THE WORSHIP OF THE SERPENT is supposed by Bryant to have commenced in Chaldæa; and to have been the "first variation from the purer Zabaism 1."
That it was intimately connected with Zabaism cannot be doubted; for the most prevailing emblem of the solar god was the SERPENT 2: and wherever the Zabæan idolatry was the religion, the SERPENT was the sacred symbol. But the UNIVERSALITY of serpent-worship, and the strong traces which it has left in ASTRONOMICAL MYTHOLOGY, seem to attest an origin coëval with Zabaism itself.
The earliest authentic record of SERPENT-WORSHIP is to be found in the astronomy of Chaldæa and China; but the extensive diffusion of this remarkable superstition through the remaining
regions of the globe, where Chinese wisdom never penetrated, and Chaldæan philosophy was but feebly reflected, authorizes the inference that neither China nor Chaldæa was the mother, but that both were the children of this idolatry. That accidental circumstances very materially affected the religions of the early heathen at different times, by introducing innovations both in gods and altars, worship and sacrifices, cannot be denied; but it is equally true, that uniformly with the progress of the first deviation from the truth, has advanced the sacred serpent from Paradise to Peru. To follow the traces of this sacred serpent is the intention of the following treatise: and it is confidently expected that few ancient nations of any celebrity will be found which have not, at some time or other, admitted the serpent into their religion, either as a symbol of divinity, or a charm, or an oracle, or A GOD 1. Into the creed of some he
has insinuated himself in all these characters, and is so mixed up with their traditions of the ORIGIN and END of EVIL, that we cannot, without violence to all rules of probability, reject the consequence--that the prototype of this idolatry was THE SERPENT IN PARADISE.
1. BABYLON.--In tracing the progress of the sacred serpent, we commence with ASIA, as the mother country of mankind; and in Asia, with BABYLON, as the most ancient seat of an established priesthood.
The information which we possess concerning the minute features of Babylonian idolatry, is from various causes very narrowly circumscribed. Either the classical writers who visited Babylon were not admitted into the arcana of the Chaldæan worship, or they were contented with giving a short and summary account of it; ex-pending the chief strength of their descriptive powers upon the history, policy, and magnificence of the mother of cities. Herodotus, whose diffuseness on the history and customs of the Babylonians is considerable, enters but little into their religion; and Diodorus Siculus, minute in his measurements of the walls and gardens,
comprises his description of the temple of Belus in a few sentences. Ophiolatreia, as a recognized religion, was nearly extinct when Diodorus visited Babylon, for the city was almost deserted by its inhabitants, and the public edifices were crumbling to decay. But the silence of Herodotus is the more remarkable, since he mentions the serpent-worship of both Egypt and Greece, which was prevalent in his time. The idolatry could scarcely be obsolete in Babylon at that period, since it existed in full vigour but seventy years before, in the days of Daniel; and though it received a signal overthrow from its exposure by that prophet, yet the tumultuous conduct of the Babylonians on that occasion, as it evinces their attachment to the idolatry, warrants the inference that they would cling to it long after its abolition, even by a royal decree 1. But most probably Herodotus did not take the trouble to inquire into the superstitions of the common people, being content to describe what was the established religion; and even this he notices in a very cursory manner.
From Diodorus, however, we learn what is sufficient to assure us, that the serpent, as an
object of worship, was not altogether forgotten in Babylon, though disguised under the more specious appearance of symbolical sanctity. He informs us, that in the temple of Bel, or Belus, was "an image of the goddess Rhea, sitting on a golden throne; at her knees stood two lions, and near her very large SERPENTS of silver, thirty talents each in weight." There was also an image of Juno, holding in her right hand the head of a SERPENT 1."
The name of the national god BEL is supposed to signify nothing more than "Lord;" and was also sometimes appropriated to deified heroes 2. It is more probably an abbreviation of OB-EL 3,--"The Serpent-god." The Greeks, remarks Bryant, called him BELIAR, which is singularly interpreted by Hesychius to signify a DRAGON, or GREAT SERPENT 4. From which we may conclude
that the serpent was, at least, an emblem or symbol of BEL. But if the apocryphal history of "BEL AND THE DRAGON" be founded upon any tradition, we must conclude that the dragon, or serpent, (for the words are synonymous,) was something more than a mere symbol: we must conclude, that LIVE SERPENTS were kept at Babylon as objects of adoration; or, at least, of veneration, as oracular or talismanic. This custom was observed at Thebes in Egypt 1, and at Athens 2; and therefore there is nothing incredible in the fact at Babylon. However suspiciously then we may regard the apocryphal writings in general, we are constrained to admit that the author of "Bel and the Dragon," though he may have embellished the narrative, has given us a true picture of Babylonian superstition.
In that same place there was a GREAT DRAGON, which they of Babylon WORSHIPPED. And the king said unto Daniel, 'Wilt thou say that this is of brass? lo! he eateth and drinketh:
thou canst not say he is no LIVING GOD: therefore WORSHIP HIM.'"
From the Chaldæans, we are told, that the Hebrews obtained the word ABADON, as a title of the "Prince of Darkness." This word may signify THE SERPENT-LORD." Heinsius 1 (cited by Bryant) makes Abadon to be the same as the Grecian Python. "It is not to be doubted that the Pythian Apollo is that evil spirit whom the Hebrews call OB and ABADON; the Hellenists, APOLLYON; and the other Greeks, APOLLO. This is corroborated by the testimony of St. John, who says, "They had a king over them which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abadon; but in the Greek (Hellenistic) tongue hath his name Apollyon 2." This same angel of the bottomless pit," is in another place called by the Evangelist, "the dragon, that old serpent which is the Devil and Satan 3."
Subject to the king of Babylon was Assyria; and the people of this country are said to have borne "a dragon" upon their standard 4. It is observed by Bryant, that in most countries the
original military standard was descriptive of the deity they worshipped. It is certain that the Roman soldiers paid great veneration to their military insignia, almost amounting to worship: from which we may infer, that the devices on them were, originally, emblems of the gods. Their chief ensign, the eagle, was sacred to Jupiter. From the practice of the Romans, we may obtain an insight into that of the other nations of antiquity; for in matters of superstition it is astonishing how nearly people, geographically the most remote, approached each other.
From the Assyrians, the emperors of Constantinople are said to have borrowed the dragon standard 1. The same standard was also borne by the Parthians 2, Scythians 3, Saxons 4, Chinese, Danes 5, and Egyptians,--people who were in a greater or less degree addicted to serpent-worship. We may therefore infer, that the dragon ensign of the Assyrians denoted their devotion to the same idolatry.
II. PERSIA.--The serpent-worship of Persia is more noticed by authors than that of Babylonia. The dracontic standard distinguished the Persians as well as the Assyrian; for among the spoils taken by Aurelian from Zenobia were "Persici Dracones 1;" which were doubtless military ensigns, for the Persians assisted the queen of Palmyra on that occasion. This, according to our hypothesis, would denote that the Persians venerated the serpent; an inference which is abundantly proved from their mythology.
In the mythology of Persia we may look for the remnant of the ancient Chaldæan philosophy: and in proportion as we establish the prevalence of ophiolatreia in Persia, in the same proportion, at least, we may infer that it once obtained in Babylon.
So strongly marked was this character of idolatry in the Persian religion, that Eusebius does not hesitate to affirm, "they all worshipped the first principles under the form of SERPENTS, having dedicated to them temples in which they performed sacrifices, and held festivals and orgies,
esteeming them THE GREATEST OF GODS, and GOVERNORS OF THE UNIVERSE 1."
"The first principles" were Ormuzd and Ahriman, the good and evil deity, whose contention for the universe was represented in Persian mythology, by two serpents contending for the MUNDANE EGG. They are standing upon their tails, and each of them has fastened upon the object in dispute with his teeth. The egg for which they contend, represented the universe in the mythologies of India, Egypt, and Persia. An engraving of this may be seen in Montfaucon. But the EVIL PRINCIPLE was more particularly represented by the serpent, as we may infer from a fable in the Zenda Vesta, in which that deity is described as having assumed a serpent's form to destroy the first of the human species, whom he accordingly poisoned 2.
A similar proof occurs in the Sadder 3, where we find the following precept:--"When you kill serpents, you shall repeat the Zenda Vesta, and thence you will obtain great merit: for it is the same as if you had killed so many devils." The Zenda Vesta to be here "repeated" might,
perhaps, be that portion of it above alluded to--the assumption of the serpent's form by Ahriman. Connected with which, doubtless, was the popular belief of the Persians, that in the place of torment in the other world, scorpions and serpents gnaw and sting the feet of the wicked 1.
The God MITHRAS was represented encircled by a serpent: and in his rites a custom was observed similar to that practised in the Mysteries of Sebazius 2--a serpent was thrown into the bosom of the initiated, and taken out at the lower parts of his garments 3. In Montfaucon, vol. v. are some plates of Mithras, with a lion's head and a human body; and round him is coiled a large winged serpent. In the Supplement to vol. i. Montfaucon gives us a representation of a stone found at Lyons. It is a rude stone, exhibiting the head of a young and beardless man. Under it is the inscription, "DEO INVICTO MITHIR, SECUNDINUS DAT:" and under
the inscription, the raised figure of a large serpent. Mithras was styled "invictus," and often represented with a youthful countenance, like that of Apollo.
Mandelsoe, who visited an ancient temple at Mardasch, saw in one of the recesses, "a square pillar, with the figure of a king upon it, worshipping the SUN, FIRE, and A SERPENT 1." "On the front of some ancient Persian grottoes, sacred to the solar deity, was figured a princely personage approaching an altar, on which the sacred fire is burning. Above all is the sun, and the figure of the deity in a cloud, with sometimes a sacred bandage, at other times a SERPENT entwined round his middle 2."
