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elsewhere. What evidence is there for the first of thesQ
two possibiKties ? None at all. Herodotos did not
beKeve it, for he, as we have seen, was of opinion that
the Dionysiak cult was introduced by Phoenicians. Grote
did not, for he says ' the orgies of Dionysus were not
originally borrowed from Egypt.' No one at present, so
&r as I am aware, accepts this view. There seems to
have been an early connection between Hellas and Kam,
but this part of ancient history is still almost as obscin^
as interesting; and their intercourse was chiefly of a
hostile character, and so altogether unsuitable to the pro-
pagation of the religion of either party, as neither of them
fully subdued the other.* The early Hellenes possessed

> For further examination of the the East, 260-^1 ; Bunsen, Egyp^s

question, Tide inf. IX. ^, S^agreus, FUtce, i. 112-15; iiL 603-39; Lauth,

* As to the early connection be- Homer und Aegypten\ Gladstone,

tween Hellas and Kam, vide Horn. Juventus Mundij 144-8 ; Ho

11. ix. 381-4; Od, iy. 81-5,351- Synchromsm, in which the latest di*
4^3, 681-5 ; xiv. 245-86 ; xvii. 423- coveries in Egyptology are most ably

43 ; Lenormant, Ancient Hktory of and acutely cuscussed in their bear-

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some knowledge of Aigyptos, and they were to some
extent acquainted with IJasar as £hadamanthos-£hot*
amenti, a being naturally localized in Erete, an island not
unaffected by the influence of the Nile Valley.^ But the
very fact that Uasar reached Erete as Bhadamanthos,
shows us that he did not reach it as Dionysos, and so
negatives any idea of the early introduction of the Diony-
siak Eitual from Earn. The admitted connection be-
tween Uasar and Ehadamanthos lends great interest to
the latter who, otherwise, like many adoptions, is a very
colourless personage, in fact merely a kind of duplicate of
his Phoenician brother Mmos.* According to Homeros,
*godUke Ehadamanthos,' is the son of Zeus and the
daughter of PhoiniiL® He dwells on the Elysian Plain at
the ends of the earth where no snow, or winter, or storms
disturb the happy region, but where life is most pleasant,*
* where the ocean breezes blow around the blessei islands,
and golden flowers burn on their bright trees for ever-
more," His usual Homerik epithet is * Golden-haired,*
a solar appellation correspondiing to Dionysos Chryso-
komes.* It would be interesting, but somewhat beside
the point immediately in question, to trace and illustrate
in detail his identity with Uasar, and his mysterious
journey in the ships of the Phaiakes to see Tityos in
Euboia. Being identical with Uasar, he is of course in
fact identical with Dionysos, but not in Hellenik idea,
Ehadamanthos is an importation from Eam ; Dionysos is
not, for we shall necessarily be compelled to adopt the

iiiffs on Homer^s place in hlstoi^ ; Philistia)^ Tide PoiManf xiz.

Sdiliemann, Tray and it$ Remamij zxx.-xxziy.

228, 270; Records of the PM, iv. « Of. Grote. JSia. of Chreeoe^ u

§7 c< «eg. : *The invamon of Egypt 212-13.

by the Gieeks, under the nineteenth ' IL xiv. 822.

tiynasty.' * OdL iv. 563-8.

^ I haye elsewhere attempted to ' Raskin, Queen of the Air^ 1. 50 ;

illustrate the early connection be- cf. Find. OL ii.
tween Erete, Kam, and Purusata * Of. Od, iv. 564; yii. 323.

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last suppositioii mentioned, namely, that the Dionysiak
Bitual, having been neither derived from Kam in earlier
or in later times but yet being foreign in character, was
introduced, as Herodotos conjectured, from some other
Semitic r^on, and that region the whole enquiry tends
to show was Phoenicia.

Subsection V. — Basis and Starting-point of the
Uasario-Dionysiak Cult.

