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tue, and as exhibiting one of the most complete mathematical figures; “ habentem longitudinem atque latitudinem, et quatuor angulos rectos; possessing at once both length and breadth, and having four right angles, at once allusive to the four cardinal points of the world and typical of the four elements. 277, 279, 280, and 281, of the third volume of his (Edipus, are symbolical representations, copied from the Barberine obelisk, of the four elements; Fire, designated by a figure of Osiris, as the ANIMA MUNDI, or soul of the world, with a hawk's head; the AIR, by a figure bearing on his head a cap adorned with an orb, and WINGS, the usual emblem of the AIR on Egyptian monuments; the EARTH, by that of Isis, the great mother of all things, with a calathus on her head, containing ears of grain, a bunch of flowers, and the horns of a cow, all emblems, as well as the swelling bosom which the goddess displays, of fertility and plenty; and, lastly, WATER, typified by a statue bearing the head and face of the Ibis, a bird sacred to the Nile, and with the horns luna sextilis, of the Moon, which in the month of August was supposed to assist in causing the inundations of that river. All these figures, thus emblematical of the ELEMENTS, which are highly worthy a minute examination, bear
the hallowed cross with its circular handle, by which they were collectively and strikingly represented. To the consideration of the same subject, Mountfaucon has also devoted a few interesting pages, which will hereafter claim our attention.
If M. Volney's argument, that the colour of the statue frequently denotes the descent and nation of the person sculptured, be allowed, I trust my own humble assertion, that the qualities and property of the object are often pointed out by the same means, will not be refused its weight, because it is founded on very antient and respectable authority. I shall briefly state that authority. Porphyry, cited by Eusebius, expressly says, that the antients represented the Deity by a black stone, because his nature is obscure and inscrutable by man. The antient Arabians, who lived in a region of rock, according both to Suidas + and Strabo, continued to a very late period to worship the image of their tutelary god Mars, erected at Petra under the figure of a square black stone; for black, say these authors, was thought a proper colour to veil the solemn mysteries of religion. The same rule seems to have been
* Euseb. de Præp. Evang. lib. iii. 1. 3. p. 31, edit. Basil. 1542.
+ Suidas in voce Deus Mars.
Strabonis Geograph. lib. xvii.
observed in statues fabricated of wood, in the formation of which the distinguishing attribute or function of the deity was generally attended to. Pausanias: hras enumerated the several kinds of wood made use of for this purpose.
As the ebony, cypress, cedar, oak, yew,
and box, trees. Thus, to the formation of those of Jupiter, the sovereign of gods and men, the oak, the monarch of the woods, was devoted. Hence the myrtle, sacred to Venus, composed the beautiful statue of the queen of love. The olive, a tree consecrated to science, of which whole groves adorned Athens, the seat of learning and philosophy, gladly submitted to the axe to form the statue of Minerva, the patron of the arts. Of the infernal deities, the funereal cypress and the baleful yew usually formed the glooiny and inauspicious images.
It is now high time to conclude this excursion to the caverns of the Thebais, and to state the result of the inquiry. It remains for me to shew, that the excursion itself was not entirely unnecessary; but, by producing some more particular proofs, as well as by a few striking and indisputable traits, to demonstrate that the mythology of the Hindoos and Egyptians had the same origin, and in reality, even at present, are not greatly disVol. II.
similar. Many proofs of a general nature have been already adduced, and more still will be pointed out in the second section of this Dissertation ; when, after having described the pagodas, I shall proceed more minutely to consider the theological rites now practised in them, and certain customs and maxims. originating in the solemnities of religion, common to both nations. For the present I shall only remark, that there' seems to have prevailed, in Egypt, a more antient mythology than we have as yet received any satisfactory account of; for, though the statues of the Nile and those in the Delta might be BLACK, possibly because fabricated by an Ethiopian race, yet we know, from Eusebius, whom I must quote at length in my account of the Indian cosmogony, that the great Cneph, that most antient divinity of Egypt, was a being of a DARK BLUE complexion,* the colour of the heavenly region from which he descended. I must also remark, that though the Sommonacodom be a black stone, as representing Boodh, who came to India from a nation of blacks, and though Creeshna was so called from his black complexion, yet we have certain information, from Sir W. Jones, that the great statue
Vide Eusebius de Præp. Evang. lib. iii. cap. II.
of NARAYEN, or the Spirit of God, who at the beginning of time floated on the waters, as that statue is now to be seen elevated in the great reservoir of CATMANDU, the capital of Nepaul, is formed of BLUE MARBLE, * Cneph, therefore, and Narayen are evidently the same deity under two different appellations.
Eusebius, in his treatise recently eited, De Preparatione Evangelica, which is a wonder. ful mine of Oriental theological seience, and contains many fragments of the more antient philosophers of Asia, now lost, asserts, from Horus-Apollo, that the old Egyptians symbolised the world by a BLUE serpent with yelLOW scales; that is, as Horus-Apollo himself explains it, the firmament spangled with
In a preceding quotation, from M. Sonnerat, on the Indian mythology, the reaa der must have observed ideas very consonant to this in the manner in which their painters designated the planet SANI, or Saturn, viz. as a divinity of a BLUE colour, invested with serpents in a circle; and, in fact, to Eusebius's account it may be added, that, in' our editions of Horapollo, he himself describes this mundane serpent, the Agathodaimon of
• See Sir W. Jones in the Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 261.