The Library of History

Page 116

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

Bibliotheca Historica

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