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Abdera* and Oisyme, besides the adjoining island of
Thasoe, is illustrated in part by the presence of a Semitic
divinity, (4) The vine-growing character of Thrake, and
the notorious drinking habits of the Thrakians,* are in
perfect accordance with the prevalence of the Dionysiak
cult, especially in itej important vinal phase. The more
purely Semitic featiures of the Wine-god would naturally
become comparatively obscured in non-Semitic Thrake as
in non-Semitic Hellas, whilst his riotous and orgiastic
character would harmonise with the savage carousals of
the Thrakian tribes. An important appendage of Thrake
is the island of Samothrake, the Thrakian Samos of
Homeros, and which lies about thirty-five miles from the
mouth of the Hebros, a river * frequently mentioned in
connection with the worship of Dionysos,' and on the
banks of which Orpheus, according to mythic legend, was
torn in pieces by the Thrakian Bakchai.^ Now Samo-
thrake was the head-quarters of the mysterious worship
of the Semitic Kabeirui,* one of whom was the Axiokersos
or Worthy-homed-god who, as we have seen, is identical
with Dionysos Taurokeros.* Here again we see Dionysos
firmly planted in Thrakian regions. But Herodotos says
that the Kabeirik worship was Pelasgik,® and this is
undoubtedly true, but not the whole truth. The Pelas-
goi, who have given so much trouble to the investigators
of early Hellenik history, 'formed apparently the first
wave in the flood of Indo-European emigration, which,
passing from the Asiatic continent, broke upon the islands
and the coasts of Greece.'^ At an exceedingly remote

* The Teian colonisation of this * Of. Herod, ii. 67 ; sup, IV. L 8,
place was a refoundation. Of. Herod, iii. 2, inf, X. i.

L 168. Dr. Wm. Smitii, Ancient * Vide twf. IX. iii.

AUm : Ctreek and Phoenician Colo" ? * The Samothradans receiyed

nies, these mysteries from the Pelasgi'

* Of. Hor. Car. i. 27, ii. 7. (Herod, ii. 51).

' 0£ Ovid. Metam. xL 60. ' Rawlinson, Herodotus, i. 647.



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166 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

period this Aryan element coalesced with the contiguous
Semitic element; and Nature-worship, combining with
monotheistic traditions and remnants, and with a more
spiritual, although perhaps not really higher, view of the
visible kosmogony, produced a strange, hybrid, esoteric,
and highly mysterious, cult, which aided by the super-
stitious reticence of the pious ancients, has, even to the
present, to a great extent defied investigation. But the
task of analyzing these thoughts and theories of the
earlier children of the earth is not only by no means
hopeless, but becomes ever more and more within the
reach of effort, as linguistic and historical research with
increasing penetrative power probe the intima regna of
the Past and, aided by philosophy, reveal and illustrate
alike the inner and outer histories of the human race. It
is possible that the Turanian element also was represented,
to some extent, in the cult of Samothrake ; since * thejirst
wave of population which passed into Europe was, beyond
a doubt, Scythic or Turanian.'^ Another passage ^ illus-
trates the connection between Dionysos and Thrake.
Khshayarsha,^ passing Maroneia* and Abdera, marches
through the country of various Thrakian tribes, includ-
ing the Homerik Kikones, the Edonoi,* and the Satrai.
These latter ' are the Thracians who have an oracle of
Bacchus in their country which is situated upon their
highest mountain range,' i.e,j the Bhodopeian chain, whidi
formed one side of the valley of the Nestos, as the Pan-
gaion hills, similarly specially dedicated to the joint cult
of Dionysos and Lykourgos, constituted the other. ' The
Bessi, a Satrian race, deliver the oracles ; but the prophet,
as at Delphoi, is a woman; and her answers are not
harder to read.** The name Bessoi, as Canon Kawlinson

> Bawlineon, Herodotus, iii. 430. * Sup. IV. i. 2.

« Ilerod. vii. 100-11. « As to the prophetic Diony808,cf.

» Xerxes. * Sup. IV. iii. 4. IV, iii. 2.



