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Stonehenge, A Temple Restor'd to the British Druids, by William Stukeley, [1740], at

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A conjecture about the time of the founding of Stonehenge. An uniform variation in setting these works, not to be accounted for, but by supposing the Druids us’d a magnetical compass. Their leader, the Tyrian Hercules, was possess’d of a compass-box. The oracle of Jupiter Ammon had a compass-box. The golden fleece at Colchis was a compass-box. Both these temples were founded by Apher, Hercules his companion, and grandson to Abraham. Apher, Aphricus, or Phryxus the same person, seems to have given name to Britain. The Druids set their temples and other works by it. The history of the mariner's compass, since that time. The history of the variation of the magnetic needle. A conjecture of the time of building Stonehenge, from thence.

IN my Enquiries into these works of the antient Druids in our island, I observed a greater exactness in placing them, with regard to the quarters of the heavens, than one would expect, in works seemingly so rude; and in so remote an age, to which we must necessarily refer them. What more particularly mov’d my attention, was a certain variation from cardinal points, which I observed regular and uniform, in the works of one place. And that variation was different, in works of another place; yet equally regular and uniform in that place. Suppose (for instance) the works about Abury in Wiltshire generally vary 9 or 10 degrees to the left hand, from cardinal points: i.e. westward from the north. And the works at Stonehenge generally vary to the right hand, from cardinal points, and that to the quantity of 6 or 7 degrees. The principal diameter or groundline of Stonehenge, leading from the entrance, up the middle of the temple, to the high altar, (from which line the whole work is form’d) varies about that quantity southward of the north east point. The intent of the founders of Stonehenge, was to set the entrance full north east, being the point where the sun rises, or nearly, at the summer solstice. As well because that is the farthest elongation of the great celestial luminary, northward; the complement of our earthly felicity, in ripening the fruits of the earth: as because then they celebrated one of their principal religious meetings or festivals, with sacrifices, publick games, and the like. Such was the custom of all the antient nations. The Isthmian, Nemæan, Olympian, Pythian games, famous in the works of the learned nations: those of Tyre II. Maccabees iv. 18. dedicated to their and our founder, the antient Tyrian Hercules, who, I suppose, conducted the first Phœnician colony, with our Druids, into Britain: these were all held at this time of the year. A custom continu’d from patriarchal times.

This exactness with which the Druids set their works, and the uniformity of their variation, make me believe, this variation was not the effect of chance or negligence.

By a superficial reflexion upon it, we should be apt to suspect, it was owing to their observing the sun's rising on the longest day of the year, or summer solstice, and setting their line by it. For this is supposed to be a method by which they formerly set our Churches: marking the sun's rising at the equinox. But the Druids were too good astronomers and mathematicians to need so mean an artifice: nor does it correspond to the quantity precisely enough. Besides, this same variation appears where it cannot possibly regard the sun's rising at that

Plate 29. Prospect of the Cursus & Stonehenge from the North Aug. 6, 1723.<br> A. The Entrance of the Avenue. B. The 7 Barrows. C. The Kings Barrow. D. Salisbury Steeple. E. Stonehenge.
Click to enlarge

Plate 29. Prospect of the Cursus & Stonehenge from the North Aug. 6, 1723.
A. The Entrance of the Avenue. B. The 7 Barrows. C. The Kings Barrow. D. Salisbury Steeple. E. Stonehenge.

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For, I observ’d the like variation, or very near, in all the other parts relating to this temple before taken notice of; beside the avenue leading up to the temple from the north east, in a strait line; which has the before-mention’d variation all the way. At the bottom of the hill, this avenue divides into two wings, each going off from the list mention’d part, with a decent sweep; the one to the left hand, westward, the other to the right hand, eastward. They go off with a like angle, and that angle varies the like quantity. The western wing goes to the cursus, before observ’d, the place upon the downs, half a mile off Stonehenge, made for races with chariots and horses. The right hand wing of the avenue runs directly eastward for a mile together, pointing to a place on an angle of the river, called Radfin. This part of the avenue, which was intended by the founders, to have been drawn precisely east and west, varies about 5 or 6 degrees to the south.

Likewise, that great work of the cursus itself, which stretches its length across the downs, from east to west, like a line of latitude upon the globe, varies such a like quantity, from true east and west, the same way. The meridian line of Stonehenge passes exactly through the middle of this cursus.

Further, at the east end of this cursus, the huge bank of earth, above 200 foot long, made across the end of the cursus, as a meta, and whereon sat the princes and judges of the prizes: This bank of earth is drawn exactly at a right angle with the cursus, consequently due north and south, but with the variation before spoken of. These, and other like observations here, as well as in other Druid Works, appear’d to me no otherwise to be accounted for, but that the Druids us’d a magnetical compass, in laying down the works: and that the needle vary’d so much, at that time, from the true meridian line.

