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Temple of Mihras Pehaus in the Mountains of Permain test

(it should be merece) xadeitan ó shinios. Some understand, what is said in the history about the stone, as relating to the Sun; and they suppose that it was the Sun which hùng over his head, to his terror and confusion. The naturalists, speaking of the Sun, often call him a stone, or petra.

By laying all tliese circumstances together, and comparing them, wê may, I think, not only find out wherein the mistake consisted, but likewise explain the grounds from whence the mistake arose. And this clue 'may lead us to the detection of other fallacies, and those of greater consequence. We may hence learn the reason, wliy so many Deities were styled Tletenii, Petrai. We read of 35 Mideas, ó feos xx meroas, Mithras, the Deity out of the rock; whose temple of old was really a rock or cavern. The same worship seems to have prevailed, in some degree, in the west; as we may judge froni an antient inscription at Milan, which was dedicated 36 Herculi in Petrâ. But all Deities were not so worshipped: and the very name Petra was no other than the sacred term Petora, given to a cavern, as being esteemed in the first ages an oracular temple. And some

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35 Justin. Martyr ad Tryphonem. p. 168. Mithras were styled Patrica. .

36 Gruter. Inscript. p. xlix, n. 2.

reverence to places of this sort was kept up a long time. We may from hence understand the reason of the prohibition given to some of the early proselytes to Christianity, that they should no more 37 ad petras vota reddere: and by the same light we may possibly explain that passage in Homer, where he speaks of persons entering into compacts under oaks, and rocks, as places of 38 security. The oak was sacred to Zeus, and called Sar-On: and Petra in its original sense being a temple, must be looked upon as an asylum. But this term was not confined to a rock or cavern : every oracular temple was styled Petra, and Petora. Hence it proceeded that so many Gods were called Θεοι Πετραιοι, and Tlatewo.. Pindar speaks of Poseidon Petraios;. 59 [Ieu 1100 sidwos Terpais: under which title Neptune

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was worshipped by the Thessalians: but the latter was the more common title. We meet in Pausanias with Apollo Patroüs, and with 40 Zeus Μειλίχιος, and Aρτεμις Πατρωα ; also 4! Bacchus Ilatpwos, Zeus Patroüs, and Vesta Patroa, together with other instances. .

The Greeks, whenever they met with this term, even in regions the most remote, always gave it an interpretation according to their own preconceptions; and explained beos largos, the oracular Deities, by Dii Patrii, or the Gods of the country.

40 Zeus was represented by a pyramid: Artemis by a pillar. Ilugapende de Mesogios, de xuQy Esox Exclouern. Pausan. 1. 2. p. 132.

45 Pausanias. 1. 1. p. 104.

According to the acceptation, in which I understand the term, we may account for so many places in the east being styled Petra. Persis and India did not abound with rocks more than Europe: yet, in these parts, as well as in the neighbouring regions, there is continually mention made of Petra : such as Terga Evorpesoge in Sogdiana, Petra Aornon in India, xao tnv T8 QŽY (Ilergar), én de Agrauale. Strabo. l. 11. p. 787. Petra Abatos in Egypt, Πετρα Ναβαταια in Arabia. Many places called Petra occur in the history of Alexander: ‘Ensiv de xen llergas egunevas opodea ex TodoCews. Strabo. 1. 11. p. 787. They were in reality sacred eminences, where of old they worshipped'; which in aftertimes were fortified. Every place styled Arx and Axponoros was originally of the same nature. The same is to be observed of those styled Purgoi. VOL. I.

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