Leveson Francis Vernon-Harcourt.

The doctrine of the deluge; vindicating the Scriptural account from the doubts which have recently been cast upon it by geological speculations online

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nine months, in the Arkite sanctuary ; and perhaps
the Chief of the Bards had the privilege in certain
cases of abridging the term of their confinement.
That a very lively impression of the Flood as the
most memorable catastrophe ever known, lived in
his imagination, we may infer from another passage
in his poems. Of Hu and his family he says, " On
the sea which had no land long did they dwell ;
of then: integrity it was that they did not endure
the extremity of distress." ' Now Hu is the person
who was the very root of all his history, and all his
traditions, and certainly he could not have used
more apposite language, if he intended to describe
the fortunes of Noah and his family. It is re-
markable that, in the Chinese language, Hu signi-
fies water ; at least so says Vallancey.^ Be this as
it may, we may observe, that Taliessin includes in
one passage three of the Arkite monuments, which
have been discussed — the cavern, the pillar^ and
the round tower. But on account of the sanctuary
alone they seem to have been the objects of his
devotion, whether on the larger scale of the cavern,
containing in itself the sacred emblem of the moun-
tain, or on a more contracted scale in the interior
of a lofty pillar. A singular corroboration of the
theory here maintained may be deduced from a
building in Persia, which is supposed to contain the

1 Davies's Celtic Myth. p. 496. 2 Collect, de R. Hyb. iv. 525.
D D 2


prototypes of the Irish round towers, where the
very name having been traditionally preserved bears
testimony to the original intention of the builders.
The citadel of Tabreez, or Tauris, which is itself
a very Arkite name, is called the Ark, and con-
tains a great variety of vaulted apartments and a
vast circular tower of great height.'

But sometimes the pillar was much curtailed by
the Celtic Arkites, or wholly neglected, except in the
magnitude of the covering stone, and such monu-
ments are denominated Cromlechs. Cromlech,
according to Mr. Owen, is the vulgar name for the
Maen Llog, or Stone of the Ark, or Chest : it is
the same as Aneurin's Llogell Byd, that is, the Ark
of the World, in which the priest of Hu had been
enclosed^; and its Arkite character is amply con-
firmed by Vallancey's account of it. " Cromleach,"
says he, " is a name usually given to two monu-
ments of a distinct nature ; one consists of a large
flat stone in a horizontal position, supported by
others which are upright. They are generally
placed on elevated grounds ; sometimes on the
natural soil ; sometimes on the top of cairns, or
artificial mounts ; sometimes in a circle of upright
stones. Another species is the large stone of a
rude pyramidal form placed upon three others." ^
It is evident, then, that the two species are of a
distinct nature no otherwise than as they have a
different form : they belong to the same system of
religion, which in various ways was maintained

' Stocqueler's Pilgrimage through Khusistan and Persia, i. 1 58.

2 Davies's Celt. Mythol. p. 393.

3 Collectan. de Reb. Hyber. iv. 479.


with SO much tenacity by the Celtic nations, and
bear witness to the same remote catastrophe. Lech,
in that language, signifies a stone ; but the meaning
of the other half of the word has given occasion to
many conjectures. Some derive it from a word
which signifies to bow ', or worship ; others from
the Hebrew Cherem, which signifies something
devoted to Jehovah, and in either of these cases
Cromlech will mean a consecrated stone, or sanc-
tuary. But Cherem also signifies desolation, and
in that sense too it may well belong to a memorial
of the Deluge. But Mr. Beaufort asserts, that
Crom in Irish signifies time^; and an event re-
corded in Irish history proves, that it was also the
name of a god ; for Tihermas is said to have died
on the eve of the festival of Samhna, as he was
worshipping Crom Cruadh.'' But he must have
been the deity of the stone pillar, as well as of the
sanctuary : for in Arran stone pillars are called
Crom Dubh, the Black Crom, and Crom Cruach.''
These circumstances identify him with the Cronus
of the Assyrians, the Egyptians, and the Greeks.
Constantine Manasses affirms that the person

1 In the Scottish western isles, the pillar stones, of which the
ancient name was Cromleach too, according to the statement of
Smith in his "History of Corke," are called Bowingstones from the
reverence shown to them ; and so much of the old adoration still
remained, at least when Borlase wrote, that in the Isle of Barray
(Bari) there was one stone about seven feet high, round which the
natives who approached it took a religious turn according to the
custom of the Druids Antiq. of Cornwall, p. 157.

