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Paradise Found, by William F. Warren, [1885], at

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As indicated in the text, the view of Ancient Cosmology presented in chapter first of Part fourth is entirely at variance with that of all our standard authorities. Professor Packard, of Yale College, remarks, "If it is true, all our books and maps are wrong, and we must admit that all scholars have been mistaken in their understanding of the ancient records." In like manner, one of the foreign periodicals editorially observes, "If it is correct, a most striking proof is given of the possibility of many successive generations of archæologists, scientists, and scholars failing to catch the entire drift and spirit of ancient legends and literature in their cosmic teachings and relations." Under these circumstances the ordinary reader seems entitled to some further information before being asked to give it his adherence.

The new view, then, was first published in the columns of "The Independent," New York, August 25, 1881. In March of the following year a second and enlarged edition appeared in "The Boston University Year Book," vol. ix. Soon after a third edition was issued as a pamphlet by Messrs. Ginn and Heath, of Boston. In each case it was entitled "The True Key to Ancient Cosmology and Mythical Geography," and was illustrated by the diagram which stands as frontispiece to this work.

Copies of the paper in each of its successive editions were promptly forwarded—usually with a brief personal note—to the most competent scholars in the universities of Athens, Rome, Berlin, Leipsic, Heidelberg, Bonn, Leyden, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Dublin. As might be expected an interesting and varied correspondence ensued. Of many of the letters the writer does not feel that he has the right to

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make any public use; but in printing the following extracts he believes that he violates no proprieties.

A. H. Sayce, of the University of Oxford, one of the most distinguished of living professors of Comparative Philology, after reading a preliminary sketch, wrote to the author as follows:—

Provisionally, I may say that your view seems to me eminently reasonable and likely to clear up several difficulties. Certainly it throws light on the voyage of Odysseus, more particularly on the visit to Hades.

I look forward to the appearance of your book, which will be of great value to students of the past.

In more recent communications Professor Sayce has used still stronger expressions of personal acquiescence.

The following are all from letters written before the publication of "Homer's Abode of the Dead."

Right Hon. William E. Gladstone, author of "Homeric Studies," "Juventus Mundi," "Homeric Synchronism," etc.:—

I have received with much interest and pleasure the communications you have been good enough to address to me on the Homeric Cosmology. Very long ago I became convinced that Homer proceeded, not on the idea commonly assigned to him, of the earth as a plane, but on the conception of a spherical or convex surface. My views have long been set forth: fundamentally, I am at one with you, and when (if ever) my time of leisure shall arrive, I shall try to learn whether, in the points where you differ from or go beyond me, you have not been the more thorough and accurate of the two.

Robert K. Douglas, of the British Museum, and Professor of Chinese in King's College, London:—

I read your Key with great interest; and, without having made any special study of the subject, I must say that to my mind it explains most satisfactorily the Homeric Cosmology.

Richard Dacre Archer-Hind, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, England:—

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I must say that your explanation of ancient cosmology seems to me very simple and natural. It certainly throws a flood of light upon several points which were before very obscure. I am glad to hear that it is approved by so distinguished an Orientalist as Dr. Rost, Librarian of the India Office, London.

C. P. Tiele, D. D., Professor of the History of Religions in the University of Leyden, Holland:—

After perusing your paper a second time, I cannot but express my opinion that your hypothesis is very plausible and ingenious. The conception of the world as a sphere is not so young as is generally thought. . . . I think you are right in identifying the wide Olympus with the highest heaven. . . . Your description agrees very well with the ancient cosmography of the Babylonians. With you I am satisfied that there is no real difference between mythical Olympus and heaven, and that all earthly Olymps (as there are several of them) are only localizations of the same heavenly abode of the gods.

Howard Crosby, D. D., LL. D., ex-Chancellor of the University of New York:—

Your Key to Ancient Cosmology is to me most satisfactory. I believe you have made a valuable discovery.

W. D. Whitney, LL. D., Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology, Yale College:

I have looked with some care through your exposition of your view respecting the ancient conceptions of the cosmos, and find it very ingenious and suggestive, and worthy of careful comparison with the expressions of ancient authors on the subject.

Dr. Charles R. Lanman, Professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University:—

The Key I have read once more, and think it is very simple, ingenious and adequate for the explanation of a great variety of heretofore perplexing allusions.

W. S. Tyler, D. D., LL. D., Professor of the Greek Language and Literature, Amherst College:—

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Permit me to thank you for the paper. Perhaps no one key will unlock all the chambers of the labyrinth of ancient cosmology and mythical geography. But I believe yours comes the nearest to it of any that has yet been found.

William A. Packard, Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, College of New Jersey, Princeton:—

Dr. Warren's pamphlet gives the result of ingenious and able research, which claims very careful consideration. It does seem to act very widely as a solvent in interpreting ancient cosmogonies. Its elucidation of Homeric expressions is very striking./4

Stephen D. Peet, Editor of "American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal:"—

I believe that you have struck a very rich field in your pamphlet on the ancient cosmology. I have long surmised that there was something back of the astrology of the ancients which had exerted a great influence on the religious conceptions, and even on the literary and speculative thoughts of the ancients, but have to thank you for putting together the facts so as to discover the key.

