The Evil Eye, by Frederick Thomas Elworthy, , at sacred-texts.com
EVERYBODY is familiar with the lunar appearance popularly known as "the old moon in the arms of the new," in which a dark disc is seen within the crescent. Precisely this phase was adopted as one of the most frequent crests to be seen upon the head of more than one of the Egyptian gods and goddesses. Thoth or Tehuti, 284 the scribe who weighed the souls when brought to judgment ("in one aspect he is the god of the moon"), and Chonsu, the hawk-headed, are both represented with the crescent and disc. Isis, and Hathor who was closely connected and sometimes actually confounded with her, 285 bear the disc with the horns of the crescent much prolonged, so as to assume the appearance of the horns of a cow. Hathor is often represented with the head of a cow on a human body, and also frequently as a cow, having the disc and horns on its head. At Philæ, Denderah, and elsewhere, she is represented as beautiful, while at the same time she has a sort of half-human, half-bovine face. Hathor became in late Greek and Roman times completely identified with Isis. "Isis is the female and receptive principle of generation." 286
It is with the crescent and disc head-dress that we now have to do. Of course the deities thus distinguished by the crescent were moon-gods; but in the case of the gods Thoth and Chonsu the disc represented the sun also, from their intimate connection with Ra, the Sun-God of Egypt. Among the Greeks, who got much of their mythology from Egypt, the counterparts of Isis and Hathor were Artemis and Iö, the latter of whom became at length identical with Hera; all of these were symbolised by the Crescent. 287
The Greek Iö was frequently represented by a cow, 288 as at Amyclæ. She is said to have been changed into a cow by Hera, and she was considered in the heroic age to be the cow-goddess Hera herself. The latter is called, from her cow-face, βοωπίς by Homer. In the battle of the gods, Hera took the form of a white cow, Nivea Saturnia vacca. 289 Cows' heads were on the coins of Samos, where was the most ancient temple of Hera. In Corinth 290 she had the epithet βουναία, and white cows were sacrificed in her honour. 291 The priestesses of Hera rode in a car drawn by white bulls to her temple at Argos. 292 It is said that the Egyptian Isis was born at Argos, 293 and that she was identified with the cow-shaped Iö, who, as before stated, was the same as Hera, and both were represented in Egypt as well as in Greece with cows' horns. 294 In the religious mysteries of Argos, Iö continued to be the old name
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for the moon. 295 We are further told distinctly and repeatedly, that the cow horns of Iö-Hera, who was also often represented with a cow's face, like that of Isis-Hathor, were derived from the symbolic horns of the crescent moon. 296
Hera, under her old moon-name Iö, had a celebrated temple on the site of Byzantium, said to have been founded by her daughter Keroëssa, "the horned." 297 The crescent, which was in all antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages the symbol of Byzantium, and which is now the symbol of the Turkish Empire, is a direct inheritance from Byzantium's mythical foundress Keroëssa, the daughter of the moon-goddess Iö-Hera; for it is certain the Turks did not bring it with them from Asia, but found it already the "cognizance" of Byzantium. The name Bosphorus is said to be "the passage of the cow": Iö, according to the legend, having there crossed into Europe in that form. 298
The intimate connection of Hera and all her relatives with the crescent, is shown by the remarkable figures in coarse terra cotta, of which so many were discovered by Schliemann at Mycenæ, and now to be seen in the Athens Museum. The illustrations herewith (Fig. 68) are from the writer's own sketches from the original painted pottery at Athens, but a coloured plate of one of them appears in Schliemann's book on Tiryns and Mycenæ. He calls them Hera images, and the strange association of the female form with the crescent rather confirms the opinion that these were the household gods (like
[paragraph continues] Penates or Teraphim) of those ancient Greeks, who relied upon their protection against the evil eye. 299 They certainly belong to that class of objects, of which we have other striking examples. They are in any case very remarkable evidences of the emblematic treatment of a divinity at a very early date; for it must be admitted that the use of the crescent as the body of the figure in each of the many examples at Athens is of itself remarkable, and it is certainly reasonable to maintain that all relate to one and the same personality.
When the several attributes of the various deities came to be represented by concrete shapes, as, for example, the "lowing one" by horns, the early figurative significations were forgotten, and they became so mixed up, confused, and conventionalised, that a cow -face, a crescent, or a cow's horns stood alike for Isis, Hathor, Iö, Hera, or Demeter; while an owl represented Athena as the type of wisdom and as one of the goddesses of the dawn. In fact the cow, the crescent, the horns, and the owl became their recognised attributes or symbols-precisely as in Christian art the man's
face, the winged lion, the bull, and the eagle have become the recognised symbols or attributes of the four Evangelists.
Having then shown that the same symbols represented beings which originally were held to be distinct and separate, it is not difficult to see how their separate identities became lost, and from the same symbol each and all would at last come to be regarded as one and the same person. Not only a number of goddesses did actually become mixed and confused into one, but several of the gods likewise.
"Jove, Pluto, Phbus, Bacchus, all are one," was sung by Orpheus, 300 thus adopting the grand principle of Hindooism--that all the various deities are but names for the different attributes of the Almighty one. In further confirmation of this idea, we find that Virgil treated Bacchus the Wine God, the god of orgies and debauch, as only another form, we may call it an effect, of the life-giving, wine-producing sun. He makes Bacchus and Ceres stand for Osiris and Isis, the sun and moon, typified in the disc and crescent. Hence Bacchus is often represented with horns. 301 In Hebrew a 'radiated' and a 'horned' head is signified by the same word. Hence, when Moses came down from the Mount, cornuta fuit facies ejus, according to the Vulgate; and in virtue of this mistranslation hath the Lawgiver ever been graced with those appendages." 302
Without entering into the nice controversy here foreshadowed, it is quite enough for the present purpose to point to the fact that the authors of the Vulgate translation believed, from their own training and habit, that the Hebrew meaning was that the great, almost divine Moses, came down with actual horns upon his head. Moreover, this view has been actually maintained by more than one commentator. 303
As with gods, so with regard to goddesses, we find the same pervading idea; and as we proceed, this will have constant illustration in the manifold combination of attributes certainly relating to one and the same being, but in their inception belonging to many distinct personifications.
"Apuleius quoque Isin--Deum Matrem, Minervam, Junonem, Dianam, Cererem, Venerem, Proserpinam, Hecatem unam, eandemque esse prædicat." 304 If then all these various goddesses, like
the gods sung by Orpheus, are "one and the same"--mere names representing various attributes of one great divinity--our oft-recurring difficulty in explaining the strange combination of charms in one complex amulet, vanishes, and that which was obscure becomes quite clear. 305
The remarkable inscription found by Lanciani (see p. 129) does but confirm what we are trying to make plain, that one and the same deity appears over and over again under different names, representing diverse attributes.
To return to Isis: she "sometimes signifies the Moon when she is represented by a crescent; sometimes the Earth, as fecundated by the waters of the Nile. Hence water, as the issue of Osiris, is carried in a vase in her processions. Osiris is signified by an eye, also by an eye and a sceptre combined: his name being compounded of Os, many; and Iris, eye." 306 We have seen how completely Isis, Artemis, and Diana were identical, and hence all three are habitually represented with the horned crescent, as their particular accompaniment or symbol: and further by the cow's head or cow's horns so often seen. When we speak of Diana the chaste huntress, it is manifestly under a very different aspect from that of the Ephesian Diana, whose typical statues are to be seen at Naples and elsewhere. Fig. 69 is from Menetrius, 307 and represents one of the Roman ideas of the Ephesian goddess. In these statues the great feature is the numerous mammæ which
mark her as the type of human fertility. This latter conception is of purely Asiatic origin, though the
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Looking at Isis as the mother of Horus, 309 in the
act of nursing him (Fig. 70, from Wilkinson, iii. 112), one of the commonest forms in which she is represented, and remembering, too, that in the use of the same symbols, those of the crescent and horns,
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FIG. 70., 71.
she was succeeded by Artemis and Diana, one cannot but be struck with the wonderful similarity between her and the present-day Madonna and Child.