It has been mentioned that the religion and civiliza-
tion of the Hapi,^ were admittedly posterior to and
derived from or developed out of the early systems of
Western Asia.* ' Egypt was colonised from the North,
by way of Palestine, by Asiatics, who brought their
language and gods with them.' * It being admitted, then,
that the Kamic religion was originally the product of
Western Asia, we have next to consider in what part of
that region it probably arose. Nor is this enquiry at all
a wide one, for the coimtries to which our choice is
necessarily limited are Western Aram or Syria, including
Palestine,* and Phoenicia, Eastern Aram, Aram-Naharaim,
i e. Aram-of-the-tworivers, or Mesopotamia, and Kaldea,
which included great part of Eastern Aram. Assur is
admittedly the daughter of Kaldea,* and the same
remark applies to Elam, i.e. Kissia or Susiana,^ which
latter also hes further off from Kam. Syria and Kaldea
alone remain, and as the former must be crossed on the
overland route between Kam and the latter, it is towards
Syria that our attention must, in the first instance, be
especially directed. The principal inhabitants of Syria in

1 Neilos. ^ Of. Om, z. 10, 11 ; RawliDflon,

' 8wp. salwec. iv. Anct. Mon$. ii. 52-3.

» Empes Hace, ir. Sar, « Om. xiv. Anct. Mans, i. 28;

* Of TTaiv^ 5iiV fi? vi\ ftft. 11. ASiR. '.

0£ Herod, iii. 6 ; vii. 89. ii. 435.

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early times were (1) the Rephoeem, Aimeem, Anokeem,
and other ancient tribes, alluded to in the Pentateuch ^ as
being almost extinct in the time of Moses, and collectively
known to the Kamites under the appellation of Sati : ^ (2)
The Kanaanites, including the Khitas or Hittites, and the
Phoenicians, for, notwithstanding Canon Rawlinson's argu-
ments,' I cannot but agree with Bochart, Kenrick, Lenor-
mant, and others, that the Phoenicians were a branch or
branches of the Kanaanites : * and (3) the North-Eastern
Aramean population, known to the Kamites as the
Rotennu,^ and who are described in a Theban sepulchral
inscription of the time of Thothmes III. as dweUing in
the ' northern lands behind the Great Sea.' The Israel-
ites and Philistines were comparatively modem nations,
and Pharaoh, * the son of ancient kings,' ^ could have
truly said, ' Before Abraham was, I am/ Whatever
religious connection may have existed at any time be-
tween the Sati and Eotennu, and Kam, and there was
doubtless much, for probably the chief goddess of the
former was the celebrated Ashtoreth Kamaim,^ whom
we meet with in Kam as Astarta, it is evident, by re-
ference to certain Kamic divinities admittedly foreign in
origin, that Phoenicia and the neighbouring region was
the immediate quarter whence many of the important
basis-elements of the Kamic feUgion were derived, a cir-
cumstance which forms the historical foundation for the
statement that the Phoenician personage called by Philon
Kronos, * visiting the country of the South, gave the
whole of Aigyptos to the god Taautos,^ that it might be

^ Of. Oen, ziv. 6 ; xv. 19, 20. Deut, QeoaraMcal Dictimary and Kitto's

ii. JBibiicM Oydtmaedia,

« Anct, S%8t. of the East, ii. 147. * Anct, hU, of the East, i. 227 ;

' Herodotus,iv, 196-202. cf. Bunsen, EgypCs Place, iii. 138.

* Of. Kenrick, Phoenicia , cap. ® Is. xix. 1 1 .

iii ; Geseniim, Script. Ling. Phoe. ' Of. sup. IV. iii. 2.

838, the Articles in l)r. Smith's • Thoth-Tet.

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his kingdom.' ^ Thus, to take a famiHar mstance, * the
name Astarta, the celebrated Ashtaroth of the Bible, or
Astarte of the Greek authors, occurs in the papyrus
Anastasi 11. In an historical monument of the time of
the great Eamses where this name occurs she is called
* the goddess of the Cheta,' *^ or Kliitas the Northern
Hittites.' • Again, the important divinity Set or Sutekh,
called by the Hellenes Typhon, the opposer of Uasar, is
undoubtedly a Syrian importation. Thus, M. Lenormant
remarks, *Evil was personified by one particular god.
Set, or Sutekh, sometimes also called Baal, who was the
supreme god of neighbouring Asiatic nations, and in later
times, that of the Shepherds/* He was afterwards
identified with Apepi or Apap, the great serpent of evil,^
but was originally distinct, and considered to be a benefi-
cent god.^ His worship, as the tutelary god of Lower
E^ypt, dates from a very early period,^ but * the earliest
traces of the existence of Set are in Palestine and
Aramaea.' ® * Sutech is identified with Baal in numerous
inscriptions, and is represented specially as the chief deity
of the Cheta.' * If we accept the probable tradition of
Porphery,* that Aahmes I. suppressed human sacrifices
ofiered under the Shepherd kings at Hehopolis, the form
of worship must have been Typhonian, and in aU prob-
abihty of Phoenician origin.'^^ Porphyries wrote with
Manethon's work on Archaeology and Devotion before
him, and as the authority of the latter writer is constantly
increasing^S we may feel fairly satisfied that the tradition