This is the God AZON, whose name, according to Bryant, signifies "the sun." The sacred girdle round his waist was esteemed an emblem of the orbit described by ZON, the sun. Hence girdles were called by the Greeks, zones 3.
This deity is sometimes represented differently 4, as a young man in profile, round whose
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waist is drawn a ring loosely dependent. Through the lower part of this ring passes a serpent. At the upper limb of the circle, behind the figure, is a kind of mantle, composed of expanded wings.
In Kœmpfer's Amœnit. Exot. the same deity is described in a third form. He appears terminating at the waist in a circle, which is composed of a serpent: from each side of this circle proceed four wings. In his left hand he holds another circle, or ring, composed, like the former, of a serpent biting his own tail. This painting was at Persepolis. Here is also, in Kœmpfer, p. 312, a figure of a priest of this god, who appears to be approaching an altar with a serpent in his left hand. In the sky above is a representation of his deity, and behind the God is the Sun.
The hierogram of the CIRCLE WINGS and SERPENT is one of the most curious emblems of Ophiolatreia, and may be recognised in almost every country where Serpent-Worship prevailed. It forms a prominent feature in the Persian, Egyptian, and Mexican hieroglyphics. China, Hindûstan, Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor, as distinctly, though more rarely, exhibit it; and it has even been found in Britain. It seems to
have been a general symbol of consecration, and as such is alluded to by the poet Persius:
Here two snakes are mentioned, which is the hierogram of the worshippers of the Two PRINCIPLES, each of whom is represented by a serpent. Often, however, only one serpent appears issuing from the winged circle, and sometimes the circle is shorn of its wings. As a symbol of consecration, the ophite hierogram appears over the portals of the Egyptian temples, and may be recognised even in those of Java. The Druids, however, with the consistent magnificence which characterized their religion, transferred the symbol from the portal to the whole temple; and instead of placing the circle and serpent over the entrance into their sanctuaries, erected the entire building itself in the form of the ophite hierogram. Abury in Wiltshire, and Stanton Drew in Somersetshire, are interesting examples of this construction. The former represents the ophite hierogram with one serpent, the latter with two; the circle in each case being destitute of wings.
On the ruins of Naki Rustan, in Persia, is a beautiful specimen of the serpent and winged
circle. In Egypt the hierogram underwent various transformations, of which the annexed plate gives a description. One of them, No. 2, is perhaps the device from which Malachi borrowed his elegant metaphor of "THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS arising with healing in his WINGS."
Selden remarks, that the figure in abbreviated writing among the Greeks, signified Δαιμων, the deity 1. The same figure, according to Kircher, was in use among the Brahmins of Hindûstan, as the "character mundi intelligibilis 2"--that is, of the Deity; for the universe and its Creator were often confounded by the ancient heathen. The emblem is evidently the globe and serpents of Egyptian mythology. In the same form was erected the celebrated temple of the Druids at Abury in Wiltshire. The upright stones which constituted the Adytum and its approaches, correctly delineated the circle, with the serpent passing through it 3.
In China, this sacred emblem assumed a form
unknown in other countries. The serpents were separated from the annulus, being placed on each side of it, regarding each other. This was probably a representation of the two principles claiming the universe. This sacred ring between two serpents, is very common on the triumphal arches of Pekin. In Table XV. of Baron Vischer's Ancient Architecture 1, is an engraving of such an arch, and on it is this hierogram twice depicted.
But the most remarkable of all is the Mexican symbol. Here the two serpents, intertwining, form the circle with their own bodies, and in the mouth of each of them is a Human head!
A similar figure was assumed by the Ophite hierogram when it appeared on the staff of Mercury, and constituted the Caduceus. The serpents intertwining formed the circle.
The origin of this symbol is to be found in the deification of the serpent of Paradise. Its real meaning is involved in much mystery. In the former edition of this treatise I advanced the opinion, that it meant nothing more than the winged serpent once coiled. But further consideration has induced me to give up this conjecture
as irreconcileable with the connection of the Serpent and Globe. The most probable meaning may be that which I have assigned in the chapter on Serpent Temples: namely, that it is the hierogram of the Solar Ophite God OPHEL or APOLLO; and assumed its present shape from the union of the two idolatries of the Serpent and the Sun. For the grounds of this conjecture I refer to the chapter cited.
At all events it is certain, that the tripartite emblem of the Serpent, Wings, and Circle, was an hieroglyphic of the DEITY; and this is sufficient for the purposes of my argument.
The Egyptian priests of a later and more metaphysical age, understanding this to be the signification of the hierogram, addressed themselves to the task of discovering the mystery. A most ingenious theory was accordingly devised by Hermes Trismegistus, who was probably the high-priest of the God Thoth, or "Thrice-great Hermes," whose name he assumed in compliance with the universal custom of the religion. The God Thoth was believed to have been the author of the Egyptian hieroglyphics.
According to this theory, the GLOBE typified the SIMPLE ESSENCE OF GOD, which he indifferently
called THE FATHER, THE FIRST MIND, THE SUPREME WISDOM. THE SERPENT emerging from the GLOBE was the VIVIFYING POWER of GOD, which called all things into existence. This he named THE WORD.
The WINGS implied the MOVING or PENETRATIVE POWER of GOD, which pervaded all things. This he called LOVE.
The whole emblem was interpreted to represent the SUPREME BEING in his character of CREATOR and PRESERVER 1.
The definition of the Deity by TRISMEGISTUS is poetically sublime: "GOD is a CIRCLE whose CENTRE is EVERYWHERE, and CIRCUMFERENCE NOWHERE. 2"
The above description of the ophite hierogram, as may well be imagined, has persuaded many an ardent friend of revelation to recognise in this symbol of the hieroglyphical learning of Egypt, the mystery of the HOLY TRINITY. Kircher, Cudworth, and Maurice have all embraced this opinion; but the more cautious FABER 3, with the arguments of all before him, has come to the conclusion, that the doctrine of the Trinity,
in its Christian sense, was unknown to the Pagans.
That there has been but one essential religion among the servants of the living God, from the fall to the present hour, no reasonable reader of the Holy Scriptures can deny. There never has been a time in which TRUE RELIGION has been wholly lost. Some few, if not "seven thousand," have always been "left" who "have not bowed the knee to Baal." But for these few, who have had a right knowledge and clear conception of the Deity as revealed to Adam, we must look among the holy "remnant," who were at one time confined to the family of NOAH, and at another to that of ABRAHAM. The rapidity with which the descendents of Noah fell into POLYTHEISM forbids our being too sanguine in the hope of discovering the doctrine of the Trinity among the Gentiles. This doctrine itself; corruptly remembered, perhaps gave rise to that very Polytheism which at length obliterated almost every trace of rational religion in the world.
If then "the globe, wings, and serpent," was among the Egyptians the hieroglyphic of the Trinity, we must suppose that the priests acquired this doctrine from their intercourse with
the Israelites, rather than from any tradition of their ancestors. In this case, JOSEPH would be the Hermes Trismegistus, so lauded in Egyptian history, (as Bryant, indeed, supposes he was.) Joseph is said to have "taught" the Egyptian "senators wisdom 1:" but not, I apprehend, in a religious sense. The edict of Pharaoh, to which this probably alludes, is of a political nature 2. It would have been the extreme of indiscretion for Joseph to have attempted, without a divine command, to instruct the Egyptians in the mysteries of religion: and had such a command been issued, it would have been recorded by Moses. So far from the Egyptians having acquired religious instruction from the Israelites, every journey in the wilderness performed by the latter, proves that they learned idolatry from the Egyptians. "The golden calf" is a memorable instance, as copied from the rites of the sacred ox Apis.
Besides, it is more likely that Joseph, in his instructions on the mysteries of religion, would have begun with his own people, who seem not only to have been ignorant of the doctrine of the
[paragraph continues] TRINITY, but of every rational idea of the UNITY of God, when Moses was commissioned to lead them from Egypt. Of this we have abundant proof in the diffidence with which he accepted the commission 1.
So gross was their ignorance, and so deep-rooted their prejudices, that the doctrine of the Trinity was never, indeed, fully explained to them, even by Moses. He deemed it a doctrine too dangerous for their idolatrously inclined minds to bear, lest in their ardour for the Polytheism which it was his object to eradicate, they should separate the Unity, and dishonour the Trinity--lest in their proneness to worship the MANY, they should forget that "JEHOVAH their GOD is ONE JEHOVAH 2."
I cannot therefore see that there is any conclusive testimony that the Egyptian hierogram of GLOBE, WINGS, and SERPENT, denoted the Trinity, in our sense of the term. Indeed, it may be doubted whether the definition of Hermes Trismegistus, adduced by Kircher, may not have been a "pious fraud" of some Egyptian Christian of the second or third century, whose imagination
seized upon this popular emblem as a fit instrument for inculcating the truth.
But, whatever may have been the origin or meaning of this hierogram, one thing is clear, that the SERPENT attached to it was a TYPE OF DIVINITY; and this is enough to support the theory of the present volume,--that The Serpent of Paradise was the SERPENT-GOD of the Gentiles.
III. HINDÛSTAN.--As an emblem of divinity, the serpent enters deeply into the religion of the Brahmins; and, from the popular superstitions of the present race of Hindûs, we may infer that he was at one time an object of religious worship. The well known reluctance of the natives of Hindûstan to kill a snake, cannot be referred entirely to the doctrine of transmigration of souls. In Forbes's "Oriental Memoirs," we read of certain gardeners in Guzerat who would never suffer the snakes to be molested, calling them "father," "brother," and other endearing names, and looking upon them as something divine. The head-gardener, however, "paid them religious honours 1."
Here we observe a mixture of the original serpent-worship, with the more modern doctrine of transmigration.
