THE First of the Two Books preceding, contains the Acts of the ancient Kings of Egypt, and the Fabulous History of the Egyptian Gods: Of those things reported of the River Nile; of their Fruits, divers kinds of Beasts, the Situation of the Country, and of their Laws and Courts of Justice. In the Second are comprehended the Affairs of Asia, the Acts of the Assyrians in antient Times, and amongst them the Birth and Advancement of Semiramis; how she built Babylon, and many other Cities, and invaded the Indians with a mighty Army. We have treated there likewise of the Caldeans, and their Art in Astronomy. Of Arabia, and the wonderful things there: Of the Amazons: And lastly, of the Hyperboreans, and the Island Taprobana. In this ensuing Book pursuing such things as are coherent with those that went before, we shall treat of the Ethiopians and Africans, and of the Atlantick Islands.
Of the Ethiopians: Their Letters, Laws, Arms, Religion, Funerals: The Description of several Parts of the Country. Manner of making of Gold. Of the Ichthyophages, their several sorts, and way of Living.
THE Ethiopians say that they were the First Men that ever were in the World, and that to prove this, they have clear Demonstrations: For they say, they are Natives of the Country, and not Strangers that came to settle there, and are therefore by the general Consent almost of all Men call'd Autochthones; and that in every Man's Opinion, it's most probable that those that inhabit the South, were the first Living Men that sprung out of the Earth. For being that the heat of the Sun at the first exhal'd the Moisture of the Earth, and in the first production of all things, influenc'd it with a quickening Virtue, they say it's very rational to conclude, that those Places next to the Sun, should be the first Parents of all Living Creatures.
Page 86 It's affirm'd among them, that they were the first that instituted Religious Worship, and pompous Sacrifices, with solemn Assemblies, and other things us'd in the Service, and to the honour of the Gods; and they hold that the Sacrifices of the Ethiopians are the most acceptable to the Gods of any other; and in Testimony hereof, they produce the most ancient Poet, and of greatest Authority amongst the Grecians, who in his Iliads introduces Jupiter with the rest of the Gods travelling into Ethiopia to the Anniversary Sacrifice, and solemn Festival prepar'd for them by the Ethiopians.
And they say it's very evident, that the Gods reward them for their Piety, for that they were never brought into subjection to any Foreign Prince, but always remain'd a free People, and at perfect Peace among themselves. And although many, and those most Potent Princes likewise, have invaded, yet none have succeeded in their Attempts. For Cambyses making in upon them with mighty Forces, was in danger both to have lost his Life and his whole Army. And Semiramis (who was so famous both for her Skill and Success in Arms,) having but enter'd a little way into Ethiopia, presently saw it was to no purpose to think of conquering that Nation.
Hercules likewise, and Bacchus, who ran through the whole World, forbore only the Ethiopians, being awed by the Piety of that People, and discourag'd with the difficulty of the Attempt.
The Ethiopians likewise say, that the Egyptians are a Colony drawn out from them by Osiris; and that Egypt was formerly no part of the Continent, but a Sea at the beginning of the World; but that afterwards it was by degrees made Land by the River Nile, which brought down Slime and Mud out of Ethiopia. And that that Country was made dry Land, by heaps of Earth forc'd down by the River (they say) is apparent by evident Signs about the Mouths of Nile. For always every Year, may be seen fresh Heaps of Mud cast up at the Mouths of the River by the working of the Sea, and the Land increas'd by it. Moreover they affirm, that most of the Egyptian Laws, are the same with those in Ethiopia, the Colony still observing the Customs of their Ancestors; and that they learnt from the Ethiopians the Custom of Deifying of their Kings, and their Care and Costs in their Burials, and such like things us'd amongst them: Besides the making of Statues, and the Characters of their Letters. For whereas the Egyptians have common and ordinary Characters us'd promiscuously by all the Inhabitants, and likewise those they call Sacred, known only by the Priests, privately taught them by their Parents; yet the Ethiopians use both those sorts without any difference or distinction. The several Colleges of the Priests (they say) observe one and the same Order and Discipline in both the Nations. For as many as are so consecrated for Divine Service, are wholly devoted to Purity and Religion, and in both Countries are shaven alike, and are cloath'd with the like Stoles and Attire, and carry a Scepter like unto a Plow-share, such as their Kings likewise bear; with high crown'd Caps tufted at the Top, wreath'd round with Serpents call'd Asps; by which is seem'd to be signify'd, that those who contrive any thing against the Life of the King, are as sure to dye, as if they were stung with the deadly Bite of the Asp. Many other things they report of their Antiquity, and of a Colony of them heretofore carry'd away into Egypt, of which it's unnecessary further to write.
But lest we should omit things that are antient and remarkable, it's fit something should be said of the Ethiopick Characters, and of those which the Egyptians call Hieroglyphicks.
The Ethiopick Letters represent the Shapes of divers Beasts, Parts and Members of Mens Bodies, and Artificers Tools and Instruments. For by their Writing they do not express any thing by composition of Syllables, but by the signification of Images and Representations, the meaning of them being ingraven and fixt in the Memory by use and exercise. For sometimes they draw the Shape of a Page 87 Kite, Crocodile or Serpent, sometimes the Members of a Man's Body, as the Eye, the Hand, the Face, and such like. The Kite signifies all things that are quickly dispatcht; because this Bird flies the swistest almost of any other. For Reason presently applies it by a suitable Interpretation to every thing that is suddain and quick, or of such nature, as perfectly as if they had been spoken. The Crocodile is the Emblem of Malice: The Eye the preserver of Justice, and the Guard of the Body. Amongst the Members of the Body, the Right Hand, with open Fingers signifies Plenty, the Left with the Fingers close Preservation, and custody of Men's Goods and Estates.
The same way of reasoning extends to all other Parts of the Body, and the forms of Tools and all other things; for being that they diligently pry into the hidden signification of every thing, and have their Minds and Memories daily imploy'd with continual Exercise, they exactly read and understand every thing coucht within the Hieroglyphicks.
A great part of the Ethiopian Laws differ very much from other Nations, especially those which concern the Election of their Kings: For they pick out the best of their Priests out of every Rank and Order, and whomsoever of those so chosen, their Revelling God (which they carry about according to Custom) does first lay hold on, the People they make King, and forthwith fall down upon their Knees, and worship as a God, and render him other Honours, as he to whom the Authority of the chief Magistrate is committed by Divine Providence.
Being so elected, he orders the Course of his Life according as the Law has prescrib'd; and governing in all other respects according to the Customs of the Country; he neither confers Rewards, nor inflicts Punishments upon any, but according to the ancient Laws ratify'd and approv'd by his Ancestors from the beginning.
It is a Law among them, That no Subject shall be put to Death, nor Condemn'd to Dye, though he be never so guilty: But one of the Lictors is sent to the Criminal, bearing before him the Badge or Sign of Death; upon sight of which, the Party goes Home, and kills himself. It is not lawful to change his Punishment by wilful Banishment, and flying into other Countries, as it is the Custom of the Greeks. And therefore they report, that one once preparing to fly out of Ethiopia, after the Sign of Death was sent to him by the King, that his Mother discerning his Design, fastned her Garter about his Neck, and he never in the least lifted up his Hands to hinder her, but underwent all till he was strangl'd to Death, lest he should leave behind him a Blot and Stain upon his Kindred and Family. And above all, that Custom is most strange, which relates to the Death of the Kings; for those Priests that are imploy'd in the Service of the Gods at Meroe, who are here of greatest Authority, whensoever they please, they send a Messenger to the King, commanding him to put himself to death; for that such is the pleasure of the Gods, and that it is not lawful for any to despise the Commands of the Gods; adding also other Reasons, which a plain and honest Mind, inur'd to an ancient and constant Custom (and not being furnish'd with sufficient Arguments to evince the unreasonableness of the Commands) is easily induc'd to believe.
And so in former Ages, the Kings without force or compulsion of Arms, but meerly bewitcht by a fond Superstition, observ'd the Custom; till Ergamenes a King of Ethiopia, who reign'd in the time of Ptolomy the Second (bred up in the Grecian Discipline and Philosophy) was the first that was so bold as to reject and despise such Commands. For this Prince assuming the Spirit and Courage becoming a King, marcht with a considerable Body of Men to the Place (very difficult of access) where stood the Golden Temple of the Ethiopians, and there cut the Throats of all the Priests; and having abolish'd that ancient barbarous Custom, reform'd what appertain'd to the Service of the Gods, in such manner as he thought fit. There is moreover a strange and wonderful Law amongst the great Officers of the King's Houshold, which continues, they say, to this very day. For it's a Custom amongst the Ethiopians, that if the King be maim'd or debilitated upon any occasion in any Member of his Body, all his Houshold-Servants do the same thing to themselves. For they hold it a base and unworthy thing, that if the King be lame, for his Servants to attend upon him with whole and sound Limbs, and not all to be lame as well as he. And that it's a thing most unworthy of true and firm Friendship, not to sympathize and bear Page 88 a share both in Prosperity and Adversity, in Sorrow and Sadness, and in the pains and deficiencies of the Body. They say moreover, that it's a Custom for the King's Domestick Servants, to put themselves to Death when their Kings dye, and such Death they account honourable, and as a Testimony of their sincere love to their Prince; and therefore it's no easie matter for the Ethiopians to assassinate any of the King's Friends, being that both they and the King are careful and solicitous for the mutual preservation of each other.
These are the Laws of those Ethiopians that inhabit the Capital City, and the Island Meroes, and those Tracts that lye next unto Egypt. But there are many other Ethiopian Nations, whereof some dwell on both sides the River Nile, and in the Islands in the River; others border upon Arabia, and some are seated in the heart of Africa. The greatest part of these, especially those in and about the River, are Blacks, flat Fac'd, of curl'd Hair, exceeding fierce and cruel, and in their Manners like Beasts, not so much in their natural Temper, as in their study'd and contriv'd pieces of wickedness. Their whole Bodies are filthy and nasty, and their Nails long like wild Beasts, and cruel one towards another. They have a shrill Voice, and in regard they are never taught by any how to lead a more civiliz'd Course of Life (in that way of Education as others are) they mightily differ from us in all their Manners.
Some of them carry Shields made of the raw Hide of an Ox, and short Launces: Others Darts with forkt Points; sometimes they use Bows of Wood Four Cubits long, and discharge their Arrows, by forcing the Bow with the help of their Foot; and when their Shafts are spent, they fall on with Clubs. They arm likewise their Women, till they attain to such an Age; many of whom use to hang a Brass Ring at their Lips. Some of them never wear any Cloaths, but go naked all their Lives long, and shelter themselves from the scorching heat of the Sun, only with such helps and defences as in their way they can meet withal. Some of them cut off Sheeps Tails, and bind them about their Loyns to cover their Privities: Others make use of Beasts Skins for this purpose. Some there are that are cloth'd round their Loyns with Breeches made of the Hair of their Heads; for the nature of the Ground is such, that the Sheep carry no Fleeces.
Their Meat is a certain Fruit that grows about the Pools and Marishes: Some pluck off the tender Branches of small Trees, and with them cover themselves from the heat of the Southern Sun. Some sow Sesamus and Lotus: And others live upon certain tender Roots of Canes. And many of them that are good Archers, maintain themselves with abundance of Fowl they kill. But most of them live upon Flesh, Milk and Cheese. Those that inhabit the Parts above Meroes, have Two Opinions concerning the Gods.
Some of them say they are eternal and incorruptible: Amongst which, they reckon the Sun, Moon, and the intire Universe. Others they conceive were at first Mortal Men, but for their Virtue and their Benefits procur'd to Mankind, purchas'd immortal Honour. They especially worship Isis, Pan, Hercules and Jupiter, whom they account to be the greatest Benefactors to Mankind. But some few of the Ethiopians are of opinion, that there are no Gods at all: And these fly to the Marishes from the Sun when it rises, as from an implacable Enemy.
They have Laws likewise different from all other Nations about their Funerals. Some throw their Dead into the River, as looking upon that to be the best sort of Burial. Others by pouring upon them melted Glass, keep them in their Houses; because they think it not convenient or decent that their Countenances should not be known by their Kindred, or that they should be forgotten by their Posterity. Some bury them in Earthen Coffins, about their Temples; and to swear by their Names, is counted the most Sacred Oath. Those that are most Beautiful some of of them chuse to be their King, judging that Regal Power and Beauty are always the Gifts of Fortune. Others intrust the Royal Power in the Hands of the most industrious Shepherds, as such as would make it their business to take most care for the good of their Subjects. Others bestow the Kingdom upon those that are richest, judging such only most able by their Riches, to supply the wants of their People.
There are others that are for the advancing them to the Throne, who are most approv'd for their Valour; because they judge those that are Conquerors to be most worthy of Honour.
Page 89 That part of the Country in Lybia that borders upon Nile, is the most pleasant and richest for all manner of Provision; for the Morasses afford the most advantagious shelters against the parching heat of the Sun; and therefore the Ethiopians and Africans quarrel, and are at continual Wars one with another for the possession of that Place. Herds likewise of Elephants out of the higher Lybia (as some write) come down into those Parts, because of the abundance of Pasture, and the sweetness of it. For there are wonderful Morasses, abounding in all sorts of Food all along the Banks of the River, and here they are held by the Mouth, when they taste the sweetness of those Reeds and Canes that grow here, and so eat up the Food of the Inhabitants; and therefore the People are forc'd to resort to these Places for Relief (being Shepherds and living in Tents) making that their Country where they can find the most Plenty.
The Herds of Elephants of which we before hinted, leave the upper Parts for want of Pasture, which is presently burnt up there by the heat of the Sun. For by reason of the scorching Heat, and want both of Spring and River-water, the Grass is parcht up, and none to be had.
Some write, that in the Deserts and other wild Places (as they are call'd) are bred a World of Serpents of a wonderful bigness. These (they say) with great fury and violence, set upon the Elephants at the brink of the Waters, clasping themselves in many Circles round their Thighs, and sticking fast there so long, as that at length the Beasts (tir'd out by their great and weighty bulk) fall down in a foaming Sweat to the ground; upon which, others in multitudes coming in, they presently devour them, and that with ease; the poor Creatures being so unweldy, as scarce able to move themselves. If for some Reason or other, they succeed not in their Attempt, (out of eagerness to their natural Food) they pursue not the Elephants to the Rivers Bank before mentioned. For they say these vast Serpents avoid all they can the open Fields, and abide about the Feet and hollows of the Mountains in deep Holes and Caves: And hence it is, that they leave not those Places so fit for their shelter and defence, Nature teaching every Creature to make use of that which is most helpful to it, and to avoid what is hurtful.
And thus much we have thought fit to say of the Ethiopians and their Country: And now something is to be said of the Historians: For many have written such things concerning Egypt and Ethiopia, as deserve not the least credit, in as much as the Authors were either too easie to believe Lies, or else in sport and for diversion invented them themselves.
But Agatharchides of Cnidus in his Second Book of the Affairs of Asia, Artemidorus the Ephesian, in his Eighth Book of Geography, and some others that were natural Egyptians, who have written Histories of the things herein before by us related, have in their Writings nearly pursu'd the Truth. And I my self in the time of my Travelling and Sojourning in Egypt, associated with many of the Priests, and conferr'd with many Ambassadors and others sent out of Ethiopia, whence having exactly come to the knowledge of every thing, and having likewise examin'd the several Relations of the Historians, have fram'd and moulded my History, so as to suit with those things wherein all of them did agree and consent.
But this shall suffice to be said of the Western Ethiopians.
We shall now speak a little of those inhabiting the Southern Parts, and towards the Red Sea. But it's fit first that we say something of the making of Gold in these Parts.
In the Confines of Egypt and the neighbouring Countries of Arabia and Ethiopia there's a Place full of rich Gold-mines, out of which with much Cost and Pains of many Labourers Gold is dug. The Soyl here naturally is black, but in the Body of the Earth, run many white Veins, shining with white Marble, and glistering with all sorts of other bright Metals; out of which labourious Mines, those appointed Overseers cause the Gold to be dug up by the labour of a vast Multitude of People. For the Kings of Egypt condemn to these Mines, notorious Criminals, Captives taken in War, Persons sometimes falsly accus'd, or such against whom the King is incens'd; and that not only they themselves, but sometimes all their Kindred and Relations together with them, are sent to work here, both to punish them, and by their Labour to advance the Profit and Gain of the King. There are infinite numbers upon these Accounts thrust down into these Mines, all bound Page 90 in Fetters, where they work continually, without being admitted any rest Night or Day, and so strictly guarded, that there's no possibility or way left to make an escape. For they set over them Barbarians, Souldiers of various and strange Languages, so that it's not possible to corrupt any of the Guard, by discoursing one with another, or by the gaining Insinuations of a familiar Converse.
The Earth which is hardest and full of Gold, they soften by putting Fire under it, and then work it out with their Hands: The Rocks thus softn'd, and made more pliant and yielding, several Thousands of profligat Wretches break it in pieces with Hammers and Pickaxes. There's one Artist that is the Overseer of the whole Work, who marks out the Stone, and shews the Labourers the way and manner how he would have it done. Those that are the Strongest amongst them, that are appointed to this Slavery, provided with sharp Iron Pickaxes, cleave the Marble-shining Rock by meer Force and Strength, and not by Art or Slight of Hand. They undermine not the Rock in a direct Line, but follow the bright shining Vein of the Mine.
They carry Lamps fastn'd to their Forheads to give them Light, being otherways in perfect Darkness in the various windings and turnings wrought in the Mine; and having their Bodies appearing sometimes of one Colour, and sometimes of another (according to the nature of the Mine where they work) they throw the Lumps and Pieces of the Stone cut out of the Rock upon the Floor. And thus they are imploy'd continually without intermission, at the very nod of the Overseer or Tax-master, who lashes them severely besides. And there are little Boys that attend upon the Labourers in the Mine, and with great labour and toyl gather up the Lumps and Pieces hew'd out of the Rock as they are cast upon the Ground, and carry them forth and lay them upon the Bank. Those that are about Thirty Years of Age take a Piece of the Rock of such a certain quantity, and pound it in a Stone Mortar with Iron Pestels till it be as small as a Vetch, then those little Stones so pounded are taken from them by Women and older Men, who cast them into Mills that stand together there near at hand in a long Row, and Two or Three of them being imploy'd at one Mill, they grind it so long till it be as small as fine Meal, according to the pattern given them. No care at all is taken of the Bodies of these poor Creatures, so that they have not a Rag so much as to cover their Nakedness, and no Man that sees them can chuse but must commiserate their sad and deplorable Condition. For tho they are Sick, Maim'd or Lame, no rest no intermission in the least is allow'd them: Neither the weakness of Old age, nor Womens Infirmities are any plea to excuse them; but all are driven to their work with Blows and Cudgelling, till at length overborn with the intollerable weight of their misery, they drop down dead in the midst of their insufferable Labours; so that these miserable Creatures always expect worse to come than that which they then at present indure, and therefore long for Death as far more desirable than Life.