> Sanchou. 18. * Of. Egyv^'9 Fiace, iv. 310.

« EinfP^s FiaceA, 425-6. ^ Of. De Koog^, Eecherches, 9, 45.

• As to the fore^rn divinitiee Anta • ^ffup^s liace, iv. 319.

and Renpa or Ranpo, intioduoed into * Pen Apok, BmpB, iL 55.

the ITi^twi^ Pantheon, Vide EgwCs '^ Canon Cook, Mtsay an the Beat'

Fiace, L 423-6 ; Hawlinson, Ser<h ing» of Egyptian Bistary upon the
dotm^ iL 248, 453. Pentateach, Speaker's Commentarj,

* Anct, Hist, of the Eagt, i. 320. i. 449.

^ Of. Pk)ut Peri Is. xxxvi. " Cf. Anct. Hist, of the Easf/i. 96.


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is correct in substance. Bunsen considers Set to be * the
primeval name of God in Asia ' ^ Whether this be so or
not, the Asiatic origin of the divinity is evident. Again,
as regards the Kamic Pantheon generally, Sir G. Wilkin-
son, while observing that * it is not certain that the great
gods were limited to eight,' notices that * the eight gods *
of Herodotos,* * who existed before the rest,' agree * with
the eight Cabiri {i.e. " great " gods) of the Phoenicians.' •
Ptah, the idea of the creative power or personified
Demiurge, the god of Mennefer,* is another Kamic
divinity evidently Phoenician in origin. Speaking of his
representations, Bunsen observes, * Sometimes the feet are
turned quite inwards, and in the Ritual Ptah is twice
represented as bow-legged ; such may or may not [this is
cautious] assimilate with the lame Hephaistos.' ^ It is
difficult, after considering the force of the combined
evidence, to doubt the assimilation, and so Sir G. Wilkin-
son observes, * the deformed figure of the Pthah of Mem-
phis doubtless gave rise to the fable of the lameness of the
Greek Hephaestus or Vulcan.'^ Kambatt,^ Herodotos
teUs us, when in Kam, ' went into the temple of Vulcan
[Ptah] and made great sport of the image. For the
image of Vulcan is very like the Pataeci of the Phoe-
nicians, wherewith they ornament the prows of their
ships of war.* If persons have not seen these, I will
explain in a different way — ^it is a figure resembling that
of a pigmy. He also went into the temple of the Cabiri,
and not only made sport of the images but even burnt
them. They are made like the statue of Vulcan, who is

1 R^8 Fiace, iy. 333. ? KambyseB.

» Herod, ii. 145. • Of. Eur. Iph. m Atd. 263-8 :

* Hawlinson, Herodotus, ii. 242 ; * The armament of the Boiotoi fifty
ef. Sanchou. i. 8. Bea-trayersing ships I beheld, equip>

* Memphis. ^ ped with figure-heads, and their sign

* Egyp^% Place J i. 395. was Kadmos holding a golden dragon

* Bkwlinson, Hirodatvs, ii. ;j(52. around the lofty he&s of the ahipe.'