But a more tangible proof that ophiolatreia did indeed exist in Hindûstan in former times, is furnished in the following fact, noticed in Purchas's Pilgrims. A king of Calicut "built cottages" for live serpents, whom he tended with peculiar care, and made it a capital crime for any person in his dominions to destroy a snake. "The natives looked upon serpents as endued with divine spirits 1."
From some such a notion may have been derived a custom which prevails in certain parts of Hindûstan to this day. The natives have a festival called "The Feast of the Serpents," at which every Hindû sets by a portion of his rice for the hooded snake on the outside of his house. By this offering he expects to propitiate those reptiles during the remainder of the year.
A further proof of the ancient prevalence of ophiolatreia in those countries, is afforded by the sculptures in the celebrated caverns of Salsette and Elephanta; where the deities either
grasp serpents in their hands, or are enfolded by them. Serpents are also sculptured on the cornices surrounding the roofs of those caverns, and similarly delineated in the more modern pagodas 1. The god Sani, of the Hindûs, is represented on a raven, and encircled by two serpents, whose heads meet over that of the god 2.
Maurice supposes that by the serpentine circle over Sani, who is the Saturn of the Hindûs, the ring of that planet is denoted. If so, the discoveries of modern astronomy are little more than revivals of the ancient philosophy. But whether Sani be Saturn or the Sun, he is equally illustrative of our theory--that serpents were early emblems of divinity in Hindûstan. As such we find them employed in the religious festivals of the Hindûs 3, symbolizing some of their most awful deities.
Boodh and Jeyne are both adorned with the same emblem. The statue of Jeyne, who is said to be the Indian Æculapius, is turbaned by a seven-headed snake: the rim of the pedestal is
embossed with serpents' heads. The same serpent also symbolizes Parus Nauth 1.
On a rock in the Ganges, in the province of Bahar, is a sculpture of Veshnu reposing on a coiled serpent, whose numerous folds are made to form a canopy over the sleeping god 2. This serpent is fabled to have been the goddess Devi or Isi, who assumed the figure to carry Veshnu over the waters of the Deluge 3. The sleep of Veshnu indicates the period between the two worlds. A similar sculpture is to be seen among the ruins of Mavalipuram, on the coast of Coromandel 4. Veshnu himself is sometimes represented encompassed in the folds of a serpent; and Twashta, the great artificer of the universe, who corresponds in Hindû mythology with the Cneph or Ptha of the Egyptians, is supposed to have borne the form of a serpent 5. Jagan-Nath (Juggernaut) is said to be sometimes worshipped under the form of a seven-headed dragon 6. The Hindû Deonaush (the Dionusus of the Greeks,) was metamorphosed into a snake 7: hence, probably
the prominent figure which the serpent bore in the mysteries of Bacchus.
Mahadeva (a name of Siva,) is sometimes represented with a snake entwined about his neck; one round his hair, and armlets of serpents upon both arms 1.
Bhairava (an Avatar of Siva,) sits upon the coils of a serpent, whose head rises above that of the god 2.
Parvati, the consort of Siva, is represented with snakes about her neck and waist 3.
Hence we perceive that the serpent was an emblem not confined to one god, but common to many. "The fifth day of the bright half of the month Sravana is also sacred to the demigods in the forms of serpents 4."
This reptile, though the attribute of many of the Hindû deities, both benevolent and malignant, belonged more properly to the EVIL SPIRIT, of whom it is a sacred and terrific emblem. The king of the evil dæmons is called, in Hindû mythology, "the king of the serpents." His name is NAGA, and he is the prince of the Nagas, or
[paragraph continues] Naigs. "In which Sanscrit appellation," observes Maurice, "we plainly trace the Hebrew nachash, which is the very word for the particular serpentine tempter, and, in general, for all serpents throughout the Old Testament 1." The Hindû Naraka, or hell, is fabled to consist of poisonous "snakes folded together in horrible contortions."
The malignant serpent Caliya, who was slain by Veshnu, (in his incarnation of Crishna), because he poisoned the air, and destroyed the herds on the banks of the Yamuna, was deified and worshipped by the Hindûs "in the same manner as Python was adored at Delphi 2."
To the evil dæmon, in the form of a great serpent, the Hindûs attributed the guardianship of treasures. A remarkable instance of this superstition occurs in Forbes's Oriental Memoirs. Having once the curiosity to open a vault in a deserted tower, in which treasure was reported to be concealed, under the guardianship of a dæmon in the form of a snake, he prevailed, with much difficulty, upon two men to descend; when, in strict accordance with the popular
belief, they found a large serpent in a torpid state. The two men were drawn up, and the reptile destroyed by fire; but nothing could induce the natives again to enter a place, which they now regarded more than ever as the residence of the evil spirit.
In Hindûstan prevailed, also, the general opinion which accompanied ophiolatreia in all its progress--that the serpent was of a prophetic nature 1.
The decay of ophiolatreia in Hindûstan may be readily accounted for by the exterminating religious wars which so long raged between the followers of Crishna and Budha. Budha was the serpent who carried off Ella the daughter of Ichswaca, the son of Manu--and hence the animosity against him. The children (i.e. the worshippers) of Budha, were the real Hindûs, and preserved the ophite sign of their race. They were distinguished by the banner of the serpent. The worshippers of Crishna adopted the eagle.
The worshippers of Crishna, Budha, and Surya (the sun) form the three idolatrous classes of India from the Ganges to the Caspian sea.
[paragraph continues] The children of Surya joined with those of Crishna against the Budhists, and at length almost exterminated the race. The Mahabharat records constant wars from "ancient times" between the worshippers of the Sun and the Tak or Takshac races. The word Takshac is frequently rendered "snake:" but Tak is the name of a mountain in the range west of India, and Hak was the word which designated a serpent. Alexander's ally Taxiles was doubtless an Ophite chief of this country, for he took him to see an enormous dragon, the object of worship among his subjects 1. The name Taxiles was probably titular, since he was called Onuphis until his father's death. He was then the priest and king of the Ophites of Tak, and from that very circumstance called Onuphis by the Greeks, who had acquired the knowledge of this title from their intercourse with Egypt, and her priesthood of ON and OPH 2.
Pursuing our inquiries, we find that ophiolatreia prevailed to an equal extent in Cachmere, where there were no less than seven hundred
places in which carved images of serpents were worshipped 1. And even in Tibet may be often seen, the great Chinese dragon ornamenting the temples of the Grand Lama 2. But the chief seats of ophiolatreia in this quarter of the modern world were in China and Japan.
IV. CEYLON.--The religion of the natives of Ceylon is the Boodh, which is a corruption of the ancient ophiolatreia. "The Singalese," says Dr. Davy 3, "in general rather venerate than dread the hooded snake. They conceive that it belongs to another world, and that when it appears in this is only a visitor. They imagine that it possesses great power, and is somewhat akin to the gods, and superior to man. In consequence they superstitiously refrain from killing it." This is the snake made use of by the serpent charmers. Its image is also seen round the necks of some of the gods. The mythological history of this serpent is curious. They live in the world of spirits in a place peculiarly devoted to themselves, and are said to have a faculty of locomotion, and a splendour of appearance like the gods.
[paragraph continues] Nevertheless, they are supposed to have been once human beings, who forfeited their estate by indulging the sin of malice.
V. CHINA AND JAPAN.--The great Chinese DRAGON, so conspicuous in every public and private edifice, was the symbolical serpent of ancient mythology, under a more fanciful and poetic form. "It was the genial banner of the empire, and indicated every thing that was sacred in it 1." "It was not only the stamp and symbol of royalty, but is sculptured in all the temples, blazoned on the furniture of the houses, and interwoven with the vestments 2" of the chief nobility. The emperor bears a dragon as his armorial device; and the same figure is engraved on his sceptre and diadem, as well as on all the vases of the imperial palace.
The DRAGON is also mixed up with many of their religious legends. The Chinese believe that "there is a dragon of extraordinary strength and sovereign power, which is in heaven, in the air, on the waters, and on the mountains 3." A property so divine must have originated in the
attribution of this sacred animal to the Creator of the universe. For though it might apply partly to the spiritual presence of the evil one, yet in China this religious emblem belonged rather to the Agathodæmon. At the sacred washing of Confucius, soon after his birth, two dragons were fabled to have attended 1, to intimate probably that the young philosopher was, in an especial manner, under the protection of the deity 2.
Father Martin, one of the Jesuits who obtained a settlement in China, says, that "the Chinese delight in mountains and high places, because there lives the dragon upon whom their good fortune depends. They call him 'the Father of happiness.' To this dragon they erect temples shaded with groves 3."
Here we perceive the union of two primeval
superstitions, Serpent-worship and Grove-worship, each of them commemorative of the Fall in Paradise.
The Chinese god, Fohi, is said to have had the form of a man, terminating in the tail of a snake: which is not only a proof of the early existence of serpent-worship in China, but also shows that the dragon and the snake of Chinese mythology were cognate. Such a form, also, had the Athenian Cecrops and Erectheus, and the Egyptian Typhon 1.
There was a remarkable superstition in regard to a serpent of enormous bulk which girded the world, current in the mythology of almost every nation where ophiolatreia prevailed: nor was China exempt from the general credulity. This idea, perhaps, originated in the early consecration of the serpent to the sun: and the subsequent conversion of a serpent biting his tail, into an emblem of the Sun's path. This hierogram was again considered as typical of eternity, partly from the serpent being a symbol of Deity; partly from the perfect figure of a circle thus formed, without beginning or end; and partly from an opinion of the eternity of matter.
In countries where the TWO PRINCIPLES were represented by two serpents, instead of the ecliptic, the solstitial colures were described under these symbols. Thus, in Egyptian hieroglyphics, two serpents intersecting each other at right angles, upon a globe, denoted the earth. These rectangular intersections were at the solstitial points 1.
