« ElőzőTovább »
And first, as to the questionable source of several of the ety. mologies here contended for. Erechtheus is said to be nothing more than a compound of Erech-Thoth, or Thoth of the erech or ark; consequently Erechtheus was in reality Noah himself, and the entire story related of him is fabulous. Demeter (Aquyone) is Da (the Chaldaïc particle for the), and Meter (Myte) the Greek term for mother-of course therefore the mother, a title by way of pre-eminence bestowed upon the ark under a female type, as the substance whose womb at one time contained all animated nature. Consequently, again, Demeter, or Venus who was thus denominated, had no real existence, and the fable of her rising from the ocean and being the mother of gods and men, is easily accounted for. Danaüs is the same particle Da and Naus (Naus) a ship, or Noah under the form of a ship. Danaüs had, therefore, no real existence otherwise than as Noah himself.
That Erechtheus is a Babylonian compound of Erech and Thoth, the Taautes of Sanchoniathon, 'is highly probable. Erech, however, is not the common term for the ark in the Hebrew Pentateuch, but (1720) Theba; whence, probably, the Thebes of Egypt, and several other countries, each of which, thus interpreted, becomes a' city of the ark.' Occasionally, however, among the Hebrew commentators, we meet with the term Erech; and in 1 Sam. vi. 8. the ark itself is designated by a similar word (1278), which, in the Alexandrine MS. is translated (Agros) Argos.' But admitting this, we have no reason to conclude that there never was any other Erechtheus than Noah himself; that the first colony of Cuthites who left the land of Goshen under the appellation of Erechtheidæ were merely so denominated from their idolatrous attachment to arkite worship; and that they were not conducted, consistently with the records of Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, by a leader of this very name; or that there never was a person of the same name who was the first or one of the first kings of Attica, any more than, in the event of a general destruction of written records, future ages might conclude that we never had a prince Henry upon the throne of England--and that the whole history relating to every prince of this name is a mere tradition referable to Noah, because the name of Henry is also deducible from the same source, and among the northern nations of Europe is still pronounced Eric and Ericus.
Dameter may unquestionably be derived as above; and the Chaldaïc (17) da may have been the foundation of the Teutonic particles die, das, dhe, the; but the latter part of the word, -meter, is not attempted by Mr. Allwood to be derived from the same fountain: and if we admit this unbounded latitude of deducing terms partly from one language and partly from another, there is scarcely any interpretation that might not be assigned to åb
most every word we meet with. We have the same objection to Danaüs, which can only be translated the ship' (Da-Naus), as a compound of two separate tongues. Mr. Allwood would find a difficulty in applying the same interpretation to Dagon; for here the particle appears to be of no use : and if On be the primitive name of the sun or supreme deity, it may mean God the fish, or God in the semblance of a fish;' the word fish in the Hebrew being (27) Dag. We are in general not much attached to the etymologies of Mr. Whiter; yet, with respect to his origin of Dameter, there is an equal degree of ingenuity with that of the author before us, if not of probability. Adam, according to Josephus, is derived from (1797) Adamah, red earth, because (says he) the true virgin earth, such as that whence Adam was formed, is of this hue.' Without commenting upon the reason here assigned, Mr. Whiter conjectures that the Hebrew language had originally the word (DT) Dam as a radical for earth; and hence deduces Dameter from Dam-meter, or mother-earth. There can be no doubt, for we have the testimony of the Grecian historians upon the subject, that Venus, Ceres, and In, Terra or the Earth, were all the same divinity under different characters; but it is certain that the title Anuyong or Damater, the mother, xar' sçoxy, or mother-earth, was far more frequently applied to this deity under the character of Terra, or the Earth, than under either of the others. Hence Lucretius De Rer. Nat. V.819, as well as in a variety of other places :
• Quare etiam atque etiam maternum nomen adepta
Aëriasque simul volucres variantibu' formis.'
• It is an additional argument (says he) in favour of the same supposition, that the Theuth of the Ægyptians, the Taautus of the Phænicians, and the Teutates of the Celtæ, were deities most assuredly borrowed from Thoth of the Chaldees. All these nations were entirely devoted to the same system of idolatrous worship: but this apostasy from the true God had its first commencement in the plain of Babylonia; and Thoth was a title of the presiding deity of that region. We have seen, however, that this Thoth is likewise described as the inventor of the art of writing.