In one of the rock chambers at Silsilis on the Nile, is a relief of Isis suckling Horus, said 310 to be "one of the most perfect specimens of Egyptian sculpture at its best period." It is treated in such a manner, and without the usual head ornaments, that one would be ready to believe the old Italian painters Lippi and Botticelli must have gone there,
and have made true copies of what they saw, to be reproduced at home as the "Holy Family." In India, the infant Chrishna, the incarnate deity, in the arms of Devaki, is another very striking example 311 (Fig. 72) of precisely the same subject. Moreover, in this the child is black with woolly hair--a thing
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strange in India. Those who have seen the black figure at the top of the Scala Santa at Rome will not fail to be struck with the remarkable resemblance not only of the mother and child, but of the ray of light or nimbus round both heads. It is of a piece with the black Virgins to be seen elsewhere. 312
In the statues of Diana of Ephesus (supposed to represent the original "image which fell down") at Naples and elsewhere, the face, hands, and feet, are of black marble, showing that it was intended to represent a black goddess; and it is maintained
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Ishtar was adored in ancient Babylon
much in the same manner as the Virgin is now; and amongst her other titles was "The Mother of the Gods." 314 Fig. 73 is Ishtar, from Rawlinson's Ancient Monarchies, vol. i. p. 176. The same figure is reproduced in Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 477; and in Inman, Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 254. (See Appendix I.)
Again, the analogy of Diana Lucina and Diana Pronuba, the goddess of childbirth and of marriage,
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represented by the crescent, is well preserved in her successor the Madonna del parto, who in the well-known attribute of "Madonna Immaculata," 315 is always depicted as standing on the crescent. It is easy to trace the chain of ideas. We must not forget that in one of her aspects Diana was a tree spirit or sylvan deity. Like the tree spirits before referred to, she helped women in travail." 316
Somewhat allied to the foregoing is the belief
in what is understood by immaculate conception--another of those remarkable instincts which seem to have existed throughout the ages, and long antecedent to the Jewish prophecies. In the far East the Persian Mazda worshippers looked for the birth of a Saviour from a virgin mother. In the sacred books of Zoroaster we read: "We worship the guardian spirit of the holy maid Esetât-Jedhri, who is called the all-conquering, for she will bring him forth who will destroy the malice of the demons and of men." 317 It was this firm belief which brought the Magi, many long centuries after the above was written, from the land of Zoroaster to worship Him whom they had heard of, as born of a virgin to be the King of the Jews. Ages upon ages earlier still, the belief was current in Egypt, for, according to some, Aroeris or the Elder Horus (the Greek Apollo) was born of Isis from a conception previous to her own birth; 318 and we constantly see the unmistakable foreshadowing by Isis and Horus of the latter day Madonna e Bambino.
We know, too, that both Greeks and Romans fully believed in the facts implied, and they further believed that certain plants had the property of rendering women pregnant.
Diana was called the "Mother of the World," 319 strangely like the title given to the Babylonian Ishtar. The Egyptian priests styled the moon, whose personification was Isis, "The Mother of the Universe." 320
Domestic cattle were supposed to be under the special protection of Diana, hence we may well trace the extreme prevalence of amulets, symbolic of her attributes, upon horses. Diana was also identified through Artemis with the Greek Ilithya, the servant of Hera, and goddess of birth. She also was originally a moon-goddess, and the moon was always believed to exercise great influence on growth in general, but especially of children; so the attributes of Ilithya were passed on along with her moon-symbol, and consequently all those deities, ancient or modern, whose principal sign is the crescent, are looked upon as the special protectors of women and children against malign influence. The wearing of the crescent is a visible worship of the powerful being whose symbol it is, whether known as Isis, Parvati, Devaki, Kali, 321 Bhavani, Artemis, Athena, Minerva, Diana or Madonna, who are all, as shown before, unam eandemque.
Seeing how every phase or attribute of nature had its special divinity, we are not surprised to learn that, in Imperial times, according to Varro, there were in Rome three temples on the Esquiline dedicated to the goddess of fever, and one to Mephitis. Readers of Tacitus will remember that a temple of
[paragraph continues] Mephitis was the only building left standing after the sack of Cremona. There was also an altar dedicated to the evil eye (Mala Fortuna). "Near the Prætorian Camp, there was an altar to Verminus, god of microbes, and in the very centre of the Forum an altar to Cloacina, the goddess of typhoid." Those who know the spot can join the writer in testifying that she still reigns there with unabated power. The example of ancient Rome does but illustrate how ignorant people fly to the supernatural and miraculous, whenever attacked by evils of which they cannot understand the cause. Hence the increase of divinities in pagan times, when not only aspects of nature, but every disease, and almost every idea, had its personification. In mediæval days there was no advance in real belief, but simply a transfer of these old-world ideas: having set up separate deities, they merely transposed them into attributes of the great Christian goddess, successor of Diana, whose cult then became all-supreme. It is a curious fact that when Rome, after the fall of the Empire, relapsed into its insanitary condition, the old worship reappeared in another shape, and a chapel arose near the Vatican to the "Madonna della Febre," 322 the most popular in Rome, in times of sickness or epidemic.
As a parallel to this here in Britain, "the goddess of love was turned into St. Brychan's daughter; and as late as the fourteenth century lovers are said to have come from all parts to pray at her shrine in Anglesea." Another similar example "is found in the confusion of St. Bridget and an Irish goddess whose gifts were poetry, fire, and medicine. The
saint became the Queen of Heaven, and was adored as 'Mary of the Gael'; but almost all the incidents in her legend can be referred to the pagan ritual." 323
Having sketched briefly the cult which may be called Isis-Diana worship, whose principal attributes were symbolised by the horned moon, we arrive at the conclusion that, to-day, horns, in one form or another, are of all objects the most common as amulets against the evil eye, whether affecting man or beast; so much so that it has at last come to be fully believed by Neapolitans that, in default of a horn of some shape in the concrete, the mere utterance of the word corno or corna is an effectual protection." 323a Further than this, the common name by which every charm or amulet against the evil eye is known, even the most elaborate, such as the Cimaruta, or Mano Pantea, is simply "un corno."
In one of her aspects Hecate was identical with the Gorgon, and hence we find very numerous instances, widely separated in locality, of the Medusa being furnished with horns. In Fig. 53, from the Paris Exhibition of 1889, though the moustaches seem to imply a male face, yet it is one of several hideous masks, all of which are ornamented with horns, while the eyebrows and moustaches are alike formed of the black horns of smaller animals. Some, from Cambodia, may, with every reason, be considered to represent the oriental Bhavani, the original of the Greek Gorgoneion. From Senegal were exhibited many roughly-carved wooden figures--images or gods, but mostly with horns projecting
high above the head. There were two head-dresses ornamented with cowries, charms in themselves; but above each head-dress there were two antelope horns standing up conspicuously. The central object of the exhibits at Paris from Senegal was a typical house, ornamented at the four corners of the roof with large cow's horns turned upwards. From
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[paragraph continues] Tahiti was exhibited an idol, with two large horns on its head carved in wood; moreover, this figure had the right hand raised with palm exposed. 324
Fig. 75 is from Peru, 325 and the horns on this mask are of much the same character as those found in Tahiti (Fig. 53).
