From a passage of Hecatæus, preserved by Diodorus Siculus, I think it is evident that Stonehenge, and all the other monuments of the same kind found in the North, belonged to the same religion, which appears, at some remote period, to have prevailed over the whole northern hemisphere. According to that ancient historian, the Hyperboreans inhabited an island beyond Gaul, as large as Sicily, in which Apollo was worshipped in a circular temple considerable for its size and riches. 2 Apollo, we know, in the language of the Greeks of that age, can mean no other than the sun, which, according to Caesar, was worshipped by the Germans, when they knew of no other deities except fire and the moon. 3 The island I think can be no other than Britain, which at that time was only known to the Greeks by the vague reports of Phnician mariners, so uncertain and obscure, that Herodotus, the most inquisitive and credulous of historians, doubts of its existence. 4 The circular temple of the sun being noticed in such
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ORNAMENT FROM PUZZUOLI TEMPLE
slight and imperfect accounts, proves that it must have been something singular and important; for, if had been an inconsiderable structure, it would not have been mentioned at all; and, if there had been many such in the country, the historian would not have employed the singular number. Stonehenge has certainly been a circular temple, nearly the same as that already described of the Bacchus περικιονιος at Puzzuoli, except that in the latter the nice execution, and beautiful symmetry of the parts, are in every respect the reverse of the rude but majestic simplicity of the former; in the original design they differ but in the form of the area. 1 It may therefore be reasonably supposed, that we have still the ruins of the identical temple described by Hecatæus, who, being an Asiatic Greek, might have received his information from some Phnician merchant, who had visited the interior parts of Britain when trading there for tin. Macrobius mentions a temple of the same kind and form upon Mount Zilmissus in Thrace,
dedicated to the sun under the title of Bacchus Sebazius. 1 The large obeliscs of stone found in many parts of the North, such as those at Rudstone, 2 and near Boroughbridge in Yorkshire, 3 belong to the same religion; obeliscs being, as Pliny observes, sacred to the sun, whose rays they represented both by their form and name. 4 An ancient medal of Apollonia in Illyria, belonging to the Museum of the late Dr. Hunter, has the head of Apollo crowned with laurel on one side, and on the other an obelisc terminating in a cross, the least explicit representation of the male organs of generation. 5 This has exactly the appearance of one of those crosses, which were erected in church-yards and cross roads for the adoration of devout persons, when devotion was more prevalent than at present. Many of these were undoubtedly erected before the establishment of Christianity, and converted, together with their worshippers, to the true faith. Anciently they represented the generative power of light, the essence of God; for God is light, and never but in unapproached light dwelt from
eternity, says Milton, who in this, as well as many other instances, has followed the Ammonian Platonics, who were both the restorers and corrupters of the ancient theology. They restored it from the mass of poetical mythology, under which it was buried, but refined and sublimated it with abstract metaphysics, which soared as far above human reason as the poetical mythology sunk below it. From the ancient solar obeliscs came the spires and pinnacles with which our churches are still decorated, so many ages after their mystic meaning has been forgotten. Happily for the beauty of these edifices, it was forgotten; otherwise the reformers of the last century would have destroyed them, as they did the crosses and images; for they might with equal propriety have been pronounced heathenish and prophane.
As the obelisc was the symbol of light, so was the pyramid of fire, deemed to be essentially the same. The Egyptians, among whom these forms are the most frequent, held that there were two opposite powers in the world, perpetually acting contrary to each other, the one creating, and the other destroying the former they called Osiris, and the latter Typhon. 1 By the contention of these two, that mixture
of good and evil, which, according to some verses of Euripides quoted by Plutarch, 1 constituted the harmony of the world was supposed to be produced. This opinion of the necessary mixture of good and evil was, according to Plutarch, of immemorial antiquity, derived from the oldest theologists and legislators, not only in traditions and reports, but in mysteries and sacrifices, both Greek and barbarian. 2 Fire was the efficient principle of both, and, according to some of the Egyptians, that ætherial fire which concentred in the sun. This opinion Plutarch controverts, saying that Typhon, the evil or destroying power, was a terrestrial or material fire, essentially different from the ætherial. But Plutarch here argues from his own prejudices, rather than from the evidence of the case; for he believed in an original evil principle coeternal with the good, and acting in perpetual opposition to it; an error into which men have been led by forming false notions of good and evil, and considering them as self-existing inherent properties, instead of accidental modifications, variable with every circumstance with which causes and events are connected. This error, though adopted by individuals, never formed a part either of the theology
or mythology of Greece. Homer, in the beautiful allegory of the two casks, makes Jupiter, the supreme god, the distributor of both good and evil. 1 The name of Jupiter, Ζευς, was originally one of the titles or Epithets of the sun, signifying, according to its etymology, aweful or terrible; 2 in which sense it is used in the Orphic litanies. 3 Pan, the universal substance, is called the horned Jupiter (Ζευς ο κεραστης); and in an Orphic fragment preserved by Macrobius 4 the names of Jupiter and Bacchus appear to be only titles of the all-creating power of the sun.
