A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume I.
by Jacob Bryant
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Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they are listed at the end of the text.












Observations and Inquiries relating to various Parts of Antient History;







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The earliest authentic account we can obtain of the birth of this learned and celebrated writer, is from the Register Book of Eton College, in which he is entered "of Chatham, in the county of Kent, of the age of twelve years, in 1730,"—consequently, born in 1718.

Whence a difference has arisen between the dates in this entry, and the inscription on his monument, hereafter given, we are unable to explain.

The two royal foundations of Eton, and King's College, Cambridge, justly boast of this great scholar and ornament of his age. He received his first rudiments at the village of Lullingstone, in Kent; and was admitted upon the foundation, at Eton College, on the 3d of August, 1730, where he was three years captain of the school, previous to his removal to Cambridge. He was elected from Eton to King's College in 1736; took the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1740; and proceeded Master in 1744.

He attended the Duke of Marlborough, and his brother, Lord Charles Spencer, at Eton, as their private tutor, and proved a valuable acquisition to that illustrious house; and, what may be reckoned, at least equally fortunate, his lot fell among those who knew how to appreciate his worth, and were both able and willing to reward it. The Duke made him his private secretary, in which capacity he accompanied his Grace during his campaign on the continent, where he had the command of the British forces; and, when he was made Master-General of the Ordnance, he appointed Mr. Bryant to the office of Secretary, then about 1400l. per annum.

His general habits, in his latter years, as is commonly the case with severe students, were sedentary; and, during the last ten years of his life, he had frequent pains in his chest, occasioned by so much application, and leaning against his table to write; but, in his younger days, spent at Eton, he excelled in various athletic exercises; and, by his skill in swimming, was the happy instrument in saving the life of the venerable Dr. Barnard, afterwards Provost of Eton College. The doctor gratefully acknowledged this essential service, by embracing the first opportunity which occurred, to present the nephew of his preserver with the living of Wootton Courtney, near Minehead, in Somerset; a presentation belonging to the Provost of Eton, in right of his office.

Mr. Bryant was never married. He commonly rose at half past seven, shaved himself without a glass, was seldom a quarter of an hour in dressing, at nine rung for his breakfast, which was abstemious, and generally visited his friends at Eton and Windsor, between breakfast and dinner, which was formerly at two, but afterwards at four o'clock. He was particularly fond of dogs, and was known to have thirteen spaniels at one time: he once very narrowly escaped drowning, through his over eagerness in putting them into the water.

Our author must be considered as highly distinguished, beyond the common lot of mortality, with the temporal blessings of comforts, honour, and long life. With respect to the first of these, he enjoyed health, peace, and competence; for, besides what he derived from his own family, the present Duke of Marlborough, after his father's death, settled an annuity on Mr. Bryant of 600 l. which he continued to receive from that noble family till his death.

He was greatly honoured among his numerous, yet chosen friends and acquaintance; and his company courted by all the literary characters in his neighbourhood. His more particular intimates, in his own district, were Doctors Barford, Barnard, Glynn, and Heberden. The venerable Sir George Baker, he either saw or corresponded with every day; likewise with Dr. Hallam, the father of Eton school, who had given up the deanery of Bristol, because he chose to reside at Windsor. When he went into Kent, the friends he usually visited were the Reverend Archdeacon Law, Mr. Longley, Recorder of Rochester, and Dr. Dampier, afterwards Bishop of that diocese. Besides the pecuniary expression of esteem mentioned above, the Duke of Marlborough had two rooms kept for him at Blenheim, with his name inscribed over the doors; and he was the only person who was presented with the keys of that choice library. The humble retreat of the venerable sage was frequently visited by his Majesty; and thus he partook in the highest honours recorded of the philosophers and sages of antiquity. Thus loved and honoured, he attained to eighty-nine years of age, and died, at Cypenham, near Windsor, Nov. 13, 1804, of a mortification in his leg, originating in the seemingly slight circumstance of a rasure against a chair, in the act of reaching a book from a shelf.

He had presented many of his most valuable books to the King in his life-time, and his editions by Caxton to the Marquis of Blandford: the remainder of this choice collection he bequeathed to the library of King's College, Cambridge, where he had received his education.

He gave, by will, 2,000 l. to the society for propagating the gospel, and 1,000 l. to the superannuated collegers of Eton school, to be disposed of as the provost and fellows should think fit. Also, 500 l. to the parish of Farnham Royal. The poor of Cypenham and Chalvey were constant partakers of his bounty, which was of so extensive a nature, that he commissioned the neighbouring clergy to look out proper objects for his beneficence.

Mr. Bryant's literary attainments were of a nature peculiar to himself; and, in point of classical erudition he was, perhaps, without an equal in the world. He had the very peculiar felicity of preserving his eminent superiority of talents to the end of a very long life; the whole of which was not only devoted to literature, but his studies were uniformly directed to the investigation of truth. The love of truth might, indeed, be considered as his grand characteristic, which he steadily pursued; and this is equally true as to his motive, whether he was found on the wrong or right side of the question. A few minutes before he expired, he declared to his nephew, and others in the room, that "all he had written was with a view to the promulgation of truth; and, that all he had contended for, he himself believed." By truth, we are to understand religious truth, his firm persuasion of the truth of Christianity; to the investigation and establishment of which he devoted his whole life. This was the central point, around which all his labours turned; the ultimate object at which they aimed.

Such are the particulars we have been able to collect of this profound scholar and antiquary. But the life of a man of letters appears, and must be chiefly sought for in his works, of which we subjoin the following catalogue:

The first work Mr. Bryant published was in 1767, intituled, "Observations and Inquiries relating to various Parts of antient History; containing Dissertations on the Wind Euroclydon, (see vol. v. p. 325.); and on the Island Melite, (see vol. v. p. 357.), together with an Account of Egypt in its most early State, (see vol. vi. p. 1.); and of the Shepherd Kings." (See vol. vi. p. 105.) This publication is calculated not only to throw light on the antient history of the kingdom of Egypt, but on the history also of the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Edomites, and other nations. The account of the Shepherd Kings contains a statement of the time of their coming into Egypt; of the particular province they possessed, and, to which the Israelites afterwards succeeded. The treatise on the Euroclydon was designed to vindicate the common reading of Acts, xxvii. 14. in opposition to Bochart, Grotius, and Bentley, supported by the authority of the Alexandrine M.S. and the Vulgate, who thought EUROAQUILO more agreeable to the truth.

His grand work, called, "A New System, or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology," was the next; "wherein an attempt is made to divest Tradition of Fable, and to reduce Truth to its original Purity." This was published in quarto, vol. i. and ii. in 1774, and vol. iii. in 1776.

In 1775 he published "A Vindication of the Apamean Medal, (see vol. v. p. 287.) and of the Inscription [Greek: NOE]; together with an Illustration of another Coin struck at the same Place in honour of the Emperor Severus." This appeared in the fourth volume of the Archaeologia, and also as a separate quarto pamphlet.

"An address to Dr. Priestley, on the Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity illustrated," 1780. A pamphlet, octavo.

"Vindiciae Flavianae; or, a Vindication of the Testimony given by Josephus concerning our Saviour Jesus Christ." A pamphlet, octavo. 1780.

"Observations on the Poems of Thomas Rowley; in which the authenticity of these Poems is ascertained." Two duodecimo volumes, 1781. In this controversy Mr. Bryant engaged deeply and earnestly, and was assisted in it by the learned Dr. Glynn of King's College, Cambridge. Our author in this, as in his other controversial writings, was influenced by a spirit of sober inquiry, and a regard for truth. The leading object he had in view, in his Observations on the poems ascribed to Rowley, was to prove, by a variety of instances, that Chatterton could not be their author, as he appeared not to understand them himself. This plea appears specious, yet it is certain the learned author failed egregiously in his proofs, and this publication added little to the reputation he had already acquired. The best way of accounting for Mr. Bryant's risking his well-earned and high character in the literary world in this controversy, and for the eagerness with which he engaged in it, is from the turn of his studies. "He had," to borrow the words of Mr. Mason, "been much engaged in antiquities, and consequently had imbibed too much of the spirit of a protest antiquarian; now we know, from a thousand instances, that no set of men are more willingly duped than these, especially by any thing that comes to them under the fascinating form of a new discovery."

"Collections on the Zingara, or Gypsey Language." Archaeologia, vol. vii.

"Gemmarum antiquarum Delectus ex praestantioribus desumptus in Dactylotheca Ducis Marlburiensis," Two vols, folio, 1783, &c. This is the first volume of the Duke of Marlborough's splendid edition of his invaluable collection of Gems, and was translated into French by Dr. Maty. The second volume was done in Latin by Dr. Cole, prebendary of Westminster; the French by Mr. Dutens. The Gems are exquisitely engraved by Bartolozzi. This work was privately printed, and no more copies taken than were intended for the crowned heads of Europe, and a few of his Grace's private friends; after which the coppers for the plates were broken, and the manuscript for the letter-press carefully reduced to ashes.

"A Treatise on the Authenticity of the Scriptures, and the Truth of the Christian Religion." Octavo, 1792.

