaioa so Jong as it can 
find 8oH t& nourish its slH)ots. It is highly venerated by the firahmens ; 
for it s^rves'tbem as a sort <^ natural temple^ and thus carries back their 
imaginations to that early period when iw^ficial imitations were. unknown*. 
Now it is obvioos, that the arch formed by the dip of these shoots will be 
circular : and, when the tree has considerably extended itself, its appear^ 
ance. to those who walk beneath its shade will be that of a temple with 
nufioerbus pillars supportin); various round vaults. 

It is superfluous particularly to specify the well known rdics of ancient 
art, which serve to exemplify the present hypothesis: I shall rather notice 
a circumstance, which ought by no means to be omitted. As Pai-adise and 
the Ark were always associated together in the minds of the old idolaters, 
and as caverns were symbols of the Ship of the World ; we continually 
find the two ideas of a grove and a grotto, blended together in the artifi- 
cial excavations or in the buildings designed to imitate such excavations, 
which, occur in so many different parts pf the globe. The excavations 

^.Hcrod. Hist. Sb. ii. c 156. • Mauf. lad. Ant vol. iii. p. I69>I7S. 



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294 THE ORIOIK OF PAGAN IDOLATftT. 

BOOK ▼« mid buildings, to which I allude, are professed traMcripts indeed of the 
mystic cavera : but yet they are furnished with pillars, the form of which 
b evidently borrowed from the trunks of trees '• 

Temples of this description had their chief portal almost universally, I 
believe, looking towards the east, an arrangement precisely the reverse of 
that which has been adopted in the Christian cathedral \ Fw this dispo* 
sition various reasons have been assigned. Sometimes it is ascribed to the 
circumstance of the Sun rising in the east ; and, at other times, to an 0(M* 
nion prevalent among the old Egyptians, that the east is the front of the 
World ^ I doubt, whether such reasons be perfectly satisfactory: for, if 
either of them '.were the true •cause of this arrangement, aU temples would 
invariably have their portals to the east But this is not the case : for ca- 
verns, and cavern-temples wene contrived to have their doors lookii^ to 
the north and the south, if they had two ; and to the north, if they had 
only one. There most therefoi^e have been some other more specific rea- 
son, why an eastern aspect was so studiously selected for temples buili 
. with piUars so as to imitate the sacred groves* And this we ahall easily 
discover,, if we adopt the hypothesis that such groves and their architect 
tural copies were equally transcripts o( the garden of Paradise. We fitid 
from holy Scripture, that the portals of Eden, when God stationed thc^ 
Cherubim to keep the way of the tree of life, was on the eastern side of the 
sacred grove: and, analogously with this intimation, the Hindoo my tho«) 
logbts place the cherubic Garuda in the eastern pass of their Elysiaa 
garden on the summit of Meru \ Hence the imitative tem{de had its door 
to the east : and hence not unfrequently the approach to it was guarded 
with figures of the compound Sphinx* 

' See Plate IIL Fig. 19, Sa 

* Spencer, de leg. Heb. rit lib. iiL dissa*. ^i. c. S. sect 4. p. S09~311. In a similar, 
loamiciry the principal gate of such Indian pagodas, as are constructed with a central naye» 
side-aisle^ and a sanctuary at the farther end^ always fronts to the east. Maur. Ind. Ant. 
vol. iii. p. 22. The same disposition occurs in the sacred architecture of the Peruvians: 
' according to Ciesa, the doors of their temples looked eastward. Purch. Pilgrim, b. ix. 
fu 11. p. 88a 

' JMaur. Jnd» Ant. voL iiL p. 22» ^ Gen. iiL 24f. AsiaU Res. rol. vL p. i9d^ 



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irffE OKIOIN OF PAGAN IBOLATBT. £^5 

11. The ancient pagan st^e of architecture with many of its allusions chap.yiu 
lias been adopted both by Christians and Mohammedans in the construc- 
tion of their churches and mosques. 

A Gothic cathedral, as it has often heen remarked, bears a studied re- 
semblance to two intersecting avenues of trees: and every part of it b most 
ingeniously contrived to heighten the effect The pillars are moulded so 
as best to imitate the trunks : the lo% pointed arch of the aisleS; both in 
its general form and by means of its transverse groins, precisely exhibits 
the supernal crossings of the boughs : every ornament affects the tapering 
spiral figure : and the ramifications of the windows, as they are aptly called, 
serve yet more to heighten the deception. Externally, the towers are often 
surmounted by pyramids : and, in the case of Ely cathedral, the central 
lanthom is a dome. Thb last mode of roofing eminently prevails in the 
sacred edifices of the Greek church: and it has been adopted by tlie archi- 
tects of the two well-known JEloman and English cathedrals of St Peter 
and St. Paul. In the case of the former, Michael Angelo professedly bor- 
rowed it from the Pantheon' : and the latter appears to be lit Je more than 
a transcript of the Italian church. Each of these buildli\gs^ with its four 
arms exhibiting the figure of a cross and with its lofty cratrical dome, beara^^ 
a very close resemblance to the cruciform and dome-surmounted pagodas 
of Mathura and Benares : and, though doubtless the cross has been intro- 
duced into the plans of Christian churches in allusion to the cross of the 
Redeemer; yet I suspect, that the coincidence of shape with, the oriental 
temples was by no means overlooked by the first ecclesiastical architects. 
In a similar manner, the crypts under some of our ancient churches, which 
were once and (I believe) stiU are occasionally used for divine service, 
appear to be no unambiguous imitations of the sacred caverns : and these 
were the rather copied, because there is reason to believe, that the primi- 
tive Christtaiis, while labouring under a state of persecution, often resorted 
to deserted excavations of this description. The very appellations of the 
Nave and the Chair are strictly significant, and were certainly not adopted 

* HkcoDceptioiiwat, as be sublimely expressed himBelf, to suspend the Pandieoa in 
tbeafa^ 



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296 THE ORIOIX OF :PA0AH IDOLATRY. 

900K y. through mere accident Nave signifies ia4il!eretitly a tempk and a ship: 
and the sanctuary of our churches was denominated the Choir or Oior or 
Caer^ in reference to the sacred circle of the mundane Ark. Hence we 
shall find, that the true shape of this part of the edifice is not parallel* 
ogrammic but circular. Thus the Greek Basilicc terminata luriveraally 
towards the east in a semi-circle : thus the same eastern termination has 
been retained in the cathedral of London : and thus some even of our 
Gothic churches, such for instance as those at Lichfield and Westminster, 
afiect a similar form at the extremity of their chcmcels. 

As for the Mohammedans, they have not only retained the pyramid in 
their minarets and the oviform dome in their mosques; but they likewise 
carefully decorate the summits of those imitative mountains with the navi* 
cular lunette, so highly venerated among the astronomical pagans as a 
symbol of the Ark. * 

Such imitations most probably originated from tiie circumstance of 
Christian churches, in the first instance, so often studiously occupying the 
'scites of heathen temples ; and of Mohammedan mosques afterwards sup- 
planting Christian churches. In some cases, the very buildings themselves 
were appropriated to new purposes, as thfe Pantheon at Rome and the ca* 
thedral of St. Sophia at Constantinople : in others, the ground of a prior 
sanctuary was purposely selected for the creation of an edifice destined for 
the purposes of a different and victorious religion. 

IIL A very idle notion has long prevailed, which has not only serv^ 
to point a mere poetical declamation against despotism, but has even drawn 
forth many notable speculations from serious writers, that the pyramids 
of Egypt were neither more nor less than the tombs of their respective 
founders. This childish fancy seems to have taken its rise from the inser- 
tion of Herodotus, that Cheops designed certain vaults in the rocky hill, 
upon which he built the principal pyramid, to serve for him as a sepulchre: 
and the same tale, with an extension to the other pyramids, has been echoed 
by Diodorus and Strabo *. The story has been duly transmitted down to 
the present day : and such was the hold that it took upon the imagiaations 

' Herod. Hist lib. ii. c. ISA. DiocL BibL lib. L p. 58. Strab. Geog. lib. xvii p. 809. ' 



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'*fflE OMOIir OF TAOATX IDOLATJtT* 9,97 

mftbetif t^ it bas oftea beefn considei'ed as declariag so dndoubted a truth ^^^^ ^^' 
M wholly tx> pitclude tbe necessity of argument 

What then arc we to think, it may be asked, of the direct testimonies of 
.tiiet old classical writer^? Are they to be unceremoniously set aside, as 
rialtog^ther unworthy of notice? . ^ ^ 

By no means: so far Irom it, the ti^imonies are highly valuable and 
dmportant I would not discard them: I would only have them rightly 
understood. The pyramids were most undoubtedly viewed by the ancient 
Egyptians as tombs : but the question is, whether they were literal, or 
onyUiological, tombs; whether they were real tombs of substantial Mizrai- 
niic sovereigns who had built them for that express purpose, or allegorical 
tombs of that ancient personage who was enrolled the fii:st among the 
princes of tile country. Of the two suppositions, the latter, almost to de* 
monstration, may be shewn to be the true one : whence it wilUfoUow, tha^ 
•when tiie Egyptians told their Grecian visitors that the pyramids were sepul- 
chres of their primeval king ; those visitors, understanding them literally, 
concluded as a thing of coiHise, that the pyramids were real tombs, and that 
their several founders had built them for the special reception of their own 
^ead bodies. Meanwhile the Egyptians, who seem not unfrequetrtly to 
have amused themselves with playing upon the Grecian love of (he marv^U 
4ous, truly intimated, though misunderstood by their inquisitive neighbours 
"afid by a great body of the moderns after them, that each pyramid was a 
niystic tomb of the dead Osiris. 

' It is worthy of observation, that Herodotus himself throws some light on 
the* real nature of these supposed literal sepulchres* He tells us, that 
Mycerinus the son of Cheops or (as Diodorus styles him) Chemmis, to 
whoYn the raising of the great pyranHd is attributed, had the misfortune to 
lose his only daughter; Inconsolable on account of her death, he inclosed 
her body in a wooden cow ornamented with gold. The historian professes 
to have himself seen this cow : and he adds, that the body of the princess 
was annually taken out of it during the festival of that nameless god, whose 
funereal Mysteries^ he elsewhere tells us, were celebrated upon a sacred 
lake. He further mentions the existence of a legend, that Mycerinus had 
conceived an incestuous passioa for his daughter, and that he attempted 
Pag. Idol. VOL. III. 2 P 



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^8 .TBjB OEIGIK OF ?AGAK Il^l^ATAT* 

BOOS i« to violate her person \ The whole of thk tale .#hews very fd^inly wbtt 
kind of sepulchres the pyramids were : for we have berls the fitble of (to 
cow Theba and of the incestuous cooimerce of a £itber wkh hb jdaug^ter 
which is so constantly interwoven into the history of the. ohief herotjodt 
associated with an imaginary deaths with the fOnereal lakeH>i;gies ofiOjsk^ 
and with the founders of the pyramids. No doubt the cow or ark^wafr the 
coffin of the princessi just in the same sense as the pyraoaids ivcM .tombs 
of the old Egyptian kings : and it may be further observed, that botbC^^ 
and Chemmis are titles of Osiris, though assumed, a$ was usual,, by the 
sovereign who literally built the principal pyramid. Cheopt d^oMtes tim 
iUustriow aerpent-deity : and from the god ChcTiims w Cairns otCh^ 
ntosh or Cameses, as the name was variously expressed, the floating idand 
ChemmiSf which received the boy Osirb when he fled before Typbcxv obio* 
^ ously borrowed its appellation. 

1. Agreeably to this view of the testimonies of the Greek writers relativjo 
to the sepulchral nature of the pyramids of £gypt, we shall constantly find 
in every quarter of the world a prevailing notion Uiat the temple of, tfao 
great father was also his tomb : and, in order that the investigation may pro* 
ceed the more regularly and satisfactorily, we will begin it, as before^ from 
first principles. 

(1.) Meru or Ararat is considered as the mundane temple of the great 
father, conspicuous in an embodied shape and multiplying binjself iqIq 
three forms : and this most sacred temple is artificially representee^ ^ we 
have seen, by a cone or pyramid. It is however not more viewed ^s a 
temple, than as a tomb : and by the followers of tlie very ancient spperr 
stition of Buddha it is pronounced to be the sepulchre of the.^on of the 
heavenly spirit, that is, of the first man who is supposed transmigratorily 
to reappear at the commencement of every new World. The bones of this 
primeval hero-god were scattered over the face of the whole earth : and it 
was the first duty of his descendants and votaries to collect and to entomb 
them. Hence there is a notion, that, as every pyramid is a copy of the 
sepulchral Meru, so every pyramid is to be deemed a sepulchre of the great 

' Herod. Hist. lib. ii. c lS9—lS9i 



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THE:0RtOIN OF FA6AN IBOLATRT* 299 

fothcair^^diienQeiaknbQy oftfadsebaildiDgsa tootbor^a bone is ctevoutly cva^.vii. 
facfaibittd: its a Telio of the ftlefdnet godbeadj It is confessed however, that 
M?firal!pyraim(fe ^doiiot. rett%. contain the bones of the Thacur or Lord : 
yti'^e dre told, that tbey are to be tv^posed and asserted to contain them, 
though the troe plaoe where they are deposited must ever continue un- 
known in order to prevent profenation. The secret vaull^ in which the 
holy relics are generally said to be deposited, is cidled TA^ict^ Cuti or the 
cell \>f ike Lord: and it is observably that the grand Lamas of Thibet, 
who are.af^lmowledged to be successive incarnations of Buddha, are always, 
in slMlie4 imitation of their prototype, buried under pyramids '• 

It^oHv. Buddha or iMenu, as we have seen, however he may be multiplied 
in) accordance wi& the docti^n^ ot a succeiision of similar Worlds, is really 
Adamicoi^sidered as reappearing in the person of Noah. Accordingly we 
ahidl&id, that the oriental traditions respecting these patriarchs singularly 
accord with the preceding notions respecting Buddha. 

Adat<i and all the fathers in a direct line from him through Seth are said 
to hateawelt during theh- life-time in the borders of the holy Paradisiacal 
moutttiaib, atrii to have been buried after their death in a sacred cave of 
that mountain denominated Alcamz. When the period of the flood 
arrived, t Noah entered tiie cavern; and, having kissed the bodies of the 
other patriarchs, h6 solemnly removed that of Adam, while his three sohs 
b(tt^ the ffroper oblations of gold and myn^h and frankincense. As they 
descended- ifrom the holy mountain, tiiey turned back their weeping eyes 
to the garden; and exclaimed. Sacred Paradise^ farewell Every stone 
aod evei^ tree they devoutly embraced; and, at length, with their venera- 
ble load^ entered kito the Ship. During their abode within it, Noah was 
wont to say a daily prayer over the body of the protoplast ; his wife, his 
siHis, and his dau^ters, making the proper responses ffom fiuu)tlier part of 
the Ar|^: md, when ^y quitted it, the torpse of Adam was carefully taken 
out together with the rest of the lading. How it was then disposed of, is 
differently related by different legendary writers. Some say, that it was 
secretly buried by Shem and Melchi^edek, under the special guidance oi 

* Anat. Res. vol. x. p. 1 88*1 S6. voU vL p. 487, 460, 9li^ vol. vii. p? 423. 



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SOO THE OBIQIN or PAGAN IDOLATRT* 

iiooi V. an angel^ in mount Calvary^ which is to be deemed the navel of tbeEartiiV 
Others relate, that Noah, when he divided the Worid among his three aons^ 
divided also the bones of Adam; that fragments of these were carried, as 
holy relics, by them of the dispersion to various quarters of the j^be ; ttmt 
the skull, as the noblest part, fell to the lot of Shem; and that it was finally 
buried in mount Calvary, which from that circumstance was denominated 
tfie place of a skuli *. 

It is easy to perceive, whence these Rabbinical and Mohammedan tales 
originated. The framers of them saw plainly enough, that thegreat &ther 
of gentile theology was Adam; and they could not but observe, that he 
was connected in a very peculiar manner with Noah« H^ice tiiey adapted 
to those patriarchs the eastern mythologic fictions respecting BucMha or 
Menu : they buried Adam in a sacred cavern of the Paradisiacal mount : 
they made the Ark a sepulchral vehicle of the dead : they rdnterred tte 
patriarch in a secret place of mount Calvary, which, as a local Meru, they 
pfonounced to be the navel of the Earth : or, as the tale was occasionally 
varied, they scattered his bones to the miost remote parts of tte globes 
while Calvary received his skull alone. The ridiculous figment of the body 
of Adam in the Ark would be unworthy of notice, if it did not so immedi-' 
ately join itself to the mythologic inclosure of the deceased great £ither: 
within that floating navicular coffin which was esteemed the in£»*nal ship 
of the dead : but I think it highly probable, that both Adam and Noah 
were literally buried in the precincts of the Paradisiacal mount Ararat; fw 
it is not likely, that either of those patriarchs would retire to any material 
distance fi*om that remarkable spot consecrated by so many interesting 
recollections. On these grounds, in addition to the allegorical death and 
revival of the transmigrating great &tlier, they, who venerated Meru as the 
first worldly temple, would of course venerate it likewise as the sepulchre 
of the complex chief hero-god : and thence, on the universal principle of 
local appropriation, every national holy mountain and every imitative 

' Goez. de Adam, reliq. p. 59—^2. Hikcher. de A4am. reliq. p. 74, 75. Eutycb. AonsL , 
v<yl. i. p. 36. Johan. Gregor. ex eaten. Arab* M«S. in Gen. in observ. sacr. e. xxv, Gregor. 
Abulph. in histor. dynast, p. 9, 10. £tttych« Aniud. voL L p» 44* apud Fsbric» Cod. Plea- 
4^i|^. voL i. p. 60^ 74, 241, 267* 



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rH£ oftxatir of pagak idolatbt^ 301 

pyramid would be deemed at once tbe temple and the tomb of the supreme cbaf. tu* 
paternal diyinity, by whatever name he might be distinguished. In a 
similar manner, each consecrated grotto would be viewed as hb grave: 
and, in order that the general concinniiy of the system might be preserved; 
the Ark, which wa^ represented by all such grottos, would be esteemed his 
fioating coffin. Thus the literal and the allegorical death of the great father 
would finally meet together in one point: and thus tradition and mystic 
' speculation would aliice contribute to stamp the sacred rites of pagan an* 
tiquity with an indelibly funereal character. 

It was from the same heathen source that the Jews learned that doc-^ 
trine of the Metempsychosis, which seems to have been very prevalent 
among them at the time of our Lord's first advo^t '. Their Rabbinsj 
dearly perceiving that the principal demon-god of the Greatiles was Adam 
considered as reappearing under new forms at many difierent intervals, 
ascribed to the fireman the attributes which dbtinguished the great father; • ' 
Urns they teach us, agreeably to the pagan doctrine of the exc^^ption of 
soiils, that Adam was the habitation atid the n^atrix of all the souls of his 
posterity : that, in addition to these, he had his own proper soul, whicb 
succiessively migrated from his body into other bodies : and that, as thet 
soul had already entered into the body of David, so it would hereafter pass 
into the body of the 'Messiah. Thus dso they speak of a double traosmi* 
gratory revolution : one, of the bodies of the dead, by which they pasa 
through the caverns of the Earth into Palestine, there to wait for the- j^* 
neral resurrection ; the other, <^ souls, by which, in accordance with the 
mystic self-triplication of the great ftither, they were each to enter hito pre- 
cisely three bodies \ 

(S.) But enough has been said by way of explanatory foundation : we 
have tiow only to point out the general prevalence of such notions ; which 
will sliew with how much accuracy the Greek writers speak of the Egyptian 
pyramids as tombs, though unfortunately they mar the whole matter by 
misdeemjog them literal sepulchres of certain ancient kings their founders. 

< See John ix.2. 
^ Hafd^r. de Adaau tdiq. p. 12. apod Fabric Cod. Pseudf vol i, p. 7^ 



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SOS TH£ QRioiif or TA0hv inogiAnrf 

BOOK r. We will begin, wbare we otig^t to be^, with Babdu .HeiD^otns'h^Ebinif 
Bs, that the tower was the teffiple of Betas : Strabo again declares, that it 
was his tomb '. Here we have bo real' contradiction; for it was in fact 
both the mystic tomb, and tto imilalave moisoitain temi^, of thO: great 
father. . . :* 

In a similar manner, each Egyptian pyramid,, which (m we have, teen) 
was cojued from the Babylonic tower^ was a. tomb of Osiris ; but it was 
not the le^ on that account hb temple. J^f^seeaUy to tiiis.view ctf^the snbt 
ject, I hesitate not to pronounce die stone troii^ia Ibe dark oenttid chanif 
ber the coffin of the god : but Aen it is: only to be viewed:as a> tepcescaita- 
tion of that sepulchral «rk or floatmg coffin, w^in which hi» ilnftge .waa 
. placed during the ihoumfiil pett of the Myaterieft Thua we fin4 that bi* 
nocturnal Orgies were celebrafeed on the sm:&Ce of a afwred, lal^^ near Sius^ 
in the immediate vicinity of whidi was shewDi bis tdaeib \ It fvas doubtless 
a pyramidal tumulus : but it was only one of the many plajces of bis alle* 
gorical sepultore ; for, just in the same maaner; b» ib% qrienbd jBiiddhai; biff 
corpse is said to have been torn into several d^erent .piee^^, wbi<!b weve 
afterwards collected and interred by his consort Isiih A very qelebrated 
tomb of this dtocription was exhibited in the.hply island of P^ite near the 
cataracts, which yet was clearly a navicular or insqlar sanctuary pf the 
god K There was another of them, as we imay ^lect imptiie form of diq 
central stone, in the temple of Ci^uphis, which yet wva^QB iq the island of 
Ebphantina \ As for Isk, she^also had her gT^v^ which was^hewi^ in tint 
city of Memphis : thoiigh some contended, that with her 4iaBbi|Qd'she lay 
interred in the island of Philte^ The Labyrinth agaMi was said to be the 
tomb of its founder Moeris or Mendes : but the true Mendes or Menes. 
was Osins or Menu, and the Labyrinth was a temple devoted to the cele- 
bration of his funereal Mysteries ^ I am much mistaken, if the Sphinx' 
was not another of these totnbs. This compound monster was a symbol of 
the great mother, whose womb was deemed the Hades or oavicular coffin 

> Herod. Hist. Ub. I c. 18L &ajx.Simg. Vb. xyu p. 7SS. 

• Herod. Hist lib, u. c 170, 17U ^ Mod. BibL Ub. i. p. IS. 

♦ Norden's Trav. vd, ii. p, 101, * Diod. BibL Kb. L p. 19, 23* 

* Herod. Hist lib. ii. c. 14& Diod. BibL lib. L p. £& PUb. lib. xxxvL c 1& 



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xn oumrsf of ^aoak idoiatet^t 309 

ef tiie ctead faeio^gbiL Henoe^ according to PKny, it was reputed to be the chap. w. 
toml^^ftAiiiaais; aa^ modem jtra^KeUers have actually discovered, in thq 
hack part o£ tbe rook out^ef wUch it is fcnraied, an opening into a spacious 
icfulchral4wveni '• For a Jiteral sovereign of Egypt substitute its mytho- 
logical king, as m the case of the pyramids ; and the testimony of Pliny 
may be oreceiTed as accurate. . 

It haa been dbsfenrtel, tibM* the Boddbt^ts pronounce Meru to be at once 
fhe^ temple vnd tiia sepulchre of .the great universal father. Agreeably to 
this declaration, if wo turn our attention to the local geographical Meru o^ 
Hbdostan and the adjacent countries^ which has been shewn to coincide 
with the fai^ land of Cashgar at the bead of the Ganges ; we shall find 
pfeciseljrsucha reputed tomb witlan ita precincts. Tbe pretended sepul* 
6hre is forty cubits iik lengtb, the'stpture of the divine personage for whom 
it was erected : and beneath: it is a vault of tibe same dimensionsi with a 
small door that is never ^opened: out of respect to the illustrious dead. It 
IS called by fixe Mohammedans tiie^tomb of Lamech ; but the pagan in* 
hat^timts of the couutry pronounce it to be the sepulchre of Buddba-Na« 
irayana or MacdKMkr-Nath ; that is, of Buddha dwelling in the waters or 
ef the so^erei^ prince in the bdly of the fish V 

What Meru or Ida^vratta isto the Hindoos, the holy mountain Ida wa^ 
to the Cretea and IliendensianA. Hence^ as the sepulchre of Buddha is 
stUl exhibited in Gasbgar, so the tomb of Zan or Jupiter was equally shewn 
in the Cretim Ida K 

Thus likewbe Olympus is a local Ilapu or Meru : and, accordingly, we 
find, that a sacred tomb was venerated in the Olympian hill of Saturn. It 
was said to be the tomb of Isdienus, the son of the giant ; who was offered 
op, a self-devoted sacrifice, to the gods during the prevalence of a famine \ 
This sacrifice I suspect to be nearly allied to tbe similar sacrifice of the 
Indian Brahma and of the son of the Phenician Cronus : and the tomb it- 

' Hin. Nat. Hiit Eb. zxxvL c 12. Maur. Ind. Ant vol. iu. p. 97. 
* Asiat. Rtii. vol vi. p. 479, 48a 
' Porph. in nU Fjrthag. p. 187. Calliin. Hymn, in Jov. ver. a Lactant. Instlt. lib. u 

€.11. 

4 Lycophr Caaiaiid. ver. 42^ iS. SoboL in loc 



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304 TH£ OEiaiN OF FAGAK f0OlAtE7« 

self was, I am persuaded^ the n^lhologic sepalcbnB ofihepffai&tdmtj of 
the place; agreeably to a prevailing notion^ derived probably frota the co^ 
lossal statues of Egypt and the East, that the statore of the great/citbef istr 
exceeded that of the ordinary race of men. There, was • another of tb^sst 
holy tombj» near the oracular grotto of Trophonius* It wa» given to Arce* 
silaus^ whose hones were said to have been brought thither from Troy for 
the purpose of interment t but I believe, that, like the last^ it was really 
the mystic grave of the fatidical hero-god himself \ There was mother -of 
them at Delphi, which was shewn as the tomb of Bacchus * : another oa 
mount Sipylus in the country of the Magnesianis^ which iraaswdrtobe.th^ 
tomb of Jupiter ' : another on mount Cyllen^ in Arcadia^ n^bicb W{^ ascribed 
to Eputus who is feigned to have been stung to death by a serpent^: aup 
other at Delphi, which was given to Apollo who siioiiarly perished by the 
sting of the serpent Python ^ : and another at Nem^in ArgpU^, which was 
exhibited as the sepulchre of Opheltes whois Hkewise l^bled to have been 
slaifi by a serpent^ . These several legends all relate to the same jperson; 
who mystically perished by the agency of the diluviain Typhpn, who was 
inclosed within a floating coffin, and who was afterwards restored to life and 
made victorious over bis enemy. So again, we find the tomb of Orion at 
Tanagra ; that of PhoroneuaJ, in Argofis; that of Deucalion, at Athens ; 
that of Pyrrha, in Locris j that of Endymion, in Elis ; that of Tityus, in 
Panop^ ; that of Asterion, in the sacred idand Lad^ ; that of Egyptus the 
son of Belus, in Achaia; and that of the hero Phocus, on. a hill at Epi- 
daurus near a holy inclosure planted wiih olive-trees ^. Of Osiris I have 
already noticed more than one tomb : but, in fact, every tjemple of this god 
was bis reputed sepulchre. Hence, as we l^urn from Plutarch, the Egyp- 
tians were accustomed to shew mant/ graves of their deity : and hence, as 
We are told by Lucian, some of the Phenidans of Byblos, who worshipped 

' Paos. Boeot. p. 602. 
^ Cyrlh cont Julian, lib. i. p. 1 1. This was esteemed the same as the sacred nzveL 
^ Paus. Corinth, p. 125. ^ Paus. Arcad. p. 4^2. 

. ' Porph. In vit. Pjrthag. p. 187. * Paus. Corinth, p. 111. 

' Paus. Boeot p. 571. Corinth, p. 120. Strab. Geog. lib. ix.p. 425. Paus. 1 Eliac p. 28& 
Phoc p. 615. Attic p. €6. Achate p.44a Corinth, p. IM. 



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THE OEIOIN OF PAG^N IDOIATRT. 305 

' Osiris under the names of Admis mA Tkamnmx, asserted that the god was chaf. ytu 
buried in their country \ So universally indeed was thb mode of de- 
monolatry adopted, that the pagan Eubemerus professed himself able to 
point out the deaths and sepulchres of all the hero-gods : while the early 
fathers indignantly reproached the Gentiles with the worship of mere dead 
men> roundly intimating that even by their own confession their temples 
were no better than so many tombs *. 

Exactly the same ideas prevailed among the old Britons. They had the 
tomb of Tydain or the solar Hu^ in the border of what they denominated 

. the mount of Aren: and the resting-place or coflSm of Dylan, who is the 
same diluvian personage under a different name, is said to be the temple 
of the navicular ox surrounded by the deafening wave ^ Each Kist-vaen 
also, or mystic stone cell of Cendwen, was deemed sepulchral : and, in 
the Druidical Mysteries, ere the. noviciate passed the river of death in the 
boat of Garanhir or Charon, it was requisite that he sbould have been alle- 
gorically buried under the great stone, as well as have allegorically become 
defunct ^ From these principles I argue analogically, tiiat the large fiat 
slab in the centre of Stonehenge, which has often been taken for an altar^ 
was really the mystic tomb of Uu or Tydain ; just as a similar stone in the 
midst of the Egyptian temple of Cnuphis was a sepulchre of Osiris. 

Nor were such speculatiouA peculiar to the old continent : we find evi^ 
dent traces, in the old Mexican superstition, of the death of the great father 

. and the dUaceration of bis members. In the month of May there was a 
special festival tn honour of the arkite Yitzliputali : and, un this occasion, 
the consecrated virgins were wont to. prepare an inmgeof the god with 
maize and beet kneaded together with honey. When the principal day 
arrived, the deity was solemnly borne in his ark to a mountain near 
Mexico, where sacrifices were duly offered up. Thence he was conveyed 
to two other holy places, and afterwards^ brought back to his temple in the 

* Plut de Ifiid. p. 358, 959. Ludan.^ dfe dea Syr. vol. li. p, 8TO. 
» Clcer. de naUdeor. lib. i. c. 42. Euseb, Pwep. Evan. lib. iL c. 8. Clem. Alex. Cohort. 
p. 29, 58. Arnob. adv. gent. lib. vL p. 19S. 

' Davies'd Mythol. p. 193, 19i. ♦ Ibid. p. 392, 40O. 

Pag. IdoL voju iii^ 2 Q 



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306 THE OEIGIK OF TAGAK IDOLilTar* 

»oo£ V. city. When the procession was finished^ the maize image was torn asiinde^; 
and pieces of its substance, in the form of large bones, were laid at the feet 
of the god. These morsels of paste they called the Jksk and the bonei of 
VitzUput%U\ 

^ Lastly, it is with the same religious ideas, that the great pyramidal Mora! 
of Otaheite is deemed at once a temple and a sepulchre : and, unless I be 
wholly mistaken, we have ourselves derived from a pagan source the un* 
seemly practice of burying the dead within the walls of our churches \ 

(3.) In making these remarks I am compelled wholly to dissent from 
Mr. Bryant, to whom I have been indebted however for some of the pre- 
ceding instances of consecrated tombs. Drawn away by a refined etymo- 
logy of the Greek word Taphos, he contends, that every pretended sepulchre 
of a hero-god was not a tomb, but exdtiswely a temple or high^place. That 
they were tempks is indisputable : but, if the notion of their being tombs 
also originated from the mere Hellenic misprision of a sacred term, it is 
obvious, that such an idea would be utterly unknown without the limits of 
Greece. We have seen however, that it was equally familiar to the orien- 
tal Buddhists, the andent Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Phenicians, the 
Celts, and the Mexicans. Hence I conclude, that, when the Greeks deno- 
minated such structures Taphi and supposed them to be tombs, they were 
guilty of no misprision, but merely called them by their proper mythologi- 
cal names '• ' 

2. During the intermediate period of the flood, the great father was some- 
times said to lie in a state of death, and at other times was described as 
being plunged in a deep slumber. ^When the former phraseology was 

■ Purch. Pilgr. b. viii. c. IS. p. 807, 808. * Cook's first voyage, b. i. c 15. 

^ See Bryant's AnaL vol. i. p. 449 et infira. The tale of Benjamin of Tudela respecting 
the Anak prince Abshamaz has evidently originated firom the old mythology of Canaan, 
which was the same as that of Egypt and all other ancient nations. He infbmis us, that 
he saw at Diunascus a rib of this personagOi which measured nine Spanish palms in length 
and two in breadth: and he adds, that it was taken out of a sepulchre, the inscription of 
which purported it to be the tomb of Abshamaz the sovereign of the world. Yallanc. 
Vind. c. iii. p. 58. This gigantic universal king was the gigantic great father, venerated 
onder the appellation of Abshamaz or the offqning of the Sun ; for Abshamaz is plainly Ab* 
Shemesh or the Sun is my father. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAQAN IDOLATRY* S07 

ftdoptedj the Ark was his coffin or his grave ; when the latter was preferred, cmaf* yw 
it was bis bed. It was the custom, particularly in the east, to represent this 
ancient personage by colossal images of vast size : and these, agreeably to 
the mythological notions entertained of him, were fsishioned either in a sitting 
posture of deq> meditation or in the recumbent attitude of one asleep. 
Such opinions and such modes of representation will account for many 
curious particulars m the old systems of idolatry : for we shall contmually 
find, that, in consequence of this train of ideas, a bed is substituted for a 
ship or a coffin as the vehicle of the chief-hero-god ; and that he reposes 
upon it, dilated in effigy to the size of an immense giant But by the. bed 
was really meant his allegorical grave or coffin ; a figure of speech, than 
which nothing can be more obvious and familiar : and his sleep upon the 
one is the very same as ^e inclosure of his dead body within the other. 

(I.) Agreeably to thb speculation, the Hindoo mythologists describe 
Vishnou as sleeping, during the intermediate period of the deluge, upon a 
bed supported by the folds of the vast navicular serpent, which itself floats 
upon the surface of the waters \ Such a mode of delineation is its own 
interpreter : and it may therefore with propriety be first noticed, as afford- 
mg a key to the right understanding of the sacred bed. Here we have the 
bed placed upon the volumes of the ship-serpent : but the serpent and the 
bed are but different symbols of the same thing. Accordingly, Vishnoii' is 
sometimes represented slumbering upon the serpent only,, which serves him 
for a bed : while, at other times, he appears slumbering upon the bed only, 
the serpent being omitted. A remarkable instance of the former occurs on 
a sculptured rock near the Ganges^: and, of the latter, at Cathmandu ia 
Nepal. In a large bason on one side of the royal garden, there is a colos* 
sal figure of Vishnou-Narayan sleeping upon a mattress of stone ; which i^ 
about eighteen or twenty feet long, and broad in proportion. The bason be- 
ing full of water, the image and the bed appear as floating on the surface'^ 

Vishnou is ultimately the same as Buddha or Sa-Kya : hence we find 
this god likewise exhibited in the same manner* Near the town of Syriaa 

' Moor's Hiod. Pantheon, plate vii. See Plate IL Fig. 1. 
^ Maur^Hist. of JEIiiid. vol, i. plate vL See also Moor's Hind^ Panth. pL yiu. 

s Amu Res^ vol. ij\ p. SIS.. , 



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308 THS O&IOIH OF VAOATX IDOLATRY 

>^< ▼• in Pegu, there is a temple of Kta or Gautama, which contains a gigantic 
image of the deity sixty feet in length. It lies in a sleeping posture, 
recumbent upon a couch of proportionable dimensions '. We meet with 
two similar images of Buddha in the island of Ceylon, where he is equally 
venerated. One of them is in a temple at Villigaam, eighteen feet long : 
the other is eighteen cubits long, and is to be seen in a temple at Oogul* 
Bodda. They are both in a sleeping attitude, reclining on one side. The 
head, crowned with the lunar trident, rests upon a pillow attached to the 
upper end of the bed : the right hand is natundly placed beneath it : and: 
the left is extended on the thigh of the same side *. Thb sdf-same per-* 
son, dilated to the vast height of forty cubits, is said to lie buried in the 
holy tomb, which is shewn in the mountains of Cashgar or Meru '. Here 
the tomb serves him for a bed : and consequently the bed is mytholc^ically 
no other than the tomb \ 

In a similar manner, the tomb of Jupiter was exhibited in the Cretan 
Ida : and, as he was thought to lie there in the slumber of death, a regal 
couch or throne was annually spread out for him to repose upon during the 
celebration of his Mysteries ^ It does not appear that any figure of the 
god was laid upon this bed, but only that it was pi^epared for his imaginary 

' Hamaton*8 Account of East-Ind. nA. u. p. 57. See also Symes's Emb. to Ava. 
voL iL p. 247, 24*8. 

> Afiiat Res. vol. vL p. 435, 451. See Plate IL Fig. 2. 
3 Ibid p. 479, 480. 

^ Another of his mystic beds is still shewn among the ruins of the Indian Mavalipuram. 
On ascending the hill hy its dope on the norths a very singular piece qfsculpttare presents U*^ 
self to view. On a plain surface qfthe rock, which may once have served as the^fioor of some 
Qpartmentf there is a platform ofstone, about eight or ninejeet long by three orjbur xvide^ in 
a situation rather elevated^ with tvoo or three steps leading up to it, perfectly resembling a 
couch or bed, and a lion very well executed at the upper end of it by way qfpilUno; the whole 
df one piece^ being part qfthe hill itself This the Brahmens, inhabitants of the place, call 
the bed of Dherma'Rajah. Asiat. Res. vol. L p. 149. Dherma-Rajah or the Just King, 
ibe Sjrdyk of Sanchoniatho and the Just Man of Moses, is the same person as Menu ot 
3ttddh«, 

^ Porph. in vit. ]^hag. p. 187. Porphyry calls this piece of furniture a throne: but it 
was evidently a regal eastern couch to be used in a reclining posture, for he describes it aa 



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THE OttroiK OF FAOAN IDOIATRT. 809 

ISC. Now, when we consider that it was thus spread out upon the summit chap. vii. 
of the h(^y mountain Ida, we shall be at no loss to understand the nature of 
the parallel sacred couch at Babylon. 

In the diapel, which crowned the top of the montiform pyramid of Be^ 
his, there was a magnificent bed provided for the accommodation of the 
god : but he Was only believed to repose up<Mi it ; fi3r, according to Hero* 
dotus, It was not occupied by any statue *. This bed was mythologically 
his coffin or resting-place ; for we learn from Strabo, that the pyramid- 
temple was esteemed his sepulchre : and» as it was placed on the summit of 
a building which was constructed in imitation of Mem or Ararat, it was 
eiddently the same implement as the navicular coffin or ark of the deity. 
There was a similar bed in the temple of Jupiter or Osiris at Thebes : and 
there was another of these couches in the temple at Patarse in Lycia \ In 
each case, a desecrated female was provided for the entertainment of the 
divinity ; and, as prostitution formed a regular part of the^ old idolatrous 
system, the Archunage, who professed to be the visible representative of his 
transmigrating god, acted no doubt aa his proxy. 

This will develop the meaning and the allusion of a part of that very 
curious mythological passage in Isaiah, which I have already had occasion 
to notice. The harlot church of Israel, white engaged in celebrating the 
funereal Orgies of Molech or Osiris, is described, as preparing a bed upon 
a lofty mountain in avowed imitation of that bed of her idolatrous neigh- 
bours which she had beheld with delight, and then as committing fornica- ^ 
tion upon it like the priestess of the generative great father'. Spiritual 
fornication is doubtless here intended, but it was rarely dissevered from 
literal pollution : the imagery however of the passage is certainly borrowed 
from the mystic bed of the Gentiles on the summit of their holy moun- 
tain. 

Speculations of a similar nature prevailed also among the ancient 
Celts- , Tlie roeky bed of Idris is still shewn on the top of Cader-Idris: 
and, in^ plain reference to the mystic death and oracular pretensions of the 
initiated, it is even yet asserted, that, whoever shall rest a night upon it, he 

» Herod Hist.Ub.i.c. 181. *Ibid.o.l8a ' Isaiah Ivii. 7, & 



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lOOK T. 



310 THE ORIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATET. 

will be found in the morning either dead or raving-mad or endaed with 
supernatural genius '. So again, Plutarch mentions, on the authority of a 
traveller named Demetrius, that, in one of the sacred islands on the coast 
of Scotland, Cronus lay extended in a profound sleep, the giant Bnareus 
being his guard, and various other demons his attendants ». This British 
Saturn Is clearly the same personage as Hu orTydain or Elphin : and, ac- 
cordingly, the grave or resting-place of that deity in tiie border of the sacred 
mount%ras denominated his Bedd; whence our English word Bed has pal- 
pably been derived*. A similar double notion was attached, I make no 
doubt, to the slab in the centre of Stonehenge : H was at once the bed and 
the grave of the great father. Agreeably to this supposition, we find in 
Ireland a Druidical temple, which to this day bears the name of the bed of 
Diarmod or the bed of the omnipotent divinity. There is likewise another 
temple at Glan-Or in the same country, which is called yAc bed of the hag 
or the bed of the giantess. The masculine deity tiius described was cer- 
tainly the great father : and the hag or giantess was the fury Ceridwen or 
the gigantic great mother, whom the bards were accustomed to celebrate as 
the ancient giantess grimly smiling in her wrath ♦. 

We may trace the same idea among the Gothic Thracians* Dionysius 
of Byzantium mentions a tumulus on the Argyronian cape, near tike Cya- 
nean isles in the Thracian Bosphorus, which was denominated the bed of 
the oiant : and it is a curious circumstance, that the identical appellation 
has survived even to the present day ; for a Dervish resides near the tumu- 
lus, who details the traditions of the country respecting the bill and the 
giant supposed to be buried there ». In a similar manner, the mystic tomb 
of the daughter of Sithon is termed by Lycophron her bed or sleeping- 
place *. She was the same character as Isis or Sita : and her mythological 
fatiier Sithon, who (as usual) is made the primeval king and fatiier of tiie 

» Davies's CelUc Research, p. 17S. * Hut de defect orac 

» Davies' MythoL p- 193, 19*. Comp. p. 391, 392, 248. 

♦ Vallancey*$ Vindic. p. 469, 471, 472. 

' Dionys. Byzant apud Gylliiim. Ift. liL c 6. darkens Travels. voL L c. 26. p. 689. 

^ ^vHtfflv^w. Lyc Cassand. ver. 583. 



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THE ORIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATBIT. 311 

ThtacianS) is no other than the god Seth or Siton or Saidon ; and Siton is chap, vzu 
identified with Dagon or Osiris or Typhon \ 

This circumstanoe will explain certain legends respecting Typhon^ which 
are immediately to our present purpose. He is described as a giant of vast 
magnitude ; and his bed is mentioned by Homer as being in the country 
of the Arimi, though some i^present him as lying extended beneath the 
whole island of Sicily *• By the proper Arimi we are clearly, I think, to 
understand the Arminni or Armenians of Ararat, in whose country the real 
bed of Typhon is to be sought : but, as that bed was by local appropria- 
tion ascribed to various difierent regions, so the name of Arimi seems with 
it to have been similarly extended '• The bed or tomb is in fact to be 
sought for in the mountain of the Ark : and, as Deucalion was sometimes 
said to have landed on the top of Etna, we find one of ttie Typhonian beds 
beneath that mountain ; while the adjacent country was occasionally, from 
the true Arminni, denominated AnmaK In this part of his character^ th6 
giant Typhon identifies himself with the g^ant Buddha^ whose sacred 
couches in P^gu and Ceylon have already been noticed. 

As the great father and the great mother were sometimes exhibited under 
the forms of two colossal statues in an erect or sitting posture ; so we find 
an instance, where they are placed together recumbent upon the same bed, 
Haidgi Mehemet, a great traveller, who discoursed with Ramusio, told 
him, that in a temple at Campion, which is probably the same as the mo- 
dern Nankin, he saw thle statues of a man and a woman stretched recum- 
bent on the ground. Each image was gilt; and, though consisting of a 
single piece, was forty feet in length '. 

(20 The Mysteries being a scenical representation of the actions and 
suflferings of the chief hero-god, we may now perceive the reason, why a 

' His genealogy, as given by TzetceB, b purely ftbulous. SchoL in Lye. ver. 58S. The 
ThiBcians were the same race as the Phenicians and the Egyptian Shepherds: and they 
all equally worshipped Dagon or Sithon. 

* Horn. Diad. lib. ii. ver. 783. Ovid« Metanu lib. v. ver. 546— S53. Anton. Liber. Metanu 
c 28. Apollod. Bibl. lib. L c. 6. ^ 3. 

' Strab. Geog. lib. xii. p. 579. lib. xii. p. 626, 627. lib. xvi. p. 750. lib. xviL p. 784» 785. 

^ Find, apud Strab. Geog. lib. ziii. p. 626, 627* ' Astley's Collect, vol. It. p. 639. 



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m^ 



SIS tH£ ORlOIvr OF IPAGAllr IDOLATRT. 

BOOK V, sacred bed formed an important part of their apparatus* Cleflient of 
Alexandria tells us, that^ in the formula used by one who had been ini* 
tiatedy he was taught to say, I have descended into the bed-chamber*. 
The ceremony here alluded to was doubdess the same as the descent inta 
Hades : and I am inclined to think, that, when the aspirant entered into 
the mystic cell, he was directed to lay himself down upon the bed, which 
shadowed out the tomb or coffin of the great father. This process was 
equivalent to his entering into the infernal ship : and, while stretched o\A 
upon the holy couch in imitation of his %uratively deceased prototype, he 
was said to be wrapped in the deep sleep of death. His resurrection from 
the bed was his restoration to life or his regeneration into a new World : 
and it was virtually the same as his return from Hades, or his emerging 
from the gloomy cavern^ or his liberation from the womb of the ship-gpd- 
dess. 

3. We may now distinctly perceive the origin of that studied and palpable 
resemblance, which subsists between gentile places of literal sepulture and 
ancient temples devoted to the celebration of the funereal Mysteries. 

Sometimes the dead were interred beneath artificial tumuli ; which in 
fonu were precisely similar to the pyramidal imitations of Meru, at once 
the tombs and the temples of Buddha or Osiris or Jupiter or Bacchus. 
Sometimes they were deposited in vast excavated catacombs ; whicbi both 
internally and externally, perfectly resembled the artificial consecrated 
grottos of the dying and reviving great father. And sometimes they were 
placed in subterraneous vaults ; which were the very counterpart of those 
occasionally used for the purpose of initiation, where from the nature of the 
couutry the rocky cavern could not be emplc^ed. These different places 
of sepulture were often planted round with trees, in imitation of the sacred 
groves : and the general similarity is so strong, that, in almost every book of 
oriental travels, temples are either pronounced to be tombs, or tombs con- 
founded with temples, or temples declared to be more like tombs than reU« 
gious edifices. 

The grave of Cyrus aflfords a very curious exemplification of these re- 
marks, while it may serve to throw additional light on the preceding observa- 

' Clem. Alex. Cohort, p. 11« 



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THE ORIGIN OP PAOAN IDOLATRY. 813 

tions respecting the sacred bed. When Alexander had destroyed Perse- cb4f. yiiw 
polisi he visited the tomb of thb renowned prince. It was a small pyramid 
in the midst of what the Persians denomuiated a Paradise. The lower 
f)art of it was solid : but above, in the heart of the building, there was a 
chamber with a very narrow avenue leading to it, exactly according to the 
plan of the Babylonic tower and the great pyramid of Egypt. When Aris- 
tobulus entered it by oomHiand of the Maceddniarr^ he found it to contain 
a golden bed, a table provided witK cups, a golden trough, an abundance of 
g^urments, and various ornaments decorated with precious stones* No 
body was found : but the inscription proved it to be the tomb of Cyrus \ 

^ * fitrab. QtQg. lib. XT. p. 7Sa 



Fag. tdfil you iij. t R 



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CHAPTER VIII. 



On the Origination of Romance from old mythologic Idolatry. 



JLHE mythology of one age becomes the popular romance of another : 
and so completely have the minds of men been preoccupied with the an- 
cient universal system of Idolatry, that almost every fictitious legend, whe« 
ther ancient or modern, bears its unequivocal impress. On this singular 
subject it were easy to write a volume. Brevity however must be con- 
sulted. I shall therefore content myself with bringing together a few scat- 
tered notices respecting romance secular, romance ecclesiastical, and ro- 
mance magical or necromantic. 

L Secular romance I do not confine solely to those chivalrous fictions^ 
which ordinarily bear that name. I consider the substance, rather than the 
mere appellation : and, as with equal propriety Hercules may be styled 
a knight-errant and Amadis a hero ', I scruple not to place together under 
the same division of my subject warriors of very different ages and coun- 
tries ; though it must be acknowledged, that, in generous courtesy at least, 
if not in martial prowess, the cavaliers of the middle ages far transcend tbehr 
barbarous predecessors. 

*. Bp. Hord has a amOar remark jn bis Letters on chivalry. 



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THE OBIOIK OP PAGAN IDOLATRr. S\5 

1. The entrance of the great father into the Ship formed a very promi- cHip.vni; 
nent feature of old mythology : and, as his liberation from it was esteemed 
his birth into the new World, he was often represented as a helpless infant 
exposed in a wooden ark. This ark is sometimes set afloat on the sea^ 
while at other times it is mentioned sin^ without any specification of such 
a drcomstance : and, though the great fother himself is occasionally e^cbi* 
bited a& an in^t, yet we are not unfrequently told without any disguise that 
he constructed a ship and embarked in it with certain companions. All 
these various particulars have been duly transcribed into the page of romance 
both andent and modem: and the channel of communication seems to 
have been a well preserved, though at length, mistakeh,^ remembrance of 
tbB diluvian Mysteries. Each aspirant was imitatively deemed an infant^ 
and m the course of his inftiatioki was committed to the sacred infernal 
boat Hence originated the numerous tales of persons having experienced: 
such a calamity during their childhood* 

(i.) Let us first attend to legends of an exposure in an ark, either at 
sea or on the stream of a riven Of thb it is easy to produce a consider** 
aMe variety of examples. 

The chtssicid^ Perseus, and Telephus^ and Antus, and Tennes, are all' 
equally said, like the god Bacchus, to have been set afloat in an ark, dur* 
ing the period of their infancy, on the surfitee of the ocoan, and to have aill 
in due time come safe to shore \ A precisely similar story is told respect- 
ing the British Taliesin, the Persiian Darab^ the Latin Romulus, the Indian 
Pradyumna^ the Amadis of Gothic romance,, and the Brahman and Perviz 
and Parizad^ of Arabic fiction. The child Taliesin is committed to sea in^ 
a coracle : the infant Darab* is set afloat on the Gihon in a small wooden 
arkr Romulus and his brother are exposed in the same manner on the 
Tiber : Pl-adyumna is inclosed in a chest and thrown into the sea, is swaU 
lowed by a fish, and is ultimately brought safe to land : Amadis, while a. 
child, is shut up, in a little ark, and cast into the main ocean : and the two- 
prmces and their sister are successively placed ia wicker baskets, and thus^ 

* Apollod. BM lib. ii. c« 4. Strab. Geog. lib. x. p. 487. lib. xiii. p. 615. Tzetz. ia. 
Ljcoph. ver. 570. Conon. Narrat. 29. Dfoi BibLlib. v. p. SS2. Cicer. 1 Orat. in Veoe. 
I 19. Lfcoph. Caasand. yen 229.. Tzetz. ia loc Noniu Diooys. lib. xxv. p. 425.. 



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BOOK V. committed tQ a strewp which flowed beneath, the. wU» «C '^ir Jitter's 
palace'. 

(2.) Sometime? we meet with a story of a pensort IWPg iodpsied withkl 
an ark, unattended by the circumstaojce of it& being sel ^<Nit <» tiM 
water. 

Thus Cypselua, an ancient priiH^e of Coriatht is aaiji to hawe been >pieM 
served in an ark, when his eqeoii^ sought h» life ; and thebiark> which 
continued to be shewn in the days of Pausaaiasy was alterwaeda oeBsew 
cn^ted in Olyropia by his postenjty. who froro him veredenbmn^Bd 
Cypselidce \ Thus Jason, the caplpun of the Ai^o^ was laolosed in an arid 
during his infancy as one dead; and in that state was bewaito* bytiw 
women of his famfly, precisely in tiie saflie manner as the females ai-EgypI 
and Phenicia lamcnlied the lu^mely fet^e of the axk-oonoealod Osiria aiui 
Adonis '- Thus Ion, the son of the Bpbylonic Xuth and Jh» repited aon 
cestor of the Ionic Greeks, is fabled to have beeti exposed in anaxk^ whiofe 
was decorated with an. olive-bra«?ch *. Thus the priawvri Atbeoian pi«)c© 
Erechthonius, whose fwrn was compounded; of; a nwin i^»d a serpent, wa* 
inclosed in an ark by Minerva,' and committed tp the ca^e of the tbUM 
ikughters of Cecrops who weiie certainly prje^^es of tbQ tppUcated great 

» D8vi«'« MythoL p. asa Tflllaaoey^ Tiodie. p,fi26, m Pkit in vib R«inBli 
Aqiau Be». vol; iU. p. 188, 18*, AtasOk de GauU b<H*i. c 2. Awb. oightw entert*: 
Concluding story. Aafi»EQm^l«^,.L^yy treats, a. &Mou» »Utl»t preceded, tta^^^ 
of Rom^ : and Plutarch affords ample room for doubting, at least, whether the whole tal«r 
of the two brothers be not mere mytholpgic romance. From him we learn, that the foun. 
dation of the city was ascribed to various persons at various periods, and that there waa 
the rtme complete uncertainty respecting both- the parentage and the epoch of Romulus* 
The most rational opinion is, thi* E»me was built by. a colony of the P«}asgi or CutUo: 
PaUi ; for almost every particular ip the early "Lsfdif hirtory, if history, it can be calUxl, is 
built upon the prevailing popular, Jheologyt. See Liy. Hisfc Rom. lib. i. in prsefet. Plyt,, 
in vit. RomuL Tzetz. in Lycoph. ver, 1226, 1232; The Sqythic origin of the Roman* 
has been ably demonstrated by Mr, Pinkerton. Dissert, on the orig. of the Scyth. p. Sa 

• Paiisan. 1 Eliac p. 819, 820. 

» Tzetz, Chil. viJ. hist 96.. Schol. in Lycoph. ver. 175. Pindar. Pyth, iv. ver. ,197. 

* Uatal. Com. lib. vi. p. 815. . ,.«.«. 

• Euripid. Ion. ver, H34, 1587. aron. Pasch. p^. 49. Jamb, de vjt. Pythag. c. 84. 



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»Ha cmreiif Of MftAif iB«LATW¥* sir 

fiiothar^* And Om ws ao^ent pebobage/ naiiied Cothatas^ one of the chakvih. 
nc6 of die Btedsed wbo wetie && deified tenants of the sacred Elysian isles, 
b Mdd by Theocritos to Jiave been shut up in an ark for the space of a 
^AMe year add to liate been tbe^ fed with honey \ 

(Si) OcoBsidnaHy the idea of ibfinicy ia dropped; and the hero of ro* 
luabce^ at^ so adtflt hg^ perforins somd ex^rabkliiiary vdyag«i. 

SttdFisrtlK eit|Adtrdf Hieirbiife^ whdn a goMea cup conveys him in quest 
«f adnnstilrffit iMir^^ gdtfitfe of the mighty ocean K Such is the voyage 
etHtmUm My ehciountarlbe G#Citan Mittotaur : for^ in what light his ship 
vnm'-inmw^^ by tbeAth^aii^ may^sily be collected, firom the circum- 
ttioKSt of ica y&^ p^sefvM W)tfah%h veaeratioQ even to Ifte time of Be^ 
ttiMfWtf PfafildfeuBj ahdlk>Ai? the positive didanttidto of antiquity that he 
#af mto <tf'> M ttMntoef^ dt^ Oie Argo^ And soch is the bold adventure 
d^tbe' Br^tk MniMtMls^ assdciated bafd!^ who dared the perils of the 
Menu kk A lMds« of gliiii ahd Were tiever heard .of more. This is said 
fb be Meof this Ai'ee disappearances from the isle oif Britain ^ The tale 
HiUM probabfy orlg!n9ted Irdih the los^ of sotn^ unfortunate aspirants, who^ 
were earned out 16 sto ii^ their eoraele wkfle going through the process of 
mMM€^4!f kAtjii&m: ibr^^ki the adclent aotig of Taliesiri which treats of 
Afe entratice of the jUsf n^all w^th his sevea companions into die indosurai 
of tiieiahip^gaddeto Sidi; And; Vlss^ is ntyied the inehsure of glass\ As 
lb¥' tbe'iq^pellaidtin itself, it'wuH^eiti^nly borrowed fHnn the glas^ boat o^ 
iMfette which tiie DrilidtetiMId in the celtebnEltito of thdr Mysteries. 

To the same dabs we miiy v6kt t!bd various romances of our British 
king Arthur. 

It is not unlikely, tSiift such a [nince aetually fought with the Saxons x 
bttt the mythelogic history of a primeval Arthur, froto whom he received' 
hr^name, has^ become roniantic fiction wlien engrafted upon the exploits' 
of the literal-soveitign. Hence we find king Arthur described as^ entering 

' Apollod. Bibl. lib. iii. c. 13« Paut. Attic p. 51. Ovid. Metanu lib. ii. ver..54fS« 
Tzetz. in Lycoph. Ter. IdS. AAei^g. Legate ^< 1, Hetycfi, Lex. 

• Tbdocr. IdyB. vii. ver. 8S. « ApoUod. BibL lib. iL c# 5. ^ 10. 

♦^fiyg, Fab. 14, 25h Plat, in vit. Thes. ^ Bavies^s Myth61.'p.522. Cambrian Biog^ 

•Difleg'rMytlioI. p. <pl*; 5^. 



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318 THE OBIOIN OF PAGAN II>OLAinBtn 

BOOK r. into a wonderful ship or inclosure with aeven companions, duiing the tioM 
of a general desolation produced by a mighty flood of waters. Hence, v^ 
allusion to the triplicated White goddess, he is said to have had three 
wives; each of whom was denoipinated Gwenhfwyoar or the ZdU^ on th9 
summit of the water. And hence he is represiented, as having a sister, 
who is styled the Lady of the lake. He 13 placed at 4he h^sA of three 
knights; who are said, like himself, to have beeoiiqfiprisoned in a nMy re* 
markable manner. The mode of this imprisMiment evidently 0bewf, HbMk 
the story was borrowed from the inclosure of the aspirant within the mys* 
tic stone cell of Ceridwen which typified the womb oC Jhe sUp-goiddeas^ 
Three nights, we are told, was Arthur cpnftn^d in the indoBure of wratk 
and the remission of wrath ; three idghts, lyith thQ lady of Pendragon ; 
and three nights, in the prison of Kud or Ceridwen Hud^Q the ilit stone of 
Echemeint This stone was hi& allegorical bed:qr;s^pulcl^e: adc^ accord* 
ingly, a vast stone in the centre of a round tal^e^ which crowqs A ¥1| i4 
the district of Gower, is still denominated Arthur's ^one. ; f^ooumi^tsi 
of such a description are sometimes called hi3 quoit or his^ tjobie: but bot^ 
the one and the other of these imaginary implements wc^ equally derive^ 
from the sacred ring of Ila, which the Druids symboUsed b)l Stoneheogat 
styling it the Ark of the JVorld. Accqrdingly, the redoubt^le knights of 
the round table are sometimes fabled to mail jthcr infernal ship and to-ferfyi 
the souls of the dead over the lake of Hi^ies :. and the sacred bdosure, iinta 
which Arthur enters with, bis seven companions, when a flood destroys the 
rest of mankind, and which we find varjpusly denominated his quoit and 
his table^ is declared to be Caer-Sidi by which s^pellation the bards distin-^ 
guished Stonehenge* His round table is the same aJso as his shield : and 
that shield we find to be a ship^ in which, he performs a wonderful voyage* 
over the ocean. It was called Prydwen^ which signifies the lady of the 
World; a title, not particularly applicable to a buckler, but strictly de- 
rscriptive of that mundane Ship which was personified as a lady or a god- 
dess. 

With respect to his military exploits, he copies and rivals Osiris or Dio-^ 
iiusus or Sesostris or Myrina. He drives the Saxons out of England He^ 
conquers Scotland^ Ireland, Denmarki and Norway. He makes the kings 



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tfeE ' ORtGlK OP JAGAN IDOLATfcf . 5 19 

of Iceland^ Gothland^ and Swedelahd/ his tributaries. He subdues all cbap.yhi. 
France. He completely routs the empetor of Rome, by name Lucius : 
and^ in the same bittie, slays the Greek emperor and five paynim kings to 
boot Thenext year he enters the capital of the world as a conqueror; 
and solenmly receives the imperial crown from all the cardinals. But the 
greater warriors must die : and so must king Arthur. Retummg to Bri- 
tain, he b treacherously slain by his kinsman Mordred; just as Osiris, after 
an his victories, perished by the villdny of Typhon. Though mortally 
tfouhdied, he is unable to dl6 till his magical sword Excalibar is thrown into 
the Severn. The charge is entrusted to duke Lukyn ; who at length fulfils 
it^ though sorely agamst his inclination. He casts the noble blade into the 
midst of the stream : when lo, ere it touches the water, a hand and arm is 
seen to girasp i^ to flourish it thrice in the air, and then to sink with it be- 
neatii the waves ". When the duke returns, Arthur is no longer visible : 
but be perceives a self-moved boat pvt off at the same instant from the 
Itod, and hears the piercing shrieks of unseen ladies. Popular superstition 
long believed, that die king was not really dead ; but that he was conveyed 
by the fiEory Morgana, ii^ an enchanted ship, to a paradisiacal region wiUiin 
the recesses of 1^ ocean. From this island of the blessed he will return 
aiier a certain {nredetermined interval, and reign again over the world with 
his pristine authority \ 

I need not formally point out, whence this wild and beautiful fiction 
originated. Yet, although Arthur thus disappeared, hb grave was shewn 
in the sacred pemnsula, where the abbey of Glastonbury was founded. 
Some writers say, that our Henry the second examined it, and discovered 
a stone beneath which was a wooden coffin : but Polydore Vir^l treats the 

' Mr. Sottthey has availed himfldf of thk highly picturesque eircomstaiice in his fim ' 
poem of Thalaba. b. v. p. Ml. As be does not admo^edge any obligation, the thou^t 
18 probably with him original. Ariosto has a somewhat similar incident, when Ferrau drops 
the helmet of Argalia into the river. 

* Davies's Mythol. p. 187, 188, 199, 894, 404, 517, 515, 522, 894, 896. Rabdais. liv. 
ii. c. 80. apud Selden. Note au manteau mal ta016. fabliaux du xii et du xiii. siecle. tom. i. 
Legend of king Arthur and king Arthur's death, apud Percy's reliq. vol. iii. HoUingsfaed. 
b. V. c, 14> JSee 8eld» notes on Drayton's Folyolb* song iji. 



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320 THE ORJ^OJft OF, VJLQ^^ ipqifATJI^^ 

BOOK V. whole account as an idle fiction. I beUeye 14m. to b^ ci|^^ ip hf^spqpt^ 
cisol: for every particular in the romance of l^ipg Arth^ir, no U^s thai^.tl^ 
ipsular situation of tl^e tomh itself, leads n^e to l^elieyq that it w^ a .^pi\lr 
chre of a similar nature to th^se of Osiris or Jupiter or Bapd^fis.ff' AGpj)0t 
or Buddha '• 

Closely allied to the. magical bark pf ^rtfiur, ^ orjlgii^ti^g ^pip a 091^^ 
mon source, are the inchanted bpats^ whici^ areso q^iji. prepared io rctr 
mance to convey knights errant to some desperate adventufe* l^^c^vfiT. 
lier finds a small skiff on the shore of the ocean^ H^ is ^pinpfdyt^j, 00%, 
vinced, that some brother in arms or some dis^^s^ <l^|i)^> ^ffPH^op^- 
in an insular castle, needs the assistances of h^^ invincible a|m He 3.(^9r 
into the vessel: and, in an instant, like the ncfvig^tpr? ojf tb;^ in(eP)i^l bpa^ 
which conveys the souls of the dead frpro Qapl^ to Bntfup^ ^e i^ wafM> 
by the unseen agency of some friendly magician, fpU three tboHsandl^agfieSf 
to the precise 

We find n jWhei^i 

in quest of th( '^thp; 

brink of a la g!?f^ 

steered by a ] ^.^^. 

phant to the body of a tyger, makes its appearppce^ Thciprinfip enters it 
under a strict injunction of silence, like that imposed upon tl^e ancjeot aspi 
rants ; and is forthwith trans jKJrtejd to^^bea^tifMl islfind^ ^l^^h is.d^jscribed 
in the oriental style as resembling a terrestrial paraj^'se^ '• Qn tl)Ui tsJIe.I 
need only remark, that the Indian Gane$»a^sprovid4Qd wit^ th^^.heafl pf ^p 
elephant; and that that animal is. de^me^ one, of the forms pf,Buddha>' 
who steers the infernal ship of the dead over^ tlie ha^O)^'€;d ^aU^eiS^ the., 
Ganges. Tit is not difficult to trace the obligation of our Arabic fabu- 
list. 

& We shall equally, find in romance the sacred Jake,, the fairy or iemcd^ . 
divinity presiding over it, the wonderful cavern, the oracular tomb of im- 
prisonment, the sleeping giant, and the upright figure eternally seated upon 
a large stone like the Memnon and other colossal statues of Egypt 

■ £eU. OD Polyolb. song iii ^ See Don Quixote. voL iii. c. 29. 

* Arab, nigbto emer« Story of piince Zeya Alasnam. * 



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TH£ ORIGIN Qf PAOAN IDOLATET* Sfil 

. (I.) la British fiction^ we have aXady of the lake, who is said to have cnkv.mu 
been the sister of king Arthur, and who is celd)rated by the name ofMar^ 
goM or Viviana. She is clearly the same being as the Persic Mergian 
Peri and as the Sicilian Fata Morgana, whose splendid Illusive palaces 
float upon the surface of the sea. Boiardo represents her as gliding be- . 
Beath the waters of an incbahted lake, while she caresses a vast serpent 
into which fer m she had metamorphosed one of ber lovers : and other 
romance-writers describe ber as the perfidious paramour of Merlin, who 
was wont to denominate ber the mkite serpent. Her character has been 
taken from that of the White goddess ; who presided over the sacred lake, 
and who as the navicukr serpent was the diluvian vehicle of the great uni* 
versal father. 

As for MerUn, he was the son of a fiiir virgin by an infernal spirit: and 
be Was at once the lover of the lady Moi^ana, and her instructor in the 
profound science of magic. Like the old Cyclopians or Telchines, he was 
a most skilful architect He surrounded Caermarthen with a wall of brass : 
he compelled die demons to labour for him in a cavern of the island of 
Barry in Glamorganshire ; where (as Camden remarks) you may still, by 
the exertion of a moderate degree of fancy, hear them at work : and, hav- 
ing built the stupendous circle of Stonehenge, he conveyed it in a single 
night, partly by sea and partly by land, from the neighbouring country of 
Ireland to the plain of Salisbury. He was sometimes called Ambrosias : 
and, agreeably to that appellation, such stones as those of which his temple 
is composed were of old denominated Ambrostan stones ; while a town in 
its immediate vicinity still bears the name oi Ambrosbury. All his magical 
skill however could not preserve him from the treachery of his mistress, 
the Lady of the lake. He became enamoured of her at the court of Uther 
Peodragon ; where he established the famous round table, wrought many 
wonderful works, and uttered a number of prophecies. Previous to his 
death, he constructed a tomb capable of holding him and the lady : and 
taught her a chann, which would so close the stone that it could never be 
opened. The tomb is represented, as being formed out of a rock ; and the 
entrance into it was beneath a huge inchanted slab. Into this cavern, and 
under thb slab, she one d^ premiled upon him to go ; pretending, that 
Pag. IdoL vou III. 2 S 



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322 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN' IDOLATRT. 

