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pus, πρωτον περι της φυσεως, και Θεων, Ελλησι γραφει», to have been the first who wrote for the benefit of his countrymen about nature and the Gods. Suidas 14 mentions, that he composed a theogony; all which knowledge, we are assured, came from Egypt. It is certain that he studied in that's country; whence we may conclude, that the fol
. lowing history is Egyptian. He says, that Zas, or Jupiter, composed a large and curious robe, upon which he described the earth, and the ocean, and the habitations
upon ποιει φαρος μεγα τε, και καλο», και εν αυτω ποικιλλει Γης, και Ωγηνον, και τα Ωγηνα δωματα. Now, Zas, or, as it should be rendered, Zan, was the Dorian title of Amon. And Ogenus, the Ocean, was the most antient name of the Nile; whence the Grecians borrowed their Oceanus. 17 Οι γαρ Αιγυπτιοι νομιQзсу ωκεανον ειναι τον παρ αυτους ποταμον Νειλον. The Egyptians, by the term Oceanus, understand their own river Nilus. The same author, in another place, calls this river Oceamęs 18.
TO DE TOT AJOV
αρχαιοτατον μεν ονομα σχειν Ωκεάμην, ός εςιν Ελληνισε
The former term, Ogenus, whence the Greeks borrowed their Oceanus, was a compound of Oc-Gehon, and was originally rendered Ogehonus. It signifies the noble Gehon, and is a name taken from one of the rivers of Paradise. The Nile was sometimes called simply Gehon, as we learn from the author of the Chronicon Paschale. 19 Εχει δε (η Αιγυπτος) ποταμον Γηων--Νειλον καλεμενον. It was probably a name given by the Cuthites, from whom, as will be hereafter shewn, the river Indus had the name of Phison. 20 Ποταμος ονοματοι Ινδος, o και Φεισων, Νειλος, ο και Γηων.. The two most celebrated rivers are the Indus, the same as the Phison, and the Nile, which is called the Gehon. The river, also, of Colchis, rendered Phasis, and Plasin, was, properly, the Phison. The Nile, being of old styled Oc-Gehon, and having many branches, or arms, gave rise to the fable of the sea monster Ægeon, whom Ovid represents as supporting himself upon the whales of the ocean.
19 P. 30.
See Salmasius upon Solinus. c. 35. concerning Ogen. Also, Windelini Admiranda Nili. p. 12. and 16.
The Scholiast upon Lycophron informs us farther, that the river had three names; and imagines that upon this account it was called Triton.
Τριτων ο Νειλος, ότι τις μετονομασθη" προτερον γαρ Ωκεανος αν
, εκαλειτο, δευτερον Αετος-το δε Νειλος νεον εςι. I shall not at present controvert his etymology. Let it suffice, that we are assured, both by this author and by others, that the Nile was called Oceanus: and what is alluded to by Pherecydes is certainly a large map or chart. The robe of which he speaks was indeed a Pharos, Ospos; but a Pharus of a different nature from that which he describes. It was a building, a temple, which was not constructed by the Deity, but dedicated to him.' It was one of those towers of which I have before treated'; in which were described upon the walls, and otherwise delineated, Ωγηνος και Ωγηνα δωματά, the course of the Gehon, or Nile; and the towns and houses upon that river.
I imagine that the shield of Achilles, in 'Homer, was copied from something of this sort which the
poet had seen in Egypt: for Homer is continually alluding to the customs, as well as to the history, of that kingdom. And, it is evident, that what he describes on the central part of the shield, is a map of the earth, and of the celestial appearances.
Εν μεν Γαιαν ετευξ, εν δ' Ουρανον, εν δε θαλασσαν.
The antients loved to wrap up every thing in mystery and fable : they have therefore described Hercules, also, with a robe of this sort :
2 Ποικιλου ειμα, φερων, τυπον Αιθερος, εικονα Κοσμε:
He was invested with a robe, which was a type of the heavens, and a representation of the whole world,
The garment of Thetis, which the poets mention as given her upon her supposed marriage with Peleus, was a Pharos. of the same kind as that described above. We may learn, from Catullus, who copied the story, that the whole alluded to an historical picture preserved in some tower ; and that it referred to matters of great antiquity, though applied by the Greeks to later times, and ascribed to people of their own nation.
* Iliad. I 18. v, 48S. and v.606. ** Nonni Dionus. l. 40. p. 1040.
* Pulvinar vero Divæ geniale locatur
Sedibus in mediis ; Indo quodi dente politum?
It contained a description of some notable achieve. ments in the first ages; and a particular account of the Apotheosis of Ariadne, who is described, whatever may be the meaning of it, as carried by Bacchus to heaven. The story is said to have been painted on a robe, or coverlet; because it was delineated upon a Pharos : that word being equivocal, and to be taken in either sense. And here I cannot but take notice of the inconsistency of the Greeks, who make Theseus a partaker in this history; and suppose him to have been acquainted with Ariadne. If we may credit Plutarch", Thescus, as soon as he was advanced towards manhood, went, by the advice of his mother Æthra, from Trezen, in quest of his father Ægeus at
** Catull. Epithalamium of Peleus and Thetis. v. 47.