"Observations upon the Plagues inflicted upon the Egyptians; in which is shewn the Peculiarity of those Judgments, and their Correspondence with the Rites and Idolatry of that People; with a prefatory discourse concerning the Grecian colonies from Egypt." Octavo, 1794.

The treatise on the authenticity of the Scriptures was published anonymously, and the whole of the profits arising from its sale given to the society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It contains a good general view of the leading arguments for Divine Revelation.

"Observations upon a Treatise, intituled, Description of the Plain of Troy, by Mons Le Chevalier," Quarto, 1795.

"A Dissertation concerning the War of Troy, and the Expedition of the Grecians, as described by Homer; shewing that no such Expedition was ever undertaken, and that no such City in Phrygia ever existed." Quarto, 1796. The appearance of this publication excited great surprise among the learned, and made few proselytes to the doctrine it inculcates; and even his high authority failed in overturning opinions so long maintained and established among historians, and supported by such extensive and clear evidence. He is a wise man indeed who knows where to stop. Mr. Bryant had wonderfully succeeded in his famous Mythology, in "divesting Tradition of Fable, and reducing Truth to its original Purity," and this seduced him, as his antiquarian pursuits had done before, in the case of Rowley, to proceed to unwarrantable lengths in the Dissertation on the War of Troy. It was remarked on by Mr. Falconer, and answered in a very rude way by Mr. Gilbert Wakefield in a letter to Mr. Bryant. J. B. S. Morrit, Esq. of Rokeby Park, near Greta-Bridge, undertook to vindicate Homer, in a style and with manners more worthy of the subject and of a gentleman, and was replied to by Mr. Bryant.

"The Sentiments of Philo Judaeus concerning the [Greek: LOGOS], or Word of God; together with large Extracts from his Writings, compared with the Scriptures, on many other essential Doctrines of the Christian Religion." Octavo, 1797.

"Dissertations on Balaam, Sampson, and Jonah," also, "Observations on famous controverted Passages in Josephus and Justin Martyr," are extremely curious, and such perhaps as only he could have written.

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"The New System, or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology," here presented to the public, is a literary phenomenon, which will remain the admiration of scholars, as long as a curiosity after antiquity shall continue to be a prevailing passion among mankind. Its author was master of the profoundest erudition, and did not come behind the most distinguished names of the last century, for their attention to the minutest circumstance that might cast a ray of light upon the remotest ages. Nothing in the antient Greek and Roman literature, however recondite, or wherever dispersed, could escape his sagacity and patient investigation. But we are not to confine our admiration of the work before us to the deep erudition discoverable in it; this elaborate production is equally distinguished for its ingenuity and novelty. Departing with a boldness of genius from the systems of his predecessors in the same walks of literature, he delights by his ingenuity, while he astonishes by his courage, and surprises by his novelty. In the last point of view, this work is indeed singularly striking; it departs from the commonly-received systems, to a degree that has not only never been attempted, but not even thought of by any men of learning.

The subject, here undertaken by Mr. Bryant was one of uncommon difficulty; one of the most abstruse and difficult which antiquity presents to us; the information to be obtained concerning it must be collected from a vast number of incidental passages, observations and assertions scattered through antient authors, who being themselves but imperfectly acquainted with their subject, it is next to impossible to reconcile. This, however, our author has attempted; and though, in doing this, the exuberances of fancy and imagination are conspicuous, and some may entertain doubts, concerning the solidity of some of his conjectures, yet, even such are forced to allow that many parts of the author's scheme are probable, and deserving the highest attention.

His method of proceeding by etymology was not a little hazardous; men of the greatest abilities have often failed in the use of it, while those of weak judgment have, by their application of it, rendered it the source of the greatest absurdities, and almost led the unthinking to connect an idea of ridicule with the term itself. But the judicious use which Mr. Bryant could make of this science is apparent in every part of his work: he derives from it the greatest and only light which can be cast upon some of his inquiries, and that in a way that will draw the admiration of those who have a proper acquaintance with the subject; that is, such as have a knowledge of the Oriental languages sufficient to enable them to trace them through the Greek, Latin, and other tongues, as they relate to the names of things, which in almost every country carry evidence of their being derived from the East; from whence it is certain mankind themselves are derived. The sagacity and diligence with which our author has applied his helps obtained from the scattered passages of antient authors and etymology, have enabled him to clear up the history of the remotest ages, and to elucidate objects hitherto surrounded with darkness and error. Upon the whole, it will be allowed by all who are capable judges of the subject, that the plausibility of his hypothesis is frequently apparent, his scheme great, and his discoveries extraordinary.

Viro plusquam octogenario, et Etonae Matris Filiorum omnium superstitum AEtate jam grandissimo, JACOBO BRYANT, S.

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Nomen honorati sacrum mihi cum sit amici, Charta sit haec animi fida ministra mei: Ne tamen incultis veniant commissa tabellis, Carminis ingenua dicta laventur ope. Quem videt, e longa sobolem admirata caterva, Henrici[1] a superis laetius umbra plagis? Quem pueris ubicunque suis monstrare priorem Principe alumnorum mater Etona solet? Quem cupit eximiae quisquis virtutis amator, Serius aetherei regna subire poli? Blande Senex, quem Musa fovet, seu seria tractas, Seu facili indulges quae propiora joco; Promeritos liceat Vates tibi condat honores, Et recolat vitae praemia justa tuae: Praeparet haud quovis lectas de flore corollas, Sed bene Nestoreis serta gerenda comis. Scriptorum ex omni serie numeroque tuorum, Utilitas primo est conspicienda loco: Gratia subsequitur; Sapientiaque atria pandit Ampla tibi, ingeniis solum ineunda piis. Asperitate carens, mores ut ubique tueris! Si levis es, levitas ipsa docere solet. Quo studio errantes animos in aperta reducis! Quo sensu dubios, qua gravitate mones! Si fontes aperire novos, et acumine docto Elicere in scriptis quae latuere sacris, Seu Verum e fictis juvet extricare libellis, Historica et tenebris reddere lumen ope, Aspice conspicuo laetentur ut omnia coelo, Et referent nitidum solque jubarque diem! Centauri, Lapithaeque, et Tantalus, atque Prometheus, Et Nephele, veluti nube soluta sua,— Hi pereunt omnes; alterque laboribus ipse Conficis Alcides Hercule majus opus. Tendis in hostilem soli tibi fisus arenam? Excutis haeretici verba minuta Sophi[2]? Accipit aeternam vis profligata repulsam, Fractaque sunt valida tela minaeque manu. Cui Melite non nota tua est? atque impare nisu Conjunctum a criticis Euro Aquilonis iter? Argo quis dubitat? quis Delta in divite nescit Qua sit Joesephi fratribus aucta domus? Monstra quot AEgypti perhibes! quaeque Ira Jehovae! Quam proprie in falsos arma parata deos! Dum foedis squalet Nilus cum foetibus amnis, Et necis est auctor queis modo numen erat. Immeritos Danaum casus, Priamique dolemus Funera, nec vel adhuc ossa quieta, senis? Fata Melesigensae querimur, mentitaque facta Hectoris incertas ad Simoentis aquas? Eruis haec veteris scabra e rubigine famae, Dasque operis vati jusque decusque sui, Magna tuis affers monumentaque clara triumphis, Cum Troja aeternum quod tibi nomen erit! Ah! ne te extrema cesset coluisse senecta, (Aspicere heu! nimiae quem vetuere morae,) Qui puer, atque infans prope, te sibi sensit amicum, Eque tuis sophiae fontibus hausit aquas! Imagis, et, purae quaecunque aptissima vitae Praemia supplicibus det Deus ipse suis, Haec pete rite seni venerando, Musa; quod Ille Nec spe, nec fama, ditior esse potest. Innumeris longum gratus societur amicis, Inter Etonenses duxque paterque viros: Felix intersit terris: superumque beato Paulisper talem fas sit abesse choro.

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Collegii Regalis apud Cantabrigienses Olim Socii Qui in bonis quas ibi hauserat artibus excolendis consenuit. Erant in eo plurimae literae nec eae vulgares, Sed exquisitae quaedam et reconditae, quas non minore Studio quam acumine ad illustrandam S.S veritatem adhibuit: Id quod testantur scripta ejus gravissima, tam in Historiae sacrae primordiis eruendis quam in Gentium Mythologia explicanda versata. Libris erat adeo deditus Ut iter vitae secretum iis omnino deditum; Praemiis honoribusque quae illi non magis ex Patroni nobilissimi gratia quam suis meritis abunde praesto erant, usq; praeposuerit. Vitam integerrimam et vere Christianam Non sine tristi suorum desiderio, clausit Nov. 13. 1804. Anno AEtatis suae 89.

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[Greek: Naphe, kai memnas' apistein; arthra tauta ton phrenon.]——EPICHARMUS.

