Of the first Generation of Men. How the World first began. Mens first manner of Life, and who were the first Men. First Men in Egypt. Who were the most antient Gods of Egypt. Of their Demy-Gods. Sol, Saturn, Rhea, Jupiter, Juno, Vulcan reign'd in Egypt. Of Osiris and Isis. The Acts of Osiris and Isis. Hermes his Inventions. Osiris prepares for his Expedition through the World, and to that end raises a great Army.
WHAT Notions they had of the Gods who first instituted Divine Worship, and what is fabulously related of every one of the Deities (because the Subject requires much to be said) we shall distinctly set forth: And whatever we conceive to be pertinent to the present History, we shall discourse of severally and distinct, that nothing worth Observation may be omitted And we shall here give an accurate Account (as far as the Antiquity of the matters will admit) of the Generation and Original of Mankind, and of the Affairs and Transactions of all Parts of the Known World, drawing down our History from the most ancient Times.
Of the Origen therefore of Men, there are Two Opinions amongst the most famous and authentick Naturalists and Historians.
Some of these are of Opinion, that the World had neither Beginning, nor ever shall have End; and likewise say, that Mankind was from Eternity, and that there never was a Time when he first began to be. Others on the contrary, conceive both the World to be made, and to be corruptible, and that there was a certain Time when Man had first a Being.
For whereas all things at the first were jumbled together, Heaven and Earth, were in one Mass, and had one and the same Form: But afterwards (they say) when Corporeal Beings appear'd one after another, the World at length presented it self in the Order we now see; and that the Air was in continual agitation, whose fiery part ascended together to the highest Place, its nature (by reason of its Levity) tending always upwards; for which reason, both the Sun, and that vast number of the Stars, are contain'd within that Orb. That the gross and earthy Matter (clotted together by Moisture) by reason of its Weight sunk down below into one Place, is continually whirling about; the Sea was made of the Humid Parts; and the muddy Earth of the more Solid, as yet very meorish and soft; which by degrees at first was made crusty by the Heat of the Sun; and then after the Face of the Earth was parcht, and as it were firmented, the Moisture afterwards in many Places bubled up, and appear'd as so many Pustles wrapt up in thin and slender Coats and Skins; which may be even seen in standing Ponds, and Marish Places, when after the Earth has been pierc'd with