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me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a CHAP. light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke Me to anger; and lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury; Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them' (vv. 17, 18).
C. A. E. IV.
Characteristics of Medo-Persian Heathenism.
Μάγοι δὲ καὶ πᾶν τὸ Ἄριον γένος, ὡς καὶ τοῦτο γράφει ὁ Εὔδημος, οἱ μὲν τόπον, οἱ δὲ χρόνον καλοῦσι τὸ νοητὸν ἅπαν καὶ τὸ ἡνωμένον· ἐξ οὗ διακριθῆναι ἢ θεὸν ἀγαθὸν καὶ δαίμονα κακὸν, ἢ φῶς καὶ σκότος πρὸ τούτων, ὡς ἐνίους λέγειν. Οὗτοι δὲ οὖν καὶ αὐτοὶ μετὰ τὴν ἀδιάκριτον φύσιν διακρινομένην ποιοῦσι τὴν διττὴν συστοιχίαν τῶν κρειττόνων· τῆς μὲν ἡγεῖσθαι τὸν Ωρομάσδην, τῆς δὲ τὸν ̓Αρειμάνιον.—Damascius, De Primis Principiis, c. cxxv. (p. 384, Kopp).
CHAP. IF the object of the present work had been to trace the early growth of heathenism, without regard to the contemporaneous fortunes of the sacred family or the possible interchanges of religious thought between the Hebrew and other systems, the true place of the discussions opened in this chapter would have doubtless been immediately after the religions of Hindustan'. For though it be impossible by means of extant monuments to carry back the civilisation of Persia to the same remote antiquity2, much less to rank her with the
1 This remark appears to have been called for by complaints of an intelligent and not unfriendly critic in the Colonial Church Chronicle, who, in common with some other reviewers of Part III., lost sight of the original intention of the present writer as expressed in the title-page of his work. Let it be again repeated that these chapters do not pretend to furnish a complete and systematic
history of ancient heathenism; but rather to exhibit the chief points of correspondency or contrast between heathenism and revealed religion.
2 The true historic period does not commence till five generations before Darius Hystaspis (or about B.C. 680), when Achæmenes founded a kingdom in Persia Proper.' Rawlinson, Journal of As. Soc. xv. 252.
Characteristics of Medo-Persian Heathenism. 147
great primeval empires of Babylon, of Egypt, or CHAP. of China, facts are now at our command which will determine the exact position of the Persians proper in the ancient family of man. The region known as Persia (Parasa in cuneiform inscriptions) was a leading province of the 'pure Iran,' whose frontiers, reckoning eastward from the Caspian gates, extended to the very foot of the Hindú Alps; and therefore, as the name' itself will testify, the population which at length predominated was an off-shoot from the Aryan stock, who after settling in the region of the Five Rivers, were the undisputed lords of Arya-vartta and diffused their influence to the southernmost extremity of the Hindú Peninsula.
The proofs of this connexion have been strength- Related to ened at all points by late researches and inductions of comparative philology. The language of the ancient Persian, or at least that one of many current languages, the Zend, in which the earliest of his 'sacred' books were written, is found to be most intimately related to the Sanskrit of the Védas: it deserves to be entitled second, if not eldest of the sister-tongues which form the Indo-European family. So close, indeed, is the affinity both in structure and in actual words that we are justified on purely philological grounds in urging the protracted intercourse of Persians and Hindús; who clung together as a great community ages
1 See Part II. p. 7, n. 2, and the references there. The form Iran, which has been already detected on coins of the Sassanian period, is undoubtedly equivalent to Ariana,
Airya, and Airyana.
2 M. Müller's 'Last Results of the Persian Researches,' as reported in Bunsen's Phil. of Univ. Hist. I.112; Spiegel, Avesta, I. 5, Leipzig, 1852.
CHAP. after the migrations of the Celt, the Teuton and III. the Slave across the bounds of eastern Europe.
Examples of such kinship.
Fresh and still more definite information is reflected on this subject from the ancient books of the Hindús. The names of certain gods and heroes, who were strangers, it would seem, to the mythology of other kindred tribes, continued to be held in equal reverence by the A'ryan on the Sutlej and his brethren on the Persian Gulf. The memory, for example, of a Hindú sun-god with the title Vivaswat is lingering in the Zend Vivanghwat, whom the Persian honoured as the father of the mighty Yima, first and best of human rulers; and although in stories of the Indo-Aryan, Vivaswat had two sons, Manu and Yama, each invested with transcendant dignity, and so inheriting a separate empire, one within the sphere of the living and the other of the dead, it is impossible to doubt the common parentage and ultimate identity of Yima and Yama. In like manner, the mysterious soma of the Védas, treated there not only as the best of sacrificial plants but also as a true divinity, had been reflected in the sacred homa3 whose enlivening juices, first expressed by Vivan
1 Lassen, Ind. Alt. 1. 518, 519.
3 Burnouf, Études, in the Journal
jáb, together with the Indus and the Saraswati). The word Saraswati itself is also traceable in Haraqaiti. Rawlinson (Journal of As. Soc. XV. 251, n. 1), who mentions this example, adds: "The proper names of men, too, both in the Vendidad, in the cuneiform inscriptions, and even in the Greek notices of Persia, are in many cases Vedic or Puranic, and can almost always be referred to a Sanscrit etymology, thus authenticating the connexion of the races.'
ghwat, were celebrated with a kindred fervour in CHAP. the earliest of the Zendic hymns.
But facts, which have thus tended to authenti- Religious cate the old connexion of the Persians and Hindús, differences may also be adduced to illustrate the grounds of the separatheir eventual separation. It is not material for Indo-Aryour present purpose to consider in what part Asia the divergence had originated; whether (as some think) in the locality which formed the cradle of the human race, and so anterior to the first dispersion; or whether (as is far more probable) that schism was consummated at a period, when the Aryan character was fully formed beneath the glowing skies of India. But be this as it may, we have now ample reason for concluding that the final rupture in that primitive population was in part' at least connected with religious differences. Rebelling, it would seem, against the wild-grown nature-worship' which had characterised the earlier period of their history, or dissatisfied, perhaps, with the account there given of conflicts which they felt to be proceeding in the outer and the inner world, one section of the Aryans fell away from the society of their brethren, and in close analogy with later times and distant countries left the traces of the feud engrained in their religious phraseology. Thus, the Sanskrit name for god, déva, bearing Verbal witness to the ancient worship of the element of this schism. light, is plainly kindred to the Zend daeva; and yet this latter tongue had ceased to use it of divinities in general, and confined it to a class of hostile
Gründen erfolgt sei.' Spiegel, Aves-
Part 11. p. 12, n. 2.