It is my purpose, in the ensuing work, to give an account of the first ages, and of the great events which happened in the infancy of the world. In consequence of this I shall lay before the reader what the Gentile writers have said upon this subject, collaterally with the accounts given by Moses, as long as I find him engaged in the general history of mankind. By these means I shall be able to bring surprising proofs of those great occurrences, which the sacred penman has recorded. And when his history becomes more limited, and is confined to a peculiar people, and a private dispensation, I shall proceed to shew what was subsequent to his account after the migration of families, and the dispersion from the plains of Shinar. When mankind were multiplied upon the earth, each great family had, by [3]divine appointment, a particular place of destination, to which they retired. In this manner the first nations were constituted, and kingdoms founded. But great changes were soon effected, and colonies went abroad without any regard to their original place of allotment. New establishments were soon made, from whence ensued a mixture of people and languages. These are events of the highest consequence; of which we can receive no intelligence, but through the hands of the Gentile writers.

It has been observed, by many of the learned, that some particular family betook themselves very early to different parts of the world, in all which they introduced their rites and religion, together with the customs of their country. They represent them as very knowing and enterprising; and with good reason. They were the first who ventured upon the seas, and undertook long voyages. They shewed their superiority and address in the numberless expeditions which they made, and the difficulties which they surmounted. Many have thought that they were colonies from Egypt, or from Phenicia, having a regard only to the settlements which they made in the west. But I shall shew hereafter, that colonies of the same people are to be found in the most extreme parts of the east; where we may observe the same rites and ceremonies, and the same traditional histories, as are to be met with in their other settlements. The country called Phenicia could not have sufficed for the effecting all that is attributed to these mighty adventurers. It is necessary for me to acquaint the Reader, that the wonderful people to whom I allude were the descendants of Chus, and called Cuthites and Cuseans. They stood their ground at the general migration of families; but were at last scattered over the face of the earth. They were the first apostates from the truth, yet great in worldly wisdom. They introduced, wherever they came, many useful arts, and were looked up to as a superior order of beings: hence they were styled Heroes, Daemons, Heliadae, Macarians. They were joined in their expeditions by other nations, especially by the collateral branches of their family, the Mizraim, Caphtorim, and the sons of Canaan. These were all of the line of Ham, who was held by his posterity in the highest veneration. They called him Amon: and having in process of time raised him to a divinity, they worshipped him as the Sun; and from this worship they were styled Amonians. This is an appellation which will continually occur in the course of this work; and I am authorised in the use of it from Plutarch, from whom we may infer, that it was not uncommon among the sons of Ham. He specifies particularly, in respect to the Egyptians, that when any two of that nation met, they used it as a term of honour in their[4] salutations, and called one another Amonians. This therefore will be the title by which I shall choose to distinguish the people of whom I treat, when I speak of them collectively; for under this denomination are included all of this family, whether they were Egyptians or Syrians, of Phenicia or of Canaan. They were a people who carefully preserved memorials of their ancestors, and of those great events which had preceded their dispersion. These were described in hieroglyphics upon pillars and obelisks: and when they arrived at the knowledge of letters, the same accounts were religiously maintained, both in their sacred archives, and popular records. It is mentioned of Sanchoniathon, the most antient of Gentile writers, that he obtained all his knowledge from some writings of the Amonians. It was the good fortune of Sanchoniathon, says [5]Philo Biblius, to light upon some antient Amonian records, which had been preserved in the innermost part of a temple, and known to very few. Upon this discovery he applied himself with great diligence to make himself master of the contents: and having, by divesting them of the fable and allegory with which they were obscured, obtained his purpose, he brought the whole to a conclusion.

I should be glad to give the Reader a still farther insight into the system which I am about to pursue. But such is the scope of my inquiries, and the purport of my determinations, as may possibly create in him some prejudice to my design; all which would be obviated were he to be carried, step by step, to the general view, and be made partially acquainted, according as the scene opened. What I have to exhibit is in great measure new; and I shall be obliged to run counter to many received opinions, which length of time, and general assent, have in a manner rendered sacred. What is truly alarming, I shall be found to differ, not only from some few historians, as is the case in common controversy, but in some degree from all; and this in respect to many of the most essential points, upon which historical precision has been thought to depend. My meaning is, that I must set aside many supposed facts which have never been controverted; and dispute many events which have not only been admitted as true, but have been looked up to as certain aeras from whence other events were to be determined. All our knowledge of Gentile history must either come through the hands of the Grecians, or of the Romans, who copied from them. I shall therefore give a full account of the Helladian Greeks, as well as of the Ioenim, or Ionians, in Asia: also of the Dorians, Leleges, and Pelasgi. What may appear very presumptuous, I shall deduce from their own histories many truths, with which they were totally unacquainted, and give to them an original, which they certainly did not know. They have bequeathed to us noble materials, of which it is time to make a serious use. It was their misfortune not to know the value of the data which they transmitted, nor the purport of their own intelligence.

It will be one part of my labour to treat of the Phenicians, whose history has been much mistaken: also of the Scythians, whose original has been hitherto a secret. From such an elucidation many good consequences will, I hope, ensue; as the Phenicians and Scythians have hitherto afforded the usual place of retreat for ignorance to shelter itself. It will therefore be my endeavour to specify and distinguish the various people under these denominations, of whom writers have so generally, and indiscriminately, spoken. I shall say a great deal about the Ethiopians, as their history has never been completely given: also of the Indi, and Indo-Scythae, who seem to have been little regarded. There will be an account exhibited of the Cimmerian, Hyperborean, and Amazonian nations, as well as of the people of Colchis; in which the religion, rites, and original of those nations will be pointed out. I know of no writer who has written at large of the Cyclopians. Yet their history is of great antiquity, and abounds with matter of consequence. I shall, therefore, treat of them very fully, and at the same time of the great works which they performed; and subjoin an account of the Lestrygons, Lamii, Sirens, as there is a close correspondence between them.

As it will be my business to abridge history of every thing superfluous and foreign, I shall be obliged to set aside many antient law-givers, and princes, who were supposed to have formed republics, and to have founded kingdoms. I cannot acquiesce in the stale legends of Deucalion of Thessaly, of Inachus of Argos, and, AEgialeus of Sicyon; nor in the long line of princes who are derived from them. The supposed heroes of the first ages, in every country are equally fabulous. No such conquests were ever achieved as are ascribed to Osiris, Dionusus, and Sesostris. The histories of Hercules and Perseus are equally void of truth. I am convinced, and hope I shall satisfactorily prove, that Cadmus never brought letters to Greece; and that no such person existed as the Grecians have described. What I have said about Sesostris and Osiris, will be repeated about Ninus, and Semiramis, two personages, as ideal as the former. There never were such expeditions undertaken, nor conquests made, as are attributed to these princes: nor were any such empires constituted, as are supposed to have been established by them. I make as little account of the histories of Saturn, Janus, Pelops, Atlas, Dardanus, Minos of Crete, and Zoroaster of Bactria. Yet something mysterious, and of moment, is concealed under these various characters: and the investigation of this latent truth will be the principal part of my inquiry. In respect to Greece, I can afford credence to very few events, which were antecedent to the Olympiads. I cannot give the least assent to the story of Phryxus, and the golden fleece. It seems to me plain beyond doubt, that there were no such persons as the Grecian Argonauts: and that the expedition of Jason to Colchis was a fable.

After having cleared my way, I shall proceed to the sources, from whence the Grecians drew. I shall give an account of the Titans, and Titanic war, with the history of the Cuthites and antient Babylonians. This will be accompanied with the Gentile history of the Deluge, the migration of mankind from Shinar, and the dispersion from Babel. The whole will be crowned with an account of antient Egypt; wherein many circumstances of high consequence in chronology will be stated. In the execution of the whole there will be brought many surprising proofs in confirmation of the Mosaic account: and it will be found, from repeated evidence, that every thing, which the divine historian has transmitted, is most assuredly true. And though the nations, who preserved memorials of the Deluge, have not perhaps stated accurately the time of that event; yet it will be found the grand epocha, to which they referred; the highest point to which they could ascend. This was esteemed the renewal of the world; the new birth of mankind; and the ultimate of Gentile history. Some traces may perhaps be discernable in their rites and mysteries of the antediluvian system: but those very few, and hardly perceptible. It has been thought, that the Chaldaic, and Egyptian accounts exceed not only the times of the Deluge, but the aera of the world: and Scaliger has accordingly carried the chronology of the latter beyond the term of his artificial[6] period. But upon inquiry we shall find the chronology of this people very different from the representations which have been given. This will be shewn by a plain and precise account, exhibited by the Egyptians themselves: yet overlooked and contradicted by the persons, through whose hands we receive it. Something of the same nature will be attempted in respect to Berosus; as well as to Abydenus, Polyhistor, and Appollodorus, who borrowed from him. Their histories contained matter of great moment: and will afford some wonderful discoveries. From their evidence, and from that which has preceded, we shall find, that the Deluge was the grand epocha of every antient kingdom. It is to be observed, that when colonies made anywhere a settlement, they ingrafted their antecedent history upon the subsequent events of the place. And as in those days they could carry up the genealogy of their princes to the very source of all, it will be found, under whatever title he may come, that the first king in every country was Noah. For as he was mentioned first in the genealogy of their princes, he was in aftertimes looked upon as a real monarch; and represented as a great traveller, a mighty conqueror, and sovereign of the whole earth. This circumstance will appear even in the annals of the Egyptians: and though their chronology has been supposed to have reached beyond that of any nation, yet it coincides very happily with the accounts given by Moses.

