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letters. With some compunctions of conscience we are, upon the whole, inclined to admit this position. Hence, the Irish alphabet, consisting of only 16 or 17 letters, must have been anterior to the increase of the parent alphabet to 22, and therefore anterior to the Pentateuch, and therefore anterior to fifteen hundred years, A. C. As all this plausible reasoning depends on the date ascribed to our modern editions of the Pentateuch, and the period when the compiler or compilers lived, wherein 17 letters may have been rejected as inconvenient, and 22 afterwards adopted, the superstructure will totter on this uncertain basis. Hence, Britain was peopled either by Phænician traders or by a swarm from the Celtic hive, upwards of 1500 years before the Christian era. Nay, some addition must be made even to this date, to allow for the increase of the letters of the alphabet from 16 or 17 to 22. On our part, another note of doubt? Sir William Drummond, in his Treatise on the Zodiacs of Esne and Dendera, adopts the Septuagint chronology, which makes the
age of the world 7210 years in the year 1820 of our common
Mr. Higgins promises to shew that the learning of the East came to Britain probably before the date of the flood, even according to the Septuagint calculation ? nous verrons. In the mean time we will annex another quære.
On Festivals removed by the precession of the Equinox. (p. 149.) A very ingenious attempt to shew, (with the aid of the Rev. Mr. Maurice) that May-day was the festival of the sun entering into Taurus, which, as it must have been at least four thousand years before the Christian era, was probably a sacred festival from the very creation of the earth and of man, and originally intended as a memorial of that auspicious period and momentous event. Connected with this, is the worship of the Bull Apis, and the Bull of Japan breaking with his horn the mundane egg. We acknowledge the ingenuity without being convinced of the truth of this hypothesis. How or when did May-day degenerate into a Phallic festival, emblematical with its May-pole of the generative power of the Eastern mythology ?
Mr. Higgins has given many instances of, and authorities for the ancient prevalence of Tauric worship in various parts of the world, and particularly in England. He cites as additional authorities, Maurice's Ind. Antiq. Bryant's Heathen Mythology, Dupuis, and, in particular, Parkhurst's Heb. Lexicon, pp, 74 to 80, 351, and 401–403. April-day is the change of the festival of May-day, when by the precession of the Equinox, the sun would enter Aries instead of Taurus at the vernal Equinox; this could not have been later than 1800 years before Christ.
All this may have been so : but as yet we see nothing in its favour but ingenious and plausible conjecture.
May-day, and April fool-day, however, were common to India and to Britain; and as these are astronomical festivals (3) they are not liable to the modern fashionable objection to the Indian astronomical tables of back-reckoning.
Opinions of Faber, Maurice and Collyer; (p. 154,) of Vallancey, Wilford and Davies; that the religion and superstitions of the Celts, the Druids, the Magi, and the Brahmins are identical.
The question of Brahmin buck-reckoning. (ib.) “Professor Playfair, in vols. ii. and iv. of the Edinburgh Transactions, has shewn that the Brahmins could not have made the astronomical back-reckonings imputed to them, without being acquainted with the most refined of the theoretical improvements of modern astronomy. Instead of having forgotten the principles of their formulæ, they must have been much more learned than we know they were; and, in fact, much more so than their ancestors; indeed, much more learned than our modern astronomers were, until the theories of Newton were completed very Jately by some French astronomers.”
The rest of the page contains observations, bearing on the same point, of considerable force: nor have we any hesitation in agreeing with Mr. Higgins as to the origin of this opposition, and the cause of it.
“ The Rev. Mr. Maurice asserts, that all the temples and caves of India were the works of Celtæ.” Proof is wanting in support of an assertion so extensive.
“Temples, the inscriptions on which, in a language used previously to the Sanscrit, and now totally unknown to all mankind, are any day to be seen; among other places at Seringham, the temple at Malvalipuram, or the city of the great Bali, the Syrian or Irish Baal." (Crawford's Researches, vol. ii. pp. 85–92.)
In a note, (p. 159,) there is some curious disquisition on the accuracy of the usually received chronology, from the consideration of the well of Syene, Essene, or Essaoun; a place which might have been within the tropics 5,400 years ago, but not later; it being now in lat. 24° 8'6". But the well would not have answered its astronomico-historical purpose, if it had not been within the tropics. These curious difficulties well deserve consideration.
Of the Cushites. (p. 160.) According to Maurice and Sir William Jones, these were a nation of blacks, who overran Asia. The Asiatic negro Memnon is supposed, by Mr. Higgins, to have been of this nation; the flat-faced, curley-headed VOL. IV.-N0. 7.
Buddha of Upper Asia also belonged to them. He conjectures they settled and inhabited Africa, and built the pyramids. All this may have been, and may not have been. Let us once more be understood. In this curious and interesting question, as to a lost people, a lost language, lost arts, and lost knowledge, that once existed in Northern and Eastern Asia-as to the connexion of this last race with what may be called modern people, that is, the people within the reach of ancient history and modern history, whose probable origin is traceable to the lost race, we cannot reasonably ask for evidence beyond probability : but evidence that does not carry us thus far, is worth nothing. Bare possibility is too slender a ground to tempt us to build on it, or to excite sufficient interest in the inquiry. Let us have then, not conjecture merely, but proofs that lead on to what is probable, and we shall be content to give up the expectation of arriving at certainty: but such proof is the very lowest that can be accepted on such a subject. Of mere conjecture, there is no end, and we have no temptation to pursue it.
The Druid festival of Christmas. (p. 162.) Not distinctly made out; but it seems probable that the 25th of December was celebrated in ancient times as the birth-day of Sol, the Sun. The misletoe, which we well know is never omitted in England on Christmas day, is undoubtedly Druidical.
