At Lycopolis in Egypt the destroying power of the sun was represented by a wolf; which, as Macrobius says, was worshipped there as Apollo. 1 The wolf appears devouring grapes in the ornaments of the temple of Bacchus περικιονιος at Puzzuoli; 2 and on the medals of Cartha he is surrounded with rays, which plainly proves that he is there meant as a symbol of the sun. 3 He is also represented on most of the coins of Argos, 4 where I have already shown that the diurnal sun Apollo, the light-extending god, was peculiarly worshipped. We may therefore conclude, that this animal is meant for one of the mystic
symbols of the primitive worship, and not, as some antiquarians have supposed, to commemorate the mythological tales of Danaus or Lycaon, which were probably invented, like many others of the same kind, to satisfy the inquisitive ignorance of the vulgar, from whom the meaning of the mystic symbols, the usual devices on the medals, was strictly concealed. In the Celtic mythology, the same symbol was employed, apparently in the same sense, Lok, the great destroying power of the universe, being represented under the form of a wolf. 1
The Apollo Didymæus, or double Apollo, was probably the two personifications, that of the destroying, and that of the creating power, united; whence we may perceive the reason why the ornaments before described should be upon his temple. 2 On the medals of Antigonus, king of Asia, is a figure with his hair hanging in artificial ringlets over his shoulders, like that of a woman, and the whole composition, both of his limbs and countenance, remarkable for extreme delicacy, and feminine elegance. 3 He is sitting on the prow of a ship, as god of the waters; and we should, without hesitation, pronounce him to be
the Bacchus διφυης, were it not for the bow that he carries in his hand, which evidently shows him to be Apollo. This I take to be the figure under which the refinement of art (and more was never shown than in this medal) represented the Apollo Didymæus, or union of the creative and destructive powers of both sexes in one body.
As fire was the primary essence of the active or male powers of creation and generation, so was water of the passive or female. Appian says, that the goddess worshipped at Hierapolis in Syria was called by some Venus, by others Juno, and by others held to be the cause which produced the beginning and seeds of things from humidity. 1 Plutarch describes her nearly in the same words; 2 and the author of the treatise attributed to Lucian 3 says, she was Nature, the parent of things, or the creatress. She was therefore the same as Isis, who was the prolific material upon which both the creative and destructive attributes operated. 4 As water was her terrestrial essence, so was the moon her celestial image, whose attractive power, heaving the waters of the ocean, naturally led men to associate them. The moon was
also supposed to return the dews which the sun exhaled from the earth; and hence her warmth was reckoned to be moistening, as that of the sun was drying. 1 The Egyptians called her the Mother of the World, because she sowed and scattered into the air the prolific principles with which she had been impregnated by the sun. 2 These principles, as well as the light by which she was illumined, being supposed to emanate from the great fountain of all life and motion, partook of the nature of the being from which they were derived. Hence the Egyptians attributed to the moon, as well is to the sun, the active and passive powers of generation, 3 which were both, to use the language of the scholastics, essentially the same, though formally different. This union is represented on a medal of Demetrius the second, king of Syria, 4 where the goddess of Hierapolis appears with the male organs of generation sticking out of her robe, and holding the thyrsus of Bacchus, the emblem of fire, in one hand, and the terrestrial globe, representing the subordinate elements, in the other. Her head is crowned with various plants, and on each side is in asterisc representing (probably) the diurnal
and nocturnal sun, in the same manner as when placed over the caps of Castor and Pollux. 1 This is not the form under which she was represented in the temple at Hierapolis, when the author of the account attributed to Lucian visited it; which is not to be wondered at, for the figures of this universal goddess, being merely emblematical, were composed according to the attributes which the artists meant particularly to express. She is probably represented here in the form under which she was worshipped in the neighbourhood of Cyzicus, where she was called Αρτεμις Πριαπινη, the Priapic Diana. 2 In the temple at Hierapolis the active powers imparted to her by the Creator were represented by immense images of the male organs of generation placed on each side of the door. The measures of these must necessarily be corrupt in the present text of Lucian; but that they were of an enormous size we may conclude from what is related of a man's going to the top of one of them every year, and residing there days, in order to have a more intimate communication with the deity, while praying for the prosperity of Syria. 3 Athenæus relates, that Ptolemy Philadelphus had one of 120 cubits long carried in
procession at Alexandria, 1 of which the poet might justly have said--
Horrendum protendit Mentula contum
Quanta queat vastos Thetidis spumantis hiatus;
Quanta queat priscamque Rheam, magnamque parentem
Naturam, solidis naturam implere medullis,
Si foret immensos, quot ad astra volantia currunt,
Conceptura globos, et tela trisulca tonantis,
Et vaga concussum motura tonitrua mundum.