On p. 44 Wiener gives a plate showing the interior of a tomb. Above the group of figures and utensils it contains, is fixed, near the apex of the roof, a large mask with immense horns. This is evidently an amulet to Protect the dead.
Fig. 76 is a horned Medusa from the bust of one of the Emperors, in the Doria Gallery in Rome, showing that, in the time of the Empire, horns had been
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of the phylactery, an undoubted amulet, worn as a "frontlet" for a protection against the evil eye.
We know how in our Lord's time the wearing of these had become a fashion; how they got to be enlarged and exaggerated, until they were looked upon as a badge of sanctity, a mark of worldly honour. So much had they become, in this way, the instruments of hypocrisy, that they brought upon the Pharisees the Master's denunciation. Why should not the use of both phylactery and horn have had the same origin? The defiling of his horn in the dust by Job (xvi. 15) and the exalting of his horn by the Psalmist (lxxxix. 17, 24; xcii. 10) seem both to point in the same direction, and to show that it was worn as a mark of distinction--something to attract attention and to bespeak respect. In the present day, the curious spiral ornaments worn on each side of the head by Dutch women, must surely be something more than a mere coincidence, in their resemblance to the ram's horns so often seen upon the heads of Jupiter and Bacchus. The women of the Druses of Lebanon wear silver horns upon their heads, larger or smaller, to distinguish the married from the single. The writer can bear witness that the Jewesses of Tunis also wear, as part of their regular costume, a sort of pointed cap, much higher on the matron than the maid. It is quite well understood there that this headdress is the survival of the Scriptural horn. In South Africa 327 the women of some tribes ornament their heads with buffalo horns. Horns are worn as amulets by Africans of both sexes; 328 and we see that
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FIG. 77.--From Catlin, i. 146.
elsewhere they are not now restricted to female wear, any more than in the time of David. Catlin 329 gives portraits of many North American Indians who wear the skins of bisons on their heads with the horns attached. We reproduce one (Fig. 77), that of Mah-to-wo-pa, as it contains another important amulet, besides the very conspicuous horns upon his head. Also it should be noted that on his spear are two horns, with a feather close by in a conspicuous place, to draw attention to them, like the pheasant's tail on the Neapolitan harness. Not only, however, were these worn on the head of the savage, but on the helmet of the warrior, as a crest which his enemy might not fail to see, in case the shield, bearing some other amulet, should not attract the first fatal glance. In the Naples
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FIG. 78., 79.
From Naples Museum
[paragraph continues] "was ornamented with horns and a high plume." 332 We may reasonably conclude that the high plume was not only ornamental, but, like the pheasants' tails now stuck on horses' heads, was intended to attract the eye of the malevolent and to direct it upon the protecting horns. Who will undertake to assert that the horns on the Greek, Etruscan, Belgic, or Saxon warrior, were worn for a purpose different from those on the head of Catlin's Mandan chief?
Besides those borne on the helmet by Greeks and others, horns were worn as amulets by man and beast;
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Among the Louvre ancient gems are horns of agate set in gold with eyelets for suspension, especially Nos. 726, 727, while No. 729 has three horns so set. Compare. this with the modern Italian charm, the hand holding three coral horns suspended, see centre of Fig. 81. 333
Necklaces and bracelets formed of suspended crescents and horned heads of oxen are common in every collection of ancient jewellery. 334
There is abundant evidence, moreover, that our own British forefathers wore these things, for in the
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FIG. 81.-From the Author's Collection.
tumuli which have been opened in various places in England, have been found "crescents made of wolves'
teeth and boars' tusks, which were perforated and worn as charms." 335
In a Dorsetshire barrow was found a perforated boar's tusk. 336 Crescents made of boars' tusks are favourite ornaments on horses' breasts in Constantinople, where dread of the evil eye for his horse makes the Turk forget his antipathy to the pig.
In Naples, horns both in the form of crescents and like those of animals are as common as blackberries, upon the trappings of horses. Examples of each are to be seen in Figs. 83, 84; but the single pendent horn, whether of brass or white metal, of silver, coral, pearl, or bone, may be said to be almost invariable upon man and beast in Italy. A horn of one or other of these materials is to be seen hanging to the watch-chain of nearly every Italian one meets, who wears any such things; while many wear them as hidden charms on the breast, next the skin. 337
Of the common Neapolitan cart harness, shown on Fig. 82, the ornaments are literally made up of charms and prophylactics. Photogravure cannot adequately represent this, for it fails to show that the whole thing is kept very bright; and all being of polished brass, it has a flashing and most attractive appearance, which cannot be overlooked, in any sense of the word. On his head the horse carries a
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FIG. 82.--From the Author's Collection.
bell, with four jingling clappers, surmounted by a crescent; another crescent, having horns pointing downwards, shows beneath the bell. On the off cheek is a piece of the inevitable wolf skin, a warning to every versipelle whose wicked eye may light upon the horse. Outside the wolf skin is a bunch of bright, many-coloured ribbons, and upon them is hung the single pendent horn. The colours, which do not come out in the photograph, as before explained, are a part of the business, for coloured threads and ribbons enter largely into all matters relating to witchcraft. Besides all these things, the bridle or head-stall is bedecked with a pheasant's tail, another attractive object to be seen on nearly every Neapolitan or Roman horse's head-gear. The bright brass-plating, engraved with saints or angels, completes this powerful battery of resisting charms, so that an evil glance must be fully absorbed, baffled, or exhausted before it can fix itself upon the animal.
It may be well here to point out other peculiarities of horse gear which, though so very common in Naples, are not generally known, and perhaps have passed unnoticed by many, who are familiar with the general appearance. There is no bit in the horse's mouth, but a metal plate with two projecting arms rests on the nasal bone above the nostrils; to these the reins are attached, and a subsidiary strap, on each side passing through a ring, is fastened to a jointed plate with rough edges resting on the under jaw opposite the nose plate. Any pull on this latter causes the nose and jaw to be held in a powerful grip, far more effective than a common bit. Nearly all the cab horses are driven with a contrivance of this kind.
[paragraph continues] Neapolitan horses being small, and the carts having very high wheels, the shafts have to be kept at a considerable distance above the animal's back, and the loads are so adjusted as to bear very little on him. The very high pommel and brightly-plated saddle are peculiar to Southern Italy and Sicily. In Naples the two brazen flags, swinging about, above the horse's back, are almost invariable. They are said to be typical of the "flaming sword which turned every way" (Gen. iii. 24), and they are no doubt intended as part of the guard, protecting the life of the horse bearing them; for they are an unfailing attraction to the eye whether evil or not. 338 The high pommel ends in another patch of wolf skin and more red worsted round the spindle of the vanes. 339 The figure standing upon the little round barrel at the back of the pommel is San Gennaro. This ornament varies according to the fancy of the
owner, but the little round barrel is invariable, so is the row of studs on the front of the pommel; but I have never been able to learn the meaning of
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FIG. 83.--From the Author's Collection.
either. These pommels are, however, like the prows of Venetian gondolas, all alike.
