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17. Cush as the Second of Five Gods called Hermes (§§133-149)

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17. Cush as the Second of Five Gods called Hermes (§§133-149)




133. Cush, the migrant to Africa from Mesopotamia, was identified with the third Amun in the series. Early on Amun was assimilated to the god Min. Min’s idol was an obscene statue, showing a male figure in a state of sexual excitation. It was an appropriate symbol of the god-kings of the line of Ham, which was associated with a sexual misdemeanor against Noah. (See further §140.1ff., below, >>.) Min (and therefore secondarily Amun) was identified with the Greek god Pan. The idols of this Greek divinity were similar to the Egyptian originals. In Italy Pan was known as Faunus. Peri Theon, following in the tradition of John Malalas, claimed a man called Faunus (= Pan, Min) was a relative of Nimrod and a contemporary of Mizraim (Menes) the founder of Egypt, and also of Adonis (Dumuzi, Tammuz). He was a famous astrologer and adept in occult arts. He migrated from Italy to Egypt in the time of Mizraim and became king of that land after the death of Mizraim. He was treated as a god by the inhabitants. His proper name was Faunus but he was also called Hermes (i.e. Mercury) after the planet.


134. The planet Mercury was identified with two Greek divinities: Hermes and Apollo. Achilles Tatius (Introduction to Aratus’ Phaenomena, cap. XVII) noted the Egyptians identified the planet with the latter god. The Egyptian Apollo was Horus. On the ceiling of the Ramesseum, accordingly, Horus was depicted as the god of the planet Mercury. Being an ambivalent planet in astrological terms, Mercury as a morning star was Horus (the Greek Apollo), and Seth (the opponent of Horus, corresponding to the mischievous Greek Hermes) as an evening star. The name of the planet, Sebeg, the “Inscrutable,” reflects the ambiguity of his nature. More commonly in native Egyptian texts the god of Mercury was Seth. Seth himself, however, was ambivalent. He was even depicted with two heads, of the two rivals Horus and Seth, sprouting from a single set of shoulders. When pagan theology moved in the direction of a single solar cult, the solar aspect of the planet Mercury was emphasized and his identity with the sun-god Horus or Apollo (as in Macrobius’ Saturnalia I. xix. 7-18). In the Hermetic system Hermes was similarly an all-encompassing, universal deity, identified with the supreme divinity of the ancient solar cults.


135. Since Faunus was the Greek Pan and Pan was equated with the Egyptian Min, it is clear the man-god Faunus of Peri Theon, who was called Hermes or Mercury after the planet, was the Egyptian dual deity Min-Horus, which would be Pan-Hermes in Greek, or Faunus-Mercurius in Latin. Both Min and Horus were assimilated to Amun (Hammon), who borrowed the obscene form of Min’s icon and the winged sun-disk of Horus. The ram-headed solar Amun of Siwa, Amun (3) of the Trinity, identified with Horus, and corresponding to the Biblical Cush in Mar Abas Catina, was the son of Amun (2). The latter, corresponding to the Biblical Ham, was identified with Ptah, but also, as in Jamblichus (De Mysteriis VIII. 3), with Osiris the father of Horus, since the Apis bull was both the embodiment of Ptah and a form of Osiris. Here Amun as Horus (Cush) was the son of Amun as Osiris (Ham). Peri Theon says the Egyptians deified Faunus because he was a “man of the Logos.” The reference is to the planet-god Mercury as a representation of the universal Hermetic Logos. In Egypt itself Min (= Pan, Faunus) was identified as a god of fertility with the moon-god Khensu, whose influence over fructifying waters was well known to the Egyptians. Khensu, in turn, was commonly identified with Thoth, the Logos-like god of wisdom. The Greek Hermes was equated with Thoth as the god of wisdom, and with Horus (in this case assimilated to Min and Amun) as the planet Mercury. The philosophic Hermes continued to coexist with, and never supplanted, the more primitive divinity. Obscene stone pillars, called “herms,” mounted by a bearded head, and similar to the figures of Pan and Min, were the hallmark of Hermes along the roadsides of ancient Greece till paganism itself was extinguished by the Christianized Roman Empire. In the Stoic philosophy popular in the early Roman Empire, and later in Neoplatonism, the Egyptian Amun and the corresponding Classical divinities, Zeus and Jupiter, were also, as we have seen, equated with the Logos.


136. A whole occult tradition developed around the figure of the man-god, Hermes. A letter containing Hermetic traditions, which claimed to be the dedicatory letter of Manetho to Ptolemy Philadelphus, presenting his Egyptian History to the king, found its way into the chronicle of the Byzantine monk, Syncellus. This represented Agathodaimon as the son, not of Ra (Amun [3]), as in the list of god-kings in the genuine history, but rather of Thoth, the “Second Hermes.” The name Thoth designated its bearer a prophet, the name Ra, a king. In this case, Cush was first a prophet in Egypt, then latterly a king. He migrated to Egypt from Mesopotamia in contrast to the Hermes mentioned earlier who migrated to Egypt from Italy. The Hermetic letter alleged Manetho was dependent for the facts of his history on records inscribed in a sacred dialect and ancient hierographic script on stone pillars in the Seiriadic land by Thoth, “the First Hermes.” (“Seiriadic Land” = “Land of the Bee” [“seirê” = “bee,” Hesychius s.v.], the ancient name of Northern Egypt: hence kings of Egypt were titled “He of the Sedge [= Southern Egypt] and the Bee [Northern Egypt].”) This First Hermes was identified by the Sabians of Harran with the Biblical pre-diluvian prophet Enoch. They held that the Biblical Seth, son of Adam, was an ancient, pre-diluvian, Agathodaimon, the original instructor of the First Hermes (Enoch), and that the Pyramids of Giza were the tombs of this Agathodaimon (Seth) and Hermes (Enoch). Zosimus’ identification of Thoth and Hermes with Adam (ed. Berthelot, III. xlix. 5-6) is a variation on the same theme, since Enoch, like Noah, was viewed in post-Biblical tradition as a second Adam. According to the Hermetic letter, the records of the First Hermes were translated after the Flood from the sacred dialect into Greek using an hieroglyphic script (!) and set down in books by the post-diluvian Agathodaimon, son of the “Second Hermes.” This is an allusion to the sacred wisdom believed to have been inscribed on pillars in Egypt by the sons of Seth, as recorded by Josephus (Ant. I. ii. 3 [I. 70f.]), and reclaimed after the Flood by migrants to Egypt. Sanchuniathon, similarly, held that traditions relating to Taautos (= Thoth, Hermes) and his revelations, as well as to two subsequent figures also identified with the Greek Hermes, were recorded in secret writings of the “Ammouneans” (probably the priests of Amun of Siwa in North Africa, who were familiar to the Phoenicians) and then deposited in temples. There subsequently they were accessed by Sanchuniathon. At some period preceding Sanchuniathon, therefore, i.e. before around 1300 BC, the god Thoth, “He of the ibis-nome,” that is, the numen of Hermopolis Magna, the god of the moon and scribal wisdom, had been identified both with a pre-diluvian figure who was seen as the progenitor of the Eight members of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis (i.e. Enoch the ancestor of Noah’s family), as well as with the post-diluvian founder of Hermopolis Magna (i.e. Cush), who migrated into the “Land of the South” from Mesopotamia. The ibis/Thoth was named Tehuti in Egypt. This corresponds to the Aramaic “Tehavta” (teaw[w]tā, also spelled taḥwātā’), otherwise known as “Quqyatha,” which was a bird that was forbidden to be eaten in Palestine in Talmudic times (Jastrow Talmudic Dictionary s.v.), rather as the ibis was forbidden to be harmed in Egypt on account of its habit of attacking snakes. In Agapius’ Kitab ul-Unvan, ed. Vasiliev, Pte. I, 1909, p. [118], the ibises used by Moses in his Ethiopian expedition are described as “great cranes, which are called qa‛qa‛ [q‛’q‛].Compare the Talmudic “Quqyatha,” otherwise “Tehavta.” The latter Aramaic name includes as its central element the consonants w, “snake, living creature,” which probably relates to the bird’s habit of attacking snakes (Tehavta interpreted as “That which deals with snakes”), or mystically to “Eve” (from the same root consonants) as the “female serpent,” that is, as united with the Serpent in Eden. (See §140.2, below, >>, §170, below, >>, §333, below, >>.) Hence also the identification of Thoth-Hermes with the constellation Serpentarius or Ophiuchus, the “Serpent-handler.” (See §346.1, below, >>.) Finally Thoth, under the name of Khensu, the moon-god, was identified with a third divinity, Min-Horus (Pan-Hermes or Faunus-Mercurius), who was held to have migrated to Egypt from Italy, making three Thoths in all. In the New Kingdom, when the cult of Amun rose to prominence, Khensu, the moon, was identified with Horus the child (Harpocrates), and Khensu’s father, Amun, the sun, with Horus’ father Osiris. Min and Horus were also identified with Amun. Amun = Horus was represented as the son of Amun = Osiris or Ptah (the latter embodied in the Apis bull). Amun, Ptah or Osiris, the elder god, was identified with Ham, the ancestral head of the Egyptian royal line, and Amun or Horus his son, the younger god, was identified with Cush, the son of Ham. This was the genealogy preserved by Mar Abas Catina.


137. Bar-Hebraeus said the post-diluvian, “second,” or “Babylonian,” Hermes was the first founder of Babylon “following Nimrod.” See infra on Belus = Bel Marduk, the builder of Babylon (Bab-ili near present-day Baghdad). It is said he refounded it, as it had been left in ruins since the time of Nimrod. (Herbélot, Bibl. Orient. s.v. Hermes.) This is a reference to the construction of the second Babylon or “Eridu” at Bab-ili, ascribed to Bel-Marduk in the Babylonian Epic of Creation, as a duplicate of the abandoned first Babel, Eridu, at Abu Shahrein. According to Al-Qifthi, the Hermes born in Babylonia later migrated from Babylonia to Egypt, and was learned in all the 270 languages of the earth. He expounded the particular religion he invented in these different tongues and enjoined the princes in the four regions into which he had divided the world to preserve his “sacred” doctrine faithfully. The “hermeneutical” Hermes was, therefore, the second, or Babylonian, pagan prophet. His son was (the post-diluvian) Agathodaimon. In Sanchuniathon (§405, below, >>, cf. §391, below, >>), likewise, Tauthos (Thoth, Hermes) was secondarily granted the land of Egypt as his “royal dwelling-place,” by El or Kronos, after the latter migrated from Trans-Euphrates to the “Land of the South,” but his earlier associations were elsewhere — as the religious mentor of Kronos, and presumably, therefore, with Kronos in the Trans-Euphrates region, like the Second Hermes in the Hermetic tradition.