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THE DIONYSOS OF HERODOTOS* 167

notes, ' is probably connected with the title Bassareus ' ^
ascribed to the Thrakian Dionysos as dad in the * Edonian
&un-8kina' Bassareus is itself connected with one or
more of the Semitic words, basar^ * flesh/ especially in its
sensuous and sensual aspect ; basary the * unripe grape' ;
and hatzavy * to fortify/ possibly with all of them, for, as I
have observed elsewhere/ Occult symbolism has frequently
availed itself, either of two words of similar sound, or of
one word of manifold meaning/^ Here, for instance, we
have a perfect plenitude of idea comprised in the epithet
Bassareus. For, to take only one of the three Semitic
words above mentioned, basavy * flesh/ The root-idea of
the word appears to be, ' that which is spread abroad,'
Dionysos the all-pervading material Demiurge. It then
comes to mean flesh, as distinguished from bones, blood,
and skin, and hence is peculiarly appropriate to Dionysos
the Earth-spirit. By an easy transition it signifies fleshly
appetite, and so is again pre-eminently suitable to a sen-
suous divinity; and, lastly, it has a peculiar phallic meaning,
the appropriateness of which in the connection needs on
illustration. The term Bassara is actually used by
Lykophron * for a coiui;ezan. But this latter word, as I
noticed before, is said, and doubtless truly, to have been
the Thrakian equivalent of the Hellenik alopexy and the
connection is probably as follows ; — the root-idea of basavy
* that which is spread abroad,' becomes connected with
the enfolding, all-covering spotted garments of the Bakchik
devotees, whether made of leopard, jackal, faun, fox, or
any other spotted skins, according to the various countries
in which the cult obtained. This spotted skin, as we
have seen,* represented the starry host spread out over the
earth ; and as Bassareus is the demiurgic divinity clad in

" RawlinsoDy SerodottUf iv. 79 ; ' Poseidon, xxiv.

fcf. Hor. Car A. 18. 'Oandide Bassa- » V. 771.

reu;' TibuUus, III. vi 1, 'Oandide * Sup, IV. i. 2.
Liber.' Sup, IV. i. 2.



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168 THE GREAT MONYSIAK HYTH.

his spotted starry robe, so Bassara, not unnaturally, comes
to be used as the name of one of the local animals con-
nected with that robe.^ The jackal, like the goat, was a
vine-injuring animal.^



SECTION IL
DIONYSOS IN THE NOETH.

The Hellenik colonists of the shores of the Pontos
Euxeinos diffused the Great Dionysiak Myth, to a con-
siderable extent, among the regions of the remote North,
Thus, in the country of the Boudinoi, a Skythik race, who
inhabited the region now occupied by the Don Cossacks,
was a * city called G clonus. Here are temples built in
honour of the Grecian gods, and adorned, after the Greek
fashion, with images, altars, and shrines, all in wood.
There is even a festival, held every third year in honour
of Bacchus, at which the natives fall into the Bacchic fury.
For the fact is, that the Geloni were anciently Greeks,
who, being driven out of the factories along the coast,
fled to the Budini and took up their abode with them.
They still speak a language half Greek, half Scythian.*'
But the Skythai themselves appear on the whole to
have had a deep abhorrence of Hellenik innovation, and so
Anacharsis the Skythian, who introduced the sacred rites
of the Mother of the gods from Kyzikos on the Propontis
into ' the district called the Woodland, which Ues opposite
' the Course of Achilles,' that is, immediately to the west of
the Taurik Chersonesos, was slain with an arrow by the
Skythilc king Saulios,* and another innovator, Skylas,
although the king of the country, fared no better. * Aria-