I remember I open’d this affair, near 20 Years ago, to Dr. Halley, who was of the same sentiment. Nor am I the first who suspected the Phœnicians of old were possessed of this great secret, as well as the Chinese, from times immemorial. I am not moved to think otherwise by what Bochart writes against it. The very name of the magnet lapis Heraclius strongly suggests, the Tyrian navigator before-mention’d knew it, as is well argued by Fuller in his Miscellanies, IV. 19. And many things occur, in the mythology of the antients, wherein (if I mistake not) I discern most evident traces of this knowledge of the directive power of the magnet. We are not to despise the fables of the antients, but to make the best use of them, and search out for their latent truths. My predecessor Cumberland, observes in Sanchoniathon, p. 325. "that Apollodorus (for instance) hath many truths in his mythic history, deriv’d from the tradition of Phœnician, and Egyptians, planting Athens." And the Greeks, those happy practitioners in writing, as well as other arts, took the unlucky turn of the marvellous, to so exorbitant a degree, as to write nothing without it. In Apollodorus, put out by the learned Dr. Gale, p. 114. we have an account of the 10th labour of Hercules, his conquest of Cadiz, or Gadira, as then call’d, or Erythea. We are told, the hero set up the 2 pillars at the Streights mouth, at Gibralter, or then Tartessus; which we may reasonably suppose some temple made of these rough stones, or some main ambres, like those we mention’d before, the petræ ambrosiæ in the Tyrian coins. Then, "says our author, going on his journey, the rays of the sun were so vehement upon him, that he hid the boldness to draw his bow against him. The god admiring the intrepidity of the man, gave him a golden cup with which he sail’d over the ocean." Pisander in his IId. book, (in Atheneus Deipnos. XI.) writes the same, only that Oceanus lent him the cup. Panyasis in his I. of the history of Hercules, says, he begg’d it of Nereus, son of Sol, and with it sail’d to Erythea. (Macrob. Saturn. XXI. 5.) Theoclytus, in Atheneus aforesaid, in his II. de tempest. mentions the same thing. He said it before in his Titanomachia. Pherecydes, in his III. of history, quoted both in Atheneus and Macrobius, tells a story somewhat like that of Apollodorus, but more particular.

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[paragraph continues] Servius Æn. VII, mentions it, but as some of the former, makes the cup of brass, instead of gold. Alexander Ephesius the like. All very antient writers. Lucian says, that Hercules sail’d in a sea-conch shell. What can we understand by all this, mention’d by so many grave authors, but a compass-box, which enabled him to sail the great ocean, and penetrate to our northern island, less obnoxious to the suns vehement heat? Add to this, in the same place, Apollodorus speaks of his fighting Albion and Dercynus, by Mela, called Bergion, Sons of Neptune; which were the most antient names of the Britannic Isles, before the name of Britain. Diodorus Siculus, in his IV. book delivers a like account of this 10th labour of Hercules, but in a mere historical manner. And adds, that when he return’d by Sicily, he dedicated a grove to Geryon the hero, where, to his time, the people did religious rites. For this affair of sacred groves, we know our Druids were famous. He built a temple likewise at Gades. We are not to suppose it a cover’d edifice, like what posterity call’d a temple, but an open one, according to the mode of those days. Cover’d temples, at that time, being a thing unknown in the world. Afterward, a magnificent temple, properly, was there built to him. Mela witnesses, that it was our Egyptian Hercules, who was there worshipped. For I suppose our Egyptian and the Tyrian Hercules to be all one. The same mention’d by the name of Assis, in Manethons XVII. Dynasty, in Josephus c. App. in Africanus, Eusebius, and Syncellus. Apollonius II. 14. writes, it was not the Theban but the Egyptian Hercules that came to Gades: which is confirm’d by Hecateus. And Herodotus, in Euterpe says, Hercules is a very antient deity among the Egyptians, not so, among the Greeks. And I suppose this hero lived at, or very near the time of the patriarch Abraham.

These were the times about the beginning of idolatry. And Hercules was far from being an idolater himself, though worshipp’d afterwards, for his great exploits, and perhaps on this very account of his inventing or knowing the use of the compass. This is the Hercules kneeling on one knee, a constellation in heaven, taken notice of by Dionysius Halycarn. by Tzetzes, Hyginus, Æschylus and others. It seems to indicate his piety; for which the astronomers his disciples plac’d him in the heavens. He kneels upon the arctic circle, and supports the zodiac on his shoulders; tho’ this is not understood by the painting on our modern globes. The Phœnicians, his successors in the tin trade of Britain, kept the trade and the very name of the Island as a great secret; as well as the use of the compass, till it was lost with them. But it seems highly probable, because Lucian describes Hercules with a sphere in his hand, that he affixed the present Asterisms of the zodiac: and his successors, the Phœnicians, propagated them.

