Ancient-Calendars-and-Constellations

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Unformatted text preview: Dttfaca, SJeni ^o^ Wii'itt l^iatorital SlibratH THE GIFT OF PRESIDENT WHITE MAINTAINED BY THE UNIVERSITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE GIFT QB Cornell University Library 16.P73 Ancient calendars and constellations, 3 1924 012 305 789 Cornell University Library The original of this book is in the Cornell University Library. There are no known copyright restrictions in text. the United States on the use of the http://www.archive.org/cletails/cu31924012305789 ANCIENT CALENDARS AND CONSTELLATIONS ANCIENT CALENDARS AND CONSTELLATIONS By the Hon. EMMELINE M. PLUNKET WITH ILLUSTRATIONS LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, 1903 a W. — PREFACE The some series Papers here collected and reprinted, with alterations, ; were not originally written as a in fact, but they do, form one, inasmuch as" the opinions put forward in each Paper were by following arrived at, one after the other, simply one leading clue. This clue was furnished by a consideration of statements contributed made by by him Professor Sayce in an article in 1874 to the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archeology. At page " 1 50 he thus wrote : The standard astrological work of the Babylonians and Assyrians was one consisting of seventy tablets, drawn up for the Library of Sargon, king of Agane, in the i6th century b.c." — viii PREFACE And again at page 237 "The Accadian Calendar was : arranged so as ; to suit the order of the Zodiacal signs and Nisan, Zodiacal point of the sign. first month, answered the sun still to the first first Now entered the Aries at the vernal equinox in the time of Hipparkhus, and B.C. From would have done so since 2540 that epoch backwards to 4698 B.C. it Taurus, the second sign of the Accadian Zodiac, and the second month of the Accadian year, would have introduced the spring. of the equinoxes thus enables us to limit The fix precession the extreme of the antiquity of the ancient Babylonian Calendar, and of the origin of the Zodiacal signs in that country." after this sentence Not many years penned, evidence, had been of archaeologists, as firm the result much the came to the conviction far it that date of Sargon of Agane was at first earlier than had been supposed ; and was placed by them, not "in the i6th century B.C.," but at the B.C. high date of 3800 It was in endeavouring to account for the choice PREFACE by Accadian astronomers of Nisan of the year, as first ix month and of Aries as first constellation of the Zodiac, at a date stellation could not when that month and con- have "introduced the spring," that a possible solution of the difficulty presented itself to my mind — namely, solstice, the supposition that the Accadian calendar had been originated the when winter not sun's the spring into equinox, coincided stellation with Aries. the entry the conas This coincidence took us, at the date, in place, astronomy teaches of 6000 B.C. first round numbers, In the Paper here reprinted ; this supposition was put forward above and in the course of following, as stated, the clue afforded in by it, the various subjects discussed successive Papers claimed always more insistently my attention, as by degrees the detached calendars fitted pieces of information nations the concerning to of ancient came hand, and themselves, like pieces of a dissected map, into one simple chronological scheme. X PREFACE The study of calendars marked by necessitates Zodiacal constellations an acquaintance with the to position of those constellations as they were be observed through the many ages during office of which they held the important over the year and its presiding changing seasons. Such acquaintanceship would have involved very careful and accurate calculations were help of a precessional globe, it it not that, by the was possible by easy without the trouble mechanical adjustment to of thinking see, them out, what were the changes pro- duced after in the scenery of nightly skies, millennium millennium, by the slow apparent revolution of the "Poles of tions heaven" through the referred to constella- —a more revolution by English astronomers as "the precession of the equinoxes," and graphically and as epigrammatically "le by des French fixes." astronomers mouvement In the second part of this book diagrams have been given, made from a precessional globe, and PREFACE in xi the explanatory notes which accompany the Plates attention has been directed, not only to the chronological problems which I may be discussed with great advantage, as of such a globe, but also believe, by the help to various astronomical explanations of ancient myths which occurred to me in the course of studying the position of at Zodiacal different I and extra-Zodiacal constellations ages of the world's history. Oriental myths if can only read Classic and in translations, and I feel very sure that any of the astronomic explanations here suggested for ancient ones, in legends should in prove the to be the right scholars versed original if languages which these legends were written, their linguistic they supple- ment knowledge by astronomic considerations, will be able quickly to and with ease develop the suggested explanations much further it than has been possible for me to do ; and ex- planations of other astronomic myths that is, —astronomic, doubtless and not merely solar myths — will xii PREFACE to come their minds as they follow similar lines of enquiry. The steps by which travellers arrive at a far- reaching view are often very steep and arduous. I fear that many readers of this book will find the it separate Papers in selves ; dull and technical in themsteep but if they be considered only as to and roughly-cut steps leading up of vantage points observation, I chronological and historical believe that the ruggedness of the path will soon be forgotten in the absorbing interest of the results it. to be obtained by following CONTENTS PART I. I THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR THE CON.STELLATION ARIES GU, . ... . PAGE I II. 24 ZODI.\C . III. ELEVENTH CONSTELLATION OF THE 44 IV. THE MEDIAN CALENDAR AND THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS ASTRONOMY NOTES. IN ... . V. VI. THE RIG VEDA MAZDA, ETC. . . -56 .88 -149 .162 1 —AHURA . . . VII. VIIl. ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY . . . THE CHINESE CALENDAR, WITH SOME REMARKS WITH REFERENCE TO THAT OF THE CHALDEANS 85 PART PLATES PLATES XV., XVI., XVII., II AND XVIII. . -215 226 230 239 245 XIX., XX. . . PLATE XXI. PLATE PLATE XXII. XXIII. . .... • PLATE XXIV. . . 248 257 INDEX LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PLATE I. xvi LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS DRAWN FROM . OUTLINES OF TWO CARVED SLATES PLATES I. AND IIL IN T/ie Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archceology THE CONSTELLATION PEGASUS PLATE XV. . . ... FOR MAY 1900 Page 237 „ 250 .At End PLATE PLATE PLATE XVI. XVII. XVIII. PLATE XIX. PLATE XX. PLATE XXI. PLATE PLATE XXII. XXIII. . PLATE XXIV. ANCIENT CALENDARS AND CONSTELLATIONS PART I I THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR [Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archceology, January 1892] in Epping and Strassmaier, their book Astronothree misches mis Babylon, have lately translated small documents, originally inscribed on clay tablets in the second century B.C. From these tablets, we learn that the Babylonians of the above date pos- sessed a very advanced knowledge of the science of astronomy. that Into the question of the extent of further knowledge we need not here enter 2 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR it [part i. than to say that enabled the Babylonian as- tronomers to draw up almanacs for the ensuing year ; almanacs in which the eclipses of the sun full and moon, and the times of the new and were accurately noted, as planets moon, also the positions of the throughout the year. These positions in were indicated by the nearness of the planet question to some star in the vicinity of the ecliptic, and the groups, ecliptic was portioned off in into twelve coinciding the very closely position and extent with as twelve divisions of the Zodiac we now know them. As to the calendar or mode of reckoning the year, we find that the order and names of : the twelve months were as follows Nisannu (or Nisan), Airu, Simannu, Duzu, Abu, Ululu, Tischritu, Arah-samna, Kislimu, Tebitu, Sabatu, Adaru. Of doubled these as months Ululu and Adaru could be Ululu (the Sami last : (the second Elul), and Adaru Arki years Adar). that is The Babylonian to were soli-lunar say, the year of twelve lunar months, containing three hundred and year fifty-four days, was bound to the solar of three hundred and sixty-five days by PART I.] CALENDAR as 200 B.C. required, 3 intercalating, occasion a thirteenth month. Out of every eleven years there were seven with twelve months, and four with thirteen months. The first day of the year being, like some of our of church festivals, dependent on the time the new moon, was "moveable" Strassmaier, spring."^ " [schwankende). The in year, according to the tablets before Epping and hence the began with Nisan, This in is a sketch of the Babylonian calendar B.C., the second century of as drawn from the work named. the two learned Germans above- Now we number the find in the British Museum of a great to of trade documents which, according "cover a period are Catalogue, years." over of two the ; thousand There "tablets time of Rim-sin, tablets Hammurabi, and Samsu-iluna of the time of the Assyrian supremacy, of the time of the native kings, and of the time ^ "Was den Anfang des Jahres betrifft, so haben wir schon gezeigt, das die seleucidische Aera, wie vorliegt, sie in unseren drei Tafeln ihre Jahre mit dem Nisan, also im Friihjahr begann." (Epping and Strassmaier, Astronomisches aus Babylon, p. 181). — 4 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR ; [part i. of the Persian supremacy tablets of the times of -"^ the Seleucidae, and the Arsacidcc." These documents are king's all dated in such and such a month of such and such a year of some reign ; the months are the same Accadian names ^) (at first under their ' earlier to the as those we The See Guide Nimroud Central B.C. e.g. B.C. Saloon, B.M., 1886. : dates of the rulers mentioned are as follows Rim-sin, about 2,300 Hammurabi, about 2,200 Samsu-iluna, about 2,100 Assyrian supremacy from about 1275 to 609 B.C. The - latest tablet in the collection is dated, b.c. according to the Catalogue, 93 Assyrian. ' Accadian month names, and translations. f-S''"''' 1. Ni'sannu, Airu, 'Sivanu, ^;- .... ' (or Bar) sig-gar ("the "). sacrifice of ' ' " I righteousness jT/irtr-jz'^/ (" 2. the propitious bull")- 3. Tsivan, /^^««-.?-'^ . ("of bricks"), and (" seizer of fire Kas ("the \ 45- twins"). 6*/^ /f'/^/-7Z(! Duzu, Abu, Uhilu, Tasritu, . . seed "). ^(5 rt^-^rtr(" . . that makes fire"). 6. 7. 8. ("the errand of Istar"). Tul-cu (" the holy altar "). 6^z>2^z>-«« , A7 Arahk-samna ("thel .,. ,„ (the 8th month ") I ^P'"-'™^'^ CisiHvu, or Cuzallu, . bull-like founder?"). 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Dharbitu, Sabahu, .... . . . Can ganna very cloudy "). ^/j^^ «(?',-/;^ ("the father of light "). ^j (!-««(" abundance of rain "). (" the 5<'-/f'z-«7 Addaru, ("sowing of seed"). ^""'^ f"^'""''^] "^ =°«''"g ") 1 Arakh-makru ("the"i incidental month"),/ ""''''' c- j- /<ij ^ r .1 n r —Records of the Past, vol. i. p. 166. ^ PART I.] CALENDAR the 2000 B.C. 5 find in almanacs translated by Epping and Strassmaier, and we meet in them, and in other historical inscriptions, with the intercalary months, It the second Elul, and the second Adar. would seem, then, that in the it was the same its calendar, worked same way, that held place through these two thousand years. ^ As evidence of the antiquity of a fixed calendrical method of counting the year, and of a method closely resembling, if not identical with, that used in the latest periods of Babylonian history, the can scarcely be over-rated. four thousand years ago. importance and trustworthiness of these documents They were inscribed on soft clay fire), (which was afterwards baked either by sun or many of them No correction or erasure can have been made in them is since that date. A translation of one of the these tablets as given at p. Central Saloon, others. Guide to here given as an example of the 75 in the style of Nimroud many "No. 3. Tablet and outer case inscribed with a deed of partnership or brotherhood between Sini-Innanna and Iriba™-Sin. "Tablet. Sini-Innanna and Iriba^-Sin made brotherhood; they took a judge for the ratification, and went down to the temple of the sun-god, and he answered the people thus in the temple of the sun-god They must give Arda-lustamar-Samas and Antu-lislimam, the property of Iraba™-sin, and Ardu-ibsinan and Antu-am-anna-lamazi, the property of Sini-Innanna.' He proclaimed [also] in the temple of the sun-god and the moongod: 'Brother shall be kind to brother; brother shall not be evil towards, shall not injure, brother and brother shall not harbour any angry thought as to anything about which a brother has ' : ; disputed.' "They have invoked the name of Innannaki, Utu, Marduk, 6 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR [iart i. But, further, there are astrological works copied for the library of Assurbanipal from ancient Baby- lonian originals. originals is The compilation of many B.C. of these placed by scholars in the reign of Sargon at the of Accad/ remote date of 3,800 name of Lugal-ki-usuna, and the king." Hammurabi [Kimta-rapastu] the Here follow the names of eight witnesses. ; The translation of the on the outer case is much to the same purpose, and need not here be quoted the names of nine witnesses are appended to it. The Guide continues, after some other explanations, as follows inscription : "The whole of the first paragraph (except a few ideographs) is in Semitic Babylonian. The invocation is in Akkadian. The list of witnesses,' again, is in Semitic Babylonian, and the date in Akkadian. The tablet is dated in the same way as the other documents of this class Month Adar of the year when Hammurabi the king made (images of) Innanna and Nana.'" ' . . . ' : ^ Sargon I. of Accad was of Semitic race. as ruler in the city of Accad, He was established and there reigned over a great inscriptions styled tell us, non-Semitic race, in ancient cuneiform the Accadai (Accadians). This word, as scholars carried the this fact it meaning of is " highlanders," or " mountaineers." From inferred they were not indigenous to the low plain surrounding the city of Accad, to which they gave their name. Their language contains few words for the productions of the almost tropical climate of Babylonia, but it shows familiarity with those of higher latitudes. or At the time when Sargon, either by peaceful was established as ruler over the Accadians they were already a very highly civilized people. They possessed a literature of their own, which embraced a wide variety of subjects. The learning of the Accadians was highly esteemed warlike arts, vA-RTi.] CALENDAR these 3800 B.C. 7 In ancient astrological works, the same calendar referred to in the trade documents, and in the late Babylonian almanacs, appears to obtain. We find in them the same year of twelve lunar in- months, reinforced at intervals by a thirteenth tercalated month, and, which is very important, the order of the months is always the same. Nisan as (Accadian Barzig-gar), everywhere is appears "the first month," and distinctly stated to be "the beginning of the year."^ As early as the year 1874, Professor Sayce pointed out that there was good reason for sup- posing that the twelve Babylonian months corre- sponded to the twelve divisions of the Zodiac. page and 161 of his Paper, At T^e Asironomy and made of important translations into the Semitic language were Accadian works. These works, down to the latest days of Babylonian power, were preserved and venerated, and many copies of them were made and preserved in public libraries in Babylonia and Assyria. The Accadian after Sargon's date gradually dropped out religious and scientific and became a " learned " language, holding amongst Babylonians and Assyrians much the same position as Latin and Greek amongst Europeans. of general use, See Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archczology, 1874. Paper entitled. The Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians, Prof. Sayce, p. 258, W.A.I, iii. 60, ^ 8 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR Babylonians, [fart i. Astrology of the we read : " Now a slight inspection of the calendar will show that the Accadian months derived their signs of the Zodiac." names from the He then proceeds to discuss and compare the meanings of the Accadian and in Semitic month names, and to point out those to the which a reference Zodiac might most clearly be traced. constellations of the Zodiac That the potamia were from a remote age recognized by the dwellers in Mesois scarcely to be doubted. in the British We find on the boundary stones tions of several of their Museum representafigures. The Bull, the Tortoise (in lieu of the Crab), a female figure^with wings, are all t' Scorpion, the Archer, and the Goat-fish, portrayed, not only on boundary stones, but also on cylinder seals and gems. astrological Again, in the old works, we find mention of the Goat-fish " Scorpion " Gir-tab," and of the to Muna-xa," and as planets are said to," "approach and "linger it in," the stars of Gir- tab and of Muna-xa, may well be supposed that still they were the Zodiacal constellations repre- sented under the forms of Scorpion and Goat-fish. PART I.] ANCIENT CALENDAR SIDEREAL of the 9 Out many star-groups mentioned in the old tablets, only a few have as yet been certainly identified with their modern equivalents. As to the identity of others, we may guess. For instance, when tion it is said " Mercury^ lingered that in the constella- Gula," we may guess in " Gula represents Strass- Aquarius, which sign the Epping and maier tablets figures as Gu." From mapped drawn sions all these sources of information, we orather that the twelve divisions of the ecliptic had been out at the time the astrological works were up, and that some (at least) of these divi- corresponded exactly celestial globes. to those now repre- sented on The fessor suggestion, therefore, put forward^ to Pro- Sayce and other scholars, that the twelve Accadian months of corresponded the the twelve constellations Zodiac, in and that we may instances trace a resemblance of the some in between the name month the old Accadian laninto guage and the constellation at that which the sun is time of the year entered, not in itself improbable. Infra, p. 47, note. 10 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR The ist [part i. followinsf is months are those : in which this resemblance very striking month, Bar zig-gar (" the "), sacrifice of right- eousness Aries. bull"), 2nd month, Khar-sidi ("the propitious Taurus. 3rd month month, (sometimes called) Kas (" the Twins"), Gemini. 6th I Ki Gingir-na ("the errand of star"), Virgo. We know from the Epping and Strassmaier that tablets as a matter of fact, the months and the constellations of the Zodiac did in the second century, B.C., correspond with each other in order as and sequence research above suggested, and establish if further should in the time, fact that they so corresponded Sargon's then as all we find Nisan (Bar zig-gar) throughout these ages holding the place of "first month," and marking "the beginning of the year," it will necessarily follow that the Accadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian calendars dealt with a sidereal and not a tropical year. Ours is a tropical year, that is to say, accordino- 1 PART I.] MODERN CALENDAR TROPICAL bound to the seasons, 1 to the Julian calendar (afterwards amended by Pope and its Gregory) it is months and the about maintain a constant relation to the four oreat divisions of the ecliptic, i.e. the solstices equinoxes. The winter solstice always falls the 22nd of December, the spring equinox about the 2 1 St of March, the 2 1 summer solstice about the St of June, and the autumnal equinox about the 23rd of September. But (as has been suggested) the Accadian year year, was a sidereal constant sions of the constellations and its months maintained a they are called, the relation to the or, twelve star-marked divias ecliptic, of the closely Zodiac. as Nisan always cor- responded to (as a lunar month might) the time during which the sun traversed the ; constellation Aries it Airu to the time during ; which traversed the constellation Taurus and so on through the twelve months of the year. The equinoctial points are, however, always, though slowly, changing their position ecliptic. still amongst the twelve constellations of the therefore, The months, in the which in 3,800 b.c, and second century B.C., corresponded to the same star-groups, ; 12 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR above noted, must have held in [part i. as different ages very different positions in regard to the four great divisions or seasons of the year. We find in the tablets translated by Epping "with and Strassmaier the year " beginning hence in the spring'' less natural Nisan, or and this seems a more season from which to count the year but when, taking the precession of the equinoxes into account, we find that the year in Hammurabi's two time (2,200 B.C.) must have commenced one month, B.C.) feel and in Sargon's time (3,800 spring months before the equinox, we surprised and perplexed to find that the year must then have begun without any reference four great to the seasons — the of and most easily observed divisions the ecliptic. It is difScult to imagine that the astronomers its who so skilfully divided the ecliptic into twelve parts, and who originated the wonderful Accadian calendar —a calendar so well thought out that, to believe, it as we have seen reason is resisted all the shocks of time for nearly four thousand years difficult to — it imagine that such astronomers should have taken no note of the four prominent divi- PLATE FIG. 1. I. """""'flSTwiNTEB MONTH FIG. 2. .#/ '*'"»'AfCF,BSTSIRIN0»or»1^ The and last months of the Accadian, months of the Gregorian, tropical, year first sidereal, year, : at 6,000 B.C. compared with the and at 600 .\.d. Vfo/ace p. 13. — PART I.] SOLSTICE IN ARIES 6000 of the B.C. 13 i.e. sions year and of the ecliptic, the solstices and the equinoxes. is, There anomaly, if however, a way to account for rather, this or, there is a supposition which, adopted, will allow these astronomers of old to have taken note, not only of the months, but also of the seasons of the year, their when first they drew up mighty scheme. Let us suppose that the calendar which, as we may in learn from the astrological tablets, well was already Sargon's time a known and venerated drawn up the at a date institution, had been originally much when 6,000 earlier than Sargon's, when first month (Bar zig-gar), was not the it first spring month, but was the first winter month of the year. i) This date (see Plate B.C. ; I., fig. would have been about for then the sun entered the constella- tion Aries at the winter solstice well, if —a the season equally not better suited than the spring equinox first to hold the ' place in the calendar. ^ Under this After this paper had appeared in Proceedings this Society of Biblical Archceology, a corroboration of of the opinion occurred to the writer's mind, suggested by a further study of the month names in the The twelfth month Accadian calendar. It is as follows is named " sowing of seed." Seed may be : ; 14 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR it [part i. supposition, would the no longer be difficult to imagine why ancient Accadian astronomers first should have chosen Aries as the constellation first of the Zodiac, and Nisan (Bar zig-gar) as the month, and the "beginning of the year." Nor need we throw and time. is, discredit on the early sown in many latitudes in spring, and also in winter "Sowing of seed" might therefore describe a month at : the ending of an equinoctial or of a solstitial year {i.e. but the thirteenth the occasionally intercalated) sowing." This epithet dark, month is named that of " dark added to the "sowing" of the a solstitial twelfth month, very plainly points to or midwinter ending of the year. The thirteenth month in a luni-solar year, whose beginning should be bound to the vernal equinox, must always cover some of the concluding days of March and some of the first days of April and those days are certainly much lighter, not darker than those of the preceding month, covering parts of February and March, whereas, the thirteenth intercalary month in a luni-solar year, whose beginning should be bound to the winter solstice, must always cover the concluding days of December and those at the beginning of January ; and might well be distinguished by the epithet dark, not only from the days of the preceding month, but indeed from those of any other month of the year (see Plate It is I., figs, i, 2.) of interest here to note that this insistence in Accadian thirteenth month, month nomenclature on the darkness of the tends to confirm the already formed opinion of scholars, that the Accadians were not indigenous to Babylonia, but had descended it from more northern latitudes, where darkness is a more marked concomitant of winter than in the nearly tropical lati- into tude of Babylonia. PARTI.] STARS RECEDE FROM SEASONS if 15 calendar makers 6,000 b.c, we take for granted that they were not acquainted with the fact that slowly but inevitably the seasons must change their position this, amongst the stars, and that, not knowing they believed that in making the beginning of into it the year dependent on the sun's entry were also binding the constellation Aries, they to the season of the winter solstice. As stars centuries rolled by, however, and slowly the solstice, of Aries receded from the winter first Bar zig-gar was no longer the sense of being the authority of the first month in the winter month. Still, the originators of the calendar held sway the still ; provision had been only ; made for counting the year as a sidereal year and Bar zig-gar, or month in which the sun entered Aries, was month, and looked on as the called the first beginning of the year. To taking. carry out the reformation of any long estabis, lished calendar we know, secular not a trifling under- Even on encounters grounds, any proposed opposition. reform strong But the also calendar in Babylonia was not only a civil, it was a religious, institution. Its origin was attributed 6 " 1 THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR and as the [part i. to the Creator, is work of the Creator, it described in one of the old Babylonian tablets/ " For each of the twelve months " He ^ fixed three stars (or groups of stars). " From the day when the year issues forth to the close." The up for astronomical and astrological texts drawn entitled " Sargon of Accad are and still The Illumina- tion of Bel,"^ as late as the second cen- tury " B.C., all Babylonian almanacs bore the heading: of At the command * my Lord it Bel and my Lady suppose, Beltis, a decree." Thus was, we may that under the protection of the gods the Accadian calendar continued unchanged throughout all the changing ages. 1 2 Records of tlie Past. New series. Vol. i. p. 145. In modern works we find the terms "useless," "fanciful," and "inconvenient," applied to the Zodiac and its constellations; and for regulating a tropical year the constellations af-e " useless and "inconvenient," but the theory that the reckoning of the year and all its religious festivals depended on the observance of the Zodiacal star-groups, would help to account for the widely spread veneration in which they were held throughout so many ages and by so many nations. ^ Transactions of the 150, 151. Society of Biblical .Irchceology, 1874, pp. * Epping 6 1. and Strassmaier, Astronomisches aus Babylon, p. 1 {Auf Geheiss von Bel uiid Beltis meiner Herrin, eine E?ttscke idling.) PART I.] EQUINOX duringall IN ARIES 200 the B.C. 17 But ages the winter solstice moved on century the 1 steadily through almost a quarter of the great circle of the B.C., ecliptic,^ and in the second the spring equinox was not far from ecliptic same point of the star-marked where the great This moving of the equinoctial point through a quarter of circle may perhaps explain the tradition to which Syncellus twice alludes, once when he states that Eusebius was aware of the Greek opinion that many ages, or rather myriads of years had passed since the creation of the world, during ihe mythical retrograde movement of the Zodiac, from the beginning of Aries, and its return again to the same point {Chronographia, p. 17.) And again at p. 52, he refers to "the return of the Zodiac to its original position, according to the stories of the Greeks and from one point back again minute of the first division of the equinoctial sign of the Zodiac, which is called K/oibs (Aries) by them, as has been stated in the Genica of Hermes and in the Cyrannid books." He goes on to say that this is the ground of the chronological Egyptians, that is to say, the revolution to the same point, which is the first division of Claudius Ptolemy. Jean Silvain ning of which Bailly, speaking of the Indian Zodiac, the beginfirst is placed by the Brahmins at the point of Aries, suggests that a similar tradition may have prevailed amongst the Indians and other ancient nations to account for the pre- eminence so generally accorded " Mais premiere? to Aries. He says : pourquoi 11 est ont-ils choisi cette constellation pour la evident que c'est une affaire de pr^jug^ et de superstition ; le choix du premier point dans un cercle est arbitraire. lis auront ^te d^cid^s par quelque ancienne tradition, telle par example que celle que Muradi rapporte d'apres Albumassar et deux anciens livres egyptiens, oil on lisoit que le monde avoit ^t^ 8 — THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR zuinter solstice 1 [part i. the had been when the first the calendar-makers had "fixed" constellations "for the twelve months from the day year issues forth to the close," when the and we who now read the almanacs drawn up at that late period of Babylonian history are not (as has been said above) surprised to find the year " beginning with Nisan, hence in the spying." (See Plate contained I., fig. 2.) The these I. : propositions in this Paper are The Accadian year was counted The Accadian first as a sidereal year. II. calendar was first thought B.C. out and originated at a date not later than 6,000 The proposition is founded on the opinion, renouvelle apres le deluge lorsque le soleil ^toit au 1° du holier, D'Herbelot ne parle regulus etant dans le colure des solstices. mais il dit que selon Albumassar les sept point de rdgulus planetes etoient en conjonction au premier point du holier lors de la creation du monde. Cette tradition, sans doute fabuleuse, qui venoit des memes prejug^s que celle de Berose, etoit asiatique, Elle a pu suffire, ou telle autre du meme genre, pour fonder la preference que les brames, ou les anciens en general, ont donnee ; a la constellation du belier, en I'etablissant la premiere de leur lis ont cru que ce point du zodiaque etoit una zodiaque. source de renouvellement, et ils ont dit que le zodiaque et I'ann^e se renouvelloient au meme point ou le monde s'dtoit (Bailly, Histoire de F Astronomic Ancienne, pp. 482, regenere." 483-) PART I.] ARIES, LEADER OF THE many SIGNS 19 long ago expressed by the Oriental scholars, that in Accadian months corresponded very early ages with the constellations of the Zodiac, Nisan — the month during which the history, and, presumably, sun was in conjuncthe first tion with the constellation Aries —holding place then, as also in the latest times of Babylonian through the intervening period. But even second, it if the first proposition is is granted, the must be confessed, only an opinion based on the unlikelihood that the old Accadian and sidereal year, otherwise so skilfully dealt with in the calendar, should have begun, in what would appear to be a haphazard manner, at no definite season of the year. It may seem that too much weight has been is attached in this Paper to what can only be called a guess desire ; but where there so as much yet that we the to know, and so the early little absolutely known of history of astronomy, is temptation to make such guesses great. It is to their earliest heroes and to their gods that the ancient heathen nations attributed the invention of astronomy, and amongst the Jews 20 also, THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR [part i. according to Josephus, the children of Seth first were looked upon as being the science.^ teachers of the Modern astronomers terms " often speak in general in of their science in as having existed a hoar antiquity," and "prehistoric times." it But rise, questions as to when, and where took last its are still unanswered. During the hundred years these questions have been keenly discussed. Babylon, Egypt, Greece, India, and China, have each been claimed as "the cradle" of the science. Some few Jean writers (and Bailly, prominent amongst them brilliant Silvain a scholar and an for the view eminent astronomer) have contended that not by in any one nation were the chief advances races astronomy made, but that before the great of mankind separated from the parent stock, and spread themselves over the globe, the phenomena of astronomy had been for closely observed, and scientific methods Bailly measuring time had been " adopted. speaks of une astronomic per- fectionn^e," of which only "les debris" are to be met with in 1 possession of the I. civilized 2, races of Antiquitates Judaica, § 3. ; PART I.] ANTEDILUVIAN ASTRONOMY 21 antiquity. He claims an antediluvian race as the originators of astronomic science. It may seem B.C., a bold suggestion to place the as formation of the calendar at a date so high it 6,000 a date exceeding as does by 2,000 years that given to us in the margin of our Bibles for the story of the fall of man and following the his expulsion from Eden. It was in Archbishop Usher's calculations that date it of 4,004 was in adopted and placed, where But the of still remains, our English Bibles. ing the early dates difficulty of determin- Bible history " it is has always been felt to be very great, and quite possible for to believe that Genesis gives us no certain data pronouncing on the time of man's existence on the earth." ^ Scholars, in basing their calculations on the authority of Scripture, have arrived at very different conclusions. Some only demand 3,616, others 6,984 for years, as required from Scriptural sources "the years of the world to 1 the birth of Christ."^ Introduction to the Pentateuch, by E. Harold Browne, D.D., Bishop of Ely. ^ Holy Bible, with Commentary, edited by F. C. Cook, M.A., Canon of Exeter. The following extracts are taken from the Preface to to the An Universal History from the Earliest Account of Time Present 22 It will THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR [part i. be seen that the earlier of these dates leads us back to an even that in which, if more remote age than is the theory here proposed a true one, the marvellous achievement of the formation of a scientific sidereal calendar was accomplished. To attribute to the dwellers in Eden or to their immediate descendants intellectual gifts that should enable them to perfect so grand a scheme, does certainly not contradict the story of the Compiled from Original Authors \Etc\ Dublin Editors : M,dcc,xliv. : fall, but Printed by Edward Bate for the They are interesting as showing that even before archaeological research had extended the limits of ancient history, as it has done during the a far last fifty years, many biblical scholars assigned history of P. higher date than Archbishop Usher's 4,004 years for the Adam's race on earth. Ixv. et seq. : "So that tion of the antiquities of nations, left us, on a strict view and due examinaand the records that have been . . . those of the Jews, exclusive of their divine authority, will evidently appear to be the most certain and authentick. However it must be confessed that there is no certain uniformity in the Jewish computation, and that the several copies of their records, viz., the Hebrew, Samaritan Pentateuch, and Septuagint differ very much from one another. This variety of computations hath left room for Chronologers to enlarge or contract the space of time betwixt the flood and the birth of Christ, by adhering to one copy rather than another or by rejecting or retaining the whole numbers, or the particulars, just as it suited their humour of making the Sacred History agree with the Prophane or otherwise of reducing the Prophane to the Sacred, and as the disagreement among the heathen writers is great also, and every author hath followed the historian he liked best, hence a wide difference . . . ; ; PART I.] " KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL;' 23 rather may open up for us fresh lines of thought, when we read of that transgression in which the pride of intellect played so important a part. hath arisen amongst modern Chronologers as appears by the which we here give as collected by various computations It would be endless as well as StrauchiuSj Chevreau, and others. unnecessary here to examine into the particular causes of this great difference amongst authors, every one still pretending to ground his system on the authority of the Scripture. . . . Table of the years of the world to the birth of Christ, according to the computations of several chronologers. Alphonsus, King of Castile, The same, in Strauchius Onuphrius Panvinius Suidas Lactantius, Philastrius in Muller's A Tables 6,984 6,484 9 months 6,310 6,000 5,801 Nicephorus Clemens Alexandrinus The author of the Fasti Siculi Isaac Vossius, and the Greeks Etc. etc." 5,700 5,624 5,608 9 5,598 months — II THE CONSTELLATION ARIES [Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaology, March 1893] of the In the the January number Proceedings for of Society of Biblical Archcsology last year, under the title The Accadian Calendar, two : pro- positions were advanced I. The Accadian year was counted as a sidereal year. II. The Accadian calendar was first thought out and originated at a date not later than 6,000 B.C. The fact that the sun's entry into the con- stellation Aries appears to have marked through the beginning of the Accadian many millenniums year, was cited in support of the first proposition, fact that the sun's and the cided entry into Aries coin- about relied 6,000 to B.C. with the the winter solstice, was on support probability of the tART I.] ARIES NOT CONSPICUOUS 2$ second proposition, namely, that at the above date the calendar, which so honoured the inconspicuous constellation Aries, If was first drawn up. we now find this inconspicuous part of the heavens equally honoured by several nations in very ancient times, we shall be led to think either that these nations, to independently of each other, happened observe and mark out the sun's annual course through the heavens at exactly the same date, and therefore chose the same point as solstice ; marking the winter or we must suppose and knowledge of that they derived their calendar the Zodiac from observations originally made by civilized race. some one The Brahmins for the science of of India claim a high antiquity astronomy in their country, and their observations and calculations profess millennium B.C. to date back the the to the fourth The names are, of Indian constellations are preserved to Sanscrit language, identical with us in and these names those that so to speak, we use at the present day Zodiac. when we speak of the figures of the Many scholars of to-day believe that only after Alexander's conquests in India did the know- — 26 THE CONSTELLATION ARIES [part i. ledge of the twelve-fold division of the Zodiac penetrate into that country. Some, on the other hand, be proved to have existed a maintain the opposite opinion, namely, "that the names in of the signs can India ^ at as early period as in any other country." Jean Silvain antiquity Bailly, whose opinions as to the of the science of astronomy have been already quoted in the foregoing Paper, in his work on the history of ancient astronomy, speaking the Brahmins of India, of the initial point of whose Zodiac is at the first star in the constellation Aries, : writes as follows ^ " V. p. 90. initial ^ The point of the Hindu Zodiac (see Plate III.) is about 9^ degrees to the west of the boundary line of the constellation Aries, as it is drawn on our celestial globes. One foot of Aries, however, extends beyond the boundary line, and touches a line drawn through the initial point of the Hindu Zodiac and the poles of the ecliptic. At page 132, the question of the date of the fixation of this initial point is discussed, and a high antiquity for it is claimed. There are many considerations which may lead us to the opinion that not only in India, but amongst the ancients generally, the first Hindu the initial point, degree of the constellation coincided with the and not with the boundary line of the conB.C., stellation, as first colures, Greek and Latin authors, writing in the solstitial and equinoctial as being "at the eighth degree of the Zodiac," and these it is now drawn. century speak of PART 1.] ARIES WIDELY HONOURED 27 " Mais pourquoi la ont-ils choisi cette constellation c'est le pour affaire du lis premiere ? II est evident que de prejuge et de superstition premier point dans un cercle est auront ete decides par quelque une ; choix arbitraire. ancienne tradition." Dupuis, writing at nearly the Bailly, same date as in conflict about a hundred years ago, and with him on many in points relating to the Zodiac, this was also struck by the choice of same inconby spicuous point the great circle of the ecliptic, India, but also not only by the Brahmins of other ancient nations. He further explains initial is that the difference in the choice of point by the Chinese, and by the other nations, parent, and not a real difference. ful only an apthe wonderin their On agreement shown by so many nations, of the of stars their choice by which they marked Zodiacs, the to beginning statements, perplexity Dupuis relied caused modern commentators much Handbuch der Klassischen Alterthumsivissenschaft ; Zeitrechnung der Griechen und Jidmer, Unger), may be easily explained, if we realize that they, in all hkelihood, counted the degrees of the Zodiac from the same initial point as that in use amongst Hindu astronomers, which in the first century b.c. which have (see was eight degrees to the west of the equinoctial point. 