1 Vide inf. VIII. ii. Spots, • Herod, iv. 108.

» Of. Cant, ii. 16, * The little foxes * Ibid. 76,

that spoil the vines. ^



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THE DIONYSOS OF HERODOTOS. 169

pithes, the ScytLian king, had several sons, among them
this Scylas, who was the child not of a native Scyth, but
of a woman of Istria,' a Milesian colony situated at the
mouth of the Ister.^ * Now when Scylas found himself
Ung of Scythia, as he disliked the Scythic mode of hfe,
and was attached, by his bringing up, to the manners of
the Greeks, he made it his usual practice, whenever he
came with his army to the town of the Borysthenites,
— ^who, according to their own account, are colonists of the
Milesians — ^to leave the army before the city, and having
entered within the walls by himself, and carefully closed
the gates, to exchange his Scythian dress for Grecian
garments. The Borysthenites kept watch at the gates,
that no Scythian might see the king thus apparelled.
Scylas, meanwhile, lived exactly as the Greeks, and even
offered sacrifices to the gods according to the Grecian
rites.' But his doom approached. 'He wanted to be
initiated in the Bacchic mysteries, and was on the point
of obtaining admission to the rites, when,' what Herodotos
calls *a most strange prodigy' happened, namely, *his
house was struck by lightning from on high, and burnt to
the ground. Scylas, nevertheless, went on and received
the initiation. Now the Scythians are wont to reproach
the Greeks with their Bacchanal rage, and to say that it
is not reasonable to imagine there is a god who impels
men to madness.' When Skylas was under the Bakchik
influence, a Borysthenite, eager to vindicate his creed,
privately from a tower in the city showed the chiefs of
the Skythai their king ' with the band of revellers, raving
like the rest.' A revolt against the innovating monarch
at once followed ; he took refuge with Sitalkes of Thrake,
but was given up by the latter to the Skythai, and at
once beheaded.^ The ' town of the Borysthenites ' was

I * The Danaw ' (Milton). ^ Herod, iv. 78-80.



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170 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

situate near the mouth of the Hypanis/ not very far from
Odessa, and was proudly called by the inhabitants Olbia,^
the * Prosperous/ It was also known as Borysthenis,
Miletopolis, as being a colony from Miletos in Ionia, and
lastly as Sabia or Sauia.* Hence Canon EawUnson con-
jectures with great probabihty that the cult introduced
by the Milesian colonists was that of the 'Phrygian
Bacchus/ the homed Sabazios or Sabos, who stands by
Dionysos as Jupiter by Zeus, representing the same being
or concept as regarded by two different nations. To
suppose that the Hellenik Dionysos was derived from the
Phrygian Sabanos would be as reasonable as to imagine
that the Latin Jupiter was the son of the Hellenik Zeus.
The two are in each case identical, alike in origin and
practically in cult At some remote period the phallic,
horned, solar, serpent-crowned, nocturnal, kosmogonic,
dying, and reviving, divinity, known in Phrygia as Saba-
zios, was introduced there from regions more purely
Semitic, in the same way that Dionysos appeared in
Hellas as a stranger from the Outer-world. Sabazios
was said to have fibrst yoked oxen, and hence to have
been represented with horns ; his sacreds were performed
in secret and at night.* In comparatively late times his
cult, as that of a distinct divinity, was introduced at
Athenai, but was always profligate and discreditable.*
Bunsen says Sabazios is 'the god Sbat,' the seventh
planet, Hadal or Saturn,* connected with the homed
Kronos or Karnos ; ^ and Lydus, when speaking of Diony-
sos, observes 'The Chaldeans call God lao,® and in the
Phoenician language he is often called Sabaoth.'^ lao,

> Boug. 388, Ormth. 875; Oic JDe Legibu8,\i.

« Herod, iv. 18. 16.

» Rawlineon, Herodotus^ iii. 68, « Egypei JPlace^ iv. 201-298.

Note 1. T Vide inf. IX. iii.

* Diod. iv. 4. ^ Sup. II. iii. 2.

« Of. Aristoph. J^thekes, 10, Lysist, ' • Peri Met^n, iv. 38.



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THE DIONYSOS OF HERODOTOS.