’Tis next to our present purpose, to consider that famous oracle of Jupiter Ammon in Africa, to be referr’d to the most early times of idolatry: render’d illustrious by Alexander the Great taking a journey to it. Which gives us the opportunity of knowing somewhat of it.

Quamvis Æthiopum populis, Arabumq[ue]; beatis
Gentibus, ac Indis, unus sit Jupiter Ammon
.                Lucan.

All these nations, with Egypt and Africa, were peopled by the posterity chiefly of Ham. They were the first that fell into idolatry, and worshipped their common progenitor, call’d Amynus, in Sanchoniathon. Hecateus says, Amoûn, as the Egyptians write it, is the word of those that invoke god, and that they meant somewhat very mysterious by it. The history of its origin is this. Bacchus, the hero, or demigod, travelling through the sandy desarts of Africa, with a great army, was perishing with thirst; he pray’d to his father Jupiter for relief, who sent a ram that show’d him a spring, sav’d him and his host. Out of gratitude, the hero builds a temple there, to the deity who thus

Plate 30. Prospect from the west end of the Cursus of Stonehenge<br> A. the eastern meta. B. the eastern wing of the avenue. C. Stonehenge.
Click to enlarge

Plate 30. Prospect from the west end of the Cursus of Stonehenge
A. the eastern meta. B. the eastern wing of the avenue. C. Stonehenge.

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aided him under the form of a ram. There is no room to doubt, that this is in part copied from the transaction of the children of Israel, in the Arabian wilderness. They have added to it, a name and notion borrowed from patriarchal tradition, of a divine person, symboliz’d by a ram; horned, anointed, which is all one. We christians mean Messiah. Innumerable passages in old authors, which I might cite, innumerable monuments of antiquity in sculpture, shew, that Jupiter Ammon was figur’d as a ram, with a ram's head, with rams horns. They applied the patriarchal notion of the Messiah, to their progenitor Ham, in an idolatrous way: and deified him under that character. There is a very remarkable passage in Herodotus, which, it is worth our while, to transcribe.

In Euterpe cap. 42. that author tells us, why the Theban Egyptians pay so great a regard to the sheep. "Hercules on his importunity to Jupiter, that he might have the honour personally to see him, at length prevail’d. And the god consented to exhibit himself to his view, under this device. viz. Jupiter cut off a ram's head, put the skin over his own head, and thus appear’d to Hercules. Whence the Egyptians made the statue of Jupiter, with a ram's head, and call Jupiter Ammôun. Whence they hold sheep for sacred animals, never kill them but once a year, upon the festival day of Jupiter, when only one ram is sacrificed, and his head put upon the statue of Jupiter; all that are there present, beat the ram, and at last he is buried in a sacred urn."

It is impossible not to see, that this is derived from that history recorded, Exodus xxxiii. Moses desires of Jehovah repeatedly, that he might see him. He calls it seeing his glory. He is answer’d at length. "I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee. Thou canst not see my face, but I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and cover thee with my hand, whilst I pass by. Thou shalt see my back parts only." Here he notoriously promises Moses, that he shall see him, in a symbolical form. In the next chapter, Jehovah descended in the luminous cloud, or Shechinah, and proclaimed the name of Jehovah; recites those attributes that relate to his dealings with mankind, in the strongest point of light; "his goodness and mercy, and long-suffering, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin: but adds, he will by no means clear the guilty, but visit the fathers iniquity upon the children." Wherein our original and fatal transgression is sufficiently intimated, and that God's justice is equal to his mercy; and the necessity of a divine redemption by sacrifice, which in scripture language is call’d, "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

All this the most ancient nations had a knowledge of, from patriarchal tradition. When they laps’d into idolatry, they applied these good notions to their new idolatry, and made statues from the symbolical and figurative forms of speech, us’d in true religion. Their sacrificing the ram on the festival day of Jupiter, their beating the ram, putting his head on the statue of their deity, burying him in a sacred urn: all most evidently pointing out the notions they had, in the most early times, of the suffering statue of the Messiah. And such was the origin, in short, of Jupiter Ammon. But it appears, by what learned authors write, on Curtius's description of his statue, that a magnetical compass box made one considerable part of his sacreds. This we read in Hyde Pers. relig. p. 495. in Curtius publish’d by Pitiscus, and by Rader the jesuite, and Schottus in Ortelius, by Fuller, Herwart and others. "This compass box with the statue of the deity, was set in a golden ship (the golden cup of Hercules) and carried in procession on the shoulders of the priests, accompanied by women singing an hymn in their own language." I doubt not, but the circumstance of carrying this golden ship, on the shoulders of the priests, is an imitation of the Mosaic ark in the march of the Israelites, thro’ the wilderness, during their forty years pilgrimage.