28 THE CONSTELLATION ARIES views concerning the unity all [fart i. support his of the astronomical and religious myths of nations. At the end of his work, in ; Mdmoire Explicatif a diagram several du Zodiaque, Dupuis gives Zodiacs in concentric circles twelve, parts. some divided by a into some into twenty-seven or twenty - eight the colures cross He represents these which quarters concentric Zodiacs, and speaking of the twenty-seven- and twenty-eightfold divisions, he observes as follows : remarque d'abord, que ces divers systemes lunaires, tires de I'Astronomie de dififerens peuples, s'accordent tous a placer dans les cases correspondantes a-peu-pres les s'en assurer, la " On memes etoiles. II suffit, pour meme de comparer les etoiles designees dans case de la division de chaque peuple. qu'ils On remarque aussi ont pris tous, excepte initial les Chinois, les memes etoiles, pour point de la division, savoir, celles de la tete du Belier. initial Chinois, au contraire, ont fix6 le point la partie Les dans les du la ciel diametralement opposee, vers et pres I'Epi " (p. pieds de Vierge 4). Dupuis' arguments, drawn from the choice by several nations point of the of the first division of Aries as the initial Zodiac and year, are of PART I.] ARIES MARKED A SEASON 29 equal cogency in support of a calendar such as he suggests, drawn up more than 12,000 the B.C., for a year beginning at mUtmin equinox; in this or for a calendar, as suggested Paper, drawn up about 6,000 at B.C., and dealing with a year beginning solstice ; the winter and it may be while claimed that the facts brought to light by the study of greatly the ancient Accadian calendar, strengthening the ground for Dupuis' opinion concerning the early acceptance by stars of Aries as a many in nations of the mark for the beginning of the year favour of the in prehistoric times, first seem more month of that year having been counted from the winter solstice than from the autumn equinox. Quotations from authors like Bailly and Dupuis may seem nowadays somewhat of their all out of date ; for though they were amongst the foremost scholars time, they were necessarily ignorant of discoveries that the archaeological have suc- ceeded each other with such rapidity during the last century. Unless, therefore, the brilliant guesses and astronomical speculations of these writers can find confirmation in the results of modern re- searches, their theories may well be disregarded. 30 THE CONSTELLATION ARIES it [part i. But seems to me to that many of of their theories are meeting with such confirmation. Turninof first some the facts which archaeology has taught us regarding the ancient if Egyptians, it will be interesting to see there are any indications honour paid in their astronomy or mythology of connexion to the constellation Aries in with the progress of the sun and the figures of the Zodiac. It is moon through true that the acquaintance of the ancient is Egyptians with these figures dispute, a matter still in and the various methods of counting the difficulties year followed by them also present great to scholars. It is, however, admitted that they were a people much given to the observation and worship of the heavenly bodies, and that their astronomy and mythology were very closely interwoven with each other. In the time of the the as Middle Empire, year were not it seems, months lunar in the civil counted months, but as months of as thirty days each. The year was not counted a sidereal year, but as one of three hundred and sixty days of thirty —twelve months days — with five days PART I.] TWO CALENDARS at IN EGYPT 31 added the end of each year to bring up the number to three hundred and to the sixty-five days. No attention was paid odd hours and minutes over and above the three hundred and sixty-five days, vi^hich are occupied by the sun in completing his annual course. Mr the Griffiths has remarked in the number of Biblical Proceedings of the Society of Archesology for for March suggest 1892, that the hieroglyph lunar month I points to an originally that month, the and first w^ould the star under a crescent seems to point also i.e., to month originally counted sidereally, dependent upon in the conjunction of the sun and particular star-group of the moon ecliptic. As some a matter civil of fact, the Egyptians made use not only of a year such as has been above described, but also of a sidereal year, counted from the heliacal rising of Sirius, and it is perhaps possible that the months in this sidereal year were counted as lunar months, soli-lunar and the year treated as In and sidereal. these two Egyptian calendars — so far as to they are at present understood— no the constellation reference Aries seems to be discernible. 32 THE CONSTELLATION ARIES [part i. The agricultural importance of the season of the summer solstice in Egypt, coinciding as it does with the rising of the Nile, may have induced calendarmakers at some very early date to re-arrange the order of the year, so as to make it begin at the Slimmer rather than the ivinter as it is solstice — the season, contended B.C. in these Papers, originally chosen in 6,000 by astronomers of a more northern latitude than that Egypt as the starting-point of of a year sidereally marked by the conjunction the sun with the constellation Aries. But if we turn to the Egyptian mythology, the importance of the Ram, or rather of the head of the Ram, as it is revealed in the monuments, and in the pictorial art of the ancient ally strike the student of Egyptians, must continu- Egyptian symbolism. triad Amen, the great god of the Theban is (Amen, Maut, and Chons), as ram-headed sometimes represented always — his boat and his sceptre are conjunction adorned with a ram's head, and the great temple to him, in is with the sun, i.e. to Amen-Ra, gigantic approached through an avenue sphinxes, the of also ram-headed as and of this is the case regards temple Chons — the PART I.] AMEN'S RAM-HEADED SYMBOLS 33 moon-god — at right angles, and in close proximity, to the great temple of Amen-Ra. tell Scholars us that triad Horus, Isis, and Osiris, —the and have it Memphian — symbolized other the diurnal bodies, motion of the sun and heavenly need not appear improbable that the great triad, Theban of those Amen, Maut, and symbolized the Chons, should course originally annual same bodies through the This would account constellations for the of the Zodiac. pro- minence of the of this triad in Ram in connexion with the worship as I —the first Ram, which, have argued, many countries, and possibly in Egypt also, marked the division of the Zodiac and year. is A prayer to Amen translated by G. Maspero Proceedings ^ ; in the April number for 1891 of the of the Society of Biblical Archceology translation to it from this would appear that calendar year. Amen is implored real bring the into If touch with the seasons of the 1 Amen dont represented du a " II ne me reste plus qu'a iv., donner 1-5), la traduction suivie texte (Papyrus Anastasi, p. 10. L je viens d'expliquer le sens et le developpement littdraire. "Viens a moi, Amon, me delivrer de I'annee facheuse, oii le dieu Shou (Shou dtait, a I'^poque des Ramessides et plus tard, le dieu du soleil solstitial, du soleil d'et^, comme Brugsch I'a C 34 sidereally THE CONSTELLATION ARIES marked point in [part i. the yearly course of the sun, such a prayer might suitably have been addressed to him by the Egyptians. The great as temple to Amen-Ra stated at Thebes, through oriented approached, has been above, is an avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, to the setting sun of the season so important to Egyptians, that of the fact summer opinion in solstice, and this strengthens to the that Amen its was considered be a god of is some way presiding year that over the course It the true and this right measurement. of his light orientation temple precluded the possibility of the from any star of the constellation ; Aries it ever shining into the shrine of the god but is perhaps possible that the ceremony of "the great montr^ etait \'6te, ingtjnieusement) ne se leve plus, ou vient I'hiver oil les mois s'en vent hors leur place, ou les heures se brouillent, ou les grands t'appellent, 6 Anion, ou les petits te cherchent, ou ceux meme qui sont encore dans les bras de leur Amon trouve Donne les souffles nourrice, ceux-la (crient) fort ou ' ! ' : — Amon les ecoute, ; agr^ables la palette il Amon est me donne le sain devant qui marchent les souffles d'etre comme I'aile du vautour, comme chargee des discours des Esprits pour les bergers dans champs, pour les laveurs sur la berge, pour les garde-chasse qui sortent au territoire des gazelles afin de lacer (le gibier)." M. Maspero and difficult to states that the latter lines of the text are injured decipher or to understand. " — 35 PART I.] AMEN AND EGYPTIAN YEAR feast-day of Anion Father," described by Ebers, devised by the votaries of may have been as a Amen means whereby they could honour the god, as one presiding over the most propitious season of the year, and also recall the sidereal connexion of the god of the year with the, from times im- memorial highly reverenced, constellation Aries. At pp. 277 and 278 of Egypt, ii., Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque, vol. figures in Ebers, having referred to some represented on the walls of a Memnonium II., the Nekropolis erected by Rameses exactly opposite to the Great : Temple of Karnak, observes " Of these figures the inscription says : — As ' they approach the king their arms are choice produce and stores, and all filled with the that the earth brings forth are gathered to good things by them add to the joy on the great feast-day of Amon, refer to the great 'feast of the the father.' "These words Valley' {heb en-ant), when, on the 29th day of the second month of the inundation, the statue of Amon was brought forth from the sanctuary with much magnificence and solemnity, and conveyed across the Nile to the Nekropolis, that the god might there 7,6 THE CONSTELLATION ARIES priests of the [part i. offer sacrifices to his ancestors in the other world. house of Seti received the procession with the splendid bark Sam, the most sacred of all the vessels that were preserved in the temple of The Karnak borne : in this the statue of the god was placed, and of Seti, and then round first to the Memnonium the about the Nekropolis, preceded by a crowd of temple servants, who strewed way with sand. The solemnities ended with a grand nocturnal spectacle, on the great sacred lake of which traces may still be seen to the extreme south of the Nekropolis. " The Egyptian religion prescribed to all its tombs of their dead and bring offerings, in grateful remembrance of their parents and forefathers and as, day after day, millions of suns had gone to rest as men do behind the realm of tombs in the Libyan hills, the god himself was brought to do honour to his departed ancestry, and to sacrifice to them." followers that they should visit the ; — — The closely rising of the Nile in Egypt the II. coincides very solstice. with date the of season of summer date At the Rameses on —a not yet unanimously agreed by scholars, but which B.C. may in be safely placed between 1,400 and 1,100 at the season of the — the sun the summer solstice II.), was and constellation Cancer (see Plate CO ^ u .n ^ "> ^ CO — "J -s« (J •i;rSS p"' ,..'•'' *m «-^ OT tt to tM tM .^ IVJ ° QC \±rriz^ So"" u. I O I- e z^ V) U. O ro oS e\j hi^ -^ ::; <^- < -^g H Ah «>,»t* «' lis 5:2 ^1^ a. a O : fc , ' : .'V- o a. O UJ L 1-<L ^ PART I.] AMEN AND later its ARIES 37 two months posed point place in the ecliptic was a few degrees to the west of a point exactly opto the first stars of Aries and to the initial of the Indian Zodiac. On the evening, therefore, of the 29th day of the second month of the inundation, when hills, the sun had now sunk behind the Libyan sufficiently and daylight had faded to to allow of them show their light, the first stars Aries rose above the eastern horizon, and at midnight attained to the southern meridian. Thus of the of at the season of all the year, when statue Aries specially dominated the ecliptic, the as god his Amen dark the was, we learn, brought in out temple shrine Nekropolis, and carried procession to from whence the constellation walls and — not columns — was Aries hidden fully by ; obstructing visible and there to " honour was done and Father." sacrifice offered Amon But stand ' it may be said that we should underthe "the second is month of inundation" stars in When the sun about 7° below the western horizon, the opposite quarter of the heavens begin to be visible. " 38 to refer THE CONSTELLATION ARIES to [part i. the second counted month of the from the Egyptian sidereal (fixed) Sirius. year the ist Thoth of and marked the by hehacal rising At date of Rameses the beginning as of this sidereal year fell, may be the proved, a Plate II.), fortnight after the summer 29th solstice (see and of still on the of second Aries month might its this sidereal year the stars of in be seen rising first the east — no longer only stars, but nearly the whole constellation then visible stars, « becoming brightest — and and ^ at about midnight culminated the its Arietis, on the of meridian. Whether, " therefore, at " Feast the Valley was of the held the end of or the of second the stars month of actual inundation, sidereal its second month of the year, the Aries presided over " nocturnal solemnities. Some festivals scholars claim, however, that all Egyptian were swept round through the seasons, stars and the course that marked those seasons, firmly in the of fourteen or fifteen hundred years, inasas much they were bound to the vagtie calendrical year of 365 days. If this was indeed PART so, I.] FIXED AND VAGUE YEARS would be II. 39 I. it difficult to imagine that Seti or Rameses could have established the festival in question as in any way connected with honour ; to be paid to the constellation Aries for though during the reign of early fixed Seti, and perhaps during the vague closely part of that of Rameses, the and (see years II.), coincided more apart or less Plate yet before the death of far Rameses they ist were already so (vague) solstice, fell, that the Thoth not a fortnight later than the ; summer but about a fortnight earlier and therehave fore on the 29th day of the second month of the stars vague year the risen until of Aries would not long after sunset, nor would any one of them have culminated on the meridian at midnight. If now we unlike turn at our attention to the temple Simbel, to Amen-Ra is Aboo to we may observe at that, it that the same god definite Karnak, of the not oriented rising to any season it year. The sun shines into into the now, and must always have shone of that Holy of Holies rock-hewn temple on the morning of a day somewhat more than two months distant 40 THE CONSTELLATION ARIES solstice, [part i. from the winter a and somewhat less than month before the season of the spring equinox, on the namely, morning of the 26th February (Gregorian)/ The sun now in the (1893 a.d.) is, at the ; season named, if constellation to Aquarius but we calculate back 1,100 a date anywhere find between (see 1,400 III.) and that to B.C., we shall II. Plate this when 1 Rameses was fortunate to dedicated temple "I visit in seeing another wonderful thing during great temple is my Aboo Simbel. The it dedicated to is Amen-Ra, both halls the sun-god, and on two days sends a in the year the sun said to rise at such a point that till beam of light through it falls on the shrine are itself in the very Holy of Holies. Many theories based on the orientation of the temples, and Captain in the spring of the year the Johnston wished to find on which day phenomenon took place ; so he took his instruments, and we all went up to the temple before The great hall, with its dawn. It was the 26th February. eight Osiride pillars, was wrapped shrine. in semi-darkness. Still darker were the inner gods, hall and Behind the altar sat the four deified. Amen, Horus, Ptah, and rosy Rameses flush ; himself, now All the East was a deep filled then that paled, it and grew, a hard white light till, the sky. Clearer and whiter with a sudden joyous rush, the sun swung up over the low ridge of hill, and in an instant, like an arrow from the bow of Phoebus Apollo, one level shaft of light pierced the great hall and fell in living glory straight upon the Gazette, shrine itself"— A. April, F. [Extract from the Pall Mall 20th 1892.] -«^ iM o a. LJ s zu o 1^; ,• H25 'if Pt-' ^^V'y> Pi § B a u 6.^i' Oh S <U u < •i^l ZN ^l!t zu oh z tn a. os o : ^r^^ I- o £ Si" g N O — CD Z u < ao <X I<-> '« .•• ••! bo .S L. q: hH SV U PARTI.] TEMPLE ORIENTED TO ARIES the sun the 41 into Amen-Ra, shrine of when at first it penetrated the in temple the this Aboo Simbel was stars conjunction with tion of the it constella- Aries, and to fact must, would put seem, encourage us adopt the opinion forward II. above concerning the desire of Rameses to honour that constellation in connexion with the god Amen. It would seem then that there are indications in the mythology of and in the to history of the Egyptians, Aries, honour paid the constellation and as we further study the records I of antiquity, now within our reach, it will, believe, become evident also all that not only the Egyptians, but the great civilized nations of the East, had traditions of a year beginning when the sun and moon entered the constellation Aries year as 'that in — such a use amongst the Babylonians during their long existence as a nation, and such as that in which is used by the Hindus India to this present day. If will we allow weight to these considerations, to it be difficult think that such a it method of reckoning the year — involving, as did, the recog'. 42 THE CONSTELLATION ARIES under the [part i. nition of the ecliptic star-groups fanciful at figures of the Zodiac — should have been arrived by each of these nations independently. whether some " this Whether bequeathed is still one nation borrowed these ideas from another, or earlier race of men not " knowledge to their many descendants, an open question. Scholars have unanimously awarded the palm of seniority in civilization to any one nation, and we are not at variance with proved facts, if we elect to adopt the theory of a common If, stock, from which the divergent races sprang. it then, should appear that these races possessed and into their incorporated of the as mythologies a knowledge first Zodiac, and of the degree of Aries its initial point, their separation from the parent stock must have been subsequent to the formation of the scheme that dealt with a calendar based on an observation of the colure of the winter at that point, solstice and under this supposition the date of 6,000 B.C. becomes a foothold for the chronology of ancient history. the We should also be led to think of common ancestors of the civilized races not as ignorant barbarians, but rather as men graced with high intellectual gifts — men whose teachings have PART I.] ZODIAC PREHISTORIC all 43 to this been handed down through present day, and of the ages whose imaginings the Zodiac remains as the most ancient monument of the work of intelligent man. Ill ^* {GU), ELEVENTH CONSTELLATION OF THE ZODIAC [Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archceolog)', February 1896] In the astronomical tablets (of the B.C. ) ist and 2nd cent. translated by Epping and Strassmaier, the twelve of the to. constellations Babylonian Zodiac are con- stantly referred Their names appear under very the tablets, and are as follows } abbreviated forms 1. in — [Ey {ku{sarikku)) = aries. 2. j^y {te{mennu)) »]f- = = = = — = = = = = = taurus. 3. 4. >^ (masu) {jpulukku) gemini. cancer. leo. -^K, 5. 6. 7. W {aril) (seriT) JEJ"* virgo. libra. ^\ {zibanitu) ** rif: 8. 9. ^^ (fa) {aqrabu) scorpio. arcitenens. 10. J^ jJ^J (enzu) caper. 11. JJ^i^ (gu) amphora pisces. [aquarius]. 12 1 Zeitschrift fiir Assyriologie, v 41 Band, 4 Heft, Oct. 1890, p. 351. PART I.] MEANING OF GU UNCERTAIN in 45 Also Epping- and Strassmaier's work, Astronornisches aus des Babylon, under the heading pp. Die and Zeichen Thierkreises, Stei^ne, 170, 175, 171, Namen der pp. in 174, the twelve abbreviations met with the tablets are discussed at some length. From a study of the to, list here given it and of has been the passages referred we learn that found possible to suggest for some of the abbreand in the viations suitable terminations, completed words thus obtained, the familiar constellations of the Zodiac, recognized. as we know them, of the are easily to be As sign regards other that of abbreviations, and amongst them ^^ it (Gu) for the eleventh (Amphora ; or Aquarius), no termination has been suggested p. 171: — " Gu Epping thus and of ist Strassmaier thus writes } fast sonst ausschliesslich nur dis- als Silbenzeichen gu bekannt"; and Jensen, cussing list, and of the Strassmaier's constellation writes abbreviation Gu for ' the eleventh constellation:^ ^ "Ob Gu p. einen Was- Astronornisches aus Babylon. ^ Kosmo logic der Babylonier, 314. P — 46 sereimer,' nicht. ' ELEVENTH CONSTELLATION [part i. Schopfeimer,' bezeichnen kann, weiss ich Die bisher veroffentlichten Texte geben a probable completion for the abbreviation is keinen Aufschluss dariiber." As In Gu, the following suggestion the ancient here put forward tablets : astrological in translated by Professor Sayce his Paper, The Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians} pp. 189, 190, " the star of Gula" is mentioned. The first syllable of this word is composed of the same cuneiform group as that used in the abbreviation for the eleventh constellation of the Zodiac in the astro- nomical tablets of the first and second centuries it B.C. above referred would to to. But this fact, if stood alone, point late not be enough to do more than of a possible identification Gu in the tablets with Gula in the ancient astrological works. Amongst the name the of many constellations in the heavens more than one however, mio-ht have begun with the syllable Gu. We find, at a later page (206) of this Professor Sayce's Paper, III. sentence translated from W.A.I., 1 57, i :— iii., Transactions^ Biblical Archaology, vol. February 1874. PART I.] GU=GULA=BAU Gula lingers." 47 " Jupiter^ in the star of None of the five planets known to the Babylonians could ever with truth have been described as appearing or in "lingering" any part of the heavens outside " the band of the Zodiac stars. stellation) of Gula," The star (or con- we must therefore assume, was a Zodiacal star or constellation. This restriction it of the position of the "star of Gula" renders scarcely a rash conclusion to arrive is at, that the Zodiacal for the Gu of the later tablets an abbreviation Zodiacal Gula of the ancient astrological works. As known that to a mythological reason for the choice of the goddess Gula to preside over the constellation to us as Aquarius, we find it in the fact the god- Gula appears as another (or name for dess Bau and Bau ^ Bahu) was a personification of the dark water, or chaos. If we adopt this identification of the star or constellation Gula with the constellation, or it some star in the constellation, Aquarius, will throw light Strassmaier, 1 Or, rather, "Mercury." Babylon, p. See 112 Epping et seq. p. and i, Astronomisches 2 aiis Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, 672, notes 2. 48 ELEVENTH CONSTELLATION [part r. on many of the inscriptions found on statues and other the monuments Lagash). find at Telloh (the modern name of mound which covers the ruins of the ancient city of We as from these inscriptions that the deities especially worshipped at Lagash were not the same foremost places those who in held the contem- poraneously in the the Accadian, and at a later time Babylonian Pantheon. consort," Ningirsu and "his Bau, received in beloved the goddess honours. Lagash the highest On one of the statues of Gudea, "the priestly governor of La- gash," this inscription occurs } " [this — To is Ningirsu, the powerful warrior of Ellilla dedicated] by Gudea, priestly governor of Lagash, " who has constructed the temple of Eninnu, consecrated to Ningirsu. For Ningirsu, his lord, he has built the temple of Ekhud, the tower in stages, from the summit of which Ningirsu grants him a happy lot. " Besides the offerings which Gudea made of his free will to Ningirsu and to the goddess Bau, daughter of Anna, his beloved consort, he has made others to his god Ningiszida. 1 Evetts, JVeiv Light Ofi the Bible, p. 162, PART I.] NINIB AND BAU 49 That year he had a block of rare stone brought from the country of Magan he had it carved into a " ; statue of himself " On : the day of the beginning of the year, the day of the festival of Bau, on which offerings were made one calf, one fat sheep, three lambs, six full grown sheep, two rams, seven pat of dates, seven sab of cream, seven palm buds. " Such were the offerings made to the goddess Bau in the ancient temple on that day." Ningirsu, the god — so highly exalted in this and in other inscriptions found in the identified with the mounds of Telloh — has been god Ninib^ of the Babylonians. vails as to Much difference of opinion pre- what astronomical ideas were connected by the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia with the god Ninib. Jensen admits that the generally received opinion as to Ninib sun."^ is that he represents the "southern He, however, contends, with great eageris ness, that this is a mistaken opinion, and that Ninib really the eastern or rising sun. Many of Jen- sen's arguments against the ' possibility of Ninib Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, pp. 637, 645. p. - Jensen, Die Kosmologie der Babylonier, 460. so ELEVENTH CONSTELLATION the [part i. representing southern sun are based on the assumption that the epithet "southern," applied to the sun, denotes the power of the mid-day sun ; whereas, in other descriptions of Ninib, he appears as struggHng with, though in the end triumphant over, storm, and cloud, and darkness. in his daily course attains the The sun southern meridian at noon, and that may well be described by Jensen as the "alles verzehrenden und versen- genden Siid-oder Mittagssonne," but sun the " if we think of the sun in his annual course, the words "southern may more fitly in an astronomical sense mean struggling and finally triumphant sun of the winter solstice. And if we so understand the ex- pression, the apparently contradictory references to Ninib are easily explained. At mid-winter the sun rises and sets more to ; the south than at any other time of the year at is noon on the day of the winter heavens than If, solstice the sun forty-seven degrees nearer to the south pole of the it is at the summer solstice. instead of adopting Jensen's contention, and looking upon Ninib as the eastern rising sun, we revert to the generally held opinion that Ninib was PART I.] WINTER SOLSTICE IN AQUARIUS if 51 the god of the southern sun, and its we understand sense as the the southern sun in winter, astronomical or more strictly speaking the mid-winter sun, it will naturally lead us to the conclusion that "the day of the beginning of the year," the day of the festival of Bau, Ningirsu's ( = Ninib's) "be- loved consort," was held at the time of the winter solstice. Speaking B.C., in round numbers, from 4,000 to 2,000 the winter solstice took place in conjunction when its the sun was with the constellation Aquarius, which constellation, or some one called of stars, was, as has been suggested, by the Babylonian astronomers, Gula, Gula being another It is name for Bau. not therefore surprising to find that those rulers of Lagash, whose dates B.C., fell between 4,000 associated that B.C., and 2,000 together should have so ; often Ningirsu and is Bau and further, Gudea, whose rule placed at about 2,900 should on "the day of the beginning of the year" have kept high festival in honour of Bau, as the beneficent deity presiding in conjunction with Ningirsu over the revolving years. The precession of the equinoxes must neces- 52 sarily in ELEVENTH CONSTELLATION the [part i. course of ages introduce confusion into all ritual into all Zodiacal calendars, and and mythological symbolism founded on such calendars. From in 2,000 B.C. down to the beginning of our era, the winter solstice took place when the sun was conjunction with Capricornus, not with Aquarius. if In those later days, celebrated their solstice, the inhabitants of year's festival at Lagash the still new winter Bau ( = Gula = Aquarius) could only have laid a traditional claim to preside over it. In accordance with these astronomical facts, learn we the in from the teachings of the tablets that the reverence inscriptions especial paid to Bau = Gula, to in Lagash was not extended even her later times. As later to Ninib, we know that at Gudea's in date in the neighbouring state of Accad, and times in Babylon, he did not hold the preto eminent position accorded of Lagash. him by the early rulers This difference in the religious observances of Accad and Lagash regarding Ninib him to be the god of the winter we suppose solstice may also if — — receive an astronomical explanation. PART I.] ARIES AND AQUARIUS to 53 According the evidence the of The Standard of Astrological Work, compilation the which e.g., is generally attributed to date 3,800 and according to the evidence of the year in many in other tablets, Accad and afterwards Babylon began not at the winter solstice, but on the ist day of Nisan, and Nisan (Ace. Bar zig-gar), the month of " the sacrifice of righteousness," was, as suggests, the its name month during which date, the sun was in conjunction with the constellation Aries. At Gudea's Nisan, if it about 2,900 B.C., the ist of was dependent on the sun's fallen entry into Aries, must have about midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, and as century succeeded century, the ist of Nisan must slowly but surely have receded solstice further from the to the and have approached more and more equinoctial point. In Accad, therefore, neither at Gudea's nor at any later date, did the year begin at the winter in that solstice, state, and hence we can understand why in in and afterwards Babylon, Ninib was not as highly honoured as his Lagash, and why he and to as consort Bau ( = Gula) were not referred ; 54 ELEVENTH CONSTELLATION deities [part i. the year. presiding over the beginning of the In a former number of these Proceedings^ to the I drew attention Accadian calendar. first It was there suggested that the choice of the of Aries originally degree as the initial point of the Zodiac was made when B.C. the winter solstice coincided into with the sun's entry that constellation, i.e. about 6,000 If that suggestion, and the present one conin cerning accepted, the it new will year's festival Lagash that are the be easy to imagine Lagash observance betokened a reform the sidereal calendar it sort of effort to in use in Accad, and may be In elsewhere. to Accad the calendar makers clung instituted the originally star-mark for the year, and made it begin with the sun's entry into Aries the beginning of their year therefore by degrees moved away from first the winter solstice, and in the century B.C. coincided very closely with the spring equinox. In Lagash, on the contrary, the calendar makers 1 January 1S92, V. p. 13. ; PART I.] RIVAL CALENDARS 55 clung to the originally established season of the year, and made it begin at the winter solstice year therefore by degrees the beginning of their moved away from the constellation Aries, and in festival Gudea's time the new year's was held in honour of the goddess Bau = Gula = Aquarius. — IV THE MEDIAN CALENDAR AND THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS [Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archceolog)', June 1897] In a former number^ of these I Proceedings I contrasted as follows, what believed to be the the in- calendar of the Accadians with that of : habitants of Lagash " In Accad the calendar makers clung instituted to the originally star-mark the for the year, and [the made it begin with ; sun's entry into constellation] Aries therefore by degrees the be- ginning of their year solstice, moved away from century b.c. the winter and in the first coincided very closely with the spring equinox. "In Lagash, on makers clung 56 the contrary, the calendar season to the originally ' established V. p. 54. PART I.] EQUINOX year, ; IN it TAURUS begin at 57 of the and made the winter by degrees the beginning of their year moved away from the constellation Aries, and in Gudea's time [about 2,900 B.C.] the new year's festival was held in honour of the goddess Bau = Gula = Aquarius," solstice therefore I now used, ; desire to draw attention to to the Median from or in calendar, that which as appears have in differed above suggested, Accad Lagash inasmuch as the beginning of the Median year was not dependent on the sun's entry into the constellation Aries, as in fixed to Accad ; nor was as it the season of the "winter solstice in Lagash. The beginning to the of the Median year was fixed season to of the spring equinox, and remainthat ing true season, followed no star-mark. The that great importance, however, of Tauric sym- bolism in Median art seems to point to the fact when the equinoctial year was first established the spring equinoctial point was in the constellation Taurus. case, Astronomy teaches us in that was the to speaking B,C. round numbers, from 4,000 2,000 — THE MEDIAN CALENDAR It is ; 58 [part i. true that we have no documentary proof Median equinoctial calendar in in of the existence of a the remote past, such as that which we possess the Babylonian standard astrological works re- garding the ancient sidereal Accadian the calendar. repre- We have, however, of the among modern a sentatives distinctive Medes, the Persians, very calendrical observance, namely, that of festival the Nowroose, or the of the new year and we have the Persian tion of this festival tradition that the instituantiquity. : was of fabulous I quote from Ker Porter's remarks on this subject "The 2 1 St of March, the impatiently antici- pated day of the most joyous festival of Persia, at last arrived. It is called the feast of the roose, or that of the its commencement of is the Nownew year; and institution attributed to the cele- brated Jemsheed, who, according to the traditions and the fragments yet preserved of its early native historians, was the sixth in descent from Noah, and the fourth sovereign of Persia, of the race of Kaiomurs, the grandson of Noah. But to return to the feast of the Nowroose. It is acknowledged to have been celeof the country, . . . brated from the earliest ages, in Persia, indepen- PART I.] PERSIAN NOWROOSE ; 59 dent of whatever religions reigned there whether the simple worship of the One Great Being, or under the successive rites of Magian, Pagan, or Mahomedan institutions." {Travels, vol. i. p. 316.) This equinoctial and solar year, as the writer proceeds to point out, sians, is adhered to by the Percele- though they, being Mahomedans, also festivals, brate Mahomedan lunar purposes make use of It is and for many lunar the Mahomedan year. easy to see how greatly the Persian roose differs from the purely lunar NowMahomedan the anniversaries of about —anniversaries circuit which in course thirty-two and a half years necessarily through the seasons. so solar make a complete difference, The exists all though the not marked, which between soli-lunar purely Nowroose, the and festivals, such as those of of. Babylast, lonians, should also be taken note like our These Easter, were dependent on the phases of therefore "moveable." the moon, and were The is Persian Nowroose, like our Christmas Day, an "immoveable" sprmg equmox. festival —fixed to the day of the — 6o THE MEDIAN CALENDAR Modern tradition [part i. concerning the distinctively Persian custom of celebrating the if it Nowroose would, but historical stood alone, furnish very slight grounds on ; which to found a far-reaching theory evidence confirms this tradition to a great extent, by teaching us that the Median and Persian worshippers of Ahura Mazda, and of Mithras, Sassinide dynasty, certainly under the and almost with equal certainty under the Achaemenid kings, kept their tivals calendar and in celebrated their religious differing their fes- a manner ; from that of the sur- rounding nations their years months were not lunar, were not soli-lunar but distinctly solar, to and the spring equinox was the date which as closely as possible the beginning of their year fixed. was In Darmesteter's translation of the the Persian months are treated of in p. 33, Zend Avesta Appendix C, and in : Appendix D, p. 37, we read of the Persian years " L'annde etait divisee en quatre saisons, corre- spondant aux notres. Cette division ne parait guere ; que dans I'Avesta les textes post-avest^ens mais il y a dans meme des traces de son existence ancienne, PART I.] MITHRAS AND EQUINOX 6i La division normale de I'annee est, dans I'Avesta, ; en deux saisons, 6t€ et hiver I'et^, hama, qui comprend les sept premiers mois (du i" Farvardin au 30 Mihr, soit du 21 mars au 16 octobre). . , . Cette division a une valeur religieuse, non seule- ment pour le rituel, mais aussi pour les pratiques, qui varient selon la saison." The worship was introduced fall of the Persian sun-god Mithras into Rome about the time of the far this of the Republic. How worship differed from that taugfht in the Zoroastrian writing's ; we need been, not inquire it however changed it may have was evidently derived originally from a Persian in in The worship of Mithras, spite of much opposition, gained many followers Rome. The birthday of the sun-god was kept or a Median source. at the winter solstice, but the great festivities in his honour, ''the mysteries of Mithras,^' were as a rule celebrated at ^ the season of the spring equinox,^ volume of his Cumont, in the first Monuments figuris relatifs aux " mysteres de Mithra, p. 326, having spoken of the solstitial : honour of the birthday of the god, observes as follows certaines raisons de croire que les equinoxes etaient aussi des jours feries ou I'on inaugurait par quelque salutation le Les initiations avaient lieu de preretour des Saisons divinisees. ," ference vers le debut du printemps, en mars ou en avril. festival in Nous avons . E 62 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS famous even among [part i. and were Roman festivals. Let us now turn our attention to the Tauric symbolism so closely connected with Mithraic obser- vances in Rome. in AthencBum thus describes a Discovery was made during some excavations at Ostia of a handsome house containing among its various rooms a mithr(Bum. Into the kitchen opens a narrow and tortuous passage, from which by a small half-concealed stairwriter A the •} Roman Mithraeum " . . . case the rnithrcBum is reached ; ... is it is quad- rangular and regular in shape, as in buildings of the kind. o usually the case of the two lateral side opposite the Almost the whole length o walls run two seats, and on the door is seen a little elevation, which served as the place Mithras arity in for the usual statue of the act of thrusting his dagger into the Bull. neck of the mystic of this little A very singular peculiis Ostian mithrceum that it is entirely covered with mosaics alike. —pavements, figrures all is seats, and walls The various and the in symbols are splendidly drawn, and black tessercB on a white ground. a genius bearing a lamp, that 1 executed Upon each side of the seats, turned to the entrance door, is, figured the genius of the 6. Athenaum, 1886, October 30 and November PART I.] MITHRAS SLAYS BULL 63 spring- equinox, with the face raised, and that of . . the autumn equinox, with the face cast down. It is . whole myth of Mithras is related to the phases of the sun hence are represented in the ground below the seats all the twelve signs of the zodiac, by means of the usual symbols, but each accompanied by a large star." in fact, that the . . known, . In the many sculptures of the Mithras group similar to that above described, which have been in so well figured Lajard's are Culte de Mithras, various heavenly bodies represented. The Scorpion (the constellation Scorpio of the Zodiac opposed to Taurus) joins with Mithras in his attack upon the Bull, and always the genii of the spring in and autumn equinoxes are present mournful attitudes. In joyous and looking at these plates the conviction is clearly forced sistently, and, upon our minds that the it Bull so per- by Mithras in may be added, so serenely, slain these Roman representations, is the it Zodiacal Bull, overcome, and as were destroyed daytime by the or banished from heaven, in the sun-god, and at night by Scorpio, the constellation in opposition. With almost equal conviction we 64 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS [part i. arrive at the conclusion that this triumph of Mithras was associated could traditionally — in Roman days it only have been traditionally — with in the oc- currence, at a remote date, of the spring equinox during the time that the sun was with the constellation Taurus. In the ruins conjunction of Persepolis, ruins of buildings designed, erected, and decorated by the worshippers of the supreme friend God Ahura Mazda, and of his and representative Mithras, Tauric symbolism abounds. We do not amongst these ruins find por- trayals of Mithras as a youth cap, wearing a Phrygian and "thrusting his dagger into the neck of the mystic Bull," but again and again, in the basreliefs adorning the walls, we do into find a colossal being thrusting his still dagger the body of a more " mystic " creature than the Bull of the creature Roman instance sculptures at least —a the combining of Bull, in one Lion, ^ attributes Scorpion, and Eagle, and frequently those of two or more of these animals. Perrot and Chipiez have supposed to this con- stantly repeated scene 1 represent imaginary See Plate IV. li^ Persepolis. Combat du roi et du griffon. Palais n° 3. Perrot et Chipiez. Histoire de I'Art dans rA7itiqintc, v. Tome opposite page 547. \To /ace p. 64. ; PART I.] BULL LION SCORPION EAGLE between the reigning or 65 contests possible monarch but and a all impossible monsters, very different impression was produced on the mind of Ker Porter by plain them, he these same bas-reliefs ; and though to ex- he did not adopt a purely astronomic theory was firmly convinced that the combat depicted was not one waged between an ordinary ordinary or extraordinary human being and an animal, but that it was a symbolical representation on by Ormuzd of the combat constantly carried (Ahura Mazda), and by his representative Mithras, against the powers of evil and darkness.