In the prosecution of my system I shall not amuse the Reader with doubtful and solitary extracts; but collect all that can be obtained upon the subject, and shew the universal scope of writers. I shall endeavour particularly to compare sacred history with profane, and prove the general assent of mankind to the wonderful events recorded. My purpose is not to lay science in ruins; but instead of desolating to build up, and to rectify what time has impaired: to divest mythology of every foreign and unmeaning ornament, and to display the truth in its native simplicity: to shew, that all the rites and mysteries of the Gentiles were only so many memorials of their principal ancestors; and of the great occurrences to which they had been witnesses. Among these memorials the chief were the ruin of mankind by a flood; and the renewal of the world in one family. They had symbolical representations, by which these occurrences were commemorated: and the antient hymns in their temples were to the same purpose. They all related to the history of the first ages, and to the same events which are recorded by Moses.

Before I can arrive at this essential part of my inquiries, I must give an account of the rites and customs of antient Hellas; and of those people which I term Amonians. This I must do in order to shew, from whence they came: and from what quarter their evidence is derived. A great deal will be said of their religion and rites: also of their towers, temples, and Puratheia, where their worship was performed. The mistakes likewise of the Greeks in respect to antient terms, which they strangely perverted, will be exhibited in many instances: and much true history will be ascertained from a detection of this peculiar misapplication. It is a circumstance of great consequence, to which little attention has been paid. Great light however will accrue from examining this abuse, and observing the particular mode of error: and the only way of obtaining an insight must be by an etymological process, and by recurring to the primitive language of the people, concerning whom we are treating. As the Amonians betook themselves to regions widely separated; we shall find in every place where they settled, the same worship and ceremonies, and the same history of their ancestors. There will also appear a great similitude in the names of their cities and temples: so that we may be assured, that the whole was the operation of one and the same people. The learned Bochart saw this; and taking for granted, that the people were Phenicians, he attempted to interpret these names by the Hebrew language; of which he supposed the Phenician to have been a dialect. His design was certainly very ingenious, and carried on with a wonderful display of learning. He failed however: and of the nature of his failure I shall be obliged to take notice. It appears to me, as far as my reading can afford me light, that most antient names, not only of places, but of persons, have a manifest analogy. There is likewise a great correspondence to be observed in terms of science; and in the titles, which were of old bestowed upon magistrates and rulers. The same observation may be extended even to plants, and minerals, as well as to animals; especially to those which were esteemed at all sacred. Their names seem to be composed of the same, or similar elements; and bear a manifest relation to the religion in use among the Amonians, and to the Deity which they adored. This deity was the Sun: and most of the antient names will be found to be an assemblage of titles, bestowed upon that luminary. Hence there will appear a manifest correspondence between them, which circumstance is quite foreign to the system of Bochart. His etymologies are destitute of this collateral evidence; and have not the least analogy to support them.

In consequence of this I have ventured to give a list of some Amonian terms, which occur in the mythology of Greece, and in the histories of other nations. Most antient names seem to have been composed out of these elements: and into the same principles they may be again resolved by an easy, and fair evolution. I subjoin to these a short interpretation; and at the same time produce different examples of names and titles, which are thus compounded. From hence the Reader will see plainly my method of analysis, and the basis of my etymological inquiries.

As my researches are upon subjects very remote, and the histories to which I appeal, various; and as the truth is in great measure to be obtained by deduction, I have been obliged to bring my authorities immediately under the eye of the Reader. He may from thence be a witness of the propriety of my appeal; and see that my inferences are true. This however will render my quotations very numerous, and may afford some matter of discouragement, as they are principally from the Greek authors. I have however in most places of consequence endeavoured to remedy this inconvenience, either by exhibiting previously the substance of what is quoted, or giving a subsequent translation. Better days may perhaps come; when the Greek language will be in greater repute, and its beauties more admired. As I am principally indebted to the Grecians for intelligence, I have in some respects adhered to their orthography, and have rendered antient terms as they were expressed by them. Indeed I do not see, why we should not render all names of Grecian original, as they were exhibited by that people, instead of taking our mode of pronunciation from the Romans. I scarce know any thing, which has been of greater detriment to antient history than the capriciousness of writers in never expressing foreign terms as they were rendered by the natives. I shall be found, however, to have not acted up uniformly to my principles, as I have only in some instances copied the Grecian orthography. I have ventured to abide by it merely in some particular terms, where I judged, that etymology would be concerned. For I was afraid, however just this method might appear, and warrantable, that it would seem too novel to be universally put in practice.

My purpose has been throughout to give a new turn to antient history, and to place it upon a surer foundation. The mythology of Greece is a vast assemblage of obscure traditions, which have been transmitted from the earliest times. They were described in hieroglyphics, and have been veiled in allegory: and the same history is often renewed under a different system, and arrangement. A great part of this intelligence has been derived to us from the Poets; by which means it has been rendered still more extravagant, and strange. We find the whole, like a grotesque picture, blazoned high, and glaring with colours, and filled with groups of fantastic imagery, such as we see upon an Indian screen; where the eye is painfully amused; but whence little can be obtained, which is satisfactory, and of service. We must, however, make this distinction, that in the allegorical representations of Greece, there was always a covert meaning, though it may have escaped our discernment. In short, we must look upon antient mythology as being yet in a chaotic state, where the mind of man has been wearied with roaming over the crude consistence without ever finding out one spot where it could repose in safety. Hence has arisen the demand, [Greek: pou stoi], which has been repeated for ages. It is my hope, and my presumption, that such a place of appulse may be found, where we may take our stand, and from whence we may have a full view of the mighty expanse before us; from whence also we may descry the original design, and order, of all those objects, which by length of time, and their own remoteness, have been rendered so confused and uncertain.

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Through the whole process of my inquiries, it has been my endeavour, from some plain and determinate principles, to open the way to many interesting truths. And as I have shewn the certainty of an universal Deluge from the evidences of most nations, to which we can gain access, I come now to give an history of the persons who survived that event; and of the families which were immediately descended from them. After having mentioned their residence in the region of Ararat, and their migration from it, I shall give an account of the roving of the Cuthites, and of their coming to the plains of Shinar, from whence they were at last expelled. To this are added observations upon the histories of Chaldea and Egypt; also of Hellas, and Ionia; and of every other country which was in any degree occupied by the sons of Chus. There have been men of learning who have denominated their works from the families, of which they treated; and have accordingly sent them into the world under the title of Phaleg, Japhet, and Javan. I might, in like manner, have prefixed to mine the name either of Cuth, or Cuthim; for, upon the history of this people my system chiefly turns. It may be asked, if there were no other great families upon earth, besides that of the Cuthites, worthy of record: if no other people ever performed great actions, and made themselves respectable to posterity. Such there possibly may have been; and the field is open to any who may choose to make inquiry. My taking this particular path does not in the least abridge others from prosecuting different views, wherever they may see an opening.

As my researches are deep, and remote, I shall sometimes take the liberty of repeating what has preceded; that the truths which I maintain may more readily be perceived. We are oftentimes, by the importunity of a persevering writer, teazed into an unsatisfactory compliance, and yield a painful assent; but, upon closing the book, our scruples return, and we lapse at once into doubt and darkness. It has therefore been my rule to bring vouchers for every thing, which I maintain; and though I might upon the renewal of my argument refer to another volume, and a distant page, yet I many times choose to repeat my evidence, and bring it again under immediate inspection. And if I do not scruple labour and expense, I hope the reader will not be disgusted by this seeming redundancy in my arrangement. What I have now to present to the public, contains matter of great moment, and should I be found to be in the right, it will afford a sure basis for the future history of the world. None can well judge either of the labour, or utility of the work, but those who have been conversant in the writings of chronologers, and other learned men, upon these subjects, and seen the difficulties with which they were embarrassed. Great, undoubtedly, must have been the learning and perspicuity of a Petavius, Perizonius, Scaliger, Grotius, and Le Clerc; also of an Usher, Pearson, Marsham, and Newton. Yet it may possibly be found at the close, that a feeble arm has effected what those prodigies in science have overlooked.

Many, who have finished their progress, and are determined in their principles, will not perhaps so readily be brought over to my opinion. But they who are beginning their studies, and passing through a process of Grecian literature, will find continual evidences arise; almost every step will afford fresh proofs in favour of my system. As the desolation of the world by a deluge, and the renewal of it in one person, are points in these days particularly controverted; many, who are enemies to Revelation, upon seeing these truths ascertained, may be led to a more intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures: and such an insight cannot but be productive of good. For our faith depends upon historical experience: and it is mere ignorance, that makes infidels. Hence it is possible, that some may be won over by historical evidence, whom a refined theological argument cannot reach. An illness, which some time ago confined me to my bed, and afterwards to my chamber, afforded me, during its recess, an opportunity of making some versions from the poets whom I quote, when I was little able to do any thing of more consequence. The translation from Dionysius was particularly done at that season, and will give the reader some faint idea of the original, and its beauties.

