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.
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
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
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
[Notice fifty applied here as a succession of days: days, months,
years. They can become blurred as long as fifty remains.]
have my eldest daughter Procris as your bedfellow,' Thespius told
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.
'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
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
* 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
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
-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
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'.
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
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.
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
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
be intended by this 'Syrian goddess'. See note 34 to Chapter 5,
reference to Lucian's De Dea Syria, and Garstang; also see
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
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
it only a short time ago from the Golchians. No other nations use
circumcision, and all these are without doubt following the Egyptian
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
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:
eleventh century a.d. they moved still further south to what is now
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.
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!
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
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.
'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.
'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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
'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'.
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
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
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
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:
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
'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
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
also 'sent to rule Libya5.31 However, the connection with Egypt is
also strong. Danaos's twin brother was called Aegyptos, of whom we
'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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
For in ancient Egypt they were written by the identical
sign, which were tilted forms of the same sign used to represent
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
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'.
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.
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.)
also associated with the wolf- or dog-motif, and that motif refers
to the Dog Star, Sirius.
Back to Contents
Peter Levi's translation of Pausanius, op. cit.
Graves, The Greek Myths, op. cit., 120.1.
Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology, Paul Hamlyn, London, 1965, pp.
Lindenblad, op. cit. (see Notes to Chapter One). See also further
discussion in Chapter Eight.
Greek Myths, 131.g. and 131.2.
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
some of the volumes at a Sotheby's auction but said they reached a
terrible price which he thought beyond his range.
Greek Myths, 3.C.
Benardete, Seth. Herodotean Inquiries, The Hague, 1969, p. 126.
See the end of his Introduction to Greek Myths, op. cit.
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 , 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
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.
Greek Myths, op. cit., 8.
Ibid., 34.1. and 34.3.
The Odes of Pindar, trans, by G. M. Bowra, Penguin paperback, 1969,
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.,
Ibid., p. 419 (text, 471).
Ibid., p. 417 (text, 470).
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
Graves, Greek Myths, op. cit., 6o.a.
Ibid., 58.5. ORIGINS OF THE DOGON 173
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.
Wallis Budge, E. A. Egyptian Language, Routledge, Kegan Paul Ltd.,
London, 1951, pp. 43-94.