^ With the astronomic 1 clue to Persian symbolism is "The man who contends with the animals ... repre- sented as a person of a singularly dignified mien, clad in long draperied robes, but with the arms perfectly bare. His hair, which is full and curled, is bound with a circlet or low diadem and his sweeping pointed beard is curled at different heights, in the style that was worn by majesty alone. The calmness of his air, contrasted with the firmness with which he grasps the . . . and beyond anything that would have been in the power of more elaborate action or ornament to effect. From the unchanged appearance of the hero, his unvaried mode of attack, its success, and the unaltered style of opposition adopted by every one of the animals in the contest, I can have no doubt that they all mean different achievements towards one great aim. animals, and strikes to his aim, gives a certainty to his object, figure, a sublimity to his . . ." — Ker Porter's Travels, vol. i. p. 672. 66 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS Roman it [part i. put into our hands by the sculptures, of which mention has been made, and by a study of the researches of Lajard, is not difficult to recognize in the composite animals represented on the bas-reliefs allusions not only to the Bull, Zodiacal spring traditionally associated to with other the the equinox, but the also three of constellations which at same date 4,000 to world's history (namely, from or less 2,000 b.c.) marked more i.e. accurately the remaining colures, the Lion, the Scorpion, and the Eagle. The there constellations of the Lion and the Scorpion, can for be the no doubt, were appropriate seasons, star marks summer and autumn was in when the spring equinoctial point as the Bull,^ but regards the it Eagle it must be admitted that point was though adjoins the Zodiacal Aquarius (the conin stellation which the winter its solstitial then situated), yet principal stars lie consider- ably to the north and west of that constellation. A ^ reason for the substitution of the Eagle (Aquila) for the Zodiacal Water-man or Water-jar The solstitial and equinoctial colures were situated, speaking in the constellations Taurus, in round numbers, for 2,000 years Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. PART I.] EAGLE FOR WATER-MAN 67 (Aquarius or Amphora) may, however, be found in the fact of the very great brilliancy of It is the first star Altair in the Eagle. a star of the there is magnitude. In third. the Water-man Persians, no star above the The we are told, had a tradition that four brilliant stars marked the four cardinal points {i.e. the colures). In Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio we there find stars of the first magnitude : was therefore no temptation for Mithraic calendar makers and mythologists to seek for an extra- Zodiacal spring, star to mark and represent ; the summer, or autumn seasons but for the winter solstice the only stars of the within at all first magnitude to the suitable distance were Aquila, north-west, or Fomalhaut to the south of Aquarius. far to the north as the For a nation dwelling as Medians are supposed (when the winter far to the to have done, Fomalhaut solstice was in Aquarius very south of the equator) would have been rarely visible. The choice by a Median astronomer and symbolic artist in search of a very brilliant star re- mark for the solstice would therefore have been stricted to the constellation of the Eagle, containing the conspicuous Altair, a star of the first magnitude. 68 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS The very constant association, in [part i. not only in Persian and Median, but also the mythologic art of other nations, of the Lion and the Eagle, i.e. seems that to confirm the view here put forward, constellations the of Leo and Aquila rather than of Leo and Aquarius were sometimes chosen to symbolise the summer and winter Lion and an solstices. The sun, Griffin, a fabulous animal sacred to the Eagle, is composed of a in a well-known figure In glyptic ancient classic art. Babylonian art and is Assyrian often sculptured and in Merodach represented as conflict with a Griffin. Merodach has been claimed by Jensen and. other writers as a personification of the sun of the spring equinox. The is for ever recurring triumph of spring over winter probably figured in Merodach's triumph over the Griffin. The association of Eagle and Lion is ; to be noticed in the arms of the city of Lagash they were "a double-headed Eagle standing on a Lion passant or on two demi-lions placed back to back." ^ In Lagash, as was pointed out in a former paper, the new year's festival appears to ^ have been held p. at the Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, 604. — — TART 1.] GRIFFIN : AND SOLSTICES 69 winter solstice such a supposition would furnish an astronomical interpretation for the arms of Lagash.^ Mythological references to the Eagle alone are also to be met with which point to the Celestial Eagle (Aquila) marking the winter solstice in lieu of the constellation Aquarius, as for instance the Babylonian legend of the ambitious storm-bird, Zu,^ who stole the tablets of destiny, and thus sought to vie in power with " the great gods." Here we may find allusions to the substitution 1 (deemed by some, passage In this connexion p. the following : from Sayce's Hibbert Lectures, 261, is interesting A at text copied for Assur-banipal, from a tablet originally written Babylon, contains part of a " the presence of . . hymn which had to be recited " in Bel-Merodach ... in the beginning of Nisan," . . O Zamama, thou not take thy seat ? Why dost He Bahu, the Queen of Kis, has not cried to thee." adds in a note that Zamama was the Sun-god of Kis, and was consequently identitied with Adar by the mythologists. On a contract-stone he is symbolized by an eagle, which is said to be "the image of the southern sun of Kis." It was claimed in a former paper (Feb. 1896) that " the Southern sun " was " the sun of the winter solstice" and that Gula ( = Bahu) was the name of the constellation, or of some stars in the constellaIn these lines Bahu, as I have suption Aquarius (V. p. 50). posed, Aquarius, and Zamama, symbohsed by the Eagle, the image of the Southern sun or winter solstice, are closely associated. 2 Maspero, Dawn of Civilization^ p. 666. 70 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS [part i. no doubt, unauthorized) of an extra- Zodiacal Zodiacal constellation. for a Again, in Grecian mythology the Eagle carry to is is sent by Zeus in Ganymede up Grecian astronomy Ganymede to It heaven, and placed in the constellation Aquarius. does not therefore seem unreasonable to suppose that the Eagle associated in the Persepolitan bas-reliefs with the is Lion, the the con- Bull, and the Scorpion (as at Plate IV.), stellational Eagle, symbolizing the winter solstice, is and that the compound animal emblematic of it the four seasons of the year, and also, of the four quarters of the world. If to may be, the composite monster of the bas-reliefs we to ascribe an astronomic motive, we shall be ready grant the in full same to other Tauric symbolisms prominent the Persepolitan ruins. With conviction we shall recognize in the demi-bulls which crowned the columns in Persepolis and Susa representations of the demi-bull of the Zodiac. are The resemblance required to is so striking that words it scarcely point out when once compared of these the outlines of the two figures have been (Plate v.). In the spirited description PLATE V. THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS CAPITAL FROM SUSA [To /ace p. 70. PART I.] PERSEPOLITAN DEMI-BULLS 71 capitals, quoted here from Perrot and Chipiez,^ are some lines, marked with to italics, which might be demi-bulls of the applied Zodiac. with exactness the On ne saurait cependant ne point admirer le grand gout et I'art ingdnieux avec lequel, dans ses bustes de taureau, il [I'artiste perse] a p\\6 la forme vivante au necessit^s de la decoration architecturale. " II a su la simplifier sans ; lui enlever I'accent de la vie les traits caracteristiques de I'espece sur laquelle s'est porte son choix restent franchement accuses, quoique les ils menus details soient dlimin^s ; auraient regard. I'epaule, de distraire et de troubler le Les polls de la nuque et du dos, de des fanons, et des flancs sont reunis en risqu6 masses d'un ferme contour, auquelles la frisure des boucles dont elles se composent donne un relief plus vigoureux col, ; en meme temps le collier qui pend au ce sont orn6 de rosaces et d'un riche fleuron qui tombe ; sur la poitrine, 6carte toute idee de realitd la des etres sacres et presque divins, que I'imagina- tion de I'artiste a comme crees a nouveau et modeles qu'il soit a son gre pour les adapter a la fonction qu'elle leur donnait a remplir. Cependant, tout place en dehors des conditions de 1 la nature, I'animal n'a ffistoire dfT Art dans rantiquite, Perse, p. 519. 72 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS Dans le [part i. pas perdu sa physionomie propre. mouveet ment de cotd, la tete, Idgerement inclince en avant sur la on sent la force indompt^e qui anime ce corps et ample puissant. struction et la Hardiment indiquees, la conmusculature des membres infdrieurs, se replUs sous le ventre, laissent deviner de quel elan le taureau se leverait et dresserait en pied, J 'en s'il venait a se lasser de son eternel repos. ai fait plusieurs fois I'experience au Louvre, devant la partie de chapiteau colossal que notre musde doit a M. Dieulafoy parmi les visiteurs qui se pressaient dans : salle, parmi ceux memes qui semblaient le moins prepares a eprouver ce genre d'impressions, il n'en est pas un qui n'ait subi le charme, qui de maniere ou d'autre, n'ait rendu hommage a la noblesse 'Strange beaute de ce type et a cette 1 singulier." For the exquisite columns crowned by these Tauric capitals the same writers have claimed a distinctively tain at Median origin. This claim they sus- great length, and with much architectural learning. in They show differed that in their proportions, and every detail of their ornamentation, the Perse- politan from the Ninevite, Grecian, or Egyptian column. They also point out that no- where except at Persepolis and at Susa is the PART I.] MEDIAN AND ASSYRIAN ART of the capital to 73 ; demi-bull yet be met that with this and they express is the opinion to feature, so far as known proper Persia, was mainly derived from, or helped at least by, the models of Assyria. Very close resemblances can indeed be traced in to Medo- Persian Assyrian art, and as the Medo- Persian buildings, whose ruins are at Persepolis and Susa, were erected certainly at a later date than the palaces of the site of Assyrian kings discovered on the it Nineveh, is natural to attribute, as Perrot all and Chipiez, and nearly ject attribute, writers on the sub- such resemblances to imitations of of the Assyrian art and symbolism on the part Medo-Persians. There are, however, some considerations which to make it difficult adopt this view. In the first place, the symbolism supposed to have been copied by the Medo-Persians was religious symbolism, and the religion of the different Aryan Medo-Persians was very kings from that of the Semitic Assyrians. The Achsemenid at who built their palaces Persepolis claimed constantly that they were worshippers of the one great Lord Ahura Mazda, ;4 of THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS whom [part i. Mithras was the friend and representative. That these kings should have adopted from the polytheistic Assyrians not only the Tauric symdescribed, bolism gested, above the but also, as it is sug- emblem of Ahura Mazda from that I, their one great Lord of Assur (see Plate VI. figs. 2, 3), would in itself be strange, but that all they should have done so followers when Assur and vanquished his had been utterly by the still victorious worshippers of Ahura Mazda, seems more improbable. From see the that, city, it the state in which the ruins of Nineveh easy to were when discovered by Layard most it is from the very day of it the part sacking of had It for the been of left its just as fell. may have been but its rifled material wealth, left literary and artistic treasures were uncared for and undesired. later the A few hundred years very site of Nineveh was unknown. The to it great city would not have been treated with artists such neglect had the Medo- Persian for turned inspiration and for themes of symbolic art with which to decorate the palaces of Persepolis. PLATE FIG. 1. VI. god ^he Assyrian FIG. 2. Assur. god The Assyrian Assur. PLATE VI. FIG. 3. The Median god Ahura Mazda. FIG. 4. Western portion of Constellation Sagittarius and the 74. Constellation Corona Australis. [To face p. PART I.] ASSYRIANS COPIED MEDES resemblance, 75 The however, art is between Medomust one Persian and Ninevite striking that in many instances so for it some way of accounting be sought, and those who are dissatisfied with explanation will naturally look about to find some alternative suggestion. The pose is alternative suggestion I would now pro- that the progenitors of the Assyrians at an early period of the world's history borrowed Tauric and other religious symbolisms from the ancestors of the Medes. In support of this theory the following considerations are put forward : Tauric symbolism, if it is at all astronomic, its points us back to a very remote date for institution, to first a date considerably earlier than that at which the existence of the Assyrian people as is an independent nation generally put. The symlatest, bolism already discussed must, at the have been originated about 2,000 as a nation B.C. Of the Assyrians earlier we have no monumental proof B.C. than 1,700 But I further, in the symbol of Ahura and Assur, believe an astronomic reference may be traced ;6 to THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS the position of the colures [part i. amongst the con- stellations, a reference which points us back not B.C., merely to a date between 4,000 and 2,000 rather, but and with curious precision, to the furthest B.C. limit of the time mentioned, namely to 4,000 To of penetrate into the meaning of this symbol Ahura we must study both the Median and the figure Assyrian representations of over the winged disc, presiding and we may also seek for further light to be thrown upon it by other refer- ences in Assyrian art to the god Assur. Ahura presiding over the winged in his circle holds ex- hand a ring or crown is ; Assur ; in some amples similarly furnished but more often he In this figure, the appears armed with variously bow and 1 arrows. that equipped, believe heavenly fig. 4), Archer, the Zodiacal Sagittarius (Plate VI. is to be recog'nized — Sao-ittarius, the constellation in which the autumnal equinoctial point was speaking in situated, round numbers, from 6,000 to 4,000 B.C. The fact that a crown or wreath or ring often in the replaces the bow and arrows hand of Ahura us doubtful and of Assur might at first sight make as to the connexion of the figure with the constella- PART I.] AHURA MAZDA AND ASSUR make Tj tion Sagittarius, but a glance at the celestial globe will rather this fact tell in favour of the astro: nomical suggestion here made close to the for there we find hand of the Archer the ancient Ptole- maic constellation Corona Australia (the Southern Crown), actually incorporated with the Zodiacal constellation Sagittarius. Not only do Assur's bow and crown remind tiara, us of Sagittarius, but his horned resembling so closely that worn by the man-headed Assyrian bulls, inclines us to look for some astronomic and and Tauric symbol. allusion in this Assyrian Median Gemini True opposed it is that, is speaking generally, and not Taurus to the constellation of the Zodiac Sagittarius, but owing to the irregu- larity in the shape and to size of the portions assigned in the ecliptic the Zodiacal constellations, the extreme western degrees of Sagittarius are opposed to the extreme eastern degrees of Taurus. There- fore about 4,000 B.C. the equinoctial colure passed Bull. in through the constellations of the Archer and the In the Assyrian Standard (depicted Plate Layard's Monuments of Nineveh, XXII.) 78 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS see [part i. we of the figure Bull, of an Archer in above that a galloping and another Assyrian Standard, that of Sargon II., we find not only PLATE VII. Standard of Sargon Perrot et Chipiez. II., King of Assyria, 722-705 B.C. Histoire de PArt dans t'Antiqidie, Tome v. 79. opposite page 508. \Tojacep. PART I] ARCHER, BULL, LION, WATER-MAN Bull, 79 the Archer and the 4,000 B.C. the two constellations equinoctial colure, which but marked the at the we may solstitial also clearly trace a reference to the two constellations which the colure, same date marked those of the namely, Lion and the Water-man (Plate VII.). Here the Archer dominates over a circle in which symmetrically duplicated Bulls appear, and duplicated Lions' heads emerge out of what appears to be a hollow vessel resembling a water jar ; the lines that traverse the disc wavy suggest streams that unitedly pour their waters into this jar. Below the jar again are to be seen halved and doubled heads, partly Lion and partly Bull. This Standard of Assur politan may (like the Perse- monster earlier described) be considered as an astronomic constellations monogram representing the four which marked the four seasons of the year, and the four quarters of the earth. The monogram of the Standard refers us back, for its however, to an earlier date origin than in does the monogram of the composite animal the Persepolitan bas-relief, for in the Standard the Archer is opposed to the Bull, in the bas-relief 8o THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS [part i. the Scorpion takes the place of the Archer, and the Eagle takes the place of the Water-man. The east to precession of the equinoxes advances from west amongst the stars. Therefore the Scorpion marked the colure at a later date than did the Archer. The Eagle, as has already been pointed out, is considerably to the west of Aquarius, and could scarcely have been chosen as a substitute in its for that constellation when the colure was extreme eastern degrees. Plate At VIII. is ; given the position of the not colures at 4,000 B.C. much earlier or much later than this date can we place the origin of the at Plate VII. symbolism Earlier Pisces, in the Standard shown not Leo and Aquarius, but Virgo the solstitial and would have marked colure. in Later not Sagittarius, but Scorpio, would have opposition to Taurus marked the B.C., equinoctial colure. At curious this date, 4,000 suggested with such accuracy by this Assyrian Standard, we have absolutely no trace of the existence of the Semitic nation of the Assyrians in Northern Mesopotamia. the In Babylonia two hundred years I. later Semitic Sargon ruled at Accad. In the PLATE c,CC&.^o. VIII. ^4bT^ Position of Colures amongst the Constellations at the dates 4,500-4,000 and 3,500 B.C. [ To face p. 80. PART I.] MANDA PROBABLY MEDES work drawn up, if 8i astrological not for Sargon yet, as we may judge from internal evidence, for is some king of Accad, no mention nation. made of the Assyrian The Phoenicians, " the Hittites, the Kings of Gutium, and the Umman Manda" are then the dreaded foes of Accad. follows : " the land. Of the Manda we read as The Umman Manda comes and governs The mercy seats of the great gods are Bel goes to Elam." is taken away. Professor Sayce the opposed to the view that Manda ; are necessarily identical with the Medes but he admits that Herodotus, following the authority of Medo-Persian writers, claimed as Median the If victories of the Manda.^ now on the authority of Herodotus and the Medo-Persian writers we possibility, assume, at least as a that these Manda were Medes, we all should expect to find them worshippers of Ahura Mazda. Ahura, it is on hands admitted, is the Iranian form of the Vedic Asura, just as Mithras is the Iranian form of the Vedic Mitra. At what- ever date the separation between Iranian and Vedic 1 Proceedings, vol. xviii. Part vi. pp. 176, 177. a 82 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS took place, [part i. Aryans the worship of Ahura (still probably under the form Asura) must have existed amongst the Iranians; indeed, many have all sup- posed that the monotheistic reform which placed one great Ahura or Asura above other Asuras, separation and above the Devas, occasioned of these two great It is the Aryan Lord in races. for the Ahura, times, called, as here supposed, Asura, that I early by the Aryan circle of Manda, would claim the astronomical symbol of the Archer presiding over the the ecliptic, or, in other words, over the circle of the year, and of a year beginning year, as has already at the spring out, equinox —a been pointed distinctively Median. to this supposition, in According then a powerful vicinity B.C. Median race was established in the of Babylonia early race the fourth millennium — the who worshipped one great Lord, first under name of Asura, afterwards under that of for these Ahura. It is Aryan Manda or Medes in that I would claim, at the date of 4,000 u.c, the original conception of the astronomic monogram which PART I] SYMBOLIC STANDARD MEDIAN may 83 so plainly be read an allusion to the four con- stellations of the Zodiac, which at that date marked i.e. the four seasons and the four cardinal points, Sagittarius and Taurus, Aquarius and Leo. as a Standard This monogram was used thousands of years later by the Semitic Assyrians. To the Manda or Medes, also, I would, as has been suggested, attribute the of the astronomic first imagining emblem common divine to Ahura and Assur — that of the Being presiding over the circle of the ecliptic. Berosus mentions a Median dynasty as having reigned in Babylon for one or two hundred years. Let us now suppose that the Manda for more than a thousand years held power in Northern Mesopotamia, but that at turned, and after in last the tide of conquest many struggles with the Semites the south the Aryans were finally driven from the land now known as Assyria, and a Semite race firmly settled in the regions from whence in Sargon's time the Umman Manda Kingdom b.c. had threatened the inhabitants of the this of Accad. That was the case about 2,200 may perhaps be gathered from the monuments of Hammurabi, the 84 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS and [part i. Semitic king of Babylon, for he refers in his letters to his troops in Assyria, in a lately discovered inscription of this king he speaks of restoring to its the city of Assur propitious genie, and of honouring Istar in the city of Nineveh. To nation, account for the existence of the Assyrian their close resemblance in language and race to the ruling Semitic class in Babylon, and yet to explain the great difference in the religion of these two peoples, has always been a difficulty. The Assyrians worshipped, and worshipped with all enthusiasm, the Babylonian gods ; but high above the whole Babylonian Pantheon they placed as their supreme and great Lord Assur is — Assur whose very name lonian mythology. in the following not to be met with in Baby- This difficulty I would explain manner. had, by When the Medes Hammurabi or his successors, been driven out of Northern Mesoposettlers tamia, they were replaced (like by Semitic who the settlers sent into Samaria later more than a thousand years by a king of Assyria) adopted, to a certain extent, the religion of the nation whom read they had dispossessed. In 2 Kings xvii. we PART I.] ASSUR, THE "GOD OF THE LAND" 85 that in this parallel instance " the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of : Samaria instead of Later in the same the children of Israel and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt chapter in the cities thereof." we read that in order to appease, as they believed, the wrath of the " God it of the land," these full idolatrous settlers, retaining in all the worship of their own gods, added to a worship of the Lord of the dispossessed I Israelites. would suppose then that the polytheistic settled in Semites, who in Hammurabi's time were had acted in Northern manner. Mesopotamia, a similar Coming into a region where for nearly 2,000 years the monotheistic Medes or Manda had extent his been established, they, to avert the wrath of the god of the land, adopted to a certain worship. In fact, like the Samaritans, " they feared the Lord [Asura], and served their own gods." religion This explanation of the difference in between the Babylonians and the Assyrians seems to yield also an explanation of the resemblances between the Assyrian and Median religions, or 86 THE CONSTELLATION TAURUS the [part i. rather of the resemblances between art of the religious to the in this two peoples proposed for ; and thus we return discussion earlier problem Paper, namely, the inadequacy of the generally held opinion which accounts for the resemblances in Persepolitan that and the Ninevite symbolic art by the supposing Assyrians. Medes borrowed from In support at p. of 75, the alternative the suggestion put forward that progenitors of the Assyrians at an early period of the zvorld's history borrowed Tauric and other religious I symbolisms that from the the ancestors of the Medes, would claim Assyrians borrowed not only religious sym- bolisms, but even the very name look of their god Assur from the Medes. For I upon Assur as a "loan word" adopted from the Aryan Asura. To the Medes in B.C., or Manda, who were, in as has been argued, about 4,000 the power I Northern Mesopotamia have attributed the origin of astronomic Assyrian them, first and Ahurian I emblem. attribute To the on the same of the grounds, imagining astronomic Assyrian Standard, and the devising of the man-headed and PART I] ASSUR DERIVED FROM ASURA monsters ; 87 winged Bulls " so I well known as full "Assyrian conviction, and to them would, with leave the honour of having invented, and not bor- rowed, the idea of the magnificent Tauric capitals that crowned the columns of Persepolis and Susa. all To a these conclusions of I have been led by equinoctial consideration the distinctively character of the Median calendar, taken in conin nexion with the importance given to the constellation Taurus. Median art ; V ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [Reprinted from the Report of the Acies of the Twelfth Oriental Congress held at Rome] Not much more than a hundred years ago the Sanscrit language began to yield to the study of Europeans some of its literary treasures. Almost to on the moment, a controversy arose as antiquity for the of the science of astronomy in to find in this India already scholars were amazed language long dead treatises, many learned astronomical besides complete instructions for calculalso ating, year by year, the Hindu calendar, as for calculating horoscopes. Some vealed, then proclaimed the wonderful facts re- and extolled the antiquity science, and accuracy European of this Indian while others, noticing the many points of resemblance between and Indian methods, supposed, and warmly advoss PART I.] GREEK the opinion, in V. INDIAN SCIENCE much of the 89 cated that astronomy contained Sanscrit works had been borrowed from the Greeks. Sir William Jones was amongst the lists first ; to enter the against this Grecian theory and he thus throws down antiquity his glove in defence of the and in originality of the science of as- tronomy " I India. engage to support an opinion (which the learned and industrious M. Montucla seems to treat with extreme contempt) that the Indian division of the Zodiack was not borrowed from the Greeks or Arabs, but, having been known in this country (India) for time immemorial, and being the same in part with that used by other nations of the old Hindu race, was probably invented by the first progenitors of that race before their dis^ persion." Since Sir William Jones wrote this challenge, and supported it with whatever at his linguistic and scientific resources were command, volumes authors have been of heated controversy by many devoted to the same subject. ^ On i. the Antiquity of the Indian Zodiack. Complete Works, vol. p. 333. 90 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. Just at present, however, an almost indifferent calmness has taken the place of the excited interest formerly manifested. The majority of to scholars, both European and Indian, appear as have ac- cepted, an axiom, the opinion that much of Indian astronomy, and certainly the twelve-fold to Indian of ac- quaintance with Zodiac, is the division the to be attributed Grecian influence. hold the view advo- A minority of writers still cated by Sir William Jones about a hundred years ago, and thus reiterated by Burgess (the translator of the Indian standard in astronomical work of the this Silrya-Siddhdnta) (twelve-fold) i860. "The use division, and the present names of any other country."^ this the signs, can be proved to have existed in India at as early a period as in The in minority who hold been in view are so few majority rest at present that, as has said, the all their opposed opinion the calmness of conviction. I will now as briefly as possible state the this chief arguments put forward, for conviction. ^ and against, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. vi. p. 477. FART I.] SOLAR ZODIAC GRECIAN In 91 intro- I. favour of the comparatively late into duction India of the it twelve-fold division of the Zodiac, is contended that the divisions of so closely resemble those the Indian Solar Zodiac of the Grecian (the Zodiac which depict on celestial globes), to we is to this day that it not possible sets believe that two nations or two of as- tronomers could independently of each other have imagined the same sequent series. fanciful and apparently incon- History does not tell of communication between to Greece and similarity India, sufficient account for this till of astronomical method, after b.c. the date of Alexander's conquest — about 300 have The Greeks could not at that late date first become acquainted with the figures of the Zodiac, for in Grecian literature of a much earlier age the figures of the Zodiac and other constellations are alluded to as already perfectly well known. all As the Greeks therefore could not have learnt lore their astronomic from the Indians, the Indians must have learnt from the Greeks at some date later theirs than Alexander's Eastern conquests. A corroboration of this opinion is drawn from 92 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. the consideration that, in the most ancient Sanscrit work in existence —the purely Indian taint Rig Veda, twelve-fold containing- no of the Grecian — the to divisions Zodiac appear be unknown. This opinion as to the Rashis or constellations of the Solar Zodiac the age of any is so generally adopted, that Sanscrit is work once in which mention of these Rashis occurs its at claims to antiquity may — no matter what be — set down as not modern date of earlier than the comparatively 300 B.C. II. As regards the Indians make use at poses, Indian Lunar Zodiac. present for The calendrical pur- not only of the twelve-fold Solar Zodiac, they have also a series of 27 Nakshatras, or Lunar mansions (this is for convenience sake designated It is by European writers as the Lunar Zodiac). admitted on all hands that the Nakshatra sources. initial series it was not derived from Grecian But is contended that the fixation of the this point of Lunar Zodiac (a point at the end of Revati of and the beginning of AswinI, 10 degrees west the to first point of our constellation Aries) was due an astronomical reform of the Hindu calendar, : PART I.] HINDU CALENDAR 570 A.D. 93 probably carried out under Grecian auspices at a date not much of earlier than is 600 a.d. A very clear statement of this opinion (the thus given by Whitney Surya editor Burgess' translation Siddhdnta) — of the "The initial point of the fixed Hindu sphere from which longitudes are reckoned, and at which the planetary motions are held by all schools of Hindu astronomy to have commenced at the creation, is the end of the asterism Revati, or the beginning of A9vini. Its situation is most nearly . . marked by that f that of the principal star of Revati is . star by us, all authorities identified with Piscium, of which the longitude at present, as the reckoned 17° 54'. by from Vernal Equinox, is (of the equinoxes), Making due allowance for the precession we find that it coincided in century, or position with the vernal equinox, not far from the middle of the sixth about a.d. 570. As such coincidence was the occasion of the point being fixed upon as the beginning of the sphere, the time of its occurrence marks of approximately the of era of the fixation of the sphere, and of the com- mencement astronomy."^ ^ the history modern Hindu Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. vi. p. 158, 94 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA view [part i. In further corroboration of this — deduced which I from the astronomical supposition italics) (to have drawn attention by this extract to. put forward in is — ancient Sanscrit lists literature appealed Hymns and to in referring to the Nakshatras in are be met with the Yajur and Atharva Vedas, which Krittika, now the third Nakshatra, first holds the place. The Nakshatra stars known to us brilliant Krittika contains the group of as the Pleiades. The most stars in in the Nakshatra Aswini are the two (the stars the head of the constellation Aries to Ram), known astronomers as a and p about It is Arietis. The 2,000 vernal equinoctial point coincided Krittika. B.C. with the constellation considered to be of this most probable that on account early coincidence, at the date when the hymns series, and list in question were composed, Krittika was chosen as the leader of the Nakshatra and hence a similar reason for it the later choice of AswinT as leader relegates to a date not much earlier than 570 a.d. I These very briefly, as far as have been able — PARI I.] INDIAN V- GREEK SCIENCE arguments 95 in favour to gather them, are the chief of— (i) The Grecian The date point of introduction of the B.C. twelve- fold Zodiac into India about 300 (2) 570 a.d. for the fixation of for the the initial of the of Indian the Zodiacs, and of commencement history Indian astronomy. These propositions are based on cogent reasonings, and are maintained by very high of the authorities. The opponents modern theory have brought : and bring forward the following considerations "The Brdhmans were always too proud to borrow their science from the Greeks, Arabs, Moguls, or any nation of MlSchcKhas, as they call those who are ignorant of the Vtfdas, and have not studied the language of the quoted to me (Sir an {ita old verse, Gods they have often William Jones) the fragment of which they now use proverbially ; nicho yavandtparah), or, ' no base creature can be lower than a Yavan,' by which name they formerly meant an Ionian or Greek, and now mean a Mogulr 1 1 Sir William Jones, The Antiquity of the Indiati Zodiack, Works, vol. i. Complete p. 345. — 96 ; ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. Again the same writer points out that the" resemblance between the Indian and the Greek Zodiac " not is which has often been observed between our Gothick days of the week and those of the Hindus, which are dedicated to the same luminaries, and (what is yet more extraordinary than that, same order Ravi, Mangala, Tuisco Sdma, the Moon the Sun Budha, Woden Vrihaspati, Thor Sucra, Freya more singular) revolve ; in the : ; ; ; ; Sani, Sater ; yet no man ever imagined that the Indians borrowed so remarkable an arrangement from the Goths or Germans." These William reflection considerations put forward by by Sir Jones that are further emphasized the not only does the Grecian theory of the proud and jealous their entail the improbability Brahmins adopting into science ; and their mythology the teachings of foreigners it but that also entails the greater improbability of the two rival Hindu sects. Brahmins and Buddhists, having at the same date and with equal enthusiasm adopted into their science and religious symbolism and calendars the same innovations. — PART I.] WEEK-DAYS— OLD WRITERS of the 97 Again the opinion beginning of our era Greek writers at the may be quoted was held as showing the high estimation in which, at that time of the world, Indian astronomy in the life of : as for instance (written about Apollonius of Tyana 210A.D. by Philostratus), the wisdom and learning of Apollonius are set high above those of all his contemporaries is ; but from the sages of India he represented as learning ^ many things, especially matters of astronomy. This high opinion held by Greeks to in regard Indian astronomy may be contrasted with the the very moderate praise bestowed on science by Garga, a Grecian supposed, Hindu writer of, it is the first century B.C. He says : "The Yavanas science (astronomy) (Greeks) are MIechchas (nonbut Hindus, or barbarians), is amongst them this well established. ; Therefore they are honoured as Rishis (saints) more then an astronomer who is how much a Brahman ? " ^ Somewhat ' to the same effect speaks a Hindu author of a later date, Varahamihira, Apollonius of Tyana, who wrote Book iii. chapter 13. ^ Romesh Chunder Dutt, Ancient India, p. 136. — 98 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. an astronomical dissertation treating of five different works known to him on the science of astronomy. He says : "There Paulisa, the are the following Siddhantas : The Romaka, Out of these five, the first two (the Paulisa and Romaka, which appear to have been European treatises) have been explained by the the Vasistha, the Saura, and Paitamaha. Latadeva. accurate, The Siddhanta made by near to {STlrya it ; Paulisa is stands the Siddhanta is pro- claimed by (Saura) ^ Romaka more accurate the Savitra Siddhanta, the Hindit standard are far from the work) truth. ; the two remaining ones "2 This moderate, and, as of Varahamihira, it reads, judicial opinion touching the superiority of the native Surya Siddhanta over the Paulisa and Romaka Siddhantas, may be appealed to as not ' This opinion of Varaha has been confirmed by modern European scholars. Burgess (from whose translations of the Surya Siddhanta we have already quoted) remarks, " in regard to the amount of the annual precession of the equinoxes, the relative size of the sun and moon as compared with the earth, the greatest equation of the centre of the sun, the Hindus are more nearly correct than the Greeks." {Journal of the American . . . Oriental Society, 2 vol. vi. p. 480.) The Pancliasiddhaniikd. Edited by G. Thibaut, ch. i. § 3. PART I.] VARAHAMIHIRA— BENTLEY the co - 99 conveying wrote his impression religionists that when avidity, Varaha were and with scientists accepting, wholesale and Grecian already that astronomic methods in place of their well-established in own is native science. It true Varaha's work are to many words ; evidently of Grecian origin be met with that these " and some scholars have claimed in Greek terms occurrine proofs Varahamihira's writings are conclusive of the Greek origin of Hindu astronomy." in That of such terms should occur a resunid of five a work professedly treatises astronomic —some them Indian, and some European — can scarcely be considered as conclusive proof that in the writer's time no purely Indian astronomic science existed. Varaha's writings suggest in an author interested comparing the resemblances and the differences be met with in to home and foreign methods, rather first than one introducing for the time important astronomic truths to the notice of his readers. It may be further urged that the claims to anti- quity in Sanscrit astronomical works are so well known, that those who adopt the Grecian theory must necessarily throw discredit in a very wholesale : lOO ASTRONOMY all IN THE RIG VEDA Bentley's [part i. manner on diatribes their authors. furious may be quoted in is as an extreme example of the way which the evidence of such Sanscrit sometimes dealt with ; claimants to antiquity it and may be pointed out that such violent denuncia- tion cannot be looked on as convincing argument. Bentley, "The hardly fact is," writes "that literary forgeries are now so common in India, that we can know what book is genuine, and what not is perhaps there probably in not one book in a hundred, nay, is a thousand, that ; not a forgery, in that some to point of view or other and even those are allowed or supposed to be genuine, are found be : full of interpolations, to answer some all particular ends nor need we be surprised at this, when we in consider the facilities they have for forgeries, as well as their own general inclination and interest ; for to give the appearance of antiquity to their books and authors following that profession increases their value, at least in the eyes of some. Their universal propensity the introduction of the to forgeries, ever since modern system of astronomy years, in a.d. 538, are but and immense periods of too well than those restraint any further elucidation They are under no of laws, human or divine, and subject to to require known already given. PART I.] NEW SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE if i loi no punishment, even Hterary impositions." It is detected in the most flagrant unnecessary now to further pursue the pros and cons of what has hitherto been on the vexed questions as to the said and written originaHty and antiquity of astronomy in India, and especially as to the Indian acquaintance with the twelve-fold fixation divisions of the Zodiac, and the date of the of the that is initial point in their Zodiac. We have seen by the majority the Grecian and modern theory quarter of a century, however, into the favoured one. Within the last an unexpected reinforcement has come field, in the aid of the disheartened and nearly silenced minority, who still believe in a great antiquity for the science of astronomy in India. The have of researches of archaeologists in Western Asia late brought to our knowledge vast hoards inhabitants of information concerning the ancient of Babylonia and Assyria, ; and the surrounding highlands and plains cerning the science amongst other matters, conof astronomy possessed by these peoples. A Historical View of the Hindu Astronomy, etc., p. i8i. I02 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. In 1874, a Paper entitled The Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians was read by Professor Sayce before the " Society of Biblical Archaeology,' and since that date other Papers, by various authors, dealing with the subject have appeared in the same Society's Proceedings. Also in the Zeitschrift fiir Assyriologie, articles have been contributed by such writers as Epping and Strassmaier, Oppert, Mayer, Mahler, Jensen, Lehmann, and others, in in which the calendars and astronomical methods use in Mesopotamia are discussed. Epping and Strassmaier's Astronomisches aus Babylon and Die Kosmologie der Jensen's Babylonier, these are important volumes devoted to same matters. else Whatever cussion, concerning the subject of all these writings remains uncertain and open to dis- some age facts are clearly established. We fourth now know remote millenium that the inhabitants of Babylonia in a (certainly as early as the b.c.) were acquainted with the twelve Zodiac, and that divisions of the these divisions in were imagined under figures closely resembling almost every instance those now depicted on our PART I.] ZODIAC IN ASIA, The 3000 B.C. 103 celestial globes. calendar used by the Acca- dians, and later by the Semitic Babylonians and Assyrians, was indeed based on the observance of the Zodiacal constellations and of the journeyings through them of the sun and moon. positions of the Jupiter, The varying Mars, planets, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn are also noted by references : to the Zodiacal asterisms and not only Zodiacal, but several of the extra-Zodiacal ancient constellations are represented on the monuments. All this information gained from the cuneiform tablets concerning the science of astronomy affect in Western Asia must undoubtedly the judg- ment of enquirers science in India, into the history of the same and Now that it is clearly proved that 3,000 b.c. earlier the twelve-fold fanciful signs of the Solar Zodiac were it known to the inhabitants of Babylonia, cannot the any longer be asserted dogmatically that till inhabitants B.C. of India must have waited from 300 to learn this twelve-fold division Grecian astronomers after the date of Alexander's conquest. But again as regards the fixation of the initial — ASTRONOMY I04 IN THE RIG VEDA "end is [part i. point of the distinctively circle of the Indian Lunar Zodiac, or of Revati, to say, at Nakshatras, at the and the beginning of A9vini," that a point not far from the first degree of Aries cuneiform tablets teach us the important fact that long before the equinoctial point coincided with any of the degrees of Aries, that constellation was the the leader of the Zodiacal series — inasmuch as month Bar zig-gar (Accadian) the " Sacrifice of is, righteousness," that the month when the sun year.