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had a notion of rivers being changed and corrupted in this manner; and also, that it often 'rained blood: and they esteemed these appearances as portents of great consequence. The Decemviri were always summoned upon such occasions; and the Sibylline books consulted: and victims immediately appointed by way of expiation.
The Destruction of the Aquatic Tribes.
It is moreover said, that the fish that were in the river died; and the river stank. ver. 21.
We have many instances to this purpose recorded in
Mantua stagnum effusum Mincio amni cruentum visum : et Romæ in foro Boario sanguine fluxisse. Vol. 2. 1. 24. c. 10. p. 333.
Cruentam 'fluxisse aquam Albanam. 1. 27. c. 11. p. 628.
Sanguine per biduum pluisset in area Vulcani. 1. 39. C. 46. p. 621.
Flumen Amiterni cruentum fluxisse. 1. 24. C. 44. p. 392.
Aquas Cærites sanguine mistas fluxisse. 1. 22. c. 1. p. 110.-Many other instances may be found.
- penitus sonuere revulsæ Tarpeiæ rupes, atque atro sanguine flumen Manavit Jovis in templis. .
Silius Italicus, l. 8. v. 645,
The offensive vapour from the waters must
IxQvwv de 8 00$ etesi Tecucbat. Herod. I. 2. c. 37. p. 121. c. 73. p. 137.
2 Ixovwv 8x årtOVTaté Clemens, 1. 7. p. 850. 3 Οξυρυγχος πολις.-τιμωσι δε τον Οξυρυγχον, και εσιν αυτοις ιερω 88 Oğuguayye. Strabo, l. 17. p. 1166.
4 Ibid. "Σεφεσι δε αντων, Συηνιται φαγρον τον ιχθυν. Μειωτην δε, (αλλος
Elephantis, The 1 Lepidotus had the like reverence paid to it: as had also the Eel; being each sacred to the god Nilus. This is ridiculed in a passage, which has bi an often quoted, from the ancient comedian Antiphanes : who mentions, that an eel by the Egyptians was reverenced equally with their gods. Another comedian says, that they esteemed it as one of their supreme deities: and he, at the same time, exposes their folly with
ουτος ιχθυς) δι την Ελεφαντινην οικοντες. Οξυρυγχιται φερώνυμον της χωρας αυτων ομοιως ιχθυς. Clemens Alexand. Cohort. p. 34.
Νομιζεσιν δε και παντων ιχθυων τον καλεμενον Λεπιδωτον ερεν ειναι, και την Εγχελυν.. Ιρες δε τετες είναι τα Νειλε φασι, Herod. 1. 2. c. 72. p. 137. . * Και τ' αλλα δεινες φασι της Αιγυπτιες
Ειναι, το νομισαι τ' ισοθεον την Εγχελυν. ,
Πολυ των θεων γαρ εσι τιμιωτέρα
: . Antiphanes in Lycone apud Athenæun, . . . . 1. 7. p. 299. . ? Anaxandrides. Die
Ουχ αν δυναιμην συμμαχειν υμιν εγώ,
κυνα σεβεις, τυπτω δ' εγώ,
apud Athenæum ibid.
some humour. A Grecian is made to address himself to an Egyptian : and he accordingly says, --" It is impossible for me to ride in the “ same.troop with you : for our notions and 5 manners are diametrically opposite. You " pay adoration to an ox: I kill and sacrifice “ it to the gods. You esteem an eel to be a “very great divinity. I only think it the best “ dish that comes upon table. You worship “ a dog. I whip him handsomely; especi66 ally if I find the cur purloining my dinner.”
These punishments, brought upon the Egyptians, bore a strict analogy with theircrime. They must therefore have been greatly alarmed when they beheld their sacred stream defiled with blood, their land infected, and themselves almost poisoned with their stinking deities. The evil reached the land of Goshen; for it seemed proper, that the Israelites should partake in it: that the impression might be the stronger on their minds. One great reason for this part of the punishment was to give them a thorough disgust to this worship, that they might not hereafter lapse into this popular idolatry. For it is to be observed, as they were to be conducted to the land of Canaan, and to the confines of Syria, that there
were many nations in those parts, among whom this worship was common.
And here it is proper to take notice, that, there was a female deity, called Athor in Egypt : but in Syria' Atar-Cetus, or Atargatis; and abbreviated ' Dercetus and Derceti. This personage was supposed to have been of old preserved by means of a 3 fish: and was represented one half under that form; and the other half as a * woman. She was esteemed to be the same as the Aphrodite of the Greeks, and the Venus of the Romans : whose origin
Atar-catus, or cetus, signifies the fish Atar. Catus and Cetus in many languages signified a fish. . * Pliny speaking of Joppa says-colițur illic fabulosa Ceto. 1. 5. c. 13. p. 260. This was the same as Derceto and Atargetis.
Aragyativ th A Begir. Atargatis was the goddess Athar, Strabo, 1. 16. p. 1132.
* Ο μέγας καλεμενος ιχθυς-εν λιμνη τινι κατα την Βαμβυκην, εμεFogons de ans Aspratus YUXTOS Twout autni. Eratosthenis KeTasigouot xdus. Some speak of more fishes than one. Schol. in Arat. p. 32.
4 'Huicen licev yurge to de óxorov sx ungwy es ergas Todas, sydves Sogn A TOTEIVETĄı. Lucian de Syriâ Deâ, p. 884.
At Hierapolis she was represented intirely in the form of a woman, ruoa yuoa. Ibid. p. 884.