\ 

900K V. she Tvished to ascerttun whether it was sufficiently large. As soon as he 
was fairly within, she pronounced the fatal charm, and made him her rock- 
inclosed prisoner. Here he died: but his spirit, being likewise confined 
by the potent spell, continued to give oracular answers to those who con- 
sulted him \ 

The poetical wizard Ariosto has made a beautiful use of this palpably 
mythologic fiction : and it is remarkable, that he has strictly adhered in 
every particular to the descriptions which have come down to us of the 
ancient fatidical grotto. Bradamant descends into an immense cave. At 
the bottom of it she finds a spacious portal, which leads into an inner 
cavern. Here she beholds the rocky tomb of Merlin, within which he was 
confined by the Lady of the lake: and, conducted by the priestess Melissa, 
whom the poet has distinguished by the very name of ah ancient priestess 
of the infernal great mother, she receives an answer to her inquiries fi'om 
the enthralled spirit*. 

It is almost superfluous to point out the mode^ in which this legend has 
been borrowed from old idolatry. Merlin, the reputed builder of Stone « 
benge in which he sails across the Irish channel, is a Druidical hierophant, 
the professed representative of him, who constructed the mundane Ark 
shadowed out (as the bards inform us) by that vast circular monument 
His mysterious birth is a transcript of the virgin-birth of Buddha. And 
the stone tomb, within which he becomes a prisoner, is the mystic cell or 
Cromlech; within which the aspirant was said to be confined by the great 
mother, where he was reputed to die and to be buried, and which was 
deemed the oracular grave of the deceased great father. We have seen, 
that Arthur wa3 similarly confined, with the self-same lady of Pendragon^ 
iii^he prison of Kud beneath the flat stone of Echemeint In both cases, 
no doubt, the tale of the imprisonment was derived firom the Druidical rite 
of initiation within the stone cell of Ceridwen. 

' Spencer*0 Fairy<-Que(en. b. iii. cant S« Life of Merlin, and Morte Arthur, b. L c. 60. 
Note au manteau mal taille. &bliaux du ;:ii et du xiii siecle. vol. i. Bailly's Lettres sur 
i'Atlantide* p. 14i. Orland. Inam. 1. ii. cant 12. stan. 62. Seld. on Polyolb. song 
y and iv. 

* X)rland. Fur., cant. iL sfianx. 70. cant, iii; stanz. 6 et infia. 



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TfiS ORIOXN OF PAOAK IDOLATEn ^ -SSd 

Nearl]/^ allied to Merlin and king Arthur is tiie valoarous Sir Launcelot cAAT.wm. 
of tbe lake, whose tiUe explains itself and who is celebrated as one of the 
bravest of tbe knigl;its of the round table. This oemohage is made tbe 
paramour of Queen Gwenhwjvar; whose name, as we have seen^ de&olei 
the Lad^ on the nmmt of the water i and he is described as accomplish^ 
ing an adventure, the outlines of which have been palpably taken from the 
infernal shews of the Mysteries and from tbe alle^jorical death or slumb^ 
of the great father. In the course of his wandering the knight arrives 
before the sacred indosure of Chapel perilous. Tyii^ his steed to a small 
wicket, he undauntedly enters within the fence ; and beholds right before 
him thirty gigantic ca\'alier8, whogrin a horrible defiance against the daring 
intruder. For a moment his courage iiails him : bu^ soon recovering him* 
self, he rushes forward with his. drawn sword; and the phantoms instantly 
l^ve place. He now advances through the portal of the chapel : and^ by 
tbe dim light of a single lamp^ he percdves in the midst of it the reeumbent 
figure of a dead warrior vrith his fiuilchion fytng by his side;. The in- 
cbaated weapon be forthwith seizes, and prepares to make the best of his 
ws^ out of this scene of nocturnal horror; when he is charged in a grimly 
voice by the phantom knights without to relinquish the sword, as he valuet 
Us life» Regardless of the menace^ he agmn passes without oppostttoa 
through the midst of his yielding antagonists^ and regains his steed tn . 
safety *. 

(SL) The romance of Durandarte is a mere variation of those of Merlin 

and Sir Launcelot He falls in the battle of Roncesvalles : and, as the 

gi^nlic statues of the great father were sometimes laid at their full length 

on a bed in. the attitude of one dead or sleeping; so this fabulous hero is 

extended, like the knight beheld by Sir Launcelot in Chapel perilous, upon 

a tomb within the recesses of a deep cavern. Here he is preserved from^ 

decay by the charms of Merlin, dnd from time to time utters responses to 

those who address him: while his esquire Guadiaoa is metamorphosed inta 

the river of that name, and Ruydeia with others of his attendants into the 

lakes of Ruydera\ 

■ Morte Arthur. 

* The legend at large is put by Cervantes into the mouth of his hero, ivheii he emei^gea 

from the uichanted cave of MontesiBos. Don Quixote voL iiL c 28. 



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324 THE 0BI6IK Of PAQAK IPOhATUt* 

BooKv. (3.) Durandarte has tiie prostt^ate attitude of the great father/ thotij^ 
not his stature : but the isle of Man furnishes a most curious l^end; which 
may be pronounced the very counterpart of the story, that Plirtardi had 
from Demetrius, respecting the sleep of the g^antic Cronus in an inaukr 
cavern on the coast of Britain : and I need scarcely repeat, that the sleep* 
ing Cronus is ttie same as the oriental Buddha. 

Rushin castle has certainly been erected on the scite of an ancient Druid* 
ical sanctuary, which was used for the purpose d initiation into the Myste* 
ries: for some remains of this sanctuary appear to be still in existence* 
fVken ym hcpce passed a little cmrt of entrance^ to adofrt the narrative of 
Waldroo, you enter into a hmg zrinding passage between two high watis, 
not much unlike what is described of RosanmuCs labyrinth at JVoodstoekm 
The extremity of it brings you to a room. A little further is an apart^ 
mentf wJuch has never been opened in the memory of man. The persdns 
belonging to the castle are very cautious in gvoing any reason for it: but 
the natives^ who are excessively superstitious, assign this; that there is 
something of enchantment in it. They tell you, that the castle wms at first 
inhabited by fairies and afterwards by giants, who continued in possession 
of it till the days of Merlin. He, by the force of magic, dislodged the 
greatest part of them, and bound the rest in spells which they believe wiii 
be indissoluble till the end of the world. For a proof of this they tell you 
a very odd story. 

They say there are a great number of fine apartments under ground, 
exceeding in magnificence any of the upper rooms '* Several men of more 
than ordinary courage have, in former times, ventured down to ejpplore the 
secrets of this subterranean dwelling-place; but none of them ever returned 
to give an account of what they saw. It was therefore judged convenient, 
that all the passages to it should be kept continually shuty that no more 
might suffer by their temerity. But, about some 50 or 55 years since, a 
person, who had an uncommon boldness and resolution, never left soliciting 
permission to visit those dark abodes. In fine, he obtained his^ request, wera 

' This is precisdy the description, which Herodotus gives of the Egyptian Labyrinth. 
Hist. lib. iL c 148. 



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ihwn, and returned by the help of a dm of packthread. He brot^ht this cnu^irM. 
amazing discaoery* 

After having passed through a great number of oaults^ he came into a 
long narrow place; which, the farther he penetratedy he perceived he wen* 
nmreandmore on a descent: till, haoing trofveUedas near as he dould guess 
for the space of a miky he began to see a little gkam of light ; which^though 
it seemed to come from a ^oast distmce, yet was the most delightful sight he 
had ever beheld in Ids Ufe. Having at length come to the end of that lane 
of darkness, he perceived a very large and magnificent house tUundnated 
with a great many candles ; wheMc proceeded the light Just now mentioned. 
Having well fortified himself xmth brandy, he had courage enough to knock 
at the door; which a servant, at the third knock, having opened, asked him 
what he wanted. I would go as fer as I can, replied our adventurer; be 
80 kind therefore as to direct me bow to accomplish my design, for I see 
no passage but that dark cavern through which I came. The servant told 
him, he must go through that house; and accordingly led him through a 
long entry, and out of the back door. He tlien walked a considerable way; 
and at last beheld another house mare magnificent than the first : the win* 
daws ofwfiich being all open, he discovered innumerable lamps burning in 
every room. Here he designed also to knock: but he had the curiosity to 
step on^ little bank which commanded a low parlour; and, looking in, he 
beheld a vast table, in the middle of the room, of black marble, and on it, 
extended at full length, a man or rather monster ; for by his account he 
could not be less than fourteen feet hmg, and ten or eleven round the body. 
Tins prodigious fabric lay as- if sleepingy with his head on a book, and a 
sword by him of a size answerable to the hand which it is supposed made 
use of it. This sight was more terrifying to our traveller than all the 
dark and dreary mansions he had passed through in his arrival to it. He 
resolved therefore not to attempt entrance into a place inhabited by persons 
of, that unequal stature, and made the. best of his way back to the other 
house; where the saihe servant reconducted and informed him, that, if he 
bad knocked at the second door, he would have seen company ^ough, but 
never could have returned. On which he desired to know, what place it 
waSf and by whom possessed : but the other replied, that these things were 



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826 THE OUZGIN OF PAGAN lDOLATEr« 

^^^ ^« not to be revealed. He then took his leave; and by the same dark passage 
got into the vaults j and soon after once more ascended to the Ught of the 
sun. Ridiculous as this narrative appears, whoeoer seems to disbelicoe it 
is looked on as a person of weak faith '. 

The preceding legend has been handed down, I have little doubt, from 
the times of the old Druidical superstition. It relates to the nocturnal 
rites of initiation : wliicb were often celebrated in ^ark tortuous caverns ; 
and, in the course of which, the aspirant, after a^ gloomy march through 
terrific obscurity, emerged from a narrow door into a gaily illuminated 
sacellum. I am much inclined to believe,, that the interior grotto at Ru«^ 
shin once actually contained a black tomb with th^ gigantic figure of a 
man recumbent upon it. The story preserved by Plutarch seems to favour 
such an opinion : and it is further corroborated by the express testimony 
of Cesar, that the Druids were iK^customed to make large wicker images in 
a human shape, which they filled with the wretched victims destined to be 
burnt alive. Such a figure in a sleeping attitude^ laid upon a stone couch 
after the manner of the colossal statues of Buddha in the east, and dressed 
so as to resemble the life, most probably gave rise to the wild fiction of 
the castle. 

(4.) I am the more inclined to this conjecture by finding a yery similar 
story told of the classical Gygqs. According to Herodotus, he was a Ly- 
dian ; who slew his master Candaules, married his wife, and usurped his 
kingdom : and a curious fable is told by Plato respecting the manner, in 
which he effected his purpose* Descending into a deep cavern, he found 
a large brazen horse with a door in his side. This door he opened ; and 
discovered within the statue the recumbent figure of a giant^ whose finger 
was decorated with a brazen ring. Gyges took the ring, which had the 
property of rendering its wearer invisible : and by its instrumentality in- 
troduced himself without difficulty into the palace of Candaules \ 

' Grose's Antiq. vel. vL p. 208—209. I strongly suspect^ that this Manx giant was the 
prototype of Lord Orford's sleeping giant in the gallery of the castle of Otranto. 

* Herod. Hist. lib. i. c. 8. Plat, de repnb. dial. x. The marveUous cayem near Sanu 
goza, described by Pulcii seems very evidently to have been borrowed from the sacred 
Bilthraiic grotto. It is furnished wkh six pillars of gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, and lead ; 



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THE ORTOIK OP PAGAK* IBOLATET* 537 

(5.) The gigantic Buddha wad not ahv-ays exhibited in a reclining pos* cHAP.vxm 
tare : we sometimes find him, as at Babylon and in Egypt, seated erect 
upon a vast stone chair, to which his image is hiseparably joined. This 
particular has likewise been duly copied into romance. 

Theseus, whose stature far exceeded that of the ordinary children of 
men, was attached in the infernal regions to a stone seat ; where, according 
to Virgil, he dts to all eternity : and, in the wild fictions of Arabia, the 
young king of the black isles, whose capital is magically submerged be* 
neatb a lake while his subjects are metamorphosed into fishes, becomes 
immoveably rooted to his chair by the transformation of hh entire lower ^ 

half into black marble. Here he sits b durance vile; until the spelli 
which bound him, is broken by the adventurous caliph '• 

(6\) The real habitation however, the favouHte haunt, of the mytho- 
logic giant, whether distinguished by the name of Buddha or Edris or 
AtlaSf is the summit of a ]o% mountam : and that mountain, localized as 
it universally was, is truly the Paradisiacal Ararat; to which, under the 
appellation oi MerUy fiction has ascribed seven stages or degrees of ascent, 
representing it as a pyramid composed of eight successively diminishing 
towers \ On such particulars the Persian romance of Cai-Caus, Rustam^ 
and the White giant, seems very evidently to have been founded ^ 

Cai-Caus, the successor of Cai-Cobad the first monarch of the Caianma 

every soul, that enters into a mortal body upon earth, is.said to be previously bom out of 
it : and the religion and conduct of each fiiture human indiridual is determined by the 
choice, which his spirit makes of one of the six pillars ere it issues out of the mystic cave^ 
$ee Morgante Maggiore cant. xxv. stans. 42 — 4?5« In the jargon of the Rosicrucian 
Alchytoists, the different metals were used to designate the heavenly bodies. There ought 
properly to have been seven pillars ; and we should then have had the seven celestial 
gates, through which, in the Mithratic Orgies, souls were reputed to be transmigratively 
regenerated. 

' Arab, nights enter, story of the fisherman and genie. * See Plate IIL Fig. 10. 

' The literal historical fact however, on which this mythologic romance is built, was a 

' war between Cai-Caus and the king of Touran in which the former was taken prisoner, 

blended with the successful suppression of a revolt in the Caspian province of Mazenderaun. 

See Hales's Chronol. vol. iii. p. 9d« Probably in some such manner originated the ro« 

mance of the Trojan war. 



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S2S THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRV^ 

«^E ▼• dynasty, is instigated by the song of a minstrel to attempt the conqnevt of 
Mazenderaun, which is celebrated as a perfect eai^tWy Paradbe. It lies 
in the region of mount Aspruz, at the foot of which with respect to Persia 
the sun sets : and, in literal geography, it is determined to be a province 
bordering on the south of the Caspian sea. Hence it is a part of that high 
tract of country, denominated the Tabaric or Gorinhm rangCy wi^n tte 
limits of which the groves of Eden were planted and the Ark rested afkr 
the deluge* Cai-Caus fails in his enterprise : for the sacred country is 
guarded by the Wt^ giant, who smiles him and all his troops with blind<> 
ness, and makes them bis prisoners. In this emergency the king sends a 
messenger to Zaul, the father of the hero Rustam, begging his immediate 
assbtance* For the greater dis^tch, Rustam takes the shorter though 
more dangerous road ; and departs alone, mounted on hb diarger Rakesh. 
The course, M^ich he chooses, b styled the road of the seven stages: and 
at ettdk of the first six he meets with a different adventure, by which hb 
persevering courage b severely tried Having at length however fought 
his way to the seventh, he dbcovers his prince and the captive Persians : 
when he learns fi-om Cai-Caus, that nothing will restore his sight but the 
application of three drops of blood from the heart of the White giant 
Upon this he attacks hb formidable enemy in the cavern where he was 
accustomed to dwell : and, having torn out his heart after an ob^oate 
combat, he infuses the prescribed three drops into the eyes of Cai-Caus, 
who immediately regains his powers of vision* Afterwards the two war- 
riors lead their forces against the king of Mazenderaun, who had now lost 
his most redoubtable ehampion. In the conflict, Rustam pulls him from 
his horse: but he falls in the shape of a huge fragment of stone. , The 
wary knight however is not to be so eluded. He brmgs the metamor- 
phosed prince to his camp : and, by threats of breaking the stone in pieces^ 
he compels him to resume his proper form '• 

We have here the White giant, whom I take to be the counterpart of 
the gigantic White goddess, on the summit of a Paradisiacal mountain of 
seven stages : and, immediately associated with him^ we have a fabled king 

* Orient. Collect toI. i. nomb. 4., p. 359. voL ii. numb. 1* p. 45» 



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»U OftlGIK Of tAOAir IDQLATBT. 909 

#f the eotitttry; trho aisuittea the sbtpe of a stooe^ that ecHistant symbol of csAr^ym. 
Buddha or Samana-Codeok ^ 

ILEedestastieal, no less than lecalar, romance has been greatly in* 
ddbtad to old mytbolo^ for several of its most specious wonders. This 
circcmstaoce ori^oiMd from the praotiee, which Pope Gregory recom- 
mended to Augi:^«ioe when he planted the gospel among the Saxons of 
Sikglaad^ and which bad long before that tme been generally adopted ia 
the church. Pa^n temples <vere eonverted into CJhristian oratories ; or^ 
where they had beea idestroyed^ new edifices were erected upon the former 
acite: idols gave jdaoe to the relics, and in due time to the images, c^the 
isaints: and Che feeuval» of the demon-f|ods w^e supplanted by the festi- 
fiis of that new race of demons^ the canonized martyrs, whose imitative 
fa^noora are so graphically finretoid by St Paul'. The humour of framing 
marvellous legiends reepectmg these dead men, to whom the churches were 
now ordinarily dedicated, very sopn followed : and, as nothing could be 
•jnore apposite than the tales of the pagan demons, who had been venerated 
in the precise placra now occupied by their deified successors, they were 
fceadily caught up,, and with the requisite modifications adapted to the reign* 
ing taste. In various Jutances, the gentile divinity was himself metamor- 
l^sed into an imaginary saint : and we have « whimsical <mse upon re* 
jcord, in wbtidi the very reverse took place ; a saint was oddly transformed 
iftjto a pa|^ god. The Bogii, while in a state o£ heathenism, occupied the 
sacred island of Rugen in the Baltic; and there venerated, with the usual 
rites, the great universal ietth^. When they were omverted to Chris- 
tianity, a church was built upon the soite of their principal temple, and 
dedicated to the memory of St Vitus. The Rugii however,' who probably 
discerned no material diffisrence between the old and the new idolatry, sooft 
relapsed into the superstition of their ancestcn^ : and, deeming Sanctovitus 
one of the many names of their chief divinity, they henceforth devoutly wor* 
shipped him under the appellation of Suantewith \ 

' Beld.Hitt.lib.Lc. Sa 1 Tim. k. 1.-4. 
^ Milner's Charcb Hist vol. iii. p. 284, 285, 

Pag. I(i>l. tou III* fi T 



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330 THE ORIGIN OF PA0AN IBOLATRT* 

BOOK V. K One of the most ancient ecclesiastical romance^ is that of the seveik 
sleepers. 

When the emperor Decius persecuted the ChrisUanSi seven noble youths 
of EphesuSi we are tokl^ concealed themselves in a spacious cavern in the 
side of an adjacent mountain ; where they were doomed to peiish by the 
tyrant, who gave orders that the entrance should be firmly secured with a 
pile of huge stones. They immediately fell into a deep slumberi which was 
miraculously prolonged, without injuring the powers of life, during the 
period of one hundred and eighty seven years^ At the end of that time, 
the stones happening to be removed, the rays t)£ the sua darted into the 
cave, and the sleepers awoke. The marvellous event soon spread abroad : 
the seven companions were visited by the bishop, the clergy, the people, 
and even (it is said) by the emperor Theodosius himself: they bestowed 
their benediction upon the assembled multitude : and, having related their 
woadrous tale, they forthwith peaceably expired. This pious ficdoa is of 
very considerable antiquity ; for it is mentioned by James of Sarug, who 
was born only two years after the death of the younger Theodosius : awi 
so favourable a reception has it met with ia the world, that it is received 
alike by the Latin, Jthe Abyssinian, and the Russiai^ church ; is introduced 
into the Koran of Mohammed ; has beea adopted and adorned by all the 
Musulman nations from Bengal to Africa ; and has been discovered even 
among the Goths of Scandinavia, who placed the seven sleepers of their 
northern region in a cavern beneath a rock on the shore of the ocean \ 

Mr. Gibbon has carefully collected the several particulars ; and, with 
the evidently malignant design of placing this miracle upon the same foot- 
ing of authority as those recorded in the gospels, has endeavoured to ti*ace 
the fiction to within fifty years of the supposed event For the same pui;' 
pose he has industriously blazoned its universal reception ; thus tacitly in* 
sinuating the strength of evidence, by which it k supported. But, unfor- 
tunately for the infidel historian, this very circumstance of its universal 
reception points out the source whence it originated, and thus effectually 
destroys the force of his eoncealed argument. No doubt such a story wa» 

* 6iUK>n*8 Hist of DecL and Fai. voL ▼]. c. 33. p. 32— S4w. 



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THE ORIOIN OF FAOAN IDOLATRY. 531 

generally iiecetved from India to Scandinavia, and had been received long chjlp.thi^ 
before 4he time either of Decius or Theodosius. The seven sleepers are 
the seven holy Bishb or companions of Menu in the ark, who are said to 
have performed a wonderful penance in a floating Moon. Their inclosure 
within the ark was deemed a state of deathlike slumber : and their lunar 
ship was represented by a holy cavern in the side of a mountain. It was 
the same as the sea-girt cavern, in which Cronus inclosed the seven mem- 
bers of his fiemiily, and which (as we have learned from Plutarch) was 
shewn by the Hyperboreans in a sacred isle on the coast of Britain : the 
same also as the grotto of the sleeping great father Buddha or Siva, conspi^ 
cuous in his d^t forms on the summit of mount Meru. The tale in short 
has been palpably borrowed from that old mythology ; which prevailed 
tiuroiighout Asia Minor, no less than among the Hindoos and the Goths and 
the Celts, 

Such was its origin, so &r as the notion itself is concerned : but I think 
it not improbable (so early did a wretched system of fabricating spurious 
wonders creep into the church), that a farce might have be^n actually 
played off in a cavern near Ephesus during the reign of Theodosius. It is 
at least obvious, that nothing could be more easy in the execution, than to 
produce seven pretended sleepers out of a caverti ; who should gravely 
recite the pagan tale prepared for them, bestow their benediction upon {he 
credulous multitude, and afterwards sink into a pretended death. So 
much for a silly tale, through which a deistical writer hoped to shake the 
credibility ojf the miracles .performed by Christ and his apostles. When we 
are able to persuade five thousand persons assembled in the wilderness, 
that their hunger has been really satisfied by partaking of a few loaves and 
small fishes : then, and not till then, may we rank the wonders of the 
gospel, the actual performance of which was never disputed by the early 
enemies of Christianity, with the portent of the seven sleepers of £phesu8 '. 

£. Nearly allied to this legend is that of the wandering Jew ; who, for 
insulting the Messiah while upon his mock trial, is doomed to await in the 

' According to Mr. Gibbon's chronological table of contents, the seven sleepers emerged 
from Hieir gloomy cayem about the year 4^9, wbea much corrupt superstition bad crept 
into the Church. 



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S5S THX oBicm or yaoait tDOtArvf. 

war. flesh the second advent like the &bled great fother, lie nttbies or^r die 
iace of the whole globe, aod visits every region* At the close of each 
revolving century, bowed down with age, he sietem and fidb iat» « destb* 
like slumber : but from this be speedily awakes ia lenovated youth and 
vigour ; and acts over again the parl^ wMch he has ahready so nspeatedly 
sustained. 

d. As tiiese romances have oi^iimtod from the ptiiodioal sleep and 
resurrection of the great &ther and his fkmily, so that of St Antony baa 
been copied from tbe various terrific transformations eidrfbUed in the fone-^ 
real Orgies of Dionnsus or Osiris or Mitbras. 

Antony, it seems, was in the haUt of dwelling in one of fbose excavated 
rock sepulchres or catacombs ; which are bo frequent in Egypt and the 
east, and which in form are ppecisely sioriiar to "^ sacred grottos used for 
the celebration of the Mysteries. In this comfortless abode he was once 
attacked by a whole host of demons ; who completety filled ibe place in 
tbe various shapes of lions, bulls, wolves, asps, serpents, scorpions, pards, 
and bears. Some of these «inweleodse vidtaots howled, some yelled, some 
threatened, and others actually proceeded to flagellate the saint. But, ti^ 
undaunted Antony making tbe sign of the cross> a heavenly Kght, resem- 
bling that which flashed upon the exhausted aspirant at tiie close of his ten- 
rible mardi through haunted darkness, beamed into the cell, and soon put 
the hellish rabble to flight \ 

4. To the same class, tu» the sepulciiral battle of 6t. Antony with <be 
iiends, belongs the fomous monastic legend of the descent of Owen into 
tiie infernal regions, which was accompfished by his entering into what is 
now caUed the Purgatmy of^. Petric. 

Every particular relative to this engine of papal imposture proves it to 
have been an ancient cell used for tbe purposes of Druidical initiation*^ 
The Purgatory is a small artificial cavern, built upon a little island in Lough 
Derg, in the southern part of Donegal '• Its shape resembles that of an L, 
excepting that the angle is more obtuse : and it is formed by two parallel 

* Act aaactor. vol. ii. Jan. 1% p. 123* spud Soutbe^'s Thalaba. v<d. iL p. 101%^ 
* The ifilandis only ISeyarda long by M bcoaiL 



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5Pa« ORIGIN OF PAOAK IDpLATftt. 939 

w«U$ ocMmred with Urg^ etraee and sods, the floor beiiig the qiot^ral rock, cBAr.nii* 
7^ leogth of it is siKteen le«t aod a hali «nd its width two feet ; but the 
bttildii]^ is so low^ that a tall man cannot stand erect in it Bound it are 
bmh seven eh9pels» dedicated to the same number of saints. This Purga- 
tory was once called the cme ^the tribe of Oin: and it is said to have 
received its appt^tion from the following circumstance An adventurer, 
luuned Oanen, entered into it : and there» stoking into a de^p sleep, he be*> 
lield the pains of Tartarus and the joys of Elysiuou His visions, which 
dosdy resemble the descent of Eniss into Hades, are drcumstantialiy 
related by Matthew Paris : and the fable was afterwards taken up by one 
Henry, a Cisteniaii moak^ from whom it received sundry improvements 
and embellisbments. . The drift of th^p is to shew u^ how the cave ac- 
quired its supposed prateraatural virtues. According to Henry, Christ 9P^ 
pearod to the edeferated 8l Patric : and, having led him into a desert 
fdaoe, shewed him a deep hsie \ . He <ben proceeded to inform bim^ that, 
whoever entered that pit» and continued there a day aad a nigh^ having 
previously repented aod being aroMd with the true faith, should be purged 
from all bis sins : and he further added, that, during the penit^t's abode 
theit^ be should behold both the torments oi the dammed and the joys of 
the blessed. In oonsequence of this divioe revelation, St. P^ic Mim»r 
dialeLy built a church upon the place\ 

Such is the l^ndary history of this iDsuUr pur^^tofy, which has been 
vbolly borrowed from the pagan Mysteries once celebrated witbHi it* 
Derg, from whom the lake reoeived its appellatioo, was the principal god^ 
dess of the old Irish : and both ber attributes and her name prpve her 
identity with the Dnrga of Hindostan and the Depc^ of Palestine^ The 
lake and the island were no doubt saered to her r and, from the oracle 

' TbU hoW was broioea up bgr ordor of Pope A)e»tticler YI on St. Patric's day 1497.^ 
That pontiff wisely judged the whole to be a scandalous imposture t and yet, strange to- 
tell, the late Pope Benedict XIV was so vehement an admirer of the purgatory, the wind- 
ing passage of which yet remains, that he actuaDy preached and published a sermon on its 
manifold virtues. Ledw. Ant. p. 4461 WM bemtic shall presume to decide between, 
these iwo diKordaaS InMil:dea? 

* Ledwicb's Ant. of Ir^ £. 4^ 447. Collect, de fcb. Bib. vsLiv. £. 74> 69. {tdL 



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334 THK ORIGIN OF ^AGAN IDOLATRY. 

looK V. established in the latter, the former was also called -^Ae lake of soothsayers ^ 
long before the supposed era of St. Patric ; whence it is evident, that the 
monks did not itvoent the tale of the purifying cave and the descent into 
Hades, but only adapted it to the superstitions with which Christianity was 
encumbered in the middle ages '• Accordingly, the puritication, bdieved 
to be obtained by threading the narrow passage, is the exact counterpart of 
the regenerative purification, which in pagan times, from Hindostan to Ire- 
land, has been thought to be acquired by squeezing the body through a 
stone orifice : and the scenes, which the intrepid Owen beholds in the pre- 
tended Purgatory of St Patric, are precisely similar, both in kind and 
order, to the pageants which were exhibited during the process of initiation. 
His conductor, the mimic of the ancient hierophant, first shews him the tor- 
tnents of the damned ; and afterwards leads him into Paradise or £lysium. 
Owen, in short, was the Babylodic Oan or Oannes ; whose name and wor- 
ship was brought into Ireland by the first colonists from the east : hence 
we find him mentioned by Bede near five centuries before the era, in which 
Matthew Paris flourished. After the natives had been for some ages con- 
verted to semi-christianity, the real character of Owen or Oin was gradually 
forgotten : but the old traditions concerning him were still faithfully handed 
tlown ; and he himself was transformed into a sainted soldier, while his 
Oradular cavern, which was one of the very same description as that of 
Tix>phonius, was metamorphosed into St Patricks Purgatory. The seven 
attached chapels have succeeded to seven sacella, answering to the seven 
small sanctuaries which surrounded the image of Molecb * : and they were 
used, I apprehend, for the preparatory transmigration of the aspirant ; like 
the seven gates or steps of the Mithratic staircase, which were a transcript 
of the seven steps or stages of mount Meru« 

As for Patric, if such a person ever really existed beyond the limits of a 
fabulizing martyrology, his character at least has received large additions 
from that of the Irish Molech or Baal ; agreeably to the arrangement of 

' Colgan apud Collect, de reb. H3). vol* !▼• p. 74. pref. 
* Or, as some think, the seven partitions into which his hollow statue was divided. See 
£eld.ilQ diis Syr. synt. i. c* 6. p. 96. 



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THE OKIGIK OF PAGAN IDOLATRY/ 335 

his Purgatory in the midst of the seven cells *. We find him denominated csab^iuxz. 
Tailgean or Tailgin, which is the same title as the classical Tdchin : for 
Tel^^hin signifies a priest of the Sun; and Taulch is one of the names 
which the Irish bestow upon that luminary \ We also find him styled 
Aistaire, because he was the masculine counterpart to the goddess Easter 
whose pagan appellation we have retained in one of our ecclesiastical festh- 
vals ; just as Molech was entitled Asterius or TauruSy because he was the 
masculine counterpart to Astoreth or Astart^ '. His fictitious attributes 
correspond with his names^ The image of Molech was wont to be heated 
red hot : and, when it was thus prepared, children were sacrificed by being 
inclosed within the ignited statue* In a similar manner, Patric or Aistaire 
is said to have appeared in an universal blaze of fire to Milcho, whom the 
monks fancy to have been one oi hi» disciples, but who in reality was no 
other than Molech or Milchom or Patric himself. Upon this occasion^ 
flames issued continually firom his mouth, his nostrils, his eyes, -and hb ears; 
and Milcho with difficulty escaped the danger of combustion. His two in* 
fimt daughters however were not so fortunate : as they slept together b one 
bed, they were reduced to ashes by the conflagration \ 

Patric has another purgatory of the same nature in the mountain Cniai^ 
chan Aigle. Many devotees are accustomed to watch and fast on the sum^ 
mit of this hill, fimcying that the merits of the saint will assuredly deliver 
them from the pains of helL Some of them, who have passed the night 
there, pretend that they suffered most dreadful torments inflicted by an 
invisible hand ; and by thb process they believed themselves ta be purified 
from their sins. Hence the place acquired the name of St* Patricks Pun- 
gatory K Here we have a holy moux>tain ; as before we had a holy lake^ 
and island, and cavern. The two legends difier only in. having originated 
from different sanctuaries of the same universal system of old idolatry. 

"^ Mr. Ledwich strongly contendg,. that na sack saint^as Patric ever existed. Ant. oi 
IreL p. 326t-S78. 

* Collect, de reb. Hib. \o\. iv. p. 60. pref. Ibid. voL v. p. 4Ms 

* Vallancey's Vindic. p. 201. 

♦ Sext. vit Patric Colgan. p. 67. apud Vallanc Vind, p. 254. 

9 Cdguk apud CpUect% de reb. Hib. voL iy. p».74. prefL 



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536 THE ORIOIN^ OP PAGAN IBQ£ATIir« 

BOOK ▼• 5. A similar purgatory occurs in Wales, distinguisbed by the appellatioil 
of St. Winifred's needle. They, who were^ accused of any crioie^ were re- 
quired to clear themselves by passing through the narrow orifice. If they 
succeeded in the attempt, they were pronounced innocent : if they stuck 
' fast, they were deemed guilty. It is superfluous to make any additional 
remarks on the palpably heathen origination of this ceremony : I shall 
rather notice the legend of the saint lierself, which^ like her rocky needle^ i^ 
Paganism in masquerade! 

Winifred, as we are credibly informed by Wynkin de Worde, was a 
beautiful virgin ; whose head was struck off by a young prince, because 
she resisted his attempt to violate her. Who-e the head fell, there sud« 
denly started l6rth a fountain which still bears the name of the murdered 
maid. She was destined however to experience a wonderful resurrection^ 
St Bueno, most opportunely coming by, replaced the bead in its natural 
position, and then by a single prayer restored the virgin to life and struck 
the ravisher dead. This miracle naturally enough produced an intimacy 
between Bueno and Winifred : insomuch that, when the former went to 
' sojourn in Ireland, he desired the latter to send him an annual token. The 
simple mode, which he recommended, was, merely to put the token in the 
stream of the newly-produced fountain, whence it would infallibly be canied 
over the sea to his Hibernian residence. Winifred did as she was directed ; 
and thus, from year to year, the holy man regularly received a chesyble of 
sitk wrapped up in a white mantle \ 

Bueno, whom the moqks have transf6rnied into a wonder-working sainti 
tvas an ancient Druidical god, the same as Hu or Noe or Tydaih : for his 
temple is mentioned by Taliesin ; and is described by that bard, as being 
on the border of a sacred mount where the wave makes an overwhelming 
din, and as containing the mystic bed or tomb of Dylan who with his con- 
sort was preserved in an ark at the period of an universal deluge. Per- 
haps I should express myself with more accuracy, if I said that Bueno was 
a title of the god Hu-Noe, who must doubtless be identified with Dylan son 
of the ocean : for, in the Celtic, the word, agreeably to the mythologic 
character of the god, denotes the bull of the ship \ 

' Grose's Ant. voL vii. p. 62. * Taliesin spud Davies's MythoL p. 194. 



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THE pRIOIK OP PA6A1C IDOLATRT. 337 

Here then we have a clue to the remaioder of the legend : and I think cBA?.vm. 
we may collect from it^ that the Druids had rites which bore a strong 
resemblance to those that were annually cdebrated in Egypt Winifred 
dies by violence^ and is restored to life : a sacred fountain springs from her 
bead, as the Nile does from the foot of Orion and the Ganges from the foot 
of Vishnou or the head of Siva : and a token is feigned to be yearly wafted 
over the sea which separates Irelahd from Wales, just, as the little papyrine 
boat contdning the head of Osirb made its spontaneous annual voyage from 
Egypt to Phenicia* 

9. But the voyage of St Bueno's silk chesyble is a mere trifle^ compared 
to the portentous aqufttic expedition of St Brandon. Thb adventurer, in* 
Btigated by a laudable desire of ^tending the limits of science both 
geographical and astronomical, embarked on the coast of Ireland: and^ 
like Columbus, boldly launching oot into the great western ocean, he sailed 
straight, not to the islands of America, but to the Moon* Here he had 
an edifying conversation with Judas Iscariot, whose torments regularly 
ceased from Saturday until the even-song of Sunday : and it is added, that 
the saint and the traitor made a fire on the back of a huge fish, mistaking- 
it for an island \ 

In this tale we OEiay again perceive, how much the moi^ttc legends have 
been indebted to old mythology. The Moon of St Brandon is evidently 
tfie floating Moon or lunar island of the great father : the fish is another 
^fmbol of the same import : and I am not without suspicion, that the ec« 
dedasUcal mariner himself has received his name from ancient Paganism. 
Brandon signifies the hill of the raoen: and it is worthy of notice, that a 
mount near Durham still bears this identical appellation. 

7. We now tread upon the consecrated peculiar of St CuAbert's patri- 
mony : and I advance, with the reverential awe due from one of hh sjriri* 
tual children, to trace the devious wanderings of the canonized erratic. 

lindisfrurne or Holy Island was the original see of the great northerly 
diocese. The remarkable form of that island, and the extraordinary sane- 
tity attributed to it, leave us little room to doubt, tbat^ like Heligoland and^ 

^ P^tn Comest and Strab. spud Parch. FOgr. b. i. c* S; p. 18. 
Pag. IdoL voi. uu 2 U 



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33^ THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRt« 

BOO* r. Bardsea and other similar islets, it was a sea-girt sanctuary of the old 
superstition of the country. It boldly rises out of the sea in the figure of a 
cone, the top of which is crowned with the remains of an ancient castle : 
and within its precincts are the ruins of the conventual and cathedral church 
of Lindis&rne* Such a form was peculiarly valued by the old hierophants, 
as exhibiting Mem or Ararat surrounded by the retiring deluge : and I am 
greatly mistaken, if this island was not a holy wave-beaten mountain of Hu, 
where his bed or resting-place was exhibited from the earliest ages. Whea 
the Britons were converted to Christianity, the pagan sanctuary, according 
to the plan so generally adopted, became the scite of a churdi* Under the 
Saxons, it was probably again devoted to the rites of Paganism : and, when 
they at length received the gospel, the ancient holy place was made die seat 
of the extensive diocese of Northumberland. Thus, with the exception of 
the Danish inroads, matters remained, until the episcopal see was removed 
o Durham* 

In this opinion I am the more confirmed by a part of the legend of 
St Cuthbert That be might the better practise his austere devotion, he 
withdrew himself to one of the adjacent islets, a bleak barren rock ; which, 
to use the quaint language of his historiographer, was as vbidofmen as it 
was full of devils. How such a notion originated may easily be accounted 
for, if we suppose the Holy Island to have been once a pagan sanctuary. 
In that case, the chief island and the adjoining rocks would be constandy 
used in the navicular rites of initiation into the Druidical Mysteries. But 
these Mysteries, like the Orgies of the rest of the world, were of a sepul- 
chral or infernal nature: and it was a received maxim iu the Church, 
derived from some misunderstood texts of Scripture, that the gods of the 
Gentiles were literally devils. Hence, on the preceding supposition, we 
may readily perceive, why the Farn islands would have the reputation of 
being haunted by evil spirits. This supposition will both throw liglit on 
the very curious legend of St Cuthbert, and will itself be corroborated by 
the general tenor of that legend : for the whole story is a tissue of pagan 
fables, adapted with some ingenuity to a hero of monkish Christianity. 

After a probation of fifteen years in the abbey of Melross, Cuthbert, who 
had been early led by a miraculous vision to assume the monastic habit, 



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^H£ OftlGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 339 

was promoted to the dignity of prior of Lindis&rne. This station he held cuaf.viu. 
90 irreproachably for the space of twelve years, that the devil, the former 
occupant of the island, was provoked to vex him, during that period, by 
9ondry unlucky tricks s>i the same description as those, with which St An- 
tony was harassed in bis sepalchral abode. At length he resigned his 
eccteiastical dignity, and retired to the rocky islet which I have already 
had occasion to notice. Here he had a variety of combats with his former 
^lostly enemy, the print of whose feet is still to be seen impressed on the 
solid crag : and once, during a visit which be had paid to the sacred isle of 
Coquet, two sea-monsters presented themselves kneeling before him, re- 
ceived his benediction, and then peaceably returned to the hoary deep. 
The sanctity of his life becoming feunous, he was in full synod elected 
bishop of Lindisfarne. This dignity he accepted very unwillingly, and 
held it only two years, at the close of which he returned to his insular her- 
mits^ and there ended his life. He ordered in his will, that, if the pagans 
should invade the Holy Island, the monks should quit it, and with them 
should carry away bis bones. These directions were punctually obeyed ; 
and, when the Danes next made their appearance, the saint, wholly unal- 
tered by the sleep of death, was piously exhumed and conveyed by the 
monks to the main land. Here both he and they long continued in an 
erratic state : and Cuthbert was borne about in a coffin, from place to 
place, oh the shoulders of his ministering attendants. In this manner they 
conveyed him through Scotland : and then, from Whithern in Galloway, 
tliey attempted to sail for Ireland; but they were driven back by violent 
tempests. At length the saint, who appears to have oracularly marked 
out their route, made a halt at Norham. Thence he proceeded to Melross, 
where he remained stationary for a short time. Next he caused himself to 
be set afloat upon the Tweed in his stone coffin, and propitiously concluded 
his voyage at Tillmouth in Northumberland, l^rom Tillmouth he wan- 
dered, in his usual fashion, to Craike near York : and from Craike he 
brought back his bearers to Chester-le-Street, where he rested in peace for 
a considerable time, in the course of which the seat of the bishopric was 
removed to that place from Dndisfarne. But, the Danes continuing to be 
troublesome^ the saint i)ecame dissatisfied with his quarters. Upon this the 



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940 THE ORIOIV OP PAOAN IDOIATRT* 

%ooii V. monks painfully bore him southward to Ripon, where he remained mitil tim 
invaders withdrew themselves. They then set out, with their holy burden^ 
on their return to Chester. And now this eventful pilgrimage drew near 
to a conclusion. The monks, worn out with carrying the saint themselve% 
had placed him in a vehicle drawn by oxen : when, as tbey passed through 
a northern forest, the carriage suddenly became immoveable at a place 
named JVardelaw. In such an emergency, the wisest plan of course wa£l 
to consult Cuthbert himself. This accordingly was done with prayer and 
fasting : and, at the end of three days, the canonized erratic vouchsafed ta 
inform Eadmer, that he disapproved of returning to his old station, and 
chose rather to be carried to Dunhdme where his weary bones were des-* 
tined to find their ulUmate resting-place. The difficulty now was to learn 
the precise situation of the fated Dunholme ; for the oracle was silent, wd 
the saint refused to give them any further directions. While they were de* 
liberating in great perplexity, a woman, who had lost her cow, made in-* 
quiries of another respecting the strayed animal ; and was answered, that 
it had been seen in Dunholme. The propitious omen was accepted; the 
track of the cow was followed ; Dunholme was discovered ; and in due 
time the cathedral of Durham was built The final abode however of the 
restless Cuthbert is involved in awful mystery. During the reign of the 
Norman conqueror, he chose to revisit his ancient haunt the Holy Island. 
He was borne, accordmg to the mode of travelling which he ordinarily pre-^ 
feiTed, oathe shoulders of four men; who, on the present occasion, were 
seculars. When his retinue came opposite to Lindisfarne, it was high 
water ; a circumstance, which stopped their progress, and exposed them to 
the serious inconvenience of spending a northern winter's night under the. 
canopy of heaven. The saint, with much considerate good-nature, pitied 
their distress : at his command, the sea miraculously opene^d for them a 
passage: and, when they were all safely landed, the waves returned to their 
ordinary course. So amazed were the four secular bearers with the por- 
tent, that they immediately renounced the world and, became good monks. 
Cuthbert's visit to his old friends lasted somewhat more than three months : 
he was then brought back to Durham, and privately buried witliin the pre*^ 
4:incts of the cathedral The predse situation of hia grave is unknown, at 



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JTBE OmOIN 0> PAGAN iDOtATBT. 341 

feast to the profane heretics who halve usurped his domain : but an old tra- cbat.vhx. 
ditiou says, that the important secret is still in the possession of three 
respectable catholic gentlemen ; and that, when one of the number dies, 
the survivors duly elect a new depository of tlie thrilling trust His won* 
derfiil stone coffin is shewn in more than a smgle place. The actual sepul- 
chral boat^ tbough unluckily broken, may be seen near the ruined chapel 
of Tillmouth: and another coffin b exhibited, as the original property of 
the saint, beside his oratory in the small demon*haunted Fam island, which 
bears the name of Cocqtut \ 

The whole of this legend sufficiently bespeaks the source, from which it 
has been derived* We have here, scarcely concealed beneath a thm mo* 
naatic. disguise^ ^ holy island of the great father, his inciosure within a 
floating coffin or a stone ship, his solemn conveyance in tiiat vehicle on th^ 
shoulders of his priests. Ins erratic progress at the head of each new colony, 
his oracular directions where the colonists, are to halt, his occasional jour^ 
neys in a waggon drawn by oxen, his passage through the sea to his insular 
Paradise, his mysteriously uncertain interment, his sepulchral ship exhibited 
in various places, and his abode in a cell or cavern within a sea-girt rock : 
here likewise we have the emerging of Oannes or Dagon from the hoary 
deep, and tiie impression of the sacred foot of Buddha : and here, in the 
febulous discovery of Dunholme and the subsequent erection of the cathe* 
dral, we have a palpable repetition of the two kindred tales respecting the 
foundation of Thebes and Ilium by Cadmus and Ilus ; each of whom, like 
the monks of St Cuthbert, was led to the destined place by die mystic 
symbolical heifer. 

From the evident identity of the various systems of ancient mythology, 
I am led to belfeve, that such stories and such rites were well known to 
the Druids, and that the monks did not so much borrow the legend of 
Cuthbert from the classical writers as from old traditions relative, to the 
ship-deity of Holy Island. 

8. One of the seven chapels, which surround St Patricks Purgatory, is 

1 Grose's Antiq. vol. iL p. 88, 89. voL It. p. 82, 8S, 93| 112— tSa Scotfs Mannioii. 
cant. ii« note >!• 



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34fi THE ORIGIiT OP 1?AGAN IDOLATBT* 

BOOK V. dedicated to St. CoUimba. If such a saint ever existed, we may f^ltin tnu» 
the connection of a monkish legend with the mythology of Paganism. 

The name oiColumba signifies a dxmt: and we find the saint, who bears 
it, esteemed the peculiar guardian of the Scottish sacred island of looa. 
This was very early celebrated, as containing a great monastery of the Cul^ 
di;an ascetics : but its appellation, which it has preserved even to the pre- 
sent day, serves to prove, that it was originally a pagan sanctuary, kna 
was the peculium of the sacred lona. But the sacred lona was certainly 
the lona, or mystic dove, of Babylon ; and the Yoni or female prindple of 
Hindostan, which at the time of the deluge first sailed over the great deep 
in the form of a ship and afterwards flew away- in the shape of a dove. 
Hence, the words Columba and lona having precisely the same meaning 
the saint, if we admit his literal existence, was aptly selected as the patroQ 
of the holy island : but the consequence was, that the old pagan stories of 
the place were immediately transferred to its new demi-god 

During the recess of the deluge, the great father sent out the exploratory 
dove ; and the pmspect, which met his eye from the window of the Arlt, 
was that of an ocean studded with islands^ the intervening valleys being 
still covered with water. 

Exactly such is the view fi-om the sanctuary of lona; arid, when we re- 
collect the general tenor of the Druidical theology, we can scarcely doubt 
with what religious associations so well-adapted a scene would be contem- 
plated. Accordingly we find no oli^scure ti^aces of this speculation yet 
remaining among the natives. They suppose, that, on certain evenings 
every year, their tutelary saint Columba, dilated like Buddha or Edris or 
Atlas to a gigantic size, appears on die top of the church-tower, and counts 
the surrounding islands to assure himself that they have not been plunged 
by the power of magic beneath: the waves of the ocean ". 

While die waters of the deluge prevailed, the lunar island of the Ark 
always appeared above their surface ; and, when they abated, it first be- 
came fixed on the summit of Ararat and in the very region which once was 
Paradise. Hence the Hindoos have a notion, that the holy island of the 

' Campbell's Pleasures of Hope, part ii. ver. 199. note. 



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THE ORIGIK OF PAGAN XDOLATRr. 343 

Moon and the highest peak of Cailasa or Meru are never submerged be- c|UF.vlt^ 
Xieatii that periodical inundation which overwhelms every successive mun- 
dane system, but that they are invariably saved amidst the wreck of con- 
tending dements in order that by them the rudiments of a new World may 
ht preserved : and hence the Jewish Rabbins betve adopted the wild fiction, 
timt, at the time of the flood, the garden of Paradise became buoyant, and 
was borne aloft upon the surface of the waves over the tops of the loftiest 
mountains '. 

Just the same ideas still prevail, as they have for ages prevailed, among 
tiie natives of lona. When the whole World is plunged beneath a mighty 
inundation of waters,, their privil^ed island rises preeminent above the 
ftiod, and affords a safe shelter to all who tenant it. Such being its ex- 
traordinary property, it was long a fistvourite burial-place of the northern 
Idngs : and eight and forty sovereigns repose within its hallowed precincts, 
secure that no future deluge shall scatter their remains ^ 

Let these legends be connected with Columba's station near the Purga- 
tory, and we shcdl scarcely mistake his true character.. 
* There are yet however some other particulars, which may serve to throw 
additional light upon it. He was in the habit, it seems, pf stationing his 
monks in small islands, sometimes in lakes and sometimes in the open sea : 
and we shall occasionally find very plain hints, that these islands were ori* 
ginally pagan sanctuaiies. 

Such was Monaincha or Innisnabeo, as we may collect from the account 
given of it by Giraldus Cambrensis; who, in the year 1185, accompa- 
nied King John to Ireland, the native country of St Columba. In North 
Munster^ says he, i; a lake cdntdmng two isles: in tfie greater is a church 
of the ancient religion ; and in the lesser ^ a chapel, wherein a few monksj 
called Culdees, devoutly serve God. In the greater no woman or any ani-^ 
mal of the female gender ever enters, but it immediately dies. In the lesser 
no one can die: hence it is called the bland of the living. Often people are 

I ■ ■ : ■ 

\ ■ Bochart. Hieroz. par. il lib. i. c. 5. p. 29. This notion has been adopted by our deeply 

I Vearned poet Milton. See Parad, lost, book xi. ver. 829—835. 

I ^ I had this information from a friend, who recently viaited Iona« 



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S44 N THE ORIGIN OF FAGAN lOOLATBT. 



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na OBIGIK OF FAOAtr IDOJLATKT* $4S 

ti» coffia witlun ifhkrh he had been confioed: Denb me$ again from the cit4Avm* 

dead) veplaoes lib severed hetjdio the amazfement of the spectatofrs^ and 

theQ^ ddibemtriy walks away^ On the sootbem gateway of the abbey, the 

llrhole history of thb siurprizuig martyrdom is represented. A sculptured 

Q>rig of the vioe^ laden with grapes, is placed at the feet of the holy man ; 

and in all parts may be ae^ the aaine tree^ Mended with tygers and ^tsso^ 

mted with a hunting matdi \ 

* ' Sudi numerous and dose coincidences prevent the possibility of doubts 

ing the identity of the god Dioiiysos and the monkish saint Dionystus, 

' III« Were I move conversant in the hagiographa of the Latin churchy 

I might (Mrbaps' be able to produce many other similar instances. But 

these are sufficient for my puipoie : I now tbeiiefore pass to the considera^ 

tion of romance magical and necromantic, which will equally be found to 

derive its origin from .the specnlations of ancient n^thology. 

• 1 . We have seen^ tlMit the sacred cavern was generally deemed oracular j( 

and that the ship, of whidt the cavern was a symbdli had the same charac-? 

ter of being fatidiGaL Now the goddess of the ship was an infernal deity^ 

who was believed to exist in three forms or to have mysteriously triplicated 

herself: and, by whatever names she might be called in different mythot 

lexical systems, she was at osicd the Moon, the Earth, and the Arkt In 

celebratmg the Orgies (tf this divioity, a large caiildroi^kor boiler was used 

by the bierophants both of Greece and ]%*itain: and, when we eopsidpr the 

close connection of Ibtt former. couiAry with Egypt and Palestine, we may 

not unsafely coochide that a similar vessel was there also of equal importr 

ance. It was acDqployed for preparii^ the sacred beverage ; and it was 

provkfed with a bde at the bottom^ by which a certain part of the liquid 

was suffemd to run off into a deep pit or orifice. This vessel seems to have 

been occasionally made of earthen ware : for two cauldrons of such a de* 

soription, deep and widening from the bottom upwards, weire used in the 

celebratkm of the Eleusinian Mysteries. 

On. such notions and such practices one great branch of magic was cer-» 
taialy founded. The oracular Moon er infernal ship-goddess waa invoked : 

" Yodce'^Lstters from Brance,. voL iL p. 118f lid. 
Pag. Idol. - ' VOL, III. 2 X 



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S46 9RI 6EI0IN or 7A6iLK idolatbt: 

ikooK V. and the preparatory rites^ ad well as the subsequent pageant, were bmr-> 
rowed from the shews of the Mysteries. Apollonius has given us an im* 
perfect description of this mummery, as practised by Jason according to 
the directions of Medea. The hero selects a retired spot, watered by a 
living stream^ He bathes bis body in its waves, and arrays himself in n 
black mantle. Then he digs a circular pit, la]^ billets of wood at the 
bottom of it, and deposits upon the pile the carcase of a slaughtered lambu 
Next he sets fire to the wood ; and pours libations over the sacrifice, call- 
ing upon the name of Brimo-Hecatfe. Suddenly the dreadful goddess rise* 
out of the deep recesses of the pit Her head is crowned with snakes and 
oak-branches: the light of innumerable torches, as in the celebratioiiof th4 
Orgies, gleams around her : the infernal dogs, those wdl'-known agents in 
the Mysteries, rend the air with their shrill bowlings : and the yells of the 
affrighted water-nymphs are heard in all directions '. I call this descrip- 
tion imperfect J because we have so much more full an acKXiunt of the whole 
affair in the Argonautics of the old Orphic poet Medea first conducts 
her lover to the mystic cell or cavern of the dreadful goddess; near which^ 
in a level plat of ground, he digs a triple pit, or a circular hole sunounded 
by two concentrical trenches. Here be raises a pile of dry wood, which is 
carefully besmeared with various inchanted ointments and perfumes. Three 
black bitches are then slain, and stretched upon the pile ; the paunches of 
the animals' being previously stuffed with sundry herbs of awfiil potency 
mingled with their blood. Next their raw intestines, mixed with water, 
are poured out into the incircling trenches: and then Jason, clad in a black 
robe, strikes the brazen cymbal of invitation. Immediately tl^e three furiea 
obey the summons ; and start out of the central pit, each brandishing a 
bloody torch. ^ The pile bursts forth into a blaze: and, in the midst of the 
smoke and flame, rise from the depths of Hades the two infernal goddesses 
Pandora and Hecat^, or Ceres and Proserpina. The one has a body of 
solid iron : the other, hideous with the three heads of a horse and a dog 
and a ferocious beast of prey, brandbhes a sword in both her hands. 
Forthwith they join the three Poenae ; and with them dance wildly, hand 

f Apoll. Argon. lib. liL ver. ia0O-.1219; 



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Tax cuiatnf of taoaih ibolatrt. S47 

in hand, round the circular pit The guardian statue of Diana dashes io caAP.vm* 
ibt gcDund a burning tordi, and raises its eyes* to heaven. The attendairt 
dogs fawn upon tiieir mistress : the rites are perfect : the silver doors burst 
open with a mighty sound : and the saored grove, with the watchful dragon, 
is revealed "• 

It seems doubtful, whether Shakespeare was acquainted with the ancient 
Orphkpoen»: lam rather inclined to believe, though he introduces the 
name of Hecat^, that his magical cauldron and his three weird-sbters were 
traditionally derived from a dififerent though kindred source ; J mean the 
old Celtic mythology of the Druids. His witches are no mere beldames in 
mortal bodies ; but the great infernal mother, revealii^ herself in three 
^apes and oracularly responding to those who consult her. Th^ are* the 
same persons, as the furiies cm* Pares of tbe Orphic poet and as the Vat^ 
kyriur or fatal sisters of Gothic mythology. Hence their magical rites 
bear a mixed resemblance to the Orgies of Ceridwen-Erinnys and to the 
Colchian incantations of the Cutinc Med^a. Thear cauldron appears evi* 
dently to be ^e cauldron of the British goddess, and that cauldron again 
may be identified with the circular pit prepared by Jason. Each, though 
difierendy used, is used for a similar purpose : and the dance of the weird- 
sisters round the cauldron is perfectly analc^us to the horrible dance of 
the three Parcse and the two infernal goddesses round the pit. Ultimately 
however both the cauldron and the pit are transcripts of the deep boiler 
employed in the celebration of the sepulchral Mysteries. 

Of the dreadful triplicated great goddess, the pretended witch of the dark 
ages, whose occupations have been honoured by the notice even of a royal 
commentator*, was a mere servile copyist; though the imitation was con* 
ducted on the strictly mythological principle, that the minister of a deity 
should ape his every action. The broomstick vehicles of these awful per- 
sonages were a somewhat ludicrous travestie of the majestic fiend-horse of 
6eridwen : the sieves, which served them for boats in their aquatic expe* 

* Orph. Argon, ver. d*?— 995. 
* Our own King James. I take shame to myself for having never perused either that 
learned prince's work on Demonology or the treatise of Master Reginald Scott on witch* 
craft, as they are esteemed, 1 beliefe, siaodard woi^ on the subject. 



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946 THB ORIQItf or VAOAN inOI^TRTt 

aooiT. didons, were a transcript of the mystic Ila^vratta or the circular Ark of 
the World : and the egg'-flhellsi which they were wont to uae for a umilar 
purpose, have been borrowed from the floating navicular egg put of wUdi 
the great father and his triple offspring were produced 

2. As the Mysteries were universally funereal, as they were celebratad 
in sepulchral caverns during the deep gloom of night, as they repres^fited a 
descent into Hades, as the person to whom they related was supposed td^ 
have died and to have been restored to life, and as this person with hb 
consort was deemed oracular: it is easy to conceive, tbat^ from such no^ 
tioQs and practices, an attempt to evocate infernal spirits and to disturb 
the ghosts of the dead, for tiie purpose of receiving preternatural informal 
tion from them, would speedily and almost inevitably result Hence ori*- 
ginated the dark fites of necromancy, to which in various ages and couii^ 
tries we find men so strangely addicted. This, with erory other branch of 
the witching art, seems to have greatly prevailed among the old Ma^ ; in* 
somuch that the very name of Magic was borrowed from the title of those 
eastern hierophants. Accordingly, in the Chaldaic or Zoroastrian oracle% 
which palpably relate to the celebration of tibe Mysteriesi we may observe 
an allusion to the raising of an infemcd demon and to the compeUing him 
to utter the truth by sacrificing the potent stone Mnizura ^ 

The same impious practices were familiar to the Canaanites, at the time 
when their country was invaded by the children of Israel; as appears from 
the many severe denunciations against them in Holy Scripture. It is not 
impossible, if we may argue from the remarkable case, mentioned in the 
Acts, of a young female possessed by an oracular evil spirit, that literal 
fiends might sometimes have been permitted to obey the adjurations of 
Magic, as a due punishment of the monstrous wickedness : but the prohi** 
bitions in the Pentateuch never seemed to me to prove more than the ex** 
istence of attempted necromancy ; and such attempts would of course be 
forbidden, not only on account of their intrinsic impiety, but likewise as 
immediately connected with the established idolatry. The wizards in most 
cases were, I believe, gross impostors ; who, by pageants similar to t,hgse 

" Orac Cbald. p. lOS. BtelL Scbol. b loo. 



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THE ORfOIN OF TAOAHf IDOLATftT* 049 

of the Mysteries and by the aid of suitable accomplices, exhibited appa* chap^vjii. 
ritipQS at pleasure^ and thus with careful ambiguity revealed future events* 
Nothing, in my judgmenti establishes this opinion more decidedly than the 
account which is given us of the witch of £n-dor. Her intent was to abuse 
the credulous prince by a mimic ghost; which should give a Delphic re- 
spoose^ incapable, whatever might be the event, of being convicted of ab* 
solute fiedshood But, to her extreme terror, as appears by her loud cry 
and sudden ejaculation to Saul, the real spirit of Samuel unexpectedly 
comes up ; not in consequence of her vile mummery, but by the command 
of God himself. The prophet then delivers an oracle of woe, clear and 
explicit, such as in the very nature of things no uninspired being could 
have delivered, unless we concede to a creature the divine attribute of 
knowing futurity *• 

What particular rites were used by this woman, we are not informed : 
but, from the close resemblance which subsists between all the diflFerent 
branches of pagan idolatry, we may hifer, that they were of the same na- 
ture as those which were elsewhere employed. Homer has handed down 
to us the entire ceremonial of a Celtic or Cimmerian necromancer : and, 
fiom its immediate connection with the sacred pit or cauldron of the Mys- 
teries, I am inclined to thbk that it was the process most generally adopted. 
By the direction of Circ^, Ulysses steers to the utmost limits of the western 
ocean ; where the Cimmerians dwell in those gloomy caverns, which were 
so generally used for the celebration of the Mysteries. Here accordingly 
the warrior beholds a descent to hell, for such was the attributed character 
of every sepulchral excavation : and here he solemnly implores the assist- 
ance of all the infernal powers. He then draws his sword; and with it 
digs a pit in the ground of the prescribed diameter of a single cubit.. Next 
he brings wine, milk, water, honey, and flour ; a compound, similar to that 
which was used in the funereal Orgies : and tiiese he jointly pours into the 
pit Then he invokes the pallid ghosts and the several gods of Hades^ 
vowing to them a sacrifice on his saferetum home. Afterwards he slaugh- 
ters the prescribed number of black sheep : and then, as their blood flows- 

» 1 ^tm. xxnii. 7— Id- 



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350 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRr. 

BOOK v« round the pit, the griesly spirits of the dead appear in thronging multitudes^ 
All these the chief drivel back with unsheathed blade ; until at length the 
ghost of Hresias comes forward, sips the gore, and delivers tiie wished-for 
response *• 

Sometimes, on such awful occasions, a mysterious circle is first traced on 
the ground, within which the necromancer and those who consult him take 
their station* When the phantoms or evil spirits appear, they are unable 
to penetrate the magical ring and are constrained to give the answer without 
its circumference : but, if a luckless wretch through the sudden impulse of 
fear step beyond the protecting inclosure, he* is instantly seized and hurried 
away to the realms of darkness* Here, applied to the purposes of witch- 
craft, we have the Ila-vratta or circular Ark of the World ; within which 
all is safe, without which all is danger. The evocated spirits come up, 
either from the central abyss or from the vasty deep : and to the place, 
whence they proceed, at the end of the ceremony they return. Occasion- 
ally they are said to take possession of some ancient tenement, where they 
hold their nocturnal revels to the no small disquiet of the peaceable inha* 
bitants. Recourse must then be had to a skilful exorcist, who will speedily 
drive them into the ocean from which they had so mischievously emerged* 
Why the Red sea should be so invariably chosen as the most appropriate 
place of banishment for perturbed spirits, has occasioned much speculation 
among our antiquaries: yet to divine the cause of this systematic arrange^ 
ment will nbt be very difficult, if we attend to the traditions of old mytho- 
logy. The Erythrfean or Indian ocean is that, which washes the southern 
limits of Babylonia and Chusistan where postdiluvian idolatry was first 
completely methodized. From this ocean tlie four Chaldean Annedots or 
Dagons successively emerged; and into this ocean they returned, after 
they had delivered their instructions to the assembled multitudes *. This 
likewise was the ocean, into which Bacchus plunged with his whole retinue 
of Satyrs and mishapen Sileni, when he fled in wild confusion before the 
£Bice of Lycurguft *. Now the heathen gods were very commonly mistaken 

^ Horn. Odyss. lib. xi. * Syncell. Chronog. p. 29. 

^ ^oimi DioDys. lib. xz. p. 552. Hom»« Iliad, lib. vi. ven 130^187* 



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TB£ OEIOIN 07 PAGJLK IDOXATRT. 351 

fer literal deySs : and^ to the bovine and cornuted figure of Bacebus, and cbap.tui. 
to the monstrous forms of bis attendant Satyrs^ we certainly owe the shape, 
wliich vulgar superstition attributes to the prince of helK Hence then, 
unless I be much mistaken, was derived ihei belief^ that ghosts and evU 
spirits, when dispossessed by exorcism, never fail to take refuge in the Red 
or Erytfar^n sea. ' 

In romance both eastern and western, we perpetually find demons evo* 
cated and the souls of the dead compelled to speak by the reading of cer-* 
tain cabalistic words out of a magical book : and, upon the same principle, 
the Scythic Odin, when he descends into the realms of darkness, forces by 
Runic incantations the inhumed prophetess to utterance. For thb process 
vulgar sorcery has substituted the retrograde reading of the Bible, by which 
DO doubt is really meant the reading aloud of the sacred volume in the 
Babylonic character of the original ' : and such an operation, we ai^ told, 
never fails to elicit the infernal spirit. Here again we may observe the 
wide-spreading influence of ancient mytholc^. Most primitive nations, 
as we have already seen, had an idea, that certain sacred books were pre« ^ 
served at the time of the deluge : and these, among other matters, were 
universally supposed to contain the most occult secrets of nature and di^ 
rections.how to acquire supernatural power by the proper use of them. 

3. These volumes were also thought to contain learned treatises on astro*' 
nomy, which irom the very first was inseparably connected with the ruling 
system of idolatry. When the souls of the hero-gpds quitted their mortal 
tenements, they migrated into the Sun or the Moon or the Planets or the 
Constellations : and from those lofty abodes &ey still, as Zophe-Samin or 
celestial speculators, beheld and regulated the affairs of this lower woiid. 

Hence originated the scientific follies of judicial astrology; which, at one 
period or another, have afiected the whole earth from China to Britain. 
At the first point of view, nothing seems more strange and unaccountable; 
and never, to all appearance, was a conclusion leaped to with fewer inter- 

> Perhaps eveii the English reader need scarcely he told, that Hebrew and its kindred 
dialects are read from right to left, beginning at what toe consider the end of the volomei* 
This is what an ignoraat superstitious peasant irould dl>viouriy caU reading the Bibh 
iadaxardu 



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BOOK V. 



352' THE OltlGIK OF IPAGUHN IDOLATBTi 

vening steps, than the implicit belief that earthly afikirs are influenced ii^ 
the coDJunctions or particular coUocatioDs of the heavenly bodies*. Bu^ 
if we trace the matter to its source^ we shall perceive tliat such speculations 
were only the natural result of that philosophy, which translated to the 
sphere the souls of the superbtending hero-^ds^ 

4. Another very prominent feature in magic is the Metamorphosis; and 
with this it seems to have been distmguished in all ages and in all coun- 
tries. Arabic fiction is full of it : Homer ascribes it to the inchantress 
Circfe: the terrific lycanthropy of the classics is. but the were-wolf of the 
Gothic nations : and the various transformations^ celebrated by the Celtio 
bards, still constitute a part of the same fanciful superstition. From an* 
cient, it has descended to modem, times : and the prescriptive right of a 
witch, to expatiate in the disguise of a cat or a rabbity and to compel the 
refiractory contemners of her high behests to crawl on the ground under the 
strong impression of having assumed a bestial figure, has been no less dure* 
fully ascertained, than it is universally acknowledged. 

Here again we may observe the wonderfully strong hold, which the an-» 
cient Mysteries have taken upon the human mind. The doctrine of the 
Metamorphosis was diligently taught by the presiding hierophant : and^ 
as we have already seen, it was even literally exhibited during the celebra** 
tion of the Orgies by means of suitable vizors and imitative dresses. To 
this source then we may trace the various transformations of witchcraft, 
as we have previously traced to it all the other branches of Magic. 