^ was in conjunction ist with Aries, always in the tablets appears as the month of the These late revelations of archaeology seem relied to strike at the root of the main arguments on by the advocates of the Grecian and modern possible to turn with unbiassed is origin of astronomic science in India; and this being the case, ' it is fact minds first This admitted (see art. " Zodiac," sub-heading " it sign," Encyclopedia Briian?iica). But is a fact opposed to the " hitherto received opinion touching the necessary connexion of initial is the equinoctial point and of the prehistoric reform " point of the Zodiac. A of the calendar supposed, and corrections suggested. of the ancient texts to suit this reform, are Until exist, and corrections can be shown to the evidence of the tablets may still be cited as pointing traces of such reform to a counted from the sun's entry into Aries, ages of Babylonian civilization. year in the earliest PART I.] ARIES LEADER, 3000 consideration B.C. 105 to a of the teachings of Sanscrit literature, is and endeavour to learn from them what the real truth as to the acquaintance of ancient Indian authors with the figures of the Zodiac and other astronomic phenomena. The opinion has been very generally adopted, as has been said, that in the Rig Veda there is no mention of any of the twelve figures of the Solar Zodiac. Some this few writers have contended that occasional references to these figures are to be met with, and question has been argued ignorance on of all etymological the Sanscrit grounds. My entire language prevents me from in at following cussion. the arguments employed here that it this dis- And with may be said, and said with of points good reason, for the discussion connected Vedic in literature, writers ignorant of the language which the Vedas were comfor the task. posed are but step I ill equipped At every ; keenly feel my own ; disqualifications but many Veda broad translations and commentaries on the Rig and without entering it are in existence into etymological questions, has seemed to of me of that astronomic explanations some the io6 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA if [part i. myths might be supplied, only the possibility of the Vedic Rishis having been acquainted with the strange figures of the celestial sphere should be admitted. In this paper I am anxious to draw the attention of those who can study Vedic texts in their original language to these possible explanations. really Those only who know Sanscrit are to qualified judge finally whether the sugon further gestions here into made can be the sustained If enquiry of Vedic Vedas. here will the interpretations myths proposed are correct— no in doubt corroboration Sanscrit If be found for them the names and epithets of mythic personages. no such corroborations in are to be met with, the the probabilities favour of the correctness of will astronomic interpretations be greatly diminished. But to return to our subject. It is sometimes argued that the Vedic bards could not have been acquainted Zodiac, as with the twelve-fold division of the otherwise these great their this constellations would surely have claimed at hands clear and outspoken fully notice. With argument I cannot agree. Even before pointing out PART I.] ZODIAC IN VEDA DENIED I 107 the important place which in the believe astronomical I phenomena hold received and Rig Veda, would draw attention to the fact that according to the generally non astronomic explanation of the that still myths, striking it is necessary to suppose more the and important natural phenomena than with the constellations those connected of Zodiac — phenomena true with which the Vedic bards must certainly have been acquainted entirely ignored It is —were almost by the authors of the Rig Veda. that some great scholars for claim on linguistic grounds a solar origin ; imagery and nomenclature are examined in yet much Vedic when the hymns the notes translations, and and commentaries which accompany these translations are studied, the impression left on the mind of any reader unacquainted with Sanscrit must be that sun, very little attention or honour is given to moon, or stars, in comparison to that so freely fire, lavished on the elements of air and water, and on the mysterious properties of the juice of the Soma plant. The beauty of the dawn to is almost appeal the only celestial glory that appears with any io8 ASTRONOMY to IN THE RIG VEDA of [part . insistence Rishis. the imaginations the Vedic If out of the more than one thousand hymns of is the Rig Veda, not one addressed to the moon, calculation and on the most less it liberal considerably than a hundred to the sun, under any aspect, for need not be cause wonder if the constellations of the Zodiac are not remembered. The poets of the Rig Veda, however ignorant of astronomy, and at whatever age they lived, must have somefire times lifted their eyes above the sacrificial its and smoke, above the rain and storm-clouds, above their altars and libations of Soma. it They must shined if have often seen "the sun when "the moon walking rarely in brightness," " and and they so hymned it these great luminaries with whose appearance and existence they so certainly were acquainted, would prove no ignorance on their part of the twelve-fold division of the Zodiac its and quaintly imagined all figures, were it indeed the is case that mention of these figures absent from the Rig Veda. But as has been stated above, my desire is to draw attention to possible astronomic interpre- PART 1.] ZODIAC IN VEDA CLAIMED of 109 tations many of the Vedic myths, and the adoption of such interpretations would necessarily entail a reversal of the dictum that is all mention of the twelve-fold Zodiac Those who mysterious have absent from the Rio^ Veda. o studied this wonderful and collection of hymns most constantly that it and deeply are obliged very imperfectly to confess is it still understood, and though is agreed unanimously that the Gods of the Veda are personifications of the yet as to phenomena of nature, the exact phenomena underlying there is the various Vedic myths among is scholars much to difference of opinion. in It impossible not feel reading notes, speculations, hymns and the many and comments appended to the all them, that notwithstanding the labour of and this research ancient bestowed on the work, much Veda still remains a cypher, for the right the understanding of which not possess the key. modern reader does of archaeology, Guided by the teachings I now make the suggestion that the key to this cypher may perhaps be found in crediting the authors of the Veda with a somewhat advanced " 1 10 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. knowledge of astronomy, and an acquaintance with the, to us, apparently fanciful constellations of the celestial sphere figures and Zodiac ; and in assuming that the of the " ancient constellations often supplied the basis of Vedic imagery. To that pursue this possible clue it towards the underto standing of the myths, all were much be desired students should be acquainted with the names and " ancient " positions in the heavens of the forty-five constellations —so well distinguished by the epithet — and easily that they should master some of the more observed conditions of their diurnal and annual apparent movements, as also those of the sun and moon, and further that they should in have learnt what changes heavens the scenery of the have been brought about by the slow to movement known Classical astronomers as the "precession of the equinoxes." and philological scholars have to howfrom ever so rarely time and attention their spare own intensely interesting and important are studies that as a rule astronomical phenomena by them. a not much observed or considered The accompanying diagrams drawn from celestial — 1 PART I] INDRA IN THE RIG VEDA it 11 precessional globe may, is hoped, enable those, who have subjects, to not as yet for devoted thought to such judge themselves of the reason- ableness or otherwise of the following astronomic suggestions concerning the most important of the Vedic gods. According late to A. A. Macdonell has — who in his work scholars is Vedic Mythology summed up clearly and compendiously the opinions of a host on the nature of the Vedic gods favourite national of Indra the is god of the Rig Veda; he celebrated in 250 hymns, a greater that number than of "devoted ^ to any other god, total and very nearly one-fourth of the number hymns Indra, in the Rig Veda." What may of relate that, be called the central myths related of all stripped epithet and ornament, draughts of invigorated fights by copious Soma, Indra from with, overcomes, and drives a heaven and earth demon snake. called Vritra or Ahi, who for, 1 is represented under the form of a or dragon, searches serpent water Indra also finds, and releases cows which had p. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, 54. 112 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA (or [part i. been stolen from the gods commentators, Indra ings rain. according to some or priests). from the angirasas, all bestows on his worshippers of plenty, the bless- especially he is the dispenser of According to the usual non astronomic ex- planations of these myths, Indra, an "atmospheric god," 1 is " primarily the thunder god " who the conquers or again, " the demons of drought or darkness," ^ " Indra is a personification of phenomena of metaphorically clouds the firmament, particularly in the capacity of sending down rain. This property conflict is described are until as a to with the their which stores reluctant assailed part with watery the and ; . . penetrated . by is thunder as bolt of Indra the cloud demon named Ahi or Vritra ... a popular myth represents him (Indra) also personified a as the discoverer and rescuer of the cows, either priests of the stolen or of the gods which had been or Vala." by an A sura named Pani Macdonell, alluding to the same incident, 1 ob- Macdonell, Wilson, Ve-^ic Mythology, p. 66. - Rig Veda, Introduction, pp. xxx.-xxxi. PART I.] INDRA AN "ATMOSPHERIC GOD" 113 serves:^ in These "cows released by Indra may, cases, many that refer latter to the waters, for we have compared seen the are occasionally is with lowing cows. Thus Indra said to have found the cows for . . . But the man when he slew the dragon. cows may also in other cases be with Indra's conceived as light, connected winning of issuing from cattle for the ruddy beams of dawn dark the blackness of night are their compared with stalls. coming out of Again, though clouds play no great part in the Rig their literal Veda under name {abkra, etc.), it can hardly be denied that, as containing the waters, they figure mytho- logically to a considerable extent under the name as well as udder (iidhar) . . . of the cow {go), thus it rain-clouds are probably meant when is said that the cows roared at the birth of Indra." At of the the close of the section devoted to Indra, Macdonell refers to the probably pre-Vedic origin Indra myths. He says:^ "The name of Indra occurs only twice in the A vesta. Beyond the fact of his being no god, but only a demon, 1 Vedi'c Jbid., Mythology, pp. 66. p. 59. 2 ! 1 14 ASTRONOMY is IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. his character there uncertain. Indra's distinctive Vedic epithet vrtrahan [Vritra-slayer] also occurs in the is, Avesta in the form of verethraghna, which however, unconnected with Indra or the thunder- storm myth, designating merely the God of Victory. Thus of the that it is probable that the Indo-Iranian period possessed a god approaching to the Vedic form It is Vrtra-slaying Indra. the even possible the as beside - thundering god of heaven, Indo European period may have known who a distinct conception a thunder-god, gigantic in size, a mighty eater and drinker, slays the dragon with his lightning bolt." In reading the Indra in hymns in the Veda, and trying to fit them quoted, is to the explanation given in the passages a constant and very imagination dis; agreeable strain put on the it must, for instance, attempt to grasp and hold, at the same time, two very far apart opinions as Vritra is to the nature of the demon Vritra. to be thought of as a demon ; of darkness, and as a demon of drought the cows are clouds, they are light also ruddy beams of Darkness and drought are not to be easily — PART I.J INDRA, GOD OF SUMMER SOLSTICE Drought is 115 bracketed together. not excepted, of bright and in all lands, India connected with a long continuance stainless skies. The appearance hand" is then of a little cloud "like a man's the joyously hailed precursor of " the sound of abund- ance of rain." Again, the driving away of a snake-like cloud is no forcible simile by which to describe in myth the advent of rain in India — rain which to be of any use is no mere refreshing shower, but a long- continued dispersed. downpour from clouds not hastily Indra's action first in driving in away the cloud- demon Vritra, is and then seeking for the beneficial cloud cows, also contradictory. For the reconciling of many of these contradictions the astronomic interpretation of the Indra- Vritra myths all is as follows : — Indra may still retain his atmospheric attributes of sending down rain but Indra is primarily and essentially a personisolstice. is fication of the summer The summer solstice in India ; an all-important it agricultural epoch it brings with " the rainy sea^son," the real spring of the Indian year. Before 1 16 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA is [part i. this season all the land parched and arid, and vegetation is at a standstill. The India is punctuality of the rains in many parts of so exact that the farmer foretells their In lasts arrival not only to the day, but to the hour. good years heavy and almost incessant for rain two or even three months. of the is Indra, as a per- sonification season which so punctually brings the rain, of the : an atmospheric god, the enemy demon of drought. But Indra is more than many praises are bestowed on Indra in the this Rig Veda for deeds which cannot easily be explained on the simple atmospheric theory. is " Indra the highest of ; all " is the refrain of many in the Vedic verses sky," " Indra placed the sun high of " Indra tore off one wheel the sun's chariot," "Indra stopped the tawny coursers of the sun." Now all these phrases are at once and clearly to be interpreted as the personification of the especially of we think of Indra summer solstice, and if the solstice in India, where to at that season zenith, of the year the sun attains the very and thus Indra associated is with the sun under one figure of speech spoken of as "highest PARTI.] VRITRA AND HYDRA and in 117 of all," a slightly varied figure associated is with the season, said to have ''placed the sun translating into high the in the sky." Or again to myth ''the very meaning of the word solstice being or stm made stand," we read that Indra sun," is, I "tore off the wheel of the chariot of the and "stopped cannot but is his tawny coursers." not Indra believe, merely an atmospheric solstice. god if ; he the god of the summer of the solstitial And Vritra this ? should be the case, what then Is the may be demon Indra personiIt is fied as only a snake-like cloud? impossible to think so. The astronomic propose is interpretation of the myth I would that —a is snake-like constellation, not a snake-like cloud, the repre- sentation of the demon Vritra. On dragons the celestial sphere but many the all serpents far and are represented, reaching its constellation Hydra exceeds from the others in tail. enormous length brilliant head the to No nor in very the stars its mark stars asterism, grouping of snake-like. to the is there anything especially its For some reason other than appeal all eye did astronomers of old invest with a Ii8 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA horrors of the [part i. the Hydra-form the monotonous with almost of length of this space on the vauk of the skies. This certainty, reason in may be arrived at, studying, with the help a pre- cessional globe, the position in the heavens of this constellation in different ages of the world's history. So to studying, we shall find that 4,000 B.C. — or for be more precise, one or its two hundred years earlier — Hydra 90° extended enormous length along more than nomically matical line symmetrically one astro- important (though invisible) mathe- — the the line of the heavenly equator accurately — and was at same date bisected line, by another equally Plate IX.). important mathematical the namely the colure of summer it solstice (see Almost irresistibly, as appears to me, the conviction forces itself on the mind, in considering the position B.C., held it by the constellation Hydra 4,000 figure that first was at that date that this baleful was fitly traced in imagination on the sky, there to represent the power of physical (and ?) may we not suppose also, of moral terrible darkness — great and power — but a power ever and PARTI.] HYDRA AND DARKNESS to I19 ever again be conquered by the victorious this power of of light. In astronomic myth power of was represented its as that of the sun at the season highest solstice. culmination, the season in the the summer winter, For an observer length temperate northern zone all through the long nights of midof the dreadful the whole Hydra the was at the date named visible above the horizon. therefore The dark midwinter season was time of the Hydra's greatest glory. season of the year, except at that of At every midsummer, some portion solstice itself for of the monster's form was visible during some part of the night. But at the summer no star in the constellation might show ever so short a time.^ latitude of the observer in The supposed IX. is Plate 40° N., a latitude considerably to the north ; of any part of India that the but it is to be remembered Indra-Vritra myth cannot be claimed with any certainty as a purely and originally Indian myth, for, ^ as Macdonell points out (as quoted above), there Plate IX. represents the constellations above the horizon, but invisible at noon at the represents those midsu?nmer solstice. It therefore above the horizon, and visible at midivinter midnight. 120 is ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. a probability that "the Indo-Iranian period pos- sessed a god approaching to the Vedic form of the Vrtra-slaying Indra," and that "it that is even possible heaven, the as beside the thundering god of period Indo European may have known who slays the a distinct conception a thunder-god, gigantic in size, a mighty eater and drinker, with his lightning bolt." ^ dragon For the origin of this world-wide myth, therefore, we should but it is not look to the tropical Indian Zone ; in Indian latitudes that we should look for an explanation of the physical phenomena hymned by Vedic bards in the distinctly Indian development of the Indra- Vritra myth. tracing the course of the I believe that in thus Indra story from tem- perate to tropical latitudes, for we shall find a reason the contradictory Vritra, attributes assigned of to the demon drought. In namely those darkness and northern ; latitudes winter is distinctly the dark season perceptible in tropical India there is little or no of dis- difference between But in the darkness is winter and summer. 1 India winter V. p. 114. > H W PART I.] HYDRA AND DROUGHT the i3i tinctly dry season. Midsummer is the all- important season of the rains. Indra's conquest over Vritra, or the arrival of solstitial rains, marked by the disappearance of the constellation from the sky, was mythologically described as Indra's still Hydra Vedas in the conquest over the demon power of of drought, but tradition is traditionally in — for the great — even India Indra retained the attributes of the conqueror over the demon of darkness. At Plate X. a drawing is given of the southern heavens and of the constellations at — invisible at midsummer and 3000 B.C., visible midwinter, above the horizon of an observer in latitude 23° N. at the date a thousand years later than the date will referred to in Plate IX. For reasons which about appear more clearly when we come to the discussion of the Soma myth, it is to this date that I would attribute the composition of many of the Vedic hymns. But the if Indra is to be considered as representing summer solstice, and Vritra as representing the constellation Hydra, we must surely expect some astronomic interpretation for Soma — Soma by which 122 ASTRONOMY mighty Indra is IN THE RIG VEDA demon. [part i. the invigorated and enabled to to trmmph trial gloriously over the According non-astronomic explanations, "the concrete terresplant " and the intoxicating juice extracted therefrom are considered to be the basis of the It is is mythology of Soma. Vedic literature is admitted that a regular in post- Soma name of the moon, which regarded as being drunk up by the gods, and so waning. Some in writers point to the possibility the that even the Rig Veda, and the few " in Soma hymns . there may occasionally lurk a veiled . . identification of arnbrosia moon, but on the whole, with it the exceptions certain generally admitted, to is appears to be that the seers of the Rig Veda the god the terrestrial Soma and a personification of plant juice. One German "often writer, Hillebrandt, very strongly upholds the view that personifies to Soma this all in the Rig Veda 114 the is moon,"^ the and case in especially according him the hymns of ^ Mandala IX., addressed to "p. Soma Macdoncll. Ve die Mythology, Ibid. 113. - PARTI.] SOMA PAVAMANA = THE MOON for 123 pavamana, or "purified Soma," prepared and quaffed by Indra to invigorate him for the Vritra combat. That Soma in the Rig Veda is is primarily the moon, and that the moon symbolized and always to in more or to less directly fits referred in, the Vedic to hymns the theories Indra's Soma, of as must be evident with If readers this paper, in it. the astronomic advocated we consider that conquest over Vritra represents the god of the summer solstice, with his bright weapons, conquering, and driving from heaven and earth the constellation Hydra, we can easily understand how in this contest Indra might be strengthened i.e. by copious draughts of Soma, light of the full by the bright moon flooding the all heavens with the brightest radiance stars. and enfeebling but But a further confirmation of the lunar character of Soma, and an elucidation of the imagery of the Soma pavamana hymns found if of Mandala IX., are to be — still crediting the Vedic Rishis with a knowledge of the ancient constellations the position —we the study date of these constellations at 124 ASTRONOMY B.C. IN THE RIG VEDA At [fart i. 3,000 (see Plate XI.)^ that date the full moon With so of the midsummer in or solstitial season was Aquarius. always to be observed this in the constellation thought of our mind as IX., in mystical is hymns Mandala as we read the which Soma to often described rushing impetuously the vase or pitcher, and as surrounded by celestial waters, with many other such expressions, we easily recognise an allusion to the midsummer full moon further in the constellation Aquarius; and when to we read the legend so often repeated, that the eao;le brousfht the Soma to to Indra, or at the sacrifice, we have only look the celestial its globe to see the eagle (Aquila) directing flight towards the pitcher of Aquarius that the very night before the celestial —and moon to remember attained the vase, it would have been constellation on the same ; meridian as the Aquila and the it imaginative Vedic bard might then describe as borne along by the eagle, — one full of the most glorious constellations in that part of the sky. ^ Lunar dates are solstice variable. The in moon nearest to the summer east might have been observed somewhat to the of its or the west position the diagram, but always in the constellation Aquarius. '^::y.. ^ PART I.] THE MOON hymn IN AQUARIUS 125 In one especially devoted to the legend of the Soma-bearing eagle (or hawk), allusion to the small but well-marked-out constellation Sagitta (the arrow) lation of " may be detected. (vol. In Wilson's transiii. Mandala IV. 27 p. 174), we read : When the hawk screamed (with exultation) on his descent from heaven, and (the guardians of the that the Soma) perceived by it, Soma was (carried away) then, the archer Krisdnu, pursuing with the let fly speed of thought, and stringing his bow, an arrow against it." Now Agni. to turn to another important Vedic deity, Agni terrestrial is classed, according to Macdonell, amongst in gods, but he points out that be identified with some sun. passages he is to the Wilson describes Agni as comprising' "the element of Fire under three aspects : i", as it exists fire, on earth, not only as culinary or religious but as the heat of digestion and of principle life, and the vivifying as in it of vegetation or 3'''^, ; 2"'^, exists in the atmosphere, ; mid-heaven, as it the form in of the lightning 1 and is manifested vol, i. Wilson, Eig Veda, Introduction, pp. xxvii.-xxviii, 126 ASTRONOMY light, IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. heavens, as bodies." the sun, the dawn, and planetary And the adds, — having "still, enumerated various deities who sun in hymns appear as manifestations of the —he however, the place in sun does not hold that prominent the Vaidik liturgy of the ancient as which he seems Persians, to have done is in that and he chiefly venerated the celestial representative of Fire." The as given classification of Agni as a terrestrial god, given by Macdonell, and the order of his "aspects," by Wilson, are not here is it in accordance with according to the theory advocated, nor, Macdonell, the classification or order always adhered to by Vedic authorities. For some very puzzling myths concerning Agni, thereby the position of Agni than in the last, I believe an astronomic interpretation may be given, and in \}a& first place, rather as a celestial god, may be established. The Vedic Waters, is deity Apam Napat —the son of by Macdonell as an atmospheric god, and he says,^ "In the last stanza of the Apam napat hymn, the deity is invoked as Agni, and must be identified with him," and again, ^ " Agni's classed > Vedic Mythology, p. 70. 2 /^/^_^ p. 92. PART I.] AGNI IN THE WATERS in ' 127 origin the of aerial waters ' is often referred to. The son waters has, as has been shown, become a distinct deity." Then turning to other legends regarding Agni he says, "In such passages the Hghtning form of Agni must be meant. Some of the later hymns of the Rig Veda tell a legend of Agni hiding in the waters and plants, and being found by the gods. ... In one passage of the Rior Veda also it is stated that Asjni rests in all streams and in the later ritual texts, Agni in the ; waters is invoked in connexion with ponds and even in the oldest Vedic period, the waters in which Agni is latent, though not those from which he is produced, may in various passages have been regarded as terrestrial. ... In any case the notion of Agni in the waters is prominent throughout the Vedas." To explain this legend, Wilson makes other suggestions. He writes:^ " The legend of his (Agni's) hiding in the waters, through fear of the enemies of the gods, although alluded to in more than one place, water-vessels. Thus, is not very explicitly related .... the allusions of the Sit-ktas (hymns) may be a figurative intimation of the latent heat existing in water, or a misappre- hension of a natural phenomenon which seems to have made a great impression in later times the — 1 Wilson, Rig Veda, Introduction, vol. i. p. xxx. K 128 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA air, [part i. emission of flame from the surface of water either in the shape of inflammable or as the result of submarine volcanic action." It cannot but be admitted that these myths are puzzling, and that to account for the of " of notion so in prominent throughout the Vedas waters," Agni the the various suggestions "lightning," "latent heat existing in water," "the emission of flame from the surface of the waters, either in the shape of inflammable air or as the result of sub- marine volcanic action," are inadequate to explain the fact that Agni, whose fire " ^ very name "is the should in regular designation of the hymns are the " to be so closely associated with water. difficulties Nor concerning " Agni in the waters be overcome by the tempting and poetic suggestion, put forward by some writers, that in these passages reference is made at to the sun rising in the itself morning out of the ocean, and again hiding beneath the waves of the sunset. The composition to Rig Veda is attributed Aryan settlers " scattered to over the Punjaub and regions " : lying the west of the Indus ' by such p. 88. settlers the Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, PART I.] THE SUN IN AQUARIUS 129 sun could never have been seen rising out of the ocean, for no ocean bounded their horizon on the east. itself at Even the phenomenon of the sun hiding evening in the water, could only have been coast, observed by those who lived on the western and it is therefore not easy to imagine in why sunrise and sunset should But India have been so closely horizon. and constantly associated with a sea if once the acquaintance of the originators of the Agni admitted, relating to is myths with the Zodiacal astronomic in the figures is the interpretation is of those ; Agni : waters not difficult it as follows Agni is the personification of is fire, but his chief " personification as the fire of the sun. Agni the in the waters " is especially the fire of the sun in 3,000 B.C. the celestial waters of Aquarius. sun was in conjunction with Aquarius at the time of the winter solstice} Those hymns rising therefore which dwell upon the myths of Agni hiding himself in, being born ^ in, and out of the waters, The position of the sun at the winter solstice 3,000 B.C. at Plate was identical with that represented the full XI. as the position of moon at the summer solstice. 130 ASTRONOMY considered as IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. may be tion hymns referring to the sun at the winter solstice in conjunction with the constella- Aquarius, and therefore as hymns especially suitable for use on the occasion of a great yearly season of the year. festival held at that European writers often describe the mid-winter itself, sun as hiding itself or as every day withdrawing In poetic similes, more and more from view. the snows of winter often crown the head of the is aged out-going year, while the in-coming year represented as a babe or infant. ness of such similes calendrical is is The the appropriatethat our due to fact, new year solstice. fixed within a few days of the winter Again, in the sober prose, is the said, sun at the time of winter solstice to having attained its its lowest point, ecliptic. rise It is or begin therefore Rishis, tipward course on the difficult not to understand how the Vedic who appear to have combined the characteristics of poets and of scientific observers of the heavens, should have 3,000 solstitial B.C. described in, the fire of in, the sun, as hiding being born and rising out of the celestial ivaters of the constellation Aquaritts. PART I.] VEDIC IMAGERY OUT OF DATE this 131 In Agni myth, which the as in that of Indra, we may perceive traces of a pre-Vedic origin. Rig- The are to latitudes in Veda was composed is not those in which attention the forcibly drawn diminution of the strength and visibility of the sun at the winter season. In the Rig Veda, however, well Indra's conquest is over darkness as as over drought celebrated, and for the same traditional cause may be assigned description of the Agni hiding himself at the time of the winter solstice in the waters of Aquarius. Indra, Soma, and Agni in no longer hold the important place the Hindu Pantheon which this fact they appear to have held in Vedic times, and on the astronomic theory, may partly be accounted for by noticing how slow but inevitable changes in the scenery of the of heavens, produced gradually by the precession the equinoxes, obscured more and more completely the meaning of the imagery employed deities. stice, still is in the hymns as to these sol- Indra, if he represents the summer as indeed still powerful ever, and but triumphs over is the demon well of drought, no longer that demon represented by the 132 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA Hydra ; [part i. snake-like constellation for on the night set, of the summer solstice, after is still the sun has the whole of Hydra above the horizon. No longer does the mid-summer full moon bathe its o brightness in the celestial waters of Aquarius, nor does the mid-winter sun hide itself in them. The hymns to, exist remain, the phenomena they referred no longer. But leaving now the subject of the " ancient constellations " and of reference to them in the Rig Veda, argument let us turn to the second section of the in favour of the modern orig-in of Hindu astronomy as stated above. ^ It is a claim made that for for the very modern date of 570 a.d. as fixation the of the initial point of the Indian Zodiac at of the "end of Revati and the I beginning oppose. It A9vini." — This claim desire to has been admitted by scholars, but almost is with a sort of reluctance, that mention some of the Nakshatras hymns. in is a few of the rather is, made of Rig Veda than The matter avoided cordially enquired into. ^ It however, a question V. p. 92. PART I.] INITIAT. POINT OF ZODIAC interest to 133 if of great and possible, important ascertain, whether the circle of the Nakshatras was known as to the Vedic Rishis, and initial if it were known, whether the point was fixed there, where we have read, all schools of Hindu astronomy agree in declaring that the planetary motions com- menced at the creation} We that have learnt from Babylonian archaeology are no longer forced to we assume that only could this initial at the date of about 570 a.d. point It have been fixed by Indian astronomers. therefore need no longer be looked upon as to an unreasonable quest pages of the Rig Veda important astronomical search in the ancient this for indications that point as had the been fixed, even before of a Vedic times, starting-point calendrical find and sidereal in year —and Rig if we the in should such indications the Veda, they may well out-weigh arguments against antiquity of this fixation, based later works, such as the upon passages Yajur and Atharva Vedas. itself, From be drawn the in Yajur Veda arguments may favour of a year beginning in the 1 V. p. 93. ^ 1 34 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. month In Chaitra,^ at or before the date of the com- position or compilation of that Veda. the Taittiriya Sanhita ^ (contained in the Yajur Veda) a passage occurs which is translated and commented upon by B. G. p. Tilak (The Orion, et seq.). or Antiquity of the Vedas, 46 In this of passage is discussed the superior suitability three different days on which worshippers might for consecrate themselves of these the yearly sacrifice. Not any one nexion with conjunction three days has any conor the spring Krittika. equinox the sun's with The choice lie of date first, for the yearly sacrifice appears to " between, the " Ekashtaka (day) of some month not named, second, the full but one in the i.e. "distressed," or "reversed" period of the year, full the mid-winter season ; ; moon of PhalgunI and third, the Chaitra moon. B. G. Tilak, after some pages of comment states in his on the passage referred 1 to, summing Hindu Chaitra is tlie month which begins, as closely as a luni-solar initial month may, Zodiac ^ ^ at the sun's arrival at the — the beginning of Aswini. vii. 4. point of the Taittiriya Sanhita, 8. At in this 48 he quotes authorities in favour of the Ekashtaka (day) passage meaning the 8th day of the dark half of Magha. p. PARTi.i ASWINI r. KRITl'IKA 135 up, amongst others, the following" conclusions at. which he has arrived " i", that in the the winter solstice of the dark half of days of the Taittiriya Sanhita occurred before the eighth day Magha . . . and that through- out the whole passage the intention of sacrificing at the beginning (real, constructive, or traditional) of the year is quite clear : . . . . 2""^, that the year " 3"''', then commenced with the winter solstice": that as there can not be three real beginnings each, the of the year, at an interval of one month passage must be understood as recording a tradition about the Chitra full moon and the Phalguni full moon being once considered as the first days of the year." This is B. G. Tilak's conclusion ; merely judging from the translation, the passage might, as it seems to me, be understood as unreservedly as recommending the full-moon of Chaitra most suitable for the the beginning of the Sanhita sacrifice, it for in the text of the Taittiriya is said of it, "It has no in fault whatsoever." But whichever sense the words are under- stood, this passage from the set against the Yajur Veda may be in the hymns and lists Yajur and 136 ASTRONOMY Vedas, is IN THE RIG VEDA alluded in to,^ [part i. Atharva Krittlka in the above in which celebrated the first, and AswinI twenty-seventh place. fact that the in The is, evidence as to the beginning of the year " as it the days of the Taittiriya Sanhit^," seems, so uncertain, and so contradictory to the opinion based on the hymn add in the Taittiriya Brahmana concerning the Krittika being the leader of to Nakshatras, seems interest to the question whether there are, or are not, indications in the Rig ^ Veda that the Indian year was as counted from the at present ? same point on the seems to me, ecliptic And to at once, as it on turning to the Rig Veda, on page be met with. after page, such indications are The first Nakshatra in the Indian series is named Nakbe Aswini (Aswins). shatra are 1 The two twin stars, chief stars in that the as they may fairly V. p. 94. 