Αγλαε Ζεν, Λιοννσε, πατεζ ποντον, πατεζ αιης,
In another fragment preserved by the same author, 5 the name of Pluto, Αιδης, is used as a title of the same deity; who appears therefore to have presided over the dead as well as over the living, and to have been the lord of destruction as well as creation and preservation. We accordingly find that in one of the Orphic litanies now extant, he is expressly called the giver of life, and the destroyer. 6
The Egyptians represented Typhon, the destroying power, under the figure of the hippopotamus or river-horse, the most fierce and destructive animal they knew; 1 and the Chorus in the Bacchae of Euripides invoke their inspirer Bacchus to appear under the form of a bull, a many-headed serpent, or flaming lion; 2 which shows that the most bloody and destructive, as well as the most useful of animals, was employed by the Greeks to represent some personified attribute of the god. M. D'Hancarville has also observed, that the lion is frequently employed by the ancient artists as a symbol of the sun; 3 and I am inclined to believe that it was to express this destroying power, no less requisite to preserve the harmony of the universe than the generating. In most of the monuments of ancient art where the lion is represented, he appears with expressions of rage and violence, and often in the act of killing and devouring some other animal. On an ancient sarcophagus found in Sicily he is represented devouring a horse, 4 and on the medals of Velia in Italy, devouring a deer; 5 the former, as sacred to Neptune, represented
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the sea; and the latter, as sacred to Diana, the produce of the earth; for Diana was the fertility of the earth personified, and therefore is said to have received her nymphs or productive ministers from the ocean, the source of fecundity. 1 The lion, therefore, in the former instance, appears as a symbol of the sun exhaling the waters; and in the latter, as whithering and putrifying the produce of the earth. On the frieze of the Temple of Apollo Didymæus, near Miletus, are monsters composed of the mixt forms of the goat and lion, resting their fore feet upon the lyre of the god, which stands between them. 2 The goat, as I have already shown, represented the creative attribute, and the lyre, harmony and order; therefore, if we admit that the lion represented the destroying attribute, this composition will signify, in the symbolical language of sculpture, the harmony and order of the universe preserved by the regular and periodical operations of the creative and destructive powers. This is a notion to which men would be naturally led by observing the common order and progression of things. The same heat of the sun, which scorched and withered the grass in summer, ripened the fruits in autumn, and cloathed the earth
with verdure in the spring. In one season it dried up the waters from the earth, and in another returned them in rain. It caused fermentation and putrefaction, which destroy one generation of plants and animals, and produce another in constant and regular succession. This contention between the powers of creation and destruction is represented on an ancient medal of Acanthus, in the museum of the late Dr. Hunter, by a combat between the bull and lion. 1 The bull alone is represented on other medals in exactly the same attitude and gesture as when fighting with the lion; 2 whence I conclude that the lion is there understood. On the medals of Celenderis, the goat appears instead of the bull in exactly the same attitude of struggle and contention, but without the lion; 3 and in a curious one of very ancient but excellent workmanship, belonging to me, the ivy of Bacchus is placed over the back of the goat, to denote the power which he represents. 4
The mutual operation which was the result of this contention was signified, in the mythological tales of the poets, by the loves of Mars and Venus, the one