J. Henry Thayer, D. D., late Professor of Greek and N. T. Interpretation, Andover Theological Seminary, now Professor of the same in Harvard University Divinity School:—

Allow me to express my great interest in your Key to Ancient Cosmology. It gives one a sense of relief amounting to satisfaction at its very first perusal. I shall take great interest in teaching it.

James Freeman Clarke, D. D., author of "Ten Great Religions," etc.:—

It seems to me to throw much light on many passages in the classic writers. . . . I cannot help thinking that your view will be a key to unlock many obscure passages.

The seven following extracts fairly illustrate the mass of the communications received since the publication of "Homer's Abode of the Dead," which paper was issued in

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advance of the present volume simply as a further illustration of the correctness and utility of "The True Key." Each is from the pen of a European scholar of first rank, and the last of them from one of the most widely known of German Egyptologists. Not having as yet permission to use the names of the writers, they are here withheld.

I thank you very much for sending me the "Boston University Year Book," containing your interesting article on the Underworld of Homer.

Homeric interpretation long and (I think) absurdly placed the way to the Underworld in the West; but I am glad at least to acknowledge that from the West—that is, from you and your country—much light has been thrown upon the Underworld of Homer.

In 1868 I went a long way, in a work then published, towards the doctrine that the entrance to the Underworld was beneath the solid earth-mass, as, in 1858, I had endeavored to destroy the prevailing notion about the road by the West.

I regard with amazement the mass of false interpretations of Homer which a quarter of a century ago I found prevailing, and of which I think we are gradually getting rid.

One very great source of aid has been the opening up of Egyptian and Assyrian knowledge, and from this quarter I believe that more aid will yet be drawn.

With you I think that the supposed inconsistencies of Homer about the Underworld are really ascribable wholly, or in the main, to his interpreters.


Many thanks for your letter and for the interesting paper in the "Boston University Year Book" which has followed it. The illustration of your theory which is furnished by the Voyage of the Egyptian Sindbad is very striking, and must be most gratifying to you. I can find no objection to your view except those suggested by the original meaning of the words Amenti and Erebos (Assyrian eribu = ’erebh); and I am therefore inclined to subscribe to all that Professor Tiele has written you in regard to it. That in Homer the earth is supposed to be a sphere, with Olympos above and Tartaros below, clears up every difficulty.

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I read your paper with great interest and pleasure. Now again you have put your favorite thesis so clearly and forcibly that I incline more and more to your opinion. I only wait, before surrendering, for some leisure to go accurately over the principal facts and citations.


I have read your paper with great interest. Your explanation makes things clear, at any rate, though I must read the Odyssey again before venturing to affirm that you see things as Homer saw them.


Accept my best thanks for your "Year Book" for 1883, with its excellent and interesting dissertation upon "Homer's Abode of the Dead." Not being a Homerologist, I am hardly entitled to express an opinion, but your argument seems to me conclusive.

Your paper has an especial interest for me, inasmuch as it shows that there was less difference between the cosmography of Homer and the cosmographies of his successors than we had been brought to suppose. (The modest writer of the foregoing is one of the most eminent Hellenists of Cambridge, Eng.)


I have to thank you for your new contribution to our knowledge with reference to the conceptions of the ancients as to the shape of the earth. Your paper on the "Navel of the Earth" is full of interesting and important information. My only doubt is whether the time has come for such wide generalizations as you propose. However, our science wants centrifugal as well as centripetal forces, and a discoverer must not be afraid of places marked "Dangerous."


Hochgeehrter Herr Collega:

Freundlichen Dank für Ihre gütigen Zeilen und den sie begleitenden interessanten Aufsatz. Ihre Hypothese ist höchst überraschend, und würde, sollte sich ihre Richtigkeit auf ganz feste Füsse stellen lassen, in der That mit einem Male Ordnung in eine besonders krauss verwirrte Frage bringen. . . . Sobald es Ihnen nachzuweisen gelingt, dass in der Volksvorstellung der Griechen aus früherer Zeit die Erde kugelförmig

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war, werden Sie die Schlacht gewonnen haben, und Niemand wird es fürder wagen dürfen die Stimme gegen Ihre Ansicht zu erheben. Es will mir nicht unmöglich scheinen, Spuren solcher Anschauung zu finden, zumal da die Egypter ganz gewiss schon früh Kenntniss von der Kugelgestalt der Erde besassen. . . . Trotz dieser Bedenken hat mich Ihr Aufsatz lebhaft interessirt. Leider werde ich aus Gesundheitsrücksichten den Orientalisten-Congress zu Leyden nicht besuchen dürfen; es sollte mich aber freuen, wenn die von Ihnen so geistreich angeregte interessante Frage während desselben zur Discussion käme.

More and more decided are the latest verdicts of American scholars. The following are a half dozen specimens from a considerable collection.

The Rev. A. P. Peabody, D. D., LL. D., Professor Emeritus in Harvard University:—

I have read not only with pleasure, but also with profit, your essay on Homer's "Abode of the Dead." Your theory accords with my impression, and makes that impression—before vague and with less than sufficient reason—definite and well grounded.

