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From Southey's Madoc, Canto 111.
['Tis pleasant, by the cheerful hearth, to hear, &c.]
quum vera Noti vis ingruit, et niger uno
ON THE PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT.
PART IV.-[Continued from No. LVII.]
It appears then, first, that the Ox Apis was dedicated to Osiris or the sun, and the Cow Mnevis to the moon. Apis was generated by celestial fire.”
After his recognition he was placed in a vessel, magnificently adorned and richly carpeted, and carried to Nilopolis, where he was kept 40 days, a sacred number connected with the mysteries of fire, and sanctified afterwards by the Jews. He was thence conducted to Memphis, where he had a
sumptuous palace, and the place where he lay was mystically called the Bridal chamber 4 This palace was close to the temple of Vulcan, and the cow, his dam, was kept on one of its sides.
I Ammianus Marcell. lib. xxii.
2 Pomp. Mela. 3 A pictorial representation of this now exists.
His birth was annually celebrated for the space of 7 days, during which oxen were immolated. His natural death was not waited
but when a certain stated period was come, he was drowned in the fountain of the priests : he was then embalmed in certain secret caverns, which no stranger ever approached, which the priests themselves never entered but on that occasion, and which belonged to an ANCIENT TEMPLE of SERAPIS at Memphis." To this temple there were two gates, called Lethe, death, and Cocytus, mourning, which being opened on this occasion yielded a harsh and jarring sound, similar to what the sublime Milton ascribes to the “gates of hell.”3
I shall not go over my former reasonings ; I leave their combination to my readers. I merely pause, to observe that the facts I have recited standing solitary and naked, point with great precision to a Necropolis either beneath or attached to the Great Pyranid.
Let us proceed to the last strong circumstance of the storythe five-and-twenty years period of his life. Before Aseth, says Syncellus, the solar year contained only 360 days, who added five to make it complete : in his reign one calf was raised to the rank of the gods, and named Apis 4 (the measurer). The kings initiated in his mysteries were compelled to bear bis yoke, and swear to the maintenance of the new Period.
Every scholar knows the tradition of these days being won with dice in hell. The story extended to Scandinavia ; and among the Egyptians they were consecrated to the birth of the five great gods. The number five was particularly sacred. It was a symbol of Hecate and a second life; it was a powerful talisman in the mysteries of magic, and has descended to us in the sacred Pentalpha; it composed the famous period of silence. The number Five, multiplied by itself, is equal to the number of letters and the cycle of Apis.
Now it is a remarkable fact recorded by travellers, that the only Hieroglyphic within the pyramid is over the entrance to the central chamber, and is a symbol of Apis, a figure of five lines, or Pentaglyph. The same achitectural ornament on the cornice of the temple of Dendera, with the arabesque metopes between, seem to have suggested the Doric triglyphs. As these last were dedicated to Hecate and perhaps Neith, so may we safely presume that the Pentaglyphs were dedicated to Apis; nor is it unworthy of notice that the metope is the figure of a globe in a rectangle; light rising from the receptaculum of nature. It is not unlikely that the above Pentaglyph implied
2 Plutarch. 3 “1 have built my church upon a rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” St. John.
4 Api, measure; thence perhaps Apiker, bounds. 5 Fabricius Bibliothec. apud Savary.
. “ Silence.” 1. I have stated the sum of what is known respecting the worship; of his mysteries as Serapis we have no detailed account, and therefore can only infer them from the gleanings of ancient writers, the vestiges of cognate theologies, and their combination with monumental documents that remain. From these it appears that they were the oldest in the world, and entered into the religious dogmas of most, if not all of the primæval nations. The ancient Persians pictured the first man with a bull's head." The Hindoos anciently and still venerate the same character. One of the avatars pictures the bull-man perishing in the flood. A bull-headed human form is frequent among Javanese monuments, and agrees precisely with similar figures on those of Egypt. The monuments preserved by Hyde leave nothing undone on the same subject as far as concerns the Mythraic rites. The Osiris of Egypt was sometimes pourtrayed with a bull's head, sometimes with bull's horns. Among the Syrians Astarte was a human figure with a bull's head, for she was male and female. Among the Phoenicians, Moloch bore the head of an ox on the shoulders of a man. The Greek Osiris, Bacchus Bugenes or Tauriformis, wore the same form; so did the Minotaur. The golden fleece and golden apples were guarded by bulls. Even the Druids devoted two milk-white steeds to the mysterious misletoe. The same traditional hieroglyphic appears repeatedly among Jewish antiquities. They had scarcely left Egypt when they recurred to the worship of the Calf Apis ; and as it was their first offence, it adhered to them till their punishment and dispersion. “Thy called, oh Samaria! has cast thee off.” Their chimerical bulls or cherubim are evident Egyptian figures. The twelve bulls of Solomon's brazen sea, arranged in threes towards each cardinal point, may be compared with the twelve bulls surrounding the pyramidal apex
" See Gilbon's account of the Zendavista and Persian tenets. An apple formed rudely into the shape of a bull was offered to Hercules. A bull's head hung upon an apple-tree was sacred to Mithra Victor, see Hyde. It is not a little singular that the root of the word malum, apple, may be traced in two other words, malum aud melior, implying good and evil.