the active power of destruction, and the other the passive power of generation. From their union is said to have sprung the goddess Harmony, who was the physical order of the universe personified. The fable of Ceres and Proserpine is the same allegory inverted; Ceres being the prolific power of the earth personified, and hence called by the Greeks Mother Earth (Γη or Λη-μητηζ). The Latin name Ceres also signifying Earth, the Roman C being the same originally, both in figure and power as the Greek Γ, 1 which Homer often uses as a mere guttural aspirate, and adds it arbitrarily to his words, to make them more solemn and sonorous. 2 The guttural aspirates and hissing terminations more particularly belonged to the Æolic dialect, from which the Latin was derived; wherefore we need not wonder that the same word, which by the Dorians and Ionians was written Ερα and Ερε, should by the Æolians be written Γερες or Ceres, the Greeks always accommodating their orthography to their pronunciation. In an ancient bronze at Strawberry Hill this goddess is represented sitting, with a cup in one hand, and various sorts of fruits in the other; and the bull, the emblem of the power of the Creator, in her lap. 3 This composition
shows the fructification of the earth by the descent of the creative spirit in the same manner as described by Virgil:--
Vere tument terræ, et genitalia semina poseunt;
Tum pater omnipotens fcundis imbribus æther
Conjugis in gremium lætæ descendit, & omnes
Magnus alit, magno commixtus corpore, ftus. 1
Æther and water are here introduced by the poet as the two prolific elements which fertilize the earth, according to the ancient system of Orphic philosophy, upon which the mystic theology was founded. Proserpine, or Περσιφονεια, the daughter of Ceres, was, as her Greek name indicates, the goddess of destruction, in which character she is invoked by Althaea in the ninth Iliad; but nevertheless we often find her on the Greek medals crowned with ears of corn, as being the goddess of fertility as well as destruction. 2 She is, in fact, a personification of the heat or fire that pervades the earth, which is at once the cause and effect of fertility and destruction, for it is at once the cause and effect of fermentation, from which both proceed. The Libitina, or goddess of death of the Romans, was the same as the Persiphoneia of the Greeks; and yet, as Plutarch observes,
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EGYPTIAN FIGURES AND ORNAMENTS
the most learned of that people allowed her to be the same as Venus, the goddess of generation. 1
130:1 See Proclus. in Theol. Platon. lib. i. c. 19.
130:2 Ναον αξιολογον, αναθημασι πολλοις κεκος μημενον, σφαιροειδη τωσχηματι. Diod. Sic. lib. ii.
130:3 De B. Gal. lib. vi.
130:4 Lib. iii. c. 15.
133:1 See Plate XV. Fig. 2 and S. I have preferred Webb's plan of Stonehenge to Stukeley's and Smith's, after comparing each with the ruins now existing. They differ materially only in the cell, which Webb supposes to have been a hexagon, and Stukeley a section of an ellipsis. The position of the altar is merely conjectural; wherefore I have omitted it; and I much doubt whether either be right in their plans of the cell, which seems, as in other Druidical temples, to have been meant for a circle, but incorrectly executed.
134:1 Sat. lib. i. c. 18.
134:2 Archaeologia, vol. v.
134:3 Now called the Devil's Arrows. See Stukeley's Itin. vol. i. Table xc.
134:4 Hist. Nat. lib. xxxvi. sec. 14.
134:5 Plate X. Fig. i, and Nummi Pop. & Urb. Table X. Fig. 7.
135:1 Plutarch. de Is. & Os.
136:1 Plutarch. de Is. & Os.
136:2 Ibid. Ed. Relskii.
137:1 It. w, V. 527.
137:2 Damm. Lex. Etymol.
137:3 Hymn. x. v. 13.
137:4 Sat. lib. i. c. 23.
137:5 Sat. lib. i. c. 8 .
137:6 Hymn. lxxii. Ed. Gesn.
138:1 Plutarch. de Is. d Os.
138:2 V. 1015.
138:3 Recherches sur les Arts. See also Macrob. Sat. i. c. 21.
138:4 Houel, Voyage de la Sicile. Plate XXXVI.
138:5 Plate IX. Fig. 5, engraved from one belonging to me.
141:1 Callimach. Hymn ad Dian. v. 13. Genitor Nympharum Oceanus. Catullus in Gell. v. 84.
141:2 Ionian Antiquities, vol. i. c. 3. Plate IX.
142:1 Plate IX. Fig. 4, & Nummi Vet. Pop. & Urb. Table I. Fig. 16.
142:2 Plate IX. Fig. 12, from one of Aspendus in the same Collection. See Nummi Vet. Pop. & Urb. Table VIII. Fig. 20.
142:3 Nummi Vet. Pop. & Urb. Table XVI. Fig. 13.
142:4 Plate IX. Fig. 13.
143:1 See S. C. Marcian, and the medals of Gela and Agrigentum.
143:2 As in the word εριδψπος, usually written by him εριγδψπος.
143:3 See Plate VIII.
144:1 Georgic. lib. it. v. 324.
144:2 Plate iv. Fig. 5, from a medal of Agathocles, belonging to me. The same head is upon many others, of Syracuse, Metapontum, &c.