I cannot conclude without acknowledging my obligations to a most worthy and learned[7] friend for his zeal towards my work; and for his assistance both in this, and my former publication. I am indebted to him not only for his judicious remarks, but for his goodness in transcribing for me many of my dissertations, without which my progress would have been greatly retarded. His care likewise, and attention, in many other articles, afford instances of friendship which I shall ever gratefully remember.

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[Greek: Peithous d' esti keleuthos, aletheie gar opedei.]——PARMENIDES.

The materials, of which I purpose to make use in the following inquiries, are comparatively few, and will be contained within a small compass. They are such as are to be found in the composition of most names, which occur in antient mythology: whether they relate to Deities then reverenced; or to the places, where their worship was introduced. But they appear no where so plainly, as in the names of those places, which were situated in Babylonia and Egypt. From these parts they were, in process of time, transferred to countries far remote; beyond the Ganges eastward, and to the utmost bounds of the Mediterranean west; wherever the sons of Ham under their various denominations either settled or traded. For I have mentioned that this people were great adventurers; and began an extensive commerce in very early times. They got footing in many parts; where they founded cities, which were famous in their day. They likewise erected towers and temples: and upon headlands and promontories they raised pillars for sea-marks to direct them in their perilous expeditions. All these were denominated from circumstances, that had some reference to the religion, which this people professed; and to the ancestors, whence they sprung. The Deity, which they originally worshipped, was the Sun. But they soon conferred his titles upon some of their ancestors: whence arose a mixed worship. They particularly deified the great Patriarch, who was the head of their line; and worshipped him as the fountain of light: making the Sun only an emblem of his influence and power. They called him Bal, and Baal: and there were others of their ancestry joined with him, whom they styled the Baalim. Chus was one of these: and this idolatry began among his sons. In respect then to the names, which this people, in process of time, conferred either upon the Deities they worshipped, or upon the cities, which they founded; we shall find them to be generally made up of some original terms for a basis, such as Ham, Cham, and Chus: or else of the titles, with which those personages were, in process of time, honoured. These were Thoth, Men or Menes, Ab, El, Aur, Ait, Ees or Ish, On, Bel, Cohen, Keren, Ad, Adon, Ob, Oph, Apha, Uch, Melech, Anac, Sar, Sama, Samaim. We must likewise take notice of those common names, by which places are distinguished, such as Kir, Caer, Kiriath, Carta, Air, Col, Cala, Beth, Ai, Ain, Caph, and Cephas. Lastly are to be inserted the particles Al and Pi; which were in use among the antient Egyptians.

Of these terms I shall first treat; which I look upon as so many elements, whence most names in antient mythology have been compounded; and into which they may be easily resolved: and the history, with which they are attended, will, at all times, plainly point out, and warrant the etymology.


The first of the terms here specified is Ham; at different times, and in different places, expressed Cham, Chom, [8]Chamus. Many places were from him denominated Cham Ar, Cham Ur, Chomana, Comara, Camarina. Ham, by the Egyptians, was compounded Am-On, [Greek: Amon] and [Greek: Ammon]. He is to be found under this name among many nations in the east; which was by the Greeks expressed Amanus, and [9]Omanus. Ham, and Cham are words, which imply heat, and the consequences of heat; and from them many words in other languages, such as [10][Greek: Kauma] Caminus, Camera, were derived. Ham, as a Deity, was esteemed the [11]Sun: and his priests were styled Chamin, Chaminim, and Chamerim. His name is often found compounded with other terms, as in Cham El, Cham Ees, Cam Ait: and was in this manner conferred both on persons and places. From hence Camillus, Camilla, Camella Sacra, Comates, Camisium, [12]Camirus, Chemmis, with numberless other words, are derived. Chamma was the title of the hereditary [13]priestess of Diana: and the Puratheia, where the rites of fire were carried on, were called Chamina, and Chaminim, whence came the Caminus of the Latines. They were sacred hearths, on which was preserved a perpetual fire in honour of Cham. The idols of the Sun called by the same [14]name: for it is said of the good king Josiah, that they brake down the altars of Baalim—in his presence; and the Chaminim (or images of Cham) that were on high above them, he cut down. They were also styled Chamerim, as we learn from the prophet [15]Zephaniah. Ham was esteemed the Zeus of Greece, and Jupiter of Latium. [16][Greek: Ammous, ho Zeus, Aristotelei.] [17][Greek: Ammoun gar Aiguptioi kaleousi ton Dia.] Plutarch says, that, of all the Egyptian names which seemed to have any correspondence with the Zeus of Greece, Amoun or Ammon was the most peculiar and adequate. He speaks of many people, who were of this opinion: [18][Greek: Eti de ton pollon nomizonton idion par' Aiguptiois onoma tou Dios einai ton Amoun, ho paragontes hemeis Ammona legomen.] From Egypt his name and worship were brought into Greece; as indeed were the names of almost all the Deities there worshipped. [19][Greek: Schedon de kai panta ta ounomata ton Theon ex Aiguptou eleluthe es ten Hellada.] Almost all the names of the Gods in Greece were adventitious, having been brought thither from Egypt.


Chus was rendered by the Greeks [Greek: Chusos], Chusus; but, more commonly, [Greek: Chrusos]: and the places denominated from him were changed to [Greek: Chruse], Chruse; and to Chrusopolis. His name was often compounded [20]Chus-Or, rendered by the Greeks [Greek: Chrusor], Chrusor, and Chrusaor; which, among the Poets, became a favourite epithet, continually bestowed upon Apollo. Hence there were temples dedicated to him, called Chrusaoria. Chus, in the Babylonish dialect, seems to have been called Cuth; and many places, where his posterity settled, were styled [21]Cutha, Cuthaia, Cutaia, Ceuta, Cotha, compounded [22]Cothon. He was sometimes expressed Casus, Cessus, Casius; and was still farther diversified.

Chus was the father of all those nations, styled [23]Ethiopians, who were more truly called Cuthites and Cuseans. They were more in number, and far more widely extended, than has been imagined. The history of this family will be the principal part of my inquiry.


Canaan seems, by the Egyptians and Syrians, to have been pronounced Cnaan: which was by the Greeks rendered Cnas, and Cna. Thus we are told by Stephanus Byzantinus, that the antient name of Phenicia was Cna. [Greek: Chna, houtos he Phoinike ekaleito. to ethnikon Chnaios.] The same is said by Philo Biblius, from Sanchoniathon. [24][Greek: Chna tou protou metonomasthentos Phoinikos.] And, in another place, he says, that Isiris, the same as Osiris, was the brother to Cna. [25][Greek: Isiris—adelphos Chna]; the purport of which is conformable to the account in the Scriptures, that the Egyptians were of a collateral line with the people of Canaan; or, that the father of the Mizraeim and the Canaanites were brothers.


This person is looked upon as the father of the Egyptians: on which account one might expect to meet with many memorials concerning him: but his history is so veiled under allegory and titles, that no great light can be obtained. It is thought, by many learned men, that the term, Mizraeim, is properly a plural; and that a people are by it signified, rather than a person. This people were the Egyptians: and the head of their family is imagined to have been, in the singular, Misor, or Metzor. It is certain that Egypt, by Stephanus Byzantinus, is, amongst other names, styled [Greek: Muara], which, undoubtedly, is a mistake for [Greek: Musara], the land of Musar, or Mysar. It is, by [26]Eusebius and Suidas, called Mestraia; by which is meant the land of Metzor, a different rendering of Mysor. Sanchoniathon alludes to this person under the name of [27][Greek: Misor], Misor; and joins him with Sydic: both which he makes the sons of the Shepherds Amunus and Magus. Amunus, I make no doubt, is Amun, or Ham, the real father of Misor, from whom the Mizraeim are supposed to be descended. By Magus, probably, is meant Chus, the father of those worshippers of fire, the Magi: the father, also, of the genuine Scythae, who were styled Magog. The Canaanites, likewise, were his offspring: and, among these, none were more distinguished than those of Said, or Sidon; which, I imagine, is alluded to under the name of Sydic. It must be confessed, that the author derives it from Sydic, justice: and, to say the truth, he has, out of antient terms, mixed so many feigned personages with those that are real, that it is not possible to arrive at the truth.


It is said of this person, by Moses, that he was the son of Cush. [28]And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth: he was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. His history is plainly alluded to under the character of Alorus, the first king of [29]Chaldea; but more frequently under the title of Orion. This personage is represented by Homer as of a gigantic make; and as being continually in pursuit of wild [30]beasts. The Cuthite Colonies, which went westward, carried with them memorials of this their ancestor; and named many places from him: and in all such places there will be found some peculiar circumstances, which will point out the great hunter, alluded to in their name. The Grecians generally styled him [31][Greek: Nebrod], Nebrod: hence places called by his name are expressed Nebrod, Nebrodes, Nebrissa. In Sicily was a mountain Nebrodes, called by Strabo in the plural [32][Greek: ta Nebrode ore]. It was a famous place for hunting; and for that reason had been dedicated to Nimrod. The poet Gratius takes notice of its being stocked with wild beasts:

[33]Cantatus Graiis Acragas, victaeque fragosum Nebrodem liquere ferae.

