Origins of the Dogon

We shall now return to Hercules and the number fifty. A connection between them arises in Pausanius, Book IX (27, 5), when Pausanius is discussing a city in Boeotia, which is the region where Orchomenos is. The city is called Thespiai 'below Mount Helikon', as he says. He continues:

They have a sanctuary of Herakles [Hercules] where a virgin priestess serves until she dies. They say this is because Herakles slept with all the fifty daughters of Thestios in the same night, except for one. She alone refused to mate with him. Thinking she was insulting him he sentenced her to be his virgin priestess all her life. I have also heard another legend about it: that Herakles went through all Thestios's virgin daughters on the same night and they all bore him male children, but the youngest and the eldest bore him twins.

 

But I am quite unable to believe that other story, that Herakles could behave so arrogantly to the daughter of a friend. Besides, even when he was on earth he used to punish arrogant outrages, particularly if they were against religion: so? he would hardly have founded his own temple and set it up with a priestess like a god.

 

But in fact this sanctuary seemed to me older than the days of Herakles son of Amphitryon, and to belong to the Idaian Daktylos called Herakles, whose sanctuaries I also discovered at Erythrai in Ionia and at Tyre. Actually even the Boiotians knew the name, since they say themselves that the sanctuary of Mykalessian Demeter has Idaian Herakles as patron.

Levi adds in a footnote that the sanctuary at Tyre is mentioned by Herodotus (2, 45), and gives other references as well.1

To return to the amorous labour of Hercules: I hope it will be noted that Pausanius had here elucidated a Middle-Eastern connection for this tale with the important city of Tyre, the site of which is off the coast of present-day Lebanon. Here, at least, we have a bit of evidence from ancient times bearing direct witness to the connections between these endless curious traditions in Greece about the fifty and their Middle-Eastern counterparts, or at least Middle-Eastern locale.

It would now be worth while for us to see what Robert Graves has to say about this tale. Graves calls Thestios by the name of Thespius and spends some time pondering the meaning.2 He says it means 'divinely sounding', but wishes he could find another meaning. I am inclined to be happy with 'divinely sounding' because of what I believe to be the heavy emphasis on music, sound and harmony among the ancients.

 

The Greeks were reputed, for instance, to have considered music the highest art; and the Pythagoreans made harmony and number into an actual religion. We have already come across the use of the octave as a relevant theme in our considerations and we have seen the possible connection of omphalos and om - the latter being the Indo-Aryan sacred syllable chanted for its 'divinely sounding' qualities and surviving in Christianity and Islam as 'Amen'.

 

Since if we were to look for a Greek word to describe the sacred syllable om we could choose the appropriate name meaning 'divinely sounding', it seems that this meaning is by no means unsatisfactory. Graves tells us the following:3

King Thespius had fifty daughters by his wife Megamede [mega-medea?] daughter of Arneus, as gay as any in Thespiae. Fearing that they might make unsuitable matches, he determined that every one of them should have a child by Heracles [Hercules], who was now engaged all day in hunting the lion; for Heracles lodged at Thespiae for fifty nights running.

[Notice fifty applied here as a succession of days: days, months, years. They can become blurred as long as fifty remains.]

'You may have my eldest daughter Procris as your bedfellow,' Thespius told him hospitably.

But each night another of his daughters visited Heracles, until he had lain with every one. Some say, however, that he enjoyed them all in a single night.

It is interesting to note that the name Procris of the eldest daughter means 'chosen first'. Prokrossoi, which is a closely related form of the same stem means, 'ranged at regular intervals like steps'. Now, what could be a more obvious name for the eldest daughter than one with such overtones and signification if it were clearly intended, as it obviously was, to emphasize that the daughters were not meant to be thought of as individuals but as successive expressions of fifty successive periods of time - in this case, twenty-four-hour periods, or days ?

 

But the intention obviously was to highlight the sequence of fifty time periods, personified as 'daughters' enjoyed by our ubiquitous Hercules who is connected in so many ways with the Sirius complex.

Graves adds:4

'Thespius's fifty daughters - like the fifty Danaids, Pallantids, and Nereids, or the fifty maidens with whom the Celtic god Bran (Phoroneus) lay in a single night - must have been a college of priestesses serving the Moon- goddess, to whom the lion-pelted sacred king had access once a year during their erotic orgies around the stone phallus called Eros ('erotic desire'). Their number corresponded with the lunations which fell between one Olympic Festival and the next.'

Here is Graves's irrepressible moon-goddess and here are her lunations! She carries them about with her wherever she goes. But unfortunately, Graves's brave attempt to find a lunar rationale for the fifty is not sufficient.

 

The Olympic Games were, as they are now, held every four years, and the Olympiads or four-year periods were understood to have commenced in 776 B.C., which is an extremely recent date compared with the extreme antiquity of 'the fifty' in all its myriad occurrences.

 

For instance, there were no Olympiads in Homer's day when 'the tale of the Argo was on everybody's lips', and the fifty Minyae were on their way into literary immortality in what was to become the Western world. Much more likely that a period of fifty lunations was modeled after a long-established tradition - the esoteric fifty-year period. Thus the fifty- month and fifty-day sequences were probably derived in emulation.

I assume that the cycle of fifty lunations which Graves mentions here is identical to his fifty-month period of the reign of a sacred king, which is supposed to be 'half of a Great Year of a hundred months'. Can it be that fifty, as half of one hundred, is meant to represent by its reduplication the two-to-one ratio as a means of signifying the concept of the musical octave with its two- to-one ratio? *

 

* The frequency of a note is doubled when it is raised an octave hence a ratio of 2 to I. This may be demonstrated visually on a single string and does not require the modern measurements of frequency.

And can this be why the Argo is supposed to be 'whole in the sky' (Aratos) and yet the constellation also supposed to represent only the latter half of a ship ? Can this apparent double-talk be yet another way of signifying the two-tone ratio ?

It also seems significant that each fifty-month period is carefully specified to constitute 'one reign', even though it is only half of 'the Great Year'. Can 'one reign' be analogous to 'one orbit' and the 'Great Year' of two orbits be contrived to communicate the two-to-one harmonic ratio of the octave ?

Another occurrence of fifty and a hundred together is with the three monsters born to Uranus the sky and Gaia the earth. Their names were Gottus, Briareus, and Gyges. ' "From their shoulders sprang a hundred invincible arms and above these powerful limbs rose fifty heads attached to their backs." For this reason they were called the Hecatoncheires or the Centimanes,' as we are reliably told.5

These monsters resemble the monster Cerberus, the hound of Hades who originally had fifty heads, but later became simplified and had only three heads -presumably for the same reason that these monsters are three in number, and also the reason that Hecate (whose pet Cerberus was, and who was a form of Isis-Sirius and whose name literally means 'one hundred') had three heads or forms, and that the boat of Sirius in ancient Egypt had three goddesses together in it. In other words, probably the same reason that the Dogon insist that there are three stars in the Sirius system.