Gods of the British Isles. (p. 166.) Hence to 184, much learned disquisition, of all shades of truth and verisimilitude. The etymological proofs of the connexion between the Chaldee Phænician, Irish and Hindus, appear too strong to be slighted. Priscian, (who flourished about 525) notices the near connexion between Phænician, Chaldee and Hebrew: and Bochart has, undoubtedly, added to the proofs; as has Gallæus (Treatise on the Sybils.)
of the sacred fire of the Druids. (p. 185.) Much learning on this subject and on Druidesses. Mr. Higgins cites, (p. 187) the Rev. Dr. Henry's History of England; we take this opportunity of observing, that among the accounts of the Druids in Britain, those contained in the two first volumes of Henry's History of England, are not the least instructive and curious. They go far to support the opinions maintained by Mr. Higgins.
Chaldees. (p. 189.) The Persian Magi, the Gallic Druids, and the Chaldee Priests of the Assyrians, were, if not of one and the same sect, yet a similar order, agreeing in all circumstances known conterning them. The Chaldeans of Daniel were not a nation, but the priesthood of the country.
Dr. Aikin, says "the Chaldeans or Celts, in fact, flourished along the Euphrates, and supplied a vast mass of population to Judea." Dr. Aikins' work, and his authorities are not mentioned.
The Culdees of the British Isles (p. 193,) were Priests, who succeeded by hereditary descent: this is not, and never was the case with any denomination of Christian priesthood. Is Culdee and Chaldee the same? The last memorial of the Culdees was in the church of St. Peter, at York in England, A. D. 936.
Of Iona, Jupiter, Janus, (the Etruscan Deity) Dhia, Dia, Jah, Jeue, Jeu, Zeus, Jupiter, low, Osos, Deus, Esus, Hesus, Joun, launa, (Basque language.) lonn, Ianus, Eanus. (p. 196-200,) a great deal of ingenious but inconclusive play of etymology, which we cannot stop to examine.
The Druids guilty of human sacrifices. (p. 202). From the mortifying evidence of Cæsar, (says Mr. Higgins,) I am obliged, however unwillingly, to acknowledge this. There are passages which, (independent of the devoted daughter of Jeptha,) look very much like this practice in the Old Testament: perhaps they may be otherwise explained. (Joshua vi. c. 26. I Kings, C. xvi. 34.)
Coarbs of Iona. (p. 203.) Are they the Cabiri, Corybantes of Herodotus and Strabo?
St. Patrick. (p. 206.) Never mentioned by any author in any work of veracity in the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth centuries. Other circumstances are here mentioned, militating against the existence of this saint.
No idol worship in the primitive ages. (p. 209.) Many proofs in support of this position.
The Grecian Lithoi, Stelæ. (p. 210.) Pillars of stone, obelisks, or single stones set up to commemorate the dead; or for other memorials. (See Gen. xxviii. 18, 19, 22. Joshua xxiv. 26, 27. 1 Sam. vi. 14, 15, 18. Judges ix. 6. 1 Sam. vii. 12. 1 Sam. xx. 19. 2 Sam. xx. 8. Gen. xxxv. 20.)
The lithoi or cromlechs of the Irish and Britons, are single stones, or a stone on another, or across two or more others.Toland says Crom, in Irish, is to adore : an Irish friend informs us, the meaning is, bent down. Leach, a stone. The stone mentioned in (Levit. xxvi. 50) akn mskit, called in the vulgate lapidem insignam, is called in the Chaldee paraphrase, lapis incurvationis. (Rowland, p. 216.) These lithoi are common in Hindustan. The monolithoi must not be confounded with the heaps called Carns. Have the monolithoi of the ancient people degenerated into linghams in the East? There are traces but no good evidence of these lithoic linghams among the western Druids.
Rocking stones, or Logan stones, appear to be marks of the Celts and their ceremonies and customs.
Circular Temples of the Israelites. (p. 233) Exod. xxiv. 4.– Deut. xxvii. 2. Josh. iv. 9, 19, 20. In both these cases, comprising twelve stones and an altar, unhewn and whole. On the agreement of the number of stones in the ancient circles, with the cycles, (p. 239.) Mr. Higgins thinks he has discovered allusions to the Metonic Cycle of nineteen years, and the Neros of six hundred, at Amesbury and Stonehenge; but the evidence of this is too conjectural, and not satisfactory to our mind.
Theory of the origin of letters of the first chapter resumed. (p. 247.) The following passage is so curious that we are tempted to transfer it to our pages.
“I beg my reader to send two shillings to Mr. Priestly in Holborn to purchase Bishop Burgess' little Introduction to the Arabic Language; where in p. 13, he will find the names of the primary Arabic letters, which are as follows, so placed, as to be easily compared with the Greek and Hebrew, and with their powers of notation in each respective alphabet.” (Seventeen letters.)
Irish. 1 Alef Aleph Alpha
3 Gort 4 Dal Daleth Delta
4 Deur 200 Ra
100 Ruis 300 Shin
200 Suil 90 Sad
Tzadi (Episemonbau) 400 Ta (Taf) Tau Tau
300 | Teine 70 Ain
80 Pieth Bog 20 Caf Caph Kappa
20 | Coll 30 Lam Lamed Lambda
30 Luis 40 Mim Mem
Mu or Mui
40 Muin 50 Nun Nun
Nu or Nui
F formerly vau, pro6 Waw Vau
nounced u, then v, Fearn
or Digamma 6
5 Eadha 10 Ya (Ia) Iod (Yod) Iota
10 | Jodha Upsilon
The Samaritan is so near to the Hebrew that it need not be noticed distinctly. According to Sir William Jones and Bishop Burgess, the Persian and Arabic are in fact the same