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[paragraph continues] Tho’ they mistook the reason of the thing; the Jewish church then being in a military and travelling state. But where the camp rested, the ark was reposited, in the adytum of the tabernacle: so likewise when in possession of the land of Canaan. This is sufficient proof, that the Lybians herein, copied after the Israelites, not vice versa, as our moderns are willing to think, in these cases.

Curtius tells us, the habit of Ammon's statue was made of Smaragd and other precious stones, wrought in Mosaic work. Which I take to be too, in imitation of the pontifical attire, under Moses's administration: particularly of the sacred, oracular pectoral, made of Mosaic work, with gems. I apprehend, that beside the statue of Ammon, there was a figure of (the upper part at least of) a ram, on the compass box: which was the oracle. And it is easy to guess how this may be managed for the purpose; even beyond the trick of Januarius's blood, and other Popish devices.

Hence we may better understand the famous golden fleece, which occasioned the Argonautic expedition, one of the earliest and most memorable Æra's of the Grecian history. If we suppose this golden fleece to be a compass box, we see the reason why the choice youth of Greece set out upon that voyage: which, as all other matters of ancient history, among the Greeks, is so unaccountably puft [i.e. puffed--JBH] up with the leaven of fable. It became navigators to run any hazard for such a treasure. If we enquire into its origin, it is thus. Phrixus son of Athamas and Nepheles (according to the Greeks) had a ship given him by his mother. The ship is call’d in the fable a golden ram, or the ram with a golden fleece (the same thing as Hercules's golden cup.) In this, he and his sister Helle, flying the ill-usage of their mother-in-law Ino, sail away by sea. Helle affrighted in the voyage, falls overboard and gives name to the Hellespont. Phrixus continues the voyage, and goes to Æetes king of Colchis, where he hangs up his golden ram in the temple, to Jupiter Phyxius, (one would be apt to imagine they meant Pyxius, alluding to the box.) Jason made his far-fam’d expedition thither afterward, and stole it. But the ram was placed in the heavens, among the constellations, as a memorial; the first sign in the Zodiac: which shews the high antiquity of the story.

This account manifestly pretends very great antiquity, and some signal event. I observe this Ino their mother-in-law, is said to be the nurse of Bacchus, and throwing herself with her son Melicerte into the sea, became a goddess, under the name of Leucothea. Her son became a god, under the name of Palæmon. This Melicerte is allowed by all the learned, to be no other than our Melcartus above-mention’d. Palæmon is Hercules, says Hesychius. Palæmon is his name of deification. Pausanias in the beginning of his corinthiaca informs us, this apotheosis of Ina and Melicerta was the occasion of founding the famous Isthmian games. Plutarch says the same, and Phavorinus. Again, I observe, Phrixus is said to be son of Nephele (a cloud) whence call’d nubigena by Columella. We must hence expect somewhat very secret and obscure. Further, all writers say openly this ram or ship of Phrixus was oracular and could speak upon occasion. So all the writers of the Argonautics too will have the ship Argos to be loquacious and oracular. Magnes another name of the load-stone is often call’d Adamas, which seems to be no other than Athamas. Apollodorus makes Magnes the son of Æolus, who marrying Nais, inhabited the isle Seriphus. Æolus was a great sailor, invented sails, and studied the winds, therefore deified and made the god of the winds. I suppose it all ends in the mysterious invelopement of the knowledge of the magnetic compass.

I hope for the readers candour, in reciting thus much from antient fable, which I did as concisely as possible. But in matters of obscure antiquity, we must make use of all helps. And in heathen antiquity we have no other. A strictly historical way of writing in former times, is only to be expected in the

Plate 31. A Prospect of the barrows in Lake field called the Eleven barrows & lately the prophets barrows 2<sup>d</sup>. Sep<sup>r</sup>. 1723.<br> A. Stonehenge. P. barrow opened by L. Pembroke. SS by Stukeley.
Click to enlarge

Plate 31. A Prospect of the barrows in Lake field called the Eleven barrows & lately the prophets barrows 2d. Sepr. 1723.
A. Stonehenge. P. barrow opened by L. Pembroke. SS by Stukeley.

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sacred canon of the Jews. And what is remarkable, after God's holy spirit had deserted them, their writers became the greatest fablers in the world, and, if possible, out-did the Greeks, in that way.

One would imagine, the fashion of these most antient charts, was to divide the circle into 12 parts, and affix the celestial signs of the zodiac to them; beginning with the east at aries, where the sun rises at the equinoxes; and thence they might call the box by the name of aries, as shewing the east where aries is plac’d. As now the Turks and Arabians call it kibla noma, i.e. shewing the kibla, or south point, the way toward which they turn their faces in devotion. So we only enquire for the north point; and call it the lode-stone, because it shews the lode-star or north pole. But ’tis all one; any one point in a circle being found, the red are found too.