 

(Despite the fact that the astronomical evidence has recently gone against the existence of a third star, the case is by no means closed. If there is a third star, it does not produce the perturbation which had been claimed for it before the seven years' observations recently concluded by astronomer Irving Lindenblad.6)

We will recall that originally Hercules is supposed to have led the expedition of the Argo. In the version of Apollonius Rhodios he accompanies the expedition. Well, in Graves we may read of another traditional exploit of Hercules in the Black Sea.7 He went 'in search of Hippolyte's girdle in the Black Sea' and 'the girdle belonged to a daughter of Briareus ("strong"), one of the Hundred- handed Ones . . . ,' who was of course a fifty-headed one as well. And note his name: Strong!

 

The word (briaros) means 'strong', and another form is (briarotes) which means 'strength, might', and a related form (brithos) means 'weight', and (brithosyne) means 'weight, heaviness'. Where have we encountered this idea before?

We should note that Hippolyte means simply 'letting horses loose'. And it was from Colchis that the horses of the sun were let loose every morning, for it was there that they were stabled, according to Greek tradition. There is also a really peculiar use of the word hippopede, which has the normal mundane meaning of 'a horse fetter', in a cosmic sense.

 

It appears from Liddell and Scott that this word was used by the astronomer Eudoxus (the one who went to Egypt and who was mentioned earlier) as the word for the curve described by a planet. We know this from Simplicius on Aristotle's De Caelo and Proclus on Euclid.* Two sources are better than one.

 

* Simplicius and Proclus arc despised by the orthodox mentalities because they were neoplatonists. See Appendix One.8

 

There is probably more to this than we can ever discover, for the necessary texts are lost.

If we examine the name Gyges, who was one of the other three monsters which included Briareus, we find its meaning has the same origins as gygantelos, which in English became 'gigantic', but the meaning of this word was not by any means simply 'giant'. Graves gives Gyges the meaning of 'earthborn', another concept we have come to expect in connection with our Sirius- complex of myths.

 

Just as the stones Deukalion and his wife Pyrrha threw over their shoulders had been torn from their mother earth, Gaia, and were her bones turning into men to repopulate the earth after the flood and the voyage of the Greek ark, and just as Jason and also Cadmus sowed the teeth and they sprang up as 'earth-born men', so we find that Gyges is also 'earth-born'.

And just as Gilgamesh sought strength from the earth when 'his teeth shook' in the earth, so we discover that gygas means 'mighty' or 'strong', and is also used in Hesiod to refer to 'the sons of Gaia (Earth)', which is as specific as we could wish, for it gives an undeniable and conscious connection between 'the children of Gaia' of Deukalion, 'the offspring of Gaia' of the Colchian teeth, and 'the sons of Gaia' who were a race of giants, and Gyges, whose mother was Gaia.

And we are not to forget that Gyges, like Briareus, can mean 'strength' and 'might', though with the particular shade of meaning added that it is strength and might drawn from the earth, which could be one way of describing a super-dense body of degenerate matter. After all, super-dense matter is 'strong earth'. We must also remember that Gyges has fifty heads.

As for the name Cottus, the third of the three monsters, Graves tells us that it is not Greek. Graves says (3, 1):

'Cottus was the eponymous [name-giving] ancestor of the Cottians who worshipped the orgiastic Cotytto, and spread her worship from Thrace throughout North-western Europe. These tribes are described as "hundred-handed", perhaps because their priestesses were organized in colleges of fifty, like the Danaids and Nereids; perhaps because the men were organized in war-bands of one hundred, like the early Romans.'

The Cottians might possibly derive their name from an Egyptian word.

Perhaps it was which means 'oarsmen' and has been applied to 'divine oarsmen'. With a different determinative and when not applied to a man, the word means 'orbit', 'revolution', 'to go around'. And the word in Egyptian was also applied to a group of specific people in a specific region.

 

The Qetu were the natives of Qeti, which Wallis Budge says was,

'The Circle', that is, 'the North Syrian coast about the Gulf of Issus and the deserts between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean'.

There was also an Egyptian precedent for applying the same name to a god. Qeti is 'a god of the abyss', and a reduplicated version of the name which repeats the 'T' as Cotytto does is Qetqet, who is significantly one of the thirty- six decans. In addition, Qetshu. refers specifically to 'the ''nude" or Syrian goddess',* which seems clearly to be an orgiastic element, for Graves says that Cotytto was an orgiastic goddess.

 

* The great goddess of Hierapolis (one of the oracle centers) must be intended by this 'Syrian goddess'. See note 34 to Chapter 5, reference to Lucian's De Dea Syria, and Garstang; also see Bibliography.

 

It seems fairly clear, then, that Cottus is of Egyptian origin and originally applies to the orbit of Sirius B, and in the Egyptian era the particular term came to be associated with a people of Syria who moved to Thrace, and even in Egyptian times the name had all its applications to a foreign people, a foreign orgiastic goddess, and Sirius-related concepts including both oarsmen and an orbit, two ideas which I have frequently connected before. Here in Egyptian we find an orbit called by a name which applies equally well to divine oarsmen. And the word survives in the fifty- headed Cottus! Fifty oarsmen, fifty years in the orbit, fifty heads to the Sirius- monster. How simple, how elegant.

I am indebted to my friend Michael Scott, who once rowed at Oxford, for the fine suggestion that there could hardly be a better analogy of any symbol with its intended meaning of 'a specific interval both of space and time' than the oar-stroke.

 

Rowing is a precisely paced discipline when practiced in earnest, as it would certainly have been in ancient times when it was one of the two principal means of navigation at sea, and the only reliable one if the winds failed, as they so often did. It also represents a self-reliance which illustrates the self-impelled motion of a body in space which is orbiting (or what seems to be self-impelled).

I should point out here that the earliest name for the figure known to us as Hercules was, according to Robert Graves in The Greek Myths (132. h.), none other than Briareus. And we also have learned that the earliest form of Jason was Hercules (whose earliest form was Briareus). We thus find that Briareus, with his fifty heads, was the earliest captain of the fifty-oared Argo. Briareus, whose name means 'weight'. And whose brother's name means both 'oarsman' and 'orbit'.

Apart from the three monsters each with fifty heads, Gaia also gave birth to Garamas, who was not only earth-born, but who 'rose from the plain' like the earth-born men of Colchis. Graves says:9 'The Libyans, however, claim that Garamas was born before the Hundred-handed Ones and that, when he rose from the plain, he offered Mother Earth (Gaia) a sacrifice of the sweet acorn.' The acorn of the oak - the oaks being representative of Dodona, of the piece of the Argo's prow, and of the Colchian grove!

It is in the footnote of Graves10 that we learn something of really immense significance to us:

'Garamas is the eponymous ancestor of the Libyan Garamantians who occupied the Oasis of Djado [sic], south of the Fezzan, and were conquered by the Roman General Balbus in 19 b.c. They are said to have been of Cushite-Berber stock, and in the second century a.d. were subdued by the matrilineal Lemta Berbers. Later they fused with the Negro aboriginals on the south bank of the Upper Niger, and adopted their language. They survive today in a single village under the name of Koromantse.'

