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p. 127



   WHEN Alexander was king and had subdued countries and cities, and had arrived in the East, he saw on the confines of the East those men who are of the children of Japhet. They were more wicked and unclean than all (other) dwellers in the world; filthy peoples of hideous appearance, who ate mice and the creeping things of the earth and snakes and scorpions. They never buried the bodies of their dead, and they ate as dainties the children which women aborted and the after-birth. People ignorant of God, and unacquainted with the power of reason, but who lived in this world without understanding like ravening beasts. When Alexander saw their wickedness, he called God to his aid, and he gathered together and brought them and their wives and children, and p. 128 made them go in, and shut them up within the confines of the North. This is the gate of the world on the north, and there is no other entrance or exit from the confines of the world from the east to the north. And Alexander prayed to God with tears, and God heard his prayer and commanded those two lofty mountains which are called 'the children of the north,' and they drew nigh to one another until there remained between them about twelve cubits. Then he built in front of them a strong building, and be made for it a door of brass, and anointed it within and without with oil of Thesnaktîs, so that if they should bring iron (implements) near it to force it open, they would be unable to move it; and if they wished to melt it with fire, it would quench it; and it feared neither the operations of devils nor of sorcerers, and was not to be overcome (by them). Now there were twenty-two kingdoms imprisoned within the northern gate, and tbeir names are these: Gôg, Mâgôg, Nâwâl, Eshkenâz3, Denâphâr4, Paktâyê, Wetâyê5, Humnâyê, Parzâyê, Daklâyê, Thaubelâyê6, Darmetâyê, Kawkebâyê, Dog-men (Cynocephali), Emderâthâ, Garmîdô`, Cannibals7, Therkâyê, Âlânâyê, Pîsîlôn, Denkâyê8, Saltrâyê9. At the end of the world and at the final consummation, when men are eating and drinking and marrying wives, and women are given to husbands; when they are planting vineyards and building buildings, and there is neither wicked man nor p. 129 adversary, on account of the assured tranquillity and certain peace; suddenly the gates of the north shall be opened and the hosts of the nations that are imprisoned there shall go forth. The whole earth shall tremble before them, and men shall flee and take refuge in the mountains and in caves and in burial places and in clefts of the earth; and they shall die of hunger; and there will be none to bury them, by reason of the multitude of afflictions which they will make men suffer. They will eat the flesh of men and drink the blood of animals; they will devour the creeping things of the earth, and hunt for serpents and scorpions and reptiles that shoot out venom, and eat them. They will eat dead dogs and cats1, and the abortions of women with the after-birth; they will give mothers the bodies of their children to cook, and they will eat them before them without shame. They will destroy the earth, and there will be none able to stand before them. After one week of that sore affliction, they will all be destroyed in the plain of Joppa, for thither will all those (people) be gathered together, with their wives and their sons and their daughters; and by the command of God one of the hosts of the angels will descend and will destroy them in one moment.



p. 127

1 In the Oxford MS. chap. lv, fol. 197 a. See Brant's edition of Methodius, p. 20.

p. 128

3 C, Eshkîn.

4 B, Dîfâr.

5 C, Lûdâyê; A omits the name.

6 B, Tuklâyê.

7 A, C have: Kaukebâyê, Emrartâ, Garmîdô`, Cannibals, Dog-men (Cynocephali).

8 B, Dunkâyê.

9 B, Saltâyê.--Some of these names are biblical, e. g. Gog, Magog, and Ashkenaz. Of the others many are doubtless corrupt, as the variants shew, but a few are easily recognisable; e.g. Paktâyê, the people of Πακτύη {Greek: Paktuh} in the Thracian Chersonesus; Humnâyê = Hunnâyê, the Huns, Οὐ̑ννοι {Greek: Ounnoi}; Therkâyê, the Thracians, Θρᾳ̑κες {Greek: Ðrakes} and Âlânâyê, the Alani, ’Αλανοί {Greek: 'Alanoí}.

p. 129

1 The text has weasels, glossed by cats.