6. A few miscellaneous, though connected, superstitions yet remain to 
be noticed, ere the subject be finally dismissed. 

In the middle ages- a very general notion prevailed, thai a human head, 
prepared during a suitable conjunction of the heavenly bodies, became 
€»racular and would answer any questions that were put to it. The theory 
of this curious operation is very satisfactorily stated in the Centiloquium of 
Ptolemy: human facesj at the opposite times of natimty and death, are 
subject to the influence of celestial faces ; hence, in constructing a sidereal 
image, we must car^ully attend to the ingresses of the stars, and we cannot 
fail of producing the desired effect. Haly, the Arabic commentator ob 
this somewhat vexed passage which I have attempted at least to translate 



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TSS 0&I02IT OF PAGAK IDOLATBT. 953 

informs us, that it is to be reduced to practice in the following easy manner, ohap.vih. 
ne headenty Scorpion manifestly ruling owr earthly scorpions^ and the 
heofoenly Serpent wer earthiy Serpents, we have merely, in watching the 
transit of a planet aoer the disk of the Sun, to catch accurately its ingress 
and its egress, and to place it in the ascendant. JVe may then carve what 
face we choose upon a stone, and endow it with the power of aptation and 
destruction; and the communicated power will long reside in the head thus 
ingeniously prepared^ Pursuing these clear traditional directions, the ma« 
tbematical philosopher Asius constructed, under a most favourable horo* 
scope, the celebrated Palladium ; which he presented to king Tros, as the 
infallible safeguard of Troy. It does not appear however, that he used 
stone for the purpose: he rather preferred the bones of dead Pelops,<out 
of which he framed the mystic image and then covered it with a human 
skin. By a similar process, J apprehend, Hermes Trismegist was in the 
constant habit of making oracular statues, with which he was wont to 
accommodate his more curious friends. The Saracens of course possessed 
the secret, otherwise the Arab Haly were but an incompetent scholiast 
upon the divine Ptolemy. Accordingly we read of a marvellous fatidical 
head constructed by archbishop Gerebert, who learned the ut from the 
Moors of Spain. It would fuiswer any question that was put to it; though 
sometimes, as that prelate (when sovereign pontiff by the name of Sylvester 
ihe second) found to his cost, with the mischievous ambiguity of the Del* 
phic tripod. Our own scientific countryman Roger Bacon made a similar 
head ; which, when addressed, replied very sensibly, to the no small asto* 
nishment of the auditors. These speaking beads however are far surpassed 
m picturesque horror by the Teraph of the Rabbinical writers. If any 
one wished to prepare this tremendous implement of Magic, he slew a 
first-bom male child, and tore off the head with his nails. This he sea* 
soned with salt and aromatics ; and then placed it upon a golden dish, on 
which the name of an unclean spirit had been inscribed. The process 
being now completed^ the Teraph was fixed in a hole of the wall with 
lighted tapers before it, and solemnly received the adoration of its framer, 
Jt would then pve Oracular responses '• The whole of this singular super- 

.' Seld.de diis Sj^r. synt uc.% 
Pag. Idol. VOL. III. 2 Y 



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*>wi ^* stition may be traced up to ancient idolati^. Every year a tmralc h«d o( 
the fatidical Osiris was set afloat on the Nile, and was thought mn^culously 
to reach the coast of Phenicia. It was placed in a dish resembling the 
lunar crescent, as appears from a delineation of it taken from the Egyptiati 
hieroglyphics \ This dish was what the Hindoos call Argkn: and it is 
worthy of notice, that the head of Jagan-Nath is placed in an exactly simi* 
lar lunette^ which rests upon the mundane egg\ 

The ship Argo was the floating coffin of Osiris ; and it was likewise the 
bark of the dead, in which they were ferried over the infernal lake to Ely- 
sium or the isles of the blessed. Such notions however were by no means 
confined to Egypt: they have equally prevailed among the Indo-Scythae, the 
Greeks, the Romans, and the Celts. Thus descending from remote anti- 
<juity, they have at length, most probably through the Celtic channel, esta- 
blished themselves in the form of a very curious nautical superstition. 
Mariners relate many wonderful stories of a demon-frigate, wholly navi- 
gated by ghosts. It may easily be distinguished from all other vessels by 
the circumstance of its bearing a press of sail during the most tremendous 
storms, when mere ordinary ships are unable to shew a single inch of can- 
vass. The legend attached to it sufficiently bespeaks thfe origin of the 
superstition. As the great father was inclosed in his navicular coffin afler 
be had been cruelly slain by Typhon, and as he thus long continued in an 
erratic state on the surface of the ocean : so it is related, that some horrid 
murder once took place on board this infernal frigate, and that the appari- 
tions of the wicked crew are doomed for ever to wander on the surface of 
the mighty deep '. I recollect to have met with another nautical tale, 
which seems to have sprung from the very same source. A vessel is pur- 
suing her way through the great waters, when the mariners are suddenly 
alarmed by the portentous semblance of a coffin. Self-impelled, it skitns^ 
like a boat, the yielding waves ; and ominously attends the ship on her pro- 
gress, until with the rapidity of lightning it darts to the haunted shore of 
some desolate island and is received with the mingled shrieks and wild 
laughter of unseen demons. 

' See Plate L Eg. 12. * See PlateL Fig. 1& 

t Sc^f • Rokeby, Cant. & ftote 9. 



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!rHX ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. SdS 

Some such island as tins^ an Elysian Theba in the midst of the boundless caAp.vnx, 
ocean, produced that master-piece of our great dramatic poet, The Tempest. 
Vast as the powers of his fieuicy were, I doubt, whether, in this particular 
instance, be has absolutely imagined new worlds after exhaustii^ the old 
The inchanted island of Prospero, his mystic cave, his ministers demoniacal 
and aerial, the presidii^ lady of the place, and the arrival of the storm^ 
beaten ship, exquisitely and unconsciously as they have been worked up 
into a fiitscinating dramatic romance, are yet all equally the furniture of an- 
cient mythology. 

But it is time, that we bring thb sportive episodical excursion to a close, 
and direct our attration to more serious matters. The channel, through 
which the same speculative opinions and the same legendary tales of the 
hero-gods spread themselves over the face of the whole world, yet remains to 
be considered : and the consideration of it will furnish an additional testi- 
mony to the truth of the inspired history. 



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THE ORIGIN 



OF 



PAGAN IDOLATRY. 



BOOK VI. 



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CHAPTER I. 



i> • 1 



Respecting tJie primeval Union of all Mankind in a single Body 
Politic, and the Building of the Tower ofBaheL 



t. Xhe fundamental identity of the various systesis of pagan klolatry has 
been now ascertained^ from their mutual agreement in points wholly arbi« 
trary, and from the circumstance of the same leading idea pervading tixe 
whole of them. Such being the case, it will necessarily follow, that these 
several systems could not have been contrived, independently of each other, 
within the different countries where they were respectively establishol ; but 
that they must have been brought, ready fashioned and completed, into all 
those various regions by the original planters t in other words, the inven« 
tion of them was not posterior, bnt prior, to the general colonization of the 
world. 

Tliis requires us to suppose, that all mankind once formed but a single 
community, and therefore that once they were all assembled together with- 
in the limits of a single district : for no other hypothesis will satisfactorily 
account for the circumstance of the self-same arbitrary system of idolatry 
being adopted by pagan nations in every quarter of the globe. Had each 
/orm of gentile theology been excogitated in the region where it prevailed, 
there would have been as many different forms as there were nations. These 



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360^ THE ORIGIN OF PAGAK IDOLATRY. 



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TftJ& 0BJ6IN OF PAaAN IVQhATKT. S6l 

iMmdatiobaOf « city wbkb dfaould he the metropdis of their future empire. 
But God^ whose purpose of a general and unconnected population of the 
world tbej thus sought to trarerse, miraculously frustrated their design* 
He confounded dieir language^ so that they became unintelligible to each 
other; and thtis compelled the» to relinquish tlieir project, and to with* 
draw in separate bodied to the various regions of the earth which had been 
ailottsd to them. 

IIL Such is tbe plain account of thb important transaction, which has 
been delivered to us by inspired authority : and such is the manner, in which 
it has beea eoDsmordy understood, previous to tbe new bypotheais struck 
out by the late Mi^. Bryant '• As nothing, that falls from that learned 
writer can be unworthy of attGOtion, however rwe may be dispoaed to differ 
from it; I shall first briefly stale bis systena, .and tbea adduce my r^sons 
fiur rcgectuig it ia favour of the generally received opinion. 
' U Urn supposes, that, When mankidd.had.sufficieotly multiplied to carry 
iilto efifect the divine purpose of colobinng the whole wodd, they separated 
horn each other in Arod^nia after an ^orderly dttd regidar manner; and 
retbed quietly, by their^ fomilies and their tribes, to^ theb' appointed settle- 
ments. This first postdiluvian, event he concaves to be described at large 
in the tenth chapter of Genesis.. 

, Ml iiowever wefre not^oally obedient The children of Cush under 
tbe command of the ambitious Nimrod, disapproving of the countries which 
bad been allotted trf them, marched off towards the east tlirougb the defiles 
of the lofty Tauric range; circuited the Southern extremity of the Ca^ian 
sea; and then, wheeling taciacds the rsontb-west, reached at length the 
Babylonic plain of Shinan . Tbese wanderings Mr. Bryant supposes to have 
occupied a considerable space of' time,, so that the adventurers did not 
arrive in* Belbylonia until a few years before the birth of Abraham* Hence^ 
1^ various turbulent spirits firom tbe other" patriarohal families would pro- 
bably have joined them and would thus have swelled their ranks, they had 
become a great aiid numerous aod hardy people^ fully equal to the enters 

* SomethiDg similar to that hypothesis had however been previously maintained by She* 
TOgham. He contends, like Mr. Bryant, thdt the division of the earth in the days of Pele^ 
was long prioi^ ta the dispersion from Babel.' Shering; de (Mrig. gent* Angler, p. 436. 

Pag. Idolw VOL, III. 3 Z 



CHAr* x» 



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ii6i THi: ORIGIN OT FAGAK IDOXATfcr. 

BOOK VI. prize meditated by their lead^, when (h^ appeared oo the banks of tikS 
Euphrates. Hei^ they found the posterity of Ashur settled, agreisably ta 
the divine arrangement which aH but themselves had peaceably obeyed 
many years before. These, unused to war and violence, they soon dispose 
sessed : and the emigrants, being thus compelled to retire into a more 
northern region, became the founders of Nineveh. The Cushim now built 
the pyramid and the city of Babylon ; with a view to establish tbeouielves 
in the fertile country which th^ bad so unjustly usurped, to. form the 
nucleus of a projected great empire, and to guard against the apprehended 
danger of their future dissipation. But their scheme was miraculoody 
frustrated ; they were compelled to desist from their undertaking ; and they 
eminently encountered the very fybe which they so nmcfa dreaded, forth^ 
were broken and scattered in a remarkable manner over the face of die 
whole earth. This second great postdiluvian event, which Mr. Bryant, 
deems posterior by many years to the first orderly secession from Ar- 
menia, is detailed in the beginning oi the eleventh diapter of Genesis, and 
is touched upon incidentally in the course of the tenth ; where mention ia 
made of the flight of Ashur and of the name of the Cuthic leader Nimrod \ 

Such an arrangement, he thinks, will account for the peculiar route of 
those, who were the architects of Babel. They are said to have journeyed 
from the east in their progress to the plain of Shinar. Now, if they had 
comprehended all the chiklreo of Noah, their f^o^ess must have been 
from the north; because Babylonia lies due south of Armenia. But, by 
making them to consist only of a single tribe and by bringing the era of the 
tower many years lower down than it is usually placed, every difficulty ia 
avoided, and the whole narrative becomes clear and consistent. 

There is yet, he conceives, a further advantage in the hypothesis. Moses 
tells us, thsit they came from the east ; and Berosus declares, that, when 
they quitted the mountain where the Ark rested, they travelled in a circle 
previous to their arrival in Babylonia \ Thus profane history is found 
exactly to accord with sacred hi3tory : for it is obvious, that emigrants 

• Gen. xL 1—9. x. 8—12. 



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StoB ORIGIN OF PAOAH IVOhATBT^ ' ^^ 

itom Amenm could not posttUy iMdiBibyhmiit/rMs iht cmt unless they cvap. t^ 
b^ Sitit jowneyBd dfxukousfy.. . 

^ When the Cotbites had been brcAen and dispersed from Sbioar, they 
tvaodered in detached masses to many different parts of the world. 
'Wherever they cam^ the^^ were alike superior in arts and arms to thpse 
whom they invaded. . Their fenal d]s|>ersion seems to have been no real 
punishment to them ( for they were universally victorious ; and, wherever 
they establiriicd themselves, they eompelled the subjugated nations to 
apostatise from the pure patriarchal worship and to adopt the peculifu* 
superstitioa of which they were the inventors. Hence Mr. Bryant accounts 
fyv the strong resemblance perceptible between the theological systems <^ 
so many different countries^ All these regions had been conquered by der 
tached bunds of Cotbites ; and the same idolatrous super^on had been 
equally introdiioed by the same agents into idl of them '. 

£• In viewing any hypolheaisi the mind itf almost involuntarily led» first 
to estimate its probability^ and then to consider how far it will adequately 
account for certain actually existing phenomena* Now in each of these 
inquiries^ which are immediately connectedi we seem to feel ourselves dis- 
appointed } we seem to have causes assigned^ which are not equal to the 
jefibcts produced. 

While the Cuthites were wandering in the east^ from the time of their 
quitting Armenia until within a few years of the birth of Abraham ; the 
iribea^ which had obediendy retired to their several allotments witii the 
divine Uessiog on their headsi would have been rapidly growing up into 
.well politied and comparativdy powerful. nations. The Cuthites mean^ 
while would also be increasing in pppulatioa : and let us grant (what uni- 
versal experience hqwever forbids us to gcant), that they inareased during 
their nomade state in aii equal degree with the tribes which had peaceably 
orgcmiaed tbei^^selves in their respective comitries. In this case» or even 
with a much smaller population, it is easy to conceive^ that men of their 
hardy habits might be more than a match for the quiet Ashurites and might 
without much difficulty drive them out of the land of Shinan 

^ Htyoo^Si AaaL V9L iii. 



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BOOR vu Hitherto then we faavt^ ihet-witliiiibvciyis^rHiup kQ|^^ mx'fm afe 

the probability of the matter is concerned :. but now we shall I»egiiit6 IM 
much that is hard of belief. This single tribe, while engaged ki building 
the tower, is mh^aculoosly broken into small fri^ments, and scattered o^er 
the face of the whole earth. Mr. Bryant himself itlsists strongly, frdtxi tbb 
testimony of pagan writers, on the extreme al)ami felt by the diffemnt meof- 
bers of it when thus supernaturally visited ; and d^cribes thdm, as fleeing 
with confused rapidity in every, directiod. Now, under sudi drcunw 
stances, is it <:redible, that these i>oor dispirited panic-^trickeQ ctisjoint^ 
fugitives should immediately attack the surrounding w^«eettled nations ; 
not only attack, but universally subdue them ; ncrt only subdue^them, tat 
compel the vanquished to renounce the patriarchal religion of Noah and t(^ 
adopt instead of it the idolatrous superstition invented by the conquerors? 
Mr. Bryant's great and vcduabla work does indeed chiefly treat of the theo^ 
logy of Greece, Egypt, and Phenicia : but in fact, as we have seen, the 
identical system, which was established in those countries, was equally 
established with more or less perfection in every quarter of the globe ; so 
that, if we wish to account for die universal adoi^tion of it on the present 
theory, we shall be obliged to suppose, that these miserable petty bands of 
fugitive Cuthites, striking off from Babel in all directions, achieved the con«- 
quest of the whole world, and invariably proved themselves superior to the 
nations as they existed in the days of Abl^ham *. 

Yet this is the least difficulty, which the hypothesis requires us 4b en*- 
counter. - Let us then graihit, that sitiall bands of warlike marauders, when 
they had a little recovered from their first panic, might subdue consider- 
able nations, which had been l^le accuEtitomed to the arts of war and which 
had hitherto beeii happily dek^d to the arts of peace: for no doubt, as 
all history abundantly testifies, much may be effected by smaU compact 
bodies of intrepid adventurers againM communities very ikr efxceeding them 
in numerical strength. &ill how can we believe, thbt men under theiP 
peculiar circumstances could universally succeed in overthrowing pure 

> Mr. Bryant, for instance, brings a fitigmeht of the Cushite Shepherds inunediatdy 
tfrom Babel to Egypty and makes them conquer Aat country without the least difficul^. 



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theism ted ih donfi^lteg th6 adoption of their own monstrdiis superstition? 
It is iar more easy to cottquef the body thaa the mind. Hehce it rarely 
happens, that, ^hth a large unwarlike civilized people has been subdbed bjr 
It comparative handful of military rovers, the former has exchanged its dwa 
religion for that of the latter. On the contrary, the very reverse is ordina- 
rily the case : the civilized ar6 indeed overthrown by the arms of th^ rude ; 
but the hide, in the course of a ftlw generations, adopt the theology of the 
civilized. So that, whenever this does not occur, two religions subsist in 
the vanquished country, add the victors appear like an unblending colony 
in the midst of the conquered. Instances of these varied eflfects of subju- 
gation may be adduced from iAte several cases of the Goths and the Ro^ 
mans, the Turks and the Greeks, &e Monguls and the Hindoos, and the 
Titai-s arid the Chinese. 

1 have here plainly argued on the^ supposition, that fio more reluctance 
existed oft the part of those who were vanquished by tiie Cushites than what 
usually exists in men to change the religion of their fethftrs ; a reluctance 
liowevei* so strong, that in Scripttire it is even mentioned proverbially': 
yet I have argued on no higher supposition. How much then wHl the inh 
credibility be augmented, when we recollect the singularly unfkvonrabte 
circumstances under which the Cuthites are supposed to have attempted 
and accomplished the proselytism of the whole world. Pagan tradition, 
Mr. Bryant himself being judge, will prove, how generally the failure at 
Babel was known, and how deddedly it Was ascribed to the special inter- 
positioti of an offended Deity. Now, though such is the infatuation of 
idolatry, that no judgments will wean from it those who have once em- 
braced it ; yet the nations, which had not apostatised with the builders of 
the tower but which had peaceably adhered to the old patriarchal theology, 
vanquished as they were \n battle; would shrink with horror from a foreign 
superstition which they knew to be branded by the vengeance of heaven. 
^e may easily conceive, that the Ciithitea might satisfy themselves with 
respect to their portentous dispersion on the delusive principles of their 
own philosophical apostasy : but it is not so easy to conceive, that their 

' Hath a nation changed their gods^ xohich are yet no gods f Jerem. n^lU . . : 



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^1 



S66 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAIOr IDOLATRY^ 



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*rHE ORIGIN OF FAGAN IDOLATRr. $67 

mid theiawer^ whkk the children efmen tvere buil£ng. 6* 4nd the Lord ^aap. u 
Mid: Behoidf the people is one^ and they hofoe M one lip (or pronunciation)^ 
md this they begin to do; and now nothing will be re f rained from them, 
}»hich they have imagined to do. 7. Go to; let us go dawn, and there confound 
their lip^ that they may not understand one another's Up (or pronunciation). 
8. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence wer the face of eoery 
region : and they lefi off to btdldthe dty. 9. Therefore is the name of it 
called Babel, because Jht Lord did there confound the lip of the whole 
land: and from thence did ike Lord scatter them aoer the face of eoery 
region (ot of the whole earth). 

Mr. Bryant has, I think, in some points improvod our common transla* 
tion ; but none o{ ttese bear upon the question, which ig at present before 
ns r and to that question I would, striotly confine myslf. 

That the Hebrew word Jretx, like the Greek Ge and the Latin Terra, 
denotes either the earth in f^eral or a region in particwilar, is indisputable : 
and it may properly be added, that the Hebrew phrase ColAreiz^ precisely 
Uke the English phrase all the world, means either the whole material 
ghbe or all its Being inhabitants. The only point therefore is, whether 
Mr. Brj^ant b warranted by the context in giving to the expression such a 
turn as he has done; In the first verse, according to his translation, we 
read. And every region was of one lip and mode ofspeeech; and, in the 
ninth. The Lord (Ud there confound the Up of the whole land. By this 
method of rendering, he plainly means to insinuate, that, at the epoch of 
the tower, eoery region peopled by the supposed antecedent migrations of 
the three great famiUes had but one dialectic pronunciation, so that the 
members of those families^ however locally separated, could as yet under- 
stand each other ; but that, when the Cuthites were supematurally visited, 
the lip of the whole land occupied by them, that is, the pronunciation of the 
whole bind qfShinar, was alone confounded. Now tiie context, as viewed 
in the original, is uttefly incapable of bearing such a ^oss. 

What Mr. Bryant variously renders in these two verses every region and 
the whole land, annexing to the two phrases very different ideas, is in 
reality one and the same expression Col Aretz. Hence it is evident, 
by every mle of good composition, that the language of Col Aretz, 



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ipcf 



368 THE ORWtN OV FAOJIK IPOLATBTr 

*>wc VI. mentioned in the first verse as being untlbrmly fl>e saiM| mist b» 
the identical language ef Col Aretz, wbieb in the pinth veree is said ta 
have been confounded : for we are first told, that Col Aretz bad but one 
language ; and afterwards %ve are told, that the originally one language of 
CbI Aretz was confounded at Babel Such being the case, whatever Ctd 
Aretx means in the one passage, it evidently.must laean the very same in the 
dther. Consequently, if in the first verse it be translated every region, it 
must in the ninth verse also be translated eeery region : or, inversely, if ia 
. the ninth verse it be traitokted the whol^ landy it must in the firat vene 
also be translated the whole land. And again, whatever idea is annexed to 
tlie expression in Q\e one passage, the same must likeMOse be imnexed to it 
in the other. So that, if in the ninth verse it mean the whale land of SfdnoTy 
such also must be its meaning in the first verse : and, on the contrary, if 
in the first verse it mean eoery region or the whole earth (which are syno- 
nymous), such also must be its meaning in the ninth verse^ Nmt,^ in the 
ninth verse, it might tneeni, the whole Idnd of Shinar : but, in the first, it 
cannot : because as yet the future buildi^s of the tower have aot arrived in 
Babylonia^ and consequently as yet the land of Shiiiar has not been men- 
tioned. The phrase therefore in the first verse must determine the mean« 
ihg of the phrase in the ninth ; not the phrase in the ninth, the meaning ci 
the phrase in the first But the phrt^, as it occurs in the first verse, 
dearly means eoery region or the whole tarth in the sknse o( all mankind : 
consequently, we are told in the first verse, that, antecedendy to the build*- 
ing of the tower, all mankind were of one lip and mode of pronunciation. 
Hence it must undeniably follow, that the phrase, as it occurs in the ninth 
verse, must equally mean the whole earth in the sense of all mankind r coa-^ 
^equently^ we are told in the ninth verse, that the lip of all mankind wae 
confounded at Babel. 

This however couM not have occurred, if all mankind had not been 
assembled at Babel : fdr it were idle to suppose that the lip of all the 
families, which (according to Mr. Bryant) had quietly retired to their 
allotted settlements long before the building of the tower, and which of 
course had no concern in that daring enterprize ; that the lip (I say) of all 
the families upon the face of the earth should suddenly have been coit-' 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN II>OLATBT. - S69 

founded, because God thought proper to use that mode of effecting the chap. i. 
dispersion of the rebellious Cuthites alone. All mankind, therefore, must 
have been assembled at Babel ; all mankind must have been engaged in 
building the tower ; all mankind must have jointly formed the one people 
or community, mentioned by the sacred historian ; and all mankind must 
have been dispersed from that central point to every quarter of the habi- 
table globe. 

(2.) This conclusion renders Moses consistent with himself; but the 
theory of Mr. Bryant makes liim wholly inconsistent, as will soon appear 
if we attend to his account of the dispersion contained in the tenth 
chapter. 

In that part of his narrative he no less than thrice informs us, that the 
descendants of Noah, in the three lines of Japhet and Ham and Shem, 
divided the habitable world among them, not only according to their fami- 
lies and their nations^ but likewise according to their languages \ Hence 
it is evident, that the confusion of tongues, whatever might be its precise 
nature which I stop not now to consider, must have taken place anterior 
to that division of the earth ; which is described in the tenth chapter, and 
which Mr. Bryant contends to have been long prior to the events of Babel. 
But we are assured by Moses, that there was but one language before the 
building of the tower; so that all mankind could then converse intelligibly 
together : and he afterwards tells us, that this language or mode of pro- 
nunciation, or whatever it might be, was miraculously confounded ere the 
tower was cornpleted ; so that they, who before could understand each 
other, were nuitually unintelligible *. Now, let this have been effected fn 
what way it might, a diversity of languages, as to all the substantial pur- 
poses of intercommunication, was here most undoubtedly introduced : for 
they, who could understand each other, spoke what may be fairly called the 
same language; and they, who could mt understand each other, spoke what 
may effectively at least be styled different languages. 

If then we put these several matters together, Mr. Bryant's system will 
be plainly irreconcileable with the result necessarily deduced from theoK 

» Gen. X. 5, 20, 81. * Gen* xl 1, 6, 7, 9. 

Pag. Idol. VOL. III. 3 A 



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THE OHieiN OF PAGAN iDOLATRY* $71 

(3.) What has been said is in itself sufficient to deraonstrate the erro« chap, u 
neottsness of Mr. Bryants theory: which supposes first a general and 
orderly, and then a particular and disorderly, dispersion of the early post* 
diluvians; wiikh ascribes the building of the tower to a single tribe ; and 
which exhibits that tribe, as alone affected by the miraculous confusion of 
ttp« Yetr to^ render the discussion more complete, it will be proper to 
iKHice some other matteis, which are immediately connected with it, or 
which may rather be said to form a constituent part of it 

Towards the commencement of the Mosaical history of the tower, Mr. 
Bryaat renders the original Hebrew It came to pass in the jmsrneymg of 
peopk. By this version he would insinuate the meaning of the passage to 
be ; that aome one people, now first mentioned after the great body of 
mankind had quietly retired to their allotted settlements, suddenly invaded 
the land of Shinar, and there became exclusively the architects of the Baby- 
kmie tower. Such a gk)ss i& indeed necessary to the system advocated by 
that learned writer; but a bare inspection of the original is sufficient to 
prove its inadmissibility. The absolutehf literal translation of the passage 
i»> // came to pass m the jmrneymg of them : and the sense of it is accu- 
rately expressed in our coounon versicM^ // ame to pass as they journeyed. 
No mention is made of Mr. Bryaat's nffwly-i^earing peopk : and, so far 
from a hitherte-unheari-qf body tf actors being brought upon the stage, 
the pronoun them or they plainly refers to some persons already specified 
in the nairative. These persons, accordingly, we find regularly noticed in 
the exordium ; firom which Mr. Bryant^ by the unauthorized introduction 
of the word peopk, entirely separates the connected sequel Now the whole 
earthy or all mankind ^^^ was of one lip and of one mode ^f speech. And it 
came to pass^ in the journeying of them. Thus view the whole passage 
together ; and the sense is most palpably altogether different from that,, 
wbicl) Mr. Bryant would impose upon it. The pronoun them does not 
describe a people, now heard of for the first time : but it obviously relates 
to the whole earth or to all mankind. We are told in short, that, when all 

* Thus the Persian Targum, which Walton has prbted in the fourth volume of his Poly- 
glott, accurately ejqpresscs the sense of the curigiBaL FuU unit)ersus goptdus terra wdm 
urmonu et vcrborum uniusmodi^ 



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S79i THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATBY, 

BOOK VI. mankind spoke an universally intelligible language, they ; that is to say, 
by every rule of grammar, all mankind: they arrived, in jhe course of their 
journeying, at the plain of Shinar. Here, acting d^ one people or as a single 
community^ they proceeded to build a city and a tower. But God mira* 
culously confounded their language ; that is to say, the language of tlie 
whole earth or of all mankind previously described as being one : and thus 
scattered them over the face of the globe : them, that is to say, still the all 
mankind, who had spoken originally a single language, and who mutually 
intelligible had travelled to Shinar \ Nothing can be more plain and un« 
equivocal than the whole narrative. It proceeds 'step by step from the 
exordium to the conclusion. But, in so doing, it shews, that the architects 
of Babel were all mankind; not a single tribe or people, which is suddenly 
brought forward to our notice. 

IV. Here however it may be asked. If the Ark rested upon a mountain 
in Armenia, how could all mankind reach Babylon by a journey from the 
east ? To this question it might be amply sufficient to reply, that, as Be- 
rosus positively declares the founders of that great city to have travelled 
from Armenia by a circuitous route, and as there is no more difficulty in 
ascribing such a route to all mankind collectively than to a single tribe 
particularly : it might be sufficient to reply, that, when the children of Noah 
left mount Ararat, they first journeyed eastward; and afterwards, wheeling 
in circle, arrived in the plain of Shinar by a westward progress. Such an 
answer would certainly be plausible, jbecause it might seem to be supported 
by the pagan testimony of Berosus : for, if the founders of Babel travelled 
from Armenia in a circle, as he says they did, and as the very geography 
of the country shews they must have done ; then of course, by whatever 
route they mi^ht arrive in the plain of Shinar, their journey thither could 
not have been directly from the north. Here therefore I think Mr. Penn 
wrong in saying, that Mr. Bryant's theory rests mainly on the supposed 
arrival of a people from the east: for such, in exact accordance with Be- 
rosus, might equally have been the progress of those who built the tower, 

' Such is the B&a»e, which Simon rightly ascribes to Uie passage : to fraficisci eorum^ id 
0ai omms terra. 



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THE ORIGIN OP PAQAN 'iDOLATRYy 373 

trhether they comprized all mankind or were confined to a single tribe, chap, i* 
But^ as this imagined oriental progress has been the grand substratum of 
another hypothesis, though assuredly not of that which we have been con-r 
sidering; and, as Mr. Penn is dearly right in his proposed version of the 
phrase, so generall jr rendered and understood from the east : I shall pro- 
ceed to point out, what seems to have been the actual route of the Noa- 
chidae when they descended from the heights of Armenia; noticing by the 
way the theory, to which I have just alluded. 

From the supposed declaration that the founders of Babel travelled thi? 
ther in a westerly direction, and from the undoubted circumstance that this 
journey is the first recorded movement after the deluge, Dr. Shuckford and 
more recently Mr. Wilford have argued, that the Ark could not have rested 
upon the mountains of Armenia, but that the Ararat of Moses is to be sought 
far to the east of Babylon. Here, accordingly, it is supposed to be found; 
and the high land at the source of the Ganges, which coincides geographi* 
cally with the poetical Meru, and which is constantly said by the natives 
to have received the ark of Satyavrata, is determined to be the true scrip-' 
tural Ararat 

It is superfluous on the present occasion to repeat the arguments, by 
which I have already shewn that the Ararat of Moses must certainly be 
placed in the land of Armenia, however we may be able to reconcile such 
a situation with the progress of the early postdiluvians ' : I have rather to 
point out, on how very sandy a foundation that hypothesis rests, which 
would argue the remote oriental scite of Ararat from the circumstance of a 
westerly journey to BabylcMi. Even allowing such a journey to have taken 
place, the concession would be rather adverse than favourable to the theory 
now before us : for, since Berosus declares from the old Chaldean records 
that the founders of the tower reached the plain of Shinar by a circular 
route ; it is obvious, that, if they had really set out from the Indian Meru, 
they must have approached the plain, not from the east, but either from the 
north or the south. I am however fully persuaded with Mr. Peqn, that 
this oriental journey never had any existence, and that it has entirely origj* 



^ Vide supra book ii. c» L $ lY* 



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\ 



374 THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IPOXATRT. 

HOOK VI. nated from a very Commonly received erroneous translation* The word 
rendered the east springs from a root, which denotes pridrity €ither of place 
or of time: and it came to signify the east, because by the ancients that 
quarter was deemed the front or fore part of the world. But, agreeably 
to i^ts origin, it does not merely signify the east: it equally conveys the idea 
Q^ priority in point of time. Accordingly, the very same word is in othec 
passages rightly translatcdyrew the beginning or at the firsts, i^Ajrom the 
east : and, as Mr. Penn has excellently shewn, thiis is by no means the only 
place, in which the faulty rendering from the east has been thoughtlessly 
adopted from the Greek interpreters. These indeed, by a mistranslation, 
bring the builders of the tower from the east : and, as their error has been 
received into more than one modern version, so it has formed the basis of 
more than one speculative hypothesis. But, among tbe ancients^ we find 
a very different sense ascribed to the original expression. The (Ad Cbal^ 
dee Paraphrase of Onkelos, the Targam of Jerusalem, Aquila, and Jero^^ 
all agree to render it in the beginning or at thejirst: and the Jewish his-* 
torian Josephus, while he is wholly silent respecting any oriental nMgratio% 
simply intimates, that, when the posterity of Noah quitted the heighla of 
Armenia, the place where they Jirst established themselves was the plain 
of Shinar \ Hence, I think, we may safely pronounce, thajt the passage 
ought to be translated as follows. And the whole world was of one lip and 
of one mode of speech. And it came topass, when they riRsr joufheyed^ 
that they found a plain in the land of Shinar. 

This version, when taken in connection with the general preceding con- 
text, gives us a clear and regular account of tbe most early postdiluvian 
transactions. And that account serves finally to demonstrate tbe errone* 
ousness of Mr. Bryant's ^*stem : that there were two dispersions of man- 
kind ; the one general and shortly after the deluge, the other particular and 
immediately after the frustrated attempt at Babel First, tbe family of 
Noah quit the Ark on the summit of mount Ararat Next, they remain, 
during a certain peiiod, in the land of Armenia; until their numbers have 
sufficiently increased, and the lower grounds are sufficiently dried^ to encoa* 

■ His exprenk)B is wfmr9H Ant. Jod. lib. i. c 5« 



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THE ORIOIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 375 

rtge or Tcquke an emigration. Then, while they as yet all speak the same ck4f. r. 
language, they undertake their Jfr^^ journey in one great body or com- 
Munity. Thb jouroey brings them to the plain of Shinar. Here they 
inake a halt^ with a firm determination not to separate from each other, 
dut join^ to iband a sin^ universal empire. For that purpose^ they 
proceed to build a city and a pyramidal teoiple. But, their plan being in 
direct and known contradiction to the divine purpose, God miraculously 
confounds fteir speech, so that they are no longer intelligible to each otlier: 
and die consequence is, that from the centrical pomt of Babel they are scat* 
tered over the fiace of the whole earth. 

Respecting the particular route by which they arrived in the plain of 
Shinar, Moses then is wholly silent : bntv &s Berosus declares it to have 
"been circuitous or circular y and as there seems to be no reason why we 
nihouM reject hb testimony, it will not be fordgn to the present discussion 
if we make some inquiries into the matter, 

Mr. Penn, with his usual felicity, and guided only by a geographical view 
cf the country^ supposes their line of march to have been directed by the 
course of the great river Euphrates. This mighty stream, rising in the 
mountains of Armenia, flows originally in a westerly direction : then it 
turns to the south : and at lengtli, bending eastward, it reaches Babylon 
from the north-west. Its progress therefore is ci$^ou%tous: and, as the ap- 
proach to Shinar from Armenia would be mosit easily and naturally effected 
%y following its winding course ; so, in that case, the route of the emigrants 
would minutely correspond with the description given of it by Berosus. 

Such is Mr. Penn*s very happy conjecture : but there are some parti- 
culars, which seem almost to convert it to a moral certainty. 

The entire tenor of the argument, which pervades the present work, tends 
to establish tlie position, that the idolatry of the whole world emanated from 
Babylon* But this circumstance necessarily requires us to suppose, that 
the builders of the tower were well acquainted with the course of their 
sacred river Euphrates : because one of the most prominent feati^ires of 
the mythology framed by them is the descent of the holy stream from the 
mountain of the floating Moon. Now, had they reached Babylon by the 
opposite circuit which Mr. Bryant ascribes to the Cuthites in order tliat he 



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376 rrHE origin of paoak idoiatrt* 

BOOK Yi. may bring them from the east, they would entirely have fe/Jf the Euphrates 
and the necessary consequence would have been a total ignorance of its 
source; for, judging by the direction of its current as it approaches the 
plain of Shinar, they would have been inclined corgecturally to place its^ 
fountains rather in the west than in the north. They did however know, 
that it arose in Armenia ; because they could not have framed their my- 
thologic system without such knowledge : and they could not have attained 
this knowledge, unless they had pursued its course during their emigratioo 
to Babylon. Hence we seem obliged to conclude with Mr. Penn, that their 
line of march was along the circuitous valley oi the Euphrates, which would 
conduct them by easy steps to the plain of Shinar. 

There is yet another particular, though of a more conjectural nature; 
which, if it possess any solidity, will again bring us to the very same cone 
elusion. That great linguist. Sir William Jones, has ascertained,' that 
Sanscrit was one of the three primeval languages which originated in the 
first postdiluvian empire of Iran; an empire, which must certainly be iden- 
tified with the Babylonic empire of Nimrod. Now the real eastern name^ 
which the Greeks have thought proper to express Euphrates, b well known 
to be Phrat : and, accordingly, it is so written by Moses. But, in the 
Sanscrit, Vratta, pronounced Vrat *, denotes a circle. Hence it b not 
unreasonable to conjecture, that the holy stream of the Babylonians was 
called Phrat ox Vrat from the well-ascertained form of its course ; the 
river Phrat being equivalent to the river of the circle: and hence I 
think it far from impossible, that Berosus actually described his forefathers 
as travelling from Armenia by the Phrat; that by this he meant the river, 
which bore a name expressive of its course ; that his Greek translator, 
knowing the import of the word and mistaking a proper for a common 
name, accurately enough rendered Mperuv or circularly; and that thus the 
founders of the tower are said in the Greek version of Berosus to have 
travelled circularly, while Berosus himself had really exhibited them as tra- 
velling along the course of the Phrat or Vrat^ 

* In the pronunciation of Sanscrit words, the final a is quiescent, like the unaccented 
final e of the French* See Moor^s Hind. Panth. p. 173^ 



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CHAPTER II. 



Respecting the Epoch and Duration of tJie primeval Iranian 
Empire, and the peculiar Form of its Civil Policy. 



The scat of the Assyrian empire, of the Babylonico-Assyrian empire, 
and of the Medo-Persian empire, was, in a large sense, the region, which, 
by its present inhabitants, is still denominated Iran. 

Of this noble district the boundary line, in its utmost extent, followed 
the entire course of the Euphrates, including some considerable towns 
and provinces on the western side of the river. Arriving at the sea, it 
coasted Persia or Iran proper and other Iranian provinces to the delta of 
the Sindhu or Indus* From that point it ascended with the river to its 
source in the mountains of Cashgar : whence again it descended with the 
Jaihun or Gihon, until that stream loses itself in the lakes of Khwareznu 
Thence it passed to the Caspian sea, of which it skirted the whole southern 
extremity. Next it mounted along the banks of the Gur or Cyrus to the 
ridges of Caucasus, from which it dropped to the eastern shore of the 
Euxine. And from that shore, by the several Grecian seas, it returned, 
including the lower Asia, to the fountains of the Euphrates*. 

« Sir W, Jones's Disc, on the Pers. Asiat. Res. voU ii. p. 4S, 44. Sec a map of this 
counuy b Ouseley^^ Epit. of Peniaa History. 

Pag. IdoL vol* III. 3 B 



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378 THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IDOLATHT. 

BOOK VI. gy^jj ^^ i^^^ j^ jt3 greatest extent : aod it obviously comprehended 
within its limits the empires of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. It likewise 
nearly coincided with that extensive Asiatic region, which the Hindoos 
denominate Cusha-divip-mthin or the hither land of Cush : for we may 
collect from a variety of circumstances, that Cusha-dwip extends, from the 
shores of the Mediterranean and the mouths of the Nile, to Serhind on th« 
borders of India \ 

L The empire of Nimrod and his Cushim, from whose long-rooted pre* 
dominance Cusha-dwip clearly received its appellation, seems to have 
comprehended a considerable part of centrical Iran almost from its very 
commencement : for its limits, even during the life-time of its founder, are 
marked out by die insfnred historian with great precision. We are told^ 
that the mere begitndng ff* his kingdom was Babd^ and Erech^ and Accad^ 
and Calneh, in the land of Shinar^: so that his infant empire was commen- 
surate with that large and fertile district containing three subordinate cities 
as well as the metropolitan Babylon. 

But, though such was the beginning of his kingdom, its power did not 
remain stationary, nor was Babel long the scat of government TTie dis* 
persion indeed took from him a large proportion of his subjects ; but he 
had still a sufficient number remaining very greatly to extend his domi* 
nions northward. Mortified at the check which he had received, and dis- 
gusted with his late metropolis which had witnessed it, he went out of the 
land of Shinar into the region, which was chiefly peopled by the children 
of Ashur, and which fix)m that patriarch took the name oiAshur or Assyna. 
Here he built a new capital upon the Tigris or Hiddekel ; and, calling it 
after his own appellation Ninus (for Nimrod or the rebel was a term erf 
reproach), he reigned henceforth at Nineveh ' : here also he built three 
other towns, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen ; which last, though but of infe* 
rior note, is yet declared by Moses to have been a great city*. 

When he thus removed his seat of empire, we have no reason to sup- 
pose that he therefore relinquished his hold upon the rich province of 

' Asiai. lies. voLiii. p. 54f« * Gen. x. 10. > See Hales's Chron. voL H p. 50. 

* Gen. X. 11, 12. See Halet's Cakro»i vol. iik p. 19» 90. . 



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THE cRioin or TACfAif n>oLAntr« 379 

Sbinar or Babylosia : tht words ctf the bbtorian leem evidently ^M^ugh to e^A^. n. 
Imply the very codtrary. Moses k describing' the progress of bis power : 
bb kingdom cMim^ncefl^ indeed witfa^iBabel and three other cities; but 
Assyria^ with a new metfopolis and three inferior towns, was soon added 
to It He i^igned tiiereli^e ftxim the confineB itf Armenia to the shores of 
the Erythr^an sea ; and| tiMMi^ pr^ented ifrOm attaining nnifeisd sove- 
reignty, he was still by far the gresKest otf the eatiy postdikidan monarcbs. 
¥ie was not only the Ibunder of JEMbjflon : bnt that mighty and ancient 
empire; which from the locality of its capital Nineveh lias usually been 
dtyled tke Assyrian einpire, and which many have erroneously esteemed a 
kingdom ih the Shemite line of Ashiir, was in reaiity but a continuation of 
his primeval Cuthic sovereignty. The province indeed, where the metro* 
polis was situated^ was dnefiy peopled by the descendants of Ashur; just 
as the provinces of Aram and Madai and £lam were chiefly peopled by the 
children of the patriarclis who bore those names : but the governing dy- 
nasty, and the associated military nobility, were certainly of the line of 
Cush. Hence, as the^iowcr of the Cushim extended over the whole em- 
pire df Iran ; and as the military nobility of that house must have pos- 
sessed lordships in every part of it, much in the same manner as the Nor- 
man barons parcdled out the Saxon realm of England among themselves: 
the entire region, over which they presided, though comprehending the set- - 
tlements of Aram and Ashur and Madai and Elam, is yet not improperly 
denominated by the Hindoo geographers Cuska-dwip; as it is sometimes 
styled by the Greek writers Ethiopia, and by the inspired penmen the land 
of Cush. This region in short, so designated, was the empire indeed of 
Cush : but it was by no means entirely occupied by his posterity. 

Babylon, the scene of Nimrod's humiliating discomfiture, appears to 
have long remained in a neglected state and (except perhaps during the 
short dynasty of the Arabian invaders, as they have been called) to have 
sunk to the condition of a provincial town : wlience, many years after- 
wards, Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned over the revived Cuthic empire which 
was formed by the uniou of the later Assyrian and Babylonian monarchies, 
claimed to have been the founder of that ancient city, which he rebuilt and 
made the seat of hb governments He zoas indeed its founder, in the same 



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380 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAK IDOLATRt. 

B00& vz. sense that Constantine was the founder of Constantinople ; accordingly^ he 
himself speaks of having built it for the hotise of the kingdom^: but we 
know^ that its real and original founder was Nimrod The language how* 
ever, used by Nebuchadnezzar, sufficiently proves, that Babylon had been 
for ages consigned to obscurity : and it thus confirms the declaration of 
Moses^ that Nimrod forsook it ere its buildings were completed, and that 
he made the Assyrian Nineveh his capital. 

- In this view of the early Cuthic empire, I have followed the marginid 
reading of our English translation, which, I think, undoubtedly conveys 
the sense of the original : for Moses does not tell us, that out of that land 
went forth Ashur and built, Nineveh ; but that out of that land he, namely 
Nimrod, went forth into Ashur or Assyria ^arf built Nineveh. The whoi^ 
context of the passage requires such a translation. Moses is not treating 
of the man Ashur ; which would here be perfectly out of place, since he 
is descriUng tlie various settlementb of Ham : but he is plainly marking 
out the limits of the Cuthic empire,. which was founded by Nimrod the 
grandson of that patriarch. Hence, when he teaches us that the beginning 
of Nimrod's kingdom was Qabel and its dependencies ; we are naturally 
led to expect, by every law of good writii^ that he will next give us some 
information with regard to its progress. And this he does very satisfac- 
torily, if we adopt the marginal translation of our English Bible ; for he 
tells US) that Nimrod began his kingdom with Babel, that he afterwards left 
it when it became a marked object of divine wrath, and that be went into 
Assyria where he built Nineveh : but, if we abide by the other version, we 
throw the whole narrative into confusion ; for we make the historian de* 
scribe indeed the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom, but we exhibit him as 
immediately q^uitting his subject and as abruptly J^i;?^ off \o % supposed 
building of Nineveh by Ashur. Nor is this the only objection^ All man-- 
kind, as we have seen^ were assembled in the land of Shinar : therefore all 
mankind^ at the time of ^e dispersion, equally abandoned the unfinished 
Babylon, and equally went out of the land where it was situated. Hence^ 
if all indifferently proceeded from tiiis centrical point; it is hard to. &ay^ 

* Dan. VL 30^ 



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THB ORIOiy or PAGAN IDOLATRY* 981 

yfAiy the particular emgration of Ashur should have been thought more cbap.ix. 
worthy of special notice, than the particular emigration of any other 
patriarch. Had jishur been the founder of Nineveh, we should have been 
told so in the proper place, when Moses came to treat of the settlements of 
Shem : never surely would a good writer so flagrantly have departed from 
order and method, for no better apparent reason than to give us the pal* 
pably impertinent information that Ashur did certainly emigrate from the 
land of Shinar '• 

These arguments are the arguments of Bochart : and they are unanswer- 
able on the supposition, that all mankind were engaged in the building of 
the tower. With Mr. Bryant, however, they have no weight : because he 
maintains, that the Cushim alone were the architects of Babel. Such bet- 
ing his system, he contends earnestly for the version which stands in the 
text of our English Bible i and he would understand the passage to inti« 
mate, that Ashur was originally settled in the land of Shinar, that Nimrod 
and the Cushim vblently drove him out^ and that he then retired northward 
and built Nineveh. 

The whole of this gloss depends of course upon the solidity of &e sys- 
tem, which supports it. But that system has been shewn to be altogether 
untenable : and it has been proved, that, not the Cushim merely, but alt 
mankind were assembled under one head in the land of Shinar. The sys- 
tem consequently being unsound, the dependent gloss falls with it : and, as^ 
all mankind were concerned in building the tower, the arguments of Bo- 
chart remain in full force. But those arguments compel us to suppose^ 
that the person, who went out of Shinar and built Nineveh, was not Ashur,. 
but Nimrod. The result therefore of the whole is, that the Cuthic empire; 
even during the life of that mighty hunter of men, extended from Armenia- 

I > The margiDii translation of our English Bible, which represents Nimrod as- the founder- 
of Nineveh, is supported by the Targums of Onkelos and Jeoisalem, Theophilus bishop oT 
Antioch, and Jerome, among the ancients ; and by Bochart^ Hyde» Marsbam, Wells, Lo 
Chais, the writers of the Universal History,, and Hales, among the modems. See Hales^^^ 
ChronoL vol. L p. 447. Dn Hales however has unfortunately adopted Mr. Bryant's hypow^ 
thesis, that there was a dispersion of mankind antecedent to the building of the tow^, an(£ 
that the Cuthim alone were the architects of BabcL 



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S8d tilS OtllGIK Of FAGAK IDDXATRT. 



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TH£ OmGXK Oy PAGAN IDOLATBT. S83 

IL At the epoch whence the astronomical canon of Ptolemy com* oi^ap.ii. 
menee$, or in the year 747 before the Christian era^ the last Assyrian king- 
iom mider Tiglath-Pileser, and the last Babykmic kingdom under Nabo* 
nassar, sprang up synchronically out of the Assyrian empire : but that em* 
pirei once so extensive under a Tery ancient dynasty as to comprehend the 
VfhoiB of Iran or Cushardwip, had ahready undergone a great revolution 
and had sustained the k>ss of some of its most important provinces. It 
will be proper to inquire into the nature and chronological era of these 
tfenta. 

L Ctesias gives a long list of Assyrian kingSi ending with Thonus Con-* 
coterw : aad^ next in sueeesaion to them, he places a dynasty of Median 
king^ the length of whose several reigns he regularly specifies ; beginning 
with Arbaces^ and ending with Astyages the grand&tber of the gieat Cyrus '. 
By thus bringiag down tibe Median dynasty to the days of Astyages and 
CyruS) he provides us with a fixed point to reckon from : and the result of 
a retrograde ciilculation from that point will be, that Arbaces must have 
founded the kingdom of Media in the year A. C. 821 \ But the long 
Assyrian dynasty terminated about the time, when the Median dynasty 
commenced. Hence, whatever was the fate of Assyria itself and whoever 
might be its rulers upon the extinction of its ancient dynasty ; it is plain^ 
that, about this period, some great revolution must hove taken place in the 
Irwian empire, and that the hitherto subject province of Media became an 
independent kingdom* 

The rise of the Median empire is detailed at kurge by Herodotus : and, 
by viewing his account conjointly with that of Ctesias, we shall probably 
arrive at tlie whole truth. He tells us, that, when the Assyrians had been 
lords of upper Asia for the space of 520 years, the Modes set the example 
of a revolt from their authority ; and that this example was speedily fol- 
lowed by the other provinces. For a season, the Medes were in a state of 
gi^at anarchy ; but at length, having experimentally learned the inconve^ 
nience of it, they uniu»m(M]sly elected Dejoces to be their sovereign \ 

> Jackson's Chroaol. Ant. vol. L p. 247— S54. * Ihi& p. 258. 

> Herod. Hist. lib.i c. 95.»8a 



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384 THE OEIGIN OF PAGAN rDOIATBT* 



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^H£ 01110117 OF FA6AN IBOltATET. 385 

6bastrons expedition of SetUMoherib against Judah : but, After a long con- ctAP. u. 
«ideration 6f t^e subject i fed a^snred^ that there were two Median re- 
volts ; that Herodotus has btended thenr together into one ; and that be has 
therefore brought down the rise of the monarchy from the era of the Jirst 
Jo. the era of the second^ wholly suppressing the five earliest kings, and 
^acribAtig to the iuxth monarch whom he calls Dejoces what was really per- 
ibormed by the first moriaDoh whom Ctesias calls ^i^r&acev: hence I am led 
40 ftdopt the arrangement of Ctesias. 

The grounds of my whde opinion are these. The ancient Assyrian 
dynasty certainly came to. an end about or before the ymr A. C. 821 : ac- 
.cordiPgly> Dr. Hales viery igx&poAy makes what he calls the third Assyrian 
4ywi^y oomqdence^ that time'. Now this is in efiect to allow, that a 
great reydlutiaa then took ptaoe. But precisely such is the declaration of 
Ctesias : whence^ with much appearance of probability, he makes Arbaces 
becoBie the first sovereign of Media directly after the extinction of the an- 
^ot Assyrian dynastyi^vdie Modes having availed themselves of so favour- 
able an opportunity toi raise the standard of independence. And in this 
joutline of hbtory he agrees with Herodotus i who describes the rise of the 
•Median kingdom^ as occurring when the Assyrian empire was felling to 
pieces by the general defec^on of its provinces. No extinction however of 
any Assyrian dynasty took place ki the year A. C. 710 : so that, by fixing 
the original revolt of the Modes to that epoch, we take away from the rise 
of their kit^dom one of its leading characteristics, namely the dissolution of 
a governing Assyriaii empire. We moreover, by such an arrangement^ 
violate the concinnity of another part of history : for, as we shall presendy 
see, the independence of Persia commenced much about the time which 
Ctesias assigns for the eommencement of Median independence : and we 
f^re assured, that it commenced just in the same manner, namely after a 
period of anarchical violence and subsequent to the domination of a very 
ancient imperial monarchy : hence the epoch of Persian independence must 
ajsg^ as circumstantial evidence very plainly determines, be the epoch of 
Median independence. . Now with tUisr epoch &e account g^ven by Ctesias 

" Half's Chronol. voL iiwp, 58. 

Pag.IdqL you uu SC 



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386 THE OBIGIN OF PAGAK IDOLATET* 



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TBfi^OBlOIN or PAOAK IDOLATBY. 5B7 

teqneot to .the year A« C. 719* Acbordiugly we learn from the chrotiolo- map. lu 
gkcaX numbers of Herodotus, though he has unfortuaately blended the 
SQCOttd Medim revolt with the.ftrst^ that the Modes finally threw off the 
Affsyrian.yoke in the year A. G. 710: which is the exact time, when we 
might expect such an exploit to be achieved by a high-spirited nation pant- 
ing atter the independence wJuch it had recently lost ; for it was the very 
jsear of SemuKberib's miraculous disaster in the land of Judah and <tf hii 
consequent assassination by bis sons, , 

, On these grounds, I am led to fix what I esteem the orighuU Median 
revolt to about the year A. C. 827, and the accession of the first indepen- 
dent Median king at the close of the six years anarchy to the year A. C. 9% U 
Whence I conclude, tba^ as the revolt foWmed the extinction of the old 
Assyrian dj^iasty in the person of Thonus Concolerus, the dynasty in ques* 
tion must have become ^^Uinct, and the great Assyrian empire must have 
begun to be revolutioniied, some short time previous to the year A.C. 8£7# 
- S« The propriety of such a conclusion will be decidedly confirmed by an 
inquiry into the true epoch of Persian independence. 

When Sir Isaac Newton came to calculate backward the reigns of the 
recorded Persian kii^S; be found, that he was uimUe to place the rise of 
their monarchy higher than the year A. C. 790 ' : and so just were his 
principles, that, if we compute those reigns as enumerated by the Persian 
historians thqnselves, we shall actually be brought for their commencement 
vei!y oiearly to the self -same year* 

The Persian writers describe the Pislidadian dynasty, as being the first 
that governed their country with regal authority : and^ although they make 
it consist of no more than eleven kings, they fabulously exhibit the reigns 
of those kings as stretching through the mcredible space of 2450 years. To 
the Pisbdadian succeeded the Caianian dynasty, which comprehended ten 
lovereigna: and to their joint reigns the more moderate, though still ex- 
cessive, period of 734 years is attributed *. 

Now, if we direct our attention to the two last princes of this second 
dynasty, we shall/happily obtain a sure chronolo^al restii^ place, /rom 

* ' Newton apud Jones. Atiat. Res. vol. ii. p. 47« 
* Jehan Ara in Ouadey's ^u of «DC Us. of Persia, p. S, 1& 



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;388 THE OEIOIK OF FAOAV lOOLATEIT, 

•ooK ▼!• which we may be enabled to take a rational backward view of thi pvepes* 
terously extended reigns of their predecessors. The tenth Cdanian mo^ 
narch is Secander ZuUKamein : and this persoDage^ though be issftid to 
have been the son of a former king named Darah^ is. snfficieMly identified 
with. the Macedonian Alexander both by his appellation iSb^iUfeT: and by 
^e ^circumstance of bis mother being described as thie di^ughter ^f f^Hip 
ki^g'of Greece* Sneh bdng the case, his imiDediate predbcessor Dara 
mast undoubtedly be the Darius of classical story \ Accordin^yy though 
Secander be thus arranged as the last prince of the Caiandan dyadsty, 
Mirkhond and the other Persian writers unanimously agree, that that 
dynasty really ended when Dara was conquered by Steander : and, thoi^b 
the author of the Jehan Ara has followed Ferdousi in exhibiting Secander 
as a son of Darab by a dau^ter of the. Macedonian. Philip, the more an^ 
cient and authentic Tabari rightly pronounces him to be the ^a»: of the 
Grecian monarch *. The proper Caianian dynasty therefore, when ihd 
foreign Secander is excluded, contains only nine kings : and thi»s it doubt* 
less ended in the year A* C. SSI, with the murder ofjDara or Dariua 
Codoman. i : < ■ 

This point being ascertained, we have now twenty kinjgs from Caiumurat 
to Dara, both inclusive.; namely, eleven Pishdadians and nine Caianiahs : 
and the joint duration of their reigns is to be calculated retrospectively 
from the year A. C. 331, which is a known chronological epoch. Now; 
on a grand sum of ten different regal dynasties, comprehending on the 
whole 454 kings and extending throug^i the vast spaee of 10105 years^ it 
has been accurately computed by Dr. Hales, that the average length of a 
reign may be estimated at 224- years ^ In the present cas^ let us take the 
round number of S3 years, as the average length of our twenty Persian 
reigns ; and, at that rate, calculate them, backward from the murder .of 
Dara in the year A. C* 331. Such an operation will .give, as their joint 
aoiount, the sum of 46o years : and, conseqa6ntly, those 46D j^ears added 

Jehan Aifa in Ousdey's Epit. of anc* his. of Persia- j$. 25. 
^ Hale&'j Chronol. vpLiii, p. 48,49. - Ous^ley's %it, p. 26* 
> Hales^s Chronol. voL i. p. 304^ 305. , \ ; , .. 



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»HE OHldlir 09 »AOAy IDOLATRY". 38^ 

toSSlyeawVillgive the year A. C. 791 as the commencement of the «*'-'^. 
Pishdadiwi dynasty with Caiumuras. 

Hence it appears, that if we adopt the arrangement of Ctesias, the in- 
dependent monarchy of Persia will have arisen about SO years after the 
«idependent monarchy of Media; and /A« agreeably to the declaration oi^ 
Herodotus, that the Modes fed the wajf ih the revolt from the Assyrian 
empire, a«d that their example ^es soon folkwed by the other provinces J 
l>uti,8» it is not impossible that 23 yeare may have been too short an 
wrerage, the inSurreotioo of Persia probably followed the irtsorreotion of 
Media after, a smaUer; interval than 30 years '. An ^erage, for instance 
of 2* years to a ifeign, would place the accession of Cdoinuras in the year 
A.;G. «1 1, and thus allow only ten years between that event and the pre- 
yious> acceasiod of: the Median Arbaces*. ■ . 

The rise then of the two. independent kingdoms of Media and Persia may 
be deemedso far.synchronical, as just to allow the rise of Media to precede 

'' » We may ^ly take ntort than 23 yeaw as the average of a reign, if it be necessaiy j 
&r one of Dr. Hates's ten exemphr dynasties gives 36 J years; another, 86 years ; uid 
anotiier,'2*j«e8r8.' 

* Dr. Hales seems to me to have greatly erred, and that too b the teeth of his own 
very yalu^le calculation of the mrerage length of a reign, when he throws baclt the rise 
of the Pishdadian dynasty as high as the time of Abraham, and when he makes its second 
king Hushang to be the Chedorlaemer of Moses. I see not how it is possible by any fair 
rofcb of computation, unless we aititrarily insert here and there a purely gratuitous inter- 
K^um,' to throw the accession of Caiumnras much higher than I hare done. This un- 
$>ftuaatQ anrangement of that excellent writer has led him to take a most unwarrantable 
liberty witii the list of Assyrian kings, as exhibited by Ctesias. At one fell swoop he anni. 
Mates 24 reigns out of the 36 ; merely because, according to his own settiement of the 
Kshdadiafa dynasty and hU identification of Hushang with Chedorlaomer, tiie remaining 
12 win dien be Jbundfitty mffident .• andthen, to fiU up the gap in the Assyrian supre- 
nacy during ti»e fictitious paramount rule of tiie Rshdadians, he placed an enormous in- 
terregnum of 985 years between Zinaims tiie sixth from Nimrod and Mitiir^us iriiom he 
would identify -jritii the second Ninus, notwithstanding Mithr^us is die twenty fifUi king 
in tiie catol<^e of Ctesias and the younger Ninus the first king. Chronol. toI. iii p. 21. 
29, 30, 35, bZi 54. Bespecting tiie petty Elamitib king Chedorlaomer, whom Dr. Hales 
woMld have to be tiie mighty sovereign of all Iran, more shall be said in tiie proper plact. 
JBwbdow J ¥1.2.(2.) rr r 



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399 !3^B£ OBIPIN OF FAGAN IDQLATBafe 



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THB ORI0IN OF BAOAN lOOlATBT. 5^1 

qalty, Uie Hse <^ tb? one 1)eii^ aoterior to tbd rise of the other oaly by a aur.n. 
few y^mi lu^a that they alike owed their origib to the £ftUhig asunder of 
a ^[fiait IraoinQ etnfHre^ <^ whidi they had before been mere provinces. 
. $, The m^trofH^ of that great empire was Nineveh : and, as Nitieych 
was situated within the limits of Assyria, the empire itself was generally 
^stingnidied^ at le^t ia the west^ by the name of the Assyrian empire. 
We have How thi^efope to mquire, what waii the &te of Assyria pioper, 
when the great .emfHre was dissolved by thie revolt oS its provinces, when 
its gOfCfmng dynasty became ettmct in the person of Thonus Concolerus, 
and ^lieni the 'two .kingdoms of Media and Persia established thdr inde« 
peddenc^ :. ^ , . 

; A newAjsyrbkidyna^ rose^op most utidbubtedlyin the place of that, 
whtiih had beioame lextinctt and I am mdined to believe, for reasons which 
williieraafter appear, that its founder dethroned the last prince of the an**' 
cient. dynasty, and assumed the imperml name of Ninm. This was origi* 
nallyiheappellation of him; who, by way of reproach, was styled iVifmr(Hf 
or the^ebelt €uic<M^ingly, when h6 Went foarth£rom Babylonia into the land 
ol Aishur attd there iNult' a second capital, he denoniinated it after himself 
NhtevehiorNin's t&wm The. same tkle, according to Ctesias, was assumed ' 
by the first prince of the second Assyrian dynasty : and it^was now, tf I 
mistefce.not, i^mn borne by the founder of what Dr. Hales properly calls 
tke Ihird Assyrian dynasty^ I take it, that in both ' instances the ground of 
its assumption was >a politic appeal to the prevailmg superstition : each 
younger Ninus, at tiie head of his own dynasty, claimed to be a divine 
Avatar w transmigratory reappearance of the hero*god Ninus, who was the 
primeval fouoder oi the empire '. 

Dr. Hales fisoes the accession of this prince to the year A. G. 82 1 ; which 
is the same year as that, in which, according to the arrangement of Ctesias, 
Arbaces iM>unted the independent throdse of Media: and he supposes Jo- 
nah to have prophesied to the Ninevites in the year A. C. 800 ; white Abp. 

* > I am inclined to suspect, that the title was originally assumed by Nimiod himself 
much on the same political principles. The word Nin denotes a son •• and, agreeably 
to the doaribe br Avaladni, (he fbunder of Babel seems to Iwve given out^ that he was 
a manifestation of the promised se^ of the woman emphaticallycaUediAtf j 



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892 THE ORIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATRT* 

»oox VI. Usher prefers the year A. C. 808, as the era of that tnemorabfe warning 

. All these dates ought, I think, to be thrown somewhat earlier : aiid for suctt 

an alteration the book of Jonah itself affords some internal evidence, #irow- 

ing at the same time a considerable degree of light on those early transac* 

tions which I am now discussing* 

As the Median d3fnasty of Arb&ces commenced in the year A.C. 82}» 
and as 6 years of anarchy elapsed between the revolt of the Medes and 
their election of a king ; the old Assyrian dynasty must hate become el« 
tinct, and the new or third Assyrian dynasty must have arisen, siraae time 
previous to the year A. C. <27. The accession of the first ^king of tfaifi new 
dynasty seems to have been the signal for revolt to the provinces: aiid so 
general was the defection, that his authority appears to have extended'but 
little beyond the walls of the metropcditati Nineveh. His wise and vigors 
ous administration, however, must ere long have reduced to obecicnce the 
whole both of Assyria and of the subject kingddm of Babylonia: for, about 
the year A. C. 771, we find his successor Pul in such power as to invade 
the remote western kingdom of Israel '• The bead; of this new dynasty 
was certainly the prince, to whom the prophet Jonah was sent : and the 
scriptural account of that remarkable transaction exactiy agrees with what 
has been advanced- 
Jonah must have flourished during the reigii of Jbasli king of Israel: 
for, as he foretold that God would save the ten tribes by the hand of Jaro^ 
boam the son of that king, and as consequently the defiveraiice was not 
effected until after the accession of Jeroboam, Jonah tnust have been con- 
temporary with Joash \ But the reign of Joasb, including the time that 
he ruled jointly with his fatlier Jehoahaz, extended from the year A. Q 
841 to the year A. C. 825* Therefore Jonah must at least have flourished 
during some part of that period, however much earlier or later he may 
have lived. Thus it is evident, that be was contemporary wHh the first 
king of the new Assyrian dynasty : for that king, as we have seen, begaa 
to reign a short time previous to the Median revolt in the year A. C. 827^ 

* 2 Kings XY. 19. Hales's ChrenoL, vol. iiS. p% 58, 60. Usser. AmaL in A. A. C. TTU 

* 2 Kings xin 2£«-27. Usser. AnnaL in A. A.C* 8S5, 808. 



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THX ORIGIN OF tAOAV IDOtATET. 993 

having moimted the tbroae with fbe extmctioh of the fiEmner Assyrian dy- coArw n. 
nasty undw Thonus Goncolerua. Such being the case^ I am inclined to 
believe^ that Jonah was sent to Nbeveh soon after the accession of the new 
prince; when the whole of Iran was in a state of confusion, when the pro- 
vinces were revolting on every side, when the metropolis itself was yet 
feverish with revolutionary anarchy, and when the tottering authority of 
Ninus was scarcely recognized beyond its walls. The era therefore of the 
9olemn warning may probably be fixed to somewhere about the yrar A. C. 
8S7 or 9£6« And now let us attend to the scriptural account of the trans- 
action. 

. Jonah is sent to cry against Nineveh, because the wickedness of its in- 
habitants, had come up before the Lord. But the special nature of this 
wickedness is afterwards described, in the regal proclamation itself, as 
mainly consisting in atrocious deeds pf revolutionary violence '• Nineveh 
tiierefore, as well as its revolting provinces according to the accurate ac- 
count which is given of them both by Herodotus and the Persian historians, 
had been, and indeed was still, convulsed by civil discord and anarchy : 
in short, both it and the whole expiring empire were in a state not dissi- 
milar to that, which was exhibited by France and its metropolis in the 
course of its blood-stained revolution. There was now however a king in 
Nineveh : but it is long after a storm, ere the waves are hushed to peace; 
and the new sovereign probably found it no easy matter to govern a turbu- 
lent city accustomed to sanguinary licence. This condition, together with 
the unpopular loss of the provinces, humbled the heart of Ninus; and thus 
prepared him to listen to the admonition of a stranger prophet The 
peculiar state therefore of Nineveh and the empire will fully account for 
a circumstance, which must otherwise appear not a little extraordinary. 
An idolatrous oriental sovereign, inflated by prosperity and corrupted by 
flattery, would probably have forthwith put to death any person, much 
more therefore an unknown foreigner ; who had dared to convey to him a 
message, which Jonah, under the evident impression of very natural fear, 
was at length constrained reluctantly to deliver : but the same sovereign, 

' Jonahi.2. ills. 
Pag. Idol. VOL. Ill* 3 D 



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394 TB£ ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 

ioox n. when humbled by adversity, is a very different character; and good poficy, 
no less than hb better inclination, would lead Ninus to hear the prophet's 
message with reverence, and to give it all the effect among his turbulent 
subjects which the royal authority could enable him to do. The state of 
Nineveh will likewise account for another circumstance, and that circum* 
stance in return will throw light upon the then condition of the Assyriah 
empire. When the mighty Pul, about fifty years afterwards, invades the 
realm of Israel, he is accurately styled the king of Assyria^: but Ninus, 
when he conversed with Jonal^ is distinguished by the humbler title of tke 
king of Nineveh *. This difference of appellation is not merely accid^ental. 
Ninus, by the general revolt of the provinces, was scarcely more than sove- 
reign of the metropolis and its immediately dependent district : but Pul 
was lord at once of Assyria and Babylonia ; and, as appears by his inva- 
sion of Israel, had likewise stretched his sceptre over the whole of Aram. 
It is not unreasonable to believe, that so rapid a growth of empire was the 
regard which God was pleased to bestow upon the piety of Ninus and his 
penitent subjects. Though pagans, they humbled themselves before an 
obscure prophet of Jehovah : and for this remarkable act of faith, which 
obtained the high commendation even of Christ himself, they not only saved 
their city from instant destruction, but received the divine blessing upon 
their future enterprizes. 