2 Collectan. ii. 286. ^ Vallancey in Collectan. iv. 184.
* Miss Beaufort's Essay on the Archit. and Antiq. of Ireland :

they are also called Bothel. If this name preceded the introduction
of the Bible into the island, it is a singular proof of its connection
with Phoenicia.

D D 3


whom the Assyrians worshipped after his death,
under the name of Cronus, or Saturn, was Belus,
and a contemporary with Abraham.' That some
prince of that age may have assumed to himself the
honours of his ancestor is not improbable. Cedre-
nus, however, carries him back as far as Nimrod,
the great grandson of Noah, whose usurpations are
well known.^ The Egyptians, with more truth,
make him anterior to all their hero gods ; and
although the old Egyptian chronicle in Syncellus
introduces before him Heph^stus and Helius, and
three myriads of years, and Manetho adds Agatho-
dsemon to the others, they are plainly to be re-
ferred to the antediluvian age. And therefore the
Greeks most wisely asserted that he was the first
king of men upon this present earth'' ; and Alexander
Polyhistor goes so far as to assert that he predicted an
extraordinary fall of rain, and ordered the construc-
tion of a vessel, in which it was necessary to secure
men, beasts, birds, and reptiles, from a general in-
undation.* And let it not be thought at all incre-
dible, that he should be remembered throughout the

1 AnnalSj p. 53. Jackson's Chronology, i. 261. Porphyry and
Sanchoniatho make Cronus offer up his only son in sacrifice, thus
confounding him with Abraham.

2 Geog. Cedren. Compend. Hist.

Frag. Orph. p. 402. Lact. i. 13.

In Hymn 5. this Protogonus is described xpva-ioia-tv dyccKXifievev
itTBpvyia-a-iv. This must be the figure described by Sir J. Malcolm
in the sculptures at Persepolis, rising with two wings out of a circle.
In this sense he was aoycv^;, and hence eggs were sacred in the mys.
teries. — Plut. Symp. p. 12. And the Deus Lunus ovatus was

worshipped in HeUopolis of Syria Maurice's Hist, of Hindost.

i. 63.

4 Sir W. Jones's Works, iii. 331.


British Isles by this classic name : for Borlase as-
sures US, that in Cornwall there are many places
called Tresadarn, the house of Saturn ' ; being
called a house in the same sense, in which certain
cavities in the Scotch Isles were called Druids'
houses, although capable of holding only one per-
son, and constructed of as few and unwrought
stones as possible. "There," says he, "were their
sacred cells, to which the people were wont to have
recourse, for divining, or for deciding controver-
sies, or for prayers.^ But further, as the Cromlech
was thus connected with the pillar stone, so it is
also connected with those other Arkite monuments,
the pyramid and tower, by an Arabian tradition,
which, albeit somewhat obscure, yet scarcely admits
of any other interpretation. It is said that Nim-
rod having failed in his scheme of reaching heaven
by means of the pyramid or tower of Babel, re-
solved to try another mode of carrying his project
into eifect. He proposed to have himself carried
thither in an ark or chest, by four birds ; but after
wandering some time through the air in vain, he
plunged into the earth with so much violence, that
the mountain on which he was thrown down was
shattered.® The Coffre, in this case, was doubtless
a sacred cell, of which the fire- worshippers wished
to conceal the origin : it was a Kistvaen or Crom-
lech immersed, as it were, in the summit of an
Arkite mound ; and it will be recollected that, in

1 Antiq. of Cornwall, p. 164. 2 nij, p, jgo.

3 His carriers were Kerkes; his vehicle was un coffre, and he
" plongea si rudement en terre, que la montagne ou ces oiseaux le
jetterent en fut ehranld." — D'HerbeM, torn. iii. p. 32.