of the Heliopolitan pillar, arranged also in threes to each cardinal point. The Behemoth and Leviathan of the Rabbins are the Osiris, A pis, and river dragon Typhon of the Egyptians. To the first were given the Elysios collos of Hesiod, the thousand bills promised to Joseph the patriarch, synıbolised as an ox, as were his sons Manasseh and Ephraim; to the last was consigned the Ocean. His final wound I need not insist upon; but the division of Behemoth, the Paradisiac land, among the elect, is of great importance to my case. It agrees with the division
. of Apis ; it most particularly coincides with the appropriation of his thigh, the chosen part of the gods, the region sacred to oaths; the Meros of the Greeks, the Paradisiac Meros of the Hindoos, the tenth world of Horticulturists, seated in the thigh of Brahma,
It is worthy here of remark, that pots of flowers, similar to what were called the gardens of Adonis, (see Coptic Manuscript in Denon,) were offered to the ox; neither will it be unimportant to add, that apples and apple-trees were connected with the mysteries of Apis.
What is human reason to infer from all this singular analogy of facts, and images as singular: My inference is short: That the whole is a hieroglyphical portraiture, (of what Moses described in words,) viz., of the fall and expected restoration of man, with some dark shadowing of the means through the death of a second Adam, leader or teacher, (ox in Hebrew.)
a There is nothing in the least illogical in our supposition, that Ham, whose name Egypt bears to this day, and who lived with the antediluvians, should have handed down the creed and traditions of the first men to his children, in the only language they possessed; nor is it wonderful, from the metaphorical na ture of that language, that these traditions should become distorted, and vary from the true and simple statement of Moses, himself an Egyptian scribe. Neither the general coherency, nor peculiar variations, of these traditions, ought therefore to excite the least surprise. But it is incumbent on me to proceed to a more elaborate proof of my hypothesis. My first position is, that Apis was a symbol of antediluvian man; when connected with apples, his paradisiacal state was implied; when connected with water, scyphi, crescents, &c., his partial destruction by a deluge.
Connected perhaps with merum, wine.
It is scarcely necessary to argue that all the pagan fables of apples are referable to the forbidden fruit—those, for instance, of Atalanta, of Hercules, of Discord and the rival goddesses. Let the reader examine these fables, and judge for himself.
It is calculated that the vernal equinox, at the creation, was in the first degree of Taurus. Two thousand years after, Aries, by the precession of the equinoxes, occupied its place, and Aries is, accordingly, the first sign on the most ancient of the zodiacs. Taurus was, therefore, an apt and legitimate symbol of antediluvian man, and we may presume that the mysteries of Apis related to that state.
The mythological account of the fall differs little from that of Moses. According to Plato and his disciples, man fell when he descended from his intellectual to a sensual state, and multiplied himself. This was apparently Milton's idea. It was the version of a large portion of the early Christians, and thence the celibacy of the monastic orders. Moses, therefore, may have employed a delicate metaphor to express what Plato philosophically inferred, and the double interpretation of fruit and fruition at this day warrants the inference. The Mahometans say, that incontinency was the cause of the fall.
Another pagan fable bears a remarkable coincidence to the narrative of Moses. The pagan Eve, Persephoneh, (which name signifies lost fruit,) is condemned to Hades, or death, for eating a portion of the forbidden pomegranate.
Numerous pictorial and symbolical representations of the same event may be referred to. I apprehend that, according to the laws of hieroglyphical writing, the narrative of Moses could not have been more closely adhered to. I will endeavour to refer to these pictorial descriptions in the order of the Mosaic account.
Montfaucon exhibits several instances of the Bull-man, or first parent, crowned with apples.
Osiris was represented as enclosed in the thigh of Apis, an emblem of Paradise.
Protogonus and Eon, the first man and woman, were described as sailing through space in an egg-shaped vehicle. There are similar representations among the bieroglyphics.
On one of the Egyptian planispheres, exhibited by Kircher, instead of Astrea, who represented the paradisiacal state, there appears a fruit-tree, with two dogs in the branches looking different ways. Now, two cynocephali were symbols of light and darkness, of good and evil.
On a mythraic sculpture, preserved by Hyde, there are two