The general result then of the whole is, that the ancient Assyrian empire 
fell asunder some short time previous to the year A. C. 827 ; that the whole 
of Iran was then convulsed with revolutionary madness ; that the smaller 
kingdom of Assyria sprang up synchronically with the extinction of the 
old Assyrian dynasty; and that, about the years A^C. 821 and 811 or 
791, the hitherto vassal provinces of Media and Persia became indepen- 
dent sovereignties. 

III. I now proceed to inquire, what historical notices we have of the 
great Assyrian or Iranian empire ; which immediately preceded the three 
smaller kingdoms of Assyria and Media and Persia, and which must have 
been dissolved shortly after the middle of the ninth century before the 
Christian era. 

^. 2 Kings xv. 19. * Jonab iii. 0. 



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THS OltlGIK OF FAGAir IBOLAT&r. ^5 

1. Sir Isaac Newton^ not being able to throw back the lise of the Per- <»ap« tu 
aiao monarehy higher than the year A. C. 790, conjectured, that in the 
' precedk^ ages the government had been dirided among several petty states 
and principalities : and, in this conjecture, Sir Wiliicun Jones, who like 
Biyself could not place the commencement of the Pishdadian dynasty much 
higher than Sir Isaac had placed the rise of the monarchy, for a season 
acquiesced; notwithstanding he felt it to be highly unsatisfiEtctory. A for- 
tunate discovery at length dbpelled the mist, in which the early history of 
Persia had so long been shrouded. 

Through one of the ^ most intelligent Musulmans in India, Sir William 
Jones became acquainted with a rare and interesting tract, entitled the 
DabUtan^ and composed by a Mohammedan traveller named Mohsan. 
This man had contracted a friendship with several learned Persians, who 
bad rettred into India to avoid persecution for their religious opinions: 
and he bad perused a variety of books compiled by them, which are now 
extremdiy scarce. From them he learned, that a mighty monarchy had 
been established in Iran for many ages before the accession of Caiumuras; 
that its sovereigns composed what was called the Mahabadian dynasty^ 
from Mahabad its reputed founder; and that a long succession of princes, 
among whom Mahbul or Maha-Beli is particularly mentioned, had raised 
it to the zenith of human glory \ 

Now it is obvious, that this account decidedly shews the absurdity of 
throwing back with the Periian romances the comm^[icement of the Pish- 
dadian dynasty to the £fth generation from Noah, and tends to prove 
that I have justly ascribed its rise to about the end of the ninth century 
before Chrbt : for the long-lived Mahabadian dynasty, which preceded the 
Pishdadian, is manifestly the governing dynasty of that great Iranian emf- 
pire out of the ruins of which sprang up the smaller kingdoms of Media 
and Persia and Assyria; while the renowned Mahbul or Maha-Beli is 
clearly that mighty Belus, who is celebrated by the Hellenic writers as the 
founder of Babylon. Hence it is certain, that this Mahabadian dynasty 
mu3t have swayed tbe sceptre of that empire, which, from the seat of its 

^ A^t* R6fi. vol. iit p. 47* *8, 



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396 9BE ORIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATRT. 

BOOK Ti. governmeDt, came to be called the Assyrian : for, thou^ its ftrst cajjita! 
was Babylon, its second and permanent metropolis was Ninevdi. fiat 
Babylon and Nineveh were both founded by the scriptural Nimrod* 
Therefore Belus, or the most ancient Ninus, or the Mahabadian Bdi whose 
name b declared to stimd preeminent among the other princes, most have 
been tiie same person as Nimrod : and the old empire, so long governed 
by the Mahabadian dynasty, must have been the Cuthic empire of Nim^ 
rod; which, as I have just observed, acquired the tide of Assyrian icotik 
the circumstance of Nineveh in the land of Assyria becoming its capital. 

We learn then, from the Dabistan, that, when this great empire was dis* 
solved, the Pishdadian dynasty arose in Persia : and, accordinj^y, the wrh* 
ters of that country tell us, that t&eir Pishdadian dynasty, like the content- 
porary Median dynasty of the ArbacidsB, sprang up out of the midst of 
civil discord and confusion. Hence therefore we at length distinctly per* 
ceive, that Persia, anterior to the rise of the Pishdadian dynasty, so far from 
being divided into several petty independent states, was really a province 
of the great Iranian or Assyrian empire : and that the Mahabadian dy« 
nasty, which had aboriginally governed it, did not consist of native Permui 
sovereigns; but was entirely composed of Assyrian princes, ^rtffy begin* 
ning with Nimrod though simulatively (as we shall hereafter see) with 
Noah, and ending about the middle of the ninth century before Christ with 
Thonus Concolerus. 

S. The Dabistan only informs us in general terms, that the Mahabadian 
dynasty had been established in Iran for many a^s before the accession 
of the first Pishdadian Caiumuras, and that it comprehended a long sue* 
cession of powerful kings : the precise length therefore of its continuance 
must be ascertained from a different quarter ; and this will be found very 
amply to corroborate the general assertion of the Persian record. 

Of the sovereigns, who ruled the primeval Iranian or Assyrian empire 
we have a list furnished by Syncellus, Alexander Polyhistor, and Ctesias. 

Syncellus and Polyhistor first give us a catalogue of the seven earliest 
kings, beginning with Nimrod or Belus or the elder Ninus. These are 
described by Syncellus, as reigning jointly 29^4^ years : but Polyhistor 
allows no more than 190 years for the fulltimount of their reigns. The 



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TH£ OBIOIN or BA6AN IDOLATRY. S9f 

latter calculation seems preferable to the former; because it was taken from cup. n. 
the Chaldfeao annals of Berosus. Hiey next exhibit 'h dynasty of six Ara- 
biMXk kings, as reigning over Babylonia for 215 years. With these, though 
ve shall hereafter hear something more of them, we have no present con* 
cern : for they evidently appear to have effected a temporary conquest of 
Chald^a alone, after the Iranian seat of government had been removed 
&Qm Babylon to Nineveh ', The dynasty therefore of the seven earliest 
princes joins immediately, in point of chronological succession, to the dy- 
nas^ of the thirty six Ninevite 'sovereigns, as detailed by Ctesias. But 
this dynas^, we are told, flourished for the space of 1305 years: at the 
dose t>f which tiie old empire fell asunder ; and, after an interval of dis* 
cord, the kingdoms of Media, Persia, and Assyria, sprang up (as we have 
already seen) out of its ruins. If therefore we add together 190 years, or 
the length of the earliest Iranian dynasty, and 1S05 years, or the length of 
the second Iraman dynasty; we shaU have the gross sum of 1495 years 
for the entire duration of tiie great Iraniaa empire, from its foundation by 
Nimrod, to its dissolution under Thonus Concolerus about the middle of 
the ninth century before Christ *. Such, consequently, exclusive #f the 
patriarchal ages that preceded Nimrod, was the duration also of the Maha^ 
badian dynasty ; which ruled over Iran before the rise of the Pishdadian 
dynasty at the accession of Caiumuras, and which (we see) is accurately 
described in the Dabistan as having enjoyed the sovereignty /(t mamf ages 
previous to that event Now the Mahabadian or Assyrian dynasty termi* 
Bated about the middle of the ninth century before Christ Hence, as its 
entire duraticm from Nimrod to Thonus comprehended 1495 years, the 
empire of Nimrod at Babel must have commenced soon after the middle of 
the twenty fourth century before Chibt; that is to say, somewhere between 
the years A. C* 3350 and 83da 

The seven earliest kings must have been Nimrod and his lineal descend^ 
ants : and the next thirty six kings must either have sprung from a younger 
branch of the house of Nimrod, or must have been members of another 
Cuthic femily which ascended the tbrone upon the extinction or abdication 

' Yide infra c & $ V. 5. « Jackson's ChronoL Ant voL i. p. 2S8~S36, Wl—iSS. 



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S98 THE ORIGIK OF PAGAKT IDOLATRY. 

100& vx. of the royal house of the founder* The first supposition, which would make 
the children of Nimrod in two successive branches reign over the empire 
during its whole continuance, is the most probable : because the Persiaa 
record acknowledges no break in the dynasty of the Mahabadians ; but 
speaks of it, from beginning to end, as being properly but one. 

With whatever accuracy or inaccuracy the catalc^ue oi Iranian princei 
may have been constructed by Berosus and Ctesias, the average length. ctf 
their several reigns is perfectly reasonable and such as may well accord 
with grauine history. The reigns of 43 kings, extending through a period 
of 1495 years, will give an average of about 34^ years to each reign : 
which, when we consider that the empire was founded before the life of 
man had dwindled down to its present standard, cannot be deemed much 
too high. 

It may here be proper to observe, that there is no real contradiction be- 
tween the account, which ascribes to the Iranian sovereignty in Babylon 
and Nineveh a duration of about 15 centuries, and the assertion of Hero- 
dotus, that the Assyrians of Nineveh had been lords of upper Asia no more 
than 520 years when the Medes revolted from their authority : the former 
estimates the entire length of tlie empire ; the latter speaks only of the con- 
quest of a particular district during the period of its continuance. 

3. Having thus identified the Mahabadian dynasty with that which ruled 
over the ancient Assyrian empire and which was founded by Nimrod or 
Belus or Maha-Beli, we must next direct our attention to a very old and 
remarkable monarchy, noticed by Justin and hinted at by Strabo. 

( j .) The former of these writers, who abstracted the universal history 
which with equal diligence and ability had been compiled by Trogus Pom- 
peius, mentions a king of the Scythians named Tanaus ; who, prior to the 
rise of the Assyrian empire under Ninus, had extended his dominion even 
as far as Egypt "• By the Scythic Tanaus, like the Egyptian Pharaoh, we 
must certainly understand a dynasty of kings rather than a solitary . mo- 
narch : for the domination of the Scythians was not confined to a single 
warlike and successful reign. Justin tells us, that, at three different sue- 

* Justin. Hist. lib. i. c. !• 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAOAK IDOtATRn 999 

cessive periods, tiiey were the dominant power in Asia ; while they them- <^»^ »*• 
pelves never submitted to the disgrace of a foreign yoke. The first of these 
periods is that, with which alone we are at present concerned : and it is 
thus described from the ancient documents furnished by Trogus. 

Vexorisy king of Egypt, having declared war against the Scythians be- 
cause they refused to acknowledge his supremacy; that gallant people, great 
alike in wisdom and in arms, marched to encounter him. Their rapid ap« 
proach terrified the invader : so that, ingloriously leaving his whole army 
behind, he fled with priecipi(ation to his own country. The victorious Scy- 
thians followed him^ but were prevented by the morasses from penetrating 
for into Egypt. They rrturned therefore into Asm, which they conquered 
and made tributary. Nor was this a mere marauding excursion : so firmly 
was their dominion established, that their paramount imperial authority 
continued during the space of 15 centuries. At length Ninus threw off the 
yoke, and became the foundter of the Assyrian empii^ \ 

We have here a most curious piece of ancient history^ corrupted bdeed^ 
yet amply sufficient for the purpose on account of which it is adduced. It 
seems then, that, antecedent to a revolt of Assyria under Ninus, there was 
a very powerful empire in the Scytliic line; which domineered o^er all Asia 
as known to the early western nations^ and which had excursively penetrated 
even as far as Egypt. 

(2.) Justin is not the only writer, who notices thb primeval Scythic mo* 
narchy : Strabo, when enumeratmg the dominant powers of the east, speaks 
of the old Scythians, as being a most warlike and powerful race ; though 
he ficknowledges, that the early accounts of them, as well as those of the 
Persians and the Medes and the Assyrians, are deeply tbged with fabulous 
inaccuracy \ 

In this assertion he is perfectly right : tiie fact of a primitive Scythic 
empire^ may be indisputable, though the details of it do not bind us to en- 
tire acquiescence in all points. His testimony is chiefly valuable, as to the 
fact and the age of its e xistence. We may observe, that he specifies thl 
Persians, the Medes, and the Assyrians, in a retrograde chronologicae 

' Juit Hbt. liU iL c. Si * Stnd>. Geog. lib. xi. p. 507. 



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400 THE ORIGIN or PAGAIT IBOLATRT* 

S601 VI. order, as being masters of Asia. Hence it is manifisst, that the tme order 
is, first the ScytbiauSi then the Assyrians who are viewed as comprehending 
the Babylonico- Assyrians, then the Medes, and lastly the Persians. Thus 

^ again we find a Scytbic empire antecedent to the Assyrian empire. 

IV. And now the question is, who these Scythians could be, tha^ de« 
scending firom their native Armenian Caucasus, founded the primeval mo« 
narchy in Iran. It will not, I trust, be very difiicult to afford a satis&<^ry 
answer. 

The excessive length of their domination clearly proves, that they could 
not have established it prior to the epoch of Nimrod or ih^frst Ninus :. 
and the same circumstance equally proves, that they could not have esta« 
blished it prior to the epoch of that second Ninus, with whom, after the in* 
terval of 190 years from the beginning of Nimrod's reign, commenced what 
is called the second Assj/rian dynasty in Nineveh. Of this the reason is 
obvious : fifteen centuries, reckoned back from the accessi<m of either of 
these early Nini, would carry us many ages before the era of the flood. It 
can only remain therefore, that the Ninus and the Assyrian empire, which 
were immediately preceded by the Scy thic domination, were a third Ninus 
and a much later Assyrian empire than that which was founded by Nim* 
rod. Now such an empire, as we have seen, rose up synchronically with 
the kingdoms of Media and Persia, about the middle of the ninth century 
before Christ. Consequently, the Ninus, with whom it commenced and 
who flourished in the days of the prophet Jonah, must have been that 
Ninus ; who, according to the documents of Trogus, first broke the long 
Asiatic domination of the Scythians. But the empire, which fell to pieces 
at the beginning of A^ reign by an universal spirit of revolt throughout the 
provinces, was undoubtedly that; which has generally been styled the 
Assyrian from the scite of its capital Nineveh, which was originally founded 
by Nimrod, and which expired under Thonus Concolerus. Hence, as the 
princes of that empire and the princes of a distinct Scytbic empire could not 
both have been lords of Asia during the self-same period of time ; and yet 
as the princes of that empire and the princes of a Scythian dynasty are alike 
declared to have been lords of Asia previous to the rise of an Assyrian mo- 
narchy, which can only be that that arose about the middle of the ninth 



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TSB OftioiN OF :pa«an idojultet. 40i 

MObiry^be^ Chmt : I see. not wbatconckision we can draw, except this ; c»a?.i% 
that the prifi^es.of the old Assyrian empire from Nimrod to Thoous, and 
the princes of the Scythian dynasty mentioned by Trogus and hinted at by 
Strabo^ were the self-same race of men. 

Accordingly, with tiiis oondustoo every particular will be found to agree* 
The. domination of the Scythic princes lasted, in round numbers, 1500 
years : the domination of the old Assyrian or Nimrodian dynasties lasted, 
if the Deigns be qxaetly summed up, 149^ years. The domination of the 
Scythic princes was broken by revolt : the domination of the old Assyrian 
dynasties was also broken by. revolt At the close of the Scythic domina* 
tkMi, commenced that Assyrian kingdom which afterwards in its turn ob- 
tained the lordship of Asia : at the close of the old Assyrian domination, 
commenced that identical Assyrian kingdom which rose up when the 
Scythic yoke was broken. Tkus minute is the correspondence in every par* 
ticular'. 

' It matt hdwever be remsifced, ihat Juitlii, tfumgh accurate in the duration wluch h6 
aarigns to Ae Sqrthian empire^ bam confounded the third Ninus with the second. This haff 
desrly arisen, partly frdm his misapplication of the chronological numbers which were 
banded down to him, and partly from the circumstance of the Scythian empire acquiriDg 
the name of Aujprian when Nineveh became the seat of goremment. The Scjthian role, 
be tells us, histed fifteen centuries; wiiidi smn has been produced by adding together 190 
years and 1805 years or the two successive, periods of the first and SecoadvCuthico* Assy- 
rian ^^ynasties. At the close of that term, Ninus threw off the yoke and founded the As« 
Syrian empire : this, he informs us, c<mtinued for the q>ace of thirteen centuries. Now 
the period of fifteen centuries, ascribed to the primeval Scjrthian empire, proves, as we 
have just seen, that the Assjrrian Ninus, who rose up at the dose of it, must have been the 
contemporary of the prophet Jonah; and consequently that his dynasty did not begin to 
ragn, until after the middle of the ninth century before Chriit. But Jusljn knew, that a 
period of thirteen centuries was ascribed to an Assyrian empire, which likewise began with 
a Ninus. Hence, although these thirteen centuries are really the last 1300 years of the 
fifteen centuries during which the Scythian Asqn^tans under two successive dynasties were 
lords of Asia; Justin, by mistaking the third Ninus fimthe eeoondf assigns to the dynasty 
Cnrnded by the tUrdn dmntion which trttfy belongs to the dynasty founded by the eecond. 
In otiier words, he reckons the thirteen oenturies tvnce ooer; and by this error apparently 
Ibrowf back the rise of Ihe goythian empire to an epoch before the deluge. Compare 
Justin. Hist. lib. i. c 1, S. with lib. ii.c 8. 

Fag. Idol. VOL. iiit 3 E 



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402 THE OftlOIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 

soox vr« But, if the Scythic dynasty be the same as the Nimrodian dynastieSi then 
the Nimrodian dynasties must have been composed of Scythic princes : and,* 
since the Scythians are described as havrog nationally obtained tlie lordship 
of Asia ; not only the royal family must have been Scythic, but likewise the 
military nobility and the most efficient part at least of the soldiery. Now 
we know from Scripture, that Nimrod and his immedmte fcdlowers were of 
the house of Cush or Cuth, whence they were called Cushim or Cnthinu 
The imperial Cuthim therefore of Holy Writ must inevitably be the wme as 
the imperial Scythians or Scuthim of Trogus. Whence it will foHow, that 
the Scythians were not of the house of Japhet through the line of Magogs 
as one writer after another has taken for granted on the mere unsupported 
assertion of Josephus ; but that they were niembers of the hotise of Hanv 
through the line of Cush. Such being the case, we may be morally sure, 
that the descent of the Scythians from the Armenian Caucasus, previous to 
their acquiring the sovereignty of Asia, really means, however it may be 
disguised, the descent of the Cuthim, at the head of the subjugated Noa- 
chidae, from mount Ararat into the Babylonian plain of Shinar ; and that 
the national appellation of Scythians or Scuthim b the self-satoe word, 
pronounced only with a sibilant prefix, as Cuthim or Cushim. Conse- 
quently, though the primeval empire of Iran niay not have been improperly 
ealled an Assyrian empire from the locality of its capital Nineveh, and 
though its sovereigns may have been thence familiarly styled Assyrian 
kings : those sovereigns, ""as we may both gather from the scriptural ac- 
count of the foundation of Babylon and Nineveh by the Cuthic Nimrod, 
and as we positively learn from the ancient documents consulted by 

The subjoined table w31 distmctly shcw.the nature and origination of Justin's etxor. . 

1. First Cuthico- Assyrian dynasty lasts 190^ ^n. • • *i 4.\. -^er^ i.. . 

J ^ i i These jointly give the 1500 years, which 

years. f 

3. Second Cuthico- Assyrian dynasty lasts I 



^ V *^ , . . . i Justin, ascribes to his primeval Scythian 



1905 years. ^ ^ 



5. Third Assyrian dynasty commences with/"^'"' mistaking this third dynasty for the 
the lliird Ninus, about the middle of the ( ^^^^* ascribes to it a duration of 1800 
Ainih cent jry before Christ. i 7*"" • ^^^^ *» *^ ^'^^ duration •f tht 

J second. * 



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THB ORIGIN OF BAGAN IDOLATRY* 403 

iTrogus, rca% conistituted, a doable dyiuisty of Cuthic or Scuthic princes \ 
They, and their military nobility, were of an entirely different stock from 
the subjugated multitude of Ashur and Aram and Madai and Elam, much 
as our early Norman kings isnd nobility were perfectly distinct from the 
4Saxon EhgHsii' whom they governed i and so systematically was this dif- 
ference of origin remembefed and present that, at the close even of 
fifteen centuries^ the overthrofw .of the Iranian empire by the revolt of its 
provinces was: considered as the subversion of a Scuthic monarchy. 

I need scarcely remark, (bat these Scuthic lords of Asia, being the same 
as the Nimrodian double dynasty of Assyrian kings which ended with 
ThoDu6 Concolems, most also be identified with the Mahabadian dynasty 
fwi^h i^^sparamouot in Iran previous to the riseof thePi^dadian dynasty. 
Hencethe most eminent of the Mahabadian princes is said to have been 
MaiMt^Beli, who is plainly no other than the great JBelus or Nimrod : and 
benbe the Hindoos properly call the whole of Iran Cushchdwip from the 
Cusbite or Cntbim who were its first rulers* The subject shall now be puiH 
sued tnorein detaili. ^ . ' . , 

* 1. Epiphanius, who has tra]:isthhted to us a most curious epitom^ of the 
-e^rly Scythic history, telle u^ that those nations, which extended southward 
froDl that part of the world where Europe and Asia incline to eacb other, 
were uhiversaliy dbtinguished by. the aincient appellation of ScytUans : and 
he adds, that these were the prime architects Of the tower, and the founders 
of ^bylon. He further tells us, that Scythism prevailed from Ae delu^ 
to the building of the tower, and that it was followed by what he calls Hel^ 
lenism or lonism. He likewise mentions die Scythian succesision, which 
be corinects with the Scythi^&n title : and he informs us, that they both 
lasted until the time efSerug*. -Weimeet with the like account in the 
Paschal Chronicle and in the Chronicle of Eusebius : and it has evidently, 
I think, beejv drawn from the same andent records^ as those which were 

' This double dynasty, in the same CutAic house,' is described, as we have just seen, 
undep the appellation ^( the first and second Assyrian dynustkis the one kstbig I90year»; 
the other, ld05 years. 

» « Epiph. adv. fissr. lib. i* p. 6, S^ 9i 



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404 THE OEIGIK Of PAGAN IJX)LATRV.t 

S00& Ti. consulted by Trogus for the materials of his Scythie history *• Hence it 
appears, not only that the Scythians established a dominant empire in Asia 
anterior to that later Assyrian monarchy which commenced with the third 
Ninus; but likewise that they occupied the whole of Iran quite down to 
tiie southern or Erythr^n sea, and that within those limits they were 
known from the most remote antiquity by the name ofScytha or Scuths. 

Now this identical region is Me oriental land of Cushy mentioned in 
Holy Scripture as being watered by the Hiddekel or Hgris : it is likewise 
the eastern Ethiopia oS the Greek writers ; for, as it is ^ell known,, diey 
invariably call those persons jSf^/Mi?^ wherever situated, whool the in- 
spired historians of the Old Testament denominate Cushitn : and it is als6 
the Cusha^^ip within oiih^ Hindoo geographers, who by this appella^n 
distinguish it from the Cusha^^ip without or the African Cush^Umd or 
the western Ethiopia of the upper Egypt But, in Scripture, the land of 
Cush was no doubt so styled from the circuiiQStance of its having been 
planted by the descendants of Cush : and, in a similar manner^ Cusha- 
dwip in its widest extent is occupied, according to the Hindoos, by the 
children of Cusha or Chasa or Cus or Cui^ Thus we find, that the self* 
same tract of country is alike declared by the Hmdoos and by the scri{>» 
tural writers to have been ruled by the ofibpiiing of a person named Cush 
or Cusha: whence, so far as I can judge, it will inevitably follow, that the 
Indian Cusha or Chasa, as the name is sometimes variously written, must 
be identified with the scriptural Cush. And this conclusion will be yet fiir^- 
ther strengthened by other circumstances. The Indian Cush is said to be 
the son of Brahma, who is one of those three great hero-gods that spring 
from a fourth yet older deity and with their parent are declared to have 
been manifested in the persons of the ark-preserved Menu and his three 
sons ; Cush therefore is described by the Hindoos, as being the grandscm 
of Noah and the o&pring of one of his three children : exactly the same is 
the account, which Moses gives of the scriptural Cush ; he makes him the 
son of Ham, the son of Noah. The Indian Cush is represented, as being 
\un gncestor of Rama; and the names of Cush, Misr, and Rama, still 

' Chron. Ftt^shaL p.lS, Si, 49. Eoieb. Cbvon. p. 13. 



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THE oRroiir or paoait idolatrt. 4M 

iremaih oricbanged in the Sanserif and are still highly rovmfed among the ^^j^* ^ 
Hindoos I here again we may observe the dose accordance of the Mosaical 
narrative; Gush is said to be the fother of Raamah, and the brother of 
Miahr still throughout Egypt denominated Mesr. Sucli multiplied coinci- 
<ledces cannot be accidental : and I think Sir Willkm Jooes perfectly justi- 
fied by circumstantial evidence in expresaihg his conviction^ that the Cush 
of Moses and the Cush of Valmic were one and the same personage \ 

The Hindoo Cusha-dwip then and the scriptural land of Cush are alike 
coincident with Iran, and are alike said to be held by the descendants of 
the patriarch from whom they severally received their appellations. But 
this very Iran or Cusha*dwip is described^ as having been occupied from 
the most remote antiquity by the Scytha^ or Scuths^ who under that iden- 
tical name founded there a great empire which chronologically preceded the 
later Assyrian monarchy* Hence it seems impossible to avdd concluding 
that the 'Scuths of Iran were the self-same people as those, whom the 
scriptural ivriters denominate Cushim and the Hindoos Cushas or Chasas. 
Such must inevitably be our .conclusion, so £Eur as the point of national 
identity is concerned, which is the most important matter to b^ established. 
But this is not an : smce the ancient appellation of tbb Iranian people is 
declared to have been Scytka or Souths, and since we know that the same 
people have ahfoys from their great ancestor been called Cushim or 
Cushas; we are in a manner compelled to suppose, that Scuth^e, Cushim^ 
and Cushas, are one patronymic title, derived alike from the name of 
Cttsh. And such we shall actnally 6nd to be the case. What the Hebrews 
and the Hindoos pronounced Cush, the Babylonians pronounced Cuth: 
and this Change df the M into the th is a distinguishing mark, as it is well 
known, of the Chaldee dialect from the pure scriptural Hebrew, Scutk 
therefore is but Cuth with the sibihmt breathing (Mrefixed, as we may per* 
petually observe it prefixed in innomerable other words * : and Cuth is but 
th6 Babylonic variation of Cush. Accordingly, the very same eastern race^ 

> Asiat Res. voL iii. p. 4S7, 432. See also Asiat Res. vol. iii* p. 54, BS, 131, 139. 
▼ol. ii.p. 132. vol i. p. 427. vol. vi, p. 456. vol. viii. p. 287, 299, 302. 

* Thus we Iiave In^ and Sindi, India and l^nhhu, l( and sex, hfla, and $eptem, ifinf and 
serpo, and the like* 



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406 THE ORIGIN OF TAQAlf IDOLATRY. 

»oox VI. ifhich occu{)ied the heights of tba Indian Caucasus, add wbi^b tbf Gx^^ 
from that circumstance deoomifltated Indo-Sarih or Indo-Si^tkifij are qali^d 
by the Hindoos Chasas or Chasyas ot Cossm or CAtao^: while th^ir 
country, by the Greeks expressed Caucasus, is styled by the Pefsians Coft- 
Cos and by the Hindoos Cbasr^Ghar; bothiwhichappellationg equally ^ 
note the mountain of Cos or Chas or Chm or Cush, who is the acl^iow- 
ledged ancestor of Uiis warlike people \ The same family are allQwed also 
to have communicated their naoie to Cashnttr, aqd Cos f war: and the 
country, which Ptolemy styles Casio, is still inhabited by Chasas^. But 
these all came within the limits of that region ; which the Greeks, from its 
inhabitants, were wont to denominate Indo-Scuthia. 

Branches of the same powerful race inhabited the two more westerly 
CaucBsi ; that on the Caspian, and that on the Euxine sea : and the Greeksi 
accordingly, still called them Souths: but here again we may trace the 
title without the sibilant prefix. When we recollect the limits olf Iran or 
Cusha'^dwip within ; we can scarcely doubt, that the Caspian sea, M'hicb 
washes the foot of a Caucasus or a Cob-Cas, received its name from t^pose, 
whom the Greeks denominated Souths, but who styled themselves Casas or 
Cushas or Cuths or Goths» Add, iq a similar manner, when we 6nd Uie 
Scuthic realm of Colchis spoken of as ^ Cutdic region and IVIedea and her 
fether called Cutatcs or Cuthhans; we are apparently required by analogy 
to suppose, that SctUh and CtUh and Cut and Cush are still to be viewed 
as one title'. 

Thus we have arrived at the conclusion, that the Sqytbians^ who founded 
the primeval empire of Iran, and who were the dominant power of Asia 
long before the rise of the later Assyrian monarchy, were those, whom the 
scriptural writers style. CeaAm apd the Hindoos Cufkas because they were 
the descendantsof the patriarch Cush or Cuth : aqd, agreeably to this con^ 
elusion, they are represented by Epiphanius, as the architects of the tower 
and the builders of Babylon. Here then, if any thing were wanting, wq 

■ Asiat Kes. voL v{. p. 455, 456. * Ibid. p. 456. 

' See ApolL Argon, lib. ii. Ter. 401, 404, 1096, 127L lib. iil ver. 228. lik iv. ver. 518. 
Orph. Argon, ver. 819, 904^ 1004. 



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THE ORICJIN OP PAGAN IDOXATRT* 40/ 

should have an additional proof, that the Souths and the Cuths were the wi^p. tu 
very same, both nationally and nominally. The Scuths, who occupied Iran 
or the eastern land of Cush, were the founders of the tower and city of 
Babel : the Cuths or Cushim, under the command of Nimrod, are said by 
Moses to have been at the head of that general confederacy of the children 
of Noah ; which, by thdr direction and subject to their controul, engaged 
in the self-same project Hence the Scuths of Iran are palpably the de« 
Scendants of the Babylonic Cuthim : and the Scythian empire, which Justin 
describes as preceding the Assyrian and as subsisting for the long space of 
fifl^ centuries, must clearly be the empire of the Cuthim which commenced 
at Babel' We have now therefore, in singular harmony with Holy Scrips 
ture, discovered that n^ost tMcient monarchy in Iran, which was fQunded 
by Ih65euihs or Cushim, and which subsisted after the dispersion until the 
Hse of the later Assyrian empire under the third 'Ninus. 

l2. Here however it Wilt be proper to inquire, what can be meant by 
Epiphanius and Eusebius/ and the writer of the Paschal Chronicle, when 
^ey assert, that*Sdythism lasted firom the flood to the building of the tower, 
and that then Hellenism or lonism commenced : for it might s^m from 
such an assertion, that the Scuthic or Cuthic empire Unmnated at the very 
epoch, where (according to Scripture) \t began* 

(1.) On this jpoint we must carefully observe, that those authors very 
accurately speiak of Scythism and lonism, not as two successive empires^ 
but as two successive Heresies or forMs of false and apostutical religion* 
The first they describe,' as pi-evaiting from the deluge to the building of the 
tower : the second they represent, as commencing with the earliest founda*^ 
ijon of that edifice. Now, except that iflie Seythic heresy is carried up too 
high, we have nothing here that at all contradicts either Scripture, which 
makes the settled Cuttiiceuipire begin at Bdbel', or Trogus, who had 
learned firomotd documents 'that: it lasted fifitten hundred years and was 
then succeede<] by an Assyrian n)onarcby« . . 

It is obvious, that the remsirkable systeih of idolatry, which they of the 
dispersion carried to every part of the gtobe, could not liave been contrived 



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408 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN lOOlATEY^ 



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THE ORIGIN OF TAG AN IBOLATRT. 409 

1 am much mistaken, if some dissention on these pointo did not prevail ob^p. lu 
at Babel itself: and I think there is reason for believing, that the alterca* 
tion betvreen the rival sects aided the confusion of lai^uages in producing 
the dispersion. The Hindoos have a most curious legend relative to this 
matter^ which occurs in the Servarasa, and which throws a very strong 
light on the old historj^ that describes Icmism as supplanting Scythism at 
the era of the tower. . "^ 

When Sati, after the aDtediluviatx close of her existence as the daughter 
of Daesha^ sprang again to life in the character of the mountain-born Par* 
rati, who .floated as the ship Argha on the suriace of the flood ; she was 
reunited in marriage to Siva. This divine pair, like the classical Jupiter 
and Juno, had once an unlucky dispute on tbe comparative influence of 
the sexes in producing animated beings : and, to se^ttle the difference, they 
each resolved, by mutual agreement, to create apart a new race of men. 
Those produced by Siva (the story is palpably told by an Ionic theologian) 
devoted themselves exclusively to the worship of the male deity : but their 
intellects were dull, their bodies feeble, their limbs distorted, and their 
complexions of various hues. Those, on the contrary, to whom Parvati 
gave birth, adored the female power only : and they had universally floe 
shapes, beautiful complexions, and an engaging aspect. The former, from 
the object of their worship, were called Lingq^ds or adorers of the male, 
principle: the latter, similarly from the object of their veneration, were 
denominated Yomjas or adorers of the female principle. A furious contest 
ensued between them ; and the Lingajas were defeated in battle : whicb 
so irritated Siva, that he would have instantly destroyed the Yonijas* had 
not Parvati interposed in their behalf. They were spared only on con* 
dition of emigrating from the scene of action. This, accordingly, they left: 
and they settled, as we are taught by the Puranas, partly on the borders 
of Varaha-dwip or Europe, where they became tbe progenitors of the 
Greeks ; and partly in the two dwipas of Cusha, Asiatic and African. la 
the Asiatic Cusha-dwip they long supported themselves by violence and 
lapine : Parvati however, or their tutelary goddess Yoni, always protected 
Fag. IdoL VOL. iii. 3 F 



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410 Tfm ORIGIK OP PAGAN IDOLATftTi 

•00* vu them; and at length, in the fine country which they occupied, they beeatno 
a floorkbii^ nation '• 

This legend is^ not very difficult to be understood ; though the andent 
history, which it contains, is told in an allegorical, sort of manner. The 
Yonijas are evidently the votaries of lonism or Hellenism; while the Lin^ 
gajas are the adherents of Scythism. Their contest ends id a dispersion : 
yet the Yonijas, besides colonizing Greece and the African: Ethiopia, soc^ 
^eed in founding a powerful empire in Cusha^dwip within or tlie Asiatic 
Ethiopia ; which, as we have seen, eoineides geographically with Irwa^ 
Here then we have agaiiv the old Scythic empire ; whieh aiose at the er« 
of the tower, which supported itself by rapine and violence, which waa 
seated within the limits of Iran, and which flourished until the me of the 
later Assyrian monarchy. 

Thus it appears, that, when Scythism gave place to lonism at the era of 
the tower; it was not, that the Scythic em^re then terminated, but that a 
more complicated system of idolatry was adopted by the mixed multitude 
^f which it was composed. And this exactly accords with what we have 
found to be matter of fact. The pure Scythians, who branched off from 
Babel and who seem in the first instance to have seated tliemselves in the 
Armenian and the Indian Caucasi, retained the simplicity of the eaiiy super- 
stition, and venerated the great father under the names oi Buddha and Saca 
and Teut and Soman and Cadam: while those, who remained in centrical 
Iran, dominant over the Ashurites and Elamites and other descendants of 
Shem, and who established thfe- great Scythic empire which lasted from the 
era of the tower to the rise of the later Assyrian monarchy, continued, as 
every part of their my thologic history testifies, to be zealous votaries of the 
Yoni or lonah^or navicular female principle assuming the form of a dove. 
Agreeably to this ancient Indian tradition, we find, that the Scuths of Iran, 
ki addition to their family name, topk the title of lonitn or (as the Hindoos 
would express the word) Yonijas from their favourite goddess ; and that 
their captain Nimrod eminently called himself /ow, or lonan^ or the prin- 
cipal Yonija. The author of the Paschal Chronicle assures us, according 

^ Aoat. Res. voL iiL p. 125—182. 



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.THE ORiPiK or X^AOAN II>OI(AT&T. 411 

fo tlie accarate mioirmiition which he ha<} been at the pains to collect, that tsAF. lu 
the looim were the cbiefe of the Scythic empire, that they were the descend- 
ants of lonan who was one of tiie leadii^ architects of the tower when the 
languages q{ men were confounded \ Hence the lonah or dove was the 
Qational baooer of the' Assyrian emfmiay as it bad abready been of the Scyr 
tbic empire ; and, as such, it is alluded to in more than one [dace of Holy 
Scripbire *• This banner was the sign or token, which was adojited from 
the very cmnmeacement of the building of the tower, and which served as 
a rallying pohit lest the huge heterogeneous multitude should be scattered 
abroad upon the face of the whole earth '• 

(2.) While Epiphanius informs us, that the Scythic heresy pre^iled from 
the flood to the tower, he adds, that the Scythic succession and the Scythic 
name terminated in the days of Serug\ 

We have here a most curious piece of ancient htttory, which throws 
much li^t on the early postdiluvian transactions. By tJic Scythic success 
IMO I understand thejirst CuthicthAisjfrian dynasty m tht direct Urn of 
the home ofNimrod; md^ by the Scythic name, the Scythian or Cut hie 
appellation qfthe empire at large. We are taught therefore, that the first 
Guthic dynasty became extinct in the days of Serug; and that, at the same 
twe, the orii^al ScytUic name w title of the empire fell into disuse, being 
supplanted by some other title which henceforth was more commonly borne 
by the empire. la both these particulars the old recwds consulted by 
^iptumius are perfectly accurate* According to Berosus, the first dy- 
nasty, which commenced at Babylon, reigned 190 years. Now, as we shall 
pres^tly. see, this dynasty arose with Nimrod aboCit the year 613 after the 
flood : and, as its duration was 190 years, it terminated in the year 803 
after the same epoch. But Serug, as we shall also see, was bom in the 

' Cbron. PimcIi. p. 49. 
» See Jerem, xv. SS, xhi. 16. 1. 1«. Zeph* iii. 1. The wor^ ^MA in thete leveral 
passages i$ rendered in our English Tersion oppr$sw^ or opfrcuoTp fugfafe to be translated 
cftke dove. 

^ Gen. xL 4k Our English translators render the word a name : but a name could not 
frisvent dispersion, though a tAen migfat.. Vide supra book t« c S.^ j I-8v 

4 ]^iph« ad?* h»r» lib* i% p* St 



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412 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATEr. 

BOOK VK year 663, and died in the year 893, after the flood \ Hence it is manifest; 
that the Scytbic succession or first Cutbic dynasty terminated in the days 
of Serug. At this same period, with the accession of the second ^asty 
under the second Ninus, the name of the empire was changed : and, the 
Scythic title, though never entirely forgotten, was henceforth supeMeded 
by the Assyrian *• ' 

(3.) It remains only to account for the assertion, that the Scythic heresy 
prevailed from the flood to the tower : and this also may be done without 
■ much difficulty. 

In the very nature of things, false religion could only originate from a 
corruption of time religion. But corruption creeps in so gradually, that it 
is not easy to ascertain the precise place where the true is altogether smo* 
thered by the false. In addition to this circumstance, the votaries of Scy-^ 
thism would naturally wish to render their system more venerable by 
claiming for it the highest antiquity ; just as tlie Buddhists contend, that 
their theology, which is substantially the same as Scythism, has existed 
from the beginning. Hence Scythism would be carried up to the flood : 
and, as Noah is made the first king of every ancient nation, so he would 
himself be deemed a Scyth and would be viewed as the tnost early po8t«>* 
dituvian manifestation of Buddha. Accordingly we find, that the atk- 
preserved Deucalion of Syria is by Lucian denominated a S&fthian : not 
as being 'ixally a South or CutlHte, for that gentile name was taken ifatd 
his grandson Cuth ; but as being reputedly the founder of the Scythic the-i 
ology and the head of what £4)tphanius calls the Scythic succession or. 
iynasty. We likewise find, that, under the title of Maha^Bad or the great 
Buddhaj which is in a manner equivalent to the title of the Scuth or Hie 
great Softhic^ he is made the first sovereign of the primeval cmpu*e of 
Iran J and is said to have been the contriver of a very singular polity, 
which is ascribed indeed to him for the sake of enhancing its authority, 
but which in truth was struck out by that Machiavellian schemer Nimrod. 
Agreeably to such opbions, which no doubt were industriously dissemi* 

' See Append. Tab. Ill and IV. 

* Thus, in modern times, the official title of The Ht>Iy Roman empire has been ahnost 
forgotten in the more familiar aanie of The German empire. 



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*HE pttlCtir OP PAGAN IDOIATET* 41 S 

Mted, Noah, as ^e have repeatedly seen, was always vfeweS, as the Archi- 
mage or Archdrukl or first Hierophant or original founder of the reigning 
idolatry ; wid every other Archimage or Hierophant was esteemed his suc- 
cessor and not unfrequently his incarnate representative. 
. V. Truth is so uniform and simple^ that, if one position be firmly esta- 
blished, it commonly leads to a clear development of all other connected 
nmtters. Now the position, which I consider as finally determined, is 
the umocrsal assemblage of mankind at Babel in one great community: 
and this position, if I mistake not, will lead to the ascertaining of a very 
important era ; the era of the tower, and consequently the era of Nimrod's 
Seythic empire, for Babel is said to have been the beginning of his king- 
dom. 

h The assemblage at Babel was so universal, and the emigration from 
Armenia was so complete, that I almost doubt whether we can admit of 
any exceptions. My reasons for such an c^inion are these. 
- The language of the historian necessarily implies universality. But to 
this it may be answered, that no rule is so general as. to be wholly without 
e^fceptum. Allowing then the cogency of such a reply, we may ask, 
What persons would most probably be excepted from the general rule ? 
The obvious answeris ; Noah and his three sons if they were alive at the 
time of the emigration^ and the line of patriarchs ff^om Shem to faithful 
Abraham. 

Now of these the latter certainly cannot be excepted, because we find 
the ancestors of Abraham seated at Ur in the Babylonic land of the Chus- 
dim or Chald^ns; which of course would not have b^en the case, unless 
they had emigrated at the time of the first journey from Armenia to SKi-^ 
Bar*: our inquiry therefore is exclusively limited to the former. 

If then we suppose Noah and the three great patriarchs to have been 
alive at the epoch of the emigration, it is on every account in t^e highest . 
degree improbable that they should have joined in such enterprize: for 
botb their advanced age, particularly that of Noah, would render them 
averse firom a long and perilous journey ; and they would be perfectly awara 

» GeB. xi. 28, Sh 



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414 IHJl OWOIN OF PAGAN I]X>Z*ATBT« 

BOOK vjt that an emigration in one body wai m diirect opposition to ^)[mrpoM0 of 
heaven^ so that we cannot bring tbem to Babel without most incredibly 
making them hoary rebels against the God whom they senrod' in their 
youth. .... 

But the question is, whether they could haif$ been alWe at the tipodi ci 
the emigration : and this question every consideratioa obUges'ine fio answer 
in the negative. When we recollect the regal maxims of pabiarckal go«* 
yernmenty the high veneration in which Noah was held as an umversal 
sovereign, and the subordinate revierence which his three sons would enjoy 
as the three kbgs of the divided world : it is strangely incredible to Bup<* 
pose, that Nunrod, the very youngest of the sons of Cush the grandson of 
Noah, should obtain such a degree of influence during the lives of the four 
great patriarchs, as to persuade all mankind, with some trifling individual 
exceptions we will say, to acknowledge him as their supreme head and 
under his sole controul to quit their aboriginal settlements. Soeh a revo* 
lution must have been the work of time : and, from the place whkh Nim- 
rod holds in the genealogy as the son apparently of his father's old age, the 
very seeds of it could not have been sown until many years after the deluge* 
These seeds would require a considerable time to grow up to maturity, for 
extensive influence is not acquired in a day : and it jseems necessary to be- 
lieve, that the prescriptive authority of Noah and his three son&was dis*^ 
solved by the hand of death, ere the machinations of Nimrod developed 
themselves in action, and ere that ambitious dueftam peiBuaded all men to 
follow him from Armenia. 

The conclusion, tp which we are led by such reasonbg, will acquire the 
semblance of almost absolute certainty, if we next advert to a matter, which 
is too prominent to be overlooked. We have seen, that the idolatry of 
the whole earth must have been brought ready fashioned firom BabeL But 
a leading feature of that idolatry is the astronomical worship of Noah and 
his three sons, viewed as transmigrative reappearances of Adam and his 
three sons. Now it is obvious, that this idolatry, whether under the more 
simple form of Buddhic Scjthism or under tiie more complicated form of 
Brahmenic lonism, could not have been introduced so long as Noah and 
his triple offspring were alive: for they certainly could not have been tran- 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATUT* 415 

frtat^ to the heavenly bodies, and Imve been venerated as defonct hero-gods cn^r. n. 
now become celestial speculators, until iffier their death ; agreeably to the 
vwy accurate account, which Hesiod gives us of the posthumoui canoniza* 
tion of the first race of mortals \ Scythism however preceded the tower ; 
loniam cotmnenced with the tower; and, at the time of tlie dispersion, each 
modifloation of the same hero*worship was conveyed to every quarter of 
the^i^e, where accordingly we have found it in actual existence. Hence 
ft4i manifest, that Noah and his three sons must have died, not only before 
the building of the tower, but likewise before the emigration from Armenia: 
because, without the admission of this circumstance, it is utterly impossible 
to account for the rise of idolatry at the precise period when it must have 
risenr 

Witli this opinion, which is deduced from mere reasoning, positive and 
direct histimcal testimony will be found perfectly to accord. Epiphanius 
tells us, from the same documents whence be borrowed his Scythic history, 
that Noah resided in Armenia to the time of his death; that hb descend- 
ants multiplied there until the fifth generation, for the space of 659 years; 
and that in that fifth generation. Bad not before, when now their numbers 
were greatly increased, they left the land of Ararat, and journeyed to Shi- 
par \ The ancient Babylonic history, compiled by Berosus from the na- 
tional archives, sets forth also the very same hct Xisuthrus, we are 
informed, was translated to heaven, or in plain English died, previous to 
the emigration from Armenia to Shinar ; so that the ancestors of those who 
founded Babylon journeyed without him^ he himself not witnessing even 
the eammencement of their journey. Nor is this all : we are assured, that 
tiie wife and children of Xisuthrus were likewise translated or died, before 
the emigration took. placed I think indeed, that the records consulted by 
Epiphanius allot too long a period for the continuance of mankind in Ar- 
menia, when they extend it to &59 years : but we have here direct testi- 
mony to the factf that Noah and hb sons died previous to the emigration, 
which was the whole that I was bound to establish. We have moreover, 
in the Babylonic account, the death of those patriarchs described to us 

> Hesiod. Oper. et dier. Vb. i. rer. 108—125. * Epiph. adv. haer. lib. i. p. 5, 6. 

< Euieb. Chron. p. 8, SyncelL Cbronog. p. SO. Eos^, Prsep. Evan, lib, ix. c 12. 



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41(S THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY 

BOOR Tx. perfectly according to the genius of bero-ivorship : they were translated to 
heaven, and became the gods of their posterity. 

Thus the universality, which Moses ascribes to the assembling together 
at Babel, is complete. For there are but two probable exceptions to tiie 
general rule; the four great patriarchs, and tlie ancestcn^ of Abrahrai ia 
the line of Shem: and, of these, the four patriarchs died previous to the 
emigration from Armenia ; and the ancestors of Abrahaoi certainly wereeX 
Babel. In fact, it was their lapse into at least partial idolatry, which ren- 
dered the call of Abraham necessary '. 

The emigration then from Armenia did not take place, until aiiter the 
death of the four great patriarchs. But Noah died in the year aflter the 
flood 350 : and, as Shem died in the year after the flood 502, we may con* 
elude that his two brothers departed much abqut.the same time. . Hence, 
though the records consulted by Epiphanius seem to have allotted too long 
a space to the residence of mankind in Armenia when they extend it to 
659 years, yet the emigration could not have commenced before the year 
502 after the flood. 

The next great event to the emigration from Armenia was the dispersion 
from Babel and the subsequent division of the earth. This is indefinitely 
stated by Moses to have occurred in the days of Peleg : for that patriarch, 
it seems, received his name, which signifies division, from the circumstance 
of the earth being divided in the course of his life-time*. I say indefi-- 
mteljf ; because we have proof positive, that the division could not have 
taken place at the epoch of Peleg's birth^ as some have imagined. In the 
tenth chapter of Genesis we have a list of the several patriarchs, among 
whose children the earth was divided : hence all those patiiarchs must have 

' See Josh. ;cxlv. 2. where the idolatry of Abraham's (uicestors is expressly asserted. 

* Gen. X. 25. Mr. Catcott, in his Treatise on the deluge, wildly supposes, that die 
division of the earth, from which Peleg received his name, was not its territorial distribu- 
tion among the children of Noah, but the disruption of South* America from the coDtin^t 
of Africa : just as if such an event, supposing it to have then actually happened, could have 
been known to the single community settled in the very heart of Asia on the banks of the 
Euphrates. As Moses is treating of the territorial division of the earth when* he mentions 
the name of Peleg, the general context obviously requires us to conclude^ that that is the 
division to which the name relates. 



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T»» OEWIK OF fAGAy IDOLATAY. , 4l7 

}>e€tt bwa frefiious to the em of 9iieb divisbiu But io this list are ebuoie* ^^^' » 
rat^ tto le&s than tbineeii sonsof Joktao^ ^jfounger brother of Feleg*. 
Cooeequentlyi as Abp* Uaber acutely remarkd, the divisiou must have beep 
acconpllsbed nmgf years ^ter P^'s birth \ And this will accord with 
the language nsod ^ Moses : ft)r be does not tell us, that the earth wap 
divided at tbe precise point when Pel^ was hom^ but only that i^ was 
divided m hk dap or duritfg hu lifd-time. Nor is there any difficulty with 
respect to dte conferring of the name. The significant appellations of the 
imtriorchs iwere Somettuies giren by prophetic anticipation, as in the cases 
9f Noah and Japhet: and the circumstance of Peleg's having thirteen 
tiephewtt alive at the enaof the dispersion suiBdratly proves, that 9uch alsp 
mast have been the case with hkcu Now Peleg lived 9S9 years. The 
divisioB therefore must have been made so fitr on in his life, as to allow hie 
yoonger brother to be <be parent of thirteen adult sons. 
'. 8» fiut here we are encountered by a difficulty* According to the chro- 
nology of tbe Hebrew Pentateucfa, Pekg was bom in the year 101 after 
the flood, and died in the year 340 after the same era : so that he was not 
pnly bom, but even died, many years before the death of Shem ; which 
took pbDM in tbe year 4fOfl after the flood. Hence it appears, that Pele^ 
u whose days the earth was divided, is made to doe long before the death 
0f Shem; vFbich death of Shem precodl^d^ as we have seen, not only the 
diviskm but even tiie airterior emigmtion from Armenia. It is certain 
Iherefore, if tbe Hebrew chronology be accurate, that mankind must have 
j}u)tted Armenia,, nnist have built tbe tower, and must have been dispersed 
oyer itbe ' fcoe of the Whole earth, not merely during ^ life-time of Shem, 
but even during the life*ttme t^Noah himself: for Peleg, according to that 
chronology, died in tbe year 340 after the flood, while Noah did not die 
ttAtfl the year 950 aAer the same epoch '. 

The more I have consklered the early postdiluvian chronology of the 
. jiebrew Pentatei}ch, the more convinced I am tiiat the oriental Chrbtians 

\ ■ Gen. X. 25— Sa * Aimal. in ann. mund. 1757. 

' See Append. Tab. I. 

Pag. IdoK yo}.. iiu SO 



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4 IS THE 0RI6IV OF JAGAIT IDO£ATar« 

BOOK vu did wisely in rejecting it as palpably corrupt and erroneous \ If we addpi 
it> we shall find ourselves hampered on every side with invinctUe dilkul* 
ties and contradictions. We must believe^ tbat^ when the awftil cata»» 
troph^ of the flood was but as an event of yesterday, a general apostas]^ 
itself always a gradual work of time, took place from pure religion. Wt 
must believei that Noah and hb three sons were translated to the ^era 
and erected into demon-gods, while as yet they were living mortals upon 
the face of the earth. We must believe, that, notwithstanding they wert 
extravagantly venerated as gods, they were yet disobeyed as men and as 
princes : for we must admit, that all their children rebelled against tliea^ 
threw off with a high hand the yoke of their patriarchal authority, and 
marched away in a body under the command of Nimrod. We must be* 
Keve, that th^ accomplished this feat^ and built a stupendous pyramid of 
brick each side of which measured a furiong, at so eariy a period^ that it 
seems physically impossible for an adequate number of pemons to have 
been then produced from only three original pairs \ We nmrt believe^ 
that they were not only equal to such enterprizes, but that tbe mere be^ 
ginning of their empire comprized four cities ; and that ibiir others, one of 
the least noted of which b styled a great inty^ were soon afienvardi 
erected '• We must believe, dmt a great-grandson of Noah, evidently the 
youngest of the children of Cush, acquired the wonderful influence, which 
we have seen him exerting, not only while the sovereign patriarch aiid his 
triple offspring were all living and while tbe latter were in their full strength 
and vigour, but during his own mere boyhood : so that a raw striping 
should have been the conductor of a successful rebellion against tbe deep« 
rooted and prescriptive authority of those; whom yet, though he 1^ 
thrown off their rule as princes, he persuaded his lawless followers to 
worship as gods. We must believe^ that Abraham, who is described, as 
dying in a good old age, an old man and full of years, as the term oi 
hqman life then was : that this identical aged Abraham yet died 3S years 

s Dr. Hales has some valuable reasoning on this pomt. I quite agree with him in 
tejedtng tbe early po«tdilu?ian chronology of the Hebrew Pentateuch. See Chrond^ 
vol. L p. 74— a9* 

• Strab.Geog.lib.xn.p*7S8r ? Gen. ju 10— 12* 



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tUE ORIGIN OF PA6Air IDOLATRY* 419 

Wore^his remote ancestor Sheniy 3 years before Selab, and no less than chap.ik. 
75 years before Eber '. We must believe, that he survived his own fatl^er 
Terah no more than^40 years : when yet we are assured, that he was 75 
years old when be left Haran where Terah had died, and that he himself 
died at the age of 175 years ; which of course would make him survive his 
fttber a whole century \ We must finally believe, In addition to all these 
palpable contradictions, that Abraham was contemporary with Noah for 
the space of 58 years and with Shem during his whole life : that Isaac was 
born only 4£ years after the death of Noah, and that be was contemporary 
with Sheoi 1 10 years : and^ as not thejeast mention is made of any inter- 
coarse between Abraham or Isaac and those venerable patriarchs, that 
both Abraham and Isaac and the various nations among which they so-» 
joumed were alike ignorant of, and indifferent about, their very existence 
All these matters^ to say nothing of the rise of various comparatively power- 
ful monarchies witiiin the four first centuries after the flood, we must be- 
lieve, in some instances contrary to the parallel testimony of the Pentateuch 
itselff if we choose to abide by the Hebrew chronology*. Hence I have 
no scruple in rejecting it; if not for other more consequential reasons, yet 
for this palpable and direct one : the chronology makes Abraham survive 
bb father (Nily 40 years ; the history naakes him aurvive him a whole ceo^ 
tury*. 

' Gen* xzv. 8. See Append* Tab* L 

« Geiuxi. 81, 82: xiL 4b xxv* 7. Our tianslaton, as if senrible of tbig difficulty, render 
Crea^^U, h ihc Lard had md$ bjr waj nf iaqplying,! soppote, jthtt the caU of Abraham 
was antecedent to the death of Terah. Bat this is purely their own gloss: the original 
runs the Lord ioid; and the plain order of events is, the emigration from Ur to Haran^ 
the death of Terah in Haran, and the emigration of Abraham from Haran when 75 yearn 
oUU See Append. Tab. L ^ See Append. Tab. I. 

^ I do not speak, as ignorant of the manner in which Abp, Usher attempts to get over 
das difficult and yet to retain the dironology of the Hebrew: but I am not satis^ with 
it, notwithstanding the approbation which it has received from the very learned Dr. 
Hales. 

Usher deducts 75 years^ the age of Abraham, when he left Haran, from 205 years, tha 
age of Terah at the time of his death : and the result being 130, he pronotmces Terah to 
have beea.180 j&m:o\di when Abrahaiin was bora. But it is saidt that Terak lived 70 



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4£0 THE ORIGIN OF PAdAN IDOLATBr« 

»ooH VI. In rejecting the chronology of the Hebrew Pentateuch, we are by no 
means however left without resource. Josephus, the Greek interpreiersi 

jfears^ and begat Abraham^ Nahor, and Haran: how then are the tvonuiiAeny 70 and 
ISO, to be reconciled ? To solve the difficulty» the Abp. aaserts, Att Hanui wag the cUaH 
son, and that he only was born when his &ther was 70 ; that Nahoc was the second iMk^ 
and was bom at some indefinite time afterwards ; and that Abraham was . the jfoungest^ 
and was bom when his father was 130 years old* Now this very unnatural mode of ex« 
plaining the declaration, that Terah was 70 when he begat Abraham Nahor and Haran^ 
is in itself plainly gratuitous, unless .it can be supported by some weighty argument: the 
. argument adduced therefore n this. San^ #aB only 10 yeacs younger than Abrahaa 
(Gen. xvii. 15—17.) : but Sarah was the same person as Iscah^ wh# was the dau^btar of 
Abraham's brother Haran (Gen. xi. 29) : therefore Haran, though mentioned last, must 
have been considerably older than his brother Abraham ; otherwise Abraham could not 
possibly have been no more than 10 years senior to his wife and niece Sarah or Iscah : 
consequently, it was Haran, not Abraham, that was bora when his father l^rah was 79 
years of age. 

It is obvious, that the whole of this argument rests upon the pontion, that Sarah tMU the 
fame person as Iscah and therefore the daughter of Haran. But the position i/i^requirea 
proof; nor does the text referred to (Gen. xi. 29.) at all determine the matter. It b 
said indeed, that Haran was the father of Milcah and Iscah ; and it is likewise said, that 
Nahor espoused his niece Milcah : but not the slightest intimation is given, that Sarah the 
wife of Atnaham was the same person as Iscah. Would we: therefore ascertain the rda« 
tionship of Sarah to Abraham, we must direct our attention elsewhere. Now Abtafaani 
himself says of her. She is my sister: she is the daughter ofmyjather^ but not the daughter 
qfmy mother (Gen. xx. 12). Hence it appears, that she was not his niece (the point neces- 
sary to Usher's hypothesis), but his half-sister, being the dai^hter of Terah by a second 
wife. Such being the case, the whole argument deduced fh>m the comparative ages of 
Abraham and Sarah rests upon a sandy foundation, and we have no proof whatsoevi^rthaC 
HQran was the elder brother of Abraham. See ITsser^ Aimal. m A* P. J. 2718, 2788* 
Haks's Clironol. voL L p. 23, 24. 

The Abp. and Dr. Hales are sensible of the importance of tiiis last texti consequ^Uy^ 
they attempt to do away its force. For this purpose, they contend, that, when Abraluua 
^describes Sarah as being the daughter of his fhther, he really means his grandaughter. I 
need scarcely remark, that we have here a wholly gratuitous conjecture, though a coa^ 
jeeture doubtless very necessary to the theory 'm question: I can discern howevev not a 
•hadow of authority for making it. Since we read, that Terah was 70 years old when he 
begat Abraham Nahor and Haran ; the natural presumption is, that Abraham was the 
eldest and that his two brothers were bom two*or three years subsequenfiy : and, since wa 
are told, that Savah was the daughter of Abraham*! father tboi^ not ofhisaiacher; tha 



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rflfi ORIGIN OF FA<IAN fPOLATBT* 421 

ttnd the ambient Sanmiitan Peotateuchi furnish Qg each with an early post* orap. ii. 
diluvian chroriblogy : but, as they all differ from the Hebrew, so they all 
in varioM points differ from each other* The Hebrew chronology has 
been tried and rejected^ as unable to bear the test of comparative criticism: 
and I know not how we are to decide between the claims of the other threes 
except by going through a similar process* ' 

3. Of Jc^ephus it may be briefly said, that, as be agrees with the He^ 
brew in fixing the birth of Abrs^am to the year 29S after the flood, and 
yet perpetudly and largely varies from the Hebrew in the antecedent num* 
bers) he stands self-Ksontaradicted : for his variation in the antecedent Hum**' 
bers is to so very great an amount that, instead of bringing out 298 as tiie 
|iesult| it'wHl bring out a sum more by several centuries'. 

4. Hie (Chronology, exhibited by the Greek interpreters, is equally uii<« 
tenable. A generation b introduced between Arpbazad and Selah; which 
is alike unknown to the Hebrew, the Samaritan, the author of the first book 
oir Chronicles, and Josephus : for a person named Cainan is made the 
father of Sdah and the son of Arphaxad. TMs error; which from the Sep^ 
tuagint has crept into St. Luke's genealogy of our Lord, may indeed be 
easily corrected by erasing the name of Cainan ; and, in fact, the text does 

olmoiit infincence seems to he^ that die was not his niecep .but his hatf'wUr. These con- 
dusions win receive additional strength, if we compare them together : for, if Abraham, 
Nahor, and Haran, were the eons of Terah by his first wife \ it is perfectly according to 
the order of nature, that Abraham, the eldest^ should be about 10 years senior to his 
half-sister StEUtdiythe ofipring of a xfome/ marriage. We shdl presently see^ that th0 
conclusions are decidedly established by the valuable chronology of the Samaritan Pen« 
tateoch. There, by shortening the life of Terah to 145 years, Abraham is made to be 
bom when his father is 70, and to leave Haran at the deiUh of his father, himself then 
being precisely 75 years old. 

' See Joseph. Ant. Jud. Kb. i. c.v\.§ S. Dr. Hales strikes out, as an interpolated foN 
gery, the assertion of Josephus that Abraham was bom A. P. D. 292. See Chron. vol. i^ 
p. 95. He like?nse makes othet corrections, in order that he may be enabled to adopt 
die chronology of the Jewish historian as the basis of his own very vduable work. I think 
him perfectly right, as I have already intimated, in rejecting the shorter computation of 
ihe Hebriew : but I caA place little dependence on a chronological system like that of Jo- 
sephus, which confeuMif is incapable of being used without much previous conjectural 
rmendati(m« 



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422 THE ORIOIV OF PAGAN IDOLATRr. 

300X vu in a manner cdrrect itself: for the spurious Cainai^ aod'Selah are mader. 
each to become a father at the same age, and each tp die «A the same age ; 
so that the years of Selah have evideotly been given to CainaO) who from 
the antediluvian has been foisted into the postdiluvian table. of descents V 
But, even ^hen the interpolated generation has beea thro«i^a put, we shall 
still find the present chronologicaL system irreconcileable mtii the JUato- 
rical detail : for the chronology m&kes Terah mrvive Abrahftm 60 years ; 
while the history makes Abraham outlive Terah a whole century ^ Henc^ 
I think, we are compiled to reject the chronology of the Greek interpret 
ters ; as we have already rejected both that of the Hebrew^ and that of 
Josephus^ 

5. The chronology of the Samaritan Pentateuch now alone remains :i 
and I cannot but believe, th^t this invaluable system has been preserved 
to us by the special good providence of God^ in order that the cavils of 
infidelity may t)e effectually put to silence. I have examined it with all the 
severity of atteution which I can command ; and, from beginning to end, 
I have beaa utterly unable to discover the least flaw. We have here no 
statements contradictory to the historical narrative : we have here none of 
those perplexing difficulties, which meet us at each step in the Hebrew 
chronology. Every thing is throughout clear and consistent : insomuch 
that no better evidence can be afforded tis of the accuracy^ with which 
Moses details the early postdiluvian events, than the excellent table of 
descents exhibited to us in the Samaritan Pentateuch. Shem is repre- 
presented as dying, nearly a century and a half before the death of Pele^ 

> On the interpolation of the second Cainaa, see Hales's Chronol. voL t. p. 90-— 94. 

* The Ixx say, that Terah was 70 years old at the birth of Abraham, and that after* 
wafi}s he lived 205 years in the land of Haran ; thus making him die at the age of 275 
years. Gen. xi. 26, 32. Now such an arrangement necessarily exhibits him as dying 30 
years after the decease of his son Abraham. Let us however admit, that in the land of 
Haran is an interpolation, as it does not occur either in the Hebrew or the Samaritan s 
and consequently that the Greek, like the Hebrew, makes Terah only 205 years old at 
the time of his death : we shdl still find the chronology irreconcileable with the history. 
For, although Terah will not then indeed survive Abraham ; yet hQ will die no more thaa 
40, instead of 100^ years before the death of his son. 

« See Append. Tab. H. 



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THE OftlGlN OF FAOAN IDOLATRT. 4S8 

and little less than four centaries and a half before the birth of Abraham : csap. ib, 
while Abraham^ in exact accordance with the history, dies precisely 100 
years after his father Terah. Consequently, since the dispersion from 
Babd most have taken place towards tiie latter end of Peleg^s life, in order 
that we may allow time for the thirteen sons of his younger brother Joktan 
to have become heads of families; both Noah and Shem will have died, 
as we proved they must have died, prior to the emigration from Armenia : 
and thus all the strange difficulties, with which we are hampered by the 
Hebrew chronology, will b^entirely avoided. We shall have no occasion 
to wmider, how Nimrod could acquire such a marvellous degree of autho* 
rity, while he himself was a mere boy and while the four royal patriarchs 
were yet living. We shall have no need to puzzle oursidves with computing, 
bow a multitude, sufficiently large to build the tower and to found the 
•Cathie enipire of Babel, coukl have been produced from three pairs within 
the very short time allowed Uxr that purpose! by the Hebrew Pentateuch. 
We shall be undei^ no obligatioQ to account for the total silence respecting 
SbetD, which pervades the entire hbtory of Abraham : that patriarch is not 
mentioned for the y&ry best of all possible reasons; instead of surviving 
Abraham 35 years, he had died m Armenia no less than 440 years before 
Abraham was bom. 

Nor is this tiie only service rendered by the Samaritan chronology : it 
makes sacred history perfectly accord with profane, while the Hebrew 
chronology sets them at complete variance with each other. The Baby- 
l(mic hbtory of Berosus, and the old records consulted by Epiphanius, 
equally place the death of Noah and bis sons before the emigration from 
Armenia ; and the worsliip of them as astronomical hero-gods, which even 
at the latest must have commenced previous to the dispersion, necessarily 
supposes their antecedent decease With this the Samaritan chronology 
exactly agrees : for it makes Shem die 138 years before the departure of 
Peleg, and thus allows an ample space of time for the subsequent emigra^ 
tion and dispersion ; while the Hebrew chronology throws every thing into 
inextricable confusion, by placing the death of Noah 10 years, and the 
death of Shem 162 years, after the death of Peleg. 