D D 4


point of fact, there is the appearance of a cell in
the Babylonian pyramid. But if such be really the
antiquity of the Cromlech, it may reasonably be
expected that some allusions to it would be disco-
vered in the Bible, not indeed in the historical
books which are occupied with more active details,
but in those which deal more directly with the
idolatries of the times.

When God declares by his prophet Isaiah \ that
he would be a *' sanctuary to him, but for a stone
of stumbling, and for a rock of offence to both the
houses of Israel, for a gin (trap, Lowth) and a
snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem," there is
none of that opposition between the first and the
last of these propositions, in which the prophet
delights ; there is not even any tolerable connec-
tion, or natural association of ideas, unless the
sanctuary be understood of those cavities in rocks,
or under rocks, to which some resorted under the
notion of a religious mystery. To the careless tra-
veller in the dark, to whom the religio loci was
unknown, these rocky places would afford most in-
secure footing ; and those who resorted to them for
safety might be caught there by their enemies as
in a trap.

Again, the same prophet says ^ — " It shall come' to
pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the
high place, that he shall come to his sanctuary * to
pray, but he shall not prevail." In this passage,
what is the meaning of Moab's weariness? and

' Ch. viii. ver. li. 2 qj,_ ^vi. ver. 12.

^ Enter his sanctuary, is Lowth's Version.


why went he up to the high place ? The question
can only be answered by referring to the preceding
chapter, ver. 2., where he is represented as having
gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places
to weep. That this passage is corrupt, and that Ba-
jith is not a proper name, all the old translators of it
seem to be agreed ; and none of them have adopted
the method of escaping from the difficulty chosen
by our own. The Vulgate intrepidly plunges into
the slough, and prefers being unintelligible to
quitting the received text,' The Septuagint deals
more freely with it ; their version is to this effect :
"Grieve for yourselves; for Debon also, where
your altar is, shall perish ; thither shall ye go up to
weep." The Arabic follows in nearly the same
track, but deviates somewhat more from the origi-
nal : "Lament for them (the Moabites) because it
(Moab) has already perished like Dibon." The
Latin translator, unable to make any thing of this
to suit the sense, explains it by the insertion of a
word, and reads it thus, " Like the water of Dibon,
where your sanctuary is, thither shall ye go up."
He had the less reason for making this alteration,
because towards the end of the chapter, where the
Hebrew text speaks of the waters of Dimon and
the Vulgate of Dibon, the Arabic changes it into
the waters of Rimmon. The Syriac adopts an in-
termediate form, and makes it Ribon, with a quies-
cent D ^ prefixed. The Targum of Jonathan has
also the initial quiescent D, but as to the rest ad-

' Ascendit domus et Dibon ad excelsa in planctum.
'-' Thus Cape Moran is in Hindu Mudan ; the letter D having a
mixed sound between D and R. — As. Res. ix. 227.


heres to Dibon. It is evident, that these two
various readings have resulted partly from the re-
semblance of the Chaldee letters, D, R,andV', and
partly from the conviction of the translators, that
the conjunction vau had no business there. By
omitting it they bring out a sense more plain, more
apposite, and closer to the Hebrew text than the
others: " He hath gone up (or, go ye up, Chal.) to
the house of Dibon, to the high places to weep."