The genius of superstition soon resolved the imaginary into real serpents; of which metamorphosis we have an instance in the fictions of the Chinese, who are said to be "superstitious in choosing a plot of ground to erect a dwelling-house or sepulchre: conferring it with the head, tail, and feet of divers dragons which live under our earth, whence depends all good or bad fortunes 2."
The same poetical fiction was current in Hindûstan, where there is a tradition that the founder of Delhi, when about to lay the foundation of that city, was told by a Brahmin, that "provided he placed the seat of his government on the head of the serpent that supports the world his throne and kingdom would last for ever 3."
In Hindû mythology, the serpent Asootee enfolds the globe 1; and on every eclipse the Hindûs believe that the sun or moon is seized by a large serpent or dragon. The same notion obtains in China 2. This is the imaginary serpent of the constellation Draco, and the superstition may be a remnant of the tradition of "the war in heaven, when Michael, and his angels fought against the dragon 3." The dragon and the serpent are the fifth and sixth signs of the Chinese Zodiac.
The superstition of JAPAN was in every respect similar to that of China. The DRAGON was held in equal veneration in both countries. "The chronicles and histories of the gods and heroes of Japan are full of fabulous stories of this animal. They believe that it dwells at the bottom of the sea 4, as its proper element. They represent it in their books as a huge, long, four-footed snake Some of the Japanese emperor's cloth, his arms, scimetars, knives, and the like;
as also the furniture and hangings of the imperial palace, are adorned with figures of this dragon 1." The Japanese soldiers eat the flesh of the serpent called Fitakutz, "believing firmly that it has the virtue of making them bold and courageous 2."
There is reason to believe that temple-worship was formerly paid to the dragon in Japan. Kœmpfer being once on a journey, a temple was pointed out to him which, his guides said, had been erected in memory of a victory gained on the shores of the lake Oitz, by a famous dragon over a scolopendra 3.
VI. BURMAH.--The neighbouring countries of Siam and Burmah, partaking with the Chinese in the religion of Budh, partook with them also in the adoration of the serpent: such, at least, was the case in former times.
I have a Burmese illuminated manuscript in my possession, exhibiting, apparently in the successive order of events, the life of some deity--probably Guadma. One of the first pictures in the series represents this good genius attacked by the evil spirit. The next compartment presents
two men with a basket hanging from a pole between them, and proceeding through a wood, as if on an important errand. We see the same men, with the same basket, in the next picture. It is now deposited on the ground, and the two bearers upon their knees, in the attitude of supplication, before an enormous dragon enveloped in flames! On a mound before him are two trees; and the votaries hold up each a bough in his hand.
Adoration is, unquestionably, intended in this representation: and, reasoning from the connection of this picture with the preceding, which describes the assault of the evil spirit upon the passive and praying image of the good dæmon, we cannot be charged with extraordinary credulity if we refer the whole to some dark tradition respecting the events in Paradise.
The attitude of the two worshippers of the dragon, and the boughs in their hands, illustrate the scene in the beginning of the Œdipus Tyrannus of Sophocles, where the attendants of the priest of Thebes appear, ἱκτηρίοις κλάδοισιν ἐξεστεμμένοι, with the boughs of supplication in their hands. The scene is at Thebes, an ophite city.
VII. JAVA.--A worship compounded of the Brahminical and Budh superstitions, prevailed originally in Java. Sir Stamford Raffles, in exploring the ruined temples, found many images which were adorned with the sacred serpent. Gigantic figures, placed at the portals, were armed with a club in one hand, and a writhing snake in the other. Small twisted snakes also formed their armlets; and one, passing diagonally across the body, represented a belt 1. In the temple of Kedal is an idol, on one side of which are three serpents of an enormous magnitude, intertwining over the head of the image. A female figure, with a serpent also, reclines over it 2:
Over the portal of the great temple of Chandi Sewu is "a very large and terrible gorgon visage 3." These gorgon visages are not uncommon, and are probably a form of the ophite hierogram, denoting consecration, such as we see over the portals of some of the Egyptian temples.
All the Javanese temples are pyramidal: which is a figure dedicated to the solar deity: and the
same gorgon visages, as emblems of consecration, appear over the niches which contain the images.
The symbolical serpent, at least, was therefore once worshipped in Java.
VIII. ARABIA.--Returning towards the centre and source of ophiolatreia, we arrive in Arabia: and here also are traces, though almost obliterated, of the ancient serpent-worship. Of the Caaba of Mecca, as connected with this idolatry, we shall have occasion to speak hereafter. But in this place we may observe, that the language of the country retains an expression of its original religion, which is not a little remarkable. The same word is employed to denote both "adoration" and "the serpent;" from whence Dickinson infers, that "the Arabians formerly worshipped serpents 1."
We may observe, also, that Philostratus 2 attributes the same superstitious practice, with the same views, to the natives of Arabia and Hindûstan: viz. that of "eating the heart and liver of serpents, for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge
of the thoughts and languages of animals." This notion, perhaps, originated in the traditionary account of the PROPHETIC SERPENT, the memory of whose oracle is so strongly impressed upon the page of antiquity.
IX. SYRIA.--From Arabia we pass into the Land of Canaan, for so many ages the theatre upon which truth and superstition contended for the ascendancy. The country which we include under the general name of SYRIA extends from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean sea, on one side; and from Mount Taurus to Arabia, on the other. It includes, therefore, the whole of Phœnicia and Palestine, the territories of Damascus, and the possessions of Solomon.
The Phœnicians, according to Sanchoniathon, cited by Eusebius 1, were among the earliest of the nations that embraced ophiolatreia; and the author of this idolatry is said to have been TAAUTUS. Sanchoniathon calls him "a God 2," and says, that he first made an image of Cœlus, and afterwards of Saturn; and then invented hieroglyphics 3. He is supposed to be the same
as the Hermes Trismegistus of Egypt, where the was called Thoth, and deified. The words of Sanchoniathon are the following: "Taautus consecrated the species of dragons and serpents; and the Phœnicians and Egyptians followed him in this superstition."
Hence we may infer, that Taautus was the first person who introduced into Phœnicia both zabaism and serpent-worship. For such must be the meaning of the expressions that he was "the first who made an image of CŒLUS,"--that is, represented "the heavenly host" by visible symbols, and "consecrated DRAGONS and SERPENTS."
The UNION of these two superstitions, intimated by the attribution of them to the same inventor, proves the origin of the serpent-worship to be co-ordinate with that of the sun, or of the celestial bodies. From which we may argue, that Taautus was the leader of the first colony after the flood which settled in Phœnicia; out of which he may have passed easily into Egypt, if we take the word Phœnicia in its most extended sense, as including the whole land of Canaan. There is then no difficulty in conceiving that the Phœnician TAUT and the Egyptian THOTH were the
same person. The intimate connexion of the latter with the serpent-worship of Egypt we shall observe in the sequel.
The prevalence of ophiolatreia in the land of Canaan, is therefore directly shown upon historical testimony: it is proved, collaterally, by the traditions of the country, and the remains of serpent-worship which was occasionally visible in the sacred and classical writings. The name of the sacred serpent, according to Bryant 1, (who has taken great pains to arrive at accuracy in this statement,) was in the ancient language of Canaan, variously pronounced AUB, AB; OUB, OB; OPH, OP; EPH, EV . . . . . all referrible to the original אוב, or אב; which being derived from אב (inflare), was, perhaps, applied to the serpent from his peculiarity of inflation when irritated.
The first oracle mentioned in history was dedicated to the serpent-god, who was known in Canaan by the name of OB, or AUB: hence arose the notion that the oracular response of the priestess of these serpent temples must be always preceded by a mysterious inflation, as if actuated by the internal presence of the divine
[paragraph continues] Spirit. Thus Virgil describes the Pythian priestess--
[paragraph continues] The whole of this notion of necessary inflation was taken up by the Greeks, from mistaking the word OB, (the name of the Deity,) for the word OB, that property of inflation, from whence the name was derived: OB signifying both the serpent, and his property of inflation 1.
The first mention of the God OB occurs in the Scriptures. Moses refers to his oracle, when he commands every AUB, AB, or OB, to be put to death:
"A man also, or woman, that hath a familiar spirit, (אוב) shall surely be put to death." (Levit. xx. 27. Deut. xviii. 1.1.)
The word אוב is translated by the Septuagint, ventriloquist,--one that speaks from his belly. This is the Greek notion of inflation, adopted by the
[paragraph continues] Septuagint in accommodation to the received opinions respecting the Pythian priestess. The English version "who hath a familiar spirit," is too indefinite; and the septuagint, "who is a ventriloquist," too paraphrastic, to express the meaning of Moses. We must therefore look for another. In doing so, we may remark, that it was not an unusual custom of the Gentiles for the priest or priestess of any God to take the name of the deity they served. Thus Clemens Alexandrinus calls the priest of Cnuphis in Egypt, SECNUPHIS. This was the priest with whom Plato conversed 1, and his god was the same as the OB of Canaan; that is, the SERPENT-GOD of the country. We read also of OINUPHIS, a priest of Heliopolis, from whom Pythagoras is said to have learned astronomy 2. Heliopolis, "the city of the SUN," was called in Egypt ON, which was a title of the solar deity. OINUPHIS therefore, (or rather ONUPHIS,) was the solar deity ON, symbolized by the sacred serpent OPH. In this case therefore, as in the former, the priest assumed the cognomen of his God. Again, Eudoxus was taught astronomy by another priest
of Heliopolis, whose name was CONUPHIS, or C’NUPHIS 1.
