Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

us, that Cyrus the Great had his name from the same luminary--' Κυρον γαρ καλείν τες llegous tov 'Hrov: for the Persians call the sun, Curus or Cyrus.

Ctesias mentions the same of Ochus, named also Cyrus: Tibetan To ovoud a78 *0.7% H218 Kugor. He had his name from the sun, and was from hence called Cyrus.

An Emblem of Prophetic Influence.

It is to be observed, that most aquatic animals in Egypt were sacred and emblematical : and all inspiration of old was supposed to arise from fountains and streams. Hence in Greece likewise the waters of Pimplea, Helicon, Aganippe, Permessis, &c. were supposed to be gifted with a power of inspiration.

The Muses, whose original history came from Hermopolis, and other places, in Egypt, were esteemed Prophetic deities, and denominated from water. ---3 Καλενται δε Μουσαι απο padews.

The Muses are denominated from (an Egyptian word) Mos. Phurnatus, from whom

[ocr errors]

The word in Pausanius is expressed Kippe, 1. 10. p. 893. . like 777 of the Arabians. ' In Artaxerxe, p. 1012.

Apud Ctesiæ Excerpta. . See Herod. Wesseling. p. 821. 3 Phornutus de Nat. Deorum, 14. p. 157.

[ocr errors]

T10.

3

we learn this, would interpret the word ' irquiry, and investigation : but it manifestly signified water. Το γαρ υδωρ μως ονομαζεσιν Αιγυπ

The Egyptians, says * Philo, call the element of water Mos. When Pharaoh's daughter gave name to Moses, she said it was, because I drew him out of the water. It is sometimes expressed * Mo: and is still to be found in the Coptic version of the Bible.

As frogs were of the aquatic tribe in Egypt, and sacred to Osiris Helius : and as they were engraved upon the basis of Apollo's statue at Delphi, the seat of prophecy; I am led to think, that they were originally characteristics of the priests, and prophets of Egypt: and that they were sacred to the Nymphs and Muses. Hence an anonymous writer in a Greek epigram stiles the frog---των Νυμφων θεραποντα, an attendant upon the deities of streams, and fountains.

83.

-απο μωσεως, και τι ζητησεις. ibid. The Muses were supposed to have been water nymphs: and fountains were sacred to them.

3. Vol. 2. p.
3 Exodus ii. 10.

4 Josephus expresses it Mou, pwy. cont. Ap. 1. 1. Clemens does the same--το γαρ ύδως μου ονομαζασιν Αιγυπτιοι. Strom. 1. 1. p. 412.

Scaliger says, that the name of Moses was from oui, extraxit : and he may be right. But Mos, and Mou, still was the Egyptian term, by which water was signified : as we may be assured from the present Coptic; and from the testimony of the writers above : and ovn, Mosah was probably to draw out of water.

* See Coptic Lexicon by Woide, p. 57.

Esteemed sacred from its Inflation.

Another reason may be given for the frog being an emblem of Apollo, and Osiris ; also of priests and prophets in general. All inspiration was supposed to be an inflation of the deity. Hence it was stiled eu veunis: and an inspired person εμπνευστος, both from πνεω and TVEVLC ; by the latter of which is signified breath and spirit. For all those, who were possessed by the prophetic divinity, are represented as swollen and enlarged, and as it were bursting through the overpowering inflation, Hence · Virgil says of the Sibil at Cumæ

-subito non vultus, non color unus, Non comptæ mansere comæ ;

sed pectus

anhelans Et rabie fera corda tument, majorque videri, Nec mortale sonans, adflata est numine quando

Jam propiore dei. Now this animal is noted for swelling itself up

? Æn. 1. vi. v. 46.

by.' inflation: and hence it probably became a representative of the god of inspiration ; and of all those, who were divino spiritu afflati, et deo pleni. For as the Egyptians borrowed their emblems from moles, beetles, flies, and the most contemptible reptiles, if they found in them any analogy with the object; which they wanted to express ; so it is probable, that they adopted the frog for the purpose mentioned above. Upon this account this animal was depicted upon the lotos to denote the preservation of Osiris, the prophetic god, when he was in danger from the waters. And it was found, as we have seen, upon the basis of Apollo's statue at the seat of prophetic knowledge, Delphi: where was the principal oracle of that supposed divinity in Greece. Above all things, these animals were particularly natives of those sacred streams, from whence inspiration was supposed to proceed.

Other Reasons for this Animal being a sacred

Emblem.

This inference seems to be warranted by the author of the Apocalypse, who continu

! Hence the name given by Homer-Quruyados. Batracom.

ally alludes to symbolical characters, which prevailed of old. In the 16th chapter, ver. 13. speaking of illusions, with which the world was to be affected, he says, that he saw three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast; and out of the mouth of the false prophet: and he adds--they are the spirits of devils, working miracles. From hence I should be farther induced to think, that these animals were of old types of magicians, priests, and prophets ; particularly those of Egypt. If this be true, the miracle, which Moses at this time exhibited, was attended with a wonderful propriety in respect to Pharaoh and his wise men: and at the same time afforded a just punishment upon the whole of that infatuated people, quibus res eo pervenit, ut et ranæ et culices et formicæ dii esse' viderentur.

There is another circumstance, for which I should imagine that the frog was in some degree esteemed a sacred emblem in the east. The ancients in all countries seem to have shewn their gratitude to the deity for any benefit, by reverencing the animal, or the vegetable, through which the blessing either ac

* See Lactantius de Orig. Erroris, l. 2. c. 6. p. 135.

« PreviousContinue »