From what has been said, it seems probable, that the fable of the hero finding out the spring in the sandy desarts of Africa, by the help of a ram sent from Jupiter, means the travelling over those immense plains by the help of a compass, which they call’d by the name of a ram, or a golden ram. And that the possessors of the antient oracle of Ammon had such a secret, which they cunningly applied to the sacreds of their deity. Probably, in that most early age, they had not improv’d the use of it to the pitch and manner that we enjoy, with a needle; and that set upon a central pin: but having found out the veracity of the magnet, they put it into a boat, which was to swim on water, and therein it would have liberty to turn itself to its proper direction. And this is the sentiment of the learned Dr. Wallis, in the Philosophical Transactions, No. 278. This boat was the better a handle for the mythologists to call Hercules's vessel a golden cup, because cups were made in the shape of a boat, and had the same denomination, cymbium.

Those learned commentators upon Curtius abovementioned agree, there was a stone along with the statue of Ammon, carried about in the golden ship; and perhaps, hence the antient navigators took the hint of applying the figure of the ram to their compasses, however form’d, and gave it the name of the ram, or golden fleece, which the Greek fables, their most antient history, ring of: and hence their ships deriv’d their oracular quality. Phrixus's ship, the golden ram, being said to speak on occasion, as well as the ship argos. The stupendous properties of this stone, without difficulty, would persuade even those above the vulgar, that there was a divine principle in it, quite metaphysical, consequently oracular. And in the dawnings of idolatry, the evil agent who was vigilant to pervert every thing to his own purpose, would not fail to make great use of the secrets of the magnet. The intire notion of oracles among the heathen, is caused by the devil's mimickry of God's transactions among the patriarchs and the Jews. But I believe the Egyptians took their notion of carrying a boat in all their religious processions, from this magnetic boat, of which both Herodotus and Plutarch inform us. For they intended it to signify the movement and descent of the divine ideas from the supreme mind; especially the very fountain and principal of those ideas: and it must be own’d to be admirably well chose. Hence the top and the bottom of the verge or limbus of the celebrated Iliac table, is adorn’d with a boat. In one a ram, in the other a bull. Meaning the origin of the chain of ideas flowing from the divine mind. ’Tis highly probable, that with the ram is the copy of Jupiter Ammon's boat, mention’d by Curtius. And I suppose this is Herwart's opinion, but I have not yet seen his book. Of this I shall discourse larger in my explication of the Bembin table. However Herodotus tells us in his II. book, that the temple of Jupiter Ammon took its rise from Phœnicia. I only mention this for the sake of those that are over acting the credit of antiquities in Egypt.

We learn in Plutarch's discourse de Isid. & Osir, that the ship argos of the Greeks, was is reality the ship that our Hercules sail’d round the world in.

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[paragraph continues] Further, this oracular ship has its name argos, says my friend Mr. Baxter, gloss. ant. rom. from the Hebrew and Syrian word argan, an ark. Which confirms what I said above, concerning the carrying about the ship of Ammon on the shoulders of the priests. Strabo in II. of his geography, mentions the temple of Leucothea, built by Phrixus at Colchos; that there was an oracle there; and that the sheep was never slain at the place. This shews its relation to that of Jupiter Ammon. Leucothea is the name of consecration of Hercules his mother, Hercules himself being call’d Palæmon; both made sea deities: from the extraordinary fame of Hercules, the first and great sea captain. Pausanias in Atticis says, he was buried in the Corinthian Isthmus; where the Isthmian games were kept to his memory. But Mela writes, that his remains were at Gades. It's probable there was only an honorary monument of him at the Isthmus, as founder: as the honorary monument of Jolaus mention’d to be among the Thebans, by the Stadium, p. 42.

Mr. Baxter in gloss. ant. rom. ascania makes Phrixus to be Aphricus, and the same person as Jupiter Ammon, or the founder of the temple of Jupiter Ammon; rather, of that prior to Jupiter Ammon. We are not to regard the little artifices of the Greeks, who draw all celebrated events and persons of antiquity, into their own country. Aphricus, no doubt, is the Aphre before-mentioned, son of Midian, son of Abraham; whom Cleodemus makes an associate of Hercules, in his Lybian wars. Josephus makes him the conqueror of Lybia, and that he gave name to Africa. ’Tis not unlikely but that he is the hero that travell’d over these barren lands by the help of the compass, as his countrymen the Arabians have from times immemorial practised, in travelling over their own desarts. And might probably erect a patriarchal temple there; and in times of his posterity it degenerated into the idolatrous temple of Jupiter Ammon: And there the compass box of the hero remain’d, and was converted into part of the heathen sacreds.