138. The “Third” Hermes, according to Bar-Hebraeus, was Hermes Trismegistus, or the “Thrice-Greatest.” He, too, was mentioned briefly in the Hermetic letter ascribed to Manetho and termed the “forefather” of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, to whom the work was dedicated. In Sanchuniathon’s Phoenician History, also, Hermes Trismegistus was named in a section apart, and was a figure in his own right, distinct both from Taautos, who predated Ouranos (= Noah in the Sibylline Oracles), and Tauthos, who postdated him. (See §355, below, >>.) Along with Tauthos, Hermes Trismegistus attended on Ouranos’ son Kronos. Tauthos was Kronos’ prophetic mentor, Trismegistus held the more junior position of scribe and counselor to Kronos. All three figures were equated with the Egyptian Thoth and the Greek Hermes. Taautos was Sanchuniathon’s “First Hermes,” Tauthos his second, and Trismegistus his third. Sanchuniathon himself was dated by Porphyrius to the era of the Assyrian Queen Semiramis who lived “before the time of the Trojan War,” or thereabouts, “quite near the time of Moses” (Philo of Byblos). Various dates were given for the Trojan War. Herodotus favored c. 1300 BC, Eratosthenes 1183 BC. The Semiramis referred to is Semiramis II, or Atossa, c. 1300 BC. She was the daughter of the Assyrian king Belochos (c. 1360 BC), and Belochos, according to Mar Abas Catina (Moses of Khorene, History of the Armenians, lib. I. cap. XIX, §995f., below, >>), was a contemporary of the Armenian king Haigag and of the Hebrew judge Gideon-Jerubbaal. (On the historical identity of Atossa-Semiramis see §343.2, below, >>.) Sanchuniathon, accordingly, is said (Philo of Byblos, ibid.) to have used for his history certain records delivered to Abelbalos king of Beirut by one Hierombalos (thought to be Jerubbaal), the “priest of God Ieuo” (thought to be Jehovah). If, as seems probable, the substance of the text of the Phoenician History is actually that of Sanchuniathon himself, rather than of his translator and/or compiler Philo of Byblos (early Roman Empire), then Sanchuniathon is by far the earliest surviving witness of the Three Hermes tradition.


139. According to Peri Theon Faunus-Hermes (= Pan, Min) belonged to the immediate post-diluvian generation of the Tower. The Excerpta Barbari (ed. Schoene p. 198) identify Faunus-Hermes with the Third Hermes, Hermes Trismegistus (translated into Latin as “Terbeatissimus”). Faunus (earlier Favonus) was an Italian deity and should strictly, as we shall see, be differentiated from the Greek Pan and Hermes, but nevertheless he was identified with the latter. Some versions of Peri Theon claim it was in the time of the XIIth Dynasty king Sesostris III (c. 1800 BC) that Hermes Trismegistus promulgated his doctrine of the triunity of the supreme god. A connection between Hermes and Sesostris is made before this in the Varia Historia (XII. 4) of Aelian (c. AD 170-235): “The Egyptians say Sesostris received his education in matters of law and custom from Hermes.” In the Hermetic tractate Asclepius, Hermes Trismegistus is represented similarly as having a particular interest in the kings of the XIIth Dynasty: put into his mouth are references to the cult of deified rulers in Arsinoe or Crocodilopolis near the Labyrinth in the Fayum: the Labyrinth was built by the kings of the XIIth Dynasty, and some of them were buried in its vicinity, which presupposes their funerary cult was established there too. This later dating of Hermes Trismegistus is an indication that the Faunus of Peri Theon, who ruled Egypt immediately after Mizraim, its first king, a little subsequent to the Tower episode c. 2300 BC (Biblical dating and uncalibrated radiocarbon chronology), was a separate individual. The two became confused when Faunus was “called” Hermes and identified with him.


140. For the purpose of tracing his mythological genealogy, we shall, for the time being, accept the identification of the one with the other. The tract Asclepius referred to supra represents Trismegistus as the grandson of Hermes of Hermopolis in Middle Egypt, viz. the Second Hermes. According to the Excerpta Barbari Faunus-Hermes a.k.a. Trismegistus was the son of Ninus (a.k.a. Serapis, Zeus-Picus etc.), and the common genealogy made Ninus the son of Belus = Hammon = Cush, the Second Hermes. According to Peri Theon Faunus-Hermes was the son of Zeus, and Zeus the brother of Ninus. This is the usual Greek mythological genealogy: Hermes son of Zeus. The Greek Zeus was a deity borrowed from the Levant, where he was identified with Canaan, the eponymus of the Canaanites, Sanchuniathon’s Demarous or Hadad. He was the Sumerian Lugal-banda, who was equated with the Zeus-like Ninurta. This Zeus, the father of Hermes, was, therefore, originally the Biblical Canaan, son of Ham. Canaan (Lugal-banda) married Eshterah (Nin-sumun), who was previously the wife of Nimrod (Enmerkar, Ninus A, Zeus-Picus). Through his mother Eshterah, Faunus-Hermes must, therefore, have been a son (strictly son-in-law) of Nimrod and grandson of Cush, the Second Hermes, which accords with the genealogy ascribed to Trismegistus in the tract Asclepius. Faunus was identified with Hermes, and also with Sylvanus, or in Greek, S(e)ilenos. Silenos was equated with Marsuas (Marsyas) and Askos, the latter name meaning “Wine-skin.” Askos was a Syrian giant, a “son [or, descendant] of Hermes,” who resisted the religion of Dionysus, at the time the wine-god was conducting his riotous army of Pans and Satyrs round the world, and, with the help of Lycurgus, tied him up in a skin, and threw him into the river at Damascus. Dionysus was rescued by Hermes (the god of interpretation of names), who then flayed Askos alive, and turned his skin into a wine-skin (Gk. “askos”), naming the city Derma Askou (Damascus), “Skin [derma] of Askos,” after the gruesome event. Hence Askos was also known as Damascus (the son of Hermes). Alternatively Damascus cut down with an ax the vines of Dionysus which he had newly planted in Syria, and for this crime Dionysus himself flayed him alive. (Both versions are found in Stephanus Byz. s.n. Askos.) Very much the same myth was told of Marsyas, in regard to a location at the source of the Marsyas river at Celaenae in Phrygia, the supposed landing-site of Noah’s container, except in his case it was Apollo — meaning the planet Mercury, Hermes under another name who flayed Marsyas alive. (There was another River Marsyas in Syria, a tributary of the Orontes, the modern Yarmuk.) This “giant” Damascus, the eponymus of the Syrian metropolis, is mentioned in the Bible: he is “Damascus Eliezer,” so called in Genesis 15. 2 (Hebrew), the servant of Abraham. The connection of Eliezer with Armenia is demonstrated in the following passage from the Primary History of Armenia (7th century AD) I, p. 52: “They say that Abraham’s adopted son, Marseak {sic, a form of the name similar to the Greek Marsyas, used here as equivalent to Damascus-Eliezer}, left Damascus, fleeing from Isaac; and he came and settled by the foot of two mountains which face the great plain of Ara, the peak of Aragats and Gegh mountain. He named the mountain after himself; thus they call the mountain Azat {viz. Mount Masis, the present-day Mount Ararat, see further §432 note, below, >>}. [Marseak] had three sons [one of whom was] Parox, who is Eliazar. They named the place of their habitation Paroxt, and named the plain of their hunts and horse races Parakan; and they mixed with the clan of Aramenak.” Since this was prior to the migration of the people of Hayk, or the clan of Aramenak son of Hayk, to Cappadocia or “Little Armenia” (see §286, below, >>), the Marsyas tradition is likely to have spread from the region of Mount Ararat to Cappadocia. According to post-Biblical Rabbinic and Arab authors Damascus-Eliezer was originally the son (or servant) of Nimrod, or the son of Canaan, son of Ham. The earliest of the Rabbinic sources, Targum Jonathan on Gen. 14, refers to him as the son of Nimrod, one of the latest, Shelshelet ha-Kabbalah, as Nimrod’s grandson. Damascus-Eliezer is said to have been transferred to Abraham, becoming his servant, and eventually the steward of his house, after the patriarch was delivered by divine intervention from the fiery furnace. He campaigned in the retinue of Abraham and in the vicinity of Damascus against the Babylonian army of Amraphel, according to Genesis 14, the Babylonian army being led on that occasion (Castor, §112, above, >>) by “Hercules” (Amraphel) and “Dionysus” (Tammuz = Ama-ushumgal-ana = Chedorlaomer). That is why Damascus appears here as an opponent of Dionysus. He was believed to have thrown the army’s bottle-skins full of wine (the wine being interpreted as the god himself) into the river at Damascus. Damascus-Eliezer’s allies in that campaign were Anakites (as a collective noun “Anak”), and the name Anak means “collar, neck-chain.” Anak is translated into Greek in the Askos myth as “Lykourgos” (Latin Lycurgus), which means, literally, an “object manufactured for a wild dog,” precisely a collar or neck-chain, and there represented as the ally of Damascus. Lycurgus’ son was Dryas, which means “Oak,” the reference in this instance being to Mamre “son of Anak,” who gave his name to the oak grove at Hebron (also termed the “Oak of Ogyges,” §112, above, >>). Through the migration of the Anakites of Mamre (“Ogyges”) to Greece and the further western Mediterranean, the legend of Lycurgus and his resistance to, and punishment by, Dionysus was relocated from Arabia and Sinai (Nysa) in the East (Antimachus et al. in Diod. Sic. III. 65. 7), to Thrace in the West, the Thracians being related to the Phrygians. The series of identifications which shows Faunus (Hermes Trismegistus) is the same as the Biblical Eliezer is as follows: Eliezer = Damascus = Askos = Marsyas = Silenus = Faunus. Thus, the traditional genealogy, Damascus-Eliezer son of Canaan, matches the genealogy in Peri Theon, Faunus son of Zeus, and the other genealogy, Damascus-Eliezer son of Nimrod, the genealogy in the Excerpta Barbari, Faunus son of Ninus. Damascus-Eliezer was further identified in Rabbinic tradition with the giant Og (cf. the gigantic Damascus or Askos), inasmuch as he was a reincarnation of the spirit of some pre-diluvian giant, through his descent from Canaan. Arab writers identified him with the immortal Al Khidr, who was in an earlier avatar the prophet Hermes or Enoch. Faunus (= Silenus, Askos, Damascus) was similarly identified with Hermes Trismegistus. Damascus-Eliezer, like Askos or Damascus in the Classical myth, was believed to have given his name to the city. The city-name was interpreted as a combination of two words, Dam and sak, meaning the “Blood, and/or, Wine [Dam] of the Wine-sack [sak],” and the latter word appears in an almost identical form in the Greek etymology as askos. A variant form of the city-name in Hebrew was Darmesek, and that allowed the interpretation of the first element in Greek as derma, skin. Thus, Hermes Trismegistus, the secretary of Elos-Kronos (Nimrod) in Sanchuniathon is Damascus-Eliezer the servant of Nimrod (subsequently the steward of Abraham). Sanchuniathon claims Hermes Trismegistus was a contemporary of Tauthos, the Second Hermes, and the secretary of Elos-Kronos (Nimrod), at the time Kronos usurped Ouranos (viz. towards the end of Noah’s life, around 300 years after the Flood, c. 2150 BC). Eliezer became associated with Abraham in that early period of the patriarch’s life, according to the Rabbinic tradition, when he was present in the land of Ur. Eliezer subsequently went down to Egypt as a member of Abraham’s household, around the end of the second millennium BC. According to a Samaritan tradition preserved in Eupolemus (§142f., below, >>), the Egyptians learned the principles of astrology from Abraham on the latter occasion. It may be presumed Eliezer lived on (or was thought to have lived on) to be a contemporary of the youthful Joseph son of Jacob: according to the Armenian tradition quoted supra Eliezer fled from Isaac, and Isaac was contemporary with Joseph towards the end of his life, viz. before the latter was sold into Egypt at age seventeen (Gen. 35. 26-29). Joseph was equated with Serapis (Melito, Apol., ed. Cureton, p. 24, l. 21, Tertullian, Ad Nationes II. 8.10, Abodah Zarah, 43a, Firmicus, De Error. ix, Suidas, s.v. Sarapis, Rufinus, Hist. Eccl. ii. 23), otherwise Asklepios (§349, below, >>), so the discourses of Hermes with Asklepios could be understood to have been Eliezer’s instruction of Joseph. Joseph rose to power in Egypt under Amenemhat I, the founder of the Middle Kingdom, and lived on into the early 18th century BC, which was the era of Sesostris III. In that case, through the discourses of Hermes (Eliezer) with “Asklepios” (Joseph), and the latter’s influence on the early Middle Kingdom kings, Hermes (Eliezer) could be held to have passed on his wisdom to Sesostris III. For a summary of the Byzantine tradition relating to Hermes and Sesostris see §626.40, below, >>.