2 At present the month Chaitra in most to the parts of India is the is first month : of the Hindu year. The beginning of the year measured by the return of the sun Zodiac at same point in the present the beginning of the Lunar Mansion Aswini. p. 45.) (See Indian Calendar, a PARTI.] ASWINI, a tt AND fS ARIETIS of 137 called, and fi Arietis — stars almost to equal the radiance. The joyous hymns addressed I twin heroes, the Aswins, would claim as newhonour of these sunrise s^ars, year hymns composed appearance in whose before heralded the approach of the great festival-day of the Hindu counted new year. The Hindu year at present in is a sidereal year. It is most parts of India from a fixed point not on the ecliptic, from a season. It is a calendrical not a cosmic year. Only one apparently and again small change in the method of counting the years to would now require be made, the Aswins might be hymned by the Hindus as the "wondrous," and "not untruthful," s i ars, mdirking by their heliacal to rising a new year's festival full — festival be held on the 15th, or moon's day. The Hindu year is now counted from the new moon immediately preceding the sun's arrival at the initial point of the lunar Zodiac. The first of Chaitra (the falls later first of the light half of Chaitra) never than the 12th of April, and If the may arrive a month earlier. year were to be counted from 138 ASTRONOMY same initial point, IN THE RIG VEDA first [part i. the but from the new moon following instead of that preceding the sun's arrival at that point, there would be the difference of a in whole month the range of the its month Chaitra. The first day of bright half would then never fall arrive before the 12th of April, and might a month later. For the the Aswins that I interpretation of the Vedic hymns to would make the provisional suggestion, when these hymns were composed, the year was so counted from the new moon folloiving and not from that preceding the arrival of the sun at "the end of Revati and the beginning of A9vini." In support of this provisional theory, let us first read the summing up of the Aswini myths, and of and of the difficulties and uncertainties surrounding them, according to the present modes of explanation ; then let us consider the astronomic method interpretation above proposed. " and Soma, the twin deities named the Asvins are the most prominent in the Rig Veda, judged by the frequency They are celebrated with which they are invoked. to Indra, Agni, 1 We read that^ Next Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 49. PARTI.] THE ASWINS fifty IN THE VEDA 139 in more than times. entire several others, while their hymns and in parts of name occurs more than and their 400 is Though deities they hold a distinct position appellation definite among the of light Indian, their connexion light is with any phenomenon preters of so obscure, that their original nature has from it been a puzzle to Vedic interthe earliest times. This obscurity is makes to probable that the origin of these gods in be sought a pre- Vedic period The Asvins are young, the T. S. (Taittirlya Sanhita) even describing them as the youngest of the gods. They hued occult are at the same time ancient. They are bright, lords of lustre, of golden brilliancy, and honeyThey possess profound wisdom and power. The two most distinctive and fre- quent epithets of the Asvins are dasra, 'wondrous,' which is almost entirely limited to them, and ndsatya, ' which . . is .' generally explained to mean not untrue. It heaven. Their car .... moves round traverses heaven and earth in a single day as the car of the sun and that of Usas (the Dawn) ' are also said to do. is . . . The time of their appearance darkness often said to be the early dawn, when ' still stands among the ruddy cows and they yoke their car to descend to earth and receive the offerings of worshippers. Usas (the Dawn) 140 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA [part i. awakes them. They follow after Usas in their car. At the yoking of their car Usas is born. Thus their relative time seems to have been between dawn and sunrise. But Savitr (the sun) is once said to set their car in motion before the dawn. Occasionally the appearance fire, of the Asvins, the kindling of the sacrificial the break of dawn, and sunrise seem to be spoken of as simultaneous. The Asvins not only at are invoked to their come to the offering;' natural time, but also in . the . . evening or at morning, noon, and sunset. In the A. B. (Aitareya well as Brahmana) the Asvins as dawn ; Usas and Agni are stated to be gods of and in the Vedic ritual they are connected with sunrise The Asvins may finding- originally have been conceived as and restorinof or rescuing the vanished light of the sun. In the Rig Veda they have come ing divinities." adds, . to be typically succourp. . . Again, at 51, the writer "Quite a number of legends illustrating the Asvins are referred to in the Rig Veda." Here follows an enumeration many miraculous "protections," and cures, and of then^ "The opinion of Bergaigne and others that the various miracles attributed to the Asvins are anthropomorphized forms of solar phenomena (the succouring power of the — 1 Macdonell, Vedk Mythology, p. 53. PART I.] A PUZZLE TO C;OMMENTATORS man thus 141 healing of the blind meaning the release of the sun from darkness), seems to lack probability. At same time the legend of Atri may be a reminiscence of a myth explaining the restoration the of the vanished sun. As to the physical is basis of the Asvins, the language of the Rsis that they themselves so vague do not seem to have underrepresented stood what phenomenon these they actually deities .... what represented puzzled even the oldest commentators mentioned by Yaska. That scholar remarks that some regarded them (the Asvins) as Heaven and Earth (as does Brahmana), others as Day and Night, others as sun and moon, while the legendary writers took them to be two kings, the S. B. ' ' ' — Satapatha performers of holy obscure." In contrast to acts.' Yaska's own opinion is all these vague and often contrathe to dictory explanations, astronomical suggestion made of-fact at page 137 may prosaic. some appear too matterscientific and But that a firm and mythical reality base should underlie and imaginative similes does not in detract from fitness, their poetic excellence. Indeed, an is added to and therefore in an added beauty, be can recognized think of the Aswin hymns, when we 142 ASTRONOMY as IN THE RIG VEDA new year [part i. them deities addressed to well-known and beneficent presiding over the — deities dawn to who manifested themselves in the earliest of the new and year's morning under the form of two beautiful easily to be recognised stars, and whom their worshippers appealed for "protection," through the unknown dangers I of the future year. that give two diagrams to illustrate the fact the time of the rising of the stars a necessarily, and /? Arietis must on such a new year's festival as above proposed, have taken place in some years before the first intimation of dawn, in others a few minutes before the time of sunrise. It is of course to be borne in luni-solar. mind that the Vedic years were The actual point therefore on the ecliptic at which the conjunction of sun and moon —or new moon — took place, and in from which each year was counted, varied different years to the extent of nearly i 30 degrees. The diagram, Plate XII. Figs, and 2, represents the maximum and minimum distance between the rising of the Yoga stars of the Nakshatra AswinI, and of the sun on the 1 5th or full-moon's day of the ; first first month of a luni-solar year counted from the PART I.] NEW YEAR DIVINITIES 143 conjunction of sun and arrival at the " moon following the sun's end of Revati and the beginning of A9vini." It will be seen from the diagram that something interval that, more than two hours was the longest according to the presumed method of counting the Vedic year, elapsed between the appearance of yS u. and Arietis and of the sun above the horizon. for the This astronomic interpretation accounts varying times noted of the Aswins. for It in the hymns for the it appearance to also accounts, as seems me, the general tone of the hymns, but as regards the long series of miraculous "protections" of the Aswins, accorded by them to decrepit many not sick, aged, and first personages, it does at sight account. We have seen that Bergaigne and others have " opined that the various miracles attributed to the Aswins are anthropomorphized this forms of solar phenomena," and with interpretation, view the astronomic its when fully followed out to logical end, agrees. But the at first sight we wonder how the sun at in beginning of the calendrical year could, 144 ASTRONOMY IN THE RIG VEDA way [part i. Vedic times, be described as in any sick, aged, or decrepit. especially 3,000 solstice B.C., when, as we have seen, the winter in was Aquarius, the as Indian calendrical and sidereal year, such at its has been supposed, a month and a at would have begun earliest half after the solstice. ^ solstice, The sun is, the winter may be, and often ; described as pale, weak, sick and old calendrical solstice, the but at the beginning of a year, a month and a half after the sun no longer could have been thought the of as requiring miraculous protection of the heralding Aswins. To The help in solving this difficulty, recourse may lore. again wisely be had to Babylonian astronomic fanciful legends regarding the Aswins, con- sidered only by themselves, can scarcely yield a sufficiently firm foundation I on which to build the far-reaching theory ' now desire to bring forward new moon initial If the Hindu year were noiv counted from the following instead of t\\2it precedhtg the sun's arrival at the point of the Zodiac, owing to the precession of the equinoxes, the year would begin Since 3,000 at earliest b.c. twenty-one days after the spring equinox. the seasons have advanced by more than two months, as regards their position amongst the stars. PART I.] THE ACCADIAN CALENDAR ; 145 I concerning them a theory on all fours with one ventured some years ago to propound to in reference Babylonian " astronomy, in a It Paper entitled the Accadian Calendar."^ was there sug- gested that the probable date for the origin of that Calendar was about 6,000 B.C. The fact was pointed out that Aries, in the most ancient Accadian and Babylonian astronomical works, always appears as leader of the signs and of the year, and stress was laid on the unlikelihood that this constellation should have been chosen for this leading post at a date when the sun's entry into it did not corre- spond with any one of the four well-marked natural divisions of the year, i.e. the solstices or equinoxes. tablets Aries appears as But as on the cuneiform leader long before the time in that constellation when the sun sojourned during the first month following it the equinox, solstitial not it was suggested the that was when the with equinoctial point coincided the first degree of Aries, that the Accadian calendrical scheme had B.C. first been drawn put up ; namely about 6,000 A 1 corroboration of the view then for- Proceedings of Society of Biblical ArchcEology, January 1892. 146 ASTRONOMY is IN THE RIG VEDA The [part i. ward to be drawn from a further study of the first Accadian month names. names, in three month have Accadian, referred, as scholars pointed out, to the Zodiac. (i.) first three constellations of the The month to Aries. of the " sacrifice of righteous- ness " (2.) The month of the "propitious Bull" to Taurus. (3.) The month twelfth to The series Twins" to Gemini. and thirteenth names in the same of "the refer seem equally clearly at : to a year originally solstice. counted as beginning the winter " They are called respectively 1 2th. The month of sowing of seed." of sowing." cereals, —" 13th. The dark month For the sowing of most crops however are late autumn and early winter are the favoured seasons. Many There sown in early spring. " the might then be a doubt whether month of sowing of seed" more sowing of seed year, fitly described the spring in the twelfth month of a luni-solar counted from in the equinox, —or the winter sowing of seed the twelfth month of a luni-solar PART I.] AS WIN LEGENDS, PRE-VEDIC counted 147 year, from the solstice. But when we find this twelfth month followed by a to thirteenth, is of which the there can, as that especial it and added epithet me, be little if dark, seems any doubt different to the winter month whose range from 12th of in years extended December the 22nd January is better described by epithet dark, than the rapidly brightening month whose range extended from 12th March to 22nd April. Very curiously, then, and accurately does the its Accadian calendar give us the date of origin, and of the first naming of solstice its months, as the that when the winter coincided with suns entry into the first degree of the constellation Aries'" —the date To to in round numbers of 6,000 B.C. this same date it is, as I believe, that the miraculous protections accorded by the Aswins the distressed solstitial sun fully and moon and earth appear to point, opinion in and does this view corroborate the that the Aswin-legends took their 1 rise pre-Vedic now times. They also, The winter solstice coincides very closely with the sun's entry into Sagittarius. It precedes the sun's entry into Aries by almost a third of the whole circle of the ecliptic. 14^ ASTRONOMY the origin IN THE RIG VEDA northern [^art i. as do their Indra and Vritra myths, refer us for to a more latitude is than tropical less India. In the tropics the sun in scarcely powerful winter than in summer. The astronomers who drew up the the Accadian calendar, and the myth-makers of the Aswin-legends, must, according to in astronomic theory, have dwelt temperate zones and formulated calendar and b.c. myths about 6,000 VI NOTES. AHURA MAZDA, ETC. the Sociely [Ahura Mazda, a note reprinted from the Proceedings of of Biblical Archaology, February 1900] Professor Hommel in the March number " for 1899 of these Proceedings calls attention in his Assyriological Notes to the name " Assara Mazas list appear- ing in a list in of Assyrian gods. this The section of the which of foreign name appears contains " a number sounding names " belonging to gods in honoured, presumably, out-lying portions of the Assyrian dominions. Professor Hommel claims "that this god (Assara Mazas) is no other than the Iranian Ahura Mazda," his and he thus concludes this opinion — "concerning arguments in favour of I Assara-mazas, should like to remark in closing this paragraph, that we have here the same older pronunciation of Iranian 149 150 NOTES.— AHURA MAZDA, ETC. in the Kassitic Surias, ' [part i. words as sun' (later A Aura surid), and Hvarya, but comp. Sanscrit Asura and which the is of the highest importance for the history of In the B.C., I Aryan languages. same Kassitic period, between 1,700 and 1,200 suppose was borrowed by the Assyrians the Iranian god Assara-mazas." In a Paper entitled The Median Calendar and June num- the Constellation Taurus, printed in the ber for 1897 of these Proceedings, similar claim for the derivation of made a very the name of the I great god of the Assyrians — Assur. " The claim put forward was not based only on the resemblance in sound of " Assur and " Ahura," virtual but was in the identity of the first place founded on the emblems of Assur and Ahura Mazda. it For the origin of these emblems (referring as suggested they did to the was Zodiacal constellation was, on Sagittarius) a date as high as 4,000 B.C. astronomic grounds, assumed, and it was pointed out that at that date there was no evidence of the existence of the Assyrian nation as a nation, nor ; any trace of a Semitic worship of the god Assur whereas, on the other hand, as early as 3,800 there is b.c. evidence that a powerful Aryan race —the PARTI.] ASSARA-MAZAS AND ASSUR 151 Manda — rivalled the power, and threatened the Semitic rule of Sargon of Agane. The opinion that the symbol of Ahura Mazda, and of Assur, was of ancient Aryan origin, naturally suggested the further thought that the name Assur, so closely resembling the earlier Indo-Iranian form Asura, of the Iranian Ahura, had, together with the emblem settlers of the god, been borrowed from the Aryan ancestors of the Medo- Persians in by the Semitic B.C., who, early the second millennium established themselves to the north of Babylonia. It may here be pointed out that no very certain field Semitic derivation at present holds the the which proposed to " Aryan some derivation it would occupy. According signifying scholars comes from a word According is a well-watered plain." the to Professor Hommel, name Assur meant derived from a word host." which originally " the heavenly Professor Hommel, quoting as his authority the opinions of the Sanscrit scholar Oldenburg, and reinforcing Oldenburg's opinions by arguments from other sources, further maintains the high probability of the Median god Ahura Mazda having been the 152 NOTES.—AHURA MAZDA, ETC. [part i. representative of the Vedic Varuna, and also that Varuna was the moon. Vedic scholars are divided physical is in opinion as to what phenomenon is represented by Varuna. He very generally supposed to personify " the vast extent of the encompassing sky," the sky at night-time divinity, some say especially — others claim him as a solar whilst Oldenburg, as we have seen, sup- poses him to be the moon. It is not to the question, however, what phenomenon Varuna represented, but to that of the probability or improbability of his original identity with the Median Ahura Mazda, though that I would now draw attention. It is said that " the parallel in character, not in name, of the god the Varuna is Ahura Mazda, Wise Spirit." But a variety of considerations may ter is lead us to entertain the possibility of a Vedic parallel in charac; god other than Varuna being the and also in epithet of still Ahura Mazda clearly to a parallel which if more be recognized for, we adopt the view, above contended of Assur, the a^xher of the identity god of Assyria, with Ahura Varuna, an Asura Mazda. The Vedic god Rudra is, like PART I.] RUBRA—ASURA MAHA He is 153 or Spirit. described as " the wise," and his votaries are encouraged to worship him " for a comone prehensive and sound understanding." But in passage recalling the to epithet " asura maha," so of the curiously our ears is the name Avestan "Ahura Mazda," a parallel to ^ actually applied to him.^ As a wise and great Asura, Rudra seems to be as close Ahura Mazda as i, Varuna 6. ; the resem- Wilson, Jitg Veda, Mandala scholars as to the exact ii., Uncertainty prevails among Ahura Mazda. The Rev. L. meaning to be given to the name H. Mills, D.D., under the heading : " Zend," writes thus in Chambers's Encyclopedia " The Supreme ' Deity Ahura Mazdah, the Living hving,' (niaz 'life,' God or ' Lord (ahu = ' the or 'spirit' —root «,^ = 'to be'), the Great Creator su-medhds).'" + da = Sansk. mahd + dM), or 'the Wise One' {cf. Again, the same writer in his book on the G^ithks, pubhshed in 1894, gives on p. 3 in his "verbatim translation," "O magnifor donator (?) (vel) O Sapiens (?)," as alternative to meanings regards Mazda. Similar to uncertainty to the seems prevail as the meaning be attached words of the passage i.e., Veda Siikta vol. to i., which reference has been made above, verse 6. in the Rig Mandala ii., ii., p. 2ir, we : read: — "Thou, Agni, " In Wilson's translation art : of the Rig Veda, Rudra, the expeller in his note to this is (of foes) from the expanse of heaven " and passage he says Twam Rudro asuro maho divah : asura . . explained satrun^m nirasiti, the expeller of enemies, divas, from heaven ( ; or it may mean, the giver of strength. ." Macdonell Fedic Mythology, p. 75) says that Rudra is called in this passage " the great asjira of heaven." 154 NOTES.—AHURA MAZDA, ETC. [part i. blance of epithet in the case of Rudra parallelism closer. makes the Varuna indeed but considering in Vedic estimation held a much higher and more commanding position than Rudra, how opposed the Avestan was to Vedic mythology on important points, we ought not to expect that the god elevated by the Medians above place all others should have held a very exalted India. amongst the Brahmins of it is But when we turn our thoughts not only to his Ahura Mazda but to Assyrian representative Assur, that the parallelism between him and Rudra becomes more marked. Rudra an archer. bow."i strong In is not only a wise and great Asura, he else celebrated in the is above everything Rig Veda as He is has "the sure arrow, the strong He the "the divine Rudra armed with the fast flying arrows."^ bow and Paper already referred to, it was suggested that an astronomic observation of the equinoctial colure passing through the constellations Sagittarius 1 and Taurus was the probable origin of v., x. (xlii.), Wilson, Rig Veda, Mandala lb., ii. ^ Mandala vii., xiii. (xlvi.), i. PARTI] RUDRA, AN ARCHER GOD (as 155 Median and derived from Median) Assyrian Assur. symbolism concerning Ahura Mazda and This observation could, as was pointed out, only have been made 4,000 It at the date, in round numbers, of B.C. is a very tempting enterprise to seek in the nations for allusions to mythologies of European this same astronomic observation —an observation made, as we may believe, when the ancestors of the Iranian and Indian Aryans, and possibly the ancestors of the European nations, were still, if not all dwelling together, at least within easy intellectual touch of each other. we have the Centaur (the Bullkiller) Chiron giving his name to the constellation Sagittarius, and in this fable we may, as it would In Grecian fable seem, find a better astrono7nic explanation of the term Bull-killer than that usually given concerning the well-mounted Thessalian hunters of wild cattle. The constellation Sagittarius, an archer, half is man, half horse, It is to not a figure of Grecian invention. be met with depicted on Babylonian monuunmistakably the archer of ments, our it celestial sphere ; and this constellation, when rises in the — 156 east, — NOTES.— AHURA MAZDA, ETC. [parti. always drives below the western horizon i.e., mythically exterminates, the last stars of the constellation Taurus. " To is Chiron, the chief Centaur, the epithet " wise especially given, in and "he was renowned " ; for his skill hunting, medicine, music, gymnastics, and the art of prophecy of these not altogether con- gruous attributes Rudra the Vedic god possessed three of the most important. He was wise, he was an archer, and he was famed as "a chief physician among " Praise physicians."^ In a verse, part of which has been already quoted,^ worshippers are exhorted to him who has the sure arrow, the strong all bow, who presides over sanitary drugs ; worship Rudra ing, for a comprehensive and sound understand- adore the powerful divinity with prostrations." Apollo the far-darter, Artemis the goddess of the silver bow, also shared these same attributes, to place and Grecian legend would lead us the them in same part of the heavens as i.e., that allotted to Chiron to Sagittarius. Apollo prompted Artemis at aim a shaft from her bow ^ a point on the xxxiii., 4. Wilson, Rig Veda, Mandala 2b., ii., ^ Mandala v., x. (xlii.), ri. ; PARTI.] CHIRON— APOLLO— ARTEMIS and this point 157 horizon, was the head of the hunter Orion of is is Orion. in Now the to constellation exactly opposition the the is bow stars Sagittarius plainly to that legend its astronomical in be inferred from is variant form, which Artemis to represented to death. as sending stars a Scorpion sting Orion The marking the Scorpion's sting are in very close proximity to the Sagittarius. bow stars of Returning to Indian myths, the name of Siva does not occur in the Sanscrit works Siva is Rig Veda ; but in later the representative of Rudra. In a hymn it is to Siva,^ the following passages occur, and of difficult to read them and not be reminded figures the sculptured of Artemis, crescent- crowned and leading a stag by the horns. (Allowin ance must be made, however, for the tendency Hindu " art to multiply the heads, arms, and features of their gods.) I worship the great Mahesa, : who is shines like triple ten million suns who is adorned with : eyes : who ^ is crowned with the moon to Siva, prefixed to who armed with Hymn "An M Exposition of the Principles of Sanskrit Logic," by Bodhanundanath Swami, Calcutta. iS8 NOTES.— AHURA MAZDA, ETC. the [part i. the trident, bow, : the mace, the discus, the goad, and the noose Who Who Kaila9e crescent ; is is the eternal Lord bright as the ; snowy summit of Mount hair is whose matted ablaze with the moon ; Whose hands battle-axe ; hold the head of a deer and a Whose moon Whose ; forehead is adorned with the bright half- fingers are interlaced to typify a deer ; For the explanation of the Roman myths of Dianus and Diana (varying forms as the dictionary tells of Janus and Jana) we may origin, as divinities. naturally seek for those for the same astronomic con- cerning" the Grecian archer Janus indeed has not, so far as I know, ever been represented as an archer or a Centaur. attribute for The is which he is especially renowned that of "opener of the year," and this attribute, on the astronomic theory here proposed, would furnish the PART I.] SIVA—DIANA— JANUS 159 connecting link between the varying forms of the Italian deities above mentioned. still The many and successive rulers, imperfectly in understood year by changes that were made the Roman have effaced the connexion of that year with the stars which must have But originally tradition presided over its opening. lines Roman embodied Bull " in Virgil's speaks of " the bright ^ who " with his gilded horns opens the year." The golden star-tipped horns of the Bull are as we know exactly opposed to the westernmost degrees of Sagittarius to the sun, ; and that constellation, in opposition would therefore have marked the open- ing of just such a vernal year as that alluded to by Virgil. Whether this vernal still year before the Julian reformation was is, the calendrical year in Rome however, very doubtful. Janus is represented with two heads, sometimes even with four, "to typify the seasons of the year." in The full moon Sagittarius 4,000 b.c. marked the season of the spring equinox in conjunction — the sun then being with the stars marking the horn tips of the Bull. ' The new moon Virgil, Georg., Lib. in Sagittarius at the I., 217, 218. i6o NOTES— AHURA MAZDA, date Sagittarius : ETC. [part i. same marked the autumn equinox. in The half waning moon marked the season of the winter solstice crescent or and the half moon of the waxing moon marked the season of the summer the solstice. The four heads of Janus may thus have referred to the four seasons marked by moon in Sagittarius. The fact that the Indian archer Rudra ( = Siva) and the Grecian archer Artemis, were represented as crowned by the half, not the full moon, would refer these myths to an I ndo- Iranian, not to a someIt what later Iranian source. was not to the reformed Iranian equinoctial year that they pointed, but to the sun's triumph at the the later solstitial season. In Roman Median Janus myth we influence, may rather detect the it and suppose that referred Sagit- to a year beginning with the full tarius, moon in a year opening in the spring, when the sun was in conjunction with the "gilded horns" of "the bright Bull." All these mythological indications, derived from Median, Assyrian, Indian, and classical sources, though each of them looked at separately may not speak with much insistence, yet considered together PART I] THE MOON to point us IN SAGITTARIUS clearly as b.c. i6i seem more and more we study them, to the fact that about 4,000 a very im- portant and authoritative observation of the colures (amongst the Zodiacal constellations) was made, and that upon this observation much of the mythology of ancient nations was founded. VII ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY [Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archeology, February 1900] It is only on Talmudic authority, I think, that astronomy can be denied a place, and indeed an important place, in researches connected with Biblical Archaeology. On Talmudic authority we are told that, as a protest against the sun-, moon-, and star-worship of not peror by surrounding nations, the Hebrews were mitted to calculate in any scientific way beforehand, methods based on the movements of the heavenly bodies, their days, their months, or their years. The end could stars of the day and beginning of the night only be definitely ascertained visible to the observer. when three were 162 The moon must PART I.] ASTRONOMY its IN THE TALMUD some watcher of the year, 163 have shown heavens, pale sickle to of the before the first of the month could be announced. also told, The beginning we are was dependent on the a sufficiently advanced earliness or late- ness of the agricultural season, for three corn, in ears of state of growth, were the year. to be presented to the priest and waved before first Lord on a fixed day of the This month of the ^ is what some passages of the Talmud 1 iii. pp. 239 Bible Educator, edited by Rev. E. H. Plumptre, M.A., vol. and 240. " It may have been with a view to render impossible, that astrology the Jews were forbidden to keep a as the length of the lunation, half, calendar in the Holy Land, or lunar month, it is, ... roughly speaking, twenty-nine days and a is easy to know, from month to month, when to expect the crescent to become visible. Six times in the year the beginning of the month was decided by observation of the new moon. On two months of the year the determination of the new moon was of such importance, that the witnesses who observed the . . . crescent were authorized to to profane the Sabbath by travelling These occasions were the records that on one occasion as many as forty pairs of witnesses thus arrived on the Sabbath at Lydda. Rabbi Akiba detained them, but was reproved When the evidence was for so doing by Rabbi Gamaliel satisfactory, the judges declared the month to be commenced, and a beacon was lighted on Mount Olivet, from which the signal was repeated on mountain after mountain, until the whole country was aglow with fires." give information at Jerusalem. . . months Nisan and Tisri. . The Mishna 164 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY to teach ; [parti. seem it but from Old Testament Scriptures, is not possible to infer these calendrical restric- tions with trary, any degree of is certainty. On the con- there much in the Scriptures to lead us to an opposite conclusion. On also " the very first page of the Bible we read of lesser lights," " the greater and the and of " the stars set in the heavens, to for be "for signs, and for seasons, and days and years." this first page, And scarcely have we turned statement that " in process of that when we meet the time it came to pass, of the ground an Cain brought of the fruit offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof And the Lord had respect unto Abel and In the margin to his offering." the words "in process In of time" are rendered "at the end of days." considering this passage into we seem to be brought year ; touch at with a definitely established and the once archaeology and astronomy enter into of Biblical research, to tell field us of a remotely old calendar origin —astronomic indications calendar at about would date the B.C. of this this 6,000 —and from calendar we learn that at "the end of — PART I.] ASTRONOMY IN THE BIBLE of 165 days there " — the end of the dark days of the year a : followed month ''the sacrifice of righteousness " a sacrifice, we may well suppose, of the firstlings of the flock, as the stars in conjunction with the sun during this first month were under imagined by the institutors of the calendar the form of a lamb or ram ready for sacrifice. To this calendrical first month our attention is again drawn when we read, in the book of Exodus, of the of the institution at God's festival, to command Hebrew be held on the 14th and 15th days of the month Abib. This month Abib, it is generally assumed, is the equivalent of the month Nisan, spoken archaeology of in some of the later books of the Old Testament. Astronomy and again claim a the hearing on this point. The month Nisan, Semite equivalent of the Accadian month Bar zig"), gar (the month of the "sacrifice of righteousness we may tablets, gather from the evidence of the cuneiform had been the first month Moses of a calendrical for millenniums, ; year in Babylon for many centuries — perhaps — before the date of and therefore archseology would teach us that the children of Israel — ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY recalled, 1 66 [part i. were being from strange Egyptian modes of reckoning, to the observance of an ancient patriarchal year and and festival, that for year, to them Abib was to and that on the 14th when they were told be the first month of the of that month, "a night be much observed,'' they were to sacrifice of the of their flock, and were to hold the great firstlings festival of the If Passover on the fifteenth day. " "Abib," Nisan," and "Bar zig-gar" are to designate names used by various nations the one and same month, Abib could not have been, as has been supposed, a month very generally varying according to the uncertain ripening of agricultural name from the ears of corn presented to the priest, and waved before the Lord on some fixed day of that month but rather it must have been (as we know, from Babylonian crops, and one taking its ; sources that Nisan was) a well calculated soli-lunar and sidereal month. Now, if we adopt this view, we must find some month name Abib. difficult alternative derivation for the Nor is it by any means so to do. the fourteenth On Bar zig-gar, Nisan, or Abib — night of the " first month a night to be much ; PART I] ABIB REFERS TO SPICA rather, 167 observed," or reading, star according to the marginal bright in "a night of observations" — the Spica, which marks the ears of corn the west, the Virgin's hand, rose above the eastern horizon as the sun set in and at midnight must ; have shone down brilHantly on the Hebrew hosts for Spica is so bright a star, that even the beams of the full moon its riding close lustre. at hand could not months from are in have obscured The the Indians of to-day in to, name their stars their lunar Zodiac in which opposition not from those conjunction with, the sun. The close resemblance of the Arab and the Indian lunar Zodiacal series suggests the thought that the Arabs may have it followed the same system of this month nomenclatiLre as Indians and if were the case would furnish a reason why Moses, who had the so lately returned from his forty years' sojourn in Arabia, should — in recalling Hebrews to the observance of such a year their as that which forefathers was presumably followed by Isaac, Abraham, first and Jacob — have yet spoken of the to month of the year according a non- Baby Ionian method of nomenclature, and 1 68 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY have called it [part i. should Abib, after the star in opposition to the sun. If now we adopt the itself the opinion that an astronomic in method of counting the year did amongst present reality difficulty obtain Hebrews, to a great in must the our minds regard to generally accepted theory that only on a fixed day of the first reaped Lord. month of of the year might be the first handful corn waved before the The than in seasons in Palestine are not more punctual other countries. To restrict a husbandman to a fixed day of a year (even such a year as which he might corn, ours) before not begin to put felt his sickle into the ful ' would be ; as a hurt- and arbitrary regulation to but to restrict the in husbandman would be a a fixed day a luni-solar year still more hurtful regulation. The to beginning of a soli-lunar, year extent of a may vary late the whole month. A vice in beginning of a such a year might coincide with season, very early agricultural and versa an early calendrical year might occur a late agricultural season. PART I.] NOT TO FIRST RIPENED CORN of this 169 Considerations to inquire carefully nature may incline us whether the the " generally accepted theory " (concerning waving of the ears of corn before the rests Lord during the Passover week) upon Scriptural authority or on Talmudic and teachinaf. traditional As ag-ainst it is an almost un- broken array of commentators, possible in this connexion to quote from the work of a learned Hebrew scholar a clearly expressed opinion that it from the Scriptures themselves, to infer directly a is not possible connexion in date between the festival.^ wavinsf of the 1 first fruits and the Passover Nouvelle, Pentateugite, 3. Traduction par Rabbi Wogue to the (Lazare), torn. Discussing an important difference of opinion which exists amongst Jewish scholars and commentators as " exact day of the Passover festival, on which the priest was to wave the sheaf before the Lord, the writer says : Le texte porte : 'Le Lendemain du Sabbat,' indication qui a donne importante entre les lieu . a une dissidence . . Pharisiens et les Saduceens. Nous avons des Septante, ; adopts le systeme talmudique, qui a pour et I'usage lui I'autorite des targoumim, de Josephe, cririons a immemorial de la Synagogue mais, a ne consulter que les textes sans parti pris, nous ne sousr aucune des deux doctrines. Ni la ceremonie de Tomer, comput des semaines, ne sont mis par nos textes en rapport avec la Paque, mais uniquement avec les moissons, soit ici, soit dans le Deut^ronome (xvi. 9). Des la recolte de I'orge, le divin ni le L^gislateur veut qu'on lui fasse c^reale ; hommage des premices de cette il n'indique point de date, parceque la moisson, pas plus et pas plus que la vendange, en Palestine qu'ailleurs, ne commence 170 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY But if [part i our enquiries should lead us to accept, the existence in as at least a probability, Mosaic times of an astronomically counted this Hebrew year, right and if admission should require us to change opinions long-held regarding the observ- ance Hebrew festivals, on the other hand, the fact that we might then trace Arabian rather than Babylonian influence in the name of Abib of would have the its weight on the conservative side of controversy concerning the post or pre-exilic date of the books of The fact that in Exodus and Deuteronomy. India the months are named after the stars in opposition to the sun suggested the above proposed explanations of the as that of the month name Abib sun was in Hebrew month when the conjunction with the constellation Aries, and in opposition to the star Spica, marking the Zodiacal ears of corn. a jour tion ; But there is a further point fixe. Mais une les les fois ouverte, elle se continue sans interrup- et comme semaines apres, sent coupes sept pr^mices du froment doivent etre offertes au Palestine, froments, en bout de sept semaines. tenant de quel ' L'Omer et ' la Pentecote sont done mobiles fixe. par exception, mais cette derniere est relativement Mainici Sabbat est il question ? Puisque tout est subordonn^ a rouverture de Sabbat qui la moisson, ce sera naturellement le suit cette ouverture." PART I.] ABIB to AND CHAITRA be 171 of connexion observed between Indian that astronomy and the first Biblical archeeology, namely, is month the of the Indian year at the is present date in month during which Chaitra, the sun conjunction with the constellation Aries. is This month called which it is the Sanscrit the name of the star Spica, and is in fact same the sidereally marked month, which, according was the first to opinions here advocated, the ancient years. It month of Accadian, Babylonian, and Hebrew must, therefore, be a question of interest to if Biblical students to determine, this possible, whether Indian first month has only so been counted (as some scholars it tell us) since about 570 a.d., or whether has so been counted from the same zig-gar, remote time as was the Accadian month Bar that is, possibly, from about 6,000 B.C. This question as to the month Chaitra forms part only of a larger controversy which has been long waged concerning the antiquity, or otherwise, of the whole science of astronomy in India. To tion in this larger controversy I have drawn atten- my Paper, Astronomy in the Rig Veda, read 172 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY [part i. before the Congress of Orientalists assembled in at Rome 1899. in In that Paper, arguments are put forward support of the opinion that the Vedic bards possessed an acquaintance with the science of astronomy, and the the that much of the imagery of hymns bore Zodiac. reference to the constellations of Indra, For the gods astronomic the Soma, Agni, are it and the ; Aswins, interpretations proposed and is finally question, which as seems to me one specially deserving the attention Biblical of the Society of Archaeology — the it quesfirst tion of the position of the month Chaitra as month times of the Indian year in Vedic is and pre- Vedic was, and discussed, and the claim that the Accadian throughout remote ages had ever been, virtually the same month as Bar zig-gar is insisted upon. Pursuing further the controversy concerning the antiquity of astronomy amongst the Aryan (p. 152), I races, in the note on "Ahura Mazda" proposed an identification of the Vedic Rudra with the Median equi- god — the god who presided over the Median noctial year, marked by observation of the full moon in the constellation Sagittarius. PARTI.] THE MARUTS of the 173 Continuing then our enquiries into the astro- nomic myths attention to ancient India, let us turn our sons of Rudra — the Maruts. They Vedic are a group of gods very prominent deities, among is and it is to be noted that Rudra oftener alluded to in the Rig Veda as the father of the Maruts than in almost any other capacity. the Now Maruts —the stormy troop of Maruts —are celebrated as the companions and friends of Indra. They are "associated with him it in innumerable passages." Here, at first sight, might seem that of Indra personifi- the proposed astronomical identification and Rudra as cations solstitial and equinoctial ; must break down for how should the as sons of the equinoctial Rudra always appear however, a the devoted companions of the solstitial Indra? On itself. further examination, very interesting explanation of this difficulty presents From a hymn (quoted at p. 157) to Siva, the Hindu representative of the Vedic Rudra, crescent we learn that the half-moon blazes on the the crescent half-moon, in forehead of Siva. Now the western degrees of the constellation Sagittarius, would, 4,500 B.C., have marked the month of the N 174 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY solstice; for [part i. summer quarter" the moon, in its "first in the first degrees of Sagittarius, must later, attain to "full moon" seven days Aquarius or either in the full constellation Pisces, and the moon in one or other of those two constellasolstice tions marked the season of the summer earlier somewhat than 4,000 b.c. The Maruts are often spoken of in the in Veda as a troop, seven number, or as seven troops of seven, or as seven in three times number. The days astronomical the seven thought therefore suggests itself, that Maruts represent the seven that elapsed between the crescent half-moon, blazing on the brow of Rudra, and the full or Soma pavamana — moon Soma of the summer solstice, purified in the celestial this explanation of waters (see Plate XIII.). And the Maruts does not contradict, but rather agrees with and includes the usual non-astronomic ex- planations held regarding them, namely, that they are storm winds; for we know in that the days which accompany the setting rainy season in of the solstitial India are the days in which the fierce tropical hurricanes or monsoons prevail. Now let us turn from the Maruts to another, as PLATE XIII. CKXXXX] " Outer circle divided into 360 degrees. 