The next question is, what was the house of
Dibon ? In the first place it must have been the
sanctuary of a hill, or an idol, called Dibon : it
matters not which ; for hills often derived their
appellations from the deities worshipped on them.
Thus Peor was both an idol and a mountain :
Nebo was both an idol and a mountain. Perhaps
Bel was the name of a mountain also : *' Bel
boweth down, Nebo stoopeth,"^ It is much
more in the style of the prophet to describe the
mountains bending under the wrath of God, than
to apply the same language to bits of wood or
stone. All these are distinct hills, or high places^
in the chain of mountains called Abarim, from
Abara^ which, in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Arabic*,
means a ship ; they were the mountains of the

1 "TT|. Thus the one has Dedibon, and the other Dribon instead
of Vedibon.

2 Isaiah, xlvi. 1. Thus understood, the whole passage is much
more forcible : Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth ; their idols were
upon the beasts and upon the cattle ; they stoop, they bow down
■together : they could not deliver the burden, but their souls (this
is the literal rendering of the original, and the reading in the mar-
gin) are gone into captivity.

^ r\•^'2V^

* At least the words in Chaldee and Arabic derived from it have
the same meaning.


ship. And hence perhaps Bethabara, of which we
know no more than that it was east of Jordan, and
not far from it, but certainly in the immediate
neighbourhood of the Abarim Mountains, may
have for its etymology the temple of a ship, rather
than that which is usually attributed to it, — the
place of a ferry, or passage. In Judges vii. 24. it
is called Bethbara, Hence the Greeks ^ and
Egyptians, and Irish ^ formed their word Baris,
which signified a ship, and the Arabs their Barsa.
Now the ship so much venerated (not worshipped)
was the Ark of Noah ; and therefore we may dis-
cern a peculiar propriety in John's choosing Betha-
bara for baptism, since it reminded those who came
to him of the purifying waters of the Deluge, and
the wrath of God for sin : for thus Isaiah uses the
same event to give confidence to the future Church^ :
" As I have sworn, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer,
that the waters of Noah should no more go over'
the earth, so have I sworn, that I would not be
wroth with thee nor rebuke thee." Perhaps Abaris,
the Hyperborean, in whose history some unex-
plained mythology lies hid, was in fact the repre-
sentative of a religion principally distinguished by
retaining in its rites the memory of the Abara, or
Baris, or Ark, and carried by its votaries into the
different regions, which he is said to have visited.

' See Hesychius, Suidas, and Herodotus in Euterpe. Propertius
speaks of the Egyptian queen, who dared oppose her barking Anubis
to the Roman Jupiter,

Baridos et contis rostra Liburna sequi.
These Liburna seem to be derived from the Chaldee Burne, 'JI^Q,

■^ Vallancey on the Ancient Irish. ^ Isaiah, xliv. 9.


No explanation at least of the marvellous arrow
given him by Helius (that is, El-God), which
carried him wherever it went all over the globe, is
more satisfactory than that which refers it to the
Ark. There was certainly a Scythian nation called
Abari' ; and it is remarkable that Abarites are found
near several great chains of mountains, in the neigh-
bourhood of Caucasus, Imaus, and the mountains
of India. It must be this same Abaris whom the
Scholiast upon Aristophanes mentions under the
name of Baris, who came from the north into Greece,
and was a servant of Apollo, and consigned to
writing certain oracles, which from him were called
Barides.^ If then the mountains of Moab were
denominated Abarim because they retained certain
religious rites associated with the memory of the
Deluge, it is easy to understand why one of the
high places, upon which the priests were to howl,
was called Medeba'*, the Waters of Grief, and
another Nebo, the Fructifier ; for the mountain, on
which the survivors of the Flood first saw nature
reviving, and fruitfulness restored, was long con-
sidered the emblem of fecundity among many
branches of their descendants : it is probable,,
therefore, that Dibon also was in some way or other
a similar memorial. There was doubtless a city of
the same name, mentioned more than once in sacred
history, built as usual near the consecrated hill, and
upon the waters which came down from it : hills,

1 Abari, Evagrius,, v. 1. ; Abares, Callisto ; Abarimon, Plin.
vii. 2. ; Abaritae, Q. Curt. x. 50.

2 Scholia in Aristophanis Equites.

3 Medeba aquae doloris. — Walton s Polyghtt, vol. vi.


from which waters flowed, were the fittest types of
the Diluvian Mount, and were usually selected for
that purpose. On this account perhaps Rosebury
in Cleveland was chosen by our Celtic ancestors to
represent the mountain, or Rhos ', upon which the
Bari rested. But the subject of our present in-
quiry is the hill itself, which the priests of Moab
ascended to weep there.