140.0.1. The myth of Marsyas in Diodorus Siculus, incorporated within the myth of Cybele and Atys (III. 58. 1ff.]), runs as follows (LCL, my notes in braces {}):

This goddess {Cybele} was born in Phrygia. For the natives of that country have the following myth: In ancient times Meion {eponymous ancestor of the Maeonians of Lydia, the offspring of Mash son of Aram son of Shem, §626.17.3 [Further Observations], below, >>} became king of Phrygia and Lydia; and marrying Dindyme he begat an infant daughter, but being unwilling to rear her he exposed her on the mountain which was called Cybelus. There, in accordance with some divine providence, both the leopards and some of the other especially ferocious wild beasts offered their nipples to the child and so gave it nourishment, and some women who were tending the flocks in that place witnessed the happening, and being astonished at the strange event took up the babe and called her Cybele after the name of the place. The child, as she grew up, excelled in both beauty and virtue and also came to be admired for her intelligence; for she was the first to devise the pipe of many reeds and to invent cymbals and kettledrums with which to accompany the games and the dance, and in addition she taught how to heal the sicknesses of both flocks and little children by means of rites of purification; in consequence, since the babes were saved from death by her spells and were generally taken up in her arms, her devotion to them and affection for them led all the people to speak of her as the ‘Mother of the Mountain.’ The man who associated with her and loved her more than anyone else, they say, was Marsyas the physician, who was admired for his intelligence and chastity; and a proof of his intelligence they find in the fact that he imitated the sounds made by the pipe of many reeds and carried all its notes over into the flute, and as an indication of his chastity they cite his abstinence from sexual pleasures until the day of his death. Now Cybele, the myth records, having arrived at full womanhood, came to love a certain native youth who was known as Attis, but at a later time received the appellation Papas; with him she consorted secretly and became with child, and at about the same time her parents recognized her as their child. Consequently she was brought up into the palace, and her father welcomed her at the outset under the impression that she was a virgin, but later, when he learned of her seduction, he put to death her nurses and Attis as well and cast their bodies forth to lie unburied; whereupon Cybele, they say, because of her love for the youth and grief over the nurses, became frenzied and rushed out of the palace into the countryside. And crying aloud and beating upon a kettledrum she visited every country alone, with hair hanging free, and Marsyas, out of pity for her plight, voluntarily followed her and accompanied her in her wanderings because of the love which he had formerly borne her. When they came to Dionysus in the city of Nysa they found there Apollo, who was being accorded high favour because of the lyre, which, they say, Hermes invented, though Apollo was the first to play it fittingly; and when Marsyas strove with Apollo in a contest of skill and the Nysaeans had been appointed judges, the first time Apollo played upon the lyre without accompanying it with his voice, while Marsyas, striking up upon his pipes, amazed the ears of his hearers by their strange music and in their opinion far excelled, by reason of his melody, the first contestant. But since they had agreed to take turn about in displaying their skill to the judges, Apollo, they say, added, this second time, his voice in harmony with the music of the lyre, whereby he gained greater approval than that which had formerly been accorded to the pipes. Marsyas, however, was enraged and tried to prove to the hearers that he was losing the contest in defiance of every principle of justice; for, he argued, it should be a comparison of skill and not of voice, and only by such a test was it possible to judge between the harmony and music of the lyre and of the pipes; and furthermore, it was unjust that two skills should be compared in combination against but one. Apollo, however, as the myth relates, replied that he was in no sense taking any unfair advantage of the other; in fact, when Marsyas blew into his pipes he was doing almost the same thing as himself; consequently the rule should be made either that they should both be accorded this equal privilege of combining their skills, or that neither of them should use his mouth in the contest but should display his special skill by the use only of his hands. When the hearers decided that Apollo presented the more just argument, their skills were again compared; Marsyas was defeated, and Apollo, who had become somewhat embittered by the quarrel, flayed the defeated man alive. But quickly repenting and being distressed at what he had done, he broke the strings of the lyre and destroyed the harmony of sounds which he had discovered. The harmony of the strings, however, was rediscovered, when the Muses added later the middle string, Linus the string struck with the forefinger, and Orpheus and Thamyras the lowest string and the one next to it. And Apollo, they say, laid away both the lyre and the pipes as a votive offering in the cave of Dionysus, and becoming enamored of Cybele joined in her wanderings as far as the land of the Hyperboreans. But, the myth goes on to say, a pestilence fell upon human beings throughout Phrygia and the land ceased to bear fruit, and when the unfortunate people inquired of the god how they might rid themselves of their ills he commanded them, it is said, to bury the body of Attis and to honour Cybele as a goddess. Consequently the physicians, since the body had disappeared in the course of time, made an image of the youth, before which they sang dirges and by means of honours in keeping with his suffering propitiated the wrath of him who had been wronged; and these rites they continue to perform down to our own lifetime. As for Cybele, in ancient times they erected altars and performed sacrifices to her yearly; and later they built for her a costly temple in Pessinus of Phrygia, and established honors and sacrifices of the greatest magnificence, Midas their king taking part in all these works out of his devotion to beauty; and beside the statue of the goddess they set up panthers and lions, since it was the common opinion that she had first been nursed by these animals. Such, then, are the myths which are told about Mother of the God both among the Phrygians and by the Atlantians who dwell on the coast of the ocean..”

The identification of Damascus-Eliezer (Marsyas) with Al Khidr (Jamshid-Tammuz, Hermes etc.), has led to a fusion of his history with that of earlier incarnations of the same “Immortal.” These earlier incarnations were members of the family of Tubal-cain in the pre-diluvian era. In Sumerian sources Tubal-cain is Dumuzi (Tammuz), the king of the pre-diluvian city of Bad-tibira (§422, below, >>), whilst the other kings of that city (corresponding to the Biblical Jabal and Jubal, §420f., below, >>) are identified with Dumuzi (§352, below, >>). That would make them so many forms of Jamshid or Al Khidr. In the Latin Exordium to Eusebius’ Chronicle (§177, below, >>), accordingly, we find these Biblical figures equated with pastoral deities in the circle of Dionysus (Tammuz, Osiris), Jabal, the herder and pastoralist, with the rustic Silvanus (= Silenus = Faunus = Hermes = Al Khidr = Jamshid = Tammuz), his brother Jubal, the pastoral musician, with the musical Mercurius (= Faunus = Hermes = Al Khidr = Jamshid = Tammuz), and his other brother Tubal-cain, the agricultural metalsmith, with the god of smithcraft Vulcanus (= Ptah = Osiris = Tammuz = Jamshid = Al Khidr). The sister of these three pre-diluvian brothers, the Biblical Naamah, is equated with Minerva (Athena), the goddess of rustic domestic arts, in the Exordium. As we have seen, Apollo sometimes replaces Mercurius (Hermes), as god of the planet Mercury and of the interpretation of names, in this tradition, so in the Marsyas myth it is Apollo who is the expert musician (= Jubal = Mercurius), and Marsyas, the peasant pastoralist, is his less competent rival (= Jabal = Silvanus or Silenus). Athena (Naamah) features likewise in a variation on the myth as the first to try her hand as a flautist. The interaction between them forms the background that is, the chronologically anterior, pre-diluvian, background to the (post-diluvian) flaying of Marsyas by Apollo — that is, to the interpretation of the name of Damascus as “Skin of Askos” in reference to the events of the Battle of the Kings in Genesis 14.