For these examples I am indebted to Jablonski, who says that SECNUPHIS means literally SE-ICH-CNUPHIS, "the servant of the god Cnuphis."
In like manner we find that the priestess of DELPHI was called PYTHIA, from her deity PYTHON: and the Druid who was the minister of the British god HU, was called "an ADDER;" because adders were symbolical of the god whom he served, whose chief title was "HU, the DRAGON-RULER of the world 2."
It is a curious coincidence, that as the witch of Endor is called oub, and the African sorceress obi, from the serpent deity OUB; so the old English name of a witch, hag, bears apparent relationship to the word hak, the ancient British name of a species of snake.
These examples I have taken, exclusively, from the worshippers of the SERPENT-GOD in Egypt, Greece, and Britain, among whom the custom seems to have been more prevalent than among the votaries of the other heathen deities. To these we may add the example of the emperor
[paragraph continues] Elagabalus assuming the name of the Syrian god of Emesa, at whose shrine he officiated before he was invested with the Roman purple. We shall find in the sequel, that this deity was identical, or nearly so, with the deity whose worship we are now investigating. The difference being, that OB was simply the serpent-god; whereas ELAGABALUS was the solar deity symbolized by the serpent.
From these parallels we may infer, that the priest or priestess of OB, in Canaan, assumed the appellation of the deity whom they served.
We may therefore render Levit. xx. 27--"A man also, or woman among you, who is an OB, (i.e. a priest or priestess of OB,) shall be surely put to death:" and similarly in Deut. xviii. 11. the expression, "a consulter with familiar spirits," may be rendered "a consulter of the priests of OB."
Again, the woman of Endor, to whom Saul applied for an oracle, is called בעלת־אוב; the literal meaning of which is "one that hath OB," which is synonymous with "a priestess of OB."
The serpent OB, thus worshipped in Canaan as oracular, was called, "THE GOOD DÆMON," as we learn from Eusebius, citing Sanchoniathon--"The
[paragraph continues] Phœnicians called this animal (the sacred serpent) AGATHODÆMON: the Egyptians likewise called him CNEPH, and added to him the head of a hawk, because of its activity 1."
The title OB, or AB, was frequently compounded with ON, a name of the SUN, because the serpent was considered symbolical of that deity. This symbolical worship was of very ancient date in Phœnicia, as we learn from Sanchoniathon 2, who tells us, "The son of THABION was the first hierophant of Phœnicia."
Prophets and priests are frequently called in mythology the sons of the God whom they worshipped. The son of Thabion, therefore, was the priest of Thabion. Now Thabion is a compound word, TH’-AB-ION: of which the initial letters "TH’" signify "God." They are an abbreviation of the word "THEUTH," "from which the Greeks formed ΘΕΟΣ, which with that nation was the most general name of the Deity 3." "THABION," therefore implies, THE GOD ABION,"--the SERPENT-SOLAR GOD.
The primitive serpent-worshippers of Canaan
against whom Moses cautioned the children of Israel, were the HIVITES. This word, according to Bochart 1, is derived from Hhivia, a serpent: the root of which is Eph or Ev--one of the variations of the original Aub. EPHITES or EVITES, being aspirated, would become HEVITES or HIVITES--whence comes the word OPHITES, by which the Greek historians designated the worshippers of the serpent. The Greek word Οφις, a serpent, is derived from Oph, the Egyptian name for that reptile 2; the same as Eph. The Hivites who were left "to prove Israel 3," inhabited Mount Lebanon, "from Mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath." The children of Israel intermarried with them, "and served their gods." These were called BAALIM, which being in the plural number, may mean the god BAAL or BEL, under different forms of worship; of which that of the serpent was one; as we have seen under the article "Ophiolatreia in Babylon."
The extent to which this worship prevailed, may be estimated by the fact of its surviving to the time of Hezekiah, when the Jews "burned
incense" to the brazen serpent which had been laid up among the sacred relics, as a memorial of their deliverance from the serpents in the wilderness. Hezekiah "removed the high places, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for UNTO THOSE DAYS the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehustan 1,"--i.e. a piece of brass, by way of contempt.
But the worship of the serpent was not so easily suppressed in Canaan. The Jewish polity being broken up, the lurking ophites crept out of their obscurity; and in the second century brought dishonour on the Christian religion, by claiming an affinity of faith with the worshippers of JESUS.
These Christian heretics were exposed by Epiphanius 2, under the name of Οφῖται. Clemens Alexandrinus also mentions them; and Tertullian describes their tenets--"Accesserunt his hæretici etiam qui ophitæ, nuncupantur: nam serpentem magnificant in tantum ut illum etiam ipsi Christo præferant. Ipse enim, inquiunt, scientiæ nobis boni et mali originem dedit.
[paragraph continues] Hujus animadvertens potentiam et majestatem, Moyses æreum posuit serpentem, et quicunque in eum aspexerunt, sanitatem consecuti sunt. Ipse, aiunt, præterea, in Evangelio imitatur serpentis ipsius sacram potestatem dicendo, 'et sicut Moyses exaltavit serpentem in deserto, ita exaltari oportet Filium Hominis.' Ipsum introducunt ad benedicenda Eucharistia 1."
A more ingenious perversion of Scripture than the foregoing, may scarcely be found in the annals of heresy.
Epiphanius says, that "the Ophites sprung out of the Nicolaitans and Gnostics, and were so called from the serpent which they worshipped." The Gnostics, he informs us in another place 2, "taught that the ruler of this world was of a dracontic form." "The Ophites," he observes, "attribute all wisdom to the serpent of paradise, and say that he was the author of knowledge to men." "They keep a live serpent in a chest; and at the time of the mysteries entice him out by placing bread before him upon a table. Opening his door he comes out,
and having ascended the table, folds himself about the bread. This they call a perfect sacrifice. They not only break and distribute this among the votaries, but whosoever will, may kiss the serpent 1. This the wretched people call THE EUCHARIST. They conclude the mysteries by singing an hymn THROUGH HIM to the supreme Father 2.
The above account of Epiphanius forcibly reminds us of the mysteries of Bacchus, in which serpents were carried in covered baskets; and in which cakes and new bread were given to the votaries. Demosthenes, in one of his most splendid passages of sarcasm, describes his antagonist Æschines under the ludicrous character of a Bacchans, "pressing tight in his hands the Parian serpents, and brandishing them over his head, and shouting 'Euoi, Saboi!' dancing meantime, and crying 'Hyes Attes!' 'Attes Hyes!'" He calls him, contemptuously, "a chief leader" of the mysteries, and chest-bearer, that is, carrying the snake-basket. For which
extravagancies he receives his reward in "CAKES and NEW BREAD 1."
In the Bacchanalian Mysteries, also, there was a consecrated cup of wine, handed round after supper, called "the cup of the Agathodæmon:" which was received with much shouting 2. The Christian Ophites, therefore, preserving the memory of their Bacchanalian orgies, would naturally confound the observances of the Lord's Supper with the practices incident to their heathen festival. The hymn with which they concluded their idolatrous ceremonies, addressed through the serpent to the Supreme Father, is a memorial of the hymn sung to Python on every seventh day at Delphi 3.
These opinions of the Gnostic Ophites were blended with the old Magian superstition of Persia by Manes, a celebrated heretic of the third century; who revived ophiolatreia, in his native country, under the name of Christianity. He taught, that "Christ was an incarnation of the great serpent, who glided over the cradle of
the Virgin Mary, when she was asleep, at the age of a year and a half 1."
Traces of ophiolatreia are visible in the neighbourhood of Damascus, where there were two ophite temples, converted, with the usual licence of poets, into "dragons 2."
The whole region of TRACHONITIS is supposed by Bryant to have received its name from the worship of the DRAGON, so common in those parts. The mistake of Τραχων for Δρακων is easy.
The subject of ophite temples is so full of curious information, that I shall reserve what I have gleaned upon it for a separate chapter. We may remark, however, in this place, that there is reason for supposing that the celebrated grove of Daphne, near Antioch, was (at least in part) devoted to the mysteries of the serpent. Its consecration to Apollo, the solar god of antiquity, who united in his rites the worship of the serpent, gives countenance to this opinion; but the corroboration is derived from a remarkable legend preserved in Strabo. It is said that the Macedonian kings of Syria first established the oracles,
and planted the grove of Daphne 1; but the legend in question would argue for that secluded and voluptuous sanctuary a much higher antiquity. The Macedonian kings, in all probability, patronized the ancient GROVE-WORSHIP mentioned in Judges iii. 7, in connexion with the service of BAALIM, into which the children of Israel were seduced by the Hivites. The legend of Strabo informs us that the original name of the river Orontes was TYPHON; for there the serpent Typhon being struck by the lightning of Jupiter, in escaping cut the earth with his body as he writhed along; and springs of water issuing from the ground, formed the river, which, after him, was called Typhon 2.
Had ophiolatreia never existed in Daphne, such a legend as this would hardly have been recorded of the river which flowed by it. At Daphne there was a temple of Apollo, and a grove sacred to Diana; and it is a remarkable circumstance, that in almost every place where there was either, some legend of a serpent generally prevailed.
The serpent-worship of Syria is strongly
marked in the religion of the people of Tyre. The Phœnicians of Tyre consecrated an image of the serpent, and suspended it in their temples, encircling in its folds the Mundane egg 1, the symbol of the universe. THE SERPENT denoted the Supreme Being, in his character of the vivifying principle. Macrobius informs us, that the Phœnicians worshipped Janus under the figure of a serpent, forming a circle, with his tail in his mouth; typifying the self-existence and eternity of the world 2.
The serpent was deemed particularly sacred to Æsculapius; and in his temples live serpents were kept for the purposes of adoration. There was a grove of Æsculapius near Sidon, on the banks of the Tamyras 3. From which we may infer that here also were kept live serpents, and worshipped.
