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In the Gallery at Florence is a collossal image of the organ of generation, mounted on the back parts of a lion, and hung round with various animals. By this is represented the co-operation of the creating and destroying powers, which are both blended and united in one figure, because both are derived from one cause. The animals hung round show likewise that both act to the same purpose, that of replenishing the earth, and peopling it with still rising generations of sensitive beings. The Chimæra of Homer, of which the commentators have given so many whimsical interpretations, was a symbol of the same kind, which the poet probably, having seen in Asia, and not knowing its meaning (which was only revealed to the initiated) supposed to be a monster that had once infested the country. He describes it as composed of the forms of the goat, the lion, and the serpent, and breathing fire from its mouth2 These are the symbols of the creator, the destroyer, and the preserver, united and animated by fire, the divine essence of all three3 On a gem, published in the

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[paragraph continues] Memoirs of the Academy of Cortona, 1 this union of the destroying and preserving attributes is represented by the united forms of the lion and serpent crowned with rays, the emblems of the cause from which both proceed. This composition forms the Chnoubis of the Egyptians.

Bacchus is frequently represented by the ancient artists accompanied by tigers, which appear, in some instances, devouring clusters of grapes, the fruit peculiarly consecrated to the god, and in others drinking the liquor pressed from them. The author of the Recherches sur les Arts has in this instance followed the common accounts of the Mythologists, and asserted that tigers are really fond of grapes; 2 which is so far from being true, that they are incapable of feeding upon them, or upon any fruit whatever, being both externally and internally formed to feed upon flesh only, and to procure their food by destroying other animals. Hence I am persuaded, that in the ancient symbols, tigers, as well as lions, represent the destroying power of the god. Sometimes his chariot appears drawn by them; and then they represent the powers of destruction preceding the powers of generation, and extending their operation, as putrefaction precedes, and increases vegetation. On

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a medal of Maronea, published by Gesner, 1 a goat is coupled with the tiger in drawing his chariot; by which composition the artist has shown the general active power of the deity, conducted by his two great attributes of creation and destruction. On the Choragic monument of Lysicrates at Athens, Bacchus is represented feeding a tiger; which shows the active power of destruction. 2 On a beautiful cameo in the collection of the Duke of Marlborough, the tiger is sucking the breast of a nymph; which represents the same power of destruction, nourished by the passive power of generation. 3 In the museum of Charles Townley, Esq., is a group, in marble, of three figures; 4 the middle one of which grows out of a vine in a human form, with leaves and clusters of grapes springing out of its body. On one side is the Bacchus διφυης, or creator of both sexes, known by the effeminate mold of his limbs and countenance; and on the other, a tiger, leaping up, and devouring the grapes which spring from the body of the personified vine, the hands of which are employed in receiving

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another cluster from the Bacchus. This composition represents the vine between the creating and destroying attributes of god; the one giving it fruit, and the other devouring it when given. The tiger has a garland of ivy round his neck, to show that the destroyer was co-essential with the creator, of whom ivy, as well as all other ever-greens, was an emblem representing his perpetual youth and viridity. 1

The mutual and alternate operation of the two great attributes of creation and destruction, was not confined by the ancients to plants and animals, and such transitory productions, but extended to the universe itself. Fire being the essential cause of both, they believed that the conflagration and renovation of the world were periodical and regular, proceeding from each other by the laws of its own constitution, implanted in it by the creator, who was also the destroyer and renovator' 2 for, as Plato says, all things arise from one, and into one are all things resolved. 3 It must be observed, that, when the ancients speak of creation and destruction, they mean only formation

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and dissolution; it being universally allowed, through all systems of religion, or sects of philosophy, that nothing could come from nothing, and that no power whatever could annihilate that which really existed. The bold and magnificent idea of a creation from nothing was reserved for the more vigorous faith, and more enlightened minds of the moderns, 1 who need seek no authority to confirm their belief; for, as that which is self-evident admits of no proof, so that which is in itself impossible admits of no refutation.

The fable of the serpent Pytho being destroyed by Apollo, probably arose from an emblematical composition, in which that god was represented as the destroyer of life, of which the serpent was a symbol. Pliny mentions a statue of him by Praxiteles, which was much celebrated in his time, called Σαυροκτων (the Lizard-killer). 2 The lizard, being supposed to live upon the dews and moisture of the earth, is employed as the symbol of humidity in general; so that the god destroying it, signifies the same as the lion devouring the horse. The title Apollo, I

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am inclined to believe, meant originally the Destroyer, as well as the Deliverer; for, as the ancients supposed destruction to be merely dissolution, the power which delivered the particles of matter from the bonds of attraction, and broke the δεσμον περι Βριθη ερωτος, was in fact the destroyer. 1 It is, probably, for this reason, that sudden death, plagues, and epidemic diseases, are said by the poets to be sent by this god; who is, at the same time, described as the author of medicine, and all the arts employed to preserve life. These attributes are not joined merely because the destroyer and preserver were essentially the same; but because disease necessarily precedes cure, and is the cause of its being invented. The God of Health is said to be his son, because the health and vigour of one being are supported by the decay and dissolution of others which are appropriated to its nourishment. The bow and arrows are given to him as symbols of his characteristic attributes, as they are to Diana, who was the female personification of the destructive, as well as the productive and preserving powers. Diana is hence called the triple Hecate, and represented by three female bodies

