網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

tradition respecting Helen, have been accidentally preserved. Lycophron having stated that she was produced by a Torgos that walked upon the waters', Tzetzes remarks upon it, that Torgos is properly a vulture, but it is here put for a swan, one animal instead of another; for Nemesis, the daughter of Oceanus, had the shape of a goose when she received the embraces of Jupiter in the form of a swan. She laid an egg in a marsh, which Leda found, and deposited in an ark; and from this egg Helen was born. Here is a great jumble of images and relationships ; but one thing is very clear, —that Helen has a mystical parentage assigned to her. She was the progeny of Vengeance executed by the Ocean ; for in Eastern phraseology, the effect is often called the daughter of the cause. She was the offspring of aquatic parents, and walked or floated on the water, like a ship: she was like an egg laid by water birds in a spot surrounded by water; and, finally, she had tenanted an ark. Is not this a sufficient combination of evidence, to show that she was a priestess of the Arkites; and hence she is called by the same poet a dove', which I have already shown was a denomination of these priestesses. Upon this hypothesis, it is easy to account for Menelaus having a pilot named, from the Egyptian Arkite temple, Canopus. It will account for the promptitude with which the Argives and Thessalians embarked in her quarrel ; it will account, not only for the presence of Achilles, the son of the sea-nymph, but also for his long absence from the field of battle, after the army had been induced, like the Trojans, by the pestilence which they attributed to Apollo's anger, to offer propitiatory sacrifices to the sun, and for his death coming from Apollo's shaft; it accounts for the part which Neptune took, when he pitied his ancient worshippers, and for the repentant mission for the arrows of Hercules, and for the treachery which at last betrayed the town, and, possibly, for the name of Paris (from Baris); and, lastly, it accounts for Juno's complaint of the spretæ injuria formæ.

1 Hν τόργος υγρόφοιτος εκλοχεύεται - Cassandra.

2 On some altars laid bare by the receding of the tide at the island Walchern in 1647, an inscription was discovered to the goddess Nehalennia. This was a votive altar in acknowledgment of deliverance; and Barth suggests that her name was derived either from the Syriac Nehalin, signifying waves, or from the Greek words véa emm, i. e. Selene ; for the aspirate is often changed into S, and Helene is a name of the moon. There is also a votive stone to Dea Neha, who is die Naturgottheit des Wassers; and since Eha is Water and Len the Sea, Nehalennia and Helena are the same thing. The accompanying emblems are cornucopias, which, from their shape, were often used by the Arkites, — a Hercules with his club, a ship, a dolphin, and water flowing from an urn; a Neptune with his trident, and a Druid or priest with a dog, and a boy and a girl ; which indicate the contents of the ark. – Hertha, p. 59.

1 Lycoph. Cassandra, 131. She is also called Tóptis, the heifer; and juvenca, by Ovid, Epist. Ænon, ad Par. ; that is, lo, or Isis, the female form of Apis. It is remarkable that Apis in Latin is 3 bee, which in Greek is péloooa, which is also used for a priestess.

2 Canopus 'occupoit une pointe avancée en mer, sur laquelle on connoit un château, nommé Abukir, ou le Bekier. - Géographie Ancienne, par M. D'Anville, xi.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

HERMON. VADIMON. PALÆMON. MENU. MUNI. MAHAMOONÙ.

CHINESE FOHI. BRITISH BUD. MAN. HU. MONGOL AYOU. MOUNTAINS OF AZOAH, OR THE MOON. MOUNTAINS OF MAHADEO IN CASHMIR. OTHER EVIDENCE THAT THE MINOTAUR

.

WAS AN ARKITE MYTH.

The ambition of the Egyptian monarchs in assuming to themselves names already appropriated to their divinities has blended their history and mythology in almost inextricable confusion. The boundary line between them can scarcely be distinguished, and the exploits of the one are often attributed to the other. Their names in the hieroglyphic legends are often only compounds formed from the simpler names of the gods ; for the same process has been adopted in their theology, in order to multiply the number; and many of the numerous titles, which they invented, may be resolved into their primordial forms: for these are usually monosyllabic; for instance, Ra and Phré, the spirit of the sun ; Phtha, the lord of justice; Sev or Saturn with the head of a crocodile, sometimes written Sevek; Thoth, a form of Hermes Trismegistus; Mouth, the feminine form of Ammon Ra', who contained in his own essence both male and female. Horus is the same as Hor, or Her, a mountain ; and from him Orion has

1 Deorum nomina reges Ægyptios ex summa divinitatis ambitione sumpsisse variis in locis probatum fuit. - Kircher's Historia Obelisci Pamphilii.

On the other hand, Champollion says that the priests used to flatter the reigning king, by giving one of the numerous names which he had adopted to the god of the temple. Letter xi. The dedi. cation of the temple at Amada is a good specimen of the manner in which this amalgamation of divine and royal honours was effected. It runs thus : “ The beneficent God, Lord of the world, the king, the son of the sun, has performed his devotions to his father, the God Phre, the God of the two celestial mountains, and has raised to him this temple of hard stone." — Ibid. Now Phre is the same title with which we are better acquainted under the name of Pharaoh. It is no wonder that they took the names of those whom they knew to be their fathers in a literal sense.

probably been formed by the Greeks, in the same way as they have formed Cronion from Cronus, who is the Celtic Crom ; for Ovid observes with respect to him, that the first letter has lost its ancient sound.? Nebma, or the Lady of the Bark, and consequently the same as Isis, may also be considered one of these elementary names; for a syllable closed by a vowel is often mute: it is probably no more than the feminine form of Cneph. Mena, or Menes, who is the same as Minos, and Menu, and consequently Noah, and is therefore considered the first Egyptian king, the immediate successor to the gods, had too near a relation to the deluge under i Champollion, Letter xi. Perdidit antiquam littera prima sonum.

Ov. Fast. v. 536. So that instead of Horion, it became Orion.

2

that name to be much in favour with the worshippers of the sun; for which reason they not only would not inscribe that name in their list of gods, but a certain king, whose name, Gnephachthus, may possibly be interpreted, the Enemy of Cneph, inscribed an imprecation against him on the walls of a solar temple.' Nevertheless, a name so extensively venerated could not easily be deprived of all its honours: it could not be eradicated from the names of deities, with which it had already entered into composition. Thus Mandou is compounded of Mana, and Tho, or Thoth. In like manner Ritho is formed from Ra and Tho; Harphre from Horus and Phre; Hathor, which is also written Athyr”, and is the name of a month, from Horus, and Hat, which, though not yet discovered among

the Egyptian deities, seems to have had that pre-eminence under the form of Ada among the Babylonians. But the order of the component words is sometimes inverted, and then they become Harhat, which Champollion interprets the Divine Wisdom. Thus too Rhamses, which is also written Ramesses, and is a title of the sun, is no doubt a

1 Diodorus Siculus, i. 42.

2 Champollion's Twelfth Letter in the Literary Gazette, September, 1829. 3 'Aδα

πηγή, και υπό βαβυλωνίων, ή “Ήρα. - Hesychius. The Celtic circles of stones are called in Ireland Magh Adair, quasi uéyas Tatile ; for Athair is a father. But Athir, the name of the Egyptian Deity, is, like Typhon, a serpent ; and if an ancient Iberno Celt wished to describe the appearance of land after a flood, he would use the word Ath-thir: for a place lightly covered with water is Ath; and the low grounds overflowed in winter and dry in summer are called Tir-loch, Land-lakes. — Vallancey on the Knowledge of the Ancient Irish, p. 134.

« 上一頁繼續 »