In Figs. 83 and 84 are examples of amulets, one or more of which are to be found upon every cab horse in Naples. The small branching horns at the left
corner of Fig. 84 are carried on his head between his cars, and very few horses are to be seen without this particular article, though of course varied in form;
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FIG. 84.--From the Author's Collection.
some are of brass and some of white metal. The pendent horn next the pair of horns, is that which is worn on the off cheek with the ribbons, wolf skin, and pheasant's tail. The pendent crescents are often worn fastened upon the loin strap on each side, as well as on the forehead--a favourite place for a
half-moon, just as it is here in Somerset. All the other amulets shown on both figures are screwed into the pommel of the little pad on the horse's back, and in some cases form a stud for the bearing rein. In one, the screw by which it is fixed is shown. All these are avowedly carried contra la jettatura, and each owner chooses the one he thinks most effectual or ornamental. This is anything but an exhaustive collection, yet it very well represents the horse furniture of to-day. It is the result of many and long-separated visits to the shops, well known to the writer, where these things are made. Each may be taken as typical of the class of amulet to which it belongs, but there are many varieties of each kind, and of many more among the thousands of Neapolitan carosselle, which could not be procured unless specially ordered.
Of all the different objects upon the horses' backs, and no back is without one, by far the most numerous are the hands, in various positions or gestures. On a long rank of fourteen carosselle, we once saw three horses only which did not carry a hand. Of course this was rather exceptional, but it would be no exaggeration to say that up to a year or two ago, nearly every other cab horse in Naples carried a hand on his back. We shall speak of each of these horse amulets separately in its proper turn, but would here point out that the placing of the book in the paw of the lion, making him the "leone di San Marco," is the only visible sign, at least among the cabmen, of the thin veneer of Christianity, commonly overlaid upon Neapolitan paganism. In Rome these articles are not seen on horses' backs, though wolf skins, pheasants' tails, horns and crescents
are plentiful enough. There, however, differing from Naples, are to be seen large quantities of silver rings, for human fingers, with a little pendent horn attached, like the one in Fig. 81. These are strung on rods, fifty or sixty in a row, and marked plainly in the shop windows, "Annelli contra la jettatura." That here shown was bought in the Piazza di Spagna. 340
We are told 341 that petrified sharks' teeth owing to their tongue or horn shape were used as amulets against fascination in ancient times; probably they were fastened together, as boars' tusks are to-day, to form crescents.
Another singular form of horn amulet, is that of the combination of the two heads and fore legs of horned animals into a nondescript, as shown in Figs. 31-37. It will be seen later, from the illustrations of Cavalli Marini and other impossible animals, that charms made of a double-headed creature were rather favourites.
Horns were used as handles in various shapes for lamps of various kinds. Sometimes, as in Fig. 85, they have the crescent plainly marked with the name of the Ephesian Artemis, and in others, the plain crescent without knobs; plenty of these latter are to be seen at the Naples and other museums. Others again had handles of branching cows' horns, still pointing to the same deity in her cow-faced form (Fig. 86). Many of these lamps bore more than the single amulet of the handle: sometimes one, but often a number of objects are found upon them. That here shown has a scorpion upon it; a very
common central ornament was a Medusa's head, perhaps found more frequently than any other on this kind of lamp, belonging to pagan times. These
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FIG. 85--From Symbolica Diana Ephesiæ Statua.
lamps are generally of bronze, though often of terra cotta. Subsequently, in the Christian period, the central ornament in lamps of this kind changed to a cock or a cross, but most commonly of all, to what is miscalled the labarum--the Greek monogram
P, the initials of χριστός. 342 These are the lamps commonly found in the Roman Catacombs. A number of lamps from Pompeii is to be seen at Naples of this general shape--most of them have on the flat centre a Medusa, a Tragic mask, a hand, and for a handle a crescent, the head of an ox, horse, dog, swan, or a serpent. These latter are
[paragraph continues] of course all identical as amulets with the same objects worn to-day by Neapolitan cab-horses. Who can doubt that the intention of these things upon the ancient lamps, was precisely the same as of those now on the horses, against the evil eye? 343
We have noticed the cows' horns affixed to the model house from Senegal. The Bataks of Sumatra also place horns of oxen on the gables of their houses by way of finials. 344 Those who know Naples will not have failed to remark that many of the
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FIG. 86.--From Naples Museum.
houses near the Porta Nolana have cows' horns, often painted blue, fixed against the wall, especially upon an angle, at about the height of the first floor, at just the height of the famous diavolo of Florence, p. 231, Appendix II.
One of the entrances to Seville Cathedral, that which belonged to the original mosque, still retaining its horseshoe Moorish arch, leads from the famous Patio de los Naránjos (Court of the Orange-trees) into the Cathedral, and is a true relic of the
noble Moslems who built the splendid tower of Seville. Over this door (Fig. 87) is hung by a chain
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FIG. 87.--At Seville
Many of our readers will probably have remarked that on the framework of that remarkable structure to be seen upon the Roman wine carts, which, rough as it is, forms a folding hood to shelter the contadino, there is almost always a small cow's horn. It is usually fixed to the side of the first piece of bent wood at the front of the hood, but in such a way, and in such a position, that it can be of no use except as amulet or ornament. Very often another cow's horn is seen hanging upon the axle, underneath the cart, along with the usual lantern.
How shall we account for almost identical objects
to the crescents and horns we have been describing, when we find them in use among the negro savages of Ashantee? Fig. 88 shows three iron standards of native make, now to be seen in
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In these objects the crescent surmounts the disc instead of enclosing it, just as it does in many examples of the insignia of Roman legions; and we cannot fail to be struck with the remarkable coincidence. One of the crescents has a prolongation of the stem ending in a flat surface, which we suggest may represent the head of the moon-goddess; and allowing for difference of treatment, and the separation of unknown ages in time, 345 very remarkably preserves the same old notion, typified by the neck and head starting out of the crescent, of the terra-cotta figures from Mycenæ, now in the Athens Museum (see Fig. 68).
The third of these iron objects, used for the same purpose as the others, is more difficult to explain. It is submitted, as at least possible, and even plausible, taken in connection with its more evident companions, that this may be intended for a horn, point downwards, as in Neapolitan harness. Although we profess to be dealing with facts, yet again we submit that when such facts as we here produce can be marshalled together, it is but reasonable to deduce an intimate connection, and therefore that they are the products of one and the same idea in Naples and in Ashantee.
No doubt among savage and half-civilised races, plenty of other examples can be found of the use of crescents and horns, in positions analogous to those already mentioned: indeed a cow's horn hung up over the doorway of a stable or cowhouse may be seen anywhere in Italy, and the writer is of opinion it may often be found even here in England. Certainly there is no need to go to stables here, to find handsomely-polished pairs of horns hung up in halls; and stags' "heads" cannot be called uncommon, even in houses where the owners never saw a deer except in a park, or in the Zoo. 346 Of course the enlightened owners would be indignant at any suggestion that these horns were put up as amulets, or for anything but ornament; yet, we ask, what first gave rise to the notion that these objects were suitable for ornament, or if there is any decorative propriety in them, say in the case of a suburban villa?
There is one custom, however, common amongst us enlightened English, as it is among Jews, Turks,
infidels, and heretics all the world over, that of fixing old horseshoes 346a over, under, upon, or behind our doors. The English horseshoe is now somewhat of a conventional article--it is in itself an example of evolution; but an Oriental one can scarcely be called anything but the crescent, whether as represented on the Turkish ensign, on the gems of ancient Rome, or on the iron amulets of Ashantee. We may without discussion assume that the horseshoe wherever used is the handy conventional representative of the crescent. The Buddhist crescent emblem is a horseshoe, with the toe pointed like a Gothic arch" 347 "The arch or bend of the mystical instrument borne by Isis--the sistrum--represented the lunar orbit." 348 May we not then safely say the same of the horseshoe? At the Ashmolean Museum is a small sistrum in blue enamel, from Thebes, evidently an amulet.