• From all these circumstances I would conclude, that hieroglyphical inscriptions were first introduced into practice, while as yet the favourite scheme of Ammonian idolatry was in a flourishing state; while the Cutbites and their adherents were assembled in one multifor
tudinous mass around the same standard; and before the dispersion compelled them to transport to other climes their customs, inven. tions, and implements of superstition.
• Among other discoveries attributed to Thoth was the culture of the vine*. And in this respect his history agrees precisely with that of the patriarch Noah. “ He,” it is said, “ began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard t." He was certainly the first who applied himself to agriculture after the flood; and this, in the language of tradition, would be described as an invention; for the æra of the deluge was properly, in a mythological sense, the commencement of time. Hence it appears that Thoth was only a sacred title conferred upon this illustrious person, when he was honoured by his posterity with an idolatrous veneration. And it is thus far, in a very remarkable degree, analagous with Zeuth. The noble and useful discoveries attributed to the deity distinguished by this name are only so many testimonies of gratitude and respect the benefits accruing from his reputed inspiration.
• That the term Thoth or Theuth has certainly some relation to Noah, may be further collected from its composition with Erech. This latter word signifies an ark, or emphatically, in a traditional sense, “ the Ark;" and the compound Egerbeus is literally ErechTheuth, “ the Ark of Theuth." But if the term Theuth be of Chaldaic original, no less so are all its compounds, Prometheus , Menestheus J, Hippothoüsl, Erechtheus, &c. so far at least as this radical is concerned; and there is much curious and valuable information annexed to the analysis of these names. The last of them, however, is that to which the present discussion will be more particularly confined.' P. 228.
Of the three etymologies the author has here given, the first la. bours under the very same objection we have urged against his derivation of Danaüs and Dameter--that of deducing the different members of the term from different languages. Piromi is an Egyptian word; but we do not know that Theuth was ever admitted into that language as the name of Noah or Osiris; it is purely Chaldaïc, which the other member of the term is not, either in its article or its substantive, in the sense in which it is here in
• * Tipeto, v sdan 8pitianny Sms Borpus eypiper. Epigr. & Lactant. Antholog. b. is + Genesis, ch. ix. ver. 20.
Prometheus is Piromi-Theuth, the man Theuth. pwees signifies man, and, with the prefix IS, as in Mpwill, the man. It is a terin applied to the human species, to denote an erect position of body; which, no less than reason, is peculiar to themselves. It is analogous to 17 (Rüm) of the Chaldees; and from it the Greeks probably formed 'Pwan, signifying strength.
" Menestheus is literally Menes-Theuih. Menes was the first law-giver among the Egyptians, and the first who improved their mode of living. Confult Diodor. Şicul. vol. I. p. 53.
• || Hippotbous is the compound Hipoo-(Thoöt, or) Thoth; and is similar in import to Erech-Theuld. I have treated of the teria Hippo in p. 168, &c.