The emperor Elagabalus was high priest of the god of that name, who had a temple at Emesa. "He imported into Rome small serpents of the Egyptian breed, which were called in that country Agathodæmons:" these he
worshipped 1. Hence we may infer that this young emperor had been educated in the mysteries of ophiolatreia; an inference which is strengthened by the decomposition of his name, or rather that of his god.
Elagabal is perhaps EL-OG-OB-EL; that is, "the god OG, the serpent-god 2." This was the deity whose worship was conveyed into western Europe, under the title of OGHAM or OGMIUS, by the Phœnician mariners, and established in Gaul and Ireland, as we shall see in the chapters which treat of serpent-worship in those countries. He was a compound character between Hercules and Mercury, bearing as his symbol the club of the former, surmounted by the caduceus of the latter.
The first mention of this name in history is in the Scriptures, where it appears as the cognomen of the celebrated king of Bashan, overthrown by Joshua. He reigned over the territory of Argob 3, which was afterwards called by the Greeks, Trachonitis. Trachonitis we have
already resolved into the "country of the dragon:" and the propriety of this resolution will appear from decomposing the word Argob into its component parts, AUR-OG-OB; of which the first signifies light; the second is the name of the deity; the third that of his symbol, the serpent. Faber thinks that OG is the DELUGE deified; whence is derived OC and OCEANUS. This, I believe is the general opinion. But whoever OG may have been, the word Argob is his title; and this title bears allusion to the solar deity AUR, and the serpent-deity AUB. And "the region of Argob" in his holy land. Upon this hypothesis the king of Bashan (OG) would be hierarch and king of Argob, assuming the name of his tutelar god--
Sandford, Dickinson, Vossius, and Gale, concur in identifying "OG, king of Bashan," with the Typhon or Python of mythology 1. I cannot say that the same arguments which weighed with these learned men have brought me to the same conclusion; but this much cannot, I think, be denied, that there is a strong connexion between
[paragraph continues] THE WORSHIP OF OG, and OPHIOLATREIA. Beyond this, I would not desire to press the argument--but up to this point I would urge it. For even upon the supposition of OG being the deluge, the serpent would be his emblem; being in this character considered in all mythology--Asiatic, Egyptian, or Scandinavian. Elagabalus, therefore, was probably the same at Emesa, as OG, the king of Bashan, in Argob--the royal priest of the SERPENT SOLAR GOD.
But the serpent-worship of Syria, has left stronger records of its original prevalence than verbal coincidences. The coins of the Tyrians, as engraved in Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. 6, bear testimony to the existence and prevalence of this superstition in Phœnicia, in characters which it is impossible to mistake. It is true that these medals are of comparatively recent date, the oldest of them being posterior to Alexander the Great: but still they recognise the local superstition of that a era; and we know that the local religions of the Asiatics were rarely susceptible of innovation. Besides, we have already possessed ourselves of data which identify ophiolatreia as indigenous in the land of Canaan.
The following is a description of these interesting medals.
No. 1 represents a TREE between two rude stones, which are erect: round the trunk of the tree is coiled a SERPENT. At the lower part of the medal, in one corner, is an altar, denoting that the medal is descriptive of religious rites. The two rude stones are the Petræ Ambrosiæ, so well known to antiquaries, and of the kind of which the Celtic temples were composed. The two stones here are intended, doubtless, as a representation of an Ophite temple.
No. 2 represents, a burning altar. Two serpents are rising from the two front angles of the base. On the left, is the celebrated caduceus, without wings.
No. 3 exhibits a naked man standing between two serpents, which are erect upon one coil, and turning from him. This is a medal of Berytus--the rest are Tyrian.
No. 4 represents the Tyrian Hercules (Ogmius) contending with a serpent. The man has a large stone in his right hand, and is in the act of throwing it. The serpent is erect upon one coil. Behind the man is a sea shell, denoting Tyre.
No. 5 presents us with a very large Petra Ambrosia, round which is entwined a large serpent in a defensive posture. On the right is a sea shell, on the left a palm tree.
No. 6 represents an altar with a burning sacrifice. In front is a serpent with a radiated head, gazing upon the altar.
Besides these medals, there is a Tyrian coin engraved in Bryant's Analysis, plate 7. vol. iii. In this we observe a tree between two Petræ Ambrosiæ. A serpent is twined about the trunk of a tree. At the base of the coin is a sea shell and a wolf, emblems of Tyre.
The serpent-worship of Phœnicia, thus clearly proved, is further illustrated by the very accurate tradition of the rebellion and fall of Satan from heaven, preserved in the legend of OPHIONEUS. OPHIONEUS was a giant who headed an insurrection in heaven, against the gods, and being over-come, was cast down to earth. The name of this celestial rebel is compounded of OPH and ON. It was the name of the SERPENT SOLAR GOD, who united in his mysteries the two ancient superstitions of Zabaism and Ophiolatreia. The celestial origin of Satan is preserved in the termination of his name, ON; while his Paradisiacal
incarnation is intimated in the first syllable, OPH. This deity was probably the THABION of whom we spoke above.
So accurately did the legend of Ophioneus coincide with the history of Satan, that CELSUS, the champion of Paganism, adduced it is a proof that the account of Moses was borrowed from the fables of the heathens. An accusation which is triumphantly answered by ORIGEN 1, who charges his opponent with gross ignorance of antiquity, in supposing the fables of his own corrupt mythology to be more ancient than the writings of Moses.
X. ASIA MINOR.--So universal was ophiolatreia in this part of the Roman empire, that "a female figure, holding a serpent in her right hand, and in her left the rostrum of a ship," was the symbol of Asia 2. But the provinces of Asia Minor, which exhibited the strongest and most unquestionable vestiges of serpent-worship, were Phrygia and Troas.
At Hierapolis, in Phrygia, a living serpent of
great size was kept and worshipped, when Philip the Apostle converted the inhabitants to Christianity. The tradition is, that he destroyed this animal by his prayers 1; and the people overpowered by the miracle, embraced the Gospel.
As a "genius loci," the serpent entered deeply into the religion of the Phrygians. An example of this may be seen in the fifth Æneid of Virgil, in the sacrifices of Æneas at the tomb of Anchises.
The libations of wine, new milk, and sacred blood, having been poured out, the pious son proceeds with reverential feeling, to address the departed spirit of his father: but the scarcely-commenced requiem is interrupted by a phenomenon, which fills him, at first, with unmixed astonishment, and then overwhelms him with religious awe. A large and beautiful serpent glides from the tumulus--ascends the altars--consumes the offerings--and returns to his abode. The Trojan, upon recovering his self-possession, immediately concludes that this beautiful and mysterious visitant must either be the tutelary
deity of the place, or the attendant minister of his father's soul:
Under either possibility, he hesitates not to offer to the holy being the tribute of adoration. Two sheep, two sows, and two bullocks, attest his piety with their sacrificial blood.
That the Phrygians were Ophites is to be inferred from the device upon the shield of Hector, as represented on the Canino vases 1. The vase No. MCXII. discovers Hector setting out to fight with Achilles. He bears a serpent upon his shield. He is again represented with the same device on another vase.
As a "genius loci," however, the serpent was not confined to Phrygia and Troas. It was, in this character, stamped upon the coins and medals of many towns of Asia Minor. Cyzicum, Pergamus, Marcianopolis, in Mysia; Aboniteichos and Amastris in Paphlagonia; Nice and Nicomedia in Bithynia; Tomos and Dionysopolis in Pontus; and Mindus in Caria, exhibit as their ensign the sacred serpent 2. On the medals of Troas, Nicomedia, Amastris, and Mindus,
the serpent is seen encircling a prophetic tripod; on which Spanheim remarks, that "serpents were not only the common symbols of the Pythian worship, but also the domestic prophets of these places."
Other traces of ophiolatreia may be recognised in the names of many places in Asia Minor. As in the names of the ancient cities may be frequently discovered those of the gods to whose worship they were peculiarly devoted: and as the title of the sacred serpent (AB, or PETHEN) is frequently involved in the local designations of Asia Minor, Bryant concluded that the superstition of ophiolatreia must have generally prevailed through this idolatrous region. An island of the Propontis was called Ophiusa: this name was common to many islands and places, and denoted, according to Bryant, their former addiction to the worship of the serpent OPH. In the present case, this hypothesis may seem to be corroborated by the fact, that on the opposite point of the Asiatic continent, there prevailed a tradition of a SERPENT-RACE--OPHIOGENÆ, who were said to be descendents of a father, who was formerly "changed from a serpent into a man 1."
[paragraph continues] The locus of this legend was called Parium; whence, perhaps, the Greeks may have derived the epithet παρειαι, which was bestowed upon the serpents of the Bacchanalian mysteries. The usual interpretation of this word, from the swelling cheeks of the reptile when irritated, is less probable.
Ælian 1 also speaks of a race of Ophiogenæ in Phrygia, the offspring of a dragon sacred to Diana, and a woman who accidentally entered the grove.
Uniting these fables, we may draw the conclusion, that a colony of Ophites, migrating from Phrygia, settled at Parium. Strabo supposes that they were the Psylli of Africa, so famous for the art of charming serpents: but adduces no reason or authority for the hypothesis.
Besides these inferential evidences of serpent-worship, we have more certain ones in the records of authentic history, which have fixed the temples of Apollo and Æsculapius in various cities of Asia Minor. We may remark, that the serpent invariably entered into the mysteries of the Pythian worship; and that live serpents were
always preserved in the sanctuaries of Æsculapius. There is, therefore, strong reason for believing, that wherever there was a temple to either of these deities, ophiolatreia, in some modification, existed. Pythian games 1 were held at Tralles, Miletus, Magnesia, Side, and Perga--all in Asia Minor. Chalcedon, Chrysa, and Patara, were celebrated for the temples which were dedicated in them to Apollo.