Here in Somerset horseshoes are nailed on stable doors, hung up to the ceilings above the horses, or fastened to the walls of the cowhouse, "to keep off the pixies," those malicious sprites who are said to come and ride the horses at night, so that "very often in the mornin', there they be, all a-brokt out into a sweat, the very same's 'off they'd a-bin hard to work." This does not occur where the stable is properly protected by the powerful crescent horseshoe. 349 Dwelling-houses are equally
guarded against the entrance of a witch who can "overlook," by the shoe being nailed against the "dreckstool" 350 or behind the door, especially if it be a "half-hatch." 351
Sometimes the shoe is found in combination with other amulets. At this moment, within half a mile of the spot where this is written, is a house with a horseshoe nailed behind the door, and above it what appears to be a book wrapped in black cloth. The present occupier cannot say what the book is, but nothing would induce him to have it disturbed or examined. He believes devoutly in its power to keep off "they there witches."
The editor of Brand (iii. p. 17) says that in 1813 he counted no less than seventeen horseshoes in Monmouth Street, London, nailed against the steps of doors. "Five or six are all that now remain in 1841." "That the horseshoe may never be pulled from your threshold!" was one of the good wishes or "sentiments" of the last century, and throws some light upon the unwillingness of my neighbour in Wellington to permit any disturbance of the protectors behind his door.
The late Duchess of St. Albans and her husband, Mr. Coutts, had two rusty, old, broken horseshoes fastened on the highest marble step, by which the house at Holly Lodge was entered from the lawn. The horseshoe has been also used for a talisman as well as an amulet; for in 1687 it was believed in Amsterdam that a stolen horseshoe placed on the
chimney-hearth would bring good luck to the house. 352
In the tombs of the kings at Thebes (that of Rameses IX. No. 6) the king is represented as receiving the ankh, or symbol of life, from different goddesses, each of whom, in several scenes, holds him hand in hand. In one case, however, Hathor is presenting him with a double phallus, which is curiously, but evidently with intention, made to take the form of a horseshoe! In Tunis, Cairo, Constantinople, Spain, Italy, and Sicily, plenty of horseshoes may be seen in the streets fixed to the houses, as the writer can testify. At the Paris Exhibition of 1889 was a reproduction of a street in Old Cairo. Over several of the doors was hung a crocodile, a powerful amulet; on one house, however, was not only the crocodile, but on his snout, and also on his tail, were perched horseshoes,
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The lamp shown in Fig. 85 has the crescent handle almost in horseshoe shape. The curious amulet, too (Fig. 89), from the Etruscan Museum at Bologna, can hardly represent anything but a horseshoe, while the round knobs at the heels are matched by those on the lamp; the same knobs are often seen upon crescents. There is a necklace in the
[paragraph continues] Louvre consisting entirely of half-moons with these balls on the. ends. What they mean must be left to others to explain. It will be seen by Fig. 81, which exhibits no single article, except the three mystic eyes, which is not sold in the shops of Italy as distinctly contra la jettatura, that the horseshoe is one of the common charms worn on the watch-chain. This is always in addition to, never in place of, the inevitable horn of coral or metal.
Among certain people there is an aversion, an antipathy, to iron, as bringing evil to those who touch it. Possibly this may partly account for the strange though powerful amulet (phallus) adopted by the blacksmiths of ancient Rome and Pompeii to counteract the effect which the constant handling of iron might be expected to bring upon them.
The negroes of the Gold Coast remove all metal from their persons when they consult their fetish--a practice with which Freemasons will not fail to perceive reasons for lively sympathy. So the men who made the needfire in Scotland had to divest themselves of all metal. 353 Another Scotch custom was that in making the clavie (a kind of Yuletide fire-wheel) at Burghead, no hammer might be used, the hammering must be done with a stone. 354
Nearer home we know that one of the sights of Exeter Cathedral is the wooden Bishop's throne, with its canopy 60 feet high, constructed entirely without nails or iron of any kind; this fact is always specially dwelt upon by the verger. We are told (Ex. xx. 25) as to building an altar: "If thou lift
up thy tool (iron) upon it, thou hast polluted it." So of the temple (1 Kings vi. 7): "There was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house while it was in building."
"At Cyzicus is the βουλευτήριον, (senate house), a vast edifice, constructed without a nail of iron; 355 the raftering being so contrived as to admit of the beams being removed and replaced without the use of stays. A similar thing, too, is the case with the Sublician Bridge at Rome." This was a sacred bridge, and it had to be kept in repair without the use of either iron or other metal. 356
Raja Vijyanagram, one of the most enlightened of Hindoo princes, would not allow iron to be used in the construction of buildings within his territory, believing that its use would inevitably be followed by smallpox and other epidemics. 357
On the other hand, the very fact that iron is deemed obnoxious to spirits, furnishes men with a weapon which may be turned against them when occasion serves. The dislike of spirits for iron is so great that they will not approach persons and things protected by the obnoxious metal. "Iron therefore may obviously be employed as a charm for banning ghosts and other dangerous spirits," 358 to which we may add--witches. 359 This feeling will
possibly account for the iron crescents of Ashantee, and perhaps for the adoption of the horseshoe as a potent form of the crescent, especially obnoxious to witches and pixies. In Morocco iron is considered a great protection against demons. In Scotland when a fisherman at sea uses blasphemous language, the first man who hears him calls out "Cauld airn," at which every man grasps the nearest bit of iron, and holds it fast for awhile. 360 The old binding contract among schoolboys on making a "swop," 361 "Tick, tack, never change back, touch cold iron!" is well known as a binding form of contract in several parts of England, and may well be a vestige of the same old belief as that of the Scotch fisherman, which seems to imply a seeking of the protection of the iron against the temptations of evil demons. In Wales it was believed 362 that touching with iron caused fairy wives to vanish. Professor Rhys tells a story of a young man at last winning a fairy maid, but she told him if he ever struck her with iron she would go away never to return. This of course recalls myths like Melusine and Undine.
According to authorities quoted by Frazer the same idea as to iron is very prevalent in India; especially is cold iron used by the performer of certain funereal rites, apparently to guard himself against the evil spirits which he may have set free from the dead man. So in North Scotland, immediately
after a death, a piece of iron, such as a nail or knitting needle, used to be stuck into all the meal, butter, cheese, flesh, and whisky in the house, "to prevent death from entering them." This custom is evidently the same in idea as that of the Hindoo, and is intended to keep off the ghost of the deceased. Various people ranging from Burmah to Roumania are careful not to use sharp instruments so long as the ghost of a deceased friend is thought to be near, lest they should wound it. In Transylvania they will carefully see that no knife is left lying with the sharp edge upwards so long as the corpse remains in the house, or else the soul will be forced to ride on the blade. 363
Similar customs are recorded of the Chinese, the Esquimos of Alaska, the people of Celebes, Prussians, Lithuanians and Germans generally.