I need hardly point out to the alert reader that the southern bank of the Upper Niger is the home of the Dogon! What should be investigated on the spot is the relations which subsist between this sad shaggy remnant of the Garamantians and the surrounding Dogon and other tribes. Also, the villagers of Koromantse might be discovered to possess the Sirius lore themselves.

On the most detailed French map of this area there is a village called Korienze only sixty miles from Bandiagara and in the heart of Dogon country. It is on the south bank of the Upper Niger and is presumably the place Graves means.

In line with this important discovery I should point out that Herodotus says in Book Two (103 and 106): 'It is undoubtedly a fact that the Colchians are of Egyptian descent . . . the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians are the only races which from ancient times have practiced circumcision. The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine themselves admit that they adopted the practice from Egypt, and the Syrians who live near the rivers Thermodon and Parthenius, as well as their neighbors the Macronians, say that they learnt it only a short time ago from the Golchians. No other nations use circumcision, and all these are without doubt following the Egyptian lead.'

Circumcision is fundamental to Dogon culture and forms the central part of the ritual of the Sigui which the Dogon hold every sixty years - and though I have pointed all this out earlier, it does no harm to repeat it.

We shall recall if we read the Argonautica that the Argonauts were blown off course to Libya, where they were stranded for some time. In his book Herodotean Inquiries?11 Seth Benardete speaks of the Garamantes to whom he gives an alternative name, the Gamphasantes. They are described in Herodotus, Book Four (after 178) as inhabitants of 'Further inland to the southward, in the part of Libya where wild beasts are found'. At 179 Herodotus connects Jason and the Argonauts' visit to Libya with the eventual foundation in Libya 'of a hundred Grecian cities'.

 

Benardete's comments in his book connect the Argo's visit to Libya and the Libyan city of Cyrene:

Herodotus first indicates how closely Libya, Egypt, Scythia, and Greece are joined.

 

The ancestors of Cyrene's founders were descendants of Jason's companions, who sailed to Colchis, originally an Egyptian colony on the eastern shore of the Black Sea; and the third generation from these Argonauts were expelled from Lemmos by the very same Pelasgians who later abducted Athenian women from Brauron, where a cult of Artemis- Iphigeneia was practiced, just as among the Taurians in the Crimea; and Jason is said to have been carried off course to Libya. Cyrene is the melting-pot of Egyptian, Libyan, and Scythian things. Its founding suggests the Scythian account of their origins.

 

They said that golden objects fell from heaven, which flashed fire when the two older brothers of Kolaxais approached them, but Kolaxais himself was able to take them home. To these celestial [sic: poiemata] there here correspond the oracular verses of Delphi which, in both the Theban and Cyrenaic versions, prompted the sending of a colony to Libya.

Robert Graves got his information12 on the Garamantians going to the Upper Niger by way of Libya from a series of books by Eva Meyrowitz, an anthropologist who spent many years studying the Akan tribe of Ghana, directly south of the Dogon.13 Graves paraphrases her books:

'The Akan people result from an ancient southward emigration of Libyo-Berbers - cousins to the pre- Hellenic population of Greece - from the Sahara desert oases (see 3, 3) and their intermarriage at Timbuctoo with Niger River Negroes.'

Timbuctoo - or Timbuktu - is the nearest big city to the Dogon. Graves continues:

'In the eleventh century a.d. they moved still further south to what is now Ghana.'

I might point out that the path of migration from Timbuctoo to Ghana goes straight through the country of the Dogon, whose territory is directly south of Timbuctoo. So it is quite clear by now that peoples intimately connected with the Sirius tradition came from Greece to Libya and thence south to the Libyan oases of the Sahara, thence further south-west past the Sahara to Timbuctoo and the region of the Dogon where they mingled with Negroes of the Dogon region and took their local language for themselves, eventually becoming indistinguishable from the local African population in appearance and speech, but retaining their old traditions as their most secret doctrines.

 

The migration route is shown in Figure 27. 14

There is something incredible in the survival of the Argonauts in the obscure reaches of the French Sudan! In fact, these people, which I assume must include the Dogon as well as their immediate southern neighbors (and the Dogon sell onions to Ghana as part of their livelihood), seem to be direct descendants of Lemnian Greeks who claimed to be the grandsons of the actual Argonauts!

 

It almost seems too amazing to be true, that we should have begun this book by considering a strange African tribe, then considered similar Sirius traditions in the Mediterranean stemming from ancient Egypt, and then be led back again to the African tribe whom we discover to be directly descended from the Mediterranean peoples privy to the Sirius complex!

Later, I shall mention a bit more about the Pelasgians, who lived in Arcadia and, so Herodotus informs us, were not conquered by the Dorian invaders of Greece in pre-classical times. They have been among the main continuers of the Sirius tradition as, apparently, have the people they displaced by force. But I mention them now to give more relevant information for this Libyan connection.

 

Graves says:15

'According to the Pelasgians, the goddess Athene was born beside Lake Tritonis in Libya', and: 'Plato identified Athene, patroness of Athens, with the Libyan goddess Neith . . . Neith had a temple at Sais (in Egypt), where Solon was treated well merely because he was an Athenian . . . Herodotus writes (IV, 189):

"Athene's garments and aegis were borrowed by the Greeks from the Libyan women ..."

... Ethiopian girls still wear this costume . . . Herodotus adds here that the loud cries of triumph, olulu, ololu, uttered in honour of Athene above (Iliad, vi. 297-301) were of Libyan origin. Tritone means "the third queen".'

Again the reference to the three goddesses. And recall that in Libya was the shrine of Ammon equivalent to the Dodona oracle of Zeus, where the other of the two birds flew from Egyptian Thebes.

And Athene, the daughter of Zeus, is equivalently the daughter of Ammon, who is identified with Zeus.

Athene was also known as Pallas Athene, for reasons given in Graves. He adds that 'the third Pallas' was father of 'the fifty Pallantids, Theseus's enemies (see 97.g and 99.a), who seem to have been originally fighting priestesses of Athene'.

 

Once again the fifty.

Graves gives some interesting information:16

Tottery finds suggest a Libyan immigration into Crete as early as 4000 B.C.; and a large number of goddess- worshipping Libyan refugees from the Western Delta seem to have arrived there when Upper and Lower Egypt were forcibly united under the First Dynasty about the year 3000 B.C. The First Minoan Age began soon afterwards, and Cretan culture spread to Thrace and Early Helladic Greece.'

While again on the subject of the fifty, I want to note more information concerning Cerberus, the fifty-headed hound of Hades. Graves says:17 'Echidne bore a dreadful brood to Typhon: namely, Cerberus . . .', etc. Recall that Typhon was identified with Python18 in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo and elsewhere ; Python was the particular monster, slain by Apollo according to legend, whose rotting corpse lay directly under the oracle of Delphi.

