The Library of History

Page 126

Page 126 In the Three former Books, we have treated of the Affairs of other Nations, and of their Gods; of the Description of Places in the several Countries; of the wild Beasts, and other living Creatures bred amongst them, and whatever we judg'd worthy of remark, or strange and wonderful.

In this Book we shall set forth the Antiquities of the Grecians from themost ancient Times, and therein treat of the Gods, and Demy-Gods, and of all others that have been famous and remarkable in feats of Arms, in times of War, or have found out what has been beneficial to Mankind in times of Peace, or such as have been Law-makers.

We shall begin therefore with Dionysus or Bacchus, because he's the most ancient, and did most benefit to Mankind.

In the former Books we have shew'd how that some of the Barbarians have challeng'd the Birth of this God to be amongst them. For the Egyptians say, that their God Osiris is the same whom the Grecians call Dionysus; and that he went through the whole World, and first found out the use of Wine, and taught Men how to plant the Vine, and that for this great Benefit to Mankind, all generally agree that he attain'd to a state of Immortality.

The Indians likewise with no less Confidence say, that he was born among them, and that he shew'd the way and manner of Planting the Vine, and discovered the use of Wine; which having before declar'd, we shall now deliver what the Grecians report concerning this God.