Professor Rhys believes aversion to iron to be a survival of the feeling implanted in man's early life, when all metals were new, and hence to be avoided. The like explanation is given respecting the dislike of first seeing the new moon through glass. Polish farmers having experienced a succession of bad harvests, set down this to the recent introduction of iron ploughshares; consequently, they gave up using them and took to the old wooden ones. Probably the same feeling, respecting the baneful effect of iron, gave rise to the many customs we read of, about not cutting the hair, especially when undertaking any important expedition. Such a custom was observed occasionally by the Romans, while the very name Lombards (Langobardi) implies that for
some reason the men allowed no cutting instrument to touch their beards. Six thousand Saxons once swore they would not cut their hair nor shave until they had taken vengeance of their enemies. The Nazarite of Scripture, too, was set apart by "no razor shall come on his head." 363a No doubt this aversion to cutting the hair implied not only that the man should not be defiled by iron, but probably also, especially on the war path, that nothing belonging to the warrior should by any chance fall into the hands of his enemy--whose possession of so special a part of him as a lock of his hair, would enable him to work untold evil. The same dread of iron has doubtless given rise to the custom throughout Europe regarding children's nails. Everywhere, including England, it is the practice to bite off the infant's nails if too long, and not to cut them, at least for the first year, or until the child, who is peculiarly open to the attacks of all malignant influences, has grown strong. It is presumed that to postpone cutting will enable the child to get power to withstand at least one of the evils awaiting him, that which may be in the iron. English mothers in this respect hold to the same fashion, belief, custom or whatever may be the motive for the practice, as Hindoos. The latter cut the nails of the firstborn at six months, while other children, presumed to be weaker, are left for two years. 364 The Slav, Hare, and Dogrib Indians of North America do not cut their female (the weaker) children's nails till they are four years of age.
The same anxiety exists everywhere with respect to nails as to hair, teeth, or any other part of the
body, lest it should fall into the hands of an enemy; hence here in England the nails bitten off by nurses must be spit into the fire, and the cuttings taken off by knife or scissors must likewise be burnt. The same with respect to teeth-a child's milk-teeth must be thrown into the fire. The writer well remembers in his childhood being told to be very careful when "shelling" his teeth not to lose one, but to be sure to throw it into the fire, because "a dog would be safe to pick it up, and then you would have a dog's tooth." This very thing has been said with all seriousness in the writer's own house within the past few days (July 1894). A story is told 365 of an Australian girl who fell ill of a fever, and persisted that some months before a young man had come behind her and cut off a lock of her hair: she was sure that he had buried it, and that it was rotting somewhere. She persisted that this was the cause of her sickness, and that as her hair rotted so her flesh was wasting away, and when her hair was quite rotten, she would die.
Out of all the evidence we have produced as to the aversion to iron on the one hand, and as to its potency in keeping off evil spirits on the other, we may gain some clue to the notion underlying the common use of the horseshoe: first, it is a handy representation of the powerful amulet the crescent; and next, its power is greatly reinforced by its material--the witch-hated cold iron.
181:284 Budge, p. 93 sq.
181:285 Wilkinson, iii, p. 110. Herodotus, ii. 4.
181:286 Plutarch, De Iside et Osir. 53.
182:287 "The emblem of Isis is that of a beautiful woman with cow's horns, just as the Greeks make Iö."--Payne Knight, Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 37.
182:288 Pausanias, iii. 18. 13.
182:289 Ovid Metamorphoses, v. 330.
182:290 Pausanias, ii. 4, 7
182:291 Ib. ix. 3, 4.
182:292 Herodotus, i. 31.
182:293 Diodorus Sic. i. 24, 25. Apollodorus, ii. 1, 3.
182:294 Herod. ii, 4 1.
183:295 Eustath. ap. Dionys. Perieg. 92, 94. Also Jablonsky, Pantheon, ii. p. 4.
183:296 Diod. Sic. i. 11. Plutarch, De Is. et Os. 52. Macrobius, Sat. i. 19.
183:297 O. Müller, Dorier, i. 121. Steph. Byz. s.v. βυζάντιον.
183:298 Bostock, note to Pliny's Nat. Hist. Vol. i. p. 326 (Bohn).
184:299 Freeman (Studies of Travel, Greece, p. 141) says of the objects found at Mycenæ, that they are "of an age which, though beyond the reach of chronology, we can hardly call unrecorded . . . they are work of the period which Homer sung": consequently, they were historically ancient even in his day.
"Hera, Iö, and Isis (Hathor) must at all events be identical also with Demeter Mycalessia, who derived her epithet, 'the lowing,' from her cow. shape, and had her temple at Mycalessus in Botia. She had as doorkeeper Hercules, whose office it was to shut her sanctuary in the evening and open it again in the morning. This service is identical with that of Argus, who in the morning unfastened the cow-shaped Iö, and fastened her again in the evening to the olive-tree which was in the sacred grove of Mycenæ.
"Iö-Hera, as deity of the moon, would receive her epithet βοωπίς from the symbolic horns of the crescent moon, and its dark spots, resembling a face with large eyes; whilst Athena, as goddess of the dawn, doubtless received the epithet γλαυκωπίς, the owl-faced, to indicate the light of the opening day."--Schliemann, Mycenæ, p. 21.
185:300 King, Gnostics, p. 83. The above takes for granted the identity of Roman and Greek divinities, in thus translating Ζεύς, Ἀΐδης, Ἥλιος, Διόνυσος.
185:301 Among the Gnostic gems in the British Museum is a figure of the mummied Osiris with very distinct horns on his head.
185:302 King, Gnostics, p. 84. In Pignorius, Expositio Mensæ Isiacæ, p. 15 in dorso, is a head of a man, with horns growing out of his forehead, from an ancient relief.
186:303 Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. "Horn."
Michael Angelo's famous statue in San Pietro in Vincoli, of which a copy exists at South Kensington, whereon the horns are very concrete in substance, serves to show the continuance of the old classic notions referred to above. That horns are typified by the shape of a bishop's mitre is well known, and the belief that Moses had actual solid horns must have been firmly held in the Middle Ages. Bishop Reginald of Bath, 1174-1191, is represented on his seal as having actual horns projecting from his head while in the act of benediction, besides the conventional ones of his mitre. Moreover, it is evident that horns were typified by the points of the mitre and were believed to have the power of keeping off evil and of appearing terrible to evil persons. The words now used in the consecration of a bishop in the Roman Church fully keep alive this belief. In placing the mitre on the head of the newly-consecrated prelate, the consecrator says: "We set on the head of this prelate, Thy champion, the helmet of defence and of salvation, that with comely face, and with his head armed with the horns of either Testament, he may appear terrible to the gainsayers of the truth," etc.--"Order of Consecration of a Bishop-elect." Translated from The Roman Pontifical (Burns and Oates, 1893), p. 14.
186:304 Symbolica Dianæ Ephesiæ, p. 10. The author continues, "nevertheless celebrated by diverse names, and worshipped by various races in many different ways" (multiplici specie), "Isis, Hathor, Aphrodite, and Venus, are all one and the same personage" (Payne Knight, Symb. Lang. of Anc. Art, p. 35).
187:305 On this subject see La Migration des Symboles, par le Comte Goblet d'Alviella, Paris, 1892.
187:306 King, Gnostics, p. 42.
187:307 Symbolica Dianæ Ephesiæ Statua, a Claudio Menetrio. Romæ. Typis Mascardi, MDCLVII. The loan of this rare book, with permission to copy, has cleared up the Siren question in Chap. X.
188:308 "St. Jerome says Diana of Ephesus was called Multimammia." Several paps were ascribed to Isis also. Isis had sometimes a flower on her head; Diana always a tower (Montfaucon, vol. i., p. 96).