Graves continues:19

'Cerberus, associated by the Dorians with the dog- headed Egyptian god Anubis who conducted souls to the Underworld, seems to have originally been the Death-goddess Hecate, or Hecabe; she was portrayed as a bitch because dogs eat corpse flesh and howl at the moon. . . . Orthrus, who fathered [various creatures] on Echidne was Sirius, the Dog-star, which inaugurated the Athenian New Year. He had two heads, like Janus, because the reformed year at Athens had two seasons, not three.'

The three heads of Hecate, of Cerberus in his simplified form, etc., possibly all represent the old, original year which had three seasons and originated in Egypt with the three seasons of their (1) inundation, (2) sowing, (3) harvesting, which were traditional there. But it seems unlikely.

 

For why would the three goddesses sail in their Sirius boat in Egyptian representations which have absolutely nothing to do with a calendar? In short, the three goddesses and the three-headedness always to do with Sirius are not calendrical at all. But by the extremely late times of Athens, calendrical explanations may have become fashionable for what could not otherwise be explained.

In the above passages I hope the reader will note the specific information that connects Anubis (which much earlier I identified on altogether separate grounds with the orbit of Sirius B) with the Greek version of Anubis, Cerberus, with his fifty heads. In the Egyptian tradition I hadn't found any specific connection between Anubis and fifty.

 

It is true that we have found the Egyptian word qe(i means both 'oarsman' and 'orbit', and as there were always fifty oarsmen in the Sirius-related boats, both in Greek and Sumerian saga, we were on our way to an identification on solid grounds. But here at last a specific connection has come to light, and would seem to be a splendid confirmation of my identification! And furthermore, we see that the dog Orthrus who was the brother of Cerberus, was specifically identified with Sirius. We thus have found in the Mediterranean world all the elements of the description of the Sirius system which were possessed by the Dogon.

 

And we have also traced the Mediterranean Sirius lore to the Dogon by way of Libya, then the Saharan oases, then Timbuktu, and finally the south bank of the Upper Niger and the Dogon region. Thus, through thousands of miles and thousands of years, we have discovered the source of that strange tradition still intact among a tribe deep in 'darkest Africa'.

 

But there is more to be learnt. We must examine the Mediterranean tradition more closely, and particularly its oldest Egyptian origins in the shadowy pre-dynastic world of Behdet (which seems not to have been excavated and has presumably been lost in the mud of the Nile delta).

The father of Orthrus the Sirius-dog and his brother Cerberus the fifty- headed dog was the monster Typhon whom we mentioned a moment ago. And it is worth while for us to see what Liddell and Scott's Greek Lexicon has to say about the meaning of the name Typhon and also related forms of this word.

One meaning of (Typhon), curiously enough, is 'a kind of comet' in other words, a moving star! Another form is either Typhoeus or Typhos and specifically refers to the youngest son of Gaia, who was mother also of the three fifty-headed monsters and of Garamas. Typhos means 'smoke, vapor', and also 'conceit, vanity (because it clouds or darkens a man's intellect)'.

 

Typhlos means 'blind' and specifically 'in the sense of misty, darkened'. The verb Typhloo means 'to blind, make blind' or 'to blind, baffle'. It also means 'to wrap in smoke'.

Since Typhon is specifically said to be the father of Sirius (Orthrus) and one of its unexplained definitions is a description of a moving star, and its son has fifty heads, I take all the references to obscurity and invisibility to mean that Typhon represents Sirius B which is the dark companion of Sirius and is invisible to us. In other words, we are typhlos (blind) to Typhon because it seems as if it were obscured or typhloo'd by typhos (vapor, smoke), and we are baffled, blind (typhlos) in the sense of the subject being darkened (typhloo).

A possible origin of the word Typhon may be the Egyptian word tephit or teph-t, both of which have the meaning of 'cave, cavern, hole in the ground'. This Egyptian word describes perfectly the chasm at Delphi in which Python was supposed to lie rotting, his corpse giving off the fumes out of the earth. And, as we have seen, Python was equated with Typhon in early times.

If we take the Egyptian word Up we discover that it means 'mouth' and in the form tep ra it means 'mouth of the god' literally, but in fact the real meaning of this is 'divine oracle'. Tep is an unaspirated teph.

 

Hence the Up of Delphi has a tephit, or cavernous abyss beneath it. Later I shall consider the Egyptian word Up in its further ramifications. But for the moment it is sufficient to see that Typhon almost certainly originates from the Egyptian word describing a cavern or hole in the earth, as the Egyptians founded the tep or oracle at Delphi and naturally used their own word to describe the cavern.

 

As Delphi passed into Greek culture and the Egyptians became forgotten in all but vague legends such as the famous visit of the Canopic Herakles to Delphi, etc., the original word to describe Delphi's cavern would have been retained through the natural conservative inclinations of religious organizations who retain antique words and language for notoriously long periods of time, forgetting their origins.

 

Hence a Greek who had no knowledge of Egyptian culture or that it had ever penetrated to his homeland in earlier days would nevertheless call the cavern at Delphi which produced the sulphurous fumes the den of Typhon after its original Egyptian designation of tephit. It has been noted by people other than myself and with greater knowledge that the Sumerian word for cavern, abzu, survived in Greek as abysses, leading to our English 'abyss'.

The fumes arising from the Delphic cavern obviously gave rise to the usage of forms of the word for 'obscuring with smoke, dark', etc. And the fact that the personified Typhon became closely associated with Sirius was obviously due to the fact that this word which had entered Greek usage and been extended to considerations of 'darkness, obscurity', was useful in the traditional Sirius lore as adopted in Greece. The other meanings for the word then developed from there, except for the obvious popular usages, such as applying the word to a description of 'vanity' because vanity clouds a man's intellect - a really superb extension of the meaning for use in poetic and common expression.

It is probably considerations such as the Typhonic in the sense of Sirius B's association with darkness and obscurity, and hence with cavernous blackness, that some of the Sirius-related divinities were reputed to live in the dark underworld in later times. The prototype of these is quite specifically Anubis, the embalmer of mummies.

 

Anubis was not originally meant to be a death god per se and his association with mummies and the underworld has been previously explained. Egyptian mummies were, as I have said, embalmed over a period of seventy days, to correspond with the number of days each year when the star Sirius was 'in the Duat, or Underworld', and was not visible in the night sky. Hence the seventy-day 'death' of Sirius each year was the fundamental and earliest underworld aspect of the Sirius lore.

 

Of course, Anubis, as the expression of the orbit of Sirius B, was invisible all the time, and not only for seventy days a year. Hence the permanent Typhonic darkness could be even further extended in later lore and a heightened sense of the importance of the underworld aspects could arise. This concept of invisibility and darkness must have become more and more important as time went on and the grasp of the nature of the mysteries became weakened by successive generations of initiates who were further and further from the original sources of information, though the Dogon even down to our time have maintained the information in a remarkably pure state.

 

So there developed the underworld nature of the fifty- headed Cerberus-Anubis in Greek times. With the earlier Egyptians, as always with them, the underworld concept had been on more than one level. To the public the underworld aspect seemed to be entirely explicable by the disappearance of Sirius for seventy days - a fact which anyone could notice - and its reappearance following that period at dawn on the occasion of the star's heliacal rising.