140.1. The Greeks identified their god Pan (Faunus) with the Egyptian god Min. Hence Chemmis, the city of Min near Thebes, was called Panopolis by the Greeks, the city of Pan. But Min was originally a different figure altogether. In Mar Abas Catina Ham is identified with two figures, Hephaestus (= Ptah), and Titan. In some codices of Eusebius, as noted at §123, above, >>, Pan is substituted for Titan. That implies Ham was known under two names in Egypt, viz. Ptah (Hephaestus) in Ptah’s chief city Memphis in the north of Egypt, and Min (Pan) in Chemmis in the south. Accordingly there were two names for Egypt which incorporated gods’ names in Byzantine times (Stephanus Byzantinus, s.n. Aiguptos): 1) Hephaistia the land of Hephaistos, Ptah, and 2) Hermokhemios the land of the Hermes (Pan) of Chemmis, or, rather, the land of Hermes-Khemi (see infra on Khemi as the Coptic name for Egypt, and its connection with Chemmis). In Nanni’s Defloratio Berosi the eponymus of Chem Myn (Panopolis) in Egypt, called Pan by the Greeks, is identified explicitly with the Biblical patriarch Ham. (§887.11, below, >>.) This work, the “Summary Extracts from Berosus” (Defloratio Berosi, §884, below, >>) of Giovanni Nanni (Annius) of Viterbo (Antiquitatum Variarum Volumina XVII, ed. Joannes Paruus and Jodocus Badius, 1512, lib. XV, fol. CIIII ff.), which he obtained as a gift from an Armenian scholar called George (ibid. fol. CXIIIIb), represents a medieval development of the traditions found first in the Armenian citations of Mar Abas Catina, derived from the Sibyl Sambethe the “daughter of Berossus,” and this explains the ascription of the work to Berossus. The second part of the Egyptian place-name Chem Myn, viz. the god’s name Myn or Min, is there explained as meaning “Abode” in Egyptian (fol. CXIII), and is said to be equivalent to the Hebrew “Maon.” The name is written Mnw in ancient Egyptian, and the two initial consonants, mn, when used as a verb, do mean “to abide” in that language. It is probable, therefore, that the Hebrew proper noun Ham, translated as “Ptah” (§312, below, >>) in Memphis, was translated as “Min” in Chemmis: Ham means “He who shelters, keeps close,” and Maon means similarly “refuge, shelter” (as in Psalm 90. 1), and in later Hebrew, “sustenance, support,” as well as “dwelling, abode, (of an animal) den.” Appropriately, Min was patron-god of the wild cave-dwellers of the eastern desert and Red Sea coast. The other city where his cult was specially favored was Koptos, and that was located at the end of Wadi Hammamat, which was a major point of entry into Egypt from the Red Sea, or otherwise the exit from Egypt to the eastern desert and seaboard. In the Defloratio the city-name Chemmis (Panopolis) is broken down, correctly, into two elements, “Chem” and “Myn.” In Egyptian the ancient city-name was composed of two elements, the most common combination being Khent(y)-Min, which meant “Place (Khent[y]) of Min,” though other words, with similar meanings, could stand in place of the first element Khent(y). The Greeks called the city Chemmis, which was explained as “Panopolis, City of Pan,” and the Copts called it Akhmim. The Defloratio claims this city was set up in honor of the patriarch Ham (fol. CXVI). Nanni in his commentary (ibid.) interpreted the first element in the name Chem Myn as the personal name Ham (Chem or Cam), Ham being identified with the Greek god Pan, and the second element, Myn, as the Egyptian word for “Abode,” for the reasons already given. Nanni treated Myn here as a common noun, but seemingly also, elsewhere in his commentary (fol. CXIIIa), as a divine name (Chem Myn being interpreted to mean “Cam et Panos urbem,” the city of “Cam and Pan,” where the second element Myn = Min = Pan). It is a remarkable fact, and one which vindicates his interpretation, that the word “Ham” is actually found in the ancient Egyptian city-name, hidden in the hieroglyphic sign with which it was written. The hieroglyph comprises a sacred object of some sort, according to the common understanding, a thunderbolt, and that object is mounted on a standard. The sacred object was called in Egyptian ḫm, pronounced “Khem.” This is identical in form to the Biblical name Ham (“Chem” in the Defloratio, pronounced “Khem”), which is spelled in consonantal Hebrew ḥm. As a common noun Khem means in Egyptian “Shrine, Sanctuary,” that is, the “Abode, or Shelter” of the deity, like the Hebrew Ham (“Shelter”). There is, in addition, an Egyptian verb spelled with the same two consonants, ḫm or ḫmm, meaning “to be hot, to burn,” and this is equivalent in every way to the Hebrew ḥm, ḥmm, “to be hot, to burn,” which supplies the alternative etymology of the patriarch’s name. Presumably the thunderbolt was called “khem” in Egyptian because it was “hot.” In which case, it was also a covert reference to the founding father of Egypt. When used to denote the city of Panopolis or Akhmim, the hieroglyph of the sacred object on top of the standard was read “Min” or “Menu,” but in other contexts it could be, and was, read “Khem,” i.e. “Ham,” and this suggests it was a way of preserving the original form of the patriarch’s name under the Egyptian translation “Min.” The same sign appeared in another city-name, that of Letopolis, the “Thunderbolt City,” later known as Babylon, which is the modern Ausim (pronounced Ashim) near Cairo. The original pronunciation of this city-name was “Khem” (ḫm, written with the sacred object or thunderbolt sign), the “Sanctuary.” Later it was changed to Sekhem, which became Ousem in Coptic, and Ausim in Arabic. But the Copts also knew this city as “Khemi,” lit. the “Burned, Charred, Black,” and “Khemi” (in the Sahidic dialect “Keme,” like ancient Egyptian Kemet) was their name for the whole country of Egypt. The Coptic Khemi is the same as the Biblical name Ham, which likewise means “Egypt” in Biblical Hebrew, and could be interpreted as the “Charred or Black One,” as well as “Shelter.” The Byzantine name for the land and people of Egypt, Hermokhemios (supra), incorporates the identical word, and means “Hermes-Khemi,” or, literally, “the Hermes-Hamite-people/land, or, the land of Hermes son of Ham.” (Sanchuniathon tells us Elos-Kronos [Nimrod] granted Tauthos [Hermes, Cush son of Ham], the whole land of Egypt as his “royal dwelling-place,” §405, below, >>.) The Arabs copied the Coptic usage, calling Letopolis-Babylon “Misr” (= Hebrew Mizraim), which was their common name for the whole country. Note, however, that the name Hermokhemios shows Khemi was the name or title of a divine being, as well as a topographical name, since it was fused with that of Hermes, as the name Pan was with Hermes, for example, in the name “Hermopan.” It is clear the two readings of the thunderbolt or sacred object sign feature in this Greek name for Egypt, Hermokhemios. Reading the thunderbolt or sacred object sign as “Min” produces the element “Hermo-” (Hermes = Pan = Min), and reading it as “Khem” produces the element “-khemi” (followed by the Greek grammatical termination -os). Thus the Defloratio had good reason to connect the city-name Chemmis with Ham: when written with the hieroglyphic sign of the sacred object or thunderbolt on top of a standard, the name of the city could be read “Khemi” like Letopolis, and interpreted to mean “Ham (Khem, Chem) City.” Alternatively, the city-name Chemmis could be understood as being a fusion of the two words Chem-Myn, the ancient Khent(y)-Min, meaning “Abode of Pan.” The dual reading of the hieroglyph explains perfectly the tradition preserved in the Defloratio, though some confusion may have crept in between Nanni’s Armenian source and Nanni himself on account of the fact that the root meaning of the name Khemi, as well as of both elements in the name Chem-Myn, is the same, viz. “Abode” (Khemi, from ancient Egyptian Khem, “Abode,” Chem in Chem-Myn, from ancient Egyptian Khent[y], “Abode,” and Myn in Chem-Myn, from Maon [sic in the Defloratio], “Abode”). There is, in addition to the semantic, an historical and a mythological connection between the thunderbolt presumed to be represented in these city-names and the Biblical patriarch, in that the thunderbolt was the weapon of the sky-god (Ham), with which he separated Heaven and Earth (Noah and his concubine), see §319f., below, >>.


140.1.1. The connection of Hermes and Khemi with the Biblical patriarch Ham is further brought out in an extract from the alchemical writings of Zosimus of Panopolis (whose floruit was probably around the turn of 5th century AD): “The sacred writings, or the Bible, say, O woman, that a race of daemons had commerce with women. Hermes relates this in his Physika, and nearly universal report, both public and private, records it. The ancient and divine writings say that the angels became enamored of women, and coming down, taught them all the works of nature. Having fallen on account of this, they remained outside of heaven, because they taught man all things evil, and nothing good for the soul. The same scriptures say that the giants also were born from them. From them therefore is the first tradition KHEMEU concerning these arts; for they called this book KHEMEU; and hence the art KHEMIA [Alchemy] took its name.” (Syncellus, Ecloga Chronographica, ed. Mosshammer, p. 14 = ed. Dindorf p. 23f., excerpted by Syncellus from “The response of the philosopher Zosimus of Panopolis, from the writings addressed to Theosebeia, in the 9th book of the Art of Imouth.”) The art of metalworking was studiously investigated by alchemists. Tubal-cain, who was identified with the smith-god Vulcanus (the Egyptian Ptah), was the sole pre-diluvian metalworker mentioned in the sacred writings, and it was the sister of this same Tubal-cain, Naamah, whose virtue was assailed by the pre-diluvian fallen angels in post-Biblical tradition. Ham (Khem) was the post-diluvian Ptah. Ham was believed to have preserved the knowledge of pre-diluvian sciences through the Flood, and to have inscribed them on tablets for the perusal of future generations. Joannes Cassianus, Collationes VIII. 21: “[Following an account of the fall of the angels and their teaching of occult arts:] So ancient traditions report, that Ham, the son of Noah, who was instructed in these superstitions and evil arts, and knowing he would be unable in future time to bring a book with a record of these matters onto the ark, in which he was about to embark with his righteous father and sainted brothers, inscribed the wicked arts and ungodly memorials on plates of diverse metals, such as could not be destroyed by the inundation of the waters, and on the hardest stone surfaces. When the Flood was passed, he diligently sought out what he had hidden, and so passed on the seed of irreligion and perpetual iniquity to future generations.” There is no Biblical warrant for this account, but the pseudo-Clementine tradition, which identifies Ham as the founder of the magic art in the generation after the Flood, and which says he was called Ptah in Egypt after the heavenly fire (the embers of the consumed Zoroaster), explains it perfectly. Ham’s tablets correspond in denomination, nature, and function, to the book of Khemeu mentioned by Zosimus. As Ptah, Ham was also the father of Zosimus’ Imouth (Im-hotep), and Imouth was, according to this tradition, a notable adept and exponent of the alchemical art. Hence the fusion of alchemical traditions, that is, of the occult art named after Ham-Khem, with the story of the fallen angels in Zosimus.