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joined together. Her attributes were however worshipped separately; and some nations revered her under one character, and others under another. Diana of Ephesus was the productive and nutritive power, as the many breasts and other symbols on her statues imply; 1 whilst Βριμω, the Tauric or Scythic Diana, appears to have been the destructive, and therefore was appeased with human sacrifices, and other bloody rites. 2 She is represented sometimes standing on the back of a bull, 3 and sometimes in a chariot drawn by bulls; 4 whence she is called by the poets Ταυροπολα 5 and Βοων ελατειρα. 6 Both compositions show the passive power of nature, whether creative or destructive, sustained and guided by the general active power of the creator, of which the sun was the centre, and the bull the symbol.

It was observed by the ancients, that the destructive power of the sun was exerted most by day, and the creative by night: for it was in the former season that he dried up the waters, withered the herbs, and

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produced disease and putrefaction; and in the latter, that he returned the exhalations in dews, tempered with the genial heat which he had transfused into the atmosphere, to restore and replenish the waste of the day. Hence, when they personified the attributes, they revered the one as the diurnal, and the other as the nocturnal sun, and in their mystic worship, as Macrobius says, 1 called the former Apollo, and the latter Dionysus or Bacchus. The mythological personages of Castor and Pollux, who lived and died alternately, were allegories of the same dogma; hence the two asteriscs, by which they are distinguished on the medals of Locri, Argos, and other cities.

The pæans, or war-songs, which the Greeks chanted at the onset of their battles 2 were originally sung to Apollo, 3 who was called Pæon; and Macrobius tells us, 4 that in Spain, the sun was worshipped as Mars, the god of war and destruction, whose statue they adorned with rays, like that of the Greek Apollo. On a Celtiberian or Runic medal found in Spain, of barbarous workmanship, is a head surrounded by

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obeliscs or rays, which I take to be of this deity. 1 The hairs appear erect, to imitate flames, as they do on many of the Greek medals; and on the reverse is a bearded head, with a sort of pyramidal cap on, exactly resembling that by which the Romans conferred freedom on their slaves, and which was therefore called the cap of liberty. 2 On other Celtiberian medals is a figure on horseback, carrying a spear in his hand, and having the same sort of cap on his head, with the word Helman written under him, 3 in characters which are something between the old Runic and Pelasgian; but so near to the latter, that they are easily understood. 4 This figure seems to be of the same person as is represented by the head with the cap on the preceding medal, who can be no other than the angel or minister of the deity of death, as the name implies; for Hela or Hel, was, among the

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[paragraph continues] Northern nations, the goddess of death, 1 in the same manner as Persiphoneia or Brimo was among the Greeks. The same figure appears on many ancient British medals, and also on those of several Greek cities, particularly those of Gela, which have the Taurine Bacchus or Creator on the reverse. 2 The head which I have supposed to be the Celtiberian Mars, or destructive power of the diurnal sun, is beardless like the Apollo of the Greeks, and, as far as can be discovered in such barbarous sculpture, has the same androgynous features. 3 We may therefore reasonably suppose, that, like the Greeks, the Celtiberians personified the destructive attribute under the different genders, accordingly as they applied it to the sun, or subordinate elements; and then united them, to signify that both were essentially the same. The Helman therefore, who was the same as the Μοιραγητης or Διακτωζ of the Greeks, may with equal propriety be called the minister of both or either. The spear in his hand is not to be considered merely as the implement of destruction, but as the symbol of power and command, which it was in Greece and Italy, as well as all over the North. Hence ευθυνει{! 0x76 v !}v δορι

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was to govern1 and venire sub hastâ,--to be sold as a slave. The ancient Celtes and Scythians paid divine honors to the sword, the battle-axe, and the spear; the first of which was the symbol by which they represented the supreme god: hence to swear by the edge of the sword was the most sacred and inviolable of oaths. 2 Euripides alludes to this ancient religion when he calls a sword ορκιον ξιφος and Æschylus shows clearly, that it once prevailed in Greece, when he makes the heroes of the Thebaid swear by the point of the spear (ομνυσι δ᾽αιχμην 3). Homer sometimes uses the word αρης to signify the God of War, and sometimes a weapon: and we have sufficient proof of this word's being of Celtic origin in its affinity with our Northern word War; for, if we write it in the ancient manner, with the Pelasgian Vau, or Æolian Digamma, Ϝαρης (Wares), it scarcely differs at all.