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said to have been their father.' ^ ' The eight great gods
of the Phoenicians, the offspring of one great father,
Sydik, the "just," were called Cabin/* Ptah, as his
name denotes, being derived from an old Kamic word
ptak, * to open,' akin to the Hebrew patakh^ ^ is the father
of the Phoenician Pataikoi, Openers, Expanders, Revealers,
He thus takes his place in the Pantheon of Phoenicia.*
Again, Anouke,* *the third person of the triad at the
first cataract, has the title of Ank ; ' and Neith, also the
goddess of Sa, *is sometimes called Neit-Ank or Onk.' ^
Ankh signifying *life,' 'living,' ^the oil of Ufe,'^ the
goddess Ank or Onk is the * living-one,' i.e. the possessor
of inherent vitality, and the hieroglyph is naturally the
crux ansata^ or handled cross, which phalUcally repre-
sents the combined Linga and Yoni. In Onk * we recog-
nise Onka, the name given to the Boeotian Minerva,
according to Plutarch, and confirmed by jEschylus, who
calls her Onka Pallas, and speaks of a gate at Thebes,
called Oncaean, after her. It is also called Oncaean by
Apollodorus.^ The Scholiast on jEschylus says Cad-
mus founded a temple there to the Egyptian Minerva,
who was called Oncaea. This temple and name are also
mentioned by the Schol. Pind. 01. ii., who says the
name is Phoenician. Pausanias also calls it Phoenician,
and uses it as an argument to prove Cadmus was a
Phoenician and not an Egyptian, as some supposed.' ^^
The supposition that the founder of the Boiotik Thebai
was a Kamite is utterly groundless and untenable.
Founded by Phoenicians, the city retained to a late age

» Herod, iii. 37. * Anukis.

* Sir G. Wilkinson in Rawlinson'a • Rawlinson, HerodotiM, ii. 90.
HerodotuB, ii 80. ^ Birch, Dictionarff of Hierogly^

' Dr. Birch in EgypCs Place, i. phics^ in yoc.
395. 8 Of. Oooper, Serpent Myths of

* Vide mf. X. L As to the Ancient E^ypt, 45.
Phoenician character of Hephaistos, ^ Bib. iii. 6.

vide Gladstone, Jtw. Mun, 280-94, *^ Sir G. Wilkinson in Rawlin80U*s
620, Poseidon, xiv. ^ Herodotus, li. 90,

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the traditional and correct name of one of the divinities
of the founders, the Kamitico-Phoenician goddess Onka.*
Nonnos assigns the Onkaian gate of Thebai to *the blue-
eyed Mene.** Isaiah speaks of the idolatrous Jews as
* furnishing the drink-offering unto Meni/ • whom Bunsen
calls a * Babylono-Kanaanitish * goddess, ' the Portuna of
the Semites,'* the female reflection of the Phrygian
Moon-god M^n. It is to be observed that the name of
the first king of Kam, Mena,*^ appears to be derived fix>m
the root ?nen, to * establish ' or * found,' * and the inter-
pretation *' the eternal," given by Eratosthenes, is prob-
ably very correct/* The blue-eyed Meni, the Eternal
One, is doubtless the Kamic Anouke, who appears as a
' primeval goddess,' and the Phoenician Onka, the Ever-
living. Were the constant heaven and the deathless
morning mirrored in her deep blue eyes, as in those of the
lovely Aryan dawn-goddess with whom she was doubtless
not unnaturally confounded? ^ These specimen divinities
Astarta, Baal-Sutekh, Ptah, and his Seven Sons, the
Kabeiroi, and Onk or Onka, like other members of the
Kamic Pantheon that could be instanced, are Phoenician
in derivation. But did they absolutely originate in Phoe-
nicia ? No more than the Phoenicians themselves, who
at an early period left Kaldea, as Herodotos tells us, and
having * formerly dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean
sea,' or Persian Gulf, ' migrated to the Mediterranean.' *
From the plain of the two rivers came the Kamic Astarta,
the Hellenik Astarte, the Hebrew Ashtoreth, the Phoe-
nician Astart, and the Assyrian Ishtar.' From the same

* Of. Sup. 8ubeec. iii Leake, Travels in Northern Greece^
« Non. V. 70. ii. 234, 241 ; iv. 578 ; Kenrick,
» 1$, Ixv. 11. Phomiciay 100; inf. IX. iii.

* Egype$ Hacey iv. 262, Note. • Herod, i. 1 j vii. 89.

^ Ili&nes. ' 'The name Istar, or Ishtar,

* Egypfs Hace^ ii. 64. meaning " goddess," is applied to any
^ As to Athene Onka, vide also female divinity* (Gleo. Smith, dud-

Bawlinson, HerodotM, ii. 78 } dean Account of Genesis, 68).