140. 2. It seems that under the Egyptian form of his name (Min = Maon) Ham was remembered as the eponymous founder of several Canaanite nations. Maon was the eponymus of the “Minaei” or “Minaeans” (Hebrew “Meunim”), who inhabited the coasts of the Indian Ocean and also the southern borders of the land of Canaan, as well as areas of the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlands. The Arabian Minaeans were anciently believed to be the same people as the “Minyans,” a Phoenician (Canaanite) people of Asia Minor, and the national name was in both cases traced from “Minos,” the king of Crete. (The descent of the Arabian Minaeans from Minos is found in Pliny, Nat. Hist., VI. 157 = VI. 28 [32], and that of the neighboring Arabian tribe of the Rhadamaei from Minos’ brother Rhadamanthus, ibid., VI. 158. Bochart, Geographia Sacra, 1681, p. 137f. reads “Rhamm[a]ei” for the plural Rhadamaei in Plin. loc. cit., whilst the singular “Rhamma” is found “in Graeca editione” for the Heb. Raamah [raamāh], son of Cush, Bochart, ibid. p. 247.) The Asian Minyans were also known as “Milyans.” This is probably the same as the antique name used to denote Ethiopians (Sabaeans, Minaeans) by the Sumerians and their successors in Mesopotamia, viz. Meluhha (= Milu-ans), in which “l” is exchanged for “n,” as commonly in Semitic dialects: the original reference will have been to the Min-folk, both on the African continent and in their more extended habitations along the shore of the Indian Ocean. The Minyans or Milyans were also known as Solumoi, a term which was understood in antiquity to mean the “people of Salem, Jerusalem.” There were indeed Minaeans in Jerusalem according to the ancient sources they were the remnant Canaanite Hivites of Gibeon. The Hebrew invasion of Canaan in the later second millennium BC induced those Hivites who lived south of the Lebanon range, around Gibeon, to sue for peace. They were “dedicated” by Joshua (Joshua 9. 27, under the name Nethinim, the “Dedicated Ones,” Ezra 8. 20) to serve menially at the altar of God in the Tabernacle, and they continued to so when the Temple was built in Jerusalem. One portion of them were, at a later period, described as being “of Minaean descent” (Ezra 2. 50, Neh. 7. 52, lit. “children of Me‘i/unim”). These were the only Minaeans still living in the original Canaanite homeland who were known to the Greeks in historical times, as the rest had been driven out by the Hebrews. Hence the Minyans (Minaeans) of Asia were identified by the Greeks as those “people from Jerusalem” (Solumoi). The Hivites before the time of Joshua were an important people of Canaan whose territory included the port of Byblos in the north. Many of them settled in the lands to the south, including Mount Seir, and the desert stretching to the Gulf of Akaba. Their home territory, “Evaea,” the “Hivite land,” was believed in medieval times to include within its bounds some of the most important coastal cities of Canaan: “After this [Sarepta] there follow other coastal cities, first Sidon, then Beirut, then Byblos, which is commonly known as Gibeleth [Jubayl] today, built in the province of Phoenicia by the shore of the sea, at one time called Evaea, because Evaeus [Hivi], the sixth son of Canaan, is said to have founded it.” (James de Vitry, Gesta Dei, p. 1072.) Aphaka, where the divinized hero Tammuz was interred, was located in the mountainous hinterland of this territory, and the cult of Tammuz itself originated in the Hivite city of Byblos. Hence the “Pans” of Chemmis, meaning properly the Minaeans or Hivites, were believed to have been the first who spread the news of the death of Osiris-Tammuz (§616, below, >>), and a similar idea was conveyed in Classical myth by the train of Pans, Satyrs and Silenuses who accompanied Dionysus (Osiris, Tammuz) in his revels, and propagated his religion. The descendants of Seir in Genesis 36 are variously termed in Genesis Hivite and Hittite, implying the Hivites were one branch of the genealogical line of Heth son of Canaan. In fact, the name Heth could be interpreted to mean “Beast,” viz. (female) serpent, i.q. ḥayyah (see infra), whence also the gentilic Hivite. (See §333, below, >>.) In which case Hittite and Hivite are different forms of a single original gentilic. The same can be deduced from the fact that the Hittites, so called in Genesis 23. 3, 10 etc., from whom Abraham purchased the Cave of Machpelah, are identified as the sons of the Hivite Hamor in Acts 7. 16, and the Hebrew collective “Hittite” is swapped for “Hivites” in the LXX in Josh. 11. 3a, and likewise “the Hivite(s) under Hermon” (Heb.) for “Hittites under Hermon” (Gk.) in Josh. 11. 3b. (Canaan had two named sons, according to Genesis 10, the rest of his family comprising collective, adjectival, national names, “the Hivite, the Arkite” etc. It is probable, therefore, that a significant portion of the Canaanites traced their descent from Heth.) Seir, “the hairy one,” when used to denote a demonic creature, means “satyr,” so the Hivite Seirites, or sons of Seir, the worshipers of Tammuz-Dionysus, were called “satyrs” in Classical myth, and alternatively, when used of a mountain, seir means “wooded,” which is the sense of the Latin “sylvanus” and the Greek “silenos.” The name of Hamor (“Ass”) the Hivite in the time of the patriarchs, reflects the importance of the ass in the culture and commerce of the Hivites. Hence the prominence of Silenus and asses in the retinue of Dionysus. Another name for the same people was Hori, “Horite,” meaning “cave-dweller,” or, alternatively, “freeman.” This gentilic was the origin of the title “Liber Pater,” “Free Father,” given to Dionysus, that is, literally, “Father Hor,” or, “Ancestor of the Hor [‘Free’] clan.” The name of the Aborigines of Italy is traced identically from the Aramaic Ab Hor (> Ab-ori-genes), “Father Hor,” interpreted as “Ancestor of the Cave-dwelling clan,” in Nanni’s Commentary to the Defloratio Berosi (fol. LXVIa). A traditional Rabbinic genealogy preserved in the Book of Yashar (Sefer ha-Yashar, ed. Haktav Institute, Jerusalem, 1987 [www.hebrewbooks.org, 2009], p. 26 = trans. Noah, 10. 28) represents Seir as the son of Hur or Hor, son of Hivi son of Canaan. The name Hivite comes from a root meaning “to breathe, live,” and forms the word “living, breathing creature, beast.” From this arose the idea that the followers of Dionysus were half beast, half man. The same root supplies the word “Eve” (“living creature”) and, in Arabic, a word for serpent (lit. “beast”). It was this root which was believed in pre-Nicene ecclesiastical circles (§170, below, >>) to be the origin of the word “Euoe,” variously spelled, which was the mystic cry of the worshipers of Dionysus. This clearly is connected with the emergence of the cult of Tammuz-Dionysus first amongst the Hivites (same root) of Byblos. The identification (§350, below, >>) of the female eponymus of Beirut with Eve (same root) is likely to have arisen similarly from the fact that Beirut was in Hivite territory and was an “Evaean” city, originally meaning Hivite, but also, etymologically “Evite.”


140.2.1. The connection of the patriarch Ham (Min) with the Minaeans (Maon, Meunim, etc.) is made explicitly in 1 Chronicles 4. 38ff. This passage refers to an occupation by the Israelite tribe of Simeon of certain area south of Judah, in the near vicinity of Mount Seir. It reads as follows: “(1 Chronicles 4. 38ff.:) 38 These mentioned by their names [of the tribe of Simeon] were princes in their families: and the house of their fathers increased greatly. 39 And they went to the entrance of Gedor, even unto the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks. 40 And they found fat pasture and good, and the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for Min-Ham [or, “some of (the tribe of) Ham”] had dwelt there of old. 41 And these written by name came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and smote their [viz. Min-Ham’s] tents, and the Meunim [not “habitations” which is the literal meaning of the name] that were found there, and destroyed them utterly unto this day, and dwelt in their rooms: because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 And some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day.” In verse 40 the phrase Min-Ham is usually translated, as in the LXX, “some of [Heb. min] the Hamites [“Ham” = Hamites],” which is grammatically possible, but the context, equating these Hamites with the Meunim or Minaeans (so in the LXX) of the next verse, suggests we should read rather Min-Ham, a dual name of precisely the kind found in Egypt (Min alternating with Khemi, cf. Hermo-khemios = Min-Ham). Either way, Ham is identified here as the founding-father of the Minaeans or Maonites, and, in the traditions examined supra, as the god Min or Maon of Panopolis.


140. 3. A similar connection between Minos the eponymus of the Minoans/Minaeans and the Egyptian god Min or Pan, can be demonstrated as follows. In Crete Minos was known as Tauros, the Bull, and hence was termed “Minotaur” (Minos + Tauros), being represented in later myth as a monster, half man, half bull. The Minotaur had another name, Asterios, and Asterios was Zeus or Ammon. Zeus in the form of a bull, a magnificent white bull, is said to have brought Europa daughter of Phoenix (Canaan) to Crete and there to have begotten king Minos (that is, Zeus in another form). The tomb of Zeus on Mount Iuktas near Knossos was identified also as the tomb of Minos. (See §292, below, >>. A scholion on Callimachus, Hymn. i, refers to it as “the tomb of Minos son of Zeus.”) Zeus Ammon was the Egyptian Amun, and Amun was commonly assimilated to Min (Maon) of Panopolis, whose sacred animal was precisely a white bull. As the later genealogies represented it, Picus-Zeus begot Faunus (Pan) and Minos. In the former case, Pan = Maon, Min of Panopolis, in the latter case, Minos = Maon, the eponymous ancestor of the Minaeans or Hivites.


140. 4. We can see from this that Ham’s Egyptian divine name, Min, Minos, Maon, and other titles of divinity belonging to him, passed down to eminent persons in the Canaanite line descended from him, as, for example, to Minos in the 18th century BC. So likewise the Italian divine name Cameses, a name of Pan, is found, on the one hand, in the Defloratio, attached to Ham, son of Noah, and, on the other, in Italian chronographers, like Galvanus Flamma (Manipulus Florum, cap. IV), to a son of Nimrod, confirming the latter’s identity with the Pan or Faunus who was Hermes Trismegistus. Cameses is said by Flamma to have been sent by Nimrod to Italy because the prophecy of Ionitus, Noah’s fourth son, predicted the fourth empire having universal dominion would be that of the Romans. Cameses features prominently in other medieval accounts as a companion of Janus in Italy, Janus being variously identified with Noah himself, or as a fourth son of Noah (= Flamma’s “Ionitus”), as a son of Japheth, or as Zepho, son of Eliphaz, son of Esau, etc. In Nanni’s tradition Janus is Noah (also called Caelum, Vranus [= Ouranos], Sol [Sun], etc., in the Defloratio), and Cameses is Ham (also called Chemesenuus, fol. CXVb, CXVI, CXIII, CXXIb, CXXIII ff., the initial element Cam- or Chem- being understood to be a transcription of the patriarch’s Hebrew name), and Italy is specifically equated in the same context (fol. CXV) with the Biblical Kittim (“Kitim”). The various identifications represent legitimate alternative applications of the designation Amun (= Kneph = Janus), or Min (= Pan, Faunus), in the underlying tradition to Noah, Ham, Cush and Hermes Trismegistus, since the first three were successive forms of Amun (Ham = Pan/Titan son of Ouranos) and Min also was equated with Amun.