171



as we have seen, is identical with Dionysos, and Sbat,
Sabaoth, or Tsebaoth the ' Lord of Hosts/ or Sabazios, is
the same being, the two together forming the divinity
'Jehovah Sabaw, lao Sabao,'^ the Abraxas, or rather
Abrasax, of the Gnostics,^ * Serpents,' remarks the Eev.
G. W. Cox, * played a prominent part in the rites of Zeus
Sabazios, whose worship was practically identical with
that of the Syrian Tammuz or Adonis. The epithet
Sabazios, which, like the words Adonai and Melkarth,*
was imported into Greek mythology, is applied not less to
Dionysos than to Zeus.'* The reason of the confusion in
idea between Zeus and Sabazios is extremely simple.
Each, in his own Pantheon, is the protagonistic divinity
and king of the gods ; hence, according to the easy Ic^c
of antiquity, which in one point of view is correct, they
are regarded as identical. But Dionysos, Sabazios,* lao,
Tammuz, and Adonis, are in reality identical ; being not
merely similar and corresponding divinities, but actually
various phases of the same concept. The root of the
name Sabazios has also been said to be a Persian word
seba^ signifying omnia viriditate induens ; * this meaning
agrees remarkably well with Dionysos as the Spirit of
Kosmic life, but whether there is a real connection be-
tween the two words I am unaware.^



' Cooper, Serpent Myths, of And,

Egypt, rr.

« 0. W. King, The Qnogties and
their remains, 81.

» Vide inf. VI. i. 2.

^ MythoC, cf the Aryan JSations, ii.
128, Note.



* A surname of Dionyeos (Hesych.
in Toc. Sabazios, He calls Sabos
'Bakchik phrensy').

• Vide HicMe's Aristophanes, i,
183.

' Vide inf. VIIL i. Sabasios.



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172 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.



SECTION IIL
DI0NY80S IN HELLAS.

The following singular story is a remarkable illustra-
tion of the Eleusinian cult of Dionysos. * Dicaeus. the son
of Theocyeds, an Athenian, declared, that after the army
of Xerxes had, in the absence of the Athenians, wasted
Attica, he chanced to be* with Demaratus the Lacedaemo-
nian in the Thriasian plain, and that while there he saw
a cloud of dust advancing from Eleusis, such as a host of
30,000 men might raise. As he and his companion were
wondering who the men, from whom the dust arose, could
possibly be, a soimd of voices reached his ear, and he
thought that he recognized the mystic hymn to Bacchus.
Now Demaratus was imacquainted with the rites of
Eleusis, and so he enquired of Dicaeus what the voices
were saying. Dicaeus made answer — " 0, Demaratus I
beyond a doubt some mighty calamity is about to befall
the king's army I For it is manifest, inasmuch as Attica
is. deserted by its inhabitants, that the sound which we
have heard is an unearthly one, and is now upon its way
from Eleusis to aid the Athenians and their confederates.
Every year the Athenians celebrate this feast to the
Mother and the Daughter ; and all who wish, whether
they be Athenians or any other Greeks, are initiated. The
sound thou hearest is the Bacchic song, which is wont
to be sung at that festival.'* They looked, and saw the
dust, from which the sound arose, become a cloud, and
the cloud rise up into the air and sail away to Salamis,
making for the station of the Grecian fleet; Then they
knew that it was the fleet of Xerxes which would sufler



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THE DIONTSOS OP HERODOTOS. 173

destruction.'^ Such was the tale told by Dicaeus the soij
of Theocydes ; and he appealed for its truth to Demaratus
and other eye-witnesses.'^ Here Dionysos as the Asso-
ciate of Demeter and Persephone, assists in the overthrow
of the non-hero-worshipping Persians, across whose sun-
stricken plains Euripides erroneously asserted that he had
come. As a divinity of Semitic origin, he is appropriately
opposed to the godless Aryan invaders who plundered
and burnt temples and sacred shrines.

Another allusion of Herodotos to the Hellenik cult of
Dionysos I have had already occasion to refer to, namely,
the conduct of Kleisthenes despot of Sikyon, who abolished
the rites performed in honour of Adrastos the Argeian
hero, transferring his ritual to Melanippos, with the ex-
ception of the tragic choruses, which he assigned to
Dionysos.^

The Dionysiak cult was, according to Herodotos, in-
troduced into Hellas by the wise and famous Melampous
son of Amytheon, a contemporary of Proitos, the four-
teenth in the Une of the mythic kings of Argos. ' He it
was who introduced into Greece the name of Bacchus,
the ceremonial of his worship, and the procession of the
phallus. He did not, however, so completely apprehend
the whole doctrine as to be able to communicate it entirely,
but various sages since his time have carried out his teaching
to greater perfection. Still it is certain that Melampous
introduced the phallus, and that the Greeks learnt from
him the ceremonies which they now practise. Por I can
by no means allow that it is by mere coincidence that the
Bacchic ceremonies in Greece are so nearly the same as the
Egyptian — they would then have been more Greek in
their character, and less recent in their origin. Much less

» * The Athenians assert in their Marathon ' (Pans. viii. 10).
Bongn that they were assisted by the ' Herod, viii. 05.

godp in the battles of Salamis and ' Ibid. v. 07 ; mp. HI, i. 2.



