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mountains, that the dryness of the soil and the purity of the air might protect them from putrefaction and decay. Hence one of the oldest titles of the Egyptian gods is "they who are under the sands." But when at a later time the discovery of the art of embalming gave a new lease of life to the souls of the dead by preserving their bodies for an indefinite time from corruption, the deities were permitted to share the benefit of an invention which held out to gods as well as to men a reasonable hope of immortality. Every province then had the tomb and mummy of its dead god. The mummy of Osiris was to be seen at Mendes; Thinis boasted of the mummy of Anhouri; and Heliopolis rejoiced in the possession of that of Toumou.1 But while their bodies lay swathed and bandaged here on earth in the tomb, their souls, if we may trust the Egyptian priests, shone as bright stars in the firmament. The soul of Isis sparkled in Sirius, the soul of Horus in Orion, and the soul of Typhon in the Great Bear.2 But the death of the god did not involve the extinction of his sacred stock; for he commonly had by his wife a son and heir, who on the demise of his divine parent succeeded to the full rank, power, and honours of the godhead.8 The high gods of Babylon also, though they appeared to their worshippers only in dreams and visions, were conceived to be human in their bodily shape, human in their passions, and human in their fate; for like men they were born into the world, and like men they loved and fought and even died.1

1 G. Maspero, Histoirc ancienne lies to the great Mount Tabor." Cp.

peuples de [Orient classique: Us ori- Origen, In Jeremiam Hom. XV. 4,

Sines, pp. 108-in, 116-118. vol. iii. col. 433, ed. Migne. In the

1 Plutarch, his et Osiris, 21. reign of Trajan a certain Alcibiades,

8 A. Wiedemann, Die Religion der from Apamea in Syria, appeared at

alien Aegypler, p. 59 sq, ; G. Maspero, Rome with a volume in which the Holy

Histoire ancienne des peuples de [Orient Ghost was described as a female about

classique: Us origines, pp. 104-108, ninety-six miles high and broad in pro

150. Hence the Egyptian deities were portion. See Hippolytus, Kefut. om

commonly arranged in trinities of a nium Haeresium, ix. 13, p. 462, ed.

simple and natural type, each com- Duncker and Schneidewin. The Oph

prising a father, a mother, and a son. ites represented the Holy Spirit as " the

If the Christian doctrine of the Trinity first woman," "mother of all living,"

took shape under Egyptian influence, who was beloved by "the first man"

the function originally assigned to the and likewise by "the second man,"

Holy Spirit may have been that of the and who conceived by one or both of

divine mother. In the apocryphal them "the light, which they call

Gospel to the Hebrews, as Mr. F. C. Christ." See H. Usener, Das Weih

Conybeare was kind enough to point nachtsfest, p. 116 sq., quoting Irenaeus,

out to me, Christ spoke of the Holy i. 28. Mr. Conybeare tells me that Philo

Ghost as his mother. The passage is Judaeus, who lived in the first half of the

quoted by Origen (Comment, in Joan. first centuryofour era, constantly defines

//. vol. iv. col. 132, ed. Migne), and God as a Trinity in Unity, or a Unity

runs as follows: "My mother the in Trinity, and that the speculations of

Holy Spirit took me a moment ago by this Alexandrian Jew deeply influenced

one of my hairs and carried me away the course of Christian thought on the mystical nature of the deity. Thus it seems not impossible that the ancient Egyptian doctrine of the divine Trinity may have been distilled through Philo

One of the most famous stories of the death of a god is told by Plutarch. It runs thus. In the reign of the emperor Tiberius a certain schoolmaster named Epitherses was sailing from Greece to Italy. The ship in which he had taken his passage was a merchantman and there were many other passengers on board. At evening, when they were off the Echinadian Islands, the wind died away, and the vessel drifted close in to the island of Paxae. Most of the passengers were awake and many were still drinking wine after dinner, when suddenly a voice hailed the ship from the island, calling upon Thamus. The crew and passengers were taken by surprise, for though there was an Egyptian pilot named Thamus on board, few knew him even by name. Twice the cry was repeated, but Thamus kept silence. However at the third call he answered, and the voice from the shore, now louder than ever, said, "When you are come to Palodes, announce that the Great Pan is dead." Astonishment fell upon all, and they consulted whether it would be better to do the bidding of the voice or not . At last Thamus resolved that, if the wind held, he would pass the place in silence, but if it dropped when they were off Palodes he would give the message. Well, when they were come to Palodes, there was a great calm; so Thamus standing in the stern and looking towards the land cried out, as he had been bidden, "The Great Pan is dead." The words had hardly passed his lips when a great sound of lamentation broke on their ears, as if a multitude were mourning. This strange story, vouched for by many on board, soon got wind at Rome, and Thamus was sent for and questioned by the emperor Tiberius himself, who caused inquiries to be made about the dead god.2 It has been plausibly conjectured that the god thus lamented was not Pan but Adonis, whose death, as we shall see, was annually bewailed in Greece and in the East, and whose Semitic name of Thammuz or Tammuz may have been transferred by mistake to the pilot in Plutarch's narrative.1 However this may be, stories of the same kind found currency in Western Asia down to the Middle Ages. An Arab writer relates that in the year 1063 or 1064 A.D., in the reign of the caliph Caiem, a rumour went abroad through Bagdad, which soon spread all over the province of Irac, that some Turks out hunting in the desert had seen a black tent, where many men and women were beating their faces and uttering loud cries, as it is the custom to do in the East when some one is dead. And among the cries they distinguished these words, "The great King of the Jinn is dead, woe to this country!" In consequence of this a mysterious threat was circulated from Armenia to Chuzistan that every town which did not lament the dead King of the Jinn should utterly perish. Again, in the year 1203 or 1204 A.D. a fatal disease, which attacked the throat, raged in parts of Mosul and Irac, and it was divulged that a woman of the Jinn called Umm 'Uncud or "Mother of the Grape-cluster" had lost her son, and that all who did not lament for him would fall victims to the epidemic. So men and women sought to save themselves from death by assembling and beating their faces, while they cried out in a lamentable voice, "O mother of the Grape-cluster, excuse us; the Grape-cluster is dead; we knew it not."2

into Christianity.

i L. W. King, liabylonian Religion and Mythology (London, 1899), p. S.