The most celebrated temple of Æsculapius in Asia Minor was at Pergamus 2: and all the Pergamean coins, according to Spanheim, bore the figure of a serpent. The Æsculapian worship may be traced in several other places in this country: but to avoid prolixity, I relinquish the search to the more curious and minute investigator. Enough has been said on the local indications of ophiolatreia, to establish the point, that vestiges of the superstition may be found in Asia Minor.
But before we take leave of this interesting
region, there are two places which demand, though in different degrees, our attention, as memorable abodes of the sacred serpent--COLCHOS and ABONITEICHOS. The story of the Colchian Dragon, overcome by Jason, is too well known to require, in this place, a particular narration. It relates to the destruction of an OPHITE TEMPLE, and would be better deferred to a subsequent chapter, which will treat exclusively on that part of our subject. The superstition of Aboniteichos, however, comes immediately under our notice, as a remarkable exhibition of the oracular serpent. To the description of a revival of this superstition in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, I will therefore devote the remainder of this section.
From Lucian we learn, that a native of Aboniteichos, Alexander by name, being involved in pecuniary difficulties while left in Greece, determined to practise upon the credulity of his contemporaries in the character of a magician. For this purpose he went with a chosen companion to Pella, in Macedonia; a place remarkable for a singular custom, (which, however, had existed from time immemorial,) that of nourishing tame serpents of prodigious size, to be play-fellows
and companions of their infant children. Having purchased one of these animals, he sailed to Chalcedon; and there, among the ruins of an old temple of Apollo, pretended to dig up two brazen tablets, "which had been deposited by Æsculapius," and which bore this inscription: "Æsculapius, and his father Apollo, intend to come into Pontus, and take up their abode at Aboniteichos." To Aboniteichos accordingly the impostors went, with their Macedonian serpent: but before they arrived there, the companion of Alexander died. This event, however, by no means disconcerted him. The natives, forewarned, had prepared a temple for his reception, and in this he took up his abode. On an appointed day he proposed to exhibit the god Æsculapius to the people,--having previously enclosed a small snake in an egg-shell, and concealed it in a convenient place. When the multitude had assembled in eager expectation, he approached the spot where the egg-shell had been deposited; and muttering certain "Hebrew and Phœnician words," unintelligible to the people, (who could only catch the words "Apollo," "Æsculapius," occasionally introduced,) he plunged in his hand, and producing the egg-shell, exclaimed that
[paragraph continues] "the god was within." Breaking the shell, he drew out the young snake, which was unanimously hailed as the expected god. From that day, his reputation as the familiar servant of Æsculapius was established. In a few days afterwards he exhibited the large serpent within his vest, as the same god Æsculapius whom they had seen in his first state. The admiration of the people at the rapid growth of the god confirmed their original impression of his divinity. For this serpent, the impostor contrived a mask with a human face made of linen, and persuaded the votaries that such was the form under which Æsculapius chose to appear. He gave the serpent the name of GLYCON, and declared that he was "the third child of Jupiter, and the light of men." Henceforward he pretended that Glycon was oracular, and by ventriloquism caused him to give responses. Thousands of inquirers flocked from all parts of the Roman Empire to this second Delphi; and, Alexander having carried on the gainful imposture for many years, left a memorial of it upon the coins and medals of Aboniteichos. Engravings of Glycon, as he appeared on these coins, are given by Spanheim, p. 212.
From this curious narrative we may reasonably infer, that had the notion of ophiolatreia been extinct in Paphlagonia, Alexander would not have selected Aboniteichos as the theatre of his fraud. That ophiolatreia did, indeed, once flourish in this city, is evident from its name,--Αβωνου τειχος,--the city of AB-ON, the serpent solar god. It is probable, therefore, that some traces of it remained to the time of Alexander, who skilfully improved the superstitions of the people to his own advantage.
There are proofs also of his acquaintance with the arcana of serpent-worship, in the story itself. The enclosing of the snake in the egg indicates his knowledge of the mythological conceit of the SACRED SERPENT and MUNDANE EGG. The placing of the great serpent in his bosom within his garments, was a revival of the old Sebazian mysteries, described in a preceding chapter. And the very name of GLYCON, involving the title of the solar deity ON, and illustrated by the epithet "the light of men," seems to have an allusion to ophiolatreia, in its connexion with Zabaism.
Putting together these coincidences, we may conclude that the impostor had acquired his
knowledge of these ancient mysteries from some person or persons then in existence, capable of teaching him: in other words, that primitive serpent-worship was still to be found in Asia Minor in the days of Marcus Aurelius.
XI. THE ISLANDS OF ASIA MINOR.--From the continent of Asia Minor, we pass naturally to the islands which are scattered along its shores; from Cyprus through the Carpathian and Icarian Seas to the Hellespont. In this passage we follow the tract of one of the most renowned of Ophite leaders, who carried the superstitions of his native country first into the islands which lay near it; and from thence, ultimately, into GREECE. It is conjectured by Bochart, that the first migration of the Hivites, who fled before Joshua, was that of the CADMONITES of Mount Hermon, whose leader was CADMUS, so called from the name of the people whom he commanded. It is not likely that all the actions attributed to the adventurer Cadmus were performed by one person; for it is the genius of fable to bestow upon one person the honours acquired, and the labours undergone by many, who may have issued from the same country. The
celebrated Cadmus was, therefore, a fictitious personage, who united in his history the real actions of others, whose separate achievements would not have been sufficiently marvellous for mythology.
Under the guidance of this hero--that is, under the guidance of a Cadmonite from Mount Hermon--colonies of Ophites were settled in Cyprus, Rhodes, Samos, Chios, Icaria, &c. in those islands of the Archipelago which were adjacent to Asia Minor, if not in those which were nearer to Greece.
1. The island of CYPRUS was originally called Ophiusa 1--that is, "the place of serpents:" a name which was very generally given to the settlements of the worshippers of the serpent OPH 2. The tradition was, that formerly these places swarmed with serpents: which, from the insular situation of most of them, is not very probable. At Paphos, in Cyprus, there was a tradition of serpents who had two legs. This, remarks Bryant, related to men, and not to snakes 3.
2. RHODES was also called Ophiusa 4: and, according
to Bochart 1, still retains its designation in the Syrian Rhod (a serpent.) At Rhodes there was a tradition of a number of serpents who desolated the country, and destroyed many of its inhabitants. The survivors sent to Delphi, to consult the oracle, and were desired to bring over PHORBAS, who, taking up his residence in the island, soon exterminated the reptiles. He was exalted after death into the constellation OPHIUCHUS 2, which is the same with the OPHIONEUS of Phœnicia. There are some curious coincidences with serpent-worship, in the history of this Phorbas. He was the grandson of Apollo, and father of Iphis, in which word we recognise the root Eph or Oph. APOLLO is the solar deity symbolized by the serpent OPH; and "Phorbas" may be decomposed into PHI-OR-AB; i.e. "The oracle of the solar serpent 3." It appears, also, that Phorbas married HERMYNE--which may mean "a woman of Hermon," where the Hivites resided.
In the legend before us, we trace a confusion
of ideas, by which THE ORACLE OF THE SERPENT-GOD, established perhaps at Rhodes by the Hivites of Hermon, is converted into a man, PHORBAS, who delivered the island from serpents. The whole story might have originated in a colony of Hivites from the continent, dispossessing the natives (Ophites also) of their country. The translation of Phorbas into the constellation Ophiuchus, or Ophioneus, corroborates the connexion of this legend with ophiolatreia.
3. In the island of ICARIA was a temple of Diana, called Tauropolium; and a small town named Draconum stood upon a promontory of the same name 1. Tauropolium, according to Bryant, is TOR-OP-EL--the tower of the god Oph. We may infer, therefore, from the connexion of Draconum (the town of the dragon) with Tauropolium, (the temple of the serpent-god,) that the Hivites of Phœnicia settled also in the island of Icaria.
4. A coin of SAMOS represents an erect serpent before a naked man holding a ring in his hand. It is probable, therefore, according to the hypothesis before laid down, that the worship of the serpent once prevailed at Samos.
5. At Chios, there was another settlement of Hivites, as the name of the island, and a tradition preserved in it, would import. "Chios" is derived from "Hhivia," the same root from whence comes "Hivite 1;" the meaning of which word is ascertained to be "a serpent." The Hivites who settled in this island were finally exterminated, according to the probable import of the following legend:--At Chios was a mountain called Pelineus; i.e. according to Bochart, Peli-naas--the stupendous serpent. "Under this mountain," says Ælian 2, "there lived an immense dragon, whose voice was so terrific that no one could ever approach his cave to see him. He was at length destroyed by setting fire to piles of wood placed at the mouth of the cavern." This relates, probably, to the destruction of a vast temple, which the Hivites had erected on that mountain, or at the foot of it. Why this Hivite temple should be called AN IMMENSE DRAGON, will be shown in the chapter which treats of "Ophite temples."
These were the chief settlements of the ophites in Asia Minor; and with these notices we conclude
our investigation of SERPENT-WORSHIP IN ASIA.
The Syrian Ophites were the Hivites of Scripture, and the Cadmians of mythology. But the name of "Cadmians" was rather general than particular--it was bestowed indiscriminately upon the authors of this superstition, whether proceeding from Lebanon or Egypt. "They were a two-fold colony which came both from Egypt and Syria 1." The Syrian Cadmians colonized the islands above mentioned. The Egyptian adventurers settled first in Crete, and afterwards in the Cyclades, Peloponnesus, Greece, Samothrace, Macedonia, Illyrium, &c. as we shall hereafter find.