140.5. Note. As Gaza was anciently named “Minoa,” from Minos, the eponymus of the Minoans and Minaeans, and also “Ione,” from Io the female eponymus of the Ionians, the Minoans of Gaza were both Minaeans and Ionitai (citizens of Ione), and could be represented by the eponymi Maon and Ioniton. (See §101.13, above, >>, on Gaza, Io[n], Ioniton etc. On Minaeans = Hivites, and Minaeans = Minoans, see §140.2ff., above, >>.) The traditional connection of the Minoans with the Minaeans of Gaza, and consequently with the Minaeans/Hivites of Mount Seir, explains how Zepho or Zephi, son of Eliphaz, son of Esau of Edom/Seir, came to be treated as the founder of Rome in medieval Rabbinic tradition (first in the 10th century chronicle Yosippon [Book I] Pereq 2). Zepho is called in Genesis 36 LXX “Sophar,” and “Al-Asfar” (the “Yellow One,” that is, the “light-skinned” European) in Arabic sources. His fellow Edomites ousted and intermingled with the Hivites/Horites (Minaeans) of Mount Seir (Genesis 36 passim, Deut. 2. 12, cf. Job. 42. 17 LXX, which features a tradition representing Job himself as an Edomite, and Job’s comforter, Zophar, as a Minaean king): having supplanted and absorbed the Minaeans, Zepho and his clan 1) acquired the title “Janus” (Janus = Ionitus = Minoan = Minaean, §101.13, above, >>, also Maon = Min = Amun/Agathodaimon = Janus); and 2) appropriated the mythology of the Roman Hercules (the slaying of a Cacus-like monster), or otherwise, of Mars (= Aram. Meadim, root meaning “red”), which was the tutelary planet of “red” Edom (from the same root, see also infra on the immortalized Ionitus = the Arabic Al Khidr, and §279 note, below, >>, on Al Khidr = Hercules); further, as a Semitic Edomite, Zepho 3) was identified with the planet-god Saturnus (Semite = descendant of Shem = Kronos = Saturnus, see §101.11, above, >>). An inscription was unearthed in Palermo in Sicily in the medieval period, written in Kufic (early Arabic) script, and dating from the 10th century: it was understood, some say, misunderstood, to describe Zepho (“Sepha son of Eliphaz”) as master of two towers at that location also. (Ransano, Delle Origini e Vicende di Palermo [15th century], ed. Palermo, 1864, p. 62ff.) The arrival of Zepho in Sicily and Italy in these medieval traditions represents historically the arrival of “Minaeans,” or “Minoans,” in Sicily and Italy (as per Herodotus VII. 170), and of the “Hellenian” or “Sabian” (Babylonian) star-cult associated with them. The traditional chronology dated Zepho’s arrival to the era immediately following the death of the patriarch Joseph, that is, to c. 1700 BC (Biblical chronology), which is precisely the time Minoan civilization began to spread around the coastlands of the Mediterranean. The anomalous synchronism of Zepho with Aeneas in the same Rabbinic tradition is due doubtless to the fact that the name Zepho, as a titular eponymus, could be passed down through the line of kings descended from him (cf. the Arabic al-Asfar, applied generally to the kings and people of Rome), and that each king in that line might regularly be treated as an incarnation of the original “god” Zepho; for example, as “Hercules,” whose grand-daughter by Latinus, Lavinia, was wedded to Aeneas. Between these two incarnations of Zepho, that is, between “Janus-Saturnus” c. 1700 BC and “Hercules” in the 13th century BC, fell the reign of the “long-lived” Picus-Zeus of Peri Theon (Michael of Syria and Vardan, §101.18, above, >>), that is, of multiple incarnations of the Cretan Zeus in the persons of successive Italian kings. Alternately each king was Picus-Zeus (Jupiter), his predecessor was Saturnus (Saturn), and his successor was Hercules (Mars), see §101.21, above, >>. Zepho’s name Janus is said to have been acquired from the monster so called, half man, half beast, which Zepho slew, that is, in one aspect, from the “bestial” Hivites (= Maon = Ioniton = Janus), ousted (“slain”) by the Edomites (the Semites/Saturnus) of Zepho’s line in Mount Seir, and in another, from the Javanites (Javan = Yunan = Janus), ousted by Zepho (Saturnus) in Italy. Hence Arabic tradition explained the name of this Roman Saturn’s descendants, al-Asfar, the “Yellow,” as a reference to the skin-color of the Italian kings which they inherited from their ancient ancestor, the mulatto offspring of a native Italian queen and an “Abyssinian” (= Hamite, Minaean, Hivite) slave from “Yemen” (= Edomite territory) who escaped to Italy, that is, from the merging of Edomite, or Minoan/Minaean, immigrants with native Javanite Kittim. (See further §889.89, below, >>, with commentary and notes, and §889.97, below, >>.) The name Yunan (Ioniton, Ionitus etc.), means “Javanites, Ionians, Greeks.” It was used by the Arabs to denote the Hellenic (Greek-speaking) pagans of Harran, called Sabians, whose religion, a survival of ancient Babylonian star-worship, was believed to be the same as that of the Sabians (Subba) or Mandaeans of southern Iraq. These people were also termed by the Arabs “Nabataeans,” a later name for the Biblical Kenites, according to the Rabbis (Jastrow, Talmudic Dictionary, s.v. Navṭayya), that is, the Midianites of the family of Jethro. Hence the Midianites are said to have descended from Ionitus. (Michael of Syria, Chronicle, ed. trans. Langlois, 1868, p. 28 [“Maniton,” sic for Ioniton].) In Judges 10. 12 LXX the eponymus Midian stands for the Heb. eponymus Maon (Maon = Minaeans). The Minaeans/Hivites occupied, amongst other territories in Canaan and beyond, the land later known as Midian, and consequently the two gentilics became synonymous. Midian’s son Epher, traditionally the eponymus of the Africans (Cleodemus Malchus apud Polyhistor in Eusebius, PE. IX. xx. 4, Josephus, Ant. I. 241 [= I. xv. 1]), came to be treated as a successor of Zepho (= Maon = Midian, Arabic translation of Yosippon: “Africus” following Zepho, if it is not a misreading of the Hebrew original), or, alternatively, as a son of Kronos (= Saturnus = Zepho = Maon = Midian), or as identical with the seminal Aphros (“foam”), i.e. the son, of Ouranos (= Noah = Janus = Zepho = Maon = Midian). In Cleodemus Malchus Aphrodite, the daughter of the eponymus of Africa (Aphros so named after Epher), marries Herakles, and the Africans (so named after Epher son of Midian) participate in Herakles’ Libyan campaign against Antaios, a Cacus-like giant, the son of Earth, and appointee of Osiris, who slays strangers indiscriminately, analogous to “Busiris” (Osiris) in Egypt. Here Herakles = Baal Melqart (Canaan), versus Mot (Egypt/Libya). The association of Midianites (= Maon = Minaeans) with Herakles in Cleodemus Malchus, is reminiscent of Yosippon’s story of Zepho, the slayer of the Cacus-like monster Janus. The same stream of tradition, identifying Minoans, Minyans, and Minaeans with Edomites (that is, Hivites/Minaeans, through Aholibamah, the Hivite wife of Esau, uncle of Judah, and son of Isaac, son of Abraham) and Midianites (descended from Midian = Maon, son of Keturah and Abraham), in combination with the native Hellenic tradition that the Idaean Daktuloi of Minoan Crete were the same as the Korubantes (schol. on Aratus Phaen. l. 33, ed. Buhle, vol. 1, 1793, p. 20, Nonnus, Dionysiaca, ed. Köchly, XIV. 17ff.), otherwise the (Levantine and Minyan) Dioskouroi (§378, below, >>, §384, below, >>), from whom the Spartans claimed descent, explains why the Spartans and Jews were “brethren,” able equally to document their descent from Abraham (I Macc. XII. 20f.), and why Judaea was held to be so named from “Ioudaios Sparton,” the name a fusion of the eponymi of the Jews and Spartans, who was a member of the Theban (Spartan) army of Dionysus (Claudius Iolaus, apud Stephanus Byz. s.n. Ioudaia); it also explains why the Jews (Iudaei) were supposed to be the same as the Cretan (i.e. Minaean) Idaeans (Idaei) expelled westwards from Crete into Libya, with their chief Saturnus, at the time he was deposed by Jupiter (cf. Zepho = Saturnus), alternatively, the same as the Solumoi (i.e. Minaei, Nethinim, Hivites) of Homer (Tacitus, Hist. V. 2, 4, cf. §140.2, above, >>, and




An African scene depicting Minoan ships (Santorini Fresco)



§237, below, >>). As Ionitus = Janus = Noah, Ionitus is said to have been raptured alive to Paradise. (On this concept, see §279, below, >>.) There he learned all the secrets of the formation of the world. He also carried away from Paradise, and subsequently planted on Mount Lebanon, the very Tree on which the Savior was crucified. (Gotefridus Viterbiensis, Memoria Seculorum, ed. Waitz, MGH SS 22, Hanover 1872, p. 96.) As was the case with immortalized figures in mystical Judaism, and with the immortal Al Khidr in Arabic tradition (§279, below, >>), there occurred a fusion of identities in the person of the immortalized Ionitus. In respect of his filial relationship to the Flood-hero, Ionitus was Hellen son of Deukalion, in respect of his astrological expertise, he was Hermes or Agathodaemon (Min, Amun, Kneph), in respect of his origin from the stock of the giants, he was the giant Og/Eliezer/Canaan (see §279, below, >>), in respect of his being sent away by his father to the east, loaded with gifts, as were Midian and Abraham’s other descendants by Keturah, according to Genesis 25. 6, he was Midian, in respect of his migration to Italy he was the Edomite-cum-Hivite Zepho (Sophar/Al-Asfar), in respect of his philosophical communing with Nimrod son of Canaan (Gilgamesh) on the shore of the Indian Ocean, he was the Flood-hero himself. (See §89, above, >>, and §189, below, >>.) Thus the pagan divine name, Janus, became applied variously to Noah (in medieval Italian chronicles), and to Ion or Javan, the “giant” son of Japheth, and to the “giant” Hellen, the founder of the “Hellenic” paganism of the Sabians of Harran, and post-diluvian son of Deukalion/Noah, and to the Edomite Zepho.


141. Reverting now to the Second Hermes: the identification of Hermes II with the biblical Cush is confirmed by the testimony of Bar-Hebraeus that he was the founder of Babel. Traditionally Belus, i.e. Bel, Marduk or Asshur, was the founder of Babylon (Abydenus in the Armenian translation of Eusebius’ Chronicle, Chronicorum lib. I. cap. X. 2, ed. Migne PG XIX col. 125 = Müller FHG Abydenus Fr. 8 [Mai], Curtius, Historiae Alexandri Magni V. 1), and Belus was identified with Hammon and with Amun, and hence with Cush, according to Mar Abas Catina. On the Mesopotamian side, Belus usurped the functions and role of Asari son of Enki, and Asari was identified with the Mesopotamian moon-god Sin or Zu’en. In Egypt, the moon-god was Khensu or Thoth, the Greek Hermes. Amun himself was identified with Min and the winged sun-god Horus (whose symbol was appropriated by the Assyrian Bel, Asshur): hence also the identification with Hermes or Mercury, both as god (Min = Khensu = Thoth) and planet (Horus = the planet Mercury), especially in the Hermetic tradition referred to by Bar-Hebraeus. This Second Hermes, therefore, was the same as the “man-god” Amun, Hammon, or Belus, the founder of Babylon, the Biblical Cush. Historically, Mes-kianga-sher (Cush) was the first king of the Dynasty of Eana, i.e. the Tower in Shinar, at the dawn of the post-diluvian period: and the chief city then, where the Tower project was initiated, was Eridu (Babel). The objection might be raised against this, that if the Second Hermes of Bar-Hebraeus was Cush, how could he be the “first founder of Babel following Nimrod,” as Bar-Hebraeus said he was, when Cush was the father of Nimrod and preceded him as king? In one respect the statement of Bar-Hebraeus reflects the priority of the original Babel of Nimrod’s time, viz. Eridu, over the second and more famous Babel, viz. Babylon near Baghdad, which was founded by the god “Bel,” according to the Babylonian Epic of Creation. However medieval chroniclers frequently conflated the genealogy between Nimrod (“Bel the Titan,” different from the Bel or Belus who is the subject of this discussion) and Ninus I found in Abydenus and Cephalion, and identified Arbelus, the immediate father of Ninus I with Belus, following Cyril of Alexandria (Contra Julianum). This produced the genealogy Nimrod (A), father of Belus, father of Ninus (I), Belus and Ninus being the second “incarnation” of the original Belus and Ninus, i.e. Cush and Nimrod, and, as such, confused with them. According to this genealogy, Belus the founder of Babylon, postdated Nimrod, like the Second Hermes in Bar-Hebraeus. Historically, the era of Belus (Arbelus) was when Babylon was built into a city of power and magnificence by the founders of the First Dynasty of Babylon. That is, Belus (Arbelus) built the city of Babylon near Baghdad in the era of the First Dynasty of Babylon, recapitulating the work of Belus-Cush, the builder of the earlier “Babylon” or Eridu in the third millennium BC.


