The Library of History

Page 4

Page 4 say, The Sun and the Moon, the first of which they call'd Osiris, and the other Isis, both Names having proper Etymologies; for Osiris in the Greek Language, signifies a Thing with many Eyes, which may be very properly apply'd to the Sun darting his Rays into every Corner, and as it were with so many Eyes viewing and surveying the whole Land and Sea, with which agrees the Poet,

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .
The Sun from's lofty Sphear all sees and hears.

Some also of the antient Greek Mythologists call Osiris Dionysus, and sirname him Sirius, amongst whom Eumolphus in his Bacchanal Verses,

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .
Dionysus darts his Fiery Rays.

And Orpheus; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .

He's call'd Phanetes and Dionysus.

Some likewise set him forth cloath'd with the spotted Skin of a Fawn (call'd Nebris) from the variety of Stars that surround him.

Isis likewise being interpreted, signifies Antient, that Name being ascrib'd to the Moon from Eternal Generations. They add likewise to her, Horns, because her Aspect is such in her Increase and in her Decrease, representing a Sickle; and because an Ox among the Egyptians is offer'd to her in Sacrifice. They hold that these Gods govern the whole World, cherishing and increasing all things; and divide the Year into Three Parts (that is to say, Spring, Summer and Autumn) by an invisible Motion perfecting their constant Course in that time: And though they are in their Natures very differing one from another, yet they compleat the whole Year with a most excellent Harmony and Consent. They say that these Gods in their Natures do contribute much to the Generation of all things, the one being of a hot and active Nature, the other moist and cold, but both having something of the Air; and that by these, all things are both brought forth and nourish'd: And therefore that every particular Being in the Universe is perfected and compleated by the Sun and Moon, whose Qualities, as before declar'd, are Five; A Spirit or quickning Efficacy, Heat or Fire, Dryness or Earth, Moisture or Water, and Air, of which the World does consist, as a Man made up of Head, Hands, Feet, and other parts. These Five they reputed for Gods, and the People of Egypt who were the first that spoke articulately, gave Names proper to their several Natures, according to the Language they then spake. And therefore they call'd the Spirit Jupiter, which is such by Interpretation, because a quickning Influence is deriv'd from this into all Living Creatures, as from the original Principle; and upon that account he is esteem'd the common Parent of all things. And to this the most famous Poet of the Greeks gives Testimony, where speaking of this God he says—

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .
Of Men and Gods the Father.

Fire they call'd by Interpretation Vulcan, and him they had in Veneration as a Great God, as he that greatly contributed to the Generation and Perfection of all Beings whatsoever.

The Earth, as the Common Womb of all Productions, they call'd Metera, as the Greeks in process of time, by a small alteration of one Letter, and an omission of Two Letters, call'd the Earth Demetra, which was antiently call'd Gen Metera, or the Mother Earth, as Orpheus attests in this Verse.

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .
The Mother Earth Demeter also call'd,
Brings forth most richly—

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books