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dra, “ the sailors, those Carnite dogs, who carried away the tauriform damsel (lo), from Lerne, to be the wife of the Memphite chief, and raised the torch of discord to both continents.”! Io, therefore, was Isis, the wife of Osiris, which Apollodorus confirms. The Egyptians, says he, made a statue to Demater, whom they call Isis, and Io also they call Isis.?

Now the original meaning of Isis has been traced to the Irish Ess or Essis, a ship; and the original rites belonging to her long survived in that mournful festival, celebrated in Egypt on the 17th of the month, called by the Egyptians, Athyr; and by the Boeotians, Damatrian. It corresponded with the Indian festival of Doorga, and was celebrated at the same time, and the reason for fixing it at that time is not a little remarkable. The ancient Egyptian year began in September ; and consequently the 17th day of the second month, when the deluge took place", must have been the beginning of our November, when the sun was in Scorpio 4, the old symbolical asterism of Typhon


Ολοίντο ναύται πρώτα Καρίται κύνες
Οι την βοώπιν ταυροπάρθενον κόρης
Λέρνης ανηρείψαντο φορτηγοι λύκοι
Πλάτιν πορεύσαι κηρα Μεμφίτη πρόμω

"Εχθρος δε πυρσον ήραν ηπείρους διπλαϊς. In the Alcestis of Euripides the Chorus talks of the circling hour, Kapvelou penyes, returning, 445. The moon, therefore, was Carnean, as well as the sun. ? Lib. ii.

3 Genesis, vii. 11. 4 Sir W. Jones, iv. 556. In the Alexandrian Chronology the first of Thoth was the 29th of August ; but this, says Ideler, is a reckoning of later date. — Lehrbuch der Chr. p. 73.

them.” 1

(the deluge), the foe of Osiris, and inundator of Egypt. However, there is not much stress to be laid upon the sign belonging to any particular season; for it has been justly observed that, as the mythological year of the Egyptians contained only 365 days, their anniversary festivals must have passed in succession through all the signs.

« Most of the Greeks,” says Geminus, the astronomer, os think that the winter solstice falls on the feast of Isis, which is utterly false: it was the case 120 years ago, but now there is a whole month between

He states, indeed, most distinctly, that the Egyptians did not wish their sacrifices to the gods to be always at the same time of the year, but that they should pass through all the seasons.” This will serve to account for the want of uniformity in the date of that commemoration. However, there is a confusion of dates in Plutarch's account of it, which must be explained upon other principles. In one place he states that Osiris died on the 17th day of the month Athyr, and that day was called by the Pythagoreans, Antiphraxis 3, the term usually applied to an eclipse, and wholly inapplicable at that particular time to the phenomena of nature. Now Noah entered into the ark, his

1 Μηνί γαρ όλω παραλλάσσει τα "Ισια προς τας χειμερινές τροπάς. Gemini Eisagoge in Phænomena. 119 years are required for the passage of the sun's place through each sign, and 1424 for an entire revolution.

2 Bούλονται τας θυσίας τους θεούς μή κατά τον αυτόν καιρόν του ενιαυτου γίνεσθαι, αλλά δη πασών των του ενιαυτού ωρών διελθείν.-Geminus, Eisagoge in Phenomena.

3 De Iside et Osiride, iv. 506.

place he

mythological grave, on the 17th day of the month, and therefore, in the solar character afterwards ascribed to him, was eclipsed or rendered invisible by the intervention of the moon or ark. In another

that on the new moon of Phamenoth the seventh month being the commencement of the spring, they celebrated a festival called the entrance of Osiris into the moon', an enigmatical expression, the obscurity of which, however, is instantly removed, when we farther learn that, in preparing for the pretended burial of Osiris, they cut the wood into the form of a moon-shaped ark.? And here we behold the true reason why the moon was called the mother of the world, the universal recipient and nurse, who bore all creatures in her womb 3: she was a type of the Ark. Thus, then, the subject of both the festivals was precisely the same: they both commemorated the entrance of Noah into the Ark. Now if the Egyptian fixed or Alexandrian year began at the autumnal equinox, Athyr, beginning in the last week of October, would be the second month, and so far their commemoration of the catastrophe would accord with history; for Moses says that “in the sixth hundredth


1 "Έμβασις εις την Σελήνην. - 508.
2 Κατασκευάζουσι λάρνακα μηνοειδή. -507.

3 'Ισις, who was ουκ ετέρα της σελήνης, was also δεκτικόν απάσης γενέσεως, καθό τιθηνή και πανδεχής υπό του Πλάτωνος κέκληται. -- 526.

Μήτερα την σελήνην του κόσμου καλούσι και φύσιν έχειν αρσενόθηλυν oportan. — 509. Hence, Dr. Young, in the Supplement to the Encyc. Brit. art. Egypt, says that loh, the Egyptian name for the moon, was a masculine deity. But lo was Isis; therefore lo was both male and female, Lunus and Luna.


of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up."! But in all probability they were not equally correct in their choice of the season. When Moses reformed the Jewish calendar, by removing the commence. ment of the ecclesiastical year to the vernal equinox, it is highly probable that he only restored the ancient computation of time ; for it is not likely that the renovation of the world would be consigned to the winter, rather than to the summer : at all events, it must be supposed that he would use his own method of reckoning in his history of religion : the flood, therefore, actually occurred in the second month after the vernal equinox. But Plutarch mentions one circumstance which accounts for its commemoration six months later naturally enough; he observes that the festival in Athyr was celebrated at the rising of the Pleiades.' Now it is certain, that if the chronology of the Hebrew text 3 be correct, the path of the sun at the vernal equinox, about the epoch of the deluge, was among the stars in the constellation of the bull; and the Pleiades being the most remarkable

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1 Gen. vii. 11.

2 "Έστι δε ομήν ούτος περί πλείαδα σπόριμος, δν 'Αθυρ Αιγύπτιοι Πυα. νεψιώνα δε Αθηναίοι Βοιωτοι δε Δαμάτριον καλούσι. 549. As there is an autumn sowing, as well as a spring sowing, the party crépaess proves nothing.

3 A few hundred years more would bring us back into Gemini, allowing about 70 years for every degree of advance westward, by what is called the precession of the equinoxes, calculated from their present station.

group in that asterism, and associated in the minds of men with diluvian traditions', their rising would be a signal for acting over again their commemorative rites. Perhaps in the selection of the month Phamenoth, there might be some further meaning ; for if Thoth be reckoned the first of the year, Phamenoth is the seventh ; and it was in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, that the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.? Plutarch, therefore, may so far be mistaken as to the occasion of those festivals that one only, and that of a mournful character in November, alluded to the entrance into the Ark; the other

may have had principally for its object the more joyful events of deliverance, though not without some mixture of more fearful recollections, as in the Indian festival of Durgatsava. Analogous customs may be observed to have long existed in various parts of the world, so remote from one another, and so disconnected in all respects, that they can only be explained by referring them to a common origin, before the branches of population issued from the parent stem. Thus, for instance, the Tapuyes, in South America, celebrated the rising of the Pleiades with songs and dances, seeming to consider thein as divinities.3 Vincentius Belova

1 I am inclined to think that Aldebaran, the great star in Taurus, owes its name to diluvian tradition. Al is an Arabic particle : Debar, says Castell, means sometimes Petra in mari, in quam modo affluit aqua, de qua modo defluit. Also aqua ingens : perhaps it was the Egyptian Sirius, or Osiris ; for Euripides speaks of Eespoos being near the éttatópou Ilaescôos. Iphigenia. 2 Gen. viii. 4.

3 Southey's Brazil, p. 380. VOL. I.


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