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derived to us. Among the Egyptians were the prophetic books of Ham; from whence Pherecydes Syrus borrowed his 'Mythology.
Mythology. These did not contain prophecies according to our acceptation of the term: but consisted of sacred records, and memorials of antient date. Many of these had been transmitted from the first ages; and possibly from the very head of that family, in which they were afterwards found. In all the rites and mysteries of different nations the history of the Ark, and Dove, and every circumstance of the Deluge, are manifestly alluded to. Of this I gave many proofs; and shewed, that these histories were particularly to be ' found among the people of Argos, Larissa, and Theba; among the natives of Mount Sipylus, and Celænæ in Asia Minor, and the Magnetes upon the Mæander. One instance among others in this part of the world was taken from a celebrated coin of the Apameans, which was first mentioned by Falconerius in a letter to Seguinus. This curious Medalist had seen three of them, all of the medaglion size, and in good preservation. Upon these was exhibited both the Ark, and 'the Dove, with 'a 'representation of the two principal persons, who were preserved at the time of the Deluge. And what 'is still more
Παντα, οσα Φερεκύδης αλληγορησας εθεολογήσεν, λαβων απο της το Xau apontaas. Isidorus apud Clement. Alexand. Strom. 1, 6. remarkable, the name of the Patriarch was in plain and legible characters subjoined. This seemed to me a circumstance of great curiosity; and I accordingly introduced it at large. And I should never have troubled the world with a repetition of these things, which have been before so fully stated; had it not been objected to me, that I was certainly mistaken. It was mentioned by, an anonymous writer with some animadversions in print. To these I should hardly have replied; not out of any disregard or contempt: but because they contain the opinion of a single person; and I am much too deeply engaged to be able to give an answer to every exception, which may possibly be made. Besides every body has a right to judge as may seem best : and to pass a censure, where he thinks that he is authorized froin the subject. But there were other motives, which led me to avail myself of this opportunity, and to further explain my sentiments. First, the subject was of consequence; and I had not dwelt upon it so fully, as it deserved. And I thought, while I was taking off the objections brought against me by the person above, that I should at the same time be able to further illustrate those coins; and to correct a mistake or two of Falconerius, whom I had too implicitly followed. There were other Apamean and Magnesian coins highly worth our notice: and I had observad some particulars upon their inscriptions, which had never been satisfactorily explained, and therefore merited our atten
tion. This led me to resume the subject; which I thought would not be unentertaining to those, who are at all acquainted with medals, or have a pleasure in researches of this nature. Lastly, I was farther induced to support, what I had written, from that attention, which I thought due to the opinion of persons of character. For I was informed that several Gentlemen of learning had at times intimated, that I had been greatly imposed upon. They went upon the same principles as the anonymous Observator; and insisted, that what I had taken for a proper name, NIE, was a termination of another word : and that the Inscription, to which I appealed, was of a different purport. It would certainly give me pain to be found guilty of so puerile a mistake : and though I do not write for profit, nor perhaps for fame; yet I should be sorry to have a work, which I lave with so much labour compiled, unkindly and unfairly represented. It would be particularly of consequence to me at this time, when a second edition is upon the point of coming out; and when a third Volume is far advanced in the press. I have been always upon my guard against prejudice in writing; and would wilJingly divest myself of every interested motive. But however indifferent I may be in many respects, I must not suffer my views to be rendered abortive ; and an imputation brought upon any part of my work, which I flatter myself, it does not deserve. What has been exhibited in Print I will lay before the Reader; as it contains the whole, that has been said by others upon the same occasion. On this account I shall produce it at length.
IT generally happens, that framers of whimsical systems (who attempt to reduce a thousand anomalies to some few general principles) do, in the midst of their zealous pursuits, commit some extravagances, which cast a ridicule upon the rest of their honest labours. I shall not trouble you with obsolete eramples of this truth; but only remark, that in a modern work, which the specimen, presented in your Magazine, induced me to read, viť. Bryant's late work on Antient Mythology, one of that learned IVriter's chief principles is, that the accounts related in the Old Testament of the anțient Patriarchs, &c. gave rise to a great part of the heathen Mythology. I had thought this notion so sufficiently exploded, as never to have been maintained again, Let us see how well Mr, Bryant supports it, He pretends, that among
the cities in Asia there were various remains, and traditions concerning Noah's Ark; in particular, that
* See the Gentleman's Magazine for May 1775, page 223,
several coins are still extant, whereon Noah's Ark and name are inscribed, of which he presents us with one containing, on the reverse, a square chest with two human figures inclosed in it; their heads only appearing above the chest. This is plainly Noah's Ark, he says ; nay even the very name of Nwe, in Greek letters, is inscribed on it. Alas! I wish, with Festus to St. Paul, that learning has not made him mad : for, behold! this pretended name of Noah is only the remainder of the city's name, Ansgardeswv, which is inscribed on the legend round the coin; but there not being room for the three last letters to be continued round the edge of the coin, the artist engraved them on the chest in the middle of the coin, in a reversed manner, as erhibited in the margin.
One should have thought, that this would easily have occurred to Mr. B. himself ; since he presents us with another coin, exhibiting the like chest, with the letters NHTSN inscribed upon the chest, which he acknowledges in a note to be the continuation of the city's name, where the coin was struck, the former half of which is inscribed round the edge of the coin as before, with this only difference, that the reading of the letters is not reversed, as
3 The name would more properly belong to the people, who were thus denominated from the city; could Anega vdpewr be proved to be the true reading.