’Tis no very strange matter, is they at another time call this same hero Bacchus, therein confounding him with the like travels of the Israelites, through the Arabian desarts. We are not to expect these histories of old times involv’d in fable, absolutely consistent. But is this account be agreeable to truth or near it; then we may imagine the same Aphre, by the Greeks call’d Phrixus, according to Mr. Baxter, pass’d the Hellespont, made the expedition into Colchis, and built a like temple there. And a compass box called the golden ram, was made alike part of the object of their adoration. This is exceedingly confirm’d by the report of Herodotus and Diodorus S. who say, the Colchi practised the rite of circumcision, a matter which the learned cannot account for; but appears plain from hence: these being the descendants of Abraham. They say, at the same time, that the Ethiopians practise the like: and that ’tis no recent custom among them, but from the beginning. I apprehend by Ethiopians are meant Arabians, who are people descended from Abraham. Herodotus says likewise the Egyptians circumcis’d, which must be accounted for in this same manner; some Arabian or Ethiopian nation bringing the custom among them. As a further confirmation of Phrixus being Aphricus, Bochart shews the Colchic and Hebrew tongue is much a-kin. And thus we may account for what Mr. Toland, p. 133. says, that the idiom of the Irish language (which we suppose the remnant of the most antient oriental,) has a mixture of Arabic in it.

I saw a book in Dr. Mead's library, Museo de las medallas desconecidas Espanolas, p. 35. No. 82, 83. are two ancient unknown medals, such as they often find in Spain. The first a head (not of the best workmanship) on the obverse, young, but heroical enough, a necklace on. Behind it Α Φ Ρ Α in the old Phœnician character, like the Samaritan. Reverse a horseman, and under the exergue another word in like Punic character. The other No. 83. has the same head in the obverse, but without the necklace: and Α Φ Ρ Α before, in plain Greek, behind a dolphin. The reverse as the last. There is another such coin in the

Plate 32. Female Celtic ornaments found in a barrow north of Stonehenge which I open’d 5 July 1723. among burnt bones, all drawn as big as Life.
Click to enlarge

Plate 32. Female Celtic ornaments found in a barrow north of Stonehenge which I open’d 5 July 1723. among burnt bones, all drawn as big as Life.

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same book, no difference, but the name and dolphin transpos’d: I verily believe this is our Aphra, or Apher in our English translation call’d Epher, Gen. xxv. 4. struck by some city in Spain, who acknowledged him their founder.

It is remarkable enough, what Mr. Norden writes, in his history of Cornwall. The Cornish men universally suppose that the Jews are the people who first work’t in their rocks, for tin: and in old neglected tin-works, they find some of their tools. The workmen call them attal sarazin, the Jews cast off works, in their Hebrew speech, says Norden. Now I apprehend he means our Arabians: and it is a circumstance confirming the former notions. And to it we may refer the origin of the odd reports, of our Stonehenge coming from Africa and the like. By the Greeks, Hercules Melcartus or Melicerta, and Phryxus or Apricus are made half brothers: by Josephus, Hercules is son-in-law to Aphricus. The Phœnicians paid tythe. So the Arabians, in Pliny, the like: being patriarchal customs.

Aphricus or Phryxus we may very well suppose to be father of the Phrygians. And his expedition thro’ the propontis to the Euxine sea, the Greeks colour over with their Helle and Hellespont. But we cannot entertain too high a respect for him, because I see it no less reasonable, to refer the origin of the Britons to him. I mean that eastern colony that came hither with Hercules, upon the old possessors or aborigines Albionites, which gave the more famous name of Britain to the island. The Brigantes is the same name, says Mr. Baxter the common and more ancient name of this people: who being driven northwards by inundations of foreigners from the continent in after times, the name became more appropriate to the inhabitants of Yorkshire and the neighbouring counties. In Tacitus the Brigantes are called maxima Brittanorum natio. At the same time they forc’d the ancientest possessors, the Albionites or Albanians still more northwards. Likewise many of these Brigantes pass’d into Ireland, where they became a famous nation. The Bryges, Phryges, Phrixi, Brisones, Brigantes, Britons are intirely synonimous words in different dialects. And this assignment of the origin of our ancestors, very well accounts for that notion of their Phrygian or Trojan descent, so riveted in the minds of the old Britons. A notion which prevail’d among some of the Gallic nations on the continent, and they had retain’d the memory of it, in the time of Ammianus Marcellinus, who mentions it. Likewise in Cæsar's time, some Gallic nations, claimed kindred with the Romans; probably upon this very account.

This is, in short, some presumptive evidence we have, of Hercules and Aphricus planting Britain, introducing the Druids with the patriarchal religion: and concerning the knowledge they had of the use of the compass. This whole matter will be further considered, when I come to treat of it expressly. At present we will continue the history of the compass, as it became more fully known to the world.