At length the Masters of the Work take Stone thus ground to Powder, and carry it away in order to the perfecting of it. They spread the Mineral so ground upon a broad Board somewhat hollow and lying shelving, and pouring Water upon it, rub it and cleanse it, and so all the Earthy and Drossy part being separated from the rest by the Water, it runs off the Board, and the Gold by reason of its weight remains behind. Then washing it several times again, they first rub it lightly with their Hands; afterwards they draw up the Earthy and Drossy Matter with slender Spunges gently apply'd to the Pouder'd Dust, till it be clean pure Gold. At last other Workmen take it away by Weight and Measure, and these put it into Earthen Urns, and according to the quantity of the Gold in every Urn, they mix with it some Lead, Grains of Salt, a little Tin and Barley Bran. Then covering every Pot close, and carefully dawbing them over with Clay, they put them in a Furnace where they abide Five Days and Nights together; then after a convenient time that they have stood to cool, nothing of the other matter is to be found in the Pots but only pure refin'd Gold, some little thing diminish'd in the weight.
And thus is Gold prepar'd in the Borders of Egypt, and perfected and compleated with so many and so great toyls and Vexations. And therefore I cannot but conclude that Nature itself teaches us, that as Gold is got with Labour and Toyl, so its kept with difficulty; creates every where the greatest cares; and the use of it mixt both with Pleasure and Sorrow.
Now we shall treat of those Nations that lye scatter'd among the Coasts of the Red Sea, and through Troglodyta and the Southern parts of Ethiopia.
And First we shall speak of the Ichthyophages who inhabit the Sea Coasts all along as far as from Carmania and Gedrosia to the uttermost point of the Red Sea, which runs up into the Land an incredible long way, and at the entrance into it lyes bounded on one side with Arabia the Happy, and with the Country of the Troglodites on the other.
Some of the Barbarians go stark naked, and their Wives and Children are as common among them as their Flocks and Herds. They know nothing either of Pleasure or Sorrow but what is natural, like Bruit Beasts, and have no apprehension either of Good or Evil. They inhabit not far from the very brink of the Sea Shore, where there are not only deep Caves, but Craggy Cliffs, and strait and narrow Valleys divided naturally into many crooked Windings and Turnings; which being of their own nature useful to the Inhabitants, they make up the passages both in and out with heaps of great Stones, and make use of those Places instead of Nets to catch their Fish. For when the Tide comes in and overflows the Coasts (as it does twice every Day about the Third and Ninth Hour) and the Sea covers the Strand up to the Brinks of the Banks, together with the Tide it brings in a Vast number of all sorts of Fish within the Land, which at the first are kept within those parts next to the Sea, but afterwards for Food disperse themselves about those hollow Caverns; but when the Tide ebbs, and the Water by degrees leaves the hollows, and reflows through those heaps of Stones, the Fish within those Caverns are left destitute of Water. Upon which all the Barbarians (as if they were rouz'd up by one general shout) with their Wives and Children Flock to the Place. Yet they divide themselves into several Companies, and each run with an hideous shout to their several Places as if a Prey were suddenly and unexpectedly presented to them. Then the Women and Children gather the little Fish next to the shore; and throw them upon the dry Land, as fast as they can gather them; and the Men, and more able people busie themselves in catching the great and strong Fish; for the Sea not only casts up the huge Lobsters, Lampreys and Dog-Fish, but also the Sea Calves, and many such like both of strange names and shape. They Master not these Creatures with Arms made by the Artist, but strike 'em through with the sharp Goats Horns, and wound and cut them with rough Stones broken off from the Rock. For Necessity in every thing instructs Nature what to do, and readily complies with that which seems most useful and advantagious in the present exigency.
After they have got their number in heaps together, they carry away their Booty, and put all they have caught into Stone Pots turn'd towards the South: the Fish being, as it were even by Fire, Fry'd by the heat of the Sun, after a small time they turn them upon the other side, then they take 'em by the Tails and shake 'em, and the Flesh thus scalded and softned by the Sun falls off; but the Bones they heap together in one place; and keep 'em for their use as shall be hereafter related. Then they boil their Flesh in a little Stone Pot for a certain time, mixing with them the seed of a Fruit call'd Paliurus. By working of this together it becomes a Lump of one and the same colour, and this seems as if it were a Sauce to their Meat. At last this that is thus brought into a Body, they spread upon long Tiles, and lay it forth to dry in the Sun; which after it has been dry'd a little (lying down together) they merrily feed upon, and eat not according to Weight and Measure but as every one thinks fit, making their natural Appetite the measure of their Repast. For they have always enough of this store to resort unto, as if Neptune perform'd the Office of Ceres. Yet sometimes the Sea rises so high, that all the Shoars are overflow'd for many Days together, so that none dare attempt to come near; in the mean time therefore (wanting food) they first gather Shell-fish of such a vast magnitude, as that some of them weigh Four Minas. These they break in Pieces with huge great Stones, and eagerly guttle up the raw Fish in them, which are in Taste much like Oysters.
If by Storms and Winds the Sea continues long in a high Tide, and that they are hindred from taking of Fish by Tempestuous Weather, they first (as is said before) betake themselves to the Shell-fish; and when these fail, they run to the heaps of Bones; and from among them pick out those that are fresh and moist, Page 92 and divide 'em one joint from another, and some they presently grash in Pieces with their Teeth, and others that are more hard they bruise with Stones and Feed upon them like so many Beasts in their Dens. And thus they provide dry Food for themselves: And as to that which is moist and juicy, their use of it is wonderful and past belief. For they Fish continually for Four Days successively, in the mean time eating merrily together in great Flocks and Companies, congratulating one another with harsh and untuneable Songs without any Melodious Harmony: Then they fall promiscuously, as every Man's Lot chances to company with their Women, for procreation sake; minding no business, nor taking any care for any thing, having so much plenty ready at hand. But the Fifth Day, they go in Droves to get Drink, to those Tracts lying under the Feet of the Mountains, where are many Springs of Sweet Water, whither likewise the Shepherds drive their Flocks for the same purpose. Neither do they differ much from Herds of Cattel, as they go making a horrid noise, without any articulate Voice: In this Procession the Mothers carry their sucking Children continually in their Arms, and the Fathers after they are weaned; but after they are Five Years old, they run before their Parents very jocant and playful, as if they were going to some delightful and pleasant Recreation. For not being of a froward and discontented Temper, they place their chiefest good in having sufficient to supply their necessities, never seeking any further addition to their happiness in gaining more. When they come to the Shepherds watering Places, they gorge themselves with Water to that degree, that when they return, they can scarce go, they are so heavy and unweldy.
All that Day they eat nothing, but every one lies groveling upon the Ground like a Drunken Man, with their Bellies almost burst, and scarce able to breath. And the next Day they fall a feeding upon their Fish; and this course and round they run in this manner of feeding all the days of their Lives. But those People who live thus within the strait narrow Caves near to the Sea-shoar, by reason of the plainness and meanness of their Diet, though they are scarce ever Sick, yet are far shorter liv'd than our own Countreymen.
As for those other that live further beyond the Gulf, their way of Living is much more strange, who naturally never covet any Drink, nor are affected with any Passion: For their Lot falling to be in the Deserts, in Places unfit for Humane Habitation, they feed plentifully, by catching of Fish, but matter not any other Food; and in regard they eat their Fish slaby, and almost raw, they are so far from coveting Drink, that they know not what it is to drink. They are therefore contented with what Providence has provided for them; accounting themselves happy in this respect, that they are not affected with that troublesom Passion, the sense of want. And that which is most to be admir'd, is, that they so far exceed all other Men in freedom from boysterous Passions, that what we shall now relate is scarce credible. But many Egyptian Merchants, who in their Voyage through the Red Sea, have arriv'd at the Country of the Ichthophages, have avow'd it to me to be a certain truth, that they are not in the least mov'd with any thing. And Ptolemy the Third, who had a great desire to hunt the Elephants that were bred in that Country, sent Simia, one of his Friends to view the Place; who being furnish'd with sufficient Provision for his Journey, exactly and diligently observ'd the manner of those Nations lying along the Sea-shoar, as Agatharchides of Cnidus the Historian relates. Amongst other things he says, that the Ethiopians in those Parts are not affected with any disturbing Passion; that they never use to drink, nor have the least appetite or inclination thereunto, for the Reasons before mention'd. He affirms moreover, that they have no Converse or Discourse with any Stranger, nor are mov'd or concern'd at the sight of any, but fixing their Eyes upon them, are no more mov'd or affected, than as if no Person at all were near them. Nay, if they be assaulted (he says) with drawn Swords they'l not stir; and though they are hurt and wounded, yet they are not in the least provoked. Neither are the Common People at all concern'd, when any of the rest are hurt or injur'd; but many times when their Wives and Children are kill'd before their Eyes, they stand insensible as if nothing of prejudice were done to them, shewing no sign either of Anger or Compassion; and therefore they say, they speak not a word, but act a part with a mimick gesture of their Hands, as they use to do upon such an occasion. And that which is most of all to be admir'd, the Sea Calves (which are very familiar with them) like Men, help them Page 93 to catch Fish. These different and distinct People are yet exceeding Faithful one to another, in securing one another's Children from harm and prejudice, and preserving their several Habitations from force and incroachment; and though they are of different Stocks, yet they peaceably and affectionately converse one with another, without offering the least injury on either side.
And though this way of Living together be somewhat strange, yet through long custom, and constant use and practice, or because they find it necessary and conducing to their mutual advantage, it is still continu'd among them to this day.
These Nations inhabit not after the manner of the other Ichthiophages, but have divers sorts of Dwellings according as their several Circumstances fall out to be; some live in Caves lying most commonly to the North, by which they have the advantage of being refresh'd not only by the depth of the Covert, but by the cooling Breezes of the Northern Air. For those towards the South scorch like a Fiery Furnace, and by reason of the violent heat no Man can indure them. Others that cannot otherwise furnish themselves with Caves that lye Northward, gather the Ribs of Whales (which the Sea casts up in abundance) and then bending them, tye 'em together at both ends, and cover them with Sea-grass, and so rest under those, guarded from the parching heat of the Sun, as by the Cover of a shady Arch; which Art and Contrivance they are taught by their own Necessities.
A Third sort of Lodgings these Ichthiophages have are these; about those Places grow abundance of Fir-trees, which are water'd by the Sea, and bear very thick Leaves, and Fruit like unto Chesnuts: The Boughs and Leaves of these Trees, they interlace one within another, and so make for themselves a thick and close Shade, and live merry and jocund Lives, under this their new Canopy, both in Land and in Water at one and the same time, being hereby guarded from the Sun by the shade of the Trees, and the natural heat of the Place being mitigated by the continual Fluctuations of the Sea, and their Bodies refresht with the cooling Air of some Winds that blow at certain Seasons. But to proceed as to the Fourth sort of Dwellings.
In this place there has been from the beginning of Time, a vast heap of Moss, like a Mountain, cast up by the Sea, which is so firm by the constant heat of the Sun, that its become solid and cemented together with Sand. In this they dig Caves of a Man's height, that part over-head they leave for a Roof, but below they make long Passages or Galleries to go in or out, one over against another. Here they abide with ease, protected from the heat of the Sun; and about the Time the Tide comes in, out they start, and then for that time imploy themselves in Fishing; and at the ebbing of the Tide, after they have fed deliciously together upon the Fish they have caught, they fly again to their several Caves. They bury their Dead only at the time of Low-Water; and at that time they cast their Carcases upon the Shoar, and there let them lye uncover'd, to be carry'd away by the next Tide. And so after all, having spent all their Days in a strange and unusual Course and way of Living, they themselves at last in their Burials become Food for the Fishes.
But there's one Nation of the Ichthiophages whose Habitations are so strange, that inquisitive Men are very much pulled about them. For some of them dwell upon steep and dangerous hollows which time out of mind have been unaccessible to Mankind, as far as appears: For over their Heads are exceeding high Rocks, rugged and steep every way; and on both sides they are blockt up with unpassable Precipices; and before, the Sea is a Guard and Boundary to them, so that the best Footman cannot come at them. Neither have they any use or so much as knowledge of any Boats or Ships as we have. Hence (the thing being so intricate and doubtful) we may justly conclude that they are Aborigines, and were ever in this Place without any certain time of their First Generation; which some Naturalists doubt not to affirm of all other Works of Nature whatsoever. But for as much as the perfect Knowledge of things of this nature are far above our Comprehension we may easily conclude, that those know but little, who are the most inquisitive, and soaring so high as to know all; who may perhaps tickle Mens Ears with a probable Fancy, but never really attain to the Knowledge of the Truth.
Chelonophages: The Manner of taking Sea Tortoises. The Cetivores or Whale Eaters. The Sea Coasts over against Babylon; their Manner of taking of Fish. The Rizophages or Root Eaters. Those call'd Spermaphages and Hylophages, Hylogones or Hunters; their taking of wild Beasts: The Elephant Fighters; how they are taken: The Simoes, Struthophages, Acridophages or Locust Eaters; their miserable Deaths. Cynomolges: The Country of the Troglodites. Wild Beasts: The Terrible Wild Bull: Serpents; That great one brought alive to Alexandria.
SOmething likewise is to be spoken of the Chelonophages, to shew the whole Course and Manner of their way of living.
There are a vast number of Islands in the Ocean near to the Continent, very small and of a low Situation, barren both as to Tillage and the natural Fruits of the Earth. Amongst these Islands (because they are so near one to another) there are no Storms or Tempests: For the Force of the Waves are broke by the Promontories of these Islands that shoot out into the Sea, and therefore abundance of Sea Tortoises lye in and about these Places, seeking Relief under the Covert of this calm and quiet Shelter. In the Night they lye at the bottom of the Water feeding, but in the Day time appear above Water in that Part of the Sea that flows through the midst of the Islands, and lye sleeping with their Shells erect, expos'd to the Sun, and seem to resemble a little Skiff turn'd with the Keel upwards; for they are of a wonderful Bigness, no less than a small Fisher's Boat.
The Barbarians that inhabit these Islands, taking the Opportunity, quietly and silently swim to these Sea Tortoises, and assailing them on both sides; some they thrust forward to the Shoar, others they lift up till they have turn'd them upon their Backs; then they that are on each side guide and direct the Creature to land like a Ship by the Stem, lest the Tortoise should turn it self again, and so by its natural Strength in swimming escape from them into the Sea: And while they are thus imploy'd, one of the Company swims to Shoar before with a long Rope ty'd at one end to the Fish, and then draws him to Land, those that assisted at the taking of him following close after. When he's brought into the Island, they fry the Fish a little while in the Sun, and then feed upon it merrily together. The Shells being in shape like to Boats are very useful to the Inhabitants; for they use them both to fail in to the Continent to get fresh Water; and likewise for Roofs to cover their Cottages, turning the hollow Parts downwards. So that Nature's Bounty has provided for them by one Gift many useful Advantages as Food, Vessels, Shipping and Habitations.
Not far off from these upon the Sea Shoar in the Continent dwell other Barbarians far different from the others in their way of living; for they feed upon Whales cast up by Chance by the Sea. Sometimes they have Plenty of Food by Reason of the vast Proportion of these Creatures; but at other times for want of them they are almost starv'd; and are forc'd through want of Food to gnaw Pieces of old stinking Bones, and to suck the Ends of the rotten Ribs.
So many are the Nations of the Ethiopians who feed upon Fish; and this is the manner of their living, concluding this Account in a brief and summary way.
But the Sea Coasts over against the Province of Babylon border upon a fruitful Country abounding in all sorts of Fruit-trees, where there is such Plenty of Fish, that they are more than the Inhabitants can consume: For upon the Sea shoar they set such a number of Canes, and so interwoven one within another, that they are like to a Net spread all along by the Sea-side. In every of which Works, there are many little Portals wrought and interlac'd with Reeds, and are tossed this way and that way with an easy Motion. These open by the Tide, when the Sea flows Page 95 in upon the Land, and when it returns into the Channel they shut again. So that through these Portals with the Efflux of the Sea the Fish slip every day, and when it ebbs they are left behind, because they cannot pass with the Water through those Canes thus knit and wrought together: And therefore near to the Sea-side sometimes may be seen Heaps of Fish panting for want of Water, which those that have the Care and Oversight of this Business, gather and carry away. Hence they have both Plenty of Food, and raise a large Revenue beside. Some of the Inhabitants, when the Shoar is dry and the Country lies flat, draw broad Sluces from the Sea many Furlongs to their Cottages, at the ends of which they place Wears made of Twigs, which open when the Tide comes in, and shut again when the Sea goes out; And then the Water flowing through the narrow Mouths of the Portals, the Fish remain behind in the Sluces, and there they take out every time as many as they have occasion to use.
Having gone through all those People bordering upon the Sea-coasts as far as from the Province of Babylon to the Red-Sea, we shall now proceed to give an Account of the other Nations.
In Ethiopia above Egypt near to the River Asa, inhabit a People call'd Rizophages, who get up the Roots of the Canes that grow in the Marishes, and first wash them very clean: Then they bruise and pound 'em with Stones till they are soft and pliant; afterwards they lay a handful of 'em in the Sun till they are broil'd, and this is the Food they live upon all their days. But tho' they live in Plenty and are at constant Peace one with another, yet they are miserably infested and often fallen upon by the Lyons that abound in those Parts: For the Air being scorching hot, they come out of the Deserts into the Rizophages Country, both for shelter from the Heat, and to hunt the lesser Beasts for Prey; so that when the Ethiopians come out of the Marishes they are torn in Pieces by these Creatures; for being unarm'd they are unable to withstand the Strength of the Lyons: And the whole Nation would certainly be utterly destroy'd if Providence had not provided a Remedy in this Case; for about the beginning of the Dog-days, when there's not the least Wind, there comes in such a Multitude of Gnats (larger than those that are commonly seen) that the Inhabitants are forc'd to fly into the Marishes and so avoid them: And the Lyons partly tormented by their biting and stinging of 'em, and partly terrify'd with their humming and buzzing run far away out of the Country.
