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the burning of Rome by Brennus ; Polybius was their earliest historian: they had compilers of traditionary falsehoods-historical nursery tales : little else.
P. 102. Britain known to Aristotle (De Mirab. Ausc); was first discovered by a navigator sent out on a voyage of discovery from the Greek colony at Marseilles. (Strabo, lib. iv.) Tin mentioned by Homer. But this is no proof that the Phænicians of Homer's day knew of Britain, for there is no sufficient evidence of the existence of Homer; and there is sufficient evidence of additions, mutations and interpolations in the poems ascribed traditionally to that author ; whose bardic songs, (if he were a bard, which is possible or probable) were committed to memory and not to writing, till the edition of the Pisistratidæ ; for who wrote before ? Sadly, sadly, sadly, do we need, at this day, some common-sense canons of historical evidence.
Herodotus says in Thalia (sect. xcv. Bel. ed.)—"Neither am I better acquainted with the islands called Cassiterides, from whence we are said to have our tin.” Probably the Phænicians alone traded there at that period 440 A. C.
It is with great regret that we have not room even for an abridgement of Mr. Higgins' disquisition from 104 to 116, on the superior knowledge of the Greeks in the
the age of Homer: on their gradually increasing ignorance, and propensity to ridicule the discoveries of philosophers: on the knowledge of the ancients of the properties of the magnet: on the many indications of that knowledge, as in the Book of Job: the magnet six times mentioned in Scripture by the name 99 prinim ; its property of attraction expressed in Job, ch. xxviii. v. 18, by quo msk sAxUSON ; its color by on adme, ruddy. In ch. xxviii. “the price of wisdoin is above rubies,” ought to be attractio sapientiæ præ magnetibus. The account given in the Odyssey by Alcinous, of the skill of the Phæacians can no otherwise be explained.
"No pilot's aid Phæacian vessels need
purpose and the will of those they bear;
Was Ophir, the Gold Coast? If so, the vessels of Hiram could not go there without a compass. Higgins has cited several original and other authorities, bearing on this probability.-"From a careful consideration of the whole subject, (says Mr. Higgins)
I am of opinion that the mariner's compass was known to the ancients, and never lost entirely, either in Europe or Asia, though unskilfully used; and always continued to be known to the Chinese and Eastern nations, whence it was brought to Europe by Marco Polo; and from the Indian Seas about the same time, by Vasco de Gama. That this knowledge should have been possessed by the ancients, will not surprise any one who has seen the learned work of M. Duten, Sur les Decouvertes des Anciens attribuès aux Modernes. It is rather remarkable that he has overlooked this instance of the mariner's compass, which is certainly more striking than any he has noticed. There are so many circumstances named respecting the voyages of the ancients, which could not be undertaken without a compass, that when I consider them, and the different authors I have cited, I cannot entertain a doubt that it was known to them; and this removes many great and serious difficulties to the credibility of the historical accounts of the colonization of these western countries."
Telescopes and Gunpowder known to the Druids. (pp. 114-116.) Our author observes, (p. 109) what we entirely agree to, that in the fine arts, the Greeks were giants: in science, they were pigmies. They were elegant, eloquent, refined, polished : they were wordy, acute, disputatious, metaphysical. But in science, in real learning, in laborious and accurate investigation, they were an inferior people; and they were the most vain-glorious liars upon earth. They wilfully mistated, or foolishly confounded every thing ; they laughed at all knowledge which they did not know; they ridiculed the discoveries of the navigator Pytheas of Marseilles; they ridiculed their own ancestors, and the Pythagoreans for what they deemed their ignorant credulity relative to the climate, and other circumstances of the Hyperboreans and of Thule. They ridiculed the Pythagoreans for their doctrine that comets were planets which moved in hyperbolic curves, and approached as near to the sun as Mercury; they appear to have decreased in science as they improved in architecture and the fine arts. Every step we take, we perceive new proofs that the traveller Pythagoras had acquired and possessed a mass of knowledge vastly superior not merely to that of his own age, but to that of his successors ; and nearly approaching that of the moderns. The more we investigate it, the more extensive we find it.