142. A similar tradition relating to Belus and Cush is found in Eupolemus (second century BC), as quoted by Eusebius (Praeparatio Evangelica IX. xvii. 9): “For the Babylonians say that the first [viz. to discover astrology] was Belos who is Kronos. Now from him were born Belos and Canaan. Now he begot Canaan, the ancestor of the Phoenicians. Further, his son [qu.: the son of Belos-Kronos or of Canaan?] was Chous [= Cush], whom the Greeks call Asbolos [“dusky, sun-burned”] in their language, the ancestor of the Ethiopians and brother of Mizraim, ancestor of the Egyptians.” Cush, the ancestor of the Ethiopians, is said to have been brother or son (the text is ambiguous, but in Genesis 10. 6 brother) to Canaan, the ancestor of the Phoenicians, and Canaan is said to have been the brother of the Babylonian Bel (Belos, Belus), who was, in turn, the son of an elder Bel identified with Kronos. In native Babylonian tradition, this elder Bel, identified by the Greeks with Kronos, was Ea or Enki, and his son, the younger Bel, was Marduk or Merodach, or Anshar-Asshur in the corresponding Assyrian scheme, the builder of Babylon, identified commonly by the Greeks with Zeus. Here in Eupolemus the chief gods of Babylon, Bel senior and Bel junior, are genealogically connected to the Biblical Cush.


143. This genealogy was used by Eupolemus to demonstrate that the knowledge of astrology reached Egypt from outside. According to his own post-Biblical tradition, it was brought into Egypt by Abraham from its original home in Babylonia, but it was first revealed before the Flood to the patriarch Enoch, who, Eupolemus claimed, was the Greek astronomer Atlas (ibid. apud Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica IX. xvii. 9). Eupolemus did not expand on this equation, but Atlas in Greek myth was a student of astrology who was transformed at the end of his days into a heaven-supporting mountain. This certainly is reminiscent of post-Biblical traditions which represented Enoch as an astrologer and a pyramid as his tomb. The Greek astronomical Atlas was a different character from Plato’s Atlas, the eponymous king of Atlantis, and here again there is a parallel between Greek myth and the account in Genesis: the Biblical Sethite patriarch Enoch (Gen. 5. 18-24) was a different character from the Cainite Enoch after whom the city Enoch was named (Gen. 4. 17).


144. One phase of Eupolemus’ argument, to resume, is that the Babylonian Bel senior, or Kronos, the progenitor of Cush, was acquainted with astrology before the Egyptians, because Cush’s brother, genealogically and historically coeval with him, was Mizraim, the ancestor of the Egyptians. The context, in other words, is the transmission of pre-diluvian occult wisdom to post-diluvian Biblical figures in Egypt and their pagan counterparts, as in the Hermetic tradition. Evidently Eupolemus knew a pagan genealogy which represented the elder Bel, the discoverer of astrology, as the father of the younger Bel and Canaan. If he was dependent thereafter only on the Biblical genealogy in Genesis 10. 6, he would have said: Canaan was the brother of Mizraim (Egypt) and therefore the Egyptians were posterior to the Babylonian Bel the elder, and dependent on him and the Babylonians for their knowledge of astrology. There would have been no need for him to introduce Cush. The fact that he names Cush at all, and implies the Greek translation of his name (Asbolos) was in common use, means he knew traditions about Cush which he did not obtain from the Bible. The implication, specifically, is that Eupolemus’ Babylonian scheme gave Cush some role in the transmission of the knowledge of astrology from Babylon to Egypt. Now, the Greeks believed the Ethiopian god-man Amun or Hammon of Siwa was the Babylonian Bel, and, according to Diodorus Siculus, it was he who gave the knowledge of astrology to Egypt and Babylonia. What is more likely, then, than that the two Bels of Eupolemus correspond to the two Hammons, or the two Amuns, father and son, the second and third members of the Egyptian trinity, viz. Amun ([2] = Ptah) and his son Amun ([3] = Ra), identified, as in Mar Abas Catina, with Ham and his son Cush? Certainly Ham is the progenitor of Cush, Mizraim and Canaan, in Genesis 10. 6, as the elder Bel is in Eupolemus. On this understanding, the structure of the excerpt makes sense. First there is an assertion that Bel I begot Bel II and Canaan. Then, — in a review of the second component of the previous assertion (that Bel I was father of Canaan), — Bel I is said to have begotten Canaan, the ancestor of the Phoenicians. We would naturally expect a similar review of the first component (Bel I as father of Bel II), and what follows is an assertion that “furthermore his son [therefore, we should understand, the other son of Bel I, viz. Bel II] was Cush, the father of the Ethiopians.”


145. We can conclude Eupolemus’ Babylonian scheme was as follows: the elder Bel (= Amun [2], Ham) discovered the secrets of astrology in Babylonia after the Flood, and transmitted this information to his son, the younger Bel (Amun [3]) who was the Cush of the Bible, and the same figure the Greeks knew as Asbolos: he, in turn, passed the knowledge down to his brothers, Canaan, the ancestor of the Phoenicians, and Mizraim, the ancestor of the Egyptians. A further consideration, — of relevance in view of the similarity between this and Hermetic tradition, — is that the second Bel (= Amun [3]), Bel Marduk or Asshur, was originally Enki’s son Asari, who was identified with Sin, the Mesopotamian moon-god. The Egyptian moon-god was Thoth, i.e. Hermes or Mercury, and this nicely tied in with the Stoic and Neoplatonic interpretation of Amun as Horus, the planet Mercury, and as the Mercurial Logos. Aside from his role as the replacement of Asari, Bel Marduk of Babylon was a universal god who incorporated other deities in his godhead, similar to Ninurta. He was identified, amongst the rest, with the moon-god Sin and with Nabu, the patron-deity of the planet Mercury. We have already traced a connection between his father, Enki, the elder Bel, titled Umun or Mummu, and the Egyptian god Amun. The younger Bel of Eupolemus, i.e. Amun (3) or Hammon, the Libyan Zeus, was commonly called the son of “Poseidon” in Greek myth: Poseidon was, along with Kronos, used by the Greeks as a translation (“interpretatio Graeca”) of the divine name El, meaning El as the Canaanite equivalent of the Babylonian god Ea or Enki (§337, below, >>). The translation “Poseidon” emphasized the role of El/Ea as god of the watery deep; the translation “Kronos,” his role as father of the Zeus-like Bel Marduk. Ea was also identified with the Canaanite god Kothar-wa-Hasis, and the latter with Ptah (§321, below, >>, §343.1, below, >>, §350, below, >>). Thus, Ea (Kronos) = Kothar-wa-Hasis = Ptah (Ta-tenen) = Amun (2) = the elder Bel (Kronos), and Bel-Marduk (son of Ea) = Amun (3) = the younger Bel (son of the elder Bel). It was the younger Bel of Eupolemus, i.e. Amun of Siwa equated with Bel Marduk or Anshar-Asshur, and identified implicitly by Eupolemus, and explicitly by Mar Abas Catina, with the Biblical patriarch Cush, who, according to the Babylonian Epic of Creation, created the Zodiac, and built Babylon. In Eupolemus this work was interpreted as that of a transmitter of astrological lore. Similarly in the case of his father Bel, or Poseidon: he was Enki father of Bel Marduk, or rather Lahmu, father of Anshar-Asshur. In Eupolemus he was equated implicitly with Cush’s father Ham, and described as the first to discover the secrets of astrology.


146. The title “Asbolos” applied to Cush in Eupolemus means literally “dirty, sooty,” and hence “of a black, dusky, sun-burned color.” It is a pun on the name “Chous,” which is a transliteration of the Hebrew Cush, meaning the ancestor of the Ethiopians, but, if understood as a Greek word (Chous = Gk. Khous), means “earth, soil.” The Greek word chous or khous, earth or soil, is formed from the verb khe-o, “to pour, pour out, pour together.” The same verb khe-o was believed in antiquity to be the root from which the word Chaos (Gk. Khaos) was derived, as though it was a chaotic “pouring together” of different elements. Therefore Chous, the Greek form of the name Cush in Eupolemus, is equivalent to Chaos. Cush is identified in Eupolemus with the Assyrian Bel, father of Ninus, i.e. the god Asshur. Asshur was equated in Mesopotamia with the god Asari or Asalluhi and with the god Anshar. Asalluhi means “Asari (dASAR) the Man (LU2) of Confusion, or Chaos (I).” Here the Sumerian word for Chaos is I or E, pronounced khi or khe. It sounds the same as the Greek root khe in khe-o, and it also has the same meaning: “to pour out, to pour together, in a confused mix.” The same sign I or E can also be read SHAR. The other divine name Anshar is formed of two signs, the first AN means “god,” the second, SHAR, is this sign, which can also be read I or E. The signs of the name Anshar could therefore be read as “The god (AN) of Chaos or Confusion (I).” Thus Cush, as identified with Bel Asshur, i.e. with Asalluhi and with Anshar, is the god of Chaos and Confusion. The two-faced god Bel or Asshur corresponds to the Roman god Janus. Of Janus likewise the poet Ovid records (Fasti I. 103): “The ancients called me Chaos.”


147. In the system known to Cicero (De Natura Deorum III. 56) there were a further two Hermes. The fourth was a “son of the Nile” whose proper name the Egyptians were forbidden to mention, — evidently Moses, who, according to Artapanus in Eusebius’ Preparation of the Gospel (see the reference infra), was called Hermes by the Egyptians. The fifth was the Hermes of Greek myth who slew Argus Panoptes.