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locality came Bilu, Bel, or Baal, the Demiurge, and the
Kabeiroi or Great Gods. The * Song of the Seven Spirits '
in Assyrian nms : —

They are seven 1 they are seven 1
In the depths of Ocean they are seven !
In tbe heights of heaven they are seven I
Male they are not ! Female they are not I

Like the * two-natured lakchos,' the combined Uasar-

Wives they have not ! Children are not bom to them I
They are seven 1 aad they are seven 1
Twice over they are seven 1 *

Nor is it to be supposed that Uasar or Dionysos aflTords
any iQustration of an exception to the foregoing nile of
derivation. He, like the divinities lastly referred to,
entered Kam from Kaldea by way of Phoenicia. In Kam
he appears under the Uasarian aspect, in Asia Minor as
Sabazios; in Hellas as Dionysos, a name which, as we
shall see in the sequel, was known in Assur centiuies
before. From the same Aramean basis his cult in varying
shades spreads Northwestward and Southwestward, and
Aram in her turn received him from the Kaldean cradle
of art, religion and civilization.^ An objection of Mr.
Kenrick to the theory of a Phoenician Dionysos may here
be noticed. He remarks, * The connection of the history
of Bacchus and the introduction of his worship, with the
history of Cadmus, point to a migration of the Phoenicians
from Thrace to Boeotia rather than immediately ft*om
Phoenicia. For the oldest mention of the Dionysiak
worship in Grecian literature represents Bacchus as in
conflict with Lycurgus, king of the Edones, and he had no

' Translated by H. F. Talbot in » Videm/. XH.
Trans, Soc. Bib, Archaed. ii. 68.

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original or special connection with the Phoenician mjrth-
ology (?). Thrace was the immediate, Lydia and Phrygia
the remoter source from which it [i.e. the Dionysiak
cult] came into Greece, and Thebes the first place in
Southern Greece in which it gained a footing/ ^ On this
it may be remarked, (1) That there is nothing in the
Episode of Lykourgos, which has been already considered,
to show that Dionysos was a Thrakian divinity, but the
myth fuUy demonstrates his foreign character ; (2) That
there is no reliable evidence that Eadmos colonized Thebai
from Thrake, but the contrary ; (3) That, when con-
sidering the Bakchaiy we found good reason to reject with
Harodotos the theory of Euripides of the Lydian and
Phrygian origin of the god ; (4) That even at the present
time our knowledge of the Phoenician Pantheon, although
it has considerably increased, is still exceedingly incom-
plete; so that even had we np positive information on
the subject to the contrary, we should be unable to say
that Dionysos was entirely unconnected with the myth-
ology of the Syrian sea-board ; (5) The general tenor of
the evidence, both already adduced, and also to be subse-
quently referred to, is contrary to Mr. Kenrick's supposi-
tion. Thus, «.^., I presume that, according to this view,
Dionysos and Uasax are distinct divinities. It cannot be
shown that any mythology or divinity originated in Asia
Minor, which was colonized by successive waves of
Eastern immigrants, who brought their rehgion and ritual
with them. Mr. Kenrick, after remarking the apparently
Semitic character and derivation of certain Bakchik words,
such as Evoe, Saboe, Bassareus, Brisaeus, etc., observes,
* As Lydia, however, had a Semitic population, we cannot
argue from these coincidences the Phoenician origin of the
Dionysiak rites/ ^ So, it is presumed, if Lydia had pos-
sessed a non-Semitic population, such an argument would

> Phoenicia, 09. '^ Ibid. 100, Note,

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have been valid. But after all, modern research, not-
unthstanding the opposite opinion of many great names,
inclines to the view that the Lydians were a non-Semitic
and Indo-European race,^ and, at all events, the question
to which of the great FamiUes they belong is a very
doubtful one. Should it therefore appear that the Lydians
were not Semites, I presume Mr. Kenrick would be willing
to admit the Phoenician connection of the Dionysiak ritual,
which latter fact is the simple and only explanation of
the circvunstance, otherwise incomprehensible, that Kad-
mos, who, Mr. Kenrick admits, is a representative of
Phoenician influence in the West,*^ should have been an
introducer and ardent supporter of the worship of the


* The Arabs,' says Herodotos, * plight faith with the
forms foUowing. When two men would swear a friend-
ship, they stand on each side of a third : he with a sharp
stone mii^es a cut on the inside of the hand of each, near
the middle finger, and taking a piece of their dress, dips
it in the blood of each, and moistens therewith seven
stones lying in the midst, calling the while on Bacchus
and Urania. They have but these two gods ; and they

' Of. Rawlioson, fferodduBf i. 541, mythical explanation of the traces of

548. the Phoenicians in various parts of

^ * Cadmus landed in Rhodes on Asia and Greece ' {Phoenicia^ 80 ; cf.

his search for Europa, which is the 84).