Here then we may rest with safety, conscious that we have at length met 



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424 THB OftWJN^ OF FAdAN JBOJUTftT^ 

^0% vz. ^Jth ma unerring guide whode &oturftcy wiU bid de^mcfi 6?6ii to ^ vw^ 
malignant scrutiny '• 

6. We are now ftur advanced in ascertaining tbcjer^ of &e Cutbic empirt 
t)f Nimrod : let us 3ee, if we cannot come almost to the vary year of \t$ 
rise. In thus pros^mttng the investigation, we ^hali a second tipae find 
the admirahle chronology of the Sam^ribia P^ntateMcb reponeiling 4Mr«c) 
and pro&ne hbtory. 

As Shem died in the year 502 after the flood, and as we (an fCH^Q^ly 
Suppose that the emigration would quite immediatehf follow hi« doatb, )0t 
tis hypothetically place it in the year SS9 after the same epoch* My reasoa 
for selecting this year, rather than any other, is a date mentioned by fpi^ 
phanius : he says, ^t mankind reibained in Armenia for the i^ce of 659 
years after the deluge. Now such a reading cannot be perfectly accurate^ 
because Peleg died in the year 640; and not only the emigratiqn from An- 
m€ni% but even the dispersion from Babel, bapp^ied fi^r^ his dealiu 
Yet, a$ the sum is liot given id round numbers, I would rather correct the 
heading than reject it altogether. Henoe, for £59, I would substitute 559; 
a number, in every respect wholly unexceptionable. According to diift 
faypothesis then, the emigration from Armeoaa will have taken plaee 67 
years after the death of Shem, and 81 years before .the death. of Pel^ 
Consequently,^ the sufficient period of S} yeaj^ will be allowed for the emi- 
gration itself, for the building of the towcr^ and for the djspersion from 
fiabel : and this last event will be placed, as we have seen it must be placed» 
towards the close of Peleg's life. Thus it appears, that the Ckithie empire 
of Nimrod, which began (we are told) at Babel \ oomodenced between the 
years 559 and 640 after the deluge. 

Now we have already seen, that this, primeval empire, which by Justin is 
described in round numbers as having lasted fifteen centuries, and which 
according to the sum total of reigns exhibited by Polyhistor and Ctesias 
actually lasted 1495 years, was dissolved by the general revolt of its pro- 
vinces shortly after the middle of the ninth century before Christ Tot 
the independence of Persia, under the Pishdadian dynasty, commenced 

' 6sa Al^pend. Tab. IIL * Gm. «. 10. 



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THE ORTOIX OF PAGAN IDOLATRT* 4£5 

about the year A. C« 811: and the independence of Media^ under the dy- cbap.u. 
nasty of the Arbacidae, commenced in the year A. C. 82 K Hence the 
Mediati revolt, which took place 6 years earlier, must have occurred in the 
year A. C. 827 : and the rise of the Assyrian kingdom under the third 
Ninus, or the accession of what is denominated by Dr. Hales the thhrd 
Assyrian dynasty^ must have happened yet earlier again; for that dynasty 
arose synchronically witK the extinction of the old double Scuthic or Cuthic 
dynasty in the person of Thonus Coneolerus, and the extinction of the 
Cuthic dynasty was the signal of revolt to Media and the other provinces^ 
Let us then suppose, that this extinction took place in the year A. C. 830^ 
or three yearS previous to the commencement erf the Median revolt ; which 
date cannot possibly be wry far removed from the truth* Such an arrange-* 
Boent, when the 1495 year» duration of the Cuthic rule are added to the 
year of its dbsoktioa 83a, would give the year A. C. S325 for the epoch 
of its first establishipent by Nimrod. But we had previously arrived at 
the conclusion^ that this Cuthic rule commenced between the years SbQ 
and 640 after the deluge* We have now therefore to inquire, whether the 
year A. C. S325 wiU fiedl out any where between those tvvo postdiluvian 
years. ^ ^ 

AccorcRng to Abp. Usher, Abraham died in the year A. C. 182 1 r coo* 
sequently, between hfa death and the downfall of the Cuthic empire in the 
year A. C. 830,. we have an intervening period of 991 years. But AUa- 
hamy according to the Samcu-itan chronology, died in the year 1117 after 
the deluge : and Peleg, according to the same chronology, died in the year 
640 after the deluge : therefore we have an intervening period of 477 yeara 
between the deaths of these two patriarchs. Since then, from the death of 
Peleg to the death of Abraham, we have 477 years ; and since, from the 
death of Abraham to the dissolution of the Cuthic empire, we have 991 
years: we of course shall have, by adding those two sums together, 1468 
years from the death of Peleg to the dissiolution of the Cuthic empire and 
the rise of the Assyrian kingdom. But Trogus says, that the Cuthic empire 
lasted in round numbers fifteen centuries: and Polyhistor and Ctesias 
jointly give us the precise sum of 1495 years for its duration. Hence, as^ 
a retrograde calculation from the era of its downfall to the death of Peleg 
Fag, Idol VOL. ivu 3 H 



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426 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOlATRr. 

BOOK VI. tji^g produced 1468 years, it must, if we estimate its entire length at \495 
years, have commenced at Eabel 27 years earlier than the death of that 
patriarch ; for 27 years, added to 1468 years, will give the specified sum 
of 1495 years. The era therefore of its commencement will be the year 
A. C. 2S25 ; which coincides, according to the Samaritan chronology, with 
the year 613 after the deluge: for, as Abraham died in the year A. C« 
1821, and as Peleg died 477 years earlier, Peleg must have died in the 
year A. C. 2298 ; and 27 years, added to 2298, will thus give the year 
A. C. 2325 for the commencement of the Cuthic empire at Babel. We 
had however previously found, on the authority of the Samaritan chrono- 
logy, that the Cuthie empire must have commenced somewhere between 
the years 559 and 640 after the deluge: and we now lastly find, in exact 
accordance with the excellent table of descents exhibited in that chrono^ 
logy, that a calculation, deduced from the year A. C. &30 which must have 
been very nearly the time when the Cuthic empire was dissolved, and con* 
ducted through a long period independently ascribed by pagan history to 
the duration of that empire, brings us to the year 613 after the deluge ; 
which is precisely about the time, in order to make Scripture con- 
sistent with itself, that the jCuthic empire of Nimrod must have com- 
menced at Babe], where we are told it did commence, in the heart of 
Iran. 

We may now therefore venture to pronounce, that the emigration from 
Armenia took place about the year 559 after the deluge : that Nimrod's 
Cuthic empire commenced at Babel about the year 613; which will allow 
54 years for the journey from Ararat to Sbinar : and that the dispersion 
occurred between the year 613 and the year 640, when Peleg died; which 
will allow an indefinite period of less than 27 years for the at length mira- 
culously-interrupted building of the city and tower, when the earth was 
divided in the days ofPtlegy that patriarch being yet alive at the beginning 
of the year 640 after the deluge '. 

VI. JjeX us next proceed to investigate. the form of government, which 
was established in the early Cuthic empire of Iran. On thb subject 1 have 

' Sec Append. Tab. V. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 427 

already thrown out some speculations *. It femains therefoi'e to inqnirei chap. it. 
whether such speculations rest upon an}' sure basis of positive evidence ; 
but first it will be proper, that they should be briefly recapitulated. 

1. If we consider what naay be termed the philosophy ofpoliticSy the for- 
mation of a mixed empire, like that of Nimrod, must almost inevitably 
have produced tliat sj-stem, which by many has been thought so strange, 
but which really would spring up even in the way of cause and effect ; I 
mean the system of dividing the several members of the community into 
separate castes or tribes. This system still prevails throughout Hindostan : 
and it is radically and effectively the very same as that, which we have been 
wont to call the feudal system^ and which we have been taught to deduce 
from the forests of Germany. Now it is impossible, in the very nature of 
things, for such a form of polity to spring out of an homogeneous society : 
it must invariably originate from conquest and subjugation ; nor can any 
form be better devised to enable a handfull of warriors to rule over a 
nation or nations far exceeding themselves in number. 

The truth of these remarks is established by the uniform testimony of 
history and by the general experience of mankind. Whenever a small and 
compact band of warriors invades and subjugates a large and populous 
country, the feudal arrangement of casted is always introduced either in a 
more or less perfect state. The conquerors become the freemen, or gentry,, 
or military nobility ; each baroa acknowledging the paramount superioi ity 
of the kin^ and at the same time presiding over hb own dbtrict at the head 
of his armed gentry and free-bom vassals : while, on the other hand, the 
conquered become the serfs tied down to the soil which they cultivate, or 
exercise those various necessary trades which their military superiors de< 
spise as servile and degrading. Under such circumstances, diversity of 
blood and diversity of condition alike tend to perpetuate this system of 
distinct castes. Matrimonial commixtures may not indeed be absolutely 
forbidden by a positive law : but they will be almost as effectually pre- 
vented, by pride of birth on the one side, and by mortifying inferiority oa 
the other. The military nobles and gentry will be anxious to preserve the 

» Vide supra book L d. } IV. 2. (3.). 



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900K VI. 



428 THE aaiGiif OF PAajii^ idolatm; 

purity of their descent by suitable alliances : tbey will wholly intermarry 
among themselves : proud as may be their superiority over their serfs or 
villains, they will view their king, not as a lordly master, but only as the 
highest member of their own order : and they will with reason consider this 
order, as wholly distinct from those of the tradesmen and the labouring 
peasants. In a similar manner, the inferior orders will be led almost in*- 
evitably to intermarry solely among each other : they will look up to theii* 
military governors with a base and servile awe : and^ both by blood and by 
condition, they will but too unfequivocally feel themselves to be completely 
distinct castes from the nobility arid the freemen. 

Such became the state of Europe by thfe doWnfidI of the westero empire, 
and such were the maxims universally adopted by the Gothic conquerors 
Hence the Scythic Vandals of Spain could not take an oath of allegiance t6 
their sovereign without previously telling him, that tbey were individually 
as good as he, and collectively more powerful than be. Hence, when th^ 
same high-spirited race received Philip of Bourbon as their king, each 
grandee, in signing the declaration of allegiance, added to his name the 
words Noble as the king. Hence, as in the progress of society patents of 
nobility came to be granted to new men, originated the fiaimous maxim oi 
French law, which so strongly expresses the feelings of the old military 
caste of Gothic conquerors ; that every gentleman was a nobleman^ though 
every nobleman was not a gentleman '. Hence, in the middle ages, the 
greatest sovereigns would give their daughters to private noblemen, and 
would not disdain to receive the honour of knighthood from the sword of a 
soldier of family. Hence Francis the first of France was proud to style 
himself the first gentleman of his kingdom, white the sovereign's elder 
brother bore a title which emphatically pointed him out as the first gentle^ 
man among subjects ; the king and the royal family acknowledging them* 
selves in each case to be no more than members of tlie military caste of the 
old gentry. And hence, even in the present day, the ancient idea is pre* 

' Aa exactly snnilar idea is ascribed to oar Elisabeth in her not very rivil speech re* 
specting the wives of the early protestant bishops of England. Shejiad been requested ta 
give them the same rank as that enjoyed by their husbands. iVb, replied her highness, / 
can make them ladies indeed^ but it is out ofmt/potioer to make them gentkvxnnen. 



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TBX OUGIK OV PA^AK IIK>LATRT. 429 

B6twd by sov^re^ princes enrolling themselves as knigbts-companions ia csap. m 
the same or^ of originally warlike fellowship with their well-bom sub- 
jects \ 

But such a state of things so far from rising out of an homogeneous 
society, necessarily tends io decag; as a communily) mixed at its com- 
mencemedt» becmnes homogeneous in its pn^ress. The serfs emancipate 
themsell^es from bondage, and bl^d with the firee-bom vassals : the thriving 
tradteman treads upon the heels of the long-indignant vavasour ; the gentry 
gradually shake off the feudal superiority of the barons in capite: and the 
barons, released from the necessity of military service to their liege lord, 
remain indeed a distinct order in the state, but find themselves no longer 
the fellows of their sovereign, though they may still be officially addressed 
as bdoved cousins of the throne. This, as history universally testifies, is 
the invariable, because natural, succession of ev&its. The feudal system 
and the political division mto castes never did, and never can, spring out 
oftLU homogeneous society far advanced in civilization. On the contrary, 
as tiiey origmate, fai the way of cause and effect, from the conquest and 
subjugation of one large distinct race by another small distinct race ; so, 
as tile society in tbe gradual lapse of time becomes homogeneous by the 
blendini; of tiie two races, it will always be found, unless the separation be 
preserved by tiie strong arm of policy, that the prepress of the community 
has a naturfid tendency, not to produce^ but to destroy^ such an artificial 
order of things. Despotism, limited monarchy, and republicanism, may alj 
arise out of an advanced Mate of society : but the feudal system, and the 
division into castes, never can, and never did« These invariably emanate 
out of conquest and sobjugatbn : so that, as we may always expect them 
more or less modified where ^ucIl circumstances are known to have takeo 
place; we may always (if I miitake not) shrewdly conjecture, that, where 
we find them, there the governors are a distinct race fi-om the governed, 
the former bemg the descendaifts bf the subjugators while the latter are th^ 
children of the subjugated. 

Hitherto I have said nothing of tbe sacerdotal caste ; because, » feet, 

' Butlet*« Hist, of the RevoL <tf iSenu. p. JI3--61. 



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430 THE ORIGIK or PAOAN. ID01.ATRT. 

BOOK vi. it is rather an appendage, than a constituent part, of the feudal sjrsteoftb 
Yet, let that system be established by conquest either in £urt>pe or m 
Asia, and let the sacerdotal caste be composed of priests devoted to. a true 
or to a false religion : still, so long as men have any idea of worsUpping a 
god, such a caste could not &il to arise in the mixed society c^ whicl^ I have 
been treating- The adherents of a false religion are gpnerally more in- 
clined to reverence their priesthood, than the votaries of a true religion : 
the main reason of which, allowing as much as can be allowed to a blind 
superstition, I take to be this. They, who first corrupted the truth, could 
not do it efiectually without the aid of a regular priesthood. But, as we 
may gather very plainly from the whole history of the tower, truth was first 
corrupted by a few ambitious men, less for superstitious than for political 
purposes. . Now the same policy, that led to a corruption of the truth, 
would lead to an affectation of high reverence for thos^ by whose subor* 
dinate agency the truth was, Corrupted ; for otherwise their ministry would 
have little weight with the multitude, whose minds were to be abused : and^ 
as these corrupters must in the first instance have been confidential agents^ 
they would obviously be selected from the weakest and least warlike mem« 
bers of the family which was gradually erecting itself into a caste of mili« 
tary nobility. The sacerdotal and the military castes then would be of the 
same blood and ancestry : and, as at first from policy, so afterwards from 
rank superstition, the boldest warriors would in no wise feel themselves de« 
graded by yielding a precedence of rank to their brethren, the holy minis* 
ters of religion. Thus would the sacerdotal caste be a sui^ excrescence 
from the military caste : thus, by the ui;uted influenee of superstition and 
of arms, would these two brandies of the same race rule the subjugated 
multitude of other femilies : and thus, when the European Goths embraced 
Christianity, they readily yielded that precedence to episcopal nobilityi 
which in their pagan state had been femiiiar to them, not only in the wilds 
of Germany (as we learn from Tacitus *)> hut even from the very earliest 
ages. 
Jrom these premises, viewed oidy in the abstract^. I should feel myself 

' Tacit de moiu Gorm. C4 7» 11> S9^ 



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t&E ORIOIK OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 431 

cbmp^lled to suppose, that such an empire as that of Niinrod must, from 
first to last, have rested at least upon the principles of the feudal system 
and of a division into castes : for it arose upon the universal subjugation of 
mankind to the single family of Cush, assisted probably by that of Mizr or 
rather (to speak more corre<5tly) by some entcrprizing individuals of the 
Mizraimic branch*; and, even after the dispersion, paramount as it was 
fiom the borders of Armenia to the Erythrfean sea, and extending itself both 
east and west beyond the opposite boundaries of the interamnian country, 
it still reigned supreme over Elam and Ashur and Aram and the chief part 
of the house of Arphaxad. The arrangement I should suppose to have 
been made most probably in some such manner as the following. Such of 
the Cuthim, as remained ^n centrical Iran and adhered to the fortunes of 
Nimrod, would constitute the sacerdotal and military castes; wliile the 
families, which were subjugated by them, would compose the bulk of the 
population, and would range themselves naturally under the two large divi- 
sions of artizans and agriculturists. Now, as these families settled, not 
promiscuously, but after their tongues, in their lands, and after their na- 
tions * ; the Cushim, in order to maintain their sovereignty, must have been 
Very much intermingled with them, constituting in each province the priest^ 
hood and the nobility. But, as the whole empire was under one head, this 
intermixture could not have taken place without creating the feudal system ; 
just as a similar intermixture produced long afterwards the feudal system 
in western Europe. For the various families or nations could not have 
been governed without such an intermixture : and the empire could not 
have preserved its unky, unless the Cuthic princes and nobility, who ad^ 
ministered the provinces and dbtricts, had acknowledged the paramount 
authority of the king. 

Here then we have the substance of the feudal system, by whatever names 
its descending steps might be di^inguisbed. It seems most probable, ac« 
cording to the oriental phraseology, that the governors of provinces would 
be styled kings or endrs; while the great Cutbite would be denominated 

* I infer this from the familiarity of the Hindoos with the names of Cwlut, Rama, and 
MitT} though we know, tha| the Misraim, as a body^ peopled Egypt. 

• Gen. X. 31. 



CBAP. II. 



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4S2 THE ORIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATET. 



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THB OBIGXir OF FAQAX IBOLATJity, 4SS 

Yet, ia the wh^ofthisgiiOrtievqliitiGKi which t^ tmi».tu 

half of th^ ninth cratury before Christ, whether the ancient capital or the 
hitherto suhordinate Idci^oiiis be considered, there would be no real change ' 
of iK^ual nationlU i^Temora^. though the second, dynasty of the Cuthico« 
Assyrian princes had ceased to reiga. The southern Scuths of Iran, who 
have so often beea. oonfoonded with then; northern brethren of Touran, 
would surely not eracuate a country, where they had been naturalized dur* 
log a period almoyt double to Ihat^ j?bich hais elapsed' since the Norman 
conquest of England to the prissent day : they would doubtless remain where 
they were ; and^ div»led as Ihe Scythian or dd Assyrian empire now was 
into several indq)endent sovereignties^ they would still be the monarchs of 
those sovereignties and would still constitute the priesthood and military 
nobility as tbQr had always done. Aecordio^y, iiriien Ninereh was deserted 
and when Bftbylon once mwe became the queen of die es^ we find them 
still the paramount or governing caste, just as ,tl^y bad hew during the 
^fteen centuries of avowed Scuthic domination* 

, In tibe year A. C. 747; w^re the canon of Ftdeipy; commences, the As- 
syrian empire, upder the dypas^ founded by 4he third Ninus^ was divided 
into the two kingdoms of Assyrjia and Babylon. But, in the space oi eighty 
years, these two sovereignties usere «tgaio ipnited under Asaraddin or ^^r- 
Haddon r and henceforth, or %i least after the time of Nebuchadnezzar, the 
Agsyrio-Babylooic empire of Iran was distinguished in the west^ by the 
nameof the Babylamc empire^ Now the governing people of this monarchy 
were those, whom ttie Greeks chose to style Ckaldhnip but who in Holy 
Writ are more accurately denominated Cfup^dim or CfmMnk They seem 
to have como^unicated th^ name to a great part of the province of Baby- 
lonia, and likewise to the contiguous eastern province of Cissia or Chusis- 
tan ; doubtless becaiuie they abounded more in those re^ons than in other 
parts of the empire. This district was eminently the Asiatic Ethiopia, or 
land of Cush, of southern Scutbia : though the appellation of Cuska^^ip 
was properly enou^ extended to' the whole country of Iran even according 
to its utmost limits ; for the posterity of Cush were scattered throughout 
the whole of it, and their authority pervaded every part of it. But it is 
evident from Scripture, that these Chusdim or Chaldeans formed the sacer- 
Pag. Idol. VOL. III. S I 



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434 trtiE okidiN' OF ^agan id^latet* 

BOOK vx; dotal and military castes of the Babylontc empire : for, cln the ctit hmd^ 
we find tbem described; as being professipmdiy a body of phil6sopfaJcai 
Magi and astrologers attd sorcerers ; and, on Ae other hand^ we find tben> 
exhibited as a race of intrepid soldiers, who constituted the ttiost efficient 
part of the armies of Nebuchadnezzar '. The king himself, as the head of 
the military order, \s styled the Chusdi^ : and, though the sotereign of the 
whole Iranian empire, he is yet emphatically Atnommo^^ the king of the 
Chtisdifn^. In a similar manner, thfe realm of Babylonia is calkd- ^ 
realm of the Ckusdim^: and Babykrd,' which was both founded and re« 
founded by the Chusim, is distitiguished^as the beauty' of the Chui^Snie 
eTcellenctiK The provincial hbmiliajtion of thi^ southerh branch of the^ 
Cuthic house trhen Nmeveb* became the seat of empire, and their restbra-^ 
tion to nietropolitan importance under Nebuchadnezzar^ arefdrctbly alkrfed 
to by Isaiah* He* tells ^nrf, as Bp. Lowlh proJ)€!rly renders the' passa^, 
that they were a peoplebf no account until Btabylon was rebuilt and made- 
tlie seat of government; but Aat theii they sp^edify became of the very 
first importance *. Our common translation most strangely gives them no 
existence until that period : but they had teen both known and felt long 
before the days of NebUthadnezzarj'atad the manner, in which they are 
mentioned, shiews very plainly, boA who th^ were and where they had 
always dwelt. So early as the days of Job, they were accustomed to make 
predatory excursions out of Babylonia into the great western wilderness of 
Arabia^ : and Abraham, T^ho (we know) came out of the land- of the Nim- 
rodic Chusim, is Expressly said by Moses to have gone forth to Haran from 
Vt of the Chusdim •* Hence it is^evident, that, irt the days of Moses, the 
land of the Chusim and the land of the Chusdim were the same country ; 

■ Dan. 11. 2. iv. 7* v. 7, 11. Jerem, xxxix. 8. lii. 8.' 2 Kings xxiv. 2. xxv. 4, 10* 26. 
Hab.L6. ' ' t 

^£«rav. 12» : ' 2 Cbron. xxx. 17. ♦Daiuix.J, 

' Jbaiah xiii, 9. , ^ Isaiah xxiii. IS. ^ 

' Job. L 17. Chddda was at this time under the rule of the Cutbic Shepherds,' wha 
afterwards invaded Palestine and Egypt under the name oi Arabt or Phmciam or Hu§^ 
So$^ See below book vL c. 5. $ V. 5. 

» GemxlSK "^ ■ 



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>and, CMseqttefi^^ that l3ie^.B^yloaif CMsim wew ihe.vtvy same people ^Ar.^tw 
-as die^bjiobic Chusdim. The only diflferenee, in ^t, betfveen the two 
-names is this: tke ooe is Jincompot^decli and the other comi^unded^ The 
'Chusm^resaaplyihe'Cuths^arScuths: tikeC/uiS-^Diim are th^ gpdlike 

Thus, by comparing .the aecouift iji^hich Tr^gps^j^ves us. of the Squthic 
pdity mth^tbe account which. Scripture gives ua of the lafer fiabylonic 
;polity^ we find, . that the gpvqrnment of the Iranian empire must from firsjt 
to last have^faeen lifiiKlalj thaf^ whatever might have beep the number of 
c^eiiiferiorcbstea, there 'Were, two lugber castes ip |^ the priesthood and 
/the military notnli^; and 'tb«t both these castes, were ^ the. nation of 
iBtfflily of tbe:Gbusdim oir.Cusfaim. 

i (2.) Additional light will be tiirown upoaithe nature, of the old Cuthic 
poli^,. if we. attend to some »rly matters. recorded by Ae jarred histo*^ 
'rians* :.'/■•, •: i . '• i ■ 

- We are told>; ^lat, ih the days of Abrahami liie firar Jkii^ of Shinar and 
Ellasar and Elam and the Mixed Nations made war upon the five kbgs c£ 
-Sodom and Opmorrha and . Admah and Zeboiim and Bela* These, they 
subdued ; but, at the end of twelve years, their new vassals rebelled. They 
^turned tibereibre in the idorteen^ year :/aiid, afler smitkig; vari<>u8 scat- 
tered tribes apparently of tbi Scuthie origiant raceitbey* succeeded iftxem- 
pletely routing their opponents. . - : . 

I cdnfess myself utterly onable to follow. Mn Bryant in what lie has 
-written upon this subject: for he qoiagnifie^^ iQti>: a s^ppoM ^Mf^ty efTpnt 
^the children of Sfaem to tbrow'ofilthe yoke ief Ham, what is ejvideptly a 

> Some bsYC deduced the Chusdim from Chesed, one of the sons of Nahor the brother 
of Abraham, mentioned Gen. xxii. 22. But this is an impossibility : for, even at the time 
when Abrnhanu then lender 75 years of age, left Babylonia, the city whete his fhmily had 
dwelt was called Vr of the Chusdim, Hence it is evident, thai the Chufidim were not only 
In existtecey but a people bf conslderiOile Insportancey wfaen^Chesed, Abraham's nepiiens 
was; a mere boy. . Besides this, the ruliDg^i^qpte in Babylonia, fr^n first tf lai^ were mo^t 
undoubtedly the Cushim or Scuths, not the children of Chesed. The Chosdim therefore, 
who 9ommunici|^ed their name to the whole province, and sometimes even to the whole 
empire, must, unless we make history contradict itself, be die dame as the Chusim or 
Cuths. -^ i.- ... ' ': 



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436 rax OEiraN 09 BAOAK IVOLAthr. 



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SUM OEIUH Of FAGAN IDOLATMX. 437 

tbtc mnpire : ami it was afterwanb nteoded far to the weat, sp aa ta com- chan u. 
pri2P6 Damascus, which ufas tb^ capital of maritime Aram. Into this latter 
i^egioa Abraham pursued the defeated kixf^ : aod out of this region they 
esrideutij came^ wbea ttey invaded the land pf Canaan. 

Such then was their country : the next questbn is, who they themselves 
were* With respect to this point, I think it clear^ that they were feudatory 
Tassals of the greiA Cuthic empire, which was now pushing itself westward 
beyond the Euphrates : and, if wdx an opinion can be satisfactorily esta* 
blisbed, we shall have gone idt to prove, that the polity of that empire was 
of the description which has been supposed Here the testimony of Jo- 
sephus is peculiariy valuable. He tells us, that the invaders were Assy-* 
rians, and that the invasion took place when the Assyrians wen^ masters of 
Asia \ The purport of such an accoui^ cannot be mistaken : these Assy- 
nans were the Cuthic lords of Iran ; who from the locality of Nineveh 
' assumed the title of Auyriam^ when, ^ £ptphaniua informs us, the old 
.Scuthic name became obsolete in the days of Serug. It seems then, that 
tiie invading kings were members of the great Cuthico*Assyrian monarchy ; 
which, accordbg to Trogus, ruled over Asia during the period of fifteen 
centuries : for the Cuths were masters oi Asia at the very time, that Jo* 
sephus ascribes that predominance to the Assyrians ; whence the Souths of 
Trogus, and the Assyrians of Josephus, must be the same. Now it is 
evident, that this invasion could not have been conducted by the great 
Cuthic sovereign himself heading the forces of his whole empire ; because 
it is ridiculous to suppose, that Abraham with 318 men eould rout and pur^f 
sue such an antagonist Yet we find, that the invaders were in some sense 
those identical Assyrians, who were lords of all central Asia. The only 
conclusion therefore, which remains to us, is this : that they were Assyrians 
or Cuthim, as being members of the Cuthic empire ; but that they them- 
selves, as individuals, were vassal kings^ seated in the newly-reduced pro- 
vince of maritime Aram and employed to extend the limits of the monarchy 
southward from Damascus. 
It is curious to observe, bow every thing will be found to quadrate with 

' Aou Jod, ia>. i. cl 9. 



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438 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATEV* 

Boo$ vu such a result, as the result itself quadrates exactly with imiory which make^ 
the Cuths at this precise time masters of Asia. ^ 

One of the invaders is a king of JUam: that is to say, the prince of a 
colony of Elamites ; for it were childish trifling to suppose, that some inde- 
pendent king of £lam beyond the Persian gulph could march to invade the 
land of Canaan with so trifling a force, that, even when aided by three 
auxiliaries, he was beaten by 318 men. Another of them is a king of 
Shinar : by which of course we cannot understand the remote Sbinar in 
Babylonia ; but must conclude it to be some small district in maritime 
Aram, called, as is natural with new settlers, after the Cuthic Shinar '• A 
third is said to be the king of the Go'im or Mixed Nations ; a significant 
appellation, perfectly descriptive of those heterogeneous adventurers who 
are ever ready to embark in any daring and novel undertaking. Symma« 
* chus makes them Scuths or Cuths : nor was he far mistaken ; for certainly 
the leaders, and probably a considerable part, of these Aram^n colonists^ 
would be members of the intrepid and confidential military cast Each of 
the titles in short, borne by the petty princes in question, shews, whencQ 
they originally came into Aram, and by whom they were sent there. Agree* 
ably to the same policy, which led the king of Assyria many ages after«« 
wards to plant Samaria with a mixed multitude from Babylon and Cutha 
and Ava and Hamath and Sepbarvaim ^ these turbulent colonists were sent 
out, under Cuthic leaders, from Elam and Shinar and Aram of the rivers^ 
to occupy the maritime Aram and to push their conquests beyond it as 
opportunity might serve. They most probably found the maritime Aram 
already peopled by the descendants from the patriarch of that name : and, 
as the conquered would in numbers far exceed the conquerors, the name of 
the country remained ; and, in the course of a few ages, the invading Cuths, 
and those whom they had subdued, were all known by the common appel- 
lation of Syrians or Aramhans. 
This will explain a very curious passage in Amos ; while the passage in 

> Thus, when the Cuthic Shepherd-kings planted the African Ethiopia or Abyssinia, 
they brought with them the Babylonic name of Shinar^ which remains to tliis day in the 
town and district of Sennaan See Hales's ChronoL voU ii. p. 48. 

^ 2 Kings xviL 2^ 



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I'HB ORIOtN OF PAGAN I]>OLATRT^ 43^ 

return will corrobonite all that has been said on the subject God declares, chaf. u. 
that the fortunes of the Israelites bore a strong resemblance to those of tlie 
Cusbim or Ethiopians, as the Greeks called them : and the resemblance is 
said to have consisted in the speciid particular of a national emigration j as 
the Israelites were brought out of the land of Egypt, so the Philistim were 
brought from Caphtor, and the Aramites from Kir '• The Philbtim then, 
and the Aramites of whom the very accurate prophet speaks, were plainly 
Cushim : otherwise, no exemplification is afforded of the general assertion^ 
an assertion most reniarkaUy true in numberless histances, that the Cushim 
strongly resembled the Israelites in the point of national emigration. But 
the Aramites proper were the children of Shem : how then can they pro* 
perly be styled Cmkimf The prc^het himself affords us an answer; 
alluding, if I mistake not; to the identical colomsts^ whom I suppose to 
have been sent into the maritime Aram by the great Cuthic sovereign of 
Iran, and who thence in the days of Abraham invaded the land of Canaan. 
He tells us, that his Ethiopic Aramites (called Aramites no doubt, as the 
Anglo-Saxons are often called Britons^ not from descent, but from country) 
were a collective body of emigrants from Kir : and this Kir, as we learn 
from Isaiah, was a city or district either of Elam or of Ashur beyond the 
Tigris \ 

Such then were the invaders of Canaan : they were military vassals of 
the great Cuthic empire, planted in maritime Aram, bearing the title of 
icingSj but acknowledging the supremacy of the superkir lord who was re* 
puted to sway the sceptre of Asia. Aram of the rivers, or Afesopotamia^ 
was subject to him in the very same manner. As comprehended* within 
the limits of Iran^ it was deemed a portion of Cusha-dwip or the Asiatic 

' Anio8ix.7r '^ 

* Isaiah xxii. 6. It is remarkable, that these Cuthic Aramites were afterwards, in eem* 
sequence of their rebellion against their liege lord» qarried back by the king of Assyria to 
Kir; which thus agpiin we find far to the east, where Isaiah had led us to place it. Set 
Amos L 5* and 2 Kings xvi. 9. Mr. Lowth, though evidently perplexed with Amos ix. ?» 
follows the obvious sense of the passage ; and thence conjectures^ diat some ancient "re* 
moval of Aram from Kir,. not elsewhere taken notice of, is intended. Abp. Newcome 
gives a paraphrase of it, which makes the prophet say just what his commentator pleases. 



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440 TH£ ORIGIN 07 PA6AK IDOLATBT* 

»ooK VI. land of Cush : and the name^ borne by one of the most powerful of its 
feudatory sovereigns, plainly shews, that here also the Cuthic military nobi^ 
lity were the rulers of the children of Aram. Very soon after the time of 
Joshua, while the Cuthic empire was in its full vigour, tiie idolatrous 
Israelites were delivered into the hand of the king of Mesopotamia. Thb 
prince of the Aram between the rivers must apparently have bad the 
smaller princes of the other Aram, placed under him as sub-vassals; for 
his dominions would not otherwise come in contact with those of the Israel- 
ites. Be this however as it may, we find him bearing the appellation of 
Cushan-Riskathaim or Rishathaim the Cuahitc: just as Abraham b called 
the Heberite; and Nebuchadnezzar, the Chusdi\ His attempt upoo 
Israel was but a continuation of the policy, which led to the early invasion 
of Palestine in the days of Abraham : nor was that policy ever abandoned, 
until at length first the ten tribes and then the two were brought under tho 
yoke of Iran. 

And here I cannot refrain from observing, how strictly, and yet (as it 
^ were) how undesignedly, sacred history corresponds with profiEine, A$ the 
original Cuthic empire in the double line of Nimrod terminated about a 
century and a half after the death of Solomon ; so it may be concluded, 
that for some time previous it had gradually been upon the decline under 
a succession of feeble and degenerate monarchs, liot unlike the weak de* 
scend wts of Clovis or of Charlemagne. This, in the hands of Divine Pro-^ 
vidence, will account for the ease with which Solomon extended bis domi^ 
nions from the borders of Egypt to the great river Euphrates; agreeably to 
the express prophecy, which, however unlikely, was destined to be ful- 
filled \ It will also account for the evidently independent state of Aram 
in the time of Ahab. That country had withdrawn its allegiance from the ' 
declining Cuthic empire : and, accordingly, Hazael receives his investiture 
from Elijah ; and afterwards, without the least regard to the ancient supe^ 
rior lord of Aram, he murders bis sovereign and usurps bis throne \ Such 
historical coincidences, which nothing but an almost accidental combina- 

■ Jiidg. iu. a. Tht mute CutkMn-RMMmm fa, bjr tke CtiaUlee Fteapbrtse and At 
Syriae sad AraUc vcisioiit, explained as deiwfipg ii€ moked Cmhite. 
* 1 Kings iv.Sl--M. 6ea.xv.ia. s i Kings xix. 15. 8Kittgs?iii.lk 



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!raE <niIGIN OP PAGAN IDOLATRY. 441 

lion of remote particulars can bring to light, may be reckoned among the <:bap. u. 
!8trongest marks of exact veracity in the inspired penmen. 

(8.) Hitherto I have only combined various scattered notices, and have 
drawn from them certain deductions relative to the polity of the old Cathie 
empire ; I shall now bring forward a direct and compact proof, that the 
division into castes was coeval widi its foundation ; which will necessarily 
involve the fact^ that, as the great Iranian kingdom was governed by the 
sacerdotal andmUitary castes, as these two castes were of the Scuthic or 
Cuthic house, and as they could not have administered the government 
without being scattered throughout the different provinces the population 
of which omsisted of totally distinct races from their own, the feudal 
system must inevitably hove been established throughout the whole 
country* 

We have seen, on the authority of the Dabistan, that the Pishdadian 
dynasty of Persia was preceded by the Mahabadian ; which for many ages 
had swayed the sceptre of Iran, and which must clearly be identified with 
that Cuthic or Scuthic line of kin^ who were lords of Asia during fifteen 
centuries from Nirorod to Thonus Concolerusw Now Maha-Bad, the pre- 
tended founder of this dynasty, who was at once the first king of Iran and 
the monarch of the whole earth, b said to have received from the Creator 
and to have promulgated among men a sacred book in a heavenly lan- 
guage ; and his subjects believed, that fourteen MaharBads,. or fourteen 
transmigratory manifestations of the same Maha-Bad, had appeared or 
would appear in human shapes for the government of the world. Thus 
conversing with the Deity> and acting by his immediate authority, Maha- 
Bad divided the people, who composed his universal sovereignty and who 
therefore comprehended the whole race of mankind, into four castes or 
orders ; the religious^ the military^ the commercial, and the servile ; and 
to these he assigned name», which Sir William Jones assures us are un^ 
questionably the same in their origin with those now applied to the four 
primary classes of the Hindoos. 

iVom the preceding account of the. first monarchy of Iran,^ Sir Wflliam 
argues most justly, that Maha-Bad is palpably the same character as the 
Indian Menu; that the fourteen Maha- Bads are the fourteen manifesta* 
Pag. IdoL vox. iiu 3 K 



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442 THE OBIGIK or PAGAK IDOLATRY. 

sooK VI. tions of Menu; that the celestial ' book of Mttfaa^Bad is tiie celestial book 
of MeDu ; that the four castes, iuto which Maha^Bad divided manfkind, are 
the four castes, into which Menu similarly divided mankind; and cohse* 
quently that the Hindoos, when they first planted Hindostan, brought with 
tiiem the early hbtory and polity of Iran from which they had emigrated, 
ttnd exhibited them as their own local history and polity. He adds, that 
the word Maha-Badxs evidently a Sanscrit compound, bdnig equivalent to 
the great Bad or the great Suddha : so that ivo have an additional proof, 
if any were necessary, of the identity of Maha-Bad and Menu ; for Menu 
and Buddha are certainly the same person'. 

Here then, in singdlar conformity with the records consulted by Trogtis 
and Epiphanius, we find also in the east a very full account of an ancient 
monarchy, which had subsisted in Iran long before the rise of the later 
Assyriah empire and the dynasty of the Pishdadians : for it is incontro- 
vertible, that the Mahabadian sovereignty can cmly be the same as the 
Scuthic sovereignty of Trogus and Epiphanius. Here therefore we have 
the polity of the Cuthic empire unequivocally described to us : and tliis 
polity proves to be the identical polity ; which, both from the philosophy 
of government and from such scattered notices as we had been able to col- 
lect, we had argued must have been established throughout the primeval 
empire of Iran. - * 

VII. Ii is most curious to observe, bow completely the Persic, and 
thence ultimately the Hindoo, records unfold the Machiavellian politics of 
Nimrod and hb Cuthic associates. 

Maha^Bad, as he appears in the Dabistan, is clearly Ndah or the Menu^^ 
Satyavrata of the Hindoos, though blended, like that Menu, with the ante^ 
rior character of Adam or Menu-Swayambhuva. Nimrod places him at 
the head of the dynasty, which he himself really founded ; carefblly ihti^ 
mates, that be was the sovereign of the whole world ; and thus insinuates; 
that mankind ought to remain in one unbroken community, 'and that the 
successor of Noah was by right an universal monarch likewise. In a simi- 
lar manner and for a similar purpose, as we learn from £piphanius, Scu- 

' Disc, on ^e Pen. Ariat. lies. vol. iL p. 59. 



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THE OaiGIN OF FAOAK IDOLATEV. 445 

thism^ which in the progress of increasing corruption became lonism, was 
studiously carried up as high as the deluge ; tliat so the odium of innovat'* 
ing, either in politics or religion, might be speciously avoided. Agreeably 
to such a plan, the division of mankind into castes, which, by forming the 
sacerdotal and military orders out of the house of Cush, placed in the 
hands of that great family the whole autiiority of the state, was represented 
at first as highly agreeable to the venerable Noah ; afterwards it was de- 
clared to. be his special ordinance, and no mere novel contrivance of ambi-i 
tion; and at length, by die aid of the priesthood, the plea of divine right 
was called in, and the division into castes was declared to be an institution 
of the Deity himself speaking from heaven to the first king Maha-Bad. 
Accordingly, as it was wdl known &at Noah had actually conversed with 
God, and as it can> scarcely be doubted that be bad preserved many ante* 
diluvian books in the Ark, he was fabled to have received from the Creator 
a book of regulations m a celestial language, which marked out the par*^ 
ticular polity and the general laws under which the empire was to be go« 
Temed. Now this very book is still in existence: for Sir William Jones^ 
and with good reason, does not scruple to identify Maha-fiad's book of 
regulatipm with Menu's book of divine institutes or ordinances. In that 
volume then, which the learned orientalist has translated into English, we 
have ia fact an accurate sketch of the constitution, which was framed for 
the ddest empire in .the world. It contains many good regulations ; for 
government cannot subsist without them : but the master key note^ which' 
runs through the whole, b the inculcating of an excessive veneration for 
the sacerdotal and military orders. Exactly according to the plan, w.hich; 
(as 6p. Warburton truly remarks) was adopted by all the ancient legisla*- 
tors, and which no doubt was borrowed froii>tbe Babylonic prototype, the 
prescribed polity is made to rest upon the authority of heaven ; and tlje 
four divinely appointed castes are represented as springing from Brahma 
himself, incarnate in the person of the first man Meno. Hence the divi- 
sion was an ordinance of God: and^ if the pferior castes presumed to re^ 
sist the two superior, they would fight not against man, but against the 
Deity^ Ncmt was it solely into Hindostan that these original laws were 
carried from Iran: to omit other countries, they were conveyed as the 



CKAF. fl» 



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444 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOIATRT. 

BOOR VI. books of Taut or Thoth into Egypt, tiie inhabitants of ivhich were equally 
divided into castes ; and, as Sir William Jones A^/ supposes, they consti- 
tuted in Crete the famous laws of Minos or Menus '• But, though Maha« 
Bad is thus made the ostensible founder of the Iranian empire and the 
primeval author of the division into castes, we by no means lose sight of 
Nimrod himsel£ Among the sovereigns who are celebrated as aggran-* 
dizers of the monarchy, we see him proudly conspicuous under the name 
of Mah'Bul or Mahd-Beli or the great Belus ; tiiat well-known founder 
of Babylon, who seems to have studiously attempted to blend his own cha«- 
racter with that of Noah, and who (unless I be greatly mistaken) gave 
himself out to be a transmigratory reappearance of the first Beli or Maha- 
Bad vouchsafed to mortals for the government of the Universe *• This is 
the blaspheming monarch, who (according to Hindoo tradition) was slain 
by Vishnou bursting from the midst of a shattered column or pyramid, 
and who in the pride of unlimited sovereignty was beguiled of empire by 
the same deity under the humble disguise of a dwarf. Both these Avatars 
are referred by Sir William Jones to the history of the tower : and, as the 
first of them seems to describe the bloodshed and discord which prevailed 
between the rival sects of Scuthists and lonists, with a reference possibly 
to some miraculous interference unnoticed in Scripture ; so the second in- 
geniously represents the marring of the whole project, when on the very 
point of completion, by the unseen finger of God perceived only in the 
supernatural confusion of languages ^ 

Thus it was not without reason that the Scythians claimed the highest 
antiquity in the list of nations, for they were the founders of the first em- 
pire after the deluge. Nor was their argument against the Egyptian claim 
quite so absurd as it appears to be« They contended, that, as they inha- 
bited a mountain whence rivers flow^ed in every direction, they must be 
prior to the Egyptians who inhabited a region fwmed in a great measure 
by the Nile \ By this mountain they meant ArarsU or Meru, whei-e their 

* Pref. to Instit. of Menu p. 9* Vide supra book iii. e. 5. 

* As such, he would fdso daun to be a manifestation of the promised son of the 
jiroman. 

^ Asiat. Res. voL i. p. 235, 426. ^ Just. Hist. h1>. ii. c. I. 



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THE OEIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATftT. 445 

emigre commenced while Egypt was yet a desert^ and which still was occti* <^haf. xu 
pied by the same race as those who were the prime architects of Babfeh 
I think with Mr. Pinkerton, that what Herodotus says of the newness of 
the Scythians is solely to be understood of their newness on the west of the 
Euxine sea '• 



* Herod. Hilt. lib. ir« c & ' Finkerto&*8 Diss, on the Goths, part L c«2. p. 28. 



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CHAPTER III. 



Respecting the primitive Division of the World among the 
Children ofNoahy the Triads of the Gentiles, the Confimmi of 
Languages, and the Mode of the Dispersion from BabeU^ 



J^lLoses has furnished us with a very explicit account of the primitive 
division of the world among the children of Noah^ when they were con* 
strained to emigrate from the plain of Sbinar and to dbperse themselves 
over the face of the whole earth. From this it appears, that, although their 
emigration was reluctant, yet it was not disorderly. Compelled as they 
were to relinquish their design by a preternatural confusion of utterance^ 
they did not branch off from the central point in accidentally promiscuous 
masses; but retired, with some exceptions, according to their families and 
their tongues and their nations. In the main, the children of Japhet kept 
together, distinct from those of Shem and of Ham ; and aftei*wards, as they 
advanced into the wide regions allotted to their great progenitor, divided 
and subdivided themselves agreeably to their several patriarchal heads. 
The descendants of the other two brethren had their settlements very much 
intermingled throughout southern Asia : but even between them a line of 
distinction may be drawn, sufiiciently strong to establish the general accu^ 
racy of the Mosaical account The confusion, to which I allude, origi- 



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XflB OEIGIH OF BAGASr IDOLAT&T. v 447 

aftted fifoto the restless ftmfaitkm of (be sdns of Ham: who, particolarly in chap^ uu 
ooe great brancbi have iil ait ages been the disturbers and conquerors and 
dvilizers and torrupters of the world. 

I. Agreeably to the prophetic Intimation of fbtore enlargement, Japhet 
colonic the whole of Eiiropci, aH those hoarthem regions of Asia which 
bmre been' vaguely dt^tingdbhed by the nanoies oiTartary and Sibiriaj and 
in process of tune by ui easy paEssage across Bebridg's straits the entire 
omtinent of America. The descendants of each patriarch, in all the three 
lines, were naturally designated by the appellation of their particular fore^ 
father : and, as it has often been shewn, it is most curious to observe, how 
long the names of the ancestors specified by Moses have been preserved 
aoKmg their children. 

1. Gomer seems evidently to have been the fiither of those, who were 
originally called Gamerians; who, witli a sl^t variation^ retained their 
primeval title, as Camarians, Cintmerians^ Cmbri^ Cymry, Cumbri, Cam* 
h'i, and Umbri; but who, in lapse of years^ bore tiie superadded name of 
Celts, Gauls, Galata^md Gads. These, spreading themselves from the 
regions north of Armenia and Bactriana, where we find some remains of 
them so late as the time of Ezekiel, extended themselves over nearly the 
whole of the continent of Europe, and first planted the two great isles of 
Britain and Ireland '• Hence we meet with Cimmerians or Cimbri in 
northern Asia, from which they are described as making excursions after * 
the manner of the Sacae : hence also we find them round the sea of Azoph, 
upon the Danube, in Germany, in Jutland or the Cimbric chersonese, in 
Italy, in Spain, and still in the Welsh mountains : and hence, briefly to 
sum up the whole, while they are by ancient authors positively identified 
with the Celts or Gauls, they are declared to hav^ once extended from the 
western ocean to the Euxine sea and from Italy as far north as the Baltic \ 

> Esek. xxxTiiL 6. Dionys. Perieg. ver. 700. Pomp. MeL lib. i. c% BKn. Nat 
Hist. lib. tL c. 16. Ptol. Oeog. lib. tL c 1 1— 1 8. Joseph. Ant Jad. lib. Ve. 6. ^ 1 . 

» Strab. Geog. lib. L p. 6, 61. lib. xL p. 494, 511. lib. xii. p. 578, 552. lib. viL p. 292— 
294, 809. ra>. V. p. 244. lib. xiy. p. 647, 648. Herod. HiBt. lib. iy. c 12. Diod. Bib. 
lib. y. p. 608, 809. Odyas. lib. xi. ver. 18. Pomp. Mel. lib. L c. 2. Solin. c 21. Appian. 
de bell. ctv. Ub. i. p. 625. Tacit do mor. Germ, c 87, 45. Pinkerton't Dissert, on th« 
Goths, p. 45—50. 



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448 THS ORIGIir 07 PAGAN IDOLATST. 

BOOK VI. In Italy they were sometimes by abbreviaiioo catted Utnbri: for we are 
told by Florus and Pliny, that the Umbri were the oldest inhabitants of 
that country; and by Solinus andTzetzes, that they were Gauls by origia 
and therefore of the same race as the Gmbri or Cumri \ So likewise the 
ancient Irish traditions, while they rightly bring into the western ble a co^ 
lony of Scuths or Scots, acknowledge that these*1nvaders found the country 
already inhabit)3d : and, as the Irish and the Welsh languages are equally 
dialects of the Celtic, it is sufficiently plain, as the legends indeed then>* 
selves teach us, that the Gaels of the smaller island were driven out from 
among the Cymry of the larger*. 

2. Magog, Tubal, and Mesech, as we learn from Ezekiel, had their ha* 
bitations far to the north of Jud^a ' : and tliere accordingly we may still 
trace them very unequivocally, as the ancestors of tite great Sclavonic or 
SarmaUan house and of the scarcely less exten^ve Tartar family. The 
name of Magog still exists in the national appellations of MogU and Mon- 
guk and Mongogians: while those oi Tubal and Mesech are preserved m 
Tobokki and Moschici and Moscow and Mmccroitc^. 

" Flor. lib. L c 17. Plin. Nat Hist. Ub«.iii. c li. Soltiu c. 8. Tseto. ia Lycoph. 
ver. 1356. 

* Vallancey's Vindic. pref. p. 56. Lloyd's Arch. Brit, in prsef. . 

^ Ezek. xxxviii. 2, 15. 

^ Porsons's Rem. of J^het p. 61, 65, 67. Dr. Parsons, Gen. Vallancey, and* other 
writers on die antiquities oflreland^ make the Scuthie invaders of that island to beMago* 
gians ; by which, in the extremity of the west,, they bring together Magog and Goner. 
For this opinion I cannot find en^en a shadow of evidence. Josq^hus does indeed pro* 
nounce the Scythians to be of the line of Magog; and his opinion has been echoed by 
Eustathius, Jerome, Theodoret, and a host of modern writers : but for his opinion he gives 
no authority whatsoever* With him the notfon plainly originated from the circumstance 
of the Touranian Scuths l3ring nortkvo&rd of Jndea, where Ezekiel places Magog: but in 
reality Magog planted the wide regions far again te the north qfScythia, with which the 
Greeks were very little acquainted. It is curious to note the different opinions, whfch 
have been entertained on this subject. Ambtose makes Magog the father of the Goths ; 
which is virtually to repeat the assertion of Josephus, for the Goths^and the- Scythians were 
the same people : Eusebius, of the Celts and Gauls : the author of the Alexai^ine Chi^ 
niclei of the Aquitani or Basques : and the Arabic writers, of the Tartars; - The* last opi^ 
nion U the true one. See Boch. Pbaleg. lib* iii, c« 13« p. 186, 197*. 



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. a. Mb^ ww^fiaytheroftbQM^es: for> ^hon^ver tl)e sacred writer3 chaV.iu. 
bave qcca&iQa to apeak of (hb pepple, th^y d^ignate them by the very 
iattie Bf^latkm that ^lofiea bestows upoa the son of Japbet *. 

4. IVom Javan werp descended the aboriginal Javanites or laones or 
Yavanas; by wbich names the inhabitants of Greece have invariably been 
eaUed by ^e oriental nations^ and sometimes even by themselves*. But 
here we must attend to a viery curious distinction, founded, upon an histo* 
rical fnrtand accurately noticed in the Hellenic records. 

The Oneeka aa fieunous in history were a compound of Scuthic Pelasgi 
from the north and of Phenicion and Egyptian emigrants from the south ; 
vn'ho^ at an early period, invadied and subjugated the territories of Javan, 
iod in prooeas of time became completely mingled with his descendants. 
Hence we are continually tQld» that Hellas was at first inhabited by barba* 
nans': and these barbarmns were doubtless the old laones or lannes or 
Javankes. But the invadera we^e of a totally different fiuniiy ; and, as we 
shall hereafter see, whether they ci^e from the north or the south, they 
were sdll alike of the same.raoa with each other. Yet they bore a title so 
nearly resembling that of the aborig^les, that the two have been perpetually 
oonfounded together, though t|ie Greek writers themselves distinguish them 
with the greatest accuracy. The invaders called themselves laties or 
lotdm, while the abprij^nes were denominated laones or Javoidm: and, 
from this. mere. similarity of sound, the Ionic tribes, in pitlpable contradic* 
tion to all history, have been frequenUy adduced as bearing the name of 
Jaxran their supposed ancestor, when all the while they were foreigners who* 
had attacked the children of that patriarch. But the Greek historians fell 
into no such mistakes. Conscious that the laones,. whom they styled bar-^ 
bartons^ had been invaded by their own ancestors the lones, who were of 
a different stods; they carefully distinguish between the two: and, although 

' Comp. Gen. x. 2. with 2 Kings xvii. 6. £zr* vi. 2. Esth. i. 19. baiah xiii. 17* Jerem. 
li« 1 L Dan. v. 28. viii, 20. ix* 1. zi. 1. 

.* Horn. Iliad* lib. xiii. ver. eS5. Scbel. in Aristoph. Acharn. ver. 106. Hesycb. Lex. 
Aaiat. Res. voL iu. p. 125. 

* Strab. Oeog. Ub. viL p. 321. Plat CratyL voL i. p. 425. SchoL in ApolL Aiigon. 
lib. Hi. Ter. 461. Pauf. Attic p. 77. 

Pag. Idol. VOL. III. • 3 L 



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460 Ytt£ 0Ri6iy of^ tAOAii: ti>oLArnY. 

BooE VI. the names might from their similarity have been sometimes confounded, 
the most accurate of their writers speak of 4hem as separate appellationsi 
and represent the introduction of the one as being posterior to that of the 
other. Thus Strabo tells us, thi^ Attica was formerly called both Ionia 
and las or Jan : and thus Pausanias mentions, that the name oilones was 
a comparatively modem addition or assumption : while tluit of HacncB is 
acknowledged to have been the primitive title of the barbarians, who were 
subjugated by the lones ^. If we inquire whence these invaders got the 
name of Tones, we have a perfectly clear account of the whole matter: they 
were so called from their ancestor Ion or lonan, the son of Xnth^ the son 
of Hellen, the son of Deucalion \ Now Deucalion^ wha was preserved ift 
an ark, was certainly Noah: hence^ if the Ionic Greeks be accurate, theif 
ancestor was a great grandson of that patriarch. Nor will it be very diffi<- 
cult to learn, what great-grandson he was. The lones^ we are told^ re- 
ceived their name from lonan or loanes, a man of gigantic stature, wh6 
was the ringleader in the building of the tower^ when* the languages of all 
mankind were confounded : and they were the first, who introduced the 
worship a( idols and who deified the Sun and the Moon and the Host of 
Heaven '• Ion then was evidently Nimrod ; who* stands in the very same 
degree of relationship to Noah, that Ion does to Deucalion : and, accord- 
ingly, as Nimrod b said to have been the son of Cuth ; so lon^ with a very 
slight variation, is similarly said to be the son of Xudi. Whether the 
lones were literally descended from Nimrod, may perhaps be doubtful . 
but they certainly were of the line of Cush and of tfie family of the Shep^ 
herd-kings of Egypt Nimrod seems to have taken the name of Ion from 
the worship of the lonah or Yoni; and, as he doubtless was initiated into 
bis own Mysteries, the Greeks had a tradition, that Ion was exposed during 
his infancy in an ark decorated with olivet From this superstition was 
derived what Epiphanius calls the heresy of lonism or Hellenism : and we 

^ Strab. Geog. lib, ix. p. S92. Paug. Achaic p.S96, 897. 

* Patt«. Achaic p*S96. Sinb. Geog. lib. Tiii. p. 888. ApoUod. BibL lib. £ c 7. f^ 
^ Cbron. Patch, p. 49. Johfli. AnUoch« p. 66. Euaeb. Chroa. p. 18^14. CedrM. 
JHiaU Comp. p. 46. 

^ EuripuL Ion. ver. 1484b 



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TRJE OmOIK OP PAOAN IDOlATWr, 451 

have already seen, that he describes it, as succeeding the more simple apos- chap, nt* 
tasy of Scuthism and as coinmencing with the Babylonic tower. 

The Greek lones then really had their name from the Ionic idolatry: 
and the close resemblance of this religious title to the gentile appellation 
of laones has caused them to be often confounded together, and has led 
many authors erroneously to deduce them alike from Javan. They are 
however two difierent names, borne by two different families for two dif^ 
ferent reasons : and, slight as the dbtinction is between them in Hebrew or 
Chaldee, we ?till find, that, as the Greeks speak of laones and Jones and 
ofjoma and Ian; so the Hindoos, with equal accuracy^ mention both the 
YmanaswaAHtktYonijas^. 

With respect to the sons of Javan, we seem- to recogniw EUshah in Elisy 
Tarskish in Tartessus or Tarsus^ Kittm in the Macedonian Cittium, and 
Dodanim in Dodona. 

5. It is not improbable, that Tiras might have been the father of tiie 
aboriginal Thracians, whose kings not unfrequently bore the name of 
Tereus: but, however thk may be, the later Thracians were so largely 
mixed with Scuths, that they may almost be deemed an entity Gothic 
nation. 

11. The posterity of Shem were confined entirely to southern Asia :. 
and, much as they were brought under the dominion of Cush, whose chil- 
dren were almost invariably intermingled with them ; they may yet for the 
most part be easily discovered in their separate settlements, where they 
fixed themselves, as we learn from Moses, after their famiUes, after their 
tongues, in their lands, after their nations. Both they, and the more emi- 
nent of the descendants of Ham, are perpetually mentioned in Holy Scrip- 
ture : and this circumstance renders the investigation of their colonies far 
more easy than that of the colonies of Japhet 

1. Elam appears to have been established in southern Persia, contigu- 
ous to the maritime tract which eminently bore the name of Cbusistan or 
the land of Cush. Here, from first to last, be was subject to the Cuths ; 
whether known as Scuths, or as Gothic Persians, or as Sacas, or as (by a, 

' Jaoan and lona differ only m a single letter, p* and mv ; nor can I<m or Iman, as a 
nascnUne name, be distinguished in Hebrew choracten from Javan except by the points. 



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45a THE onioiir of fagait idolatrt* 

iooK vi. genemi appellation) Tramans. The locality of Etem b determined by Da^ 
niel ; for he mentfOns, that Shushan or the chirf city of Susiana was situ^ 
ated within that promce '• Bam is the Elymais of pagan writers : and 
the Elamites are those Elym^i, whom Pliny and Ptolemy notice as inha*^ 
biting the shores of the Persian golpb. 

2. Ashur planted the land, which in Scripture k invariably distingubhedl 
by his name, and which by the Greeks was thence rightly denommated 
Assyria. This was also a province of the Cuthic or Iranian empire; and, 
as such, with Ekm and Aram cmd perhaps the greater part oi Avphaxad^ 
was included widiin the ample limits of Iran or Cusha-niwip withm or the 
Asiatic Ethiopia. 

3, Arphaxad, through his grandson Eber, branched out into the two 
houses of Peleg and Joktan; the former of whom was the ancestor of the- 

- Israelites and other kindred nations in the west of Asia. 

(L) As for Peleg, he must have remained in Chald^ or southern Baby- 
Ionia at tiie time of the dispersbn: for there we find tiie family of Abra« 
ham settled, previous to the emigration of his father Tendi from Ur of tha 
Chusdiln^ 

(2.) Of the numerous children of Joktan it is said by Moses, that their 
dwelling was from Mesha as thou geest unto Sepkar a mount of the east : 
hence, whatever be the precise situation of mount Sephar, they evidently 
spread themselves in an oriental direction* I am inclined to believe, that 
they lyere the ancestors of the great body of the Hindoos ; and consequendy 
that Josephtts was not far mistaken in placing them on the banks of an 
Indian river, which he names Cophenk^. To this opinion I am the more 
inclined from finding among the Hindoos very vivid traditions, even by 
name, of the patriarch Shem or Sama or Sharma. They describe him, as 
being of a most benevolent disposition, but of a weak constitution : they 
speak of him, as travelling (that is to say, in the persons of his descendants) 
into their country : and they represent him, as instructing all the four prin-^ 
cipal castes in their religious duties. He is likewise supposed to have been 
one of the many incarnations of Buddha : and this, I think, will account 

•Daa^iii.9 *Cl^xL31. ' Ant Jud. lib. I c. 6. j 4. 



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THS OUOIN OP PAOAir n>OLATKr. 453 

for the mSd and philosophical character with which that god is invested by oba^. m^ 
the Hindoos; while the more warlilie Goths exhibit iiim, as the ferocious^ 
though literary, deity of war '; Ophir, one of the sons of Joktan, is often 
mentioned ia Scripture aa inhabiting a land abounding in gok), to which 
voyages were made by ships that sailed from the porta of the Red sea \ 
Now Moses tells us,^ that Qphir, in coaanon with the other sons of Joktan^ 
settled fiur to the east* The voyages therefore from the Red sea to the land 
«f Ophir must have been made in an eaatem direction^ But the whole 
sea-coast of Persia as &r as the Indus waa inhabited by Cosh mingled with 
£lam. Hrace it will necessarily follow, that the land of Ophir must have 
been beyond the Indus. And this will bring us to t^ great peninsula of 
Hindostan, for the seat of Ophir and hb brethren : to which^ accordingly 
we find, that regular voyages have in the easiest times been made from the 
mouth of the Red sea across the Indian ocean K 

4. Of Lud scarce any mention is made by the inspired historians^ so that 
we are greatly in the dark respecting the land which he colonized. If we 
pay argue from similarity of names^ it is not improbable, that he may have 
been, as Bochart supposes, the father of the Lydians or Ludiaas : for this 
people had a traditicm, that th^ were descended from Lydqs or Lud^. 
Josephus coincides in opinion with Bochart ^ 

5. The children of Aram planted the fertile country north of Babylonia^ 
tiiat lies between the Euphrates and the Tigris: whence by the Greeks it 
was cidled Mesopotamia; and, by the sacred writers^ Aram of the rivers. 
Afterwards, though largely mingled with other adventurers of the great 
Iranian empire, they spread themselves over ti)e whole of Syria beyond 
Damascus^ The inhabitants of this second Aram are acknowledged by the 
Greeks to have always styled themselves, as they were always styled by 
their Asiatic neighbours, Arim or Aramhms^ 

IIL At the first division of the earth, Ham was mixed with Sfaem^ 

* Asiat. Res. ▼ol, vi. p. 525— 53a 

* 1 Kingt IX. 26—28. x. 11. xxii. 48. « Clkron. viii. IT, 18. ix. 10. 

' See Robertson's Disq. on Ind. sect i; ^ Bocfa. Fhaleg. Kb. ii. c. 11K 

i Ani. Jud. lib. i. c 6. f 4. 

* Sitab. Geog. lib. L p. 4& lib. xia. B« 6S7« lib^-xvL p^ 784, 78& 



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454 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATBT. 

BOOR vff. throughout southern Asia, while of the whole cohtiDent of Africa he appears 
additionally to have been the sole occupant 

I. Respecting Cush or Cuth, the great fieither of the sacerdotal and mill* 
tary tribes who were the leading architects of Babel and who founded the 
primeval empire of Iran, I shall at present only remark, that he was the 
progenitor of those; who from himself were variously denominated Cushim^ 
or Cushas^ or Chusas, or Cossians^ or ChcuaSj or Cassays^ or Cissiam\ or 
CamanSy or Cuths^ or CatbSy or CkUSy or GuthSy or Gothty or Geiesy or 
Scuthsy or Scuitiy or ScotSy or Gouts. In addition to this family-name, for 
the Cbusas declare themselves to be descended from Cush or Cusha or 
Chusa or Gaut or Scuth^; a great branch of them at least, if not the whole 
body, took the appellation of Sdcas or Sachim or Sacasenas from their fa- 
vourite god Saca or Xaca or Sacya, who is the same as Buddh or Wuddh 
or Fo or Odin '• The Sacse, accordingly, are unanimously pronounced 

* Pronounced by the Greeks Kissians. 

* Hence South with its variations is evidently a patronymic Gen. Yallancey, who 
makes the Scythians to be M agogians, derires their name from a word which signifies a 
Mp. Such may be the import of the word : but, if so, I rather incline to believe, that a 
ship was caHed Scuth or Scudh or Skuia or Scaid from the adventurous mariners of this tribe 
who traversed the whole Mediterranean and who fearless^ explored the ocean itsdf, thaa 
that the tribe was so denominated from a ship. Ancient nations, if they sometimes bor* 
rowed an additional title from their favourite occupation, yet almost invariably, I apprehend, 
diBluigttished themselves either by the name of their patriarchtd ancestor or by that of the 
divinity whom they worshipped. Accordingly, the great body of Souths or Goths, who 
were a completely inland people, bore the name, which the learned General would derive 
from a ship, lonig before they had ever beheld the sea. Vind. of anc hist, of IreL pref* 
p. 28 and pasc^m« 

^ M* Pezron ridiculously fancies, that the Sacae, whom he most erroneously confounds 
with die Goraerians or Cehs, were so called by their neighbours out of pure spite ; because 
they were notorious suckers of towns and villages, desperate marauders, arid acknowledged 
thieves : juit as tf acts of rapine were any w^y peculiar to the Sacs rather than to any other 
ferocious and uncivilized nation, or as if they themselves would contentedly exchange their 
original name for one given them by foreigners as a term of reproach. Ant. of nations, 
b. i. c. 4. p. 27. That the name was borne by themselves in all ages, is sufficiently evident. 
Strabo sajrs, diat they settled, in Armenia, which from their own appellation they called 
Sacasena : we find them mentioned in Scripture, by the appellation of SaMm^ as seated 
with their brethren the Cuths in African Ethiopia: and their posterity in Europe still do. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN lDOLAt&t« 4$M 

both by the Greek and the Hindoo writers to be Souths or Chusas : and^ coap. nu 
wherever we find the one appellation, we are sure to find the other likewise. 
Thus, in upper India, we have the Chusas and the Sacas : in Iran we have 
the Sacce and the Scutb^ or Cuths : round the Caspian sea, we have the 
Sacs again mingled with the Caspii or Chasas or Scuths or Getes : in the 
Afirican Ethiopia as in the Asiatic, we still meet with the Cushim and Sa- 
chim : and, in £urope, after the Scythians had poured over it like a tor- 
rent firom the east, we again perceive, that the Gothft were attended b^ 
their inseparable brethren the Saxons or Sacasens. They likewise, from 
their addiction to the roving freedom of the pastoral life, called themselves 
PaUi or Peiasgi or Beiga or Shepherds. They also, in some of their 
branches, bore the name of lonim or Yoni^as, from the worship of the Yoni 
or lonah. And by the Greeks particularly in their southern settlement^ 
whether Asiatic or African, they were often denominated Ethiopians and 
Indians. They were a warlike and powerful and wise people ; and the 
empire, which they established over their brethren at Babylon, they have 
never lost even to the present hour. A sort of fearless and conscious supe>» 
riority has characterised them, whether mixed or unmixed, in all their set* 
tlements : and they have been destined in every age to be the most promie 
tient actors in the great theatre of nations. 

S. Of Misr or Mizraim it is almost superfluous to observe, that Egypt 
was his portion. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the Egyptians are^ 
universally styled Mizraim; and in the East the country is to this day de^ 
nominated Misr, of which Mizraim is the plural form. 

As Egypt tbea was emmently the land of the Mizraim, it seems only 
natural to suppose, that all the children of Misr, whose names like that of 
their parent are given by Moses in the plural number, should have settled 
themselves either within the limits of Egypt or at least on its outskirts. 
And this, in fact, appears to have been the case; though it may not be 
possft>le quite satisfactorily to discover thenr all. 