And Solinus speaks to the same purpose: [34]Nebrodem damae et hinnuli pervagantur. At the foot of the mountain were the warm baths of Himera.

The term [Greek: Nebros], Nebros, which was substituted by the Greeks for Nimrod, signifying a fawn, gave occasion to many allusions about a fawn, and fawn-skin, in the Dionusiaca, and other mysteries. There was a town Nebrissa, near the mouth of the Baetis in Spain, called, by Pliny, Veneria; [35]Inter aestuaria Baetis oppidum Nebrissa, cognomine Veneria. This, I should think, was a mistake for Venaria; for there were places of that name. Here were preserved the same rites and memorials, as are mentioned above; wherein was no allusion to Venus, but to Nimrod and Bacchus. The island, and its rites, are mentioned by Silius Italicus.

[36]Ac Nebrissa Dionusaeis conscia thyrsis, Quam Satyri coluere leves, redimitaque sacra Nebride.

The Priests at the Bacchanalia, as well as the Votaries, were habited in this manner.

[37]Inter matres impia Maenas Comes Ogygio venit Iaccho, Nebride sacra praecincta latus.

Statius describes them in the same habit.

[38]Hic chelyn, hic flavam maculoso Nebrida tergo, Hic thyrsos, hic plectra ferit.

The history of Nimrod was, in great measure, lost in the superior reverence shewn to Chus, or Bacchus: yet, there is reason to think, that divine honours were of old paid to him. The family of the Nebridae at [39]Athens, and another of the same name at Cos, were, as we may infer from their history, the posterity of people, who had been priests to Nimrod. He seems to have been worshipped in Sicily under the names of Elorus, Belorus, and Orion. He was likewise styled [40]Belus: but as this was merely a title, and conferred upon other persons, it renders his history very difficult to be distinguished.


Theuth, Thoth, Taut, Taautes, are the same title diversified; and belong to the chief god of Egypt. Eusebius speaks of him as the same as Hermes. [41][Greek: Hon Aiguptioi men ekalesan Thouth, Alexandreis de Thoth, Hermen de Hellenes metephrasan.] From Theuth the Greeks formed [Greek: THEOS]; which, with that nation, was the most general name of the deity. Plato, in his treatise, named Philebus, mentions him by the name of [42][Greek: Theuth]. He was looked upon as a great benefactor, and the first cultivator of the vine.

[43][Greek: Protos Thoth edae drepanen epi botrun ageirein.]

He was also supposed to have found out letters: which invention is likewise attributed to Hermes. [44][Greek: Apo Misor Taautos, hos heure ten ton proton stoicheion graphen.]——[Greek: Hellenes de Hermen ekalesan.] Suidas calls him Theus; and says, that he was the same as Arez, styled by the Arabians Theus Arez, and so worshipped at Petra. [Greek: Theusares tout' esti Theos Ares, en Petrai tes Arabias.] Instead of a statue, there was [Greek: lithos melas, tetragonos, atupotos], a black, square pillar of stone, without any figure, or representation. It was the same deity, which the Germans and Celtae worshipped under the name of Theut-Ait, or Theutates; whose sacrifices were very cruel, as we learn from Lucan.

[45]Et quibus immitis placatur sanguine diro Theutates.


Ab signifies a father, similar to [Hebrew: AB] of the Hebrews. It is often found in composition, as in Ab-El, Ab-On, Ab-Or.


Aur, sometimes expressed Or, Ur, and Our, signifies both light and fire. Hence came the Orus of the Egyptians, a title given to the Sun. [46]Quod solem vertimus, id in Hebraeo est [Hebrew: AWR], Ur; quod lucem, et ignem, etiam et Solem denotat. It is often compounded with the term above, and rendered Abor, Aborus, Aborras: and it is otherwise diversified. This title was often given to Chus by his descendants; whom they styled Chusorus. From Aur, taken as an element, came Uro, Ardeo; as a Deity, oro, hora, [Greek: hora, Hieron, Hiereus]. Zeus was styled Cham-Ur, rendered [Greek: Komuros] by the Greeks; and under this title was worshipped at Halicarnassus. He is so called by Lycophron. [47][Greek: Emos kataithon thusthla Komuroi Leon.] Upon which the Scholiast observes; [Greek: (Komuros) ho Zeus en Halikarnasoi timaitai.]


El, Al, [Greek: El], sometimes expressed Eli, was the name of the true God; but by the Zabians was transferred to the Sun: whence the Greeks borrowed their [Greek: Helios], and [Greek: Eelios]. El, and Elion, were titles, by which the people of Canaan distinguished their chief Deity. [48][Greek: Ginetai tis Elioun, kaloumenos hupsistos.] This they sometimes still farther compounded, and made Abelion: hence inscriptions are to be found [49]DEO ABELLIONI. El according to Damascius was a title given to Cronus. [50][Greek: Phoinikes kai Suroi ton Kronon El, kai Bel, kai Bolathen eponomazousi.] The Phenicians and Syrians name Cronus Eel, and Beel, and Bolathes. The Canaanitish term Elion is a compound of Eli On, both titles of the Sun: hence the former is often joined with Aur, and Orus. [51]Elorus, and Alorus, were names both of persons and places. It is sometimes combined with Cham: whence we have Camillus, and Camulus: under which name the Deity of the Gentile world was in many places worshipped. Camulus and Camillus were in a manner antiquated among the Romans; but their worship was kept up in other countries. We find in Gruter an inscription [52]DEO CAMULO: and another, CAMULO. SANCTO. FORTISSIMO. They were both the same Deity, a little diversified; who was worshipped by the Hetrurians, and esteemed the same as Hermes. [53]Tusci Camillum appellant Mercurium. And not only the Deity, but the minister and attendant had the same name: for the priests of old were almost universally denominated from the God whom they served, or from his temple. The name appears to have been once very general. [54]Rerum omnium sacrarum administri Camilli dicebantur. But Plutarch seems to confine the term to one particular office and person. [55][Greek: Ton huperetounta toi Hieroi tou Dios amphithale paida legesthai Kamillon, hos kai ton Hermen; houtos enioi ton Hellenon Kamillon apo tes diakonias prosegoreuon.] He supposes the name to have been given to Hermes, on account of the service and duty enjoined him. But there is nothing of this nature to be inferred from the terms. The Hermes of Egypt had nothing similar to his correspondent in Greece. Camillus was the name of the chief God, Cham-El, the same as Elion, [Greek: ho hupsistos]. He was sometimes expressed Casmillus; but still referred to Hermes. [56][Greek: Kasmillos ho Hermes estin, hos historei Dionusiodoros.] The Deity El was particularly invoked by the eastern nations, when they made an attack in battle: at such time they used to cry out, El-El, and Al-Al. This Mahomet could not well bring his proselytes to leave off: and therefore changed it to Allah; which the Turks at this day make use of, when they shout in joining battle. It was, however, an idolatrous invocation, originally made to the God of war; and not unknown to the Greeks. Plutarch speaks of it as no uncommon exclamation; but makes the Deity feminine.

[57][Greek: Kluth' ALALA, polemou thugater.]

Hence we have in Hesychius the following interpretations; [Greek: alalazei, epinikios echei]. [Greek: Alalagmos, epinikios humnos]. [Greek: Eleleu, epiphonema polemikon.] It is probably the same as [Hebrew: HLL] in Isaiah, [58]How art thou fallen, Halal, thou son of Sehor.

ON and EON.

On, Eon, or Aon, was another title of the Sun among the Amonians: and so we find it explained by Cyril upon Hosea: [Greek: On de estin ho Helios]: and speaking of the Egyptians in the same comment, he says, [Greek: On de esti par' autois ho Helios]. The Seventy likewise, where the word occurs in Scripture, interpret it the Sun; and call the city of On, Heliopolis. [59][Greek: Kai edoken autoi ten Aseneth thugatera Petephre Hiereos Helioupoleos.] Theophilus, from Manetho, speaks of it in the same manner: [60][Greek: On, hetis estin Heliopolis.] And the Coptic Pentateuch renders the city On by the city of the Sun. Hence it was, that Ham, who was worshipped as the Sun, got the name of Amon, and Ammon; and was styled Baal-Hamon. It is said of Solomon, that he had a vineyard at [61]Baal-Hamon; a name probably given to the place by his Egyptian wife, the daughter of Pharaoh. The term El was combined in the same manner; and many places sacred to the Sun were styled El-on, as well as El-our. It was sometimes rendered Eleon; from whence came [Greek: helios], and [Greek: helion]. The Syrians, Cretans, and Canaanites, went farther, and made a combination of the terms Ab-El-Eon, Pater Summus Sol, or Pater Deus Sol; hence they formed Abellon, and Abelion before mentioned. Hesychius interprets [Greek: Abelion, Helion; Abelion, Heliakon.]

Vossius thinks, and with good reason, that the Apollo of Greece and Rome was the same as the Abelion of the East. [62]Fortasse Apollo ex Cretico [Greek: Abelios;] nam veteres Romani pro Apollo dixere Apello: ut pro homo, hemo; pro bonus, benus; ac similia. The Sun was also worshipped under the title Abaddon; which, as we are informed by the Evangelist, was the same as Apollo; or, as he terms him, [Greek: Apolluon]: [63][Greek: Onoma autoi Hebraisti Abaddon, kai en tei Hellenikei Apolluon.]