froduced. The first month of the Egyptian year was indeed denominated OwOTT, as was one of their deities, who, according to Sanchoniathon, was synonymous with the Thouth of the Alexandrines, and the Mercury of the Greeks *, but who can scarcely be forced into service in the present instance. If Prometheus have the meaning assigned to it by Mr. Allwood, and, like Erechtheus, refer to Noah, it must have been in use long prior to the æra in which the Cushites became acquainted with the Egyptian tongue; added to which, we find them uniformly, and consistently with the character of conquerors, disseminating titles of honour from their own language, but not receiving them from that of their vassals. Our author would have been truer to his own radicals, had he derived Prometheus from Pi-Ur-Om-Ait-Eus, contracted into P’-r.om-ait-eus, "the glorious emanation of Ham the supreme Sun;' or more simply, and which Mr. Allwood will like quite as well, the supreme Pyramid.' The term pyramid indeed, from the existence of this species of edifice in its most stupendous size in Egypt, is derived by Kircher, and more lately by M. Witte t, from this very Egyptian etymon asp'veu (Piromi), as though they were monuments of great men--and certainly with as much reason as Prometheus. Our author, however, does not thus derive the former, although he does the latter; deducing it on the contrary from the very radicals from which we have collected the latter ourselves, to wit, Pi-Ur-Am-Ait, contracted into P’-ur-am-ait, • the glorious emanation of Ham the Sun. It is of course supposed to have been a temple or religious edifice erected to solar worship, and is admirably adapted, by its diverging form from an apex to a broad base, to represent a pencil of rays issuing from the sun, or, conversely, an ascending flame of fire. Ammianus Marcellinus, indeed, who derives it from the Greek term Fuß, has expressly thus explained it in a passage we shall take the liberty of copying, as we do not find it cited by Mr. Allwood: Pyramids are towers rising from very broad bases into very acute summits, which figure is thus denominated among geometricians, because, like the phenomenon of flame (Ta Tugos -pyros), as it is called by ourselves, it presents the shape of a cone 1.' Pyramids were unquestionably of Babylonian origin, and were hence adopted in Egypt : we cannot but object therefore to any etymology derived either from Egypt or Greece, for a term which was doubtless in being long before the migration of the descendents of Chus into either of these
* Phil. Bibl. ex Sanchoniath.
+ Vertheidigung des Versuchs über den Ursprung der Pyramiden. Leipzig, 1792.
Ammjan. Marcell. lib. xxii, cap. 15.
regions. We make the same objection to the ordinary derivation of the word Obelisk, and accept, with our author, of Mr. Bryant's etymology, Ob-el-es-cai, the temple of the illustrious God the Serpent --Ob, Oub, Oph, among the Chaldeans, implying a serpent, whence the Egyptian 804 (Hoph), the Persian yg (Aub), and the Greek Ofis (Ophis). Hence (Eugwna) Europe, which is almost literally Ur-Op, the glorious Serpent;' Cecrops, (Cai-Cur-Ops, and contractedly Cai-Cr-Ops,) the temple of the glorious Serpent;' and in the Revelations, Abaddon, (Aub-ad-on) the radiant and supreme Serpent,' or Ophite God:and hence an infinite variety of other appellations reducible to the same root. The Obelisk was therefore the temple peculiarly appropriated to Ophite or Serpent worship, while the Pyramid appertained to the idolaters of the Sun, or its representative, Fire: the devotees of the ark having in like inanner a designation peculiar to themselves, which was that of the Crescent, or form in which, though perhaps untruly, it was universally conceived the ark was constructed. It is probable that the moon was first worshipped on this account in her crescent form, and that divine honours were paid in Egypt to the bull and the heifer, Osiris and Apis or Mneuis, the same sacred figure being exhibited by the expanse of their horns; an opinion, however, which we advance in opposition to that of Mr. Bryant, who conjectures these animals to have been emblems of Noah, from its being expressly declared of him, that after the deluge he became a man of the earth, or husbandman. Gen. ix. 20. 77877 W'X': by the LXX rendered arogweos
• Erechtheus,' (says our author) as the fable relates, and as I have proved, was the father of Cecrops. But they were both symbolical characters: the one was a representative of the ark of Noah, and of the first temple dedicated to its worship; the other was of the same nature-a personification of structures, which were of the same kind, and erected in honour of the same Deity.' The adoration of the ark is necessarily combined with that of the serpent: for it would be impossible to celebrate the means made use of for the preservation of a remnant of the human race during the flood, without expressing at the same time a grateful acknowledgment of the wisdom which contrived, the power which effected, and the goodness which promoted the execution of, so merciful and so astonishing a plan. But the serpent was the most striking symbol the ancients could devise to represent these attributes of wisdom, power, and goodness: they therefore depicted him in a variety of ways, all tending to express their veneration for him as a sacred type. Among the Oriental na
* Analysis of Ancient Mythology, II. p. 421. In most of the LXX con pics it is ανθρωπος γεωργoς γης. -Και ηρξατο Νυο ανθρωπος γεωργoς γης και εφυτευση αμπελαγα. .