It appears, then, from a review of what has been already ascertained, that THE WORSHIP OF THE SERPENT pervaded Babylonia, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Persia, India, Cachmere, China, Japan, Java, Ceylon, Arabia, Syria, Colchis, and Asia Minor--a tract of country over which (the worship of the sun alone excepted) no other superstition was so uniformly spread. It entered also into the religion of the Scythian tribes, who
bore for their banner the sacred dragon 1: and was carried with them, probably, to the river OBI--a river, in whose name is preserved to the present day, a memorial of the sacred serpent OB. It might indeed have been called "the serpent river," from its winding course; but this is not a peculiarity of any river--it is common to all: and the recorded fact that the OSTIACKES, who inhabited the banks of the OBI, among their other idols, worshipped the image of A SERPENT 2, tends strongly to corroborate our hypothesis.
39:1 Analysis of Anc. Myth. ii. 458.
39:2 Macrobius, Saturnal. lib. i. c. 20.
40:1 The universality of serpent-worship is alluded to by Lucan in these memorable lines:
Draco is the general term to signify all large serpents.
42:1 Bel and the Dragon, v. 28.
43:1 Diod. Sic. lib. ii. s. 70.
43:2 Kircher. Œdip. Ægyptiac. i. 262.
43:3 See "Serpent-worship in Syria."
43:4 Clemens Alexandrinus writes ΒΕΛΙΑΡ in the text. 2 Con vi. 15. There are several MSS. of this epistle, in which βελιαρ is found instead of βελιαλ--such as those of Lincoln, Magdalen, and New Colleges, in Oxford, and Emmanuel College in Cambridge.--Allwood. Lit. Antiq. of Greece, 244.
BELIAR appears to be a compound of BEL and AUR, the p. 44 solar deity, from אור, light. BELIAL has a similar signification, being compounded of BEL and AL, deus. "Iaul," in the Breton language, is the name of the solar deity.
44:1 Herod. ii. 74.
44:2 Herod. viii. 41.
45:1 Aristarchus, p. 11.
45:2 Rev. ix. 11.
45:3 Rev. xx. 1, 2.
45:4 Koch. de Cultu Serpentum, s. 7. p. 30.
46:1 Vossius de Idol. lib. iv. c. 54, citing Codinus.
46:2 Salmasius Hist. Aug. Script. 96.
46:3 Koch. ut supra.--Suidas.
46:4 Stukely. Abury. 56.
47:1 Vopiscus Hist. Aug. Script. 218.
48:1 Præp. Evang. i. 42.
48:2 Faber, Hor. Mos. l. 72.
48:3 Porta 47. Apud Hyde. Rel. Vet. Pers. 478.
49:1 This creed is inculcated in the Ardivaraf Nameh, a work on the ancient religion of Persia.
49:2 Maurice Ind. Ant. iii. 199.
49:3 Arnobius, lib. v. p. 171. Jul. Firm. p. 23.
50:1 Mandelsoe, Travels, chap. i.
50:2 Bryant. Anal. i. 276; plate in vol. ii. 406.
50:3 Ibid. ii. 407.
50:4 Ibid. plate 406.
53:1 Seld. on Arund. Marbles, 133, cited by Stukely, Abury, 56.
53:2 Œdip. Ægyp. vol. iii. p. 23.
53:3 For an account of this temple, see the Chapter on Ophite Temples.
54:1 Stukely, Abury, 56.
56:1 Kircher, Pamph. Obel. 399.
56:2 Ibid. 380.
56:3 Dissert. on the Cabiri, 1. 316.
58:1 Psalm cv.
58:2 Gen. xli.
59:1 See his conversation with God in Horeb, Exod. iii. 13.
59:2 Deut. vi. 4.
60:1 This is one of numerous similar anecdotes recorded of the Hindûs by different writers.
61:1 Purch. Pilg. part i. p. 565.
62:1 Maurice, Ind. Ant. ii. 192.
62:2 Ibid. iii. 203.
62:3 Ibid. iii. 119.
63:1 Francklin on the tenets of the Jeynes and Boodhists.
63:2 Moor. Hindû Pantheon.
63:3 Faber, Pug. Idol. i. 456.
63:4 Asiat. Res. i. 150.
63:5 Faber. P. I. i. 451.
63:6 Faber. P. I. i. 452.
63:7 Ibid. 453.
64:1 Moor. Hind. Panth. plates 17, 18, 20.
64:2 Ibid. pl. 47.
64:3 Ibid. pl. 27.
64:4 Ibid. p. 22.
65:1 Maurice, Hist. of Hindostan, i. 343.
65:2 Asiat. Res. viii. 65.
66:1 Maurice, Hist. of Hindostan, v. 343.
67:1 Quintus Curtius, lib. viii. c. 12.
67:2 For the above valuable facts, I am indebted to the elegant work of Col. Tod, on the Antiquities and Annals of Rajahstan.
68:1 Maur. Hist. Hind. i. 291.
68:2 Embassy to Tibet.
68:3 Account of Ceylon, p. 83.
69:1 Stukeley, Abury, 56.
69:2 Maur. Hist. Hind. i. 210.
69:3 Lecompte, China, 94.
70:1 Kœmpfer, Japan, 246.
70:2 A somewhat similar story is told by Pindar, Olymp. 6, of Iamus, the son of Apollo and Evadne: though in this case the two serpents, sent by the gods, fed the foundling with wild honey.
70:3 Cambry Monumens Celtiques. 163.
71:1 Vide infra. "Serpent-worship in Greece and Egypt."
72:1 Jablonski, Panth. Æg. lib. i. c. 4.
72:2 Purchas. Pilg. part iii. p. 395.
72:3 "Tour through the Upper Provinces," p. 166.
73:1 Maur. Ind. Ant. ii. 192.
73:2 Maur. Ind. Ant. 194, 195.
73:3 Rev. xii. 7.
73:4 A similar notion prevailed in the Mythology of Scandinavia. See infra, c. 3.
74:1 Kœmpfer, Japan, 124.
74:2 Ibid. 128.
74:3 Ibid. 191.
76:1 Java, i. 9, 10. 15. 17.
76:2 Ibid. 47.
76:3 Ibid. 21, 22.
77:1 Delph. Phœn. c. 2. p. 10.
77:2 De Vitâ Apollonii, lib. i. c. 14, and lib. iii. c. 3.
78:1 Præp. Evang. 40.
78:2 Ibid. 39.
78:3 Στοιχείων. See Warburton Div. Leg. of Moses, iii. 213.
80:1 Ant. Myth. i, 58 et passim.
81:1 OB is the same as AB, with a prolonged pronunciation.
82:1 Jablonski Pantheon. Ægypt. lib. i. c. 4. s. 11.
82:2 Plutarch. De Iside et Osiride 632. Edit. Steph.
83:1 Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. p. 303.
83:2 Davies. Myth. of Druids, 122.
85:1 Præp. Evang. lib. i. 41
85:2 Ibid .iv. 39.
85:3 Bryant. Anal. l. 13.
86:1 Geog. Sacr.
86:2 Bryant. Anal. ii. 199.
86:3 Judges iii, 3.
87:1 2 Kings xviii. 4.
87:2 Hæres. xxxvii. p. 267.
88:1 De Præscript. Hæret. c. xlvii. p. 221. Cited by Bryant, Anal. ii. 218.
88:2 P. 91
89:1 It was a common practice of the Heathen to kiss their idols.
89:2 Epiph. lib. i. tom. 3. p. 268, &c.
90:1 Demosth. pro Corona, s. 79.
90:2 Nicola: de ritu Bacch. apud Gronov. vii. 186.
90:3 Prolegomena to the Pythia, of Pindar, cited by Bryant. Anal. ii. 147.
91:1 Faber. Pag. Idol. ii. 433. citing Asiat. Res. vol. x.
91:2 Bryant, Anal. ii. 142.
92:1 Gibbon, Dec. and Fall of Rom. Emp. iv. 113.
92:2 Strabo, lib. xvi. 750.
93:1 Plate in Maurice and Bryant.
93:2 Lib. i. c. 9.
93:3 Strabo, 756.
94:1 Lampridius, cited by Jablonski Panth. Ægypt. 89.
94:2 OBEL is probably the same as BEL--the great god of the Babylonians.
94:3 Deut. iii. 4.
95:1 See Gale. Court of Gentiles, v. L b. ii. 58.
99:1 Cited by Stillingfleet. Orig. Sac, book iii. c. 3. s. 18.
99:2 Beger de Num. Creten. Serpentif. 8.
100:1 Nelson, Fasts and Festivals.
101:1 Archæol. vol. xxiii.
101:2 See Spanheim, 212, &c.
102:1 Strabo, lib. 13.
103:1 De Animal. lib. xii. c. 39.
104:1 Gronov. vii. 869, on the Arundelian Marbles and Stone found at Megara.
104:2 It is remarkable that this city is particularly stigmatized in Scripture as "Satan's seat,"---"where Satan dwelleth."-Rev. ii. 13.
110:2 Bryant, Anal. ii. 207.
110:3 Anal. ii. 209.
110:4 Strabo, 653.
111:1 Geog. Sacr. Part 2. lib. i. c. 7.
111:2 Geog. Sacr. Part 2. lib. i. c. 7. citing Diod. and Hygin.
111:3 Faber derives Phorbas from Ph’-or-ob-as, "the burning solar serpent." (Cabiri. i. 351.)
112:1 Strabo, 659.
113:1 Bochart. Geog. Sac. Part. 2. lib. i. c. 9.
113:2 Cited by Bochart, ut supra.
114:1 Bryant, Anal. ii. 460.
115:1 Koch de Cultu Serpentum, p. 30; also Suidas.
115:2 New Memoirs of Literature. Anno 1725, vol. i. 421.