188:309 Pignorius, Expositio Mensæ Isiacæ (Vetustissimæ Tabulæ), p. 16, alludes to Mercury having placed horns made out of the head of a cow upon the head p. 189 of Isis. He also later refers to the horns upon the head of Moses: "qui a congressu Domini Dei Exercituum faciem. cornutam referebat."
189:310 Murray's Handbook for Egypt, 1888, p. 517.
189:310a Fig. 71 is from an ancient bronze in possession of the author. Similar ones are common in most Egyptian museums.
190:311 From Moor's Hindoo Pantheon, Plate lix.
190:312 The idea is, however, distinctly foreign to the uneducated Italian mind. Having taken an old Italian servant who had lived with us in Florence to Rome, she of course made her pilgrimage to the Scala Santa and devoutly ascended on her knees. The thing which struck and astonished her most on p. 191 beholding the famous painting was that he was black. "Ma! non ho capito mai che fu Moro!" was her first remark.
Upon the remarkable halo surrounding the heads of both the Indian mother and child one might almost say that it belonged to a Christian work and not a heathen. The nimbus is, however, far older than the nineteen centuries of Christendom. Rays were said to have proceeded from the head of Isis; and they have been called the proper attributes of Juno, of Isis, or the "Mother of the Gods" (Pignorius, Vetustissimæ Tabulæ, p. 16).
191:313 Inman, Ancient Faiths embodied in Ancient Names, Vol. i. p. 105.
A learned writer remarks that not only was Diana black, but that so was Christna of the Hindoos. Isis, Horus, Cneph, Osiris, Buddha, Mercury, and the Roman Terminus, were typified by black stones. There was a black Venus at Corinth. "Venus, Isis, Hecate, Diana, Juno, Metis, Ceres, and Cybele, were black, and the Multimammia in the Campidoglio in Rome is also black." To this list are added Jupiter, Apollo, Bacchus, Hercules, Asteroth, Adonis, Apis, Ammon. The same author states that the Roman and Greek emperors who claimed to be gods, had their statues in black marble with coloured draperies (Higgins, Anacalypsis, Vol. i. p. 286).
The famous Virgin of Einsiedeln in Switzerland, to whom 150,000 pilgrims annually resort, is a black image. Black is appropriated to the female creator for reasons given, but not here producible, by all Oriental nations (Inman, Ancient Faiths, p. 266).
Higgins in his very remarkable book (Anacalypsis) gives much learning and many references: indeed, we strongly urge those who are interested in this particular subject to study the book. He says, in speaking of the negro Chrishna, that he presumes man to have been originally negro, and that he improved and developed as he travelled westward (Vol. i. p. 284). He also refers to Venus and the other divinities as all black; and remarks (p. 286) that "all wood and stone deities were black." This is not quite the fact in these modern days. In the Pitt Rivers Museum is a Siva, having a trinity of heads; while besides the principal pair of arms, are three other subsidiary pairs, all rising one over the other. The three faces all show tusks like the Cambodian and Peruvian Gorgons, without a protruded tongue; but the whole figure is black. On the other hand, Thagya, the Buddhist Angel of Life, a wooden figure, is represented as of a light colour.
Another author (Lieut. Wilford, "On Egypt and the Nile, from the Ancient Books of the Hindus," Asiatic Researches, Vol. iii. pp. 389, 406) says: p. 192"It cannot reasonably be doubted that a race of negroes had formerly preeminence in India." Professor Huxley says Australians believe white men to be the reincarnated spirits of black men (Science and Hebrew Tradition, 1893, p. 317).
192:314 Inman, op. cit. vol. ii. p. 254.
192:314a Fig. 74 is the Hindu Indranee and Child (from Journ. Asiat. Res. vi. 393), and is one more example of the all-pervading belief in the same motherhood.
192:315 In the Museo del Prado at Madrid are the masterpieces of Murillo's vaporosa style, representing this subject. All these, as well as the more famous but less beautiful replica in the Louvre, represent the central figure as standing on the crescent.
192:316 Roscher, Lexikon d. Griech. u. Röm. Mythologie, 1007.
193:317 Dr. L. H. Mills, "Zoroaster and the Bible," in Nineteenth Century, Jan. 1894, p. 51.
193:318 Wilkinson, Anc. Egyp. iii. 61.
193:319 Payne Knight, Symb. Lang. p. 99.
193:320 Plutarch, De Isid. et Osir. p. 48.
Diana was frequently represented by a sea-crab (Payne Knight, op. it. p. 100), a symbol often placed upon her statues, and to be seen upon the p. 194 breast of the Ephesian Artemis (Fig. 69). She was the sovereign of humidity, her nymphs or subordinate personifications came to her from the ocean. She was the protectress of women, the patroness and regulator of nutrition, and of passive generation both in man and beast. As among the ancients "the moon's orbit was held to be the boundary between the celestial and terrestrial world, so Diana was held to be the mediatrix between the two."
194:321 "Kali, one character of Bhavani, appears in sculpture as a terminal figure, the exact counterpart of the Ephesian Diana. Even the stags, those singular adjuncts to the shoulders of the latter, are seen in a similar position springing from Kali's hands. The numerous breasts of the Ephesian statue were also peculiar to Isis, who is allowed to be the Indian goddess in her form Parvati."--King, Gnostics, p. 171.
195:322 Lanciani, Ancient Rome, pp. 441 52 et seq.
196:323 Elton, Origins of Eng. Hist. 2nd ed. p. 269.
196:323a Jorio, Mimica degli Antichi, p. 92.
197:324 In the British Museum there are two masks from Ceylon. That for a man has a large boar's tusk by way of horn projecting from each side, That for a horse has one long upright horn, like that of a unicorn.
197:325 Pérou et Bolivie, Ch. Wiener, Paris, 1890, p. 649.
198:326 Later developments of the Medusa show it with wings, while the snakes are conventionalised into curls. Such is the face in the well-known triskelion of Sicily, of which Fig. 133 is a good representation. We cannot help noticing the strange coincidence of the winged face of the Medusa with those winged faces called "cherubs" so very commonly seen on funereal monuments of the last century, and as attending in crowds the Madonna Immaculata, when standing on her crescent, especially in Murillo's pictures called vaporosas.
198:326a In Ilton Church, Somerset, is the figure of a "horned" lady, of whom a print will be found in Som. and Dor. Notes and Queries, December 1894.
199:327 Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 430-431. See also Smith, Bib. Dict. s.v. "Horn."
199:328 Livingstone, Zambesi, c. xxv. p. 523
201:329 Catlin, North American Indians. 2 vols. 1844.
201:330 A drawing of this helmet is given in Daremberg et Saglio, p. 1534.
201:331 The ancient Etruscans wore a helmet with horns precisely like one of those here shown (Fig. 78). Like it there was a small square fork upon the apex, apparently for fixing some crest or plume to add to the attractiveness of the whole. An Etruscan helmet of this shape is given by Gen. Forlong, Rivers of Life, Vol. ii. p. 254, Pl. xii. In the Bullettino Archeologico Napoletano (An. II. Tav. XI.) is a man on horseback, apparently an ancient Roman or Greek soldier. From the back of his helmet rise two large horns, forming a complete crescent, while at the same time preserving their distinct horn shape; even the rings at the root of a cow's horn are well indicated. In the British Museum is an Anglo-Saxon helmet with two large horns. There is also an ancient Mexican helmet p. 202 with large horns. The attachment of horns to the helmet by way of special protection must have been quite familiar to the writers of Isaiah (lix. 17) and Ep. to Ephesians (vi. 17). The horns made it the helmet of salvation or of safety. This idea is rather confirmed by i Thess. v. 8, where it is called the "hope of salvation," implying the belief in its efficient protection.