 

But the priests knew that the dark companion of Sirius was never visible. It would be worth while now to look a little more closely at the dog Orthrus, who was Sirius. Orthrus is the dog of the herdsman Eurytion. Graves interestingly compares this Eurytion with the Sumerian Enkidu, the companion of Gilgamesh who was hairy and wild and came from the steppes and was imbued with incredible strength:20

'Eurytion is the "interloper", a stock character ... The earliest mythical example of the interloper is the same Enkidu: he interrupted Gilgamesh's sacred marriage with the Goddess of Erech [Uruk], and challenged him to battle.'

It is particularly interesting to find the Greek companion of Sirius compared by Graves to the Sumerian Enkidu, whom I also have identified with the companion of Sirius. For 'companion of Sirius' is precisely what Eurytion is; if Orthrus is Sirius and Eurytion the herdsman accompanies him, then Eurytion is the 'companion of Sirius'. And Enkidu is the strong hairy wild man who endured a trial of strength against Gilgamesh and became his companion after their wrestling match. Both Eurytion and Enkidu are hairy and rustic characters, and they seem to be related also to the god Pan, whose hairy and rustic nature classes him with them.

The motif of 'interloper' and 'interrupting' and of challenging to a test of strength has to do with the fact that the bright star Sirius is challenged by its strong companion star. Graves adds: 'Another interloper is Agenor' and Agenor means 'very manly'. He interrupted the wedding of Perseus with Andromeda. Perseus was the son of Danae, great-granddaughter of Danaos, who had fifty daughters. As we learn in Graves,21 Danae herself had connections with an ark. Her father 'locked her and the infant Perseus in a wooden ark, which he cast into the sea'.

 

Later companions of Perseus in his exploits were 'a party of Cyclopes'.22 This is yet another familiar ingredient.

Perseus fell in love with Andromeda, the daughter of Cassiopeia. Graves says:23 'Cassiopeia had boasted that both she and her daughter were more beautiful than the Nereids, who complained of this insult', etc. And, of course, the number of the Nereids, it should surprise no one, was fifty.

 

Of them, Graves says:24

'The fifty Nereids seem to have been a college of Moon-priestesses'.

Graves explains the recurring fifty in relation to moon lore. It is a brave but unconvincing solution, but how many scholars have even tried to find a solution ?

It is interesting in the light of our knowledge of Danaus having fifty daughters to read the opening of Pindar's tenth Nemean Ode25 which is written largely about the city of Argos (a name related to Argo just as was the name Argus of the Argo's builder and as was the word 'ark'):

The city of Danaos
And his fifty daughters on shining thrones,
Sing of it, Graces,
Of Argos, home of Hera, fit for the gods.

Perseus and Danae also have a connection with Argos. And as for the Graces here mentioned, their worship was first instituted at Orchomenos.

 

The Graces are often associated with Hermes and called 'the Graces of Hermes' and this occurs especially in a work such as The Lives of the Philosophers by the historian Eunapius, whose Universal History was unfortunately lost. In the work just referred to, Eunapius tells us something extremely interesting about the area of Behdet and Canopus in Egypt.

 

In speaking of Antoninus, the son of the remarkable and brilliant woman Sosipatra, Eunapius tells us:

'He crossed to Alexandria, and then so greatly admired and preferred the mouth of the Nile at Canobus, that he wholly dedicated and applied himself to the worship of the gods there, and to their secret rites.'27

And also:

'Antoninus was worthy of his parents, for he settled at the Canobic mouth of the Nile and devoted himself wholly to the religious rites of that place'28

This is interesting, that there were rites peculiar to Canopus to which one could exclusively devote oneself. A little later,29 Eunapius mentions that the Christians destroyed the temples in the vicinity and demolished the Serapheum at Alexandria, and settled their black-robed monks on the spot of Canopus in order to supplant paganism there. Hence, we see that that particular place had a unique importance. Surely it should be excavated. The pagan mysteries of the place, eventually destroyed by the Christians, probably continued the Behdet tradition and were related to our Sirius question.

But back now to the quotations from Pindar given above. What is so especially significant about this passage of Pindar's is the expression 'and his fifty daughters on shining thrones'. It will be remembered that the throne is the hieroglyph for Ast or Isis identified with Sirius, that the fifty Anunnaki of Sumer were on thrones, etc. All through the earlier traditions there has been a great deal of emphasis on the throne in connection with the Sirius material, and here in the late Pindar we find the same.

 

By describing him as 'late' I do so on our Sirius time-scale, for of course he was at the very earliest portion of the Greek classical age.

There are further connections between the Sirius system and Argos and Danaos. Connections with the Minyan Libyans are many. The father of Danaos was himself 'the son of Libya by Poseidon'.30

 

Danaos was also 'sent to rule Libya5.31 However, the connection with Egypt is also strong. Danaos's twin brother was called Aegyptos, of whom we read:32

'Aegyptus was given Arabia as his kingdom; but also subdued the country of the Melampodes [the 'blackfooted people' - the Egyptians], and named it Egypt after himself. Fifty sons were born to him of various mothers: Libyans, Arabians, Phoenicians, and the like.'

So we see Danaos's twin brother had fifty sons. And Danaos had fifty daughters. This demolishes Graves's argument that they must refer to a college of fifty moon-priestesses, and emphasizes the connection with the fifty male companions of Gilgamesh, fifty male Argonauts, fifty male Anunnaki, etc. Notice the two related but also quite definitely separate groups of fifty here.

 

Together they add up to a hundred - a hecate - and have the same grandparents, but they are basically two separate fifties. Not only do they have separate parents and especially separate fathers, but they are separately distinguished by sex.

Danaos learns that his brother wishes to marry his fifty sons to Danaos's fifty daughters with the aim of their killing the fifty daughters after marrying them. So Danaos and his daughters all take flight to Rhodes* and then to Greece where they land and Danaos announces that he is divinely chosen to become the King of Argos. Note that he chooses Argos.

 

* This may be an indication that Rhodes, at latitude 36 deg. 30', does indeed belong in the sequence of oracle centres as was only tentatively suggested in the chart at the end of Chapter Five.

 

This and his connection with fifty are especially important later when I give the derivation of the words Argo, Argos, etc. And it is particularly interesting that when Danaos flees his brother he does so in a ship which he built with Athena's assistance - exactly the case with the Argonauts, who built the Argo with Athena's assistance.


The way in which Danaos became King of Argos was that a wolf came down from the hills and killed the lead bull and the Argives accepted the omen.

'Danaus, convinced that the wolf had been Apollo in disguise, dedicated the famous shrine to wolfish Apollo at Argos, and became so powerful a ruler that all the Pelasgians of Greece called themselves Danaans. He also built the citadel of Argos, and his daughters brought the Mysteries of Demeter, called Thesmophoria, from Egypt and taught these to the Pelasgian women. But, since the Dorian invasion, the Thesmophoria are no longer performed in the Peloponnese, except by the Arcadians.'33

It is well known that the Pelasgians survived in Greece only in remote Arcadia after the Dorian invasion. This is why some of the older traditions continued in that strange region after they had ceased to exist elsewhere in Greece. Arcadia was in a sense the Wales of Greece. The Pelasgians considered themselves 'earth-born', as I shall discuss in a moment. Note that there is a specific reference to Egyptian mysteries being transplanted in Greece among the Pelasgians.

