網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

of crescents, and to place them in high situations '; and yet they are not worshippers of the moon, but of Budha Foe. It appears, therefore, that the Bull was denominated Taurus, from the circumstance of his horns representing the residence of the chieftain of the ship.

| Narrative of a Residence in China, by Peter Dobell, ii. 298. 2 Dobell joins these synonoms together, ii. 252.

1

[blocks in formation]

SYMBOL OF THE TWO-PEAKED MOUNTAIN AND OF THE

[blocks in formation]

ATION OF THE STAR OF REMPHAN AND CHIUN.-ORION

AND SIDE. OSIRIS.

JANUS.

SATURN.

The researches of Kircher into Egyptian hieroglyphics, though they fall far short of modern discoveries, and sometimes are not to be trusted, yet have thrown some additional light upon this subject. He

says, the Egyptians believed that Osiris taught men many necessary things under the form of an ox, and therefore the characters by which they expressed his name were these ', ist., from the curvature of the horns, which they called Sima. Here, then, we find it expressly stated that the crescent was a representation, not of the moon, but

i Osirim sub bovis formâ varias res ad humanam vitam sustentandam necessarias homines docuisse crediderunt ; unde, &c. Kircheri, Historia Obelisci Pamphilii. VOL. I.

L

of horns : indeed, since Osiris, according to the astronomical mythology, was invariably the sun, he had no business with the crescent, except on his bovine front; and since Sima, in Greek, means “heights', 'it is an allusion either to the two-peaked heights of Ararat, or to the two-prowed vessel invariably associated with them. But it seems more appropriate to the other characters, which are, 2ndly, T, and A i.e. an ox?; but it is evident that the first of these is no more than the representation of a hill, and the second a pointed hill, with the vessel resting upon the side. The third character is depicted thus *; a figurâ bovis, says Kircher : he would have been nearer the mark, if he had said a figurâ tauri montis ; for it surely bears more resemblance to a two-horned hill than to an ox. It is very remarkable that this emblem of Osiris, as well as Alpha and Omega, seems to have been adopted by the Greeks as a supplementary character, at the end of the alphabet, to make out their numerals. It was called Sanpi; and, according to the scholiast upon Aristophanes, was compounded of Sigma and Pi: now Sigma, in the very

of which we seem to detect an allusion to the silence of the Mysteries, was the same as San or Sam, from the Doric sama, a sign, and anciently had the figure of a crescent raised up on one end, that is to say, the

very name

ospà, loca ardua et acclivia, apud Arist. et Xen.-Scapula. 2 Alpha is an ox, but in Chaldee a large ship. 3 Veteres San et Sain pro Sigma dixere. --- Hoffmann. Lex.

figure of the Roman C. It was the sign impressed upon the side of Apis ', the bull sacred to Osiris ; and it was the sign impressed upon the haunches of the horses, called Samphoræ?, in the Circensian games. Anacreon calls it a character of fire ; principally, no doubt, because it was burned upon the skin by a hot iron ; but it may also allude to the sun, of which it was an emblem, and to which the horses were sometimes consecrated. But it was a sign of the sun only because it was a sign of the ark. They were confounded together; and, therefore, Arka is one of the names of the sun in Hindoo mythology. If we inquire what could be the reason of this confusion, it is to be observed, that the sun viewed in Osiris, or, which is the same thing, in Ammon, was the vehicle of the crescent, in the same way as the mountain was the vehicle of the ark. But the mountain was as much a sama, or sign, as the ark itself; for the ridge of Ararat, being terminated at either end by a lofty peak, presented the same appearance of two horns; and there is reason to think that the Hebrew word Sham, or Shamah, originally signified a mountain. In Arabic it is a verb signifying “to be lofty 3," and Shamaim, the Hebrew word for the heavens, and differing from it only by the plural termination, derives its meaning from their height. Hence we obtain an illustration of a difficult passage in Genesis. The builders of Babel proposed to make themselves a name?, lest they should be dispersed over the face of the earth. But how was that consequence likely? Let Moses be his own interpreter: he tells the Jews, that, when they should pass over Jordan, “ There shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there.” 3 That place was ultimately the holy hill of Sion; and it is always called the place which he chose, to put his name there. The place, where his name was, was the place of worship. But the place of worship immediately after the deluge was, undoubtedly, the altar built on Ararat by Noah. There was the name of the Lord, and thither the sons of Noah repaired to offer sacrifice ; but in process of time, when their families increased, and a separation was necessary, and their dispersion was commanded for the sake of replenishing the earth with inhabitants more speedily, the patriarch, in communicating to them the will of God, may be supposed to have given them his parting instructions after this manner : “Beware that you never forget the awful catastrophe from which my family has alone escaped, nor that the cause of it

1 On the authority of Pliny and Pomponius Mela : for the same reason the bull Mnevis was sacred at On, or Heliopolis, the City of the Sun. 2 Hesychius, in voce au fópas.

'Εν ισχίοις μεν ίπποι

Πυρός χάραγμ' έχoυσι.-Anacr. 3 Radix Arabice 3D Sama eminere et excelsum esse sonat. -Bocharti, Geographia Sacra, 378.

To'90 ab altitudine nomen habent.-- Castelli, Lericon.
2 Gen. xi. 1.
2 Deut. xii. 11.

« 上一頁繼續 »