Since then Dibon is the name of some Numen
worshipped on one of those hills, we may look to
the parallel instance of Dagon for its probable
meaning. Dagon the idol (Aon ^), already described,
was worshipped at Heliopolis, or On, in Egypt, in
the form of a Dagh, or Fish. An and Awan are
words used in the Arabic version of the Bible to
express time. Now Dagon, says Hesychius, is the
Cronus of the Phoenicians, and Cronus aspirated is
the same as Chronos, Time. The difference between
the two words to the ear is very slight, and their
real identity is not mere conjecture. Many things
concur to prove it, which have been already men-
tioned. That Awan or Auan in the sense of time
furnishes the true etymology of Oan, or with its
Greek termination, the Cannes of Polyhistor, the
fish-formed idol seen and described by Berosus,
cannot reasonably be doubted. He was wor-
shipped, says Hornius, under the name of Dagon,
and of Adandag, — that is, the magnificent Dag ^ :

1 RhoSj it may be^ signifies in Celtic rather a promontory than a
mountain ; but Rosebury does project into the Plain of Cleveland^
like a promontory. — See Faher's Origin of Idolatry.

^ JIK^ Idolum. — Isaiah, Ixvi. 3.

3 Histor. Philos. lib. ii. c. 4. Georgius Hornius.


he was worshipped at Bethaven ; for this place is
called in the Septuagint the House of On, which
is contracted from Auen. Now On is the same as
El, both signifying the sun ' ; and when Hosea
warns the inhabitants of Judaea not to go up to
Bethaven, Cyrill interprets it of the temple of the
sun ; for which reason many have doubted whether
Bethaven was not the same as Bethel : and since
this was one of the places where the worship of
the calf was established, it is not unworthy of
notice, that the Egyptians considered their sacred
bull Apis the offspring of the sun.^ But El, ac-
cording to Damascius, was a title given to Cronus
too by the Syrians and Phoenicians ^ ; and Vers-
tegan describes him as standing on a fish, and on
his coins he is represented with keys, and a ship j
and Vallancey recognises him in the two Hiberno-
Celtic deities, Crean and Dagh. It is true, indeed,
that the Irish Dagh seems to have lost its Phoeni-
cian meaning, and to have borrowed from the other
part of the compound Dagon the attribute of fire :
but this was no unnatural result of the confusion
between the restorer of vegetation, and the restorer
of the human race, who were soon blended together
in one idolatrous worship. The Dagh-daa of the

1 *0)/ Se ia-riv a "HXios. — Cyrill. in Comm. ad Hoseam, iv. 15.

2 SeXi))/!!? /*£v yap TEKfoi/, E/cyovov Se 'HXi'ou tov 'Amy kiyiicrioi j*,v-
SoirXao'TOvvrci; iXcyov. ' Civ Se Io"t; kkt' avroiif "HXio?. Ibid.

^ $oiviK£; Kol Supoi TOK Kpovoi' 'HX Koi BijX Koi BoXaSfiv sTrovofjui^ovin.
— Apud Phot. c. 242. Bel may have been formed from El, in the
same way as pdxz.oi from aX-; and jSe'Xij from fXij. — Wordsworth's
Athens and Attica, p. 48. And since Bel isj quem Latini Saturnum
vocantj Hieron. in Is. xlvi. 1. he therein coincides both with El.
and with Dag-on, the fish On.


