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ther a fiction, and that he lived about this time, the most approved historians and antiquaries, and among them Eusebius and St. Augustine, have not doubted. For the great judgment which Atlas had in astronomy, saith f St. Augustine,' were his daughters called by the names of constellations, Pleiades and Hyades ; others attribute unto him the finding out of the moon's course, of which Archas, the son of Orchomenus, challengeth the invention. Of this Archas, Arcadia in Peloponnesus took name, and therefore did the Arcadians vaunt that they were more ancient than the moon: 6 Et luna gens prior illa fuit: which is to be understood, saith Natalis Comes, before there had been any observation of the moon's course, or of her working in inferior bodies. And though there be that bestow the finding out thereof upon Endymion, others (as Xenagoras) on Typhon, yet Isacius Tzetzes, a curious searcher of antiquities, gave it Atlas of Libya; who, besides his gifts of mind, was a man of unequalled and incomparable strength : from whom Thales the Milesian, as it is said, had the ground of his philosophy
Of Deucalion and Phaeton. AND in this age of the world, and while Moses yet lived, Deucalion reigned in Thessaly, Crotopus then ruling the Argives. h This Deucalion was the son of Prometheus, saith Herodotus, Apollonius, Hesiodus, and i Strabo. Hesiodus gave him Pandora for mother, the rest Clymene: Homer, in the 15th of his Odysses, makes Deucalion the son of Minos; but he must needs have meant some other Deucalion ; for else either Ulysses was mistaken, or Homer, who put the tale into his mouth. For Ulysses, after his return from Troy, feigned himself to be the brother of Idomeneus, who was son to this latter Deucalion, the son of Minos: but this Minos lived but one age before Troy was taken, (for Idomeneus served in that war,) and this Deucalion, the son of Prometheus, who lived at once with Moses, was long before. In the first Deucalion's time happened that great inundation in Thessaly; by which, in effect, every soul in those parts perished but Deucalion, Pyrrha his wife, and some few others. It is affirmed, that at the time of this flood in Thessaly, those people exceeded in all kind of wickedness and villainy; and as the impiety of men is the forcible attractive of God's vengeance, so did all that nation, for their foul sins, perish by waters : as in the time of Noah, the corruption and cruelty of all mankind drew on them that general destruction by the flood universal. Only Deucalion and Pyrrha his wife, whom God spared, were both of them esteemed to be lovers of virtue, of justice, and of religion. Of whom Ovid:
f Lib. 18. c. 8. de Civitate Dei. 8 Ovid. de Fast. l. 1.
hi Clem. Alex, Strom. I. 1. i Strab. 1. 9.
Non illo melior quisquam, nec amantior aqui
Nor any woman godlier than she. It is also affirmed, that Prometheus foretold his son Deucalion of 'this overflowing, and advised him to provide for his own safety; who hereupon prepared himself a kind of vessel, which Lucian, in his dialogue of Tinion, calls cibotium, and others larnax. And because to these circumstances, they afterwards add the sending out of the dove, to discover the waters fall and decrease, I should verily think that this story had been but an imitation of Noah's flood devised by the Greeks, did not the times so much differ, and k St. Augustine, with others of the fathers, and reverend writers, approve this story of Deucalion. Among other his children, Deucalion had these two of note; Helen, of whom Greece had first the name of Hellas; and Melantho, on whom Neptune is said to have begot Delphus, which gave name to Delphos, so renowned among the heathen for the oracle of Apollo therein founded.
And.that which was no less strange and marvellous than this flood, was that great burning and conflagration which about this time also happened under Phaeton ; not only in Ethiopia, but in Istria, a region in Italy, and about Cumæ, and the mountains of Vesuvius; of both which the Greeks, after their manner, have invented many strange fables.
k August. de Civitate Dei, 1. 18. c. 10. ex Eusebio et Hieronymo.
cury, of whose
Of Hermes Trismegistus. BUT of all other which this age brought forth among the heathen, Mercurius was the most famous and renowned: the same which was also called Trismegistus, or Ter maximus; and of the Greeks, Hermes.