The Ludim and the Lehabkn are probably the Copto^I^ibynns branch'- 
ihg out indefinitely into tfie heart of Africa. The Naphtnfaim aooarentiy 

nomiiiate theDttehres Saxons or Sacasens and their tett l aai e n t i Saxom/m Sacasena^ Ibe tery 
aamd by wliidi of old they dbtiogoished Anaeoia. Stndb.Ooog. lOfixi p. 511 



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456 ITflE OEIOIK or FAGAN IDOLATEY. 



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THE ORtOIN Onr lAQAlf I0OLATAT. 457 

'ttnd aftervrards to have penetratod fiur to the west and the south, thus plant- ^^^^' "'* 
kg the greatest part of the eontioeDt of Africa. The vicinity of the Phutim 
to the Misraim is satisfactorily established^ the testiniony of Jeremiah 
and Eiekiel \ They were always a degraded raoe i yet some vestiges of 
their patriarchal appellation remained to a late period. PUny mentions a 
city below Adrometum named Putea: Ptolemy speaks of a river in Mau- 
ritania called Phat^ and a district in Africa calted PutAis: and Jerome 
notices the existonce of the same river Pkut^ and remarks that the adja* 
cent country was in hb days denominated regio Pkutenm or the land of 
Phut\ 

4w OfOmaad it is sufficient to say, that his posterity occupied the 
greatest part of that weU*known country, which was afterwards subjugated 
by the Israelites. Then began to be firifilled that proj^cy respecting 
Mm ; which has^so often, in equal ddianee of sacred and profiwe history, 
been thoughtlessly extended to all the children of (I believe) the unoffend- 
ing Ham.. He wra doomed to be a servant of servants to his brethren ia 
general, whether of the Mne of Ham or of Shan or of Japhet ^ Accord- 
H^Iy, he was in part exterminated and in part reduced to ^servility by the 
Sbemite house of Abraham : he ibll under the yoke of Ham and Japhet 
R&igled togetiier, when his land became a province of the Greek and Bo- 
man empires : and he was subjected to Ji^het perhaps suigly, and to^ Jar 
phet and Ham and Sbem conjointly, when be finally yielded to the Tartaric 
Ottomam, as he had heretofore bow«d the neck beneath the Medo-Persiaa 
sceptre. Sbem however, though be attained not for the most part to great 
temporal power, being usually under the influence of Ham in the line of 
Cu^ received the promise of » blessing, which raised him* hi^ in real 
dignity above either of. liis brothers. While the whde woild was plunged 
in pagan darkoess> the light of divine truth was alone preserved among a 
hi^ly favoured people sprung from his loins. Throned between the Che- 

* Jerem. klvL 8, 9. Ezek. xxx. 4,. 5. lit both these passages our translators render 
Pkuikn by Libyans: and most probably the bulk of the Libyans were the children of Phut. 

* Boch. PhaL lib. it. c S8« p. 295. Well's Geog. vol* L part u c. S. sect. 4. p. 102. 
^ Gen. ix. 25. Here the expression is general. 

Pitg. IdoL VOL. III. 3 M 



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458 THE ORIGIN OF FAGAN IDOLATBY. 

BOOK yi. rubim, Jehovah dwelt vblbly in the Ix^roadfis qf Sb6in : imd, ,whmi the 
fulness of time was come, he suddeidy appeared ia U3 own temple as thsd 
messenger of the covenant ; and abode m the:fie8b amongst his brethren of 
the seed of Abraham, full of grace and trotiu Thus aooprately, in all it3 
parts has the prophecy been accomplished. 

IV. The late Sir William Jones, in his diacourses before the Asiatic 
society, has at once been eminently serviceable to the cati^.of reveLationt 
and has thrown great light on the vei^ cucious subject of a cootjuBion of 
languages in some centrical region. 

1. By a retrospective investigation, built upon the soundest principles^ he 
finds, that all Asia, and ther^ore (as he truly remarJcs) ^U Ihe world, must 
have been peopled by three grand aboriginal races. Theae^ for tbq ^e of 
convenience, he is willing to denominate HmdBa$, Jrabs, w^ T^rt^rs;^ ami 
to one or other of them, if we mount upwards, he shewa thptt all natioRP 
must ultimately be referred* When the numerous revQ}ution^ of .eoiipir^ 
since the days of Moses are considered, we^ndiuflit expect to find, tbu the 
three races do not now abvays occupy the same 3eats as those which they 
originalbf occupied : and I am inclined to believe, tJi>aJt the wi4i9 coloniuif* 
tion and extensive influence of one great branch has. led Sir Williafm too 
hastily to class, as homogeneous nation^ what in reality ai^.m^ifi^ J. nar 
tions. Yet, on the wliole, it is most curious to observe^ how a^curirtely 
his analysis corresponds, both with the anciant Mosaieal bi0tory». apd with 
those profane accounts which describe numerous subsequenyt migrati^oa ' 
that either fall act within the province or the age of the Hebrew legis* 
lator. 

S. India, according to the largest sense of the term, he considers, as 
divided on the west from Persia by the Aradaosian mountains ; as bounded, 
on the east^ by the Chinese part of the farther peninsula ; as confined, on 
the north, by the wikis of Tartary ; and as extending to t^e south as far as 
the isles of Java. This trapezium therefore, comprising an aiea of near 
forty degrees on each side, comprehends the hills of Potyid or Thibet, the 
valley of Cashmir, all the domains of the old Indo-Scuths, the countries of 
Nepal and Butant and Asam, the realms of Siam and Ava and Racan, 
the bordering kingdoms as far as the Cfiim of the Hindoo or the Sin of the 



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TH£ OEIOIN OF PAGAV IDOLATRY. 459 

Arabian geographers^ tiie whole western peniosulay and the idand of Gey- chap, hu 
Ion at its soutiiern extremity *. 

3. As he describes Ihdia npon its most extensive scafe^ so he applies the 
natne of Ardbia, as the Arabian geographers often apply it, to that large 
peninsula, which the Red sea divides from Africa^ which the great Assyrian 
river separates Irom Iran^ and of which the £rytbr^an aea washes the base ; 
without exdudmg any part of its western side, whi^ would be completely 
maritime, if no isthmus intervened between the Mediterranean and the sea 
of Kolzom. That country, in short, he calls Arabia, in which the Arabic 
language and letters, or such as have a near affinity to them, have been im- 
memorially current *. 

4. On similar prihciples he defined the boundaries of Tartary. Con- 
ceive a lii^e drawn from the mouth of the Oby to that of the Dnieper. 
Bringing it back eastward across the Euxine so as to include the penin* 
sula of Kriiri, extend it along the foot of Caucasus, by the rivers Cur and 
Aras, to the Caspian lake; from the opposite shore of which follow the 
course of the Jaihun and the chain of Caucas^n hills, as far as those of 
Imaus. Thence contmoe the line beyond Ibe Chmese wall to the white 
moontam and the country of Yetso : skirting the borders of Persia, India, 
China, and Corea; but including part of Russia, with all the districts which 
lie between the fro^n sea and tiiat of Japan '• 

5s To the three races of men, who have mainly occupied these three 
large Asiatic districts^ he traces up the whole hitmaii race, however widely 
they may have been scattered in the lapse of time by numerous emigra- 
tions : and, with the single feult of not sufficiently considering the Hindoos 
and other great families as muced nations, he is clearly shewn by historical 
testimony to have been accurate in l^ arrangement. 

(1.) The Indian race comprehends the old Persians; the Abyssinians; 
the Ethiopians, whether Astatic or African, and whether ruling in Iran or in 
l^pt; the Pheniciana; the Greeks; the Tuscans; the Scuths or Goths ; 

' Disc, on 'Hind. Asiat, Res. vol. i. p. 418, 419. 
* Disc oil AralK AsiaU Res. vol. ii. p. 2. 
' Disc* on Tart Asiat R«8. vol. ii. p. 19, 20» 



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460 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN IDOLATRY^ 

BOOK ru the Celts ; the Chinese ; the Japanese ; the Egyptians ; the Syrians i the 
Katas ; the Burmans ; the Romans ; and the Peruvians '. 

(2.) The Arabic race comprehends those ; who speak the Arabic lan- 
guage or its varieties^ and who are found within the limits of Arabia as 
already specified. 

(S.) The Tartar race, in a similar manner, comprdiends those; who oc- 
cupy the wide regions of Tartary, Who have spread themselves into Russia 
and Poland and Hungary, and who use the different dialects of the Sclavo- 
nic language. 

& Analogous to the three races, though not quite exac^y coincident mth 
them, Sir William finds three primeval languages ; into which, so far as his 
very extensive knowledge enables him to speak, all the other dialects of AAb^ 
and thence of the world, finally resolve themselves. These are Uie Sans- 
crit, the Arabic, and the Sclavonic. 

(1.) From the Sanscrit spring the Greek, the Latin, the Gothic, the 
Celtic though blended with another idiom, the Persian, the Armenian, and 
the old Egyptian or Ethiopic *. 

(2.) From the Arabic, which is radically and essentially different from 
the Sanscrit, spring die dialects used by the Jews, the Arabs, and the Assy- 
rians '. 

(3.) From the Sclavonic or Tartarian, which again is radically different 
both from the Sanscrit and the Arabic, spring, so far as Sir William can 
venture to pronounce upon so difficult a pwit, the various dialects <^ 
northern Asia and north-'castem Europe ^ 

7. These points being ascertained, the next inquiry of our great linguist 
is, wbence the three primeval races originated. Having argued first on 
abstract principles, from the general order observeabie in the works of the 

' DiBC on Hind. As. Res. vol. i. p. 4^5, 4S7» 490. Disc on Chin. A«. Res. vol. iL 
p. S68, S69, 875, S78, S79. Disc on the border, of Asia. As. Bes. vol. iii. p. IS, 14, 15, 
18. Disc on the orig. of nat. As. Res. vol. iiu p. 418, 419. 

* Disc on Hind. As. Res. vol. i. p. 422. Disc on the border. As. Res. vol. liL p. 15. 
* Disc on the Orig. As. Res. vol. iii. p. 418, 419. 

' Disc on Arab. As. Res. vol. iL p. 5. Disc on the Orig. As. Res. vol. iii. p. 419. 

* Disc on Tart As. Res. vol iL p. 28, 29, 40. Disc on the Orig. As. Res. voL iiL p. 419. 



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THE ORIQIK OF PAOAK IPOLATAT^ 4^1 

creation^ durk all mankiad must have sprung from a suigle pair ; he theoce .^kap. uu 
deduces, still on abstract principles^ the apparent necessity of concluding, 
that the three races must once have been assembled together. But, if th^ 
vfppe cmce assembled together in a shg^e r^on, tbi^ region must have been 
8 centrical one ; otherwise the radii of their original divergence would cross, 
and therefafe inCorfirre mtix each other* Suppesiog then tbatall the three 
races were once assembled in this centrical region^ . since it has been disco* 
vered that there are exacdy three primeval languages, we are compdled to 
expect, diat traces of all the three languages must be found in whatever 
region we pitch upon £«r the original ooojunotion of the three races» 

Now, tiiough by local appropriation (as we have repeatedly seen) each 
ancient people fixes the appulse of the Ark to a lofty mouQtain situated in 
their own country ; yet no re^on can be found, exc^t Iran d^ned accord^, 
ing to the Umits alreatdy specified, where vest^ of all the three primeval 
tongues can be discovered. But in Iran,^ which is precisdy the centricc^ 
region whence a divergence of the three races might take place without an 
interference of the radii, traces of all the three primeval tongues may clearly 
be detected. 

When Mohammed was bom and Aniashiravan sat on the thrpne o^ Persia^ 
two languages appear to have been generally prevalent in thcigreat empire 
of Iran : that ci the court, which was only a refined and el^ant dialect of 
the Parsi; and thi^ of the learned, which bore the name of the PuklavL 
Besides these however, there was a very ancient and ahstrwe tongMe, known 
to the priests and philosophers, and called the kmguage i^the Zend; be- 
cause a book on nsligious and nmrid duties, which they held sacred and 
wbkh bore that name, had been written in it On lamination, Sir Wil* 
Ham found from the specimens yet remaining, that the old Zend was pUinly 
no other dian Sanscrit He aleo found, that the Parsi was^ but a more 
modern dialect of the same primeval tmigue. And he further discovered, ^ 
that the Pahlavi, in which the commentary on the holy book is written, . 
palpably idei^es ksdf with Arabic or Chaldee. Here then we have , 
in centrical Iran two of the primeval languages, thd Sanscrit and the 
Arabic : it. only remains to inquire, whether any vestiges of the Sclti^ 
wmic can be detected. This also Sir WiUiam actually louod to_be th^^ 



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46^ THB ORIGIN or PAGAV I3»)LAT&Y« 

BOOK vi; case. The ddest dbeoverable langaages of' Iran, be remttrksi. weter^ 
Ghaldee and Sanscrit : and, when these bad ceased to be vernaQularj the 
Pahlavi and the Zend were respectiTely deduced from them; Tifl^ the 
Parsi sprang) either from the Zend, or immediately fiDm the dialect of tbe 
Brahmena But all seem to have bad a mixAure of the Jbriarum waA.Sda- 
vomc: for tiie best lexicographers assert, tbat numberlesft words io an*, 
cient Persian are taken from the language of the TarUffs of Kipchaiu 

Thus, he observes, the great fiunities^ wboselineag&has^ been eMamiMdy, 
had left visible traces of themselves in Iran ; long before the. Tartars and 
Arabs bad rushed from their deserts and had returned to thatirery coontry^ 
from which to dl appearance th^ had ortginftUyte»igmted,. and which Ibe 
Hindoos had similarly abandoned widi positive copamands fcom their- kgis-. 
lators never to revbit it \ 

8. The resuH from this very curious investigitton is st^(»eDtly obvi* 
ous. 

No more than three races can be discovered : all the tiiree are fouod in 
centrical Iran : from Iran therefore they muiit have braocbed.off ia every 
direction. But Iran is the identical country, within the limits of. which 
Moses places both the appulse of the Ark and the general gadiering to- 
gether of mankind at Babel* He likewise teaches us, that mankind^ thougjh 
so collected in a single community, were descended from the three :son$ of 
him who was preserved at the time of an universal deluge. He declares, 
that from this centrical region they were dispersed over the face of the 
earth ; not confusedly, but according to their patriazchal faotiUes and na- 
tions. And he intimates, tbat the secondary cause of their dispersioQ was 
a sudden confusiod of languages, which took place withia the limito of Iran. 
But these are the precise conclusions, towbichSir William Jooes, the most 
accomplished linguist whom perhaps this or any other couotry has ever pro* 
duced, found himself inevitably brought by a totally indefiendeitt retrograde 
examination. Hence he most rationally assumes, as an undoubted matter 
of fact, that the three races, allowing for those mtxturea which have neces- 

■ Disc, on the Oxig. As. |le«. toI. iii. p. 419— 422. Disc, on Arab- As. Res. voL ii. p. 4(K 
Disc, on Pers, As* Res. ToL Ji p» M— ^, 64* 



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^WR ORIGIN or PAOAK IIX>LATR1r. 463 

«tti% betti (irodttoed fay tbe fevolutioBS of empires^ must have sprung from omap. m. 
Ibe tlMTM persons, whom Moses^ in perfect accordance with old gentile tra- 
4itk)n^ deaoannateft Sbem, Ham^ and Jcq^het. 

Ye^ as he traly observes and as all history testifies^ the three races, 
thragh distinct in a tonsiderdi>le degree, were nerer even from the first 
' wboUy separate, laphet, the ftither of the Tartars or Sclavonians, moving 
northward, preserved hunself in a great measure unblended ; and had little 
btercourse M^ththe posterity of his brethren, until the Huns precipitated 
tbemselFes upon Europe and the Monguis upon southern Asia. But the 
oriental colonies of Ham and Shem were always simultaneous : an(^ as Ham 
with very few trWng exceptions wielded the sceptre, his children were in 
niimeroo^ instance ccmplefely blended with the chfldren of Shem. Mixed 
likewise they were witii Japhet, as we shall presently see ; but not, until a 
comparatively modem period, in a degree by any means equal. Hrace the 
languages of Ham and Shem became to a certain extent common : and 
hence in Iran they subsisted distinct from each other, while the Sclavonic 
appears only in many detached words alike adopted into them both. But 
this, which Sir William found to be actually the case, is precisely what we 
might have expected from history. The descendants of Japhet, with the 
exception of various straggling individuals who still chose to adhere to the 
fortunes of Nimrod, wholly evacuated Iran, withdrawing themselves into 
northern Asia and western £urope : but that centrical region was entirely 
peopled by the children of Shem in the several lines of Ashur, Elam, 
Arphaxad, and Aram ; while branches of the numerous posterity of Cush 
partly occupied Babylonia and Chusistan, and partly as the priesthood and 
military nobility spread themselves throughout the whole empire which from 
them received the general appellation of Cusha-dwip or the land of Cush or 
Asiatic Ethiopia or southern Scythia \ . 

9. This laborious and highly satisfactory investigation of Sir William 
Jones decides, so far as I am able to judge, a long controverted point ; 
which, without the peculiar sort of knowledge possessed by him, never 
could have been finally decided. 

" I>i8C. <m Orig. of Nat. At. Res. vol. ill p. 4S9, 426, 427» 428, 4Sd, 484. 



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464 THE QftlOIN aF PAOAN IDGtMtVT. 

»oo« ru Moses, if we literally translate his expi^ssiiHM, tells us^ tkftt, pieirieitfk tp^ 
the confusicm which took place at Babel, aU the world were (^ one tip and 
ofumform words \ This one tip therefore and these uniform wonU ^^r^^ 
of course the thing, that wis confounded; the thing, which^ A^y^ con- 
founded,, necessarily produced the dbpersion : for the men,, who before un- 
derstood each other, became now, to a certain extent at least, mutually un- 
intelligible. The most common opinion has been, that a real change qf 
speech was effected : and, with regard to the number of tongpes then pro- 

i duced, while the Rabbins have supposed no less than seventy two agree- 

ably te their mode of reckoning up the fomilies of the diapersicm^ it is jxK)re 
modestly urged by Mr. Mede that the new languages could not have been 
fewer than the heads of Nations; that is to say, seven from Japhet, 
four from Ham, and five from Shem. This interpretation iiowever is 
allowed, neither by Mr. Bryant, nor by the doctors of the Hutchinsonian 
school : and it is contended, that either a mere change of pronunciation,, or 
a difference of religious sentiment, or both the one and the other conjointly, 
effected the dispersion from Babel. Such an exposition was indeed abso- 
lutely necessary for the hypothesis of Mr. Bryant : for, as be only allows 
the Cuthites to have been assembled in Shinar, he of course must deny^ 
that all mankind suffered a penal confusion of language for the sin of one 
family. Accordingly he maintains, that,^ when the end was produced, the 
effects of the miracle ceased : and he attempts to prove, that no real con- 
fusion oi language took place, by the common argument of those wha ad- 
vocate his opinion. Abraham, in the course of his tife, travelled ail the 
way from Chaldha to Egypt by t/ie circuitous route qf Syria : J>ut, where* 
ever he Carrie^ he found nodi^culty in making himself understood without 
the aid of an interpreter : language therefore could not have been the thing' 
fhat was confounded. 

It seems a little extraordinary, that so very inconclusive an argument 
I should have been used by so very able a man: for it is obvious, that no- 
thing is proved by tt, but that dialects of the same language, which dialects 
were no doubt Chaldee, Syriac, Hebrew,, and Arabic, were universally 

' GeiuzL 1. 



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TH£ ORIOIir OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 46S 

spoken from Babylon to lower Egypt We karn nothing from it, as to chap, iu. 
trbat tongues were used northward throughout Touran and Tartary, or 
mstward tbrouf^bout Bokhara and Hindostan. Had Abraham travelled 
in either of ikose directions^ his native CbaMee might or might not have 
been understood^ for any thing that the present argument proves or dis* 
proves^ The question therefore must be decided by a far different process, 
tha» either an inconclusive argument or a disputable translation of the Mo- 
/Eiucal phraseology* 

Now the researches of Sir William Jones are in effect the very process> 
1^ which alone the matter can be settled : and it is remarkable, that they at 
once finally decide the question, account for the circumstance which has 
been noticed in the. history of Abraham, and establish the number of pri* 
fiutry languages which originated at Babel. He has, discovered, we have 
seen, three primary tongues, into which, so far as sucb points can be posi- « 
tively determined, all other tongues ultimately resolve themselves. These 
three he pronounces to be radically and essentially different from each other, 
both in Words and in grammar and in construction, so that no two of them 
could have originaled from the third : and all the three he finds existing to- 
gether in that centrical region, whence the several families which spoke them 
must have branched off, and where Moses fixes the production of some pre- 
ternatural dialectical confusion which was the efficient cause of that emi- 
gration. Hence, I think, it will necessarily follow, both that the confusion 
at Babel must have been a real confusion of language, not merely a tern* 
porary inarticulateness of pronunciation; and that the aumber of primary 
ll^iguages^ which then arose,, was precisely threcj answering, though not 
with absolute exclusiveness, to the three great |)atriarchal houses. Hence 
f^lso we must understapd the languages, which are said by Moses to have 
been severally spoken in the various famities^ of those three houses, as mere . 
dialects of one or other of the primary tongues ; which, in process of time, 
received such alteration, that even the families pf the same house became 
unintelligible to each other. . 

Whether the Hebrew or Arabic was the original antediluviaa tongue, 
cannot with certainty be pronounced : yet, since God never works a super- 
fluous muscle, and since every end of the dispersion would be effectually 
Pag. Idol VOL. iiju 3 N 



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466 THE oEionr 6t paoan isolat&t; 



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TUB OBIGiK OF PACbUI IBOLATRT. 467 

with tbcsr subordinate families, had its own peculiar portion ass^ned to it csap^ i^ 
Yet this arran^metit was made, with express reference to a nation not yet 
in existenee : and a certain territory, well known to all the rest of man* 
land, was reserved oat of the grand triple division, as the lot of God's 
liiture people. The district in question, considered as a holy land, was 
oecessarify cr^ued by «be dutdren of Misr and Phut during their progress 
into Afrfea: but the oem^ng of it seems to have been religiously ab^ 
stamed from by all the descendants of Noah; until the posterity of the 
abandobed Canaan, associated with some individuals of the giant or Cutiiic 
rlu)e, had the hardyhood to seize upcm it Then we find God, reclaiming 
his usurped peoilium, and sdemnly bestowing it upon the patriarch of the 
yet fiiture dbosen naticm. Agraeably to this account of Moses, the Ca- 
naamtes, frcmi beguming to end, if we note their history, have evidently all 
the timid feelings of conscious usurpers* Th^ were aware, that they pos- 
sessed what did not of tight belong to them : hence their dread of Jacob, to 
whom the land was givra ; and hence their durinking apprehensions, both ^ 
when the Israelites crossed the Red sea and when at lengA they appeared 
upon the eastern frontier '• 

The solemn division of the earth amoi^ his three sons appears to have 
been one of ^tibe last acts of the cBvinely-inspired royal pab*iarch« Eusebius 
at least, and others of the fathers, most probably oaihe authority of an- 
cient Jewish tradition, inform us, that it took place in the nine hundred and 
thirtieth year of Noah's life or about twenty years before his death ; that is 
lo say, in the &ree hundred and tbirtkth year after the deluge \ The 
ordinance however was slighted by Nimrod and his Cuthites, who conceived 
tiie project of an universal empire over which they themselves should pre- 
mde : nor was it carried into execution, until God hhnsdf interposed and 
Mattered mankind over the face of the whole earth. 

I see no reasm to reject the testimony of Eusebius and the &thers> 
tiiough it is not positively said in Scripture that the divme will was com- 
municated l^ the mouth of Noah: hofh because it is most natural to sup- 

* Geiuxxxv. & Exod. xt. 1^--]7. xxiiu 27. Deut. iL 35. xL Sd. Joeh. il 9. 

* EoMb. Cbron. p. la SjacsIL ChnwcK»pw89» Epipk Oper* voL ii. p. 70S^ 



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468 THE ORfGtN OF PAGAN IDOLA-TRr. 



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THE ORTOIK OF PAGAN IDOIATRTi 4^ 

those gods, emanating from a yet older god who was sometimes swd myste- c»ap. nu 
Hously to have triplicated himself, were derived the various triads of Pa- 
ganism. Each ef these, with its paternal unity, was thought to appear at 
tliel>egiBniog of every hew mundane system, for tiie purpose of governing 
the world and of replenishmgit with inhabitants ater tiie flood by whidi the 
fbrkner system had been'dissolved; I have often had occasion to notice this 
opinion,- which more or'tess djstmctly pervades the whole of Paganism : it 
may not however be improper to bring together into one point of view seve- 
ral vdifferent instances of k. 

' Aiiio»ig the Hindoos^ we have tiie triad of Brahma-Vishnou-Siva, spring* 
ing from the monad Brahm : and it is acknowledged, that these personages 
appear upon eartii sit th^ commencement of every new world in the human 
forms o£ Menu and hb three sons '• Among the votaries of Buddha, we 
find the self-triplicated Buddha declared to be the same as the Hindoo 
TrimurtiS Among the Buddhic sect of the Jainists, we have the triple 
Jina, in whom the Trimurti is similarly declared to be incarnate'. Among 
the Chinese, who worsUp Buddha under the name of jPo, we still find this 
god mysteriously multiplied into three persons, corresponding with the 
three fions of Fo-hi who is evidently Noah* Among the Tartars of the 
house of Japhetwho carried <^ into their northern settlements the same 
ancient worship, we find evident traces of a similar opinion in the figure of 
the triple god seated oa the lotos, as exhibited on the famous Siberian 
medal in the imperial ooUection at Petersburg: and, }f such a mode of re- 
presentation required to be elucidated, we should have the exposition fur- 
nished us in the^ioctrine of the Jakothi Tartars, who, accordmg to Strah- 
leofaerg, are the most numerous people of Siberia ; for these idolaters wor- 
ship a triplicated deity under the three denominations of Artugon and 
Schugchtmgcn and Tangwa^. This Tartar god is the same even in appel- 

■ Asiat Ret. vol. iiL p. 144* vol. v. p« 249. voL viii. p. 897. Maur. Ind. Ant vol. u 
p. 97. vol ii. p. 288. vol. iv. p. 676, 746. Asiat. Ret. vol. x. p. 92, 128. 

* Asiat. Ret. vol. iiu p. 194. vol. vi. p. 263. voL ix. p. 212. vol i. p. 285. 
' Asiat. Res. vol. iii. p. 196* 

^ Asiat. Res. vol. ii. p. 376.* Du Halde't China, vol. iit. p. 27k 

* Partons't Rem. of Japhet. c. vii. p. 184— 19S. 



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470 TH£ ORieiK OF FAGAK IDOI«ATBT# 



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THl OKIGIK or FA0Air IDOLATBY. 471 

nations ted particiikrly to him who was styled by way of eminetice the CBAP.tc 
mdmd^Nious. Tbetlirte Noes are^ in a similar manner, the three egg-borti 
krngs of the Orphic thedogy, who yet are subject to a monad equally bom 
out of an egg: and these again are the Brahma, Visbnou, and Siva, of the 
Hindoos; each of whom is similarly described as issuing from an egg, that 
floats upon the waters of the intermediate dduge '• Much the same phi** 
tosophical system has been carried into the south-sea islands by those who 
first planted them from the continent of Asia. At Otaheit^, the general 
name for deity, in all its ramifications, is Eatooa: but diree gods are held 
supreme, standing in a height of celestial dignity which no others can ap*- 
prDaeh\ This triplicated Eatooa is the ditinity of the Ark: and his sacred 
boat is so frmmed, that, like the Baris of the Egyptian Ammon, it is capable 
of bemg borne about by the priests b solemn procession* 

To the gfeat triad of the Gentiles, thus springing from a monad, was 
ascribed tiie creation of the woild, or rather its renovation after each inter- 
vening deluge. It was likewise sRipposed to be the Governing Power and 
the Intellectual Soul of tiie Universe. In short, all the attributes of deity 
were profiuiely ascribed to it This has led xxMky to imagine, tiiat the 
pa^ms did fundamentally worship the true God, and that even fix>m the 
most remotrantiquity they venerated the Trinity in Unity. Such an opi«* 
nion however wHl soon be found untenable^ if we do but thoroughly con« 
sader the character <rf the tr^licated divinity ef Hea^nism. 
. We are pott^vely assured, that the great gods of the Gentiles were but 
deified mortals, and that th^ consisted of that prhneval family which had 
flourished in the gcMen age. Now this family was composed of a father 
and three sons ; who were tiiought transmigratively to reappear at the com<- 
tiieficem^[it of every new world, who are declared to be manifestations of 
the divine monad producing the triad, and who are acknowledge to be at 
once the demiurgic gods and the literal ancestors of mankind. Agreeably 

? Eoteb. Frttp. Evan. lib. iii. e. 8. p. 6S. Orph. Oper. p. S95, 407) 408. JuL Firm., 
de orr. p. 19. Bryant's AnaL voL ii. p. 202» 27S. Proo. in Hat. Tim. apud Cudw. Inu 
fiyst. b. L c 4. p. S05» 806, 375, 547* Orac. Chald. p. 90, 106. Plul. de placit. pbiL 
lib. i. p. 876. Cbron. Pascb. p. 46, 47. 

* Minion. Voyage to Soudi. Pacif. ocean, p. 34S. 



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47^ THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 



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tAe oeioik of faoak idolatet. 479 

ef Cush, acquired the sovereignty over his two elder brothers '. At a later caap. hiw 
period^ when they had occupied Germany, they distinguished this family 
by different names ; or rather probably, like the other Gentiles, they were 
accustomed to designate them by many various titles. They worshipped, 
it seems^ Tuisto, whom they described as sprung from the earth. Him 
^hey made the father pf Mannus or Manes or Menu : and to Mannus they 
assigned three sons« These tbey placed at the head of their genealogy, 
supposing them to have been the ancestors of their nation *• It is suffici- 
ently evident^ that they are the very same as those, who in the Edda are 
celebrated under the appellaiions of Bore or Bure^ the father of Odin and 
Vile and Ve. The Greeks described these personages, viewed as the an- 
cestors <^ the northern nations, by several different titles. Sometimes it 
was the Cyclopian shepherd Polypheme,. the fetheir of Galatus and lUyrius 
and Celtus ' : sometimes it was the hyperborean Hercules, the parent of 
Agathyrsus and Gelonus and Scutha^: and sometimes it was Jupiter, the 
father of Scutba by the same dragontian female that before was made the 
paramour of Hercules K A similar combination occurs also more thaa 
once in the genealogy of the Greeks. Hellen and Areas are each said to 
have been the parent of three sons : and there was a notion, that the latter, 
previous to* his death,, divided his kingdom between, his triple offspring^. 
It is easy to see, whence tius tradition originated: the primeval division of 
the world, which was the kingdom of the real arkite, has been locally trans* 
ferred wkh the history of the deluge to a petty district in Greece. Ves«* 
tigies of the same. opinion may be traced in the three companions of the 
second man-bull, who in the Persic Zend-Avesta is the agent of bringing 
on the deluge. They may be traced also in the three primeval mystagogues 
of the Celtic Britons, and in the three principal knights of the court of that 
Arthur who was preserved with seven companions in his floating shield 
Prydwen at the time of an universal flood ^ And they may be found; with 

* Herod. Hi«t lib. It. c 5» G. * Tacit.de mor. Germ, c 2. 

3 Bacchyl. apud Natal^. Com. Mytb» lib. ix. p. 987. 

. 4 Herod. Hirt. Ub. iv. c 8, 9, 10. » Dwd. Bibl. lib. ii. p. 127*^ 

* Apollod. BibL lib. i. c. 7. $ 2. Paus. Arcad. p. 459» 

7 BaTies's Mythol. p. 428, 429, 440^ 441. 

Pag. Idol VOX. Ill, 3 O 



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474 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAV IDOLATftt^ 



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THE 0EI6IN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 475 

tainly the 8MBe na Ibe e^t navicular great gods of Egypt, so must they cbaf. tt$. 
dearly be ideattted with the eight Noetic mariners of the Ark. We again 
ttcogniee die female triad ia die three Nights or triplicated black Venus 
0f the Orphie diedc^, and in the three' Gwenhwyvars or Ladies on the 
lummit of the water who are said to have been the coQS<Hts of the diluvian 
Britbh Arthur'. 

VL But, although the world was divided among the three sons of Noah, 
and al1faou§^ at Hbe period of die dispersion their children retired to the 
severfd countries allotted to them according to their families and their na- 
tions, theve seems to have been a peculiarity in their mode of emigrating 
from Shinar, which (so £ur as I am aware) has iK>t hitherto been no- 
ticed. 

Since the Co^im estaUished the first great empire at Babel ; since they 
acqumd and prpserved their role by the insdtotion of castes ; since thb 
institution was in effin^t the origin of the feudal system ; since that system 
necessarily required, that the sacerdotal and military castes should pervade 
die whoie emigre, dispersed among, thou^ not blending with, the inferior 
ca^es whidi were composed of their vassals; and since the general history 
ci the tower sufliciendy proves the immense inftuence, both secular and 
ecdesiasdcal, which tiiis enterprtzing family had acquired over all the other 
desoendants of Noah : since, in a word, they had made themselves sove- 
reigns of the entire coqamunity ; it seems highly improbable, that in a 
moment th^ universally^'pervading authority should be overturned, that 
th^ themselves should suddenly be separated from the people among 
whom as lords th^ were intermixed, 'and that the several families now 
accustomed to their sway should instantaneously throw it off and redi^ into 
their various settlements without their wonted leaders. We have seen,, 
thatsudiof tbeCushim as remained in Iran lost not their sovereignty, but 
still continued for the space of fifteen centuries to govern the subject houses 
^ Ashur and Aram and £lam uid Arphaxad: whence from them the 
whole empire was styled the Scutkic empire; and the whole counti^^ how* 

' Orph. HyiDiw iL Fragou apud Herm. Comnu in FlaU Fbedr. p. 40& Davies*s Mytlu. 
1^ 187,. 



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476 .XH£ oaiGIK OF PAGAN IDOLATET. 



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ratelydMiao(| th& ptjeetbcio^jcu}^ t)sB8dd«er3 however being always found oBAP.ur. 
mt the heid oltii^ community^ would be the inevitable result But we have 
-alrfodjH seto^ Hi^Jt^ aocofdir^ ,to the philosophy oC politics^ ng distinction oi 
jthfe sort:cdMld;€ffer. WfiaiMil^frBte an hprnc^qeous SQcieity : for» in tb^ pror 
-gressof the bui»«i i»ipd, dwr^ is an invariabie t€|iEideHcy, not to introduce 
into (in undiatprlied qoiowmitgr a palpable diflference between lords and 
.seirfsiiuft^ of a leg^Ll^^nality of ri^ts; but to abolish such difference, 
;by.eiifFai;^hjuog thp;.ser$^ by. throwing open to them the means of adr 
;vap C6 m^t , by^s^U^lisbing l;be doctrine that the law is paramouqti and by 
Aseiiring to. al^ perMnal libeij^.anl jfeed^m; from, baronial oppression and 
a clear right to undistmgubhing protection. Hence, from the universi^l 
.experience; iiifiiistQiiy, ^y^ may be anre, that^ wherever this distinction in 
;fO0nd tp^epMt, fifi^^vi^ifitfy inpst te.i;Qiny>Qaed ff two races of m^ differing 
tfrom 0^k otbec'inj p^ial^^ origifi ^ the^pne liaying obtained dominion oyer 
:tb9 othfiir^ ^^())m/lFW^i^xM mi^^oaQfjm\fM,frQaiK^ conquest: and 
tag^t^wbeii^ tjlMs^distiiie({G^ k m/);foun(l to exist and where a legal equa^ 
Jityofril^ is Ihe b^jMS <tf th^ jqon9|itf|t{on;; ^e may be no less sure« either 
;tl\at t))e^i$itiof^r),has.beQn aJboUshe^^ qr^thftt it never subsis^, the com- 
^nwini^.lfliviiig.beeii hoinogenfoua fipii) the very beginning. Let i^s then 
Jdqriiit^ yyhere so^ a (^s^fK^pn, cijt^r exists or has existed : for, in what; 
.^vereoitntry: we find jt, w$^ ^baU have, reason to believe that (hat country 
iis;;oeo(i(»€Ml by t«ro dAS^xm% l?aces of mi^n. . I would however preqsjse, th^ 
jtis no way faseotifil to c^cover the two higher castes in a perfectly regular 
;f<Mrm. The sacirtiotal branch is a^pi^e excrescence from that of the mili- 
tary notility^ though for political reasons it had the precedence almost in- 
.variaUy ascribed to it: if therefore in any case, we should be able to find 
<Ki)y the latter/ and should perceive the members of it considering them- 
^Ives as lai^ entirely dbtioct class and holding the subject multitude in the 
jilace o£quere ser^ ^e mi^y; be; sure that the marked difference must |)ave 
^arisen fromjliecpe^isteo^ of t^ di^j^inct races ip the i^e count;ry. 

Sogreat is the intercourse ^etw^^en England and Hindostan, that we are 
naturally led in the first instance to advert tp the British empire in the east 
Uere^ fron^ time immemorial^ the division of the community into four castes 
is well known to have subsisted. .l[hese are mentioned in the Institutes of 



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478 THE ORIOIlf OP PAGAN' IBOLATKT. 



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kigber (fignbiefi of thb atato*. Herodotas aaiurea hs^ Hm tlie aoidiers niereir ckab. nb 
MIoAed necfaftmeal MciipttlaoB8» htil that tbe son regularly suceeeded his 
fiitbec in the pr^bmoa of armb : aiid Plutarch declards^ tbftt none but the 
priests and the milittuy iioMesr«>idd bechOAsa king or eould fill any of the 
great offices itf stale ( aUc^.<9lNrfrwave excluded hy the very eircumstaoce 
of their, hkik Thia lart aa^r adds^ >fhftt stroagly ahews the intiiDate 
cmmectba between the tirtf gowrnbg ca&tes and dis|day$ the very s{>irit 
of thedysmn, that^ as the; hangs weK iodtfieimtly elected out of the priest-^ 
hood on a c co wi t of tbeir wisdtim ajid out of the soldiery cm account of 
their ndoor, :adienever Ite efaoiee Sril upon a mUfary noble^ he was imm^ 
diately conducted to the eoU^ of the priests, where he was fully in* 
structed in their wcrtofc eUegpnc^l pioAosop^ > On the whole therefore, 
there can be no reasbnabte dqabt^ that the present natifmal constitution of 
Hiadostip is pradselyllia sane itS thM which onoe was est)>blished b 
Egypt'. .''.'.'/■•'- 

Just the same arrangentet|vevaifaM -aanodg the Celts both of Gaul and 
Britain.. The Druids occofMdtlie filrsfi tint; and the soldiers or equitu, 
as Cesar calls them, the seconds ^rhile the bulk of the people was reduced 
to serntude\ Here we have oidy thrte daises: but such, if we ascend 
from species to genus, is tbetroe mmiber both in £gypt and in Hindostan; 
Iw the imrmi&castes, which Mtowtibe tW0stiperbr» whether they be two 
or three or five or a Inmdried in nmnber, aare hut ramificatious of the great 
meMofthC'gcf^med^ oootradistbguislffid from their mcerdotal and mUi^ 
tarjf gmaamort. All the vblgar acdordingly, which in more advanced 
states/would, branch out into numeroos diieFe&t mechanical classes, are 
compendiously, tboii|^ phiosophically, describe by Cesar under the 
general name id the coiomon ptopk : and these, he assures us, like the main 
body both in £gypt and in Hmdostta, were degratiedi)y their imperious 
h%rds to llie condition 4}f mere serfr. 

.The Egyptians and the Celts weve not the only ancient nations, that 
resembled tiie Hindoos in this form of constitution. Strabo telb us, that 

■ HerocL Hist Ub. iL c 164— 16S. Diod. BibL lib. i. p. 66-*6S. Phit. de bid. 
« CwBttti de beH GaUic ll>. vi. «;. IS, li. 



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4S0 THE cmiCINT Of FA6ly IDOLATttT. 



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« THS ORIGIN or PAGAN Z2K>IiAT&T. .4i$l 

tbeir birtb) excluded systematicaUy from evevy place of trust both in clnirch chap, in* 
aud state '• This, in a warlike people who soon learned to feel their 
etrengtb, gave birth to endless. squabbles^ b(3lween tbe hereditary governors 
and governed ; while the dastardly sons of Egypt and of Hindostan quietly 
submitted to tbe galling yoke, mi contentedly bore the stigma of natal de- 
gradation: but, in each case, the or^nal outline of the constitution wa» 
one and tbe same* 

A similar arrangeoient has subsisted even to tbe present day among the 
.Sdavonic descendants of Japhet, no less than it once prevailed among his 
Cimmerian children of the west Throughout Russia, an hereditary nobi- 
lity, who from time immemorial have been tbe great landholders, are, 
under their sovereign, the almost uncontrouled lords of a peasantry, tied 
down to the soil, and mingling not in matrimonial alliance with their supe- 
riors : and^ beside the nobles, the only freemen throughout the empire are 
the priests, who have naturally Qucoeeded to the constitutional privileges of 
their heathen predecessors. The same remark, until even our own me- 
mory, applied to Poland The nobility were a totally distinct caste from 
the coqsmonalty r and, what strongly marked their diierent origin, every 
privilege of the military order waa attached^ not to wealth, but to blood; 
so that, in the election of a king, who was always a member of the noble 
classi, many, who scarcdy possessed wherewithal to purchase tomorrow's 
tneal^ would ^ve their vote purely in virtue of their birth, while an opulent 
tradesman had no bt or portion among these acknowledged brethren by der 
scent 

If we next pass into America, which was doubtless peopled by the Tar- 
tarian children of Japhet from the north-eastern extremity of Asia, we shdl 
still find evident traces of the same constitution in the two principal em- 
pires of the new world. In Mexico the king was wholly served by his own 
order of nobility ; and it was even death for a plebeian to look him stead- 
fastly in the face : the priests meanwhile formed a regular hierarchy,^ and 
dwelt together in cloisters attached to their temples. So likewise, in Peru^ 
the rdyal family, which constituted the nobility, were revered as an ea- 
tirely distinct race by the abject plebeians ; and they studiously preserved 

' Dion. Halic Ant. Rom. lib. ii. c.9, IS, 2U 
Pag. Idoh VOL. Ill* 5 P 



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488 THS OBIOIN 4>7 PA^AK IDOJLATRY. 



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rm oMoiK or faojik jidolatey* 4di 

themselves a paramoiiiit ftotiH)rity over a oouilimde <tf other dtstiuct races, cvap. um. 
We have conseqti^^ntly learned, by joiouig theae two particulars togetb^, 
tfaa^ in almost every part of ^ world, the very/const|tutiiH), which was 
wigioaUy devised by Nimarod and his Cuthic associates^ has prevailed more 
m less perfectly even firom the nasi remote antiquity : that is to say, pre- 
cisely after the Iranian model, a strong line of demarcation has been drawn 
between the governors and the governed; so that the Jformer should uni- 
versally be composed of a sacerdotal caste and a miUtwry caste aj^mati- 
eidly acting together, ^diile the latter should universally consist of the great 
mass of the people variously cfivided into other infericNr castes aca»rding to 
the progress of this or that society. We have also found, that such an 
ammg^nent cannot be accounted for on the mere general principle, that 
eMTjf ccnnmottity must neoeasarily resolve itself into the governors and the 
governed : becietuse, under a constitution of this sort, the great offices oi 
chnreh and state are not cfen to all whoise talents amy be a perfect quali- 
iication for them ; but are systematically can^ned to certain ruling families, 
while ^e mass of the subjugated plebeians ia for ever necessarily excluded 
from tfaem« We have forther learned, agreeably to such a marked and 
humiliating distmctmo, that the two higher castes always esteemed them* 
sdves a totally different race from the numerous lower castes ; that they 
carefolly abstamed fhnn contracting marriages with them, lest the purity of 
tiieir high descent should be coirtamint^d by an ignoble mixture ; that, in 
the studied depression of the commonahy, they always acted together; that 
a king might either be a priest or a noble, and in £ict that as a king he waa 
a member of both classes, but that he never could be taken from one of the 
lower castes ; and that these two superior classes, by the united influence 
of religion and arms and policy, ever guarded their h^h privileges with the 
most consummate art and the nrast jealous circumspection. And we have 
lastly determined, both on abstract principles and on the sure evidence of 
history, that such an order of things, however generally it may have pre* 
vailed, never could have emanated out of the bosom of an homogeneous 
society, but must have been the result of one distinct race acquiring the 
dominion over another distinct race : for, as a mixed society gradually by 
lapse of time becomes homogeneous, and as old diflferenoes of origin are at 



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484 TR£^ ORIOIN OF PAGAK IDOLATET* 



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THE ORIGIN OF FAGAK IDOLATRT. 485 

was sagaciously contrived by Ntmrod and his brethren of the house of cbaf. ht. 
Cush. 

S. A theory however like the present, which to some may wear the 
aspect of a paradox, ought not to be lightly adopted. It will naturally be 
inquired, whether we have any facts^\ beyond the palpable identity of the 
several constitutions both in form and spirit, on which it can be satisfac- 
torily established : whether we have any proofsy that the hereditary nobles 
and priests of almost all nations were mutually allied by blood, that they 
were nniversally descended from the same stock, and that they were of an 
entirely different race from the various nations which they respectively go- 
verned : whether in short we have any direct testmany^ that tlie two higher 
castes, wherever they may be discovered, are branches of the family of 
Cush : while the subjugated multitude, in nearly all parts of at least the 
ancient worid, is composed of the various sepai*ate descendants of the. other 
patriarchs ? 

(1.) In a matter of such remote antiquity, it would be no great wonder 
if I were unable to produce any positive demonstration beyond the remark-* 
able circumstances which have already been noticed ; and the theory might 
perhaps be fairly let to stand upon the single point of a perfect mutual r#* 
semblance between a number of political constitutions, which could cmly 
have originated from the depression of one race of men by another race. 
For, where we always find, in such constitutions, first an order of priests^ 
secondly an order of mUitary nobles^ and thirdly a subjugated multitude 
variously dimded according to their several trades and occupations; and 
where we constandy perceive, that, in addition to the escternal fomij the 
^*nV of these constitutions is universally that of excluding the lower orders 
from all places of trust or authority and of systematically dooming them to an 
unalterable state of servile depression : where we observe such to be uni- 
versally the case, and when we find the prototype of all these constitutions 
to have existed in Iran previous to the dbpersion ; it is difficult to avoid 
x:oncluding, that they were alike carried off from Babylonia, pnd that their 
several sacerdotal and military castes were composed of the brethren of 
those who formed the two original higher castes of the primeval Cuthic 
monarchy. But, though I may not, in every instance, be able to adduce 



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486 THE OJUOIN OF PAGAN ]XM>LATRr* 

BOOK VI, an; additional facto to those which have been already specified ; it is truly 
remarkable to observe, how much positive evidence has, in many cases, 
actually come down to us. Let us proceed then to examine this evidence* 
With respect to the Hindoos, Sk William Jones states k, as an undoubted 
floatter of fiBu:t, that their early histCMry is no other than the early history oC 
Iran locally appropriated, and that the Brahmens and their brethren the 
Chattries came out of Chald^ \ Such also is tfie the result, to which both 
M. Bailli and General Vallancey found diemselves inevitably brou^ by the 
mere force of evidence* : and it perfectly accwds with the traditions and 
practices of ihe Brahmens themselves. Six hundred miles from Bengal, 
they have an university for the instruction of their order : and the town, 
where it is situated, bears the name of Coihi from their great ancestor Casb 
or Cush ; whose appellation, as the acknowledged grandson of the ark^pre* 
served Menu, is still familiarly preserved among them, and whom Sur Wil-* 
liam Jones scruples not to identify with the Cush of Moses. At this semi*- 
nary of learning they teach the Sanscrit and the Persic languages : and 
still, after the lapse of so many ages, they contmue to study their original 
Chaldee, in which their ancient books of physic are chiefly written '• Ac*» 
Gtrdingly, they themselves own, that they are not natives of India, but that 
they of old descended into its plains tiirough the pass of Heridwar: and 
they additionally inform us, that their military caste b of the same family 
as the Chasas or Chusas; whom the Greeks termed from thehr locality 
JndchScuthSy and who claim the illustrious Cbasa or Chusa as their com- 
mon ancestor ^ The very name indeed of this caste points out its origb, 
and thus serves to shew the accuracy of the Hindoo testimony : its mem- 
bers, who aie declared brethren of the Chusas, style themselves Chattries 
or KhcUries or Csheltries; which is but Cmhim or Chtisas or Catfnm or 
Cuthim^ somewhat variously written* It seems probable, if we may argue 
from old tradition relative to the conquests oi the hero-god Rama^ that the 



' Asiat Reg. vol. ii. p. S5. 

* Vindic of anc hist, of Ird. prtf. p. xxiiL work. p. 222* , 

* Min. of Ant» Soc. Loud, apud Yallan. Ibid. 

^ Aaiat. Res. toL v. p. 259. voL vi« p. 455> 4r56. 



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THE OKIGIN OF f AGAN IDOLATKY* 487 

%^ther8 (tf^ present sacerdotal and military classes were chiefly Cuthiin cbap. iik 
of the line of Raamah, and that they subjugated rather than planted the 
lower India. Previous to their irruption, it was occupied by Shemites of 
the house of Joktaa under the rule of other Cuthim ; who had preferred 
that more simple superstition of Buddha, which £pipbanius denominates 
Scuthism. Hence the Buddhists of India make Shem to be an incarnatioa 
of their favourite god ; and strenuously contend, what indeed numerous 
monuments throughout the counbry sufficiently prove, that their religion 
preceded and was supplanted by the more complex system of Brahmenism 
or loDism \ But, however tiiis may be, we have sufficient evidence, that 
the two higher castes of the Hindoos, the Brahmens and the Chattries, emi- 
grated from Chald^ or Iran, and Uiat they are descendants of the house of 
Cush. 

Such an ori^n will of course make them the brethren of tiie Saman^ns 
or Jmnists or Cuthic priests of Buddha; whom, accordingly, Clemens and 
Porphyry describe as being one sect of Indian philosophers, while they 
represent the Brachmans as being the other \ Hence, although the Jains 
are said to have once spread themselves over t^e whole of Hindostan and 
to bave contended with the intrusive Brahmens from Chald^, they are y^ 
acknowledged to be of the same house as the military tribe, and are exhi- 
bited to us as presiding in a community divided into separate castes '• 
Agreeably to this circumstance, we find Hindoos in Bactriana ; and, as the 
Brahmens bave engrafted the early history of Iran upon their peculiar na^* 
tional history ; so the extensive range of country, which we bave traced 
under the names of Iran or Cusha-dwip or Ethiopia^ namely the whole 
re^on south of the Caspian, was known also by the appellation of India 
which was yet further extended so as to take in the Indo-Scythce of Casbgar 
and Bokhara \ 

This arrangement, which makes the titles of Cuth and Sindh convertible 
(as, in fact) we always find them to be), will again exhibit to us the Magi 

, ■ Asiat. Res, vol. vL p. 524-531. 

* Clem. Alex. Strom, lib. i. p. SOS. Porph. de abst. lib. iv. § 17. 
^ Asiat. Res. vol. ix, p. 24-7, 277, 285. 
^ Asiat Res. vol. iv. p. S98. vol. L p. 418. 



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488 THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IDOLATRY* 

BOOR vu and Nobility of Persia, as the brethren by blood of the Brahmens and Cfaat-^ 
tries of India. Accordingly, we have every particular, that we could wisi^ 
to identify them with each other. The Magi, so far as we can judse fixmi 
the accounts whurh have come down to us of them, were palpable Brah* 
mens ; and their very locality proves them to have been a branch of the old 
Iranian priesthood, for Persia was a province of the Irfuiian empire ' : while 
the mountaineer Persians of the military order have been incontrovertible 
demonstrated to be Scythians or Goths or Cuchas ; whence to this day th^ 
call themselves Kmlblccs or Kissians or Cassim, and mightily value them- 
selves on their ancient Scythian extraction as raisbg them hi^ iq rank above 
the vulgar herd '. 

We have now advanced far into the west of Asia : let us at once pro*- 
ceed to the extremity of Europe, and then measure back our steps to the 
point which we left. 

Sir William Jones, as we have recently seen, pronounces the Celts or 
Cimmerians to be of the same great family as the Scuths or Cuths or Hin- 
doos ^ His assertion is erroneous, only as being tw general and unlimited. 
The Cimmerians, as a bodif^ were certainly not of the Scuthic house ; a 
point, which has been amply established by Mr. Pinkerton and Bp. Percj 
before him : nationally y they were Gomerim of tlie house of Japbet Yet, 
though Gomerim nationality they were under the rule of a Cuthic priest- 
hood and nobility : hence we read of certain Hyperboreans, who inhabited 
a large island to the north of Gaul, being of the later Titanic or giant race ; 
by which we must understand, agreeably to the usual application of the term, 
the postdiluvian Cuthic family \ Unless I be much mistaken, these Cim- 
merians set out from Cusha-dwip on their progress westward, about the 
same time that the children of Raamah invaded Hindostan : and thb ex- 
pedition of theirs under Cuthic leaders is plainly enough intimated in the 
legends of the Brahmens with much accuracy and consistency, provided we 
only take India in the extensive signification of ajil Iran or Cusha-dwip 

. ' Herod. HiBt. lib. i. c. 40. Borlase's CorawalL book ii. c 22. 
* Finkerton'i Dissert p. 87. Valian. Vindic pref. p Jxxv. 
' Vide supra § IV. 5. 
^ Scbol. in Find* Olymp. iiL ver. 28. Diod^BibLlib«ii«p. 130^ 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 48^ 

withm accordiog to its definitioD as lately specified. Thus we are told, that ca^p. m^ 
the Indian Atri carried the Vedas from the abode of the hero-gods on the 
summit of Mem to the remote insular regions of the west : and there, ac- 
cordingly, we find both Atri and the Vedas ; the one under the name of 
lUris, the other under that of the hofy books of the ruler of the mount '• 
Thus likewise we are told, that gods and men cofgointly migrated from 
India to the same occidental country : and there again we find exactly 
these two descriptions of persons ; a governing race who claimed to be of 
the &nuly of the gods, and a governed race who were reduced to the most 
abject servitude \ The palpable difference between them was not un- 
marked by the accurate eye of Cesar : and, some time before the literary 
treasures of the east were fully opened to us, Dr. Borlase was^ so struck 
with the perfect resemblance of the Druids to the Persian Ma^ and the. 
Indian Brahmens, that he declared it impossible to doubt their identity ^ 
Mr. Rowland argues much in the same way with regard to the Irish Druids ; 
who, as usual, constituted the first of the three classes into which, the com-* 
inunity was divided: he feek assured, that they must have been Magi^ 
Long indeed before our day, a similar remark had been made by Pliny ; 
for, while he intima^ tiiat the Druids were so extravagantly addicted to 
Magic that th^ might have been the preceptors of the Persians, he scruples 
not to apply to them the very aanie of Magi '. Dr. Borlase however is 
somewhat perplexed by an unfortunate remark of Cesar, that the discipline 
of the Druids was thought to have been irroented in Britain and to tmve 
been thence carried c^er into Gaul ; on which account, ^they, who wished 
to make themselves thoroughly masters of it, were accustomed to visit the 
island for the purp<>9es of study ^ Now, if thb remark be perfectly accu- 
rate, or if it be so understood as to imply that the Druidical order origin 
noted in Britain ; ft is obvious, that that order cannot then have been m* 
ported into the country by the first settlers from Iran : so that, in tliat case^ 

' Asial. Res. vol. ▼. p. 260. DlRvies^i MytboL p. 266: Celt Seaearcb. p. 17S. 

4 * Asiat. Ret. vdL ix. p. 28^. , 

* fiorlase'i dmw. b^iL c 1. p. 63. c 4(. p. 75. c 22. p. iM. ^ Mob; AnCp. 109» 

'PUD.Nal.Hiatlib.xu.cl.UlKXiLcM. • CM.de bdL6«ILiih. ri-e. 13. 

Fag. IdoL VOL. iii* 3 Q 



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490 THZ OEiaiN OF FAGAN IPQLATHY. 

jiooJK vr. tbe Druids tmooot be Magit unless we exactly invert the progress of o?1ot 
nizaUon, and bring the Magi out of Britain instead of the Druids out of 
Iran ; a supposition, wbkh so contradicts the whole history that it cannot 
for a mon^ent be tolerated., I must confess, that I do not see any thing in 
the laatter but what may be easily enough accounted for* In the days of 
Cesar, the Celts or Cimmerians had been pushed by the encroaching Scy- 
Uiians to the extremities of the west ; though in the time of Darius Hysr 
laspb, they had only been attacked by them on the confines of Europe and 
Asia '. Under such circumstances, tl)e most learned of the Druids, wish* 
injg to praerve their system in its utmost purity, \YOuld ^*turaUy retire' as 
&Lr as possible from the scene of danger and tumult Henee Britain would 
long be their special sanctuary : and hence Cesar, finding that the Gallic 
Druids went thither for instruction rather than the Biitish Druids into Ganl, 
would obviously be led to suppose U^at the religion wiginated in the island 
and was thence brought to the continent* In progress of time, the same 
causes produced a repetition of the same eflfects : and, when soudi Britain 
was subjugated by the Romans, Anglesey became to the larger island what 
the larger island had previously been to Gaul. It was the special recep* 
tacle and university of the Druids, where they resided under the superin* 
tendance of their Archdruid : and from this point the streams of their col* 
lective wbdom continued to 6ow, until they were finally either eradicated 
by the invaders or compelled to flee into Ireland and the northern isles *• 
The Druids then may be safely pronounced a branch of the Magi or sacer- 
dotal tribe of Iran : for, as the progress of the Cimmerians from upper 
Asia to the utmost boundaries of the west may be distinctly traced in his^ 
tory, and as the resemUance between the Druids and the Magi i^ too 
marked and too universal to be the result of mere accident ' ; we may feel 
assured, that, when the Gomerians emigrated from Iran, they went off under 
the priesdiood and military nobility to whose sway they were already ac* 
customed. With this opinion agree the traditions of the Hindoos, who 



» Herod. Hist lib. iv. c 1, H, 12. 

^ Tacit Anna], lib. xiv. c. 2B, SO. Rowland^s Mon. Ant p. 70^ 

^ The resttablaoce » eapcilently drawnoot by Dn Borkm. Comw. h. iL c Sft 



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na ORICIK 09 FAOAN IDOIATRT^ §Qt 

have wonderffrily preserved the knowledge of eariy emigraticms. We learn ^^^* *^^' 
from them, that the Maghas or Magi <rf Irau were so styled from a title of 
their god ; for Magfii is a name of Buddha ot Mahabad. This personage is 
deemed the common father of all the various fiunilies of the Maghas : who 
are spread through the eastern parts of Hindostan, the Burman empire^ 
Siam, and China, countries peculiarly devoted to the worship of Buddha ; 
and who colonized and gave lii^r name to the land of Magadba, where 
Buddha or Magba was sometimes thcnj^t to have beea born. The saceiv 
dotal order among these Maghas^ viewed as a nation, is allowed to be com* 
posed of Brahmens : and these bear also the appellation of Sacas or So- 
calaSf because they came into Hindostan from Sacam or Saca-dwip. But 
the Sacas are acicnowledged by all writers, both eastern and western^ to be 
of the same great house as the Chuaas ch* Scuths or Goths : and their an* 
fcestors were seated of old in Cusha-dwip withb, or the oriental land of 
Cush, or Iran in its largest sense. From this region, while some of them 
migrated into Hindostan ; others, according to the Purana^ travelled west- 
ward, and at one period occupied the lesser Asia called from them Saca^ 
dwip. But here they did wA finally settle: for Buddha, under the appel^ 
ktioa of Magha, is said to be the grandchild of the venerable Twasbta ia 
the west; and the Sacas or Maghas ai^e said to have penetrated far into 
the occidental islands '. Now this cannot relate to the comparative^ recent 
conquest of Britain by the Sasons : because, in the state of the world at 
that period, the Hindoos could not possibly have received any tiding of 
such an event. It must i^fer therefore to a far more ancient colonizing of 
the west by the old Cimmerians, under the rule of the Sacas or Maghas«> 
Such being the case, the two h^her castes among the Celts must clearly 
have been of the same family as the two higher castes among the Iranians 
and the Hindoos : for they are all equally Maghas. But the Maghas are 
Sacas ; and the Sacas are Scuths or Chusas : they are likewise declared ta 
be of the same race as the military caste, as they have ahready been identi* 
fied with that of the Brahmens ^ Hence it will inevitably follow, that tbt 

' Asiat. Res. vol. hi. p. 74, 82. voL vi. p. 508^ 516. vol. viii. p. 8^ 369, 287. 
^ AsiaU Res. vol. iL p. 869. voL vi* p. 4>j6^ voLix. p. ^^ 



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4P8 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY^ 



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THB ORIGIN Oy PAOAN IDOLATEYi 495 

and Thrace and Deldsand Imbros and Samothrace ^and EleusisV And ceav^uu 
hence, as tb^ Hindoos represent Atri,* as travelling with the Vedas into 
the west ; so they equally describe him, as bearing them into Egypt and 
as introducing tliem on the banks of Nile. Here he consigned them to the 
care of his son Datta : .and here we recognize both Datta and the Vedas 
in Taut and in the mysterious books attributed to him\. With respect to 
this last country, the origin of the two superior castes must not be ascribed 
to the invasion and conquest of it by the Shepherd-kbgs, though they doubt* 
less were of the same great family as those intruders. Hie reason is obvi- 
ous. The castes stilf subsisted long after the Shepherd-kings had been 
expelled ; which would not have been the case, had they been composed of- 
those pastoral warriors: and, as we shall hereafter see, they had equally 
existed precious to the irruption of the Shepherds ; so that they must have 
been coeval with the first planting of Egypt by the Mizraim. It is not 
unwoithy of observation, that Aristotle speaks of the Persian Magi, as 
being prior in point of antiquity to the Egyptian priesthood '• In this be 
is perfectly accurate : for the Magi or Cuthic priests, of Iran were esta* 
blished previous to the dispersion; while the Egyptian priests^ like (he 
firahmens and the Druids, were but an emigrating branch of them. 

(2.) But the consanguinity of the two higher orders, in whatever quarter 
of the world they may be found, is yet further proved by the very extraor- 
dinary intercourse, which in old times subsisted between them: a circum* 
stance easily accounted for, on the ground of their long-remembered mutual 
relationship; but, on any other other supposition, wholly inexplicable. 

It has been shewn at large by General Vallancey, that, between the 
ancient Irish and the ancient Persian histories down even to the time of 
Darius Codoman, there is such a regular coincidence of successive parti- 
culars, that we are compelled to believe the one a mere localized transcript 
of the other*. But this transcription could not have taken place, unless 
an intercourse had subsisted between the two countries as late as the days 
of that prince : and it is hard to conceive, how that intercourse could hove 

' Clem. Alex. Strom. Hb. i. p. S02, SOS, 304. Jambl. de Tit. Pyth«^ § 15h 

• AiSat..aeB. vol v. p. 260, 261. ' Wi^. Laert. Pro^em. p. 6^ 

« Vallan. Vind. p. 31$. tt lOibL 



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494 1PHE OBISIN OF TAOAV IPOLATKT^ 



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tBE OEIOIK Of FAOAK IDOLATRT. 4^^ 

Onkr wai^ of &e mxae Hdei^ as Ae Ionic or Cuttnc Greeks : and the phi- caip. m^ 
losophicai Abaria journo]^ from the great island of the Hyperborean^ 
which lies to the north of (^aul and in which the scdar god was worshipped 
in a large circular stone temploi with a view of renewing the ancient league 
of fnendship betwem li&i brettoen and the Ddians '• Such journeys imply 
«U the confidence of adUKmledged relatbnship wk) comoMn interest be* 
twesn tlK settml goyembg powers : and the mode, in which the travel* 
lers were amicably passed forward firom one nation to another, as detailed 
With much partiodarity by lierodotns^ points out the manner in which 
these expeditions were accomplished \ 

, (S.) It was ifrom this Isniversal consanguinity, that we so perpetually 
find fhe priests of very different countries dtsdoguished by the same appel* 
lations; while the appellations themselves are but various titles of the^great 
family, from which they were descended. 

The membeiiB of that famity were styled Cm/rim or Cwmv, from thdr 
ancestor Cwh; Sacoi or Sagas or Saoaiems^ from their god Sac^ ct 
Bnddfaa ; and, Palti or Pttasgi or Philistim or Failasy on account q( their 
constant aissumption of the dvourite character of Shepherds, Now all 
these names ere sacerdc^ appellations : and the reason, why they became 
so, was the origination of the priesthood fi^om the house of Cush. ThuSt 
in the ancient Irbh, in the Ji^panese, in theSyriac, m the Ethiopic, in tho 
Arabic, in the Persic, and m the old Pelasgic dialect oi Samothrace, CoU 
or Cushes or Cusis or Casa or Cunes or Kish or Coiei equally denotes 
a priest or mimster of rdigion^M Thus also, what strongly serves to eor*' 
roborate the hypothesis of the common descent of the sacerdotal and mill* 
tary classes, Sagan, in the Chaldee of Babylonia whence it was latterly 
adopted int^ the Hebrew, signifies both a inagu§ and a twbkmun : Sagan, 
bodi in the Irish and in the language of the northern Americans, is a priest : 
Zauaghar, among ti^e Persmns, was the title of the Archimagns : Sagart^ 
in die Ethiopic, is a miliary grandee: and Sketch^ among the Arabs of 

' HenxL JHist Kb. hr. c 8^ Cicer. de nat. deoi^. lib. iiu c 2S« ScboL io ApolL Argon. 
Ub.iiim.e77. Pbd. BibLlib.iLii^lSa 
* Herod. Hist lib. iv. c. 83— S5. 
s VsIIsB. Vind. p. 441, i4r2, Hesych. Lex. Ronk* 



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496 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOXATRT. 



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THB CftlOf If OF tAOAK IDOX«ATRT« 497 

tt prove tbe oomoxn origiQatSiOQ of the superior orders. L^ as proceed cuap^ nu 
to bdog forward some instances of it 

Aomig tiie Hindoos then, tbe members of the military caste, to which 
the rajahs always bdoog, are styled Sutya-bans and Chandra-bans, or 
chiidren of the Sun and children of the Moon \ Among the ancient £gy p* 
tianSy the first dynasty, or that which conducted the Mizraim into the land 
of their setdementy is said to have been that of the Anrites or children of 
the Sun : for the oriental word Aur denotes the solar light \ Among the 
Fersiaos, Mithras bore the name of Azon-Nakis or the lord Sim : and 
from him, botii bis descendants tbe younger hen»-gods, and his ministers 
tbe Magi, were denominated Zom and Axom or the posterity of the Sun\ 
Among the Greeks, we find an eminent fieuaily distinguished by the name 
of the HeUada or children of the Sun: and originally this family, includ* 
ing its parent, consisted of eight persons. Its genealogy was traced up as 
Mgh as the deluge : and its ibunders were contemporaiy with Spart^us 
and Cronius and Cutfa, the three sons of Jupiter by tbe nymph Himalia. 
It chiefly Occupied the island of Rhodes: its members fer excelled all 
other men in wisdom : they cultivated mth much success the sciences of 
navigation and astronomy : and they were fee original instructors even of 
the wise Egyptians themselves*. We can have no diflSculty m understand- 
ing the purport of this curious narrative. But the Greeks were likewise 
famiUar with the childrjen of the Melon. This appellation was the ancient 
title of the Arcadians ; who, as an eminent branch of the lontm and as 
diligent worshippers of the lunar boat Argba, were of old denominated 
Selenites^. Similar notions prevailed among the Cutfean rulers of Colchis. 
We find Eetes, who is described as the sovereign of Colchis at the time of 
the fabulous Argooautic expedition, claiming to be the offspring of the Sun 
by Iduia the daughter of Oceanus : and, as the Cuthim of Colchis and 
Arcadia were originally of the same race; a legend was fabricated, that the 
Sun gave Arcadia to Aloeus and Corinth to Eetes, whence the latter emi- 

" Asiat. Res. toL iL p. 127, S75. toL L p. 263. voL v. p. S34. Moor^s Hind. Pantb. 
p. 869, 283. 