Next to these are those Nations call'd Hylophages and Spenmatophages. The last of these gather in great Plenty Fruits which fall from the Trees in the Summer time, and so feed on them without taking any further Pains. The rest of the Year they feed upon a certain sweet Herb which grow in the shady Valleys: Which being a solid Plant, and having a Stalk like to a Turnip, it sufficiently supplies the want of other necessary Food.
But the Hylophages, together with their Wives and Children, go into the Fields and climb the Trees, and feed upon the Buds and tender Branches; and by constant Usage and Practice are so nimble in getting up to the Top of the highest Branch that it seems almost incredible. They skip from Tree to Tree like so many Birds, and mount up upon the slenderest Branches without the least Hazard. For being very slender and light body'd People, if their Feet fail, they catch hold with their Hands; nay, if they fall down from the very Top they are so light they get no harm. They easily chew every juicy Twig of the Tree, and as easily concoct them. They always go naked, and make use of their Wives promiscuously, and therefore all their Children they look upon to be common amongst them. They sometimes quarrel one with another for Places of Habitation; Their Arms are Clubs, with which they both defend themselves and pound in Pieces their conquer'd Enemy. Many of them are often famish'd to Death when they grow blind, being depriv'd of so necessary a Member for the procuring of Sustenance.
The next adjoyning Country is inhabited by the EthiopianHylogones call'd Hunters, who are indeed but few, but live after a peculiar and strange manner, answerable to their Name; for the Land being infested with multitudes of wild Beasts, is very terrible to live in, and very little running Water is to be found; therefore for fear of the Beasts the Inhabitants sleep all Night in Trees; and in the Morning they go to the Pools of Water with their Arms, where they hide themselves among the Boughs, and spy in the mean time out of the Trees: Then Page 96 when the Sun grows hot, the wild Bulls and Leopards, and a great Number of other wild Beasts come running to the Waters (being scorch'd with Heat and Thirst) and do so gorge themselves with drinking, that they are ready to burst, upon which the Ethiopians leap out of the Trees and set upon the Beasts (that can scarcely stir or move) with Clubs burnt at the end, Stones and Darts, and kill 'em with ease: Thus dividing themselves into Companies, they finish their Pursuit, and feed together upon the Prey they have caught: Very rarely it is that any of them are kill'd, even by the fiercest or strongest of them; but by slight they overcome might. If they miss of their Prey, they wash the Skins of those they have formerly taken, and lay them upon a Fire made for the Purpose, and scorching off the Hair under the Ashes, and dividing the Skin amongst themselves, with this hard Fare they satisfy their Hunger. They teach the Boys to cast Darts exactly to hit a Mark, and if they miss, they suffer them not to eat. And by this Means (through pinching Hunger) they become excellent Archers.
Not far from these, towards the West inhabit the Ethiopians, that are call'd Elephantomachies. They dwell in large and woody Forests; where from the Tops of the highest Trees they diligently observe the Motions and Walks of the Elephants. But they set not upon the intire Troops at once (for that were to little Purpose) but with wonderful Courage single them out as they come near to them. For when the Beast approaches to the right side of the Tree, where he that watches for him lyes hid, just as the Elephant passes by, he catches, hold of his Tail with his Hands, and clasps his Feet close to his left Thigh: Then with his right Hand he lays hold of a sharp Ax (bound upon his Shoulder and managable by one Hand) and with that gives him one Wound after another whereby he cuts the Nerves and Sinews of the Elephant's right Ham, guiding and governing his Body in the mean time by his right Hand. This Feat is perform'd with that admirable Quickness and Activity, as if the Combat had been design'd to be ended no otherwise than by the Loss of one of their Lives. For what could be expected (since the Nature of the thing cannot admit of any other Conjecture) but either the Man must dye or the Beast be overcome? The Beast being thus Hamstrung, not able to turn himself round by reason of the Slowness of his Motion, sinks sometimes on that side where he is wounded and falls down, and together with himself kills the Ethiopian. Sometimes the Elephant dashes the Man against a Tree or a Stone, and with his Weight presses upon him till he has kill'd him. Some of the Elephants overmaster'd (through the Smart and Torment of their Wounds) never regard him that wounds them, but run so long up and down the Plain, till the Ethiopian behind by his continual hacking and cutting in one and the same place, cuts his Sinews in pieces, and at length altogether disables him and brings him down: Whereupon the Ethiopians run in flocking, and cutting of Collops of his Flesh while he is yet alive, feed and feast themselves merrily together.
Some of the neighbouring Ethiopians take the Elephants without any Danger of their Lives at all, overcoming Force by Slight. For this Creature when he is full, after feeding, differs from all other four-footed Beasts in disposing of himself to Sleep. For he cannot bend his Knees and lye down, but sleeps leaning his Body to the side of a Tree; so that the Tree by his frequent resort to it and pressing upon it, withers and rots; there being therefore many Signs and Footsteps of the Elephant's Walks by which the Hunters of this Prey discover where he rests himself, they having found out the Tree, saw it a little above the Ground till it be almost ready to fall, then rubbing out the Marks of their Feet they go away before the Elephant comes there, who afterwards in the Evening being full fed, makes to his usual Resting-place; and as soon as he leans with the Weight of his whole Body to the Tree, down it falls, and the Beast along with it, and there lyes all Night with his Heels upward, for he cannot possibly rise. As soon as it's day, they that saw'd the Tree come to the Place, and there kill the poor Creature without any Hazard, and build themselves Huts, where they stay till they have eaten him up.
Next to these Nations upon the West inhabit those Ethiopians call'd Simoes: To the South lye the Nation of the Struthophages; for among them is a sort of Bird of a mixt Nature, partly a Fowl and partly a Beast, and thence it has its Name. She's little less than the greatest Hart: Nature has form'd her with a long Neck, a round Body with Wings, but a tender and small Head, yet she has strong Thighs and Legs, and her Feathers are forkt; and she's so heavy and unweldy that she Page 97 cannot fly above the Earth; but she runs along with that Swiftness that she scarce touches the Ground. With a brisk gale of Wind she mounts up her Wings and makes forward as swift as a Ship with her Sayls spread under Sayl. Against the Pursuer she defends her self with flinging of Stones; which she throws with that Violence out of her Feet as out of a Sling; but when the Wind is low, her Wings flag, and so being depriv'd of that natural Help, she's easily taken. There are a great Number of those Birds; and by divers Arts and Devices the Barbarians easily take Multitudes of them, and feed upon their Flesh and make use of their Skins both for Vestments and Coverlets for Beds.
But when these Struthophages are set upon by the Ethiopians call'd Simoes, for Arms they use the Horns of the Oryxes, with which they repel the Assaults of their Enemies. For they are very great and sharp at the Ends, and these sort of Beasts do there so abound that their Horns are found scatter'd up and down, and so they become of special use to the Inhabitants.
A little distant from these are the Acridophages, bordering upon the Deserts; lesser they are than other Men, of lean and meager Bodies, and exceeding black. In these Parts in the time of the Spring the South Winds rise high and drive an infinite Number of Locusts out of the Desert, of an extraordinary Bigness, furnish'd with most dirty and nasty colour'd Wings; and these are plentiful Food and Provision for them all their days. They have a strange and peculiar way of catching of them; for in their Country there's a large and deep Vale extending far in length for many Furlongs together, all over this they lay Heaps of Wood and other combustible Matter, of which they have Plenty in every Place, and when the Swarms of Locusts are by the Force of the Winds driven thither, then some of the Inhabitants go to one Part of the Valley and some to another, and set the Grass and other combustible Matter on Fire, which was before thrown among the Piles; whereupon arises a great and suffocating Smoke, which so stifles the Locusts, as they fly over the Vale, that they go not much further before they fall down dead to the Ground. This Destruction of them is continu'd for many days together, so that they lye in great Heaps: The Country being full of Salt, they gather these Heaps together and season 'em sufficiently with this Salt, which gives them an excellent Relish, and preserves them a long time sweet without the least Putrefaction, so that they have Food ever ready at hand from these Insects during all the rest of the Year: For they neither concern themselves with Flesh or Fish (being far remote from the Sea) nor have any other Provision for their Support and Sustenance. They are a little sort of People, very swift of Foot, but exceeding short liv'd, for they that live the longest never exceed forty: And as the Manner of their Death is strange and wonderful, so it's sad and most miserable: For when they grow old, wing'd Lice breed in their Flesh, not only of divers Sorts but of horrid and ugly Shapes. This Plague begins first at the Belly and Breast, and in a little time eats and consumes the whole Body. He that is seiz'd with this Distemper, first begins to itch a little, as if he had the Scab, Pleasure and Trouble being mixt together. But afterwards when the Lice begin to break out at the Skin, abundance of putrid Matter (accompany'd with intolerable sharp Pa〈…〉) issues out with them. Hereupon the sick Person so tears himself in Pieces with his own Nails, that he sighs and groans most lamentably, and while he is thus scratching of himself, the Lice come pouring out in such Abundance one after another as out of a Vessel full of Holes, and thus they miserably close and end their Days. Whether this proceeds from the Nature of their Food or the Temper of the Air is uncertain.
Upon this Nation there borders a large Country, rich in fair Pastures, but desert and uninhabited; not that there never were any People there, but that formerly when it was inhabited, an immoderate Rain happen'd which bred a vast Company of Spiders and Scorpions: And (as they write) these Creatures did so increase that tho' at the first the whole Nation attempted to destroy these implacable Enemies of their Country, yet they were not able to master them (for whosoever was bit or string with them, immediately fell down dead) so that not knowing where to abide, or how to get Food, they were forc'd to fly to some other Place for Relief. And this is not at all incredible, for we are assur'd by very good and substantial Historians, that far more strange and wonderful Things than those have happen'd in the World. For in Italy Field-mice bred in such vast Numbers, Page 98 that they forc'd the Inhabitants out of the Country. In Media great Flocks of Sparrows ate up all the standing Corn, so as the People were forc'd to remove elsewhere. The People call'd Autariats, were forc'd by Frogs bred in the Clouds, which pour'd down upon them instead of Rain, to forsake their Country, and fly to these Parts where they are now settl'd. And who is there that is not well acquainted by Ancient Histories, how among those many Labours Hercules undertook to eternize his Name, his driving out those devouring Birds out of the Marishes of Stymphalides was one? And some Cities of Lybia were altogether depopulated by Lyons, breaking in upon them. And these Instances we have given to convince those that are apt to question whatsoever Historians relate that seem strange and unusual. But to return to the orderly Course of our History.
The Southern Border is inhabited by Men whom the Grecians call Cynomones; but by the neighbouring Barbarians they are call'd in their own Country Language Wild Ethiopians. They wear long Beards, and keep up numbers of fierce Dogs to get them Food. For from the beginning of the Summer Solstice to the middle of Winter, an innumerable number of Indian Oxen come into their Countrey; the Reason of it is unknown. For its uncertain whether they fly from cruel wild Beasts, which in Troops set upon them, or that they do it for want of Pasture, or upon some other Accident (the Effect of Nature, the Parent of all Wonders) which Man's Reason cannot comprehend. These Oxen are so numerous, that the Inhabitants are not able to master them; therefore they loose their Dogs upon them, and by hunting 'em take many, of which they eat some fresh, and others they salt up.
Many other Beasts they kill with these masty Dogs, and by this Means live upon Flesh. The Nations that lye furthest South live the Lives of Beasts under the Shapes of Men.
But it yet remains to speak of two other Nations; the Ethiopians and the Troglodites: But of the Ethiopians mention is made elsewhere, and therefore now we shall treat of the Troglodites. The Grecians call them Nomades, for they live Pastoral Lives in the Manner of Shepherds; and are divided into Tribes under a Monarchical Government, and enjoy their Wives and Children in common, except only the Wife of the King; yet if any of them happen to lye with her, he's only fin'd by the King in a certain Number of Sheep.
When the Etesian Winds blow (at which time there falls abundance of Rain) they feed upon Milk and Blood mingl'd together, and boil'd for a little time. Afterwards when the Pastures are burnt up with the scorching Heat of the Sun, they fly into the low Marishes, where they often fight one with another for convenient Pastures for their Flocks: Those Cattle that grow old or are sick, they knock on the Head, and eat them; and from these always they have their Food and Sustenance: And therefore they never call any Father and Mother, but only a Bull, an Ox, a Goat or a Sheep, of which they call the Males Fathers, and the Females Mothers, because they have their daily Food from these and not from their Parents. Their ordinary Drink is a Liquor strain'd out of the Plant call'd Paliurus: But the Drink •or the Noblemen and Persons of Quality, is made of the Juice of a Flower no better than the worst of our Wines. Because of their Cattle they often shift and remove from one Pasture to another, and are very cautious and careful not to stay long in one Place.
Their whole Bodies are naked, except about their Loyns, which they cover with Beasts Skins. All the Troglodites are circumcis'd like the Egyptians, except those who by reason of some Accident are call'd Cripples; for these only, of all those that inhabit these Streights, have from their Intancy that Member (which in others is only circumcis'd) wholly cut off with a Razor. Among the Troglodites those call'd Megabareans for Arms bear round Shields made of Ox raw Hides, and Clubs bound round with Iron at the thick ends; the rest are arm'd with Bows and Spears.
When they are dead they tye them Neck and Heels with the Twigs and Branches of the Plant Paliurus; then they carry the Body to the Top of a Hill, where with great Sport and Laughter they pelt it with Stones till it be covered over; and then they stick up a Goats Horn upon the Heap, and so leave it without the least Sense of Pity or Compassion. They fight not one with another out of any Spleen or Rage one against another, like the Grecians, but meerly for their Page 99 flourishing Pastures. In the beginning of their Fights they make their Onsets with throwing of Stones; after some Wounds given on both Sides they fall to it with their Bows and Arrows, whereupon great Numbers are slain in a short time. For by long Experience they become good Marksmen, and being all naked are expos'd to every Shot. At length their old Women by their Intreaties put an end to their Conflicts (whom they greatly reverence, for it's unlawful to do them the least Harm) and therefore as soon as they see them come towards them, they cease casting their Darts immediately, and all are quiet.
When they grow so old that they cannot follow the Flocks, they tye themselves by their Necks to an Oxes Tail, and so put an end to their days: And if any defer his Death, any one as a Friend may first admonish him, and then if he does it not, the other may cast a Rope about his Neck and strangle him. In the like manner its lawful to put to Death any that become lame, or are seiz'd with any desperate and incurable Distemper. For they count it the highest and greatest Offence for any one to love his Life when he is able to do nothing worth living. And therefore all the Troglodites are of sound Bodies and of a strong and healthful Age, none exceeding Threescore. But this shall suffice concerning the Troglodites. Yet if this Account seem strange to any, and this Manner of living incredible, let but the Climate of Scythia be compar'd with that of the Troglodites, and then this our Relation may easily gain Belief. For there's so great a Difference between our Climate and theirs of which we write, that the different Natures being weigh'd and consider'd distinctly are scarce credible. For in some Places of Scythia by the Extremity of Cold the greatest Rivers are so frozen, that vast Armies and Chariots may pass over them; and Wine and other Liquors do so congeal that they must be cut with Knives and Hatches. And most strangely and wonderfully Mens Fingers and Toes drop off with rubbing against their Cloaths, and their Eyes grow dark and dim. Neither can the Fire cast any Warmth or Heat; and by the Force of Cold even brazen Statues are burst asunder; and at these Seasons they say the Clouds are so thick and gross, that there's neither Thunder nor Lightning in those Parts. Many other Things there happen which seem incredible to the ignorant, but are intolerable to them that feel them by Experience. But in the utmost Coasts of Egypt and the Troglodites the Sun is so scorching hot at Mid-day that two standing together cannot see each other by reason of the Thickness of the Air. Neither is it safe for any to go without Shoes in these Parts, for if they do the Soles of their Feet are presently blister'd all over: And except Men have something ready to drink to quench their Thirst, they forthwith faint and dye, the violence of the heat quickly exhaling all the moisture out of a Man's Body: And moreover, if any do put Meat and Water into a Brazen Pot, and set it in the open Sun, it's presently boil'd without Fire and Fuel. But the Inhabitants of both these Countries are so far from seeking to avoid these uncomfortable Circumstances, that they chuse rather to be as it were ever dying here, than to be forc'd to live another sort of Life elsewhere. And thus every Country is belov'd by its own natural Inhabitants, and a long usage, even from the time of Childhood, overcomes the inconveniences of an intemperate Climate. These great differences of Climates are sometimes not far asunder; for from the Lake Meotis (where some of the Scythians inhabit, in the midst of extream Cold, and biting Frost,) many with a fair Wind sail to Rhodes in Ten Days time; thence in Four Days more, they reach to Alexandria; thence crossing the River Nile, they recover Ethiopia (most commonly) the Tenth Day; so that it's not above Four and Twenty Days sail from the coldest to the hottest Climates in the World. And therefore it's no wonder that there's such diversity of Food, Manners and Bodies so far differing from ours, when there's so great a Contrariety of Climates in so small a distance one from another.
Having given a distinct account of Nations, and their strange and unusual Manners and Customs; something now is to be said particularly concerning the wild Beasts bred in those Countries.
There's bred in Ethiopia, a Creature, call'd from the nature of the Beast, a Rhinoceros, for Courage and Strength equal with the Elephant, but not so tall. His Skin is exceeding hard, and of the colour of Box. He has a flat Horn growing out a little above his Nostrils as hard as Iron. He's always at war with the Elephant for his Pasture, and for that purpose whets his Horn against a great Stone; in the Conflict he gets under the Belly of the Elephant, and cuts and gashes him, as Page 100 if it were with a Sword; and by this means his Enemy bleeds to death, and thus he destroys many of them. But if the Elephant prevent him from coming under his Belly, he catches the Rhinoceros up in his Trunk, and easily overcomes him, being far stronger in Body, and wounding deeper with the Stroaks of his Tushes.
Sphinges are bred near to the Troglodites in Ethiopia, not much unlike those which the Limners draw, save that they differ only in being rough. They are of a gentle nature, very docible, apt to learn any thing presently that is taught them.
