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was forgot by little and little. The poets, whom we regard as the divines of paganism, but who were only in reality the divines of the people, soon made this appear the origin of the gods brought from Egypt and Phænicia. They invented different circumstances proper to adorn and to clothe their fictions. Instead of the ancient tradition, they substituted gods born in the heart of Greece. This system took almost with every body; pride and superstition favouring it.
The Greeks began very late to write history. They had then almost lost sight of those first events. Yet the memory of them was not so far abolished, but that there remained some traces. The sensible writers of Greece have acknowledged, that all the divinities which they adored had been brought to them from the easti, But those who followed the popular ideas, have written conformably to the system reigning in the minds of the people, and have propagated to us those errors adopted in the latter times. Hence that monstrous mixture of ridiculous and absurd adventures with which the history of the gods of Greece is filled in the greatest part of the writers of antiquity. Hence those contradic. tions which we so often meetwith in the ancient authors of the origin of arts and the worhip of the gods in Greece. We shall see more than one example.
IF F we helieve the most generally received opinion, the
Greeks were indebted for the knowledge of tillage to a queen of Sicily named Ceres k. They have joined to her Triptolemus, son of Celeus King of Eleusis .
These two personages were commonly thought to have shewn to Greece
i See Herod. I. 2. n. 50.; Plato, in Cratyl. p. 281.
* Marm. Oxon. ep. 12.; Virgil. georg. 1. 1. V. 147.; Diod. I. 5. p. 333.; Ovid. Metam, l. 5. V. 341.; Hygin. fab. 277. ; Plin. 1, 7. sect. 57. p.412. & 415.; Juftin. 1. 2. c. 6. I Id. ibid.
all that concerns agriculture, the use of the plough, the way of breaking oxen and fixing thein to the yoke, the art of sowing grain and grinding it n. They also give to Ceres the merit of having invented carts and other carriages proper to carry burdens . It was, say they, Celeus, father of Triptolemus, who first taught men to use panniers and ba. skets • to collect and keep the fruits of the earth. The Athenians boast of having first possessed the knowledge of all thofe things, and even of having imparted it to Greece p. Such had been the most common and generally received sentiment; but it labours under many difficulties.
Ancient memoirs give. to Bacchus the introduction of til. lage into Greece 4. Pliny and other authors have given the honour to one Buzyges an Athenian “. An ancient historian of Crete names for the first inventor of agriculture one Philomeluss. The Argives, lastly ', and the Pheneates ", dispute with the Athenians the glory of having first known tillage.
We find also great contradictions as to the time in which this art began to be established in Greece. If we follow the most common opinion, which gives that honour to Ceres, we shall be much embarrassed about the epoch of that princess. The Parian marbles , Justin y, and other authors, place the arrival of Ceres in the reign of Erechtheus fixth King of Athens, 1409. years before Christ. How can we reconcile that date with other facts entirely opposite, and which appear at least as well supported ?
Fable and history agree to make Ceres cotemporary with the Titans, Saturn and Jupiter, &c.?; an ancient tradition says, that this princess had learned them to make harvest a :
m Ibid. # Virgil. georg. 1. 1. V. 163. Ibid. v. 165. P Diod. I. 5. p. 333. ; Tustin. I. 2. c. 6.; Aristid. orat. in Eleus. t. 1. p. 257. ? Diod. 1. 4. p. 232. & 249.; Plut. t. 2. p. 299. B. * L.7. sect. 57. p. 415. ; Aufon. ep. 22. p. 674. & 675.; Hesychius, voce Bolugins.
Hygin. poet. astron. I. 2. C. 4. p. 366. ? Paus. l. 1.C. 14.
u Id. 1.8. c. 15. * Epoch 12. $ L. 2. c. 6. p. 87. 2 See Apollod. 1. 1.; Diod. I. 5. p. 232. a Apollon. Argon. I. 4. V. 988, «989. VOL. II.
they they did not hesitate even to divide with her the honours of divinity. They had built temples to Ceres at the time of the son of Phoroneus ), and Phoroneiis passed for the first mortal who had reigned in Greece c. They say also, that the ancient Hercules, him whom they had put in the number of the Dactyli Idæi, had had the guard of the temple of Ceres Mycaletia d. Indeed Herodotus does not make the worlhip of this goddess so ancient. He says, that it was brought into Greece by the daughters of Danaus er Yet this event precedes the reign of Erechtheus more than 100 years *.
With respect to Triptolemus, some authors have advanced, that he was the son of the Oceans. They anciently understood by that expression, a person who came by sea in ages very remote. Pausanias confirms one part of these facts. He says, that, according to the tradition of the Arcadians, Arcas, grandson of Lycaon, learned from Triptolemus the manner of fowing corn, and that of making breads. This Arcas passed for one of the sons of Jupiter h.