2nd circle. The names and extent of the Nakshatras " or divisions of the Lunar Zodiac. 3rd circle. twenty-seven Indian Indian or Names and extent of the twelve "Rashis" divisions of the Solar Zodiac. at 4th circle. Proposed three-fold division of the Vedic Season of Summer Solstice. Lunar Month Proposed identification of " Maruts " with Moon's Nakshatras" at Season of Summer Solstice. The Constellations here appear as drawn on the celestial globe they have not been reversed as in the other illustrations, hence an apparent, though not real, contradiction ensues. Section of 5th circle. course through seven " ; [To /ace p. 174. PART I.] TRITA APTYA to i;S it seems me, lunar and solstitial myth, namely, that of Trita Aptya. Trita Aptya is a friend of the Maruts, and is said to have appeared on the same car with them. He is constantly, in the hymns, associated with Indra, and feats recorded in one passage as per- formed by Indra, are in another passage of the same hymn Trita ; attributed to Trita. also in the is often spoken of together with Soma and we read of ninth Mandala, again and again the ten " maidens, or fingers," of Trita preparing the Soma juice for Indra. All these attributes of Trita, and others to be mentioned astronomic later, are easily explainable on in the the theory of already Indra, propounded identifications of Soma, and of the Maruts. In the of the name number Trita there three, is certainly a suggestion in his it and Macdonell, to Vedic Mythology^ brings proof felt show "that " was is, to have the meaning of the third — that in order of sequence. But though the third, 1 in this sense, does not P. 69. 176 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY it [part i. actually carry with the in meaning of third of a search of an astronomical whole ; yet, to any one the explanation of Trita myth, the reiterated mention of the ten fingers of Trita quickly suggests the thought of a whole divided into three chief parts, each part containing ten lesser divisions —a whole therefore of thirty parts. Now the lunar month — reality in consisting of twenty-nine and a fractions half in solar days (with some usage over) into — is Hindu calendrical divided " tithis," thirty equal portions of time called ; which are considered as lunar days it and here, as would seem, we arrive at the physical basis of the Trita myth. Trita Aptya, or Trita in the waters (or of the waters), appears as the third part of the lunar month —the part during which ; the moon is to be seen in the celestial waters and as Trita is so closely connected with that third part Indra and Soma pavamana, full ") must have been the ten lunar days (five before and five after " the during which the moon is at its brightest, and in the constellation If Aquarius. we think of Trita Aptya as a personification of the triumphant third of the moon's course through PART I.] TRITA AND FULL MOON 177 the constellations of the Zodiac at the season of the summer member solstice (see Plate XIII.), and if we full re- that the in moon during " third " the ten lunar days to its contained that in came in Aquarius or juncture of Pisces, sometimes indeed at the these constellations, we shall be able to understand much of the figurative language of the Veda, which associates Trita with the stormy Maruts, with the victories of Indra over Vritra, and with the effulgence of Soma pavamana. There is a legend concerning Trita not related but alluded to in the Rig Veda. us that Trita This legend tells was one of three brothers (Ekata, and over the mouth of the Dvita, and Trita), and that he was pushed into a well by his brothers, well a circular covering was placed with intent to keep Trita down and drown there can be little him. But through the circular covering the ever-triumphant Trita burst. Here the doubt is a mythic descrip- tion of the full temporary disaster of eclipse overtaking of the moon of summer or solstice in the celestial waters Aquarius Pisces. else The circular circular full covering can be nothing than the shadow of the earth covering the disc of the — 178 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY Trita's triumph [part i. moon, and may well remind us of it the serene victoriousness of the moon when has emerged from sky. eclipse and rides unharmed along the corresponds In the Zend Avesta Thrita with the in many also points Vedic under Trita. Thraetona of his represents Trita is some other aspects, and mention made slay of Thraetona's " two brothers who seek facts is it to him on the way."i inferred that From Trita these may be the myth pre-Vedic. to We of need of it not, therefore, in be surprised mythologies. find traces European only a The name termination, Trita, with the change Triton, of appears at as Greek in and we may guess an allusion the sculptured forms of Greek and half Roman in Tritons men and half fish — to the two watery conwhich the stellations, Aquarius and Pisces, Vedic Trita Aptya (son of waters) made his abode. The Roman rendering of especially, may recall to basis these composite figures, our minds the Zodiacal fish of the in ' myth —the art, two as of Pisces fish-tails appearing Italian the two Macdonell, Vedic Afythology, p. 69. PART I.] TRITA, TRITON—EKATA, HECATE 179 which terminate the human-headed figure of the Triton. Again Hecate, as has been pointed out bears a close by scholars, resemblance ; in name of the to Ekata. Hecate was a lunar divinity to at she was worshipped and sacrificed month. the close We may therefore suppose she repreis sented the waning moon. She further said to have been the daughter of Perseus and Asteria. Looking Plate), at the figures of the celestial sphere (see we may trace the third part of the moon's its course —the ten days of Ekata—and observe how Sanscrit Trita waning appropriated to this portion of its course began close to the constellation Perseus. myth may explain the Thus the name and parentage of the Grecian Hecate.^ A the 1 study of ancient European calendars may, on the other hand, eke out our knowledge concerning astronomic scheme in which It is Trita and his solstice not to be supposed that only the month of the summer was divided into the three parts, personified by Ekata, : Dvita, and Trita (or, the legend of Trita Aptya, that is is, Trita in the waters of the waters), necessarily restricted to that season full in which the or Pisces. moon came to its Some interesting in the constellations Aquarius indications in Indian and Greek mythology seem to point to a similar division of other months, but the subject is surrounded with uncertainties and difficulties. i8o ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY such important parts. [part i. brothers played We read into that in the Attic year " each month was divided three decades," and the statement in the may confirm us opinion that, following an almost too mathe- matically imagined calendrical method, the ancestors of the Aryan race in remote ages counted their months, not as containing twenty-nine-and-a-half solar days, but as a portion of time containing three great equal divisions, the third first, the second, and the of these — Ekata, should Dvita, Trita — each three tithis. parts being again subdivided into ten equal If this have been the case, it would be interesting to note that the also, as Greeks (and the Romans shown by their cumbrous system of Kalends, Nones, and Ides) retained the plan of a threefold division of the months, but lost the originally con- comitant arrangement of the ten equal divisions of each part into for tithis, whence much alike in thirty difficulty ensued Greeks and Romans counting lunar months of alternately and twenty-nine days. Indian astronomers, on the other hand, the accurate and elaborate into equal tithis, who retain division of the lost the month must have long ago thought of its originally threefold partition, for the Indians — PART I] ATRI AND THE NEW MOON half. ^ i8i count each month as composed not of three periods of time, but of a light and a dark Vedic To one more direct lunar : personage let us our attention namely, to Atri— Atri who, Trita, unlike the is conquering and celebrated for ever-victorious misfortunes. chiefly his Agni, his Indra, and especially the Aswins, moved by misfortunes, come to the help of Atri, and by means of a hundred extricate acts, a hundred devices, they him from captivity, whether from a dark cavern or from a burning chasm. They make the time of his captivity even pleasant to him, giving him refreshing drink. One In the of our own poets may help us to under- stand the Vedic metaphor of Atri's darksome cave. Samson Agonistes of Milton, the hero, describing his blindness, says " The sun to me is dark And silent as the moon When she deserts the night, Hid in her vacant interlunar cave." ^ " The Luni-Solar year is ; used for the regulation of festivals it and domestic arrangements instant of conjunction Chaitra. month commences at present at the Sun and Moon in the Sidereal The Hindu Lunar months invariably consist of of the 1 82 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY Atri is, I [part i. believe, a personification of the New is Moon, and thus we may understand how he sometimes described as hidden while at other times he is in a dark in cave, spoken of as in a fiery chasm, when the uppermost thought poet's at the Vedic mind is the close conjunction of the the that time with burning sun. Atri is moon From his delivered sacrifice in dark cave, or burning chasm, by the "hundred acts" of worship and which it was the custom in India, at as many other countries, to offer up the time of festivals New Moon, especially at the marked of the winter and summer solstice, or the beginning of ^ the calendrical year. thirty Tithis, or On one occasion we hear of Lunar days ; and the whole month is divided into two equal parts of fifteen Tithis each, the one called Shukla or Shuddh Paksha the bright half or increase of the Moon the the dark half or decrease of the other Krishna or Vadya Paksha Moon." (The Indian Calendar for the year 1892.) — ; — 1 Wilson's Rig with Veda, vol. iii. p. 297, " 5. When, Silrya, the son of the the his Asura worlds place. Mandala, V. xl. Swarbhanu overwere 6. spread thee darkness, beheld like one bewildered, knowing not thou wast dissipating those illusions of When, Indra, Swarbhanu which were dis- spread below the Sun, then Atri, by his fourth sacred prayer, covered the Sun concealed by the darkness impeding his functions. (Siirya speaks) Let not the violator, Atri, through hunger 7. swallow with fearful (darkness) me who am thine ; thou art Mitra, ; PART 1.] ATRI AT THE SUN'S ECLIPSE assistance of the sun, 183 Atri coming to the which This to had been hidden by the demon Swarbhanu. darkening of the sun refer to a solar eclipse. is generally understood A solar eclipse can only It is take place at the time of puzzling to find Atri, if new moon. from ; a little Atri personifies the eclipse new of moon, saving the sun instead being the cause of the disaster but as in the Rig Veda Atri always appears as light a friend, not an enemy, of the gods of the Aswins —Agni, It Indra, and —we may suppose that the Vedic bard at, chose to represent him as being present rather than causing the sun's eclipse. that a certain may also be number of in it divisions of lunar time Atri, were considered as personified by an eclipse terminated those divisions " ; and that the third or fourth of so that could be said that Atri " by his fourth sacred is prayer discovered difficult the sun. The passage is no doubt a royal (Atri), one protect whose wealth me. 8. truth ; do thou and the Varuna both Then the Brahman applying the stones together, propitiating the gods with praise, and adoring them with reverence, ; placed the eye of Surya in the sky of Swarbhanu. 9. he dispersed the delusions the Asura, Swarbhanu, had ; The Sun, whom enveloped with darkness, the sons of Atri subsequently recovered no others were able (to effect his release)." 1 84 ANCIENT INDIAN ASTRONOMY [part i. still the fact that Atri was present at the eclipse tell of the sun seems to rather in favour of than against the supposition that cation of the time of Atri was a personifi- new moon. Maruts, with Trita The posed Atri, four astronomical interpretations here pro- for Rudra, all the Aptya, and are harmonious and supplemental at to the four discussed in my Paper read Rome, and must entitled Astronomy in the Rig or Veda. fall They indeed to a great extent all stand together. if They have been very briefly stated, but an astronomic basis does, as suggested, underlie Vedic imagery, Sanscrit scholars, with the science of etymology at their to follow command, will easily be able up and pronounce upon the value of the clues here hazarded. VIII THE CHINESE CALENDAR, WITH SOME REMARKS WITH REFERENCE TO THAT OF THE CHALDEANS [Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Arckaology, December 1901] The star Chinese Lunar Zodiac is divided into 28 groups named Siou. Gustav Schlegel in his Uranographie Chinoise having enumerated these 28 siou —or : as " he translates that term, "domiciles" —says voyant La premiere chose le qui nous frappe en c'est la la liste des 28 domiciles, domicile Kio, ou quelle com- mence par Vierge, preuve positive que c'etait avec ce domicile que I'annee a du commencer primitivement," quotes from " as follows '' : ^ and further on he le Eul-ya cette antique dictionnaire," constellations, c'est p. 79. 1S& L' Ancien des Kio et ' Uranographie Chinoise, 1 86 . . THE CHINESE CALENDAR . [part i. Kang tions : ils sont les les chefs des domiciles, et a lancien des constella' cause de cela on et ' nomme le signe d'Ancien des constellations est exactement adds : les domiciles J^zo et Kang."^ Schlegel " Ce nom de Ancien celui des constellations r6pond les exactement a de Princeps Signorum que astrologues remains donnerent au bdlier ; a lepoque ou cette constellation printemps. le etait signe de lequinoxe du C'est-a-dire que le signe qui annoncait commencement de 1' I'annee le etait le premier, le Princeps signorum, tions. Ancien, Chef, des constella- Mais ces etoiles de la Vierge portent encore fait d'autres noms qui tous ont rapport au astrono- mique que ' I'asterisme ' Kio ouvrait les . I'ann^e. Le quatre Sing-king les les nomme Chefs . des regions, Legions celestes. . Elles president elles sont traver- aux metamorphoses de sdes la creation : par l^cliptique et les sept clartds elles." (7 playlets) commencent {leur revolution) par The I concluding words from the Sing-king which in italics have marked —giving as they do the opinions held by ancient Chinese writers respecting the first divisions ^ of their Lunar Zodiac p. 87. — may Uranographie Chinoise, PART I.] CHINESE AND HINDU LORE 187 astro- remind us of the opinions held by Indian nomers as to their first division of the Zodiac. In Whitney's comments on the Sdrya Siddhdnta he observes : — " The initial point of the fixed Hindu sphere, from which longitudes are reckoned, and at which the planetary motions are held by all schools of Hindu astronomy is to have commenced at the creation, the end of the asterism Revati, or the beginning of Acvini."! It is impossible to read of these two traditions initial concerning the the point of the Chinese and of Hindu ecliptic series of constellations, without to suspecting traditions. some underlying cause common both The Chinese and Hindu metrically opposite to initial points are diaecliptic. each other on the Calendrically speaking, such opposite points may be taken to mark the same season and the same month —as for instance, in the old Accadian calendar the stars in conjunction month names with the sun. referred to the The month of the sacrifice of right- eousness corresponded to the month during which the sun was in conjunction with the sacrificial 1 Ram. V. p. 93. — THE CHINESE CALENDAR 1 88 [part i. This same month counted (theoretically) from the arrival of the sun at the end of Revati and beginning initial of AswinI— the point of the Indian Zodiac is in India called, after the star group in opposition, Chaitra. Spica {a Virginis) is the chief star of the is Nak- shatra Chaitra, and Spica also the chief star of the Chinese siou Kio, " Fastdrisme," which, according to the tradition above recorded, " ouvrait I'annee," and which (together with the neighbouring "siou Kang), president aux metamorphoses de " sont traversees la creation," par I'ecliptique, et les sept clart^s commencent leur revolution par elles." To any of the interested in the history of the Chinese calendar, or rather to any interested in the history human it race, the question as to the reason for the choice of this point and for the equal honour in which was held (as we have seen) by the Accadian, is the Hindu, and the Chinese nations, a question worthy of close attention. In former Papers contributed to these Proceedings, I have drawn attention to the many indications in ancient cuneiform and Indian literature, which B.C., seem to point to the conclusion that about 6,000 — PART I.] " ; KIO, CHAITRA, SriCA and in 189 in some part of Asia a latitude probably as far north as 40 degrees, a calendar was instituted by that this calendar dealt " some ancient race of men," and that the stars with a year beginning- at the season of the winter solstice, which at that date were chosen to mark the first solstitial year were those in the degrees of the constellation Aries in conjunction with —and I the bright star Spica in opposition to the sun. suggested that the Accadians and later Babylonians, as also the Aryans of India, continued to follow as star-marks for their years the constella- tions chosen by the institutors of this ancient calendar, and that therefore in the course of ages the beginning of the years of these peoples moved winter gradually solstice, away from the season of the approaching always nearer to the vernal equinox, close to which point at we find it " bound the time of the fall of the Babylonian power is still while in India, where the star-mark Spica followed, the year now begins about twenty days Mesopotamian and Indian to litera- after the spring equinox. Indications in ture have clusions. seemed me to point to the above con- The opposed view, held by most writers O I90 THE CHINESE CALENDAR subject, is [part i. on the that only at the late date (about the beginning of our era) when the stars of Aries in opposition, conjunction, and the star of Spica in marked the marks and Hindus I equinoctial season, were they adopted as for the beginning of the year by Babylonians respectively. think that the position held by the star Spica in Chinese ancient astronomical tradition in may be claimed as telling strongly solstitial as favour of an originally equinoctial opposed to an originally beginning of the sidereal years of the Accadian, Hindu, and Chinese nations, for never has the claim been made that the Chinese years were counted from the vernal equinox ; but on the contrary the opinion has been very generally held and expressed by Chinese scholars that at some remote date the new year's festival was held in China at the season of the winter solstice. Gustav Schlegel, one of the subject that, latest writers on the of Chinese astronomy, though I'opinion he admits chinoise "selon g6n6rale I'annee commence ally toujours avec le solstice d'hiver," has put forward a view entirely opposed to this generheld opinion : according to his theory, the — PART I.] : 16,916 B.C. 191 Chinese have from the most remote times counted their years, as they count them at present to the season i.e., from the new moon nearest between the winter solstice mid-way and as he is convinced — and the spring equinox as we have seen that the — beginning of the Chinese year was originally marked by the asterism Kio, he demands as the lowest possible date for this origin of the Chinese calendar, that of 16,916 B.C., when the constellation Kio marked, by solstice its heliacal rising, the mid-season between and equinox. Schlegel brings forward many learned and in- genious arguments drawn from Chinese literature to support this theory. in It would be impossible at second hand, and a small space, to state to fairly his arguments with a view volumes are full rebutting them. His of valuable information concerning it the " Uranographie Chinoise," but to has not seemed me when reading and re-reading his work, that the grounds on which he relies are sufficiently established to support the high claims to antiquity which he puts forward for the origin of the modern Chinese method of counting the year from the midseason between solstice and equinox. 192 It THE CHINESE CALENDAR has on the contrary seemed to [part i. me that on at historical grounds a theory may be arrived which will furnish a reasonable explanation of the present calendrical methods, somewhat exceptional Chinese and which will, if it is accepted, strongly reinforce the grounds for holding the already general opinion that the year in ancient times in China was solstitial. That opinion once established must lead us with increased confidence to attribute the honour traditionally paid initial by Hindus and Chinese have alike to the point of their respective ecliptic series of star to, groups as I said, their common b.c. acquaint- ance with a calendar established on high authority at the date in round numbers of 6,000 in The year China is luni-solar, and it is, as has been pointed out, counted from the season exactly midway between equinox. It is the winter solstice and the spring counted from this mid-season and not from to, the sun's opposition or conjunction with, any It ; particular star or star group. is it therefore not is a sidereal but a tropical year at and is estimated exactly the same length as our European Gregorian year, PART I] GREGORIAN YEAR, 1582 A.D. 193 We here in Europe are not yet tired of conthe scientific success at- gratulating ourselves on tained by Pope Gregory XIII., with the help of established, many a learned when men and the in 1582 he, astronomers, Julian as reform of earlier all calendar, a method of securely binding recurring airniversaries — civil and ecclesiastical — to the exact same season of the year. for the Calculations arrangement of the Julian calendar had strained the scientific powers of the astronomers of Greece and Rome in Caesar's time, but the length of the year estimated by them was twelve minutes greater than that arrived at by the astronomers of Gregory's later date. To with find, as we do, in the far east of Asia a people counting the length of their luni-solar year the same accurate exactness us surprise, as that only attained to as late as 1582 a.d. in Europe, might well cause were it not that history furnishes us with an easy explanation of this exact identity of Chinese lations, and European calendrical that the calendar their years, calcu- by teaching us by which the Chinese now count and by which they have counted them for nearly three hundred 194 years, THE CHINESE CALENDAR was really [part i. compiled at Peking by Roman ecclesiastics, to whom for the Gregorian methods were well known, and whom, indeed, the study of these methods must have possessed the charm of intrinsic utility novelty added to interest. its and scientific Two In 1600 learned Jesuit Fathers obtained in the 17th century great influence at the Chinese Court. A.D., Matteo Ricci was allowed with his companions to settle at Peking, life where he spent the remainder of his other sciences. In 1610, in teaching mathematics and Johann Adam "was von Schall, another partly in learned Jesuit Father, sent out consequence of his knowledge of mathematics and astronomy to the to China," and was ultimately " invited Imperial Court at Peking, where he was entrusted with the direction reformation of of the calendar mathematical and the ^ the public school." Under " ' these circumstances, when we read the that according to the Chinese work, Wan-nian-shu, or Ten thousand-year ' Calendar,' in which ele- Chambers's Encyclopedia, 1901. — PART I.] CHINESE CALENDAR, 1624 A.D. 195 a.d. until ments of the Chinese calendar from 1624 192 r A.D. are calculated by the Astronomical Board at Peking, the earliest date of the Chinese New Year's — Day is January 21st, and the latest February 20th "^ when we read this and remember that Johann von Schall was in Adam 1624 in charge of the reformation of the calendar at Peking, we need 279 feel no surprise to find " the elements of the Chinese for tropical, calendar" calculated in advance that is Gregorian, years. Indeed the influence of in the European ecclesiastic these calculations is clearly to be recognized in their very form, for we are easily reminded by it of the " Table to find Easter from the present time to year of a.d. inclusive," prefixed to —such and such a our English Books Common when Prayer. And we may the be tempted to conservative unwittingly smile we see jealously Chinese nation so peaceably —accepting a ^ — perhaps reformation of their calendar at the this accept- hands of foreigners, and contrast with ance the turbulent opposition with which for so On special regard to the Chinese Chronology and the Construction of the Calendar, with Compictation of Time compared with the European. By Dr. K. Fritsche. ' 196 THE CHINESE CALENDAR [part i. long the introduction of the into Gregorian calendar the many European countries was resisted. It may well be that the Jesuit Fathers to whom Emperor entrusted the reformation of the calendar were themselves not aware of the magni- tude of the reformation they were introducing into Chinese methods, for they found the luni-solar festival of the new year, as we may learn from the Chinese literature of that date, occurring close to that season to it. which they then so scientifically bound But, according to the theory which in this Paper I am anxious to advocate, this season solstice midway be- tween and equinox had not been chosen first with definite intention as the Chinese, of the year by the at, but had only been arrived in con- sequence of an age-long following on their part of a star group, chosen thousands of years earlier, by one of their ancient emperors, as that from which the This star beginning of their year was to be counted. group was the Siou (domicile) Hiu, the eleventh sion of their stars ^ divi- Lunar Zodiac, and a Equulei. it is marked by the ^ Aquarii and The (See diagram.) many 28 Siou are not of equal extent, and there are discrepancies in the Chinese tables which profess to give the PART I.] TCHUEN-HIO, is 2510-2431 B.C. 197 There in the great History of China a description given of a reformation of the calendar carried out by the Emperor Tchuen-Hio, whose e.g. date is placed at ^2510-2431 The conjunction is in of the sun and moon close to the Siou Hiu this description clearly referred to as a mark given fact for the beginning of the year. But the of this choice of the scholars, star been mark Hiu has, for European obscured by a most unfortunate Mailla, paraphrase made use of by Pere de translator into la Chine. the French of the Histoire Gdndrale de gives us in the passage describing He Tchuen-Hio's reformation the phrase, "15° du Verseau," instead of the Chinese expression, " the Siou Hiu."i The Siou Hiu extends over some number of degrees attributed to each. eisfht or ten In the diagram, therefore, only the stars which compose the three adjoining domiciles, Niu, Hiu, and Wei are noted, and they are connected by straight according to Chinese astronomical custom. ^ lines, The fact that P. de Mailla has so paraphrased the Chinese attested original has thus plainly been by the late Professor Legge. In answer to a question addressed to him on the subject, he wrote, in December 1894, to Mr. H. W. Greene, Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, as follows " In the passage from : P. de Mailla's History, that writer is both translating and para- phrasing 'the star group Hiu.'" ; PARTI.] "15° DU VERSEAU" 199 degrees of the ecliptic in the constellation Aquarius ; to restrict to one degree the given star mark was an inaccuracy serious enough in an astronomical state- ment, but this inaccuracy is as nothing when comof facts pared with the further entire distortion occasioned by P. de Mailla's use of the ambiguous phrase, " 15° du Verseau," ambiguous because it can be taken the sign, to refer either to the fifteenth degree of or of the constellation "du Verseau" (Aquarius). The Siou Hiu is situated, as stated above, in the constellation Aquarius (see diagram), but astro- nomers reading P. de Mailla's in its translation sense, have understood the phrase technical and have therefore been led peror to believe that the Emthe Tchuen-Hio year to fixed 1 the beginning sign of Chinese the 5° of the Aquarius speaking, to and as, astronomically and technically the 15° Aquarius (sign) has star no reference only that any of or constellation, but is point the ecliptic to which the sun attains exactly at the mid-season between winter solstice and spring b.c. equinox, they have taken for granted that 2,500 the Chinese year began at that point, and therefore 200 at THE CHINESE CAEENDAR the [part i. same season as it does at the present time. But as we now learn on the high authority of Professor that Legge that is it was to the star group Hiu Tchuen-Hio recorded to have bound the if beginning of the year, we know that is the record true, the year in Tchuen-Hio's time must have begun season, at the winter solstice, and not at the mid- between it and the equinox. When due has been correction of P. de Mailla's paraphrase in the made in the passage recording Tchuenstill Hio's reform, there remains a difficulty to be in the overcome account of this event given I Histoire Gdn^rale de la Chine, or rather should say that it is when we have corrected P. de Mailla's paraphrase that this difficulty appears. history it is For in the stated that it was from the new moon at the beginning of spring, and near to the star group Hiu, that the year was then and henceforth to be counted, and this statement contains an astronomical contradiction. Our knowledge of the precession of the equinoxes teaches us that the star group Hiu in Tchuen-Hio's time did not mark the beginning of spring, but rather the very middle of winter. PARTI] "THE STAR GROUP HIU" we throw 201 Unless, then, aside as worthless the whole record of Tchuen-Hio's reform of the calendar, are driven to suppose that we some Chinese historian, ignorant of the precession of the equinoxes, and writing at a date when, owing to that precession, the first new moon from of spring was indeed close to the star group Hiu, and that of the winter solstice far distant it — that this historian made what and the he in may the well have considered a necessary correction which he was dealing, " record with the substituted " first day of spring for "mid-winter season." him find for Nor need we much blame making such a correction, when we driven ourselves by stress of modern en- lightenment to correct his correction, and to read " mid-winter " where he has written "beginning of spring." Let us now read with due corrections, between square brackets, the record of Tchuen-Hio's reformation of the calendar as given in the Histoire Gdn^rale de la Chine. "Tchuen-Hio jouissoit I'empire, . . . profitant de la paix dont transfera ville, sa cour a Kao-yang, Ce fut dans cette que toujours passionn^ pour 202 la THE CHINESE CALENDAR connoissance des astres, il [part i. etablit une espece d'acad^mie, composee des Lettr^s les plus habiles en cette science. On recueillit toutes les observa- tions anciennes qu'on et compara avec les modernes, on poussa I'astronomie a un degre de perfection surprenant. Les regies sdres qu'ils soleil, etablirent pour supputer les mouvements du de la lune, des pianettes, et des ^toiles fixes, acquirent a Tchuen- Hio que nous. " le titre glorieux de restaurateur, et la vraie meme de fondateur de ces astronomic. soient C'est une perte regies ne pas venues jusqu' a Apres plusieurs anndes de travail, Tchuen-Hio la determina qua I'avenir I'annee commenceroit a lune la plus proche du premier jour du printems [proche du solstice d'hiver] qui vient vers le 15° du Verseau ; [vers le Siou Hiu] et comme il savoit par le calcul qu'il en avoit fait, que dans une des annees devoient se joindre dans de son regne les pianettes la constellation le ciel, il Cke (constellation qui occupe 17° dans dont le milieu est vers le 6° des Poissons) choisit cette ann6e-la pour la premiere de son calendrier, d'autant plus soleil que cette meme annee le le et la lune se trouvoient en conjonction, PART I.] TCHUEN-HIO'S REFORM jour ' 203 premier d'hiver]." It du printems [le jour du solstice may, of course, be objected to the proposed : correction of the season in this passage as follows granting that either the star mark Hiu, or the spring season said to have been chosen by Tchuen-Hio, must have been erroneously recorded statement in the Histoire Gdndrale, the probabilities are equal as to which element in the is or is not true. Tchuenfirst Hio may have chosen the moon tion other than nearest to the day of spring, and may have named some constella- Hiu near to which this first late moon was in conjunction with the sun. The Chinese historian, instead of tampering as above supposed with the recorded season, may have substituted the at name of the star group Hiu, which his date marked the beginning of chosen by Tchuen-Hio. spring, for that "other" But the probabilities on this point are in reality first not equally balanced. For, in the instance, we must take into consideration the very general opinion that the year in solstice, China anciently began fact that this * at the winter and the season was in Tchuen33. Vol. I. p. 204 THE CHINESE CALENDAR Wei and Hiu the star [part i, Hio's time so accurately marked by the junction of the star groups (see diagram), and we must references further take into consideration the to many group Hiu it in ancient Chinese hterature, which connect with traditions Hio. very specially concerning the Emperor Tchuenof the effect, Many passages in the works this Pere for Gaubil are to be met with to instance as where he in la thus the quotes Eul-ya. and comments designe (sic) ; on a statement "On Hui Hiuen-hiao par appelle adds, " Constellation on encore ce Signe Tchouen-Hio." Gaubil Le Signe Hiuen-Hiao est celui que nous appelons Amphora. Le dictionnaire [Eul-ya] met dans ce Signe le la Constellation Hiu ; c'est-a-dire que Signe commen^oit par quelque d6gr6 de cette L'Histoire Constellation. I'eau est le Chinoise asseure que {sic). symbole du r^gne de Tchouen-Hiu L'Eul-ya dit formellement que Hiuen-hiao Signe Celestedu Zodiaquedesigne I'Empereur Tchouen-Hiu {sic)y^ Schlegel also tells us that the Chinese placed the soul of ' Tchuen-Hio in the constellation Hiu. redigees Observations Mathimatiques, Astronomiques, Etienne Souciet, tome iii. &c., et publiees par le P. pp. 31-33. — PART I.] TCHUEN-HIO AND HIU is 205 But not only Hiu in Chinese literature closely : associated with the Emperor Tchuen-Hio it is also closely bracketed with the season of the winter solstice. Schlegel gives many quotations to this effect all from Chinese authorities, but he would refer allusions to the far such back time between 14,000 and in opposition to the it 13,000 at B.C., when Hiu was in sun at that season, not date. conjunction with as Tchuen-Hio's Of Hiu he writes : Hiu, ou Tertre fundraire} " C'est cet asterisme dont la culmination a I'heure d'hiver. tsze ' {\\^ de la nuit) annongait le solstice . . . Au solstice d'hiver,' ' dit le M^moire soleil ils sur la divination par la tortue, la course du et des astres n'est pas encore complete, et sont consequemment et vides delaisses comme des orphelins [Kou) d'hiver la {Hiu).' Le solstice dtait done consider^ par les Chinois ' comme position d'un . . . tombeau de ses parents.' pere Noel a traduit {Hiu) par Vacuum, Vide orphelin au Le ; mais nous pref^rons traduire litdralement par Tertre funeraire."^ ^ Uranographie Chinoise, p. 214. " Ibid. p. 217. P — 206 THE CHINESE CALENDAR Taking these various passages [part i. into consideration, we are, I think, led to feel that the probabilities in favour of Tchuen-Hio having chosen the star group Hiu to mark, in conjunction with the sun, the winter solstice, are greater than those in favour of a comthat star paratively modern choice of group as a mark for the beginning of spring. Reading the passage of the Histoire G^ndrale as corrected above, we may assume that Tchuen-Hio intended to establish sure rules by which the Chinese were for the future to count their years from the solstice, and from the conjunction of sun and moon group Hiu. close to the star But we also know that the following of these sure rules was an impossibility. Either the season or the star mark must in the long course of ages have been abandoned. It would be a tain difficult, perhaps an impossible, task to asceror in how far, made under what manner, the attempt was successive dynasties to carry out the injunctions of Tchuen-Hio. in We read to his in the Con- fucian Analects that answer "disciple," who had asked as the first him, " how the government of a country should be administered," the Master said of five rules — "Follow the seasons of PART I.] HIU 2205 B.C.-1600 A.D. 207 Hsia." tor says, And in his note on this text the commentarule of the "Confucius approved the Hsia the dynasty. His decision has been the law of ^ all dynasties since the Ch'in." turies in i.e., During all the cen- which the Hea or Hsia dynasty held B.C., sway, of from 2205 to 1766 the sure rules Tchuen-Hio might have been carried out with- out much difficulty, for at the new moon still nearest to in or the winter solstice the sun would have been near to the constellation Hiu (see diagram), b.c, this final though at the date of Confucius, 551-479 was no result, longer the case. Judging from the take it we may, I think, for granted that the Chinese followed the star mark and not the season appointed for the beginning of the year by TchuenHio. And thus following the star mark, the begin- ning of their year imperceptibly receded from the solstice, and approached the spring equinox, so A,D. the Jesuit fathers that still in 1600 found the year le beginning at the new moon, "vers Siou Hiu," the winter and hence solstice ' at the season midway between and the spring equinox. i., Legge, Chinese Classics, vol. Confucian Analects, book xv., ch. X. — — 2o8 THE CHINESE CALENDAR [part i. In a former Paper contributed to these Proceedings^ I suggested that in the inscription engraved on Gudea's diorite statue we had evidence Gudea's of a reform of the already existing Accadian calendar in use from a date much earlier than in the neighbouring Babylonian kingdom. Gudea's date is placed by scholars at about 2800 B.C.— not much earlier than at that claimed in the Chinese History for Tchuen-Hio. Much honour Lagash " to is given by this priestly ruler of Ningirsu, and to the goddess Bau, his beloved consort," and the concluding lines of the inscription run as follows " : On : the day of the beginning of the year, the festival of calf, day of the Bau, on which offerings were sheep, three lambs, six full made one one fat grown sheep, two rams, seven pat of sab of cream, seven " dates, seven palm buds. offerings Such were the made to the goddess Bau, in the ancient temple on that day." The (Ninib) generally received opinion as to Ningirsu is, that he I was the god of the "southern in sun"; and, as contended 1 my Paper, the southern February 1896, V. p. 54, PART I.] GUDEA AND TCHIIEN-HIO we think of the sun in its 209 sun, if yearly, not merely in its daily course, may fitly represent the sun of the is winter solstice, while the goddess Bau = Gula the goddess by whose very name the constellation in the Aquarius, as we may assume, was designated texts. Accadian astrological If from Gudea's inscription concerning the new year's festival a reform in the calendar of Lagash may be inferred, by which the beginning of the year stars of Aries to those of was transferred from the Aquarius, tion, we should find that the Lagash tell inscrip- and the great History of China, story us the same — the Lagash inscription supplementing the Chinese History in this important point — that long whereas the account of Tchuen-Hio's reform has been manifestly more or descent through year's festival less : garbled in its human hands is that of Gudea's new a contemporaneous and utterly account. It is untampered - with also of some in moment to note one curious point of resemblance the idea connected with the stars of Aquarius, by the astronomers of countries so far distant from each other as China and Mesopotamia. learnt, Hiu, as we have may be translated as " Vacuum," and the — THE CHINESE CALENDAR of the goddess as 210 [part i. name Bau or Bahu bears the same translated in signification the " Hebrew word Genesis If i. 2 by void."