Martinius in his Atlas, and Gilbertus de magnete, Lib. I. 2. show us, the Chinese have us’d the magnetic needle from times immemorial: that they have a trick of telling fortunes with it: as the heathen afore-mentioned made it oracular. The Arabians likewise have us’d it, for travelling over the great and wild desarts, of weeks together, where there is no track to guide them; nor have they any notion of time when they began this practice. Herwartius published admiranda ethnicæ theologiæ, wherein he endeavours to prove that the old Egyptians had the use of the magnetic needle, and that the Bembin table contains the doctrine of it, invelop’d in hieroglyphicks. The learned Fuller in his Miscellanies Lib. 4. 19. asserts, that the Phœnicians knew the use of it, which they endeavour’d to conceal by all possible means, as they did their trading in general. That it was lost with them, as many other arts, their ars plumaria, the dying of purple, (the invention of our Hercules of Tyre) the Hebrew poetry, and other curious knowledge, which is perished.

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’Tis not unlikely that the lodestone being applied to religious use, was one cause of its being forgot: together with the secrecy of the Phœnician voyages. Suetonius in Nero, speaks of a prophetic needle, which the emperor us’d to pay his devotions to. The learned Burman shews, that most, or all of the old MSS. and printed books, read it acuncula, acucula, or acungula; which, in my opinion, the criticks have causelesly corrected into icuncula: because they had no notion of the magnetic needle being understood by it.

Monsieur Fauchet, a famous French antiquary, in his antiquities of France, quotes some verses from a poet in that country, who wrote A.D. 1180. wherein is as plain a description of the mariner's box, as words can make. The poet mentions it by accident, not as a thing new and strange. Osorius in his discourse of the acts of king Emanuel, refers the use of the compass among the Europeans, to Gama and the Portuguese, who found it among some barbarous pyrates, about the Cape of Good Hope; who probably were some remains of the old Phœnicians, or Arabians, or at least have preserved from them, this practice. About A.D. 1260. Paulus Venetus is said to have brought it from China; by the great author on the magnet, our countryman Gilbert. Genebrand in his chron. says, the use of the lode-stone reviv’d among us about A.D. 1303. by Fl. Melvius a Neapolitan, and others attribute it about that time to John Goia a Neapolitan. Joseph de Costa says, some Mahometan seamen whom Vasquez de Gama met with near Mosambick, who had sail’d those seas by the use thereof, taught it him. I observe our ancient Britons, the Welsh, call a steers-man or pilot llywydd, whence no doubt comes our English word lode-stone, and lode-star, the north-pole. Llyw is the helm of a ship in British. Lodemanage in Skinner's etymology an old English word, signifying the price paid to the pilot. Our lords of the Cinque Ports keep a court at Dover, by that name. These things seem to indicate some memorial of the magnet left among the Welsh, from the oldest times: and of its application to sailing.

Thus have we given a kind of history of this prodigy in nature, the magnetic needle: to confirm our suspicion, that the British Druids knew the use of it, and used it in these works of theirs, which we have been treating of. We learn in the Philosophical Transactions, Lowthorp, Vol. II. p. 601. that there are considerable veins of the magnet, in our own country, in Devonshire; where the Phœnicians and Druids must needs be very conversant.

We return now to our first subject Stonehenge, and apply what has been said, to the observation we there made. It is not to be thought, that the Druids, men who employed themselves in those noble studies, which Cæsar gives us an account of; and who were at the pains of bringing these vast stones together, from such a considerable distance of 16 miles: I say, it is not to be thought, but that they would be nice and exact in placing them. And this, not only particularly, in respect of each other, upon the projected ground-plot: but also in general, in respect of the quarters of the heavens. And this I found to be a just surmise, when I examined their works for several years together, with sufficient accuracy, with a theodilite. As I took notice before, the works of one place regarded the cardinal points, but with a certain uniform variation therefrom. Whence I grounded my conjecture, that they were set by a compass, which at that time varied, according to that quantity observ’d. Of which property of variation we may well suppose, the Druids were ignorant. This I now propose for the rule of investigation, of the time when Stonehenge was erected. Hoping the reader will judge as favourably of the attempt, as things of this great antiquity require.

The variation at Stonehenge is about 6 or 7 degrees, from the north eastward. I have in order to form our hypothesis, set down a scheme of the state of the variation in England, from the best observations I could meet with Dr. Halley takes notice, that the variation at Paris is always 2 degrees and a half

Plate 33. Prospect from Bushbarrow.<br> a. Runway hill. b. Oldbury. D. Stonehenge.
Click to enlarge

Plate 33. Prospect from Bushbarrow.
a. Runway hill. b. Oldbury. D. Stonehenge.