This was the real meaning of the enormous figures at Hierapolis:--they were the generative organs of the creator personified, with which he was supposed to have impregnated the heavens, the earth, and the waters. Within the temple were many small statues of men with these organs disproportionably large. These were the angels or attendants of the goddess, who acted as her ministers of creation in peopling and fructifying the earth. The statue of the goddess herself was in the sanctuary of the temple; and near it was the statue of the creator, whom the author calls Jupiter, as he does the goddess, Juno; by which he only means that they were the supreme deities of the country where worshipped. She was borne by lions, and he by bulls, to show that nature, the passive productive power of matter, was sustained by anterior destruction, whilst the ætherial spirit, or active productive power, was sustained by his own
strength only, of which the bulls were symbols. 1 Between both was a third figure, with a dove on his head, which some thought to be Bacchus. 2 This was the Holy Spirit, the first-begotten love, or plastic nature, (of which the dove was the image when it really deigned to descend upon man, 3) proceeding from, and consubstantial with both; for all three were but personifications of one. The dove, or some fowl like it, appears on the medals of Gortyna in Crete, acting the same part with Dictynna, the Cretan Diana, as the swan is usually represented acting with Leda. 4 This composition has nearly the same signification as that before described of the bull in the lap of Ceres, Diana being equally a personification of the productive power of the earth. It may seem extraordinary, that after this adventure with the dove, she should still remain a virgin; but mysteries of this kind are to be found in all religions. Juno is said to have renewed her virginity every year by bathing
in a certain fountain; 1 a miracle which I believe even modern legends cannot parallel.
163:1 Sat. lib. i. c. 17.
163:2 Plate XVI. Fig. x.
163:3 Plate X, Fig. 8, from one belonging to me.
163:4 Plate IX, Fig. 7, from one belonging to me.
164:1 Mallet, Introd. à l'Hist. de Danemarc.
164:2 See Ionian Antiq. vol. L c. 3, Pl. IX.
164:3 See Plate X. Fig. 7, from one belonging to me. Similar figures are on the coins of most of the Seleucidæ.
165:1 De Bello Parthico.
165:2 In Crasso.
165:3 De Dea Syriâ.
165:4 Plutarch. de Is. & Os.
166:1 Calor solis arefacit, lunaris humectat. Macrob. Sat. vii. c. 10.
166:2 Plutarch. de Is. & Os.
166:4 Plate X. Fig. 5, from Haym. Tes. Brit. p. 70.
167:1 See Plate IX. Fig. 7.
167:2 Plutarch. in Lucullo.
167:3 Lucian. de Dea Syriâ.
168:1 Deipnos. lib.
169:1 The active and passive powers of creation are called male and female by the Ammonian Platonics. See Proclus in Theol. Platon. lib. i. c. 28.
169:2 Lucian, de Dea Syria.
169:3 Matth. ch. iii. ver. 17.
169:4 See Plate m. Fig. 5. Καλψσι δε την Αρτεμιν Θρακες Βενδειαν, Κρητες δε Δικτυνναν. Palæph. de Incred. Tab. XXXI. See also Diodor. Sic. lib. v. & Euripid. Hippol. v. 145.