148. The historical figure behind the “Hermes” of Artapanus was the Biblical Moses, traditionally the fourth Hermes, known on the monuments as Djehuty, the courtier of Hatshepsut, as explained at this link (http://www.christianhospitality.org/resources/exodus-online/content/exodus3.html, and ibid., exodus4.html). In Artapanus it is said the priests called Moses “Hermes” (Djehuti, or Djehuty, “Thoth”) because of his proven wisdom. This can only have been after he manifested wisdom later on in life. His original name was something different, and we are informed in the Bible (Exodus 2. 10) he was called Moses (Hebrew Mōsheh) because he was “drawn out of, or, extracted from, the water.” The same name was common in Egypt, particularly in the New Kingdom period, which was the era of Moses. “Moshe” in Egyptian meant “is born,” from a root meaning also “to extract, draw out.” It was usual for it to be preceded by a god’s name, but that was often dropped and the person called simply “Moshe.” For example, there was the name Ra-moshe, meaning “The god Ra (the Sun) is born.” Anyone so called might also be known as “Moshe.” Since Pharaoh’s Egyptian-speaking daughter called the baby “Moshe” because she drew him from the water, and the word itself in Egyptian had nothing to do with water, but meant merely “is born (or, extracted),” it might reasonably be concluded it was the god whose name originally preceded it, the “god so-and-so is born,” that had the watery associations. No mention of the idolatrous god’s name will have been permitted amongst the Hebrews, hence their use only of the abbreviation “Moshe” (Mōsheh) to designate the prophet. There was one well-known Egyptian god who came forth as a baby from the water. That was the form of the god Horus known as “Horus the Child.” In combination with the divine name Horus, the termination “moshe” would form the name Hara-moshe, “Horus is born.” It is attested in the El-Amarna letters (EA 20. 33, 36) written: “Hara-mashshi” (ara-mašši). The name meant to the Egyptians: “the god (Horus) is born incarnated in the new Pharaoh,” and each reigning Pharaoh was identified with Horus. This practice originated early in Egyptian history, when the kings of the First Dynasty saw themselves as embodiments of Horus. In the Osirian cult, Horus was the living Pharaoh, the son and successor of Osiris, the deceased Pharaoh. The first to whom the title applied was the Second Hermes, Cush (Horus = Amun [3] of Siwa), the firstborn son of Ham (Amun [2] = Ptah and Osiris). Horus (in one aspect the planet Hermes or Mercury) meant “Son of Ham,” i.e. “Horus, Cush, is born to Osiris, Ham.” Ham was identified with Osiris and Ptah, and both these gods with the Apis bull, who was the Nile-god. Therefore, Horus his son, was “born from the waters.” It was believed in post-Biblical Rabbinic tradition that Cush was conceived by the wife of Ham whilst floating in the container over the waters of the Inundation. How appropriate the full name “Horus is born” (Hara-moshe) would have been as a designation for the infant Moses from the point of view of Egyptian paganism. Horus was depicted as a baby god with his finger in his mouth, sitting on a sky-blue-petaled, yellow-centered lotus, — which was an alternative figure for the egg of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, out of which the sun-god was born, which, in turn, signified Noah’s container, — and that lotus was depicted floating in the Nile. This is precisely how Pharaoh’s daughter discovered Moses: as a baby in a container on the waters of the Nile. Her first thought would be of the baby-god Horus on his lotus “boat.” Horus was also the name of the infant Pharaoh. Here was the successor to the throne, the baby Horus, of which she had been till then denied. It would have been natural for her to name him: “Horus has been born” (i.e. extracted from the waters), in Egyptian Hara-moshe, or Moshe for short. Later, when his more-than-human wisdom became apparent, he was called “Djehuty,” the Thoth-man, by the Egyptian priests, and Hermes by the Greeks. Horus the Child in New Kingdom theology was commonly identified with Khensu of Thebes, the moon-god, and Khensu with Thoth, the god of scribal wisdom, so there was theological justification for the new name.


148.1. The fifth Hermes is the Hermes of Greek myth who slew Argus Panoptes. He has somewhat different characteristics to Hermes the god of wisdom and communication. The fifth Hermes is a giant-slayer, that giant being the Argus Panoptes after whom he was named Argeiphontes, the “Slayer of Argus.” Argus Panoptes, the monstrous, multi-eyed guardian of Io, daughter of Inachus, represents the starry (multi-eyed) dome of heaven, which surrounds and shelters the moon (Io), and which was believed to have been split apart in the beginning by the demiurgic Logos (Sumerian Umun, Egyptian Amun, Greek Pan/Hermes) to create the ordered universe. (For more on the historical background of the slaying of Argus see §889.35.6 sub fin., below, >>.) According to a genealogy preserved by Hyginus (Fab. 145, 225), Io (in this case, as it was said in antiquity, a priestess of Argos representing the moon-goddess) was daughter of Inachus (II), son of Arestor, son of Peiranthus, son of Argus, son of Niobe, daughter of Phoroneus, son of Inachus (I), the first king of Argos. Other genealogies (Pausanias II. 15. 5, 16. 1, Apollodorus II. 1, Schol. Eur. Orest. 920) represent Io as daughter of Iasus (I or II) in the 8th or 9th generation inclusive from Inachus (I). Argus Panoptes, slain by Hermes, was Io’s grandfather, the father of Iasus (II), according to the account of Apollodorus. However in Peri Theon Io is dated to the generation of the Tower along with Picus Zeus. The contradictions in the chronology are due to the aforementioned fact that Io was a divinity who had multiple incarnations in the priestesses of Argos. According to Peri Theon Faunus “called Hermes” (Trismegistus) arrived in Egypt from Italy, during the reign of Mizraim. Italy in this context probably stands for Kittim, which later meant Greece and Italy, but was originally a comprehensive term for the Mediterranean coast-lands, from Cyprus in the east to the coast of Spain in the west. There is a clear difference in the era and in the background of this Faunus, as compared to Hermes Trismegistus. His era is c. 2300 BC (the era of Mizraim), and he originated from the Mediterranean coast-lands, rather than Babylonia. Peri Theon reflects the disparity by synchronizing Faunus “called Hermes” with Mizraim, the first king of Egypt, on the one hand, and, on the other, Hermes Trismegistus with Sesostris III c. 1800 BC. The Faunus-Hermes of Peri Theon was the king of the First Dynasty of Egypt who was the immediate successor to Mizraim, historically Hor-Aha, the successor of Men (see further §626.15, below, >>, §626.4, below, >>). Faunus-Hermes had “about seventy” brothers who opposed him, according to Peri Theon (§101.22, above, >>), and whom he avoided by migrating to Egypt. The historical Hor-Aha was Horus son of Isis and the leader of the Horus or “falcon” clan, which gave rise to the royal line of Egypt. (§337.4, below, >>.) His clan was opposed by the clan of the “hunting-dog,” viz. the Seth faction, who were otherwise known as the seventy-two “confederates of Seth” (§615, below, >>). Horus and Seth were closely related, “brothers,” and the “about seventy” hostile brothers of Faunus-Hermes (Horus son of Isis, Hor-Aha) in Peri Theon correspond to the seventy-two confederates of Seth in the native Egyptian mythology: they were all sons of Zeus (= Canaan), according to Peri Theon, Seth being commonly identified in Egypt as the god of the Asiatics of Canaan. The original Egyptian, actually Semitic, name of Seth, Shutekh or Shutakh, means precisely “confederate,” Akkadian šutau, “confederate, ally,” from the same root as au, “brother.” Presumably it was an interpretation of the name Zibeon, as the root -b-, whence Zibeon, means lit. “to be joined, allied, cling, adhere to, be immersed in, etc.” Hermes was celebrated as the slayer of the monstrous Argus as Horus was of the monstrous Seth. The Faunus-Hermes of Peri Theon, therefore, was this Egyptian Horus whose astral form was the planet Mercury. The Latin Faunus was originally Favonus, from faveo = aveo, meaning “be favorably inclined,” which both in form and meaning corresponds to the Hebrew awah (initial aleph or ayin, ayin being represented by the digamma or Latin “f” in faveo) = “desire, incline towards, yearn for,” whence Ayyah = Hor-Aha, see §180.1ff, below, >>. Effectively Faunus is the Hebrew name Ayyah in Latin guise. Favonus is the Lycaean Pan, that is, Min-Horus (the deified Ayyah). His title “Lycaeus” denotes he was originally of the “hunting-dog” (Zibeon) clan (§181.4.0.2, below, >>). He was Horus son of Osiris (Hor-Aha son of Narmer-Men), identified with Khensu (Hermes) son of Amun-Ra (Jupiter), as explained at §135, above, >>. Thus a long series of Italian kings could be identified successively with Zeus (Osiris) and Faunus (Horus), like the Pharaohs in Egypt, modeling themselves on the original Osiris (Mizraim-Men, Khenty-Amentiu) and the original Horus (Ayyah-Hor-Aha, Horus son of Isis), or their earlier forbears Amun (2) (= Ham, Ptah-Tatenen, Osiris) and his son Amun (3) (Cush, Khensu, Horus). It is probable, therefore, that the fifth Hermes, like the long-lived Picus Zeus himself, embodied a line of priest-kings of Kittim, who were kings of the Aborigines or Hor-clan in Italy, titled Faunus and Hermes. Their ultimate ancestor was “Hor” himself, Hor-Aha, the successor of Mizraim-Men (the Faunus-Hermes of Peri Theon), and their latter-day representative Faunus the father of Latinus, the host of Aeneas.


149. To summarize: the three Hermes or three Thoths of Sanchuniathon were as follows: the First Hermes — Enoch, early third millennium BC. He received revelation of the heavenly mysteries by angelic visitation before the Noachide Flood. Knowledge of his revelation was preserved through the Flood by means of inscribed pillars. The Second Hermes — Cush, son of Ham, late third millennium BC. He claimed access to the revelation of the First Hermes, but, in fact, perverted it into a system of pagan idolatry. He promoted the building of the Temple Tower called Eana (“House of Heaven”) in Shinar, or Southern Mesopotamia, and at the dispersion migrated to Egypt with other Hamites. He prophesied under the inspiration of Lucifer in Ethiopia and Egypt before and during the time of the First Dynasty of Egypt, and reigned as a king himself in the Predynastic period. The Third Hermes — Canaan reincarnated in Damascus-Eliezer son of Nimrod or of Canaan, Hermes Trismegistus, “The Thrice Greatest.” Obit early second millennium BC. Eliezer entered Egypt with his master Abraham. In his idolatrous days, before he became acquainted with Abraham, he further expounded the system of the Second Hermes. His teaching influenced the Egyptian Middle Kingdom Pharaoh Sesostris III, whose immediate precursors were familiar with Joseph and the members of his extended household, the offspring of Abraham. There were two other Hermes in Classical paganism, the fourth Moses, identified with the god Thoth in Egypt, obit mid-second millennium BC, and the fifth the Aboriginal king Faunus, obit late second millennium BC, a latter-day reincarnation of the ancestor of the Aborigines, Ab Hor (Father Hor, Liber Pater) himself, Hor-Aha, the successor of Mizraim-Men.