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The Origin and Significance of the Great Pyramid, by C. Staniland Wake, [1882], at

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The following is Dr. Sprenger's account (taken from Arab and Syrian sources) of Seth and Hermes, in connection with the Pyramids of Ghizeh. He says (as quoted by Col. Vyse in the 2nd vol. of his work, p. 364):—

"In Abul Feda's 'Historia Anteislamitica,' edited by Fleisher, p. 16, it is stated, that Syria was one of the earliest inhabited countries, and that the Syriac language was the first that was spoken; that the Sabæan language was established by Seth and Edris (Enoch); that there was a town called Haran, to which pilgrims resorted, as they did to the two large Pyramids of Ghizeh, one of which was said to be the tomb of Edris, and the other of his son Syabi; where they celebrated as a festival the day on which the sun entered the sign of Aries. In the 'Melelwa Nahil,' MS., 47 in Nic. Cat., Hermes is represented as the pupil of Agathodæmon. In another account, MS. 785, Uri's Cat. Agathodæmon is

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mentioned as a King of Egypt. The Sabæans consider the Great Pyramid of Ghizeh as the tomb of Seth; the Second, that of Hermes; and the Third, that of Izabi; while the Copts state that the Great Pyramid is the tomb of Surid; the Second, that of Herjib, or Haukith, his brother; the Third, that of his son."

Dr. Sprenger says, further:—"In the Syrian chronicle of Bar-Hebræus (translated into Latin by Professor Bruns), Enoch is said to have invented letters and architecture, under the title of Trismigistus, or of Hermes, to have built many cities and established laws, to have taught the worship of God, * and astronomy, to give alms and tithes, to offer up first fruits, libations, etc., to abstain from unlawful foods, and drunkenness, and to keep feasts at the rising of the sun, or new moons, and at the ascent of the planets. His pupil was Agathodæmon (Seth); according to other accounts, Asclepiades, a king renowned for wisdom, who, when Enoch was translated, set up an image in honour of him, and thereby introduced idolatry. The Egyptians are supposed to have been descended from these persons.

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[paragraph continues] According to Hadgi Walfah, they derived their knowledge from the Chaldeans, who are said to have been the Persian Magi, and to have originally come from Babylon. The statues of the Grecian Hermes, which seem to agree in name with the Pyramids (Haram), were not images, but symbols of the deity and of the generative principle of nature in the form of obelisks (see Winkelman, Book i., Cap. i. 1011.) Statues of this kind sacred to Hermes were erected by the Greeks in honour of distinguished heroes; and the same allegorical allusion might have been kept in view when the Pyramids were constructed as tombs. The Egyptian account, however, of Hermes, is very obscure; that person is mentioned in the 'Burham-i-Kati' as the son of Rahman, sun of Isfendiar, and to have arrived from the East. One of the sons of Aunshirwan has also that title. Hormig is the name of the first day of the month, which is considered propitious for any undertaking; and it is a name of the planet Mercury; and Wednesday (dies Mercurii) was sacred to him: for to most of the planets days were attributed, in which their influence was supposed to govern human affairs, and even Mohammedan superstition assigned to

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children born on these days various qualities, characteristic of the heathen personifications of the different planets. Hermes is mentioned in many astrological treatises as presiding over the sixth climate. An idea, a period of time, or any remarkable occurrence, were frequently connected with ideal persons in mythology, and when any similarity existed received the same appellation. In this manner there were five Hermes; and the fifth was the Oriental Hermes who was worshipped by the Phineatæ, and is said to have fled after the death of Argus into Egypt, and to have civilized that country under the name of Thoth. This coincides with the account of Tifashi, which is evidently taken from an Egyptian tradition; reference may also be made to Plato, Philel. 21, 24, Phædro, p. 340. Hermes was likewise distinguished by his wisdom; and was reported to have been buried in a great building called Abou Hermes, which, together with another, the tomb of his wife, or of his son, was afterwards named Haraman. These were the two large Pyramids, and the form of their construction was called Makhrut."


95:* "This agrees with the Biblical statement that in the days of Enos men began "to call on the name of the Lord," Gen. iv. 26.

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