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rites and manners of the Egyptians, arising evidently from not discriminating between what was peculiar to the native Egyptians, and what to the naturalized Greeks. If, however, we keep this distinction in view, wheu reading this book, these discrepancies will disappear.
These observations on the Egyptian temples show, that in so far as they are concerned no argument can be drawn from them in favor either of the high antiquity or Egyptian origin of the Zodiac.
It is, I presume, unnecessary to pursue this subject any farther, or to enter into a formal refutation of the common opinion that the object under discussion is an astronomical figure, or Zodiac, constructed upon the principle of the precession, and indicative of the position of the calures at a given time, since in a former part of this paper it was shown that the precession of the equinoxes was not known until the tiine of Hipparchus. Here, however, I cannot forbear adducing two respectable ancient authorities to prove, that even if the precession had been knowo from time immemorial, it is impossible that the Zodiac in question could have been framed in reference to it, and have been at the same time the work of native Egyptians.
Herodotus says, “The mode of calculation of the Egyptians is more sagacious than that of the Greeks, who, for the sake of adjusting
the sea sons accurately, added every third year an intercalary month. They divide their year into twelve months, giving to each so days;, by adding five days to every year, they have an uniform revolution of time. ". And Geminus, a Greek writer of note, said by Petanius to have lived in the time of Sylla, informs, us that “the Egyptians did not take the quarter of a day into account, that their sacred festivals might go forward, as they would do by this omission, one day in four years, ten days in forty, a month in a hundred and twenty, so as to go through all the seasons of the year in 1460 years; whereas the Greeks by their laws and by an oracle were directed to keep their sacred solemnities in the same months in the year, and on the same days of the months; for which purpose they made use of intercalations, to bring the accounts of the motions of the Sun and Moon as near together as possible.”
These passages clearly prove that the Zodiacs of Egypt (supposing them to be such) were not constructed in reference to the motion in antecedentia of the solstitial and equinoctial points ; because, even when the error of a fraction of a day became known to the Hierogrammatai, they intentionally neglected
1 Euterpe, ch. 4. ? Geminus, ch. 6. de Mensibus, cited by Dr. Long, Astron, vol. ii.
it. Indeed, it does not appear, that the priests or Egyptians in general ever used a more accurate year, not even after the correction of the solar year by the Greeks. The year first used by the Egyptians, so far as we can learn, was the solar year of 360 days; the redundant five days not being in very early times considered as belonging to the year, and therefore devoted to festivity ; though afterwards they were received into the year by being added to the end of it. This year of 365 days, which their kings took an oath in the temple of Isis not to alter by intercalation, is that used by Ptolemy in his Almagest, and to which astronomers iv general refer when they compute by Egyptian years;
and this year, we find also, continued to be used by the Egyptians for civil, sacerdotal, and astronomical purposes, down to the lowest period of their history, since even after the battle of Actium, when Augustus ordered the Julian year to be substituted for that formerly in use, the Egyptians refused to comply with the mandate, and continued to reckon by their ancient months with the five additional days, with the difference only of intercalating a day every fourth year between the 28th and 29th of August of the Julian year. If therefore these Zodiacs, as they are termeil, were the work of Egyptians and referred at all to the division of time, they could be intended to mark only the revolutions of the civil year; a circumstance which disproves the opinion of their high antiquity.
An argument against their being Zodiacs is furnished by the curious fact discovered by Mr. Call, that in several pagodas in India these self-same figures are arranged in the form of a square. I have added a sketch of one of these Indian Zodiacs, copied by the above gentleman from the ceiling of a Pagoda at Verdapettah near Cape Comorin. His drawing and account of it are inserted in the 13th Vol. of the Phil. Trans. abridged.
This arrangement of the figures is sufficient proof that no astronomical idea was attached to them by those who introduced them into India, and it is equally difficult to conceive that any such was entertained by those who placed them in the tombs of Egypt.
Tbat any thing can be drawn from the division into two bands of the Zodiac in the porch, or from the double appearance of its Scarabæus, as M. De la Lande bas supposed, is not the case ; the former being plainly incidental from the nature of the place, and the other being as decidedly a sacred allegory.
Upon the whole, I conclude that the term Zodiac, as applied to these assemblages of mythological figures in the temple of Dendera, and elsewhere in Egypt, is a misnomer, and that they are strictly panthea, or exhibitions of the divinities who presided over the several months of the year; attributes of Bacchus, in whose honor were held the Isiac festivals, so universal in the ancient world. The divinities who presided over the months, were the principal deities of the Greeks and Romans, as we VOL. XXIX. CI. II.