^ we now accept Tchuen-Hio's reformation as a re-adjustment of a previously-existing sidereal and originally solstitial calendar, we are at once given the clue to the two so similar traditions Hindu and Chinese initial quoted above, concerning the : point of their Lunar Zodiacs and we Spica shall recognise that Kio —containing first the star in opposition to, and the degrees of Aswini, z« conjunction with, the sun, obtained the posts of leaders of the lunar series for the same reason — namely, that they marked at the winter solstice the beginning of the B.C. year 6000 To this same cause I have here, and elsewhere, attributed the fact that in the Accadian calendar the stars of Aries held the same position, and marked of the the first month of the year, as the month "sacrifice of righteousness." In thus tracing back the history of the calendars of the ancient nations of the East, in observing the ' Sayce, Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archceology, February 1874. PARTI.] "BEHOLD THE PEOPLE IS ONE" 211 identity of their earliest astronomical traditions, and noting the curious points of contact and divergence in their later scientific and mythological itself ideas, the impression seqms to force upon us more and more were definitely, that " scattered before the races of mankind abroad upon the face of the whole earth," their ancestors were capable of great scientific intel- achievements, and possessed in lectual aspirations. common high We in these later days, so picturing to ourselves the past, may be freshly struck tell by the words of the ancient history, which us of the time when "the of whole earth was of speech," one language and one PART II PLATES. PART PLATES of the II. XV., XVI., XVII., and XVIII. in In the foregoing pages arguments have been urged view that support date the ecliptic circle, at the remote divisions; (speaking in round numbers) of 6000 B.C., had been portioned and by some "ancient race of men" into twelve that the twelve constellational figures also of the Zodiac had then less been imagined under forms more or closely resem- bling those which we recognize in the heavens at the present day. Most of the arguments sarily in favour of this opinion are neces- based on considerations connected with the phenomena of of the the heavens, effected in the long course of ages by a slow revolution earth's axis. Astronomers during the thousand years have carefully observed the the causes of this slow terrestrial tell effects last two and studied movement, and they can now us with confidence and exactness that the space of 25,868 is years required for the accomplishment of one such revolution axis. of the earth's In our enquiry into the astronomy of the ancients not at all we need turn our minds to the difficult subject of the causes, or fact, indeed even to the axis, further of this slow its movement effects of the earth's than to realize fully that have been to pro- duce a slow but continuous change fixed stars, a in the apparent position of the but in their change not in their position relatively to each other, distances from the heavenly equator and its poles. to fully realize these effects The effort by means of careful to calculations and measurements astronomer a most arduous task ; must but, prove any but an by aid of the mechanical contrivance called a " precessional globe," much of the difficulty 215 2i6 of the task PLATES XV, XVI, XVII, may be overcome. from a precessional XVIII. The accompanying diagrams globe, have been drawn which can be adjusted so as to show the position of the poles and equator amongst the fixed stars, at dates distant from each other by intervals of I 538 years.^ have shown in continuous outline those constellations for whose first imagining it seemed to me as early a date might be claimed as that referred to in dotted outline. in each diagram ; all others are given The strange figures of the " ancient constella- drawn as they are represented on the globe ; but the fixed stars which mark these figures for observers of the heavens, I have not ventured to indicate, as to do so would have required great accuracy of drawing and measurement. tions " are here It is not for a moment to be contended that all the ancient under the forms by which we have learnt to know them from classic representations, from Variants the poem of Aratos, and from the star list of Ptolemy. constellations were imagined exactly of many of the figures are to be met with in astronomical ; atlases and on the is celestial globes in use to-day and to estab- lish the relative claims concerning the antiquity of these variant itself forms a branch to of research. That these constellations have indeed been well denominated " ancient " is scarcely to be denied, and our only wonder, when studying the subject, must be, not that some differences are to be met with as to the exact form under which, at different dates and by different nations, these figures were delineated in the heavens, but rather the wonder must be that (as archaeological research is always more and more clearly establishing) through many thousands of years, and by nations long and widely separated, the stars, which scattered in wild ^ to an unaccustomed observer seem to be and random profusion on the sky, should have 1800 A.D. is the date to which the globe in question originally refers ; the intervals of 538 years can be reckoned backwards or forwards from this date. ANTIQUITY OF CONSTELLATIONS been divided into the same representing the distinct groups, 217 as and thought of same mysterious beings. But though it may be impossible to maintain that the Grecians have handed down to us in an absolutely unchanged form the figures of the ancient constellations as they in were first imagined remote ages, yet many proofs may be cited that in favour of the artists opinion, not lightly or arbitrarily did astronomical venture to tamper with the Zodiacal and extra-Zodiacal figures. Some of these proofs have already been pointed out in the foregoing Papers. Attention will be drawn to others in the con- sideration of the diagrams here given. In Plates XV., XVI., XVII., and XVIII., the positions of the solstitial and equinoctial colures amongst the B.C. constellations are I given at the date 5744 liked to have Had it been possible, should have because such as it is drawn these diagrams as at 6000 b.c. not only easier to deal with and to remember a round number but also because at that date the solstitial — that, colure initial passed through the ecliptic only one degree distant from the point of the Indian Zodiac —a point which there seems good point of many, other than Indian, reason to believe was the ancient Zodiacs. initial Owing it to the mechanical restrictions of the precessional globe, it was not possible to adjust to any more accurate date than that of 5744 b.c. It will not be necessary here to reiterate the considerations in favour of the opinion already advanced that the calendrical its importance of the constellation Aries in some nations, and symbolical importance in the mythology of others, may best be explained by the supposition that the choice of this constellation as " Prince and Leader " of the signs was made not when its stars marked the solstice. spring equinox, but when they marked the winter as a working hypothesis, Let us rather take this opmion and — 2i8 PLATES XV., XVI., XVII., XVIII. turn our attention to the importance, in ancient symbolism, of the four constellations— Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricornus which, according to this hypothesis, marked \\i<tfour seasons, and the cardinal points 6000 B.C. Next tortoise, in this order to Aries comes Cancer, The Crab (see it Plate XVI.). In Babylonia, seems to be established that a not a crab, represented the fourth constellation of the Zodiac. In Egypt, as we learn from the Zodiacs of Esneh and it Denderah, was the scarabaus beetle that held the place given Grecian sphere. a sort of outward resemblance between these three to the crab in the There is creatures, wide apart as they are anatomically from each other. They are all hard-shelled, creeping, and it is insignificant-looking animals. Why under any of these three forms a constellation of difficult to the Zodiac should have been depicted, conjecture; but if we have to admit that in Egyptian astronomy the beetle played the important part of marking as a constellation one of the quarters of the ecliptic circle, this admission will furnish us with an adequate reason for the extraordinary honour paid in Egyptian symbolic art to this lowly, and in itself unattractive, insect. The the sun, scarabKus, according to our hypothesis, marked in ancient calendrical tradition the spring equinox when in conjunction with it. and the autumn equinox in opposition to And it was as presiding visibly in opposition that it we may reasonably suppose spring, gained such honour in Egypt. in that For the autumn, not the is land the time all when vegetation begins to burst into hfe, I and when Egypt rejoices. think, moreover, that facts conwill further nected with the worship of the Apis Bull opposition to the sun to strengthen the opinion that the Egyptians considered the constellations in be those which presided over particular seasons and months.' To trace allusions in the symbolic art of ' Egypt to Libra — the See below, pp. 234, 235. — — CRAB = SCARAB^US, SCALES = PLUMES third in order of the constellations 219 we I are now discussing (see Plate XVII.) — is, it must be confessed, not so simple a matter, put forward the following find in the and it is with some diffidence that i.e., suggestion that we may perhaps "two feathers," so prominent in Egyptian mythologic imagery, a reference to the two scales of the Balance (Libra). In allegorical language ive speak often of the even scales of Justice, and in art the god- dess is always represented with the Balance in her hand. art, I In Egyptian symbolism and In think the two feathers represented the equal weights of the scales of Justice. the great judgment hall of Osiris, the souls of men were weighed or heart, in the balance. The soul, of the dead Egyptian was placed in one scale, while a feather figure of the —or the goddess Mait, wearing on her head a single plume or feather — occupied the other. Mait was the goddess of Justice, '• and we often read also of the two Maits Truth.'' who preside over Justice is and in p. There a woodcut Prof. Maspero's in Dawn of Civilization, 130, which the head-dress —the symbolic head-dress in so often to be met with is Egyptian mytho- logic representations, It very clearly drawn. was in studying this woodcut that the idea itself to The Didu dressed. first suggested my mind, that in four this head-dress find a reference first to the constellations we may which, when the Zodiac was quarters imagined, marked the four colures of the heavens — that — the four it was in fact an astronomic monogram, combining four In this figures in one. head-dress very plainly are to be seen the horns of a 220 PLATES XV., XVI, XVII., XVIII. ram, and those of a goat. Less convincingly, perhaps, the disc from which spring the goat's horns suggests " the disc enclosing a scarabeus," is ' under which form the sun as Khophri outline clearly — " He who to "^ — was sometimes represented by the Egyptians. feathers in The two show themselves, but is connect these two feathers with the scales of Libra only adven- tured as a possible means of giving an astronomic value to the so often repeated combination of the forms in this head-dress. As to Capricornus (the fourth of the constellations which marked the colures 6000 B.C.), (see Plate XVIII.), we do not meet with any representations, so far as I know, of a goat-fish on Egyptian monuments, but on Babylonian boundary stones and engraved gems this monster is often to be seen, exactly represented in form and attitude as on the Grecian sphere. The goat's horns are all we find portrayed in ancient Egyptian art, and when they are portrayed they appear together with the ratn's horns, and often springing out of a ram's head. For this curt reference to the goat (Capricornus) a reason may be found by remembering that this constellation, in opposition, presided — traditionally — over the least honoured season of the Egyptian year — the arid season preceding the inundations. It should be borne in mind that all the Egyptian mythologic symbolism we have been considering must necessarily have only embodied 6000 traditions already ; even under the earliest dynasties extremely ancient B.C. that for it was, as may be seen in the Plates, about the colures touched the extreme western degrees of the constellations Aries, Cancer, and Libra it is — and more B.C. a point some degrees to the west of Capricornus, as now drawn. to In each the west, succeeding century the colures moved still through the stars, and from 6000 down to 4000 they were no longer to be observed in the four already named constellations, but in Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius. ' Maspero, p. 139. " Ibid. p. 138. TWINS—EQUAL DAY AND NIGHT It is 221 curious to note that there seems to be no pronounced allusion in Egyptian art or literature to these four constellations, though there are indications B.C., (see pp. 230-238) which may lead us of the later date, to believe that the astronomical phenomena 4000 were closely observed, and seem to have formed the basis of of the mythology of Egypt. facts much These all tend to confirm the conclusion cated in this book — so often advo— that the ancestors of the Egyptians, as also of many the great civilized nations of antiquity, followed through long ages the same sidereal calendar tion — one based on the observa- of the colures amongst the fixed stars 6000 B.C. And it would seem that not till about 4000 B.C., when the colures had traversed, from east to west, the constellations Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius, and had arrived at the eastern degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio, did astronomic authorities in Egypt direct their attention to a reform of the calendar and introduce into it, and into religious observances, references to these four last-named constellations. Turning colure, to Plate XVI. we may it notice that the equinoctial marking out as does the extreme western limits of the help to explain constellation Cancer, passes also through a part of the constellation Gemini. This fact may, I think, some of the legends connected with the twins Castor and Pollux in ancient lore. A stars ; very brilliant star glitters on the head of each twin. These of twin stars are of almost equal lustre and well deserve the easily name and so we can suppose how in it was that the imaginaquestion, tive astronomers who, at the early date mapped out the figures of the Zodiac, noticing that the equinoctial colure passed between these two bright stars, should have elected to represent them as marking the heads of twin figures, which they determined should symbolize the equal day and night of the season over which they presided. Q — 222 PLATES XV., XVI., XVII, XVIII. These two stars, thousands of years after they had ceased to mark the equinox, were still associated by the Greeks with the twin heroes Castor and Pollux brothers who, according to the — — legend, were " possessed of an immortality of existence so divided among them, that as one dies, the other revives." The learned Dr Barrett has pointed out that " this furnishes a complete description of Day and Night.'' This remark of Dr Barrett's becomes especially interesting if we attribute the first symbolizing of day and night by these stars to the work of astronomers at a date when the day and night these stars symbolized were of exactly equal length, and when, therefore, the equal stars fitly and equal alternation of light and darkness might both be symbolized as twins. occupies At Plate XVIII. colure, it is to be observed that the equinoctial Capricornus, instead of adjoining an almost This central position in the preceding constellation, Sagittarius. fact, together with other considerations, has led me to think that originally only the bow and arrow ; of Sagittarius were imagined for that division of the ecliptic and that the the archer — huge composite figure of to the original half man and half horse — was added design in later ages, by astronomers who chose the spring equinox instead of the winter solstice for the beginning of the year. In discussing the Median calendar, the importance which seems to have been given by the ancestors of the Medes to the constellation Sagittarius, at a date when it marked the spring equinox, was dwelt upon. It will, I think, appear likely, when we B.C. come to study Plates XIX. and XX., that as early as 4600 constellations were imagined to as well as the solstitial seasons. honour and mark the equinoctial Sagittarius was Perhaps then, extended to into like its at that date the constellation ; present dimensions and it may be centuries later, when the colure of the winter solstice that some had passed the constellation of Aquarius, Gudea Lagash and Tchuen-Hio some astronomers desired in China— to honour that — DRACO season, and to Ai\D BOOTES It 223 make it the beginning of the year. may be that such astronomers dealt with the eleventh constellation of the Zodiac, as earlier ones had dealt with Sagittarius, and that they added to what was possibly originally only a water jar, Amphora, the figure of the water potcrer Aquarius. These ideas are put forward very speculatively. They were partly suggested by noticing that in the Indian Zodiac the name of the constellation Sagittarius is merely Dhanus (arrow), and the jar). name of Aquarius is Kumbha (water it will be observed that only the twelve figures of the Zodiac, and two of the In the diagrams which we have been discussing, extra-Zodiacal constellations, are given in continuous outline, one of these two is Draco the Pole of the Ecliptic — the dragon or serpent whose folds surround — the central point of the of the circle Zodiac. That the astronomers who traced out the circle of the Zodiac on the heavens, and imagined its twelve strange figures, should also have devoted attention to, and marked out, its central point, is not improbable. is The Pole of the Ecliptic, unlike the Pole of immoveable amongst the fixed stars. At 6000 B.C., at the present date, the stars of Draco surrounded this point as a point not itself marked by any conspicuous star. We have not, the Heavens, however, I think, at present sufficient grounds for deciding at what exact date the constellation Draco was imagined under the form it now holds. But that it is very ancient there is no doubt. For the first depicting on the vault of heaven of the figure of Bootes, I claim with B.C., much stronger conviction the date of 6000 and the latitude of 45" north. For then and there Bootes solstice, might be seen at midnight of the summer right standing up- on the northern horizon, his head reaching nearly to the Pole of the Heavens. Never since that date has he held so commanding a position in the sky, nor at any more southern latitude could his whole figure have been represented as standing on the horizon. — 224 PLATES Not, XV., XVI, XVII., XVIII. One to further suggestion as to this constellation I it is am tempted make. true, as those put forward figure, for on the same firm astronomical grounds the date of the first imagining of the but a suggestion based on the Greek name of the con- stellation. The name Bootes him Aratos says : has been translated as ox-driver, and of " The Bear-ward, whom mankind the Ploughman call, Because he seems to touch the wain-like Bear.'''' ' bright stars which mark the tail and part of the of the Great Bear are often spoken of as " the Plough," and body The seven in the large remaining space allotted stellation Ursa harnessed to I on the sphere to the conwould not be difficult to include oxen the brightly marked celestial plough. jMajor, it have said that at midnight of the summer solstice the conBootes — — presided if stellation we suppose it to have been imagined at 6000 learnt B.C. visibly over the northern sky. in the it But we have from the month names Accadian calendar that the in his daily astronomers who instituted always directed attention to the constellations which invisibly accompanied the sun journeyings from east to west, rather than to those which (in opposition) all were visible through the hours of the night. For examplesacrifice through the mid-winter month of the sacrifice of righteousness, the stars of the invisible, Ram — the in celestial symbol of that —were like hidden I the overpowering light of the sun. that at the close of the In manner, year think, we may assume Accadian — in the month ible 1 of sowing," "month of the sowing of seed" or in "the dark when mortal husbandmen were following on earth their ox-drawn ploughs, Bootes, the ox-driver, though invisto the bodily eye, appeared to the mental vision of the verse The Phainomena or " Heavenly Display " of Aratos, done into English by Robert Brown, Jun., F.S.A., line 92. BOOTES THE PLOUGHMAN sky. 225 astronomer, following unweariedly the ox-drawn plough in the The various suppositions here put forward will lead those who accept them as probably correct, to picture to themselves the existence, at the early date of 6000 B.C., in latitude 45° N., of a race of men — not savages, and who and whose not merely pastoral nomads its — but fruits a race of agriculturists tilled the ground and reaped —a race possessed of high and justice, intellectual religion power taught them — who respected to offer to their law god " sacrifices of righteousness." ' — — PLATES In Plate XIX., latitude fig. XIX. AND XX. known in the i, it is the constellation Grecian sphere as Hercules that claims our attention. above named, this constellation, if been imagined, culminated gloriously on the northern meridian at midnight of the spring equinox. The head of the hero, or demifitted to At the date and then it had already god, touched the very zenith, and with his club brandished aloft he must have seemed well dragon coiled beneath his triumph over, not only the feet, but over every opposing power. As was said at p. 223 about Bootes, 6000 B.C., so it may here be repeated of Hercules, 4667 B.C., "never since that date has he held so commanding a position in the sky." At the present date of Hercules " will writing, and ^ in our English latitudes, ever rise reversed," and through the summer and autumn months his kneeling figure is always to be seen hanging head downwards in the southern quarter of the sky. Grecian writers, some centuries B.C., were already puzzled to account for this "reversed" position of "the Kneeler." Aratos, from whom I have quoted above, thus further wonders as to this constellation. At line 63 we read : " . . . . like a toiling A form. to Of it man, revolves can no one clearly speak, he is Nor what toil call attached ; but, simply, his knees, Kneeler they him. Labouring on " ; Like one who sinks he seems and again at line " 614 far distant The Kneeler He who is ne'er Whoe'er from the Lyre, heavenly forms this stranger of the May 1 be." verse The Phainomena or " Heavenly Display '' of Aratos, done into English by Robert Brown, Jun., F.S.A., line 669. 226 — HERCULES, CORONA, HYDRA, ORION 227 4600 B.C. no such difficult speculations could have presented themselves to the minds of those who, in the joyous springtime of the year, beheld in imagination, night after night, the grand and conquering figure of this god or hero, typifying for them, as we may easily suppose, the ever-increasing triumph at that season of the power of light over darkness. Plate XIX., fig. 2. It was perhaps in circle " ' at this same date that the cluster of stars " led tarius, round close to the bow of Sagit- and exactly marking the equinoctial colure, was figured as a crown, and that so depicted, as I have contended at page 76, this suggested the symbolic circle, crown, or wreath which sometimes takes the place of the bow in Assur's hand, and which almost always is present in the hand of Ahura Mazda in constellation Median as it representations of that figure. fig. i, At Plate XX., I have drawn the constellation Hydra would have appeared at the date 4667 B.C. Atpagesri7, 118, the reasons which led me 2, it to suppose that seen this constellation was then first imagined have been given. fig. At Plate XX., fact may be how 4667 B.C. the figure of Orion very accurately marked the equinoctial colure, and this may incline us to suppose that the giant hunter — so often, according to Grecian legend, in conflict with the powers of high Heaven — was depicted about this date by ancient astronomers strength of the adverse powers which, at the to represent the autumnal season in the mythologies of northern nations, appear in combat with, and temporarily triumphant over, the powers of light. In favour of the high date here claimed for the imagining of Orion's figure under very much the same form as that still depicted on our globes, there are some indications to be observed in the Sanscrit \ <Pi ^ names of the Nakshatra, which contains the i.e., the stars marking the head of Orion. p2 Orionis " stars, verse The Phainomena or " Heavenly Display by Robert Brown, Jun., F.S.A., line 401. of Aratos, done into English 228 This Nakshatra different crit PLATES XIX, XX. is known in Hindu astronomy under two and Agrahayani. quite names — viz, Mrigasliirsha The Sans- word, Mrigashirsha, means literally "Wild beast's head," and B. G. Tilak, in his work. The Orion; or, Antiquity of the Vedas, basing his opinion upon many ingenious and recondite arguments, supposes that ancient Indian astrono- Researches into the mers gave the name of Mrigashiras fixed to the stars of Orion, which trans- they imagined portrayed in the sky an "Antelope's head" by an arrow — the arrow being marked by the three bright in Sanscrit stars so well known to us as Orion's Belt. it Mriga, there can be no doubt, carries often with literature the meaning of "antelope": but Tilak expressly says at p. 97, "Though I have translated the word Mrigashiras by 'Antelope's head,' I do not mean to imply that Mriga necessarily meant 'an antelope' in the Vedic literature." Again, at p. 151, he says "The word Mriga in the Rigveda, means according to Sayana both a lion and a deer." Again, as to the other name of the Nakshatra— Agrahayani it In a has the meaning of "first-going" (of the sun) understood. long dissertation on this name, Tilak contends that it marked an important point in the annual course of the sun, and then further seeks to derive the Greek name Orion from the Sanscrit word, Agrahayani. Of the value of the etymological arguments advanced, I am quite unable to judge, but on astronomic grounds it would not seem an improbable derivation. But the acceptance of Tilak's contention as to the derivation of the name Orion would make it reasonable to suppose that not : — only the might, in name but the also the configuration of the constellation astronomy of the Greek and Indian nations, and thus we should be more ready to beheve that Mrigashirsha referred to the lion's head on Orion's arm, and not to an "antelope's head" a head which, as depicted by Tilak at p. 100, would alone have filled nearly all the space in resemble each other; — ORION, MRIGASHIRAS, known AGRAHAYANI 229 the heavens occupied in the Grecian sphere by the huge figure of the giant hunter to us as Orion. The names, ing and indications furnished by these two Sanscrit Nakshatra if they are followed, must lead us to attribute the imaginnaming of the constellation Orion to a time before that when here the ancestors of the Greeks east, ways to the west and to the made for and Indians went their separate and so will strengthen the claim the depicting of the constellation on the sky as early as 4600 B.C. It will be noted that in the suggestions here offered concern- ing Hercules, Corona Australis, Hydra, and Orion, a change in the symbolic methods followed by earlier astronomers, 6000 B.C., must be supposed. It was to the constellations invisibly accompanying the sun that the originators of the Zodiac appear to have directed their attention. But the symbolic it figures we have now been studying doubt — there mark can, seems to me, be little —were designed to visibly, and, therefore, in opposition to the sun, the various seasons of the year. A 4600 great astronomic activity, a sort of astronomic renaissance, in fact, seems to manifest itself as we study the celestial globe at attribute B.C., and to this date I would the origin of the astronomic myths of many nations. — PLATE which seemed to b.c. XXI.^ put forward considerations drawn from sources, In The Median Calendar and the Constellation Taurus I have Median and Assyrian me about the date 4000 position of the colures to lead to the conclusion that at very close attention was given to the amongst the fixed stars, and that at that honour was given by the ancestors of the Medes the constellation which at the to the constellation Sagittarius spring equinox was in opposition to the sun, and therefore visible I need not here reiterate what was there all through the night. advanced on this point concerning Median and Assyrian symdate very special — bolism, but rather I in Egyptian is art draw attention to the existence and mythologic teaching of what I cannot but desire to now think very constant reference to the position of the colures, as they might have been observed — speaking in round numbers from 4000 down to 2000 It will B.C. be seen at Fig. 4 that the equinoctial colure, at the earher of these dates, touched the confines of the constellation and might even then, with almost equal right, have been claimed as adjoining those of Scorpio. We can well imagine that the astronomic school which carried out the reformation in Sagittarius, method discussed above the extension, as I (pp. 222,227), ing of the constellations Hercules which resulted in the imaginand Corona Australis, and in suggested, of the boundaries of Sagittarius we can well imagine that this school would with reluctance admit the baleful image of Scorpio to take the post of leader But from 4000 B.C. of the year, so long held by Sagittarius. onwards to 2000 1 B.C. the constellations that did actually mark have been drawn from the globe adjusted to the The figures in this Plate date, 4128 B.C., Lat. 40° N. 230 BULL, SCORPION, LION, WATER-MAN 231 the equinoctial and solstitial colures, were Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius. Volumes of controversy have been written concerning the astronomic teachings of the ceilings of the temples of Denderah and Edfu, as to the position of the colures amongst the fixed stars, suggested by the arrangement of the figures of the Zodiac in both these temples. The date astronomically referred to in these designs was claimed by when it some to be about 4000 b.c, but was proved that these temples had been restored in first Ptolemaic times, and the ceilings probably redecorated then, the high claims put forward for the imagining of these astro- nomic designs could no longer with certainty be upheld. A strong reaction in opinion then took place, and it was again and again of the ecliptic asserted that the Egyptians were probably not even acquainted with the so-called Grecian till twelve-fold division after the introduction of European culture into Egypt. To dis- seek for allusions in ancient Egyptian mythology or art to any of the twelve Zodiacal constellations was, therefore, a much couraged attempt. But temples if the testimony of the ceilings of the Denderah and Edfu is rendered suspect by their Ptolemaic restoration, the raised against the evidence borne by same objection cannot be the ceiling of an ancient Egyptian building, which has certainly not been restored in Ptolemaic times. In the Description de rEgypte^ we find a careful drawing of a " Tableau astronomique I'un au Plafond de des tombeaux des rois." In the central portion on either side of this ceiling a monstrous hippopotamus and croco- dile are represented, together with various beings depicted on a refer- much smaller scale. groups, In the drawing here given, of one of these find, central we as it seems to me, very clear * Description de r Egypte, lo vols., Paris, MDCCCXII.-XXIII., Vol. I., Antiquites, planche 95. — THE BULL ence to the four figures ( APIS 233 Leo, and Aquarius —Taurus, Scorpio, = Amphora). The monstrous hippopotamus and crocodile here depicted I are, am strongly inclined to believe, representations, not of any particular but rather conof stellation, the solstitial and colures all, ; equinoctial at re- and the four not of the except astronomically, figures lated Bull, Scorpion, jar, Lion, and Waterin are here very clearly evidence. BULL APIS " It was regarded as a Isis, In Egyptian mythology the Apis Bull held a very important place. symbol and incarnation of Osiris, the husband of and next tell to Ra, the great divinity of Egypt." the Apis Bull was black, with Grecian authorities distinctive white us that ; some markings and on its back (or tongue, according to variant accounts) the be observed. From a drawing in we may, however, gather, as I think I have seen it elsewhere stated, that the Apis Bull was marked by equal areas of black and white. Such equal areas would fitly symbolize the equal day and night of the equinoctial season, and figure of a scarabseus was to Ebers' Egypt, Vol. I., p. 121, the presence of the scarabaeus on the back or tongue of the Bull if the suggestion made at p. 218 should prove to be correct would point to the traditional connexion of that creature with the that the golden calf set same equinoctial season. It has often been assumed worshipped in up and the wilderness by the Israelites was a representa; tion of the Apis set god of Egypt and up by Jeroboam in Bethel and that so also were the calves in Dan on his return from — a ; 234 Egypt. feast . . . PLATE XXI. We read in i Kings xii. 32, "And Jeroboam ordained a in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month." Ver. 33, " So he offered upon the altar which he had made the in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in of his : month which he had devised feast unto the children of Israel and ordained a and he offered upon the altar, heart ; own and burnt incense." Now, from our knowledge of its the Babylonian calendar, and correspondence with that in use in Palestine, we that the "eighth may conclude month" (Marchesvan), devised by Jeroboam, was that during which the sun traversed the constellation Scorpio, and during which Taurus was dominantly visible all night and when in this constellation the full moon of the fifteenth or festival day was to be observed. This mention of the eighth month in connexion with the worship of the golden calves — worship, as has been supposed, copied from Egyptian practice greatly strengthens the opinion that the Apis Bull was in Egypt looked upon as a living representative of the Zodiacal Bull the — constellation which in the time of the early dynasties marked, in opposition to the sun, the autumnal equinox. ance of Tauric symbolism the In Median mythology and art we have seen the great importbut there is a wide difference between : Medes and the Egyptians. Mithras, Median sun-god, again and again triumphs over and slays the Bull. In Egypt, on the contrary, the Sacred Bull is honoured and worshipped during its lifetime, and reverently embalmed, and with all pomp and glory buried after its death. the Tauric symbolism of the This difference in the mythologic conceptions of Media and I Egypt may be attributed, In fruitful think, to the diff"erence of chmatic conditions in the two countries. Media, spring— m Egypt, autumn— is the rise, season of the year. joyous and In the early ages, when Median and Egyptian mythologies took their Taurus was at the spring THE BULL its IN EGYPT AND IN MEDIA 235 by equinox in conjunction with the sun, and was, therefore, slain overwhelming brightness; In but at the autumn equinox that same constellation, in opposition, rose when the sun set, and all night long was visible. Median is art, it is the Bull immolated by the sun bolism, in the it is in springtime that represented. In Egyptian sym- to the Bull triumphantly traversing the sky by night, autumn season, that attention is directed. it is In the light of these astronomic considerations, to think of the fanatical act of as interesting Cambyses in slaying the Apis Bull, one prompted not only by fury at seeing the high honour paid to the Egyptian god, but also by an insane pride, which made him god desire to imitate the triumph of Mithras — over the Bull even — the Persian sun- in the heavens, by killing its earthly represen- tative, the Apis Bull. when Apis worship prevailed in when the children of Israel, in imitation of this worship, set up the golden calf in the wilderness, the raison d'itre for the honour paid to Taurus as a star mark of the autumnal season no longer existed for we know that about 1800 B.C., the equinoctial colure had left that constellation, and had entered the eastern degrees of the constellation Aries. In the days of Cambyses, still Egypt, and earlier ; Egyptian history assures in the far back ages us, however, that the institution of the iirst Apis worship was effected by some king of the dynasty and Aquarius did actually preside over the four seasons of the year. Moretombs of kings and other over, the recent discoveries of the Scorpio, Leo, when Taurus, personages, in the first Egyptian dynasty, lead us back to the B.C., remote date of 4000 when the very earliest observa- tions of the colures in the four above-named constellations could have been made. In these ancient tombs, amongst other objects, have been found slate slabs of various it shapes— some of them, in their general outline, as appears to me, representing in the flat the 236 form of a jar or vase. PLATE XXI. In the accompanying cuts, a proposed restoration of the broken-ofif top of one of the slates is given, and is finely distinguished from the existing portion of the slate by being drawn in dotted lines. Both sides of these slabs are covered in relief. by executed carvings, not incised but reliefs The subjects of the are very varied, but prominent is repeated more than once, his feet, the figure amongst them, and exactly of a bull trampling under and preparing upper to gore with his horns, a fallen human foe. Lions are also portrayed in many attitudes, and on one is slate, where below in the it register this triumphing bull represented, jar are to slate, in a crenellated cartouche a lion and an urn or be seen in close proximity to each other. scorpion is On another a delineated above a crenellated cartouche; and repre- sentations of scorpions carved in relief jars, on mace-heads and on in and scorpions carved in the round, have been met with great numbers in the excavations at Hierakonpolis — the site also of the discovery of one of the most important of the carved slates here described. It is difficult, I think, to resist the conclusion that we have in the carvings on these ancient slate objects references not to merely terrestrial bulls, lions, scorpions, and water jars, but rather to the imagined under those forms, whose stars, at the date when these carvings were made, marked in conjunction constellations, already with, year.' 1 and in opposition to, the sun, the four seasons of the In the centre of many, the carved on if not of all, of the slates under our notice, there is obverse a ring surrounding a depression. "Mr Quibell's still theory, which is adhered to by Professor Petrie, is that this ring it was intended to receive the green paint with which is supposed the earhest Egyptians painted their faces," but Mr Legge in his Paper, from which I have here quoted (contributed to the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archttology. May 1900, pp. 137, 138), puts forward a different view, which, if it is correct, would lend support to the astronomic interpretation above proposed for some of the carved representations. Mr Legge considers that the rings CARVED SLATES 237 ><> en (5,"^ o T3 lU T3 > ^ o 3 R 238 PLATE XXI. represented the sun, and that " it is quite possible that this significance was heightened by the introduction of some bright substance, such as gold foil." He points out that the composite monsters of the slates, all of which are represented on certain ivories, which he names, are always associated with the sundisk. He believes these figures to have a symbolic meaning, though he does I not in his Paper claim the especial astronomic interpretations advocated. have above — PLATE Grecian sphere XXII.i In Grecian legend Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, the seamonster (Cetus), and Perseus are associated together, and on the five neighbouring constellations represent the actors of the legend. Studying these constellations as they must have appeared to observers of the heavens at different dates, we shall, I think, see some reason to attribute the imagining of the figure of the hero Perseus to a later age than that of the other members of the group, and, on the other hand, there are considerations which may make us hesitate whether we should not at place the origin of the constellation Andromeda an even earlier date than those of Cepheus, Cassiopeia, and the sea-monster. ° the precessional globe One point in the legend, however, finds strong astronomic support from a study of —namely, the fact that i.e., Cepheus and Cassio- peia were personages of Ethiopian It will of tropical provenance. i, be seen in Plate XXII., fig. that only in a latitude as far South as i8° early date of N. could the b.c. figure of Cassiopeia 6000 — have been imagined — even at the as that of a queen seated in royal dignity, and visible in the northern quarter of the heavens. By referring to Plate XV., we may learn that in Lat. 45° N, at would have appeared in the southern quarter of the sphere, head downwards, while the figure of Cepheus could only have been observed by turning first to one and then to the other quarter of the sky. As, however, the head of Cepheus would have marked so exactly the solstitial colure 6000 B.C., it seemed that date, Cassiopeia 1 This plate has been drawn from the globe adjusted to the dates and latitudes of ^ 5744 B.C. Lat. 18° N., and of 3588 See below at p. 246, and pp. 242, 243. B.C., Lat. 23° N. 239 ; 240 to PLATE XXII. me only right to seek for a latitude in which his figure and that of his queen should appear upright and in the same quarter of the heavens —a latitude, therefore, in which it might be possible to suppose these constellations had been originated as star-marks of the solstitial season. set the To attain this object it was necessary to globe to the very low latitude of i8° N. To human seemed if for suppose race, at 6000 also b.c. so wide a diffusion, not only of the but of astronomical science and authority, to involve an historical unlikelihood. Moreover, even the sake of suitably establishing the dignity of this regal pair one were tempted to suppose the great improbability of schools of astronomy existing, and with equal authority instituting constella- tions as star-marks for the year, in regions as far north as Lat. 45° N. and as far south as 18° N.