202:332 Elton, Origins of Eng. History, 2nd ed. p. 113.
202:333 Plutarch says (Daremberg et Saglio, p. 168) that horns of stags were offered to Diana; horns of all kinds, we know, are symbolical of her.
202:334 At the Louvre are many--Nos. 196, 198 especially should be noted. p. 203 No. 198 is a necklace with eight horned heads as pendants, precisely like those ornamenting the front of the statue of the Ephesian Diana, Fig. 69. No. 196 has the head of Jupiter Serapis, of a larger size than the capo di bove, as the single pendant, with two horns. This is a very fine specimen, and the head may well be compared to that of Moses. "The most ancient altars were adorned with horns" (upon this see Potter, Arch. Græc. i. 229), while the expression "horns of the altar" in Psalm cxviii. 27 is familiar to all.
204:335 Elton, Orig. of Eng. Hist. 2nd ed. p. 145.
204:336 Archæologia, xliii. 540, quoted by Elton, op. cit. p. 145.
204:337 "Mascagni, like so many other Italian artists, is also said to carry in his pockets an extraordinary collection of amulets against the superstition of the 'evil eye,' the list including corals, horns of mother-of-pearl, ivory, and ebony, some of them bearing the effigy of his patron saint, St. George, besides a goodly number of lucky chestnuts."--Daily News, June 23, 1893. Much more is said about horns as a Neapolitan hand-gesture in Chap. VII.
207:338 "The flaming sword finds its analogue in the weapon of the Babylonian god Merodach, a revolving circular disc surrounded with flaming points. This weapon is called among other names littu, which is letter for letter the same as the Hebrew word translated flaming."--Lenormant, Les Origines de l'Histoire d'après la Bible et les Traditions des Peuples Orientaux. Athenæum, July 31, 1880, p. 137.
207:339 I have often seen here in Somersetshire (even so late as 1894) cart horses, each with a bunch of many-coloured ribbons on his cheek, and others with a half-moon on the forehead. One of our commonest of crest ornaments is a small disc pivoted, in a kind of horned or crescent-shaped frame, which swings backwards and forwards glinting in the sun, as the horse moves his head. Surely this is the Babylonian disc of Merodach, analogous to the Neapolitan vanes, and moreover it must represent also the disc and horns on the head of Isis. If not, the coincidence is strange indeed. Further, Pluto was represented with a disc on his head like Venus and Isis (Payne Knight, Symb. Lang. p. 104). From Pluto to Vulcan the step is short, and they may well be confounded. If then our disc is the symbol of Vulcan, it is a most suitable horse amulet. A disc framed like this, but having also a face upon it, is on the Barone lamp in Chap. X. Not long ago I saw what I remember as very common--the "vore 'oss" of a team had a board about 18 inches long mounted on two irons, which held it well above the collar into which they fitted. This board had hung beneath it a row of about six large jangling bells which, when the horse moves, can be heard for half a mile. To complete this pixy-driving apparatus is a fringe concealing all the bells, but made of the inevitable, bright, many coloured worsted threads.
211:340 I fear that in Rome articles of this kind have begun to find a place among the spurious curios called roba Americana, and expect soon to find the demand producing a like supply in Naples.
211:341 Dodwell, Class. Tour, vol. ii. p. 34.
212:342 This monogram was called χρῆσμα by S. Ambrose; the staff of Osiris, to which it bears some resemblance, was called χρηστηριον (Higgins, Anacalypsis, Vol. ii. p. 204).
213:343 The subject of terra-cotta lamps is referred to again in Chap. X.
213:344 Report of M. Jules Chaine. See Illustrated London News, Sept. 12, 1891, p. 335.
215:345 Schliemann says (Mycenæ, p. 69): "There is also a human head painted on a fragment of pottery; it has a very large eye, and a head-dress in the form of a Phrygian cap." Also (p. 71): "I have been able to gather here more than 200 terra-cotta idols of Hera, more or less broken." "The head of those idols is of a very compressed shape . . . the lower part is in the form of a gradually widening tube." To this may be added that one of those sketched by the writer is widened out so as to form a distinct stand, and perhaps to indicate female drapery.
216:346 See Jorio's remarks upon this, post, pp. 263, 264.
217:346a See Jorio's remarks upon this, post, p. 260.
217:347 Inman, Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 262.
217:348 Payne Knight, Symbolical Language, p. 201.
217:349 The same thing is done by hanging up scythes or sharp instruments to the stable rafters, by which the pixies will be cut if they ride the horses.
Hang up hooks and sheers to scare
Hence the hag, that rides the mare,
Till they be all over wet
With the mire and the sweat.
This observed, the manes shall be
Of your horses all knot-free.
Herrick, Hesperides, ed. Hazlitt, 1869, p. 305.
218:350 Threshold; low half-door. See West Somerset Word-Book.
218:351 A horseshoe may be seen to-day nailed on the outside of a stable door opening on to the principal thoroughfare of the town of Wellington.
219:352 Brand, Pop. Ant. vol. iii. p. 18, ed. Bolin. In Cumberland this practice is very common; the writer has seen many upon various parts of the premises at Duddon Hall. One old one is nailed to the wall at the back of an ornamental temple in the garden--a building which is quite empty. The only explanation to be extracted from the natives is that the shoes are nailed up for luck. If more close and intimate relations could be established, we have no doubt of finding the way to other reasons.
220:353 Logan, The Scottish Gael, vol. ii. p. 68.
220:354 C. F. Gordon Cumming, In the Hebrides, p. 226; E. J. Guthrie, Old Scottish Customs, p. 223, quoted by Frazer, Golden Bough, vol. i. p. 73.
221:355 Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxvi. 24 (Ed. Bohn, vi. p. 345).
221:356 It was the earliest constructed across the Tiber, by Ancus Martius, 114 A. U. C. It was called Sublician, because it was constructed entirely of wood. No iron was used in its construction, on the strength of religious tradition, nor was any ever used in repair even in Christian times down to the fall of the Empire. The fact is noted by Dionysius, v. 24; Varro, v. 83; Ovid, Fasti, v. 622. Pliny's account, assigning the rejection of iron to the difficulties of Horatius Cocles in cutting it through, is absurd (Lanciani, op. cit. p. 40).
221:357 Indian Antiquary, vol. x. 1881, p. 364.
221:358 Frazer, Golden Bough, vol. i. p. 175.
Let the superstitious wife
Neer the child's heart lay a knife:
Point be up, and haft be downe,
While she gossips in the towne,
This 'mongst other mystic charms
Keeps the sleeping child from harms.
Herrick, Hesperides, ed. Hazlitt, 1869, p. 305.
222:360 E. J. Guthrie, Old Scottish Customs, p. 149; C. Rogers, Social Life in Scotland, 1886, vol. iii. p. 218.
222:361 Notes and Queries, 8th ser. v. 160, 235, 354.
222:362 Rhys, Welsh Fairies, art. in Nineteenth Century, Oct. 1891, p. 565.
223:363 Bastian, Die Völker des östlichen Asien, i. 136; E. Gerard, The Land beyond the Forest, i. 312; Schmidt, Das Jahr und seine Tage in Meinung und Brauch, etc., p. 40; Frazer, i. 176.
224:363a Judges xiii. 5.
224:364 Punjaub Notes and Queries, ii. No. 1092.
225:365 B. Smith, Aborigines of Victoria, vol. i. p. 467.