Page images

Concerning the Times when these Mysteries and

these Forms of Worship, were introduced.

It is manifest from what has been already said, that the religion and the deities of Greece were introduced in very early times : and they must have been much prior in the country, from whence they were borrowed. Hence Sir John Marsham with the greatest probability imagines, that they were established in Egypt before the time of Moses. Festa Ægyptiorum temporibus Mosaicis vetustiora fuisse merito videri possunt. This may be inferred from the times, in which these persons are supposed to have lived, by whom the rites were imported into Greece. The first Grecian fathers have endeavoured to lower the dates of these transactions, in order to raise the æra of Moses, that he may be found prior to any history of Greece: as if truth depended upon priority; and the cause of religion were hurt by any foreign pretensions to antiquity. They however allow these emigrants a very early date ; and place them many ages

Chron. Canon. p. 186. * See Just. Martyr, p. 13, 14. Tatianus Assyrius, p. 274, 5. Theop. ad Autol. p. 392, 3. and 399.

before the æra of Troy: and still farther from the first Olympiad. Eusebius, who studied the chronology of the ancients with great dili-gence, seems to come nearest to the truth. And his system, however by some disputed, appears in respect to these .very early occurrences to be the best founded.

Among the various migrations into Greece, ... there are three, which are particularly noticed by him, and by other writers. The first was under · Cecrops. His arrival is by. Archbishop Usher, from the evidence of * Eusebius, adjudged to the year of the Julian period 3158, ante Christum 1556, and fifteen years after the era of Moses, which was P. J. 3143. His birth must have been antecedent. The next colonies were brought over at different intervals by Danaus and Cadmus. The former is supposed by the same writer, according to the computation of Eusebius, to have left

! See Sir John Marsham, Chron. Can. p. 15, ? Chronol. p. 12.

flewras Kargoy o dopuns ratu Mapaelwyny xoldspaasX. t. 2.In his time Moses flourished. Kata de T8Toy Mwgons toe 'ESgaiss Eyvasgassto. Euseb. Chron. p. 27. Cecrops is referred to the most ancient times. Kata és Tgroter Tigopendeus, xolo Atlas, xai Ersunbevs, zilo di uns Kingos, xa lw. Clemens Alexand. Strom. I. 1. p. 380.

Egypt in the year J. P. 3230 : ante Christum 1484, about seventy-two years after' Cecrops: and eighty-seven from the birth of Moses. Cadmus is placed somewhat antecedent, and in the time of the same patriarch. But it is probable, that he left Egypt more early: or at least, that a colony of Cadmonians left that country long before their settlement in Hellas. For it is said of Cadmus, that before he came to Greece he, together with Phoenix, resided and reigned in the region of Tyre and Sidon. • Καδμος και Φοινιξ απο Θηβω των Αιγυπτιων εξελθοντες εις την Συριαν Τυρε και Σιδωνος εβασιhevrov. « Cadmus and Phoenix, after they “ had left Thebes in Egypt, and were arrived

at Tyre and Sidon, reigned in those places.” Now the Cadmonite is mentioned by 3 Moses among the nations of Canaan, or in its vicinity, as early as the days of Abraham. Hence we may be led to form conjectures concerning the great antiquity of this people.

There is likewise an obscure history of a

Usher's Chronol. p. 19. Concerning these migrations see Diodorus Sic. Ecloga,

p. 921.

* Euseb. Chron p. 27. Syncellus, p. 152. 3 Genesis, xv. 19.

person named · Apis, who came from Egypt to Argos: where he succeeded that ancient prince Phoroneus. From him the country is said to have had the name of Apia. He brought with him the learning of his country: and was esteemed both as a prophet, and a physician.


Thus have I given an account of some of the most early migrations from Egypt into Greece; and of the persons by whom the colonies are supposed to have been conducted. I am sensible, that these accounts are mixed with fable; and there are many, if not imaginary, yet mistaken characters alluded to in the process of Grecian chronology; upon which there can be no just dependence. I do not believe that any such persons reigned at Argos as Inachus: or Phoroneus, avâgwawx TwTos; or as Atlas in Mauritania, or as Hellen, or Deucalion in Thessaly. The history of Cecrops and Danaus is to my apprehension of another climate and æra. They were each imported into Greece, and afterwards adopted and ingrafted upon the histories of the country. Yet I make no doubt, but that persons stiled Cecropidæ, Danaidæ, Apidaneï, and the like, came over from Egypt: and though their arrival may not be precisely determined, yet we may plainly perceive, that it was at different intervals, and in very remote ages. In short, these colonies from Egypt were of so high antiquity, that from the rites which they imported, we may judge of those which prevailed in the time of Moses. For they, who introduced those rites, were of Egypt, and either cotemporary with that lawgiver, or antecedent to him. This will warrant any application which I may sometimes make to the traditions and customs of Greece, when I have occasion to illustrate by them the rites and worship of Egypt. In like manner, I shall have recourse to the religion and mysteries of the Sidonians, Tyrians, and Babylonians : as they were undoubtedly of great antiquity.

' Αυτης δε χωρας Απιας πεδoν τoδε

Παλαι κεκληται φωτος ιατρε χαρίν.
Χωρας γας ελθων εκ περας Ναυπακτίας
Ιατρομαντις, παις Απολλωνος χθονα
Τηνό εκκαθαιρει κνυδαλων βροτοφθορων--
*. 7.a.

Æschyli Supplices, v. 266.

« PreviousContinue »