— even is so, I do not think the position of the constellations themselves in relation to the solstitial colure as shown in the diagram by any means so convincingly B.C. for their symmetrical as to force us to accept the date 6000 origin. The head only of Cepheus appears on the meridian, his lie figure and the whole constellation of Cassiopeia these circumstances at it is considerably to the east of that line. Under satisfactory to find at a later, still and therefore a more historically probable date, and in an Ethiopian (tropical) latitude, a meridian line on and about which the constellations Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Cetus form a well-balanced group. This meridian, but it is it is true, is not that of a solstice or an equinox one which marked a very important astronomical moment —namely, the commencement (See Plate XXII. , of the calendrical year —the year counted from the entry of the sun into the constellation Aries. fig. 2.) Of the high calendrical importance attached through thousands of years to this point in the sun's annual course by the Accadian and Babylonian nations and by the Hindus down to the present CASSIOPEIA day, astronomic records traditions also, as I fore, AND SEA-NYMPHS refer to it : 241 testify. Egyptian mythology and Chinese it have claimed, need to not, there- surprise us to find constellations imagined mark the beginning of a year counted from that point, even at a date virhen this beginning did not coincide either with solstice or equinox. 3500 B.C. is the approximate date I would suggest in a latitude not far from 23° N. for the origin of the constellations Cepheus, Cassiopeia, and probably also for that of Cetus. The legend nereids. tells us that Cassiopeia by boasting of her own or of her daughter's surpassing beauty incurred the enmity of the She is "... To The It that starr'd Ethiop set her beauty's praise queen that strove above ' sea-n)Tnphs, and their power offended." seems to me that for this legend, as for many others, an astronomic basis may be assigned. 3500 b.c. the solstitial colure passed through the constellation Aquarius. The stars of that constellation might then not unfitly have been likened to sea divinities, and rival schools of astronomers and calendar keepers may have exalted the praise, on the one hand, of the stars that of those that marked a calendrical, and, on the other hand, marked a solstitial year. A curious fact as to the lines in which Aratos refers to the must here be noted. Aratos versified " the Fhainotne?ia of the astronomer Eudoxos, who lived cir. B.C. 403-350." It has often been pointed out that constellation Cassiopeia the facts concerning the constellations which Aratos and Eudoxos record " are to a great extent traditional and archaic, and belong to another and far earlier epoch." What is said of Cassiopeia is a case in point ; for thus the poet deplores her pride et seq. and its punish- ment at line 654 — 1 Mihon, // Penseroso. — 242 " PLATE XXn. And now she, too, her daughter's form pursues, ; Sad Kassiepeia nor seemly like a still ; Show from her seat her feet and knees above But she head foremost tumbler sits : With knees divided On boasts to equal since a doom must fall Panope and Doris." ^ : Now in Eudoxos' time and in his latitude, though Cassiopeia's head did by a few degrees extend into the southern heavens, yet her position was not so deplorably ignominious as the poem would Three thousand years earlier the pity for her expressed by Aratos would have been more appropriate, for then her whole figure for observers in lat. 35° N. would have been visible in the suggest. southern quarter of the sky, and her Lat. 23° N.), feet, not her head (as at would have been on the zenith. These considerations may lead us to suppose that the idea of i.e., her reversed Cassiopeia's pride, and the fit punishment of it must have assumed form in northern position in the heavens, latitudes almost at as early a date as the constellation figures were first imagined in tropical If this latitudes. be so, it is indeed curious to find a legend which emrivalry bodied the atiimus of astronomic scientific 3500 B.C. handed down B.C., for thousands of years, and repeated in what professed to be a somewhat treatise at a date between 400 and 300 classic when the astronomic facts no longer tallied with those narrated in the legend. As to Andromeda, the story describes ; her as the itself daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia but the constellation — except on legendary grounds — might equally well the beginning of a solstitial year 6000 B.C., have naarked or of a non-solstitial and calendrical year 3500 B.C. The and terrible prevalence of at the solstices especially, representation of a human sacrifices in ancient times, may make us almost fear that the chained human victim had its place in the (solstitial) date. " sphere at the earlier ^ The Phainomena or " Heavenly Display of Aratos, ub, supr. — ANDROMEDA The staples to the sky. 6000 OR 3500 B.C. 243 chains which bind Andromeda's arms are fastened by They appear (at fig. i) at driven into two important astronomic lines i.e., 6000 B.C. as though one of them into solstitial colure. the line of the equator, the other into that of the This may, of course, be a mere coincidence, and should not be allowed to weigh at all heavily in the almost evenly adjusted balance of probabilities regarding the date of the origin of the constellation Andromeda. Her story is so interwoven, not only with that of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, but also with that of the sea- monster Cetus, that we should not hastily attempt to dissociate the members of this group. The very interesting question as to what southern people first depicted the Ethiopic king and queen on the sphere cannot be answered on astronomic grounds. AVe know that the latitude in tropical, if which these figures were imagined must have been the date of their imagining was as early as 3500 B.C. learn from the celestial globe in But we cannot which they were so imagined. lie what was the longitude of the land Ethiopia proper, and parts of these countries. in opinion as to Arabia and India, in classic writings, within the tropics, and the term Ethiopia, all embraces Etymologists are, I beUeve, divided what language the rather un-Grecian names, Cepheus and Cassiopeia, were derived from. the Sanscrit Some writers have suggested : for their origin if, names Capuja and Cassyape and as I have already urged, the Aries-year was followed in ancient Vedic times in India, the Sanscrit derivation suggested will likely one. seem not an unit Nor under these suppositions would Sanscrit origin for be difficult to propose a possible the name Andromeda, is though not the it for this purpose we should have to deprive the legend of Cassyape, in Sanscrit story, all its classic and romantic charm. name of a gloriously beautiful queen, but of a " sage," also, and might be that the constellation Andromeda Indian astronomers, represented merely a human for ancient sacrifice, not that — 244 PLATE XXII. Though in the woman, yet in it to the sacrifice, of the beautiful daughter of a beautiful mother. Rig Veda there is no legend of the sacrifice of a we meet with seven consecutive hymns referring real or symbolical, of Sunahsepas, the son of a rishi or sage, who, according to the commentators, had consented to yield his son up to this cruel fate. The prayers of the victim, addressed to many gods, at last result in his deliverance. Two other hymns in the Rig Veda relate to the great I ceremony p. of the sacrifice, real or symbolical, of a horse. give at 252 some of the considerations which have convinced praises of the me that the winged steed i.e., of the constellation Pegasus, and not merely the praises of an earthly horse, are the subject of these two hymns. The ceremony in question bore the name of Aswamedha, literally Horse-Sacrifice. In reading and comparing these two series of sacrificial hymns, some points of contact present themselves, and, observing me that some Sanscrit word ending in Mcdha and conveying the meaning of huma?i sacrifice, might by ancient Indian astronomers have been attached to the constellation, which for us represents the hapless Andromeda for if we suppose that the constellations Cassiopeia and Cepheus were imagined in India, but adopted with an appropriate legend the names of the personages in the into the Grecian sphere legend at the same time suffering a Grecian change it would be this, — it occurred to i.e., sacrifice, : — — easy further to suppose that the Indian name of the constellation near to them, transformed and misunderstood, in came to represent Grecian story not merely a human sacrifice, but that of the much-to-be-pitied daughter of the proud Cassiopeia. Whether these fanciful speculations concerning the names of the actors in the ancient legend be adopted or not need not affect our judgment as to the reasonableness, or otherwise, of the date, 3500 B.C., and of Lat. 23° N. group here discussed. for the origin of the constellational PLATE The probable dates for the first XXIII.i imagining of four constellations Centaur, are here given —namely, for the Ophiuchus, Auriga, and Perseus. For the Centaur the date i) is in suggested: in at that date his round numbers of 3500 B.C. (fig. huge figure would have well marked, year ; opposition, the beginning of the calendrical Aries- or, in conjunction with the sun, the beginning of the seventh month figure : of the same year. It is not necessary, at that date, to attribute a low latitude to the astronomers in that of 35° who designed this N., as shown in the diagram, the whole would then have been well above the horizon. The B.C. might perhaps be claimed for the Centaur. At that date, as I have assumed, the calendrical and (Compare Plate XVII. and Plate the solstitial year coincided. IX.) As between 6000 and 3500 B.C. I have often hesitated, but constellation earlier much epoch of 6000 on the whole the Fig. 2. I have come to think the at later date, as here given, more probable. —Again the date 3500 B.C. and in it the latitude 35° N. I have drawn the constellation Ophiuchus as would have appeared equinox ; in opposition to the sun at the season of the spring triumphing over the powers of darkness — namely, the scorpion on which he treads and the serpent which he crushes with his hands. Although at the date in question Hercules' posi- was not quite so commanding and thousand years earlier (see Plate XIX.), yet symmetrical as it was a in the lower latitude given here (Plate XXIII., fig. 2) the heads of tion in the northern heavens ^ The B.C., figures in this plate following dates and latitudes. have been drawn from the globe adjusted to the Fig. 3, Figs, l and 2, 3589 B.C., Lat. 35° N. 1443 b.c, Lat. 40° N. 3050 Lat. 35° N. Fig. 4, 245 — 246 PLATE XXIII. these brothers might have been seen, Hercules and of Ophiuchus would have been on the zenith, and one of them in the northern in the and the other ing southern quarter of the sky, strongly combatforces and conquering the Fig. 3. of winter and darkness at the season of the spring equinox. B.C., for have suggested the later date of 3000 then the bright star Capella, the most important star in I — For Auriga, in the constellation and one of the brightest in that part of the sky, was on the meridian spring equinox conjunction with the sun at noon of the at mid-night of the — and in opposition autumn equinox. The star Capella has, by several writers, been identified with the star " Icu of Babylon " mentioned in many of the Babylonian astrological texts. If this identification of Capella and " Icu of Babylon " should be estabfished as correct, we ought, I suppose, to credit Babylo7iian astronomers with the delineation of the figure Auriga. Fig. 4. — Unless we adopt B.C. for Cassiopeia, will on the authority of the Cepheus, and Andromeda legend the date 3500 for Perseus, it seem, I think, almost necessary to attribute the Perseus its much fig. later one of 1433 the designing of this constellation. At the 2 ; earlier date the position of — see Plate XXII., mihtates against the likelihood of as part of the figure of Perseus having then been imagined would have been visible in the northern and part in the southern hemisphere. In favour of the later date figure of Perseus has we may note the way it in which the been fitted in, as were, between alreadyit named still constellations, so that though restricted to a small space retains heroic proportions. whose strange alternations of magnitude may some malignant monster, was imagined by the astronomers who drew the figure of Perseus, as on the brow of the Gorgon Medusa. It star Algol, The well have suggested to the ancients the winking of the eye of CENTAUR, OPHIUCHUS, AURIGA, PERSEUS will 247 be seen in the Plate how, at the date there given, this mysteri- ous star exactly marked the equinoctial meridian. The northern latitude 40° N., suitable for the imagining of this constellation, and its name Perseus, seem to point to an Iranian school of astronomers as the probable originators of this figure. — PLATE XXIV. be seen that by consulting the precessional globe it has been possible to suggest dates at which the various simple and composite human figures, represented on the (Grecian) sphere It will could have been originally imagined in an upright position, either on the northern or southern meridian of the year at some well-marked time — that at is of either a cosmical or a calendrical year. That many other of the remaining ancient constellations Canis Major and Canis Minor, Aquila, Cygnus, &c., were depicted and named very remote dates, there can, traditions I think, be little doubt. The wide-spread connected with these figures demand It is an early origin for them. of the night, probable that the heliacal rising of certain bright stars in these constellations at year, rather some special season than their culmination at ?ioo?i or at mid- may have been the occasion for the interest taken in them. A ing of further study of the precessional globe with this thought present would probably suggest approximate dates for the imagin- some of these constellations, small in extent but marked by bright stars. I will now only allude to the two remaining ancient constella- to Argo and Pegasus. (Astronomy in the Rig Veda) the almost upright and symmetrical position of Argo 3000 B.C. may suggest the likelihood that at that date or perhaps a few hundred years later, and in a latitude about 12° higher than that given in tions of wide extent at — namely, X. Glancing Plate the diagram, this constellation was imagined. that all the stars of Argo, even the bright It will be observed and southern Canopus at 35° N. would have been above the horizon and visible at midnight of the winter solstice. At noon of the summer solstice 248 ARGO AND PEGASUS 249 they would have been above the horizon, but invisible in conjunction with the sun. But now turning our thoughts difficulty confronts to the constellation Pegasus, a b.c. us at every date from 6000 downwards even to this present a.d. still 1903 : Pegasus as depicted on the globe has held and holds a reversed position in the heavens. all The very fact that for the other ancient constellations which repre- sent living beings, it has been possible to find some season and some date at which they could have been observed upright in the sky, makes it a more imperative need to seek for some explanation of the anomalous treatment meted out by astronomers of old to the winged steed. In this stress of difficulty, first I venture to make a suggestion fanciful, this which book. will, I fear, at sight, appear far-fetched and and quite out of line with other suppositions put forward in My and suggestion is that an error concerning the right depicting of this constellation was fallen into by that this error some astronomers of old, was handed down to us through the Grecian school. If on some clear autumnal or winter night we search on a globe or for the constellation Pegasus, not map but in the southern it quarter of the actual sky, very bright stars which very extensive we may quickly recognise mark the corners of an almost square on the vault of heaven. Then this by four exact and stretching still away from the lower and western corner of towards the horizon and to the west, square farther we may trace the faint stars which mark the neck, and the somewhat brighter star which marks the head of the Demi-Horse while starting from the upper western : corner of the square and stretching still higher towards the zenith, and to the west we detect the lines of fainter stars which mark the and the hoofs of Pegasus. If we allow the four stars of the " square of Pegasus " still to mark the body of the horse, and fore legs 250 PLATE XXIV. its think of the upper lines of faint stars as marking neck and head and of the lower ones constellation, with the as marking still fit its fore legs and hoofs, the figure exactly reversed will within the hmiting lines of the that satisfactory result its the winged steed, alert, will its not miserably floundering on back but upright and be seen in our mental vision night after night pursuing course from east to west across the heavens. rORE LEGS THE SQUARE OF PEGASUS WEST. ^^< <> AQUARIUS But even to arrive at so satisfactory a result, its dare to propose without some other plea than so arbitrary a we might scarcely mere desirabihty, position of method of dealing with the reversed Pegasus, as that of thus correcting a supposed error on the part of early astronomers. There is, however, I think, in Grecian and in Vedic legend some support to be found for the opinion that the original position of Pegasus was upright and not reversed. — PEGASUS ALWAYS REVERSED Though on reversed, — 251 the Grecian astronomic sphere Pegasus appears on no artistic monument, vase, or coin is he thus represented, and in Grecian legend he is ever a glorious and highly-prized friend and helper of gods and heroes. Amongst other achievements, we read of him that he produced with a blow of his hoof the inspiring fountain Hippocrene. In the Rig Aswins, Veda we read of a swift horse, belonging to the who from his hoof filled a hundred vases of sweet liquor. Miiller has pointed out that the Max called Aswins possessed a horse Pagas. The stars a and /3 Arietis are in Hindu astro- nomy called the "Aswins," these stars in and at p. 137 I have contended that Vedic times symbohsed the twin heroes, the Aswins, the possessors, according to Max Miiller, of the horse Pagas. If we look appear, at Pegasus in the sky, and observe that how closely following that constellation the bright stars mark the head of Aries in front we shall easily understand how these Aswins might have by Vedic bards been imagined as possessing and driving of them the swift steed Pegasus. :^ In two hymns addressed to the Aswins we read as follows Mandala " I. — Svikta cxvi. and verse 7. You filled from the hoof of your vigorous steed, as jars if from a cask, a hundred of wine." And again in the next hymn, cxvii. verse 6 " You filled for the (expectant) man a hundred (liquors) vases of sweet from the hoof of your is fleet horse." As Pegasus (see Plate now his represented his hoofs touch no well or fountain, cask or vase. But if we depict him as suggested above in the XXIV.), hoof would indeed appear as almost act of striking the vase in the constellation Aquarius, from which the abundant waters gush forth. 1 Wilson's Uanslation of the Rig Veda. — — 252 I PLATE XXIV. have already alluded to the Aswamedha hymns in the Rig Veda as probably referring not merely to the sacrifice of an actual quote horse, but rather to a symbolic sacrifice of the winged horse of I will the constellation Pegasus. In support of this opinion : from the hymns in question Mandala " I. I, — Sukta clxii. Let neither MITRA nor VARUNA, ARYAMAN, AYU, : INDRA, RIBHUKSHIN, we proclaim " 2. nor the Manits censure us when in the sacrifice the virtues of the swift horse sprung from the gods. When they, (the priests), bring the prepared offering to the presence (of the horse), who has been bathed and decorated - with rich (trappings), the various coloured goat going before him, bleating, becomes an acceptable offering to INDRA and is PtlSHAN. " 3. This goat, the portion of first PUSHAN, fit for all the gods, brought with the fleet courser, so that TWASHTRI may prepare him along with the horse, as an acceptable preliminary offering for the (sacrificial) food." Looking at Plate XXIV., Figs, i, 2, we may observe how the constellation Capricornus " goes before " that of Pegasus, and we may understand After details the aspiration that Twashtri may prepare him along with the horse as an acceptable preliminary offering. many the of verses entering into minute and rather horrible "immolation" and even of the cooking of the sacrificial horse the 19th verse adds is one immolator of the radiant horse, which is and these words seem to carry us back from thoughts of an actual to a, in some way, symboHcal sacrifice, especially when " There " ; Time at verse 2 1 we read : : PEGASUS AND ASWAMEDHA " Verily at 253 art this moment thou dost not die ; nor thou harmed ; for thou goest by auspicious paths to the gods. The (to horses of INDRA, (to the steeds of the shall Maruts shall be yoked their cars), and a courser be placed in the shaft of the ass of the ASWINS The bear thee to heaven)." following hymn (Ixiii.) I give in extenso — Mandala 1. I. — Sukta is clxiii. Thy great birth, O Horse, to be glorified; whether first springing from the firmament or from the water, inasmuch hast neighed (auspiciously), for thou hast the wings of as thou the falcon and the limbs of the deer. 2. TRITA first harnessed the horse which was given by YAM A : INDRA reins. 3. mounted him, and GANDHARBA seized his Vasus, you fabricated the horse from the sun. Thou, horse, art thou art A'DITYA YAMA : : : thou art TRITA The three 4. by a mysterious act thou art associated with SOMA. ; sages have said there are three bindings of thee in heaven. They have upon earth ; said that three are thy bindings in heaven and three in the firmament. Thou declarest to me, Horse, who art (one with) called thy 5. VARUNA, that which they have these ; I most excellent birth. have beheld, Horse, these thy purifying (regions) ; impressions of the feet of thee, who sharest in the sacrifice and here thy auspicious reins, which are the protectors of the preserve 6. it. rite that I recognise in my mind thy form afar off, going from (the earth) below, aloft, head soaring I by way of heaven, to the sun. I behold thy and mounting quickly by unobstructed paths, thy unsullied by dust. 7. behold most excellent form (receive) thy food in thy (holy) place of earth ; coming eagerly to when thy attend- S 254 PLATE XXIV. ant brings thee nigh to the enjoyment (of the provender), therefore greedy, thou devourest the fodder. 8. The car follows thee, ; follow thee the loveliness Horse of maidens O : men (waits) attend thee ; cattle upon thee ; troops of demi-gods following thee have sought thy friendship; the his feet are of iron gods themselves have been admirers of thy vigour. 9. His mane is is of gold ; ; and fleet as thought, INDRA his inferior (in speed). to partake of his (being offered as) The gods have come oblation; the first who high-spirited, mounted the horse was INDRA. 10. The full-haunched, slender-waisted, and celestial coursers (of the sun), gallop along like swans in rows, when the horses spread along the heavenly path. 11. Thy body, horse, is ; made for motion; thy mind is rapid in (in intention) as the wind the hairs (of thy mane) are tossed manifold directions and spread beautiful in the forests. ; 12. The led swift horse approaches the place ; of immolation, meditating with him is mind intent upon the gods the goat bound to before him after him follow the priests and the ; singers. 13. The : horse proceeds to that assembly which is most excellent to the presence of his father and his mother (heaven and earth). Go, (Horse), to-day rejoicing to the gods, that (the yield blessings to the donor. sacrifice) may referring to Trita this hymn, such as those in verse 3 and Soma, may suggest corroborative astronomic observations,^ but I would here especially refer to the description, Many passages in verse i, of the horse possessing "the wings of the falcon," verse 6 to the words, "I behold thy head soaring I aloft, and in and mounting quickly by unobstructed paths, unsullied by dust." As I read these hymns ' cannot think merely of an actual V. pp. 176, 177. — PEGASUS ERECT IN THE SKY horse led to sacrifice, but of the winged celestial Pegasus it ; 255 nor is easy to think of that celestial horse as it is at present depicted, reversed in the sky. The Vedic previous verse he has said, poet beheld his head soaring aloft, but in the " I have beheld Horse, those . . . impressions of the feet of thee " ; and if " these " impressions were the stars I which, on the Grecian sphere, marked the horse's head, but, as have contended, originally marked his hoof, then we shall understand how, associated with Soma, i.e., and identical with Trita by a mysterious act solstice, at the season of the in summer and when the moon was at its full the constellation Aquarius, ancient astronomers imagined to themselves the horse Pegasus producing with his hoof the sweet exhilarating waters of the fountain Hippocrene. The Pegasus date of this particular legend concerning the hoof of I should be inclined to place at about 3000 B.C., when the solstitial colure sions of the feet" was so closely of the marked by I " those impres- "swift horse sprung from the gods." think that of 4000 i, For the B.C. is first imagining of the constellation (see Plate more probable XXIV., Figs, 2). 01 l-l c ^^^ ^ INDEX Ab AB-GAR, 4 Abba uddu, 4 Abel, 164 Abhra, 113 Abib, 165, 166, 168, 170 Aboo Simbel, 39, 40, 41 Abraham, 167 Abu, 2, 4 Accad, 6, 52-57, 80. Apam Napat, 126 Apin-am-a, 4 Apis Bull, 218, 233-235 Apollo, 156 Apollonius of Tyana, 97 Aptya. See Trita Aquarii ;8, 196 Aquarius, 9, 40, 44-47, 51-57, 66-70, 79, 80, 83, 123, 124, 129-132, 144, 174-179, 197, 199, 202, 209, 221- Set Calendar AchEemenid Idngs, 60, 73 See Aswini Afvini. Adar, Adaru, 2-6, 69 A'ditya, 253 Agane, 151 Agni, 125-131, 138, 140, 181, 183 Agrahayani, 228 Ahi, III. See Vritra 153, 172, 223, 232-235, 241, 250, 251, 255 Aqrabu, 44 Aquila, 66-70, 80, 124, 248 Arakh-makru, 4 Arakh-samna, 2, 4 Aratos, 216, 224-227, 241, 242 Archer. See Sagittarius Arcitenens, 44 64, 65, 73-76, 8183, 149-155. 172, 227 Airu, 2, 4, II Ahura Mazda, 60, Argo, 248 Aries, 1-19, 24-44, 53-57, 92, 94, 104, 145-147, 170, 171, 186-190, 209, 210, 217, 218, 220, 224, 235, Aitareya Brahmana, 140 Akiba, Rabbi, 163 Albumassar, 17, 18 Alexander, 25, gi, 103 Algol, 246 245. 251 Alphonsus, 23 Altair, 67 and /3, 94, 137, 251. Arsacidse, 4 Artemis, 156, 157, 160 Arietis a 142, 143, Aru, 44 Amen, 32-41 Amen-Ra, 32-34, 39-41 Amon. See Amen Amphora, 44, 45, 67, 233> 236 Aryaman, 252 As 79, 204, a-an, 4 Assara Mazas, 149, 150 223, Assur, 74-79, 83, 84, 86, 150-155, 227 Assurbanipal, 6, 69 Assyrian Standard, 77-80, 83, 86 267 Andromeda, 239-244, 246 Anna, 48 258 Asteria, 179 INDEX Calendar, Egyptian, 31, 34, 3S, 39 Grecian, 180 Gregorian, 193-196 Hebrew, 162-170, 234 Indian, 88, 92, 96, 104, 132-148, 167,171,176,181-184, 188,217 Lagash, 54, 57 Asura, 81,82,85,86, 112, 150-153, 182, 183 Asura maha, 153 Aswamedha, 244, 251 Aswini, 92-94, 104, 132, 134, 136148, 172, 181, 183, 187, 188, 210, 251. 253 Aswins, the. See Aswin! Atharva Veda, 94, 133, 136 Atri, 141, 181-184 Attic year, 180 Auriga, 245, 246 Ava, 85 Avesta. See Zend Avesta Ayu, 252 Median, 56-87, 222, 229 Persian, 58-61 Roman, II, 159, 180, 193 Cambyses, 235 Cancer, 8, 36, 44, 218-221 Canis Major, 248 Canis Minor, 248 Canopus, 248 Capella, 246 Babylonia. See Calendar Bahu. See Bau Bailly, Jean Silvain, 17, 20, 26, 27, 29 Barrett, Dr, 222 Bar zig-gar, 4, 7, lo, 13-15, 53, 104, 165, 166, 171, 172 Bau, 47-55, 57, 69, 210-212 Bel, 16, 81 Caper, 44 Capricornus, 52, 218, 220, 222, 252 Capuja, 243 Cassiopeia, 239-244, 246 Cassyape, 243 Castor, 221, 222 Centaur, 155-158, 245 Cepheus, 239-244, 246 Cetus, 239-243 Chaitra, 134-138, 171, 172, 181, 188 Bel-Merodach, 69 Bi^lier. See Aries Beltis, 16 Bentley, Mr, 100 Bergaigne, 140, 143 Berosus, 18, 83 Bethel, 233 Bible, the, 21, 84, 164-170 Che, 202 Chevreau, 23 Ch'in, 207 China, History Chipiez. of, 197-209 See Perrot Chiron, 155, 156 Choris, 32, 33 Cisilivu, Bodhanunddnath Swami, 157 Bootes, 223-226 British Museum, 3, 8 Brown, Robert, 224, 226, 247 Browne, Bishop, 21 Bull. 4 Claudius Ptolemy, 17, 216 Clemens Alexandrinus, 23 Confucius, 206, 207 Brugsch, 33 See Taurus Bulls, Assyrian, 87 Burgess, 90, 93, 98 Cook, 21 Corona Australis, 77, 229, 230 Crab. See Cancer Cumont, 61 Cuthah, 85 Cuzallu, 4 Cygnus, 248 Cyrannid books, 17 Cain, 164 Calendar, Accadian, 1-23, 57-58, 103, 145-147, 187, 208-210, 224 Babylonian, 1-3, 103, 165, 234 Chinese, 185-211 Dan, 233 Darmesteter, 60 Denderah, 218, 232 INDEX Deuteronomy, Devas, 82 Dhanus, 223 Dharbitu, 4 169, 170 259 Gir-tab, 8 Go, 113 Goat-fish, 8, D'Herbelot, 18 Diana, 158 Dianus, 158 Doris, 242 Draco, 223 Dupuis, 27-29 Duzu, 2, 4 Dvita, 177-180 220 Golden calf, 233, 235 Gregory XIII., II, 193 Griffin, 68 Griffiths, 31 Gu, 9, 44-47 Gudea, 48-57, 208, 209, 222 Gula, 9, 46-57. 69, 209 Gutiura, 81 Hamath, Heb 85 3, 4, 6, 12, Eagle, 64. See Aquila gammurabi, Hecate, 179 83-85 Ebers, 35, 233 en-ant, 35 Eden, 21, 22 Edfu, 232 Ekashtaka, 1 34 Ekata,' 177-180 Ekhud, 48 Elam, 81 ElUlla, 48 Elul, 2, S Hermes, 17 Hercules, 226, 229, 230, 245, 246 Herodotus, 81 Hierakonpolis, 236 Hillebrandt, 122 Hippocrene, 251, 255 Hiu, 196-209 Eninnu, 48 Enzu, 44 Hommel, I- 10, 149- 151 Epping and Strassmaier, 45. 1.02 44, Horus, 33, 40 Hsia, 207 Hvarya, 1 50 Hydra, 1 17-123, 132, 227, 229 Icu, 246 Indra, 111-124, 130, 131, 138, 148, 172-183, 252-254 Equulei, <x, 196 Esneh, 218 Eudoxos, 241, 242 Eul-ya, 185, 204 Eusebius, 17 Evetts, 48 Exodus, 165, 170 Innanna, 6 Innannanki, 5 Isaac, 167 Isis, 33 Fasti Siculi, 23 Fomalhaut, 67 Freya, 96 Istar, 4, 10, „ 84 Jacob, 167 Jana, 158 Janus, 158-160 Jemsheed, 58 Jensen, 45, 49, 5°, 68, 102 Jeroboam, 233, 234 Jerusalem, 163 Jesuits, 194-196. 207 Tohnston, 40 Jones, Sir William, 89, 9°, 95, 96 Josephus, 20, 169 Jupiter, 47, 103 Gamaliel, Rabbi, 163 Gandharba, 253 Gan-ganna, 4 Ganymede, 70 Garga, 97 GatMs, 153 Gaubil, 204 Gemini, 10, 44, 77, 146, 220, 221 Genesis, 21, 210 Genica, 17 26o KailA^e, 158 Kaiomurs, 58 INDEX Mars, 103 Maruts, I73-I75> '84, 252, 253 Kang, 186, 188 Kao-yang, 201 Karnak, 35, 36, 39 Kas, 4, 10 Ker Porter, 58, 65 Khar-sidi, 4, 10 Maspero, 33, 49, 68, 69, 219 Ma^u, 44 Maut, 32, 33 Mayer, 102 Medusa, 246 Khophri, 220 Memnonium, 35 Memphian Triad, The, 33 Mercury, 9, 103 Merodach, 68 Mesopotamia, 8, 49, 80, 83-86, 209 Mills, 153 Milton, 181, 241 Mishna, 163 Mithraeum, 62 Mithras, 60-65, 74) 81, 234, 235 Mitra, 81, 252 Mlechchas, 95, 97 Moguls, 95 Montucla, 89 Moses, 165, 167 Mriga, 228 Mrigasbirsha, 228 Miiller, Max, 251 Muna-xa, 8 Munga, 4 Muradi, 17 Ki Gingirna, 4, 10 Kimta-rapaStu, 6 Kio, 185, 186, 188, 191, 210 Kis, 69 Kislimu, 2, 4 Kneeler, The, 226 Kou, 205 Kris£nu, 125 Krishna, 182 Krittika, 94, 134, 136 Ku (sarikku), 44 Kumbha, 223 Lactantius, 23 Lagash, 4B-57, 68, 69, 208, 209, 222 Lajard, 63, 66 Latadeva, 98 Layard, 74, 77 Legge, Mr, 234 Legge, Professor, 197, 200, 207 Lehmann, 102 Leo, 44, 64-70, 79, 80, 83, 221, 232, 233, 235, 236 Libra, 44, 218-220 Lion. See Leo. Lugal-ki-uluna, 6 Lydda, 163 Lyra, 226 Nakshatra, 92, 94, 104, 132, 133, 136, 142, 188, 227-229 Nana, 6 Nekropolis, 35-37 Nicephorus, 23 Nile, 32, 35, 36, 37 Nineveh, 73, 74, 84, 86 Ningirsu, 48-51, 208 Ningiszida, 48 Ninib, 49-53, 208 Nisan, 2-19, 53, 69, 163-166 Nisannu. See Nisan Macdonell, 111-128, 153, 175 Magan, 49 Magha, 134, 135 Mahesa, 157 Mahler, 102 Mailla, Pere de, 197-200 Mait, 219 Noah, 58 Noel, 205 Nowroose, 58-60 Manda. See Umman Manda Oldenburg, Olivet, 163 151, 152 Mangala, 96 Marchesvan, 234 Marduk, 5 Onuphrius Panvinius, 23 Ophiuchus, 245, 246 INDEX Oppert, 102 Orion, 157, 227-229 261 Revati, 92, 93, 104, 132, 138, 143, 187, 188 Ormuzd, 65 Osiride pillars, 40 Osiris, 33, Ribhukshin, 252 Ricci, Matteo, 194 219 Rig Veda, 92, Rim-sin, 3, Ostia, 62 105-148, 184, 228, 244, 251-255 153, 171- 4 Pa, 44 Pagas, 251 Paitamaha, 98 Panchasiddhantika, 98 Pafii, 112 Panope, 242 Panvinius, Onuphrius, 23 Passover, The, 169, 170 Paulisa, 98 See Soma Pegasus, 244, 24S-255 Peking, 194, 195 Perrot and Chipiez, 64, 71, 73 Persepolis, 64, 70, 72-74, 86, 87 Perseus, 179, 239, 245-247 Rishis, 97, 106, 108, 123, 130, 133 Romaka, 98 Roman Rome, year, 180 61, 172, 193 Rudra, 152-160, 172-174, 184 Rsis, 141. See Rishis Pavamana. Sabahu, 4 Sabatu, 2 Sabbath, 163, 169, 170 Sadducees, 169 Sagitta, 125 Sagittarius, 8, 76-83, 147, 150-160, 172-174, 220-223, 227, 230 Sam, 36 Samaria, 84, 85 Samaritan Pentateuch, 22 Petrie, 236 Phalguni, 134, 135 Pharisees, 169 Philastrius, 23 Philostratus, 97 Samson Agonistes, Samsu-iluna, Sani, 96 3, 181 4 Phoenicians, 81 Pisces, 44, 80, 174, 177-179, 202, Sara zig-gar, 4. See Bar zig-gar Sargon I., 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 80, 81, 83, 151 220, 221 Piscium f, 93 Pleiades, Sargon II., 78 94 Sassinide dynasty, 60 Plumptre, 163 Poissons, Les. See Pisces Pollux. See Castor Ptah, 40 Ptolemy, 17, 216 Pulukku, 44 Punjaub, 128 Pushan, 252 Satapatha Brahmana, 141 Sater, 96 Saturn, 103 Saura, 98 Savitr, 140 Savitra, 98 Sayana, 228 Sayce, 7, 9, 46, 69, 81, 102 Scarabseus, 218, 220 Schall, J. A. von, 194, 195 Schlegel, Gustav, 185, 186, 190, 191, 204, 205 Scorpio, 8, 44, 63-67, 80, 221, 231- QuiBELL, 236 Ram. See Aries Rameses II., 35-40 Ramessides, 33 Rashis, 92 Ravi, 96 236 Se-dir, 4, 13, 14, 146, 147 Se-ki-sil, 4, 13, 14, 146, I47 Seleucidte, 4 262 Semites, 83-85 INDEX Theban Triad, The, Thebes, 34 Thibaut, 98 Thor, 96 Thoth, 38, 39 Thraetona, 178 Thrita, 178 See 32, 33 Sepharvaim, 85 Septuagint, 22 Seth, 20 Seti, 36, 39 Shou, 33 Shuddh Paksha, 182 Shukia, 182 Siddhantas, The, 98. Siddhanta Surya Tilak, B. G., 134, 135, 228 Tischritu, 2, 4 Tisri, 163 Simannu, 4 Sing-king, 186 2, Tithis, 176, 180, 182 Siou, 185, 188, 196, 197, 202, 207 Sirius, 31, 38 Tortoise, 8, 218 Trita Aptya, 175-181, 184, 253-255 Triton, 178, 179 Siva, 157, 173 Slates, 235-238 Soma, 96 Soma, 107, 108, ni, 121-125, 131, 138, 172-177. 253-255 Souciet, 204 Tsivan, 4 Tuisco, 96 Tul-cu, 4 Twashtfi, 252 Twins. See Gemini Tyana, 97 Southern Crown, 77 Sphinxes, 32, 34 Spica, 28, 167, 170, Udhar, 171, 113 1S8-190, Ululu, 2, 210 Standard, Assyrian, 77-80, 83, 86 Strassmaier. See Epping Strauchius, 23 Sucra, 96 Suidas, 23 Su-kul-na, 4 Sunahsepas, 244 Suria, 150 Surias, 1 50 Surya, 182, 183 Surya Siddhanta, 90, 93, 98, 187 Susa, 70-73, 87 Swarbhanu, 182, 183 Syncellus, 17 Umman 4 Manda, 81-86, 151 Unger, 27 Universal History, 21 Ursa Major, 224 Usas, 139, 140 Usher, Archbishop, 21, 22 Utu, 5 Vadya Paksha, Taittiriya Brahmana, 136 Taittiriya Sanhita, 134-136, 139 Talmud, 162, 163, 169 Tasritu, 4 182 Vala, 112 Valley, Feast of the, 36, 38 Varaha, 97-99 Varahamihira. See Varaha Varuna, 152-154, 252, 253 Vasistha, 98 Vasus, 253 Taurus, 8, n, 44, 56-87, 146, 156, 159, 160, 221, 232-236 154, Tchuen-Hio, 197-210, 222 Tebitu, 2, 4 Telloh, 48, 49 Te (mennu), 44 Vedas, 95, 106, 128. See Atharva Veda, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda Venus, 103 Verethraghna, 114 Verseau. See Aquarius Vierge. See Virgo Virgil, 159 Virginis a, 188 Virgo, 10, 28, 44, 80, 185, 186, 220, 221 INDEX Vossius, Isaac, 23 Vrihaspati, 96 Vritra, 111-123, 14S, 177 263 94, 133-135 Yajur Veda, Yama, 253 Yaska, 141 Yavan, 95, 97 Vrtrahan, 114 Yoga Wan-nian-shu, 194 Water-jar. See Amphora Water-man. See Aquarius of, stars, 142 Zamama, 69 Zend Avesta, 60, 113, 114, 178 Zeus, 70 Zib, 44 Zibanitu, 44 Zodiac, 2 et passim Zu, 69 Week, Days 96 Whitney, 93, 187 Wilson, 112, 124-127, 153, 182, 251 Woden, 96 Wogue, 169 PKlKTliD AT THE EDJ.N'BURCH i-R£5S, 9 A.ND II YOUNG STREET. — — — FROM MR MURRAY'S The Moon. LIST. A NEW AND POPULAR EDITION. CONSIDERED AS A PLANET, A WORLD, AND A SATELLITE. By JAMES NASMYTH, JAMES CARPENTER, Illustrations. C.E., and F.R.A.S., Late of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. iVith numerous Square Demy Svo. y. net. A Primitive Short History of Astronomy. By ARTHUR BERRY, Iving's College, M.A., Fellow of Cambridge. 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"An " It is exceptionally interesting and important book." Daily News. altogether a delightful volume. ... A bright, picturesque, and informing book.'' Glasg<rjj Herald. TEN THOUSAND; MILES Maps and many Standard. Illustrations. IN PERSIA: A Record of Eight Years' By Major Percy Constant Travel in Eastern and Southern Iran. MOLESWORTH Sykes (Queen's Bays), H.M. Consul at Kerman. With Medium 8vo. 25s. net. in "There has been nothing among recent publications to compare interest and im- portance with the substantial volume in which Major Sykes has recorded his experiences." SAVAGE ISLAND Pacific ; an Account of a Mission to Niue and Tonga in the By Basil Thomson, lately H.M. Special Commissioner. With Map and Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d. net. Ocean. " Mr Thomson has produced a most valuable and charming account of his this visit. . . . We heartily Gazette. recommend instructive and diverting volume to the reader." Pall Mall FINLAND AS IT IS. By Harry de Windt. With Map and numerous full-page and other Illustrations. Large Crown 8vo. 93. net. the reading of it creates an "... A chatty, lively account of the land and the people . . . . . . ardent desire to visit Finland. Publishers' Circular. No one should go to Finland without this book." THE YANG-TZE VALLEY AND BEYOND. tions. An Account of Journeys in Central and Western China, especially in the Provinces of Sze-Chuan and among the Man-tze of the Somo Territory. By Mrs BiSHor (Isabella L. Bird), F.R.G.S. With Map and numerous Illustra8vo. 2 IS. net. — — — — — FROM MR MURRAY'S LIST—continued. KING MOMBO. Great Forest," By Paul du Chaillu, Author of " The World of the "The Land of the Long Night," " The Viking Age," etc. 7s. With Illustrations. Large Crown Svo. "An admirable book for boys." AthencEuin. 6d. net. THE MAKING OF A FRONTIER: Five Years' Experiences and Adventures in Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Chitral, and the Eastern HinduKush. By Colonel Algernon Durand, C.B., CLE., British Agent at Gilgit, Military Secretary to the Viceroy of India, 1S89-1894. 1 884- 1 899. Svo. i6s. With Portrait, Map, and Illustrations. work which is full of life and movement, and gives us many quaint glimpses of the of strange peoples. It is modestly written, as becomes the narration of the author's surprising success in achieving great results for the Empire, and is full of humorous incident. '— /"a// Mall Gazette. '* Demy A life FUNAFUTI scientific An Unor. Three Months on a Remote Coral Island. Account of a Scientific Expedition in the South Seas. By Mrs Edgeworth David. With a Postscript on the Continued Work of the Expedition, by Professor Bon.N'EY, D.Sc, F.R.S. With Illustrations. Large Crown Svo. 12s. ; "We like delightful Mrs David immensely humour in her portrayal of well. the island ; She is never once dull, and bubbles over with and its people." Pa.U Mall Gazette. AT SCHOOL AND AT SEA in the P'orties, Sketches of Life and Character at Harrow and subsequently in the Royal Navy. With Experiences and Adventures on the Australian Station, in the South Seas, in the Black Sea, in the Trenches at Sebastopol, etc. By " Martello Tower," a Naval Officer. With Illustrations. Svo. i6s. racy and well-written narrative." " A Daily Chronicle. A BOY IN THE PENINSULAR WAR. The Services, Adventures, in the 28th and Experiences of Robert Blakeney, Subaltern An Autobiography. Edited by Julian Sturgis. Regiment, i6s. Demy Svo. " For the rest, this autobiography not only jub.tifies Mr Julian Sturgis's pious editing, but deserves far more than he claims for it. Amid the crowd of biographies and autobiographies, it has what Sir Joshua with a snap of finger and thumb called 'that.'" A.T.Q.C. in the Speaker. — HAUNTS AND HOBBIES OF AN INDIAN Mark Thornhill, in OFFICIAL. By Author of "Adventures of a Magistrate Indian Mutiny." Large Crown Svo. 6s. " Mr Mark Thornhill must be a pleasant man to know, for he has written the book which shows Chronicle. in the kind of every line a thoughtful, observant, and kindly personality." Daily THE NAVAL PIONEERS OF AUSTRALIA. By Louis Becke and Walter Jeffrey. Illustrated. Large Crown Svo. 7s. 6d. "... Delightful to the reader who knows good work when he sees it." Academy. AMONG THE CELESTIALS: Narrative of Travels in Manchuria, across the Gobi Desert and through the Himalayas to India. Abridged from " The Heart of a Continent," with additions. By Captain Francis YouNGHUSBAND, C.I.E., Gold Medallist R.G.S., Author of "The Relief of Chitral." With Map and Illustrations. Crown Svo. 7s. 6d. LIVINGSTONE'S FIRST EXPEDITION TO AFRICA, With Notes by it F. S. Arnot. Map of South Afirica 1840-1856. Containing many New Illustrations and at the time of Livingstone, and another of that country at the present time. : Crown Svo. 5s. LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. ...
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