C. C. Everett, D. D., Dean of the Theological Faculty of Harvard University, and Professor of Comparative Theology:—

So far as Homer is concerned, your view is certainly fitted to remove grave difficulties.

J. R. Boise, D. D., LL. D., Professor in the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, Chicago:—

The able and learned article on Homer's "Abode of the Dead" has interested me deeply, and I believe your view is the correct one.

Edwin Post, Ph. D., Professor of Latin, Indiana Asbury University, Greencastle, Ind.:—

I have recently re-read your monograph on Ancient Cosmology,

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and I am more and more convinced that your startling hypothesis will be verified more and more by comparative study.

George Zabriskie Gray, S. T. D., Dean of the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Mass.:—

I have read your treatise with great interest, and desire to thank you for your work. It seems to me that your theory meets the test of all theories, that of accounting for the facts that cannot otherwise be reconciled. Besides thus reconciling the statements of ancient authors regarding the world and the underworld, your theory enables us to see in their writings many new and fruitful suggestions regarding matters hitherto unnoticed and unsuspected. Trusting that this treatise may receive the attention and currency which it so eminently deserves, I remain, etc., etc.

Rev. A. B. Hyde, D. D., Professor of Greek in Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa.:—

I seem to have found in you a guide in a "mighty maze." Homer has been so long waiting, not for an observer, but for some one to teach us how to observe, a seer to show us how to see. The more I reflect upon your scheme of his cosmology, the more I am struck with its beauty and accuracy; that is, its harmony with the Homeric utterances.

The following does not exactly belong in this place, but, coming from an inspired prophet of God, it seems entitled to a somewhat exceptional treatment. The writer's name indicates a Polish nationality, and his peculiar use of the German language somewhat confirms the supposition that he was not to the manner born. His authoritative announcement of the early restoration at the North Pole of the "curseless" primeval Paradise is well calculated to relieve any undue melancholy into which any of our converts, meditating upon the lost Eden, may chance to fall:—

Königsberg, in Preussen, den 2ten Mai, 1884.

Werthgeschätzter Herr Professor!—Mit freudigem Staunen lese ich heute in der hiesigen Hartungschen Zeitung folgende Mittheilung: "Die Lage des Paradieses ausfindig zu machen, das ist jetzt das Thema um welches sich das Gespräch

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in den eleganten Salons der geistigen Aristokratie Boston's, des amerikanischen Athens’ dreht, seitdem Professor Dr. Warren der dortigen Universität, in einer langen wissenschaftlichen Abhandlung bewiesen, dass nur allein am Nordpol das Paradies gelegen haben kann. Den Einwand wie ein Mensch am Nordpol bei solcher Kälte Adam heitzen konnte, widerlegt der fromme und gelehrte Mann dadurch, dass es jedenfalls früher dort wärmer gewesen sei. Dr. Warren ist sehr dafür, eine Expedition auszuschicken, um seine auf 'wissenschaftliche Voranssetzungen' gestützte Schlussfolgerungen zu beweisen."

Diese Mittheilung ist mir aus folgendem Grunde eine freudige-interessante weil, wie Sie es glauben, dass am Anfange der Menschheit das fluchlose Paradies am Nordpol stattgefunden, ich es glaube, dass ein solch fluchloses und noch herrlicheres Paradies eben auch daselbst am Nordpol in nicht ferner Zukunft stattfinden wird.

Ich bitte Sie nun ergebenst, Ihre diese Wissenschaft betreffenden Gründe mir ehestens gefälligst mittheilen zu wollen, um zu ersehen, ob diese Ihre Gründe diese wichtigen Vergangenheits-Zustände betreffend, mit den meinigen, die eine noch wichtigere Zukunft betreffen, auf eben demselben Standpunkt der heiligen Schrift und der Geographie beruhen. Ich bin kein Studirter der Weltwissenschaft, also auch nicht der Geographie, und ebenso wenig ein menschlich Studirter der Theologie, jedoch aber ein "göttlich-studirter" Theologe. Kraft dieser meiner göttlichen Ausbildung oder unmittelbar von Gott mir gegebenen Offenbarung—die auch Blicke in die Tiefen der Gottheit mitsichführt, ist auch dieses bis vor einigen Jahren verborgen gewesene Geheimniss der nahen Zukunft mir entsiegelt in Uebereinstimmung der heiligen Schrift und der Geographie.

Auf diese religiöse und natürliche Wahrheit sicher mich stützend und berufend, bin ich mit Ihrer Anschauung ganz übereinstimmend, dass am Nordpol das in Folge des Sündenfalles zerstörte Paradies stattgefunden hat.

Ich hoffe dass wir beiderseits auf dem Grunde dieser unserer Uebereinstimmung in nähere Bekanntschaft mit einander nach Gottes Wohlgefallen kommen werden. In diesem Vertrauen zu Ihnen erwarte ich eine baldige Erfüllung meiner eben an Sie gerichteten Bitte,—mit Hochachtung,


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Next: Section IV. The Earth and World of the Hindus