The Library of History

Page 123

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.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books