Those that are call'd Cynocephales, resemble ugly fac'd Men, and are continually snarling and grumbling. This Creature is exceeding curst, never to be tam'd, and from his Eye-brows looks with a most surly Countenance. The Females are extraordinary remarkable, for having their Privy Parts continually hanging down out of their Body.
The Beast call'd Cepus, so nam'd from the beauty of his Body, and the comliness of Proportion. He has the Face of a Lion, and in all other Parts is like to a Panther, except that for his bigness he is as large as a Deer. Of all these strange Beasts none's so fierce as the Wild Bull, which Feeds upon Flesh, and is altogether invincible: he's larger than any tame Bull, and as Swift as any Horse, and his Mouth is Wide even up to his Eyes: He's exceeding red, his Eyes grayer than a Lions, and Sparkling in the Night like Fire. His Horns have a wonderful property, for he can move 'em as well as his Ears, and when he Fights keeps them fast and immovable. His Hair contrary to all other Beasts, stands on end, He's so exceeding Fierce that he'll set upon the strongest Creature whatsoever, and Feeds upon the Flesh of such as he destroys. He destroys the Flocks and Herds of the Inhabitants, and in a terrible manner Fights with Troops of Shepherds and whole Armies of Dogs at once. It's said his Skin is impenetrable; and therefore tho many have attempted to Kill him, yet none were ever able to efect it. If he fall into a Pit, or be taken any other way by Snares or Ginns laid for him, he Choaks and Stiffles himself with his unrully Rage, and will not suffer any Man to come near him tho never so gently: And therefore the Troglodites justly account this Beast the strongest of all other; to whom Nature has given the stoutness of a Lion, the swiftness of a Horse, and the strength of a Bull; and which cannot be conquer'd with the Sword, which subdues all other things.
There's another Creature among the Ethopians call'd a Crocut, of a mixt nature, between a Dog and a Wolf, more fierce than them both, and exceeding all others for his Tearing and Biting. Let the Bones be never so great, he presently grashes them in Pieces and digests them immediatly as soon as they come into his Stomach. Some Historians (who love to tell strange things) report that this Beast will imitate the Voice and Speech of a Man, which we cannot in the least credit.
The Inhabitants bordering upon the Deserts, say that there are in these Parts divers sorts of Serpents of an incredible bigness; for those that say they have seen some a hundred Cubits long, are lookt upon to be Liers, not only by me, but by every one else. But to gain the more credit to their fabulous Relation, they add a Story far more absurd and impropable. For they say, that when these vast Creatures lye rould up in a Round in the open Plain, every Circle lying one upon another, they seem like Hills to them that are at a distance. But who can easily believe there are any such monstrous Creatures?
But we shall say something of the greatest Serpents (that ever were seen) which were brought to Alexandria in Nets, discoursing by the way of the manner of the hunting and taking them.
For Ptolemy the Second being very much given to the hunting of Elephants, for that purpose incourag'd with great Rewards many that were skilful Hunters of the strongest wild Beasts, and not sparing Costs (in gratifying the pleasure he took in this kind) he got together great multitudes of Elephants, which he train'd up for his Wars; by which means many strange Beasts which were never seen before, became known to the Grecians.
Upon these Considerations some of the Huntsmen, knowing the generosity and bounty of the King in his Rewards for things of this nature, agreed together with the hazard of their Lives to bring if it were but one of these monstrous Serpents, Page 101 alive to the King to Alexandria. It was a bold and difficult undertaking; but Fortune crown'd the Enterprize, and Prosperity effected the Attempt. They spy'd a Serpent lying in the standing Pools Thirty Cubits long, still and quiet (as it used to do at all other times, save when he spy'd any Beast come to the Water to drink, and then he suddainly leapt out, and with his wide Jaws, and the winding himself round about their Bodies, held them so fast as that they could never escape.)
Hereupon these persons considering he was so very long, and naturally dull and slow, conceiv'd some hopes of catching him in Gins and Chains, having all things ready and prepar'd for the purpose; but the nearer they came to him, the more they were terrify'd, and when they saw his Eyes kindle like sparks of Fire, his Tongue slapping about his Jaws, his terrible Hissing, the sharpness of his Scales, his rusling among the Reeds and Bushes when he began to stir himself, the greatness of his terrible Teeth, his horrible Aspect and high Round whereunto he had wound himself, they grew wan and pale with excessive fear, and with trembling Hands cast the Gin upon his Tail; upon which, as soon as it toucht him, the Monster roul'd about with a terrible hiss, and lifting up himself above the head of the First that approacht him, he snapt him up, and tore him in Pieces. The Second he catcht by the winding of his Tail at a great distance when he was making away, and (winding himself round him) held him fast round the middle of his Belly. Hereupon the rest were so affrighted, that away they fled; however, they did not so leave the Monster, for the hopes of the King's bounty overcame the fear of the imminent danger; and therefore what they could not do by Force they endeavour'd to effect by Art, making use of this following Contrivance. They made a Toil of Bulrushes, in shape like to a Bosom Net, large enough to receive and hold the Beast; observing therefore his Hole, and the time when he went out to Feed, and when he return'd, as soon as he was gone forth to hunt for his usual Prey, they stopt up the mouth of his Den with great Stones and Earth, and near to it dug another Hole, and there Plac'd the Toil made of Bulrushes just over against the Mouth of the Hole, that the Entrance might be plain and open. Then as he return'd from Feeding, the Darters, Slingers and a great Number of Horse-men with Trumpeters and other Assailants set upon him, and the Monster (as he came nearer to them) prickt up his Head far above the Heads of the Horse-men, but none of the whole Troop of Hunters durst come near him, being made cautious by the former misfortune; but many cast Darts at him all at once at a great distance; so that by the sight of the Horses, multitude of great Dogs, and the noise of Trumpets, they terrify'd the Beast, and pursu'd him cautiously by degrees, till he came to his Hold, lest by pressing too hard and close upon him, he should be too much provok'd and inrag'd.
Now approaching near to the mouth of the Den, before prepar'd for him, they all at once made a great noise with beating upon their Arms; and so with such a multitude of Men, and the noise and sound of Trumpets, they exceedingly terrify'd the Monster, who not finding his former Hold, and fearing the Hunters, flies into the mouth of that which was open and near at hand. In the mean time while he was filling the Net, by rouling of himself round in it, some forthwith rid up with full speed to the Place, who (before the Beast could wind up himself) ty'd up the mouth of the Net, which was to the Top made very long on purpose for quickness of dispatch in this business. Then with all speed they put Roulers under the massy weight of the Net, to lift it up, and so drew it forth. The Serpent being thus shut up, hiss't most dreadfully, gnawing the Bulrushes with his Teeth, and tossing himself to and fro as if he were just leaping out of the Net, which the Hunters exceedingly fearing he would do, drew him out upon the ground, and by often pricking him in the Tail, caus'd him to snap and bite there where he was most sensible of pain. At length they brought him to Alexandria, and presented the Beast to the King; a most strange Monster, and almost incredible. And to admiration this Creature was afterwards made tame: For keeping him low in want of Food, he abated in his fierceness, so as by degrees to be very gentle. Ptolemy liberally rewarded the Hunters; and kept and fed the Serpent thus tam'd; a most wonderful sight to all Strangers that travell'd into his Kingdom.
Page 102 It may not therefore be judg'd altogether incredible (or accounted for a Fable) what the Ethiopians have related, since so vast a Monster has been expos'd to open view. For they affirm that there have been seen Serpents amongst them of that extraordinary bigness, that they have not only devour'd Cows and Bulls, and other Beasts of that size, but have even fought with Elephants themselves: For they so wrap themselves round their Thighs, and hold them so fast, that they are not able to move or stir, and pricking up their heads from under the Elephants Trunk, and looking direct upon them full in the Face with the fiery Rays that dart out of their Eyes, strike them blind, so that they fall down to the Ground as if they were struck with a flash of Lightning, and when they are down they tear them in Pieces.
And now since we have given a clear and sufficient account of Ethiopia and Troglodita, and the bordering Countries as far as to the Torrid Zone, and of the Southern Coasts and Climates of the Red Sea, and the Atlantick Ocean, we shall proceed to the Description of the other parts bordering upon the Arabian Gulf, which we have learnt partly from the publick Records in Alexandria, and partly from those that have seen the Places themselves. For this part of the inhabited World, as likewise the British Isles, and the Places lying far to the North, are the least known of any other. But we shall describe those Northern parts which border upon the Frigid Zone, together with the British Isles, when we come to treat of the acts of Caius Caesar, who inlarg'd the Bounds of the Roman Empire, as far as to those parts, and by his means we come to the Knowledge of all those Countries which were altogether unknown to us before.
A Description of the Coasts and Countries on both sides the Arabian Gulf, or Red Sea. The Perfumes of Arabia the Happy. The Fortunate Islands. A Description of part of Lybia: The Spectras near the Syrtes.
THe Arabian Gulf (as it's call'd) empties it self into the Southern Ocean, and stretches out many Furlongs in length; where it falls into the Sea its both bounded with Arabia and Troglodita. It's breadth both at the Mouths, and where it's lost in the Sea, is about Fifteen Furlongs. But from the Port of Panormus, the opposite Shoar, is one Days sailing: The greatest breadth is at Mount Tyrceus, and Macaria, where the Sea is very rough and tempestuous; nor can Land be seen from one side to another; from thence it grows narrower, till it fall into the Ocean.
In the Sea are many great Islands, between which the Passage for Ships is very narrow, and the Water very rough. And this in short is the Situation of this Gulf. We shall begin at the utmost Parts of this Sea, and describe the Coasts on both sides, and what is remarkable in each, as if we were sailing along.
And first, we shall give an account of the Coast on the Right Hand, the Seat of the Troglodites: The Troglodites take up all this part as far as to the vast Deserts. All along the Shoar on this right side from the City of Arsinoe, Mariners meet with many Rivers of Salt-water, pouring down from the Rocks into the Sea.
After the passing these running Fountains, appears a Mountain in a vast and large Plain of a red Colour, which dazles the Eyes of all those that look earnestly upon it. At the Foot of this Mountain is a Lake, with an Entrance of many windings and turnings into it, known by the Na•e of Aphrodites; in this are Three Islands, Two of which abound with Figs and Olives; but the Third has neither; yet breeds great numbers of those Birds they call M•leogrides.
From hence you sail through a vast Gulf call'd Filthy, or Acathartus, and near unto it is an exceeding deep Current, making a Peninsula, carrying Ships through a narrow straight into the open Sea on the other side. In sailing along by these Places, there lies an Island, surrounded with a deep Sea, Fourscore Furlongs Page 103 in length; call'd the Serpents Island, because that in former times it abounded with divers sorts of dreadful Serpents; but in after-times, by the diligence of the Kings of Alexandria, it was so improv'd, that now there's not the least sign of any such Beast there. But it's not to be omitted for what Reason this Island was with so much charge improv'd: The chief reason was, for that in this Island was found the Topaz, a resplendent Stone, of a delightful Aspect, like to Glass, of a Golden colour, and of admirable brightness; and therefore all were forbidden to set footing upon that Place; and if any landed there, he was presently put to death by the Keepers of the Island. These Keepers were few, and liv'd a most miserable Life. And lest the Stones should be stolen and carry'd off, there was not a Ship left there; and if any by chance pass near to these Places, (out of fear of the King) they sail away as far off as they can. The Provision that is imported, is commonly soon spent, and there's nothing to be had that grows naturally in the Island; and therefore when their Store grows low, all the Inhabitants of the Village sit upon the Shoar, waiting and longing for the arrival of the Provision Ships; and if they stay longer than ordinary, the People are driven to the utmost desperation.
This Stone grows in the Rocks, darken'd by the brightness of the Sun; it's not seen in the Day, but shines bright and glorious in the darkest Night, and discovers it self at a great distance. The Keepers of the Island disperse themselves into several Places to search for this stone, and whereever it appears, they mark the Place, with a great Vessel of largeness sufficient to cover the sparkling Stone; and then in the Day time, go to the Place, and cut out the Stone, and deliver it to those that are Artists in polishing of 'em.
Then sailing on further from these Parts, appear many of those Nations call'd the Ichthuophages, dispers'd along the Sea-shoar; and many likewise of those Troglodites call'd Nomades; several Mountains likewise present themselves in this Course, as far as to the Haven call'd Safe-Port, which gain'd this Name from some Grecians that first sail'd into these Parts, and there arriv'd safe.
Thence passing on, the Gulf begins to grow narrower, and bends its Course towards Arabia: And the peculiar property of the Places is such, that both the nature of the Sea, and the Soyl seem to be chang'd; for the Land appears very flat and low, without any Hills or Rising Ground, and the Sea seems to be muddy and green all over, and is not above Two Fathom and an half deep. The Greenness there is not ascrib'd to the nature of the Water, but to the abundance of Moss and Sea-Grass that grows at the bottom, and casts their Colour through the Water.
This part is very safe and commodious for small Ships with Oars, because the Sea is there very calm, and no roughness of the Waves for many Leagues; and there they take abundance of Fish. But the Mariners that transport Elephants, run into great and desperate Hazards by reason of the strong built Ships they use for that purpose, and the depth of Water they draw. For oftentimes they are so driven by the violence of the Winds, at full Sail in the Night time, that they are either split upon the Rocks, or stranded upon some of the deep sanded Necks of Land thereabouts; and it's no going for the Mariners out of the Ship, because the Ford is above the height of any Man: Neither can they force the Ship in the least forward with their Poles: And although they throw all over-board but their Victuals; yet (even while they have Provision) they are reduc'd to the utmost Extremities; for neither Island, Promontory or Ship is to be seen in these Parts, being desert, and seldom frequented by Mariners.
And to the other Inconveniencies, this further is an Addition, the violent Waves on a suddain raise up such heaps of Sand out of the Channel, and so inclose the Ship, as if Men on purpose had fixt it to some Continent: Being plung'd into this Calamity, at first they only gently and modestly breath out their Complaints to a doleful Wilderness, which regards them not, yet not altogether desparing of deliverance.
For often by the raging working of the Sea, the Ship is mounted up on high above the heaps of Sand, and so the poor Creatures that were in this desperate Condition are unexpectedly (as by some God, assisting them out of an Engin) deliver'd. But if this help from God do not intervene, when their Provision grows low, the stronger throw the weaker overboard, that the Meat that is left may last the longer for the support of those few that remain: But at length, Page 104 when all hope of safety is gone, and Provision spent, these few die far more miserably than those that perisht before. For these in a moment of time, give up that Breath which Nature had given them, but those (by prolonging their Misery, and dividing as it were their Sorrows into several parts) dye at last with more lingering Torments. The Ships being in this miserable manner depriv'd of their Pilots and Mariners, continue a long time as so many Solitary Sepulchers; and at length being buried in heaps of Sand, their lofty Masts and Main-Yards remain only Spectacles to move Compassion in them that see them afar off. For by the King's Command, the Monuments of these Misfortunes are not to be toucht, but are to remain as Sea-marks to Mariners to avoid those dangerous Places. It has been an ancient Report among the Ichthuophages (the Inhabitants of those Tracts) continu'd down to them from their Fore-fathers, that by a mighty reflux of the Sea (which hapned in former days) where the Sea is thus green, the whole Gulf became dry Land, and appear'd green all over, and that the Water overflow'd the opposite Shoar, and that all the Ground being thus bare to the very lowest bottom of the Gulf, the Water by an extraordinary high Tide, return'd again into the ancient Channel.
The Navigation from Ptolemais to the Promontary of Taurus, has been describ'd when we spoke of Ptolemy's Pleasure in hunting of Elephants: From Taurus the Sea Coasts turn towards the East.
Here from the time of the Summer, to the Winter Solstice, the Sun casts the shadow to the South, contrary to what it does with us. This Country is water'd with Rivers flowing down from the Psebarian Mountains (as they are call'd) and is divided into many spacious Plains, which produce Mallows, Cardanum, and extraordinary Palm-Trees, and divers other Fruits of an unsavory Taste, altogether unknown to us. The South parts of this Country are full of Elephants, wild Bulls, Lions and other wild Beasts. In passing over to this Coast, there lye several Islands in the way, which are altogether barren as to any Fruit that is grateful, but in them are bred strange sorts of Birds, and wonderful to view and observe. From hence sailing forward, the Sea is exceeding deep, and abounds with mighty great Whales, which yet do no harm, unless any (by chance) run upon their erected Finns; for they cannot pursue the Ships, because when they rise up towards the top of the Water, they are struck blind by the brightness and splendour of the Sun. These are the utmost Bounds of Troglodita (known to us) inviron'd with the Psebarian Promontaries.
And now we shall pass over to the other side of the Gulf, and take a view of the Regions lying towards Arabia, beginning again at that part of the Sea which is call'd Neptunium, because Ariston erected there an Altar in honour of Neptune, when Ptolemy sent him to discover the Arabian Coast as far as to the Ocean. From thence to the Month of the Gulf is a place along the Sea-Coast of great esteem among the Inhabitants for the profit it yields them; it's call'd the Garden of Palm-Trees, because they abound there, and are so very Fruitful, that they yield sufficient both for pleasure and necessity. But the whole Country next adjoyning, is destitute of Rivers and Brooks, and lying to the South, is even burnt up with the heat of the Sun; and therefore this fruitful Tract that lies amongst dry and barren Regions (far remote from Tillage and Improvement,) and yet affords such plenty of Food and Provision, is justly by the Barbarians dedicated to the Gods. For there are in it many Fountains, and running Streams as cold as Snow, by which means the Region from one side to the other is always green and flourishing, and very sweet and pleasant to the view. In this place there's an ancient Altar of hard Stone, with an Inscription in old and illegible Characters; where a Man and a Woman (that execute here the Priests Office, during their Lives) have the charge of the Grove and Altar. They are Persons of Quality and great Men that abide here, and for fear of the Beasts, have their Beds (they rest upon) in the Trees.
The Mariner passing by this Country of Palms, arrives at an Island near to a Promontory of the Continent, which is call'd the Island of Sea-Calves, from the great multitudes of those Creatures that frequent this Place. The Sea here so abounds with them, that it's to the admiration of the Beholders.