Behind the bearded head, on the first-mentioned Celtiberian medal is an instrument like a pair of firetongs, or blacksmith's pincers; 4 from which it seems that the personage here represented is the same as the Ἡφαιστος or Vulcan of the Greek and Roman

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mythology. The same ideas are expressed somewhat more plainly on the medals of Æsernia in Italy, which are executed with all the refinement and elegance of Grecian art. 1 On one side is Apollo, the diurnal sun, mounting in his chariot; and on the other a beardless head, with the same cap on, and the same instrument behind it, but with the youthful features and elegant character of countenance usually attributed to Mercury, who, as well as Vulcan, was the God of Art and Mechanism; and whose peculiar office it also was to conduct the souls of the deceased to their eternal mansions, from whence came the epithet Διακτωζ, applied to him by Homer. He was, therefore, in this respect, the same as the Helman of the Celtes and Scythians, who was supposed to conduct the souls of all who died a violent death (which alone was accounted truly happy) to the palace of Valhala. 2 It seems that the attributes of the deity which the Greeks represented by the mythological personages of Vulcan and Mercury, were united in the Celtic mythology. Caesar tells us that the Germans worshipped Vulcan, or fire, with the sun and moon; and I shall soon have occasion to show that the Greeks held fire to be the real conductor

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of the dead, and emancipator of the soul. The Æsernians, bordering upon the Samnites, a Celtic nation, might naturally be supposed to have adopted the notions of their neighbours, or, what is more probable, preserved the religion of their ancestors more pure than the Hellenic Greeks. Hence they represented Vulcan, who, from the inscription on the exergue of their coins, appears to have been their tutelar god, with the characteristic features of Mercury, who was only a different personification of the same deity.


147:1 In Numa.

147:2 Il. ζ. v. 223.

147:3 For the natural properties attributed by the ancients to fire, see Plutarch, in Camillo, Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. XXXVI c. 68.

148:1 Vol. iv. p. 32. See also Plate v. Fig. 4, copied from it.

148:2 Liv. i. c. 3.

149:1 Table xliii. Fig. 26.

149:2 Stuart's Athens, vol. i. c. 4, Plate x.

149:3 See Plate XXIII, engraved merely to show the composition, it not being permitted to make an exact drawing of it.

149:4 See Plate XXI. Fig. 7.

150:1 Strabo, lib. xv. p. 712.

150:2 Brucker, Hist. Crit. Philos. vol. i. part 2, lib. i. Plutarch de Placit. Philos. lib. ii, c. 18. Lucretius, lib. v. ver. 92. Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. ii.

150:3 Εξ ἑνος τα παντα γενεσθαι, και εις τ᾽ ἁυτον αναλυεσθαι. The same dogma is still more plainly inculcated by the ancient Indian author before cited, see Bagvat Geeta, Lect. ix.

151:1 The word in Genesis upon which it is founded, conveyed no such sense to the ancients; for the Seventy translated it , which signifies formed, or fashioned.

151:2 Hist. Nat. lib. xxxiv. c. 8. Many copies of it are still extant. Winkleman has published one from a bronze of Cardinal Albani's. Monum. Antichi. inediti, Plate XL.

152:1 The verb λυω. from which Apollo is derived, signifies in Homer both to free and to dissolve or destroy, Il. a, ver. 20; Il, i, ver. 25. Macrobius derives the title from απολλυμι. to destroy; but this word is derived from λυω Sat. lib. I. c. 17.

155:1 Hieron. Comment. in Paul Epist. ad Ephes.

155:2 Pausan. lib. iii. c. 16.

155:3 See a medal of Augustus, published by Spanheim. Not. in Callim. Hymn. ad Dian. ver. 113.

155:4 Plate vi., from a bronze in the museum of C. Townley, Esq.

155:5 Sophoclis Ajax, ver. 172.

155:6 Nonni Dionys, lib. i. the title Ταυροπολος was sometimes given to Apollo, Eustath. Schol in Dionys. Περιηγης. ver. 609.

156:1 Sat. lib. i. c. 18.

156:2 Thucyd. lib. vii.

156:3 Homer. Il. a, v. 472.

156:4 Sat. lib. i. c. 19.

157:1 Plate X Fig. 2, engraven from one belonging to me. I have since been confirmed in this conjecture by observing the characters of Mars and Apollo mixt on Greek coins. On a Mamertine one belonging to me is the head with the youthful features and laurel crown of Apollo; but the hair is short, and the inscription on the exergue denotes it to be Mars. See Plate XVI. Fig 2.

157:2 It may be seen with the dagger on the medals of Brutus.

157:3 See Plate IX. Fig. 9, from one belonging to me.

157:4 The first to a mixture of the Runic Hagle and Greek Η. The second is the Runic Laugur, which is also the old Greek Λ, as it appears on the vase of the Calydonian Boar in the British Museum. The other three differ little from the common Greek.

158:1 Edda. Fab. XVI. D'Hancarville, Recherches sur les Arts, liv. ii. c. 1.

158:2 See Plate IX. Fig. 11, from one belonging to me.

158:3 See Plate X. Fig. 2.

160:1 Eurip. Hecuba.

160:2 Mallet, Introd. d l'Hist. de Danemarc, c. 9.

160:3 Ἑπταοπι Θη Βας, v. 535.

160:4 Plate X. Fig. 2.

162:1 See Plate X. Fig. 6, from one belonging to me.

162:2 Mallet, Hist. de Danemarc. Introd. c. 9.

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