The Library of History

Page 200

Page 200 The Island of Rhodes was anciently inhabited by those call'd Telchines; who (as an old Story goes) were the Offspring of † Thalassa, and with Caphira the Daughter of Oceanus brought up Neptune, who was committed to their care by Rhea. It's said, they invented several Arts, and found out many other things useful and conducing to the well-being of Man's Life. It's reported, they were the first that made Statues of the Gods, and that some of the ancient Images were denominated from them; for amongst the Lindians, Apollo is call'd Apollo Telchinius: Amongst the Ialysians, Juno and the Nymphs were call'd Telchiniae; and amongst the Camiraeans, Juno was call'd Juno Telchinia. But these Telchines were likewise reported to be Conjurers, for they could raise Storms and Tempests, with Rain, Hail and Snow, when ever they pleas'd; which the Magicians (as is related in History, were used to do. They could likewise transform themselves into other Shapes, and were envious at all that learnt their Art.

Neptune they say, fell in love with Halia, the Sister of the Telchines, and of her begat several Children, Six Sons, and one Daughter call'd Rhoda, from whom the Island was call'd Rhodes.

In those Days there were Giants in the Western Parts of the Island. Then likewise Jupiter having conquer'd the Titans, fell in love with a Nymph nam'd Hamalia, and of her begat Three Sons, Spartaeus, Cronius and Cytus. About the time they were grown up to Mens Estate, Venus in her Passage from Cythera to Cyprus, arriv'd at this Island; but being hinder'd from landing by the Sons of Neptune, together with proud and impious Language, the Goddess was so provok'd, as that she struck 'em mad, and caus'd 'em in their raging mood to ravish their own Mother, and commit many other outrages upon the Inhabitants. Neptune coming to the Knowledge of this vile Fact, sunk his Sons under Ground for their Wickedness. Whence they were call'd the Eastern Daemons. Halia threw her self into the Sea, and after was ador'd by the Inhabitants as a Goddess by the Name of Leucothea. Afterwards the Telchines foreseeing an Inundation coming upon Rhodes, forsook the Island, and were dispers'd and scatter'd Abroad. Of whom Lycus went into Lycia, and built the Temple of Apollo Lycius, near to the Banks of the River Xanthus.

When the Flood came, it rose so high, that besides destroying those that remain'd in the Island, all the flat and Champain part of the Country (with Showers that pour'd down continually) was like a standing Pool of Water: Some few that fled to the higher Grounds were preserv'd, amongst whom were the Sons of Jupiter. But Sol (as the Story is) falling in love with Rhoda, call'd the Island after her Name Rhodes, and cleared the Island of the Inundation. But the truth coucht in the Fable is this: In the first Generation of all things, when the Island lay in Mud and Dirt, the Sun dry'd up the Moisture, and made the Land productive of Living Creatures; whence sprang the Seven Heliades, so call'd from the Sun, and other Men, the Original Inhabitants. And hence it is, that they account the Island to be consecrated to the Sun, and the Rhodians in after-times constantly worship'd the Sun above all other Gods, as the Parent from whence they first sprang. The Names of his Seven Sons are Ochimus, Ceraphus, Macir, Astis, Tenages, Triopas and Candalus; he had only one Daughter call'd Electryo, who dying a Virgin, became ever after ador'd by the Rhodians as a Demy-Goddess. When the Heliades attain'd to Mens Estate, Sol told 'em, that which soever of them first sacrific'd to Minerva, should ever enjoy the presence of the Goddess. The same thing it's said, was promis'd and foretold at the same time to the Athenians. Hereupon it fell out that the Heliades, through too much hast, forgot to put Fire under the Altars, before they laid the Sacrifices upon them: Cecrops they say, then reign'd in Athens, and was later than the other in slaying the Burnt-Offering, but was before them in burning the Victim; for which Reason there's a peculiar Ceremony us'd in Rhodes in their Sacred Mysteries to this Day, and the Image of the Goddess is set up there.

These things some have related concerning the Antiquities of the Rhodians, among whom is Zenon, who wrote their History.

The Heliades, as they were in station above other Men, so they excell'd others in Learning, and especially in Astrology. They were the Persons that first found out the Art of Navigation, and the dividing of the Day into Hours. Tenages was the most ingenious of any of them, and therefore through Envy was

Bibliotheca Historica

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