Page 105 The Promontory that shoots out towards this Island, lies over against Petra in Arabia and Palestine. It's said that the Gerrheans and Mineans, bring out of the higher Arabia, Frankincense and other odoriferous Gums into this Island.
The Coast next adjoining, has been anciently inhabited by the Marranians, and afterwards by the Garyndaneans their Neighbours, who got possession in this manner.
At the Festival celebrated every Fifth Year in the Palm Country, a great Concourse of the Neighbours meet together from all Parts; both to Sacrifice Stallfed Camels to the Gods of the Grove; and likewise to carry some of the Spring-water that rises there, back into their own Country, which they say is Physical.
The Garyndanians taking the opportunity when the Marranians were gone to the Feast, cut the Throats of all those that remain'd at Home, and lay in wait for those that return'd, and in their way homeward, slew all them likewise; and so the Country being by this means depopulated, they divided that fruitful Region, and those rich Pastures for Flocks and Herds, by Lot amongst themselves.
But this Coast has very few Harbours in it by reason of the many vast Mountains that lye all along as they sail; from whence is presented to the view, such variety of Colours, that they afford a most wonderful and delightful Prospect to the Passengers at Sea as they sail along.
The Promontory of Alainites next salutes them that sail on forward, full of Towns and Villages inhabited by the Arabians call'd Nabateans: They possess a large Country all along the Sea-Coast, and go far likewise up into the Land: This Tract is very Populous, and exceeding rich in Cattel. Once they liv'd justly and honestly, content with the Sustenance they had from their Flocks and Herds; but after that the Kings of Alexandria allow'd liberty to Merchants to traffick in the Red Sea, they not only rob'd them that were Shipwrackt, but provided little Skiffs, and acted the Pyrats, and spoil'd all other Merchants that traffickt in those Seas, imitating the Taurians of Pontus in cruelty and inhumanity. But afterwards being beaten in a Fight at Sea by some Gallies sent out against them, they were punish'd according to their Demerits.
After the passing of these Tracts, follows a flat Champain Country, water'd in every part, which (by the advantage of the many Springs and Fountains that are in it) abounds in rich Pastures, and produces great plenty of Medica and Lotus, as high as a Man. Here in these Pastures are fed not only an infinite number of Cattel of all sorts, but of wild Camels, Harts, Red and Fallow Deer. This extraordinary Plenty, invites out of the Deserts, Lions, Wolves and Leopards, with whom the Shepherds and Herdsmen are forc'd to have Conflicts Night and Day for the preservation of their Flocks and Herds: And thus the richness of the Countrey, occasions Mischief and Prejudice. For Nature often distributes her Gifts with a mixture of good and evil.
In sailing further along by this Champain Country, the Gulf offers to the view something strange and wonderful: For it shoots up with a bending Course into the Inland Parts, Five Hundred Furlongs in length, wall'd in on both sides with high and steep Rocks, so that both the Entrance and Passage is very difficult. For the Rocks that lye under Water, so stop up the Entrance, that it's scarce possible to enter into the Gulf, or come out; and by the continual dashing of the Floods with the violence of the Winds beating upon the Shoar, it foams terribly, and rages on every side the Rock.
The People that inhabit these Parts, are call'd Bizomenians, and live upon wild Beasts taken in hunting. Here's a Sacred Temple in high veneration among all the Arabians.
To the Shoar of these Tracts, are adjoining Three Islands, which have many Ports: The first which is Desert, they say is consecrated to Isis. There remain the Foundations of the ancient Buildings and Pillars, whereon are Inscriptions in barbarous Characters; the rest are as much defac'd and ruin'd, yet they are shaded with Olive Trees planted here and there, much different from ours.
Beyond these Islands, there are steep Rocks hard to pass all along the Shoar, for the space of a Thousand Furlongs. For there's neither Port nor Ancorage for Ships, nor any Wood which can afford any necessary Relief to Mariners, be they in never so great wants and extremities. To this Shoar adjoins a Mountain Page 106 roof'd over with craggy Rocks of a stupendious height; and at the foot, are many sharp Shelves which lye under water; and behind them, many winding Hollows, worn wide by the raging Waves dashing one upon another; and the Sea being very deep, when a Storm beats upon them, and the Water rebounds, they make a noise like a mighty Thunder; and part of the Waves dashing against those huge Rocks, mount up in a Curl, and foam to admiration; and part being swallow'd up within these Caverns, cause such a terrible Whirlpool, that they that are driven (against their wills) near to these Places, are ready to dye for Fear. The Arabians call'd Thamudenians inhabit this Coast.
Next adjoining to this Perilous Sea, is a mighty great Gulf, which washes many Islands disper'd in it here and there to the view, not much unlike to the Echinades.
All along this Coast which is very long and broad, lye high Heaps of black Sand.
Thence sailing forward, is presented to the view, a Peninsula, where there is the most famous Port of any mention'd by Historians call'd Carmutha. For it lies under a large Key, where the Gulf as it inclines to the West, is not only wonderfully pleasant to the view, but far more commodious than any other.
A Woody Mountain hangs over it a Hundred Furlongs in compass. The Mouth of the Haven is Two Hundred Foot broad, affording a very calm and safe Harbour, where Two Thousand Sail may ride: The Water moreover is exceeding good and sweet, a large River emptying itself into it. In the middle of it lies an Island full of good Water, and fit for gardening. To conclude, it's in every respect like to the Port at Carthage, call'd Cothon, the Commodiousness of which we shall speak of in its proper place. By reason of the quietness and sweetness of the Water, abundance of Fish come into it out of the Ocean.
Sailing forward, appear Five exceeding high Mountains, spiring up like the Pyramids of Egypt, so close as if they all united into one at the Point: Thence the Gulf appears in a round Form, surrounded with large and high Promontories: In the very middle of which rises a Hill, in form of a Table, upon which stand three Temples of a wonderful Height, dedicated to Gods unknown indeed to the Greeks, but in great honour and veneration with the Inhabitants. Hence the Coast shoots out forward a long way, abounding with Fountains and fresh Water. On this Coast is the Mountain Chabnus, cover'd over with divers shady Woods. The Country lying at the Foot of the Mountain, is inhabited by Arabians, call'd Debae, who imploy themselves in feeding Herds of Camels, which they make use of in their most weighty Concerns: For they ride upon these when they charge their Enemy; carry upon them their Victuals, and use them upon every speedy dispatch; they drink their Milk, and feed upon their Flesh; and with their Dromedary Camels, they presently run over all the Country. There runs a River through the Country, which carries along with it such abundance of Golden Sand, that at the Mouth of it where it falls into the Sea, the Soil seems to shine and glister like Gold; but the making and refining of Gold is altogether unknown to the Inhabitants. They entertain not all sorts of Strangers, but only the Beotians and the Peloponesians, by reason of the ancient familiarity of Hercules with this Nation, as they have fabulously receiv'd it from their Ancestors.
The Region next adjoining to this, is inhabited by the Alilaeans and Gasandians, another People of Arabia, which is not so burning hot as those near unto it, but often cover'd with thick Clouds, whence fall Snow, and seasonable Showers, which moderate the Heat of the Air. The Land there is rich, and capable of bringing forth any kind of Grain or Fruit whatsoever, but through the unskilfulness of the Inhabitants who addict themselves chiefly to Fishing, the Ground is not till'd and improv'd as it ought. Abundance of Gold is got there out of several Hollows in the Earth, not refin'd by melting of little Pieces, but growing there pure naturally, which from the nature of it is call'd Apyros. The least Piece of it is as big as an ordinary Nut-Kernel, the greatest not much bigger than a large Nut. The Inhabitants wear them about their Arms and Necks, interlac'd with several bright sparkling Stones. But as they abound in Gold, so they are as much wanting in Iron and Brass, and therefore they exchange Gold with the Merchants, for the like weight in Iron and Brass.
Page 107 Next to these inhabit those Arabians call'd Carbi, and next to them the Sabeans, the most populous of any of the Arabians, for they possess Arabia the Happy, exceeding rich in all those things which we esteem most precious, and for breeding of Cattel of all sorts, the most fertil Country in the World; for the whole Country is naturally perfum'd all over, every thing almost growing there, sending forth continually most excellent Odours. On the Sea-Coasts grow Balsom and Cassia, and another Herb of a strange and peculiar property, which while it's fresh, is delightsom and strengthening to the Eyes, but kept a while, presently loses its virtue. Higher in the heart of the Country, are shady Woods and Forests, grac'd and beautify'd with stately Trees of Frankincence and Myrrh, Palm-Trees, Calamus and Cinamon, and such like Odoriferous Plants. For none can enumerate the several natures and properties of so great a multitude, or the excellency of those sweet Odours that breath out of every one of them. For their Fragrancy is such, that it even ravishes the Senses with delight, as a thing divine and unutterable; it entertains them that sail along by the Coast at a great distance with its Pleasures and Delights. For in Spring-time the Winds from off the Land waft the Air perfum'd with the sweet Odours of Mirrh, and other Odoriferous Plants, to those Parts of the Sea that are next to them. And these Spices have nothing of a faint and languishing Smell, as those that come to our Hands; but a strong and vigorous Odour that strongly pierces all their Senses to the utmost of their Capacity: For the Wafts of Air dispersing the Perfumes of these Odoriferous Plants, abundance of pleasant, healthful and strange variety of Scents (proceeding from the richest Spices) are convey'd to them that Sail near unto the Coast. For this sweet smell, comes not from Fruit bruis'd in a Mortar (whose strength is in a great measure decay'd) or from Spices made up in divers sorts of Vessels for Transportation; but from the ripeness of the Fruit as it grows, and from the pure and divine Nature of the Plant it self. So that they that have the advantage of these sweet Odours, seem as if they were entertain'd with that feign'd Meat of the Gods call'd Ambrosia; since those excellent Perfumes cannot have a Name ascrib'd them transcending their worth and dignity.
Yet Fortune has not imparted to Men an intire and unmixt Felicily in these things, but has join'd some inconveniences with these Advantages, to correct them who (through a constant Confluence of Earthly Blessings) have usually despis'd and slighted the Gods. For these fragrant Forests abound with Red Serpents of a Span long, whose Bite is deadly and incurable. They strike a Man with a violent Assault, leaping up in his very Face, leaving him besmear'd with his own Blood.
There's something very remarkable amongst these People, as to them that have been long sick: For being that things of a more than ordinary piercing operation pass quick through the Pores of the Body, and so discuss the stubborn Matter, there follows a dissipation of Humours, and the Party becomes curable: Therefore they burn Brimstone mixt with Goats Hair under the Noses of the Sick, that by a contrary smell they may discuss and drive out those sweet and fragrant Odours that have overpower'd the Spirits of the Sick; for that which is good in it self, is profitable and delightful, us'd moderately and seasonably; but an immoderate injoyment, and beyond a due proportion of time loses the benefit and advantage of the Blessing bestow'd.
The Capital City of this Nation is call'd Sabas, and stands upon an high Hill: They are govern'd by Kings who inherit the Crown by Descent; yet the Honour allow'd them by their Subjects is such, as that they are in some respects, notwithstanding in a sort of Bondage and Slavery: For though they seem to be priviledg'd in this, that they have a Sovereign and absolute power in making of Laws, and are not to give an account of any of their Actions to their Subjects; yet they are as unhappy in this, that they are never to stir out of their Palace, for if they do, the People stone them to Death, for so they are commanded by an ancient Oracle.
This Nation net only excels all the Neighbouring Barbarians in Wealth, but all other People whatsoever, for plenty of every thing that is accounted precious. For in their Traffick for a thing of a very small weight, they receive a greater Sum of 〈◊◊〉 any other Merchants that sell Goods for Silver.
Page 108 Being therefore that they never were conquer'd by reason of the largeness of their Country, they flow as it were in Streams of Gold and Silver, especially at Sabas, the Seat Royal of their Kings: Their Vessels, and all their Cups are of Gold and Silver, and likewise their Beds, Chairs and Stools have their Feet of Silver; and all other their Houshold-stuff is so sumptuous and magnificent, that it's incredible. The Portico's of their Houses and Temples, are some of them overlaid with Gold, and Silver Statues are plac'd upon some of the Chapiters of the Temples. The Doors and Roofs of their inner Rooms, are adorn'd with many Golden Bowls, set with pretious Stones. The like wonderful cost they are at throughout their whole Building, adorning them in some Parts with Silver and Gold, in others with Ivory and precious Stones, and other things of great value. For they have injoy'd a constant and uninterrupted Peace for many Ages and Generations, being very far remote from those whose Covetousness prompts them to advance their Gain by the Riches of others.
The Sea there, is of a very white colour, so that a Man may as justly wonder at the strangeness of the thing, as be inquisitive what should be the cause.
Near hereunto are the Fortunate Islands, full of wall'd Towns; where all the Sheep and Cattel are exceeding white, and none of the Females bear any Horns. The Merchants from all parts resort to these Islands, especially from Potana, built by Alexander the Great, upon the Banks of the River Indus, that there might be a commodious Port Town for shipping upon those Coasts: But of this Country and its Inhabitants we have said enough.
And now we are not to omit what Wonders are seen there in the Heavens: What is said of the North Pole, is greatly to be admir'd, and puts all Mariners at a stand. For during the Month which the Athenians call Memacterion, none of the Seven Stars are seen about the Bear, till the first Watch of the Night; and in Posidion not till the Second: In the following Months, few of these (i'ts said) are seen by them at Sea, nor any of the Planets at all. As for the rest, some of them seem to be greater at the time of their rising, than they do with us; others not to rise and set in the same manner. Nor that the Sun (as with us) enlightens the Air upon the approach of it's rising, but even while its dark night, strangely and on a suddain appears, darting forth his refulgent Rays: And therefore there both Day and Sun appears together. They say it rises out of the middle of the Sea like a burning Coal, and shoots forth great Sparks of Fire, and appears not in a round form (as it seems to do with us) but like to a Pillar something thicker than ordinary towards the Head; and that it shines not bright, nor casts forth any Rays till one a Clock, but glows like Fire in the Night without Light; at Two a Clock it resembles the form of a Shield, and sends forth on a suddain, a fiery scorching Light, even to admiration. But near the time of it's setting, it's effects are contrary; for during the space of Two (or as Agatharchides of Cnidus says) Three Hours before (which is the most pleasant part of the Day to the Inhabitants) he both inlightens the World by his Rays, and abates in his Heat as he sets by degrees.
The West, South, North-west and East Winds, blow here, as in other Parts of the World; but the South Winds never blow, nor are ever known in Ethiopia. But in Troglodita and Arabia, the South Winds are so exceeding hot, that they sometimes set whole Woods on Fire; and though the Inhabitants run into their Cottages for shelter, yet they faint and pine away with Heat; therefore North Winds are justly judg'd the best, which run through the whole Earth, and are always cool and refreshing.
Having now given an account of these Countries, it will well agree with the Course of our History, to describe Lybia, bordering upon Egypt; for in Cyren, the Syrtes, and in the Mid-lands, inhabit Four sorts of Africans: Those call'd Nasomones possess the Parts towards the South; the Auchises the West: The Marmarides inhabit that large Tract lying between Cyrene and Egypt, as far as to the Sea-Coast: The Macae the most populous of all the rest, have their Habitations near the Syrtes.
Some of these before-mention'd People are Husband-men, as having Fertil Lands, fit for all sorts of Tillage: Others are Shepherds and Herdsmen, who imploy themselves in feeding of Cattel, and maintain themselves and Families by that means. Both sorts are under a Kingly Government, not living altogether like Page 109 wild Beasts or unciviliz'd. A Third sort there is, that are neither subject to any King, nor have any Knowledge of good or bad, or regard to right or wrong, but live continually upon Spoil and Robbery: They make suddain Eruptions out of the Deserts: These rob and steal whatever is in their way, and then presently make away back to their former lurking Holes.
All these rude Lybians lye in the Fields in the open Air, and live like wild Beasts, contriving how they may be most cruel: They affect neither Dainty Food, nor Civil Rayment, but are cloath'd in Goats Skins.
Their Princes have neither City or Town, but live in Castles near Rivers sides, where they lay up all their Stores. They command all their Subjects once a Year to take an Oath of Allegiance: Those that are obedient and observant of them, they protect as Friends and Associates: Those that refuse to submit, they condemn to dye, and prosecute them with Fire and Sword, as Thieves and Robbers. Their Arms are suitable to the nature of their Country and their own Disposition; for being nimble, and inhabiting a Country for the most part Champain, they go to the Field in times of War, each with their Darts, and a Bag fill'd with Stones. But they use neither Sword nor Helmet, nor any other Arms, but make it chiefly their Business to be quick and nimble in pursuing and retreating; and therefore are very active in running, and slinging of Stones; Care and continual Exercise improving natural Habits. They are neither just nor faithful to Strangers in any of their Compacts.
The Country about Cyrene is a fat Soyl, and very Fertile: It not only abounds in Corn, but in Wine and Oyl, Fruit-Trees and Pastures, and is water'd with many Rivers.
But those Parts that lye far South, are barren and dry, without Water, and look like the Sea, where there's no variety of Objects, but all on every side Waste and Desert; over which there's no possibility of passing, and therefore there's neither Bird, nor Four-footed Beast to be seen, except it be Deer or Oxen: Neither is there so much as any Plant, or any thing else for the Eye to fix upon; for the Parts further up into the Land (for a long way together) are all full of Heaps of Sand. And as it's destitute of all things for the support of Man's Life, so it abounds as much in Serpents of all shapes and sizes, especially those which they call Cerestes; whose Bites are Mortal, and they themselves of the same colour with the Sand; and therefore not being discern'd or distinguish'd from the Soyl, many (treading upon them unawares) run the hazard of losing their Lives.
It's reported that this sort of Serpents once enter'd Egypt, and depopulated a great part of the Country.
There's likewise a strange and wonderful thing often happens in this Country, both in the Deserts, and that part lying near to the Syrtes. For some time, and most commonly in calm Weather, there appear in the Air the shapes of divers living Creatures, some standing still, others moving; some flying, others pursuing; and are of that monstrous bigness, that they greatly terrify such as are ignorant of the nature of them. Some of them pursue Men, and when they take hold of them, a Chilness with a Trembling seizes upon all parts of their Bodies; and therefore Strangers unaccustom'd to such things, are ready to fall down dead with fear; but the Natural Inhabitants (being us'd to them) regard them not.
