BOOK III - The Library of History

Bibliotheca historica
The first five books
BOOK I
BOOK II
BOOK III
BOOK IV
BOOK V







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.

CHAP. IV.

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.



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