The Library of History

Page 210

Page 210 It's further reported, that this God was the Son of Jupiter and Proserpina, and born in Crete; and Orpheus in his Sacred Rites and Mysteries, says, he was torn in pieces by the Titans: But there were many of this Name Bacchus, of which we have more largely and particularly given an account already; but of this Dionysius or Bacchus his being born in Crete, they endeavour to shew evident Signs, as Arguments to prove it; for they say, there are Two Islands form'd by him, near Crete, in a part of the Sea call'd the Double Gulfs; to which Islands he gave the denomination of Dionysiadae, which he never did in any other part of the World.

As to Hercules, it's said, that there was one of that Name, the Son of Jupiter, born many Years before him, that was begotten of Alcmena in Argos; but who was the Mother of this Hercules is uncertain: Only this is certain, that there was no Man comparable to him for Strength; that he travell'd through the whole World, inflicting just and deserv'd Punishment upon the Wicked, and destroy'd wild Beasts that infested the Countries, and made them desolate: That he delivered Men every where out of Bondage and Slavery, and that yet he himself (notwithstanding so many hazards and difficulties) was never worsted, remaining still unconquerable and invulnerable; for which renown'd Actions, he is by all Men ador'd with eternal Honours. But that Hercules, who was the Son of Alcmena was much later; but because he was like unto this ancient Hercules in his noble Acts, he likewise attain'd immortal Glory, and in after Ages (being of the same Name) was accounted to be the same Person, and (through the ignorance of the Vulgar) the Deeds of the former were ascrib'd to the later. They say, that the Praise and Renown of this elder God, for his famous Actions, continues in Egypt to this Day, where he built a City.

Britomartis, otherwise call'd Dictynna (they say) was born in Caenon in Crete, and was the Daughter of Jupiter, begotten on Carmes, the Daughter of Eubulus, the Son of Ceres. It's said; she invented the Hunters Toyls and Nets, and thence was call'd Dictynna: She was very familiar with Diana, and therefore it was thought by some, that Dictynna and Diana were one and the same Person, which Goddess is ador'd and honour'd in Crete both with Temples and Sacrifices. Those are very much mistaken, who say that Dictynna was so call'd, from her flying and hiding her self in the Fishers Nets to avoid Minos, who would have forc'd and ravish'd her. For it's not reasonable to imagine, that a Goddess (the Daughter of the most Supream God) should be reduc'd to so low a Condition, as to stand in need of Humane help; nor is it just to imagine, that Minos, who (by the general Consent of all) was reputed a righteous and upright Man, and liv'd a good Life, should be guilty of such an horrid Impiety, and grand piece of Wickedness.

Pluto (they say) was the Son of Jasion and Ceres, and born in Tripolus in Crete; and of his Descent there's a double Relation in History.

For some say, that Jasion so improv'd and cultivated the Land, that it brought forth Fruit in that abundance, that they that saw it, impos'd upon it a Name proper to the abundance of the Fruits, and call'd it Pluto; and therefore Posterity afterwards us'd to say, That he who had more than enough had Pluto.

Others say, that Jasion and Ceres had a Son nam'd Pluto, who first taught Men a more orderly and careful way of Living, and how to gain and treasure up Wealth. Whereas a provident Care of getting and keeping of Estates, was altogether neglected. And these are the things which the Cretians say of those Gods which they pretend were born among them. Moreover they say, the manner of Worshipping and Sacrificing to the Gods, and other Rites and sacred Mysteries came from them to other Nations, and they bring in this as a most certain and undeniable Argument, as they suppose. For they say, the Rites and Initiations practis'd by the Athenians in Elusina, which are almost the most famous of any other, and those in Samothracia, and in Thracia among the Cidonians (of all which Orpheus was the Institutor) are celebrated darkly and Mystically; but in Crete at Gnosus (by an ancient Law) the very same sacred Mysteries are celebrated plainly and openly, and whatever is done in secret by others, none amongst them conceals from any that have a desire to know them; for many of the Gods (they say) went out from Crete, and travell'd through many parts of the World, and were Benefactors to all sorts of Men, and communicated to them the Benefit

Bibliotheca Historica

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