 

When Danaos fled from Egypt to Argos, he is specifically said to have brought Egyptian mysteries, the Thesmophoria. Presumably the Sirius-complex was thus transplanted. (One should read Herodotus II, 165-70.) The element of the wolf, sometimes substituted for the dog in the Sirius tradition of the Dog Star, is important. It is an obvious European substitute for the non-existent jackal of Anubis.

 

With no jackal in Europe, the wolf was the candidate. Wolfish Apollo is jackalish. It was from this changing of the jackal into the wolf through adaptation to the European clime that those peculiar wolf traditions arose in wild Arcadia which developed in pre-classical times into the werewolf concepts. Human blood-sucking vampires, the use of garlic for protection against them, and lycanthropy of werewolves all luxuriated in the wilds of Arcady among the Pelasgian survivors in pre-classical Greece after the Dorian invasion.

 

The phenomenon is rather like the plethora of fairy-tales and 'Celtic twilight' to be found in Ireland, with the multitude of fantastic stories and creatures. What is a werewolf? It is a man's body with a wolf's head.

 

That is exactly what Anubis became when transferred to Greece; instead of a man's body with a jackal's head, he was a man with a wolf's head because there was no jackal in Greece. And the temples of Wolfish (or Lycian) Apollo, were not altogether rare in Greece. Aristotle's famous school at Athens, the Lyceum, was in the grounds of the Lycian Apollo's temple just outside the Athens Gate of Diochares. The name 'Lyceum' comes from the Lycian Apollo, which is the Wolfish Apollo.

It is extremely interesting, incidentally, to read in Pausanius (Book II, 38, 4) that near Argos 'are the Landings, where they say Danaos and his sons first landed in the Argolid'. Here we read that Danaos had sons, not daughters. This is a strong indication that what was really meant to be significant about Danaos's progeny was not their sex but their number of fifty. And from Pindar we see that they were on fifty thrones.

 

The fact that Aegyptus of Egypt had fifty sons as well and that Danaos's daughters (or sons) taught the Egyptian mysteries to the Greeks all indicates that what transpired was a transplanting from Egypt to Greece of the all-important tradition to be common to both countries from then on - the fifty as linked with the Dog Star Sirius and as celestial thrones. In other words, the mystery of the orbit of Sirius B around Sirius A in its fifty celestial steps.

According to Graves,34 the serpent's teeth sown by Jason were 'a few left over from Cadmus's sowing at Thebes'. Graves says of the latter:35 'A small tribe, speaking a Semitic language, seems to have moved up from the Syrian plains to Cadmeia in Caria. Cadmus is a Semitic word meaning "eastern" whence they crossed over to Boeotia towards the end of the second millennium, seized Thebes, and became masters of the country. 'The myth of the Sown Men...'

 

But before continuing his explanation I shall quote his description of the events. In Plate 15 is an ancient Greek vase painting of Cadmus standing above a hare, just as Orion 'stands' on Lepus, the Hare, in the night sky.

 

Graves tells us:36

Cadmus sailed with Telephassa to Rhodes [where Danaos also stopped in his flight to Argos], where he dedicated a brazen cauldron to Athene of Lindus, and built Poseidon's temple, leaving a hereditary priesthood behind to care for it. [Like Danaos, Cadmus instituted religious rites where he went.]

 

They next touched at Thera [the place from which the Minyae later left their settlements there to go to Libya], and built a similar temple, finally reaching the land of the Thracian Edonians, who received them hospitably. Here Telephassa [who was Cadmus's mother and whose name means Tar shiner'; her husband and Cadmus's father was 'Agenor, Libya's son by Poseidon and twin to Belus (who) left Egypt to settle in the Land of Canaan, where he married Telephassa, otherwise called Argiope ("brightface"), who bore him Cadmus', etc.

 

And notice the name Argiope, related as it is to what we will discuss in a moment as the Argo-complex of words and the related meaning of argent, silver, taken here as the shade of meaning from this large Argo-complex.] died suddenly and, after her funeral, Cadmus and his companions proceeded on foot to the Delphic Oracle.

 

When he asked where Europe (his lost sister) might be found, the Pythoness (of Delphi) advised him to give up his search and, instead, follow a cow and build a city wherever she should sink down for weariness. ... at last (the cow) sank down where the city of Thebes now stands, and here (Cadmus) erected an image of Athene, calling it by her Phoenician name of Onga. Cadmus, warning his companions that the cow must be sacrificed to Athene without delay, sent them to fetch lustral water from the Spring of Ares [Mars], now called the Castalian Spring, but did not know that it was guarded by a great serpent.

 

This serpent killed most of Cadmus's men, and he took vengeance by crushing its head with a rock. No sooner had he offered to Athene the sacrifice than she appeared, praising him for what he had done, and ordering him to sow the serpent's teeth in the soil. When he obeyed her, armed Sparti, or Sown Men, at once sprang up, clashing their weapons together.

 

Cadmus tossed a stone among them [just as Jason later did] and they began to brawl, each accusing the other of having thrown it, and fought so fiercely that, at last, only five survived; Echion, Udaeus, Chthonius, Hyperenor, and Pelorus, who unanimously offered Cadmus their services. But Ares demanded vengeance for the death of the serpent, and Cadmus was sentenced by a divine court to become his bondsman for a Great Year.

Note here that the serpent's teeth motif is again linked with the concept of fifty. For the Great Year is a hundred months long and consists of two separate cycles of fifty months, as I have mentioned before. It is just as well for us that Hyginus and Apollodorus have preserved this interesting bit of information which Graves has passed on from them. The 'Spring of Ares' resembles 'the grove of Ares' where the golden fleece was hung, and both were guarded by serpents. And in both the story of the Argo and this story the hero throws a stone in the midst of the sown men - the stone motif again, a thrown stone being central to the Deukalion story and to the Orchomenos ghost, etc. And it was a stone with which Cadmus crushed the serpent's head as well.

The cow in the Cadmus story is also reminiscent of the Egyptian sacred cow Hathor, who was identified with Isis. Hathor is the form we use for the original Egyptian He-t-Her, which means 'the House of Horus'. (Horus is, of course, our form for the Egyptian Heru, or Her.)

It is interesting that the cow Hathor - 'House of Horus' - is identified with Isis, who, as Sothis, is the star Sirius and who is also the Mother of Horus. Hathor seems to be meant to represent the actual Sirius system, the 'house' or area in the celestial regions. And significantly the sister of Isis, Nephthys, whom I have earlier identified with Sirius B, the dark star of the system, is our form for the original Egyptian Neb-t-He-t, which means 'Lady of the House'.