* Plutarch, De defect u oraeulorum, 17. 1 F. I.iebrecht, Gervasin s von Til- an old vintage pinculum.'" "The

If the high gods, who dwell remote from the fret and fever of this earthly life, are yet believed to die at last, it is not to be expected that a god who lodges in a frail tabernacle of flesh should escape the same fate. Now primitive peoples, as we have seen, sometimes believe that their safety and even that of the world is bound up with the life of one of these god-men or human incarnations of the divinity. Naturally, therefore, they take the utmost care of his life, out of a regard for their own. But no amount of care and precaution will prevent the man-god from growing old and feeble and at last dying. His worshippers have to lay their account with this sad necessity and tc^ meet-it. as best they earn The danger is a formidable one; for if the coursc"bf nature is dependent on the man-god's

bury, p. 180. dread of the worshippers," he adds,

1 F. Liebrecht, op. il'l. p. 180 so.; "that the neglect of the usual ritual

W. Robertson Smith, Religion of the would be followed by disaster, is par

Semites,- pp. 412, 414. The latter ticularly intelligible if they regarded the

writer observes with justice that "the necessary operations of agriculture as

wailing for 'Uncud, the divine Grape- involving the violent extinction of a

cluster, seems to be the last survival of particle of divine life."


/ life, what catastrophes may not be expected from the gradual enfeeblement of his powers and their final extinction Nn death? There is only one way of averting these dangers. The man-god must be killed as soon as he shows symptoms5, that his powers are beginning to fail, and his soul must be transferred to a vigorous successor before it has been serious! impaired by the_threatened decay-^7The~a13v'ahtages 6T putting the man-god to death instead of allowing him to aMe of old age and disease are, to the savage, obvious enough: For if the man-god dies what we call a natural death, it means, according to the savage, that his soul has either Voluntarily departed from his body and refuses to return, Or I more commonly that it has been extracted or at least I

: detained in its wanderings by a demon or sorcerer.1 \n / any of these cases the soul of the man-god is lost to his/ worshippers; and with it their prosperity is gone and their/ very existence endangered. Even if they could arrange to catch the soul of the dying god as it left his lips or his nostrils and so transfer it to a successor, this would not effect their purpose; for, thus dying of disease, his souL would necessarily leave his body in the last stage of weakness and exhaustion, and as such it would continue to drag out a feeble existence in the body to which it mights be transferred^ Whereas by killingTiim his^worshippers could,x in the first place, make sure of catching his soul as it escaped and -transferring it to a suitable successerf ; ^ndTuTthe secofld/ place, by killing him before his natural force was abated^ they-would secure that the world should not fall into decay with-the decay of the man-god. Every purpose, therefore, was answered, and all dangers averted by thus killing the man-god and transferring his soul, while yet at its prime,-■'to a vigorous successor.

Some of the reasons for preferring a violent death to the slow death of old age or disease are obviously as applicable

1 See above, vol. i. p. 247 sqq.

to common men as to the man-god. Thus the Mangaians think that "the spirits of those who die a natural death are excessively feeble and weak, as their bodies were at dissolution; whereas the spirits of those who are slain in battle are strong and vigorous, their bodies not having been reduced by disease."1 The Barongo believe that in the world beyond the grave the spirits of their dead ancestors appear with the exact form and lineaments which their bodies exhibited at the moment of dissolution. The spirits are young or old according as their bodies were young or old when they died. There are baby spirits who crawl about on all fours, and whose traces, according to legend, may be seen on the ground in 'the sacred grove of Matolo.2 Hence, men sometimes prefer to kill themselves or to be killed before they grow feeble, in order that in the future life their souls may start fresh and vigorous as they left their bodies, instead of decrepit and worn out with age and disease. Thus in Fiji, "self-immolation is by no means rare, and they believe that as they leave this life, so they will remain ever after. This forms a powerful motive to escape from decrepitude, or from a crippled condition, by a voluntary death."8 Or, as another observer of the Fijians puts it more fully, "the custom of voluntary suicide on the part of the old men, which is among their most extraordinary usages, is also connected with their superstitions respecting a future life. They believe that persons enter upon the delights of their elysium with the same faculties, mental and physical, that they possess at the hour of death, in short, that the spiritual life commences where the corporeal existence terminates. With these views, it is natural that they should desire to pass through this change before their mental and bodily powers are so enfeebled by age as to deprive them of their capacity for enjoyment. To this motive must be added the contempt which attaches to physical weakness among a nation of warriors, and the wrongs and insults which await those who are no longer able to protect themselves. When therefore a man finds his

i \V. \V. Gill, Myths and Seng of 3 Cb. Wilkes, Narrative of the U.S.

the South Pacific, p. 163. Exploring Expedition (London, 1845),

2 H. A. Junod, Ixs Ha - ionga iii. 96. (N'euchatel, 1898), p. 3S1 so.

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