Many there were of this name; and how to distinguish, and set them in their own times, both St. Augustine and Lactantius find it difficult. For that Mercury, which was esteemed the god of thieves, the god of wrestlers, of merchants, and seamen, and the god of eloquence, (though all by one name confounded,) was not the same with that Mer
works some fragments are now extant. Cicero, Clemens Alexandrinus, Arnobius, and certain of the Greeks, reckon five Mercuries; of which two were famous in Egypt, and there worshipped; one, the son of Nilus, whose name the Egyptians feared to utter, as the Jews did their Tetragrammaton; the other, that Mercury which slew Argos in Greece, and flying into Egypt, is said to have delivered literature to the Egyptians, and to have given them laws. But Diodorus affirms, that Orpheus, and others after him, brought learning and letters out of Egypt into Greece; which Plato also confirmeth, saying, that letters were not found out by that Mercury which slew Argus, but by that ancient Mercury, otherwise Theuet, whom Philo Biblius writeth Taautus, the Egyptians Thoyth, the Alexandrians Thot, and the Greeks (as before) Hermes m. And to this Taautus, Sanconiatho, who lived about the war of Troy, gives the invention of letters. But St. Augustine making two Mercuries, which were both Egyptians, calls neither of them the son of Nilus, nor acknowledgeth either of them to have slain Argus. For he finds this Mercury, the slayer of Argus, to be the grand
I Lud. Vives out of Cicero, in Aug. de Civitate Dei, 1. 8. c. 26. in Euseb. 1. 1. c. 6. de Præp. Evang.
child of that Atlas which lived while Moses was yet young. And yet Lud. Vives upon St. Augustine seems to understand them to be the same with those whom Cicero, Alexandrinus, and the rest have remembered. But that conjecture of theirs, that any Grecian Mercury brought letters into Egypt, hath no ground. For it is manifest (if there be any truth in profane antiquity) that all the knowledge which the Greeks had, was transported out of Egypt, or Phænicia, and not out of Greece, nor by any Grecian, into Egypt. For they all confess that Cadmus brought letters first into Boeotia, either out of Egypt or out of Phænicia ; it being true, that between Mercurius, that lived at once with Moses, and Cadmus, there were these descents cast ; Crotopus king of the Argives, with whom Moses lived, and in whose time, about his tenth year, Moses died ; after Crotopus, Sthenelus, who reigned eleven years; after him Danaus fifty years; after him Lynceus ; in whose time, and after him in the time of Minos king of Crete, this Cadmus arrived in Baotia. And therefore it cannot be true, that
any Mercurius about Moses's time, flying out of Greece for the slaughter of Argus, brought literature out of Greece into Egypt. Neither did either of those two Mercuries of Egypt whom St. Augustine remembereth, the one the grandfather, the other the nephew or grandchild, come out of Greece. Eupolemus and Artapanus note, that Moses found out letters, and taught the use of them to the Jews; of whom the Phænicians, their neighbours, received them, and the Greeks of the Phænicians by Cadmus. But this invention was also ascribed to Moses, for the reason before remembered ; that is, because the Jews and the Phænicians had them first from him. For every nation gave unto those men the honour of first inventors, from whom they received the profit. Ficinus makes that Mercury, upon part of whose works he commenteth, to have been four descents after Moses ; which he hath out of n Virgil, who calls Atlas, that lived with Moses, the maternal grandfather of the first famous Mercury, whom others, as Diodorus, call the coun
n Virg. 1. 4. RALEGH, HIST, WORLD, VOL. II.
sellor and instructor of that renowned Isis, wife of Osiris. But o Ficinus giveth no reason for his opinion herein. But that the elder Mercury instructed Isis, Diodorus Siculus affirmeth, and that such an inscription was found on a pillar erected on the tomb of Isis. Lud. Vives, upon the 26th chapter of the eighth book of St. Augustine de Civitate Dei, conceiveth that this Mercury, whose works are extant, was not the first which was entitled Ter Maximus, but his nephew or grandchild. P Sanchoniaton, an ancient Phænician, who lived shortly after Moses, hath other fancies of this Mercury; affirming that he was the scribe of Saturn, and called by the Phænicians, Taautus ; and by the Egyptians, Thoot, or Thoyt. It may be, that the many years which he is said to have lived, to wit, 300 years, gave occasion to some 9 writers to find him in one time, and to others in other times. But by those which have collected the grounds of the Egyptian philosophy and divinity, he is found more ancient than Moses, because the inventor of the Egyptian wisdom, wherein it is said that Moses was excellently learned.
It is true, that although this Mercury, or Hermes, doth in his divinity differ in many particulars from the scriptures, especially in the approving of images, which Moses of all things most detested; yet whosoever shall read him with an even judgment, will rather resolve that these works which are now extant, were by the Greeks and Egyptian priests corrupted, and those fooleries inserted, than that ever they were by the hand of Hermes written, or by his heart and spirit devised. For there is no man of understanding, and master of his own wits, that hath affirmed in one and the same tract, those things which are directly contrary in doctrine and in nature. For out of doubt (Moses excepted) there was never any man of those elder times that hath attributed more, and in a style more reverend and divine, unto Almighty God, than he hath done. And therefore
Æneid. Ficin. in Præfat. Peemand. Mercurii Trismegisti.
p Or Sanchoniatho. See Euseb.
de Præp. Evang. l. 1. c. 6.
a Vives in I. 8. c. 26. Aug. de Civitate Dei.