NO, LVII. C
learn from two lines of Ennius translated from an ancient Greek poet :
“ Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars,
Mercurius, Jovi', Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo." Now, in an old Roman calendar inserted at the end of Morell's Latin Thesaurus, these are represented as presiding over the months in the following order : Juno presides over January. | Jupiter presides over July. Neptune February, Ceres
August. Minerva March. Vulcan
September. Venus April. Mars
October. Apollo May. Diana
November. Mercury June. Vesta
December. It is evident that these are merely Roman names for the gods represented by the figures of the Zodiac.
I conclude this subject by recapitulating the principal points, which I consider as established by the preceding reasoning.
1st. I consider it proved that the figures of the Zodiac were mystic symbols peculiar to the mythology of the Egyptians and Greeks, by whom they were considered as so many personified attributes of the sun, or Bacchus the god of the year.
2nd. That they were not signs, or iudices to the seasons.
Srd. That some of these symbols are not older than the Macedonian conquest, and that Libra, in all probability, belongs to the age of Augustus.
4th. That as the ancient astronomers were in the habit of altering the figures of the constellations, it is impossible to speak with certainty as to the forms of the most ancient.
5th. That many of these figures were invented posterior to the latest species of idolatry, viz. the deification of mankind, on which account they cannot belong to a very remote period of antiquity.
6th. That none of the present temples in Egypt can be ascribed to the ancient inhabitants, natives of the country; and that most, if not all those in Masonry, are plainly referable to the Ptolemies, and Roman emperors, and consequently that no argument can be drawn from them in favor of the high antiquity of any of their inscribed figures. If these corollaries shall be found the result of sound reasoning, the conclusion is legitimate and inevitable, that the Zodiac of Dendera, as it is termed, is not a record of the Ultra-Mosaic antiquity of the human race; a conclusion of importance to the more sober thinking part of the Christian world. Another, perhaps of some value to the antiquary, is, that all the temples, tombs, and other monuments,
upon which such figures are delineated, cannot possibly date higher than the Macedonian conquest, and probably not beyond the age of Augustus.
CARMINA SAMARITANORUM Anecdota; e
duobus Musei Britannici codicibus edidit, Textum emendavit, Latine vertit, et Commentario instrurit, GUILIELMUS GESENIUS, Theologiæ D. et in Academia Fridericiana Halensi Professor Regius.
PROLEGOMENA. $1.-Quæ nunc primum in lucem prodeunt Samaritanorum carmina, viros doctos prioris ævi non omnino latuerunt. Duo enim, quibus usi sumus, codices penes Edm. Castellum olim fuerunt, qui tum in lexico Heptaglotto, tum in annotationibus Samariticis in Pentateuchum complura eorum loca excerpta dedit. Quum vero foliorum in his codicibus ordo mirum in mo
' In cod. Harlei. 5481. limine, manu Edm. Castelli scriptum exstat: “ Ex dono reverendissimi viri amicique mei maxime honorandi magistri Wheelock, Arabici in Cantabrigia Professoris, Oct. 1. (16)53.” Ita vero idem ille in præfatione ad annotatt
. Samariticas (Bibl. Polygl. Lond. T. VI.): “Exhibemus iteni ..... varias lectiones, collectas partim ex nuperis annotationibus doctiss. Morini ..... partim ex viri reverendiss. Jacobi Usserii Armachani, Hiberniæ Primatis, manuscriptis codicibus Samaritanis, quos nobiscum communicavit, et quorum unum pro solita ejus munificentia in me contulit (Liturgiam sc. Samaritanam, cum foliis quibusdam valde imperfectis et sine ordine compactis commentarii Arabici in partem tantum sectionis unius vel alterius Genes. Exod. atque Levit.) partim etiam ex Liturgia Msta Samaritana, (quam dono mihi legavit amicus meus singularis, & makaplıns D. Abrahamus Wheelocus, Arabicæ linguæ apud Cantabrigienses nostros professor primus, cet.)" Et in præfatione ad Lex. Heptagl. “Nec doctrinalia tantum, sed ritualia, juridica, medicinalia.... notavimus ...
.... e. g. Samaritanorum dogmata de Dei vita absoluta (v. XSMVP et 1962, rad. nay), perfec