Some Natural Philosophers endeavour to give a Reason of these strange Apparitions, which look indeed like meer invented Fables: They say that there are never any Winds in this Country, and if there be any, they are very small and inconsiderable, and that the Air is often so wonderfully serene, that it's altogether without the least motion, in regard that near those Parts, there are neither Woods, deep Valleys, nor swelling Hills; neither are there any great Rivers that run through the Country, nor any sort of Grain or other Fruits that grow there; and therefore there's nothing from whence any Vapours can arise, which are the Productive matter of Winds. The Air therefore being thick in this dry and sandy Region, the same things happen here in Lybia, as do upon Rainy Days elsewhere, where in the Clouds, various Shapes and Forms may be observ'd: Because the Air being concreted, transforms it self into many Shapes, which being wasted up and down with gentle Gales, and with often brushing one upon another, are consolidated, and carry'd about hither and thither.
Page 110 At length when the Air is serene and calm, these Phaenomena by their weight fall to the Earth in that shape, that each have accidentally before receiv'd; and being that there is nothing at hand to dissolve it, what sort of Living Creature soever it meets with, it cleaves to it.
And as for that motion to and fro which they seem to have (they say) it is not directed by any voluntary faculty; for that it is impossible any inanimate things should have a Will either to fly or pursue; but the Living Creatures to which they adhere, are the secret Causes of their several Motions.
For in their going forward, they drive the Air before them, and therefore the Spectrum, which is made up of Air, seems gradually to go forward, and resemble one that flies; and by the Rule of Contraries, when the Body to which it approaches goes back, the Resemblances appear as if they pursu'd; for as much as being but empty and airy Images, they are attracted by the more solid Bodies; for by the force of the attraction the other way, they move again towards the fore-parts of the Body attracting; and whether the flying animated Bodies turn or stand still, the Spectrum is still with it; and then 'tis no strange thing, or unreasonable for the Image to dissolve, when it joins to a solid animate Body, and so by diffusing it self to affect it with a chilling Cold.
Of the Amazons of Africa. Their Acts: Rooted out by Hercules; and the Gorgonians by Perseus. The Atlantides, and the Gods among them. The Original of the Titanes. The Acts of Basilea, or Cybele, said to be born in Phrygia. The Original of Atlas and Saturn. A long Account given of Bacchus; and the several Bacchus's there were. A Description of the Grota in Nysa, where he was brought up. The Building of the Temple of Hammon by him. The several Hercules's. The Monsters, Aegides and Campes kill'd by Minerva and Bacchus.
HAving now run over those things before mention'd, it will be pertinent in this place to relate what is reported concerning the ancient Amazons of Africa: For many have been persuaded into this Error, as to believe that there never were any but those that inhabited upon the Banks of Thermodon in Pontus; but in truth it is quite otherwise; for those in Africa were far more ancient and famous than any of the rest.
Though we are not ignorant that the Account to be given of these will seem very strange, and a meer Novelty to the Readers, being that the Race of those Amazons were extinct long before the Trojan War; but these Virago's about the River Thermodon, flourish'd not long before these our Days: For what wonder is it that the latter (the knowledge of whom is so fresh) should seem more renown'd than the more ancient who are altogether unknown (through length of Time) to the greatest part of Mankind?
For as much therefore as many things are reported of them both by the ancient Poets and Historians, and also by many later Authors, we shall likewise endeavour to give a distinct and orderly Account of their Actions; following the Example of Dionysius, who writ the History of the Argonauts and Bacchus, and many other Actions perform'd in ancient Times.
In Africa there was not only one Race of Women who were famous for Valour and Warlike Exploits: For we are inform'd that the Gorgones (against whom Perseus made War) for Courage and Valour were eminent: How famous and potent they were, may be gather'd hence, in as much as that Son of Jupiter (the most eminent Hero among the Grecians in his time) made choice of this Expedition as the greatest and most noble Enterprize. And as for the Amazons, of whom we are now about to write, their Valour was most eminently remarkable, if we compare them with the greatest Spirited Women of our own Times.
Page 111 In the Western Parts of Africa, upon the Borders of those Tracts that are inhabitable, there were anciently a Nation under the Government of Women, whose Manners and Course of Living were altogether different from ours. It was the Custom for those Women to manage all matters of War, and for a certain time keeping themselves Virgins, they went out as Soldiers into the Field, and after so many Years run up in their warfare, they accompany'd with Men, for the preservation of Posterity; but the Magistracy and all publick Offices, they kept wholly in their own Hands; and the Men (as the Women do with us) lookt to the Houshold Affairs, submitting to whatever was thought sit to be done by the Wives; and were not upon any terms admitted to intermeddle in Martial Affairs, or to Command, or be in any publick Authority, which might any ways incourage them to cast off the Yoak of their Wives.
As soon as any Child was born, they deliver'd it to the Father to nurse it up with Milk and other Meat agreeable to its Age. If it were a Girl, they sear'd off its Paps, lest they should be burthensom when they grew up; for they lookt upon them to be great hindrances in Fighting; and from the searing of their Paps, the Grecians call'd them Amazons.
It's reported, they inhabited an Island call'd Hisperia, because it lies to the West near to the Morass call'd Tritonides: This Fen they say, is near to the Ocean which surrounds it, and is call'd Tritonides, from a River that runs into it, call'd Triton. This Morass borders upon Ethiopia, under the greatest Mountain in those Parts, call'd by the Grecians Atlas, extending it self to the Ocean.
This Island, they say, is very large, abounding with all sorts of Fruit-Trees, which supply the Inhabitants with Food: That they have many Herds of Cattel, and Flocks of Sheep and Goats, which feed their Possessors both with their Milk and Flesh: But that they had no sort of Corn, for that in those Times they knew not what it was.
These Amazons therefore, for Valour eminent above all others, and heated with an ambitious desire of War, first subdu'd all the Cities of this Island (except one call'd Mena, accounted Sacred) inhabited now by the Ethiopians, call'd Ichthophages: It's often scorch'd with many Eruptions of Fire, which break out of the Earth, and its Bowels are inricht with precious Stones, which the Grecians call Anthraces,Sardes and Smaragdos.
Afterwards having subdu'd many of the Neighbouring Africans and Numidians, they built a great City in the Morass of Triton, which for the shape of it was call'd Chersonesus.
Then being further instigated by their innate Valour and Courage, they attempted greater Matters, and invaded many other Countries. And first they set upon them upon Mount Atlas, a soft sort of People, who injoy'd a rich Country full of great Cities; among whom (in those Parts bordering upon the Ocean) the Gods first had their Original, as the Grecians fabulously report, of whom a particular Account shall be given hereafter.
To this end, when Merina was Queen of the Amazons, she rais'd an Army of Thirty Thousand Foot, and Two Thousand Horse, for they were very exact and diligent in Training up Horses for the War. The Armour they wore for Coats of Mail, were the Skins of vast Serpents, with which sort of Creatures Africa abounds. But for offensive Arms, they carry'd Swords, Darts and Bows, in which they were so expert, that with these they not only broke their Enemies Battalions; but when they pursu'd them upon their Flight, they were sure to hit their Mark.
Entring therefore the Country of the Atlantides, in a Battel they routed them that inhabited Cercenes, and pursu'd them so close, that they enter'd pell-mel with them that got within the Walls, and took the City: And to strike a greater Terrour into their Neighbours, they executed horrid Cruelties upon the Conquer'd; for they put all the Men to the Sword, and having raz'd the City to the Ground, carry'd away Captive all the Women and Children. The noise of this Destruction being spread all over the Country, the rest of the Atlantides (being struck with a Pannick Fear) submitted, and deliver'd up all their Cities: Whereupon Merina receiv'd them all into her Favour, and made a League with them, and in the room of that which was destroy'd, built another City, calling it after her own Name, and peopled it with the Captives, and with such as were willing to come there to inhabit.
Page 112 In the mean time being presented by the Atlantides with many rich Gifts, and decreeing to her (with a general Consent) many high Honours, she not only graciously accepted those Marks of their Kindness, but promis'd she would for the future endeavour to merit the good Opinion of the whole Nation.
Being therefore often infested by their envious Neighbours the Gorgans, Merina to gratifie the Atlantides (who address'd themselves to her for that purpose) with an Army invaded the Country of the Gorgons, where joining Battel with them, the Ingagement was smart, in which the Amazons got the day, and kill'd great numbers of their Enemies, and took Three Thousand Prisoners: The rest flying into Woods, Merina (designing utterly to root up the Nation) endeavour'd to set the Woods on Fire; but not being able to effect it, she return'd with her Army into the Confines of her own Country, where by reason of her late Victory, being secure and careless in setting her Watch, the Prisoners kill'd many of her Amazons with their own Swords as they were asleep; but at length being surrounded by the whole Army (fighting it out to the last) they were every Man kill'd upon the spot. Then Merina erected Three Funeral Piles, and burnt up all those of her Army that were slain, and rais'd up as many Mounts of Earth over them, which are at this day call'd the Amazon's Sepulchers.
The Gorgonians notwithstanding, were afterwards of great Power, till the Reign of Medusa, at which time they were conquer'd by Perseus. At length both they and the Amazons were utterly extinct by Hercules at the time when he travell'd into the Western Parts, and erected the Pillar in Africa. For it was a thing intollerable to him, who made it his business to be renown'd all the World over, to suffer any Nation to be govern'd any longer by Women.
It's reported likewise, that by an Earthquake, the Tract towards the Ocean, open'd its Mouth, and swallow'd up the whole Morass of Triton.
Merina likewise overran a great part of Africa, and passing into Egypt, made a League with Orus the Son of Isis, who then reign'd there. She made War also upon the Arabians, and destroy'd many of them: Afterwards having subdu'd Syria, the Cilicians met her with Presents, and submitted themselves; whom (upon the account they of their own accord, gave up all into her Hands) she by an Edict ordain'd to be a free People; and for that reason they are call'd the free Cilicians to this Day. Afterwards having conquer'd the Nations about Mount Taurus (who were both Men of strong Bodies, and stout Hearts) she descended through the greater Phrygia to the Sea; thence passing through the Maritime Tracts, she put an end to her Expedition at the River Caicus: Out of her new Conquests, she pickt out the most convenient Places for the building of Cities, and built many there, among others one after her own Name; the rest she call'd after the Names of the chief Commanders of her Army, as Cymes, Pitanes, and Prineia, situated upon the Sea-Coasts; others she built up higher into the Continent.
She possess'd her self likewise of several Islands, particularly Lesbos, where she built Mitylene, calling it after the Name of her Sister, who went along with her in the Expedition. Whilst she was busie in taking other Islands, she was endanger'd by a Storm at Sea, where offering up her Prayers to the Mother of the Gods for deliverance, she was driven upon a certain Desert Island, which she consecrated to the before-mention'd Goddess, being admonish'd so to do by a Dream; and there she erected Altars, and offered magnificent Sacrifices. This Island is call'd Samothracia, which according to the Greek Dialect signifies the Sacred Island. But there are some Historians that say, it was formerly call'd Samos; and from some Thracians that came to inhabit there, Samothracia. After that the Amazons were return'd into the Continent, they fabulously report, that the Mother of the Gods (being delighted with this Island) plac'd there her Sons, call'd the Corybantes. In the Records of their Sacred Mysteries, it's declar'd who was their Father; and she her self, (they say) taught them the Rites and Mysteries that are now in use in that Island, and instituted and appointed a Sacred Grove, and an inviolable Sanctuary.
About these times (they say) one Mompsus, a Thracian, banish'd by Lycurgus King of Thrace, with an Army invaded the Country of the Amazons: His Associate was one Sipylus, who was likewise Banish'd out of Scythia, bordering upon Page 113Thrace. They with Sipylus and Mompsus overcame the other in a Battel, in which Merina the Amazon Queen, and many more of the Amazons were slain. In process of Time (after the Thracians had overcome them in several Engagements,) they say that those that remain'd of the Nations of the Amazons, retir'd into Lybia. And such was the end of the Amazonian Expedition out of Africa.
And now since we have made mention of the Atlantides, we judge it not impertinent to relate what the Atlantides fabulously report concerning the Genealogy of the Gods, not much differing from the Fables of the Greeks.
The Atlantides inhabited a Rich Country, bordering upon the Ocean, and were esteem'd to excel all their Neighbours in civil Reception and Entertainment of Strangers; and they boast that the Gods were born amongst them, and say that the most famous Poet amongst the Grecians does confirm this their Assertion, where he brings in Juno speaking thus—
They say that Ʋranus was their first King, who caus'd the People (who then wandred up and down) to dwell in Towns and Cities, and reducing them from a lawless and savage Course of Life, taught them to use and lay up the Fruits of the Earth, and many other things useful for Man's Life. It's said he had under his Dominion, the greatest part of the World, especially towards the West and the Northern Parts: And that being much addicted to Astrology, he prognosticated many things that were come to pass in the World; and measur'd the Year according to the Course of the Sun, and the Months according to the Motion of the Moon; and divided the Days into Hours, and therefore the People, as at that time ignorant of the constant motion of the Stars, did so admire his Prognostications, that it grew into a common Opinion among them, that he was a God; and when he was dead, (by reason of his Deserts, and Art in Astronomy) they honour'd him as a God.
The Starry Heaven was call'd after his Name, because that he was so familiarly acquainted with the Rising and setting of the Stars, and other things hapning in the Etherial World; and for that his Merits transcended all the Honours that could be attributed to him, he was call'd the Eternal King of the Universe.
They report that this Ʋranus had Five and Forty Children by several Wives, and Eighteen of these were by one Titea, who had each of them a peculiar Name, but all in Common call'd Titanes, from their Mother Titea, who for her Wisdom and Beneficence was after her Death reputed a Goddess by those whom she had oblig'd by her Kindnesses, and was call'd Terra.
Of Ʋranus and Titea were born several Daughters, of whom Two were most famous above the rest, Basilea and Rhea, by some call'd Pandora. Basilea being the Eldest (and most Prudent and Discreet) bred up her Brothers with the care and affection of a Mother, and therefore was call'd the Great Mother.
After the Death of her Father, by the general Suffrage of the People and Consent of her Brothers she was elected Queen, being as yet a Virgin, and remarkable for her Modesty and Chastity. She was long unwilling to marry; but afterwards (desiring to leave Heirs of her own Body to succeed in the Kingdom) she marry'd Hyperion one of her Brothers, whom she most dearly lov'd, by whom she had two Children, Helio and Selene, who for their Beauty and Modesty were the Admiration of all; her other Brothers (they say) partly out of Envy at the Issue, and partly out of fear lest Hyperion should assume the Kingdom intirely to himself, committed a notorious wicked Act; for entring into a Conspiracy, they assassinated Hyperion and drown'd Helio (then a tender Infant) in Eridanus.
Page 114 Upon the Discovery of this sad Disaster, Selene, who passionately lov'd her Brother, threw her self down headlong from the House-top; and the Mother, while she was seeking for her Son at the River side, with Grief fell asleep, and dreamt that she saw Helios standing by her to comfort her, and wish'd her not to grieve too much and afflict her self for the Death of her Children; for the Titanes should execute due Revenge upon the Malefactor, and that he and his Sister by the Providence of the Gods were to be deify'd, so as that which before was call'd the Holy Fire in Heaven should then be call'dHelios, and that which before had the Name of Mene should then be term'd Selenes.
When she awak'd she told her Dream, and repeated all her Misfortunes, and then intreated her Subjects that they would adore her deceas'd Children as Gods, and that none for the future would come near her.
Presently afterwards in a furious Rage of Madness (taking her Daughters gingling Gewgaws) she wandred up and down, with her Hair dishevell'd about her Ears, and playing like a mad Woman upon a Timbrel and Cymbal, she was even a Terror to the Spectators: And while every body pity'd her miserable Condition, and some attempted to lay hold on her, there arose on a sudden a terrible Storm of Rain, Thunder and Lightning, and she was never seen after. The People hereupon admiring this Prodigy, began to transfer the Name of Helios and Selene (in Honour of them) to the Sun and the Moon in the Heavens; and being persuaded that the Mother was a Goddess, they erected Altars, and (with the noise of Timbrels and tinkling of Cymbals, and other things agreeable to her Circumstances) offer'd Sacrifices, and instituted other divine Rites and Ceremonies in Honour of her.
But however Phrygia is said to be the Birth-place of this Goddess: For the Inhabitants fabulously report, that Meones heretofore reign'd in Phrygia and Lydia, and that he marry'd Dyndima, and upon her begat a Daughter, which he unnaturally expos'd in the Mountain Cybelus: And that there, by a divine Providence, Leopards and other fierce and wild Beasts, nourish'd the Child with their own Milk: But Shepherdesses thereabouts observing what was done, and (admiring the Strangeness of the thing) took away the Child, and call'd it, from the Place, Cybele. The young Lady growing up both in Strength and Years, was admir'd by all for her Beauty, Modesty and Ingenuity: For she was the first that invented the Pipe, compos'd of many Reeds, and the Timbrel and Cymbal in Sports and Dances: She taught likewise how to cure (by purging) Diseases both in Children and Cattle.
For her extraordinary Love to Children, whom she often restor'd to Health, by singing and lulling them in her Arms, she was call'd by all The Mother of the Mount. Marsyas the Phrygian (they say) was very much with her, and the chiefest of all her Lovers: This Man, it's said, was mighty ingenious, and wonderfully chast. His Ingenuity they gather hence, that imitating the Sound of a Pipe compos'd of many Reeds, he found out how one single Pipe might make the same Harmony: And as an Argument for his Chastity (they say) he never had to do with any Woman all the days of his Life.