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say that in their mode of cutting the hair they follow
Bacchus. Now their practice is to cut it in a ring, away
from the temples. Bacchus they call in their language
Orotal, and Urania, Alilat.'^ Does Herodotos here arbi-
trarily and erroneously identify Dionysos and the Arabian
divinity whom he calls Orotal, — or is he correct in his
supposition? It may assist us in arriving at a conclusion
to consider the other divinity referred to, Ouranie-Alilat.
Ouranie, the Heavenly-one, has a threefold aspect in
Hellenik mythology. She is (1) the Mistress of the
starry heavens, or, more familiarly, the Muse of Astro-
nomy ; (2) the ^ goddess-like ' daughter of Okeanos and
Tethys ; ^ and (3) a personification of heavenly love which
produced and sustains all things, as distinguished from
Aphrodite Pandemos, earthly or common love.' The
heavenly- one, daughter of all-sustaining Ocean, and per-
sonified as god-like love, was early and naturally iden-
tified by the Hellenes with the Great Goddess Mother of
the East. So Pausanias speaks of the temple of the
latter at Athenai — 'The temple of Aphrodite Ouranie,
and Ouranie was first worshipped by the Assyrians ; and
after these by the Paphians of Kypros and by the Phoini-
kians who dwelt in Askalon, in Palestine : and the
Kythereans worshipped her, having learnt her ritual from
the Phoinikians.' * He places the introduction of her
worship into Attike in the remote era of the mythical
king Aigeus, who, he states, introduced her cult because
he had no children ; and jshe, as we shall see, was the
representative of production and mother of all. In
another passage^ he speaks of exceedingly ancient wooden
statues of Aphrodite possessed by the Thebans, and one
of which was called the statue of Aphrodite Ouranie.

» Herod, iil 8. * Paus. L 14

» HeBiod. Tkeog. 360. * Ibid. ix. 16.

» Of. Platon. PhaidroB, 269.

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They were said to have been dedicated by Harmonia, and
to have been made from the beaks of the ships of Kadmos,
a remarkable tradition, and in exact accordance with the
Phoenician custom.^ These valuable traditions, of course
incorrect in their literal details from a Euemeristic point
of view, aptly illustrate the way by which the cult of the
Great Goddess was introduced into Hellas. To consider
her history and ritual further would be foreign to the
subject of this investigation ; suffice it to say that she is
the Artemis of Ephesos, the Kybele of Phrygia, the armed
Aphrodite of Sparta, the Atargatis or Derketo of Askalon,
the Uasi of Kam, the Here of the Syrian Hierapolis,^ the
Anait of Persia and Armenia, the Astart of the Phoeni-
cians, the Ashtoreth of the Eephoeem, the Ishtar of the
Assyrians, the Mylitta of the Babylonians,^ the Alala of
the Akkadians,* and the Alitta,^or Alilatof the Arabians.
This last name signifies ' to bear children,' and, according
to Canon Eawhnson, Alitta ' is the Semitic root El, " God,*'
with the feminine suffix added/* Some learned readers
may possibly be inclined to doubt the identity of the
various phases of the Great Goddess Mother above men-
^tioned ; but acciurate investigation will deduce them from
y>042ommon origin, although by d^ees they become dis-
tij^concepts, like the personified attributes of the Deity/
The Great Goddess, then, being the only, or at all
events the protagonistic, female divinity worshipped by
the Arabians, and they having also only one or one chief

* Of. Herod, iii. 37 ; mp, sec. v. Sir G. Willdnson, in Rawlineon's
5. Herodotus, u. 445 et seq, A great

' Vide Loukiaiioe. Peri tes Syries Goddees-mother exists in almost every

Online LibraryRobert BrownThe great Dionysiak myth → online text (page 18 of 38)