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more easterly than with us. Orontius Finæus in 1550 observ’d it to be there, about 9 degrees, easterly, therefore to reduce it, I have stated it at 11 degrees 30. and from thence continued it, to the present time, as in the ensuing table.

Anno Dom.


deg. min.


By Finæus

11 30 east.


   Mr. Burroughs

11 15 east.



8  0 east.


   Mr. Gunter

6  0 east.


   Mr. Gellibrand

4  5 east.



3  5 east.


   Mr. Bond

0  0      


   Mr. Bond

1 22 west.


   Capt. Sturmy

1 27 west.


   Capt. Sturmy

1 33 weft.


   Dr. Halley

2 30 west.



4 30 west.



5  5 west.



6  0 west.



11  0 west.



12  0 west.



15 45 west.

By this table it appears, that in the space of 180 years, the variation of the magnetic needle in England, has shifted from 11 degrees and a half eastward, to 11 degrees and a half westward. In 90 years the medium of those extremes, which was 1657, there was no variation at all; the needle pointing due north and south. But alas our observations extend no farther. We know not the bound of the variation, on either hand: nor the quantity of its motion, when thereabouts. Mr. Geo. Graham thinks it is now near the western bound. It is very slow, in all probability, when upon the return, and as it were, stationary: like the sun's motion at the tropics, when it is returning. So that the nice determination of its circle, and of its motion, is reserved for remote posterity. Dr. Halley conjectures, that the whole period of variation, is perform’d in about 700 years. Upon this supposition, in gross, we may thus found our conjecture, of the time of building of Stonehenge.

By what we can find, the variation is about 9 minutes in a year, or a degree and a half in to years, at this part of its circle. Now I observ’d at Stonehenge, that the eastern wing of the avenue, the cursus and other parts belonging to the temple, abated somewhat in their variation, eastward, being somewhat less than that of the temple itself. It is highly reasonable to believe, that the great work of Stonehenge could not take less than half a score years in building: and that those other works were made in succeeding years, not long after it was finished. From hence I gather, which way the magnetic variation was moving, at the time of sounding Stonehenge, viz. from east toward no variation and so to west. This must be the foundation of our calculus.

Therefore at the time of the founding of Stonehenge, the variation was about the same quantity and place, as about A.D. 1620. in our preceeding table. Supposing with Dr. Halley, the revolution of this variation be about 700 years, three intire revolutions thereof, bring us to about the year of the city of Rome 280. which is about 460 years before our Saviour's time: 420 years before Cæsar invaded Britain. About 100 years before our Saviour's birth, Divitiacus made the Wansdike north of Stonehenge, and drove the possessors of this fine country of the Wiltshire downs, northwards. So that the Druids enjoyed their magnificent work of Stonehenge, but about 360 years. And the very

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great number of barrows about it, requires, that we should not much shorten the time. Sir Isaac Newton in his Chronology, reckons 19 years for a medium of a king's reign. So that in that space, there were about 19 kings, in this country. And there seems to be about that number of royal barrows (in my way of conjecturing) about the place.

I observe, this time we have assign’d for the building of Stonehenge, is not long after Cambyses's invasion of Egypt. When he committed such horrid outrages there, and made such dismal havock, with the priests and inhabitants in general, that they fled the country to all parts of the world. Some went as far as the East Indies, and there taught many of the antient Egyptian customs; as is taken notice of by the learned. It is not to be doubted that some of them fled as far westward, into the island of Britain, and introduced some of their learning, arts and religion, among the Druids; and perhaps had a hand in this very work of Stonehenge: the only one that I know of, where the stones are chizel’d. All other works of theirs, are of rude stones, untouch’d of tool, exactly after the patriarchal and Jewish mode: therefore older.

This was at a time, when the Phœnician trade was at height, the readier a conveyance to Britain: it was before the second temple at Jerusalem was built: before the Grecians had any history.


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All the half sheet plates are to be bound up with the book, as single leaves, according to their pages, and without guards, viz. Plate, No. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, S, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. Those Plates, No. 11, 17, 19, 21, are to be once folded in the middle, and bound up with guards. Those Plates, No. 3, 5, 13, 18, 20, 22, are to be folded in three parts, and bound up with guards.


Plate 34. Carvilii Regis Tumulus Iuly 29 1723.<br> Sorbiodunum. C. Salisbury. D. the Icening street road. F. Harnham hill.
Click to enlarge

Plate 34. Carvilii Regis Tumulus Iuly 29 1723.
Sorbiodunum. C. Salisbury. D. the Icening street road. F. Harnham hill.

Plate 35. The Perspective of the Second Temple at Persepolis.<br> (inset) Groundplot of the Second Temple at Persepolis.
Click to enlarge

Plate 35. The Perspective of the Second Temple at Persepolis.
(inset) Groundplot of the Second Temple at Persepolis.

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