Cybele being now ripe of Years, lov'd a young Man, one of the Natives, first call'd Attis, afterwards Papas: This Youth she accompany'd with, and was got with Child, about which time she was own'd by her Parents, and receiv'd by her Father into his Palace, as a Virgin: But being afterwards inform'd of the Miscarriage of his Daughter, caus'd Attis and her Nurses to be put to Death, and their Bodies to lye expos'd without Burial: Whereupon (they say) Cybele (through the Love she bore to the young Man, and overwhelm'd with Grief for her Nurses) fell into a furious Madness, and ran out into the Fields, where all alone with her Hair about her Ears she fill'd the whole Country with the noise of her Timbrel, and her Wayling and Lamentations. But Marsyas pitying her miserable Condition, and prompted thereunto by the Remembrance of his ancient Love and Kindness he had for her, follow'd her wherever she went; and coming together at length to Bacchus in Nysa, found there Apollo, then in great Esteem for his Skill in playing upon the Harp, invented by Mercury. There Marsyas contended with Apollo who should be accounted the greatest Artist, and the Nysians were to be the Judges. And first Apollo play'd only upon his Harp. But Marsyas as soon as he had winded his Hoboy (tickling their Ears with the Novelty of the Melody, and the Sweetness of his Notes) seem'd far to excel his Rival. Then they made a Page 115 Match that they should both make a Second Trial of their Skill before the Judges: Apollo therefore leading the way, first began as before, and added to the melodiousness of his Harp, the Harmony of his Voice, and by that means gain'd the Victory over the Applause formerly wan by the Hoboy. At which Marsyas was in a Rage, and said, that he was highly injur'd in not being allow'd the preheminence, for that they ought to judge by the Art in playing, and not in the Voice and in singing, and that according to that Rule, Trial should be made, and Judgment given concerning the Melody and Harmony between the Harp and Hoboy; and that it was unjust to lay in the ballance Two Arts against one. To which it's said, Apollo answered, that he did no more than the other; for that Marsyas did the same thing, when he tun'd his Hoboy with his Breath, and therefore either both ought to be allowed the same Priviledge, or both should be restrained from making use of their Mouths, and their Hands only should be the Instruments of evidencing the excellency of their Art and Skill. What Apollo said, seem'd most just and reasonable to all the Auditors. Then there was a Third Contest between them, in which Marsyas was again overcome: But Apollo was so incens'd with his vying with him, that he flea'd him alive: But presently after he was so sorry for what he had done, that he broke in pieces all the Strings of his Harp, and destroy'd that Musick which he himself had invented. But it was afterwards reviv'd; for the Muses restor'd the Meane, Linus the String call'd the Tenor, and Orpheus and Thamyris the Two Strings call'd the Base, and next to the Base.
They say that Apollo consecrated both the Harp and Hoboy to Bacchus, and left them in his Cave; and afterwards falling in love with Cybele, wandred up and down with her as far as to the Hyperborean Mountains.
And whereas there was a Plague and Famine in Phrygia, the Phrygians inquir'd at the Oracle how they should be freed from the Calamity they lay under, It's said the God commanded them to bury Attis, and adore Cybele as a Goddess.
The Phrygians therefore (because they could not find any part of his Body through length of time since he was kill'd) made a Statue for him, which they follow'd as to his Burial, with Howling, Lamentations, and other honourable Ceremonies proper for his Funeral, and so made an Attonement for their former Offence; which Solemnity they constantly observe to this very Day; and offer Yearly Sacrifices to Cybele, who formerly erected Altars to the Gods there. In honour of this Cybele, they built a magnificent Temple in Pesinunte, a City of Phrygia, and instituted solemn Sacrifices, and Divine Worship to her, which Work was advanc'd by the assistance of King Midas. They Plac'd Leopards and Lions standing by the Statue of the Goddess, because it was generally believ'd she was nurs'd up by them. And these are the things which the Phrygians and the Atlantides, the Inhabitants of the Coasts bordering on the Ocean, do report of this Mother of the Gods.
After the Death of Hyperion, they report that the Children of * Coelus divided the Kingdom amongst themselves; amongst whom Atlas and Saturn were the most renown'd. The Country bordering upon the Ocean, fell by lot upon Atlas, who call'd the People there Atlantides, and the greatest Mountain in the World Atlas, after his own Name.
They say, that he was an excellent Astrologer, and was the first that discover'd the Knowledge of the Sphere; whence rose the common Opinion, that he carry'd the World upon his Shoulders; noting by this Fancy, his Invention and Description of the Sphere. The most eminent among his many Sons, was Hesperus, for Piety towards the Gods, and Justice and Kindness towards his Subjects. Being upon the Top of Mount Atlas to observe the motion of the Stars, he suddainly vanisht in a Tempest. The People hereupon much lamenting the loss of him, that they might for ever honour him, call'd the Brightest Star in the Heavens after his Name.
Atlas likewise had Seven Daughters, who were all call'd after their Father's Name Atlantides; but their several proper Names were Maia, Electra, Taygeta, Asterope, Merope, Halcyone, and Celaeno. All these were got with Child by several Heroick Princes, and even by some of the Gods themselves, and bore divers Sons Page 116 who were the first Ancestors of several Nations, and for their virtuous Qualifications, were afterwards call'd Gods and Demy-Gods.
So Maia the Eldest, was got with Child by Jupiter, and bore Mercury, the Inventor of many Arts and Sciences for the use of Mankind.
All the rest likewise had Sons who were famous in their Times, some of which gave beginning to whole Nations, others to some particular Cities; and therefore not only some of the Barbarians, but likewise some among the Greeks, refer the Original of many of the ancient Heroes, to these Daughters of Atlas; for they were in great Reputation for Wisdom and Justice; and therefore when they were Dead, were ador'd as Goddesses, and fixt in the Constellation of the Pleiades.
Nymphs were commonly call'd Atlantides, because Nymphs is a general Term in this Country apply'd to all Women.
They say that Saturn the Brother of Atlas, was extraordinary Prophane and Covetous; and Marrying his Sister Rhea, he begat Jupiter, afterwards surnam'd Olympus. There was another Jupiter the Brother of Coelus, and King of Crete, but much inferior for Glory and Renown to the later: For this later was Lord of the World; but the ancient Jupiter was only King of the Island before-nam'd, and had Ten Sons whom they call'd Curetes, and call'd the Island Ida, after the Name of his Wife, where he himself was buried, the Remains of whose Sepulcher are to be seen at this Day.
However the Cretians relate several Stories of these Jupiters, of whom we shall write distinctly when we come to their History.
Saturn reign'd (they say) over Sicily, Africa and Italy, and inlarg'd his Dominion over all the Western Parts of the World, and by Garrisons and strong Forts plac'd in convenient Places, kept his Subjects every where within the Bounds of their Duty: And hence it is, that at this very Day in the Western Parts of Sicily, the high Mounts that are to be seen here and there, are call'd Cronia.
Jupiter (they say) was the Sun of Saturn, who contrary to what his Father did before him, carry'd himself justly and courteously toward all, and therefore he was call'd Father by all his Subjects. He succeeded in the Kingdom either as given up to him by his Father, or set upon the Throne by his Subjects out of hatred to his Father: And though Saturn afterwards by the help of the Titans, made War upon his Son, yet Jupiter overcame him in a Battel, and so gain'd the Kingdom: And afterwards he ran through the whole World, doing good to all Mankind: And because he was of a strong Body, and endowed with all virtuous Qualifications of Mind, he easily conquer'd the whole World. He chiefly made it his Business to punish the Impious, and to do good to all his People: And therefore (after he left the World) he was call'd Zena, from Life, because he was the first that taught Men to live well: And therefore they of whom he had deserv'd well, rewarded him with this Honour, that he was unanimously by all placed in the highest Heavens, and call'd a God, and Supream Lord of all the Earth. And this is the full Account (distinctly related) of all the Gods mention'd and recorded by the Atlantides.
And for as much as before in the account we gave of the Egyptian Antiquities, we came in the Course of the general History, to the Genealogy of Bacchus, (whom the Greeks call Dionysius) and his Acts—
We conceive it sit here to add what the Grecians have delivered to Posterity concerning this God: But in regard the ancient Fabulous Historians and Poets have given different Accounts of Bacchus, and have related many monstrous Stories, it's very difficult to set forth truly his Genealogy and Acts. For some say, there was but one Dionysius, others that there were Three. But some say there never was any such Man, but conceive that Wine is to be taken for Dionysius. We shall therefore in short, run over distinctly what is said by every one of them.
The Naturalists who speak of this God, and call Wine Bacchus, say, that the Earth amongst other Plants, naturally produc'd the Vine, and that it was not planted or found out at the first by any whatsoever. In Confirmation whereof, they instance in wild Vines, which in many places at this day bear Grapes of themselves, as well as if they were husbanded and improved by the Care and Industry of Men: And that Bacchus was by the Ancients call'd Bimeter, because when the Vine is planted in the Earth, and begins to grow, that is to be esteem'd the Page 117 First Birth: The Second, when it shoots forth Branches, and puts forth Fruit, and brings them to Ripeness and Perfection; and so the First Birth of this God is to be judg'd to proceed from the Earth, and the Second from the Vine it self.
The Fabulous Writers likewise feign a Third Generation of Bacchus, that he was the Son of Jupiter and Ceres, and that some Men of the Earth pull'd him in Pieces, and boil'd his Parts; and that Ceres gather'd his Members together again, and renew'd and reviv'd him. Which Fictions the natural Philosophers explain according to natural Reason; for he is said (they say) to be the Son of Jupiter and Ceres, because the Vine is nourish'd by the Earth, and the Rain from Heaven, and so produces Fruit; whence comes Wine, by pressing of the Grape. That the boyling of his Members, signifies the manner of ordering the Wine, which many boyl to make it more strong and fragrant. That his Members were pull'd in pieces by Earthly Men afterwards, and join'd together again, and he restor'd to his former State, denotes no more, but that after the Vintage and pruning of the Vines at the season of the Year, the Earth causes them to flourish again, and to be as fruitful as ever they were before. For it's certain, that by Ceres the ancient Poets and other Fabulous Authors meant the Mother Earth: And agreeable hereunto, are those things that are deliver'd in the Verses of Orpheus, and which are exhibited in the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries, which it is not lawful for any ordinary Person particularly to treat of.
In the same manner the Naturalists explain his being the Son of Semele; for they say, that the Earth was by the Ancients call'd Thion and Semele;Semele, because the Worship of this Goddess was splendid and pompous; and Thyon from the frequent Sacrifices which were offered to her.
He is feign'd to be begotten of Jupiter, Twice, because it being suppos'd that the Vines with other Plants, were destroy'd in Deucalion's Flood, and that it afterwards sprung up again, therefore when this God appear'd again, as if he had sprung up by a Second Birth, he was feign'd to be born out of Jupiter's Thigh. And these are the Opinions of them, who take Bacchus for nothing else but the use and strength found out to lye in Wine.
But those Fabulous Authors that say this God was a Man, unanimously attribute to him the finding out and first planting of the Vine, and every thing that belongs to the use of Wine. But whether there were more than one of that Name, they differ among themselves. Some affirm there was but One, and this very Bacchus who taught the use of Wine, and gathering of Grapes, and with an Army overran the whole World, and first instituted the Rites and Festivals of the Bacchanalia. Some (as I have before declar'd) have affirm'd, that there were Three that liv'd at several times, and have given an Account of the Actions of each of them.
Of whom (they say) the most ancient was born in India, and therefore in regard that Country (through the Temper of the Climate, and richness of the Soil) naturally produc'd Vines, they affirm he was the first that taught the way of pressing of Grapes, and found out the use of Wine; and imploy'd himself likewise in pruning of Fig-Trees, and other Fruit Trees of a larger size, and taught others the same Art: And in Conclusion, that he found out whatever appertain'd to the Vine. And hence he was call'd the Presser, and the Bearded, because it is the Custom among the Indians to let their Beards grow all their Days without cutting them.
This they say, is the Bacchus which overran the whole World with his Arms, and found out the manner of Planting of Vines, and the pressing of Grapes with Wine-Presses (and thence was surnam'd Leneus, as before) and imparted what he had discover'd to others; by which Advantages he so gain'd the Hearts and Respects of all Men, that when he was dead, they ador'd him with Divine Honours. At this day they shew the Place of his Birth in India, and many Cities there in their own proper Language, call'd after his Name. Many other things they relate of this Indian Bacchus, which is too tedious here to rehearse.
Page 118 Another Bacchus (they say) there was who was the Son of Jupiter and Proserpina, or as some think, of Ceres. This they say, was the first that taught how to plow with Oxen, when Men before till'd the Ground with their own Handy Labours, and invented many other things useful for the Art of Husbandry, that the Countryman might not be overlaid with his Labours. By these Advantages and Benefits to Mankind, he gain'd such Reputation and Esteem, that he was by all ador'd as a God, and Divine Worship and Solemn Sacrifices were offered in honour of him. In all his Images and Statues he was painted and ingraven with Horns, as well to signifie the nature of this Second Bacchus, as to denote how great a benefit and advantage accrew'd to the Husbandmen by the invention of the Plow.
A Third Bacchus they say, was born at Thebes in Beotia, of Jupiter and Semele, the Daughter of Cadmus; for Jupiter being in love with her, by reason of her extraordinary Beauty, is said frequently to lye with her; at which Juno was so inflam'd with Jealousy, that she resolv'd to be reveng'd upon the Girl; and to this end (minding to deceive her (she appear'd in the shape of one of her Servants, and perswaded Semele (who never suspected any finister design) that it was very fitting that Jupiter should lye with her in the same splendour, and glorious appearance as he did with Juno: Whereupon Semele over perswaded Jupiter, that he would honour her in his Addresses in the same manner as he did Juno; upon which he visited her in Thunder and Lightning, which kill'd the young Lady, causing her to miscarry; and Jupiter forthwith clapt up the Infant within his Thigh, and when he was come to the full time of his Birth, he convey'd him to Nysa in Arabia, where being nurs'd by Nymphs, he was call'd from his Father and the Place Dionysus. Being a very Beautiful Young Man, he spent the time of his Youth in Dancing, Plays, and all manner of Sports and Pleasures with Young Women.
Afterwards he got together an Army of Women arm'd with Launces, and adorn'd with Garlands of Flowers, and marcht with 'em through all Parts of the World, teaching Men his Mysterious Rites and Ceremonies, yet imparting them only to those that liv'd virtuously and piously. He every where likewise instituted Festival Days, and General Meetings for Sports and Dancings, and compos'd Differences both in Cities and Countries; and instead of Wars and Seditions, establish'd Peace and Concord amongst them. And when the noise of his coming to any Place was spread Abroad, and how kind he was to all, and how great a Benefactor he was in improving and civilizing the Manners of Men, they ran out flocking from all Parts to receive him. But some few Proud and Impious Persons despis'd him, and gave forth that he carry'd * Women along with him to gratify his Lusts, and that he taught his Rites and Ceremonies, meerly to commit Whoredom with strange Women; but of these he took a speedy Revenge; for whenever he exerted his divine power in punishing the Wicked, sometimes he struck them with Madness, and at other times caus'd them to be torn in pieces by the Hands of the Women; and sometimes by his Sovereign Skill in Martial Affairs, caus'd his Enemies suddainly to be Slain. For instead of the Launces, he ordered his Bacchides to carry Darts wrapt round with Ivy at the Points, with which (on a suddain and unexpectedly) they assaulted and wounded to Death the Kings that were ignorant of the Stratagem, and therefore despis'd and contemn'd them, because they were Women.
Amongst them that were punish'd by him, the most considerable and eminent were Pentheus the Grecian, and Myrrhanus the Indian King, and Lycurgus of Thrace. For Bacchus intending to transport his Forces out of Asia into Europe made a League with Lycurgus King of Thrace, whose Country was wash'd by the Hellespont. As soon as Bacchus had transported his Bacchides into the Country, one of his Allies (as he thought Lycurgus) commanded his Souldiers to set upon Bacchus and all his mad Crew in the Night, and to cut them all off. Of which Bacchus being inform'd by one of the Inhabitants, call'd Tharops, he was no little amaz'd, because he had but a few with him, the Strength of his Army being on the other side of the Hellespont; upon which he himself secretly pass'd over to his Army: But Lycurgus in the mean time cut the throats of all his Bacchides that were left behind, in a Place call'd Nisius. As soon therefore as Bacchus had transported his Forces, he fought the Thracians, and overcame them; and having taken Lycurgus Prisoner, first pluck'd out his Eyes, and after he had put him to all sorts of Torments Page 119 he could devise, and us'd him with all the Contempt and Disgrace imaginable, he nail'd him to the Cross. Afterwards in Recompence to Tharops for the Kindness shew'd him, he advanc'd him to the Kingdom of Thrace, and taught him the manner of Celebrating the Mysteries of his Solemnities call'd Orgyae.
Oeagrus the Son of Tharops, succeeded his Father in the Kingdom, being instructed by him, in the same mysterious Rites and Ceremonies. Oeagrus afterwards taught them Orpheus his Son, who (being eminent for his Learning and Ingenuity) chang'd many things in the Orgyae. Hence those Rites and Mysteries first instituted by Bacchus were afterwards call'd Orphea.
But some of the Poets, among whom is Antimachus, say, Lycurgus was not King of Thrace, but of Arabia; and that he treacherously set upon Bacchus and his Bacchides in Nysa in Arabia: And further relate that Bacchus having every where punish'd the wicked and rewarded the good, return'd out of India, mounted upon an Elephant, into Thebes; and because he spent three Years in his Expedition, the Grecians celebrate the Festivals call'd Trieteriades. And report that being loaden with the Spoils of so great an Expedition, he was the first that was brought in Triumph into the Country. These are the Genealogies of Bacchus, according to the unanimous Consent of all the Ancients.
But many of the Cities in Greece contend for the Place of his Birth; for the Eleans, Naxians and the Inhabitants of Eleutherae, the Teians and many other, appropriate his Birth each particularly to themselves. And the Teians for Confirmation of what they say, bring this Argument, that there is a Spring in their City, which at some certain times streams forth most rich and fragrant Wine: And as to the rest, some of them shew Parcels of Land dedicated to him; and others (from ancient Tradition) sacred Groves and consecrated Temples. But in Truth since this God has left behind him many Tokens of his Beneficence, and likewise of his personal Presence in most Parts of the World, it's no wonder that every one affirms that his own Country and City, was the Place that was especially dear to Bacchus.
The Poet in his Hymns confirms what we have before declar'd, where speaking of those that doubt the Place of his Birth, brings him in as born at Nysa in Arabia in this manner—
Yet I am not ignorant that the Africans inhabiting the Sea-coasts, do themselves challenge the Birth Place of this God, and say that what things are reported to be done by him were done among them, and shew many Marks and Signs to prove what they say, which remain among them to this very day: And in further Confirmation hereof many of the ancient Historians and Poets, and likewise a great Part of the Modern Writers do agree in this thing concerning him.
