The Migration of Symbols, by Goblet d'Alviella, , at sacred-texts.com
Chap. II. § 1.—The slab found at Huy on the Meuse representing a priest whose vestments are adorned with gammadions has an equivalent in the Musée de Cluny, at Paris, where an Abbot of Cluny, who died in 1394, is figured on his tombstone as wearing sacerdotal robes ornamented with gammadions in the same manner.
Chap. III.—In the Correspondenzblatt der Westdeutschen Zeitschrift, 1892, p. 179 seq., Mr. Ohlenschläger speaks of a bas-relief in the cathedral of Spires which recalls the group of Sampson killing the lion in the cathedral of Nivelles, with the same Mithraic affinities.
Chap. IV. and seq.—I have received, too late to take advantage of it, Dr. Bonavia's recent book, The Flora of the Assyrian Monuments and its Outcome (1 vol., London, Archibald Constable and Co., 1894), which deals with many questions treated in this volume. Ingenious and suggestive as his views are, I see nothing in them to alter my general conclusions.
For instance, he insists, still more than I do, on the importance of the Horn symbol in Assyrian worship—going so far as to qualify their whole religion by the picturesque term of hornism! He has made a strong case, when he looked to this symbol as an antecedent to the Caduceus, the fleur-de-lys, the anthemion or palmette, the Ionian
volutes, the Horseshoe, the Crescent, the Thunderbolt, the trisula, certain Keys of Life and so forth. I am ready to admit that in shaping the fork or Trident of their storm gods the Assyrians have been influenced by their habitual way of representing conventionally the Sacred Tree adorned with the symbolical Horns. But does not the learned author go too far, when he infers that this weapon in the hands of the god is meant for a pair of horns mounted on a stem and, therefore, that the thunderbolt originally represented only a double pair of horns with the sacred stem in the middle?
There would be nothing surprising if the Assyrians had symbolized lightning by a pair of horns, although this remains a supposition so long as not confirmed by some text. One could understand a description or representation of the storm god as a mighty bull, or even as a horned man striking his victims with the head. But when we see this supernatural being, whether horned or not, holding in his hand a bident or a trident, there is no need to go further and to take this weapon for anything else than what it appears to be—a spear or javelin with several points.
But Dr. Bonavia goes still further and contends that it may not be at all a representation of lightning, simply a hornstick, a charm against the evil eye in the hands of a protecting deity. To this, without entering into details, I shall answer, firstly, that according to all Assyriologists, this kind of Trident is essentially the attribute of Rammanu, the god of the atmosphere and therefore of the storm; secondly, that there is a text where lightning is described as a weapon with several heads (W. A. I., ii., 19, trad. Sayce); thirdly, that there exists on Assyrian monuments a gradual and unmistakable transition—as shown in this book and by Dr. Bonavia's own illustrations—between his
[paragraph continues] "horned stick" and what became the Thunderbolt of the Greeks, without any apparent break of continuity in the meaning of the symbol. If somebody alleges that such break remains possible, with him lies the onus probandi.