The Hyperboreans were Britons. (p. 116.) The Hyperboreans were a people to the North and West of Greece, both continental and insular. The insular were, in all probability, the Britons: we say in all probability, for it is in vain to seek for
accuracy among the conceited and ignorant Greek writersthat the Delphic oracle was Hyperborean, derived from the British Isles and druidical; and that the Dodonean Grove might have been the Dadanan of Ireland, is made out with great probability as to the first point, and plausibly as to the second.Pausanias not only states that the Oracles of Delphi were founded by the Hyperborean priests or prophets, but he mentions Olen as the first priest of Apollo. He gives the fragment of a Poem, composed by some woman of the name of Beo, who mentions the three Hyperboreans, Pagasis, Agyeus and Olen. Vallancey (Coll. Hib. vol. iii. p. 163) says that in the old Irish books the three ranks of Irish Druids are Bag-ois, Agh-ois, and 01lam. The last is said to have been the name of an expounder of the law of nature. Mr. Bryant, (An. Mythol. vol. iii. pp. 491-493) says the Hyperboreans sent not merely presents but Upouunjata memorials, remembrances to Delos.
Hercules was a Celt.-Celtus was the son of Hercules and Celtina ; Latinus, the son of Hercules, and an Hyperborean wo
Bryant, ub. sup. Aristotle (Diog. Laert. de Vit. Phil. ch. 1.) says philosophy did not go from the Greeks to the Gauls, but it came from the Gauls to the Greeks. The Curetes and Cabiri, probably Hyperboreans; Pausan. and Apollodor : vid. Cumb. orig. gent. pp. 266, 267. The Curetes, Druids, vid. post. The Cimmerii and Cimmerian darkness; the latter, a notion arising from their western position, so that all their country was overshadowed and in the darkness of night, when the morning sun beamed on Eastern Asia. So the sun sets in the West. This is Mr. Davies' notion, ingenious at least, if not true.
Abaris. (p. 123.) Called Scythian by Suidas, but from the accounts of him by Hecateus in Diod. Sic. (lib. iii. ch. 11,) and by Porphyry in his Life of Pythagoras, and by Jamblichus, (lib. i. ch. 28,) he was undoubtedly an Hyperborean to the North of Gaul. Whether British or Irish, is not certain. Whether he was the same with the Irish Abhras of Vallancey, depends on the authenticity of the Irish books of that author. Most certainly, till we have some more accurate and authentic account of the ancient Irish records than Vallancey and O'Connor have given us, those records are of very disputable authority.
Abaris was (we think) a Druid; a priest of Apollo. He travelled into Greece, and visited Pythagoras. He travelled with bow, arrows and quiver ; dressed in a plaid and pantaloons, (Himerius Orat. ad Ursicium in Photii Biblioth. cod. 243, edit. Rothomag. p. 1153, as cited by Toland, who gives the Greek passage, Misc. Works, vol. i. p. 181) a man of business, acute, prudent, inquiring, quicksighted, and of a friendly disposition.
All the favourers and panegyrists of the Druids, our author among the rest, seem almost to take it for granted, that Pythagoras was instructed by Abaris. To us, it appears equally probable that Abaris derived his knowledge from Pythagoras : the latter, we know had it to impart : the knowledge of Abaris is inferred only, from his being a Druid. But whether there was any knowledge mutually imparted, or if so, of what kind or to what extent, is all conjecture without evidence. Mr. Higgins, (p. 125) thinks the Druids were Pythagoreans. That they held some doctrines in common, as concerning the Deity, is highly probable, but the extent of their coincidence of opinion rests on conjecture.