Another title of Ham, or the Sun, was Ait, and Aith: a term, of which little notice has been taken; yet of great consequence in respect to etymology. It occurs continually in Egyptian names of places, as well as in the composition of those, which belong to Deities, and men. It relates to fire, light, and heat; and to the consequences of heat. We may, in some degree, learn its various and opposite significations when compounded, from antient words in the Greek language, which were derived from it. Several of these are enumerated in Hesychius. [Greek: Aithai, melainai. Aithein, kaiein. Aithaloen] (a compound of Aith El), [Greek: kekaumenon. Aithinos, kapnos. Aithon, lampron. Aithona] (of the same etymology, from Aith-On) [Greek: melana, purode.] [64][Greek: Aithos, kauma.] The Egyptians, when they consecrated any thing to their Deity, or made it a symbol of any supposed attribute, called it by the name of that attribute, or [65]emanation: and as there was scarce any thing, but what was held sacred by them, and in this manner appropriated; it necessarily happened, that several objects had often the same reference, and were denominated alike. For, not only men took to themselves the sacred titles, but birds, beasts, fishes, reptiles, together with trees, plants, stones, drugs, and minerals, were supposed to be under some particular influence; and from thence received their names. And if they were not quite alike, they were, however, made up of elements very similar. Ham, as the Sun, was styled [66]Ait; and Egypt, the land of Ham, had, in consequence of it, the name of Ait, rendered by the Greeks [Greek: Aetia]: [Greek: Eklethe (he Aiguptos) kai Aeria, kai Potamia, kai Aithispia, kai] [67][Greek: AETIA.] One of the most antient names of the Nile was Ait, or [Greek: Aetos]. It was also a name given to the Eagle, as the bird particularly sacred to the Sun: and Homer alludes to the original meaning of the word, when he terms the Eagle [68][Greek: Aietos aithon]. Among the parts of the human body, it was appropriated to the [69]heart: for the heart in the body may be esteemed what the Sun is in his system, the source of heat and life, affording the same animating principle. This word having these two senses was the reason why the Egyptians made a heart over a vase of burning incense, an emblem of their country. [70][Greek: Aigupton de graphontes thumiaterion kaiomenon zographousi, kai epano KARDIAN.] This term occurs continually in composition. Athyr, one of the Egyptian months, was formed of Ath-Ur. It was also one of the names of that place, where the shepherds resided in Egypt; and to which the Israelites succeeded. It stood at the upper point of Delta, and was particularly sacred to [Hebrew: AWR] Ur, or Orus: and thence called Athur-ai, or the place of Athur. At the departure of the shepherds it was ruined by King Amosis. [71][Greek: Kateskapse de ten Athurian Amosis.]

As Egypt was named Aith, and Ait; so other countries, in which colonies from thence settled, were styled Ethia and Athia. The sons of Chus founded a colony in Colchis; and we find a king of that country named Ait; or, as the Greeks expressed it, [Greek: Aietes]: and the land was also distinguished by that characteristic. Hence Arete in the Orphic Argonautics, speaking of Medea's returning to Colchis, expresses this place by the terms [Greek: ethea Kolchon]:

[72][Greek: Oichetho patros te domon, kai es ethea Kolchon.]

It is sometimes compounded Ath-El, and Ath-Ain; from whence the Greeks formed [73][Greek: Athela], and [Greek: Athena], titles, by which they distinguished the Goddess of wisdom. It was looked upon as a term of high honour, and endearment. Venus in Apollonius calls Juno, and Minerva, by way of respect, [Greek: Etheiai]:

[74][Greek: Etheiai, tis deuro noos, chreio te, komizei?]

Menelaus says to his brother Agamemnon, [75][Greek: Tiphth' houtos, Etheie, korusseai?] And [76][Greek: Tipte moi, Etheie kephale, deur' eilelouthas], are the words of Achilles to the shade of his lost Patroclus. [Greek: Etheios], in the original acceptation, as a title, signified Solaris, Divinus, Splendidus: but, in a secondary sense, it denoted any thing holy, good, and praiseworthy. [77][Greek: Alla min Etheion kaleo kai nosphin eonta], says Eumaeus, of his long absent and much honoured master. I will call him good and noble, whether he be dead or alive. From this antient term were derived the [Greek: ethos] and [Greek: ethika] of the Greeks.

I have mentioned that it is often compounded, as in Athyr: and that it was a name conferred on places where the Amonians settled. Some of this family came, in early times, to Rhodes and Lemnos: of which migrations I shall hereafter treat. Hence, one of the most antient names of [78]Rhodes was Aithraia, or the Island of Athyr; so called from the worship of the Sun: and Lemnos was denominated Aithalia, for the same reason, from Aith-El. It was particularly devoted to the God of fire; and is hence styled Vulcania by the Poet:

[79]Sumnmis Vulcania surgit Lemnos aquis.

Ethiopia itself was named both [80]Aitheria, and Aeria, from Aur, and Athyr: and Lesbos, which had received a colony of Cuthites, was reciprocally styled [81]AEthiope. The people of Canaan and Syria paid a great reverence to the memory of Ham: hence, we read of many places in those parts named Hamath, Amathus, Amathusia. One of the sons of Canaan seems to have been thus called: for it is said, that Canaan was the father of the [82]Hamathite. A city of this name stood to the east of mount Libanus; whose natives were the Hamathites alluded to here. There was another Hamath, in Cyprus, by the Greeks expressed [Greek: Amathous], of the same original as the former. We read of Eth-Baal, a king of [83]Sidon, who was the father of Jezebel; and of [84]Athaliah, who was her daughter. For Ath was an oriental term, which came from Babylonia and Chaldea to Egypt; and from thence to Syria and Canaan. Ovid, though his whole poem be a fable, yet copies the modes of those countries of which he treats. On this account, speaking of an Ethiopian, he introduces him by the name of Eth-Amon, but softened by him to Ethemon.

[85]Instabant parte sinistra Chaonius Molpeus, dextra Nabathaeus Ethemon.

Ath was sometimes joined to the antient title Herm; which the Grecians, with a termination, made [Greek: Hermes]. From Ath-Herm came [Greek: Thermai, Thermos, Thermaino]. These terms were sometimes reversed, and rendered Herm-athena.


Ad is a title which occurs very often in composition, as in Ad-Or, Ad-On; from whence was formed Adorus, Adon, and Adonis. It is sometimes found compounded with itself; and was thus made use of for a supreme title, with which both Deities and kings were honoured. We read of Hadad, king of [86]Edom: and there was another of the same name at Damascus, whose son and successor was styled [87]Benhadad. According to Nicolaus Damascenus, the kings of Syria, for nine generations, had the name of [88]Adad. There-was a prince Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of [89]Zobah: and Hadoram, son of the king of [90]Hamath. The God Rimmon was styled Adad: and mention is made by the Prophet of the mourning of Adad Rimmon in the valley of [91]Megiddo. The feminine of it was Ada; of which title mention is made by Plutarch in speaking of a [92]queen of Caria. It was a sacred title, and appropriated by the Babylonians to their chief [93]Goddess. Among all the eastern nations Ad was a peculiar title, and was originally conferred upon the Sun: and, if we may credit Macrobius, it signified One, and was so interpreted by the Assyrians: [94]Deo, quem summum maximumque venerantur, Adad nomen dederunt. Ejus nominis interpretatio significat unus. Hunc ergo ut potissimum adorant Deum.—Simulacrum Adad insigne cernitur radiis inclinatis. I suspect that Macrobius, in his representation, has mistaken the cardinal number for the ordinal; and that what he renders one should be first, or chief. We find that it was a sacred title; and, when single, it was conferred upon a Babylonish Deity: but, when repeated, it must denote greater excellence: for the Amonians generally formed their superlative by doubling the positive: thus Rab was great; Rabrab signified very great. It is, indeed, plain from the account, that it must have been a superlative; for he says it was designed to represent what was esteemed summum maximumque, the most eminent and great. I should, therefore, think that Adad, in its primitive sense, signified [Greek: protos], and [Greek: proteuon]: and, in a secondary meaning, it denoted a chief, or prince. We may by these means rectify a mistake in Philo, who makes Sanchoniathon say, that Adodus of Phenicia was king of the country. He renders the name, Adodus: but we know, for certain, that it was expressed Adad, or Adadus, in Edom, Syria, and Canaan. He, moreover, makes him [Greek: basileus Theon], King of the Gods: but, it is plain, that the word Adad is a compound: and, as the two terms of which it is made up are precisely the same, there should be a reciprocal resemblance in the translation. If Ad be a chief, or king; Adad should be superlatively so, and signify a king of kings. I should therefore suspect, that, in the original of Sanchoniathon, not [Greek: basileus Theon], but [Greek: basileus basileon] was the true reading. In short, Ad, and Ada, signified first, [Greek: protos]; and, in a more lax sense, a prince or ruler: Adad, therefore, which is a reiteration of this title, means [Greek: protos ton proton], or [Greek: proteuonton]; and answers to the most High, or most Eminent.

