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lost their General Epaminondas. At that time Age-
When Cadmus came into Greece, he was accompanied by a number of followers whom Herodotus calls the Gephyræi.” They were natives of Phoenicia,
€ Prideaux Connect. Vol. i. B. vii. p. 661. Ibid. : Uerodot. in 'Terpsichor. c. 59. . h Idlib. 5. C. 58.
and went under his direction to seek a new habitation; a custom not very unusual in these days. When they came into Greece, they were at first opposed by the inhabitants of the country; but being better soldiers than the raw and ignorant Baotians, they easily conquered them. Baotia was inhabited at the time of Cadmus' coming into it by the Hyantes and the Aones; one of these, the Hyantes, Cadmus intirely routed, and compelled them to flee out of the country; but he came to terms of accommodation with the Aones,' and having bought a cow, and marked her according to the superstitious ceremonies of the Egyptian religion," he pretended he had a special command from the gods to build a city where the cow, which he ordered his companions to drive gently into the country, should lie down when weary. So where the cow lay down he built a city and called it Cadmea, and here he settled with his companions; giving the Aones frec liberty, either to come and live in his city, and incorporate with his people, or to live in the little vil. lages and societies which they had formed, in the manner they had been used to before he came into their country. It is commonly said that Cadmus began his travels by his father's order, in search of his sister Europa ; " but some considerable writers think this a fiction," and Pausanias hints that Europa
. Pausan. in Bæoticis, c. 5. Id. ibid. c. 12. See Prideaux Not. ad Chronic. Marmor.
| Pausanias in Bæoticis, c. 5. m Diodorus Sic. 1. 4. in See Prideaux not. ad Chron. Marmor. Epoch. 7.
was not the daughter of Agenor, but of Phænix.• Ovid relates at large an account of Cadmus' followers being devoured by a serpent; that Cadmus killed the serpent, and sowed his teeth in the ground; and that there sprang from this serpent's teeth a number of armed men, who as soon as they were grown up out of the ground, fell to fighting one another, and were all killed except five, and that these five, who survived the conflict, went with Cadmus' and assisted him in building Thebes.? I am sensible that the men who believed this strange story, may be justly thought as weak as the fiction is marvellous; but there are hints of it in writers not so poetically inclined as Ovid; and there is room to conjecture what might
give the first rise to so wild and extravagant a fable. hear ,
When Cadmus came into Bæotia, and had conquered the inhabitants, it might be recorded of him, in the Phænician or Hebrew language, which anciently were the same, that he [vna uswa Dipuu OVIR won boniows] Nasah Chail Chamesh Anoshim, ' Noshekim be Shenei Nachash T hese words might begin the account, and in these words there are the following ambiguities. Chamesh signifies warlike or prepared for war, and a word of the same letters ? may be trans
aler In Achaicis c. 4. - P Metamorph. lib. 3. fab. 1. E , We may easily apprehend, that in a language where
the vowels were originally not written, many words of exactly the same letters must have a very different signifi. cation. If we were to write our English words in con. sonants only, leaving the reader to supply the vowels, as the Hebrew was anciently written, our own tongue would afford many instances.
lated five, Shenei may, signify spears, or it may be rendered teeth. Nachash is the Hebrew word for a serpent, or for brass; and these words being thus capable of denoting very different things, a fabulous translator might say,' he raised a force of five men armed, from the teeth. of a serpent, when the words ought to have been translated, he raised a warlike force of men, or an army, armed with spears of brass. The Greeks in the mythological times were particularly fond of disguising all their ancient accounts with fable and allegory; therefore it is no wonder that they gave the history of Cadmus this turn, when the words in which his actions were recorded, gave them so fair an opportunity. Cadmus is said to have found out the art of working metals and making armour;' and I suppose that some of liis companions were the Idæi Dactyli mentioned by Pau. sanias, Diodorus, Strabo, and other writers; for these Idæi Dactyli made their first appearance near mount Ida in Phrygia,' and Cadmus travelled this way from Phænicia into Greece, going out of Asia into Thrace, and from thence into Greece. Cadmus and his companions introduced the use of the Phænician letters into Greece, their alphabet consisting only of sixteen letters."
Danaus was another considerable person, who, tra. velled about this time from Egypt into Greece; and the ancient writers agree pretty well in their accounts.
See Bocharti Canaan. lib. 1. c. 19. . Plin. lib. 7. p. 56.
+ Diodor. Sic. lib.ba u See vol. i. b. iv.
of bim. Chemnis, says Herodotus,* is a large city
21: 7 into 23
2 Hist. 1. 5.
Lib. 2. c. 91. y Lib. 2. p. 63.