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174 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTff.

can I admit that the Egyptians borrowed these customs
or any other from the Greeks. My belief is that Me-
iampous got his knowledge of them from Cadmus the
Tyrian, and the followers whom he brought from Phoe-
nicia into the country which is now called Boeotia/^
Again he says, * The Greeks regard Hercules, Bacchus,
and Pan* as the youngest of the gods.'* * To me it is quite
manifest that the names of these gods became known to
the Greeks after those of their other deities, and that they
count their birtfifrom the time when they first acquired a
knowledge of them J * In these very important passages
the great Father of History asserts, in perfect harmony
with the Theologers and the Lyric and Tragic Poets, the
non-Hellenik or foreign nature of the Dionysiak cult, and
its comparatively recent introduction into Hellas. It is
perfectly immaterial to the general argument whether
such a personage as Melampous ever existed or not, and
what amount of confidence is to be placed in the chrono-
logy of Herodotos ; the main fact remains beyond all
question that the latter, like all other Hellenik writers on
the subject, beUeved that Dionysos and his cult came into
Hellas from the Outer-world, Le. was Barbarian in origin.
Nor was this belief, in the case of Herodotos, merely an
inherited tradition; actual researches in the Kost con-
firmed and established it to his mind beyond all doubt.
His observations that had the Bakchik ceremonies been
of Hellenik origin they would have been more Hellenik in
character and less recent in their rise, and that the
Hellenes coimted the birth of gods from the time when
they first acquired a knowledge of them, exhibit a far
higher critical acumen and more judicious insight into

* Herod, ii. 49. his cult was in earlier times chieflv

• The Homerik Hymn to Pan, confined to Arkadia ; cf. Paus. viii.
the son of Hermes, quite confirms 86, 54; Herod, vi. 105-6. Inf.
this statement of Herodotos. Prob- VH. ii.

ably Pan was so considered because • Herod, ii. 145. * Ibid. 146.



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THE DIONtSOS OP HERODOTOS- 175

the subject than has been possessed by a vast number of
moderns. It is a perfect vindication, from an Hellenik
standpoint, of the method which I have pursued when
deaUng with the mythic histories of divinities. Thus, in
the Homerik Episode of Lykourgos, I noticed that Diony-
sos is represented as acting as if he were a child, in
consequence of his cult being yet of recent introduction,
and that in the Episode of the Tyrsenian Pirates, when
he has been somewhat longer in Hellenik regions, he is
described as a youth. And so, conversely, the practice
of Homeros is an illustration and justification of the prin-
ciple of Herodotos. The reader will observe his opinion
that Melampous got his knowledge of the Dionysiak ritual
fi-om ' Cadmus the Tyrian^ and the foUowera whom he
brought from Phoenicia into Boeotia' As he nowhere
asserts or impUes that the Phoenician ritual was borrowed
from Kam, he evidently was not of opinion that the
worship of Dionysos originally arose in that country; but
I shall have occasion to refer to his views on the question
when considering the general connection between Diony-
sos and Uasar.*



SECTION IV.
DIONYSOS AND NYSA.



The usual connection between Dionysos and the m3rs-
terious Nysa appeals in Herodotos, as in the other autho-
rities whose works have been examined. 'Bacchus,
according to the Greek tradition, was no sooner born than
he was sewn up in Jupiter's thigh, and carried off to
Nysa, above Egypt, in Ethiopia.' ^ Again, he notices

« Vid<? inf. sec. ▼. ' Hetod. ii. 140.