* Syncell. Chronog. p. 51. ' Bryant's Anal. toL ii. p. 124i, 125w 

♦ Diod. Bibl. lib. v. p. 327, 828, ' SchoL in ApoU. Argon, lib. It. ver. 26i* 

Pag. Idol. VOL. HI, 3 R 



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498 THE OBIOIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY* 



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CHAPTER IV. 



Respecting the various Settlements and Migrations of the 
unblended Part of the Military Caste. 



JL Hus we have seen, Uiat, as the children of Ctish established the first! 
great etnphe at Babel ; so, when the dispersion took place, they by no 
means lost their deep-rooted authority over their brethren. On the con- 
trary, they still remained mingled among them ; and still, m almost every 
region of the globe, formed the two superior governing classes of priests 
and military nobles. Some continued in Iran : where, through an un- 
broken series of fifteen centuries, they ruled over Aram and Ashur and 
£lam and Arphaxad ; and, even when the sceptre passed out of the line 
of Nimrod by the Assyrian revolution, they were not less really the gover- 
nors of the empire. Others emigrated at the head of those tribes ; whose 
priesthood and feudal lords they had been, while the primeval Iranian mo- 
narchy subsisted unbroken : and thus we find the same political system, as 
that which was first contrived in Babylonia and which vests the entire di- 
rection of the state in two superior unmixing orders, firilnly establbhed in 
quarters of the globe the most widely separated fi-om each other. 

I. But, notwithstanding the profound though Machiavellian sagacity of 
tiie early Cuthim; we have observed very evident traces of a dissentioa 



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560 THE oniGIK OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 



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THE ORIGIN or PAGAN IDOLATRy. •^Ol 

or Dortb*eft8t of Babylonia, while a very principal body of Cutbim re- chap.it. 
mained master of the Nimrodic empire ; a distmction was. naturally soon 
made between the Scythians of the north and the Scythians of the south : 
and, as the latter from their sovereignty received the general name of Ira^ 
mantf^ so the former came to be distinguished by the title of Touranians. 
These are the Scythians <^ common hbtory, a natbn equally renowned for 
their arms and ioit their wisdom: these are the people whose progress aiid 
settlements vte have now briefly to trace. 

1. It has been well remarked by Sir William Jones, that the Hindoos 
have evidenUy ingrafted the early history of Iran upon their own dncient 
national history : so that their account of the origin of castes is really an 
account of their ori^noting in a more western country ; while the sacred 
book of Institutes^ which they ascribe to Menu, is in £u:t no other than the 
similar, heaven^descended book of ftegulalions, which in Iran was given to 
Mahabad '• Such being the oas^ the book in question may be deemed 
the oldest in the world : and any historical notices, which it conveys, will 
be peculiarly valuable* 

Now it is a most carious circumstance, that this very secession of certain 
members of the war-tribe, respecting which I am at present treating^ is 
there distinctly specified ; the nati<Nis, which they formed, are enumerated: 
and the character, which they long sustained, is exhibited with striking 
accuracy. We are told, that certain families of the Cshatriyas or Cuthic 
military nobles, by their omission of holy rites and by seeing no firahmens, 
have gradually sunk in dignity to the lowest of the four classes. These 
are th^ Paundracas, the Odras, and the Draviras; ib^ Cambojas, the 
Yavanas, and the Sacas ; the Paradas, the Pahlavas, and the Chinas ; the 
Ciratas, the Deradas, and the Chasas. With them seceded various scat* 
tered individuals from all the four castes ; or, in the phraseology of Hin- 
dostan, men who sprang botii from the mouth and the arm and the thigh 
and the foot of Brahma. All these became outcasts by having neglected 
their duties : and they are. collectively known by the descriptive name of 

* 8eQ the precediiig noto from M. Baiilit ialbook vu c S. $ VL 2. (£.) 



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50S THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATET. 



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THE ORIOIK OF PAGAK IDOLATRt; 505 

extended ta the eastern and southern oceans \ The Ciratas seems to be chak nr» 
the Circassians and other neighbouring kmdred tribes. The Deradas are 
the Derds ; whom Strabo describes as a great nation of the ibountaineer 
Indians, stretching towards the east\ And the Chasas are most undoubt- 
edly those, whom the Greeks cMed Indo-Scytha : for they still occupy 
the same tract of country, and still possess those high lands on the north 
of Hindostan which bear the name of Cashgar or Chasa-ghir. 

Thk last appellation is in reality the common family title of all the others. 
The Qiasas or Cbusas, whom Menu so positively declares to be of the 
same great house as the war-caste of India, received their name from their 
acknowledged ancestor Chasa or Chasya or Chusa; who, as Sir William 
Jones rightly observes, must indisputably be identified with the Cush of 
sacred history. Hence the appellation of Chasas or Chasas is a general 
one: and hence we find, that the powerful race^ who were distinguished 
by it, occupied the whole of the vast mounUiinous range ; which extends 
from the north-eastern limits of upper India, skirting the northern confines 
of I^ersia and Iran, as far as the Euxine sea'« Now this was the identical 
4ract of country, where the Greek geographers accurately placed the proper 
Scuthss, as contradistinguished firom those southern Scuthee, who were go- 
vernors of the great Iranian empire, , and who as such tenanted a Scy thia 
which reached to ttie banks of the Indus and the shores of the Erythr^an 
ocean. Hence it is evident^ that the Chasas or Chusas of the Hindoo wri- 
ters are the same as the Scuths of the Greek writers : and I think it fur7 
ther evident, that, what the former write ChusaSy the latter chose to express 
Scuths with a sibilant prefix. By this corrupted appellation however, the 
people, except in their extreme western settlements, seem never to have 
distinguished themselves *. They ordinarily, from their great forefather, 
took the name of Chusas or Cushas or Cassians or Cossais or Chasyas or 
Chesai : and, as the Babylonians and other nations were wont to write and 
pronounce sh like /A, they often chose to be called Cuthim or Cuthans or 
Coths or Goths or Cathaicms. From the appellation thus modified. the 

' Aiiat. Res. vol. ii. p. 369. * Strab. Geog. lib. xy. p. 706. 

* Asiat Res. vol. vi. p. 455, 456. 

« la some of those settlements they if ere knomi as Scuits or Scots. 



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501 THE ORIGIN OF ?AOAH IPOLATRT. 

sooR ru Greeks uDdoubted)y formed their word Scutha: for^ u the national iden- 
tity of the Souths and the Goths is an historical matter of fact; so we axe 
plainly told, that the people, whom at rnie period the Greeks called Scuths 
and at another Gcta^ always styled themselves Croth$ \ By tUb latter 
name they have deservedly made themselves femou^s in the west: and 
their proper title has now universally supei^eded their corrupt Hdleok: 
nomenclature. Thus extending jfrom the high lauds of upper India to tiie 
very borders of Europe, they were variously distinguished by the Greeks 
according to their locality. Those, who were the neighbours of the Hiii* 
doos, were the Indo-Scyths : those, who touched upon the Celts or Cim- 
merians, were the Celto-Scyths : and those, who roamed with their herds 
and their flocks over the vast steppes of the intermediate country, were 
known as the nomade or pastoral Scythians. 

2. Their chief settlements in the first instance, when tiiey emigrated 
from Iran, seem very plainly to have been those three mountainous regions, 
which were equally designated by the appellation of Cauoasu$; for so the 
Greeks wrote the word with the common Hellenic terminati(»i. 

One of these was the Indian Caucasus ; which may be viewed as extend* 
ing far to the north, until it be faintly divided by an indistinct line from 
the Tartarian possessions of Japh^ In the Sanscrit and in the spoken 
dialects of the Chasas, the word is expressed Cas-Giri or Caa-Ghar or 
CaS'Car or Ckas-Ghar: and this name, with various other kmdred appeb* 
lations which I shall presently notice, is acknowledged in India to be de* 
rived from the national title of the Chasas. Now, in the Sanscrit, Ghar 
or Ghiii signifies a nwmtain : Chas-Ghar therefore will denote the nwun^ 
tain of Cash or the mountain of the Chasas. But, in the Persic, Cau ov 
Coh is a word of the very same import as Ghar. Hence, what the Hindoos 
call ChaS'Ghar, the Persians have been accustomed to denominate Cau^ 
Cas : and fi*om this name the Greeks, who received much of their oriental 
information through the medium of Persia, fashioned no doubt their Cau^ 
caws \ Another of their settlements was the Caucasus to the sooth of the 

* Asiat. B^ ¥<d« vL p. 455, 456. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY, 505 

Caspian sea '. And the third of them was that most westerly Caucasus, chap. it. 
which lieis on the north-eastern shore of the Euxine. We must however 
view these settlements, not as absolutely distinct, but as connected with 
each other by various wandering hordes : for, according to the unanimous 
testimony both of the Greek and the Hindoo writers, the Scythians or 
Chasas spread over the whole range of country which intervenes between 
the two extreme Caucasi *• 

According to such an arrangement, it is most curious to observe, whe- 
ther we take up ietn ancient or a modern map, how indelibly the name of 
Cush or Cutk or Cash or C(ah is imprinted upon the entire district: and, 
as we have just seen, the Hindoos assure us, that all local appellations of 
this sound have been derived from the national title of the Chasas* In old 
geography, we find to the north of India Casta and Caspia and Caspatyrw; 
found the intermediate Caucasus, the Caspii and the Caspian sea and the 
Caspian passes ; and, in the vicinity of the western Caucasus, Cutarus 
and Cutha and Cuta. So, in modern geography, we have, in the region of 
the Indian Caucasus, Cashmir and Castwar and Chasghar and Chatraur 
wA Cuttore and Chatzan and Coten; at the foot of the middle Caucasus, 
the Caspian sea; and, in the recesses of the western Caucasus', the Cir- 
cassians : while the Caisacs or Cossacs, and their brethren the Kir-Ghis^ 
ramble over the intermediate tract, or fix themselves in Russian Europe on 
the banks of the Tanais. 

In these extensive regions, averse from labour, and possessing the most 
unbounded personal freedom; ever retaining the original military propen- 
sity of their family, and (as an homogeneous people) ignorant of the servile 

' This region is the Mazenderaun of Persic romance, where Rusiam encounters the 
White giant* 

* This whole range of high land is the Caf of the Persian authors, who not unaptly 
dienominate it the stony girdle of the earth. Here they accurately place their Peris and 
their Dives ; and with good reason, for it was the genuine native country of romance. 

* One of the peaks of this Caucasus is still called mount CfMti the Circassians likewise 
denominate it Elborus^ according to its old name, darkens Travels, vol. i. c. xxiii. p. 579. 
Elborus is evidently the Albordi of the Zend-Avesta; and Albordi is the same name as 
^e Armenian Bnrit or Baris qr Alb^Barit. 

Fag. Idol. VOL* ill. 3 S 



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506 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 



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TH£ ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLAT&T. 507 

were not emigrants, according to the wild dreams of Jornandes, from the chap.it. 
sterile and scarcely peopled regions of Scandinavia'. 

Having now learned, who^tbe Scythians were not, and whence they did 
iMtf come ; we have next to bquire, who they kvere, and whence they did 
come. 

1. In pursuing this investigation, Mn Pinkerton ascertains that the Scy- 
thians came originally out of Asia; and he r^ularly traces their progress 
the whole way from the north of present Persia*. Hence it is evident^ 
that they must indisputably have been the same people as those, whom the 
Hindoos denommate Chasas or ChusaSy and who themselves claim to be 
descended (agreeably to their name) from the patriarch Cfausa or Cusha : 
for they are found to have emigrated from that identical region of the In- 
dian Caucasus, viewed as comprehending the whole mountainous country 
of Bokhara and Gashgar, which b still inhabited by the.Chusas, and which 
of old was tenanted by the Indo-Scythse. In Asia, they peopled all the 
regions between the £uxine and the Caspian : Pontus, Armenia, Iberia, 
and Albania, were each a Scythic settlement: and, according to the posi- 
tive testimony of ancient writers, the Alani, the Massagetae, the Sacse, the 
Chatte, the Arimaspi, the Bactriani, the Sogdiani, the Hyrcani, the Dahae, 
the Margiani, and the mountaineer Persians, were alike Scythians by de- 
scent Among the names here enumerated, those of the Saca and Massa- 
GetcB were the most prevalent : for Strabo mentions, that such were the 
general appellations of the Asiatic Scythe on the east of the Caspian; 
while Herodotus and Pliny inform us, that the Persians distinguished all 
those Scythae by the common title of Saca '. 

S. But the roving humour of the Touranian Scyth® did not suffer them 
to rest content with their Asiatic possessions, ample as they were. From 
the east they very soon passed into Europe : and here, during the transit, 
their first settlement, as might naturally be expected, was on the east, 
north, and west, of the Euxine \ 

(1.) They were now invading the dominions of the Celts or Cimme^ 

* Pinkerton*8 Dissert on the orig. of the Scyth. p. 15, 21— :23, S9. 
* Ibid. p. 24—30, 34f. ^ Ibid. p. 32-41. ♦ Ibid. p. 34. 



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508 TU£ ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 509 

oldest people of Greece, and are said to have communicated the name of chap, iv^ 
Pela^gia not only to the Peloponnesus but even to the whole of the Java- 
nic peninsula V 

While some of them were seizing upon continental Greece, others esta- 
blishad themselves in the islands : and, as Samothrace and Imbrus and 
Lemiios were among their first settlements, they at length sent colonies 
Both to Crete and to the entire shore of Asia Minor'. In the worship, 
which they introduced into Samothrace, they left the clearest traces of their 
Indo-Scythic extraction : for it has been found, that both the barbarous 
i^anies of the Cabiric gods, and the mysterious formula Conx Om Pa.r, 
are precisely the same as what are still received and used among the 
Hindoos '. 

From the Greek islands and the coast of Asia Minor some of them sailed 
to Italy, under the conduct of Tyrrhenus or Tyrsenus ; who is variously 
described as the son of Attis, or Hercules, or the ark-exposed Telephus \ 
This Tyrrhenus or Toranath was either their god or a pretended incarna- 
tion of him : for Attis was the same as Bacchus, and both Hercules and 
Telephus were equally the great father. From him the colony took the 
name oiTyrrheni or Tuscans: and both their settlement and their progress 
serve to shew at once their origin and the nature of their superstition. The 
oracle of their ark-god charged them to direct their course to the western 
Satumta ; and forbad them to rest, until they should find a sacred lake with 
a floating island. This command was duly obeyed : and, when the lake 
was discovered with its mysterious navicular appendage which was deemed 
the navel of Italy, they bestowed upon it, from the name of their ancestor 
Cuth united with that of the Indo-Scythic Ila, the appellation of Cutilia or 
Cotyl^ ^ 

Meanwhile the Pelasgic Scyth», whom we had left in Thrace, sent out 

> Strab. Geeg. lib. v. p. 221. lib. yii. p. 827. Herod. Hist. lib. ii. c. 56. 
» Strab. Geog. lib. v. p. 220, 221. Pink. Dissert, p. 58—79. 
» Asiat. Res. vol. v. p. 297—301. 

^ Strab. Geog. lib. v. p. 221. Sophoc. apud Dion. Halic* Ant. Rom. lib. i. c. 25. Tzetz. 
in Lycoph. ver. 1237, 1242, 1351. Hyg. Fab. 274. 
i Dion. HaL Ant. Rom. lib. i. c. 15, 19. Plin. Nat* Hist. Ub. iii. c 12. 



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510 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRT. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATET. 511 

*be Alps and the Danube to the Baltic was imperfectly colonized by the chap. «. 
Celtic descendants of Gomer : this is a fact, established by ancient history 
beyond a possibility of doubt '. But, at the period when Cesar and after- 
wards when Tacitus flourished (to say nothing of prior testimonies), all that 
vast tract of country, which was comprehended within the limits of old Ger- 
many, was occupied, with some trifling exceptions, by a singularly warlike 
and intrepid race of men. Here then an important question arises respect- 
ing the family, to which this great and military people is to be ascribed. 
Ckverius and Pelloutier and Pezron suppose the Germans to be the chil- 
dren of the aboriginal Celts or Cimmerians; and in this opinion, notwith. 
standing its direct contrariety to the evidence of the ancients, it was long 
indolently acquiesced. Bp. Percy was, I believe, one of the firet who con- 
troverted rt; for, upon examination, he found, that no two people were 
more unlike in every particular than the Celts and the Germans, and that 
aU the old writers accordingly describe them as two entirely different races* ; 
but the matter has since been completely set at rest by the laborious inves- 
tigation of Mr. Pinkerton. That able inquirer begins with negatively de- 
monstrating, that the Germans were neither Sarmatians nor Celts ' : and 
then he proceeds to shew, by three grand arguments, that they were nx)st 
assuredly Scythians. 

The first argument is that of identity of language : for the German, 
while it is wholly different from the Celtic on the one hand and from the 
Sclavonic on the other, is palpably the same as the Scythic or Gothic dia- 
lect, into which the gospels were translated by Ulplrilas, for the use of the 
Moesian Goths, in the year 367; the same also as the present vulgar 
tongue of the Crimea, which was in the very heart of the first settlement 
of the Scythians when they began to migrate firom Asia ; and the same 
likewise, both in form and in structure and in numerous words, as the lan- 
guage of the Persians, among whose tribes accordingly Herodotus actually 
specifies the Germans ♦. The second argument is that of the universal tes- 

' Pink. Dissert, p. 45—51. 

» See his lordship's admirable introductory preface to his translation of Mallet's Northern 
Antiquities. 
» Pink.Di8«ert. p. 89-106. 4 Ibid. p. 109-114. Herod. Hist. Kb, i. c. 123. 



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512 THE ORIGIN OF PAOAN IDOLATRT. 

«ooK VI. timony of ancient authors : these with one voice declare^ that the Germans 
and the Scythians were the same people ;. and that, in consequence of the 
decided predominance of the Germans, the Scythians were to be considered 
as the ruling people of Europe \ The third argument is taken from the 
similar manners of the Germans and the Scythians: these do not resemble 
each other, merely in those vagi^e and general points wherein all half- 
civilized nations coincide, but in a great variety of arbitrary particulars 
which could not have been the fesult of accident alone \ 

On such solid grounds, the Germans may indisputably be pronounced 
Scythians : and, as it clearly appears both from Cesar and Tacitus thiA 
they were an unmixed or homogeneous nation, for not the least vestige of a 
servile caste, the invariable result of one people reducing another to a state 
of subjection, can be discovered among them ; we must necessarily con- 
clude, that, as the Scythians advanced westward from the Euxine, the Celts 
retired before them, until they were finally driven to the extremities of Gaul 
or compelled to take refuge in Britain. With this hypothesis some remark- 
able facts will be found to agree very minutely/ As the Scythic torrent 
rolled westward, those ancient Celts, who happened to occupy insulated 
and detached spots, would be left behind untouched, and would thus finally 
be intercepted and cut off from their retiring brethren. Such accordingly 
we perceive to have been actually the case. The Cimbri or Cimmerians 
had been shut up in modern Jutland or the Cimbric Chersonesus ; whence, 
in the lime of Marius, uniting themselves with a branch of the Scythic 
Teutons or Teutsch or Germans, they burst with tremendous violence into 
Italy '. And, in a similar manner, the Estyi bad been lefl behind m some 
projecting district on the southern shore of the Baltic : where, in the days 
of Tacitus, they still remained, a Celtic tribe universally surrounded, save 
to the north, by Scythic Germans \ 

(3.) The Germans then of Cesar and Tacitus were Scythians. This be- 
ing shewn, it may seem almost unnecessary to identify the Scythians with 
those formidable Goths, who subverted the western Roman empire, and 

■ Pinkerton's Dissert, p. 115— ISa * Ibid. p. 131—142. 

' Plut. in vit. Marii. * Tacit de mor. Genn. c. 45. 



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mutOLWis or paoav idolatjit. 51$ 

whiH y(^ the exceptkm of Rusftk and Pokoid ond HungB^t founded the oaA^ it« 
Yariotts Idogdoms of modem Europe; for it is superfluous to observe, that 
they universal^ came out of Germany, crossing the Rhine to the west and 
tke Danube to the sou^ : yet, that nothing may be wanting to complete 
the matter, a few remarks shall be ofiered upon that point also. 

Mn Pbkeiton proves, that those, whom the Greek writers of one period 
styled CrcteSf were the same people as those ^ who, when better known, 
were by the writers of anodier period denominated Goths. This was their 
omi acknowledged natiortal appellation ; which by the earlier Hellenic his* 
torians had, with a thinner sound, been expressed Getes. Hence it is 
evklen^ that the Getes and the Goths were one family. But the Getes 
were undoubtedly Scythians* The Goths therefore were Scythians like* 
wise. In &c^ Giah and Seuth ve but the same word differently pro- 
nounced ; the one without, and the other with, the sibilant prefix '• The 
Godis or Scythians of Germany then were the people, who harassed the 
eastern^ and who subverted the western, Boman empire. Yet there can 
he no doubt, tlmt their numbers were continually swelled by fresh acces* 
skms from the east The stream ceased nojt to flow, until the political 
aspects of Europe was entirely changed : cmiquest naturally produced 
castes : the victors became tiie military nobles : and the vanquished were 
\oug degraded to the cQnditioa of serft and villains. In the nudst of this 
great revolution, we may still perceive the two principal names which so 
eminently predominated in Asia. The Chusas m Chnsas, and the Sacas or 
Sacasenas, of the Hindoo writers are the oriental Scuths and Sacs of the 
Greeks : and the Scuths and Sacae of the Greeks are the European Goths 
imd Saxons oi more modern times« 

Thus at len^ we are broi^t to the condusion, that, since the Goths 
and the Saxons are the descendants of the Chusas and the Sac® ; since 
the Chusas and the Sac» are alike ideelared, in the Institutes of Menu, to 
be branches of the Hindoo military caste ; smce they themselves claim for 
their patriarchal ancestor Cbosa or Cushia ; and since the wide range, of 
which they occupy a part, is by the Hindoos denominated Cusha-dwip 

* Pink. Di88m.p.'7— 14. 
Pag. Idol. VOL. Ill, ST 



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314 3«£ ORIOIN OF PAGAN IDOI^ATftTk 

*^^ ^^* tt^fMifi and1>y the sacred writers /Ae orkfOtalkmd gfOuh : we Are ict kogdi 

brought to the condusion^ that the Goths and Saxons of Europe, Uke the 

Pelasgic founders of the Greek and Roman estates, were in reality, hot chfl^ 

dren of Japhet, as many ha7e:erroneoualy supposed^ but the jKiNrtmty of 

. Cush the son of Ham, 

Tbey were members of that great houses which the Greeks were accus* 
tomed to style Indians and EthU^ians in the south, and G^es and Scythiatm 
in the north : though, such is the force of acknowledged consanguinityti we 
perpetually find the geogi-aphical position of these names inverted Henoc^ 
what seems not a littlb perplexing without tins leey to the mystery, we oraefc 
with Scythias and Scythians far to the souths ahd Indias and Lidians far to 
the north. Thus there was a province in Cgypt, and another in Syria, alttee 
denominated Scythia: the whole Iranian empire, from Asia Minor to tlie 
Erythr^an sea, bore the same appellation : and this vast region was further 
considered, is stretchiqg along the coast far into India, umler the name of 
Scytkia Litnyrlca \ According, Dionysios idfbrms^ us, that the sootbem 
Scythians dwelt on the shore of the Erytiir^an sea and on the banks of tfa* 
river Indus ; which he rightly describes as flowing from that h^ monn* 
tainoua regicm, that iBceived from the Chasas the appellation of Caucasm 
or Coh-Cas \ On the other hand, we are told, that ^e Scythians of CoU 
chis were Indo-Scythae, though they had last emigrated from Egypt * : 
there was an India oh the Phasis : and, among the Tbracians whom we 
have recently seen to be in the main of Scythic origin, there was a tribe of 
Sindi or Indians \ In a similar manner, though the two principal Etbio* 
pias were the Iranian axnl the African, and though we have been accus* 
tomed exclusively to associate the ideas of a black skin and wodly hair with 
tlie name of Ethiopiaii : yet, as the Ethiopians and the Grotfas wore the sam^ 
race, we shall find northern as well as soutbom Ethiopias. There was an 
Ethiopia on the Eiixine, in the midst of the Cdchktns, the Scythians, the 

» Bryanrt AnaL vol. iiL p. 14S, lU^ 193-212. Htnoe possftly tbe Lmeridt of tbe 
Indo«Scytbic Irish. 

• Dion. Perieg. yct. 1088—1092. » Tzeta. in Lycopb. ver. 174w Herod. IJb. iL c. 104. 

^ Bryaat's AxaiL toL ii. p. 214, 215. 



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na OBIfilN OF FAGAK tSOLArMX^ SIS 

So^am^ and tbe Sacm i these was aaotber: EtUopU in Pfaaricia: tiiere <»Afw iw. 
was l^cewise a regiota €9Med Eikkpium iatke island £ub^ : Ethiopia was 
ib& aDdent naoae of Satnothrace^ where the lodo-Scy thic Pelasgi » Palli 
eminently estabiiafaed their Mysteries^ and theie wu an Ethiopia in Spaio^ 
which received its appellation fix>m the Ethiopic Atlantiaas wJbo crossed 
over nto* fitirape and occupied the^ idand £i^^ '• AU these Soy thians, 
or GothS) or £thiopiaoS| or iiidiansy . wiew: CbiUiien of tbe same great family ; 
liowe«r^ from local cinsomstaooes^ Uiey might di^ in aspect and com^ 
plexioD. In Sortptune ^they. are stfl^d Cktskm or Qabink from their ancesf 
tor Cusb : and the Giedcwritera deacaobe them as it peculiarly sacred race^ 
who fifst enacted lawa and intixKluced the:wofship of the gods. Tbe same 
authors assuae m^ thsd» JBtfaiopia was the first settlol coantry upon earth ; 
an assertion, par^%jaccurate.willi reBpoct to the origiml £^opia: for 
/A«f BtMopia was ^ Asialac.Cushar(toq>os primeval empire of Iran ; and 
it was planted afierldie flood by Nimrod, whom tbe author of the Paschal 
Chrbnideris^yslylesfisstf J?Md>/Md^ imperial legis«» 

ktor^ and who for deep political reasons^ was the chief promoter, of ido* 
latry\ 

(4.) When tiie Sc)[thians had ^omj^letely occupied the whole of Ger^ 
many, a branch of Ais emr rqsUMa p^ple crossed over into Scandinavia* 
The re^on, which they had chosen, necessarily converted them into mari* 
ners ? and, under the dames of Petictni or Piks and Nortotgians ot Norths 
men^ they peopled Ice}ahd and seized upon all tbe sea-coast of Scotland ^ 
It need scarcely be vemarked^ tbat^ many ages after tbe Christian era, they ^ 
wej^ still tnouUesome and Boirmidable to tbe more civilized bouth a^ Danes 
and Normans. As little need it be observed, that, at tbe down&ll of the 
western empire, tbe Sacas, who had at one period spread themselves to the 
north of India and had been nuxrt vexatious nei^ibours to the Medo-Per- 
ttiiins of Iran^ crossed over the GemMn ocean, and in the island of Britain 
founded a Saxon kingdom which has at len|^ attained the last stage <^ 
rdigious and poUtioal civalitatiook 

(5.) The first Scythic colony howev^^ that established itself in £urope^ 

■ Bryant's AoaL voL liL p. 179— IS£, . « Ibid. p. 38, 1S5, 16& 

3 J'iok. I>}«ien. p. 150-^160, 121, ISS.; - 



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S\6 tH£ ORIGIN OF PAGAK IPOLATRTf 



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TB£ 0BI6IN OF FAOAK IDOLATRV/ 517 

tills noble race, knew better bow to appredate tbrir value dian their misin* crap, it. 
formed posterity. Suffice it to say, that the military Goths are universatly 
celebrated by contemporary writers for their dignified clemracy, their 
eminent justice, their domestic modesty, their systematic humanity, their 
Mcred hospital!^, their profound political wisdom. To speak of their un« 
flaunted courage were {Mainly superfluous : and, if they little regarded letters 
when they invaded the Roman empire^ they were well aware, that, in their 
peculiar circumstances, they rather required a wise and military, than a 
pedantic and feeble, sovereign. Theodoric, who was unlearned, was the 
best and greatest of kings : Theodohat, who was learned, brought to utter 
ruin the first Gothic monarchy in Italy. Against such virtues, the con* 
temptiUe science of degenerate Rome, contemptible and puerile as it waa 
X then cultivated, amid make but little head. The victors themselves, who 
were destined to infuse a new principle of vitality into, the corrupt mass^ 
foh ashamed of their %noble conquest ; and, with their own peculiar energy, 
strongly expressed their ineffisd^Ie contempt for the doting empire, which 
tiiey overtnmed. fFhen we vould bnmd an enemy with disgrace, we call 
him a Roman; cmiprehendingj under this one name o/Rcnnan, whatever is 
base, and cowardly pOfkicowtws^asidfakerafdviamis*. 

3. We have now traoed tiie Seutbim to the utmost limits of the west, let 
IS next observe their progress to &e <E»Uremities of the east. 

(L) The Institutes of Menu, as we have seen, declare, that the Chinas 
were a branch of the war-tribe ; which seceded and was excommunicated 
at the same period with ibe Chusas, the Sacas, the Cambc^ and other 
kindred nations. Now, if the Pundits be accurate in the country which 
they unanimously assign to tiie redrii^ Chinas, there can be no doubt but 
that the Chinas are those whom we are accustomed to style Chinese*. 

' Liutprand. Legat See Fink. Dissert, pref. p. viii — ^xiv. The merciless and savage 

Romans, whose liberty and virtues we have been accustomed so childishly to idolize, often 

ahed more Mood in a single war, than the Goths in conquering the whole empire. It is 

acutely observed by Mr.' Pinkerton, dial the language of Italy, France, and Spain, which 

is mere Latin corruptedby time, sididently proves bow few of die old inhabitants perished* 

They became in fact, what they deserved to become, the servile caste to a race of military 

nobles* 

^ Asiat. Res. vol. ii. p. S69. 



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S\$ tUE ORIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRY. 



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THE ORieiN OV FAOAK IDOLATRT* 519 

and it ^eems not itttprobable, that at an fearly period their superior civiliza- csap. ur. 
tioB might ^ve them much ioflueoce over thetr ruder neighbours. So like- 
mhe^ as the far eastern r^bn where the historian places the Argipp^i agrees 
very wdl with the situi^ion of the most westerly Chinese, the circumstance 
crf'lbeir universal baldness, on which he particulariy dwells, may ftirther 
serve to establish the p<ttnt of their identity. The Chinese, whose pertina* 
cious addiction to old customs is proverbial, still present the exact aspect 
of the ancient ArgippH: their heads are entirely shaved, except a single 
lock of hair which in a long braid is pendent behind. Nor is the title of 
drg^ii^ whkii Herodotus bestows upon this oriental Scythic tribe, to be 
wbdly passed over in silence. The veneration of the white horse of Buddha 
or Siaka inurt once have prevailed in China : and, if we knew more of the 
interior of the empire, as the worship of Buddha under the name of Fo i§ 
yet fieuniliar to its inhabitants, we should probably find that it still prevails. 
At any rate it must fermerfy have been established there : because we find, 
that, when the later modification of Biuidhism was unported firom China 
into Japan about the year ^3 ctf the Christian era, the missionaries obtained 
ktfve to build a templ^ which even now is called the temple of the white 
horse^ because the Kio or holy book of Siaka was brought over on an animal 
of that desiiription \ 

If then the Ai^pp^i of Herodotus were the Chinese, that ancient na<» 
tbn, agreeably to the testimony of d^e Intitutes, b a branch of the Scy- 
thians or Chusaa : and, with this conclusion, what we can collect from 
ott^r writers will exactly accord. A large body of the Sacae, the Sacas of 
the Hindoo?, eariy got possession of Sogdiana and the regions upon the 
Jaxartes ; whence tbey extended themselves eastward quite to the ocean. 
They were of the Cuthic or Scuthic &mily : thdr country was called Sacaia 
and Cut ha: and their chief dty was Sacastan, the Sacastana of Isidorus 
Characenus. They got possessicm of the upper part of China, which they 
denominated Cathma or the UmdofCuth : and, during the middle ages, it 
long continued to be known by the appellation of Ckithay. Among the 
Greeks^ the inhabitants oi the Chinese empire were usually distinguished 

' Knnp&r't Jspan. p* 2i7. 



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520 tH£ ORIGISr OF PAOAN IDOLATAY. 



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^B£ ORIGIN Oy PAQANT IBOLATET. ^21 

«iarefOver JO Mgbly regained by^ientas perpetually to be called in to settle cbap. m 
jtheir frequent, disputes. Now the reason, which he assigns For their pos- 
aemog this extraordmary influence over a fierce and warlike race, is the 
circumstance of their being deemed peculiarly sacred. The question then 
Is, why such a character was attributed to them': and> if I mistake not, the 
wswer to this question wiU comi^etely sblve the present difficulty. In the 
Institutes, tbe^ Chinas are said to be of the same family as the Sacas and 
the Chasas, aiid diey are represented as being an excommunicated branch 
of the mililary caste. But, as we have already seen, the sacerdotal ctess was 
hut an excrescence from that of the primeval Cathie nobility : so that, in 
point of descent from a immman patriarchal ancestor, the priests and the 
soldiers were brethren. Yet, brethren as they were m blood, their dif* 
ferent habits and.pursmts would soon produce a striking difference of cha^ 
racter between the members of the two allied orders : the Brabmens would 
be men of peace and philosophic contemplation ; the Cuttrees would be 
men of war and romantic enterprize. I am greatly inclined then t<x be«» 
iieve, that, when the Scuths who adhered* to Scytbism separated themselves 
irom those who preferred lonisin, a tribe of priests or Brahmen or Magi, 
attended by a mixed multitude from the other cartes, withdrew far to the 
east and there became the founders of the Chinese monarchy* Such a 
conjecture will at once account for the circumstance of the Argipp^i being 
reckoned sacred by their warlike neighbours, and for the singularly pacific 
find contemplative character both of themselves and of their supposed de<* 
scendants the modem Chinese. It will likewise account for th^ extra-* 
ordinary population of their long unmolested empire, 4or the wonderfully 
tmbroken sticcession of their political Gonstitution^ and. for their addiction 
to the patient labours of agriculture so utterly unlike the roving humour of 
the nqmade Scythians to whose femily nevertheless they ^re universally 
scribed. .... 

,. (a.) As for the Japanese, they are palpably.members of the same house 
as the Chinese ; though their military spirit, in which they resemble th« 
other Goths, forbids the supposition of their being a mere late formed 
colony from the overflowing empire on the continent. I should rather con- 
jecture, that Japan was planted by a tribe of wailike Sacas, who preceded 
-P^. IdoL VOL* III. S U 



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322 TH£ OftlGJN or PAGAN tVOLATKY^ 

»ooft vu in their eastern route the padfic saoerdot&l foimdefs^ of the Chfaiese noh 
narchy. This opinion coincides with that of Ksempfer and TilBiii^ ; who^ 
from a long residence in the island, are doobUess the best quali&d jjoign 
of the matter : and it has met with the approbation of Sir WiUiam Jooei^ 
though he strongly contends that the Japanese are a branch of the same 
ancient stem with the Chinese. It seeiMi that the forttwr woold itsent^ as 
an insult on their dignity, the bare sogg^stioo of their dtwent fttuh the 
latter : and, in truth, the dissimilitude of the two national cbwaotnrs proves 
auffidently, that the Japanese are not mistaken in their opioton \ Their 
supposed origination from a tribe of Saoas, wiio had preceded the Bimi^ 
menical Chinas, ^eems to be confirmed by the dftmnstance of a district in 
Japan being still called Sacaia: and it is yet further confirmed by the oc- 
currence of the local name of Gotb^i for the Sacas and the Goths were of 
the same race K 

(3.) Another branch of the Cuthic stock bore, according to the Inatitntes, 
the appellation of CambqfM : and these are doubtless to be found in Cam* 
bodia or the extensive district which bears the ^neral nanae of tke eastern 
pemmuk of India. Their descendants are the Cossais, the Siamese, the 
Peguers, and the now predominating Burmas. These are a warlike and in^ 
telligent people, not nnwortliy of their Gothic ancestry : and, like the un« 
mixed Scythians fix>m the extremity of Asia to the extremity of £urope^ 
they ia*e universally worshippers of Buddha or Saca or Dagon K 

4. Noticing now remains but to turn our attentim to the south-west t 
and here an amazing scene opens upon us, inirfaicii, as osoal, we find the 
adventurous Scythians the chief actors. 

Their colonies in this quarter were the Phenicians, the various tribes of 
2anmimmim or Anakim, the Bhilistim or Palli who conmmnicated to the 
whirfe land of Canaan tiie name of Paleiftine w PalfUthan, and the mighty 
Shepherd or Pallic kings of Egypt When these las^ after miraculously 
experiencing the wratii of heaven, were expelled by the native Mizraim 
ender their ancient princes: a new series of migrations was the oonse* 

• Aiiat Res. vol. iL p. S7&, SSa » EiBmpfinr^s Jiqpan. b. L c 8. p. lOi. note a. 

' Sbnes's EadMssy to Avs. pasum. 



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TUB OUOIK or FAttAK I0Ol«AriiyV 6&^ 

4teMe^ wbieh affteted bolh Europe and Africa and Asia« But aitch evenU oiaf, it. 
M^ oC ti magoitudQ to r^uira and deserve a separate discussion. At jne^ 
tant^sofioa it la aay, that the Pbeniaians have often mosterropeously h^n 
aicribad to the house o£the servile Canaan ; while the Philistiin, from an 
ffl understood expression of Mesas, have been misdeemed a branch of the 
M uoBim '. In reality^ they were alike descended. from the great family of 
Cosb; and were equally, in the first instance, emigrants from Asiatic 
Cutdm-^wip or Ethiopia. By lapse of time they might indeed, especially 
die Phenidans, be mit^d with the Canaanites : bu( their national origin 
was vmA assuredly altogether different At least, they agreed only in the 
circumstance of their being equally the duldren of Ham through the two 
dbtinct Unes of Cush and Canaan. 

5. As the grand characteristic oi nearly all the Noetic families is the 
existence of ^ polity, mdre or less perfectly dividing the community into 
separate castes ; so that the sacerdotal and military classes, proudly refusing 
to mix with the subject multitude, should constantly be at the head of 
affairs, while the plebeians were d^raded to a state of servitude ; a polity 
aoaanaiing from the universal predominance of the house of Cush : so a. 
principal cfaaracterirtic of that part of d^ mBitary trib^ which seceded from 
the other i)art and which hi consequence was regarded as outcast and heror 
tical, is a polity, which either knows nothing of a division into castes, or 
which recognizes only a priesthood administering the religion of an entire 
nation of freemen or nobles or warriors ; for, in the estimatioB of the H-ar- 
like Cuths, these terms were synonymous. 

Thus among the Burmans there are no castes ; amoi^ the Cbasas, none; 
among the Chinese, none. The Japanese have a distinct order of priesthood 
with an ecclesiastical emperor (as Ksempfer. calls him) at their bead, while 
a secular emperor presides over the state: but I cannot find, that they 
have any other castes in the Hindoo sense of the word \ As for the ani> 
cient Scythians, Tbracians^ Persians, and Lydians, they partly had, and 
partly had not castes. This point we learn from Herodotus : and Strabo 

' Gen. X. 14. 
^ Simes's Embassy to Ava. vol. ii. p. 8. Asiat Res. vol. tj. p. 251. Kaempfer's Japan, 
b. iL Staunton's Embasa to China; 



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5S4 TUE ORIGIK OF FAOAK IDOLATRT* 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN XDOLATET. 5£5 

mon object in which all were interestedi than served by constiaint under an chaf. it. 
arbitrary superior. The multitude were not the serfs, but the free military 
vassals or retainers, of their princes and higher nobility. Every part of 
^ their constitution breathed an armed and unrestrained freedom : each indi- 
vidual felt his strength and importance : and it is most curious to observe , 
the marked difference in point of gpyerpment, as delineated by the masterly 
pens of Cesar and Tacitus, between. thi3 nation of soldiers and their neigh- 
hours the caste-divided Celts. Yet these warriors, who would scarcely 
yield to any secular lord, freely submitted to the commands of their priest- 
hood : nor did they think bonds of even stripes any degradation from such 
sacred hands *. 

} Gf^ror. Goiinpiit^.lihu vk^^j^^ 22, 23. Tacit de nror. Germ. c. 4, 6, 7, 11, 12,. 13^ 
14, 15, 21,^2, 25, 31, 38, 39. The complete liberty of the Gothic Germans, so foreign 
from that division into castes by which the inferior ranks were reduced to a state of abso- 
lute servitude and political insignificance, is most pointedly described in a single sentenoft 
of Tacitus. JDe wmoribm rebut prinofa amsubatif : de majoribuSf^ OMNESi 



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CHAPTER V. 



Respecting the Shepherd-Kings of Egypt, and tJie various Settle^ 
ments of the Military Ckiste^ in Consequence ef their ExpuMon. 



X NOW come to treat of a very extraordinary people, whose history will 
throw considerable light on some parts of Holy Scripture. 

I. The substance of what we know concerning them is thus recorded 
by different authors. 

1. fVe had formerly, says Manetho the Egyptian, a king named Timaua* 
In his days, through the wrath of heaven, a race of men, whose origin %oas 
unkmam to tis, suddenly made their appearance from the east. These in- 
vaded our country : and such was their military prowess, that, in a very 
short time and without encountering any material resistance, they reduced 
it under their dominion. Our nobility they completely subjugated: and, 
not content with having obtained the mastery, they proceeded to bum our 
cities and to aoertum the temples of our gods. All the natives they treated 
with the utmost cruelty : for they murdered some of them, and degraded ta 
abject servitude the children and the wives of others. Jt length they made 
one of their number to be king: and the name of this person was Salatis. 
The new prince established himself at Memphis ; reduced both the upper and 
jthe lower praoince to the payment of tribute; and placed garmons in all 



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.TH£ ORXGIK OF FAGAN IDOLATAIT. 527 

wmenUf^ dtw^ions. But he most mmou^ fortyUd those parts, which csap« v, 
took towards the east; wsehf foreseeing that the Assyrians, who were then 
hrfek iff Asia, ndght heresrfter be tempted to im^ade his dominions. Hence, 
iteoing found in the Saitic name a town very advantageously situated on the. 
oriental side (^tkg Buktstite rvoer, he fortified it with strong walls, and en- 
trusted it to the charge of tipo hundred and forty thousand warriors. The 
name of this cky^ ms dedgnat^d by the i^ndent theologians, was Auaris. 
Hither he zoos wont to resort in sunnner time, partly to measure out the 
com which he received as tribute, parity to pay Us soldiers their stipends, 
and partly to train them to the use of<irms that so he mig/it strike terror 
into his foreign ndghbwrs. JVIien Jie had reigned XQ years, he died. He 
was succeeded by Beam; who reigned 44 years: he, hf Apachnas; who 
r^gned ^ years and7 motdhs : he, by Apophis; who reigned 61 years: 
be, byjanias^ wko reigned 50 years and 1 month: and he, by Assis; who 
reigned 49 years and 2 months. These six were the first kings of this 
dynasty : they were perpetually engaged in war : and they seemed desirous 
of utterly roo^ng. out the natvoe Egyptians. 

The name, by which the invaders were distinguished, was that of Huc-Sos 
er ShejJierd-kings ; fer, in the sacred language. Hue denotes a king ; and 
SoSy in the common diakcti a sbepherd. Some believe them to have been 
Arabs. These, and their posterity, remained makers of Egypt for the- 
space of 6 1 1 years : when a bho^ war took place between them and the 
princes of the Thebeds under the command of Ali^ragmuthosis. The result 
^it was, that theShepherds were worsted, and were expelled out of the whole 
of Egypt save the place already mentio$9ed under the name of Auaris. This, 
although spoken of as a dty, was rather a province : for it contprehended ten 
tkofusmid acres, and was large enough to contain aU the multitude of the 
Shepherds with their pltmder and their provisions. The whole of it was sur* 
rounded by a lofty wall; and it was considered by these tyrants, as their 
principal strong-hold. Here they were besieged by Thumosis \ the son of 
AUsphragnmthosis, with an army of four hundred and eighty thousand men : 
ba, despairing ef being able to reduce them ^ force, he at length entered 

f Or T^tbaoiif, as he k aftenmrdfl taBed. 



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,S2B THE OEIOIIT OF PAGAK'IDOLATKT* 

BooKTx. into a compact with tkem^ that they should evacuate Effffpt md 

without mokstation where they pleased. Jccordit^liff they, marcbed aiua^ 
with all their famUies and all their pornxsmm, to the number oftxao kmh 
dred and forty thousand souls ; emd^ striking into the desert ^ they nuuk 
directly for Syria. Through fear however of the Assyrkim who were thm 
iords of Asiuy they built a city in the land now called J adhsL, which might 
ie capable of holding so nmny persons: and JttuisXfmk was> thename^ by 
'^chich they distifiguished it \ . ^. 

After they had retired into Palestkie, a succession of native princes 
Teigned) we are told, in Egypt, for the space of 34& years and 7 months^ 
until the tiine of Sethosis or £gyptus and his brother Amuns or Danau$^ 
At this period, according to the Hellenic writers,, another emigration took 
place: for Cadmus and Danaus, with, large bodksof thek cottntfymen^ 
retired into Greece ; while the Israelites, under the command of Mosesy 
withdrew into Palestioe. 

The historian, having now dislodged the Shepherd*kings from Aoaris^ 
and having briefly noticed the Jine of native princes that, succeeded them in 
the government, introduces to our acquaintance a new race of foreigners. 
These he describes, as being afllicted with the leprosy ; says, that they 
rapidly increased to the number of eighty thousand ; and mentions, that 
-they were then put to hard labour in the stone-quarries on the eastern side 
C>f the Nile. At length the reigning king Amenophis, whom hfe makes the 
third in succession from him who expelled the Shepherds ', granted to this 
oppressed people the district Auaris, which had recently been evaeoated by 
the pastoral sovereigns* Here they soon began to meditate revolutionary 
projects : and, having chosen for their leader a certain Heliopolitan priest 
named Osarsiph, they swore to obey him in all things. This person 
enacted, that they should neither adore the gods of tbe, Egyptians, nor ab* 
stain from any of those animaJs which they accounted sacred ; but that they 
should indifferently slay and eat all of them, and that they should inter* 
marry with none but those who were engaged in the same project When 
be had made these regulations with many others highly offensive to the 

^ Joseph, cont. Apion. lib. i. $ 14. * Ibid. § i&. i Ibid. § 1& 



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fRt OSX9IN OF l^AOAN IBpLATBT^ 589 

maaoers of ;Eg]rpt^ fae ordered bis fdlawers to prepare for wiur against king cbap. t. 
Amenophis* /Wiabing hoi^ever for assistance, he sent to the Shepherds 
Hihodiad bam expelled from Auaris and who had since built Jerusalem ; 
promisiiig theo^ tbat^ if thdjr wOuld help him against the Egyptians, he 
would restooe to them the dkUrtet from which they had been dislodged by 
Tethmosis. His invitatira was readily accepted : and the Shepherd-kings, 
to the number of two humfaed thousand men^ immediately set ou^ and in 
m abort time reached Aiiaris; So formidable an irrupticm not a little 
alarmed AmeoK^phis Vi aad he was the more inclined to despair m conse- 
quence <tf a jmiphecy^ which foretdd, that certain strangers would join the 
leiNTOus multitude to whom he had given Auaris when evacuated by the 
Shepherds, and that th^ would jointly obtain the dominion of Egypt for 
the space of thicteen years. Gueasbg that the prediction was now about 
to be acoompUsbed, he assembled the whole commonalty of the Egyptians; 
and, having taken counsel with the leading men, he reverently gathered to 
himself the sacred animals, and rtrictly charged the priesthood to hide the 
statues of the gods. Then, although at the bead of three hundred thou^ 
sand tighting men, he retired into Ethiof^ without venturing to give the 
enemy battle^ lest he should seem to fight against the decrees of the deity. 
The king of that country was under obligations to him, and received both 
him and his followers with much kindness : here therefore be determined 
to remain, until the fatal period of thirteen years should have elapsed. 
Meanwhile the Sbe][)herd-kihgs from Jerusalem, and their allies the Lepers, 
used with the utmost barbarity the advantages which they had gained. 
For they not only burned the towns and villages : but, as if m premeditated 
mockery of the established reli^on, they employed the wooden statues of 
the gods as foel to cook the flesh of ^e sacred aninuds ; and they com- 
pelled the priests and prophets to slaughter those animals with their own 
hands. Of this nefarious ^republic the founder and legislator, as it has 
already been intimated, was Osarsiph, an Heliopolitan priest of Osiris : ^ 

but, when be had placed himself at the head of it, he changed his name, 
and thenceforth was called Moses. The thirteen years however soon ex- 
pired : and then Amenophis and his son Rampses, descending from Etfai- 
Pag. IdoL VOL, iiu 3 X 



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tool VI* 



580 THE ORIOIK OP.FAOAN IDOfLAfRr. 

opia with a vast army, attacked the Shepherds and the Lepers, routed them 
10 a great battle, and pursued them to the borders of Syria '• 

3. Manetho is not the only writer, who mentions the evacuatioa of 
Egypt by the Lepers under Moses and their imagined allies the Shep* 
herds: Diodorus has lefk a most curious passage relative to the «ame 
subject. 

Formei% says he, a pestilential disorder preoaUed im^Egyptj which most 
were willing to ascribe to the wrath of the deity. For, whm stranger$ 
from various different quarters had intruded into the comtry who Tvere 
each addicted to the rites of a foreign religion, the ancient worship of the 
native gods fell into discredit. Hence the aboriginal inhabitants began to 
suspect, that they should never be free from the malady tintil they expelled 
4 he aliens. Upon this, as seme writers tell us, the most noble andwarliit 
of those foreigners, being compelled to leave the country, enugrated into 
Greece and certain other regions, under the ccmnumd of several illustrious 
leaders, among whom Danaus and Cadmus are especisdfy ceMratal. But 
there was yet a vety mimerous ^vision, which marched off by land into the 
district now called Jud^a* Of this colony one Masa was the leader, a man 
of great wisdom and fortitude. He, having occupied that country, built a 
magnificent temple at Jerusalem, and instituted a regular ceremonial of 
divine worship. He likewise ordained laws for his new republic ^ anddi* 
vided the whole multitude into twelve tribes, mswering to the twelve fnonths 
of the year. All visible representations if the gods he strictly forbad ; 
teaching, that there is but one Deity, who pervades and gcwms all things^ 
and who cannot adequately be described by the humamfgwre. The sacriftr 
cial rites and institutes, which he introduced, were of such a nature, that 
they differed very essentially from those of all other peopk : and, as he pre^ 
sided wer a banished nation, he determined, that their general habits of life 
should be inhuman and unhospitable. He appointed a regular order of 
priests for the sermce of the ten^le, and made them also the secular judges 
of the community : whence they smf, that he was never himself the king of 
the Jews. On the contrary, he vested the chief authority in the hands of 

5 Josephi coat» ApioDf lib. i. § 26, 27* 



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THE ORIGIN or FAGAK ISOLATRT* S$l 

u woerdgn pontiff; who^ at the tame time, as a messenger y interpreted the chap, ▼ 
behests of the Trinity '. 

We have moreover some very singular perversions of the same piece of 
faistory, handed down to us from the pens of other ancient authors. 

Lysimachus tells us, that, while Boccboris was kihg of Egypt, the nation 
of the Jews, being infected by an inveterate leprosy, fled to the templet 
and begg^ for food» Many dying by reason of the disorder, a great fa* 
mine took plaee. Upon this <lie king consulted the orade of Hammon ; 
and was charged to purge the land and the temples from the unclean race» 
by which they had been polluted. He accordingly collected all the impure 
persons, and delivered them into the hands of the soldiers : who, in par« 
auance of bis orders, i^tacbed plates of lead to die incurable lepers and 
drowned them in the sea; but drove out the others to perish in the wilder* ' 
ness. These last, taking counsel together, elected Moses to be their 
leader: and under his guidance, after suffering many hardships in the de- 
aert, they finally emerged from it and seiaed upon the land of Jud^a ^» 

Much the same story, with sundry embeUbhments and one important 
addition, is detailed by Tacitus. The Israelites, as usual, have the leprosy; 
and, as a race hateful to the gpds> are driven out of Egypt by Boccboris. 
In the desert Moses persuades them to submit to him, as a leader sent 
from heaven. Here he supplies them with water from a rocki being led 
to it by a herd of wild asses : and at length, after a Journey of six days, 
they reach the lapd of Jud^ on the seventh, drive put its former occu- 
pants, and build a city and a temple. This great historian, as childish in 
his details respecting the Jews as he is invaluable in his account of ordi« 
nary matters, has preserved likewise some other legends, in which truth is 
strangely intermingled with falsehood. It appears from them, that the 
Jews were varbusly reported to have comp from mount Wa in Crete; to 
have emigrated from £gypt» during the reign of Isis, under the command 
of Hierosolymus and Judas ; and to have been very generally esteemed 
descendants of the Ethiopians^ whom fear and hatred had compQlled to 
change their habitations '• 

> Diod. Bibl. Edog. ex lib. zL p. 921, 922. 
* Jjjf&m. vfvA Joseph. cont. Aptop. lib. i. $ 34. ' Ta^ut. Hist, lib. y.c.%% 



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532 THE ORIGIir OF VAaAV XDOIJlTmT# 

BOOK Yu This last particular is the addition, to wbich I alluded as being MngO'^ 
larly important We have already seen, that many foreigners were obliged 
to quit Egypt at the same time with the Israelites : hence it was not unna- 
tural, that the latter should often be mistaken tor a race, witfa which tiiey 
had really no national connection. Now from the legends-adduced by 
Tacitus, it appears that they were sometime? confounded #ith certain Ethi^ 
opiana or Cushim; who^ like themselves^ had been obliged to change theii^ 
haUtations through the fear and hatrei of the native J^yptians. Thte 
fragment of history therefic^re teaches us, that a iunily of Etfuopims wm 
driven out of the country syhcbronically with the Israelites, i4m1 that thesi 
Ethiopians were both hated and feaired by the aboriginal Mizrdtti. 

It need scarcely be remarked^ that the fable of drowning a^ace of lepers 
in the sea, while such as escaped fled into the wilderness, has plainly been 
taken from the destruction of Phieuraoh aind his host M the Arabian gulf^ ; 
the punishment being ingeniously transferred from the oppressoi^* to ^ 
oppressed : but it may not be improper to observe, that the midicious tale 
of the Israelites being all afflicted with an inveterate cutaneous distemper, 
which seems to have been so very generally taken up by the pagans, haA 
plwily enough originated from the circumstance of Moses being miracu<» 
lously struck with a ten^XMrary leprosy \ The remembrance of a preter> 
natural revulsion of the Red sea has been preserved by those who dwell 
upon its coast, not only to the time of Diodorus, but even to the. present 
day. That hbtorian relates^ that the lethyophagi had a tradition, handed 
down to them through a long line of ancestors, that the whole bay was once 
laid bare to the very bottom, the waters retiring to the opposite shores^ 
but that they afterwards, with a most tremendous swells returned to their 
accustomed chamiel : and, even now, the inhabitants of the neighbouiiK>od 
of Corondel, as we learn from Dr. Shaw, preserve the recollection of a 
mighty army having been once drowned in the bay, which Ptdemy caUs 
Clymia\ 

II. It, remains for us to note ti^ chronology of the pastoral domination 
in Egypt ; and we shall then, I believe,, have all the direct information oa 
the sublet that is extant 

*£xod.Hr.6* *Diod.BibLIib.iij.p.rri. SOmit's Thmb. p. 949. 



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TH£ ORIOIK OF PAGJiH n>OtATRr* 5S5 

The !%ephercb are said m Ae whole to have been lords of Egypt for ceap. k 
the space 6f 511 years : and the joint reigns of the first six kings amount, 
if we follow Manetho as cited by Josephus, to 259 years and 10 months ; 
but| if we adopt the numbers as exhibited by Afiicanus, they amount to 
S84 years. Manetho places the.^rst expulsion of these tyrants from Aua- 
ris at the end of the 51 1 years ; but tiiisi I think, is clearly an error. The 
eitire duration of their empire is but 5 11 years : and we find them a second 
time paramount in Egypt, subsequent to their expulsion from Auaris. 
Hence the 5 1 1 years must certainly terminate, not with their ^r*/, but with 
their jf£M/^ expulsion: and hence their ^r^ expulsion ought to have been 
placed, not at the end of tiie 51 1 years, but at tiie end of those S59 years 
and 10 months which are comprized within the rdgns of their six earliest 
princes. 

Now Eusebius notices another succession of Shepherd-princes, difierent 
from that of the six eaAiest kings; whfch comprehended the space of 106 
years, and which consisted of four sovereigns. In this he agrees with He- 
rodotus, save that that historian places only two kings within the period of 
the 106 years. To tliese two kings Herodotos ascribes all the tyranny of 
the Shepherds ; represents tfaem as building the pyramids by the constrained 
labour of their subjects; and intimates/ tiiat those vast edifices were ordi^ 
narily called by the name of the shepterd Pbilids who then fed his cattle 
in the country V Hence there cannot be a doubt, that he speaks of the 
Shepherd-kings, and that his tdkged period of 106 years must be identified 
with the similar period specified by Eoselwis. But this period differs 
widely, both from the entire period of 5 11 years,^ and from the minor pe>» 
riod of 259 years and 10 mcmths which is the length of the^^ pastoral 
domination. Hence we may safely pronounce it to be the period of the 
second pastoral domination ; and may consequentiy determine it to be the 
latter part of the 5 1 1 years, as the S59 years and 10 nu>nths are the former 
part of the 511 years. 

From the expulsicm of tiie Jirst Shepherd-dynasty at the end of the S59 
years and 10 months^ to the secession of Armajis or Danaus into Greece^ 

• Herod. Hist. lib. iL a 12^^128. 



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534 THE ORIOIN OF PAGAN IDOlATRn 



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THE OEIGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATBT. SSS 

netbo within the narrow limits of 13 years : but, as Herodotas and £use- cbapt. 
t)ius both mention a period of 106 years during which the Shepherds exer- 
cised an intolerable tyranny in the country, and as we shall jM^esently find 
that thb number is established by the testimony of Holy Scripture, I have 
DO scruple in rejecting the 13 years of Manetho and in substituting for thena 
the 106 years of Herodotus and £usebius and Moses* 

We shall now therefore have 260 years for the dynasty of the first Shep- 
herds, and 106 years for another dynasty of the same Shepherds after they 
had returned from Palestine. Consequently, when these two sums are 
deducted from the entire period of 51 1 years, we shall have 145 years for 
those two intermediate minor periods of the vacancy of the district Auam 
and it9 occupation by the leprous shepherds until the return of its former 
possessors. 

Manetho however assures us, that^ at length, both the leprous shepherds 
under Moses, and the other Shepherds who had returned from Palestine; 
were synchronically expelled from Egypt. Hence, as the entire duration 
of the pastoral tyranny from first to last was 511 years, their expulsion of 
course must have taken place at the end of those years. But the leprous 
shepherds under Moses were clearly the Israelites; and the exodus of tiie 
Israelites fell out in the year 1491 before the Christian era: the other 
shepherds therefore must have first invaded Egypt 5 1 1 years before the 
epoch of the exodus. If then we count back 51 1 years, the epoch of the 
first pastoral invasion from the east will be the year £002 before Christ. 
Now that year, according to the Samaritan chronology which we have seen 
reason to adopt in preference to the palpably corrupt chronologies of the 
Hebrew and the Greek, coincides with the sixth year t>efore ti)e birth of 
Abrahan^, with the two hundred and ninety sixth year after the death of 
Peleg, with about the three hundred and sixth year after the dispersion 
from Babel which happened during the life-time of that patriarch, and with 
the three hundred and twenty third year after the rise of the Cutliic empire 
of Iran under Nimrod at the commencement of the 1500 years specified 
by Justin '• Hence it appears, that Manetho was perfectly accurate ia 

' See AppencL Tab. Ill, and Y.. . 



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SS6 THE OBIO^IN aP PAGAN IDOLAXaY^ 

BOOK VI. saying, that the Shepherds invaded Egypt when the Assyrians (by whom 
we are to understand the Cushim of Ashur and £lam and Aram, or in one 
word the Cushim of Iran) were lords of Asia, and that they strongly forti- 
fied the eastern frontier of Egypt by way of guarding against a not irnpro*- 
Jbable invasion. For they well knew, that the Cushim had already pushed 
westward beyond the Euphrates into the further Aram or Syria: and, in 
the course of their domination, they could not be ignorant of the attempt 
made by Chedorlaomer imd three other vassals of the Iranian empire, in 
the days of Abraham, to subjugate the whole of Palestme as far as mount 
Seir and Kadesh and El-Paran on the very confines of Egypt, Thus har- 
moniously does profane history correspond with sacred. 

As for Egypt previous to the first irruption of the Shepherds, it is de- 
scribed by Manetho as a well-ordered kingdom : for at the head of it was 
a sovereign, whom he calls Timaus or Tanrnmz; and with him were asso- 
ciated^ in the administration of affairs, a regular priesthood and a military 
nobility. The religion was that, which prevailed in the country even until 
the establishment of Christianity : for it was the superstition, which ori^r 
nated at Babel, which prevailed (as we learn from Berosus ') throughout 
Chald^ which immediately involved the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, 
and which was largely built upon the symbolical veneration of the sacred 
animals. This particular modification of idolatry was despised, it seems^ 
by the invading Shepherds : who, though plainly distinct from the Israel- 
itish shepherds and therefore themselves apostates from the truth, had not 
as yet learned to adopt the complex theology of Egypt and Babylonia. 
Their conduct in the former country was much the same as that of the Per- 
sians, when they invaded Greece under Xerxes* These were mental ido- 
laters indeed, and had deflected from the worship of tlie one true God : 
but, adhmng to the ancient Scythism or Buddhism of their forefathers, 
they were disgusted with that gross and palpable image-worship, which had 
been brought by the Ionizing Danai and Cadmians out of Egypt and Phe- 
nicia. Such a peculiarity in the behaviour of the invading Shepherds must 
be carefully borne in mind : for it is of importance towards ascertaining 
who they were and whence they came. 

' Euseb. CbroD. p. 5. SyncelL ChKonog.'p. 26, 29* 



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THE ORIGIN OF JAOAK IDOLATRY. SS7 

This being fhe condition of Egypt, ecclesiastical and civil, at the time ca af. t« 
of the j^r^^ pastoral irruption, we shall be prepared to expect some account 
of its sovereigns anterior tq that event. Accordingly, Manetho tells us, 
that there had been fourteen dynasties in the country, subsequent to the 
reign of the hero-gods, before the arrival of the Shepherds : and these he 
puts down, as constituting the fifteenth dynasty. The, hero-gods were 
doubtless the Noetic family ; and we may probably so enlarge their num- 
ber as to comprehend Cush and Nimrod : the dynasties therefore, which 
succeeded them, were composed of literal Egyptian piinces. Now, as 
there were but about 306 years between the dispersion from Babel and the 
arrival of the Shepherds in Egypt, and as we must deduct from that period 
the term occupied by the Mizraim in marching from Shinar to the banks^ 
of the Nile; the kingdom of Egypt could not have been founded mucb 
more than two centuries and a half, when it was invaded by the pastoral 
warriors. Hence it is plainly impossible to comprehend within so short a 
spfice fourteen successive dynasties. We must either suppose therefore,, 
that Egypt was divided into fourteen petty states, which would give four- 
teen- cm/em/)or£zneof/^ dynasties: or we must conclude, that the fourteen: 
pretended dynasties were really fourteen successive kings, thus enlarged 
through a vain affectation of remote antiquity. The former most probably 
was the case : and it will best account for the rapid subjugation of the 
country by the Shepherds '• When these became masters of it, and after- 
wards when they were expelled both the first and second time by the native 
Miaraim, the whole appears to have been united under a single sovereign ; 
for such seems to be implied, by the language of the sacred historian, in his* 
account of Abraham's sojourning in Egypt; and still more in his circurn^ 
stantial narrative of the transactions of Joseph, and his detail of what befell 
the Israelites until the day of the exodus. But this is exactly what might 
have been expected: for the Shepherds would naturally cling together in* 
XHiQ body politic ; and the Mizraim could scarcely have driven them ou^ 

' Yet, if we adopt the latter suppositioD, an average of 20 years for the reigDS of 14 
kings will give 280 years for the duration of the Egyptian monarchy before the arrival of 
the Shepherds ; agreeably to the preceding deduction, that it could not have beea founded 
much more than two centuries and a half before that event* 

Fag. IdoU vox. iiju 3 Y 



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S3S THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN II>0i«AT4lYf 

tooKvi* unless they had practically learaed from their enemies the benefit of 
union. 

III. Such, with the exception of some ineidentarparticulara, is, I believe, 
all the information that we have relative to that extraordinary peofde, who 
conquered Egypt under the name of the Shepherd-kings: but, befinre I pro-> 
ceed to discuss their history at large, it will be proper to notice what Mn 
Bryant has said on the subject. 

1. The theory of this excellent writer contains much that is valuable^ but 
much also that appears to me exceptionable. 

He begins with confuting, from Sir John Marsham, the absurd nc^oo of 
Josephus, evidently advanced to promote the honour of his country, tfaafe 
the invading Shepherds were the Israelites, and that what Manetho afteiw 
wards says of the real Israelites has by that historian been studiously throwa 
out of place and disfigured. In no one particular do these two races qi 
Shepherds agrde, except in the single point of their each sustaining the pasf* 
toral character. The royal Shepherds invaded Egypt by force of arm99 
and amounted in number to two hundred and forty thousand pei^sons : the 
Israelites came peaceably uito Egypt to avoid the horrors of fomine, and 
at the time of their descent were but a single fitmily of seventy souls. The 
royal Shepherds reduced the whole land to servitude, and acted the part 
of relentless tyrants : the Israelites were tiiemselves slaves, and were griev*^ 
ously oppressed by the governing powers* The royal Shepherds were un^ 
willing to leave the country, and retired not until they were fairly driven 
out by main force : the Israelites wished to depart, and were long pre^ 
vented from withdrawing by the obstinacy of the reigning prince. To thia 
we may add, that the royal Shepherds founded Jerusalem after their expul^ 
«on : the Israelites occupied it iQng after it had been built The royal 
Shepherds marched straight into Palestine : the Israelites wandered forty 
years in the wilderness. The royal Shepherds returned into Egypt, and 
were a second time expelled : the Israelites left the country but once, and 
never returned. In shorty Manetho plainly specifies two entirely distinct 
races, one of which succeeded the other. The first conquered Egypt by 
force of arms, and chiefly occupied the district called Auaris : the second 
had a grant of Auaris from a native Egyptian king, when it lay vacant io 
consequence of the expulsion of its former inhabitants. 