Ham was often styled Ad-Ham, or Adam contracted; which has been the cause of much mistake. There were many places [95]named Adam, Adama, Adamah, Adamas, Adamana; which had no reference to the protoplast, but were, by the Amonians, denominated from the head of their family.

EES and IS.

Ees, rendered As and Is, like [Hebrew: ASH] of the Hebrews, related to light and fire; and was one of the titles of the Sun. It is sometimes compounded Ad-Ees, and Ad-Is; whence came the Hades of the Greeks, and Atis and Attis of the Asiatics; which were names of the same Deity, the Sun. Many places were hence denominated: particularly a city in Africa, mentioned by [96]Polybius. There was a river [97]Adesa, which passed by the city Choma in Asia minor. It was, moreover, the name of one of the chief and most antient cities in Syria, said to have been built by Nimrod. It was, undoubtedly, the work of some of his brotherhood, the sons of Chus, who introduced there the rites of fire, and the worship of the Sun; whence it was styled Adesa, rendered by the Greeks Edessa. One of the names of fire, among those in the East, who worship it, is [98]Atesh at this day. The term As, like Adad, before mentioned, is sometimes compounded with itself, and rendered Asas, and Azaz; by the Greeks expressed [Greek: Azazos] and [99][Greek: Azizos]. In the very place spoken of above, the Deity was worshipped under the name of Azizus. The Emperor Julian acquaints us, in his hymn to the [100]Sun, that the people of Edessa possessed a region, which, from time immemorial, had been sacred to that luminary: that there were two subordinate Deities, Monimus and Azizus, who were esteemed coadjutors, and assessors to the chief God. He supposes them to have been the same as Mars and Mercury: but herein this zealous emperor failed; and did not understand the theology which he was recommending. Monimus and Azizus were both names of the same God, the Deity of Edessa, and [101]Syria. The former is, undoubtedly, a translation of Adad, which signifies [Greek: monas], or [102]unitas: though, as I have before shewn, more properly primus. Azizus is a reduplication of a like term, being compounded with itself; and was of the same purport as Ades, or Ad Ees, from whence the place was named. It was a title not unknown in Greece: for Ceres was, of old, called Azazia; by the Ionians, Azesia. Hesychius observes, [Greek: Azesia, he Demeter.] Proserpine, also, had this name. In the same author we learn that [Greek: aza], aza, signified [Greek: asbolos], or sun-burnt: which shews plainly to what the primitive word [103]related. This word is often found combined with Or; as in Asorus, and Esorus, under which titles the Deity was worshipped in [104]Syria, [105]Sicily, and Carthage: of the last city he was supposed to have been the founder. It is often compounded with El and Il; and many places were from thence denominated Alesia, Elysa, Eleusa, Halesus, Elysus, Eleusis, by apocope Las, Lasa, Laesa, Lasaia; also, Lissa, Lissus, Lissia. Sometimes we meet with these terms reversed; and, instead of El Ees, they are rendered Ees El: hence we have places named Azilis, Azila, Asyla, contracted Zelis, Zela, Zeleia, Zelitis; also Sele, Sela, Sala, Salis, Sillas, Silis, Soli. All these places were founded or denominated by people of the Amonian worship: and we may always, upon inquiry, perceive something very peculiar in their history and situation. They were particularly devoted to the worship of the Sun; and they were generally situated near hot springs, or else upon foul and fetid lakes, and pools of bitumen. It is, also, not uncommon to find near them mines of salt and nitre; and caverns sending forth pestilential exhalations. The Elysian plain, near the Catacombs in Egypt, stood upon the foul Charonian canal; which was so noisome, that every fetid ditch and cavern was from it called Charonian. Asia Proper comprehended little more than Phrygia, and a part of Lydia; and was bounded by the river Halys. It was of a most inflammable soil; and there were many fiery eruptions about Caroura, and in Hyrcania, which latter was styled by the Greeks [Greek: kekaumene]. Hence, doubtless, the region had the name of [106]Asia, or the land of fire. One of its most antient cities, and most reverenced, was Hierapolis, famous for its hot [107]fountains. Here was also a sacred cavern, styled by [108]Strabo Plutonium, and Charonium; which sent up pestilential effluvia. Photius, in the life of Isidorus, acquaints us, that it was the temple of Apollo at Hierapolis, within whose precincts these deadly vapours arose. [109][Greek: En Hierapolei tes Phrugias Hieron en Apollonos, hupo de ton naon katabasion hupekeito, thanasimous anapnoas parechomenon.] He speaks of this cavity as being immediately under the edifice. Four caverns of this sort, and styled Charonian, are mentioned by [110]Strabo in this part of the world. Pliny, speaking of some Charonian hollows in Italy, says, that the exhalations were insupportable. [111]Spiracula vocant, alii Charoneas scrobes, mortiferum spiritum exhalantes. It may appear wonderful; but the Amonians were determined in the situation both of their cities and temples by these strange phaenomena. They esteemed no places so sacred as those where there were fiery eruptions, uncommon steams, and sulphureous exhalations. In Armenia, near [112]Comana, and Camisena, was the temple of [113]Anait, or fountain of the Sun. It was a Persic and Babylonish Deity, as well as an Armenian, which was honoured with Puratheia, where the rites of fire were particularly kept up. The city itself was named Zela; and close behind it was a large nitrous lake. In short, from the Amonian terms, Al-As, came the Grecian [Greek: halos, halas, hals]; as, from the same terms reversed (As-El), were formed the Latine Sal, Sol, and Salum. Wherever the Amonians found places with these natural or praeternatural properties, they held them sacred, and founded their temples near them. [114]Selenousia, in Ionia, was upon a salt lake, sacred to Artemis. In Epirus was a city called Alesa, Elissa, and Lesa: and hard by were the Alesian plains; similar to the Elysian in Egypt: in these was produced a great quantity of fossil [115]salt. There was an Alesia in Arcadia, and a mountain Alesium with a temple upon it. Here an antient personage, AEputus, was said to have been suffocated with salt water: in which history there is an allusion to the etymology of the name. It is true that Pausanias supposes it to have been called Alesia, from Rhea having wandered thither; [116][Greek: dia ten alen, hos phasi, kaloumenon ten Rheas]: but it was not [Greek: ale], but [Greek: halas], and [Greek: halos], sal; and the Deity, to whom that body was sacred, from whence the place was named. And this is certain from another tradition, which there prevailed: for it is said that in antient times there was an eruption of sea water in the temple: [117][Greek: Thalasses de anaphainesthai kuma en toi Hieroi toutoi logos estin archaios.] Nor was this appellation confined to one particular sort of fountain, or water: but all waters, that had any uncommon property, were in like manner sacred to Elees, or Eesel. It was an antient title of Mithras and Osiris in the east, the same as [118]Sol, the Sun. From hence the priests of the Sun were called Soli and Solimi in Cilicia, Selli in Epirus, Salii at Rome, all originally priests of fire. As such they are described by Virgil:

Tum Salii ad cantus incensa altaria circum.

In like manner the Silaceni of the Babylonians were worshippers of the same Deity, and given to the rites of fire, which accompanied the worship of the Sun.

The chief city of Silacena was Sile or Sele, where were eruptions of fire. Sele is the place or city of the Sun. Whenever therefore Sal, or Sel, or the same reversed, occur in the composition of any place's name, we may be pretty certain that the place is remarkable either for its rites or situation, and attended with some of the circumstances [119]above-mentioned. Many instances may be produced of those denominated from the quality of their waters. In the river [120]Silarus of Italy every thing became petrified. The river [121]Silias in India would suffer nothing to swim. The waters of the [122]Salassi in the Alps were of great use in refining gold. The fountain at [123]Selinus in Sicily was of a bitter saline taste. Of the salt lake near [124]Selinousia in Ionia I have spoken. The fountain Siloe at Jerusalem was in some degree [125]salt. Ovid mentions Sulmo, where he was born, as noted for its [126]cool waters: for cold streams were equally sacred to the Sun as those, which were of a contrary nature. The fine waters at AEnon, where John baptized, were called [127]Salim. The river Ales near Colophon ran through the grove of Apollo, and was esteemed the coldest stream in Ionia. [128][Greek: Ales potamos psuchrotatos ton en Ioniai.] In the country of the Alazonians was a bitter fountain, which ran into the [129]Hypanis. These terms were sometimes combined with the name of Ham; and expressed Hameles, and Hamelas; contracted to Meles and Melas. A river of this name watered the region of Pamphylia, and was noted for a most cold and pure [130]water. The Meles near Smyrna was equally admired. [131][Greek: Smurnaios de potamos Meles; hudor esti kalliston, kai spelaion epi tais pegais.] The Melas in Cappadocia was of a contrary quality. It ran through a hot, inflammable country, and formed many fiery pools. [132][Greek: Kai tauta d' esti ta hele pantachou purilepta.] In Pontus was Amasus, Amasia, Amasene, where the region abounded with hot waters: [133][Greek: Huperkeitai de tes ton Amaseon ta te therma hudata ton Phazemoneiton, hugieina sphodra.]

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