And that we may not omit any thing that is said of Bacchus, we shall range under distinct Heads what the Africans have related concerning him, and wherein the Grecian Historians have agreed with them, and lastly what Account is given of him by Dionysices, who compos'd a History of the ancient Stories and Fables. Page 120 For he has written a History of Bacchus, of the Amazons, of the Expedition of the Argonauts, and the War of Troy, and many other things, annexing thereunto several Poems of the ancient Mythologists and Poets. He says that Linus was the first that invented Rhimes and Musick in Greece: And that Cadmus brought Letters out of Phoenicia, and was the first that taught the Grecians to pronounce them, and gave them their several Names, and form'd their distinct Characters: Hence these Letters are all generally call'd Phoenician Letters, because they were brought over out of Phoenicia into Greece: but they were afterwards call'd Pelasgian Characters, because the Pelasgians were the first that understood them after they were brought over. He says, that this Linus being an excellent Poet and Musician, had many Scholars, amongst whom there were three that were the most famous, Hercules, Themyris and Orpheus. Hercules learnt to play upon the Harp, but was very dull and unapt to learn, insomuch as he was sometimes box'd and beaten, at which he was at length so inrag'd that he kill'd his Master by a Blow with his Harp. Themyris was very ingenions, and gave himself wholly to Musick; and grew so eminent therein, that he would boast he could sing more sweetly and melodiously than the Muses themselves; at which the Goddesses were so inrag'd, that they both depriv'd him of his Art, and struck him blind besides, as Homer affirms in these Verses,
And then again,
Of Orpheus, the last of his Scholars, we shall speak particularly when we come to what concerns him.
This Linus (they say) writ in Pelasgian Letters, the Acts of the first Bacchus, and left other Stories in his Writings behind him. Orpheus, likewise it's said, us'd the same Characters, and Pronapides, Homer's Master, an ingenious Musician. Thymaetes also the Son of Thymaetus, the Son of Leomedon, who liv'd in the time of Orpheus, and travell'd through many Parts of the World, as far as to the Western Parts of Lybia to the very Ocean: This Thymaetes visited likewise (they say) Nysa the Place where Bacchus was brought up, as is reported by the Ancient Inhabitants; where being instructed by the Nysians, he wrote a Poesy call'd Phrygia, of the particular Actions of this God, in very old Language and Character. Amongst other things, he says, that Ammon a King, reigning in some Part of Lybia, marry'd Rhea the Daughter of Coelus, Sister of Saturn and the other Titans; and that when he came first to the Kingdom, he met with a beautiful Virgin call'd Amalthea, upon the Ceraunean Mountains, and falling in Love with her, begat a Son of her, who was afterwards famous and admirable both for Strength and Comeliness of Person; afterwards he made Amalthea Queen of the neighbouring Nations, which in its Situation being in shape of an Ox's Horn, was therefore call'd the Western Horn, and that the Soyl is so very rich, that it abounds with Vines and all other sorts of Fruit-trees. Being possess'd of this Country, she call'd it after her own Name, Amalthea's Horn. And therefore Posterity call every rich Piece of Land that abounds with Fruit-trees, Amalthea's Horn.
But Ammon fearing the rageful Jealousy of Rhea, conceal'd his Adultery, and privately sent away the Child afar off to the City Nysa, which lyes in an Island almost inaccessible, surrounded with the River Triton, into which there is but one strait and narrow Entrance, call'd the Nysian Gates.
Page 121 The Land there is very rich, abounding with pleasant Meadows, Gardens and Orchards, water'd on every side with refreshing Streams; wherein grow all sorts of Fruit-trees and Vines, which grow of themselves, for the most part running up upon the sides of Trees. A gentle, cooling and refreshing Wind pierces through the whole Island, which makes the Place exceeding healthful, so that the Inhabitants live much longer here, than any others in the neighbouring Countries. The first Entrance into the Island runs up in a long Vale, shaded all along with high and lofty Trees, so thick, that only a dim and glimmering light passes through; but the Fiery Beams of the Sun enter not in the least to offend the Passenger. In passing along, drill many Sweet and Christal Springs, so that the Place is most pleasant and delightful to them that have a desire there to divert themselves. When you are out of this Vale, a pleasant and very large Grota, of a round Form, presents it self, arch'd over with an exceeding high Craggy Rock, bespangled with Stones of divers resplendent Colours; for being exchequer'd, some sparkl'd with Purple Rays, some with Azure, and others darted forth their refulgent Beauty in divers other Colours, no Colour being ever known, but it might be seen there. At the Entrance grew Trees of a strange and wonderful Nature, some bearing Fruit, others always green and flourishing, as if they had been created only by Nature to delight the sight: In these nested all sorts of Birds, whose Colour and pleasant Notes, even ravisht the Senses with sweet delight: So that all the Place round, imparted a sort of Divine Pleasure, not only to the Eye, but the Ear; the sweetness of Natural Notes far excelling the Artificial Harmony of all other Musick whatsoever. Passing through this, appears a large and spacious Grota, in every part inlightned by the bright Rays of the Sun: Here grow various sorts of Flowers and Plants, especially Cassia, and others that perpetually preserve their sweet Odours in their natural Strength. Here are to be seen the many pleasant Apartments of the Nymphs, (compos'd of various Flowers, planted in that order by wise Nature's Hands, and not by Man's Art) fit to receive even the Gods themselves. Within all this pleasant Round, is not a Flower or Leaf to be seen wither'd, or in the least decay'd; so that the Spectators are not only delighted with the sight, but even transported with the Pleasures of the fragrant Smells, and sweet Odours of the Place.
To this Cave the Child was brought by Ammon, and committed to the care of Nysa, one of the Sisters of Aristeus, to be brought up; but ordered Aristeus himself to be his Tutor, who was a Prudent, Honest, and very Learned Man: And that the Child might be the beteer secur'd against the mischievous Contrivances of his Stepmother Rhea, to these was joyn'd Minerva to be his Guardian, whom the River Triton they say, brought forth a little before these Times; and therefore from thence she was call'd Tritonides. They report that this Goddess liv'd a Virgin all her Days, and that being likewise endu'd with extraordinary Wisdom, she found out many Arts and Sciences; and that her strength of Body, and Manly Courage was such, that she imploy'd her self in feats of Arms, and went out to the Wars. Amongst her other Actions, this was one remarkable, that she kill'd Aegides a terrible Monster, before esteem'd invincible. It was the Birth of Terra, and (in an horrible manner) naturally breath'd forth Flames of Fire at her Mouth. This Monster first appear'd in Phrygia, and burnt up the whole Country, which is therefore call'd Burnt Phrygia at this Day. Afterwards she bent her Course to the Places about Mount Taurus, and burnt and destroy'd all the Woods and Forests all along, as far as to India: Thence she mov'd towards the Sea-Coasts, and burnt down the Cedars upon Mount Libanus in Phaenicia: Thence passing through Egypt, she burnt up Lybia, as far as to the Western Shoar, till at length she set on Fire all the Woods upon the Ceraunian Mountains. The Earth being thus all in a Flame, and the Inhabitants partly consum'd, and partly through Fear, having forsaken their Country, Minerva (they say) eminently furnish'd both with Wisdom and Courage, kill'd this Monster; and wore its Skin upon her Breast, to be both as a Breast-plate and Coat of Mail against future Encounters, and likewise as a Memorial of her Valour and glorious Victory.
Terra, the Mother of this Monster, being hereat inrag'd, in revenge brought forth the Giants, those implacable Enemies of the Gods, which were afterwards destroy'd by Jupiter, with the assistance of Minerva, Bacchus and other Deities.
Page 122 But as for Dionysus bred up in Nysa, and instructed in the most learned Arts and Sciences, he grew not only eminent for the Strength and Beauty of his Body, and Endowments of his Mind, but for his Inventions of things useful for Man's Life. For while he was but as yet a meer Boy, he found out the nature and use of Wine, discovering the pressing of the Clusters of the Vine, and drying of the Grapes, to the end to store them up for future use. He found out likewise what Ground was most proper for the planting of every thing, and in hopes of attaining unto Immortal Honour for the great Benefits and Advantages of those things by him discover'd, he communicated his Inventions to Mankind.
When his Fame and Glory was nois'd abroad in every Place, Rhea (it's said) inrag'd at Ammon, endeavour'd to seize Dionysus: But being disappointed in her Design, she forsook Ammon, and returning to her Brother the Titans, Marry'd her Brother Saturn, who at the instigation of Rhea, with the other Brothers, made War upon Ammon, and in a Battel routed him. That Ammon by reason of Famine was forc't to fly into Crete, and marry'd Geta, one of the Daughters of the Curati, then reigning there, and with her gain'd the Sovereignty of the Island, and call'd it after his Wife's Name Gete, which was before called Idea.
Saturn they say, having gain'd the Kingdom of Ammon, govern'd cruelly, and marcht with an Army to Nysa against Dionysus, who hearing of the routing of his Father, and the Confederacy of the Titans against him, rais'd Souldiers in Nysa, Two Hundred of which were bred up with him, who as they were eminent for Valour, so they were great Lovers of Dionysus. He confederated likewise with the Neighbouring Lybians, Africans and the Amazons, of whom we have before related, that they were both valiant, and us'd to send great Forces abroad in other Countries, and had brought many Parts of the World under their Dominion. They were brought (they say) into this Confederacy chiefly for the sake of Minerva, who minded the same way and course of Life as they did: For the Amazons were both Warriers and Virgins. The Army with Dionysus was divided into Two Bodies, the Men commanded by him, and the Women by Minerva; and in this Order they made a violent Charge upon the Titans: The Ingagement was very hot, and great numbers fell on both sides: At length upon a Wound given to Saturn, Dionysus gain'd the Day, who signaliz'd his Valour in this Battel above all others. The Titans then fled to the Places formerly belonging to Ammon, and Dionysus with a great number of Prisoners return'd to Nysa, where he surrounded them with his Souldiers, and then in an Harangue, accus'd the Titans; so that all thought they must every Man be put to the Sword: But forthwith pardoning them all, he gave them liberty either to go Home, or to take up Arms with him: Upon which they all chose to serve him, and upon the account of their suddain and surprizing Deliverance, all ador'd him as a God. Then giving to each of them a Cup of Wine, as a Sacred Pledge of their Fidelity, he caus'd them Man by Man to swear that they would serve him faithfully, and fight for him to the end of the War.
This Rite and Ceremony of pledging their Faith on both sides, by pouring out and drinking of Wine, being then first begun, was afterwards imitated by Posterity, and Truces and Leagues in times of War were called Libations.
Dionysus afterwards undertaking a War against Saturn, and marching out of Nysa with all his Forces for that purpose, they report that Aristaeus his Tutor, was the First that with great Solemnity offered Sacrifices to him as to a God. It's said the noblest of the Nysaeans, call'd Silenians, were his Companions. For Selenus was the First that reign'd in this Island, who is so very ancient, that none knows his Original: And forasmuch as he had a Tail growing out at his Rump, his Posterity partaking of his nature, had the same Badge. Dionysus therefore marcht away with his Army (and after much toyl and hazard for lack of Water passing through many Deserts, infested with wild Beasts) he came at length to Zabima a City of Lybia, and there encamp'd; near to this place he kill'd the Monster (the Spawn of Terra, call'd Campes, which had destroy'd many of the Inhabitants, for which he was in high Reputation among the People for his Valour. He rais'd a Mount of Earth over this Monstrous Beast he had kill'd, to the end to leave an everlasting Monument of his Valour to Posterity, which remains to this very day. Thence he marcht against the Titans, causing his Army Page 123 to pass quietly and orderly through all Places, carrying himself courteously and civilly towards all; assuring every Body that he undertook this Expedition for no other Reason but to punish the Impious, and benefit all Mankind: So that the Lybians admiring his good Order and Discipline, and the Greatnese of his Mind, largely supply'd his Army with Provision, and freely join'd with him as Confederates.
And now approaching near to the City of Ammon, he routed Saturn again before the Walls, who afterwards set the City on Fire in the Night, with a purpose to destroy the ancient Palace of Ammon, and he himself, with his Wife Rhea, and others of his distressed Friends, secretly fled out of the City. But Dionysus was nothing like to him in his Temper; for he not only pardon'd Saturn and Rhea, whom he had taken Prisoners, upon the account of being his Kindred, but intreated them that for the future they would as his Parents love him, and live with him as his choicest and most beloved Friends; so that Rhea lov'd him all her Life long as dearly as her own Son, but the love of Saturn was deceitful. About this time Saturn and Rhea had a Son born, call'd Jupiter, who was advanc'd to many Places of Honour by Dionysus, and afterwards became King upon the account of his Virtuous Qualifications.
The Africans had inform'd Dionysus before the Fight, that Ammon at the time he was driven out of his Kingdom, foretold, that after a certain time his Son Dionysus would recover his Father's Kingdom, and that he should inlarge his Dominion over the whole World, and should be ador'd as a God. Dionysus hereupon concluding that the Prophesie would certainly take effect, he built a Temple and a City to his Father, and having order'd him to be worshipt as a God, constituted Priests for the Oracle.
It's reported that Ammon was portray'd with a Ram's Head, because he always wore an Helmet in the Wars of that shape.
There are some that report he had Horns naturally growing out at his Temples; and hence it is, that his Son Dionysus is represented in the same manner; and modern Authors do deliver it as a most certain Truth, That this God was Horn'd.
When he had built the City, and setled the Oracle, they say, he first consulted with this new God, concerning his intended Expeditions, and that his Father answer'd him, that by doing good to all Mankind, he should attain to an Estate of Immortality. Being thus incourag'd, he first invaded Egypt, and made Jupiter the Son of Saturn and Rhea, King of the Country, though he was but then a Boy: But appointed Olympus his Assistant and Tutor, by whose Instructions he attain'd to a high degree of Virtue and noble Endowments, and thence was call'd Jupiter Olympus.
Dionysus was said to have taught the Egyptians the manner of planting, and use of the Vine, and to keep and store up Wine, Apples and other Fruits. His Fame was now so nois'd abroad in every Place, that none durst oppose him, but all submitted of their own accord, and with Praises and Sacrifices ador'd him as a God. Passing thus (they say) through the whole World, he planted and improv'd the Countries all along as he went, and by his good Acts oblig'd all Mankind to a grateful remembrance, by rendring him immortal Honour: And whereas all Men have divers Sentiments of the rest of the Gods, yet they all agree in the Immortality of Bacchus: For there's neither Greek nor Barbarian, but have tasted of his Grace and Bounty; yea, even those that inhabit the most barren Countries altogether unfit for the Planting of Vines, learnt of him how to make Drink of Barly, little inferior for deliciousness of Taste to Wine.
They say moreover, that Dionysus with a swift March hasted out of India to the Sea, and there found the Titanes passing over with great Forces into Crete, against Ammon. And whereas Jupiter in the mean time had brought over Forces out of Egypt to the assistance of Ammon, and a great War was broke out in that Island, Dionysus forthwith, together with Minerva and others (reputed to be Gods) transported Aids to them in Crete. Hereupon was fought a great Battel, wherein the Dionysans were Victors, and the Titanes were every Man cut off.
After Ammon and Bacchus were translated to a state of Immortality, (and all the Titanes now utterly extinct,) Jupiter became Lord of the Universe, none daring to be so impious as to oppose him.
The Second Bacchus (they say) was Son of Jupiter, by Io, the Daughter of Inachus, and reign'd in Egypt, and there taught the manner of divine Worship and Sacrifices.
The Third was the Issue of Jupiter and Semele, and was among the Grecians a Rival of the other Two before mention'd. For making it his business to imitate them, he likewise with a great Army marcht through the whole World, and set up many Pillars at the utmost, Bounds of his several Expeditions, and planted and improv'd likewise the Countries as he went. And as the ancient Bacchus listed the Amazons into his Army, so did this other Women. He took likewise much care and pains about the Orgia and Sacred Rites and Ceremonies, some of which he reform'd, and added others. But because of the length of time, the first Invention and finding out of things is unknown to many; this last Bacchus only inherits the Glory and Reputation belonging to the former, which Misfortune not only befell him, but Hercules after him.
For whereas there was anciently Two of the same Name; one of them (and the more ancient) is said to have flourish'd in Egpyt, who having overcome a great part of the World, erected a Pillar in Africa. The other was born in Crete, and was one of the Idaei Dactyli; he was a Jugler, but likewise a good Soldier, and instituted the Olympick Games.
The last was the Son of Jupiter, by Alcmena, born a little before the Trojan War: He travel'd through many Parts of the World, to execute the Commands of Euristheus; and succeeded in all his Enterprizes; he erected a Pillar in Europe.
His Name being the same, and his Actions much like to those of the former, was the occasion that what things were done by the ancient Hercules's after their Deaths, were by Posterity solely ascrib'd to him, as if there had been never any but one Hercules in the World.
Amongst other evident Proofs that there were more than one Dionysus or Bacchus, this very Fight of the Titanes does make it clear: For it's generally acknowledg'd, that Dionysus was with Jupiter in the War against the Titanes, and they say that it is an absurd and undecent thing to account Semele Contemporary with the Titanes, and to affirm that Cadmus, the Son of Agenor was more ancient than the Celestial Gods. And these are the things which the Lybians relate of Bacchus. Thus having now perform'd our Promise made at the beginning, we shall here put an end to this Third Book.
The Histories of Herodotus written in 440 BC is considered to be the founding work of history in Western literature. His history included stories and fables but he claimed to have traveled extensively and learned about many countries through direct observation.
The thesis of Stolen Legacy is that the Egyptians created what is wrongly called Greek philosophy. Dr. James argues that the African origin of Greek Philosophy is well known but rarely discussed. Ancient Greek historians such as Herodotus and Diodorus the Sicilian wrote in significant detail about the contributions of Egypt. Egyptian technology and libraries were unmatched and Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato studied there. The contribution of Africa to the intellectual foundation of modern knowledge is tremendous but unacknowledged.
The Library of History by Diodorus the Sicilian is one of the most highly regarded universal histories in antiquities. His work includes the history of Egypt, Asia, Africa, Greece and Europe. His book is a must read for research of ancient history.
Bible Study The King James Bible (kjv), World English Bible (web) and Bible in Basic English (bbe) are all examples of public domain books. The King James Bible (kjv) online uses the content from these books and open source software to enhance Bible study capabilities. The site includes the verse of the day, search tools, christian literature and links to related content. It demonstrates the use of open source to create a valuable service.