Irish is evidently the Dace of the Tibetans ', and
their Dak Po can be no other than the Irish
Budth Dearrg ; for Po or Pho is known to be the
same as Bud, and Bud has the same meaning as
Eochad ^ which is another name for Dagh-daa. I
am aware that the identity of Dagon and Cronus
has been denied by Bochart, who maintains that
they were brothers with most palpable incon-
sistency, since he also says, " There can scarcely
be a doubt that Saturn was Noah." * But he relies
too much upon the evidence of Sanchoniatho, from
whom many valuable hints may unquestionably be
derived for the illustration of early mythology : but
he deserves no credit as an historian, or genealogist ;
for his statements are full of the most brave con-
fusion of facts and fables. He tells us, however,
that Dagon was also called Siton. Perhaps this is
only the same word translated by Philo Byblius,
who says he was the inventor of corn, and evi-
dently derives his name from Dagan, corn. Still
he is the same as Cronus : for who introduced the
cultivation of corn into the Postdiluvian World but
Noah ? But corn was no idol ; corn was never wor-
shipped ; and if Siton be a Phoenician word, it has
nothing to do with Siton, corn. That the same
deity was supposed to preside over corn is very
probable ; for Saturn was the inventor of the scythe

' Vallancey, iv. l6l. Dace Tibetanorum nescio quern patrem
Bavani fingiint, quo tempore vocabatur Sati. — Dak po etiam habent
Tibetani. — Alphahetum Tibetanum of Georgius.

2 Phallus.

3 Noam esse Saturnum tam multa docentut vix sit dubitandi locus.


or sickle ' ; and the spirit of idolatry seems to delight
in multiplying itself, and exhibiting as many forms
of worship as possible ; in Moloch, for instance, he
was worshipped as the God of War ; in Remphan,
as the star ; in Baal, as the sun ; in Dagon, as the
Numen of the waters ; in Siton, as the Numen of
the ship, or ark ; for Si means a large ship ^ ; and
therefore when the destruction of the Egyptians in
the Red Sea is represented under the image of
breaking Leviathan in pieces ^ , and they are said
to have been given for meat to the people who
dwell in the wilderness, Vallancey contends that
the right translation is, " the people of ships ^"
which is certainly much more natural. It is re-
markable that the same word should signify a ship
and a dry place, and that one of its derivative senses
should be a heap of earth or stones '' ; that is, a
cairn, which is often to be considered a diluvian
memorial. From the feminine form of Si the Latin
word Sitis is derived®; and in like manner Siton.
And it matters little whether you interpret it as
meaning the On, or deity, of the ship, or the cairn.
He is still the same as the fish-formed On, wor-
shipped by the Philistines. Sidon may perhaps be
another instance of On entering into the com-

1 Chronus, or Tiraej is evidently the same as Cronus^ or Saturn ;
for even to this day he is represented exactly in the same way, an
old man with white hair and a scythe.

2 Isaiah, xxxiii. 21. ^ Psalms, Ixxiv. 13.
4 Vindication of A. H. of I. p. 49. 5 2 Kings, xxiii. 17.

6 So Vallancey says, that Dag-ugith is derived from Goi. " In
the Chaldee the word is in the feminine gender, as H' jn-J"Tj navi-
cula piscatoria, from Dag, a fish, and n'JI"!^ dugith, navis, scapha.
Elias in Tishbi explains K'JTt, dugia, to be a great ship, navem
magnam." — Vindicat. p. 33.


position of towns, that derived their appellation
from some particular Numen, which the multiform
idolatry of the heathens worshipped ; for its most
approved etymology is from Said, a fishery ', over
which the Son of Canaan was the On ^ or Daemon,
that presided. Now if we look for a similar origin
for Dibon, we shall find that, although in the other
Oriental languages it may have fallen into disuse,
the original meaning of the first syllable is retained

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