 

The reader will recall a previous discussion of the word Neb meaning 'Lord'. Neb-t is merely the female form of the word, and means 'Lady'. And presumably the house of which Nephthys is the Lady is the House of Horus. In other words, the lady is just as much a resident of the area of Sirius as is Sirius herself. Just because she is the dark sister does not mean that she is not quite as much at home in the House of Horus as Isis.

So much for the cow who led Cadmus to the serpent's teeth. It will all make even more sense as we go along. Wait till we find out what 'serpent's teeth' really means.

Now to resume Graves's commentary on all these Cadmean adventures at Thebes :37 'The myth of the Sown Men and Cadmus's bondage to Ares suggests that the invading Cadmeans secured their hold on Boeotia by successfully intervening in a civil war among the Pelasgian tribes who claimed to be autochthonous ['sprung from the earth']; and that they accepted the local rule of an eight-year [one hundred months according to Graves's lunar theories, but it really comes to only ninety-six] reign for the sacred king.

 

Cadmus killed the serpent in the same sense as Apollo killed the Python at Delphi (see 21.12). The names of the Sown Men - Echion ("viper"); Udaeus ("of the earth")'. ..

At this point I shall interrupt him once again.38 Let us look at this strange name Udaeus. We should note that the similar word biting with the teeth' and comes from the verb root and its infinitive dakein which means 'to bite - of dogs'! Perhaps this is a clue as to the importance of teeth, since in Greek there was this word 'to bite' which specifically referred to the biting of dogs and it may be that this aspect of dogs was incorporated at a pre-Hellenic early date into the lore of the Dog Star by one of those many puns which proliferated in all the high civilizations of the Mediterranean.

 

We must, in order to understand the ancient inclinations to punning, rid ourselves of our modern prejudice against puns as a form of humor. Puns in the ancient world had no direct humorous intent. In a milieu where codes and allegories were sorely needed, puns provided the 'handles' to new ways of cloaking truths by use of synonyms. If it was a game, it was a sacred game, a ludens.

 

For Thebes was the site of the Castalian Spring, as just mentioned a moment ago, and was intimately part of the milieu of the ludi of the ancient world.

Also, where circe meant 'rings', so does daktylios - which specifically means 'anything ring-shaped'. Thus we see another meaning in common in our complex of interweaving terms connected with Sirius traditions.

 

A possible further example of this is4 in the hieroglyphics of Egypt. Wallis Budge informs us in Egyptian Language, in his list of hieroglyphs,39 that the sign for 'thorn' (which is the tooth of a plant) is almost identical with the sign for Sothis-Sirius. The same sign tilted 450 represents ateb, the land on one side of the Nile, and if placed one on top of another, forming a pair, means 'all Egypt'.

The very same sign is incorporated in the sign for art meaning 'jawbone with teeth'. Remember Gilgamesh with his jaw to the earth 'and his teeth shook'. Certainly this all seems to mean something. In fact, the same single sign which means 'the land on one side of the Nile5 and looks like a tilted tooth, also has the general meaning of 'earth', which latter concept is so important in all the later Greek Sirius-traditions.

 

It may well be that all these puns on the determinative hieroglyphic sign for Sirius came, in the usual way with the pun-loving Egyptian priests, to form a complicated body of Sirius doctrine involving teeth, Earth-born, ring-shaped, falcon or hawk (Circe), etc., etc. It should therefore not surprise us in the least to learn that the ancient Egyptian word for 'tooth', abeh has exactly the same hieroglyph as the word for Earth. Hence the origin, almost without question, of the connection between teeth and the Earth!

 

For in ancient Egypt they were written by the identical sign, which were tilted forms of the same sign used to represent Sirius!

 

 

 

SUMMARY

In Greek mythology there were fifty daughters of King Thestios (or Thespius) with whom Hercules (in Greek, Herakles), who is said to have been the predecessor of Jason as leader of the Argo and who is demonstrably derived in part from Gilgamesh, had sexual intercourse on fifty successive nights. Again, the number fifty is seen as related to intervals of time - in this instance days instead of months - and again in connection with the complex of myths concerning Sirius.

The monsters Cottus, Briareus, and Gyges of Greek mythology each had fifty heads. Briareus was the original name of the figure later called Hercules, and as Hercules was the original Jason, it is seen that the original commander of the fifty-oared Argo was a fifty-headed gentleman. The name Briareus is derived from words meaning 'strength' and 'weight'. Gyges also means 'strength'.

 

As for the name Cottus, Robert Graves says that it is not Greek. In fact, it seems to be derived ultimately from Egyptian qeti meaning 'oarsmen' (not surprising, since Briareus was the Original commander of the fifty oarsmen), and also 'orbit'. The fact that in Egyptian the words for 'oarsman' and 'orbit' are the same may explain why fifty oarsmen are symbolic of a fifty-year orbit.

 

Oar-strokes are ideal constant intervals of time combined with constant intervals of space (distance traversed) and thus perfect symbols of intervals of an orbit. In Greek the Egyptian word meaning both 'orbit' and 'oarsmen' seems to survive as the name of a fifty-headed monster. The conclusion: an orbit of fifty intervals (years) concerned somehow with Sirius and with something called 'Weight' (already known to be assigned by the Arabs to a visible companion of Sirius) - obviously, the fifty-year orbit of Sirius B is being referred to.

Garamas, a brother of the three above-named monsters, is a name also adopted by the Garamantian people. These Garamantians were Libyan residents who migrated from there by way of Algeria to the banks of the Niger River in Mali where they intermarried with local Negroes.

The Argo was reported to have stopped in Libya for some time, which resulted in the foundation in Libya of 'a hundred Grecian cities'. The Libyans from whom the Garamantians came are reputed to be 'descended from the Argonauts' through migrant Lemnian Greeks who settled in Libya.

 

These same Garamantians over hundreds Indeed, thousands - of years in their migration to Mali obviously brought to that region as the most secret and holy of all their sacred traditions the sacred Sirius tradition now propounded by the Dogon, who are presumably their descendants. (The Dogon themlelvcs insist that they were definitely not originally native to their present homeland in Mali.)

The Libyan version of the Greek goddess Athena had 'fifty Pallantids' as priestesses, with evident association at an early time with the Garamantians.

The dog Orthrus, brother of the god Cerberus who had fifty heads, was specifically identified by the Greeks with the star Sirius. Robert Graves equates Anubis, Cerberus, and Hecate with each other. This brings together Anubis-the-orbit with Cerberus the fifty-headed dog, and Hecate meaning 'one hundred', as well as Orthrus who is Sirius the Dog Star.

The father of Orthrus was Typhon, one meaning of which is a kind of comet or a 'moving star'. Another meaning is 'blind' or 'darkened'; that is, we see it could refer to a moving but invisible star. And his son Orthrus is clearly identified with Sirius, and had a brother with fifty heads.

Orthrus (Sirius) was the dog of the herdsman Eurytion whom Robert Graves compares with Enkidu, the companion of Gilgamesh. It is possible the name Orthrus may be derived from the Egyptian urt meaning 'the setting of a star'. We see this same word used in reference in Chapter Seven to the Sirius complex.