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TH£ OBIOIir Of PAGAN iftOLATftT. SS9 

• But, ahfaough ^ Toyal Shepherds are tbus plainly a diSereiit people from ^a^v* iru 
the Israelites of ScrqMnre, the shepherds who sucoeed them in Auaris, per* 
voted as thdr iiistory is in dome particulars, must do less plainly be iden«- 
tified widi the chosen people of God. They are described, as being com* 
pelled to undergo hard labour : they are placed in an evacuated district on 
the eastern side of the Nik^ just as the Israelites are |daced is the land of 
Goshen ivhich b similarly situated : they are raid to have abhorred the 
idolatry of the Egyptians, to hove refosed to wor^p their gods, and to 
have mtermarried only among themselves : th^ are represented, as having 
for thdr leader, at the time when they were planted in Auaris, an Heliopo* 
litan priest named Osar^ipk; in whom we imnediatdy recogniae, by a 
slight metathesis, Sar- Josiph or the lord Joseph who married the daughter 
of a prieA of On or :HeUopolis : and tbey are declaned to have emigrated 
from Egypt into Syria under the command of Moses ; who is evidently the 
same person as the ^eat Hebvew lej^lator, though he is confounded with 
Osarsiph or Joseph, and thou^ the servitude of the people is erroneously 
exhibited as preceding instead of succeeding tiieir ^>ccupation of Auaris or 
Goshen. On these grounds Mr. Bryant most justly pronounces the second 
race of shepherds, mentioned by the Egyptian historian, to be the children 
of Israel ; who, acoorcUngly, are described by Moses as behig shepherds^ 
and herdsmen '. 

The next question is, who the rt^al %epherds were, whom Mandbo dis<r 
tinguisbes very accurately from the servile shepherds, and who preceded 
them in the land of Auaris* 

' These Mr. Bryant supposes to have been l^e Cushim of Babylonia: and, 
as the term of 5 1 1 years will carry us too far back if computed from their 
expulsion out of Auaris by which they made room for the Israelittsh shep^ 
herds, he pronounces it to compretend the whole period, during whiib 
both races of Shepherds dwelt in Egypt. Hence, if reckoned from the 
exodus of Israel, it will bring us to the sixth year before the birth of Abra- 
ham, as the epoch of the first pastoral irruption. Having adjusted these 
preliminaries, Mr. Bryant gives the following detail as the genuine history 
of what has been related by Manetho. 

' Gsn. zl^il. 1--6L 



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540 WBE ORICIN OP FAOAK IBOLATRT. 

'•ooK vx« In the days of Peleg, an orderly division of the earth took place, agree^ 
ably to the r^ulatbns of Noah. The Cushim however, displeased Hith 
their allotment, marched oflf to the eastward of Armenia : whence, after 
Bome time, they returned in a south-westerly direction ; and, arriving in 
the plain of Shinar, began tA build the tower of Babel. In this attempt, 
which was made not long af%er the birth of Abraham, they were miracu- 
lously defeated : and, from Babylonia, they were scattered over the face of 
the whole earth* One great branch of -them marched straight to Egyp^ 
then occupied by the Mizraim; who had peaceably retired, like the other 
children of Noah, to their appointed settlement, when the earth was rega* 
larly divided in the time of Peleg. At the period of the Cuthic irruption^ 
the Mizraim were a barbarous and uncivilized people, devoted to the basest 
idolatry, associated together in no regular polity, and living like mere 
savages in the land which they had occupied. As such, they were easily 
subdued by the warlii$:e and disciplined Shepherds, who constituted tiie 
first real dynasty of Egypt : for the fourteen dynasties, which are said to 
have preceded them, must be rejected as dltog^er fabulous. The Cushim 
remained masters of the country for the space of S60 years according to 
Manetho, or of 284 years according to the numbers exhibited by Africanus. 
If the former of these periods be adopted, they were driven out 15 years 
before the arrival of Joseph and S6 years before the descent of Israel : if 
the latter be preferred, they were expelled only 12 years before the descent 
of Israel and 9 years after the arrival of Joseph. For the entire sojourn- 
ing of the Israelites in Egypt was 215 years, and Joseph had resided in 
the country 2 1 years when his family emigrated : so that, between the ex- 
pulsion of the Shepherd-kings and the descent of Israel, there will be either 
56 years or 12 years, according as we estimate tlie length of the pastoral 
domination at 260 years or at 284 years. When the Shepherds were 
driven out, they left the land of Auaris or Goshen vacant: and thus, in the 
course of God's providence, they made room for the Israelites ; who, with * 
their flocks and herds, were immediately placed in the empty country. 
Here they remained and multiplied, until a new king arose who knew not 
Joseph. This new king was the first sovereign of a new Egyptian dynasty; 
vbo, as sucb| was unacquaioted with the merits of that patriarchy and who 



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9HE OttlQiV OF ^AGAN IDOLATRY^ 641 

fbk no sense of obligation to bis family. Jealous of the growing power of cbap. y^ 
Israel, be attempted to bredk the strength of the people by the most iniqui« 
tons tyranny : but bis dynasty was at length compelled to grant a free 
egress to them ; and these second shepherds retired from the country after 
an abode of 215 years. Then was completed the entire sum of 51 1 years, 
which Manetho specifies as the full period during which Egypt was occu« 
pied by the Shepherds *. 

2.' Many of the objections, to which this theory is liable, will probably 
have been ataticipated in the course of its detail : they shall however be 
given in regular order. 

The Cuskim are brought immediately from Babylonia to Egypt, which 
theyfnd already occupied by the Mizraim. 

Now, as this is founded upon an hypothesis which has already been * 
proved erroneous, namely that the tower was built exclusively by the Cu^ 
shim and that a general division of the earth had previously taken places 
it must necessarily fall with the basis upon which it rests : and, accord* 
ingly, we shall find it utterly irreconcileable with chronology. It has been 
shewn, that tfie dispersion from Babel was general, and that it occurred in 
the days of Peleg. But Peleg, as we learn from the accurate chronol(^ 
of the Samaritan Pentateuch, died 302 years before the birth of Abraham ; 
and the dispersion from Babel took place previous to the death of Peleg. 
The Shepherd kings however, if we compute the 51 1 years of pastoral do- 
minion backward from the exodus, entered Egypt 6 years before the birth 
of Abraham. Hence it is eyident, that their invasion of that country did 
not take place until full 300 ye^rs after the dispersion from Babel : and 
hence Manetho very rightly (tespribes it as occurring, when the Assyrian 
or Iranian empire was in its . full strength \ Nor is thb all : since the 
Shepherds find Egypt already peopled by the Mizraim; and since the dis* 
persion from Babel was general, they cannot have come immediately from 
the land of Shinar ; because, in that case, they must have found Egypt 
wholly uninhabited. 

They are alleged to hdPve found the Mkraim in a completely barbarous 

' Bryant's Anal* vd.^ iiw f See Append. Tab. V* 



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64d 1*H£ om^lLN Of BA6AN IDDLATRr* 

ik>6k VI. State; mthout poUty, without arte, mthwt humkdge^ ntdMotk m bast 
superstition of their own Mclusi^e inwntioH. 

On these points we of course know notbing, s&ve w^iat ^e ^on leara 
from history. Now Manetho is in a directly opposite story: for be not 
only describes the Mizraim as being under a well-ordered monarchical go* 
vemment, but he gives us to understand that they had a regular pnestiiood 
and nobility. He moreover speaks of the numerous cities, which were 
burnt by the fierce invaders ; represents the region of Egypt, as being the 
same symbolical superstition which we know to hate prevailed in Bal^looia 
at a very early period ; and declares, that no less thc»i fourteen native dy« 
nasties had preceded the foreign dynasty of the Shepherds* 

These fourteen dynasties hozaever are at once struck off^ the tist^ and 
pf^ounced to be spurious. 

That they cannot be fourteen suceesske dynasties, I veadily allow; be- 
cause Egypt could not have subsisted, as a nation, much more tiian S50 
years before the invasion of the Shepherds : but, if we may thus contntdidt 
history because it is adverse to an hypothesis ci our 4>wn, I se^ tiot what 
certainty we can have in these matters. 

The 5 1 1 years of pastoral tyrmmy we made to extmd long after the 
expulsion of the oppressive Shepherds^ so that they do not eapire untU the 
. ex'odus of the captive or Israelitish shepherds. 

In this arrangement I think Mr. Bryant perfect right, liiough I see not 
with what propriety it can be made upon his principles. Manetho expressly 
says, that the tyranny of the Shepherd-kings, not merely the aiacfe of two 
difierent pastoral races, continued, from fir^t to last, fer the space of 511 
years : so that, according to his account, the royal Shepherds must have 
entered Egypt at the commencement of that period and must have been 
finally expelled at the close of it Mr. Bryant, on the contrary, fixes their 
final expulsion, and therefore tiie conclusion of their tyranny, at the end 
of S60 or at the most 284 years ; extending, in direct contradiction of his. 
author, the period of 5 1 1 years far beyond the limits of pcistoral oppresskin» 
Yet is Manetho no way inconsistent with himself, though he may not have 
detailed every particular with perfect accuracy : the fault rests, not with 
the historian, but with his eminently learned c<ynmeiitatCM'> When tb€ 



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mm ORiaiN^ OF PAGAir IBOtATBY. 543 

ShepberdUkii^ tfe expdied from Auaris, Manetbo gives ub a very full <^rap. v« 
account of whak next followed : and, unless I greatly mistake, he gives it 
vilb quite a sufficient decree of exactness^ to enable us, widi much facility, 
to develop the txutti and to learn what he means by fixing the period of 
511 years as the entire duration of fiie pastoral tyranny. 

But all this narrative, wee certain prtnmmnt matters relative to th6 
Israelites^ Mr. Bryant entirely suppresses; describing it, as a sadly can- 
JaunM kistory and as a hmp of heterogeneous matter \ 

Now it appears to me^ tbsA he ought at any rate to have adduced the 
diaotio tale and to have suffered his readers to judge for themselves: 
whefeas> by his giving it so bad a character, it is great odds, whether any 
peroon, eiccept one who was writbg on the subject^ would think it worth 
his white to inquire what the unfortunate historian really did say. The tale 
however told by Maqetiio, so far from being an unintelligible mass of con« 
fusion, does in £ict affi>rd us the very light which we want for a right 
understanding of the first part of his narrative. We learn from it with 
great clearness, that, after the Sb^herd-kings had been expelled from 
Auaris, they once more returned into Egypt, conquered It again, and re- 
peated their former deeds of cruelty and oppression : that they were invited 
to return by Osarsipb, who had taken the nnxne o( Moses, and who had 
been elected chief of the leprous or Israelitish shepherds : and that they 
mere^finalbf driven out synchronically with these latter shepherds, who re* 
tired under the command of Moses- Osarsipb. Here we at once perceive, 
how we are to understand the declaration of Manetho, that the tyranny 
of the pastoral kings lasted, from beginning to end, for the space of 511 
years. It began, when they ^rst invaded Egypt : it ended, when they 
were ultimately expelled. But their yoke was broken, and their ultimate^ 
expulsion commenced, synchrmncally with the exodqs of Israel. Hence 
the 51 1 yecu*s of their tyranny must doubtless be computed backward from 
the era of the exodus. This indeed, as we have seen, is the opinion of Mr. 
Bryant; and he is perfectly right in advancing it: but, upon Ai^ principles, 

■ AnaL voL iii. p. 25S. Dr. Hales does not siq^ress it ; but he far too hastily rejects it, 
AS unworthy of notice. ChronoL vol. ill p* 473. 



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THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN II>OLATET. 545 

Shepherd-kings, under the vu'ious names of Danai and Cadniians and the q^ap. \, 
like, did rt<a evacuate Egypt contemporaneously with the Israelites^ but that 
they were Jinally expelled previous to the descent of Jacob into that 
country. 

I V» Such are my objections to Mr. Bryant's arrangement of the pastoral 
history : let us now see, whether a more consistent one cannot be produced 
by adhering closely to the united and harmonious declarations of Manetho, 
Herodotus, Diodoriis, Tacitus, and Moses. 

We are informed by Manetho, that, while Egypt was m a state of pro* 
found tranquillity, a 6erce and warlite race suddenly invaded it under the 
name of the Shepherd-kings. These, during the reigns of six of their 
princes which jointly amounted to 260 years^ remained masters of the 
country and governed it ivith the utmost tyranny* They were then besieged 
by the native Mizraim in a walled district, denominated Auaris; and at 
length, with much difficulty, were expelled. Upon this they retired into 
Palestine, where they built Jerusalem; Shortly after -their secession, the 
king of Egypt granted the land of Auaris, now wholly unoccupied, to an- 
other race of shepherds, whom circumstantial evidence demonstrates • to 
have been the Israelites. Here these multiplied so rapidly, that they soon 
feond themselves in a sufficiently flourishing condition to prepare for war 
with their sovereign. Desirous however of ensuring success, and distrust^- 
ing their own unassisted power, they called in the aid of the expelled Shep- 
herd-kings, and invited them to return and repossess themselves of Auarisi. 
The invitation was readily accepted : the whole of Egypt was conquered by 
the allies : and its unfortunate prince was driven into the Thebais and 
Ethiopia. 

1. Manetho asserts, we see, that iti this enterprize the Shepherd-kings 
were leagued with those, whom he calls the leprous shepherds^ and who are 
plainly the pastoral children of Israel. It is not impossiUe, that he nuiy 
be accurate in his assertion : yet, if such ever vvere the case, the credulous 
Israelites were mere temporary tools in the bands of an ambitious and 
powerful family. We know, from the sure authority of Scripture, that the 
period of their bondage, which Manetho erroneously places before their . 
occupation of Auaris or Goshen, ought really to be placed after it Henc^ 
JPag. Idol. VOL* iiu 3 Z 



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9HS OEIUN OF PAOiLN IBOLATAV* 547 

tfoeoy tha^ wbtte IdFael was conducted into the wildemeiB from the easttern cui^vw v. 
shore, of. the Red sea^ those Shq>herd^warriar3| who were stationed next to 
the isthmus in the nomes of the Casluhim and the Capbtorim/ fled precis 
pitately into Palestine. By taking such a route> all encounter with the 
chosen peofie would be avmded : and I am strongly inclined to believe^ 
that one reascttiy why the Imtelites were divinely led into the wilderness of 
Sanaj^ was to avoid this encounter with a wadike and exasperated enem^ 
W« shall hereafter find, if I owtahe not, that the testimony of gentile 
writers is confiriDed by Holy Scripture : for the recess of the Shepherds 
into 'Palestine from the astern provinces of Egypt is more thaa<mee m^> 
tioaed in the sabred volume; 

Others of the Shepherds i^fipear to have nukde a considerably protracted 
fesisttmce,. although they* ware now no longer masitera of the eoontryi 
Manetbo alk)t» jSSfl years and 1 months for the jfSrvf residence of the Shep- 
herds in Egypty at the^^dd of which period they were expelled from the 
distdet.of Auaris: and thence be afterwards computes 340 years and 7 
months to the thneof Danaus ; whose emigration io^o Greece, with various 
oth^aknilar emigrations^ is. said by Piodor^is to have happened synchro^' 
mcally. with the exodus of Israel Now, if we add these two terms toger 
ther, the amount will be €00 years and S months ; which exceeds the 5 U 
yettfs of pastoral tyranny by S9 years and 5 months : so that^ if Manetho 
be aeeorate in his numbers, the seoessba of the Danai must have taken 
place aixHit.90 years after the exodts^ And ^uch probably is the strict 
historical truths which by no. means contradicts the general testimony, of 
Diodorus. For, when he iptunates,. that, synchnooicaily with the departure 
of Israel, there was an universal expulsion of foreigners from Egypt, among 
whom he eminently specifies the Danai and the Cadmians i we are no way 
bound to suppose^ that this cleara«» of the country was effected in a singte 
year. On the comrary, tfaougb viewed as one event io^ history, we may 
easily conceive it to have been not the event of a moment Hence I sup- 
pose, that the 511 years of pastoral dominatiott expired,- when the strength 
of the Shepherds was broken m the Red sea, and when the Israelites quitted 
fte country : but that the work of their complete expulsion occupied, as it 
might well be ima^ned. to occupy,, an additional period of some 90 years j 



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TftE 6RtGIN OF PAGAN IDOLATRr* #4^ 

ditional years, Jacob and his whole family descend into the same country. 
At this epoch, the land of Auaris on the eastern side of the Nile, which is 
plainly the scriptural Goshen similarly situated on the same side of that 
river, is granted to the Israelites, as being peculiarly well suited to their 
pastoral habits. How the district came then to be empty of inhabitants^ 
so that it could be given to these new strangers without any act of injustice 
and without exciting a single murmur on the part of the natives, does not 
appear from Scripture : the fact of its donation is simply stated without 
note or comment \ But profane history explains the whole matter ; and 
thus marvellously bears an undesigned testimony to the strict veracity of 
Moses. The land was empty, because it was evacuated by the Shepherd^ 
kings about S6 years before the arrival of Jacob,, and had not yet been 
occupied by the aboriginal Mizraim now gradually recovering from the 
effects of a baleful tyranny. Yet, though it fell not within the plan of the 
sacred writer to mention tiiis particular of Egyptian history which was 
wholly foreign to his main purpose, we find a most extraordinary allusion 
to it in the very midst of the account which he gives of Pharaoh's grant of 
Goshen to the Israelites. Joseph directs his brethren to answer the king's 
inquiries, relative to their occupation, by saying ; that they, and their fathers 
before them, had always been engaged in the feeding of cattle. The 
alleged reason for thfeir receiving such instruction b, that they might dwell 
in the land of Goshen. And the historian's explanatory comment is^ Jbr 
every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians^. Why this should have 
been the case, he does not inform us ; but the narrative of Manetbo removes 
fevery difiiculty. Doubtless. the Mizraim detested the very sight of a shep- 
herd, from a remembrance of the injuries which they had recently sustained, 
from the pastoral kings : for, when the sons of Jacob stood before Pharaoh, 
these oppressors had only evacuated the country about 36 years '. 

' Gen. xlvii. S— 6. » Gen. xlvi. 81— 34?. 

' We may in the same manner account for Joseph's affected suspicion, that his brethrea 
were spies. He spoke in the <;haracter of the prime minister of the Mizraim : and, as their 
tyrants the shepherds had but recently been driven out into Palestine, his fears respecting 
tftrangers &om the east would seem perfectly natural tp all who heard him. It may be ob- 
served^ that his accusation is an answer, to the confession oS his brethren thi^t th^ bad 



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y^Sm^. ^ tiie mfeaneDt s^rvtcds^ reiidercid by Joseph, were frankly ftokBOw«» osub ^ 
ledged lUd tm M^ily ^forgotten. Bik$, te tii»e were ^way, tfa^ patriard^ 
fifid ail liift ttetbra^, and all that ^aaeratite), wet-e refn^yved ky ^ ^and *of 
tfeaf^L MiBaBwiiile^ Hke a/dUrm k>f Isrsel wmt, fru^fufy -and increase4 
iibunSm9tfyy uni^mutttpbed, ^(mdmuxed ejtcbeekr^ mighty ; and the land wa4 
J^lhdwith them\ JH^ ^ ^ff^ odcbiHtiii^ to Manethoi tliat the kiprouf 
i^beitl3y tenriag woltiplMi fa tti^ 

fa\ fcody^ begm to meditate T^v^lntionasry projects and lAvit^d tiie iexpeUe4 
Shepherd^ifigs to Mtt^ mit of Paiefiitiw ; which fatal iilvitalioa kd to ths 
l^oibplefee-iieestafolkbment of the pastond tyranny : aad Mw it was, aecorrd- 
kig to Moses, tlhat^Aiere (mfse vp a new king wer Egypt^ xMch knew nof 



llbis new Jdng, who was tte faead of a new ^hfnmiy that continued t0 
rsign )9lftH the exodus ; !fer we find the self-sam^ poHcy pursued, with uo^ 
t^denting vigour^ durkig a much toojger period than the sorereignty of ai^ 
iin^le prince : this n^ew Ijti^ as the very ietms in which he is exhibited to 
us imply, and as the whofe lioe^f liis tondutt serves to demonstrate, was 
o stranger. He, we are assared, knew nothing of Josq^ nor of the ser* 
vices whkh he bad nendered to JEgypt : d bireumstance/ which could not 
poss^y be tme of any natiw uoonarc^ had the sceptre merely been trans* 
t&trtsd from one Miiraimie dynasly to ^motiier^ Th6 mab therefore was 
clesrly M'fweigimr ; be was cleariy^the king of those martial Sbepherd% 
wfao^ as we learn from Maaethci, returned %k this tim^ into Egypt 

And now let us mark the pblicy of the toew sovereign. He found \ivai* 
self master of a land, in which were two dktinct races of men ; who, from 
a sense of mutual benefits, had generally lived in storict amity with each 
Other : and he was fully aware, tlwt, notwithstanding any temporary dis* 
gust (I speak on the supposition of Manetho toeing accurate, in represent- 
ing the leprous shepherds as having inmted the pastoral warriors to return 
into Egypt, which I am no way bound to allow); hb was fully aware, or 
at least be naturally suspected, that, notwithstanding any tetiiporary dis* 
gust, the Israelites would be tac more likely to make common cause with 

' Exod. k 6, 7. "" Ezo^ IS, 



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THE OBIGIK OF PAQAN II>OLATBrp SS$ 

momedf : yet Ae new kihg says to his people, 7%^ children of Israel are chap. r. 
mire and mightier than ioe. Who then was the new king, and who were 
bis confidential ,pf)ople that he thus addressed? Clearly not any native 
prince; clearly not the .aboriginal Mizraim : but the invading Shepherds, 
wh6 ate trolly described as fewer in number than even the smallest of the 
bvo nationsthat then occupied Egypt Thus small in population compared 
with the exbting teoantSi as always is the case with an invading tribe, the 
pastoral warriors' felt it necessary to compensate for their paucity by their 
coun^, by th^ir strict union, by constituUng themselves the sole military 
elate, eiad by exercising what was deemed a profound political sagacity. In 
brief, the Israelites were reduced to a state of abject servitude : and, if we 
may give credit to profane history, the Misraim fiyred no better than their 
neighbours. 'Die king and a considerable part of the warriors and priests 
took refug^, it seems, in the Thebaisor in Ethiopia; bnt Manetho makes 
heavy complaiikta of the treatment, which the other natives experienced : 
and, according to Herodotus, such was their indignant remembrance of the 
oppression which they then et^dured, that they would not even mention the 
naimes of thdr tyrants. 

4. The account, which that historian gives of these matters, is peculiarly 
valuable and important : and it is the more so, because he assigns a definite 
period of continuance, which will enable us to connect the lattisr domba-* 
tion of the Shepherds with the chronology of Scripture. 

Hi was informed by the priests, that, until the reign of Rhampsioitus,, 
Egypt was. at once remarkable for its abundance and for the excellence of 
its laws. Cheops however, who succeeded that prince, was a very mon- 
ster of wickedness. In exact accordance with the narrative of Manetho, 
he is said to have shut up the temples and to have forbidden the Egyptians 
to ofier any sacrifices. Nor was he content with this impiety : he next 
proceeded to reduce them to a state of absolute servitude. Some he com« 
|)elled to hew stones in the quarries of the Arabian mountains : others were 
made to drag them with infinite labour to the Nile : and others again were 
appointed to float them down that river in proper vessels. In this service 
he employed an hundred thousand men, who were relieved every three 
Pag. Idol. VOL. nu 4 A 



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554 THE OftlGIN OP PAtfAK IDOLATATr 

»oo» ▼!• months. Ten years were actually spent in making tiie very road, oVftr 
which the stones were to be conveyed ; a work^ in the estimation of the 
historian, scarcely less stupendous than the building of the pyramids. Yet 
this was but the beginning of their labours* When a sufficiency of stones 
bad been conveyed to the destined place, he proceeded to excavate die hiUr 
upon which the pyramids are constructed, des^niog the vaults to be a place 
of burial for himself: and then he began to rear the eoornKms inass of the 
great pyramid. This was a work of twenty years : and Herodotus gives-a 
very curious account, both of the mechanical process which was adopted,, 
and of the money which was expended for &e mere onions and garlic that 
were consumed by the labourers. We have next aa idle story of the mod^ 
in which supplies were raised for tlie building of the second pyramid : die 
daughter of Cheops prostituted her person, demandmg a single stone from 
each of her lovers ; and these were so numerous, that the whole pyramid 
was constructed with the materials thus obtained. Cheops reigned 50 years; 
and was succeeded by his brother Chephren, or (according to the more pro- 
bable account of other writers) by his son ChabryetK This prince imitated 
the policy of his predecesscwrs, still continuing to wear out the Egyptians by 
servile drudgery. By him the third pyramid was built ; and his reign ex* 
tended through the space of 5G years. This portentous tyranny was then 
brought to a close : and a happier day dawned upon the oppr^sed Mizraim 
under the mild rule of the just Mycerinus, who commanded the temples to 
be opened, and who again permitted the people to sacrifice to their gods, 
Herodotus speaks of Mycerinus as being the son of Cheops : but such a 
representation cannot be admitted. A new dynasty evidently commences 
with him ; as th^, former dynasty had commenced with Cheops : and, if we 
attend to the chronology of the historian, it will be clearly impossiblej that 
Cheops should himself have reigned 50 years, that he should next have 
been succeeded by a son or brother who reigned 56 years, and that after-* 
wards he should again have been succeeded by another soa who is described 
as mounting the throne in the prime of life. 

Thus, as the historian concludes his n€u*rative, the Egyptians sufiered 
every kind of oppression during the period of 106 years : and, what imme- 
diately identifies this season of tyranny with the second domination of the 



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THE ORIGII^ OF PAGAN IDOLATRr. S$5 ^ 

Shepherd-kings, is the circumstance of their being alike foretold by an chap. t. 
oracle; for Herodotus and Manetho both agree iq mentioning this remark- 
able particulari which we must carefully bear in mind \ 

We have now obtained the period of 105 years for the second domination 
of the Shepherd-kings : and, accordingly, this is the identical period, to 
which it is limited by Eusebius. It is however to be observed, that the 
documents, which he consulted, differ in one particular from the information 
of Herodotus. That historian divides the entire period between two reigns : 
Eusebius, with a much greater appearance of probability, divides it between 
four \ Yet the amount is in both cases precisely the same ; so that we 
may venture, I think, to pronounce, that the second domination of the Shep* 
herd-kings lasted 106 years, as their first domination had lasted 260 years. 
Hence, as their rule was ultimately broken synchromcidly with the exodus 
of Israel, their second tyranny must have commenced 106 years before the 
exodus : and, as the entire sojourning of Israel in Egypt amounted to 215 
years, it must also have commenced 109 years after the descent of Jacob \ 
Let us now see, how far this arrangement agrees with sacred chronology. 

5. Since (he Shepherds returned, or (in the language of Moses) since the 
new king arose up over Egypt, 109 years after the descent of Jacob ; and 
since tiie family of that patriarch consisted of seventy persons, exclusive of 
tiie house of Joseph : it is easy to conceive, more especially if the divine 
blessing be taken into the account, that the Israelites, in the space of more 
than a century, would have increased to a considerable people. Now a 
longer space than this cannot be allowed previous to the rbe of the new 
king, if we suffer ourselves to be guided by the chronology of Mosea, which 
accords in a most remarkable manner with that of Herodotus. 



• Heroi Hist. Ub. u. c 124— ISS. Dioi Bibl. 13). i. p. 57. 

* Saites reigns 193rear8; Anon, 43 ; Aphophh, 14; and AncUes, SO : in aH, 106 yeai«. 
According to Herodotus, Cheops reigns 50 years; and Chei^ren, 56: in all likewise, 106; 
years. Both the sums total of these two periods, and the palpable sameness of events 
which take place during thdr lapse, indisputably prove them to be one and the same por- 
tion of time, though differently subdivided. 

I Dr. Hales rightly supposes, that the bondage of the Israelites oosmienved about a c»- 
tury after their settlement in Egypt. ChronoL voLiL p. 180. 



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«TBX XUtlGIN or PAGAN XTi0tA79T. 657 

fS. Nor is thQ circtimstaQtial evidence, that Aliis period of 106 yc»rs syn- .cha?* y, 
chronkes \rith the scriptural period of the Israelitbh bondage, less decisive 
than tbe pbronolQgical. 

According to Herodotus, the tyranny jexercised over the native Mizraini 
consisted mainly in forcing them to labour as builders : according to Moses, 
the tyranny exercised over the Israelites was of the very same description* 
According to Herodotus, the diet of the toiling Egyptians consisted of ra? 
dishes, and onions^ and garlic : according to Moses, the diet of the toiliog 
Israelite consisted of cucumbers, and melons, and leeks, and onions, and 
garlic '. According to Hqrodotus and Manetbo, the oppressive tyranny, 
under which the Egyptians groaned during tlie misrule of the Shepherds, 
did not come, upon them unexpectedly ; but had been expressly foretold by 
an oracle : according to Moses, the oppressive tyranny, under which tbe 
Isradites groaned during the same period, could not have come upon them 
unexpectedly ; for it bad been expres^y foretold to their ancestor Abra-* 
ham by au immediate communication from God *. 

Now, if we put all these different matters together, we cannot reasonably 
do(ibt,.tt)at the 106 years, mentbned by Hei^otus, are the 106 years, 
mentioned by Eusebius as the duration of the pastoral tyranny ; that this 
period of 106 years is the period of that second ^o^stovBi tyranny, which, as 
we learn from Manetho, was exercised by* the Shepherd-kings when they 
teturned into Egypt by the invitation of Osarsiph; and that the period of 
the^ second pastoral tyranny, which is thus identified with the 106 years of 
Herodotus and Eusebius, must also be identified with tbe period of Israel^ 
itish bondage. 

Hence, then we gajther aivery important J&ct, which decidedly proves^ 
agreeably to a prior conclusion, that the netp king pho knew not Joseph 

pyramida were retred in the space p£ 78 years and 4 months : a^d Herodotos mentions^ 
that the (x>nftruction of the road for coaveymg the materiak occupied 12} years. The 
whole time therefore, consumed on those enormous fabrics, was about 91 years : and 106 
years was the length of the second pastoral dynasty. See Hayes's Chron. vol. i. p. 380, 
881. vol. liL p. 460« Dr. Hales rightly ascribes the building of the pyramids to the 
Shepherd-kings. 

• Numb. xL 5. * ' * Gen. xv. 13—17. 



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558 THE ORIGIK OP PAGAN IDOLATRY. 

«oox ▼!. was the head of a foreign dynasty^ not a native Egyptian 8Qvere%n. 
Though Scripture mentions only the oppression of the Israelites, it b abunr 
dantly clear from profeme hbtory that the Mizraim were equally oppressed : 
for, had the former been the sole victims, the Egyptians in the time of 
Herodotus could not have held the tyrants in such detestation as to refuse 
even to pronounce their names ; neither can any reason be assigned for the 
origin of a story, told alike by that writer and by Manetho, which exhibits 
the Egyptians themselves as having once smarted under a most intolerable 
domination. But, if both the Israelites and the Egyptians were oppressed^ 
and that too in the selfsame manner ; their oppressor, agreeably to the 
testimony of Manetho, must have been ^foreigner: and that foreigner was 
clearly the new king; who was naturally, as such, unacquainted uith 
Joseph. 

This conclusion, which wholly exculpates the Mizraim from tyrannizing 
over the Israelites as they have long most erroneously been thought to have 
done, will serve as a key to certain passages of Scripture, which without it 
are of less easy explication. 

One of the precepts of Moses is, Thou shalt not abhor an Egyptians 
and the alleged reason is. Because thou wast a stranger in his land*^ 
Now this must appear not a little extraordinary to any one, who under- 
stands the history of the Israelitish bondage as it has commonly been 
understood. The chosen people might indeed be forbidden to abhor ao^ 
Egyptian, on the broad principle of the for gvoeness of injuries: but it seems 
very strange, that the prohibition should be made to rest on such a basis 
as the present; that they should be charged not to hate an Egyptian, be* 
cause they had suffered from him a most iniquitous oppression. The mat* 
ter however becomes perfectly intelligible, when the real state of the case 
is known. So far from having been ill treated by the friendly Mizraim, the 
Israelites from first to last had experienced nothing but kindness from them: 
for, instead of being the oppressors of God's people, they had themselves 
groaned under the very same intolerable yoke, 

Accordingly we find another precept of the law specially built upon this 

' P^iU. xxiii. 7* 



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TH£ ORIOIK OP PAGAN IDOLATRY. 559 

which we have just seen ducidated : and it may be observed, that, with- cuaf. ▼. 
ont such elucidatioDi the additional precept involves a singularly glaring 
contradiction. An Ammonite and a Moabite was never to enter into the 
congregation of the Lord ; even the lapse of ten generations could not 
render them admissible. Do we inquire the reason of this rigorous exclu- 
sion? it W9^ professedly the evil treatment which the Israelites had received 
at their hands. But the children of an Egyptian might freely enter into 
the Lord's congregation, so early as the third descent: and why? Because 
Israel was a stranger in his landy where yet oppression was accumulated 
upon oppression '. Here it is plain, that, according to the usual mode of 
understanding the history of God's people in Egypt, the identical reason, 
which is alleged for the eternal exclusion of an Ammonite or a Moabite, 
is adduced for the admission of an Egyptian in the third generation: the 
former were to be abominated and for eoer shut out, became they n)al« 
treated the Israelites ; the latter was to be cherished and received as a 
brotlier after a short prescribed interval, still because he also had mal- 
treated the chosen race. But, let the history be rightly explained, and 
every contradiction vanishes. Under an imperfect dispensation, which re- 
quired an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, the injuries of Moab and 
Ammon were never to be forgotten : but again, on the other hand, the £35- 
tering friendship of the ever kind and hospitable Mizraim was eternally to 
be remembered and requited. 

In my own judgment, such little incidental particulars as these afford 
some of the strongest attestations to the perfect veracity of Moses. 

7* It will not have escaped the reader, that, in pursuing this topic, we 
have been cunously, perhaps unexpectedly, led to ascertain both the age 
and the builders of the pyramids. 

We find, that the architects of them were the Shepherd-kings of the 
second pastoral dynasty, and that the drudges whom they employed in the 
work were the Israelites and the native Mizraim. With tins screes the 
remarkable testimony of Herodotus. We learn from him, that the Egyp* 
tians distinguished the pyramids by the name of the shepherd Philitis; whoy 

»Deutxxiii.S— 6,T— 8. 



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THE OHMIKT OF FAOAN IDOtATRT* 66l 

euio$taQGe pf tteir often being confounded with them were imagined by chav. ▼• 
some to be of Ethiopic origin ; the plain inference is, that that origin was 
ascribed to the Shepherds'. If then they were Ethiopians^ since we are 
assured by Manetho that they came out of the east and not from the south, 
they must have emigrated from the Asiatic and not from the African Ethi- 
opia. In addition to these particulars, we are told by Herodotus, that the 
Egyptians called the pyramids by the name of the shepherd Philitis ; who, 
during the time of their construction, fed his. cattle in those regions \ Now, 
since we know that the Shepherds were once sovereigns of Egypt and that 
they were the architects of the pyramids, the shepherd Philitis, if we esteem 
him a single person, must have been one of their number: and, since be 
communicated his name to the pyramids, he must, still on the supposition 
of his being fin individual, have been either the king or at least one of the 
most eminent of the Shepherd- warriors. But it seems more probable, that 
Philitis was no single person : whence we may infer, that the Shepherds, 
who built the pyramids, who on that account naturally communicated their 
distinctive appellation to them, and who by the Mizraim were called Huc^ 
Sos^ were designated also among themselves by another titie the sound of 
which Herodotus expressed by the word PhUitis. 

Thus we gather, that the Sh«pherd-kings were Arabs or Phenidans of 
Ethiopians or Philitim, who invaded Egypt from the east or out of Asia : 
so that, if our information be accdrate, the Phenicians and the Philitim, 
though sometimes styled jirah, will be of the same race as the oriental 
Ethiopians ; in other words, they will be Cushim or Scuths from some part 
of that vast country, which the Hindoos style Cusha-dwip xvithin,exid which 
in its largest sense extends from the shore of the Mediterranean and the 
mouths of the Nile to Serbind on the very borders of India '• We shall 
presently see, that our information is perfectiy accurate. 

S. In defiance of ancient history, the Phenicians have in general most 
pertinaciously been declared to be Canaanites : whence the prediction of 
servitude, which belongs only to the latter, has been erroneously extended 
to tiie former also. The Phenicians however were assuredly Cushim or 

* Tacit. Hist. Ub. v. c 2. * Herod. Hist. lib. iL c. 128. ' A«st« Res. vol. iil. p 5i» 
Pag. Idol. VOL. III. 4 B 



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56^ TBB cmroiK. op fa oak idolatbt. 

»opK n. Asiatic Ethiopian : and, as the fothers of the Shepherd-kings, fbejp must 
ha« migratad westward prior to the birth of Abraham. Herodotua in- 
forms us, that they were colonists from the borders of the Erythrfean sea op 
Indian ocean : Strabo mentions Sidooians on the Persian gul^ih, as bein|5 
the ancestors of the western Sidonians ; though some, without sufficient 
reason, appear to have disputed such descent: and Tro^s distinctly inti- 
Qiates, that^ ^though they came direct to Palestine from^ what he c^ls the 
4^rian lake meaning evidently yA« Persian guipk, their ori^nal settle- 
inents were not upcm the coasts of that sea; on the contrary, they had first 
l^ft their native soil>. which must therefore have lain either to the east or 
to the nortb*east of those setdemente, when they built Sidon upon tiie 
shore of the Erytbr^an sea'. Hence we roqst conclude them to have come 
tp the Persian gulph either from the region of tiie Indian Caucasus or from 
the Indian peninsula, before they enrigreted from the Persian gulph to Pa- 
lestine. The testimony of Pliny and Dionysius is still to the same effect: 
the former bringfi the Tyrians from the Erydir^n or Indian sea; and the 
latter declares, that they were of a common stock with the oriental Ery- 
tbr^ns*. 

When they settled in the west,, they gave the name of Sidon to one of 
' Micir pridcipal towns. This was done,, according to the universal practice 
of new colonists : for they had left hehind' them another Sidon, which their 
family had built on the coast of the Indian ocean ; and, from the more 
ancient town, the more modem evidently received its appellation. Many 
have thought, that the Phenitian Sidon took its name from the eldest son 
of Canaan : but this is a mistake; for the settlers brought the word widi 
them from the east, and Trogus informs us that in their language it signi- 
fied: afiih ^ . It rdated to the great object of their worship; whom, as we 
learn from Sanchoniatho, they indiflforenUy called Siton and Dagon. So 
that, if tiiey found a town already built on the shore of the Mediterranean 
and preoiously called by the name of the Canaanitish Sidon, which I think 
very doubtful; they clearly retained the appellation, not out of respect to 

* Herod* Hist. lib. i. c. 1. Strab. Gec^. lib. xvi. p. 784. Just. Hist, lib* VfuL c. S. 

• PUn. ilat. Hist. lib. iv. p. 23a Dion. Perteg. ver.' 905, 906. 
^ Jttst Hi^ Bb. xTiii. 9f 3. 



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that potriarebs but beoamse it haf^iieiied to coiiicide with the £uiiili«r tide cmaf. ^# 
€f tl)6ir 0Bh-:gecL 

We do Qot find then iftentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures by &e naikie 
of Phanakim or Pbaicians : but we may observe the dements of that do- 
fiominfttion in the tiHt of a very warlike tribe, which strudk no small terror 
into tbc^ hearts Of the, cowardly Israelites* The Anakim were eertamly not 
Canaanit^ for they apt>ear not in the very full enumeration of that family 
which is ^ven us hy Moses ' : and, as we can find no morethaa two prc^ 
perly distinct races of m^tk in Palestine when it was first vinted by Abn^ 
bam, and as the Anakim were not Cadaanites, they must have belonged to 
the Phenician stock ; whence it is not improbable, that the word Phanakim 
was formed frtm^UiMmhy the addition of a servile {Mfix which denotes 
*he\ 

In llie tioajB of Abrahauii we may observe the two races genericaHy de^ 
scribed under the appeUi^ons of the Canaamte and the Periztite K Now^ 
as Uie Peri28^ were not of the house of Canaan^ tt tiie various tribes of 
the Canaonites are more than once distinctiy enumeratedi as we find sevo* 
ral other tribes not specified in this enumeratioUi and as all the inhabitants 
of the land wte succinctiy mentioned under the generic titles of the Ckh 
naante and the Perigmte; we may safely pronounce those, who are i^ot 
of the 'Canaanitisb, to be of the Peresian stock. But the Canaanites were 
the primitive Sidomm (probably dispossessed by the Cuthic Sifbnians firom 
the Erythrfean sea), the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girga* 
aites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites^ the Zemarites, 
and the Uamatbites '• Hence, as we have no authority for pronouncing 
anj othw tribes to be of the house of Canaan, and as we know firom posi^ 
tive testimony that there was another distinct race of men in the limd who 
were the brethren of the Egyptian Shepherd-kings; we may determme, fhaft 
the name <^ Perizzite, as a generic appellation, comprehended the Anakim 
(whence the titie Phamkim\ the XU^phaim, the Zuzim, the Emim, Hm 

• Geiux. 15— 18. 
* It is a curious drcunistaneey tbai to this day ladia is called by the Tatars Anehtkf 
and by the Thibetians Anonkhenk. Asiat. Res. toI. ia. p. 45. 

< Gen. xiiL 7. ^ See Gan. x. 1S-4S. i Gao.<x. IS^IB. 



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THE OBiaiN OP PAGAN IDOLATRT. . 56S 

the Shephirds^ whose dynasty is thence rightly said by Afiricanus to have 
consisted <tf Fhmicians: and we may now perceive the reason, why the 
predqmiaatkig superstition gS Egypt was so violently persecuted by theok 
Being of thie number of theScuthic aeceders whom the Institutes o( Menu 
thence pronounces to be excommunicated, they had no^ at the period of 
the mvasion^ adopted the multifarious idolatry of lonism, but adhered to 
the more simple Scytbism or Buddhism of their ancestors. Accordingly, 
like theijr brethren jtbe Persians in after ages when they invaded Greece 
.under Xerxes, they destroyed the imi^ea and demolished the covered tenir 
pies of the Ionizing Mizraim : for as yet, though they subsequently fell into 
rank outV\rard idolatfy, they worshipped their gpd Buddha or Woden of 
Taut, whor was the-same as Dagon or. Siton, by tlie sole inward operation 
of the .mind. Such conduct, appeared to the Mizraim, as the very Jieigbt 
of iai{^ety; and their ^n^iters did not fail to stigmatize it accordingly. 

3. Since the great &tther was worshipped apiongthe Phenicians by the 
name of Dagon, and since he was i^lso venerated s^mong the Philistines by 
the saine appellation, we are natumlly hd jto suspect, that these two na- 
tions were of a conmion origin r and, since we haye further learned jLhat.the 
Shepherd-kings were Phenicians, and since from Herodotus we have seen 
reaBon to conjecture that the pastoral warriors whom the Egyptians called 
HucSas were ih their own didect styled PhiHtim; we are additionally led 
to guess, that those Phiiitim were no other than the Philistim so frequently 
mentioned in Holy Scripture^ This however will be no better than a mere 
vague conjecture, unless it can be shewn, both that the Philistim were once 
in Egypt, and that they were of the same great house as the Phenician^. 

In the days of Abraham, the Philistim can barely be said to have had 
even a footing in the land of Canaan ; which yet, so early as the exodus^ 
had received from them its well known appellation of Pakseth or Pak$»^ 
tine \ Beer-sheba, where Abraham made a coven^t with the Philist^aa 
prmce Abimelecb, though situated at. the very southern extremity of the 
Holy Land, was not then reputed to be within the territories of t^ Philis^ 

Their aneestofs founded the vast Iraniati monarchy ; and they themselves, under Ae namfe 
«f PaUi or Huc^Sos, conquered the whole of Egypt. 

» £wd. XT X4. 



CHAP* T» 



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^dor Ti. tim : fer, i^r the king had there conversed wiA fiiefwinareb, hb n ttnbkA 
to have returned into the land of the PhiUstim, an expressich Htbioh neoe^ 
Mfily implieB that Beer-sheba was not in 4hat land; and AbratttoBiaptieaip 
to ha vie followed hitn, ifor ^we are immediately afterwards told tabid he ^ta^ 
joumed in the Philistines Imid many days \ Naw> tis the Philistioi :ut k 
subsequent period s{»read themselves up the sea-coast as hi^ as Ekron, ^Mb 
that Beer-sheba became one of the most soittherly towns itf iheir dominions^ 
the progress of their settlements must have been from aooih t6 nbfth : itk 
other words, they must eitiier have come out of Egypt, or out cf that istiw 
mian tract of country w^ich lies between Egypt prosper and ^PulestiQQ* 
Hence it will follow, that the land of the PhiUstim, into wihioh Abimckdi 
returned from Beerngheba, mudt have been a region ritunted 4ni tte ^eaittmA 
«i<te of the Nile. But this was the ideMiical scite c{ Auaris or tSoAetif 
and Auaris or Goshen was the principal stMng4ioId of ^tbe PhiUtiai or 
Sbepherd«kingB« We seem the^efore almost ioevitabfy brouj^ to the 4Son- 
dusion, that the land of the Pbili^tim in the thneef Abraham was the kftd 
of Auaris, and coneequetttly that llie PhiliMim and the ^h^m w^ie ooft 
Hud the tame people. In this case, Abiioieleeb, or bis son, who t^ the^KjB 
Of Isaac is represented as being lord Of OeM*, must have been, as indeed 
the history sufficiently implies, a petty Phillst^n prince; ti^ho was a fenda^ 
tory to the Pharaoh of Egypt : for, during the entire lives of Abraham and 
Isaac, Egypt was subject to the first dynasty of 4he Shepherd4dngs; wfaos*' 
chief was of counse the Pha/aoh for the time being. 

Agreeably to sudh a conclusion, we are positively assured in Scriptora^ 
both diat the Philistim elir^^'come out of Egypt, and (hat by descent tfaef 
%vere Cuthim: so that they Ht once emigrated from the same country, and 
were members of the same great !Bthiopic house, as the pastoral Pbilitim or 
Phenicians ; a proof of identity^ than which a stronger* cannot be ^ffiirded. 

Moses informs us, that the PhUhtkn eame out (f the Cashhim^: and 
Jeremiah speaks of them, as being the remnarU of the kmd ofCaphtor\ 
But <3aslah and Caphtor were two of the sons of Mizr : so tba^ ^ tfat 
Thilistim came out oi their country, they must undoubtedly have come out 

• Gen. xxL 3S*-S4. • Gea.«. 14» ' Jeraa. xlviL i. 



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TUB ORIGIN OF PAOAIT IDOLATEV. 667 

6£ did^ laii4' of IS^ypt; and^ as^ tbe history of Abimelech's cboverse with ohaf. 
Abflaham necessarily leads us to place tbe Philistim of that period on the 
eastero bank of the Nilq, the settlements of Casluh and Caphtor must have 
been; in the same tract of country \ 

I am fiilly aiware^ that tiie expressiofny which Moses uses respecting the 
Phflbttm when he details the duldren of Mizr, is in itself ambiguous : for 
tbe f^rao^ auf of whom came the PhilktitHj may hnport either genealogical 
de^tttt or bcal emgratidn. I know likewise^ liiat Bochart and Wells and 
other writers liave umlersfeood it in tiieibrmer of diese senses ; whence they 
•ficribe the PlnUsttm to the house of Mizr, through the line of Casluh. It 
niay tberidbre be reasonably said^ Ijfaat, although an emigration of the Phn 
listim from Egypt into, the south of the Holy Land wiil equally be proved 
m whatever sense the ambiguous expression of Moses be umferstood ; yet 
wi& a» not warranted in positivdy denying their geneidogical descent from 
tfa^ Casluhim aod consequeady from the patriarch Mizr^ unless it can be 
distinctly shewn from some <Miier quarter that they are the children of a 
(Jiffirent patriarch. ITken indeed^ but not until then, we may safely prO' 
ttouncCi 'that the phrase^ in question must, in this passage before us, denote 
Ipcdl emigration.; and. therefore that it cannot, in that pasisi^ denote gene^ 
^logical deice^. 

Tbe justice of such an aUegation. is readfly admitted : hence, before I 
can decidedly set aside the mode of interpretation preferred by Bochaii; and 
Wells; it is incumbent upon mo to prove, that t£e Philistim were not de* 
so^ed from. Mier but from an entirety different ancestor. 

Now the proof required is very curiously fumbhed by the prophet Amos. 
Jn ye not as the children of the Cuehim unto me, O children of leratlf 
$mth the Lord. Hwoe I not brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt ^ 
and the Philistim Jrom Caphtor^? In the fit^st claiffie of this passage^ 
Amos generaUy intimates, that the children, of Ismel are urito God as tho 

duldren of the Cushim, or that in some remorkaUe feature of their his- 

' ' . , ' ' ■ . 

■ Deut. iL 23. 
* Amxtri^..^^ Iha Rf^feet adil% «m/: 4famJron\ Kir. Hotv the Aram^am htre 
^ko»;of w^e Qii8^» no leas than t^ejr bijetbrien tV<| Phili«tiiii,.bai already been ahewa.. 
JSee above, book vi. c. 2. ^ VI, 2. (2). 



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66$ tHJS OftlGIlf or ^AaAN IDOXJLTIir# 



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TH£ OHIOIK OF FAOAN IBOLATRT. 569 

V He&ce, I ftink, we have as direct a proof as can well be desired, that the cbap. r. 
pastoral Philitim and the scriptural Pbilistim were the same people : and 
with this result every incidental particular will be found minutely to cor- ^ 
respond. 

The Philitim nationally evacuated the land of AtxwriSyJirsf before the de- 
scent of Jacob) and again a second time synchronicatly with the exodus of 
the Israelites : the Philistim, in the days of Abraham, were merely on the 
outskirts of the Holy Land, stretching from its frontier to the precise terri* 
tory occupied by the Philitim ; but, when the Israelites emerged from the 
wilderness, they had successfully invaded and exterminated the whole nation 
of the Avim ". The PhUitim, when they originally seized upon Egypt, had 
come out of the east ; and, since they are identified with the Phenicians who 
are declared to have been emigrants from the Asiatic Cusha-dwip, they 
must likewise have specially come out of the ori^tal land of Cusb ; the 
Philistim, since they have been proved to be members of the house of Cusb, 
must similarly have come out of the eastera Cusha-dwip or Ethiopia; foe 
they could not Imve come out of the African Cusha-dwip, because, at the 
period of the first pastoral irruption into Egypt (as we shall presently see),. 
Cush had no settlements in Africa. The Philitim had invaded Egypt be^ 
fore the birth of Abraham ; as appears fit>m reckoning back the 5 1 1 years 
of their domination from their j/&ia/ expulsion at the epoch of the exodus :: 
the I^ilistim bad done the same ; as appears from their only hovering on 
the outskirts of the land of Canaan, wjiile their territory stretched from, 
thence to the frontiers of Egypt, in the day that Abraham conversed with 
their king Abimelech. The Philitim, at tbia precise period, occupied i^ 
district on the eastern side of the Nile : the Philistim did the^ same. The 
Phijitim retired into the Holy Land, when driven out of Egypt: the Phi- 
listim did the same. . The Philitim had retire4 thither previous to the airivaL 
of the Israelites from the. desert : the Philistim had still done the same. 
The Philitim are declared to be a branch qf the IMienieians, who came out 
of the Asiatic Cusha-dwip : the Philistim, who have been proved to be: 
Asiatic Cushim^ and who were notorbusly devoted to the service of the gpdi 

■ Deut. ii. 23;. ' 

Pag. IdoK YOU U.W 4 C 



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570 fms OnSCtV 09 FAGAK* IDOLATflY. 

luMx ru Dagon, are plainly one people with the Phan^bn or Cutbico-Poinc ^or« 
shippers of that same deity ; consequently, they are. one people also wit^ 
the Philitiiii. Lastly, the two names, Philitim and Philisiim, are palpably 
the same : and of this eastern title, since Herodotus describes PbiUtis a« 
being a ^hepkerdy we may reasonably conjecture, that the Mizraimie itK>rd 
HuC'Sas was a translation. Sa thad; whether we attend to wigin or to 
name, to chronology or to locality, we are alike compelled to identify the 
PhiUtim or the ^epberd-kings with the Philist^an emigratits from Caphtor. 
But, if the Shepherd'-kings be the same as the Philistim, they muM ha(ve 
been of the house of Cush. And tlus will exactly agpee with their dedaced 
identity with die Phenicians : for tiie Pheniciaas^ who were, of a kindred 
origin with the Cuthic Philistim, were emigrants from the oriental Cusha^ 
dwip or Ethiopia* 

Thus at length we perceive the strict accucacy^f diose ancient, testima- 
Dies, with which we set oat It was gathered from different writers^ that 
the Shepherd^kings came out of the east^ that they were Phenicians by de- 
scent^ that th^ were also £thio{>ianB or Cusbim, Mui that th^ were pro* 
perly distinguished by the name, of Philitim, though the native Mizraim 
called them Httc*S$si Eadh of these particulars has been found to be true. 
The pastoral Philitim were the scriptural Phi&tim, who were a branch of 
the house of Cush : and they are accordingly identi^d with tte Phaoakini) 
or Phenicians, who were brethren of the Philistim, and who came out of 
the eastern Etfnopia or Cusha^dwip wildiiin. 

4. We have seen^ however, that this martial people came into Palestine 

' by two successive emigrations ; the £rst from the north-east, the second 

ftom the south-west : and the remembrance of these has been so distmctly 

preserved, that we shall be enabled both to trace their precise route and to 

ascertain the country whence they originally proceeded. 

To Palestine they travelled from- the s^res of the Eryliir^n sea^ and 
(diiefly from that part of it which bears the name of the Persian gulph : 
but, as Trogus assures us, they had previously travelled to the shores of the 
Erythr^an sea from what he emphatically calls their native s&H, being con- 
strained to leave it by some dreadful earthquakes '• Now^ as these Cushim 

' Just. UkL lib. vm. c S. 



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aHE OEI^f N OF MlGAN IDOLAVRT. S^l 

fcte notilewribed is retunmg to their nattre soil when they again emigrated cbat* n 
lo l!be north-^weid, that ntttve soil must evidently have been situated to the 
«ttt or the north east of their aettleoieBt on the Erythr^n sea. Hence^ 
jn the &Bt ihstance, they most havecome^ either out of the peninsula of 
India, txi out of that high land at the sources of the Indus and the Ganges 
ivhich has ever been occnj^ied by those, whom the Greeks called Indo^ 
JSkuths and whom tte Hindoos still denominate Chasas or Chums. 

To decide tfab alternative will not be very difficult The Institutes of 
Menu pronounce the Chusas to be an excommunicated branch of the Cut- 
tree or military caste. But the Ciittrees are certainly descendants of the 
fiabylonic Cuthim of Nimrod : for the early history of Hindostan is in truth 
ilie early bktory of Iran* The Chusas th^^ore, being a branch of the 
Cnttrees, must iilso be Cuthim : and, accordingly, Ihey yet claim for their 
ancestor the patriarch Chusa or Cusba, who is described as the grandson 
of the ark*preserved Menu and as tibe near kinsman of Misr and Rama. 
Now the Philitim or Phenidans or Shepherd-kings were likewise, as we 
Jbave seen, Cushim« iience, as they must originally have emigrated either 
from lower India or from the Indian Caucasus, we may safely, I think, de- 
termine the latter region to have been the nathe soil mentioned by Trogu^* 
The Cathie Shepherds therefore were Chusas, or (as the Greeks would call 
them) Indo-Scuths, from the oricaotal Cash-Ghar or Coh-Cash or Caucasus; 
for each of these words alike denotes the mountain ofCush. They were 
consequently Scythians of Touran, as contradistinguished from the Scythians 
of Iran : and every part of their conduct demonstrates them to have been 
a branch of those Cuthic seceders, who adhered to Buddhism and whom 
then* Iranian brethren viewed as outcasts. The religion of Egypt was the 
same as that of Babylonia and HindostiEm : it was that more complex mo- 
dification of idolatry, which may be denominated lomsm or Brahmemsm or 
Osirism. If then the invading Shepherds had been Cuthim of Iran, they 
would not have contumeliously interrupted the established worship of the ~ 
Mizraim : but 4uch ipterrnption was precisely in character with the Cuthim 
of Touran, who had seceded from their brethren expressly on account of 
their dblike of the Ionic superstition, and who were thence declared to be 
an unclean and excomitiUQicated race* Such being the origin of the Phi* 



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572 THE ORIGIN OF TAOk'H tDOLATET* 

•ooK vx. Mtitn^ it seems most probable, tlmt, in their progress westward^ they would 
first descend from Caucasus following the course of the Indus ; in whick 
precise line of country Dbnysius acc(»rdingly places those whom he calls 
the southern Scythiam * : that they would next skirt the shores of the 
Erythr^an ocean and the Persian gulph; until they reached the mouth of 
the Euphrates : and that, finally circuiting by the ordinal^ route the great 
Arabian desert, they would enter fix)m the north the land to which they 
ultimately communicated the name of Palestine^ and thence inrade Egypt 
by way of the isthmus* This seems to be the route very plainly marked 
out by those writers, who bring the Phenicians from the east : and we shaU 
presently find, that various circumstances will wise to attest their accuracy. 

When expelled from Egypt, they a second lime migrated into Palestine : 
and then of course their progress was from the south, as it had heretofore 
been from the north. 

5. As the Cuthic Phenicians or Philitim, when they left their native soil, 
marched first from the Indian Caucasus to the shore of \ht Erythr^n s6a, 
and afterwards round the Per^an gulph to PaiestiAe and thence to Egypt; 
it is manifest, that their route must have been directly through Cbald^a and 
the southern provinces of the great Iranian empire. Here therefore a 
question arises, how they could not only accomplish such an expedition, 
but in the course of it even build cities and form permanent settlements at 
the head of the Persian gulph. These actions necessarily imply, that, 
when they left their native Caucasus, they efiected a conquest of Cbald^ 
and the south of Iran, violently wresting those districts for a time at least 
from the reigmng head of the Cuthico-Assyrian empire. 

With such a conclusion the ancient chronological documents, that have 
been handed down to us by Africanus and Syncellus, perfectly agree : 
and they will likewise serve to throw light upon the remark of Manetfao, 
that the Shepherd-kings were occasionally thought to be Arabs from the 
east. 

We have seen, that the Scythic or Iranian empire, fixnn Nimrod to 
Thonus Concolerus, lasted 1495 or (in the round number of Justin) about 

' DjoQ. Perieg. ver. 1086- 109L SchoL in toe- 



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THE ORIOIK OF PAGAN IDOIATUY. 57* 

fifteen centaries : and we have further seen, that, during this period, it was chat. v. 
governed by two successive dynasties apparently of the same Cuthic family; 
the first reigning 190 years, and the second reigning 1305 years". Now 
!we are toM, that, at the dose of the first dynasty, when in the days of Serug 
the original Scythlc name and succession terminated, a dynasty of six Ara- 
Wan kings reigned for the^pace of S15 years over Chald^a ; which country 
tiierefbre^iey niost of course have wrested firom its former lords \ Such 
l^ing the ease, as the Cuthie empire commenced at Babel in the year 613 
after the flood, and as the first Cuthic dynasty reigned 190 years, the Arab 
princes, ivriio made themselves masters of Chald^a at the extinction of that 
dynasty, must have begun to reign in the year after the flood 803 : and, as 
they continued to reign in Chaldea 215 years, tiie y^r 1018 after the 
flood must have witnessed their expulsicm or subjugation by the Cuthico- 
Assyrian emperors of the second dynasty. Hence it appears, that these 
Arabs governed Chald^ during the space which intervenes between the 
years 803 and 1018 after the flood. But the Phenician Sbepherd-kings» 
"who aresometimes said to have been Arabs from the east, invaded Egypt 
6 years before the birth of Abraham ; and Abraham was born in the year 
after &e flood 942 : the Shepherds therefore must, have invaded Egypt in 
ibe year 936 after the same epoch. These Shepherds however have been 
traced to Palestine from the Indian Caucasus, by the route of Chald^ and 
the shores of the Erythr^an sea; which districts they must have held for a 
considerable time, for we find them even building cities there. But the Arabs 
held Chald^ from the year 803 to the year 1018 after the flood : and the 
Phenician Shepherds, who had previously come out of that identical couh* 
try, invaded Egypt in the year 936; that is to say, 133 years after the sub- 
jugation of Chald^ by the Arabs, and 82 years before they lost the sove* 
reignty of that country. From this statement therefore it is manifest, that 
the Arabs must have been lords of Chald^ at the very time when the Phe« 
nician Shepherds were building cities and firmly establishing themselves 
round the head of the Persian gulph. Hence, as the Arab princes and the 
Phenician Shepherds were niasters of the very same country at the very 

* Tide supra c S. ^ IIL ^ Yidefupra c.%§ III. 2. 



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574 THE ORIGTN OF FAOAN IDOLATBYU 

looftvi. flame time, it will tnevkably follow, Ibtt ihey i^iie one and tiie samft 
people under difierent names. Accordingly, as the coDquerors of Gfaahtta 
afe spoken of under the name of Arabs; so we learn from Manetko, that 
the Shej^rd-^kings of Egypt were diougbt by some to ba?e likeirise been 
lArabs. 

And now the prepress of these oriental iovaiders, from the Indian Cai»* 
casus tbrough the southern provinces of Iran, will be easily accounted £r^ 
Descending from their native mouotains, they had subjugated Chaldi^ Jift 
ibe close of the first Cutbic dynasty of the great Assyrian empire : and^ 
while some oi them remained in the land wbidi th^ hod thus gafaied by fte 
«word ; others, advancing westwaand towoA tfae Arabian desert and iiam 
passing southward tiirough the entire extent of the coontry iwbidi was firat 
colonized by the descendants of Canaan, appeared at length on the eastern 
frontier of Egypt '• 

How they came to be styled Arahs, can only be a matter of coigeetare : 
&ey most probably received the name from tiie circumstance of thfeir ap- 
pearing to the people of the west to issue out of tiie northern piuts of the 
Arabian desert Under this appellation however, we more than once find 
them mentioned by the wcients. The Shepherd-kings, sis we have seen, 
were indiflferently said to be Arabs and Phenicians : tiie associates of Cadr 
mus, in an exactly similar manner, were variously denominated PhemcuMB 
and Arabs ^ : and the allies of Ninus, the founder of the second Cuthico- 
Assyrian dynasty, are said to have been certain Arabs ; who, conjointly 
Vvitli him, subjugated the province of Babylonia ^ This occurred at the ex- 
tinction of the first dynasty : and these Arabs, who received Chald^a as 
their portion, were evidently those Phehician or Indo-Scythic Shepherds, a 
branch of whom afterwards made themselves masters of Egypt under the 
name of Huc-Sos or PallL 

6. If then the Philitim or Shepherd-kings really came out of northern 
India, we may naturally expect, that some remembrance of their emigration 
would be preserved both in the west and in the east Nor shall we be di&-^ 

■ S^ AH>end. Tab, V* * Strab.Geog. lib.vii.p. 821.Hb x- p. 447. 

' Diod.BiU.lib.ii«iK9a 



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m 0EI6IK Ot PAGAN imLATRT* 575 

•ppointad in our expectation : &e notices of this memorable event sbaii be cmaiu v« 
ccmaidered in their order* 

(1.) In the west we fiod a belief decidedty prevalent, tiiat a colony of 
Indians oace settled in Egypt 

Plutarch mentions> that Dionusus was supposed to have brought into that 
Mttdtryi from tiie land of the Indians, the worship of the two bulls, deno« 
ttmated ApU and Osim \ This worship indeed was already established in 
Egypt wfaen the Shepherds invaded it : but the tradition does not, on thai 
Aeeounty the less prove the arrkktl of an Indian coloi^. In a similar 
fisanner, Diedorus informs us, that Osiris was by extraction tui Indian \ 
His testimony I understand much in the same mode as that of Plutarch. 
Osiris or Isiris is no doubt the Indian Eswaia : though perhaps hb worship 
dfiiniEiot in strict pr^riety be said to have been imparted from India, for ife 
rather seems to have been cafrried both west and east from the common 
centre e! Babylonia. So likewise we are told, by Eustathius and Stephanus 
Byzantinus, that Egypt was once called A^iaftom a certain Indian prince , 
Itemed Aetas or Ait \ Would we learn who 1^ Indians were, of whom this 
Ait was the captain, we are taught by Eusebius, that certain Elhbpians or 
Guahim, leaving ^h* origmal abode on the river Indus^ formerly came and 
setded m Egypt \ Thus it i^^pears, that the invading Indians were Cushim , 
or Chusas from the region of Che Indus ; that is to say, fcom the identical 
region whence we have supposed the Ethiopic Shepherds to have migrated. 
These warriors so entirely subjugated the land of Egypt, that it was not only 
cialled Aetia from their leader Aetos, but likewise Ethiopia or Chusistan 
from themselves : for Eustathius remarks, tiiat it received this last name 
on account of its having been occupied by Ethiopians or Cushim ^. But 
we know, that the aborigines 9f Egypt were Mizraim : hence it is ma* 
ntfost, that these Cushim must have been those who came from the banks, 
of the Indus ; in other words, they must clearly be identified with the pas-^ 
toral Philitim or Phitistim, who accordingly are <teclared by Amos to have 

*Plut.deI«iip.8e2. • Diod. Bibl. Kb. L p. 17. 

' Eustath. b Dion. Peri^. ver. 239. Steph. Byzant. de Urb. 

^ Euseb. Chron. p. 26« '' Eusth. in Dion. Perieg. ver. 239. 



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576 THE ORIGIN OF PAGAN ipOLATBT. 

Booji vr. been Cushim and by the writers whom Tacitus consulted to have beeQ 
Ethiopians. 

From Egypt, which was the first African Ethiofna, they peoetirated south- 
ward, ascending the course of the Nile, into, the region, which ia modera 
geography exclusively bears that appellation. Then it was^ tibat this^mpre 
recent Ethiopia first became a nation : and^ as the Hindoos 3tyle thq Asiatic 
or primitive Ethiopia Cusha-dwip within ; so they denominated the NileotSc 
or colonial Ethiopia Cusha-dwip without. In Scripture they are each 
called the land ofCush from the great patriarch of 4he Scuths or Chusas; 
though in our English translation, which has copied the Greek, of the^ 
Seventy, they alike bear the name of Ethiopm. 

According to Eusebius, the Asiatic Cushim or Ethiopians planted tbem- 
selves in Egypt durmg the reign of Amenophis '« In this he perfectly 
agrees with Manetho^ so far as their second irruption is concerned : for, as 
we have already seen, the Shepherds returned into Egypt while that idea* 
.tical prince was on the throne; Thus we again find, that the Cushim of the 
Indus and the pastoral Philkim were the same people.: for they are alike 
declared to have invaded Egypt during the sovemffity of Amenophis* I 
am inclined however to think, that they planted the Nileatie Ethiopia^ 
while they ^rst possessed the land of Egypt ; and that the colonists retained 
this more southern region without being attacked by the Miaraim, whea 
their brethren were driven out of Auar is. . To this opinion I am led by the. 
assertion of Manethc^ that Amenophis, when his dominioBs were a second 
time invaded by the Shepherds, retired among the southern Ethiopians witb 
whom he had Long been in a state of amity.^ Now it is obvious^ that there 
wocdd have been no such nation then in existence if the Nileotic Ethiopia 
bad been planted by the Cuthic Shepherds of the second -dynt^ty : whence 
I argue, that it must have been planted by those of the^rst^ previous to 
their expulsion fi-om Auaris and long befoi:e the days of Amenophis* But^ 
however this may be^ it must clearly have been colonized by those same 
Cushida ; who, under the name of the Shepherdrkings, emigrated from the 
banks of the Indus, and thus mvaded Egypt from the east. Such^^ accord- 

^ Euteb. ChrpD.. 



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amiam ot waqav iDOtAXRY. 577 

iagly^ is tibe ttstimoay of PhOoetratus : he both mentioue the migrati<»i^ of o&aiw t* 
which I am treaties ; and he fiirth^ informs us, that, nntil it took place, 
there was no such nation as that of the £thiopiaD8 to the south of 
Egypt'. 

The Nileotic Ethiopians thra were the children of tbd Asiatic, >>eing a 
branch of those pastoral warriors who catne from the Indian Caucasus and 
subjugated the Mizraim : and this rdationship was well known and acknow* 
ledged by ancient writers. Herodotus very accurately dbtinguishes between 
tte two chief nations of the Ethbpians ; those of Asia who were neighbours 
to the Indians, and those of Africa who were above Egypt. He evideirily 
considers them as the same race; as b