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176 THE GREAT DIONYSIAK MYTH.

that ' the Ethiopians bordering upon Egypt, who were
reduced by Cambyses, and who dwelt about the sacred
city of Nysa, have festivals in honour of Bacchus/ ^ Again^
he relates that the sticks of cinnamon are said to come
' from the country in which Bacchus was brought up,' *
apparently meaning Aithiopia. The Herodotean Nysa is
thus deep in the Outer-world.^ There were evidently-
very many Hellenik traditions about the situation of Nysa,
but, wherever it was supposed to be, it was invariably
connected with the Dionysiak cult. *



SECTION V.
DIONYSOS AND UASAB.



Subsection I.-^Theory of Herodotos on the historic con-
nection between the Divinities of Hellas and Kam.

According to Herodotos, all the Hellenik divinities
were * derived from a foreign source.' The Pelasgoi
supplied Here, Hestia, Themis, the Charites, the Nereides,
and the Dioskouroi, Kastor and Polydeukes. The Libyans
introduced Poseidon, and the ' other gods have been known
from time immemorial in Egypt.' * The principal divini-
ties in his opinion thus common to both Kam and Hellas
are Zeus,* Artemis,^ Apollon,® Demeter,^ Athene,^^ Diony-

^ Herod, iii. 97. • Uasi or Hesi, Hellenikos Isia.

« Ibid. iii. 111. ^^ Neith. Of. Platon. T%maio9. 'She

« Vide IV. ii. 1 ; VIII, i. Ny- is called in the Egyptian tongue

M05. IX. yiii. Neith, and is asserted to be the same

^ Vide tn^. see. vi. whom the Hellenes call Athene.'

* Herod, li. 60. Bunsen inclined to this view, re-
^ Amen, HeUervUcSs Ammon. marking : — ' Athena, i.e, Athenaia,
^ Sekhet or Pasht, HeUenikBs may probably be Anaith with a

Bubastis. necona reduplication at the begin-

• Har, Hellenikos Horos. ning, and the Egyptian N T pro-



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THE DIONYSOS OF HERODOTOS. 177

sos/ Hephaistos,^ Epaphos,^ Pan or Mendes,* Leto or Bou-
to,* Ares,^ Hennes/ and Herakles.^ Such is the theory
of Herodotos, a most intelligent observer, but ignorant
of the ethnic and philological affinities which modem
research has established. We are now aware that the
Hellenik Pantheon is essentially Aryan, and therefore we
should as soon suppose that the Hellenik language was
derived from that of Kam as that the Homerik divinities,
or even the majority of them, were importations from the
Black Country.^ The following Hellenik personages may
be regarded as undoubtedly Aryan in origin and cha*
racter : — ^Zeus, Here, Demeter, Athene, Apollon, Artemis,
Ares,^^ Persephone,^^ Hermes, Pan, and Herakles.*^ But
Poseidon, Dionysos, Hephaistos, Aphrodite, are non-
Aryan importations. The effort to prove the entire Hel-
lenik and Homerik Pantheons to be of Aryan origin is an
undue extension of the Natural Phenomena Theory, an
error which is itself a reaction from, and a result. of, the
opposite mistakes of former times. The theory, then, of
the absolute identity of Zeus and Amen, for instance, may
be unhesitatingly rejected ; but, though distinct concepts,
they correspond with one another, each in his respective
Pantheon being ' the King of the Gods,' and therefore, in

nounced Ne-ith, may represent the Place, v. 682.)

most ^mple and therefore oldest * Ptah.

form of it,' {Bg^B Tlace, iv. 272). ' Hapi, HeUemk6$ Apis.

But he notices *the claims of the. * Khem.

Aryans,' which are doubtless correct, ' Maut. ® Mandou.

upon the name. Vide Professor ' Thoth or Tet.

Max Muller's beautiful analysis of ® Khons.

the epithets of the Dawn-oueen. ® Besides Kam or Khemi, the

Athene is the VedicAhana the Mom- Black Country, whence Chemistry

ing. or the Black Art, Egypt was called

^ Uasar, Heshar, Hesiri (Bun- Nahai or Sycamore-land and Ta-

8en), or Asari (P. le Page Renouf, meri.

Emplian Ch-aminar, 59), Hdlenikos *^ Sup, sec. i.



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