The Cross common to Greeks, Egyptians and Indians. (p. 126.) This position is made out on sufficient evidence. I. H. S. (Jesus hominumn Salvator, or Sanctissimus,) is shewn to be a Greek alteration of a Coptic enigmatical name of the Sun or Bacchus, designating the number 608. The letter Tau, in form a cross, is the mark alluded to in Ezek. ix. 4, and in Rev. vii. though not designated in our common translation. This is shewn from Jerom, to have been a cross. In the next section, (p. 130) it is clearly made out that the Druids adopted the cross Thau as a symbol in their religious ceremonies. Three Taus united at their feet, forms, to this day, the jewel of the royal arch among
freemasons. So says our author. This may be so, but as we have not the honour of belonging to that ancient fraternity we cannot verify it, even if we dared, from our own knowledge.*
* Will the reader forgive a speculation by one of the uninitiated ? In those dark times of the middle ages, when the Eastern and Saracenic, or Gothic arch, as it is ignorantly called, began to supercede the circular Saxon arch—when monarchs and great barons authenticated their documents and contracts by ensealing, because they knew not how to write—when all learning was confined to the clerical orders, so that legit ut clericus, absolved a malefactor from condign punishment-when printing did not yet exist-when manuscripts were scarce and dear-wben the communication of knowledge must of course have been oral and traditional, handed down from one man of knowledge by verbal communication to another-in those days of mental darkness, a set of men arose and were gradually formed, by profes. sion, architects ; not possessed perhaps, of as much taste as the Greeks, but of far more knowledge and skill. It is to these men we owe the Cathedral of Strasburgh, the Minster of York, the Cathedrals of Westminster and Winchester, and the other jnost beautiful and magnificent structures of the same kind, characterized by the oxi arch, the slender duplicated column, the fretted roof, the minute, ornamental carv, ing, striking by its massive profusion, “ the storied window richly dight," the groined and lofty ceiling, the half obscure, the solemn, religious magnificence of the whole structure looking tranquillity!" men, to whom in real skill and science, the Greeks were children. How was the knowledge necessary to these stupendous erections to be communicated among persons who wrote no books, and who probably could not write at all ? How were workmen, particularly the architects or master masons. to instruct or be instructed, but by oral intercourse at regular meetings, held under fixed regulations, and prevailing wherever this kind of architecture prevaileds all over Europe! The knowledge must have been banded down from the old to the
Hence, to page 136, follow some observations on the PentaLeuch and the Mosaic Chronology; of which the dissonance, according to the Samaritan, Hebrew and Septuagint version are too well known to need any thing further being said. It was hardly possible, in such frequent copyings, to avoid numerical mistakes, which, however, do not alter, in any notable degree, the general complexion of the Bible chronology, which seems to accord sufficiently with the known history of what may be well called modern civilization.
The Druids admitted the creation of matter. (p. 137.) We see no proof of this. Who is there in the present day who does not agree, that the word translated create, in the beginning of Genesis, is also employed with the same meaning as to form, to shape, to fashion? The Druids were not Christians; nor does Mr. Higgins exhibit his authority for his assertion. The eternity of matter was an undisputed tenet of Pythagoras, and the oriental philosophers, as our author acknowledges. (See also the passage referred to by Mr. Higgins in Beausobre's Hist. de Manicheisme, lib. v. ch. 4, p. 207, who agrees with Maimonides in his More Nevochim, that not one of the ancient versions or Chaldee paraphrases of the Pentateuch, attach to the word Bara, the meaning of creation in the modern sense of the word.
When letters arrived in Great-Britain. (p. 146.) The Phoenicians traded to Great Britain somewhat earlier than 1100 years before Christ? Mr. Higgins must forgive us for putting a quære to this assertion.
They brought, (or some other Eastern people brought) an alphabet of 16 or 17 letters. It is manifest, if at that time they had had 22, they would have introduced 22.
The Pentateuch was written with 22 letters. We beg leave to annex a quære? Moses compiled the Pentateuch 1500 years before Christ; hence the Cadmean alphabet of 16 or 17 letters must have been anterior to the date of the Pentateuch of 22 letters? Another quære, Mr. Higgins, if you please.
The Irish had only 16 or 17 letters, and their system of alphabet was the same with the Greek and Phænician, as to the
young by oral tradition : mutual improvement must have compelled the formation of regular societies of these master builders, for we know that no trace exists of any other kind of communication between them. Freemasons were builders by profession; free of, and members of these societies, necessary for the mutual interchange of knowledge, and for the handing of it down from one generation to the next. The origin of Freemasonry, then, may be traced to about half a century after the Crusades. When writing and printing became common, the original intent of these societies became superceded by the improvements in all kinds of knowledge; and the original society of freemasons being no longer necessary for the communi. Çation of their art, was continued as a social and charitable association.