The Argo carried the fifty daughters of Danaos, who was 'sent to rule Libya' and had a twin brother Aegyptos, king of Egypt (which got its name from him), who had fifty sons. Sometimes Danaos is said to have fifty sons instead of fifty daughters. It was obviously their number which mattered, not their sex.

'The old man of the sea', named Nereus to the Greeks, had fifty daughters called the Nereids (who are enumerated by Hesiod in his Theogony, 241). An 'old man of the sea' is reminiscent of Oannes and Enki - of amphibious wise men generally.

The Greek poet Pindar (fifth century B.C.) describes the fifty Danaids as 'on shining thrones', reminiscent of the fifty Anunnaki on their shining thrones, of Isis on her shining throne. (The throne is the hieroglyph of Isis who is identified with Sirius.)

 

Danaos is also associated with the wolf- or dog-motif, and that motif refers to the Dog Star, Sirius.

 

Back to Contents
 

 

 


Notes

  1. Peter Levi's translation of Pausanius, op. cit.

  2. Graves, The Greek Myths, op. cit., 120.1.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid., 120.1.

  5. Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology, Paul Hamlyn, London, 1965, pp. 90-1.

  6. Lindenblad, op. cit. (see Notes to Chapter One). See also further discussion in Chapter Eight.

  7. Greek Myths, 131.g. and 131.2.

  8. Proclus on Euclid's Elements, op. cit.: two translations, one by Thomas Taylor (1792) and one by Glenn Morrow (1960s). A translation by Thomas Taylor of much of Simplicius's commentary on Aristotle's De Caelo (On the Heavens) may be found in The Works of Aristotle, London, 1806-12, 9 vols., all trans, by Thomas Taylor and 'printed for the translator'. However, only fifty copies were printed and not a single volume of this work is to be found either in the British Museum Library or in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The publication was financed originally by William and George Meredith, patrons of learning at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Patrons of this kind of learning seem thin on the ground these days, since the Bollingen Foundation in New York has ceased its benefactions; Geoffrey Watkins, the London publisher and bookseller who would occasionally reprint Thomas Taylor's work in small editions, has now retired and his successors have abandoned his policies to concentrate on ecology. The above 9 vol. work contains the only English translations ever done of the majority of the Neoplatonic commentaries on Aristotle. And yet, not only are these translations unavailable in print, but they are even not available for consultation in the world's most respected libraries, so that one may not even see them. (These libraries really should make some effort to obtain photostats or microfilms of the books.) A friend of mine owns a few volumes of this set and an acquaintance had a chance to buy some of the volumes at a Sotheby's auction but said they reached a terrible price which he thought beyond his range.

  9. Greek Myths, 3.C.

  10. Ibid., 3.3.

  11. Benardete, Seth. Herodotean Inquiries, The Hague, 1969, p. 126.

  12. See the end of his Introduction to Greek Myths, op. cit.

  13. The four books by Eva Meyrowitz are now out of print. In the fourth book of the series (see Note 14) the author describes the series: 'This is the fourth volume of the series of which the first, The Sacred State of the Akan [195,1], gives a picture of the old Akan civilization. The second, Akan Traditions of Origin [1952], deals with the early history of the people who now call themselves Akan. The third, The Akan of Ghana, their Ancient Beliefs [1958, originally entitled The Akan Cosmological Drama], showed the development of their religion. The fourth, here presented, attempts to show that Akan religion, which includes the cult of the divine king and the main features of their social organization, is largely derived from Ancient Egypt.' Eva Meyrowitz is an anthropologist from Cape Town who worked in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) from 1936-45 studying the peoples of that country. The third volume mentioned above (1958) contains a final chapter which is entitled 'Analogies to Akan Beliefs and Customs in Libyan North Africa'. As for the Akan peoples, they speak languages of the Twi branch of the Kwa sub-family of the Western Sudanic linguistic stock and inhabit the eastern part of Ivory Coast, the southern half of Ghana, and parts of Togo. The majority are in Ghana, where they settled in successive waves between the 11 th and 18th centuries. All of Meyrowitz's books above, and the fourth mentioned in Note 14, were published by Faber in London.

  14. The Divine Kingship in Ghana and Ancient Egypt (originally entitled The Akan of Ghana, the Akan Divine Kingship and Its Prototype in Ancient Egypt), Faber, London, 1960. Went out of print in February 1963. The map is adapted from one in this book.

  15. Greek Myths, op. cit., 8.

  16. Ibid., 8.2.

  17. Ibid., 34.

  18. Ibid., 21.2.

  19. Ibid., 34.1. and 34.3.

  20. Ibid., 143.5.

  21. Ibid., 73.C.

  22. Ibid., 73.p.

  23. Ibid., 73.J.

  24. Ibid., 33.3.

  25. The Odes of Pindar, trans, by G. M. Bowra, Penguin paperback, 1969, p. 176.

  26. Eunapius, Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists, trans, by W. C. Wright, in Vol. No. 134 of Loeb Library Series (Philostratus and Eunapius), Heinemann, London; Harvard University Press, U.S.A., 1961.

  27. Ibid., p. 419 (text, 471).

  28. Ibid., p. 417 (text, 470).

  29. Ibid., pp. 421-5 (text 472): 'Next, into the sacred places they imported monks, as they called them, who were men in appearance but led the lives of swine, and openly did and allowed countless unspeakable crimes. But this they accounted piety, to show contempt for things divine. For in those days every man who wore a black robe and consented to behave in unseemly fashion in public possessed the power of a tyrant, to such a pitch of virtue had the human race advanced! All this however I have described in my Universal History. They settled these monks at Canobus also, and thus fettered the human race to the worship of slaves . . .' Among the unspeakable crimes being referred to was the destruction by Bishop Theodosius of the Great Library of Alexandria because it contained 'heathen literature'. Hence, the loss of the hundreds of thousands of books from the ancient world, which everyone laments so often, took place at the hands of a fanatical Christian bishop attempting to wipe out all trace of history before Christ, and not as the result of an accidental fire from the time of Mark Anthony, as the story is usually told.

  30. Graves, Greek Myths, op. cit., 6o.a.

  31. Ibid., 6o.b.

  32. Ibid., 6o.b.

  33. Ibid., 6o.f.

  34. Ibid., 152.C

  35. Ibid., 58.5. ORIGINS OF THE DOGON 173

  36. Ibid., 58.e-g.

  37. Ibid., 58.e-g.

  38. I will complete the quotation from Graves here: '. . . Chthonius (''of the soil"); Hyperenor ("man who comes up") and Pelorus ("serpent") - are characteristic of oracular heroes. But "Pelorus" suggests that all Pelasgians, not merely the Thebans, claimed to be born in this way; their common feast is the Peloria (see 1.2.)'. The remaining three names are thus seen to be quite as one would expect.

  39. Wallis Budge, E. A. Egyptian Language, Routledge, Kegan Paul Ltd., London, 1951, pp. 43-94.