The arrival of Cadmus in Greece falls 1519 years before Christ. Through the fabulous tracts which diguise the history of this prince, we just perceive, that in his time the art of sowing grain must have been known, otherwise they could not have imagined to make him till the earth, to sow there the teeth of the dragon which he had conquered i. But further, an ancient tradition fays, that Ino, daughter of this prince, wanting to cause a sterility in Boeotia, had engaged those who were to furnish the seeds which were destined to be fown, to place them before the fire to make the feed die, • We farther fee, according to some authors, that Myles fon of Lelex first King of Laconia was looked upon as the inventor of the millstone'. The reign of this prince pre
6 Paus.). 1. C. 39.43. 1. 2. c. 35. See also Diod. I. 5. p. 379. c See part 1. book 1. chap. I d Pauf. I. 9.C. 27.
e L. 2. n. 171. * They have fixed the arrival of Danaus in Greece 1510 years before Christ. f Apollod. 1. 1. p. 13. ; Paus. l. 1. C. 14. & L.8. c. 4. See also Strabo, 1.14.p.992. 1. 16. p. 1089. Paus. 1. 8. c. 3.
Apollod. 1. 3. P. 136.; Ovid. metam. I. 3. V. 107. Co * Apollol. 1. 1. p. 31. ; llygin, tab. 2. ; Paul. 1. 178. 44. p. 108. i Paufl. 3 (, 2).
ceded by more than a hundred years the epoch in which they have commonly fixed the arrival of Ceres in Greece. We must obferve on this subject, that there must have palled fome time between the use of agriculture and the invention of the mill tone among the Greeks. Like all other nations of antiquity, these people at first knew no other method of preparing the grains but that of roasting them m.
All these considerations bring me to think, 1. that the origin of agriculture must be more ancient in Greece than is commonly said. 2. That that art has suffered interrup, tions. 3. That the pretension of the Athenians of having taught tillage to all the rest of Greece, is neither well founded nor very exact. This is the manner in which I attempt to reconcile one part of the contradictions which I have mentioned.
I believe we ought to refer the first knowledge which Greece had in agriculture, to the times the family of the Titans seized on that part of Europe a. These princes came out of Egypt, a country where tillage had been practised time immemorial. It is to be presumed that they would instruct their new subjects in ito. They established at the same time the worship of the gods honoured in the countries from whence they came. Herodotus P, Diodorus , and all the writers of antiquity, acknowledge that the Ceres of the Greeks is the same divinity with the Egyptian Isis.
The extinction of the family of the Titans, which ended in the person of Jupiter, replunged the Greeks into anarchy and confusion. The people gave themselves up to lead a wandering and vagabond life : the inhabitants of the coast addicted themselves to ramble over the feas, and make a trade of piracy". This state fubfifted till the arrival of new colonies which came from Egypt and Phoenicia to citablish themselves, some time after the Titans, in many countries of Greece. This space of time was more than sufficient to make them lose the small tincture of the arts which the Greeks had learned under the government of their first conquerors. I have said elsewhere it did not appear to have been of long duration, The knowledge and practice of tillage must particularly have been abolished soon after. This art had had great difficulty of being introduced into Greece. Triptolemus, with whom tradition has divided with Ceres the glory of having shewn to the Greeks the culture of grains, found great opposition to his designs. This is easy to be perceived even in those fabulous tracts with which the new mythology had loaded the history of this prince: he thought more than once that it would have cost him his life . Ceres was obliged to travel in the air in a chariot drawn by flying dragons u : An allegory which must be understood of the measures taken by that princess to take Triptolemus from the dangers which the new art he would introduce had brought him into.
m Theophraft. apud schol. Hom. ad Iliad. 1.1. V.449.; Eustath. ad hunc loc., Etymol. magn. roce Oroxytas
* See part 1. book 1. chap. I.
” L. 2. n. 59
Bacchus ran the same risks, when he would instruct the Greeks in cultivating the vine . It was not, in reality, a light undertaking to make a change in the manners of such fort of savages, as the Greeks were at that time. It was not easy to fubject to the fatigues of agriculture, these independent people accustomed to a wandering life, which did not oblige them to have any care or any trouble. Men do not love to be subjected to labour, whatever advantages may accrue from ity.
The floods which happened under Ogyges and under Deu. calion, must also have contributed to make them lose the knowledge and practice of agriculture : these deluges savaged and laid waste many countries of Greece »,
[ Part 1. book 1. * See Ovid. metam. 1. 5. v. 654. &c. Hygin. fab. 147. ; Euseb. chron. 1. 2.
Apollod. 1. 1. p. 13.; Ovid. loco cit.; Hygin. poct. aftr. I. 2. fab. 14.7 Ariftid. orat. in Eleus. t. 1. p. 257.
* See Hom. Iliad. 1. 6. V. 130. &c.; Diod. 1. 3. p. 234.; Apollod. 1. 3. p.141.; Ovid. Met. I. 3. v. 514.; Paul. 1. 1. c. 2.; Hygin. fab. 132.
y See part 1. b. 2. ch. 1. art. 2. The example of the favages of America is a convincing proof. See Diod, 1. 5: P: 376.; See also part 1.6. 1. art. v. ; & fupra, b. 1,